August 3, 2012

  • “What did Jesus ever say about homosexuality?”

    That is something I have heard from a few people, in light of recent events. A quip akin to “But Jesus never addressed homosexuality” is, I assume, supposed to imply that because Jesus never said it was bad, it is okay.

    To that, I have to wonder: What did Jesus ever say about arson? About domestic violence? About animal abuse? About pedophilia? How about guns? France? Video games?

    To think that something is not a sin because Jesus specifically never mentioned it is… interesting. I suppose I could say “Y’know, I really enjoy dousing kittens in gasoline and lighting them on fire – which is totally okay, because Jesus never specifically addresses that.”


    As for homosexuality specifically, it is established as a sin (even an “abomination”) in both Old and New Testaments, and God’s intended order for a relationship to be between a man and a woman is also established in both. You could argue that the entire book of Ephesians is about proper marital order, and significant portions of Titus are devoted to not only describing appropriate gender roles, but includes the qualification for an elder as “the husband of one wife.” These sentiments are included in 1 Timothy, albeit being a very similar letter anyway. There are, of course, examples elsewhere that affirm these values.

    I mean, seriously: If you use the quoted title question as a line in your argument, I have to question your motivation. What are you looking for, when you study the words of Jesus? What do you seek when you read your Bible? If you are looking for a passage that says “homosexuals are exempt from sin,” or “homosexuals are perfect,” you are not going to find it.

    But you know what Jesus does address in his words? He explicitly rebuked the religious leaders of his day for getting caught up in the little details of the law. In fact, he also rebuked them specifically for their practice of trying to put him into a “trap” by twisting his words, which I am sure they did by close examination.

    There is no such thing as a perfect homosexual. There is no such thing as a perfect heterosexual. They are sinners. Everyone is: People with tattoos, people who wear clothes with blended fabrics, people who have ever lied, people who have ever insulted another person, these are all imperfect people.

    Everyone needs Jesus. Straight people, gay people, little people, big people, black people, white people, purple people, male people, female people, people who like to try and say that genders and genitalia do not exist, people who like stargazing, people who hate Nickelback, people who like Christopher Nolan – every single one of them, everyone walking the planet today, they all need Jesus.

    It is not about people, it is all about Christ. In fact, whenever you move the discussion away from Jesus, you make it worse. Remember: Jesus.

    Also, Christians, the next time you get a debater to concede that homosexuality is indeed a sin, but then they ask what the difference is between homosexuality and all the other sins? Here is one response you can use: While it is true that all people are sinners, and all need Jesus, and no sin will have any greater effect on their damnation than another – typically murderers are not proud to be murderers, and there is no such thing as a Rapist Pride Parade (at least, I sure hope not). To a Biblical Christian who believes that homosexuality is a sin, expressing such a prideful lifestyle about it is remarkably… notable. I will use the word “notable” here.

Comments (8)

  • @filmchick85@twitter - Thank you for some kind words. I agree that issues of faith are intensely personal, and likely not easily changed. I suppose the two differences for me are 1) I do not believe that anyone is good, and my Biblical view on this is affirmed every day of my life, while 2) I definitely believe that absolute truth exists. Understanding, though, is certainly some sort of beginning, and there are items I wish each side of the debate would understand (obviously?). And, yeah, it’s a ramble trigger!

  • Chris, your response was very well thought out and raises
    some valid points.  You are right in
    saying that the church throughout history has changed its opinion and then found
    support in the bible.  It wasn’t because
    the bible changed though.  For instance 1
    Corinthians 14:34 has probably been quoted to support the opinion that women
    shouldn’t have any leadership role in the church however 1 Corinthians 11:5
    talks about women praying and prophesying which doesn’t suggest a silent
    uninvolved role at all.  Whole sermons
    have been dedicated to explaining this. 
    My point is people have been cherry picking from scripture for a long
    time and you’ll get no argument from me on that. You are also probably right about the mainstream church
    changing its opinion of gays in the future. 
    Whether this is right begs the question is one sin greater than another?
    The word says we are all sinners and if we deny that we make God out to be a
    liar. Many people use that to suggest the church should turn a blind eye to
    gays in the body of Christ.   Let’s examine the weight of the sin being
    committed.  There are many examples of one
    sin being greater than another in the bible. 
    First in the Old Testament there was sin that simply required some form
    of restitution and others that required death. 
    Wouldn’t this indicate that some sin was greater than others?  Where do we get the seven deadly sins listed
    in Proverbs?  In John 19:11 Jesus says “..therefore he that delivered me unto thee
    hath the greater sin”.  Also, scripture
    suggest that sinning knowingly is worse than sinning unknowingly.  2 Peter 2:20-21 sums it up.  If you sin knowingly you are worse off than
    if you sinned unknowingly.  This last
    point probably speaks more to the topic of this conversation more than anything
    else.  You summed it up quite well
    yourself when you said “ homosexuality is a sin and think it a waste of time to argue
    How is it then, that the church can say that this is an undeniably
    sinful lifestyle and marry gay and lesbian couples?  How can the church celebrate this lifestyle
    and accept it as normal?  If we admit it
    is a sin then we admit believers who walk in this way sin knowingly and
    therefore are that much more offensive to God! 
    We can’t just accept it.  Now do I
    think the gay man or woman has any less right to be the choir director or other
    church leader than an admitted drunk or adulterer or pedophile?  No!   I
    think known unrepentant sinners have no business leading God’s people in any
    capacity.  Unrepentant is the key word in
    that statement.  You talked about the
    church being of the opinion that the only good homosexual is the closeted one
    and make the argument that no one respects the forcing of homosexuals to
    downplay their lives.  It’s no different
    than any other sin.  No one celebrates or
    accepts other sins. Homosexuality should be no different.   

  • @Christopher Robinson@facebook - @jaybdub - Meh, there is also a lot to be said about the New Testament usage of “slave” in English translations — something I am not completely qualified to speak to completely, but in my understanding, the “bondservant” of the households was under a very different relationship and system of recompense than, say, the American iteration of slavery that we are, unfortunately, familiar with. And even if the bondservanthood was a “bad” thing, Paul essentially tells them, hey, remain in righteousness whatever your situation.

    But what I want to be more clear about: The closing of my post, about the difference between homosexuality and other sins, was not intended to portray the opinion that homosexuality is somehow “okay,” acceptable, or tolerable if it is private. It is still a sin.

    I am grateful to Jaydub (how I know him!) for bringing up the matter of repentance, though. It is an extraordinarily deep, rich concept, one that we Christians are called to, and definitely echoes on this and related topics — but also such a meaty, weighty thing that it would demand another blog post or two for me to address to my satisfaction, heh.

    Further, on the matter of any sin being “greater” or “worse” than other — always a fun topic! There is also Biblical mention of the one unforgivable sin being the rejection of/blasphemy against the Holy Spirit. However, to clarify: When I referred to sins being equal, I was purely referring to them from an eternal perspective.

    Ultimately (please read that: ULTIMATELY), a billion years from now… whether you are a homosexual or not will not matter. At all. The only item that will matter is whether or not you have Jesus as your Lord, your Savior, your Advocate. Your friend.

    At the end of all things, all humanly, Earthly matters and objects will belong to God or Satan. Either to eternal glory or thrown into the fire.

    Thanks for the discussion, guys.

  • Oh, also! One more thing: @Christopher Robinson@facebook - About mainstream churches accepting homosexuality in 30 years… I hear ya, in terms of the fact that they may happen. But it will be a tragic thing when it does. Often (too often), the “mainstream” church is too eager to adopt the “mainstream,” worldly mentalities and ethics and coolness factors of the trends of the time.

    Yes, hermeneutics change across entire denominations. Human beings show a wide capacity for Biblical interpretation. Some churches still require females to wear head coverings (hats) in church. Many churches were opposed to mixed-race marriages 40 years ago, based on Old Testament passages that would seem to be against such a thing.

    While there are some issues that are not among the “main and plain” eternal-difference issues that affect my salvation, and there are some issues I am unsure of and have not yet developed a robust theology of (endtimes! I have no idea! will study further…), homosexuality is one I am confident on… even if the mainstream church will someday disagree with me.

    Whether the modern church’s eventual leanings will reflect my confidence will be an interesting thing to see.

  • @Christopher Robinson@facebook - @theericbailey:  Chris, I was going to speak to  the point about slavery but figured I’d stick to the original topic.  Since you bought it up, I have to say that I agree with Eric’s original comment about Jesus never condemning arson or lighting kittens on fire ( Hey, a furry kitten would make a good accelerant !).  Anyhow, that argument isn’t valid.  Also, while searching the scriptures in an effort to keep from saying something wrong or flat out stupid, I found some that would support what Eric pointed out about the definitions. Suffice it to say that within the same text that says slaves obey your masters, masters were warned not to threaten those in their charge.  I’m also pretty sure that old testament law stated slaves were to be set free after a certain number of years and that if they wanted to remain in their masters house they pierced their ear in some symbolic manner and they would remain a slave.  This to me would indicate that slavery wasn’t meant to be forever, nor was it meant to be a cruel exercise of some sort of racial entitlement.  The fact that there was a provision for a slave who loved his master enough to reject his own freedom indicates that at least in some cases it happened.  Of course the history of America makes any decent American cringe at the thought of any sort of slavery but those are the facts. I’ve always taken “slave” in those scriptures to be more accurately described as one required by law to be a servant for whatever reason, rather than property and less than human.   My point is that people who used this text to defend slavery back in the day made the mistake of wrapping the bible around their theology rather than the other way around.  There was no biblical excuse for what happened in America.  People simply turned a blind eye to what the word was saying and heard the part that pleased them.  I don’t agree that The Bible can be accurately used to defend both sides of such an argument.  The Bible says what it says and people will continue to impose their theology on it, but that doesn’t make it right.  Now perhaps you have historical knowledge that I don’t.  In that case I say, please enlighten me.  But that’s my belief.  

    Eric:  I hope you haven’t tired of us.  I enjoy this type of discussion.  If you’d rather we continue our debate elsewhere I would understand.  

  • @jaybdub - Haha, no problem — it is not that I grew tired (ergo, the shrug), merely that I put my point forward (primarily re: slavery context), and was told “no, what you have heard is incorrect so you are wrong,” so I figured I had reached the intellectual stalemate here! :) But I love these discussions too, no worries.

  • @Christopher Robinson: Clearly you have done more searching of the scriptures than I’ve had the time to do myself. LOL I’d still like to take this discussion and the original discussion off line . As for now I gotta get to sleep. @theericbailey: Thanks for the hospitality and I’ll see you Sunday.

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