The band Rise Against has a very popular song out right now called “September’s Children (Make it Stop)”. Listen to the lyrics and watch the video and you’ll see quite quickly that the song is a cry out against gay bullying in schools and in society.
A friend of mine, also a Rise Against fan and a Christian, said this: “Is it bad that I like this song so much?” We talked further and it came down to this…this song is pro-homosexuality, and Christians are supposed to be students of the Bible, which is anti-homosexuality. Right?
I thought about this for a little while and ended up here: While the song comes from a worldview that I disagree with, and a few lines are lines I disagree with (Lines like “What God could damn a heart?” implies us judging God by OUR standards, and “This life chose me, I’m not lost in sin”, well, as you know, I do not hold the inclinations as sin, but the actions), overall, I believe that Christians can agree with the main thrust of the song: Christians SHOULD and MUST stand unanimously opposed to gay bullying, in schools and anywhere.Not just in word, but in deed. Whenever somebody is blasted or attacked or accused for being gay, Christians should be the first to defend them…not the last, and definitely not the attackers or the accusers.
Why do I believe that? Does defending gays represent a watering down of our beliefs? Absolutely not. I believe in defending gays because Christians should emulate Jesus Christ.
Most everyone I know, Christian or not, has heard the following Scripture…but there is something about this Scripture that is very close to my heart, something that you can’t find until you do a “character analysis” of the story…
John 8:1-11 (NIV)
But Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. 2 At dawn he appeared again in the temple courts, where all the people gathered around him, and he sat down to teach them. 3 The teachers of the law and the Pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultery. They made her stand before the group 4 and said to Jesus, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. 5 In the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” 6 They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him.
But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. 7 When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” 8 Again he stooped down and wrote on the ground.
9 At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. 10 Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?”
11 “No one, sir,” she said.
“Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”
A character anaylsis is a fun exercise to do with any Scripture…choose ANY character and really paint the picture from just their view. What do they want? What are they afraid of? What do Jesus’s words mean to them?
Most of the time we hear this Scripture, we are led into doing a character anaylsis of the people who picked up stones. But very rarely do I hear anyone paint the picture of what this experience is like for the adulterous woman…she is condemned to die for a crime she DID commit, and her accusers are right…she was caught in the act of adultery and therefore, the law of Moses commands that she be stoned. So where does Jesus stand?
Jesus defends her without watering down the law. The law condemned her to die…but the law condemned every person in this scene to die, except Jesus. Now, the only one with the right to condemn finishes with “neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin.”
Does this mean that Jesus was “watering down His position on adultery?” Not in the slightest. This is why I believe that all Christians should stand against the bullying of gays…because it doesn’t water down our anti-homosexuality position, but rather, it stands as an incredible example of Christlike-ness.