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Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Radical Gay Group Crashes Church service

Check out this story from the Lansing State Journal. Is this what's ahead? I hope not.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Joel, it has already happened to some extent here in Greensboro.

At a meeting of the Wilberforce Society-- a Christian worldview group-- here in Greensboro several years ago, during which a speaker was to be discussing homosexuality, local gays attended, and stood in the back of the room protesting with signs. I was there.

And I have also heard of an incident of a transgender person attending services at a local Baptist church (I don't know which) in full attire, in a fairly ostentatious, in-your-face way. Not a protest, but...

Joe Guarino

Dave Ribar said...

An interrupted service you say? Wouldn't it have been ironic if the sermon that day was on John 2:12-16 and Mark 11:12-18?

Joel said...

Dave, Oh I see, the gay activists crashing the church service are really like Jesus cleansing the temple? Yeah.

Dave Ribar said...

Joel:

If we had a copy of the Jerusalem Post the morning after Jesus' rampage, do you really think that it would have been covered much differently (especially considering what happened later that week)?

BTW, you've probably read this, but if you haven't, you might enjoy A Serious Way of Wondering, written a few years ago by Reynolds Price. In the book, Price constructs(invents) three additional Gospel passages, including one dealing with homosexuality.

Joel said...

Dave,

I am still hoping for you to say you're not serious.

Maybe you're out of your field, but there is pretty much no similarity to Jesus' "cleansing" of the temple (as it is called), and this act of mayhem. Jesus' purpose revolved around his calling and his prerogative and his authority; it had to do with the destiny of the temple and his future role to "replace" as it were the rites of the temple through his own atoning death and resurrection. It was certainly not a "mere" act of protest against the moneychangers and such. But that would be a biblical theology question wouldn't it?

Yes, of course the Jerusalem Times of Jesus' day would have had a totally different take on the event than Christians do; however, we are not seeing this through the lens of the media per se. We are pretty much able to see the deal as it happened and draw our own conclusions.

Whereas it makes for an interesting exercise to imagine what Jesus would protest were he to step briefly back into time (Father Zosima figured he would be killed, again, this time by the Church).

But to compare the antics of this gay protest group to Jesus' act in the temple is really quite bizarre. It would be rather insulting were I easily insulted. Mainly it's just lame.

Dave Ribar said...

Joel:

I agree that the purposes of the two acts are very different and that we get into very slippery (blasphemous) territory when we compare, and implicitly equate, anything that Jesus did to anything that people do.

From time to time, though, I do think that people lose sight of how radical Jesus' actions were. Without getting into the merits of the protest (which I disagree with), the degree of protest and degree of change that is being requested pales in comparison to the change that Christians worship.

I also wonder whether the protesters will be someday viewed as the John Browns of their time or just a selfish kooks.

Cheers,

Joel said...

Dave,

I agree 100% that we have "tamed" Jesus and his message, and that it is hard to really understand how radical it was and he was. Indeed, I have no doubt that were we living back then we would likely have been screaming for Barabbas too. Of course the particular way that Jesus' message was radical we don't relate to well, not being 1st Century Palestinian second temple Jews and such and generally not having the time or patience to learn about Jesus in his context.

I am sure that there will be sections of that large multi-headed beast that uses the Christian label that will one day look back and see these protesters as we now look back and see the abolitionists. But that will be the "mainstream" liberalized progressive minority of that outfit that goes by the word "Christian."

In the end it will be more a minority in the church, as the "liberal" church is losing members faster they can replace them. And the reason it won't in the end be the same is because the practice of homosexuality is a sin Scripturally speaking, and not a morally neutral thing like skin color.

I suppose we may also celebrate the liberation of habitual fornicators and adulterers and liars and crooks and such, not their liberation from their sin but their liberation from having to repent of their sins. So, I guess, anything is possible.

And PS, it is not the inner urge or "love" or predilection that is an issue in the church, but choosing in one's actions not to live in harmony with the will of God, and yet to demand embrace and acceptance. So it's not really picking on people who are gay, as much as it may feel that way to a gay couple who wants to worship in peace as members of the community of the church.

Jimmy said...

I think Dave raises a valid point; it would be an interesting thought experiment to conduct: how did the Jerusalem press (if such a thing existed in the first century AD) react to Jesus cleansing the temple? Even more fun would be a thought experiment into the Roman reaction, but I digress.

I would like to say that not all homosexuals act (or react) like that. The fanatics of any organized group - religion, sexuality, politics - represent a small percentage of the overall population.

As for the statement, "it is not the inner urge or "love" or predilection that is an issue in the church, but choosing in one's actions not to live in harmony with the will of God, and yet to demand embrace and acceptance." I wonder how much of the Church actively chooses to live in harmony with the will of God on areas outside of sexuality. The will of God is to take the Gospel to all nations and to love justice and walk humbly, to love the widow, the orphan, the foreigner among us. I don't really see a lot of churches or Christians making a lifestyle out of that, but there's no hard push from the church to repent from selfish living.

Joel said...

Dave suggests an interesting and worthy thought experiment. I agree with that.

You know Jimmy, I don't know who you know, but the vast majority of Christians I know are striving day in and day out to walk in obedience to Jesus, to love God and to love their neighbor, to be humble, and help those in need, to help the progress of the gospel, etc. Most Christians I know struggle every day to overcome urges and predilections and temptations to act in a way contrary to the word and will of Jesus. In terms of sexuality the folks in my church and the Christians I know well near and far are striving to live in purity and chastity, which means sexual expression within the boundaries of monogamous and mutually committed heterosexual marriage. This means that whether single or married, whether male or female, whether predilections gay or not. So, what I see day to day is people committed in this way, people who strive to be obedient and to have their actions reflect not their urges but what they know to be right. It is an ongoing real struggle for every person I know at some, so, yeah, I think it is fair to draw a distinction between homosexual inclinations and homosexual actions.