Retort to the movie Audacity

February 15, 2016

I am much taken by the Christian fundamentalist movie Audacity where a young Christian man seeks to overcome his shyness and to approach homosexuals with a warning that their gay activity is a violation of a command of God, and that if they continue in that violation and do not repent they are surely headed to an eternal hell. And his motivation seems to be a sincere love for these homosexuals.

Since it is now accepted that the homosexual orientation is a natural phenomenon, and since, according to the premise in the movie, it is also certain that homosexual activity is an affront to God, the movie seeks to show that many immoral actions are also natural, and consequently the fact that something is natural does not make it acceptable for the Christian. Such acts as adultery and fornication and cheating and even murder might be considered natural, but this does not make them acceptable.

Following is my retort to this movie.

Paul, like any man, saw the world through his own individual lens.

How many people pay attention to the hand that another person uses for writing? All most people ever see is a hand. Just a hand. One is as good as the other as an example of a hand.*

* Paul may have looked at the left-hander as suspect and a bit rebellious; at least that’s the way most Romans (and many others even into the 20th century) saw the left hander.**

** The Latin word for left-hand is the root of the English “sinister”.

In the same way that most people do not pay attention and notice what hand another person is using, Paul will not have distinguished among same-sex activity in the Rome of his time. Accordingly what Paul saw as a single, very clear phenomenon was composed of at least four sorts of same-sex sex in the Roman world:

1. flaunted same-sex sex in rebellion against social customs and perhaps the laws of God, and
2. married bisexual slave holders who forced boy slaves to satisfy them sexually,* and
3. naturally gay individuals engaged in wild and promiscuous fornication, and
4. naturally gay couples who loved each other and avoided sex with others.

* Along with these slave holders we can include the domination same-sex sex in the prisons, both in Paul’s day and our own.

He was right to lump the first three with the likes of murderers, fornicators, cheaters, liars, etc., but he missed the boat with the fourth, and surely because he would not have wanted to get involved with an investigation of differences in what was to him (via his Jewish background) clearly and obviously a unified rebellion against the command of God and His natural law. Again, and in a way, it was like spotting left-handers; for Paul (in this analogy of left and right hands), a hand is a hand, and same-sex sex is same-sex sex.

With us today, Paul would continue to assert that the sole law of God is universal love (as he stated many times in his letters, and as Jesus himself made clear), and once he would get to know Christian gay couples he would realize that these same-sex sexers (the fourth of the above groups) are different from the murdering and lying and promiscuous crowd, and many are good parents and are deserving of marriage. As far as having seen them in his day as contrary to a rational and benevolent nature (rendering no children), today he would see them as consistent with a rational and benevolent nature (rendering no children) and a means (through the promotion of the bisexual) to harmonize resources and population by reducing the number of children and without limitations on the liberty of people and without abortions, medicines, prophylactics, etc.

As another analogy, Paul then and we today may be like two different people watching Quixote charge and damage the windmill. Paul (at that time), we could imagine, would see only the externals and would judge Quixote to be destructive of property, while we might understand what Quixote sincerely considered to be the truth, namely that the windmill was an evil and dangerous giant in camouflage, and accordingly we would count Quixote as noble and selfless. Insanity is not a factor in the moral court; all that counts there is sincerity of understanding and principle. And that’s the key (Romans 14:4). We today and Paul then are one with respect to the principle (of love) and differ only regarding our understanding.

See also: Christian Liberty Appendices I & II for a further consideration of this movie and subject.

Author contact: pmr#$kantwesley.com, replacing #$ with @

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