Some thoughts on the North Carolina “preacher” who wants to fence gay people in

I have nothing but contempt for those who preach themselves rather than Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 4:5) and preach their own ideas and opinions in place of “Christ and him crucified” (1 Cor. 2:2). I have a hard time concealing my contempt when their “preaching” brings shame and reproach on the name of Christ.

If you haven’t heard about the preacher referenced in the title, here’s the long and short of it (I’m not embedding or linking to the video; it shouldn’t be hard to find): This “preacher” (who shall go unnamed on this blog) was preaching about the gay marriage issue and said that the solution to the problem was to put up a fence 50 or 100 miles around and put all the lesbians, queers, and homosexuals (his terms) and drop a little food in to them and in a few years they would die out because they can’t reproduce.

A few thoughts:

1. This isn’t preaching

Preaching is the proclamation of God’s Word. It is not the proclamation of the preacher’s ideas and opinions prefaced by “Thus saith the Lord.” Were this man preaching the Word and the message was not popular, I would say with Paul, “Let God be true, and every man a liar.”

But that is not what he did (at least in the portion of the sermon I saw.) He far exceeded what is spoken of in Scripture.

I can easily conclude what type and method of “preaching” this man does and it is not worthy to be called “preaching.” It is pontificating masquerading as an authoritative word from the Lord and this man takes the Lord’s name in vain when he claims the Lord’s authority for things the Lord did not say.

Our Lord is a righteous judge but he appears to us in this age as the One who brings hope into our despair, light into our darkness, and life into a world of death through the good news of mercy and grace and whose death has turned aside the wrath of God for the world (1 John 2:2) so that we might see God’s longsuffering nature (2 Peter. 3:8-9).

2. What this guy proposes has already been done. 70-odd years ago. We call it “the Holocaust.”

I don’t want to break Godwin’s law here but I can’t escape the connection. Hitler’s ire was directed toward several kinds or types of people, especially one particular group, and began systematically exterminating them from his world.

This is evil. Oppression, bullying, assault, even name-calling is wrong, immoral, sinful, and the devil’s work. We are to speak with grace to those who hear (Col. 4:5-6). We are to speak words that lead to life (John 6:61; Phil 2:16).

Every person is formed in the image of God (Gen. 1:26-27; James 3:9) and even though because of our sin we bear that image bent and tainted until Christ begins the work of transformation (2 Cor. 3:18), the Scriptures teach that we cannot bless God and curse men with the same tongue (James 3:9-10). I pray God strengthen me never to be ashamed to be called “Christian,” but I am ashamed that this man is called “Christian” since he brings a reproach on the name of Christ and fails to proclaim the Good News of our Lord as the Word has called him to do.

3. What does this have to do with gay marriage?

I don’t think that someone who believes homosexuality is wrong is exercising hatred in doing so. Everybody thinks something is wrong. (Some will protest that nothing is morally wrong but they’ll stop saying that as soon as you do something wrong to them. I promise you that person’s morality will become objective again.)

I say that to say this: This really has nothing to do with the gay marriage issue. The issue can be framed in several different ways, but so far no one respectable has (as far as I am aware) proposed that people who self-identify as homosexual do not have a right to live.

Leviticus does call for execution for homosexuals under the civil statutes of ancient Israel. No one is calling for that today (except a few crackpots). The law also specified death for adulterers and those who curse their parents but does he call for that? I doubt it.

Everybody refers to Leviticus but Paul is also instructive (and relevant) here. For example, in 1 Cor. 6:9-10 homosexuals are listed among those who will not inherit the kingdom of God. Presumably this preacher believes this passage. Why is he not calling for death for those who gossip? (“Slander” in NKJV is gossip; “revilers” in the KJV). But judgment belongs to the Lord our God. If God commands us to love our enemies in this age and let the Lord judge those who persecute us (Rom. 12:17-21) would that principle not also apply to those we see as evil-doers, regardless of what evil they practice and perpetuate?

This is why our Lord taught a kingdom ethic that involves loving our neighbor (Matt. 22:36-40) and even those who persecute us (Matt. 5:12f.) and Scripture commands praying for all people including our pagan leaders (1 Tim. 2:1-4).

(I note in passing that the Romans 12 passage cited above begins with “Do not repay evil for evil” (v. 17) and ends with “Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good” (v. 21). Perhaps this pastor should reacquaint himself with this passage, among others.)

4. You hurt rather than help your cause when you speak so foolishly

I said above that we can frame this issue in several different ways, but we ought to shy away from (indeed, we ought to be horrified at) proposing that people who self-identify as homosexual, or anyone else short of those condemned to death in a court of law, do not have a right to live.

As a society: (1) we can argue the morality of gay marriage, (2) we can argue the legality of gay marriage, (3) we can argue the civil/ societal benefits (or lack thereof) of gay marriage, (4) we can argue the impact of gay marriage on our culture.

As Christians: (1) we can argue whether gay marriage is wrong both in the Bible and now, (2) we can argue whether we should let the world go its way on this issue while we remain faithful to what we believe or fight against it, (3) we can argue how involved we should be in the political process as individuals and as churches and religious organizations.

What we cannot argue is whether someone who practices immorality of any kind has a right to live. (I’m intentionally leaving off discussion of the death penalty since that’s not relevant here.) Life, death, and judgment belong to the Lord our God.

5. You catch more flies with honey than with vinegar

This man failed the Col. 4:5 test (among others).

Jesus is the One to whom all judgment has been committed (John 5:22, 27, 30) and he will judge in righteousness in the last day. This is in Scripture and needs to be proclaimed but the focus of our proclamation is that Jesus has borne the judgment of his people in his death and triumphed over sin, the effects of sin, and all the forces of darkness in his resurrection.

This “preacher” is supposed to be in the business of proclaiming this Good News (“gospel”) of Jesus Christ which is that Jesus, the Christ, the Son of David, has paid the penalty for our sin and triumphed over death so that he can defeat our enemies and has earned the right to rule. This same Anointed One (“Christ” or “Messiah”) will establish his kingdom which will be characterized by peace, blessing, and unity and this kingdom will have no end.

If this preacher knows God’s mercy, grace, and love through Jesus Christ, he has no occasion to boast (Rom. 3:27; 1 Cor. 1:29) and should preach as a dying man to dying men, holding out the hope that is in Christ alone with boldness and forthrightness but also with grace and compassion.

Concluding thought

May the rest of us do better than this guy did. I pray that God give each of a spirit of boldness (Acts 4:29, 31) and compassion (Mark 1:41; cf. Acts 4:30) to speak words of life (John 6:61; Phil 2:16), hope and peace to our fellow sinners so that they may be brought to Christ who alone can save them and bring them peace, joy and hope.

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About Michael R. Jones

Pastor and PhD candidate writing on Paul's theology of suffering.
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8 Responses to Some thoughts on the North Carolina “preacher” who wants to fence gay people in

  1. Mike Outler says:

    Very articulate! You took the words right out of my mouth. Ok, truth is, I don’t think I would have put it as nicely as you did :). Great job!

  2. Thanks for the kind words, guys! I appreciate the encouragement!

  3. Tim W. says:

    I had the privilege (and may it happen again and again!) of leading a repentant homosexual to Christ while in the NAVY. It was a real conversion and he and I worked on his dress (feminine to masculine) and manner of walk or gait.
    He was baptized and began a walk with Christ!

  4. Gil Gaudia, Ph.D. says:

    It is disgusting to read the ignorant comment of Tim W which is evidence for the fact (which escapes Michael R. Jones) that it is Christianity which bears the blame for hatred of homosexuals (and many other groups in this world).

    • Gil (excuse me, Gil, Ph.D. I’ll be getting mine soon, maybe we can compare letters and accreditations after that):

      Thanks for reading and commenting. It doesn’t escape me that there are people who self-identify as Christians who hate. It also doesn’t escape me that there are people who do not self-identify as Christians who hate. But you paint with too broad a brush when you lay the blame for all hatred of homosexuals only on Christians. I have known plenty of people who hated homosexuals who did not self-identify as Christian and many of them hated both Christians and homosexuals.

      Just because you know some Christians who hate homosexuals doesn’t mean that we’re all hatemongers.

      But I’m guessing you won’t bother to read this comment just like you probably didn’t bother to read the post (which, by the way, has led some homosexuals I am friends with to thank me for standing up and denouncing this NC preacher; apparently it didn’t escape them that I have love and compassion rather than hatred for them). I’m guessing that won’t matter to someone like you who derives joy from drive-by comments hating on those who you think are haters simply because they disagree with you.

      Atheism is a terrible thing. It warps your sense of perspective and fairness. Every atheist I have known has been convinced that every Christian is just waiting to take over the world and baptize everyone. Sadly, it’s only the atheists who are wanting to take over the world and end religion. You hate religion with everything in you and you project that hatred onto everyone else because you think everyone is as warped and twisted as you are.

      What is disgusting is reading hateful screed from people who are twisted and warped and your ignorant comment is evidence (which escapes Gil Gaudia, Ph.D.) that it is atheists who lead the parade of bitter hatred in today’s world against anyone who refuses to agree with you on everything.

  5. jggaudia@comcast.net says:

    I made a statement that is open to dispute, that it is “Christianity which bears the blame for hatred of homosexuals (and many other groups in this world).” There was no mention of you.

    You did not dispute it with evidence and chose instead to write over 300 words of hate-filled venom about me and atheists. Who is closer to the teachings of Jesus?

  6. I wrote over 300 words and all you can do is tu quoque. That is the sign of someone who just wants to vent.

    And just as I predicted, you didn’t even bother to read my comment.

    Btw, I never said that you mentioned me (even though you did when you wrote “which escapes Michael R. Jones”) so I don’t know what you meant by that. I think you’re so angry you can’t even read or think straight.

    Ironically, you started this exchange in the comments to a post intended to rebuke Christians who were demonstrating hate toward homosexuals. (Besides, since when did disagreeing with someone equal hatred?)

    Fine. What evidence would you like me to provide? I’m pretty certain that there is no evidence that you will accept on this issue anyway since you’re hell-bent on spewing your own “hate-filled venom” at me and other Christians. But go ahead, what evidence do you want?

    I will point out that I didn’t see any atheists giving out shoes to needy children this past weekend in preparation for the school year.

    I also note that last month when I ministered to the dying mother of one half of an LGBT couple (yes, you read that right), there were no atheists lined up waiting to help them.

    When a mentally ill woman in our church died earlier this year, her atheist neighbor couldn’t even be bothered to call the police or walk her dog while she was in the mental hospital while people from our church were going out of their way to care for her.

    But I’m pretty sure there will be no evidence you will accept. Nothing will ever be good enough. If we eradicated God from all public discourse and even from all American homes you still would not be happy.

    So I’ll say again (even though you won’t listen): Are some Christians hate mongers? No doubt. Just like some atheists. We don’t have a corner on it.

    Funny that atheists spend so much time attacking God when they don’t believe in him. It must be a sad existence to be controlled by the thing you hate the most.

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