According to media reports such the one below, a gay rights activist is raising $150,000 to pay the fine of a Christian couple who were prosecuted for taking a stand against same-sex marriage. The activist says he is doing this as an act of love.
Some gay activists have objected (see photo, right).
And some Christians have sneered in response, commenting that the activist is unrepentant over homosexuality and is still going to hell. But I wonder if the case is as clear as they imply. Matthew 22:34-40 states;
Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested Jesus with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
I dont think the donating gay activist can be sure of his salvation. But who is more closely following that second commandment? The gay activist, or the person sneering at him even in the midst of his extraordinary generosity?
Make of that, what you will.
The leaders of the gay marriage movement within broad Christendom are big on getting their message out. They write books, they write articles, they give presentations. But they dont debate much. One of the bigger names in this area, is Justin Lee, author of the book Torn. Lee has been invited to debate those who disagree with him, but he has been known to turn the invitation down. He has claimed that he cant debate the topic, because his organisation, GCN, is home to some gays who believe that homosexual sex is sinful, AND is home to other gays who believe it’s not. So Lee says he cant take sides.
But what seems inconsistent to me, is that he does take sides. In the book Torn, he depicts gay marriage as not necessarily being sinful. And on Facebook, he’s inferred that he’s proud to be part of the drive towards gay marriage.
So when he claims he cant debate, is that just an excuse to cover fear that his ideology will be exposed as full of holes?
A recent article in in the New York Times about pedophilia, is alarming for several reasons. It suggests that 1% of males may have a sexual inclination towards children. It also references research findings that support the idea that pedophilia may have neurological origins. More here:
“mischaracterisations and lies”
It’s not often that the Southern Baptist Convention dis-fellowships a congregation. But that is what has happened to New Heart Community Church, of California, after they declared that they no longer necessarily regarded homosexual relations as sinful. As is often the case, this change in policy for the pastor and congregation, arose after one of their children came out as gay. Some gay activists championed the case, while the controversy has split to congregation. The pastor released a video detailing his position, which has been responded to by various apologists, including James White, and also this newcomer –
The following post is quoted verbatum from the Facebook page of Dr Robert Gagnon. It is in reference to gay activist posts, written by Prof. David Gushee on the web site for Associated Baptist Press, and in particular, the post found here. Interesting stuff.
[Anyone is welcome to repost this post or the related posts on Sept. 16 and 19]
Prof. David Gushee, “Progressive” Baptist and Christian ethicist at Mercer University, posted a response on his FB page to my posts of Sept. 16 and 19. But before I could see the post he had blocked me from his FB page and from seeing any reposting of his post or of his added comments on other FB pages. Isn’t that intellectual cowardice? I hadn’t even posted anything previously on his FB page but sent him only private FB messages copying to him what I had posted on my own FB page. Only because two FB friends alerted me to his post and copy-pasted it to me am I even aware of his response.
For those not following the previous posts, I had critiqued the poor job that Dr. Gushee did in an Associated Baptist Press article on the meaning of the Greek terms malakoi (“soft men” = effeminate men who serve as the passive partners in male homosexual practice) and arsenokoitai (“men who lie with a male” as the active, insertive partner) in the offender list in 1 Cor 6:9. Gushee wanted to limit the meaning of the terms to exploitative forms of homosexual practice because Gushee can’t tolerate the notion that Jesus and the authors of Scripture held a strong male-female requirement for sexual relations. I noted that he misrepresented a key figure in the discussion, William Loader, and systematically ignored all the counterarguments that I have made to the kind of interpretations that he wanted to adopt. If he couldn’t spare the hour or two to read the 33 pages that I wrote on these terms in my first book, The Bible and Homosexual Practice (303-36; Abingdon, 2001), he could at least take out 15-30 minutes of his time to read the condensed 5-page online discussion athttp://www.robgagnon.net/JackRogersBookReviewed3.htm (point 4); pages 9-13 of the pdf version:http://www.robgagnon.net/articles/RogersBookReviewed3.pdf.
I asked Gushee to do a revision that would take these arguments into account. He did a revision but one that continued to ignore the counterarguments that I have raised. He was willing to check additional resources that agreed with his ideological objectives so he obviously made time to stroke his previous reading but not to challenge it.
When I noted that Dr. Gushee’s second “effort” still did not pass muster and sent a copy of my post to him by private FB message, he (ironically) sent me the message, “I appreciate your comments. Thank you,” then a day or two later blocked me from his site and produced this response on his FB page. He now claims that he is being persecuted.
He laments the fact that writing on biblical texts without doing even the minimum that would be required of a competent undergraduate in a Bible class “will cost me suffering, including public repudiations and stinging attacks from erstwhile friends and determined adversaries.” I’m quite sure that my work has received many times more attacks than his (by those long on vitriol and short on academic integrity), but I don’t cry about it. I rather investigate to see if the charges are merited.
He adds that by asking him to read 5 pages of material that differs from his preferred viewpoint I have demanded the impossible since he cannot spend his “entire life reading ancient Hebrew, Persian, Aramaic, Greek, Latin, Jewish, Greek, Roman, and Christian, laws, plays, poems, fables, and moral exhortations on sexuality, in the original languages, plus all associated scholarly literature produced in the last 40 years”; that he doesn’t have time to spend “his entire career doing [this] work.” Does not anyone not see the ridiculousness of this claim by the Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics and Director of the Center for Theology and Public Life at Mercer University?
Could you imagine an undergraduate, let alone first-year M.Div. student, far from a tenured full professor, making that kind of remark? “No, professor, I can’t read 5 pages of a single key work that condenses the work of the principal scholar who disagrees with my agenda because I can’t spend my entire life reading Hebrew, Persian, Aramaic, Greek, etc., and all the scholarly literature produced in the past 40 years.” Well, I wasn’t asking you to read all this, now was I?
Brave soul that he is, Dr. Gushee is resolute: “I will continue to publish articles each week @abp/rh on this LGBT issue reflecting my best, highly fallible, time-limited effort to address the relevant dimensions of the problem…. I will not be intimidated or rebuked into silence. I will follow what I believe Jesus is calling me to do.”
When did I ever want you not to follow Jesus? Just don’t cite Jesus as justification for shoddy work that deliberately hides from readers the problems with your position. Apparently now “intimidation” occurs when one scholar shows the deficiencies of a poorly researched and poorly argued position by another scholar who has the intellectual wherewithal to do much better but refuses to spend even a half hour to investigate the counterarguments.
Dr. Gushee has recast bad scholarship as martyrdom. According to him there are only two kinds of people in the world: Those who care for same-sex attracted persons and those who don’t. He feels that love for same-sex attracted persons demands that we twist Scripture to mean what it can’t possibly mean, read in its historical and literary context, so that such persons can now enter into homosexual unions free of any societal reservation or stricture.
Never mind that Paul viewed such behavior as a dishonoring of the integrity of one’s gender vis-à-vis one’s own sex or that Jesus viewed a male-female prerequisite for sexual relations as foundational for sexual ethics according to God. All of that must be dispensed since it can’t possibly be loving to believe such things. Jesus reached out in love to the biggest violators of God’s ethical demands, to both exploiters of the poor (tax collectors) and the sexually immoral, but did not in the process compromise that ethical demand. To have compromised that demand would have left the offenders under God’s judgment. Gushee apparently thinks that he is a better, more compassionate ethicist than Jesus.
I guess from now on I don’t need to pay attention to what Jesus and Paul really said. I can make them say what I want them to say (through bad scholarship) and call anything other than that a hate-filled message. When I get critiqued by another scholar, one who has done far more work exploring the issues and who wants me to pay a little attention to counterarguments to my position, even if it only takes half an hour to discover what some of those are, I can play the martyr card and declare that I will not be silenced.
Ah, the life of the scholar who espouses antiscriptural positions. Isn’t it wonderful?