Why Christians should support International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia

couples-306851_640Today is commemorated around the world as the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia, and Biphobia.  In this article I want to persuade you that Christians should support such a day, and speak out against violence against gay people, against discrimination, and against rejection. We should instead offer an olive branch of love to these human beings as made in the image of God, and people for whom Jesus died.

I was speaking to a friend recently who told me that when he comes out as a Christian he finds it harder than when he comes out as gay. His experience is that people are now happier to accept him as gay than as Christian. But what baffles others most is when my friend comes out as both gay and Christian at the same time. We have got to the point in the culture wars where to many it now seems impossible that someone might both have a homosexual orientation and be convinced by the claims of Christ.  I am convinced that this is less about the beliefs many Christians share, and more about the perception the church has given.

FOLLOW UP POST:

The Plausibility Problem: The Church and Same-Sex Attraction

Within the lifespan of many serving pastors today Society as a whole has changed in a remarkable way on how it treats gay people. How the church responds to these changes has become a crucial issue that affects her witness more than any other today.

The popular movie The Imitation Game vividly tells the story of a brilliant innovator.  It is impossible to overstate  the many ways our society has benefited from the code breaking work during the war of Alan Turing. Thanks largely to him the computer was born, countless lives were saved, and he even gave us the Turing test to identify Artificial Intelligence.

One would have thought that the contribution of such a man would have been recognized at least behind closed doors, if not publicly because of secrecy concerns. But after the war, within the lifetime of many of my readers (tho not my own!) he was convicted of homosexual activity and offered a stark choice: be chemically castrated or go to prison.  Like too many gay people he sadly ended his own life.

In some states in the USA, laws against homosexual sex remain on the statute books, although in practice they are not enforced. It is hard for modern Western people to imagine a world where someone could be arrested and sent to prison for practicing gay sex. Harder still to appreciated that it was only in 1861 (154 years ago as I write) that in the UK the law was changed so that the penalty for what was then commonly called buggery or sodomy was no longer death by hanging.

And yet, globally there are many nations where homosexual activity remains illegal, some where gay people may still be executed by the state as a penalty for their ‘crime.’

I know of no Christian in the West who would advocate homosexual sex becoming illegal once more in our countries, still less that the punishment should be death. But we do not often hear Christians advocating for a change in the law in other countries so that homosexual behaviors should be legalized. Christians would do well to add their voices to campaigns for the repeal of such anti-homosexual legislation. We must speak out for true tolerance everywhere.

God loves everybody and teaches us to do the same. Even till today in more liberal and theoretically accepting societies like America and the UK, gay people are stigmatised, verbally abused, and even sometimes physically attacked because of their sexual orientation. Christians should stand up for them, and argue strongly for fair treatment for all. We must speak out for the persecuted, the oppressed, and for the minority. Imagine a day when the Church is known for its love for gay people.

Christian, when you think of gay people what is your immediate thought? Is it revulsion? Do you avoid them? Do you angrily denounce them? Then you are contributing to the notion our society now has that Christians hate gay people. It is no longer considered to be acceptable to be feel such animosity towards people who are of a different race, so why should it be acceptable to react in such a way towards those of a different orientation?

The way the Church has treated gay people historically has not been her finest hour. There is no doubt in my mind that Christians will one day look back on this previous approach with the same degree of shame and embarrassment currently felt over the Church’s history with slavery, racism, and apartheid.

In particular there is no question that the ‘pray the gay away’ movement, offered a misguided and dangerous view that a homosexual orientation was always a choice, and could be easily changed by counseling. The simple fact is that many gay Christians were driven to despair by thinking they were the only ones who were unable to confirm to the heterosexual expectations being placed on them. Meanwhile even the leaders of the so-called Ex-gay organizations hid the uncomfortable secret that change from an exclusively homosexual orientation to an exclusively heterosexual orientation almost never occurs. It is a good thing that such an approach has now virtually disappeared. But it leaves in its wake thousands of damaged, hurting people, many of whom never want to go near a church again. The church owes an apology to people like Vicky Beeching and Matthew Vines for the overly harsh way they describe having been treated.

Of course, many Christians who love the Bible dearly, and who have chosen to follow its moral principles, will find it difficult to personally affirm sex outside of marriage. Yet nobody thinks Christians hate those who cohabit, those who divorce, and those who remarry. This is because to the shame of every Christian, the Church has treated gay people differently to straight people.

We cannot simply say that gay people are being hypersensitive. The Church has a long history of rejecting and denouncing them in ways that Christians simply don’t do to other people who also do not follow a conservative understanding of the Bible’s teaching.

Religious people have always liked to identify a group of outsiders and stigmatize them as ‘sinners’ and dehumanize them, angrily denouncing them. Jesus spoke out against such behaviors when he saw them in the Pharisees. Today many churchgoers have much in common with the pharisees. In fact Jesus was known as a friend of sinners, but a strong critic of Pharisees.  I explore his approach further in the first chapter of my book Hope Reborn – How to Become a Christian and Live for Jesus,

In my view there is no question that Jesus today would be known as a friend of gay people. I am sure that he is pleased with the fact that the church is indeed changing. Many churches today are a welcoming environment where anyone is welcome to visit and hear about the good news of the love of God. Even in many conservative churches, increasingly more prominence is given to moderate, compassionate voices such as those from the Living Out organization rather than to religious zealots and bigots. And ever since the advent of HIV/AIDS there have been many Christian organizations that have been at the forefront of the fight. The recent scene where Rick Warren sat alongside Elton John at a senate hearing arguing for more funding for the fight against this disease was a welcome example of the loving response of many Christians to gay people.

FOLLOW UP POST:

The Plausibility Problem: The Church and Same-Sex Attraction

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  • jamesh

    It’s great to read this, well done! There are a wider range of views in evangelicalism than Living Out though. I’m part of Oasis Waterloo and we have a number of gay couples coming to church who are perfectly fine with being gay and Christian. We even have a regular LGBT social group and last year we produced fliers for gay Pride inviting people to come along to church.

    • Steve Frank

      “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men” (1 Cor 6:9)

      “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come. It would be better for them to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around their neck than to cause one of these little ones to stumble” (Luke 17:1)

      If your church is okay with members who have same sex desires acting upon them, then it is leading souls to eternal ruin and I would not want to be one of it’s leaders on the day of judgment.

      • jamesh

        Hmm, we can all quote the Bible. Try this one from Jesus: “Judge not, that ye be not judged.”

        • Steve Frank

          If Jesus meant that we shouldn’t make judgments on any human behavior at all then that means we can’t make judgments against people who hate and mistreat gays either. So why are you celebrating an article that tells people they should stop being mean to gays? Isn’t that rather judgmental?

          Clearly in context Jesus was saying we should not judge hypocritically. He wasn’t saying we can never judge at all.

          • jamesh

            Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

          • Steve Frank

            You don’t even know me. If I’m living in sexual immorality then I would have a plank in my eye. But you have no way of knowing that.

          • jamesh

            I’m just quoting the Bible like you did! How dare you say that my church is “leading souls to eternal ruin” It’s bigots like you who turn people away from God.

          • Steve Frank

            Jesus is the one I quoted…was he a bigot who turned people away from God? Was Jesus a bigot for EXPLICITLY defining marriage as between male and female (Matt 19)?

          • jamesh

            And Jesus is the one I quoted too! Get the forest out of your own eye first before you start judging others.

          • Steve Frank

            I notice you can never directly answer my questions, just keep saying I should stop judging others (as you continue to judge me and my motives).

          • jamesh

            Your questions and motivations are immoral. I suggest you reflect on that!

            You can’t apply Iron-age quotes from Jesus 2000 years ago to people today. Jesus didn’t know about intersex people – he only knew about male and female. The whole premise of your questions are misguided.

          • Steve Frank

            So basically you consider yourself morally superior to Jesus. Do you even believe Jesus is God?

          • jamesh

            I never said that. You’re twisting my words! I suggest the next time you encounter a gay Christian you treat us how you yourself would like to be treated. Don’t quote scripture at us – we know it all and we can do the same, don’t compare us the paedophiles – that is just rude. Don’t tell us we’re going to be judged on Judgement Day. Try treating people you don’t know and like with respect and you might get the same back.

          • Danny

            Buddy, you’ve got a barn in your eye!

      • djbethell
  • Gmac

    I would agree with you Adrian that the church’s approach to dealing with and speaking out against homophobia has not been strong enough and at times non existant. However, for clarity in my understanding of your views, are you promoting and endorsing the practicing (or living out) of a gay lifestyle as compatible with your understanding of the Bible? I’m interested, as this raises a number of other questions from me.

    • Giauz Ragnarock
  • http://peter.hartgerink.ca Peter Hartgerink

    I agree that Christians are called to love all people regardless of their behaviour. However, your comments about the ex-gay movement are of concern to me. I personally know several people who came all the way from a homosexual lifestyle to freedom in a heterosexual marriage. I cannot accept your position that it is not possible for someone’s sexual orientation to be changed and that such attempts are wrong-headed. Secondly, it sounds as though you are completely discounting the many Biblical passages which explicitly forbid homosexual practice. How do you reconcile this?

    • jamesh

      I can’t speak for Adrian but I think morality and ethics move on: for example, as far as I understand it, Moses put the law down to limit people taking revenge. He said ‘an eye for an eye’ and no more. Then Jesus came along and moved on saying we were to forgive those who wrong us.

      Slavery is encouraged in the Bible and Jesus even talks about beating slaves who disobey their masters. But morality moves on: people in my church even set up and run an anti-trafficking organisation that helps slaves get their freedom.

      I know evangelicals find this hard, but I think God still speaks to us today. It seems rather arbitrary that He stopped speaking 2000 years ago and only spoke to middle-eastern people!

      I would also question your assertion that you “personally know several people” who have changed orientation and are now married. As someone who was involved in the ex-gay movement for many years I have seen the tremendous damage caused by gay guys marrying straight women and then ten years down the line splitting up under huge emotional pressure leading to broken families.

      Much better to ask people to remain celibate like the Living Out people rather then encouraging them to change. I’ve never known anyone change – I even saw Andy Comiskey of Living Waters fame recently and he says he’s not changed. I think it is highly dubious to still be encouraging change of orientation in this day and age: it screwed my life up immeasurably and I think the law should be changed to stop manipulative practitioners from inflicting this on vulnerable adults.

      Churches need to accept gay people into their congregations and encourage a space where they can find long-lasting relationships. As I mentioned above my church runs an LGBT social once a month. I wish I’d been part of a church like this 25 years ago but I’m grateful that at last things seem to be moving on.

      • http://peter.hartgerink.ca Peter Hartgerink

        There are many Biblical teachings which give instruction on how to handle situations that are a reflection of a fallen age. Slavery is an example. On the other hand, the normative nature of the relationship between a man and a woman as God’s intention for sexuality is a central Biblical theme and a core metaphor for our relationship with God. This is clear from Jesus’ teaching on marriage. If we discard this then we are well on the way to discarding the Bible and dismissing the Lordship of Jesus. In saying this I want to stress that I can (indeed I am commanded to) love people whose choices I cannot embrace or affirm. But of course if we are going to throw out the Bible then we also throw out the love command. Don’t wanna go there. As for my claim to know people who are happily and successfully “ex gay” I can only say that with all due respect I don’t really think you have any legitimate basis for denying my claim.

        • jamesh

          My basis for denying your claim is my experience of the ex-gay movement. I knew a lot of people who claimed to be healed and get married only for ten years later their relationships to come to an end and for them to say they were misled about the change. All the people I know personally who are still married are still gay. Your claim just doesn’t ring true in my vast experience.

          From what I can see different authors in the Bible had differing perspectives. For some, women in leadership is fine and women leaders are mentioned. For others, particularly the writer of Timothy, women in leadership is verboten and claims the Adam & Eve story as his reason. This is particularly unfortunate given that we believe in evolution these days!

          I fail to see why slavery is just an example of a “fallen age.” Both the old and new testaments encourage slavery. One writer even says that slaves are to obey their masters. During the time of the abolition of slavery Christian leaders were pro-slavery and spoke against the abolitionists in ways that reflect today’s language.

          I disagree that if you throw out the Bible you “throw out the love command.” My Dad’s an atheist but he still loves me!

          • http://peter.hartgerink.ca Peter Hartgerink

            My son is an atheist and he also loves me, but for an atheist love cannot be a command because there is no-one to give such a command. It cannot be an absolute because by definition there are no absolutes, everything is relative.

            Nothing more to say. Thank you for your response.

          • http://peter.hartgerink.ca Peter Hartgerink

            Sorry there is one more thing. I have many desires and impulses which I used to be controlled by whereas now I resist them. They have not been completely eradicated because in this age there is a battle between the old and the new nature, but I have a significant measure of victory. This does not mean that the transformation is not real, it is just not complete in this age. That is simply the way things are in a fallen age for people of the cross who are on the way to full restoration but have a down payment of our inheritance now.

          • jamesh

            I completely understand. It’s just through a vast and bad experience over many years I have found that trying to suppress one’s sexuality just doesn’t work. And not only that, this suppression produces very harmful effects in people’s lives. And homosexuality is a good thing – it’s not like alcoholism which needs to be overcome.

            I think fellow evangelicals have meant no harm – but what they have encouraged has caused a great deal of harm to their fellow believers and this sort of thing needs to be stopped. Adrian’s post is a good milestone in this journey and needs to be encouraged.

          • http://peter.hartgerink.ca Peter Hartgerink

            I have done a lot of inner healing work over the years with many people. I have learned through experience what i know to be true from Scripture. True healing is possible and it is not the same thing as simply suppressing a desire. Suppression never really works with any strong or deeply rooted behaviour pattern.

            Thank you for a respectful discussion.

          • jamesh

            I try to discuss respectfully, but it’s difficult when this therapy you’re advocating has harmed me and so many of my peers :( To use a polemic example: it’s like trying to convince a Jew that the gas chambers were a good thing!

            One of my friends has also been active in inner healing: I suggested to him some time ago that he follows up on his counsellees and sees where they are in ten years time. It’s easy to claim healing on one particular day in time – it is only successful if it lasts.

          • http://peter.hartgerink.ca Peter Hartgerink

            I’ve had long term contact with many of the people to whom my wife and I have ministered. I can assure you, for many of them the changes were profound and lasting. I am sorry that your experience was not so positive. We don’t force anything on anyone. It never works.

          • jamesh

            These are gay people who you’ve turned straight? I’m sorry but your words don’t ring true. I’ve spent many years in the ex-gay movement and never met anyone who has changed.

          • http://peter.hartgerink.ca Peter Hartgerink

            I ddn’t say that. I have done lots of in depth healing work but never with someone who wanted to leave a homosexual lifestyle.

          • jamesh

            Sorry, I got the wrong end of the stick. When you said that you “personally know several people who came all the way from a homosexual lifestyle to freedom in a heterosexual marriage.” And then you said that through your inner healing work “many of them the changes were profound and lasting.” I thought you meant that through your ministry you’d turned people straight!

            As I said above, encouraging reparative therapy is like encouraging Jews to think that the gas chambers were a good thing. Me and many of my friends have been seriously harmed by this type of ministry and I think it should be banned rather than encouraged. I understand that practitioners are well-meaning, but they are misguided. Saying it works is just lying I’m afraid!

          • http://peter.hartgerink.ca Peter Hartgerink
          • jamesh

            Is she someone you know personally then?

          • Steve Frank

            “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error. (Rom 1:26-27)

            I don’t think the apostle Paul would agree with your claim that “homosexuality is a good thing”.

          • jamesh

            Lol, of course he wouldn’t. He was a good Jew born 2000 years ago!! Don’t you think we’ve moved on since? :)

          • Steve Frank

            Jesus was a good Jew from 2,000 years ago too, so should we “move on” from his teachings too?

          • jamesh

            Lol, absolutely! Most Christians already have: most people I know don’t follow Jesus’ teaching on divorce and remarriage for example, most Christians don’t sell all their belongings and give the proceeds to the poor.

            At the end of Matthew, Jesus is very clear that those who don’t feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit those in prison etc. are not Christians – yet I know of few Christians who do these things.

            There’s loads of these examples – I think it’s just silly to suggest that we haven’t moved on in 2000 years!

          • Steve Frank

            Many Christians fail to live up to Jesus’ standards but I don’t see any “Divorce pride” or “Greed is good” parades being put on by Christians. In other words most Christians who fail in these areas will at least admit they are not living up to Christ’s standards. If a Christian with same sex attraction told me that he knows homosexual activity is wrong but he’s struggling to follow Christ in this area I would be very sympathetic and patient towards him. What I have no patience for are people who want to rewrite the Bible and the Christian religion to accommodate our decadent Western culture. If someone can’t accept the Christian sexual ethic, go start your own religion. But please don’t hijack Christianity.

          • jamesh

            No, it’s haters like you who’ve hijacked Christianity. You’d be more at home in Islam! Their Holy Book was written by one person – not many with differing ideas. It’d be more your thing I think.

          • Steve Frank

            You’re not making any sense. You’ve admitted that we need to “move on” from Jesus 2,000 year old teaching but then you say that I”m the one hijacking the faith? Sorry but you are not arguing logically, you are just venting emotion.

          • jamesh

            You’re the one who doesn’t make sense. All I’ve said is that you need to move on from some of the Bible’s teaching that is wrong and out of date. The Bible was written over many years by many people and you’re allowed to disagree with what they say. The religion that would suit you better is Islam: the Koran is the collected utterances of Mohammed and was compiled over his lifetime. Muslims are not allowed to disagree with any of it.

          • Steve Frank

            So you think Christians are allowed to change the teachings of Christ? Sorry but a Christian is someone who follows Christ. What really makes no sense is for anyone to call themself a follower of Christ but then turn around and say Jesus didn’t know what he was talking about in matters of sexuality because that was 2,000 years ago! Christ does not follow 21st century Western Christians. Christians (at least true ones) follow him. If someone doesn’t believe his teachings, they should start their own religion.

          • jamesh

            Again, I think you’re being silly when you think that someone who lived 2000 years ago understood things like male and female. X & Y chromosomes were only discovered about 100 years ago. Jesus wouldn’t have known this and so he only thought of gender in terms of binary.

            Some of Jesus’ teachings are recorded in the gospels, and we have to trust the gospel writers for their accuracy. The writings contained in the epistles were written first and they don’t mention any of Jesus’ teachings! One of the gospels says that there were many more teachings of Jesus too.

            I follow some of Jesus’ teachings but I admit when I come short – like with selling all my belongings. I don’t twist the Bible to make it say what it doesn’t like some do.

            I think people like you would be better off in Islam where all the prophets teaching was recorded in his lifetime. You’re trying to put the Bible in the same category as the Koran. The Koran is one book, the Bible is a library of collected writings which say differing things.

          • Steve Frank

            Cmon James. You don’t need to understand XY chromosomes to understand that males have penises and females have vaginas and that they are biologically complementary and ordered toward creating new life. People 2,000 years ago knew that just as well as people of today. I won’t get into descriptions of the various types of “alternate” sex acts that gays engage in, but we all know that it does not involve the coming together of complementary sex organs. You don’t need a PHD in biochemistry to understand that.

            Clearly you do not believe Jesus is God or you would not say he didn’t know anything about gender. God is the one who created us male and female so he knows all about gender. And honestly, if you don’t claim to be a Christian I really have no quarrel with you. Honest. I can’t expect you to live by a Christian ethic if you are not a Christian. I’m not interested in changing laws about who you sleep with, the culture is too far gone to entertain ideas like that anymore. What I have no patience for are people who claim to be Christian but whose true loyalty is to their pet political cause like gay marriage, so they try to subvert Christianity by telling us that Jesus and the Bible are really a-ok with homosexual behavior. It’s just not true.

          • jamesh

            I think it’s you who is subverting Christianity! Why do you think there are so many denominations and sects? Because people differ in their beliefs and you’re not the arbiter of which belief is correct.

            You need to ask yourself whether your ‘right’ beliefs make you a better Christian. For me whether Jesus is God or born of a Virgin doesn’t mater that much. Trying to be loving towards people and fostering the fruit of the Spirit is more important to me than ‘correct’ belief.

            That you confess to not have any patience is pretty telling I think.

          • Steve Frank

            Most denominations form over issues Jesus himself was not clear about. All Christians believe Jesus is the authority and we must submit to his view of the world, not ours. Which is why up until the past decade or so, no Christian ever thought or believed that it was all right for two people of the same gender to marry each other. (Heck, even most non Christians thought gay marriage was ludicrous 25 years ago). Because Christians honestly disagree over some things the Bible is not clear about does not give us an excuse to disobey teachings that the Bible is quite clear about. There was never any division in the Christian church over homosexuality until the West’s sexual revolution came along and started putting great pressure on the church to changes it’s views. And as is always the case, there are always Christians who will give in because they want the applause of men more than the approval of God.

          • jamesh

            And why is it that it’s only relatively recently that Christians decided that slavery was wrong or that it’s okay to have women in leadership? Things move on. The church didn’t decide that Jesus was God initially, or that God is a Trinity and it took them 400 years to form a definitive canon of scripture.

          • Steve Frank

            We already discussed this. Even back in the Bible we can find mixed messages about slavery. Moses freed slaves. The Jubliee year freed slaves. Jesus’s closet followers were women which scandalized the public. The issue of slavery and women’s role in church is nuanced and complex and one can find “evidence” to support both sides of argument within Bible and church history. The idea that slavery was wrong did not originate in the 19th century. There is no comparison here to homosexuality where the unanimous testimony of church history, Scripture and natural revelation (ie the created order) all speak with one voice that homosexuality is not God’s will or plan for humanity. I would also point out that it was Christians that started the movement to completely eradicate slavery from the West which shows God’s hand in it. On the other hand, the whole movement to legitimatize homosexuality did not start with Christians, it started with the Sexual revolution which began as a decadent but primarily heterosexual movement away from traditional Christian morality. Then once it got well under way homosexuals decided it was time to jump on board too. That alone should demonstrate this was not a movement from God since it was created and sustained for several decades by those hostile to Christianity.

          • Frank

            Jesus as God knows all.

          • jamesh

            It’s a shame he didn’t know that the world wasn’t about to end then!

          • Frank

            It’s a shame you don’t understand what you are talking about.

          • Maine_Skeptic

            “…for an atheist love cannot be a command because there is no-one to give such a command. It cannot be an absolute because by definition there are no absolutes, everything is relative…Nothing more to say.”

            I’m not sure what you’re trying to say about your son. You acknowledge that he loves you, but then you seem to dismiss that love because he’s not a Christian.

          • http://peter.hartgerink.ca Peter Hartgerink

            No, not at all. I am grateful for his love. My point is that as a Christian I am under obligation – because I believe in the authority of Jesus and of the Bible – I am under obligation to love even people with whom I disagree, even people who hate me or mistreat me (not that I always fulfil this obligation perfectly, but it is a core element of the code of conduct that Jesus laid out for his followers). My atheist son, by contrast, (if he is consistent with his own atheist convictions) does not consider himself to be obligated to obey the “love command” (a phrase by which I intended to denote the Jesus’ command to his disciples to love their neighbours and even their enemies) since he denies the existence of any external moral authority who could give such a command. He is under no obligation ; he does what he pleases. If it pleases him to love, he does so. The Christian, on the other hand, is under obligation to obey the law of love. I would argue that as Christians we also have the help of the Spirit to assist us in fulfilling that obligation, but that’s beyond the scope of your question.

          • jamesh

            But just because you throw out a bit of the Bible it doesn’t then mean that you have to throw out the whole lot! I think Jesus’ teaching on divorce & remarriage, as it has been traditionally interpreted, is wrong as I think it’s wrong for people to stay with an abuser for example.

            Slavery is completely wrong, and I’m glad that Western society has thrown that bit out. I would suggest that discrimination against LGBT people is just as wrong and we need to throw that bit of the Bible out too.

          • Maine_Skeptic

            Sometimes it’s hard to see what comment a response is written to, but I see the dialog you’re having now. Thanks for clarifying.

            “…I am under obligation to love even people with whom I disagree, even people who hate me or mistreat me…”

            I have to say that I don’t envy you. It seems like that kind of obligation would take all the pleasure out of loving anyone. Holy Spirit or not, if you *do* love someone, then you’re just following orders, but when you don’t, you’re failing in some way to live up to what you’ve been told you must do. Maybe you’re more successful at it than others, but I know people who have let that philosophy push them into playing a role rather than living a life.

            One of them is my own brother, who’s about as dedicated a believer as any I know. Both of our parents died following long and painful illnesses, and my siblings and I determined to set aside our differences for the sake of our parents. Together we faced some very difficult realities and some horrifying decisions over the course of about twenty years. Through it all, my brother carried an extra burden to figure out what he was supposed to feel and think and model the Christian response to the rest of the family.

            At the worst times, it was excruciating to watch him working through the angst of his faith on top of dealing with grief or intense sorrow. I don’t believe it was any comfort to him at those times, but he felt that responsibility and commitment. It made it more difficult for him to support the people he loved, and it put him beyond any comfort the rest of us could offer him. I came through it loving him more than ever, but not because his faith made him a better person; it didn’t. It made it that much harder for him to be the good person he is, and it made everything in his life that much harder.

            I don’t mean that as an attack on my brother or other Christians, either. It’s just that having had those experiences, I wouldn’t wish Christianity on my worst enemy.

          • radiofreerome

            On the other hand, if God told you to sacrifice your son to him, you’d have to obey just as Abraham did. So perhaps your son is rightfully disappointed in your fanaticism.

          • djbethell

            The heart commands. Next!

          • Steve Frank

            The Bible encourages slavery? Tell that to Moses who lead a whole nation OUT of slavery. Also, if slavery was something to be encouraged why were Jews commanded to FREE all slaves at the year of Jubilee? While it may be that the Bible tolerated slavery to a degree we don’t feel comfortable with in the modern West, let’s not make the error of thinking the Bible celebrated slavery as a good thing. (Let’s also keep in mind that slavery in the bible was a different kind of slavery then the slavery of African Americans in later centuries which is what we think of when we hear word slavery today). There is simply no logical parallel between slavery and homosexuality in the Bible. In the Bible slavery was looked at as a bad thing but perhaps a necessary evil in a fallen world and so it was tolerated to some degree. The most that can be argued is that the Bible sends mixed messages on the issue. On other hand, there are no mixed messages in the Bible about homosexuality. Everywhere it is mentioned it is condemned. Also, the modern world is not treating homosexuality as a necessary evil to be tolerated, but something to be celebrated and regarded as a gift of God. Where does the Bible celebrate slavery as a gift of God? Nowhere. So it’s apples to oranges to compare slavery and homosexuality in the Bible.

          • jamesh

            I’ve got to go out now, but just briefly, I’ve heard this argument several times now that the slavery in the Bible is better then modern slavery. As far as I recall the Bible was used to justify the beating of African American slaves.

            In the Bible Jesus says:
            “The slave who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows.” Luke 12:47

            In what way is the Bible better in it’s treatment of slaves?

          • Steve Frank

            That’s a parable. Where is the CELEBRATION of slavery in this passage? If you want to make parallels between the Bible’s treatment of homosexuality and slavery then you need to show that the bible celebrates slavery as a good thing to be proud of because that’s what we are being told to do today in regard to homosexuality.

          • jamesh

            I don’t think slavery needs to be celebrated as you say – but in biblical times it certainly seems to be the norm. And just because Jesus is telling a story, it doesn’t follow that he disagreed with beating slaves.

            Do you think modern day slavery is okay then as long as it conforms to Biblical slavery? So modern-day slaves could be beaten as long as they recover in a couple of days, and they were freed on the jubilee year?

          • djbethell

            Typical dancing around with words and playing the shuffle-card of semantics whenever you wish.
            The Bible says not to lay with men as one would lay with a woman.
            Well, as a gay man I don’t lay with women, so what’s the problem? There’s never been one.

        • radiofreerome

          “As for my claim to know people who are happily and successfully “ex gay” I can only say that with all due respect I don’t really think you have any legitimate basis for denying my claim.”
          Document it. Put up or shut up.

          • http://peter.hartgerink.ca Peter Hartgerink

            The people I know who are happily and successfully ex-gay don’t blog about it. I did post a link to a blog by someone I don’t know personally, who used to be queer and has since come to Christ and is now in a heterosexual marriage. I am not interested in arguing but in testifying, but I don’t really see how you can command me to put up or shut up. You speak your point of view freely enough. Sounds like bullying to me – something gays usually speak out against when it is done to them. So I think I will resign from this discussion since it has become toxic – not through my doing I might add.

          • jamesh

            I’m sorry you feel it’s got toxic – it’s just we’re used to people attacking us all the time and it’s difficult when faced with yet another one.

            There are loads of examples of people on the net who you can bring up as being changed. The thing is I know a couple who put up their stories 20 years ago and have now had to take them down again as they weren’t true.

            Also I’ve lost count of the number of times someone has said “The people I know who are happily and successfully ex-gay don’t blog about it.” We’ve heard this trite comment time and time again, and it just isn’t true. If someone you know has really been changed then get them to write about it – there needs to be evidence. Otherwise what you say just doesn’t ring true. Sorry about that!

        • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

          Normative doesn’t mean prescriptive.

      • djbethell

        “Much better to ask people to remain celibate…”

        You can ask for pink mountains and strobe-lit leprechauns but you ain’t going to get it.

    • radiofreerome

      “I agree that Christians are called to love all people regardless of their behaviour. ” What does someone’s sexual orientation tell you about their “behaviour”?

      “However, your comments about the ex-gay movement are of concern to me.” There are few if any documented cases of therapy or religious intervention causing a change in orientation. There are many cases of vulnerable people being driven to despair and suicide by such treatments.

      “Secondly, it sounds as though you are completely discounting the many Biblical passages which explicitly forbid homosexual practice.” Again, not every one who is gay has sex. Your assumptions drive people to despair and encourage persecution. How do you live with yourself?

      • http://peter.hartgerink.ca Peter Hartgerink

        How do I live with myself? By the mercy of God.

    • Fred the Barbarian

      I personally know several ex-gays who’ll have sex with men they’ve never met before and then go back to being ex-gays 10-20 minutes later. It’s quite a racket, and pretty typical for religious conservatives. Easiest guys on earth.

  • Sam

    Superb blog Adrian.

    I hate to be the bearer of bad news but…

    You write, ‘I know of no Christian in the West who would advocate homosexual sex becoming illegal once more in our countries, still less that the punishment should be death’

    Sadly, I do.

    Andrea Williams from Christian Concern traveled to Jamaica to urge them to keep their ban on homosexuality. Currently you can be put in prison for 10 years for practicing homosexuality.

    It’s outrageous that Andrea encouraged this law. http://www.secularism.org.uk/news/2013/12/cofe-general-synod-member-andrea-minichiello-williams-urges-jamaica-to-keep-law-that-criminalises-homosexuality

    • http://adrianwarnock.com/ Adrian Warnock

      That’s really terrible! We should all repudiate such attitudes.

      • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968
      • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

        Scott Lively, who was instrumental in drafting Uganda’s anti-homosexuality legislation, did a 22 city tour of Russia where he urged the anti-gay law that was enacted there. Read this open letter to the Russian people.
        http://www.defendthefamily.com/pfrc/archives.php?id=5225300

      • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

        The US Conference of Catholic Bishops urged legislators to reject the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) currently being considered by congress. They write:

        “Thus, the USCCB continues to oppose ‘unjust discrimination’ against people with a homosexual inclination, but we cannot support a bill, like ENDA, that would legally affirm and specially protect any sexual conduct outside of marriage.”

        http://www.scribd.com/mobile/doc/156198876/Joint-Letter-on-Enda-Senate-Help-2013-07-09-1

      • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

        I believe your impressions of Christian persecution of gay people is off. Conservative Christians don’t just object to gay marriage, they usually object to gay coupling and strenuously “fight the normalization of homosexuality”. It is bald faced bigotry.

        I join you in your call for all Christians to repudiate such attitudes.

        • Fred the Barbarian

          Exactly. Conservatives fought just as hard against civil unions as they did equal marriage rights. Now you can hear them all whine about how they’d be just fine with civil unions as long as they get to own the word “marriage”. They always make their own worst nightmares come true.

      • Galorgan

        So I assume your next post will be about repudiating such attitudes?

  • VicqRuiz

    It’s important for Christians to not hate gay people.

    It’s even more important for Muslims to not kill them.

  • djbethell

    “I know of no Christian in the West who would advocate homosexual sex becoming illegal once more in our countries, still less that the punishment should be death.”???!!!
    Seriously? What dimension are you living in, because it has nor resemblance to the real Western world and the Western Christian!
    Am I to take it you’ve never heard of America, for one?
    That is one of most insulting and offensive statements of denial I’ve ever heard.
    Shame on you.

    • http://adrianwarnock.com/ Adrian Warnock

      Hi there, all I said was I know of no true Christian that I am aware of advocating for such a change in the law. If I’m wrong by all means point me to concrete examples.

      • Adam King

        Apparently you’ve never heard of Brian Fischer. One of many, many examples: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBbo6lXN1H4. (Or will you try to get away with the “No True Christian” excuse? I noticed your phraseology slip from “I know of no Christian…” in the post to “I know of no true Christian” in the comment.)

      • Maine_Skeptic

        Adrian, I appreciate the tone of your post, but here are some examples of why American Christianity can’t safely be viewed as benign or a “religion of peace.”

        http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2014/03/scott-lively-anti-gay-law-uganda

        http://www.alternet.org/tea-party-and-right/christian-right-leader-lauds-uganda-dictator-kill-gays-bill-revived

        http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2010/11/30/tony-perkins-defends-family-research-council-sort-of/

        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/12/interracial-marriage-deep-south_n_1339827.html

        http://www.salon.com/2014/07/01/christian_right_secession_fantasy_spooky_neo_confederate_talk_grows_louder_at_the_fringes/

        I’m not saying that all Christians are this way, but we can’t blame this all on fringe groups, either. A considerable bloc of American Christians no longer support the Constitution or civil rights.

      • Nathaniel

        Every single person who filed an amicus brief in support of keeping Sodomy laws legal in Lawrence vs. Texas, a mere dozen years ago. Starting with the much promoted Robert George, professional Catholic and Focus on the Family.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_v._Texas

      • Hrafn

        Adrian: you are aware that “no true Christian” is as much a fallacy as “no true Scotsman”?

      • djbethell

        You’ve got Google, I suggest you get off your arse and actually use it, before printing any old rubbish again. By the way, you can give up the twist on the word game! You wrote:
        “I know of no Christian in the West who would advocate homosexual sex becoming illegal once more in our countries, still less that the punishment should be death.”
        Now you’ve changed it too “I know of no true Christian…”
        Don’t even try and pull that shit with me!
        Don’t you dare play the innocent, naive card; your words, actions and lies are an absolute laugh in the face of the thousands upon thousands who are bullied and/or humiliated, beaten, raped, and killed weekly in the West.
        The Western Christian bigotry against gay people is more natural to them than any other religious idea. It eats at them continually like a eternally festering wound. They’re compelled to destroy homosexuals and homosexuality above all else.
        You want facts and figures. I suggest you visit the Facebook link below. You’ll find post after post of Western Christian Gay hatred in abundance. Have a read of a few and get back to me:
        https://www.facebook.com/pages/Homophobia-is-a-tool-for-followers-of-an-imaginary-psychotic-god/439214176204609

        • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

          Dj …
          Did you actually read the post? The author is calling for an end to homophobia. I agree with you that homophobia is the natural outcome of traditionalist beliefs – what evangelical ethicist David Gushee has called the teaching of contempt for gay people. But let’s give Mr Warnock respect and credit for starting to recognize the complicity of the church in violence against us queer folk.

          • djbethell

            I can’t respect anyone who is in such denial of the extreme anti-gay feeling of their own religion. To say he knows of no Western Christian who espouses such hatred, helps no-one, but worse, denies so many people’s wretched experiences at the hands of hateful Western Christians.
            I would have respect if he did his research and stopped living in cloud-cuckoo land, instead of printing down-right delusional, factless and damaging lies.

          • http://reformedreasons.blogspot.com/ Ed Dingess

            To be against gay sex is not to hate gays any more than to be against divorce is to hate divorced people…what an idiotic argument.

          • djbethell

            What has either got to do with you in the first place? Neither one is your business, when it’s about other people.

          • http://reformedreasons.blogspot.com/ Ed Dingess

            But it is your business? I have news for you, if it concerns Christ, it is my business. If it concerns the Christian family it is my business. Your respect is worth about as much as a piece of cow dung sir. Your opinion of your respect is overblown and warped.

          • radiofreerome

            Alright, if my non existent sex life is your business because of my orientation, then yours is mine. Have you ever cheated on your wife? Have you ever had oral sex with her? Did you have sex before marriage?

            All of these things matter, don’t they? And I am giving you the chance to confirm or deny them while you assume the guilt of every gay man because of an accident of birth.

          • http://reformedreasons.blogspot.com/ Ed Dingess

            We are not talking about YOUR sex life per se, but a specific sexual behavior in general. Would it be the business of the Church if I cheated on my wife? You better believe it would. I am in the body of Christ and sin in my life hurts not only me, but it hurts the body. As for intimacy with my wife, there is no sin there and therefore, it is none of your business. But if there were, sin, say some perverse sexual behavior, like open marriage, or multiple partners, then yes, that would be the business of the Church.

            Lawless people do not know Christ. Those who practice sin practice lawlessness. If you practice gay sex, you are practicing lawless. Repentance is not an option. Faith in Christ always produces repentance, produces godly fruit. Put your sin away and place your faith in Christ.

          • radiofreerome

            “We are not talking about YOUR sex life per se, but a specific sexual behavior in general. ”
            No, you are. You are talking about the sex lives of everyone with a homosexual orientation and making assumptions that justify our persecution and even our murder. Being abstinent counts for nothing if you make such assumptions. Being Christian means nothing if you make such assumptions and use them to justify vigilantism as you have.

          • http://reformedreasons.blogspot.com/ Ed Dingess

            Here is it – homosexual behavior is a sin. It violates God’s law. It is not an option for a Christian. Christianity is resistant to change, inflexible, ossified, inelastic. You cannot be in Christ and be homosexual. Now, I am sorry there are false teachers out there telling you that you can. But they are liars. Wolves in sheeps clothing. The subject is not open for debate. It is a closed issue the same as adultery and fornication.When God regenerates a heart, that heart then loves God’s law. That heart then abandons lawlessness. A heart bound by lawless living is a heart without faith.

          • radiofreerome

            I said “abstinent,” you insufferable twit. You’re far more interested in gay sex than I am.

          • Timothy Kelley

            Here it is – you believe homosexual behavior is a sin. You believe that it violates God’s law. You believe that it is not an option for a Christian. You believe…

            I would argue that the whole conversation is very definitely not closed for debate as evidenced by the conversation happening in this forum and many others like it. If you want to argue that those who disagree with you are not part of the church, that could justify your position that the debate is closed. I would be very interested to know what your criteria for being part of the church is, and if belief that gays are going to hell is part of that criteria I will likely disregard anything else you have to say on the topic.

            I can respect those who believe that same sex behaviour is a sin, but only when it grows out of a core tenet of Christianity – and the sinfulness of homosexuality is, in my opinion, not a core tenet.

          • http://reformedreasons.blogspot.com/ Ed Dingess

            And your opinion is based on what you want Christianity’s core tenets to be. A core tenet of the New Covenant, without which there would be no Christianity, is law keeping, and homosexuality is lawlessness. To hate God’s law is to hate God. To break the commandment is to hate God. There is no debate on gay Christianity within the Christian community and never will be. We don’t debate whether or not sin can be tolerated within the Christian ranks. We lovingly correct it, rebuke it, instruct people away from it, or excommunicate them.

          • Timothy Kelley

            That is fair enough. You believe a core tenet of Christianity to be law keeping. I disagree, but I can respect that.

            We still have conversations on what is lawless. Slavery is a great example of that.

            And, for today, homosexuality is another example of that. Time may show that you are correct in classifying homosexuality as lawless, but that is not the tenet – lawlessness is.

          • http://reformedreasons.blogspot.com/ Ed Dingess

            33 “But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,” declares the Lord, “I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. Jer. 31:33

            The essence of the New Covenant is that God writes HIS LAW on the hearts of His people. If a person finds that they love lawlessness and are unwilling to give up their lawlessness, they are not His.

          • Timothy Kelley

            Again, an excellent point – the law of God is written on the hearts of those who follow…

            And yet, I find that it misses the point. It is easy enough to assume the law, when one doesn’t interact personally with the out workings of our understanding of that law.

          • radiofreerome

            “Put your sin away and place your faith in Christ.” I said I don’t have sex, you self-righteous jerk. I haven’t had sex for 30 years. Is my sin pointing out that you’re a pharisee of the lowest sort, a whited sepulcher blinded by hate and a coward hiding behind religion?

          • Timothy Kelley

            “Faith in Christ always produces repentance, produces godly fruit. Put your sin away and place your faith in Christ.”

            I can affirm to you that I have never been as challenged (nor as successful) at developing godly fruit in my life as I have since I came out as gay.

            “If you practice gay sex…Repentance is not an option.”

            Wait…what?!?

          • http://reformedreasons.blogspot.com/ Ed Dingess

            That is the epitome of oxymoron.

          • Timothy Kelley

            Sorry, which “that” are you referring to?

          • http://reformedreasons.blogspot.com/ Ed Dingess

            Your being gay and possessing godly fruit.

          • Timothy Kelley

            How charming that you should assume any fruits my life may be producing on such a short acquaintance.

          • http://reformedreasons.blogspot.com/ Ed Dingess

            Gay sex is a violation of the commandment, and that fact is not open for debate. If you are gay which you claim to be, that is, involved in same-sex relations, you are a lawless rebel, rejecting your Creator and His design for human sexuality. Under such circumstances, I can say you are a bad tree because good trees cannot bring forth bad fruit.

            In addition, John tells us that it is obvious who is a child of God and who is a child of the devil contrary to the false version of Christianity that has been popularized in the West.

          • Timothy Kelley

            Oh dear, again…

            I am gay. No if’s, and’s or but’s. But that is not the same as being involved in same-sex relations (which is a whole other conversation I think you have had [or have been having] with Ford1968).

            Since that line of conversation appears to be at an end, why don’t you expound on your view of what John tells us is a child of God.

          • http://reformedreasons.blogspot.com/ Ed Dingess

            9 No one who is aborn of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

            10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

            Again, I am not going to debate the subject nor am I going to get into your postmodern hermeneutic. If you are not having gay sex, then you are not sinning in that way. But if you argue that gay sex is acceptable, then you are just as guilty.

          • Timothy Kelley

            Friend, I’m getting a touch board of tugging your ear (although, I will continue for awhile longer if necessary)…

            You changed your position. Again. In our debate. Which you seem to think we aren’t having. And you have literally just summarized your disgust with gay marriage to an argument against gay sex. Which I think has also arisen in your conversation with Ford1968.

            Just for the sake of clarity, are you arguing that your objection to “homosexual behaviour” is tied to sexual congress between two men who aren’t married (or, according to your definition, capable of being married)?

          • http://reformedreasons.blogspot.com/ Ed Dingess

            I find it peculiar that you should not be able to discern my position by now. I do not think I have been remotely vague regarding the matter. Sex is righteous only within the confines of a God-defined marriage. Marriage can only be between one man and one woman. We will not allow the gay community to steal the meaning of the word marriage. Gay sex is any sex between the same gender. Whether or not one has a license from a state called a “marriage” license or not is irrelevant. Only God can grant marriage. If the state issues a marriage license, that does not obligate God in any way to now endorse the same sex relations within that manufactured arrangement.

            Gay sex is a sin under any and all circumstances. This has been the teaching of the Church from her beginning. Christianity is not a pliable religion. She is resistant to change because her truth is eternal.

            Homosexual sex is sex between two people of the same gender regardless of any extenuating circumstances. And it is condemned in Scripture.

            I find it incredibly amusing that gays like to represent themselves as monogamous when the studies are overwhelming that their behavior is anything but that. Sure, a tiny, tiny minority may be. But the general truth is that the gay community is a highly polyamorous community, or to put it bluntly, promiscuous.

            I wonder if even the mindless Americans would be so quick to endorse that behavior if they could see the truth behind the curtain.

          • Timothy Kelley

            My point, I suppose, is more that your definitions keep changing rather than that your position is somehow shifting. I would encourage that you either align your language with current understandings (specifically between homosexual/gay/lesbian/bisexual and same-sex sexual behavior) or you define it at the beginning of every post you make. Otherwise, your responses tend to seem…shifting.

            Since you have been so kind as to be clear in your position, I shall attempt to do the same.

            I am glad that you are not God. Nor that you are the one granting me peace for where I am currently, nor the One who may decide the validity of any marriage or sexual relationship I may (or may not) choose to enter into. I am especially glad that you are not the One who is leading me to truth. Whether that truth aligns with your conclusions or not.

            I find it incredibly amusing that you persist in refusing to acknowledge me. You keep referring to “gays” when I am right here.

            I am a Christian. I was born and raised in the Church (approximately 72 hrs after I was born I experienced my first Sunday service). I have attended services on Sunday (x2) and Wednesday for the majority of my life. I asked Jesus to be my Lord and Saviour when I was four (my mom wrote it on a calendar). I went to a Christian elementary school, and a Christian secondary school.

            In spite of/as a result of/regardless of those early life experiences, I have rededicated my life to Jesus many times over the course of my (approximately) three decades on earth. I have a strong belief in the authority of Scripture and in the validity of the church as God’s ambassador to the world.

            I am also gay.

            I am a celibate, single, male human. (still a virgin, for what it’s worth)

            I am INCREDIBLY unwelcome in most evangelical churches because of opinions such as those you have outlined above (not the part about gay sex – although I would disagree with your opinion about that). Rather, I am alienated by the opinion clearly stated above that I (a celibate, single, gay male)

            – am hiding some kind of “behavior…behind the curtain”
            – or that I am a “mindless American…”
            – or that I am part of “a highly polyamorous community”
            – or that I am “promiscuous.”

            In addition, it offends me deeply that the church alienates so many of my fellow queers with this language.

            The Church is resistant to change at her core: Christ came, Christ died, Christ rose again. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength. Love your neighbor as yourself. Trust in God. Take up your cross and follow me.

            We are rather more flexible in just about everything else.

            And I find that I need to apologize for a note in this very comment. I am not amused. I am getting more frustrated the longer this comment goes. With that, I am going to bed. I’ll check in when I wake up.

            Peace.

          • http://reformedreasons.blogspot.com/ Ed Dingess

            First of all, going to Church all your life does not make you a Christian. See Matthew 7. Christians bear certain kinds of fruit. See John 15, Gal. 5. I do not condemn men or women with same sex attraction any more than I condemn those of us who have opposite sex attraction. Your restraint is commendable and proper. However, you should be clear what YOU are arguing here. Are you arguing FOR same sex options? Do you think two men or women could marry? Do you think gay sex within marriage is righteous? If you do, you stand just as condemned as those who practice these things even if you do not. See Romans 1:32

          • radiofreerome

            Benjamin Disraeli famously said “The Jews are a nervous people. Nineteen centuries of Christian love have taken a toll.”

      • Fred the Barbarian

        Do you know of any True Scotsmen?

      • HematitePersuasion

        I don’t understand this comment. Are you suggesting that Mr. Lively, Ms. Williams, and the various members of the US Council of bishops are not Christians?

      • djbethell
    • Maine_Skeptic

      DJ, I’ve had trouble believing it at times, too, but a lot of Christians don’t realize just how vicious (and even bloodthirsty) American Christianity has become. If their own church is more traditional and less Evangelical, they disregard what happens with the megachurches and the political groups, writing them off as “not real Christians.”

      • djbethell

        But it’s all over the news, with most Christian groups in America, especially Republican Christians, being hugely against any gay rights especially the right to marriage. One guy wants to pass a law to shoot gay people on sight, under the “Sodomite Suppression Act”.
        These people are constantly quoting the Bible like their lives depended on it.
        Adrian Warnock knows full well about Western Christian attitudes to gay peoiple – it’s all over the news and the internet. It’s international news; we see the Clergy demanding retribution all the time.
        Look at the recent disgust in Ireland for Gay Rights and Equal Marriage Rights.
        Warnock’s knows all about this – not stupid, he just likes to think the rest of us are.
        How could anyone trust such a faker?
        Once more, those who push the Church are the one’s who shame it the most.

        • Maine_Skeptic

          “…One guy wants to pass a law to shoot gay people on sight, under the “Sodomite Suppression Act”…”

          I’m not making excuses for anyone, but I think it’s worth understanding that a lot of Christians really don’t see those things as being part of their Christianity. They think the Christians they know are good people who would never do the things that Christianity is becoming known for these days. They believe in a more benign form of Christianity that teaches humility and grace rather than vengeance and hatred.

          In some sense, I can understand why they see the ideal rather than the reality. I’m a patriot, and I love the United States and its Constitution. I know the Constitution used to make slavery legal, and I know that in this century, our government has tortured the innocent, committed atrocities in the name of “freedom,” and has used the power of the people to give wealth and power to the corrupt. Those outside the country might wonder how I could love a country that’s done so many ugly things. The answer is that I believe in the dream of America, though I know its people seldom live up to those ideals. I suspect its the same for many Christians.

          The difference is that I can’t say that those committing the crimes on behalf of the US weren’t “real Americans.” I also know that I could fairly be accused of being complicit because I haven’t done enough to protect the ideals myself. It doesn’t make it okay that Christians ignore what’s being done, and that they continue to support exclusive privilege for Christians– even corrupt ones. I just hope for better from them in the future, and I set my own sights higher. Change takes time and persistence.

        • Steve Frank

          Well if the nightly news is your source of what the average evangelical church is like, no wonder you are so hostile to Christianity. The media is looking for ratings, and as such it is always looking for the sensational and controversial. For years the media made Westboro Baptist the poster church for evangelicalism even though it was just a small backward church of about 50 people all related to each other. The news media is always looking for the nuttiest fringe examples of Christian behavior to create more controversy. I challenge you to go visit 3 or 4 evangelical churches…sit through the services and then come back and tell me if you were “relentlessly attacked daily” by them.

          • jamesh

            It’s probably because you’re not gay that you don’t recognise this: if you’re not part of a minority you won’t experience all the hate being directed at you. I’ve been in evangelical churches most my life and almost every week they’re making snide comments about gay people!

          • Steve Frank

            Well you’ve made quite a few snide remarks on this forum yourself. As long as both sides of the debate continue to engage in ad hominem attacks (something I have not done to you), neither side is going to come to a better understanding of where the other side is coming from.

          • jamesh

            Sure, I’m sorry about that :( I do try my best to be temperate but it is very difficult when people are abusing you all the time! And I think you have done the same to me – your replies have been very agressive and dismissive.

          • Steve Frank

            I have made no ad hominem attacks against you. I’m telling you what I believe the Bible teaches. I understand it bothers you because you strongly disagree with me, but I have never called you any derogatory names. Ad hominem attacking (calling people haters, bigots, etc.) is what people do when they can’t make a rational argument. If you are secure in what you believe about homosexuality you should be able to discuss the issues logically and rationally without resorting to name calling and judging the other person’s motives.

          • jamesh

            You obviously just don’t see the reality of what your doing :( Your first comment to me said that my church is “leading souls to eternal ruin” How is that not derogatory?! You really need to look at what you write and how you treat people. It’s fine to criticise me – I hold my hands up and apologise but please don’t say you’re not doing the same, that’s just really silly!

          • jamesh

            “I’m telling you what I believe the Bible teaches”

            Maybe this is illustrative of the problem that Adrian has identified in his second article/and comments? You can’t help being nasty to us as that’s what the Bible teaches!

          • Steve Frank

            James,

            You need to look up the definition of ad hominem. It means “responding to arguments by attacking a person’s character, rather than to the content of their arguments”. When I said your church was leading souls to ruin I was applying what Scripture said to the situation under discussion. That’s not an ad hominem attack. When you told me I need to stop judging, that was NOT an ad hominem attack against me….that was just you applying Scripture back to me on that point which was fine (even though I think you were misinterpreting it). But when you start calling me a bigot, hater, etc. that IS an ad hominem attack because it is no longer dealing with the content of the discussion. There’s nothing wrong with lively debate, even if both sides have to say hard things the other person doesn’t want to hear. But name calling is ridiculous. It’s a sign of someone who has run out of rational arguments.

          • jamesh

            “It’s a sign of someone who has run out of rational arguments.”

            Again, this is just name-calling. People have lives and can’t be constantly debating with haters. I’m afraid that you do come across as a hater – this is my view on you based on what I have seen. Debating the definition of a Latin phrase is beyond me I’m afraid.

  • Guthrum

    One concern is that the passage of “hate” speech laws will result in pastors and church leaders being arrested or sued for expressing their views concerning ss marriage.
    Another concern is this recent push toward gender nuetral restrooms. A lot of people are worried that perverted people would take advantage of this. Parents do not want some man sneaking into the girls restroom or locker rooms at the schools.
    Transgender surgery should not be paid for with taxpayers’ money, and that includes Obama Care.

    • jamesh

      I think that’s a good thing! People who promote hate should be arrested. LGBT people have had just about enough of the haters whose words and actions have resulted in our friends committing suicide :(

      • 92JazzQueen .

        Sorry, but this gets into rather sticky situation in which the government can abuse this kind of power to silence anyone they disagree with.

        • jamesh

          You’re completely right! People should have the freedom to say whatever they like. I guess my comment is just a lament on the wicked things that haters say…

      • Guthrum

        Preaching and teaching Biblical doctrines is not hate, “phobia”, or racism. I do agree there are a few misguided individuals and churches who have gone off the deep end. The Christian churches overall are very welcoming to everyone.

        • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

          Non affirming churches teach that gay couples are immoral and inferior. That doesn’t seem “very welcoming” to gay couples. In fact it seems like animus.

          • Steve Frank

            Christians also believe that divorce and pre-marital hetero sex are wrong and yet I never hear divorcees call Christians “divorcaphobes” nor do I hear co-habitating hetereo couples call Christians “haters”. Why is it only gays who accuse those who disapprove of their lifestyle as haters? I’m sure if I pressed you I could find some sexual lifestyles you don’t support. Are you ok with incest or pedophelia? If not, does that make you a hater too?

          • jamesh

            It’s disgusting to compare homosexuality to paedophilia. You should be ashamed of yourself!

          • Steve Frank

            You are dodging arguments. I am asking you if there are any sexual lifestyles you don’t approve of. Can you answer that question?

          • jamesh

            How would you like to be compared to a paedophile? I suggest you treat others as you yourself would like to be treated!

          • Steve Frank

            You are twisting my words because you don’t want to answer the question. I never said homosexuality and paedophelia are equivalent. In fact, the reason I brought it up is because I assumed you didn’t approve of paedophelia. I’m trying to find out if there is any sexual behavior you don’t approve of. I’ll try one more time….is there any sexual lifestyle you don’t agree with?

          • jamesh

            Obviously I don’t agree with child abuse, and I think people should finish one relationship before starting another one. I think polygamy is okay as it was practised in biblical times.

          • Steve Frank

            So does that mean you hate people who do not finish one relationship before starting another one?

          • jamesh

            Gosh no. I’m not a hater – that’s more your domain!

          • Steve Frank

            Oh I see. So YOU can say you disapprove of someone’s else’s sexual behavior yet still not hate them (as you’ve just admitted by saying you don’t approve of people who don’t finish one relationship before starting another but you don’t hate them). But if anyone disapproves of YOUR sexual behavior, then only hate can explain that? Why is it that you can disapprove of someone else’s choices but not hate them, but you can’t extend that same reasoning to others who disapprove of your choices?

          • jamesh

            I think you need to read the comments on Adrians follow up post for the answer. There aren’t any forums that discuss adulterers and I certainly wouldn’t go on them to criticise people if there were. Fundamentalist Christian haters are all over the internet criticising LGBT people. You are just one of them.

          • Steve Frank

            There are no forums to discuss adultery because there is no worldwide movement to celebrate it. I have to say, the pro gay side of this debate has been very successful at painting Christians as the aggressors in the same sex marriage debate. The truth is the exact opposite. Christians were entirely comfortable with 100% of the rest of the planet for the past few thousand years assuming marriage was obviously something between a man and a woman. Even 25 years ago not one nation on Earth accepted same sex marriage. The gay rights activists have since aggressively pushed for the legal recognition of same sex marriage across the West. Christians are on the defensive here, they are just seeking to maintain the status quo. The only reason they keep talking about same sex marriage is because your side insisted on bringing it up. Christians aren’t obsessed with homosexuality. Go read Christian magazines or books from 30 years ago and homosexuality is never mentioned. Because it was a non issue, everyone believed it was not normal. I’m not blaming the gay activists for fighting what they believe in but please stop acting like it’s the Christians who can’t stop talking about this. We did not bring up the subject of same sex marriage. You are the ones who came along and demanded that we change our beliefs so please stop painting us as the aggressors here.

          • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

            I don’t approve of sexual promiscuity. That’s a lifestyle choice. I can validate my beliefs using a consequentialist ethic.

            How do you validate your beliefs that gay covenantal partnerships are immoral?

          • Steve Frank

            The problem with a “consequentialist ethic” is that it’s completely arbitrary. You think sexual promiscuity can lead to bad outcomes, therefore it’s immoral. Well guess what, it’s a medical fact that anal intercourse is by far the riskiest form of sex. Thousands of dead AIDS patients lie in their graves today as a testimony to that. So doesn’t a “consequential ethic” mean anal sex is immoral (for those of either gender)? The problem with any moral system that is not derived from God or religion is that it is completely arbitrary and subjective. What one person says is a good consequence the next person says is a bad one.

            I validate my belief that gay sex is immoral based on both Scripture and natural revelation ie. the obvious design of the human body that must be ignored in order to call same sex acts as “normal”.

          • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

            I’m not sure how you would describe consequentialism as “arbitrary”. Christian Scientists believe the faithful choice is to withhold essential medical care from children. Sometimes children die as a result. That’s not an arbitrary consequence. The unnecessary death of children is not arbitrarily deemed immoral in a consequentialist framework.

          • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

            If one looks to the AIDS crisis in Africa today, you would have to conclude, based on your reasoning, that vaginal intercourse is the riskiest form of sexual intercourse and that it is immoral to ever have sex without a condom.

            AIDS was not caused by anal intercourse, and it’s spread was caused by sexual promiscuity. Ignorantly misappropriating my painful history to support your anti-gay perspective is one of many reasons evangelicals are viewed as homophobic.

            Let me address a couple of points. First, is it your understanding that all gay men engage in anal sex? That’s not so. And, in any event, it’s a poor platform on which to make your case. Many straight couples incorporate anal sex into their romantic life. I don’t see any anti-sodomy campaigns aimed at straight people.

            Also, I wonder what the AIDS epidemic in America would have looked like if gay kids had been accepted into society and had been sheparded by their families and faith communities into understanding how to express sexuality in healthy ways. Covenantal partnerships, I believe, would have mitigated the epidemic. Unfortunately history shows that shame and stigma contributed (and continues to contribute) to the AIDS epidemic in America.

          • Steve Frank

            Have you ever donated blood in the United States? You have to sign a statement saying that if you are a man you have never had sex with another man since 1977. You don’t have to sign a statement saying you didn’t have heterosexual intercourse. Are you going to say that the medical authorities including the Red Cross are hate groups? Africa was unique because homosexuality was taboo there and so the only way AIDS could be spread was via heterosexual contact. Many cases of AIDS in Africa were actually passed on to babies because of infected mothers with high birth rates . In countries where homosexuality was widely practiced, the number of cases for gay men dwarfed all other groups which is why the medical authorities still won’t let gay men donate blood.

          • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

            Again, you’re suggesting that anal sex, not sexual promiscuity, is the unhealthy element in the AIDS equation. That’s simply not true. HIV is also transmitted though vaginal sex. It’s entirely possible to have safe gay sex with a faithful partner just like straight sex.

            If you’re going to use facts to condemn an entire people group as immoral, then those facts had better be correct. Otherwise, you are simply engaging in fear mongering. Your comments here are a variation of the 1980’s claims that “AIDS is God’s judgement on gay people”.

          • Steve Frank

            Ok, so the Red Cross has no idea what they are talking about when they prohibit gay men from donating blood. Is that what you think?

          • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

            Hi Steve –
            In practice, traditionalist theology treats gay people differently than straight people. It says that the romantic relationships straight people form can be sanctified. It says that gay people are fundamentally flawed in a way that makes us unsuited to living into the human experience of romantic intimacy.

            Beliefs about divorce and cohabitation speak to ones life choices; beliefs about the sanctity of gay relationships speak the the humanity of gay people.

          • Steve Frank

            Ford,

            Engaging in sexual acts with another person is a choice. Where the impulse to do that with someone of the same gender comes from who knows but it’s the acts that Scripture judges as immoral. So I don’t see any difference in regard to Christian disapproval of any other sexual choices.

            In addition, Christian theology says that ALL people are “fundamentally flawed”. It’s called original sin. You may not believe in that, but it’s not fair to make it sound like Christians believe only gays are flawed. Jesus said if a man lusts after a woman in his heart he is an adulterer. That means 99% of heterosexual men are pretty flawed in the area of sexuality not just gays.

          • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

            Hi Steve –
            Do you reduce all romantic relationships down to sex, or do you only do that with the relationships gay people form?

          • Steve Frank

            Of course I don’t reduce romantic relationships down to merely sex. But what is the main thing that separates romantic relationships from other close relationships like friendships, siblings, parents, children, etc.? We can have deep caring loving relationships with all these people but what separates them from a romantic relationship is the sex. That doesn’t mean romantic relationships are only about sex, but the sex is what makes them different than all these other relationships. That’s why the word “homosexuality” has the word “sex” in it. Let’s not pretend that the main issue at the core of this issue is sexual behavior.

          • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

            Of course I don’t reduce romantic relationships down to merely sex.

            Yet that’s exactly what you’ve done here.

            The sanctity of gay relationships is not grounded in the moral permissibility of gay sex as you suggest in these comments. The moral permissibility of gay sex is grounded in the sanctity of gay relationships.

            Gay covenantal partnerships are cruciform. They require lifelong mutual self-sacrifice and fidelity in the service of community. Sex is an important part of the relationship that changes its nature, but it is not the only essential or profound attribute.

            The inability to see past sex – calling obviously virtuous relationships that lead to human florishing “sexually immoral” or “depraved” – is dehumanizing. Saying that the world would be better off without these relationships is not only illogical but cruel. Saying that gay people are uniquely flawed in a way that makes us unsuitable for even the possibility of romantic love is an attack on our personhood.

            Now tell me again why traditionalists should be considered loving rather than “haters”…

          • Steve Frank

            You already said you believe sexual promiscuity is immoral. So I’ll ask you the same question I asked James….does that mean you hate people who are promiscuous? Can I accuse you of attacking the personhood of people who insist they were not wired to be faithful to one sexual partner? Why is it ok for you to disapprove of someone else’s sexual choices yet not be considered a hater, but that’s not ok for me?

          • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

            Sexual promiscuity has demonstrably harmful consequences. It is not virtuous to harm others. That’s not an attack on personhood, it a commentary on the expression of human sexuality.

            To say gay sex is morally illicit is to say that gay people are never to express their sexuality – you condemn as immoral an essential part of the human person. And why? What is your moral framework for making such a cruel claim? What is unvirtuous about covenantal partnerships? What harm flows from cruciform love?

            You continue to reduce gay covenantal relationships down to “sexual choices”. If you can’t see the difference between virtuous and unvirtuous expressions of sexuality – gay or straight – then I’m afraid this exchange will bear no further fruit.

          • Steve Frank

            There are harmful consequences of same sex relationships that go beyond the couples themselves. Acceptance of gay relationships as normal affects the whole definition of what a family is. We’re now at the point where the creation of babies is a commodity where gay men rent a woman’ s womb so that they can implant her with one of their seed then take the baby away from it’s biological mother as soon as it’s born for pay. This is the kind off stuff that happens when a couple of the same gender pretend to play Mom and Dad. Children are being deprived of either a mother or father by design. It is obvious from nature that mothers can give something to children that fathers can’t and vice versa. Common sense and sociological studies have shown that children do best when brought up by their biological parents. To intentionally deprive a child of a mother or a father is cruel. That’s one harmful result from the normalization of gay relationships.

          • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

            Those issues are not germane to our conversation. The sanctity of gay covenantal relationships is unrelated to the morality of gay parenting because, as you’ve pointed out, such relationships are non-procreative.

            Further, the issues you raise also have implications for straight couples. Perhaps you could start a movement against serregacy that would replace the campaigns against legal recognition of gay couples.

            Also, in the interest of creating understanding, choosing language like “a couple of the same gender pretend to play mom and dad” seriously undermines your claims that you hold no animus towards gay people. You’ve just rhetorically belittled the myriad diverse experiences of gay parents who fiercely love their children.

          • Steve Frank

            I never said two gay people can’t fiercely love their children. I know many single parents who fiercely love their children but will yet concede their child is not being raised in the ideal environment. Saying that gay couples are trying to play Mom and Dad is not a statement of animus it’s an observation that a man cannot give everything to a child that a woman can and vice versa. A few months ago someone showed me an advertisement (not a joke) of fake breasts that gay men could wear and put formula in them to give their babies the feeling they were being breastfed. You don’t call that a man pretending that he has the equipment of a Mommy? Also, you can’t separate same sex marriage from gay parenting because they are connected from a LEGAL (obviously not biological) standpoint. The whole reason government has any interest in marriage at all is because married couples are the building block of the family. You can’t normalize one without normalizing the other, and children will pay the price.

          • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

            Steve,
            Marriage has many societal goods that are entirely unrelated to child rearing. Married people are generally in better health, more financially secure, and in better emotional health than people who aren’t married. These benefits of marriage reduce the burden on the state. The states interest in marriage extends well beyond legally binding fathers to their children. Marriage is not exclusively for licit procreation. Marriage is a vow between two people of lifelong mutual self-sacrifice and fidelity in the service of community. You do marriage a great disservice by suggesting it’s only about children.

            As for your complementarian claims, you would have to articulate exactly what universal relational gender differences exist in opposite sex couples that are absent in same sex couples in order to substantiate them.

          • Steve Frank

            You are kidding right? Where do you want to start….breasts? Did you ever stop and think that God could have made us all the same. He could have given us all breasts, penises, uteruses, etc. so we were all just interchangeable sex partners and parents. But he didn’t. He gave only females breasts and uteruses. He gave only males penises. There is clearly a master plan here. Male and female differences are not arbitrary , they are built into the creation. We all infer intent from design. If I see a picture of a boat and a plane I can tell you that the person who designed the plane meant for it to fly and the person who designed the boat meant for it to float, even though I never spoke to the builders or designers. That’s because we infer a designer’s intent from his design. But what you want us to accept is that when it comes to the human body, we can infer no intent at all about the designer from the design. Females have breasts, men don’t. Vaginas self lubricate but anuses do not. Vaginas lead to uteruses, rectums lead to nothing. But you believe these things tell us nothing about God’s intent how body parts are used. You believe all this intricate design of our sexual and reproduction system tells us NOTHING about God’s intent for sex and parenting. Everybody can have sex with everybody regardless of gender, males can be Mommies, females can be Daddies, God is fine with it all, despite all the intricasies of design that are specific to male/female. Only a culture utterly drunk on postmodern egalitarianism could ever arrive at such an insane conclusion. Which is why less than 25 years ago the idea of same sex marriage was ludicrous to pretty much everyone on the planet including most liberals. Yet your side now says that pretty much every human being who ever lived before 1990 was a “hater”. Sorry but the testimony of history is that it’s the 21st century West that has gone mad. And I hate to tell you but your side’s day in the sun will be brief. The same nations that are accepting same sex marriage wholesale are not even reproducing at high enough rates to replace themselves. That’s what happens when sex is completely severed from procreation. Unless there is a revival of traditional Christiantiy, Islam will ascend and we will enter a period of world history where gays will be nostalgic for the days of those mean Christians who simply believed what the entire world has believed for thousands of years, that marriage is between a man and a woman. Just take a look at how gays are treated in the Middle East today and that is a sneak preview of the next century if we don’t change course.

          • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

            Hi Steve,

            I asked about relational differences that are inherently present in opposite sex couples that are missing in same sex couples.

            As for your “the parts don’t fit” argument, you sell God’s creation short. My parts fit very well with my husband’s thank you very much.

            As for the “thousands of years” argument, we also believed the earth was flat for millennia. When we gain new information, it informs our faith. We understand sexuality differently today than we have historically. We are interpreting scripture in a different context (as we always have and always will). That’s right and good. As we move towards reconciliation, the Spirit continues to reveal Truth.

            With due respect, invoking the Spector of radical Islam seems to have gone beyond the pale in this exchange. It seems to me an irrational argument born of fear and designed to engender fear.

            So I’m going to bow out of this exchange and leave you the final word.

            Thank you for engaging. I sincerely wish you peace and blessings, Steve.

          • Steve Frank

            Ok, I guess we’ve exhausted the subject for now. My only parting comment to you would be please don’t believe every “traditional” Christian who believes your lifestyle is not in God’s will hates you. We take Paul the apostle seriously when he says that practicing homosexuals (among many other types of sinners) will not inherit eternal life. You may not believe this but my frustration on this issue is really not with you or any other homosexual. It’s with the false teachers who are lying to you and chanting peace peace when there is no peace, just as happened with the false prophets in the days of Israel’s apostasy. You are being encouraged by false shepherds to continue on a path that does not lead to eternal life. If you find out you were wrong on the day of judgment, then all these liberal preachers and teachers who told you that all was well with your lifestyle, they will be proven to be the ones who were the true haters, not “traditional” Christians..

            It’s really no different than the Mormons and Jehovah’s witnesses that come to my door every once in a while.. They think I’m lost because I don’t follow their brand of religion. I think they are misguided, I often find them annoying, but I would never call them haters.. I understand that if they really believe I’m not going to heaven then the most hateful thing they could do is tell me I’m ok. They really think they are helping me by trying to sell me their religion. It’s really no different with most Christians and what they are trying to say to gays. They don’t hate gay people, they just believe the Bible that a sexually immoral lifestyle will not lead to eternal life. Even if you strongly disagree with their view, I hope you can see that hate is not the only possible motivation for people to discourage gays from following their sexual inclinations into actions.

          • jamesh

            Ford1968 has very graciously engaged with you. I’m afraid I’m less gracious and less patient :(

            1) I just wanted to respond to your point about a ‘Designer.’ Your comments seem to suggest that you believe in Creation and a Designer. Whilst this would have been the case for most Christians up until fairly recently, most Christians I know now believe in evolution.

            2) “We take Paul the apostle seriously when he says that practicing
            homosexuals … will not inherit eternal
            life.”

            But do you understand that there are plenty of Christians and even evangelicals that don’t believe this? Keeping on repeating this mantra just upsets and offends people.

            3) “It’s really no different than the Mormons and Jehovah’s witnesses that
            come to my door every once in a while.. They think I’m lost because I
            don’t follow their brand of religion.”

            There is a slight irony here – you think we’re lost because we
            don’t follow your brand of religion!

            4) “I often find them annoying, but I would never call them haters”

            That’s because they don’t come to your door every day. If they were ringing your doorbell every 5 minutes telling you that your lost I’m sure they’d quickly become haters in your eyes. Try putting yourself in the shoes of the gay Christian: every time I turn on the TV or go on Facebook or read the news there’s always some hater on. Every day. Take today for example: some Christians have refused to bake a cake for some gays. Imagine what those gays now think of Christians! Would Jesus refuse to bake a cake for gays?

            5) ” They really think they are helping me by trying to sell me their religion.”

            Lol, just like you and your fellow haters!

          • Steve Frank

            You are also less rational and logical than him. You don’t argue with facts and logic, you emote. There’s no point in continuing a discussion with you.

          • jamesh

            Gosh, that’s not very nice :( I’ve tried my best with you, but I recognise that Ford1968 is a lot more gracious and patient. You’re pretty horrible to chat with. I can’t say I’ve enjoyed it.

          • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

            Your claims about the wellbeing of children of gay parents are unsupported by the entire body of research. I mention this because you seem genuinely interested in understanding why conservative Christians are considered “haters”. Using untruths to generate ill will towards gay parents is decidedly unloving.

            http://whatweknow.law.columbia.edu/topics/lgbt-equality/what-does-the-scholarly-research-say-about-the-wellbeing-of-children-with-gay-or-lesbian-parents/

          • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

            And as for original sin…I would offer you this thought: we are all dealing with post-fall sexual brokenness. What makes you think that gay covenantal partnerships are any more sexually broken than straight marriages?

          • Steve Frank

            They are more broken than straight marriages because they are subverting God’s obvious intention that sex takes place between male and female. As I said in another post to James it doesn’t take a PHD in biology to see that the Designer clearly meant for penises to be placed into vaginas, not other orifices. I know you keep making it sound like I’m all focused on the sex acts but that’s the crux of the issue. Gay people keep saying “what’s wrong with two people of same gender loving each other?” The answer is NOTHING is wrong with that. The Bible says David loved Jonathan more than his wives but there is zero indication this was a sexual relationship. If two men want to make a covenant of friendship to each other I don’t think God has a problem with that. The issue is that the sex acts homosexuals engage in are a perversion of the natural order. That’s what Paul argues in Romans 1.

          • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

            Perhaps celibacy is not a calling for all. What if, in our post fall world, covenantal partnerships are the most moral life available to some gay people. I personsonally hold a consecrationist view on gay partnership. But the accommodation view is worthy of you consideration.

          • Frank

            No it’s a life choice as well. Everyone, unless mentally ill, chooses how they act and behave.

          • jamesh

            Sexuality isn’t a choice, but being a bigot is!

          • Frank

            Everybody chooses their actions, everybody, unless they suffer from some mental illness that prevents them from knowing what they are doing.

            Sexuality is a choice, always.

          • djbethell

            When do you ever hear Christians rabidly and relentlessly attack divorced people or those who have sex before marriage? You don’t!
            Yet gay folks hear the ‘condemnation to hell’ blarney from Christian mouths daily. It’s their obsession! They can’t talk about their disgust of it enough.

          • Steve Frank

            I’m not sure who or what you are listening to but I’ve been in evangelical churches my whole life and I could probably count on one hand the number of times I’ve heard homosexuality addressed from the pulpit. And when it was mentioned it was always lumped in with other sins too. Of course there are a few crackpots out there like Westboro who are obsessed about the issue but the average evangelical church is not “relentlessly attacking” gays daily.

    • radiofreerome

      So you’re willing to let people be murdered because you might be deprived of the right to condemn them. Be careful lest you condemn yourself.

  • Bob K.

    I think the Catholic Church has the right position on the matter. Accept the person–not sin.

    • http://www.fordswords.net/ Ford1968

      The Catholic Church says gay people’s attractions are intrinsically disordered and the relationships gay people form are gravely depraved. That is anything but accepting the person; it is dehumanizing. It is a teaching of contempt for gay people.

      • Frank

        And yet it is the truth. One doesn’t hate people with a disorder. We have compassion for them.

    • radiofreerome

      That presupposes a particular kind of sin. Some gay Catholics are abstinent. Calling on gay people to be abstinent then assuming they aren’t so you can persecute them is particularly evil and hypocritical. This is precisely what Benedict XVI did.

    • djbethell

      You’re not capable of recognising anything in me accept the projection of yourself.

  • CruisingTroll

    No Christian should support this day. It is a lie. The very name of the day is a vicious assault on others, declaring those opposed to behavior that the Bible clearly condemns to be mentally ill.

    • radiofreerome

      Cruising Troll? At least you’re honest. :-)

  • radiofreerome

    Congratulations, Mr. Warnock, you’ve crossed a line that will get you persecuted for the right reason. That takes courage. I had just turned 13 when I made the decision to stand by a student accused of being gay. I didn’t know what the word or slurs used to describe it meant at the time. That was 40 years ago. I’ve been fighting ever since.

  • Larry Major

    The Nepalese government allowed Hindus to sacrifice over 250,000 live
    animals to a godess they worship for good luck, they hacked them to
    death in herds walking from one to another and how many attended this
    abomination, one million of them!

    God the creator said He is a jealous God and He will said have no idols
    or false Gods, they incurred the wrath of God Himself when they did
    this!

    Japan has been hit repeatedly by natural disaster and so has the Philippines!

    Now America do we really want all this, we are getting slammed also ?

    Japan worshiped an emperor who started part of WW2!

    My God is the creator and He reigns supreme in the entire universe

    • Hrafn

      You are aware that the Philippines is an overwhelmingly Christian country, aren’t you?

      Everywhere gets disasters, and there is no evidence that non-Christian countries get more of them than Christian ones.

  • http://adrianwarnock.com/ Adrian Warnock

    SEE ALSO my follow up post, which also introduces a helpful book on this subject. The Plausibility Problem: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/adrianwarnock/2015/05/review-the-plausibility-problem-the-church-and-same-sex-attraction/

  • http://reformedreasons.blogspot.com/ Ed Dingess

    That Christians ought to be encouraged to stand up for that which God hates is really not Christianity at all. To hate what God hates and to love what God loves is what it means to be a true Christian. God’s attitude toward gay sex is clearly disclosed in Scripture. He hates all sex outside of the bounds of marriage between one man and one woman. It really is that simple and the matter is not open for debate. Those endorsing gay sex and claiming to be Christian do not need to be reasoned with. They must be excommunicated if they refuse to repent.

    • Hilary

      So according to you, God hates me for falling in love and loving and living with the same womant for 15 years. Good to know. Glad there is no ambiguity on that. God hates me for falling in love and building an adult relationship with another adult around that. Clear.

      I think I’d be better off in hell than in heaven with your God. Much better company.

      • http://reformedreasons.blogspot.com/ Ed Dingess

        You nor I get to set the rules. God created, God rules, God commands. We are creatures who must submit. Those who reject God’s commands reject God. Those who reject God hate God. You made choices. No one forced you to do anything you didn’t want to do. The same applies to a man and a woman who “fall in love” but are married to someone else. They cannot just call it quits and go do whatever their wicked heart wants.

        It is either God’s way or humans’ way. If you are a woman, find a good man for companionship. That is what God made you for. If you have urges that are different, reject them. You’re not a victim in this. You are an adult. You can make different decisions if you really want to.

    • radiofreerome

      You have a perverted obsession with other peoples sex lives.