It was with great sadness, and dismay, that I read the recent article by Bishop Sano, a retired bishop of the UMC, which can be found here, at this site—- http://www.pnwumc.org/news/biblical-obedience/. I find it sad not only because Bishop Sano is in fact calling for the very opposite of ‘Biblical Obedience’. I find it sad because he mistakenly thinks that a matter of sexual ethics and sexual behavior is somehow a ‘justice’ issue, when it absolutely is not. The very logic of Scripture is turned upside down in order to support an increasingly popular view of gay and lesbian sexual activity and gay marriage as well. The coup de grace for me was when Bishop Sano decided that we must support these cultural trends as an act of ‘Biblical Obedience’. As a NT scholar who has spent the last thirty five years of my life exegeting the NT and writing commentaries on all the books of the NT, this frankly was a bridge too far. So the following is the first part of my response, in four blog posts.
First of all let’s address the presuppositional issue that people are born gay or lesbian. In fact, the scientific jury is still out on that matter. I am not a scientist but I take seriously what good scientists like Francis Collins and others say on the matter. So far, there has been no discovery of a ‘gay’ gene. So far, the study of zygote twins, one of whom chooses a gay lifestyle the other of whom chooses a heterosexual lifestyle, also does not really support such a claim. Here I would refer you to the more than ample data amassed by Dr. Robert Gagnon on his website— www.robgagnon.net/ and I would refer you as well to his important book Homosexuality and Biblical Practice, published by Abingdon some years ago.