The Bible & LGBTQ Adventists by Alicia Johnston

The Bible & LGBTQ Adventists by Alicia Johnston

This book is a theological conversation about same-sex marriage, gender, and identity. It challenges the prevailing Adventist beliefs.

alicias bookWritten specifically for Seventh-day Adventists, this book is a theological exploration. How does the denomination explain its theology? What are the reasons for questioning that theology from an affirming perspective?

Does the Bible have anything to say to us about all of this? As an Adventist community, we turn first to scriptures for wisdom and guidance. But maybe you’ve heard the standard answers and you still have questions. As was true of me for many years, maybe you are unsettled in the back of your mind, you intend to get around to sorting it out, but years go by and you still haven’t.

Maybe you, like me, are not satisfied with the institutional church’s approach to this question. Maybe you, like me, long for a better conversation. We don’t want to fall prey to the pressure to avoid the conversation, but we also don’t want an all-out brawl. Many of us recognize that the institution of the church is struggling with this conversation.

Topics covered…

Is the Bible Is Clear?

Is the Bible so crystal clear on this subject that we shouldn’t entertain any other perspective? Many had said as much. This chapter explores the reasons why Seventh-day Adventists in particular should keep an open mind. It’s our heritage as Adventists.

God’s Law

Don’t those who affirm same-sex marriage want to throw out the Torah? Don’t they also throw out the dietary laws and the Sabbath? These chapters explore the meaning of those levitical prohibitions by comparing scripture with scripture. The Bible is its own interpreter when we look closely and carefully.

“Homosexuals” in the Bible

Twice Paul says explicitly that “homosexual practice” is a sin, so shouldn’t Christians oppose it? The word “homosexual” never appeared in any Bible until 1946. This chapter explores why that is. What are the translation issues behind these two texts?

Marriage, Sabbath, & Creation

Didn’t God create marriage in Eden? Wasn’t it created for a man and a woman? If marriage can be changed, what about the Sabbath? This chapter looks carefully at the structure of Genesis 1-2, the meaning of marriage, and the meaning of the Sabbath.

God-Given Gender

Didn’t God create gender “male and female”? Aren’t we playing with fire when we seak to redefine ourselves according to our own impulses? This chapter looks at the meaning of gender in the Bible, especially in Genesis 1. It also helps us learn more about who intersex and transgender people are.

Unnatural Exchange

Wasn’t homosexuality accepted in Rome? Didn’t Paul speak plainly against this? These chapters explore Paul’s words. What did he say and why? What were Paul’s moral concerns? Can we understand these texts the way the original audience did?

Did Jesus Define Marriage?

Since Jesus said marriage was “male and female,” doesn’t this exclude same-sex couples? Isn’t this a definition? This chapter explores the meaning and context of Jesus’ words. Was Jesus’ intention to define marriage to exclude same-sex couples?

The Biblical Model

Opposite-sex marriage is modeled in the Bible and in nearly all known cultures, so how can same-sex marriage be justified? This chapter looks at the meaning of marriage in the Bible and in society. How have definitions both changed and stayed the same? What about biblical gender roles?

Biblical Inclusion

It’s often been said that LGBTQ people can be accepted even if their behavior is not. Is this true? Are there times when rejection of a behavior amounts to rejection of a person? This chapter explores a biblical example in which the answer was ‘yes.’