Today's sermon will be on a rather different subject than I had originally intended. I was going to speak about the importance of opposing evil. while I still feel that this is an important topic, there is one that has recently come to my attention which is long overdue.
There are many people in the world today who call themselves Christians, yet gender strife within the church. Instead of reading their bibles and praying, they get worked up about stupid issues which should never be issues at all. Whereas real Christians spend their quiet time reading God's word and seeing what God actually has to say on the subject, church bullies tie themselves and others in knots by imposing rules which stem from their own flawed reasoning, and not from God at all. Today, I am writing this sermon on one of the most troublesome to our particular kind in order to put it authoritatively to rest.
Most, if not all of us in this sanctuary today are Christians. Most of us are also furries. I think it can safely be said, therefore, that all of us are quite okay with being both. I know I am. There are, however, people out there who are not. Some of them, quite surprisingly, are Christian furs! For the sake of easing minds and promoting peace, we are going to answer some of the most common arguments which some Christians use against furries.
Unfortunately, I was not able to find a great many arguments against furriness in my research. Nearly everything that came up in my search was made by trolls. It seems that it is far more difficult to find an anti-furry Christian than a furry Christian. This in itself speaks volumes. I did, however, find three arguments which have popped up again and again.
Argument one: Furriness is bestiality.
Response: No it is not. But so as to have a sufficient answer ready, let's examine the issue. The Bible addresses Bestiality in Leviticus 18:23, Leviticus 20:15 and 16, and Exodus 22:19. But let's take a look at the first one.
Leviticus 18:23 Neither shalt thou lie with any beast to defile thyself therewith: neither shall any woman stand before a beast to lie down thereto: it is confusion.
Let's be clear on what this means. I broke out two bibles and a concordance to clarify the meaning of this passage, concerned with three key words: lie, beast and confusion. "lie" is the Hebrew equivalent of "sleep with". It is a polite euphemism, but used in context, it leaves no doubt about its meaning. In this instance, it means to participate in sexual intercourse.
Beast is a very specific word in Hebrew, and it refers only to mute animals. Any creature intelligent enough to speak fluently is therefore not a beast. While this dividing line is not likely to pop up in real life, it is a fairly universal means of definition in the realm of speculative fiction. Creatures who speak are considered people. Creatures who don't are not.
Confusion is, ironically, a confusing term. In Hebrew, it refers to the mixing of things that do not belong together in an unnatural manner, as the word means both "unnatural" and "mixed". There really is no English equivalent. If we want to capture the connotation, I think the best word we could use is "perverse", in this case meaning contrary to what is intended.
From this, we can determine that God defines bestiality as sexual intercourse between a person and a non-sentient beast, and we are not to engage in it because it is contrary to God's plan for sex, that is, the blissful union of two people created to be physically, mentally and spiritually compatible.
Bestiality lies well outside the realm of normal furriness. Furriness does not include beasts at all. Any creature called a "furry" is assumed to be of human intelligence. So, if you want to get technical, bestiality isn't even possible within the context of furriness.
"But what about all the other stuff connected with it?" some will say. "The homosexuality and pornography and all that?" Those aren't connected to the furry community. Those are connected to human civilization.
Argument number two: God made you human.
My first response to this is "so?" What difference does that make? Am I somehow dishonoring God by wanting to alter what He created? If so, we'd better stop building houses and wearing clothes. Clothes are, after all, completely unnatural. They alter the human appearance and form away from what God created, and one could argue that they insult the creator by hiding what He made, as if we are ashamed of it. Now we know that God is not insulted by clothes. why, then, should he be insulted by fur or tails? It's ultimately the same thing. Paul called his physical body a tent. He thought of it as a garment that would one day be put off. This (pulls on fur) does not define who I am. This (points to head) and this (points to heart) define who I am. I am a son of God and having whiskers is not going to change that.
Argument three: Jesus didn't die for animals.
This statement is actually quite false. If you have a beating heart, if you breathe, eat, sleep, defecate, urinate, see, hear, feel and think, then you are an animal. You are not a plant, you are not a fungus, you are not a robot. Except perhaps for Zyborg 22. Seriously, though. What this argument SHOULD say is that Jesus did not die for BEASTS. And this is correct. Jesus did not die to save beasts, and there is a reason for that. Sin requires a basic knowledge of the concepts of right and wrong. Beasts are not capable of understanding these things, therefore, beasts cannot sin. No beast is going to Hell because of the simple fact that they cannot sin. They do not need salvation.
In the real world, you have beasts and humans. (And angels, but as they are not physical, we can exclude them.) There is nothing else. But if there were indeed nonhuman people, capable of discerning right and wrong and therefore in need of salvation, would Jesus have died to save them? Would Jesus have died for Fnaire Antbear? For Artic Wolf? For Tibb Kadeusus? For Pudgy? For Rayna Kayton? For Briarwood? For Lyn PJ?
There are a lot of things I do not yet know about my Lord, but I do know this. That He is love. He IS love! He loves all of you. And if these people were real, He would love them, too. Because my Bible tells me that God is not willing that ANY should perish. If you are a living being then God loves you with a love that you will never know the depths of. He is not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentence. You can look that up, it's in 2 Peter 3:9. It does not matter what you are. White, black, indian, oriental, aborigine, eskimo, it makes no difference. He loves you just the same. Male, female, hermaphrodite, young, old, rich, poor, free, slave, He still loves you. Mutant, cyborg, dwarf, giant, furry, He still loves you. Homosexual, thief, litterbug, swindler, terrorist, murderer, pedophile, atheist, despot, warlord, prostitute, it doesn't MATTER! What you are and what you have done are all irrelevant because there is no sin that is too big for the blood of Jesus to wash away. The only thing that can prevent Jesus from washing away all your sin is your own decision not to let Him. as long as you are willing to accept His grace within this lifetime, there is nothing that can keep you apart.
Now if Jesus loves prostitutes, murderers, warmongers, pedophiles, rapists and spammers, then how can anyone think that having a tail would seperate us from the love of Jesus? Paul spells it out very clearly in Romans 8.
38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
I think, however, that the most persuasive argument for God's love of the furry people is evident right here. When I look out at you, I see people who are here because they love God. Your adoration of Jesus cannot be hidden. You are more righteous than the most Christians I know, and that is because of two things. As the old negro spiritual goes, "Big wheel turn by the grace of God, little wheel turn by the faith of man." And with the kindness and blessing that God has shown this ministry and this people, I have seen both wheels turning. God has used this ministry to carry the gospel, to comfort those doubting their salvation, to uncover truths many did not know, to create new and lasting friendships, to strengthen believers and provide courage where alone, one's fortitude would fail. This, right here, is the real people of God.
So if anyone ever tells you that God hates furries, you can smile, confident in the knowledge that the speaker is a durn fool with no clue regarding the things he's passing judgement on. (You can quote me on that.)
Pastor Oren Otter
March 01, 2008
Today's reading: 2 Timothy 2:15-23
15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
17 And their word will eat as doth a canker: of whom is Hymenaeus and Philetus;
18 Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already; and overthrow the faith of some.
19 Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.
20 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
22 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.