To address this question I first want to cover a Jewish concept called "binding and loosing." Jesus said "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." "I tell you the truth, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." --Matthew 16:19; 18:18
For me, believing in the Bible is very easy. Actually applying the Bible is very tricky and sometimes quite difficult. The concept of binding and loosing was something the Jewish rabbi's did with scripture. They would sometimes lock themselves in quiet rooms for days and sometimes weeks to wrestle with interpretations of scriptures and their applications to the current day and culture. When the rabbi's would "bind" a scripture, they were declaring that after careful study and application, that scripture still held meaning for that day. If they were to "loose" a scripture, then they were declaring that although that scripture had meaning in the past, it did not have the same application or meaning that day.
Jesus gave us some examples of binding and loosing in His ministry. He binds murder to include anger.(Matt 5:22) He binds adultery to include divorce/remarriage.(Matt 5:32) He binds/extends the commandment on loving neighbor to loving enemies. (Matt 5:44) But he looses Sabbath-keeping so that one might harvest grain by hand and even heal people.(Matt 12:12) He also looses the restrictions against idolatry by allowing tax payments to Caesar who considered himself a god. (Mark 12:17) Make no mistake, Jesus was a first century, Jewish Rabbi and He did what rabbis did—they took the law and applied it to daily practical issues of morality—loosening the grip of some rules and tightening and extending others. He never disposed of the law, but applied it to real-life through the process of binding and loosing.
Jesus said "I give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven." Since that was the statement right before he discussed binding and loosing, I think we can say in context, that He was giving us permission to bind and loose the scriptures. Some (particularly Protestants) will say that Jesus was giving permission to bind and loose, only to "the Church." If we go along with this, we have to recognize that "the church" did not exist yet, in the way it does today. But even if we do accept that, which Church? The Catholic Church? The Mormon Church? The Baptists? Which doctrine gets the keys. According to wikipedia there may be as many as 38,000 Christian denominations. I have seen other authors cite as many as 130,000. So which Church do we give the authority to "bind and loose?" If we go out of context of the scripture and look at the actual concept of binding and loosing, we find that it was not done by the church, but by individual rabbi's. Each rabbi would bind and loose certain scriptures and this was called their "yoke." It was list of interpretations that the rabbi held, that he would teach his students. For instance one rabbi might say you could walk one mile on the sabbath and not violate the law. And then another rabbi would say you could walk 3 miles and not violate the sabbath. Both ideas were a part of that rabbi's teachings, or his yoke.
Now that you understand what binding and loosing is, let's see what we can do with it today. I want ot take a bold step and attempt to apply binding and loosing to homosexuality. Before you condemn me to hell for eternity, for twisting God's word to suit my own needs, please hear me out. It makes perfect sense to me, why God would forbid homosexuality 6000 years ago. In the days of Moses, the world's population was very low. And we know that the population of the Israelites was around only 1.5 million. If God wanted them to increase their population, they would not be able to be "fruitful and multiply" if they were in homosexual relationships. Since then, the population of "God's people" is estimated to be at around 2 billion people. That is one third of the population. We have defiantely been "fruitful and multiplying." We have populated the earth as God intended. So do we still need the decree that homosexuality be banned? Especially when we consider how many parts of the world are suffering from a lack of resources. If we are so over-populated in some parts of the world that there are not enough resources for everyone, should we still be being fruitful and multiplying? Is it possible that we can "loosen" the restriction on homosexuality based on what is happening in our world today?
This is the point where condemnation comes flying my way, especially from my fundamentalist brethren. Let me point out that I am not trying to "re-write" the Bible or God's word. I am simply trying to do what rabbi's have done for hundreds of years, what Jesus did, and what Jesus gave us permission to do. And even if we all decide that we cannot under any circumstances "loose" homosexuality, let me explain what I believe my "job" is, as a christian. I believe that it is my job to lovingly and gently bring them to the cross. And then leave them there, and let the Holy Spirit do, whatever He will. It is not for me to change the heart of a person. I find it to be the height of arrogance, when a christian believes that they are going to change someone's heart and bring them to God. And please consider how many homosexuals are scared to death to enter a church because of the abuse they have received from christians. Shouldn't we do everything we can to encourage them to come to Jesus, "as they are" and let Him change their hearts as He sees fit?
Please consider my words, consider the scriptures I have provided, consider your heart when you speak to someone about our Father, and consider your mission as a christian.
in His grip,