Grace Emerges

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Any Other Word?

Any other word.

I challenge anyone to support either a theology or logical rationale for the rejection of LGBT people by the church.  Consider the following arguments for rejecting gay people.  Would the rationale make sense if we used any other word besides “gay”?

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Rationale #1: Being gay is a sin.  The Bible says it’s wrong.  Therefore, a gay person cannot be a Christian.
Replace gay with:
  • unkind, judgmental, selfish, greedy, hateful, jealous, lustful 
  • drug-addicted or alcoholic 
  • elitist, over-ambitious, self-absorbed, egotistical 
  • <fill in your top 10 sins here> 
  • human!
Replace gay with any other word and the rationale doesn’t hold up.  Can you think of any other word where this argument makes sense?  If you say that sinners cannot be Christians, then there are no Christians.

Rationale #2: Being gay is a choice.  Therefore, a gay person cannot be a Christian. 
Again, replace gay or “a gay person” with:
  • Republican, Democrat 
  • Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, monk, hermit 
  • pro-choice, pro-life 
  • homeless, jobless, hungry
  • in debt, debt-free 
  • an engineer, a doctor, a masseuse, a travel agent 
  • a prostitute, a loan shark, a bank robber, an axe-murderer
The only words that make any sense in this sentence would be “non-Christian” or something similar that implies the person is not a Christian (e.g., Muslim, atheist, etc.).  A person that chooses not to be a Christian, is NOT a Christian.  That’s it! 

You can define “being a Christian” in various ways (having faith in Jesus and the Bible, being accepted by God, liking Christian traditions, whatever) and there’s no other choice you could make that would disqualify you from being a Christian.  We believe that a person makes a choice for faith, and that its a free gift from God, right?  Certainly an “axe-murderer” would most likely not agree with Christian ideals but we could have a long, heated theological debate about whether the axe-murderer could be accepted by God in the end if he tried to be an axe-murdering Christian.  Probably the axe-murderer would get a better deal from Christians than the gay person in most circles!  Not sure about the pro-choice person -- I suppose that could be a close tie with being gay.

Rationale #3:  Gay people are just born that way.  Therefore, a gay person cannot be a Christian. 
Replace gay with:
  • blond-haired, brown-haired, brown-eyed, blue-eyed 
  • short, tall, fat, skinny 
  • white, black, Hispanic, <fill in your ethnicity or nationality here> 
  • physically handicapped, mentally handicapped, mentally ill, child with a birth defect or disease 
  • introverted, extroverted, <fill in your personality traits here> 
  • smart, dumb, <fill in your intelligence level here!> 
  • upper-class, lower-class, <fill in your economic status here!> 
  • male, female, human !
The argument about whether gay people are born gay or choose a life-style of homosexuality is irrelevant to faith or being a Christian.  If only certain classes of people can be Christians, then being Christian is not a choice at all! 

How about this one:

Rationale #4:  I don’t like gay people.  Therefore, a gay person cannot be a Christian. 
You get the point.  Doesn’t work with that word or any other word either.  But it’s probably the most honest statement of all.

I have heard these arguments all my life, and blindly accepted them.  But do we ever stop to question whether the argument itself makes any sense?  What’s the sense in arguing something when the logic is flawed to begin with.  In that type of argument, we will always lose!  

It’s like when my 8-year old boy argues with me as to why he should be able to eat candy for breakfast.  He’s convinced, but his logic is laughable!  I would be embarrassed to support an irrational point that everyone else can see as laughable.  It makes Christians look ignorant!  Can’t we hear our own words and tell when they don’t make sense?

In the end it just doesn't matter if we like it, or agree with it, or think its a sin or a life-style -- the rationale of rejection just doesn't work.  It's better to just call it hate.

So, once again, I challenge anyone to find a rationale for rejecting LGBT people.  Can you think of anything that doesn’t fall apart if you replace “gay” with any other word?  

If you can’t think of one, then maybe an apology would be a better choice.  We have hated gay people long enough, and they don’t deserve it.  What’s worse: being hateful, or being gay?  If they can't be Christians, then maybe we’re not Christians, either.

Bradley D. 

Related Posts:
Hello Evangelicals!

Dear Pastor, Please Invite the Gay
A Letter to the Unaccepted
Forward Progress 4: The Good News of Grace

1 comment:

  1. I wanted to add a comment about how gay Christians feel about this issue. They are struggling with anger and how to forgive those that have hated them. See the post below for example. If you take the time to read it you realize the love of Christ that is being handed back to us in spite of how we have treated gay people! Certainly it's a struggle and they will mess it up at times and hate back. But let's open our eyes! Hate hurts. We may rationalize our legalism, but there's nothing right about it and its really a thin veil for a lack of love on our part.