25 May 2012

Another approach

by Frank Turk

[HOST]: What do so many of the churches have against homosexuals?

[FT]: I’m not sure what you mean.

[HOST]: I wrote a book about the gay rights movement because I was appalled by the oppression and the discrimination against homosexuals in my America. What about your church’s approach to homosexuals? Is it a sin? Are they going to Hell?

[FT]: Do you believe in Hell?

[HOST]: You can’t really answer a question with a question, Frank.

[FT]: No, but I also can’t answer a question I’m not sure I understand. You asked me if homosexuals are going to Hell – as if that’s an option, one possible outcome. Do you think it’s a possible outcome for anyone to go to Hell?

[HOST]: Well, I’m not a Christian. I don’t think in those terms.

[FT]: So why does it bother you that someone else might? See, here’s what I’m thinking: If I sat here and told you that I think, after our time here, that you’re going to Jupiter unless you agree with me, you’d think it was funny – even though I might honestly believe it, and going to Jupiter, even if possible, is an utterly unpleasant thing – too much gravity, no air, no water, no food. If you don’t agree with me, you’re going to Jupiter. Does that worry you?

[HOST]: No, but …

[FT]: yes?

[HOST]: That’s absurd. That’s minimizing my question for an absurd comparison. I’m asking you if you think there is anything morally wrong with Homosexuality.

[FT]: Yes, but you’re doing it by asking me about the ultimate consequence. That is: what happens to a homosexual? That’s a pretty scary way to ask me if I think homosexuality has some kind of moral value – right or wrong.

[HOST]: Well, let’s ask it that way, then: does Homosexuality have any moral value?

[FT]: Yes.

[HOST]: {pause} That’s it?

[FT]: Well, I think we agree on that statement – you do agree it has some kind of moral value, yes?

[HOST]: But we would disagree on the kind of moral value it has. In my view, there’s nothing wrong with it.

[FT]: So when two people of the same sex are in a relationship, and one of them has a sexual relationship with a third person who is also of the same sex, there’s nothing wrong with that?

[HOST]: {sigh} Of course not. Of course not – I’m not talking about infidelity, but homosexuality.

[FT]: You’re saying, then, that homosexual infidelity is not homosexuality? I’m not sure that makes any sense. Homosexuality is only monogamous behavior between two people of the same sex?

[HOST]: You’re still being a little coy – I’m not sure you’re being honest with me.

[FT]: I think I’m being brutally honest – and maybe a little unloving, but there’s a point that needs to be made here if we’re going to talk about the moral value of practice or inclination: it’s not fair at all to whitewash a thing in order to justify it. Look: at the root of your original question, you want to know why Christian people say Homosexuals are going to hell. Now, as it turns out, Christians are an odd lot because we also think heterosexuals are going to hell – Larry Flint, Hugh Hefner, Larry King, anyone you know who cannot stay faithful to their marriage, anyone who will not get married but sleeps around, people attached to porn rather than a spouse, etc. And most specifically: us. The thing we are really saying is that people are going to hell. So we can’t whitewash heterosexuality in order to justify it. And for you to set up homosexuality as the only thing we’re worried about in terms of sin is not entirely above-board.

[HOST]: Wait – you think everybody is going to hell?

[FT]: Do you believe in Hell?

[HOST]: {laughs, annoyed} you’re changing the subject. Just a simple yes or no: is everyone going to hell?

[FT]: Yes and no. Yes AND no.

[HOST]: OK – explain that.

[FT]: In my view – which is, it seems to me, the historically most-common Christian view – God is going to judge all people. Everyone – at the end of all things, God is going to judge the living and the dead. The Bible says the books will be opened and the lists of what we have done in our lives will be accounted for. And it also says that when we are under that kind of scrutiny, nobody can stand before the judgment of God – so in that sense, every single person is in danger of going to hell.

[HOST]: really.

[FT]: Yes. Unquestionably – because look: the world is the way it is because people want it to be this way. Here’s what I mean: we probably don’t want it to be as utterly disappointing as it is, but we all continue to do the things which we know, at some level, are wrong in spite of them being wrong. The piling up of that, day after day, makes the world the kind of place it is. It’s the kind of place where children die both of malnutrition and parental abuse. It’s the kind of place where people die old and alone. It’s the kind of place where hearts are broken, and life savings get wasted on stupid investments, and mothers are killed in car accidents, and sons and fathers are killed in war. It’s a place where people commit suicide.

The world is the way we have made it, and while we can find some good things in it, we all know that the problem of evil exists. And the problem of evil is us – not something apart from us.

[HOST]: and in your view, that means we are all going to hell?

[FT]: It means, for sure, that we all deserve it. And let me be clear about this: the problem at its root is not that we make other people suffer for our own desires. It is that God is offended by our disobedience toward him. The real, greater problem is that there is a God, and we don’t do what he wants us to do: we do what we want to do, and we love ourselves more than we love him.

[HOST]: So your religion is that everybody goes to hell?

[FT]: Nope – I said the answer is Yes AND No. Yes: we all deserve to go to Hell. But as it turns out, God will not stand for it and has done something for the sake of this disobedient and willful race of creatures we call mankind. We all deserve Hell, but Jesus Christ saves men from Hell.

[HOST]: So does Christ save homosexuals from hell?

[FT]: Well, do you believe in Hell? Because that’s not much of a question if you don’t believe in Hell.

[HOST]: Let’s say I do.

[FT]: I don’t want to put works in your mouth.

[HOST]: In your view of it, since you believe in Hell, does Christ save Homosexuals from Hell?

[FT]: Yes.

[HOST]: {pause} … and? … But?

[FT]: But what? Look: if we were talking about sex in general here, and I said to you, “everyone who has unprotected, serial casual sex will eventually get an STD – and the worst case is like Africa where AIDS is ravaging the population,” what would your reaction be? Either you’d believe that this is likely, or you’d doubt that the cause has that effect, right? Now: if you believe the cause has that effect, you have to ask: “so how can we be saved?” The state of things causes you to look for a solution – if you believe in the cause and effect. In this hypothetical case, the cause is causal sex and the effect is life-threatening diseases. And when you ask, “how can we be saved?” the answer can strike at any part of the problem. One solution would be to permanently keep all people segregated from each other so that there is no chance of sex ever – and that’s a pretty terminal solution. Not likely to catch on, prolly. Another solution is to somehow clean up the sex act so that there’s no disease involved – some sort of protection or vaccination or other form of attacking the actual diseases. Self control might be a solution – the idea that I can keep myself from doing stupid things with my body. But at the end of it, it seems to me that if we are honest, the solution can’t come from ourselves – because we are naturally the cause of the problem.

We need a solution. In fact, because the problem is not clinical, we don’t need a diagnosis and a treatment: we need a savior. And Jesus is that savior – for the heterosexuals, for the greedy, for liars, and to make sure I don’t discriminate against anyone, for the homosexuals.

[HOST]: So Jesus is the savior from Hell.

[FT]: Yes. If you believe in that sort of thing. If not, you shouldn’t be offended. The Apostle Paul said that if Jesus Christ did not die and raise from the dead, our faith is joke, and our so-called “Gospel” is a lie – we’re not to be admired, but pitied as utterly hopeless. If you don’t believe that Hell is a real place, and Jesus actually died for sin so that people don’t have to go there, then me or anyone telling you that homosexuals or republicans or anyone is going to hell shouldn’t upset you.

So do you believe in Hell?








84 comments:

Robert said...

Good job, Frank. Direct, to the point, and it makes people own what they are saying and doing. This gets people to the point where they have to make the decision of whether they truly believe or not.

Robert said...

And this would also leave somebody listening in a position to come away with a better understanding of their sin and need for a Savior, which was my biggest complaint about Keller's response.

So when are you going to talk to this guy in front of that audience? This is the type of thing they need to hear from evangelicals.

Alexander M. Jordan said...

I like this approach, Frank. If one doesn't believe in hell, then hell really can't be brought into the debate about sin (of all types) and its consequences. Because if one don't think hell exists as a real consequence for sin, one has nothing to fear from hell.

On the other hand, if it is granted that the ultimate consequence of sin is hell, and God's standard for entry into heaven and escape from hell is sinless perfection (humanly impossible to achieve) then the sinner (homosexual or heterosexual) is in need of a Savior.

Alexander M. Jordan said...

Oops! I meant to type, "if one "doesn't" think hell exists"...

Frank Turk said...

The problem of Evil is a very potent apologetic - and the resolution of it is only found in the Gospel. The power of this approach is in the existential nature of the modern unbeliever's approach to his own ethical system. He has probably never considered that the world is broken because he is broken.

Mpumelelo Kunene said...

I need to ask Frank, is this an imaginative conversation or did it actually take place? I mean, if this conversation between you and your interlocutor did not actually happen, but you just made it up, then don't you think its a bit unfair to place it as a different approach, seeing as you would not really, in an actual Aeropagus setting, know what all the rebuttal questions will be beforehand? Granted, TK did know what the main gist of the question would be, but the whole conversation was not scripted. You can be well prepared with all your arguments, but the interlocutor's logic applied in the conversation might be very different from what you'd think. Just a thought.

With that said, I greatly admire the main gist of your argument, which is basically helping the sinner realise his need. Ahh, as I read, I am reminded of the archaic preaching of brother Paul Washer. Wonderful direction, however again, I do feel that some of your most potent points rely on some typical rebuttal by the host, and if you made up the host, well, might not be very practical, however if this was an actual conversation, then praise the Lord, for He indeed did use some pristine logic to show your host his weaknesses.

Richard said...

The problem of Evil.

The Bible says all people are sinners born into a sin-filled world. Non-believers are characterized as dead: unable to respond. As blind: not seeing the Light revealed in God’s Word. As deaf: unable to hear the Gospel. As hard-hearted: unable to understand and grasp the Gospel.

We are called to preach the Word. It is not the cleverness of our discussion nor the method which brings people to the grace and mercy of God, fully expressed in Jesus Christ; but, God who grants saving faith to whom He wishes. The most potent apologetic is the clear, accurate preaching of God’s Word day-in and day-out.

Truly, people in our society do not believe in Hell but, even worse, they have a low view of sin. They do recognize people do good things and bad things; and, most hope on the day of accountability their good works will outweigh their bad works. Thus, all religions, whether Islam or Judaism or Hindism or any other, develops a system to overcome the deficit.

“ and the resolution of it is only found in the Gospel.”

CCinTn said...

A great many people don't believe in hell, but a great many do. They just don't think that they are going there.

Great post Frank and your approach is a better way than Wax's (although his was good and MUCH better than Keller's).

My take away this week is that we should all think seriously about what our response should be if we find ourselves engaged in a conversation on this or other similar subject.

While Keller's response wasn't a total failure, we should seek to do better when we find ourselves conversing on such matters.

This comes from knowing what God has revealed in scripture which is a result of our studying His Word.
We must boldly proclaim what God's Word says while understanding who our audience is. Ultimately it is the Holy Spirit that reaches and changes a person's heart not our skill in delivering the message. But we should seek to explain God's Word as clearly and lovingly as we possibly can. Proverbs 25:11

Cathy said...

Two thoughts:
1. Love your use of questions to help the interviewer think about the premise of his own questions. Very instructive.
2. Wow, what a Saviour!

Hannah said...

Even if one doesn't believe that Hell exists, that doesn't change the fact that it's entirely hateful to believe that gays will end up in Hell after they die unless they either try to pretend to be straight their entire life long, or force themselves to remain celibate their entire life long. (And both of those options have been proven to be psychologically harmful, by the way.) So, tell me, why should I have to respect your belief that gays will end up in Hell after they die, when that belief is based on pure hatred? I mean, do you think that black people should have to respect the opinions of racists? If not, then please explain to me how your anti-gay hatred is somehow more societally acceptable than racism is.

Les said...

Well said Frank.

Eric said...

Hi Hannah,

Why assume that questions of morality are founded in hate? If you disapprove of someone stealing, must it be because you hate the person?

michelle said...

Simply brilliant!

Eric said...

Also, Hannah,

If you read Frank's post very carefully, you will see that Frank's motivation is rooted in the exact opposite of hate, that being his love for all sinners (including all self-named sinners who read and comment on this blog).

R.C. said...

"I have a man crush on Frank Turk"- me, and anyone with any sense

Bill said...

Frank: good post, I appreciate it. One reason they care about what we think about their possible ultimate destiny (and all sinners destiny, mine included) may be due to the fact they know about hell but are suppressing it.

Mpum: I tend to agree that fictionalized accounts can be contrived but the line of thought and reasoning does come back to you when you actually get in the situation. Between the Pyro guys, Brother Paul, and STR, I routinely make use of many of their lines of thinking. There is value in this method.

Hannah: when does the amount of melanin one has equal behavior one engages in?

Cathy said...

Hannah-So your staking your claim on this- that any given society should have the final say in the determination of right and wrong (and that they should base this determination on whether something is "psychologically harmful" to any particular individual.) You would leave the fate of all mankind in the hands of each other?
Frankly, I don't see that playing out as well as you seem to think it would- as I find man in general to be fickle, flighty, cruel, self-absorbed, power hungry, arbitrary, greedy, and not very merciful. Myself included.

JackW said...

Blue letter Frank Turk.

You can quote me.

OFelixCulpa said...

Frank,

I hate leaving comments which say nothing but "great post," but in this case I must make an exception. What you have written is both insightful and hilarious. Thanks.

Linda said...

Lol,Frank you kept in control of the interview the whole time.I think you were actually interviewing him... Prosit

Andrew Lindsey said...

If I leave a comment on this post, may I later delete it for cash?

Hannah said...

Eric: Stealing is quite obviously harmful behavior. You cannot say the same about homosexuality. And no matter how many times you say that Frank's opinion is loving, that doesn't change the fact that it's not loving at all to tell someone that the way they were born is wrong.

Bill: Homosexuality is not based in behavior any more than heterosexuality is. Homosexuals do not choose to be attracted to the same gender just like black people don't choose to be black. And it's completely possible to be a homosexual while never actually having had a sexual experience with someone of the same gender. To say otherwise is to completely misrepresent what homosexuality is.

Cathy: You do realize that human beings wrote, translated, edited, and revised the Bible, don't you? So how are you not putting your trust in human beings just like I am? Also, why should non-Christians be expected to live their lives according to what the Bible says? Last time I checked, people here in the US had the Freedom of Religion (or, in the case of atheists, the Freedom from Religion), so why are you so unwilling to respect that freedom, and why do you seem to want to get rid of it entirely? Also, not all human beings are bad people, so why pretend they are? There are plenty of good, kind human beings, so what's so wrong about putting your trust in them? Heck, can you even prove that it's not actually psychologically unhealthy for a gay person to pretend to be straight or to force themselves to be celibate their entire life long? Just because you assume that's wrong doesn't mean it actually is wrong, you know.

Eric said...

Hi Hannah,

A couple questions:

1) Is morality determined strictly by whether or not you deem it harmful?

2) Since many who steal (or commit any number of other harmful actions) can also make the claim that they are born with that proclivity, have you just labelled yourself as hateful for telling someone that the way they are born is wrong?

3) Is there any room in your belief system for moral judgements that do not impugn the worth of a person?

michelle said...

Hannah - I think that was the whole point of the post - if you don't believe in that sort of thing, then you should not be worried about those who do. Just as you have the right to believe as you will, as a Christian, I have the right to believe as I will. I believe the Bible to be the inspired Word of God - yes, written, translated, etc by human beings, but under the inspiration of God Himself. I speak out of that conviction when I call this, that or the other a sin, or when I call human beings (myself included) sinners in general. The conclusions I come to are drawn from that foundational conviction, not hatred for one particular "class" of sinners over another.

If my conclusions are drawn from that conviction, and I have a basis for belief in that conviction, then my conclusion is not drawn from hatred. My conviction that the Bible is indeed authoritative has certain implications to how I view the world. On the flip side, if you come to a different conclusion than I, I can only assume that you have considered the question (i.e., about the authority of Scripture), and have made your determination based on that consideration, and therefore cannot dismiss your thoughts out of hand as, say, hatred towards Christians.

Citation Squirrel said...

Not all humans are bad people, but we are all sinners and we were born that way. So, is it unloving to say that sinners, for no other reason than that they were born sinners, are in danger of going to hell?

Webster Hunt (Parts Man) said...

Hannah, first let me see if I understand you the way Frank understood the host in the post today:

To believe that homosexuals go to hell is hateful because that implies that what they are doing is wrong in God's eyes. Since they were born that way, they can't control what they're doing, therefore God has no right (so definitely we don't) to assign moral value to it - and even more so because homosexuals can "love" eachother. And since love is a good thing, homosexuality can't be morally wrong.

How am I so far?

Cathy said...

Hannah-40 years ago the medical community deemed homosexuality to be psychologically harmful. Now they no longer do. Would you have been so fast to accept their determination of right and wrong then? As an aside- I used to work in the psychiatric community- with all kinds of psychiatrists and psychologists- believe me- they are fallible, just like the rest of us.

Also- I'm not sure why you think I want to take anyone's freedom away???
Am I bound to live by your arbitrary moral code? If so- I don't really understand your logic. Is that an attempt to take my freedom away?

And lastly- you say there are plenty of good people. Good, based on whose definition?
Have you watched the news- men do all sorts of evil, and call it good.Have you never felt malice in your heart toward anyone?
Would I be wise to leave my fate in your hands?
No- I'll leave my fate in the hands of a Holy God- who is able to judge rightly and fairly. And a God so rich in mercy that He sent His own Son to pay the penalty I deserve.
And if I were you- I'd do the same.

Johnny Dialectic said...

This is great:

[HOST]: I wrote a book about the gay rights movement because I was appalled by the oppression and the discrimination against homosexuals in my America. What about your church’s approach to homosexuals? Is it a sin? Are they going to Hell?

[FT]: Do you believe in Hell?


I'd never thought about this approach to that question before. It puts the questioner on notice and reveals the motive behind the question. It's not to get an answer per se, but to show the unreasonableness of the respondent. It's akin to the "When did you stop beating your wife?" question.

Frank's response gets the colloquy at least to even ground. Nicely done.

I've thought in similar terms when an atheist asks, "How could a good God allow X?"

I ask, "You are then conceding the existence of God, right? Now it's a question about his character."

Hannah said...

So basically, all of you who think that homosexuality is wrong don't care about how horribly you're making LGBT people (including myself, as I'm bisexual) feel. No, all you care about is pushing your morals on others and trying to convince others to adopt the same beliefs that you have, even though those beliefs might not be right for them.

You don't care if someone is absolutely miserable as a Christian. If you find out that someone is an ex-Christian, you'll just judge them for that and even outright deny that there actually is such a thing as an ex-Christian.

Empathy is not a word known to you all, and that's what's so dangerous about Christianity these days. It's more about Biblical literalism than it is about loving others. Sure, you all claim to love others, but on your list of most important things, I'm sure you'd place Biblical literalism at the top and loving others somewhere beneath that, even though that in itself proves that you don't care as much about loving others as you claim to.

How can you possibly be okay with all of this, and how can you expect others, such as myself, to be okay with it?

Hannah said...

Also, for all of you who claim to take the anti-gay verses in the Bible literally, do you take every single other verse in the Bible literally as well? Or will you admit that you pick and choose which verses to follow, using excuses such as "this verse was meant to be taken figuratively" (even though you cannot possibly know that for a fact) or "that's a ceremonial law, rather than a moral one, which means that we're not supposed to be held to it anymore" (even though the phrases "ceremonial laws" and "moral laws" appear nowhere in the Bible, which means you must be making that up completely)? How can you possibly be okay with lying to yourselves and others like that? Why not just admit that you pick and choose which Bible verses to follow?

Tom Chantry said...

So basically, all of you who think that homosexuality is wrong don't care about how horribly you're making LGBT people (including myself, as I'm bisexual) feel.

I can't speak for everyone else, but I'll accept that. I don't really care much how I make anyone feel. It's not part of the ethic I follow.

Hannah, you need to answer Frank's repeated question. Do you believe in hell? I do, which is why how people feel really doesn't matter much to me.

Think of it this way: when people were being herded onto trains to Auschwitz, would it have been an important moral issue to make sure the trains were comfortable and the victims felt nice on their way to their destruction? Or would it have been more important to get as many of them off that train as possible.

Because I believe in hell, I can say this with conviction: The person who loves you isn't the one who makes you feel best; he's the one who tells you the most truth.

So how about it? Before you go further, deal with the post. Do you, Hannah, believe in hell?

michelle said...

Hannah - One thing I would want to say just as a closing remark to your comments: please be careful not to judge the motives of the people who are commenting on this blog. Just as I cannot assume your motives, you cannot assume anyone else's. The personal struggles of each person represented on this blog are unknown to us, so we cannot assume that their comments are not coming from a place of deep wrestling or even pain. Life is messy - things are not as they should be, and this is cause for much heartache and sorrow.

HSAT - to assume that we cannot speak from a place of empathy or compassion simply because we believe the Word of God is short sighted. In the vast scope of eternity, it is much less loving for me to not share the beauty of the Gospel and all its implications. It is not simply our personal temporal happiness that is in view here - it is the eternal destiny of people. That unfortunately is what gets lost in all the rhetoric that goes back and forth on this subject.

Hannah said...

One last thing that I just thought of: I'm pretty sure that all of you don't take the so-called "pro-life" verses literally. You read a lot of meaning into those verses that isn't there at all, and you take those verses completely out of context and ignore what the surrounding verses say. So why claim to take the entire Bible literally when you obviously don't do that? Why not just admit that you think of the Bible as a political manifesto, rather than as a guide for how to live?

Hannah said...

Tom, do you think that Christ would appreciate the fact that you don't care about how you make others feel? Didn't Christ ask his followers to love everyone, no matter what, and isn't caring about how people feel part of loving them? So why are you so unwilling to actually act like Christ? And why call yourself a Christian at all when you aren't willing to act like Christ?

Tom Chantry said...

...isn't caring about how people feel part of loving them?

No. I don't think you read my comment all that closely.

Hannah said...

Michelle, are you saying that it's okay for you to refuse to care about how painful your remarks are for others, but it's not okay for me to refuse to care about that? Seriously, how have you, or anyone else on this blog (other than myself, that is) showed any amount of caring towards homosexuals at all?

Hannah said...

Tom, actually, caring about how people feel is part of loving them, and it's certainly more important than trying to save people from a mythical place that you can't even prove the existence of (I'm speaking of "Hell," of course). So why use "I'm saving people from Hell" as an excuse to refuse to care about people's feelings?

Hannah said...

Tell me, Tom, if the fact that you refuse to care about people's feelings ended up causing someone to attempt suicide, would you even care? If you wouldn't, then you are not acting like Christ, no matter how much you claim to care about people's eternal souls. Any behavior that causes someone to attempt suicide cannot be loving.

michelle said...

Hannah - it is not that I don't care about the pain caused by careless comments that are unloving regardless of what is being said or spoken about. What I am saying is that if it is true that Hell is real, and what God has spoken is true, it is NOT loving for me to withhold that information from you.

I have many friends who are homosexual, and we have this conversation all the time. It is difficult for them to see where I am coming from, but they try. I do not pretend with them, however. I speak to them from a place of love, even though they did not necessarily like what I am saying. They know that I deeply love them, and would do anything for them - including speaking something to them that may be hurtful, but comes from a place of deep concern not only for their temporal happiness, but their eternal joy. The know my words come from a place of deep love, and they accept them even if they don't agree with them.

Tom Chantry said...

Well, you answered my question indirectly. You don't believe in hell.

To go back to my Auschwitz question, if you didn't believe in Auschwitz, then the right thing to do for people being herded into cattle cars would be to provide for a comfortable happy journey to wherever they were going. On the other hand, if you do believe in Auschwitz, then both "love" and "morality" take on a whole new dimension.

You live in a world with no Auschwitz, or at least you think you do. I live in a world in which a much greater Auschwitz exists, and one in which we're all heading there unless there is some salvation, or at least I think I do. Where you and I agree is that love is the essence of morality. But in your non-Auschwitz world, love basically means not offending anyone. In my Auschwitz world, love means a whole lot more.

What is interesting is that in one comment you deny the existence of hell because you see no evidence of it, and at the same time you make a naked assertion that your definition of "love" is simply right, while mine is simply wrong. Are you going to show me the evidence of that?

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Hannah: "No, all you care about is pushing your morals on others and trying to convince others to adopt the same beliefs that you have, even though those beliefs might not be right for them."

I kid you not, I honestly have the very same thoughts regarding the pro-gay lobby when they try to force their morals and views upon me, a Bible-believing Christian!

Tom Chantry said...

The suicide question is tugs emotionally, but misses the point.

What if I were to have knowledge of the reality of Auschwitz, but I knew it in 1935. And what if I were to go to Poland and tell the Jews there, "Get out of Poland now, time is short." And what if I were to describe to them the horror that is coming. If one of them became so upset that I was saying this could happen, and if he consequently committed suicide, would you accuse me of being unloving?

Oh wait, yes you would: Any behavior that causes someone to attempt suicide cannot be loving.

I think my understanding of "love" and "morality" works better than yours - even here in what you would acknowledge as the real world.

Bill said...

Tom (8:16 comment): Amen!

Hannah: are you not trying to push your morals on us/others?

Most Biblically thinking people on Pyro give no quarter to any sin. I do not excuse my own selfishness, anger, or pride all of which I struggle with. To empathize does not mean condone. Mpum mentioned Brother Washer earlier who has a few sayings (and I can only recall paraphases) that have stuck with me and if you'd research them you'd find them to be Biblical. The first is “he who loves you the most is the one who tells you the most truth.” Telling truth will certain make us “feel” bad but it is the ultimate in love. And the second saying is, “It’s not that we sin, it’s that we’ve never done anything but sin.” This isn’t their (the gays) only sin, but if they come to Christ it is like any other sin in that propitiation awaits at the cross.

Chris Connally said...

I hurt my children's feelings yesterday when I told them they couldn't fly. They really thought they could and were fully prepared to jump from the roof of the house to prove it. They had worked so hard on their little capes and were so cute and eager. I smiled and asked their mom to come and look at how cute her little ones were. I then took the ladder away and forbade them from climbing up on the roof and jumping off no matter how convinced they were that they could fly. I don't hate my children and would rather not have to hurt their feelings. However, my concern for their feelings is secondary to my concern for their well being.

Sir Brass said...

I see we have our equivalent of Matthew Vines here on the blog, but at least he's honest enough to just outright dismiss the bible instead of twisting it to make it say what he wants it to say.

The response from the homosexual rights community proves our point that they do believe in God, the sinfulness of their actions, and Hell. They prove it every second of every day by their active attempt to suppress that knowledge, even to the point of attacking and attempting to silence any decent Christian who says or even believes otherwise.

Now that kind of behavior is what is truly hateful: hateful towards self, God, and others.

Daryl said...

This was helpful for me Frank.

Your redirection of the question pointed right at my prime concern of getting things right and having people behave in a way that I find acceptable, rather than at the condition of the soul and the eternal destiny of the questioner and any nearby listeners.

You have exposed my lack of love and I thank you for that.

Of course the issue is hell! It always is when talking to an unbeliever. Behaviour must always be secondary to that.

Thank you.

CCinTn said...

Hello Hannah,

You said: "Tom, do you think that Christ would appreciate the fact that you don't care about how you make others feel? Didn't Christ ask his followers to love everyone, no matter what, and isn't caring about how people feel part of loving them? So why are you so unwilling to actually act like Christ? And why call yourself a Christian at all when you aren't willing to act like Christ?"

Could you tell me exactly where Jesus said to "love everyone no matter what"? I can't seem to find that in my Bible.

Also, you also seem to appeal to words that Christ said when you have also basically said that we can't trust the Bible because it was written and edited by men.

You can't have it both ways.

Daryl said...

Might also be worth mentioning that the whole point of Frank's post, that we are all destined for hell apart from Christ, is clearly laid out by Jesus himself, over and over and over again.

The post is truth and love, tightly and inextricably tied together.

But calling someones prized behaviour "sin" cannot be tolerated in this world.

As the Bible promises.

DebbieLynne said...

My husband's doctor told him he'd die without surgery. Was that unloving? At the time, we perceived it as such. But now, with the cancer removed, we're glad the doctor chose to tell us the truth rather than placate our feelings. Hannah, can you see the analogy?

Mr. Fosi said...

Very good, Frank.

You really are some sort of freaky drunken master because it doesn't matter that I've read many of your posts, you still manage to keep my expectations off balance or misdirected until I find myself on the floor blinking the stars out of my vision.

Also, for those conversing with Hannah: I think she needs to provide some definition for the terms she is throwing around. Some of the commentators are working toward that, but I wouldn't get bogged down on the bunny trails until she puts some money into the pot.

CCinTn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Allen Gregory said...

Great Post Frank, its the first one of your posts that I got on first reading and that is no reflection on you, it is a reflection on my inability to think biblically, but I am learning. (I still don't see those ratings stars by the way)

CCinTn said...

Sorry Hannah, I included the wrong link. Here it is:

Hannah,

Since you are contending that "Christians" are hateful towards those in the LGBT community would you do me a favor and look at the second video on the post from yesterday (it's is the one with a gentleman by the name of Tim Keller) and be kind enough to answer a couple of questions:

1. Did Mr. Keller come across as hateful or condescending towards homosexuals?

2. What is your perception of what Mr. Keller's view about homosexuality and what the Bible/God and Christians say about this issue?

3. What message did you receive from what Mr. Keller had to say?

The link is here for your convenience: http://www.teampyro.org/2012/05/compare-contrast-caterwaul-2-of-2.html

Mike Riccardi said...

Frank, this was an excellent post. Between Dan's yesterday and this today, it's clear why you guys are the PyroManiacs. It would have been great to have to the two of you on that stage answering those questions before those collegians.

I think Hannah's comments illustrate a very central aspect of the problem with this debate. It is quite simply that the world does not know what love is. According to them, love is akin to Rogers' unconditional positive regard, an ethereal sentimentality that labors to make much of someone in their own sight, and thus "feel good."

God-centered, biblically-defined love is the affection which labors, even at great cost to the subject, to secure the greatest and most lasting satisfaction for its object. And of course, that greatest, most lasting satisfaction is God Himself. Love seeks to enthrall the beloved with that which is most objectively lovable.

Understood this way, unconditional positive regard is recognized to be hopelessly and even cruelly unloving, as in Tom's Auschwitz illustration. Your own self-worth will never produce a true and abiding satisfaction for you, and promising that it will is a lie, and is as cruel as assuring a passenger on a train to Auschwitz that everything is going to be OK.

If I labor so that you may have yourself as your treasure, your own object of worship, I cheat you by continuing to deflect your heart from God, from your everlasting joy and deepest satisfaction. But, laboring to demonstrate that God's Word is true, that He indeed is holy, and will punish those eternally who fail to seek their refuge in Him, and yet will pardon abundantly those who turn to Him in repentant faith and humble submission -- that is a labor of love. Because He is whom you've been created to love and enjoy, not yourself. Turn from the broken cisterns of self-worship and drink deeply from the fountain of living waters.

jbboren said...

This would work, if there were any truth to the assumption that you would be allowed to finish your sentences, much less your complete thoughts.

I love the approach, however.

Esther said...

Hannah;

Why should it make you feel bad if some kook says you will go to hell for being homosexual? If there is no hell, then why should you feel anything but pity for someone loopy enough to believe in it?
Perhaps you've made fun of people who wear foil hats. That's not because you don't care about how they feel. It's because you know that there is nothing out there that foil hats will protect them against. It's goofy.
Same here. Why are you bothered?


I think you're bothered because, deep down, you know there is a Hell.

And that it's a problem. As Frank so clearly demonstrated in his article, it's a problem for everyone born human.

So let's start with an easier question.

Were you born human?

Strong Tower said...

"Any behavior that causes someone to attempt suicide cannot be loving."

"Did I not choose you, the Twelve? And yet one of you is a devil."

Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”

Judas, who would betray him, answered, “Is it I, Rabbi?” He said to him, “You have said so.”

Jesus did say and do things that made Judas go out and commit suicide. Are you saying then, Hannah, that Jesus was unloving? I find it curious that you are invoking Scripture in your broad attack on Scripture. And, you know what, you're wrong, utterly so. Jesus cared, but not about feelings, pe se. He called his own idiots, slow of mind, dullards, spiritually wick, hardhearted. His word is called a consuming fire which purifies, and a hammer which utterly crushes into dust, and that his own. It divides the soul exposing the inmost wickedness of the heart. If he cared less about feelings than truth, why should any who believe his word and proclaim it?

Your bitterness and nagging anger is obvious. But so that you do not completely dispair, the acceptable sacrifice is a broken spirit and a contrite heart. You're only missing a part. You are not far from the Kingdom of God. One thing you lack, repent and believe.

Rubin O. Wits said...

Wow, countless great retorts to Hannah's assertions and she's nowhere to be found.

Stan McCullars said...

I'm starting to suspect that we have witnessed a plant to see if people who are not professional apologists could answer direct questions about homosexuality from someone who is a bit hostile.

Sir Brass said...

I highly doubt any hostile interviewer would ever let it get this far. He'd not get into the probing questions or continue along Frank's line of return questioning. About halfway through he'd shut Frank down by ending the interview or going on open attack.

It's unfortunate, b/c if an actual interview went much like this, it'd be a tremendous witness. As it is, this dialogue will continue to remain hypothetical.

Milton said...

No, Stan, follow Hannah's profile link to her blog and I think you will agree she is not a plant or a ringer. Her attainment of a BS in English despite Asperger's Syndrome is quite a laudable achievement. The Asperger's no doubt colors one's perceptions, and as she states on her own blog, colors her emotional perceptions and reactions. Her responses are obviously mostly emotionally based, and resting on the usual LGBT talking points and intentionally false premises about the Bible directly from After the Ball, whether she is aware of its existence or not.

Hannah, if you are still reading, this forgiven and redeemed sinner urges you to read the Bible for yourself, starting "in the middle" with the Gospel of John, then Acts of the Apostles, and then the other Gospels and the rest of the New Testament letters. Get to know the risen Jesus who lives today, searching for Him in Scripture, in good commentaries on the Scripture, and in prayer. Give God the benefit of the doubt for a couple of months and ask Him in your heart to show you who He is and what is true. If you do that in a sincere and honest heart, He will never turn you away or lead you wrong. He said, "If anyone will come to Me, I will never turn you away." Take Him up on His offer!

Rachael Starke said...

Wow.

Some of ya'll have already forgotten what Frank wrote last week:


"What I think we have to do with this video is not to tear it to shreds and walk away satisfied with our own apologetic Kung Fu: I think we have to read it for what it does well, and then do better. We should seek the chance to do what was done here, and then do it better.

That is: unless we don't care about lost people as much as Keller does."


Hannah, from one broken woman to another - the last word on love isn't some harsh words in a blog comment; the last word on love is a Man who wept over the sins of the people He'd created for Himself, and then who went to a bloody cross to take on their wickedness and mockery, and give them His life and peace and joy in exchange.

That's love. And it's offered for you, if you ask Him for it.

Cathy said...

Hannah-
Your moral code appears to be "Thou shalt not hurt anyone's feelings." And of course each person in your "kingdom" would get to decide what hurts his or her own feelings. And then everyone else must acquiesce to the one with the hurt feelings. This is the highest form of love that can be expressed in your moral code.... That sounds a lot more like a group of junior high girls rather than a workable, practical, fair-minded,and just way to determine right and wrong.In some ways that actually sounds worse than Hell, but I digress.

So in your own moral system that you have devised: You have indicted the Christians on this thread as being unkind, unfair, mean, ignorant, motivated by lust for political power and motivated by hate. Quite an indictment, 'specially considering how you have such little information about each one of us and no way to know our hearts. So with you being the judge or arbiter of your own system of justice: What is the judgement you would render to such wicked and cruel people?

Eric said...

Rachel,

Funny how you can judge the heart and motives of the commenters as seeking some sort of apologetic victory and being harsh. Hannah has politely and lovingly been asked serious questions about her beliefs and has been called to repentence for her unbelief. That you think your method of trying is the only acceptable method and your attitude is the only acceptable attitude is not helpful.

Why would the commenters have engaged and reasoned with Hannah if they "don't care about lost people", as is your not-so-veiled accusation? Oh, that's right, you've already read their hearts and minds and concluded that they just want to tear Hannah (or her ideas) apart and walk away satisfied.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Thank you Eric.

Nonna said...

Hannah:

I'm going to post a number of your quotes in reference to Jesus, and then I'd like you to consider some things. You said:

"Do you think that Christ would appreciate the fact that you don't care about how you make others feel?"

"Didn't Christ ask his follower's to love everyone, no matter what,...?"

"So why are you so unwilling to act like Christ?"

"And why call yourself a Christian at all when you aren't willing to act like Christ?"

"...if the fact that you refuse to care about people's feelings ended up causing someone to attempt suicide, would you even care?...

"If you wouldn't, then you are not acting like Christ, no matter how much you claim to care about people's eternal souls."


In all of these comments/questions you refer to Christ in such a way that it appears you have a certain amount of respect for Him. You also assign particular attitudes to Christ that controvert what you perceive are damaging and defective attitudes among the Christians here at this blog and elsewhere. Since you deem it worthy to use Christ's name in a particular context, I'm led to inquire just exactly how you have come to such an understanding about Him.

You see, Hannah, the problem with your view is that you can't have a Jesus who exists apart from what He actually said. The Holy Gospels, which are the account of Jesus Christ's life - His words, actions, & accomplishments - depict a very different Jesus than the one you portray. This is something, that if you care to, you must come to terms with. If you do care, it is then necessary to ask yourself: Am I willing to be taught about the Christ depicted in the Holy Scriptures, AND, Am I willing to lay aside the erroneous views I have espoused?

Hannah, I could direct you to various passages of Holy Scripture that call into question your understanding of Jesus Christ. I could also give a myriad of examples from the historical witness of the Church that contradict the views to which you
hold so dear. But you must answer the question that Christ inquired of His disciples, "But who do you say that I am?" And make no mistake about it, your/our understanding of Jesus Christ has temporal and eternal consequences. So it's vital that you/we actually confess the Christ of Holy Scripture, the Christ that the historical Church has confessed, and not a Christ that you/we have made in our own image.

Linda said...

Hannah,,, I speak from one who was a (NON-practicing) homosexual before the Lord Jesus Christ saved me. So I KNOW the harmful effects of homosexuality.

I know beyond a shadow of a doubt we are NOT Born that way. They are choices we choose to MAKE.

For me and I'll be open with my personal life-- my dad molested me when I was a little girl. Did that in and of itself cause me to be homosexual? It definately contributed to it. But NO,,, Absolutely not,, I chose in my thinking and rationality the WRONG choices and decisions to try and FIX my hurts and pain. For many it might be they just didn't fit in. Or they just didn't see the correct model of a mother and father and latched onto identifying with the wrong gender while growing up. I dunno. However sin is sin. Did I CHOOSE to be a liar? Did I choose to be a SINNER? NO. We are sinners by birth.

So I speak as one who was THERE. I know the pain, torture, the imprisonment and the abject hopelessness every single day thinking. It's like a plague that ravages you every single day and trying to do the right things and live a moral life.

The pain and hurt with your "feelings" when someone says you are going to hell or homosexuality is SIN, is supposed to be hurtful. NOT that the person is trying to hurt you or anyone as a means to an end. NOOOOO but because we don't know our true condition before a holy, righteous and just GOD.

Let me put it to you this way::: If you go to the Doctor and have a check up and he tells you you have terminal cancer,,, was he being MEAN to you? Does it HURT? Do you hate HIM?

Well, honestly YES it HURTS. but he's telling you the TRUTH and the most loving thing to let you KNOW.so no HE is not being mean to you. Hes simply pointing out your true condition.

What if the Dr finds out you have terminal cancer and he does NOT tell you? Then you die and all along he had a CURE? Is that very loving of him? I would think not~

When Christians and God's word tell us that we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God"-It means we ALL are pronounced DEAD ---terminal cancer as an analogy to SIN. If you read Romans chapter 1 and 2 at least we should get an idea of our utter state of depravity and that we are all going to hell. Telling the BAD news is not a means to an end to try and be mean. Certainly, there are people out there who do not speak the truth in love and are very jeering with name calling and mean. Noooo True Christians love the lost homosexuals, love the lost because we were ONCE lost as well. WE say it in love to let you know your true condition so you will receive the Good News-the Gospel and be saved.

And, the GOOD NEWS is this. When we finally see that we need to be saved, and we see our true condition for the first time and call sin for what it truly is (sin) and agree with God, if we truly humble ourselves and repent God will save us. God will change your heart and give you new desires and take away those hideous desires that imprison you. We cannot EVER change ourselves. Only God when he reaches down and grants his mercy and grace will give you a new heart.

We must come into agreement with God's WORD. WE must submit and SURRENDER to GOD.

Linda said...

The good news is, there IS a cure and that is what the Gospel is the Good news that God in his love and mercy has provide a Way so that we will not be condemned to hell.

Aaron Snell said...

And once again, Frank, we're back to:

What is love?
Baby don't hurt me,
Don't hurt me no more.


And now the song is stuck in my head again....

Robert said...

Hannah,

Love for God comes before love for others. And unless we learn to love God, and His Word (which has not been revised if you go look at the manuscript evidence and translate from the original languages), then we haven't a clue how to love one another. All of these "good people" that you talk about are vile sinners just like the rest of us. If our natural tendency towards sin isn't so bad, then why did Jesus have to die and take on the wrath of God? It doesn't make sense.

To be honest, you sound like most kids who try to justify their own wrong behavior to their parents when they are being corrected.

I'm just curious...do you think that everybody should just be free to do their own thing? Think about the implications of that statement before you answer. Then think about the way you describe Christians...especially those who actually don't take verses out of context and are literalists.

I sincerely hope that you will do so because I want you to see the truth.

Sonja said...

I was Hannah, and spent almost 30 more years being Hannah guessing her age. So many things that brought me shame even without any understanding of what sin is. I did what was right in my own eyes, over and over again.

Hannah, how you even found this blog, and what possessed you to read, comment and interact -- I can only attribute to providence. It couldn't possibly be some random occurence. There's that old chestnut about God working in mysterious ways ... and you know what? It's true. :) He puts people in front of us, total strangers, sometimes multiple strangers He uses for His good purpose.

I suspect you could click on anyone's name in this thread (including Frank), send an email and you'd have an edifying conversation. Try it. No one here hates you. We're to hate the sin because the sin grieves our most holy God, and we all sin. The remedy is the cross and Him crucified. And risen!

reformed trucker said...

"send an email and you'd have an edifying conversation. Try it. No one here hates you." - Sonja

Well said, and Hannah needs to realize this.

And Tom Chantry is my most favorite pastor in SE Wisconsin. I really need to start attending church (his) again. I'm saving that Auschwitz analogy for future conversations.

Sir Brass said...

What I'm about to say isn't just b/c of what Hannah has said, but the general trend from those like her (pro-homosexual advocates) proves Psalm 2 to the letter. The Jesus that many want to reinvent into some kind of squishy approver of their behavior is the one who is called LORD (and DJP would rightly have a fit if I did not clarify that when I say "lord" in all caps, I really mean YHWH) and who holds them (the heathen) in derision.

Christ is the one and only righteous and mighty savior, aye! However, to those who will not bow the knee in repentence of their sins and trust in Him, He is the righteous, mighty, and wrathful avenger.

Those who refuse to bow the knee have no right to demand we capitulate and say that Jesus loves them. He manifestly does NOT, unless the Spirit demonstrates YHWH's mercy by regenerating them unto saving faith and repentance.

Make no mistake. The one most angry and offended by the homosexual (since this is the hot sin topic right now, though it's applicable to liars, thieves, etc., etc. too) who will not repent is NOT us Christians. Not even close. The one most angry is the Lord of Glory... Jesus Christ. And He is most certainly not mocked.

It is only once those who advocate and promote this sinful lifestyle and rebellion understand that they have no leg to stand on and that the only reason they are not yet in Hell this very instant is because the LORD has not yet let them finish filling up their iniquity. It is only once they understand this truth and realize that it is wholly and holy just, right, and necessary that He punish them that the words of mercy from the same omnipotent and almighty LORD can profit them.

Unless you realize that you will and do stand before a Holy God before whom you have committed the most agregious, high-handed rebellion against, then the merciful words of our Lord Jesus, who is the Christ, have no bearing upon you, and all that awaits you is the righteous fire of His wrath.

We are not the ones who judge you, Hannah; God is, and He has made His revelation clear. If you feel bad, then good. You should. And then you should repent and turn to Christ for mercy. For if you do not, then when you stand before Him, you will not recieve a hug and an apology, but a furious "Depart from me, you worker of iniquity!" and be cast into eternal punishment. Fall upon Him and repent. For nothing and no one else, including yourself, can save you. And you, like the rest of us, are in dire need of being saved from our own willful treason.

Psalm 2:

"1 Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing?

2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against His anointed, saying,

3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.

4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the LORD shall have them in derision.

5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

6 Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.

7 I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee.

8 Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.

9 Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter's vessel.

10 Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth.

11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.

12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they that put their trust in him."

mick said...

Loved this blog! Frank you simply did it again! Thanks for making us think. I loved the interaction with Hannah, especially early on with Eric and michelle. Hannah...if you are still out there, this is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. With that in mind, "God commands all men everywhere to repent because He has appointed a time when he will judge the world in rightousness by that man he hath ordained..."

Merrilee Stevenson said...

I was going to comment earlier but had other things to tend to. When I returned, I realized that our welcome guest was being pulled into numerous conversations all at the same time. I'm glad she was here, I hope she comes back, and I trust we will patiently engage her and not ALL try to talk to her at once. I volunteer to be quiet.

What I WAS going to say about Frank's hypothetical conversation is that he moves from speaking in general terms about homosexuals (as the moderator posed the question), to asking the other person if he personally believed in hell. THAT would have been interesting to watch Keller do in his interview. Often times when it comes to those REALLY hot topics (homosexuality, abortion, end of life issues), we approach a person as though WE represent all of professing Christianity and they represent all of whatever issue they idolize. Anyway, getting directly to the individual and their eternal destination allows a more personal approach to actually sharing the gospel as opposed to talking in generalities.

Rachael Starke said...

Merrilee FTW. :)

WS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
WS said...

To go back to FT's point from the previous posts on Keller, it seems as though the main thing that Keller should be commended for is getting himself in situations where he has a chance to be a witness to the truth. Most of us criticized his witness as being too vague and wimpy. Most said that he could have and should have been more bold.

I have a question for those who think he should have been more bold (I was among them). Are there any similar videos to that of Keller that did better? In other words, is there anyone out there giving answers like the one given by FT in this post that is actually ever invited to speak to such an audience? Would preclude one from ever being invited to such an event again?

My guess is that the answer would be that you would be dis-invited from future events. Or that the next time you were invited you would get the Doug Wilson "tolerance mob" treatment (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7lq5AX4lPHQ). Maybe that is fine. Maybe we shouldn't speak at events if we cannot give more than the Keller answer. But my guess is that Keller would disagree.

Linda said...

WS, Keller has been known to straddle a fence. He is a master of the oblique approach.

There is a video he did awhile back "Tim Keller on Whether or Not Muslims, Sikhs, Hindus and Jews are Saved After Death"---

He never really gives a solid answer. He's always giving answers like he's trying to please everyone and not offend anyone.

this is not Biblical. Either you know a person who is a practicing homosexual is going to hell or you don't. Why? Because the Bible makes it clear. God's word is not confusing about what sin is and what it is not~

People's eternal destinies are at stake and we need to present the truth in love as clearly and plainly as possible. It could be their last day before they die and this should be the frame of mind we all have "urgent", "serious", a matter of life and death".

WS said...

Linda,

Keller is orthodox in that he believes that Jesus is the only way.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2qeJMUnkik

But he is oblique in certain situations. Usually in hostile environments. I am with you. I hate it when he does this. I wish he was more blunt more John Piper-ish. But my question was about whether Frank T or John P or anyone else calling for a more vocal and bold approach (among whom I am numbered) ever gets invited to the types of situations that cause Keller to give his careful and oblique answers.

Who is bolder? The one who gives a timid answer to a room of wolves or the one who gives a bold answer to a room of sheep (or an empty room)?

I am not defending anyone. I have been a critic of Keller on this. I am really just asking the question. Is there anyone who does something similar to Keller (gets the audiences he does in the hostile territory he ventures in) that does better?

Andy Morrison said...

are there instances in the bible of people being commended for being wishy washy when God is unambiguous.

Linda said...

Thanks WS

I am bad about misunderstanding people's statements.

I'm more of a people person where if you're standing in front of me and I can see your facial expressions then I can understand you much better..

That's a good question WS, who is more BOLD?

I think that the person who is most consistent is the one who will be more bold~~~

WS said...

Andy,

I would that depends on how you define "wishy washy". But I think there are many cases where people give less than a blunt answer to seemingly simple questions and are commended for it. Many of those examples come from the life of Christ. Throughout his life Jesus gave answers to seemingly clear and unambiguous questions in ways that are sometimes frustratingly unclear. The rich man asks how to get eternal life and Jesus tells him t give up his wealth (Matt 19) instead of just telling him to trust in Jesus alone for his salvation. People accuse Jesus of claiming to be God (John 10:33) and instead of affirming this simple biblical truth Jesus gives an answer that seems jarringly close to a denial (John 10:34). Jesus tells his disciples and others *not* to tell people he is the messiah (Matthew 16:20). And many many other examples from the life of Christ can be provided.

Now, I would in no way describe any of these things as wishy washy. To the contrary I of course believe that Christ said exactly what needed to be said with boldness in each situation. But one has to admit that if you or I said many of these things we would be accused of being very timid or garbled. Just imagine if someone asked you if you believed jesus was God and you responded by quoting 82:6.

sb said...

I think Chantry's Auschwitz metaphor undermines his own argument. If a person's goal was to persuade people to get off the train to Auschwitz, then beginning with the statement 'I don't care how I make people feel' seems like a poor start. Beginning with that statement makes people less likely to listen to whatever comes next ... ie get off the train before it arrives in Auschwitz.
And if the person doesn't believe in Auschwitz, telling them you don't care how you make them feel makes your contention that Auschwitz is real and terrible less credible. I don't think this is a good strategy for getting people off the train.
But more importantly, such an ethic runs counter to Christ's example. Christ does care about how people feel. People's feelings are not Christ's paramount concern, but feelings do concern him. This is why we read that Jesus healed sickness and looked on the crowds of harassed and helpless people with compassion.
Certainly Jesus is most concerned with the state of a person's soul, but he often demonstrates his concern for the soul by first showing a concern for what the person feels -- be that hunger, pain or alienation.