Monday, April 23, 2012
TD Jakes, Oprah, and the Homosexual Response
I don’t know about you, but I am exhausted with the continual bombardment of hostility directed at the Society of Christ from the homosexual movement because of her views on homosexual behavior. On the one hand, I realize that some conservative Christians have treated homosexuality as if it is the worse sin anyone could commit. We have viewed homosexuality with disdain and disgust while at the same time hardly winking at anger, slander, malice, discontentment, and even divorce in our communities. Indeed the hypocrisy of it is difficult to understand. I understand this and am sensitive to the fact many Christians, including myself, have just not done such a good job giving the truth of Scripture to the gay community. Too many times, our own self-righteousness comes through and it is clear that we view our own self as better than and superior to the person who has made the homosexual choice. To be sure, we have some work to do in this regard. However, I am not convinced that people who have made the homosexual choice really are sincere when they point these kinds of things out to the Christians.
The common denominator I hear from those within the gay community is that Christians hate them and display no love toward them whatsoever. When one listens to a person from that community, you get the sense that they really are sincere. You get the impression that if Christians just approached the issue without such hostility, it would change things. The gay community leads one to believe that if Christians treated them the same as they treat everyone else, the relationship between Christians, and the gay community would immediately improve, and that, considerably. I have my doubts about this premise and that is the purpose of this post.
Good, bad, or indifferent, TD Jakes recently gave Oprah Winfrey an interview. I am no fan of TD Jakes or Oprah Winfrey. It is clear that Jakes is an imposter dressed in sheep’s clothing and I have no idea what Oprah is. That is not the point of this post. What is the point of this post is the fact that Oprah brought up the issue of homosexuality. Oprah asked several questions about Jakes’ views on homosexual behavior. Being a conservative, charismatic, word of faith teacher, Jakes held firm that God condemns homosexual behavior.
In one response Jakes said, "The perception in our society today is that if you don't say you're for same-sex marriage or if you say homosexuality is a sin that you're homophobic and you're against gay people. And that's not true."
Jakes elaborated, "I'm not called to give my opinion. I'm called as a pastor to give the scriptural position on it," the pastor added. "Doesn't mean that I have to agree with you to love you. I don't dislike anybody. I love everybody."
Jakes continued, "I think that sex between two people of the same sex is condemned in the Scriptures, and as long as it is condemned in the Scriptures, I don't get to say what I think. I get to say what the Bible says," Jakes said.
"I'm not particularly political. I'm not particularly denominational. I'm not worried about any of that," he added. "I'm not anti-gay, I'm not anti-anything. I don't want to even be known by what I'm against."
From my perspective, I do not believe TD Jakes could have been kinder or gentler in his response on the issue of homosexual behavior. As a “professing” Christian, he said the right things and took the right position, at least on this issue. There is nothing whatever in his response that is provocative, hateful, insensitive or unloving. Despite that, the gay community has responded and that response was predictable.
New York based Gawker.com portrayed the conversation as if Oprah asked Jakes if he “liked” gay people. Of course, that is not at all what the questions were asking. But Gawker doesn’t seem to be at all interested in being fair in their criticism of anyone who disagrees with their chosen lifestyle.
Gawker commented, “she lets Jakes spout anti-gay sentiment while swearing off homophobia," Gawker's Rich Juzwiak writes in his article, titled "Anti-Gay Pastor Doesn't Want to Be Known For Being Anti-Gay."
Juzwiak claims that by "disagreeing" with gay people, one is actually "disagreeing with something that is fundamental to their existence: how they love." He goes on to insinuate that holding a biblical view of homosexuality "values an institution over human beings who are going to love each other and be together anyway, like they have been since the dawn of time." [The Christian Post]
Gay publication, Dallasvoice.com, took its criticism of Jakes stance on Scripture and homosexuality even further, stating that the minister "is condemning the countless LGBTQ youth who are among his flock at the Potter's House, perhaps pushing some closer to suicide" and shaming those possibly infected with HIV/AIDS through a homosexual encounter.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, let us not be ignorant of the devices and strategies of the Devil. Without legitimizing hateful and self-righteous thinking among Christians, I do believe we are delusional if we believe that those who chose the homosexual lifestyle sincerely want to be treated the same as any other sinner. That is the whole point of this argument. The homosexual community insists that their sin be treated differently than every other sin. The homosexual community will stop at nothing short of having homosexuality removed from the list of ungodly behaviors revealed in Scripture.
The first step is to get Christians accepting them and loving them as if they are engaged in natural, normal sexual behavior. The idea behind the strategy is to remove the sting from the perversion of the lifestyle. Part of our challenge is to distinguish between our response to unnatural behavior that is on the same plane as pedophilia and behavior that is sinful. A pedophile engages in perversion that is unthinkable to most of us and we naturally recoil from the thought. The same is true for most of us when we think about homosexual acts. We find them beyond reason, nature, the norm. At the same time, we must acknowledge that our filthy, natural sin really isn’t any different to God than those sins that are against nature. Perhaps the degree of depravity appears deeper, darker, or more sinister to us. The point here is that the homosexual community is working on a strategy of wholesale acceptance.
The Dallasvoice assertion, if taken at face value, pins the blame of teenage suicide among gay teenagers squarely on the church. This is a strategy that will be used to outlaw any gay talk anywhere whatever. The gay lobby will push for legislation that makes it illegal to preach or teach against the lifestyle because it is harmful to youth. It contributes to suicide rates among young people who have wrongly chosen the homosexual lifestyle. The church must recognize this for what it is and refuse to budge even an inch on the issue. Publically, we must continue to state unequivocally that God condemns homosexual behavior in the strongest language. He destroyed two entire cities whose moral decadence had sunk so low that they were nearly given entirely to the gay lifestyle. The best strategy for the church is to quietly and deliberately address any issues her members have with their self-righteous treatments of homosexual sinners. It is better that we address these issues in the locker room, if you will, in private that to permit such a discussion to take place publically. In so doing, we prevent any confusion or misunderstanding that we are softening our position on the issue and inadvertently provide the homosexual movement with additional momentum. Jesus instructs us to be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. All too often we are more naïve in the name of transparency than wisdom would dictate.
As a Christian, my biggest problem with the homosexual movement is not perverse sexual behavior. That isn’t it at all. My concern is that the homosexual movement desires to eliminate Christianity. The goal of the gay movement is to force everyone to acknowledge their lifestyle as a normal, healthy, and acceptable alternative to heterosexuality. I am not offended that gay behavior is gay behavior any more than I am that adultery is adultery. What really offends me the most is the movement’s insistence that it’s behavior be re-categorized as “not sinful.” I know of no other group that identifies itself by the sin it engages in and then establishes a movement based around that sin. Even people who have had abortions do not identify themselves as distinctly a “person of abortion.” There is no adultery movement the last time I checked. I have yet to encounter anyone who has even tried to tell the church that adultery is normal and acceptable and should be permitted by the Christian community.
As brothers and sisters in Chris, let us continue t to publish the truth about homosexual behavior. Let us not get distracted by it as some do. Let us also recognize that there is a certain strategy at work within that movement. At the same time, let us recognize that all men are our neighbors regardless of the sin or perversion in which they may be involved. We should love the homosexual the same as we love other sinners. We should not treat them any different from anyone else. We are all sinners before the face of a holy God. But for Christ, we are all condemned to eternal damnation. Recognize the gay community desires to destroy Christianity. Equip yourself to think better about this strategy and to respond and interact with this community accordingly. We must hold firmly to the truth that has been revealed, not letting it slip, applying it to our lives in every area and publishing it from the housetops.
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