This week I read 2 stories and I immediately saw that they were linked. Not that the authors had any intention of collaborating it's just that they both wrote, in very different ways, about what happens if you take the Bible at face value.
The first story is a brief article about a woman whole lived for a year following the Bibles instruction to / about woman at face value. You can read the article here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/the-womens-blog-with-jane-martinson/2011/oct/06/woman-year-living-biblically
The second article was entitled "How can it be fair to say I can't be saved by God if I'm gay?" and it is written by someone with a personal experience of God in their life who just happens to be gay. It includes this sentence "Every Sunday I walk into church to pray and receive disgusted looks from brothers and sisters." which, every time I read it makes something inside me hurt. I hurt because it just doesn't fit with Jesus' words to us "By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." How much love is being shown to the author of the article? She then poses the following question "Are the 12 mentions of homosexuality in the holy book due to cultural and historical mistranslations and misinterpretations?" which, for me, gets to the heart of the matter. Which is more important following Jesus' command or insisting that the Bible has to be read literally. You can read the whole article here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/belief/2011/oct/05/god-gay-christian-bible
For me, the Bible is very important but it has to be read remembering that we don't have a single original text and that we need to know the social context in which each part was written.