I wasn’t planning for my next blog post to be another one about LGBT matters, but that is the hot topic right now, and I’m doing my best to be informed and to think through the issues. I’ve seen several posts shared on Facebook that are similar to the one I’m addressing here. This one got thousands of shares and was praised as being “mind-blowing” and “a must read.” I’ve copied the entire text of the article so that I can respond to it point by point. The original article can be seen here.
Unlike my previous LGBT-related posts (here and here), this one is written specifically to Christians.
Dear Offended Christian,
I’m terribly sorry that your feelings are hurt again. I feel badly about that. None of us likes to be criticized, so I totally get it.
I know I’ve said some pretty hard words to you recently, and maybe I’ve been somewhat less than “cheery” in my delivery, but that happens when you’re tired.
This article is addressed to “offended Christians.” The intro identifies them as ones whose feelings have been hurt by criticism and hard words. If that’s what the author was really talking about, he would just apologize for being harsh and express a hope that he and the offended Christian could move forward with more gracious attitudes. What he does instead is list the things that he and the “offended Christian” disagree on. If anything, it seems like a warning that some people might be offended by the criticism offered in the article. The article could just as easily apply to Christians whose feelings aren’t hurt by the author’s perspective.
And I am really tired:
I’m tired of hearing you telling gay people that they can’t simultaneously be both gay and Christian.
The biblical Christian view is not that you can’t be a Christian if you struggle with same-sex attraction. It’s that embracing homosexual relationships as good instead of sinful suggests that you might not really be a Christian. A Christian is someone who accepts the truth and authority of the Bible and trusts Jesus as their savior. If you don’t accept the Bible as true, then you’re accepting your own version of Jesus, not the Jesus of Christianity.
I’m tired of having to explain what “Transgender” means to adult Christian people, who I’m quite sure have Internet access and should know better by now that it ain’t “a guy in a dress”.
I agree. Christians should take the time to research that topic. Saying that a transgender person is just “a guy in a dress” is an oversimplification and an unsympathetic way of phrasing it.
I’m tired of arrogant pulpit bullies who believe they’re entitled to tell people where they can pee and who they can marry and whether they really love Jesus or not.
Real arrogance is definitely inappropriate for a Christian pastor. Accusing someone of not loving Jesus, especially without good reason, is arrogant and insensitive. But if someone’s idea of Jesus is completely unbiblical, then it would be valid for someone to say that that person loves a version of Jesus who doesn’t really exist.
It is not arrogant for a pastor to preach the Bible. Where the Bible is clear on a subject, a pastor can preach on it not as his own opinion, but simply conveying what the Bible says. The Bible is clear on the subject of marriage. The transgender bathroom issue isn’t specifically mentioned because it’s a modern issue, but the principle behind it is clearly addressed in the Bible. A pastor can share what the Bible has to say on the principle without arrogance.
I’m tired of you being more outraged by red coffee cups and department store restrooms than by poverty and racism and gun violence and our crumbling school system.
I agree. The small number of people who were upset about the red Starbucks cups were being unreasonable. Also, department store bathrooms are simply a symptom of the larger problem and should be treated with that perspective.
There are many problems like the ones that the author listed that Christians should be paying more attention to.
I’m tired of gay people being accused of the kind of predatory behavior that straight men have been exhibiting, since the man cave was—an actual cave.
I agree. Recently transgender people especially have been accused of being predators. A small percentage of them are, but by far most predators are not trans or gay. It’s wrong to assume that anyone who is trans or gay must be some kind of predator.
Luckily only a small but loud minority of people automatically assume that gay or trans people are predators. The vast majority of Christians are more concerned about men who aren’t trans taking advantage of a law that will allow them easier access to women’s restrooms and changing rooms.
I’m tired of reminding you that the number of times Jesus spoke about gender identity and sexual orientation in the Gospels—is zero.
Even if Jesus never directly addressed those subjects, so what? I see this point raised all the time, and I don’t understand it at all. If you follow a Red Letters Only version of Christianity, where you discount the rest of the Bible, you are not a Christian. That’s simply a heretical view. Besides, why would you think you could trust the red words if you can’t trust the other words?
One reason why Jesus didn’t address homosexuality more directly (that we know of) is that there wouldn’t have been any question at that time as to what His response would be. And while crossdressing (which is addressed negatively in the Bible) is not the same as being transgender, the idea that a person’s gender could be different from their sex is really new and wouldn’t have been on anyone’s radar in Bible times.
There is a lot more to say about this, so please check out the article “Jesus Didn’t Say Anything about Homosexuality” by Alan Shlemon.
I’m tired of having to explain to people that although I am a Christian, that I’m not that type of Christian; the kind that is generous with damnation and stingy with Grace.
There are Christians who are generous with damnation and stingy with grace. The kind who are truly judgmental (unfairly or excessively critical) and harsh. The kind who are quick to coldly tell people that they’re going to Hell, instead of kindly sharing the truth of the gospel with them. I’m not that type of Christian either. That would not be setting a good example of how Christians are supposed to act.
We are, however, supposed to be generous with truth and stingy with compromise. If you think someone is being stingy with grace because they tell you that the Bible says homosexual relationships are sinful, your real problem is with the Bible, not the person who told you what it says.
I’m tired of LGBTQ teens cutting their forearms and jumping off buildings because they’re told by their church friends that God hates them, because their Christian parents told them, because their Christian pastors told them.
I agree! God doesn’t hate them. God loves them and wants what’s best for them, even if they hate God for telling them they’re wrong.
Some Christians kick their own kids out of their house or kick their adult sons or daughters out of their lives. That’s absolutely the wrong response. You should be compassionate and patient as you talk through the issues with them and make sure they know that you love them no matter what, even if you disagree.
I’m tired of followers of Jesus who don’t seem interested in cracking open a book to see what we’ve learned about the brain and the body in 2,000 years, or to realize that gender identity and sexual orientation don’t equal the word “homosexuality” in the Bible.
I agree that Christians should stay updated on the latest scientific findings. There are many who do, and they are much better prepared to address today’s heated topics than those who don’t.
Gender identity isn’t the same thing as homosexuality. But the Bible gives us a clear enough picture to know that God does not recognize sex and gender to be two separate things that may or may not align. He created them male and female. He didn’t create some male except inside they’re actually female. That is an unbiblical idea.
I’m tired of all the time I have to spend undoing the damage the Church has done to queer kids and their families.
I’m tired of religious folk who seem to want small government everywhere except the bedroom and bathroom.
I’m tired of Scientific ignorance being treated as if it’s a Christian virtue.
I agree. Christians who think science is evil or unworthy make me cringe. The scientific evidence actually points to God and has strengthened the faith of many Christians.
I’m tired of hearing you preach verbatim the gospel of Fox News.
I’m tired of high-profile pastors blaming gay people for 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina and ISIS and child obesity.
Some pastors blame gay people for those things? I hadn’t heard that, but it’s ridiculous.
I’m tired of waiting for you to show up in this world and actually show the freakin’ love of Jesus to people the way he did and told you to, without excuses or caveats or theological tap dancing to avoid it.
I agree, a lot of people need to get better at this! I also don’t help others as much as I should.
I’m tired of this wasteful, fruitless, mean-spirited, unprovoked, unbiblical attack on the LGBTQ community, that is squandering so much time and life and beauty in the name of a God who is supposedly Love.
God is love. Love means wanting the best for someone, not agreeing with everything they say. God is also just. He is the standard for moral values. If you believe the Bible, you should believe that sin is real and it’s a big deal. It is not “unbiblical” to point out that the Bible does not support LGBT ideas.
Mean-spirited attacks are unbiblical. I agree with that part.
I’m tired of so many people believing that “Christian” and “bigot” are synonymous—and not disagreeing with them.
All Christians are bigots? Then why would the author consider himself a Christian? There are many things in the Bible that he would consider bigoted and wrong. If he really believes that the Christian God is real and is the standard of morality, he should get on board with what the Bible says.
I’m tired of a Church which seems to be so ambivalent toward the teachings and example of Jesus.
I’m not sure what the author means by this.
I’m tired of a Christianity that is making me more and more embarrassed to be associated with it.
There are some Christians or professing Christians who really have the wrong idea about things and set a bad example. I’m saddened by that, but it doesn’t make me embarrassed to be associated with Christianity. It compels me to work harder to be a good example.
So I get that your feelings are hurt. I understand that you’re offended, and that’s not my intention.
My feelings aren’t hurt. I don’t take your opinions personally. I’m just defending what the Bible says.
But listen, if you’re going to tell a group of people that they’re going to Hell simply for existing, and you’re going to continually target those people through the Church and the Law and your social media accounts, don’t get angry with me when I tell you you’re being hateful and judgmental and ignorant.
No one goes to Hell simply for existing. That statement misunderstands our argument so much that it sounds like the author is unfamiliar with or rejects the biblical concept of sin. At the very least, he clearly doesn’t agree with what the Bible says about homosexuality.
People who “target” LGBT people for the purpose of being hateful and cruel to them are not acting like Christians should.
People who are just defending what the Bible says are not being hateful, judgmental, or ignorant.
It could be worse.
At least I’m not damning you for all eternity.
Any human who says, “I damn you to Hell” is beyond arrogant. However, a human who correctly interprets the Bible and shares what it says with others is not damning anyone. If you have a problem with God’s judgment, take it up with Him.
A Very Tired Christian
A Bible-Believing Christian
The Bible and Homosexuality
If God is So Loving, Why Can’t He Be More Tolerant of Sin?
Intersex People Don’t Prove There Are More Than Two Sexes
Jesus Didn’t Say Anything About Homosexuality
Are There Any Errors in the Bible?