T he follow question was posed by a recent visitor to Blow the Trumpet’s website. According to the writer, it was inspired by comments he heard expressed by a prominent celebrity who had offered a rather cynical view of Christianity. Below is his letter and our response.
Tonight, on Larry King Live, the guest was comedian Bill Maher. Like so many in Hollywood, Mr. Maher’s opinion of President Bush borders somewhere between contempt and disdain. Throughout the program he was relentless in his criticism of a man who is no less than the leader of the free world. To me that alone takes a lot of nerve. But I digress.
At one point during the program [Mr.] Maher began to vilify the president over his opposition to same sex marriage. It is here that he made a very interesting comment about Christianity. Suffice it to say it was not complimentary. He stated something to the effect that there are those out there (Christians) who are real good at claiming to “hate the sin but love the sinner.” He then claimed that such a thing was impossible. He illustrated his point by asking rhetorically: How can these people who claim to love be so cruel? For example if people are gay and want to do what ‘straight’ people do, like be married, they (Christians) will kick them out of their churches. Loving the sinner and hating the sin is nonsense. It is impossible to do that.”
I would be interested in knowing how you would respond to his comment.
Thank you for your note to Blow the Trumpet. And although we normally don’t comment on the beliefs expressed by celebrities like Mr. Maher, we thought we would do so this time.
The idea that hating the sin but loving the sinner is not only totally consistent with the scriptures, it is actually something Mr. Maher agrees with in all likelihood. Here is the question we would pose to him.
Suppose an 18-year-old freshman in college brought his girlfriend home during a semester break. While there he decided to inform his parents that he and his “honey” would be sleeping together. Additionally, they would be engaging in some “recreational “drugs.
However, at this point the parents being “old fashioned” types inform their son that they live in a Christian home and that he can take his brand of collegiate enlightenment right back to school. Furthermore, the money supply was officially being cut off, including tuition.
After outlining the new plan, the boy’s father conveyed to his son the following: “Son, you may not believe this, but your mother and I love you very much. However, we absolutely abhor what you are doing with your life. And we most certainly will never assist you in doing it. With that said, we want you to know that we love you with all our heart.”
Does this boy’s parents love him?
Or, are they just being hypocrites?
In other words, can they hate the sin,
but love the sinner?
The real issue in Mr. Maher’s comment was not about those who hate the sin but love the sinner, it was about sin itself and what it is. The fact of the matter is that Mr. Maher does not see homosexuality as immoral and he most definitely does not think it is a sin. Therefore, those who do must be the problem. It is for this reason that his attack against the president is almost always personal. And he is not alone in this approach.
The attacks by those in the secular world against people who profess a belief in a higher moral authority, and more specifically, God and the Bible, can be as mean-spirited and vitriolic as any hate speech ever uttered. Their attacks are almost always personal. And although they have the appearance of moral indignation, in reality they are absent of any enduring moral principles. In short, the “moral” arguments advanced by the secular world are at the very least disingenuous, if not dishonest altogether. The formula for their attack is very simple: express “moral” outrage or indignation toward someone for statements made or positions held that go contrary to their beliefs or practices. The irony here is that this is the very thing they condemn in others.
The next step is to question the “believer’s” understanding of what is “right” and what is “wrong.” The tone in almost all of these attacks is condemning. For the most part, the “believer” is viewed as an intolerant bigot deserving of hate. Some will even challenge the authority of the Bible as a credible moral work. After all, wasn’t it written by a bunch of white males? And isn’t it filled with teachings that demean women, condone slavery, and is totally intolerant of religious diversity? Sounds like it would fit in well with many of the beliefs held by the cowards that flew into the Trade Center and the Pentagon on 9-11.
Another approach of the secular world is to demonize those who accept the Bible as the definitive statement on morality and the literal word of God Himself. Terms such as “extremist,” “intolerant” and “hateful” are used prolifically to describe those who openly declare their faith. Furthermore, these labels are spoken with such force, they take on the appearance of truth.
The real difference between people like Bill Maher and the president he attacks, is reflected in their view of good and evil. President Bush believes in a black and white world. Mr. Maher believes in one that is gray. In this gray world, all values are given the same moral weight. Nothing is better, only different. Therefore, nothing should be condemned, but rather understood and tolerated.
As a result of this thinking, every act of depravity can now be manipulated to have a “moral” justification if one wishes. Sexual behavior, whether it be adultery, fornication, or homosexuality, is “moral” because it is done between “consenting adults.” Pedophiles argue the “morality” of their conduct because it is done between “consenting human beings.” Those who practice bestiality can also claim the “moral high ground” because their sexual expression is done between two “consenting living creatures.” Here, “consent” determines the morality of an act, not the act itself.
This is how man thinks and Bill Maher is no different.
Blow the Trumpet
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