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...)