Alicia Johnston: LGBTQ Theology — Adventist Voices

he’s actually quite remarkable…especially since he’s only 31, at least in this video…

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We live in a complicated world - a broken world full of broken people like me.

God is love! He loves all of us!

God did not create 5% of the world’s population to be gay. He did not create people to fight wars. He did not create people to be born with Down’s Syndrome.

We live in a broken and complicated world.

God calls us to love. We love to judge and separate and segregate, but we are not called to do that. We are called to love!

We live in a complicated world. I’m tired and old. I have more questions than answers.

Love!

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You state:
GOD DID NOT CREATE FIVE PER CENT OF THE POPULATION TO BE GAY.

Inescapably, demographics reveal that every tribe, race, ethnic group on this planet has a large minority gay / lesbian population.

Where did they come from ?

I thought God was the sole creator.

Satan, himself a created being, has zero creative powers.

Did some mythical “ space alien “ create these unfortunates, who through zero input / choice of their own, are suddenly condemned by the Adventist church to life times of loneliness and celibacy ?? And hateful discrimination by the larger population?

What did they do to deserve this ?

In response to HARRY ALLEN

You state :
GOD HAS A MORAL ORDER THAT DOES NOT PERMIT THE PRACTICE OF HOMOSEXUALITY

Then why in God’s name does He create gays? ( see my points above )

He exhibits pure unadulterated SADISM by creating them and then condemning them for the way He created them!

As to what the Adventist Church should do —- they have already done it !

They have condemned their gay / lesbian offspring to life times of loneliness and celibacy and treated their gay kids despicably, shamefully and shabbily —- ask any SDA KINSHIP member for their childhood experiences !

So I advise any Adventist gay / lesbian, the moment they have any intuition / inkling about their unchosen gay orientation , to immediately distance themselves from all denominational schools, congregations, and families.

They will only cause themselves irreparable harm by continuing to allow the church to treat them with cruelty.

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Please read my response to Mike Austin

Why in the world would God care if homosexuals follow their sexuality in a way that’s analogous to the way that heterosexuals follow theirs? Why can’t the rest of us just butt out?

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Thanks, @ezbord.

According to the Bible, God created gay people for the same reason he created everybody else: So He could, through Christ, justify, sanctify, and glorify them.

Finis.

HA

Thanks, @Harry_Elliott.

The Bible does not say.

Please define “butt out.”

HA

“Butt out” is a crude way of saying tell them our opinions only if they ask. But you knew that. :wink:

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Thanks, @Harry_Elliott.

No, Harry: You knew that, because you used the term. :slightly_smiling_face:

So, here’s the question you, essentially, asked:

If homosexuals follow their sexuality, why can’t the rest of us just tell them our opinions only if they ask?

The answer should be obvious: Because such a policy would be fatal to ecclesia; the fellowship of believers.

A church, where the discussion of behavior it deems wrong could only be initiated by those engaged in such activities, would inevitably become deeply corrupt.

You could just as well ask this question: If embezzlers follow their fiduciary instincts, why can’t the rest of the bank just tell them our opinions only if they ask?

HA

I meant you knew what “Butt out” means. If you equate homosexuality to embezzlemeant, I abandon all hope (to quote Paul Frees).

HA, I agree with you on this one.

However, I do take your logic a bit further, given that it seems to me that the death blow to any fellowship of believers happens the instant one member of the fellowship realizes that he no longer believes as do the others in the group.

At that point, there can be no fellowship, as such, given that the “true” believers will inevitably band together in an effort to ostracize and/or eliminate the “false” or unfaithful, former believer so that they can get back on the good side of the angels and god, even if this means that the group may inevitably be whittled down to a congregation of one. :grinning:

Thus, I see no way–or even any logical reason–for a homosexual, or a disbeliever such as myself, to cling to the idea that the group or the bank–which, in this analogy as see it, would represent god–will ever accept anyone who doesn’t think as they “should”. I’d also suggest that there can only be subjective or emotional explantions for making any effort to change people for whom abandoning the group’s orginal ethos is not only anathema but is, by definition, a sin.

Instead, I’d encourage those who find themselves in such an unpleasant situation to give up on their pipe dream of trying to fix what the core insists is not broken, and to jump out of the frying pan and into the fire. While also saying, “Come on in, boys and girls. The fire hurts at first but then you’re purged and can get on with life after death.”

That said, this conversation became too “Harry” for my tastes, several comments ago, so having said all I had to say on this point, I’ll just…no, I’m not going to go there. :rofl:

Thanks, @Harry_Elliott.

No, I meant you can’t talk credibly about what I “know.” Only I can do that. The only reasonable assumption is that you know what “butt out” means, because you used the term.

You’re bear-hugging a common talking point — the ill of comparing homosexuality to something authentically offensive, in order to make a larger point — and being needlessly picayune.

Select any act — otherwise innocuous — you like.

• Replace “embezzlement” with “stopping to pick pretty flowers by the side of the road,” but make the offended group “Team F1 race car drivers.”

• Replace “embezzlement” with “parkour,” but make the group “an award-winning society of classic still-life painters.”

It doesn’t matter. The point is that a) any group can be offended by some behavior, but, more importantly, b) no group would only leave it to members who offend them to raise the subject of their offense, and only speak about the offense when the offending group brought it up. This is what you have actually suggested SDAs do.

If you ran a submarine, and you had a group of seamen aboard who liked to drill holes in the side of the sub and see who could patch them up the fastest, the commander on board would not “butt out.” He would butt them out.

HA

Thanks, @NY_G_Pa.

Good.

It could be the “death blow,” if the group does not find a way of managing disagreement, and deciding for which disagreements members are worth ejecting.

To cite my response to @Harry_Elliott, an F1 race car team may be able to abide a member who has disagreements about whether wheels/tires should be cambered at, say, Xº or Yº. Depending on the effect of the adjustment, they might just chalk it up to preference.

On the other hand, an F1 race car team could not abide a member who has disagreements about whether, when he sees pretty flowers by the side of the road, he should stop his race car, get out, and pick them. That driver would be fired the first time he did this, and no other team would pick up his contract, because they would deem him insane.

Immediately, at the present time, the “bank” is the church. Ultimately, the Bank is God.

And you’re correct: The purpose of authentic theology (and its accompanying effects) is to change the mind of the individual, so that they can produce correct thought, speech, and action; “correct” meaning congruent with God’s ideals.

They are to do this because, according to Christianity, at a future time, God will make His home with human beings, forever. No one who clings to another way of being, counter to God’s, can possibly exist there, in that realm…nor would they want to do so.

People who don’t aspire to be like God can live any way they want, for as long as they can.

If the Bible is true, what it says is that such people’s existences will come to mirror Thomas Hobbes’ description, in Leviathan: “Continual fear, and danger of violent death … solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.”

Don’t know what this means. Totally fine with that.

HA

This is one of, or part of, your primary objections? You’re objecting to a new-to-you idea because it’s new to you?

Just wanted to quickly point out that the Bible doesn’t condemn consensual same-sex marriage. I’d recommend Unclobber by Colby Martin.

Your second objection is about how you don’t like a word or phrase? Objecting to the syntax rather than the subject matter looks a lot like a red herring fallacy.

What, so confirmation bias? Such a line of reasoning certainly makes it easy for a person to wave away any accountability for understanding nuance, but I’m not sure if that was your intent. It’s a neatly packaged method of foregoing empathy. I wonder how quickly such a principle—of deciding the compactness of an argument is the most valuable measure of an argument, which in itself seems fallacious—breaks down in any scholarly debate? What you seem to be after is a (seemingly) concise argument which lacks nuance, not a plain old argument.

It really is a sad state of affairs when people are not interested in discovery, learning new things, and honestly entertaining challenging ideas. That people aren’t willing to read a book to learn something new and must be given simple ideas which can only be “followed” (as you put it) because of some given common ground. To be clear, you’re not wrong about Christians broadly, in that they typically have no interest in absorbing information other than what scratches their confirmation bias itch.

If I’m being honest, all your talk reads like you’ve never looked. I recommend Alicia’s book as a starting point.

(1) Doesn’t matter when it’s an issue of the government. Even if we entertain that it does matter, this binary belief is unsupported by modern science.
(2) Marriage does not exist only for procreation.
(3) Convenient theory, but the data indicates children do better with a secure, loving environment provided by two parents, regardless of their gender, when compared against single parents and controlled for gender of the parents. At best, research is inconclusive whether different-sex marriages are better for children than same-sex marriages. Point (3) also implies marriage only exists for procreation, which is not the case. On that fact alone we can also throw it out.

No. Two reasons:
(1) one must assume or believe the given behavior is morally or otherwise bad; this is what allows you to draw a false equivalency between embezzlers and those who want same-sex marriage. This belief is only supported by modern, decontextualized mistranslations of the Bible.
(2) this conclusion also requires a deep lack of empathy for the experiences of people from the LGBTQ+ community and a lack of understanding of related history.

Thanks, @morrcahn.

No.

  1. There are no new-to-me ideas, here; just, from my purview, unsupported ones, as I stated.

  2. I make mention of the fact I’d not heard the term affirming. I do this to reinforce the point that, presumably, I’m not part of Alicia Johnston’s target audience; I assume her target audience is familiar with, and uses, the term.

Thanks for the book recommendation!

The Bible doesn’t condemn serial killing, either. It doesn’t need to do so, because it condemns the root act: killing.

It’s not that I “don’t like” it. It’s that it’s a misnomer. The term doesn’t make sense, semantically, because, as has been widely observed, one would have to change the meaning and idea of what a marriage is for it work, doing so for the reasons I gave.

As I said to @ezbord, the point of my first post was to critique Alicia Johnston’s failure to use her time on Adventist Voices to make and defend her argument. This is the mass of my objection; what most of the text confronts.

As well as being a smart critique of same-sex marriage, Ryan T. Anderson’s argument is smartly made; it’s sensible, simple, and frequent.

My suggestion is that Alicia do the same; make a sensible, simple, frequent argument, if she hopes to be as compelling. C’est tout.

I have a general philosophical position I hold to be true, and it’s if one understands an idea, one’s self, one can explain it to a five-year-old.

So, before I necessarily commit myself to reading another 300-page book — I have lots of them I need to read, about subjects to which I’m more intellectually committed — I want a sense that the author has a grasp of their own material.

In the couple of times I’ve seen Ms. Johnston present her case for same-sex marriage, I’ve not yet been convinced that she does.

Now, that’s not a final conclusion. You’ve left out the most, literally, pivotal statement in my commentary: Despite these objections, I consider myself persuadable.

This means that I’ve not closed my ears to an argument for same-sex marriage, or to one which concludes homosexuality is within the will of God. I’m just waiting for someone to make the argument.

I’m happy to give Alicia Johnston another chance. I’m going to wait until her book is out. I’m going to watch or listen to her talk about it. I’m going to decide if, given what she says, I should research more. On that basis, I will purchase it, or not.

But, again, I’ll be looking for arguments. That Sodomites were guilty of being inhospitable, or that Roman homosexuality was akin to rape, are not, to me, arguments. Neither is saying nothing about these, or other arguments, when one appears on Adventist Voices.

You’re talking about your perception of your thoughts, correct? Because you couldn’t be talking about mine, since you can’t see them.

I have commitments that keep me from responding to these three points, now.

However, Mr. Anderson addresses them, often and at length.

The SDA church believes that the practice of homosexuality is morally or otherwise bad.

Yes, it is, but this equivalency isn’t false.

Please see my response to @Harry_Elliott’s “bear hug,” and my elaboration on it in my response to @NY_G_Pa.

That’s a proposition of which people who believe it, must, now, convince those who do not.

One could have profound empathy for the experiences of people from the LGBTQ+ community and a deep understanding of related history…and still believe the practice of homosexuality is outside of God’s will.

Are you suggesting, if one believes the practice of homosexuality is outside of God’s will, empathy for the experiences of people from the LGBTQ+ community and an understanding of related history should move them to reverse that conclusion?

Really?

HA

Dude, I don’t want to pile on, here, but please consider this.

Even if I, unlike HA, grant that all of your specific points are valid, it still seems to me that the most basic point of your comment is misguided.

As I said in my response to him, I can see no reason–either objective or subjective–to make any effort to impart your wisdom on those who don’t want to accept any of your truths just as there is nothing to be gained by showing up at parties where you’re not wanted.

In other words, I find his Formula 1 reference particularly apropo–and not just because I hate Mercedes Benz and think Botas is a destined to be a perpetual “second banana” who would do just as well to spend the race picking flowers–but because this is the biblical equivilant of “shaking the dust off your crocs!”

Further, Jesus doesn’t seem to have any issues with schisms in “his” church, as these have been happening since the first century BCE, while he, personally, has done nothing whatsoever, to prevent them.

(It should be noted of course, that he has also done nothing to definitively and officially sanction any of these thousands of splinter groups, either, which kinda makes me think that Neitzche was probably right when he said the last “true” Christian was nailed to the cross. But then again, that’s only evidence of a negative, not proof postitve, so Jesus’ lack of interaction with any of “his” church groups may not be in any way meaningful, at all.)

I would suggest, however, that you not hold your breath while you’re waiting for the Holy Spirit to come down and bless your newly formed LGBTQ get-togethers by saying “This Non-Homophobic Denomination is the one I like best.”

Not because it would be wrong to assemble as such, but simply because no such group has been able to prove that it absolutely resembles the church to which christ aspired as there is no way to prove, based on something other than hearsay, that christ intended to start a new religion, in the first place! :wink:

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Seems to me like you are comparing oppression and inequality to a relatively trivial quibble over doctrine? Otherwise I must be misunderstanding you.

Clearly bad faith and condescending statement. Forgive my sarcasm, but great work there.

An appeal to ignorance with, “you can’t prove it because there is no way to prove it.” Okay.
Also, this is a pretty direct condemnation of the LGBTQ+ community and their affirmation in the church by very clearly implying affirming them would mean starting a new religion. Not sure if that’s what you intended. However, you must not understand the difference between a religion and a denomination or you’re continuing the long tradition of exclusionary practices.

Haha, it’s pretty basic. Considering you seem to find this difficult to believe, it’s indicative to me that empathy has never persuaded you against your current understanding of a given idea, never persuaded you to reevaluate the root of your beliefs in or understanding of something.
That’s when you pick up a book, without expectations and all these but, but, but, if rules, and read it with an open mind. As far as I can tell, that’s the best way to bypass one’s bias. Then you can use your evident critical thinking skills to evaluate the argument as a whole.
Personally, I would not trust a scholar or anyone to make informed decisions when they necessitate a simplified, lacking-in-nuance, explanation of a heavily nuanced and complex situation/idea. To each their own, though.

“needlessly picayune”
To reiterate what I’ve already said, you made a false equivalency (again and again). Every example you used is a choice. A desire for same-sex marriage is the same as a desire for different-sex marriage, and neither desires are choices.
If you want to make a point about, well, anything, don’t use logical fallacies to support it. It makes a point and argument weak when someone finds it expedient to use logical fallacies because it doesn’t matter to them.

The bulk of the problem you are trying to highlight is mitigated, I would suggest, by three things:
(1) Recognizing that sexual orientation and identity is as much a choice as it is for a cisgender straight person. I.e., it’s not a choice.
(2) Exercising empathy for someone whose worldview and lived experience is different than our own.
(3) Most importantly, cisgender straight people should mind there own business.

Alas, when a group of people—Christians–have been taught they must control and harass other people with their subjective “truths,” while simultaneously believing their current understanding of their scriptures is unflawed, these things can generally not be achieved.