Posts Tagged ‘faith’


Posted: May 22, 2012 by Matt Horan in Uncategorized
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By Matt Horan

While I was in seminary, my candidacy mentor received an email in which one of his church members revealed that he was gay.  He didn’t tell me who it was, but asked me how I would respond.  Sometimes he would give me test cases like this—giving me occasional samplings of pastoral life.

I wrote a compassionate response, full of empathy, but also full of Scripture that made the case that the Biblical view of human sexuality was one man and one woman.  My mentor thanked me for my work, and said that he’d take it into consideration.  He planned to meet the young man in person rather than have the conversation over email.  (As I think about this test case six years later, it occurs to me that I never did hear his actual response to the church member.  I’ll have to ask…)

My view on this has not changed.  The writers of Scripture had no ambiguity about their views—they thought that homosexuality was wrong.  I’ve heard people try to wriggle out of the verses in a variety of ways.  I’ve read that that David and Jonathan were gay lovers.  I’ve read the same thing about Ruth and Naomi.  I’ve read that the main sin in Sodom was not that the men wanted to have sex with the angels who had come to Lot’s house, but that they didn’t show them hospitality.  I’ve read that the word “homosexuality” is too broadly used in English translations, and that it really refers to sexual slavery or rape.

I’ve never met David or Jonathan or Ruth or Naomi, and I wasn’t there on Lot’s front porch when his neighbors clamored for his guests.  I never met Paul, and thus didn’t get to ever ask him about what he really meant when he said that men gave up natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.  All we have is the text, and while I don’t fault faithful disciples of Jesus Christ for trying to find a new reading for the verses we don’t like, it just can’t be done on this issue.  To say that the writers of Scripture sanctioned anything but heterosexual relationships is simply not a leap that can be made without some of those Flubber shoes from The Absent-Minded ProfessorI can find nothing else but this: the Bible says homosexuality is wrong.

That is why Biblical interpretation is not the reason I have changed my mind about how I’d handle that test case now.  What the Bible says isn’t really in question.  Instead I have reexamined how we use the phrase, “The Bible says.” (more…)


By Matt Horan

The beautiful Gutenberg Bible is the first produced on the printing press.

I don’t need the Bible to be “infallible” anymore.

I used to.  I used to have a radar that trolled the horizon for possible challenges to the perfection of the Scriptures.   If someone claimed that the Bible was too old, out of date, out of touch, full of contradictions, full of errors, etc, I would hyperventilate a little and get ready to put my heresy-slaying boots on. (more…)

By Matt Horan

I love movies.  Most of the communication between my brothers and sisters involves quotes from movies.  There’s a perfect movie quote for every situation, and when the four of us are together, you can feel confident that one of us will come up with it. (more…)

Jesus Saves

Posted: June 29, 2009 by Matt Horan in ReEmergent Church
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By Matt Horangold-dollar-sign

            There’s a story you may have heard about the devil challenging Jesus to a contest of skill.  He challenged him over and over and over again, and finally, Jesus agrees.  He says, “We’ll let God decide what the contest should be.”
            So Jesus and the devil ask God to choose, and suddenly two computers appear before them.  God says, “The one who can type the most words in 24 hours will be the winner.”
            The devil springs forward, sits at the computer, and starts typing furiously.  Jesus calmly sits, and begins typing as well.  They went on like that for 11 hours, typing with miraculous speed, neither one really taking an upper hand. 
            All of a sudden, the power goes out.  Both computers shut down, and the devil screams with fury and anguish.  (more…)