Part Two: The Flawed Introduction.
You can still find the article here.
The first pro-gay argument Mr. Dallas tries to disprove is understandably, "Jesus Said Nothing About Homosexuality." To quote from the article:
Troy Perry (along with most gay Christian leaders) makes much of this argument based on silence: "As for the question, 'What did Jesus say about homosexuality?', the answer is simple. Jesus said nothing. Not one thing. Nothing! Jesus was more interested in love."
So, according to the argument of silence, if Jesus did not talk about it, neither should we.
Joe Dallas lists four counter-arguments that I wish to address.
1) The gospels are not more authoritative than the rest of the Bible.
To which I can only say, huh?
I'm a Christian. That means I follow Christ. I am not a Paulian, or a Peterian, or anything else. I sure don't follow Old Testament Law. If Mr. Dallas wishes to put the teachings of other biblical leaders on par with Christ, that's his business, but he's going to have a tough time finding biblical justification for that.
John 14:6 Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
2 & 3) The Gospels are not comprehensive and We don't know everything Jesus said.
I'm putting the two together because they're basically the same thing restated. Looks like Joe was trying his hardest to get at least four points!
The fallacy in this argument comes when you assume that because the Gospels aren't comprehensive, Jesus said important things that weren't included. But see, Jesus details everything needed to be a Christ follower and live a holy life. And he repeats it again and again. If something was SO important that it would bar people from a relationship with God, he would have mentioned it. Jesus is not a trickster, hiding information so he can jump out and say GOTCHA!
2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
To quote Mr. Dallas: "Some of the Bible's most important teachings, in fact, do not appear in the Gospels." Later on, after listing several doctrines (many of which are not universally acknowledged, especially "doctrines" like spiritual gifts and the future of Israel), he says, "Would anyone say none of these doctrines are important because they were not mentioned by Jesus?"
Well, yes, actually. Jesus himself told us the most important doctrine:
One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?"
"The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."
"Well said, teacher," the man replied. "You are right in saying that God is one and there is no other but him. To love him with all your heart, with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices."
Look at that last line. More important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices. More important, Mr. Dallas, than the proper management of spiritual gifts. More important than conforming to a set of rules engineered by a group of people who, while reading the same bible, come up with vastly different emphases. More important than living a heterosexual life against your God-given nature.
Mr. Dallas goes on to say, "Are we really to believe that Jesus did not care about wife beating or incest, just because He said nothing about them?" But Jesus did say something about them. Look at the above passage of scripture: "Love your neighbor as yourself." Of course Jesus talked about wife beating, incest, violence, homophobia, etc. Love your neighbor as yourself.
4) Though Jesus said nothing specific about homosexuality, he set heterosexuality up as the standard.
To prove his argument, Mr. Dallas uses his weakest scriptural example yet, and that's saying something. Mr. Dallas asserts that Mark 10:6-9 shows the importance Jesus places on heterosexuality. But let's look at the entire passage.
Note: I used the passage out of Matthew instead, because it's more comprehensive and easier to read. Mark tends to be curt. Feel free to look up both and compare, but they are retellings of the same story. I like Matthew better.
When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.
Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?"
"Haven't you read," he replied, "that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female,' and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.' So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate."
"Why then," they asked, "did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?"
Jesus replied, "Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery."
The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry."
Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others have been made eunuchs; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."
Let's put this in a historical context. During this time period, there was a lot of confusion about when a man could divorce his wife. The Rabbis could not agree, stipulating anything from adultery to bad cooking. The divorced woman (as any unmarried non-virgin woman) had a huge social stigma, as well as an inability to care for her physical needs. "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?" was a very serious question.
Jesus cuts quickly through the cultural b.s. that is miring the conversation. He says plainly that God's plan is for marriage to last a lifetime. "Even if you technically obey the law of Moses by giving your wife a certificate of divorce," he says, "you are still committing adultery in God's sight." Though addressed to heterosexuals, this passage has nothing to do with a heterosexual standard, but rather a very specific question at a very specific time.
Nor does the passage end there. In fact, Jesus turns the idea of a heterosexual standard on its head! Jesus says plainly that some do not marry because they were born that way, others because they were forced into celibacy (made eunuchs), and others because they chose to in order to better serve Christ. Contrary to popular belief, celibacy is not heterosexuality. There is no heterosexual standard.
For some more information, check out:
A very in-depth look at the six common passages used against homosexuals.
An interesting look at biblical same-sex relationships.