01 May 2013

I'm Confused

On an ESPN show, Outside the Lines, Chris Broussard said some strong things in the midst of the recent coming out of NBA player Jason Collins.  He says a lot of other things which are quite neutral, especially when you find out where he's coming from as a Christian.  Here are his "controversial" remarks:

 What I'm confused about is this: why is it that when a gay person stands up for their beliefs and lifestyle, it is courageous, but when anyone who disagrees (regardless of religion, but it seems to be evangelical Christians who get the most heat for it) stands up for their beliefs and lifestyle, they are hateful bigots?  Some tolerance you got there!  Just because LBGTs say the Bible

There is a lot more to this interview than this snippet allows.  I encourage you to watch the whole exchange (which is 13 minutes long and also features openly gay reporter LZ Granderson), which you can find here.  Granderson believes he is a Christian, though his primary argument is political, not theological: you [Christians] say we are sinners because we have sex outside of marriage, yet you don't want us to get married, so "a brother's gotta do what a brother's gotta do" (his words).

No, a person (gay or straight) doesn't "gotta do what a [person's] gotta do."  There is no absolute NEED to have sex; it is a desire, not a need.  Your survival as an individual does not depend on having sex.  Many people live celibate and happy lives.  God's will is for sex to be in the context of marriage alone, and in heterosexual marriage specifically.  If you are gay and a Christian, then that means you willingly become celibate because loving and obeying Jesus ought to be more important than your lust.  There are a lot worse things that can happen to a person than celibacy.

Interestingly, Jason Collins was phoned by President Obama, tweeted by Michelle Obama, and is being hailed all over the country as a hero.  Because he's gay.  And a pro athlete.  Meanwhile, hundreds of soldiers have died for this country under Obama's watch, and how many surviving families get a phone call?  How many slain law enforcement officers' families get a phone call?  I thought LBGTs wanted to be treated like everyone else.  If that's so, then announcing your sexual orientation ought to receive as much fanfare as a straight NBA player announcing his sexual orientation.

I understand that culturally we have come/drifted a long way, and that this is becoming more common (I didn't say "normal.").  Frankly, I don't really care if someone's sexual temptation comes from the opposite gender or the same; what matters is holiness and obedience to the gospel of Christ, part of which is reserving sexual activity for marriage as defined by the Bible.  Is this hate speech, or understanding what the Bible says?  Why is it "intolerant" and "hateful" for Christians to affirm what the Bible says and not blindly accept all statements as harmless truth, yet to spew oceans of vile venom about how hateful Christians are is okay, even celebrated?  "Way to go, you tell those hateful SOBs how much they deserve to die a painful death and rot in a shameful afterlife!  They are so bigoted and backward because they don't agree with us!  We are so progressive, fashionable, and enlightened because we don't agree with them!"

Since when did "The Bible does not teach ______" become hate-filled bigotry, while laughingly belittling and bullying Christians (who do not believe that homosexuality is a mortal sin) is championing civil rights?  We Christians hear this a lot (though not this clearly): "you need to learn tolerance, you backwards, superstitious, hateful, archaic, irrelevant imbeciles!"  Maybe if we had a good example of tolerance...

And when the LBGT-friendly community actually does try to speak with Christians about this issue in an irenic way, it still reeks of a superiority complex:

LBGTFriendly: we need to have this conversation, we need to come together and talk about this in a peaceful way.

Christian: I agree.

LBGTF: I'm a Christian, too, and I believe God is love.

Christian: OK, but he's not love alone.  He is also holy and righteous and wrathful...

LBGTF: That's your interpretation, and what we need is a tolerant, peaceful discussion.

Christian: I'm trying to do that, but your interpretation of the nature of God is flawed and limited.

L: It's this kind of narrow-mindedness that is stalling this conversation from moving forward.

C: You mean, like, trying to figure out what the Bible actually says?

L: Look, I know I'm a Christian.  Jesus tells me so.

C: Where does Jesus tell you it's okay to be sexually active outside of marriage?

L: I don't appreciate your tone.  I'm trying to have an intelligent conversation with you and you keep offending me with your narrow interpretation and insensitivity.

C: Look, the Bible clearly calls homosexual sex sin.

L: I don't appreciate being judged.  God is my judge, not you.

C: Judging and telling the truth are two different things.  Judging means you are pronouncing a person's eternal destiny and standing before God.  Calling something you do a sin doesn't necessarily mean you're going to hell for it.

L: I'm disappointed by your words - they are hurtful and sound judgmental.  What's lacking here is respect and tolerance for different viewpoints.

C: No, I'm tolerating you just fine.  Tolerating someone does not mean accepting everything they say as true; that wouldn't be tolerance anymore. 

L: I'm sad that you aren't on the right side of history.  I feel sorry for you.

C: There's no way to win here, is there?

L: No.

One of these two is a hero for standing up for what he believes in (even though he claims to accept everyone's beliefs . . . except those that oppose his), and one is ignorant and prejudiced.

I'm confused.

1 comment:

Hannah Byrne said...

There is a book I just read that would suggest a totally different type of conversation with the homosexual community all together:

Speaking of Jesus
The Art of Not-Evangelism
by Carl Medearis

This would be interesting to discuss some Sunday night at bible study!