Carleton College's student newspaper since 1877

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Olaf prof gives talk on Bible and homosexuality

<rleton’s Fellowship in Christ sponsored a visit from Reverend Amy Gohdes-Luhman to give a talk on the Bible and same-sex relationships Thursday Oct. 28. Reverend Gohdes-Luhman is a wife, mother, pastor at the Northfield Mainstreet Moravian Church, and Assistant Professor of Religion at St. Olaf College. But she came to Carleton to speak about the context of same-sex relationships in the Bible simply “as a person with a viewpoint.”

In her talk, Gohdes-Luhman described how she interprets the Bible to help her better define her own views on homosexuality. In particular, she employs a “historical-cultural lens,” which considers that the Bible was written over a period of time by humans who struggled to understand themselves and God. Moreover, the approach acknowledges that the Bible was written in Greek and Hebrew; translation to English is a process in and of itself.

Gohdes-Luhman pointed to specific points in the Bible to explain the context of same-sex relationships. She quickly went over themes in Genesis 1-3, Genesis 19, Judges 19, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, Corinthians 6:9-10, and Timothy 1:9-10. Her main points were that biblical stories “seem to describe gender roles known to Ancient Israel rather than prescribe gender roles for all time.” One of the reasons that same-sex relationships were condemned is that they violated gender roles, as one of the men has to take the position of a woman in sexual intercourse. These men were unwanted in society and disgraced by having half of their tunic and beard cut off.

The majority of biblical references mentioned revolve around men, not acknowledging lesbians. Amy speculates that the writers of the Bible were male and therefore less concerned with what women were doing.

In her talk, Gohdes-Luhman also explained her own journey to her current role as an advocate for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people within the church. Growing up, her mother sternly believed homosexuality to be a sin, while her father’s stance remained a mystery. As for herself, Gohdes-Luhman never truly explored her views on homosexuality until a friend confronted her when she was 23, as a Moravian seminary student. Her friend wanted to know if Gohdes-Luhman thought being a lesbian was a sin. Not knowing how to answer, Gohdes-Luhman began her journey to understand this controversial concept.     

Gohdes-Luhman ended her talk by emphasizing that this controversy is largely a social issue and asking, “As society changes, how does our faith change?”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Carletonian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *