Wednesday

Gagnon's Poor Passion

David Kyle Foster, who first posted this video on YouTube, pushes Gagnon videos on his website. He blames homosexuality for the same-sex molesting he experienced as a young boy, a common thread with most "ex-gay" who instead of blaming those who victimized them, blame homosexuality. He won't let anyone re-post this Gagnon video because he's afraid Gagnon is going to be mocked (exhibit: A) and refuted in the comments section he can't control, so he just hoards this video that gives Gagnon the opportunity to lay out his arguments at any length.
Since Foster will delete any dissenting view or negative comment on his youtube channel (See for yourself. If you really believe the truth is on your side, you shouldn't have fear with reasonable comments questioning what's being stated), I thought I'd bring Gagnon here.

Gagnon pulls the same stunt on his own youtube channel with even a little length of a refute, same with anti-gay scholar James White. Gagnon also refuses to debate the audience with any type of a Q&A after one of his speaking engagements because he's a control freak with a debate setting.

[Someone pointed out he will answer little questionnaire cards submitted by the audience, cards he can either reject or accept, as long as they don't talk, but this is very different with having a dialogue back and fourth with someone in the audience who can point out the contradictions and errors of what he's saying while and after he's saying them.]




This blog has pointed out the error that is called "moral, ritual and ceremonial" laws enough to what's being presented by Gagnon here. The man thinks Paul speaks from the center of these Old Testament prohibitions with almost everything he wrote, like the old Pharisee Saul didn't really completely die to be the new Paul. He misses the very core message of Paul who said the old prohibitions are dead to us and ignores Paul saying in 2 Corinthians; "He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life" and again in Romans; "But now, by dying to what once bound us, we have been released from the law so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit, and not in the old way of the written code."
It's re-stated in Acts; "Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear?"
And from Hebrews; "The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless," "The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves."
Even the ancient Jews believed the new "Messianic Torah" would replace their written Torah; "The Torah that a person learns in this present age is trifling compared to the Law of the Messianic King" (Koheles Rabah 11:8).
Paul also gives a dire warning to those who insist on following old Torah prohibitions (Gal 3:10).

Homosexuality was never 'absolutely' proscribed in the New Testament. You have the homosexuality entwined with idolatry in Romans 1 where Paul patterns his sin list in Romans from other idolatry vice lists popular in his day and from Deuteronomy that mirrors Romans word for word. And you have homosexuality entwined with the exploitive wording in 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy Gagnon sees as an "echo" with Paul from the Old Testament. Paul only spoke on homosexuality through the narrow lens of idolatry or exploitation with Gagnon taking these examples to make a blanket statement on ALL homosexuality. He won't take out homosexuality from the idolatry context because it's him being deceptive again and I already brought up Gagnon's error with seeing homosexuality with being equal as exploitive homosexuality, so I don't need to go further with correcting this view he continues with now and later in the video with his sorry interpretation of "arsenokoites." This is a perfect example of Gagnon's "half-reading." He quotes extensively from David F. Greenberg's book; "The Construction of Homosexuality" in his own book; "The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics" when Greenberg gives an exhaustive narrative of homosexuality through the ages as a practice without condemning comment or consequence (all documented by Greenberg, all deliberately left out by Gagnon).

Gagnon brings up his two children and what they KNOW is wrong and equating that with how we are suppose to feel about homosexuality, we should KNOW it's wrong. Gagnon believes so strongly and so deeply homosexuality is so contrary to anything right or good or holy, he's incredulous you can't see it. This is a tactic of his to make you feel foolish with what he thinks you should see as a given, this is Gagnon who sees homosexuality as the equivalent of a child touching a hot stove.

He takes apart the easy argument of those who bring up the "abomination" of mixing two types of cloth with the "abomination" of homosexuality in Leviticus. Why doesn't he bring up the more complex issue of divorce Christ takes away from Moses? The sin of usury in the Old Testament Christ actually carried over unlike homosexuality? Breaking the Sabbath that also calls for the death penalty? Circumcision the Old Testament says is a "forever" act? Or the other slew of what the Bible calls "abominations" that don't fall in either the ceremonial or purity categories ignored by the Body of Christ today?

Leave it up to Gagnon to make the story of the woman who was going to be stoned to be about the woman's adultery and not about how we are to be merciful with not judging one another, what Christ tells us to 'do likewise' (Luke 10:37). What do we get out of what Jesus did in this story? Saving someone for the future "Kingdom of God" who may choose not to repent? Or showing the immediate example of bestowing mercy over the letter of the law (James 2:12,13) to the crowd of witnesses? What made Him an enemy to the Scribes and the Pharisees who brought the woman to Christ to be stoned according to "The Law." By implication Gagnon says Jesus would have took part in the stoning if He could, but begrudgingly stops Himself for the singular reason of saving her for "the Kingdom" (This is yet another case of Gagnon not being able to take his head out "Old Testament Laws" weights and balances and missing the mark that Christ did what he did to give an example to those around the adulteress and in turn to us).

Paul called out a man at the church in Corinth with what he was doing that hurt another with what was an incest relationship, Gagnon says it's the same with two non-related homosexuals (ironically, Gagnon has stated that the Corinthian man's incest is preferable to homosexuality even when the Bible gives no such account of Paul taking a stance with a homosexual man in the church). He takes the Greek word "Porneia" (harlotry) in the verse describing the Corinthian man's sin and carries that description to mean all sexual immorality. In all Biblical instances the word is used, without exception, it is either in reference to a breaking of a marriage obligation or prostitution and is never used as a blanket term to mean all sexual immorality that Gagnon then carries over to mean homosexuality.

Gagnon give away his bias with his statement; "Tolerance is not always loving," yet he is the first to show tolerance to the divorced with coming up an excuse for stating it is a "one time sin" and immediately it stops being a sin or living in a state of sin.

His question of; "Are homosexuals at risk?" He answers his own question because to him there is no other answer. When Gagnon uses the term "Aggressive love" to him that translates as fighting legislation that would stop gay children from being bullied in school and writing letters to church bodies telling then to kick gays out, this is Gagnon's 'love' in action, a love he thinks he sees with Christ. Unlike what Gagnon believes, love does not dishonor others or demands it's way... just ask Paul (1 Cor 13:5), a good disciple of Jesus.

No comment is needed further with Gagnon's claim the only problem the Pharisees had with Christ was because he was pushy with an even more intensified Old Testament ethic while at the same time being loving, I really wonder if Gagnon believes that himself.

This is one of Gagnon's weakest argument, along with the since discredited "science" in his book, that somehow men and women are to be 'complimentary parts' to each other and is a large part of why he believes as he does. I point out this error of his in my review of his book; "The Construction of Homosexuality... " and another reference to his work is another solid treatise on this pagan-based belief. Gagnon goes to bogus science because he can never show the "consequence" of homosexuality he compares to vices that do have notable consequences in Paul's vice lists.

When Gagnon brings up the fact Christ never talks about homosexuality with saying Christ never brought up incest either, he misses the fact Sodom was brought up to Christ. Instead of leading Christ to expand further with what was the sin of Sodom, Christ says nothing other than making it a case for inhospitality.* When Christ comes across the same sex practicing Centurion, He says nothing other than to admire the faith of the Centurion, When Christ does speaks on marriage, he's quick to bring up "born eunuchs" Gagnon himself concedes could fit the the historical definition of a homosexual.

He claims that the Christians of Paul's day would have seen homosexuality as a given prohibition from the Old Testament like incest, let's look at that closer.

Gagnon states; "There is no record of a Jew practicing homosexuality in early Judaism" and "There is no dissenting opinion anywhere in Judaism on the subject of homosexuality," he's wrong (see; "Wrestling with God and Men: Homosexuality in the Jewish Tradition" by Steven Greenberg and "Jacob's Wound: Homoerotic Narrative in the Literature of Ancient Israel" by Theodore W. Jennings Jr).

Gagnon's false claim of the Greek term "Malakoi" he tries to pass off as meaning an effeminate 'gay' man is easily refuted (see "Love Lost In Translation" by K. Renato Lings with outside sources referenced: 490 - 499).

I quote from my own blog page on 1 Corinthians about the term "Mishkav Zakur:"
"The Hebrew expression mishkav zakhar was a term with no homosexual connotation in any ancient writing prior to Paul, so to say Paul went with that understanding is false. "Mishkav Zakhar" is the Hebrew translation of "lying of a male" from Numbers 31:18 in only describing a male penetrating a female. The term being used as a prohibition on homosexuality was done by latter rabbis.

This is a refutation of Gagnon saying Leviticus is an absolute prohibition on homosexuality even outside of it's idolatry context with outside sources referenced (see; Myth 2# and 2-3 A – Seven Myths in the Homophobic Interpretations of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13) that also addresses Gagnon's other points mentioned in the video.


It's worth repeating with what scholar Jean-Fabrice Nardelli has to say on Gagnon that needs no further comment:

"Once and for all, let it be said that Gagnon is an inaccurate and poor student of Biblical homosexuality: he is far too opinionated and self-indulging for someone who would have us believe in his impeccable judgement (whence my jibe at his status as an ayatollah), has no grasp whatsoever of the major ancient Near Eastern languages apart from Masoretic Hebrew, never consults scholarly literature in other tongues (German and French Bible studies simply do not exist for him), and he is ridiculously parochial in his selection of primary and secondary sources (they are principally American, and wherever possible come from the Evangelical right). Just consult any piece of his which appears on his website; you will discover that he is all rhetoric and blistering, with virtually nothing in guise of scientific apparatus. I would have been loathe to expose him for what he is had he been decent enough not to charge his opponents with gross dishonesty. So let us not mince words any longer. As a parting shot, I shall like to adduce a point which speaks volumes about his academic credentials: in more than a decade, Gagnon only produced one large book (under, one might add, the covers of a religious publisher, not an academic press) and a handful of papers in peer-reviewed journals; such an output for a senior scholar, coupled with the fact that at well over fifty he is still an Assistant Professor in a second-rate theological seminary, comes on a long way, I think, towards explaining his tooth-and-nail stance as an ideologue and his preference for online preaching over academic work."



*Gagnon brings up Sodom in not this video, but elsewhere in an attempt to force the story from lack of hospitality he admits is the jist of the story to homosexuality. My response is here that also covers Jude 1:7. He makes the lack of hospitality with Sodom about homosexuality and then says no ancient Jews never practiced homosexuality, yet Jeremiah 23:14 says this about the people of Israel; "..."They are all like Sodom to me; the people of Jerusalem are like Gomorrah." You can't have it both ways with making Sodom about homosexuality and saying the Jews didn't practice homosexuality when Israel was like Sodom.
As you can see, Gagnon has thoroughly been refuted with what are his main arguments on homosexuality and the Bible.



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