Tuesday, August 8, 2006

Interpreting the Bible

On July 30, Fred Peterson responded to my guest column and another letter to the editor from Judy Silvers. While his sentence structure is poor, it appears that Peterson is using my letter and Silvers' letter as an example of "contradictions" in Scripture.

First, there is an obvious and fundamental error in even attempting to make an argument about "contradictions" in Scripture from these articles. Neither my letter nor Silvers' letter are Scripture. I wrote of my interpretation of Scripture, and Silvers wrote of hers, but neither her letter nor my column is the Word of God.

The second problem with Peterson's argument is that there is no disagreement between me and Silvers on Scripture's condemnation of homosexuality. It is interesting that Peterson dishonestly attempts to manufacture disagreement between Silvers and me, but unfortunately for Peterson the Herald-Times archives can be browsed by anyone interested in the truth. The Information Age is not a friend of those who try to twist and distort what other people have written for their own ends.

Peterson attempts to use what Jesus said about a "star" falling to earth as an example of a mistake in Scripture. Peterson fails to take into account that the Bible uses descriptive language that people of the time could understand. What we understand to be a "star" in modern times, a massive nuclear furnace like our sun, would destroy the Earth if it collided with our planet. In fact, if our planet were just a bit closer to the sun, life could not exist here.

But that is not what Jesus was speaking of. The "stars" Jesus was talking about is a reference to meteorites, not a sun. In fact, we use this language today when we talk about "shooting stars". I'm sure Peterson has used that very same phrase himself; should he be called on his "error" in the Herald-Times letters section? We talk today about the sun "rising" and "setting", even though we know the Earth revolves around the sun and day and night are determined by the Earth's rotation.

Finally, opponents of homosexual marriage are not arguing that there "ought to be a law"; we are arguing that the law should not change.