Tuesday, April 27, 2010

What Matters More 2.0

So I just finished watching Larry King from Friday with Jennifer Knapp. And it lit a fire in me. I know that for the things I'm about to say that I will be told I'm wrong and maybe if I'm lucky someone will say Satan is working in me... But there are moments when you can't just sit on the sidewalk. When you have to stop the parade and throw your hat into the ring and if I don't then I'm part of the problem.

Bob Botsford was the voice of the Evangelical community on the show. I don't know Bob's work and I've never heard him preach and I don't know what his theology is but on Larry King he was a prime example of christian jackassery. I mean, Botsford's stance was that of the mainline evangelical church; That homosexuality is a sin and you can't be both gay and a christian. And although I don't agree with the opinion that you have to choose between one or the other, don't hate him having that stance.

My issue with Bob on Larry King was his explanation of why being gay is wrong. I was with him until he dropped this gem. "God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve." Seriously Bob? You're a grown man, not a twelve year old. You have a masters in divinity. And you drop God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve on television? That was a good answer and smart thing to say? When arguing why being gay is a sin that was the best response you could come up with? Oh, I've heard it used in church before and every time a pastor uses it in church I cringe. It's like responding with "you're mom." It's not intelligent. It's not a good reason. You don't sound smart or clever or whatever by using that as a reason. You sound like a jackass. Yes, God created Adam and Eve. It's not a good comeback and it's not a good argument tool.

My second issue with Bob is Jennifer had a very good point about the original Greek words and how they've been translated. And she asked Bob Botsford about what those words in Greek mean and how we've translated them. Like I said and Jennifer pointed out on the show, Bob has a masters degree in divinity. He's studied theology and the bible. But he responded with saying that he believed the bible is God breathed and God inspired and the word of God. And well yes, that is true, it doesn't answer her question. Which is a problem. Too be honest had he said he didn't know the answer would've been a better response because at least we would've been answering her question. If you don't know just man up and say it. It's better than giving a generic christian answer to a question not asked.

Bob also, like many christians on television, would not condemn Jennifer to hell. Which is always interesting to me. If you don't believe she's a christian because she's gay, doesn't that mean you also believe she'll go to hell? It's a question that always gets asked of pastors and christian leaders, if non-christians will go to hell and they always back away from this question. It's yes Jesus is Lord and he is the only way to heaven but when it comes to sending people to hell, that's God's job. Which I would be ok with if they weren't so condemning in other ways.

My point in all of this is I believe Jennifer Knapp is still a christian. If she says she still has a relationship with God and is still spiritually motivated and has a community of believers that speak into her life, then I'll take her at her word and say yes she's a christian. She is on the same spiritual walk that I am. And I hate this idea that because she's gay, she's can't be a christian. You can be gay and christian. You can be an alcoholic and christian. You can be an adulterer and a christian. You can be a liar and a christian, a gossip and a christian, whatever and a christian. Why do certain sins carry such a weight that because we live in them, it cancels out our faith? If a christian lives in gossip no one is saying they're not a believer because of it. In fact most people wouldn't attack them for being a gossip.

If sin is sin to God and each sin breaks his heart and all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, why do we outcast the homosexuals? The argument is that they're living in sin and not repenting and turning from their sin. But God still loves her and theres no reason to believe she doesn't love God and that she's trying her best to live her life as she feels God is directing her. I'm convicted when I'm in my car and yell at someone for driving less awesome then I think they should. And that's a sin to me. I bet there are people who aren't convicted and wouldn't feel like that's a sin. And I could argue biblically that it's a sin to yell at people while driving. That won't make it more of a sin to them.

And I know someone just said you can't compare yelling at people while drive to homosexuality. But that's part of the problem. We've made some sins bigger then other. But Jennifer Knapp doesn't think her relationship is a sin. And it's not my place to judge her. Which I guess was my biggest issue with Botsford; his complete lack of love. His comments to Jennifer were that he'd keep praying for her that she'd stop sinning and return to Christ. And I know TV has a way of making people look bad and maybe in an open dialogue with just Botsford and Knapp talking to each other over a beer would be more pleasant or revealing as opposed to Larry King but Botsford kept coming to the point that Jennifer Knapp as a gay woman could not also be a fellow believer in Christ. That her spiritual journey was lessened by her sexual orientation, which shouldn't be so and I don't believe is true or right.

I wonder if we lose sight that everyone is a person created by God. And God loves everyone. I feel bad for those who might be in the church that are hiding their homosexuality because they fear they'll be run out of church, or ridiculed, or someone might try and perform an exorcism on them. There are probably a lot of gay and lesbian christians who are really looking up to Jennifer Knapp and who watched Larry King and don't want people like Botsford to try and reconvert them or "make them straight." They just want to be loved and accepted as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ and I think we owe it to them to treat them as such.

This is why I have a problem with not allowing homosexuals to marry. It's discrimination and it's wrong. I don't think being gay or lesbian should be a reason why you're not allowed to have a nice monogamous marital relationship. I don't know how Jesus would approach this issue if he were living on Earth right now but part of me has a feeling that he would hang out with the gay and lesbian community because that's the type of person Jesus was. He wouldn't let their sexual preference get in the way of him loving them and I don't think we should either.



Haven said...


I found your blog from the Revolution NYC discussion on a similar subject from Jay Bakker's Sermon.

I'll start by saying I don't believe that homosexuality is a sin. But, for the sake of the argument I am about to make, let's assume that it is.

Now, I am on my second marriage. My first was annuled, but let's not fool ourselves, I've been married before. Now, I was reading Mark Ch. 10, and Jesus admonition about divorce. Well, if I am to take Jesus teaching seriously (or literally, your choice on this one) then I am committing a sin every time I have sex with my new wife. My new marriage is a continuous sexual sin. Just like the conservative evangelical community claims homosexuality is. (or at least acting on it.) Yet, the same church claims that I am saved by grace. Even tho I sin every time, I fall short of the mark, I am forgiven.

Yet somehow, LGBT folks aren't? How could a person be forgiven for continuously sinning against the teachings of jesus, (who we believe is the lord) and yet not be forgiven for "sinning" against the teachings of Paul, who was a man, not a god.

So either I, and 50-60% of this country are clearly going to hell (and the new calvinists are right) or we are forgiven. And so are LGBT people. Even if it is a sin. Because we all sin, constantly. We all fall short. Heck, we all probably break some of the 7 deadly sins every day (and I know those are not necessarily biblical, but still).

We all have our crosses to bear. Be they divorce, drug addiction, homosexuality, adultery, lying, theft, or what have you. Only one person has lived a sinless life. So either we are all forgiven for sin, or we aren't. But I don't see where in the gospels jesus states that "all sins are forgiven, except for the gays, screw them."

Thanks for a great blog post

CJ said...


I think that God's Word is the final authority to everything in life.
Jesus said, "If your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out..."
That tells me that what I want is not always God's plan for me, and I must submit what I think is right/truth to a Final Authority/Truth. One thing must go, and it is the part of myself that does not line up with God's truth....