Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Adam and Steve?



Hi all! Here's a report that WSFA did concerning something posted on the marqee outside of Dalraida. Thought you might get a kick out of it.

http://www.wsfa.com/Global/story.asp?S=4464209

Reference to Homosexuality on Church Sign Stirs ControversyFeb 6, 2006, 10:44 PM CST

Reference to Homosexuality on Church Sign Stirs Controversy
More on the Web
Conservative and Liberal Christian Views on Homosexuality

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A sign outside a Montgomery church is causing some controversy. We heard from several viewers Monday about a slogan on the marquee outside Dalraida Church of Christ on the Atlanta Highway. We went in search of opinions and found mixed reactions.
The sign reads, "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve," obviously a reference to homosexuality.
At a gas station down the street, we found some people offended by the slogan. "I don't think it's right for the church to do that," one woman said. "It is discriminatory because a person has a right to live the way they want to live."
But others saw the sign as a simple statement of fact. "Yes," one man told us, "because God did make Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. It's kind of self explanatory."
In Leviticus, the bible does seem to oppose homosexuality. It reads, "Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind. It is an abomination."
But the bible also accepts slavery, limits the role of women in society, and prohibits charging interest on loans. Some belive this is proof that the bible can't always be interpreted literally.
The pastor of Dalraida Church of Christ was out of town for the week and no one else in the church office wanted to talk about the sign. So we couldn't ask what they hoped to gain.
Some passing motorists say if the goal was to share the church's beliefs with the gay community, they could have gone about it another way.
One woman said, "If I was a homosexual, that sign would keep me away from the church."
For years, conservative and liberal Christians have interpreted the bible differently. You can read more about the differing viewpoints by clicking on the link above to religioustolerance.org. You might also want to talk to your own pastor or priest about the topic.
Reporter: Mark Bullock

I already used the "Click Here to Help Us Cover the News" link to tell them what I thought. Y'all can do the same!

38 comments:

Jamison said...

Yeah, I cant help but think that reporter loved doing this story... this town is boring enough, but now they cover church signs?

The dude needs to realize that womens roles in the middle east were limited, and the Bible is, for the most part, set there... he also needs to realize that homosexuality is mentioned in other places than leviticus (Romans andyone?), and I am still confused about where the Bible says dont pay interest on loans...

Mark Bullock, you're crazy...

bigsip said...

The message I sent back to WSFA included several other passages that relate to homosexuality as a sin.

I told them they needed to research better and that they made it seem as if there was only one, obscure reference to homosexuality in the Bible.

I ended it with the fact that the good news is Christ calls us to repentence and pure lives.

Y'all use that link and let them know what you think!

bigsip said...

I included the Romans passage as well...

It was the major thrust of the comment.

Jamison said...

our church is probably big news to them. The paper covered the story of our former preacher having an affair, the news covered the child molester at the daycare on our property (which the church didnt even own, just let them use the4 facilities) and now this... they probably keep an eye on us for their "breaking news"... kind of sick really

mullinz8 said...

Big news in the city of Montgomery!

I think it’s funny that someone in the community would call the station and consider this news worthy. I mean the next thing you’re going to see is a racketeering ring from elementary school bullies exposed.

This phrase is so old that its threat is moldy. It’s a snappy retort for any number of homosexual/religious commentaries which only succeeds in producing instant head nods from the retired men’s group.

Also I hardly categorize people topping of their cars as inciting controversy. Sadly the only thing I find disappointing is that Dalraida staffers had nothing to say. There is a subtle implication that because the pastor is out no one can speak for themselves on that matter. This sort of deflates that whole notion of knowing what to say when asked a spiritual matter. I mean being able to talk God stuff intelligently on this subject would have wowed the reporter who would have been expecting some fundamentalist rhetoric over scriptural documentation, which he could obviously hardly find on his own.

I’m not saying that I could have done this very well but I would think that a youth and family minister would have been on hand or a deacon could have been called, something.

mullinz8 said...

As a footnote I’m glad that you guys gave the guy his what-for.

bigsip said...

I was also disappointed in the lack of comments.

I emailed all of our "primetimer" group, including the pulpit minister and told them to make comments on the website or call the station.

News reporters love to leave things open like that, though. He probably didn't really try to get a comment and just wrote that no one wanted to comment.

Jamison said...

I agree, the sign was a bit redneck-ish and really served no other purpose than to anger some and make other laugh... neither of which would bring people to church...

bigsip said...

Well, someone needs to take Doug's sign privileges away.

Rachel and I shake our heads in shame at many of the trite comments posted up there.

Church signs can be one of the biggest detriments to bringing people in.

bigsip said...

I also emailed the reporter directly. The place online only allowed 1500 characters and I needed more space.

Here's what I wrote:

Mr. Bullock,

There are actually several places in the bible that refer to homosexuality as a sin. Genesis 13 explains the homosexual sin in Sodom as the reason for its destruction. The word "sodomy" is derived from the unnatural relations the "wicked men" of Sodom had with each other.

You already mentioned Leviticus, however there are other Old Testament and New Testament passages that refer to homosexual sin.

Probably the most straightforward passage of note is in Romans 1: 22-32

Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, and traded the glory of the incorruptible God for the likeness of an image of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed animals, and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. For this reason, God gave them up to vile passions. For their women changed the natural function into that which is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural function of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another, men doing what is inappropriate with men, and receiving in themselves the due penalty of their error. Even as they refused to have God in their knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, malice; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil habits, secret slanderers, backbiters, hateful to God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, without understanding, covenant breakers, without natural affection, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them.


Perhaps a bit more research on your part is in order. Additionally, using comparisons such as the roles of women, slavery, and financial practices to support the assumption that homosexual sin is a viable option as a Christian is dubious at best. The limited roles of women, slavery, and certain financial practices were customs of the day and had to be dealt with, just as issues today such as homosexuality, internet pornography, and many other issues affecting human morality must be dealt with now.

It is true that the pulpit minister (not pastor, for pastor refers strictly to elders, see 1 Timothy 3) is in Tennessee for the Freed Hardeman lectures this week, but he has been informed of the questions and should be able to answer any questions next week. I would encourage you, however, to contact the other ministers and elders (or pastors, as they are called sometimes due to their shepherding role) and find out what the bible says regarding this important subject.

Overall, the good news (gospel) is that Christ wants all to lay aside sin in their lives and follow him. If they will, they can live rich and pure lives.

I hope that in the future, you will research your stories better and with more focus on all of the verses that apply to subjects such as homosexuality. Pretending that there is only one obscure reference to something like homosexuality in the bible is ludicrous and below the standards of a network reporter. I appreciate your future attention to detail and encourage you and others to study thee matters closely and approach subject like homosexuality carefully and with an open and clear mind.

Sincerely,

Josh Sipper

Jamison said...

well said...
I wish this hadn't mappened because now if we go to the elders in confidence, it'll look like we are just doing it because of the news story...

I never read the sign, the next crazy one you see, we should go speak to one of the elds (Cool name for elders)

bigsip said...

I'm with you on going to the Elds (i like it!).

If a sign is going to represent us, it should at least have scripture on it!

Diana said...

That article make me roll my eyes in so many ways. It's not even that professionally written.

It does sort of urk my crawl that no one in the church said anything. I mean, that was their big chance to possibly reach a lot of people.

I'm not a big fan of church signs to begin with.

At least now someone might come to your church because of the controversie. That's how Madonna became rich.

Diana said...

I agree with Sip, it should at least say homosexuality is not right by using a scripture. So many denominations interpret the Bible for their own benefit, why not be the only church on the block that actually puts the words out of God's mouth onto the sign?

bigsip said...

Preach it sister!

I am sort of not surprised that this whole "controversy" came up. I mean, the sign is right off Atlanta Hwy and it always has something silly on it.

I just hope we can get that changed somehow.

Brewster said...

This is stupid. Why would you put a sign up like that? It doesn't encourage, it doesn't teach. It's a cheap joke, really. And a very tired one at that.

But why is it news? Talk about a slow day in Montgomery

bigsip said...

Yeah, it's ridiculous all around. It's embarrassing, too.

Like I said, we need to take the pulpit minister's sign privileges away.

Jamison said...

my wife came home yesterday saying half her staff was "giving it to her" about the sign... not that they were mad, just laughing it up.
And it affected her greatly...

It seems our church is, rather than a source of comfort and a means by which people can come to Christ, nothing but a joke to the community.

bigsip said...

Ouch, that hurts, man.

Something must be done.

I think your next presentation should be "The Dangers of Church Signs".

bigsip said...

Here's the reply I received from the reporter:

Mr. Sipper,



Thank you for your e-mail. I understand your concerns. Before the story aired Monday night, I did a considerable amount of research on the internet and by calling ministers, priests, and religious professors in the Montgomery area. These experts did not feel comfortable speaking on camera. And, because the time limitations placed on me, I was not able to include every reference to homosexuality found in the bible.



I also made repeated requests to Dalraida Church of Christ, asking to speak to ANYONE who was available. Church administrators would not even let me in the door and told me that NO member of the church or its staff or clergy was available to speak to me in person or by phone, cell phone, e-mail, or fax.



While I am not here to endorse one side or the other, I realize that conservative and liberal Christians view this issue differently. We at WSFA 12 News were in no way trying to endorse either of these viewpoints. We understand that the church was well within its rights to display the sign and that some passing motorists took offense to it.



I found a web site earlier that does a good job of explaining the two schools of thought (conservative and liberal) on this issue. While I realize you are probably well-versed in this area, I placed the link below, should you be interested.



Thanks again for your e-mail and let me know if I can be of further assistance.



http://www.religioustolerance.org/hom_bibl.htm







Mark Bullock
WSFA 12 News
334.613.8265 (direct)
334.284.5276 (newsline)
334.288.1212 (general)
www.wsfa.com

bigsip said...

I emailed him back and told him that website was biased toward the liberal-leaning end of the argument.

I also thanks him for his time and reply.

Not much else to do, I guess.

I'm still ashamed that no one stood up and spoke about the sign one way or the other.

Jamison said...

i still think he is gay, and I don't see CNN or Fox news calling him for a jab in the near future, despite his ability to report something so news-worthy.

Jamison said...

jab or job, i dont see him getting either

bigsip said...

A JAB? J A B...

:)

Jamison said...

dude responded to me... i said "Must have bee a slow news day for you to report something like this... thank God for cable news."

He responded with "I guess things were kind of slow monday"

gotta hand it to him, he responds to emails.

bigsip said...

LOL!

It's true. I mean, reporting a cliche church sign? Come on!

Jamison said...

im almost ashamed to tell yall how a conversation with an elder went tonight...

I expressed how untactful the sign was and he stood up for it almost like it was his son. He said over and over about how I should expect the world to hate me because of my beleifs. I told him Ill take anything the world throws at me for the Word, for Christ, and for the church, but I shouldn't have to let people joke on my church because of a stupid sign that could have been used to BRING people in and not push them away.

bigsip said...

He's wrong, man. This particular elder is an ex-politician. That explains a lot right there.

The church is NOT political and never should be. His comment on not being "politically correct" was crap.

The church isn't supposed to be political at all! So, our signs, speech, sermons, lessons, etc. should probably reflect this fact.

Rachel said...

To me, it comes down to this; Jesus didn't taunt sinners. He knew that approach would never change anyone's heart. And I suspect if He did throw a zinger, it would be a lot more witty than "Adam and Steve."

Jamison said...

what saddens me more id that I got the feeling last night that everyone at church gets a kick out of it... it is like we want to make fun of everyone outside the church and stay comfy and nestled inside our walls, if someone walks in, horray, we saved someone... WRONG!

We have to get them in the door, and making stupid jokes on our sign aint gonna get 'em in...

I could get back really good and make the VBS theme "Liars will be friars" or "All those going to hell" or better yet, make a skit out of someone who was about to come to church until they saw stupid signs then the rest of their life is filled with hookers, drigs, and alcohol...

Rachel said...

I get that feeling too. I think it may be easier for some to rail against a sin they would never struggle with than to deal with more personal sins in their own lives.

bigsip said...

Yeah, it's irksosme. It's also discouraging. I think if people actually thought more about it, they'd see just how stupid an idea that sign was.

I understand the need to counteract "Brokeback Mountain" and all the social sabotage it brings with it, but there's no need to use cliches to do it.

That's just weak and silly.

If anything, a scripture reference to Genesis should have been given.

Maybe Gen 5:2

He created them male and female, and blessed them, and called their name "Adam," in the day when they were created.

Ryan F. said...

I think I would have a problem with that as well if it were my church doing it. I think a sign should either encourage people, promote an event going on, or give them something good to ponder.

You have to ask, what was the purpose of that sign? How many gays drove by that sign and thought to themselves, "You know, that's right, I need to stop being gay." Or better yet, "I think I would like to attend that church and learn more about Christ."

If I'm not mistaken, I Cor. 12 & 13 speak of teaching others with something that is greater than any spiritual gift that someone could possess, LOVE. There wasn't an ounce of love intended in that sign. Of course, it's really just someone who loves to stir the pot, who thinks it's funny and it's all a big joke.

Jamison said...

Fred, thats what I kept telling that elder over and over again, he basically accused me of being politically correct and told me to look at how Jeus talked to the pharisees ... nothing I could say could win the argument for me.

In his defence, he did say he woudl not have put that sign out and said it wasnt in the best taste, yet he stood up for it like it was the work of his own hands.

Ryan F. said...

Jesus could also see into the hearts of men. Elder so&so can't. Jesus may have seen a hardness of heart in the Pharisees that led him to be a little more harsh with them. They were "religious" people. What the sign is dealing with are sinners. Jesus never talked to sinners that way. He was never sarcastic or smart with them. Instead, he was always loving, caring, and very forgiving. That's how you convert someone who is not religious.

bigsip said...

He was standing up for the guy who put it out there.

Our pulpit minister said in his email that he had put it there.

Again, I hope they pull his sign privileges. The guy is good and nice and love God and His Word, but he's not exactly the best person for outreach.

There just seems to be a disconnect there.

bigsip said...

Yeah, I just posted about the Christian virtues on the other post, Ryan.

I totally agree. We have to be good, kind, content, loving, patient, and thoughtful people if we expect to draw people in.

A sign like that is shallow and cliche. Messages should be about constructive love and hope, not digs at people who won't listen to that anyway.

Brewster said...

Ryan pretty much hit the nail on the head. A sign is no place for hateful jokes. It should invite people in.

Jesus could be tough (the phrase whitewashed tombstones comes to mind) but he did it in person and he did it to hypocritical religious people accusing him of blasphemy.

what good would that sign do?

Golly Jim I've got to break up with you because a sign just told me that god didn't make no adam and steve. I've changed my ways.