Toning Down the Rhetoric: Some Preliminary Thoughts and Reminders on the Homosexuality Debate

Last week, and spilling over into this week, we all witnessed yet another brouhaha related to the debate over society’s acceptance of homosexual relationships and homosexual marriage. Dan Cathy, president of my favorite fast food place, Chick-fil-a, made some remarks in the mist of an interview where in he spoke of his support for traditional family. He said it is their aim to operate based on Biblical principles.

As you might expect a media firestorm erupted. This is nothing new from the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, Transgendered) crowd, but I think there are some things that should be noted from all this, and some things that we need to remember in the mist of it all.

First, it should be observed that there is no avoiding the “homosexual issue”. Pastors, churches, leaders, and businesses will have their hands forced. Gone are the days where positive statements affirming one’s belief in a Biblical understanding of marriage as being between one man and one woman for one lifetime would be seen for what it is. Here to stay, at least for a while, is a time where such statements are labeled “hateful”. When this occurs, Christians are left in a place either to capitulate and remain silent, or to continue to say what Scripture says and face the scorn of the GLBT groups. It is good for us to remember what Christ said in Matthew 5:11, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.”

Second, closely related to this first issue is that the GLBT groups are fighting to have their views to not only be acceptable, but to be the only permissible viewpoint.  This is interesting because the very people who are screaming for their freedom to express themselves as they see fit are also screaming that others should not have this freedom. It is as if they would say, “Give us the freedom to have a man marry another man, and while we’re at it, take away the freedom to operate a business by Biblical principles, or preach a sermon that accords with what Scripture says.” Of course what they are really saying is, “we don’t want to hear what God has to say about any of this, thank you very much.”

Here to we see that hate seems to be a two way street. No one denies that some self professed Christians have been hateful, mean-spirited, and vile toward the GLBT folks (though those who do so would by no means constitute the majority of Christians). However, the level of anger, slander, miss-information, false-accusations, insult-slinging, and name-calling coming from the GLBT groups shows that there is plenty of hate on both sides of this issue. We should always remember some of the relevant fruits of the Spirit are love, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.

But it is exactly here that we want to tone down the rhetoric. These things do nothing but distract from the issues at hand. They are in proper terms a logical fallacy, an argument to the man. In other words, rather than debating the issue on the merits of the facts and with a regard for truth, the aim is to make the other person look bad and there-by discredit their argument.

It should not surprise us that the GLBT lashes on in these ways. They must, because, as we will see in a subsequent post, their arguments are untenable. Attracting a following, even getting a majority on your side does not make one right. We should always remember who ultimately decides this issue. Is it man in our “wisdom” or God? If it is God who gets to have the final say on this matter, then shouldn’t we listen to what he has to say about it?

Finally, Christians must display God in their marriages, we must speak of God and His definition of marriage and family (even when it is unpopular, because what He has given us about these issues is really for our joy and good), and love those who disagree.

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