Homosexuality: Gay bullying…what should Christians be doing about it?

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.

Joshua: Part 4 (Questioning God is good…if for the right reasons)

PART FOUR

 

So in the book of Joshua, I believe that God is justified in commanding the complete extermination of a people. He knows something I don’t know. I have speculated what it could be (whether He warned them or how evil they really were). But even if this were not so, I know that a) God has the right to do so, and b) God is morally perfect. I am not. His judgment is right, even if I don’t understand why.

 

I also have to be careful that this “man-centered thinking” doesn’t creep up in my interactions with Him. It is alright to question Him for the sake of learning to think more like Him. However, most of us question Him because we want to know why He does what He does. We want Him to justify His answer.

My pastor says that he can, within 15 minutes, prove to someone that the reason they ask for that justification is because they want to be God. I didn’t believe this at first, until he asked this question…

“What if God gives you an answer, but that answer isn’t good enough for you?”

It is at that point that I realize that in my heart, I am asking for God’s answer because I want to judge whether I find that answer valid. My friends ask questions about why God does what He does, and I put my friends in the judge’s seat and I put God in the defendant seat. But how in the hell did my friends end up in the judge’s seat? How did God end up in the defendant seat? This makes no sense!

In the book of Job, Job questions God with a valid question: Why do good people suffer? God’s answer: Four chapters of “Who are you to ask that? Where were you when I was creating the entire freakin’ universe?” Job’s response is repentance.

Questioning God’s existence is good, not bad. We should always question why we believe what we believe. As for questioning God, if we believe that God exists and that He is all-knowing, and if we believe that the Bible is His word, then questioning Him is GOOD if it is for the purpose of LEARNING. To say: “God, I disagree with you…” actually isn’t bad at all, if it is followed by “…but I know you are right, so teach me.” That’s awesome. But to say “God, I disagree with you…” and then try to convince Him, well, C.S. Lewis would say that you can’t argue with God because the logic you use to argue with Him was created by Him…so arguing with Him is like cutting off the branch you are sitting on.

 

Finding a section of Scripture where you totally disagree with God is a good thing…because it means that you have found a learning opportunity. Woe to the person who only speaks with those whom they already agree with.

The Art of Apologetics: The purpose of sex (part 2 – for what purpose did God design sex?)

 

The answer is found in this Scripture:

Genesis 2:19-25 (NIV, emphasis mine)

Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field.

But for Adam no suitable helper was found. 21 So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

23 The man said,

“This is now bone of my bones

and flesh of my flesh;

she shall be called ‘woman,’

for she was taken out of man.”

24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become ONE FLESH.

25 The man and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame

The God-given purpose of sex can be summarized in one word: UNITY. Two become one.

If you believe that the purpose of sex is reproduction, or intimacy, or pleasure, or love, it’s not that I disagree with you. I just believe that your answer is incomplete. If you said reproduction AND intimacy AND all those things, I agree. But all of these things are pieces of the puzzle. They come together to make one thing.

Unity. Two becoming one.

This unity, this “two becoming one” happens in several ways.

 

Emotionally/Intimately (this involves vulnerability, too)

I am going to talk about Sarah for a second. I am not going to give you any details, except to tell you this. I know Sarah in a way that no one else will ever know her. She and her mom are really close. However, Sarah’s mom doesn’t know her the way I know her. Her friends don’t know her the way I know her. Our children will never know her the way I know her. And I have no intention of explaining it to anyone, because I can’t.

Everyone, everywhere: Your very existence is proof that your parents had sex. And not just tame sex. The same sex you have with your husband/wife (or want to have someday), that’s the same sex your parents had. And do you like thinking about that? Heck no! You don’t want to. And…really, you have difficulty imagining that. Your mother would never do that. And if she did…well, she probably didn’t even get that into it. Right? Wrong.

Quick note to husbands…this vulnerable side needs to be protected. Do not tell your friends how good your wife is in bed. It’s not for them to know. She is (usually, and more often than you think) very self-conscious about this, and doesn’t want anybody but you to know.

Physically

Do two people literally become one, physically? In one sense, no. You are not physically stuck together after sex. However, reproduction is how two people physically become one. As many of you know, Sarah and I just had our first child, a daughter. My hereditary analysis concludes this: Abrielle has my dad’s eyes and, at the current time, my hair color. I also think…I’m not sure, but I think, that she has my same facial bone structure (cheeks and all). However, Abrielle received the gift of the “Doughty nose.” My wife (as well as her sisters) has a really cute nose that she bestowed upon our daughter. (Now, I could be wrong about the heredity. It could change or look a little different as she grows older.) In other words, Abrielle is a living, breathing, walking (wait, no, not walking yet, more like crying and pooping) testament to the union of Sarah and myself. Sarah and I became one…Abrielle. See? Look!

Thus, reproduction is another way that two become one flesh. Reproduction is part of the unity.

In fact, this should serve as a warning. I have heard and seen this story before…girl sleeps with boyfriend. Boyfriend turns out to be a jerk…relationship ends horribly, but not before girl gets pregnant. Baby looks exactly like dad. Mom loves baby…but baby’s resemblance stings.

Spiritually

As Jesus said, “What God has joined together, let man not separate.” Two become one spiritually as well.

So…what does all this have to do with Christians believing that homosexuality is wrong? Well get there next post.