Standard Christian View About Sex is Actually Creating Controversy: “Major Ministry Will Fire Employees Who Don’t Believe That Sex Is Only For Married Straight Couples”
(I have edited this post a few times to add additional thoughts – there is also a December 2016 update below in regards to the left wing BuzzFeed and ‘Stuff Christian Culture Likes’ witch hunt story about HGTV hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines)
Among some progressive Christians or progressive Christian groups, this news story was quite the controversy about a week ago when it was first published.
I read in another news source that IV (InterVarsity) says that their position on these issues has been misunderstood.
I have some more comments to make under the excerpts here:
A Christian organization that leads student religious groups on more than 600 college campuses will fire any of its 1,300 employees who say they do not agree with the organization’s theological interpretation on sex: that it is only appropriate within a heterosexual marriage.
That means that any InterVarsity Christian Fellowship employees who believe that churches should perform gay weddings, who endorse sex before marriage, who condone pornography or who hold any number of other beliefs might be included in what the evangelical organization calls “involuntary termination.”
Coming from a major evangelical institution, the policy revives debate about how churches should handle questions of sexuality and who can define themselves as evangelicals.
In an interview with The Washington Post on Friday, the ministry’s vice president Greg Jao said that since InterVarsity employees teach college students about biblical views, it is imperative that they share the same beliefs. Four or five people have been fired so far, and he expects more to follow in the next month.
…Founded in 1941, InterVarsity has long been an important institution that influences evangelical teaching across the country.
The process of spelling out the ministry’s beliefs and insisting that employees subscribe to them began five years ago, with a set of focus groups for students, Jao said. The most common request from students was more resources about what they should think about homosexuality.
InterVarsity wrote up a guide, then decided to expand it to cover other subjects relating to sexuality. The result was a 20-page document meant for employees, not for students. It was circulated to staff in February of last year, Jao said.
….Responding to the Time article, the organization said on Twitter that employees can hold whatever views they’d like on civil marriage; the new document only forbids them from believing the church should marry gay couples.
“We lament that LGBTQI people have experienced great pain, including much caused by Christians,” the group tweeted. “We believe Christlikeness includes embracing scripture’s teachings on human sexuality — uncomfortable and difficult as they may be.”
Jao noted that the policy applies only to employees, and all students should be welcomed in InterVarsity’s campus activities.
…He added, “I suspect all of us, if we could selectively change scripture on these issues, we would gleefully do so.”
Theological questions on human sexuality have divided evangelicals for years, with leaders arguing about what stance they should take and how much to emphasize the issue.
It sounds to me that IV are adhering to some fairly standard, biblical attitudes about sex, but some liberal Christians or ex-Christian groups (such as the folks at the Facebook group (Link): Stuff Christian Culture Likes, see their thread of comments about it) threw a fit over it, terming it “homo-phobic” and so forth, in that thread-
Or possibly another one (such as (Link): this SCCL thread, where the lady who runs the group deems IV “bigots” over their homosexual marriage stance – note the only concern is with homosexual marriage; I don’t recall that post or most of the commentators saying anything about IV being against hetero-sexual pre-marital sex or pornography).
You’ll note that this article states the IV is not concerned only about their employees advocating or defending homosexual behavior but also supporting pornography or hetero-sexual fornication.
I’m pretty sure that the Jesus of the Bible would have supported IV’s position on these issues (at least the principle behind it, if not implementation; on implementation, he might be in disagreement), so I’ve no idea why progressive Christians or ex-Christians demonize IV or these view points.
Jesus Christ affirmed one-woman, one-man marriage in comments such as:
4 Jesus answered, “Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’
5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?…
—[end biblical excerpt]—
The rest of the New Testament, written by the Holy Spirit through men (and Jesus would not be in disagreement with the third person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit), explains more parameters of sexual behavior, such as:
—[end biblical excerpt]—
I’m just not seeing any support in the Old or New Testament for consensual homosexual sexual behavior, heterosexual pre-marital sex, adultery, or many other forms of sexual expression.
I don’t see the Bible as permitting an “anything goes” type mentality about sexual behavior – which is, what seems to me, what liberals and ex-Christians wish is the position the Bible took.
I wonder, if you ask most of the ex-Christians and progressive Christians who rail against “purity culture,” “slut shaming,” or Christian bakers who don’t want to bake cakes for homosexual weddings, if they support child molestation or bestiality (human-animal sexual relations), how would they respond?
I would assume most of them would say they find child molestation and bestiality abhorrent, immoral, evil, and/or un-natural – I wonder on what grounds do they base those moral decisions and judgments?
On their own opinions? On what the majority of Americans say (i.e., cultural norms)? Upon what are those cultural norms based, what worldviews or assumptions?
There are organizations out there, such as “NAMBLA” whose adult members argue there is nothing wrong with adult-child sexual relations, and it should be legal.
And some of these groups, including the ones who support bestiality, have arguments in place against the (Link): “but what about consent” concern.
Meaning, if you’re a progressive Christian or ex-Christian, the “well, consent has to be involved” argumentation does not fully work across the board.
The “consent” portion of the argument that sexual hedonists, liberals, and others like to use, cannot or does not address all sexual acts most of us would agree are wrong or evil.
Anyway. I just don’t see the Bible being peachy-keen with any and all sorts of human sexual acts, where the God of the Bible says something like,
“You know what? I’m a-okay with you deciding for yourself how, when, and with whom (or with what) you want to have sex. I have no opinions on sex at all. So do whatever, it’s all good.”
I just don’t see that. I don’t see a total absence of sexual ethics in the Bible, where God leaves people clueless about what his standards are in that area.
I think the people at IV are looking at the Bible and noting it does place some strictures on sexual behavior, and all they are doing, as many Christians have done for hundreds of years, is live by that, or uphold it.
Therefore, why would Christians doing so come as such a shock or surprise to liberal Christians or Non-Christians?
Would you really expect Christians to adopt the sexual views of, say, for instance, ISIS Muslims, who believe it’s acceptable to rape little girls? Well, no, because Christians have a different worldview and set of religious views and books they base their beliefs on.
(Aside: I do believe that some errant, false teachings among some Christians, such as “gender complementarianism,” can or does resemble Islamic or Mormon teaching about sex, gender, and marriage – I’ve blogged on that before).
As to Christianity, when understood properly, not being in alignment with Islamic views on rape, sex, marriage, and women: See:
(Link, off site): Girls Who Escaped ISIS Describe Systematic Rape
(Link, off site): ISIS to Yazidi Girls: ‘Once We Rape You, You Will Be Muslim’
(Link, off site): Islam’s Sex Licenses
Temporary “pleasure marriages” offer unwed Muslims a way around the Islamic rule against premarital sex.
As a matter of fact, I am more surprised by the Christians today, even the conservative ones, who argue that sexual purity, virginity, and celibacy do not matter. (And I have written many blog posts about that topic before, such as (Link): this one.)
Many more Christians today are too lax about sexual sin and do not defend virginity or celibacy. Such Christians are going against what God has said on these topics in the Bible.
___Dec 2016 update. BUZZFEED v. Chip and Joanna Gaines & Stuff Christian Culture Likes Facebook Group__
A few days ago, left wing site BuzzFeed ran a story where they were on a witch hunt over HGTV hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines, who are apparently Christians and who attend a church in which their preacher has spoken out against homosexual behavior or homosexual marriage in some of his sermons.
It would appear that Liberals – such as the ones at the Buzz Feed site – are on a war path to harass anyone who does not publicly support homosexuality, or who may privately disagree with it, and get such people fired from their jobs. This time, the Gaines couple was their target.
The Christian satire site Babylon Bee ran a parody of this whole situation here:
That parody page at Babylon Bee seems to essentially make the same point I am making here on my non-parody blog post: that many to most Christians are opposed to certain types of sexual sin, whether it’s hetero pre-marital sex or homosexual behavior, should not come as a shock to liberals, but it does.
Many liberals, both secular and Christian ones, continue to clutch their pearls in horror, amazement, anger, or shock that there are “actually” Christians these days who are opposed to things such as hetero fornication or homosexual sexual behavior.
Case in point: the left wing lady at Stuff Christian Culture Likes Facebook group posted this:
Here is a second link at Stuff Christian Culture Likes Facebook group about it, where Drury (who maintains the group) prefaces the link by saying,
“Cue bemoaning persecution.”
Further, in the comments of this thread, Drury is arguing with someone that homosexuals are being “denied equal rights” (by the Gaines, presumably), and she is actually comparing folks who disagree with homosexual behavior (or marriage) with white supremacists:
(Link): Second SCCL FB Group Post
I sometimes agree with the lady who runs SCCL (her name is Stephanie Drury), and I even occasionally Tweet her headlines I think she may want to share on Twitter or her FB group, but this is one of those areas where I disagree and roll my eyes when she acts angry or disappointed.
I think the Babylon Bee is right on the money in regards to that post – at least going by its headline; I’ve not read the post itself at this point.
Why would liberals continue to act angered or shocked to discover that many Christians adhere to views about sexual behavior that they’ve held for centuries?
I also note that while liberals claim to be tolerant, they are actually quite INTOLERANT towards any one who does not share their convictions, to the point of trying to get their opposition hounded on social media or fired from their jobs.
As of the date I am editing this post (Dec. 2, 2016), I’ve not yet seen a news article confirm how the Gaines feel about homosexual behavior or homosexual marriage.
Supposing that the Gaines are against one or both – SO THE FRICK WHAT?
Where is your proof or example that the Gaines couple intentionally denied service to homosexuals precisely for being homosexual?
By the way, are you liberal guys out there fine and dandy with dress designers refusing to style Melania Trump due to who her spouse is, and that due in turn to the guy being a Republican (Republicans being “an entire group of people”)?
…Friday, fashion designer Sophie Theallet, who has dressed the current first lady Michelle Obama, offered a preemptive refusal to hypothetically dress the next first lady, Melania Trump…
Then there are news stories such as:
by Jim Geraghty
…If this social-media-mob-stirring, guilt-by-association, drive-out-the-heretics philosophy is how the game is going to be played now…
I’d like the folks at BuzzFeed to turn their attention to Imam Makram El-Amin, leader of Masjid Al-Nur mosque in Minneapolis.
…“Our religion [Islam] is clear about this matter. It’s not a lifestyle that we accept as being part of the natural way of things for human beings. When it comes to that, that’s my position, and that’s Islam’s position. And this incident as tragic and terrible as it is that does not change that,” he [Imam Makram El-Amin, leader of Masjid Al-Nur in Minneapolis] said.
— (end quote by Imam) —
Lest you think that was an off-the-cuff, one-time comment from the imam…
The Qur’an is “pretty explicit in the fact that it is saying that this is not a lifestyle, or life choice, that is recognized as legitimate for Muslims,” said Imam Makram El-Amin of Minneapolis’s Masjid An-Nur. “It is not recognized as being what God intended for humans in terms of their relationships with one another.”
— (end quote by Imam) —
You know who worships at the Masjid Al-Nur in Minneapolis, right? Congressman Keith Ellison, now considered a leading candidate to be the next chairman of the Democratic National Committee.
— (end article excerpt)—
This is the U.S.A. Just like you extremist liberal nuts have the right to burn the American flag in your whiny, cry baby protests over Trump winning the 2016 Presidential election (which you’ve been doing for a week or more now – and I am not a Trump supporter, by the way), other Americans have a right to disagree with homosexual marriage or behavior if they so choose.
Stop harassing, or getting your underwear in a knot, over people who hold opposing views from you in regards to homosexuality.
Yes, the Gaines couple is in fact being “persecuted” by the Gay-stapo (Gay-stapo being a label I use only in regards to extremist homosexuals, not all homosexuals), straight liberal supporters of the Gay-stapo, and Buzz Feed, contra Drury or other progressives. Don’t like the word “persecuted” – how about “bullied” and “harassed”? “Tarred and feathered”?
The Gaines couple didn’t do anything wrong. They are guilty of being a Christian couple who hosts a TV show, near as I can tell.
LIBERALS WANT TO CLAIM PERSECUTION STATUS FOR LGBT
The Buzz Feed writer is on a quest to create controversy and stir up trouble where none exists, so all the LGBT supporters out there, such as Drury, can claim that homosexuals are being “persecuted” in the U.S.A or being denied their equal rights (cite example of that, please), which I don’t buy at all.
I find it hypocritical that liberals leer at Christians who claim Christians are being persecuted (or “picked on”) in the United States for being Christian, but then they turn right around every other day on their websites to complain that liberal pet groups, such as LGBT, are being “persecuted” by Republicans, Christians, or whomever else.
Pause here to reflect that the worst that may happen in the USA to a homosexual is that a Christian couple who owns a bakery may feel uncomfortable baking a cake for a homosexual wedding, where-as, in areas of the Middle East, Islamist-based ISIS throws homosexuals to their deaths from rooftops for being homosexual.
Which is true persecution: having problems getting a wedding cake baked by a person with religious convictions that don’t coincide with homosexuality, or being thrown to one’s death from a roof for being homosexual?
And why are some homosexual couples so darn insistent that their wedding cake be baked by a Christian, rather than say, an atheist baker, or another homosexual baker? How about trying a Muslim baker? Why do these guys seem to seek out Christian bakers?
Up to this point, all the media coverage I have seen states that the Gaines couple has not been public with their views on homosexuality. The Buzz Feed writer is just assuming she knows what their position is based upon the Gaines church membership or religion affiliation.
But again, let’s suppose that the couple is in fact opposed to homosexual marriage – that is their right to feel that way.
As far as I can tell, no body’s “equal rights” are being neglected by this couple, if they hold to a view that homosexual marriage or homosexual behavior is sinful. I’ve not even read of them refusing to do construction or renovation work for homosexual couples due to homosexuality, so who cares? Stop creating enemies where there are none.
LGBT supporters get worked into a lather over the fact that some people hold a private view that homosexuality is a sin. That some people may feel differently about homosexual marriage or sexual acts is nothing for them to be bullied about or hounded online about, so please get off your high horse and soap box.
Liberals tend to be blind to their own biases, or they put some people higher up the Liberal Identity Political Pyramid than other groups and don’t seem to notice this or to care – homosexuals always take precedence over straight Christians.
There is a headline below that reads:
“Chip, Joanna Gaines’ pastor says their church is not anti-gay”
Please note: in Left Wing Wacko World, merely disagreeing with liberals on anything in their view makes you “anti- [whatever].”
In other words, even if you hold a perfectly reasonable position that, say, you feel homosexuality is unnatural, sinful, or immoral but you are never-the-less willing to “live and let live” with homosexuals, the left wing will still insist you are “anti gay.” You’re not physically assaulting homosexuals for being homosexual, not being rude or nasty towards them, but just adhering to a different perspective – but that is enough for liberals to demonize a person.
That is how warped and intolerant a lot of liberals are on topics like this – they do not allow for honest disagreement.
Many left wingers tend to chalk up difference of opinion to malevolent motivations towards the one who is disagreeing with them.
This sort of behavior – demonizing Christians who don’t agree with homosexuality – is one of the very things that kills the liberal or homosexual cause. If you’re a liberal or homosexual who thinks this harassment of folks over this sort of thing is admirable or acceptable, you’re actually turning people off by doing this sort of thing.
More links about this HGTV – Gaines controversy:
Nearly four out of 10 Americans oppose same-sex marriage, according to a 2016 Pew poll.
To Ambrosino, that reality reveals something sinister about Arthur’s seeming intentions. “Is the suggestion here that 40 percent of Americans are unemployable because of their religious convictions on marriage?” he questioned.
“BuzzFeed is probably at the forefront of discussions surrounding diversity in entertainment. Do their reporters think diversity refers only to skin color? Does ideological diversity count for nothing, especially when it is representative of, again, a sizable chunk of the American public?”
(Link): BuzzFeed should have never published report on Christian HGTV hosts by T B Adams
Casually labeling too many as racist, sexist bigots— sometimes for good reason, other times not so much—had something to do with Trump’s election in the first place.
I do not agree with all views expressed in this piece, but it makes a few good criticisms of the left wing approach:
(Link): BuzzFeed’s hit piece on Chip and Joanna Gaines is dangerous (written by a homosexual guy who is apparently a left winger):
Dec 1, 2016
A 2016 survey from Pew Research Center shows public support of same-sex marriage is at an all-time high of 55 percent — and it is steadily growing. But the same polls tell us that nearly 4 out of 10 Americans — no small number! — are not on board with it.
The minds at BuzzFeed are not naive: They know that the Gaineses and HGTV are going to have to come out with a public statement on same-sex marriage. They also know that if the statement is not 100 percent supportive of same-sex marriage, the network will be pressured to drop them.
Think about that for a moment. Is the suggestion here that 40 percent of Americans are unemployable because of their religious convictions on marriage? That the companies that employ them deserve to be boycotted until they yield to the other side of the debate — a side, we should note, that is only slightly larger than the one being shouted down?
Or maybe the suggestion is that, because they are public figures, they need to be held to a higher standard, one that does not allow them room for moral and religious convictions? But that doesn’t make sense, either.
BuzzFeed is probably at the forefront of discussions surrounding diversity in entertainment. But do their reporters think diversity refers only to skin color?
…Another concern I have with the story is that it validates everything that President-elect Donald Trump’s supporters have been saying about the media: that some journalists — specifically younger ones at popular digital publications — will tell stories in certain deceitful, manipulative ways to take down conservatives. (And really, I can’t for the life of me imagine any other intention of the Gaines story.)
…A few years ago, gay activists decided the best way to win arguments in favor of same-sex marriage was to shut up their opponents. All they had to do was lob a charge of homophobia and the argument was won.
Or they tweeted at the companies that employed the “homophobes” until they were fired.
Conservatives were bullied on social media and mocked for being ass-backward (and indeed, some of them were and are). But they were never taken seriously.
..The old strategy of journalists shaming “hicks” is not going to work anymore because our new president [Trump] seems to be on their side.
NORTH CAROLINA, December 1, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Chip and Joanna Gaines of the popular HGTV show Fixer Upper are a “wonderful family” and “don’t hate anybody,” David and Jason Benham said in a video supporting them. The Gaines couple is under fire after a Buzzfeed report on their pastor’s belief that marriage is between a man and a woman wondered if Chip and Joanna believe the same thing.
The Benham brothers, who lost their HGTV show over their pro-life and pro-marriage beliefs, said the “bully mafia agenda” attacking the Gaines couple is trying to “bully this family into submission to force belief upon them.”
“Chip and Joanna are a wonderful family, and Chip and Joanna are believers in Jesus Christ,” said David Benham. “They’re not anti-anything. They’re pro-God. They’re pro-Bible. They’re pro-people. They’re pro-Jesus…what’s happening right now is a witch hunt.”
Ben Smith, the editor-in-chief of the activist liberal website Buzzfeed, is defending his outlet’s hit job on Chip and Joanna Gaines, the stars of the HGTV reality show “Fixer Upper,” over their pastor’s views on gay marriage and homosexuality.
Adding a bit of hypocrisy to the mix is the fact that Smith’s own father, Robert S. Smith, sided against gay marriage in 2006 when he served as a judge on the New York Court of Appeals.
BuzzFeed is Willfully Ignorant of Christian Teachings
…By all accounts, they’re [the Gaines couple is] lovely people. Oh, and they’re openly Christian.
So, naturally, Buzzfeed’s Kate Aurthur had to ask, “Are the Gaineses against gay marriage? And would they ever feature a same-sex couple on the show [as other HGTV stars have]?”
Chip and Joanna didn’t respond to Aurthur’s inquiries, so she doubled down, declaring that “in the absence of a response from them or their representatives, it’s worth looking at the severe, unmoving position Seibert and Antioch take on same-sex marriage.”
To a certain brand of secular leftist, all of this is just horrifying. It’s pure bigotry. It’s just as bad as racism. It marks you as a terrible person no matter any of your other qualities. Are you someone who has enriched and “revitalized” your community (as the Gaineses have)? Are you someone who treats people with kindness and compassion? Are you someone who possesses remarkable artistic talents? None of it matters if you’re guilty of wrongthink about sex.
…At the end of the day, I suppose, the Left believes there’s really only one relevant rule of sexual conduct: Don’t rape.
(Link): After Pastor’s Son Comes Out as Homosexual, Southern Baptist Church Breaks With Denomination on Homosexuality – Once More Christians Allow Their Feelings To Cancel Out What God Says In The Bible on Sexual Morality – Christians worship feelings now, not God