Monday, August 06, 2012

Matt 24 watch, 166e: But Jesus never said one word against being 'gay' . . .

As was noted in the just previous post on the Chick-fil-A threatened boycott and administrative exclusion because its owners have publicly and financially supported historic marriage, the attempted homosexualist kiss-in counter-protest to the record-setting Appreciation Day mostly fizzled for want of the brazen.

The picture below of the slander-laced vandalism-by-graffiti that falsely accused those who object to homosexualisation of marriage of being hateful and enemies of equality and freedom reveals something about the irresponsibility involved on the part of some homosexualist activists:

Fixing the vandalism in Torrance CA (LA Times, per fair use to make appropriate critical comment)

(In short, when vandals do damage and make a mess, someone has to take responsibility and soak up the costs of fixing the mess. A lesson with much wider significance in the culture clash that is now yawning open across our civilisation.)

Now, in the same LA Times article as was just linked, we find a piece of serious theological error that needs direct correction, just as the turnabout false accusation above has had to be corrected yesterday. For, we may read:

Among those who came out to support gay marriage at Costa Mesa’s Chick-Fil-A on Friday afternoon was the Rev. Sarah Halverson of Fairview Community Church. [--> Link added]
“I felt like it was an important opportunity to stand on behalf of love and inclusion and gay couples,” she said. “Love is love, and God has given us love to be shared.”

She said that although some Christians don’t believe in gay marriage, her understanding of Christianity is that God supports those who find love.
“There are Christians like us at Fairview that think that God gave every human being divine love,” she said.
She respects Cathy’s right to free speech, she said, but also exercised her own right to speak out against what she considers hate speech.
“We have the right to stand in disagreement with another’s speech,” she said . . .
Similarly, CNN reports how:
In Los Angeles, same-sex marriage supporters Luke Montgomery and Eduardo Cisneros kissed outside a Chick-fil-A restaurant.

Montgomery said Jesus Christ never said anything about gay people. Referring to Cathy, the activist said, "He needs to open the Bible before he opens his mouth."
That's where we need to begin, for this expresses and/or directly implies -- and yes, I know this is a most politically incorrect word nowadays -- outright heresy.

1 --> Jesus' most famous, most cited sermon is the Sermon on the Mount, which lays out the core principles of Christian discipleship. In it, as he commented on the Decalogue and how we tend to wrench it self-servingly, he plainly declared:
Matt 5: 17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.
18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. [ESV]
2 --> In short, he explicitly endorses the ethics of the OT, which very explicitly teaches from the opening chapters of Genesis on that sexuality is meant for man and woman in expression of the marital union and for the propagation of the race, and repeatedly condemns the homosexual perversions of sexuality, right next to condemning things of like ilk [idolatry, child sacrifice, bloodshed] as abominations that bring down God's judgement.

3 --> Similarly, in sending out his apostles he promised his Spirit and endorsed their teachings in advance as Spirit-guided. For instance, in his Last Supper Discourse, he stated:
Jn 16: 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. 13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. 14 He will glorify me, for he will take what is mine and declare it to you. 15 All that the Father has is mine; therefore I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.  [ESV]
4 --> Of course in Israel in Jesus' day, homosexual behaviour was vanishingly small (as has continued to be so among the deeply religious orthodox for centuries). It was the apostles who had to deal with the rampant sexual perversions of the Roman Empire, especially Paul. His Spirit-led remarks on the subject are quite direct (and contrary to suggestions made by various figures, are not from obscure texts in little known works):

Rom 1: 18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who by their unrighteousness suppress the truth.
19 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. 20 For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse. 21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. 
 24 Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, 25 because they exchanged the truth about 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 up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. 
 28 And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. 29 They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, 31 foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32 Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them. 

1 Cor 6: 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous  will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality,3  10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.  [ESV. Translators' F/N3: The two Greek terms translated by this phrase refer to the passive and active partners in consensual homosexual acts.]
5 --> Some (in a further act of rejection of the historic Christian faith) are inclined to reject teachings of Paul that do not fit their desires. These should heed Peter's warning:
2 Peter 3: 14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 

15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 

17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 

18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. [ESV]
6 --> It is also important to observe what Jesus actually taught about historic, authentic marriage, in the teeth of the actual problem in his day, divorce. (Remarks that are also quite relevant in our own day, which BTW is what Mr Cathy directly addressed.) For, this has much to say by direct implication to those who would remake marriage after their desires and agendas:
Matt 19: 3 And Pharisees came up to him and tested him by asking, “Is it lawful to divorce one's wife for any cause?” 4 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast 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 not man separate.” [ESV]
7 --> In short, Jesus taught that the conjugal union of Man and Woman is what God built into the creation order for humanity, a creation order that is naturally evident from the complementarity of the sexes in reproduction and child nurture. He affirms the Genesis creation order mandate.

8 --> He then declares such to be what God has joined together and says that man has no business separating what God joins. This is of course the scriptural teeth behind Mr Cathy's concern that we are trying to pridefully fly in the face of God in our attempts to impose a redefinition of Marriage in the teeth of Creation order. (BTW, as such is emphatically a creation order mandate, it therefore transcends culture and religion.)

9 --> So, to wrench such into a homosexualised distortion is to fly in the face of what God has joined, and it is to wrench scripture to the peril of our own souls and those of the ones who listen to and follow us. Thus, we face another particularly stern warning of Jesus:
Matt 18: 1 At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 2 And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 3 and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4 Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.

 5 “Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, 6 but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,1  it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

 7 “Woe to the world for temptations to sin!2  For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! 8 And if your hand or your foot causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life crippled or lame than with two hands or two feet to be thrown into the eternal fire. 9 And if your eye causes you to sin, tear it out and throw it away. It is better for you to enter life with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into the hell3  of fire. [ESV (Since some who do not recognise ways in which language may be used may not recognise the use of hyperbole, Jesus here says take strong measures to see to it that you do not stumble into sin. he is not really advocating self-mutilation.)]
10 --> This has direct relevance to the intention to homosexualise school curricula to reflect the notion that there is an equal moral credibility of historic marriage and the recent homosexualised notion. And, destructive counterfeit it is, as Girgit, George and Anderson expose in a pivotal Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy paper:
[T]he current debate is precisely over whether it is possible for the kind of union that has marriage’s essential fea‐tures to exist between two people of the same sex. Revisionists do not propose leaving intact the historic definition of marriage and simply expanding the pool of people eligible to marry. Their goal is to abolish the conjugal conception of marriage in our law 10 and replace it with the revisionist [--> i.e. homosexualised] conception . . .

F/N 10: Throughout history, no society’s laws have explicitly forbidden gay mar‐riage. They have not explicitly forbidden it because, until recently, it has not been thought possible . . . [T]raditional marriage laws  were not devised to oppress those with same‐sex attractions. The comparison [to racist anti-miscegenation laws that forbade inter-racial marriages]  is offensive, and puzzling to many—not least to the nearly two‐thirds of black vot‐ers who voted to uphold conjugal marriage under California Proposition Eight. See Cara Mia DiMassa & Jessica Garrison, Why Gays, Blacks are Divided on Prop. 8, L.A. TIMES, Nov. 8, 2008, at A1.
 [Sherif Girgis, Robert P. George, & Ryan T. Anderson, "What is Marriage?" Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol 34, No. 1, p. 250 of 245 - 287.]
11 --> We must therefore point out that when the Rev. Sarah Halverson stands up to speak in the name of the church, the gospel and the scriptures, she takes up a sobering responsibility. One, that -- given what has had to be pointed out already -- manifestly, sadly, she has failed. Painful though that is to have to say, it is necessary, for the sake of the souls of those who look to church leaders for guidance, and for her own soul as well as those of others like her. Please, Rev Halverson, please, please, read the scriptures without modernist or politically correct blinkers, and think again.

12 --> Now the Rev Halverson speaks of "God supports those who find love." She has also dismissed the concerns of those who have stood up under pressure and intimidation to say that it is not right to twist marriage from the naturally obvious creation order of man and woman under God, as being hateful. This is slander.

13 --> To correct such destructive slander, we need to again and again bring forth the correction Alan Keyes made to former first lady of the USA, Mrs Barbara Bush:
Alan Keyes, in responding to former US First Lady Barbara Bush, remarks:
. . . isn’t love the foundation of marriage? Why should some loving couples enjoy legal recognition and privileges that are denied to others?
But the plausible conviction that loving homosexual couples “ought to have…the same sort of rights that everyone has” immediately runs afoul of the simple fact that homosexuals are not the only loving couples without the legal right to marry. Parents and their children don’t have it. Siblings don’t have it. Children not yet of legal age don’t have it; and so on. In principle, all such people are capable of forming loving, committed relationships. By the logic Mrs. Bush relies on, “they ought to have… the same sort of rights that everyone has.”
In short, once we see obvious exceptions to a suggested "rule" like that, something is fundamentally wrong with the rule. What is it? Keyes continues:
Why are parents and their children forbidden to marry one another? Cut to the chase and the answer is simple. The right to marry includes legal recognition (legitimization) of the married couple’s right to have sexual relations with one another. But it is wrong for parents to have sexual relations with their children. It’s wrong for siblings to have sexual relations with each other. It’s wrong for adults to have sexual relations with underage children. Obviously, unless Mrs. Bush means to argue that these restrictions are unjustified, a committed loving relationship is not enough to establish that people “ought to have” the right to marry.
He then digs in further, addressing the pivotal term, "ought":
Mrs. Bush’s use of the word “ought” deserves further attention. The difference between what people do and what people ought to do is a matter of moral judgment. The word “ought” implies the application of a moral standard, a rule or principle that distinguishes right from wrong. People ought to do what is right. They ought not to do what is wrong. When people do what is right, they have the right to act (i.e., have right on their side as they act.) But can the same be said of those who do what is wrong?
He then points to a key breakdown triggered by the modern confusion of liberty and license -- the abuse of freedom:
In everyday parlance these days, we use the term “right” as though it is synonymous with the freedom to act as we choose. But if the choice is wrong, it makes no sense to assert that the chooser has the right  to act on it  (i.e., has right on his side as he does so.) What someone can do (has the physical capacity or opportunity to do) differs from what they ought to do. This is in fact the rationale for all criminal laws. It’s what allows us to recognize that simply having the opportunity and power to take someone’s life or goods does not grant the right to do so, does not make it right.
In short, until the moral legitimacy of homosexual conduct is solidly grounded (and until the harmlessness of such a legislative -- or, these days, often, a judicial -- act is sufficiently shown), we have a perfect right to question the notion that our civilisation's states should take the step of legitimising homosexual relationships as marriages under the law. Which of course is a very big question indeed, and one on which all serious voices have a right to be heard. Including, those who look to the truly great religious teachers of mankind, as proved moral instructors.
14 --> Plainly, falling in love can become a temptation to sin (the case of Amnon and Tamar being a sad classic with devastating consequences for a whole nation), and so even in the face of the feelings of love, we must consult the principles of what we ought to do. For, we are ensouled, en-conscienced, morally governed creatures, not mere beasts acting at the whims of our impulses and hormones.

We could go on and on, but this should be enough food for thought for one day. On the morrow, DV, let us take up the wider issue, "my genes made me do it." END