High Profile Christians Continue Embracing Sin Because – Culture?
When the average, every day Christian decides to support something the Bible clearly calls sin, no one cares. That’s because no one knows except the small circle that person influences. That’s not to say it isn’t a problem, but only that it’s not nearly as egregious an abuse of influence. But when a Christian singer or major book publisher decides to support those same unbiblical positions, things gets weightier.
In this case a major book publisher known for such authors as Kay Arthur and David Jeremiah has decided to publish a book supporting same-sex “marriage.” Add to that the recent revelation that Jars of Clay front man Dan Haseltine has decided to also support homosexual “marriage” and one has to wonder if these Christians understand the weight of their decisions.
First, a recent article reports:
“WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group is planning to release, through its liberal sister imprint Convergent Books, a manuscript paradoxically titled God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships…The book’s author, Matthew Vines, is a homosexual activist and Bible revisionist known for manipulating Christian terminology to advance the counter-Christian homosexualist agenda. Despite his frequent use of a Christian-like lexicon, Vines surprisingly admits to running an apostate enterprise that he calls The Reformation Project. An unabashed denier of Biblical teaching on sexual morality, Vines has publicly acknowledged that his goal is to ‘reform church teaching on sexual orientation and gender identity.’”
Really? Do we have to go through this again?
Yes, what the world needs now is another so-called “Christian” trying desperately to convince the evangelical world that the current and historical majority understanding of biblical sexuality is all wrong and his “enlightened” view is correct. Not only has every conservative evangelical scholar since recorded time – such as Paul, Augustine, Luther, Calvin, Wayne Grudem and Albert Mohler – been completely wrong in their life time of study regarding biblical sexuality. But, so has the majority of Christians throughout history that has affirmed the understanding that homosexual behavior is sin.
Eric Teetsal, writing at Patheos.com said the new book is a tired rehashing of old arguments that have been soundly refuted. Teetsal also said the book illustrates both a general lie and a more personal one. Teetsal wrote:
“The general lie is that there is legitimate debate about the Bible’s teaching on sexuality. There isn’t. Despite the obviousness of the Bible’s claims, a small sector has succeeded in convincing many that it’s debatable-like dancing or card playing-so we had better not divide over it. No doubt Satan is pleased with such ambivalence, though proponents of it may not be pleased with their reward. Then there is the lie the author tells himself. Like Eve, he wonders ‘Did God really say?’ The temptation to believe that the desires of flesh come from God, and are therefore acceptable, overcomes him. Like Eve, Vines chooses sin, and is trying to cover himself in a dust-jacket. But God is not fooled, and neither are we. We have His Word.”
Teetsal is right that there is no debate on the Bible’s view of sexuality. One would be stretching the bounds of academic and intellectual integrity to even suggest the Bible support homosexual behavior, or any other deviant sexual behavior. From beginning to end the Bible encourages and blesses the union of man and woman; but there is absolutely no evidence the Bible condones much less supports or celebrates homosexuality. Every picture of homosexual behavior in the Bible is met with warning and condemnation.
But those pesky facts won’t stop Bible revisionists like Vines and others of his ilk from doing all they can to convince us that we have been wrong for centuries and that he has the right view of sexuality. And he will have help from high-profile Christians such as Dan Haseltine, lead singer for the band Jars of Clay.
Haseltine recently took to Twitter to let the world know that “I don’t think scripture ‘clearly’ states much of anything regarding morality,” and, “I don’t particularly care about Scriptures stance on what is ‘wrong.’ I care more about how it says we should treat people.” Haseltine then let everyone know he supports same-sex “marriage.”
This might be one of the most disturbing statements I’ve seen from a Christian to date. To say that you “don’t think Scripture ‘clearly’ states much of anything regarding morality” and that you “don’t particularly care about Scriptures stance on what is ‘wrong,’” is more than troublesome. These two statements combined reveal a view of Scripture that is more akin to “do-it-yourself” manual than the inerrant, inspired Word of God. Let me drop some truth here for Dan Haseltine and anyone considering his way of thinking.
First, if the Bible doesn’t state anything “clearly” regarding morality, such as lying is wrong, adultery is wrong, murder is wrong, stealing is wrong, how can we be sure of anything in Scripture? I seem to recall very clear statements regarding those moral issues not just in the Old Testament, but in the New Testament as well. Anyone that is willing to admit that the Bible does not speak clearly on these issues should also tell people he doesn’t know for sure if there is a Heaven and how to get there. To do otherwise is to be selective in which Scriptures you choose to acknowledge and which you choose to ignore.
Additionally, to say that you “don’t care” about what Scripture calls sin is a blatant affront to the holiness of God and the clear teachings of the Bible. What else don’t you care about Dan? Do you not care the Bible says that Jesus is the only way to Heaven? Do you not care that the Bible defends life from conception to natural death? Do you not care that the Bible teaches about a literal hell? What else will you ignore because you simply “don’t care”?
Haseltine made the following tweets to make clear his position:
“The treatment of people as less than human based on the color of skin is crazy… Or gender, or sexual orientation for that matter.”
“Not meaning to stir things up BUT… Is there a non-speculative or non ‘slippery slope’ reason why gays shouldn’t marry? I don’t hear one.”
“I just don’t see a negative effect to allowing gay marriage. No societal breakdown, no war on traditional marriage. ?? Anyone?”
Ugh, this shows a lack of intellectual consideration for this argument I would expect from someone other than a Christian seeking to have a serious conversation.
Okay, Dan, let me see if I can catch you up to where the argument currently stands, since you didn’t take the time to research the issue yourself. First, no one said anything about how homosexuals are treated. Christians believe, as the Bible states, that every person has inherent worth due to being created in God’s image, and should be treated with respect. This isn’t about how people are treated, this is about whether or not we as a society will condone sin.
There are a lot of non-speculative, non-slippery slope arguments for why we should not redefine marriage. I would encourage you to check out the incredibly well researched and articulated studies of Frank Turek, Matthew D. Staver, Erwin Lutzer, and, most recently, Robert P. George, Sherif Girgis, and Ryan T. Andersen, Andreas Kostenberger and Richard M. Davison. Once you get those read and considered let me know, there’s more.
But let’s be clear, the slippery slope argument is valid. What is proving true is that if the government is willing to redefine marriage once, it will continue to redefine it. In fact, if the government redefines marriage for gays it will HAVE to redefine marriage for every other groups demanding equal treatment or be guilty of the same “discrimination” it now accuses traditional marriage supporters of. So, are you ready to support polygamy, polyamory, pedophilia and bestiality, Dan? Do you think the Bible is not clear on those issues either? Or did you decide to ignore those parts as well?
Last, the list of negatives in redefining marriage is lengthy, some of those aforementioned studies will highlight these reasons. But the one I want to mention first and foremost is children. Do you think every child deserves to have a mother and father, Dan? Do you believe that God intended for every child to be raised by a mother and father? Since it takes both a man and woman to create a child shouldn’t they both be involved in raising that child together?
Dan Haseltine and others might not understand what drives the conviction of Christians to oppose the homosexual lifestyle. He might not understand that a biblically based view of morality based on the clear teaching of Scripture undergirds our views. I guess when you ignore parts of Scripture or refuse to admit they exist that happens. Perhaps Dan believes anyone adhering to this view is hateful, a talking point right out of the LGBT playbook. But I would ask Dan to explain whether he believes God is hateful for listing anything as sin? If one sin listed in the Bible is hateful, aren’t they all?
People like Dan Haseltine often abuse their high-profile status and serve to further confuse and muddle critical issues. Without thinking through their position they throw their support behind something that is sinful and help to disillusion other Christians and add fuel to the fire. It would be better if Dan and others in his position would stay silent.
Thankfully, those believing in the very clearly taught biblical principles regarding human sexuality and other moral issues are in the majority. While the media and liberal lawmakers try to convince us we are in the minority, facts prove otherwise. For centuries Christians and entire societies have believed marriage was a sacred union between one man and one woman. We believe children deserve a mother and a father. And, we believe the Bible teaches these simple, clear principles.
Jars of Clay have been one of my favorite groups since I was in high-school. Some of their music has served me through the years and I am highly appreciative of their work. Apparently though, when it comes to Scripture and the theology of human sexuality, we’re “World’s Apart.”