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July 3, 2015, 3:24 PM

Answers to John Shore's 40 answers to Kevin Deyoung's 40 questions


Kevin DeYoung (senior pastor of University Reformed Church in East Lansing, Michigan), wrote a good article in response to the many professing Christians who are now supporting the Supreme Court’s decision on “gay marriage.” 

(Read it here:  http://www.thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2015/07/01/40-questions-for-christians-now-waving-rainbow-flags/?utm_content=buffer06253&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer ).

Then, self-described “progressive” blogger John Shore, and founder of something called “Unfundamentalist Christians” wrote a snarky and, in my humble opinion, very unintellectual –not to mention unScriptural, response.  He comes with the ringing endorsement of none other than Rob Bell (which ought to tell you something) here: 

        “John Shore is awesome, and a brilliant writer. The minute I started reading his stuff, I knew he was a brother from another      mother.” — Rob Bell, Love Wins

Figures.  Birds of a feather, I guess.

 

Anyway, a couple friends who are professing believers called my attention to it, so I read it, and felt compelled to respond. 

My answers to his questions (plain text) in response to DeYoung’s questions (in bold) are in italics.  Enjoy.

 

1. How long have you believed that gay marriage is something to be celebrated? How long have you believed that gay marriage is something to be condemned?

Since Genesis 2: 24.  There is no such thing as “gay marriage.”  Marriage is between a man and a woman.

2. What Bible verses led you to change your mind? What Bible verses led you to override your own innate moral sense?

What makes you think I’m overriding my own moral sense?  Homosexuality is against nature (Romans 1: 26-27).  But for sake of your argument, how about Jeremiah 17: 9?

3. How would you make a positive case from Scripture that sexual activity between two persons of the same sex is a blessing to be celebrated? How would you make a positive case without Scripture that sexual activity between two persons of the same sex is an abomination to be condemned?

Why would you want to build a case apart from Scripture?  There is your problem.  You reject the Word of God.  Are you a Christian?  It doesn’t sound like it.  John 5: 39, Romans 10: 17.

4. What verses would you use to show that a marriage between two persons of the same sex can adequately depict Christ and the church? What verses would you use to show that a marriage between two persons of the same sex cannot adequately depict Christ and the church?

Ephesians 5: 21-32.

5. Do you think Jesus would have been okay with homosexual behavior between consenting adults in a committed relationship? Do you think Jesus ever said a single word about homosexuality?

Here’s how Jesus defined marriage:

Matthew 19: 4-6  "Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning 'made them male and female,'     5 and said, 'For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh' ? 6        So then, they are no longer two but one flesh.

6. If so, why did he reassert the Genesis definition of marriage as being one man and one woman? If so, why do you think it’s okay to quote from the Bible without any reference to the context of that quote?

I have no trouble with the context.

7. When Jesus spoke against porneia what sins do you think he was forbidding? Why do you think it’s okay to quote from the Bible without any reference to the context of that quote?

Once again, how does the context change the plain and obvious meaning of the words?

8. If some homosexual behavior is acceptable, how do you understand the sinful “exchange” Paul highlights in Romans 1? Why do you think it’s okay to quote from the Bible without any reference to the context of that quote?

Once again,  I have no problem with the obvious meaning of these verses in their textual and historical and cultural context.  What’s your point?

9. Do you believe that passages like 1 Corinthians 6:9 and Revelation 21:8 teach that sexual immorality can keep you out of heaven? Do you believe that the money you make teaching that homosexuality is a sin plays any role whatsoever in your continuing to choose to interpret the Bible as saying that homosexuality is a sin?

No.  Not at all.  I don’t make a lot of money teaching the Bible, by the way.  And by the way, I choose to interpret the Scriptures according to the normal, obvious, established linguistic rules of interpretation of any written documents.

10. What sexual sins do you think they were referring to? Do you think there’s anything unhealthy about the amount of time and energy you spend thinking and worrying about the “sexual sins” of others?

No. And by the way, I am just as troubled, if not more, over my own sins.  What does this have to do with anything?

11. As you think about the long history of the church and the near universal disapproval of same-sex sexual activity, what do you think you understand about the Bible that Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, and Luther failed to grasp? Do you have an organic, internal moral sense, or compass, that operates within you, by which you are capable of judging right from wrong without having to first validate that judgement by checking it against the opinions of historical figures?

Yes, but not against God’s Word.  Remember Jeremiah 17: 9.  And 1 Corinthians 2: 14.  I don’t care much what historical figures have to say.  It’s just interesting that there has been pretty much universal agreement.  I think that probably says something, for what it’s worth.  But let’s also throw in Romans 3: 4 (in its context, vv. 1-8).

12. What arguments would you use to explain to Christians in Africa, Asia, and South America that their understanding of homosexuality is biblically incorrect and your new understanding of homosexuality is not culturally conditioned? What arguments would you use to explain why you’re incapable of determining right and wrong for yourself—of having to first gather together the opinions of people all over the world before formulating an opinion of your own?

Again, Jeremiah 17: 9 and 1 Corinthians 2: 14.  By the way, your position—that man is capable of determining right and wrong for himself—is also to be found in Scripture.  Genesis 3: 4-5.

13. Do you think Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were motivated by personal animus and bigotry when they, for almost all of their lives, defined marriage as a covenant relationship between one man and one woman? Do you find that questioning the morality of others in any way benefits your own moral condition?

No.  Just questioning if they were right originally, or now, and how did they come to their newly “enlightened position.  I think this is a legitimate question, as their positions are so diametrically opposed.  And it would seem that if they have come to the “truth” they would want to share how this happened so that others could also be so enlightened.  Instead, they are now condemning people who felt just as they did, or claimed to, only a couple of years ago, and stated so very emphatically.

14. Do you think children do best with a mother and a father? Do you think that what most matters for a child isn’t the sexual orientation of his or her parents, but rather the quality of their characters?

I don’t see this as an either/or proposition.  Candidly, I would have issues with the “character” of a man who wants to have sex with a man, but that’s just me. . .  I believe “parents” is also a term to be defined and informed by Scripture.  Why don’t you?  Again, are you a Christian?

15. If not, what research would you point to in support of that conclusion? If not, have you ever met any families?

Not personally, but I have read testimonies of children raised by homosexual parents, including “Heather” (who famously had the two “mommies”) and is now speaking out against so-called “same sex marriage.”

16. If yes, does the church or the state have any role to play in promoting or privileging the arrangement that puts children with a mom and a dad? If yes, have you ever known any parents who wanted the church and/or state to tell them how to live their lives?

I want the Bible to inform me as to how to raise my children.  I have tried to follow it.

17. Does the end and purpose of marriage point to something more than an adult’s emotional and sexual fulfillment? Does the end and purpose of your sophomoric questions point to something more than your emotional and sexual frustration? (And why do you think that people are incapable of understanding for themselves the reasons for which they got married?)

I think this was a legitimate question.  Again, Genesis 3: 4-5.  What I find “sophomoric” is your insulting response.

18. How would you define marriage? How would you define bigotry?

big·ot·ry (ˈbiɡətrē/) noun: intolerance toward those who hold different opinions from oneself.

By the way, I see much more bigotry from the left than the right.   Especially anti-Christian bigotry.  I frankly don’t care how two people want to live, or what they want to do in the privacy of their own homes.  But my deeply held Scripturally-based convictions are not tolerated by our politically correct society.  Hmmm. . .

19. Do you think close family members should be allowed to get married? Do you think you should be a guest on The Jerry Springer Show?

Excuse me, I didn’t hear you answer the question. 

What does  Jerry Springer have to do with anything.  And no.  I don’t want to be on his stupid perverted show.

20. Should marriage be limited to only two people? Should you replace Jerry on The Jerry Springer Show?

Again, you didn’t answer the (very legitimate) question.

21. On what basis, if any, would you prevent consenting adults of any relation and of any number from getting married? On what basis, if any, do you think it’s acceptable to foster the persecution of an innocent sub-population by posing inflammatory and irrelevant questions as if those questions were thoughtful, legitimate, and pertinent?

I’m not interested in persecuting anyone.  Just because I disagree with someone and don’t want God’s definition of marriage to be replaced by one designed to accommodate sinful man, doesn’t mean I hate, or want to persecute anyone.

22. Should there be an age requirement in this country for obtaining a marriage license? Do you think it’s acceptable to foster the persecution of an innocent sub-population by posing inflammatory and irrelevant questions as if those questions were thoughtful, legitimate, and pertinent?

Again, see number 21.  And please, answer the legitimate question.  Where does this lead.  I mean, you liberals are notorious for raising the “slippery slope” argument when it comes to issues like partial birth abortion. . .

23. Does equality entail that anyone wanting to be married should be able to have any meaningful relationship defined as marriage? Do you think it’s acceptable to foster the persecution of an innocent sub-population by posing inflammatory and irrelevant questions as if those questions were thoughtful, legitimate, and pertinent?

So I see you don’t have any intelligent answers so you just keep repeating your unfounded question.  Is that about right?  For the third time, I’m not interested in persecuting anyone—UNLIKE THE LEFT, WHO IS NOT CONTENT TO LIVE AND LET LIVE BUT INSISTS ON IMPOSING, THROUGH THE FORCE OF LAW, THEIR VIEWS ON PEOPLE OF FAITH.

24. If not, why not? If so, why?

Since you didn’t answer the question, your response is meaningless.  It’s a legitimate question—Where do you draw the line, if not with a plain, historical, traditional, Biblical definition of marriage?  What, in your mind, constitutes a “marriage,” and what does not, and on what basis, if you reject the historically acceptable definition?

25. Should your brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with homosexual practice be allowed to exercise their religious beliefs without fear of punishment, retribution, or coercion? Is it ever okay for anyone to teach and preach that innocent people are abominable offenses to God?

Innocent?  Romans 3: 10, 23.  Have you read the Bible?  I get it that you don’t believe it.  But you identify yourself as a Christian. 

Oh, wait a minute.  I guess that’s like Bruce/Caitlyn identifying as whatever he/she feels like. . . OK. I’m catching on now. 

For the record, just so you’ll understand my world, and my use of language:  Words mean things.  We don't have the right to "identify" as whatever we want to.  For instance, in my world, “Marriage” is a lifelong relationship between a man and a woman.  A “Christian” is one who is a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ.  That's the biblical definition, regardless of how people may choose to "identify" themselves.  As such, it means that Jesus is Lord.  That means what I think or feel doesn’t really matter, because I submit to His authority.  He is the boss of my life, and although I admit that I most certainly fail Him almost constantly, I seek and strive to obey Him and defer to Him and His authority in all things.

26. Will you speak up for your fellow Christians when their jobs, their accreditation, their reputation, and their freedoms are threatened because of this issue? Will you speak up for your fellow citizens when their jobs, their accreditation, their reputation, and their freedoms are threatened because of this issue?

Sure.  I will, and I have.  I have no problem with anyone's individual civil Constitutional rights.  Just not “special rights.” 

(By the way, no one has been denying homosexuals the right to "get married."  They choose, instead to enter into a same-sex relationship, which is by definition, NOT a marriage.  And there's no discrimination against anyone.  Two gay men cannot be married, any more than two straight men can.  The Law applies to all, equally).  For the record, I don't care what two men or two women, or a man and his horse, or a woman and her cat choose to do in private.  Just don't ask me to participate in something I believe to be sinful and offensive.  I'll make them a deal--I won't require them, by force of Law, to listen to my sermons or to tithe or to participate in Christian ministries that they don't believe in.  Live and let live.  But "MARRIAGE" is already defined by God, as a relationship between a man and a woman.  Sorry.
 

27. Will you speak out against shaming and bullying of all kinds, whether against gays and lesbians or against Evangelicals and Catholics? Will you speak out against the shaming and bullying that most often occurs in our schools and on our playgrounds?

Sure.  But again, “bullying” means something.  Disagreeing with a person’s lifestyle based on legitimately held religious conviction does not constitute “bullying.” 
By the way, you didn’t answer the question (like I  just did).  You’ve been doing that a lot.  What is your answer?  It was a simple yes or no question. 

28. Since the evangelical church has often failed to take unbiblical divorces and other sexual sins seriously, what steps will you take to ensure that gay marriages are healthy and accord with Scriptural principles? Since the evangelical church has often failed to take unbiblical divorces and other sins seriously, what steps will you take to ensure that the members of your church aren’t hypocritical bigots?

I try very hard not to be a hypocrite.  But by the way, I find many on the left more frequently to be hypocritical, especially with regard to their misuse of the term “bigot.”  (See number 18).

29. Should gay couples in open relationships be subject to church discipline? Should anyone in any relationship be subject to anything as immaturely draconian as “church discipline”?

Well, yes, I believe all Christian church members should be subject to church discipline.  And I don’t know why you call it “draconian.”  There is nothing “draconian” about Scriptural church discipline.  It is rooted and based in love, and a desire to forgive and restore those who are overcome by sin.  I don’t know what Bible you are reading or what church you’ve been attending.  Do you understand the meaning of the word “draconian?”  Oh yeah, definitions again. . .

30. Is it a sin for LGBT persons to engage in sexual activity outside of marriage? Do you really not understand that it’s impossible to judge the sinfulness of any sexual intercourse without first establishing the emotional context of that intercourse? Do you fail to grasp the moral difference between loving consensual sexual relations and, say, rape?

No, and no.  I believe ANY sexual involvement outside of marriage (and remember, I accept the Bible’s definition of marriage) to be contrary to God’s purpose and will, and therefore, “sinful.”

31. What will open and affirming churches do to speak prophetically against divorce, fornication, pornography, and adultery wherever they are found? What will closed and condemning churches do to stop themselves from the ego-delusion that they’re “prophetic,” and then from rotting into oblivion?

I think the role of the church is to be prophetic.  What’s your objection to this?  Again, 2 Timothy 4: 1-2.  Especially notice the context  (vv 3-4).

32. If “love wins,” how would you define love? If “hate wins,” how would you define hate?

Again, you didn’t answer the question.  Who said anything about hate?  Hate never wins.

33. What verses would you use to establish that definition? What verses would you use to establish that definition?

John 3: 16,  13: 34,  Romans 5: 8, 1 Corinthians 13,  John 15: 9-13 (again, CONTEXT!),  1 John 4: 7-21,  Proverbs 27: 6—I don’t see anything that says love means telling people only what they want to hear, or approving whatever they choose to do.  What’s your point?

34. How should obedience to God’s commands shape our understanding of love? How should obedience to God’s commands shape our understanding of love?

John 14: 15, 15: 10,  1 John 5: 2-3

35. Do you believe it is possible to love someone and disagree with important decisions they make? Do you believe it’s possible to sound profound while asking questions a four-year-old could answer?

Are you as smart as a four-year-old, because you didn’t answer the question. 

36. If supporting gay marriage is a change for you, has anything else changed in your understanding of faith? If condemning gay marriage is a change for you, has anything else changed in your understanding of faith? Or have you always believed exactly as you were taught to believe?

I believe now, and have always believed, for as long as I can remember, that homosexuality is  condemned by any normal and rational reading of the Scriptures.  I believe the Scriptures are inspired by God, and they are the very words of God.  My position has not changed.

37. As an evangelical, how has your support for gay marriage helped you become more passionate about traditional evangelical distinctives like a focus on being born again, the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross, the total trustworthiness of the Bible, and the urgent need to evangelize the lost? As an evangelical, how has your condemnation of gay marriage helped you better understand any of those things?

Romans 3: 23, 6: 23, 5: 8, 10: 13, 1: 16.  (But by the way, I don’t “condemn” gays, I pray for them and try to persuade them to repent and follow Christ.  Nor do I “condemn” “gay marriage.”  I don’t believe there is any such thing.  Marriage is between a man and a woman.  Period.  I admonish people in homosexual realtionships to repent, just as I admonish heterosexuals who are “shacking up” or fornicating to repent.  Sin is sin.)

38. What open and affirming churches would you point to where people are being converted to orthodox Christianity, sinners are being warned of judgment and called to repentance, and missionaries are being sent out to plant churches among unreached peoples? What closed and condemning churches would you point to where people of every stripe feel unquestionably welcomed, where nobody is shamed, persecuted, and condemned for being inherently sinful, and whose leaders aren’t deeply concerned about how much money they’re making or how much power they wield over others?

I think my church is like that.  We try to be.  I’m the only paid leader and I sure don’t make a lot of money.  I don’t want to wield any power (Mark 10: 42-45).  We don’t condemn people, although we do acknowledge that ALL are inherently sinful and need Christ (Romans 3: 23).  We care deeply for people, and do not see them as any worse sinners that we are, ourselves.  In fact, I know a lot of churches like that, and only a few like you describe, although I don’t deny that there are quite a few, sadly.

39. Do you hope to be more committed to the church, more committed to Christ, and more committed to the Scriptures in the years ahead? Do you hope to be more committed to the church, more committed to Christ, and more committed to the Scriptures in the years ahead? And, if so, when do you think you might publicly proclaim that you’ve finally understood that it’s no sin to be gay?

I don’t see that happening, and I don’t see anything in your link that supports that position.  It’s more obfuscation, and dodging the plain teaching of Scripture.  You are entitled to your opinion, but I do not regard it to be on the same level as God’s inspired Word. 

By the way, for the record, I completely believe all of the Scriptures you cite.  They fit very well with my view.  I don’t believe they have any bearing on my understanding that homosexuality is, in fact, a sin, and an “abomination.”  I don’t see it as worse than any other sin, but it is, nevertheless, a sin.  I wonder however, how the verses that do proclaim it to be a sin (Leviticus 18: 22, Romans 1: 26-27, for instance) fit into your position.

And by the way, you seem to be contradicting yourself, in that you state “A fundamental tenet of Christianity is that we are all born sinners,  that we have no choice but to exist in relationship to our sinful natures.” and yet, in question  25, above, you seem to contradict this. 

40. When Paul at the end of Romans 1 rebukes “those who practice such things” and those who “give approval to those who practice them,” what sins do you think he has in mind? Why do you think it’s of such vital importance to you personally to establish or “prove” that in those passages Paul had in mind gay people today?

I think it’s pretty self-evident in vv. 26-27.   Again, you didn’t answer the question.

In conclusion:  Proverbs 26: 4-5  Do not answer a fool according to his folly, Lest you also be like him. 5 Answer a fool according to his folly, Lest he be wise in his own eyes.