I don’t often cite Joe Carter’s writings at Evangelical Outpost favorably, but I have to give credit where credit is due. His post condemning Jimmy Swaggart’s vile statement about killing homosexuals is dead on the mark. Swaggart said on a recent broadcast:
I’m trying to find the correct name for it . . . this utter absolute, asinine, idiotic stupidity of men marrying men. . . . I’ve never seen a man in my life I wanted to marry. And I’m gonna be blunt and plain; if one ever looks at me like that, I’m gonna kill him and tell God he died.
Joe Carter responds:
I wish I could honestly say that Swaggart doesn’t speak for all Christians. But the fact remains that violence against gays and lesbians is all too common and much of it is done by those who would claim to be followers of Christ. Hatred and loathing of homosexuals is not rooted in Christian belief. Yet there are many people who would use the Bible’s condemnation of same-gender sex to justify such repugnant attitudes.
While Christians should denounce such outrageous statements, we have a duty to do much more than just issue the generic pious condemnations. We should be taking as strong a stance against violence against homosexuals as we do against same-sex marriage. Our actions should show that such enmity toward gays and lesbians goes against all that we believe. We must make it clear that such un-Biblical attitudes have no place in our community. Above all else, though, Christians must show love toward others. We must love our neighbor, even when they engage in behavior that we reject. And we must also love our enemies – even when they take the form of televangelists.
Well said, Joe. Your statement puts you squarely on the side of morality, in my view. On the other hand, as one commenter pointed out, what Swaggart said isn’t so different from what the Bible itself says:
Leviticus 20:13 “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death.
Of course some Christians will argue that the Old Testament law is irrelevant today because Christ fulfilled the law, while others argue quite the opposite, that the OT law should be instituted as the civil and criminal law in America. But in either case, the fact still remains that God himself (if you believe Leviticus to accurately represent God’s views – and I do not) condemns homosexuality and commands that they should be put to death (but only men who lie with men, not women who lie with women…perhaps God really IS male?). So I guess the question is, if Swaggart is morally wrong to say that gays should be killed, why was it not morally wrong for God to say that gays should be killed 3000 years ago? And might this be some of that “moral relativism” we’ve been reading so much about lately?