Here’s Exactly Why MacArthur’s Advice On Gay Children Is So Dangerous:

Here’s Exactly Why MacArthur’s Advice On Gay Children Is So Dangerous: September 1, 2014

John_macarthurNot long ago, I publicly stood against John MacArthur’s advice to parents of adult children who are gay on the account that it was not only theologically flawed, but dangerous as well. You can see the old post and the original MacArthur video here, but to quickly summarize: MacArthur told parents of adult children who were both gay and professing Christians that if their children did not repent, they should be shunned and “turned over to Satan”.

My argument was that MacArthur was taking a passage on church discipline and attempting to apply matters of church governance to familial relationships– something I believe is a misapplication of the scriptures.

I took some heat for standing up to him. There were plenty of emails (as usual) and this time there was a rebuttal video by Christian Apologist, Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries, both criticizing me as well as my employer, Patheos.

The storm from my take on MacArthur has died down, until I was reminded this morning of exactly why I think his advice on gay children is so utterly abhorrent and dangerous: this idea of shunning, alienation, turning over to Satan, combined with a general bigotry towards the LGBT community, has the potential to lead to violence and abuse.

The below video made it into my newsfeed this morning and reminded me of the whole thing. It is the sad yet perfect example of what I fear MacArthur’s parenting advice can lead to in the hands of hate-filled bigots (this is not to say that anyone with a traditional theology of sexuality is hateful or a bigot, just that some are.) The video was filmed recently by a young man named Daniel Pierce, who came out to his Christian family in a meeting that went way, way wrong. The meeting quickly turned verbally abusive, and ended violently.

Now, I get that MacArthur would not condone verbal or physical abuse, and hope he would also condemn the behavior seen in this video. However– and this is my point– even if traditionalists turn out to be correct on the theology of sexuality, the advice of MacArthur has the easy potential to lead to violence and destroyed lives, as seen in the video below.

My hope and prayer for John MacArthur is that he will see this video and see the praxis his theology can lead to– and that he’ll repent of giving such dangerous advice to the Christian public.

Here’s the video:

* Trigger alert: verbal and physical abuse. This video may be disturbing for some viewers:

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  • WilmRoget

    The purpose of shunning is to foster hostility and violence, and the ‘advice’ from MacArthur, which is the same advice that homophobic Christians have been giving each other for centuries, produces murder and rape and torture.
    “Just as disturbing is a practice called “corrective rape” — the rape of
    gay men and lesbians to “cure” them of their sexual orientation.

    In one of the few cases to attract press attention, in 2008, Eudy
    Simelane, a lesbian, was gang-raped and stabbed to death. Her naked body
    was dumped in a stream in the Kwa Thema township outside Johannesburg. A
    soccer player training to be a referee for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, she
    was targeted because of her sexual orientation.

    In 2011, Noxolo Nogwaza, 24, was raped, and stabbed multiple times
    with glass shards. Her skull was shattered. Her eyes were reportedly
    gouged from their sockets. Ms. Nogwaza had been seen earlier that
    evening in a bar with a female friend.”

    And parents have applied MacArthur’s advice for a long time:

    Mary Griffith (Sigourney Weaver) is a devout Christian who raises her children with the conservative teachings of the Presbyterian Church in the late 1970s and early 1980s Walnut Creek, California. Her son Bobby (Ryan Kelley) confides to his older brother that he may be gay.
    Life changes for the entire family after Mary learns about his secret.
    Bobby’s father and siblings slowly come to terms with his homosexuality,
    but Mary believes that God can cure him. She takes him to a psychiatrist
    and persuades Bobby to pray harder and seek solace in Church activities
    in hopes of changing him. Desperate for his mother’s approval, Bobby
    does what is asked of him, but through it all, the Church’s disapproval
    of homosexuality and his mother’s attempts to suppress his growing
    behaviors in public causes him to grow increasingly withdrawn and depressed.

    Stricken with guilt, Bobby moves to Portland, hoping that some day,
    his mother will accept him. He gives up on his hopes of defeating
    homosexuality. He finds a boyfriend, David (Scott Bailey), at a gay bar.
    However, Mary makes it clear that she still does not want her son to
    continue as he is. Despite meeting David’s parents, who assure them that
    things will improve, Bobby continues thinking of his mother’s words,
    and also sees David with another man. Finally, Bobby’s subsequent
    depression and self-loathing intensifies as he blames himself for not
    being the “perfect” son, and one night, he free falls off a freeway
    bridge into the path of an oncoming eighteen-wheeler truck, which kills
    him instantly. The family receives the horrible news the following day,
    and is devastated.”

    These are not rare or unusual events.
    “During the trial, prosecutors revealed a Facebook message that Dutro
    sent to her 24-year-old boyfriend Brian Canady. The mom, using a slur,
    told Canady that she thought Zachary was going to be gay.

    “He walks and talks like it. Ugh,” the mom wrote.

    She then asked Canady to “work on” the boy “big time.”

    Senior Deputy District Attorney Megan Johnson claimed that this was the motive behind Zachary’s unfair treatment.

    On Aug. 12. 2012, Zachary collapsed at the homeless shelter where his
    family was living. Internal tears from a vicious beating had caused
    pre-fecal matter to leak from his bowels. Johnson said that the little
    boy would have been in extreme pain before his death—something any mom
    should have noticed.”

    “A Texas dad disgusted with his daughter’s lesbian lifestyle murdered
    the young woman and her lover, the girl’s mother said in a shocking
    twist to a gruesome case.

    James Cosby, 46, bludgeoned his daughter Britney Cosby to death and
    shot her lover, Crystal Jackson, on March 6 before dumping the bodies
    near the ferry gate in Port Bolivar, Texas, police believe.”

    Anyone who preaches ‘homosexuality is sin’ contributes to and shares responsibility for the violence inflicted on GLBTQ people for being not heterosexual.

  • So very well put; and I thank you for revisiting MacArthur’s tragic advice, as well as for publicizing Pierce’s horrible experience at the hands of “Christian” parents and relatives. I pray that the consequences of that experience will not turn him away forever from the grace of God in Christ.

  • Alise

    Well said. No, that’s not what MacArthur recommends, but the distance between his advice & what happens in cases like this is a whole lot smaller than people would like to admit. His advice is harmful because it completely justifies this kind of response. I’m so glad that Daniel knows who he is, but hearing the words said to him by his father are some of the most painful parts of that video.

  • “This is not to say that anyone with a traditional theology of sexuality is hateful or a bigot, just that some are.”

    Sorry Ben, but I have to speak out and set myself as 100% against this statement. Just because someone claims to speak in ‘Christian love’ doesn’t make it true. Quite frankly, what many Christians consider a traditional theology of sexuality is spiritual abuse. When religion is used to tell someone that an intrinsic part of their personhood is broken, it’s spiritual abuse. When someone is pressured or berated into an unwilling state of celibacy, it’s spiritual abuse. When someone is told that their family, relationship, or marriage is ungodly, sinful, disordered or shameful simply because of the gender or orientation of their partner, that is also spiritual abuse.

    And claiming that this abuse is fueled by love because not doing so would bring some sort of worse damnation is still spiritual abuse. I cannot understand or fathom how so many can engage in such continued abuse without being fueled by a culture of hatred and bigotry.

    Not all bigotry uses hate-filled epithets. Not all abuse involves flying fists. Sometimes it’s wrapped up in claims of love and traditional theology and scriptural differences, but that does not mean that it’s less damaging or hurtful than what this young man endured at the hands of his family. Listening to the stories of LGBT people who have come out in both the conservative and progressive church traditions should be enough to confirm that it is.

    This is unapologetically one of my biggest issues with progressive Christianity. In cases like this, an effort at inclusiveness and finding a third way enables continued abuse of the vulnerable.

  • WilmRoget

    I missed that phrase, and I agree with you.

    Ben, I just had a woman tell me that she had no animosity toward me after asserting that the lovemaking in my relationship is intrinsically nothing more than ‘selfish gratification’, and “a disordered passion and subversive to God’s plan”. That is hateful, and it is bigotry.

    In more than 30 years, I have yet to hear even one expression of anti-gay theology that was not hateful and biased. Even the most politely phrase version still has the same core message ‘your lovemaking is intrinsically disordered’.

    Discussion after discussion always comes down to Lev 20:13 and the death penalty. Oh now, many people asserting anti-gay theology will not start there, as they used even 10 years ago, they’ll start with Paul, but rather quickly, when you challenge them, ‘well Paul knew the laws in Leviticus . . .’.

    Hate and bias are inseparable from anti-gay theology. And that is why they won’t ever prove to be right – their belief only bears evil fruit.

  • pagansister

    As a mother, I can’t understand not accepting your child for who he/she is. My children are heterosexuals, but if either of them had come to me and said they were attracted to a person of the same sex, I would still love them and accept them for who they are. How anyone who claims to be a person of faith can recommend a family reject their child due to their sexual orientation is beyond my comprehension.

  • Christofer Tamulevich

    The family shouldn’t have gotten violent, but I am not sure the beef is with the rest of the video. Would you want the family to ‘pretend’ they are ok with Daniel?

  • Wouldn’t want them to pretend to be okay with him, I’d like them to actually be okay with him. Big difference. The love of a parent should be unconditional.

  • I’m actually a fan of the third way provided that it’s not “agree to disagree” for the sake of unity. I think we can maintain relationships while still experiencing significant disagreement.

    With that said, I totally agree that traiditionalist doctrine on sexuality is toxic. It causes injury. A harmful belief, no matter how sincerely held, no matter how nice the person holding it, is still harmful. No one gets a moral pass for causing injury.

  • Guy Norred

    While I think thankfully it is getting increasingly unlikely in this world that a person could hold an anti-gay theology without having ever been presented with an opportunity to question it, and I also believe that one of the greatest characteristics (perhaps the prime characteristic) of a striving for Christ-like behavior is a heart filled with open and questioning empathy towards others, we, who even with the most personal reasons had to work our way free of such ingrained theology, should not deny the difficulty of that journey. There is a point where willful refusal to acknowledge the possibility that this theology may be flawed does cross the line into bigotry, but I sometimes feel that the basis of this is more fear than hate. This is not to deny the glaringly evil fruit of this theology, nor to say we should not continually expose this fruit and work for dignity of all made in the infinitely varied image of God, but I really do think you have to remember that being at a different step of a journey does not mean one is without love. After all, the first characteristic Paul gives to love is patience.

  • WilmRoget

    “Nothing will change that.”

    And yet, your claims are false, and God is changing it. But apparently, you think that your will on this is stronger than God.

  • WilmRoget

    ” There is a point where willful refusal to acknowledge the possibility
    that this theology may be flawed does cross the line into bigotry,”

    The theology itself is bigotry, and the moment one refuses to see it as bigotry, it the point that one becomes a bigot.

    “but I really do think you have to remember that being at a different step of a journey does not mean one is without love.”

    That is basically the same sort of trivializing excuse-making that homophobes routinely rely on – you’ve trivialized the vicious and degrading attack on the lives of hundreds of millions of people that has ‘death to homosexuals’ at its heart as ‘at a different step on a journey’.

    There is no love in ‘homosexuality is sin’.

  • christine

    Of course this whole treatment of homosexual Christians (and non Christians) is ridiculous and horrible on so many levels. My question is where do these guys get the idea of shunning anyone for anything is OK? The Bible says that if a church member doesn’t respond to correction and rejects all efforts at restoring him to the body he should be treated as an unbeliever. Since when do we love unbelievers by shunning them. This is crazy thinking…more about exercising power over others

  • Guy Norred

    The thing is when we ask that others open their hearts to our humanity, we must do the same for them.

    I didn’t mean to imply that the theology isn’t itself bigotry, but that one becomes a bigot WHEN one refuses to look at it is precisely what I meant to say. This is the difference between ignorance and bigotry. Ignorance in this matter is where we all (at least those of us over a certain age–and many still who are younger) necessarily found ourselves at one point or another in our lives. I do not know about you, but I know that even as a gay man myself, finding my way past this absolutely was a long and difficult journey. I am profoundly grateful for those who have made this journey without this inward looking need, and especially for those who saw the evil fruits of this theology for what they are, and not, as many persist in believing, as the fruit of homosexuality itself. Yes, this theology has been and is continuing to be a very destructive force, and I would hope I would be the last to trivialize this. That said, when we refuse to look with love at those who have not freed themselves of this theology, while differently tuned, we are the same kind of clanging symbol we see interspersed around this dialogue.

  • Guy Norred

    I think power has an enormous part in this.

  • WilmRoget

    You are not sorry about your slanders, that is clear. And you are wrong, homosexuality behavior is not sin for homosexuals. Your behavior here though is sin. Please repent.

  • WilmRoget

    “The thing is when we ask that others open their hearts to our humanity, we must do the same for them.”

    And are you doing that with me?
    ” That said, when we refuse to look with love at those who have not freed themselves of this theology, while differently tuned, we are the same kind of clanging symbol we see interspersed around this dialogue.”

    Again, you appear to be making passive-aggressive insinuations.

    My core point was this:
    “In more than 30 years, I have yet to hear even one expression of anti-gay theology that was not hateful and biased. Even the most politely phrase version still has the same core message ‘your lovemaking is intrinsically disordered’.”

    Can you demonstrate with a real world example of anyone articulating anti-gay theology in a way that does not express hate and bias? It has to be someone we can all verify, a public statement – not your neighbor next door. A statement we can confirm is real, and then weigh against, oh, Paul’s description of love. Instead of the passive aggressive meta-speak, why don’t you provide a real life example we can evaluate together?

  • WilmRoget

    The distance is as thin as a thought.

  • Guy Norred

    Point taken–yes I have allowed myself to wander too far into passive aggressive territory–especially with that clanging symbol statement. For this I apologize and ask your forgiveness.

    To the primary point–no, I do not believe anyone who holds a well thought out and questioned anti-gay theology can do so in love. I have no question in my heart or mind that any real look at this could not realize that the very nature of the question itself even is filled with assumption and bias. Eventually the thinking becomes circular–homosexuality is wrong because it is immoral, immoral because it is sinful, sinful because it is wrong….all backed up by ick factors–or pride that they haven’t sunk–or no longer sink–into this particular (mis-)understanding of sin.

    These though are not the people I mean to remind you of. It is the people who have not questioned the bias with which they were raised who I do believe may do so in love–wrong and blind to the damage they cause as they are. Somewhere in between are those who have questioned, but turned to a bad source, to work through their questioning. I have seen way too many people spout blatantly biased statistics as fact to believe they all do so knowingly. Both of these two groups, especially the first, are also victims of the homophobia they have inherited–certainly not in the same way as the LGTB, but victims none the less.

    But actually to your first question. Yes, I do think I am addressing you with an open heart. Actually I have read your comments off and on for some time. Much of the time what I read is articulate, impassioned, and filled with a desire for justice. It is only because of this that decided to take the time to point out that I have also increasingly seen what seems from my perspective to be a lack of compassion and an unwillingness to look at the individual circumstance in a way that is at odds with the the rest of your message. I really mean no offense and also fully acknowledge that I do not know your heart–but that is really my point–none of us, not being God, knows the hearts of others and the struggles they live with.

  • WilmRoget

    “It is the people who have not questioned the bias with which they were raised who I do believe may do so in love–wrong and blind to the damage they cause as they are.”

    How can there truly be love in that position? But let’s find a real world example and compare what they do and say with Paul’s description of love.

    ” I have also increasingly seen what seems from my perspective”

    And clearly, there could be nothing wrong in your perspective, and it grants perfect insight into everything I write.

    From my perspective, you appear to be trying to make excuses for people who have no excuse, if only because they’ve been told by Christ ‘love your neighbor as yourself’. Excusing their sinful abuse of GLBTQ people does them no good. Frankly, your message to vulnerable GLBTQ youth who are victimized by the people you are defending is ‘don’t criticize them, they don’t know better’ because otherwise, they too will be accused of being ‘clanging cymbal’.

    ” I really mean no offense”

    You just publicly attacked the state of my heart without a shred of evidence, based on your ‘perspective’. It would be nice if the passive aggressive stuff just stopped.

  • R Vogel

    Just FYI, Frank is not a person – it is a hate dispensing Pez machine troll. It pops up on many blogs making the same canned statements. Responding directly to it may be harmful to your mental health. (speaking as one who mistakenly tried to engage it previously)

  • R Vogel

    they should be shunned and “turned over to Satan”

    They would likely be far better off with whatever Jon MacArthur thinks is Satan than with whatever he worships as G*d…

  • R Vogel

    I remember when I was a kid many parents opposed their children being in biracial relationships because of ‘concern’ for them. This always reminds me of that.

  • Guy Norred

    There is no love in the position–there may be love in the heart of the person holding the position–the person may truly think they have the best interest of the person they are telling their greatly flawed understanding to. I am not saying they definitely do or even are likely to, but the possibility exists. This especially as this person has the inheritance of centuries of homophobic culture backing them up. This does not make it right, does not negate the damage it does, or become an excuse anymore than any other form of ignorance is an excuse. And hopefully, when there is love there, that love may eventually open the eyes of the person holding this view–it is almost an inevitability–precisely because of all the characteristics of empathy Paul puts forth. I say almost only because with enough pressure, cultural or otherwise, or not given enough time or opportunity, or simply from some great pain of their own, it is possible that they may not change. I agree that this is sin precisely for the reasons you put forth and especially for the damage it causes to the most vulnerable but there is a long chain of millstones one has to go through to find the first person to sin in this way. While Christ said to love our neighbors as ourselves, he never said it would be easy. He also said to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us–and he asked that his crucifiers be forgiven precisely because they didn’t know better.

    I am fully aware that I have a narrow perspective and that I do not know your heart, but as to attacking its state, I would argue that on the contrary what I have said is that, again from my perspective, what I see is evidence of a wonderful heart for justice–one that continually fights the good fight and I wish you nothing but success in that fight.


  • WilmRoget

    “-there may be love in the heart of the person holding the position-”

    Sure, self-love, or love for people who are not homosexuals. But there is no love in the heart of the person holding that position for homosexuals, there simply cannot be. How can there be any real love in proclaiming to GLBTQ people “your innate capacity for love and intimacy, unlike ours, is worthy of death and damnation”?

    Let’s not be enablers for homophobes.

    I keep asking for a real life example, and you keep giving hypotheticals. Is it so hard to provide one person to model the situation you invoke?

    If you don’t want to provide a real life example to analyze, I can. There’s a great example on another patheos thread going by the id of eMatters2. I’ll happy to post links to some of his comments and you can point out the love in them.

    You took it upon yourself to use passive aggressive remarks to critique how I go about the work of defending GLBTQ people. I could critique your posts, and find fault with a lot of it. But I presume that your posts are sincere and authentic, so I don’t, even though I do find fault with your ‘voice’, particularly the passive-aggressive crud.

  • I encountered some of that in my childhood by virtue of being of half Romani descent (since anti-Romani prejudice is still very prevalent among European Christianity). Not nearly as much as one would find in Christian America a couple of decades ago or even today, but enough to get the flavour. I suppose that having Christians oppose every fundamental part of who I am at some point or another has become a badge of honour.

    But yes, I agree with your observation, and add that this is why the Christian argument that ‘orientation doesn’t equal race’ greatly irritates me. It doesn’t matter if they are ‘different’ if the abuse is the same.

  • Soli Gloria

    Does God have a right to dictate proper sexual conduct for
    human beings? Scripture provides a single formula for permissible, God honoring sexual contact. That context is between a husband and a wife. One woman and one man. This simple, clear truth is questioned because we live in a post-Christian, sexually liberated culture that exalts personal liberty and glorifies sexual expression. Every believer that trusts in Jesus must surrender to Christ as Lord and Savior. This requires repentance, a turning away from sin. We all have
    sins that must be crucified. Every single one of us. The community of believers must be a place of healing for sinners. Indeed this message has been somewhat lost in American Christian culture which, on closer examination, is probably by and large not Christian at all. We all desperately need Christ to heal us. But we must not coddle sin! Sin is sin and we must call it for what it is. It makes no
    difference whether I was born with an insatiable appetite for shacking-up with
    every woman I see. I was born an enemy of God. Only the power of God through
    Jesus Christ can save a wretch like me from my sin. Throughout Scripture, we
    find admonitions to bear our own cross, to make no provision for the flesh, to put
    to death our earthly nature. The Christian life is about dying! Dying to self
    and arising to new life in Christ! Those who say they have no sin make God a liar
    and the truth is not in him.

  • gimpi1

    Exhibit A for the defense, Frank. Thanks, Frank, for proving Irish’s point so perfectly.

  • gimpi1

    And, back in the day, many of the same people use the Leviticus rules for isolation to justify racial segregation. Different words, same tune.

  • gimpi1

    I have to say, I agree, Irish. The inability to simply let go of this destructive belief just because it’s “Scriptural” is one thing I can’t accept about most manifestations of Christianity.

    Who cares if it’s found in Scripture. It’s hurtful, factually wrong and causes great harm. It needs to be discarded, and if that can’t be done, it shows there’s something wrong with Christianity as a whole.

  • gimpi1

    Do understand, Guy, it also drives some of us who aren’t gay but can spot a cruel, bigoted idea that doesn’t directly affect us and don’t want to be associated with cruel bigotry. This is one of the biggest things pushing young people (and others) away from Christianity. If Christians really care about their Great Commission, I strongly suggest they consider this.

  • gimpi1

    Me too.

  • gimpi1

    I would expect them to understand the truth he was stating, that he had no choice in the matter. All the evidence we currently have at our disposal says that’s factual. “Belief” should bow to facts, period.

    I would also expect them to support and love him, as long as he wasn’t causing harm to others. He didn’t rob a bank. He didn’t join ISIS. He just has a boyfriend. Perspective, people. Get over your obsessive need to control your kids, and love them as they are, not as you would have them be. This is no more reasonable than a parent kicking out a kid who didn’t turn out to be a star football-player.

    Also, did you notice the mother claiming she “has gay friends,” in the video? She clearly treats her friends much better than she treats her family.

  • gimpi1

    “Does God have a right to dictate proper sexual conduct forhuman beings?”

    In law, no. American law is not intertwined with religious codes.

    Any God who wants a family to behave the way the family in the video did is not a deity worthy of worship. A loving God would want parents to support and love their children.

  • Christofer Tamulevich

    I understand unconditional love for a child, but this ‘kid’ is a 20 yr old man and the parents shouldn’t be expected to condone or support him if they disagree with who he is regardless of whether or not its ‘his fault’ or not. This particular example seems to be a little more complicated than a young man simply coming out of the closet…

  • Guest
  • Guest

    One day I hope his parents are old and alone and wondering why their son wants nothing to do with them. It’s what bigots deserve.

  • Mark Lee Schnitzer

    “The Christian life is about dying! Dying to self
    and arising to new life in Christ!”
    Sorry, but the Christian life is about Jesus and what He has done and what he is doing in restoring all things. It is not about us. The American Church has made Christianity about us with our “personal relationship”.
    But the fact remains that Christianity is about Jesus and the love and grace and forgiveness that God extends to all of us through Him. Peace to you.

  • Adam King

    There is no grace whatsoever in his family’s Christ, and he should by all means turn away from it. Forever.

  • Rich Farias

    Every single word in your post makes me glad that I’m not a part of your vile little death cult.

  • cleos_mom

    The percentage of same-sex couples raising children has been rising for some time. People who follow MacArthur’s advice and drive their adult sons and daughters away effectively enough to never enjoy their grandchildren would be fairly good examples of Jesus ironic references to those “who have their reward”.

  • We should ALL turn away from such false Christs, I agree.

  • cleos_mom

    That explains the copy-and-paste flavor of those posts.

  • cleos_mom

    Most people here know the difference between “disagreeing” and attacking; in this case members of the attackers’ own family.

    Most. Not all.

  • cleos_mom

    Considering the sheer number of homophobes who claim to have gay friends, someone out there with a talent for business is missing an opportunity. There’s a lucrative market just waiting for an opportunity to visit “Gay Friends ‘R’ Us” and rent a gay friend for a special occasion. And be sure to check out their special rates for a minimum six-month lease!

  • gimpi1

    Rainbow Rentals! A sure way to show everyone that you aren’t a bigot without having to, you know, actually getting to know someone who might make you a bit uncomfortable, might just cause you to question your beliefs a bit. You could even specify “average” or “over the top’ depending on the group you want to impress or reassure.

  • WilmRoget

    Yep. You know, if humans ever encounter alien life that is intelligent and uses technology, we’ll have egotistical people trying to use the Bible or some other religious text to denigrate, abuse and harm them.

  • WilmRoget

    So homosexuality never really was sin, it is people like you who either will, or will not change.

    Keep in mind, if God is determined to heal you of your prejudice, the longer you resist, the more difficult the training session, so to speak, will become.

  • WilmRoget

    Calling the opposition to homosexuality ‘disagree’ is a degrading and heartless trivialization of the issue.

    People are murdered and raped, tortured, beaten, stabbed. Even mere verbal abuse can cause long-term negative consequences.

  • gimpi1

    Because, of course, they aren’t human. So they can’t really count. Not like I do.

    There appears to be nothing people like better than setting up in-groups and out-groups. Most religions preach against that process, and most religions being used as an excuse for doing it. It’s pretty sad, when you think about it.

  • WilmRoget

    ” Scripture provides a single formula for permissible, God honoring
    sexual contact. That context is between a husband and a wife. One woman
    and one man.’

    Your assertion is false on multiple levels. For one thing, the Bible never limits marriage to heterosexuals, and it has multiple polygamous marriages. The most explicit statement on the subject is actually Paul’s:

    ” Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife. 5 Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer. Then come together again so that Satan will not tempt you because of your lack of self-control. 6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.

    8 Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” I Cor 7.

    Not good for men to lie with women. As a work around to sexual immorality, people who were already married when Paul wrote can stay married. Everyone else, which would include all later generations, are to be celibate – that includes you – unless they cannot control themselves.

    Are you unable to control yourself?

    “Dying to self”

    So go do so. Kill your penchant for injustice and favoritism.

    “But we must not coddle sin! Sin is sin and we must call it for what it is.’

    Everyone who teaches ‘homosexuality is sin’ is sinning, they are false teachers and lawbreakers.

  • DrewTwoFish

    Middle aged gay ex-Christian here atheist here. Much of what you say resonates with me.

    Sometimes the disdain for gay people coming from conservative Christians is so tangible you can almost imagine it dribbling down their chins. And yet think I almost prefer that to apparent kindess and wisdom of their more superficially civil brethren, “learned” theologians and “wise” ministry leaders. They lie about the malleability of orientation and hand out empty promises about how God will fill in the gap, while they enjoy their own life- giving refuges, i.e. their church approved and state sanctioned nuclear families.

    Up until now, I have considered my experience as a Christian to have been generally positive. Most of the the Christians I knew (know) actually lived out there faith as best they could, putting people first as they wrestled with scripture.

    Yet, I wonder if the kindness and good intentions ultimately did more harm than good. I deeply mourn the wasted years and lost opportunities. I wonder if I might begun living more authentically and more fully much earlier if I hadn’t let myself be seduced by false hope for so long.

  • WilmRoget

    “There appears to be nothing people like better than setting up in-groups and out-groups.”

    We are rather obsessed with hierarchies, as a species. I have a theory that we look at the symbol ‘tree of knowledge of good and evil’ to simplistically, that it represents a much larger way of thinking, the need to judge better, worse, smarter, dumber, superior, inferior, etc.

    We were not ready for wielding that knowledge without falling into the trap of judgementalism and binary thinking and being trapped worry and fear.

    But we eat of that fruit day in and day out. I ponder often a science fact – life on earth would not exist as we know it without plate tectonics – and plate tectonics produce earthquakes and many volcanoes. Things we perceive as disasters, bad, wrong, even evil – are a necessary part of the very structure of our planet in order for it to sustain life. To not have earthquakes, earth would have to have a cold core, like Mars. But then there would be no magnetic field shielding life from fatal radiation.

    The good and the bad are the intrinsic result of the same laws of physics and we cannot have one without the other. The same is true in biology – we cannot have life at all without also having disease organisms, they use the same laws of biochemistry to exist.

    In this universe, with its laws, the good we like and the bad we fear are all too often the result of the same law of nature, we cannot have the good without the bad. Might even be true of human nature, that the capacity to nurture arises from the same psychological law as the capacity to harm.

  • gimpi1

    I think you’re right, you can’t have the good without the bad, as a group. Each individual within that group has choices, however. We can choose to refrain from sitting in judgement of each other. We can choose to be compassionate. We can choose not to be afraid of those that are different. We can choose to be inclusive rather than exclusive.

    If enough of us choose differently, we may not be able to prevent earthquakes, but we can change how we reach out to the survivors. Worth a shot, eh?

  • Soli Gloria

    Paul does not impose celibacy nor does he forbid marriage. (1 Tim. 4: 1-3). He thought it was better to stay unmarried because marriage brings encumbrances that make one less available for service to Christ (1 Cor. 7:32-35), especially in light of the persecution experienced by Christians as that time. Another point is that sexual relations are reserved for marriage. The bible presents only one acceptable form of marriage between human beings – the union between husband and wife.

  • WilmRoget

    “Paul does not impose celibacy nor does he forbid marriage.”

    Nice lie. Paul’s text, if taken literally, tells everyone who has not already married at that time – including you – that they are to be celibate, unless they cannot control themselves.

    So stop lying and answer the question: are you unable to control yourself?

    ” The bible presents only one acceptable form of marriage between human beings – the union between husband and wife.”

    Nice lie. Are you unable to control yourself?

  • Soli Gloria

    Paul does not impose celibacy on the married. The unmarried are to be celibate. Paul does not forbid marriage. Can you demonstrate from the bible an acceptable form of marriage between human beings other than that from a husband and wife?

  • Guy Norred

    I absolutely agree, and hope that I too see and call out the bigotry that does not directly affect me. I am also more than aware of those falling away from faith–I was one of them myself–and while I consider the great commission important, the great commandment(s) are even more so (though tied in), and loving my neighbor as myself is seeing them where they are and not denying the affects of the baggage they carry on their life and interactions in the same way I wish they would see me (whether they do or not).

  • WilmRoget

    You are still distorting the text.

    ” Paul does not forbid marriage.”
    8 Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.” I Cor 7.

    Please answer the question: are you unable to control yourself?

    “Can you demonstrate from the bible” that computers are an acceptable form of communication? Since you apply that standard to us, you have to live up to it in all things.

  • Soli Gloria

    “Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, 3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.” 1 Timothy 4:1-3.
    The bible does not address computers but does address marriage.

  • WilmRoget

    “The bible does not address computers but does address marriage.”

    The Bible addresses many ways of communicating, but does not affirm computers. Your standard is fraudulent, your are a hypocrite, a lawbreaker.

    By the way, you are described in I Tim4:1-3. You forbid marriage for homosexuals.

  • Soli Gloria

    “Now I desire to remind you, though you know all things once for all, that the Lord, after saving a people out of the land of Egypt, subsequently destroyed those who did not believe. And angels who did not keep their own domain, but abandoned their proper abode, He has kept in eternal bonds under darkness for the judgment of the great day, just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.

    Yet in the same way these men, also by dreaming, defile the flesh, and reject authority, and revile angelic majesties. But Michael the archangel, when he disputed with the devil and argued about the body of Moses, did not dare pronounce against him a railing judgment, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!” But these men revile the things which they do not understand; and the things which they know by instinct, like unreasoning animals, by these things they are destroyed. Woe to them! For they have gone the way of Cain, and for pay they have rushed headlong into the error of Balaam, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.”
    -Jude 1:5-13 (NASB)

  • WilmRoget

    So you know how to copy and paste.

    Unfortunately for you, this does not help you, and your use of it makes you look bad.

    It references back to Genesis 6, in which angels, sons of God, had sex with human women, that is a heterosexual dynamic, and those women gave birth. The words ‘strange flesh’ are heteros sarx. Heteros, as in heterosexual, heterosexuality. If it creates a condemnation of any sexual orientation, it condemns heterosexuality, those who are attracted to the gender different from their own.

    ” But these men revile the things which they do not understand;”

    Which is what you and everyone else who preaches the evil belief ‘homosexuality is sin’ are doing.

    And no, the reference to Sodom is not about homosexuals either.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “We all have sins that must be crucified. Every single one of us. The community of believers must be a place of healing for sinners.”
    Yup. But, it’s not up to YOU to tell me which of MY traits is a sin in need of crucifying.

    So, respectfully, back off. Christ has healed me in more ways than I can count, but He has not “healed” me of being gay, because there is nothing there to “heal.” It is not an error that needs correcting.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I think the problem I really have with this one is his stepmom saying she’s known he was gay since he was a little boy, yet also condemns him for choosing to be gay.

    So, which is it? Has he always been gay, or did he choose to be?

    But, true, the video clearly has a lot more behind it with the family dynamics than a young man simply coming out of the closet. But, from experience, I can say there is likely not ever such a thing as “simply” coming out of the closet.

  • Jeff Preuss

    There is no justification for your degrading your fellow Christians. It was, and always will be, sinful. Nothing will change that.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Sorry, but belittling other human beings and their immutable sexualities will always be sinful. That will never change.

  • Jeff Preuss

    And, it appears, you can never change the sinfulness of your self-righteous, condescending, wrongly-judgmental sinful behavior.

  • Jeff Preuss

    There is no proof you were born a jackass, yet here you are.

  • Jeff Preuss

    You degrade everyone who doesn’t fall into your narrow worldview of acceptable sexuality.

    So, you just lied.

  • WilmRoget

    Homosexuality behavior is not intrinsically sin, so there is nothing to change.

    But you are sinning, Frank. People are murdered or raped or tortured as the direct enforcement of the belief you are teaching – and clearly, you just don’t care how many people are hurt.

  • Jeff Preuss

    verb: degrade; 3rd person present: degrades; past tense: degraded; past participle: degraded; gerund or present participle: degrading
    treat or regard (someone) with contempt or disrespect.

  • WilmRoget

    “Homosexual behavior is sinful. Always.”

    No, it is not. Now you,
    Frank, are basically practicing black magic here. You are trying to combine your desire and words you think are powerful to alter reality such that you harm other people. You are basically trying to cast evil spells in your posts. Your chant “Homosexual behavior is sinful” is the equivalent of the killing curse “Avada Kedavra” in the Harry Potter books.

  • WilmRoget

    Your post describes itself, and you. So very ironic.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I accept the truth that Frank is an unkind, unloving, self-righteous, lying, incorrect self-appointed representative of a completely awkward funhouse mirror version of the Truth of the love of Christ.

    And that is what’s sad.

  • WilmRoget

    There more evidence that homosexuality is innate and inborn, than there is to substantiate the experiences of people of faith regarding the existence of God.

    Equating our innate capacity for love and intimacy with alcoholism and cancer is hate speech, slander, and as a slanderer, Frank, you are barred from the Kingdom of Heaven, unless you repent.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Yes. I told you you are a jackass. As if nothing you’ve done in any of your degrading fellow human beings qualifies as insulting.

    So sad.

  • WilmRoget

    Your black magic spells have no power here, Frank. They do indicate that you are here only to harm people for your amusement.

  • WilmRoget

    With every slander, Frank, you demonstrate that the truth is not in you.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Luckily, the killfile on him works on THIS post, so there’s no bait for him to lure me in with.

    But, I can watch YOU going at him just fine. :)

  • WilmRoget

    “People’s sin degrades them and no more so when they surrender to it.”

    That sentences describes all of your posts here, and your position on this issue. People are murdered, raped, tortured, as the direct enforcement of the belief you teach, and all you can do is cast black magic death spells.

  • Jeff Preuss

    He’s a devilish AI trolling program. (Perhaps the beta version, because he’s not THAT good and seems to be stuck in a loop.)

  • Do you have a job or do you just hang out here all day spouting off one liners that do absolutely nothing but push people away from God? Whoever trained you on evangelism should be banned from ever working with human beings again.

  • Jeff Preuss

    The good thing, Ben, is that God is always working to pull people back through those who actually speak His word truthfully and lovingly.

  • Didn’t you just tell me that it is the HS’s job to convert people? Even scripture says we have no business judging outsiders. Your behavior is not Christlike or biblical, even if you turn out to be theologically correct. If you really believe it is God’s job to change people you might try simply inviting people into a deeper or initial relationship with him and then let God worry about changing them.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I, long ago, gave being gay up to God, waiting for Him to change it in me if and when He saw fit. 30 years later…He’s changed the way I view it, but not the way it IS. So, I am still gay, but He has given me peace with it.

    People like Frank just can’t see that the Spirit truly has moved in people like me. We don’t fit in his small-god-shaped box.

    He can keep his box.

  • WilmRoget

    You have done little but slander people, Frank, and attempt black magic.

  • WilmRoget

    It is not me you should be worried about.

  • WilmRoget

    That is why people are rebuking you, Frank, so you will understand that your sin is not OK.

  • WilmRoget

    The failure is entirely yours – because you’ve down to attempting to cast spells and empty dismissals.

  • WilmRoget

    So basically, you choose to be far from God.

  • WilmRoget

    Your dishonest, ego-aggrandizing replies are not helping you, but at least you’ve stopped the black magic for a bit.

  • Good take on this Corey. These conservatives seem so shocked when you tell them their words are hateful–yet those words directly lead to situations like this.

  • Funny how so many of the old testament folks had concubines, as well.

  • What gets me is when the one parent/grandparent/whatever says “I knew since you were a little tiny boy you were gay,” and then she still. Insists. That this was a Choice he made.

    What do I want the family to do? Look at the life that is unfolding right before their eyes and compare it to the hateful bigotry they’ve been taught, and then adjust their worldview based on the new information. I’d want them to realize they do have a choice, and they can choose to accept and love instead of hate.

    If they do kick him out, I’d still want the father to say “I will always love you” and “You will always be my son” instead of “You’re a disgrace.” What kind of scumbag says that to his own son? I’d want the Grandma to show concern about the kid’s life, about the hell she thinks he’s condemned to, instead of saying “I will not let people believe that I condone what you do.”

  • And how do you like that one line – “I will not let people believe that I condone what you do.” How do you like that…tell your son you have so little love for him that he’s less important to you than what other people think about you.

  • WilmRoget

    You teach death and destruction Frank, you bear evil fruit. Why would I be embarrassed about your terrible behavior?

  • WilmRoget

    It is a shame we don’t have the historical record of how institutions like concubinage came to be – did it arise from compassion, or greed?

  • DrewTwoFish

    Have you not met Frank before? He has about four or five standard lines. Just pull his string and point him to discussions about Christianity and homosexuality. He marches in like a Chatty Cathy doll spouting “truth in love” etc. ad nauseum. Actually, sometimes I wonder if he’s actually a program and not a real person. Spooky!

  • DrewTwoFish

    “Concubinage.” There’s a mouthful.

  • WilmRoget

    I wonder what it is worth in scrabble.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Not as much as kwyjibo.

  • WilmRoget

    plus the extra points for a Simpson’s reference older than half the folks on the internet.

  • Bill_Wall

    Whenever the bible prohibits sexual activity between same sexes, it is done so under the assumption that the activity is between two same sex heterosexuals. When understood in that context, it makes perfect sense this would be offensive and not a good thing to do. It would definitely be a soul-killer to engage in that…….similar to the lifelong damages we see with victims of child sexual abuse. It is no less offensive and wrong to expect a gay person to live and engage in a heterosexual marriage.

    The fact that Paul didn’t understand that homosexuality is set in place at conception, created by God you might say, shouldn’t be held against him too severely. He didn’t understand a lot of things but did manage to do some good regardless. MacArthur also displays a big blind spot as Paul had. The only difference is that MacArthur should know better….he has the information available to him that Paul did not so there is no excuse. If nothing else, MacArthur should understand that compassion should always trump his ignorance and hate based words.

  • Ben

    Brother Corey,

    I just wanted to take the time to thank you for what you do on your blog. Your work is fascinating and enlightening and great to read. I love it.

    And, thank you for this article. It draws me to be more compassionate to those in sin, as Jesus was.

    May God bless you richly!

  • Jessica

    You do realize that you are debating Scripture with soneone and they are the only one using actual text from the Bible, right?
    Everything you’ve said is based on your own opinion, and feeling, and personal experience. Not to mention the fact that you come across as being extremely hateful and filled with anger. There is nothing loving or Christ like in a single one of your posts. You even went so far as to be mean to a fellow homosexual who spoke very gently to you earlier in the thread. I understand that we all have baggage and things we carry, but even if you want to disagree or debate something w/a fellow Christian, you can do it with compassion as opposed to all of the hate as you’ve been doing. It’s sad, because you really can’t even see that you’re doing the exact thing you’re accusing others of.