Can You Give an Answer When Called a Bigot?

Last night I happened upon this interview between Piers Morgan and Rick Santorum from last August. In it, Morgan accuses Santorum of being a bigot for supporting policies that define marriage as the union of one man and one woman. Piers Morgan criticized Santorum for his Roman Catholic beliefs, and I think Santorum parried the questions really well.

It struck me as I was watching this that all of us who hold the traditional view are going to have to face this challenge at some point. Popular opinion seems to be moving against the sanctity of marriage, and we will all be challenged eventually to give a defense of the biblical view. You may be called a bigot. You may be called hateful. Are you prepared to give a defense?

For Christians, we are not primarily concerned with advancing any political agenda. We are interested first in foremost in the advancement of the gospel. How will we speak about this issue in a way that is clear and compelling? How can we speak faithfully when so many people will label us bigots for holding to the Bible?

Not long ago, I gave my answer to that question in a sermon I preached at my church. You can download it here or listen below.

[audio:http://kenwoodbaptistchurch.com/podcast/media/2011-07-26_denny_burk_7172011.mp3]

Here’s my outline:

I. Speak the Truth (Romans 1:26-27)
II. Speak the Gospel (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)
III. Speak Humility (1 Timothy 1:8-17)

14 Responses to Can You Give an Answer When Called a Bigot?

  1. Matt October 18, 2011 at 12:14 am #

    I wouldn’t vote for Santorum for president, but he did well in this interview. This interview is also another reason why no one should ever take Morgan seriously.

    Denny, also- thank you for the good commentary and reminder that we all will have to answer this question and we should answer it well.

  2. Paula October 18, 2011 at 12:46 am #

    Shellfish and slavery straw men in 3…2…1….

    I like Rick Santorum more every time I hear him speak. He’s taken the brunt of these obsessive attacks, including from Fox News’s Chris Wallace, who went after him last Sunday about DADT. Wallace interrogated him and lectured him about gays in the military being the same as blacks in the military. It’s like these “reporters” are a pack of salivating dogs following him from debate to debate just so they can ask him a “gay” question. It’s really kind of sick.

    I give Santorum a lot of credit for consistently inserting into the debate the fact that the destruction of the family is at the root of our unemployment and poverty problems.

    I really don’t know why conservative Christians haven’t gotten behind his campaign. He’s the most consistent pro-life candidate with a record to back it up and he articulates the pro-life message better than any other candidate in the race. He’s also strongly pro-marriage and pro-family.

    • yankeegospelgirl October 18, 2011 at 9:02 am #

      I did like how Rick handled that question from a soldier at the debates. However, I will confess that it’s been disappointing to see how conservatives how begun treating DADT like it’s this incredibly right-wing position. I think we’re settling for less than we should. It’s still not great for gays to be in the military EVEN IF they’re “not telling.” We should start systematically banning them. Another irony is the fantasy that the heterosexual men and women serving are chaste. People will say, “Sex has no place in the military,” but like it or not, it happens. Constantly. In an ideal world, the military would be entirely composed of heterosexual men.

      • Christiane October 18, 2011 at 9:27 am #

        YGG, it is possible for people with homosexual tendencies to live celibate lives.

        Celibacy is a Christian way of life for many. Some of these Christian people are in the military. Some of them have homosexual tendencies.

        Not sure where you are coming from in some of your statements, but please don’t rule out the possibility that people who are Christian, who live with certain temtations, are capable, through grace, of living a celibate existence.
        To state the impossibility of that grace openly is to cast doubt on that possibility, and on the grace that is able to help such people.

        • yankeegospelgirl October 18, 2011 at 9:34 am #

          Oh please. Like you really think it’s that big of a sin anyway.

          If you have those temptations, the most foolish thing you could possibly do is throw yourself into a situation where you are constantly surrounded by and living in close quarters with members of the same sex—sleeping, showering, etc. And frankly I don’t believe for a moment that the vast majority of gays in the military are earnest, pious believers struggling to fight their urges anyway.

          • Christiane October 18, 2011 at 11:26 am #

            I stand by my comment.
            Many Christian people suffer from temptations.
            Many Christian people choose celibacy as a way of life.
            When they commit their lives to Christ in that way, I don’t think that you would want to be the one to slander them.

          • yankeegospelgirl October 18, 2011 at 7:03 pm #

            I’m not slandering any Christians. I’m stating what should be obvious to anyone about the foolishness of allowing gays to serve in the military, and any Christian legitimately struggling with gay temptations should be able to agree with me and understand that foolishness quite well.

        • Andrea Francine October 19, 2011 at 6:52 am #

          Well put, Christiane, and I believe there is a book (“Washed and Waiting: Reflections on Christian Faithfulness and Homosexuality” by Wesley Hill) that gives a first person account of what you have described.

  3. Prayson Daniel October 18, 2011 at 2:38 am #

    Yes,I can give an answer even when I am called bigot, gay-hater e.t.c. I learnt that the secular world love the darkness and would do anything to make us ashame of reflecting Christ light in their lives.

    I was called gay-hater and judgemental helling going sinner for posting a defense of Leviticus 18 and 20.

    I believe we ought to answer with love, kindness, and gentleness defending the Biblical position of sexuality without being defensive. Our tagges are worth it, because to some who God grant knowledge through our defense, come home to the true Lord of their sexuality.

  4. Dillon October 18, 2011 at 10:55 am #

    Outstanding response from 6:20 – 6:54.

  5. Nathan October 18, 2011 at 11:24 am #

    Living a gospel-oriented life amongst the heathen is brighter and shinier than forcing them to whitewash their tombs.

  6. Mike Bird October 18, 2011 at 5:46 pm #

    I thought he did pretty well given the very hostile grilling he was getting.

  7. yankeegospelgirl October 18, 2011 at 9:22 pm #

    I only just now got around to watching the video clip. “Fine… well I should say not fine. I don’t think it’s fine at all.” Go Rick!

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