Monday, December 29, 2008

If Melissa Etheridge is to be believed, Rick Warren apparently...

...saw his meeting with her as something other than an opportunity to point her to Jesus.

In case you don't know, Melissa Etheridge is yet another performer who sees herself as heroic for having yielded herself to degrading passions, and as a martyr for not having succeeded in forcing everyone to approve of her perversion... yet.

If she is to be believed, Warren used his encounter with her mainly to try to make her like him, Rick Warren. Warren assured her that he's a fan, he affirms equal rights for gays, he's conflicted, he's sorry for what he said about her perversion... you know, talking about her perversion like it's a perversion or something.

Now, just in case I'm ever considered for such a situation, I don't want the "against" case to be unnecessarily weak. So let me be plain: I do unhesitatingly mention homosexuality and "gay" "marriage" in the same breath as pederasty and bestiality. Ethically, it's a "duh."

Homosexual advocates hate this argument because it's irrefutable: if you redefine "marriage" to include two same-sexers indulging in serial perversion, there is no rational, consistent case to be made against any redefinition of marriage, including incest, polygamy, a man and five women (or men or goats) — or a man and his favorite five-iron.

Here's the whole problem with the Etheridge-mindset. They want to exclude practicing Christians from public life, while denying that that is what they're doing. They're not opposed to Christianity, they say; they're opposed to homophobia — that undefined word that ends up working out to mean "admitting out loud that homosexuality is always and definitionally immoral."

They just don't get the difference between worshiping God and trying to be God. If you're opting for the latter, then of course they're right. Anything goes, literally anything. Define perversion as morality, sum up 2+2 as 2304985 - whatever. You're God. You get to call it. It's a perk.

But if there is an infinite-personal God, He gets to do the defining. And He defines homosexuality, bestiality, rape, and such things as always and everywhere immoral, no matter how much the perp "feels in his heart of hearts" that it is the right thing to do. Because if there is such a God, then it is He, and not mankind, who is the measure of all things.

So, while I'm waxing prolix, I'll anticipate the snippy snipe certain types would want to throw at me. "What would you have done, in Warren's shoes? Told Etheridge she was going to Hell?"

I'll answer straight up — after one disclaimer.

Disclaimer: As I've often said, I do not equate my big talk from the safety of my keyboard with actual Daring Deeds Done. Talk is talk, action is action, the two are not synonyms. God knows I have failed and buckled and chickened-out far too often to feel proud and boasty about what a wonderful job I would have done if I were in ____'s shoes.


Straight-up answer: What I hope I would have done is seen it as maybe the only time Melissa Etheridge has been in the same room / on the same line as a preacher of the Gospel, ever. What I hope I would have done is told her that she and I are in the same boat. We're sinners, lost and hopeless. Her sin-of-choice is a sexual perversion; but I've played host (even if only mentally) to enough sinful passions and schemes to send me to the deepest Hell forever and ever, justly and righteously. We are different peas from the same pod.

I hope I would have told Etheridge that I believed Jesus, the whole package. That I believed He was who He said He was - God in human flesh, come to save sinners like her and me. That I believed He was right in affirming the Word of God that condemns her darling passions as surely as it condemns mine.

Further, I hope I'd have told Etheridge that I believed Jesus was truthful in saying that He was the way, the truth and the life, and that no one could have a relationship with the Father except through Him. That the only hope and chance for her and me is that Jesus pays for our sins, and secures forgiveness and hope and deliverance for us.

And finally I hope I'd have told her that, believing in Jesus as I do, I take his word as non-negotiable. That if He said homosexuality was fine, I would too. But since He says murder, theft, homosexuality, adultery and such things are sinful, so must I. Because I believe Jesus, and He's Lord. Not me.

And because being a Christian isn't a process of negotiation.

That's what I hope I would have said.

And I think Warren, had he been more concerned about her soul than his popularity, might have said something like that.

If she's reporting the conversation accurately.


JackW said...

A few thoughts on this:

1. At what point is it casting pearls …
2. Promoting a “Christmas” Album? Winter Solstice maybe, but not Christmas.
3. She could be writing about a Christian cause with the language she uses. Eerie.
4. I’m thinking the best approach to someone who thinks they are all about peace is to introduce them to the Prince of Peace. But my best approaches …
5. I still keep asking the same question; why Rick Warren?

Thanks Dan, interesting stuff.

chrish said...

You said: "if you redefine "marriage" to include two same-sexers indulging in serial perversion, there is no rational, consistent case to be made against any redefinition of marriage, including incest, polygamy, a man and five women (or men or goats) — or a man and his favorite five-iron."

I disagree. Marriage cannot be extended to include "relationships" with inanimate objects or creatures that cannot give consent. Marrying your 5-iron (or any club, really), or your dog/goat/hamster is truly impossible.

The rest of your post, however, is bang-on correct. If I agreed with it any more strongly, I might be a homophobe...

DJP said...

But what gives you the right to put your narrow morality on noble golf clubs? Seriously, what right have you — if you can appeal to no transcendent morality — to require consent? That's a moral stricture. If you're free to redefine, dude, you're free to redefine, period. Rapists can say they're married to their victims. It's as legit as two messed-up guys saying they're married.

NoLongerBlind said...

"And finally I hope I'd have told her that, believing in Jesus as I do, I take his word as non-negotiable. That if He said homosexuality was fine, I would too. But since He says murder, theft, homosexuality, adultery and such things are sinful, so must I. Because I believe Jesus, and He's Lord. Not me."

Awesome summation of how the "line needs to be drawn" regarding what's right and what's not, and how to speak Truth in love with grace!

Thank-you, Dan!

candy said...

My visualization of Rick Warren on Inauguration Day is like Sally Fields on Oscar night.

"You love me, you really LOVE me!!", before presenting a politically pablumized prayer for the non-pondering public.

RT said...

To the extent "marriage" is a civil union by which the State conveys certain privileges and immunities to its citizens, then I think the State can extend "marriage" to anyone, or any golf club, it chooses in order to promote a legitimate public purpose. The reality is that those "marriages", whether between a man and a woman, or a man and his 5-iron, are only coincidentally marriages in the true sense when they line up with the Institution of Marriage as set out in scripture. Quite apart from the exotic combinations dreamed up by DJP, there are plenty of men "married" to women who are not married in the eyes of God. Unfortunately the Church made a deal with the devil when it turned over the regulation of the marriage bond to the State and now we are merely gathering the fruits of that transaction.

DJP said...

But what I think many are overlooking is that illegitimate legitimization will then become a club wielded against any dissenters. Now they say "Oh no no, we'd never force it on religious people." But at the same time, they're saying right up-front that Rick Warren should not be allowed to pray at the inauguration, simply because he favored Prop 8.

Anyone with kids in government reeducation camps — which, imho (surprise!) they should reconsider anyway, but — will end up bitten and bullied. Motel owners, bed-n-breakfasters, and on and on. Give special rights and status to a perversion, and legitimate rights are lost.

Then look behind the homosexual advocates, see who else is queued up behind them, shrieking "We're next!"

LeeC said...


I disagree.

There are many a man who commits adultery with their golfclubs, football games, blogs, newspaper, whatever by giving them the attention, adoration, and worship due to their wife, or their God.

Do not give to these things what you ought to give to your wife or your God, that is unnatural, just as same sex marriage is.

RT said...

"Now they say "Oh no no, we'd never force it on religious people." But at the same time, they're saying right up-front that Rick Warren should not be allowed to pray at the inauguration, simply because he favored Prop 8."

We are the inheritors of a rather odd mix of religious and political life. Arguably the inauguration of a president ought to go forward without any prayer at all, nor is there really any point to someone like Obama laying his hand on the Bible for purposes of an oath. To quote my favorite film: "It is a wonder the Testament does not leap from his hand!"

While it is certainly true that groups, perverse or otherwise, are forever standing in line with their respective hands out, the fact is that government exists for the purpose of sorting out such claims and should merely do so as even-handedly as possible. You know as well as I do that history is the history of decline. This debate is just one more mile-marker on the irremedial slide to inevitable ruin occasioned, as I remarked earlier, by constitutional choices made long ago.

CR said...

If this Etheridge is telling the truth, I'm not at all surprised.

~Mark said...

I'm with Dan on the redefining marriage slippery slope. If the law redefines marriage for one group then it automatically sets the legal precedent and removes the roadblock from other bizarre combinations.

Anybody remember the woman who "married" a dolphin? Open the door and things like that won't be far off since society already tolerates NAMBLA and winks at the elevation of animals to the social and relational worth of humans.

Fred Butler said...

I wrote a short post on Warren's forthcoming prayer for Obama and the hatred he has generated among the pro-gay crazies. In the meta, a so-called conservative evangelical gay "Christian" named Rick has started leaving comments. I hope to respond with an article when I have a few moments to write it up later this week.

Makes for some interesting reading for those wanting to understand how gay evangelicals attempt to argue their case.

RT said...

Mark -

Well, it wasn't God that attached inheritance rights and tax consequences to marriage - man did that. We are thus left to deal with the consequences of our intermingling of the sacred and the profane. Personally I would prefer marriage divorced entirely from civil rights and returned to its sacramental character and function. Inheritance rights and other legal and civil benefits should be conferred irrespective of sexual intercourse, perverse or otherwise. Society values what it now calls "marriage", not because of its sexual or spiritual component, but purely because it facilitates the ownership, development and orderly transfer of property. Sex and spirituality are equally irrelevant to civil "marriage" and ought to be of no consideration or concern. If there were some benefit to society for a women to marry a dolphin or DJP to marry his 5-iron, then such should be allowed and tax breaks awarded! Frankly I think most such flights of fancy would never make it through even our flawed legislative process, but of course I could be wrong on that score. In any event, civil unions (whether you want to call them marriages or not - and I prefer not) between a man and a woman, two spinster sisters, a brother and a sister, two men, you name it, all could potentially further society's legitimate interest in increasing wealth and productivity (and tax revenue thereby) and frankly should be encouraged. Marriage - true marriage - should be returned to the oversight of the Church and the State should stay out of it.

Michelle said...

Is anyone else wondering what Rick Warren was doing speaking at the Muslim Public Affairs Council?

Michelle said...

Just copying and pasting from the Muslim Public Affairs Council website, quoting Rick Warren:

"Al-Qaeda is no more representative of Islam than the KKK is of Christianity," Warren said. "Religious congregations are the only set of organizations on earth that can successfully combat the ills of spiritual emptiness, corrupt leadership, disease pandemics, dire poverty, and illiteracy, and we must actively and directly cooperate with mosques to get the job done."

He's talking about his global P.E.A.C.E. plan.

Seems like it's all about building bridges for him, between homosexuals, Muslims, etc. to promote his own agenda. I'm trying to figure out where the Gospel of Jesus Christ fits into that agenda.

Stan McCullars said...

According to Warren, churches and mosques can both combat the ills of spiritual emptiness

Very troubling.

Truth Unites... and Divides said...

Good post. Very good post. I'm not quite as down or disparaging of Pastor Rick Warren as many of you are or seem to be.

I think God is using this broken vessel of a pastor to alert and awaken the slumbering evangelicals about the truth of militant GLBT activists and their enablers:

(1) "The attacks on Warren are part of this strategy: If Pastor Rick can be defined as a hatemonger undeserving of a prominent public stage, surely the same can be done to any opponent of gay marriage." from The New Culture War.

(2) "Though I hesitate to put words in Rick Warren’s mouth, or speak definitively as to where he stands – I am quite confident that his view of scripture is very much in line with the 1950s evangelicals – even the 1920s fundamentalists. It is a high view of the Bible – inspired of God, interpreted careful, and applied personally.

This is a view commonly shared by conservative evangelicals across the denominational landscape. And it is why some evangelicals need to face the music. No matter how much you try to love, reach out, dialogue, and build bridges, the other guys are not going to be happy short of the abandonment of the Bible as a serious document relevant to our times.

Unless evangelicals are willing to say that the Bible does not call homosexual behavior sinful, no amount of posturing will change anything.

It is sort of like the Israeli-PLO land-for-peace narrative. It will never work because the PLO does not think Israel should exist. Conceded acreage will not assuage that.

Nor will “reaching out” assuage those who believe that anyone who takes the Bible seriously on the matter of homosexuality is, ipso facto, a bigot filled with hate."

From: An Evangelical Bridge Too Far.

CR said...

Again, if Ethridge is telling the truth about the encounter, Rick Warren's comments are pretty pathetic, especially for a pastor.

Warren apparently said, every loving relationship deserves equal protection of the law.

Gay marriage is about government recognition of a homosexual relationship as "marriage." Government's recognition of this carries with it the endorsement and encouragement of that relationship by a society.

The Bible (calls homosexuality an abomination in the OT and unnatural in the NT) and most cultures condemn homosexuality. If the state recognizes this practice it will result in harmful consequences: a requirement to allow gay couples to adopt and raise children and it would also carry with it (sooner of later) government prohibitions against criticizing it.

Marriage is between one man and one woman, period.

A separate issue, bestiality, is called a perversion in Leviticus.

We don't need to compare or contrast gay marriage and homosexuality with bestiality. The Bible says enough about what marriage is and what homosexuality is, that we don't need to get into trouble by comparing it with anything else.

The gospel also offers forgiveness of sins and real hope for a transformed life to homosexuals as well as to all other sinners. Period.

If Warren had stuck to that and it was God's will to regenerate Etheridge, something could have been accomplished.

It's really shameful what Warren did, plain and simple. Warren is a perfect fit to give the invocation to a wicked Obama administration.

jen elslager said...

I believe that it's absolutely probable that legalizing same sex marriage will open the flood gates to other perverse 'marriages'. Not too long ago there was a TV program that I read about where Melissa Gilbert (little Laura Ingalls) guest starred as a woman involved in bestiality. Just as the 'entertainment' industry has spent years normalizing homosexuality, it looks as though the push may be on to normalize other things as well.

We are on a slippery slope for sure, and men such as Warren are doing nothing more than advancing their cause.

Jonathan said...

Great, great post. There's a bumper-sticker theology that goes like this: "God said it. I believe it. That settles it."

Trouble is, bumper-sticker theology isn't very biblical, even if it represents much of so-called conservative christianity.

Here's how I say the Christian must handle all questions of moral (and other) issues..
God said it. That settles it!

Whether you or I 'believe' it doesn't really matter.

Keep up the good work.

Carol Jean said...

And where will all this hand-holding and Kum-bay-ah end up?

Melissa Etheridge said,

"“Maybe in our anger, as we consider marches and boycotts, perhaps we can consider stretching out our hands. Maybe instead of marching on his church, we can show up en mass and volunteer for one of the many organizations affiliated with his church that work for HIV/AIDS causes all around the world.”

So maybe that's where they'll hear the unabashed, unapologetic Gospel?

Rachael Starke said...

ME also said "They don't hate us, they fear change."

Dan - I appreciate your willingness to give Mr. Warren the benefit of the doubt. Based on the above statement alone, I don't think he deserves it. What a lost opportunity.

I'm in the process of reconnecting with an old friend from (Christian) college who has been a practicing lesbian for a number of years. My conscience has really bothered me over the way I, at our last conversation ten years ago, both tried to "understand" her perpective, and give her a bunch of statements about God's law and anger without also pointing her to the cross. I'm older and wiser now and I'm praying for the opoportunity to have just such a conversation with her.

And praying I don't chicken out.

Because when we're done, if I've done it right and unless God is merciful, I don't think my dear friend is going to think that I "fear change." And I don't even think that she's going to offer up her phone number so I can come over for dinner and meet the fam.

Unless God is merciful.

~Mark said...

"Personally I would prefer marriage divorced entirely from civil rights and returned to its sacramental character and function. "

~I can dig that, as long as the government is forced to acknowledge it has no influence over marriage.

However a thought occurs to me: in such a case, if a church started marrying in an ungodly fashion, how would that be handled by the faithful church?