11 My Friend’s Scriptural Reply to Me

It, good and evil, certainly is true that you cannot build without a foundation as the host of the NPR show noted.  The fact that this guest didn’t find his answer satisfying is not the appropriate measure of whether it was true or not.  I didn’t see the show, I don’t know what was said or in what context, just wanted to note that truth matters, and ultimate truth matters ultimately.  So yes, I believe the foundation we build on is critical and it is obvious that you do as well, thus your emphasis first to cast doubt on Scripture so that we have to base our conversation on a different authority that fits us better – not so demanding.

I see that you “recognize the authority of ‘love your neighbor,” “do not judge,” and “show mercy”, but I’m curious how, for instance you can see an authority in “do not judge” without making an effort to understand what Jesus meant by that, beginning with the immediate context.  In the parallel passage in Matt 7 He goes on to say “first take the log out of your own eye, then you can see clearly to take the spec out of your brother’s eye”. Note that you have to be discerning of good & evil, seeing your own sin and dealing with it and are responsible then to help your brother with the spec in his eye, not leave the spec there – all of it requires recognition of right and wrong – judgement in the sense of being discerning but not in the sense of condemning since that belongs to God alone.  Jesus also says in the verses that follow to not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine – commanding us to judge what is a “dog” or “swine” based on some objective standard.

You reference what you call “conflicts” in Scripture that I “would seem to have to acknowledge.”  But there is no “black is white” contradiction or inconsistency in the Lord’s commands and I see none in those passages. It is easy enough to see that God has the authority to judge and to use His chosen people Israel to bring that judgement (or natural disasters or any other means He chooses).  The fact is that the people of Canaan got what we all deserve.  The root of the problem is that when we reject God’s authority over us and declare our own wisdom supreme, then His wisdom looks foolish and even illogical to us.  When Jesus was asked about the people whose blood was shed by the Romans while bringing their sacrifices, and about the people on whom the tower of Siloam fell, He responded that “the same will happen to you if you do not repent.”  Not really a very satisfying or solace giving comment, but a comment the King has the right to make and does so with the full authority to back it up.

In reference to idolatry you gave some food for thought – let’s say I’m standing before the throne of God and  I say, “Lord, I think you should commend me for doing as I felt was right, because I was being very careful not to turn You into an idol.  In fact, Lord, I heard Your voice but knew I was in danger of making Your voice an idol if I listened to it.  I think far to much of You to believe that you meant what it sounded like and I know that since I was made in Your image You must be pleased with my creativity to invent a righteousness of my own doing.”  Do you see the absurdity of charging that believing God is idolatry against Him?  How did you handle your children when they played that game?  Would you have bought that argument as a defense when you were judge?

“The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.”  The antithesis to that statement is found in Is 8:20 “…if they do not speak according to this, they have no dawn in them”

You are wondering if the river we arrive at is that same.  I believe the answer is “no.”  Homosexuality is sin – period.  So is adultery, hatred, lying, even failing to do what we know is right for the Scripture says “he who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.”  What I am saying is that we ALL have sinned against a just and holy God.  What I am saying is that we ALL need to be delivered from the condemnation and guilt of our sin, delivered from its power in our lives, and given new life and a secure hope in Christ.  Julian’s problem is not sexual orientation or mixed up genome, it is sin.  Sexual perversion is a result of the sin in us, not the cause of it.  My hope is in Christ, He is my righteousness, He is my guarantee, His power brings about a desire for holy living in me….and it is unloving to look at another’s sin and say “but it works well for you.”  No, love demands that we reach out to others to warn them of judgement to come and point them to reconciliation in Christ.

So, is Julian welcome?  Yes.  Is Robert welcome?  Yes…through the gate of repentance and faith in the finished work of the Son of God.  The Gospel calls out that there is redemption by Christ’s own payment for all who repent and bow before Him.  It is for those who know their sin and hate it and know that they cannot save themselves.  He calls us to abandon our own will and submit ourselves to Him as Lord.  Jesus went to the people of the lowest reputation, lost, hopeless, and imprisoned in sin, and He rescued them out of it.  He did not leave them in it and try to make them feel better about it.  But for those who stubbornly cling to and justify their sin there can only be the dreadful anticipation of judgement to come.

“For the word of the cross is to those who are perishing foolishness, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  1 Cor 1:18

God is clear that there are two classes of people in the world – those who trust Him and put no confidence in themselves, and all the rest.

The call is not one of condemnation, but of warning to turn from the wrath to come and run to Christ.

I hope that gives a little better clarification of what the Christian issues are – just what Scripture says they are.

My Friend

 

12 My Response to My Friendhttps://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/351

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11 My Friend’s Scriptural Reply to Me

7 My Response to Joann

Joann,

I appreciate your thoughtful reply.  I have had replies from two different
poles, as you might expect of this family.

Let me understand your position.  Are you saying that Julian’s
trans-sexual identity and physical alteration of the “conflicting
parts” is sinful by Biblical teachings, but we are not to allow that
judgment to separate him from our Christian community, only from
leadership in the community?

What I have come to believe is that, first, I know of no Biblical prohibition
against the hermaphrodite – they just are.  No can argue about the
reality of those mixed sexual components in one body.  No one today, with
genetic information not available in Bible times, can argue that Julian’s
mixed genetic coding (XXY), evidenced by more subtle conflicting physical
features, is a reality.  The physical manifestations of that are more
subtle than those in the mosaic hermaphrodite.  We know that there are
some influences of prenatal hormonal activity associated with homosexuality,
but there is disagreement on whether it is an influence, as a weakness like a
predisposition for alcoholism, which can be controlled, or whether it is a more
fundamental reality to the existence and orientation of that individual which
might be manipulated, but not controlled – it is who they are and to be whole
they must be who they find themselves to be.  My position is

>  that we are not in a position to judge such issues for another
person, but only for ourselves.

I know that Tchaikovsky wrote to his brother about the pressure of society to
deny his homosexuality, which he described as forced to act against his
nature.  I know he married to attempt to conform to expectations with
disastrous results, and his death was the result of his attempt to kill himself
by immersing himself in a Russian rive during the winter.  It is
inconceivable to me that such drastic actions were the result of a choice to be
different.

I hear from some the argument of love the sinner but hate the sin.  Even
that, to me, seems judgmental in that it puts us in a superior position to
decide for another what should be their true orientation and whether they
are sinning or not.

I would be interested in any response you have.  Thanks for responding.

Love, Rob

 

Next blog post: 8 Joanne’s Reply https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/330

7 My Response to Joann

Publications Concerning Hate Crimes Relating to Sexual Orientation

See http://psychology.ucdavis.edu/rainbow/html/hate_bib.html for the source of the article, below, discussing hate crimes related to homosexuality.

Matthew Shepard, a 21-year old college student, was lured from a bar by two other men. He was beaten and robbed of his wallet and black patent leather shoes. Twelve hours later, passers-by found him unconscious and tied to a fence along a rural highway. He was suffering from severe head injuries and hypothermia. He was taken to a hospital where he died.

Gregory M. Herek, Ph.D.Selected Publications on Hate Crimes
Herek, G.M. (1989). Hate crimes against lesbians and gay men: Issues for research and policy. American Psychologist, 44 (6), 948-955. Antigay hate crimes (words or actions that are intended to harm or intimidate individuals because they are lesbian or gay) constitute a serious national problem. In recent surveys, as many as 92% of lesbians and gay men report that they have been the targets of antigay verbal abuse or threats, and as many as 24% report physical attacks because of their sexual orientation.
Herek, G.M. (1990). The context of anti-gay violence: Notes on cultural and psychological heterosexism. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 5 (3), 316-333. Hate crimes against lesbians and gay men occur within a broader cultural context that is permeated by heterosexism. Heterosexism is defined here as an ideological system that denies, denigrates, and stigmatizes any nonheterosexual form of behavior, identity, relationship, or community. It operates principally by rendering homosexuality invisible and, when this fails, by trivializing, repressing, or stigmatizing it.
Garnets, L., Herek, G.M., & Levy, B. (1990). Violence and victimization of lesbians and gay men: Mental health consequences. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 5 (3), 366-383. When an individual is attacked because she or he is perceived to be gay, the negative mental health consequences of victimization converge with those resulting from societal heterosexism to create a unique set of problems. Such victimization represents a crisis for the individual, creating opportunities for growth as well as risks for impairment. The principal risk associated with anti-gay victimization is that the survivor’s homosexuality becomes directly linked to her or his newly heightened sense of vulnerability.
Berrill, K.T., & Herek, G.M. (1990). Primary and secondary victimization in anti-gay hate crimes: Official response and public policy. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, 5 (3), 401-413. Lesbian and gay male targets of hate crimes face multiple levels of victimization. In addition to suffering the effects of being a crime victim, they also face secondary victimization (i.e., additional victimization after a crime that results from societal heterosexism). Examples of secondary victimization include losing one’s job, being evicted from housing, or being denied public services or accommodations once one’s sexual orientation is disclosed as the result of an anti-gay attack.
Herek, G.M. (1993). Documenting prejudice against lesbians and gay men on campus: The Yale Sexual Orientation Survey. Journal of Homosexuality, 25 (4), 15-30. College and university communities recently have begun to confront the problems of harassment, discrimination, and violence against lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people on campus. A first step in responding to attacks against gay and bisexual people is to document their frequency and the forms that they take. . . . The Yale survey revealed that lesbians, gay men, and bisexual people on campus lived in a world of secretiveness and fear. Although experiences of physical assault on campus were relatively infrequent, many respondents reported other forms of discrimination and harassment. A majority reported that they feared antigay violence and harassment on campus, and that such fears affected their behavior. Replications on other campuses have yielded similar results. . . .
Herek, G.M., Gillis, J.R., & Cogan, J. C. (1999). Psychological sequelae of hate crime victimization among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adults. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 67, 945-951. To assess the psychological correlates of hate crime victimization based on sexual orientation, and to compare the sequelae of bias crimes with those of other crimes, questionnaire data about victimization experiences were collected from 2259 lesbians, gay men, and bisexuals (total N = 1170 females, 1089 males) in the Sacramento (CA) area. Approximately one-fifth of females and one-fourth of males had experienced a bias-related criminal victimization since age 16; one-eighth of females and one-sixth of males had experienced a bias crime recently (in the previous 5 years). . . .  Gay and lesbian hate crime survivors manifested significantly more fear of crime, greater perceived vulnerability, less belief in the benevolence of people, lower sense of mastery, and more attributions of their personal setbacks to sexual prejudice than did nonbias crime victims and nonvictims. . . .
Herek, G.M., Cogan, J.C., & Gillis, J.R. (2002). Victim experiences in hate crimes based on sexual orientation. Journal of Social Issues, 58 (2), 319-339. . . .   Although many hate crimes are perpetrated in public settings by groups of young males who are strangers to the victim, the data show that victimization also occurs in a variety of other locales and is perpetrated by neighbors, coworkers, and relatives. Victims tended to rely primarily on explicit statements by perpetrators and contextual cues in deciding whether a crime was based on their sexual orientation, and interviewees’ categorization of incidents as antigay generally appeared to be accurate. Hate crimes were less likely than other crimes to be reported to police, and concerns about police bias and public disclosure of their sexual orientation were important factors for victims in deciding whether to report. Many interviewees weighed the severity or importance of the crime and the likelihood that the perpetrators would be punished in making their decision. . .
Herek, G. M. (2007). Hate crimes and stigma-related experiences among sexual minority adults in the United States: Prevalence estimates from a national probability sample. Journal of Interpersonal Violence, in press. . . .  Gay men were significantly more likely than lesbians or bisexuals to experience violence or property crimes. More than one third of gay men (37.6%) reported experiencing one or both types of crimes, compared to 12.5% of lesbians, 10.7% of bisexual men, and 12.7% of bisexual women. Gay men also reported higher levels of harassment and verbal abuse than the other sexual orientation groups. Employment and housing discrimination were significantly more likely among gay men and lesbians (reported by 17.7% and 16.3%, respectively) than among bisexual men and women (3.7% and 6.8%, respectively). More than half of the respondents manifested some degree of felt stigma, as indicated by their perception that most people think less of sexual minorities, that most employers will not hire qualified sexual minority applicants, or that most people would not want a sexual minority individual to care for their children.

DISCUSSION:

Why do you think that some people hate homosexuals?  Why would some of those people act violently toward them?
Anger and hatred are defense mechanisms.  That being said, what does the hatred say of one’s perception of self that the mere existence of the homosexual threatens?  Is it possible that the hatred of a homosexual person is reflective of self-loathing?  of fear?  What is the basis for such fear?

Is it possible to have “righteous hatred?”

Is it possible to hate the act but love the sinner?

How does any hatred impair our capacity to love?

 

Next blog post: Psychiatric Association: Homosexuality Is Not a Pathology               https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/92

Publications Concerning Hate Crimes Relating to Sexual Orientation

Hate the Sin, but Love the Sinner Position

See http://www.evangelsociety.org/francisco/gaychange.html for the Sinful, but Love the Sinner position.

Discuss

How would you summarize the “hate the sin but love the sinner” position?

What fears does it express?  How does it address those fears?

What about the scriptures it cites?  Is that appropriate use?

What points do you believe are valid?

What are your concerns about this position?

What is the practical impact of our judgment of the person we profess to love?

On us?

On them?

On our relationship with them?

On their relationship with the community?

Deepak Chopra has written in his book, The Third Jesus, “. . . [H]is teachings have been hijacked by people who hate in the name of love.” p. 7.  How does that apply or not to this position of hate the sin but love the sinner?

 

Next blog post: A Gay Man’s Scriptural Defense of Homosexuality               https://wordpress.com/post/lovejudgenot.wordpress.com/46

Hate the Sin, but Love the Sinner Position