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Elton John on Jesus--A Candle in the Wind?

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According to this CBS post in a recent interview, Elton John provocatively stated that Jesus was "a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems."

At first glance, this statement borders on the absurd--how can Elton make these claims about the historic Christ, and so boldly? It contradicts the Gospel and the teachings of Jesus.

His statement, however, raises questions about how our society (in general) views love, compassion, and intelligence. By saying that Jesus was a "compassionate, super-intelligent gay man," Elton seems to equate these attributes with homosexuality itself (i.e. if you aspire to or live by these virtues, then you are either supportive of the homosexual community, or actually homosexual).

This leaves Christians with an important question: how do we respond? Obviously, we do not believe that Jesus was gay, and we know that homosexuality is a sin. But wouldn't a vitriolic response automatically make us seem less loving and compassionate (based on Elton's claims)?

So, how would you respond?
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  • Guest - Eric Cooper

    Christians should respond pressupositionally. We hold that Scripture alone is the standard for ethics. We take every thought captive to Christ. Without a pressupositional response we concede the premise. As a wise man once said "He who defines, wins." It does not matter how the unregenerate define terms such as compassion, it matters how the Word of God defines it. It is compassionate for us proclaim God's truth in darkness.

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  • I know this doesn't address the question being asked, but I do feel compelled to offer that I believe there is something somewhat mistaken here and which, I believe, leads to a common misunderstanding among Christians.

    That is..."homosexuality is a sin" is, I believe, an incorrect statement. Unless I'm mistaken, the Bible denounces homosexual behavior. That is separate and distinct from homosexuality in that one is a behavior and the other is more of a disposition or attraction.

    As I understand it, the Bible does not denounce being tempted (one way to look at the dispostion or attraction to same gender) but rather it teaches that giving in to such temptations is sinful. And, yes, I get that this also involves lust and not just physical/tangible action.

    Basically, I just wanted to point that out because I think that the idea of homosexuality being the sin is what causes so much of the attitude of hatred toward the people rather than toward the behavior.

    Just my $.02.

    Grace, love and peace.

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  • Guest - Scott

    Since the fact that Jesus is gay is never stated, and to my mind not even implied in Scripture, I guess it is being inferred from the fact that he is `compassionate` and `super-intelligent`.

    Does that mean everyone who is `compassionate` and `super-intelligent` is gay? I`m sure that Elton John knows people who are both and aren`t gay.

    So what then leads him to this opinion?

    I would actually avoid going further into the topic, and focus on establishing the divinity of Christ. What he raises is related to personal obedience. I don`t think someone will consider changing habits that if another`s words are not authoritative.

    In other words, both God`s truth and his grace need to be made known to him.

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  • Guest - Donald Woolsey

    Elton John appears to be thinking under the assumption that intellince and compassion are virtues that a man can only acheive if they look in themselves. Also assuming that gay men are the only men who are capable of looking into themsevles. (the hetrosexual man is much too macho to look into himself).

    My goal would be to introduce the idea there is something outside of ourselves. I would then describe the virtues of God and show how those virtues match with the virtues of Jesus. Then proceed to explain through scripture how Jesus was God in the flesh.

    This man needs to hear who Jesus was according to the bible alone as the redeemer. (It would take me a couple of days to unclutter my thoughts with a clear response to this)

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  • Guest - Christian

    Thanks Daniel,
    This is the first thing that struck me as well upon reading the query. I too agree that Christians who speak carelessly, of which I have been guilty of, promote, provoke, and perpetuate the problems contributing to misunderstandings with our fellow man/persons.

    Also like Valeria I am saddened because it is due to ignorance and carelessness that prominent figures promote such ideas and allow for the possibility of succeeding in warping the mindsets of their fanbase.

    If I were to hypothetically engage Elton John on a befriended basis, I would then ask him if he would be willing to submit to, accept, and worship Jesus and sincerely pray the sinner's prayer if in fact he believed in Jesus if in fact he were gay. I imagine he would say "no," wherein I would ask then why is it so important that he proclaim Christ as gay if he does not believe everything else about him.

    This hypothetical encounter could go down innumerable paths ....

    If EJ were to say "yes" however then I'd likewise have to ask him why it is important for Jesus to be gay and if it were not possible for EJ to see Jesus as loving, forgiving, merciful, and full of grace without the veil of "gayness."

    Unfortunately I think it is more about politics and the LBGT agenda and condemning the Christian community than it is about embracing us. This is partly due to how Christians have over-emphasized, even perversely, human sexuality and sin without properly disseminating biblical truth in all its possible accuracy. It has only revealed the weakness of uninformed and uneducated believers due to the careless and uneducated, agenda driven leaders in the Christian community for at least a couple hundred years now.

    Until we emphasize grace and compassionate behaviour that truly honors and glorifies God as opposed to our own selfish and worldly agendas, we will never cease at failing to win those over whom we've aided in distancing.

    My two cents.

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  • Thinking outloud here (I've not read/seen the interview with EJ)...

    Is it possible EJ had in mind the broader notion of "gay" being winsome and carefree? Of course, if that is what he had in mind, he would equally be wrong according to historical and biblical evidences.

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  • Guest - Patrick

    I'm not sure if I agree with Daniel's comments about homosexuality, temptation and the will. Yes, temptation is not sin and that only yielding to it is but to classify homosexuality as a temptation is to blur the issue and lessen the Bible's strong denouncement of sin. Could the same be said of adultery or any other breach of God's law. Such a view makes homosexuality/sodomy merely a tedency rather than a sin when taken to it's extreme.

    We must always remember that God's Word teaches that the disposition or the will is fallen i.e. it was affected by the fall along with the entirety of man's being. Therefore outside of Christ man's will tends to sin not godliness. The actions flow from the will not the other way around. If the fountain is corrupt so will the water. So homosexuality is to be viewed as a sin just like all other sins hence the need for the new birth. It is not a lifestyle or a genetic fault but clear evidence that the heart of man is deceitful and desparately wicked. The answer is Christ. He has come to save sinners but only those that know their sinnership.

    To answer Elton John's foul and blasphemous comment is crucial. The Bible teaches that Christ did not destroy the law of Moses but fulfilled it. The Law of God clearly deems sodomy as an abomination. To say Christ endorsed such sin is to make Him a breaker of the law and therefore unable to save people from their sins!

    He must increase and I must decrease!

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  • @Patrick, Very nice of you to call ALL homosexuality a sin and an abomionation, not just homosex and homolust, but also love, affection, and attraction towards members of one's own sex; the natural comportment of GLBTIQQ people and even the underlying disposition itself!

    Does not James teach that people are tempted by their own (dormant) lusts (when they get stirred up when a situation presents itself?)

    What Daniel was saying, and what the scientists are figuring out, and what I can testify from my own experience is, at the very core of being gay, is the biologically-based disposition that causes one to be attracted to members of one's own sex. We very typically find out we're sexuallly different at puberty; I know I have. Scientists are now looking for biological causes of the homosexual disposition.

    And as far as Elton John saying that Jesus was gay... perhaps he figured that out from the Bible? The scriptures make it very clear that His beloved disciple was male. On the night of the last supper, this disciple was reclining in intimate contact with Jesus' chest, or bosom. I did some research and found that in the First Century CE, people dined while reclining on their sides daybeds, propped up by one arm. So we have Jesus reclining on a daybed, with the beloved disciple on his chest, both in intimate close contact. There is an ancient Hellenic illustration of a young man and a more mature man in a less intimate recline on just such a daybed which was remarked upon for its representation of homosexuality! Furthermore, the relationship was remarked upon by the other disciples. In addition, the words shown to express Jesus' love for this disciple, agape and phileo, clearly showed erotic overtones in non-Christian ancient Greek literature (credit John Boswell). And to top it all off, in Mark 14:50-52 there is this young man who was with Jesus' party who wore only a linen cloth and was able to escape the Jewish Temple Police, bare-*** naked: so I believe the Sanhedrin figured, rightly or wrongly, that there was some *arsenokoitai* going on. And this is without the section redacted from between Mark 10:34 & 35 that relates how Jesus taught Lazarus the secrets of the Kingdom of God at night, starting when the youth came to Jesus, as ordered, wearing only a linen cloth over his naked body. http://skeptically.org/newtestament/id5.html

    So there you have it. If Jesus wasn't gay, he was certainly bisexual. Even if he was sexually inactive and though he harbored no lust in his heart.

    So if homosexuality is sin, then Christianity is barking mad.

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  • Guest - Bob

    The fulfilling of the law, was more effective, than abolishing it, ever requirement of the laws handed to Moses, where more than abolished in fulfillment, every requiremen of them was acomplished, this was done by the birth of Jesus, his life and death, the point of his death was to erase all sins, he died for this purpose, if we still believe in sin we call God a liar, when he said jesus died to take away the sins of the world.
    Thus he fulfilled the law, by making a new covenant with his people, saying he will no longer look for offerings and sacrifices,

    The law was fulfilled by LOVE, he made a new convenant, which he wrote in the hearts and the minds of everyone, it is here we must go to lead a Christian life, loving others from our heart, letting go of old stringent rules, and restictions on our thoughts and minds.

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  • Before you can respond, you must forget all of the assumptions that you've made.

    1. Elton said, "[Jesus was a] compassionate, super-intelligent gay man." He did not say, "Because Jesus was compassionate and super-intelligent, he was gay."

    2. It isn't "obvious" to all Christians that Jesus wasn't gay. I'm not saying he was, but looking at some of his relationships, particularly the one with John very well might lead some Christians to that conclusion.

    3. It also isn't "obvious" to all Christians that homosexuality (or homosexual activity) is a sin. I'm a Christian and I'm gay. The entirety of my formal education was in Christian schools (19 years + grad school); there was not a day without either a study in Bible History or doctrine. I understand why many Christians make that assertion and I know why others know better.

    Once you've cleansed yourself of assumptions, you can actually have an intelligent conversation. You don't have to give up what you believe but keep emotion out. You probably won't but you might actually agree with him.

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