Posts tagged ‘homosexuality’

Homosexuality Part 2: Saying The Wrong Things

 

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.

Homosexuality: Asking The Wrong Questions

ImageHang around with a group of Evangelical Christians for awhile and the topic of homosexuality will surely come up.  This isn’t necessarily a bad thing but Christians tend to put each other in one of two groups.  There’s the mega liberal  group comprised of Socialists, Democrats, Methodists, and/or apostates that not only believe homosexuality is okay with God, he ordains it because they give us modern fashion and make the property values in our neighborhoods go up.  The other group is the dumb, hateful, Fox News worshiping kind that believe homosexuality is the cause of AIDS, rising gas prices, and Barrack Obama. 

Which are you, a blaspheming Socialist or a hate-mongering member of the Westboro Baptist Church?

 You only have two options and you have to choose, right now. 

Do it. Do it now.

I wish there were more exaggeration in those examples but the debate on homosexuality has almost gotten that absurd.  Frankly, I hate both sides.  I’m making a third group.  From now on, when someone asks me about my view on Homosexuality from a Christian standpoint, here will be my response:

Who cares?  It’s a dumb question, and the wrong one to be asking.

To better explain my stance, we have to look at the most fundamental question in this debate, the question of whether or not homosexuality is a sin.  I’ve read books from both sides of the issue.  There are people who honestly and legitimately have solid evidence to believe that it is not a sin.  Also, the same applies to those who believe that it is.  No matter where you stand, if you do a little studying, you have to admit that the Bible is pretty ambiguous on the topic (except for in the Old Testament where everything was an abomination).  But I’ll give you my personal answer to this  fundamental question:

Who cares?  It’s a dumb question, and the wrong one to be asking.

To be clear, I actually do care about the issue from a Biblical standpoint.  I wouldn’t have read books on the topic it if I didn’t.  My problem with the debate is that the question is often asked  for the wrong reasons.  Today, it’s too-often asked for people’s own agenda, instead of for furthering the Gospel.

Let’s all get on the same page for a moment and agree (or pretend) that homosexuality is a sin.  Okay, now what?  Some would say, “Ha! We can’t allow homosexuals to get married or adopt or join the army or work the nursery (or even attend) at church!  Why?  Because homosexuality is a sin!” 

Let’s take a look at how ridiculous this sounds.  Many Christians want to forbid these things simply because homosexuality is a sin.  Why is homosexuality treated as the one sin that makes God get stomach cramps?  Aren’t we all sinners?  Have you ever seen a perfect nursery worker?  The Bible talks about gluttony being as sin.  Can you imagine the fallout if churches started treating chunky people like they have cooties? 

Let’s look at my own life for a second.  I’ve hated people before, and the Bible says I’m a liar and a murderer.  The Bible also equates lust with adultery.  Oops.   I’m also an American, which means I’m rich in comparison to the rest of the world.  The Bible says it’s essentially impossible for me to enter into the Kingdom of God.  It’s why I thank God for his grace because if it were up to the law, I would be a lying, murdering adulterer who is doomed for perdition.  But even so, it’s okay for me to watch the kids in the nursery, go to Bible College, and have my minister’s license.  After all, murderers aren’t that bad, right?  But those homosexuals…we have to keep them away.

And of course, the biggest issue is homosexual marriage.  Again, because homosexuality is a sin, we can’t let them marry.  We have to protect the sanctity of marriage.  The problem with this logic is that it’s mind-blowingly hypocritical.  If we really think that it is a Christian’s duty to make sure marriage is sanctified through political means, then we’re doing a really bad job at keeping it holy.  Why are we not rallying to forbid divorce or remarriage for divorced people?  Why are we rallying to make adultery a felony?  And since Jesus equated lust with adultery, why aren’t we petitioning congress to create a lust Gestapo?  

Here’s my absolute favorite – the Bible treats divorce as a no-no, but if we get our marriage annulled, then it’s okay.  We’ve given a secular judge the right to take the sin out of divorce.  That’s the problem with legalizing morality.  If we’re going to ban one thing based on a Biblical view of marriage, then we’d better ban everything else the Bible talks about in that respect.   And I don’t see any Christians being okay with those ideas.

Up to this point I’ve only picked on one group.  However, the most important point I want to make is a problem that exists on both sides.  In the heat of this debate, I wonder how often we forget about what we’re truly called to do: bring people in to the Kingdom of God; because at the end of the day, the only real thing that’s important is what Christ commanded us to do.

So if you honestly believe that homosexuality is a sin, that’s great.  What are your actions doing for the Kingdom of God?  Will marginalizing homosexuals bring them to God?  Will prohibiting marriage bring them closer to God?  If you believe that homosexuality is not a sin, that’s great.  Are you preaching tolerance and acceptance but no gospel?  Are you too busy apologizing for people in the other group but not telling people about Jesus?  Everything must be viewed as secondary to the Gospel.  Everything.

“Yeah, but c’mon, Josh.  Just give us a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’.  Do you think homosexuality is a sin?”

 

…Okay, fine.  I’ll give you my answer….

 

Who cares?  It’s a dumb question and the wrong one to be asking. 

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