We rightfully bemoan the rise of the gay hermeneutic in which Christians are reinterpreting the Bible to allow for committed same-sex relationships, but has anyone ever stopped to think that what these liberals are doing to the homosex texts we “conservatives” have already done to the divorce and remarriage texts? We have mangled Jesus and Paul’s teachings to allow for divorce for reasons other than sexual immorality, and to allow those who have divorced or have been divorced without grounds to remarry because we don’t think it is fair for people to be unhappy or alone. We understand the strong desire to be in a loving, sexual relationship. Our emotions become the motivating factor for reinterpreting (or ignoring) what would otherwise seem to be a pretty straightforward condemnations for most divorces and remarriages.
This is exactly what is happening on the same-sex marriage front. Sympathy for the plight of same-sex attracted persons causes theologians, pastors, and laymen alike to reexamine our interpretation of the Biblical passages condemning homosex, or just ignore those passages altogether. My point is not to say “if we can mangle the Biblical teaching on divorce and remarriage then we ought to do the same to the Biblical teaching on homosex.” Surely, if we are wrong to reinterpret the one we are wrong to reinterpret the other. It’s just to say that the gay hermeneutic has a pedigree in the remarriage hermeneutic. Both allow our feelings to reinterpret the Biblical teaching.
While I bemoan the hermeneutic, I can understand the impulse. Even some conservative Christians who are improperly divorced will choose to accept flimsy interpretations of the Bible or sign up for the “sin now and repent later” plan when it comes to remarriage because they can’t handle a life of singleness. Same-sex attracted persons are doing the same thing and for the same reasons. None of this makes it right, but it does make it understandable.