Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bad Exegesis, and Reading Things into Scripture

I recently read a article on the Newsweek website entitled Gay Marriage: Our Mutual Joy. It is an article trying to show that Scripture actually backs gay marriage. Here is the front piece:

Let's try for a minute to take the religious conservatives at their word and define marriage as the Bible does. Shall we look to Abraham, the great patriarch, who slept with his servant when he discovered his beloved wife Sarah was infertile? Or to Jacob, who fathered children with four different women (two sisters and their servants)? Abraham, Jacob, David, Solomon and the kings of Judah and Israel—all these fathers and heroes were polygamists. The New Testament model of marriage is hardly better. Jesus himself was single and preached an indifference to earthly attachments—especially family. The apostle Paul (also single) regarded marriage as an act of last resort for those unable to contain their animal lust. "It is better to marry than to burn with passion," says the apostle, in one of the most lukewarm endorsements of a treasured institution ever uttered. Would any contemporary heterosexual married couple—who likely woke up on their wedding day harboring some optimistic and newfangled ideas about gender equality and romantic love—turn to the Bible as a how-to script?

Of course not, yet the religious opponents of gay marriage would have it be so.

It's an annoying article. The author doesn't see the bigger picture that the entire Bible is written in the frame work of salvation through the promised Messiah, who was revealed to us in the New Testament as Jesus. It is in that framework that we see in all times and in all places sin has persisted. Jesus came to takes away all that sin.

The author doesn't understand that, and in effect doesn't understand what God's love is. She doesn't see God's love in Christ, but instead tries to find what love means by reading between the lines and get behind the text to understand what the text is really saying. By doing this she reads into Scripture what she wants to see, and thereby loses the Gospel. When you lose the Gospel framework, then you can really say anything you want about what the Bible says.

If you want to read the rest of the article you can find it here.

+Kyrie Eleison+

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