As most of my readers know, I am usually loathed to wade into the fray of hot-button topics. But this one…Oh, this one.
I would have broken my jaw had I continued to bite my tongue as hard as I did on this one. I couldn’t do it. I have to speak my mind here. My more conservative brothers can feel free to disagree with me on this one, but I can’t remain silent.
I ran across this video recently posted by John MacArthur on “How To Respond to a Homosexual Child”. Here’s the link:
Within this video, he tells the Christian parents of these adult children, especially if these children claim to be “of Christ” to…
Refuse to have a meal with them.
Turn them over to Satan.
Honestly, honestly, honestly parents, how many of you could do this? Would do this?
Yes, it’s biblical; drawn from Matthew 18 and, moreover, from 1 Corinthians 5, although the “sexual immorality” Paul was speaking of was actually “a man sleeping with his father’s wife”, but that’s splitting hairs.
…and context, but why should we need that.
In any case, Benjamin Corey, in his fine article on the subject, puts the argument much better than I:
Folks like MacArthur have lifted sexual immorality out of that passage while completely ignoring the rest of what Paul taught.
Because it would be horribly inconvenient to actually practice this verse. In it, Paul teaches that we are to have nothing to do with Christians who are… greedy.
Which in America, is a whole lot of us. I wonder if MacArthur would also suggest you shun an adult child who makes $200,000 a year but doesn’t tithe or give any of their money to charity? Somehow, I doubt it.
I wonder if MacArthur would teach that we should isolate, alienate, and turn over to Satan our children who struggle with over-eating? That can be a form of greed because it is taking more than you need.
Or, what about the idolators mentioned in that same passage? I know a boat load of Christians who are trusting in firearms for their safety instead of God– which is idolatry. According to Paul, they should be shunned as well.
And, don’t even get me started on the fact that Paul also mentions “abusive” people in that passage also. That’s a whole other can of worms that would require shunning a lot of Christians in leadership.
Paul goes on to also include drunks and swindlers… so let’s make the list of people we’re going to shun even longer.
I’m just glad that I worship Jesus– not MacArthur (or even Paul himself!).
Jesus is the one who religious conservatives hated because instead of shunning, he had meals with people.
You know, the kind of people we’re supposed to shun.
This is precisely why we are to make Jesus– and nothing else– the center of our faith and practice.
One commenter below the MacArthur YouTube video says, “Homosexuality brings about the spirit of Suicide”, and, to me, this is a chicken-and-the-egg issue. Does being gay automatically bring about “the spirit of Suicide”? Or does the shredding of trust, the skewering of vulnerability, and the ostracization from a life-long, deeply personal relationship (one that should never, NEVER, go sideways by the way), lead to bringing about “the spirit of Suicide”…all because they trusted you with this admittedly shocking, sensitive, most likely long-held, secret?
And let me split more hairs with you.
The passage that Paul quotes in 1Corinthians 5:13, “Expel the wicked person from among you”, is taken from several passages, primarily in Deuteronomy (13:5, 17:7, etc.), many of which say the way to expel the wicked is by killing said wicked person.
Honestly, honestly, honestly parents, how many of you could, or would, do this?
Because this, too, is biblical.
Shall I continue?
One of the Deuteronomy passages using the “expel the wicked…” verbiage is Deuteronomy 19:19, which (in context) says:
“16 If a malicious witness takes the stand to accuse someone of a crime, 17 the two people involved in the dispute must stand in the presence of the Lord before the priests and the judges who are in office at the time. 18 The judges must make a thorough investigation, and if the witness proves to be a liar, giving false testimony against a fellow Israelite, 19 then do to the false witness as that witness intended to do to the other party. You must purge the evil from among you. 20 The rest of the people will hear of this and be afraid, and never again will such an evil thing be done among you. 21 Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” (Deut. 19:16-21, NIV, emphasis mine)
Why then would Jesus expound on this very passage, as he does in Matthew 5, by saying:
“38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles.” (Matthew 5:38-41, NIV, emphasis mine)
I could see where, if an adult child were to come out to his conservative Christian parents, those parents could view it as “a slap in the face”.
Jesus says directly, “do not resist…turn to them the other…”
That, too, is biblical.
I am not Jewish, though I am a child of God, and therefore I am under Abrahamic and Mosaic covenant, I am also a Gentile. And I thank God, daily, for sending His Son, Jesus Christ, that I may live under His covenant; a covenant founded in mercy, in grace, and in forgiveness.
“This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.” (Luke 22:20, NIV)
Or, “The God of Second Chances” as the wise sages of Veggietales have said.
And to these children, adult and young alike, who have been “turned out” by your bible-following parents. There’s always an extra room at my house. And you will be welcomed. And you will be loved. And, if you want to talk about it, I will listen.
Then, and only then, will I speak.
What will I say? I do not know. But it will likely be biblical. And we’ll walk through it together, you and I. Where we go, I have no idea; it’s not up to me, or you, it’s up to Him. And we’ll take it at your pace. I’ve got a lot of patience, but I know of a God who has even more.
Because we serve a big God.
And He loves you, too.
…for the bible tells me so…