[12.11.08] A firestorm of controversy has enflamed Christian communities across the nation after the religion editor at Newsweek magazine made a biblical argument in favor of gay marriage using the cover of its Dec. 15 issue.
“Instead of objectively reporting the news, Newsweek is catering to the Manhattan crowd, who think stories attacking religion are trendy,” said TheCall founder Lou Engle, who issued a plea on Tuesday urging Christian subscribers to cancel their subscriptions to the magazine.
“The fact is [that] an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that God exists and the Bible is His sacred Word,” he said.
Lisa Miller, religion editor at Newsweek, used the logic of whom she called “recently progressive scholars” to interpret Paul’s writings as not necessarily prohibiting homosexuality, and also argued that post-Eden practices such as polygamy and slavery are proof that other laws in the Bible should be considered questionable or irrelevant.
The controversial article, titled “The Religious Case for Gay Marriage,” also implied King David could’ve been gay—because what he did or did not do in privacy with his friend Jonathan is, Miller wrote, “perhaps best left to history and our own imaginations.”
“We cannot look to the Bible as a marriage manual,” she claimed. “A mature view of scriptural authority requires us, as we have in the past, to move beyond literalism. The Bible was written for a world so unlike our own, it’s impossible to apply its rules, at face value, to ours.”
But a prominent ex-gay ministry that helps lead homosexuals out of the gay lifestyle and towards healing took exception with Miller’s views. “Abandoning the truth of the Bible is not an option for those of us who believe that these life-giving principles are the gateway to freedom and new life,” said Alan Chambers, a former homosexual and president of the Christ-centered Exodus International.
“For me and thousands of others,” Chambers added, “discovering the Bible's clear teaching on sexuality and relationships opened a door to freedom we never thought possible. Maligning and manipulating Scripture is a compassionless disservice to those looking for spiritual and intellectual honesty about this issue.”
cover story hit newsstands just weeks after voters in three states—California, Arizona and Florida—passed measures on general election ballots that outlawed gay marriage
. Referring to the successful passage of Proposition 8 in California, which he played a big part in promoting, Engle said: “The will of the people is that marriage is between a man and a woman.”
The Nov. 4 election that banned gay marriage in three states created a backlash of outrage from the gay community not just in those states, but nationwide.
And now that a popular national news magazine has undeniably endorsed gay marriage on its cover, using the Bible to argue in favor of it, Christian leaders appear anxious to speak up.
In an interview discussing his latest book, Desire and Deceit: The Real Cost of the New Sexual Tolerance, Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said the “gay agenda” rapidly advanced in society during the 1990s due to clever public relations. “[Homosexuals] repackaged themselves as mainstream citizens demanding equal treatment, rather than as a promiscuous sexual minority seeking greater opportunity and influence,” he said.
Mohler said the combination of gay marriage, rampant divorce and loose morals could have a disastrous effect on heterosexual marriage, and ultimately on civilization. “There is no example in the history of humankind of a civilization enduring for long when an age of polymorphous perversity is set loose.”
Engle said scriptures are clear on the issue of homosexuality, and argued that Newsweek magazine is no authority on religion or the Bible. “Homosexual marriage is strictly forbidden because it openly defies God’s design,” he said. “Marriage and sexual relations are meant for men and women only — no exceptions.” —Paul Steven Ghiringhelli