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.
Like that is something new, right?
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 had no qualms challenging Mr. Graham's, and maybe even more our Vice President's Christianity, behavior, and Scriptural cognizance.
Basically, we have a politician that not only claims he abides by the Christian faith, good for him by the way, but has taken the position of equality concerning Scriptural terms and definitions with a seasoned minister of the Gospel. Additionally, he uses his religious interpretation as a political weapon with his sights on a sitting Vice President.
And me thinketh this 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 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.
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.
And to set the record straight, and probably to the chagrin of some of my friends, in this specific context, I really don't care 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.
I am speaking up 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. Once you did that Mr. Buttigieg, you're in my territory with people I serve, and a God that is checking to see if His ministers have a watch on what is going on out there. And we need to mention over two thousand years of established interpretation and exegesis that has been so thoroughly studied and analyzed, there is very little grounds to reasonably challenge the understood conclusions. You and those who believe as you, must understand what you assert is a bold challenge to thousands of years of understanding what the Judeo Christian ethic clearly teaches concerning your behaviors.
And sir, you're going to need a whole lot of something to make any kind of reasonable case to counter that!
I'm listening, but man it better be good!
Let me give us 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.
To be clear. I'm not talking "social" acceptance. I don't think that is 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.
That's for another article.
Where the argument is, and in my opinion the line of demarcation which I certainly am willing to defend to the uttermost, is when said people want us to accept their non standard and extreme definitions and reinterpretation of the Scriptures. And worse, example after example can be given that if we do not go along, many will use multiple means to harm folks through verbal and even financial assault.
If that is not "hatred" according to their definitions, I do not know what else is.
So, to my illustration:
Imagine you were in a time capsule that shot you two thousand years ahead in time. You see a classroom in the highest halls of learning. 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. 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" has meant "black" for thousands of years! Everyone knows what "black" is. This is a joke right? What's the argument about?
Yet someone is trying to argue that "black" really doesn't mean "black". That we are being too restrictive and old fashioned believing that could possibly be the definition. Enlightened minds know that it can't possibly mean that. They take on the position that they know better and that those who believe black is...well..black...certainly were only being cultural, phobic actually, and certainly immature and simplistic in their thought processes.
Then you notice those that are the most demonstrative in arguing the new definitions, are those who hate black and think it should have a new meaning. And what is worse, scheme to create a publicity campaign to get the entire society to reject what has always been known as "black".
Ridiculous you say?
This is EXACTLY what is going on in our discourses today. I am writing this article mostly to examine these things and let you decide whether this practice can hold up under serious scrutiny. Terms and behaviors...including homosexuality...have ALWAYS been known in the context of immoral behavior and something that is not pleasing to God.
"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...
Also before we get started, this is not about people per se. 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 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. One conversation in particular with him has impacted me greatly and my ministry is different for it. I don't argue with him at all or get in his face about his personal life. He's a great guy and his intimate relationships are not my business. We are all people and we are all working things out.
But...if someone wants to bring in God and the Scriptures and make claims about this or that...that is another story indeed! Now I need to get involved as a Pastor...Christian...citizen.
It stinks that I even have to say this upfront but in today's world its necessary.
I vehemently reject the idea that presenting the following observations and ideas and potential discoveries are hateful, discriminatory, or out of touch in anyway! Disagreeing with a person and challenging their assertions is not hateful or phobic!
I...we...must object when someone, the mayor in context with the article, attempts to expound and defend their lifestyles with Judeo Christian Scriptures when at the same time it quickly becomes obvious he/they are without understanding as to their context and meaning. Incompetence makes it tremendously difficult to take someone seriously.
We will get specific here in just a moment.
Simply put, he is commenting about things of which he has no clue. He certainly is not the only one doing these things. The national conversation is replete with examples of folks from actors and political leaders, to theological discussions 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.
What is dangerous about this is the masses of people that will listen to these short comments about God and His Word, and take them as gospel without a single moment taken to test the viability of them!
OK...let's get going.
The initial statements I'm about to make will be focused on the cited interview below. Further on, I want to 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.
After looking up a number of resources to make sure he/Franklin Graham was being quoted properly (forgive me if I don’t take the word of today's media at face value), and listen to the various reactions, I had a few thoughts I want to share.
Let’s start with this verse as a standard and description of some things we are instructed to constantly be vigilant concerning. Much of what I comment on will hinge on this and the many other verses that have the same warning:
“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:
“…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 because of their view that God's unconditional mercy and grace is permissive and their behaviors inconsequential. This idea is increasing at an alarming rate.
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 defending their behavior, clearly condemn the exact same behavior...and that... many times...close to within the next sentence or certainly paragraph? Hhmmnn.
These things are being touted around the clock and around the globe.
Below is just one example of the rhetoric and assertions of those convinced of their own and their political parties' persuasion of progressiveness and humanitarianism.
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: None of us 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? As a secondary note. Mr. Buttigieg wasn't there either. So then, should he have the right to re-write or re-define what was authored by someone else? When would he and those like him have been promoted to general editor of the Bible?
Enough for now...we will get to that in a bit.
The above referenced article and declarations by Mr Buttigieg represents two very serious…egregious may be a proper word…misrepresentations of both what Mike Pence and Franklin Graham believes, and what both the New Testament and the Hebrew Scriptures clearly teach about morality and the veracity of the Word of God. Specifically, that which concerns creation, Christian behavior, and whether we have been given the authority/responsibility to decide our own “vision of faith.”
So, how about we go "all in" to get the ball rolling shall we?
-BTW, I think Walmart may be having a sale on "prophet rocks" you may be inclined to throw at me after reading the next statement. 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, you read and follow the discourse 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.
I'm about to again.
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.
The Word of God is crystal clear on the subject of the origins of creation. No...not your great grandfather being an ape. The origin specifically of our creation and most importantly in this context...the origin of our downfall and demise!
Mr. Buttigieg, if you truly understood theologically what you were talking about, you wouldn't make the assertions that you do. 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 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. And we are told not to fall for it.
Mr. Buttigieg, if you had even a most basic comprehension concerning what it means to be a Christian, then you would 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.
Salvation from sin...UNACCEPTABLE BEHAVIOR AS COMMUNICATED BY GOD HIMSELF...the Apostle was crystal clear, was of first importance (I Corinthians 15:3).
Jesus, the “chief cornerstone” is that very Savior as a result of what He accomplished on the cross. Consider, it is presupposed that the need of a Savior is the result of the human race needing to be saved from sins! That should have been pretty clearly established above.
And herein is one of your inescapable dilemmas of which no reasoning will provide relief:
-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 and author by some self authority a “more humane” faith?
-Every time you and all who believe as you do decide to endorse the very behavior Scripture condemns for the sake of this "humane faith" you want to develop, are you not in essence removing the need of a Savior?
-Are you going to Him for forgiveness today but nope, not tomorrow, because you have decided what was a sin yesterday no longer is...you know...so you can be more "humane"?
What I am about to say next is full of "triggering" potential. You have been warned. Unapologetically. The context of my following statements is the Word of God as a whole. No picking and choosing what we like and what we don't, and what we simply want to ignore.
I should mention, if someone wants to use the Word of God and its well understood ideas of service to the poor and right living and judgement and equity for the purpose of public policy...sure...why not. Absolutely. No one in their right mind should have a problem with that. And I do not see how that disrespects the Scriptures in the least.
On the other hand...
To think you can change the sacred writings and their understood definitions that have been revered and clearly understood for thousands of years at will...no way and keep your hands off!
And per the subject of this article:
"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". I Corinthians 6:9-10
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 the liar 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.
All these things are included in the same lists of things God isn't crazy about and that we need forgiveness from.
You want to know what's funny?
No one likes liars. People that cheat on their wives are low lifes and immoral. Drunks lying in the streets are looked upon with disdain. Thieves...that's called robbery...should be put in jail. Especially if it's our stuff that was stolen.
But the one thing in the same lists...the exact same lists...homosexuality...is decided to be given a pass. Nope, no problem here. God made me this way and I'm going to celebrate it!
How can you intellectually defend that? C'mon people.
Extreme...or Logical Progression
Work with me now as I present a few of the presumptions cited by those of this persuasion and the resulting conundrum they run into in the defense of their behavior, and yet the condemnation of others.
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 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 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.
Here is what is really out of touch with reality and extreme. (I've got my helmet on to protect my head from the oncoming rocks!):
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!
Let me illustrate exactly what is happening to us as a nation.
Get the image in your head of four or five people on a stage and demanding that the other ninety five prostrate themselves to their wishes or punitive measures will be taken. And then, what should be to our shock and amazement, the ninety five actually bow down and plead that they would be bestowed mercy!!!
"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 definitions to further strengthen 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 we want to sleep with and the continual assault on Words that have been held dear in the hearts of men for thousands of years. A Living God and His ways that have taken the worst of men and made them the greatest of saints.
I love rabbit holes. Let's go even deeper, shall we Alice?
Let's examine discussions and contentions that are already taking place amongst another group using the very defenses of their morality and practices as the LGBTQ community does. This is not about who is more moral and where is the line going to be drawn. I am simply presenting rationale and the questionable rightness of using identical defenses for different behavior; at the same time one is considered acceptable because of populace agreement...and the other not so.
I'll remind you of what I said earlier. This is about ideas and critically looking at them to see if they actually have merit.
"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 very same and identical terms and defenses used for the LGBTQ community, are extended to pedophiles as well.
This may be a slight stretch, but tell me why someone wouldn't say, "Pedophiles...go on and use the "sexual orientation" argument and the unchangeableness of it...hey...it worked for us!"
Please, no mental and emotional apocalypses...I knew I could get that in there again...and accuse me of saying gays are child molesters or would even approve of the behavior. That would be as far from being true as to claim the moon is made of cheese. What I am challenging us to consider is that both use the same arguments to defend their desires, and that there are serious inconsistencies with their rationale.
Once again, we're talking concept here, not person. I am being critical of principle on paper. To take any of this otherwise is disingenuous and in my humble opinion, invalidates your ability to make any reasonable judgments concerning this discussion.
I want to keep my foot on the accelerator a little longer.
Let's engage our brains here and use the same justifications that these folks do and see where it takes us.
If it's a matter of "unchangeable sexual orientation" as many in the LGBTQ community contend as far as themselves, then why are they (pedophiles) being told to resist anything? That isn't fair. It's their orientation. Yet if you were to use that very same rationale on the latest smorgasbord of labels and tendencies of orientation including gender identities that seam to morph into new ones daily, and tell them they need to resist said desires, they will crucify you as surely as they did the Lord Himself while branding you the most vile of labels and accusations!
Folks, this is not "extreme" or out of touch. I am using the same suppositions that these people are using to defend their behaviors. My only purpose is to take their reasoning to logical ends. If you want to be any or all of those things, go right ahead. I already said earlier I could care less if the mayor is gay or someone wants to be called whatever. I doesn't bother me in the least if you the reader is gay. I could hang out with you and have no problems at all getting to know you. Even being a good friend. Personally, I do not believe friendship necessarily means we would agree on every thing.
But I have to ask you to come up with other arguments and rationale; and certainly do not try to defend your behaviors as though God is in complete agreement of them!
My friends, let's be honest and consider that lying...adultery...cheating...and much more...are all behaviors found in the same roster of unacceptable behaviors as you will find homosexuality. All of which, including homosexuality, demanded the need for a Savior.
A Savior by the way, Who can only be that if He is the One Who has defined right and wrong!
How could a person call on a Savior in Whom they disagree with the definitions and standards of which they needed to be delivered from? May I please ask how someone can call themselves a Christian, as the result of accepting a Savior's forgiveness, if they want to argue with Him about what they are even saved from?
It must be asked:
What kind of God are you imagining that would supposedly make you one way and then forbid the very behavior you say He graced you with? And, if God "made you that way" as in the pedophilia example mentioned above (not isolated by the way), why should you resist God's "wonderful gift" to you in that you want to have relations with children? Shouldn't we create laws that empower your gift that God has given you to be with children?
Please do not be disturbed by the illustration...but by the conclusions you must reach as a result of continuing these justifications to their logical end. I am doing my best to get us to stop accepting things at face value, and really consider their ramifications.
As the Apostle Paul noted concerning the reasonings of those who do not know God, and which unarguably we are experiencing today...
"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".
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
The accusation that anyone who holds to the “faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints” is hateful, phobic, and necessarily needs to stop "clinging to their guns and religion" and that their "...deep seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed..." is wrong. Is "criminal" too strong a word? Especially if said impressions are given by those who held the very same position until political expediency it seems changed their views.
Here are two specific instances using names we are all familiar with:
"Marriage has historic, religious and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time, and I think a marriage is as a marriage has always been, between a man and a woman." Hillary Clinton 2000
In August 2008, Barack Obama told Southern California megachurch Pastor Rick Warren his definition of marriage "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a Christian, it is also a sacred union. God's in the mix."
To be clear. People can re-position their views any time they like. I certainly have on many things through the years. I think differently about a lot of things in my mid-fifties than I did in my twenties. BUT NOT IN MATTERS THAT INVOLVE GOD AND THE INTEGRITY OF HIS WORD!
Has God's Word changed simply because a politician has declared this is so?
Whether through honorable or not so honorable reasons and purposes, if a candidate changes their positions, certainly as demonstrated above and in context with this subject, on what grounds to they find the hubris to claim those who don't agree are haters, discriminators, or minimum "out of touch"? That their new interpretations are now gospel and true and to be imposed on the populace as ultimate right? Or as Mrs. Clinton stated, to proactively change "deep seated cultural codes and religious beliefs"?
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)
What folks are not getting 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? Oh heck...might as well read it one more time since it is so important and the primary hinge this article rests upon...
“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
Read it again and let the ramifications sink deeply into your soul...
ALL OF US AS GENUINE CHRISTIANS, ALONG WITH MR. GRAHAM, ARE COMMANDED TO DEFEND THE SCRIPTURES FROM CHANGES AND OPINIONS THAT VIOLATE ITS CLEARLY STATED STANDARDS.
Clearly, those that believe that meanings and definitions of the Bible are dependent on the ebbs and flows of society are the ones in error. Gross error. They are the ones that are extreme and out of touch with reality. Ultimate reality.
To address again those who are Pavlovian trained to spew out terms of hater...bigot...phobic...and to say Mr. Graham or Vice President Pence (or me even), hates you simply on the basis they disagree with your “theology”, using your own principle means you are as much a hater as you claim they are.
Think about it.
A fundamentalist quotes the Scripture and you call them haters and discriminators. How is it that you then pronounce your own moral code on the fundamentalist, yet not be considered the same hater and discriminator as you claim them to be? The only possible way you can reconcile that is your belief that you have the moral superiority and have every right to impose your judgement and condemnation.
The person in the mirror you stare at is as guilty, even more so in this way. Not only are you believing your ideas are superior, you are willing to use the means to damage, even destroy, the other person and their ideology. How does the desire to harm verbally, even economically, as a result of not believing as you do, make you moral?
To repeat myself lest I haven't been clear.
I have no problem with anyone believing they are a certain way and being convinced they have peace with God. Fine. We are all people and all have or had "stuff". But please do not use the Bible to defend your faith unless you are willing to be confronted by traditional interpretations and refuse to volley mass amounts of attacks against them for disagreeing with you.
Frankly, believing only in the parts you like is not Biblical faith. Your "faith" is in reality an amalgam of universalism, humanism and materialism, to include only specific elements of Christianity of your own choosing.
And you unquestionably should be challenged on your right to do so!
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 that support him, is their supposed hypocritical support of 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.
Let's see what Mr. Graham has to say in an interview with Premier. We'll let him answer you 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."]
Simply, 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 forgiveness and grace 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 the acceptableness and or reasonableness of 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 or even allusion to the acceptability of not turning the other cheek or meekness and spiritual character.
Yet the honorary mayor is flaunting his sexual activities and preferences as not only acceptable...BUT BIBLICAL.
This is not even close to one and the same with President Trump. And Mr. Buttigieg rightly and deservedly needs 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)