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We Can Do Better Than “Because the Bible Says So”

While speaking before a group, I mentioned that the debate around homosexuality presents some complicated issues for the church. A man in the back of the room disagreed. “There’s nothing complicated about it,” he said. “My Bible says homosexuality is a sin. Period. End of story.” But for the people around him, it was not “end of story.” It was, however, the end of their conversation with him, because of the phrase the Bible says so.

This tactic—using the Bible as the ultimate vanquishing weapon—rarely produces the desired effect. It often accomplishes just the opposite. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, when using because the Bible says so with those who do not accept the total authority of Scripture, the argument is a non-starter. Why would they give any special credence to a source they consider elusive or dubious?

Then, for many, attempts to shut down a debate with because the Bible says so sound too much like an exasperated parent shouting, “Because I said so!” It seems demeaning.

I realize some people are drawn to “end of story” Bible defenses out of a longing for firm ground during a time of cultural shifting sands. “We have to stand up for God and his Word,” they say. They crave some black and white in a world that seems increasingly gray.