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

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Debunking Gay Christian Apologetics

Toward A Biblical View of Sexuality

By way of an introduction....

Rick Bretlinger is an up and coming apologist for the gay "Christian" evangelical life-style. He operates an extensive website called Gay Christian 101. I first heard of him early in 2007 when he was interviewed by Gene Cook on the Narrow Mind webcast program. At the time, Rick was preparing the publication of his new book, Gay Christian Apologetics 101: A Spiritual Self-Defense for Gay Christians, a massive 400 page tome designed to provide answer to all the so-called "clobber" passages used by anti-gay evangelicals who say the Bible does not endorse consensual, homosexual relationships. The next day, after his interview, the Fide-O blog linked to the mp3 of the program and Rick engaged in debate with folks in the combox. They hammered him pretty good, but I had to admire his courage and the tenacity of his convictions as wrong-headed as they are.

Well, a few weeks ago I received an email from Rick challenging my views against homosexuality. I have written some articles on the subject of gay "Christian" apologetics, including one specifically answering a claim made by Rick on Gene's program, and their attempts to revise the plain teaching of God's revelation to fit this new agenda of redefining marriage in light of "healthy," same-sex relationships. He basically said my arguments are unconvincing and lack any historical vindication. He then provided me with a plug for his website that is suppose to contain withering and unanswerable argumentation to straighten me out.

I responded to Rick by merely pointing out that much of his argumentation is the twisting around of scripture and the misuse of authors, historical works, commentaries, and the like, to build his paper house he calls gay "Christian" apologetics. He responded by linking me to 11 separate web pages posted on his site that are meant to be answers to my anti-gay bias.

Rick began his second email in response to me by stating,

We disagree on some basic presuppositions when we approach the Bible.

Do you think? Nothing could be more true. Perhaps Rick meant to tell me this fact in order to chide me as a hill billy, Bible thumpin' Fundamentalist rube. I, however, unashamedly and with a firm conviction, agree that I have a presuppositional bias against homosexuality and apologists like Rick advocating for a "Christian" gay lifestyle.

The reason I have that presuppositional bias is because the whole of scripture, understood in its grammatical-historical context, condemns same-sex practices as against God's created purpose for human relationships of any kind. The only way to deny this patently obvious truth is to twist and manipulate God's Word to fit into a pre-constructed box. The point under consideration, then, is to see whose presuppositions are justified by the textual evidence. If we are to read the Bible with any seriousness, and Rick says he believes the Bible is God's Word, then I believe "Christian" gay apologetics will be shown to be fraudulent.

Originally, I was going to answer Rick with another email, but since he linked me to 11 pages or so of rebuttal posted on his website for anyone to read, I thought I would write out a short series critiquing and answering his arguments.

Now, with that introduction in mind,

I believe it would be wise to start with establishing a foundation for my presuppositional bias by considering what the Bible teaches on human sexuality. God has a lot to say about humans and sex, sex and relationships, and sexual behavior. Good portions of both the OT and the NT provide revelation laying down regulations as to how God expects people to behave sexually.

For example, two of the Ten Commandments warn God's people to not commit adultery (sex with another married individual) and not to covet another man's wife (coveting being the heart root that can lead to adultery). Proverbs 5 exhorts men to cultivate their sexual satisfaction from their wives, and not harlot women, and Proverbs 7 warns heavily against coming under the influence of an immoral woman who wishes to cheat on her traveling husband. Second Samuel 11 is the terrible story of David's sin with Bathsheba and the wretched consequences of that sin are played out throughout the remainder of 2 Samuel.

Coming to the NT, Jesus told His audience in the Sermon on the Mount that just looking on a woman in sexual lust is as if you committed the act physically with her. In John 4, Jesus confronted the sexually immoral life of a Samaritan woman who had lived openly in sin with 6 men. Paul rebuked the Corinthian church in 1 Corinthians 5 for not dealing with a man who was fornicating with his step-mother. In 1 Corinthians 7 he gives authoritative, apostolic revelation as to how singles and married folks were to conduct themselves in relationships. And then in Ephesians 5, Paul outlines how spirit-filled couples were to conduct themselves in their marriages.

What is unique and important to note in all of these references is how the regulations governing relationships applies to men and women functioning in those relationships. In other words, marriage, adultery, divorce, and fornication for the most part, is always defined along the lines of happening between men and women. I believe the reason for this is because biblically, God has limited the boundaries of holy, God honoring sexuality to be between only one man and one woman. Thus divorce, adultery, and fornication are sinful because they destroy that holy boundary decreed by God at man's initial creation.

Genesis chapter 2 is the clear record of God establishing that created decree of how marriage is to be defined. It is the cornerstone passage, because in the NT, Jesus references Genesis 2 when confronting the Pharisees on divorce, as does Paul when he teaches on marriage. Without reproducing the text in its entirety, there are some points to consider:

- First, it was the LORD who declares that it is not good for man to be alone and says He will create a helper comparable for him (Gen. 2:18). The idea of the word comparable is "one who is his counterpart."

- After God created the animals, He brought them to Adam to name. God uses them as an illustration to Adam that there isn't a helper like him found among the animals (Gen. 2:20).

- After God created woman and brought her to the man, Adam breaks out in praise of her creation proclaiming her to be "flesh of his flesh" and "bone of his bone" (Gen. 2:23).

- It is at this point that the writer of Genesis declares, Therefore (on account of God's creation of man and woman) a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh (Gen. 2:24).

Here in this passage we have the creation of human marriage and the participants of marriage, as God has originally decreed, are one man and one woman. This is the pattern repeated throughout all of scripture and affirmed by our Lord Jesus Christ and his apostles. It is so patently clear this is the pattern God has established that it seems to be an exercise in the foolish to even defend it. Yet gay "Christian" apologists insist marital relationships can be extended to include either man-and-man or woman-and-woman.

Rick argues as such in two articles on his website: Adam and Eve: Are We Reading too much into the Genesis Account? and Biblical Complementarity.

Gay "Christian" apologists first attempt to argue that God's silence in affirming consensual same-sex relationships in the creation narrative of Genesis 2 does not mean God is against same-sex marriages. "God doesn't mention grandparents in Genesis 2," proclaims Rick, "so God must be against grandparents," and then he mentions several other illustrations of things God didn't mention like wedding rings, wedding gifts, and adopting children, and says that to take the heterosexual interpretation of Genesis 2, we would have to conclude God is against those things, too. Dear reader, this is facile, childish reasoning that doesn't even approach interaction with the text of Genesis and how sexuality and human relationships are discussed in the rest of the Bible.

Next, Rick does what many gay "Christian" apologists do and that is confuse general love and affection shared between people as human beings in committed friendships, with the intimate, sexual love specifically designed by God. Thus, if two men or two women have this wonderful loving affection for one another, in the thinking of these gay apologists, it is cruel to prevent them from expressing that love in marriage by artificially condemning it in scripture.

However, marriage, as God designed it originally, has a deeper dimension to it than just loving commitment to another person. That being the component of sexual intercourse. See for example Hebrews 13:4 where the scriptures say, Marriage is honorable among all, and the bed undefiled; but fornicators and adulterers God will judge. The notion of an "undefiled bed" is a tasteful way of saying marital, sexual relationships. The fact that the picture is contrasted with a condemnation against fornicators and adulterers only affirms this conclusion. Believe me, there are many individuals in my life with whom I share a strong, loving affection, but I don't want to have sex with them.

Yet, Rick is under the delusion that any persons who have a loving commitment to each other can some how enjoy this marital union. He even goes as far as to suggest because God doesn't specifically condemn polygamy in some of the instances among God's people as recorded in the the OT, it too is also sanctioned by God as long as the participants are loving and consensual. He then says the idea of limiting marriage only to one man and one woman is the false teaching of biblical complementarity which means only men and women can compliment each other. God nowhere limits marriage to the idea of biblical complementarity, states Rick, and to say He does places a false interpretation on the scriptures. But this is what Genesis 2 clearer establishes as a pattern for marriage relationships, a pattern that is affirmed by all of God's prophets and apostles, including the Lord Jesus Himself.

Marriage, as I noted above with Hebrews 13:4, involves sexual union between the partners as an expression of the intended intimacy God wants in the human marriage relationship. Now, just as a warning, some readers may find my following comments to be unnecessarily crude or sensationally inappropriate, but it is imperative we grasp this truth. When the Lord created man and woman, He created them with specific sexual parts that serve the purpose of not only reproducing, but to function as a means in which to develop that intimacy. Two men or two women in a marital relationship cannot fulfill this functionality as God intended. Certainly they can achieve a sexual release together, but a person can do that by him or her self. That even begs a question: If same-sex marriage is a normal and healthy part of God's created order, He could have very well created another man to be a helper for Adam. But how could Adam be complimented with a clone of himself? He couldn't reproduce and he certainly could not enjoy sexual union with another man.

A lot of Rick's arguments - and I would imagine this can be said about a lot of gay "Christian" apologists as well - are based upon what he thinks is true to him, or what is reasonable to him. His authority, I hate to say, is not being defined by scripture properly interpreted, but by what he wants it to teach. He charges that heterosexual Christians like those mean-spirited Focus on the Family style evangelicals, read the Bible with heterosexual presuppositions. However, he fails to realize he reads the Bible with homosexual revisionist presuppositions. He wants the Bible to affirm his sinful desires and the rebellion lived out by many of his well-intentioned, and certainly, super nice gay friends. But, our presuppositions must be justified by the whole of scripture, not selected portions wrestled out of context and spun to yield an opposite conclusion than what they original say so as to please the whims of the person. The Bible's silence on a matter does not affirm that it is true. The Bible so repeatedly affirms what God intended in the matters of human marital relationships, that silence on the subject of same-sex marriage most certainly condemns it.

More to come...

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8 Comments:

Blogger Smilin Bill said...

There is danger in trying to debunk someone who is obviously thinking wrong thoughts. That’s why I only included one short paragraph to same sex marriage on page 6 of my 4 star marriage handbook, “Life Is Sexually Transmitted.”
Even Jesus didn’t argue with the intellectuals when they tried to trick Him and simply dismissed them with 7 of the most powerful words in the Holy Bible. No one has taken issue with my book because I used the same words to debunk all the other social issues in our world today.
If you too want to deal positively about these problems go to my website: www.cleave2.com or simply read the book yourself. William A. Cummins, Author.

5:40 AM, April 07, 2008  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Bill,
I write and interact with these sorts of arguments not so much for the purpose of convincing the one holding to and advocating those arguments, though that is part of my goal, but I write and interact with them for Christians who are challenge by them and do not have a ready response. My primary purpose is to exhort the saints in articulating and defending their Christian worldview.

Fred

6:34 AM, April 07, 2008  
Blogger P.D. Nelson said...

Fred I am having a sense of déjà vu here didn't you previously do a series on this on the blog?

12:29 PM, April 07, 2008  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

I have written on the subject, but not to the extent of a series. It won't be long... =-)
Fred

12:37 PM, April 07, 2008  
Blogger Neil said...

I agree with your strategy of writing so that Christians will know how to respond. If the gay folks see the light, that is great, but I'm not very optimistic. It is a strong delusion.

Nice summary, by the way. I hadn't heard the grandparent argument before. Hard to take that one seriously!

My starting and ending points for such discussions usually involves these points:

100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior denounce it as sin in the strongest possible terms.

100% of the verses referencing God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.

100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).

0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.

---

Keep up the good work!

9:11 AM, April 12, 2008  
Blogger Rick Brentlinger said...

Hello Fred-

Just a few quick comments about your “Debunking Gay Christian Apologetics” Blog Post.

“...biblically, God has limited the boundaries of holy, God honoring sexuality to be between only one man and one woman.”

That is your succinct and pithy statement of the Complementarian position. What you fail to point out is that It is Complementarians (folks who defend your view of Genesis 2), who use reductio ad falsum, reduction to the false or reductio ad ridiculum, reduction to the ridiculous, to support their Complementarian presupposition. Their reasoning leads to false and ridiculous conclusions.

When I mention grandparents and wedding rings and wedding gifts not being scriptural because they are not mentioned in Genesis 2, I do so to point out that Complementarian logic is based on what God did not say. Complementarian logic is is not based on what God said.

Complementarian logic asserts that God is against gay marriage because He did not mention gay marriage in Genesis 2.

Complementarian logic asserts that God condemned gay marriage because He did not mention gay marriage in Genesis 2.

That is arguing from the ridiculous and arguing from a false premise.

What you refer to as “facile, childish reasoning that doesn't even approach interaction with the text of Genesis” is Complementarian reasoning, not my reasoning. I merely used grandparents and wedding rings and wedding gifts to illustrate Complementarian illogic.

You state: “Rick is under the delusion that any persons who have a loving commitment to each other can some how enjoy this marital union.”

That is not my personal belief and that belief is never advocated on my website. That you would make that charge against me indicates you prefer not to engage my views in a serious way.

“A lot of Rick's arguments - and I would imagine this can be said about a lot of gay "Christian" apologists as well - are based upon what he thinks is true to him, or what is reasonable to him.”

Again, I do not make those contentions on my website and I do not believe such argumentation reflects rational, spiritual thought. An objective Christian cannot read my website without noticing that my arguments are historically and scripturally based.

Neil wrote: “I hadn't heard the grandparent argument before. Hard to take that one seriously!”

Neil-

The grandparent argument, as pointed out on this page of my website,

http://www.gaychristian101.com/adam-and-eve.html

illustrates reductio ad falsum, reduction to the false or reductio ad ridiculum, reduction to the ridiculous. I characterize the grandparent argument as lacking common sense but use it to illustrate that the opposing Complementarian argument is equally lacking in common sense.

Neil wrote:

“0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions.”

I believe our Lord Jesus Christ takes issue with your viewpoint in Matthew 19:12 when He intentionally differentiated between born eunuchs and castrated eunuchs and metaphysical eunuchs. More on this at:

http://www.gaychristian101.com/Homosexual-Eunuchs.html

http://www.gaychristian101.com/Same-Sex-Attracted-Eunuchs.html

Concerning your 100% list, have you considered that:

100% of the 48 times Sodom is mentioned in the Bible, homosexuality is never mentioned and is never part of the context.

In 100% of Bible versions and translations of Genesis 19, no gay men or lesbian women in committed, faithful, intimate partnership are mentioned as being in Sodom or being the subject of God’s condemnation or the reason for God’s destruction of Sodom.

http://www.gaychristian101.com/Sodom.html

In 100% of the written remarks about Sodom by Jewish prophets in the Bible, homosexuals and homosexuality are never mentioned as the reason for God’s judgement.

In 100% of the extant extra-Biblical remarks by Jewish rabbis and Jewish thinkers in the 1600 years after the events in Sodom, no Jewish rabbi or Jewish thinker ever links Sodom to homosexuality.

http://www.gaychristian101.com/Babylonian-Talmud-On-Sodom.html

100% of the times malakoi and arsenokoites (I Cor 6:9 & I Tim 1:10 for example) are mentioned in the Bible, whether by Jesus or by anyone else, malakoi and arsenokoites are never a reference to lesbians and are never a reference to homosexuals in committed, faithful, intimate partnership.

100% of the times arsenokoites is used historically, from the time Paul first used the word in I Cor 6:9 and for the next 600 years of church history, arsenokoites never refers to lesbians and never refers to two men in committed, faithful, intimate partnership. See the list of the first 56 historical uses of arsenokoites on these pages. (If you can find some historical references where arsenokoites referred to two men in committed, faithful intimate partnership, I would love to see them).

http://www.gaychristian101.com/Define-Arsenokoites.html

http://www.gaychristian101.com/Arsenokoites.html

100% of the times qadesh and qadesha are mentioned in the Bible [translated sodomite(s) in the KJV and temple prostitutes or shrine prostitutes in newer versions], these Hebrew words are never a reference to gay men or lesbian women.

http://www.gaychristian101.com/sodomites.html

100% of the times qadesh and qadesha are mentioned in the Bible, they refer to temple, cult, shrine prostitutes or someone who identified as a temple, cult, shrine prostitute.

The gay Christians with whom I associate believe the Bible and witness for Jesus Christ.

http://www.gaychristian101.com/Saved.html

Your brother in Christ,

Rick Brentlinger

3:31 PM, April 13, 2008  
Blogger Fred Butler said...

Hello to you Rick,
Just a few comments about your comments:

You write,

Complementarian logic asserts that God is against gay marriage because He did not mention gay marriage in Genesis 2.
Complementarian logic asserts that God condemned gay marriage because He did not mention gay marriage in Genesis 2.
That is arguing from the ridiculous and arguing from a false premise.


(Fred) I believe this "logic" as you call it, is justified by the biblical record. Marriage is always defined through out all of scripture as being between a man and a woman, period. There cannot be combinations between a man and a man or a woman and a woman, because the same sex cannot provide the intimacy God prescribes in the creative decree. Paul even expands upon this in Ephesians 5 where he states that marriage had a mysterious component to it, that it being a picture of Christ and the Church. His words of spirit-filled marriage are directed toward husbands and wives, male and female, and only one man with one woman can fulfill this picture of Christ and the Church God wishes to illustrate to the world.

The silence of scripture is loud to the point of rupturing your ear drums that same-sex marriage was never God's design or intention for the intimacy of human relationships in marriage. Rather than me reading into the scriptures as you suggest, I believe it is you who is reading into the scriptures something that is clearly not there.

You continue,
You state: “Rick is under the delusion that any persons who have a loving commitment to each other can some how enjoy this marital union.”
That is not my personal belief and that belief is never advocated on my website. That you would make that charge against me indicates you prefer not to engage my views in a serious way.


Perhaps it is not your personal view and maybe you think it is not a position directly advocated on your site, but it certainly is implied in a few of the articles I have read. For example, in your article against complementarity, you write, Biblical Complementarity is alleged to prove that God is against a loving, committed relationship between a man and more than one woman, polygamy, or between two men or two women. There are many problems with Complementarian theory, not the least of which, that it is never stated in the Bible. The implication being that loving, committed relationship will involve the intimacy of sexual union in marriage, but in this case, between a man and many women, or two men or two women. Other articles mention loving commitment between two same sex individuals as if a homosexual relationship results in such loving commitment. Perhaps you don't advocate this idea, but it certainly is suggested through out your articles.

You further object,
Again, I do not make those contentions on my website and I do not believe such argumentation reflects rational, spiritual thought. An objective Christian cannot read my website without noticing that my arguments are historically and scripturally based.

In both of the articles I link in my article, you specifically appeal to what is "reasonable to you" or what "rings true" with our reason. These are subjective arguments, not ones based upon the proper exegesis of the text. Marriage between a man and a woman is what God blesses because that is what He has decreed at creation, what Jesus and the apostles affirmed as the model for marriage.

If we want to appeal to reason, it is unreasonable for a man to have sexual relations with a man because the anus is only for eliminating waste, not for sexual relations. As we look at human anatomy, what is more reasonable for sexual relationships? men with men? women with women? or what God designed and intended, one man with one woman?

As for the comments to Neil I plan to deal with all of those "arguments" in turn as they come up.

Fred

1:49 PM, April 14, 2008  
Blogger dray1510 said...

Fred,

First of all I want to thank you for posting this article and the many other related articles on the subject of homosexuality. I'm encouraged by what God is doing with your ministry. I pray that God will bless you and ministry, so that he will be Glorified.

I have a tremendous burden on my heart and mind about the lifestyle of homosexuality. My prayer and hope is that I can continue to educate myself from a scientific, historical and Christian perspective, (with the Holy Spirit as my guide) so that I can be a positive influence to those who struggle with their choices to live in such a lifestyle, and that I may help others to understand the truth about the homosexual agenda. It is not my intention to be harsh or hateful. To simply oppose a behavior is not hateful, if anything, it is out of great concern for the precious worth of every human being.

I have been dealing with other homosexual issues concerning the "gay gene" and homosexually as it pertains to genetics, so I haven't been involved with this attack on the Holy Bible.

When I think of the idea of a homosexual calling himself / herself a Christian, the two just don't work together. It's an oxymoron. If you call yourself a Christian, then you obviously don’t know that the bible condemns that act of homosexuality. Therefore, you’re picking and choosing to believe parts of the bible. Not the entire Bible. A practicing Christian, from the biblical viewpoint, will not be a practicing homosexual. Of course, I make the distinction between a professing Christian and a practicing Christian. Calling one's self a Christian does not make one a Christian. Any evil condemned in Scripture cannot be honoring to God. To be a Christian means that you wear the name of Christ. To call yourself a homosexual Christian, is to take the name of the Lord in vain. You have made God into your own image. Which goes against the second commandment. "Thou shalt have no other gods before me." You simply can't pick and choose and change the bible to fit your lifestyle. Homosexuality must be accepted for what God says it is—SIN.

Satan knows the bible better than most Christians and from the beginning he has twisted the word of God (Genesis 3). This is what the "homosexual Christians" are doing... Twisting the truth.

What concerns me is that this attack on Christianity won't get any easier. Many of the Christians that I know have either left their Churches because of this or are very confused by all of this and keep their mouth shut about it. How does a new born Christian deal with this? How do we as a Church deal with this?

What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Here are just a few of the many verses that deal with the subject.

Lev. 18:22, "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination."

Lev. 20:13, "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their blood guiltiness is upon them"

1 Cor. 6:9-10, "Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God."

Rom. 1:26-28, "For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper."

As a Christian, you should pray for the salvation of the homosexual the same as you would for any other person in sin.

5:33 PM, August 29, 2010  

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