The Aim of Queer Biblical Understanding

I am in my last semester at the Perkins School of Theology on the campus of Southern Methodist University. I found myself intrigue about Queer Bible Hermeneutics / OT 8317.

Not knowing what to expect from the class, I made the decision to open my mind and seek the truth even if that truth means that there are queer in God’s word.

What I do know, we as Christian have been trained to hold a hard line against homosexuality; Queerness that we could not even imagine or accept the possibility that queerness could have a significant role in Christianity. Some people may consider this as a challenge or attack against the beliefs, faith, the nature of man and the word of God.

The challenge lies in not changing God words, text or scriptures. It is to acknowledge that queerness has a place in biblical interpretation. There is a belief that such teaching is causing people to deconstruct gender identities, sexual identities when it comes to the Biblical text.

Deconstructing text is not destroying God’s word, only destroying a one-sided binary way of thinking that is formed through moral concepts rather than righteous understanding.

This class exposes the interpreter and the interpretation of the textual context. Example: In today’s world are experiencing the “ME TOO’ movement. Where women are standing up against sexual violence. If I ask anyone do you believe rape goes against God? Most people would say yes to the question. If I ask you do you accept the words in the Bible to be true? Most people would say yes. If you say yes to the words that are in the Bible, then you saying yes to Rape. Queer theology brings out sexual miss-conduct against women. Some of these scriptures are referred to as the Marriage Metaphors. In Isiah his words “The Lord said,” can lead you to believe that humiliating and belittling woman is God will. As men, it would be Biblically correct to beat on women. Do you believe this?

We know such violence is not of God, but it is there in Isiah. He condones domestic violence. Isiah was not speaking the word of God when he spoke those words. He was going with what he believed to be true, using his influence to give authenticity to his words, not God’s word. Isiah had a misinterpretation in what God wanted him to do. What should be asking, what was God saying to Isiah? We only know from what Isaiah announced, “The Lord said.” Did God authorize rape and mistreatment to his female creation? Is that what God wants from us? We know domestic violence is not of God.  But, do we continue to fulfill those words from Isiah or do we search for understanding?

When Jesus said he came not to destroy scripture, but to fulfill it. Do we know exactly what fulfillment he was addressing? Did Jesus fulfill scripture by violence or by love? I ask you, why are using the word of God to bring destruction rather than loving the people with the word of God.

Queer Biblical Scholarship in Christian Activism by Jessica Coblentz speaks to how textual interpretation is being revealed from an author’s viewpoint and a reader’s response. “C”[1]

Proverbs 4:7 The beginning of wisdom is this: Get understanding. Though it may cost all you have, get understanding. I have come to believe with a great deal of understanding that the identification of Gay, Lesbian, Bi-Sexual, Transgender or Queer is morally wrong. It goes against moral understanding. Morals is a carnal way of thinking which produces hatred and suffering if anything comes against what it believes to be the truth of God’s will. We confuse our belief for God’s will. Our belief and God will are not two of the same. The mistake we make is that our beliefs do not always line itself with God’s will. It is hard to know the difference when you measure it from a human standard and not from a God righteousness.

The humanity belief systems have manifested itself into moral values. The human condition forgot that our morals are not about us, but should be in tune with God’s righteousness. When we exercise righteousness over the flaws found in morality? We begin to understand that morality is fluid. What is moral today will be immoral tomorrow – What is immoral today will be moral tomorrow.

Our sexuality is not going to change God’s plans. It does not change the fact that we all must show ourselves approved through the renewing of the mind. What difference are you making to bring the differences we have together in love?

Queerness will not lead you into sin but diminish your fears. What are your fears? What will happen to you if one gain knowledge that people who we identify as queer had a real contribution to the word of God? How would that change you in the way you see God? How would the human agency interpret, reintroduce  2 Timothy 15? “Study to shew they self-approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

How do you interpret Timothy’s words? Is it by using morality or righteousness interpretation?  How would you act on not being ashamed? What is its meaning? In verse 13 Timothy tells us “If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.”  In Psalms 51:6 we cannot really be true to ourselves until we derive their identity, purpose, and destiny from God.

The truth is that everyone is different and has their own identity and purpose. It does not matter how one identifies themselves, but do you identify to God, To Jesus and the Holy Spirit? When we fight our differences, our different beliefs and what they symbolize without righteous intent we may just find yourself fighting against God. Fighting against God will, purpose, and destiny for us all.

There are beliefs that need to be destroyed and allow righteousness to prevail or morality. If we do not challenge our biases belief and misdirected morality then you must continue to see all the characters in the Bible to be of white descendants. The truth that most of the character in the Bible where people of color. If the interpretation has not been challenged, what would be the reality of today?

Ignoring Biblical Queer Theology will not get you any closer to God. But, it can help guide us in the understanding to know God love. We can be used by God in creating a better humanity today as we become closer to gaining an understanding and having the wisdom to know how our differences and our biases need to be shaped by God will, and not by man intentions rather good or bad.

I recommend taking the Queer Bible Hermeneutics. Do not limit your understanding to obtain wisdom. I would suggest that this be a required course in all theological and biblical schools, colleges and universities. We hurt each other in not what we know, but in what we do not know.


[1] Queer Biblical Scholarship In Christian Activism, Jessica Coblentz