Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Facebook Meanderings

[The following is a response to anti-Christian and pro-gay comments on facebook]


Miranda -

(Miranda, for the sake of citing you, I will be referring to you in the third person at the beginning of each citation =))

Miranda said: “I think there is a huge difference between two loving and consenting adults and pedophilia or bestiality or incest or murder. The last four inflict harm on an another being, but homosexuality harms no one involved. Even if you believe it does on a spiritual level, it still doesn't compare to the physical harm that comes from the practice of the last four. Even if incest is practiced between two consenting adults there is still harm caused if a child is conceived, since that child has an exponentially higher risk for genetic disorders. I love you and respect you opinion, but I think in this case comparing homosexuality to such destructive actions is kind of like saying a breeze is really a hurricane.”

There is not a dispute about whether murder or homosexuality cause more physical harm. Beyond question murder causes more physical harm. However, homosexuality not only causes spiritual harm, but also causes physical harm to him/herself and to his/her sexual partner(s). Considering not only that gay men have (on average) many sexual partners, the sexual acts and the lifestyle itself significantly reduce their average lifespan. Therefore, homosexuality literally is a matter of life and death.

But apart from the harm to oneself and to one’s sexual partners, is homosexuality harming anyone else? The answer is: yes. Our actions and behaviors have an impact on those around us: our friends, family, and the culture of our society. It is a destructive influence to marriage and to the family because a family starts with a husband and wife (one man and one woman).

This is not hateful. This is not discrimination. This is also not a denial of Constitutional rights - in fact, homosexuals have the same right as everyone else … to marry a member of the opposite sex. And to claim that because they love one another therefore they should be allowed to marry, is simply a redefining of what marriage is. To deny this is to deny the truth behind what the homosexual agenda is all about: not about being persecuted, but the demand that everyone applaud their behavior. This is something that the Christian cannot due, and for two reasons: (1) out of love for God and His truth; (2) out of love for the homosexual community.

You see, it is unloving towards homosexuals to openly endorse their sinful behavior. How can we, who claim to want what’s best for our fellow man, openly endorse a lifestyle contrary to the very core of how we are designed as human beings? We can’t, and also seriously claim to love them.

Miranda continued: “I don't want to start an argument, I just think you should put yourself in the position of a homosexual man, say someone told you that you couldn't marry Mindy for no other reason than it was morally wrong.You couldn't help the fact that you loved her and it would rip you to shreds inside. I'm not saying you have to change your beliefs, just asking you to allow someone to make that decision for themselves without being told they are wrong.”

At the core of the Christian worldview is the belief that one’s personal happiness is not the most important thing. I will say that again: one’s personal happiness is *not* the most important thing. This can mean that we may have desires or inclinations that are immoral to act upon. Here is an example: sometimes while driving I might be upset at someone who cut me off and I may think a thought of hitting them with my car. But … this is a sinful thought, and I thank God that He has restrained the evil within me from acting this way. My point is that just because one has a desire to do something, does not make that desire okay. Homosexuality is an example of an immoral desire.

You might ask: “Why is homosexuality considered immoral?” Answer: because God is the Creator and has designed how we should function, including our very sexuality. You cite John 8:7, and conclude that Christians are required to love sinners even though they are sinners. This is true, however, Christians are not to endorse sin or sinful lifestyles. Jesus actually addresses human sexuality in Matthew 19:3-6,

“3 Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?” 4 And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, 5 and said, ‘FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate”” (Matthew 19:3-6, NASB, Caps is from the NASB).

Trying to trap the Lord Jesus, the Pharisees present Jesus with a silly question: can a man lawfully divorce his wife for any reason at all? Jesus’ response was to go back to Creation and remind them from the Bible how God created human beings. He cites Genesis that God “made them male and female” and “the two shall become one flesh.” Men and women were made as sexual beings for one another, and it is here that God ordained the institution of marriage.

It might seem obvious to some, but I will point it out anyway, … it is not one man and one man that become one flesh. It is not one woman and one woman who become one flesh. It is not two transgendered people who become one flesh. No, marriage is exclusively a relationship between one man and one woman.

Miranda added in a later post: “First of all, as a student in a university one of things we discuss is the problems with the Bible in regards to translation. Unfortunately many times some of the translations have been wrong and unless read in the original language and with knowledge of the slang of the time (something only well studied ancient historians have) some of the work has been altered. Another problem is that the Bible itself was altered after the original work was written.”

It is odd to me that you cite the Bible as an authority to remind us that Christians should love the ungodly, but then you attempt to discredit the Bible by attacking its authenticity. Based on your attack on its authenticity, I assume that you do not believe the Bible has been preserved through time or accurately translated? Furthermore, I assume you do not believe in what the Bible says? (If I am incorrect, please let me know). The issues you are raising are actually an area of particular interest to me, because I, like you, went through secular high school and university and was constantly faced with liberal presentations against the veracity of the Bible. I came to discover the field that deals with this subject is the field of textual criticism, which deals with how the Bible has been preserved and how it should be translated. The facts are these: from the many manuscript copies of the Bible that we today possess even the most liberal of scholars (such as Bart Ehrman) recognize that we actually have all of the original Bible. What liberals attempt to point out is that because of textual variants - which simply means that the copyists of the Bible did not produce photo-copies - that we can’t know what the original was.

To use a specific example, the New Testament is considered one of the greatest records among works of antiquity. There are approximately 5,600 manuscript copies of the Greek New Testament, which among the textual variants exist what the Bible originally said. These variants are actually a source of confidence because they provide the means by which the original is recognized, and this is done by textual criticism. Entire volumes have been written on the subject, but I would invite you to look at Bart Ehrman’s mentor, Bruce Metzger, … or even my own elder at church, Dr. James White, on the subject. If you do need a specific book to read, I would recommend “The King James Only Controversy” by Dr. White. It is an excellent introduction to the subject of Biblical textual criticism and the reliability of the Bible. Works by Metzger are likewise good reads.

When it comes to translation, the reputable English translations include the NASB, ESV, NIV, among others. But since the original has been preserved (and is documented as such from the manuscripts themselves), the translation is a matter performed usually by a committee. When in doubt, one can always check the translation using either the UBS or NA27 editions of the Greek New Testament. I, myself, have both, and know 2 years of New Testament Greek - it comes in handy in conversations like this =).

In another post, Miranda said: “As for your argument that Christianity is the only basis for morality I think this is very close-minded of you. There are many cultures around the world who do not share the Christian basis of morality and yet still have their own moral compass. Now, I know your argument was that God put morality in everyone, but there have been civilizations with morality long before the invention of Christianity.”

It is close-minded to believe that the Christian worldview is right and all others are wrong? I also wonder … close-minded as opposed to open-minded? And how would an open-minded person see things different than a Christian does? Like you see things? And how do you see things? Don’t you believe that the Christian worldview is not right about homosexuality, and that your worldview is correct? Could we not, on the same grounds as you, claim you are likewise “close-minded?”

My point is this: if claiming that what we believe is true and other viewpoints are false means we are close-minded, then so be it. But the fact remains that the Christian worldview does have a consistent worldview when it comes to interpreting the world around us, including morality. Why is it that other religions also express the same moral principles? Because, as you point out, the Bible discusses how God has written His moral requirements on the hearts of everyone. This is why there are moral standards in every society - even though some societies go to further lengths to suppress that truth in an unrighteous way.

Romans 1:18-22 talk about this: “18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse. 21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing to be wise, they became fools” (NASB).

I also wanted to point out that I agree with you that Christian morality existed long before Jesus Christ came into the world. In fact, it goes back before Christianity, before Judaism was established, all the way back to the moment of Creation. God’s moral standards were there in the beginning, and have been a moral standard ever since.

Miranda continued: “Besides, if we followed everything the Bible preached we would have things in our society we value as immoral. One of these, for example, is polygamy. King Solomon had many wives, and yet in our society we put people in jail for that sort of practice.”

King Solomon was also living in sin by taking on more than one wife. Did you know that the Bible never endorses Solomon for this, but demonstrates the severe consequences of taking on that many wives? The Bible’s revelation is very clear that marriage is between one man and one woman. Amazing as it is, God chose to preserve in His Word the good and the bad about His followers. Solomon did many good works in the name of God, but also many wicked things. To demonstrate this from Solomon’s own perspective, I would recommend to you the book that Solomon wrote: Ecclesiastes.

Miranda concluded this post by saying: “And as for our country being based upon the Christian faith, that is only partially true. While many of our founding fathers based their ideas of morality from Christianity, they also wanted to allow anyone the freedom to practice what they chose. If they wanted a country based upon religion they would have put it in the Constitution, very much like laws that were in place in the countries of Europe at the time. If you read some of the writings of our founding fathers this idea becomes very clear, many of these I have read and encourage anyone wanting to find the basis of our country to read them for themselves.”

The United States being based upon Christian principles is “only partially true”? It is overwhelmingly true. The first immigrants - and many later immigrants - came to the New World to have the right to freedom of religious expression. Which religion was that? … the Christian religion. Entire colonies were created with the express purpose of being a light to the world of how a true Christian society ought to live. Once we arrive at the time of the American Revolution, it was led and founded by men with intense Protestant Christian backgrounds. In fact, the basis for the “unalienable rights” was a gift from “their Creator.” These rights were derived from “Nature’s God” and is the basis for which all men were “created equal” before one another.

John Adams, the man who believed in a nation of laws, firmly believed that our government ought to be based on justice with a foundation resting on Christian principles. It would be an understatement to say that the Constitution was written with Biblical principles in mind, especially those of the 10 Commandments, and the Law of God found elsewhere in the Bible. Even the few Deists (such as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin) that signed the Constitution and contributed to the founding of our nation, believed firmly in upholding a Christian worldview, or at the least, Christian morality. The idea that homosexuality would ever be applauded as something acceptable, much less to be included in the definition of marriage would be out of the question.

Why do Scott and I care about the subject of homosexuality, marriage, “homosexual marriage,” and other family values? Because we care about our fellow man, but we love our God even more. The most important thing for the Christian is to serve His Lord faithfully by embracing the truth He has revealed and proclaiming it to the world. We are sinners, just as homosexuals (and all people) are sinners, and we recognize that we are no better. As we are born into this world, we all deserve death, to face the judgment of God, and to be sent to Hell to pay for offending God’s Law. But as Christians we have been delivered from the consequences and the slavery of sin because of our faith in Jesus Christ and what He did on earth 2000 years ago. We have a positive message of hope for sinners, and we cannot budge on this point. To budge on the issue of marriage would be asking us to deny our faith, and the Christian cannot do this.
But we do want to be loving enough to our friends and our family to warn them of the dangers of sin, and the consequences of sin. For example, the Apostle Paul discusses how homosexuality (among other things) is a display of God’s judgment on society and on individuals:

Romans 1:24-27: “24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 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.” (NASB).

This is why, out of love for people, and love for God we warn others of the consequences of sin and encourage others to turn from their sinful ways and embrace the truth of Jesus Christ.

Thank you for reading,


  1. Close minded & hateful. Makes me sad

    1. Anonymous, really? You just read a blog that explains the foundations of the author's beliefs and illustrates the evidence he examined to make the conclusions he has made. Is he "close minded" for examining the evidence, like we all should, and coming to a different conclusion than you did? No, it is YOU who are close minded by trying to make someone look or feel bad for disagreeing with you without even taking time to respond to their arguments.

      Just because it is popular to label people who believe in the Bible "close minded" or "hateful" does not make it accurate. I encourage you to read the blog again to determine whether the author is hateful or close minded, and present a meaningful defense of your opinion, or apologize. I won't hold my breath.

  2. What makes me sad is that we can't have a rational dialog about such issues. People like you degrade the conversation into "You're close minded and hateful." How about you actually interact with the argument instead of ad hominem attacks. Shame on you.