I hadn’t planned on writing a part 2 on homosexuality, but I just saw this video and I had to say something.  The video above is a child at the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle in Indiana.  He’s singing these lyrics:

The Bible’s right

Somebody’s wrong

Romans 1:26 and 27

Ain’t no homos gonna make it to heaven

You may now take a 5 minute break to go throw up.

Other than the borderline mental child abuse in this video, this message isn’t all that out-of-the-ordinary; not with all the recent crazies making their own videos with similar messages.   This particular video struck a nerve with me.  After I watched it, I went to the church’s website and saw these words on its front page:

“The Pastor and members of Apostolic Truth Tabernacle do not condone, teach, or practice hate of any person for any reason”.

WHAT?!?

Sadly, this is another one of those absurd lines of thought I’ve seen in other Christian circles as well.  You can say whatever angry, mocking, violent, vitriolic thing you want about homosexuals….as long as you back it up with the phrase, “Oh no, I don’t hate them.  I love them.  I just hate their sin”.

The problem here is that people have very messed up definitions of love and hate.  Let’s take love first.  Too often people define love simply as thoughts or feelings towards someone.   So when Jesus says I am to love my enemies, it doesn’t matter what I do to them, I’m obeying Jesus as long as I say I love them or having some loving thoughts towards them.  This is the reasoning that Christians used during the Crusades as they slaughtered their enemies.   The same kind of logic is used today.  If you say some really hateful things about someone and then in the next breath say, “but I love them”, you don’t.  You know you don’t truly love them, everyone else knows you don’t truly love them.  Stop trying to fool yourself.

“But Josh, what they were saying in the video wasn’t hate; they were just stating truths in the Bible”.

First of all, how they interpret those two verses in Romans to say “ain’t no homos gonna make it to Heaven” is absolutely bogus.  And even if Romans did say that, their actions were still utterly hateful.

Let’s use an example.  Let’s pretend that there is a rare and deadly disease that only affects a small percentage of the population.  No one can find a cure except one doctor.  The doctor gives the cure to the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle and commissions them to find those who have the disease and heal them.  The church, instead of actually trying to cure people, decides to teach their children cute little songs with the words:

“The disease is no lie

They gonna die

The disease is strong, it makes em’ dirty

Ain’t no sickies gonna live past 30”

The children sing their songs and the adults give them a standing ovation, clapping, laughing, and cheering.  The church records the song and makes it public.  The community is angered, including the doctor, who says to them, “You have the cure for them you idiots!  Why are you doing nothing about it and making songs about how they’ll die?”  The church responds, “But we love them!  It says so right on our website”.

Now, I don’t agree with all the theological implications in this example.  If you strip this story of any religious parallels, and this story actually happened somehow in real life, we would consider the people at that church to be some of the most debased and inhumane people of our time.   Now let’s put the religious parallels back in the story.  In a way, this is what the church actually believes.  They believe the homosexuals have the disease that puts them in hell and they have the cure that will save them.  Instead of saving them, they teach their kids songs about how they won’t make it to heaven.

How can that not be considered hate?

So to the people at the Apostolic Truth Tabernacle, I truly and sincerely hope that you find the truth of the love of God and realize that what you are doing is hate.  The Bible says that if you say you love God yet hate your brother, you’re a liar.  But it doesn’t even take the Bible to realize this.  You’re not fooling anyone with the words on your website.

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Comments on: "Homosexuality Part 2: Saying The Wrong Things" (7)

  1. Josh, I hate to play devil’s advocate (especially since I’d rather it be called reason’s advocate, since I’m unconvinced such a prince of darkness actually exists…. but I digress)…

    To me, I only wonder what is different between your beliefs and those of the church. I can see the difference in your actions and approach as plain as day, and I truly appreciate that. You’re out to make Jesus look good and loving by being a good, loving guy.

    It’s as if you read somewhere that people will know you are a Christian by your love. (John 13:34-35)

    And yet, when we get down to brass tacks, is your core belief really that different? This is not sarcastic, I’m really asking, because I don’t honestly know (any longer). 🙂

    I agree with you that Christianity’s main paradigm is all about selling a cure (salvation) to an illness (sin) and it further posits that we have all sinned and based on that, we all need the cure.

    I think you get that more than most people, actually, and are therefore more willing to look in the mirror than most Christians I meet. Just wondering if you would break it down a little more simply for me.

    • Tony, that’s actually the perfect question; the very same question that gave me quite the ontological shock a few years ago. I still in many ways consider myself an Evangelical but some of my views are fiercely hated by them. I’ve been slowly coming out with my beliefs so all my friends and family won’t think I’ve flipped my lid. So I enjoy these questions because I can actually talk about what I believe without hitting everyone unexpectedly.

      But let me make sure we’re on the same page. If I hear you right, you’re saying that even if you package the message up with love or with hate, it’s still the same message. Humans are diseased, Jesus is the cure, you don’t take the cure you die or go to hell. So even if you wrap it up in the most loving of ways, it’s still a bad message since most people will never take the cure, right?

      As far as your basic Christian doctrines go, I fully believe them. I don’t disagree with anything in the Apostle’s creed. I do disagree with one systematic point, but that one small point makes all the difference in the world.

      Consider two of the more common things you hear in church. One of them is that God loves everyone and wants them to take the cure. The other is God is super big, sovereign, knows everything and get his way on everything. But no one seems to ever put these two things together.

      I believe that God wants to reconcile all things to himself and he will, in fact, somehow, eventually, get his way. So really, it’s not that you’re diseased and I have the cure, it’s we were all diseased and we’re ALL either cured or being cured or will be cured. He wants to reconcile all of us and he gets his way.

      Yes this is Universalism and many people even consider it heresy. But I can full argue it from many standpoints in the Bible and I think it actually makes Christianity make a ton more sense.

      • This is exactly why I asked. I wish more guys like you were running for office. Not that I think religion belongs in politics, like, at all… but since it seems to be the MO lately, why not have someone who really represents lovingkindness and compassion?

        Good stuff.

      • Thanks, man. I appreciate it. And something else we have in common – keeping religion out of politics. Of course, if I were to run for any kind of political office, I’d make subsidizing scotch part of my platform. 😛

      • Hi Josh! When you say “..it’s we are all diseased and we’re ALL either cured or being cured or will be cured.” are you saying that you believe all will go to heaven? Just trying to understand the viewpoint more clearly….

      • Emily, yep! It’s a controversial position but I’m convinced it’s completely Biblical. I mean, I still believe fully in God’s wrath and punishment but I believe his ultimate purpose for all of creation is to reconcile everything. The theme is stated several times through the Bible, both Old and New Testaments. 1 Colossians 1:15-20 nails it on the head.

  2. I feel bad for the kid that has to follow that act. He’ll probably need to find something even more hateful to sing about.

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