Sunday, May 5, 2013

Jason Collins or Tim Tebow - Media Confusion

An interesting tweet crossed my tweet deck which, to my estimation, addressed well the duplicity of the mainstream media. It read...

  Tim Tebow@TheTimmyTebow
Tim Tebow: “I'm a Christian

Media: “Keep it to yourself.”

Jason Collins: “I'm gay.”

Media: “This man's a hero!”


Using just 140 characters, this twitterer said a lot!

But there is a lot more to say because the debate still rages... and with a fury!

Why do such a plurality of “Gays” get “bent out of shape” when the morality of their lifestyle is questioned? I think it has to do with the issue of justification. In essence, are you justified in being gay?

In answering this question, as I see it, there are two types of “gay” people. They are determined by the means by which they seek justification.

The first type of gay person finds solace in the assumption that he has found providentially determined justification for his conduct. Either he is satisfied with his hermeneutics of the Bible or some other allegedly divine source of authority that says, by virtue of its authority, homosexual conduct is permissible.

The second type of gay person, which evidence seems to purport to be the most common type, seeks justification through consensus. It is accompanied by an attitude which says “it's okay because others say it's okay”. In reality this is an unfortunate appeal to bandwagon thinking which is a fallacy in logic.

The first type of “gay” person ought to be confident in and of himself. He ought not to feel threatened if he is told he is wrong. He ought to be able to dispassionately defend the rightness of his sexuality and remain unwaveringly strong in his position and maintain a level of civility with those who would challenge the veracity of his point of view.

The second type of “gay” person would, it seems, logically get defensive when his lifestyle is challenged. His justification for being “gay” lies solely on the confirmation of others. If so much as one person were to disagree with him, that one person will likely become an object of his vitriol. The one who would contest that homosexuality is wrong will be labeled a “hater” or a “homophobe”.

If the first type of “gay” person were to attempt to find justification for his homosexuality in the Bible, I would venture to say that he'd have to resort to an extremely convoluted form of hermeneutics to do so. Romans Chapter 1 vss. 26 and 27 clearly denounce homosexuality as sinful. It can be interpreted no other way. Likewise 1 Corinthians 6 vss. 9 through 10 includes homosexuality as one of a number of sins that will bar an individual from the kingdom of God.

Interestingly, this first type of homosexual individual is unlikely to find justification through Islam either. Somewhere, he might find reinforcement from some “holy” book but then, he'd have to defend the veracity of that “holy” book.

Hence, apart from universal human acceptance of the practice of homosexuality, the homosexual is unlikely to find justification.

In attempting to silence, as it were, those voices that would denounce homosexual conduct, The homosexual community and their so called “straight” advocates do themselves a disservice. There would be no one to tell them that they're wrong.

Though the act of homosexuality is abhorrent to God (and scripture would argue as such) what's even worse is an attitude that denies the reality that it is a sin. The result is that one is seeking justification for what is essentially self-indulgent behavior.

The homosexual, however, who would acquiesce to the admission that his conduct is, indeed, sinful has begun to finally engage God in a relational way. By acknowledging his propensity to this form of sin, he is willing to engage in a struggle to overcome it. To do so, ultimately, he must avail himself of the power of God in his personal battle against it.

Hence, I am by no means condemning the homosexual. But I will not hesitate to condemn the conduct and the dogged insistence that it is not what it is... sin. Furthermore, by denying its sinfulness, it serves as a means by which recruitment can take place and the naive can be drawn into its trap. This recruitment, furthermore, is only the result of this failed effort at justification.

As I said, I do not condemn the homosexual... just the conduct and the attitude. Homosexuality is only one of many examples in the lexicon of human sins. I have my own struggles. If I could I would have sex with every good looking girl I could run into. At one time in my life I did. But after finding Jesus, confessing such behavior as sin, and struggling with my lusts, and engaging in the life-long process of learning how to lean on God's power, I've been married and faithful to the same girl for over 36 years. Furthermore, I've grown in my love for her. (I certainly hope she's grown in her love for me as well).

Furthermore, as I said, issues of sexuality are just one of many other types of sins. I also have personal struggles with pride, jealousy and anger. Those other sins also impact my sexuality because my dear wife put up with a lot as I learned to deal with these types of sins as well during our 36 years together. Of course, if I were to be unwilling to deal with those other sorts of sins, being the difficult to live with person that I was, my wife could have had the option to leave me. She chose not to knowing that it was God's will to endure.

Hence, we see another sort of sexual sin... divorce which leads to adultery. Divorce short-circuits the growth process. It undermines the virtues of fidelity and faithfulness and it becomes a disincentive for personal growth and virtues that make an individual more peaceable. Monogamous fidelity nurtures patience, humility and overall self-control.

In the words of a black preacher who's name alludes me, “God made them Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”.

God did not ordain homosexual but heterosexual monogamy as the means by which we humans would not only procreate but exercise such virtues as faithfulness and grow in those other virtues that make us easier to live with.

Homosexuality is only one of many behaviors that must be recognized as such and called by the name that it deserves to be called... sin. Furthermore, there is not a human being on this planet that is not prone to some form or forms of sin. To deny that fact is to lie to oneself. Interestingly, to deny this might keep one happy with oneself but might make those around him miserable.

So the outspoken Tim Tebows of this world may be denounced. “Keep your religion to yourself”. They may receive the epithet as “haters” and “homophobes”. No... I would say that they're not “haters”. They're really lovers. “Why?” you might ask.

Allow me to close with a simple illustration... My mother was a nag. “Don't play in the street” she would say. If she caught me doing it she would yell at me and if I persisted she would spank me. Why? Because she didn't want anything bad to happen to me. And she didn't want anything bad to happen to me because she loved me.

Maybe, just maybe, those who are critical of homosexuality are God's way of saying “Don't play in the street or if you're in the street, get out of the street.” “Maybe God is saying... I love you. You are my child. But if you disobey me you may just as well, not be my child. I've given you the free-will to decide that for yourself.”

Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Answer To Gun Violence

Everyone wants to put an end to gun violence.

The trouble is that we don't seem to know how to do it!!!

Some say we should ban guns... Just take them out of the hands of the American public.

Others say that would be a breach of the Second Amendment. Furthermore, doing so would leave American citizens vulnerable to armed criminals AND an armed and potentially dictatorial government.

Truly this is a vexing problem!

Albert Einstein once said...

Unfortunately it looks as though a lot of people have made assumptions about exactly what the solution to gun violence actually is but have spent no time investigating or addressing the problem.


Gun violence is not the problem... IT'S THE SYMPTOM!

Solutions to the problem, as well as the symptom, are discussed all over the media. But the actual cause of the problem, i.e. the problem itself, remains completely ignored.

But the symptom will not be alleviated without dealing with the cause!!! And we don't even have to spend 55 minutes trying to figure out what the cause is!

Part of the problem, however, is that people tend to refuse to accept that the problem is, in fact, the problem. It can cause emotional turmoil. 

You see... the prophet, Jeremiah, had it already figured out over 2,600 years ago when He said...

The heart (of man) is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick; Who can understand it?
(Jeremiah 17:9)

In essence... WE ARE ALL DEPRAVED to the core!!! Some of us may be able to control our evil tendencies better than others but when it comes to our thoughts, actions, motives etc., as Moses put it...

HA-SHEM (God) saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.
(Gen. 6:5)

So now we know the root cause of the violence... the evil that's in the hearts of people. The next thing is for each of us to admit that this evil exists within us. That's a little hard, because none of us really wants to admit how bad we really are.

But once we admit that our hearts are “deceitful and desperately sick”, THERE IS A CURE.

Jesus, a victim of the very worst form of violence, died a death, the pain of which could not be adequately described by the adjective “excruciating”... a term invented for the purpose of attempting to describe the pain inflicted by this form of execution.

He died as a Kaporah (or atonement) by which our “deceitful, sick” hearts could be forgiven by God. In essence, He died a death in our place, that we, ourselves, deserved.

Furthermore, He rose from the dead to assure that we, too, can have eternal life.

Our task is to merely thank Him and offer our lives to Him.

Only HE can deal properly with the problem of violence.

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.
Rom. 5:10


It was we Jews who wrote the New Testament.