I regularly perform link searches for my blog. It is one of those narcissistic things I like to do, because I want to know if anyone is talking about me and what it is they are saying. With one search I recently did, I discovered a blog entry
by a fellow named Terry who has a blog entitled Children of Faith
. Terry was particularly annoyed with an article I wrote way back in August of last year in which I interacted with the alleged Bible studies of Justin Cannon
who is an apologist for a Christian gay lifestyle.
You can read my original article here
, as well as a follow up article
responding to the comments left by an anonymous commenter. But to provide a little background for my purposes now, Justin Cannon wrote out an article that is suppose to represent his extensive study into the subject of what the Bible teaches about homosexuality. What exactly would you think a gay apologist for a homosexual lifestyle would conclude after an extensive study of the scripture on the subject of homosexuality? You guessed it: the Bible says little or nothing about loving, monogamous same sex relationships and God looks favorably, if not neutrally, upon them.
I wrote my blog article as a response for the purpose of demonstrating the serious flaws in Justin's study. First, he begins with the presupposition that homosexuality is normal and God does not judge same sex relationships, so he starts with an agenda to make the Bible support homosexual lifestyles. Then he re-defines and re-writes the biblical terminology to support those presuppositions. His exegesis, if we even can call it that, is contorted and never does he interact with solid critics of his argumentation like James White, Jeff Niell and Greg Bahnsen for example. In short, Justin's arguments were really nothing new and he rehashed the same arguments from previous homosexual apologists who had come before him.
That leads us to Terry's comments. To say that Terry was annoyed with me is a bit of an understatement. Rather than interacting with the biblical texts I specifically raised, however, his comments are a visceral reaction to my overall worldview that says emphatically the Bible teaches that homosexuality, in whatever form it takes, is a perversion before the True God of Heaven and is a sin from which people needed to be saved. I gather from reading his comments that Terry is of the opinion we need to have a "live and let live" policy when it comes to biblical truth; a Rodney King philosophy which says, "Hey, we may disagree sharply about what the Bible teaches regarding homosexual behavior, but can't we all get along?" This is a typical response in our postmodern world today that believes truth is relatively defined by individual experience. Even though Terry's comments are purely emotional, and do not reflect upon what I actually wrote, I still wanted to address some of his comments to me:I came across your Blog quite by accident and read with rapt interest. Since I am an evangelical, gay and Justin Cannon happens to also be a friend of mine, my attention was gained immediately. (Fred)
I appreciate the fact my blog stirred an intense reaction in your mind, Terry. Writers live for those reactions from their readers. Anyhow, I believe it is important to establish here at the beginning that the word evangelical is a completely worthless term in our modern day. It has been stripped of its original definition years ago and has been made to fit every spiritually deviant, pseudo-Christian group which dares to assert itself as a legitimate representation of New Testament Christianity. So, to label one's self as being evangelical
does not lend credibility to what you argue as being genuinely Christian.I begin saying I know Justin and I am evangelical because I don't think this debate is ever going to be won either by the so called liberal or conservative side with academic rigor or debating skill. It will never be won by logic alone, and it certainly won't be because the church suddenly awakens and says.. GEEZ we were wrong and homosexuals were right or vice versa. (Fred)
I would agree with you. The debate ends when God's spirit regenerates the hearts of sinful men and they are brought into submission to what God's Word really teaches. It is won when those who distort the text with agendas and re-interpret the Bible to make it teach something utterly foreign to what the biblical writers meant to write and what God certainly meant to reveal, turn from their editing sins and submit to the authority of the Bible as it is written.Certainly there is room for debate and certainly everyone I know on both sides wants to understand truth. However when I see someone in the spirit of debate use words like "Justin Cannon is merely standing at the end of a long, twisting line running through Church History filled with a vast assortment of goofballs, kooks, and weirdoes who conveniently "revised" the Bible to fit their personal beliefs" I get angry, VERY ANGRY. Not because Justin is my friend, but because Justin is indeed a brother in Christ who, from all I can tell, is seeking God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength. Next, because Justin is the kind of man, from all I can tell, that genuinely looks to the word for answers to his life and the dilemmas of this age. And so do all the other gay Christians I know. We are not trying to JUSTIFY our lives any more than any evangelical is trying to justify theirs. We are simply on a journey like everyone else.. with many a fear and many a doubt. To take the opportunity to name call and to belittle is disgusting and is not Christian behavior. (Fred)
I am sorry that makes you angry, but frank language does that at times. I am sure Justin is a nice guy, probably sweet tempered and fun loving. However, just as much as he is a nice guy, he cannot be seeking God with all his heart, soul, mind or strength, because if he were, he would not seek to change the definitions of biblical terms to make the Bible teach strange doctrines, i.e., God looks favorably upon same sex relationships. I am sure we could say similar things about other men in Church History past. Joseph Smith, for example, was probably a nice guy who could be said to be seeking God. I am sure we could say the same about Marcion, Pelagius, Peter Abelard, Michel Servetus, Charles Russel, Ellen White, and David Koresh. Certainly, perhaps, some were more kooky, goofy and weirder than others, but the one thing all of them have in common, from the most noxious to the most lovable, is that all of these people revised the Bible to fit their personal beliefs. I am sorry you are angry of me saying so, Terry, but this is exactly what your friend Justin is doing. You think he is not trying to justify himself, but I can prove he has. In fact, I believe I have shown this very thing in my previous articles. Justin, like yourself, has a set of presupposed beliefs and he wants desperately for the Bible to support him. How does he accomplish this support? By making the Bible teach things contrary to what is true.I'm reminded of the command to be filled with the spirit. And then I'm reminded of the fruit of the spirit lest we forget they are: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness, and self control. Mr. Butler, may I suggest that you add to your bio cold and bitter towards those who disagree with you, because that is the way you have treated your brother in Christ. (Fred)
Cold and bitter are your terms. Jesus stated clearly to the woman at the well in John 4 that those who worship me will do so in spirit and truth. Those who are filled with the spirit submit to the truth, they don't alter it to fit their preconceived beliefs. I do not consider Justin a brother in Christ, because I haven't seen anything he has written to show me he is submitted to the truth.The problem for me is I use to be on your side Mr. Butler. I use to believe that homosexuality and genuine Christian faith were incompatible. But then I began to meet committed, faithful gay Christians. Simultaneously I began to meet many committed faithful orthodox Jewish folk. Strangely, I could identify with both! But after months of watching their lives something significant began to emerge, an undeniable similarity between orthodox Jewish folk and evangelical Christians.. it was their righteousness. let me make sure I say this clearly.. IT WAS THEIR RIGHTEOUSNESS.. How can that be? Both Jews and Christian were depending upon their behaviors to gain them approval/acceptance to God.
ANDMr. Butler, even the bi-line of this Blog sets one up for the type of argument you wish to engage in "smiting the theological philistines" I think you would be better off to leave the smiting to God.. one can certainly debate, discuss and disagree, but last time I checked, the scriptures did not include your name alongside the Holy Spirit. (Fred)
Just a few questions for you Terry:
1) Do you believe there is a standard of orthodox truth?
2) Is orthodox truth fully knowable or is it merely left up to individual experience to interpret? Or debate, discuss and disagree?
3) Do you believe in the authority, infallibility and inerrancy of the Holy Bible?
4) Are you of the opinion those orthodox Jews will obtain eternal life with their good works?So, how do we tell who is right? That very problem was presented in Acts 15. Unless you are circumcised, some men said, you can't enter the kingdom of heaven. Sounds familiar doesn't it? I hear it all the time.. you can't be a "practicing gay" and enter the kingdom of heaven. Let's face it.. that's what evangelicals think. And here it is in Acts - we have a similar thing.. the law clearly says to be circumcised just as clearly as you think it forbids committed, monogamous gay sex. Paul and Barnabas engaged in a sharp dispute and a huge community debate began.. must the gentiles be circumcised? I think it's equivalent to the debate today.. must gay people be celibate? I love the answer in scripture.. God who knows the heart showed that He accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit JUST AS HE DID TO US. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their heart by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of the disciples a yoke that neither we nor our fathers have been able to bear? NO! We believe that through the grace of our Lord Jesus we are saved, just as they are. The whole assembly became silent. (Fred)
I find it utterly amazing, Terry, that you totally misrepresent what happened in Acts 15 and apply it to the so-called current struggle for a gay lifestyle. I would hope you will return to my two posts I re-linked above and read my comments about why God forbids homosexual relationships. You need to deal directly with my argumentation in from Genesis, from Matthew 19 and Ephesians 5. Justin's scant comments on the creative narrative of Genesis 1 and 2 is lame. Not only does he address the actual text and what it is meant to convey specifically, but he never once addresses how the Genesis narrative is used by Jesus and other NT writers.
I am not OK if we disagree on this matter. I am commanded to contend for the faith, which you and Justin have warped with your apologetic revisionism. But moreover, I am fearful for your soul, as well as Justin's. You have been deceived that you can live in this sin and you will be fine before God in judgment. I will pray for you that you would turn from this lifestyle and embrace the true gospel of the God who able to redeem and deliver you.