I recently reconnected with a classmate from my high school days. Our first several exchanges focused on updating each other on what had happened in the decades since our graduation. Once we discovered that both of us had become Christ-followers, the discussion turned to sharing our respective points of view on a variety of subjects – prayer, spiritual life, the Bible – and eventually to the issue of sexual orientation. My former classmate was surprised to hear that I had a very high view of the inspiration of Scripture, yet favored the full inclusion of gay and lesbian people in the life of the Church. He asked if I would mind explaining my thinking on this subject in a plain and straightforward way. This article is my response to that request.
This article is revised and expanded from the original version, posted on the Paradoxical Thoughts blog in 2015.
The author wishes to offer his sincere thanks to Darren M. Slade, PhD., a graduate of the doctoral program in theology and biblical studies at Liberty University, for his thorough and critical review of the biblical translations contained in this article, as well as the dozens of other biblical scholars who offered critical review and comments on Academia.com.