Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Some Common Errors

We learn a lot from some of the negative emails we receive. Aside from the highly emotional appeals, threats, and insults, we also see some serious wrong-headedness, mostly appearing to come from the rising generation. The following errors are some of what we have gleaned from the comments of some well-meaning but unthinking members of the Church.

Some rely on  Church leaders to make sure everything is as it should be. They don't realize that Church leaders are human and make mistakes, always have and always will. Our leaders are having their earthly test like everyone else and need our prayers that they will resist the world, stay humble, and follow the Spirit. People who put their reliance on human beings are the same people who lose their faith in God when they find a Church leader making a mistake. We shouldn't live on borrowed light no matter what. It's the three members of the Godhead we should put our faith in.

Some think if somebody's an active member of the Church, he is resisting sin. As such, they have come to think that "out," gay LDS, because they are LDS (served missions, hold callings, go to the temple, etc.) are of course essentially fighting against their temptations like the rest of us have to fight against ours. But this may not be so at all. Indeed, why should they resist SGA if they have been taught there is nothing wrong with it? Indeed, is there any proof that their feelings are unwanted? Are they repentant in any way? Are they getting help? Or have they given in? Are they seeking accommodation for their embraced alternative sexual identity as we see in the recent BYU video? Yes, we should all be resisting sin, but for some reason, some outspoken people with SGA don't feel this necessity.

Some think the problem of same-sex attraction is the same as problems with opposite-sex attraction. It's true that sexual feelings are just sexual feelings and can take any number of wrong directions. It's also true that all kinds of sins lead us away from God and need to be forsaken. But there is a great difference between homosexuality and heterosexuality that is being overlooked. Homosexuality is never right, while heterosexuality is very right under the right conditions.Therefore, we mustn't accept same-sex attraction as natural or right under any circumstances, but educate, help ,and encourage people to resist and conquer it.

Some fail to make an essential distinction. This is the distinction between a person struggling against unwanted sexual tendencies who wants to get help, get well, and develop normal healthy sexuality, and a person who has embraced today's take on homosexuality as their identity and therefore has no desire to give up their homosexual thought patterns or school their feelings. They don't make the distinction between a person who is repentant and one who is holding on to their sin. The former type of person is necessarily quite private about his problem and seeks help from a few trusted sources. The latter may be rebellious (in more ways than this one), argumentative, defensive, demanding. He may seek to change others' timeless and deeply-held beliefs in order to feel justified in his choices and may be very clever, patient, manipulative, and deceptive in his methods.

Some think homosexuality is no big deal. (After all, people with SGA aren't thinking about sex ALL the time.) This is a sorry excuse for sin. Just because we aren't thinking bad thoughts all the time, they should be excused? No, we should acknowledge and confess our sinfulness and turn back to the Lord every time. If we rationalize pettiness, vindictiveness, selfishness, or lust, those bad qualities proliferate and we don't learn, grow, or increase in spirituality. No unclean thing can dwell in God's presence. Sounds like a pretty big deal to us.

Some are mistaking religion for social work. They think church is for spreading "love," for making everybody feel good, for giving comfort mostly through human relationships. This may happen in a church setting, but it is not religion, or more specifically Christianity, and it is not reliable. Christ is about the purest form of love, about giving us the chance to give up our Selves, to change from the inside out, to do the right things for the right reasons, to become holy, like him, to fit us for the presence of God. Religion is certainly not morally neutral, nor is it nonjudgmental when it comes to sin. Christ cannot save us in our sins, only from them.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Some Basic Truths

Ethnicity and homosexuality are not the same. One of the erroneous arguments in favor of the Mormon Church changing to embrace homosexuality uses the comparison of blacks being forbidden and then allowed to hold the priesthood. This argument is a non sequitur because a person's ethnicity is not connected to a behavior. You don't have to think or do anything to be the ethnicity you were born. It just is. It is not dependent on any behavior, choice, or mentality. Your ethnicity stays the same no matter what you think or feel or do about it or anything else. Homosexuality is about one main behavior: sex. At its core homosexuality consists of doing something: sexualizing those of one's same gender, whatever form it takes. Everyone faced with, embracing, or encouraging homosexuality, no matter what you call it, (SGA, SSA, gay, LGBT) needs to know that it is about sex. Otherwise it's just pretend, like wearing the latest trendy Halloween costume. To be truly same-sex sexually attracted you have to think, feel, do sexual things involving your same sex. It follows that while our ethnicity cannot be changed, our thoughts, feelings, and outward behaviors can certainly be changed. People change what they think, feel, and do all the time. Sexual thoughts, feelings, and acts are among those changeable behaviors.  

Heterosexuality is mating. Homosexuality is not mating. Another erroneous argument in favor of embracing homosexuality concerns instances of ancient or modern polygamy allowed by God. The line is, if God has eased up on His rules about sex and marriage in times past, why not homosexuality? For one thing, homosexuality in any form has never been sanctioned by God, quite the opposite. For another thing, this argument is a non sequitur because the two behaviors are like apples and oranges. Yes, they both involve the sexual appetite, like apples and oranges are both fruit, but polygamy always involves sexuality between opposite sexes while homosexuality always involves sexuality between same sexes. Heterosexual acts are what is called mating, that is, biologically natural behaviors that can lead to reproduction, and this is why societies find it in their best interest to support opposite-sex marriage. This is one of many good reasons why societies need not invent or support "same-sex marriage."

Marriage is not a right.  The language of entitlement is all around us today. In place of personal responsibility, motivation, and choice, "rights" are being invented willy-nilly. Without any effort or merit on their part, people think they are owed groceries, a house, a job, sexual freedom, even marriage. Once such arbitrary demands are embraced as rights, the floodgates to tyranny and slavery are wide open.

Freedom comes with risks and responsibilities. Marriage occurs between free, individual, separate people. Some people never have the opportunity to be married, or choose against it. Marriage is an opportunity, a privilege, a choice, a decision, a responsibility, a breathtaking act of faith, and a solemn promise between two opposite-sex adults who propose to do the one thing that makes babies whether children come of it or not. The gay movement has falsely characterized marriage as a right in order to force official societal approval of the false idea that homosexual behavior is equal to heterosexual behavior (see above) and change the societal order (see below). 

Gay marriage is not about marriage. The gay marriage agenda is not about the so-called right to be married. Gays have the same opportunity as anyone else to be married in the traditional sense. It's about intimidation, fear, and misinformation, about changing laws and destroying the institutions that protect and give order to human society. Even those same-sex couples who have unwittingly jumped on this band wagon need to know they are part of the destruction.

 Marriage is instituted primarily for the well-being of children, not adults. One fact that has been swept under the carpet is that governments have traditionally supported marriage because of the security and benefit to the rising generation it offers. Mating often results in children, and children need their mother and father to grow up to be good citizens. Yes, studies prove that traditional marriage is also beneficial to the adults involved. But somehow, the primary purpose of this institution, the well-being of human posterity, has been forgotten in favor of the trumped-up rights, needs, desires, and whatever else, of adults only. Governments have no vested interest in random adult relationships that don't produce children.