40 harmful effects of Christianity – #2

“You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.…” Leviticus 18:22

This post is the second in a series that addresses a list of “40 harmful effects of Christianity” that originated on the American Atheists Facebook page and has since made its way around the internet.  In this post, I examine the following “harmful effect” from the list:

Harmful Effect #2: Vilification of homosexuality, resulting in discrimination, parents disowning their children, murder, and suicide.

It is certainly true that the Bible condemns homosexual acts.  However, the claim that the Bible “vilifies” homosexuality is misleading.  Rather, it is sin itself that is ultimately condemned.  The Bible condemns every man as a sinful creature, not just those who engage in the sin of committing homosexual acts.  If there is any specific person who is “vilified” in scripture, it is the devil himself.

Furthermore, the condemnation of homosexual acts is hardly limited to Christians and Christian cultures.  The disowning of children, murder, and suicide take place in various societies for a myriad of reasons, homosexual acts are condemned by other world religions, and such acts have been looked down upon even by irreligious and secular societies.  Thus, it is reasonable to posit that homosexuals would experience negative reactions to their lifestyles even in the complete absence of any Christian influence.  If there is a higher prevalence of incidents of disownment, murder, and suicide, across cultures, where homosexuality is concerned, it makes sense to question whether or not the nature of homosexuality is itself inherently harmful.  The list from the American Atheists does not address such inquiry.

In any case, an atheistic worldview offers no hope for those who have, for any reason, been negatively affected by murder, suicide, and disownment.  The Christian worldview does.  According to the Bible, all men are created in the image of God.  This includes homosexuals.  Every man and woman is, therefore, inherently valuable.  Every man and woman is someone whom God loves and for whom Jesus Christ died on the cross. Anyone who repents of his sin and submits to Jesus Christ as Lord is adopted as a son of God Himself.  This is a relationship from which no man can be disowned.  This is a relationship that transcends death itself.  Every Christian who experiences death will be raised to new life in a physical body at the time of the resurrection of the dead.  Through Jesus, the Christian overcomes disownment, murder, and suicide.  If these things are to be condemned as “harmful”, then Christianity is to be lauded.

“Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Romans 8:1

In my next post in this series, I’ll address the following:

Harmful Effect #3: Women treated like second-class citizens based on religious teachings.

*Please note that the preceding is my personal opinion.  It is not necessarily the opinion of any entity by which I am employed, any church at which I am a member, any church which I attend, or the educational institution at which I am enrolled.  Any copyrighted material displayed or referenced is done under the doctrine of fair use.

2 thoughts on “40 harmful effects of Christianity – #2

  1. sacredstruggler

    Are we not called to be set apart? To defend the defenseless and be on the side of the oppressed and downtrodden? Is that not what Christ did? Saying that it’s okay for us to be like everyone else is saying it’s okay not to be Christ like. And blaming the suffering on the sinner, in no way excuses our lack of Christ-like sacrificial love shown toward them. There are inherent problems with sleeping around, Christ didn’t throw that stone though, He stepped in and stopped everyone else from throwing the stone as well. Are we not called to do as Christ did?

    Reply
  2. sethdunn88 Post author

    Sacredstruggler,

    Who do you mean by “we”? I assume you’re talking about the church. If so, then I generally agree with what you are saying about being set apart and looking out for one another. I’m certainly not saying that it is okay for the church to be like everyone else.

    I hope you haven’t gotten the impression that I’m excusing any sort of lack of compassion for sinners (homosexuals in this specific case). I’m certainly not. I’m just questioning whether or not such a lifestyle is healthy from within the context of the very specific criticism leveled at Christianity by the American Atheists group. How would you respond, in defense of the Christian faith, to the atheist group’s criticism?

    With regards to your assertion that there are inherent problems with sleeping around, I agree with you. However, you seem to infer that Christ didn’t preach against that sort of immorality. The fact is, He did. See Matthew 5:19-20:

    “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man.” (NASB)

    The Greek word “porneiai” is translated as “fornications” in this passage. This term is a broad term for sexual immorality. So, Jesus clearly does preach against sleeping around.

    Two more things:

    #1. People should refrain from using arguments from silence in regards to what Jesus didn’t say to make moral judgments. This is a shaky form of argumentation in any discipline and it also discounts the whole of scripture.

    #2. People, when making a biblical argument, should avoid using the term “throwing stones” altogether especially, when they use the term figuratively.

    In the context of the story of the woman caught in adultery (John 8:1-11), the stones refereed to are very real. The scribes pharisees ask Jesus if the woman should be stoned to death. There is no inference of figurative judgement, condemnation, or insult.

    Further, the events of this story may have taken place, but there is good evidence that this passage was not an original part of John’s gospel. In other words, it’s not even scripture.

    The story of the woman caught in adultery as presented in John 8:1-11 is one of the most misunderstood biblical passages I’ve ever come across. When we examine the cultural context in which this story takes place and consider its eschatological ramifications, we can understand it as a powerful picture of grace, repentance, and the wisdom of Jesus…and not a get out of jail free card.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s