A course at a theological school purports to teach students about LGBT issues contained in the Bible and in Christian theology. The instructor says the course is “always well-enrolled.”
“Queer Bible Hermeneutics” at Southern Methodist University’s Perkins School of Theology is a “study of the historical, political, cultural, and religious-theological discourses about gender and sexuality in the context of the interpretation of the Hebrew Bible,” the course’s website states.
The course “develops self-critical perspectives about the influence of biblical meanings on hermeneutically dynamic, politically and religiously charged conversations over socio-cultural practices related to LGBTQ communities.”
The syllabus of the course states that queer hermeneutics is “an increasingly important research area in the academic field of biblical studies.”
The instructor of the course, Susanne Scholz [said] that the course is popular with students. “It is always well-enrolled,” she said via email. Scholz said, however, that students have recently become trepidatious over debates about homosexuality within the Methodist church.
“Right now our UMC students seem to be rather concerned about the ecclesial situation about gay ordination and gay marriage in the [Methodist church],” Scholz said, adding: “It is breaking the hearts of many UMC members, and our UMC students worry about their ministerial future in light of the decision to disallow gay ordination and gay marriages in UMC congregations.”
Scholz was referring to the recent decision of the United Methodist Church to “strengthen its ban on gay and lesbian clergy and same-sex marriages,” by holding that “the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching.”
The instructor said she has received positive feedback on the course. “Students love to study materials that they have never encountered anywhere else in their previous studies on the undergrad level and at the seminary level,” she wrote, adding that she makes her students work “very hard.”
The course’s syllabus indicates that students are required to write several blog posts, two papers, and participate in a class-wide Buzzfeed page.
Students post blog entries to the course’s website. Titles of those posts include “Ehud and King Eglon – a Queer Reading,” “White (American) Homophobia,” and “The Queerness of the Priests: Exodus 27-30.”
The posts are all nameless. The website states that the class “provide[s] anonymity in the posting because some future clergy worry about being discriminated if they express solidarity with the LGBTQIA/queer communities.”
The school’s media relations department did not respond to a request for comment on the class.
[TBC: Since the Bible is clear in its statements concerning homosexuality or any departure from the demands of the Word of God, it shouldn’t be surprising that new “interpretations” should be promoted. The bottom line, however, is that the course’s alleged hermeneutics (interpretations) are without biblical, grammatical, contextual, or any legitimate definitions of the words used.
As we have pointed out, “Biblically steadfast churches will face a great deal of trouble, both legally and socially. Sadly, they will constitute a small remnant out of the multitudes of churches that claim to be Christian. The Scriptures indicate this prophetically, and it is what we are seeing take place throughout this country. The Apostle Paul, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, wrote that most Christians in the latter days will not follow the teachings and instructions of the Bible: ‘For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine’ ” (2 Timothy:4:3, see also the October 2015 TBC).]