If God loves all people, why does he condemn gays just because they were
born with a different sexual orientation than heterosexuals?

Gaga is right. We were all 'born this way'. Psalm 51:5 - 'Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.' I tend to be among those who think it quite probable that homosexuals are born with a certain orientation ... but so are all human beings. This idea falls right into line with basic Christian doctrine which teaches that as a result of the man's rebellion against God and the fall (Genesis 2-3), we are all born sinners with an inclination to sin.

No one is singling out homosexuality and frankly, contrary to popular wisdom, most Christians do not obsess over this issue. The gospel tells us that we ALL cannot change and each of us is in a similar condition to the homosexual, prior to regeneration. We are all born into bondage, a condition that we cannot change: Its called total depravity. By nature we are all morally impotent to obey God's commands let alone believe the gospel ... yet we all remain culpable for these transgressions (Rom 3:19, 20). If homosexuality can be exempt because people claim that they are born that way, then I guess this makes us all exempt from repenting of our various sins that we cannot naturally escape from. If I am born a man of pride and a bigot and cannot change this, does this exempt me from obedience to God in this area? Shall I give up trying to change my coveting and greed because I was born with such a desire? This also includes conservatives who are bigoted against people who are homosexuals. Conservatives must also repent of their sin of trusting in their own righteousness because God didn't save Christians because they were pure or because of something good He saw in them but rather, because of His sheer grace, plus nothing. The conservative religionist is as equally deserving of God's wrath as the homosexual, apart from grace.

I think it is clear that Scripture does not conceive of the church's primary role in the world as one of opposing public immorality through political means, but this does not mean we should remain neutral about it either. We will vote our consciences according to God's law but will not fret or get violent if we do not get our way. The Kingdom of God is not the least bit threatened by the laws and social engineering of men. Consider that the early first and second century Christians lived in an extremely diverse, corrupt and immoral society where they did not have any access to political power or influence in public policy other than through persuading people to believe the gospel. These early Christians did not waste their time picketing or protesting, as we now see some doing. Shouting matches were not their calling. They witnessed to the historic fact of the resurrection, they prayed, worshiped, and lived pious & holy lives. Indeed this witness, in many cases, influenced society, but in many other cases, society went on in its paganism. These Christians knew that if there were to be a vast change of public ideas of morals, it would have to come through the grace of God by the power of the Holy Spirit, not by an imperial edict or judicial ruling. Laws do very little to change people's thinking or heart's disposition on such matters. And there is no evidence that Jesus went out of his way to take on any political causes, probably because, in themselves, they do have any power to change hearts.

Of course, many wanted Jesus to be a political organizer but that wasn't His interest (except in an eschatological sense). But that does not automatically mean He approved of the status quo. On the contrary, it simply means that the path of Jesus Christ is not identical with the path of political activism. I think Jesus' view of society really tended to grow out of his view of our individual and corporate alienation from God. He gave a diversity of responses to our alienation, but He did not mistake any symptomatic aspect of our lost condition--sexual depravity, greed, poverty, war, ignorance--from the root cause and remedy of that alienation: the gospel.

Jesus lived His life submerged in a culture of social problems and sympathetically tended to those problems, yet he never held out any hope for the substantial eradication of those problems apart from the gospel. The first century Christians, as revealed in the Scriptures, exemplified radical kinds of love and service, but none of these manifested itself as a stress on political activism. So there is great hope in the difference in the way Jesus views the actions of a Christian from the romantic possibilities for a political utopia, which may restrain some evil but itself really has no power to transform anyone.

Frankly, I have always viewed moralizing crusades with great suspicion. It appears to me to commit the church to such a course of action, which was never part of its original purpose, and is an attempt to accomplish something that must ultimately fail. The ultimate effect of merely attempting to focus on legal change might very well be to impede the hearing of the Gospel by those who need it most. To put it in other terms, we cannot minister to people if they perceive us primarily as their political enemies. I will give to you, however, that many biblically/theologically illiterate so-called Christians are crassly political and hostile to all kinds of groups. So surprising as it may sound to you, a more conservative view of theology is the answer to dealing with such ignorance and bigotry.

The theologically conservative position is that Christians should take no more interest in what gays do in their private lives than in what any other fallen sinner does, and that we should not distinguish ourselves by obsessing on the various homosexual agendas. Of course when we vote, we must do what we think is best by Biblical standards. But it is clear that homosexuality has by no means outpaced heterosexuality in the committing acts of evil. I am convinced that the response of Christians must include a great deal more love genuine acceptance of our gay friends and family. A Christians' principled opposition to gay marriage ought to be one form of confessing how unworthily we as Christians have treated marriage itself.

I think it important to point out, however, that the general thinking among the secular progressive crowd is that it is Christianity is perverse and immoral for placing homosexuality in its catalog of sins. This is a huge turnaround from just a couple of decades ago such that whenever a Christian mentions that homosexual acts (among other immoralities) are sin, it often sends people flying into a rage ... which really goes to show that those who support homosexual unions are not religiously neutral in the least. They intend to not only hold a personal preference on the issue but force society at large to adopt a so-called "tolerant" view on the subject through re-education and judicial declarations.

I would challenge (those of you who believe this) to look at your own view as it is profoundly influenced by your own religious presuppositions. In fact I would argue that your view that homosexuals have the right to marry (or that we should teach school-children that it is acceptable practice) is no more "value-neutral" than any other religious view. You would impose on the collective society a view that cannot be demonstrated to be right, except that it is your own groups' arbitrary preference. The fact is that your own particular beliefs on the matter are anything but "secular' or "neutral" for they are ultimately based on your own underlying base commitments that you cannot ultimately account for, except by your own self-declared authority. A secular society doesn't mean only "secularists" can determine our laws and educational content, it means that all voices have the right to debate in the free market of ideas, and may the best idea(s) prevail. This is because someone's concept of justice, morality and goodness will always ultimately be imposed. Bias is something that is impossible to avoid. We are all religious creatures and cannot refrain from making moral judgments every day of our lives. Our deepest social problems are thus, pre-political, embedded in our worldviews.

So it is naive to think that the only thing that makes one religious is that one goes to church and reads the Bible. It is difficult to see how Christians are under more influence from their own interpretive community than others are from theirs. Thus, it seems obvious to me that you enjoy being a postmodern secularist, and the philosophy of this group has been influential on you, but ultimately you just believe what you like to believe. This preference is derived from the answer you find most satisfactory but is by no means self-validating. It is hard for me to see, therefore, how you can escape a kind of communal solipsism. What therefore, gives your group the right to be exempt from the limitations of the "separation of church and state" since you appeal to an absolute authority for your morals that you cannot account for?

It is a fact that we live in a pluralistic society. But when pluralism starts to become a philosophy, or a religious dogma then it takes on new characteristics and could be characterized by calling it something more akin to "religious pluralism." It has affirmations and denials and a missionary force. This contemporary dogmatism itself is evidence that postmodernism is really just ultramodern. Religious pluralism has become so opinionated that it tends to drive out empirical pluralism; its plea for tolerance is so imperial that it is remarkably intolerant. True tolerance, however, simultaneously argues for truth and insists people have the right to disagree without fear of coercion. To give you a better idea of what I mean, you often are morally outraged that some conservatives have a gall to attempt to determine for the rest of us the standards our society will operate on, all the while you secularists are free to arbitrarily determine the standards our society should operate on (because you hide under the umbrella of so-called non-religious relativism). There seems to be a double standard here. By calling my position a religion you can conveniently neutralize any attempt by Christians to be involved in public policy in a society governed by separation of church and state. Yet your own belief system (that you somehow believe to be neutral and non-religious) can have free reign to alone determine the direction of our society. But there is no way to verify the authority of your claims to know truth. Thus your assumption is that liberal religious pluralism does, in effect, have a monopoly on the truth. It alone claims the vantage point from which the true relation of the religions can be seen. This religious pluralism is already, therefore, presupposed to be the summum bonum, the god by which all other claims must be judged. But it is a totalitarian imposition to enforce the view that all views are equally valid.

Most secularists believe that in almost all cases calling homosexuality a sin stems from a deeply felt animosity towards the mere existence of gays. But Isn't it possible that Christians might be for preserving our civilization and limiting certain behaviors because they actually love the people who are in bondage to them? Love hates what is harmful and destructive in others' lives. Love is not just sentimental. When I see my friends caught in something that is ultimately harmful I come humbly with a clear attitude of "I love you and am committed to you but I can't stand to see what this is doing to your life." This is both true on an individual and a societal level. I come myself as one also broken by sin, not in arrogant pride or hate, for I am no better. In calling persons to leave their idols that hold them in enslavement, you may interpret as hate, but this is really not the motive or affection going on in our hearts. Of course, I cannot speak for everyone. But those who are truly committed to their faith do have such affection.
Unbelievers need to repent of their immorality; religious people need to repent of their morality; both need the gospel of Jesus Christ.

All worldviews do in fact inescapably hold to absolutes, including yours. It is unavoidable because this is God's universe. Every time you open your lips and put a sentence together with logic, you are counting on the fact that there are universals. You are thereby "borrowing" from a system that you repudiate in order to repudiate that system. We live in a universe where logic and morals are unavoidably absolute. The point I was making is that I believe your system is unintelligible because on the one hand you deny absolutes, but in the other, you employ them when it seems to be convenient to you. You claim to be a relativist yet your life and practice betray your claim when you declare that slavery, racism bigotry against homosexuals and torture are wrong for all people, for example. Even the very statement you make that there are no absolutes exposes the inconsistency of your position. For you must believe that it is absolute that there are no absolutes. Thus you are claiming to have religious knowledge that others don't have. It is a claim to understand the nature of reality that cannot be verified. A bird's eye view of reality of the world that you claim to see and others cannot. So this absolute claim to relativism is a claim to know truth just like mine, except you cannot account for yours because it is hopelessly self-refuting, even under simple analysis. You are invoking universals to claim there are none. That confused logic is fatal to your system.

Social constructs are ultimately meaningless. If your view is not true in any ultimate sense, and does not appeal to ther Grand Narrative, then you are simply writing your own narrative in your own little corner, trying to somehow suck meaning out of it.

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