Monday, June 4, 2012

False Love

Melon-Loving Girl
Christians have been making a lot of headlines lately due to the LBGT issue.  North Carolina recently passed Amendment 1 which, although already illegal in that state, amended the state constitution to prohibit same sex marriage.  (I guess some of the voters wanted to rub salt into the wound.)  Churches that were polling places came close to crossing a legal line by putting statements on their marques that implied their support of the amendment.  Many churches and Christians supported their stance by saying they needed to "stand up for marriage," as if someone else's marital decisions had some influence on their own.  (Maybe because with Christian divorce rates as high as everyone else's, they need a scapegoat.)

Around that same time, a pastor in Maiden, North Carolina, stirred up controversy with this sermon:

Recently, a video surfaced from a church in Indiana that featured a toddler singing (and receiving encouragement for singing) an anti-gay song:

As a Christian, I often hear other Christians discussing homosexuality and the Bible.  Over and over again I hear things like, "Love the sinner, hate the sin."  If one considers sexual attraction to a person of the same sex to be a sinful and destructive lifestyle choice, then how should loving the sinner look?  For me, if someone I loved was engaging in behavior that I thought was abhorrent and harmful, such as methamphetamine use, I would behave much differently than these so-called loving Christians.  I would be tearfully pleading with them to seek help.  However, what I see in these two videos (and in other examples I've witnessed) is hate.  If you care about someone, you don't mock them; you don't gleefully say they're going to hell; you don't have children point fingers at them.  Can you imagine someone singing "Ain't no addict gonna make it to heaven"?  No.  Instead you would open your arms to them, tell them how much you love them, and that you're there for them.  It doesn't get any more hateful than what these people are doing.

In some Christian circles, where people consider themselves "progressive," I hear them say that yes, science shows biological proof that sexual orientation is something we are born with, and therefore God made some people gay and some straight.  However, these same individuals condemn the "lifestyle," saying that one can be attracted to others of the same sex, but they just cannot pursue those relationships and must remain celibate. This is interesting since Christians, especially the fundamentalists and evangelicals, seem to race to the alter, marrying much earlier than the general population in order to avoid the sin of fornication.  So the church is saying that heterosexuals need to marry when they are tempted because they don't have enough willpower to refrain from sexual relationships outside of marriage.  However, they expect homosexuals to do that for a lifetime.  Does that make any sense?  Also, if God gave people their orientation, why are they not allowed to act on it and enter into lifelong loving relationships?  

I also wonder about the microscopic lens that is turned on the few passages that may or may not condemn same sex attraction.  One passage is found in Leviticus 18.  However, the previous chapter says anyone who eats an animal's blood should be cut off from community and the next chapter says it is sinful to wear clothing made of two different types of material.  For some reason, these laws are completely disregarded by Christians.  I don't hear any singing or sermons condemning someone for eating a rare, bloody hamburger or for wearing a polyester/cotton blend shirt.  Alternatively, there is a passage in Genesis 19 where some men wanted to have sex with two angels disguised as men.  This passage is also used justify that same sex attraction is sinful.  However, it is interesting to note that the story unfolds to a point where it is perfectly acceptable to offer one's daughters to be raped by strangers as an alternative to this situation.  Funny how we don't hear about that in church - offering one's daughters (outside of marriage, I might add) to men who are tempted by the homosexual "lifestyle."  Further, when you get into the New Testament passages, some scholars explain that the the Greek word that has been translated "homosexual" doesn't have such a clear meaning and it may actually refer to male prostitutes.

Personally, I'm tired of people expressing hate but calling it love.  I'm tired of telling people I'm a Christian but having to further define myself by adding that I'm not one of "those" Christians.  Anyone who is a Christian must exhibit the "fruits of the spirit" which are listed in Galatians 5:22:  love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  It's interesting that the previous passages say that "the acts of the flesh" include hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions, and envy, and will keep people from inheriting the kingdom of God.  Watching those two videos, I'm seeing behavior that is contrary to the fruits of the spirit but fits in real well with acts of the flesh.  "Those" Christians are not loving - and they aren't really Christians

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