Let me guess – you used “homophobe,” or “homophobic” in your head, right? If you have a “phobia”, you have an “unreasoning fear” of something. Much like “bigotry” is an “unreasoned opposition,” right? Yeah, we get that too. The problem is, it is an inaccurate, and exceedingly shallow description.
We don’t hate homosexuals. That’s your first problem. We don’t hate homosexuals. We don’t hate liars, thieves, gluttons, drunkards, gossips, or slanderers; the envious, the disobedient, the insolent, the arrogant, or even the idolatrous, the God-haters, or the malicious, the murderers, the effeminate, the adulterers, or the fornicators! You know why? It is very simple. Because these are all sins against a holy God – and they define someone only before they are saved from those sins. Why do they “define” someone? Why, because sins enslave.(John 8:34) When we are freed from the slavery to sin, we are freed from that slavery of identification. A slave is identified by his master. Thus, the tendency of people to identify themselves as their sins is an age-old problem. Men have been proud of their murderous reputation before. Many thieves have been proud to steal. “Adulterer” has a more genteel name at many and varied times in history. None of this makes it right to identify yourself with your sin. It just means that it is an inevitable consequence of slavery. Further, it is inevitable because you are a slave – and your freedom from that slavery is not going to be by your own efforts. When we oppose your “self-identification” of evil as a good and moral thing, we cannot, in good conscience, do otherwise.(Isa 5:20, 10:1) Hatred is something specifically denied us. (Lev 19:17) We are not opposing sin because we hate you. The issue is, truly, that you identify yourself with your sin, and our opposition of it is, from your perspective, since you refuse to call it such, hatred of you, personally. We know. We also know that you, in turn, hate everything we stand for – things we are called to identify ourselves with. Thus, your opposition to what we know are virtues, and what we are being sanctified to be, is in many respects the same sort of treatment. The difference is, we know that this is true.
Second, we don’t fear homosexuals – which is what the suffix “phobic” actually means. We aren’t “closet homosexuals”, or “closet bisexuals.” I know that is a popular claim to make, but it really has no basis in reality, no matter how much creative fancy a researcher wants to pad his “study” with. The author of this entry, for instance, has 7 children, has been happily married for over a decade, with never even a fleeting sexual desire for someone of the same gender. We don’t “fear” homosexuals because they are different, because they are in disagreement with us, or because we secretly don’t want to be “outed” as “one of you.” We don’t fear you at all. We have a principled, fundamental difference between us, yes. We disagree on the most basic level about who we both are – you, and me – and who humans are, in general. Returning the discussion to such superficialities as supposed “phobias” is a waste of my time, and yours. It is, essentially, the rhetorical equivalent of schoolyard taunting – and just as useful. Recognize, first, that we know why you say what you do. We also know why we say what we do. There is nothing mysterious about this. It just requires a modicum of reflection. When you have two viewpoints clashing on the most basic of ideas, is it not inevitable that the clash will be on every other level, as well?
Third, think about what this objections reveals about you. Do you really have any idea what it is we say, or why, if this is the objection you raise? When you use certain objections, we know, to an extent, what you believe yourself, and what you believe that we believe. You are tipping your hand, certainly, but you are also showing a fundamental ignorance of your opponent and their position. Take the time to actually think through what it is you are saying, to whom – and take the time to actually learn what it is we believe, so that you are not attacking a straw man. We believe you should object to the best the other side has to offer. Objections like this may be the best your position can make – but they should not be. Put in some work – or just ignore us – but keep in mind that we won’t go away, and objections like this do absolutely nothing to change anyone’s mind. All they do is reinforce an impression that you have no interest in accuracy.
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