Ross Murray’s article on CNN’s Religion Blog, entitled "My Take: Why Christians are embracing their LGBT neighbors," is the most recent in a steady stream of editorials and articles on liberal news outlets devoted to promoting a common theme: The Bible really doesn’t speak against homosexual practice and enlightened Christians are recognizing this in ever increasing numbers.
Although Murray repeats much of the standard rhetoric, he does distinguish himself by offering one of the more egregious applications of a scriptural passage I have seen in nearly 40 years of studying and teaching the Scriptures. But first a word of background.
Murray is director of religion, faith and values at GLAAD, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. This is a gay activist organization which would better be called the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Disagreement, glaringly demonstrated in their petition earlier this year which called on CNN to stop inviting "anti-gay" guests on their network to offer opposing viewpoints. (Yes, this is the voice of "inclusion," "tolerance," "equality," and "diversity.")
In his article, Murray argues that while
"there is still a variety of scriptural interpretations, an increasing number of Christians are reading scripture and understanding that God’s design for the world includes LGBT people."
Those who with agree with his position he dubs "good Christians"; those who differ are described as "vocal anti-gay activists" who are putting forth "vocal misinformation" and becoming "more shrill."
This is GLAAD-talk at its biased best, and to decode the language used, you are "anti-gay" if for religious, moral, social, or any other reasons you do not affirm homosexuality, no matter how much you love LGBT people; you are "vocal" if you write, say, or post anything that GLAAD does not agree with (although those on the LGBT side can write, say, or post anything they want without being "vocal"); you are spreading "misinformation" if you have any scientific, academic, or theological differences with the gay activist mantras; and you become "more shrill" if you do not capitulate to gay activist pressure.
And what is it that drives the views of the "vocal anti-gay activists" who by implication are not "good Christians"? It is "fear" and "lies," since, in the logic of GLAAD, only fear and lies could cause a Bible-believing Christian to think that God is not giddy about homosexual practice. In contrast, LGBT Christians "build up love and break down fear."
As for the "good [straight] Christians," they are embracing LGBT people and their practices because they realize that "if God made them, then [they are] called to love and support them."
But didn’t God make everyone? Didn’t he make the "vocal anti-gay activists" too? Then why does Murray disparage them? Why doesn’t he feel "called to love and support them"? And aren’t there others whom "God made" whose lifestyles or convictions Murray rejects?
Murray observes that,
"Whole Christian denominations have accepted and embraced the reality of LGBT believers within their ranks and in their leadership. Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, the United Church of Christ and Unitarians have formally accepted LGBT people within their denominations."
What he fails to note is that these denominations (or the parts thereof that are gay-affirming) have also moved away from other historic biblical values and beliefs, meaning that their embrace of homosexuality should be seen as a sign of spiritual regress rather than progress.
In similar fashion, he points to the large ideological gap "between those ages 18 to 29 and those ages 65 and older … with younger Americans gravitating toward [LGBT] equality," without pointing out that surveys indicate that less than one percent of these young people have a biblical worldview.
But all this is standard fare. It is his closing (mis)use of scripture that is so troubling.
"Those who oppose equality can call it what they like, but the reality is that we are living in a society that has learned how to value LGBT people as they would others. That attitude doesn’t rely on fear or lies, but on caring relationships and trust. It lives out the apostle Paul’s wish for the Corinthians that someday we will know fully, even as we are fully known. It is a biblically informed reality that is helping to make the world a better place."
What does Murray mean when he speaks of "the apostle Paul’s wish for the Corinthians"? He is referring to 1 Corinthians 13:12, which is not a "wish" but rather a prophetic anticipation of what will happen when Jesus returns. At that time, Paul writes, "I shall know fully, even as I am fully known [by God]," in contrast with our present, earthly state, in which "we see in a mirror dimly" and "know in part."
So, the glorious hope that we will know God fully at the second coming of Christ is twisted into a wish that we will get to know LGBT people better, thereby making the apostle Paul, arguably the strongest voice in the Bible against homosexual practice, into a gay advocate.
This is what happens when GLAAD does theology. Would it be an overstatement to call this a perversion of the Scriptures?