Politics, The Bible, and LGBTQ
Yep...I’m “going there.”
May only the most courageous proceed and that at their own peril!
What got me thinking about this article and figuring it's time to address some things is seeing a recent Franklin Graham tweet that has a bunch of folks really up in arms. It's become kind of a big deal with both sides throwing their own salvos. That of course produces collateral damage usually in the form of good people on both sides being misunderstood and hurt.
His (Graham's) comments concern homosexuality and a certain presidential candidate believing and proudly declaring that being gay is a viable and God endorsed expression of Christianity. And more, this individual...and a line a mile long of his supporters, including those in the media...had no qualms challenging Mr. Graham's, and maybe even more our Vice President's Christianity, behavior, and Scriptural cognizance.
We have a politician, and those like him, that not only claims he/they abide by the Christian faith, good for them by the way, but has taken a position of equality concerning Scriptural terms, definitions, and understandings with a seasoned minister of the Gospel. Additionally, specifically the mayor in the provided instance below, uses his religious interpretation as a political weapon with his sights on a sitting Vice President. In his assumption that he is right as far as his biblical stance, he took a swing at Mr. Pence, marginalizing and even ridiculing him.
And me thinketh these things and more certainly needs to be looked at carefully.
So, the reason for the article is to make a few observations and comments concerning what is going on in our national discussion that increasingly seems to want to bring God into the fray (it appears usually when it suits someones political position and voter base) and what these folks want us to believe He is cool with. Where the proclaimers of all that is just and good and right for mankind, and now experts in theological exegesis have been added to their resume, are political candidates and pundits convinced of both their reasonableness and their right to be such expounders, being convinced the Scriptures endorse their behaviors and rantings.
I'll save you the wait...this is not good.
note: God is the Creator. Not our favorite political parties' campaign manager, speech writer, or go to when some kind of ammunition is needed to prove how evil your opponent is. His Words were never designed to be slogans or bludgeoning tools.
Let me be clear up front, probably to the chagrin of some of my more fundamental Christian friends. In this specific context, it really doesn't matter to me if the mayor is gay or not. That's between him, God and His Word, and his family. I have nothing bad to say about him. I don't even know him.
This article was prompted not by his orientation, but as a direct result of him speaking up first. Not that he is gay mind you, but that he has concluded homosexuality is a perfectly acceptable behavior as a Christian. That he believes he has Scriptural endorsement of his theology and behavior. And is taking a public stance and using his positions to speak authoritatively on them.
Once you did that Mr. Buttigieg, you crossed over into a field of expertise you are not really suited for as well as making your ideas fair game to be challenged. Just because I know a few things about the Constitution, doesn't qualify me to be a Supreme Court Justice. Just because you know a biblical verse or concept here or there, does not qualify you to expound as if you have some expertise in Scriptural interpretation. Believing you have a right to do what ever you want in your private life is fine. Yet the moment you start quoting verses and chiding other Christians and ministers, that's a whole different thing entirely.
Specific to this article and the claims that homosexual desire is a gift from your Creator; you and those who believe similarly must recognize what you assert is a bold challenge to thousands of years of understanding what the Judeo Christian ethic clearly teaches concerning your behaviors. And we need to mention over two thousand years since the New Testament of established interpretation and exegesis that has been so thoroughly studied and analyzed, there is very little grounds to reasonably challenge the understood conclusions.
And sir, you're going to need a whole lot of something to make any kind of reasonable case to counter that!
I'll listen, but man it better be good!
We must learn to at the minimum question, let alone outright challenge when someone, the mayor in context with the article, attempts to expound and defend their beliefs and lifestyles with Judeo Christian Scriptures while at the same time it becomes obvious he/they are without understanding as to their context and meaning. The assertion "God made me this way" is used over and over. It is not isolated and therefore needs to be carefully considered.
The mayor is commenting about things of which he has no clear and accurate understanding. He certainly is not the only one doing these things. The national conversation is replete with examples of folks from actors and political and media leaders, to theological meanderings over tequila shots while watching the Pats (New England Patriots for the uninitiated), citing the Bible while not having any idea what it really says.
To be clear. I'm not talking "social" acceptance as far as how many people in our country support the LGBTQ lifestyles. For me, that is not even the argument. People who could care less about God are going to come up with all sorts of stuff. I support that actually. It's called a free society. The sooner some Christians realize that, they will save a lot of breath and expend their energies more wisely.
What is dangerous about all this, and which you may not have considered, is the masses of people that will listen to these uninformed and fringe definitions and comments about God and His Word, and take them as gospel without a single moment taken to test the viability of them!
I've come up with a simple illustration that should help us understand in effect what is taking place in the national discussion concerning sexual orientation and its acceptability as far as the Word of God is concerned. Not secular societies' whims and experiments with human morality. But the Judeo Christian Scriptures, what they say about human behavior and a relationship with God, and those who have taken very questionable positions on its tenets.
Imagine you were in a time capsule that shot you two thousand years ahead in time. You see a classroom in one of the most prestigious universities, and you hear a very animated and heated debate taking place. You lean in and finally get a listen to what they are arguing about. They are arguing about a word in...what was that...English...and its root meaning...defined for thousands of years. You're thinking "Hey...I'm from that time! What word are you arguing about...I know I can help. Let me listen in!"
Finally you hear the word all the commotion is about:
You're thinking "Black as in...like....black? Your immediate thought is that "black" has meant "black" for thousands of years! Everyone knows what "black" is. This is a joke right? What's the argument about?
Then you notice something else that is interesting. It seems only a small minority, about 4 or 5 out of a hundred or so, are trying to argue that "black" really doesn't mean "black" (you will see that ratio again later in the article). They are insisting folks are being too restrictive and old fashioned. They incessantly declare that enlightened minds know that it can't possibly mean what it has always meant. They make the case that those who wrote and even now believe black is...well...black...certainly were only being cultural, phobic actually, and certainly immature and simplistic in their thought processes.
Quickly you recognize those that are the most demonstrative in arguing the new definitions, are those who don't like the old definition of "black" and think it should have a new meaning. And what is worse, scheme to create a publicity campaign using the most popular and wealthy and influential to get the entire society to reject what has always been known as "black".
Ridiculous you say?
Well, you probably know where I am going with this. This is EXACTLY what is going on in our cultural discourses today. Traditions and spiritual standards that billions of Christians believe, and have for thousands of years, are from every possible angle being ignored, assaulted, and ridiculed.
"Black is Black". Los Bravos.
(That was a really good illustration right there by the way. Hot off the press. Just out of the oven. I digress...)
I'll remind us that what I am commenting on is not about people and their behaviors per se. Please don't try to make it so. It's about ideas. Certainly people espouse them, and specific examples by necessity should be given, but it is the ideas...the doctrines of faith mixing with social engineering and even politics I want to discuss...kinda at length. This subject cannot be dealt with in a one sentence meme.
I have friends that are gay. I have a great affection and respect for one gentlemen in particular. My relationship with him has impacted me greatly and my ministry is different for it. I don't argue with him, "go there", or get in his face about his personal life. He's a great guy and his intimate relationships are not my business.
This article is not to bash anyone of any community. It is specific to the contention that the Judeo Christian Scriptures either defend said activities and orientations, or that the teachings are so out of touch with reality today they are not to be paid attention to. It's not about whether anyone is nice or not, or is a good person or not. I want to be as specific as the point at the end of a needle as far as the purpose. It's about ideas and arguments. Not people.
In case you may not have considered, it is my job to know the Scriptures and defend them from being mishandled, let alone perverted. This is part of what He pays me to do. It's in my job description.
So please remember as you spend time considering the observations of this article...
I'm not telling anyone what to think. But I want to give you things to think about!
It stinks that I even have to say this upfront, but in today's world this disclaimer is necessary:
I vehemently reject the idea that presenting the following observations and ideas and counter points are hateful, discriminatory, or out of touch in any way! Disagreeing with a person and challenging their assertions is not hateful or phobic!
On Your Mark...Get Set...
OK...let's get going.
I've cited a specific article below as the basis for this discussion. Further on, we'll take a detailed look at the rationale used by the noted candidate for president and those who believe as he does. I want to analyze their suppositions and evaluate whether they are intellectually, let alone spiritually, honest or valid.
Since the issue at hand is using the Bible to validate worldviews and behaviors, how about we start with what the Bible itself gives as a warning when considering its meanings and applications.
“But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives.” Jude 3-4 NLT (italics mine)
And let’s repeat for emphasis that last sentence:
“...DEFEND THE FAITH THAT GOD HAS ENTRUSTED ONCE FOR ALL TIME…some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches SAYING THAT GOD’S MARVELOUS GRACE ALLOWS US TO LIVE IMMORAL LIVES.”
Folks, this very thing that Jude, most of the writers of the New Testament, and Jesus Himself personally warned against; we are seeing increasingly more of in both secular and religious discussions concerning ethic and moral behaviors as endorsed by those proclaiming the "Christian faith". Progressively, the most extreme behaviors are touted as acceptable as a result of their view that God's unconditional mercy and grace is permissive and their behaviors inconsequential.
They are appealing to the very Book that warns them not to do the very things they are!
It seems more than ever, from both the political stage and an increasing number of pulpits, we hear the thundering of...
"God is OK with me and how dare you judge! God loves me and He is all forgiving. And to my opponents, your quoting and believing the words spoken by the very authors of those writings I claim to draw my faith from, are phobic and hateful!"
Maybe it's me. But isn't it kind of strange that the very writers in the New Testament these "illumined ones" quote in defense of their behavior, clearly condemn the exact same behavior many times close to within the next sentence or certainly paragraph? Hhmmnn
Here's the specific example I mentioned of the rhetoric and assertions of those convinced of their own and their political parties' persuasion of progressiveness and humanitarianism and inclusivity.
The following is from an NBC article concerning the Democratic candidate (Mayor Pete Buttigieg) for President and his opinion of Franklin Graham and Vice President Pence's beliefs concerning homosexuality:
“Buttigieg has, however, criticized Vice President Mike Pence's record on LGBTQ issues.
“I wish the Mike Pence’s of the world would understand, that if you have a problem with who I am, your quarrel is not with me,” Buttigieg said in a speech on April 7 to the LGBTQ Victory Fund. “Your quarrel, sir, is with my creator.” (emphasis mine)
The day after his speech, Buttigieg reprised his critique of Pence.
“Just because you are LGBTQ doesn't mean it's OK to discriminate against you,” he told reporters in Las Vegas. “I think most people get that, I think most Christians get that, and it's time for us to move on toward a more inclusive and more humane vision of faith than what this vice president represent."” (italics mine)
So…what say me? Better yet...what say the Scriptures themselves?
note: For the sake of stating the obvious since the obvious many times doesn't seem to be so obvious...none of us alive today had anything to do with the content of the Bible. Nor did Mr. Graham...or Mr. Pence. What's the saying...don't shoot the messenger?
Well, Mr. Buttigieg wasn't there either. So let's ask, should he or any other of our modern progressive thinkers and religious opines, be given the privilege to rewrite and redefine literature and its content of which they had no influence at all as to their origins or meanings?
The above referenced article and statements made by Mr Buttigieg represent two very serious…I actually wouldn't hesitate calling it egregious…misrepresentations of what Mike Pence and Franklin Graham believe, and what both the New Testament and the Hebrew Scriptures clearly teach about moral behavior and guidelines. More specifically, that which concerns creation, Christian behavior, and whether we have been given the authority/responsibility to decide our own as he put it “humane vision of faith.”
Let's address specifically one of the statements made by the mayor concerning his Creator.
This is going to be direct. And it could make some uncomfortable. Good. If it prompts us to critically think and reevaluate our positions, then I'm cool with that.
(BTW, and yes a little sarcasm, I think Walmart may be having a sale on "prophet rocks" you may be inclined to throw at me after reading the next few statements! But as I just mentioned...don't kill the messenger! And how about before the emotional apocalypse..."emotional apocalypse"...that's a keeper right there... if you are going to have one, please read, follow the discourse, and take time to think through what is presented before you come to a conclusion.)
"Shock value" is a great tool to get attention. I've been using it regularly up till now if you haven't noticed. Here's more.
Aaaaaanndd...here comes the pitch:
God did not create Mayor Buttigieg, or any person, with homosexual tendencies. Period.
And I didn't stutter.
Nor does He create children born with handicaps or sickness. He doesn’t create child and women abusers. Nor does God create wars and hate and crimes. And so on and so on.
God is not confused. Please consider carefully:
God does not make someone "someway", then turnaround and tell them that they can't be that "someway"! This would be in the same manner as in He doesn't make someone sick just so a doctor or faith healer can have a job!
I could continue but I'm sure you get the point.
Please pay real close attention and very carefully consider what I point out next. Once you firmly grasp the following events cited, you should have one of the biggest "Oh my gosh, I get it now!" moments you have ever had. Or at least close.
The Word of God is clear concerning the subject of the origins of creation. No...not your great grandfather being an orangutan. The origin specifically of our creation and most importantly in this context of which dangerously few even consider...the origin of our fall from grace and the resulting collapse from our previous standing with God within His creation!
Many foolish arguments and assertions instantly disappear once we consider that the condition of mankind as we know of today is not the same design as it was at the very beginning. That it isn't God that screwed things up, it's "we the people" that did it. Starting with our great, great ancestors, Adam and Eve.
note: Jesus Himself acknowledged the reality of Adam and Eve. That they were the beginning of our race, and much of our moral and behavioral inclinations even today is the result of their actions. "Adam and Eve" is not an allegory or children's fable. Their actions and the consequences of them are historically accurate. And when considered, not only provides answers to so many questions...
...but refutes many current misguided assertions...including those we are discussing here.
Mr. Buttigieg, you should know as the Christian you claim you are, that our creation as humans was radically disfigured after Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden. Our original design was irreparably (outside of Christ Jesus) marred and has produced innumerable aberrations from our original designs and purposes.
This certainly includes both physical and MORAL aberrations.
"For we have already charged that all, both Jews and Greeks, are under sin, as it is written:“None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one.” Romans 3:9-12 (italics mine)
"The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" John 1:29
"For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures..." I Corinthians 15:3 (emphasis mine)
"Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people. Obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes—these are not for you...You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or greedy person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God...Don’t be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins, for the anger of God will fall on all who disobey him. Don’t participate in the things these people do." Ephesians 5:3-7 (italics and emphasis mine)
Again, just in case you missed it...
"Don't be fooled by those who try to excuse these sins."
The good mayor, and those who believe as he does, are trying to fool us. When someone says either "God made them that way", or that He is totally OK with their behavior which clearly contradicts the Word of God, they are trying to fool us.
And we are told not to fall for it.
Mr. Buttigieg, as we continue with "Christianity 101", you should know that “foot washing” is not a fundamental of the Christian faith (Buttigieg has claimed such), but Christ Jesus, the Son of God, dying for our sins, is the foundation and bedrock of Christianity.
The Apostle Paul emphasized that salvation from sin was of FIRST importance (I Corinthians 15:3). First means first. Not second...fifth...or optional.
So, I think we should ask some serious questions of which I'm not so sure there would be an acceptable answer from those of the mayor's persuasions:
-How can you claim, as the Christian you say you are, the benefits and graces of a Savior if you feel it is your right to redefine in the name of your "humane faith" that which He and those He personally trained said was unacceptable?
-Every time you and all who believe as you do decide to endorse and approve behavior Scripture condemns for the sake of this "humane faith", are you not in essence removing the need of a Savior? Why have a Savior if you remove the things you need salvation and forgiveness from?
One last thing before I move on.
Consider his term "humane faith".
I'm submitting we consider that to believe we are the engineers of a "humane faith" is to believe that we are the ones in charge of defining what faith really is. I'll contend that "humane faith" is the same as humanly inspired faith. This cannot be one and the same as divinely inspired and authored faith.
This one phrase captures perfectly a fundamental flaw in mankind's fallacious spiritual conclusions that has been happening since Cain and Abel. That in the end, mankind is responsible to define religion per his/her preference. That as with Cain, though personally instructed by the Lord how to offer sacrifices acceptably, went ahead and did it his own way anyway.
God wasn't OK with it then...and He certainly isn't OK with it now.
WWJD...So What Would Jesus Do?
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them." Matthew 5:17
"Then Jesus straightened up and asked her, “Woman, where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you?” “No one,Lord,” she answered. “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Now go and sin no more." John 8:10-11
We have to address something we hear regularly concerning Jesus' teachings. That He didn't teach on homosexuality. This drives me nuts every time I hear it said.
The claim "Jesus did not condemn homosexuality" is ridiculous. He clearly endorsed and taught out of the Law of Moses, Psalms, and the Prophets, which without hesitation is clear that homosexuality was a grievous behavior and unquestionably "sin".
To assert Jesus is OK with homosexuality is to say He abolished the Law and the Prophets...the very thing He was clear He would not do!!!
note: That there isn't an instance of Jesus addressing homosexuality individually is not His silent endorsement. It was so obviously a terrible and clearly understood violation of the Hebrew Scriptures, that He would not have even run into it! It was so rare and if occurring, would have to have been practiced in secrecy lest the ramifications of the their behavior be experienced. Socially certainly, and most probably physically. Definitely worse than the following example concerning the woman caught in adultery.
Let's not forget as well. The writers of the New Testament were personally trained by Him! What they taught was what He had instructed them to teach. And there is no stuttering with any of them that homosexuality is not acceptable.
Please consider well how Jesus addressed this woman.
When He told the woman caught in adultery "...go and sin no more...", where would he have gotten the idea adultery was sin and she needed to knock it off?
Where else? The Law and the Prophets.
And why would He tell her to stop her behavior? Because it is sin. And they all knew it. Jesus did. The Pharisees did. Certainly this woman that almost lost her life did as well. No one was arguing interpretation! This is not rocket science.
Are you honestly going to believe that though Jesus certainly forgave her, He was clear that the actions of this woman were unacceptable and she needed to stop it...but Jesus is totally cool with a much more unnatural sin...homosexuality...that carried the death penalty as surely as adultery?
My friends, you can't have the forgiveness from your sins part without "the go and sin no more" part of the equation as well...and that goes for all sins...not just those we pick and choose!!!
Is homosexuality...any "ality"...able to be forgiven? Of course. Our God is merciful beyond comprehension. Just ask Him!
Not once does the Lord Himself, or through those He endorsed, teach and then grant His mercy without in the same breath make clear the person must change their behavior as a result of the granted forgiveness!
C'mon folks! Think!!!! THINK!!!!
What I am about to say next definitely could "trigger" someone. You have been warned. Unapologetically. The lens we need to filter what I am about to present is the Word of God as a whole work in its entirety. No picking and choosing what we like and what we don't, and what we simply want to ignore.
Based on the following text and to add to what I discussed earlier about Mr. Buttigieg's ideas concerning how his Creator makes people...
"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." I Corinthians 6:9-11
Paul asks "Do you not know?
In other words, this is supposed to be "no brainer" stuff and something so obvious everyone should be understanding it!
Today anyway...obviously not.
No sir. God did not create you with a tendency...homosexuality in this case...that the Word of God has clearly stated is unacceptable behavior. For you to claim that God created you a homosexual is the same as if the liar was to claim God made Him a liar…or God created the adulterer to cheat on his/her wife...that God made the drunk to be a drunkard...or the thief with the grace from God to steal.
Please don't get mad. Simply be intellectually honest and give careful consideration to the text and what it says. You don't have to agree with it. But we need to have the integrity to acknowledge what it says.
Notice the last two sentences in the passage above. This is huge.
The Apostle Paul is clear that the people referred to in the "list" previously were practicing those things. That means something happened to cause them not to do them anymore. If these people previously were one way and somehow changed, then obviously these behaviors are in their control and they had a choice whether to continue in them or not. So how does the "God made me this way" jive with any of this?
One last question:
If any or all of those practices were OK, why would they stop?
The text is clear as to why and how they stopped.
When someone comes to Christ, according to the above passage, the resulting graces (washing and sanctification and justification) actively change a person's desires and they act differently. That's called "holiness". Quitting wrong things was a result of the radical change in desires that is the consequence of God's abundant graces to live rightly.
Is that change of desires gradual at times? Unquestionably. Does God forgive us when we ask for His forgiveness? Without any shadow of doubt. Will someone in the LGBTQ community if they receive Jesus into their heart go to heaven even if they haven't changed their ways immediately. I believe so.
Will God approve of our tampering with His Word and try to make it say things it doesn't because we either cannot or will not live by His standards of morality and holiness?
Here's something to think about my Christian friends:
Since those folks Paul referenced clearly were part of that Church, wouldn't that presuppose there were Christians that spent time with and cared for these people BEFORE they changed their ways? How would you come to Christ if you never had anyone around you to lead you to Him?
People bound up in behaviors God's not crazy about are not to be hated...they're to be friended!
Most folks are good folks. I have a number of very close friends that do not have a relationship with God yet. Do I tell them they're going to hell?
But we do get together and we have a hell of a time!!! (can I say that?).
Since I've probably angered some who do not like what I am pointing out in this piece, I should give equal opportunity to the other side to get angry too...right?
I try to be fair.
If someone who has come to Christ is say a recovering drug addict...adulterer...porn addict...excessive nose picker...whatever...and is a work in progress and has not gained complete victory in these areas...I don't know anyone who would say they did not make it to heaven should they die. Christians, especially their loved ones, would cite that the person is born again and they are finally free from their struggle and in glory with Jesus. Hallelujah!
Hold on to your hat folks...
It is as disingenuous as those I am confronting in this article for their potential hypocrisy and misinterpretation of the Word of God, to claim someone dealing with homosexual attractions and died would not go to heaven if they had sincerely called out to God through Jesus Christ!
That nonsense has hurt too many people and shut good folks, albeit struggling ones, from the grace of God through Him and the Body of Christ that should be there to serve, minister, and disciple them. The Body of Christ has deserved some...not most...but some of the allegations against us by these people.
What Christians do not deserve is the consistent accusations that we are haters, hypocrites, judgmental and narrow minded. That is ridiculous, unfounded, and should be forcefully objected to. The vast majority of genuine believers have a deeply felt care and love for people whatever their background.
I'll summarize one more time since we need to move on.
Personally, I believe if you want to be gay in this country...fine. If you don't believe for one second the Bible is the Word of God. That's fine too. But please be consistent whatever your position and don't appeal to the very thing you claim you don't believe in as a defense for your beliefs! And if you do believe in the Bible, don't butcher it to pieces to make it say things it doesn't and never has! Or get after me to try to force me to believe as you do through insult and intimidation...or even legislation!
It will be a waste of your time.
I'll mention that there is one thing I can absolutely agree with the good mayor concerning:
Discrimination is a terrible thing and should not be tolerated.
I'll be clear.
Confronting your belief that the Bible defends homosexuality is not discrimination. It's disagreement. Defending the "faith once and for all given to us" is not discriminating. Holding to the well established understanding of the definitions of the Word of God, "traditional beliefs" as many would say with disdain and even mockery, as the Vice President obviously embraces, is not discriminatory in any way.
"Conviction" is not the same thing as "discrimination".
In this specific case Mr. Buttigieg, you owe the man an apology for such absurdity.
The idea that an individual who holds to deeply held principles as a compass for their lives, or confronting someone with differing ideas and speaking openly is harmful or hateful...is stupid.
If the radical activist understood this, they would realize they are guilty of the very thing they are accusing and shouting from the streets in their campaigns of intimidation and even chaos.
I would never agree with a fundamental Christian going into your business and ridiculing you or worse, taking an active campaign to shut you down and harm you in any way on the basis of your sexual preferences. That is discrimination.
Nor do I believe LGBTQ activists have any right to do the same to Christians. Beliefs, especially religious beliefs, are sacred, deeply ingrained, and should be given the utmost respect. To actively campaign against them and to willingly cause harm to them in any way is discrimination as well!
It's also called hypocrisy. Might want to take a look and see what the Good Book has to say about that subject as well.
Extreme...or Logical Progression
Getting back to our discussion. I have just a few more things we need to consider.
According to the UCLA Williams Institute, the LGBT community is roughly 4.5 percent of the population. That means in a crowd of one hundred people, four to five people would be represented. (You're about to find out why I gave this percentage in the time machine illustration.)
You can get mad at me all you want, but let's put this in perspective.
Belief in traditional values, the integrity of the Word of God, and the recognition that Western thought as a whole and certainly the United States of America, is a pronounced result of the Judeo Christian ethic, is not hateful or out of touch at all. It is established fact and known for hundreds of years. All the revisionism in the world will not change that. (Tocqueville wrote what he wrote. Cutting and splicing the things he reported does not change one bit the reality of them.)
From my standpoint, let me give you something to consider that I believe is much more extreme, out of touch, and hateful than any minister challenging the beliefs of some politician:
That four to five people out of a hundred have been given the reigns to public definitions and implementation of moral codes over the other ninety five! Four to five people out of a hundred yanking on a bit in the mouths of the vast majority of the populace is what is extreme!
I like illustrations. Here is another one.
Imagine if you can four or five people on a stage standing in front of ninety four or five others...and demanding that the other ninety five kowtow to their wishes or things aren't going to go very well for them! And then, what should be to our shock and amazement, the ninety five actually give in to the demands!!!
Can you hear their pleas?
"Please don't sue us and shut down our business...don't brand us haters or phobic...don't smear our name in the media because we don't agree. Go ahead and even change the English language and its definitions to further ingrain your hold on our conscious and that of our nation. Whatever you want...all the way to the highest courts and a rainbow colored White House!"
Friends, this is what is happening in our nation. A minuscule portion of people have submitted an entire nation to her knees.
Over policy. No. Economics. No.
But over who and how many they want to sleep with and the almost continual assault on Words that have been held dear in the hearts of men for thousands of years.
Let's go even deeper, shall we Alice?
We are about to examine assertions amongst another group using the very defenses for their morality and practices as the LGBTQ community does. Remember as you read on this is about scrutinizing ideas and their validity and in this case...consistency!
The example below is from an increasing percentage of arguments in defense of what most of us would agree are abhorrent sexual attractions. You will soon see why it is important to examine their affirmations and the grounds for making them.
"In July 2010, the Harvard Mental Health Letter stated that "paedophilia is a sexual orientation and unlikely to change. Treatment aims to enable someone to resist acting on his sexual urges".
And an unnamed psychologist being asked about pedophilia responded this way:
"Asked “can paedophiles actually change?”, the expert wrote: “I believe Paedophilic Disorder is a sexual orientation with individual that are attracted to child features. In other words, an individual with paedophilia has the same ingrained attraction that a heterosexual female may feel towards a male, or a homosexual feels towards their same gender. (italics mine)"
I contend this presents some serious difficulties for the "sexual orientation" and "God made me this way" argument. The identical terms and defenses used for the LGBTQ community, are being extended to pedophiles as well.
Please, no mental and emotional apocalypses and accuse me of saying gays are child molesters. I would safely bet that 99.9999% of the LGBTQ community would be as disgusted at the idea that pedophilia is acceptable as we are. We're talking concept here, not person. I am being critical of principle on paper. To take any of this otherwise is dishonest and unfair.
What I am challenging us to consider is that the same arguments and definitions are being used to defend an increasing list of abnormal sexual attractions. Being so, I'm just asking the question...and hopefully prompting you to consider why you should as well...
...how do you get to assert who has been gifted by God and who is deviant?
From your strong Christian conviction Mr. Buttigieg, are you going to claim the person attracted to children has been given the same gift from the Creator as you have? If you are going to be consistent with your assertions that God gave you the attractions you have, then you must assert the same for the pedophile. And if you can't or won't, how is it you can not see the glaring hypocrisy that becomes as evident as the sun gives light?
Where does any of this end?
Yes this is all so confusing...irritating probably...frustrating definitely. But we do not have to look far to find out how this is even happening.
As the Apostle Paul noted concerning the reasonings of those who do not know God, and which unarguably we are experiencing today...pay close attention now...
"With the Lord’s authority I say this: Live no longer as the Gentiles do, for they are hopelessly confused. Their minds are full of darkness; they wander far from the life God gives because they have closed their minds and hardened their hearts against him." Ephesians 4:17-18 (italics mine)
"Hopelessly confused...minds full of darkness".
The ramblings of those who according to the Lord are "hopelessly confused and whose minds are full of darkness" are being given the largest microphones and platforms to pronounce their reasonings with the same subtlety as my drill instructor did through his blow horn!
Let’s repeat the verse that got us started again for emphasis:
“But now I find that I must write about something else, urging you to defend the faith that God has entrusted once for all time to his holy people. I say this because some ungodly people have wormed their way into your churches, saying that God’s marvelous grace allows us to live immoral lives.” Jude 3-4 NLT
Franklin is Right
From a Washington Post article:
"Public Religion Research Institute’s chief executive Robert Jones, who has studied Americans’ views and values, tells me: “While Franklin Graham has not changed his tune on LGBT rights in decades, the American public has. Graham’s recent comments about Pete Buttigieg are strongly out of step not only with the country as a whole but with most Christians.” " (italics mine)
My friends, what folks are not understanding is that FRANKLIN GRAHAM IS NOT ALLOWED TO CHANGE HIS POSITION! THE WORD OF GOD, OF WHICH HE AND I BOTH WHOLEHEARTEDLY BELIEVE IN, HAS ALWAYS BEEN "OUT OF STEP" WITH WHAT THE WORLD WANTS!
The argument that public sympathy about something is license to change established teaching and interpretations of the Scriptures exposes the idea in peoples' minds that God's Word is not God's word at all...and subject to change without notice!
Remember that verse out of Jude concerning defending the faith that was ONCE AND FOR ALL delivered to the saints?
What do we think "once and for all" means, anyway? And shouldn't we realize such harsh warnings are put in the Scriptures because there would be those who attempt to do this very thing?
All of us as genuine Christians, along with Mr. Graham, are commanded to defend the
Scriptures from changes and opinions that violate its clearly described standards.
Clearly, those that believe that meanings and definitions of the Bible are dependent on the ebbs and flows of society are gravely mistaken. They are the ones that are extreme and out of touch with reality. Ultimate reality.
One Last Thing...What About Trump?
Friends, beware these politicians that play “religion” to create angst and division and victimology. Yes, that goes for President Trump as well by the way.
Speaking of President Trump.
One of the primary accusations against Graham, other ministers, and Christians in general is their supposed hypocritical support of President Trump. That Christians, in this case Mr. Graham, have no problem calling out a gay mayor but completely ignore the President's past behaviors. And many feel that is hypocritical and only seeking political power and prestige.
They would have a point if any of that were actually true.
Let's see what Mr. Graham has to say in an interview with Premier. We'll let him answer for himself:
"Rev Franklin Graham believes the US President has become a "changed person" since his inauguration last year - and that he "defends the [Christian] faith".
The US evangelist said Donald Trump has undergone a transformation in the 16 months since he moved into the White House in January 2017.
He told the 'Axios on HBO' show: "Now people say, 'Well Frank but how can you defend him, when he's lived such a sordid life?' "I never said he was the best example of the Christian faith. He defends the faith. And I appreciate that very much."
More than a dozen women have accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct - in alleged incidents spanning from the early 1980s to 2013. He denies the allegations.
Rev Graham, who gave an exclusive interview with Premier in January, continued: "Trump has admitted his faults and has apologized to his wife and his daughter for things he has done and said. "And he has to stand before God for those things."
Basically, Mr. Graham is extending biblical graces and forgiveness to another human being who just happens to be the current President of the United States. Mr. Graham is being biblical in his forgiveness and believing a man has changed his ways. Franklin was also clear that Trump must stand before God as surely as the good mayor. There is no hypocrisy here. Mr. Graham's personal pardon yet referring to the ultimate judgement of God is fair and without partiality.
Franklin and all Christians including Pete Buttigieg, are expected to forgive the person that has asked forgiveness and is trying to change. If the President is good with his family...specifically his wife...and they have forgiven him, then our job is to forgive and move on as well.
On another point.
I haven't heard the President one time defend his adulteries and other sins and "eccentricities" using the Bible to do so. I have never heard Mr. Trump take verses out of context and claim it was totally cool with God to have sex with a porn star or inappropriately touch women. I haven't even heard him defend his tweets, some of which I would agree are indefensible (I would bet even God is thinking "Donald, cut the crap!") using a single Scripture verse.
Yet the honorary mayor is flaunting his sexual activities and preferences as not only acceptable...BUT BIBLICAL. Ergo the purpose of this article. And Mr. Buttigieg rightly and deservedly needed to be called on it.
Kudos Mr. Graham. I agree with you.
More importantly...so does the Word of God.
"All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.” I Peter 1:24-25 ( italics mine)
The Word of the Lord remains forever. We don't. Let's keep our hands off!