2005-01-21

Jimmy and the Sponge

Now for chapter 327 in adventures in missing the point. So, I am watching the news, and apparently the new Sponge Bob video is being protested by Dr. James Dobson of "Focus on the Family", because it advocates homosexuality. I have not watched the video, so I do not know if the evil cartoonists are trying to lead poor six year old boys down the path of gay prostitution or talking with a lisp. The makers of the video say no. James "I am Christ's policy advisor" Dobson says yes. Who's right? I don't know. I guess it depends on who you think is more honest and reliable.

Is it the people who make a lot of money from selling videos and dolls to children, who's business would be hurt if they really did promote homosexuality to six year olds? Or is it the guy who sells millions of dollars worth of books and expands his "religious right" media empire every time he "uncovers a plot to destroy Christian America"? Should we trust the people who have every reason NOT to make Sponge Bob gay? Or should we trust the guy who has every reason to start a witch hunt? I am not saying the venerable Doctor Dobson is a liar, I am just saying that he has every reason to skew the already effeminate character of Sponge Bob to his advantage.

I think we should outlaw all male TV characters and cartoons who sing with high voices and show their underwear from the top of their pants! Punish the evil doers with reading all of Dobson's books! I mean twice as many young boys must be enticed into the lures of the gay lifestyle by the seduction of Sponge Bob, than were ever enticed by the Spandex-clad, crotch-packing, body-builder superheroes of yesteryear, such as Superman, Batman, and Spiderman. That was sarcasm. But seriously... if Dobson wants to protest the so-called "gay conspiracy", can't he pick a thousand better candidates than Sponge Bob?

But, lets talk about priorities and motives. First, of all, Dobson only picks on gays because they are an out group in our society that is easy to hate. I mean he could easily have picked fat people who eat four times as many calories as the average third world person. He could have picked spoiled suburban soccer moms who have too much disposable income and do not contribute anything by volunteering or by donating to help those in need outside of their sub-urban bubbles. Or maybe he could have picked wealthy business men who have gotten rich in big and small ways by questionable business practices and un-ethical dealings with customers and employees. Heck, he could have even railed against corporate giant superstores that drive smaller mom and pop stores out of business while treating their suppliers like dirt as they keep offering horrible service and poor products to the consumer. But Wal Mart probably sells too many of his books for him to bite the hand that feeds him.

So, instead he picks the one group that the majority of Americans already hate: the gays. It makes him money and gives him air time on TV. Money and power... that's what its all about at Jim Dobson's "Focus on the Fairies". Again, this is sarcasm. I do not want to demean homosexuals (like Dobson), or to say that homosexuality is not a sin and christen it as an "alternate lifestyle" (like the pluralists). It is sin. As a Biblical Christian I believe that God has outlined behavioral norms in Scripture which serve as the goal toward which we aim our behavior. That Scripture declares homosexual acts unequivocally outside of God's perfect will in about 5, maybe 7 places. Whatever the causes of homosexuality, whether genetic, biological, social, or personal, it is clear that it is the result of living in a fallen world, and it brings untold personal misery into the lives of millions of men and women and their families who deal with it.

Now lets compare homosexuality to other things that God names as sin. For instance, there are thousands of times in Scripture that we are warned against greed, over-consumption, and withholding from the poor and needy. There are thousands of times we are exhorted in Scripture to love others, especially those who are different and who are our enemies. There are hundreds of times that we are told in Scripture to have pure motives, pure lips, to speak the truth and not to gossip or bring false accusations. These sins, which are mentioned thousands and thousands more times than the scant few references we have for homosexuality, affect, infect, harm, and kill hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people in the world today.

It is clear to me that Dobson's "focus" is not on Almighty God, but on the almighty dollar... and whatever will get him the most press coverage. As a rapper has once said, "Its all about the Banjamins". Amen brother Jim. Pass the offering plate and crucify some homos while you are at it!

Let me ask you an honest question: Who would you rather have as your neighbor, Dr. James Dobson, or a committed gay or lesbian couple who gives to charity regularly, volunteers to help the needy regularly, and prays often? Who do you think, over all, would have less "sin" in their lives and live in a way more pleasing to God? I know lots of Dobson type people and several very kind, giving, even Christian gays and lesbians. I know who I would want to be my neighbor, hands down.

There are many more pressing issues we can spend our time and resources to conquer besides the seven verses against homosexuality. There are tsunamis and earthquakes, wars and famines. There is corporate greed and homeless children in need. Racism, sexism, ageism, prejudice reign across the land. Working conditions in most of the world are soul-destroying and health destroying. People die of obesity in the first world while people die of starvation in the third world. People in America are being entertained to death while people in Sudan are being killed for entertainment. Oppressive regimes around the world threaten the helpless with torture, imprisonment, execution, and weapons of mass destruction. Thousands die each day never having met Jesus Christ. Billions live everyday without the hope and healing of the resurrection of Christ. Millions more cannot write and will never be able to read the Gospel story for themselves.

All of this while Dobson crusades against the moral evil of Sponge Bob. Days like today make me want to ask the question: "Can I just follow Jesus without being a Christian?" If being a Christian means being identified more with Dobson and the moral majority than with Christ, then I will not use the name and simply become known as a follower of Jesus... But, in the same newscast there was a story about how a group of Baptist men are staying in Sri Lanka, filtering water to drink and helping re-build towns over there. They are volunteering their time, their effort, and their very lives to serve Christ in the needy. The name Christian was redeemed.

I can't resist a chance to quote this text:

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Matthew 25:31-46
"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.'

Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?'

The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.'

They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' "He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' "Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."
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Sure, these are not as controversial and won't get as many people buying our books... but are we out to sell product or change the world? What does it profit a moral crusader if he gets the attention of the entire world, but forfeits his own soul?

Dr. Dobson, I fear for my soul because I do not want to fall into self deception and the lies of the world. I want to stay close to Christ in every way and live for Him every day. But I also fear for your soul, because I do not believe that you see where you are blinded. I do not believe that you understand where you have sold the Gospel of Christ for the mammon of publicity. You are protesting the wrong thing at the wrong time in the wrong way and not standing for the right thing at the right time in the right way. I do not want you to get to heaven and find out that you have not fed or clothed Christ. I do not want you to face the Lord and have Him say:

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Matthew 7:21-23
"Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!"
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When we have pulled the "logs" of open, abusive sin out of everyone's eyes, then I think we will see clearly to start pulling the "specks" of private immorality out of everyone's eyes. Until that time, why don't we focus on the family of God and act as Christ's hands and feet bringing healing and salvation to "the least of these".


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This is a bunch of stuff to make us think hard about our incredible love affair with the God of the universe, our astounding infidelities against him, and his incredible grace to heal and restore us through Christ. Everything on this site is copyright © 1996-2015 by Nathan L. Bostian so if you use it, cite me... otherwise you break the 8th commandment, and make God unhappy. You can contact the author by posting a comment.