I have tried to maintain a friendly, even lighthearted, tone in this blog. To be inclusive and accepting of others. I often speak as an outside observer and explain rather than argue.
Today I turn our attention to a hatemonger. Fair warning: I tend to see the line as a dot in the rear view mirror. If that is a problem for you, skip this one and come back next week.
Steven Anderson has been in the news before, like when he prayed for Obama's death or denounced Jews as lying thieves.
According to the church website: "He holds no college degree but has well over 140 chapters of the Bible memorized word-for-word, including approximately half of the New Testament. Today, most Baptist churches are started by Bible colleges. However, the Bible makes it clear that the church is the pillar and ground of the truth, not a school."
We will leave aside that in my 20+ years in professional Baptist ministry I have not run across any Baptist church started by a Bible college and focus on more important issues.
Since Pastor Anderson is proud of his lack of education, let me explain two words to him I learned in Seminary. Hermeneutics and Exegesis.
Simply put, Hermeneutics is the art and science of choosing what to read while Exegesis is the explanation of what you have read.
Let us begin with your hermeneutic, Mr. Anderson.
We turn to Leviticus 20:13 and note that you have chosen one verse of many. This is a technique we call "proof texting", a method in which you find individual scriptures and use them to support your preformed conclusion. However, in this case, we can say that indeed Leviticus calls for the death of those who engage in same-sex relationships. If we expand to the larger section of Leviticus, however, what else do we see? Sticking with Chapter 20 we also see that the death sentence is called for in: child sacrifice, cussing your parents, adultery, incest, bestiality, having sex with a woman who is having her period, and talking to dead people. What about the preceding chapter? What else is condemned? Planting a field with two different kinds of seed, wearing a garment of two different kinds of clothing (is that a poly-cotton blend, Mr. Anderson?), cutting the sides of your hair and beard trimming (nice do Mr. Anderson), tattoos, oh and here is a really good one:
Leviticus 19:16 KJV "Thou shalt not go up and down as a talebearer among thy people: neither shalt thou stand against the blood of thy neighbour; I am the Lord."
To get ahead of ourselves and delve into a little Exegesis, that means you should not say things or do things that might harm someone else.
He who has ears, let him hear!
So, unless Faithful Word Baptist Church is preaching against SuperCuts and Sears (not to mention Captain D's for all that shellfish) and with as much vehemence, you might want to check your heremenutic. Oh, and I think there was something in Deuteronomy 7 about marrying women from other countries. Nevertheless: Guten Tag, Frau Anderson.
Now to Exegesis.
For a man who claims to have half of the New Testament memorized, you do not seem to have paid much attention to Jesus. Nor the passages in both the Gospels and Paul that make it clear we are no longer under the law but are free in Christ. 1st Corinthians is clear in that Christians are completely free and that any limitation on that freedom is self imposed for the good of others alone. So if the Law is not binding, is it a guide? Only in so far as it does not violate the law of love taught by Christ.
Your exegetical premise, that homosexuality is a sin, is one that can be argued through a certain interpretation of the texts. I do not think it is correct, but I will accept that you can make a case. However, calling for the death of anyone, or praying for it, is inherently not Christlike. You cannot find any justification for that belief or statement in the New Testament. You can, however, find lots of passages about treating everyone, especially the outcast and condemned, with love and respect. You can find lots of passages against the use of violence.
One of the things that an education does for you is put you in a community of thinkers who will help you correct your errors, consider alternate points of view, and listen to voices from outside the status quo.
I am ashamed that you call yourself Baptist Mr. Anderson, but that is a feeling I am getting used to having. You are an example of the worst kind of anti-education, right-wing, cultural Christianity hate-mongering.
I pray God will grant you enlightenment and an experience of His love.
Remember, ye, the words of the Prophet:
"Jesus don't like killing, no matter what the reasons for; and your flag decals wont get you into Heaven anymore."