Christianity's new outlook on gays

New Testament scholar James Brownson, who wrote the 2013 book Bible, Gender, Sexuality, concurs. He told me, “Male-male sex in the ancient world was episodic. It was mainly young boys with older men or male slaves and masters. It was not mutual. These were not relationships, they were not marriage and they were not meant to turn into marriage.” Brownson said to compare what ancient writers viewed as heterosexual “sexual excess” — akin to gluttony — with the modern concept of sexual orientation is misguided.

This is not a matter of molding biblical teaching to satisfy a personal belief. Both Vines and Brownson hold a “high view” of Scripture, meaning it is the final authority on all matters of faith and life. They oppose unbiblical divorce and premarital sex, for example. But Brownson says, “The issue of sexual orientation represents new data that the church needs to ask itself, ‘Should this change the way we look at this?'”

The church has done this before on issues ranging from slavery to the solar system.