Saturday, January 07, 2006

just the good ol' boys

So I went to get my haircut today and decided to specifically look for a barber shop rather than a hair salon. I’ve been missing my barber on West Green Road and was hoping for a shave. So I drive to downtown Edmond (probably my first mistake) and found what appeared to be an old barber shop. It was. So I go in and sit down and start looking around this place. It’s got old photos, old newspaper clippings, and cute little sayings carved into wooden plaques. It also has some scripture verses, printed off a computer, laminated, and also hanging on the wall. But what really caught my attention was that, among the five different verses they decided to hang on their wall, were two verses on homosexuality.

???

What’s up with that? Why has anti-homosexuality become the theme of some people’s religion? Jesus never talked about it. The Bible barely talks about it. Yet some people have made it the focus of the church.

What the Bible does talk about, time and time again, throughout all of the prophets and most of it’s other books, and what was one of the main themes of Jesus’ life and ministry, is justice. Justice. But guess what? There were no verses about justice hanging on the walls. No verses reminding Christians that we have a responsibility to help the poor. No verses reminding Christians to love their enemies. Just verses on sin and homosexuality.

Sigh.

Comments on "just the good ol' boys"

 

Blogger Bill said ... (6:13 PM) : 

I could comment on the south or just evangelicals to begin with, but simply you have a point. Its our new pet sin. Sad isn't it.

 

Blogger peter said ... (12:22 AM) : 

Do you think Christians are talking more about it because it’s in vogue to talk about it within the church, or because society itself has a renewed focus on the subject and Christians are simply reacting? Furthermore, was the haircut any good?

Cheers,
Peter
www.lublink.ca

 

Blogger Larry said ... (1:16 AM) : 

I think Peter makes a good point. I tend to agree with him. Homosexuality has been around since the beginning of time. I do not see this as a "pet sin" as Bill would put it.

I am not sure what the plaques said. If they are from scripture, then they have credence. I do believe though that we live in a culture, not only with Christians, where we have become obsesive with the new agenda of the day. Our reaction is often an over-reaction to things we see as sinful.

I am not sure what Bill is talking about the South or evangelicals. Isn't generalizing about an area of the country or a segment of people just as bad as generalizing about homosexuals? I have roots in both the South and in the evangelical community. I think we can hold a discussion intelligently and don't need to insult a person's heritage to do it. To do so is antithetical to the open-mindeness that Bill seems to embrace.

 

Blogger Cari said ... (3:34 AM) : 

I don't think we'll ever stop standing up against sins, and we shouldn't. I think it's sad that we're so afraid of "insulting" someone that we don't call a spade a spade. It's way more upsetting to me that we have made it our agenda to show just how tolerant we are. "Oh, look! I have a homosexual friend, how cool am I? Can he help me with my wardrobe?" I don't think we should condemn others, I think we should love them, but I don't think we need to love them straight to hell. With homosexual marriages showing up as the "pet rebellion", it's only natural that people (Christians, and non-Christians alike) are going to speak up. I don't think Christ ever taught us to let sin be and just accept it. Yes, He loves the sinner, as should we. But He's not going to allow the world to continue. He destroyed Sodom and Gommorah not because of religious elitists or Billy Bob rednecks (well, ok, maybe a little) but because of the overwhelming presence of sexual sins, and that there weren't even 10 righteous beings there. Don't get into a dangerous habit of being "embarrassed" when someone says out loud (or on a plaque) what the bible has said all along!

 

Blogger Tim said ... (2:48 PM) : 

"Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy." Ezekiel 16:49

 

Blogger tarisayl said ... (3:40 PM) : 

Just curious....what were the other verses about?

 

Blogger Tim said ... (4:01 PM) : 

Open your Bible and find out!

 

Blogger blogblogblog said ... (8:52 PM) : 

Tim,
I think Tarisayl was asking what the other verses were on the wall at the barber shop--something that interested me as well.

 

Blogger Cari said ... (9:37 PM) : 

The whole passage in context was still about sexual sin and the lifestyle of prostitution and gluttony in all their ways of life, and that they ignored the poor and needy while they fed themselves more than was necessary.

 

Blogger Tim said ... (10:23 PM) : 

First of all, all of the verses (in the barber shop) were on sin. None were on grace or forgiveness. I'm always fascinated when Christians believe that non-Christians should live according to Christian values.

I'm also fascinated that somebody could see the context of Ezekiel 16 as "sexual sin".

Funny how none of the verses in the barber shop were on divorce or gossip, two sins that Jesus actually talked about.

Seems to me that it's become pretty easy to condemn the one sin that we don't struggle with, while forgetting about the thousand that we do. I can remember my childhood pastor touching on the sin of gluttony and getting killed by the people at our church. Yet I feel very confident that if he had preached an entire sermon on homosexuality, he would have been supported.

Personally, I've never witnessed a homosexual dividing my church, but I've seen gossipers destroy many churches, including some I've served in.

 

Blogger Bill said ... (10:39 PM) : 

Maybe (well not maybe) I am a bit jaded against evangelicals. I might be a bit abrasive when it comes to southerners. Here is my point: That barber shop would be out of business here because the owner would have been sued and rightly so. We deal with this question often. We have a homosexual cross dresser who sings in our choir and praise team. He is committed and has come a long way. Who raises the issue? Addicts, new to the program, who have been raised in evangelical settings. I know towns I would still be run out of for being an interracial couple. Homosexuality is a pet sin of evangelicals. It is possable that it is simply a reaction. But, reactions simply breed more reactions. All Tim is saying is lets focus on the greater issues. All I'm saying is why focus on an issue that scripture only talks about maybe 5 times and never alone always with other issues. I go back to whoever is without sin...

Now if you are southern and evangelical I appologize if you are offended by my comments.

 

Blogger Sean said ... (10:50 PM) : 

OK here is a thought, Romans 1:21-25 ( you can read it, there is a progression of sin that leads up to the sexual sins you're ( or we as the church are) so fond of. It all starts with being decieved and trading the glory of God for the things of this world.
I agree sin is sin, I also agree that we should be bold in the face of sin and in confronting sin. UNfortunatley, the problem is not in the confrontation, but in the podium the church provides for attacking "pet sins". Thirty years ago it was dirty magazines, 15 years ago it was dirty lyrics in music. Luckily, the church standing up and yelling "foul" stopped both of those from continuing ( in America specifically).The fact of the matter is, when the church tries to isolate a new big sin in the world (generalized)it makes things worse and then people feel judged and condemned . THe church (big C, AKA believers, people truly in the body) has to find its way out of the deception that we have a right to condemn, which is sin by the way. And into the example of Christ, and not condemning the world but rather introducing it to a saving love that comes from CHrist that is a light the the darkness cannot contain. If we instead put a plaque on the wall the says " if anyone is in Christ , He is a new creation. the old has gone and the New has come" how much further will our message go in sparking the right conversations.

If we as the church attack the heart of the matter which is not that a person is gay, or a drug addict, or abusive, or a murder, or a gossip... but that they, along with us have been decieved into thinking that these things that are known or unknown sins could fill the void that we as created being have to reflect our creator. There is a heart problem in the church ( big C), or less generally in many churches (little C). We are decieved into thinking that we as the body have a podium to condemn the sins of the world, where rather we must return to our mission to make more disciples. That is our job, and I as a Christian often aware of the schemes and deception still find myself wanting to play judge.
that was long, my apologies

oh yeah, I got a blog site, but it only has an introduction so far... holingthekeys.blogspot.com

 

Blogger Larry said ... (2:57 AM) : 

sean,
Thanks for your comments. You make some good points. I am with you on the discipleship issue. It causes us to act gracefully toward all, no matter what.

Bill, I am glad for your inclusive ministry. I pray God will use you in it. Even with my roots, I am glad when a brother has a passion for the lost. I pray that you will find it in your heart to forgive those who have harmed you and you think misrepresent the Gospel, no matter where they are from. I am truly sorry for those who in the name of Jesus have caused you discomfort. I do believe though that we can unite quicker in love than in condemnation.

Tim, thanks for raising the point. You always cause us to think.

 

Blogger Estelle said ... (11:51 AM) : 

Tim, great blog and if London does nothing else for you but inspire you to change and challenge then we have done a lot! I have read all the posted blogs and wanted to tell you how much I am challenged by your comments as well, but just one thing. You don't sound bitter or angry - just enlightened.
Also, God told me to stay in The Salvation Army because it would never change form the outside, maybe the USA needs more people to go haome and tell the stories for it to ever change. Lets' be political and let's be full of justice!! Not only on a Sunday - Hebrews 6 tells us that we need to move on and not dwell on the stuuf and basic doctrines we know regularly.
Happy 2006 to you and here's hoping that the 15 pounds come off easily.

 

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