The title of this post is a misnomer. What I really mean to ask is if you’re paying attention to the response to Kirk Cameron’s recent remarks about gay marriage on Piers Morgan’s television program (see above). Cameron did not come on the program to talk about homosexuality, and he even looked like he was trying to change the subject. But Morgan pressed him, and so Cameron answered.
When Morgan asked him about gay marriage, Cameron said,
Marriage is almost as old as dirt, and it was defined in the garden between Adam and Eve. One man, one woman for life till death do you part. So I would never attempt to try to redefine marriage. And I don’t think anyone else should either. So do I support the idea of gay marriage? No, I don’t.
Then Morgan asked him his views on homosexuality, and Cameron responded,
I think that it’s – it’s – it’s unnatural. I think that it’s – it’s detrimental, and ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.
What has been instructive to watch has not been Cameron’s remarks, but the response. Cameron is a Christian, and he merely summarized the 2,000-year old teaching of the church that homosexuality is a sin (Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 Tim. 1:9-10). Nothing new here. Nothing has changed on that front.
What has changed dramatically over the last 10 years has been society’s attitudes about homosexuality. By and large, people are more and more open to homosexuality as a wholesome, morally unproblematic way of life. But this, too, should not be news to anyone.
What is instructive about this interview has been how openly vitriolic people have become to the idea of a Christian sexual ethic. It’s not just that people disagree with Cameron. No, they accuse him of engaging in “hate” speech and of being “homophobic.” I saw one public figure accuse him of being complicit in murder. The denunciations of Cameron have been relentless (see here, here). They accuse Cameron and his ilk of being intolerant. All the while, they seem to be blissfully unaware of their own malignant intolerance of Christian morality.
Are we really at a place where a Christian who is pressed for his views on a matter can no longer state those views without being tarred and feathered? I think we are. Christianity hasn’t changed, but the moral consensus of our culture has.
“Heed instruction and be wise” (Proverbs 8:33). We are only at the beginning of a process that probably will not go very well for us in the long haul. The trend lines are going against us on this one. Unless something radical changes in our society, we’ll all be found guilty of hate speech simply for holding to the ancient faith that was once-for-all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:3).
Right now, we are being censured in the court of public opinion for our beliefs about human sexuality. The days will come when the consequences of those beliefs will become more severe. I find myself thinking more and more about what may come and praying for the grace to persevere in faithfulness to Christ when the going gets tough (Jas. 1:12; Rev. 21:7).
I appreciate Cameron for being so bold. He is under fire now from many, but I for one am grateful for his courage to speak the truth.
Today, Cameron released a statement in response to the furor. I close with this excerpt:
I believe that freedom of speech and freedom of religion go hand-in-hand in America. I should be able to express moral views on social issues – especially those that have been the underpinning of Western civilization for 2,000 years – without being slandered, accused of hate speech, and told from those who preach “tolerance” that I need to either bend my beliefs totheir moral standards or be silent when I’m in the public square.
In any society that is governed by the rule of law, some form of morality is always imposed. It’s inescapable. But it is also a complicated subject, and that is why I believe we need to learn how to debate these things with greater love and respect.
Well done Kirk!
A seriously great response to a difficult trap of a question.
there wasn’t much of a trap to the question…answer the question honestly, and expect Piers to grill you on it, or get all Joel Osteen on him, and expect Piers to grill you on it.
Kudos to Kirk for being honest in his response.
Thank you Denny!
We have got to start ringing the alarm bells on this.
You can tell that the church has, by and large, been silent too long, because this makes the news. I suspect that we were so fearful of being lumped in with Westboro Cult that we steared into the other ditch.
My gut feeling is that we have already lost the last generation of ‘church going’ kids on this issue, but we don’t know it yet.
Most of our kids are perceptive enough not to disagree publicly on it in youth group (if the subject ever comes up), but I believe 10 years of indoctrination has taken its toll.
Once so-called ‘gay marriage’ is the law of the land (50 states), I believe the church is in for all kinds of legal mischief to outright persecution.
And no one will be advocating tolerance for us.
Short of an amendment to the US constitution, gay marriage will never be legal in all 50 states. There are multiple states with constitutional amendments stating the parameters of marriage. The closest that it could get would be a full DOMA repeal, which would mean that gay marriages would have to be acknowledged in all 50 states. But that still leaves plenty of pitfalls. States like California that have domestic partnerships? Those are not marriages, and therefore wouldn’t have to be acknowledged. Ditto with Illinois’ civil unions.
While public opinion is clearly changing on this (even amongst conservatives), the full ramifications of it probably will not be felt in our lifetimes.
Dont be surprised when “legislation” like the following comes to the States.
I was proud of him for being upfront and biblical. It isn’t easy these days. He is a good example for us.
I think the reason I have been so interested in reading about first century Christian martyrs is because I think we need to be ready. Our children REALLY need to be ready to stand up for biblical truth.
Thank you for this post Denny.
Thank you for bringing this to my attention. I’m very interested to hear about Kirk’s new project. I wonder if it will be made available on DVD for those who miss the live event?
Here is a link to a critical review that may have the info you desire. Link I found it interesting that this article was written by one of his closest friends.
Thanks for the link. Strange article, but I have found that attitude to be typical of a certain conservative splinter group. I think it’s mildly amusing that Kirk is talking about “getting back to the Pilgrims,” when actually this reviewer is probably closer to their brand of Puritanism than Kirk is.
As one passionate about my Heavenly Father and also a mom of many, I am so thankful for Kirk. He speaks truth with love. He doesn’t participate in the ugliness, but speaks reflecting God’s Word.
The problem that the church is having in the marriage debate results from the pressure it’s putting on a secular society to live by its ideals.
Show the world an example of godly marriage and tell them why it is good and you will be in the clear. Force them to follow the same rules and you’ll be bucked. Notice that the definitions of the Bible, Communion, Baptism, Sabbath, etc don’t make the news. Why? Because no one is being forced to follow one definition of the sacred over another in these instances. But for some reason, the church wants to control who gets to be married, even people who don’t hold the church’s faith.
You can try to come up with some arguments that aren’t based on religion. The non-religious arguments that I’ve seen don’t pass the smell test –they’re pretty much thinly veiled religious bigotry. The shift we’ve seen in the world is probably the result of people having their own empirical observations that are contrary to the boogieman the church has been presenting for years. I, for example, know plenty of gay people that are in no way detrimental nor ultimately destructive to so many of the foundations of civilization.
While some may be trying to force the world to live by the church’s ideals, how would you differentiate that from simple participation in a democratic republic? Everyone is free to contend for his or her view. Why shouldn’t Christians promote a biblical view?
Ryan, I wonder that myself whenever I hear about Christians trying to impose their views on an unbelieving world through politics.
The U.S. is a representative democracy, which means every time people cast votes, whether in Congress or in voting booths, they are contending for their views, and declaring their convictions about what constitutes sound and just public policy.
And since there is almost always a choice on ballots and since majority rules, there is simply no escaping the fact that in contending for our views and declaring our convictions when we vote, we are also, by consequence, imposing them on others. We meaning everyone, not only Christians. The Christian no different than anyone else who exercises his or her right as a free citizen living in these United States.
The often repeated “You can’t legislate morality” entirely misses the fact that all laws have moral presuppositions and goals. Someone’s morality reigns in every piece of legislation ever written. This is why it is so important to not let persons like Nathan easily get away with gravely insubstantial slurs of bigotry, and direct the discussion back to the substance of each argument.
But Nathan, didn’t you comment on the post about Barbara Johnson? If you are the same Nathan, then It is curious that you would claim that subjects like Communion do not make the news. It did last week, and I suspect will continue to as the Church attempts to guard the Sacraments against intrusion of a hostile secular society. (Unlike within Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy, marriage is not a Sacrament in the Protestant tradition. More’s the pity, I am coming to be persuaded.)
Anyway, I am less concerned with the State recognizing a distortion of marriage, then I am of the State attempting to force the Church into accepting that distortion. The Obama Administration already used anti-discrimination laws to challenge how the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod defines “minister,” and now that it is trying to force the Roman Catholic Church to violate its teaching on contraception in order to be in compliance with federal law. Under this current administration or some other, there will undoubtedly be another unprecedented intrusion by the State onto the Church. Marriage is the obvious next occasion. While I don’t think the State will force the Church to perform same-sex ceremonies, I do think that the State will eventually refuse to license as marriage officiants any pastor or priest who refuses to perform those ceremonies.
Christian Marriage may just have to go underground.
“Notice that the definitions of the Bible, Communion, Baptism, Sabbath, etc don’t make the news. Why? Because no one is being forced to follow one definition of the sacred over another in these instances. But for some reason, the church wants to control who gets to be married, even people who don’t hold the church’s faith.”
This is overlaps multiple areas that are related nowhere other than caricatures of the matter. Where do children come from, Nathan? How are the other matters related to something that is so plainfacedly necessary to common human existence? They aren’t. So why are you comparing them?
Secondly, as Ryan wonderfully pointed out, somebody’s view must be the standard. Can one reason be given to deviate from a traditional Christian view, other than variations on “I wanna!!” Again, where do children come from? Could an utterly unreligious person, committed completely to materialism, find any reason to encourage anything other than one man and one woman, apart from feelings that people are having? We don’t want to encourage feelings, this should be obvious, but what is entirely worth encouraging is a stable household, in which two people of the opposite sex – the only procreative scenario – are in a committed relationship.
There really isn’t another scenario that is anything other than demands that the government affirm one’s feelings and urges. Why, indeed, should we be in the business of that?
Nathan, why don’t the issues you mention make the news? Because nobody is forcing you to accept a redefinition of them. In a recent radio interview I was asked why the church makes such a fuss over the gay movement. My response was simple, the church isn’t making a fuss over it, the gay movement is and we are forced to respond. Granted, that response is not always what it should be, but the church cannot remain silent on what is so fundamental to our faith–gender distinction, marriage, and family as defined by God.
Those of us who follow the issue know what is at stake. It would be nice to let bygones be bygones, but gay activists want to use the same-sex marriage issue to legislate acceptance for the whole LGBT train. It isn’t simply a matter of the church turning the other cheek and blissfully thinking it will all be okay. Some of the gay manifestos that I have read include reforming the church at large. Hate speech laws are all part of the plan to silence dissent. At the end of the day it isn’t the church imposing its will on gays, it is gay activists imposing their agenda on us–like gay history in California schools.
Just because one does not see immediate detrimental effects doesn’t mean erosion isn’t taking place. You cannot efface gender distinction, redefine marriage and family and not expect the foundation to begin to crumble. By the time the effects are duly noted, it will be too late. In all of this we must defend the faith on the one hand, while advancing with the gospel on the other. May we do so with an equal proportion of grace and truth.
Sadly, I think Kirk was more upfront here on the issue of gay marriage than I have seen Tim Keller be in the past, and Kirk isn’t even a pastor.
No surprise that people are responding so negatively to the truth. The Kingdom of Heaven is upside down as compared to the Kingdom of Earth. What is viewed as hate speech by the world is in actuality love.
And dang, he is STILL cute.
I’m glad Kirk is honest and didn’t shy away from being put on the spot by Piers Morgan. At the same time, I think the gay marriage debate is almost irrelevant. The problem is sin.
I don’t think it becomes even more of a sin if one homosexual marries another. We’re already past the tipping point of the depth of sexual immorality in our society. Heterosexuals increasingly engage in premarital sex and many are promiscuous and increasingly non-monogamous.
If you believe that God has defined marriage as between a man and a woman then you should also believe that God would consider a marriage between homosexuals to be invalid. We don’t win some great battle for God every time a state affirms marriage as between man and woman or if a state repeals gay marriage legislation. Those people are still lost and must be found.
That is absolutely true, but it does not exclude the civic question. Why be indolent about defending good ideas and legitimately moral social structures, especially in a democratic republic? Are we not accountable for defending the right? Would we not be accountable for doing nothing while that which is clearly virtuous and good is ostensibly outlawed?
Unfortunately, Kirk did not actually summarize the church’s position on homosexuality by calling it “sin.” Instead, he called it “unnatural,” a tricky term that I suspect is part of the cause of the reaction he has received: http://www.christandpopculture.com/elsewhere/kirk-cameron-thinks-homosexuality-is-unnatural-but-is-he-right/
So you believe calling it sin would have propagated a more pleasant response?
The article made this strange observation: “In other words, I think there is a very, very good chance that Cameron just talked past the CNN viewers and made himself and (perhaps) Christianity look antiquated and ignorant.”
Isn’t this what happens anyway? Would the solution to never say anything, or, to spend a half an hour on hermeneutics, only to find that the culture still hates Him?
I think Kirk did fine. That article defines “hair-splitting” for me. Could he have been even more direct? Sure, but there’s nothing wrong with what he did say.
He used the word UNNATURAL because that’s what Paul the Apostle says in Romans chapter one, that “men and women exchanged NATURAL unions for UnNatural ones.” Again he was just being Biblical.
The church can push its agenda on the rest of America, but I’m not sure what all the griping and complaining is about when people push back with other agendas. If the church wants to play in the political world, then it has to take the lumps that are bound to happen. Instead of allowing people to live peaceably according to their on conscience, it seems to me that the church would rather strong-arm people into what it thinks is best. I’ve said it again and again over the years — there’s going to be payback. We ARE going to see the day when churches lose some freedoms. BUT, you’ll interpret that as being persecuted for doing what is right instead of being punished for doing what is wrong. When the church had a chance to be salt and light it stood in as judge and dictator instead. By doing so, it forfeited relevance, lost the culture war, and very well may be plowed under…
The Bible is a big book with lots (all of it) of good teachings that everyone ought to live by. BUT not all of it should be legislated because… 1) We have religious freedom that allows people to follow non-Christian gods into non-Christian things (even things that we think are yucky), 2) You CAN’T make someone a Christian — Why do you want someone to follow a Christian rule? To white-wash them and please your own sensibilities?
What I think the church should do (regarding same-sex marriage): 1) Be an example that shows/proves to the world that the way you live IS the better way than what they’ve come up with. 2) Tell the world why you live the way do, being honest about the choices that you are confronted with. 3) Let the world choose to follow your lead, with God’s help, or ignore you.
“but I’m not sure what all the griping and complaining is about when people push back with other agendas”
I have no idea what this means or what you are contrasting it with. Saying nothing? Doing nothing? Clearly, yes, for you, but doing something is what is going on, and debating it endlessly. If you want to call that griping, go ahead. People ALWAYS push back with other agendas. What EXACTLY should be done in civic engagement, and make sure you explain your terms further, for instance, distinguish “griping and complaining” from what you are doing right now.
“Instead of allowing people to live peaceably according to their on conscience”
This doesn’t mean anything at all.
“there’s going to be payback.”
There always is! Who cares? Doing nothing is not an option.
“BUT, you’ll interpret that as being persecuted for doing what is right instead of being punished for doing what is wrong.”
Do you know Church History very well? I’d give that baseless assertion a little more contemplation and study before I’d say it again. How EXACTLY is it “wrong”?
“When the church had a chance to be salt and light it stood in as judge and dictator instead.”
Hyperbolic nonsense. We have laws, right? What are these laws based on? And why is it that you are not making a distinction between the activity of the “church” (? This is also a very confusing term. You do know that there are a great deal of liberal, mainline, and nominal Protestants and Catholics who would be more than happy to see this matter through, right? What “church”?)
And here is where you demonstrate your confused witness…
“By doing so, it forfeited relevance, lost the culture war, and very well may be plowed under…”
What “culture war”? What happened to “allowing people to live peaceably according to their on conscience.” How EXACTLY can a silent, spineless, rudderless church be salt and light without making a contrast? How can “relevance”, in this context, mean anything other than “palatable to those who hate Jesus”? How is it our job to grind down the sharp edges of Christianity just to avoid conflict?
“BUT not all of it should be legislated because” Now, wait a minute, now some of it should be made into “judge and dictator”? Where’s the salt and light? You have lost all leverage, you cannot now take it back and say “well, you can “strong arm” people over some of it” because you haven’t made any distinctions at all? Is there an interpretive grid over the civic application of Christian ethics or not? To this point, you clearly say “not”, but now you want to take it back. A little.
“We have religious freedom that allows people to follow non-Christian gods into non-Christian things”
Firstly, again, you have lost any leverage to cite Christian ethics in any matter ever, in the public square. Secondly, this has nothing to do with an entirely reasonable application of Christian ethics (monogamous, heterosexual marriage between two people) in a civic forum. Is child sacrifice OK? No? Why? Which leads to your second assertion…
“You CAN’T make someone a Christian”
As far as I can tell, this is the only thing you have said that is correct. But so what? Presumably you can’t see any value in having laws that have a foundation in Christian Ethics, otherwise you wouldn’t ask “Why do you want someone to follow a Christian rule”. But, wait a minute, didn’t you just head-fake towards an application of biblical ethics in the last paragraph? Why the change of heart, yet again?
“Be an example that shows/proves to the world that the way you live IS the better way than what they’ve come up with”
If it IS a better way, even from a common grace standpoint, then why not find ways to encourage it? You say it is a better way, but you would find it anathema to encourage it through legislation? This doesn’t make any sense at all.
“Tell the world why you live the way do, being honest about the choices that you are confronted with.”
Differentiate this from “griping and complaining is about when people push back with other agendas.”
“Let the world choose to follow your lead, with God’s help, or ignore you.”
Nathan, I just don’t know what any of this is about. On the one hand we should speak up, on the other hand, we should do nothing, on the one hand, it is a better way, on the other hand, we should never do anything to propagate a way that is better, on the one hand, we are attempting to grossly impinge the consciences of the culture, on the other hand, there are biblical ethics that are worth considering in matters of legislation and public law.
You largely devour your own points in arguing against the point you hate, you leave yourself no room to defend your own ideas, because your criticisms could be used of anyone at any time who engaged in civic debate for the purpose the general welfare. You aren’t making any sense.
The church (maybe Christians would have been a better term) were not salt and light during the AIDS epidemic in the US. I know, I was there. I realize it’s anecdotal, but I had to listen to my father declare that “they” (gays and/or those with HIV/AIDS) ought to be shipped off to some island to die. Listen to news casts of the vitriolic statements that national pastors made at that time. Pastors, friends, college mates all made similar comments. NOW Denny complains about the vitriol in the opposite direction. (search for the word vitriolic in his post). Don’t be surprised that those that survived your death wish have turned around to abhor you and your attempt to continue to control them. If and when “they” win, don’t take the harm done by their hand to be some kind of glorious persecution that you endure because you were faithful to God, it’s God’s punishment for not being the type of person you ought to have been when people were sick, dying and needing more than gloating holier-than-thous.
Nathan, I can imagine your frustration over the hatred you’ve seen directed against homosexuals, and the failure of Christians you’ve known to show them mercy. I can only say that this has not been my experience at all. However, it is simply not true that all of those who contend for a Christian view of marriage hate homosexuals, and therefore they are not worthy of any group of people to “turn around to abhor you and your attempt to continue to control them.”
You seem to be advocating that Christians abandon public and political engagement altogether. Is this the case? Should we shame William Wilberforce for fighting to abolish slavery and care for the poor in Britain’s political forum?
Well done Kirk Cameron.
Dr. Burke, what you call “Christian Morality” should correctly be called fundamentalist/conservative Christianity. All Christians do not agree with you, as a visit to the seminary less than a mile from your offices would demonstrate.
As per your question “are we really at a polace where a Christian who is pressed for his views on a matter can no longer state those views without being tarred and featherd…..”?
Yes, and we have been for some time.
When I tried to point this (the obvious to most of us) out when I posted here previously, you sent me a private note about it. I believe you thought I was trying to be difficutl or confrontational. I was not. I was trying to point out that these are the rules we will all be living with.
Can people like Mr. Kirk say such things? Yes. Can the KKK say racist things? Yes.
Will most Americans (yes, and that was my point, MOST, and more and more every day) group the two as bigots? Yes. What Mr. Kirk was hateful (the victim, in this case, the GLBT community decides that now…again, I am not being confrontational…just stating a ‘fact on the ground’) and he has been appropriately derided for it.
As for the ‘intolerance’ shown toward (your branch, not all) of Christian belief, well, society will allow such thoughts to be expressed, but the “we are not tolerated!” claim you make, due to your own history of fighting against the rights of others, will be seen by the majority, including of many other American Christians, as ironic as best.
“Tolerate us, even though we have worked so hard to write intolerance against you into law, the marriage code, and society in general…for your own good of course, as WE understand it from OUR understanding of scripture”.
I know most who read this wont like it. But, like it or not, it is the truth.
The main reason I even writ this is that fact that I am kind of stunned that anyone IS stunned that Mr. Kirk has gotten the reaction he has. (and deserved) Did anyone really expect otherwise? I mean…how much interaction does the college/seminary have with the surrounding society, business world, culture, etc?
I hope this is not misinterpreted as confrontational. It isn’t it…but, from reading a lot of the posts in here, sometimes it seems that a lot of you really don’t realize how much the world outside your walls (society/govn./church) has changed, those who hold your opinions will be classed with klansmen and anti semites (see the reaction to Mr. Kirk) and that was, when reading some of the posts in the past about GLBT issues, was always the point.
I wasn’t stunned—don’t know about anyone else.
By the way, if you claim to be a Christian, it’s people like you who make me tremble for the future of the church in America.
Many, many years ago the cultural elites cast Christians as atheists, misanthropes, traitors to the state, and cannibals. They were blamed for a devastating fire in the city of Rome and subsequently were used themselves as (temporarily) living torches to light the emperor’s garden. As Justin Martyr remarked in the second century, when things went poorly for the Romans–they lost a battle, or a crop failed–the cry went up, “The Christians to the lions!”
In the sixteenth century, men and women of Christian conscience who refused to bow the knee to the state when it told them what they had to believe and say about Christian teachings were banished, imprisoned, and sometimes burned at the stake.
In many parts of Asia and Africa today, churches are destroyed and Christians killed because they are an affront to the dominant religions of those regions.
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way beause of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin. Now, however, they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates me hates my Father as well.”
This, also, is the truth, Kelly. For my part, I would rather receive their insults, their assaults, and even their condemnation than suffer their approbations. For the praise of the world is as death.
It is not hateful to call something a sin. Is it hateful to call call murder a sin? Is it hateful to call idol worship a sin? Is it hateful to say those who do not worship God are in sin? It is an absurdity.
Your response is indicative of the moral transvalution that has taken place as more and more moral relativists call good evil and evil good (Isaiah 5:20). Since when is debate the equivalent of hate? Since when is speaking out against sexual perversion the equivalent of racism? The Bible condemns both sexual immorality of any kind and racism. So your analogy with the KKK is a non sequitur. Those heaping ad hominem insult on any who dare to stand for the truth on this issue, do so with intolerance that masquerades as tolerance. In the end, there are moral absolutes that flow from the Holy nature of God which are not subject to the public opinion polls of sinful humanity. I am sure those who saw the flood waters rising in Noah’s day realized too late that the majority are usually wrong!
There are many denominations, and millions of Christians, like me Yankeegospelgirl. As it happens, many of us used to feel the same way about you, but, I am not looking for an argument.
Though you may notice I used the past tense.
I just found it odd when I posted here before (some months ago) that so many conservative people who post here seemed surprised when I pointed out this new state of things, and were even in denial that the Church does not speak with one voice (the conservative one) on this matter, which, like it or not, it does not.
Well, as Paul Washer says, the Church is not divided. There has only ever been one Church.
Amen yankeegospelgirl! You (and Paul Washer) are correct.
I don’t think Paul Washer is correct on everything (Calvinism, for one), but he is correct there. 😛
seems denial is, among some conservatives, more than just a river in Egypt.
JohnnyM, the whole point is that many Christians, usually from denominations with a far more impressive history of Biblical scholarship than Southern Baptists do NOT consider committed same gender realationships a sin in of themselves, and those who do will be called out on it.
Remember, interracial marriage was once considered a sin. Anti semitism was not at one time considered a sin. Banking (ursury) was considered a sin. Women having any role in the church was considered a sin and error (not universal, but even most conservative/pentocostal evangelicals would not be in allignment with the SBC on that) and Slavery was seen as an insitution that was not only acceptable, but the Bible was used (and scripture quoted) to support it ( until, gasp, LIBERALS, by the standards of the day) used a new understandig of the Bible to confront the Biblical passages that even described how to buy, sell and treat slaves, and mentions how slaves should submit to their masters.
It happened with those issues, it is and will continur to happen with this issue, and, in a few generations, the Church will issue an apology like the one back in 85, which, I will add, nearly caused a few of my older Southern Baptist relatives to have heart attacks, but, it was issued nonetheless.
I am not looking for a fight….I am just pointing out reality, the fact that things have changed, and the weirdness that anyone is at all shocked by the (appropriate) reaction Mr. Kirk is getting.
No need to shoot the messenger.
Or hide from reality, I would add.
There are a few problems with your analysis, Kelly, even apart from your rather gratuitous insulting of the biblical scholarship of Southern Baptists–in fact, your framing of this debate as Southern Baptists against the rest of Christendom is rather ridiculous, speaking as a conservative Presbyterian, but I won’t go there right now.
Interracial marriage was considered sinful and even against the law–in some places and at some times, but not universally so in the history of the church. The history of the relationship between the Jews and the church has been inconsistent and complicated by non-religious factors. Banking and usury are not the same thing, although for a while the Roman Catholic Church mistakenly confused usury with lending at interest of any rate and it took awhile for better thinking to prevail. Women have always had some role in the church–in the Middle Ages frequently a powerful role–even if denied ordination to offices.
And then there’s slavery, about which there has been a great deal of confusion. Without going into all the exegetical aspects and making distinctions between slavery as it existed in Paul’s day and the chattel form of slavery characteristic of the New World, let me observe that slavery had largely disappeared from Europe through the early Middle Ages in large part because of the influence of Christianity. When it was reintroduced at the time of the exploration and settling of the New World, it was not because Christian scholars had discovered a biblical justification for it. Slavery restarted in the West because of economics–a need for cheap labor. It was only after some people’s livelihoods began to depend on the continuation of black slavery and the rightness of slavery began to be challenged that some persons cast about for justification. It is the common experience of mankind that people who want to do something will exhibit remarkable ingenuity to justify doing that something. We constantly make excuses for ourselves. It was not “a new understanding” of the Bible that provoked opposition to slavery but an appreciation for the natural rights of all men and a recognition that Christianity at its best had always been opposed to treating other men as personal property.
But at no time in the 2000 year history of the church–or the preceding 2000 or so years of Abrahamic/Mosaic Judaism–has the habitual sexual consortium of men with men or women with women ever been considered normal or desirable. There is plain language in both Testaments condemning it. Those who would be faithful to the Scriptures and to the consistent teaching of God’s people down through the ages will not apologize for speaking, with humility, grace, and love, the truth that such practices are contrary to the will of God and are grounds for his wrath. If society not only chooses not to hear or heed, but goes on to revile, curse, and persecute, even unto death, well, so they treated the prophets and apostles.
I disagree that things have changed. Things in the world are pretty much just as they’ve always been. But the church in the West is finally getting some appreciation for what has gone on consistently at other times and other places. Our cocoon is starting to unravel. I pray the Lord he will prepare us for what lies ahead and that he will be glorified in the precious sight of the death of his saints.
The truth is everyone can do whatever they want… However we should never think that just because something feels good, and right to us at the time, that it won’t have negative consequences when we find out we we were actually wrong later. It is quite common for people who steal stuff, to get a fell good rush when they do it, in fact that’s why most say they do it. Yet the feeling does not override the moral standard that stealing is wrong. By the way God was the first one to say it before any man… “Thou Shall Not Steal.” (the ten commandments) Look at that… a standard we can all agree on originates with God….hmmmm… interesting.
Where the buck stops for me, and I will absolutely defend long standing moral standards, is when your so called freedom affects me, or my children in a negative way. Men you wanna sleep with other men? Women with women? Go for it! But don’t you dare tell me that I have to teach my children that it is natural, and normal because you deem it to be so. You are not their arms reach authority and guardian, I am. In other words, keep it to yourself, and we have no problems.
But in reality… no one EVER wins these debates. They always spin in the same vicious cycle until the last comment at the bottom of the page exhausts the forum. They look the same on every site discussing the same topic.
I have to say, actually, I mostly agree with your points! Only I’ll add that it’s a two way street. Keep your Christianity out of my life and that of my children (they can decide for themselves). I also agree that as long as your religion is not affecting me, and you’re keeping it yourself than we will have no problems.
Glenn Koons, LB, Ca.
Kirk and many of us are facing a MSM which is purely secular humanistic as well as some mainline churches which have kow towed to the PC status of sin from the university levels, to governing bodies of many institutions. Then the parents of the post war generation forgot the values of the Greatest Generation to spoil their little darlings and we have now a society which looks more and more like Sweden and the rest of leftist secular Europe. Tolerance nowadays is a PC word for many people to cave into the liberal view on every conceivable ideology, theme, agenda or one is called hateful, anti-female, gay, minority and nothing from that side of the aisle mentions one iota of the 9 thousand years of Biblical history , values, and heritage. Thus the more antis that are being born and frankly brainwashed, the less the Judeo-Christian worldview will be allowed even in polite conversation. Kirk is a warrior for Godly values and truths. Oh that there would be more not only in the USA, but worldwide.
Ken, speaking as a real Presbyterian myself, and an elder, I can only say that you are allowed to be as deeply in denial as you wish. Just as with the topics I pointed out and you did a poor job (sorry, just being honest, not critical) trying to deny, GLBT people are beginning, and as time passes, will be, fully integrated into the life and offices of the Church. Don’t believe me? Go read Barna. For that matter, go to Rev. Mohlers blog. His insights on the inevitablity of GLBT marriage and other forms of quality is, while said with a dispirited tone, quite accurate in the main.
As per the scholarship standards of the SBC…ask some of the greatest scholars in the Christian world who USED to be able to teach at SBC institutions before they were forced out, not in the name of scholarship, but of conservative ideological purity, about that. Trust me, I was NOT saying it to be snide…I wrote what I wrote with great sadness, and not an iota of joy.
Kelly, just what am I supposed to be denying? That this culture’s ongoing slide into worse forms of depravity will incorporate acceptance, even approbation, of homosexuality in all its various forms of expression? That would be rather difficult, living as I do in Maryland, which just legalized “gay marriage.” I also have no illusions that those associations falsely designating themselves as part of Christ’s church–having the form but denying the substance thereof–will continue following the culture, living as they do to please men rather than God.
No, I don’t deny what is happening. Short of the active intervention of God I don’t see how this tide can be stemmed. But just when things look the darkest God has revived his people and his word has broken forth. I may not live to see it, but God’s truth will be vindicated.
Let’s face it. Piers Morgan had an agenda, and he was not going to relent until he got what he wanted from Mr. Cameron. This kind of vengeful bullying from the leftist media attacking Christians has become senseless and is full of so many hyporacies, that unfortunately, most of America has become blind to.
Wait, wait, wait…So the argument against state sanctioned gay marriage is that it was likely defined in the fanciful “garden of Adam and Eve” as one man and one woman…
Oh ok got it!…
Man Kirk Cameron is brilliant. And I sure as H.E. double L hope these are not considered valid arguments for how we make laws in this country.
Santa Claus brings us gifts every December 24th as long as we’re well behaved. Can he be entered into evidence in the congressional record?
Sure, go ahead and mock what you clearly do not apprehend.
In the first place, did you expect a fully-orbed presentation from the Morgan-Cameron exchange? The two men do not even proceed from the same epistemological ground. Cameron also did not come to this venue specifically to defend the biblical argument against same-sex marriage. For an off the cuff attempt he did about as well as could be expected.
Secondly, the argument from origins depends upon recognition of the authority of Jesus Christ as well as the authority of the Scriptures, which Christ upheld. But in a culture that no longer accepts such authority we’re talking past each other–the once-common ground has been lost.
Thirdly, I do not recognize your designation. Have you visited this site before? What is your intent in participating here? Are you interested in an exchange of ideas that might lead to a productive interaction, or are you here just to jeer and pretend to greater sophistication than the low-sloping foreheads that generally populate this blog?
I’m not mocking anything. Kirk Cameron is using the argument that marriage is as old as dirt and was defined by Adam and Eve (or something to that effect, if I understood properly his mutterings). Henceforth, marriage is apparently owned by Christianity and defined as the union of a man and woman. Kirk set the evidentiary bar at this height and thus keeping with this degree of logic I’m entering Santa Claus into the congressional record as a witness for the defense. Santa has certainly seen it all and knows whether you’ve been naughty or nice!
I might be interested in a realistic exchange of ideas, but that becomes next to impossible when one side has the burden of providing hard scientific evidence for any of their arguments and the other side just points to highly selected passages in a book as “justification” for discriminatory beliefs (think slavery, interracial marriage, women’s rights).
Oh, you’re not mocking anything. Right. The whole Santa Claus line of argument is meant entirely seriously. Got it.
Marriage was instituted by God (not Adam and Eve) in the beginning, following the creation of man and woman. There is the record in Genesis, which was affirmed by Christ when he spoke on the subject.
As to “hard scientific evidence” being the standard when applied to matters of history or metaphysics–well, who died and resurrected the logical positivists, hmm?
Ken…the whole point is, God IS being vindicated…just as God was with the end of slavery, and racism, with women finally becoming honored approriately by more and more of the church, and many other sins corrected, each one held STRONGLY by conservatives as right, this development (seen as a “slide”) will, in three or four generations, probably get the same apology that the SBC gave for racism in 85 (or was it 1995? in any case, the point stands)…and just like our Great great granparents would have said, if asked 80 years ago, if that would ever happen “No WAY”…well…the same will happen here.
There wre two points I suppose…one I had not quite grasped.
1) that a lot of conservatives are stunned that this is happening is itself stunning
2) that others realize its happening, but don’t realize that is is correctly seen by most, and more and more of the Church, as the issue of justice that it is.
One last thing Ken…putting the word marriage, be it opposite or same gender, just makes you look immature. Not being confrontational…just honest. It looks petulent.
No, Kelly. God is not vindicated when his word is mocked, when evil is called good and good, evil (or justice, injustice, to use your example). It is not a sin to be a woman, nor is it a sin to have a different color of skin. But homosexual practice is most clearly taught to be a sin in both Old and New Testament. The language is plain and incontrovertible–except by those who want it to say something else.
You keep insisting that conservatives are “stunned” by current developments in the secular culture and the increasingly-secularized elements that like to call themselves the church. I don’t know anyone who is stunned, but plenty who are heartsick and saddened. But we all knew it could come to this–the language of Romans 1 applies completely. Not only are these shameful acts done, they are celebrated.
As to the use of the word marriage–I am happy to apply it properly where it is properly applied. Marriage refers to the sanctioned union of one man and one woman. Anything else is like Abraham Lincoln’s illustration about the number of legs a dog has if you call the tail a leg. The dog still has just four legs, because it doesn’t matter if you call the tail a leg it is not a leg. If it is petulant to insist that things be called by their right name, and that things that are not that do not deserve the name, so be it.
I was using the same burden of proof as Kirk Cameron to justify my position, not mocking.
How about hard scientific evidence as applied to genesis? Genesis which places the earth somewhere between 6-10,000 years old and the immaculate arrIval of Adam and Eve despite the overwhelming volumes of data showing the earth to be around 4.5 billion years old (that’s right 4 more zeros!) and the plethora of evidence for evolution. Hmm?