Thursday, March 28, 2013

The “Christians Hate Gays” Myth

During these Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) hearings before the Supreme Court I keep hearing how much Christians hate gay people. This was news to me since I am a Christian and I don’t hate gay people.

I also go to church with over 1000 other Christians, and if any of them hate gay people, they sure haven’t told me.

Before moving to South Carolina I worked at or attended several churches in Texas; prior to that I spent a decade going to church in Florida. Guess what? No one hated gay people.

In fact, I don’t know any Christians who hate anybody. The very uniform of a believer is his love, and if a person does not show consistent love, then he is not actually a believer.

Are there non-believers who hate gay people and claim to be Christian? Of course. But that doesn’t represent Jesus or His church. Equating  hateful sign-wavers with Christianity is like equating a kindergarten baseball team to the New York Yankees. They may claim to be playing the same sport, but everyone understands the difference.  

In fact, the very way to tell a Christian from a non-Christian is on this issue: do they show love? Jesus said, “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another (John 13:35).” We don’t take people at their word, but by their actions.

The traditional Christian view is that homosexuality is wrong (which is biblical), but Christians are quick to remind that we “hate the sin but love the sinner.” This is not homophobia or “picking and choosing,” as I often hear, because Christians are also opposed to adultery, fornication, strip clubs, pornography, and sensual media, to name a few. When I preach a true love waits message to our teenagers, am I being heterophobic?

The people shouting the “Christians hate gays” lines are the ones picking and choosing. Did you know that Islam is opposed to homosexuality? Why is no one criticizing them? Buddha was opposed to homosexuality, so are Buddhists homophobic? The fact that Christianity is bearing the brunt proves that this is the oldest trick in the book: vilifying your opponent to gain sympathy support.

Once a person is branded as being a hateful bigot or a homophobe then the debate is over. People no longer focus on the objective arguments, and their sympathy is thrown in the corner of the victim of hate.  

So please let me be a calm voice for Christianity and say that, no, we do not hate gays, or anyone else. 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

30 Hour Famine Tips

Here are a few quick tips to make your 30 Hour Famine a little easier:

*Get plenty of sleep
Especially on Wednesday and Thursday night. A tired body will feel more hunger pangs.

*Stay Hydrated 
Drink fluids, especially juice and water. They fill your stomach and make you feel fuller, and they give your body nutrients you are missing from food. Avoid highly acidic juices like orange juice.

*Focus during lunch
If possible, hang out with other people doing the famine during your school lunch. There is strength in numbers, and staring at other people while they eat can be rough for you and uncomfortable for them.

*Have accountability
Encourage each other and let them encourage you. When you are hungry, remember that you are not alone.

*Watch the clock
Count down the hours. There are only 30 of them, after all, and you will sleep through 16 of them. Each hour that you go makes you one hour closer to eating pizza at CiCi's.

Of course, these only make things easier, not easy. It shouldn't be easy to go 30 hours without food, and that is the point. Remember, we are trying to walk a mile in the shoes of those who are truly hungry, so let your hunger remind you to pray for those who are less fortunate.

Thanks for what you doing!

"For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat."
Jesus, Matthew 25:35

Monday, March 25, 2013

Keep 'Em Separate (Google Image Series)

This shows the misunderstanding of the concept of the wall of separation. This picture indicates that the church influenced Hitler, and therefore we need a wall to keep the evil church away from government.

But as any person who knows history understands, Hitler was in no way influenced by the church. He hated church and had nothing to do with it (thanks to Darwinism). After he rose to power, he forced all churches to spread his propaganda, replacing all religious relics with images of Hitler.

Thomas Jefferson's concern on his "wall of separation" remark was to prevent this. The Government (State) is not to interfere with the Church.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Separation of Church and State

Many people are shocked to learn that the words “separation of church and state” do not appear in the Constitution or Bill or Rights.
I’m sure you have heard that phrase invoked more times than you can count:
“You can’t have the 10 Commandments in the courtroom because of the separation of church and state.”
“City Hall can’t have a manger scene on the lawn; that violates the separation of church and state.”
“You can’t pray in Jesus’ name at (insert your public appearance here). Haven’t you ever heard of the separation of church and state?”
I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea. It’s funny that most people invoking this wall of separation are ones who claim to study and defend the Constitution; they, more than anyone else, should know that the mythical “wall” is nowhere to be found in our nation’s governing documents.
So where does the wall of separation appear? In a private letter written by Thomas Jefferson to a group known as the Danbury Baptists in Connecticut. This letter was a response to a letter from the group in which they voiced their concerns that their state was going to establish a State Church.
A student of American history will remember that it was that very concept—a State Church—that led the Puritans and Separatists to leave their homeland in search of a place where they could practice their religion freely; this exodus eventually led them to the New World, and from Day 1 religious liberty was a focal point.
In fact, most state charters are steeped in theologically sound Christian doctrine, with an emphasis on allowing the people to worship freely, as opposed to the State forcing their religion.
Jefferson’s letter to the Danbury Baptists upheld the desires of the people, that Congress make no law “respecting an establishment of religion.” In context, Jefferson was defending the American people from a state-sponsored church; his wall of separation was to protect the church from the state, not the state from the church.
Of equal importance is the reciprocal command: Congress shall not “prohibit the free exercise” of religion. So when people tell me I can’t pray in Jesus’ name, for example, my free exercise is being prohibited.  
These defenders of the wall of separation are prohibiting my free exercise. They are adding to and taking away from the Constitution. Don’t let people deceive you; read Jefferson’s letter for yourself. Here is the final draft of the little letter that started the big war:
The affectionate sentiments of esteem and approbation which you are so good as to express towards me, on behalf of the Danbury Baptist association, give me the highest satisfaction. my duties dictate a faithful and zealous pursuit of the interests of my constituents, & in proportion as they are persuaded of my fidelity to those duties, the discharge of them becomes more and more pleasing.
Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State. Adhering to this expression of the supreme will of the nation in behalf of the rights of conscience, I shall see with sincere satisfaction the progress of those sentiments which tend to restore to man all his natural rights, convinced he has no natural right in opposition to his social duties.
I reciprocate your kind prayers for the protection & blessing of the common father and creator of man, and tender you for yourselves & your religious association assurances of my high respect & esteem.
Thomas Jefferson


Friday, March 15, 2013

Fill in the Blank (Google Image Series)

Jesus did speak about homosexuality. He said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them MALE and FEMALE, and said, "Therefore a MAN shall leave his FATHER and his MOTHER and hold fast to his WIFE, and the two shall become one flesh (Matthew 19:4-5)." Jesus mentioned father and mother, male and female, and husband and wife being made that way from the beginning by God. It doesn't get any more clear than that.

Aside from that, we don't know a fraction of what Jesus said when He was on earth. John ended his gospel by writing,

 "Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written (John 21:25)."

Even still, God is the author of the Bible (God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit being One)--the same Bible that declares homosexuality a sin in Leviticus 18 and 20, Romans 1, 1 Corinthians 6, and 1 Timothy 1.

Besides that, the Gospels were biographies of Jesus, written to show that salvation had come. The epistles were written to teach people how to live. The gospel writers were not as concerned with teaching daily conduct. Paul, however, was. That is why on three occasions he condemned homosexuality.

Finally, the Bible says all Scripture is profitable for teaching and instruction in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). If a person is really concerned with what Jesus had to say on the topic, then the words of Moses and Paul (inspired by God) should suffice.

So if this man's question is sincere, I would tell him to fill in the blank with:
*It is an abomination (Leviticus 18:22, 20:13)
*It is unnatural (Romans 1:26-27)
*They will not inherit the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
*It goes against sound teaching (1 Timothy 6:9-10)

This list, quite honestly, can be said about almost any sin. Whether heterosexual or homosexual, all sin needs to be repented of. Jesus said that if we really want to follow Him, we need to deny ourselves; this includes the lusts of the flesh, the lusts of the eyes, and the pride of life.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Famous Frauds in Homosexual Science Part 2: Twin Studies

A second piece of shoddy science has been heralded as proving people are born gay. This time, instead of cadavers, living twins were studied. This study compared male identical twins to male fraternal twins; in each set of twins, at least one man was homosexual.

22% of the fraternal twins showed both brothers to be gay, compared to 52% of the identical twins. Since identical twins are closer genetically than fraternal twins, this study claimed that genetics play in to homosexuality, or that people are born gay.

But an obvious question that arose from this study is, why did 48% of the identical twins only have one gay brother? If they are so close genetically, then 100% of the identical twins should have two gay brothers. This study does more harm than good to the argument from genetics.

There are other factors to be considered. One is that the men doing the study (Richard Pillard and Michael Bailey) could have intentionally picked fraternal twins that they knew only had one gay brother to help their percentages; all scientists have a bias, and these men were gay activists, so their motives cannot be subtracted from the conversation.

Another factor is that the identical twins were all raised in the same house. If they studied identical twins separated at birth and found 52% of them to each be gay, that would be remarkable, but to find ones from the same household is not. It has been long believed that things factor into a person choosing to be gay, like no father in the home, abuse, or failed relationships, so two boys being raised in the same environment would be subjected to similar factors. This in no way proves genetics.

Finally, like LeVay’s research, this study has never been replicated. In fact, in an attempt to, the British Journal of Psychiatry found different results in that only 20% of the identical twins were both gay, and their conclusion was that genetic factors were not enough to prove that people are born gay.

So once again, when people cite that twin studies have shown that homosexuality is genetic, they are either misinformed or being untruthful. There is no science to show that people are born gay.    

(Read Part 1 here)
(For more information on the topic of homosexuality and the Bible, I highly recommend The Gay Gospel? by Joe Dallas)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Famous Frauds in Homosexual Science Part 1: Simon LeVay

I recently wrote a 4 part series on famous frauds inevolution, so I thought a good follow up would be to chronicle a few fraudulent studies that seek to validate homosexuality as being natural.

While scientists have been cheating on their science fair projects to prove Darwinism for more than a century and half, this is a fairly new concept when it comes to homosexuality; therefore, this will only be a two-part series.

In 1991, a neuroscientist (Salk Institute of La Jolla, California) named Simon LeVay conducted an experiment on the brains of 41 deceased people. 19 of these were identified as homosexual men, 16 were heterosexual men, and 6 were heterosexual women. 

The study was to examine a group of neurons in the hypothalamus structure (INAH3), and he found that this region was larger in the heterosexuals he examined. His conclusion, then, was that homosexuality is inborn, meaning people are either born as gay or straight.

This study was published in Science magazine, and became instantly popular. Even today, more than two decades later, it is cited as “the proof” that people are born gay. If people are born gay, they say, then God must have made them that way, and it must not be wrong. 

But one glaring problem in this study is that there is no overwhelming evidence. For example, the conclusion leads the reader to believe that all heterosexuals had larger INAH3 regions than their homosexual counterparts, but that is not true. Three of the heterosexuals had smaller regions than the homosexuals, and likewise three of the homosexuals had larger regions than the heterosexuals. This means that 17% of LeVay’s study contradicts his conclusion, and when one considers that he only looked at 41 brains, 17% is a pretty large number.

Furthermore, as is the case with most neuroscience, one cannot know if brain change is the cause of behavior or is caused by behavior. To look at a cadaver’s brain and conclude that a small region must have made him gay is a jump in science; we don’t know if he was gay because he was born with a small INAH3, or if his INAH3 shrunk because he was gay. (in the same way, we don’t know if depression is caused by chemical change, or if chemical change causes depression)

What we do know is that lifestyle habits affect the neurons in the brain, so it is entirely possible that the majority of his homosexual cadavers’ brains shrunk due to living as gay men, and were not like that from birth.

Also of interest is the fact that scientists do not even agree on how to measure the INAH3. It is a very small region, and there is debate as to whether to measure it by size or by number of neurons. For this reason, many scientists rejected LeVay’s work, and his study has yet to be replicated and bare similar results.

But beyond the science, the most overwhelming piece of evidence against LeVay is the fact that he did not know if the brains belonged to gay or straight people. All he could go by were their case studies, and 19 of them were admittedly gay. If their studies did not mention their being homosexual, then he labeled them as heterosexual, which means he is accepting a lot of guesswork. In fact, 6 of the 16 “heterosexual male” brains came from people who died of AIDS, which, in 1991, shows a greater increase of homosexual activity among them.

For this research to be cited as proof that God creates people as homosexuals from birth is quite a stretch. If you find yourself in a conversation where someone says that God made them (or anyone else) gay, ask them to prove it. If this is the study they refer to, politely show them the poor scientific work that went into producing these results.

Don’t accept fraudulent science; no one has proven that God creates people gay from birth. 

(Read Part 2 here)