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Klavan On The Culture

Is Jesus Against Kooky Gay Guys?

August 2nd, 2013 - 6:05 am
He who is without sin is fabulous!

He who is without sin is fabulous!

As Instapundit Glenn Reynolds might say:  asking the important questions!

The reason it comes up:  a really interesting post from Erick Erickson at RedState.com. I like RedState and admire Erickson. He’s smart, fearless and he writes well. And I greatly enjoyed the July 30 essay entitled “For Jesus. The World Against Me,” in which he rightly took liberal Christian Rachel Held Evans to task for stereotyping more conservative Christians as anti-science or too patriotic. Erickson writes:

I don’t know a Christian who is anti-science. Christians haven’t suddenly declared science anti-God, but the left has declared God and Christians anti-science. I don’t know a church that has declared allegiance to a political party or a single nation. But I know the left parodies evangelicals that way. In fact, through Rachel Held Evans’ entire list, what she is admitting is that she has embraced the secular left’s parody of evangelical churches to proclaim her own style and mode of worship and faith superior. She’s embraced the loud voices of a few and conflated them to the quiet voices of the many in the evangelical community committed to saving souls.

Just because the left and media attack evangelical churches for these things does not make them so. From Archbishop Chaput in the Catholic Church to Mark Driscoll to Franklin Graham to John Piper to Timothy Keller to Rich Warren to Andy Stanley to Lois Giglio to Al Mohler to my own preacher — they all preach Jesus. They don’t preach America because they’re just passing through it on the way to real life. But they do preach the Jesus who is, not the Jesus the world wishes for.

Great stuff, all true. And Erickson’s main point is also true:  being “for Jesus,” sometimes means standing against what the world deems good and wise, even when the world is ever-so-sure it’s right.

But then Erickson gives an example:

Christians stand for Jesus. When demanded by the world to look at a dude in a leather g-string, rainbow afro wig, and fairy wings glued to his back dancing down the street claiming he’s got pride and accept it as just another form of normal, well, yeah, we’re for Jesus so we’re against that. Rachel Held Evans, Rob Bell, Donald Miller, and the like want to accommodate that. Jesus wouldn’t. We shouldn’t.

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Top Rated Comments   
I'm ok with tolerating. I'm not ok with being compelled to endorse, and that's what the act-up crowd is demanding: an endorsement, and by extension, a subsidy.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
The problem with a libertarian approach to ordering society is that this approach is based on the same (false) belief about humanity that liberals employ -- the belief that people are generally pretty good, and if you leave them alone everyone will get along fine.

In fact, when people are left alone they tend to sink to the level of the savage. There is certainly an equal and opposite danger of legalistic authoritarianism in which freedom is strangled for the sake of order. The American approach has always been to try to strike a balance, with limited decency regulations supported by a Christian social consensus. All that is breaking down now. The results will be ugly and violent.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (23)
All Comments   (23)
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Finish the quote, Andrew. "First remove the log from your own eye, then you will be able to see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye." (Matthew 7:5) I hate it when people use scripture to justify in action on uncomfortable subjects.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Because we are not supposed to judge/condemn others doesn't mean we shouldn't use discernment to judge what is good from what is bad, what is wrong from what is right, what is preferable to what is not. This is America, and this happy guy can do whatever he darn well pleases and Christians can't do a thing about it. But to say we can't or shouldn't speak up when our worldview is demeaned and our liberties as Christians are threatened is not wise. The happy guy is a direct threat to our religious liberty as Americans, because he represents and is promoting a worldview that is inimical to freedom. Many of our political and cultural elites believe Christians are bigots because of our moral stand of being against sex outside of marriage, and that includes homosexual sex, and yes redefining marriage.

So I simply do not buy what this guy promotes is a bit of harmless fun, live and let live, judge not.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well said. I believe with every fiber of my being that we will all, ultimately, be judged. I also believe that that Judge is not me.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
After Jesus saved the woman caught in adultery from stoning, did he say to her, Go, and join in that adulterers' pride parade? No? What did he say, then? Go, and sin no more.

When we have people who are determined to call sin not only okay, but a positive good, we have to respond. We have to keep in mind that we, too, are sinful, but we have to respond. I have yet to hear a good reason why a Christian should start ignoring the Bible's sexual standards. Usually it's some variant of, You've got to move with the times.

Moving with the times sound great. But moving with the times in early 19th century American puts you in favor of slavery. Moving with the times in early 20th century Germany puts you in favor of the Final Solution. Moving with the times today means being in favor of a massive government running ever more of our lives.Moving with the times may be a good guide for choosing what clothes you wear, but as a moral argument, it's useless.

Klavan, I love your columns and your videos, but I disagree with you here.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm ok with tolerating. I'm not ok with being compelled to endorse, and that's what the act-up crowd is demanding: an endorsement, and by extension, a subsidy.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Considering the law-suits and other legal actions, it's increasingly clear that they're not after equality. They're out to utterly destroy anyone who disagrees. Catholic charities no longer being allowed to run adoption agencies because they prefer heterosexual married couples. Private businesses being sued for declining to participate in homosexual "weddings". Even if they win, the court costs could wreck their lives.

The end game is going to be shutting down churches that don't endorse homsexual "marriage". If you think people like Obama will side with religious freedom, I suggest you look at Hobby Lobby.

The thing that upsets me most with people who say Christians should give in basically just to be "nice" is that, given the gay privileges movement's history, all of this is almost mathematically predictable. Who knew they would start suing to destroy people who don't want to participate? Anyone who's paid the slightest bit of attention.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Jesus definitely was not concerned with "making the world a better place". He wasn't even trying to make us better people. Klavan hits the nail on the head, Jesus' main concern was connecting us with our creator. The better people and better world just naturally stem from that connection.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Jesus actually raised the bar on some sins. He said if you look at a married woman with lust, you are committing adultery in your heart.
And (don't remember his exact words), but didn't He equate anger with murder? He probably meant it's murder for our spirits but He was still seriously concerned about it.
He also told a wealthy man to sell everything he owned, probably because He knew the man had made an idol of his wealth.
He loved that one of the lepers He healed had come back to thank Him but was not happy that the others didn't think of it.
What about his criticism of the Jewish leaders of His day who were trying to obey the letter of the law but whose heart was far from Him.
One time He called some of the Jewish leaders "devils."
To say Jesus didn't try to make us better people with his teachings and example shows you aren't very familiar with the New Testament.
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Luke 18:9-14

New International Version (NIV)
The Parable of the Christian and the Tax Collector

9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Christian and the other a tax collector. 11 The Christian stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

13 “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

14 “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

I just changed on word in the text. Please God forgive me if this is a sin
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Saying that we ought to acknowledge our own sinfulness and our desperate need of God is not the same as saying that we ought to stop calling sin sin. I am a sinner. I need God's mercy and grace to change. How does that say I can't call evil what God has told us is evil?

Because I am sinful myself, am I suddenly not allowed to say that someone else stealing is wrong? That lying is wrong? That sex outside of marriage is wrong? Explain to me where the Bible says I have to shut up, please.

I can't claim moral superiority to another person, yes, but where does it say I can't call sin wrong just because it's not my own sin?
36 weeks ago
36 weeks ago Link To Comment
Really enjoyed this column, Klavan...spot on.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment

I don't demand that the my faults or sins be affirmed and celebrated. This is what “a dude in a leather g-string, rainbow afro wig, and fairy wings glued to his back dancing down the street claiming he’s got pride.” is demanding. This is a public act, not a private act. This is not 'an act between consenting adults carried out in privacy'. It is an occupation of the public square. It is not acceptance and celebration of the person despite his faults, but acceptance and celebration by refusing to acknowledge his faults are faults.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Remember Sodom? It did not become that way overnight. Probably not everyone in Sodom committed those filthy acts, but nearly everyone (except Lot's family) was OK with it and the entire city was destroyed.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
You mean the mob's attempt to force Lot to breach hospitality customs (about the most ironclad of all societal norms of the day) by turning his guests over to them?

Not sure what that has to do with gay guys (homosexuality per se wasn't a huge deal in Arabic cultures of the day - still isn't, depending on the context)...
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Also, the mob said "“Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us, that we may know them.” That means to have sex with them by the way. The mob wanted nothing to do with Lot's virgin daughter.
Homosexuality has always been a big deal throughout all cultures. Not one nation in the history of the world has survived it's embrace of homosexuality.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Of course it meant raping them. Again, the issue was a *major* forced hospitality breach of a substantial household - clan wars had been known to start for less. If an ancient mideastern writer wanted to call a society wicked, the charge of non-hospitality would carry more weight than one of cannibalism. They didn't want the daughters because the daughters were property, not guests.

As for homosexual relations, they've been present and common in Arabic and Central Asian (eg. Afghan) cultures for pretty much all of history. Ever hear the phrase "a woman for duty, a boy for pleasure"?

They're odd about it - male/male relations are fairly common in those societies amongst unmarried men, but they're say they're not "homosexual" because most of those same men go on the get married and have kids, leaving the practice (mainly) behind. Personally, I think it has a great deal to do with women both being denigrated as barely human as well as being in short supply for lower class males(polygamy means that rich men tend to pull women out of the lower class marriage pools).
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Where do you think the term sodomy comes from?
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
A fairly odd reading of that story.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Addendum: a fairly odd reading of the story by an individual with a bug up his butt about sex generally, and non-standard (ie. male/female procreative) sex in particular.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
The problem with a libertarian approach to ordering society is that this approach is based on the same (false) belief about humanity that liberals employ -- the belief that people are generally pretty good, and if you leave them alone everyone will get along fine.

In fact, when people are left alone they tend to sink to the level of the savage. There is certainly an equal and opposite danger of legalistic authoritarianism in which freedom is strangled for the sake of order. The American approach has always been to try to strike a balance, with limited decency regulations supported by a Christian social consensus. All that is breaking down now. The results will be ugly and violent.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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