Gary Cass, founder of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, has a problem with Sen. Rob Portman’s announcement of support for marriage equality because his son is gay. He accuses Portman of picking and choosing which parts of the Bible to believe and using broad pronouncements to cancel out explicit commandments:
Many people, like Senator Rob Portman, are using broad Biblical “themes of love and compassion” in order to cancel out Biblical particulars about human sexuality, as if the two are incompatible. The prohibition on sodomy is based on God’s love and compassion. If the Bible is really true, that those who practice homosexuality will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven, then saying otherwise is not loving or compassionate.
“BUT TIMES THEY ARE A-CHANGIN’”
Some people suggest that religions should follow shifts in the culture rather than hold firm to their historic beliefs. This is exactly wrong. Christians are commanded to hold fast to the faith once delivered to the saints. (Jude 1:3) The culture ought to conform to the truth of these beliefs and ethics, not vise versa.
But isn’t that exactly what Christians do with things like slavery? There are many explicit commands in the Bible in favor of slavery. God commands them to take slaves from the “heathens” that are around them and explicitly says that they and their offspring are the property of their owners, to be handed down as possessions. He commands that as long as you don’t kill them, you can abuse them horribly. And there is not a single verse that says slavery is wrong. So why do Christians today reject slavery? By doing exactly what Cass accuses Portman of doing, by saying that slavery is wrong because it violates those same broad Biblical themes of love and compassion. Apparently, that’s only wrong when it leads to a conclusion Cass doesn’t like.