'Bible should be taken literally'

PUBLISHED: 02:01 23 July 2008 | UPDATED: 22:07 15 June 2010

Having read your lead article No need to offend (July 9), I was struck by the comments of Rev Janet Webber on the majority of Christians who cannot accept homosexuality as normal. The charge is that we take the Bible literally" and take the Bible out o

Having read your lead article No need to offend (July 9), I was struck by the comments of Rev Janet Webber on the majority of Christians who cannot accept homosexuality as normal. The charge is that we "take the Bible literally" and "take the Bible out of its social context". Even allowing for the use of symbolism and parables (as in the ministry of Jesus), is it not the case that we are to take the Bible literally and, as its message is timeless and universal, the social context is largely irrelevant? If a minister cannot take the Bible in any sense literally, I cannot see what there is left to preach about each Sunday.Although we are called upon to have an intelligent understanding of its message, we are not at liberty to change it to accommodate our lifestyle. The aim of the Christian gospel is to change us! That was the whole point of the death and resurrection of Jesus - to give us the opportunity of a "forgiven past and a new future". It was what Jesus explained to a religious leader of his day as his need for a "new birth", a spiritual regeneration from within a person which only God can produce in response to our repentance and faith. But there has to be an admission on our part of the need to be changed. I hope that, like the religious leader Jesus spoke to, Rev Webber and anyone else might consider the relevance of the words of Jesus "you must be born anew".S John SmithHomer LaneSeaton

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