Well, maybe not all Christians. Probably not the Westboro Baptist types and the snake handlers. But other than that, yes, I think everyone who believes, in some fashion, in Jesus and the Bible will come to embrace homosexuals. Oh, yeah, and the Mormons—they’ll probably never budge on homosexuality either. (Don’t be so sure, though. The LDS church is infamous for flip-flops on doctrine.)
Right now, it’s pretty much only progressive Christians who accept homosexuals. In my experience, they back up their acceptance with faulty interpretations of the Six Killer Verses About Homosexuality in the Bible—for example, “abomination” didn’t mean, well, “abomination;” it meant “taboo.”
More about biblical interpretation later, but first let me explain why I think all Christians will soon embrace homosexuals.
I think that eventually The Church will come to accept homosexuality, but it won’t be because they adopt progressive Christianity’s’ unorthodox biblical interpretations I mention above. Rather, it’s going to happen because, more and more, believers are encountering gays at work and elsewhere and they’re learning that they’re just normal people. They’re coming to find out that gays aren’t “wicked” or some such thing. They are moral and they just want what straight people want: happiness, healthy marriages, security, etc. It’s a Virtuous Circle, I think: As society becomes more accepting of gays, gays are emboldened to “come out” at work and in their neighborhoods. And as gays come out, their straight peers are finding that they are actually likable, which results in more societal acceptance, which results in gays being more emboldened to come out. You get the idea.
And that Virtuous Circle is going to force Christians to adopt a new attitude toward scripture. What do I mean? I mean the progressive Christians don’t go far enough. We don’t need new interpretations of scripture. We need a new understanding of what we mean when we call scripture “inspired.” The Bible—or the Koran or the book of Mormon or any “holy” book—isn’t the Word of God. It’s the word of humans, and, as such, it’s prone to all the limitations of the human authors.
The truth is the Bible is an adamantly heterosexual book. It assumes heterosexuality. That’s because it was written by ancient people—mainly men—who weren’t particularly enlightened. When the Westboro Baptist types insist that the Bible condemns homosexuality, they are right.
Let me be more plain. The Bible was wrong about homosexuality. Paul was wrong about homosexuality. Jesus was wrong about homosexuality.
In this coming gay-friendly Christianity, believers will still read the Bible but they’ll do so more cautiously. They’ll pick out the wisdom and disregard the nonsense. They’ll realize that all truth is God’s truth.
Or maybe they won’t. Who’s to say? But if the Church doesn’t change its stance on homosexuals and on scripture, it will die.
John Draper is the author of the novel A Danger to God Himself.