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:: Wednesday, August 13, 2003 ::

Debates on Homosexuality and Truth: Part II of an Email Discussion

[Continued from Part I]

She wrote back the next day: "I confess to having faith in the what the Bible teaches, as a Christian."

Yes, but those Christians who would disagree with your take on homosexuality... will say the EXACT same thing! They will claim that they have faith in "what the Bible teaches" and feel like their belief is "Bible-based." Whole books have been written in an attempt to show how the Bible not only allows homosexuality, but in fact "embraces" it!

Doesn't that seem odd?

How can the Holy Spirit be leading sincere Christians to totally contradictory conclusions if they are honestly seeking Him and reading the same Bible? The question, (and it has applications well beyond the question of homosexuality) is this:

How can we *know* who has the correct interpretation?

She answered, "God is big enough and loving enough and omnipotent enough to have provided Christians with a book to guide and give truth."

True. But (and this may help answer the question about interpretation) this book comes from a foundation, a community, it was created by something else even more profound that God has provided and protected. As St. Paul wrote, "the pillar and bulwark of truth" is not the Bible, but the Church! (1 Tim 3:15)

She wrote back, "The church, even back then, was guided by scripture writings."

Well, they were guided by the Holy Spirit, the Scriptures being an important part-- but not the foundation of this guiding or Truth itself.

"And I hopefully prayerfully seek a pastor and fellowship that is teaching the Word correctly. Ha, I won't get caught up into relativism though! I'm going with it. As Truth."

But this goes right back to the question I was asking: By what criteria do you know if a fellowship is, as you said, "teaching the Word correctly" in regards to homosexuality or on any Christian teaching? Correctly according to whom?

Wouldn't the pro-gay Episcopalian say they are doing the same thing, seeking a fellowship that is teaching the Word correctly?

[End discussion]

The dialogue going on at one of Tripp's posts also illustrates the same foundational problem many Christians face when attempting to determine competing truth claims. It always comes down to *authority*.

Update: Clif has written a great 5 point analysis of the modern hermeneutical problem. He says, "Proponents of new interpretations which contradict the received interpretation of the Church have only their own authority to offer. They must critique the Church, the Scriptures and the Tradition to offer their new interpretation and to provide themselves the authority to do so."

"But that authority falls prey to the same criticisms with which they critique the Tradition. Is the Church prey to sin and not to be believed? So are they. Is the Scripture full of historical limitations and prejudices? So are they. Is the Tradition full of assertion of self over Other? So are they. For every criticism they offer they, too, fall under it. If they take down [the Church's] authority, they have none to offer themselves."

:: Karl :: 11:15:00 AM [Link] ::

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