What does the Bible actually say about same-sex relationships?: Reviewing A Sad Departure Chapter Four

In Chapter Four of ‘A Sad Departure’, Randall argues that the greatest need in the current controversy is to go to the scriptures for answers. Recognising, however, that not everyone within the church (never mind outside) respects the authority of Scripture – he makes the case for the authority of scripture in the life of the church. Randall says, “The issue of scriptural authority is the crux of the controversy.”

Randall goes on to summarise the key scriptures that that speak into the issue of same-sex relationships. He then engages with those who claim that scripture is either silent, or positive about same-sex relationships. Regarding the former, he approvingly quotes from the ‘Report to the General assembly of the Church of Scotland on Human Sexuality’, which states: “The Bible, when it occasionally takes up the subject of same-sex activity, presents it as a wrong choice.” Concerning the latter, those who argue that the bible is positive about same-sex activity, he quotes Robert Gagnon, saying: “Such arguments are ‘specious connections’ made by people desperate to find the slightest shred of support for homosexual practice in the Bible.’”

Finally, Randall draws attention to statements made by people who experience same-sex attraction yet have decided to align their lives to the teaching of scripture instead of attempting to mould scripture to fit their desires:

“I wanted to be able to say that the Bible’s authority did not say that loving gay relationships were wrong – I couldn’t. It’s as clear as day . . . The option to mess around with the Bible and make it say what I wanted to say was simply not open to me; I wanted to live with integrity. This was the crucial choice. I knew that I didn’t have the authority to tell God how I should live. “