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Thursday, May 12, 2016

All About Me

Sometimes I wonder if people actually read what they are writing and saying.

Have you ever played back a voice message and been embarrassed by your own wording or tone? Or perhaps re-read something you wrote ten years ago and been stunned by your own immodesty, immaturity, naivety or selfishness? If you have, then you understand the way time, spiritual growth and objectivity allow us to see the holes in our own arguments.

Obsessions, Assumptions and Delusions

Bear in mind that mature Christians we encounter who don’t share our hobby-horses, obsessions, assumptions and delusions can often see those sorts of flaws and anti-biblical thinking in our attempts to express truth while we’re still scribbling or babbling them. That’s scary.

So I’ll cut Eliel Cruz some slack for the column he’s written at Rachel Held Evans’ site advocating for church inclusion for “bisexual Christians”. He may look back on it in 15 years and be utterly horrified. Alternatively, he may decide to double down and be even loopier a decade from now.

Either way, he’s spectacularly wrong. A smattering of choice Cruz quotes will give you a quick read on what he really values, and it is not the least bit Christian. No matter the angle from which Cruz comes at the issue of bisexuality it is, first, foremost and always, all about ‘me’.

On “Inclusiveness”

First, it’s all about HOW YOU TREAT ME, says Mr. Cruz:
“The conversation has been centered on the gay community as a ‘Gay vs. Christian debate,’ leaving a large portion of the LGBT community out of the conversation. That’s a huge disservice to the conversation and that disservice is perpetuated by gay and straight Christians alike. So here are 7 tips to be inclusive while discussing the LGBT community.”
Inclusiveness is only a relevant metric when you have a legitimate, established claim to being included. For bisexuals to demand a seat at the table in the “Gay vs. Christian debate” is less intrusive than it is irrelevant since: (a) for many of us there is no debate to be had; and (b) even for those few serious evangelicals mistakenly undecided about whether homosexuality and the Christian life can be harmonized biblically, the answer to that question obviously precedes any discussion of bisexuality.

On “Identity”

Second, it’s all about HOW I DEFINE MYSELF. Mr. Cruz tells us:
“Assuming someone who is attracted to the same sex is gay can erase someone’s identity.”

“[Calling it ‘gay marriage’] leads to the erasure of bisexual identities”.
This betrays a sad misunderstanding of one of the most fundamental truths of the Christian faith. The Christian is DEAD. He’s dead to himself, dead to sin, dead to the world and even dead to the law. Dead people do not have “identities” in the sense Cruz uses the term. Their identity is always and only that of Christ, who “died for all, that those who live might no longer live for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised”.

Because no one can serve two masters, obsession with “sexual identity” always ends up an uncomfortable and unentitled rival to my real, eternal, spiritual identity as a child of God. For the Christian, it’s never about me, it’s all about Jesus Christ.

On Attraction as the Basis for Sexuality

Third, it’s all about MY FEELINGS and MY FULFILLMENT:
“I don’t merely fall in love with a gender, I fall in love with a person — a unique individual”.
Advocates for a version of Christianity that admits and supports bisexuals take pains to ensure we know that they are not polyamorous. Eliel Cruz says bisexual people “don’t necessarily need a man AND a woman to be fulfilled”. They simply reserve the “right” to choose one or the other at any given point in time.

Now certainly sexuality in the absence of attraction seems, well … unattractive. But whether we are speaking of physical attraction, emotional attraction or even intellectual or spiritual affinity, the argument that attraction of any sort should automatically end in sexual intimacy or that it confers some kind of “right” to pursue a relationship is a transparently false one. My attraction to your wife, for instance, clearly ought not to be pursued. The attraction some feel for underaged members of the opposite sex or members of their own families is equally to be rejected.

Nowhere in scripture does “falling in love” create some sort of inalienable right in this area. On their own, our feelings provide no sound basis for Christian sexuality. The question of whether or not any given relationship should eventually be sexual turns on a whole set of entirely different questions.

On Being Recognized and Represented

Finally, it’s all about MY RELATIVE POSITION in the pecking order:
“There are too many times the acronym LGBT is used, yet the specific needs and concerns for those of us that are ‘B’ or ‘T’, or even ‘L’, are not as well represented. We are pushed aside, forgotten, or not even known.”
It is interesting to hear this variant of the “straight white male oppressor” narrative applied to gay men, who appear to be stealing the thunder of professing Christians that identify as lesbian, bisexual and transsexual.

For the record, men and women of genuine faith are not about being “known”. Our glory or “pride” is not ourselves but in Jesus Christ and his cross.

The old me wanted to be constantly recognized and validated in this world, even though I knew on some level such recognition wouldn’t provide any lasting satisfaction. But the self that ceased to exist when I died with Christ can make no legitimate claim on the time and attention of others. It’s not all about me anymore.

The Abundance of the Heart

No matter how carefully we try to disguise them, our true values stumble out into the light and expose themselves whenever we talk long enough. “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also,” said the Lord Jesus. He also said, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”.

We talk most about the things we treasure most. If it is actually ourselves we value most, that will not go unnoticed.

6 comments :

  1. A Confession of Liberal Intolerance

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/08/opinion/sunday/a-confession-of-liberal-intolerance.html?partner=msft_msn

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  2. This was an interesting admission of something I think we all sensed anyway:

    "The discrimination becomes worse if the applicant is an evangelical Christian. According to Yancey’s study, 59 percent of anthropologists and 53 percent of English professors would be less likely to hire someone they found out was an evangelical."

    Food for thought as our kids decide what to do for a living ...

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    Replies
    1. Hmm, editorial discretion. Which is fine if it leaves you more comfortable.

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    2. Did I miss something there? Editorial discretion?

      Delete
    3. Looks like my copy /paste may have gone wrong? Here is the entire append again.

      It is quite clear that none of the discussions, opinions and arguments offered up by the LGBT person or advocate even come close to the core issue of that debate. The core issue is that we are all sexual human beings who have to deal with the associated feelings and drives and have to go through a growth and learning process to not have our sexuality deteriorate into maladjustment. This can only be achieved and the battle won with a constant interior struggle and willingness to self-regulate along what we perceive and know to be rules of healthy and moral conduct. The latter is of course where the LGBT person has allowed themselves to fail by preferring the element of carnal lust to the element of moral struggle. The individual has simply reached a point in life where he or she is willingly ruled by discordant drives and sexual urges. Growth in, and preference for, the acquired skill of self-control is simply abandoned for prurient interests. What is ignored is the fact that sexual development is a typical biblical fire and water test that we are subject to for the purpose of character development. As with all those tests we must choose freely, wrong or right, and depending on our long-term choices we acquire the corresponding character. Religion teaches that we are not unaided in that struggle as long as we are willing to ask for that aid.

      The LGBT person who has given up has stopped asking and most likely will deny the reality of their situation and then proceeds to project his/her situation as being a natural normal. There is a large contingent of the population who will sympathize because they also are marginally hanging in there and are losing this struggle in their private domain. That that struggle is being waged and often lost, especially by the young male, is manifest in the public domain by soft and hardcore pornography and the even criminal and perverse trends of sexual aggression that are constantly in the news. The sad truth is that our society does not value role models and consequently our youth is ill informed and poorly equipped to wage their own battles. As a result you have a large and growing pool of overt and quiet sympathizers with the LGBT agenda whose leaders have recognized and exploit that fact. What this simply means is that personal responsibility is going by the wayside. It is clear that, as religion is abandoned, this will only get worse eventually resulting in a completely unhealthy, unproductive and possibly even dangerous polarization of society along lines of morality.

      The latter is already taking shape as described by a liberal in this NY Times article where especially Evangelical religious are shown to have become the targets of that type of society.

      A Confession of Liberal Intolerance:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/08/opinion/sunday/a-confession-of-liberal-intolerance.html?partner=msft_msn

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  3. Here is another one of those attacks by liberal academia on the conservative student, but this time it backfired and there was protection from the administration.

    http://www.lifenews.com/2016/05/13/professor-threatens-to-give-student-bad-grade-because-shes-pro-life-you-are-wrong/

    ReplyDelete