Apr

30

2012

Joe Carter|2:36 AM CT

Anti-Bullying Speaker Attacks Bible, Christian Teens

The Story: As many as 100 high school students walked out of a national journalism conference after Dan Savage, a homosexual activist and anti-bullying speaker began cursing, attacked the Bible, and used a homosexual slur to refer to those who refused to listen to his message.

The Background: Savage was invited to deliver the keynote address during the National High School Journalism Conference sponsored by the Journalism Education Association and the National Scholastic Press Association. Instead of giving the expected talk about bullying,  CitizenLink notes, the students got "an earful about birth control, sex, and Savage's opinions on the Bible."

"The first thing he told the audience was, 'I hope you're all using birth control,'" a student told CitizenLink. "He said there are people using the Bible as an excuse for gay bullying, because it says in Leviticus and Romans that being gay is wrong. Right after that, he said we can ignore all the (expletive deleted) in the Bible." In the video of the incident, Salvage heckles the teenagers who walked out of his rant.

Why It Matters: Despite being an "anti-bullying activist," Savage has a reputation for being a reprehensible bully who uses some of most disgusting tactics imaginable against people he hates. In 2001, during the Republican primary in 2000, Savage traveled to Iowa and became a campaign volunteer for Gary Bauer. During the trip, Savage became sick---"I had the flu in a big way"---and decided to use his illness as a bioweapon against Bauer and his staff. He boasts that he,

. . . started licking doorknobs. The front door, office doors, even a bathroom door. When that was done, I started in on the staplers, phones and computer keyboards. Then I stood in the kitchen and licked the rims of all the clean coffee cups drying in the rack.

Unfortunately, that is not the worst of Savage's dirty tricks against his ideological enemies. You would quite literally retch if I were to describe the details of his crusade against former Senator Rick Santorum.

Despite his long history of despicable behavior and an embarrassing ignorance of human sexuality, Savage has managed to syndicate his sex-advice column internationally and build a readership of millions.

In 2010, he garnered widespread acclaim for his "It Gets Better" campaign, an effort to prevent suicide among gay youth by having LGBT adults convey the message that the lives of these teens will eventually improve if they embrace their sexuality. The effort has been supported by dozens of influential politicians (Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton), celebrities (Justin Bieber, Tom Hanks) and corporations (Google, Apple). The message is a worthy one---no young person should be bullied, much less be driven to suicidal angst over it---but the inescapable fact is that for those who follow Savage's advice, heterosexual or homosexual, it won't "get better."

"Our bodies are our own," he has said, "they're ours to use, abuse, and since we're all going to die one day, they're ours to use up." Savage's message to teens and young adults is that before they end their lives they need first to experience diseases, divorces, and drug overdoses. Your bodies are still young and supple, he implies, it would be a waste to shuffle off this mortal coil before you have a chance to trash it.

What is most depressing is not Savage's message---that is standard hedonist propaganda---but rather the respect he is given despite being an amoral cretin. Savage is no longer just a guy who writes for the weekly tabloids. Now he's taken seriously by political leaders, business executives, actors, and pastors. His influence extends from Hollywood to the White House.

What message is it sending young people when the chief executive of the most powerful nation on earth endorses a man who believes that men and woman should not be expected to be monogamous---even when they are married?

Many of these same politicians and pastors wouldn't want their sons or daughters to date someone influenced by Savage. Yet they seem to be unconcerned about other people's children, who will be affected by their tacit endorsement of Savage's ethics.

Perhaps the best counter to Savage's message is Savage's own life. He is a symbol of what happens when vice is embraced and virtue is abandoned. Rather than maturing into a happy, healthy, well-adjusted adult, he's devolved into a man so filled with hate that he'll bully teenagers and lick doorknobs to spite his enemies.

Savage's counsel of hedonistic sex speaks of hope but leads only to despair. We must counter it with the Gospel truth about love and fidelity. We need to send a message of true hope to the young people of America: When you seek Christ-like virtue, it really does get better.

[Note: Parts of this post have been adapted from my article, "The Doorknob Chronicles of Dan Savage."]

Joe Carter is an editor for The Gospel Coalition and the co-author of How to Argue Like Jesus: Learning Persuasion from History's Greatest Communicator. You can follow him on Twitter.

Categories: Current Events
  • http://almostreadytogoamish.blogspot.com/ RN

    So important lesson here: NEVER have this guy over to do you dishes...

    • Laurie

      LOL Lesson learned! What a sad creature.

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  • http://www.covenantcaswell.org John Carpenter

    Thanks, Mr. Carter, for exposing these "unfruitful works of darkness". Your clear, strong message is important.

  • anish

    The caption could've read like Savage attack on christian students by Dan Savage.......his name speaks for itself does it not? I'm sure in no time he will either be saved or become a very big nut case...

  • http://www.DaveLibbon.com Dave

    Very proud of these young people, very moved to prayer for Dan.

  • http://www.BridgingTheGapsMinistries.org Charlene E Hios

    Thank you for the opportunity to comment here. I was following this story yesterday. I appreciate your blog on this as it brings out a few good points which the other blogs and articles did not.

    First though I ask that we all lift Dan Savage up in prayer. He is a man so full of hate. Lord I ask that the very Christians he persecutes become his brothers and sisters in Christ one day just as you did with Paul of Tarsus . . .

    Second I so pray that Christians will speak up at such an occurrence rather than walk out. That one of those 100 students turned around and faced the one who was bullying them and spoke to the matter and spoke respectfully to Dan Savage.

    Again, thanks for allowing the post.

    Charlene
    415.465.0517
    charlene@bridgingthegapsministries.org

  • http://www.davidbindersblog.blogspot.com David

    Thanks for the article. I echo the sentiments in the comments above in that we should lift up Dan in prayer and respond by offering grace filled gospel truth.

    With this in mind, whilst there were many legitimate concerns raised in the article, I think calling Dan an 'amoral cretin' is unhelpful. As I said above, Biblical grace filled truth is necessary here, not worldly insults.

    • Joe Carter

      David,

      I appreciate your comment, but I'm not sure I completely agree. While I think that Christians should generally be winsome in our criticism, there are times when we need to be harsh in our truthtelling.

      When I say that Savage is an "amoral cretin" I mean that he has made himself morally stupid by his embrace of evil. That is, I believe, an accurate assessment, even if the words appear harsh.

      As both Jesus and Paul showed, Biblical grace filled truth does not require that we tip-top around God's enemies for fear of appearing to be harsh or insulting. Sometimes we need to call it like it really is and not sugarcoat the harsh truth behind piety. That does not mean, of course, that we should go around insulting people. But we should also not be afraid to use accurate terminology just because it may cause offense.

      I can pray for Savage's conversion while still recognizing that he is working assiduously to besmirch the beauty and truth of God's revelation.

      • http://www.guiroo.com David Ennis

        Different David here. So what's the difference when Savage "calls it like he sees it" and when you do? I think it is pretty safe to assume that he would agree his description of the students that walked out was harsh but "accurate" as well.

        Though the words are "accurate" they will not be received as such, only insults and name calling.

        Here we have both sides of the argument proving this to be true. Let's deal with the merit of the issues at hand an avoid ad hominem in the discussion.

        • http://southerngospelyankee.wordpress.com yankeegospelgirl

          The difference is that Savage is wrong and Carter is right.

          The End.

          • Phil

            No, you are wrong.

            The difference is that Carter is wrong and Savage is right.

            The end. [See it works both ways!]

            Either way, it is name calling, and each side believes their names to be an "accurate" description of the other.

            • Joe Carter

              Jesus called the Pharisees serpents and a brood of vipers. The Pharisees said Jesus was in league with Beelzebub. Were both parties equally in the wrong?

            • http://southerngospelyankee.wordpress.com yankeegospelgirl

              Bingo. Let's just dispense with the moral relativism junk, shall we?

              Oh by the way, the phrase "ad hominem" is commonly misused to refer simply to calling a person by a derogatory epithet. This is not the correct philosophical meaning of the phrase. It means disregarding somebody's ARGUMENT on some topic or other simply because you dislike him personally. "Well, I think Joe is a jerk, so I'm just going to ignore whatever he says." This is not equivalent to saying "Joe in fact is a jerk, and what he's saying is also really bad."

            • Phil

              Dan Savage is a Pharisee?

              It seems to me that Jesus largely ignored the secular world, and directed his strongest words at other Jews.

            • Phil

              Yankee,

              Almost Joe Carter's entire post is an ad hominem attack, saying that Dan Savage is a jerk. [Look at all the jerky things he has done!]

              If Joe Carter has an argument in there somewhere, it is pretty darn hard to find it. Hmmmm....maybe here's one: Joe Carter disagrees with the best way to "get better." At least that's not: "Look at how bad a person Dan Savage is!"

              Here's some of the post that I take particular exception to:

              1) Savage is somehow advocating disease, divorce, and drug overdose. While I don't listen or read Dan Savage (so I admit I might be wrong), I feel reasonably confident he has never advocated for these things.

              2) That Barak Obama has somehow expressly advocated for open marriages, and that Barak Obama is somehow harming America's youth. Such nonsense.

              3) Stating that Dan Savage is a deeply unhappy man. I have no idea if he is or is not. But one thing I do know: Joe Carter doesn't know either.

            • Joe Carter

              ***Almost Joe Carter's entire post is an ad hominem attack, saying that Dan Savage is a jerk. [Look at all the jerky things he has done!]***

              Yankeegospelgirl explained rather well why it is not an ad hominem attack (there should be a moratorium on that term since everyone seems to confuse it's meaning and how it should be applied).

              For my post to be an ad hominem attack I would need to have said that Dan Savage's arguments against the Bible are wrong because he is a jerk.

              I don't even bother to make an argument about his claims about the Bible because they are not even worth addressing—and aren't really the point of the post. The point of the article is that it is shocking that otherwise respectable people would give this guy a platform to spew his venom and disgusting advice.

              Since that is my point, the man's character and behavior are entirely relevant.

              ***If Joe Carter has an argument in there somewhere, it is pretty darn hard to find it. ****

              This is an example of the type of thing that annoys me most about the internet: the assumption that everything must be a formal argument.

              My "argument" (if I was even making on) could be considered enthymematic and directed toward people who already agree with my unstated premises (people who lick doorknobs and advocated hedonism should not be taken seriously).

              ***1) Savage is somehow advocating disease, divorce, and drug overdose. While I don't listen or read Dan Savage (so I admit I might be wrong), I feel reasonably confident he has never advocated for these things.***

              Does Savage "advocate" disease, divorce, and drug overdose? No. Does he advocate for behavior that leads to all those things? No question about it. For example, here is his view on drug use: "Yeah, the freedom to use drugs can certainly be viewed as a civil-rights issue: It’s about the right to control what you do with your own body, and that argument resonates with others advanced by gay-rights advocates and advocates of reproductive choice.”

              ***2) That Barak Obama has somehow expressly advocated for open marriages, and that Barak Obama is somehow harming America's youth. Such nonsense.***

              Is that what I said? No, it is not. I said that "the chief executive of the most powerful nation on earth endorses a man" who supports those as part of his agenda.

              ***3) Stating that Dan Savage is a deeply unhappy man. I have no idea if he is or is not. But one thing I do know: Joe Carter doesn't know either.***

              Sure I do. Happiness is not some mushy emotional state but, as Aristotle said, "characteristic of a good life, that is, a life in which a person fulfills human nature in an excellent way." Savage does not fulfill his human nature in an excellent way.

            • http://southerngospelyankee.wordpress.com yankeegospelgirl

              Thanks Joe. I have some background in philosophy, and I just start yawning when people toss around technical phrases when they haven't the foggiest clue what they're talking about.

            • Phil

              Ah, silly me. I thought you were making the argument that people shouldn't pay attention to what Dan Savage says because he is a vile and despicable man.

              The mere fact that lots of people will take your post that way is, I guess, beside the point.

              But since you seem to be arguing that he shouldn't be given a platform to speak because he is a vile and despicable man, then no ad hominem attack. I stand corrected.

              I am glad to see that you recognize Dan Savage doesn't advocate those things. Just because the behavior could be abused means that it is wrong to advocate for it? I don't follow. Most anything can be abused.

              With regard to chief executive comment, I wasn't able to find any information about what Obama has said about Dan Savage, so I'm not sure what you are talking about. If you are merely referring to Obama's "It Gets Better" video, well, you yourself say the message is a worthy one above.

              [I have no idea why you assert that the videos tell people it will get better "if they embrace their sexuality" -- For the few videos I've seen, that simply isn't true. It tells them that "it gets better" because they won't be in high school/jr. high whatever in the future, and people won't act that way. It doesn't say anything about embracing your sexuality.]

              Ah, I see, you are using a different definition of happiness; not one that was obvious from your post. Under your definition, he is not fulfilling his human nature in an excellent way. How isn't he? Is it because he is gay?

        • Joe Carter

          ***I think it is pretty safe to assume that he would agree his description of the students that walked out was harsh but "accurate" as well.***

          Actually, Savage later apologized for his use of the term "pansy" since he realized that he was showing his hypocrisy.

          ***Though the words are "accurate" they will not be received as such, only insults and name calling.***

          Received as such by whom? When Jesus called his opponents "a brood of vipers" did they consider it an insult and name calling? Probably so, since it *was* an insult and name calling. But as our Savior showed, sometimes there is a place for that sort of language.

          We're not talking about someone insulting me (or another Christian personally). We are talking about a man who profanes the very word of God and who spends his life promoting a Satanic agenda. If anything, my mild reference of his being an "amoral cretin" is a sign that I'm too soft and concerned more about being perceived as pious and uncontroversial rather than as someone who—like Jesus and Paul—would use language that was bold enough to convey the truth.

          • http://www.guiroo.com David Ennis

            **Actually, Savage later apologized...*

            He apologized because it was ad hominem ... though I'm sure he felt that they were acting very "pasny-ish." That's just a guess, of course.

            **Received as such by whom?**

            By anyone involved in the topic that doesn't already agree with you. Sure Jesus addressed the Pharisees harshly but this topic is a very different audience and situation.

            When Savage's main point is Christians use their religion to treat people poorly, the last thing we need to do is use ad hominem in our rebutting arguments. Just as resorted to making sensational statements and was received as attacking Christianity — not making healthy discussion and debate — we need to be careful to not do the same.

            We need to point out the non-sequitor in equating disagreeing with something with bullying. We need to point out how if Christians are inconsistent in their observation then it doesn't affect an objective truth one bit. We need to address the differences in first century slavery and what the modern idea of slavery is. We need to point out the differences in the OT laws that were ceremonial and those that are addressing a higher moral. We need to inform him that there is no Christian movement to have homosexuals stoned.* (At least I hope not.)

            Like someone said in a previous comment, we need to have more young people and adults that are equipped and ready to address the issues he raises.

            • Peter B.

              His apologies are empty words. They were meant, with forethought and malice, aimed to steal, to kill, and to destroy Christianity, the Bible, and the believers of the Word! So, those empty apologies belong in the trash bin.

    • Danny

      I think that is biblical language. Paul would probably use the term for him and tack on some sarcasm to boot.

  • purisomniapura

    The scriptures warn there would be enemies of the gospel. May God grant him repentance & mercy to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ before it’s too late, in order that he might escape the judgment of God for the plague of deception & anti-God rhetoric he spreads throughout this land.

  • Christopher

    Savage's arguments come straight from Sam Harris. Instead of quoting Harris for a split second, he should have been clear that his entire rant was lifted from Harris's book. While he asks questions about the scriptures that should not be ignored, he really was a bully about it.

    I have one qualm about this particular article, though. It links to the notoriously biased Fox News. Maybe you could link instead to the actual video?

    • Melody

      Oh get over it. I have lost count the number times I have clicked on a link only to end up at the Huffington Post.

      • Melody

        By that I mean that there is no such thing as an unbiased media. If you think there is then you are being naive and should pray for discernment.

      • Christopher

        Obviously I don't think unbiased media exists. Maybe try not being so rude?

        • Melody

          Notorious? : generally known and talked of; especially : widely and unfavorably known

          That would be making a statement that goes against the facts of what the stations ratings happen to be. Instead it speaks of your opinion, your preferences, your circle of influence and most of all your effort to push your agenda on other people.

          My point is that all kinds of links are used on this website without regard to who is hosting it. So your desire to lock out a particular website because you don't like it, don't think they (conservatives) have a right to a voice is bigotry.

          Definition of BIGOT
          : a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance

          • Phil

            Way to "double down."

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  • Daniel Knoll

    Ephesians 4:31 anger must go, but I will rplace it with fruits of love. OK, I know, lot's of opportunity here to take this in a different direction, but we are taught to be slow to anger, and the dialogue is what's important, I think. If we know the history of the word "faggot", the real pain some kids endure by our blind lack of consideration, and pain we as Christians have sometimes promoted, we should be willing to talk,and not have a knee-jerk response of running away, attacking, or dismissing of our Brother's and Sister's pain. What so ever we do, to whoever we are considering today to be the least of our brothers, we are acting towards Christ. If we can't listen to people,and people speaking for harmed children. who we know have honestly been hurt by some Cristians' actions, then what kind of Christ-like people are we? Should we willfully be deaf, dumb and blind and choose to make other's lives more painful and difficult?

    • Joe Carter

      ***If we can't listen to people,and people speaking for harmed children. who we know have honestly been hurt by some Christians' actions, then what kind of Christ-like people are we?***

      But the point is that Savage is not really speaking out for harmed children. What he proposes they do to themselves is more harmful than any verbal bullying a homosexual teen will every receive. As Savage's comments show, his concern is more about normalizing homosexual behavior than it is in helping teens who may be harmed.

  • Aart. Hilberts

    I follow you guys on a regular basis ,that is the Gospel coalition. you know as well as I do the news is loaded with this kind of garbage. It is not hard to find. Stay focused.... it would probably be a good idea to pray for Savage. In the meantime I personally get more encouragement out of Christ being preached and gospel centered news.

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  • Justin

    I think C.S. Lewis has an appropriate response to Savage's rant against the Bible: "If they cannot understand books written for grown-ups, they should not talk about them."

  • Nick

    I wish there had been more in this post rebutting what Savage says about the Bible and slavery. It's a bit concerning to have so many people see this post and yet the truth about Christianity not be brought to light. Do we have something to hide? Are you switching the issue from "Christianity promoted slavery" to "Dan Savage's history of crude behavior"? That's all this post seems to do.

    • Joe Carter

      ***I wish there had been more in this post rebutting what Savage says about the Bible and slavery.***

      The reason the issue of slavery was not addressed in this post was because its isn't really relevant. For starters, Christians have been answering this point for more than a hundred years now. If Savage was truly interested in hearing what the Bible says about the issue, he would done his homework.

      But more importantly, Savage's mention of slavery is a a red herring. Savage really doesn't care about the slavery texts in the Bible. There could be nothing else he could object to and if the Bible still had the same passages about homosexuality Savage would have made the same claims.

      The only reason he brought up slavery at all was so that he could make a the illogical connection that "The Bible supports A, the Bible condemns B; we ignore A, ergo we can ignore B." It's not logical but it was probably enough to convince many of gullible teenagers in the audience.

      • Phil

        What the slavery and divorce examples show is that the Bible does not have the final say on what is to be condemned in society.

        If the Bible does not have final say, then why do we use the Bible to have final say in this circumstance?

        It has been a long time since that formal logic class in college, but I feel reasonably certain I could come up with the (Aristotlean!) syllogism, if you'd like.

  • ETS

    Regardless of his work with the 'It Gets Better' Campaign, who would invite this man to speak to high school kids? Seriously ...

  • Harry

    Dan Savage is a bully and a hypocrite! His tolerance only extends to those whom he agrees with, which is not tolerance at all. Tolerance by it's very definition means accepting those you DISAGREE with and think they are wrong! This is the concept that he does not understand. Most of the Christians I know, although they believe homosexuality is wrong and a sin, accept the people just not the lifestyle, but also would never bully them. And lastly, he should be arrested for his actions, ie licking the cups, etc.

  • Harry

    Oh, and good for those students who stood up to Dan Savage and walked out!! And shame on the others for applauding Savage for bullying them! You are all as guilty as him!

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  • Danny

    Savage defenders say what you want. In the end the guy came to give a speech on tolerance and was intolerant in doing so. The double irony is that most Christians know of their own hypocrisy.

  • Rob

    I praise God for these courageous young people and rejoice with them that they have been given the privilege of suffering public humiliation for Jesus' sake.

    "If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you." - 1 Peter 4:14

    As for Savage, he is only echoing the truth of the scripture he savagely denies. The penalty for his choices, if unrepented, is far worse than any we could inflict on him here.

    "For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do—living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation, and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give account to him who is ready to judge the living and the dead." - 1 Peter 4:3-5

  • http://www.davidbindersblog.blogspot.com David

    Thanks for you response Joe,

    I am certainly not for one minute saying we should 'tip toe' or 'sugar coat' the issues here. As I said in my previous post, one can and should be truthful - criticising Savage's behaviour and views whilst also being grace filled - pointing to the need for Savage to be saved and praying for his repentance. Surely Dan's need for the gospel is what should dominate discussion here, and thus also our response to him. This should be the primary goal.

    In my view, calling him an 'amoral cretin', has the potential to distract from the above. Indeed, an unbeliever seeing this might conclude that insults are being traded between Dan Savage and yourself, which as i've pointed out above, misses the primary issue entirely.

    You're right that Jesus refers to the 'brood of vipers', however when encountering the Bible in this way, we should always ask ourselves whether we should copy such behaviour. I'm not saying that we shouldn't, but that a degree of thought is required around this area.

  • http://jmsmith.org JM Smith

    Interesting discussion in the comments section about this over at Disciple Dojo... http://jmsmith.org/blog/bully-pulpit/

  • CF

    Wow, I had to stop counting the number of various fallacies and outright errors in this. First, I'm not here to defend any of Savage's actions; I'm not familiar with the 'flu case' if you will, but it sounds improper in the least and quite frankly disgusting and unsafe. Second, he has apologized for his attack on the student and admitted it was stupid and wrong. He also added that the Right (side of the aisle) was and is correct to attack him on that. Third, everyone should listen to the whole video recording. He's not attacking christianity or the bible. He's pointing out that there are lots things that the bible clearly got wrong and that there's little reason to pay attention to the (peripheral) bs as he puts it. Please feel free to defend Slavery, Shaving, 7-day creation, world-wide flood among other things. Fourth, he's also right to point out that there are currently and historically many 'christians' who have and are using the bible to support physical, emotional, verbal and spiritual abuse of homosexuals. Plank and speck, yada yada. I think the real irony is that Jesus' recorded speach is more on hypocrisy and money than sex and NOTHING on sexuality. With as big a deal as 'christians' are making on sex and sexuality, you'd think God would've spent more time telling us about it. Fifth, I'd also like to point out that Savage isn't a proponent of hedonistic sex; he's a proponent of safe sex. Plus, when a sex advice columist and "sexpert" is asked to speak at any event, especially one at a high school, you really should expect safe sex, condom use, birth control, etc. to be broached. Sixth, the sheer amount of blatant factual errors and ad hominem attacks is just stunning.

    • http://thegospelcoalition.org Collin Hansen

      This is one of the more interesting comments I've ever seen on our site. You say he's not attacking the Bible, just pointing out everywhere he thinks the Bible is wrong. And you say that Jesus said nothing about sexuality, but you don't mention Matthew 5:28, Mark 7:21, Matthew 5:32, and so on. I understand you may not be familiar with the Bible. But I would encourage you to read it for yourself, including the parts that Savage does not mention. There's more than enough in the Bible to convict all of us of our failures before God: to love our enemies, to flee all temptation, to turn the other cheek, to love mercy and do justice and walk humbly, and much more. That's why all of us before God need a Savior, and why Jesus explain his mission as "to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). That's the only hope for any of us sinners, no matter what our personal preference for disobeying God.

  • Phil

    Thanks for mentioning Mathew 5:32; it is, IMO, one of the prime examples of why "Bible believing" churches do not actually believe the Bible. I suppose there are some churches out there (although I don't know of any) that exclude divorced members? (Or exclude divorced and remarried members?)

    Hmmmm, I guess it is possible to have divorced members in the church (so long as they are not remarried), and so long as the reason for the divorce is "sexual immorality."

    Furthermore, if there are divorced members of the church (and not divorced for the right reason), then they are continuing to live in sin (as far as I can tell). I see this as analogous to a gay or lesbian couple living together, who are also living in sin. But one is accepted, and the other is not.

    • AC

      Phil,

      TGC Christians are not hiding from this doctrine... it was so last week:

      http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/tgc/2012/04/25/you-asked-should-i-divorce-my-spouse-from-an-unbiblical-remarriage/

      Emphasis on the last paragraph.

      • Phil

        You are right that TGC Christians aren't hiding from it. I found a very interesting sermon from Kevin DeYoung on this subject at TGC (from Nov. 3, 2010, I believe).

        Having said that, and without getting too much into the details now, I find the answer from April 25 wholly unconvincing. Truly, I believe it is a complete bastardization of Mathew 5 and Mathew 19.

        Moreover, given the biblical texts, I believe it is wholly improper for any church to allow improperly remarried couples (who are continuously living in sin) to join the church. Again, I find this analogous to homosexual couples, which also presumably cannot join the church. (In fact, it seems possibly even stronger because improperly remarried couples are violating JESUS'S OWN WORDS! Not just the OT laws, as homosexual couples are.)

      • Melody

        Phil does this with every post that has to do with homosexuality.

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  • Caleb

    Some of you are so fast in making an accusation of Joe Carter being upset, I think he has the right to be upset. I am too. Have any of you seen this video of him bashing the Christians? I encourage you to check it out on youtube. Man... He's hating on us and our brethren. I get this weird feeling that we have people that just like to argue on this website... I really like the gospel coalition, but I'm getting tired of the arguments. Yes, doctrine should be taken VERY seriously, that is why we have this website. My advice is mature Christians do not gossip or start corrals with one another. I don't see how Joe Carter is being mean in any way. I don't think Joe Carter was trying to be biased on his part. In fact I think he was very respectful towards Dan Savage. He noticed a flaw of someone living in his sin and rebuked his brother. If we practiced true church discipline I don't think we would have all the problems we have inside the church. Blessings, Caleb Scott

  • http://www.andrewshanks.com AndrewShanks.com

    Consider this article on the relationship between a biblical stance on homosexuality and the proper rejection of homophobia: "Against Homophobia" (http://andrewshanks.com/?p=300) (March, 2012).

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  • Nicole

    There is so much wrong in this article about what Savage says and believes that you have lost all credibility. Just another example of a shrill, hypocritical Christian attacking what he doesn't understand?

    Savage should not have said anything to the kids leaving, and he did apologize (although one gets the impression from some of the reactions like this one that apparently you haven't read any of the parts of the Bible about forgiveness).

    How typical, however, of so many to lose sight of his real message, which is that using parts of the Bible to justify hate is hypocritical and bullying. And he's right. Where does Christ say we should attack and condemn sinners? Since when are Christians supposed to look for the mote in others eyes while ignoring the beam in our own.

    Wake up. Listening to blowhard pundits who use the name of Christ to veil their own avarice, greed, and lust for power is killing this faith in the public sphere. Christianity is becoming a joke - not because people are being led astray by the Devil, not because Christians are the silently suffering victims of a faithless modern world.

    But because so many Christians have stopped following Christ (who, in case you've all forgotten, said we should love our enemies, and forgive those who have trespassed against us) and started following soulless leaders whose only agenda appears to be the mold to world and everyone in it to their liking. Making everyone follow Christian precepts by the force of law is abhorrent to the very nature of Christianity and the ideals on which this country was founded.

    Wake up, supposed Christians. As long as you try to force others to live how you would like, and use a falsely pious morality to curtail the rights of others, you are the bullies, not the victims. And as long as Christians sit silently by and allow those who have usurped the name of Christ to represent us in the public sphere, spewing their hatred and intolerance in the name of righteousness, we are all to blame.

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  • Laurie

    What a well-written article, Mr. Carter. When individuals such as this one are what influence the country, we need wonder no longer why society is in the sorry, awful condition it is at this time.

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  • http://facebook.com/rightnowagainstbullying.com Right Now Against Bullying

    This blog is more evidence that bullying is a national tragedy affecting young people across America.

    We all need to take action against the source of bullying and let kids, parents, teachers, principals and politicians know that bullying is NOT okay. We all need to do something to make a difference.

    An amazing young singer-songwriter named Becca Levy is doing just that.

    She has started a music based anti bullying group called Right Now.

    Here’s a link to her video for a cover of “Right Now” by Van Halen. The purpose of the video is to promote awareness to kids using both music and the Internet. The video begins with a public service announcement and is full of statistics that people of all ages need to see.

    Becca lives in Washington, D.C. and just turned sixteen years old.

    facebook.com/Rightnowagainstbullying

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