Monday, May 10, 2010

Curing the gays

An interesting follow up to the Philippa Stroud story I found - Derren Brown the well-known TV hypnotist has been to some "cure" sessions and looks at them from the point of view of a secular observer:

Curing the gays

It needs to be read if not agreed with. And if we don't agree with it - then why not? And what's our alternative?


janelle said...

The only cure is repentance and faith in Christ. Clearly a secular perspective is going to be confused about how Christians handle these types of things, because the church itself is confused about it. If a secularist hears fifteen different opinions from fifteen different professed Christians, no wonder he is confused!

I think the line is blurred between what it is exactly that Christ accomplished in defeating sin. If we preach the Gospel to gay people and put the emphasis on ONE particular sin, it becomes about that sin and not about the grace of God that conquers ALL sin.

On the other hand, we can't water it down and tell them that God just wants them to be happy so to do what they want, because their happiness must be based on the truth of God's word, which says God calls all men everywhere to repent and turn from their sin. This includes all sin, of which homosexual sin is a part of.

Bottom line: no Jesus, no cure.

Dan Bowen said...

Interesting comment Janelle and as always I agree
with most of it.

I absolutely agree that secular is confused because
the church is confused! Many Christians squirm and don't even like me mentioning the word "homosexual" on this blog because it makes them uncomfortable! But
surely we are bound by the great
commission here - to go and make disciples of ALL and that includes figuring out how to reach this community of people!

No Jesus - no cure? Yes but as I'm sure u meant, that applies to all the lost, homosexual or other! Jesus said didn't He - I have come to seek and save the lost and no one is exluded from that loving seeking!

Gospel and sin etc comments I will relish saving for another blog coming soon!

janelle said...

I 100% meant no Jesus, no cure for all sin. My parents always like to tell me, when I'm struggling with something in particular, that it's good news for me if what I'm struggling with is sin, because there is a cure for it. What great news is that!?

Anonymous said...

Tom here again. Why exactly is being gay (either in thought or deed) a sin? Why does it need curing? I'm heterosexual, that's just how i am- in exactly the same way as a gay person is gay. Blame the designer, if you believe in one, but lets not give anyone a hard time for being one or the other, or both.

Dan Bowen said...

Hey Tom - hi again!

To me - that is the key question that gay Christians are asking and the church is failing again and again to answer.

"Being gay - thought or deed".

Some Christian viewpoints would argue that it's okay and unavoidable to be gay "in thought". The crunch to the majority of the kind of Christians I meet is that "gay deed" is where it becomes sin.

Something like Catholic priests.

Keep it thought only and you are okay. If it becomes deed - then it becomes a problem.

I've read, and read around this issue and I've tried to find out exactly what Christians have to say about exactly how feasible this is. I mean after all - the abuse rate among Catholic priests in Ireland for example, doesn't bode well for keeping sexual desire "in thought only".

Some Christian teachers such as a guy called Mark Dever - argue that the mistake comes from thinking that sex is a basic human desire. He argues that homosexual Christians must find their fulfillment in Christ. Of course Mark Dever is married and heterosexual ....

So please don't think you've stumbled across a typical Christian blogger giving the "pat" Christian answers. I'm just a genuine blogger asking very personal questions to me - and not me alone, I know of countless others who are trying to find the answers to the same questions.

jul said...

Tom, that is a great question and I agree that the church for the most part has not answered it very well. I don't see the great need to focus on homosexuality as a sin whether it is in fact a sin or not, you don't see this insane obsession over gluttony which I notice is a far more pervasive and dangerous problem in the church. I mean, obesity is killing people and where but the church will you find such a high percentage of obese people?

Anyway, it's a subject I've been mulling over for a while now and for now I will at least say I'm not so concerned about it as I once would have been. Our business as believers is reconciliation, preaching good news! Why oh why isn't that enough for us???

Dan Bowen said...

Ha spot on Julie -

I can't begin to count the amount of bordering on obsese Christians (many church leaders) who celebrated their enjoyment of food by calling it "grace". Same with alcohol. True - we are under grace and we are free, but does that mean we don't have to take care of ourselves?

And yet these same people are judging homosexuality and saying it needs to be "cured".

I agree - we need to start limiting our business to preaching the good news - no GREAT news! Maybe once we really got the great news out there - then we would see change coming.

janelle said...

The reason why being gay in thought or deed is an issue is probably because when one sins in thought, almost inevitably one sins in deed as well. It takes a HUGE amount of self control to be sinning in your head and not in your actions. Actions will typically have more consequences than thoughts will, and therefore affect the person and those around them to a harsher degree.

But still, whether one is sinning in their thoughts or in their actions, the call to repentance and faith in Christ remains the same. The angry person needs to repent just as much as the homosexual does.

But, Dan and Jul, I don't think there is even a comparison to a glutton or a homosexual. The consequences of the latter are far more detrimental to ones spiritual health.

Tom, since the Bible condemns homosexuality as a sin, so Christians must do the same.

Dan Bowen said...

I think the answer to your point Janelle can only be found in the Word of God. My mind goes to;

"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." 1Cor 6:9,10

I see both sexually immoral and greedy and drunkards there alongside homosexuals and heterosexual adulterers.

To say that the latter is far more detrimental to one's health again needs to be carefully examined.

As a fellow nurse you should have some sort of a clue as to what overeating can do on the heart, the lungs and the pancreas.

I don't think it's healthy to get into a discussion as to "which is worse". That's what the church has been doing for years since the Victorian era and THAT is what is alienating the homosexual community from the church. Persist in that exaltation of "worst" sins and you can pretty much guarantee your local community will not fulfill it's part of the Great Commission mandate by reaching the homosexual lost. Why? Because frankly who is going to come to hear any gospel when they know such attitudes exist?

We need to change our thinking and our attitudes drastically and seriously.

The Bible does not condemn homosexuality as a sin anymore than it condemns any heterosexual lustful thought.

And further more the Bible never, EVER gives Christians cause to condemn .... anything. Because that makes us frankly hypocrites doesn't it?

"There but for the grace of God ...".

Does your sin make you any better than mine?

Anonymous said...

"Tom, since the Bible condemns homosexuality as a sin, so Christians must do the same".

Christians condemning? There's a big shock. Good night - you won't be seeing me in any of your churches seeking the gospel.

(And I'm not Tom by the way).

jul said...

Anonymous, exactly. We are NOT called to condemn any sin or any person. EVER. Jesus himself said he didn't come to condemn so why do we think we should? We have only ONE message, the good news of the gospel.