Do we hate homosexuals? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.
A few days ago while roaming through my FB feed, I saw an atheist put up something about how Christians have responded to the homosexual challenge with not being in favor of redefining marriage, saying homosexuality is a sin, etc. It was saying this kind of thinking is what led to the shooting in Orlando. It concluded with saying Christians really have nothing good to say about homosexuals.
I immediately went to my wall and made a post describing that and then followed with some good things I do believe about homosexuals.
Homosexuals are created in the image of God.
Homosexuals are people that Jesus Christ loves and died for.
Homosexuals are people that can be redeemed just as all sinners like myself can be redeemed.
Homosexuals are people that can spend eternity in the loving presence of God.
As a Biblical Christian, I choose to follow the example of Jesus. Jesus spoke the strongest words ever against sin that any one has ever spoken. Jesus also showed more love to sinners than any other man has ever shown. The two can live in harmony quite easily.
The next day, a friend of mine posts this on my wall wondering how I would respond to it. The article is about Christians and homophobia. Let’s start there.
What is this term homophobia? You know, in the past, the homosexual movement was upset that their homosexuality was listed as a mental disorder. How is that they treat us today? They use a term that describes a mental disorder. Apparently, it’s wrong to do it to them, but it’s okay to do it to us.
Let’s also consider if we have homophobia. How many of us are truly scared of homosexuals? Now we might not like homosexual practice. It might not be something we find appealing at all. That does not mean we don’t like the people. When football season comes around, my wife loves to watch the Super Bowl and I only care about the commercials, but I am not a footballphobe. I do not get scared when I watch a football game. I just don’t like it.
Still, let’s suppose I had a phobia. What does that mean? It means I have an irrational belief not in accordance with the evidence. What apparently is the response of people like Samantha Field, the writer of this piece? It’s to use it as a weapon to bludgeon me, to make me a horrible person, or to use as a piece of mockery. Seriously? That’s what you want to say?
You see, if Field wants to say that I have homophobia, she needs to show this. If the only piece of evidence is that I disagree with homosexual practice, then perhaps I could accuse her of having Christophobia because she disagrees with the orthodox Christian position on homosexual practice. Does that sound ridiculous to you? It does to me also, but that is exactly what we are being accused of.
So let’s leap into the meat of the article. Field has just described what happened when she grew up and said the word hate about someone to her parents. They would tell her she shouldn’t use that term.
I always felt like I was being particularly witty, since “intense or passionate dislike” is the dictionary definition of hate. Colloquially, hate does have a connotation that “intense dislike” just doesn’t encompass, but Christian culture has bent and twisted the word hate until it’s practically meaningless. When a Christian looks me in the eye and says “of course I don’t hate you!” what they actually mean is something akin to I don’t personally want to assault youwith my bare hands. To a conservative Christian, unless they’re actively and personally wishing you —personally– harm, than you can’t possibly accuse them of hating you.
The irony here is intense as we will see. Without evidence right now, Field has said that conservative Christians they really mean by hate that they don’t want to assault you with their bare hands. The only way they can hate is if they actively and personally wish you harm. I find it amazing that we are the ones accused of prejudice and discrimination and stereotyping when this kind of behavior goes on.
I am a conservative Christian. I have no hatred of homosexuals. I can happily have relationships with people who are homosexuals. When my friends have told me about homosexual struggles that they have, I have not looked on them as any worse. In fact, most conservative Christians that I know think the same way.
That’s how Thabiti Anyabwile and the people who agree with him can say this:
Return the discussion to sexual behavior in all its yuckiest gag-inducing truth … In all the politeness, we’ve actually stopped talking about the things that lie at the heart of the issue–sexual promiscuity of an abominable sort … I think we should describe sin (and righteousness) the way God does. And I think it would be a good thing if more people were gagging on the reality of the sexual behavior that is now becoming public law, protected, and even promoted in public schools …
That sense of moral outrage you’re now likely feeling–either at the descriptions above or at me for writing them–that gut-wrenching, jaw-clenching, hand-over-your-mouth, “I feel dirty” moral outrage is the gag reflex.
Do note something about this. Not once has anything been said about homosexuals as people. We have spoken of practice and if you read the article, it’s not a tirade of hatred against homosexuals. It does insist on speaking the truth in love.
So let’s put it in perspective.
I have said that whenever I or anyone else sins, I have committed divine treason. I have inwardly by that action wished that God was not God and that I was on His throne. I have denied His omnipotence, omniscience, omnipresence, justice, goodness, love, etc. Now I would not do these things verbally. I would honor all of those with my lips, but when I sin, it shows my heart is still far from realizing those. Because of those actions I agree with the statement we said in the Lutheran church I attended in Knoxville, that I justly deserve God’s full punishment and sentence. If He pronounced judgment on me, He would be in the right.
I do not like that really, but it is true. By the standards of Field then, I must hate myself because of the wicked practice I can see in my own life. I do not. I am still called to care and love my own self, but I am called to love God first.
Unfortunately, Field has confused disapproval of the behavior with hatred towards the individual.