November 7, 2005

Response to Mohler re: Homosexuality, Pt 3

Filed under: Random Stuff — Bob Gifford @ 9:59 pm

See here and here for my first two responses to Albert Mohler’s columns on homosexuality here, here and here.

From an address by James Shannon on July 13, 1855:

In deciding the question, whether slavery be a moral wrong, I premise that I hold it as an axiom, that THE Bible is the only infallible standard of moral truth and human duty. Not desiring impiously to presume to be wiser than God–to condemn what he has not condemned, or to justify what he has not justified–I repudiate, as the quintessence of infidelity, the sentiment, that men are able by the light of Nature, by any power of intellect, or by any feeling “away down in the heart,” to prove that to be wrong which the Bible sanctions.

[…] All who are well informed on the subject know, that, if the Bible sanctions any thing, it sanctions slaveholding. [emphasis in the original]


From “The true woman : a series of discourses : to which is added Woman vs. ballot” by Rev. J.D. Fulton, 1869:

To state our faith more definitely, we believe that in Eden woman enjoyed an equality with man; that she took advantage of her privilege, and, transgressing the law of God without consulting her husband, proved treacherous to her high trust, opened the gate of perdition to the enemy of souls, and brought upon man and the race the curse consequent upon sin, and the ruin wrought by the fall. In consequence of this, God pronounced a curse upon her; gave her sorrow in child-bearing, as he gave to man fatigue in toil; changed the relations hitherto subsisting between man and woman, and compelled her to live henceforth in another; to sink her own individuality, and merge it in that of her husband. […] Man from that moment became ruler.

From Homosexuality in theological perspective, part 2 by Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

Put bluntly, if the claims put forward by the homosexual movement are true, the entire system of the Christian faith is compromised, and some essential truths will fall.

Lest this be seen as an overstatement, consider the issue of biblical authority and inspiration. If the claims of revisionist exegetes are valid, then the very notions of verbal inspiration and biblical inerrancy are invalidated. But the challenge is yet deeper, for if, as the revisionist interpreters claim, Holy Scripture can be so wrong and misdirected on this issue (to which it speaks so unambiguously), the evangelical paradigm of biblical authority cannot stand.

Before you comment in righteous indignation, I am not implying that Mohler is racist or opposed to women’s right to vote. But the arguments he makes about biblical infallibility and the resulting fall of civilization have been made before. The slaves were freed, and the Bible still stands. Women were given the vote, and Christianity survives. Biblical arguments have been made against desegregation, the right to organize, the New Deal and child labor laws, and no one (or almost no one) regrets those advances in the human condition. Things change, thanks be to God, and amazingly enough the Christian faith has only gotten stronger.

Ten years, twenty years from now, the same will be true of gay rights and gay marriage. In hindsight, compassion, grace and love are seen undeniably as God’s will. We must have the faith to see this truth today, and work actively to bring God’s will about instead of working against it.

13 Comments

  1. Bob, your argument regarding slavery being sanctioned in the Bible as compared to homosexuality is lacking. The Bible speaks on an existing condition in society at the time. It gives direction to slaves and slave owners who are believers, it seems to accept it, in the fact that it doesn’t condemn it, and slavery is treated in much the same way employees are treated in modern culture. Slavery is a tricky issue. I disagree with owning people, of course, but at the same time I think I can understand, on some level, why it is not condemned in the Bible. In a spiritual sense when we become a “born again” Christian we have willingly surrendered our lives to Christ and we are no longer our own, but “slaves” to Christ. We note that there is not much spoken about political issues in the Bible, it speaks rather to issues of the heart, to spiritual aspects of our lives. The difference between the slavery and homosexuality issue is this: The Bible clearly condemns homosexuality while it did not clearly condemn slavery. Rather than condemning slavery as a sin it appeals to slaves and to slave owners as Christians to treat each other with respect and love.

    We CAN treat homosexuals with respect and love and not condone the sin in their lives, just as we can respect and love any sinner and yet not condone the sin in their lives. I love myself, for heaven’s sake, but I do not condone the sin in my own life. You keep pretending that a Christian cannot condemn sin without condemning the sinner, that’s exactly what God does, He sent His Son to die for the SINS committed by us exactly BECAUSE He loves us and He certainly DOES condemn sin. Your argument just simply doesn’t add up.

    You compare women’s voting rights to homosexuality. When Paul speaks of women being silent in the church he IS speaking of women being silent IN THE CHURCH, he is not making the statement that women should never speak anywhere about anything, and again the Bible spends little time discussing political issues, it is concerned with our SOULS, not our political agendas. There have been theological arguments made that Paul was speaking about a particular church wherein women were causing problems in the church and that these verses should not be applied today. I belong to a church which allows women to teach but not pastor a church. The church to which I belong tries to follow the Bible to the best of its ability and understanding, believing it to be God-breathed and inerrant. If it did not believe that way I would not be a member. But, again, comparing women’s suffrage (which resides in POLITICS) to a clearly defined sin in the Bible is an argument which just doesn’t add up.

    Now, see how I responded to your points? I suppose I could have called you a propagandist and ignored completely what you said, pretending you hadn’t made an effort to make a point, but I opted to REALLY listen. I think that is the respectful, compassionate and loving thing to do.

    Comment by Jacke — November 8, 2005 @ 7:41 am

  2. Quite true. It seems that no matter what the issue, the sky is always falling.

    This brings to mind one of the stories shared by one of the co-authors of “Blinded by Might: Why the Religious Right Can’t Save America.” He remembers when he worked for Falwell’s Moral Majority, he once asked his supervisor why all form letters requesting donations followed a boilerplate that described some upcoming issue (e.g. “such-and-such a group is trying to push through legislation that will allow homosexuals to…”) that they needed to fight immediately, and that meant they needed money. “Why don’t we ever tell them about all of the good things we’re accomplishing instead?” His supervisor’s response boiled down to, “because ‘good news’ doesn’t motivate people to donate.” I found that story quite telling.

    Comment by Jarred — November 8, 2005 @ 9:15 am

  3. Well, it finally happened. That damned homosexual agenda of attacking the institution of marriage has its first casualty. My wife and I are ending our 25-year marriage because of the gays. We decided that we couldn’t love and honor each other till death do us part if people of the same gender were loving and honoring each other till death do they part. But that’s not the worst news.

    The slippery slope raised its ugly head, and caused my wife to leave me for our cats. Both of them: Max and Misha. That’s right, my wife is now a Polygamalbestialist. I don’t blame her. Our heterosexual monogamous marriage couldn’t withstand the gay onslaught. I blame the cats. They had each other, they didn’t need to go picking the forbidden fruit from the family tree.

    Comment by Gary — November 8, 2005 @ 9:16 am

  4. Jarred, unfortunately what you describe is what all political activists do. Why should we be surprised that Christians, Conservative or Progressive, use the same tactics as any other politically active group uses to raise funds to fight for their agendas? That is the nature of the beast, right? Certainly the Religious Right is not the only Christian group which raises funds for causes.

    Comment by Jacke — November 8, 2005 @ 11:10 am

  5. Oh, I agree that all political activists do it, Jacke.

    But then again “everybody’s doing it” isn’t generally seen as a valid justification for something, is it?

    Personally, I think the tendency towards alarmism in fundraising by a “Christian” political group (be it left or right) is particularly dubious, though. After all, it seems to be contrary to Scripture, which says that “God has not given us a spirit of fear.” So why focus on it in one’s political dealings?

    Comment by Jarred — November 8, 2005 @ 11:14 am

  6. Because political issues which have the ability to effect our every day lives and those of our children matter to us? That’d be my guess. Yes, they may be hyped by extremists, no, that doesn’t mean they are altogether unimportant issues, either. 🙂

    Comment by Jacke — November 8, 2005 @ 11:21 am

  7. Gary, I’m so sorry for your loss. 😉

    Comment by Jacke — November 8, 2005 @ 2:00 pm

  8. I look at it this way.

    Slavery was allowed by God because sin was in the world.

    God allowed wars, he allowed Israel to conquer its neighbors.
    This caused great death of innocent people.
    God allows natural disasters.
    He allowed his Son to be murdered by sinful men for our sins!
    Because sin is in the world, these things have happened and are happening.

    Its the only conclusion I can come up with here. Sin brought death, destruction and division.

    IF Adam and Eve had not sinned in the garden, do you think that
    slavery would have happened?

    When Jesus sets his kingdom up here on earth do you think slavery
    will be allowed?

    Dont think so…

    Comment by lukeNC — November 8, 2005 @ 6:46 pm

  9. Didn’t St. Augustine speculate that in heaven women will “regain” their male genitalia? (Seriously.)

    Comment by wildwest — November 8, 2005 @ 7:10 pm

  10. and slavery is treated in much the same way employees are treated in modern culture

    Unfortunately, that’s all too true.

    Comment by BruceA — November 10, 2005 @ 6:04 pm

  11. The slippery slope raised its ugly head, and caused my wife to leave me for our cats. Both of them: Max and Misha. That’s right, my wife is now a Polygamalbestialist. I don’t blame her. Our heterosexual monogamous marriage couldn’t withstand the gay onslaught. I blame the cats. They had each other, they didn’t need to go picking the forbidden fruit from the family tree.

    Gary, contact the ACLU, GLSEN, PFLAGG, etc.! We need to have Polygamalbestiality accepted by all! Let’s teach it in our schools so our children aren’t “shocked by reality” when they find that these people do exist! If things go well, the ACLU and others will have a set group of speakers and actors to travel the country informing children in schools about how wonderful a life of Polygamalbestiality is and that it differs not one whit from heterosexuality! No need to inform anyone of any diseases or ill-effects which might come about as a result of living that lifestyle. That’s so conservative, so OPPRESSIVE! And I pray that one day your soon to be ex-wife will find societal acceptance and be allowed to marry her cats, as well as press charges against anyone who speaks out against this normal practice. God knows she can’t ever be happy otherwise, especially in such an uptight conservative Christian society as this!

    Comment by Anonymous — November 11, 2005 @ 5:53 am

  12. Now that’s what I call a “sharp edged” reply!

    Comment by wildwest — November 14, 2005 @ 7:05 am

  13. Surely the fact that the bible was used to justify many wrong doings, one of which is
    slavery, tells you that the bible is not as infallible as you seem to believe; it was
    written by men who were inspired by God, but equally these men had their own prejudices,
    sexuality, personality ect.; in essence, they weren’t just God’s pen! They could have and
    I believe did, on numerous occasions unintentionally misread to a small level what God told
    them, and inject their own morals; accurateor otherwise.
    Additionally, surely an omnipotent, omnibenevolent God would not make someone in such a way
    as that if they were happy, they were condemned, but if they wanted to follow him, they had
    to be miserable and sub-confident in themselves and their emotions!
    I truly dispise the view that homosexuality is a sin and regard such beliefs as the outcome
    of an immature faith!!!

    Comment by reuben — June 29, 2006 @ 4:03 am

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