Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)
Huldra Forsvant (Theodor Kittelsen)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

I'm On the Right Track Baby, I Was Born This Way

When I hear things like what Kevin Rudd had to say on Q&A the other night, I am pretty prone to despair for the future of our society.  Inwardly I throw my hands up and angrily brood. Not a very constructive response.

So I'm thankful for my friend Nathan, who is always so helpful to me in setting out the argument clearly and rationally, and not being as blinded by emotions as I tend to be. Many times he's helped me put a finger on the reason why something has gotten to me but that I haven't been able to quite articulate. I vote for Nathan to go on Q&A!

Here's some of what he had to say in this post-

This is the first point at which KRudd’s position poses a significant threat to the Gospel. If there is no dilemma – if what is natural is good, if what is natural is created and “what ought to be” – then there is no human dilemma. If sin is not natural then there is no need for humans to be rescued by God. There is no need for God to send Jesus into the world. There is no need for Jesus to go to the cross to deliver us and to redeem our nature. There is no need for the Holy Spirit to work in us, as Paul says it does in Romans 8:29, to conform us into the image of God’s son..

..If slavery is a “natural condition” as Rudd says – then there should be no escape. And yet, here Paul calls those who are slaves to take their freedom if available. 

 The ability to change your state from bondage – your natural state or in this case literally being a slave – is a huge part of Paul’s understanding of the Gospel. Why should our sexuality be removed from this equation?


Anonymous said...

"The ability to change your state from bondage – your natural state or in this case literally being a slave – is a huge part of Paul’s understanding of the Gospel. Why should our sexuality be removed from this equation?"


Anonymous said...

Mr Rudd didn't say that Slavery was a natural condition. He said that the Bible states that. Quoting Paul as saying 'Slaves, be obedient to your masters'.
The convenient twisting and contorting of people's words to suit a purpose never ends!
your mate nathan should get into politics.

Ben McLaughlin said...

Let's not get personal about it, I think it's much more worthwhile to discuss our differing oppinions and reasoning without going down that track.

I don't really get what you found disgusting about the quote- can you elaborate?

It should be noted that the Bible never called slavery a natural condition. I think that was Aristotle. The Bible speaks about how to operate in a fallen world- which includes slavery.

Probably also worth remembering that Christianity played a very big role in the push to abolish slavery.

Anonymous said...

Mate, I find it disgusting that this discussion about homosexuality is even happening!!! C"MON!!
People need to come out from behind the skirt and use there common sense and open their bloody minds!
Its flamin ridiculous! So much self serving waffle, it blows my mind.
This hardline BS that is being touted as 'only way' is just plain ignorant.
Sit down with one of these disillusioned sinners. Look into his or her eyes and see the truth is apparent.
Quoting a book over and over and over in increasingly outdated text is no demonstration of anything but a sense of self adulation that stops when the sentences do.
NOONE is progressing in this never ending quest for eternal forgiveness it seems. I see no evidence of it.
We have accepted there was no Adam and Eve. When does the dark ages left behind for good and people are accepted for who they are, regardless? Fullstop.

I have a feeling this constant berating of sinners puts the holier than thou christians a little higher on their pedestals..
They obvioulsy need to be there?..

Ben McLaughlin said...

How are we going to deal with this when we are working together again in a couple of weeks, mate? With only a flimsy partition to seperate our battling keyboards! I jest.

Mate,I see two main things here in our disaggreement. A million tangents could be followed, but I think these two things are the bottom line here. First, the issue itself, and second, the way the issue is dealt with.

With the issue itself- which I suppose is whether or not homosexuality is to be seen as good and right, I think it is going to end up coming down to how you and I see the Bible. I see it as the inspired Word of God. I don't believe that it is faullty, or that there are mistakes in there. I think that this is the place where God reveals His will to us, and that it's alive and active, still as relevant today as it ever was. I can give my reasoning for that some time if you like. On the flipside, I gather that you see The Bible as outdated and flawed,with things that are to be progressed from. We are afterall very evolved now, so how can we still take word for word something that was written a couple of thousand years ago?

So, that in mind, we can discuss till we are red in the face this issue or that, and the 'rightness' of this view or that, but unless we are coming from the same place (ie, the Bible is either right, or wrong)then there will be an impasse that won't allow either of us to be persuaded from our view. which makes it a little pointless.

The second issue is HOW the thing is being dealt with. Here I think there is room for discussion and for persuasion. If you are critisising God's words, I'm not really going to be moved.. I think highly of you, but not that highly! But if you are going to criticise Christians, well, go ahead. we are very worthy of criticism. But don't right off Jesus because His followers are faulty.

I think it's a bit ironic the way you paint the Christian treatment of this gay marriage issue though. you are saying there shouldn't even be discussion. You are saying they are disgusting, and ignorant. That their motives are self adulation, and high horse sitting.

Wow, if ever there was judgement and condemnation layed out on a group, with all tarnished by the same brush, there it is! It might be worth talking with some more Christians to see where their motivations lie, rather than just lumping them all in as a bunch of picket waving, hate spitting Westborough Baptist-like folk.

The self-serving arguement is a bit of a flimsy one. What are Christians going to gain by going against this overwhelming tide? all they are going to get is ridicule and conflict. Not something I personally am chasing. I'd say a better example of 'self serving waffle' as you put it, is a politician who suddenly has an amazing change of heart just in time for an election.

Pedro said...

Well said brother. As always!
Lucky you are on the side of the petition mate cause there would be flying fists!!!

Nathan said...

Hi Pedro (and Ben),

Thanks for your words Ben. Glad I can be handy. I've been away from my blog reader for a couple of days.

I'd like to respond a little bit to Pedro's concerns.

I'm not at all interested in changing people's sexual orientation through the state. I'm not even interested in changing someone's sexual orientation in the church - I am interested in allowing someone in the church not to conform their identity and practice to their orientation.

Unlike Rudd, I don't think people are necessarily "born gay" - but I don't think a homosexual orientation is a choice a person makes. The American Psychology Association agrees with me - that there are a complex number of factors that conspire to form someone's orientation. There may be some biological factors - but the picture is heaps more complicated.

Why should we force anybody to be a product of their environment if they seek, voluntarily, a change? Why is sexuality a different thing to economic status, gender identity, etc?

I don't understand what is disgusting about this view? I'm not wanting to force it on anybody - above all things I think people should be free to choose the core of their identity, not have it chosen for us by society and our sexual orientation.

I choose to base my identity on being a follower of Jesus and taking his words seriously. That has certain implications for how I think about all other areas of my life - but the products of that thinking are only really relevant to other people who want to follow Jesus, and then, only relevant if they think I'm right. Exercising their own minds.

Nathan said...

Also - I'm certainly not seeking to berate sinners into changing their mind. Not at all. Sinners are free to be sinners - the most that can said for me is that I want sinners to have a clear picture of who Jesus is, and what he said, and what the Bible says about him. The same picture I turn to daily - as a fellow sinner - for hope, and for encouragement. The same story that sets the agenda for how I think about life, and how i think about loving and caring for the marginalised, including the gay community. I want "sinners" to have a clear picture of who Jesus is so that they can make an informed choice not to care, or an informed choice to care. I'm certainly not in the business of changing people's moral compass without them deciding they want to follow Jesus first.

The reason I wrote what I wrote about Kevin Rudd is that he has trashed arguably the most beautiful story in the world - about a God who became man, and died in the most humiliating way possible, on our behalf, for people who declare war on him in every decision they make. A god-man who took on death, took on our separation from God, and offers life, freedom, and transformation in return.

To distill the New Testament story (or the Bible's story) to "universal love" - obscures the main game, and makes Christianity no different from every other superstitious religion. In many ways, it is the compelling nature of the central story of Christianity that sets it apart.

Nathan said...

PS - also Pedro - thanks for the pickup on what Rudd actually said. I have changed that in the post to be more accurate. Cheers.

Nathan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.