Reinterpreting God's Word

The Independent newspaper reports the plight of two homosexual men who approached 31 churches to marry them, only to be turned away. One of the men claims to have spent fifteen hours on the phone seeking to persuade reluctant clergy to wed him. Fortunately, a Reverend Dr Tessa Henry-Robinson of Wanstead United Reformed Church agreed to perform the ceremony, allowing the two gents, who profess to be Christians, a religious ceremony. The Reverend Doctor exclaimed, upon meeting the couple “Everyone deserves to marry the person they love”. The gentleman who made the calls offered some analysis of his fifteen-hour round of rejection:

“I think a lot of churches are frightened of a backlash - people saying it isn't what the bible says, but I think they could find a way of interpreting that for themselves and making it possible, after all, love is love no matter whether you're gay or straight.”

Although he and I might draw opposing conclusions, he has correctly assessed what same-sex-marrying churches have done. In order to get around some rather awkward texts, one simply reinterprets them until one arrives at a more congenial and satisfactory position. Rather than conforming to the text, we conform the text to ourselves. Rather than submitting to the truth of God’s word (no matter how sacrificial and costly this may prove), we squeeze and massage it into a more acceptable shape, and then act as we wish. This presumably is how Wanstead’s Reverend Doctor could boast:

“It is a proud moment for us at Wanstead United Reformed Church to be the first to bring this good news to its community.”

Yet good news borne of our continual reinterpretation of divine truth is no good news at all. It might make us popular on earth, but seldom so in heaven; it might make us seem contemporary and relevant to our own age, but it soon appears tired and jaded. Eve reinterpreted God's word in the light of new information she received; it did not end well, and it never does.

For the Lord is good;

His mercy is everlasting,

And His truth endures to all generations.

Psalm 100:5, NKJV

Image by Shelley Krause from Pixabay