Opinion

My reply to Kim Burrell: ‘We all have a seat at God’s table’

Singer Kim Burrell sings to honor Whitney Houston for receiving the BET Honors for Entertainment in Washington, D.C., on Jan. 16, 2010. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Molly Riley

(RNS) The backlash to gospel singer Kim Burrell’s homophobic rant was swift: canceled national television appearances and the termination of her local public radio show.

But to those of us in religious communities it’s important to note that even as the controversy over Burrell’s statement recedes from the national spotlight, the issue of what goes on in the vast majority of American churches remains a festering wound.

I say this because the truth is that what Burrell said is not unlike what is preached from pulpits on any given Sunday, said with fervent conviction in the choir loft or in the church van after Bingo Night anywhere in the U.S.

Homophobia has been the prevailing theology not only within the African-American church, but also in white, Latino, Asian and Native American churches alike for decades — and that’s the real problem we must face as we seek to talk and think about faith, God and humanity.

So how do we live and worship in the same communities where most believe that the Bible stipulates that being gay is an abomination to God and guarantees eternal death?

Never did I imagine that the latest work of art —”A Seat at the Table” — by Beyoncé’s sister Solange would have the prophetic answer to such a vexing issue, but it does.

I believe God has exclaimed for generations that we ALL have a seat at God’s table.

Yes, all of us.

I noticed something powerful and different in how this latest example of homophobic rant was met. It did not go away quietly like a baby soothed in the back of the church.

No, this time those of us who are often on the receiving end of pulpit pronouncements of eternal damnation stood up and said, “No more!”

We, the proverbial outcasts and rejects (the kind of folks Jesus said he came to liberate), are tired of sitting by passively as our own people castigate and seek to disconnect us from God.

No misguided biblical literalist can distort or destroy the sanctity of our lives and testimonies as children of God, created out of divine, unconditional love and with a purpose.

You may not understand this and that’s OK, but please know that many LGBT people have heard and received the full gospel of Jesus, not just the letters of the Apostle Paul, and we have been set free from shame, self-doubt and fear of ecclesiastic retribution.

Instead of worrying about the particulars of how we express our love sexually, I kindly ask that you speak with us about our testimony of how we live and still find joy even in adversity.

Ask us what motivates us to live instead of speaking death into our lives. Take the time to make the word “love” an action verb and not a double-edged sword of affliction. We may not be able to stop you from how you read the Bible but we will not allow you or anyone else take away our seat at God’s table.

We have found our station at God’s table; we stand up and speak out because we know the toll of living a life burdened by depression, silence, suicide and desperation. Your un-Christian-like words, actions and beliefs ravage the spiritual and physical health of so many of us, and we say, “No more.” We stand at the gates God’s holy estate, pointing to all those tricked by the lie that “God loves you but hates your sin,” proclaiming the good news that the wages of sin have already been paid by the One who is our redeemer.

We will let all of God’s children know we have a seat at God’s table because God provided it — not humankind or the church. We have a home and a resting place in Jesus not because any of us earned it, but simply because it was freely, graciously prepared for all of us out of unconditional love.

(F. Romall Smalls is the associate minister for social justice at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, N.Y., and is vice chairperson of the LGBT Faith Leaders of African Descent. Reach him on Twitter @romall06)

About the author

F. Romall Smalls

92 Comments

Click here to post a comment

  • Now you just know I’m going to say a bunch’a ecclesiastical mess after reading all that stuff, but first I need to finish a few workaday chores.

    Be back soon. With mess.

  • Kim Burell has a lot to learn about showbiz:
    1. When you book an appearance on a talk show, you do not make bigoted remarks about the host. That is just survival instinct there and common courtesy.

    2. People are generally only willing to cut slack to a crazy bigoted celebrity if they are wildly successful as a celebrity first. (aka The Mel Gibson Rule). If one has a long history of talented work, they are likely to get the reaction, “I know she is a crazy hateful SOB, but she was so good in ……” Kim has neither the talent, nor the CV to rely on this one.

    3. If you have strong vocal prejudices against the kind of person a talk show host is, then its not a good idea to ask your agent to book a gig there. For example, a klansman should probably not book an appearance on Oprah.

    My feeling is that Burrell got the gig for Ellen just so she can make a big bigoted stink about it as a publicity stunt.

    As for those people who religious excuses for malice towards gays, I am still not buying it. It isn’t God’s word which makes you want to treat gays as less than people. You chose to interpret it that way. Scripture didn’t make you a hater, it just enabled you to act like one in public.

  • Doesn’t this woman read her bible? Women are not to speak up in church, not to be ministers, not to have authority over men. It’s right there in black and white in her bible.
    I guess she must not have read her bible. Or perhaps she stopped at the place where it says “Teh Geyz is just de ickiest sinners evah!? Ain’t no other sin, no how no ways.”

  • “So how do we live and worship in the same communities where most believe that the Bible stipulates that being gay is an abomination to God and guarantees eternal death?”
    ummm Christ said so – best reason I can come up with!

    Leviticus 18:22 – 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.

    Leviticus 20:13 – If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

    Christ said He will forgive and heal us of our sin. This is how one does not die f0r their sin, repent and accept Jesus as your Saviour – otherwise: Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

  • lol. if you consider this a church, lol, tell me what city you are in and I’ll help you to find the real thing

  • It took a lot (a civil war for one, time for another) for the one side to renege on a belief that slavery was ok on the basis of literalism, proof texts and biblical authority. So my guess is that this eventually will be seen as a transitory period in which historic, cultural and theological perspectives were realigned. Not that there will not still be Christians who are extremely conservative and literal in their interpretation. (Unfortunately (or not) Christianity is a big tent with some similarities and some doctrinal differences) However attitudes towards others include an element of karma – how one judges others is one of the ways in which how you are ultimately judged.

  • If your remark is serious then you are obviously ignorant of history. The Left is, however, becoming intolerant to the point of being free speech fascists.

  • Christian excuses for bigotry aside, there is still no legitimate reason for getting yourself booked on a TV show and then you badmouth the host publicly before going on.

    That is just low character.

    Of course the martyrbaiters will make the phony claim she is now persona non grata for her anti gay statements and ignore her unprofessional conduct.

  • 3 questions for those who use Religious Liberty as a bully pulpit to oppose the Civil Rights of LGBTs:

    1.) Is it virtuous to claim offense for what strangers do in their private lives?

    2.) Do they get to hold you to their religious or nonreligious beliefs, requirements, and restrictions?

    3.) What of their Religious Liberty?

  • He is against homosexual acts. In Christianity, Islam and Judaism according to their books. Why do people try to defend or redefine such a god? It’s like putting lipstick on a pig. Or to be biblical it’s like putting a new patch on an old wine skin.

  • I hate to admit it, but despite the flippancy & disrespect towards God in your post, you’ve effectively brought down Smalls’ argument in less than 50 words.

    Yet another Jim Johnson surprise.

  • Finally Sandi, I thought you were going soft on the Leviticus! You want to get to “Heav”, you gotta take the “Lev”…that’s what they say!

    But alas, sexual activity is quite enjoyable, straight, gay, lesbian, whatever…if done responsibly. No sin, no guilt, God doesn’t care.

  • “I love you and God loves you, but God hates the sin in you and me.” — Kim Burrell, gospel singer.

    Okay. That’s straight outta John 3:16 and 1 Cor. 6:9-11. Want “a seat at God’s table”? Okay, but Jesus is the One who paid for your seat at God’s table (John 3:16). So we must deal with Jesus on His terms, not our own. 1 Cor 6:9-11 clearly shows that Jesus removes — NOT accepts — homosexual sins.

    And THAT is why the Gay Goliath did a public crucifixion on Kim Burrell’s rising stardom. She was getting too uppity on Goliath’s plantation. Calling for people to STOP sitting at Gay Goliath’s table, and start sitting at God’s table instead, through Jesus Christ. So, Kim got the whippin’ post.

    But Jesus knows all about our struggles, our secrets, depression, desperation. God sees the strugglers crying out, trying to escape the gay slavery. Goliath just smirks, and says “Game Over.” Goliath says give up and adopt a FALSE gay-self-identity, even though you clearly know 1 Cor. 6:9-11 warns against such behaviors. God indeed loves us, but He hates our sins, like Burrell said. Our sins mess us up. They are exactly why Jesus had to shed his blood to buy our seat at the table (1 Pet. 3:18) .

    Christians like Kim Burrell and Donnie McClurkin, are saying that Goliath is a liar. Jesus has NOT forgotten you. Jesus has a vastly powerful self-identity OF HIS OWN (and He ain’t gay!!) that He wants to share with you (Gal. 2:20). Jesus’ cleansing & purifying power for you is limitless (1 Cor. 6:11, 1 Cor 10:13, 1 John 1:9). So you don’t have to be gay if you don’t wanna be. (Btw, that’s not “homophobia”, that’s just the power of Jesus. Do you believe that Jesus has “all power” like He said?)

    Rev. Smalls says that Christ is “the One who is our redeemer”, who “paid the wages of sin”. So if that’s really true, why not repent of and renounce Goliath, and accept by faith Christ’s redemption and cleansing from all homosexual sins and addictions?

  • No problem Sandi. Finally got done with writing the post. I suppose it’s still a mess, but it seems to say what is really on my heart these days. Don’t want no rant, don’t want no hate, but don’t want no sugarcoating either.

    Hmm. Exactly when did Goliath earn the right to re-write our Bibles and put muzzles on us? I think it’s time for us black Christians to openly challenge the Pharrell’s, the Monae’s, the Questlove’s. And way past time to challenge the Ellen’s.

    That sentiment is probably not going to please a lot of today’s Black America. In fact, that’s probably going to raise more tensions and — what’s that word? — “frictions.”

    But the alternative is to raise up yet another generation of black youths who take it for granted (just like Obama does), that Black Churches are just supposed to hop into bed with Goliath and be quick about it. That’s unacceptable.

  • Intolerant of treating people badly? You betcha!

    Tolerance is not a virtue, it is a treaty. Something only worth abiding by if it is honored and returned.

    Burell acted very badly as a person and entertainer. She books herself on a show whose host is one of Hollywood’s most noted lesbians. Then she proceeds to heap insults on the host and plays martyr to bigots. That is unprofessional and malicious.

  • Jesus didn’t think we all had a seat. “I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

  • Franky the idea of having bigotry as a defining feature for all abrahamic faiths is far too much of a concession to its most malicious members.

    Of course it begs the question why am I, an atheist, sticking up for more progressive believers when they could be here doing it themselves?

  • Sandi is basically presenting another common fallacy, as she so often does. This time, she puts out No True Scotsmen.

    Get on that basic logic study Sandi, seriously.

  • You are a rube.

    Kim Burrell created her own publicity to appeal to haters by acting unprofessionally. Why else would Burrell book an appearance on Ellen despite having such attitudes towards her? It’s like David Duke booking an appearance on Oprah.

    But we know how it goes. As long as you declare that God hates the same people as you, you can be as big of a dbag as you want.

    Religious bull aside, in what world would her actions be deemed that of a decent person? At the very least it was rude and unprofessional.

  • The whole loony Jesus-sacrifice-to-remove-sin story, a foundation of the Christian tall tales, is complete bunkum out of the gate. Sacrifice is meaningless for a (purportedly) omnipotent being, and such a being could just remove sin at will, with none of the absurd Christian not-really-dead-son-nailed-on-boards Jesus caper required.

  • In the spirit of sarcasm here are your answers. (Based on actual answers I have seen to these questions)

    1) Of course. Being Christian means I never have to respect people or personal boundaries. Everyone must do as I say. Jesus says I can trespass upon others in any conceivable way as long as I do it in his name.

    2) Of course not. As a Christian, I am not even held by standards of my own religion, let alone any other rules concerning my conduct. My faith gives me a pass from following any codes of conduct which don’t help me. I certainly don’t have to do anything inconvenient or show respect to others. No matter what is said in my scriptures about acting humanely. The rules are meant for others to follow, by force if necessary, but not me.

    3) What religious liberty? Freedom of religion only applies to Christians like me. After all as a Christian nation, no other religions or beliefs need to be recognized under the law except mine. God says I can do anything I want to anybody.

  • Are you a comedian Marge L.? If you are, I gotta tell you: Your assumption that you know ANYTHING about authentic Christian Theology is howlingly funny.Why are you on this site at all? Your over-the-top comments about a subject you obviously have no knowledge of simply serves to illustrate your appalling ignorance of that which you are hatefully mocking,and says far more about you than you realize. I’m reminded of the old adage, “It’s far better to be thought a fool, than to open one’s mouth and remove all doubt”…PEACE IN CHRIST, ALWAYS !!😊😊.

  • Oh, doc. Will you never, ever get tired of claiming that you are being persecuted because people disagree with you?

    You absolutely have the right to free speech. Burrell exercised hers in the most stupid manner possible. And people who disagree that bigotry and hatred are actual virtues, who disagree that the central tenet of Christianity is “get the gays”, exercised their rights as well.

    The First Amendment guarantees you the right to say nearly anything that you want to. However, it does not protect you from the consequences of the stupid, vitriolic, and fact free things that you say.

  • Sorry, but booking yourself on a talk show and dissing the host for cheap publicity before your appearance is just wrong.

    Ellen and her staff deserved far better than that. Kim owes her an apology.

  • Thank you for your informative response. I did my best to stay out of this to give someone else a turn, as I’ve been saying a lot lately and you have a lot of good opinions to share. blessings to you.
    Oddly enough floydlee, I challenged Ellen for her discrimination on a “christian” (little “c” intended) site, and they defended her. Very sad where Christianity online has gone. Amazing…

  • Freedom of expression is the key here: In this country Ms. Burreli has every right to speak her mind about gays–and anything else for that matter. And Mr. Smalls has the same right to censure her opinion and promote his pro-gay agenda, and others are free to speak their piece regarding an associate minister promoting a bigger agenda than the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

    The PC thought police would love to think they’ve cowed everyone who has a contrary message into silence, but those Nazis haven’t quite accomplished that yet! In the Trump era we’ll get used to hearing more adverse opinions and voices in opposition. Is this a great country or what?!

  • Yes He does. Please learn that. I don’t want you to perish. Sex is for marriage.

    1 Corinthians 7: 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.

  • LOL! Simple. Because they are aware that they have no scriptural case and you, knowing no scripture, are not.

  • The best thing that will happen to Christianity will be when most believers start reading from the most accurate translation of the bible.

    As we learn more about anything, we add it to our knowledge. I think of Galileo and other information that was so radical and even frightening at the time. So it is with once dead languages.

    When the Jews were dispersed across the world they learned to speak the language of their new homes and Hebrew language speakers were no more. Thus when it came time to translate ancient Hebraic writings, it was similar to solving a code without a Rosette Stone. Clues were derived chiefly from archeological finds, snippets of Yiddish and from Jewish lore. It must have been an exciting time, and errors were expected, with the understanding that as knowledge grew, those errors could be corrected.

    Archeology unearthed and studied ancient households, markets, religious sites, coins, writings and so much more. The very large majority of that was done post-King James translation. Corrections too numerous to count have been made since the 17th century, and even greater knowledge is acquired daily. Yet most conservative denominations continue to rely on the 400 year old King James as the sole source for their modern English language bibles.

    It makes no sense at all.

  • You’re surprised that they defended Ellen? Because Christianity is nothing more than get the gays? Or do you really believe that it is perfectly ok for a Christian to be a total a-hole just because they claim to be Christian.

    What am I saying. OF course you do.

  • You realize that you are beginning to sound a bit ill, Ben?
    If you feel, that a person can be discriminated against and refused contractual employment because they hurt Ellen’s feelings, do you honestly believe that when it violates one’s conscience to bake a cake for an immoral ceremony, that it’s incorrect? Feelings are fleeting, and change. The word of God, does not.

    “Agreed. I think I say it all the time,” DeGeneres replied. “To me, when I say, ‘Be kind to one another,’ I feel that. Because, as someone who has received a lot of hate and prejudice and discrimination because of who I choose to love, I just don’t understand anyone who has experienced that kind of oppression or anything like that, it only gives me more compassion. It gives me more empathy. I don’t ever want anyone to feel hurt because they are different.”
    Hurt feeling, and paranoid fear of the truth. She could have earned respect for overlooking what she did not politically agree with, but she chose to get her feelings hurt displaying a very good example of discrimination due to hurt feelings.

  • Oh, I don’t think ** I ** am being persecuted at this time, Ben. Shoot, I’m just posting in an online religion forum with a few other folks; nobody’s bothering me.

    But unlike you, I’ve been actually spending time studying this situation. The reality is that the sheer extent of the reprisals, such as the BMI and public radio withdrawals, and the national news media stuff, is amazingly huge. It’s as if McCarthyism rose from the dead and was sent specifically to wreck Kim’s career.

    Somebody is trying to send a message to the entire Black Church this time. No joke. Somebody wants to put young black Christian songbirds & speakers in their place. Somebody has brought out the muzzles.

    But nope, I’m not being persecuted. KIM BURRELL is being persecuted. Me, I’m just speaking up against it. Gay Goliath ain’t winning this one, Ben.

  • He is against something. Whether it is homosexual acts, let alone homosexual people, is another story entirely.

  • Hey, I’m a Blue Dog Dem but that’s left of you, and I’m calling bull on that. You can say whatever you want. You just cannot say whatever you want and escape the consequences.

  • I bet Oakland has a great Unitarian Universalist church. And if you cross the Bay Bridge, there’s the Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in The Tenderloin.

  • Bull. She’s still walking free, right? Being removed from an entertainment event because you said something bigoted and stupid is not persecution, it’s a solid business practice.

  • “…when it violates one’s conscience to bake a cake for an immoral ceremony…” I do not believe those bigoted bakers are motivated at all by honest principles but instead by ignorance and meanspiritedness.

  • Kim set up the entire incident at the Ellen shows expense.

    If she was so bigoted against gays, why did Kim choose to book herself on a show hosted by one of Hollywood’s most prominent one’s?

    Of course people defended Ellen! Kim acted like a rude, unprofessional publicity hound.

    You either have to be ignorant of the facts or a scumbucket to think that was in any way acceptable behavior for anyone.

  • Ellen did nothing wrong here. Kim booked herself on the show. Kim attacked gays to bolster her publicity. By all accounts Kim scotched her own appearance. You are either ignorant or a liar to claim the Ellen show discriminated.

    And obviously the answer to Ben’s question is “yes” you think being a Christian is license to act like a dickweed to others. Especially gays.

  • I wish more Respectful Christians would call out the Trespassing Christians who consider such answers to be their very own “Hostiles’ Creed”.

    Then again, I can’t help but notice that none of Kim Burrell’s supporters have stepped up to state their own heartfelt responses to the 3 easy questions I hand-picked just for them. I wonder why.

  • I could not have said it better! That post is Christ inspired! God bless you for listening to Him. (I even read it to my husband)

  • Despite Marge L’s unsupportable decision to grossly disparage all Christians’ beliefs rather than supportably challenge some Christians’ gross disparagement of their other-believing equals, your own hostile reply is hardly one of “PEACE” — your closing statement notwithstanding.

    Both sides of any spiritual/existential conflict should recognize the following:

    Peace comes through respecting others’ boundaries, including their equally rightful bodies, proprietary beliefs, private bedrooms, and personal business.

    Peace comes through holding only ourselves to our own beliefs, and subjecting only ourselves to our own faiths’ demands.

    Peace comes through choosing humility over hubris, invitation over intrusion, and coexistence over conquest.

    Peace comes through realizing that we don’t deserve more say-so over their fully equal lives than they do over our merely equal ones.

    Peace comes through unconditional application of the Golden Rule.

  • For the Christians on the site:
    “Kim was teaching what Christ taught, and Ellen got her feelings hurt, thus cancelling her, and discriminating against her on political reasons. So, why should the same respect not be shown for Christians not to bake cakes endorsing events that Christ said are wrong? Is Christ’s teaching less valid than Ellen’s feelings?”
    Something to think about….

  • She is most emphatically not being persecuted. She is being called the kind of person she is, and decent, caring people, not poisoned by toxic religion or poisonous belief about their fellow humans, are calling her out for what she is, and refusing to associate with her.

    There is no gay Goliath, except in your the imagination of your very dark heart. It has nothing to do with her– or you– being black. Yet another attempt at misdirection. It has everything to do with being a bigot.

    It always amazes me how black people, often the targets of bigotry by white people for centuries, are so quick to jump on the bigot bus.

  • Nothing to think about at all.

    Burrell was stupid, as so many of these very few bigot bakers are. She and you want no consequence for being a bigot. She wanted to insult her hostess, and be rewarded for doing so.

    That’s not how this works.

  • Bigots will whine and complain when other people treat them as the pariahs they wish to treat those others as.

  • Now I see that you have no understanding of Christ, and His, my friend. I didn’t realize you were that blind. I truly am sorry for you right now, and for all you could enjoy, but condemn. (edit) As you don’t know him, it does explain your hostility. Before you continue to embarrass yourself further, learn what you are trying to discuss, is my best advice, my friend.

  • I for one have never even read the King James all the way through. The New International Version and the New American Standard are excellent and very readable translations from the Hebrew and Greek, though.

    Accuracy of translation, however, is never going to dispel hatred of the scriptures.

    Still, I’d also like to know which version you suggest, and how exactly that version makes Christianity better.

  • I’m not your friend, so save your passive aggressive behavior for someone who doesn’t see you.

    Your understanding of Christ–a weapon against the people you disapprove of, a sock puppet to justify your own obsessions and bad behavior– and my understanding ofChrist are vastly different.

    This has nothing to do with Christ. And everything to with being a loud mouth bigot, applauded by a certain class of bigot for being bigots, all of you hiding behind the thinnest possible veneer of respectability by claiming it is all about your “sincere religious belief.”

    I notice you didn’t call her out for speaking up in church. Yet you were certainly doing that just the other day. I guess it all depends for you on whose Christ is being crucified.

  • I keep asking them to call out the revivers and slanderers, so famously detailed in Corinthians. Only Edward does so.

  • As it turns out, I do. I just wish you would learn what you are discussing before trying to discuss it.

  • In my humble opinion, the NIV is not one of the more accurate versions because it is written without taking into account more recent information, but only to simplify language already in use.

    If you were to do an in depth and higher level study I’d recommend the RSV, Revised Standard Version. To simply communicate the gist of the scriptures, without focusing on language structure, The Message, by Eugene Peterson, is really very good.

    I haven’t read any new translations for the past 10 years, so take that into account. My recommendations are by no means the final word. There may be others that I’m unaware of.

    BTW, there is a magazine you might find interesting, “Biblical Archeology.” Discoveries in that field regularly shed new and often surprising light on ancient Middle Eastern and Mediterranean life.

    Why a more accurate version? Why not? Don’t we want to use the most accurate mathematics, medicine, etc? Why not bibles?

  • Typical sandi behavior. Any discussion of bad bigot behavior, or bad religious bigot behavior, is seen as a temper tantrum against Christ.

    Over identify with god much? Of course. Megalomania much? Of course.

    Have you finished insulting your god with your own small mindedness for today?

  • “In my humble opinion, the NIV is not one of the more accurate versions because it is written without taking into account more recent information, but only to simplify language already in use. If you were to do an in depth and higher level study I’d recommend the RSV, Revised Standard Version.”

    That’s interesting, considering that the NIV was done more than 20 years AFTER the RSV (with archaeological information which did not yet exist at the time of the RSV’s publication), was translated from the original languages (RSV was a simplification of the much older American Standard Version), and used more ancient collateral sources for textual and cultural background support (most notably the Dead Sea Scrolls, which were not available to the RSV’s scholars) .

    I didn’t ask why a more accurate version. I’m all for ever-increasing accuracy. I asked what it is specifically about your suggested version, the RSV, that is going to make Christianity better. Are there theological difficulties that you think the RSV helps resolve but the others do not?

  • Shawnie, dates aren’t the only aspect of a version that matters. The NIV is used chiefly by more conservative churches and the editors and publishers know that. I don’t know that’s it’s a deliberate attempt to pander. I think it’s more likely that they use conservative editors and writers who reject recent findings.

    I’m not aware of a current version that incorporates the most accurate language. There may be one, but I just don’t know about it. Except for a few denominations, it would be a hard sell because it challenges some long held assumptions. Probably the most notable is that there is no word for homosexual and gender pronouns are not always accurate. The latter greatly affected expectations of female and name behavior.

    I was lucky enough to study with a professor whose fluency in ancient Hebrew was such that he was consulted on the Dead Sea Schools. He described the resurrection of ancient Hebrew, in part, thus:

    “[Not a quote, paraphrase.] Pronoun genders were determined by whether the word most typically pertained to a female, neuter or male role, as they were understood at the time. After all that they knew were assigned, whatever was left was designated male.”

    That’s just one of the items that should create doubts, not necessarily in the spiritual inspiration of the bible, but in the inerrancy of a translation.

  • “I think it’s more likely that they use conservative editors and writers who reject recent findings.”

    Since the NIV translators had access to and used more up-to-date information than the RSV translators, I’d be very interested in knowing what exactly these recent findings are that you assert the NIV is rejecting. If you ever find out, please remember to come back and share.

  • It is the nature of the website that those who hold views antithetical to the cause of Christ post here in protest of the precepts of the Gospel, which they clearly have not received the grace to comprehend, I was one such myself in my youth so I have a degree of sympathy for them, though I will never yield to them, my prayer is that they will have their eyes opened in God’s perfect timing.

  • I don’t know if any “theological difficulties” will ever be thoroughly and universally resolved. However, issues related to roles for women and men need to be reexamined.

    Shawnie, I feel like you want me to select specific scripture and re-translate it. I’m not going to do that because I don’t have that high level of knowledge or expertise. I know that biblical inerrancy just doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.

    It’s important to remember that just because the bible wasn’t dictated to a human scribe, word for word, from god’s lips, doesn’t indicate that it has no meaning for believers. There is plenty of room to understand and accept it as divinely inspired from god’s heart to human hearts. Believers should regard the bible as authoritative, and to be read with their minds and hearts completely engaged, not just their memorization skills.

ADVERTISEMENTs