Gay Ducks

I can’t stand it any more. I have to weigh in. Besides, everyone else is and I’m feeling left out. 🙂

I don’t really want to repeat what Duck Dynasty’s hairy dad, Phil Robertson, said – if you somehow missed it – just log on to any news site or watch TV. He was quoted saying that homosexuality is sin, in a fairly graphic manner. He then went on to say some things about black people that I personally found far more offensive.

So….as you would guess – it’s a lightning rod for both sides. Everyone’s up in arms. Here’s what I think. I might surprise you….

I’m very conservative when it comes to biblical interpretation. I believe that acting out on homosexual desires is a sin. Feeling gay is not. Thinking you might be gay – not. Deciding you’re gay, but remaining chaste, is not. It’s the homosexual act that God is against (in both the old and new Testaments). There are only about 6 verses total that say this. Not very many. But there are no verses that support a homosexual lifestyle. There is no example in nature that supports it. It’s not natural. It’s sin.

Now that I’ve surprised some of you – let me bring in a couple of other thoughts that might be helpful. First, Jesus never mentions it. There was plenty of homosexual activity in the days of Jesus. He could have said something. He didn’t. I try (not very well, I might add) to be like Jesus. He didn’t talk about it – I don’t want to. (Except for this blog, of course)! 🙂

Secondly, I believe the word and concept of “sin” is often misunderstood. It’s often described as “missing the mark” which is the perfection God requires. Or it’s thought of as hurting God.

Here’s what sin is. It’s something that hurts us! God doesn’t want us to sin – because he loves us and wants the best for us. And when we sin, it hurts us. I have yet to meet a fully healthy happy practicing homosexual. They typically have lots of pain in their life. That’s what hurts God – he wants them (and us) to be whole. Healthy. Happy. He’s for us!

Thirdly, more specifically about this controversy, when we make the issue the issue – it’s not usually helpful. I don’t want to run from things or pretend they don’t exist, but focusing on issues (abortion, gay marriage, politics) isn’t the way of Jesus. He went much much deeper – he headed for the heart.

Talking about “issues” is easy. We’re either for or against something. in this case, we can focus on the freedom of speech. Or gay rights. Or what the Bible says. Or bigotry. Or….any number of issues. And then we’re either for or against them. Easy.

It’s much more difficult to ask heart questions. Questions that make us ask “why” rather than “what.” Questions that focus on motivation and purpose rather than facts and figures. But here’s the problem with focusing on the heart – only God knows it. We can’t. I cannot know what’s in the heart of Phil Robertson or the GQ editor asking him the questions or Piers Morgan right now on CNN or Sean Hannity on Fox. I can make some guesses based on what they say – but I’ve found that’s often wrong.

And the deepest problem/frustration is this – not only can we not know someone’s heart, we can’t fix or change it. Only God can change hearts. He uses us for sure. When we focus on the issues – people’s hearts often grow more calloused towards God – it’s a weird reverse psychology that happens. When we fight against “them” they don’t appreciate it. They can’t hear. And their hearts grow cold (whoever the “they” might be).

When we love people the way Jesus did, and lift him up for them to see – the actual biblical Jesus of Nazareth – hearts are changed. When hearts are changed, issues change. Issues change because the people have changed.

It’s simple to say – hard to live. I commit to the way of Jesus, once again!

Comments

  1. Alan says:

    Thanks Carl. As usual, you remind us to focus through the lens of Jesus.

  2. dwmtractor says:

    Good thoughts Carl. A greatly appreciated counterpoint. Two thoughts: first, you mentioned “I have yet to meet a fully healthy happy practicing homosexual.” I have…well, as “fully healthy and happy” as you or I or any other human being. I think that statement is probably not helpful to your otherwise correct points.

    Second, as I mentioned on the Facebook thread that started it all, I think the “Four Laws” style of evangelism has helped us to get the whole process of coming to Jesus backwards, and has for many led to Christians usurping the role of the Holy Spirit as the one who convicts of sin. Instead of inviting people to Jesus and trusting he’ll deal with people’s sin in his own good time, Four Laws evangelism demands that people first admit their sin as the price of admission to Jesus. That’s all wrong, because only when Jesus is Lord does the definition of sin have any meaning.

    So I think we err in trumpeting the sins of those who have not claimed Jesus as Lord. Why should we be surprised people with a different king follow different laws?

  3. Carl Medearis says:

    I regret putting the comment about not knowing any happy gay people. That was unhelpful as I know lots of unhappy people from every orientation!

  4. RolloMartins says:

    You write, “There is no example in nature that supports it. It’s not natural.” I don’t think this is true. Here, from Medical News shows homosexuality so numerous in nature that to think that homo sapiens would not be affected would be highly unusual: http://www.news-medical.net/news/2006/10/23/20718.aspx. As to the examples in the NT I’m not sure there is even one verse *that is unequivocally anti-gay*. Granted I am elevating the bar quite high, but shouldn’t we, in this quarter? Robin Scroggs has a book on this that explains this better than I. Also, it should be noted that Romans 1:26-8 *can* be read as a pro-gay message (*if* you can see homosexuality as natural, which we should). Thanks for listening.

  5. fika_nofa says:

    Hi Carl,

    Great article. I beg to disagree with your definition of “sin” though. I believe God does hate sin because it hurts us, for sure, but that’s more like the by-product of sin (the curse, the fall), I believe God hates sin because it goes against his good order, that is, it has more to do with Him first, and then it doesn’t do us good either. I think of David’s sin, even tho he killed Uriah, and committed adultery w/ Batsheba, He confessed that he sinned against God *only*. In the OT, the whole sacrificial system shows us that it is God’s very nature that cannot bear sin, his “otherness” or Holiness, His character demands Justice.

    @Rollomartins It’s true that homosexuality in the natural realm is far from unusual, but I don’t think it’s not the greatest argument one should use to support it. Besides, IMHO 1 Cor 6:9 and 1 Tim 1:10 are againts Homosexuality, unless you don’t understand arsenkointes as homosexuality, i humbly believe you should, a quick reading of Leviticus in the Septuagint version should shade light on the use of this compound noun.

    Anyway, IMHO it boils down to this:
    “(even) IF homosexuality (mariage/carrier/whatever) is NOT a sin, as a disciple are you ready to let go of your “right” for your Lord, Jesus the Messiah?”

    Cheers

    1. RolloMartins says:

      I agree that the “found in nature” is not the strongest…but I was not arguing that…Carl was. Just replying that I thought he was incorrect in his statement.
      Arsenokoites has been found in literature six times (I believe), which means no one knows what is meant by the term. Not enough context. I think it is time we stopped pretending to knowledge that we do not presently have. There was a term for male-male sex (kinaedos?) but that was not used in the Septuagint. Why? Perhaps this simply was not meant? As to the OT, we simply can dismiss the prohibition on gay sex unless we wish to also go on a kosher diet and forgo mixed-blend clothing.

      1. fika_nofa says:

        Well, These terms appear in the very passages that clearly rejects homosexual practice (Leviticus) in the LXX version. it’s no secret that writers of the NT utlized the… Septuagint Tanach, you do the math. Paul had clearly Lev in mind in 1 Cor 6 and 1 Tim 1.
        Allow me to argue against your “let’s not use the OT” argument
        1. Look at the context God gave his motives
        Leviticus 18:27 ESV

        (for the people of the land, who were before you, did all of these abominations, so that the land became unclean).
        Given that context, it’s a bit harder to bring the Kosher/clothing argument. In all fairness, I do agree that lots of laws are outdated, but I humbly believe, this one on homosexuality isnt

        2. Just like the weakness of the “natural” argument, the anti-OT argument is weak on this regard:one can as well be pro-zoophilia v.23, pro-let’s kill our babies v.22 (pro-choice?), pro-Adultery v.20

        Personally, I am “naturally” against the “trends” of this secular overly humanistic world. It seems to me too (may be it’s just me) that pro-gay Christian arguments play on the whole “the way you are” “you deserve to be happy” “God wants you to be happy” notes, arguments revolving around the self, no matter how hard they try to exegete the seemingly touchy verses in the Bible it always boils down to one’s well-being first and foremost.

        As for me, I believe that a honest reading of Ephesians 5 21 on rules out the possibility of homosexual marriage (secular and Christian) v.32 sums up the whole thing: ANY marriage v.31,i.e male + female (reference to Genesis 1, notice Jesus used that reference too). ANY marriage that ever existed is POINTING to Jesus giving his life to His Church. Paul gave(as the writer of Genesis did, as Jesus did) the definition of mmarriage, and its ultimate goal: Reflecting God’s glorious gospel.

        The bottom line, we all need Jesus because we’re all sinner, we shouldn’t single out particular sin, it was a pleasure to have this conversation with you, though I’m looking forward to reading from you, I don’t think I will reply, let’s face it, we will not see each other eye to eye on this topic, let’s agree to disagree.

        Peace 🙂

  6. […] there’s Christian author Carl Medearis, who, after suggesting that Robertson’s remarks on race were far more offensive than what he […]