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Mohler debates 'Brokeback Mountain' on 'Larry King Live'
January 23, 2006
By David Roach
The movie "Brokeback Mountain" presents a distorted and unbiblical picture of human sexuality, said R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, during a Jan. 17 appearance on CNN's "Larry King Live."
A panel of commentators appeared with Mohler to discuss the topic of homosexuality as it relates to the controversial Golden Globe Award-winning film. "Brokeback Mountain" tells the story of two cowboys from Wyoming who engage in a homosexual relationship despite the fact that both are married to women.
The panel consisted of Mohler; Janet Parshall, host of the radio program "Janet Parshall's America;" Chad Allen, actor and gay activist; and Guy Padgett, openly gay former mayor of Casper, Wyo.
"The most important thing is that we understand that marriage is an objective reality," Mohler said. "And it's been honored that way throughout human history, I believe, because God did give it to us explicitly even in the act of creation."
The main problem with "Brokeback Mountain" is that it fails to explain why the main characters were created and how they can find fulfillment only in their Creator, said Mohler.
"My main concern is not with the gospel of heterosexuality, even though I think that's very important," Mohler said. "It's with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and what I find lacking in the movie, the screenplay and in the short story, is any resolution that really brings these persons to know why they were created and how God really intends them to live and how they would find their greatest satisfaction in living just as God had intended them for His glory."
Host Larry King sharply questioned both Parshall and Mohler as to why they were so critical of a film they had not seen. Mohler said he has read both the screenplay and the story upon which it is based, and made an intentional decision not to see the film.
"If I had to see the movie to understand the storyline, I wouldn't have come on to speak about it," Mohler said. "I'm going to say something that is about as counter-cultural as I can imagine, and that is I'm actually convinced that as a Christian, there are certain things I don't need to see. And that's the reason why, as a matter of principle, I have not gone to see the movie. I wouldn't encourage anyone to go see the movie. I'm unembarrassed to say that."
In response to Mohler, Allen, who plays Christian missionary Nate Saint in the upcoming movie "End of the Spear," said his homosexuality is "a beautiful gift from god."
"I judge all of my actions by my relationship with [the] god of my understanding," said Allen. "It is a deep-founded, faith-based belief in god based upon the work that I've done growing up as a Catholic boy and then reaching out to Buddhist philosophy, to Hindu philosophy, to Native American beliefs and finally as I got through my course with addiction and alcoholism and finding a higher power that worked for me."
When asked whether people choose to be homosexual, Mohler argued that all sexual sins involve choice but also involve human desires that are corrupted by sin.
"I don't doubt for a minute that there are millions of people who struggle with attractions to the same sex or other kinds of attractions that they don't even know they ever chose," Mohler said. "…When it comes right down to it, I, as a Christian, believe that we are all so deeply affected by sin that we don't even know ourselves well enough to know why we desire the things we desire."
If homosexuals will repent of their sin and turn to Christ, said Mohler, they can enjoy a life that is far more fulfilling than living in sin.
"I don't want for homosexuals to know less joy than they know now," he said. "I want them to know more joy, great joy, eternal joy. And I believe that can only happen as they come to know the Lord Jesus Christ as Savior and as they find out what God's perfect intention and design was for their lives all along."
Responding to the assertion that God's transcendent truth forbids homosexuality, Allen said transcendent truth tells him homosexuality is a "beautiful expression" of love.
"If they're going to speak about absolute, transcendent truth, I need to tell you, I know absolute, transcendent truth," he said. "I have a deep relationship with god and my understanding. It's very powerful, and it's taken its own shape and form. And I am very much at peace in the knowledge that in my heart, god created this beautiful expression of my love."
The discussion of homosexuality must ultimately come back to the cross of Jesus Christ, Mohler said, arguing that all sinners can be made whole by believing in Christ.
"We have a big task as Christians to articulate what is our most basic concern, and that is that on the cross, Christ died for sinners, heterosexual and homosexual, and the only way to be made whole is in Him, and that is more important than anything else I could possibly say."