Will gay acceptance erode the Bible's authority?

Assuming gay acceptance continues its trend and eventually becomes a non-issue, will the Bible be taken less seriously as a source of authority?

The argument I see that leads to “yes” is that a society that openly accepts gays goes against the word of the bible.

However it seems there is a modern tendency to clear up loose ends through interpretations of convenience, so maybe the Bible will emerge unscathed.

My opinion: this is too big a concession. I think the bible will lose some amount of authority.

I dunno. Has shrimp acceptance eroded its authority?

How about working on the Sabbath? Because that’s a much, MUCH bigger issue in the Bible than homosexuality, which I believe is mentioned just once.

Based on all the evangelicals I’ve met who aren’t down with the whole “hatin’ on gays” movement, I’d say no. The population of folks who use the bible to justify homophobia is aging, and will eventually die off. But that doesn’t mean Christianity is going away.

It didn’t seem to affect believers all that much when it turned out the earth was really old and wasn’t the center of the universe. Measured against that, boys who like each other seem rather insignificant to God’s plan.

Did the Bible lose authority when slavery was abolished? Because it’s big on slavery too.

Certain Biblical interpretations will lose authority. As well they should. Others will not. Christianity will continue.

Isn’t gay acceptance is pretty much already universal in this country, and other 1st world countries too? It’s only gay marriage that’s still an issue, and inevitably to be universally accepted as well.

Thankfully, Christians already ignore half the book anyway, as others have pointed out, otherwise they’d practically be stoning people for sneezing on a Tuesday.

I live in the United States where the ultimate authority rests with our Constitution. We’re not even supposed to hang quotes from the Bible in our courtrooms. That’s a good thing, the context of the prohibition on homosexuality also includes a prohibition on adultery. Both carry the death sentence.

Now, if we’re talking about people using the Bible as authority to poke around in other people’s business, telling them what to do and such … then I agree, gay acceptance would reduce the effectiveness of the Bible as a tool to spy into everyone’s bedroom.

Jesus famously said “Slaves, obey your earthly masters”, but almost nobody accepts that slavery is ok, yet Christianity seems to be doing fine.

The Catholic Church famously accused Galileo of heresy, but astrophysics doesn’t seem to have diminished the Catholic numbers.

The Usher chronology places the start date of creation at 4004 BC, but million year old fossils haven’t caused people to renounce their faith.

Religions are famously adaptable, and Christianity will adapt to this as well.

It might chip away at it just a little, but like all the other examples mentioned, Christianity will survive.

Hopefully with less influence on culture.


Well, Paul. But if we’re assuming the whole divinely inspired schtick, does it really matter whose mouth it was?

I think the correct answer to the OP’s question is: Yes.

Likewise, I think the acceptance of shrimp, mixed fabrics, and the abolition of slavery have all eroded the Bible’s authority to some extent. The Bible used to be (in the Western world), absolute and infallible. Now, very few people truly believe that. Today, all but the most extreme Christians happily pick and choose which parts of the Bible to worry about, and generally don’t take the Bible as absolute capital-T truth in all aspects of life. They may sincerely believe that it is a good general spiritual guide, but it’s authority over their lives is vastly less than it would likely have been 100 years ago (or even 50 years ago, in many cases).

The general trend in Western society since the Middle Ages has been one of increasing secularization.

Looks like I’ll be marrying my partner of 24 years in the next couple of days, will it erode the bibles authority?? I doubt it, but sure hope so; that “authority” has had us living a second class existence our entire adult lives.

We can hope.

Colossians 3:22-24 (New International Version)

22 Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything; and do it, not only when their eye is on you and to curry their favor, but with sincerity of heart and reverence for the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, 24 since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

In the Middle Ages, all or almost all Christians held the same positions on shrimp, mixed fabrics, and slavery as they do today: slavery bad, shrimp and mixed fabrics fine.

The question wasn’t whether it was in the Bible; it was whether Jesus said it. He didn’t. (He never said anything about homosexuality either, and arguably neither did Paul).

To answer the OP: no. Some Christians will be forced to re-evaluate how they interpret scripture just like slave-owning Christians did at one time. Christians who do NOT find anti-gay bigotry consistent with Biblical values will become the norm just as the Christian abolitionist viewpoint did.

Not a gotcha but a genuine question. How familiar would shrimp have been to the average western peasant in say 1300?

Not really. Biblical inerrancy and infallibility is a relatively recent theological construct.

(Coleman, R. J. (1975). “Biblical Inerrancy: Are We Going Anywhere?”. Theology Today 31 (4): 295. doi:10.1177/004057367503100404)

If you call 30% of Americans “very few.”

Sure, I’ll grant you that in practice, even those literalists pick and choose to some degree. But they believe it.