You may remember Dan Savage as the founder of the “It Gets Better Project”—a website dedicated to telling gay children that homosexual behavior is okay and that their lives will get better as they get older. Today Savage launched a new website called “Not All Like That.” It works the same way as the “It Gets Better” site, except that the message this time is aimed at redefining Christianity.
In a nutshell, the website invites “Christians” to upload videos of themselves communicating the message that not all Christians are like the ones who say that homosexual behavior is sinful. Some of the initial videos include messages from so-called “evangelicals” who say that homosexual behavior is completely compatible with Christianity.
There is much that could be said about this, but here are my initial impressions:
1. Isn’t it interesting that this website singles out Christianity? Can you imagine a website like this aimed at Islam or Judaism? I can’t either. Gay rights advocates really do seem to define their mission in part as the total redefinition of Christianity, and the redefinition that they propose is really one that destroys it altogether. I think it is one more indication that the root of this conflict is deeply spiritual. And that is why they are waging a war with the pillar and foundation of the truth (1 Tim. 3:15). They aim not just to remake society, but to remake the church—the last bulwark unbending to their error.
2. It’s one thing for someone to say that they are a Christian. It’s another thing to actually be one. And the Bible teaches that only those who actually follow the teachings of Jesus are actually Christians. It was Jesus himself who said that those who love him will keep his word, and those that do not love him won’t (John 14:23-24). Jesus’ beloved disciple put it this way, “The one who says, ‘I have come to know Him,’ and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him” (1 John 2:4). This means that our deeds often reveal more about us than our words. A person can say that they are “Christian” until they are blue in the face, but if they live a life of settled rebellion against Jesus their profession is a lie. That means that the people in these videos proclaiming their rebellion against Christ and His word are not really Christians. If you want to know what Christianity really is, these are not the people you want to be listening to.
3. Despite their confident assertions to the contrary, Christianity is incompatible with homosexual behavior. The Bible is clear about this, and I won’t rehearse all the arguments here. But I do encourage readers to check out the key texts for themselves: Rom. 1:26-27; 1 Cor. 6:9-11; 1 Tim. 1:10. They are unambiguous. That is why so many of the voices in these videos have to set aside biblical authority before they endorse homosexual practice. Tony Jones, for instance, says that the Bible is a “theological document,” not an historic document or a science book or a rule book. In so many words, he’s telling you, “Yes, yes, I know what the Bible says, but you don’t have to believe that in order to be a Christian.” This is high-handed treason against the Lord Jesus.
4. The gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ is so much better than the mess of pottage that these false teachers are peddling. If you are reading this and you are struggling with homosexual sin, the Bible has a word of hope for you. All of us are broken sinners, and we are all in this fix together (Rom. 3:23). And God sent His son into the world to save sinners like us (1 Tim. 1:15). And there is nothing you have done, no desire that you feel, or orientation that you feel trapped in that can prevent him from reaching you (Isaiah 59:1). Jesus Christ, the perfect Son of God, died on a cross to take the punishment for our sin and brokenness. And after three days, God raised him from the dead so that he could offer eternal life to all that believe in him (1 Cor. 15:3-5). He has done everything that needs to be done. All you have to do is turn from your sin and trust in him to save you (Rom. 10:9-10). That is the good news. Don’t listen to those who are telling you to ignore your sin. Trust in the one who came to rescue you from it.
Great word Denny! I especially like the 1 John 2:4 quote.
You’re solid! Good points all around.
Tony Jones talks about progressive Christians. Progress implies either a goal (“we’re getting closer to X”) or an absolute standard (“our lives are aligning more and more to the commands of the Bible”). What goal or standard do “progressive” Christians claim?
That reminds me of the words of G. K. Chesterton (Orthodoxy, p. 98 in the reprint edition put out by Dover): “Evolution is a metaphor from mere automatic unrolling. Progress is a metaphor from merely walking along a road–very likely the wrong road. But reform is a metaphor for reasonable and determined men: it means that we see a certain thing out of shape and we mean to put it into shape. And we know what shape.”
Great word and a strong stand for Truth.
On #2. Do you keep His commandments? I know you intend to, but do you do it? I think that you extend a certain amount of grace to yourself so that you are counted as in, but not to some others who you deem to be out.
On #3. They aren’t unambiguous for those that have tried to live as if they were, but have been assailed by the church — the ones that should be helping instead of hurting. Things don’t line up. They aren’t the way you say they are.
On #4. I agree, but run from the church unless you want to be misunderstood, marginalized, suspected, scrutinized, used as the worst example over and over and over, made fun of, blamed for the ills of society, expected to change things about yourself to fit unbiblical definitions of manhood, etc. etc.
Nathan, this is not an attack, but a simple response and thought to a few of the things you said.
#2) The difference Denny is pointing out is not perfect following of God’s commandments but the difference between “I want to honor God and follow his commandments” and “I will follow the commandments I see fit and ignore everything else”. Those who deny a clear teaching from the one they believe is God are doing the second.
#3) This is ultimately a disagreement of authority. Meaning, you believe because the church has acted wrongly in response to sin, the Bible must be unclear about sin. However, the Bible can be clear about sin while the church acts in sinful ways. The two are not necessarily connected (as you can see clearly in the first letter to the Corinthians, a church being rebuked for sins it is committing).
#4) The truth is, you are falsely characterizing the church. Not accepting someone for how they choose to live is not the same as rejecting them. There are places (both in an out of the church) where homosexuals are treated like you say. However, if a church accepts a member and loves them but refuses to allow them to revel in their sin, are they still what you describe above? For instance, a member in my church decided he would rather leave his family to cheat on his wife, blow their money on alcohol and women, and abandon his children. After almost 2 years of counseling and significant attempts to bring him to repentance, he refuses to change or even attempt to repair his marriage and has been excommunicated. Were we misunderstanding, marginalizing, suspecting, scrutinizing, and using as the worst example this man or were we searching out his repentance and giving him consequences for his refusal to act in way that God calls him to? In the same way is it possible to love a homosexual who continually struggles with the lusts of those desires while denying the claim that their homosexuality is good?
Y’oughta get rid of your #1, since we totally plan to add Jews and Muslims as the project grows.
Thanks for the publicity. You might help an LGBT Christian kid, accidentally.
Thank you for reading and for taking time to comment.
I do indeed want to help LGBT kids. I love them, God loves them, and I hope they hear and receive the truth of the gospel. The invitation is wide open to anyone–gay or straight–who wants to repent and believe in Christ!
“That means that the people in these videos proclaiming their rebellion against Christ and His word are not really Christians.”
The sanctimoniousness of this tedious statement, uttered every day (hour? minute?) by Evangelical group ___, is doing more to expedite the implosion of Christianity in this country than any gay rights group, Muslim organization, liberal Christian church, or cultural Marxist could ever hope to achieve.
“The sanctimoniousness of this tedious statement..”
The Word of God is convicting like that isn’t Lauren. Well, at least to the people who read it anyway.
Simply put, no.
If you added together all the Muslims and all the Jews in this country they would amount to less than 5% of the population. I don’t think anyone (least of all most Jews) would really care if Savage launched such a website for Jews and Muslims (after all both groups are the targets of discrimination). But I can’t imagine him doing so given their small percentage of the population. What would be the point?
There are also increasing numbers of Christians who probably applaud the website as well. I mean I think that homosexuality is indisputably sinful, but even I could go along with the website’s tagline “Christians proclaiming their belief in full LGBT equality”. So its not obvious to me that this is in any way an attack on Christianity. We’re 80% of the country I think we can defend ourselves pretty well.
“Isn’t it interesting that this website singles out Christianity?”
No, it’s not particularly interesting (or surprising) and you know that. They are singling out a particular brand of Christianity which they view as their enemy. Traditional Muslims and orthodox Jews lack the same political standing and influence even though they largely share the same social conservative views as Evangelicals.
Is this Denny saying “We’re not all like that” to the “We’re not all like that” people? 😉
I’ve seen a lot of Christians for and against this campaign. I think it was created with the best intentions. I was really moved and inspired by the “It gets better” campaign this guy started. I saw some interesting push back on twitter today about how this is a dismissal of the real pain some people have experienced at the hands of Christianity which we should acknowledge instead of just ignoring by saying “We’re not all like that”. It’s true that some Christians/churches are “like that”. And it sucks, and it hurts. A lot. If anything, we should be saying “We’re sorry.” That would be a worthwhile campaign. Both sides could really benefit from that I think. Like those groups of Christians who go to gay pride parades to apologize for how Christians have treated the LGBT community.
With a name like “Not All Like That” Christians, this group must have received their inspiration from Luke 18:9-12.
There it is.
We need to be a lot less concerned about being “like that” and a lot more concerned about being “like Him.” ==> Matthew 10:24-33
Pushback, slander, and persecution are going to come. It did to Christ, and we would be fools to think we should be immune.
Denny, regarding your claim in #2 that only those who “actually follow the teachings of Jesus are actually Christians”:
Can an “actual” Christian not be in error about a particular teaching of Jesus, given the contingencies of our historical and cultural contexts? Were all the Southern Christian pastors defending slavery in the 19th c. not really Christians–or were they just in error or is the Bible ambiguous about this? Were Christians in the Middle Ages who fought in the Crusades not really Christians? And to make it modern: are Christians who disobey Jesus regarding nonviolence/greed/etc. not really Christians? While you find the Bible clear on homosexuality (your point #3), you leave no room for sincere disagreement and incredibly suggest that those who disagree are not Christians.
In effect, you have added to the gospel. “What must we do to be saved?” people ask…and you answer “Repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ–and make sure to believe the “right” teaching on every issue (that I define as clear).”
I will give short responses to each of Denny’s points.
1) As mentioned by another, this group plans to have info on Jews and Muslims also, but they decided to start with Christians. This seems to me like an allocation of resources strategy of trying to get the most bang for the buck, no need to suspect any other motive.
2) There IS a difference between claiming to be follower of Jesus and actually being one. However, we do know a few things to help us discern. One is that they will know we are Christians by our love. Another is that there will be some surprises, some will be with Jesus that some do not expect to be there and some will not be there that some expect will be there; the point of the this is that we should not be too arrogant in our claims of who is in and who is out.
3) Anytime I hear someone claim that the “Bible is clear about this” I have learned to recognize that this may be code for “my interpretation is so correct that it is the only possible faithful one” which in some cases can be an extremely arrogant assertion. In some sense, it is the prot substitute for a (supposedly) infallible papal decree, this verse is SO SIMPLE TO UNDERSTAND that my in-group’s interpretation is infallible and to claim otherwise YOU must be acting in bad faith. Sorry, I just do not buy that line anymore. Yes, it is true that some may be acting in bad faith, I am not referring to those; just because some might be does not mean ALL people that disagree with Denny on some interpretation are acting in bad faith.
4) Everyone is a sinner, no debate there.
Per your response to #3, the homosexuality debate among self-described Christians is centered on Bible interpretation about .1% of the time and extra-Biblical “this is how I feel about it” 99.9% of the time. I am getting tired of hearing people say the Bible is not clear on homosexuality without any reference to a disputable point in Scripture. We say it’s clear, because who are taking their view on homosexuality FROM Scripture are in virtually unanimous agreement.
Your last line and its caveat–“virtually”–betrays both your conclusion and Denny’s confident assertion that EVERYONE who disagrees is not “actually Christian.”
That’s not what the word “betray” means–maybe “undermines” or “detracts,” but I put the word “virtually” in because I’m not looking to demean anyone seeking to do real Bible exegesis. It is my *strong* opinion that Scripture clearly teaches that homosexuality is sinful, and that is by far the majority opinion among those who hold to the authority of Scripture, and I believe anyone who earnestly comes to the conclusion based on their Bible study that the Bible condones homosexuality would do well to go back and re-evaluate.
^ Please forgive the first part of what I wrote; I don’t think I can delete it. It was written with the wrong attitude and was not Christlike. My opening “betrayed” my sinfulness.
Fair enough on my word choice, David, and I did not take it the wrong way. And, to be clear, I appreciate (and do not even disagree with) your conviction.
My real disagreement is with Denny’s de facto claim that assent to the position that the Bible does not condone homosexuality is necessary for someone to be a Christian. Really, I am at a loss to understand how he can say this with any integrity. If the number of “actual” Christians is limited to only those who completely understand and follow all of Jesus’ teaching, then I suspect the majority of people who have identified as Christians–both past and present–would not qualify.
I respect strong convictions (like the ones you have, David); but a little epistemic humility and charity toward other sincere Christians with whom we disagree also seems a mark of true followers of Jesus.
For example, if you want to see whether you are understanding the word “abomination” correctly, you can see Friedman’s book “The Bible NOW” on its homosex chapter. I bet dollars to donuts you are not, I know I wasn’t.
What comes to mind here is Luke 18:9-14.
May just equate “Pharisee” with “self-righteous religious bigot” and “tax collector” with “a poor schlub who made some mistakes and is willing to face them.” But even though we may want to consider ourselves the tax collector and not the Pharisee, it’s not that simple.
On the one hand, we in the Church certainly are often guilty of being the Pharisee. We can pride ourselves in thinking (or even saying out loud) “I’m a good American! I pay my taxes, I don’t beat my wife–and I’m certainly not a notorious sinner like this homosexual here. Thank you, God, for making me so awesome!” And far too often we leave the homosexual with just the bad news, and leave the crying on the altar, not even looking up into heaven, and weeping “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner!”
That’s a perspective that we continually need to remind ourselves–regardless of the notorious sin of the week that we would seek to condemn to the exclusion of our own sin.
But it’s not just a lesson to the “religious wackos”–it’s a lesson to all of us who seek to justify themselves before God, rather than admitting that they are sinners. Jesus used the example of the Pharisee–a culturally-recognized “good guy”–and a Tax Collector”–a culturally recognized “bad guy”–to drive home his point. He speaks to us today in other terms, where we need it the most. Often the Pharisee is the “Heartless, Unloving Evangelical”. Often the Tax Collector is the Homosexual. But these are not the only players.
If we, as the body of Christ, seek self-justification and works righteousness, we fail to proclaim the gospel, and fail miserably. But likewise, if we seek to empower people to engage in self-justification and refusal to repent, we fail to proclaim the gospel, and fail miserably. 1 John 1:8 should speak to every human being–not just the Pharisee, not just the Tax Collector–not just the Evangelical, not just the Homosexual.
Our duty should never be twisted to become the Pharisee, proclaiming his own righteousness. Nor should our duty ever be trying to make any sinner the Pharisee, blind to his own sin. No; our duty is to be the Tax Collector, crying to heaven for forgiveness…and to proclaim that God’s righteousness is the only righteousness we–or any other human being–can ever have.
Why did he leave out bestiality, polygamy, and pedophilia? Inerrancy is not a slippery slope, but this sure seems like one.
Possibly because we realize that the difference between loving adults, vulnerable children, animals, and groups is pretty self-evident. This question would be answered for you long ago if you ever spent a moment listening to what people on the other side of the conversation have to say, instead of just living in an echo chamber.
Jesus spent a lot of time hanging around people who were condemned as sinners. Too bad so few Christians do. They seem too busy trying to kick other people (the ones who do hang around with outcasts) out of the club.
I look at all this in a different way…the way I was taught to look at everything in college, in the context of the times….
Dan Savage is doing just fine , thank you.
Who is he to say anything?
While roughly 18 Million of us can’t find ONE full time job..
When our government insists we are broke but it is so very easy to find Billions of $$$ to pay for war?
I mean, really do gay activists think they can be relevant while so many are doing so poorly?
I would hope that other Christians would think about this!
Given recent court cases, popular songs, journalistic focus, etc., I’d say the quest for “equal rights” for gays is pretty culturally relevant right now.
Well put, David. Thank you!
As one of the Christians (no scare quotes necessary) who recorded one of the initial videos, I’d kind of like to thank you for illustrating why NALT is necessary.
1 – The group doesn’t single out Christianity in any real way. It was co-founded by Christians (John Shore is very involved, for example) and we’re speaking to our own family. So, yeah. I realize that you an your brand of Christians like to feel picked on and immediately ask why we’re not singling out Muslims, but … I have little to say to Muslims. I don’t know Muslim Scriptures well at all. Let them sort out their own problems. I’ll talk to the people I know. Also, when we have large groups of people demanding legal power over other people because this is a “Muslim nation” or “Jewish nation” then maybe that will be more relevant.
2 – So, you profess to be qualified to judge all of us? Interesting. Your selection of verses-out-of-context and silly proof-texting is telling. Be advised, of course, that a lot of doctrines change over time, whether you like it or not. Within a generation, I expect that those who want to use the Bible as a bludgeon to justify their own hatred will be acknowledged as the bigots that you are. Just like the people who claimed that the Bible justified slavery, segregation, etc..
3 – “High-handed treason against the Lord Jesus” … coming from a person making legalistic arguments against love. Odd, given that Lord Jesus never had harsher words than those He had for the people who used religious power and authority to beat people down and branding them as “sinners.”
4 – All of us are broken sinners … but, face it, you think that you’re a bit better than the rest of us. Especially LGBTQ people or those of us who don’t think that Jesus hates them. Your whole post is a diatribe about how rotten you think we are, that we’re not really Christians, and that you know everything that we need to do to get right. Your little token nod toward recognizing sinfulness does nothing to point out that you’ve apparently decreed that you have removed the plank from your own eye and are now qualified to go after the rest of us.
Funny thing. NALT is a project of love. Our message is, “God loves you.”
Yours is full of venom against people who are spreading a message of God’s love.
Which one, really, is more Christ-like?
You obviously are not all like us.
Thank heaven, right? I’m so glad there’s such diversity in Christianity. Humans aren’t all alike, neither should Christians be. 😉
All Christians SHOULD be alike, in that they all should be conformed to Christ. Granted, this is a process, one that proceeds at a different rate and in different degrees from one Christian to the next. Nevertheless, just as we have borne the likeness of the earthly man, so shall we bear the likeness of the man from heaven and see him as he really is, for we shall be like him.
Ken Abbott, if that were the case, then Christianity has been a failed social project since time immemorial. And it’s only deviating further and further from is mission of unifying through the Truth with each passing day. While no doubt many here would agree with the latter claim, I don’t think too many would support the former–and nor would I. The legacy is strong, and dissent among theological leaders can enrich our understanding of faith as well as weaken it…what theological debates do ultimately depends on the individual.
Ms. Bertrand–Is Christianity indeed to be considered a “social project,” failed or otherwise, or the embodiment of God’s living gospel? In truth, I fear we have differing standards. I intend to compare to Christ himself; your comparison appears to be between professed Christians
Thanks for taking time to comment. I appreciate your taking time to read the post and say your opinion.
I think our differences boil down to this. I don’t believe that I or anyone else has the right to define Christianity. It is The Lord Jesus himself who has revealed to us the terms by which we relate to God.
No person–including me–is good enough to earn God’s favor. Because of sin, we are all liable to come up short at the judgment. Nevertheless, the Bible says that Jesus came on a rescue mission to love his enemies and to rescue them from their sin. And anyone–any sinner!–can be reconciled to God through Christ.
The invitation is to anyone who wants to come to him. It’s just that we have to come on his terms. And his terms include repentance and faith (Mark 1:15). Repentance involves agreeing with Jesus about sin and turning from it. When we redefine sin so that it is no longer sin anymore, it prevents us from repentance which prevents us from coming to Christ and being reconciled to God.
Gay sinners are not the only sinners who do this. There are all kinds of people who try to redefine their sin–whatever that may be. But with the “gay Christian” movement, the redefinition is blatant and goes against the entire 2,000 year history of the church’s interpretation of the Bible. There is a virtual consensus among the democracy of the dead. The disputes about the verses I quoted have only appeared in about the last 40 years or so.
We all share the same human condition. We are not so different. And God has made a way for all of us to know Him. But I think your website misleads people and takes them away from Christ. If we love people–really love them–we will call them to the only one who can save them and reconcile them to God. That’s what this is all about for me.
Thanks again. I hope this note finds you doing well.
“Repentance involves agreeing with Jesus about sin and turning from it. When we redefine sin so that it is no longer sin anymore, it prevents us from repentance which prevents us from coming to Christ and being reconciled to God.”
Does this mean that in order to repent and be saved an individual must be aware of, accurately understand and fully assent to the entirety of biblical teaching on what is and is not sin?
Does being “mistaken” on a particular teaching disqualify one?
Ken, Jesus loved sinners but commanded them to go and sin no more. He wouldn’t be ok with them on taking the title of Adulterating Christians, Lying Christians, Thieving Christians, etc. and insisting nothing is wrong and their sin really isn’t sin.
Jesus: “Go and sin no more.”
Jesus: “It’s ok, God loves you. That venom spewing thing I said a minute ago doesn’t really matter.”
But when we push that “we need to tell them to sin no more” mantra we have to think, are we the ones in that story with the stones in their hands, ready to punish the woman for her sin (as they were *commanded by the Bible* to do – they were simply “following orders”, right?), or are we like Jesus who actually defended the woman from her Biblically-justified punishment, Jesus, who *chose not to follow the Biblical law* of how to deal with adultery and chose to show love and mercy instead? (He blatantly did not follow a Biblical law and did not sin. How is that possible? Think on it a bit.) Which one are we? Are we using “Go and sin no more” as a clobber passage to justify our punishing someone else (whether Biblically justified or not) or are we showing them love and mercy despite their sin? Since, as Jesus pointed out, we are all on the same level as she is. We have no higher ground to stand on from which to throw stones. Too many Christians use “Go and sin no more” as a stone to throw at “sinners” and use this passage to justify their ugly treatment of those they look down on.
Correct me if I am wrong, but didn’t Jesus and all who were present assume the sin was legit for the woman in adultery? If we are arguing on how we should deal with sin between believers, then I agree, we are not in a place to throw stones for certain, though Paul is clear about what a church is to do with habitual unrepentant sinners in the life of the church.
I see Two issues with this understanding of this text: 1) Jesus “overlooked” sin but “ignoring the law” which is completely wrong since Jesus said he came to fulfil the law NOT abolish it. The sheer weight of scripture demonstrates this. 2) I thought the reason for Savage’s website was to say homosexuality is not a sin. No one argues that Jesus does not love, accept and atone for sinners. YET He said (not Denny or anyone else) “go and sin no more” setting as pattern for the Christian life a progressive pattern of change as normative for Spiritual growth.
So i am not sure what folks are arguing for? Homosexuality is not a sin or Jesus accepts homosexual sinners?
“I thought the reason for Savage’s website was to say homosexuality is not a sin.”
From a cursory glance, this doesn’t appear to be the case. The subtitle of the project is “Christians proclaiming their belief in full LGBT equality”.
Hannah, we should have no interest in punishing, clobbering, or bashing people for their sin. We need to proclaim the glorious good news that Jesus took that punishment, clobbering, and bashing for them on the cross. I have a really hard time with the modern inclination to dare anyone else to “throw the first stone,” because we’re not actually throwing stones at anyone. They sinfully demanded the death of the woman as punishment for her sin; Jesus showed mercy and called her to sin no more. Even if you modernize it and call Christians to “stop throwing stones,” Jesus still tells sinners to stop sinning and turn to him in faith. We aren’t demanding the death of anyone; we’re simply pointing them to the one who has the power to save them from death.
I find it interesting what Savage’s website says about what the Bible states about Homosexuality. Has anyone really read it. I think even the most objection reader can say its ambiguous at minimum. It really doesn’t say “what the Bible says” about homosexuality rather what Christians have done with what he calls the “clobber” passages. So because Christians have failed to extend compassion, equality and justice by using the “clobber” passages, I assume we are called to ignore them even though he states that we are never forced to make a decision about accepting homosexuality and holding to the authority of Scripture. This is very confusing and yet very enlightening as well.
To be clear, many Christians have been unduly mean spirited to homosexuals and do need to apologize for that. And it is true that many Christians have turned a less concerned eye away from heterosexual sin, particularly in matters of church membership and participation in the ordinances/sacraments. This is ALL wrong and should be repented of, but that is where the rubber meets the road. We are all sinners, broken and in rebellion. We are lovingly invited into relationship with God through the atoning work of Jesus who was our substitute. ALL OF US WERE. This means that being a Christian recognizes that I am not accepted by God based on MY work or life but on Christ’s work and life. This requires me to be honest with my brokenness (repentance) and turn to trust in Christian full and atoning work for me (Faith). So from the perspective, it is not “Condemning” for a church to exclude ANYONE from membership or the sacraments based on being unrepentant. That is is Paul’s words in 1st Corinthians, which by the way is not a word about homosexuality nor heterosexuality but a word about what it means to be full participants in the church and its mission.
I have many homosexual friends who understand this and are NOT looking to redefine the Bible or Christianity and they know conservative Christians are NOT brow beating gays with their “personal interpretation.” This is not the Spirit of Danny blog and I think if were honest with ourselves we would admit it. It is a shame that homosexuals have not been loved and been treated like lepers in so many churches, but it not unloving nor is it treating anyone like a leper to call them to repentance..its loving. I am sinner in need of grace. I am unfaithful in so may ways daily but it is a grace of God to have a community of believers who loves me enough to call me to repentance even when I don’t see my own sin. This kind of love is not based on my word but on the word of God that so many who wish to redefine Christianity want to say they agree is authoritative.
It is ironic, though. While Dan Savage’s purpose may be to remove polarization and stigma, it actually intensifies the polarization.
Is masturbation a sin or not? If it is, are devout Christians like Steve Hays of Triablogue (who doesn’t find it sinful, per se) going to Hell for engaging it without having repented of the practice (assuming they engage in it at all)?
I think it’s a useful analogy.
Let’s take it up a notch. Is being fat a sin when it’s a direct result of simple gluttony and laziness? What about being selfishly rich? Hording our wealth and spending it lavishly on ourselves. Want to talk about Christians who are unrepentant sinners? Nobody’s refused communion to a fat person before. And of course, who would dare? What pastor talks about the rampant sin of obesity in our country? Why isn’t there an upper weight limit and income limit for Christians after which they are considered “unrepentant sinners”?
Can a person be unduly mean to homosexuals AND be Christian? I wonder…
Yes, through repentance and faith as can a homosexual.
@Nathan: To answer your question: absolutely. Many professed Christians have been unduly cruel towards gays.
That wasn’t my question, though.
Fundamentally, the question is this: can a person who has accepted Christ as savior be condemned to eternal punishment for engaging in activities that offended God (were sinful) but were NOT actions that they themselves recognized or believed to be sinful (i.e., they were actions done in good conscience).
This can be about anything: getting remarried, owning slaves, fighting in a war or … in my original question (which you still haven’t answered) … masturbation.
So what about it?
Nathan doesn’t owe you an answer. He is simply employing your technique.
Sure, he doesn’t “owe” me an answer. However, keep in mind that there are others who are reading this blog. What do you suppose your unwillingness and/or inability to answer a simple, straightforward question says, though?
By the way, BCody, I find it interesting that you have almost nothing to say about anything unless it has to do with homosexuality … on any blog … anywhere.
Why is that? What’s your stake in this issue?
Wow. Surely you have better things to do than hunt me down. Just to set you straight, you are wrong.
Note what Tony Jones says: “Here is the good news…” followed by his claim about the growing acceptance of the LGBT lifestyle. He says nothing about freedom from sin. The Bible gives totally different “Good News.” There is a fundamental difference between what Dan Savage’s website posits and what the Bible *CLEARLY* teaches. Follow Savage if you want to, but as for me and my house we will follow the Lord on this one. (Savage’s name is quite apt considering his track record.)
Keep up the good work. I enjoy your blog.
Interesting that more of the hard core egalitarians here seem to love the idea of gay people forming couples and calling it Christian!!