First, read this article – “When even Joel Osteen is treated as a bigot.” Then watch the video at the bottom of that article. The article examines how in our time and in many of our countries, it is likely you will be treated as a horrible bigot if you think that homosexual behavior is immoral. You will be treated as just as much a bigot as if you are a hateful racist. This is the reality we live in. And through this blog I have already been charged with hate speech and bigotry for calling crossdressing and homosexual behavior immoral actions, and I have actually been compared to racists. I think the comparison is unfair, and yet I accept that this is how non-Christians will feel about me. Jesus told us to expect this in Matthew 5 –
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
The article goes on to talk about how to respond to those who accuse of judgmentalism, intolerance, or bigotry for the views we have. One response they talk about is to point out how the person condemning us is actually the one being intolerant. I have tried to do this with a fair number of critics on my blog, usually to no success. They are often blind to their own hypocrisy and intolerance. Diversity of viewpoint is allowed just as long as it goes along with the majority opinion. Otherwise it is not an okay viewpoint to hold. I believe tolerance is about respecting and listening to someone who holds different views. People today often view tolerance as treating all views as equally true, (which is our culture’s dominant relativist truth), and therefore Christianity, which makes absolute truth claims, is the one view which can’t be seen as equally true.
The video is very helpful for saying what is immoral and not. It explains how Christians and non-Christians have different worldviews, different views of human well-being, and different views of what qualifies as harm to people. It is too simplistic to argue whether something like homosexuality or crossdressing is harmful or not. First we have to agree on what the purpose of human beings is, and what human well-being really is. I could argue against someone who is pro-homosexual behavior or pro-crossdressing all day long and not get anywhere. They can argue against me all day long and not get anywhere. I will say those behaviors are harmful, and they will say they are not. (Without going into more detail here, I would say that these behaviors are harmful to the people that do them because they go against what God has purposed and intended for human beings, so it not only harms their relationships with God, but is less than the good God wants for them). We disagree about whether the behaviors are harmful because we have different views about this world, the meaning of life, and what God intends for human beings. Really in order to get anywhere we need to take a step back and debate about those fundamental things first. And if we disagree about those things, then we will just have to agree to disagree and try to still live together peaceably as much as we can. I think part of the problem though is that our critics do not realize the disagreements we have about these fundamental worldview issues. And often they haven’t really thought through their own worldviews.
I also want to link to this article called “How I Wish the Homosexuality Debate would go.” It was linked to in the article I talked about above. It is one of the best short articles I have ever read. I try to emulate his responses in my responses to others about my disagreements with crossdressing, and other sexual sins that I talk about sometimes on this blog. Like the fake television host he uses in the article, is not convinced, so also I feel like I usually don’t convince anybody. But we must keep trying and trying and trying with perseverance to point out to people that we aren’t condemning people and we aren’t bigots. We simply have different beliefs about the sinfulness of humanity and the need for Jesus as our Savior. We aren’t setting homosexuality on a hated pedestal, but we treat it like all the other sins that we are also giving up in order to follow Christ. It only gets a lot of attention because non-Christians agree with us about most things that we view right or wrong, but disagree with us about this one and so they like to criticize us about our view a lot.