Questions That Haunt Christianity came back with a vengeance this week. Wow. I’m especially grateful to William Birch, who asked the question, for being so engaged in the comment section — you should go read them all.
William’s question was:
If God hates homosexuality so much, then why won’t He deliver me from it?
Many commenters took exception to the way that William posed the question. They didn’t like the “If…then…” formula, because if you reject the conditional clause at the beginning, then there’s nothing else to talk about. But everyone worked through that, since this is obviously a personal and haunting question for William (and many others).
For beginners, I’m going to agree with premises that William stated in the comment section. Even though I don’t necessarily wholeheartedly affirm these premises, they’re essential to answering the question in the way that William intends it:
- The words of Leviticus and the words of Paul cannot be pitted against the words/thoughts of God. If it’s in the Bible, we’re going to assume that God intended it to be there.
- God does actually hate some things.
- God does actually answer prayers and deliver people from things that vex them.
With those as background, here’s my response:
After a summer vacation, the Questions That Haunt Christianity series is back. Readers pose questions – you can submit your questions here – I post the the question on Tuesday, readers comment throughout the week, and I take my crack at an answer on Friday. Nothing I’ve undertaken in my career has so sharpened my skills as a practical theologian, so I’m excited (and daunted) by a new season of QTH.
To start the new season of QTH, we’ve got a brief, but anguished and personal question, from William:
We’re just a couple weeks away from a new season of The Questions That Haunt Christianity, my ongoing series that attempts to tackle the toughest questions of the faith. I’ve got a queue of questions left over from last year, but now’s the time to submit new questions. I don’t answer in the order that questions come in. Instead, I scroll through questions and pick one that grabs my attention.
And, if you’d like to see the questions that have already been answered, check out my ebook of former questions and answers: