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“Can You Tolerate Me?” Said the Conservative to the Homosexual

On the issue of homosexuality, we must remember that it is not Christianity that has changed to believe something radical, unreasonable or outrageous. Rather, it is our society which has moved suddenly and dramatically to affirm and approve something which as little as forty years ago was defined as “unhealthy” by secular clinical journals. On this issue, Christianity used to be a red rose among a field of poppies. In so short of time, the poppies were replaced by lilies and we are a sudden abnormality by resistance to change.

As society teeters along, pushed on by the opinions of rock stars and popularity of competing philosophical systems, conflict has always been inevitable with those who have anything like roots.

And Christianity has roots. We believe not only in a God who “is,” but a God who “speaks.” And because He has spoken, there is a tremendous amount of stability to our beliefs. We do not base our morality on what the philosophers and scholars say, but on what we believe to be the unchanging record of what God has said.
Like the tide coming in and going out, society seems continually at odds with Christianity over one point or another.
So long as Christianity stays true to her values, she will never be able to find total peace with a society based on the changing ideas of her leading thinkers, poets and advocates.
This issue is often cast as one of intolerance – and of course one can always find examples of Christians who seem cruel or insensitive towards Homosexuals. (Let us pause for a moment to note the passing of Fred Phelps). But usually, the stories center around Christians who simply “are” and who believe what they always have, and who are being attacked by a society which has changed and can no longer find space for them. This issue really is one of tolerance. But from where I am sitting, it really seems to me that the question is really, “Will society find it in it’s heart to tolerate a segment of society which does not agree with them?”
We were here first, we have not changed. And further, we cannot change. To ask a monotheistic religion to change on such a point is to demonstrate complete ignorance for how our religion works, or else to call into question how deeply we believe in our God. What is Christianity if we do not believe the Bible to be God’s Word, is more important than the competing and conflicting voices of our society?
In brief, the demand for Christian institutions to become “open and accepting” towards the LGBT community is in essence a demand for us to reject or cripple our religion. It is a demand which is unreasonable, which is impossible for a conservative to accommodate. When it is accompanied by social, legal or financial pressure – as it often is – it is nothing other than religious persecution.
“Persecution” is a big and potentially loaded word. But follow my logic and read what I have written here slowly. I do not simply have a martyr complex. This is a topic upon which Christianity cannot bend. To try to force a religion to bend on a central doctrine by some form of external pressure is the very essence of religious persecution. Therefore, demanding that Christians change or hide their views regarding traditional marriage could be called nothing less than religious persecution.

Essential and Non-Essential Theology: Who Decides Which Is Which?

The question, then, is not so much, “Will Christianity tolerate homosexuality?” Just about even Christian I know tolerates Christianity. As with the topic of fornication, most Christians I know have no problem tolerating homosexuals. They say simply, “They believe differently than we do,” and they get on with their lives. Christianity is surrounded by people – virtually every person in our society – who either practiced fornication before marriage, currently looks at pornography, or engages in what Christians would call “lustful thoughts” on a regular basis. All of these people – all of them – know that what they are doing is no acceptable to the Christian faith. They also, by the way, know that eating beef is not acceptable to the Hindu faith. And drinking alcohol is not acceptable to the Muslim faith. And that working on Saturdays is forbidden for Jews.

And yet, shockingly, life goes on. People in our society are surprisingly tolerant. Most people in our society are quite well aware that at most of the religions of the world disagree with his or her lifestyle. Most people are just fine with that. Why should they care that others think they are going to Hell, or going to be reincarnated, because of their actions? They are not part of those religions, they get by with life the best they know how. This is (North) America, and we live and let live over here.

We do, at least, on every topic except for Homosexuality.
On homosexuality, it seems, it is not enough for Christians to keep
And that is all that we ask of you, our dear culture.
You are already so very gifted at toleration. You can tolerate every form of religion. You can tolerate every vice and evil practice in print and video. You who revel in songs and stories of liberty, rebellion, and escape from the norm. You can tolerate diversity, divergence, deformity and decadence. But can you tolerate me, the Christian who is trying his best to serve a Holy God?

My dear homosexual friend, can you find it in yourself to tolerate me, the conservative Christian who believes differently than you?


How the Persecution Will Arrive in an (Overly) Tolerant Culture

Driscoll on Homosexuality

What Do Homosexuality, Women in the Church & Home, Fornication, Divorce & Remarriage, Emergent & Hell All Have In Common?

The Campolos on Homosexuality

Reflections on the Interview, where Jennifer Knapp “Comes out of the closet”

Sin Lists and Why We (Should) Love Them

The “Homosexuality Issue” as a Litmus-Test of Orthodoxy

1 Comment »

  1. God doesn’t change or tolerate sin so why should we change or tolerate sin? We are made in His image and “be ye Holy” for He is holy. Maybe I’m “old fashioned” but I don’t go along with the acceptance/tolerance mindset of most Christians today. Never have, never will. Ultimately, it’s God who is judging me and I would rather follow Him over seeking approval of men. 🙂

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