Michael Sam and the Moral Superiority of Homosexuality

Are homosexuals made of a higher moral fiber than the average heterosexual? That seems to be the consensus of many Americans in light of the “coming out” party of star University of Missouri football player Michael Sam.
First, let me be clear. I am a conservative, evangelical, Bible-believing Christian that embraces the biblical standard for sex and marriage. I am well aware that there are at least a couple of factions ready to debate me on the subject of whether or not homosexuality is wrong, should be tolerated, or is a lifestyle that should be celebrated.
There is the crowd that rejects Scripture all together and the notion that any system of morality is superior to another. Then there is the neo-orthodox “Christian” existentialist faction that embraces a more liberal interpretation of the Bible, or simply concludes, as one pastor shared with me, “The Apostle Paul was wrong on some matters.”
Ultimately the debate with these two factions (or worldviews) and the plethora of sub-factions that they represent is not a debate over homosexuality. No, instead it is a discussion of the relevance, nature, and authority of Scripture. I love to engage in that debate. Like the Apostle Paul in the Athenian marketplace, I have no desire to draw swords with those who disagree with me. But I do desire, with compassion, to give an apologetic for the faith “once for all delivered to the saints.” (1 Peter 3:15; Jude 3)
That’s not what I’m doing with this post.
 
But suppose for a moment that we remove the lens of my conservative evangelical presuppositions.Let’s just say, for the sake of discussion, that I agree with one of the more liberal factions that I previously mentioned. Would I not, given these new presuppositions, conclude that homosexuality is no more or no less moral than heterosexuality? But that isn’t the vibe I’m getting from the response of the media, the majority of fans, or even the president of the United States concerning the announcement of Michael Sam.
Let me explain. I shared an apartment with a group of fellow seminarians in Raleigh, North Carolina for a few years. At first we lived in North Raleigh next to another group of heterosexual males who did not share our biblical presuppositions.
These neighbors worked hard in the Research Triangle Park area, seemed sociable, enjoyed throwing back a few beers on occasion, and could be caught checking out the girls from time to time. Like most young men, even Christians, they appeared to struggle with a lust for the OPPOSITE sex.
Eventually my roommates and I moved to a different apartment, across town near Carter-Finley Stadium. Awesome amenities – and for three of us, closer to the young ladies we would eventually marry!
However, at this new location a group of homosexual malesmoved into the same building one floor below our apartment. Obviously, they also did not share our biblical presuppositions. And, like our former neighbors,they also worked hard in the Triangle Park area, seemed sociable, and enjoyed throwing back a few beers on occasion. But instead of catching them checking out the pretty ladies in the apartment complex, they could be overheard making sexually crude comments toward one another. They appeared to struggle with a lust for the SAME sex, even outside their group.
Here’s my point. If I lay aside my evangelical Christian beliefs, I assume I would see no difference between these two groups of neighbors. In fact, I would not even be able to assume that my roommates and I were any better off for holding one another accountable in the pursuit of practicing abstinence until marriage.
So why is it that many who argue that I should lay aside such presuppositions and judgments seem to be, whether intentional or not, arguing that homosexuals are superior moralists?
Why do I make such a claim?
Heterosexual men (regardless of their view of Scripture) acknowledge that they struggle with lust for the opposite sex. The bulk of counseling material that I have read suggests that around 90% of heterosexual men admit that they struggle with lust. (I usually assume that the other 10% struggle with lying.) They will usually admit that they have no business in a locker room or dressing with beautiful females, even if some of those females do not like men. They also admit, if married, that their wives would not want women in a dressing room with them at the local spa. But heterosexual male athletes are being asked to accept homosexuals into the locker room. I guess homosexuals have it all under control.
The assumption that gay men have better control over their lust is not one I could accept even if I were not a Christian. Based on my observations, friendships, and life experiences, I would say the struggle with lust is about the same for homosexuals as it is for heterosexuals. Others would argue that homosexuals are even more promiscuous and prone to sexual addictions.
Therefore, if a woman is not a “heterophobe” for not wanting straight men in her locker room, why is a straight man a homophobe for not wanting gay men in the locker room? Obviously, the assumption is that homosexuals have a better check on their lusts.

 

The intention of this post is not to argue for the conservative Christian worldview. That’s another post for another day. I simply wanted to question the hypocrisy I would observe if I were not a Christian. I would either conclude that it is not homophobic to ask that gay men not share a locker room with straight men, or I would conclude that men and women should all have enough self control to share locker rooms, restrooms, showers, etc. Let’s just all become naturists, right. After all, if homosexuals can keep their lusts under control in a locker room with the same sex, heterosexuals can keep their lusts under control in a locker room with the opposite sex. Unless, of course, homosexuals are morally superior.

On Bill Nye, Ken Ham, and the Creation Debate

The highly anticipated debate between Answers in Genesis founder Ken Ham and Bill Nye the Science Guy took place tonight at the Creation Museum in Petersburg, Kentucky. Like many of you I was introduced to Bill Nye on public television and other networks with scientific programming. I became familiar with Ken Ham thanks to videos that were shown in a college Sunday School class about twenty-five years ago.

I had the privilege of visiting the Creation Museum a few years ago. A tour of the museum and campus will leave believers with a greater appreciation for God’s creation, a stronger adoration of the Creator Himself, and a stronger foundation in the biblical account. It will also demonstrate to unbelievers that Christians do not have to check their brains at the door to believe in the Genesis account of creation.

The debate itself did not seem to shake either man in his respective viewpoint. Therefore, I would have to assume the majority of viewers were not converted from one side of the issue to the other. Likely, most viewers stood strong with the one who represented their position. However, I imagine that a small percentage of viewers were challenged to rethink their worldviews. Obviously, as Christians, we believe that the Holy Spirit could even convict unbelievers of the truths of Scripture.

So what did I glean from this debate? 

First of all, I saw the importance of one’s presuppositions influencing conclusions. Nye came to the table with anti-supernatural presuppositions. There was really no room for God in his equations. Ham came with the belief that the Bible was the inspired Word of God, and was more likely to discover and see the evidence in favor of that claim.  Obviously I am biased, but I believe good science must be open to all possibilities. This caused Nye’s rejection of the supernatural to seem anti scientific.

Here’s a few other observation I took from the debate:

  • Nye was concerned that creationism would stifle the next generation’s interest in scientific discovery and invention. Really? History tells us that such an assumption is ludicrous. One’s world view likely only shapes the motivation for such a process of discovery. Is it humanistic or for the glory of God?
  • Building on the previous point, Nye practically “preached” a moral obligation for us to embrace his brand of science. He even suggested that the United States needs to lead in this endeavor for, among other reasons, even our economic health. But if there is no God and no eternal accountability, why are we motivated to make such an impact? And why does the US need to lead the way or be better off financially than other nations? Nye’s philosophical logic was highly contradictory. Indeed, scientists who reject the existence of God seem more intimidated by philosophical apologists, like Ravi Zacharias, who show them the amoral consequences to their belief system.
  • Nye was very honest about having no answer for the first cause. Where did the first atoms that caused the “big bang” come from? The ex nihilo issue is directly addressed by Genesis 1:1. I think that’s awesome. The most difficult question for the twenty-first century evolutionist was the first question addressed by Scripture. Random selection? (Pun intended!)
  • Ham was very comfortable discussing the creation science perspective. He also took the opportunity to openly share his faith in Christ with a clear presentation of the Gospel.
  • Ham seemed to struggle a little to explain why he reads some of the Bible literally, but not all of it. He believes in the total inspiration of Scripture, but had difficulty when Nye interpreted his position as being one who tells others what parts of the Bible they should read literally.

(Personal note here: As Christians we need to understand some basic principles of hermeneutics. Obviously Ken Ham is solid here, but didn’t have time to fully explain. Conservative Christians do not read all of the Bible literally. We believe that all of the Bible is literally true. Good hermeneutics and common sense helps us see where the literal truth is presented literally, poetically, prophetically, figuratively, etc. Like any other literature, we simply ask, “What type of literature do we have here?” As Dr. Paige Patterson points out, when the apocalyptic literature of Revelation says a woman sat on seven hills, a literal interpretation would conclude that this is an extremely large woman.)

  •  I also felt that Ken Ham, without intention, reminded us of the importance of Christological apologetics. Though he often argues that Genesis is the starting point for defending the faith, he admitted that it was his acceptance of Christ that led him to that point. Therefore, I would argue that it may be more fruitful to first defend the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Then, having established his supernatural intervention in this world, you have reestablished the presuppositions for considering the Genesis account of creation.
  • So, who won the debate? Well, the subject given for the debate was “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?” Though I felt Ham held his ground, it was the fact that Bill Nye had a debate on his hands at all, and debated so valiantly, that answered the question with a profound, “Yes.” If Bill Nye has to give it the time of day, though he rejects it, others should at least be presented with the same arguments.