Needed: A New Conversation on LGBT in the Church

light on stairsTwo weeks ago, Christian rock singer Trey Pearson came out as gay. His band, Everyday Sunday, had multiple albums and several #1 hits on the CCM single’s chart. Trey said he had tried for years to become straight, even marrying a woman and fathering two children, but nothing had changed. He wasn’t sexually attracted to his wife, was unable to meet her intimate needs, and felt burdened by having to pretend to be someone he clearly wasn’t. He and his wife had mutually agreed to separate, putting a plan in place for him to continue to be very involved in raising his children.

What shocked me about this announcement was the response to it. A fairly well-known Christian radio show host spat on Twitter that Trey was ungodly, and so were all the other CCM artists who had come out as gay in recent years.

Ungodly?

All Trey had confessed to was same-sex attraction. Not an affair. Not abusive behavior. Not breaking one of the commandments. Just “I like men.” Yet that statement alone was enough to erase his godliness and call his salvation into question.
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A Review of the Search Terms

I thought I’d keep it (somewhat) light today and write about some of the lesser-known search terms that bring people to this blog. It’s really surprising to see some of the things that bring people here. The one that surprises me the most is:

1. Dangerous prayers to get your husband back

This is the second most common search term for this blog, and that’s sad…and worrying. To you women out there looking for an answer, let me say this:

There are no magic words you can utter that will force God’s hand into bringing your husband home. All you can do is pray fervently. And if you’ve been praying fervently with no result, realize that could be God saying, “No.” If your husband was abusive to you before he left, asking for his return might actually be a dangerous prayer–for you and your children. Continue reading

Seeing Through the Fog: A Pastor’s Hate Unmasked

s0gw2Yesterday, I published an analysis of Doug Wilson’s response to Karen Swallow Prior–a response that included a rant against Rachel Held Evans. Here’s why I did that. Wilson writes in a way that purposely confuses his readers. On the surface, he appeared to address the objections that had come his way. But once you drilled down to his main point, it was a different story.

This is called obfuscation.

I wanted to point it out because obfuscation is more common than you think. The Cry for Justice blog addresses it all the time. It is a common tactic of narcissists and abusers. It is an attempt to deflect criticism, instill doubt, redirect readers and gain allies. It involves using complex analogies, logical fallacies, alternate definitions for common words and, occasionally, outright lies. The advantage to writing this way is that when a reader arrives at unfavorable conclusions, you can accuse them of misunderstanding your words and spin the narrative to your benefit.

Because we’re trained to give people the benefit of the doubt, it takes practice to recognize obfuscation. But it’s an important skill to have if we, as Christians, are to rightly divide the word of truth. There are far too many abusers and false teachers in the world, and obfuscation helps keep them in power.

Today, I want to go back and revisit Wilson’s rant on Evans to show you what I mean. Because what Wilson says at the end is truly horrifying, evil, and anti-Christian.
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Your ‘Deeply Held Religious Belief’ Isn’t Biblical

From seattlegayscene.com

Most of us know the story. Last year, a Colorado baker was taken to court because he refused to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, citing that such an act would violate his “religious beliefs” against gay marriage.

You’d think that nearly a year after the ruling (in which the baker was found guilty of discrimination), that most people would have forgotten about it. But no. I still see articles and hear comments pop up on ‘deeply held religious beliefs’ and how it’s such a shame that our government doesn’t seem to care about protecting them these days. (Protecting them meaning that they can be exercised whenever, however, and with whatever consequences that result.) The phrase took center stage in the Hobby Lobby birth control case, and again when a photographer in New Mexico refused to photograph a gay wedding.

However, the more I hear the words ‘deeply held religious belief’ bandied about, the more uneasy I feel. I wasn’t sure why at first, until I had read through the umpteenth article on the subject. And that’s when I realized that the so-called “beliefs” being defended weren’t actually rooted in scripture.

I believe that if someone is going to make a case for a ‘deeply held religious belief,’ then said belief should be backed up with a clear biblical mandate. And those saying it is against their religion to sell wedding favors to gay couples don’t have a scriptural basis for that position.

I can prove it. Continue reading

Persecution of Their Own Making

Persecution photo persecution.jpgNormally, I don’t get terribly riled when people express viewpoints different from my own. I believe that truth is sometimes expressed in multiple dimensions and that most people have something reasonable to say. But once in a while, even these panties get into a twist. And it happened just the other day – in the comments section of my post on Matt Walsh. This is what one commenter wrote:

“So as a Christian should you just be nice and quiet when the culture of abortion and homosexuality is basically force fed to you? I don’t think Jesus would agree. In today’s culture those who actually support Christian values are attacked much like the days of Jesus. Matt has the courage to engage the battle.”

Let me explain how this simple statement took me from zero to rage dump. Inherent in this comment is the belief that Christians in America are facing persecution from gays and abortionists. Being steeped in evangelical culture, I hear this sentiment expressed all the time. CEO of Mozilla resigns due to protests over his support of Prop 8? Persecution! Reality TV shows starring Christians get canceled when said Christians make anti-gay remarks? Persecution! Christian teens are told to stop bullying their LGBT classmates? Persecution!

I wish I were joking.

Let me just state for the record, I am seriously the wrong person to choose for a Christians-in-America-are-persecuted rant. As an employee of an international church-building organization, I get to hear every single day about the very real persecution of Christians that is happening in other parts of the world: Continue reading