My friend John got involved in a conversation, I suppose we could call it, with a group of lesbians on a website they maintain. It felt more like getting caught in a crossfire, for my money.
“Your name came up,” he warned, “and I thought I’d better warn you, you may be hearing from them on your website.” Thanks a lot.
I went to the link John provided and read his extensive give-and-take with the participants in that group. It was not a pretty thing. He would type in some fairly reasonable statement in disagreement with their position and they would explode with ugliness, crudity, and accusations. He was a blankety-blank bigot, and once my name got involved–I’m still not sure how that happened–then I was a bigot of that brand and to that degree also.
I responded to John that I would not be saying anything to anyone from that camp trying to draw me into the fray. Some fights are not worth the effort. As the oldtimer said, a dog can whip a skunk, but it ain’t worth it.
I was telling a mutual friend about John and wondering why he even engaged these sisters in that conversation in the first place. He said, “Oh, John loves a good fight.” We laughed and I said, “He reminds me of Theodore Roosevelt’s dog.” TR’s mutt was always getting in fights and coming out on the losing end. A reporter said, “Mr. President, your dog’s not much of a fighter, is he?” Roosevelt said, “Oh no, he’s a wonderful fighter. He’s just a poor judge of dog!”
I suppose someone has to engage the homosexual activists and respond to their charges and then take the heat from the conflagration. But not everyone is called to that kind of verbal conflict. I, for one, know almost nothing about lesbianism or male homosexuality. (I prefer not to call them ‘gays,’ since I’ve never met one yet who was gay, meaning “showing a joyous or merry mood.” –Webster.)
I do not claim to know why they do what they do, nor do I know what forces are at work either genetically, prenatally, socially, or parentally that form these proclivities within them, and I am frequently at a loss as to what our (evangelical Christians’) positions regarding them should be.
This much I do know: we are to love homosexuals and to act toward them with integrity and Christlikeness, just as we are to do with everyone else. In I Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul makes the point that people of certain misbehaviors are not going to heaven (“will not inherit the kingdom of God,” which I take to mean the same thing), but that the church in Corinth was made up of people who used to do these very things. Jesus Christ had redeemed them. They were washed, they were sanctified, they were justified, he says.
In every congregation being true to the Gospel of Christ, you will always find members with “histories.” They are trophies of the Lord’s grace and evidence the church is getting it right.
Let us establish the point that the I Corinthians 6 list not only includes homosexuals and adulterers and the like, but drunkards and thieves and the covetous. We should not be condoning our own sins while condemning the sins we do not indulge in. That is the very essence of hypocrisy.
Whatever this passage tells us about homosexuality, it proves–to me at any rate–that Christians in Corinth must not have erected signs announcing “fags will burn in hell forever.” They must have loved those people and received them and ministered to them and showed them the presence of Christ by their behavior. However they did it and whatever they did–and don’t I wish we knew–sooner or later, the effeminate and the homosexuals and the thieves and drunkards and the others responded to this love and wanted in on the Kingdom which these Christians preached.
Soon after arriving in metro New Orleans in 1990, I received a phone call from someone from a local television station putting together a debate between a couple of “gays” and two preachers for a future telecast. One of the ministers had to cancel and they wondered if I could take his place. I did not have to mull this over and call them back. “No, thank you,” I said. Such debates are no-win affairs. All it does is hold the Gospel up to ridicule, and–if I may say so–it debases the Gospel by leaving outsiders to conclude that God’s position is limited to whatever portion of the truth I possess and whatever level of wisdom and logic I may contribute.
As in the case of John’s debate with the lesbians, there is no point in trying to discuss anything with someone who takes the very fact of your disagreeing as evidence that you are an idiot and a bigot. End of discussion, time to head home.
I may be a weak defender of Christian truth, but that does not change its character. The Truth is the Truth and always will be, whether I believe it and defend it well, believe it and defend it sloppily, or even deny it altogether.
The New Testament has much to say about marriage–always in favor–and about healthy husband and wife relationships. When it mentions other kinds of sexual behavior, whether fornication or adultery or homosexuality, it’s always in a negative sense. God’s children are to avoid it.
Even if one could establish that homosexuals are born that way–and my understanding is that this is still the pipe dream of the homosexual lobby and a long way from being proven by science–it still would not make it right. God’s word is consistent from one end to the other that this behavior is forbidden for believers. However, only believers are interested in knowing this and obeying God’s Word. For everyone else, these are fighting words.
I think you can see why I shy away from such confrontations. I will not be visiting anyone’s chat room or appearing on Larry King Live or anywhere else to try to convince homosexuals that they are mistaken.
If you are called to do so and willing to do the study and prayer of preparation and can do this in the Spirit of Christ, I applaud you and promise to pray for you. Be sure to wear your armor. (Ephesians 6)
The Lord Jesus warned His disciples not to cast their pearls before swine. (Matthew 7:6) Since that is sure to offend homosexual activists–“You’re calling us pigs!”–I will not be quoting it to anyone except other believers whom I encourage to obey its command. All the homosexuals will get from me is love, Christ-like love, to the extent the Holy Spirit is able to flow through me.
I keep thinking of the infamous atheist Madalyn Murray O’Hair, truly one of the most unlikeable humans to ever walk this earth. After her legal actions and verbal rants against Christians, she began to be called “the most hated woman in America.” If that was the case, it shows how far God’s people fall below His standard. Jesus taught us to love our enemies and to do them good, praying for them, giving to them, blessing them. (Luke 6:27ff.)
The 1960s placard calling on everyone to “make love, not war” has a lot going for it, so long as we understand that “love” means “to care deeply and act out of compassionate consideration of others.” (Not “Webster” this time. McKeever.)