02 February 2009

Jesus and homosexuality (NEXT! #1)

by Dan Phillips

Series introduction: here commences a series of occasional posts that will last as long as inspiration (or flow of good suggestions) lasts.

The posts will be shorter than a gamer's attention-span and more focused than a starving cat at a mouse-hole. They are meant to be sharp, forceful, decisive, thought-provoking checkmates to some of the common snipes that skeptics of all sorts and colors like to thrown down.

These posts will not appeal to the lazy-minded.

Think of them as proverbic: they require reflection. They're game-stoppers-and-changers.

Or at least that's the intent.

In each, the challenge will be some shallow, evasive, clichéd, yet atrociously-popular dodge that often derails conversations. Times beyond count, I've seen good folks pay out enormous time dealing with such as if they were serious, sincere, and thoughtful — when they usually aren't. In my estimation, what is more often needed is something that will (for the first time) force the challenger to doubt his own premise and think about the issue. The response is meant to be that sort of a verbal sharp stick.

From what I see in the Bible, often our first work must be demo-work (cf. Proverbs 21:22; Jeremiah 1:9-10; 2 Timothy 4:2). You can see me attempting it, myself, here and here.

Now, you do have to be prepared with substantive follow-up. I expect there to be some, in the meta's. But hopefully the response will shift the field of play, and the roles of Defense and Offense will fall where they rightly should. Some will be examples of "karate exegesis."

For every person who finds the responses obvious and banal, I hope that two or three will say "Oh... yeah! I get it. I can use that."

Only this initial post will have this introduction. The others will probably fit in the "fifty words or less" category.

And so, without further eloquence, here's the first:



Challenge: Jesus never said anything about homosexuality.

Response: Jesus never explicitly said anything about child-molesting, rape, incest, or marrying your hamster, either. And...?

NEXT!
(Proverbs 21:22)

Dan Phillips's signature

58 comments:

Aaron said...

Good poin You could point that person to how Jesus defined Marrige. Another sugestion you could do could be. "It may say that in The Bible but I dont believe it" or "God is loveing he wouldnt send anyone to HEll." My response to that one is useally in my mind "of course your god wouldnt becuse you just have a created God in your own mind not the God of The Bible"

Scott Shaffer said...

proverbic?

Is that even a real word!

DJP said...

It is now.

Sam said...

-proverbic?
Is that even a real word!
-It is now.

DJP, How many new words have you conceived in the past year, like, three?

donsands said...

He did through His chosen vessel and minister the Apostle Paul (Acts 9:15; 26:16-18; 2 Tim 1:11 Galatians 1:12-16). And so Paul's epistle's, which are Scripture inspired by God carry the same authority as the Gospels do, there can be no doubt of that (2 Tim. 3:16).

DJP said...

Mm. I see someone doesn't regularly read my blog.

|c:'

Connie said...

I appreciate you taking this on. Just yesterday one of our pastors taught on the homosexual hermeneutic--very helpful!

My starting place would be to point them to what Jesus DID say about marriage.

Russ said...

It's true that Jesus never said anything about "homosexuality." The reason is because He was not a fool like the sadly brainwashed who use the bogus term, since there's no such thing as this fatuous oxymoron (homo=same + sex=opposite).
See especially "The gay invention" at
http://touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=18-10-036-f
though there's far more to the matter. Since long posts are disliked on today's blogs devoted to shallow unthinking, you can see more on this at my new blog: http://russedav.wordpress.com/
It probably won't be finished until late tonight, 20090201.
Russ Davis

Rick Frueh said...

Of course the epistles are much more directive in these issues, and just the physiological construct makes the divine will obvious. The more dangerous conversation (perhaps coming later in the series) is how do we reach out to people who have been born with same sex attractions? And do we present the tenants of sanctification before we present the gospel, meaning must a gay person leave his sin before being born again? And if so, must the greedy sinner give up his ill gotten wealth before he can be considered either a candidate for salvation or a legitimate post salvation specimen?

I believe you mentioned "suggestions", Dan. This issue is one with many extremes but stands in a deep need of a comprehensive conversation about the gospel and how it is communicated to sinners, especially sinners who practice an "unacceptable" sin.

I appreciate your bravery.

Can + open = worms.

Frank Turk said...

Here's what I think is funny:

When Christianity is dismissed because, well, for whatever reason the dismisser has, that's "open-minded".

When Christians dismiss vacuous moral assertions because of reasoning from the Biblical text, we're "narrow-minded", and that's supposed to be "bad".

Blech. That's like cold black coffee.

DJP said...

...AFTER unsettling them getting back on offense, yes, that's where to go, Connie. And others.

Mesa Mike said...

The Bible has a lot to say about homosexuality. And the whole Bible is the word of Jesus.

But we've been through that before, haven't we?

DJP said...

This is meant to shake up the challenger so we can get there fast.

VcdeChagn said...

This is meant to shake up the challenger so we can get there fast.

Good point. Might have to remember this for my next discussion on the issue.

Here's what I've used in the past as a response:

Them: Jesus didn't say anything about homosexuality.

Me: Yes he did. He said I and the Father are one. The Father said, through Moses that it's an abomination.

This usually leads to so do you want to stone homosexuals..etc etc. So I like yours better :)

It's more...."terseute" (my word verification)

Matt said...

Times beyond count, I've seen good folks pay out enormous time dealing with such as if they were serious, sincere, and thoughtful — when they usually aren't.

Good point, Dan. Never argue with a stupid person. They'll bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.

DJP said...

LOL

It's the meeting-point of Proverbs 26, verses four AND five.

Fred Butler said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fred Butler said...

Sorry about that, the link didn't take:

Taking the moment to self advertise. I have interacted a bit with Taking the moment to self advertise. I have interacted a bit with gay "Christian" apologetics if anyone is interested.

Fred

Fred Butler said...

Geesh,
I can't cut-and-paste worth anything.

DJP said...

Two things:

1. Once again, yes, fine, AFTER we get the conversation back on the offensive by challenging their rotten premise. If homosexuality is OK because Jesus didn't mention it (which IS their point), then so are rape and child molesting. Which they aren't. Everyone does get that, right?

2. Unrelatedly, does anyone know what has gone wrong with Blogger? Look at all the "Links" to this post. Are ANY of them actually related? This is happening all the time, here and at my blog. What's up with that?

Rick Frueh said...

"When Christians dismiss vacuous moral assertions because of reasoning from the Biblical text, we're "narrow-minded", and that's supposed to be "bad"."

Exactly. To argue over whether the Scriptures do not endorse homosexuality is like debating with the Flat Earth Society. Those who ignore the obvious cannot be convinced.

Mesa Mike said...

> Unrelatedly, does anyone know what
> has gone wrong with Blogger?

I suspect that this is not a Blogger-going-bonkers problem, but an abuse of the linking feature by those who can only draw readers to their own blogs by link-spamming. And probably using a "bot" script to automate the process.

rebecca said...

Look at all the "Links" to this post. Are ANY of them actually related? This is happening all the time, here and at my blog. What's up with that?

Some of them have that feature that links to the latest post of people on their blogroll. Whenever they publish something that has a link to this post in the blogroll, it shows up in your backlinks. Also, if people have you in their shared items from Google Reader in the sidebar of a post, it will also who up in your backlinks.

Not sure that explains them all, but it explains some.

rebecca said...

That's supposed to be "show up in your backlinks."

Previewing comments before posting is for wimps.

DJP said...

That has the effect of making the LINK feature worthless.

Jim Jordan said...

Jesus and homosexuality is cut and dried, but the Blogger mystery is confusing. Each link has your blog on the live feed feature. That's not a new feature though. Internet Explorer had an update recently and it's worse than the old IE browser. The beginning of the false link flaw seems to coincide with the time that download was being offered. Let us know what you find.

SLW said...

You're right, Jesus never mentioned rodentagamy. Thanks for the chuckle!

1corinthians611 said...

Love it! Can't wait for the rest of the series. I am usually not fast enough to think of repsonses to these kinds of questions that fast. :-)

TM said...

The fact that Jesus didn't mention it doesn't mean He approves it -- which I assume is where the "Response" is going. He presumes that God's "moral law" will always be His standing, infallible Law. If it was sin, it is sin now, and always will be sin. God said He hates homosexuality, and that doesn't change.

But here's some thoughts you may wish to address, in this same vein:

1. How do we KNOW what is sinful and what isn't? We could get into the Mosaic Law, chop it up into moral/ceremonial/civil, etc. but that doesn't really do justice. ALL of the laws have some kind of principle behind them. WHich begs the question: why obey the principle and not the letter?

Piggybacking on that:

2. How did Joseph know that adultery was a sin? He had no codified law.

3. How do WE know what is sin -- if WE have no codified law, since the Mosaic Law is fulfilled/abolished?

4. If the OT all hinges on the commandments "love God, love your neighbor," why do we not follow it to a "T" (well, at least what we can, anyway -- we have no Temple to worship at)?

5. Exactly what is the Law of Christ?

Thoughts?

Blessings - love your blog
Tom

Everyday Mommy said...

Oh, no! Jesus didn't say anything about light bulbs either! Therefore, He must not have approved of them because He gave no explicit endorsement in the Gospels so I must naturally conclude that light bulbs are evil! Honey? I need to run to Wal-Mart to buy a ton of candles!

Bill said...

He did directly mention the judgment of Sodom; which to Jesus' Jewish audience would have clearly understood that the chief sin committed in Sodom was homosexuality.

So much that even today the word 'sodomite' refers to someone participating in homosexual relations.

Bill

~Mark said...

In a similar situation all I got was a confused stare when I responded to one guy:
"Jesus didn't say don't shoot your mother in the face with a bazooka either, so is that ok?"

jk said...

Dan

PLEASE don't laugh...I'm feeling kinda dumb...but the Prov. 21:22 reference was sort of a double-edged sword right? I mean 1-edge being the "Jesus never said" argument" is shot #1 and you brought down the trusted stronghold...and so edge #2 is a sort of humor shot as well?

Please advise.

Jugulum said...

DJP,
"That has the effect of making the LINK feature worthless."

Agreed. I first noticed it a couple-ish weeks ago. I've been annoyed with it ever since, for ruining the usefulness of trackbacks. It's bad for big blogs.

But on the whole, the live feed feature seems to be a good thing for small blogs. I've noticed more click-throughs to my site from blogger blogs since the change. (I think there are at least two or three people out there, who link to my blog.)

DJP said...

Check the links on this post, f'rinstance. Hokey smokes.

archshrk said...

Everyday Mommy said..."I need to run to Wal-Mart to buy a ton of candles!"

^ Two more things never mentioned in the bible. maybe you should consider oil lamps from a caravan :)

Joshua Cookingham said...

Not to mention He didn't talk about Movies, Video Games, Sports, Pop-Music, Toilets, Yogurt, France, and......what else am I missing?

Doesn't everyone know they need to read the WHOLE Bible, or Jesus's words make no sense?

Chris said...

I dismiss atheism, in part, because of its proponents' narrow-minded, religious dogmatism and jugmental bigotry (c:

Jugulum said...

DJP,

And... Yep, they're all blogspot.

It should be pretty simple for Blogger to fix the problem. They could ignore trackbacks generated by Blogger livefeeds.

Jugulum said...

Lots of other people are complaining about the "false" backlinks. No one has a good solution yet, other than turning off the backlinks.

Here's a vague notion: The backlinks are coming from blogspot site feeds, which seem to be surrounded by a "<span class="item-title">" tag. If you're using a custom template for your site, you could probably figure out some JavaScript magic to filter those kinds of links. (I found this old link on custom backlinks, which might serve as a good starting point. If things haven't changed around too much.)

w.rust said...

I think I might ask a few questions:

"Do you believe Jesus is God?"

If yes then,

"Do you believe that Jesus, the Father and the Holy Spirit are all one God?"

If yes then,

"Did you know the Holy Spirit inspired the whole Bible, not just the sayings attributed to Jesus, and the Bible is pretty clear on the subject..."

You will be able to tell by their answers whether you're dealing with an unbeliever who is seeking answers or someone who is just picking a fight.

Jnette said...

I like it :) It's pithy!

gatogordo said...

Jesus didn't explicitly mention homosexuality, but did he really have to? Couldn't it be said that his audience took it for granted that sex was meant to be had exclusively by men and women? So, mentioning homosexuality would have been superfluous?


Further, since Jesus closes any remaining loopholes regarding marriage and divorce and, in doing so, gives the impression that marriage is something important to God, particularly marriage between a man and a woman, doesn't this say something, albeit implicitly, about his non-approval of homosexuality or homosexual unions?

It's funny: this topic reminds me of his teaching on the fall of the Siloam tower. "Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish." The implication of this statement is that the life some are in the midst of living isn't really life, in the ZOE sense of the term.

He has a funny way of working his way into any conversation.

Michael Pare said...

Dan,
I hope you will address the issue of whether homosexuals should be stoned. I have been asked this as well, so they can try to slip me up.

I agree that Jesus does directly talk about homosexuality by mentioning the destruction of Sodom.

And as far as being close-minded? Isn't the opposite of that broad-minded? And I've heard that the Hebrew word "fool" in Scripture literally means "broad-minded." It suggests that any idea goes in...all ideas are valid.

I'd rather be close-minded for Christ than a fool.

Officer said...

Excellent excellent idea, I really look forward to many actionable munitions =)

CR said...

Michael Pare: I hope you will address the issue of whether homosexuals should be stoned. I have been asked this as well, so they can try to slip me up.

A couple of things Michael. RC Sproul helped a little in this area.

In the OT, I think there were about 35 or so capital offenses (crimes that required the death penalty). I can't rattle them off now, but a couple included homosexuality and incorrigible child and breaking the Sabbath.

First thing, the number of capital crimes found in the OT already represents a massive reduction in the number of capital offenses. Why? Because in creation, every sin is a capital offense. The Lord said that the soul that sins shall die. And if the Lord were to strictly deal with the human race according to his justice, everyone of us would have executed immediately, a long time ago.

There are only a couple of crimes in the United States that are capital offenses - murder and high treason. Since the Lord is the King and Ruler of creation every sin we committ is a capital offense deserving execution because every sin is high treason against the Lord.

The basic way that the Lord has been dealing with His creation is with His forebearance.

These people that you've been dealing with Michael, I don't know if they are professing Christians or not. The real problem is, esp. if they are not Christians, is that they don't see the absolute perfection of the Lord's holiness and the utter disgrace of their sin.

I would recommend sharing the gospel with them. Establish with them (like Paul did with the Gentiles) a framework to deposit the gospel with them. Talk about creation and then you can talk about sin and then you can talk about Jesus. If all they want to do is trip you up, then don't waste your time with them.

The short "answer" to your question is since we are not under the Israel theocracy and the Old Covenant was done away with, there is no requirement for the civil magistrate to punish as a capital offense, homosexuality and Sabbath breakers ,e.g. (just to name a few from an already reduced list from God the crimes that are all technically capital offenses - every sin, thoughts, words and deeds).

But under the Noahic covenant which has never been abrogated, since the state is still under God (because all men are under God whether they like it or not) and the Noahic covenant was given to all mankind, then the crime which the Lord prescribed as capital offense is murder. That is technically, the capital offense which the Lord prescribed to mankind and which He never abrogated.

Admin2 said...

Jesus did say a lot about greed and love of money, but we tolerate and even celebrate that.

We're all sinners, and if we do create a hierarchy of sin (which actually is the province of God and his amazing grace), is being born gay any more of a sin than being born American and into a dog-eat-dog capitalist society where life and death decisions are made based on income? Or being born and raised in an Islamic or Buddhist family?

There are sins you adopt, and there are sins you're born with. People are born gay - but no one is born greedy.

DJP said...

Um, well, many kinds of "No." As in "non-sequitur."

Being American is not a sin, nor is being born and raised in an Islamic or Buddhist family. Homosexual acts are sin.

As to being "born gay [sic]," the boldest positive statement you can make is "non liquet."

R. D. Bailey said...

Should we even be discussing this?

"Perhaps we need a five-year moratorium on making pronouncements."
-B.M.

Respectabiggle said...

My even more brusque reply:

"So what?"



The follow-up to that is to ask why it matters what Jesus said. The responses to this likely back the interlocutor into one of the two or three potential rhetorical corners pretty rapidly.

DJP said...

I... think mine's more thought-provoking.

(c;

Chris said...

R.D. Baily:

Are you serious...or are you being pithy?

Brian Roden said...

"There are sins you adopt, and there are sins you're born with. People are born gay - but no one is born greedy."

Hmm. When our daughters were born, they didn't care whom they inconvenienced, they wanted to be fed when they wanted to eat. And the fact that they had just finished nursing 30 minutes earlier didn't stop them from wanting more. Sounds like we're born greedy to me.

One of the first words my toddler learned after "mommy" and "daddy" was "mine" and "mío" (Spanish for 'mine', we're a bilingual family).

I tell anyone who doesn't believe in original sin to spend an hour working in the church nursery.

It all comes back to selfishness, wanting our own way.

Satan wanted for himself the glory that belonged to God alone.

Adam and Eve wanted to be like God, knowing good and evil. They were led to believe that God was holding out on them, and wanted more than He had given them (and they already had everything they needed).

The argument that someone is "born gay" is just one more example of selfishness: wanting the satisfaction of our fallen nature's desire over what God says we need.

Trevbot said...

I know this may be a bit off topic, (not to mention a bit late) but could someone provide biblical support for this statement:

"The short "answer" to your question is since we are not under the Israel theocracy and the Old Covenant was done away with, there is no requirement for the civil magistrate to punish as a capital offense, homosexuality and Sabbath breakers ,e.g. (just to name a few from an already reduced list from God the crimes that are all technically capital offenses - every sin, thoughts, words and deeds)."

I know people who would disagree and say that we should stone people for homosexuality and adultery and the like. I tend to agree more with the quoted statement, but it would be cool if the author or someone could provide some biblical support for that.

Mike Riccardi said...

"Perhaps we need a five-year moratorium on making pronouncements."
-B.M.


"B.M." is certainly an accurate designation of the quality of such an idea.

;o)

JamesW said...

Aside from Jesus' message concerning the "nearness" of the Kingdom of God, He rarely spoke on the Law except to clear something up that was taken the wrong way or change it back to its proper base form, ie the spirit of the Word. "You have heard that... but I tell you..." (eg, marriage, divorce, cleanliness)
If He didn't say something concerning the Word, or what was already written in it, then, as per His words, "not one iota will fall away," and "I have not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it" it is safe to assume He meant to leave it as it is. An abomination.

I have also be told recently that not accepting homosexuals is discrimination.
Discrimination in an of it self isn't bad, just wise! Its when we discriminate again people for things they have no control over (but God does), eg race, sex or nationality that is bad. Homosexuality is an act, a decision and lifestyle, not an inherited gene or mutation. (I think that is a cop out, like "God made me this way") You might as well ask me not to discriminate against thieves in my shop! I discriminate against sin!


... hmmm. crudolla. that wasn't short and pithy at all...

JamesW said...

Respectabiggle: genius.

JamesW said...

I kinda typed faster than I thought back there. Should be:

"If He didn't say something concerning the Word, or what was already written in it, then, as per His words, "not one iota will fall away," and "I have not come to abolish the Law, but to fulfill it" it is safe to assume He meant to leave it as it is. [Homosexuality is] An abomination. "