On September 7, 2016, CRCDS President Dr. Marvin A. McMickle published a "Unite Rochester" blog in the Rochester, NY Democrat and Chronicle entitled, "Using the Good Book for Bad Thoughts." Read the full text of Dr. McMickle's blog here:
As the LGBTQ community in this country continues to seek and oft times receive full acceptance in all areas of our society, I am shocked and ashamed of the fact that many people within the Christian church remain closed-minded and unwelcoming of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.
What is especially troubling to me as a long-time pastor and now as a theological educator is how some people attempt to use the Bible to justify their bigotry on this topic. I repeatedly hear such persons quoting from Leviticus 18:22 that refers to same-gender sexual contact as an abomination.
There are two things about this approach that trouble me. First, there is the simple fact that Leviticus is a 10th century BCE document that reflects a culture and a communal life that has largely disappeared in the modern world; even in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv! More importantly, there is so much more in Leviticus that these Bible quoters seem free to ignore. In Leviticus 19 it says we should not place tattoos on our bodies. I have heard no preacher condemn tattoos. It says that men should not cut the hair at the side of their heads or trim their beards, but I hear no preaching against going to the barber shop.
That same chapter also forbids wearing clothing made of two different types of fabric; hence silk and wool, or polyester clothing should be condemned. Leviticus 19 states that we should be kind to any foreigners living among us (immigrants and refugees). Yet, the anti-immigrant rhetoric in our society is harsh and visceral. Leviticus 19 also urges us not to hold grudges against one another. Why are the people who are so quick to quote Leviticus 18:22 and the evils of homosexuality so mute about what is found in the very next chapter, let alone the rest of the entire book?
Some Christians want to be able to embrace one favorite verse while ignoring all the rest. It does not and it cannot work that way. If there is one verse that all Christians should embrace perhaps it should be Leviticus 19: 18 that says, "love your neighbor as yourself." I would encourage every preacher to make this one verse the center of their theology.