Highway Sign Denouncing Homosexuals Causes Stir in Texas

Texas drivers on Highway 183 can’t miss the small sign with a big message: “Homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom.”  According to ABC affiliate WFAA, Pastor Larry Nunley of the Airport Freeway Church of Christ in Euless maintains their marquee displays truth from the Bible based on 1Corinthians 6:9-10. But Rev. David Wynn disagrees with Nunley’s claim of truth.

Rev. Wynn of Agape Metropolitan Community Church, a church that welcomes people of the homosexual and transgendered society, argues that the scripture reference in question is interpreted by scholars in various ways. In one version of the Bible, Wynn claims the word “pederasts” replaces “homosexuals.” The King James Version uses neither word, but rather the phrase “abusers of themselves with mankind.” The New King James, however, along with the New International Version (NIV), the New American Standard Bible (NASB), the English Standard Version (ESV), and others have chosen to use the word “homosexuals” to represent the meaning of the original text.

Rev. Wynn believes that Jesus would be disgusted by the marquee’s message. He claims, “It minimizes a group of people. It diminishes their humanity.” But Pastor Nunley relates the uproar to Jesus’ teaching that the truth will offend people.

Point one: As long as there are disagreements between scholars regarding the original meaning of the biblical text, there will be disagreements between Christians as to what is indeed “truth.”

According to WFAA, “Nunley worries the sign in front of his church will turn some people away from faith. But he hopes they'll listen to the rest of his message.” However, “the rest of his message” is thus far indeterminable.

Point two: As long as people are negatively focused on one aspect of a message, they will have great difficulty receiving the rest of it.

Nunley remarked, “We’re not saying it’s us, we’re better. Homosexuals are no worse than me, and I’m a preacher.”

Point three: When leaders clarify what they didn’t say, they acknowledge that other people understood them to communicate exactly that which they claim not to have said.

My inquiry for Pastor Nunley is, “Why did you choose to display those particular words? What did you hope to convey and/or accomplish, and were you successful? If you didn’t want people to be turned away from the faith, how did your message work to turn people toward it?”

This everyday happening in the life of the church brings about several lessons for Christians to consider as they attempt to communicate in the world. We must be vigilant in seeking and sharing truth, yet be humble in the process. We must communicate in positive ways for people to receive positive messages. We must be more mindful of what we are saying, and even more so, of what people are hearing us say.

Above all, we must remember that we are not called to spread the bad news, but the good news of Jesus Christ.

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  1. Chris Vogel said:

    This is about normal for religious nuts. Not enough that they believe this crap, but they have to inflict it on others. What’s the fun, otherwise? Ironically, the call it “good news”, but it’s really the same old, malice and cheap self induldence.

    March 10, 2011
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  2. Rev. Tim Lehmann said:

    A reading of the Bible, even a casual reading, will tell you that God hates the act of homosexual sex. It goes against the order He created. Having said that, I am opposed to the sign. Jesus died to set the homosexual (and other sinners, myself included) free from their sin. It is the Christians job (Matthew 28:28) to spread the news that Jesus rose from the dead. After they have accepted, then and only then, Jesus says we to teach them to “observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:” Teach, not browbeat.

    March 10, 2011
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  3. Chris Vogel said:

    Too bad about the casual reading, since a careful reading brings the genuine Christian–if such exists–to the opposite conclusion. More to this point is your enormous conceit that this applies to anyone else. Still, better than your traditional approach of torture and murder.

    March 10, 2011
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  4. Carley66 said:

    The bible clearly states in several places that God does not like homosexual acts… anymore than He likes sex outside of marriage. It is a sin. All sin is bad. The bible says in several places that telling a lie is equivalent to murder in God’s eyes. So were are all equally sinful! The bible says that all have fallen short of the glory of God. I did notice however, that no one in the video or the article mentioned the original Greek translation. Has anyone looked it up? That would solve any issues about confusion of which word is really meant to be used.

    March 11, 2011
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  5. Carley66 said:

    Sorry… that should be “… the original Greek text…”

    March 11, 2011
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  6. Chris Vogel said:

    Greek ‘translation’ is better, since most of the originals were written by ‘God’ in aramaic. As as for “clear”, that is a modern (unchristian, as if anybody cared) convenience combining selective reading with mistranslation. Start with Leviticus: The prohibitions in the book Leviticus: ch. 18.22, 20.13 These two verses are the only passages in the whole length of the Old Testament which prohibit and condemn a specific homosexual act: “Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination”. If the wording is not clinically precise, it clearly refers to homosexual inter¬course, most probably anal intercourse. Are Christians obliged to abstain from everything which is prohibited in Leviticus? The book Leviticus consists of a great number of detailed instructions to the Jewish people through which they were to maintain their separateness from the Gentiles and their holiness before God. Almost all these regulations have been discarded by Christians, beginning with the decision of the apostles to require of the Gentiles nothing more than that “they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood” (Acts 15.20). Most even of this remnant was soon forgotten: we do not believe that we are sinning if we eat meat with the blood in it or if we eat pork. But are not Christians still obliged to abstain from fornication – and from all sexual offenses including homosexual intercourse? Christians are still expected to discipline their sexual activity as well as all other activity; but “fornication” does not cover all the sexual prohibitions of Leviticus. Married couples, for instance, do not consider themselves bound by the menstrual regulations (Lev. 15.19-33), because we have a dif¬ferent and a more exact understanding of menstruation than had the Levitical writer. In the same way, homosexual couples are not bound by the homosexual prohibitions because we have a different and a more exact understanding of homosexuality than had the Levitical writer. Recently, evidence has come to light that early in the Christian era there was a form for solemnizing what we would now call a homosexual relationship; but through most of Christian history, since there has been no recognition of homosexual marriage, homosexual intercourse was treated on a level with other non-marital sexual acts. As the relationship between homosexuals becomes recognized as parallel to a heterosexual relationship, it becomes possible to apply to a homosexual union the discipline expected in a heterosexual marriage. The prohibition of fornication then becomes, for the homosexual couple, a prohibition of intercourse outside their own union. But is not homosexual intercourse an “abomination”? The Hebrew word translated as “abomination” is used to designate any practice characteristic of an alien culture or religion. Thus, the Hebrews are said to be an abomination to the Egyptians because they are shepherds (Gen. 46.34). To apply the term to homosexual intercourse says nothing more than that the Levitical writer considered it a practice alien to the Jewish religion. He did not like it, just as he did not like the eating of pork; but that does not oblige us to believe that God abhors both pigs and homosexuals. But do not homosexuals deserve to be put to death? That is what the Levitical writer thought (Lev. 20.13). He also thought that a person should be put to death for cursing his parents (20.9). Many may disapprove of homosexual acts and of cursing parents; but most Christians nowadays would disapprove even more strongly of punishing them by death. The Christian community is free to decide whom to exclude from its fellowship; but it is not free to usurp God’s prerogative of taking, as of giving, life (Luke 9.54-56). You might think that Christians, being New Testament people, would not be so determined to impose on others the holiness code that they ignore for themselves, but then you would be wrong.

    March 11, 2011
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