Sunday, January 6, 2013

Debating Homophobes: Avoiding Common Pitfalls



In this video, Brian Anthony Bowen reveals Scriptures the Church never talks about which prove that Jesus taught that LGBT people are born this way...and that prove the Apostle Paul ordained Gay Marriage...IN THE BIBLE!

This changes EVERYTHING!
More info:
http://BrianBowenMinistries.com

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The Holy Spirit distinctly and expressly declares
that in latter times
some will turn away from the faith,
giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits
and doctrines that demons teach,
Through the hypocrisy and pretensions of liars
whose consciences are seared (cauterized),
 
Who forbid people to marry
(1 Timothy 4:1-3)

While I realize many people do not believe in God, and do not believe the Scriptures are true, I believe the Bible has much more to say about same sex marriage than we have been led to believe by many in the public square, and that knowing what it says--even if one does not necessarily believe it--can go a long way toward bringing religious homophobia to an end all over the world.

When we take an intellectually honest look at the same sex marriage debate right now, I think we find that at no point in human history have we ever seen every element listed in this prophecy being fulfilled in such precise and accurate detail.  Let's break it down:

1 But the [Holy] Spirit distinctly and expressly declares that in latter times...

"In latter times" would be after the Apostle Paul wrote this, so we are nearer now to the latter times (not to be confused with the end times) than when Paul was alive, so this prophecy cannot apply to any situation he was addressing in his day.

...some will turn away from the faith...

Only Christians can "turn away from the Christian faith."  How many Christians do we see who forbid LGBT people to marry, and act in such an un-Christlike manner when doing so?...even as they refuse to even discuss Apostle Paul's ordination of same sex marriage in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9.

...giving attention to deluding and seducing spirits and doctrines that demons teach...

As discussed in Chapter 4: Messengers of the King, I believe the doctrine of forbidding LGBT people to marry is indeed demonically inspired in an effort to prevent the fulfillment of Isaiah 56, Romans 11:25, and Luke 17:34, in an effort to prevent Jesus from returning by using His Own words against Him from Luke 24:44.

...2 Through the hypocrisy... 

How much more hypocritical can it be for people who have often been divorced or committed adultery being some of the very ones who most loudly oppose same sex marriage?

...and pretensions...

How much more pretense can there be than to hear a Christian extol the virtues of exgay therapy only to be busted cruising Grindr, or the Minneapolis airport restroom, or with a RentBoy hired to carry their luggage?

...of liars...

How many more lies will we hear about how same sex marriage will lead to the end of humanity, or pedophilia, bestiality, or men marrying their refrigerators?...or the lies we hear about the causes of homosexuality, and how LGBT people are responsible for everything from hurricanes to earthquakes? Truth be known, these folks aren't even wise enough to limit their lies to one cause of homosexuality, or one result of LGBT people getting married.

...whose consciences are seared (cauterized)...

Why is it atheists often seem to have more compassion toward LGBT people than most Christians do? How many more LGBT kids have to commit suicide before the Church realizes the damage their doctrines and lies are causing?  Where is the love of Christ that is supposed to bring human compassion to our fellow man?  How many families have been torn apart?  How many LGBT kids have been kicked out of their homes?  How many LGBT clergy have been defrocked just for being honest about who God created them to be?  We don't have to look too far in order to see the loudest opposition to same sex marriage comes from those who claim to "love the sinner," but can't even demonstrate the least level of human empathy and compassion, as if they have no conscience at all.

...3 Who forbid people to marry...

Who else is being forbid to marry in the latter times (and under every condition the Holy Spirit states here) except LGBT people?  And who else is forbidding people to marry except those who call themselves Christians, but do not at all reflect the love of Christ by which Jesus said people would know they were?

I believe the specificity and accuracy of this prophecy point to the current same sex marriage debate like a laser, and I believe even the most hardened homophobe will as well, if we can just get enough LGBT people who know to share it with them.  They may still oppose same sex marriage, but they will no longer be able to use the Bible as a reason why without portraying themselves as being demonically influenced themselves.

 

For the last 10 years, I have embarked on a journey through the Scriptures, determined to better understand the common interpretations many anti-gay people use to discriminate against LGBT people.  In doing so, I have found they are always set within the context of married men who cheated on wives with other men, and not LGBT people.   This blog is an attempt to make these distinctions clear for Christians who resort to common Bible passages to bash LGBT people, but I have come to learn that it's just as important for LGBT people to understand them better as well...perhaps more so!

During the past 10 years, I have participated in hundreds of discussions about these passages, and time and again I stumble across LGBT people whose arguments against religious homophobia are actually just as dangerous sometimes as those who mean us harm, even though we are all on the same side.

For instance, I often see LGBT people say things like "Your Bible says gay people should be put to death, and that's why I reject God and your religion!"  But if we stop to think about that, what we see is these LGBT people are actually promulgating the lies the anti-gay bigots have been telling us all along.  These LGBT people have inadvertently agreed that the Bible in fact does say gay people should be put to death...even though the Bible never says any such thing.  Instead, it speaks only of men married to women who cheat on their wives with men, as illustrated in Chapter 16:  Leviticus, of The Bed Keeper.

I have often seen anti-gay bigots say "Leviticus tells us a man shall not lie with a man as with a woman, because it's an abomination!"  And I have seen many LGBT people respond by saying something like, "Well, Leviticus also says you shouldn't eat shell fish, or wear mixed fabrics!"  Again, if we really stop to think about that, the LGBT people are once again agreeing that Leviticus is addressing LGBT people, when in fact it's addressing men married to women who engage in adultery with other men, and not LGBT people.

I recall watching a famous episode of The West Wing when President Bartlett does pretty much the same thing when addressing a talk show "doctor."  In the episode, President Bartlett rattles off a long list of things from Leviticus that of course nobody actually adheres to nowadays, and we see the doctor frozen in disbelief at the absurdity of her own arguments.  But in real life, that's not the same way anti-gay bigots react.  Instead, they remind us that in the New Testament, many of the Levitical guidelines are suspended, overruled or otherwise dispensed with, but that there are still passages in the New Testament that continue to say "homosexuality is a sin."

In real life, we don't get to write the script for anti-gay bigots.  We don't get to direct them to recognize the absurdity of their misapplication of Scriptures like the producers of The West Wing got to do.  But that doesn't mean there aren't ways we can indeed illicit the same response....we simply have to do so in a smarter way.

In the New Testament, we find "homosexuality" indeed continues to be condemned, but we also see it continues to be confined to a very narrow context and audience.  As illustrated in Chapter 18: Romans, of The Bed Keeper, the context is men who are married to women who commit adultery in order to have sex with other men, in order to worship ancient Roman mythological gods.  This violates two of the Ten Commandments: "Thou shall not commit adultery," and "Thou shall have no other gods before Me."  Most Christians obviously miss this context, but once it's pointed out to them, just as the talk show radio doctor from The West Wing, they begin to recognize the error of their understanding....although most never admit it.  They simply shuffle off and go away as if they never heard you explain it to them....but that's okay!  They can't unlearn something they just learned, and as long as that is true, there is hope that one day they will come to at least stop using Romans 1 as a proof text against all gay people.

Finally, I have found that many Christians and LGBT people alike will say simply "homosexuality is a sin" or "homosexuality is not a sin."  Once again, I think it's important to consider there are different forms of homosexual expressions.  Heterosexual men rape other heterosexual men in prison all the time.  It's homosexuality.  It is sinful by anyone's definition of sin.  But it doesn't involve any LGBT people.  Another example are pedophile priests who rape boys in their own congregations as a means to avoid pregnancy.  Once again, it's homosexuality.  Once again, it's sinful by anyone's definition.  But once again, it doesn't involve LGBT people.  Saying "homosexuality is a sin" is like saying "heterosexuality is a sin."  Indeed there are many forms of heterosexuality that are sinful, such as adultery, rape, incest, etc.  But that doesn't mean all heterosexuals are sinful just because they identify as heterosexual.

In closing, I just want to encourage anyone who engages in debate with religious homophobes to be very specific in your discussions.  I hope to have illustrated how many common arguments from LGBT people actually only serve to reinforce anti-gay beliefs in regards to the Scriptures.  And I hope to have illustrated why it's important to distinguish "being gay" from "homosexuality."

Doing so allows those who adhere to Scriptures to continue to believe "homosexuality is a sin" (at least within the very narrow context delineated by Scripture), while also recognizing that "being gay" doesn't necessarily mean a person is sinful, simply by virtue of identifying as homosexual.  I cover these differences using the account of the woman caught in the act of adultery in Chapter 19:  Go, And Sin No More.

I encourage all LGBT people to keep up the good fight, and hope these insights help you sharpen your debating skills in a way that will truly leave anti-gay bigots just as slack jawed as the radio doctor from The West Wing....but we'll have to be a bit more specific than President Bartlett.

This Frequently Asked Questions quick reference guide responds to the most common anti-gay Bible based arguments that may help even further.  Not only does it refute the common passages used against LGBT people, but goes on to point out Scriptures indicating LGBT people are born so, and that same sex marriage is ordained by the Bible itself!  You can either use it to help improve your debate points, or even better, you can simply send the link to the anti-gay bigots you encounter and get back to more important things, like enjoying your life!  I hope these tips help!

GO GET 'EM TIGERS!

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Dear Valued Readers,
This blog continues to be a work in progress. As recent revelations and events throughout Christendom have created an increasingly fluid situation, updates will no longer be published at the end of each post, but rather only at the beginning of the corresponding posts so impacted.  As of August 1, 2013, the only updates to appear at the end of each post will be churches that are personally endorsed by The Bed Keeper as a "SAFE SPACE."

Readers may email thebedkeeper@gmail.com to discuss or comment on any posting.  Please note that while all feedback is highly valued and appreciated, it may not be possible to reply to each email.
 
UPDATE 01.15.12:
Lakewood Church officially endorsed as a SAFE SPACE for LGBT people to worship! Details here.

UPDATE 11.22.11:

Eagle Mountain International Church officially endorsed as a SAFE SPACE for LGBT people to worship! Details here.

THANK YOU for your generous support of this work!
 
Let him who receives instruction in the Word of God share all good things with his teacher, contributing to his support.
Galatians 6:6