Thoughts on the Way Home

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Homosexuality, TSU, and the Bible

Recently I went to watch a showing of a video at Truman State called "For the Bible Tells Me So." A friend of mine thought it would be good for us to go, after watching this trailer for the video. The idea was to watch the video and witness to people afterward concerning the truth about Christ.

I have to say though, I didn't quite realize what the video would be about. I just thought it was general bible bashing type stuff. Well, it was, but specifically it was about homosexuality.

Of the all egregious content, a few things stuck out to me:

1. Media can be powerfully unfair. They totally mad a joke out of Christian history (like Sodom and Gomorrah) by showing ultra cheesy clips from Christian movies that looked like they were produced in the 70's. They also seemed to only interview Christians that were backwater and totally hickish and seemingly uneducated. This was humorous (not to me though), but definitely not accidental. In fact, humor came up again and again.

2. They couldn't get around the biblical texts. Seriously now... I'm not being biased (at least not in an unfair way) when I say that their arguments against verses in Genesis, Leviticus, and especially Romans 1, were totally weak and worthless. They spent 20 minutes on interviews with liberal ministers, theologians, and rabbis trying to debunk the OT verses. Then only about 90 seconds on Romans 1!!! This encouraged me, because even though it was a total dodge, it showed that Romans 1 (to use the verbiage of my pastor Charles) is "too hot to handle."

Their 90 second argumentation said that there were no long term gay relationships in those days, and if Paul could see what gay relationships were nowadays, he wouldn't condemn them. ... That was it. As if long term relationships was what Paul even cared about here! He was saying that homosexuality was a sign that people, having spent a life ignoring and suppressing God, were now being handed over by God to commit this unnatural sin. It was a sign of judgment. Whether short term or long term, who cares! And of course there was no mention of 1 Cor. 6:9 or 1 Tim. 1:10, where the Greek word for homosexual comes from two root words joined together, "male" + "bed." Those verses are kind of hard to dodge too. They read very plainly, but that leads to another point.

3. A literal and "fundamentalist" reading of the bible was show to be the underlying reason for the Christian's identification of homosexuality as a sin. - - - I have no qualms with that. I do take the bible literally, historically, and whatever else it demands for itself.

4. They said that homosexuals that have converted to Christianity can only suppress their old feelings and that Christianity can’t actually change anyone's sexual orientation. - - - I hate that lie. They deny the power of God here. The power of God can overcome genetic makeup if need be (not that that's my view on homosexuality). They don't know anything about the new heart. Is there anything too difficult for God? 1 Cor. 6 mentions homosexuals and then goes on to say (in v 11) "such were some of you... but you were washed, you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of our God and our Lord Jesus Christ..."

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There was something that was good though. I did feel like it was good for me to hear about the suicide rate of homosexuals. It made me realize how, even though it is definitely a sin, I don't ever want to be holding some sign that says "God hates homosexuality" or something like that. What a waste of a Christian voice. That is not my agenda. I'm not a "gay-basher." Of course God hates homosexuals, but he hates arrogant self-centered people too. If I'm going to raise my voice for anything let it be the pronouncement of condemnation on the whole world (not just the hot-topic sins), and then the good news of Christ's death after that, and especially this good news for the worst of sinners. So if I get a chance to talk to homosexuals, I hope to have more of an opening to talk about grace. I'm assuming that a greater majority of them are feeling guilt from their sin and might be a bit more open to listening.

A conversation with a friend of mine from New York recently was sharing common ground here. They were saying that they see homosexuals as the new "tax collectors" in our society. An identifiable group of people that are somewhat outcasts and viewed by others as morally disgusting. I'm starting to think my friend was right. And I too want to have a heart for reaching the worst.

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Two other things:

One, I didn’t realize until almost the end of the documentary that most of the bible ‘experts’ they had commenting on the passages of Scripture were gay and lesbian themselves. That was revealing.

Two, in case you're wondering, there was much laughter during the video, loud applause afterward, and the student leadership's closing statements promoted the correctness of the video. I was definitely not in a like minded crowd.