I just wrote an essay for Baptist Press on the recently released “Queen James Bible,” whose editors (an insufficient term, in this case) argue that the Bible is “homophobic.” I responded to this charge and gave some thoughts on how to conceive of the Bible’s response to homosexual practice.
Here’s a bit:
But what about the central charge against the Bible in this document? Does Scripture condone “homophobia?” No, it does not. God’s Word issues threats of judgment and promises of grace to sinners of all kinds: those who get angry at their sibling (Matthew 5:22), those who cheat on their taxes and lie (Colossians 3:9), those who understand faith to mean doing good works to be saved (Ephesians 2:8-9), and many others. Every sinner — gay, straight, Republican, Democrat, Catholic, Baptist — must repent and be changed.
So the God of the Bible is not like the boyfriend in unnerving pop songs you hear on the radio; He is not “the one who would never ask you to change because you’re so unstoppably amazing.” The God of Scripture offers us love, but it is costly love, for Him and for us. In order to save sinners like you and me, God must cleanse our sin. This meets the just demands of His holiness (Romans 4-5). He accomplished this through the death of His Son, Jesus Christ (Matthew 27). Our fundamental confession to God as a broken sinner is this: “You are right, and I am wrong.” God’s love cost Him His Son; God’s love costs us our sin.
For those drawn to a homosexual lifestyle, this means that repentance is necessary. God is not homophobic in calling gays and lesbians to repent; He is gracious in extending mercy to all of us, calling all of us to repent of our sins. We must not edit the Bible, as the editors of the QJB clearly say they have, to make it fit our lifestyle and excuse our sins. The Scripture is a friend to any sinner who receives the gift of forgiveness in Christ.