Monday, November 13, 2006

Elton John: Religion Encourages Hatred


Elton John recently said, “I think religion has always tried to turn hatred toward gay people. Religion promotes hatred toward gay people.”

John, a music superstar for decades is openly gay and has been for years. He continued, “From my point of view I would ban religion completely. It turns people into really hateful lemmings and it’s not really compassionate.” John also criticized religious leaders for failing to do anything about conflicts around the world.

As a Christian who is committed to doing all within my power to follow all the teachings of Christ, Elton John’s words sting and they grieve my heart.

First, John uses a broad brush when condemning religion for hatred. Yes, there is a verbal and demonstrative segment of Christianity that is very harsh about homosexuality and is fairly characterized as hateful. However, there are also significant numbers of Christians that have led the way in embracing gays, declaring their value and worth as human beings, standing for justice and many times on the front lines serving those who have suffered from STD’s and AIDS that have resulted from a gay lifestyle.

Let me be clear, I believe the Bible when it says that homosexuality is sin. I do not condone homosexuality as a legitimate alternate lifestyle. But I do care about gay men and women and I’m committed to love and serve homosexuals (and every other kind of person) in such a way that they also might know God’s love.

Second, John continues to use the broad brush in declaring that religious leaders don’t do anything about conflicts around the world. There is some truth in his claim and it also ignores courageous and sacrificial Christians through the centuries who have poured out their lives for the oppressed. Recent weeks have carried remarkable stories about Christian efforts in Rwanda and the Sudan for example.

Third, any failure among Christians to love and to be active in fighting for the welfare of others is TOO much. However, the answer is not to “ban religion completely”.

I’ll remind Mr. John with a broad brush of my own that music is not the answer to change broken or wicked hearts. Government can’t change our hearts so that we’re more accepting and act more justly. The business community and capitalism isn’t the answer either.
I contend that unless we invite God individually and collectively to change our hearts and transform our lives to be like Christ, we are without hope.

1 comment:

RC said...

There is such a double standard here. Elton condemns religion for doing exactly what he is doing - putting people in boxes and labeling them. My prayer is that he encounters a Christian who can witness to him as only he needs it.