I toyed with a couple of different titles, but settled on this one despite its being too narrow for the first installment. It does, however, get at the punch-line of what I’m going to try to say.
This installment will be brief, but I want to begin with a quote from Robert Gagnon because I think he is unusually clear…not on behalf of himself, but clear in comparison to many other well-meaning theologians from all sides of this debate. It’s from the Introduction of his 2001 book, The Bible and Homosexual Practice:
“The whole of what we do and who we are should proceed from a desire to please the sovereign God who created humankind and is working to redeem it. …To love God with one’s whole being and to pray for the coming of God’s rule entails submitting one’s pursuit of sexual pleasure to the revealed will of God. To suppose that God does not have much interest in regulating the human sex drive, one of the most powerful and potentially destructive human impulses, is both counter-intuative and in direct conflict with Scripture. From a Judeo-Christian standpoint, it is a truncated vision of reality to accept various forms of sexuality merely because the participants involved give their consent to a given sex act.”
–Robert Gagnon, “The Bible and Homosexual Practice,” pg. 33. Emphasis mine.
You see, I have several friends who have said to me that a pastor making pronouncements on this or that is fine, but the pastor “needs to keep out of my bedroom” or private life. That sounds all well-and-good for our modern and American sensibilities, but it doesn’t have a lot to do with the overall story of Scripture.