“For the Bible tells me so…”

I watched the movie by this title last night. It was quite a powerful experience–there were times when I thought I was going to have to go get a kleenex…as well as times when I chuckled…and time when I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

It’s a film that tells the stories of 5 families and their journeys as they learn to live with homosexuality as it impacts them. It doesn’t seek to convert anyone to a specific point of view. Rather, it seeks to help us see “the other” as a human being who struggles with who they are and whom we are called to see as brother and sister.

The stories aren’t easy. There aren’t always happy endings. But are they real? Oh yes!

Part of the film involves discussion with theologians concerning the passages that are so often used to make homosexuals somehow “less than” those who are heterosexual. They stressed the importance of reading in context–of knowing the customs and traditions of the time the scriptures were written…

There are almost 2000 years of biblical study and scholarship that we can draw on–but we have tended to pull out the literalism of only the last 100 years. The film points out that the question, “What does the Bible really say?” does not have easy answers–and that we all pick and choose the portions we take literally.

I love shrimp…I often wear clothes of mixed fibers…I had a cheeky son who is still alive…I buy produce that was grown in fields of mixed crops…I put my money in banks that gives interest–and I sometimes make loans and charge interest… All of these are part of the same chapter that is used to condemn homosexuals–but I don’t have people condemning me or suggesting that I be stoned to death because I don’t obey them (at least not in this country–yet…).

When will we learn that what the Bible tells me is that God loves all of God’s creation? And that if I truly want to be a follower of the Christ, he challenged–and continues to challenge me–to live up to this standard (quoted from Matthew 22:35-40 in The Message version of the Bible):

When the Pharisees heard how he had bested the Sadducees, they gathered their forces for an assault. One of their religion scholars spoke for them, posing a question they hoped would show him up: “Teacher, which command in God’s Law is the most important?”

Jesus said, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your passion and prayer and intelligence.’ This is the most important, the first on any list. But there is a second to set alongside it: ‘Love others as well as you love yourself.’ These two commands are pegs; everything in God’s Law and the Prophets hangs from them.”

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