The Church and the ‘Clobber Scriptures’ — The Bible on Homosexuality

June 3rd, 2011 Posted in Bible, Homosexuality |

By Albert Mohler

Is the Church guilty of beating people with the Bible? As strange as that argument might sound, it is actually a powerful weapon in the hands of those who are determined to normalize homosexuality and same-sex marriage within the church. Those pushing for the acceptance of homosexuality now argue that Christians opposed to that agenda are “clobbering” sinners with the biblical text.

There seems to be no authoritative original source for this very powerful rhetorical innovation, but it has become increasingly popular in recent years, and it is deployed as a way of subverting the Bible’s condemnation of same-gender sexuality.
In his new book, Fall to Grace, Jay Bakker presents a classic form of this argument. Bakker, the son of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, is now co-pastor of Revolution Church in New York City — a congregation described by New York magazine as “a church that is still figuring out its message.” Well, it may be trying to figure out its message on some issues, but on homosexuality its position is very clear.
n his new book, Fall to Grace, Jay Bakker presents a classic form of this argument. Bakker, the son of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker, is now co-pastor of Revolution Church in New York City — a congregation described by New York magazine as “a church that is still figuring out its message.” Well, it may be trying to figure out its message on some issues, but on homosexuality its position is very clear.Jay Bakker was only a tween when his parents became involved in the massive scandal that led to the collapse of their PTL ministry, complete with its theme park known as “Heritage USA.” As Bakker makes clear, the big lesson he learned from that scandal was that Christians show precious little grace. In Fall to Grace, Bakker sets out his vision of Christianity. He levels some legitimate criticisms at the Church, but what he offers is a revisionist reworking of Christianity and the Gospel that is actually just a rehash of Protestant Liberalism in the early twentieth century.

In a lengthy and insightful profile of Jay Bakker, Alex Morris of New York magazine argues that Bakker has reduced Christianity to a message of forgiveness and little else. “The rest of Protestant Christianity, however, he’s basically prepared to ditch — a stance that pushes him beyond the far liberal wing of the Evangelical Christian community and into what is known as the ‘Emergent’ ministry,” Morris notes. He describes the perplexity of some within Revolution Church who are trying to figure out what the Church actually believes. He asks: “Once you strip so much out of Christianity, what is left?”

Jay Bakker holds to an evolutionary theology. In Fall to Grace, he argues that there is an evolutionary theology within the Bible and that the character of God changes from the Old Testament to the New. Bakker credits author Brian D. McLaren with the argument that the Bible reveals “a trajectory that points inexorably from judgment and punishment in the distant past through time toward forgiveness and all-encompassing love.” Bakker argues against “trying to maintain scriptural consistency” and proclaims that we are “not stuck with the angry God encountered in the Old Testament (and, yes, in some places in the New Testament).”

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