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on DD and LGBT and NPH

I can’t stay silent any more. The internet has been exploding the last couple days with the firing of some guy from Duck Dynasty after his GQ interview, and many of my Christian friends are saying things on their Facebook walls like, “Yea! Preach it, brother!” Really? THIS is what we are to be known for? Saying out loud for all to hear that HOMOSEXUALITY IS A SIN! THE WORST SIN! EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW!

REALLY?! I disagree.

I read the GQ interview, and I think this is the part that got him fired. He also said something about not being able to understand how a guy could want to have sex with another guy over a woman, but that’s just his own personal preference. I can’t see him being fired over that.

“Everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong,” he says. “Sin becomes fine.”

What, in your mind, is sinful?

“Start with homosexual behavior and just morph out from there. Bestiality, sleeping around with this woman and that woman and that woman and those men,” he says. Then he paraphrases Corinthians: “Don’t be deceived. Neither the adulterers, the idolaters, the male prostitutes, the homosexual offenders, the greedy, the drunkards, the slanderers, the swindlers—they won’t inherit the kingdom of God. Don’t deceive yourself. It’s not right.” source

Jesus did not speak on homosexuality at all. What does that tell you? If you took out of the New Testament all the times Christians are called to take care of the quartet of the vulerable (poor, the orphan, the widow, and the immigrant), all the times we’re called to do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly, you’d have little left to work from. Homosexuality is mentioned exactly three times in the New Testament. So what should we be focused on? What should the “worst” sin be? (I’m not going to comment on whether or not homosexuality is or isn’t a sin, because that isn’t what I’m getting at.)

Did Jesus not stop some guys from stoning a woman because she was sleeping around? Didn’t they say things like, but she’s a sinner! She’s breaking the law! The law says she must be stoned! Did Jesus not say that it is not up to them (us) to judge, and for the one without sin to throw the first stone?

Edited to add: I’ve received comments that I missed the crux of the message of that story which is that Jesus said to the woman, “Go and sin no more.” But it still lines up with what I’ve been saying. It’s God who convicted her of her sin. It is not our job to do that. It’s his.

I mean, even that Phil guy got this part.

“We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus—whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ’em out later, you see what I’m saying?” source

We weren’t put on this earth to be judges. We were put on this earth to care for it and its people. BUT!, you say. But the Bible speaks out against homosexuality! Ok, let’s go with this.

This photo was taken from Neil Patrick Harris’s instagram account:


(click here if the photo does not show up)

And oh, look! A gay couple with two kids! How evil! They’re probably even in the Evil League of Evil! (See what I did there?)(If not, you obviously need a dose of Dr. Horrible.) They must be stopped and told they’re sinners!

Ok, now look at this photo, taken from Mark Charrington’s twitter feed.


(Click here if the photo does not show up.)

Mark works with at-risk youth in Edmonton. He sees kids like this every day. Beaten by johns, by parents, by partners.

Now can we talk again about what the “worst sin” is? Is it two men whose desire it is to be in a loving relationship and raise kids together? Or is it the kind of people who get off or get rich by beating and raping children? What did Jesus base his ministry on? Did he base it on telling us that we are to judge others? Or did he base it on instructing us to take care of those who cannot take care of themselves, the “least of these”, the ones society views as “lesser than”. He gave us Matthew 25.

We’re in the Christmas season, for goodness sake. We’re supposed to be preaching that God loved the world so much that he sent his one and only son to the world as a helpless infant so that he could grow up and die on the cross and rise again to show his power over death, to be our sinless sacrifice. This is supposed to be a time when we show the world God’s love, not our judgementalism. We’re supposed to be full of joy because we get to share this good news of how much God loves us and the rest of the world. And it’s not because we deserve it. I’ve broken every single one of the ten commandments, all of them, and guess what? God still loves me. I don’t understand why, but he does. That is what we are supposed to be preaching.

Let me ask you this: if Jesus was on earth today, who do you think he’d be hanging out with? That guy on the street corner with the HOMOSEXUALITY IS A SIN! GOD HATE FAGS! signs? Or that gay kid who has become so ashamed of the way he was created that he can’t face another day with his holier-than-thou “Christian” peers?

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  • Kami Friday, December 20, 2013, 10:02 am

    Jen, I love this with the fire of a thousand burning suns. I don’t not care what crutch a person uses to justify their hate or judgement. It is wrong with a capital W. Do not quote the old testament to me to justify the judgement of people who were created, yes I said created, differently than you.

    You may not choose to comment specifically on whether it is a sin but I am not that classy. It is not a sin to be who God created you to be.

    • Jen Wilson Friday, December 20, 2013, 10:13 am

      Love you, my friend.

  • Kami Friday, December 20, 2013, 10:05 am

    AND (sorry you got me wired up here) you are SO right. There are so many much much much bigger evils in the world even if you choose to believe homosexuality is a sin. Let’s focus on that.

  • Dayna Friday, December 20, 2013, 10:17 am

    I couldn’t have (and I’ve tried) written this better myself. It seems like such a simple concept – love one another, not judge one another – yet we all get it wrong so often. There is only one bible verse that is ever needed and that is John 13:34-35:
    “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

    • Jen Wilson Friday, December 20, 2013, 10:47 am

      Exactly.

      (Although I don’t quite agree that only one verse is needed, I agree with what you mean.) :)

  • Annie Friday, December 20, 2013, 10:38 am

    You know how I love you and others and I don’t believe that one sin is greater than the other (I do believe one sin has more affect than the other). Also remember what Jesus said to the woman about to be stones…”go and sin no more”. Phil was speaking scripture and it is a scripture that focuses on things that the world today deems acceptable (but God never will).

    None of us are perfect, we all say and do things that require repentance and forgiveness…I’m thankful that it God’s grace is abundant. First and foremost we are to love, however we also have been shown how to respond to sin.

    • Jen Wilson Friday, December 20, 2013, 10:54 am

      I agree with some parts of what he said, like that it’s not our place to judge, and we are to show love to all people no matter their background, and I respect where he came from in life, but if he’s on TV “representing” Christianity saying that homosexuality is the “worst sin”, someone has to speak up and say that is not true. And yea, we can show how to respond to sin, but it’s not up to us to convict people of their sin, that is up to God.

      Love you, always will. xo

  • Eric Friday, December 20, 2013, 10:51 am

    Jen, you know I love you. But I disagree with your skewed version of how you see this DD argument, but more so your interpretation of John 8:1-11. The context of the story relates to the sin of sexual immorality, pride, and judgement. But more so it addresses grace and how we all have fallin short of the glory of God. In laying out your argument you forgot a major piece of the story which is in 8:11 where, after showing that we live with sin and have no way to achieve righteousness apart from Christ, he sends the woman away commanding her to “sin no more.”

    This is the crux of the story because Christ sets her free from the judgement of others, but also condemns her own sin. We should not look at others sins as greater than our own, whether stealing, adultery, pornography, or homosexuality. But in the end it is all sin and leads us away from Christ rather than toward. Once we start picking and choosing to stand firm on hard sins and let the soft, silent, or discrete sins go we are no different than the Pharisees of the day. Hiding behind the religiousity of the Judgement over grace.

    I agree. Christians use Homosexuality as a crutch because it is visual and easy to attack. I also think this is wrong. But I do not agree that we as Christians should roll over on every issue pertaining to Biblical truth either.

    Love all because we’re all sinners. Hate sin because it destroys individuals, families, churches, communities and nations. We are in this position because we made our own bed. Christians have been awful to those we should have been loving, and I would include the murders, thieves, drug addicts, and any one else society has deemed too far gone to save.

    Treat others as you would want to be treated. But run from sin to Jesus in the process. I personally am chief among sinners but am thankful for a God that loves me despite my own selfish perversion.

    • Jen Wilson Friday, December 20, 2013, 10:57 am

      You’re right, I did miss that part. But it was JESUS who told her to go and sin no more. It was JESUS who convicted her of her sin, and told her to sin no more. It’s not our job to convict people of their sin, it is God’s job.

  • Eric Friday, December 20, 2013, 11:15 am

    Who is the Church?

    When Christ ascended into heaven and proclaimed that we would return for His bride the Church he made it clear that the Church was responsible to uphold His teachings, tenants, and commandments. Obviously the first was to love The Lord your God and your neighbour as yourself. This is often overlooked since we often great our neighbour as our enemies. But regardless the Church, abiding by the law of Grace was supposed to uphold Christian teachings.

    I would suggest that we have lost this idea in favour of another, more humanistic, perspective which allows for the rule of the individual over the collective body of the Church.

    The Church has refused to provide the Church discipline, or in most cases accepted the humanism belief themselves, and as a result you have a world in chaos. I don’t like being told what to do more any most, except maybe Lilly, but as Christians we are told to subject ourselves the the Church as the bride of Christ. The Church should be responsible for communicating was is right and wrong as outlined in the Bible, but in most cases have failed.

    So while I agree that only God can judge, I would temper it by saying the Church has left its post. Let down society. And now we have chaos throughout.

    • Jen Wilson Friday, December 20, 2013, 11:29 am

      True, but doesn’t that part of scripture refer to people *in* the church? That we are to confront those *in* the church if we believe they are off-base? It’s not saying to hold non-Christians to Christian standards.

      You are right. The first and greatest commandment is to love The Lord your God and your neighbour as yourself. Nowhere in there does it say to proclaim from the mountaintops that the LGBT community is going to hell.

      I also agree that the church has left its post in some respects, and let down society. Big time. Because we’re too interested in our own agenda rather than the one Christ left us with. The Residential schools are a big example of that, but we’ve failed in much subtler ways as well. But we can change that.

  • Cynthia Friday, December 20, 2013, 11:57 am

    This whole debate has been in my mind all week long!
    I couldn’t agree more with this! Thank you for posting it :)

    • Jen Wilson Friday, December 20, 2013, 12:02 pm

      You’re welcome!

  • Heather Friday, December 20, 2013, 12:05 pm

    Amen!

    • Jen Wilson Friday, December 20, 2013, 6:27 pm

      :)

  • Jacki Friday, December 20, 2013, 3:05 pm

    Eric! I’m totally with you! In stead of the church standing up and going into the world, we have let the world dictate how we should do “church”.
    Jenn! Thanks for posting! love to see how God is working in your life!! Be blessed!

    • Jen Wilson Friday, December 20, 2013, 6:28 pm

      Thanks, Jacki! :)

  • Venessa Friday, December 20, 2013, 3:22 pm

    See I don’t think it is fair to say that he is dwelling on the wrong thing. I think the media and people maybe deep on the wrong thing. He did not come to that interview with the intent to make a fuss. He got asked a question and answered it honestly and if I got it right he also said loving all people is still the most important thing. But since it is brought up why not go with it. That being said I have never not loved a person who is homosexual…I just don’t agree with the life style.

    • Jen Wilson Friday, December 20, 2013, 6:32 pm

      The thing is, for most in the LGBT community, it’s not just a lifestyle. It is how they were created. I’ll leave it at that, but it’s not like they decide they want to be gay and go with it.

      And I know he wasn’t trying to make a fuss, but he’s not entirely correct, either.

  • Kevin Thiessen Friday, December 20, 2013, 5:33 pm

    From the two quotes you gave Jen, I think that Phil spoke with all the correct attitudes and balances. He stood up for Biblical truth but then qualified it in a window of love. It is all the reactionary people on both sides who have taken his statements apart from each other and turned this into a big controversy. There isn’t nearly this much controversy in what he actually said.
    You spoke well in your response to Eric. God gave Israel the Torah and told them “Do this that you may be a blessing to all nations.” But Jews and Christians and Muslims alike have taken it and tried to control the world with it, saying “This is what is right, if you all would just do this, then the world would be a better place.” What we are really called to do is seek to embody the truth in everything that WE do so that we can be a blessing and a light to those who are lost in the darkness without so much as a flashlight.
    We also get caught up thinking that our efforts are worthless unless they actually lead people to come to know God for themselves but the Bible doesn’t say that. It simply tells us to bless people with God’s love in any way that we can.
    The love of God is selfless, so when we try to show it to people with that agenda attached to it, it exposes our wrong motives. People see straight through it. It’s just more of the same control as what populates the rest of the darkness. It causes the lost to wince and they put on sunglasses because they really don’t want to see any more of the kind of light we’re shining.
    Arguments and controversies like this one (where the “church” is trying to tell the “world” what to do) show our complete failure to love as Jesus loved. He loved us while we were still sinners. It is not Submission to God’s Control that changes people, it is Trust in His Governance. That trust can only develop in people when they see that He has their best interest at heart and is willing to pay the ultimate price to care for their needs.
    I see this plainly but I include myself as a part of the problem because I still struggle to give selflessly when it is really going to cost me something. I still preach truth with a particular outcome in mind and not simply because it is truth. We are the salt of the earth and we need to stand for God’s principles but we are not responsible for the ways that the world goes astray and we shouldn’t be getting so uptight when it takes a further step into darkness. I think Christians get so roweled up about this stuff because as the world sinks further away from God it gets harder and harder for us to stand in integrity for God’s principles of truth. We get pulled down with it because we are too attached to it. It is our own weakness and fear that makes us respond this way. We need to learn to stand in strength, separate from the world, allowing it to drift away from us. Letting it go and holding on to God.

    • Jen Wilson Friday, December 20, 2013, 6:38 pm

      It’s not a biblical truth that sin starts with homosexuality and goes from there. And there is a HUGE difference between homosexuality and bestiality. They can’t even be considered in the same class. Is it a light and a blessing to condemn the LGBT community? I do not see it that way, and I doubt they do, either. That’s not blessing others with God’s love. That’s condemning them with our judgement. I cannot see Jesus condoning this.

      I agree with much of what you said. But I’ll never agree that Phil was right in his statement about where sin starts.

      • Kevin Friday, December 20, 2013, 7:36 pm

        See I don’t a think that’s at all what he meant. That’s what all the uppeties are making it out that he meant. He simply used that as his first example and then condemed all sexually deviant behaviour. It wasn’t a direct attack on lgbt’s it was a statement against all of us who want to think that our perverted lusts are okay. We’re all in that boat together.

        But again, I haven’t read his whole interview, only the parts you quoted.

        • Kevin Friday, December 20, 2013, 7:40 pm

          And definitely I would have chosen a different approach when asked to define what sin is.

          • Kevin Friday, December 20, 2013, 8:04 pm

            The biblical truth in what he said is that sin can’t be separated into categories or classes. It is all the same and equally condemning. I think that is what he was getting at and his point has been massively misunderstood.
            The point of the gospel isn’t about the condemnation, the blessing is in the gift of deliverance FROM it. I’m not sure if that came out in the rest of the interview but it seems to me, that is the direction he was going. It’s a three part message. We need deliverance,
            There is deliverance available,
            Blessing and honour and transformation comes when we accept that deliverance.
            It’s understandable why Christians always get cut off after point #1. Perhaps there is a better way to deliver the 3 points but ultimately point #1 has to be accepted before the others are even relevant.
            It’s a tough message to bring in the right attitude and public media is not really an effective place to bring it. In that setting it will always look more like condemnation than deliverance.

  • Kevin Friday, December 20, 2013, 8:13 pm

    So as I was saying, the physical act of sacrificing your own comforts for the sake of unbelievers is about the only way I have found to show the gospel in its entirety without condemning people. An act of undeserved love will sit heavy on anyone’s heart and make them feel the right kind of conviction. The kind that wells up from inside. But boy is it easier to just verbally condemn people, I tell ya! There’s little wonder why we Christians fail so badly at this.

  • Christina Friday, December 20, 2013, 9:14 pm

    This is great! You understand who Jesus was and how we are to treat people.

  • Angella Monday, December 23, 2013, 10:08 am

    I have nothing else to add, because you nailed it, so I’ll just be here doing the slow clap.