Don’t Believe Everything You Read in the Bible

20 Jul

Several ministers in Burlington have responded to my letter of two weeks ago called What the Bible Really Says. They are calling their letter Healing and Deliverance. Here is the letter (my response to their letter is at the very end).

We clergy persons in the city of Burlington make this reply to the letter of the Rev. Jane Willan printed July 13 in The Hawk Eye. Rev. Willan was responding to a June 27 letter in which Margarette Jackson states “being gay is a sin because the Bible says it is.”

Rev. Willan disagrees with Margarette Jackson. We agree with the conclusion of Margarette Jackson.

How do we approach this matter?

We start with the statement in 1 Corinthians 6: 18 that we should “Flee sexual immorality,” just as Joseph in the Old Testament fled the improper sexual advances of Potifer’s wife.

Our next task is to search the scriptures to find what God calls “sexual immorality” and we find that God is quite strict in these matters. Rev. Willan should not take issue with Margarette Jackson, but should understand what God permits and what God does not. God does not approve of any sexual contact outside of the marriage covenant, marriage being one man and one woman.

We should be sobered up by the realization that our American culture is overwhelmed by the nature and amount of sexual immorality that has become all too commonplace in recent decades.

In that same sixth chapter of 1 Corinthians, Paul tells us, “Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, not homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the Kingdom of God”. (1 Cor. 6: 9-10).

Jesus Christ can bring healing and deliverance to every person. Jesus died on the cruel cross so that we can have new life in him.

We are appalled to find that Rev. Willan states the Bible “mandates” rape, slavery and human sacrifice. God hates sin and God hates rape, slavery and human sacrifice and all the other sin that enslaves human beings. One hundred fifty years ago Southern slave owners attempted to say the Bible approved slavery and we all know how wrong they were.

Finally, Rev. Willan states that Jesus healed an openly gay man, that man being the servant of the Roman centurion. Various versions of the Bible call that man a “servant” or a “slave,” but no standard translation of the Bible calls him an “openly gay man.”

Of course, had the man been a slave, a victim of human cruelty, that would not have barred him from being healed. Nothing bars any person from being healed, saved, forgiven, justified and sanctified. Jesus frequently told people who were healed at his ministry that their faith had healed them, their faith had made them whole, and that they could go and sin no more.

The Rev. MORRIS HURD, the Rev. DAVID SELMON, the Rev. WAYNE RYAN and Superintendent FRED STARLING


My response:

Thank you, gentlemen, for your thoughtful reply. Here is the difference between us. You think God wrote the bible. I think people wrote the bible (lots of people over a few thousand years). You think the bible is without error. I think it is full of error. That’s what I like about the bible—fallible people like you and me wrote the thing and I can relate to these people; they were struggling on a journey of faith and so am I. You think being gay is a sin. I think it is a part of being created in God’s image. You think Paul is an authority. I think he said some good things but sometimes, the guy was just insufferable. I have a proposition for the four of you. Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) in Burlington is putting together a panel of clergy called “Gay or Nay: Where Does Your Church Stand?” There will be several mainline liberal Protestant clergy there so we need a little “leavening” (as Jesus once said). Would you participate on the panel? Call me. You would be very welcome. REV. JANE WILLAN


Posted by on July 20, 2012 in Blogging With Jane


12 responses to “Don’t Believe Everything You Read in the Bible

  1. Rich Pleva

    July 20, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    If one of ’em agrees to appear, I want to come. Keep me posted!!


    • janewillan

      July 21, 2012 at 7:15 am

      I will. you should be on the panel!

  2. Gail Lawlor

    July 20, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    I think my blood pressure rose a few points while reading the good minister’s reply. I’m proud that you made some very good points, and hopefully there are people out there who heard, but not these “fabulous four”. (Sorry Beatles) Comparing adultery to a committed same sex relationship? Oh, well. This debate could go on forever. Wonder how many of them will take you up on your offer.

    • janewillan

      July 21, 2012 at 7:16 am

      I think it would be really good for the panel if they came.

  3. Mary Alice Eberle

    July 21, 2012 at 1:25 am

    Jane, I applaud your thoughtful letter and pray that you feel the power and peace from God as you take your message of love and inclusiveness to the community in Burlington. I have been a member of PFLAG since 1995. I have been blessed by the people I have met there in the three different communities we have lived in. I will be praying for you as you participate on the PFLAG panel.

    P.S. I am part of Judy Winkleplecks family and have met you on three occasions.

    • janewillan

      July 21, 2012 at 7:15 am

      thanks Mary! The PFLAG in Burlington is a great group of people.

      • Todd Snyder

        July 21, 2012 at 9:54 am

        Jane. When is the PFLAG panel of clergy?
        I hope MANY folks of diverse backgrounds can come.

  4. Kathi

    July 21, 2012 at 10:42 am

    Thank you, Jane, for standing against those who claim to preach the truth. You are a true follower of Jesus Christ preaching the words Jesus spoke. Encouraging love, not hate. At no time did Christ speak against gay people. As a Christian, a believer and follower of Christ, that is all that I need to know. Stay strong. You know that Heaven is blessing you for your good works.

  5. Keith Schulz

    July 21, 2012 at 11:04 am

    Thinking of all the usual suspects among the local clergy, I’m surprised Morris didn’t have more of them sign on to his letter.
    I loved your letter and your response to theirs.

  6. Sharon Thye

    July 22, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    I am so proud to tell people you are my pastor

  7. Deb

    July 23, 2012 at 10:33 am

    I think these clergymen missed the part that says Do not judge,and you will not be judged……and Love your neighbor as yourself.


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