Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Homosexuality Debate

The hot topic lately, here at APU, has been homosexuality. It’s come up so much lately that I am sick of it. I’m sick of this question of weather or not homosexuality is a sin. There’s so much to the discussion and I think that’s what makes it so frustrating. The responsible thinker must say that the discussion is far too complex to simply throw out an answer and expect people to buy into it. I think that’s what bothers me the most; people try to simplify it too much. They approach it like it’s such an easy, black and white, topic. But it’s so much more complicated than that. We’re not just talking about an action, a “sin,” we’re talking about people. We’re talking about identity. If you say homosexuality is a sin you are not just referring to their actions but you are referring to what they believe is essentially who they are. You are speaking to a people who believe that God created them that way and so it is not only good but it is essential to who they are, to them it is their identity. And we can’t just throw out some bible verses. The Bible may not have anything to say about the homosexuality we are seeing. No matter how specific you may think the bible is it’s not that hard to disagree on what it has to say about homosexuality. There are God fearing dedicated Christian Scholars and bible geniuses who say that homosexuality is not a sin (there are also those who say that it’s wrong). It’s just not as black and white as we want it to be.

Neither side of the argument is comfortable. I cannot sit on the one side which says “being gay is ok” because to do so would be to abandon some things I think still need to be addressed about the subject. Nor can I sit myself on the side that says that homosexuality is a simple sin (you know like stealing or murder) because that sends a condemning message, it’s disagreeing with people about what they believe God made them. Who am I to say your very being is sinful? I just can’t be comfortable either way. I have nothing to say, the Church has nothing to say to the gay community until we mend our broken relationship. Both sides need to worry less about pushing their agenda and worry more about mending our broken relationship.

I think we, Church in America, have put so much of our energy into this homosexuality debate that we may have forgotten some of the more important things going on in the world. As we bicker and argue over right and wrong here in America (the richest nation on the planet) there are undeniably WRONG things going on in the world. As we sit here in debate, thinking that we are saving the world by arguing our point, we are allowing people to die in poverty and genocide. When did gay marriage become more worth fighting for or against than the lives of innocent people? When we place this issue, sin or not, in the big picture we should see that there are so many other thing that demand our attention, if we call ourselves Christ followers, which we have neglected for far too long. If you want to know which issue is closer to God’s heart, you should try counting. Count how many verses in scripture address poverty, hunger, oppression, marginalization, etc. then count how many verses talk about homosexuality. When God judges, which sin do you think He’ll have more anger towards, homosexuality or oppression? Homosexuality or murder? Homosexuality or hoarding of possessions? Homosexuality or apathy? What do you think is a bigger deal to God? Shouldn’t His concerns be our concerns?

What if we, the rich and privileged ones, gathered all that energy and money we spend on worrying about gay marriage and used it on freeing people from slavery, poverty, and repression? What might we be able to do?

18 comments:

Ashley said...

AMEN!!!

Dan McGowan said...

I appreciate your heart on this for the most part - however - the Bible does make it pretty clear that same-sex relations is not approved of by God. He does not stop loving a homosexual person - He CAN'T "not Love" - but He certainly would not be as casual and "accepting" as parts of your post seem to suggest.

In essence, you have to replace the word "homosexuality" in your post with words like "murder, rape, slandar, beastiality, etc." to find out how God feels about homosexuality. Again, God NEVER STOPS LOVING a person who is gay or fat or stupid or angry or grumpy or missing limbs, etc. However - God also does not IGNORE this choice of activity (for it is a choice).

Were I to inform the readers of your blog that I am "just wired" to have sex with OTHER women, besides my wife, I doubt I would receive the same level of "acceptance" stated here towards the homosexual lifestyle.

Still, and again, I hear the HEART of what you are saying and appreciate the deep love you have for others! If only more of us could be so loving.

WES ELLIS said...

Dan,
So you would equate a homosexual with a murderer or a rapist? Really?

I cannot go that far...

I know you'd like to say "a sin is a sin" but that little quote has been far overused. A rapist seeks to take advantage of people and harm them, a murderer seeks to end life. And what does a homosexual seek to do? They seek to share their life with someone, to love someone just like you love your wife. What if I said that your relationship with your wife was sinful and equal to murder? That is essentially what a gay man would hear from your comment. I don't think any homosexual would feel very comfortable talking to you after they read this comment.

I don't ask for casuality. All I ask is that we find a different way to point out sin... if we must do so at all.

I respect what you are saying Dan and I'm sorry if I came accross as harsh. I'm still undecided on allot of things concerning this issue and the Bible is not as clear as you'd like to think.

-Wes

WES ELLIS said...

Dan,
Who are you to say it is a choice?

Teresa said...

You have said what I have wanted to say for SO long. We could say the same about abortion...regardless what we believe "choice or no choice...", I wonder sometimes about what our priorites are? If we would quit protesting and begin "living" lives that represent Christ, He would do the rest!!! Debates to not bring people to know the LORD and isn't that why we are here? I wrote a post awhile back with a link to a site but never posted it. There were two posts at the link, both written by gay men and both Christians. One believes one thing and one another. WE, if we are not gay, cannot possibly put ourselves there, but to hear what they have to say and how they see it helps us look at stuff from a different perspective. Have any of us spoken to those who have had abortions (and are Christians)? ALL would say that it is wrong, but some would say that we cannot take "choice" away (God didn't), and others would say that we are protecting babies. We will NEVER settle these things so why are we spending so much time on them?! It is not what is wrong and right--it's about SHOWING them the Kingdom! Jesus preached about what we SHOULD be doing-and not much about what we shouldn't! Love the Lord your God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbor as yourself. THIS is the most important commandment BECAUSE He knows that if we were to only do this--we would do what is right and SHOW it to the world!!!!

Teresa said...

I will be posting those links if I can find it.

KJKEB said...

There was a full page ad in USA Today a few weeks ago. The gist of it was a mostly blank page except for the phrase, "It's not about sex, it's about celibacy."

It was being run by a very liberal group within the Catholic church that supports the ordination of gay priests. The point it was trying to make was that it doesn't matter what is going on inside the heart and mind of the priest, as long as he is celibate.

And at first, that sort of makes sense. Because after all, the Catholic church is all about celibacy for priests. But, in discussing it with my daughter in the context of her sociology class, I was able to point out that it is NOT about the celibacy, it IS about the sex. And here is why.

Is it ever OK for sex between a man and a woman?

Of course. Within the bonds of marriage it is not only OK, it is GOOD thing. Is it sometimes not OK? Sure, outside of marriage or in other extra-marital relationships it is clearly wrong.

Now, here's the kicker. Is it EVER OK for sex between a man and another man? Or a woman and another woman? NO! It is never OK!

So my point is that it is not about the activity and whether or not one is celibate. It is about the heart and the desires of the heart. "For as he thinks within himself, so he is." - Proverbs 23:7.

I am not trying to be harsh either. But there is something about these kinds of sins that set them apart psychologically and emotionally if not theologically.

Great post as usual, Wes. You cause me to think too hard for the middle of the day!

Dolores said...

I agree with Dan on several points. Yes, maybe we dwell on it too much but I believe that it is very similar to the urge toward adulterous behavior or other similar desires such as polygamy. There are many who would argue that they need multiple wives. The same arguments are made for that as for homosexuality. I do not mean to put these on the same level but there have been many child molestors who claim that this is just a natural desire for them. So do we just ignore it as long as the child consents? That's an extreme example but it makes a point. Because we are born with urges or desires, should we give in to them? Isn't that just the sinful "nature" that we all have to fight? As Dan indicated, being gluttanous or angry are similar natures. The man who beats his wife might argue that this is part of who he is. Again, I agree that we have more important issues to be so obsessed by but do we just pretend that it's OK? My gay friends and family members say that it's such a tough lifestyle that no one would choose it. Well so is EVERY sinful lifestyle. You name one and we can make the same arguments as those made for the normalcy of homosexuality. As you know, the things God asks us not to do are for our own protection, many time because they cause heartache and physical illness. This is no different. It's a sin, no more no less. Yes, there are many Christians who are gay. My sins are equally as significant so let's quit making it such a focus. I agree, Wes. Let's all start focusing on real problems.

BruceD said...

If it is within our ability to be "pleasing to God"... what was the cross all about? Did I miss something somewhere? Does the cross reconcile us to the Father? Or is it "the cross" PLUS our ability to measure up? I guess I just don't get it... probably never will.

KJKEB said...

Bruced,

It is never "the Cross, plus." But that does not diminish nor relieve me of my rights and responsibilities as a Child of God. Too often those who cling to the rights generated by the cross without accepting any of the responsibilities cheapen what was done that day for my sins and your sins.

In other words, it is not a Faith versus Works question for me. It is about a Faith that produces works and behaviors and attitudes and actions that are pleasing to God. I cannot do anything on my own. But I can do anything through Jesus Christ and His Holy Spirit. And that anything must also include things like homosexuality. Because if God cannot overcome homosexuality and its nature, then how can He overcome sin in my life?

~Kevin

Dan McGowan said...

You know, the thrust here is inferring that I am "against people who are gay" and I'm not. I am also not "against" murderers, rapists, abortionists or thin people... LOL...

But I am also not "open minded" enough to make concessions for things that are clearly articulated in the pages of scripture.

For example, Jesus never said he was ONE POSSIBLE way to the Father - He said he was the ONLY way. I believe Him. And, because I believe Him, and because the Bible says it, I try to live it.

The Bible tells me to love everyone. I try to. I don't always succeed. But loving each other is very different from simply accepting each other's behavior.

The Bible makes it clear in Leviticus, Deutoronomy, Romans and other places that same-sex relations is NOT the intended use of our bodies by God. It's not my idea, it's GOD'S. This in no way means God does not love a person who chooses this lifestyle - of course He does. But just because He loves them does not mean He condones the behavior.

Does God love people who have affairs? Yes. Does he commend it? No way. That is a choice.

So is a homosexual lifestyle - it is a choice.

If someone came to me who was gay and asked me to CONDONE or COMMEND their lifestyle, I could not. This does NOT mean I don't love them and accept them and help them grow THRU their sin - just as they would help me grow thru my areas of sin...

I am overweight and it is damaging to my health. Friends say I need to lose weight. Why? How come they don't accept me chubby? God does? In fact, God does not care if I am overweight or not...

Or does He?

BruceD said...

kjk... there were more contradictory statements within that comment than I care to count.

Think about it... honestly

KJKEB said...

Bruced,

I am thinking... honestly.

But, "I guess I just don't get it... probably never will."

I am sorry if my contradictions offended you. You will hear nothing more from me on this post. And I am sorry to you, Wes. I didn't mean to get into a little battle on your blog.

~Kevin

WES ELLIS said...

Dan: The bible is not as clear as you want it to be. I might agree that there are references which MIGHT discuss homosexuality but probably not the same type of homosexuality we're seeing. Here's what the worst thing is; we've trained ourselves to spout out a few Bible verses to argue our point but we've neglected to do any real listening or thinking. Make some gay friends and see how your arguments make them feel. If I was gay I'd feel like you hate me. I'm not accusing you of being against people but what you are saying really comes across wrong if you're trying to send a message of love. Please don't run to your position before you really hear the other side.

Dolores (mom): your argument is weak at best. I know because I used to use the same argument. But if you said to a gay person that they were the same as a pedophile they'd either laugh at you or simply never speak to you again. How do these two things really relate? Same with polygamy. Gays aren't asking to marry children or multiple people. Marriage to the opposite sex is just as closely linked to these things and yet we say it's ok to do that. I have an attraction to women and that's ok, if I had an attraction to children that would not be ok. A homosexual can say the same thing. They might say "I have an attraction to my same sex and that's ok, if I had an attraction to children that would not be ok." Are you following me? So it's not a good argument because it's still subjective. pedophilia and polygamy are just as related to homosexuality as they are to heterosexuality. It's much more obvious that pedophilia is wrong, don't you think?

Here's what I want to say to everyone: I am not arguing that homosexuality is ok. I'll repeat that. I am NOT arguing that homosexuality is ok.
What I have noticed is that the church, up til now, has failed. It has failed to minister to the gay community. Generally they feel unwanted by us. And why is this? Could it be because we're so busy spewing Bible verses and running to our positions that we've neglected our real responsibility which is to be in right relationship with them. We've been wasting our time arguing while the gay community has stopped listening and are slowly walking away. We should stop and forget for a while all of our reasons for homosexuality to be a sin and simply listen. Not patronizingly listening but as person to person. As brothers and sisters. Not as Christian to gay person but simply as people. We need to listen for a while before we speak. I admit I do not understand homosexuality well enough. Do any of you? The Church has a broken relationship that needs mending. This is much more important that our side of the argument. May I suggest that God sees us as Pharisees? We think... no, we know we are right. And we are pointing the finger at the sinner while Jesus is saying "I do not condemn you."

"I assure you, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do."
-Matthew 21:31

Dolores said...

Your last comment and verse really got to me. I'm so thankful that He does not condemn. Neither should I. I will try what you suggest.

Jim Johnson said...

Wes,

God bless you for your loving heart and open mind. Reasonable people who both love God can disagree on this issue. It is ultimately up to each individual to study, pray, and discern to search for God's will in our lives and how we approach other people, especially ones who are different than us.

You are sooooo on target with your point about the high priority much of the church has made the condemnation of homosexuality at the expense of poverty, hunger, and other issues that Jesus spoke about at length and left us very clear guidlines on how to approach.

It's people like the poster Dan, who has staked out the moral high ground with absolute certainty, that I speak out against in my blog, www.straightnotnarrow.org. From where I stand in my walk with Christ, comparing homosexuality to murder, rape, and beastiality is either extreme ignorance or bigotry. The bible clearly condemns both.

WES ELLIS said...

Jim,
Yes indeed. Jesus condemns the oharisees a lot more than the prostitutes. Does that not tell us something?
Great thoughts.

Anonymous said...

my cousin is gay. She was told about Jesus by christians and was so excited until they told her she must stop being gay or she would go to hell.
She was only young, and could not face sex with men. She saw a life of lonliness while other christians walked hand in hand with their husbands, at the same time warning her that she could not enter heaven gay.
She grew depressed and tried to kill herself many times because of low self worth.
She joined another church and hid her gayness which caused her to be mentally ill.
She didn't want to be gay, she pleaded with God to change her and even got married and had children, however her lonliness was more than she could bear, especially when her husband died and her children left home.
She has tried again to kill herself, and may not have long to live.
Please church have mercy on these people. Preach the gospel to them and then let the Holy Spirit convict them.