Richard Bartholomew, always vigilant against religious hypocrisy (though for the wrong reasons), has helpfully pointed out the inconsistency of many “right wing” evangelicals who loudly decry homosexuality yet have no problem with divorce. You can read the full article yourself which describes Washington State pastor Ken Hutcherson (vocal advocated against homosexuality and defender of “traditional marriage”) officiating Rush Limbaugh’s (yeah, THAT Rush Limbaugh) fourth marriage (one more than three and one less than five).
Hutcherson is also known for asserting a form a overt machismo. Here is a quote on his view of gender roles.
During his sermon, Hutcherson stated, “God hates soft men” and “God hates effeminate men.” Hutcherson went on to say, “If I was in a drugstore and some guy opened the door for me, I’d rip his arm off and beat him with the wet end.”
I wonder how he felt that hired performer at the reception was Elton John?
I’m sure you all know how I feel about the whole Jennifer Knapp situation. If not, read my previous post on the subject. Unfortunately, Jennifer has let the fame monster influence her handling of this very delicate situation. Rather than listening and learning, she is promoting her agenda on national television. She is debating other believers about a very nuanced and sensitive subject.
I saw this clip of Jennifer Knapp on “Larry King Live.” Everyone involved demonstrated such Biblical illiteracy that it was painful. The pastor who represents the orthodox Christian position on homosexuality did his best to stay close to the gospel but was woefully ill-equipped to confidently and intelligently explain the text of Scripture.
We have all heard it said that “it is better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.” Unfortunately, Jennifer Knapp decided to speak. She tried to use a poorly constructed linguistic smokescreen to argue that homosexuality (as we know it) is not in the Bible.
It is one thing to say that “homosexuality is no worse than others sins.” With that I agree. It is another thing altogether to get on national television and vehemently defend my sin. Homosexuality is no worse than adultery, but it would be ridiculous for an adulterer to get on national television and defend their actions (as with a murderer, liar, etc…)
As far as the logic involved, it is ridiculous to argue if a person is born with inclinations, tendencies, or orientations then they are allowed to act on them. There are a number of people with homicidal tendencies, but society has said they are not allowed to act on those activities. As Christians we can affirm that people struggle with homosexuality while agreeing that can choose not to engage in homosexual activity.
Also, why would anyone listen to Ted Haggard? He is the worst kind of hypocrite and fraud? Seriously? The best person that Larry King could find was Ted Haggard? This must be a joke. Are there any intelligent, well-educated, articulate Bible scholars who can actually talk about this issue? Please!!!!
As far as the theological and philological idiocy displayed during this interview. The original text of the Bible is clear about homosexuality (e.g., 1 Cor. 6:9 and see BDAG’s discussion of μαλακοι and αρσενοκοιται). The question is really not linguistic (per se) but, rather, hermeneutical. Is the original text of the Bible understandable and applicable to Christians today? Or, on the other hand, do we have more knowledge, intelligence, and understanding than the original writers (inspired by God) who decided to condemn homosexuality?
In regard to homosexuality, this is nothing new. Same sex activity would not be in the Bible if it was not a legitimate sin struggle for many people. While we have much more scientific information on homosexuality, the more things change the more they stay the same. Sin is sin and God does not change. I can either justify my sins (of which I have many) or humbly repent and cling desperately to the grace of Jesus.
Despite the salacious title I am not really going to talk much about the recent news story regarding “Christian Music” star, Jennifer Knapp. Suffice it to say that a number of people have asked my opinion of the Dove Award winning singer announcing she is in a homosexual relationship on the eve of her new album release.
There is much to be said about the relationship of contemporary American culture’s view of homosexuality and a Biblically orthodox view of the same behavior. I have heard no hermeneutical gymnastics clever enough to convince me that God has revealed in the Bible any other plan for families than one man loving one woman for life as a clear picture of the love of Christ for the church.
On the other hand, many conservative churches have exploited homosexuality as a sin that is particularly heinous and gross. Homosexuality is much harder to hide, but it is no worse than the sins I commit. Even if it is worse (which Biblically it is not), the grace of Christ is sufficient for every sin. During his earthly ministry, Christ demonstrated healing and love consistently and clearly to the people that society deemed as gross and dirty.
However, Biblical interpretation regarding the issue of homosexuality is not my greatest concern. What I find interesting is the way “Christian celebrities” are deemed as more important or as experts. When a Hollywood celebrity speaks on a political issue, many people get upset because being a celebrity does not make you an expert. The same is true in Christian subculture. Jennifer Knapp is not particularly qualified to speak on the issue of Biblical interpretation. She is no more qualified than any other believer. Celebrity is not a mark of authority. In the debate regarding homosexuality, our decisions must be made on ideas, not on personalities. No matter what side you are on, there is a desire to stack experts and celebrities on your philosophical side. This is a mistake. Let us discuss issues and ideas rather than people.
I know that Jennifer Knapp is not the first Christian to “come out of the closet.” She is not even the first Christian musician to come out of the closet. There are a number of people in our churches and communities who are dealing with these same issues. I would rather not make decisions regarding sexual ethics on the choices of “Christian celebrities” (be they pastors, musicians, actors, etc.) but on the authority of the Bible faithfully interpreted.
Let us relate with truth and love to any with whom we disagree. In a debate you are not trying to win an argument but a person. My prayer is that Christians would search the Scriptures more than the local news.