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USA TODAY: When religion loses its credibility
Baptist minister Oliver “Buzz” Thomas, in a USA TODAY opinion piece, takes aim at those who take aim at homosexuality, suggesting that such anti-homosexual statements by churches are causing religion to “lose its credibility.” Let's analyze a few of Thomas's statements.
This statement is not surprising in the context of a society who has deprived religion of a voice in areas of history and science. As the foundation of the Bible as a nonfictional book that touches on many subjects has been undermined, we're left with a vague “moral authority” that supposedly belongs to the church. But, as atheists, agnostics, and humanists are quick to point out, what is it that gives the church moral authority? Abandon the Bible, and the church loses the foundation for its voice.
All we can do is tell others what the Bible says-that is, what God says-about sin.
Rev. Thomas seems here to be ignoring the distinction between believing something was said by God versus believing something was said to you. The Bible's moral codes were not always given to all of humankind, but instead were given to specific individuals (e.g., Abraham), groups of people (e.g., Nazarites), nations (e.g., the Hebrews), and so forth.
Answers in Genesis supporters should not hesitate to find the flaws in this paragraph. Thomas accurately points out God's “very good” of Genesis 1. Yet he seems to have forgotten the Fall of Genesis 3 and the sin nature that now exists in us. After all, according to Thomas' logic, if someone is born a kleptomaniac, he or she can't be held responsible, because that's just how God created him or her to be.
So in other words, Thomas is taking a crystal-clear verse like Romans 1:27 and reading into the text something that it doesn't say! We shouldn't be surprised if, after Thomas' explanation is accepted, pedophiles come along and allegorize the verse, claiming it merely has a “spiritual” meaning and does not pertain to real life at all!
Now, we can't agree more that it's not our place to judge the sin in an individual's heart; all we can do is tell others what the Bible says-that is, what God says-about sin. But isn't it interesting that Thomas himself is pronouncing the same sort of judgment that he decries others for?
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