A CAREFUL VIEW OF SCRIPTURE with Regard to LGBT Questions
Holiness and Politics
Introduction: I don't really care what your political position is (actually I do but that is not the point in this discussion). What I do care about is how we ... as Christians ... represent ourselves in the world. We are told to be in the world but not of the world (John 17:13-23). Usually we think of this in terms of supporting particular laws that we believe are in line with scripture. However being holy is more than that or dare I say ... its even different than that since sincere Christians may disagree about which biblical morals should be supported by law. For example ... we believe in freedom of religion in the United States ... but scripture calls us to worship Christ and the Ten Commandments tell us to have no other God before Jehovah God (the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). So it is obvious that not all commands of scripture are enacted into law. And while we may certainly love our country (I certainly do ) our primary loyalty is to the Kingdom of God. We are to be salt and light (Matthew 5:13)... and the weapons of our warfare are to be spiritual not carnal (worldly) (II Cor. 10:4). Unfortunately ... I have discovered much to my sorrow ... that this is often not the case. So I include below ... many examples where we were not "in the world but not of it " ... where we were not using spiritual weapons but, instead, used carnal ones. And I would remind you that Jesus said that if our salt loses its taste it is good for nothing but to be thrown into the fire. (Matthew 5:13)
Alleged Free Speech issues... (Note: for a primer on Free Speech and Hate Crime Laws see here)
Each case or situation below is a summary view. Click on the title or case or links for a detailed analysis.
Ake Green Case This is the story of a pastor allegedly sentenced to prison for preaching against homosexuality. The reality is somewhat different than what the headline implies. Typically ... the fact that he never went to prison .... that this was done to test the law of Sweden ... that the sermon was very derogatory and that free speech won the day are left out.
Philadelphia Eleven Case of people being arrested for preaching the gospel. The reality is somewhat different than what the headline implies. Typically ... that fact that they crashed someone else's event .... that they used bull horns to "peacefully share the gospel" .... that they ignored police instruction ... and practiced civil disobedience are left out.
Pro-life Nurse Free Speech Case of a nurse whose free speech rights were allegedly violated. The reality is somewhat different than what the headline implies. Typically ... the fact that the nurse was operating inside the safe zone for the clinic is left out.
Video Duplicator Case of a person forced to make video copies of affirming material .. (Don't let the headline fool you ... its not what you think)
Alleged Religious freedom issues..
Campground in New Jersey Case of a church being sued for not allowing a gay wedding . The reality is somewhat different from what the headline implies. Typically ... the fact that this was not a church but a campground pavilion ... that public tax dollars were used to help build this pavilion and campground ... and that the NJ Green Acres provision that allowed for tax dollars had specific public access requirements is left out. Last time I checked ... they had opted out of the N.J. Green Acres program and can now discriminate all they want.
Salvation Army Case of losing their meals on wheels fund. The reality is somewhat different than what the headline implies. Typically ... the fact that they were funded by the govt. ... ... that conservative groups objected to them providing benefits to same sex couples ... that this refusal (after influenced by these groups ... disqualified them for the funding is left out.
Indiana RFRA as of March 31, 2015 Conservatives claim that radical liberals have distorted the meaning of this legislation ... but again ... its not what you think. It was put together on purpose to allow refusal of service to gay and lesbian folks seeking products for their gay wedding.
Bogus Gay parenting studies....
Regnerus NFS study: claimed that adult children from same sex parenting families were less emotionally healthy than adult children from opposite sex families. But the data was hopelessly skewed with the researcher lumping in data from children of divorce and/or whose parents had a one time same sex affair under the umbrella of same sex parenting.
Phoney claims that pastors of churches will be forced to officiate same sex weddings...
Claims that churches "will be shutdown" if they continue to be anti-gay
See link ... There are multiple claims out there that people are trying to shut down churches ... Once you get past the sensationalist headlines what they really mean is a loss of tax exempt status for churches. This is more about a 1954 law that restricts churches from financing of supporting political campaigns. And ... it is a legal case that some pastors are trying to create by violating this law. Its hard to blame other people for something you are trying to do to yourself. Again ... see the link for more.
Denying Employee Protection to Gay Folks...
Christian groups have continually denied employee protection to lgbt folks for years (decades even). The law that would give lgbt folks protection from being fired or not hired due to their sexual orientation is called ENDA. LGBT folks are human beings and have a right to be able to support themselves without fear of being fired for who they are. See this page for more. Also see this page for a response to the typical objections to ENDA. Note: The page I am referencing is quite a few years old. However the principles are the same.
This is just the tip of the iceberg. It gets worse and is ... in fact ... endless. In my research I discovered...
Boycotting of businesses like McDonald’s for not staying neutral on this issue (apparently its fine for wedding shops not to stay neutral) (link)
Pamphlets that claim that lgbt folks do not have civil rights (Link)
False unscientific information about gay parenting (see Regnerus study linked earlier)
Here is an additional link for further investigation. I don't have the time to detail all the offenses. You might also check out this entry Dr Warren Throckmorton’s blog …He is a conservative Christian college psychology professor with a traditional sex ethic. As with all things, on these and other links I share, use discernment.
And ... last but not least ... an example from an exgay organization....
PFOX is an orientation change ministry. There are several problems with this billboard. First of all ... those aren't twins ... They are two pictures of the exact same person. Second of all ... the man on the billboard is an out and proud gay man. He was a model for a photo agency and sold the rights for his picture to be used and sold by them. He was rather surprised to see his picture used this way. See here for the full story. Thirdly ... their reference to twin studies is hardly conclusive. If it was this simple you would have heard about it already. if you want to research this for yourself simply type in "twin study" into a google search window. Here are some references to consider.... APA Link ...other link. Twin studies are complex ...their findings are questioned on multiple issues ...not just homosexuality studies. To imply a fifty fifty split as this billboard and organization does is wreck-less and just plain incorrect. The reality is ... no one knows why some folks are gay ... and twin studies are inconclusive on this. Finally ... to use such false questionable information as a foundation for an orientation change ministry's approach is deceptive and misleading. What is missing here is what professionals call 'informed consent'. This is where the patient (or parents) are made fully aware of what the facts and expectation are so that they can make an informed choice. Unfortunately ...along with the false gospel that often accompanies this making an informed choice is not what typically happens with orientation change ministries.
What does scripture say about all of this?
A simple look at Proverbs 6:16-19 reveals that lying lips, a false witness, and feet that are quick to make mischief are things the Lord hates and are ... in fact ... an abomination to him. Additionally, I Corinthians 5:11 condemns sexual immorality and slander all in the same verses as does I Corinthians 6:9-10.
As a church (universal), I have to conclude that we are not the righteous people that we thought we were. We have been duped/betrayed by our own brothers and sisters in Christ who have exchanged the truth of God for a lie ... for an idol of an anti-gay politics and anti-gay ideologies that goes way beyond stating a moral viewpoint. Whenever we set up something to be more important than Christ we have created an idol ... something that we give preferential treatment to. When that happens the principles of Christ-likeness and holiness (such as telling the truth and not slandering others) fall by the way side. This is an abomination to God. While you or I may not individually or collectively be doing this, it is important to remember that there is only one church ... one body ... regardless of separation by denomination and/or by time. We are not isolated from the rest of the body. We cannot say we are not part of Christ's body, the church (I Corinthians 12:12-25). When one member of that church suffers we all suffer ... when one member of that church rejoices we all rejoice (I Corinthians 12:26). In this case some members of Christ's church (lgbt folks) are suffering due to the actions of other members of Christ's church. And it reflects on the entire church whether we are a participant in this or not.
Holiness is not just a position on things we believe to be sexually immoral. Nor is it limited to a position on abortion. Holiness of heart and life involves all attributes of Christ-likeness. The world already knows we are missing the mark here. That's likely part of the reason why there are those who hate us. This hurts our witness and decimates the great commission that Christ has given us. I believe that each of us that calls themselves a Christian as a thinking, breathing, praying people need to rethink and re-evaluate our current course in this country and turn back to God ... repenting of the many failings that we have either participated in or allowed through our silence. History shows that silence is a position. It is not neutral. All that it takes for the above evil of lies and deception to prosper is for good people to do nothing.
I don't know how you will personally process all of this information. I only know what I am going to do. I want nothing to do with the hijacking of Christianity by Christians who have made a hobby of lies, innuendo, and slander. I know many good and godly gay people ... many of them in committed relationships and/or(same sex) married. I know of many other good and Godly gay folks who sense a call / direction to celibacy. And I know of affirming churches where gay Christians are growing in Christ. The church is not of one mind on this issue (link). I can remain loyal to my own church's viewpoint while supporting the religious freedom of other Christians in their moral viewpoint. So I personallypolitically supportall lgbt rights as a part of religious freedom in this wonderful country of ours. To do so is IMHO a step forward ... not a step backwards. After all ... we live in a country that freely allows people to not worship Jehovah, to worship other gods, to worship the devil, or worship nothing at all. Our country does not and should not exalt certain Christian beliefs above others but allows for freedom for those beliefs as well as freedom to believe those who follow different faith traditions. Those of you who are reading this will need to find your own path through this mess .... just please make sure it's a holy one.
May the Lord grant us wisdom and grace to become the people He has called us to be and to undo the damage that has been done in His name. May He guide us and direct us in fulfilling the Great Commission in this diverse culture in which we live.
Denominational Disclaimer The thoughts, ideologies, interpretations, and beliefs expressed on this website are my own.
I believe that what I have written on this website is within the boundaries of the theology and beliefs of my denomination. However, homosexuality is a very complex topic with varied viewpoints. Since this is the case, it should be understood that the views expressed by myself and other Christians on this website and in our blog and / or forums (if we have them) may not necessarily reflect the official position of my / their respective denominations. Additionally, when / if I reference various web resources it should not be assumed to be an endorsement of the entirety of that resource.