Jesus didn't condone marriage equality [Letter]

June 16, 2014

Madeleine Mysko's recent commentary advised that 645 commissioners of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA will vote later this month whether to accept marriage equality for the LGBTQ community ("Presbyterians to vote on marriage equality," June 6).

She observed that real people from that community will surround those commissioners, reminding them that the issue concerns the harm to families that results when couples are denied marriage and also that "it's not just about the interpretation of certain passages in the Bible."

In my opinion, LGBTQ advocates are trivializing as mere "interpretation" the significance of the "certain passages" in question, which are by no means trivial for practicing Christians.

Christians of every stripe believe that it is through the divine benevolence of Jesus Christ that they can be spared punishment for their sins in the next life. Also directly relevant is their theological instruction holding that Jesus was well schooled in the Hebrew scriptures, including those to which Ms. Mysko referred.

Christians in no way presume to hold Jesus answerable to his followers. But they cannot fail to see that a choice by Him to have ignored any fundamental fallacy in the scriptures would discredit the deified standing He commands.

However, appeals for marriage equality have not been supported by New Testament evidence that Christ recognized error in the Old Testament passages and was accordingly guided by His divine benevolence to discredit them. Christians can therefore draw only the conclusion they consider inescapable: the scriptures condemning homosexual conduct were deemed valid by their Lord Jesus.

LGBTQ advocates are in reality asking Christians to adopt an alternative conclusion that, because Christ took no exception to the scriptures in question, claims of His divinity and benevolence are simply untenable. Consequently they must recognize that the marriage equality they seek can be granted with integrity solely by those Christians who have been persuaded to disavow their faith in a divine Jesus.

Dennis G. Saunders, Columbia

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