A Challenge for the Fundamentalists

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As you know, I try to avoid controversy on my blog. I find it distasteful and distracting to my mission.

Okay. I’ll give you a moment while you have a chuckle over that notion.

This week has been a stellar week in Christendom. Within 48 hours, a much beloved humanitarian organization went from openly affirming marriage equality and hiring those in same-sex marriages, to caving to the pressure of venomous emails/tweets/blog posts, as well the loss of millions of dollars in financial support, and reversing their decision. While they still affirm God’s everlasting love for everyone, be they lesbian, gay, straight, transgendered, bisexual, or queer, they stated that their choice to reverse their decision on hiring people in same-sex marriages was a matter of abiding by biblical principles. I suspect the backlash from the fundamentalists, who gladly put their moral superiority over the need to feed the hungry and clothe the naked, weighed heavily on their decision as well.

While on Twitter earlier tonight, I saw many a tweet from people rejoicing that World Vision had reversed the decision and fallen back into alignment with God’s principles. To place the importance of heavily debatable doctrine over the importance of human lives and dignity is falling well outside what I perceive to be God’s principles. Jesus said that our greatest commandment was love…love for God, and love for our neighbors. Nowhere did he state that our job was to present ourselves to the world as morally superior, particularly when that superiority comes at the expense of the approximately 5,000 children who lost sponsors due to intolerance toward homosexuals.

So, this is my challenge to the fundamentalists rejoicing that their efforts caused the reversal of World Vision’s incredibly loving decision to hire those in same-sex marriages: Could you please present to the world, using the comments section on this blog post, a concise, sound argument for how homosexuality is a threat to your heterosexuality and your family? I don’t want to hear scripture. You can quote scripture day and night, and it is not an argument, it is merely a smokescreen to hide the fact that, outside of your dogma, you have no sound argument. I am serious, though. Please tell us how the fact that some people are attracted to those of the same gender and would like to be treated as citizens with the same rights and protections as heterosexuals are a threat to you. I am asking because I keep hearing that affirming homosexuals and giving them equality is somehow going to erode the “traditional” family. Please explain how that happens. I have yet to see any corroborating evidence for that claim. I hear a lot of bloviating about protecting the “traditional” family, but it’s all noise. There have been no facts presented, no evidence that a reasonable person would consider sound, nothing given to prove your point beyond a reasonable doubt. Hell, you can’t even claim to have presented a preponderance of evidence for your case. So, please, enlighten us, fundamentalists. Tell us how homosexuals are a threat to you to such a degree that not only must you deny them equality, but you must boycott corporations and organizations who make an effort to be affirming and inclusive. I would LOVE to read what you have to say about this.

For those of you who have the blessed ignorance of not knowing what this is all about, please read up on it here.

Addendum: For the purposes of this blog en total, there is no “gay marriage,” there are no “gay families,” and I have no “gay friends/family.” There is marriage. There are families. I have friends and family. Just to clarify. :)

5 responses »

    • Thank you for reading and commenting. I have read your post and left a comment for you as well. To say I am disappointed with the American Church is a vast understatement if ever there was one. I haven’t been part of any church for a long time, and this sort of thing is one of the many reasons why. I have no regrets about leaving, and I will never go back.

      • Thank you Stephanie. I can relate with your disillusionment but would encourage you not to give up on finding a body of believers where you can feel at home and grow through community. I am not saying it is easy and I guess we will always be disappointed at some levels because church’s are made up of sinful people. However, there are solid and gracious Christians out there who are trying their best to live out Christ grace and humility. I recently have been looking into the Society of Friends (Quakers) and think you may possibly find fellowship there. Everything I have read about them makes me think they are a gracious and peace loving people. Im still hanging on in my local presbyterian church but I have even thought of taking the leap. Of course you know what is best for you but one of the best things for me ever was discovering that not all Christians were like my fundamentalist Bible belt upbringing.

  1. Okay, I never blog or write on the internet, but was trying to find out the rationale for World Vision’s action and stumbled upon your post and decided to take your bait. However, I simply can’t answer your question without any reference to the Bible, because without it, there is no answer.

    We need to start with understanding basic Christian theology. An omniscient, omnipotent and perfectly holy God created the universe and for some reason, created man in his own image. In this, man had the ability to make independent decisions, and unfortunately he chose to go his own way, rather than God’s way. This is the definition of sin, and I think if you look around you, you would be hard pressed not to say this is a fallen world. Since we are all created in God’s image, we have the capacity to do good, but at the root, we are all basically self-serving, rather than God-serving, which leads us to rebellion from God, and in sin.

    Yes, Jesus talked about love, but he talked a lot about sin too. In fact, the whole point of him coming to earth (if you believe that he is God made man, which would be standard for evangelicals, maybe not so much for more liberal Christians), was to pay the penalty for man’s sin, since there is no free lunch. The alternative is eternity in hell. So there is the notion that God hates sin and will punish it, but in His infinite love, He sent that which was most loved by Him, His son (let’s not talk about concept of the Trinity here) and allowed him to suffer a most horrible and painful death, because of his love for mankind. Jesus then conquered sin and death by his resurrection, and promises the hope of eternal life (which requires a leap of faith, not so popular in today’s world I suppose). We receive redemption freely by accepting Jesus’ payment for our sin, and from there on, we become reconciled to our Creator, the just and holy God.

    Because we are forgiven, we as Christians should be most forgiving, but although we are ‘saved’ we are still sinners like everyone else. Lying, cheating, pride, arrogance, greed, anger, envy – these are all pointed out to be sin, just as sexual immorality is distinctly pointed out as being distinct from God’s plan for sex within marriage. The Bible is also very clear about homosexuality, bestiality, incest, etc as being detestable to God. So here’s where it comes down to me – we are all in the same boat, sinners alike because we all fall short of God’s perfect standards. Therefore, I certainly have no right to sit in judgement over anyone, and I am called to love everyone. I have many cherished homosexual friends whom I love dearly – can I condone the choice in my heart? No, but I can’t condone the sin in which I succumb to on a daily basis either. For me the ‘born gay’ argument falls into the category of alcoholic, drug addictive, food addictive, pornography addicted, child molester etc addictive tendencies that should be avoided, both in the interest of self and in some cases for the welfare of the public. It’s the fallen world that give us a certain share of struggle.

    The hard thing for non-Christians to accept is that God does lay out some clear principles and in our post-modern world the notion of moral absolutes seems to be very distasteful (although I can’t for the life of me figure out why certain repressive countries get off without any hitch whatsoever – Christians, gays etc are stoned if caught for example, women are mutilated and treated like property, children even worse). The dictum against homosexuality has absolutely nothing to do with what such individuals could do to me or my family, it’s about what God says to those He created, whom He loves and has our best interest at heart.

    So to answer your question, people who engage in homosexual activity pose absolutely no threat to me personally, nor do I hold them in any lower regard than anyone else. For me, it’s simply a lifestyle choice that runs counter to God’s commands. And further, I don’t think that mandating certain behaviours leads to reconciliation with God, which is another reason that I tend not to be vocal about this. The amazing thing about Christianity, in distinction to all other world religions is that God reconciles himself to us, we don’t have to be ‘good enough’.

    Anyway, sorry for being long-winded and I hope that I haven’t violated your request too much. In reading Rich Stearns’ Q and A, it is hard to tell what was behind his decision, but clearly his mission is to focus on the tasks at hand – and his mission is to serve the poor and needy. This guy gave up a huge paying job to work at World Vision and his heart is in the right place.

    As for the people who appeared to be outraged and withdrew funding for WV, there are probably those who viewed this as WV snubbing God, and thus did not want to be associated with the organization any longer – kind of like humiliating your wife or children – you wouldn’t stand by and let that happen (I hope!), and then there are those, whose Christianity is a bunch of rules, and they are outraged that someone would break the rule – these are the sad people, who have forgotten the notion of love and forgiveness and unfortunately often drive people further from anything ‘Christian’.

    I hope this helps, and thanks for reading.
    Respectfully yours,
    Schwinn

    • Hi Schwinn. Thank you for reading and for taking the time to post a thoughtful response. I do not agree with you on many things, but I appreciate that you stated your points of view respectfully. It is greatly appreciated!

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