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My View On LGBTI Rights – An Article in KaleidoScot

This one should set the cat amongst the pigeons!

Recently an article appeared in a gay magazine which was critical of my nomination as moderator-designate. I challenged it and asked for the right of reply. To the credit of the editor, Dan Littauer, I was given it. So here is my first (and hopefully not last) article in a gay magazine.


The original article is here – http://www.kaleidoscot.com/anti-gay-minister-named-free-church-moderator-1496


  1. I agree with you David about us not demonising each other.

    In that light may I commend both you and Peter Tatchell for how you debated this sensitive issue on Revelation TV.

    Different views were expressed, he that you were discriminative, you that SSM is not marriage and that should you be faced with the possibility of prison for not marrying same sex couples, Tatchell would as a human rights activist campaign on your behalf.

    At the end of the programme you passed him your “magnificent Obsession” book and he said he would read it if I recall correctly. Of course Christ is welcoming to all who act equally in God’s kingdom and in that there is the promise of Christ that he came so you may have life in it’s fullness.

    I don’t doubt that the LGBTI are as passionate about claiming marriage equality as you are about SSM is not being marriage. I doubt if there will be any agreement on this soon.

    “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Rom 12:18)

  2. My problem with your view on marriage equality depends on how you insist on establishing/maintaining the Biblical definition of marriage in society. Within the Church, I fully agree that we should insist on the Biblical definition. But in society, it becomes a different issue because it includes people of different religious views, remembering that atheism is a religious view. If we oppose marriage equality in society by seeking legislation because of the Biblical definition, then, in the end, we are seeking a privileged place in society for Christianity. I fully disagree with seeking such a position for Christianity and thus my conditional disagreement here includes marriage equality but includes broader issues as well.

    Concerning LGBT rights, we cannot legitimately claim that homosexuals are equal to heterosexuals in society without marriage equality. Do I think people in society should participate in same-sex marriage? The scriptures say no. Do I think that homosexuals should have the right to participate in same-sex marriage? I don;t see the Scriptures saying no.

    What I am looking for is a hybrid of 2K theology with neoCalvinist transformationism. What I like about the 2K position despite the inconsistencies in how its followers carry it out, is that Christians participate in society as equal collaborators with nonChristians. What I like about neoCalvinist transformationism is that Christians are to speak out about social issues as Christians and the Church does the same as the Church. So my approach is to combine those two strengths of the two different approaches.

    What I think I see in your position is an eventual call to Christian Paternalism over the marriage equality issue. Correct me if I am wrong but, historically speaking, isn’t paternalism a siren call to the well-intentioned which leads to eventual self-destruction on the rocks of domination?

    1. Curt – that is pretty confused….you think Gods law is only for Christians? Is it ok for non-Christians to steal? lie? Marriage is not just for the church – it is for all. And like in most things – its better to follow the Makers instructions….it would be callous and cold just to allow society to be destroyed as long as we could stay in our own wee enclave…

      1. David,
        It isn’t confused at all if we believe in the separation of Church and state or if we had the NT view of society as demonstrated by both Jesus and Paul when they were talking about Church discipline. The issue here isn’t whether God’s laws are for the Christian only; the issue is whether certain laws should be preached through evangelism only or legislated as well.

      2. Gods laws are for all humanity. They are the basis on which we will be judged. The kind of pietistic individualism which says Gods laws are only for me and for those who are Christians like me is one of the worst aspects of modern Christianity. The absolutising of the State is another. I think it does matter if people starve, are oppressed and break Gods laws in many other ways…

      3. The tricky thing is to encourage the biblical position for all society without unconscious cultural/historical bias. To treat as equally unacceptable the other types of non-godly “marriage” which the church as much as anyone has condoned over the years. And to do all this without spending all time and energy on the negative in a world where so many are desperate for true hope.

      4. Hi David
        You replied to Curt that God’s laws are for all humanity. Could help explain how that fits with certain laws being relevant for Jewish Christians and not applicable to Gentile Christians, such as in Acts 15: 22-29?
        This is not an attack, but a genuine question, as it seems to me that in many situations we need discernment as to which “laws” are applicable in certain situations. There are also certain principles that relate to individual conscience, which are not black and white.
        I’d be interested to know your views on this.

      5. David,
        God’s Laws are for everybody and so is the Gospel. And yet, just as we don’t require belief in the Gospel through legislation, we are not called to require adherence to all of God’s laws through legislatoin. We don’t see Jesus and Paul having this view of society when they talk about church discipline. So why should we?

        To the nonChristian, such reasoning is seen as a rationale for Christians to seek a privileged position in society in determining how society will function. This will seem inconsistent with any law or declaration that proclaims belief in the freedom of religion or in equality. And such will produce unnecessary pushback where the preaching of the Gospel itself will become a victim of collateral damage.

        At this point, we Christians need to ask ourselves whether we seek to live in society imitating Jesus’ first or second coming. In His first coming, he comes as a suffering servant and He comes as a ruling King who brings rewards and punishments in His second coming. What does the New Testament tell us to do?

        Pigeonholing responses as being pietistic individualism because those responses don’t seek a privileged status for one’s own religious persuasion is wrong. When we preach the Gospel, don’t we preach that both the law and our salvation applies to everyone? And isn’t it possible for people to believe both that God’s laws applies to everyone and that they don’t have the right to force people to obey some of those laws? And what about those who don’t believe in forcing nonChristians to obey certain laws involving personal morality while working for certain social justice issues because they believe that some of God’s other laws should be part of the law of the land?

        After stating that I seek a hybrid between 2K and transformationist theology, why would you say my position is pietistic individualism? Why is trying to exist in society as an equal member to nonChristians looked down on?

      6. I think that it is wrong to be racist, starve the poor or encourage prostitution for everyone – not just for the church. Thats not seeking privilege – thats seeking justice. Redefining marriage for everyone will destroy marriage and society – you want us just to sit silent and watch that happen – secure in our own wee churches?!

  3. Hi David,
    You claim that you are not anti-lgbti rights, but you support marriage discrimination on the basis of gender. This discrimination means you most definitely ARE anti-lgbti rights.
    You are a bigot, there is no way to sugar coat it.
    Linear C

      1. Hi David,
        Are you saying discrimination is ok because of the dictionary? That’s absurd. Ending discrimination is far more important that a couple of lines in the OED, wouldn’t you say?
        Here is the shaming fact; you support marriage discrimination based on gender. That’s disgraceful, and yes, you are a bigot.
        Linear C

      2. Linear…are you saying that discrimination is ok based on sexual preference (for those who prefer multiple partners?)….if not then you are for polygamy. Are you saying that discrimination is ok based on relationship..if not then you are happy with incestous marriages. Are you saying that discrimination is ok based on age? If not then you are arguing for paedophilia…the bottom line is that everyone ‘discriminates’. We all have moral lines which we draw….the question is where do we draw them? For you to say my lines are the self evidently right ones, but everyone else is discriminatory – is illogical, fundamentalist and itself one of the worst forms of discrimination….!

      3. Hi David,

        Let me make this very simple for you. I’m saying discrimination is wrong. Full stop. Unfortunately you can’t say the same, which is why you are a bigot.

        Your only defence is to misuse the word discrimination. You even admit this yourself by using scare quotes in your reply. I’m not talking about ‘discrimination’, I’m talking about discrimination. The rules on polygamy, incest and paedophilia are not discriminatory because they ARE THE SAME FOR EVERYONE. There are no exceptions based on race, religion or sex.

        And I can illustrate the stupidity of your argument by using one of your own examples; Are you saying that discrimination is ok based on age? If not then you are arguing for feeding alcohol to toddlers, or letting 10 year old boys drive sports cars. See how idiotic your argument is? These rules aren’t discrimination, they are limits that apply to ALL OF US.

        Discrimination is when women are denied the same pay for the same job as a man; when Catholics are excluded from consideration for employment, when B&B owners hang signs in the window that state ‘no blacks’ or ‘no gays’, or even the bigoted atheist B&B owner who hangs a sign that states ‘no Christians’ …..

        Get it now?

        Linear C

      4. Linear – I’m glad that you think discrimination is wrong….that you think it is wrong to discriminate against Christian parents by not allowing them to have Christian schools, that it is wrong to discriminate against polygamists in marriage etc. I love they way that you say that they are limits that apply to all of us – indeed….as is the rule that marriage is between a man and a woman – it applies to all of us. The trouble you have is that you do not realise just how discriminatory you are. And you have no basis for your discrimination!

      5. David,
        I’m disgusted that you DON’T think discrimination is wrong.
        And yes, it is wrong to discriminate against Christians!!! As it is wrong to discriminate against Jews. Or blacks. Or women. Why do you find this so hard to understand? Is it simply bigotry on your part?
        Let me point out your mistake, once again. Your rule on marriage does NOT apply equally to all of us because it discriminates on the basis of gender. Not ALL couples can get married, simply because one of the partners is the ‘wrong’ sex.
        I’m arguing against ALL discrimination, including discrimination against Christians. But you don’t want to her this, because you are desperate to justify your prejudice and your bigotry. You know that your position is indefensible, your only response is to whine that ‘you are doing it too!’. But I’m not, as I have clearly explained. You should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself that you would actually argue FOR discrimination.

        Linear C

    1. Linear, it is interesting that you regard David’s comments as discriminative. It certainly would be an issue if he is being so as you claim. If evidence were provided of considering SSM to not be the same as heterosexual marriage, and weird, then would you perceive such views to be discriminative and biggoted?

  4. Hi David

    I actually quite liked your reply. I wish more conservative Christians would take the time to affirm that they are genuinely NOT homophobic. I actually believe this is true about many conservative Christians. However, I do also think there are many who really do hold homophobic views and wear the mantle of “the Bible says” to justify how they feel, rather than the genuine reader of the Bible who comes to a conclusion that certain behaviours are not permitted, which to me is a position of integrity I admire.

    I and a growing number of Chistians don’t come to the same conservative conclusions when praying about this issue and prayerfully studying the Bible, which leads us to different beliefs about issues such as relationships and marriage based on that same integrity of faith and action.

    Your article for me set no cat among any pigeons as I felt for the most part it was a fair representation of your views (I don’t think I agree that there is a strategic trojan horse, even if there might indeed be cultural moves towards other things – I’m not sure human behaviour is always so tactical and strategic as we might like to believe).

    God bless

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