The following conversation was initiated by a facebook post.
Here it is:
Okay. . . I really didn’t want to get pulled into a maelstrom associated with a reality TV version of “The Beverly Hillbillies,” but I do have one thought no one else seems to be voicing.
Why defend a person’s rights to have a job as a television role model for their religious beliefs but try to keep the president out of office over his pastor’s religious beliefs?
Seems hypocritical to the extreme.
And here’s the conversation. I posted it (censoring out the poster’s name), because I feel there is value to be found in the dialogue.
HIM: Let’s have the discussion here so you get what I’m saying.
HIM: Is kleptomania wrong?
ME: It’s a psychological disorder.
HIM: Is it wrong to be a kleptomaniac?
ME: It’s a sin to steal. Whether kleptomania is “wrong” or not is not up to me to judge. It’s a deeply rooted disorder that leaves the person with almost no ability to control the distance between impulse and action.
HIM: It is wrong to steal. Islets not “sin” to be a klepto. It is wrong to act in kleptomania. Christians believe the same thing with homosexuality.
I don’t hate or fear homosexuals just as I don’t hate or fear kleptos. Most are fine upstanding human beings that I’m taught to love as brothers.
Being a Christian no sin is worse than another. So a gay Christian who proudly sins is like a klepto who proudly steals.
ME: I know what Christians believe, man. I’m a preacher’s kid and a Christian. I’ve read the book from cover to cover. I have a personal walk with Christ.
HIM: So why are you having such a difficult time understanding me or Phil robertsons point of view? You are being just as intolerant.
ME: I don’t understand any point of view that places me (as a Christian) above any other person who also was born into sin and is in desperate need of God’s mercy. THAT is the complete opposite of the example Christ set for us.
HIM: Fuck David. You aren’t even listening
ME: Could you imagine the red ink in the Bible looking like what Robertson said?
If it had, I would say you have a point. Instead what I see is the church focusing on homosexuality as though it’s THE sin. And by doing so, they’ve all but put up a veil between those particular sinners and an opportunity to find God.
HIM: Sin is sin. Bible instructs homosexuality is sin. So why do you think he is judging? He is basing beliefs on the book if God he wants people to walk in the good light of god by turning from sin. You don’t pick and choose sin above or beneath another.
ME: Exactly!! So how does sin “begin with homosexuality and morph from there”?
HIM: Morph the conversation. Not sin in general
ME: Dude, the church has done so much damage to the gay community that it will have to pay for in the end. We’ve all but damned these people to hell!
When you ask a Christian what they think at a Westboro rally – and I’ve done this – they will say, “Well, I don’t necessarily disagree with their message. I just don’t like the way they’re saying it.”
HIM: Nobody is condemning them to hell. That’s Gods job. Except those freak Westboro people
Shut up. Broad brushing Christians.
ME: Not at all, man. I see the many shades.
HIM: That’s offensive to me you would even link normal Christians with them
ME: And I’ve been accused of not being a Christian because I’m not this shade or that.
HIM: Do you believe homosexuality is sinful to god? Or is it cool since society has deemed it cool? Be not of this world
ME: I believe carnal lust of all kinds is sinful to God. How could it not be? We become so body obsessed, so driven into our earthly pleasures that we are distracted from God.
I believe MY carnal lust is just as harmful as some guy that lusts after another guy.
HIM: Yes. And I condemn your sins as much as I condemn my own. Is it wrongs to condemn sin but not love them as brothers?
ME: It is when we single them out as untouchables.
HIM: Homosexuals are untouchables.
ME: No more untouchable than any of us.
Which is what has happened, man. And the sooner we admit it and move out of that era, the better for all of us.
And thank God he still reaches in and touches our hearts, right?
HIM: You are making sin as a grey area.
ME: Nope. I’m not. I’m simply conscious of the fact that I am a sinner.
HIM: It’s ok to condemn kleptomania and ensure they don’t act on it but it’s the end of the world when some hillbilly condemns homosexuality which is apparently like lynching nowadays
ME: I didn’t condemn anything.
HIM: It’s wrong for you to condemn sin?
ME: That’s what the Bible says
HIM: No, it’s wrong to punish sinners.
ME: You can judge a person by their fruit, not by what’s rotten.
Christ tells us time and time again not to point out the speck in the other man’s eye when ours is full of splinters
HIM: Exactly. So as a Christian our walk in Christ is built to surround ourselves among the sinners and spread His gospel. That includes clothe condemnation of sin. “Go and sin no more” -Jesus
ME: But that’s about a personal walk, not telling others how to walk.
HIM: Jesus told the prostitute how to walk did he not? Sin no more is exactly that. What’s the point of scripture if it’s not meant as a guide? What’s the point of fellowship or Church?
ME: He is God.
HIM: We are to live as Christ did. Did he not tell the prostitute to sin no more?
ME: Fellowship is about iron sharpening iron. It’s not about choosing what sins are acceptable and what are not for your Christian community. That’s what the second letter to the Corinthians is all about!
HIM: What’s the iron? The troubling truth about sin?
ME: It’s faith. You are to build up faith with faith.
It’s all about a PERSONAL experience. I can’t tell someone else how to have a personal experience with God.
HIM: Nobody is telling one how to. That doesn’t even makes sense
Being a Christian is about loving one another as Christ loves us but also being our brother’s keeper in that walk with Christ. If you’re atheist and gay, whatever… But if you’re a Christian and proudly brandish your sinful homosexuality then it’s a duty to tell that person to go and sin no more. There is no condemnation to hell or anything. At least there better not or your stone will shatter your glass house.
ME: I agree with you about accountability. Our BIGGEST problem as a church though is that we do a heck of a job making it clear they aren’t even welcome to come inside in the first place. We’ve done all we can to make them feel as unwelcome as possible by saying things like what Mr. Robertson said and then backing him up with the power of the entire community.
HIM: We welcome all people including gays. The problem is its accepted behavior. The church deems it as sin and gays don’t like being called out and then they feel unwelcome. Well no shit.
Kleptos attend church without problem. Why? Because they know they are sinners like the rest and want to overcome.
ME: Do you honestly think that, or are you just saying it? Do you really think that Kleptos experience the same concentrated religious persecution as gays?
HIM: No because society has deemed homosexuality as ok. When society deems kleptomania as ok, the same conflict will arise.
ME: That’s bunk, dude. I’m surprised at you. Homosexuals were being tied to fence posts and beaten to death. . . Like yesterday!! And the church was just as unwelcoming then as they are now.
HIM: I don’t agree with those actions then either. Don’t group me with that.
And please, kkk or Islam isn’t my faith.
ME: In fact, in many of those cases, the church were culpable. Just as it was in the South during the KKK’s reign. We HAVE TO start reaching out to them if we want to see them in Heaven!
HIM: They want Christians to accept their behavior as not sin. That’s a sticking point.
ME: We – as a faith – HAVE TO do all we can to show that we aren’t the ignorant bigots that are standing in their way to salvation. We have to RISE ABOVE the hate and show God’s love like never before if we hope to make any kind of difference.
HIM: If a homosexual went to my church Sunday and said, I” am a sinner, i want to stop sinning. Please help” then he’s welcome like any other sinner.
If he shows up saying “I’m here, I’m queer” them he’s not trying to become a better Christian. His motives would be questioned.
ME: If you had something about yourself that you could not change – something that everyone else told you had to be changed or else – you would want the same acceptance that they do. Instead, we bury our heads in the sand, refuse to accept that God would allow someone to be “born that way” when we have a Bible that tells us we are all born that way in some way or the other, and blindly lead the blind.
HIM: How do you know I’m not struggling with a disease I have to bury deep?
ME: I know you are. We all are. That’s the promise of being human.