By John Lomperis, Juicy Ecumenism.
The fact that we have so many different Christian denominations within the broad umbrella of orthodoxy who take contrary positions on important but ultimately secondary issues like sacramentology or the Millennium testifies to how some parts of Scripture are indeed open to a degree of interpretation.
But there are quite a number of biblical teachings, from the bodily resurrection of Christ to the inherent sinfulness of homosexual practice, in which we could hardly expect the Bible to be more explicit, clear, or consistent.
So in their more honest moments, progressive Christians will admit that the differences are more than just a matter of interpreting the equally highly regarded biblical text, and own up to the fact that they simply do not believe that all of the Scriptures of our present Old and New Testaments are God-breathed or useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.
This particularly takes place if when theological liberals are in “safer” environments for taking off their filters, like liberal seminaries. Or if people do not feel that too much is at stake for them in showing their true colors, as at last summer’s young United Methodist convocation, where liberal United Methodist youth (some of whom were clearly being coached by adults there) offered such refutations of biblical arguments against homosexuality as countering that “the Bible was written a long time ago.”
Such theological liberal honesty is generally less common within the debates of more authoritative denominational assemblies on particular hot-button issues.