Via James McGrath
‘By striping verses of all context…’ should probably (almost certainly) be ‘stripping’. That said, the moral outrage of the quotation falls flat as a misspelled word when it’s thought about for more than half a minute.
First, what exactly is a ‘context-less bible verse’? Who are the terrible people decontextualizing the Bible? Are they, by chance, the people who decontextualize Romans 1 (or more likely ignore it, or dismiss it, or try their best exegetical gymnastics to explain it out of existence (as Doug Campbell tries mightily to do))?
Second, exactly how is proof-texting a sin? Is it described as a sin somewhere in Scripture? Or is it a sin in the eyes of Mr Hunt? Who decided it was a sin? And who decides what proof-texting is? Does Mr Hunt really think that citing Leviticus’ prohibition of same sex sexual relations is proof texting? Sensible souls throughout the history of Christianity and Judaism have simply seen it as a straightforward prohibition. Mr Hunt may not like it, but just because you don’t like what a text plainly says doesn’t mean you can call a plain reading of it proof-texting.
I would have more respect for supporters of gay marriage if they abandoned the pretense of calling Scripture to their aid every time they wanted to debate the topic and simply say ‘I don’t find in the Bible any support for my support of same sex marriage (without proof texting ‘love’ verses) but I support it anyway. Honesty would be so refreshing.
In that way traditionalists (or whatever you want to call them) can say ‘we believe the Bible plainly teaches’ and same sex marriage supporters can say ‘we don’t care what the Bible says about it, we want to get married’. The ironic thing about Mr Hunt’s complaint is that his lament is proof-texting par excellance.
Could proof texting be the attempt to turn David and Jonathan into homosexual lovers? Certainly it would seem so. Indeed, more than that, it’s nothing but eisegesis and eisegesis is far more egregious than lifting a verse from here and combining it with a verse over there. Eisegesis intentionally misrepresents a text. Proof texting is the mistake of the uninformed. Eisegesis is the act of the predator. Eisegesis sees what it wants to see.
Allow me to quote Luther (with a little modification in bold), who, as always, has a helpful word for every occasion:
“Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason – I do not accept the authority of the popes and councils, or the politically correct, for they have contradicted each other – my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. God help me. Amen.”
If Mr Hunt et al (the supporters of gay marriage) cannot support their viewpoint by means of Scripture and plain reason I cannot, I will not accept their reading (or rather misreading) of the Scriptures. And, to be fair, why should I? It’s not as though same sex marriage activists are breaking down the door to engage anyone who sees things differently than they.