Tony Campolo and Homosexuality

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Re: Tony Campolo and Homosexuality

Postby ChickenSoup » Wed Apr 13, 2016 2:33 pm

The same issues I have with everyone who says "if you disagree with me you're disagreeing with God" and renders further discussion of the matter pointless
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Re: Tony Campolo and Homosexuality

Postby Bruce_Campbell » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:38 pm

Yeah, it's hard to have a conversation with "my way or the highway". And I can't really separate the quote from Walsh, but I'll give it a go:
It’s one thing to crawl back to God and beg for forgiveness, it’s another to stand there and say you don’t need forgiveness because God was wrong when he called your sin a sin.
I'm not a Christian, but if I was I would take issue with this part:
it’s another to stand there and say you don’t need forgiveness because God was wrong
I don't think that gay affirming Christians are saying God is wrong at all. They just interpret scripture differently. Now, you could argue that they're wrong, but then, every denomination has differences of opinion on scriptures to varying degrees. I grew up with Christians who thought that playing Dungeons and Dragons and listening to Michael Jackson was sinful, and they had Bible verses to back them up. Heck, I guarantee you that 100 percent of the Christians I knew growing up believed that Mormons were going to hell if they didn't become "real Christians". (And I have a feeling Walsh would be considerably less tolerant of Mormons if he wasn't getting a paycheck from one, but that's pure conjecture on my part.) So yeah, it's really hard to separate that statement from Matt Walsh because, quite frankly, it reeks of his arrogant disdain for anyone who disagrees with him.
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Re: Tony Campolo and Homosexuality

Postby ChickenSoup » Wed Apr 13, 2016 9:49 pm

Yeah, I mean, I'm totally intentionally fulfilling Godwin's Law, but it'd be hard to separate my preconception of Hitler from any comments he would have to make about politics, economics, religion, or race. Understanding where someone is coming from is important in interpreting their statements.
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Re: Tony Campolo and Homosexuality

Postby ArcticFox » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:20 am

I don't think that gay affirming Christians are saying God is wrong at all. They just interpret scripture differently. Now, you could argue that they're wrong, but then, every denomination has differences of opinion on scriptures to varying degrees. I grew up with Christians who thought that playing Dungeons and Dragons and listening to Michael Jackson was sinful, and they had Bible verses to back them up. Heck, I guarantee you that 100 percent of the Christians I knew growing up believed that Mormons were going to hell if they didn't become "real Christians". (And I have a feeling Walsh would be considerably less tolerant of Mormons if he wasn't getting a paycheck from one, but that's pure conjecture on my part.) So yeah, it's really hard to separate that statement from Matt Walsh because, quite frankly, it reeks of his arrogant disdain for anyone who disagrees with him.
I get what you're saying there, and you're right that people point to all kinds of things as examples of sins that make them non-Christians. The thing is, I personally draw the line at specificity. What I mean by that is I don't think things like D&D and Michael Jackson music are sinful because it isn't like the Bible references those things in particular, or even obliquely. I know some will say they do, but I don't agree with them.

When it comes to moral issues surrounding homosexual behavior, the Scriptures are clear and not terribly ambiguous. As you mentioned, some do interpret them differently, but frankly I've never seen any such interpretation that actually made sense and was consistent. In other words, they always come across like an effort to force it.

I wouldn't go so far as to say a person who believes those things isn't a Christian, because you know how much I hate it when people do that generally. In that, I find Walsh to be more hardcore than my position, but I do agree that to suggest that homosexual behavior isn't sinful and that God approves of it is heretical.
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Re: Tony Campolo and Homosexuality

Postby Bruce_Campbell » Thu Apr 14, 2016 11:14 am

I get what you're saying there, and you're right that people point to all kinds of things as examples of sins that make them non-Christians. The thing is, I personally draw the line at specificity. What I mean by that is I don't think things like D&D and Michael Jackson music are sinful because it isn't like the Bible references those things in particular, or even obliquely. I know some will say they do, but I don't agree with them.
And I can respect that (or at least respectfully disagree ;) ). I think my problem with Walsh's quote is that he seems to assume that anyone who disagrees with him is being insincere, which is one of my pet peeves. I mean, as an atheist, I have people tell me all the time that I know, deep down, that God is real and I'm being dishonest somehow by denying it. I don't call people liars when they share their personal beliefs with me, and it grinds my gears when people don't show me the same courtesy.

And I don't necessarily disagree with your interpretation of the Bible either. I would agree with you that it's pretty clearly against homosexuality, on the surface at least. I haven't studied in depth what gay affirming Christians say about those particular verses, but what I've seen isn't super convincing. Even if you could explain away the anti-gay stuff, the rest of it isn't "pro-gay" by any means. I'm kind of interested in what they have to say about it though (from a purely academic standpoint).

This is also the point in the conversation where I, as an unbeliever, kind of have to take a step back and let Christians sort this stuff out for themselves, as I don't look to the Bible as the source of my morality. I will say that I'm glad there are people like Campolo out there.
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Re: Tony Campolo and Homosexuality

Postby ArcticFox » Thu Apr 14, 2016 1:08 pm

And I can respect that (or at least respectfully disagree ;) ). I think my problem with Walsh's quote is that he seems to assume that anyone who disagrees with him is being insincere, which is one of my pet peeves. I mean, as an atheist, I have people tell me all the time that I know, deep down, that God is real and I'm being dishonest somehow by denying it. I don't call people liars when they share their personal beliefs with me, and it grinds my gears when people don't show me the same courtesy.
Yeah I can definitely understand that. That would grind my gears too, and sure wouldn't make me open to whatever else they have to say. The sense I get from Walsh's style is more like "This is what God said (according to Catholic doctrine) and there's no compromising that." I think the rest is his way of trying to reconcile that people may personally disagree without necessarily having evil intent behind it... so he concludes that they're just misled, misinformed or in a sort of denial.
And I don't necessarily disagree with your interpretation of the Bible either. I would agree with you that it's pretty clearly against homosexuality, on the surface at least. I haven't studied in depth what gay affirming Christians say about those particular verses, but what I've seen isn't super convincing. Even if you could explain away the anti-gay stuff, the rest of it isn't "pro-gay" by any means. I'm kind of interested in what they have to say about it though (from a purely academic standpoint).
Occasionally I encounter these sorts of arguments in various online media and they seem to be going through a sort of evolution... but mostly it has to do with trying to re-interpret anti-homosexuality verses to mean something limited to just condemning acts of homosexual rape or pederasty.
This is also the point in the conversation where I, as an unbeliever, kind of have to take a step back and let Christians sort this stuff out for themselves, as I don't look to the Bible as the source of my morality. I will say that I'm glad there are people like Campolo out there.
I respect what Campolo is trying to do in building bridges, but where I disagree is that I think we can build those bridges without compromising our values. I agree that too often Christians (of all denominations, including my own) tend to be judgemental and unkind toward homosexuals, and that's not right. I think that can be addressed though without encouraging immorality.
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Re: Tony Campolo and Homosexuality

Postby Bruce_Campbell » Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:18 pm

Occasionally I encounter these sorts of arguments in various online media and they seem to be going through a sort of evolution... but mostly it has to do with trying to re-interpret anti-homosexuality verses to mean something limited to just condemning acts of homosexual rape or pederasty.
The explanation I heard IIRC is that the warnings were referring to temple prostitution. I don't know how plausible that is. But I haven't read much about it. It's an interesting theory, but it could very well be just that.
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Re: Tony Campolo and Homosexuality

Postby ArcticFox » Fri Apr 15, 2016 8:39 am

The explanation I heard IIRC is that the warnings were referring to temple prostitution. I don't know how plausible that is. But I haven't read much about it. It's an interesting theory, but it could very well be just that.
Usually these theories are accompanied by elaborate treatises on why certain words should be interpreted in certain ways in a certain historical context and compared with certain yadda yadda yadda yadda... and if you stand on your head, facing just the right direction in just the right place at just the right time when certain planets are in alignment, it makes perfect sense thus that's surely the correct interpretation and anyone who doesn't see it is a homophobe.

And while people are bogged down in the philosophical/linguistic/pseudo-anthropological gymnastics the simple concepts of the Gospel get lost. God created male and female to be fruitful and multiply, to cling to each other and raise children. This is the structure. To suggest that somehow homosexual behavior is morally justified simply because the love is sincere and heartfelt is to literally claim that morality should be based on what feels good. If you boil down all the arguments, that's what you're left with. Christianity is about morality being based on faith in God's wisdom and His plan. Modern cultural morality is about gratification = good.

Obviously, the above paragraph isn't going to be persuasive to an Atheist. Of course it isn't. Why would it be? But what I have a problem with is efforts by Christians (and non-Christians) to try to remold modern Christianity to conform to the current standard of cultural feel-good morality. Morality is either about obedience to God or obedience to one's own desires. You can't have it both ways and claim to represent authentic Christianity as taught by Jesus Christ.
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Re: Tony Campolo and Homosexuality

Postby Sstavix » Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:23 pm

Usually these theories are accompanied by elaborate treatises on why certain words should be interpreted in certain ways in a certain historical context and compared with certain yadda yadda yadda yadda... and if you stand on your head, facing just the right direction in just the right place at just the right time when certain planets are in alignment, it makes perfect sense thus that's surely the correct interpretation and anyone who doesn't see it is a homophobe.

And while people are bogged down in the philosophical/linguistic/pseudo-anthropological gymnastics the simple concepts of the Gospel get lost. God created male and female to be fruitful and multiply, to cling to each other and raise children. This is the structure. To suggest that somehow homosexual behavior is morally justified simply because the love is sincere and heartfelt is to literally claim that morality should be based on what feels good. If you boil down all the arguments, that's what you're left with. Christianity is about morality being based on faith in God's wisdom and His plan. Modern cultural morality is about gratification = good.

Obviously, the above paragraph isn't going to be persuasive to an Atheist. Of course it isn't. Why would it be? But what I have a problem with is efforts by Christians (and non-Christians) to try to remold modern Christianity to conform to the current standard of cultural feel-good morality. Morality is either about obedience to God or obedience to one's own desires. You can't have it both ways and claim to represent authentic Christianity as taught by Jesus Christ.
Very true. And the Bible is filled with a lot of stories of people who decided to "go their own way" and what happened to their civilizations and cultures after that. The Book of Mormon has even more stories.

Justify it however you want, but if it doesn't align with God's plans, He will withdraw His blessings upon those people and those nations. What happens next remains to be seen. (Note: In the scriptures, it often leads to the people repenting of their ways and turning back to God. Or, in some cases, being utterly annihilated.)

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Re: Tony Campolo and Homosexuality

Postby neighborhoodotaku » Sun Apr 17, 2016 9:12 pm

I actually have some homosexual friends, one in particular who has overcome his sinful lifestyle who attends my local church, so I am not completely ignorant in this subject. Honestly, I feel that homosexuality is the same as every other sin and should be treated as such. Of course people do not have the perfect, righteous eyes that God has when trying to find zero distinction between different sins, as He sees them all as "filthy rags".

I believe that a Christian who accepts the homosexual lifestyle while seeking Godliness is actually pursuing their fleshly desires and these do not promote spiritual growth. In fact, Paul makes this point blatantly clear throughout the entire New Testament, that sowing to the flesh will not produce a productive relationship with Jesus Christ, and here are a few of the dozens of examples that I could find:

"For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please." (Galatians 5:17)

"Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires." (Galatians 5:24)

"For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life." (Galatians 6:8)

"For while we were in the flesh, the sinful passions, which were aroused by the Law, were at work in the members of our body to bear fruit for death." (Romans 7:5)

"But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts." (Romans 13:14)

Shall I continue? It is very apparent that living a lifestyle worthy of the flesh will only reap fleshly works and desires, and that true Godliness is done by putting all of our faith in Jesus Christ. Taking all of this in, there is absolutely no way in my mind that a person can live as a practicing homosexual and still profess the name of God correctly, just like a person who beats his wife or someone who is an alcohol addict. These people are sick in their sin and need the Great Healer to make them well. As with all other sinners, it is the job of believers, some of the greatest sinners of all, to show anyone and everyone love, compassion, mercy, and grace, exactly what Jesus Christ showed us.

Hope what I have learned on the subject is encouraging and enlightening to anyone who reads this! It is very imperative that we all learn from each other and find the definite answer to this raging issue in our culture!

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Re: Tony Campolo and Homosexuality

Postby Yantelope » Tue Apr 19, 2016 11:13 am

I'd like to throw a small aside in here if possible. I think that a lot of the arguments related to cultural issues have been driven by art such as film, TV, books, and music. I was watching some videos on the topic when I found one that summed up my feelings on arts driving culture.

https://youtu.be/QBVi_HKNYm0

It seems like this topic is hard to discuss because it's fueled so much by emotion. Personal desires cannot determine objective truth.

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Re: Tony Campolo and Homosexuality

Postby neighborhoodotaku » Thu Apr 21, 2016 9:10 am

I'd like to throw a small aside in here if possible. I think that a lot of the arguments related to cultural issues have been driven by art such as film, TV, books, and music. I was watching some videos on the topic when I found one that summed up my feelings on arts driving culture.

https://youtu.be/QBVi_HKNYm0

It seems like this topic is hard to discuss because it's fueled so much by emotion. Personal desires cannot determine objective truth.
I'm glad that you brought this up because many people have decided to substitute the Word of God for their own opinions and emotions, which does not bring about anything good. I feel that people who practice homosexuality are lying to themselves and are solely relying on their feelings.


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