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Why time will not antiquate the Bible’s teaching on gender roles, hell, and homosexuality.

June 3, 2011

I was just reading Albert Mohler’s latest blog entitled The Church and the ‘Clobber Scriptures’ – The Bible on Homosexuality, and it reminded me of something I wanted to write a short post about (summed up pretty well in my lengthy title).

Today many Christians (I hesitate to start out sounding so high-and-mighty/know-it-all, that’s not how I mean this to sound) have allowed their worldview to be diluted with this idea: because the Bible was written in a different time and cultural setting, we must think through its commands/ideals in light of a more modern, 21st century, context. What would Jesus say today? With out current degree of human evolution, how many of the Bible’s teachings are now obsolete or at least different? These are the questions that many Christians are asking. All of this would probably fall under the term ‘liberal Christianity.’ 

Here are my thoughts on a couple of these main Christian teachings that are under attack (or ‘review’ depending on which side of theology you find yourself):

Gender roles. A good example of problemed biblical interpretation is this issue of the roles of men and women in the church. This, to me, is one of the easiest issues to lay to rest. Two points-of-view: 1) men and women have the same roles and can fill the same capacities in the church (Egalitarianism), 2) men and women have different, specific roles in the church but work together (Complementarianism). The disagreement: when Paul wrote in various places (1 Corinthians 11 and 14, 1 Timothy 2 and 3) that women shouldn’t have certain roles in the church (mainly that of preaching), that was a cultural rule, and doesn’t make sense any more in our current context. The truth: when the Bible speaks on issues of gender roles (submission, church roles, love, etc) it’s never in a way that is isolated to one people. Here’s why, it’s all based on Adam and Eve and God’s initial plan for men and women. Adam was created first, not Eve (1 Timothy 2:13). Ultimately, sin entered the world through Adam, not Eve (though she is credited to have been deceived first in 1 Timothy 2:14), and Adam is held accountable for all time (Romans 5:12). Man, not woman, was created from the beginning to be the leader and the responsible one in a household, as well as the church. It doesn’t take too much study in the Bible to see the roles of man and woman laid out clearly throughout Scripture, not just in Paul’s letters. [Another discussion would be for why women couldn’t wear certain things back then, but now they can (gold jewelry), and in the same verse there are rules concerning women’s roles…not a contradiction of terms, I promise.]

Homosexuality. (Covered pretty well in the above article by Mohler, so I’ll be brief). Does the Bible really condemn homosexuality? Many, many, many people have decided that when the Bible speaks out against homosexuality (1 Timothy 1:10, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Romans 1:25-27) that it’s either a) not homosexuality that it actually being discussed, or b) the Bible is simply wrong and out-of-date on this issue as well. To argument a) Homosexuality is, in fact, what is being discussed, which is clear from the original language, from the original culture, and from the Bible’s teachings concerning men and women and marriage. To argument b) if the Bible is what is claims to be, then none of it may be dismissed without detriment to the whole. You can’t pick and choose what parts you want. I understand if someone doesn’t want to believe any of it, but for one to claim Christianity and refuse some of its parts is heretical.

Note: the Bible is just as strong on lust and the love of money as it is on homosexuality. Just because it’s a hot-button issue doesn’t make it more sinful or more in need of forgiveness than anything else we so often accept in our lives. Different consequences, same seriousness before God.

Those are the only two current issues I wanted to write on, since I’ve already addressed the issue of hell a little bit concerning Rob Bell’s book.

I hope that is helpful. If you disagree, feel free to comment. I always enjoy discussing the truth.


– Extra tidbit: if you’re looking for a sweet Pandora radio station, try: Instrumental Folk. Thanks, Jared. –

One Comment leave one →
  1. June 4, 2011 6:37 pm

    I think these are two of the more hotly contested issues of the day, regardless of how the church handles them. No matter what someones opinion on the issues are, they will attempt to use biblical support, why? Because the Bible carries authority.

    The problem is too many (what most call liberal) Christians have gone to great lengths to obscure and obfuscate what is clear and plain admonitions of certain practices. Some red letters are more important than others. Often what is not in red (silence on an issue) is deemed to be authoritative…somehow.

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