This whole “gay rights” agenda annoys me sometimes. For twenty years, it has been obvious to me that the goal of the militant end of the gay rights movement has not been merely about equality, or even recognition, but about the systematic silencing of anyone who would dare do so much as speak out to say that homosexual activity is wrong.
What annoys me even more is when Christians seem to want to gloss over what the Bible clearly says and call “wrong” right and “right” wrong. They seem to do it with the best of intention. Their arguments are nuanced, and I believe their intentions are good. But they seem to bend over backwards to read the plain sense out of the Bible texts to make them NOT be about “gay marriage,” all in the apparent name of trying to not leave those struggling with this attraction feeling marginalized. But calling a cheeseburger kosher merely to make the Jew not feel guilty when he eats one is not helping his cause.
Most annoying to me is when well-meaning but misguided Christians who embrace the “gay marriage” movement want to accuse those of us on the “anti” side of the fence of intolerance, divisiveness, exclusionism and marginalizing of those who have same-sex attraction and feel they have a blessing from God to act on it.
A classic case of just such an accusation comes in a somewhat judgmental article by Jonathan Merritt, on what he calls “the new scare word in Evangelical Christianity.” I’ve discussed this article before and see the need for it again. Some well-meaning Christians have adopted a message of grace to the point where it is no longer balanced with needful truth. As it says in proverbs, “the kisses of an enemy are sweet; but faithful are the wounds of a friend.”
I’m not being hateful when what I speak. I speak out of love and concern for all who seem to think that Jesus’ saying “do not judge” means “don’t ever tell anyone they shouldn’t be doing what they’re doing, or you’re hatin’….”
I don’t hate anyone. But I’m frustrated with the willful ignorance about what is going on in our society and how DUMB some people seem to want to be about the fact that a methodical push is happening from the militant end of the gay rights movement, all while some believers think we don’t need to speak out against anything because Jesus paid it all. He did. But he also said “wide is the gate and broad is the path….” And there are a lot of people who are dangerously close to stepping through it and walking on it, much to their own destruction.
The article by Mr. Merritt expresses his concern about “Conservative Christianity’s new scare word.” His article seems to be written primarily as a response to a new book by Dr. Albert Mohler, Jr. entitled, “We Cannot Be Silent: Speaking Truth To A Culture Redefining Sex, Marriage, And The Very Meaning Of Right And Wrong.”
But Mr. Merritt’s article goes far beyond criticizing the position that evangelicals take in defining same-sex expression as wrong. He goes to the point of implying that evangelicals who think this behavior is wrong are being hurtful and purposely exclusionary. His arguments are bizarre, beyond a point.
For instance, he says, “even if one believes that same-sex relationships do not align with God’s design for human beings, it does not necessarily follow that one must work to dispose of those who engage in it.” I’m not aware of anyone in the Evangelical Christian community who thinks we need to “dispose” of homosexuals, except, perhaps, for Westboro Baptist Church people. Enough said.
Mr. Merritt’s logic seems to go like this:
- To “normalize” means to accept something as normal
- The word is a cousin to “tolerate”
- These Christians believe that anything communicating that homosexuality is normal is wrong or evil
- Anything that would increase tolerance of homosexual relationships should be resisted
So far, he has pegged my position well. But the bigger problem is where Mr. Merritt goes next.
- Many of these Christians think this way from their reading of Romans 1, where Paul called same-sex relations “unnatural.”
- Whatever Paul meant by that, he wasn’t instructing Christians to band together to work to exclude anyone from social structures and institutions.
He believes that Christians are seeking to make these people abnormal in society – to marginalize them, to ostracize them, to make them move to the fringes of society. But it seems Mr. Merritt misses the problem with his approach. It’s a distinction without a difference; in the end, what we accept in our structures as “normal family” and what we accept in our institutions as “normal marriage” has huge ramifications for how our normal clashes with God’s abnormal. There is no way around this problem, and all is not well if we simply “all get along.”
It would be nice if all that was happening on the side of the homosexual movement was a push to allow these people to live life as they wish, without being treated as second-class citizens when it comes to housing, employment, education and rights to benefits, legal authority over medical decisions for same-sex partners and the like. If that was all that was coming from the movement, there would be a lot less pushback from the evangelical community.
I agree with Mr. Merritt’s general approach to homosexuals as people first – primarily as those who are loved by God, and are to be seen as made in His image, though that image is marred by sin. We need to see each and every person who may be dealing with same-sex attraction through the eyes of Jesus. But it’s not loving them to tell them that God is pleased with everything they do, when the scriptures seem to be clear that He is not. God loves them “as they are.” But He loves them too much to let them stay that way, without convicting them of where they fall short, for their own growth and good.
And absent from Mr. Merritt’s radar is the militant end of the homosexual movement and the agenda it has. It is an aggressive and relentless push to silence any opposition to what they do as “abnormal,” using the blunt force of law to punish any who would try to raise any voice against their activities, using the public school system to have their lifestyle taught to our children in brainwashing-fashion and forcing the rest of society to approve of what they do as “normal,” with fines and imprisonment for the disobedient among us.
Marsha Gessen says the purpose of the movement is to destroy marriage and to eventually eliminate it as an institution. An article at “The Nation” speaks quite candidly about the movement and what they should be targeting as goals. They state their wish-list, in no uncertain terms as one of disestablishing marriage, getting the state out the marriage business entirely, even abolishing marriage as a legal category, and all with an end-goal of establishing Marxism.
Mr. Merritt, “normalizing” something so inherently abnormal comes at a price that we, as a society, cannot afford to pay. I agree with you that we need to love the sinner and hate the sin. But I pray you can see the more militant end of this movement for what it is, and why the conservative community sees the need to push back. Otherwise, your sowing to the moral wind will aid in the world reaping a whirlwind.
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