The Diversity Lottery

In the wake of the latest NYC terror attack we all learned about something we didnt know existed called the diversity lottery. Leaving off the general rule that the odds are always against most who actually play lotteries, it raises other questions about fundamental differences of opinion concerning the role of diversity in the greatness of America.

My thoughts here are simple: It seems to me that the America I️ was taught about as a child was an America that welcomed to its shores the “tired…poor…huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” (Emma Lazarus, New Colossus), but that those who took us up American Racial Policyon that offer came because they wanted to blend into the American family. Consequently, the uniqueness of their own heritage flavored America, yes. But they wanted to be Americans.

Somehow, those who have been shaping our immigration policies pre-Trump have assumed that we could manually create a diverse society and that the process needed our help—that somehow all we needed was the presence of people of different color and culture for America to be great. So, you get the diversity lottery. (Nowadays, it seems that the left requires that a certain percentage of immigrants be illegal or legal but want to kill us.)

From another angle, we see a strange thing happening in America—not new but newly aggravated. On one hand, we go to war over racism. We are willing to shed blood, either proverbially or for reallys, at even the perception of racism. But on the other hand, we are going to never-before-seen lengths to make sure that

  • We identify ourselves in racial terms.
  • We make sure that no one appropriates our cultural images and identities.
  • We are at pains to be sure that every skin pigmentation is noted and protected.

So, ironically, we find ourselves saying “Treat me the same as you do everyone else while making sure you take note of every real or perceived difference.”

Another interesting phenomenon is happening somewhere, and that is that average white people are morphing into white supremicists. Of course, there have always been those groups, but now people are writing articles explaining how their kids should not be friends with white people. I thought generalizing people based on their skin color was racism.

I suppose my question is How can we ever get past racism when all we ever do is draw attention to race? I don’t see how we can ever arrive at Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of unity when we are constantly asserting our diversity.

Paths to an Acceptance of “Gay” Christianity

Here are some of the most prominent ways people find to support “Gay” Christianity with the Bible.

1) Re-translate the text.

See the following website for a treatment of the word physikos in Romans 1 where the writer claims that Paul is actually talking about people operating opposite to the way they were born. Thus, persons not born gay but engaging in homosexual activity are violating God’s law, suggesting to the writer that a gay person in relationship with another gay person is what God intends. All of this because the author claims that the word lying beneath “nature” or “natural” has been mis-translated.

http://www.thegodarticle.com/7/post/2011/10/clobbering-biblical-gay-bashing.html

http://queeringthechurch.com/2010/03/02/clobber-texts-a-new-reading-of-leviticus/

[The above links are now dead or have been reworked. Nevertheless, the website https://queerchurch.wordpress.com/ is still there.]

2) Re-interpret the text.

See James V. Brownson’s book, Bible, Gender, Sexuality, where the author reinterprets the texts by recovering the underlying “moral logic” of the text.

 

3) Apply the text differently in light of modern culture, particularly the view that “loving, monogamous, same-sex” relationship were not in view.

 

https://www.gaychristian.net/justins_view.php

http://www.wouldjesusdiscriminate.org/biblical_evidence/leviticus.html

http://www.matthewvines.com/transcript/

 

4) Agree with the text but dismiss it for the sake of modern sensibilities.

The Phyllis Tickle interview with Andrew Marin

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SOQQPC_SsEs&list=FLcqHu8ilKp75pBGfY-UxaAQ&index=11

“the Church itself is gonna have to come to grips with the fact that we have changed over the years, we have evolved, the law. We now admit divorce. Our Lord does not speak much about sexuality, but He’s very clear about divorce. It’s the only thing He’s really clear about. [As concerns sexuality?] And we have managed because out of compassion, and I certainly am for that change, out of compassion and out of common sense and out of a recognition that our times and ways of being are different from those. We have managed to get around the divorce issue and now even ordain divorced clergy, and that kind of thing. The same thing is going to happen with the gay issue. It’s in process.”

 

5) Marginalize the text as non-essential

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson/2014/03/i-dont-blame-world-vision-i-blame-homophobia-and-hate/

“Evangelicals have a hate problem when it comes to homosexuality. Period. I know that’s extreme language. But it’s true. We can disagree over an issue and still find common ground in aiding the very poor and disenfranchised. We can work side-by-side in the work of Christ and not agree on every single marginal issue. And homosexuality, as it relates to the Bible’s message and meaning, is marginal. There are 31,000 verses. Only around 8 or 9 can really be said to have anything to do with homosexuality. (None are actually about homosexuality — monogamous, committed relations — as we understand it.) That’s around 0.026% of Scripture. And yet that fraction of Scripture has become central to the public identity of evangelicalism. They have placed homophobia at the center of the Gospel”.

 

6) Lessen the importance of the texts by emphasizing love, poverty, acceptance.

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson/2014/03/i-dont-blame-world-vision-i-blame-homophobia-and-hate/

“The way evangelicals treat LGBTQ+ people is wrong. It is extreme. It is sinful. It is hateful. And it is absolutely terrifying. In the past 24 hours, we just witnessed the extent evangelicals will go to keep LGBTQ+ people marginalized, to keep an organization from the simple thing of recognizing their already legal marriages. They will starve children. They will deprive impoverished communities of aid and help. So, no, I don’t blame World Vision. Its leaders did exactly what everyone urged them to do — both on the left and the right.They thought of how it would affect the children. Rather, I blame the far-right evangelicals who held World Vision hostage to their homophobic agenda. These evangelicals held a gun to the head of World Vision. They forced an organization to choose between aiding hungry children and offering a small step towards equality for gay and lesbian people who work for them. And no matter what World Vision chose, these evangelicals were always going to pull the trigger on one of the hostages.”

Read more: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/davidhenson/2014/03/i-dont-blame-world-vision-i-blame-homophobia-and-hate/#ixzz3Iab25EDQ

 

7) Re-direct attention from the texts by focusing on what Jesus did not say.

“Hello, Scott.

I follow your distinction between pre-marital sex and adultery: in adultery, the partners are betraying their spouses and children. But- when two women love each other, there are no victims like that. I would say that therefore, because there are no victims, the sin is less- or nonexistent. I am delighted that my church lobbied the UK government to allow church weddings for gay people, and the Government will allow that for any denomination which opts in. Many churches will.

Jesus said that if a man look at a woman with lust in his heart, he had already committed adultery. He did not say the same if a man look at a man.” https://ccithink.com/2013/03/31/why-the-focus-on-homosexuality-abortion-evolution-arent-all-sins-the-same-in-gods-eyes-part-1/

 

8) Placate the text by compartmentalizing between principle and practice.

See the video featuring Justin Lee, president and founder of the Gay Christian Network

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/gays-and-christianity/3299076052001

[This link was dead a few weeks ago. The same sentiments are easy to validated through his writings.]

 

9) Maintaining a neutral position

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/death-of-evangelicalism/

Benjamin Corey wrote:

“We always knew that the sides against same sex marriage and the sides for same sex marriage would never see eye-to-eye (fine, there’s room for both of us), but what we saw yesterday went one step further: it was declared that Evangelicals are not allowed to take a neutral position on the issue. That’s the keyNo more neutrality allowed. It was declared that hiring a married homosexual shall now be considered as equally egregious to officiating the wedding yourself.”

 

 

The Scripture Bypass Defense

Many today are looking for ways to discount the Bible and all it has to say about how we should live. I have noticed a particular, observable progression in “reasoning” that reveals where many land when it comes to the Bible. I call it the Scripture Bypass Defense. Here it is:

  • Scripture does not say what we think it says.
  • Scripture says what we think it says but does not mean what we think it means.
  • Scripture says what we think it says, and it means what we think it means, it just does not apply to our modern situation.
  • Scripture says what we think it says, and it means what we think it means, and it applies to our modern situation, but it is just too difficult to obey so the Holy Spirit lets us out of it.

Michael Brown and T. D. Jakes: An Unfortunate Interview and a Failed Rebuke

Michael BrownOprah JakesI believe several things dynamics are at work in the Huffington Post interview with T. D. Jakes. The interview was first posted on the Huff Post website on August 4. The topic of discussion was Jakes’ new book, then turned to the LGBT community and the black church.

After personally transcribing the interview myself, I tend to think that several dynamics were at play in the interview. First of all, I think two conversations were going on. The interviewer, Marc Lamont-Hill, academic, journalist, author, activist, and television personality and Distinguished Professor of African-American Studies at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, was looking for Jakes to endorse the LGBT community and to admit to an acceptance of homosexuality. Jakes, it seems to me, was trying to be benevolent with his “Jump the Broom” theology (if you don’t know what that means check out this post). The interview spurred what Jakes referred to as “a virulent diatribe in cyber-Christian-land” which demanded a reiteration of his stance on that old diversion, same-sex marriage.

Jakes may think the criticism unfair, but the proof is in the pudding: the Huff Post article accompanying the video. In sum, the article claims that Jakes thinks it is absolutely possible for the black church and the LGBT community to co-exist, that Jakes’ own views on homosexuality have evolved and are still evolving, and that LGBT people should find a church that aligns with their own views on faith.

While Jakes was waxing eloquent on the separation of church and state, the republic, and pluralism, Hill heard him endorsing homosexuality.

Jakes can be irritated at the outcry from cyber-Christian-land, but in reality the force of his interview was simply to placate the LGBT community and give quarter to the concept of gay Christianity.

Michael Brown called Jakes out asking him to clarify his stance on homosexuality. This elicited a “reiteration” of Jakes’ stance on same-sex marriage. Unfortunately, Jakes didn’t answer the question and Brown let him off the hook.

In his article, “Oprah, Osteen, Jakes, and Homophobia,” Brown is somehow encouraged that Oprah still welcomes Osteen and Jakes after they openly claimed homosexuality to be a sin. First of all, there is little to be worried about with inviting Osteen on your show. He is not going to be polarizing. Second of all, T. D. Jakes is a powerful, popular black man with a feel good theology. Oprah would never reject him. Neither of these men have ever stood up to Oprah and called her out for her new age religiosity or her pro-gay stance. Why wouldn’t she welcome them? Brown ends his article with a pointer on how not to be labeled a homophobe. Anyone who unequivocally takes a stand against homosexuality as a lifestyle (which Jakes did not do in his interview) is going to be labelled a homophobe and a hater.

While I have no problem with Jakes “reiteration,” and I do not think he supports homosexuality, he absolutely encouraged gay Christianity. Here is a quote from the interview:

“If you don’t like those convictions and values and you totally disagree with it, don’t try to change my house, move into your own. And establish that sort of thing and find someone that gets what you get about faith.”

The answer for the American culture that rejects truth from the Word of God is not “find a place to go where people agree with you”! My goodness, this only feeds America’s twisted definition of tolerance. The answer is, “Go to a Bible believing church and sit there until God changes you! Immerse yourself in the Presence, the Power, the Word, and the worship of the True God!” Yes the church must be accepting and loving. But sending the LGBT community into inclusive churches where they can be surrounded with people who agree with them (which as a community they are wont to do anyway) is an unfortunate message!

Post Script: Once again the issue has gotten side-tracked by the diversion of same-sex marriage. The issue is gay Christianity!

Jonathan Rauch Is Wrong About Genuine Evangelicalism

 

This article was written in response to an article by Jonathan Rauch in The Daily News. I submitted it to The Daily News as a rebuttal but, alas, they did not need it. Here it is anyway! You can read Rauch’s article here. (Jonathan Rauch is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington, D.C.)

 

quote-a-liberal-society-stands-on-the-proposition-that-we-should-all-take-seriously-the-idea-jonathan-rauch-74-57-37

 

Jonathan Rauch’s Op-Ed in the Daily News, “The Last Gay-Marriage Holdouts,” demonstrates many of the misunderstandings, assumptions, and wrong opinions that float to the top when people discuss evangelicals and homosexuality.

First of all, Rauch misses the nuance involved when he refers to those “young people who disagree with their elders who disproportionately [prioritize] anti-gay rhetoric and doctrine.” The “disproportion” he refers to has to do with those in the church who ask, “Why do you focus only on the sin of homosexuality and not the sin of lying, etc.?” The issue here is that, when addressing those who support homosexuality—either inside or outside of the church—we are not dealing with people who admit that homosexuality is a sin. We are, instead, dealing with those who say it is normal. So when people try to make this distinction they are invariably comparing apples to oranges. The church does speak out against lying and adultery and hatred and all manner of sins. But the Supreme Court did not meet recently in order to say that lying is a basic human right or that murder is protected by the fourteenth amendment. To those who agree that homosexuality is sin, we can talk about where it ranks among sin. But to those who want to compromise the Bible and normalize homosexuality, the traditional evangelicals cannot help but speak out.

Second, these days a distinction must be made between what is passing for evangelicalism in the media and traditional evangelicalism. Traditional evangelicals are not worried or concerned about becoming “cultural strangers in their own land.” Genuine, Bible-believing Christians have never made cultural acceptance their number one goal. Going forward, anyone wanting to be intellectually honest will need to observe the distinction between the new liberal evangelicals, and those genuine, traditional evangelicals who still hold to the authority of Scripture.

Third, Rauch claims that all evangelical congregations include openly gay members. This is simply not true. For one thing, I assume that this is simply a sloppy use of the word “member.” Show me the evangelical church that has openly gay members—people accepted into membership with full knowledge that they were practicing homosexuals—and I will show you a church that is not evangelical.

Next, to compare Jesus’ interaction and approach to the woman at the well who was living in adultery (John 4) and the current debate over the acceptance of homosexuality and, further, to connect it with the concept of inclusiveness, is simply bad hermeneutics.  Jesus did not offer inclusion to the woman at the well! He confronted her sin and invited her to come clean. When the church takes this approach to homosexuality it is referred to as homophobic!

The next subtle assumption comes with the question, “Why would God create gay people for a life without sexual intimacy and loving companionship?” The traditional evangelical answer? He didn’t. He didn’t create people gay. They were not born that way. Nevertheless, in order for those with same-sex attraction to be in right standing before God they will have to renounce homosexuality conceptually and in practice, daily crucify same-sex desire, and may very well have to live their lives as ones chosen by God to be single. People throughout history have been able to live without sexual intimacy for reasons not as lofty as a right standing before God. And to assume that sex must be a part of a fulfilled life is to sell humanity short.

What is happening in evangelicalism is a purification process. Those young “evangelical” pastors who are suffering from the pains of “cognitive dissonance” and the agonizing conflict between “head and heart” on this issue are simply not evangelicals. Not because traditional evangelicals  don’t care about those who are struggling with same-sex attraction. Many of us do; all of us should. But allowing sympathy to trump truth is to take a fools path. Americans need to learn again that just because someone disagrees with you does not mean that he or she hates you. That type of thinking represents an arrested emotional development.

Finally, Rauch is right about one thing: American evangelicalism is on a collision course with itself. When it is over, true evangelicals will continue to stand behind the Bible. The rest can join those American Catholics, mainline Protestants, Mormons, and the Pope whom Rauch indicates all support homosexuality.

 

 

 

Oprah and Rob Bell: The Beast and Her False Prophet

Rob Bell Suggests Bible Not Relevant to Today’s Culture – US – CBN News – Christian News 24-7 – CBN.com.

Few things are more sickening than listening to people speak disparagingly about the Church who themselves have no spiritual credibility to speak of; no right to touch or judge the body of Christ.

For Oprah to ask Rob Bell, “When is the Church going to get this” in reference to the normalcy of homosexuality, is nauseating. Rob Bell is practically blasphemous in this video. He is a prophet of some Church other than the true one. Error is one thing, but falsehood and treachery are different matters!

 

via Oprah and Rob Bell: The Beast and Her False Prophet.

City of Houston demands pastors turn over sermons | Fox News

Jean-Léon_Gérôme_-_The_Christian_Martyrs'_Last_Prayer_-_Walters_37113Can this really be true? It all makes sense if you consider the path our nation is walking down. We have allowed freedom to be defined as “everything acceptable.” Everything except moral restraint and Christianity.

It is not surprising to see that this attempt at infringement on free speech is being made under the guise of a non-discrimination ordinance, particularly in the area of defending homosexuality. Homosexuality is the juggernaut of American liberalism.

The tide continues to turn against genuine Christianity. Jesus described the times that are quickly approaching when He warned in Luke 21:

10 Then he said to them: “Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, famines and pestilences in various places, and fearful events and great signs from heaven. 12 “But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. 13 This will result in your being witnesses to them. 14 But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves. 15 For I will give you words and wisdom that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. 16 You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. 17 All men will hate you because of me. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By standing firm you will gain life.

Not in America, right?

 

 

 

City of Houston demands pastors turn over sermons | Fox News.

Minister Ousted is Reinstated: More Compartmentalization

Here’s another example of Christians (so-called) trying to find solutions through compromise and compartmentalization. Somehow, it seems better to the United Methodists if they will put Schaefer in a liberal district of the United Methodist Church. So, as long as the people he is serving agree with him it’s ok?

 Isaiah 1:2-6

2 Hear, O heavens! Listen, O earth! For the LORD has spoken:  “I reared children and brought them up, but they have rebelled against me.  3 The ox knows his master,  the donkey his owner’s manger, but Israel does not know,  my people do not understand.”  4  Ah, sinful nation, a people loaded with guilt, a brood of evildoers,  children given to corruption!  They have forsaken the LORD; they have spurned the Holy One of Israel  and turned their backs on him.   5  Why should you be beaten anymore?  Why do you persist in rebellion? Your whole head is injured, your whole heart afflicted.  6  From the sole of your foot to the top of your head  there is no soundness— only wounds and welts  and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil.

 

See also: Failing the Smell Test . . .

Oh great! Kirsten Powers gets saved just in time to help the gay Christian Movement!

Kirsten Powers, Fox News analyst and newly saved former agnostic/atheist has weighed in on the gay Christian issue (you can read about her conversion here).

Citing Michael Vines’ God and the Gay Christian, and James Brownson’s Bible, Gender, Sexuality, she thinks maybe the church should ask itself if God really intends for the church to reject homosexuality, and thus, gay Christianity.

Don’t get me wrong: I am happy that Ms. Powers has found Jesus, if indeed she has. But before Bible believing, traditional evangelical Christians go too far in their endorsement of her, they should realize that Ms. Powers is not an evangelical. Not if her article is any indication.

Her article shows no wrestling with the issue, not does it consider the traditional evangelical opinion. Instead, she offers up the usual gay Christian talking points saying,

“The Church has done this before on slavery, the solar system and divorce.”

Really? Have you studied this Ms. Powers? There is simply no meaningful parallel to be found in a comparison of the church’s stand on the four issues of slavery, the solar system, divorce, and homosexuality. Perhaps it is your liberal, Episcopalian roots that are guiding you in this case.

Powers simply takes Vines and Brownson at face value with their claims to a “high view” of Scripture. Funny, in the past a high view of Scripture, at least among evangelicals, meant that you believed it meant what it said.

Powers opens her article with a reference to,

“the emergence of conservative Christians who say orthodox believers can support life-long, monogamous gay relationships without undermining their commitment to biblical authority.”

Conservative Christians don’t support gay relationships in any form. If they did they, by definition, would not be conservative.

As I said before, I am glad for Powers’ salvation. But she is unqualified to speak for the church or to speak into this issue. You can read Powers’ article here:

Kirsten Powers: Christianity’s new look on gays.

You can also read here on Gay Christian Logic (surely the oxymorons abound in that title)!

Read about other so-called evangelicals that have failed the smell test recently.