When should I trust the Bible?


The Ashers Bakery case regarding same sex marriage, has raised confusion once again as to how I should use the Bible for guidance.

It has been quoted to support husband and wife only marriage and Leviticus 18:22 does say no man is to have sexual relations with another man. This is easy to understand and provides clear guidance on these issues. But is the Bible a reliable source of guidance?

Leviticus goes on to describe in 25:44-46 how to buy slaves and pass them on to our children as an inheritance – but no-one follows this guidance anymore.

Leviticus 19:27-28 tells me not to trim my beard nor print any tattoos upon myself – however trimmed beards and tattoos are very popular today.

Leviticus 11:7 gives instructions not to eat pig because it is an animal that doesn’t chew its cud – but pork is sold in many restaurants and supermarkets.

Yet no controversy surrounds these and many other issues mentioned in the Bible. They seem to be just ignored. And this is where my confusion arises. What do I follow and what do I ignore? And who decides? Should references to marriage in the Bible be ignored also? With so many questions, I struggle to find confidence in biblical teaching.

Thomas, Belfast

Rev Angus Stewart replies to this letter