Experience of sound Christian teachings should show good fruit, not bad fruit
Article from the series A Brief Biblical Case for LGBTQ Inclusion, taken from the website The Reformation Project, part one
NON-AFFIRMING MESSAGE: LGBTQ-affirming Christians elevate their experience over the authority of Scripture in order to support their views.
AFFIRMING MESSAGE: Experience of sound Christian teachings should show good fruit, not bad fruit.
Non-affirming beliefs about same-sex relationships and transgender identity contribute to serious harm in LGBTQ people’s lives.
Studies from the Family Acceptance Project have shown that “lesbian, gay, and bisexual young adults who reported higher levels of family rejection during adolescence were 8.4 times more likely to report having attempted suicide, 5.9 times more likely to report high levels of depression, [and] 3.4 times more likely to use illegal drugs…compared with peers from families that reported no or low levels of family rejection.”
Those consequences are bad fruit, and they should lead us to reconsider the source of that fruit: our interpretation of Scripture.
“By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus, by their fruit you will recognize them.” -Matthew 7:16-20
Christians have reconsidered their interpretation of Scripture due to their experiences in the past.
The early Christians chose to include Gentiles in the church without requiring them to be circumcised and obey the Old Testament law—and they made this decision based on their experience. Peter declared of early Gentile believers, “God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us… Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear?” (Acts 15:8, 10)
In the 19th century, Christians reconsidered longstanding interpretation of Scripture that supported slavery. William Wilberforce and many other Christian abolitionists appealed to the horriffic reality of slavery to urge other Christians to change their understanding of Scripture on the topic.
“You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say again that you did not know.” ― William Wilberforce (referring to the slave trade)