Sunday, May 16, 2010

Uganda's anti-homosexuality bill and Grudem's systematic theology

I read an article in the newspaper yesterday which suggested that the Anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda still has a chance of passing. Even if it does not pass, homosexual behaviour is punishable by incarceration in prison for up to 14 years. There was an appeal made for those Americans who went to Uganda and provided encouragement for anti-homosexuality legislation, to go back to Uganda and say that homosexuals are human beings whose rights should be respected.

I feel that a very popular book on systematic theology encourages Christians to lobby for stricter anti-homosexuality laws. In his Systmeatic Theology, page 893, Dr. Grudem writes,
It is right for Christians to attempt to persuade governments to make laws that protect families and private property and the lives of human beings – laws that both outlaw and punish murder, adultery, theft, and the breaking of contracts (things that violate the Ten Commandments), as well as prohibit homosexual conduct, drunkenness, drug abuse, abortion, and other things that are inconsistent with the biblical standards of morality.

Dr. Grudem needs to be aware of how many homosexuals and women suffer violent crimes linked to scripture exposition.

It is my opinion that anyone who blogs about the Bible ought to take on issues in Bible exposition which support, reinforce or act as justification for acts of violence against women and homosexuals. I know that it is more popular to ramble on about those darn creationsists, but I am more interested in how we can support victims of physical violence, not just intellectual exiguity.

If it weren't so tragic the whole thing would be comical. Theologians can go on and on about how unnatural anal intercourse is because it sometimes "results in ruptures and diseases." By this same criterion, heterosexual intercourse and in particular childbirth, must also be considered unnatural. But lesbian sex is just fine and dandy, not causing either this or that.


Kristen said...

It seems to me that Christians can be very, very selective in which biblical values they want to codify into law. The same passage in 1 Cor. 6:9-10 which is used to justify all kinds of inhumanity to gays and lesbians, says that the "covetous" (greedy) are also among the "unrighteous." And yet so many of our laws here in America promote greed, and do not protect the weak (the everyday wage-earner) from the strong and mighty who profit themselves at his expense. Why are we so focused on the spiders in the corners of the room (abortion and homosexuality) when there are two large elephants (greed and corruption) sitting on the sofa?

If we look at the passages in the Prophets where God expresses so much displeasure at sin-- it isn't homosexuality and abortion that He focuses on, but the taking of bribes, the unjust measure, the forcing of the poor out of their ancestral homes by those with money and power. Why are we not more focused on righteousness in our nation in these areas?

And as for Uganda-- setting aside the debate on whether all forms of same-sex relationships are sin or not-- what about "let he who is without sin cast the first stone"? It's easy to condemn those who sin in ways in which we ourselves are not tempted, and to pat ourselves on the back for being righteous-- but where is the love in promoting harsh penalties such as Uganda does? Jesus rescued the woman caught in adultery from the harsh penalty that the others would condemn her to. How can we call ourselves His followers when we ignore our own sin and cast as many and as heavy stones as we can lift?

We must learn what it means, "He desires mercy and not sacrifice." Instead we pride ourselves on our showy sacrifices that make it plain we're not like "the world," and forget the mercy of God.

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III said...

Dear Suzanne,

Many times language that expresses the thoughts of God toward sin usually are used by some persons as "justification" for violent behaviour against what is considered sin, e.g. homosexuality. God does not condone that type of violence.

Frequent occurences in OT and NT indicate that adultery, gossip, greed (covetousness), stealing, drunkenness, slander (character assassination = murder), etc. are ALL sin. Thus, Romans 1:18-32 is quite clear on this matter. BTW,it is a matter of fact that idolatry and sexual immorality go hand in hand. Going through the OT will show this.

Furthermore, you quoted I Cor. 6:9-10. I should remind you of the verses that follow especially 11-12,
"And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the bane of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God (RSV).

Note that those in verses 11-12 left behind what is listed in verses 9-10.

Finally, what Dr. Grudem says is correct as far as it goes, but that does not mean that Dr. Grudem is advocating violence against certain groups of sinners. He is not. In fact, Christians would not condone the type of violence that has occurred against certain groups, e.g. abortionists and homosexuals.

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III

talkwithmelistentome said...

Rev. Bryant, I am an African, I am gay. I risk 12 to 14 years in prison for a nature I did not create for myself. Is God that mean or imperfect in the work of creation? Am I God's mistake? I have struggled with this nature before I actually become aware of what name to give it, i.e. from childhood. Sometimes I don't trust the God of the bible, but all the time I trust Jesus. I trust the spirit of Africa and my ancestors who related to nature freely and with respect for the possible diversity it brings along constantly prior to the incursion of Islam and Christianity.
To me, Dr. Grudem's statement is another theological extreme that could be translated mildly by you Bryant as not advocating violence; but could be another supporting voice of violent god for Bahati to advocate killing of the innocents.
I suggest people go into systematic theology with open heart of letting God be God who keeps on revealing new things everyday.

Anonymous said...

Uganda is by far not the only country in the world to have these types of laws. In fact, in the case of sodomy, the MAJORITY of countries in the world have laws against it.