“Why do you hate gays?” This question/accusation is often hurled at Christians and others who disagree with changing the definition of marriage to allow for same sex unions that are called “marriages.” But does disagreement with the claims and assertions of progressive homosexual activists demonstrate “hatred” of gays? Of course not. Such assertions are used as emotional weapons to silence dissent and enforce their political will through guilt and manipulation. Those who are parents should recognize this ploy because kids often use arguments like this to get their way with their parents. The parent puts the kibosh on the child’s plan to do something or go somewhere, so the child might respond with the accusation, “You must hate me!” (And, if the child does not ultimately win the argument, “You must hate me” often deteriorates into “I hate you!”) Yet, most parents LOVE their children deeply, above all, and only seek to ensure their loved one’s safety, their welfare, and/or their good character.
This type of childish manipulation is sometimes used in other relationships as well. Some people demand affirmation and/or celebration of every decision or action they take, and are apt to emotionally “punish” the friend, family member, or co-worker who cannot or will not comply with this demand. We have all witnessed this type of emotional manipulation in action. As a result, some people become cheerleaders of every action, feeling or belief of their more “sensitive” friends, not wanting to pay the cost of honesty. But sometimes a true friend can see that the action can or will result in great harm to their friend, or to others, and so they cannot stand by and give applause. Love, not hate, demands that they do not applaud, but warn.
Today, gay activists are engaging in just this sort of emotional manipulation to force their will upon society. However, opposition to homosexuality is not hatred directed at the individual, but opposition to a behavior that God opposes. It is not personally directed at all, at least for the Christian. Christians reject immorality in heterosexual behavior also. Those who are opposed to homosexuality, or “gay marriage,” are likewise opposed to adultery and premarital sex, because these practices are every bit as “immoral” as homosexual behavior. “Gay activists” like Jonathan Rauch engage in a linguistic bait and switch. We see this in his piece Opposing Gay Marriage Doesn’t Make You a Crypto-Racist :
To their discredit, all three of the Abrahamic faith traditions condemn homosexual love,…
What “all three of the Abrahamic faith traditions condemn” is homosexual behavior, not love. Love doesn’t necessarily involve sexual activity and engaging in sex does not necessarily mean there is any love between the two (or more) who are engaged in the act. After changing the topic of the discussion, Rauch plays the “you hate Gays” card through a bit of name calling:
To their discredit, all three of the Abrahamic faith traditions condemn homosexual love, and all of them have theologies that see marriage as intrinsically heterosexual. Believe me, no one regrets this more than I do. Religious-based homophobia is every bit as harmful as the secular varieties
So, affirming heterosexual marriage is now defined by this Gay activist as having a “religious-based homophobia.”
Most know by now that Tony Campolo came out with a public statement last week calling on the church “…to fully accept into the Church those gay Christian couples…” To date, however, we have not seen Campolo come out and call the church to fully accept openly fornicating or openly adulterous people. Somehow, for Tony Campolo at least, one type of sexual sin should be tolerated or even celebrated, while we should still “toe the line” on the others. This is not really surprising, because Campolo’s theology is typically guided by his politics, and the god of the political left that he worships is not yet demanding lockstep acceptance of adultery. As Carl R. Trueman notes about Campolo’s statement in “A Day Late, A Dollar Short”:
What is surprising in the statement is the complete absence of any thoughtful argumentation in his articulation of his position. Though he professes to have heard every kind of biblical argument against same-sex marriage, he does not burden the reader with any of these, or why he has found them so lacking. Instead, he prefers to use straw men, false dichotomies, and the rhetoric of social science to present his case.
Through linguistic redefinition, redirection, “straw men, false dichotomies, and the rhetoric of social science,” the stage is set. In order for the church to demonstrate that they don’t “hate Gays”, they need to fully accept homosexual behaviors without equivocation.
Then we have the case of Willow Creek Community church and Darren Calhoun, Willow’s worship leader at the Chicago Campus. Darren is openly gay. Willow Creek insists this is not an indication they have changed their position on homosexuality, but instead contend that Calhoun is celibate. Perhaps this is true, but has he repented, changed his mind about the basic immorality of homosexual behavior? Would Willow have an unrepentant adulterer as a worship leader, just because they are not currently engaged in an adulterous affair, if the adulterer sees nothing particularly wrong with adultery? What if this adulterous worship leader was involved with a conference that is teaching how to aggressively push the church into accepting and celebrating adultery? Probably Willow Creek would not have an “adultery activist” as a worship leader. But worship leader Calhoun is a speaker at The Reformation Project’s Atlanta Regional Training Conference. What is the purpose of the conference? The website tells us:
Are you a Christian who wants to be better equipped to advocate on behalf of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people in your faith community? Building off the momentum of our first major conference in Washington, D.C. last November, we are pleased to announce our second major conference will be taking place in Atlanta, GA on June 11-13, 2015. As amazing as the DC was, we expect the Atlanta conference will be even better! This two-and-a-half-day conference has two primary goals:
Providing training and resources from Matthew Vines & many others on how to talk about the Bible and LGBT issues in constructive ways with non-LGBT-affirming Christians.
Connecting LGBT-affirming Christians with like-minded people in their local areas to work together towards a more inclusive and affirming Church.
The conference will be a prime networking opportunity for all Christians who want to advance the dignity of LGBT people, especially Christians in non-affirming churches
So, a leader of Willow Creek Community Church is involved with training activists to persuade the church to embrace and celebrate sexual sin. Churches who resist and remain faithful to Scripture will of course be cast into the category of those who “hate Gays.”
The Reformation Project is the conception of Matthew Vines and it is an effort to twist scripture in knots in order to proclaim the newly discovered “truth” that homosexual sex acts are not sin after all. All these centuries the church believed and taught that homosexual behavior was wrong – but never mind – we know better now! With the support of Willow Creek Community Church’s Darren Calhoun and well-known names like Tony Campolo, Vines is making inroads.
One of the “evidences” thrown out at Christians by defenders of homosexuality, abortion and other long taboo behaviors is that Jesus never mentioned or condemned the behavior or act in question. In playing fast and loose with the Scriptures this way, the activists demonstrate that either they have no idea of the complete Jewishness of the Gospels or don’t care – perhaps both. Jesus was, well, Jewish. As such, he did not reject the moral teachings of the Old Testament. As J. Warner Wallace of Cold-Case Christianity notes in “If This Is Such A Grievous Sin, Jesus Would Have Mentioned It”:
Jesus already acknowledged the fact that he was in complete agreement with the teaching of the Old Testament unless he specifically delineated a new line of instruction. He did not “come to abolish the Law or the Prophets… but to fulfill them” (Matthew 5:17)
Jesus was a dedicated, devout and observant Jew. You want to know what he thought about homosexuality or abortion? Simple; just look at what other devout, observant Jews would have said. They most certainly would have affirmed the Old Testament teaching (like the teaching on homosexuality found in Leviticus 18:20 and 20:13)
Jesus also affirmed marriage as being between a male and female in Matthew 19:5-6 and Mark 10:8. That would be in keeping with His agreement with the Old Testament, which, by the way, were His own words, since He is the God who spoke them to the prophets to begin with. In His incarnation He was also a devout and observant Jew. So, in the Gospels He affirmed what He spoke in the Old Testament. In keeping with His word, Jesus viewed sexual acts outside of marriage as sin, though He obviously and openly loved sinners! Jesus prescribed what constitutes marriage, which is a sanctified relationship between a male and a female. So, the really big question here is, since Jesus views homosexual acts as sin, does Jesus hate gays? Or, are homosexual and other sexual and non-sexual sins the very reason that He gave His life to provide salvation to people whom He loves so much (Jn. 3:16)?