Thursday, May 10, 2012

We Just Look Like "Fag-Haters" and Religious Politicians

Been emailing with a friend about all the homosexuality focus in the media right now. I thought this comment from him was well put as it pertains to perceptions of Christians amidst the broader cultural discussion.  We would be wise to keep these things in mind.  It speaks more broadly to discipleship that should be flowing from our local churches and into the culture at large.
Another thought on this issue--the idea of selflessness or denying self should be the stock and trade of Christians no matter the domain. At its very worst a "big hair" evangelist living a fiscally indulgent life while condemning homosexual people, makes all of us look stupid as Christians. If selflessness is demonstrated across the board and the rallying cry of the church is a Jesus-like commitment to universal selflessness, the issues related to sexuality fine their proper place in the discourse. Without that we just look like "fag-haters" and religious politicians.


Mike Lynch said...

I am concerned from some of the things I'm reading that this issue could go in another direction: that homosexuality will be downplayed as "just another sin." God's word is pretty severe with respect to this sin and there ARE some sins worse than others ("He who delivered me over to you has the greater sin"). This idea in conjunction with homosexuality (or sodomy and perversion as a faithful reading would say)being normalized IS a threat to apologetics surrounding the discussion.

Ned said...

The good thing is that apologists are wrong. Largely because they don't know (or are willfully ignorant of) the historical data surrounding homosexuality in the Bible. Sorry, Mike, but homosexuality is not a sin - for the following reasons:

What we understand homosexuality TODAY as (i.e., two consenting adults in a romantic and monogomous relationship who just happen to have the same kind of squishy parts) is NOT what was around during the First Century CE. Our understanding of what it means to be gay did not come about until the 1980s, so apologists and "being-gay-is-a-sin-Christians" are already retrojecting a faulty understanding onto a text that does not share their same worldview on the issue.

Secondly, Romans 1 is primarily concerned with idolatry - not sexuality. One MUST set Romans 1 in context.

Rom 1:21 and following: "...for though they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their senseless minds were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools; and they exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling a mortal human being or birds or four-footed animals or reptiles. [verse 24] THEREFORE..."

So, the actions Paul forbids in the rest of Romans 1 is a function of - or, a RESULT of - their idolatry.

Third. Paul is primarily addressing what is known as pederasty. Pederasty is essentially a form of institutionalized pedophilia. Not consensual adult relationships.

Fourth - there is no such thing as a monolithic biblical understanding of human sexuality. I defy you to prove me wrong here - as I can guarantee you that you will be unsuccessful if you make an attempt.

Fifth - the BIBLICAL understanding of marriage is ONE man and AS MANY WOMEN AS HE CAN AFFORD. Simply put, polygamy is the biblical standard for marriage. It is only an "elder" who is proscribed from marrying more than one woman, and only because he has other duties to tend to beyond his first wife. (And that is not to mention the fact that the Pastoral Epistles are considered to be Pseudo-Pauline.)

Sixth - if you want to maintain biblical understandings and standards of human sexuality then you have to take away any and all sexual agency that women have. Women had no sexual agency in the ancient world. They were the property of either their fathers or their husbands. If you want to ban homosexuality on biblical grounds then you have to ban female sexual agency on those very same grounds. I can't imagine any Christian woman (or woman in general) would be terribly keen on that idea. Just sayin.

Johnny P said...

How does this passage play into a "hierarchy of sins"? “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen." Ezekiel 49-50

Vitamin Z said...

Hey Ned,

Thanks for your comment. There is much there to interact with. Just no time today! If you want to get coffee sometime, let me know.