Scriptural Witness of Life: Day 22
‘The objective of this book is to demonstrate two main points. First, there is clear, strong, and credible evidence that the Bible unequivocally defines same-sex intercourse as sin. Second, there exist no valid hermeneutical arguments, derived from either general principles of biblical interpretation or contemporary scientific knowledge and experience, for overriding the Bible’s authority on this matter. In sum, the Bible presents the anatomical, sexual, and procreative complementarity of male and female as clear and convincing proof of God’s will for sexual unions. Even those who do not accept the regulatory authority of Scripture should be able to perceive the divine will through the visible witness of the structure of creation. Thus same-sex intercourse constitutes an inexcusable rebellion against the intentional design of the created order. It degrades the participants when they disregard nature’s obvious clues, and results in destructive consequences for them as well as society as a whole…
The focus of this book on same-sex intercourse or homosexual practice, as opposed to homosexual orientation, is a reflection of the Bible’s own relative disinterest toward motives or origination of same-sex impulses.’
(The Bible and Homosexual Practice, pp. 37, 38)
‘A major aim of this book is to lift up in a more rigorous and scholarly way then has been done until now the argument of the complementarity of male and female in material creation as a key argument in early Judeo-Christian opposition to same-sex intercourse.’ (The Bible and Homosexual Practice, p. 40)
There you have it: Gagnon’s thesis. It is crystal clear, supported by his scriptural exegesis, which is a ‘more rigorous and scholarly’ exercise than I have read previously. Co-humanity in its unitive and procreative aspects becomes his interpretive key for understanding God’s will for our sexual humanity. Notice how positive his thesis is: it is grounded in the good, true, and beautiful of man for woman and woman for man. Specific references that prohibit homosexual practice are understood as rebellion in light of what is obvious--our bodily witness (remember TOB?) as two distinct parts of one whole humanity.
‘The visible witness of the structure of creation’ matters to the Creator. He does not like it when we allow our feelings to determine our sexual destiny more than allowing Him to determine it. His way is clear. ‘Our bodies are Bibles’ (C. West), telling us the truth, even when our hearts deceive us. Gagnon interprets the empirical evidence of destruction in the lives of the homosexually active to counter the view that Scripture should be overridden because of what we know now about the positive dimensions of homosexuality. Gagnon cites a host of factors to the contrary. For him and for us, Scripture still guides us. To forsake the way of the Creator in our sexual humanity invites destruction.
His somewhat awkward wording on the ethics of ‘homosexual intercourse’ relates to the fact that he is majoring on sexual acts, not the issues surrounding inclinations, feelings, etc. Gagnon helps us to understand Scripture in its many contexts. We cannot impose our social scientific categories of the 20th and 21st centuries upon the Bible. Instead, Scripture deals with concrete actions, and so must we.
‘Jesus, help us to lead out with what is beautiful about Your design when examining thorny prohibitions. Might we rejoice in how we bear God’s design, authentically, in our unique frames? Grant us clarity and compassion for persons who currently cannot imagine co-humanity as blessed. Thank You for how You are continually aligning our vision of humanity with Yours.’
‘Jesus, show us Your way through the uneven, deeply divided ground of our nation. Please compose and restrain explosive hearts. Use us as instruments of Your peace. “O blood and water which gushed forth from the heart of Savior Jesus as a fountain of mercy for us, we trust in You.”’