Could there be a way in which people like myself can write on emotionally heated topics and convince others at the opposite end of the view spectrum, since writers online, especially of the non-combative, less than involved persuasion, insist it’s a lost cause. Although, surely such an opinion as that says more about their openness and psychology type, as opposed to how others are likely to react when confronted by a viewpoint they’ve yet to be exposed to. In a familiar fashion, there are certain topics, topics causing absolute devastation to young believers, which church organizations won’t address, they’re continually going unaddressed due to how touchy the subject matter has been made to appear. However, it’s because they’re touchy subjects to certain people that I myself feel they ought to be addressed. The church of Christ’s ministry, just as in the first century, didn’t write about settled issues, they wrote about controversies, not doing so for controversy’s sake, but for the betterment of all. It’s because you and I need Jesus to transform our lives that I write and share everything I do today.
I’ve always been of the mind people can change (I am living proof). In that, I’m composing for visitors a perspective they perhaps haven’t ever read before, for which it’s my hope that they’re patience, perceptive and practical in their final judgements. Let’s begin by an outline of certain seemingly unrelated matters therefore.
Christians, like Muslims, aren’t an ethnic people, when I or anybody else explain they’re a Christian they’re not meaning to say they are belonging to a group divided by their racial differences. They’re rather, in the most widely accepted sense of the word, claiming to hold to various beliefs. What implications would the above have on the motives behind persecution, which Christians face more than any other group in the world. One collection of people, be they Middle eastern Muslims, communists or hard-line secularists, are by way of persecuting Christians after an end to how others think, an end which they in most cases try and achieve not by careful conversation, but by intimidation and violence. In the cases of Syria, Iraq and even Europe, the United States and Britain, to mock Christianity is to mock Christian beliefs, which in each of the above places has been deemed acceptable. Beliefs don’t have feelings after all, an idea isn’t offended when you describe it as daft, people are offended (Christian people most likely).
The above issue isn’t simply to do with the law, rather, it’s about what yourself and I are happy to assume acceptable culturally. Gunfire isn’t an aspect of Christian persecution in such sheltered places as America, Europe and Britain, and yet, Christians themselves are for their beliefs targeted. “Bigot”, for example, isn’t an offensive slur to be used against common Christian doctrine, people don’t say “The atonement was bigoted!” or “The Eucharist is hateful!” instead, hardliners in concert, and as though they’ve all read from the same unbeliever’s handbook on terminology, shout “Christians are bigoted!” Such are our modern times.
An egalitarianism amidst people and an elitism of ideas, that’s the inheritance which Christianity had given our nations. Could the above be under attack amidst our changing culture. Christianity, perhaps to many people’s surprise, has gifted us an inheritance which said although people might differ, we’re nonetheless fearfully and wonderfully made, even sharing intrinsic value no matter our illnesses, poverty or other circumstances. Wouldn’t our politics, family life and places of business today be so very different if people truly embraced such an amazing viewpoint concerning their fellow men and women. Wouldn’t our churches be so different too. Imagine if every so-called believer was made a disciple, just as Christ commanded, they’d be studied, perfected in good works, even in dwelt by The Holy Spirit.
Once again, could our egalitarianism exercised towards people be under threat, and if so, why. To simply take a cursory glance upon almost any major comments section of the internet can confirm the rancorous animosity people are feeling towards absolutely anyone who would question their opinions about this world in which we live. How could our public life degrade from great universities, universities founded by Christian believers, into:
“Atheism forever!” The shrill, slightly unhinged voice of modern atheists. Yale, Oxford, Cambridge, such were Christian universities, universities which boasted in mottos like “The Lord is my light,” places which sought to train students so to unite the disciplines of philosophy, religion and other thought forms in light of Christian diversity. They truly strove towards unity in diversity. How could they have been in so many cases degraded, degraded so far as to being made into cookie cutter workshops churning out cloned irreligious naturalists.
However could such institutions become places wherein safe spaces and bondage workshops actually take place at the instigation of members of faculty. Christianity, which by its tenants inspired believers to pioneer the western education system, abolish the slave trade, perfect modern pacifism, and even inspired Christians to end such harmful practices as Chinese foot binding, has due to an ongoing campaign of hatred been reduced in the eyes of many to being an oddity led by villains in particular frocks.
Though there’s more. Christianity’s foundational contribution to near enough everything Western people hold dear has by our leadership been forgotten in a haze of collective amnesia so extraordinary as to make the educated wonder why, yet politicians and the cultural elite make no reply. Believers in Christ native to places like Syria, Iraq and elsewhere are being systematically exterminated, “the lights are going out” people in the region reply, whereas our Western leadership, they react to displays of Islamic terror by way of insisting: “The Crusades weren’t OUR finest hour, either.” (as if to say they were actually a Christian speaking about an event inspired by Christianity). Forty Egyptian churches burned to the ground. House church leaders sentenced to Iran’s infamous Evin prison. Eighty Christians in North Korea murdered for merely owning a Bible. Believers nailed to crosses in Syria. That’s the news from just one month in 2014, and that was the American president’s continued response. How disjointed, muddled and mixed up. An a priori defining of Christianity and Christians as evil has in many quarters of our governments, media and education taken root, thus they teach communities and their children to be inclined towards arguments like “Hitler was a Christian!” while also explicitly teaching how members of Islamic state aren’t “REAL” Muslims. Are readers disturbed by anything their schools and government are doing yet? (We should be).
Humanity’s oldest right, the right to think and believe and live unmolested by neither court or criminal, by which I mean to write our freedom of conscience, has been increasingly curtailed by new invented “human rights” enforced from afar through increasingly out of touch, super rich oligarchs named who knows what. Christians specifically are denied an open voice by way of their media and elected officials, with which wacky orange men, such like the young man in the above video, in what appeared to be some kind of tube top, can demand that their fellow onlookers be so outraged and unhinged as they themselves are, how long until others join him. The above isn’t frightening however, it’s comic, I’ve laughed myself, yet, not every act of hatred against Christianity can so easily be chuckled about, certain attacks, though just as dishonest and uninformed, are highly financed, reaching into our homes and bringing about in people a firestorm of hatred, even hatred of the sort which they feel justified in unleashing against Christians everywhere. Let’s examine in depth an example of such an attack piece, after which Dr. William Lane Craig (from the Craig-Hitchens debate) continues:
INTRODUCTION: Does the President of the United States put this bible thumper in her place? Listen.
[Start West Wing clip]
PRESIDENT: I like how you call homosexuality an abomination.
WOMAN: I don’t say homosexuality is an abomination, Mr. President. The Bible does.
PRESIDENT: Yes, it does. Leviticus.
PRESIDENT: Chapter and verse. I wanted to ask you a couple of questions while I had you are here. I am interested in selling my youngest daughter into slavery as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. She’s a Georgetown sophomore, speaks fluent Italian, always cleared the table when it was her turn. What would a good price for her be? While thinking about that, can I ask another? My chief of staff, Leo McGarry, insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly says he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself or is it OK to call the police? Here’s one that is really important because we’ve got a lot of sports fans in this town. Touching the skin of a dead pig makes one unclean, Leviticus 11:7. If they promise to wear gloves, can the Washington Redskins still play football? Can Notre Dame? Can West Point? Does the whole town really have to be together to stone my brother John for planting different crops side by side? Can I burn my mother in a small family gathering for wearing garments made from two different threads? Think about those questions would you?
[Stop West Wing clip]
Kevin Harris: There is a very famous episode, Dr. Craig, of a TV show that was popular a while back called West Wing, a pretty liberal show. You and I have discussed one particular episode because it is often discussed and downloaded on YouTube, and that is when Martin Sheen, who plays the president, just completely debunks a character playing a conservative Christian on her views on homosexuality. This was supposed to be just a tour de force from this president who quoted her own Scriptures at her to refute her. He did this in conjunction with the belief that homosexuality was wrong. Now we’ve got a problem right there from the get-go. The equation of homosexuality and homosexual behavior.
Dr. Craig: Right. That is interesting in this clip that they confuse homosexuality with homosexual behavior. The Bible nowhere condemns having a homosexual orientation. This is something that a person is either born with or else is given as a result of the way he is brought up. But for the most part people don’t choose to have a homosexual orientation. Indeed, if you talk to many homosexuals they will say they would do anything if they could in some way change their orientation; that this isn’t a choice that they made and they often feel very unhappy about it. But the Bible doesn’t condemn someone for having a homosexual orientation. Indeed, the whole idea of being a homosexual is really a product of modern psychology. What the Bible condemns as morally wrong is homosexual behavior. The Bible says that sexual activity is to be limited to the safe confines of heterosexual marriage. Therefore, any sort of sexual activity outside of the marriage bond, whether it be adultery or premarital intercourse or homosexual behavior, is proscribed by God. This is contrary to God’s plan for human sexuality which is heterosexual marriage. Now that is important because what that means is that someone who has a homosexual orientation but is living a chaste life in keeping himself pure and not engaging in the behavior is not doing anything sinful. Yet, according to this clip from West Wing the Bible says that homosexuality is an abomination and it doesn’t. What it says is that homosexual behavior is morally abominable and that is the case whether it is engaged in by someone who is a homosexual or someone who is a heterosexual and chooses to do this kind of behavior. It is the behavior that the Bible condemns as wrong, not the orientation.
Kevin Harris: The woman portraying the Christian in this particular episode even agreed with him. She said, “I don’t call homosexuality an abomination, the Bible does.”
Dr. Craig: Right, and thereby these writers very cleverly distort what the Bible says by putting it on the lips of a supposed Bible believing Christian.
Kevin Harris: Too bad the president didn’t ask you, Bill. They could have got you in there. And the first thing you would have said was, “No, the Bible doesn’t condemn homosexuality. The Bible does condemn the behavior, however.”
Dr. Craig: Yeah.
Kevin Harris: Now, the followup. What he begins to do now is he begins to quote Scripture to her saying, “I guess therefore I need to sell my daughter into slavery, and when the Washington Redskins play this weekend they are going to be sinning because they are going to be touching pigskin.” What is he doing now?
Dr. Craig: This is so cleverly written. You have to admire, grudgingly, the writers who wrote this dialogue because it is so clever. What it does is that it attempts to trivialize the Bible’s prohibitions of homosexual behavior by comparing it to other aspects of the Old Testament law which seem trivial and even bizarre by modern standards and thereby suggest that this prohibition is absurd and trivial as well. Of course, at one level is just silly. The Bible also says that murder and theft is wrong. Well, would you show that to be trivial and absurd by quoting these other Old Testament laws that you don’t like and that you find silly? Obviously not. The whole strategy in one sense is wrongheaded. But it is an attempt, I think, to try to ridicule biblical morality by pointing out certain things in the Old Testament that sound strange in the ears of modern readers.
Kevin Harris: The bully platform that reached millions of viewers and continues to reach millions. This clip has been played over and over and over. West Wing was very popular. What a dastardly piece of propaganda – well-written however.
Dr. Craig: The other thing that I noticed about this, Kevin, I think that is based on a very fundamental confusion is that it doesn’t distinguish between the moral law in the Old Testament and the ritual law in the Old Testament. Certain things in the Old Testament are prohibited as unclean to the people of Israel. There are certain foods like pork and lobster and other sorts of foods that were ritually unclean. Similarly, other actions would make you ritually unclean. If a woman is during her menstrual period then she is ritually unclean and would need to go through that period and then bath before she could enter into the temple. There were all sorts of things. If you touched a dead body, for example, you were ritually unclean. But these had nothing to do with the moral law. People who were ritually unclean were not thought to be sinful. A woman during her menstrual period isn’t sinning. Someone who has had to participate in burying a corpse isn’t a sinful person because he has buried a family member. It is purely a ritual uncleanness, a kind of ceremonial uncleanness, that has no moral dimension to it at all. So what this clip does is that it confuses the moral law of the Old Testament with certain things in the ritual laws of clean and unclean, and tries to make the moral law against homosexual behavior look trivial by comparing it to this ceremonial law. And that is just mixing apples and oranges. The prohibition against homosexual behavior like the prohibition against murder and adultery and theft and so forth, that is part of the moral law of God that is valid for all time. But there are all sorts of other aspects of the Old Testament that are merely transitory, temporary ritual law, like the difference between clean and unclean which is no longer observed today and which Jesus in fact did away with. So you cannot impugn the moral law of God by comparing it to certain aspects of Old Testament ritual law about what is ceremonially clean and unclean which does indeed sound very, very strange to modern ears.
Kevin Harris: But that is exactly what this episode does, exactly what this clip does. He puts her in her place with her own Scriptures.
Dr. Craig: Right. And talking about how the Washington Redskins are going to be having problems by touching the football and things of that sort which is, again, just silly because that is a reflection of this Old Testament ritual law that had nothing to do with sin or evil or morality whatsoever in a way the prohibition against homosexual behavior did.
Kevin Harris: Can we as Christians further say that the New Testament also condemns homosexual behavior, so it affirms that moral aspect?
Dr. Craig: Yes, that is what is significant. When Jesus came, he did away with these ritual laws about ceremonial cleanness and uncleanness. Jesus said what goes into a man isn’t what defiles a man. It is what comes out of a man, what comes out of his heart, that defiles a man: evil thoughts, jealously, lust, murder, and so forth. These come out of the heart. These are what render a man defiled. So Jesus abolished the ceremonial distinction between clean and unclean that are observed by orthodox Jews still today but which Christians don’t observe. But the New Testament reaffirms the moral law of the Old Testament. For example, the Ten Commandments which would include any kind of sexual behavior outside of marriage. Homosexual activity would fall under the prohibition of any kind of adultery, any kind of extramarital sexual intimate contact. So the New Testament does reaffirm these Old Testament prohibitions against homosexual behavior on the part of anybody, whether homosexual or heterosexual.
Kevin Harris: By the way, we’ve done a podcast on the issue of homosexuality and the Christian. I want to encourage people to go to that podcast because we deal with many of the issues that come up when we discuss this. And that is, can I have the proclivity? Does that mean I have to act on it? Can I live a chaste life even though I have homosexual desires? I didn’t ask for these desires. Can I be a follower of Christ as a single person? So we do deal with this whole issue.
Dr. Craig: That is right. And it is important for folks who are listening who are struggling with these desires to realize that simply in virtue of having these desires doesn’t make them sinful. Rather, it is what you do with them. A person who lives a pure and chaste life before God is honoring God, whether he is heterosexual or homosexual in orientation. All of us are called to be chaste and to keep our thought life and our physical life pure and holy before God.
Kevin Harris: Bill, as we wrap up today, it seems to me that not only do the secularists get it wrong here in this West Wing episode but we in the church often get it wrong because we use the same language. We tend to say homosexuality is an abomination. What the church means by that, what most Christians mean by that, is that the behavior is wrong. But they don’t make that distinction. Therefore, they put a person who struggles with homosexual feelings, desires, proclivities, into a state of hopelessness.
Dr. Craig: And condemnation, which is just wrong. A person who is leading a chaste life and has this orientation under the control of the Holy Spirit is a brother or sister that we should welcome and not condemn. So these kind of blanket condemnations such as are exhibited in this West Wing episode are really quite unbiblical and sub-Christian.
As I’ve already explained, certain attacks against my beliefs aren’t easily dismissed out of hand, they’re absolutely cunning in their vitriol and insincere by their delivery. Moreover, despite Dr. Craig’s wonderful rebuttal to so vicious an accusation as the above, I’d like to also add some much needed context.
The West wing, which so easily influenced thought some ten years ago, might have appeared to be offering some fresh original criticism, or even fresh anti-Semitism, considering the show’s writers not only mocked Christian beliefs, but Jewish ones too, we’d be mistaken in believing it an original line however. In fact, the entire thrust of the script was lifted from an already existing “open letter” by an anonymous writer, albeit the author was later identified as J. Kent Ashcraft (a gay author). Entertainment weekly explained the situation like so: “Refreshingly candid exec producer Aaron Sorkin admits he lifted the diatribe from a much forwarded anonymous email. . .Sorkin, who hoped to give credit, says they ‘cast a fairly wide net, but we didn’t find the original author.’” The anonymous “open letter” was originally written to a Dr. Laura, in which the writer describes himself as “an adoring fan” and someone who knows God’s word an unchanging word, sarcasm and insincerity noted:
Dear Dr. Laura,
Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I have learned a great deal from your show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind him that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.
I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the specific laws and how to best follow them.
a) When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?
b) I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?
c) I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
d) Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?
e) I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?
f) A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an Abomination (Lev 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this?
g) Lev 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
h) Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev 19:27. How should they die?
i) I know from Lev 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?
j) My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them? (Lev 24:10-16) Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws? (Lev. 20:14)
I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.
Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.
Your devoted disciple and adoring fan.
As president diatribe of the West wing said “Think about those questions, would you?” To which I can only reply “There was an actual question somewhere in the above?” You mean these people weren’t just smugly and insincerely distorting, even wearing their ignorance on their sleeves and emailing hatred and stupidity to as many online users are they’re able. Let’s refute the above in so short a time as we’re able, as there’s much more background needed about both the West wing episode and the dear Dr. Laura letter. The Bible features both universal prohibitions, meaning for all people during all times, such as murder, rape and bestiality, and even the golden calf of homosexual sex (not the desire). Everyone, in whom God has installed good conscience, is held accountable for breaking God’s moral law written upon their heart. In addition, God’s word defines specific commands for His people Israel, commands not intended for you or I, commands which are found when God said that certain things are detestable “for you”, meaning for Israel. Such rules had been laid down so to defend His chosen people from being assimilated into the polytheistic, child sacrificing, stone worshipping nations roundabout the Israeli camp. I could continue, although, there’s much more to address.
To be truly disturbed by how widespread and consuming the above tactics are, readers should be aware that while the West wing Dr. Laura episode aired, gay activists were involved in an all out attack, one intended to end the real Dr. Laura from beginning another television show. The highly organized and sustained assault ended in 2001 with their successful victory over Dr. Laura’s freedom of speech, as StopDr.Laura.com boasted:
The year-long campaign against Dr. Laura―conditioned via this website and all done on an $18,000 budget, most of it raised from the online sale of t-shirts ― to exposed Dr. Laura’s anti-gay rhetoric to the world, that she could not even sneeze without the major national media, and thousands of individual activists like yourselves, watching. Recording her every word, and pouncing when action was needed.
As a result of the 50+ hits the pro bono site received in just 10 months, and the 300,000 visitors per month that we continued to get throughout the campaign, protests were organized in 34 cities across the country and Canada, over 170 advertisers dropped Dr. Laura’s TV show (including some 70 or so advertisers that Canadian activists got to drop her in that country alone!), and over 30 advertisers dropped her radio show, reportedly costing her over $30 million in advertising.
“recording her every word” They write, “pouncing” gay activists proudly explain, even Dr. Laura’s nose sneeze status was apparently monitored by the national media and thousands of footsoldiers for gay activism, although there’s more, as the Jewish scholar Dr. Michael Brown noted:
So, a dialogue for West Wing is virtually lifted from a letter written by a Dr. Laura-mocking, gay author, and then the episode airs during the very season that Dr. Laura is under unrelenting, media-related harassment from gay activists, if you want to call this coincidental, I’ve got a bridge for you to buy in Brooklyn.
With amazing consistency (not to mention with much creativity and passion), Hollywood normalizes and even glorifies homosexuality, bisexuality, and transsexuality; it mocks the idea that gays can change; it ridicules “Big Religion” as hypocritical, and greedy; it puts forth a tainted (or, should I say, ‘tinted,’ as in ‘pink’?) reading of the Bible; it vilifies those who feel there is a better way than homosexuality; and it uncritically regurgitates of gay-biased, pseudo-science.
In reaction to everything written someone may write “So what’s your angle?” They’d complain, saying: “That’s just one example of gay activism and media silencing voices and mishandling your precious scripture, OSC. You’re just hateful of gay people.” To which I’d reply how about if there’s more, and even more, how about if so far back as you and I can go upon this trail of tears, tears shed by both the same sex attracted and believing people who support them, I could show you documented evidence, evidence composed and compiled by same sex attracted persons who aren’t simply in agreement with the stone cold facts of my article, but unashamedly in agreement with the way in which they have gone about achieving such feats. Writers of that kind, people who thoroughly spearheaded “gay rights” (their carefully crated term), aren’t saying they’re done, by no means, they’re instead writing about your trans toddlers who don’t yet know they’re “in the wrong body”, they’re organized, intelligent and feel ruthlessly justified in every act of hatred and distortion they commit against many persons, because, after all, anyone who would dare disagree deserves everything they’ve got coming.
In closing, I’ve recently invited many new readers to OSC, and for some I’d imagine the above is an awful lot of different, and perhaps shocking insight from that which they’ve grown accustomed to. With which reader’s who aren’t yet sure how to absorb everything they’ve read, or are curious as to where they could turn next for an honest answer, I’d write to try listening to more of Dr. Craig, who, much like Dr. Brown, has true brotherly love for their friends and neighbours who identify as gay people. Moreover, stay tuned into OSC for more, as in my next post I’m inviting not one, nor two, but three allies of gay activism to address my pointed concerns regarding homosexual preference and activism. How are they going to reply?
― T. C. M