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:

"Black"

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.

To repeat...

"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!"

Huh?

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.