Answers to Lonnie’s Questions

This dialogue began at Mike Bird’s blog with a post titled “Would you bake a cake for a gay wedding? The Perspective from Aussie Christians!”  Specifically, this is in answer to Lonnie’s request in this comment.

I’ve put Lonnie’s comments (including questions) in italics, and my answers to his questions follow in bold.

My own experience in homosexuality is all I ever needed to agree with the Bible, that homosexuality is a sin. However, having said that, I am absolutely convinced that Jesus can utterly put an end to homosexuality in the lives of broken people. I also believe that God absolutely created marriage for one male and one female, until death do them part.

You ask: “Do you really think that Paul would make a tent for the express purpose of use in a homosexual “wedding” ceremony?”

I can’t speak to whether Paul would or would not make a tent. I can take a look at what Jesus did at a wedding he attended.

“On the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, 2 and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding.3 When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.”

4 “Woman,[a] why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.”

5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.”

6 Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons.[b]

7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim.

8 Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.”

John 2:1-8

Did Jesus attend the wedding to show his approval of marriage between one man and one woman or did he attend the wedding for the reasons Jesus gives in Luke 4:18-19?  The Scripture does not tell us why Jesus attended the wedding.

Did Jesus attend the wedding at Cana because there were the poor there and he’d been anointed to preach good news to the poor, or was he standing in solidarity with hetero marriage?  I see no reason why He couldn’t have attended for both reasons.  And perhaps for others as well.  Since the Scripture doesn’t explicitly say, however, we probably ought to be restrained in our speculations.

Did Jesus attend the wedding at Cana because he was sent to proclaim freedom for prisoners and for recovery of the sight of the blind, and to set the oppressed free? Or was Jesus making a public service announcement about the right way to do relationships?  This is now a third time you have stated the same question in a slightly different form.  As I’ve been saying, though the Scripture does not tell us why Jesus attended, there is no basis on which we can reject either of the two possibilities you raise.  Nevertheless, there’s no record that He did or didn’t preach while there.

Are there poor people in need of the good news at a gay wedding?  Yes.

Are there prisoners in need of freedom at a gay wedding?  Yes.

Are there the blind, who need their sight restored at a gay wedding?  Yes.

Are there oppressed people needing to be set free at a gay wedding?  Yes.

None of this, however, means that this is the best time and place to reach these people with the good news of Christ.  Is the Westboro Baptist Church winning anyone to Christ when they show up at events to tell everyone how wrong they are?

Did Jesus actually try to avoid the appearance of supporting evil? If Jesus was worried about looking guilty for hanging out with sinners, then he absolutely and utterly failed.

Jesus was more interested in being right and doing right than in appearing right.  Thus He died by crucifixion – which made Him look wrong to a lot of people.

“Now the tax collectors and sinners were all gathering around to hear Jesus.2 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law muttered, “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Luke 15:1-2

Jesus knew he could and would overcome the world, so he had no need to worry about being contaminated by anything the world threw at him. The perception of his enemies (Luke 15) was that Jesus, far from avoiding the appearance of sin, actually courted sinners.

In 1 John 5:4, we are taught: “for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith.” So if you believe Jesus overcomes the world then you must also believe that you, a born again Christian, are conformed to the image and likeness of the overcoming savior. If you believe God’s word, and I believe you do then the Holy Spirit indwells you, and you too are called as Christ is called:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
19 to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Luke 4:18-19

Once again I ask you:

Are there prisoners in need of freedom at a gay wedding?  
Are there the blind and oppressed at a gay wedding?  
Are there poor people at a gay wedding who need to hear the good news preached?  
Are there those at a gay wedding who need to hear the proclamation of the year of the Lord’s favor?
I answered all these questions above.  Note also that Nicodemus came to the Lord by night; Jesus did not call him to repentance in the middle of a Sanhedrin meeting.

And I also ask you: Does Jesus overcome the world and does that include homosexuality?  Yes.   If you are born of God then do you not also overcome the world?  Yes.  But neither answer means that we must participate in celebrations of homosexuality.

If you were dragged before a court of law today would there be enough evidence to convict you of, “…receiving sinners and eating with them,” as the Pharisees accused Jesus of doing in Luke 15:2??  You speak as if Jesus went out looking for sinners to court; the reality is that Jesus went out to preach repentance, and the “sinners” who repented were the ones who hung out with Him.

My reason for not attending a homosexual meeting can be best understood by recognizing that when the minister asks “If anyone here knows of just cause why these two should not be joined together let him speak now or else hereafter hold his peace,” I would be conscience-bound to speak up.  I don’t think the hosts would be pleased.  And while I think that such a “wedding” is wrong, I don’t think making a scene at their ceremony is the best way for me to make that point.  Therefore, I think the best way for me to speak the truth in love is to say it with the silence of my absence rather than vocalizing the point with my presence and thereby alienate everyone present.

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4 Responses to Answers to Lonnie’s Questions

  1. David Irwin says:

    Stated with typical class.

  2. Lonnie says:

    Interesting responses, though hardly satisfactory. Perhaps the reasons I keep asking the same questions is that you keep dodging them.

    You’re last response:

    “As for your answer to my question, I felt that you didn’t answer it. If the person presiding at such a ceremony asks the question, I don’t think you have the right to ignore it on the basis that you think “There is nothing of or from God going on in the situation.” It’s a reasonable question to ask, and it deserves an answer: either silence (indicating you have no objection) or a vocal response (indicating the reason you think they should not be “joined”). I think to ignore the question for the reasons you suggested would be to show contempt for everyone present. Just because we disagree with people is no reason to treat them contemptuously. They deserve reasonable answers to reasonable questions.”

    This was the question you asked me about attending a gay wedding:

    Lonnie,

    I will answer your questions if you answer one from me: When you attend a homosexual wedding and they get to the part where the minister says, “If anyone knows just cause why these two should not lawfully be joined together, let him speak now or forever hold his peace,” what do you do?

    My answer to this question:

    “I would say absolutely nothing. There is nothing of or from God going on in the situation. God created marriage, for one man and one woman. The state cannot nullify God’s creation and they cannot override God’s power. Some guy or gal wearing fancy churchy vestments, and mouthing empty flowery sounding words, invoking God’s name and calling him/herself Rev. is meaningless if God has nothing to do with it. Would you care if the state legalized marriage between elves and unicorns? You are giving weight and power to something that has none. Why are you allowing the world to tell you what is and isn’t important? Why do you focus on the foolishness of the world? Why are you not heartbroken that people are broken and are widening the gulf between God and sinner, thickening the chains of slavery, and deepening the darkness people are in??

    When will you quit allowing your attention to be high jacked by a bunch fairy tales? When will you stop fearing what mere men do? “OH NO! The big bad state is going to make God’s marriage a joke?” I know why the world believes this stuff, but they are broken, deceived, in the dark, enslaved to sin, hardhearted, and cannot understand the truth. You are a Christian!!! You have no excuse for giving any kind of credence to this!! Please brother, stop giving the world power to push you around and start offering the cure for foolishness, brokenness, lostness. If you have an eternal relationship with God, then you have the means to walk with lost people toward Jesus Christ. Jesus is going to overcome their sin when they come to him. No more sin no more of the nonsense in their lives! YAY GOD!”

    My final response to anything you have to say:

    So, am I to believe that you accept gay marriage as legitimate in God’s eyes? If gay marriage is legitimate in God’s eyes then you have a point. However if you do not believe God ‘believes’ in gay marriage then your response and accusation that I’ve have treated you with contempt is specious and you are avoiding the conversation.

    It is contempt toward God to give something he condemns authoritative power and weight. If marriage is created by God for one man and one woman then this state is what God has created. Having been created by God, this state of marriage carries the weight of God’s intent, plan and purpose for marriage. If God created marriage, as I’ve put forth here, and as the Holy Scriptures certainly put forth, then God’s marriage is the only authorized marriage by God.

    Your question was this:

    I will answer your questions if you answer one from me: When you attend a homosexual wedding and they get to the part where the minister says, “If anyone knows just cause why these two should not lawfully be joined together, let him speak now or forever hold his peace,” what do you do?

    If God created marriage is the only intended and authorized form of marriage then explain please how I failed to answer your question? What you found contemptible is the fact I did not answer your question according to the way you believe I should have asked it. That is not showing contempt for the question. My answer is the only one which makes any sense if, as I suspect you do, hold to the truth that God only created marriage for one man and one woman.

    Further it shows contempt for God to posit the power in a human cleric or body of clerics, to redefine, what God clearly created marriage to be. Your question supposes that a mere human being asking two men or two women, in a purported gay or lesbian wedding ceremony, has the authority from God to ask 2 gay or 2 lesbian people this question:

    “If anyone knows just cause why these two should not lawfully be joined together, let him speak now or forever hold his peace,”

    Please prove, from Scripture, that any mere human cleric has the authority from, the one and only living God, to ask such a question of gay or lesbian couples, and following that question has the further right/authority, in God’s eyes, to pronounce them married. Please show me where God ever capitulates his power to create to any being living or dead other than himself. If you cannot prove that God has capitulated the power to change the nature of marriage, then my response to your question is the only valid answer there is. If God has not authorized the creation of gay marriage then it does not exist, has no validity, no force or standing before the throne of God, and no acknowledgement in all the kingdom of heaven.

    Any supposition that God has capitulated control of creating shows contempt for God. Any human who thus claims the authority/power to change the nature of marriage shows contempt for God. To give any credit or weight to the thinking or behaviors of those who hold contempt for the creating God, would also, ipso facto, be contempt for God, would it not?

    You are dodging the central matter. You are splitting hairs. Before your last response I held you, personally, in high regard. I certainly appreciate your stance that God has not created homosexuality, and that no one is born gay. However, your desire to be “right” at any cost is unfortunate, and I assure you, I will not waste my time conversing with you in the future.

  3. Lonnie says:

    And just so we’re clear the only contempt I show is toward your question:

    Lonnie,

    “I will answer your questions if you answer one from me: When you attend a homosexual wedding and they get to the part where the minister says, “If anyone knows just cause why these two should not lawfully be joined together, let him speak now or forever hold his peace,” what do you do?”

    Like my response or not, it is your question which shows contempt, and therefore I treat it with contempt in my response to it.

  4. Mike Gantt says:

    Lonnie,

    I do not regard you with contempt, nor do I accuse you of treating me with contempt. We just have differing views about the appropriate Christian response to a homosexual “wedding” invitation. As we have each stated and explained our respective positions, there’s probably nothing more to say at this time. Thanks for interacting with me.

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