Street preacher busted for hooliganism...

(Tim, w/thanks to David L.) If you find yourself wondering why Tim Keller would go through such machinations of equivocation at the Columbia University Q&A session when he was asked whether sodomy is a sin and whether a man could be condemned to Hell for it, here's an article telling of the arrest of street preacher Dale Mcalpine on charges of hooliganism for not equivocating on the subject.

One of our correspondents under this prior Keller post stated that he didn't believe Keller was afraid to speak the truth about sodomy, but only that he had forgotten that truth.

Uhhh...

Doesn't it seem like it would be mighty difficult to forget one of God's most basic moral laws when the whole world has that specific law in its sights and is blazing away? Tim Keller's simply forgotten what the Word of God says about sodomy? Really?

Today, the world has judged that anyone condemning sodomy and sodomites has committed a heinous crime against humanity for which he will receive his reward. It may be arrest. It may only be a civil suit. It may be the loss of friendships. It may be a rejection for tenure...

It may be a bad grade on a paper. It may be the loss of a job. It may be the end of invitations to family reunions or strained silence in the teachers lounge when you enter. It may be the hatred and constant opposition of a pastor by his elders. It may be the rejection by a search committee of one of Redeemer's sister Presbyterian Church in America congregations.

But no mistake about it: the man who speaks Biblically, and therefore lovingly and firmly, to the subject of sodomy will receive his reward. And that reward will be quite painful.

Tim Keller will be invited back to speak and hold court in a Q&A session at Columbia University while Dale Mcalpine, the utter fool, has gone to jail.

Stupid nasty Bullhorn Guy--what in the world was he thinking? Would someone please talk to him before he gives all of us Christians a bad rep and we begin to suffer for our Lord?

Comments

The timing of this couldn't have been better to highlight the contrast with your Tim Keller post.

I love how the police told him not to preach publically any more and how he read the Bible and sang hymns loudly while in his cell. The Biblical parallels are unavoidable. But, belying the whole "Bullhorn Guy" stereotype, Dale Mcalpine didn't come across as offensive in the slightest. He strikes one as very matter-of-fact about what the Bible says, humble in his submission to the Word's Authority.

Meanwhile, Tim Keller will continue to open up interminable avenues of dialogue, and everyone will continue to think highly of him, and he will never say anything that gets him into trouble like this British hooligan did.

>>Dale Mcalpine didn't come across as offensive in the slightest.

Exactly, dear brother. What an inspiration!

Love,

Street services in the UK were not uncommon in my experience. The Baptist church I attended when living there used to have street services across from the village grocery 3-4 times a year. It wouldn't seem odd to have such a service to most folk.

Who is Keller dialoguing with? His church is full of ex-Campus Crusade kids and people from ethnic Korean churches, who happen to get a job in Manhattan. The ruling elite in New York could care less about Keller.

> Today, the world has judged that anyone condemning sodomy and sodomites has committed a heinous crime against humanity for which he will receive his reward.

Yes, and again Keller doesn't appear concerned about believers suffering unjustly for proclaiming God's truth, but instead has things backwards, as quoted in the other post: "I mean, I…I….Therefore, I have to take some responsibility for being a member of the Christian Church for the oppression of homosexuals."

> Tim Keller will be invited back to speak and hold court in a Q&A session at Columbia University while Dale Mcalpine, the utter fool, has gone to jail.

As Keller said: "...almost nobody knows when they’re greedy. Nobody admits…thinks they’re greedy."

Some are greedier for the approval of the world than others.

One can acknowledge and be sensitive to the genuine homophobia and violence against homosexuals (which is very real, having experienced quite a bit of bullying as a kid growing up because of it) without resorting to the equally hateful practice of muddling God's commandments about the subject to a group of people who are dying (literally and spiritually) because of their lack of Him.

CJ

How did you intend your comments to inform the discussion about the persecution of Dale Mcalpine?

But what constitutes "muddling?"

David, I was making a reference to something Michael McMillan posted:

>> Yes, and again Keller doesn't appear concerned about believers suffering unjustly for proclaiming God's truth, but instead has things backwards, as quoted in the other post: "I mean, I…I….Therefore, I have to take some responsibility for being a member of the Christian Church for the oppression of homosexuals."

I was attempting to say that Keller (and others) can acknowledge the ways in which homosexuals (and, really, all sorts of sinners) have been hurt by supposed "Christians," while at the same time being firm and loving in calling sin sin (which Keller was not, but Mcalpine seemed to be).

My apologies if the connection wasn't clear. Obviously, it was making sense to me when I commented. :-)

"Forgetting": Yes, I do think Mr. Keller has forgotten. Because he lives in a culture where everything is qualified and nuanced, he has lost sight of what is neither qualified nor nuanced. He has been seduced, I suspect, by his desire to evangelize. It seems to be easy for some folks to "forget" the Gospel for whose sake they want to relate affirmatively to their neighbors and their culture. Isn't this really what Protestant liberalism did? Isn't it what motivated the Presbyterian General Assembly of 1925, which basically proclaimed a unilateral peace treaty with the surrounding culture?
I know, some will point out that the culture's intolerance of criticism of homosexuality is not at all nuanced or qualified, but Mr. Keller would object that in this the culture violates its own rules & would likely think this provides him (and the Gospel) with an opportunity. In that perception, however, he is mistaken. What he has forgotten or missed, I suspect is that no religion is tolerant, nuanced or qualified in serving and promoting its gods, and our contemporary culture is religious and therefore intolerant of other religions. But I still believe it is forgetfulness and lack of perception rather than lack of courage or self-serving that are at the bottom of this. Granted, it is a SINFUL forgetfulness, etc.

> [COLLEGE JAY:] I was attempting to say that Keller (and others) can acknowledge the ways in which homosexuals (and, really, all sorts of sinners) have been hurt by supposed "Christians"

Hello--

No problem there. Acknowledging that supposed "Christians" do sinful things is one thing, blaming the Christian Church itself is another. Keller said: "I have to take some responsibility for being a member of the Christian Church for the oppression of homosexuals." This implies the Church literally oppresses homosexuals by its self-righteous, homophobic doctrine.

His comment is along the lines of taking some personal responsibility for the Holocaust because some supposed Christians considered the Jews Christ-killers.

> One can acknowledge and be sensitive to the genuine homophobia...

I do not consider homophobia a "genuine" term. There's way more Christophobia out there, if we want to go inventing terms. Am I supposed to believe that bullies have a "phobia" of those they bully?

> ...and violence against homosexuals (which is very real, having experienced quite a bit of bullying as a kid growing up because of it)

Are you saying you were homosexual as a kid? Sorry, I haven't been around much lately, so am not familiar with the context of the bullying remark. One doesn't need to be homosexual to be bullied growing up by all sorts of jerks.

While I do agree that Christians are persecuted far more (especially in foreign countries) I do think it's somewhat ignorant to assume that genuine homophobia or violence against gay people doesn't exist. You might be interested in an article that Randy Thomas, the VP for Exodus International (the largest ministry that helps homosexual individuals find hope in Christ) wrote about his experiences.

http://blog.exodusinternational.org/2010/04/26/new-study-gay-people-suffer-increased-rates-of-ptsd/

However, I do agree with your statement about Keller using the term "Christian Church" instead of "Christians." It does carry the sense that he was implying that Christ's doctrines are oppressive.

> [COLLEGE JAY:] I do think it's somewhat ignorant to assume that genuine homophobia or violence against gay people doesn't exist.

I am taking issue with the politically-correct term "homoPHOBIA," not the fact that threats and violence against homosexuals exist. That's obvious. [I would also take issue with the hijacked use of "gay" to describe something that is not gay. "Queer" was more descriptive, because it was closer to the notion of perversion and deviancy.]

By the way, if this is a "phobia," doesn't that mean it is a clinical condition beyond one's control, and so those afflicted with it are not responsible for how they act when under its influence? [Just trying to think like the "it's not my fault/sin - what's that?" society.]

> However, I do agree with your statement about Keller using the term "Christian Church" instead of "Christians."

Glad to hear that.

> It does carry the sense that he was implying that Christ's doctrines are oppressive.

Which, of course, is what the homosexuals themselves say, or else try to re-invent new interpretations for the passages to negate or water down their original meaning. Like Keller saying homosexuality was not part of God's *original* design. This is very common. For example, femininists strongly believe that Christian doctrine oppresses women -- or that the Church deliberately perverts "true" biblical doctrine in order to promote oppressing women. Keller's probably already taken some personal responsibility for being a member of the Christian Church on that, I imagine.

I never understood the term "homophobic." I often thought that term was used as a manipulation to falsely describe those who are against homosexuality. I know many people who are against homosexuality, but I know not one person who is actually afraid of homosexuals.

You have street preachers in UK facing persecution for being faithful to the Bible, while in America pastors shying away from a clear stance, and we all know where that leads ... to self deceit and ultimately turning against the Bible.

http://www.foxnews.com/us/2010/05/04/lutheran-church-reinstate-gay-pastor-atlanta/

College Jay - I am very impressed by your life story as you've shared it on this blog, and appreciate your exceptional candor. I can only imagine that you've not only struggled against this particular sin daily (as I do against lust), but also can find yourself in the position of having to push back against Christians who may not realize how their statements may affect you.

Brothers and sisters - Please make sure that, in your enthusiasm to make sure someone is using the proper terminology, you don't overlook the much more important struggle of a man and his sin. Be sure your commenting includes encouragement in Christ.

Thanks, Kevin, but it's fine. I can't say the terms "gay" or "homophobic" are the best in the world, either, so I'm not particularly offended, and I don't share my story to receive pats on the back from other Christians, but just to add to the discussion since this particular topic has personally affected me. As you said, every Christian struggles with lust, so we're all brothers and sisters in this. Blessings.

> I can only imagine that you've not only struggled against this particular sin daily (as I do against lust), but also can find yourself in the position of having to push back against Christians who may not realize how their statements may affect you.

Kevin--

I think most people struggle with lust in one form or another, but we don't have to go way out of our way to try not to upset someone when talking about the issue. "...having to push back..." Really? You don't have to be extra nice to me in telling me I should flee lust. Anything you say won't affect me adversely, and I won't "push back."

[Poor ol' Tiger Woods, he's had such a tough, daily struggle, we need to be very sensitive to his situation.]

And why is homosexuality so "chic" these days, anyway? Being homosexual is definitely more "trendy" than being a Christian. Then there's all those who say they are bi-sexual. I suppose we have to be extra careful talking to child molesters, so they don't understandably push back against our insensitive statements about pedophilia.

Forbidden fruit is always attractive, especially when society revels in taboo-breaking. I believe anyone can fall into this. An alcoholic wasn't one until he tried it out.

> [Rebecca:] I never understood the term "homophobic."

It'd be like calling pro-abortionists "babyphobic."

> I know many people who are against homosexuality, but I know not one person who is actually afraid of homosexuals.

People are not afraid of them, but they are made to be afraid to voice an opinion against homosexuality in today's pro-homosexual climate. You could easily lose your job over a single comment.

> I often thought that term was used as a manipulation to falsely describe those who are against homosexuality.

Yes. It's like being called a racist if you think immigrants should abide by the law of the land.

CJ - Didn't think you did, but do hope you receive encouragement from your family in Christ. We are in it together.

Michael - My point was more along the lines that our white letters on a black screen, with people we don't know from electrons carried across copper wire, can come across as clinical and unloving. A scoffing "really?" that can make a good point during a family meal can come across as unloving in any comment section, much more so from professing Christians. In no way do I disagree with your points, and I've read many of your comments to have seen a heart yearning after Christ, I'm just debating the delivery.

I think you misunderstood what I meant about "push back"; I meant that CJ was agreeing, and people started dissecting his terminology. You are talking as one who is actively addressing his sin. I think College Jay and I spend a lot of time around people that don't necessarily recognize that there even is a sin nature. How you talk to them will affect the reception of the message. The Lord uses the words and the method of delivery. To use your example, Tiger Woods knew that what he was doing was wrong, he's admitted that. How would you show someone that they were wrong when they didn't recognize the criteria? Just come down the mountain at them? How have you reacted when someone shows you why, from what you already understand of the world, you are in the wrong, versus just blowing up at you for being so WRONG? Bet your responses are the same as mine.

My only remonstration is to write in each post comment section like that is the first and possibly only perception of you that someone may see. If you don't require others to be "extra nice", just keep in mind that others might be more receptive to a more welcoming approach. It doesn't mean you are "pulling a Keller", but taking the time to truly be in community with them and with them in healing from sin by Christ alone.

May we, while seeking the truth without resting and doing His work in leading to love through repentance, lead with His love.

...though I'll admit I think I'm going to use "babyphobic" sometime soon.

Kevin--

Thanks for the good comments and further helpful explanation.

> I think I'm going to use "babyphobic" sometime soon.

Just so you're extra nice when you do!

For those of you who actually clicked on Tim's link to Rob Bell's "Bullhorn Guy", a worthwhile parody of it "Bullwhip Guy" can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=SPm0bzrJQoM&feature=related

Charges have been dropped after people were outraged, including gay activists who disagree with his views but defend free speech.

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