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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

40 Responses to 40 Questions

Earlier today on the Facebook, a friend of mine shared the following link to 40 Questions for those Christians now waving rainbow flags. 

I decided that I would bite, and wrote out my 40 responses.  Having shared them in the comment section on my FB friend’s wall, several folks said that it was inconvenient / difficult to read the questions and response on a tablet, or that they were unable, for whatever reason, to post a response. 

To make it easier to read, and comment, I have copied the questions and my responses to this blog post.

1. How long have you believed that gay marriage is something to be celebrated?

About 10 years, give or take.

2. What Bible verses led you to change your mind?

3. How would you make a positive case from Scripture that sexual activity between two persons of the same sex is a blessing to be celebrated?

The same way I would for hetero activity.

4. What verses would you use to show that a marriage between two persons of the same sex can adequately depict Christ and the church?

I'm not sure I understand this question. If I am part of the Church(as a male) , and the Church is married to Christ - doesn't that easily lend itself to an argument for same sex marriage?

5. Do you think Jesus would have been okay with homosexual behavior between consenting adults in a committed relationship?

I don’t know.

6. If so, why did he reassert the Genesis definition of marriage as being one man and one woman?

Again, I don't know. Why did he describe the mustard seed as the smallest of all the seeds when it demonstrably is not.?

7. When Jesus spoke against porneia what sins do you think he was forbidding?

Scholarly debate over the use of the word Porneia in Matthew 5:32 has not reached universal agreement as to what is meant. Probably it means adultery (and as such applies equally to hetero and homo-sexuals).

8. If some homosexual behavior is acceptable, how do you understand the sinful “exchange” Paul highlights in Romans 1?

This article does a fair job of explaining what I think of Romans 1.
9. Do you believe that passages like 1 Corinthians 6:9 and Revelation 21:8 teach that sexual immorality can keep you out of heaven? 10. What sexual sins do you think they were referring to?

No one can say definitively what Paul meant with the use of the words malakoi (soft) and arsenokoitai (??) in 1 Cor. 6: 9 and there's no reason to limit pornoi (sexually immoral) in Revelation 21:8 to homosexuals.

11. As you think about the long history of the church and the near universal disapproval of same-sex sexual activity, what do you think you understand about the Bible that Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, and Luther failed to grasp?

I don't know. Do you believe that Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, and Luther should be considered inerrant and infallible?

12. What arguments would you use to explain to Christians in Africa, Asia, and South America that their understanding of homosexuality is biblically incorrect and your new understanding of homosexuality is not culturally conditioned?

The same as I would use here in Iowa.

13. Do you think Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were motivated by personal animus and bigotry when they, for almost all of their lives, defined marriage as a covenant relationship between one man and one woman?

I don't know. I do not claim to speak for Barack Obama or Hilary Clinton.

14. Do you think children do best with a mother and a father?
Is a negligent abusive family of a father and a mother somehow better and more preferable than a loving same sex family?

15. If not, what research would you point to in support of that conclusion?

I haven't read "the research" but the anecdotal / experiential evidence available to me suggests that kids raised in loving homes (hetero or homosexual) do well, and kids raised in negligent and abusive homes (homo or heterosexual) don't.

16. If yes, does the church or the state have any role to play in promoting or privileging the arrangement that puts children with a mom and a dad?

Skipping this one since I didn't answer yes to #14...

17. Does the end and purpose of marriage point to something more than an adult’s emotional and sexual fulfillment?

Yes. It's about intimacy, connection, loving relationship. The implication that homosexuals marry only for sex is fairly offensive.

18. How would you define marriage?

(sigh) A loving committed relationship / legal contract between individuals-combining two individuals into one new family unit, to start...

19. Do you think close family members should be allowed to get married?

How close are we talking? Brother and sister like Cain? Brother and ½  sister like Abraham and Sarah? ( No)

20. Should marriage be limited to only two people?

What? Like Abraham / Jacob / Moses (maybe) / David / Solomon/ etc.... (Yes)

21. On what basis, if any, would you prevent consenting adults of any relation and of any number from getting married?

I don't know - but if we're trying to work up a biblical definition of marriage, we're going to have difficulty implementing some of those restrictions.

22. Should there be an age requirement in this country for obtaining a marriage license?

What? Like in the bible, getting married as young as 12? 

 23. Does equality entail that anyone wanting to be married should be able to have any meaningful relationship defined as marriage? 24. If not, why not?

I'm just going to skip these two. Call me lazy, call it avoiding the question, but i don't feel compelled to create a response to every conceivable scenario.

25. Should your brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with homosexual practice be allowed to exercise their religious beliefs without fear of punishment, retribution, or coercion?


26. Will you speak up for your fellow Christians when their jobs, their accreditation, their reputation, and their freedoms are threatened because of this issue?


27. Will you speak out against shaming and bullying of all kinds, whether against gays and lesbians or against Evangelicals and Catholics?


28. Since the evangelical church has often failed to take unbiblical divorces and other sexual sins seriously, what steps will you take to ensure that gay marriages are healthy and accord with Scriptural principles?

The same steps I would for hetero marriages.

29. Should gay couples in open relationships be subject to church discipline?

If they're members of the church, yes.

30. Is it a sin for LGBT persons to engage in sexual activity outside of marriage?


31. What will open and affirming churches do to speak prophetically against divorce, fornication, pornography, and adultery wherever they are found?

I can't /won't speak for all churches. I can only speak for myself. And this question is already answered in questions #28 - 30

32. If “love wins,” How would you define love?

Really? You want me to define love? You want me to answer the single largest question of the human experience? What is love, indeed!

33. What verses would you use to establish that definition?

John 15:13

34. How should obedience to God’s commands shape our understanding of love?

Does this question somehow have a different relevance for "the gays"?

35. Do you believe it is possible to love someone and disagree with important decisions they make


36. If supporting gay marriage is a change for you, has anything else changed in your understanding of faith?

Yes. Many things. A static, unchanging faith that has "arrived" is probably a dead, inert faith.

37. As an evangelical, how has your support for gay marriage helped you become more passionate about traditional evangelical distinctives like a focus on being born again, the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross, the total trustworthiness of the Bible, and the urgent need to evangelize the lost?

I’m not sure that I understand this question. Is it “Am I now more or less enthusiastic about the good news of Jesus Christ?” Is that REALLY what you're asking?

38. What open and affirming churches would you point to where people are being converted to orthodox Christianity, sinners are being warned of judgment and called to repentance, and missionaries are being sent out to plant churches among unreached peoples?

There are several in my community. I'm quite proud of the work they're doing.

39. Do you hope to be more committed to the church, more committed to Christ, and more committed to the Scriptures in the years ahead?

uh... really? I have to prove my loyalty?

40. When Paul at the end of Romans 1 rebukes “those who practice such things” and those who “give approval to those who practice them,” what sins do you think he has in mind?

Didn't we answer this in question #8?

EDIT - It was suggested, in the comments section below, that I should take a screen shot of the original post, in case it should be taken down at some point in the future. I thought this to be a sensible piece of advice and have done so.  Thank you.


  1. I’m thinking of compiling a list of the answers people are giving to these questions and publishing them over the weekend. Do you have any objections to me linking to yours or copy/pasting them into my document with applicable references?

    1. That would be fine with me. Please go ahead and do so. - Jeff

    2. In the end as there were so many great responses on other blogs, I went with the link option but if you want to see what was posted on a google doc page I created to get answers, they are at

  2. BTW, I would suggest you take a screen shot of the original 40 questions. Just in case they decide to pull down that page.


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