To the editor:
In his letter responding to my presentation of what the Bible has to say about homosexuality, Mr. Merett said that many of the founding fathers of our nation were deists; that adultery in the Bible is sex with anyone but your first wife; that the Bible has been used to justify the keeping of slaves and keeping women from getting the right to vote; and to keep mixed race couples from getting married.
He also said the Bible teaches that the world is flat, and that “it is past time to stop using the Bible to spread hate of others that don’t follow your beliefs or your cherry picking of scripture.”
I would like to comment on each of these statements:
• It is true that some of the founding fathers of America were deists. However, most were not. Here are some quotes: John Adams and John Hancock: “We recognize no sovereign but God, and no King but Jesus.”
George Washington: “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”
I have many more similar quotes in my file.
• “Adultery in the Bible is sex with anyone but your first wife.” This statement agrees with the Bible that sex with anyone of the same sex would be included in the sin of adultery. No argument.
• Whether or not people used the Bible to defend slavery, deny voting rights to women, and to forbid the marriage of mixed race couples is not proof that the Bible is unreliable.
How people used it is quite different from what the Book itself says when you get the whole picture, not just isolated passages.
• The Bible does not teach that the world is flat.
Isaiah 40:22 says “It is He who sits upon the circle of the earth” — a remarkable reference to the sphericity of the earth, long before most people recognized that the earth was not flat.
Mr. Merrett probably is referring to what the major church taught in the Middle Ages, and so it was easy to make this mistake.
• It was not my intent to spread hate when I pointed out what God has to say about homosexuality. I consider it an act of love for people to let them know what God’s standards are.
I consider it an act of love to also let them know that there is forgiveness available because God is not only a perfectly holy God with perfectly holy standards, but He also is a God of love.
The punishment for all sin, including homosexuality, for all people, for all time, was taken by Jesus, the Son of God, when He died on the cross.
The only thing that remains to obtain forgiveness and eternal life is to be persuaded that this is true. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life” (John 3:16.).