Textual orientation

Choon-Leong Seow. In RL Brawley (ed) Biblical Ethics & Homosexuality: Listening to Scripture (Louisville: Westminister John Knox Press, 1996). Seow guides us through the four categories of texts that are usually cited by those who argue against homosexuality: legal texts (Lev 18.22; 20.13); narrative passages (Gen 19; Judges 19); New Testament 'lists' (Rom 1.26-27; 1 Cor 6.9; 1 Tim 1.10); and creation theology (e.g. God creating humans male and female, with a charge to "be fruitful and multiply" - see Gen 1.28). Seow then points towards the wisdom literature including Proverbs, Job and Ecclesiastes. These writings are the learnings of human experience;the work of mothers, fathers and sages rather than that handed down from the religious establishment. In this tradition, science, as well as experience, can be a source of wisdom. "Here in the wisdom tradition of the Bible," says Seow, "is scriptural authority for human beings to make ethical decisions by paying attention to science and human experience" (p 29, italics his). Human experience can at times move us beyond the biblical text. This is a biblical perspective we must keep in mind when considering homosexuality. 

Gentile wheat and homosexual Christians: New Testament directions for the heterosexual church

Jeffrey S Siker. In RL Brawley (ed) Biblical Ethics & Homosexuality: Listening to scripture (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1996) ch 9. The Gospel of Matthew (13.24-29; 36-40) contains the challenging parable of the wheat and the tares (or weeds). A farmer plants seeds, but an enemy comes at night to sow weeds. The farmer decides to wait until harvest before destroying the weeds, "because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them". Siker argues that we should follow this parable, and let it curb our tendency to remove perceived 'sinners' in our churches. In doing so, we are likely to cause a lot of damage. Also, it is really hard to tell the difference between 'wheat' and 'weeds', until harvest. He relates this parable to homosexual Christians, who many are keen to 'uproot'. If you believe homosexuality to be a sin, let it co-exist, and trust that God will sort it out in the end.