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Hundreds of Answers and Eighty-One Questions

Hundreds of Answers and Eighty-One Questions July 3, 2015

Kevin DeYoung posted 40 questions on the Gospel Coalition website, aimed at Christians who support marriage equality. They are all the sort of thing you would expect from a conservative Christian website like The Gospel Coalition – and thus are things which most Christians who’ve thought about this issue will have already considered. A lot of people have responded. Here is a round-up of the ones I am aware of:

Susan Cottrell

Buzz Dixon

Kimberly Knight

Ben Irwin

R. L. Stollar

Aaron Porteous

Theology is Poetry

John Shore addressed some questions to DeYoung. Many of them are excellent:

What Bible verses led you to override your own innate moral sense?

Why do you think it’s okay to quote from the Bible without any reference to the context of that quote? (asked several times)

Do you think there’s anything unhealthy about the amount of time and energy you spend thinking and worrying about the “sexual sins” of others?

Each is a response to one of DeYoung’s questions – and so see DeYoung’s questions in bold here with Shore’s corresponding questions:

Do you think close family members should be allowed to get married? Do you think you should be a guest on The Jerry Springer Show?

Should marriage be limited to only two people? Should you replace Jerry on The Jerry Springer Show?

Does equality entail that anyone wanting to be married should be able to have any meaningful relationship defined as marriage? Do you think it’s acceptable to foster the persecution of an innocent sub-population by posing inflammatory and irrelevant questions as if those questions were thoughtful, legitimate, and pertinent?

Shore’s questions range from the serious to the sarcastic, but he adds some additional serious commentary, including the following:

DeYoung’s core premise informing every one of his questions is the same: Any Christian who affirms LGBT equality is sinning against God and destined for hell.

And this is exactly why DeYoung’s faux-humble questions are so loathsome: He’s flat-out (if ever-so-subtly) bullying Christians who have changed their minds, or are considering changing their minds, on the issue homosexuality. He knows his audience; he knows who reads The Gospel Coalition, where he blogs. He knows that many of his readers are right now questioning the idea that homosexuality is a sin. And he knows how emotionally vulnerable that kind of questioning can make people who were raised amidst the same brand of toxic Christianity that he makes his living selling.

Matthew Vines likewise responded with 40 questions of his own, highlighting how it is often presumed that only those whose viewpoint is not traditional need to defend their stance. Alise at Knitting Soul only had one question – but with some commentary that is worth quoting:

But here’s the question I’ve been afraid to ask of the people who claim to speak for God for a long time.

When are you going to listen to the answers to your questions?

It takes a lot of arrogance to ask people who have been marginalized for much of history to prove that they don’t deserve that marginalization.

It takes a lot of arrogance to require people in loving, consensual relationships to prove that they aren’t like people who prey on the weak and abused.

It takes a lot of arrogance to assume that people who have waited centuries to enjoy the same protections under the law need to “slow down and think about the flag (they’re) flying.”

It takes a lot of arrogance to ask people who live every day with fear of losing their jobs, losing their families, losing their churches to promise that they won’t be mad at people who support laws and practices that encourage those things.

It takes a lot of arrogance to set yourself up as a martyr when your words have caused parents to turn their children out on the street, when your words have driven people to suicide.

My friends don’t have to answer your questions. I don’t have to answer your questions. They’ve been answered, over and over and over again.

If you don’t want to listen to why we’re waving the flag, that’s your business. But until you’re willing to answer why you won’t listen, I’m done answering your questions.

With all that, I’m not sure that there is any point in writing my own answers – especially since I don’t share the assumption of the Gospel Coalition that “verses” and “passages” are the definitive way that matters ought to get settled.

Have I missed any other blog posts or articles which answer the questions?

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