After more than 40 years of life as an active Christian and having personally been on the receiving end of some really boneheaded moves purportedly in the name of Christ you would think I would quit being astonished when I encounter Christian jerks, but alas. I have written in this space that it is the battle of character that will bring us eventual victory, and that how we conduct the battle matters more than the end result. But it seems some people have not gotten the message.
There are no comments on this blog, but things written here are syndicated to places where there are comments. So a few days ago when I wrote of Mike Huckabee, I was truly stunned when comments began to appear saying incredibly nasty things about Guy Benson, and Salem Communications and Fox News (two of his employers) because Benson let the world know this week that he is gay. With the exception of the legalization of marijuana, I have never known Benson to take a stance I disagree with and I have never heard him claim faith of any type. So why all the ugly, ugly vitriol?
For the record, other than exchanging basketball taunts, via phone, on air of Hugh’s show and doing the same on Twitter, I have never met Guy Benson. He does not qualify as even an acquaintance – though there are social events planned for this summer where I hope to rectify that. But as a Christian, one who is committed deeply to the fact that homosexual practice is sinful (I hate using “church” words in this context but there it is), I simply cannot stand by and let this sort of verbal witch hunting go without comment. First comment, while we are in church word mode – We are all sinners.
The most public of those that have piled on Benson to date is Iowa’s “Christian” political maven Bryan Fischer. His comments are more rant than argument and are designed almost purely to alienate rather than understand – condemn rather than discuss. He claims no personal animus towards Benson, but wants to make sure the world knows Benson is not really conservative. It makes no sense, “conservative” and “Christian” are not synonymous, that is just what the left wants people to think. One is a political viewpoint and one is a religion, they interact, but they are not the same thing. So Fischer, thanks for helping the left.
When the same-sex marriage question was the candidate question du jour, I wrote of John 4 and the ability to declare a sin and love the sinner at the same time. Fischer has clearly missed that particular part of the the Christian message, as have the trolls of the Internet I have encountered since Benson’s declaration. What was that I said about all of us being sinners?
This stuff really matters. Consider two examples – an ugly bar fight in Texas and a baptismal misunderstanding in Florida. In the first instance, drinks were spilled and things turned really ugly really fast. Sadly, this happens in joints like this. Sexuality epithets were tossed as the fight ensued. ( I don’t know if you’ve every been in a fight, but as a former football guy I can tell you epithets, utilizing whatever is the most convenient trait, are pretty much par for the course.) Now, because of nastiness like Fischer’s the homosexual drink spiller is claiming the attack was motivated by hatred for his sexuality rather than because he spilled a drink on a guy in a room full of drunks. We don’t know what happened here, and fighting like this is abhorrent, but gracelessness like that Fischer so readily tossed out puts us Christians pretty squarely in the cross hairs.
In the second instance, a church originally agreed to baptize the adopted son of a gay couple and then abruptly and belatedly reversed course. The theological discussion in this one could go really deep, but I will limit it to a single observation. In addition to the sexual prohibitions in the Bible there is also this admonition to “Let your ‘yes’ be ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ be ‘no.'” This church seriously misstepped here, once again put Christians everywhere in the cross hairs.
My point is this – to make Christianity work in this world, we have to be really good Christians, or else we just look like hypocrites. Does that mean we give up? NO! It means we work on our own faith harder than we work on the faith of the nation.
I look forward to meeting Guy Benson this summer.