the worst of all

OK: before I give you the link, you have to swear two things:

[1] You are completely and utterly forewarned that the language on the other end is ROUGH. Bar room, street-ugly, offends-Mark-Driscoll rough.


You swear? I'm serious: you can't click the link unless you take an oath to the above, and if you violate the oath you can't say I didn't warn you, and you can't blame me.

Ready? Pajiba reviews For the Bible Tells me so.

Now, listen: here's why I don't want you people commenting over there. It's my opinion that 99.95% of you will go over there and start defending the doctrinal issue that homosexuality is a sin. And let's be clear: I think homosexuality is a sin, OK? If any Pajiba readers come back this way and want to cuss me out for that, fine, but my opinion is that arguing about that in the context of Dustin Rowles' review is utterly pointless -- because there's a worse problem in that review which really isn't the reviewer's fault.

Here's what I'm thinking: I think Dustin's complaint that the people who beat his dad to a pulp for being a homosexual is the real apologetic problem -- because he's right about them.

See: if I say, "well, homosexuality is a sin, Dustin," what Mr. Rowles hears -- and I think he's listening just fine -- is the subtle hint of this outrageous lie: "he actually deserved what he got." I know none of you regular readers of this blog would actually mean that, but the ones who harnessed that conclusion up to the horse of my assertion are the ones who pounded his Dad's face in for being gay -- you know, God hates fags, boy, so I'm going to smash a coke bottle in your face.

Before you read any farther, get yourself a coke bottle and a metal mixing bowl. Turn the mixing bowl upside down and cover it with a folded towel. Now try to break the coke bottle on the covered mixing bowl, and when you succeed observe the damage done to the metal bowl, and consider what sort of lunatic would do that to someone's skull. That's what someone did to Dustin Rowles' dad, they said, because homosexuality is a sin.

So the problem in talking to Mr. Rowles now is not trying to convince him what the Bible says about (for example) homosexuality. The problem is convincing him that you don't want to bash his father's head in over it. That kind of ferocious evil is what Dustin Rowles associates with the moral affirmation "homosexuality is a sin". My suggestion is that helping him believe what you believe about homosexuality is frankly a stupid gambit. At best, you might get him to conceded that the Bible says such a thing, but because the people who did this to his dad allegedly believe the Bible, you can stick that Bible in the toilet and flush until your finger bleed.

What somebody needs to show Mr. Rowles' (and, apparently, many of the Pajiba readers) is that Jesus didn't come to make skinhead punks or redneck drunks out of his followers -- which is not a matter of tea-totalling and wearing nice suits. It's a matter of recognizing that those of us who are allegedly ambassadors of Christ bringing a message of reconciliation have to somehow overcome the wicked and misguided violence of people who have in the past, are today, and will in the future represent the Gospel as a threat rather than the strong tower which protects from all threats, and the safe haven from the storm. The Gospel is not the threat to believe or else I'll crush you like a bug: the Gospel is that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the worst of all. But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the worst one by far, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life.

Be in the Lord's house on the Lord's day with the Lord's people this weekend, and pray for Dustin Rowles' father, and for the men who made Jesus Christ a menace to him rather than a savior. Pray that by God's will and power, the true light which gives light to everyone will give them the right to become children of God, not born of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but born of God.