Christians And Gay Rights

Anti-Christian_sign_in_Federal_Plaza_ChicagoYesterday the Arizona governor, Jan Brewer, vetoed a bill that would have permitted people to refuse service to gays and lesbians on the grounds of religious persuasion. You could think of it as the equivalent of the military’s alternate service for those drafted into the armed services who were pacifists. The intent, as I understand it, was to accommodate people who believe, based on their religion, that homosexuality is wrong.

Of course both local and national news shows, on every channel, covered the story, often tagging it as a clash between religious rights and personal freedom. I couldn’t help but think of the First Amendment to the US Constitution which guarantees a person the right to free expression of his religion. I don’t see anything in the Constitution about freedom of expression of a person’s sexuality.

I also have thought how early in the debate about “gay rights” those advocating for inclusion often argued that what a person did in the bedroom was their own business, no one else’s. That argument has been replaced.

Just last month a particular ethnic group here in SoCal held a parade. Originally a group of LGBT advocates were denied permission to be a part, but that decision was reversed. On parade day, the news shows covered this “happy end” to the conflict as the contingent of homosexuals marched behind their rainbow banner. Presumably what they do in their bedrooms is now something to celebrate.

Christians, who are uniquely singled out because of our opposition to homosexuality–not Muslims or any other group who also oppose that behavior–are portrayed with growing frequency as bigots.

The most bizarre news clip last night was the interview with a member of the LGBT community who was holding up pages and pages of pictures of lawmakers who supported the Arizona bill or who have taken a conservative position on marriage. This individual explained that all these lawmakers would be boycotted.

In other words, if a person says he opposes homosexuality on religious grounds, he would be discriminated against. But somehow, their boycott is not discrimination while exercising your right to express your religious beliefs, is.

The thing I don’t like is the fact that the news media is framing this discussion. Over and over, the same snippet came on the air showing people celebrating who were holding signs urging the veto of the bill. The implication was that this was a big crowd in front of Arizona’s Capitol. And yet the camera never panned out, never showed more than two rows of people, and the people they did show were not tightly packed together.

Of course, one station also aired their recent poll, showing that 52% of Americans now support same sex marriage. I think they forgot to mention the margin of error in the poll (usually a +/- 3%, sometimes greater) or whether it was conducted scientifically or informally. The point is, there’s a great attempt to create a bandwagon effect.

Homosexuality, which is sin, is now being presented as the position which a good, kind, caring person will naturally support. One Tweet, for example, thanked Christians who don’t discriminate.

Such loaded words. Once Christians who said homosexuality is sin were called homophobes. The name was used as a shaming tactic. No one wants to admit they’re afraid of “gayness.”

But the rhetoric has changed. Now homosexuality is getting traction as a civil right and therefore opposing it is discrimination and someone taking that stand is a bigot. This approach is more aggressive. It’s not shame but condemnation. It is a way of saying the religious person is wrong and the gay person is right.

Which reminds me of these verses in Isaiah:

Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil;
Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness;
Who substitute bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!
Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes
And clever in their own sight! (5:20-21)

At the root of the LGBT issue is the fact that those who are choosing against their God-given bodies are being wise in their own eyes. They know what they are like inside and ought not be hampered by the biological organs they’ve been born with–the body which God formed in their mother’s womb.

To me, what’s most interesting in all this is the admission of this inner being–you’d almost call it a soul or spirit–which the LGBT community listens to. If they feel like a woman inside, it doesn’t matter if they have a male body. The inside is what counts.

But that brings up the question: what happens when the body dies? The body, so many people say today, ends life. But this inside someone the LGBT community identifies as the stronger-than-the-physical entity of personhood–does it die with the body? This question, I would think, offers a conundrum for the gay person. If the body ends it all, then why should this inner person hold sway over the body? And if the inner person lives on after the body dies, does that mean there really is life after death, and a whole supernatural world with a God who will judge according to what a person has done during his time on earth?

As I see it, Christians have the greatest opportunity now to speak into the lives of people in the LGBT community. What they believe about their inner person determining their gender identity can open up a discussion about what happens to that inner person.

May we focus our attention on rescuing the lost and not on winning arguments.

29 Comments

  1. Amen! We need to stand for the truth instead of succumbing to cultural lies. As Christians we need to win hearts in order to change the nation.

    • Exactly, Scott. I think some believers have it backwards–establish morality so we can win hearts. The thing is, I do think we should advocate for righteousness, but we should start with Christians loving our neighbors first before anything else. I think of Daniel. When he was condemned to die, the king stayed awake all night, concerned for Daniel. Would he have done so if Daniel’s life had been all about fighting for his rights or trying to get back at those who had set him up? I don’t think so. God showed Himself powerful by sparing Daniel, and Daniel lived an exemplary life which won the king.

      Becky

  2. Rebecca,

    Thank you, again, for a timely post.

    Today, our good friends and ministry partners lost their Bible study inside the women’s prison. When I say, “lost” I mean the staff shut it down because they were teaching what the Word Of God says about homosexuality. The one woman who is in charge of the prison volunteers claims this put them at risk of being in danger and decided to no longer allow their study inside. She, herself, promotes this lifestyle.

    We, however, are also teaching through Romans 1 right now in our Bible study group in the very same prison. We are truly teaching in love as we care far too much for the souls of these women. There is no hate in our agenda for any one individual but a true disdain for empowering these women to continue in their life of sin whatever their sin may be. Whether it is lust, greed, lying, stealing, murdering etc. we believe sin seep rates us from God.

    We have not been called out to stop our Bible study, yet. Please, pray for our ministry as we were denied the ability to have water baptism with the women last month. This very same facility does provide all the materials for the women to have and participate in a sweat lodge, however. It, again, is something the volunteer coordinator herself participates in.

    Yes, as Christians you could say there is discrimination against us.

    Jodi Williams R.O.C. Prison Ministry (Relying On Christ)

    • Jodi, I appreciate your post. I think it’s good for us to acknowledge the attitude toward Christians which is taking over our culture. It allows us time to determine our response. I wonder, for example, if parenting classes instead of Bible studies would be allowed in the prison or maybe a class on citizenship. Wouldn’t the Bible be an appropriate book to use in either of those instances? I’m just thinking off the top of my head here. Peter, of course, and Paul, was told to stop preaching, but neither of them did though it meant prison.

      But right now, I do think prayer is the answer. As God brings you and ROC to mind, I will be praying for you.

      (Heh heh heh! I wondered how seep rates got in there. :lol: )

      Becky

      • I just now saw this and I am not sure why I didn’t see it earlier, sorry.
        Those are great thoughts/ideas on leading a parenting and citizenship class using the Word.
        We had a powerful study yesterday and it was covered in much prayer. God definitely surrounded us as the powerful truth of His Word went forth. One lady attended and was truly seeking Him and admitted to her frustration of hearing He doesn’t condone certain behaviors. She shared how she really just wants to know what He thinks about everything. She was asked to continue to seek the truth of His word on her own, not just rely on our word or teaching, but to truly let His Spirit teach her. I believe, and know, His word does not return back void and it will bring forth the exact purpose and plan He has in store. Whether we write stories, teach, live, or daily walk out His Word others will see and hear when He opens their eyes and ears to understanding.

  3. *separates us from God (loved the iPad’s auto correct to “seep rates!”)

  4. Well, the people you support go further than “opposing homosexuality”. They seek to disdain gay people, which Jesus would never have done, and exclude us. Here you are, desperate for people to be able to exclude us from their businesses, and you wonder why you are called a bigot. Open your eyes. What would Jesus do?

    The fact that people like you take this line on homosexuality encourages those who are violent against gay people.

    • Sure, but let’s be done with all stereotypes. “They” seek to disdain gay people, perhaps, but not all fundamentalists are They.

      The fact that people like you take this line on homosexuality encourages those who are violent against gay people.

      Possibly, but the fact that you are so unconcerned with the theological difficulties inherent in a homosexual lifestyle (if you are religious) could equally encourage a womanizing heterosexual man to hurt women by screwing them and then dumping them for the next woman. People can use any excuse to hurt others. We can’t use the fact of abuse as an excuse to construct straw-men stereotypes and to refuse to listen to those who are sincere.

    • Hi, Clare, thanks for taking the time to comment.

      Interesting that you read the post and came away thinking I support either side in this issue. I did say I believe homosexuality to be a sin, but I also believe pride is a sin and favoritism is a sin and hatred is a sin and well, the list is endless. If Christians refused service to everyone who sins, we couldn’t even serve ourselves!

      I haven’t read the bill, but as I understood what the Governor said, it was so broad as to include refusing services that didn’t really have anything to do with exercising religious beliefs. To use my pacifist/military analogy, it would be like a pacifist mail carrier saying he couldn’t deliver mail to an air base because war violates his conscience. There’s a certain extended logic to that position, but in reality, the pacifist is not being forced to take part in military activity by delivering the mail.

      So too for many, many people offering services in which homosexuals take part–the guy behind the counter at MacDonalds, the grocery clerk, the gas station attendant, the DMV worker, the public school teacher, and on and on.

      But workers directly involved in facilitating same-sex marriage–that’s clearly a different thing. A minister who believes marriage is between one man and one woman would be violating his conscience to conduct a service for a homosexual union. I think wedding planners could be in that same situation, and caterers, florists, photographers. But maybe not. The point is, it really ought not to be the government’s call.

      Lastly, I hardly think advocating for religious freedom is an encouragement of violent crime. I doubt very much if those bent on hatred care a whit about my opinion, and they certainly won’t find me condoning their vitriol or violence.

      But turn the question around. Those people I mentioned here in SoCal who have lists of government officials they will be boycotting–and the people pictured above naming Christians as fascists–how is such action and rhetoric not fostering hatred of Christians?

      Becky

      • You wonder why I think you support either side, and my jaw dropped. The whole post is on one side, full of snark and mockery of human beings who deserve better, and you say that “exercising your right to express your religious beliefs [is portrayed as discrimination]“.

        I object to your presuming to speak for all Christians. A growing number of Christians, and my whole denomination, accept gay people.

        We do not foster hatred of Christians, but particular unGodly views held by some Christians.

        • Hi, Clare. Sorry it’s taken me so long to get back to you. I had jury duty last week and consequently my time on the Internet was limited.

          I think the problem in issues like this is that people imagine two extreme camps and if you’re not in one, then you must be in the other.

          Clearly, I believe homosexuality is a sin. I also believe that the LGBT community has an agenda which they’ve been moving forward which aims to normalize behavior once referred to as deviant.

          That being said, I am opposed to any kind of violence or hatred showered on anyone identifying as gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender. In fact, I believe Christ set the example I am to follow. He died for me while I was still a sinner. At the same time, He didn’t gloss over my sins or pretend that they would not be judged. If my sins, or anyone else’s, weren’t the problem they are, Jesus would never have had to die.

          I am sorry you found this post to be snarky and that I came across as if I was mocking anyone. Neither of those was my intention.

          I assure you, I don’t feel as if I speak for all Christians, but I do think the Bible does. I find it hard to understand why anyone who doesn’t believe the book upon which Christianity was founded would even want to be called a Christian. But I also find it hard to understand why two men in a sexual relationship want to call that marriage. In both instances, it’s a purposeful change of the meaning of the words.

          Becky

          • We disagree about where the middle is, and where the extremes.

            Clear majorities in polls in the UK and US support equal marriage. That is the middle ground. They may not lift a finger to support it, but they would utter that support if asked. There are also campaigners on one side who want to push towards equalising marriage, but increasingly they push upon an open door. There are extremists on the other, who supported a bill which would allow any nutcase to ignore any law, saying it was against his religious belief. He would not need to show it was a mainstream religious belief, and those enforcing the law would have to show that the law was “the least restrictive means of furthering [a] compelling Government interest”.

            But we also disagree about where the neutral ground, and where the extremes are, within the Church. Increasingly, the Church welcomes gay people, even into leadership positions, arguing for this from the Bible. The general, non-extreme church members do not particularly care: they have issues of faith to discuss and live out in their own lives. Then there are the extremists, who cling to particular interpretations of Biblical passages, and imagine that the Bible condemns all gay sex rather than gay sex in circumstances we condemn straight sex- sex with enslaved prostitutes, for instance.

            I am an extremist here. I speak up for gay love being Biblical and Christian, in reaction to the obsessives who imagine that Christianity MUST take particular interest in condemning gay people, and that a baker who refuses a cake to a gay couple is a martyr rather than a figure of fun. But- taking such an interest as you do, within a church which should have other priorities, you are an extremist too.

  5. Christians serving someone they deem to be a sinner does not contravene their rights of religious expression. As far as homosexuality goes, their religious freedom would only be under attack if they were forced into a same sex relationship. Is that so difficult to understand? Unless Christians can prove they refuse service to everyone who is sinning according to their rules (which will be entirely dependent on their interpretation of the Bible), they have no case that they are not deliberately discriminating against an oppressed minority. Please re-write your post stating you also want to refuse service to divorcees, singles parents and rich people, and then maybe you’ll sound like you’re taking your religion seriously.

    “They know what they are like inside and ought not be hampered by the biological organs they’ve been born with–the body which God formed in their mother’s womb.” Utterly ridiculous! And to those you believe your god was sloppy enough mess up the genitals? You insult everyone, and not least people who have intersex conditions. Open your eyes and look at the real world. You appear to be hiding in a science fiction bubble.

    • Some valid points, here.

      Christians serving someone they deem to be a sinner does not contravene their rights of religious expression.

      I understand the point. What a purchaser does with something is not the salesman’s responsibility.

      From a libertarian standpoint, though, this is about freedom of conscience, and conscience doesn’t have to be rational. Having prejudices shouldn’t be a crime until you hurt others because of them.

      A better case in point is the theoretical Christian doctor required to perform the theoretical abortion. This would be a difficult, traumatic experience for the theoretical doctor.

      Yes, one avenue of rationalization would allow the doctor to perform the abortion and at least mentally excuse himself from violating his faith. But in a society that values people’s emotional health and freedom of self-identity, it is hypocritical to suggest that Christians having these kinds of personal crises need to suck it up. The doctor should absolutely not be forced to perform the abortion, and the cake-maker shouldn’t be forced to sell to the homosexual couple.

      Pro-homosexual sentiment has pretty much replaced anti-homosexual “common sense” as the predominate hegemonic belief in mainstream society — but maybe not completely, maybe not everywhere. This argument over whose feelings get to be protected assumes hegemonic discrimination.

      And to those you believe your god was sloppy enough mess up the genitals?

      Yes, intersex conditions are troubling to the theist—more so with all this bellyaching over gender identity. They’re part of the gut-reaction atheistic apologetic.

      Maybe the existence of intersex conditions lends credence to those who say that gender and sexuality are fluid. But intersex conditions also support Rebecca Luella Miller’s point. The body does not determine who we are. If it did, people born with intersex conditions would be…. this sounds terrible but I don’t know what else to say…. pretty much screwed.

      But thankful, we are more than our bodies, as important as our bodies are. We aren’t slaves to random mutations. We may have been born a certain way, but the physical conditions of our birth do not correspond to the true reality of who are and who we should be. The same goes for homosexuality. Even if it might be true that someone can be born gay, that doesn’t mean that homosexuality is a complete (or even accurate) description of who a person really is.

      • “The body does not determine who we are.” Sorry but this is hilarious. Is your brain not part of your body? If you have time, it might be useful for you to look at the video I’ve linked to in my reply to Becky.

        Obviously environmental factors impact enormously on how our brain develops, but it’s still all physical.

    • Hey, Violetwisp, great to hear from you. Are you back to blogging? I haven’t checked in lately.

      You said:

      Christians serving someone they deem to be a sinner does not contravene their rights of religious expression.

      I couldn’t agree with you more. There’s no way we could serve each other, even, or ourselves, if we decided we wouldn’t serve sinners.

      As I understood the Governor’s comments, the Arizona bill was written with parameters that were too broad, as opposed to actually creating the desired allowance for religious expression of a deeply held belief–such as a pastor not being forced to perform a wedding ceremony when he believes it is sin. (And I’m pretty sure there are some pastors who refuse to marry some people because of beliefs about divorce and such).

      There’s a big difference between serving someone a burger and fries and helping them commit sin. Our legal system recognizes this. The person who drives the get-away car is still involved in the shooting in the bank though he never steps foot inside. But the bank patron who happens to be a witness is not party to the crime.

      But if you’ll re-read the post, Violetwisp, you’ll see I’m not advocating any kind of withholding of services. Rather, the heart of what I’m saying has a great deal to do with something I think you probably believe–that life ends when the body dies.

      How is it that you believe so firmly about factual, provable, evidentiary things, but allow for the LGBT community’s claim the right of a person to determine the working out of their gender based on who they are inside? What does that mean to you? Is there an inside person in you? And if so, does that person die when your body dies?

      But why would the body, which might present as male, have the say at death over the inner person who presents as female, if while alive, the inner person has the say over the body? I mean, does the body count for nothing except to give birth and to house until death this inner person?

      And how can that inner person be divorced from the body? And if divorced, is it not feasible that the inner person goes on living after the body dies?

      I think these are fair questions.

      God, by the way, didn’t “mess up the genitalia.” Any messing up is at the foot of sin–heh heh heh, you know, that human thing I think is endemic to our nature and to Nature, and which, if I remember correctly, you don’t believe in.

      I’m unclear as to how I’ve insulted you, Violetwisp. I do understand that there are people born with intersex conditions, as there are people born with Down syndrome or with heart murmurs or cleft palates. Nature is imperfect, I think we can agree.

      I happen to believe God remains perfect and can work in powerful ways, not in spite of but because of the fact that these people who suffer can show His greatness and glory in the midst of the hard conditions they must endure. Theirs is the greater reward. But to believe that you’d have to believe there is more to life than this physical body. Which, I think, is what the LGBT community says.

      Becky

      • “And how can that inner person be divorced from the body?”

        I am a whole physical being – what I display on my outside body has nothing to do the physical processes that drive my consciousness under the skin. My gender characteristics and my sexual orientation do not depend on my sex organs. Why do you think this should be the case? I know women who are aggressive, I know men who are deeply caring. I know heterosexual men who identify psychologically more with women than with men. I know animals who are gay. Even you can’t believe that your god created male and female in such unrealistic black and white boxes.

        Here’s a video from Stanford University that explains the physical processes in the brain that drive our sense of identity: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3C4ZJ7HyuE#t=0

        I’m glad to hear you at least you don’t advocate rejecting service on the basis of perceived sin. You’re right that some ministers refuse to marry divorcees so refusing to marry gay people is no different. The interesting thing about the bill in Arizona was that sexual orientation isn’t protected under discrimination laws there, so it would have added nothing new. That, if nothing else, is proof that this furore from Christians is driven by irrational discrimination against one traditionally oppressed section of society. It’s disgusting.

        Can you point me to a passage in the Bible where committed homosexual relationships are described as sinful? I only see references to promiscuous sex, condemned alongside promiscuous heterosexual sex.

        (I returned to the land of Blog a couple of months ago. I’m not sure how long I’ll last as I find it terribly time-consuming. Hope you’ve been well. I was amused to see you’ve been pressurised to remove talking animals from one of your books! What would CS Lewis say?)

        • Sorry to take so long getting back to you, Violetwisp. I had jury duty last week. Does that tell you how I’ve been? ;-) Actually, I rather like doing jury duty, but I had a stack of things that needed to get done in about a third of the time, so it was a crazy week.

          Yes, that talking animals thing was . . . interesting, to say the least. The thing is, my book is a lot stronger now because I didn’t use talking animals. I made up different races instead, which demanded a lot more worldbuilding and turned out to be a lot of fun. (I think “talking animals” was a default position because of Lewis and Richard Adams’ Watership Downs which I love).

          As before, I appreciate discussing topics like “Christians And Gay Rights” with you, Violetwisp. We disagree, but I feel as if you listen to and consider and evaluate rationally different points of view.

          In your comment you said

          what I display on my outside body has nothing to do the physical processes that drive my consciousness under the skin.

          I guess my question is, what scientific proof is there for this assertion? The thing about the “physical processes in the brain that drive our sense of identity,” there’s no consensus among scientists that the physical activity doesn’t alter the brain chemistry. See for example the following:

          A study, published last year and conducted at the Laboratory of Neuro Imaging at UCLA School of Medicine, explored the extent to which brain anatomy is associated with gender identity. “The degree to which one identifies as male or female has a profound impact on one’s life,” the authors wrote. “Yet, there is a limited understanding of what contributes to this important characteristic termed gender identity.” (“Brain Mapping Gender Identity: What Makes A Boy A Girl?”)

          And this:

          Whether the observed sex-atypical characteristics are the result of processes that occur during the fetal or neonatal periods, as is the case with gender identity and sexual orientation, is an open question. (“Sexual orientation and its basis in brain structure and function”)

          But I still don’t understand why a LGBT individual who says I feel like a certain gender, is credible and believed, whereas a Christian who says I have Jesus Christ in my life and He has changed me, is not believed.

          I was a little surprised that you assigned certain qualities like aggressiveness to a specific gender. Aren’t some of those–or at least their specific manifestation–determined by society? I think women have always been aggressive, for instance, but it manifests differently most of the time because of what is considered socially acceptable.

          Re a passage in the Bible’s dealing with homosexual behavior. Yes, but I’ll warn you ahead of time, it presupposes God and sin. ;-) I’m afraid it’s pretty long:

          19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world,fn in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

          24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.

          26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.

          28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. (Rom. 1:19-28)

          Becky

        • A few other passages Leviticus 18:22-30, Deut 22:5 (cross dressing), Deut. 23:1 (Such persons, exhibiting a mutilation (having privates cut off) of that human nature which was made in God’s image) Romans 1:32 (warnings to those who do, accept, and take pleasure in these) Yes, some may argue these passages from the Old Testament but Romans 6 tells us we do not have a right to continue in sin just because we are under grace.

  6. Nothing describes our world better than Isaiah 5:20-21.

    And for all those that ask what Jesus would do, read Luke 11:37-54. Jesus went to a man’s house and told him to his face that he was a sinner and needed to repent. Jesus repeatedly went to the sinners and told them in frank terms that they were sinners and needed to change their ways.

    But those who try to hide behind, “what would Jesus do”, need to really read Luke 11:52-54 and recognize themselves in the acts of the pharisees.

    • Thanks for the comment, Arphaxad. Yes, Jesus was quite blunt with those who pretended to be submitting to God’s law but were actually working it for their own angle. He didn’t let them get away with pretending to be what they were not.

      No doubt there are a great many people today who Jesus would challenge regarding this cleaning the cup only on the outside issue. I think Luke 11:52 is worth quoting:

      Woe to you lawyers [experts in the Mosaic Law]! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you yourselves did not enter [into knowledge], and you hindered those who were entering.”

      I think that speaks to the very point that Christians are being targeted. It’s not enough that the Christian message is ignored, it also needs to be silenced.

      Becky

  7. Thank you for this post. Truth is truth, whether anyone acknowledges is or not. And God’s Word – which is clear on this position – is Truth. The problem of sin infects us all. The thing most people seem quick to overlook is that while Jesus loved all people, He also called people to repent and sin no more. In today’s society, homosexuality seems to be the one sin that gets accepted – encouraged even – instead of repented.

    • Deb, I appreciate your comment. Yes, God’s Word stands forever. It’s not dependent upon our approval or not.

      And you’re right that Jesus called people to repent. Interestingly, “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8). He didn’t ask us to clean up our act so that we’d be qualified to come to Him, but once we’ve accepted His forgiveness, He gives us the new life we need and the love of righteousness and the means of escape from temptation and His Spirit and strength and, well, an enumerable list.

      I will say, though, I think there are other sins that are accepted, even encouraged. For example, western society is pretty much build on greed. It’s very acceptable to want more, to rent storage spaces to put the stuff we can’t use. Few people, even Christians, think twice about owning an abundance of anything. I could name others that have slipped into our culture, perhaps before we were born. The thing with homosexuality, this is changing under our noses.

      When I was a kid, my mom went back to college, and one of her classes was Abnormal Psychology. Believe it or not, homosexuality was listed in their textbook as one of the deviant behaviors. Now my guess is most people are shocked at such a thought. Even people who don’t think it’s right probably don’t think it is deviant. (And yes, I’m pretty sure there will be some people who read that and will be offended.)

      The truth is, all sin is deviant. It’s not how God made us to be.

      Becky

  8. Thoughtful post, Rebecca. The question I keep asking is: Who would want to force someone to make a cake for them they didn’t want to make? No rational human being. It just doesn’t make sense…unless one has the agenda of thought control.

    • Ok.

      Who would want to refuse their business service to a gay couple, who are completely inoffensive people who give no cause for rejection. No rational human being, it just doesn’t make sense… unless one has the agenda of hatred of God’s good creation, because you have to hate someone.

      Perhaps that takes us no further.

      Please read,

      http://pinkagendist.wordpress.com/2014/02/28/uganda-and-arizona-those-more-trammelled-by-convention/

      Inside the mind of a child, his terror and hurt. He does not want to control others’ thoughts, so much as to survive.

      I understand that the cakemaker has the idea that making this cake will mean recanting on his most precious beliefs- or they would not defend the court actions, and would not close their businesses down rather than risk baking for queers. But theirs is not the only pain.

      Both sides can propose courses of action for the other. They should just get on and bake the cakes, take the photographs. They should just go to some other provider: some actually specialise in gay weddings. But why do we propose action for other people, rather than seeking to understand?

    • Kerry, I do think there is intention in many of the confrontations–a way of drawing a line in the sand and forcing people to choose religious liberty or personal freedom, as the news stories framed it. I don’t think that was really the issue behind the veto, but it played out as if religion took one on the chin. Sad.

      Becky

  9. Thanks for your thoughtful post. It comes one day after I discovered what’s available on Amazon under “lesbian Christian.” There are pages and pages of well-written books redefining Bible interpretations of God’s condemnation of homosexuality; myriad stories of those “freed” from Christian bigotry after “suffering” childhoods in a Christian home; even evangelization manuals teaching methods to win Christian “bigots” over using love instead of anger.

    With certain denominations embracing and ordaining homosexuals, and many evangelical pulpits emphasizing only “God’s love,” we who believe scripture means what it says about this way of living cannot help but sound cold and closed-minded on the issue. I don’t want to debate the issue; I want to extend love to any homosexual who needs Jesus. It is my joy as one who desires to “show God’s love to the lost.”

    What I cannot seem to find even footing with, however, is someone who embraces homosexuality AND Christianity. How does one “fellowship” with “Christian lesbians” with that elephant in the room?

    • How does one fellowship with Christian lesbians, knowing that they have sexytimes, and aren’t ashamed of it? Well, how can they fellowship with you, Sinner?

      I feel my anger rising, so must state this completely clearly. Christians sin. We form callouses on our consciences round our particular sins, so we do not feel the rubbing so much. There we all are, all with our sins we don’t notice. There is the lesbian couple, who after searching their consciences do not believe that their long term relationship is sinful, but that it expresses the love of God. Even if they are wrong in this- you pick on their sex as a uniquely bad sin breaking fellowship, and I say that other sins, even the habitual sins of Christians, may be worse.

      • Clare, no doubt we get comfortable with our own sin–to our shame. The believers I know who advocate for marriage between one man and one woman do so on Biblical grounds, not because they think homosexuality is a particularly egregious sin but because it is so clear in Scripture and those who advocate for it are ignoring God’s word.

        There’s a lot at stake with the ripping apart of the family. The Bible uses a lot of “family” imagery, one being that the Church is the bride of Christ. How does that fit a “brideless” marriage? Christ is the head of the Church in the same way that the husband is head of his wife. What does that mean if marriage is redefined? In other words, changing this definition will obscure what God has revealed about Himself and His relationship with His people. It plays right into Satan’s hands.

        Becky


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