“A little clarification on Biblical Hermeneutics, Cultural Interpretation, and Same Sex Marriage”
In the past four weeks or so at “The Grove” at Jesus Center Community Center, in which we meet every Tuesday night at 7:00 pm, we’ve been exploring the Bible’s perspective on some of the most controversial topics such as transgender, gay marriage, same sex relations, etc. (Equally, we will be exploring what the Bible has to say on beauty, world hunger, hospitality, compassion, sympathy, mmigration, healthcare, teen pregnancy, abortion, adoption, environmental issues, politics, colonialism, neocolonialism, imperialism, etc.) in contemporary American culture.
In this brief post, I would like to clarify a few issues on the relationship between “Biblical Hermeneutics, Cultural Interpretation, and Same Sex Marriage.” Below, I provide an example of cultural and biblical (textual) hermeneutics:
1. Cultural hermeneutics: The assumption that the Bible talks about same sex marriages.
2. Biblical (Textual) hermeneutics: The Bible discusses sexual relations between people of the same sex and gender.
To “discuss” an issue does not necessarily entail that the Bible allows it or permits it. The logical question we should be asking is this: how does the Bible discuss sexual relations between two individuals of the same gender? What is the nature of the Bible’s viewpoint on the subject matter?
In other words, the idea of “same sex marriage” is not a bibilical notion (Note carefully: I did not say that the Bible condemns or approves same sex marriage. I’m clarifying that the language “same sex marriage” is not a direct reference in the Bible); when we argue that the Bible talks about same sex marriages, we are actually about taking a cultural phenomenon and practice and impose it on the biblical text.
By contrast, the idea of “sexual intercourse” and “sexual relations” is a biblical teaching. Once again, the most reasonable query should be: what does the Bible say exactly about “same sex intercourse or relations” ?
***In this short post, I am not talking about what is biblically forbidden and what is biblically allowed.