Hip and Thigh: Smiting Theological Philistines with a Great Slaughter. Judges 15:8

Monday, December 10, 2007

Twenty Ways to Answer A Fool (pt 17)

Is Christianity Homophobic?

I continue with a review of Chaz Bufe, blues guitar playing Christian hater and his 20 Reasons to Abandon Christianity. I am trying to move quickly through these last 4 points so I can wrap up this long, long on going series I started way back near the end of 2005.

With his 17th point, Chaz charges the Christian faith with promoting and engaging in homophobia. Because Chaz's descriptions of Christian homophobia are a bit crass, I will not reproduce them in full, but direct the reader here if he or she is interested in viewing them.

Like all of Chaz's previous complaints against Christianity, he demonstrates an embarrassing lack of understanding of what it is he criticizes. The first portion of his point is an attack against the book of Leviticus and the specific laws by which the people of Israel were to be governed. Chaz's reaction to these laws is to say they were unnecessarily harsh rules against what he describes as trivial offenses. The "trivial" offenses he lists as illustrations from the book of Leviticus include adultery, bestiality, high-handed rebellion against one's parents, and of course, homosexual behavior. In the real world inhabited by rational people, not some anarchist utopian dreamland envisioned by Chaz, those are not trivial offenses.

Of course, Chaz claims Christians are selective in which laws from Leviticus they will emphasize, as in the prohibition against homosexuality, when such prohibitions also exist against eating pork and lobster. Anyone who gives a surface reading to Leviticus will quickly note the ridiculous imbalance Chaz draws from the text. The death penalty was not administered against those who ate Outback Steakhouse's coconut shrimp or Chili's baby back pork ribs. The death penalty was only prescribed for those individuals who engaged in behaviors, like homosexual sex and bestiality, that were extremely detrimental to society, and I would add, cut sharply against the holiness of God as revealed to God's redeemed people.

Additionally, in regards to Leviticus, the laws against eating unclean animals were put away at the coming of Christ. See Peter's vision in Acts 10, for example. I write about that in more detail here, but suffice it say, those food laws were for the purpose of keeping God's special people, Israel, separated from the pagan nations surrounding them at the time. The food laws were only necessary for the time Israel was a theocratic nation dwelling in the land. The laws which define, regulate, and prohibit human sexual behavior, including homosexuality, are a reflection of God's moral attributes and thus transcend both Testaments, as well as all people groups across the world.

Chaz accuses Christianity as being purveyors of homophobia, or the fear of homosexuals. I can certainly understand the common person's, Christian or non-Christian, aversion toward homosexual behavior. People instinctively know homosexuality is against what is natural concerning human sexuality, and generally, those engaged in the lifestyle are involved with such vile perversions of the flesh that the expressions of which shock the senses with a gut churning revulsion. If one were to have witnessed the recent horrific scenes from a San Francisco street fair catering to sexual fetishes engaged in by the homosexual community in that city, a person in his right mind would be homophobic.

As is typical with how Chaz argues throughout his articles, he demonstrates another paroxysm of hypocrisy when he condemns Christians for their "homophobia." Chaz has made it clear that he doesn't like Christians because they stifle sexual expression. He noted under points 9 and 10 that, in his anarchist opinion, Christians have an unhealthy preoccupation with sex and produce a lifestyle of sexual misery. Christians are foolish, he argues, to even think they can prohibit sex among people to total monogamy, because "human beings are by nature highly sexual beings , and that their urges very often do not fit into the only officially sanctioned Christian form of sexuality (monogamous, heterosexual marriage)."

But I would imagine old Chaz would be a "pedophobe," a person fearful of adults having sex with young teens or even pre-teen children. Would he be willing to grant Jack McClellan, a notorious self-confessed pedophile (even though he says he never has touched a child), the freedom to indulge his urges? Jack argued during an interview on a local LA talk radio station that his desires were really just his orientation. In fact, Jack even made the comparison of his sexual attraction for little girls to that of a man or woman's homosexual attraction to the same sex. Will Chaz advocate for Jack against stodgy, sexually repressive Christianity? Jack even says he is an atheist with anarchist leanings, so he is a kindred spirit with Chaz.

I personally believe the Christian church can do better with ministering to people caught in the sin of homosexuality. I think Christian's overall have stumbled in this area of outreach. But an aversion to homosexuality as a lifestyle and a conviction that homosexuals are trapped in a filthy sin from which they need to repent is hardly "homophobia." If anything, such a concern on the part of Christians is genuine love toward those enslaved to the sin. Statistics and real life facts show that the young men and women engaged in homosexuality live destructive lifestyles which only shorten their lives. To warn them to flee from this bondage of deceptive foolishness by calling them to repentance and submission to their creator is not a phobia to be criticized, but a compassion which should be commended.

Next up: Is the Bible an unreliable guide to Christ's teachings and is it riddled with contradictions?



Blogger Ken Abbott said...

Fred, I certainly agree that much of the church's response to homosexuals and the phenomenon of homosexuality has been wrong, unloving, and incompatible with Christlike grace. But what is the faithful Christian to do when confronted with a group of people that ask not just that they not be condemned for their sins but that they be validated in their choices? For many in the homosexual community it seems as though there will not be satisfaction until homosexuality is accepted, even promoted, as a perfectly legitimate choice. Any response back from a Christian who is committed to the authority of the Bible is met with cries of homophobia and hate speech. To the best of my knowledge, no group of like-minded sinners has ever before demanded such approbation from society. The modern homosexual movement, it seems to me, is unprecedented in human history for its expectations and goals.

12:55 PM, December 12, 2007  

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