In July 2013 I awoke and remembered a dream. I rarely remembered dreams during the past fifteen or so years,
but I strongly remembered this dream.
In the dream, I became a
world-class philosopher and theologian. I convinced all churches that
marriage in the church is only for heterosexual couples. After a
brief reflection on my accomplishment, I suddenly transported to
another planet. On this planet, I learned that every inhabitant loved
God. Some inhabitants lacked the ability for heterosexual romance and
inherited the ability for strong homosexual romance while enjoying a
monogamous same-sex marriage. Also, the people on this planet existed
far better off than the people on Earth. The dream ended.
first impression was to dismiss the dream. I understood that the
Bible teaches that the normal pattern for marriage is a covenant
between one man and one woman while typical human anatomy suggests
the normalcy of heterosexual marriage. I also understood that every
biblical reference to homosexual sex was a condemnation. I saw these
facts as main points in a powerful argument against the legitimacy of
same-sex marital covenants in the church. For a couple decades, I
asserted that all Christians who long for a marital covenant and lack
capability for a heterosexual romance need to limit themselves to
celibacy or a heterosexual marriage. If heterosexual passions never
develop despite prayer and devotionals, then Christian life for a
devout believer with a homosexual orientation should include celibacy
and strong chaste friendships. However, for the last several years, I
supported same-sex marriage laws while I never wanted to impose all
of my Christian ethics on the general population.
understood that Romans 1:18--32 describe a pattern of
paganism-induced hyper-sinfulness including shameful sexuality. For
example, this passage contains negative references to homosexual sex
including the only biblical reference to lesbian sex. However, Romans
1 and the rest of New Testament never describe how a minority of
chaste Christian teens develops homosexual passions during puberty
while fervently praying to change those passions. Most Christian
teens develop romantic passions and most develop normal heterosexual
passions, but a small percentage of teens in strong Christian homes
develop homosexual passions without any pagan or criminal influences
in their lives.
In the spring 2012, I wrote a
Theoperspectives blog series titled "Sacred Sex, Celibacy
and the New Testament." When I began the series, I believed that
one of my essays would unequivocally support that same-sex marriage
is prohibited in the New Testament. To my surprise, I saw
condemnations of various homosexual activities but no unambiguous
condemnation of same-sex marriage. Despite the inexhaustive evidence,
I felt no compulsion to change my view while I felt compassion for
Christians with same-sex attraction who were not at least bisexual
and capable of a heterosexual romance.
I believed for decades that many modern
ethical issues are not directly spelled out in the Bible. For
example, should a Christian heroin addict nurture or break their
addiction? The answer is common sense to most people, but an
exhaustive biblical concordance of any translation shows no entry for
the word heroin. Likewise, Christians need to make conclusions
about heroin addiction based on general biblical principles.
I believe that the Old Testament and
the New Testament are the canon of God's Word. I believe that God's
Word teaches that the normal pattern for marriage is a covenant
between one man and one woman. For decades, I assumed the New
Testament prohibited exception to the normal pattern, but the
apostolic church never directly addressed genuine same-sex marriages.
I prayerfully and rigorously examined the Bible and my dream from
July 2013. The biblical commandments to express love and compassion,
the hormonal chemistry of many LGBT Christians that makes them
incapable of heterosexual romance while yearning for marriage, the
lack of explicit biblical condemnation of same-sex marriage, and
finally my dream eventually led me to the endorsement of same-sex
marriages in Christian churches. I signed up with Accepting
I felt shocked that I changed my mind after almost three decades.
I end with one final point. Some may
feel that mention of exceptions is derogatory, but that
completely misses the importance of exceptions. For example, geniuses
such as Einstein are exceptions.
Peace to all.
Copyright 2014-5 James Edward Goetz
James Goetz is a philosopher, theologian, and member of the National Coalition of Independent Scholars. His published conjectures include the universal wormhole, semiclassical theism, semiclassical Christianity, Relative-Social Trinitarianism, (more...)