Monday, February 20, 2012

Response to Ricky Gervais – Sending Gays to Hell is Child Abuse

In an interview with CNN’s Piers Morgan, Hollywood comedian Ricky Gervais says he believes that telling a child that gays will go to hell is “child abuse.”

Notice the quote, “You have the right to be offended and I have the right to offend you." I wonder if Gervais means freedom or if he really means “right.” There is a huge difference between the two. Anyways, I digress. I find it completely outrageous that Gervais, in one breath argues that parents do not have the “right” to impart their religious beliefs to the children without being accused of “child abuse.” Such an indictment is arrogant, obnoxious and extremely hypocritical as one can easily see. On the other hand Gervais seems to think it his “right” to engage in behavior that he knows will offend millions of Christians. Moreover, he also thinks that homosexuals have the “right” to engage in the deviant practice of same-sex intercourse. In addition, he thinks we have a “right” to be offended by his “right” to offend. However, it also seems that Gervais thinks the one thing that no one has the “right” to do is impart their deeply held religious ideas to their children. This is where we end up in Gervais’ world, folks. I would be willing to wager that Gervais thinks he should be able to impart his atheistic beliefs to his children without outside interference.He begins with the “gays are going to hell” doctrine, but what he means is any suggestion of hell in any dogma whatever. Surely if it is child abuse to teach your kids that gays are going to hell, then it is even more abusive to teach them that good people who do lots of relatively good works as far as man is concerned are going to hell also.

Is this really about “gays going to hell?” Is it even about “child abuse?” I do not think so. I think it is about a secularist worldview that is determined to rub anything that resembles biblical Christianity out of the public square. This is the mask of autonomy, folks. We need to see each one of these movements, teachings, philosophies, worldviews for what they really are: διδασκαλίαις δαιμονίων. Teachings of demons. Now I don’t say this so candidly because I desire to get in anyone’s face or fight. I say it because this is what Paul called them in I Tim. 4:2. Have we not reached the end of our ropes around of the smoothing over of teachings and views that are the outright enemies of the faith? Must we sit back and extend “respect” to every vile demonic view this world has to offer? When are we going to realize that such soft, gentle responses are interpreted by those within and without the church to mean that these views are just small differences of opinion. Take a look at evangelicalism and the condition in which she finds herself today. She did not get there by maintaining a firm resolve to call demonic teaching what it is. She did not get here by referring to heresy as heresy. How did she get here? She got here first and foremost by caring too much about how the world would respond or not respond to the truth of the gospel! She pondered for too long on how she could gain an audience from the world. Hence, gaining an audience became more important to her than delivering God's pure message. She wanted to be respected by those who have not the slightest respect for God!

Pastors started resembling politicians more than prophets. Church members were given power and control because they were the highest contributors. Doctrine was placed out on the parameter while relationships took center stage. Academic respectability engulfed our seminaries and we gave up a young earth, inspiration, infallibility, and now sola Scriptura. Worship disappeared behind contemporary music which is now being replaced with dancers, shows, and even secular rock concerts.

The sad truth is that there are Christians who have been in “the way” for 20 years or better who could not even begin to react biblically to Gervais. They stopped thinking years ago and have no interest in connecting with Scripture intellectually. Dogma doesn’t matter. All that matters are social changes and relationships. This is an indictment against leadership everywhere the condition exists. Thank God for those churches who are insisting on serious church membership covenants, discipleship programs, intimate relationships within the community, and a high view of Scripture. They are small in number but mighty in Spirit. These are the churches that will stand firm against the sins of the culture. They will be able to identify ungodly thinking, false doctrine, a false gospel, and respond to attacks by people like Gervais without flinching and with complete confidence.

Surely if Gervais has a “right” to think that homosexuality is morally normal, Christians have a “right” to think that it is not. Surely, Gervais recognizes that we have a “right” to disagree with him on this issue. By accusing biblical Christians of being guilty of child abuse, Ricky Gervais is contending that Christians are unfit parents and do not have the “right” to have children of their own. Gervais is arguing that we must accept his personal morality for how children ought to be raised. Ricky Gervais is an atheist. As such, I wonder what informs Ricky’s morality. Why is it really, really, wrong or bad for a parent to teach their children that homosexual behavior invokes the wrath of God? Would Ricky argue that humans have a “right” to engage in whatever sex they wish? In the atheist worldview, I wonder where Ricky gets his moral knowledge. And if there are normative standards governing human sexuality, where do they come from? How do we know? If the majority said that pedophilia and bestiality are acceptable, would that make it so?

We must begin to respond to these sorts of arguments with sound critical thinking skills. All human predication has its source in God. Therefore, Christians, being restored to His image in regeneration should think better than their counterparts, the unregenerate. λογισμοὺς καθαιροῦντες, we are destroying speculations that ἐπαιρόμενον κατὰ τῆς γνώσεως τοῦ θεοῦ, are raising themselves up against the knowledge of God. For this is the true knowledge.

As Christians we love homosexuals the same as any other unbeliever caught in the deception of sin for we were all once caught in the deception of sin, helpless and without God in the world. But God, by His mercy saved us. At the same time, it seems that the homosexual movement has a core desire to end biblical Christianity and that is one aspect of the movement that seems different from others. For example, the liar and adulterer know they are behaving wickedly. They do not demand that the church simply accept their behavior as normative. We cannot say this for much of the modern homosexual movement. See it for what it actually is. See Gervais' comments for what they actually are: one more secular attack against anything and everything that is biblical Christianity. It is not just another view with which we respectfully disagree. It is a view that we loving and gently, but directly must call demonic, with all due respect to Ricky Gervais. We can show respect to the holder of a view while at the same time relegating it to the ash heap which is where it belongs.

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