In Part 1 W and I were discussing the Slippery Slope argument for opposing the legalization of gay marriage, which ended with with W describing his mindset as “old school.” At this point, two others join the conversation, countering the widely-used argument for the acceptance of gay relations that the Bible is outdated or that the passages addressing homosexuality are culturally-bound and therefore no longer apply, much like the passages on women and slavery. (For an excellent book on why passages seeming to support slavery and misogyny ultimately do not support slavery and misogyny but why passages condemning homosexuality ultimately do condemn homosexuality, check out William Webb’s Slaves, Women & Homosexuals.)
Stay tuned for Part 3, the final installment of—can you believe it?—a Facebook conversation. Who says social media is all a waste of time?
I just wanna add that W, if you feel like what you’re saying is old school than Genesis must be old school as well, because it clearly states that having sexual relations with animals is in the same category as homosexuality. God intended marriage to be one man and one woman. I firmly believe that God loves every single one of us equally no matter what we do because in his eyes all of us are just as sinful, but as people if we just sit by tolerantly then who’s to say there isn’t a loophole for murderers. I’m just gonna go with what the Bible says and love the sinner not the sin, but also not enable people to sin.
I don’t believe that W’s mindset is old school. What he is saying is based on biblical truth about the act being wrong, what is wrong is wrong and what is right is right and as Christians we base truth on God’s word. The moment we try and add our own two cents we go down a path that leads to destruction. Homosexuality is wrong, lying is wrong, being lustful of a man or woman is wrong. What was trying to be said is that if we start justifying one thing it almost completely erases the very faint line of whats left of right and wrong. Renea you are right about how we need to bring love back into Christianity and we have to also hold ourselves to the same standards. But understand that we will never be perfect and therefore we need grace too. If the government is going to decide either way we need to have a positive influence on the systems standards. Granted We have done a very poor job at showing the world how Christ’s love is supposed to be. Everyone is on the same level everyone is a sinner who needs Christ. The point of this whole thing is not necessarily over the people behind this because we are just as guilty about our sin but the fact that if we dont stand up for what is right then we loose all hope for a moral country. Romans 1:18
All of that to say, I think yall both want the same things whats right and to love others as Christ loved us. Recognizing sin does not have to come from a faultless person, Jesus already came to address all our sin and gave us the Bible to help the generations later on understand what is right. Change needs to happen first in our own church in such a drastic way that we share the love and Grace we have all fully received with everyone around us.
Thanks for chiming in. You both make points that I certainly agree with. The question (for me) isn’t whether what the Bible says about homosexual sex is true or not. It is. The question is whether or not the current conservative political strategy is creative/redemptive or not.
As you say, L, love the sinner; hate the sin. But if I went up to my gay friends and said, “Well, I just don’t want to change the traditional definition of marriage because then that opens the door for anyone to want to change it, including people who want to marry their horse,” it wouldn’t be a love-the-sinner kind of thing to say, would it? It wouldn’t be loving, not because it is harsh. Love can be and often is harsh. No, it wouldn’t be loving because it cannot help them lose their particular spiritual blinders (as LM is right in pointing out we all have). And if that argument is unhelpful on an individual-to-individual level, how much more when it’s impersonalized in the realm of politics?
LM, I think there’s truth in your statement, “If the government is going to decide either way we need to have a positive influence on the systems standards,” and what I’m saying is that fighting this issue the way it’s currently being fought isn’t having a positive influence.
One of my favorite passages in Scripture is Matthew 10 where Jesus is sending out his apostles. In his instructions to them he tells them to show ’em how to live life to the fullest as we were always intended to live it! (“preach the Kingdom of God”), do creative and redemptive works in their lives (“heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons”), and in all this remember, “be shrewd as serpents and innocent as doves.” The slippery slope argument may be right technically, it may be innocent, but it isn’t shrewd–or street-wise. And as such it has no chance of being redemptive–or healing.
What I appreciate most about this conversation, what I find most encouraging, is that even if we disagree about Prop 8, we’re all on the same page when it comes to what really counts: love. “Change needs to happen first in our own churches [I would say lives, because we are the church] in such a drastic way that we share the Love and Grace we have all fully received with everyone around us.” That is very Matthew 10 (“freely you have received, freely give”).