Chris Hohnholz, at the Fundamentalist blog Defending Contending, says that the reason Americans, especially young Americans, are embracing the radical homosexual agenda is because they haven’t been really told what the Bible says about the matter.
Maybe I am overstating the obvious here, but the Christian church has lost a lot of ground with regards to homosexuality. I’m not talking about on the legislative or protest front, I’m talking about in our preaching and teaching of the gospel. We are losing and the culture is looking at us as old, fuddy-duddies who simply haven’t got a clue…
…Now, all one has to do is peruse social media and blogging sites to see the prevailing attitude among our culture. Young people have no clue what the Bible says about homosexuality. And what little they think they know is grossly wrenched out of context. But the sad truth is that many Christians know less about this issue, biblically speaking, than those whose voices are being the agent of change in our culture. We simply don’t know how to defend the faith, and we look like fools when we try. So the culture throws the out of context verses at us, along with emotionally charged rhetoric, and we either respond with half thought answers, or we fold under the pressure. The result is that immorality grows unabated and the church loses more influence everyday.
So how do we address this? Well, it certainly isn’t going to be through protests, legislation and lawsuits. Just watch the evening news to see how well that battle is going. What’s worse, because there is no gospel centeredness in such efforts, all we appear to be are hate mongering jerks who want everyone to do things our way.
I believe that we as a church must first start by educating ourselves in the scriptures. And this means doing a lot of hermeneutical homework. We have to understand the passages of scripture, and their contexts, with regard to homosexuality. We also have to understand the passages the world loves to use to point out the so called hypocrisy in what we obey (such as the prohibitions to the Jews to wearing blended fabrics or eating shellfish). We have to understand for ourselves the differences between moral and civil laws and know what it is Christ really said about marriage. If we don’t take the time to do this individually, we will be ill prepared for any conversation that comes up…
…We have lost so much ground because, as a church, we have not invested the time to learn the right answers. We have lashed out angrily, we have given weak answers that toppled with a mere shove, or we have cowered into our philosophical corners and let the issue march right by…
Hohnholz believes that Christians need to be better educated about Bible hermeneutics and using the Christian Scriptures in context. Simply put, Hohnholz believes the problem is a lack of good apologetical skills. (on the website he recommends a video by the Apologetics god, Reformed Baptist, James White.)
Is the problem really a lack of education? Will America repent of her embracing of the radical homosexual agenda if Christians only learn how to argue and debate better?
Of course not. Perhaps this approach will work when debating liberal Christians who have done their best to reinterpret, explain away, or rewrite what the Bible says about homosexuality. Perhaps this approach will work with angry atheists who show their lack of theological and hermenuetical understanding when they point to Christian interpretive contradictions.
However, Hohnholz’s approach won’t work with people like me, a former Evangelical trained pastor of 25 years. I spent 25 years studying the Christian Bible and I know it inside and out. I understand the argument that Hohnholz is making about hermeneutics, about the difference between moral and civil law. While I am quite confident that I could poke holes in Hohnholz’s moral vs. civil law distinction (is he suggesting some of God’s laws are NOT moral?) I readily grant that his view is widely held among Calvinistic and Reformed Christians.
You see I agree with Hohnholz about what the Bible teaches on the matter of homosexuality. I think Hohnholz’s understanding of homosexuality accurately reflects what the Christian Bible teaches. In other words, Hohnholz is right. The Bible condemns homosexuality. It is a sin, a mark of a reprobate. Hohnholz believes what Christians everywhere believed for over 1900 years.
Cal Thomas is right about one thing. The Bible clearly condemns homosexuality. The Bible is not ambiguous about homosexuality. It is a sinful behaviour that is the mark of a reprobate heart. If the Bible is taken literally, it is clear that no homosexual will inherit the kingdom of God.
And this is the very reason the Bible should not be used as a legal standard in the United States. Christians are free to live according to the dictates of the Bible, however, in a secular state, a particular religion’s moral code of conduct has no business being codified into law.
There are many moral strictures in the Bible that many moderns find abhorrent. The Bible has been used in the past to justify all kinds of vile behavior. Not too many years ago segregationists routinely quoted the Bible to justify their dehumanizing of the African-American race. We matured as a Nation and realized the Bible was wrong about slavery and the so-called inferior races.
In the same manner, the Bible is wrong about homosexuality. In fact, the Bible is wrong about many sexual matters. At best, the Bible is a religious text that promotes sexual repression and control. It is is book that is currently being used by single, white, Catholic men to deny women birth control and control of their own bodies. Christians who willingly submit to such anachronistic laws are free to do so, but Christian sects have no right to force, through the legal process, others to live by their moral code.
We say we are a Nation that believes in privacy but it seems that many Christians only support a right to privacy when what is being done in private lines up with their moral code. Simply put, Christians need to mind their own business when it comes to the sexual proclivities of others. What goes on behind closed doors between consenting adults is nobody’s business. Again, Christians are free to live according to their interpretation of the moral code of the Bible, but in a secular state they have no right to insist, through legal means, that others do so.
Homosexuals should have the same civil rights as any other American. Since marriage is a legal act licensed by the state, matters of religion have no place in the process. Two men, two women, or a man or woman should have the same freedom to marry. There is no civil reason for denying homosexuals the right to marry.
Christians need to realize that the United States is not a Christian nation. It never has been. Christianity does not deserve special status and certainly the Bible should have no weight when it comes to enacting law.
Our legal system should reflect what is best for the American people. How best to live as a pluralistic people in a secular state. Allowing homosexuals to marry and have the same civil rights as heterosexuals is absolutely essential as we mature as a nation.
Here is what I am saying…Hohnholz is right about the Bible and how Christians should present the Bible teaching on homosexuality. He is quite right to suggest that most Christians are woefully lacking when it comes to the skills necessary to adequately defend what the Bible says about homosexuality.
Americans should be told that the Christian God condemns homosexuality, along with fornication and adultery. They should be told that fornicators, adulterers and homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God. They should be told that hell awaits ALL homosexuals and that the only remedy for the homosexual is to repent, embrace salvation in Jesus Christ, and stop being a homosexual. There is no such thing as a homosexual Christian.
Americans need to be told bluntly exactly how much God hates their sin, how much God hates every person who is his enemy. (and all unregenerate people are God’s enemy. all unregenerate people have Satan as their father) Americans need to hear the complete, unvarnished truth about what the Christian Bible really teaches. I am for FULL disclosure.
Maybe then, finally, the American people will know WHY they should reject Christianity and its abhorrent Bible. Maybe then they will see the danger of attempts to erode the wall of separation between church and state. Maybe then they will stop voting for right wing Republican or God loving, flag waving Tea Party members who, if they had their way, would have homosexuals incarcerated or executed. (after all they only believe this because it IS what the Bible teaches)
Once Christianity and its Bible is completely exposed for all to see, maybe then we can put this prehistoric age behind us, and maybe then every citizen in America will have the same civil rights, regardless of who they love or who they have sex with.
So Hohnholz is right and I hope him being right will be the death of the Christianity he wants everyone to embrace.