A Christian Perspective on Homosexuality

I recommend reading this essay, A Christian Perspective on Homosexuality, by William Lane Craig.  This essay is mainly about homosexuality, but it is very helpful for any discussions about crossdressing.  William Lane Craig discusses the notion of moral relativism and how there is only such a thing as “right” and “wrong” if God exists.   He also makes the helpful distinction that being born homosexual doesn’t entail that homosexual behavior is therefore right.  There is a difference between being homosexual and acting on those desires.  This is the point I have often made about crossdressing as well.  He also gets into the biblical passages that talk about homosexual behavior and explains them clearly.   At the end, he talks about the difficult task of arguing that homosexual behavior is wrong, if one believes in God, but not the Bible.  He cites a bunch of statistics from a book about the behavior of homosexuals.  I would not want to swear by these statistics.  Maybe they are true, but if they were, it seems like they would be more well-known.  I think there is more truth to them than the liberal media or LGBT crowd want to admit, but I would be very careful to check my data from multiple sources.

But still, I love this essay.  His arguments are clear, concise, and compelling.  If you are a Christian who is wrestling with the issue of homosexuality and God’s will, this essay is for you.  But if you are wrestling with crossdressing, almost all of the principles still apply.  All of the topics he addresses in the essay are things I’ve had to address when talking about crossdressing.   I love how the essay ends as well, saying we shouldn’t joke or mock homosexuals, but love them and accept them into the Church.

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6 comments on “A Christian Perspective on Homosexuality

  1. Laurie says:

    Hi Thorin:

    That article illustrates many of the weaknesses found in some portion of today’s religious analyses. In addition, it reminds me of your oft-repeated refrain, “We will just have to agree to disagree on that,” which I have found in replies to many different commenters here. But the key comparison, contrary to Craig’s claims, is NOT between mere taste and faith in God; it is between mere taste and faith that objective empirical truth can and should be sought whenever possible.

    If you claim that raspberry sherbet is best, and I say that strawberry sherbet is, then it is pointless for either one of us to proclaim ourselves the possessor of TRUTH and the other person the possessor of FALSITY. Those preferences are matters of mere taste. There is no true answer that applies to everyone. What you think may be compatible with your brain circuitry, but there is variation between human beings on matters of mere taste.

    However, if you think that the moon is made out of green cheese, and I think that it is made of rock, lava, and the consequences of impact craters and lava flows, then it is the stuff of fools to say, “We will just have to agree to disagree on that.” One of us is closer to the truth. What the moon is made of is NOT a matter of mere taste (even for those who like green cheese!), nor is it dependent on faith in Craig’s conception of God. Seeking the truth is what’s called for. The person who says, “We will just have to agree to disagree on that,” is putting his tail between his legs and running away.

    Where William Lane Craig goes way off the deep end is in saying, “In the absence of God everything becomes relative. Right and wrong become relative to different cultures and societies. Without God who is to say that one culture’s values are better than another’s? Who’s to say who is right and who is wrong? Where do right and wrong come from?” (Direct quotation from Craig’s blog entry.) As used by more astute people, however, “cultural relativism” does NOT mean that all cultures are equal, or that all value systems, however different, are equally valid. If crossdressing is wearing other-sex clothing, then what is considered to be other-sex clothing is crucial, and that depends on the prevailing cultural definitions — i.e., it is relative to the prevailing cultural ideas about clothing. That is a far cry from saying that moral principles are anything a person wants to believe.

    What he means, of course, is that unless his version of Christianity is accepted as the Truth, and other denominations or faiths are disavowed, we will treat factual matters as simply matters of taste. That is naïve to say the least. The journalist Barbara Walters did an ABC Special a while back in which she asked representatives of different faiths (Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Judaism, etc.) about their religious principles and beliefs. It is remarkable how similar they are at a very basic level. The Ten Commandments may have been revealed by Moses, but independent faiths had very similar ideas about morality long before Moses went to Mount Sinai. Those ideas are not uniquely Jewish or Christian. Furthermore, they are ideas that help to make societies, tribes, clans, etc. more civilized. Tribes work better is there is a set of rules. Great civilizations were around long before Moses came along. Belief in the god of Abraham is not a prerequisite for morality. Indeed, atheists may be moral human beings.

    I for one would agree that Jesus of Nazareth taught a superior set of moral precepts; but Craig appears to already know what he thinks about social issues; and he uses his quaint version of Christianity to try to justify what he already thinks. What’s pertinent to this blog, though, is that those universal prohibitions again murder, theft, etc., say nothing about husbands who crossdress … are anti-homosexual attitudes more his thing? He does not say whether a love of crossdressing rather than a greater fondness for snowboarding is a matter of mere taste or an important difference based on fundamental moral principles.

    It is instructive to realize that Craig’s peculiar Christian denomination, “Reasonable Faith,” has roughly 30 chapters (locations), and each chapter evidently has only one or two members. His naïve message evidently does not have much appeal — which is very understandable.

    I am sorry to be so harsh, but there is way too much nonsense out there that is packaged as religion.

    Best wishes, Laurie

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  2. Dramaking55 says:

    Laurie, thank you for your post. Thorin is away for the moment but has assured me that he will be addressing your comments when he gets back. I will be taking over for him till he returns so please feel free to comment as you feel led.

    From my perspective it would appear that you are quite unfamiliar with the good Dr. Craig and since he is from my state, I must help you understand that Dr. Craig has quite the resume so your comment:

    “.It is instructive to realize that Craig’s peculiar Christian denomination, “Reasonable Faith,” has roughly 30 chapters (locations), and each chapter evidently has only one or two members. His naïve message evidently does not have much appeal — which is very understandable.”

    If you would just do your due dilligence before making unsubstantiated comments, I would greatly appreciate it.

    Dr. William Lane Craig, born August 23, 1949 in Peoria, Illinois, is an American Christian apologist, philosopher, and theologian. William Lane Craig is Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California. He lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife Jan and their two teenage children Charity and John. At the age of sixteen as a junior in high school, he first heard the message of the Christian gospel and yielded his life to Christ. Dr. Craig pursued his undergraduate studies at Wheaton College (B.A. 1971) and graduate studies at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School (M.A. 1974; M.A. 1975), the University of Birmingham (England) (Ph.D. 1977), and the University of Munich (Germany) (D.Theol. 1984). From 1980-86 he taught Philosophy of Religion at Trinity, during which time he and Jan started their family. In 1987 they moved to Brussels, Belgium, where Dr. Craig pursued research at the University of Louvain until 1994.

    For more information, please visit the personal website of Professor William Lane Craig.

    Affiliations

    Society of Biblical Literature (1978-present)
    Society of Christian Philosophers (1979-present)
    Executive Committee (1997-2000)
    Evangelical Theological Society (1983-present)
    Evangelical Philosophical Society (Vice President, 1995-96; President, 1996-)
    Science and Religion Forum (1990-)
    Philosophy of Time Society (President, 1999)
    American Philosophical Association (1977-present)
    American Academy of Religion (1978-present)
    Awards and Honors

    Winner of the 2008 Christianity Today Book Award in the category of Spirituality for
    Stobb Lectures, Calvin College and Seminary, 2004
    Templeton Lecture, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2004
    Templeton Lecture, Colorado State University, 2004
    Weyerhauser Debate Series, University of Hawaii, 2003
    Lee Lectures, Louisiana State University, 2003
    Physics and the God of Abraham, Gonzaga University, 2003
    Debate Series, Franklin and Marshall College, 2001
    Nelson Lectures, Samford University, 2001
    Saucy Lectures, Talbot School of Theology, 2001
    Publications

    Articles

    For a listing of Dr. Craig’s articles, please visit his website.

    Scholarly Publications

    For a listing of Dr. Craig’s publications, please visit his website.

    Research Interests

    Natural theology
    Coherence of the doctrine of God
    Philosophy of time
    Science and religion
    Historical Jesus and the resurrection of Jesus

    He has authored over 30 books and 1 in particular I would commend to you is:

    On Guard by William Lane Craig and Lee Strobel

    Please check it out.

    Blessings
    Andrew

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  3. Dramaking55 says:

    Laurie, you ask, “Where’s the beef?” The beef Laurie is called FAITH! You are obviously a very learned person but until you are willing to give up this particular search you are on for “empirical” evidence you are going to continue to frustrate yourself. I can’t give you the evidence you seek because what I believe has nothing to do with “data” or science. I and others who have come to this blog for recovery are believers in the Bible, In Jesus Christ as Master of our lives and in a God that we could never figure out. I for one would not want to serve a God that I in my brain could “figure out”.
    Hebrews 11:1 says:
    Now faith is the reality of what is hoped for, the proof of what is not seen.
    That void that is in your life is that longing for answers that can’t be answered. It is what has been referred to as a God shaped vacuum and that which you seek can only be filled with Jesus Christ. Now, you have referred to Jesus a few times as a moral teacher which is a completely inappropriate role for Jesus. So to clear up your misunderstanding of God the Son and second of the Trinity, perhaps you will take the time to actually contemplate a great quote regarding faith from the great theologian C.S. Lewis:
    “I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

    Faith is a choice and I pray that you would choose life with our Savior.
    Blessings
    Andrew

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  4. robmilliken says:

    Hi Laurie, allow me to simplify the faith concept for you please. You’re doing your weekly grocery shopping. You need some frozen snow peas for a stir-fry, so you pick up a bag out of the freezer that proclaims itself to contain snow peas. You never think twice about the possibility for man made error right? in other words did the food process venue really fill the bag with snow peas or something else? With no thoughts of doubt you trustingly pay for the as yet unseen snow peas in confident faith that the bag really contains snow peas. So it is with your choice of religious beleife. We beleive that the Bible is the inspired word of God. If you have the same faith as we do, which obviously you don’t. Then you would have no problem beleiving Dueteronomy 22:5 which essentially proclaims that cd’ing is an abomination in the eyes of God. Or that homosexuality is a sin, Leviticus 18:21-22 & 1 Timothy1:8-10. In all due love and respect Laurie I’m of the impression you’re not to sure what you beleive in and would like others to subscribe to your lack of faith in anything? Probably the big question to ask yourself which goes well beyond the issues that you, Pastor Thorin, or Andrew are debating is this? When it’s time to cash in your chips, a day we’ll all face hopefully later than sooner? Are you 110% sure that there’s no heaven, no hell, no God and no simple plan of salvation through Jesus Christ as described in the Bible? Please pray with us Laurie that Jesus will lead you to him….

    With Christs Love, Rob

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  5. Ralph says:

    There’s a linked chain of thoughts that lead to biblical rejection of crossdressing, and it starts with a belief in God. IF you believe in God AND you believe that the things written about God were directed by God, then you must believe that those written instructions are true. And IF you believe those written instructions are true, then it follows that we must also accept the statement that God finds crossdressing an abomination.

    Laurie, you seem to be under the impression that we just arbitrarily started believing these things out of thin air or because we’re parroting what someone told us to believe. What we believe and why we believe it may be a bit beyond the scope of this site but I’m willing to take a stab at it as long as Thorin is willing to put up with us (and we can keep it civil).

    I can’t speak for the others, but my own faith came about through study. My own family was Christian in name only; we never went to church, never prayed, never discussed the Bible, etc. My mother’s only declaration of faith came when she filled out an application to send me to summer camp and checked the box marked “Protestant” — up to that point, I had no idea.

    So how did I get here from there? The writers of the gospels didn’t just arbitrarily decide on their beliefs. Unlike someone who whimsically says the moon is made of green cheese, they were willing to die for their beliefs. This goes beyond “agree to disagree”; this becomes “I would rather be imprisoned, tortured, and killed than recant my beliefs”. Underpinning that is my own experience and interpretation of the physical world. Where one person sees an amazing confluence of atomic reactions that spontaneously produced galaxies, microbes, and humans, I see the hand of a Creator who put it all together and devised consistent rules to keep it all self-perpeptuating. So from my point of view, my own conclusions are affirmed by the testimony of the writers of the Bible. And once I’ve accepted that God is real and put it all together, and that those willing to die for their beliefs were writing as God led them to… I have no other choice but to accept that written archive INCLUDING the parts I wish weren’t there, like Deuteronomy 22:5.

    Sure, you can debate specific interpretations of tricky passages; theologians have been doing that since the days of Moses. My concern over discarding passages I don’t like with “Well, maybe that was translated incorrectly” is that once you take that road, the whole thing is lost. Did Jesus exist? The Bible says so, but maybe that was just translated incorrectly. Is it wrong to murder? Maybe the Ten Commandments were translated incorrectly.

    So no, we’re not just stubbornly insisting the moon is made of green cheese; we have our reasons for believing what we do. I hope that helps you understand our point of view a little better.

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  6. thorin25 says:

    Guys, good comments all, but I’m no longer allowing Laurie to post to this site at all. I welcome disagreement and debate, but only when one actually reads my comments and speaks to them logically. So we can keep discussing the article, but we won’t be having any more conversation with Laurie.

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