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A (Not So) Funny Moment on the Albert Mohler Program

April 15, 2008

Having a 35-minute commute to and from work each day, I have the advantage of immersing myself in “good listening.” Lately, I’ve enjoyed Graeme Goldsworthy’s recent lectures at Southern Sem, Ayn Rand’s Anthem, and portions of John Piper’s The Future of Justification.

The most memorable listening I’ve logged on my commute in some time was the April 10th episode of the Albert Mohler program. Dr. Mohler discussed a recent article in the British magazine Details, which asked its readers, “Would you really be ok with a gay kid?”

Interestingly enough, according to the article, many teens who had “professed” homosexuality to parents who are conservative Christians had any easier time of it than teens with more socially progressive parents.

After introducing the article, Dr. Mohler opened up the phone lines, asking his audience how they would feel about having a homosexual child.

And, then came one of the worst attempts at humor I can imagine. Here’s a transcription of a conversation Dr. Mohler had with Bill from Halifax, Nova Scotia.

M: Go ahead, Bill.

B: Hi. Yeah, uh, I just want call and say I have two sons that are both gay and I’m gay.

M: Ok—

B: [Interrupting] That’s about it.

M: No, I appreciate you calling; I appreciate you listening. Let me ask you a question on that. You don’t have a problem with your sons’ being gay because you are gay. Is that fair to say?

B: Yeah, I won’t take up too much of your time. I just want to say that I am glad they are gay. They’re full of fun, gay, happy-go-lucky, and the same as myself.

M: Ok. But, Bill, let me ask you a question. I do appreciate you calling. Do you think that your own friends that aren’t gay would be happy for their own kids to be gay?

B: No, I don’t want to hold up or ruin your program. I’m just talking about gay. I’m not homosexual.

M: [Awkward pause]. Ok. Well, that was useless. To join the conversation …

I must confess that at this point I laughed aloud, alone in my car. Very few things make me laugh aloud when I am alone. It wasn’t so much Bill’s comedic angle that elicited the guffaw. Rather, the way Dr. Mohler responded in his moment of realization—the awkward “what do I say” pause—got to me. Admittedly, the rest of the show remains sort of a blur to me because I just kept thinking about the whole scene that had just transpired before my ears.

But the more I thought about Bill’s attempted joke, the more I realized that Bill’s attitude approximates how many Christians treat the subject of homosexuality. For far too many, it has become a laughing matter.

This attitude has become all too common among men in their early to mid-20s. For my age group of guys, using homosexuality as a slur is trendy. An infelicitous situation may be derided as “gay,” or an eccentric personality quark may elicit humorously-intended accusations of homosexuality.

How could it ever be that we who have been redeemed from the curse of sin would find pleasure in ridiculing examples of sin’s dominion in the world?

Since the sexual revolutions of last century, liberal scholars have attempted to find an underlying cause for the conservative backlash against open homosexual lifestyles. The most common theories have been homophobia or secret (“closet”) homosexuality.

These accusations have rightly searched for the underlying cause, but have wrongly identified it. Indeed, Christians often fail to minister to homosexuals appropriately. This failure, however, stems from our flippant view of sin and our lack of true, biblical love.

Every sin shouts to all of creation, “God is not satisfying enough.” And, every sinner deceives himself, so that he believes this claim. An accurate view of sin should summon followers of Christ to combat this pervasive, soul-damning lie. An accurate view of love should summon them to proclaim to the deceived the truth of God’s all-satisfying goodness.

Let us pray that God would grant us understanding of the heinousness of sin and of the true nature of love. Perhaps then we could rightly enjoy our God-given risibility.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Adam Winters permalink
    April 15, 2008 6:39 pm

    Yeah, I hear you, Jason. It is really depressing to me that we just can’t speak frank and soberly about homosexuality as a sin issue that must be overcome by the gospel.

    I though I’d bring this recent article to your attention, as you might be interested to offer a critique of it in a future post:
    http://www.abpnews.com/3100.article
    David Gushee is one of the leading evangelical ethicists alive today, and a man I consider a mentor. But what is he getting right and what is he leaving out?

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