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Tuesday, May 06, 2008

For the Bible Tells Me So: The Real Story, Part 1


The following is the first installment in a 8-part series examining the DVD "For the Bible Tells Me So."

Introduction - Why the DVD Deserves a Closer Look

The public debate over homosexuality has been raging for some time now, with disagreement which sometimes stems from the basis of health standards and societal norms, and at other times stemming from what the Bible says on the subject.

While I know there are many who aren’t interested in what the Bible says about the morality of homosexual behavior, apparently it’s relevant to more people that we have otherwise been led to believe. Why else would apologists for homosexuality have produced the film, “For the Bible Tells Me So”?

A public showing of this “documentary” was recently sponsored by the Center West, a homosexual advocacy and support group in Rapid City. The film was followed by a panel discussion comprised of clergy and counseling professionals sympathetic to homosexuality.

While by it’s very title the film purports to explore what the Bible says about homosexuality, I timed the various topics discussed and found it only spends about 15 of the 98 minutes, or about 15 percent of it’s time, actually examining Scriptural text dealing with homosexuality. The remaining 85 percent of the film is spent equating Christians with Adolf Hitler and the KKK, promoting biased “research” about homosexuality, and cultivating sympathy with the personal stories of several families of homosexual children.

Among the opening credits, we see video clips of protests against homosexual activism and hear various religious figures in the background speaking about the moral crisis presented by the homosexual agenda. Ominous music provides the emotional backdrop.

Some of the protesters displayed in these clips are the hate-filled Fred Phelps people from Kansas, who are representative of no Christians that I know. Old, grainy black-and-white video of a fiery evangelist calling for "old time religion" is played.

The entire opening segment is reminiscent of the marketing strategy outlined by homosexual activists Marshall Kirk and Hunter Madsen in their book "After the Ball: How America Will Conquer Its Fear and Hatred of Gays in the 90s." In the book, the authors outlined a detailed and systematic campaign on how to make homosexuals look good and people of moral conviction look bad. Here is what Kirk and Madsen suggested:

For example, for several seconds an unctuous beady-eyed Southern preacher is shown pounding the pulpit in rage against 'those perverted, abominable creatures.'" While his tirade continues over the soundtrack, the picture switches to heart-rending photos of badly beaten persons, or of gays who look decent, harmless, and likable; and then we cut back to the poisonous face of the preacher. The contrast speaks for itself. The effect is devastating.

As “For the Bible Tells Me So” (FTBTMS) continues, we hear a number of Christians stating that homosexuality is wrong, and that the Bible says so.

Then a man is featured who claims that such beliefs come from the repeated telling of lies so that people eventually believe it. Another man comes on and says that such beliefs represent a "Fifth-grade understanding of God." Still another says that perhaps ordinary people shouldn't be reading the Bible because they usually get it wrong. Yet another says, "It really has been the church that is the place where the prejudice is born, and was nurtured, and has been promoted."
One of the men providing brief comments in the opening segment is homosexual Reverend Mel White of Soulforce, a homosexual group. White says that "the Bible has been misused to promote prejudice, apartheid, and segregation." White makes this statement as images and video clips of slavery and the KKK run in the background.

"Now it's being misused to condemn gay people," says White. "It's an old trick fundamentalist Christians have been using throughout the ages, and now they're doing it again."

Once this "introduction" is finished, we are introduced to the parents of V. Gene Robinson, the homosexual Episcopal bishop from New Hampshire. We are told by Robinson and his parents about his religious upbringing and his perfect attendance at Sunday School. This is apparently intended to convince us of his religious sincerity and genuine Christian background. Robinson also tells how he realized at a young age that he was "different." Robinson married for a while after he grew up, but eventually left his wife and embraced an openly homosexual lifestyle.

Next we are introduced to the Poteats family of North Carolina. The Poteats are a black husband/wife pastor team of a church in North Carolina. Their daughter Tonia is a lesbian. She "came out" to her parents while in college.

After the Poteats, we hear the story of the Reitans, who are Lutherans, from Minnesota. We are told of the great history of how many pastors there are in their family. Their son Jake is a homosexual. Jake says they went to church every Sunday and were a "very involved family" in church. He said he heard preaching against homosexuality when he was a child, but didn't want to ask any questions because he knew "the answers wouldn't be good."

Another of the families with homosexual children is the Gephardt family, specifically the family of former U.S Representative Dick Gephardt, his wife Jane and their lesbian daughter Chrissy.

Dick comes from a Baptist background and his wife is Catholic, and the children were raised Catholic. Chrissy was "athletic" and a "jock" but sometimes wore dresses. Chrissy was married for a while, despite her sexual confusion, but eventually the marriage came apart and she embraced the homosexual lifestyle.

In Part 2 next week: nineteen minutes into the film, we receive our first look at what "For the Bible Tells Me So" claims the Bible tells us about homosexuality.


buckfoss said...

Once again, Dakota Voice spreads hate without reference to the Bible, which it supposedly supports. Of course, we all know that no sin is worse than another because each separates us from God (James 2:8-12). So the hypocricy of this obsession with homosexuality is clealy non-Christian. Indeed Proverbs 6:16-19 says, "16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: ... 19A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." This author is so far removed from God that he is flailing in his own hate.

Stop spreading hate, read your bible, and understand that what you are doing (spreading hate, hypocritically and falsely using God's words to encourage other to follow your own hate) is destroying your relationship with God

Bob Ellis said...

I'd love to forget all about homosexuality, Buck, I really would. The thing is, homosexuals keep pushing acceptance and normalization of it on society, and since I care about the health and welfare of our society, I simply can't stand by and allow lies and deceptions to go unchallenged.

Stay tuned, Buck, and you'll eventually find reference to the Bible; it took this film which is supposedly about "what the Bible says" 19 minutes to get around to referencing the Bible, so it's going to take me a while to get there in my analysis.

And yes, you'll find out about spreading hate (wait, I think you've already seen that with the allusions which lead the viewer to link Hitler/KKK with Christians) and hypocritically and falsely using God's words--this film excels at that, which will be revealed in weeks to come.

Anonymous said...

Jesus said NOTHING about homosexality, and God made ALL his children, and he made gay people gay. IT IS NOT A CHOICE. What do you people not get about this??? As to Leviticus, in the same chapter you homophobes are so fond of quoting, it also says that Hebrews were not allowed to mix two crops in the same field, or make cloth out of two different raw materials, or plow a field with an ox and a donkey yoked together. Are these ALSO forbidden today? WELL, ARE THEY?????

Bob Ellis said...

Anonymous: Jesus is God. He existed before he spent his time here on earth as a man. This means that the Old Testament is his Word, too.

And God did address homosexuality, not only in the Old Testament which you seem to be a little familiar with, but in the New Testament repeatedly: Romans 1:24-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 and others.

Jesus also reaffirmed in Mark 10:6-8 God's original design for human sexuality as laid out in Genesis: one man and one woman for life. Two men or two women are incapable of fulfilling God's plan for the expression of human sexuality.

Finally, some of the other references you mentioned from Leviticus about crops, etc. are addressed in the film, and if you'll stay tuned in weeks to come, we'll look at what the Bible says about these things (no plot spoilers today). :-)

Anonymous said...

It is a lie that homosexuals are born that way. I lived a homosexual lifestyle and even moved to San Francisco several years ago to be among my own (and to have more opportunities for sex). After accepting the saving grace of Jesus Christ I came to understand that my behavior was not pleasing to God and, with the support of friends and relatives, turned from all sin in my life. That does not mean I am sinless, but now I know when I sin and try to do better. I have now been married over 20 years and have three children who also love the Lord. To any men caught up in the life of homosexuality and other sins of morality I say, you can be free and you can be happy serving God. Turn away from the deadly perversion of homosexuality. It will bring you ruin in this life and in the life to come.

Bob Ellis said...

Thank you, Anonymous. It's wonderful to hear that you're free now. Jesus can set us free from slavery to sin, whether it's heterosexual promiscuity, homosexuality, drunkenness, gambling or anything. If we only want to, and will trust God.

Thanks for sharing this tremendous blessing in your life!

Anonymous said...

Anon, you state you escaped this "lifestyle", yet you are interested enought to write and follow a story regarding homosexuality. The fact someone is married and has children only means behavior changed. It does not mean that you changed. I went to exgay therapy--Nothing changed. Luckily, I did not continue to live a lie. I found my spouse and have been with him 15 1/2 years. We have a wonderful life together, and I could not ever find someone who I am so intimate with and love. If I continued to deceive myself in the exgay movement, I would never have met him.

Bob Ellis said...

Anonymous, I quit drinking 16 years ago. Did only my behavior change? Am I still a drunk?

Change isn't easy, regardless of the addictive behavior. But God can help us be free of it, if we want it bad enough. Sometimes it's very difficult, but Christ will make it happen if you'll trust in him and hang onto him.

Christians aren't given an excuse; they are called to obedience, and the Bible says homosexuality is wrong.

The Professor said...

This is the first time in my life that I'm ashamed to admit that I was born in South Dakota. Bob, do you have any idea how painful your attitude is? I do, because I used to be the same way.

I am a Christian woman living in Los Angeles, California. I teach elementary Sunday School and go on regular mission trips to Haiti. I don't say this to be prideful, though - just to establish where I come from. You see, I also happen to be a lesbian. But that doesn't make me less of a person, and it doesn't make me less of a Christian. I struggled with it for a long time, but I finally realized that God was using my experience to teach me about grace. I used to be one of those people who stood on a platform and tried to shout to the world what God's will was for everyone. What pride. Who am I to declare what God wants? How dare I? I realized that if Jesus were on this earth, He would have called me a white-washed tomb and gone to have dinner with the drag queens at Hamburger Mary's.

It's my personal opinion that many Christians today have become the Pharisees and Saducees of Jesus's day. We're so convinced that we know the truth, that we become bound to the letter of the law and forget all about grace.

I saw this movie three times here in LA and bought the DVD when it came out. I think it's a fantastic portrayal of what the love of Jesus looks like when contrasted with the hate of prejudice and pride. If you can find it in you, I would encourage you to rewatch it with fresh eyes. Try to put yourself in the shoes of the people in the film. And consider grace.

Bob Ellis said...

Professor, you might want to read all four parts of my series that is now published, plus the remaining three, and then tell me what you think the Bible says about homosexuality.

As Christians, it doesn't matter what you or I say or think about it; it matters what God said, and that's pretty clear, despite the lies this DVD tries to sell.

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