Christian Doctrine Makes People Mad
Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/08/20
I have seen articles on Hot Air lately (more the comments beneath the articles) which have attacked Michele Bachmann’s Christian views on homosexuality: that it’s a sin and thus a bondage that can be healed. I have wanted to respond to those attacks on numerous occasions, but since I cannot comment on Hot Air it requires I write an article. And my laziness kicks in. So I haven’t responded, until now.
But it wasn’t Hot Air that finally got me to respond. After seeing much objectionable commentary over at Hot Air, I found some seriously objectionable commentary over at Little Miss Attila. (Joy McCann professes to be a Christian and I have no reason to believe otherwise. But in this realm, I disagree vehemently.) Little Miss Attila was responding to a blog-debate between Da Tech Guy and Cynthia Yockey. Here’s an excerpt from LMA’s article:
Cynthia is right, of course, to be indignant about the type of counseling that purports to “turn gay people straight,” because that approach does lead to suicides, broken marriages, and fatherless/motherless children. It is one thing to provide religious counseling that encourages chastity among gays—and unmarried straights. It is quite another to gamble with people’s lives.
In many cases the antigay shrink-quacks encourage gay people to lie to themselves, start families under false pretenses, and create all kinds of destruction—in an attempt to encourage denial of fundamental truths that would be better faced up to.
Yet if Mr. Bachmann has performed the type of “counseling” that leads to lies, suicides, and broken homes—and I haven’t looked into it enough to know for sure whether he has or has not—it would be a wicked thing, indeed.
That definitely gave me a very strong urge to respond, and I could’ve done so in the comment section. But once again, I was too lazy. (It’s a fault, I know. I’ll consider working on that at a later date.) But tonight I found in the comment section over on Patterico’s Pontifications a statement that finally caused me to respond:
Dustin: I consider the statement “If you’re involved in the gay and lesbian lifestyle, it’s bondage. It is personal bondage, personal despair and personal enslavement” to be hateful.
Comment by aphrael — 8/18/2011 @ 12:48 pm
And my response:
Late to the party as usual.
Let’s see if I can do this book-end right. (Phat chance.)
I have stated on numerous occasions that Conservative sites need a lot more aphraels and a lot fewer Leftist blathering trolls. While it is quite rare that I ever agree with aphrael, I appreciate and respect his well-reasoned comments. They raise the bar of debate and keep us on our toes. They also help us to understand reasonable Liberals better and help us to reason with reasonable Liberals better.
I stated early in my commenting here (in context with the article and resultant thread) that the Bible declares homosexuality an abomination — a much stronger declarative than most sinful acts and conditions. I believed homosexuality is an abomination then, I believe it now, and I will believe it till the day I die, and further, into the afterlife. As all sinful lifestyles put the people engaged in them in bondage to that sin, and homosexuality is a sinful lifestyle, the inclusive nature of the subset requires that a homosexual lifestyle puts the homosexual in bondage to that sin. It’s just the facts as they are. But, as a Christian, I also know there is a Way out of bondage. So, it’s not hate for the person (actually, it’s love for the person) but rather hate for the sin and the destruction it brings.
As I said, I’ve written on blogs that the Bible states without doubt that homosexuality is an abomination. But I’ve written far more times — on adj Dana’s blog mostly — that I have much more respect for, and much more desire for, aphrael’s commenting and debating than the Liberal trolls that are so prevalent on many Conservative blogsites. I have known about aphrael’s lifestyle choice since nearly the beginning of my time commenting on PP, and my position regarding that has no effect on my respect for his commenting.
I hope I book-ended that well enough. (Phat chance.)
Comment by John Hitchcock — 8/19/2011 @ 9:30 pm
The Old Testament, which is part of the Jewish sacred text, unaltered, very clearly states homosexuality is a sin and an abomination. The New Testament, which is uniquely Christian, very clearly declares — multiple times — homosexuality to be a sin and a rejection of what is natural for the unnatural. It cannot get any more clear than that. And since sin is bondage, and homosexuality and the behaviors thereof are sin, then homosexuality is also bondage. Very easy to understand logic. Also, since faith in Jesus can heal us of our sins, homosexuals can be healed of their sins. To understand such a thing to be sin and to claim such a thing cannot be healed is to practice the soft bigotry of low expectations. But I am not certain this is what Little Miss Attila is doing. She could be rejecting various portions of the Bible instead. Or ignorant of those portions of the Bible (much less likely, in my (not so) humble opinion).
But this got me thinking about other Christian doctrine that angers people and previous articles I wrote. And an article a Liberal American Jewish man named Jeff wrote before he earned his PhD (by opening the right Cracker Jack box (I kid, I kid)). Jeff was writing a year and a half ago about an incident where Brit Hume was asked about Tiger Woods and the non-Christian public went stark-raving mad (some of them, anyway). Here’s an excerpt:
Christianity isn’t just about “be nice to one another” – it’s also about salvation and the afterlife and God and Jesus and all that other stuff I just mentioned. So when someone wants to give voice to those other aspects of Christianity, it doesn’t really fit into the “be nice to each other” narrative, and so those who subscribe to that narrative react viscerally and want to shut down the expression of that part of the faith.
I should know about such reactions – as Ben can attest, I’ve been down that road. But I don’t think it’s appropriate to ask a Christian like Hume to hold back on his religious views just because some people might find those views disagreeable or laughable. He has the right to voice his opinions, we non-Christians have a right to disagree, but his opinions are hardly ridiculous – rather, they’re consistent with mainstream Christian belief. This doesn’t mean Hume’s beliefs are above criticism, just that Hume’s statement is hardly the out-there crazy missive it seems to be portrayed as in the media.
Hume’s Rummy for flagrant and inconvenient Christianity wouldn’t be unprecedented – Rev. Jerry Falwell, for whom long-time readers know I had absolutely no love, got a belated Rummy for his statement about the anti-Christ being Jewish*.
That asterisk leads to his commentary pointing out an article I wrote that you’ll see in a minute. As Jeff noted, he’s a non-Christian. But he understands Christian philosophy and actions are logical and loving results of Christian doctrine. I’m uncertain of his views on Christian philosophy regarding homosexuality or if they garner the same understanding and respect as I’m too lazy to check. But while Jeff strongly disagrees with much Christian doctrine, he respects the viewpoint and resultant decision-making. (And I have declared on multiple occasions my respect for his respectful albeit Liberal debating on Common Sense Political Thought.) His article and the brief discussion that follows is very well worth the read. (This is me twisting your arm to read it all.) One of the key comments in the discussion:
Back when I was anti-proselytizing, Ben (a regular here) used similar imagery to explain his position, though I think he used a burning building. I resisted the analogy at first, but over time it made sense. If you view proselytizing not as an intentional act of disrespect but as an act of love, it’s a lot easier to deal with.
Anyway, proselytizing/witnessing/whatever you want to call it is part of the Christian mandate in the Bible, right? “Go and make disciples” and so forth?
About that asterisk I said I would return to in a minute, here is what Jeff had to say:
* An injudicious statement, perhaps, but one which is backed up by sound millenarian Christian theology and thus isn’t really anti-Semitic at all. John from Truth Before Dishonor has a summary of the theology here.
Here’s a reprint of my 2009 article to which he pointed:
My Jewish Friends May Become Offended
To my Jewish friends and those of Jewish descent who follow this blog, I fully understand why you would be offended by what I have to say here. In all honesty, if I were in your skin, I would likewise be offended. And for that, I apologize. But I have to say what I have to say, and I hope you can set your immediate feelings aside to listen to my reasoning.
I remember a well-known Christian preacher-type person saying the Antichrist will have to be Jewish. And I remember large numbers of Jewish people shouting out in great offense. And I fully understand their offense to that statement. But I agree with that statement. And here is where my Jewish friends will become offended. But please set that aside for a moment to hear me out.
As a Christian, I believe Jesus, son of Joseph, is the Messiah. Jesus of Galilee, the descendent of David through both His mother (very important here) and His pseudo-adoptive father, fulfilled the Old Testament prophecies. Note the Old Testament is the very same as a major portion of Jewish sacred texts, without change. This is where Christians and a great many “religious” Jews differ. (Please note, I put “religious” in quotes, not to defame the beliefs but to mark the difference between those who hold God’s word sacred and those who just play the game.)
My Jewish friends, and those Jewish who find my blog, please consider the possibility that I am right. If only to allow that possibility for the sake of argument, accept it in this discussion. I fully understand that you do not believe I am right in this instance, unless you are a Messianic Jew. But please set that aside and assume, for the sake of argument, that I am right about Jesus and you are wrong.
If I am right about Jesus being Christ and the non-Messianic Jews are wrong, that means the non-Messianic Jews are still looking for the Messiah. And this is where the wole kerfuffle explodes. Again, assume for the sake of argument that I am, and by extension Christians are, right.
Since Jesus is the Messiah and the Jewish population have rejected Jesus as the Messiah, the Jewish population is still looking for the Messiah. Jews are not stupid. They are not uneducated. They are not unaware of the prophecies. “Religious” Jews know full well that the Messiah must needs come from the line of David. That means the Messiah absolutely must be Jewish, since the line of David is necessarily Jewish.
No “religious” Jew would ever, under any circumstances, accept a Gentile “Messiah.” That means, by necessity, that any Messiah the Jewish population accepts must be of the line of David, and clearly Jewish. And therein lies the conundrum. Christians, who necessarily favor Israel, Israelites, Israelis, and Jews, already know Jesus is the Messiah. Those of the non-Messianic Jewish faith do not believe Jesus is the Messiah,and are thus looking for the Messiah. One group is wrong. But both groups understand the Messiah will be of Jewish descent.
If the non-Messianic Jews are wrong and the Christians are right, that means, by necessity, that the anti-Christ has similar lineage as Jesus. Because the Jews are not stupid. Again, no Jew will accept a Gentile as the Messiah, based on a firm understanding of prophecy, so any anti-Christ that can fool the Jews must necessarily have the right pedigree.
As I said, Jewish friends, you will likely be immediately offended by what I had to say. But I hope you have set aside that immediate offense to see the reasoning I gave to what I know is highly offensive to you. I hope you can better understand the Christian mindset regarding this very touchy issue. I understand your offense. I hope you understand my reasoning.
That part of Christian theology, when stated publicly, does tend to drive many Jewish folk into a rage. And accusations of anti-Semitism fly. But as Jeff (a self-professed non-Christian Jewish man) said, once a person gets past the emotional outburst and actually takes a look at the theology and logic, it’s not anti-Semitic at all.
These points, and the Christian doctrine regarding the Husband/Wife relationship, really get the non-Christian and anti-Christian fur flying. And if a politician espouses these Christian views (especially one who takes the entire Bible seriously), then watch out! The hatred, fear and loathing coming from the non-Christians and anti-Christians is a sight to behold.
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