Over on the comments section of my recent post, Are the Bible’s “laws” on homosexuality unbiblical?, two readers made statements which, taken together, should put to rest forever the idea that it’s reasonable to consider the Bible as an inflexible rulebook concerning matters such as … oh, I dunno, homosexuality.
The first comment came from our friend David S, who blogs at Ford’s Words. Said David:
Roberta Kaplan, the lead attorney in the DOMA victory, gave the sermon at Shabbat services two days after the SCOTUS decision. The Torah portion told the story of the daughters of Zelophehad (Numbers 27: 1-11) who challenged Jewish inheritance law that disregarded families with no male heir. In the story, Moses takes their challenge to the Lord who instructs him to change the law so as to include the daughters. Roberta made the point that God rewrote His own law so that it was more just. She eloquently argued that those who view biblical law as fixed and unyielding ignore the precedents laid out in the Bible itself. According to the holy text, God’s law evolves in the direction of justice and inclusion.
David, that’s a wonderful point. There’s a New Testament rough equivalent as well, when Jesus is reported as telling us that there are truths that Christians were not yet ready for, and that He would send the Holy Spirit to be with us and continue the teaching. [John 14:26: “I have told you this while I’m still with you. However, the helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything. He will remind you of everything that I have ever told you.”]
Whether that is interpreted as old ideas being subject to change, or new ideas that hadn’t been thought of still being part of the ongoing revelation of God to man, it still means that the Bible itself says that for Christians, the Bible cannot be the final authority because the Holy Spirit has more to teach.
Annnnnnnnnd whoompeth: there it is.
If you are an anti-gay Christian who believes that the Bible teaches you everything you need to know about LGBT people today, consider the wisdom of trusting God enough to be open to what new thoughts and understandings about that matter He might be trying to impart to you. Jesus, we see, very clearly told us that the Holy Spirit will continue to help and teach us. So we absolutely must not fail Jesus, the Holy Spirit, or God by failing to remain open to that divine truth.
See also: The Pain of the Improving Church