Saturday, November 22, 2008

Kicking Against The Goads

So, after the Proposition 8 vote, apparently some Christians were praying and singing, and some gay* folk attacked them.

Here is the Video.

Here is the Narrative.

Here is the Anchoress's take.

...and here is mine:

Some Gays In SanFran Find It Hard To Kick Against The Goads

Christianity offers a solution to those who have examined themselves (and human beings generally) sufficiently closely to understand that they have a problem in need of solving.

Humans often fail to do the good they know they should (or even wish they could) do. And humans often do the evil they know they shouldn't do, or wish they could avoid doing. That is the problem.

Now, Christ offers the solution...but He has absolutely nothing to say to those who don't yet know they have the problem. The antiquated way of saying it is that Original Sin permeates mankind, and that the insight that one is a sinner is a prerequisite to understanding the Gospel.

What, then, about homosexuals?

Well, just like the rest of us sinners, some know they have a problem, and others do not. And Christianity has absolutely nothing to say to those who don't know they have a problem.

But here we have some folks praying and singing, and the result is...what? How did this mere sight and sound affect gay onlookers?

Some (not all) gays felt compelled, by something within them, to kick, punch, molest, and steal from these folks who were singing and praying.

That's quite a reaction. What compelled it?

Sign Of Contradiction

The singers and prayers were being what Christians call "A Sign of Contradiction." Where Christianity makes itself noticed and its counter-cultural nature is revealed, it gets kicked.

The excuses used to justify the kicking differ in every age, and I understand well what they are in this age, but they are only excuses, and not the foundation of this rage. The foundation, the motivation to violence, is simple: It is fallen humanity's exasperation that, no matter how long one pushes back against the Truth of God, it adamantly refuses to go away, refuses to change for our convenience, refuses to stay out of sight. It keeps popping up in front of us, to our frustration, like a bubble of air under freshly-applied wallpaper.

As a man named Paul (earlier called Saul) might ruefully tell us: "It is hard to kick against the goads." (Another translation says, "against the pricks," but this leads to unfortunate misunderstandings....)

Some gays have not given in to the emotional urge to express their opposition to Christianity as physically as these described by Malkin and shown in the video. Some have managed to keep their cool, and perhaps as a result they still don't know they have a problem.

But what of those who saw this knot of folk praying and singing, and reacted violently? With jeers? With grabbing at body parts and pulling at clothing? With hurled insults and thrown punches?

With kicks?

They're probably discovering that it's hard to kick against the goads. They expressed what was truly inside them; and now that they have done so, do they like what they see? Do they know they have a problem?

Finding Out You Have A Problem

I think some of them do, now. So perhaps we need more street-corner singing and praying. It's quaint and unintellectual, sure. But one more easily sees that something is crooked by pushing it up against something that is straight. (The pun is unintentional; I don't mean sexually "straight," but morally straight, even logically consistent.)

When homosexuals encounter Christ, they encounter a Sign of Contradiction. They will kick against the goads. And they will find it hard. And if they look, they'll find something crooked in themselves. Not just their sexual problem; that's almost a symptom or manifestation. The something crooked is their fallen-ness.

And only then will Christ have anything more to say to them.

* Note: in the course of this post, I refer both to "gays" and to "homosexuals." In each case, I am referring to people who experience sexual attraction to persons of the same gender, which I hold to not be a sin per se, but a disordered personality trait and a temptation to sin. In no case am I using the term "gay" or "homosexual" as an epithet. Tone-of-voice is difficult to convey in writing but I ask readers to assume that my attitude is one of careful analysis without animosity.

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