Was ‘Christianity Today’ justified in rejecting this controversial ad?

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Three Christian publications, including Christianity Today, rejected an advertisement by Evangelicals for Marriage Equality. Jonathan Merritt argues that they were justified in the decision. - Image credit: Evangelicals for Marriage Equality

Three Christian publications, including Christianity Today, rejected an advertisement by Evangelicals for Marriage Equality. Jonathan Merritt argues that they were justified in the decision. - Image credit: Evangelicals for Marriage Equality

Three Christian publications, including Christianity Today, rejected an advertisement by Evangelicals for Marriage Equality. Jonathan Merritt argues that they were justified in the decision. - Image credit: Evangelicals for Marriage Equality

Three Christian publications, including Christianity Today, rejected an advertisement by Evangelicals for Marriage Equality. Jonathan Merritt argues that they were justified in the decision. – (Image credit: Evangelicals for Marriage Equality)

When “Evangelicals for Marriage Equality” (EME) launched this week, they had one message: “you can be a devout, Bible-believing evangelical and support the right of same-sex couples to be recognized by the government as married.” Predictably, not everyone participated in the organization’s coming out party.

A leading evangelical magazine, Christianity Today, for example, rejected EME’s full-page advertisement (pictured below), which stated, “There are hundreds of verses in the Bible that talk about love. There aren’t any that talk about the civil definition of marriage.” According to the EME website, an editor for Christianity Today said, “the ad advocates for a position that we have editorialized against.”

The organization then submitted the ad to Relevant, and was also rejected because the publisher reportedly said, “the ad was not approved based on political issues.” Lastly, EME submitted the advertisement to World Magazine who also turned them down.

Were these publications justified in rejecting this advertisement?

The simple answer is “yes.” And it has nothing to do with the truthfulness of the ad’s message or the lack thereof. Rather, these are independent evangelical publications who hold to a particular view of marriage. They have audiences with expectations about what is and isn’t consistent with a Christian worldview. And they should be free to only publish content that is consistent with both.

One might think such an assertion is as clear as the nose on one’s face. But it isn’t. Several LGBT publications have reported on the rejection of this ad, and the EME website has devoted an entire webpage to the matter arguing that the situation illustrates “an evangelical culture that’s not currently conducive to frank conversations about a hot button topic like marriage equality.”

But does “frank conversation” mean obligating others to broadcast messages with which they disagree?

One might also recall when the progressive evangelical Sojourners magazine was criticized by some on the left for rejecting a pro-LGBT ad in May 2011. Organizations such as GLAAD and publications like Religion Dispatches excoriated Sojourners for their decision, though I’m sure neither of these organizations would have run an ad from Family Research Council. (Sojourners later accepted another ad with a similar message.)

We’re now facing a perennial issue where activists on both sides of this debate expect to be invited to every party and demand to be heard in whatever forum they choose. I’m sorry, but a conservative publication should not be shamed for rejecting an ad that flies in the face of their convictions and beliefs. And, similarly, a liberal organization committed to marriage equality should be free to rescind a speaker’s invitation when they learn the speaker holds to a divergent position.

Have we finally arrived at a moment where Christians of mutual goodwill attack their brothers and sisters not only for disagreeing with their position on sexuality, but also for not advertising it for them?

The Christian Church in the West is now facing the most important debate of our time. It threatens to shred the church by the seams and leave it in a tattered heap. And more importantly, it intimately involves people with feelings and emotions and dreams that have been socially marginalized and deserve to be respected, loved, and heard.

Those on the left must stop labeling anyone who holds to a traditional Christian sexual ethic a “bigot” or “hater.” Those on the right must quit claiming that everyone on the left is a “heretic” or “doesn’t believe the Bible.” [tweetable]It is critical that Christians on both sides of the sexuality debate make their cases with winsomeness and grace.[/tweetable]

As Moses Maimonides wrote in The Guide for the Perplexed, “Truth does not become true by virtue of the fact that the entire world agrees with it, nor less so even if the whole world disagrees with it.” The “truth” in this matter will not be established by mob rule, public shaming, and marginalization tactics. Instead, everyone must allow those who disagree with their positions to make their cases as they see fit, even as they do the same.

Credit: Evangelicals for Marriage Equality

Credit: Evangelicals for Marriage Equality

  • Frank

    You either accept Gods created order for marriage and equality or you don’t. There is no middle ground.

  • Jay

    Jonathan, one of the big problems is that “liberals” recognize that there are many viewpoints on hot-button issues, so in order to “win” the debate, they use shaming to try to embarrass their opponents. On the other side, “conservatives” refuse to recognize that their opponents even exist, so they define these opponents in ways that dehumanize them. I’m sure that most CT readers would say not “I disagree with Evangelicals for Marriage Equality,” but rather “There is no such thing as an evangelical for marriage equality.” It’s the same position that conservatives take on almost any issue — “you CANNOT be a gay Christian.” “You cannot be a Christian and support abortion rights.” “You cannot believe in evolution and also be a Christian.” The effect of this is pernicious — it effectively says that one’s opponents on any particular issue are not just fellow Christians with whom one disagrees, but are instead wolves in sheep’s clothing who must be silenced and even driven from the church.

  • John

    Per their ad, there aren’t any bible verses about civil unions because that was not an issue in the culture nor with the people/churches to which the bible was written. That does not mean you cannot gain a biblical position on the issue, but it does mean that you cannot read today’s idioms and issues back into a historical document and then pronounce judgment upon it. They are engaging in false arguments and violating how historians correctly handle historical literature.

    Per Jonathan comments, I agree that this is the defining theological issue of our day. It makes me wonder, given all the rhetoric and harsh language from both sides, how other theological disputes from church history actually looked. Probably as messy and anger inducing as this one.

  • The Great God Pan

    “Jesus would stone homos. …Stoning is still the law.”
    “Obama has released the homo demons on the black man. Look out black woman, a white homo may take your man.”
    –Pastor James David Manning, PhD in theology

    “We have got countries all over the world that are standing for what’s right and what’s wrong. In Rwanda, there’s legislation right now that repeat offenders of homosexuality will spend their life in prison.”
    –Jake McMillian, co-leader of You Can Run But You Can’t Hide Ministries

    “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. They should be put to death. ‘Oh, so you’re saying we should go out and start killing them, no? I’m saying the government should. They won’t, but they should.”
    –Pastor Curtist Knapp

    “Muslims are calling for the executions of homosexuals in America. This just shows you they themselves are upholding the laws that are even in the Bible of the Judeo-Christian God, but they seem to be more moral than even the American Christians…”
    Pastor Bradlee Dean

    ““I wonder what the Rose Bowl parade would do if we had the stoning of a homosexual along the parade just as an expression of free speech and all that.”
    –Pastor Dave Buehner

    “Those on the left must stop labeling anyone who holds to a traditional Christian sexual ethic a ‘bigot’ or ‘hater.'”
    –Jonathan Merritt, moderated and non-bigoted evangelical

  • Frank

    Your myopic ignorance is pitiful.

  • Jonathan,
    Hey Brother, long time, no comment. Sorry for that, but with the new baby boy, I have been a little stretched thin. And now my 2 year old daughter is on a “Frozen” kick… But I digress… to the topic at hand.
    I believe this rejection was nothing more than blatant censorship, and indicative of a fear which comes form lacking the strength of their convictions.
    These magazines made certain that there were really no voices of dissention or of a differing opinion in their publications, although technically they should be a non-biased platform for all who speak of Christ to do so and let the Holy Spirit attest to their truthfulness or lack thereof.
    In todays Church and in most of todays Christian publications, their is no room for anything but the party line.
    This is detrimental because not only does the church cease to grow as a body, but it makes it very difficult for the lost to find their way in.
    To say in black and white that you CANNOT be Gay and be Christian, is such a polarizing statement, and an answer even Christ himself would not have given.
    Identification of Sin in others requires that you know them, really, intimately know them.
    In todays minute rice, judge you from the outside world, these type of relationships are inconvenient.
    People want to look at you, sum you up and lay your cards out on the table regardless of the validity.
    Truth, as Maimonides so beautifully pointed out does not become truth by consensus, it simply is.
    And without loving execution, our faith in Christ is a useless illusion and a pale caricature.
    For, without his love, we lack anything else which was promised to us.
    And yes, we lack Him…
    Hope this didn’t meander too long…
    Drop me a Tweet some time…
    Always good to talk.
    Jim Berman

  • John

    James – I think you have to answer whether censorship is wrong. From a societal viewpoint, we value freedom of the press and despise any idea of censorship. But biblically, which I hope is the higher standard, there may be a different perspective entirely. Should they go against their conscious which they also base in scripture? You are also assuming it comes from a position of fear, which you cannot know. In fact, they probably showed courage to stick to their position knowing the possible backlash. I also ask that if the KKK or some other offensive group wanted to espouse their position in a Christian publication, would you likewise judge them the same for refusing that ad?

    The bigger issue here that everyone is struggling with is forcing a growing minority (traditional marriage advocates) to capitulate to the majority and change their theological position. Otherwise, they will be called bigots and haters. This issue will only get worse for the traditionalists because they operate in the public arena which can force compliance via law. So, as gay marriage is quickly becoming the law, Christian business and soon the church will be forced to comply or else.

  • The Great God Pan

    Since you admitted there is no middle ground, I take it that means you agree with the Christian leaders quoted above.

  • Larry

    The Great God Pan, that post was a thing of beauty.

  • Larry

    No censorship involved except for the voluntary kind. The publication caters to a specific audience which was hostile to the message of the ad. There is no courage in pandering to one’s readership. Nor is there courage in extolling discriminatory behavior or using religious belief to justify acting badly to others.

    They did what they did because their audience, being rather virulent in their hostility, would raise a sh11storm otherwise. We see constantly how the anti-gay crowd, is more than willing to sling mud and insults to anyone willing to voice the not unreasonable idea that gays need to be treated like human beings. (See World Vision & Cardinal Dolan) No courage in that. Just taking the road more traveled.

  • Frank

    Of course not. The reality that homosexual behavior in any form is sinful and the punishment of it are two separate issues. Love requires we call sin what it is but punishment is Gods responsibility alone.

  • Frank

    Only if you have no understanding of what you are speaking about… Oh right… It’s you… Carry on.

  • John, you are painting with an extremely broad brush here.
    Marriage, in America has become whether the Church accepts it or not a civil institution.
    This publication, especially relevant Magazine on numerous occasions pushes envelopes that they feel to be acceptable and safe.
    The Bible does not speak of what Marriage has become, which is a civil contract and convention.
    As far as fear goes, I do not believe that I said that anywhere let me go back and look… Nope, I believe this all stems from personal biases.
    There are many Christians, who deem their beliefs to be so iron clad, so rooted in what they find to be the correct interpretation of truth that you had dare not contradict them.
    We know 2 things for certain in this our faith, Jesus Christ, and Him Crucified and risen. Through this, we have redemption and are instructed to go and spread THIS good news.
    And, as far as your final statement, on the state forcing Christians to accept Gay Marriage, and make Gay Cakes, and play Abba, Dancing Queen…
    Even THIS would not diminish our faith, and we would and should still spread the Good News of redemption.
    Christians seem to believe that Christ as gotten weak in the face of Satan’s pernicious spreading throughout the land.
    Nope, Christ has not gotten weak, his church has.
    While Christians are rallying to protect an institution, which has nothing to do with the Biblical Communion of Marriage instituted at Adam and Eve, you are pushing lost, hurting, and questioning souls away, into the arms of Satan.
    Christians who march in these types of rallies are no different that the folks from Westborough Baptist and their ridiculous marches.
    In fact, I believe that they are worse.
    Because they are not as blatantly laughable.
    And their kernel of truth is enveloped in a mountain of man made self righteousness.
    Christ said, his kingdom is no part of this world, now Christians need to ask ourselves… Is ours?

  • Frank

    The message that any homosexual behavior is not sinful is not of Christ

  • James Berman

    No one has stated that Homosexuality was not a sin.
    This is about a civil arrangement called marriage.

  • Loren Haas

    You either accept Frank’s understanding of God’s created order or you don’t. There is no middle ground. (According to Frank)

  • John

    James – I think you are taking my comments and questions in the wrong direction. I was speaking to the article’s censorship issue, not debating gay marriage or civil unions per se. Read more carefully.

    Your line: “and indicative of a fear which comes from lacking the strength of their convictions.”

  • I’m sorry, Jonathan, but I respectfully disagree. You claim that they are “shaming” these publications, but have you considered that might just be your interpretation?
    I merely interpreted their article as an explanation and example of the fact that many Christians are not open to engaging in these conversation, nothing more.
    I don’t know the writers personally, so I won’t claim to know their motives. But neither should you, and it kinda seems like you are assuming malicious intent here. Listening, as both sides seriously need to do, also means accepting that your interpretation of someone’s words might* not be correct.

    (Please, no one respond and bring up the sin/no-sin issue. That’s not the point of my comment).

  • Dirk Daring

    We have a guide, it’s called Scripture. Whatever ‘men’ say, is irrelevant.

    Specifically, we have the letters to the seven churches in Revelation. It should be obvious that these letters are directed to US! Read them.

    In short, remember the Gospel, don’t stray from it, don’t compromise the Gospel, if you do, repent or else…

    The Gospel is ALL of Scripture. God’s plan for redemption starts ‘In the beginning’.

    To compromise for the sake of comfort in an apostate world is a very unwise choice for a Christian, I think. We’re told we’d be hated for His Name, accept that – with a SMILE! Whenever you are hated by another because of Jesus, it testifies to the Truth and the Truth sets us free.

    We give up this world for the next. Let’s keep our eyes on the prize and not get distracted.

    God bless.

  • Byron

    well said Loren

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  • Byron

    Perhaps we need to be “hated” for the things that “Jesus was hated” which were his interpretation of the Torah, his inclusion of outsiders, outcasts, voiceless, and against those in power, etc.

    All too often “Christians” like to wear the badge of being hated for acting in a manner UNLIKE Jesus.

  • Frank

    Not mine Gods. Are there really any credible arguments out there? I have yet to see one. Although I see failed attempt after failed attempt, each getting more desperate than the last.

  • Frank

    It’s about sinful homosexual relationships. No one who has any love in them can support sin.

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  • Loren Haas

    When you explain why Christians feel not obligation to follow God’s(?) biblical prohibitions against eating shellfish, fabric woven with more than one type of material and sex with menstruating women I will make my credible arguement.
    Oh wait, I just did!

  • “We have a guide, it’s called Scripture….”

    That’s not what Jesus said in John 14:16.

  • Suffering God

    I completely agree would one of the points made in this article that as private publications they have the right to do what they want to do and I publish the ads they want to publish. However fundamentalist groups got the name of bigot and hater long before homosexual issues were on the table.

  • Steven Cress

    James, this is the frustrating part politically conservative Christians can’t get past. We can argue all day about freedom of religion, equal protection under the law, or civil marriage not being in the bible and none of that will even matter. To them, the issue is just a matter of whether or not you believe in gay marriage. Black and white. Nothing else matters, and both sides talk past each other. They’ll hardly even engage it.

    Frank can’t comprehend the difference between the morality of allowing someone freedom under the law and the morality of supporting or promoting what people do with that freedom under the law.

  • Steven Cress

    I suggest Frank consider implications of freedom of religion and equal protection under the law and apply that to marriage equality. As a Christian, I feel I have to support freedom of religion and equal protection if I am to live out even a most fundamental understanding of the golden rule and Jesus’ character. Therefore, banning gay marriage is immoral regardless of whether or not I actually believe in gay marriage itself. Similarly, I believe in extending freedom and equality under the law to the Muslim, regardless of whether or not I believe in Allah.

  • Steven Cress

    The most puzzling part of this article is how it turned into a freedom of speech issue instead of about the truthfulness of the message. Just because someone is attacking a publication’s decision to reject this advertisement doesn’t mean someone is attacking their right to do so.

    Were these publications justified?

    The simple answer is “no.” And it has *everything* to do with the truthfulness of the ad’s message or the lack thereof.

  • Joseph Styles

    Exactly right. It wasn’t because they refused advertisement copy that Protestant Evangelicals came to be considered bigots and haters, but because they tar their political opponents as “sinners” (at best), “non-Christians” (often) and “Satanic evil-doers” (much too often) and because they insist on imposing their political values (e.g., no same-sex marriage, no abortion) on others, that these labels stick.

  • Diogenes

    Paul and Peter both addressed these questions regarding Old Testament proscriptions which are no longer followed by Christians. The example of Peter is outlined in the Book of Acts where Peter received a vision from God where a tablecloth let down from heaven is set with a number of prohibited creatures, A voice from heaven declared, “Take Peter and eat.” Peter declined on the basis of Mosaic Law, and the voice declared, “Do not call common or unclean, that which God has cleansed.” The symbolism illustrated here more deeply implied that Gentiles were no longer to be considered ineligible for the life of faith within the constructs of Judeo Christianity. At the same time, as later described in the Book of Acts and the Pauline epistles, the Old Testament prohibitions against specific food items were no longer binding. Paul taught that the Law was a ‘school master’ and a methodology which ultimately was insufficient to meet the proper requirements and obligations of faith.
    It was rather a means of demonstrating to humanity that we could not be made righteous by mere law keeping, and that something greater was required (Grace). Since the 1st century, Christians have not felt bound, because of this teaching, to adhere to the ceremonial requirements of the Law, i.e. requirements associated with diet and external tertiary elements (clothing). The Law was framed by ceremonial, moral, and judicial injunctions. Ceremonial injunctions as demonstrated by Peter and Paul no longer have force.

  • It seems to me that we downgrade our allegiance to a lesser god when we try to establish truth through civil authority. Truth needs no validation. It needs only to be believed. If an individuals “truth” turns out to be false then they believed a lie. Jesus (the Way, Truth & Life) was saddened when others did not believe, yet seemed content letting individuals believe what they chose and did not rely on civil authority to establish His truth. I say we follow his example. Hold to your convictions while loving everyone the most.

  • Chaplain Martin

    Jonathan Merritt I agree with your stance in your article. Neither side of this issue wants to hear or read of the “Free Speech” of the other.

    Your last sentences sums it up:”The ‘truth’ in this matter will not be established by mob rule, public shaming, and marginalization tactics. Instead, everyone must allow those who disagree with their positions to make their cases as they see fit, even as they do the same.”
    Too bad it doesn’t seem to affect those who write comments attacking each other with little regard for what you have actually written.

  • Shawnie5

    To Diogenes’ comment I would add that Acts 15 telks us that the very Jewish and Torah-observant Jerusalem Church considered all of these issues and came to the conclusion that since the Holy Spirit had been given in equal measure to the Gentiles (manifested in those early times by supernatural evidences such as tongues, healing, etc.), they would impose no further moral requirements upon them other than what they had always expected of the righteous Gentiles among them. Google “Noahide laws” for more about this. What this amounted to was, essentiially, everything covered by the law of love, plus humane and life-respecting butchering practices, abstention from pagan sacrificial meat, and avoidance of sexual immorality in ALL its forms.

    I’ve posted this background info numerous times. Nobody has ever refuted it, but no one really wants to understand it, either. In fact, nobody appears to genuinely want an answer to the question at all. They seem to just want to keep repeating the same fabric/shellfish objection ad infinitum in hopes of it convincing more and more uninformed people, since most people have at least a vague awareness of what the kosher laws involve but few have ever read Acts.

  • The Great God Pan

    Shawnie5,

    So the part about stoning gays still counts, right? Please tell Frank.

  • Liz

    @ Diogenes,

    You said, “Paul and Peter both addressed these questions regarding Old Testament proscriptions which are no longer followed by Christians.” I assume you are a follower of Jesus’ disciples rather than Jesus himself, are you not? Because Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17) Was Jesus wrong so his later disciples had to reverse their master’s original teaching? I am confused!

    That’s not the only teaching of Jesus that was reversed, amended, or manipulated by Paul later:

    1. Jesus preached the gospel of the kingdom but Paul preached the gospel of the grace of God;

    2. Jesus defined the “kingdom of heaven” as Israel’s prophetic earthly kingdom but Paul defined the “kingdom of heaven” as the heavenly position of the body of Christ;

    3. Jesus presented Himself as Messiah and King of the Jews (Israel) but Paul presented Jesus as the risen Lord, Head of the body of Christ;

    4. Jesus preached repentance, baptism, and faith as necessary for salvation but Paul preached faith alone as necessary for salvation;

    5. Jesus operated under the Mosaic Law but Paul operated under grace.

    I am always amused when Christians’ willingness to discard the contents of the OT saying that the OT is no longer relevant because they now have the NT. Really? If Jesus came to fulfill the Law (Mosaic Law) and prophecies in the OT as He claimed, you modern Christians cannot arbitrarily decide to ignore the OT at your convenience. Why? Because without the OT prophecies of Messiah, there couldn’t have been your beloved Jesus. Think about that logically. And when you Christians finally iron out all the flaws and contradictions in the Christian Theology and the Bible, then I will consider taking all this Christianese babble about civil marriage (or other biblically based, nonsensical and skewed moralities) more seriously.

  • Shawnie5

    “Because Jesus said, “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.” (Matthew 5:17) Was Jesus wrong so his later disciples had to reverse their master’s original teaching? I am confused!”

    Jesus DID fulfill the law and the prophets. Bonus points if you can name the passage where He pronounced it fulfilled!

    Additionally, the Jews who made up the fledgling Jerusalem church DID continue to observe the Torah. What so many seem to miss, however, is that the Torah was never given to Gentiles, and Jesus never said it had to be. Righteous Gentiles were held to a much more minimal and ancient standard than the Torah, to which the Jerusalem Council was referring in Acts 15.

    “…you modern Christians cannot arbitrarily decide to ignore the OT at your convenience.”

    Modern Christians didn’t. It was Torah-observant Jewish Christians, who had personally known Jesus, who decided that–and not arbitrarily but in the context of history, scripture, and the teachings of Jesus.

    “And when you Christians finally iron out all the flaws and contradictions in the Christian Theology and the Bible, then I will consider taking all this Christianese babble about civil marriage (or other biblically based, nonsensical and skewed moralities) more seriously.”

    (A) There’s nothing on this point to iron out and (B) No, you won’t. You, like everyone else, will ignore it and continue to pitch your original argument in hopes of convincing the uninformed.

  • Graham

    I agree with you Frank, and more importantly, the Bible agrees with you. People need to understand that when a Christian speaks in accordance with bible teaching, it’s not his or her personal view, it is the mind of God.
    Those who support “marriage equality” do not have the mind of God. The “evangelical” advert is a lie, the Bible clearly speaks of marraige in the sight of God being between a man and a woman.
    As usual, the homosexual lobby fail to distinguish love from lust, they always have. Remember, their agenda is to spread confusion, muddy the waters and to weaken the faith once delivered to the saints. This is satans’ objective, and his followers serve him well.

  • Liz

    @Shawnie5,

    You said, “A) There’s nothing on this point to iron out and (B) No, you won’t. You, like everyone else, will ignore it and continue to pitch your original argument in hopes of convincing the uninformed.”

    A) Oh yeah, you have a lot of ironing out and house cleaning up to do. Within your 40,000 different denominations of Christianity, there are various different interpretations of the Bible and arguments about who is “true” Christian and who is not. You’d think that any all knowing and all powerful god is be a better communicator than that, but He obviously isn’t. So you Christians will continue to fight amongst each other…you don’t need any help from the secularist for that.

    B) I don’t get it…what am I pitching to convince the uninformed? Converting the sheeple to Christianity is your mission, not mine. I am merely expressing my opinion and challenging some of the Christian biblically based claims. Just because I don’t want to drink your kool-aid doesn’t mean I want to sell you mine.

  • Graham

    The focus of this misleading advert in on “civil marriage” Christians need to understand that this is a ‘back door’ approach to introduce laws that will redefine marriage, and destroy it’s value and purpose. In Australia we had the Marriage Registry, same approach, even some churches thought it was OK. In fact it was just another of the many angles the homosexual activists are trying to change society in any way they can.
    Christians don’t care about civil marriage, the only marriage that counts for us is marriage in Gods Sight, as with every mother aspect of living.
    Posts here are sadly typical of the violent opposition and intolerance shown to Bible believing Christians that is resulting in persecution not seen for hundreds of years.
    As one German Sociologist wrote recently “a new totalitarianism is developing under the cloak of freedom”. I couldn’t say it better.

  • Shawnie5

    “Within your 40,000 different denominations of Christianity, there are various different interpretations of the Bible and arguments about who is “true” Christian and who is not.”

    That’s not what we’re talking about. There is nothing to clear up on what Gentile Christians should or should not follow from the OT. The Jerusalem church council settled that within a few years after the crucifixion.

    “B) I don’t get it…what am I pitching to convince the uninformed?”

    That the sexual regulations traditionally observed by both Jews and Christians can be disregarded because the civil and ceremonial laws of the Torah don’t apply to Gentiles. That is simple ignorance of the book of Acts.

  • FW Ken

    Wrong, because marriage consisting of male and female predates any known religion. It’s about biology, not theology.

  • Frank

    Wow! I suggest you actually learn the about the different kinds of Levitical laws, their purposes and which ones were fulfilled and which still stand.

    It’s amazing that people seriously put forth this ignorant argument. What an embarrassment.

  • Frank

    Only if you make the state your god. Many people do.

    For those that follow Jesus, supporting sinful behavior is an act of hate.

  • Frank

    I understand it quite well and it’s an act of hate for anyone to support sin. The opposite of what we are called to do.

  • FW Ken

    Late to the party, but had to comment. The Shellfish Argument! Now that’s a blast from the past. Haven’t heard it in years.

    You might want to check out Leviticus 18, which is mostly about incest, but includes these three verses:

    21 “‘Do not give any of your children to be sacrificed to Molek, for you must not profane the name of your God. I am the Lord.

    22 “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.

    23 “‘Do not have sexual relations with an animal and defile yourself with it. A woman must not present herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it; that is a perversion.

    Molech, by the way, was a large stone idol with a fire inside. They cast living children into the fire.

    So my question is this: if we can disregard the prohibition on same-sex acts, can we also disregard the prohibitions of child sacrifice and beastiality? If not, why not?

  • that’s mighty white of you frank

  • quote frank
    “For those that follow Jesus, supporting sinful behavior is an act of hate.”

    except for supporting a god who does nothing about his holy men and women who continue to rape our children. right frank? that’s awfully white of all you christians.

  • FW Ken

    Gosh, Susy, what you really need is a fact check. For starters, 4% of Catholic priests were accused of some degree of wrongful behavior over 50 years. That compares to something like 10% to 20% perps in the general population. I lean towards a rate of 8% to 10%, which is still twice the offense rate of priests. And you might want to catch up on what Catholics have done about keeping children safe before you go blaming God for doing nothing. I’ve read that more kids are molested in the New York City public schools annually than were molested by Catholic clergy over 50 years. That’s probably exaggerated, but not by much.

    But I doubt any of that matters, because you just hate Christians, don’t you. So join the parade; is a long one. But you might want to consider some wisdom from the AA folks. Resentment is like me drinking poison and expecting it to kill you. No one really notices that you hate Christians, but hate is very bad for your body. It will kill you.

  • Neon Genesis

    I think it’s hypocritical that Jonathan Merritt to be defending these organizations banning pro-gay ads when he once got caught having gay sex.

  • Neon Genesis
  • Neon Genesis

    Would Christianity Today be justified if they rejected a pro-interracial marriage as long it was their sincere religious belief and they had a bunch of racist fans following their site? Jonathan Merritt seems incapable of understanding the difference between a private organization’s legal right to reject an ad and our right as citizens to criticize it for them. So Merritt thinks religious groups have the right to support discriminatory positions but we as citizens don’t have the right to disagree with them because otherwise we’re a bunch of meanie bigots?

  • FW Ken

    You do realize that “religious groups” are made up of citizens, don’t you? We have the same rights as you.

    Personally, I don’t think you’re a meanie for disagreeing on this, but if you are up-thread throwing around “bigot” and “homophobe”, then I would re-think my assessment of your character. 🙂

  • On the other side, “conservatives” refuse to recognize that their opponents even exist, so they define these opponents in ways that dehumanize them.

    No, they exist Jay, and everyone is aware of that. Neither are they dehumanized. They are simply not taken terribly seriously except as a social nuisance. Social nuisances are human, if anyone is confused on that point.

  • Jonathan Merritt seems incapable of understanding the difference between a private organization’s legal right to reject an ad and our right as citizens to criticize it for them.

    You have a right to criticize. While we are at it, the criticisms you offer are inane.

  • Jay

    I’m so glad you recognize that gay Christians exist! This is an important first step in dialogue.

  • Neon Genesis

    My point is no one is that contrary to the claims of Jonathan Merritt, no one is disputing Christianity Today’s right to reject this ad. But just like Christianity Today has the right to reject the ad, we also have the right to complain about it. Having a right to do something doesn’t mean you have a right to not be criticized and I don’t know why Merritt fails to grasp this.

  • Gregory Peterson

    Yes, CT can reject the ad. Yes, CT can be harshly criticized for doing that…which they deserve.

    When you start quoting Bible verses to justify denying for law abiding minority adults for what you allow for yourself…you just might be a bigot.

  • Neon Genesis

    You’re the one who blames everything you don’t like on George Soros and you’re calling me inane?

  • FW Ken

    If you look at the health statistics for practicing gays, it starts to look like there may be a built in punishment.

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  • rob

    homosexuality according to the bible is wrong .. supporting that
    sin by taking advertisement money for it would have also been wrong….

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  • Henry

    Also remember the ‘press’ does a good job of stoning those that oppose their agenda. Whether its homosexuality, islam, or abortion or liberalism, etc….the list goes on and on. Oh don’t forget the tea party and Republican voters.

  • Larry

    @FW Ken

    So all marriages to infertile people are legally invalid and only biological children are recognized to a married couple. Oh wait, none of that is true.

    Its about bigotry hiding behind religion trying to vie for power under the color of civil law.

  • FW Ken

    Larry, apparently a master of the red herring, contradicts me on something I didn’t write, then doubles down on playing the religion card.

    Perhaps example of why gay propagandists shouldn’t be allowed in civil conversation.

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  • Liz

    From a post from Evangelicals for Marriage in response to this one:

    We affirm the right of any and all publications to be able to decide whom they allow to advertise within their pages. That’s one of the beautiful benefits of a free press and a testimony to the diversity of belief and position within evangelical Christianity. Our use of the rejections was meant to support our already strong case that the work of EME is both unique and necessary.

    All three of these publications represent a particular mindset within evangelicalism, a mindset that is fundamentally opposed the conversation that we are trying to cultivate. Instead of participating in the conversation, the door is closed and people refuse to engage a different perspective on this very important issue.

    In no way are we interested in shaming any of these publications for their rejection of our ad. Far from it! In fact, in the blog post on our website that Jonathan references, we make this crystal clear:

    “It’s not our intention to shame these three magazines: All three serve and exist within an evangelical culture that’s not currently conducive to frank conversations about a hot button topic like marriage equality. It’s our intent to change that.”

  • FW Ken

    Discussion, conversation, and dialogue have two purposes. First, the pleasures of social intercourse. However, the second purpose, more relevant to this situation, is to clarify positions, finding previously unknown commonalities and differences.

    I have been following the gay debate for close to 40 years. Rarely, someone will say something new, but it’s a derivation, not a true innovation. Gay activists claim that same-sex attraction is a normal aspect of human experience. The other side says it’s a deviation, an abnormality. That’s the basic issue.

    So what’s to discuss? In reality, we just disagree, the only real thing to do is change our minds. My observation is that calls to “discussion” are really just prosletyzing for one position or the other. At this point, that’s pretty much a waste of time.

  • Larry

    @FWKen
    I am just taking your words at face value. Evidently you either didn’t think very hard before saying them or don’t take them seriously yourself. I am more inclined towards the latter. Christians are usually terrible at trying to give their dogma a rational cover story.

    “It’s about biology, not theology.”

    Obviously if “it is about biology” that means you only acknowledge biological children of a marriage and marriage is solely for producing biological children. If you actually believed what you said, you would be elaborating on such things. But you won’t. Its nonsense. You know it.

    How is accusing your alleged religious belief as nothing but a phony pretext to personal bigotry “doubling down on religion”?

  • FW Ken

    I have both thought through and completely believe what I wrote. That youdon’t like my explanation doesn’t meani didn’t provide one. Moreover, throwing in red herrings and straw man arguments only makes you look like a fool, but suit yourself.

    The union of men and women in marriage predates religion. It’s biologically wired in. That you make up a new thing you call marriage doesn’t make it marriage.

  • Larry

    Marriage has never been an “issue of biology” unless you were in an arranged marriage and member of nobility. For the rest of us, it is about legal recognition of adult relationships.

    The “procreation argument” is one of the dumbest in the anti-marriage equality canon. For people who wail about marriage being redefined, they do just that in the most insultingly reductive way possible. Reducing marriage to merely popping out kids and nothing else.

    Tradition doesn’t mean squat unless you have a rational purpose behind keeping it. You have to do better than that. But I am not expecting you to do so.

  • FW Ken

    Well, if you say the procreation argument is stupid, then it must be. However, you have once again failed to reflect what I wrote.

    It’s not about popping out babies, but about the union -a marriage – of the two halves of the human reproductive system, which biological fact forms the basis of marriage. Yes, civil society privileges marital relationships, but you fail to ask why. Or note that cultures have privileged male/female marriage spay from religion or even legal systems.

    You have simply made up something that has never existed, has no rational or human basis, and expect the rest of us to accept your will. Right now you are carrying the day, but if you knew any history, you would realize that barring a return to sanity, or culture will collapse.

  • The bible is the “mind of God”? The bible is a collection of short stories, fables, fantasies, fabrications (especially the gospels), distortions, lies and wishful thinking, written by many people over a huge span of time, copying and plagiarizing the Greek, Roman and other myth systems, right down to the virgin pregnancy by way of a horny god figure. The gospels were not written by Mathew, Mark, etc. but by Moe, Larry, Curly and Fuzzy who just used the disciples’ names. Now tell me that all of these lowlifes and frauds were inspired by god! And then tell me that the bible is the “mind of God.” Ridiculous, wrong, dangerous–and mainstream.

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  • Billysees

    @ The Great God Pan

    Your list of comments by various fundamentalists is scary.

    No wonder many hate religious fundamentalism and Christianity also.

    Isn’t their hatred justified?

  • Jason

    Liz, on Sep 13, 2014 at 12:32 pm you posted about their being two Gospels, Paul’s and Jesus’. It sounds like you acquire your teaching from Les Feldick. When we read the Bible as Scripture, we cannot separate the teaching of Jesus from that of Paul. We must carry the words of Jesus and Paul hand in hand and allow scripture to interpret scripture.