Wednesday, December 17, 2008

immorality should be legalized???

First, let's get this out of the way.

As will be discussed later, I believe the Bible says that same-gender eroticism is wrong.
Tony Campolo, Adventures in missing the point, p. 178

Campolo begins this chapter, where he discusses homosexuality, with a story apparently from his high school years. It's about another boy in his school, who was apparently known to be homosexual, and the things he suffered from the other students, which seem to have eventually led to his suicide.

I think it can be agreed that if things happened like Campolo claimed, than what happened to that boy was wrong and ugly. Such cruelties are not good and not to be condoned or encouraged.

But then Campolo makes this leap.

I believe that if Jesus were in our shoes, he would reach out in love to his homosexual brothers and sisters and demand that they be treated justly, that we end the discrimination that has too often made homosexuals into second-class citizens and denied them their constitutional rights. If Jesus were in our shoes, he would work to create an atmosphere in society wherein homosexuals could be open about who they are without fear of oppression and persecution. If Jesus were in our shoes, those with a homosexual orientation would be treated with dignity and respect.
p. 178

One division Campolo makes is between 'orientation' and 'behavior', which may help explain some part of the statement above. Some, but not all.

For example, what constitutional rights have been denied homosexuals? When I see that, I think "he means homosexual marriage". And when he writes that they should be "treated justly", isn't that also what is meant, though other things may be thrown in too?

So, is he in essence saying "I think that homosexual sexual acts are sinful, but that we must recognize the people who engage in them, let them marry and have the same rights and privileges as heterosexual couples, let them adopt children, and treat such marriages as normal and even right"?

If so, I have to ask "Why?"

Campolo says that Jesus, if He were here today (and really isn't He, I might add), would demand that homosexuals be treated justly. Very well, but what does that mean? Does it mean "Their sexual activities must be approved on socially and in the church"? Does it mean "Churches should not call homosexual sex sin"? Does it mean "Society must recognize gay marriage"?

To which I have to think, no, Jesus would not be for those things. I think very strongly that He would not approve of the mistreatment of Campolo fellow student in his boyhood, but at the same time, I don't think He would tell that student that his sexual choices were acceptable.

One can point to the instance when a group brought the adultress to Jesus for judgment. He points out the group's sinfulness, but also doesn't let her completely off the hook by telling her that while she is not condemned by Him, she is not to do that again.

We do not see Him demanding that her adultrous relationship be recognized and accepted by the nation. We do not see Him saying that her sin wasn't really a sin.

I would well image Jesus in a similar spot as Campolo gives concerning his fellow student being tormented by other students. He would likely have those tormentors remember their own sins (what magazines do they have hidden under their mattresses, or what were the one boy and his girlfriend doing in his car a couple of evenings ago). Perhaps (and I stress perhaps) after that, he would turn to boy being persecuted, and say that He will not condemn him, but he is not to act that way any more.

What I can't see Jesus doing is demanding that even if homosexuality is sinful, it should be recognized and accepted by society and homosexuals should be allowed to marry and be considered normal. There is a certain twisted-ness about that thinking, for how can we on one hand say that something is wrong and immoral, and on the other say that it should be lawful and legal?

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