Posts Tagged 'homosexuality'

“Whatever individuals conclude about the causes or cures of homosexuality, the church should offer more support for gay Christians who want to be celibate members of the Christian community but know that struggling with sexual temptation is more than they can bear in aloneness.”

Tony Campolo, Speaking My Mind, 69

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In the wake of John Piper’s announcement that a certain natural disaster that hit a certain part of a certain city on a certain day at a certain time was the direct providence of a certain Deity, many have taken up the pen or key board to say one thing or another about Piper’s seeming omniscience into the mysteries of Trinitarian oeuvre.

David Sessions quoted Andy Crouch:

“All efforts to pin down the details of where and when we can say that God is working in history are fraught with the danger of self-deception, if not outright blasphemy. The commandment not to take the Lord’s name in vain seems especially to apply to human attempts to recruit God for one cultural movement or another. The warning that “history is written by the winners” should caution us that any attempt to discern God’s activity in particular historical events runs the risk of self-justification, claiming after the fact that God was on our side all along.”

HT/RT: imonk

Rather than post an entirely new thread on this subject, I’d like to direct your attention to, what one friend described as, an ‘extra-awesome’ take on the Piper post. I concur. It is super-awesome. Click this link and find out more: Did God Send a Tornado to Warn the ELCA?

I am especially fond of this awesomeness:

3. One has to wonder why God would single out the ELCA’s discussion of homosexuality as worthy of a tornado hit while by-passing so many other serious issues. To give one example, there are over 400 distinct passages encompassing over 3,000 verses in the Bible that address issues related to poverty. Compare this with homosexuality, a topic that is explicitly mentioned a total of two times in the Old Testament and three times in the New. On top of this, the most frequently mentioned reason God judged cities and nations in the Old Testament was because they failed to care for the needy. And, finally, if there’s any sin American churches fail to seriously confront, it’s this one.

In light of this, wouldn’t you assume that if God was going to send warnings and/or inflict punishment with tornados he’d strike some of the many American churches and denominations that condone, if not Christianize, greed and apathy toward the poor? Yet John would have us believe that God had his tornado skip past these churches (and a million other punishment-worthy locations, like child sex-slave houses) in order to damage the steeple of a church because the people inside were wrestling with issues related to homosexuality. If John is right, God’s priorities must have radically changed since biblical times.

This goes well with my post the other day concerning the Gospel and the Poor.

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I linked to the three blog posts you will read about in this post by hopping over to Twenty-Two Words. I was intrigued by Piper’s title: Imagine What it’s Like to be Both Homosexual and Christian Before Offering a Fix. Well, most of us will probably say: I’ve never thought of it that way. I don’t think Piper is saying we should sit back on our comfortably Christian couches and fantasize about homosexual acts. I do think what he is saying is: How do you live, knowing you are a sinner who struggles with your own pet issue, and a Christian too? How do you live with the contradiction? How do you live as a hyphenated Christian? How do you live with the paradox? At minimum, Piper is suggesting that such a paradox is possible in the church. On this point, I believe he is correct.

Do you ask people for solutions to your voyeurism? Do you ask people for solutions to your alcoholism? Do you ask people for solutions to your pride? Do you ask people for solutions to your lust? Do you ask people for solutions to your anger? Your hatred? Your racism? Your greed? Your gluttony? And when you get answers, do you take offense at the happy, Sunday-School, answers that sound something like: “Oh, just look to Jesus and it will all go away. Then you will be all better.” If you don’t, I think you should. The struggle goes much deeper and oftentimes we are ‘out in the wilderness’ facing the devil. The nights are long; the food scarce; the temptations great. Jesus is the right direction, but sometimes we cry, “Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachtani.” Sometimes we are frightfully alone.

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Imagine what it’s like to be both racist and a Christian before offering a fix to a racist. Imagine what it’s like to be both greedy and a Christian before offering a fix to a greedy person. Imagine what it’s like to be both egomaniac and Christian before offering a fix to an arrogant person. Imagine, if you dare, replacing the word ‘homosexual’ with ‘adulterer’ or ‘drug addict’ or ‘compulsive gambler.’ However, this may not do. Misty Irons writes:

But the downside of “homosexuality is just like any other sin” is that this naturally leads people to say to someone like Wesley, “Well then, why can’t you deal with your sin the way I do? Pray for victory, seek God’s face, put off the old man and put on the new. And why do you ‘need’ love from the church body over this? Isn’t the love of God in Christ sufficient for you? And aren’t you being defeatist by calling yourself a Homosexual Christian? I don’t identify with my sin by calling myself an Angry Christian or a Lying Christian.”

For this reason, I have never completely agreed with the “homosexuality is like any other sin” approach. Among those desires and compusions [sic.] that we call sin, I believe homosexuality belongs in a unique category of its own. And while it often helps to understand the involuntary nature of homosexual attraction by comparing it with lust, anger, covetousness, and so forth, at the same time it is critical to understand homosexuality as more a condition than merely a desire or compulsion. “Condition” as in: we are all born into this world in a fallen condition in Adam, which no human effort is going to alter prior to the bodily resurrection [sic.] (Misty Irons)

Do the patented, thoroughly biblical answers work? Is it enough to pray? Is it enough to seek God’s face? Is it enough to be caught up in worship? Does this make all the cares, worries, struggles, and fears go away? Does it end your loneliness? You know as well as I do that it ends them for a day or two or less and then you are right back at it again: lusting, drinking, watching; sinning. Tell me, how do we live in victory when we know we are habitual failures? Her solution?

If every straight person were to stop for five minutes and truly consider the extent to which their own heterosexual orientation has permeated every aspect of the way they have been thinking, feeling and relating to the world since the second grade, and then imagine what it would be like to struggle to suppress every aspect of their heterosexuality all day, every day for years on end, no one would be asking homosexuals questions like, “Why can’t you get a grip on your loneliness?” “Can’t you ever get over labeling yourself ‘gay’ or ‘homosexual’?” “Why can’t you just turn to God for love?”

Instead more people would be saying, “Tell me what it’s like to be you.” “What can I do to help you make it through today?” “Do you have a free evening to go grab a burger with me?” (Misty Irons)

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