Tag Archives: love

A SOUTHERN BAPTIST PASTOR INTERVIEWS A HOMOSEXUAL

imagesIt was in sixth grade that I met Matt. He had moved to my hometown of Mabank, Texas from Colorado Springs. We met in band and became friends. We weren’t the best of friends, but we were more than acquaintances. Although we now live on opposite sides of the nation, through the magic of social networking we have been able to keep in touch. We regularly dialogue through both public and private channels about the cultural mood concerning homosexuality.

Matt is a homosexual, which, because of my Christian faith, is a lifestyle with which I vehemently disagree. And Matt knows this. Matt knows that I don’t agree with him and I know that Matt doesn’t agree with me. But we choose to share our opinions openly and respectfully, which is the intent of this blog.

I recently asked Matt if he would be alright if I interviewed him about his lifestyle. Matt was kind enough to oblige. The motivation behind this is inspired by comments I often read from Christians against homosexuality. Unfortunately, many Christians handle the situation poorly. While it’s okay to be outspoken against it, (and I believe Christians should be free to share their biblical convictions), it’s not okay for that outspokenness to present itself in hatred. Paul writes, “If I speak … but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” (1 Cor 13:1).

Needless to say, there is a lot of gratuitously loud noise on today’s social networks.

The following is the interview I conducted with Matt. I typed out the questions and sent them to him. Some of the information is also from follow up conversations. Each question includes Matt’s answer and some include my response, if it calls for it. You will notice that these are in blue.

I hope that anyone who has an opinion about homosexuality sees the respect that Matt and I have for one another in our disagreements, and that that respect is contagious as we continue to debate the issue in the public square.

PERSONAL QUESTIONS

When did you first think that you were gay?

I began to suspect something was different about myself probably in eighth grade. I remember always wondering why the guys around me seemed so interested in pursuing girls.

Are you currently in a homosexual relationship?

Yes I am. I have been seeing the same guy since I was twenty two years old. We met in college and have been together ever since. He even followed me across the country to a new job. Both of our families have met and actually rather like each other. I was really surprised by that. My Dad is someone I would charitably describe as a “Tea Party Republication”, but he has honestly shocked me with his acceptance of who I am and even the guy I am with.

What kind of social pressures did you experience in “coming out?”

My coming out was kind of an accident. I was twenty and in college and, I won’t bore you with the details, but my parents figured it out and initially we didn’t talk for 3 months. When we did start talking again, it was mostly my mom and I. My dad and I had a very strained relationship the first few years, but now everything is more or less the way I would imagine a regular person’s relationship with their parents is. I can’t honestly say, but I would like to believe that I am glad it happened the way it did, because I am not sure when I would have built up the courage to talk to them about it. Probably not until well into my twenties.

POLITICAL QUESTIONS

What are your thoughts on same-sex marriage?

This sounds so cliché, but my thoughts on same-sex marriage have greatly evolved since I first started hearing about it back in the mid-2000s. At first, I was staunchly against it, and I think a large part of that had to do with my upbringing in the church. I wasn’t, and nor am I now, against people receiving the same benefits and entitlements that marriage brings to everyone. But I was against the idea of calling it “marriage” because I felt that was reserved fully for straight people and the church. But that was back then, and this is now. I am not what you would call an activist for same-sex marriage, but I do believe now that if gay people want to get married, then they should be able too. Again, I can’t stress this enough, I really just believe that everyone should have access to the benefits that marriage provides, not the name or the title. I am sure my fellow gays won’t like hearing that, but it’s just the way I feel about the issue.

Author’s Note: Many of my thoughts concerning this question can be found in this blog: The Meaning of Equality.

Would you say that today’s homosexual movement is on par with the 1960′s civil rights movement?

Yes, most particularly with the Supreme Court case, Loving v. Virginia (1967), which invalidated all laws prohibiting interracial marriage. Today, we draw inspiration from that time period, to fight for what we believe should be afforded to us to be treated as equals in the eyes of the law. People today think it’s crazy that blacks and whites couldn’t get married up until forty-odd years ago, but during that time period it was a punishable offense with jail time involved.

Author’s Note: I believe that by the time I am a grandparent that it will be unbelievable that homosexuals could not marry one another, and that by the time my kids are parents that people will be amazed that marijuana was at one time considered an illegal drug, and that by the time they are grandparents that people will be amazed that polygamy was once outlawed.

What would you say to someone who argues for things like bigamy, polygamy, and incestry in marriage (as an expansion of same-sex marriage)?

I think bigamy already occurs today and has been occurring for a long time. Certainly not on any level with large amounts of numbers or data to back it up. But you always hear the story about the man with another family in the next town over.

The problem with polygamy is that it almost always means one man with multiple wives. And when that happens you take away a wife from some other man. So in a polygamous society, you would have all these young, unmarried men who are unhappy with no wives. Same-sex marriage changes none of that, it leads us as a society away from that. Gay people just want the ability to marry someone instead of no one.

Incest is something that is just wrong on so many levels as it is, it’s not even really worth arguing over.

Author’s Note: I can see what Matt is saying in this, but I find it to be pragmatic. And I think pragmatism is a poor way to make decisions, although we all make decisions based on this philosophy everyday!

For example, would polygamy then be okay if we can manufacture a society where there are no unhappy unmarried men? What if the ratio of women to men was such that every man could easily have ten wives?

The point is that the issue runs deeper than mathematics.

Do you believe that there would be any psychological affects to a child reared in a home with same-sex parents (not having the traditional male and female examples)?

I don’t think there are any major drawbacks to a child being raised in a home by two same-sex parents as opposed to a traditional family set. In this modern age, children are raised by single dads, single moms, aunts, uncles and extended family. I think as long as all parties involved really love the child, then it will turn out alright.

Author’s Note: I believe that one of the biggest problems of our day is that a large amount of children are raised in homes without a stable mother and father. I have the opportunity to counsel many individuals and I can, nearly 100% of the time, trace the issue back to the lack of a father in the home.

RELIGIOUS QUESTIONS

Do you adhere to any faith religion?

I grew up Methodist, but just sort of stopped going once I graduated high school. I think even in high school I wasn’t really into church anymore, but it was definitely the place where all my friends went and it was a good place to socialize. I do believe that something or someone exists and had something to do with where we are in the universe today. I would say that I loosely identify myself as a Christian, but more like an agnostic one.

Author’s Note: I would say that it’s oxymoronic to be an “agnostic Christian,” although I can say that I know where Matt is coming from. His upbringing leads him to hold beliefs that are rooted in Christianity, but what he believes is not best described as Christianity. He has become agnostic, which means that he doesn’t really know what he believes, although he is still affected by what he learned during his time in the church.

What do you believe the Bible says about homosexuality?

I am not a connoisseur of the Bible, so all I can really say is that I know it’s mentioned a few times, but never directly by Jesus. I did, however, find this awesome article on the Huffington Post website which sums it up much more eloquently then I can: What Does the Bible Really Say About Homosexuality?

Author’s Note: The author of this article begins by suggesting that homosexuality is not as big of an issue as modern day Christians make it, because it is addressed relatively little in comparison to other issues in Scripture. But this is like saying that prostate cancer isn’t as big of a deal as breast cancer because it doesn’t have as big of an awareness month, one that prompts NFL players to wear hot pink highlighted uniforms and people to wear faddy bracelets.

The fact is that it is discussed in Scripture, (homosexuality that is), which makes it important. And when it is discussed, it is identified as sinful. The reason it isn’t discussed more is, arguably, because of the culture in which the Bible was written, specifically the New Testament Gospels. It’s not unreasonable to suggest that homosexuality wasn’t as big of an issue in ancient Jerusalem, the holiest place in the world at that time and the place that Jesus performed most of his ministry and made most of his claims, as it is today. Rape isn’t densely refuted by Jesus either, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t wrong.

Thus the statement, “Jesus never said anything about homosexuality, so it must be okay” is a weak and misguided argument.

It is also important to know that Jesus essentially did talk about homosexuality. The Bible describes him as the “Word of God made flesh” (John 1:14), and so anything that is included in Scripture is verified by Jesus. He was the living embodiment of every word of every claim of the Bible. And so if the Bible speaks against homosexuality even once, then Jesus essentially, by virtue of his nature, talked about it.

As for the rest of his article, he seems to argue from ignorance. That is, his argument is, “I’ve personally polled some scholars and commentaries and some of them say that we can’t really know the context of these passages that include language forbidding homosexuality. So, we shouldn’t forbid it without knowing the cultural implications of the day.”

This is a poor reason to refute something out of hand. He is taking shaky evidence and making what he believes is an irrefutable claim. That’s poor debate etiquette. 

Do you believe that people are born gay (is it a choice or a predisposition)?

This is honestly a tough question for me to answer. I think everyone is born with certain traits amplified and/or dampened down due to conditions in the womb/external environment, so I can’t say for certain that it’s a predisposition. At the same time, I am fairly confident in saying that it’s not a choice either. I guess I would need to see more research on the matter before I committed to saying it’s a predisposition.

Author’s Note (this is an edited excerpt from a previous blog): Scripture speaks of homosexuality as a sin (1 Cor 6:9), and therefore those that believe Scripture are simply trusting what it says. With that said, Scripture also says that sin is a “predisposition” (Rom 5). It’s something every person is born with. And as a predisposition, everybody has a “decision” to either act on it or not. Some act on it by lying. Others act on it by stealing. And some act on it by planting a bomb at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. It’s a predisposition to which every person is subjected. Thus, since Scripture speaks of homosexuality as a sin, (and since it speaks of sin as a predisposition), it is not unreasonable to say that homosexuality is the fruit of a decision rooted in a predisposed, sinful nature.

But this doesn’t mean that it’s okay. We would never, for example, suggest that rape is okay. No one could reasonably say, “Aw, leave that guy assaulting that woman alone. Stop trying to rewire his predisposition with your personal preferences. He can’t help himself.” This isn’t to say that homosexuality is on par with rape, only that a sin is a sin, and the tiniest sin is enough to separate man from God.

Do you think, from what you know about Christianity, that a person can be a Christian and live an openly homosexual lifestyle?

I think it is possible for someone to be Christian and a homosexual at the same time, yes. God created everyone the way they are for a reason, and whatever that reason is, only God knows. It’s impossible for me to say it’s a sin, because so many things that we do today are. Our culture and society is vastly different than the one that is written and talked about in the Bible. I think someone’s relationship with God, is just that. Their relationship. It isn’t up to you or I to pass judgement on the way they reach out to God.

Author’s Note (this is an edited excerpt from a previous blog): It is interesting that someone would desire to remain associated to Christianity if he also desires to refute some of its basic claims. I say this not against Matt, but to many celebrities, such as Macklemore, who attempt to do so.

There is an old illustration that describes this well. The illustration details a repair man replacing the parts of his boat. After purchasing the boat he begins to replace its every component. He switches out the motor, the hull, the deck, and the seats. Before long, there is no original element left of the boat.

Is it the same boat?

No.

Likewise, when one switches out all of the original components to Christianity, as determined by God primarily through the Bible, it is no longer Christianity.

Is there anything else that you would like to say or add that wasn’t included in this interview?

I just want to say that there will never be a time, no matter what happens, that I would actively hate someone for the beliefs they hold, or the religion that they practice. We are all immensely more complicated than these few social issues that bring out the worst in some people.

I will always be willing to rationally discuss and debate anything with someone as long as I am afforded the same courtesy. Which is why I like you so much Jared!  You are one of the few people I am still friends with where we don’t get into some heated screaming match over who’s right and who’s wrong.

Author’s Note: I believe that Matt is on to something here, and that even those that disagree with his lifestyle can learn from it. Christians should never actively hate people because they disagree with them. This is both counterproductive and unchristian. Jesus never hated those that disagreed with him. In fact, while hanging on the cross, he prayed for them. We may believe that they are separated from God, but hating them doesn’t advance the gospel. Our job is to share the truth, to share it in love, and to hope that God uses our efforts to save them and lead them to eternal life in Christ.

Final Note: I usually put the phrase “same sex marriage” in quotations, because I believe the term to be oxymoronic. That is, I believe it is on par with saying, “squared circle.” In this interview the term shows up from time to time without the quotations because it is included in Matt’s answers, and he doesn’t view it that way.

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FATHERHOOD AND THE FIVE LOVE LANGUAGES OF PARENTING

5-love-languages

My wife and I announced this past Sunday that we are “adding one to the team!” The thought of becoming a dad is a very scary, yet exciting emotion. Scary because it’s something I’ve never done, but exciting because I consider it a gift from God. I am eager to teach my son or daughter in the ways of the Lord.

It is my conviction that the best resource for parenting is none other than the Bible. And as a father, I am resolved to soak as much fatherly counsel from it as possible. The following is a blog I developed some months ago from a sermon I preached during a “Family Matters” series. I figured that it was an appropriate post for this season of my life. And the content comes straight from Scripture:

Some years ago an author named Gary Chapman penned what has since become a must read book for marital communication. This book is called, The Five Love Languages.

In his book Chapman details five general ways that people communicate love. These are: Quality Time, Acts of Service, Receiving Gifts, Words of Affirmation, and Physical Touch. Chapman’s theory is that every person primarily receives love in one of these five categories and that knowing a person’s prime category affords the opportunity to intentionally and clearly communicate love to him. Thus the title, “love languages.”

While Chapman’s love languages are generic principles designed to aid in communication, the basic principle of “love” is certainly a biblical one. Moreover, the various dynamics Chapman presents of expressing love are certainly biblically based. In fact, it isn’t unreasonable to suggest that Scripture presents Paul, acting as a spiritual father, exercising all five towards Timothy, his spiritual son.

Paul’s relationship with Timothy is one of the more endearing in Scripture. While they had no biological connection, Paul considered Timothy his “true child in the faith” and his “beloved son” (1 Tim 1:2; 2 Tim 1:2). Acts 16:1 reveals that while Timothy had a Christian mother, this may have not been the case with his father. Realizing this, Paul took young Timothy under his wing and became his spiritual father. And as a spiritual father Paul exercised all five of the aforementioned love languages to Timothy. In doing so, Paul provided a splendid example of how a parent ought to express love to his child. He exercised a full diet of love that includes all five of Chapman’s love languages. This is expressed in the opening lines of Paul’s second letter to him:

I thank God, whom I serve with a clear conscience the way my forefathers did, as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day, longing to see you, even as I recall your tears, so that I may be filled with joy. For I am mindful of the sincere faith within you, which first dwelt in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am sure that it is in you as well. For this reason I remind you to kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline (2 Timothy 1:3-7, NASB).

1. PAUL EXPRESSED WORDS OF AFFIRMATION (V.3A)

Some of Paul’s first words to Timothy are, “I thank God.” The implication is that Paul is thanking God for Timothy and that he is making Timothy aware of this. That Paul is thankful for Timothy or even why Paul is thankful for Timothy both take a back seat at this stage. Instead, the importance is placed on the simple fact that Paul let Timothy know that he was thankful for him. In this, he “affirmed” his son in the faith.

There is a saying that I remember hearing on the playgrounds during my grade school days. It always came after one kid demeaned another because of the way he looked, talked, or dressed. The kid being made fun of would respond: “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Unfortunately, this is a misguided proverb.

Words do hurt. And sometimes they hurt worse than “sticks and stones.” This is precisely why this phrase was employed. It was a defense mechanism that attempted to mitigate hurtful words that did the opposite of “affirming.”

Hurtful words can be the source to all kinds of psychological issues in young kids. But words of affirmation can be the source to all kinds of positive traits. As a spiritual father, Paul communicated love to his son in the faith by affirming him to the Lord, and he made him aware of it. This is a noteworthy example to which parents should pay heed.

2. PAUL PERFORMED ACTS OF SERVICE (V.3B)

The second half of Paul’s thanksgiving statement reveals how he expressed it, which was by “constantly remembering” Timothy in his prayers. Paul expresses this by writing, “as I constantly remember you in my prayers night and day.”

In transliterated Greek, Paul’s phrase reads: hos echo ten peri sou mneian adialeipton. A key word in this phrase is echo, which means “to cause to bring about; to produce.” In this phrase it’s the Greek word for “remember.” Etymologically, we get the word “echo” from this. When we hear the echo of a noise reverberating off of a wall, it is as if the sound is being “brought about,” “produced,” or even “remembered” back to us. This is also the same word used in the Gospel of Matthew to describe Mary being “with child” (Matt 1:18). In Matthew 24:19 it’s outright translated as “pregnant.”  The idea is that a pregnant woman is in the process of “causing to bring about” or “producing” a baby.

Paul employs this phrase to suggest that he is pregnant with prayer for his spiritual son and that those prayers, like a baby, are in the constant process of being produced. The fact that Paul prays for Timothy falls in line with Chapman’s love language known as “Acts of Service.” As a spiritual father, Paul expressed love to his son by speaking this particular language. That is, he expressed his love by doing something with it. And this something was prayer.

Not only can parents learn from Paul’s example of communicating love through “Acts of Service,” but the specific act that Paul performed is also significant.

3. PAUL SPENT QUALITY TIME (V.4)

Paul also told Timothy that he “longed” to see him. The word “long” means “to desire with the implication of recognizing a lack.” A modern day way of stating this is when a husband describes his wife, or vice versa, as the “better half.” This implies that he is one with his wife and that when separated, he is missing an important part of himself. But this word isn’t limited to spouses. It can refer to all sorts of relationships, and Paul is essentially using it to convey that Timothy is an important part of his life. Such an important part that when they are separated he “longs” for him.

As a spiritual father, Paul desired to spend quality time with his spiritual son. He even went as far as to write that upon reuniting that he would be “filled with joy” (v. 4). Thus, it wasn’t just that Paul wanted to spend time with Timothy. It was that he valued his time with him. It was something of high quality.

In his book, Family Driven Faith, Voddie Baucham discusses the concept of “outsourcing.” He acknowledges how beneficial it is for businesses to outsource certain responsibilities within their company. Many businesses, for example, outsource their website design. They hire a company to build and maintain a website. Baucham then proposes how many families employ this concept in their homes with their children, especially their spiritual upbringing. Baucham’s argument is that while it is sensical for businesses to outsource responsibilities within their company, that it isn’t for parents concerning spiritual responsibilities within their family. He suggests that many parents outsource the spiritual upbringing of their children to the church, particularly to children and youth ministries, and that this is unbiblical. Instead, the church should serve as a support system, not an outsourced institution hired to provide spiritual authority. This is the parents’ job.

As a spiritual father, Paul didn’t outsource his spiritual relationship with Timothy. In many ways, it was his full time job. This is because he expressed love to Timothy by spending quality time with him. And this expression greatly influenced Timothy, even to the point where he was brought to “tears” during a previous separation (v. 4). They enjoyed their time together.

4. PAUL EMPLOYED PHYSICAL TOUCH (V.6B)

Paul is not shy about the fact that he expressed love by the “laying on of hands” to his son in the faith. He writes, “kindle afresh the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands” (v. 6b).

In a recent article published by Psychology Today, Rick Chillot writes, “Touch is the first sense we acquire and the secret weapon in many a successful relationship.”

I can’t help but agree.

I still remember the comfort of resting my head on my father’s chest and hearing the heavy thumps of his heartbeat. I still get butterflies in my stomach when my wife holds my hand. I also enjoy greeting friends with hugs and handshakes. There is something magical about the sense of touch.

As a spiritual father, Paul communicated love to Timothy by the “laying on of hands.” One observation of Paul’s expression to Timothy here is that it wasn’t just an arbitrary action of physical touch; it was physical touch motivated by spiritual blessing from the Lord. The “laying on of hands” has a biblical precedent of serving as a way of anointing, ordaining, and affirming one another in the Lord. This is the act Paul uses and ironically, it was this expression of love that ultimately enacts the final one.

5. PAUL OFFERED GIFTS (V.6A)

Paul encouraged Timothy to “kindle afresh the gift of God” in his life. While this gift is not something Paul necessarily gave to Timothy, it was something he encouraged him to “kindle.” Paul wanted Timothy to keep the gift alive that was given to him by God and instilled in him through the influence of his biological mother and grandmother. A gift that Paul says “dwelled” in them.

The word “dwell” is used by Paul in Romans 8:11 to describe the Holy Spirit dwelling within a believer. He also uses it in Colossians 3:16 to describe the word of Christ dwelling richly in the believer. The word, therefore, speaks of something that is dynamically alive. It is a living faith in Jesus. This is the gift that Paul asks Timothy to “kindle.” It is also his fifth and final expression of love towards his spiritual child.

Of all the love languages, pointing Timothy to the gift of Jesus is especially noteworthy.

THE RESULTS OF PARENTS EXPRESSING LOVE TOWARDS CHILDREN

The theory of Chapman’s book is that when marital partners understand one another’s love language that they will be able to communicate love to one another clearer. When this happens, both partners realize that each has been expressing love all along, but that they were simply speaking different languages. This is because speaking different love languages is like speaking different dialectical languages. You might be saying all of the right things, but because there is a language barrier you can’t understand one another. But when you do, you start to see all of the natural results of positive communication.

The same is true for parents communicating love to their children. Children may have a primary love language, but most are still formulating their communication skills. Thus, communicating a healthy diet of love towards a child is an important principle, and one that Paul expresses very clearly in 2 Timothy 1:3-7.

When a parent does this, it is not uncommon to start seeing the child turn that love back to others and more importantly to God. This is precisely what happened to Timothy, and it is a God-designed result: “For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline” (v. 7).

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HATING PEOPLE WHO HATE PEOPLE, WHEN THEY REALLY DON’T HATE PEOPLE AT ALL

1362367354_305x235_Stop-Hating-640x492The other day a song came on the radio that I later discovered is named, “Same Love.” I was mesmerized by the opening line because the musician, Macklemore, raps, “When I was in the third grade I thought I was gay, ’cause I could draw, my uncle was, and I kept my room straight.

I intentionally decided to listen to the rest of the song and learned that it is written as a mantra against those who oppose homosexuality, specifically as it relates to “same-sex marriage.” Macklemore, according to his own lyrics, isn’t gay, but he is put out with those who oppose it.

The song includes three verses that make bold, uninformed, proclamations. Here’s a summary of them:

PROCLAMATION ONE: HOMOSEXUALITY CAN BE CURED BY RELIGION

Macklemore raps,

The right wing conservatives think it’s a decision,
And you can be cured with some treatment and religion
Man-made rewiring of a predisposition
Playing God, aw nah here we go
America the brave still fears what we don’t know
And God loves all his children, is somehow forgotten
But we paraphrase a book written thirty-five-hundred years ago

Scripture speaks of homosexuality as a sin (1 Cor 6:9), and therefore those that believe Scripture are simply trusting what it says. With that said, Scripture also says that sin is, and Macklemore agrees, a “predisposition” (Rom 5). It’s something every person is born with. And as a predisposition, everybody has a “decision” to either act on it or not. Some act on it by lying. Others act on it by stealing. And some act on it by planting a bomb at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. It’s a predisposition to which every person is subjected. Thus, since Scripture speaks of homosexuality as a sin, (and since Scripture speaks of sin as a predisposition), it is not unreasonable to say that homosexuality is the fruit of a decision rooted in a predisposed, sinful nature.

But this, contrary to Macklemore’s rap, doesn’t mean that it’s okay. We would never, for example, suggest that rape is okay. No one could reasonably say, “Aw, leave that guy assaulting that woman alone. Stop trying to rewire his predisposition with your personal preferences. He can’t help himself. He is God’s child.”

Macklemore is perhaps correct in suggesting that “right wing conservatives think . . . it can be cured with religion,” but right wing conservatives who think this way are wrong. Sin cannot be cured by religion. Sin can only be cured by Jesus. And while the organized worship of Jesus is in fact “religion,” it’s not organized worship that cures sin. The Bible certainly doesn’t speak of “religion” as “rewiring” our sinful natures. It speaks of Jesus as making us a “new creation” (2 Cor 5:17). There is a big difference. We aren’t even the same machine after he gets ahold of us and we therefore can’t be “rewired.” The old “wires” aren’t even there anymore.

But God “loves all his children,” right? That’s what the Bible says, is it not? Actually, no. It says quite the opposite. While God indeed loves people, all people are not his “children.” Only those that claim Jesus as Lord–and believe everything that comes along with this claim–are considered his “adopted children.” The Bible records Jesus, God’s Son, telling a group of unsaved individuals that their “father” is “the devil” (John 8:44). In other words, God is not their father and they are not his children. But I’m probably just paraphrasing a really old “book” and we all know that if something is old, regardless of what it says, it’s out-of-date, out-of-style, antiquated, and obsolete. Out with the old, in with the new, right?

The Bible is so two-thousand and late.

More on this later.

PROCLAMATION TWO: SOCIALLY, “GAY IS THE NEW BLACK”

In his second verse Macklemore raps,

It’s the same hate that’s caused wars from religion
Gender to skin color, the complexion of your pigment
The same fight that led people to walk outs and sit ins
It’s human rights for everybody, there is no difference!
Live on and be yourself

Here, Macklemore essentially says that “gay is the new black,” meaning, that those who oppose homosexual behavior are on par with those who opposed the abolition of slavery. But I don’t see signs in restaurant bathrooms and over water fountains for “homosexuals” and “straights.” I don’t see schools for “homosexuals” and schools for “straights.” I don’t see straight people forcing homosexuals to sit in the back of the bus. In fact, I see quite the opposite. Ryan Anderson for example, a proponent for traditional marriage, was recently interviewed (or attacked) on Piers Morgan’s show for his beliefs. Piers and Suze Orman (a lesbian) both sat at the central table whereas Mr. Anderson had to sit with the audience. No doubt this was because of his stance on “same-sex marriage.”

Christians, at least those with the right state of mind, aren’t telling homosexuals that they have to sit at the back of the bus. They are standing up for biblical rights as dictated by Scripture.

Macklemore suggests that everybody deserves human rights, to which a Christian should agree. Everybody deserves basic human “rights.” But Macklemore, along with countless other “left wing liberals” (to parallel his title), misunderstand what a human “right” is. Marriage, for example, isn’t a human “right” so much as it is a God ordained institution (Gen 2) to which one can be privy if he abides by God’s standards. And God defines marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman. To make it anything else is to alter the very meaning of the word, forcing it to become something entirely different. We might as well call walking, running, say that 2+2=5, or remove other standards like the unlawfulness of incest or polygamy.

Redefining marriage is to take a God-designed institution and manipulate it into something that we want it to be. It’s telling God that we don’t want him, but we do want his ideas so that we can manipulate them into things that fit our personal preferences. We are throwing out the baby and the bath water, filling the tub up with something else, then calling it the same thing.

PROCLAMATION THREE: ANYONE WHO OPPOSES HOMOSEXUAL LOVE IS A HATE MONGER

Macklemore also raps,

When I was at church they taught me something else
If you preach hate at the service those words aren’t anointed
That holy water that you soak in has been poisoned

The most curious element to Macklemore’s song is its citation of the Christian faith. It is baffling that someone would associate himself with Christianity, as Macklemore does, if that person denies all of its claims.

There is an old illustration that describes this well. The illustration details a repair man replacing the parts of his boat. After purchasing the boat he begins to replace its every component. He switches out the motor, the hull, the deck, and the seats. Before long, there is no original element left of the boat.

Is it the same boat?

No.

Likewise, when one switches out all of the original components to Christianity, as determined by God primarily through the Bible, it is no longer Christianity. And Macklemore’s statements that the Bible is merely a “book written thirty-five hundred years ago” hints to his feelings that his contemporary thoughts override its ageless truths.

“God, I know you are all powerful and stuff, but you need to get with the times. Allow me to contemporize your truth.”

The context of Macklemore’s rap suggests that anything that might hurt someone’s feelings is considered “hate,” and this is not “anointed.” But what if we turned around the line? What if a “right wing conservative” suggested that it was hateful to force one’s homosexual agenda upon him? Why can it only be a one-way street? Would this not be the homosexuals employing the “hate that caused war” onto us? Isn’t that what Piers and Suze did to Ryan during their interview? Isn’t this, as the title states, hating people who “hate” people?

But what if the initial “haters” weren’t “hating” at all? What if there was a good explanation for why they believed the way they did about homosexuality?

One of the clearest passages in Scripture describing homosexuality as a deadly sin is 1 Corinthians 6:9-10. Paul writes, “Do not be deceived; homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God.” This is a way of saying that homosexuality is contradictory to God’s standards and that it is evidence of a life that has not been redeemed by Jesus. The result is no inheritance of God’s kingdom, or no eternal life in what most call “Heaven.” Thus, if you claim any association with the God of the Holy Scriptures then you must abide by this standard, otherwise you are building a new boat.

This is an important verse because it reveals the devastating reality of the sin of homosexuality. I don’t oppose homosexuality because I am a stubborn-minded bigot who is simply regurgitating what I was taught or what my environment imposed on me. I oppose homosexuality because God opposes homosexuality. I also oppose it because, according to Scripture, it is a lifestyle that reveals that one has not been redeemed by Jesus, and this lack of redemption will ultimately result in an eternity separated from God. And I personally would rather nobody experience such an afterlife.

Macklemore, please know that I, and I know I speak for many other Christians, don’t hate homosexuals. I hate their lifestyle. And I hate their lifestyle because God hates it. His word is clear on this and although it may be a tough pill to swallow, God can grant everlasting life to those who turn from their sin and towards his son Jesus, regardless of what the sin is. We speak out because we love, not because we want to be right, or because we are close-minded imbeciles.

Now, for a rap of my own:

Jesus is the best and I’ll tell you why
He came to earth to live and then to die
For you and me because we were lost
God sent his only son to die on the cross
Word.*

*Stolen from a VBS rhyme.

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