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26/30 Day Book Meme: Ground-breaking Book

Day 26: A book that changed your opinion about something

Growing up religious (Baptist and then non-denominational) has afforded me a solid knowledge of the bible. By high school I could quote scriptures to the verse numbers. But there has always been a pent-up fear, which over time evolved into a stoic acquiescence that I cannot be saved being homosexual. Salvation does not seem a very tangible idea to me. Not that I do not give two straws about God or salvation, I just don’t see the big deal about Jesus being inclusive or exclusive. By fourth grade I knew I am attracted to men and this is something I’m born with. Until I read What The Bible Really Says About Homosexuality by Daniel A. Helminiak.

It’s not like I would blow the trumpet and get the party streamers out for a celebration after I read the book, which, to my understanding from Helminiak, the Bible is not addressing our current questions about sexual ethics. The Holiness Code embedded in Leviticus, for example, in the context of its historical horizon, spells out the requirements for Israel to remain holy, meaning to separate from the Gentiles. So Leviticus forbids homogenitality as a betrayal of Jewish identity. This concern about male-to-male sex is an offense against Jewish religion, not violation of the inherent nature of sex. No thought is given to whether the sex is right or wrong.

When the Bible does talk about same-sex behavior, it refers to it as it was understood in those ancient times. In other words, hermeneutics from literary theory affords the importance of the biblical interpretation over time. Meaning of the scriptures remains the same but the significance fluctuates. The Bible must be situated within its historical horizon and be examined under the context of cultural meanings within which it was written. Therefore, the biblical teachings will apply today only insofar as the ancient understanding of same-sex behavior is still valid.

So what does it all mean? Does it mean I can be saved? That, as a homosexual, I won’t be excluded from God’s grace and salvation? I do not have answer to the question. But at least it’s comforting to know there is hope if you do believe. As for me, I am not bound by any religion or religious beliefs and/or doctrines, I am who I am, since I left my mother’s womb. I never look for justification in the bible or anywhere for my homosexuality. I didn’t choose to be gay. It’s not a lifestyle—it’s a life. I believe in kindness and that I should behave and treat others the way I want to be reciprocated.

7 Responses

  1. Beautifully said!

  2. Ground-breaking book? Perhaps not yet, especially if it has to have an effect on my life. On my thinking yes. I will go for Two Thousand Seasons by Ayi kwei Armah

  3. I’m not bound by any religious beliefs either. I try to be good to others and hope they do the same by me. Seems simple enough.

    I’m glad you are you, Matt!

  4. Thanks Tina. It’s just good karma. 🙂

  5. […] 26: A book that changed your opinion about something What The Bible Really Says About Homosexuality by Daniel A. […]

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