Response to Kyle

Posted on April 28, 2008 · Posted in Apologetics, Culture, Worldview

Praise be to the LORD
God, the God of Israel

       who alone does marvelous deeds. Psalm 72:18

No offense intended to the author of this
blog entry, or for the one who asked the initial question, but, if Christians
are so dead set against bullying, harassment, etc., then why do you constantly
promote it towards GLBT kids? If you are so dead set against bullying, harassment,
etc., against people per se, then why don’t you come out against those who are
doing the bullying, etc…, instead of joining in? The National Day of Silence
is helping to promote peace between people who otherwise couldn’t or wouldn’t
agree on anything. If Christians want respect, then they need to show it first.
Thank you, Kyle – 19, Pennsylania

We received an interesting response to the post regarding
the National Day of Silence. His comment and question appear above.

Thank you, Kyle, for commenting. First of all, I want to re-emphasize
what was said in my post regarding violence and unkind treatment of others.  It is wrong to be hateful, to mock and hurt
others, regardless of their sexual persuasions. Such behavior is simply not an
option for Christians who represent Christ.

 

In response you raise the question that if Christians
condemn this kind of violence, why do we then promote it? Sadly, there is much
done in the name of Christianity that is not consistent with what the Bible
teaches. The problem you mention is not so much a Christian problem as it is a
human problem. Man often responds with violence or bullying to things that he
disagrees with. This response is wrong, and it indicates there is a larger
problem for mankind.  As humans, we tend
to rebel against the authority of God. Violence against others because of a
philosophical disagreement is wrong. I believe that you would agree with that
statement. But if you do agree, then it is fair to ask why it is wrong. In other words, by what standard can we denounce
violence of the sort that concerns you?

While this is not the place for a lengthy response, let me
attempt to address this issue briefly. You might appeal to your own personal
sense of moral outrage as the basis for something being wrong when you want
others to change their behavior. But that is not sufficient. Something more is
needed. Human history and current cultural practice show that in some cultures
violence is a perfectly acceptable way to resolve disagreements. Some cultures
even go so far as to condone having the losing party in a dispute as the main
course for supper. So, if a personal code of conduct is the standard, then you
really don’t have a basis for being upset with someone who responds in violence
to those he dislikes. That individual has as much right as you do to determine
the appropriateness of his actions. If you are going to condemn violence there
must be a standard with more authority than a personal code of conduct.
This is true for both individuals and governments. Governmental codes of
conduct that are based upon the will of the people are nothing more than a
collection of personal codes of conduct. A review of political history bears
out that different governments have different standards of behavior. So, the
question still remains, why is one type of conduct wrong and another right?

Christians believe
that God has given a consistent standard of conduct which transcends personal
and governmental standards.  That
standard is given in the Bible. Now, before you get too upset with this answer,
remember that your own comment indicates that some human behaviors are clearly
wrong. My question to you, then, is, Why is that behavior wrong? As I just
explained, it is not possible to appeal to human standards because human standards
and laws are inconsistent with each other. Christians learn from the Bible that
violent behavior against GLBT students is wrong. However, the Bible also
teaches that the only appropriate place for sexual activity is within heterosexual
marriage. This belief does not come from Christians but from God, who in fact
does transcend the laws and standards of men. God is the ultimate judge and
arbiter of human behavior.

Kyle, my question to you is, “Does God have the right to
determine how people should relate to each other sexually?” If you answer “No,”
then you have made God out to be just another person with an opinion, with no
more authority than you or I have.  He is
no God at all. But if you believe that there is no God, then on what basis do you
say that violence against others is wrong? Why is your opinion right and mine
wrong? If you want to condemn bigotry and prejudice, then you must have some
standard that defines bigotry and prejudice. This standard must be based upon
something other than just a personal preference if you want to regulate the
actions of others. Otherwise, you are attempting to force your will on other
people simply because it is your will.

I am glad to denounce discriminatory violence based upon
biblical standards. However, because of that same standard I must also urge you
to consider whether gay, lesbian, and bisexual behaviors are appropriate. My
belief that this activity is wrong is not a personal preference but is consistent
with biblical teaching.

You make an appeal for peace, but even peace is something
that has no meaning unless it can be rooted in something larger than our own personal
beliefs. I know this answer may not be satisfying to you, but biblical
Christianity does give a basis from which to speak against discriminatory
violence. At the same time, the God who gives this standard also has things to
say about sexual behavior. I appeal to you to embrace God’s standard—not only in
condemning discriminatory violence, but also for sexual conduct.

The verse quoted at the beginning of this post says that
only God does good things. I am sure that you want good things for your life.
Trusting in God is the only route to knowing goodness on this planet.

Please let me know your response. Thank you for taking the
time to comment and express your thoughts.   

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