An Exercise in Picking & Choosing What to Read AND Believe
This post and this post have engendered some spirited discussion between a poster named Clare Flourish, a Christian who defends the homosexual lifestyle as a God-given gift, and me, who follows what the Bible says on the matter.
Clare’s follow up post is a veritable case study on how to read into things what you want to be there, instead of what is actually there. She does that to both my words and the words of the Bible. I suppose if she’s lax with Scripture reading, I should expect no better given that Scripture contains the words of God himself while I am just a man with no special revelation.
[Cory] wants to save me from that Hell to which all unrepentant gay people will inevitably go after death. I want to save him from hell now, from the idea that humanity is naturally wicked. 
Really? That’s interesting. If you read my comment, I said this:
Finally, gay people are no more damned than any of us, for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. But we are also urged to live in a manner worthy of the calling to which we are called, which gay people who are living in homosexual relationships are NOT.
Does that mean you’re going to hell? Well, I wouldn’t say that. Probably not. It means that you have a sin in your life and that must be dealt with. It doesn’t mean God loves you less; he did, after all, call you to be a Christian.
You will have to deal with this in your own time and in your own way. I see you’ve given this issue a lot of thought, and I applaud that. However, I think you’ve come to the wrong conclusions and I’m not afraid to say that you have. Just as you are not afraid to say that I’ve come to the wrong conclusions. (emphasis added) 
So I’m not trying to save Clare from any hell, future or otherwise. What I’m trying to do is be her Christian brother and point her away from sin that is impeding her relationship with the Lord. I don’t think she’s going to hell and I can’t save her from a place she’s not going. I think she has a sin that needs to be eliminated.
As to the idea that humanity is naturally wicked, well that’s pretty much the unanimous teaching of Scripture and of history. I’ve already covered that elsewhere, so I’m not going to dive into it now.
[Cory] came back with three articles, showing that Genesis 1 does not contradict Genesis 2 and that the Centurion’s pais was not his lover, even though the word means precisely that. You know, proper Scholarship, delving into the meaning of the Greek and Hebrew and everything. 
First, I gave her an argument with actual scholarship. Her response? Ignore it and assert again exactly what I’m telling her isn’t true. My toddler does the same thing, only with a pout and a foot stomp for emphasis.
He challenged me to show that David and Jonathan might have done anything more than hug in an entirely hetero-manly way, and I admit defeat. I am not going to show that to his satisfaction. 
Yet, I’ll bet she still believes they are gay lovers. She can’t show they are, but she’s going to choose to believe it anyway. After all, it helps her position.
Ready for some delicious irony? Here it goes:
Those writers start from the desire to show the Bible uniformly condemns homosexuality, and does not really contradict itself, rather than looking into the Greek and Hebrew to find what they might mean. 
We can debate the meaning of malakoi or arsenokoitai endlessly, and there are theologians who can create impressively detailed arguments for any view. I may choose which of these I like. I choose the arguments which say the Centurion’s pais was his lover, because my Christianity is liberal, not conservative. I start with liberal Christianity. 
So, my writers start from the idea that homosexuality is sinful and work really hard to defend that — which is wrong. Her writers probably start from the notion that homosexuality is beautiful and work really hard to prove that — which is fine. What is one to do? Clare’s solution is to choose the one that benefits her (as a homosexual) and believe that.
Clare closes the piece by saying that conservative Evangelical Christianity is about exerting control. In a way, it is. We are about recognizing our innate sinfulness and our inability to please God of our own accord. Then, we set out empowered by the Holy Spirit to control those desires of the flesh that displease God. In so doing, we magnify those things that do please God, those same virtues of love, compassion, mercy, and the Galatians 5:19-20 list.
- See note #1. Clare refers to two articles I linked to. First is <http://www.tektonics.org/jedp/creationtwo.html> for the synthesis of Genesis 1 & 2; a topic I wrote on as well, <https://josiahconcept.org/2012/02/06/contradiction-tuesday-creation-narrative/>. For more information on the Centurion and pais, see <http://www.robgagnon.net/articles/homosexCenturionStory.pdf>.
- See note #1.
- Ibid. Emphasis added.
Posted on December 3, 2012, in Heresy, Marriage, Morality, Religion, Sin and tagged Christian living, homosexual relationships, homosexuality, LGBT Issues, liberal christianity. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.
Pingback: Uncharted Rocks! « Living On Tilt