The Bible does not condemn “homosexuality.” Seriously, it doesn’t.
The word “homosexuality” didn’t even show up in English translations of the Bible until 1946, so why do we say the Bible condemns it?
Billy Graham’s son is terrified that President Obama and a whole host of us have chucked out our Bibles in order to support marriage equality. This week he was at it again on Facebook, railing against “the assault on biblical marriage,” referencing California lawmakers who want to amend federal law by striking gendered language pertaining to two partners in a legal marriage. Franklin, son of Billy, even goes on to make the Biblically inaccurate comment that “The One who created marriage defined it as between a man and a woman.” I wish he would read my post on this and then re-read the Bible.
This is laughable if it weren’t so powerfully sad. Here’s the thing, Franklin: you need to read your Bible better. The sooner you do, the more and better work you can do in Africa and elsewhere with Samaritan’s Purse. We need your time focused not only on poverty but in addressing America’s original sin of racism. We need all you got for those fights. It’s time to end the culture wars and fully focus on the war against poverty, racism and injustice in our world.
Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners, a mentor in the faith, talks about the early days of gathering his new community, coming out as Evangelicals during the Vietnam crisis, going back to the Bible for help and guidance.
One of our first activities was finding every verse of scripture about the poor, wealth and poverty, and social justice. We found more than 2,000 texts that we then cut out of an old Bible. We were left with a “Bible full of holes,” which I used to take out with me to preach.
Over 2000 Bible verses on poverty. On money. On the rich and poor.
And those 2000+ verses give us some basic instructions for life on earth, that could be summed up in the ancient wisdom of a prophet 700 years before Jesus of Nazareth:
He has told you, O mortal, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and…