It is not scripture that creates hostility to homosexuality, but rather hostility to homosexuals that prompts some Christians to recite a few sentences from Paul and retain passages from an otherwise discarded Old Testament law code. In abolishing slavery and in ordaining women we’ve gone beyond biblical literalism. It’s time we did the same with gays and lesbians. The problem is not how to reconcile homosexuality with scriptural passages that condemn it, but rather how to reconcile the rejection and punishment of gays and lesbians with the love of Christ. It can’t be done. So instead of harping on what’s ‘natural,’ let’s talk of what’s ‘normal,’ what operates according to the norm. For Christians the norm is Christ’s love. If people can show the tenderness and constancy in caring that honors Christ’s love, what matters their sexual orientation? Shouldn’t a relationship be judged by its inner worth rather than by its outer appearance? When has a monopoly on durable life-warming love been held by legally wed heterosexuals?
William Sloane Coffin
The early Christian experience of Pentecost is presented with metaphors about the rushing of a great wind, and a flaming fire…I am calling these metaphors movement metaphors because they express the feeling of being seized and possessed by something overwhelmingly powerful, and the beginning of a new movement in ourselves. They describe a movement that sweeps people off their feet, which possesses and excites not only the conscious levels but the unconscious depths too, and sets the men and women affected themselves on the move towards unsuspected new things. Deeply moved, we ourselves move, and go out of ourselves. The primal image is the Pentecost story, which tells how the experience of the Spirit turns a crowd of Jesus’ intimidated disciples into free witnesses to Jesus Christ, apostles of the gospel who carry the tidings ‘to the ends of the earth’ (Acts 1:8). I am relating the movement metaphors of tempest and fire to the experience of the life-affirming, life-giving love of God–that is, to the presence of the Holy Spirit.