by Rev. Steve Parelli
On Feb. 2, eleven days ago, I testified before the NJ Assembly Judiciary Committee hearings on Civil Unions vs. Gay Marriage. While waiting for my turn to speak, and while watching the proceedings, I sat next to a very thoughtful college-grad, middle-aged, evangelical professional-like woman who, of course, did not share my pro-views on gay marriage. When she learned I was formerly an evangelical Baptist minister, but now in a gay marriage with a spouse who was also from an evangelical background with a bachelor degree in evangelical theology, she was genuinely inquisitive about my view on scriptures and homosexuality.
February 13, 2012
“For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another.” NRSV
|The Apostle Paul|
“What is your view on Romans 1:26 and 27,” she asked. “Email me that question,” I said, “and I’ll send you a summary statement that really wraps it up.”
Today I got her email requesting my statement on Romans 1:26 and 27. In response, I sent her a link to a recent blog I had written on Romans 1, and copied and pasted into her email the statement from the blog that summarizes it all so well for me:
Elizabeth Stuart, in her book Gay and Lesbian Theologies: Repetitions with Critical Difference, says Paul uses these words “natural” and “unnatural” (“against nature” in the KJV), “to describe, not homosexual people, but Gentiles who characteristically engaged in same-sex activity, a characteristic that distinguishes them, not from heterosexuals, but from the Jews” [emphasis mine]. For all the exegesis one must engage in to grasp how Paul is not talking about homosexuality as we understand it today, Stuart’s statement is the best summary I’ve found and completely fits the context. Underline it. Save it. Repeat it to yourselves and others.