NEW FILM, FAMILIAR THEME,
Not to be outdone, that embattled part of the conservative Christian world which teaches nobody can be or has the right to call themselves “Gay Christian” has now issued a film, Such Were Some of You. Its title is drawn from a brief statement of St Paul in Corinthians (1 Cor 6:11) which refers to those who were thieves and other sinners no longer being what they were. Since his list includes (at least as per some translations if controversially) the word “homosexuals”, this is taken as proof positive that no one has the right to be gay, still less a gay Christian, and just everyone is curable. Even to think of anyone as “born that way” is to listen to (demonic) lies of Lady Gaga.
Here in Australia I have not seen the film, only the trailer and read related claims as in David Kyle Foster’s recent Christian Post article which refers to the film http://global.christianpost.com/news/the-unmitigated-disaster-of-gay-marriage-123527/ But plainly that is enough to make the following brief, relevant comments.
It should be quite obvious that the persons featured in this film and giving their testimonies of cure, often after many years of life as gays, are persons with deeply troubled pasts: raped as a child or raped as an adolescent, hooked on drugs, being gay but always hating the very idea of being so etc. However, the difference between the likes of these tormented souls and Christian, intellectual and even virginal Matthew Vines of the trendy God and the Gay Christian (he’s portrayed by some conservatives as a gross apostate, false prophet and hell- bound heretic), could hardly be greater.
THE HALF TRUTH
Before proceeding, I would stress in the spirit of some comments in my God and the Gay Gaps in Michael Vines’ Vision article http://wp.me/p2v96G-nl , I have never suggested some persons are not addicted and needing cure of addictions whether to narcotics or to sex and that especially the narcotically addicted will do, become and be sexually what otherwise they might not do or be. If these “cured” persons are rid of a damaging, inauthentic past and fulfilled that is positive and need not be opposed as some ideologues and sceptics would. God may indeed have saved them from disaster and despair as they maintain. I would also even insist against both some secular advocates of gay rights and some gay theologians on gay spirituality, that some elements of gay life are anything but innocent. Gay libbers in their quest for support have sometimes whitewashed things and pulled wool over the eyes of the public to suggest greater sweetness, tolerance, cooperation and innocence exists than is the case. Gay life (i.e. the scene life) can be exploitative and irresponsible and it’s not all due (though it sometimes partly is) to internalized homophobia or a sometimes enforced ghetto living.
However….don’t let Christians today be more blind and naive than even pagans of the ancient world who understood a difference among the same sex inclinded between Aphrodite Urania, and Aphrodite Pandemos, the heavenly Venus who is idealistic and Common Venus who is merely lustful and whorish. Corinth where Paul wrote about “such were some of you” was a port city that thrived on prostitution, was almost the ancient world’s capital of such. Many young persons were even raised in bondage to be sex slaves and prostitutes. No doubt many of them were only too ready to come out of their lifestyles given half a chance…. but it is a great mistake to define and dismiss homosexuality and all gay potential for relating and relationship as nothing but “a lifestyle” and a perverted one as though it was the product or clubs, dance parties and parades. It isn’t. It’s a temperament, even a worldview.
SPEAK OF AMERICAN BEFORE GAY “LIFESTYLES”
I don’t wish to insult Americans but it’s hard not to in this area. What a film like So were some of you is really about or really revealing is the too frequently disgusting, sex-obsessed, pornographic lifestyles with which America is infected and is infecting the world. It is a world of early drug abuse, out-of-control adolescents at schools and parties where anything can take place, anyone get assaulted or abused and every aberration glorified in the world’s largest porn industry.
At the same time, any amount of violence and abuse has been permitted against gays (none of it properly if ever protested by evangelical churches and the Michael Browns of this world) so that internalized homophobia has been at screaming point, the person either hates and dreads to be different or has to invent whole campaigns and groups to justify themselves. Hardly anywhere is there any proper historical or cultural awareness such as might allow people to realize how gays have contributed to history and a large portion of the world’s culture. When in my poem Songs of Puritania on a Gay Theme http://wp.me/p2v96G-7w I changed opening words of T.S.Eliot’s The Waste Land” so as to run, “O O O O that American rag it’s so inelegant, so unintelligent”, I really meant what I said. One is staring in the face of monumental cultural ignorance which only gets to speak so loudly and be tolerated because of the money and brazen aggression behind it. And also the bible. There really are bible louts in this world and America, Christian equivalents of bar street brawlers ready to bang anyone over the head with their St Paul and their bible and what have been called “the clobber texts”. I repeat, this picture is disgusting and repulsive. And it thrives on what’s untrue or at least grossly exaggerated.
HOW RELEVANT IS ST PAUL?
Where and when did this selective reading of the Bible by fundamentalists that picks on gays begin and how did it get justified? Only in America through wilful ignorance. Consider:
America itself could never have existed if St Paul had been followed to the letter on obedience to authority. Where did Americans have any authority from St Paul to abolish slavery? Today they are prepared to accept that his moderate acceptance of it was historically determined.
The apostle is woefully, even insultingly wrong about women obtaining salvation through child bearing, and conservative Christians don’t follow St Paul on women covering their heads and other things; they are again quite happy to put that sort of thing down to historical factors.
To the extent St Paul may have thought the Second Advent was soon he was manifestly wrong.
The apostle, far from having Romans 1 with its references to whatever precisely as regards same sex behaviour, dictated to him from heaven, in fact lifted much of it out of the apocryphal Wisdom of Solomon.
Scripture no matter how Spirit breathed and influenced, is not God dictated and is less authoritative and more culture/history bound outside issues strictly spiritual and salvation related.
So on precisely what grounds is there justification to employ St Paul as the final word on the nature and life of gays, especially when a strong case can be made that Jesus did understand a principle of born different that Paul didn’t realize or acknowledge? (See my earlier article in this blog, The Fatal Flaw in the Matthew Vines, Albert Mohler Gay Debate). Selective rather than prayerful or spiritual reading lands us with this ugly anti-gay obsession based on the notion of its being “unnatural”. It’s something one can hardly bring nature to witness is true – there is plenty of homosexuality in the animal kingdom. I see that David Kyle Foster in the course of promoting the idea that gay marriage is “an unmitigated disaster” – even if it saves some gays from the promiscuity he would condemn? – is immediately back to the old argument that Michael Brown and others go on about that no one is physically “made” for homosexuality. As said in a previous article here, you might as well declare that because the mouth was made for eating it wasn’t made and shouldn’t be used for kissing.
Really, the fuss about what Paul may or may not precisely have said about same sex matters, is of a part with the same pedantic realism which in American life wants no variations on a theme but rather “me Tarzan, you Jane” treatments of gender and style.
MOST GAYS ARE BORN THAT WAY: ACCEPT IT
This argument and these prejudices might be less if it weren’t that conservative Christian notions of “abomination” extend to astrology as the “divination” Talmudic rabbis didn’t understand it to be. (And why did astrologers come to Christ’s birth?). Even in the ancient world astrologers were among the few who recognized that some people were born different; and a more detailed and sophisticated modern astrology can have a pretty good idea of this, who is more fluid and so on. Certain things about homosexuality go unseen and unappreciated because there is no connection to the mystical/esoteric side of things. Regardless, for many and even most, homosexuality is inborn and not a few people, heterosexual as well as gay are rather effeminate; and if St Paul wished to damn them for being so (I don’t think that’s what he meant by malakos) then that’s merely mean and sheer blind of him. It is an oppressive lie to suggest other than that homosexuality is usually inborn and it does no credit to Christians who maintain otherwise.
It means they exclude many people from belief itself because many will feel self- excluded from the happy families and rugger pitch of Hetero Church. It means churches can’t help the numerous gays who haven’t had a damaged upbringing and aren’t out having drug orgies, to better manage their lives as regular human beings. It means your churches do nothing to stop residual on-the-ground bullying and persecution which you encouraged and should have addressed long ago, leading in some cases to depression and suicide (or in Africa even injury and murder). In short, while you shout and as good as wave your bibles in people’s faces, you just aren’t being Christian. In the name of God stop it! If the same Luther from whom evangelicals derived their sola scriptura doctrine could suggest excising the whole epistle of James as worthless, with vastly more reason one would have reasons to dismiss a few lines of Paul on “homosexuality” (a word he never used) for all the unnecessary trouble and ignorance caused.