Guest Article: A “Timely” Reply by Joshua Gulley

The following is an email sent by my friend and brother in Christ, Josh Gulley, to “Time Magazine” in response to an article written by a religious figure in which the word of God was deceptively twisted in an attempt to change the will of God before the eye’s of his readers.

Dear Time:

I was a little shocked after reading Gene Robinson’s commentary entitled “The Pope’s Baby Step on Gays” in August’s issue. I was downright horrified by his last sentence, and I’ll get to that shortly. The gist of his article was that the Pope’s comment, “Who am I to judge?” is a baby step forward for the Catholic church in becoming up-to-date, meaning accepting gay people and their activities as righteous. He seems to think the Catholic Church needs to get with the program and take a strong stance that the gay lifestyle is an acceptable one.
The increasing acceptance of the gay lifestyle within the Catholic Church and Christianity at large is a very bad sign. It’s even worse that men who approve of this lifestyle are being appointed as leaders. Men who wear the title “Bishop,” “Pope,” “Pastor,” “Preacher,” “Evangelist,” etc. are supposed to be characterized by a devotion to faithfully interpret the words of the Bible, which they believe to be the word of God and therefore authoritative over anything any man anywhere says. So it must be the case that former Bishop Robinson, who seems to consider it a tragedy that Christians everywhere have not embraced homosexuals and their actions, has never read passages like 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Timothy 1:8-11, Romans 1:18-32, and a handful of other Scriptures which condemn the actions of homosexuals along with a host of other actions which society still considers bad–like murder; and some which strike a lot closer to home–like gossip.
I find that hard to believe, though, since Robinson must have gone through some biblical training before being elected as a bishop in the Episcopal Church. But perhaps it’s true, given the way he misused the two Scriptures he quoted. The first was a quotation of Jesus saying, “Judge not, that you be not judged,” which Robinson implies to mean that actions which Scripture clearly condemns should not be considered sinful. So, to be consistent, we must apply this standard to all the actions which Scripture condemns. When someone robs a bank, we should turn the other cheek; when someone murders their spouse, we should ignore what happened; when someone sets off a bomb in a hospital, we may frown, but we should not seek punishment upon them. “Whoa, hold on a minute,” I hear you saying, “theft and murder are not the same as homosexuality.” And in my own mind, I would agree with you–the consequences of one are not as severe as the consequences of the others. But people who claim to be Christians must interpret the Bible the way it was meant to be interpreted, and Mr. Robinson dropped the ball on this one. Jesus was telling us not to be full of self-righteous pride when we see the sins of others, since we have sins of our own. He was NOT excusing actions that he condemned elsewhere (and yes, by approving one combination of genders and one proper place for sexual fulfillment–marriage–he condemned homosexuality; check out the first 12 verses of Mark chapter 10).
The last portion of Robinson’s article began with an emotional charge that God would not create people with an attraction to the same-sex and then expect them to deprive themselves of expressing that love. After making this plea that surely God will not punish those who wish to satisfy their sexual desires for members of the same-sex, he argued that accepting the homosexual lifestyle will be the key to church growth in the future. He ended with this statement: “If God is love, as Scripture attests, then surely God is gay love too.” His quote was from 1 John 4:7-8, where the apostle John reiterates Jesus’ command to Christians to love each other and all of humankind. Yet Jesus could not possibly have been referring to romantic or sexual love, since he condemned all sexual activity taking place outside a marriage between a man and a woman. So he could only have been talking about love in the sense that people should treat one another with the respect they deserve since they were made and died for by God. Yet Robinson twists this statement from John’s letter to imply that God somehow represents romantic, sexual love; then he goes even further, claiming that God must represent all kinds of romantic, sexual love, including homosexual love. This is one of the greatest (if not the greatest) stretches I have ever seen the words of the Bible put through. Mr. Robinson, I would expect more from a bishop. Please read your Bible all the way through before you write your next commentary.
Respectfully, though disappointed,
Joshua Gulley
Josh is a member of the Smithville Church of Christ and a teacher of music at the High School level

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