The View may not be a model of clear thinking but it probably offers a pretty good view of current cultural thinking-what might better be called "feelthink." A few days ago, Joel Osteen was on the show to help kick off the Christmas season, but Barbara Walters immediately ambushed him with a question about homosexuality. Not for the first time, the ladies began showing off their expertise in Christian ethics. Walters: What about this pastor in Georgia who recently came out as gay? Joy Behar: It's terrible that people use the Bible to condemn gays because it leads to bullying. And these people didn't choose the way they are. Whoopi Goldberg: Doesn't God say, "Nobody can judge you but me"? What business do we have judging another person's lifestyle?
Any truck could drive through the gaping holes in their logic. To Walters: Do the actions of one pastor disprove all of Scripture and church history? To Behar: Are you saying that homosexuals should be pitied, then, because they can't help it? Would their behavior be worse if it were a choice? To Goldberg: In the same Scripture that says, "don't judge" you'll find an awful lot of judgments. If you just ignore the ones you don't like, it sounds like you might be judging God-is that a spot you want to be in? Instead of jumping into the truck cab and turning the ignition, Pastor Joel tiptoed around the issue, insisting that his church welcomes everybody: "But there's the Scripture that we can't necessarily change." For him that's a strong statement, but he'd been put in an impossible situation.
How about something like this: "You know, Barbara, I was invited on the show to talk about Christmas, and believe it or not, this ties in. The Bible clearly says that homosexuals are sinners-no, wait a minute, let me finish. It also says, just as clearly, that I am a sinner and so are you. But Jesus came in order to take our sins upon himself and let God judge them by judging Him. If we accept God's judgment on our character and behavior, and believe that Jesus actually did what He said He would do, then we'll be forgiven. That's what Christmas is all about."
No unbeliever is going to be persuaded by logical argument against any sin. What he needs is to be changed, and the gospel is the change agent. High-profile pastors who appear on talk shows should consider how the Apostle Paul could turn a riot, a philosophical forum, or a prison stay into a gospel sermon. In a post-Christian age, that would be a knack worth learning.