This past show has inspired a great deal of feedback, as one might expect. Encouragingly, a lot of this response has been positive, and on behalf of the ministry, I’d like to thank all of you that took the time to express your experiences and stories. I’ve heard from a few locals in my New Mexico area that they took a great deal from the show, and a few more informed me that they were given a lot to think about and felt they’d be able to relate better to their friends and family who are a part of that community.
There have also been many questions and concerns about the show and the topic, which has led this ministry as a whole to believe it appropriate to address these issues. Thus, this article will be listing some of the concerns we’ve received followed by our responses.
This was a concern of ours as well. Because we had a little less than two hours for discussion, it was almost impossible to cover as much of the topic as we truly wanted, but we did hope to address more than we did. In the future, we may be able to address some of the other aspects of this complicated issue. It should be noted, however, that many of the societal discriminations faced by those who are intersexed are also faced by other members of the community.
Put most simply, we don’t. We made it quite clear throughout the show that we were in no way condoning the sin of homosexuality. What we were doing was challenging the church to address the issue head on without condemnation. The best way to do that, in our view, is to show the humanity of the people within the community; this is an aspect which has been sadly lacking from any discourse within much of the Christian Church. If people claim to “love the sinner and hate the sin,” then it is absolutely vital that this be recognized and implemented appropriately.
The urge to do that which is forbidden or unpleasing to God is known as temptation; it is an urge, a desire or an emotional or psychological inclination towards something the Bible calls wrong, and is completely separate from any legitimate action. Contrary to popular opinion, temptation of itself is not a sin. Additionally, those who believe that it is cannot prove their argument by any biblical means so long as they hold to the doctrine of Scriptural infallibility. This can be easily demonstrated, in that Christ was tempted, yet was without sin.
Our guest did make the statement towards the end of the broadcast that the Bible is not inerrant, and is thus open to interpretation. It should be noted that the Bible, which is the printed or digital book which we read today, and Scripture are two different things. This is a fine line to walk, but it is important that one understand it properly.
Scripture is the Word of God, imparted by the Holy Spirit through divine inspiration to many different writers over thousands of years. It does not contradict itself; it agrees with itself; and it is proven both internally and externally. Scripture is infallible, meaning that there is no fault or fallacy within it- In short, it is perfect.
The Bible is mankind’s translation and transliteration of original texts into a written format easily read and understood by humanity around the world. So long as the translation of Scripture is done in such a way as to remain true to the original text and message, it remains infallible. However, due to the nature of translation from one tongue to another, there is a higher probability of error.
For instance, the format which many of us are familiar with (chapter and verse) is not found within the original texts. This can lead to misunderstandings because thoughts are interrupted by verse and chapter breaks. Because the thought is not completed, but is broken up, this is considered an error as it poses the potential for the miscommunication of Scripture.
Another prime example is what is known to scholars as the Comma Johanneum and to laypeople as the Trinity Clause, which is found in 1 John 5:7-8. The majority of these two verses do not appear in any of the earliest texts, and its first appearance is in the margin of a much later manuscript. This is known as a scribal edit, and the inclusion of this and other such edits within the text of the Bible is also in error.
In spite of these errors, Scripture remains infallible, because when it is read properly and in context, the message remains true and the requirements of what Scripture is are met. However, because of these errors, the Bible is not inerrant; it is, however, infallible.
[NOTE: This topic was covered in episode 1.7 of the UCC Show, “That Is NOT In the Bible,” and can be downloaded from themedia page. In the future, Andrew hopes to be able to discuss this issue further in a more detailed manner. Please bookmark this site and check back regularly for further information.]