A friend of mine in the Philippines sent me a link to an article by Professor John Boswell (the late Chairman of Yale University’s history department) in which he asserts that Christianity’s belief that marriage should be exclusively between a man and a woman is a myth, that, in fact, the church has sanctioned same-sex marriages throughout its history. (http://anthropologist.livejournal.com/1314574.html)
Professor Boswell uses a strange combination of art, legend, and ancient documents to back up his claim. For example, he talks about a painting in the Kiev Art Museum that supposedly shows a gay marriage ceremony with Jesus standing by the gay couple, sanctioning the marriage. He also tells a convoluted legend about two secretly Christian Roman soldiers, Sergius and Bacchus, who were also lovers. And as for the ancient documents, I’m sure you won’t be surprised to learn that none of them were authored by guys named Luke, Paul, or Peter.
If Professor Boswell were alive, I would congratulate him on discovering what we already knew. Namely, that there’s a lot of weirdness in church history. That church-going people haven’t always held true to the Scriptures is about as far from breaking news as you can get. But to say that instances of unbiblical behavior somehow prove that Christianity supports that behavior is absurd.
We wouldn’t use this logic in any other arena.
For example, what if I tried to convince you that schools approve of students cheating because there is a painting in a museum that shows students cheating. And there is a legend about two students cheating. And some old document were found that tell about some students cheating.
You’d laugh me out of the room.
In short, this article is no problem at all for Christians. We are under no obligation to answer for some painting in the Kiev Art Museum, some legend about a couple of gay Roman soldiers, or some documents referring to gay marriage found in a Dominican Priory in the 1600’s. These things have absolutely nothing to do with people who shape their beliefs according to Scripture.
Promoters of the gay agenda continue to try to find cracks in our faith, to make us question our core beliefs. They’re going to have to do a lot better than this.