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August 15, 2013

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As far as loving the "sinner", I would just ask other Christians to think about a particular sin they've committed and imagine if other Christians treated them with hate, disgust and ostracized them because of it. Then ask yourself if that is loving someone.

On the other argument, I agree with Alan, I am not sure why it only being mentioned 6 times would negate it's truthfulness to someone. Reductio Ad Absurdum: Jesus only wept once in the Gospels, therefore, Jesus doesn't really care about anyone. Jesus only walked on water once, therefore, He isn't really that powerful.

And it is recorded only once that He said "I am the truth, the way and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." That doesn't mean it's the only time he said it (the Bible is not a 24/7 recording of everything He said), and more importantly, it doesn't mean it isn't true. What's the criteria for 'mentions' before something is true?

It's very hard to get past the 3:30 mark for me, because in spite of saying he's not doing so, Alan says that those on the "pro-gay theology" side aren't capable or are too stubborn to talk about this issue "logically" or "reasonably."

That's insulting.

He goes on to say that we only respond emotionally, which even though untrue, isn't clearly a valid criticism. Homosexual people are people, God's children. How is it a bad thing to respond with emotions, such as compassion, sympathy, and empathy? If the argument is that we're only responding emotionally, then the onus is on you to establish how that hurts our case.

Again, that's insulting.

He then goes on to say that people on his side of the debate should make it their goal to be gracious, after defining the other said as purely emotive and irrational in their argumentation.

That's insulting, and it's totally inconsistent with how you framed the conversation in the first three and a half minutes of the video.

Getting past the first few minutes, there isn't any elaboration on this video on what the "clear" teaching of Scripture is with regards to homosexual practice. There are assertions, but there is not an argument present. In other words, simply stating, "The Bible clearly condemns homosexuality" isn't a rational argument. There are also verbatim quotes of English Scripture that are translated favorably to Alan's case, to which...

Nowhere in the video is there an argument against the very logical arguments against the traditional interpretations of the six passages. Romans 1 is not nearly as "clear" in Greek (not sure if Alan knows Greek or not) as it is in Alan's English reading.

Leviticus 18 says that male on male sex is an abomination. Leviticus 19 says,

When you offer a sacrifice of well-being to the Lord, offer it in such a way that it is acceptable on your behalf. 6It shall be eaten on the same day you offer it, or on the next day; and anything left over until the third day shall be consumed in fire. 7If it is eaten at all on the third day, it is an abomination; it will not be acceptable.

...

9You shall keep my statutes. You shall not let your animals breed with a different kind; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed; nor shall you put on a garment made of two different materials.

...

27You shall not round off the hair on your temples or mar the edges of your beard. 28You shall not make any gashes in your flesh for the dead or tattoo any marks upon you: I am the Lord.

If you've ever read Leviticus, you know that you can go through almost any chapter of that book and find multiple "abominations" that we Christians disregard completely. The shirt I'm currently wearing is one, as it's made from more than one type of thread!

So, one logical objection to the traditional interpretation of Leviticus 18 that is made by everyone I've ever heard argue this point is, "Why is Leviticus 18:22's abomination binding today, but not Leviticus 19:5's?"

There is no treatment of this argument. There is simply dismissal.

Romans 1 is also read verbatim, but again, Greek is more complicated than Alan's translation. In Greek, there is significant debate about whether Paul is talking about homosexuality as such or if he's talking about a very specific type of prostitution. Moreover, reading Romans 1 without reading Romans 2 misses the whole narrative point of this section of Scripture (in which Paul's entire point is that the Roman church is just as guilty as everyone in Romans 1).

I could cite logical argument after logical argument against Alan's reading of these passages, but I'm left with the question, "What's the point?"

Alan stops just short of name calling here, and it's hard to have a mature, adult conversation when framed in those terms.

To the idea that homosexuality is only mentioned 6 times, my understanding of this is fairly simple:

Homosexuality was never mentioned directly by Jesus. Throughout the rest of Scripture, it is mentioned only briefly.

Yet, in today's Christian culture, it is a dominant theme, around which entire Christian lobbying groups exist.

So I think the point is, if you've never been a Christian or never read Scripture, you might be left with the impression that condemnation of and opposition to homosexuality were integral parts of what Jesus was about.

Thus, to say "The bible only mentions it 6 times" is akin to saying something like, "Why in the world are Christians putting such a disproportionate amount of attention and effort into a topic that the Bible hardly mentions?"

brgulker, it's not a dominant theme in Christian culture. It's a dominant theme of what the media talks about when they talk about Christian culture. That's the part of Christianity they're interested in, so that's what they report on. For example, recently the Pope spoke for over an hour and said a couple sentences about homosexuality, but those sentences got the headlines. (If I remember right, you can hear Mollie Ziegler Hemingway talk about why she thinks that happens here.) That gave a false picture of what actually was dominant in the speech. I literally can only think of one sermon in the last ten years that I heard in a church that mentioned homosexuality.

Lobbying groups are not the church--that is, they're not the normal contact people have with Christianity on a daily basis. And lobbying groups that have anything to do with homosexuality only exist because those groups are supporting traditional marriage, not because they're lobbying against homosexuality (what would that even mean?).

So why do we talk about it here? It's not because we're so focused on it. I would much rather talk about many other things. But it happens to be that the culture is currently putting pressure on Christians to embrace a view of homosexuality that is wrong. This is why it comes up--not because we're obsessed with it, but because our culture is obsessed with getting us to support it.

@brgulker,

In Greek, there is significant debate about whether Paul is talking about homosexuality as such or if he's talking about a very specific type of prostitution. Moreover, reading Romans 1 without reading Romans 2 misses the whole narrative point of this section of Scripture (in which Paul's entire point is that the Roman church is just as guilty as everyone in Romans 1).

You are far off-base in your comments on Romans 1. There is absolutely ZERO question as to Paul's intent and the meaning behind his comments cannot possibly be more clear.

Further, Paul's writings in general are across the board VERY clear on his position on homosexuality: it's a sin, it must be treated as such, and is not compatible with Christianity nor is it characteristic of someone who claims to be a Christian. Looking at several of your comments, you seem to not want to deal with passages such as 1 Cor. 6:9...

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

If you want to address the original Greek language, then in this passage Paul actually specifically singles out two types of homosexuality: those who give themselves as the passive partner in homosexual prostitution, and those who engage in homosexual acts in general.

This is not something we need to "understand", or something we need to "accept". As I have said before, true hate speech is to ignore this issue and give a tacit acceptance, which is clearly more than just some issue trumped up by Christians. We are commanded as Christians to speak the truth in love; for this issue, that comes in the form of identifying this behaviour as a sin, calling the person to repentance before Jesus Christ, and praying that God gives His grace to do so. That's love speech and is the most loving thing I can think of to do towards homosexuals.

By the way, to suggest that Jesus wasn't concerned with homosexuality really demonstrates a misunderstanding of the entire Bible. It is very clear that Paul received his authority, his message, and his teaching directly from Jesus Christ himself (see Gal. 1:11-17). This issue, therefore, is something not just unique to Paul, but something Paul gave authoritative teaching on as a result of being discipled directly by Jesus Christ as "one unnaturally born."

Homosexual people are people, God's children.

Incidentally, the following verse to the passage from 1 Corinthians I quoted above goes on to say this:

And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. [1 Cor. 6:10, emphasis mine]

The emphasis is that it wasn't "okay" for those in the Corinthian church to continue in their sinful lifestyles of immorality, idolatry, adultery, homosexuality, etc. They were called to abandon their life of sin, and were made able to do so through the work of Jesus Christ on the Cross.

God's people? Then all the more reason to issue a call to repentance, that their sinful lifestyle might not continue.

Homosexuality was never mentioned directly by Jesus.

First, what makes you think only Jesus' teachings while on Earth are the only authoritative ones? All scripture comes from God, which includes Jesus. (2nd Timothy 3:16-17, 2nd Peter 1:20-21)

Second, Jesus did directly address the definition of marriage as one man, one woman, for life. Once you have defined what something is, why is it necessary to define what it is not?

Third, when He addressed the definition of marriage, He actually tightened the Old Testament definition by condemning divorce, not loosened it. If Jesus tightens marriage in one area (which far too many Christians violate), what makes it logical to assume that He intended to loosen it in another area when He somehow failed to mention such loosening?

@brgulker

If you had kept watching the video you would have realized that Alan was NOT saying that all pro-homosexuality arguments are based on emotion. He even explicitly makes that clarification.

By not truly LISTENING to what was being said, you are further reinforcing the emotional stereotype.

@STR

I would like to see an analysis of the "male prostitute" vs general "homosexual" interpretations in the New Testament because the male prostitute argument is becoming more common among Christians these days.

I think it is the best issue to address next regarding homosexuality.

Noticing that no one replied to the comment, "Homosexual people are people, God's children," this is a common misconception. A person only becomes one of God's children by repenting and trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ. (See John 1:12)

Let's assume for sake of discussion/debate that the Bible does not view homosexuality as sin per se. Assuming that homosexuality is on par (equal) to heterosexuality then what is sexual immorality for a homosexual? Is there such thing as sexual immorality if one is identified as gay? Can a gay person commit the sin of sexual immorality? If so, how would you define the sin of sexual immorality as a gay person? Or are heterosexuals the only ones who are guilty of the sin of sexual immorality?

As a follow up to my above challenge question (Is there a double-standard as to the sin of sexual immorality for gays vs. straights?), I would like to pose another challenge:

1) How many times does the Bible mention marriage as same gender?

2) How many times does the Bible mention marriage as involving opposite gender?

3) How does Jesus Christ describe marriage in the Gospels?

Again, I would like to know how a gay person avoids the sin of sexual immorality? Regardless of how many times homosexuality is mentioned in the Bible (let's assume zero times for sake of argument) and let's assume the Bible is neutral as to homosexuality vs. heterosexuality?

The Bible contains six admonishments to homosexuals and 362 admonishments to heterosexuals. That doesn't mean that God doesn't love heterosexuals. It's just that they need more supervision. ~ Lynn Lavner

@ Steve

Great quote. Yep, heterosexuals are very high maintenance when it comes to sexual immorality for sure. I know as a heterosexual I have great appreciation for Jesus as my Lord and Savior and what he accomplished on the cross for us wayward rebellious heterosexuals. My prayer is that homosexuals would give up their pride and also surrender to the work of Christ. Amen.

Why would you single out homosexuals for giving up pride and not heterosexuals, also? That seems convoluted. You should be praying for your own kind, maybe it will help drop the 65% divorce rate. Something God says straight out that he hates.

And thank you, yes, it is a great quote. Timeless. Or timely. Or both.

Why would you single out homosexuals for giving up pride and not heterosexuals, also?

I think this gets back to what Amy posted earlier: the "singling out" occurred when this became an issue being pushed by those supporting the homosexual agenda. Our response to that as Christians is simply to point to the truth of the Bible as it relates to this issue. Do some Christians exhibit a "knee-jerk" reaction? I'm sure they do, but the main thrust has always been simply in response to the attempt to legitimize a sinful behaviour.

I don't think anybody has claimed that somehow heterosexual immorality is "less offensive" in terms of being sinful; I think everyone freely acknowledges that heterosexual immorality is just as immoral as homosexuality. In fact, long before the homosexual agenda became such a topic at the forefront, there were many that were just as adamant about confronting heterosexual immorality. However, back to the point, the specific issue in this has never been about unfair treatment; it's always been about speaking the plain truth of the Bible and calling a sin for what it is. That's not singling out; as I stated earlier, that's love-speech in its truest form.

Love speech? Love your own. Love your children, your divorced friends, the people in your circle with issues you understand. You don't understand homosexuality and you don't speak for God. You speak for hypocrisy. If you are going to throw Romans 1 at people you are only free to do it because you are in Romans 2. Homosexuality can no more be a sin than heterosexuality can be a sin. And that's the simplicity of it. You are confusing behavior with orientation or mindset. Celibate Christians and hermaphrodites throw your theories out the window. It's really simple. Leave the convicting to the Holy Spirit, mind your own business, and do what Hosea says you should: do justice, love kindness, walk humbly with your God. Instead of all the religious God-talk you inherited and placating Bible phrases, get a new heart, let God take out the stony one. Then you will truly be free to live your life condemning your own hypocrisies rather than shifting your guilt onto others. And stop giving Christ a bad name with your judgmental spirit on calling out the sin of the world when you haven't dealt with your own. There, that's love-speech in its truest form.

Steve wrote: "Homosexuality can no more be a sin than heterosexuality can be a sin. And that's the simplicity of it. You are confusing behavior with orientation or mindset."

Actually, this is the opposite of what Jesus taught. Consider, “But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."(Mt 5:28) It follows that same sex attraction is similar... the "orientation" is part of the sin condition and can be overcome.

The Gospel offers freedom from the orientation toward sin, all sins. It can be a struggle but yes complete freedom is the goal.

Steve: "Why would you single out homosexuals for giving up pride and not heterosexuals, also?"

Steve how many adultery-pride parades have you seen?

Great and thought provoking video! I really like the comment quoted at the end, "God has a better way than homosexuality. It's called holiness."

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