Solidarity, clinical sterility, shame, and condemnation...

(Tim) Speaking of what words to use to refer to a certain type of sexual immorality, I don't remember leaving a comment on this blog where someone used the word David Lehr mentions in one of his recent comments, but I don't question David's accuracy. For myself, I prefer the word 'sodomy' and would be pleased for those who comment to avoid other terms, whether 'bugger' or 'gay.'

'Gay' because it's a word expressing solidarity with an oppressed people group and there's no hint of shame or condemnation. Souls who believe in the plenary verbal inspiration of Scripture--that it's every word of Scripture that's inspired, not simply the concepts those words convey--should desire to speak as Scripture does.

Those complaining here about a lack of love and gentleness in the comments and citing Scripture to make their point are, by their arguments, agreeing that Scripture is the standard for our words. Would they, though, take a confessing Christian to task for using the word 'gay?'

They ought to. 'Gay' says all the wrong things and none of the right ones...

What about 'homosexual?' It's good in that it avoids the expression of solidarity with an oppressed people group. But it's not good in that it's clinical and fails to express shame or condemnation. And in this second problem, we confront the essential dishonesty of most of the discussions about sodomy today.

Recently, a Christian gentleman visited Church of the Good Shepherd and was scandalized by my use of the word 'sodomite' in a sermon. What was the scandal?

He put it something like this: "That word is so dirty. I don't want to hear it or think about it."

Precisely.

Language means things, and Christians who are offended by pejorative terms expressing shame and condemnation while not also being offended by terms of clinical sterility and approval have not begun to see the true nature of love for those tempted by same-sex intimacy.

Maybe we could say that 'gay' and 'homosexual' are, spiritually, about on the level of you-know-what and 'bugger.'

But let me clarify: I use the word 'homosexual' about a third of the time, the construction "people tempted by same-sex intimacy" about a tenth of the time, and 'sodomy' or 'sodomite' the rest of the time. In other words, I'm not opposed to the use of the word 'homosexual' if it's used along with 'sodomy' or 'sodomite' so shame and condemnation are associated with our discussions of this sin.

Finally, all our conversations should be salted with tender entreaties to sodomites, adulterers, the greedy, egalitarians, and idolaters that expressly acknowledge that we ourselves are terribly wicked with no hope in this world or the next outside the foreign righteousness of Jesus Christ that has been freely imputed to us through faith. In other words, men should have the sense in discussions with us that we are in all ways tempted as they are, yet with sin. Only Jesus our Lord is without sin. Only Jesus our Lord speaks perfect truth. Only the Lamb of God is without blemish.

We can't speak truth to this cloying sentimental world without being accused of insensitivity and uncharitableness, but I'd like to see a few changes, here.

When we write about sodomy, it should be evident to sodomites reading these pages that we are holding out the love and mercy of Jesus Christ. These souls are lost in their bondage and shame and many cry out for mercy and hope of the day when they may be free at last. If we know Jesus, we will testify to that hope.

Jesus commands adulterers, fornicators, the greedy, feminists, sodomites, and the proud:

Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light. (Matthew 11:28-30)

Comments

Tim,

My language is always premeditated, depending upon the audience I am addressing. Were I to be addressing those who were wounded in their conscience over their past sis I would be remind them ... "and such were some of you but you've been washed, you've been justified, you've been sanctified."

Jesus dealt harshly with those who were advancing sin against a better knowledge. To the contrary he dealt gently with those who knew their sin. This is a model I think we should follow.

Out of respect for you I will use the language you're requesting and I will seek to incorporate, more regularly, sentiments of genuine compassion and statements that genuinely reflect my own sense of sinfulness.

Is there a biblically correct term for "lesbian"? I'm thinking sodomite doesn't really apply.

Dear Bret,

Thank you for your consideration of my request.

* * *

Dear Catherine,

You ask a question that I've frequently asked myself. Presently my habit is to use the word 'lesbian.' Unlike 'homosexual,' this word seems to have retained some pejorative connotations in present usage, thus communicating a touch of shame and condemnation.

Most of the time, though, I include women under men when speaking of this sin--like the Apostle Paul does in his summary terms 'malakos' (soft or effeminate) and 'arsenokoites' (male bedders) in 1Corinthians 6:9 as opposed to the longer explanations of the first chapter of Romans where lesbians are singled out for special attention.

* * *

Warmly in Christ,

Hi Tim,

The comment I was referring to appeared under this thread from April 2007:

http://www.baylyblog.com/2007/04/the_submerged_c.html

I see now that the offending word was later edited out.

Dear David,

Thanks for checking on it. I would have thought we'd pulled it sooner or later. Maybe it was later.

I never use the word "gay" when referring to homosexuals. Gay is my sister's name. My parents gave her that name when it did not have the meaning it now has. (She is 49 years old). The homosexuals stole the word "gay" from the English vocabulary, and used it as their own, so that they could rename their lifestyle. Most people don't think twice now about using the term "gay" to refer to homosexuals. But I will never use the word "gay" to refer to homosexuals or homosexuality. It had another meaning in a gentler time.

> The homosexuals stole the word "gay" from the English vocabulary

Does anyone know how this choice of "gay" came about? I think it is totally disgusting that this decent word has come to mean such a nasty thing. It reminds me of "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil," and helps reveal the extent of their perversion by their twisting of this.

> What about 'homosexual?' ...it's not good in that it's clinical and fails to express shame or condemnation.

I think it actually gives them more legitimacy, because when used alongside 'heterosexual,' it makes the two terms appear to be on an equal plane, an alternative 'either/or' lifestyle. Therefore, I do not care for the term heterosexual.

I think their term 'straight' is instructive, because it seems to reveal they know their way is the opposite [crooked and perverse].

Speaking of euphemisms, Rick called it "same-gender relationships." I guess "-sex" was too explicit.

That's an interesting point, Michael. "Gender" and "sex" are often used interchangeably, and in fact I wanted to reference female/female or male/male affectional relationships, which is the larger issue usually ignored by folks who can't get past the 'ick' factor of homosexual genital acts. I did some more research, though, and I see that 'same-sex' is used commonly to convey relational and not just genital couplings.

I completely get why commenters here don't like the word 'gay.' I also recognize that language changes over time, and I believe this is just one example of that. The furor over one small word that wasn't central to our human discourse seems overblown to me. Obviously it's a sensitive issue for some.

BTW - "lesbian" may sound sufficiently negative to Tim for whatever reason, but in fact it is not considered a negative or derogatory term among LGBT persons. There are certainly ugly words that could be substituted, but I am not interested in suggesting those.

This blog is hard to read sometimes, but it's like the proverbial train wreck that's hard not to look at. Writers here seem like caracatures of Christians - and this constant parsing of words and rebuking and narrowly determining who's in and who's out seems downright pharisaical. I'm pretty sure that's not an original observation.

I hope those who are flipping out at any mention of homosexuality (I won't use 'sodomite' but I'll avoid 'gay' at Tim's request) realize that very strong reactions often indicate discomfort with one's own sexuality. Maybe within this rarified community of like-minded people that's not seen - but it's very apparent from the outside. Why the need to rush to words like 'dirty, vile, God-hating', etc.? We all know how you feel, so why the extreme, emotion-laden language? Sort of like Paul's pre-conversion over-reaction to Christianity, lots of theologically conservative homosexual men and women tip their hand by hiding behind extreme or rabid disdain for homosexuality.

Yes, yes... I know... I'm inviting the wrath of hell from God and the Reformed Presbyterians... and I don't expect any reasonable interchange of thought, though that would be nice.

"very strong reactions often indicate discomfort with one's own sexuality."

Hehe, haven't heard that one in a long time. It's good to start the morning with a laugh.

"Writers here seem like caracatures of Christians"

I totally agree with that comment.

I would also like to say, that the sin (referring to homosexuality) lies not in the inclination, but in the act. Quite often, Christians fail to distinguish between the two. And quite often, especially with teens, they think they are homosexuals because of attractions or inclinations that they feel. But those are not sins; the sin is in the action (whether actual or in the mind). I am not talking about lust; I am talking about attraction. It is a shame that so many young people are told that they are homosexual because they have certain attractions; sometimes it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Dear Rick,

Are you the "Richard" of this page: http://www.trinitygold.org/tucc_staff.php?

Sincerely,

David Bayly

I won't use 'sodomite' but I'll avoid 'gay' at Tim's request

It should be noted that the civil laws against this deviant behavior were called sodomy laws. Now it is just 'uncivil' Christians who use it. How rapidly our society has imploded!

This blog is hard to read sometimes, but it's like the proverbial train wreck that's hard not to look at.

Rick, the train wreck is our culture, hell-bent down the broad way to self-destruction.

David - Yes, that is me. I have no problem with being upfront about being a gay man, a liberal Christian, and a pastor. If asked about those things, I will always freely share that information. I do have a problem, however, with anyone researching who I am from an email address that was clearly understood to be non-public information when provided - and then placing a public link without my permission on a blog. That is unethical, IMO. There is a specific reason re: my children and privacy that I do not wish to have that link on this particular blog. Please remove the link. Thank you.

BTW - "lesbian" may sound sufficiently negative to Tim for whatever reason, but in fact it is not considered a negative or derogatory term among LGBT persons.

Rick, I've even heard homosexuals use "queer" to describe themselves. I'm no expert, but I think this applies to other terms, too. There is an obvious "pride" in perversion.

“…lots of theologically conservative homosexual men and women tip their hand by hiding behind extreme or rabid disdain for homosexuality”

Rick,

If you persist in your assertion that everyone who shows disdain for sodomy is in fact a closet homosexual, I can see why you “don't expect any reasonable interchange of thought.” Do you think you have made some laudable tactical move here?

“…strong reactions often indicate discomfort with one's own sexuality.”

Again, have you said something here?

Do you think the readers and contributors to this blog are unaware of their own sexuality? Of course you are narrowly insinuating that the only sexual temptation we have to be uncomfortable with is same sex intimacy. Every reader here is somehow tempted sexually, if not with homosexuality, certainly with adultery or fornication if not more disturbing sexual sins. Your primary error is that you have come to believe, contrary to God’s law and to nature, that all of us should embrace our sexual sin and call what is evil, good.

Have you overturned more of the Laws of God in this way?

Have you stolen because you did not want to fight the inclination in your heart to have what did not belong to you? Perhaps before you started to see theft as a virtue you exhibited a disdain for stealing?

Perhaps you are a murderer or a liar? Do you have disdain for murderer and false testimony? Perhaps you should be enlightened, perhaps you are just uncomfortable with your own inclination to murder and lie?

You have embraced a lie. You have done so in an attempt to excuse your own sin and salve your own conscience.

(John 3:18-21)

“He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. “For everyone who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. “But he who practices the truth comes to the Light, so that his deeds may be manifested as having been wrought in God.”

You are entrenched in your love of darkness. This is a rejection of Christ and a sign that God’s judgment rests upon you. You have a way of escaping this judgment. Reject your sin. Confess your dark deeds. Practice the truth and come into the light before it is too late.

I don't expect any reasonable interchange of thought, though that would be nice.

Rick, how do you counsel people interested in man-boy love? Is bisexuality biblical? What about sex outside of marriage? Group sex? Polygamy? Bestiality? Does anything cross the line for liberal 'christian' homosexuals? If so, why, exactly?

Honest question, no bad words used. Thanks.

Dear Rick,

Your email address was kept fully private. Where has it been made public?

We have always expected and requested full identification from participants here. You should be unashamed to be identified with your comments. Failure to provide a last name is cowardice for a man in your position arguing as you argue. I'm sorry you don't want to be identified with your comments, but that's the kind of thing true men of God accept when they enter the field of polemics.

Sincerely,

David Bayly

Dear Rick,

You are an apostate; but worse, a false shepherd using the Church and Name of Jesus Christ to seduce men to Hell by means of covering yourself with sheepskin. And you do this publicly, without shame or fear.

Souls, if you read anything this man writes, realize you are intentionally entering the world of terrible darkness and coming doom, the world of lies and lust and licentiousness, the world that is enslaved by Satan and his demons laughing their way to the Bottomless Pit.

Rick, repent! Flee the wrath to come! Return to the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Resign as pastor of Christ's flock lest you add soul upon soul of the least of these you have scandalized and led to Hell.

God have mercy on you, sir.

With love and deep compassion,

PS: If you would be helped by a man standing with you as you return Home, please send me an e-mail and we can talk by phone. You can reach me at tbbayly at gmail dot com.

Having spent most of my childhood in the UCC, I experienced first hand the perversion that has been innoculated throughout that entire denomination. They deny the inerrancy of God's Word, Christ's death and resurrection as the only means for salvation, and condone, ordain, and support sodomites and lesbians in the pulpit and congregation. Certainly the label heretical could/should be applied to this denomination.

The UCC is a sad legacy of the liberal Church.

Funny think about that link; click on "What we believe", you get a "Page Not Found".

That's about right.

There is a specific reason re: my children and privacy...

I've never figured this out: Why do homosexuals have wives and children, if their orientation is toward the same sex? But how often do we hear about this? ...Bishop Gene Robinson, Ray Boltz, etc. Because of my "orientation," it is out of the question for me to do likewise (have it both ways), yet homosexuals seem to have no problem with this despite their supposed "orientation" they claim they were born with. It doesn't make any sense.

Why do homosexuals have wives and children...

In other words, "homosexuals" they are not.

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