The recent edition of Newsweek claims:
"Opponents of gay marriage often cite Scripture. But what the Bible teaches about love argues for the other side."
Hank Hanegraaff: I spoke about this last week but due to its tremendous significance I would like to again address the issue of the recent Newsweek article on homosexuality and marriage. We talked about this issue in depth on the December 15th, 2008 edition of the Bible Answer Man with Joe Dallas. You can access the archive of this off our Website at http://www.equip.org/, by clicking on Today’s Broadcast on the left side.
I don’t know if you’ve seen the cover artwork for the recent issue of Newsweek, it’s singularly devoted to the Bible. What you see is a black Bible on a stark white cover with a multi colored ribbon coming out of it. While the cover shows the Bible, the contents undermine the Bible.
John Meacham in From The Editor’s Desk says, “No matter what one thinks about gay rights—for, against or somewhere in between —this conservative resort to biblical authority is the worst kind of fundamentalism. Given the history of the making of the Scriptures and the millennia of critical attention scholars and others have given to the stories and injunctions that come to us in the Hebrew Bible and the Christian New Testament, to argue that something is so because it is in the Bible is more than intellectually bankrupt—it is unserious, and unworthy of the great Judeo-Christian tradition.” Meacham goes on to further argue that sexual orientation in not a choice but intrinsic to a person’s makeup, that Biblical passages that condemn homosexuality with equal veracity forbid particular haircuts, and that Christians use the Bible to justify and perpetuate slavery.
Religion Editor of Newsweek Lisa Miller is equally dogmatic. She says the Bible endorses slavery and provides conceptual shelter for anti-Semites.
In truth the Bible roundly denounces slavery as sin. The New Testament goes as far as to put slave trades in the category as murderers, adulterers, perverts and liars (1 Timothy 1:9-10). While the Bible as a whole recognizes the reality of slavery, it never promotes the practices of slavery. It was the application of Biblical principles that ultimately led to the overthrow of slavery not only in ancient Israel but in the United States of America as well. Israel’s liberation from slavery in Egypt was a model for the liberation of slaves in general. In American many today are waking up to the liberating truth that all people are created by God with innate equality.
Lisa Miller’s assertion that Bible provides conceptual shelter for anti-Semites is just as outrageous. As is obvious to any unbiased person from a scholar to a school child the New Testament is anything but Anti-Semitic. Jesus, the twelve apostles, and Paul were all Jewish. In fact, Christians proudly refer to their heritage as the Judeo-Christian tradition. In the book of Hebrews, Christians are reminded of Jews from David to Daniel who are members of the Hall of Fame of Faith. Christian children grow up with Jews as their hero’s. From their mother’s knee to Sunday school class children are treated to Old Testament stories of great Jewish men and women of faith from Moses to Mary, from Ezekiel to Esther. The Bible goes to great lengths to underscore the fact that when it comes to faith there is no distinction between Jew and Gentile and that Jewish people through the generations are no more responsible for Christ’s death than anyone else.
Miller and Meacham I think owe the world an apology for perpetuating an idiosyncratic form of fundamentalism that foments bigotry and hatred by entertaining the absurd notion that the Bible provides conceptual shelter for anti-Semitism. It’s about time we put the record straight. It’s about time that we learn that truth is under siege. Because it is under siege we have to equip an army of people with supplies so that they can answer these kinds of outrages.