It was reported yesterday in the Associated Baptist Press that Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President Albert Mohler admitted that Baptists have lied about the nature of homosexuality:
We’ve lied about the nature of homosexuality and have practiced what can only be described as a form of homophobia. […] We’ve used the choice language when it is clear that sexual orientation is a deep inner struggle and not merely a matter of choice.
To be clear, Mohler does believe that homosexuality is sinful. But he calls on the church to repent of the lie that ‘it is a choice’. To quote from Bob Allen’s article:
“Evangelicals, thankfully, have failed to take the liberal trajectory of lying about homosexuality and its sinfulness,” Mohler said. “We know that the Bible clearly declares – not only in isolated verses but in the totality of its comprehensive presentation – the fact that homosexuality not only is not God’s best for us, as some try to say, but it is sin.”
“But we as evangelicals have a very sad history in dealing with this issue,” he continued. “We have told not the truth, but we have told about half the truth. We’ve told the biblical truth, and that’s important, but we haven’t applied it in the biblical way.”
“We have said to people that homosexuality is just a choice,” Mohler said. “It’s clear that it’s more than a choice. That doesn’t mean it’s any less sinful, but it does mean it’s not something people can just turn on and turn off. We are not a gospel people unless we understand that only the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ gives a homosexual person any hope of release from homosexuality.”
As Bob Allen continues,
Mohler said churches have not done their job until “there are those who have been trapped in that sin sitting among us.”
Contrast this with the recent behaviour of Anglican Mainstream, who, are so keen to spread the lie that they clutch at any straw, however distasteful it is, and however badly it reflects upon them in their declared mission of ‘sharing the love and purpose of God in Jesus Christ‘.
Two recent posts on Anglican Mainstream relate to the recently published book A Queer Thing Happened to America by Dr Michael Brown.
One is a video of the author interviewed by Sid Roth, and it is not simply the video itself which caught my eye, but the claim by the posts’s author (uncredited) as to why this video is so important. To put it in context, the following quotes relate to what Anglican Mainstream love to call the ‘homosexual agenda’ – the myth that those who are homosexual and even those that love and support them are part of a worldwide conspiracy of ‘homosexual activists’ who are trying to undermine Christian values:
Dr. Michael Brown warns that there is a diabolical spell being cast on TV, in Movies, on the Internet and EVEN in public schools to control your children and your grandchildren. [emphasis mine]
Find out how YOU can help protect your children from this demonic onslaught!
It’s unbelievable to me that such language is being used in a Christian context. I have talked with many Christians about this issue, some who strongly oppose my position, but none has ever expressed their beliefs in such language. It is just plain nasty. I doubt Canon Chris Sugden of Anglican Mainstream would use language like this, or believe it appropriate, so why, then, does he allow it to be published?
Another article on Anglican Mainstream reviews the book: A Review of A Queer Thing Happened to America – by Dr Michael L Brown. Once again, extreme language is used, but this time by a credited reviewer, J Davies. He writes of the book:
It is no exaggeration to say it should be required reading for everyone who cares about the future of their family and of our civilization’ and should be read by anybody “who has any suspicions at all that it is not really ‘OK to be gay'”.
Davies appears to define the homosexual issue – or more specifically the fight against ‘homosexual culture’ as the defining issue in the ‘culture wars presently being fought for the future of western civilization’.
The reviewer clearly does not simply follow the official line of the Anglican church that it is acceptable to have a homosexual orientation, but not to perform ‘homosexual acts’. For him, this is a battle against homosexuality itself as the enemy of civilization – a line Dr Michael Brown takes himself, as I shall demonstrate below.
In a familiar tactic, much beloved by Anglican Mainstream, Davies also attempts to propagate the myth that Christians are the victims:
Today supporters of homosexual ‘rights’ routinely silence those who criticise homosexual practices on moral, health, social or religious grounds by malevolently accusing them of “homophobia” and using “hate” speech. This highly successful tactic was advocated by Kirk & Madsen in their 1990 Machiavellian masterpiece After the Ball; How America will conquer its fear and hatred of gays in the 90s.
Note how he emphasizes the word ‘rights’ by surrounding it in quotation marks. It is clear that he does not believe homosexuals are entitled to any.
Davies claims that in this book,
the 21st century has what it needs to recognize this Orwellian cancer for what it really is and prevent it from corrupting every cherished institution from the traditional family to our systems of government. [emphasis mine]
So much for the posts on Anglican Mainstream about the book, and the video, for which language, I believe, they should take full responsibility and be deeply ashamed. Now on to the video itself. I’m not going to comment on the book, because I haven’t read it, and at over 700 pages long, I don’t intend to – the interview is sufficient for me to know that the author does not have a objective viewpoint on the subject.
The interviewer is the somewhat made-for-television looking Sid Roth – a self-publicist whose own website sidroth.org invites us to read about his ‘Messianic Vision‘ to ‘reach out with the good news of the Messiah, “to the Jew first”’ – whatever on earth that may mean (Sid helpfully offers us Romans 1:16 as a clue). Sid hosts a TV show called ‘It’s Supernatural!’ and it is from this show that the video clip is taken. This is not the sort of thing that Anglican Mainstream would normally promote but, hey, these are desperate times and desperate measures are required, so let’s not worry about the bigger picture of how our actions reflect the body of Christ, so long as we can get our ‘agenda’ across.
The interview is interspersed with what Sid refers to as ‘these messages’. Typically these are dramatisations where actors try to depict homosexuality in as unfavourable a light as possible. At one point two men are shown in bed with a small boy, squabbling over who should read a book to the child. The adults (who are homosexual and thus – obviously – unable to behave properly) snatch the book from each other and behave more childishly than the child, who lies there in puzzlement. This is just to set the tone, so we are left in no doubt what both the author and interviewer think of homosexuals.
The interview itself is quite long, and one gets a picture of Dr Michael Brown as someone highly skilled in media presentation. He never stops smiling, always speaking an a considered and compassionate-sounding voice, quick to point out the spirit of love towards homosexuals in which his words should be taken. But the words themselves give him away. He apparently – like Anglican Mainstream – finds it difficult to distinguish between homosexual people themselves and the worldwide homosexual ‘agenda’. To him they are one and the same thing, and nothing less than a threat to our civilization. At one point [6:30 mins], Sid asks the deliberately leading question, ‘Historically, is this the course that nations take just before their final destruction?’, to which the answer is, of course, yes:
Once you tamper with family foundations, everything else falls apart. You cannot mess with the family foundations of society. Once you do, and once you begin to celebrate things that were once shameful, everything is become undone. And yes, the clock is ticking.
Later [18:02 mins] they discuss whether people can be ‘born this way’. Brown says:
OK, first thing, it’s a myth. No-one is born gay. […] As long as someone says ‘I was born this way’, therefore ‘I was made this way’ then they are under deception. But of course, you watch sitcoms, you watch TV shows, you watch – whatever it is – it’s just assumed, ‘Oh, we know people who were born gay’. We know no such thing: the science absolutely says the opposite.
This ‘absolutely’ not true. The science does not say the opposite. Only a fool, on either side of the argument, would use the scientific argument so forcefully when the science on this issue is in its infancy. I’m no scientist, but I know a blatant untruth when I see one.
At minute 16.02:
Roth: Michael. Can you be Christian and gay?
Brown: […] No, you cannot possibly be a practicing homosexual and a follower of Jesus at the same time.
This is also demonstrably untrue. Dr Brown may have a distinguished moustache and an air of authority, but he is not qualified to make a judgement like this. The hundreds of thousands of LGBT Christians are a reality, whatever Dr Brown may think. He may dismiss us, but it’s not his call – it’ God’s. For too long have a self-appointed group of Christians set themselves up as bouncers at the door of God’s church. But they forget that it is not them who invite people into relationship with God, it is God. The God of surprises never fails to surprise.
Later, Dr Brown turns earnestly to Sid Roth:
They [the gay activists] want to put you and me in the closet. Sid, I am not ready to go in the closet.
Once again, here is a deliberate reversal of roles: The homosexual agena-pushing activists are trying to push the fair-minded Christians – who are, after all, only trying to be Biblical – into the closet. The bullied have become the bullies.
I know the Christian right is feeling under fire, but I believe it has completely lost perspective on this issue. I wish occasionally they would take a step back and look at their own behaviour, and ask themselves if they are not, on occasions, being just a tinsy-winsy bit mean.
At moments like this, so desperate and under attack do they feel, organisations like Anglican Mainstream behave carelessly, letting their defences down. They let fall the cloak of respectability and moral judgement and show the world their true colours, and it is just plain nasty to see. It is not the ‘homosexual agenda’ that organisations like Anglican Mainstream should be afraid of, it is ordinary, caring, loving, sensitive human beings who look at their behaviour and see it for what it is, and want no part in it. The church has little hope of winning the masses while it behaves so disgracefully towards God’s children. The tide of opinion is moving forcefully in this direction, which is not (as the Christian right would have you believe) a symptom of secular society winning the day against the downtrodden Christians, but of people waking up in love and compassion to a deep and long-standing injustice and calling on the church to repent.