John MacArthur on Having Gay Children: Alienate Them & Turn Them Over to Satan

John MacArthur was recently asked by a reader how they should respond to an adult child who has acknowledged they are gay. His parenting advice?

Alienate them.

Separate them.

Isolate them.

Refuse to have a meal with them.

Turn them over to Satan.

Here’s the full clip:

I have a better idea: if you have a child who comes out to you, regardless of your theological opinion, here’s what you should do:

Walk across the room, give them a big hug, and tell them that you’re always going to love them.

What troubles me about MacArthur’s advice, and so many who think like him, is the horrible inconsistency that often is used when it comes to shunning. One of the key passages folks use to support shunning comes from 1 Corinthians 5– the unfortunate truth, however, is that Paul lists several sins he thought were shun-worthy. Folks like MacArthur have lifted sexual immorality out of that passage while completely ignoring the rest of what Paul taught.

Why?

Because it would be horribly inconvenient to actually practice this verse. In it, Paul teaches that we are to have nothing to do with Christians who are… greedy.

Which in America, is a whole lot of us. I wonder if MacArthur would also suggest you shun an adult child who makes $200,000 a year but doesn’t tithe or give any of their money to charity? Somehow, I doubt it.

I wonder if MacArthur would teach that we should isolate, alienate, and turn over to Satan our children who struggle with over-eating? That can be a form of greed because it is taking more than you need.

Or, what about the idolators mentioned in that same passage? I know a boat load of Christians who are trusting in firearms for their safety instead of God– which is idolatry. According to Paul, they should be shunned as well.

And, don’t even get me started on the fact that Paul also mentions “abusive” people in that passage also. That’s a whole other can of worms that would require shunning a lot of Christians in leadership.

Paul goes on to also include drunks and swindlers… so let’s make the list of people we’re going to shun even longer.

I’m just glad that I worship Jesus– not MacArthur (or even Paul himself!).

Jesus is the one who religious conservatives hated because instead of shunning, he had meals with people.

The drunks.

The hookers.

The swindlers.

You know, the kind of people we’re supposed to shun.

This is precisely why we are to make Jesus– and nothing else– the center of our faith and practice. Because it is through Jesus we find that sharing a meal, not alienation, is what love looks like.

So, please– if you have a child who comes out to you, forget everything that MacArthur is saying on shunning, and exchange it for giving a hug and sharing a meal.

 

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • http://dkmz.net/ Timothy Troutner

    Plus, I think Matthew 18 says “sins against you,” which would not include homosexuality even if it was a sin. Bad exegesis.

  • Guest

    That was my first thought as well.

  • lmalone

    Yeah, you gotta watch him. I once heard him say long hair is a sin for men (totally corrupting 1 Corin 11). That would have been news to St Paul, I guess, since he took a Nazarite vow which is about growing long hair.

  • Mikeras

    Where do you get that Paul was a Nazarite?

  • http://adventureinshanghai.wordpress.com Mike

    I’m pretty sure Imalone is referencing Acts 18. To my knowledge, there’s no dispute or controversy over the fact that the vow mentioned there is the Nazarite vow.

  • Gabriel Powell

    Who said anything about Matthew 18? John MacArthur was applying 1 Corinthians 5. Still bad exegesis?

  • Jason Millican

    1. Paul is crystal clear how a church is to deal with those within the church who are involved in sexual immorality, and also what the goal is of the discipline, i.e. repentance and restored fellowship. We learn in 2 Cor. that he did indeed repent, was forgiven, and restored to fellowship.
    2. I wonder if Mr. Corey would have used this same argument with Paul over the fornication within the Corinthian church.
    3. NOTE: The Corinthian church was wrongly doing exactly what Corey is encouraging all churches to do. Paul stated that they were proud and puffed up over this man, when they should have been grieving and mourning, and treating the situation with spiritual seriousness.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    Sexual orientation is absent behavior and therefore neither moral nor immoral. Casting a child out of a family for orientation is different than casting someone out of the church for shagging his own step mother, which is the context of Paul. You might want to try exegesis.

  • Benjamin Burton

    I can’t deal with this anymore. This shit is getting more and more dangerous.

  • szig00

    Any one else see the irony in the “Grace to You” logo floating on the screen?

  • Johnny25343

    This is truly sad, and what’s worse is he does this while having a graphic behind him that reads “Grace to you” I guess in his theology its Grace to you so long as you are not gay, because if you are gay, you get turned over to Satan…

  • Chris Boeskool

    I was going to say the same thing. LOL

  • Just me

    I was going to say that I was going to say the same thing! ;)

  • Lesa Edwards-Schepers

    Totally thought the same thing! He needs to look up the word Grace!

  • Animal

    Don’t fret. MacArthur and his ideology are becoming increasingly irrelevant. 10 years from now he and his theology will be buried in a coffin of a bygone era.

  • Steve

    We can hope.

  • Tim McGeary

    10 months would not be fast enough!

  • Bruce K.

    I don’t like MacArthur and am not one who would often agree with his theology, nor would I rarely come to his defense, as I have stated. But it’s not about him. It’s about the word of God. And while MacArthur will indeed one day be buried and take his beliefs to the grave, you too will go to your grave – maybe tomorrow. None of us has a guarantee of even another minute of life. When you do, you will stand before God and give an account to Him. He will not ask John MacArthur for his opinion of you. Nor will he consider your opinion of MacArthur. He will simply open the books and say, did you keep the belief in my Son Jesus and did you keep my commandments. Your answer will be your judge. (Rev. 14:12)

  • Mary Gray Moser

    Thanks for telling the truth. Bruce. God is the one to be pleased, and He tells us what pleases or doesn’t please Him.

  • Rick L.

    No, its about the idolatry of the book over the living God of love.

  • Mikeras

    Greg,
    As the end draws nearer, there will certainly be a lack of responsiveness to God’s Word. However, as numerous philosophers have mistakenly believed in the past, you too, do err.

    Go to God with an honest seeking heart, and He will hear you, and give you a new heart which desires to serve Him. Fifty thousand years from now, you’ll still be rejoicing in God’s presence if you give yourself unconditionally to Him by simple faith in Jesus Christ.

  • nicteis

    You know, as a straight young Christian who saw no fault in my gay friends, I went to God with an honest seeking heart. His Word is plain as day: every single bit of the Law is summed up and contained in one single law: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. So I begged Him to open to me, if committed same-gender sex were wrong, how it violated what He declared to be the whole of the law. How are active gay men or women, simply by who they share the joy of their bodies with, failing to love their neighbors?

    I dug prayerfully into the scriptures that are quoted against gays. I asked what those scriptures themselves say – not about whether a given behavior was wrong, but about why it was wrong. I let scripture interpret scripture. And I learned that what those passages prohibit is same-gender rape, intercourse with angels, and ritual same-sex prostitution.

    I have the profoundest respect for people like Credendum, who acknowledge their gayness, and choose not to act on it – not out of fear of hell, but out of love of the Lord. They are rare and exemplary Christians, who know as most of the rest of us do not what it means to “offer your body as a living sacrifice.” May God bless and increase their faith. But I am saddened by the knowledge that their sacrifice is unnecessary, and angry at my fellow heterosexuals who blithely demand that sacrifice of every gay Christian.

  • http://www.theepiscocrat.com/ Episcocrat

    As a gay and celibate man who has been bought by the Lord, I cannot fully express my feelings and thoughts about MacArthur’s demonic words — but that was just a taste.

  • Jonathan

    You were bought by the Lord? How much did you charge? Isn’t prostitution illegal? Are you like a gay Mary Magdalene?

    Intimacy and sexuality are a gift, regardless of the shame that you equate with being gay. I’m sorry you’ve been convinced you don’t deserve a partner or companion. You only have one life and a lonely and loveless life is entirely of your own doing. Put yourself out there, you might meet someone nice. Also, find a church that accepts you for who you are and stop telling yourself god doesn’t approve.

  • http://www.theepiscocrat.com/ Episcocrat

    You’re almost as bad as MacArthur.

    The language of being “bought” is biblical (1 Cor. 6:20), and the price that was “paid” was the life of Jesus.

    My being celibate and single has nothing to do with not “deserving a partner or companion,” as you suggest. I’m not blaming anyone or anything for my singleness, so your rhetoric here is not a help to me at all.

    I’m in The Episcopal Church, so that church accepts me fine for who and what I am. I have neither said nor written anything of God not approving of me. Why you presumed as much is beyond me.

  • Bruce K.

    Credendum, if I understand you (i.e. you are same sex attracted, yet are celibate and not giving into the sexual act) then you are to be commended for your diligence. And that is what I was trying to express in my previous comments. We are all tempted to sin in various areas and temptation is not a sin. The Lord can and will give us strength to overcome. But we must see sin as such and not give it a pass. I pray that the Holy Spirit will continue to give you (and all of us) strength to overcome sin in these last days. Be strong and of good courage!

  • http://www.theepiscocrat.com/ Episcocrat

    Thank you, Bruce. God bless.

  • acornwebworks

    Do you seriously believe that, if you ever had sex with another person of the same sex, even if you both had fallen in love with each other and could get married, it would be a sin??? Would you still consider it a sin if you got married to that person?

    I guess I’m just wondering if your choice of remaining celibate actually is a matter of choosing to remain pure before marriage rather than your thinking that participating in homosexual sex itself…even if married…is a sin?

  • http://www.theepiscocrat.com/ Episcocrat

    Yes, I believe it would be sin, even in the context of marriage. This is where I’m at right now — it’s my own personal conviction. I have gay friends who disagree with me, and that is completely fine. I know I could be wrong; I don’t preach my views to others, insisting that their choices are sinful, etc.; I keep these views for myself.

  • acornwebworks

    Thanks for taking the time to answer :-)

    I will admit it makes me sad, though. Because the underlying “logic” is that you’re “flawed” somehow…and that if you ever act upon that “flaw”…even if lovingly married in church…you’re somehow a sinner.

    I’ll bet Jesus wouldn’t think so.

  • http://www.theepiscocrat.com/ Episcocrat

    I understand. I think we are all, by nature, flawed. Just so you know: I don’t really view myself as tragically flawed, nor do I fret one bit over being gay. I can’t imagine being any other way, and I am quite comfortable with my gay self, if you will, lol.

    Whether or not I engage in sex with a man, I’m still a sinner — I sin in a million ways that have nothing to do with my same-sex attraction; and, while purity is a goal, I can’t confess that I always keep that goal. The Lord is far more faithful to me than I am to Him.

    Who knows — my views may change in the future. I’ve been re-studying the subject, and I am open to changing my views. I’m currently reading James V. Brownson’s “Bible, Gender, Sexuality,” and it is quite the challenge!

  • Rick L.

    I for one disagree with you, but if you’re happy – more power to ya.

  • http://www.theepiscocrat.com/ Episcocrat

    I appreciate that, Rick.

  • Mikeras

    Credendum,
    Having feelings for men is not sin. Acting upon them would be. However, that does not mean that MacArthur incorrect. There might come a time when one who have to separate himself from earthly family. Jesus, Himself, said that He came with a sword to separate family members in Matt 10:34ff.

    Then again, He said about His mother and brothers, that His family is made up of those who do the will of the Father.

  • http://www.theepiscocrat.com/ Episcocrat

    MacArthur is incorrect to suggest the shunning of a gay believer merely for coming out as gay. If he meant otherwise, then he should have stated such. If he meant otherwise, then he is a sloppy communicator at best. Given his track record, I’m chalking this up to sloppy thinking and shoddy, erroneous exegesis.

  • http://adventureinshanghai.wordpress.com Mike

    Exactly!

  • Rick L.

    He also said, “Leave the dead to bury the dead.” Either believe it all uncritically and try to explain that, or follow God with your heart, not your Bible.

  • Mikeras

    Rick L. It takes only a moment to understand that He was talking about the “dead to Christ.” Following God with your heart means accepting the Jesus of Scripture as your Lord. Making Him the Boss of your life. My prayer is that you will soon come across someone who can effectively share with you just what the new birth means.

  • C.J.G.

    So basically… If they’re a christian, shun them. If they not a Christian, prothelitize them till they give in and then shun them.

    As a mom, I can’t even imagine doing such a thing. So sad.

  • Mikeras

    C.J.G.
    Can you imagine seeing them for all eternity in hell? To win them the greatest thing one could do, however, in order to do so one must first be a genuine Believer herself.

    Is Jesus Christ The Lord of your life, personally?

  • C.J.G.

    I appreciate your concern for my soul and allowing me to graciously respond.

    I’ve been debating whether to even reply to this post but decided that I probably should so it wouldn’t consume my thoughts for the rest of the day. These statements bring on triggers from my past religious experience that continues cause me pain.

    I won’t go into details but will only say, you know that elementary school girl in your church that loves Jesus with her heart, soul, and mind? She goes to school excited to share the love of Jesus with all her friends? She has a sweet spot for lost puppies and a knack for friending the more unloveable classmates? In Sunday school she’s constantly asks questions, big questions, questions that stumps the teacher and often gets in trouble for it? I’m sure every church has one. I just please ask you to treat her with compassion. She will grow up soon enough and still have that inquisitive nature and compassionate heart. But she may find herself deeply hurt and feel unable to be herself at church if she’s treated harshly for it.

  • Mikeras

    C.J.G.
    I can really relate to that. However, my Heavenly Father kept drawing me back into His presence by sending people across my path who loved me enough to share He truth with me. I learned that no pain I suffer in this age can equate to what He suffered for me. I learned to deflect the darts of the evil one who delights to use those close to you. I learned that when I’m hiding behind the cross of Jesus, nothing seems to hurt me anymore. That doesn’t mean I don’t feel pain or hurt, but that there is nothing that can hurt me enough to drive a wedge between me and Jesus Christ. I also learned that He will take up my case, just like He took up Job’s case.

    I pray God sends someone across your path to help you give your personal angst to Him.

  • C.J.G.

    The assumption that I have a “personal angst” with God is not true. My personal issues are more with the church leadership that doesn’t seem to understand that their judgmental approach hurts more people than it helps. A loving, non-judgmental approach and meeting peoples needs with love and support is a better way to share the love of Jesus than to go out passing tracks that tell them they’re going to hell.

    I do have friends that have shown unconditional love to me and have helped me on my faith journey. They’ve shown grace to me as I’ve wrestled with these tough issues and have accepted me as I’ve come out of the “wilderness” even though my faith looks a little different from that of my childhood. And it’s incredibly better, stronger, bigger than I’ve ever had before. It’s still the same Bible, same Jesus, but it’s a theology that puts a lot more emphasis on following the ways of Jesus than regurgitating a belief statement handed down from white American Christian men that tell me that I’m not worthy to fully serve in my church because I’m a women or that I have to shun the same gay friends that were so instrumental in helping me save the little faith I had left. So, I’ll leave it at that knowing that even if I’m judged by others for not following the “correct” belief statements, I know that God has brought me down this path, that He still loves me, that His mercy covers me and carries me.

  • acornwebworks

    Whenever someone brings up Job like this, I want to shake them. Not hurt them, mind you, but simply to shake some sense into them.

    There was no need for God to allow anything horrible to happen to Job. Certainly not simply because He wanted to prove to Satan (or whoever it was) that Job’s faith was unyielding.

    The “God” in Job succumbed to temptation. He was challenged to “Prove it!”. If he truly were the Almighty God, he would have answered, “I don’t need to prove anything to you. I am all-knowing. You’re not. And because I’m all-knowing, I know that you just want my permission to cause terrible harm to one who loves me, and are trying to tempt me into giving you that permission. Begone!”

    But, of course, that’s NOT what happened.

    (And! As anyone who has ever lost a child knows, getting another one does not make up for it.)

  • Rick L.

    None of your business really, Nosey Nan, but yes.

  • Mikeras

    Rick L. Do you really think it is none of my business if someone else is a Genuine Believer? Since Genuine Believers are part of one body, it is definitely “my business.” Of course, there’s a vast difference between Genuine Believers and “Cultural Believers.”

  • Kerry Thomas

    It just gets worse and worse…..and people in churches wonder why the ” nones ” keep growing….

  • http://anirenicon.com Allen Marshall O’Brien

    There are two things awful about this (beside the whole “alienate your adult children” thing):

    1. Look how difficult it is for MacArthur to say that Christians should be “compassionate” toward non-Christians. He qualifies the term with “confrontational” each time he says it.

    2. I’m not sure I want to divide all of my relationships into Christian/non-Christian and treat them all accordingly. It sounds terrible.

  • http://anirenicon.com Allen Marshall O’Brien

    It’s terrible, but not terribly surprising – this was the actual experience of many classmates I had from the college where he is president.

    At my graduation he said that our lives “matter far more than the lives of non-Christians.” So whether you are a pretend Christian living in gay sin or non-Christian simply living, you can’t expect the sort of familial compassion that the rest of us deserve.

    Our lives matter.

    http://anirenicon.com/2011/07/07/uneducated-unbelievers/

  • http://lotharson.wordpress.com/ Lotharson

    This is truly a blasphemous non-sense!

    But this does not stun me at all while considering the true nature of Calvinism:
    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/2013/11/07/naked-calvinism-motivation-and-methodology/

    Had John McArthur been consistent, he should have said:

    “We have good grounds for supposing that God predetermined them before the beginning of time to be something He hates so that he would have a wonderful pretext for torturing them forever, thereby showing his sovereign glory!”

    It is time to face it: Calvinism is a heinous ideology which should only be exposed and confronted. There is really no common ground.
    http://lotharlorraine.wordpress.com/2014/05/14/fostering-communion-with-committed-calvinists/

  • buricco

    The God of Calvinism is a cosmic ass.

  • http://lotharson.wordpress.com/ Lotharson

    And this is probably the worst understatement in the whole universe ;-)

  • http://adventureinshanghai.wordpress.com Mike

    Wow, you guys treat Calvinists worse than MacArthur treats gay people. I’m sure you might have a sort of “love the Calvinist, hate the Calvinism” philosophy, but it sure isn’t coming across that way.

  • http://www.jaimieteekell.com/ Jaimie

    I have Calvanists in my family but I certainly don’t turn them away or ask them to stop talking about it.

  • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

    Remember that time progressive Christians convinced 10,000 people to stop feeding starving children because Calvinists might touch the food?

    Neither do I.

  • Ruaidrí Ó Domhnaill

    Bravo, IA… BRA-VO!!!

  • http://adventureinshanghai.wordpress.com Mike

    Alright, alright. I wasn’t suggesting that, broadly speaking, Calvinists are treated worse than gay people. And as someone who can identify with both, I wouldn’t dare.

    I was just comparing the way lotharson and Buricco were talking about Calvinists with what John MacArthur was saying about gay people. While I do think he is misguided and probably very misinformed about homosexuality, I think he probably really does believe that his advice is genuinely good for the soul of this person’s gay parent. That’s in contrast to the sort of nasty invective and broad strokes made by the above comments.

  • John Blernt

    Oh, so if he believes it’s good (for their soul) to treat them like something he scraped off his shoe, that’s all that truly matters. Tone Troll.

  • http://adventureinshanghai.wordpress.com Mike

    Dude, you guys are totally misunderstanding me. I’m not trying to defend MacArthur. And I think it’s quite likely that if he had a conversation with me for one afternoon, he’d probably question my salvation. I was talking about how all Calvinists were being thrown under the bus here.

    I mean, am I being a “tone troll” just because I object to the idea that I worship a “cosmic ass?”

  • Wonder

    take it up with your fellow calvinists. if you’re so attached to that particular theological perspective, then your issu ought to be those who give it a bad reputation by hurting people with bad doctrine & shitty practice, not the people who’ve been harmed by it.

  • Wonder

    And yes, you are being the very definition of a Tone Troll.
    with a side order of “those people with all the power are the REAL VICTIMS”

  • http://adventureinshanghai.wordpress.com Mike

    Look, I’ll be honest, it’s so bizarre to me that I find myself being painted into a corner with John MacArthur, with whom I almost always find myself at odds. I’m not what you think I am. And really, that’s my whole point. You guys are assuming that all Calvinists fit nicely into this convenient little stereotype, and we’re all a bunch of angry curmudgeons who don’t love people.

    I’m not being a tone troll because I’m not dismissing anyone’s arguments based on their tone. I’m just saying you guys are being foul, and why don’t you just stop? You can make your point, but come on!

    And I’m not sure why you think Calvinists are “the ones with all the power,” but I’m not calling them the victims. If you’ll notice my other comments on this post, I’m trying to be on your side.

  • Doug Truitt

    Mike: I won’t lump you in attitude-wise with MacArthur. I think what your being hammered for is the logical problem of reconciling Calvinism with a loving and just God. Total depravity, unconditional election, and limited atonement implies that God destined many at creation for eternal damnation and gives them no opportunity for any other destiny. Arminianism has its own problems and I’m not taking sides in that debate here, just offering my thoughts about where some of this attack on you is coming from.

  • Guest

    I realize there was no way for you to know this, but I do take it up with my fellow Calvinists quite often, both in one-on-one conversations and in blog posts. I started reading this blog recently because so much of what Corey writes resonates with me in a way that what most people in my own theological tradition are – or aren’t saying.

    I realize that overeager Calvinists can be arrogant and off-putting, callous and unwilling to listen. But hanging around over here in the comments section as well as a few other online places recently, I’ve come to see that that’s not a strictly Reformed characteristic.

  • http://adventureinshanghai.wordpress.com Mike

    I realize there was no way for you to know this, but I do take it up with my fellow Calvinists quite often, both in one-on-one conversations and in blog posts. I started reading this blog recently because so much of what Corey writes resonates with me in a way that what most people in my own theological tradition are – or aren’t saying – just doesn’t.

    I realize that overeager Calvinists can be arrogant and off-putting, callous and unwilling to listen. But hanging around over here in the comments section as well as a few other online places recently, I’ve come to see that that’s not a strictly Reformed characteristic.

  • lmalone

    You might want to read history when it comes to Calvinistic theology. It surges then dies down. There is a reason for that. Many of the Puritan descendents became Universalists. You can track the “application” of it from Geneva across Europe to Puritans in N. America to South Africa Apathied to the pre civil war South. Calvinist is the chosen doctrine for despots for tryanny sanctioned by God.

  • Wonder

    No, it’s a common characteristic of people taught that their beliefs were special, and distinctive, and yet somehow universal and unquestionable.

    e.g. Americans, particularly the Christian variety -or maybe it’s Christians of the American variety – hard to tel…(I’m an American Christian, I get to say that, it’s self-critique as much as anything)

    But you engaged in a classic(probably unconscious) derailing by going al “not all calvinists”

    I mean I hope you have the presence of mind, if you are not personally an abuser of women to not get defensively “not all men”
    when women snark about prevailing cultural

  • Wonder

    Misogyny and having do deal with being objectified.

    I mean, dude, I’ve been there I get the “Defend The Faith” Impulse and I know it doesn’t come from a totally evil place, Ok?

    You think your faith is being attacked from without and corrupted by malpractice from within.
    You feel the same way about your particular theological perspective.

    You’re probably right.
    It also doesn’t matter one tiny bit that you’re right if every time you’re faced with someone who disagrees with you, or bears their pain less gracefully than you’d like, you get impatient

  • http://adventureinshanghai.wordpress.com Mike

    I’d like to think I don’t get impatient every time someone disagrees with me (which is fairly often) or bears their pain in an ungracious way.

    There are people who have commented on this post who are clearly bearing their pain. I have absolutely no desire to strike up a conversation with them trying to defend my theological position.

    But I didn’t at all get the impression that the two commenters that I replied to here originally were such people. It seemed they were just reveling in a barrage of insults like school kids on the playground, and I wanted to call them out on it.

    That said, I think my initial post was unhelpful. In hindsight, I wish I had thought it through more and given a more serious response rather than a quick, emotional reaction. I don’t know those guys (or girls) at all; you can’t ever know what experiences people have had that lead them to say the things they do – especially online, where people tend to lose their filter.

  • lmalone

    “I was talking about how all Calvinists were being thrown under the bus here.”
    There is a big problem with the determinist god of Calvin it you take that paradigm to it’s logical conclusion. (Which is why mysticism is appealed to so contradictory beliefs can be held about God).
    It is not a long walk to the determinist Allah from Calvin. Same foundational thinking except your Calvin has some foreordained for salvation before they were born or even before Adam sinned. (taking a metaphor waaaay too far)

  • Wesley Woods

    john macarthur has also said to be a good calvinist you must be a dispensationalist. he believes that christians need to be slaves of christ, which itself is an oxymoron for to be a slave means you never had a choice. besides the word slave came from the slavic people for many of them were taken as servent to the romans. the author of the article forgot possibly the biggest idol in many protestants churches, mostly fundamentalist, which is the Bible itself. i guess pushing someone into sin is better than loving them out of it. it would be nice when churches start recognizing that behavior you can control, but not the attraction.

  • Mikeras

    Wesley, You completely misunderstand. To choose to become a slave of Christ is far different than being made to be a slave of Christ. All Christians come to Christ voluntarily.
    Another thing you miss is that one is already a slave to the prince of this world system, he just doesn’t recognize it yet.

  • acornwebworks

    Again…they were only talking about Calvinism. What are you seeing that no one else is?

  • http://adventureinshanghai.wordpress.com Mike

    Well for one, there’s this:

    “The God of Calvinism is a cosmic ass.”

    Followed up by this:

    “And this is probably the worst understatement in the whole universe ;-)”

    (This, particularly, is what I meant by the school kids on the playground comment.)

    As a Calvinist, I worship this God, and I love Him dearly and am grateful to Him for salvation. He’s not an abstraction to me, or this hypothetical being; He’s the real personal being who created me, sacrificed so much for me, and sustains me. So of course such an insult cuts deep.

    And then there’s the link to a blogpost, in which lotharson informs us that while he tries to love Calvinists as fellow human beings, he doesn’t count us as Christians because we “worship an evil demon we call God.”

    But hey, I don’t want to hang around here and whine about it. I think it just threw me off guard because I was feeling a sense of solidarity with the commenters who were frustrated with MacArthur for his handling of this question, and then…bam! you’re God’s a cosmic ass, and you’re not really a Christian! So, I responded hastily when I could’ve just engaged thoughtfully or honestly just left it alone.

  • acornwebworks

    Hi, Mike!

    I want to assure you that I, personally, wasn’t thinking you were whining in the least little bit with your comments. I was just truly puzzled by the claim you made about lotharson and Buricco attacking Calvinists, rather than Calvinism.

    You see, the only personal attacks *I* saw from anyone in this particular thread came from you, singling those two guys out for saying something I honestly don’t believe they actually said. Or even meant.

    My gosh, one can talk about hating Catholicism because of the abuses, the obscene wealth once you get close to the top, the second-hand treatment of women or whatever. But that certainly doesn’t mean one also hates and is attacking all Catholics, now does it?

    The truth is, Buricco only said “The God of Calvinism is a cosmic ass.” That is his personal belief. It’s obviously not directed at individuals. And it’s the only thing he wrote in this thread. The fact is that no religion is followed by people who all believe the same identical things. Unless you have a one-person religion, it’s impossible. So taking his only words and claiming he was talking about CALVINISTS…rather than acknowledging that he was obviously only talking about the “God of Calvinism” doesn’t make any sense to me.

    And lotharson? I read his stuff, too. One of the things he wrote in his blog was “I (try to) love my Calvinists as fellow human beings, but I cannot view consistent ones as my fellow believers because they worship an evil demon they call God.

    You, on the other hand, wrote that he was saying “while he tries to love Calvinists as fellow human beings, he doesn’t count us as Christians because we “worship an evil demon we call God.” But that’s not true. Surely, upon rereading what he wrote, you can see this now.

    He was merely talking about what he refers to as “consistent” Calvinists [and, yes, maybe you fit that category, so took it personally…and you’d probably have a valid point then] and how he can’t personally view that particular subset of Calvinists as sharing his beliefs about God because, as he wrote earlier, his God wouldn’t predetermine that most people are predestined…by God…to go to hell. Or predetermine rapes, murders and other atrocities. Or “it’s not just adults that God despises, but infants too because they [according to Calvin himself] ”cannot but be odious and abominable to God.” (2.1.8)

    The honest-to-gosh fact is that, when you took out the highly pertinent middle section – but I cannot view consistent ones as my fellow believers – you changed the entire meaning of his sentence!! He simply was not finding fault with all Calvinists.

    My gosh. I grew up in New England. We studied Calvinism and the influence of John Calvin in our history books! After all, Calvinists and Calvinism were a large part of our early history. And one thing we learned is that the Calvinists, even then, were not members of a one-size-fits-all religion. It’s always been diverse. So, when lotharson talked about “consistent ones”, I took it to mean he was referring to Calvinists who take the aguments and edicts of John Calvin literally. And, frankly, even I find that somewhat creepy.

    And, because I grew up in New England, I knew (and still know) an awful lot of folks who consider themselves Calvinists of one sort or another…and that, itself, says to me that lotharson was not tarring all Calvinists with the same brush, as it were, because he was clearly acknowledging that he was only bothered by one type of Calvinists.

    Anyway…you don’t have to respond if you don’t want to. I just wanted to clarify what *I* saw as something *I* thought you were misunderstanding.

    Have a great day!!

  • http://adventureinshanghai.wordpress.com Mike

    Thanks!

    I see your point, for the most part.

    Certainly, a favorite pastime of many Calvinists is to harp on the problems with and abuses of Catholicism, though I’m sure most aren’t hostile toward Catholics themselves. That said, if I posted a comment that the God of Catholicism is a cosmic ass, I wouldn’t be bewildered that Catholics took personal offense to it and couldn’t just understand that I wasn’t trying to personally attack them, but just their God. I do think the (albeit brief) exchange between the two commenters was needlessly provocative and colored my reading of lotharson’s blogpost.

    Speaking of which, I reread that post, and I see what you’re saying. I still disagree with a lot of his points of course, but he’s not saying what I initially thought. I don’t know exactly what all qualifies in his mind as a “consistent” Calvinist, but I suspect that I might not fit the bill.
    (I’ve even written recently about how reformed culture is, in many ways, an uncomfortable fit for me: http://adventureinshanghai.wordpress.com/2014/05/03/thoughts-on-theology-not-a-very-good-calvinist-but-a-calvinist-nonetheless/ )

    I’ve mentioned already that I do regret my initial response. I don’t think it was totally devoid of truth, but looking back at it, it was definitely hyperbolic, and it certainly wasn’t helpful.

    I appreciate your input here, providing clarity and being a diffusing force in this whole thing. Aside from this little hiccup, I’ve really enjoyed interacting with the ideas and points being offered up by progressives over here at this blog. While I strongly disagree with them on many things, it’s been nice to hear Christian perspectives on certain issues that resonate more than those of my own branch of Christianity.

  • acornwebworks

    Uh…they sure sounded like they were only complaining about Calvinism to me.

    So what have they said that makes you think it’s not coming across that way??? Serious question. Thanks in advance.

  • Bruce K.

    Lotharson, I read the article on Calvinism. Well done. I have long held the same regarding its tenants. However, I can’t say that MacArthur (as much as I despise his arrogance and other false teachings) is totally wrong on this one. See my earlier posts if you’re curious.

  • Timothy Weston

    It sounds like that either Mr. MacArthur does not have gay family members or he disowned them entirely. This is a very twisted Christianity that sounds like gays had an immunity to Christ’s atonement.

  • Nathan Brasfield

    He may “put someone out” of his own church, but thank God he does not speak for The Church entire, among which there are fellow sinners humble, loving, and truly gracious enough to receive instead of shun.

  • Battynurse

    Well said. As someone who was and is shunned by my mother simply for choosing not to belong to her church, I can say shunning is a horrible feeling.

  • Rich Farias

    You know what? You’re better off without her in the long run, and she’s doing more damage to herself than she’s doing to you.

  • Rich Farias

    Also, take some advice that we in the gay community have known for decades: blood does not make a family, love does.

  • Battynurse

    True that blood does not make family. I have chosen family that I am very thankful for. Thanks Farisrv.

  • http://adventureinshanghai.wordpress.com Mike

    Even if MacArthur is correctly applying Matt 18, he is really making a mess of things by assuming one simple narrative on anyone who “comes out” to their parents. It doesn’t seem to even occur to him that a gay person may not be actively involved in gay sex or a gay relationship.

    I’m guessing he hasn’t had much experience dealing with this issue. Because this is just… bad.

  • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

    According to the Centre for American Progress, there are somewhere between 1.6 million and 2.8 million homeless youth in the United States. Of these, between 20 and 40% are LGBT, far more than the percentage of the actual population. These numbers were confirmed by the Williams Institute in their own studies. The average age of becoming homeless in LGBT youth is fourteen. The top two reasons for LGBT youth homelessness are rejection by families and outright being kicked out because of their orientation or gender identity. An estimated one in every four kids who come out to their parents will become homeless.

    So can we please stop pretending that all this ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ shite is actually what these people believe? Rejecting people because of their sexual orientation is evil, it’s sick, it leads to nothing but the continuation of misery that American Christianity has heaped on LGBT people, and it stems from the belief that a god says these people are broken for who they are. I’m tired of hearing that I should accept it as a legitimate opinion. It’s sick and wrong and I have no problem holding people like Mr. MacArthur and his followers personally responsible for hundreds of thousands of homeless LGBT youth.

  • duskglow

    People are broken in fundamental ways. And I think that homosexuality is one of those ways. Where people miss the mark is that there is not one person that is not broken in ways that are at *least* as bad as homosexuality, and forgetting that is where this kind of idiocy comes from. We’re all sinners, we’re all just as bad as everyone else – and just as good as everyone else, too. MacArthur forgot about the beam in his own eye, it appears.

  • http://faithlikeaman.blogspot.com/ Ryan Blanchard

    Homosexuality is not a “break.”

  • duskglow

    We’ll have to agree to disagree on that one. I’m not changing that opinion, though.

    That does not mean that people deserve to be treated poorly for it, by the way, so no one misunderstands (though I’m sure someone will). I do see it as a corruption of perfection, and something that will be taken care of when God sets everything right. But I’m broken in myriad different ways as well, and not one of those ways lets me look down on homosexuals. But I’m going to call a spade a spade (or whatever your preferred analogy is).

  • gimpi1

    I’m curious about your “I’m not changing that opinion, though.” statement. Frankly, it reminded me of Ken Ham’s “Nothing could change my mind,” statement in his debate with Bill Nye. It showed a mindset that can’t learn, can’t grow, and is unconcerned with evidence.

    If learning new evidence can’t change your mind, you are closed-minded. You, like everyone could be mistaken. If you can’t re-evaluate your beliefs, how can you correct the mistake you are bound to make?

    In my (perhaps foolish) opinion, being unable to self-correct is truly being broken.

  • duskglow

    My beliefs can be re-evaluated – upon the Christian framework. I can change that opinion as long as a cogent argument is made that falls within the bounds of revealed Christianity. No one in this discussion is going to do that, or has any interest in it. Therefore, my opinion is not movable for the purposes of this discussion.

    Put in other words, debate on my terms, we’ll talk. Otherwise, go in peace.

  • gimpi1

    Well, I cant’ honestly do that. I’m not a believer. I regard the Bible as having merit, but not as trumping physical evidence. Wether the discussion is about the age of the earth or the validity of same-sex marriage, for me, evidence trumps doctrine every time. So, agreeing to disagree is always an option.

    However, Ben is debating within a Christian framework. Just not the framework you currently accept. Many Christians agree with his point of view. You have read them here. Can you engage honestly with them?

  • duskglow

    I agree with Ben. John MacArthur is out of line. You do not treat your fellow humans that way. Particularly your own children.

    We disagree on what GOD thinks of what they do. If God doesn’t like something, then it’s sin. That’s pretty much the definition. And if I believe that to be the case, I would be sinning myself if I said “Oh, God’s fine with it”, when he’s not.

    When a non-believer tells me I’m hateful because I’m trying to understand how God feels about things and hold fast to that, I’m OK with that. It’s par for the course. When a believer tells me I’m hateful because they don’t agree with what I think about what God thinks about it, well, they should know better, because they just made the same kind of value judgement. The one thing I really do not like about progressive Christianity is how easy it is for them to spew bile against people they disagree with. That’s not Christian behavior by any stretch of the imagination. I’m glad Ben does not do that.

    If a homosexual person needs help and I am in a position to provide it, I will provide it. If a homosexual person needs an ear to bend, I will allow them to bend my ear. I will not tell them what they are doing is OK, because it’s not. But I will also not treat them like less of a person. After all, I sin just as badly, and just as regularly. And that’s what it’s all about, anyway.

    If that is hateful, then someone doesn’t understand the notion of hate. And I’m not going to change because someone labels me incorrectly.

  • gimpi1

    I don’t regard you as being hateful. To me, your beliefs only start to verge on hateful behavior if you were to attempt to use force of law to compel those of us who don’t share your beliefs to abide by them. To me, that’s an act of domination and/or persecution. Live your beliefs. Celebrate your beliefs. And permit everyone else to do the same. It sounds as though you have that down.

    I don’t share our beliefs about God, so I can’t speak to that. The only thing I wonder about, is do you wonder about your conclusions? I’m sure you know many Christians have come to different conclusions about what God wants. Do you ever regard them as having a point? There’s no way around some profound unpleasantness related to the Bible. Southern slave-holders used the Biblical (apparent) endorsement of slavery to justify their stance. They believed their interpretation was correct just as strongly as the Abolition movement believed in their interpretation. Just as strongly as you believe in yours.

    I personally feel we all benefit from periodically stepping back from our current beliefs and re-evaluating them in light of day, myself included. We simply know more about the world when Biblical texts were collated. Even if you regard the Bible as divinely inspired, people were involved in the editing process. The views of each society involved in it’s assembly have crept in. At least that’s my view.

  • duskglow

    To me, God has two overarching aspects to his personality. Justice, and grace. It’s very easy for a Christian to focus on one, or the other. There are some Christians out there who say that God is wrathful, and hates sin, and wants to condemn sinners, but he loves us so we’re off the hook, but we still gotta be really really careful or else. And then there are other Christians out there who say that God is loving and merciful, and that we’re not sinners and are great people because God loves us and sunshine, unicorns, and rainbows. But to me each perspective only has half of the equation, and each half really misses something. Do those who think that God is all loving and just wants everyone to be happy have a point? Yes, of course they do. But they miss his holiness, and Christianity suffers.

    Are there things I don’t know or understand? Absolutely! If I claimed to know everything, then I would be the one with control of God, not the other way around. He’s far bigger than I, or anyone else, is. But all I can go by is what’s been revealed to me, what I see in the world around me, and what I can empirically reason out based on the basics of Christian revelation. And it is not possible for me to not look at the world around me and not see brokenness everywhere and in everyone. And frankly, I really don’t get how people can look at the same world and not see it. I have trouble with the grace aspect of God. But I’m glad it’s there.

  • gimpi1

    Well, we see different things. You see brokenness. I see problems. Some things you may see as brokenness, such as homosexuality, I don’t see as problematic at all. To me, problems are things that cause harm. If no one is harmed by an action, I see no problem.

    Problems can also be solved. We’ve done great work on many problems. We’ve made great strides in eliminating slavery. We’ve greatly reduced persecutions and discrimination around the world. We’ve become more free, more prosperous and more mobile than at any time in history. Scientific advances have made those of us lucky enough to live in the ‘1st world’ healthier and longer-lived. We have learned how to grow more food, and harness diverse energy sources. Many of these solutions has created more problems to solve. That’s the nature of problem-solving. But I’m mostly optimistic.

    Do I think people are perfect? Far from it. But I don’t see them as broken, just human. And capable of growing, learning and improving.

    I can’t really address your religious convictions, because I don’t share them. But that’s OK. That’s what makes horses race. However, if I was in that game, I’m pretty sure I would go for the loving God. I see no justice in torturing people for the ‘sin’ of not being perfect. To even use the word ‘justice’ in that sentence grates on my senses. Justice, to me is about balance. About the punishment fitting the crime. I see none of that balance in “fire and brimstone” teachings.

    One comment I have made before is that many versions of Christianity in the U.S. seem to require me to shut off either my brain (Creationism) or my sense of justice (Calvinism or Fundamentalism). I can do neither. I have yet to decide if there is a variety of Christianity that requires neither. That’s one of the reasons I follow Ben. Perhaps I’ll find an answer someday.

  • duskglow

    Your use of the word “torture” there is telling, and implies a belief in what Christianity is that I don’t share. I believe that there probably is a hell. I also believe the door to hell is locked from the inside.

    There are many people who believe otherwise. I think they miss the mark by a large margin.

    I will tell you this much: the version of Christianity I ascribe to requires that I shut off neither. If I felt it did, I would never follow it. Tim Keller has been very helpful to me in figuring that out. I believe in both evolution and creation. As you can imagine, my idea of what the Fall is is… very interesting.

  • gimpi1

    I apologize in advance if this is offensive. I can’t come up with any other way to say it. Sorry, sorry, sorry. That said, here goes:

    Frankly, I disagree with you regarding your beliefs. I feel you are “turning off your brain, just a bit, because you feel a need to conform to Biblical morality. The best available evidence is that being gay is an inborn trait, not subject to choice. Something that can’t be chosen can’t, by definition, be sinful. There are many other ways to view the Biblical rules, including assuming that they were simply a part of the culture at the time, a description of how people lived, not a mandate on how they should live.

    You see people today trying to bring in such concepts as “male-headship” and “betrothal” in which a husband is the family despot, and marriages are arranged by the family. They do this because that is what is described in the bible. They confuse how with should.

    And to say that someone is born gay, but must not act on their orientation is unjust. I, as a straight woman, was free to marry my husband when we fell in love. If I deny someone else the right to marry who they love, I am taking from them a right I claim for myself. I regard that as both unjust and hypocritical.

    (End possible offense alert.) That said, you seem like a genuinely nice person. I’ve enjoyed this conversation.

  • duskglow

    “Something that can’t be chosen can’t, by definition, be sinful”

    I’m going to disagree with that one wholeheartedly. That’s why Christians say it’s a “fallen world”, and we’re “born into sin”. We didn’t choose the corruption, and yet it’s there, all around us. How can that not be sinful? There are some things that I have been since I was born as well, and I didn’t choose them, and yet they’re just as much sin as anything else.

    I do not view that as unjust. All of us have urges and feelings that we must master. Some of them are different than others. I view it as sad, and heartbreaking, and one reason why I wish God would come and set things right, instead of allowing this brokenness to fester. I would love nothing more than to see every person with those proclivities learn what God truly wants for them. If they did, I bet they’d never look back. But that’s the rub, isn’t it. It’s in too deep.

    But thank you for a nice conversation and for being respectful. It’s a far sight better than some other commenters here.

  • gimpi1

    Right back at ya! Disagreement is fine. Life would be incredibly boring if everyone agreed.

  • Jonathan

    Some would call it “opinion” and others would call it “Hopelessly ignorant” I just call it “apthetic” Gay people are not broken, maybe some religious people are judgmental and remarkably ignorant..

  • duskglow

    Some religious people are judgmental and remarkably ignorant. Also, gay people are broken, as is everyone else. That’s not mutually exclusive.

    I’m sure you think I’m remarkably ignorant. Fair enough. I’m willing to allow you to continue to believe that. That’s something that comes with not knowing truth and being steeped in sin.

  • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

    Yes, plenty of Christians believe gay people are broken for being gay. You know what else? Other Christians believe the Roma can’t attain salvation because they are born without souls. So if LGBT people are broken, I’m just as broken for my ethnicity, for being born half-gypsy.

    When you’ve been the brunt of one, you can see all Christian attempts to beat down people for being broken as what they are. Lies and hate.

    You can’t fix these people, but I can fight for them.

  • duskglow

    Stating that someone is broken is not the same as beating someone down for it, and it’s not all lies and hate. It’s only lies and hate if you use it to demean others or elevate yourself. EVERYONE is broken, and that’s the great equalizer.

    Probably the only thing you’ve said there that I agree with is that you can’t fix these people. But that applies to everyone. Can’t fix you either, or me. Not without God.

  • Rich Farias

    You’re promoting hateful ideas (calling us “broken”) based on obvious lies (your bible is no more truthful than the Olympian myths or the Gilgamesh epic). All that your ilk have done over the past decades (indeed, centuries) has been to beat us down and deny us our rights, our loves, and our lives. Don’t feed me that tripe; you can take your “Christian” love and stuff it sideways. I’m not bloody interested.

  • duskglow

    You’re not understanding what I’m saying, not taking the time to listen, you certainly don’t know me, so go in peace.

    The only additional thing I want to say is that you are doing absolutely no damage to my faith, my beliefs, and are making no headway on changing my opinions. I am not hateful, and neither are my opinions – I have no interest in looking down on anyone for who they are or what they do. I also have absolutely no interest in condoning it.

  • BlueYonder

    “I have no interest in looking down on anyone for who they are or what
    they do. I also have absolutely no interest in condoning it.”

    “Homosexual people are broken.”

    See the discrepancy?

  • $105158253

    Love starts and ends with truth.

  • Jeff Preuss

    You are a cruel bigot. I love you.

  • $105158253

    Bigot has lost all meaning due to its overuse and fallacious use. Well done!

  • Jeff Preuss

    Nope, it means exactly what it’s supposed to mean, when I apply it to you and your volume of work here. Love starts and ends with the truth. I still love you.

  • $105158253

    You may love me but you know not the truth as you have proven with your posts.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I know the Truth of Christ Jesus.

    Still loving you from heeeeeeeeere.

  • $105158253

    If you do you would obey Gods will for sexuality, romance and marriage. Thats how Jesus says you love him by being obedient.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I am obeying God’s Will for my sexuality. So says my 18-year marriage. I am obeying Christ’s Will for MY life. You go obey His Will for YOURS.

    Love you!

  • $105158253

    If you are in union with someone of the opposite sex its not a marriage and its a sinful relationship.

  • Jeff Preuss

    No, it’s not. I even love you when you are angry and wrong about my personal relationship with Jesus. :)

    Have a WONDERFUL evening. I have to go pick my husband up from work; we carpool.

    God bless you!

  • $105158253

    So sad you are so deceived by sin.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Self-righteous concerned troll is concerned. And self-righteous.

  • $105158253

    Yes its a common tactic to go on the attack when you know your position cannot be supported. Humanity is very good and holding tightly on to sin.

  • Jeff Preuss

    So, Frank, is this your explanation for your attacks on here? That you know you cannot adequately support your position? Because that seems to be the only explanation that makes any sense to most of the people in here for why you lash out. It’s brave of you to finally own up to your mistakes, Frank. I’m proud of you.

    Me attack you? Did you not see how many times I told you I love you?

    In His name, I love you. Truly! I cannot wait to share the table with you at our Lord’s side in Heaven! It will be wonderful.

  • $105158253

    Yes I understand. Very telling indeed.

  • duskglow

    You would have a point if I said “ONLY homosexual people are broken.” But I didn’t say that – and in fact, I’ve taken great pains not to say that. In order to look down on someone I have to think I’m better than they. I, in fact, do not.

  • BlueYonder

    But what you did say is that being gay is a form of being broken, with no substantial reason as to why or how. You’re still condemning them for it.

  • duskglow

    Forgive me for not realizing that you were expecting a full exegesis. Sadly, I don’t have time to give you a full explanation as to why homosexuality is a form of brokenness, and if I did, it would be inviting an argument that I simply don’t have the time or energy to engage. All I’m going to to say is that, by looking at how things are created, there are some very strong clues as to how things should be, and the Bible tells us in pretty clear language what we are for and how life was supposed to be, before the Fall (in whatever form, literal or figuratlve, that fall might have taken). And for a small number of people, things aren’t that way. Rather than saying that God created that, I think instead that it’s a corruption of something beautiful that God never intended.

    It’s just how things are and will continue to be until God sets things right. And he will.

    And I most certainly take exception to the idea that I’m “condemning” them. Condemnation is not my place – it’s God’s. God is a God of justice, but is also very merciful, and he probably has stuff in the works that would astonish me if I knew about it. So are they going to hell? Not my place to say. But that doesn’t mean that they’re pleasing God by performing homosexual acts. Justice will win out – their sins will be accounted for. But so will mercy, that was taken care of on the cross, so their sins can be forgiven – that’s theirs for the asking. I do hope that all sinners – myself included – are redeemed.

  • BlueYonder

    Aye, you’re not “condemning” them, you’re just saying that they’re broken and dysfunctional people. Clearly different.

    And look, if your reasons for disliking homosexuality consist entirely of “it’s icky”, just admit it, okay? Don’t be so evasive. It’s clearly not because of the Bible – if it was, you’d be calling for them to be stoned to death, along with adulterers, nonbelievers, and people who work on Sundays.

  • duskglow

    You’re not making any effort to listen or understand, you’re reading what I say through your own prejudices, and I grow tired of this. This conversation is over.

  • BlueYonder

    Aye, homophobes have a tendency to end the debate around the time they’re asked to justify their bigotry.

  • duskglow

    Have a nice day.

  • $105158253

    Homosexual people are broken. We are all broken in some way and often in many ways.

  • Mikeras

    fariasrv, We’re all broken. We’re born that way. You do have the right to reject Scripture as God’s Word, but that doesn’t change anything. God loves you and wants you to become His child. He purchased you with His Son’s blood to prove His love for you.

    He will welcome you with open arms, if you’ll come to Him honestly and sincerely seeking His truth. Read the Bible with a seeking heart. Start in the Gospel of John and see the claims Jesus makes.

  • Rich Farias

    Oh, I read the bible with a “seeking heart” when I was young; that’s the reason why I’m atheist.

    You really have no idea why EVERYTHING you just typed is offensive to people who don’t share your beliefs, do you?

  • Rich Farias

    You really have NO IDEA why everything you just typed is offensive to people who don’t share your beliefs, do you?

    I read the bible with “a seeking heart” when I was a teenager. Cover to cover, in fact; that’s why I’m atheist.

    Frankly, I don’t especially trust anyone who uses that vile book as the basis of his or her code of ethics. The alleged teachings of Jesus are fine, but the Episitles basically take all of them, turn them on their head, and cover them with raw sewage. Revelations makes for moderately entertaining light fantasy, but as a religious tract it’s revolting; and don’t even get me started on the vain, petty, and sadistic psychopath that is the Old Testament god.

  • Mikeras

    Fariasrv, You’re wrong. I do completely understand why it is offensive to those who don’t share my beliefs. That does not mean that I don’t pray for God to break through their darkness and bring them into light.

    I doubt you read the Bible with truly “seeking heart.” Also it is not “Revelations” with an “s.” It is “The Revelation.”

    Your ignorance of your condition as a slave of this world system would lend itself to pity, if your condition were not so fragile. You see, since you are never more than one heartbeat from God’s judgement, the pity I could feel is replaced with anxiousness on your behalf. I’ll continue to pray for God to touch your life.

  • Guest

    Keep your self-righteous pity and your poisonous prayers to yourself: I don’t bloody want them. If a human were to make the same claims and demands of another human that your god makes, he or she would be rightly called a monster.

  • Rich Farias

    Keep your self-righteous pity, misplaced anxiety, and poisonous prayers to yourself: I don’t bloody want them.

    And the formal title of the book is “The Revelation of Saint John the Divine” (who was clearly on some sort of hallucinogen when he wrote it). It’s shortened to Revelations by pretty much everyone; don’t be pedantic.

    If a human were to make the same claims and demands of another human that your god makes of its followers, he or she would be rightly labeled a monster:
    “I love you so much that I’ll torture you for eternity if you don’t love me back.”
    “You’re a disgusting, broken creature, and only I can fix you.”

    Your god is a demon worse than anything in Dante.

  • Walter Bernhard

    Well said.

  • Jonathan

    You are aware cats were worshipped by the Egyptians longer than christianity has been in existence? I’m sure they thought their cats were holy, too. “Not Without God” Whatever. What a bore.

  • duskglow

    You are entitled to your opinion. Go in peace.

  • Mikeras

    Good Word, Duskglow

  • Mikeras

    Irish,
    All people are indeed broken, and need to be fixed. Your bitterness toward Christians proves the matter. I’ve never heard of a genuine Christian who believed anyone was born without a soul. Certainly, they might be cultural christians who believe that way, but they are far different than genuine Believers who have been fixed from their brokenness by a work of God in their lives.

    No matter who you are, what your heritage, social standing, or intellectual capacity Jesus died for you because you and I are born broken, having inherited a bent toward sin. But any who fail to allow Jesus to remake them are simply choosing to live a broken and incomplete life, and one day must give account before God for rejecting Jesus as Lord.

  • Jonathan

    “Jesus Died for somebody’s sins but not mine” I wasn’t born broken and neither are any other gay people. Do you really need someone telling you you’re a worthless flawed sinner? Are you a masochist? “A broken and incomplete life” That’s exactly how I feel about people who become religious.

  • Mikeras

    Jonathan. You were and are broken, you just don’t realize it. I pray you start to do so before it is too late.

  • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

    Your logical fallacy is the ‘No True Scotsman’ fallacy. Who is and is not a devout practising Christian is not dependent on whether you find them to be embarrassing.

    But if I must give an account before your particular chosen deity, I will demand one in return for the crimes of his fan club.

  • Mikeras

    Irish,
    Your attitude will change when you bow in humility before God and beg Him for another chance. There will be no arrogant demands of Holy God, there will only be begging, pleading, and the realization that you have rejected the one true opportunity for eternal life in His presence.

    It is not too late. Go to God and confess your lack of understanding, honestly and sincerely seek from Him clarity as you read the Bible and you will come to know Him personally. I’m praying for you.

  • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

    It sounds like you look forward to it.

    Too late. My seat in hell is already booked between Anne Frank and Freddie Mercury.

  • Rich Farias

    Excellent company, I must say… hopefully we’re seated in the same aisle.

  • gimpi1

    Right with you, Irish. There’s no loving way to reject your child.

    By their works shall ye know them. Well, the work of kicking out a child for an aspect of their identity is pretty damn awful. Those who do awful things are awful people. If you don’t want people calling out your awfulness, don’t do awful things. Period.

    (Isn’t it impressive how many times I managed to use the word ‘awful’ in one short paragraph?)

  • Doug Truitt

    I’m in awe

  • gimpi1

    Well played, sir. Well played.

  • Mikeras

    gimpi1,
    I believe the greater crime is to approve of non-Biblical lifestyles.

  • gimpi1

    And you are entitled to that belief. You have no right to enshrine it in law, since that would be requiring me to follow your beliefs and not my own, but you certainly have the right to hold that belief and live your life around it.

    It’s still cruel. however. It still shatters families. It still contributes to suicides. It still leaves a trail of pain. It still condemns people for something that the best evidence says they have no control over and that causes no harm to anyone. And I will always find that wrong.

    Different strokes, I suppose.

  • Mikeras

    Would you allow your son to live in your home if you knew he was a mass murderer? What if he had aids and continued to engage in unprotected sex with people? At what point do you say, “If you live here, you’re going to abide by my rules?” You sound as if you believe I should accept anything from a teenager, while continuing to provide food, clothing, shelter, & education. What kind of value system is that?

    I would not allow my daughter to live in my house if she brought home men to sleep with. She might sleep with them, but I do not want to give the impression that I approve, nor do I want to facilitate her error.

  • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

    If you cannot understand the difference between being a mass murderer and being LGBT, your words are worth less than sand in Persepolis.

    I would pity you, but my extremely limited sympathy is used on the victims of your religion.

  • Raichu

    Wow, you’re kinda gross.

  • $105158253

    Your animus is misplaced. It should be directed at the sin that causes all these actions.

  • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

    You disgust me.

    I have watched Christians butcher and slaughter their way through half my lifetime. I have literally seen the blood that comes from people fighting for your god.

    I have seen the torment your church heaps upon LGBT people. I’ve seen the mockery, harassment, persecution, torture, and murder.

    And you are telling me that the crimes of your church are caused because people are gay? That the responsibility of the sick, sick bastards who make up your religion is on the heads of people who love people you don’t approve of and do things you don’t like?

    You are a disgusting human being with no redeemable qualities whatsoever as far as I can tell. No decent person puts the blame for the abuse of victims on the victims themselves.

  • Jill Roper

    Ben, you can write every single day about the abuses and stupid stuff people from “the church” say. I get it. It is sad and it is wrong but it is not ALL of us. I am a lover of Jesus. I serve and follow him the best I know how. I am a sinner and am only saved by God’s grace. John MacArthur and anyone else doesn’t speak for me just a regular woman who is trying to serve the LORD the best way she knows how.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    Oh, I know it’s not all of the church that’s like this– that’s what gives me such hope for the future of the church.

  • Techfan

    Please read the book of Romans, chapter 1 and share with us how that chapter jives with what you are espousing today. I’m curious to know how you reconcile the scriptures with your philosophy.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    As the mom of 2 gay children and who is having a hellish day, MacArthur’s comments are the poison cherry on the top of the cake of lies that so many “Christians” are speaking to us. I am weary. I am so, so weary. My Christian clan has turned its back on me because I refuse to turn my back on my kids (one is an adult). MacArthur, you have no skin in this game, no dog in this fight. If and when you do, and if and when you can *still* promote shunning and shaming your child for what he/she cannot control because he/she didn’t not choose it, and if you’ve been face-planted on the carpet for years in prayer over it, then circle back and *maybe* you will be given your 5 minutes. Until then, in the words of Grumpy Cat, just NO.

  • unconditional love mama bear

    I’m with you, girlfriend. MacArthur’s comments remind me of the man who told my mother that she must have sinned because she had cancer. Excuse me?? I also have a gay child, a beautiful/wonderful/enormously kind/tender hearted/lover of Jesus/daughter who has been rejected by the church she attended for years of her life, simply because she is a lesbian. Alas, so many of her friends have been rejected by their “Christian” parents, exactly as MacArthur has suggested. Several have attempted suicide, some were successful. So he wants them dead? I’ve got news for him … my door is open, there is always a place at my table & arms open to give a hug to anyone’s gay child. I wonder if MacArthur has a gay grand child? He’s welcome at my house.

  • Rose Stucchio

    Right on survivor girl. I was certain my son was gay when he was in kindergarten. Should I have shunned him, turned him over to satan then too. Rediculous

  • Mikeras

    You son was not “gay” in kindergarten. That is a silly statement. Boys and girls act alike at that age, unless coached otherwise.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    I think what Chisra may be saying, here, is that she instinctively knew that her son was different than the norm when he was very young. Many of us instinctively knew. I certainly did.

  • vulfhild

    My cousin was raised on a homestead in Alaska, spending only brief periods with other humans of any sexual preference. And yet, he declared at age 4 that he wanted to marry a boy. 17 years later, he did just that.
    I’m feminist to the core, but I also have to accept that there are significant differences between male and female toddlers, based not just on scientific studies, but also on my teaching experience.

  • Mikeras

    Definite differences, vulfhild. However, having a child declare that he wants to marry a man at age four is not significant. What is significant is what those responsible for him teach him over the next few years.

  • vulfhild

    What one teaches a toddler is hygiene, manners, safety, and basic numbers and letters. Imposing gender stereotypes on children is abusive. You apparently haven’t stumbled into the internet “room” where the science is kept, so here’s a link to get you started: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prenatal_hormones_and_sexual_orientation

  • Nadia

    Apparently you don’t know anyone who is gay. For many parents, it is quite obvious that their child is gay when they are very young. What would you call a four-year-old who wants his room painted pink, collects plastic animal figurines and only hangs out with girls?

  • Mikeras

    Nadia, Pretty typical. The fact is we guide our children. The idea that one is “born homosexual” is an expression of wishful thinking for people seeking to justify their lifestyle.

  • Nadia

    You think heterosexual parents are “wishing” their children to be gay, so they can be bullied every day of their lives by the likes of you?

  • Meredith Indermaur

    Mikeras, even I don’t know if a child is “born gay,” but if parents could “guide” their children off one end of the sexuality spectrum to the other, BELIEVE ME, I’d have done so. It doesn’t work, and I nearly crushed my son with trying. Wishful thinking does not come into play here. It’d be so much easier if we parents could just abdicate any of our former beliefs to “justify,” as you say, where our kids are on this spectrum. It doesn’t work like that. We wrestle. We struggle. Some of us consider ending our lives. Many of us feel betrayed by God. Please, if you’re a Jesus follower, I’m asking you to stop making this even more difficult for parents like me with these kinds of comments. They aren’t uplifting, they’re not truthful, and they’re not compassionate. In fact, they are the epitome of “snuffing out a smoldering wick” and “breaking a bruised reed.” I’m the smoldering wick and the bruised reed, as are most of us parents of gay kids. God, Himself, says He will never snuff us out or bruise us, but oh, His followers surely do. Heartbreaking for us. Heartbreaking for God.

  • Rose Stucchio

    Mikeras, when I said I was certain my son was gay, I used that for brevity sake. I should have said, from signs he was showing, I felt he was gay. I was only certain when he told me he was. As far as “guiding” him off one end of the sexuality spectrum, I now regret the times I was trying to make him run like a boy, and act more boyish, I prayed sincerely that I was wrong about my assumption of him being gay. God did not answer that pray. It would have been so much easier for me and my child if God had answered. But God has taught me to be more compassionate for all marginalized people. My son, who does love God, amazingly, is very forgiving for people, like you, who do not understand him, and make his life very difficult. Praying that God softens your heart, and you can be more loving and compassionate.

  • Jimmy Byerly

    I am a born again believer in Jesus Christ and I am gay I have begged GOD to change me but he did not because he wanted me to be what he made me to be and I believe I was born GAY, GAY, GAY, GAY, GAY

  • Rosanna Miller

    God did not create homosexuals. It is a choice. That is the Word of God.

  • Jeff Preuss

    There is nothing in the Bible that says that being gay is a choice, so…no. No, it is NOT the Word of God.

  • Rosanna Miller

    We were created male or female, in the image and likeness of God, knowing the difference between good and evil. In other words, we CHOOSE between right and wrong.

    “But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then CHOOSE for
    yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors
    served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land
    you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD.” Joshua 24:15

    Still don’t believe that homosexuality is a sin? “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not
    inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor
    idolaters, nor adulterers, nor EFFEMINATE (having feminine qualities untypical of a person who is born as a man), nor HOMOSEXUALS, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

  • Jeff Preuss

    The word homosexual was not added to the Bible until 1946.
    That, and many other reasons as detailed here and many other spots on this progressive Christian channel, and the fact that I know I did not choose to be gay…
    Yep. I STILL don’t believe that homosexuality is a sin.

  • Rosanna Miller

    And I did not come to convince you of the Truth. But you will know the Truth by the time it is all said and done. That is all that matters, right?

  • Jeff Preuss

    I know the truth and the Truth NOW. But, thank you for your concern. (And, you did come to try to convince me and others of your interpretation of the Truth, else you wouldn’t have rattled off a few verses, CAPS LOCKING a few key words.)

    P.S. Because, ma’am, here’s the dealio: I’ve followed Christ since I was 7 — 35 years ago — and I’m never turning away from that. Being honest with myself AND with God allows me to choose good in that I am no longer lying to myself and to others about being gay. And I could never lie to God about it — He already knew.

  • Morgan Smith

    Excuse me for injecting my unsolicited input, but that the word “homosexual” wasn’t added to the bible until 1946 does not mean that the concept is not in scripture. The word “Trinity” is nowhere in the bible; but obviously, the concept is every in the bible.

    Moreover, that you believe any concept does not make that validate said concept as being truthful and real. I may choose to believe that I can fly, but my belief will obviously have no meaningful impact on reality. Belief must be aligned with truth or else there is a problem.

  • Jeff Preuss

    The Scripture related to the “concept” has many potential interpretations, as you could see from the links I provided you earlier.
    My belief DOES align with Truth, whether you accept it or not.

  • Morgan Smith

    You certainly do not need my acceptance; but, if you’re a Christian, I would think that being accepted by God, and knowing specifically what it takes to be accepted by God would be of high importance to you.

    Also, that there are potentially many interpretations of any bible text is irrelevant; there can be only one true intent meant by the author. Having a sound, reliable, consistent method for interpreting scripture, I would think, would also be of high importance to you.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Sigh. To your first paragraph, for the last time, I AM a Christian, I AM accepted by God, and I KNOW specifically what it takes to be accepted by God. I’ve previously demonstrated that I believe this to be important, but I disagree with you on whether ONE thing can be defined as a sin.

    Just because MY interpretation does not align with YOUR interpretation of THAT detail does not make me not a Christian, nor does it mean that my studies were unsound.

    Seriously, your arrogance that any interpretation that doesn’t jibe with yours is clearly not studied enough or correctly is just beyond the pale.

    Leave it alone, Morgan. I am a Christian, whether you believe it or not. My proof is with God, and we get along just fine without your approval.

  • Morgan Smith

    That one is unable to clearly or accurately explain the gospel and misplaced religious activity as their assurance into heaven should cause one to pause with at least some reflection.
    As you know, truth, not personal feeling, is what makes the difference.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I wasn’t able to answer YOUR litany of questions to YOUR satisfaction. I’m perfectly well-versed in the Truth of the Gospel.

  • Morgan Smith

    Must be my mistake.
    take care, Jeff.

  • Jeff Preuss

    If you’re indeed a Christian, Morgan, I would think it would be important to you to not act like God.

  • Susan S.

    All right, so you apparently don’t understand the unreliable nature of translations. Mohammed did; that’s why he stated, outright, that the Q’uran was only accurate when read in the original language. What version are you reading, anyway? That’s some ugly stuff. It’s more St. Augustine and John Calvin than Jesus and Paul.

    Besides, if you take the Bible literally and say you are Christian, that means God’s and Jesus’s words take precedence before all others. Paul was an angry man converted by DISCIPLES, whose anger went nowhere upon conversion. His letters to the Corinthians became his outlet for that rage. This no doubt allowed him to see others who directly meant him no actual harm in a better light.

    In the Gospels, however, JESUS IS QUOTED DIRECTLY AS SAYING:

    Matthew 22:34-40: But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them who knew the law asked him, testing him, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?”

    Jesus said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and all your soup and with all your might and with all your mind. This is the greatest and the first commandment. And the second is like to it, “Love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang the law and the prophets.”

    Mark 12:28-34: And one of the scribes came near and heard them debating, and he saw that he gave them a good answer. So he asked him, “Which is the first commandment of all?”

    Jesus said to him, “The first of all commandments is, hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord; and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your might. This is the first commandment. And the second is like to it, you must love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.

    The scribe said to him, “Well, Teacher, you have said the truth, that he is One, and there is no other besides him, and that a man should love him with all the heart and with all the mind and and with all the soul and with all the might, and love his neighbor as himself; this is far more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

    When Jesus saw that, he replied wisely, he answered, saying to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And no man dared again to question him.

    The translation I’m using is the Peshitta/Lamsa Bible. Not the most reliable translation in spots, but the closest NT I have on hand, and it’s got some interesting insights. This right here is accurate. The thing is, what the first commandment, as Jesus states it, is saying, is that you need to love God as you love yourself. You also need to love others as yourself. This includes gay people. Effeminate people. Idolaters, adulterers, thieves, the covetous, drunkards, revilers, swindlers. Your own kin. And if you can’t love them, then respect them as human beings. Give them food, give them shelter, give them comfort, and love them as you would God.

    Now, are you going to ignore the Great Commandment in favor of an angry man’s rage? Is Paul’s word greater than Jesus’s?

  • harry

    There’s nothing in the Bible that says it isn’t a choice either!

  • Jeff Preuss

    That doesn’t make it the Word of God that it “is a choice,” like Rosanna said.

  • Traci

    My “conduct”; also known as my “behavior or my “lifestyle”

    I spend a lot of time with my computer, because that is one of my passions. It’s the only thing I’m really good at. I tend to stay up late because I’m a night owl. I also spend a lot of time with my roommates and their kids. Not to “convert them” as a lot of you seem to believe, but because I love them and love spending time with them. I’m helping the kids learn to read, it’s very rewarding. No, not “gay propaganda”, the last book First Born read was about a mole that couldn’t find his shadow. Watching them grow and learn is fascinating and very exciting. So the meme that we hate kids, and are trying to indoctrinate them is BS (if we hate kids, why would we indoctrinate them??)

    Ok. so anyway I also help my roommates around the house with cleaning and what not, and watching the kids when they need to go out somewhere. I also have friends I keep up with, and talk to because I care about them so very much. They are life savers in every since of the word.

    That’s really all I do, aside from eating, sleeping, showering and other things. The other things, just to calm your fears involve waste removal, and I’m not going into detail about it.

    So that’s my “:conduct.” My “behavior.” My “lifestyle.”

    If it’s about what I do “in bed” I will tell you. It’s a bed, I sleep there.

    Would you care to point out, IN DETAIL, what you find so objectionable? What bothers you so much? What is so offensive as to deserve disownment?

  • Jimmy Byerly

    First of all you have every right to think what you want. I am a saved born again believer in JESUS CHRIST. I grew up with two sisters and two brothers and had a mother and father, we were taught the way boys and girls were to be like had one brother that played football and one did not get into sports both married to women and I liked track and field sports had girlfriends even had sex with some but knew I was gay I tried to not be gay because I was taught in church that homosexuality was a sin , so I did not tell anyone at all but prayed to GOD to change me and make me not gay. I lived in Florida and spent many a night out at the beach by myself begging GOD to change me but he would not so I even tried to commit suicide, I was 18 at the time. I tried everything to make me not gay but still gay at 21 so I prayed to GOD and said I will be what ever you want me to be and at that point I had peace and believe GOD wanted me to be who I was born to be GAY, GAY, GAY, GAY, GAY!!!!!!!! I am now 48 years old and I am still a born again believer in JESUS CHRIST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

    What makes you born again? What makes you Christian? Your feelings? Born again Christians hate sin. They don’t embrace it. They don’t give in to desires that are contrary to God’s word. God doesn’t care about your fleshly lustful desires or mine? A typical heterosexual man has to ward off desires to be with any woman that is not his wife. But why should we? Why won’t God take those sexual desires away? Why do we still get tempted with other women even after we have made a commitment to one? Since God does not take that desire away, I guess it means He made me to be a cheater. So why shouldn’t I have sex with lady in the office that is clearly attracted to me?

    Your reasoning is immoral at its most basic level. Hopefully my hypothetical helps others to think better about this kind of fallacious thinking. Desiring homosexual sex does not mean one MUST engage in it. How silly! All Christians have sinful desires they must resist. The presence of a desire does not mean I must give in to it. God expects us to mortify the deeds of the flesh, homosexuality being one of many.

  • Garp

    Your logic is faulty. If you are married and you sleep with other women, you hurt someone (your wife, your kids, etc). If 2 people of the same sex get together in love, they are harming no one. Most sins are sins because they are actions that hurt or harm others. 2 consensual adults being in love harms no one. It is easy to tell someone they can’t be with the one they love and they have to go through life alone when you have a loving wife and family to go home to.

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

    Your definition of sin is completely foreign to that of Scripture. Sin is the transgression of God’s holy law BECAUSE it is contrary to God’s holy nature, not because it hurts someone else. 2 people of the same sex cannot get together in love in that way because that is not God’s definition of love.

    Your lustful desires to be with someone of the same sex is not love. A man or woman can marry and love someone of the opposite sex even if they are tempted with same-sex attraction. There is no law that says we have to give in to our sexual desires. What are we? Brute beasts of the field?

  • Garp

    But why is sin contrary to God’s holy law? Most sins are sins because the Lord decided we should not do things that harm ourselves or others (or that go against the greatest commandments to love God and love others). Or are you saying he just picks random things and calls them sinful to make our lives harder? No, that is why I think your example fails. Because if 2 people of the same sex get married, they are harming no one. But if you cheat on your wife, you are harming (potentially) a lot of people, including yourself. Kind of like if you are a parent. Do you just pick arbitrary rules or do you pick rules that your kids have to follow for their own health, safety and development into better people? (Of course I am talking about the New Testament. Old Testament sins are a different matter as I don’t think most Christians think what fabric you wear or what shell fish you eat is really a moral matter.)

    Oh and for your information (re: your comment about my lustful desires…), I am a woman who is very happily married to a man. I just find your comparison of same sex relationships to adultery to be offensive, and nonsensical.

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

    Why should we NOT do things that harm other human beings? Because human beings are ipso fact valuable? Not at all. It is because human beings are created in the image of a holy God and to harm a human is to disregard God’s holy image. We love others because God created us to love and value others. Adam and Eve committed the greatest sin of all, and yet, there were no other humans present to hurt. All they did was disregard God’s command, His holy Word. And the results were and are catastrophic. Your view is an attempt at turning Christian theism into humanism. It is, in short, idolatry.

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

    You can find them as offensive as you please. I am equally offended by your implication that Christians can engage in gay sex. But offense aside, the conversation concerns what the Bible reveals about the subject. And it cannot be denied that the Bible condemns gay sex without great injury to Scripture and to one’s soul. The plain reading of Scripture, within its historical and social and cultural context can lead one to no other conclusion but that God condemns homosexual sex. The only way one can deny this is to overlay modern bias in favor of gay sex onto Scripture and then attempt to find all sorts of wild explanations for what it could mean.

    I suppose that a person could marry his sister if they were in love and that too would be acceptable. And perhaps a father and daughter could marry, and first cousins. What would be the basis for condemning polygamy?

    When Paul said let each man have his own wife and each woman have her own husband, why did he leave out the homosexual option? Do we really believe that Paul was ignorant of homosexual activity in his world? Wouldn’t it seem to make sense that the Bible should have given those folks the same guidance? Why not? But clearly it does not. Nowhere does Scripture provide guidelines to the homosexual community outside of a complete prohibition of their activities. Gay relations in antiquity are well-documented to include gay marriage. It is unimaginable that the NT authors and Christ would have been ignorant of the practices. The arguments you see from sources like Patheos are little more than anachronistic illusions driven by the wild fantasies of men and women that desperately want to subdue Christian theism for their own personal advantage. They have a philosophy that Christian theology cannot be allowed to threaten. So Christian theology must go. It must bow its knee to the humanistic and hedonistic philosophy of the cult of self.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    You do realize that your arrogance and you’re “I’m a real scholar and I’m here to save the day” attitude is most likely pushing people away from God, not towards him, correct? For all your education (which you haven’t quantified) you don’t seem to have mastered communication, unless you’re just shooting for this Ray Comfort style.

  • Lbj

    Where does the Bible affirm homosexuality?

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    What are you talking about? That’s not the topic.

  • Lbj

    Its about homosexuality and how we should relate to homosexuals who claim Christ.

  • Morgan Smith

    Hello Mr. Corey,
    Certainly Dr. MacArthur is capable of error, mistake and misinterpretation, as is any man; however, I must say, that given the manner in which MacArthur studies, and the amount of hours he studies per week, and the amount of time he’s been studying over his lifetime, and the view he has on scripture, it seems highly, highly unlikely that he carelessly plucked a verse out of context.

  • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

    Well, you know what Jesus said, Benjamin–“you shall know them by their pedantic, overly authoritative, hate-filled condescension and dogmatic, abusive paternalism toward the marginalized and any people who disagree with them.”

    Oh wait

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

    Actually Ben, I believe that true arrogance lies in the couching of the Word of God in a way that is unconvincing, optional, bordering on the “it’s my opinion” kind of language. Who are we to not simply unleash the Word of God as it is, allow it to speak the way it is written, and pray that the hearer might be changed as a result. The Church did not explode in the first century because the apostles were psychologists or had become masters in rhetoric. Paul tells us this clearly in 1 Co. 2:1-5. As far as pushing people away from God goes, I believe that what you win them with is what you keep them with. If I win them with compromised language about issues like sin and judgment, then when I begin to talk about Scripture’s teaching on those things, I will lose them anyway. I do not endorse the modern pop-psychology version of the gospel. It is not the gospel at all.

    As far as being a master communicator, let us not confuse my unwillingness to soften the issue with an inability to effectively communicate my position on what Scripture reveals about this subject. And as far as communication goes, a good communicator treats the objects of his criticism with fairness. You have not do so in this case. In fact, your unfair treatment of MacArthur’s answer is unloving. You implied things that simply are not true and demonstrate that you have no idea what goes on at Grace Community when it comes to shunning. People are dismissed from that congregation for things like unbiblical divorce.

    Paul said that his communication was not with persuasive rhetoric or clever wisdom, but simply the bold declaration of the gospel. This was so that men’s faith would rest in the power of God and not in the wisdom and talents and skills of men.

  • Lbj

    Same sex relationships are compared to adultery in I Corinthians 6:9-10. Those who practice these things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    Are you a Greek scholar? Because if you are, you know that passage isn’t as black and white as you think it is in English. I’ll go with “no”, you’re probably not.

  • Lbj

    No. But I have a number scholarly works and Greek lexicons on the NT. Its quite clear that I Cor 6:9-10 warns that those who practice homosexual sex are outside the kingdom of God. To be outside means you are in a state of condemnation.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    If Lexicons were sufficient, we wouldn’t have seminaries.

  • Lbj

    That is not true. Lexicons do help. There is no positive case for homosexuality in the Scripture. It is something that no Christian should ever engage in.

  • Garp

    Jesus also never condemned slavery. For some reason, when it comes to many things, we can look at the Bible and consider it in context of time and place. I really wish someone would explain why it is okay to look at things like slavery, or marrying off a rape victim to her rapist, or polygamy, and excuse them by putting them in context of their time and place. But we can’t say the same for homosexuality. (And no, I don’t really care if slavery was different from what we think of as slavery now. It is owning another human being, and I think most Christians are now against this.) The fact that Christians can look at slavery and making a rape victim marry her rapist, and shrug them off and say “Oh, well, it was a different time. Different culture. No big deal. Move along. Nothing to see here folks.” But someone brings up homosexuality and cue the moral outrage and claims of ignoring scripture. We really need to get a grip.

  • Susan S.

    Oh, man. If you were familiar with ancient Judean customs and mores through the years, you would NOT be half as absolute.

  • Susan S.

    Or historians. :) Seriously, where’s a time machine when you need one?

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

    I wonder how you define “Christian.”

  • Garp

    I define Christian as one who follows Christ. As one who strives (but often fails) to live up to God’s greatest commandments as described by Jesus himself in Matthew 22:36-40.

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

    I do not think you understand what it means to attempt to live the greatest commandment. To love God with all one’s being is the greatest act of self-denial. Homosexual sex is entirely focused on self. It is about the gay person’s forbidden desires to direct their sexual appetite in a manner that is entirely prohibited by God. Hence, to love God with one’s entire being would require that a person with gay proclivities either live a celibate life or marry the opposite sex even though it does not satisfy their carnal desire. God promises that such a person will find strength to overcome that temptation and there is no satisfaction greater than living a life that honors God. This entire conversation ignores the greatest commandment in preference for self love. That is the whole point of the gay argument.

  • Lbj

    If 2 consensual married adults are having an affair with each other would you approve of it?

    Have you looked at health problems associated with gay sex from the Center for Disease Control? Clearly many homosexuals are harming themselves.

  • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

    Why is your approval necessary? Because from where I’m sitting, it’s irrelevant. Or is that kinda the problem for you, that your opinion doesn’t matter to anybody? Your incredibly heartfelt and sincere desire to save people from their own choices and potential harm is noted, however. I guess at some point you’ll just have to accept that an adult gets to make his or her own decisions without your meddling and interference. Or not. You certainly don’t have to accept other people’s right to have sex the way they want as long as they’re getting consent from their partners. But if you keep it up, I’ll be removing your right to be Christian–for your own good, of course. You’re emotionally harming yourself and potentially others with this ignorant zealotry of yours. That means I get to take over the hard task of driving your life for you. It’s a huge burden, but you know it’s all done out of love for you. Someone’s got to do it! Oh wait, no, actually, that’s totally wrong. How’d I ever make that mistake?

    Also, please define any act that “gay sex” involves that “straight sex” does not ever involve. You do realize that not all gay men have anal sex or any sex at all, and that straight couples (and lesbians for that matter) enjoy anal sex too, right? I know several women who literally can’t climax without it. There’s this thing called the prostate that men (and some women) have that you might do well to investigate; it’s the wildest thing–a little bitty thing that doesn’t seem to have any function at all beyond feeling great during anal sex! You can stop wringing your hands though– the act you’re so busy demonizing in your ignorance is not actually harmful at all if you do it right. One would hope you wouldn’t bear false witness or otherwise sin to try to justify taking people’s rights away from them or running their lives for them. You don’t have that right.

  • Garp

    I would not approve of 2 consensual married adults having an affair if they are married to other people because that is hurting their spouses.

    As for the health problems associated with gay sex from the CDC, that really applies mainly to male gay sex. I am assuming that you consider the increased risk of std’s associated with (male) gay sex to be a sign (from God?) that gay sex is sinful (like people liked to point out in the beginning of the AIDS crisis). But, for one thing, that is mainly associated with promiscuous behavior, not monogamy. For another thing, if you are using it as an argument that homosexuality is sinful and that is the fruit of the sin, then does that mean that lesbian sex is not sinful because it is not associated with increased health risk?

    Not that it matters, I am sure you have an argument and an answer for everything. I just don’t find them convincing personally.

  • Lbj

    Many times when someone comes out in a family the family is hurt and disappointed. I have yet to see any parent jumping for joy that their child has homosexual tendencies.

    Why is hurting someone the criteria for something to be wrong?

    The vast majority of homosexual men are promiscuous. Studies show this.

    Lesbians also suffer. Their lifespans are shorter than heterosexual woman. They also have significant health risks. http://womenshealth.gov/publications/our-publications/fact-sheet/lesbian-bisexual-health.html#d

    Do you think 3 people should be allowed to marry?

  • Garp

    The Bible says 3 people should be allowed to marry (polygamy). But as to your other point, If my child was gay, I would worry about her because she would have to suffer discrimination from people like you. But I would not care other than that. Many parents are just fine with it, or if they are not at first, they come around. Ultimately, if you love your child, you love your child period. If you put debatable (YES debatable) scripture above your relationship with your child, I feel sorry for your child. It is supposed to be unconditional. But it doesn’t really matter. You want to argue. I am sure you have an answer for everything, but not an answer that will convince me. In terms of sexual sin that Christians need to really get angry about is the sexual abuse that goes on in the church. I really, really, really cannot understand the obsession with homosexuality that Christians have when real sexual sin is happening in the church and out of the church.

  • Lbj

    The Bible does not affirm polygamy. It does report that some people were engaged in it. The norm for marriage was always between a man and a woman. (Matthew 19)

    I suppose some people do discriminate against homosexuals but the problems themselves are inherent in the relationships among themselves. Its not due to some kind of persecution from the outside.

    So you agree that homosexuals can do harm to others?
    Yes you should love your child but you should also rebuke them when they are going down a wrong path that is very destructive. That is what love would do. A loving parent does not accept everything a child does. That would be disastrous.

    What Scripture on homosexuality is debatable?

    The reason homosexuality is a hot topic is because the “gay lobby” has been pushing it for years. The church did start this but they are being confronted with it from the culture.

    Sexual sins in the church need to be dealt with. Homosexuality comes under this also.

  • Garp

    In terms of what Scripture is debatable, there is a lot. I responded to another comment of yours by asking why it is okay to take time, place, and cultural context into account when discussing what Jesus said (or didn’t say) about slavery or what the Bible says about a woman or girl having to marry her rapist, but conveniently you didn’t answer me. Why is it okay to take context into account when discussing slavery, but not when discussing marriage or same sex relationships? Most Christians can agree on the core beliefs. But to make issues like, say, marriage a core belief is ridiculous in my opinion. For the church to constantly be talking about the sin of homosexuality when it knows there is a sexual abuse problem within the church is the biggest example of seeing the sliver in your neighbor’s eye while missing the plank in your own. Unless or until the church addresses its own sins, it will continue to be hypocritical and irrelevant to many people’s lives. I follow Christ, not men with limited understanding.

  • Lbj

    Its easy to ask complex questions and far more to difficult to respond to them in a combox. In regards to slavery, it was part and parcel in the ancient world. If I’m not mistaken 80% or more were slaves in the Roman empire.
    Most local churches hardly speak of homosexuality. It seems like they are if you read the news or other stuff.
    Homosexuality is a big issue today because of politics and corrupt govt leadership. Hollywood also plays into this.

    What many homosexuals want from the church is to be accepted on the grounds that homosexuality is not a sin. Any church that takes the Scripture seriously and seeks to live by the Scripture cannot that.

    If you follow Christ then why are you accepting of homosexuality when Scripture condemns it?

  • Garp

    In your words “In regards to slavery, it was part and parcel in the ancient world.” In other words, when we see what Jesus said (or didn’t say) about slavery, we use the discernment God gives us to take context into account. Otherwise we could say, as Christians, “well Christ never condemned slavery, so it is okay.” I think most Christians would say slavery is not okay. But we read the Bible in the context it was written in. Why does homosexuality get excluded from that type of discernment. When you think of it that way, it makes it sound as if homosexuality is more morally repugnant than slavery! More repugnant than owning another human being! Really?

    In terms of your last question, I follow Christ even though I believe women can lead ministry even though Paul was very specific about that not being right. Because we have discernment and take the culture, time and place into account.

    What I don’t think a lot of Christians take into account is when homosexuality was discussed in the Bible, I don’t believe they were simply discussing consensual, monogamous, loving relationships. They were discussing temple idolatry, sex with children or other parties unable to give consent such as slaves. Not the same thing.

    Also, I think, no matter what people may say, there is the “ick” factor. Straight men, especially, don’t want to think about men being with men. (Just like gay men probably don’t want to think about men being with women I suppose.) It has an ick factor and if you think that doesn’t influence people’s opinions and make them more likely to use Scripture as an excuse to justify discrimination, you are very naive. But I didn’t fall in love with my husband for his private body parts. I fell in love with him as a person, as a human being with a great soul. Is it so hard to think that gay people are the same way? They just happen to be attracted to partners of their same gender. For most people, the physical part is only part of the relationship. I feel fortunate to have met a great partner, and I would not be so arrogant as to try to say someone else shouldn’t be with the person they love.

    But ultimately, it doesn’t matter what I say. You seem pretty set in your ideas and I am pretty set in mine. So thank you for the conversation. I wish you a happy, peaceful life.

  • Rich Farias

    Making statements like that “ex cathedra” without any personal understanding of the situation at hand doesn’t do you any favors.

  • Mikeras

    Definitely not speaking “ex cathedra” since that means speaking from the chair with authority to make law. However, I do understand the principle involved. And I do understand that people choose to be homosexual, and I also know that many boys and girls have a strong attraction to members of the same sex, expecially in their pre-teen years. Many even experiment sexually with those same sex peers. Doesn’t make them homosexual or even bi.

  • Rich Farias

    Sarcasm is lost on you…

    You know absolutely nothing. When did you “choose” to be straight?

  • http://adventureinshanghai.wordpress.com Mike

    Mikeras – people choose to pursue gay romantic or sexual relationships. They don’t choose to be gay/homosexual.

  • Traci

    “Definitely not speaking “ex cathedra” since that means speaking from the chair with authority to make law.”

    You definitely were by claiming to know whether Chisra’s son was gay or not.

  • sula

    Did you choose to be straight. Of course not it just happened just like it can occur with people who identify as
    gay. I think you have issues that you don’t want to look at.

  • Jimmy Byerly

    Did you have to choose to be heterosexual ???????

  • Susan S.

    “Choose.” Um. I do not think that means what you think it means.

    Either that, or… TROLL! TROLL IN THE DUNGEON!

  • Rick L.

    You don’t know what you’re writing about.

  • Mikeras

    Then, I’ll be right at home with you, huh?

  • Rick L.

    No. I’m gay. Don’t want you.

  • Traci

    So how do you know Chisra’s son was born gay or not? You never answered. Afraid to? Also, explain my lifestyle. Why won’t you answer?

  • Traci

    I’m astounded by the arrogance that you show by claiming to know what Chisra’s son was or was not.

  • weareallhypocrites

    We had a couple kids in kindergarten that it was pretty obvious were different and nobody was shocked that they were gay as adults. Kids often display preferences for many things they don’t quite understand at an early age. I did not actively think about being hetereosexual at that age, but I knew i liked girls. If I could have my crush on girls why can’t little boys have crushes on other boys?

  • Bruce K.

    If anyone is actively engaged in any sin, not acknowledging it as sin and trying to overcome it, then they are in danger of judgment by God. I am not making a judgment on your daughter, I don’t know her and it is not my place. I am simply saying that if anyone’s child professes to be a follower of Jesus, they must deny sin and struggle to be victorious over it. They cannot continue in it as if it is okay, and we cannot overlook it as if it is okay. Is one a drunkard? If he stays away from alcohol, then he is not condemned. If he has tendencies to dishonesty or greed, yet does not give in, he is not condemned. If one has same sex or even extra-marital heterosexual tendencies and does not give in – they are not in sin. But if one gives into sin, not acknowledging it as sin and seeing to need to repent and seek forgiveness, then their soul is clearly in danger. And they must be confronted and rebuked (albeit in a spirit of love and humility) and pleaded with to repent. Sin is sin and as many would like to make this only about same sex attraction, God doesn’t distinguish it that way. It’s all the same and we cannot overlook it. But we do not have to be complete jerks about it either. We do have a responsibility.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    I believe what any of us moms of gay kids would like those without gay kids to try and understand is that you cannot possible fully understand. Before I had a child, I couldn’t fully grasp what it was like to have a child. Before I had a gay child, I couldn’t fully grasp what it was like to have a gay child. What is needed here in this larger conversation is compassion and empathy and ONLY compassion and empathy. Speaking only for myself, I wrestle with the kinds of statements in your comment on a hourly basis. Sounds like a fun, joy-filled existence, doesn’t it? We parents need a hug with words, and that’s really all.

  • cypicturelady

    I am a gay daughter, and Survivor Girl, I send you a big hug! It is bad enough that we wrestle with guilt, it isn’t fair for parents to do so. It is nothing YOU did–we were just made by God, made the way we are, and it is nothing EVER to be ashamed of. Period. God speed!

  • Pamela Patterson Lake

    SurvivorGirl, I’m hugging you right this second. I don’t know what it’s really like for you because neither of my boys are gay, but I’d defend them and hold them tight if either ever came out. You’re a brave and loving woman. Hang in there.

  • Bruce K.

    SurvivorGirl, please hear what I am saying. I do not have a gay child, so no, in one sense I don’t know what that is like. However, I do have a child who is living in sin, and what I am saying, is that is no different. Whether it is same sex sin, heterosexual sin or the sin of drunkenness (by drugs and or alcohol) it is all sin. I struggle with what my response as a parent should be. But I know I am doing my child no favor by overlooking their sin. The main point of my comment was that we must rebuke them in love and humility, knowing that we can all fall into the trap of sin. MacArthur was a bit to hasty as I pointed out. We don’t “banish” anyone because they stumbled and sin once. That is only for the brazen, unrepentant sinner; that God might judge him while he is in the flesh, and thereby save his spirit eternally (1 Cor 5). All parents in these difficult situations need much compassion and “hugs” – but we must rebuke all whom we love if they have not repented, which is difficult. But God requires it. It is not easy, and at some point, it may come to separating from the relationship to one degree or another. To do nothing, makes us guilty of a different sin, and will do nothing to aid and save our children. Bottom line, homosexuality is no worse than any other sin; it receives no greater punishment and but also does not receive any special “dispensation” of God’s grace. Repentance is necessary, forgiveness, healing and victory will result.

  • Traci

    “The main point of my comment was that we must rebuke them in love and humility”

    Questions to think about:

    Yes, love tells the truth, but when your truth degrades people, it’s not loving.
    When your truth reduces relationships to sex acts, it’s not loving.
    When your truth makes people want to hurt themselves, it’s not loving.
    When your truth makes the gospel something that is only available to people who believe like you, it’s not loving.
    When your truth pushes people away from Jesus instead of toward him, it’s not loving.

    And if your truth isn’t loving, is it really truth?

  • marhow48

    What about hatred – – isn’t that a sin? How can MacAuthur you call yourself a Christian and then spew so much hatred at another human being. I never will understand that.

  • smarttaxpayer

    Such hypocrites have a lifetime of being duplicit in seeing the sin in others but not in themselves, missing the log in their own eye. Who declared homosexuality a sin? NOT our Lord, but a bunch of Old Testament writers/translators and self-righteous Paul! Enough said!

  • Joel Bishop

    Thanks, you expressed my thoughts on the subject perfectly

  • Rick L.

    I’m not making any judgments about you… but God is going to send you straight to hell… I’m just sayin’…

  • Guest

    Your god is a sociopath… luckily it’s imaginary.

  • Rick L.

    Try to follow… I’m replying to Bruce K. I know sarcasm is difficult to recognize when written, and you’re not the only one to make that mistake (see above), but its not so difficult as to be imperceptible.

  • sula

    Your not making a judgement Rick L. What do you call that then? I think you are the one going there for your hatred

  • Rick L.

    Try to follow… I’m replying to Bruce K. I know sarcasm is difficult to recognize when written, and you’re not the only one to make that mistake (see below), but its not so difficult as to be imperceptible.

  • sula

    Sorry i didn’t catch it–the sarcasm of it all.
    I don’t even abide by religion–too much hypocrisy
    For me. It’s too much like Santa Claus
    And once I got over that myth I never took up
    With religion.

  • Jimmy Byerly

    You need to reread what you just wrote because right after you said you were not making any judgments ,you did

  • Jimmy Byerly

    I am a born again believer in JESUS CHRIST and I am GAY, GAY, GAY

  • Bruce K.

    Believing is nice. Many atheists who don’t even believe in the existence of God believe in Jesus. The devils believe and tremble. I think it far better to be a follower!

  • Traci

    “Many atheists who don’t even believe in the existence of God believe in Jesus…I think it far better to be a follower!”

    Me too!! So what did Christ himself have to say against loving, committed same sex relationships?

    Also, why did Jesus heal the Roman centurions male love slave (the pais in Matthew 19:10-12) if he would have had a problem with the relationship? What did He say instead?

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

    Jesus never acknowledged such relationships. Jesus viewed sex reserved only for marriage and He defined marriage as one man and one woman just as God had created it to be from the beginning.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    Except for the polygamous marriages recorded in Scripture, you mean.

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

    Jesus never endorsed polygamy and God tolerated it at best, just like He tolerated many other products of sinful man.

    Christianity prohibited polygamy – each man was to have his own wife and each woman was to have her own husband.

  • Bruce K.

    Not
    trying to pick on you Traci, but that’s a weak argument. While it is
    possible for pais to mean same-sex lover, that is by no means the only
    translation, and is even the least favored. It can just as easily be
    translated as servant, child or even son. So this could be the centurions
    own male child. Pais is never used in the homosexual sense anywhere else
    in the NT. Luke in telling this story uses the word doulus, strictly
    translated as slave. In fact, if you look further into both words, the
    roots have the force that this is someone possibly (but not necessarily) in
    physical bonds and possibly being beaten, so if we persist, we might just as
    easily determine that the servant and the centurion were not only homosexual,
    but also participating in s&m! I
    know of no Biblical Greek sholar that would support that translation as being
    the most favoured and accurate. The
    root issue here is not homosexuality specifically, it is sin in general. I have this exact same argument with the rest
    of my Christian friends who believe homosexuality is a sin. They condemn it, but don’t condemn adultery,
    fornication, eating unclean foods, not observing the seventh day Sabbath
    etc. And the argument is the same; we’re
    not under the law, we’re under grace. I
    ask them, is homosexuality a sin? An
    unhesitating yes usually occurs. Is
    eating pork a sin? Oh no! Then I say, well, Leviticus says
    homosexuality is and abomination, Isaiah says eating swine flesh is an
    abomination, so if you’re going to eat pork, you might as well be gay. See the point? We all have been taught that Jesus did away
    with the law, at least the ceremonial law (which is a distinction found nowhere
    in scripture). So pork is okay,
    celebrating pagan holidays, and sexual relationships condemned by the scripture,
    unless we are just too much in love with that person. Our morality determines our theology, rather
    than the other way around. Where does it
    end? Left to ourselves, we can always
    find proof texts to support our rationalization. The cults do it all the time. What about man-boy love and the MBLA? What about those who find young children just
    too cute, loveable and irresistible? I’m
    sure there have been many uncles who would say they truly love their little nieces. God loves everyone, but the other side of
    that is that his desire in the loving kindness which he shows us if “for all
    men to come to repentance”. It’s that
    simple.

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

    Reborn from what exactly? You have a new gay nature as opposed to your old gay nature?

  • Sarah H

    Amen!

  • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

    More Christians need to speak with your conviction.

  • Tana Hendricks

    I also have skin in the game and what he has said disgusts me! I would sure hate to be related to him and know how conditional his love is, so unlike God’s love for us and our children. I am so tired of feeling like the Church is a place of feeling judged and condemned instead of a safe place as it should be. You are not alone Survivor Girl! Hugs!

  • angie

    Survivor girl, as a Christian woman I hope that you believe me when I tell you he is not a good example of Christian love at all, and neither is your “clan”. I hope that you would see the love of Jesus, despite us fallen “Christians.” Jesus is love. Period. God bless you and your family.

  • http://rachelheldevans.com Rachel Held Evans

    This broke my heart. Please know you are not alone. And you did the right thing by loving and defending your son.

    …And there a lot of us who totally have your back.

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

    The problem Ms. Evans is that God does not have their back and when one is against God, no amount of humans that have one another’s back can help when it is shown that these folks fight against the very designed of the very God they are supposed to love. Your work is a work designed to undermine biblical Christianity. Your version of Jesus, God, humanity, and Christianity is fundamentally different from the one presented and revealed in Scripture.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    Dr. Dingess, I don’t understand why are you spending such an inordinate amount of time on this blog. After all, you are one of MacArthur’s staunchest supporters, are you not? I assume that an attendee of the Shepherd’s Conference would be a tremendous supporter/fan. I am aware of your visiting numerous blogs and theology sites in the spirit of “Bible-thumping” and “right-fighting.” It is not helpful in any way. When we’ve been broken into a million little pieces over the kind of admission that has someone like me visiting this blog in the first place, we tend to live out of humility rather than out of the hubris, harsh tones, and malignant rhetoric I am reading in your comments. And, as horribly difficult and painful as it is for me to be in MY shoes, I think it must be exponentially more difficult and painful for you to be in yours.

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

    Actually, my shoes are pretty light because I have surrender all my cares to Christ. God is sovereign over my life. I trust that He is working everything for His glory and for my eternal good. I don’t have to wring my hands in worry. I realize I don’t deserve God’s love or grace. No one does. Not even my children or my parents. I also accept the fact that God is not obligated to do anything for them or me and I know that He does so purely from His own goodness. He owes us nothing. I am thankful for His mercy, love, and grace. But I also know He is holy and no man or woman can ignore His holy nature and avoid His righteous judgment. I grieve for my lost children. For my daughter who lives with a man. But I love her just the same. I taught her that she has no claim to Christ if her life does not demonstrate His glorious power. She knows this. And if she rejected my teaching tomorrow and claimed to love Christ while not abandoning her sinful relationship, I would treat her like I would an unbelieving daughter because that is what Jesus commands me do. And because I love Jesus, I do what He commands me to do. I don’t search for loopholes and work-arounds. I don’t project my feelings onto God and then expect God to feel like I do about things.

  • harry

    Ed, guess what? It will be people with many of the same beliefs and “truths” as you, hardcore Calvinists mixed with hardcore Dominionists who will usher in a Fourth Reich in the United States. I recommend that instead of listening to people like MacArthur and other leaders of the so called “Christian Right” that you do as Jesus says and “Go to your closet and Pray..,.” as well as humbling yourself and your obvious “righteous judgement” and become like little children as Jesus instructed!! Just a suggestion.

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

    You mean like you, right harry? Where is your closet? And isn’t your attitude one of judgment? You judge MacArthur and men like him because we made a judgment about the gay lifestyle and the fact that “gay Christianity” is a modern invention of god-hating men. Looks like we are all making some sort of judgment. Newsflash: Christians must judge those in their ranks righteously, according to Scripture. Refusal to do so is refusal to obey Scripture.

    But he who is spiritual appraises all things, yet he himself is appraised by no one. 1 Cor. 2:14

    But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? 13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves. 1 Cor. 5:11-13

    Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. 1 Jn. 4:1

    If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house, and do not give him a greeting; 11 for the one who gives him a greeting participates in his evil deeds. 2 Jn. 10-11

    All these verses require and speak to the Christian’s responsibility to judge.

    For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification. 8 So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you. 1 Thess. 4:7-8

    But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil. 1 Thess. 5:21-22

    If anyone does not obey our instruction in this letter, take special note of that person band do not associate with him, so that he will be put to shame. 15 Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother. 2 Thess. 3:14-15

    The Scripture is clear regarding the subject of this thread. For those reading it and really wondering if Ben Corey actually does believe and affirm The Bible; he believes and affirms the Bible about as much as our sitting President believes and abides by the Constitution. Scripture is twisted, corrupted, and ignored in order to create a version of Christianity that is palatable to the senses of modern American liberalism. It is a modern Protagoras that Ben aspires to be: man is truly the measure of all things to include the divine law of God Himself. We will sit in judgment of Scripture and of God. When we don’t like what the Bible teaches, we will either ignore it completely and chalk it up to antiquated philosophies of old Jewish guys who didn’t know any better, or we will read modern culture back into the text and flush the original meaning from its pages forever.

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

    My philosophy is to go to those places most in need of truth. And my hope is that other young Christians will read these arguments and compare them with Scripture and grow as a result. Christians are called to warn others of the dangers of sinful deception and how Satan is disguised as an angel of light. That is why I am here, and there, and wherever I can be to state and defend the truth. I wish my presence did not offend you. It is my prayer that God will open your eyes to truth and that you will come to truly know Him and submit to Scripture is His sole authority for faith and practice.

    Why did Paul always find himself in constant tension with the Jews? These were religious hypocrites who exchanged God’s revealed word for their own beliefs and traditions. They added and removed requirements like they were in charge. They were not.

  • harry

    Mostly added requirements did they not?

  • Jeff Preuss

    God has EVERYONE’s back. How dare you? Quit trying to put Him in a box!

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

    Does God have Hitler’s back? Ted Bundy’s back? Satan’s back? If you knew God, you would know that God is not only a God of love, but He is a righteous and jealous God who not only redeems and saves and heals, but He also visits the iniquities of man and pours out His wrath against those who hate Him, who despise His word. Now, what does it mean to despise His word? Does it mean, like Americans and westerners think, to have an emotional state or feeling about God and His word or does it mean simply to twist and reject what God commands? Surely it means the latter. Here is proof God does NOT have everyone’s back:

    “But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.” Rev. 21:8

    Either embrace Christianity fully and let the Word of Christ reign over your life, or reject it openly and stop trying to corrupt it with your humanism, paganism, and hedonism. The line between what is a Christian and what is not was drawn 2,000 years ago.

    No one who is born of God practices sin, because His seed abides in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. 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. 1 John 3:9-10

    Do not be surprised, brethren, if the world hates you. I John 3:13

    The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him. 1 Jn. 2:4-5

    How dare I? How dare you sir to make God into what YOU want Him to be rather than embracing Him for who He reveals Himself to be in Sacred Scripture, turning God into a human being, a projection of your own desires. How dare you!

    By the way, the concept of putting God is a box is just plain silly. Your idea of God is your box for God just as well as mine would be. God is what He is. That is not a box in the foolish sense in which people like you say it is. In other words, when it comes to God, everyone uses a box. There is a biblical box and then there are hundreds of millions of unbiblical, and hence, ungodly boxes. They pervert God and change Him into something that they find palatable, tolerable, lacking in offense, user friendly, and one that they are willing to accept. But that box is a godless delusion that further corrupts the soul and damns one to eternal wrath.

    So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,

    18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart; and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness. Eph. 4:17-19

  • Jeff Preuss

    As much as you may not want to accept it, Ed, Hitler and Bundy were both also children of God.

    To the rest of your diatribe: wow, you’re a jerk.

    I forgive you for all the hurt and the shaming and the blaming you foist upon me and others like me. All the stuff you’re convinced you’re doing in His name. It’s unkind, deceitful, and wrong, and you know it is.

    Have a wonderful day. Try not to kick any puppies.

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

    According to Scripture, to Jesus, Hitler and Bundy were children of the Devil. In fact, to quote Jesus,

    “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. Whenever he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” Jn. 8:44

    “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.” Jn. 8:47

    Lets try this one more time:

    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. 1 Jn. 3:10

    Either you deny God’s word which is a denial of God or you just simply choose NOT to believe. Christians accept God’s word at face value and do not question its veracity. False converts generally judge God’s word using their own powers of reason and science. The former are humble and have eternal life while the latter are arrogant, deceived, and under wrath.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Y’know, Ed, the reality of what you do is the true nature of a bully. You are not here out of any grave concern for our souls, you are here for YOURS. You fling around Scripture to reinforce your points to further marginalize people on the fringe, the very people who might need God’s love the most, just to make yourself feel closer to the Almighty. There’s not one altruistic bit to the hatred you’ve spouted on here, and it’s worthless to even read half of the diarrhea-tribes you’ve written.

    Bullies recognize something of themselves in other people, and try to turn that around that to make themselves out to be strong, or good, or Godly. Instead of focusing so much on everyone else’s sins, why don’t you spend some time analyzing your own, and why they make you lash out like this? (And, for what it’s worth, in no way do I think myself better than you for differing with you on this issue – I take umbrage with the way you communicate your position.)

    Christianity is not this thing you get to keep all to yourself, because only you are good enough, only you properly follow the rules. Lecturing us on your perceptions of our shortcomings does nothing to bring anyone closer to Christ. Threatening us with eternal damnation and the like just serves to make you seem more unhinged, and the “gift” of the Good News from you even more suspect, especially to those who’d already received the News. Now why on Earth would anyone who hasn’t heard it think your faith is worth exploring?

    We’re well aware of your position on this theological issue. Stop bullying people into siding with you. Fear is NOT a tool to use to bring people to God.

    How many spirits are you willing to leave crushed, battered and broken by the side of the road on YOUR way to God?

    K, done talking to you for good now, byeeeeeeeeeee.

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

    Based on your definition of a bully, Jesus, John the Baptist, Paul, John, Peter, James, all the prophets to include Moses were all bullies. Jesus instructs me to rejoice when men like you slander men like me because of His truth. I will pray for you.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    Sigh. How you fail to see how obnoxious and un-Christlike you are completely amazes me. The only time Jesus talked the way you talk was, well, when he was talking to people like you. Irony at it’s best I suppose.

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

    Save your rhetoric Ben. It may be effective for the typical, modern, shallow-minded America that makes up your audience, but it falls to the ground for anyone that has bothered to do an ounce of critical thinking about these matters with Scripture serving as their final authority.

    If you want to have a substantive discussion around what Jesus actually said and thought about things, I am prepared to do so.

    Jesus told the woman taken in adultery not to sin again. He did not just accept her as she was, an adulteress. In the same way, we accept homosexuals, but we also tell them no more homosexual sex and we say the same thing to fornicators, liars, murderers, etc.

    Jesus never once implied that sinners could go on living their sinful lifestyles and enjoy no condemnation. In fact, Jesus said that the world is already condemned. He came to bring life, not wrath. But there is another coming, a second coming of Christ that will bring divine wrath.

    But you, beloved, ought to remember the words that were spoken beforehand by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ, that they were saying to you, “In the last time there will be mockers, following after their own ungodly lusts.”
    These are the ones who cause divisions, worldly-minded, devoid of the Spirit. So says Jude.

    Ben, the truth is that I am not speaking to a bunch of supposed unbelievers in your thread. I am supposed to be speaking to Christians. Would anyone on the thread confess to not loving Jesus. I would venture to say that nearly everyone in this conversation claims to love God and to be a Christian. Moreover, this conversation is not about how we treat unbelieving homosexuals, but rather, those who practice gay sex and claim to love Christ at the same time. That is a different crowd, Ben. These are people who want to claim to be righteous without actually submitting to Christ in all that He has commanded, just like the Pharisees. These people have their own standards, their own commandments, and their own rules that they believe God and the rest of the Church must accept or else we are bigots, bullies, and unloving. So lets make sure we don’t lose sight of what we are actually talking about sir.

  • harry

    Jesus, in that same scripture also said “he who is without sin cast the first stone”…you seem to think you have no sin just because you’ve been redeemed by Jesus Christ? That, my friend is heresy!!!

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

    The stoning was not metaphorical. Newsflash: the fact that this woman sinned was uncontroversial. Everyone agreed that she had sinned. Jesus told her she had sinned. But He did not stone her to death. What did Jesus do? He told her NOT TO DO THIS AGAIN. Condemn in this context means CONDEMN TO DEATH. You people seem to think Jesus is saying, “neither do I judge you, go and do as you please.” That is not even close to what Jesus said to her.

    What do WE say to homosexuals and adulterers and fornicators? The exact same thing. We do not stone them. We were them. God accepted us when we were them. God called us out from them and He continues to call sinners out of sin unto Himself. We say to the adulterer, fornicator, and homosexual, neither do we stone you, repent and place your faith in Christ. Your crew seems to think that God saves people and leaves them in their sinful lifestyles. That is utterly ridiculous and nowhere expressed or implied in Scripture in any way whatever.

    What is our disagreement? Your version of Christian rejects the idea that God calls people out of sin unto Himself and Biblical Christianity explicitly teaches that God calls people out of sin, delivers them from sin, regenerates their sinful heart, and replaces it with a new heart. In your system Christians can practice lawlessness and love God. The Bible says they cannot do that. NO ONE WHO IS BORN OF GOD OR LOVES GOD LIVES A LIFESTYLE PREDOMINANTLY DEFINED BY SIN! That is what the Scripture emphatically and clearly teaches. It is impossible to misinterpret those texts in any reasonable way whatsoever.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I’d probably be a bit touchy, too, if I had no fewer than 3 separate webpages devoted to pointing out all the ways I act like a bully.

  • harry

    Sounds like Ed considers himself sinless and everyone else sinners. Dangerous position to take wouldn’t you say Ed?

  • harry

    Sounds like too many of these hardcore Calvinists and Fundamentalists these days…and Pharisees of old.

  • Lisa

    Hang in there and keep loving your kids. There are plenty of Christians out here who would accept you and your children just as they are without batting an eye.

  • cypicturelady

    Yes there are–plenty in my church at least

  • lmalone

    I often thank God I was not born in 17th Century Geneva or in Puritan society. And my heart breaks for people who have to live under such tyranny in history and today.
    Shunning is legal, of course. However, other tatics used in times past by “Christian” leaders who believed in the same determinist god as McArthur….are not legal anymore. It seems to be a “Protestant” thing.
    No thanks.

  • gimpi1

    You are better off without your “Christian clan.” You are doing the right, the only, loving thing any loving parent would do. Know that, and also know that there are people who can offer you the support and respect you deserve. Have you looked into a branch of PFLAG near you? They, or any similar group could be the start of a new, better clan than the one that so viciously dumped you.

    Internet hugs. You are much better than the cruel idiots that turned their backs on you. Your kids are fortunate to have you for a mom.

  • Christian Marble

    God bless you. This is a conflict in the Church that makes me weary too. Especially as a gay person who has loved Jesus and the Church for my whole life.

  • Traci

    ” My Christian clan has turned its back on me because I refuse to turn my back on my kids (one is an adult).”

    Thank you, thank you so much. You can’t imagine how you bless me. Thank you. I’ve been disowned by family for being trans. Thank you for loving your children unconditionally. You rock.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    Traci, my heart is breaking to read this. Jesus would NEVER disown you, and I’m so sorry that your family is not walking in His way to pour out their love on you. I know a whole group of mamas who would love to ‘adopt’ you. xxooxx

  • Traci

    Thank you again, SurvivorGirl. Being adopted would be wonderful, and very welcome. xxooxx

  • unconditional love mama bear

    Traci, I’m one of those mamas who would love to adopt you. Sweetie, you are precious. I’m so sorry your family has turned their back on you. Remember that Jesus himself experienced his family speaking against him. His friends became his family and his disciples were his brothers, but even they let him down eventually. Please know that all of us mamas will be praying for you … over 200 of us will be lifting you up by name tonight <3

  • acousticmom

    True story. I’m one of the over 200. Hugs to you, Traci!

  • Traci

    Hugs back to you!! Thank you.

  • Traci

    You’re so awesome Mama Bear. Thank you so much. Yeah, I have great friends who have become a surrogate family for me. I still feel “outside” sometimes, I mean not really having a Mom to talk to, or ask advice from. That is painful, and holidays are still depressing, but I’m mostly ok. Yeah, Jesus was deserted by his family and a lot of his friends too, He understands and is great to talk to about it.

  • unconditional love mama bear

    Hugs xo to you Traci, and to your sweet friends. I am sure you are just as much a blessing to them as they have been to you.

  • Rose Stucchio

    Traci love and hugs to you. Just know Jesus loves you just the way you are. You rock

  • Lynette Joy

    Traci, I’m really sorry that you have had to go through all of that in your life. There are many, many people that would love you and accept you just the way you are as you would for them. That is the measure of a person, not some pedantic rule keeping, but how much we love. I’m also one of the 200+. My love to you Traci.

  • Traci

    Me too, thank you Lynette. I’m doing ok, but holidays are pretty depressing. I came out to my Mom about three years ago this November, and haven’t seen any of them since. I know I don’t need people like that in my life, but the loss of them is still painful.

  • Lynette Joy

    People are led so easily by the likes of Mr Black and White, finger pointing MacArthur. If enough everyday Christians speak up and are unashamedly supportive of all LGBTQ people then these ‘powerful people’ become less relevant. Our family members that are swayed by these people may break free and be allowed to look again with eyes of compassion and their hearts instead of out dated public opinion. We’re seeing hateful and desperate people , who sense they are losing power. Traci, be hopeful, the times really are changing. I wish you every good thing in your life.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    And, if it isn’t already obvious– you are welcome here! There’s a lot of regulars here in the online community and they are great people. Feel free to get to know folks and participate– we are glad you’re here!

  • Pam

    Traci…I’m the mother of a trans daughter. She told me three months ago. She lives out of state and is married. As expected there are many ‘deaths’ involved BUT I will die to them so that my trans daughter will have a happy and full life. And this child LOVES JESUS! Your input and guidance would be so welcome and appreciated. As hard as it is for me, I would never, ever disown this child of mine. And, dear one, you are valuable. You are a child of God. I’m one of the ‘mama bears’ and if ever you needed some love and support, you could find it with any one of us!

  • Marlene Lund

    Tracy, I’m another one of the 200+ moms who will be praying for you. Know that God loves you, and we all do, too. We are a group of Christian moms of LGBTQ kids, and we are mighty prayer warriors! I’m so sorry your parents rejected you. That is so very wrong, so un-Christlike! You are a precious child of God! <3

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

    Do your gay children claim to love Christ? If so, you must not treat them as Christians even though you must love them. This is no different than our children who profess to be Christian but party and get wasted every weekend, and fornicate or shack-up with someone. No different. Being “Gay” is not a special sin. It is just a sin. Like adultery, like murder, like lying. No person whose life is defined by a pattern of sinful behavior knows Christ. And we cannot let them think that we think otherwise. That is the point. You CAN love someone even while letting them know you don’t have confidence in their profession of faith. In fact, if you do otherwise, you are NOT loving them.

    Paul never left is the option to do otherwise in 1 Cor. 5. Your beef is with the Bible, not John MacArthur. You beef is with Jesus and Paul.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    No, my beef is with MacArthur. It will never be with Jesus. And I don’t believe same-sex attraction is a sin, because I don’t find it spelled out as such in Scripture. What I do find are condemnations against same-sex sexual activity among those who are practicing idol worship. The only One Who can determine the veracity of another’s profession of faith is God, Himself. While we observe fruitfulness, He knows hearts. My job is to love as Jesus would and leave the judging to Him.

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

    First of all, your interpretation of Scripture’s condemnation is nothing more than a clever parrot of another’s. I suppose that murder, greed, evil, envy, strife, deceit, and malice are not wrong either unless carried out in the course of idol temple worship. What nonsense that is. There is nothing in the Greek text of Romans one nor in its historical setting that would make your interpretation congruent. Sex outside of marriage (as defined by God) is evil. 1 Cor. 5 even prohibited marriage between those two individuals and they were male-female. Hence, there is no inherent right for humans to redefine marriage just because they want to.

    1 Cor. 6:9 informs us that homosexuals will not inherit the Kingdom of God, nor adulterers, fornicators, idolaters, etc. Homosexuality is mentioned alongside idolatry, not within the context of idolatry. They are also mentioned alongside thieves, murderers, drunkards and swindlers, and others.

    Jesus told us that we would know Christians by their fruit. John tells us that those who practice sin are of the devil. Those who hate their brother do not know God and are in darkness up to this moment. Withhold the truth from others is equivalent to hating them. Just be honest and stop trying to be God. You have no right to sanction what God has condemned.

    Unless you love Jesus’ word enough to stop perverting it, and unless you keep Jesus’ commandments, and fully submit to His word, you do not love Jesus. Saying it a million times a day and getting emotional about it means absolutely nothing. Jesus is not a modern, emotional, shallow American.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    If you’re going to quote 1 Cor you might want to get some Greek proficiency first since “homosexuality” has only appeared in that English verse since the 1940’s. You might also want to understand the cultural context Paul was speaking in, what examples he had around him, etc. It’s called historical and grammatical exegesis. There has been much scholastic debate on this passage, so to quote it in English from a modern mindset as if that makes it black and white, is a bit amateurish.

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

    I am a Th.D Benny. I know a little bit about Greek and Hebrew syntax and exegesis and am intimately familiar with grammatico-historical hermeneutics. Are you actually saying that every conservative theologian misunderstood Paul even though they all had a clearly much better grasp of Greek grammar and exegesis than you apparently do. Your inference is quite humorous and cannot be taken seriously. Liberal spin on word meanings based on modern ideological bias are not “scholarly.”

    ἀρσενοκοίτης is the Greek word in this text. Arsenokoipes is the transliteration. Louw-Nida: a male partner in homosexual intercourse—‘homosexual.’ BDAG: a male who engages in sexual activity w. a pers. of his own sex, pederast. EDGNT: Referring to a male who engages in sexual activity with men or boys.

    Paul also uses this word in 1 Tim. 1:10. The word homosexual is the modern English equivalent of Arsenokoipes. Your argument is more than a little ridiculous and only those without any understanding of the process of language translations would agree. The English word “homosexual” was not even used in English until around 1892. If it were used in early English versions, no one would have understood what it mean. Silly comment.

    There is scholastic debate on the divinity of Jesus and the truthfulness of His claims. So what! The existence of debate does not ipso facto weaken Christian dogma. False teachers have desired to pervert Christ and Paul and John and Peter and the prophets from the start.

  • http://gracerules.wordpress.com/ Liz Dyer

    Benny? – are you being snarky when you call Ben that? – really? – what do you hope to accomplish in this thread? with the way you speak to people? – if you win this argument what will it gain for the Kingdom of God? – your arrogance doesn’t wear well on someone who claims to be a follower of Jesus. Maybe you should take it down a notch or two.

    Here’s what I know …. I know that scripture does not speak clearly for or against a loving, monogamous same sex relationship and for anyone to say that it does completely strips away any integrity that they may have when speaking of scripture. If you really know original language and historical context you have to agree that it is not clear. In light of that we have to decide how to proceed without any clear scriptural guidance on the matter.

    Being the parent of a son who is gay and having spent many years connecting with hundreds of Christians who are LGBT – taking the time to get to know them and hearing their stories and becoming friends with them, I have come to the following two conclusions:

    1) It would be unjust to condemn something without clear evidence that it should be condemned or clear evidence that it is harmful.

    2) Good theology should lead to good psychology. If our theology is leading to depression, hopelessness, self hate, self harm, suicide and other negative states then we must reconsider what we are teaching and believing. Over and over again I see Christians who are suppressing their lgbt sexual orientation living emotionally unhealthy lives and over and over again I see Christians who are living authentically into the person they were created to be (as an lgbt person) becoming whole and healthy human beings. Not only are they healthier physically, mentally and emotionally but they are healthier spiritually. The evidence speaks for itself.

    The bottom line, that so many people seem to be missing, is that this is a relational issue. Unfortunately, people like you, Ed, are failing the test that is being put before you.

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

    I do not need to get to know murderers to know that murder is wrong do I? What I need to know in order to understand if something is immoral or not is to know Scripture.

    1. Scripture is VERY clear about homosexual sex and all sex taking place outside the confines of God ordained marriage between one man and one woman.

    2. You act as if homosexual sex is something that cannot be avoided. That is utterly unsupportable psychologically, scientifically, and especially theologically. It reminds me of my children when they were small. They could not have everything they wanted so that soaked about it. NONSENSE.

    Homosexual sex is no more or less sinful than heterosexual sin. They violate God’s command and anyone who practices them does not know God and is by definition NOT a Christian regardless of how much you really, really, really want them to be.

  • http://gracerules.wordpress.com/ Liz Dyer

    WAIT!? – so heterosexual sex is sinful too?

    Do you not get that murder hurts someone but being in a loving, monogamous same sex relationship doesn’t hurt anyone … in fact, it actually has a positive impact.

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

    ALL SEX outside the confines of marriage is SIN. If this is shocking to you, then you must be either brand new to the Christian faith or totally ignorant of Christianity’s sexual ethic.

  • harry

    John Calvin was a murderer. And according to your very own words “NOT a Christian”. What does that say for Calvinism and it’s many proponents?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Well, considering Servetus was allegedly gay, I think Ed would see that as some sort of justice, rather than murder. ::rolleyes::

  • Jeff Preuss

    God bless you for being a kind, loving, and thoughtful Christian woman.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    Gee, you must have missed my plea far up the thread for “a hug with words.” DId you fail to read the part about how much I wrestle with this? How much sheer agony I’ve lived with on a daily basis? Do you have a gay child? If not, then I really, really don’t want to hear from you.

    As far as perverting God’s Word goes, which version am I perverting to say that same-sex attraction is not condemned? The word “homosexual” wasn’t added to Scripture until hundreds of years after it was translated. Anyone who has studied the NT in its original Greek might leave a space open for pondering.

    I find it preposterous that you are accusing ME of “trying to be God.” I said earlier that my job is to love, as Jesus commands, and His job is to judge. What part of that is me “trying to be God” rather than doing what He commands?

    As you said, 1 Co. 6:9 lumps “homosexuality” in with some other things, like idolatry. We are ALL steeped in idolatrous thoughts and behavior. ALL of us. Every single day. If we’re Americans, we are nearly overrun by it. We love our comfort, we love our flag-flying, we love to protect our “rights.” It’s ingrained in us from the get-go. Does this mean we will not inherit God’s Kingdom? Will we be the ones Jesus says He hardly knows, because we’re the ones who are sitting high on the hog, failing to eradicate poverty in our own country, let alone in other countries? We sit in our velveteen-cushioned pews in our whitewashed churches with others who are just like us, priding ourselves on our “right” relationship with Jesus all because we’re making an idol out of Scripture rather than loving the One Who said that loving Him is taking care of orphans and widows (i.e., the oppressed of His day). Since I don’t know you, I won’t ask if you are doing the very thing He commanded, but I will tell you that I am doing that.

    Lastly, if you had “fully submitted” to His Word, as you’ve accusing me of NOT doing, then you would be an eyeless, handless individual. So would we all.

    Thank God for His grace and mercy and for showing me that my relationship with Him is not a morality program.

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

    Christianity is not a morality program but does have ethical standards whose source is located in the divine nature of God Himself. And we know this much:

    For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    Yes. Christianity’s ethical standard is love.

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

    No, it is not. Love is only one part of Christianity’s ethical standard. Christianity’s ethical standard is holiness. In addition, godly love is not the modern Americanized, westernized, feminized, emotional sort of thing that most American Christians think of when they think about love. Jesus said, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John said, the person that says they know Christ, but does not keep His commandments, is a liar and the truth is not in him. The ones that keep God’s word, that is, they DO God’s word, they are the one’s in whom the love of God is perfected or reaching maturity.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    I do not read the Scriptures that way. “Let LOVE be your highest goal.” (1 Co. 14:1). Why didn’t Paul say to let HOLINESS be our highest goal? Love is the only force that transforms. Love is central to Christianity. Love is God’s nature and is the single-most distinguishing mark of His people. Our love for God and others is what reflects God’s nature to the watching world. The love of God as displayed in and through Jesus is what attracted (and continues to attract) people. Paul teaches that love is both the foundation and governing principle of a relationship with God and others.

    And what do you mean by your statement that godly love is not the “feminized, emotional sort of thing that most American Christians think of when they think about love?” Was the Father’s love for his son in the parable of the prodigal a non-emotional love, or did the Father make a total fool of himself – in his LOVE for his son – in hoisting up his robes to run down the road toward his son? Yes, he did. Foolish, emotional Father! If Jesus’ answer to what the Father is like is the prodigal parable, then enough said.

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

    First of all, your English translation is far from what Paul actually wrote. Here is what Paul wrote (variants aside):

    Διώκετε τὴν ἀγάπην, ζηλοῦτε δὲ τὰ πνευματικά, μᾶλλον δὲ ἵνα προφητεύητε.

    Pursue love, and desire the gifts, but above all, that you might prophesy.

    Sometimes, a person’s theological leaning comes shinning through in their translation of the Greek text. And sometimes, a person picks a translation because it tells the story exactly the way they want it to be told. Sorry about that. But those are the cold hard facts.

    I am afraid that you read your definition of love into the text. What Paul meant by love and what most modern Americans or westerners mean by love are not quite the same thing. For example, you may say gay marriage rests on a foundation of love. That would be utterly ridiculous.

    God’s love is not divorced from God’s holiness nor is God’s holiness possible without love. You need to read 1 Corinthians 13. Paul lists a number of amazing sacrifices that did not equal love. How could anyone give their body to be burned and not love? Apparently it is possible. Love is only possible within the context of a holy life. If you give everything to the poor and live an unholy life, you have no love. But in your view, those acts seem to be ipso facto love. Not so according to Scripture.

    As far as my statement about love, I mean that in our culture it is mostly a subject that has been controlled and defined by western females and unfortunately, men have been all too happy to sit on the sideline. Of course some of them have been bullied to sit out or else. It is a sad state of affairs really. I have a friend that has had to go along with gay marriage because it is the only way he can keep the peace in his home. His bully of a wife want shut up about it unless he just nods and says “okay honey.” He is not a professing Christian. He is one of my best friends. We can’t even hang out together any more because she hates that I am opposed to the view. Very sad.

    Biblical love is not an emotion. It is a virtue. Love acts for all the right reasons and the first reason is to honor God. No act of love is an act of love unless it seeks first to elevate God above all else. And any view that ignores God’s Word is ipso facto NOT loving, no matter what. To refuse to excommunicate an obstinate person for ungodly behavior is NOT love. It is hate. You hate your brother when you refuse to confront his disobedience. You hate him even more when you do not elevate that sinful behavior to your elders when he refuses to hear you. And you really hate him when you refuse to get the church involved in hopes that God will grant him repentance. This is not punitive. First, it is to help the person do the right thing. That is loving them. Second, if they should refuse to repent, it is an act of love for God, and for the Christian community.

    The same Paul that wrote 1 Cor. 14:1 wrote this:

    But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?

    13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    1. Pursue love. Love is to be our main pursuit.
    2. I haven’t said one thing about gay marriage, here.
    3. You say that Biblical love is not an emotion, yet God, Who is love, is described as having such emotions. Let’s go back to Jesus’ story of the father of the prodigal. Why did the father do something as culturally inappropriate as run? with his robes up? Why did he fall on his son with kisses?
    4. “I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is … covetous, or an idolater …” I guess this means I need to steer clear of the majority of people I know – including the pastor – who are driving their Jags, Lexuses, Mercedes, and Infinitis to church and then to the country club for lunch, afterwards. (This is far from sarcasm. It’s the absolute truth).

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

    1. You redefine love. Your version of love is modern, western, American, earthly. Remember, Jesus said the world (unbelievers in case your not aware of it) hates Him, hates the Father, and hates believers. They are children of the devil until God transform them through the preaching of the gospel and His gift of faith.
    2. Then I am confused about your position. Are you a proponent of gay Christians or hold to the Bible’s view that homosexual sex is prohibited?
    3. No one said we don’t have emotions. Good grief. We do NOT permit our emotions to dictate our behavior and love is not an emotion, even though we have an emotion we describe as a loving feeling, love is not defined as an emotion. If you love me, keep my commandments even though sometimes we might not “feel” like doing so.
    4. You should be careful who you judge to be covetous or an idolater. Driving a certain car, living in a certain home, or having a certain net worth or income does NOT ipso facto make one covetous. Paul believed men could be rich and Christian. They have their temptations and they have their commands from God. I agree some preachers are nothing more than greedy, corrupt fleecers of God’s children. No argument from me about that. They are the vilest of the vile.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    Did the father in the prodigal parable allow or disallow his emotions to dictate his “foolish” (for that place and time) behavior? Are you seriously telling all of us here that you don’t permit your emotions to dictate your behavior?

    You’re right. I should be careful not to judge who is covetous or an idolater, because I’d be pointing at myself on any given day. At any rate, I believe I’ve hit a nerve. Our collective version of wealth in this country is modern, western, and American. I’m far more concerned about that than I am with my version of love being the above things.

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

    You seem very confused about the place of emotions in the decision making process. Emotions do not take place in the vacuum. Some feelings are the products of brain activities while most human experience of emotions are directly tied to rational thought and values. Emotions do not exist in a vacuum.

    I am seriously telling you that our emotions should not dictate our behavior, how we make decisions. Emotions are the response of rational thought in that sense, or how we think about things. The father was emotional because he loved his son. He had decided that even though his son was rebellious and wicked, he loved him and accepted him when he returned. By the way, that story is parable. You would do well NOT to try to find a one for one lesson for every detail of the parable. That is NOT how parables are interpreted. They had a very specific, very general use, usually illustrating one major point.

    Your assessment of wealth is correct. What we sometimes think is a need is NOT a need. For instance, helping someone pay their cable bill or cell phone bill. That would be inappropriate in my view. That is the product of a generally wealthy society. My caution to you is that rich people or people who drive higher end automobiles are not ipso facto covetous or idolaters. Poor people are just as covetous as the wealthy.

    Essentially, you are actually in danger of setting up your own standards, and imposing those on others without Scriptural support. This is exactly what the pharisees did. They added their own commandments. Orthodoxy does not establish it’s own commandments. It just insists on keeping the ones that have been in place for 2,000 years without changing them. And your camp compares us to pharisees. Ironic I think.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    My “camp.” Whatever.

    If I would do well NOT to interpret the prodigal parable in that way, then tell that to Tim Keller or any number of pastors and theologians who expose many different threads. As we all know, parables have multiple layers.

    In “Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes,” Richards and O’Brien make a startling point about a “reading” experiment that was done. One group was comprised of people from Third World countries focused on the famine as the catalyst for the son’s return. The group consisting of people from the US and Western Europe totally missed that.

    It matters what we are bringing to the text. And we ALL bring something to the text. You know that.

  • Jeff Preuss

    We absolutely each and every one of us bring something to our discernment of the text. We are each and every one of us personally responsible to derive meaning from Scriptures for ourselves, rather than just regurgitate what some “spiritual leader” commands us to believe. At the end of the day, someone who may have extensively studied divinity is NO MORE an authority over our faith walk than we are.

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

    Wrong. In order to understand how to interpret a parable, we must first understand how they were used during Jesus’ day. It is a very BIG mistake to try and read multiple layers of meaning into parables because that is NOT how they were used in antiquity. Parables were not intended to have every component spiritualized. Parables are short narratives that demand a response from the hearer. They can range from extended similes to full-orbed stories. They are didactic in that they are designed to teach a specific or particular spiritual or moral lesson to a particular audience. Understanding the general intent of the parable is critical to interpreting and applying it today.

    The parable of the Prodigal Son follows the lost coin and the lost sheep. Jesus is preaching to the sinners and the religious at the same time. It is not difficult to see that in this parable Jesus is describing the joy of God at the reconciliation of the sinner. The entire idea is that God rejoices when he finds his lost sheep and so too should we! It is a vivid story that should drive home a very delightful point to the sinners and a sober one to the religious. The point is one while the application is twofold. Hope this helps.

    My comments about interpreting parables are mostly derived from Kostenberger/Patterson in An Invitation to Biblical Interpretation: Exploring the Hermeneutical Triad of History, Literature, and Theology.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    Yes, I know that it is the last in the triptych, and I understand its primary message. What I was communicating is the very real fact that the way we exegete is dependent upon many factors (as shown in the example I gave above). The group who had experienced famine couldn’t help but bring that experience to the text; is that purely eisogesis? Not quite. Surely Jesus’ audience could relate, but we here in the U.S. simply cannot relate in that way, unless we are living in or have experienced extreme poverty. They viewed the wayward one’s turning point as the famine. You and I were instructed to view that turning point as him “coming to himself” due to having a change of heart. You and I are going to rejoice at God’s hand in freeing the exiles differently than those who have experienced exile. Whether or not we are doing it “right” or reading it “right,” we cannot help but listen and learn out of our experiences.

    Does this mean you’re going to tell Keller his book “Prodigal God” is “wrong,” as you seem to thrive on telling oh, ALL of us here?

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

    No, what you did was call on that parable in order to defend your view that emotions are reliable as a source for decision making. You seem to think that the parable is teaching us that the father made an emotional decision. I am saying that is NOT what the parable is teaching at all. I am saying that to use the parable in that way is an illegitimate hermeneutic.

  • harry

    Lordship Salvation?

  • Getreal

    Sounds like an argument purely from experience and not the truth of God’s word. Perhaps you should have listened to the testimonies I listened to when I was a member of Grace Community Church–those who truly came to Christ out of homosexuality and all the sexual slavery it brings. How well I remember those with full blown AIDS standing in those baptismal waters telling of how Christ had freed them from the slavery you want to consign people to. They also told how the gay community completely ostracized them when they came to Christ. I know John personally and have discussed this issue with him. The essence of his position that parents like you should handle gay children with an equal measure of truth and grace, which means you don’t disown them but you don’t sanction their sin either. Emoting will not solve the issue.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    Yes, perhaps I should’ve listened to those testimonies. But where are they? Why aren’t they out there for us to hear? Why do SO many same-sex attracted persons submit themselves to years of reparative therapy only to be met with NO change in those attractions? You’ve heard Alan Chambers’ (of the former Exodus International) testimony, haven’t you? He said same-sex attractions remain, no matter what, in 99.9% of those who undergo reparative therapy.

    What am I to pray for other than what I’ve prayed for for years, Getreal? My experience, as you say, is that God has NOT altered same-sex attraction in MY kids or the kids of anyone else I know in this situation. And I’m not sure I understand what you mean by “emoting” and that this “emoting will not solve the issue.” Where have I claimed that “emoting” is a solution for anything? If you don’t think what I live with every day will torture one’s emotional state, then you are callous. Surely you aren’t a parent?

    Nor am I “sanctioning” sin in accepting my kids – any of my kids, gay or straight.

    I’m weary of pouring out my heart to people who aren’t standing where I am standing. It’s a total waste of breath and energy.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    Another argument from ‘experience:’ The abolishment of slavery comes to mind.

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

    “Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.

    35 “For I came to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law;

    36 and a man’s enemies will be the members of his household.

    37 “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.

    38 “And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.

    39 “He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it.

  • Rich Farias

    And you quote that as if it’s a good thing? It reads exactly like a cult’s laws. As I said to another poster: if a human were to make the same demands and claims against another human that your god makes, that person would be rightly derided as a monster.

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

    Your unbelief is obvious. It is blasphemy to imply that God is a monster. But hopefully your comments with help these pretenders to Christianity see that one has to either accept the Christianity that offends or thoroughly reject it as you do. There is no middle ground.

    By the way, you are very likely not understanding Jesus’ words. Or you could be. Jesus is the cause of a lot of division between families because some are called to follow Him while others are not. And that election cannot but lead to differences. Since unbelievers hate God and despise Christ and the followers of Christ, hostilities are usually unavoidable barring divine intervention. Suffice it to say that most unregenerate people would think exactly the way you do about God’s divine right to do what humans have no right to even think, let alone do.

    Nevertheless, your blasphemous attitude is one that stands under God’s judgment. And still, it is not so wicked that Christ’s payment could not remove even that sort of guilt. Should you choose to remain in your current mental state regarding Christianity, you will face divine wrath. Repent and believe the good news, the gospel that Jesus died for our sins and resurrected from the dead on the third day so that we might live forever.

  • Rich Farias

    Well, here’s the deal: blasphemy is only a crime to people who believe the crap that’s being defamed. Go ahead and shake your head and fists in anger, and threaten me with eternal hellfire from your petty god; it means nothing to me. It’s the equivalent of saying that Santa’s not going to give me presents and the Easter Bunny isn’t going to give me candy.

    I don’t hate god, any more than I hate dragons, or manticores, or the Flying Spaghetti Monster: one can’t really hate something that doesn’t exist. I don’t despise Jesus, either: I think that many of his alleged teachings are valuable, regardless of the questionable evidence for his existence. However, I certainly dislike the *concept* of your god, and find many (not most) of its believers to be unpleasant at best, despicable at worst.

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

    Not really sir. Blasphemy is to speak slander against God and His truth. It does not matter that one is not willing to acknowledge God whatsoever. You hate God because God says you hate Him. No one that remains unregenerate has positive views of God. All unregenerate men hate God. Why don’t you go start a blog or campaign designed to show that dragons do not exist or that little green men don’t actually exist?

  • Rich Farias

    You’re really not all that bright, are you?

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

    Where is your husband in all this?

  • Susan S.

    {{{{{HUGS}}}}} Thank you for defending your kids.

  • Morgan Smith

    A sobering question we must ask ourselves … is following Christ more important than my children, family and all other people and things?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Perhaps she IS following Christ by uplifting her children over arbitrary BS “church” guidance to abandon them?

    I could paraphrase one of your passive-aggressive digs at me earlier here: “Morgan, if you’re a Christian, I would think that following Christ’s teachings would be of high importance to you.”

  • James Walker

    Wow. What a terrible misapplication of Matthew 18:15-22. We are not called upon to confront our fellow Christians over “sins” that are between themselves and God! This passage only applies if our brother or sister in Christ has done something to hurt us.

  • BrendtWayneWaters

    If you think that MacArthur wouldn’t recommend shunning all those other people, you haven’t been keeping up with how bat-guano crazy the guy has become.

  • kittehtheo

    This is evil.

  • http://www.facebook.com/RetroEssence Jacqueline Baker

    And this why I have isolated myself from the Church. It’s funny, as I was looking for a new way of charitable service, and now thanks to John MacArthur’s disgusting comments, I know what I want to do. I will become an adoptive mother to any Gay adult child that has been shunned by their own parents. If Heaven is for the MacArthurs of this world, then I really don’t want to go. This has really choked me up and chilled me to the bone.

  • gimpi1

    What a good idea, Jacqueline! Perhaps a sort of info-exchange could be set up of people willing to take in kids discarded by ‘parents’ that reject them?

  • Traci

    Can I have you?

  • Pam

    I would love to have you, Traci!

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    You guys are awesome. Keep me posted, this is sooo encouraging.

  • Sarah H

    MacArthur is a huge fear base Pharisee. He is so rule based. If you read anything of his, you come away feeling you are never good enough for God. I don’t take him seriously at all. I don’t know how the man sleeps at night.

  • Mikeras

    Sarah,
    He sleeps because of His assurance that God’s grace is sufficient. He doesn’t depend upon his own resources. Yes, there are rules, but keeping the rules does not bring one into fellowship with Christ. Having a personal relationship with Christ motivates one to desire to live according to God’s rules.

  • gimpi1

    So God can forgive Mr. MacArthur for encouraging a family to possibly drive a gay child to suicide, but not forgive that child for being gay and not repentant enough to suit Mr. MacArthur?

    That’s not a very flattering image of the Divine.

  • Mikeras

    gimpi1 Something you don’t seem to realize is that this blogger, Corey, is totally misrepresenting MacArthur’s position.

  • BlueYonder

    Well, please enlighten us, then. Tell us how he was really being compassionate and loving by telling parents to abandon their children for being gay.

  • gimpi1

    No, I don’t see that. These are his own words. He truly believes being gay and not “repenting” sufficiently is a sort of uber-sin that can’t be forgiven. I’m not a Christian, but many Christians here have pointed out that his beliefs are far kind.

    I know he regards his shunning and condemning as a “last resort,” but still something he recommends if a parent can’t force, cajole or pressure a child into conformity. I dislike that profoundly.

    Under-age children have been abandoned to the streets with doctrines like this. (Yes, I know that’s not something Mr. MacArthur recommends. However, people will try to up the anti on dogma. He should understand that.) It has lead to gay people feeling so hated and abandoned that they take their own lives. It breaks up families. It’s hurtful.

    The best evidence is that it’s hurtful for no reason. Sexual identity appears to be an inborn trait. Inborn traits can’t, by definition, be sinful, since there is no choice involved. To shatter families over something that the best evidence suggests is inborn is wrong, in my view.

  • RevDiva

    As a mother, this breaks my heart and ticks me off. As a pastor who finds her church filled with people who have been hurt by the likes of this drivel, thank you, God, for calling me to love You and love one another.

  • Robin

    you preach against intolerance and you dont tolerate opposing opinion….

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    What’s interesting, is that you seem to have just opposed my opinion, yet I tolerated it.

  • Robin

    It’s not an argument I want to win with you. I can only feel sad for you.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    Much better for you to bear false witness against a fellow believer than to engage in real dialogue, no?

  • Robin

    How do you feel I am bearing false witness? Please also read my comment to gimpi1. You seem harsh? I’m not mad.

  • gimpi1

    Your opinion is tolerated. You confuse intolerance with legitimate criticism. It’s not intolerant to criticize actions that you believe cause harm. It’s not intolerant to disagree, and state reasons for the disagreement. It’s not intolerant to stand up to someone who holds a point of view you disagree with. You seem to confuse tolerance with submission.

    No one’s voice is being silenced. As evidence, you posted here.

  • Robin

    I believe I do not, just as you believe I do. I am sad for you.

  • Robin

    I am sad for the people who you are justifying. The emergent church is alive and well.

  • gimpi1

    So you believe in criticizing Mr. MacArthur, Ben is not tolerating him. Has Ben called for Mr. MacArthur to be denied his civil rights? Called for his imprisonment? How, exactly, is saying that you believe someone is mistaken is intolerance?

    I’m fine, by the way, but thanks for your concern.

  • Robin

    I believe words have meaning and people can manipulate them for their own gain. I really believe that the Holy Ghost is the true source of conviction on anything. Why does any one need a bunch of people to agree or disagree with anyone. God has put in our hearts who He is and scripture validates who He is. It is the very Word of God. I’ve been thrown out of a church because I refused to align myself with the leaders, not elders,self appointed leaders.Leaders who did not follow Jesus Christ as the only way to heaven. I had been gone three months before they noticed and they had to save their face. So I know what happens when you dont have the kind of tolerance the emerents have. I still love them and pray that the Holy Ghost will reveal His Truth to them. Degrees, books and opinions will not save anyone. … and Im not angry…..

  • gimpi1

    I didn’t think you were angry, just perhaps unclear.

    You are entitled to your beliefs. So is Ben. So am I. Beliefs, by their nature, are often unprovable. Everything you stated, from your beliefs regarding the Holy Ghost to your beliefs regarding your concept of God’s truth is unprovable. It’s open to debate. Ben is fostering that debate. I think that’s a good thing.

    However, the meaning of the word in question here, ‘tolerance’ is fairly clear. Ben is not intolerant of differing opinion. He just expresses his own opinions. That’s not intolerance, that’s discussion.

  • Robin

    I believe different, I am intolerant of believing others views of Christ because of the Holy Ghost who resides in me. Intorance is unwillingness to accept views that are different from your own.
    Also the joy is that once the Holy Spirit resides within you, you do know Truth. In order to receive The Holy Ghost you must believe He is and has come to save you. It is a gift from Him. It is impossible to please God without faith. Faith is believing without seeing. This is what is for all.

  • gimpi1

    You have the right to your beliefs. So do I. So does Ben. It’s hypocritical to reserve rights for yourself that you deny to others. If you claim the right to your beliefs, you have to grant it to Ben. Your views on being absolutely right in all ways notwithstanding.

    If you can’t grasp that basic concept, there is really no way to have a discussion.

  • Rose Stucchio

    Is MacArthur a Christian? He certainly doesn’t sound like the Jesus I am trying to follow. The Jesus who tells us not to judge, the Jesus who tells those who are without sin to throw the first stone. I’m thinking maybe he should be the one to repent for misrepresenting The Jesus I know.

  • duskglow

    I’d be careful with that – because you are most certainly misrepresenting him as well – just in different ways.

  • Rose Stucchio

    You might be right, and my misrepresenting Jesus can also fall under the brokenness you said we all have in one way or another. My big beef is that the church has made this one brokenness, the deal breaker, the one that makes you shun the “sinner” and turn him over to satan.

    I have 2 wonderful, caring, loving christian gay boys that have been harmed by the church. I was certain when they were very young they were gay. It NEVER WAS A CHOICE for them. Should I have shunned them and turned them over to satan at that very tender age too.

    I do feel the church must repent of the manner they have treated gay children and adults. I have read horribly hateful things ministers have said re gays. I just don’t see Jesus saying those things. I don’t see Jesus making my young children feeling shame just for being who they are

  • duskglow

    I agree with you. I don’t think Jesus would make them feel shame. I think he would also say “I don’t condemn you, go and sin no more”. Jesus was never tolerant of sin, but he was very compassionate to those who did sin. (I know that sounds like “love the sinner, hate the sin, but that’s not a wrong thing, just corrupted by Christians). The nature of sin is that it warrants shame and condemnation. The nature of grace is that it wipes the slate clean, without removing the necessity for justice.

    I have a problem with people saying “it’s not sin”. I think it is. I think there are lots of other things that are sin too, that you’re born with. It’s just the nature of living in a broken world. That’s why we need Jesus. Good thing he’s there. :)

  • Rose Stucchio

    I respectfully disagree with you that it is a sin. That my boys are sinners as I am and everyone else, I am in agreement with you. I just wonder why the church doesn’t call out people who might be overweight, as they are being gluttonous, people who take out any kind of insurance, as they are not trusting God, and the list can go on.

    In any case, it was Jesus who said, I don’t condemn you, go and sin no more. By asking who was without sin, to throw the first stone, he was taking away their right to condemn, and as I see it MacArthur, along with most other evangelicals are not only judging but condemning. BTW, I am still in an evangelical church, and sometimes feel so battered and bruised by what I hear, certainly this can’t be Jesus

  • duskglow

    Thank you for respectfully disagreeing. It’s a refreshing change from the not-so-respectful disagreement I’m seeing elsewhere.

    Let me tell you something. If your kids ever needed (needed, not wanted) something from me, I’d give it to them. If your kids ever needed someone to talk to, I’d be there or find someone to help. Just because they may be sinning and/or sinners does not mean I think less of them as people. But I would not tell them that that what they are doing is OK.

    Part of the problem here is that people on both sides, through pain or stupidity, don’t understand the difference.

  • JoAnn Forsberg

    Dehumanizing any person is a mortal sin in the sight of God.

    Truly, more honor, respect, heart-felt searching is done in the heart/voice of a Christian mother/parent of a gay child.

    Parents: Walk out with the child and shakes the “ice” off as you do.

    These people who preach are just that: People.

    Their words kill… They don’t care that they kill… They judge… The run with a Crusaders banner flying high in their own personal self-righteousness.

    The truth is:

    They are not worth more to Christ than YOU or YOUR CHILD.

    They put the value of themselves higher. But, Christ doesn’t. They like to lie to themselves as to how “sanctified” they are. For a true self-search is something they are not willing to do each day and every day.

    They find pleasure in condemning others… Shake their coldness/ice off as you walk out.

    I would Rather be one of the wounded, robbed, broken thrown into the street by christian brethren. Than one such as these. The very concept of how they represent Christ makes me feel ill.

    Moms be willing to die on the side of the road with your child.

    For it is those very righteous religious one’s whom have tossed you there.

    Let them in their “self-righteousness” Shake their heads. Tell you and your child that Hell awaits.

    For having these Christians in your life is a Hell on earth.

    Run away.

    Find your personal relationship with God that is personal. Study, pray, listen, grow, cry, rejoice.

    They can tell you: You are going to Hell. But, they are not the gate keepers here on earth. Do not let them torture and place you in HELL here on earth.

    You are alive… You are breathing… You shall have your relationship with Our Heavenly Father grown inside over time.

    Run from those who place your life into HELL on earth.

    Be willing to die on side of street than to join these humans whom enjoy condemning others in the name of: LOVE…

    As they are sure to inform all that: they have the corner on truth as they call you every name in the book. Killing your soul as they say they are doing so in the name of love…

    Shake off their ice cold self righteous hearts. Then run… Run from their mouths. They have no right in the name of Christ. But, it sure makes them all pat each other on back at articles written like this. Hee… Hee… High five ! Did you see how I told that one off!!

    Woo hoo… Aren’t I just the warrior for Christ. God: Look at me, God!!! I told them, God, I told them.

    Pat me on back God… For I am your favored child

    Run parents/moms. Run…

    A Promise: there are still Good Samaritans after they do their “Christian” requirement and throw you and your child to the street.

    Shouting: Your going to Hell. Hee.. Hee… See God I told them.

    Run..,

    This type of Christian are no different than the Christians, in WWII, in Germany, that stood along the railroad track and smiled as they made the slitting of throat symbol to the Jewish people in boxcars.

    Run… You owe them no respect. For they have none for you.

  • Mikeras

    JoAnn,
    Exactly what truth are you speaking of? Is it an unchangeable truth, or a subjective truth?

  • JoAnn Forsberg

    That is a shuffling game question. For of course it is unchangeable truths. Yet, clearly God has shown that He speaks to mankind in a Progressive Revelations over time.

    Jesus made it clear to us via Jesus own words to the Disciples: You know not because you were not ready.

    God is alive… God is well… God is still speaking to mankind…

    The bible does not change and is God’s Good News Message to Mankind. The bible is one beautiful layer of truth upon another. Beginning with the law. Jesus clarifying through His own words this is the law:

    TO LOVE GOD AND LOVE THY NEIGHBOR.

    THESE ARE NOT JUST COMMANDMENTS. THESE ARE THE LAW. FOUNDATION THAT ALL OTHER BIBLE VERSES NEED TO GO THROUGH. ENTERING THAT NARROW GATE OF GOD’S COURT ROOM BEFORE CALLED TRUTH. TO BE SEALED AS TRUTH BEFORE WE DELIVER WORDS THROUGH OUR OPENED MOUTHS.

    Then, the American Bible is not the bible of the past. Much can be learned on how America has failed God in the formation of the American Bible through study.

    Then, to do “Self change” by humbling going to your knees and ask for a: Dark Night of the Soul (months, years) where you empty yourself and through the Spirit of God with Knowledge of Christ you state: Take me into the depth of my own soul; show me the darkness within me.

    Teach me as I remove preconceived notions instilled. For you are the God of Heaven and Earth; so vast beyond measure. I let go of believing: I hold all the truth of you. For in truth, we barely receive a thimble full of knowledge of who God is while living here on earth.

    We are “taught God” via the Pulpit of the Church Denomination that we attend. Over time recognizing why Christ clarified again and again: It is a Personal relationship you grow in. Together walking as He leads you through this Dark Night of the Soul. A painful privilege that God does not force anyone into. Yet, to walk with Christ through this learning process, we are changed…

    We find that “pearl of great value”. That priceless gift that is valued beyond anything else in life. We are cleansed in deep seated places removing that “self” from throne. Recognizing again and again that “dust of sin” still settles upon our own soul. That throughout life we are covered with the blood. Yet, it is Christ who is Holy and nothing of ourselves to claim as righteous within self.

    Regarding bible: Note a couple outrageous changes America did.

    As Americans “We believe we are right about everything”. That is our crowning glory… our brilliance compared to other nations; especially third world nations. No one can teach us anything as we know ALL, (sarcasm).

    First: it was not until 1880 America that the middle books (that the Catholic still use) were removed from the Protestant bible.

    Why? No answer has ever been given. Revelations clearly tells us: It is a sin to remove or add to bible. 1,880 years of the bible (and/or in manuscript/letter form) included the middle books. Only in 1880 did the Protestants Church (includes all non-catholic church denominations) choose to remove the middle books? Why?

    Second: KIng James Bible is considered the One True Bible by many Protestant Denominations. As it is a well-commissioned written bible created so even the simplest of mankind could own one and read to create that personal relationship with Christ.

    Yet, If you purchase a replica copy of the 1611 King James Bible from the very beginning you will see where America took way too many liberties when bible was translated from Old English to Modern English.

    Heart wrenching example is: The 1611 King James begins with gorgeous genealogical charts (sad they were not transferred to America’s bible). It takes you from Adam and Eve to Joseph and Mary and then of course to Jesus. As you read Jesus parenthood you find that his parents are: Joseph and Marie. Marie not Mary.

    Now, it can be argued that Marie and Mary are two forms of same name. But, what tosses that out to be truth is: Marie (Mary as we know her as Jesus mom) had a sister named Mary whom married Cloepous. He is mentioned in bible on a couple occasions. When, you read passages again regarding Cloepous and Mary. A whole new vision should emerge as these are: Jesus Uncle and Aunt.

    So, all that bible teaching done across America that states: We can’t tell you who all the Mary’s are is false. It is simple in 1611 King James Bible. You have Marie (Jesus mother), Mary (Jesus Aunt) and Mary (Jesus benefactor and follower). I have heard so many times people stating: We can’t know who the three Mary’s were at the foot of the Cross. When, actually yes, we can.

    But, as God’s word is without error. America has done a horrible job of transferring Old English into New English. I recommend to everyone to get a 1611 Replica Kings James Bible as it is stunningly beautiful. So much more clarity within it. I purchased mine via Amazon from Oxford University; leather bound edition.

    Third, A holding the greatest “value of ALL truths” that have been given through Progressive Revelations is the concept of the Trinity. The word Trinity is never once used in the Bible. The concept of Trinity was revealed over time in the history of mankind.

    I could go on and on about TRUTH. Yet, I believe above is enough to answer your statement. Yes, unchangeable truth yet is truth that is continually revealed and truth that direct wording/meaning of is not always necessarily found in bible.

    Truth, where we have to be sharp as a hawk to make sure we turn over every stone as to: Is this a correct teaching from the word of God? Can this teaching be fully or only partly known? If partly known, can I accept there are areas of gray?

    Bless you dear Sir and anyone else whom took time to read this. Thank you, Jo (Follower of Christ through Quaker teachings)

  • Mikeras

    JoAnn Forsberg, Your information is simply inaccurate. The books you speak of were never considered inspired by the early Church. They were spurious and contain serious doctrinal divergences for Holy Writ.

  • dcsloan

    Straight up, John MacArthur is advocating child abuse and child abandonment and should be reported to the prosecuting attorney in that jurisdiction.

  • duskglow

    Adult children don’t get that kind of protection, and unless I’m mistaken, that is the topic of this conversation. Being a jerk is not prosecutable.

  • Lisa

    Is anyone else amused that while he is spewing his judgement, there in the upper right corner the little Grace to You logo mocks him? Lol what an idiot.

  • http://www.heartstrong.org MarcAdams

    time for the xians to reel another one in. It is sad to see the effects of a cult on another human being. But devastating to know that his ideology is shared with many. This is why HeartStrong exists. The young GLBT people who are most at risk to believe in this and accept this kind of bullying from adults can find a well lit path to personal peace.

  • duskglow

    I knew there was a reason I didn’t like John MacArthur, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. Thanks for helping me see that my instincts were right.

  • Wesley Woods

    what i find really ironic is Jesus never preached about grace in the messages we have written of his, but he stressed mercy. my guess to many protestants at least they do not understand the meaning of each of the words. grace is that Christ paid the price for our sins. mercy is forgiving those who have wronged you. it fact Christ reiterated what the prophet Micah told Judah about the Lord their God requires of them “do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly before their God”. the pharisees at the time of Christ did none of them.

  • Matriarch

    Who gives a fig what John MacArthur says about anything? I never heard of the man until I read this article. Clearly he’s an abusive, hate-filled man whose heart is filled with ugliness. Ignore him. You want to be like Jesus? Love everybody, spend time with people, eat with them, don’t worry about the opinions of … well, anybody. Open your heart and love. Offer grace to all you meet. The rest is just something control freaks have come up with to manipulate people.

  • gimpi1

    Well said, Matriarch. I’d much rather hang out and have dinner with you than Mr. MacArthur.

  • Clubbeaux

    Sad to see you’re so dishonest with what MacArthur said.

    First of all, MacArthur gave two scenarios, so right off the bat you’re lying about one of them. Then he simply repeated what the Bible says to do in the first case.

    I’d expect that kind of wildly misleading headline from a Tea Party site or Addicting Info, too bad that’s what Patheos has become as well.

  • http://adventureinshanghai.wordpress.com Mike

    I posted this much earlier, but I think it’s a relevant response to your comment and something worth considering:

    Even if MacArthur is correctly applying Matt 18, he is really making a
    mess of things by assuming one simple narrative on anyone who “comes
    out” to their parents. It doesn’t seem to even occur to him that a gay
    person may not be actively involved in gay sex or a gay relationship.

    I’m guessing he hasn’t had much experience dealing with this issue. Because this is just… bad.

  • Clubbeaux

    Hi Mike, thanks for your comment.

    On the clip MacArthur discusses two different responses based on whether the child is a professed believer or not, it’s not one simple narrative.

    If the child’s not a believer MacArthur recommends a compassionate presentation of the gospel.

    Corey just ignored all that.

    If the child’s a believer, MacArthur recommends the process outlined in Scripture, ending — not beginning — with a separation of fellowship, out of love, to wake the child up to the seriousness of the sin.

    Corey just ignored all the other steps MacArthur recommended.

    Agree or disagree with someone, you owe them honesty. This kind of post is about on the level as “Obama Dumps Drugs In School Water Supply To Turn Children Into Socialists!” on http://www.RealMurricans4Palin.com

  • http://adventureinshanghai.wordpress.com Mike

    Clubbeaux,

    I see what you’re saying, but that’s not quite what I’m getting at.

    Yes, he makes a distinction between a professing believer, and an unbeliever, but that’s not the distinction I mean. He makes no distinction between someone’s sexual orientation and their actions. He treats them as one and the same, and it sounds like he’s saying that just being gay (which, please believe me is not something a person can do anything about) is grounds for a professing Christian to be alienated from family and other believers and to be turned over to Satan.

    That may not be what he actually believes. In fact, I’m sure it must not be. But it’s what his words communicate, and it is very careless. Things like that have real ramifications in people’s lives.

  • Clubbeaux

    Yes, Mike, I was reacting more to Corey’s dishonesty than your comments, sorry.

    I’m not speaking for MacArthur, I don’t know for sure what he’d say, I’ve read some of his stuff and heard a few of his sermons but not enough to speak authoritatively.

    That said, I think he’d say that since sin starts in the heart, if you have the desire for homosexual relationships then that’s a sin on the order of lusting after a woman in your heart, or greed.

    Or the sin of hating your brother, which there’s a whooooole lot of among Corey’s fans here, thanks for being refreshingly different. I value people who think differently than I do who can be honest and sensible discussing it, that’s how I learn.

    I understand it’s a hotly debated question today, whether sexual orientation itself is sinful or only the physical actions. Jesus seems to say it’s the heart where the sin is.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    The “process” MacArthur outlines is Paul dealing with church membership. Using this verse to disown your own child is abhorrent.

  • http://www.ibfellowship.org/ John Chester

    The ‘process’ is from Matthew 18 not 1 Corinthians 5.

  • Guest

    If that’s true, which it’s not, you would have pointed that out in your original article.

  • Clubbeaux

    Since it’s what the Bible says to do, as a last resort in a specific situation, you’re putting your own feelings above God’s wisdom. And this process is not about church membership only, if it were you would have said that in your original article.

  • Clubbeaux

    Where does MacArthur recommend disowning the child?

  • gimpi1

    From where I sit, there’s noting compassionate about shunning, isolating or trying to alienate your child. Ever.

  • Clubbeaux

    If I knew doing that — and it’s probably a good idea to explore exactly what that means and doesn’t mean according to Scripture — would save my child from eternal Hell I’d do it, because in that case it would be by far the most loving thing for him or her.

  • gimpi1

    Well then, I will simply consider myself fortunate that I don’t believe in any concept of Hell, nor regard as worthy of worship any God that would damn someone to that nonexistent Hell for what appears to be a harmless accident of birth. Without that belief, I don’t have to have that worry on my docket.

  • Clubbeaux

    As you wish. I’ll stick with what the Bible says.

  • gimpi1

    That’s your right. I’m not a believer. As I have said to others on this thread, for me, evidence trumps doctrine.

    The best evidence right now is that sexual orientation is inborn. Inborn traits aren’t a matter of choice. Without a choice, there can be no wrong choice. If further evidence comes to light, I can change my opinion. I can, and do, self-correct. Is that something your beliefs allow for?

    That question asked, I have no problem with you, as long as you don’t want to compel others to follow you with force of law. Everyone has the right to their own beliefs, and to use those beliefs to guide their actions. Me, you, Ben, everyone.

  • Chris Allen

    Gimpi1, I think you might find my idea of Hell interesting:

    Hell isn’t a pit of fire and eternal torture/punishment. It isn’t even a place.

    Hell is actually the punishment we inflict upon *ourselves* when we have died and are finally forced to face, with inescapable honesty, the reality of our lives, our thoughts, our actions. We can no longer lie to ourselves, or dodge it, or blame it on others, or hide it under a surface of piety. Instead, we have to face the healing and the harm we’ve done in the world.

    Think about something you did as a child that you ended up feeling utterly ashamed about. Think about how that shame made you squirm, how awful it felt, Now add to that a clear, impartial view and experience of every time you hurt someone (including yourself)—imagine experiencing every iota of the pain you caused them.

    Now imagine being *stuck* in those feelings until you finally feel like you’ve paid for it, that you’re utterly sorry you ever did it, that you want to show the other person love, you hope for their forgiveness, and hardest of all, that you’ve learned to forgive yourself.

    Hell isn’t forever—it last as long as it takes for us to get through it all and seek forgiveness and forgive ourselves. Those who spent most of their lives trying to love others and to help bring healing, have little to face that’s bad. Others have more. Some have a whole lot. Ultimately, when we cause harm, when we deliberately choose to do so instead of choosing to love, we’re harming ourselves.

    You might also find it interesting that a devout Orthadox Jewish friend of mine, after hearing my idea of Hell, said that rabbinical teachings said something very similar. :D

    I personally think that a God who loves us as his or her children, loves *all* of us—even the worst person who ever lived, the cruelest, most horrible person there was. That’s how much love there is, in our Creator. But, our Creator lets us live our lives out so that we can *learn*.

    As a parent, I may abhor it if my child becomes a child-molesting torturing murderer, or someone who steals from the elderly and the poor and children to become rich. In breaking secular laws like that, I’d expect them to face secular judgement, as well—and I’d still love them. I would hate what they’d done, both because I feel the pain of the victims, and because I know my child is also harming him/her *self* in doing those things. BUT, I would still love my child *as* my child… and I would feel sadness over the eventual hell they would face when they *have* to see themselves as they chose to act, in a place where the truth can’t be escaped or denied. I would love them through their whole process of facing that and suffering under it and dealing with it, and when they’ve finally gotten through it all, I would welcome them to begin again, and *still* love them.

    If *I* as a mortal, fallible, imperfect and finite being, can grasp that much of how much a God can love us, imagine how much *more* that love must actually be that we can’t even comprehend yet?

  • gimpi1

    I could buy your idea much more easily than the “eternal torment for what boils down to a difference of opinion” concept. I’m middle-aged, and I’ve done things I’m proud of and things I would do much differently, given my current perspective. I think that applies to most people. If there is an afterlife, I imagine my perspective will change even further. Learning from that perspective might be uncomfortable, but far from hellish. I’ve had to learn some rough lessons here. I never enjoyed the process, but I’m glad to have been through it.

    Of course, there’s no real evidence for your concept, either, but it’s much kinder than the standard version. It has that going for it. I can’t imagine a Creator so vicious as to make a place for eternal torture, and lay deliberate plans to fill it. I’m nicer and less vengeful than that, and if I’m nicer than God, we’re all in trouble:-)

  • gimpi1

    Also, since it’s Mr. MacArthur’s own words, how is he being misrepresented?

  • Clubbeaux

    MacArthur gave more than one suggestion for dealing with different situations, the answer Corey gives here is the extreme final answer in a specific situation, but Corey wants you to think it’s MacArthur’s answer for all situations. That’s Corey being extremely dishonest and insulting to the intelligence of anybody who reads him, but evidently he has lots of fanboys who are into that kind of dishonest hatred.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    Slight correction: I’ve actually ran the data on my audience and there are more fangirls than fanboys.

  • gimpi1

    Fair enough.

    I have trouble with Mr. MacArthur’s suggestion being even on the table for something that the best available evidence suggests is an inborn trait and that causes no harm to anyone, but that’s my beliefs, not his.

    Do you think his suggestion of alienating, isolating, separating and “turning over to Satan” is justified for someone simply being gay? If so, why not for being greedy, vain or other sinful behaviors that are largely given a pass?

    Like it or not, right now Christians appear to be turning homosexuality into an “uber-sin” much worse than anything else. I read someone else on this blog comparing it to murder and cannibalism, for pity’s sake. This “turn them over to Satan” rhetoric feeds that appearance. Does that bother you at all?

  • Clubbeaux

    Hey Gimpi, thanks for the response.

    You have to realize that MacArthur wasn’t giving his own suggestions in the video clip, he was telling the questioner what the Bible says to do in that situation.

    Think of it like a doctor telling a patient what the established treatment is for a certain illness — it’s not the doctor’s own personal idea.

    As MacArthur outlines in the video, if the child’s a nonbeliever, then alienating, isolating and turning over to Satan isn’t what’s done. I know Corey made it sound like MacArthur was saying that’s what you immediately do in all situations, but that’s Corey being deceptive about MacArthur’s advice.

    MacArthur points to the Biblical method for dealing with a person in that situation. The shunning and isolating is the extreme, it’s what’s done when none of the other steps the Bible and MacArthur both recommend have worked.

    If Corey had presented MacArthur’s advice honestly and explained what it means, it would not have come across as mean or hateful, unless Corey finds the Bible mean and hateful, and I guess I don’t know him well enough to say if he does or not.

    But it wasn’t Corey’s intention to be either fair or honest.

    Christians aren’t the ones who decided to turn homosexuality into an uber-sin. The culture decided to force the church to accept gay Christians, and the church reacted.

  • gimpi1

    The best psychological evidence is that being gay is inborn. The best evidence is that it is also not harmful. Gay people that are accepted by their families and culture are every bit as well adjusted, happy and productive as straight people. The Biblical injunction appears to fly in the face of this evidence. I, personally, choose to go with the best available evidence. You may feel differently. That’s fine.

    You do know many Christians don’t have the kind of problems you describe with gay people being Christian, don’t you? I think that’s one of the problems I see here, Christians putting forward their interpretations of the Bible, the right way to handle controversial issues, what-have-you, with no willingness to accept that there’s no uniformity of belief or interpretation here.

    The people demanding a change in the way gay Christians are treated are your fellow Christians, not “society.” Many churches aren’t reacting the way Mr. MacArthur’s church is. There are profound differences of opinion. Shouting, “But I’m right!” will get no one anywhere.

    I was always taught, “When in doubt, do the kind thing.” You may see this “prescription” as kind. I don’t. And that’s what makes horses race.

  • Clubbeaux

    “Shouting, “But I’m right!” will get no one anywhere.”

    Indeed.

  • Chris Allen

    Bravo gimpi1!

  • Chris Allen

    “You have to realize that MacArthur wasn’t giving his own suggestions in the video clip, he was telling the questioner what the Bible says to do in that situation.”

    Pure sophistry, Clubbeaux.

    “I’m not saying this myself; instead, I’m telling you what the BIBLE says. Yes, that BIBLE—the one I’m constantly telling you is God’s Words Written Down For Us, Inviolate. I’m just being God’s Mouthpiece, or perhaps God’s Librarian pointing you to a specific quote that I personally think you need to hear—so don’t blame me if you don’t like it, it’s not MY opinion, it’s GOD’s. Oh, and let me reaffirm here that I totally believe in and agree with everything said in the BIBLE, because GOD’S WORD.”

    Love is Blind. God is Love. I am Blind; therefore I am God.

  • sherman

    I’ll give you some honesty. It’s attitudes like yours that teach gay kids to hate themselves to the point of suicide. It’s attitudes like yours that cause kids to be living on the street, turning to prostitution and drugs to support themselves.

    You have the blood of gay kids on your hands. I’m sure your feeling of Christian superiority prevents you from caring though.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    I posted the WHOLE video and the title is his own words.

  • Clubbeaux

    MacArthur gave more than one answer to the question, you only talk about one answer he gave, and that answer only applies to a small number of people, but you say that’s his first answer for all situations. You’re dishonest.

  • Clubbeaux

    And anybody who watches the video can see how you’re lying by omission about MacArthur’s advice. Do you think you dealt with what he said fairly and honestly?

  • JoAnn Forsberg

    First, It is time the same is done to Teachers/Christians of teachings like this. Turn them over to Satan to sift through. I shall pray for this to occur.

    Second, I am repeating the ending of my longer post again. As it is time some Christians are shifted to see their self- righteously mentally blocked hidden sin they carry in own soul.

    Take that light and turn it on your inside. Watch the demons scatter to hide deeper inside that you carry in that “Self”.

    For this is same spirit, this is no different than those Christians in WWII in Germany that stood along the railroad track and smiled as they made the slitting of throat symbol to the Jewish people in boxcars.

    This belief of another being less valued by God murdered six million plus Jewish humans in the name of Christian beliefs. This all out murder was not only being born Jewish.

    It began because the Jewish culture did not see Christ as Messiah. The second step was the genetic part. The first was the belief these humans were rejected by God for not embracing Jesus as Messiah.

    Over time the Jewish people were dehumanized by country leaders. Which made murdering them easier for Germans to do.

    Hitler and MacArthur would have gotten along well. As they preach the same foundational words.

    German Christians felt they had a right to tell these people: You are going to Hell. We won’t associate with you. We toss you in street to be swept up and put in box cars to be murdered.

    Jealous towards many Jewish people for having a higher quality of life. They were the scape goat blamed for societies ills that existed in 1930’s leading to 1940’s horrors.

    Deny it all you want… But, this is the same “Spirit” speaking as was with Germany’s Christian.

    Hard to put that light on yourself. Want to deny completely, don’t you? Go ahead. You are only lying to your own self.

    On this World Wide Web. Too many are believing they can confront another disregarding the very bible verse McArthur stated: YOUR OWN CHURCH BODY.

    He stirs others to raise that Crusaders flag high. As they go from web village to web village proclaiming: Our interpretation of verses is the only truth. Righteous Christians shouting: God hates you.

    Truly, American Preachers via internet like creating box cars to fill up of tossed out humans. A human chosen, a person whom sits in same pew of muti-divorces, gluttony, self centered, gossiping people who get away with murder done by thought. As, no calling out of their name to get in box car. For that name may be your own.

    Internet, no personal relationship with another makes it easier to dehumanize another.

    I shall pray for Satan to sift.

  • irena mangone

    Please no don’t send anyone to Satan better to pray to God for change of heart to love as He loves.

  • JoAnn Forsberg

    It is only mirroring back same words that McArthur uses. The standard he states is biblical the standard God will use. What standard we use to judge another is clearly stated in bible as one God will judges us by.

    So my words may seem harsh. But, I am only mirroring back the judgement choice McArthur uses.

    McAthur chose the weapon that he is to be shifted by when he chose it to shift gays.

    The truth hurts. People need to be careful with words. McArthur and those in agreement with this “measure” bring Satan’s shifting on own self. Not me, as I am just standing in agreement with the: Tossing to Satan he teaches.

    My words are accepted as standard God will use to judge me. I accept that when I am in agreement with McArthur on another being turned over to Satan.

    Christian’s cannot speak harsh words on another without accepting consequence those words are what God will use towards them.

    There are no idle words to God’s ear.

    Words kill, destroy or can lift up. Out of our mouths do we choose how God judges us.

    I hope McArthur and others understand this elementary teaching from bible.

    I am offering the same tough love back to them that they offer a gay individual. And as they state: I am telling them this out of love. To keep their soul from going to Hell.

    Being nice… Wishy washy is trampled on by this spirit that lives in some Christians. They will not recognize own need to Change.

  • Chris Allen

    I agree with nearly everything you said, and I understand your anger—I get angry about this too, especially when it’s accompanied by a smug self-righteousness or blind claim to piety that totally ignores their own internal workings. Bah!

    There’s nothing wrong with feeling anger over it, as well as (and especially) at the harm those people’s attitudes and actions do to others… but there’s a danger in holding onto anger and continually feeding it: it begins to take over one’s heart, especially if it turns to hatred. I don’t think you’re doing that, but I felt it needed saying anyway, for anyone reading. The Cherokee had it right: the wolf that’s strongest within you is the one you feed.

  • JoAnn Forsberg

    Bless you…

    Truly, it is a rare day I show this much: Fed up with another attitude. Yet, due to his complete attitude of tossing our children to satan. It should be no issue to him to hear “raw words” back as he says tough words means he has a tough hide already within.

    This world does have a “raw-coldness” in some. So, it becomes a mirroring back of how they view life and others via words.

    For I doubt highly a Christian speaking like this every aligns themselves with someone like Hitler. Even though in reality it is the same “spirit” within.

    Occasionally, pointing out how smart-mouth Christians sound as they do the high five stuff. As they insult another brethren for different opinion. The pointing out is not for them. But, for others… weaker brethren whom become hurt by such treatment. Whom are made to doubt themselves as another steps all over them.

    It is a rare day I speak like I did here…. Yet, I do so with full conscious awareness that I am doing so on purpose. Inside my soul I am still gentle, loving, accepting, kind. The words do not change me into any anger.

    Actually I am completely indifferent to the words he is teaching. As I made it my foundation upon receiving Christ Jesus gracious gift of salvation to know, know, know Christ. A life-long daily relationship where I learned to listen more than preach.

    The words I chose are more inline of: Mirroring back; this is how you sound from another’s perspective?

    Offering a little shock therapy now and then with hope that history shall not repeat itself regarding another segment of society.

    The strongest wolf within me is a gentle spirit… I feel no anger inside. But, the dove does need to be as willing to take a stand as the wolf does sometimes.

    Blessings….

  • Chris Allen

    I very much agree, and bless you also. :)

    I don’t think it’s wrong to feel anger on someone else’s behalf, or even on your own behalf—even Jesus got angry. :D It’s a natural reaction to pain. The trick is to understand that, and to let it pass and dig below it to start dealing with the pain… and to remain open to love, including loving ourselves.

    I’ve had to wrestle with all that many times, for many different reasons. The hardest reason was in dealing with the fact that my paternal grandfather molested me multiple times as a toddler—before I could deal with the pain, I had to let out the anger I’d suppressed for years. I was actually validating that little child’s feelings, in doing so. But then I had to move on to dealing with the pain, and learning to love myself. I’m still working on the forgiveness side of it; intellectually I’ve forgiven him, but the emotions are harder—it’s like water wearing down a rock: slow work but it gets there in the end.

    He’s dead, and I’m positive he actively *wants* my forgiveness… but ultimately, my need to be able to completely forgive him is doing what’s healthy for *me*—because I *need* to forgive him completely so that I don’t harbor anger and pain forever. I don’t want to be that person. I also want to offer forgiveness to him as another human being—and again, I know I’ll get all the way there, and I’ve come a very long way already. Ultimately if I want this to go away from him and me, I have to forgive him and release it. :) Even if he *wasn’t* actively seeking forgiveness and truly sorry for what he did, I’d still need to forgive him for my own sake.

    Anyway, in all that, I figured out that anger is a reaction to some kind of pain, and fear is an *anticipation* of pain (often along with a memory of pain to spur it on). Even sociopaths who get angry are feeling some kind of pain, even if it’s a totally self-centered pain that doesn’t recognize anyone *else’s* pain.

    So, when we get angry on someone else’s behalf, it’s because we’re empathizing with the pain they feel (or in some cases, that we think they should feel), and that’s okay—so long as we don’t allow it to move in and take over, basically. Heh. And, so long as we don’t let that temporary anger lead us into cruelty—that’s a dangerous path.

  • http://www.fayebryant.com/ Faye

    As my friend, a former prostitute and recovering alcoholic and drug addict reminds people: Jesus DID hang out with sinners. The difference is, because they hung out with Him, THEY changed and stopped sinning.
    I don’t have a son who has come out, but I have one who is addicted to pills. He can be abusive, too. He knows that his dad and I love him and support him in his recovery. We do dinners and family events… And he knows we expect him to stop sinning.
    We love him. That’s all we can do. The rest is up to the Holy Spirit.

  • Melinda Hailey

    I love how he gas the word Grace on the wall behind him. Disgusting and sooooo un-graceful!

  • Frank Turk

    How many of the hookers that Jesus hung out with, I wonder, continued as hookers after hanging out with him? Or did they tell the people in amazement that he told them everything they had ever done and they repented?

  • Doug Truitt

    Sure, gay people are called to repent of their greed, gluttony, and gossiping just like the rest of us, but gayness isn’t on the list of g words requiring repentance.

  • $105158253

    Of course it is. We are just so good and justifying our own sins.

  • Doug Truitt

    Well I’m not gay, so I’m not sure who you mean by “our own sins”. The only way to conclude that the Bible says being gay is a sin is by eisegesis.

  • $105158253

    I was speaking generally and yes people practice eisegesis when they think homosexual behavior is not sinful according the Gods Word.

  • jcspires51

    John MacArthur, fundamentalist homophobe, provides our morning cup of “ick” today. My belief system says that if you bring a child into this world, you should love that child just as he or she was created, gay or straight, abled or disabled, male or female. Get it? Got it? Good!

  • Al Cruise

    John MacArthur is speaking on behalf of neo-calvinism not Jesus.

  • Mikeras

    I think you have an axe to grind, and simply don’t get it. I don’t believe MacArthur is saying, “Don’t love,” rather he is warning against the “That’s alright, I understand,” philosophy so prevalent today and evident here in your responders.

    In Jesus’ loving, He never implied any sin was acceptable. His very presence often brought the sinner to a recognition of his own sin and a desire to give himself to Christ. Jesus eating with sinners in order to win them, and show that they can become His followers, is a far cry from mom’s and dad’s who place more emphasis upon human family that spiritual family.

  • Chris Allen

    Jesus eating with sinners in order to win them? So Jesus is a baby-kissing politician now, looking for votes?

    Seriously, you’ve totally missed the point here: he wasn’t trying to “win them to his side,” he was trying to show them that they were LOVED, and to help them understand how their lack of love for themselves and for others had damaged their lives.

    Paraphrasing from C.S. Lewis here for a minute: An evil act done in the name of Aslan goes to Tash, and an act of good done in the name of Tash goes to Aslan.

    Do you really think Jesus would condemn kind, good, loving people who make the world a better place, just because they follow Allah or the Goddess or Vishnu? By the same token, do you think he condones those who do evil, harmful acts and go by the name of “Christian”?

    Jesus wasn’t into being “Emperor of the World” with Beatles-like fans following him around (though people did it anyway)—remember, he was offered that and rejected it. Instead, he was a Healer: he didn’t just heal broken or diseased bodies, he also healed hearts, minds, and souls… and he did it by teaching about LOVE.

    Far too many ministers, preachers, priests, etc., not to mention Christians in general, seem to have utterly forgotten about that these days.

  • Mikeras

    Sorry Chris Allen, I grieve for you and your misunderstanding of God’s Word and Jesus’ sacrificial work. I pray that your heart will be open to His truth and that you give yourself to Him by faith.

  • Raichu

    So are you going to call out the church for being so blandly accepting of greed?

  • curtis sheidler

    Ben,

    Is your approach to ethics always, “Acting in accordance with Scripture in such an issue is difficult, therefore we should simply ignore it”? Because that’s exactly what your reductio ad absurdum amounts to here:

    It’s difficult for us to apply the doctrine of separation with respect to greed or idolatry, so we can safely ignore it when it comes to homosexuality.

    Better still: let’s assume (God forbid) that a member of your own church was caught in EXACTLY the same sin that Paul describes in 1 Cor 5–that is, if a member of your own church was found to have been sleeping with his father’s wife–would you refrain from separation on the grounds that you couldn’t easily determine when someone else’s greed or idolatry might warrant such action?

    See: your entire piece seems to assume the idea that the practice of homosexuality is NOT deeply and desperately destructive in the long term to those who engage in it. What if you’re wrong? If your child had committed himself or herself to, say, self-mutilation or drug abuse or white supremacy, would there not NECESSARILY come a point at which your RESPONSIBILITY as a parent would be to tell your child you COULDN’T support his or her choices and behavior? Is it EVER truly the part of godly parenting to say, “It doesn’t matter whether you repent of this or not”?

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    A godly parent with Christ-like love, would never disown a child. For MacArthur to take a passage on church discipline and try to apply it to the family unit, is disgusting.

  • curtis sheidler

    So your child comes to you and says, “Dad, I hate Jews and blacks. If you love me, you’ll affirm my decision as a responsible adult. Please attend the rally I’m having next week as a sign of your affirmation.”

    …your response to this would be what, exactly?

  • gimpi1

    Those actions cause harm. Being gay causes no harm. How are these things similar, exactly?

  • Meredith Indermaur

    Hatred is a choice. Sexual orientation is not.

  • curtis sheidler

    Choosing to act upon one’s sexual orientation is a choice as well.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    Of course it is, and I don’t believe anyone here would argue differently. But I ask you to give this great consideration: If the situation were reversed so that it was opposite-sex sexual activity that was deemed sinful, would you (as a straight person, I’m assuming) hope and pray for a day when you could marry someone you love, or would you simply accept that you were “broken/disordered” and destined to live without that type of love, because ‘disordered’ people deserve less than the rest of humanity? Do you believe that all LGBT people the world over have been given the gift of celibacy? I’m asking a very serious question that I believe requires prayerful thought and not a knee-jerk response, because I’m asking that you put yourself in my shoes and imagine telling your child, who has done nothing deserving of this type of ‘aloneness’ that he can never have hope of intimately loving and connecting with another human being in this way that the rest of us pretty much take for granted. Imagine having a church leader tell you that your duty to your child entails shunning, shaming, and disconnecting. What part of Jesus is THAT? And if we are to shun, shame, and disconnect from our kids when they really do sin sexually, then I know this for a fact: 90% of the teens of Christian parents raised in Christian homes would be out on the streets, yet they’re not. There is a horrible double standard, here.

  • curtis sheidler

    But I ask you to give this great consideration: If the situation were reversed so that it was opposite-sex sexual activity that was deemed sinful, would you (as a straight person, I’m assuming) hope and pray for a day when you could marry someone you love, or would you simply accept that you were “broken/disordered” and destined to live without that type of love, because ‘disordered’ people deserve less than the rest of humanity?

    Well, those aren’t the only options. I would do the following:

    1. Confess that God has spoken conclusively and clearly about sexuality, and that where God and I disagree about it, He is right, and I am wrong.

    2. Confess that my sexuality is part and parcel of the fallen sinful nature that I possess and for which the only remedy is a Savior, Whom God has graciously offered in the person of Jesus, His One and Only Son.

    3. Rejoice in the precious promise that in Christ, my sin–not in part, but the whole!–has been nailed to the cross, and that in dying daily (even hourly) to my own sinful desires is both a privilege and a joy–hard fought as it is–to identify so with so Great a Savior.

    4. Confess my great loneliness to God, while acknowledging that obeying Him is something greater even than deeply loving, profoundly sexually satisfying earthly companionship.

    5. Pray that God would transform my desires, acknowledging that He is more than able to do so, but acknowledging also that His decision to do so or not–WHATEVER that decision is–comes from my All-Wise, All-Good, All-Loving Father, and that His decision–WHATEVER that decision is–will be for my ultimate good and for His ultimate glory.

    6. Pray for continued patience and resolve and for frequent reminders from God’s Word and from my brothers and sisters in Christ that as difficult as my struggle might be, yet it is TRULY more delightful, more satisfying, more pleasurable than any fleeting pleasures I might find in disobedience.

    Do you believe that all LGBT people the world over have been given the gift of celibacy?

    I believe that all people the world over–indeed, all people throughout the whole of human history who have reached sexual maturity (minus exactly One dazzling, blindingly beautiful exception) stand guilty and condemned of sexual sin, and have a fallen, depraved sexuality that needs to be redeemed, and that Christ alone offers this redemption, freely and lavishly, to all who repent of their sins and put their trust in Him. Does that mean that the shape of this redemption will look the same for every single human being? Of course not! For some who are LGBT, this may very well look like the gift of celibacy; for others it may look like a total transformation and renewal of sexual desire. But whatever the case, where ANY human sexual desire (same sex or otherwise) is at odds with God’s word, God’s word is right and the human’s desire is wrong.

    I’m asking a very serious question that I believe requires prayerful thought and not a knee-jerk response…

    I appreciate that, and I appreciate your candor, and I hope you can see that’s what I’m really striving for here.

    I’m asking that you put yourself in my shoes and imagine telling your child, who has done nothing deserving of this type of ‘aloneness’ that he can never have hope of intimately loving and connecting with another human being in this way that the rest of us pretty much take for granted.

    The reality of it is that we all deserve far worse than the loneliness and solitude you describe. Every one of us is a cosmic terrorist. Every one of us stands guilty of the most heinous act of treason imaginable: despising the kindness and the mercy and the goodness of the One Who made us and Who owns and rules us. The good news of the Gospel is that Our King has made a Way wherein all the demands of His Justice may be satisfied against all the vile wickedness of our sin, and we may, through the person of His Son Jesus, yet have the loving, all-satisfying union with Him for which we were made.

    Imagine having a church leader tell you that your duty to your child entails shunning, shaming, and disconnecting. What part of Jesus is THAT? And if we are to shun, shame, and disconnect from our kids when they really do sin sexually, then I know this for a fact: 90% of the teens of Christian parents raised in Christian homes would be out on the streets, yet they’re not. There is a horrible double standard, here.

    Is there, though? Is there really NO difference between the child who sins sexually but strives to repent, and the child who sins sexually and flaunts his sexual sin, demanding that his parents affirm it as a function of their love? For the record, I think–and I believe MacArthur would agree–that his suggestion should be just as readily applied to the heterosexual child who persists in open straight sex rebellion of any kind. Indeed, I am now part of a church body that has in my own memory exercised this precise level of church discipline against someone caught in heterosexual sin. It’s a difficult standard, to be sure–holiness always is–but it is most emphatically NOT a double standard.

  • Chris Allen

    So you’re saying that God, who created us all as we are and created homosexuals *as* homosexual, is okay with blessing the sacrament of marriage as a holy union that not only affects a person’s secular life but also brings them into a new level of spiritual love and existence… this same God then *denies* that level of love and spiritual growth to the portion of the population he created as gay, because GAY, right?

    And don’t try to tell me God doesn’t create people as gay—if you accept the idea that God created *everything*, and within that “everything” are animal species that have a portion of their population in homosexual pair-bonds, why is it such a stretch to admit that God created *humans* as homosexuals? How hard is it to understand that a God who loves *all* His children wouldn’t deliberately create some as “second class” humans, who are able to partake of *some* of the joys given to the rest, but if they try to partake of *all* the same joys, they’re inherently damned?

    That doesn’t sound like an Infinite Being of Love—that sounds like an arbitrary description of such a being, filtered through finite minds that want to deny others their full humanity and use religion as their big stick to do it with.

  • $105158253

    God doesn’t make people gay, our sinful fallen world does.

  • Marlene Lund

    Are you also willing to follow the same pronouncement and not ever enter into a relationship with a person for whom you feel attraction? Ever? For your entire life? It’s easy to sit and say “don’t ever fall in love your whole life because the people you are attracted to are the wrong people” when you are not also living a life committed to absolutely never expressing any affection for the person to whom you are attracted. This is what Christians are condemning their LGBT brothers and sisters to.

  • Clubbeaux

    Where does MacArthur ever say to disown the child?

  • gimpi1

    The best evidence is that “the practice of homosexuality” is in fact not “deeply and desperately destructive.” In fact, the best evidence we have is that gay people with good family support are as likely to have good, happy, fulfilled lives as straight people with good family support. What causes the problems is the rejection, the belief that they are unworthy, the shunning and condemning.

    Also, the best evidence is that sexual orientation is inborn. To me, evidence matters.

  • curtis sheidler

    “The best evidence is that “the practice of homosexuality” is in fact not”deeply and desperately destructive.”

    Oh, you have EVIDENCE, do you, that God in fact does NOT judge such things? What might that be, exactly? See, this is the problem: your response is functionally atheistic–it assumes, in other words, that what happens in the here and now is all that matters. As such it’s as far from Christianity as can possibly be.

  • gimpi1

    I’m not a Christian.

    I’m pretty-much agnostic right now, so I don’t have any idea if there is or is not a God that judges anything at all, let alone is fixated on sexual issues. I lurk here because I am interested in religion in general, and I like Ben’s writing and approach to Christianity. I’ve learned a bit about his faith, and also discovered that “Christian” and “unpleasant” don’t have to be synonymous.

    I was speaking of the psychological evidence that being gay is not indicative of any problems. Gay people can have healthy relationships, be good parents, hold responsible jobs and be happy and well adjusted. That’s what I meant.

  • Chris Allen

    Love Thy Neighbor as Thyself.

    Judge Not, Lest Ye Be Judged.

    Jesus said a lot of that, along with stuff about the problem with picking at the mote in another’s eye while ignoring the beam in your own.

    I’d say that’s evidence right there, right out of your own religion, that Jesus was saying to love others and don’t set yourself up as God’s Appointed Deputy to try, sentence, condemn, and punish on God’s behalf.

    That’s what this is really all about: people who want to step in and judge *for* God, and who take joy in punishing those they themselves have ruled are “guilty.” Anyone who does that is either egregiously prideful, setting themselves up as God’s Deputy… or, they’re afraid God isn’t powerful enough to handle whatever may be so they decide to step in and do it for Him.

    It’s the same prideful, religious-fervor (and secretly sadist enjoyment) that was present in the crowd who were all set to stone Mary Magdalen for being a prostitute. I seem to recall Jesus stepped in front of them and said, “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone”… and after they hung their heads in shame and left, Jesus succored Mary Magdalen—a.k.a. he showed her that he loved her as a child of God, no matter what those prideful people who’d appointed themselves as “God’s Deputies” thought of her.

    Food for thought.

  • Chris Allen

    Aside from the fact that you threw out a lot of “straw man” arguments (man, I hate it when I have to use that term, because it’s over-used… but it’s sometimes necessary), you don’t seem to understand repentance.

    To “repent” is to change. When one repents, one acknowledges a wrong done, is sorry for the harm it caused, and resolves to change so as not to repeat the harm.

    All your other “examples” involved decisions that cause harm, to one’s self and to others. Being homosexual doesn’t inherently cause harm, period. A homosexual, just like any *other* person, may choose to cause harm or to bring love and healing to others and to themselves… but that’s an inherent part of their *humanity*, NOT their homosexuality.

    The only harm that is directly and irrevocably associated with homosexuality is when a person must *lie* about being homosexual (to everyone else, or even to themselves), or when they and their loved ones are hounded, harassed, abused, and/or killed with homosexuality being given as the reason by others for the abuse they choose to commit. In both cases, that harm is caused and created by those doing the abusive behavior *to* the homosexual (and their family and friends).

    Any harm done *by* homosexuals is the same kind of harm any *other* human being may do, because those harmful behaviors are *human* behaviors, *not* “homosexual” behaviors. Homosexuals are human beings; as such, they’re not perfect and are going to have foibles and flaws, etc. just as any other person does. Homosexuality is actually a very small component of their lives, just as heterosexuality is for heterosexuals—unless you’d like to insist that heterosexuals do nothing but lie in bed having sex, 24/7/365.

    In short, deciding as a Christian (not a Paulsian) that Paul’s ideas trump Jesus’s teachings of love and compassion, and using Paul’s ideas to do exactly the *opposite* of what Jesus said to do—Love One Another—is not only illogical but also hypocritical. Jesus was a Healer, not a Harmer… and the last I heard, he told his followers to “go and do likewise”.

  • $105158253

    Homosexuality causes harm to all humanity like any other sin. Plus it harms everyone involved.

  • Matthew Wimer

    It amazes me how we’ve come to be comfortable with sins that are similar to our own, but shun those who sin differently than we do. Put it this way: while it’s very unlikely to happen, I can see the possibility of a divorce in my own life; if I or my wife screws up badly, we treat each other badly, or don’t treat our love and marriage with respect. Thus, divorce is easier for me to empathize with. Homosexuality is simply weird to me (as a strait man, I really cannot picture myself doing it). Thus, for me to empathize with it is extremely difficult. Because of this distinction, it would be easy for me to push the LGBT community away simply because I cannot see myself in their shoes. When we recognize this, we begin to realize that it is our inability to connect with our brothers and sisters that is by far the greater shame.
    http://lostlittlelutheran.com/i-am-comfortable-with-my-sin-but-not-yours/

  • Derrick Collins

    Ya know I remember when I was a child growing up in church that I would become perplexed when I heard Christians say venomous things like this and I would really struggle with whether Jesus really loved me. Funny thing is that as an adult who has been fortunate enough to have God fearing parents who realized that talking like that was and still is nonsense when I hear these kind of comments Christians make, I’m deeply grieved and my heart is saddened because to know God is to know Jesus and to know Jesus is to know compassion. I’m so glad that God doesn’t hold me accountable to what others may think of me because I’m gay. I’m so glad that in spite of things not being simple to understand that I know that God’s love may seem complex as to why He loves us but it is very simple to receive and embrace. I just continue to pray that God protect the ears and eyes of those that come in contact with people like MacArthur

  • Techfan

    “…be in season or out of season.” So in other words, MacArthur is wrong because you disagree with his view, NOT because the bible actually says exactly what he states? Romans 1:26-28 says that even God turns them over to a reprobate (debased, unworthy, unacceptable) mind, meaning that He will allow them to continue in their lifestyles, but they have no place in heaven. Now, I am certain that this statement makes me a mean, hateful person as well…bad Christian….but how does one say they love God and love Jesus but ignore, disregard, disagree with His word, His laws and His principles? Since the bible refers to homosexuality as a sin and all sin is punishable by death according to the bible, let me ask this question….if my child were a pedophile or a cannibal, or a murderer, or a thief or (fill in the blanks here), would we be so accepting of their choice of lifestyle? Would we embrace them and encourage them to continue to be a (fill in the blanks here)? God forbid! The first thing we would do would be to encourage them to seek help, and depending on how egregious the act, we ourselves may turn them over to law enforcement! What is significantly important to note is that nowhere does MacArthur say we stop loving them…just that we cannot accept what they do!

  • gimpi1

    The things you mention, (Pedophilia, cannibalism, murder) cause profound harm. Being gay harms no one. I truly don’t get why you lump a harmless trait in with some of the worst things human beings can do.

  • Techfan

    So sin is only categorized based on the fact that it does or does not harm someone? BTW..I did not lump these together, the bible did (with the exception of pedophilia). If you read the verses of scripture that I quoted, the BIBLE says…and I quote, “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, nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” I Corinthians 6:9-11.
    And Romans 1 (practically the entire chapter but these words specifically) says, “24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. 26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27In 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. 28Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.
    These are not my words, these are the words written into the scriptures. And notice it is the scripture that lumps homosexuality in with murder, malice, deceit, arrogance, and specifically evil. So when you disagree, you are not disagreeing with me, you’re disagreeing with the scriptures that many of you claim to love and adhere to.
    Heck, I would assume that even if Jesus were to come back to Earth today, you’d find a way to disagree with even Him.

  • gimpi1

    I’m not a believer, so quoting the Bible has little meaning to me. I don’t “claim to love and adhere to” anything except the facts as I understand them.

    However many people who are Christian profoundly disagree with you. In general, I find their arguments much more convincing. But that has no relevance to your beliefs.

    My question was about why a harmless trait (that the best evidence says is most likely inborn) should be linked with doing great harm. That’s MY standard for wrongdoing. And, yes, if someone claiming to be Jesus returned to the earth, and they linked harmless things such as being gay or left-handed to murder or cannibalism, I would disagree. Loudly. I accept no argument from authority. If anyone wants to make their case with me, they need to have evidence. I, personally, think that’s a good thing to require.

  • Christian Marble

    Evidence is important for Christians as well. Evidence helps us discern whether someone is really speaking the truth, or leading us astray. You are right to demand evidence – faith without skepticism and doubt is not real.

  • gimpi1

    Thank you for that, Christian Marble. It’s good to know that there are Christians that don’t regard skepticism and doubt as mortal sins.

  • Chris Allen

    Actually you got it right while arguing against it: sin IS deliberately doing harm, choosing to harm, and even worse, advocating harm as a “Christian responsibility” (or any religion’s responsibility). The one thing that made Jesus truly angry was when those who represented the Temple were using their position to leverage the genuine faith of the poor and profit from it using lies and deceit. He also had a lot to say about whited sepulchers who prayed loudly and publicly and made a show of their religion to impress people with their righteousness… rather than praying quietly in their hearts.

    He also had something to say about those who give the little they have, versus those who throw a large amount that’s actually a pittance for themselves and again, make a big show of it so people will know they’re being pious. He wasn’t talking about tithing or money with that last—Jesus just didn’t care about money—what he was talking about was again, big public shows of “piety” for recognition by others, as opposed to the quiet faith that gives all it possibly can. *Gives* to others, as in *LOVE*, not the scorn or hate that *takes* from others. Healing vs. Harming.

    Jesus ate with prostitutes, beggars, and the then social lowest—tax collectors. He welcomed children, beggars, the diseased, the hungry, the scorned. He chastised the rich for loving money rather than loving people. He said “Love God” and “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself” were the two most important, most vital commandments. He also said something about worrying about the mote in your neighbor’s eye while ignoring the beam in your own. He spoke for love, humility, compassion, and honesty.

    Now if you want to follow *Paul,* fine—but if you’re going to put his opinions ahead of Jesus’s, at least have the decency to call yourself a “Paulsian” rather than a “Christian.”

  • Techfan

    In other words…it’s ok to pick and choose which sins we agree with and which ones don’t. This is why the church is going to hell…and why the bible says that only a few will enter into heaven. So you people keep deluding yourselves into thinking you’re ok and going to heaven…..I pray you do, but doubt you will!

  • Christian Marble

    The church is not going to hell. Jesus said: “…on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will never overcome it.”

  • http://www.ibfellowship.org/ John Chester

    MacArthur doesn’t say to shun, he says to practice Matthew 18 church discipline on those who profess Christ yet persist in what scripture delineates as a sinful lifestyle (and he as the 1 Corinthians 5 passage makes clear says not to separate from those who do not profess to be Christians). Discussions and accusations of how his church practices church discipline aside, the objection is not to him, it is to what Jesus and Paul said. Even reading the ante-Nicine fathers or 17th century theologians its clear that nominal Christian have always bristled at the notion of church discipline, because they believe their preferences stand above scripture, and that is what Corey is doing here.

  • Techfan

    John, you hit the nail right on the head.

  • Lars B

    The problem most people are having here is not with John MacArthur, but with the Bible itself. This is exactly what you should do in this case, and he gave both sides of the theoretical situation (believer or non-believer). If a child of mine came to me and was living in an adulterous affair, or sleeping with people he/she was not married to, the same course of action applies. The shunning is to remove them from fellowship so that they will recognize the weight of their sin, know that it is their sin that is keeping the division in the family, all with the hopes of bringing them to repentance.

    This is quite clear in the Scripture. Read Matt 18:15-20; 1 Cor chps 5 & 6.

    The reason there is such opposition in this thread to the biblical position is because most in the culture have been indoctrinated to the lie that homosexuality is an identity, when it is not. It is a behavior, desire, etc., but it is not “who I am,” rather it is a sin that can be repented of, just like pornography, adultery, etc.

  • Robin

    Well said.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    Matthew 18 specifically states that it is directed towards the church. It is a function for the church– Jesus does NOT advocate disowning one’s child. That’s horrible exegesis and application.

  • Lars B

    It’s not horrible exegesis at all if you understand what the church is. It is not the “First Baptist” building down the street, but an invisible body of people who are “in Christ.” if a professing Christian comes to me and is in sin, it is my responsibility as a fellow-believer to seek his/her freedom from that sin, and the steps to be taken are outlined for us. If he/she does not belong to my local congregation, I am still responsible for seeking his/her reconciliation with God through the local fellowship.

    You are making it seem like someone in your own family is absolved from being part of the church, or under the authority of the church. ??

  • Lars B

    And no one said anything about “disowning your child.” You are putting an exaggerated (and emotional) bent on the whole process. Familial relationships make the steps in Matt 18 more challenging for sure, but this is God’s ordained means to bring the believer back to repentance. If there is no repentance, they demonstrate they are not Christs (“tax collector or Gentile.”)

  • Christian Marble

    The problem is that the comparison of homosexuality to (clearly harmful) sins like adultery is that it is not a logical comparison, once you understand that homosexuality is a physiological response that does not automatically predispose a person to harmful behaviors.

    Because of this, those of us in the Church who are gay or gay-affirming want a logical and sensible analysis and discussion of the Scriptural teachings at hand.

    We all understand why adultery is wrong; it disrupts and destroys relationships and damages households and families. We understand why pornography is wrong; it exploits the bodies of actors for the sexual pleasure of others. But what is truly wrong with homosexuality, if a gay person follows the same values of commitment, monogamy, and responsibility that are a part of marriage?

    I recognize that Paul saw the same-sex behaviors of the Greco-Roman sexual culture around him as being destructive. Matthew Vines does a good job of addressing why those relationships and situations could most certainly be seen as sinful and damaging from the point of view of the Christian sexual ethic. Similar situations exist today, in both the gay and straight communities, calling for us to advocate for love and fidelity as the necessary values upon which a lasting relationship must be built.

    But anti-gay Christians have a theological burden: that of proving why a committed and consecrated gay relationship, built on the same principles as other marriages, is sinful. The outcome of gay marriage is not harm; it can actually produce good fruit. I have witnessed this as someone who goes to a church with a large number of married gay couples, many of whom have children and families that are just as functional and godly as any straight family.

    So, comparing homosexuality writ large to behaviors like adultery just doesn’t work. A gay Christian can still live up to Biblical principles when it comes to sexuality and relationships. A gay marriage can still bear good fruit and honor God and contribute to the Church. This is the reality of things, and endlessly repeating a poor exegesis of a handful of scriptures will not undo this truth.

  • Lars B

    Christian asked: “But what is truly wrong with homosexuality, if a gay person follows the same values of commitment, monogamy, and responsibility that are a part of marriage?”

    One main reason is that is distorts the gospel of Christ. Paul reveals a mystery in Eph 5:31-33 that the male-female covenant relationship is a picture of the gospel. It is a picture of Christ and His church. The marriage is an illustration of something greater–a greater spiritual truth, and when that relationship is changed, the whole imagery is distorted. A male-male or female-female relationship is a lie about Christ and his church, and a perversion of this picture presented in marriage.

  • Christian Marble

    That “mystery,” while beautiful in itself, has been distorted by some into a doctrine of oppression that sees everything through the lens of particular gender roles.

    I don’t deny that heterosexual marriages can be and most often are beautiful. I praise God for my straight friends who have wonderful households and families together and take joy in their joy. I pray for them, love them, and wish prosperity and blessings for them.

    The truth is, however, that God made some of us, a small minority of us, different. I was not made to love a woman, and if I tried, I would only be harming her and myself. I was made to love a man. This is not a lie about Christ or the Church; it is a truth about reality, and it is a beautiful truth when paired together with the transforming love of Christ. Affirming gay relationships adds to the unity and strength of the Church, but rejecting them divides and harms the Church. Affirming a minority of people does not diminish the majority; rather, in this case, it makes what is unique to the majority all the more blessed. When gay and straight couples affirm and support each other, it increases the grace and goodness of the community, whereas sowing the seeds of division in the community can only cause harm.

    We cannot take Paul’s wise teachings about the joy and goodness of heterosexual marriage and use it to demonize and reject homosexual marriage. That is not the purpose of the glorious truth about Christ and his Church.

    The Gospel is not about maintaining fragile conceptions of “illustrations” and “imagery” as if we were merely preserving the tenants of some fictional literary canon. We are dealing with the very Word of God, which is greater than any assemblage of words or our interpretation of them. Our charge is to transform the world – to enlarge the Church, not to shrink it by deciding that entire groups of people don’t fit our particular “picture of the Gospel.”

  • Lars B

    Christian, what you are doing is starting with your view of the world–with you as the center–and then going to the Bible to get what you want it to say. If you start with the Scriptures, you will not diminish the picture given in Eph 5 the way you are. This is an error that we are warned about in the Scripture:

    2 Tim. 4:3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own PASSIONS,

    The word “passions” there is the word LUST. People will desire the Scriptures to say what they want it to say because of lust. You said that God made you to love a man. That may be what you want, and that may be your experience, but you do not have the Bible to back you up on this. Every single time the Bible describes homosexuality it gives the same answer, and not once is it described positively. Jesus says marriage is one man and one woman for life. The Law says it, the prophets affirm it, and you have no other recourse than to just find people (matthew vines, etc.) who will tell you what you want to hear.

    Rather than the church needing to be enlarged by accepting those in sin, the church needs to be pure by repenting of adultery, divorce, sexual immorality, and certainly homosexuality. You are not staring with God as the source of life, but with your own predilections.

    I have compassion for you, friend, as I have a myriad of lusts raging within my heart, but I recognize that I must crucify them and not give myself over to them. I pray that you repent and find joy in Christ that surpasses anything else in life.

    Blessings,
    lb

  • Christian Marble

    Let me pull back and try not to be so much argumentative, as respectfully opposed.

    We have, apparently, fundamentally different approaches to scriptural truth.

    I believe that our relationship with the Bible is linked to our relationship with reality – we discover more about Scripture and reality the more we learn and evolve.

    I have a couple of points to submit.

    First:

    It is the overwhelming consensus of scientists (and the undeniable experience of millions of people) that sexual orientation is a naturally-developing aspect of a person’s physiology that is not subject to choice. This is not an awareness that existed for most cultures before the last few generations.

    Note the distinction, by the way, between orientation and behavior: I have not asked for affirmation of sexual acts, but of the mere fact that I have a physiological orientation that makes me attracted to men, and not to women. Being gay isn’t my whole identity, but it is part of who I am, and it is healthy to be reconciled to such a fact rather than be miserable about a “mistake” in the way I was made. My behavior and conduct is a separate matter, and subject to many other considerations beyond the basic physiological responses that I experience as a result of my sexual orientation. I recognize that I must submit my desires to Christ and seek to live according to the Word.

    As we discover new aspects of human experience, as illuminated by dispassionate scientific and logical inquiry, we need to adjust our view of the Bible as a book. God’s Word doesn’t change, but we should not be so prideful as to presuppose that our insight into God’s Word is complete and absolute, with no further revelation to be provided by science or rational observations of real human experiences.

    Because of this, we have to accept that the Bible was not made to be a holistic and complete commentary on all aspects of the universe. It is a series of texts, inspired by God, that illuminates our path and convicts us to be moral in our conduct and holy in our words and deeds and loving in our relationships with all people. It is the vessel for the Word of God and a highly challenging body of work. However, it is inescapable and undeniable that its human authors were not omniscient and were not perfect; they did not know everything about human physiology, or about the cosmos, or physics, etc.

    Second:I am concerned about a particular notion that is quite appealing, but dangerous: the idea that the Church has to be “pure” by excluding people who are “in sin.” I’m afraid that we are all in sin. I am in sin because I am often a prideful and arrogant person, because I am not as charitable as I should be, because I get angry, and yes, sometimes because of lust. I am not in sin because I’m gay, as if it were some kind of mystical manifestation of demonic energy. That is not the case; it is a manifestation of physiology that occurs in a small minority of people.

    The Church does not make people pure; God does that. The Church exists to call people to God and to call people to transformation through Christ. It should not affirm and permit everything, by any means. But Christ’s transformation doesn’t involve destroying the sexuality of millions of LGBT people; it means calling us into the light, into being honest people, and pursuing relationships built on Biblical values like fidelity, self-sacrifice, honor, and love. Christ transforms the spirits of gay people; he doesn’t make us straight, and trying to force gay people to spend their lives wishing they were born differently is not good. It is cruel.

    I sense that we have fundamentally different ways of understanding the truth of this issue. I respect your right to have a different set of views, and your desire to maintain fidelity to Scripture, but I must stand firm in my convictions that have been honed by the Bible. I look to the loving, wonderful LGBT families in my church and community as inspiration to seek a Church that is more gracious to all of God’s children and obeys the Gospel by demonstrating the love of Jesus toward all.

  • Lars B

    Thank you for the respectful dialogue, Christian. A couple of points in rebuttal.

    First, there is no scientific consensus at all. They have looked high and low for a “gay gene” and have repeatedly come up empty handed. A few major magazines in the past have made claims that it was found, only to reveal that their claims were wishful thinking. If it were found, it would be on every front page newspaper for months and months, I am sure. What you have instead is the study and examination of people’s desires and behaviors. This is radically different that scientific consensus. This just makes the point that some men desire men, therefore, it must be part of their make-up as humans. Not science at all, anymore than someone attracted to children being given the scientific blessing of “orientation,” although that has been hinted at, and is coming soon, no doubt.

    Secondly, of course you see the Bible as part of an evolution of thought, because it clearly goes against what you choose to do (be with men). When the Scripture does not give you what you want, you must make it malleable to fit your desires. Hence the warning verse I posted earlier. Satan’s first deception in the Garden was “Did God really say…?” He wanted to cast doubt on the Word of God, and he does it in every generation. “Trust your feelings. Don’t listen to what it says.” Study Gen 3 and you will see how satan suckered Eve into trusting her heart, her eyes, and her desires instead of God’s Word.

    Thirdly, sinners are welcome in the church, but not unrepentant ones. God calls us to forsake our lusts and submit to Christ. Gay people are welcome at my church but they must be willing to believe God and repent of what He says is wrong. In 1 Cor 5, there is sexual immorality in the church, and Paul does not merely look the other way, or bring in scientific consensus, or talk about orientation. He says put them out of the church for the sake of their salvation!

    Finally, back to Paul’s teaching about Christ and his church in the covenant of male-female marriage. The only way a covenant of marriage is confirmed is through sexual union. The “two become one flesh.” This is impossible with a male-male, female-female relationship. Not to be crass, but the rectum cannot be the destination of a one flesh union, nor can instruments for women, or heavy petting, oral sex, etc. The body is designed to fit together, a man and a woman. Simple biology tells us this. So as much as you want to promote same-sex relationships in a committed, monogamous way, it is totally impossible that it be a true covenant. The make-up of the body absolutely forbids it.

    I have been praying for you today. I hope that you will trust in God’s Word instead of your feelings.

    Best,
    lb

  • Christian Marble

    Respectfully, I do not want to be with “men.” I want a marriage and a family. That is not the same thing as being promiscuous. Also, I wrote in an earlier post that I am not asking for the affirmation of any particular sex acts. That is a separate issue and discussion.

    I think we have to be very careful about applying the serpent’s deception of Eve to mean that we can never question and examine theology or doctrine to determine whether or not we are truly abiding by the spirit of the Gospel and the scriptures. Obedience to sound teachings is important, even when we must make tremendous sacrifices, but blind submission to dogma can be a dangerous and deceptive path. We must not call good evil and evil good because of adherence to a doctrine that we have misinterpreted. Remember that Jesus told us to judge a tree by its fruit; that is what I try to do.

    Thanks for your prayers. God bless you.

  • trasker

    Except you are wrong on your initial premise. http://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2014/06/04/the-science-of-sexuality-how-our-genes-make-us-gay-or-straight/
    Sorry to interrupt. Please continue with your mythology based bigotry.

  • Lars B

    This is exactly what I was talking about. Thank you for proving my point! This is nothing but speculation. “Could be,” “might be,” “may be,” “it would be surprising if it were not,” and on and on. Just theorizing and speculating.

    I am not bigoted one bit, but follow Christ through his revelation in the Scriptures. I love gay people enough to warn them of what is to come. If I didn’t love them, I would shut my mouth and keep silent.

    Best,
    lb

  • trasker

    Oh best to you too Lars.

    No, no bigotry other than that Gays should be denied due process and representation under the laws of the US, due to the fact that you think they are a subclass not deserving protection under the law. And deserving rebuke.

    Because Bible.

    That is really the sum of your argument.

    Because Bible.

    BTW I agree with you. There is no Christian but “All Christian”. The instructions are clear. You see, I don’t see a problem with your free expression of your right to exhibit any sort of religious bigotry, its protected under law. However…

    Religious=Bigot by definition. Because all religions that follow one true god are by definition, exclusionary. And by dogma, dictation and publication, all three of the Abrahamic religions define unclean to be shunned and killed. Literal word of God, rght?

    Would you care to subject God to the same Burden of Proof Lars? You know, your words, the wisdom of Lars interpreting the words of Bronze Age starving misogynists – these words “This is nothing but speculation. “Could be,” “might be,” “may be,” “it would be surprising if it were not,” and on and on. Just theorizing and speculating….”

    The reason I ask, is “Because Bible” is all you have.
    Isn’t it?

  • Lars B

    Yes, “because the Bible says so” is my main argument. I am a Christian, therefore my worldview involves believing that the Creator has revealed Himself through the Holy Scriptures. So, I base all my life’s decisions on that as my main source of knowledge and instruction. It tells me how the world really IS.

    I say “because Bible,” unashamedly. What do you use?

  • trasker

    Because reality. That’s what I use Lars. I use what you refute. Observation. Your IS appears to be a wishful framework. The only facts I have to rely on are what I have seen with my own eyes. Again, yours is a book of tribal mythology. Want to subject that to the same rigor of proof that you require for a Gay gene?
    Lets stay on topic. Wandering Christians, you find them just everywhere!
    Your argument that the Gay Gene is less certain than the existence of Christian God.
    Other than, “Because Bible.” Let’s hear it.
    Ding! Ding! Ding!

  • Lars B

    So if I understand this correctly, YOU are your source of truth. What you see, what you observe, what you reason. Is that correct?

  • trasker

    I was being flippant Lars. My apologies. For truth I rely on my abilities in critical thinking. My training in this area is indeed formal and encompasses both theological, social, philosophical, economic and yes, scientific training.
    I do appreciate history. Haven’t had formal a trainer therein other than the basics or time for in depth study, but I know this, the historical “truth” of the currently accepted Bible (God forgot to mention King James, I wonder why?)is replete with forgery, And I do appreciate the history of religions. I also appreciate the history of science. Particularly the linear displacement of religious superstition and dogma by reason and science that has been unstoppable for about 500 years now.

    Again. Please present your case that the Gay Gene is less certain a supposition as the existence of a Christian God that: Is omnipotent, omnipresent and benevolent; hears our prays and “loves” us (cares for our fate); and, will provide an after-life for the faithful. You know, all of those things Christianity says separates your New Covenant from the one made with Moses. You know, the omnipotent, all-knowing, omnipresent Creator that, whoops changed his mind! ‘Splain that one Lucy!

    Do so w/o “Because Bible”.
    Stay on topic.
    Present evidence that the existence of Christian morality is the only correct and authoritative descendant from the existence of God as described in the Bible. You can’t use circular reference, e.g. Because Bible.
    Prove God as well as the Gay Gene is proven.
    While your at it, prove that you are the one true religion (although there are +48,000 “Christianity’s” that sometimes indeed commit genocide against each other) of the three Abrahamic religions. In all three the same God says that that one of three is the one true faith.
    Got anything other than Because Bible?
    Then you win the day. Because either the Bible is the most important document ever written and should be the source of all guidance in life, law, everything – or – its mythology started by Stone Age tribesman living in one of the most inhospitable locations on the planet. Stay on task my wandering Christian. This scientist says that it sounds like the Gay Gene is indeed on the “front page” of science, contrary to your assertion. Log in your eye too big to admit that you were wrong in your first post. That’s what this is all about. You spewed dreck about science and the Gay Gene. I am here to help you own it. Sent by God, of course.
    Proof of the Gay Gene wasn’t good enough for you, why? Don’t speak science like I do? OK. Offer me proof of Christian God that is comparable – w/o Because Bible.
    Stay. On. Topic. This isn’t about me. It about your concrete statements of ‘truth’ and ‘fact’, and the willy -nilly way you decide what is sufficient proof and what isn’t.
    how. Me. Your. God. Should be easy, if you were really right about his power, correct?
    Oh, I forgot, he used to show up all the time (want me to cite you chapter and verse? I have a great Concordance) but just forgot to for 2000 years?
    The anti-evolutionists always like to say “show me your transitional fossils ” till science did so may times that they thought the best defense was an “Answers in Genesis theme park.
    Now you want to say that in spite of the FACT that there are no “true” Christians, no evidence of God, a forged Bible politically edited not once, but two time by admission, not a single scintilla of fact or observation for the Existence of Christian God. Just your belief that Gays are Bad – that they should be shunned and denied due-process under the law.
    You think that its a stretch to consider the 40 years of evidence of a Gay Gene when in 2000 years there is not a single unequivocal instance where Mankind can say “God Was Here.” In between now and the next Church Bus of Innocents flying off a cliff in Colorado (it is church bus season you know) please demonstrate more “Proof of God” than that article on Gay Gene’s in peer reviewed science has for Gay Genes.
    Put Up – Shut Up
    Cheers my delusional acquaintance,
    Trasker

  • Lars B

    Wow, so much here, where to begin?

    1. There is no “gay gene” and the article cited was all speculative. I already cited the myriad of doubt in the very article you posted. No one has found a gay gene, end of story. I don’t need to defend my position on this, because it is scientific consensus today. They have tried to find evidence for it, and if/when they do, trust me, it will be the only thing on the news for months.

    2. I will always use the Bible, as I explained, because it is my guide in all matters pertaining to life. You are saying essentially, “prove there is a thing called the US President, but you cannot look in the White House.” Nonsense. Scripture is God’s revelation to us, and I would be a fool to not use it. You accuse me of circular reasoning as you yourself use circular reasoning. i.e.”My reason is what tells me what is true. How do I know that is the true source? My reason.” You cannot avoid some circularity when it comes to defining an ultimate source of truth.

    3. I have studied the Scriptures in the original languages, studied textual criticism at the Graduate level, and am thoroughly familiar with all things pertaining to how we got the Bible. You are making many implications, but have not given a single argument, other than something along the lines of, everyone knows the Bible is not trustworthy, stone age people wrote it, etc. Either make factual assertions, or stop making them.

    4. I have no intention of proving to you that the God of the Bible exists, because you already know He exists, but suppress the truth about Him. Romans 1 tells us that everyone knows about God and His righteousness, but in their love of sin, they are lying about God, keeping the truth suppressed, all for the sake of pursuing their lusts. So, it would be an exercise in futility to try to give you evidences for God, when you already have all that you need to know to be judged. It is like talking to someone who says they don’t believe in words. I would not waste my time pulling out a dictionary and trying to convince them of what they already know. I would think they are a fool. And that is what the Scripture says, “The fool says in his heart, there is no God” (Ps 14:1). Your rejection of the God of the Bible is because of sin, not because you have not seen miracles, or because the Scripture is not trustworthy.

    So that is where I am at. Feel free to comment, but I may be away from the computer for the rest of the evening….

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    Not to hijack the discussion, but it’s important to point out that while you may have gone to graduate school, it was MacArthur’s graduate school, so to say you’ve studied “textual criticism” ought be quantified. Not the same as at a mainstream seminary and I’m sure we both know that.

  • Lars B

    Do I know you, Benjamin?

    Masters is fully accredited, so I am not sure what you mean by “mainstream seminary.” It sounds like you have a bias against MacArthur.

    Furthermore, my only point in mentioning education was to convey the fact that I have studied these matters and thought them through.

  • Chris Allen

    “Christian, what you are doing is starting with your view of the world–with you as the center–and then going to the Bible to get what you want it to say. ”

    So you’re allowed to do that, but Christian isn’t?

    “‘Could be,’ ‘might be,’ ‘may be,’ ‘it would be surprising if it were not,’ and on and on. Just theorizing and speculating.”

    People tend to speak that way when they’re exercising the humility of admitting that they themselves aren’t God, and so they are saying “this is my best understanding of what God wants and what Jesus taught.”

  • Lars B

    Chris, the comments about “could be” etc. were a response to an article posted by “trasker” in which he was trying to prove that they had found a genetic proof for homosxuality. I was pointing out that the entire article was bathed in uncertainty. Not sure where that link went….

    Respectfully,
    lb

  • Guy Norred

    Paul was not always so rosy in his feelings on marriage, but this does not take away from his use of the culturally easily understood illustration you bring up. If we go by this logic, we should allow no rectangles in our lives even if they are useful and beautiful at times because the triangle has given us such a beautiful picture of the Trinity.

  • Chris Allen

    According to your words, you’re a Paulsian, not a Christian.

  • Caspian

    Interestingly enough, in Galatians Paul also affirms that there is no significance to the ‘male and female’ pairing.

    The mystery of marriage is not based on the genders of those involved. And the analogy of Christ as Groom and Church as Bride does not require Christ to have ‘man-bits’ and the church to have ‘lady-bits’. The Mystery of marriage is that an individual will leave their blood relatives and create a new family with someone who is ‘alien’ to them. And in so doing, they create a ‘new’
    blood family, something as strong or stronger then the blood family they left behind. And this happens at the moment of marriage, not intercourse. And hence forth they will be considered no less related to each other than a mother and daughter, a father and son, a brother and sister; despite that fact they do not share the same DNA as do the former examples.

    And it’s this aspect of Marriage which represents Christ and the Church. Christ will be devoted to his bride and the Church will be devoted to Christ. We will be the family of God. Healthy (ideal) earthly marriages are but a
    dimly grasped, but apt representation of this.
    And gay couples can equally reflect that image of that self sacrificing devotion of family as can mixed gender couples.

  • Lars B

    Gal. 3:28 “There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.”

    The “no significance” in Galatians refers to equality, and has no intention demolishing roles or “pairing.” Males and Females still have roles in the covenant of marriage, as Paul has written elsewhere (Eph 5). Jew and Gentile are equal in Christ, but are still distinct and have roles in redemptive history (Rom 11). Slave and Free are equal in Christ, but still have roles because elsewhere Paul tells slaves to obey their masters, not that they are no longer slaves because they are in Christ (Eph 6:5-8).

    Secondly, the idea that the groom and his bride can be two grooms and still represent Christ and his church is absurd. You are taking your desires to the Bible and chopping it up into pieces. This is called “twisting the Scriptures to your own destruction” (2 Pet 3:16).

    A marriage covenant is formed with a vow and sexual consummation. You must have both to make a marriage. This is the “one flesh” union God describes. He actually makes the male and female come together and are physically joined through sexual union. Tell me, how does a male-male and female-female relationship complete this one-flesh design by God?

  • Chris Allen

    Adding to your statement, adultery is harmful because it is a betrayal of trust and is built on lies, both of which cause harm in a relationship that’s *founded* on trust. It causes people to be dishonest with others and with themselves. Living a lie takes a huge toll on the person who’s lying and on everyone around them, because even if they *don’t* know about the lie, the lie itself affects how the liar relates to others, including affecting the liar’s *own* ability to trust.

    Which is why it’s such a relief for LGBT people when they do “come out of the closet”—in essence, it’s that they’re aligning with the reality of themselves, being true to themselves, and thus are much better able to be true with others and to see people react to them for who they truly are. They are much more free to give and share love with countless other people—not just partners, but also children, their parents and family, friends and co-workers.

    So in a very real way, you could say that forcing LGBT people to “stay in the closet” or to deny who they are, is very much like forcing someone to be an adulterer, in that both create a lifestyle where the person has to lie to live it, and they and others suffer as a consequence.

    The Creator’s love is boundless, and I firmly believe that what we will be judged on the *most* is our ability to love, and our ability to be honest in that love. If we force someone away from love by harm or threat of harm to them, we are doing exactly the opposite of what we’re supposed to do.

    This is why I feel such sympathy for those forced to stay in the closet because the choice is to do so, or to lose the love of those they love most; to do so, or lose the job that keeps a roof over their head and their children fed. I also feel sympathy for those who’ve come out, but faced exactly the kind of censure the preacher above advocates, especially when it’s from family and friends. We are called to heal, not to harm.

  • Christian Marble

    Very well said. Thanks so much for this post. I can’t even fully describe the difference after coming out. The truth really does set you free.

  • trasker

    Actually Lars, most of the culture of the US has been indoctrinated to believe that the fundamental operations of the universe depend on an omnipotent, omnipresent God that hasn’t performed a miracle in over 2000 years. One reason there is opposition to this thread is that it is a perversion of all logical thinking to assume that morality springs from the font of mythology.

  • Beckie LaPointe-Evans

    what gets me is MacArthur’s “Grace to You” logo behind him….

  • konc2

    There will be a special place in Hell for this judgemental self serving jerk, he thinks he has some special moral high ground that he judges people from, but ALL of us were created by GOD and are GOD’s children. He will find out at the end of his life how our creator judges him for judging his children.

  • Christian Marble

    It’s frustrating to see people compare homosexuality to clearly evil acts like murder and thievery. I am gay, and my being gay harms no one. It is not a sin. I don’t eat people, I don’t kill people, I don’t steal from people, I don’t prey on
    children. The results of each of those actions is clearly evil. The
    result of me being gay is that I am simply attracted to members of my
    own sex instead of the opposite sex. That doesn’t mean that I am
    predisposed to being promiscuous or dysfunctional or harmful. It is
    simply one aspect of my physiology, and the ways in which I react to my
    physiology determine whether or not I commit sins.

    I don’t need to repent of being gay. There are many sins I need to repent of, but
    being homosexual is not one of them. I don’t need psychological help; I
    am far more psychologically healthy and confident than I was in the closet because I live in the light and in freedom, instead of in darkness and repression.

    Instead of calling good things (like loving and committed gay relationships)
    evil and evil things (like shunning and rejecting your own children)
    good, maybe we Christians should get back to blessing the world through
    the message of love and salvation that Jesus gave to us through his
    crucifixion and resurrection. There is evil out there that we must fight
    – hunger, oppression, slavery, violence – and instead of wasting our
    energy hypocritically unleashing vitriol against so-called “sinners,” maybe we should be spreading the Gospel for the transformation of the world.

  • $105158253

    The bible clearly states the sinfulness of homosexual behavior. that being said some people need to learn to deal with sinners more compassionately.

  • Wolf

    The Bible also “clearly states” that wearing polyester-cotton fabric is a sin, and that eating pork is wrong.

  • Rich Farias

    Well, to be fair, cotton-poly blends ARE a sin…

  • Mary Gray Moser

    Yes,Frank2918.

  • Chris Allen

    The bible also says that you can’t eat shellfish, and that you should go the prescribed amount of steps from your home, use a specific type of paddle to dig a hole, evacuate in it, then use the tool to cover it up—the closest I’ve come to seeing a modern Christian do the latter was to use an outhouse instead of a toilet.

    Are you a Biblian or a Christian? If you’re a Biblian, by all means accept every word in the bible as God’s Word and live by it—thought there’s quite a lot of contradictory instructions in there that might get you put in a mental institution if you try to follow all of it. As well, I think you might get put in jail for stoning or killing the various people as instructed, not to mention selling your wives and daughters and killing the babies of your enemies.

    If you’re a Christian, then why are you accepting the entire bible (written by various men, much of it oral tradition that has been shifted via translation multiple times) as the direct word of God and what Jesus wanted you to follow? Why aren’t you instead following the two commandments Jesus himself said were of uttermost importance: “Love God,” and “Love Your Neighbor as Yourself”? He didn’t say, “Love them only if you approve of them,” he just said “Love them.”

    I see far too many Christians today who talk an awful lot about “sin” and “Satan” and “God’s anger and hate”… where are the people talking about Love, REAL love? Oh wait—they’re out there putting it into practice instead of standing around talking about what they think is wrong with other people and trying to punish those people *for* God—like God either deputized them to do so, or is incapable of it Himself.

    Think about it, folks.

  • Raichu

    This is such a good comment.

  • BlueYonder

    The Bible says a lot of things are sinful. But I don’t see you condemning adulterers to death, even though that’s clearly the prescribed biblical punishment for them.

  • Drew

    While I believe that the author of this post twisted MacArthur’s words and seems to have a pre-set issue with MacArthur…It is virtually impossible to answer that question in 2 minutes.

    http://www.russellmoore.com/2014/06/06/what-if-your-child-is-gay/

    This is a link to a professor who deals with issues like these all the time. I hope that this is a helpful source to anyone who may be struggling with this issue. I’m not a parent, I don’t have a ‘dog in this fight’ as another commenter said, so I won’t really give my opinion, but as a pastor who has dealt with this with a teenager, I would simply use the words of John 1:16 and deal with the situation with “grace and truth” grace with the person (and family) who has real feelings and real emotion but also never backing down from the truth of scripture.

  • Sarah

    I was shunned by my former pastor and his wife who were my guardians from the time that I was fifteen until I went off to college at eighteen. I was outed to them by a member of their church who I had considered a good friend and mentor. I am thankful that my biological family and many of my friends have stood by me and loved me for who I am. My heart breaks to know that this godly couple who provided for me and treated me as one of their own could literally turn their backs on me. I pray every day that their children learn the true meaning of being Christ-like.

  • Michele Clark Jenkins

    Your whole article is about what John MacArthur thinks and what you think. I understand that there are things in the Bible that are “inconvenient” but nothing you said did you back up with the Word of God. What then does 1 Corinthians 5 mean? You can’t just dismiss it and substitute it for convenience.

  • Jeremiah David Boswell

    So many Christians believe there must be demon possession or some type of “oppression” that makes people gay or tempts them toward that “lifestyle”. But according to MacArthur we should turn them over to the ruler (Satan) of these metaphysical fallen spirits??? Where is the logic in that!!!!

  • http://www.treoholdings.com dalancroft

    As a former Christian (raised Lutheran, now a devout agnostic), I must ask: Where is the love of which Jesus preached? Terrible, horrible, destructive hypocrisy and hate.

  • Marcus Hill

    This John MacArthur is another one of god’s bullies. I’m suprised he didn’t mention burning at the stake.

  • trasker

    Comical. Where are we to find these Christians that truly practice only the words of Jesus? Not in any of the ones posting below that cite other chapters and gospels. I met two in Shafter Texas. Completely chaste and ascetic. Living in an abandoned mine office. What is that a sample of? 0.001% of Christianity? Either you follow the Bible as the literal Word of God, like it instructs you, or you make it up as you go along, which isn’t really faith, or literally – Christianity. The first case – literal belief in falsified mythology – that’s just crazy – and about 40% of Christianity. The other 60% that treats the Bible as a Chinese menu, one from column A and two from column B, that’s just “The Christianity of One”, you know, narcissistic and self centered.
    MacArthur is the latter. Like most of you. Fake Christians all puffed up with themselves. Didn’t God say something about that too? Before you waste your time, telling me I am going to hell, or not going to heaven – take your pick; it is functionally equivalent to telling me I am on Santa’s bad list.

  • Nathan Michael Black

    %advice, John MacArthur.

  • Michael Ryan Jones

    This a perfectly rational and scriptural based explanation of the issue. The shunning is not for condemnation.

  • Joel Bishop

    Sorry, I don’t get your reasoning on supporting a Marriage Equality Act. Are you saying that passing one more immoral law isn’t going to tip the scales so it does not matter? As a theology student shouldn’t you want your Representative Government to abide by God’s Laws as much as possible? You are right, we as a people are well past the point of being able to say we base our laws on Christian principles, but I disagree that slavery proves we were never a nation founded on Christian principles. Reading the Declaration of Independence and our Constitution and the personal letters of many that helped form this nation would show that to be an ignorant statement. We paid a heavy price for the sin of slavery. More Americans were killed in the Civil War than all the wars that followed until the late 20th century. And as one lady said, I do have skin in this fight, since one child of ours is gay. We love him and tell him so, but we also tell him that you can’t pick and choose what parts of the Bible you believe and ignore the sins that apply to you or say those aren’t really bad sins.

  • Campaigner1

    Really? You can’t choose which parts of the Bible to believe and which to ignore? So when the Bible clearly sanctions slavery numerous times over in both the Old Testament and New, we should accept that as God-given, eh? Or how about the various Old Testament scriptures wherein the Israelites are commanded to slaughter the women, children, and infants of their tribal enemies, and kidnap the virgin girls for use as rape-slaves (the Amalekites, the Canaanites, the Midianites), as well as horrible torture and execution by the barbaric practice of stoning for relatively trifling transgressions? Or the endorsement of women as subordinate and inferior to men? Seems to me most modern day Christians ignore ALL of those and more.

  • Joel Bishop

    I would not put my self in the position to judge God. His ways are not my ways. If I were in the Israelites’ shoes and God said kill every man, woman and child in that village, I’d obey God, not question his motives regarding pagans who sacrificed children to the god Molech. God does not sanction slavery or divorce any more than he sanctions sin, but he does give commands to man on how to deal with these conditions that man insists in perpetuating. Furthermore, I disagree that God says women are inferior. God does say that in marriage the wife should be submissive to her husband. The husband is to be a Godly leader of the family unit. Haven’t you ever served in the military or any position requiring decision making? Someone has to be in charge or nothing gets done. The ancient world was a much more physical and violent place than the time you and I live in. A single woman had a much more difficult time surviving in those times than today, that is what the Bible recognizes when it calls the woman the weaker vessel. Read Proverbs 31 if you want to know how God values women. Read the Gospels and you’ll see the invaluable role women play.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    ” (if) God said kill every man, woman and child in that village, I’d obey God, not question his motives”

    Sorry, but that’s the absolute sickest thing I’ve heard all day– and I say that as a devout Jesus follower.

  • Joel Bishop

    Hello Ben, may I call you Ben?
    Let’s not turn this in to a series of personal attacks. Are we not following the same Jesus? Son of God, Savior of the World, who fulfilled the will of God the Father by dying on the cross for our sins. Jesus is the picture of pure love, but is He not also the picture of pure justice?
    I can certainly understand why you are sickened by many of the events attributed to God and His chosen people in the Old Testament. I am currently reading through the book of Joshua and there are some pretty harsh commands given by God to the Hebrews in order for them to fulfill His will in claiming the promised land. There are some equally harsh penalties for the Hebrews when they did not follow God’s commands to the letter (Joshua ch. 7). Our human viewpoint is not capable of understanding God and all his ways and I often need help with the simple stuff. For example I had a hard time understanding why God would command Abraham, after all he went through to have a child, to sacrifice him on a mountaintop and Abraham was willing to obey God. Incredible! But that is OT and maybe you don’t take that literally any way.
    Is your point that as a former fundamentalist you don’t take the Bible literally any more? If it is then there is no point in arguing with each other because at that point you probably don’t believe in absolutes either and if there is no absolute truth (obviously only God the creator could be in a position to define absolute truth, right?) each of us can define our own truth.
    Jesus claimed to be the Way, the Truth, and the Life. He also claimed that if you knew Him, you will also know the Father (John 14:6-7). As a devout follower of Jesus you probably know the rest of John 14 and the Gospels far better than me so please forgive me for trying to preach to you. I simply believe that both the Old Testament and the New are God’s Word and if that makes you label me as a Fundamentalist that’s a privilege God gave you. I prefer to be labeled as a Christian and leave it at that.
    As a follower of the same Jesus you devoutly serve I pray God the Holy Spirit will reveal God’s truth to both of us. It is doubly important to you because you are in a position to influence people as a teacher of the truths Jesus taught so long ago and still does to this day.
    God bless, Joel

  • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

    I grew up in a place where people sincerely believed they had God’s approval to murder men, women and children. Would you like some stories? I have plenty.

  • Joel Bishop

    You certainly did. And in this day and age I agree it was all wrong to do so.

  • c’est vrai

    But in this day and age it’s still ok to condemn homosexual people? Why the change in one case but not the other?

  • Joel Bishop

    You can take anything you wish out of context and turn it to suit your personal agenda. I don’t condemn anyone. That is well above my pay grade.

  • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

    In this day and age? And you have the gall to talk about absolute morality when you believe that murdering children is permissible and moral in certain circumstances?

    If you can look me in the eye and say without qualm that if you would murder innocent people if your god truly commanded it of you, I can look you straight back and tell you that you are no different or better than the Christian men who butchered my own people.

  • Joel Bishop

    You and I both know that is not happening in my case. I’m sorry for your loss and anger. I was speaking of being in the Isrealites’ shoes. This is why I don’t normally blog. Everything is taken out of context and twisted around. I’ll stick to reading the Bible and praying that others, like yourself, will find the peace of soul only a relationship with God through Jesus Christ his Son can give.

  • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

    If you think saying ‘if I were an Israelite I would have unquestioningly killed babies,’ sounds any better, you should take a long, hard look at the idol who demands your worship.

  • Joel Bishop

    Sorry, you can’t argue with an atheist. They have no ground to stand on.

  • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

    That’s a coward’s reply, but not unexpected from a man who literally claimed he would kill children for his god if the circumstances were acceptable.

  • Joel Bishop

    I am the coward and you are the one hurling insults anonymously at someone you don’t know from Adam. If it makes you feel superior, go ahead. It doesn’t get any better for you from now into eternity if you continue on the path you are on. I have not fought with any one since adolescence and you make me out to be a baby killer. Wow!

  • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

    Yes, I made you out to be a baby killer, and it didn’t have anything to do with when you said “If I were in the Israelites’ shoes and God said kill every man, woman
    and child in that village, I’d obey God, not question his motives”

    You know, when you admitted that you would kill children for your god if he commanded it. That had nothing to do with it.

    As for hurling insults, I have no trouble calling a man who claims he would slaughter the weak and innocent a coward, any more than I have trouble calling the IRA and UVF cowards. You know, people who actually did the things you say it would be fine for you to do under the correct circumstances. And as for topping it off by trying to slight me for my atheism, what do you expectt? Why would you expect me to be even slightly religious when doing so would mean having to rub shoulders with someone so morally depraved he ‘would obey God, not question his motives’ if commanded to ‘kill every man, woman and child in that village’?

  • Joel Bishop

    Do you call the few surviving RAF pilots who blindly bombed German cities at night cowards to their face as well? They were not doing it for any one else than to defend their country to keep it free for people such as yourself. You do know that innocent women and children were killed and that was not in the name of any god.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    That’s obnoxious.

  • David Zaslow

    The irony of course in this kind of fundementalism is that it is so selective. I am a rabbi and scholar of the Jewish roots of Christianity. It is clear that 1 Corinthians 5 is about the strange sexual practices extant in the ancient Roman world in general. It has nothing to do with a committed, loving, monogamous gay or lesbian couples. Once you isolate homosexuality and don’t even mention pre-marital sex or adultery you are exposing your own bigotry, fear, and prejudice as the pastor clearly is doing. Thanks Benjamin Corey for your clarity.

  • SomeRandomCitizen

    It saddens and perplexes how American Christianity seems to be so wholly removed from being Christ-like.

  • http://www.marotte.ws/ Vince

    This is the most unity I’ve ever seen in a comments thread. Good job everyone!

  • http://forums.wrestlezone.com/member.php?u=83879 Chopper

    Teaching the love of Christ by abandoning your kid eh, John?

  • Dan

    I actually don’t see as many problems with what MacArthur said as with what you have said. MacArthur was asked a specific question on a specific situation. He answered it using the Bible and more specifically Mathew 18. You assumed he would not act in the same way to other sins which actually is a big leap on your part since Mathew 18 talks about all sins. MacArthur actually even has a quote from his own website which states, “No matter what the sin is whether homosexuality or anything else, God has provided forgiveness, salvation and hope of the eternal life to those who repent and embrace the Gospel.” This quote shows he feels the same about all sins and not just homosexuality. All you have done is make assumptions and twist his words to make him look bad and get hits to your blog.

  • Darryl Phillips

    When he comes up with the same vitriol regarding the other sins I’ll agree with you. He hasn’t has he?

  • Bruce K.

    I hate to say it, but I do not completely disagree with MacArthur. (Overall, I think he is arrogant, horribly insensitive, devoid of a true spirit of love and compassion, and dead wrong on many theological doctrines, such as Calvinism and Cessationism). Matthew 18 does not necessarily apply here, (because that is regarding sin by one brother against another, and homosexuality is a sin against God alone) but 1 Cor. 5 certainlyn does. Yes it should apply to everyone of those sins listed, but just because some might not apply it fairly to those sins, does not mean it excuses them all either. There should be compassion whether the sinner is claiming to be a believer or not, I would not agree that it should be more for the non-believer. But we must confront sin on all counts. In the case of a believer, it does not however mean that we speak to them once and that’s it. 1 Cor. 5 is about one who is defiantly sinning in these areas. That is different than one who is sincerely struggling to defeat sin in their lives. If one acknowledges sin as such, and is being accountable to the body of Messiah and is doing all they can to overcome, they should not be shunned. In that, MacArthur is a bit incomplete in his answer and hasty. Scripture also tells us that we “who are spiritual” should “restore one overtaken in a fault” in a spirit of humility. (Gal. 6:1) That is the largest point MacArthur misses. We must speak out against sin, both within the body of Messiah and in the world, and John has that correct; we can’t just ignore it. A call to repentance must be made to both. If it’s a non-believer that rejects that call, then God will deal with it and we shouldn’t necessarily have nothing to do with them. However, if it is a believer that won’t acknowledge and repent, then we can’t allow that to go on in our congregations. Hard as that may be, it applies to family members as well, but again, should apply regardless of the sin being homosexuality or one of the others being mentioned.

  • http://adventureinshanghai.wordpress.com Mike

    This is just about the most measured, thoughtful comment I’ve read so far. I’ll admit that I have a much bigger problem with MacArthur’s statements than you seem to, but that very well could be because my emotions are getting in the way of my judgment. All in all, what you’ve written here does make sense.

    I’d add that a big problem is that he isn’t careful to make sure that the questioner and the viewers are making a distinction between just being gay and actively persuing a gay relationship or gay sex. I mean, when my family found out about my orientation, I had already been a Christian for nearly two years, and I had been living, at that time, a celibate lifestyle. Yet, they seemed to have the hardest time differentiating between my attractions and my actions. It really bewildered me and showed me that just because it’s clear in your head doesn’t mean that you can take for granted that it is equally clear to others.

  • Bruce K.

    Thanks, Mike. I’m glad you understood my point. Christians do have a big problem and stigma associated with same sex attraction/relationship, but I was taught a long time ago by a wise man that it is no different than any other sin or temptation. You are right to observe MacArthur’s failure to make a distinction between attraction and behavior. And that is a huge point. Anyway, may the Lord continue to strengthen you as you pursue maturity in Messiah and the truth of His Word.

  • Darryl Phillips

    Thanks to Bruce and Mike both. But what you may not appreciate is that many of us atheists can wholeheartedly ascribe to the teachings of Jesus as they apply to behavior toward our fellow man, our environment, etc, without believing the whole God thing. Jesus IMHO was a good man who walked the earth. Period.

    BTW, I’ve often used your reference to “biblians”. They don’t seem to get it though!

  • http://adventureinshanghai.wordpress.com Mike

    Darryl,

    I’m glad you commented!

    I’ve been an agnostic and a Christian, have friends and family of various faiths as well as other atheists and agnostics. And I live in a country where atheism/agnosticism are the default positions of most. I can say that the most moral people I know, who care deeply about social justice, exist all along that spectrum of beliefs.

    And while many, many people ascribe to Jesus’ teachings, I’ve not met one single individual who could actually wholeheartedly live them out. We’ve all said and done things – we continue to do and say things – that if it were broadcast for all to know, would leave us utterly ashamed.

    I believe this is why Jesus came to fulfill the law of God, and then take the penalty for breaking it onto himself. And it’s what this Christian thing is supposed to be about: forgiveness, being reconciled to the one who created you, and being reconciled to other people. (I mean, I suppose that’s a bit too reductionist of a statement, but I imagine you get my drift.)

    One final point: I appreciate your respectful, jovial demeanor. Really I do; it’s very refreshing. But if I may, I’d like to point out that if Jesus wasn’t God, it would be hard to call him a good man. He went around telling people that he had the authority to forgive their sins, and that the only way to God was through him. Jesus is a polarizing figure, and there really isn’t a comfortable middle ground as far as what we think about him.

  • Darryl Phillips

    Did it ever occur to you that if Jesus had been born in a different era, church steeples might be adorned with a guillotine, or girls might wear a firing squad on a gold chain?

    I’ve never understood this. The miracle isn’t that Jesus was killed, but that he rose again. So why the cross when the stone rolled away would be such a better message to humanity?

  • http://adventureinshanghai.wordpress.com Mike

    I think the gospel message isn’t complete without both the cross and the stone rolled away. They’re two parts of one complete work. Jesus paid the penalty of sin on the cross, and his resurrection shows that he fully satisfied the demands of God’s justice.

    Good news, as far as I’m concerned. :)

  • Darryl Phillips

    Yeah, but the scary part is what the church displays on the steeple. Lots of people get killed – executed – but few rise again. Just seems like the positive part should be on display. Any advertising company knows that.

    BTW, some years ago I was visiting my sister on Sunday so was required to attend a large church in Wichita. i noticed that the sign prominently displayed on the front door warned that the premises were protected by a security company. I mentioned to Marilyn that is was bad advertising, suggesting that some guys with uniforms and guns were more powerful protection than was God. Next time I visited that church the sign was gone!

    I was born in 1939 and my mom was Baptist to the point of distraction.No, that is understating the situation, she was rabid. She used to have a daily radio broadcast and taught bible class several evenings a week and authored a number of religious books. As a kid I remember helping build models of the Ark of the Covenant and Torah and the Ten Commandment stone tablets and such.

    It bothers me that so many christians seem to think that if i only knew, then I would believe. Well, I know enough, back then I could quote scripture with the best of them. But by age 8 or so I began to see the discrepancies and contradictions and flaws in logic. I’ll not recount them here of course. Like teaching a pig to sing, it frustrates the teacher and irritates the pig.

    Your turn!

  • http://adventureinshanghai.wordpress.com Mike

    I’m having a hard time envisioning a stone rolled away perched atop a steeple. But I’ll tell you what, you send me a sketch, and if it looks practical, I’ll pitch it to the church I attend. But don’t hold your breath; I have little influence here.

    I want you to know that I don’t assume that if you just knew a,b, and c, then you’d believe. After all, the people who conspired to kill Jesus were the most biblically literate people in the whole society. And besides, it’s not why I believe.

    I always saw discrepancies and contradictions, many of the same ones you see, I imagine. But I also saw them in other belief systems, including atheism. I have believed before that I simply didn’t have enough information, and there were too many unanswered questions left by all religions as well as atheism, to commit myself to one definitive belief about the world. (Obviously, I’ve had a change of heart.)

    There’s still so much about the bible, about Christianity, that confuses me, or honestly, even frustrates me. I don’t know, at the end of the day, whose interpretation of this or that obscure verse is the right one. But I do know that Jesus just gets to me. I read how he interacts with those around him, and I read his simple yet profound declarations, and I’m just compelled. And so I believe him. And he says to follow him, and so I do.

  • Darryl Phillips

    I was just reminded of the only off-color joke my mom ever told. In this small town the preacher and the priest would meet every Monday morning and exercise on their bikes while comparing notes on the business. One morning the preacher was late. “Father, someone stole my bike. I keep it in the shed behind the church, nobody knows about it but my parishioners and it disturbs me that a member of my flock would steal my bike.”

    The priest suggested that he deliver a sermon on the ten commandments, and when he got to Thou Shalt Not Steal he should look each person in the eye and he could tell who stole the bicycle.

    Next Monday the preacher showed up with his bike. It took some prodding but the preacher finally told the story. “i was delivering the sermon and when I got to Thou Shalt Not Commit Adultery, I remembered where I left my bicycle.”

  • Chris Allen

    Personally, I’d think a Christian would take Jesus’s idea of “sin” over *Paul’s* ideas on “sin.” When asked “What do you believe are the most important commandments,” Jesus replied, “Love God, and Love Your Neighbor as Yourself.”

    L.O.V.E. Love. That’s Jesus’s number 1 yardstick. Paul had other ideas. I don’t see people going around saying “I’m a Paulsian”—they say, “I’m a Christian,” as in “I follow Jesus Christ.”

    The Christian faith in general might be a whole lot better off if they stuck to Jesus’s teachings of love… and considered books by the many followers (especially Paul since he never even *met* Jesus) as “suggestions” rather than “mandates from God.”

    Yes, I know the whole “Holy Spirit vision on the road to Damascus” bit for Paul, and I think there’s considerable question as to it being legitimate. Saul of Tarsus was disliked by the Jewish religious officials, according to the histories I’ve read, as an ambitious and extremist man. His abrupt conversion to Christianity as it was then may have been nothing more than a man seeing roadblocks in his job, who jumps ship to a new company he realizes he can not only shape in its initial phases, but also become “a big fish in a little pond” with it.

    He may have had a hallucination on the road, possibly involving heat stroke—I’ve seen that theory proposed as well.

    Even if he genuinely had a vision, and did a serious conversion of religion, that doesn’t mean he got the message 100% right, or also, that he didn’t begin “doctoring” what he said later. We’ve all seen people who seem to do a great change when under extreme emotional inspiration, who later gradually revert to much of their former behaviors as time and daily life go on. It’s quite possible that even if Paul *did* receive some type of spiritual visitation to convert, the narrowness of his mindset gradually came to usurp, to tinge and to change what he said—along with how his success at *finally* becoming the authority figure he always wanted to be, may have led him to consciously or unconsciously put his own imprint or “stamp” on what he preached. At times he may have stuck more closely to Jesus’s message to love others… but at other times, it’s clear he allowed his own prejudices and narrow viewpoints to come into play.

    In short, you aren’t “Paulsians,” nor even “Biblians”—you’re “Christians”, which seems to me would mean you’d put the highest importance on what Jesus taught and said, not what Paul or the rest of the Bible says.

  • JoAnn Forsberg

    Chris, you are absolutely right on Jesus and Love God and Love your Neighbor. What I would like to drive home even deeper is:

    Often you hear Christians stating the law regarding bible verses being anti-gay. Yet, Loving God and Loving others; we call them commandments. In American English the word commandments tends to invoke a thought of value watered down in the words importance.

    Yet, Jesus called these the first LAWS!!! FIRST LAWS!!!

    Christians tend to forget that the Love God and Neighbor are the foundational LAWS OF CHRIST.

    All other Laws need to be filtered through these first two… Verses filtered through these two laws not just considered commandments (America’s commandment is treated more as a suggestion than a law).

    These are Christ first two Laws for the foundation of how we view any other human, bible verse, universe, animals. It is to be our filter with any other verse in the bible we claim as a truth. Filter through these two first.

  • $105158253

    There is no love in condoning, accepting, affirming, celebrating or remaining silent over sinful behavior.

  • Darryl Phillips

    But Jesus did it frequently. Are you better?

  • $105158253

    No he never did that. Show us where he condoned sin.

  • Bruce K.

    Chris, I’m sorry to say so but your argument has several faults. First, that Paul and Jesus disagree. That cannot be proven, in fact, it is quite simple (but beyond the scope of this topic) to prove that they agree with each other 100%. Second, your doubting about whether Paul’s “conversion” was legitimate or not, or whether or not his teaching is valid, doesn’t matter. The only reliable record we have of Paul is what the Bible says and it is clear there that he is upheld as a true apostle of Jesus. Most egregiously, you draw a false distinction between Paul and Jesus, then the real comparison is God’s word in the Torah, then Jesus, then Paul. The Torah unequivocally says the homosexuality is a sin, in fact, an abomination. Therefore, if Jesus, who in His own words said that the Father was greater than he were to contradict the Father’s instructions in the Torah, Jesus should be rejected. Ipso facto Paul as well. However, Jesus upholds the entire Torah (Matt. 5:17ff) and Paul upholds it as well (Romans 1 and 3:31) Therefore, the fact that homosexual practice is a sin is established by the entire Bible, not in spite of it. Your opinion of Paul or Jesus doesn’t matter.

  • Jaco van Zyl

    I used to wonder why Fundamentalists are so vocal about cults. I mean they get hissing fits when discussing cults or when discussing Fundamentalist issues with cult members. I realise that it is simply a reaction formation. They are as cultic as any other cult they attack with demon-hunter hysteria. John MacArthur is as Watchtowerite as the most indoctrinated JW could only wish to be. How interesting.

  • BB

    CPS—I am making you a huge chocolate pie–ENJOY!!!

  • Yvonne Shek

    MacArthur is basically practicing sharia law (which I bet he hates if it has an eastern label). He is just practicing a western version of it.

  • WonkishGuy

    Spot on. The bizarre thing is that he has managed to convince people that he is some sort of mainstream evangelical when in fact he is plainly a fundamentalist. As far as I know, he is also one of the last ‘evangelicals’ to be stridently anti-Catholic, another sure sign that he really is a fundamentalist.

  • Jeff

    Hardly surprising, considering that MacArthur first came to mainstream prominence back in the early 80’s when he was caught on audiotape encouraging a young man to commit suicide because of his sinfulness (which the man did). MacArthur has been an egomaniacal, power-crazed fanatic ever since he stepped into the pulpit.

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

    You are a nut…certifiable.

  • Darryl Phillips

    Again, a really enlightening comment. If you have something to contribute then do so. You seem knowledgeable, please enlighten us.

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

    MacArthur, along with biblical Christianity denies the idea of gay Christian. Really simple. If you can read Scripture and come away with anything other than that, it is due to your own ignorance and desire to change Scripture so that it satisfies modern minds. Enemies of the faith.

  • Darryl Phillips

    So you are saying that if you and I read anything and come away with different interpretations, then you are right and I am ignorant?

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

    In the case of gay Christianity, if you think one can be gay and truly Christian, then yes, you are incredibly ignorant. Are you saying that one can interpret Scripture anyway the please? There is no limits as to how badly one can mangle the text?

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    No kidding. If we mangle the text bad enough we might even end up believing in things like raptures and such.

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

    If it isn’t the man himself. Hello Ben. While I am a strong MacArthur advocate, I am not such a strong supporter of the rapture theory. I am honest enough to say that the doctrine has a long way to go to reach the level of dogma. I have serious doubts that it ever should reach such a status.

    Your misrepresentation of MacArthur was quite unloving and unfair. You should at least provide the proper background and have been honest in your criticism. You were not.

    For the record, MacArthur does not teach tithing. To compare overeating with greed is a case you need to make sir. Talk about stretching the limits of truth and reason, you surely are guilty.

    You need to rightly represent JM’s position and then offer your critique with your standard being Scripture, not modern America’s psychological interpretive scheme as your primary hermeneutic.

    I would love discuss your views in front of all your followers so that they can see for themselves just how badly you are misrepresenting Jesus, His apostles, and the Sacred Scripture.

  • Darryl Phillips

    You seem to have the gift of perfection. Must be nice.

  • perrydu

    I read 1 Corinthian 5 and at the end Paul says “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.” So leave people who are not in your church alone.

  • Imma Commenter

    What is it Gandhi said? Something about liking Christ but not so much Christians?

    Wonder why? *sarcasm*

  • jayh

    Better yet, just ignore all of the bible.

  • marhow48

    People who live in hatred of another human being – – no matter what the reason – – should not call themselves Christian

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

    There are no gay Christians nor is there is any such thing as a genuine Christian that believes there are gay Christians. They simply don’t exist. Purge the leaven.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    But you’re talking to a genuine Christian who believes that gay Christians exist, so that’s a little odd.

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

    No I am not. I am talking to people that claim to be Christian but deny Scripture at the same time. These are only professing Christians. They have no earthly idea that Christianity is.

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

    I suppose murders and pedophiles and liars and cheaters and adulterers are Christians too. A guy molests kids but professes to be a Christian. Does that make him a Christian? Of course not!

  • WonkishGuy

    Strictly speaking and if you want to insist on wooden literalism, there is no explicit condemnation of pedophilia in the Bible and as it was not until the 19th century that people starting realizing that perhaps allowing a 12 year old to get married was not such a great idea. So, I’d suspect that there would have been “Christian pedophiles” for most of history.

    We can condemn such things because we apply broader principles and have better knowledge of psychology, not because the Bible infallibly tells us so. In a way, this is we progressive tend to do about other issues such as homosexuality: use modern knowledge, look at the effects on the people involved, and consider that a prohibition must have a rational reason and not just be some random rule that seems to only destroy people for no good reason.

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

    Do you claim to be a Christian, a follower of Christ?

  • LivinginVA

    Are you suggesting that Christians are incapable of committing sins? No Christian has ever murdered anyone? Or lied?

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

    There is a difference in falling into a sin which Christians most certainly do, and sin defining your lifestyle, which if it does, one does not know or love God according to Jesus and 1 John. Living together, carrying on an affair, and having sex with one partner after another, or a casual attitude toward sex outside of marriage is strong evidence one does not know God. How should the Church respond? By rebuking and correcting that person, in humility, but very directly. If they repent, the show their faith to be genuine. If after repeated attempts, they refuse to change their lifestyle, they are to be excommunicated from the church, not because of a particular sin, but because of obstinance. Jesus said we are to treat such a person like an unbeliever because they refuse to listen to His word. Paul took drastic and immediate action in Corinth with the couple whose marriage was illegitimate. Isn’t it ironic that this was a male-female marriage that God did not recognize and now heretics in the church want us to recognize same sex marriage. God hates sin and so do true believers because God’s seed remains in them.

  • LivinginVA

    You are welcome to have your church throw and rebuke homosexuals. You are not welcome to insist that every other church follow your theology.

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

    I am within my right as a legitimate member of Christ’s body to insist that anyone else claiming to be in the body conduct their life accordingly and if they do not, to publicly ostracize them as being false converts, among the group that Jesus said would call Him Lord but not do as He said. False believers sneaking in seeking to overthrow the truth of Christ and His word and to replace it with a worldly humanism that is suitable to their own perverse senses and desires. And so long as such false converts exist, I will continue to challenge their beliefs and call into question their claims to belong to Christ. It is my duty. And it is my hope that these people will repent of their unbelief and follow the real Christ taught and proclaim in Scripture rather than trying to change Jesus to fit the postmodern poppycock of modern American individualism.

  • LivinginVA

    Do you publicly ostracize those who live in luxury instead of giving their money to the poor (would you criticize someone at your church for owning a 50K car, for example). How about all who remarry after a divorce that wasn’t because of adultery? Those who work on the Sabbath?

    OR, have you cherry-picked a few issues and used those as your criteria for whether someone is a “real Christian?” If so, who has given you that right?

    Understand that those who do not agree with YOUR denomination’s interpretation of the Bible are free to the criticize your beliefs if they desire – for exactly the same reason you have given.

    There is a reason that there are THOUSANDS of Christian denominations – the Bible has been translated and interpreted differently by every one of them.

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

    It is clear to me that you have a terrible misunderstanding of what the Bible actually teaches about these issues. I hold a Th. D and am also completing academic work in philosophy and apologetics. I do not say this to brag but only so that you will now I am not a novice.

    1. Scripture does not compel people to give all their money to the poor, but only to meet legitimate needs.

    2. Scripture does not instruct the rich to stop being rich but rather to be ready to give to genuine needs.

    3. The gospel of Christ is not a social revolution. It is a spiritual kindgom.

    4. People who divorce for biblical reasons may re-marry. In our church, people who divorce for unbiblical reasons are excommunicated the same as a practicing homosexual, practicing adulterer, fornicator, liar, or otherwise.

    5. I am accustomed to my beliefs being criticized. But that criticism is only as credible as one’s grasp of the hermeneutical and exegetical principles upon which it is based.

    6. Christians have not been given the liberty to interpret the Scriptures in any way they please and then call on God’s grace as if He were an earthly, soft, weak father who lets his children do as they please. 2 Peter 3:16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. Peter had very strong and ominous language for the mishandling of the text.

    7. There are passages of Scripture that are more difficult to understand than others. The rapture theory is a perfect example. However, Paul condemns homosexuality is 2 Co. 6:9, 1 Tim. 1:10, and Romans 1:18-30.

    8. Not only is homosexual sex considered against nature, Paul has strong words for those who do not condemn it: and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

    9. Paul says that those who practice all these sins, to include male to male and female to female intercourse, are worthy of death, but he also forbids us from giving approval to these things.

    10. Why do you think Paul forbad the marriage of a man and his former step-mother? Do you not think they loved each other, that they wanted to be with each other? Paul did not consider their desires for a second. He threw them out of the Christian community. He called it purging the leaven. Why do your sort quote Paul when he is talking about love and ignore him on issues like this? I can’t help but wonder if you believe in women submitting to their husbands and if you think females can pastor churches and serve in leadership positions in the Christian community as well. You take those things you want from Scripture and those things the offend your modern, American, liberated thinking, you re-interpret to fit your scheme. You pervert and corrupt Christ when you do this. If you loved Jesus, you would accept His word.

    All that said, I know it cannot be easy to have gay children. But I have unbelieving children. I have a daughter that lives with a man. So, don’t lecture me about not knowing what it is like to not have kids rejecting God’s design for human living. I think most of us do. The difference is that my daughter does not profess Christ. She has been taught better than that.

  • LivinginVA

    My uncle, with whom I have had extensive discussions on the Bible, helped translate the Dead Sea Scrolls and has read the Bible in far closer to original text than most people on the planet disagrees with you.

    1 – Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”

    2 – “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

    Continue to believe it is Christian to be rich, just understand the Bible does not support it.

    Most of your arguments are similar to ones used by Christians to support slavery and oppose women’s rights: find a Bible quote and ignore all of the context, including cultural, from which it came.

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

    Those are terrible interpretations of Jesus interactions with an individual whose riches were obviously his god. Jesus knows how to put his finger on it. It is an illegitimate practice to impose what Jesus said to this man on all men. A love for God will translate into a love for helping others. But that is radically different from claiming that a love for God equals that one cannot possess material things. Who gets to draw the line? You? Your uncle? At some point someone has to decide what is enough and what is too much. This is hardly what Jesus preached as the gospel. What it is is socialism overlaid onto the gospel. Paul said this about rich believers: Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy. (1 Tim. 6:17) Notice that Paul did not say they must give it all away. There are rich Christians whether you like it or not. It is one thing to possess wealth and another for wealth to possess us. However, Jesus words do point out the dangers of greed and they are real. But you push it way too far.

    Show me one verse where you think I have ignored the context grammatically, historically, culturally or otherwise. Just one. That is a blatant lie and is either malicious or ignorant.

  • Jeff Preuss

    You stated there are no genuine Christians who believe that there are gay Christians. You know this to be a falsehood, so you just lied. So, by your own logic…you are NOT a Christian, correct?

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

    Really? Let me qualify this a little. There could be a very new Christian that may not yet realize that gay Christians do not exist. However, no genuine Christian rejects the Bible’s teachings on homosexual sex just like they don’t reject the Bible’s teaching on other immoral sexual acts. If a person rejects the Bible’s teachings on sex, that is proof that that person rejects God. One cannot reject God’s word without rejecting God. Rejection of God is rejection of Christianity. Rejection of Christianity is proof one is not a genuine Christian. Your comments are puzzling.

    When a Christian reads Scripture’s teaching on homosexuality, they do not attempt to change it, modernize it, downplay it, excuse it, ignore it, or anything like that. They simply recognize and acknowledge it and true Christians do not dare to command God on any issue.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Which Bible, Ed?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Biblical_canon

    There are more than a few versions of the Bible out there, not all of which even contain the same Books. And the different translations that exist using the SAME Books vary in so many ways, which led to the creation of so many different denominations, all Christian, all with their own takes on theological issues.

    So, it’s pure folly for you to come in here and insist that YOUR take is the ONLY take on the issue, that NO other Christian would DARE to believe that there are gay Christians.

    signed, an OLD Christian

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

    Which translations are you referring to that actually end up permitting homosexual sex. The version that I use is the Greek and Hebrew MSS for the New and Old Testaments respectively. Are you claiming that there are significant variants in the MSS that open the possibility that the age-old prohibition against homosexual sex in Judaism and then Christianity can be called into question. If so, please point me to those resources so that I can examine your evidence.

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

    I just looked at the NA28 and there are no variants listed for 1 Tim. 1:10 or 1 Cor. 6:9 relating to this issue.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    And he saith unto them, Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. And if a woman shall put away her husband, and be married to another, she committeth adultery.” —Mark 1:1-1

    How many divorced and remarried people do you know, Dr. Dingess, who claim to be followers of Jesus? Are you one, perhaps? Is this simply a false claim on their behalf? This is a sticky wicket. Since the adulterous divorced-and-remarried person continues on in adultery, per Jesus’ words, how can s/he possibly be a Christian, then? Is this not the same argument you are using against gay believers?

  • Jeff Preuss

    That IS a sticky wicket. Mostly, I just like typing sticky wicket.

  • CatLover

    No place in the Bible does it state that homosexuality is a sin so it can’t be condemned. I think God whould have made it clear if it was, he does with adultery, why not homosexuality.

    Some people claim that Leviticus 20:13 condemns homosexuality, but it was grounded in Jewish understanding at the time of the Bible, that women are less worthy than men. So, for a man to have sex with another man as with a woman, insults the other man, because women are to be treated as property.

    Then there is Romans 1:26: But Paul didn’t write it as a condemnation of homosexuality, but as a criticism of Greek behavior in temple worship if it is read further into the chapter. It was common for Greeks to incorporate sexual behavior in temple worship. So Paul was condemning this common happening. Paul says we all fall short of the glory of God.

    Exodus 31:15 calls for death for anyone working on the Sabbath. Exodus 21:15-17 in the Old Testament and Romans 1:30-32 in the New Testament require death for disobedient children. Leviticus 20:10 states that adulterers ‘’shall surely be put to death.’’ Leviticus 24:16 says the same thing about blasphemy. And I repeat no place in the Bible does it state homosexuality is a sin. So, it doesn’t matter whether or not one acts on it. God created every person on earth, why would he condemn about ten percent of them? God loves everyone.

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

    You have no clue what your talking about.

  • Darryl Phillips

    Wow! We certainly learned a lot from you rebuttal.

    Can you enlighten us on which of his points were incorrect, and provide evidence? O are you limited to just defamation?

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

    Where in Romans 1 does Paul reference Greek behavior temple worship? Paul speaks about the direct act of changing the natural use of men and women sexually. There is NOTHING alluding to temple worship.

    Paul said, Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

    It doesn’t get any plainer than that. And if a Christian engages in such behavior and refuses to repent, Paul had something else to say:

    Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump of dough? 7 Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened. For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us celebrate the feast, not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people; 10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters, for then you would have to go out of the world. 11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he is an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler—not even to eat with such a one. 12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.

    Now, you can say amen and obey God’s word. In that case, you are welcome in Christ. Or, you can deny this text, twist them into something else even though they are plain, or you can even say Paul was ignorant. It doesn’t matter. What matters is if you reject these texts, you are NOT welcome in the community. You are the leaven Paul spoke of and you need to excuse yourself and be the open non-Christian that you really are. But don’t call yourself a Christian while denying the Scripture. Do the Church a favor, just leave if you don’t want to accept the Scripture.

    John MacArthur was dealing with unrepentent gay children that also wanted to be approved as believers. Sorry, Christian parents cannot call good evil and evil good even when it comes to their children. Jesus said I would set father against son and mother against daughter. He said He came to bring division. He said the world hated him and it would hate us too. Jesus told the woman taken in adultery, GO AND SIN NO MORE. Do you think Jesus would have caught her ignoring Him and would have just shrugged his shoulders and laughed it off?

    But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, 9 realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers 10 and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted.

  • CatLover

    In my King James version it doesn’t say homosexuals, so I guess someone is questioning the translation.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    Yup, that’s because they’ve only translated it that way since circa 1946. Most folks don’t realize it’s not in older versions or what the word even means.

  • https://www.facebook.com/toujoursdan Dan Sloan

    You say: “Where in Romans 1 does Paul reference Greek behavior temple worship?”

    I say: Romans 1:23 – “and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.”

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

    Wow! That isn’t a reference to what was only going on in Rome, but the universal nature of the language indicates Paul is talking about all men who have turned from God all worship a false god, either themselves, or one of their own making. To argue that homosexual sex was only wrong because it was somehow taking place within idolatrous temple worship is without exegetical warrant. It was due to man’s rejection of God that God turned men over to these perverse desires. How difficult is that to understand?

    If I took your interpretation, I would also have to say that all those other vices in his list in Romans 1 were only wrong within the context of pagan temple worship. That view has not basis whatsoever when one examines the language of the text. Notice how Paul takes us back all the way to the creation of the world. Notice the universal language throughout the text. And then against in 2:1.

  • ChristianHuls

    Yes, Jesus hung out with tax collectors and sinners. He did this to win them to Himself. Notice that MacArthur said that IF this person is a professing Christian, then this is the proper response, but only AFTER repeated attempts to get them to repent. It’s not a sin to be homosexual, but to practice it. If someone comes out and struggles against it, they are not shunned…

    Incidentally, the article heading is misleading, referring to them as children, when clearly he was speaking of an adult.

    In addition, the “shunning” described in Paul’s letter, and elsewhere, is to essentially not consider them Christians anymore, which means you treat them as if they are lost. Therefore, we treat them with love and witness to them.

    And I agree, it’s not just homosexuality, but also greed, adultery, etc.

  • Jeff Preuss

    The article heading is not misleading. The question MacArthur wretchedly answers is how a parent should respond to their child coming out.

  • c’est vrai

    Hey Ed do you support slavery? The bible does. Paul does. I hope you aren’t denying scripture or trying to dumb it down by not supporting slavery.

  • http://www.matthewkeville.com/ Seraph4377

    Hi, Ben. Found my way over here from Fred Clark at Slacktivist.

    This is a fine and moving post. This sort of thing – along with Fred’s entire oeuvre – has managed to convince me that maybe there’s something to the teachings of Jesus. The god of the outcast is a god I can love.

    Of course, then I read some of your commenters, and I’m reminded why I left Christianity. But then I imagine you find them discouraging, too.

    Keep up the good work.

  • Sterling Price-McKinney

    This was the shunning treatment I received from the Southern Baptist church I was raised in, after it came to light that I had been molested by a minister there. I was 11 years old. Only a few of the adults would still talk to me, those my own age ignored me completely. No one ever told my parents. It saddens me some 45 years later, to find the same perverse reasoning in play that so utterly destroyed the little boy who used to be me. Don’t abandon your children. Abandon the pew!

  • Kimberly Owen

    Quoting Karen Mains – “People don’t have a problem with Jesus – it’s his wife they hate.”

  • Too Old To Care

    What “troubles” you about MacArthur advice… Troubles? Call it what it is, sick and evil. Any parent who would shun their children if they come out is the lowest form of scum in the world. “Advice” like this has nothing to do with Christ. It has nothing to do with good. It’s simply evil and vile and people who attempt to justify it (you can’t really because of the sliminess and disgust it really is) are equally as evil and vile. You shouldn’t be “troubled” by this, you should be disgusted and call it what it is. Malignant and evil.

  • Michael Todd

    I know it is quite hip to be postmodern, to deconstruct biblical text to fit current tastes, and to be in endless “conversation.” Yet the Bible is plain regarding homosexuality. You may not agree with it(and that’s fine) but do us all a favor and quit calling yourself a Christian.

  • c’est vrai

    Were those who deconstructed the biblical text to oppose slavery also postmodernists pandering to current tastes? Should such people who deny the clear meaning of the text that supports slavery call themselves Christians? What about women who do not cover their head when praying and prophesying? Or men who do not wear short hair? Did not Paul deconstruct the biblical text when he denied the need for circumcision, dietary laws and holy day observances? You have a very simplistic view of the bible. Perhaps it’s a good fit for you.

  • Michael Todd

    My friend, you are conflating the laws governing the theocratic state of ancient Israel with moral laws. Slavery of some of the surrounding nations in that ancient time was a type of judgment against those nations just as the conquest of Canaan was.
    I would be happy to engage you at length on these interesting subjects once we establish our respective views of Scripture and our reasons for them.

  • LivinginVA

    “do us all a favor and quit calling yourself a Christian.”

    No. In fact, if you feel you have the right to decide who is “really” a Christian and who isn’t, then, perhaps, you need to read the Bible more carefully.

  • Michael Todd

    Christians are those who are Christ’s disciples – who like the publican in Luke 18 beat their breasts and express remorse and shame over their sin rather than the Pharisee who denied his own sinfulness. Remember too Isaiah 5:20 wherein it pronounces woe to those who call evil good and good evil.

  • LivinginVA

    They didn’t consider slavery a sin. They didn’t consider treating women as property a sin. They considered eating shellfish a sin. They considered women entering a church without head coverings a sin.

    Apparently, Christ’s immediate disciples did not have the same idea of what sin is that we do today.

  • http://bucknacktssordidtawdryblog.blogspot.com/ Craig

    THE hypocrisy in this pastor’s statement is stunning and he should
    be ashamed. This will only encourage hatred, discrimination, prejudice
    and possibly violence against the LGBT community. Last I knew those are
    not the teachings of Jesus Christ. Thankfully there other Christian
    leaders who are speaking out against him and his heresy. Here is the
    text of 1st Corinthians 5. Homosexuality is not specifically mentioned,
    but incest is, along with sexual immorality (allowing human
    interpretation based not on the teachings of Christ but on personal
    prejudice thus condemnation of gays when the scripture actually addresses all sexual activity outside marriage). John McCarthur knew better than to apply this scripture to society at large, if he did he would loose most of his followers and their money. If he applied all of the things listed to society at large Christians would have to consider their greed and actual tithing, their idolatry with their striving for more material goods to keep up with their neighbors, their pooh-poohing of having too much to drink as well as use of other drugs. And slanderers. Gossip is slander, and it is rampant in too many of our churches. And how many of our politicians of any party should be allowed to address Christians in our churches and at our conventions? Why, Christians shouldn’t be donating time and / or money or voting for the vast majority of our politicians because slander of their opponents and our government comes as easy to the majority of our politicians as breathing. Finally, read the definition of swindle (swin·dle [swin-dl] verb (used with object), swin·dled, swin·dling.

    1. to cheat (a person, business, etc.) out of money or other assets.

    2. to obtain by fraud or deceit. verb (used without object), swin·dled, swin·dling.

    3. to put forward plausible schemes or use unscrupulous trickery to defraud others; cheat. noun

    4. an act of swindling or a fraudulent transaction or scheme.

    5. anything deceptive; a fraud: This advertisement is a real swindle.)

    , look in the mirror, and let those who aren’t guilty of this sin cast the first stone.

    1 Corinthians 5

    New International Version (NIV)

    Dealing With a Case of Incest

    5 It
    is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a
    kind that even pagans do not tolerate: A man is sleeping with his
    father’s wife. 2 And you are proud! Shouldn’t you rather have gone into mourning and have put out of your fellowship the man who has been doing this? 3 For my part, even though I am not physically present, I am with you in spirit. As one who is present with you in this way, I have already passed judgment in the name of our Lord Jesus on the one who has been doing this. 4 So when you are assembled and I am with you in spirit, and the power of our Lord Jesus is present, 5 hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh,[a][b] so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.

    6 Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? 7 Get
    rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you
    really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. 8 Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

    9 I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— 10 not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. 11 But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister[c] but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.

    12 What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? 13 God will judge those outside. “Expel the wicked person from among you.”[d]

    Footnotes:

    1 Corinthians 5:5 In contexts like this, the Greek word for flesh (sarx) refers to the sinful state of human beings, often presented as a power in opposition to the Spirit.

    1 Corinthians 5:5 Or of his body

    1 Corinthians 5:11 The Greek word for brother or sister (adelphos) refers here to a believer, whether man or woman, as part of God’s family; also in 8:11, 13.

    1 Corinthians 5:13 Deut. 13:5; 17:7; 19:19; 21:21; 22:21,24; 24:7

  • Xari

    You rock, Benjamin Corey!! My oldest son was gay, but I’m not burdened with being a Christian. I am, of course, surrounded by them. You are among only a handful I’ve found that, to my mind, have any sense and who “get it (meaning Jesus’s point).”

  • JoAnn Forsberg

    Each summer, I am invited to a state wide PFLAG camping/family event. It is a Christian Family gathering event in my home state.

    The beauty I witness humbles me deeply each moment of each day. For at this family week I am included in campfires, beach games, blueberry picking, pot luck meals.

    Such an aware of families; more representative of the “rainbow colors” than any religious righteous people could believe as to what the rainbow represents.

    Children, every nationality, every levels of health; children with bald heads fighting for their lives with cancer.

    Every deformity, that here are not deformity, as the shinning eyes, laughter and huge smiles outshine any wheelchair found. So, as I read others whom reject gay individuals I am crying. Christ within me through the Spirit cries: Leave me with the broken and rejected for such beauty is found nowhere else upon this earth, in this era, in any nationality of mankind.

    The broken… the rejected… those whom daily must hear: You should be stoned to death. Still, wake up and hold a child that no one else would. Still, talk to a soon-to-be teenage mother explaining: “It does get better”. That rather she desires to keep the child or give up for adoption “it does get better”.

    Telling that frightened girl: “We will stand with you” through all the stones being thrown…

    On my knees I cry out to God to: Give me the broken in this era of mankind…For, I shall find Christ there.

    Year after year after year children whom society say: Are not perfect; become perfect; with perfect parents; whom nurture their adopted child from a wounded child into all that is beautiful in any human.

    Truly, Jesus sits among us at the campfire watching the stars…. those stars holding a child, the twinkling stars of the children’s eyes… and those Heavenly stars that some day ALL here will enter into.

    As a straight, Christian, devoted follower to our Lord and Savior each moment of each day. I am humbled that these families allow me to witness such beauty.

    Quaker Grandmother.

  • Rich Farias

    You’re more Christ-like than the majority of “Christians” I’ve come across. I don’t share your religious beliefs, but I thank you nonetheless.

  • JoAnn Forsberg

    Bless you Sir. As I follow Quaker teachings, I shall say: I do believe Quakers have the “truest” foundation as to the message of the gospel. Quakers since 1700 have understood the concept of equality for all. Quakers teach that faith is: That personal relationship and it is vital to listen to the “Spirit” in silence.

    Quakers are whom lead the end to Slavery, Brought equality for Women Rights. Quakers follow a faith that is simplistic in it’s foundation. To not argue, to not cause fights, to listen more than speak. To stand for social justices for all.

    So, it deeply touches me to have you state: “Christ-likeness within me”. For Christ-likness comes from the bending of our “self” inside each day to the overwhelming love of Christ…

    Than to walk amongst others in appreciation; not in a crusade against another. I appreciate your kindness.

  • Traci

    Thank you Ben!! Excellent article. As someone who knows the pain of disownment, I thank you for coming to the defense of those of us who are LGBTQ. Thank you for loving us like Jesus.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    You’re welcome!

  • weareallhypocrites

    Thank you for speaking out on this. Too many Christians pick the sins they don’t commit while ignoring the ones they commit to throw the biggest stones at.

  • B real

    What a damn hypocrite! And I say that as a Christ follower!

  • Emilio@redgracemedia

    Benjamin,
    Everything that MacArthur spoke was rooted in Scripture, your statements however reveal a complete departure from what Scripture teaches, since nothing scriptural was provided above all I can guess is that you are not concerned with God’s opinion on the matter. Ah wait a minute, I see Fuller above, never mind makes sense now.

  • Travis

    Pastor MacArthur, it seems, gave a very sound Biblical answer. I expect that had he been asked about an adult child that was unrepentant in their covetousness or in their drunkenness, he would have given the same answer.

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

    Little children, make sure no one deceives you; the one who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous;

    8 the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.

    If you have a problem with these words, then you have a problem not with me, but with John and if you have a problem with John, you have a problem with God. Jesus said “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”

    If you reject John, you reject God’s word spoken through John. No one that rejects God’s word is of God.

  • c’est vrai

    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as you obey Christ (Eph.6:5)

    Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything (Col.3:22)

    Tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect (Tit.2:9)

    Slaves, accept the authority of your masters with all deference, not only those who are kind and gentle but also those who are harsh. (1Pet.2:18)

    Peter and Paul supported slavery. If you have a problem with these words, then you have a problem not with me, but with Peter and Paul and if you have a problem with Peter and Paul, you have a problem with God. Jesus said “He who is of God hears the words of God; for this reason you do not hear them, because you are not of God.”

    If you reject Peter and Paul, you reject God’s word spoken through them. No one that rejects God’s word is of God.

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

    I have no problem whatsoever with the words of Peter and Paul. Who are you to sit in judgment of God’s word?

  • Lbj

    They did not endorse slavery. Paul does say if a person can become a freeman then do so. Also, if they made the the abolition of slavery their goal then Christianity would have been stopped. It would have died out.

  • c’est vrai

    If you can read those verses and conclude that Paul did not endorse slavery then people can read other verses and conclude that Paul did not condemn monogamous homosexual relationships.

  • Lbj

    It has been estimated that over 80% of the people in the Roman empire were slaves. If Paul had called for the revolt of all Christian slaves what do you think would have happened to these Christians?

  • Guy Norred

    Really? Are you saying Paul’s writings were influenced by contemporary political expediency?

  • Lbj

    In one sense yes. Christians were to be law abiding citizens and to obey the laws so long as they did not conflict with clear teachings of Scripture.

  • c’est vrai

    So Paul endorsed slavery because of the times he lived in, but given how times have changed we should not? Or, to put it another way, if Paul were writing today he would not endorse slavery?
    This is the kind of thinking Christians wrestling with homosexuality are engaging in. It doesn’t mean they reject the bible. They are trying to figure out how to read those texts in our own context. What did homosexuality look like in Greco-Roman culture? What does it look like today? What do we know about it? What about the growing number of Christians coming out gay? Are they all just unrepentant sinners? Or do we need to listen to them and keep wrestling with our bible?

  • Getreal

    Corey shows his GROSS IGNORANCE about what John MacArthur preaches and does not preach. This is what happens when one emotes instead of researching properly before putting their foot in their mouth as Corey has done here. As a former Grace Community Church member I hardly ever heard John reference homosexuality, but heard him say plenty about the a variety of sins but always with the Cross of Christ in view as the remedy. If Corey had taken the time to listen to a number of free mp3 downloads of John at Grace To You he would know differently. John would be the first to say that the sin of homosexuality is just the symptom of one’s fallen estate, and the grace of Christ is the cure for those who acknowledge their sin. Corey really steps over the line with his ax-to-grind article when he asks if John would alienate someone for eating too much. Really? Is that the best you can do Mr. Corey? Please show me in the OT where over eating was a capital crime. Better yet, show me one vice list where gluttony is ever mentioned–is it 1 Cor. 6:9-11; Gal. 5:19-21; Eph. 5:3-6; or is it 1 Tim. 1:9-11? I am sorry, I can’t find it, can you? Or did you amend your Bible. To use this argument shows how desperate and fatigued your argumentation is. Over eating is hardly analogous to sexual sin. Further, while Christ ate with sinners, please show me just once where he ever congratulated them for their sin or commended them for their values. I do remember the occasion with the woman caught in adultery–what did Jesus say there Mr. Corey?????? I guess you forgot–he said “Go and sin no more”. The same thing He would say to homosexuals who want to follow Him. In the end, your piece is very long on sentiment and completely lacking of any biblical or theological substance. No wonder I never heard of you before this! Your spacious article is reminiscent of Paul’s warning in Ephesian 5:6 “Let no one deceive you with empty words …” Empty words just like yours.

  • c’est vrai

    Hey Getreal, I keep asking a question no one answers. As someone who follows the bible and therefore believes homosexuality is a sin, do you also follow the bible and believe that slavery is ok? The bible is very clear on it and there is not one verse that opposes it. In fact, the bible says more condoning slavery than it does opposing homosexuality.

  • Lbj

    Where does the Bible endorse slavery? In a spiritual sense all men are slaves. Either to sin or Satan or to Christ. There is no third option.

  • malcolmkw

    MacArthur is not saying to abandon anyone who commits a sin, or struggles with sin. He would agreed 100% that we all do. He is saying that if a person claims to be a believer, claims to follow Christ, and yet even when confronted with the truth of scripture continues to live in a sinful lifestyle with no remorse, then it is time to walk away from them. It is only in that case because by their actions they are harming the name of Christ. The sin could be any sin that a person is engulfed in and unwilling to give up.

    You may argue that this is unfair, as a homosexuality is part of a person’s nature and its not possible for them to change. Surprisingly, the bible agrees with you! All humanity has been cursed with a sin nature, and is dead, with no ability to overcome it. In Christ there is strength to overcome any sin, even though we may still struggle with it. This is why it is important to shun the unrepentant who claim to be believers (after proper confrontation of their behavior in love), because their sinful lifestyle is essentially saying to the world that Christ is not powerful enough to transform them.

  • frumpus

    You are a bigoted scumbag

  • malcolmkw

    Care to elaborate on why you think so? I’d be more than happy to respond to your concerns regarding my worldview. I honestly try my best to live a life guided by a love for God and for others. That includes proclaiming the truth, especially in situations where a person’s soul is at stake.

  • c’est vrai

    You seem like a reasonable person. Is slavery ok? Honest question. The bible supports slavery. Do you? If not, why not?
    I keep bringing this up because the truth is, these issues are not as cut and dried as some think.

  • malcolmkw

    I don’t think that the Bible supports slavery, but rather gives principles for those living in a society that does. In ancient Israel slavery was permitted, but only for a short period of time, unless the slave agreed to become a permanent servant. Israelites were called to treat their slaves fairly and respectfully (especially when compared to similar cultures of the day). The same goes for slavery in the New Testament. Here’s a passage that gives the general New Testament attitude toward slavery:

    Ephesians 6:5-9 5 Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, with a sincere heart, as you would Christ, 6 not by the way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but as servants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, 7 rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man, 8 knowing that whatever good anyone does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether he is a slave or free. 9 Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.

    This is a radically different attitude toward slavery compared to the prevalent view of slaves in the classical world. Of course, we can’t take this passage alone and claim that the Bible says slavery is ok. There are many other passages to take into consideration like:

    Mark 12:30-31 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

    I think that when everything is taken into consideration, slavery in and of itself is not wrong. I myself am called a slave of Christ, bought and owned by Him. That said following the principles of scripture, slavery is wrong 99.9% of the time. Definitely the type of slavery practiced in the southern US was wrong as there was no concern for the well being or rights of others.

    If you’re looking for a case where it might be morally ok, I’d say a situation where an impoverished person agreed to become a slave to pay off a debt, where the arrangement was of mutual benefit to the slave and master and they treat each other with dignity and respect. Fortunately, we live in a welfare based society today, where this kind of thing doesn’t really have a place, but that wasn’t the case in the past. I totally support the outlawing of slavery in our culture as the vast majority of the time it is abusive and and totally unnecessary in our society.

    I agree that these issues are not simply cut and dried, they are difficult and take lots of careful thought and consideration as to how to respond to them. The same goes for the debate as to whether or not the Bible should be used as a moral guide in our present culture. People often rip a few unenlightened sounding verses out of context and use them to claim that we shouldn’t rely on the bible to be our guide. If we look at the whole of God’s word though, and study how it impacted the various times and cultures to which it was written, then we can see how God’s truth impacts and transforms every culture.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    Never in my life have I heard someone say that there actually are circumstances where slavery is okay. As someone who actually works with former slaves in the real world (it’s actually the topic of my doctoral dissertation) I’m shocked to meet someone who thinks there is actually a time or place for this.

    Furthermore, Ephesians cannot be said to denote God’s attitude toward slavery. The Greek term translated as slave in the NT is actually a catch all word for “servanthood” which denotes service but not the actual form of service (it can be used to refer to a maid or a slave as we understand it). The closest we have in the NT to the actual usage of the Greek word for slave occurs one time, where it is condemned (1 Tim 1:10).

  • malcolmkw

    Like I said, exceedingly rare cases, especially in our world today. In the past, when the choice was between starvation and surviving as a slave it may have worked in ideal circumstances. Sadly, more often than not the poor and weak were taken advantage of – the bible clearly speaks out against this.

    In response to your other statements, the word in Ephesians is δουλος. The BDAG lexicon defines a δουλος as:

    ① male slave as an entity in a socioeconomic context, slave (‘servant’ for ‘slave’ is largely confined to Biblical transl. and early American times [s. OED s.v. servant, 3a and b]; in normal usage at the present time the two words are carefully distinguished [Goodsp., Probs., 77–79]).

    ② one who is solely committed to another, slave, subject; ext. of mng. 1. Mt 6:24; Lk 16:13 express the ancient perspective out of which such extended usage develops: slaves are duty-bound only to their owners or masters, or those to whom total allegiance is pledged.

    Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., & Bauer, W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed.) (260). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

    In 1 Timothy 1:10 the word is ανδραποδιστης. That word means “one who acquires pers. for use by others, slave-dealer, kidnapper”. Obviously this is wrong, because as I said, there is no respect or love shown for the person or their rights.

    I would never dispute that you have seen horrible things that have been done to slaves. Like you, this grieves me. I was just stating the fact that it’s true, no where does the bible condemn the institution of slavery. Slavery in and of itself is not morally wrong but the acts committed within it are often atrocious. If all people behaved perfectly toward one another slavery might be a legitimate way to prevent abject poverty in countries where there is no government welfare plan. The reality is that this almost never happens so I would always be in favor of the abolishment of slavery. It’s important not to miss, that is why the Ephesians passage is so extraordinary. It shows us the transforming power of Christ. In Him, an institution like slavery (known for the abuse of the weak) could actually be turned into source of protection for the weakest members of society.

  • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

    “Slavery in and of itself is not morally wrong.’

    And you just lost…well…you lost everything. If you honestly believe that owning other human beings like chattel and bending and binding them to your will is not in and of itself a moral wrong, then your moral depravity is beyond anything that can possibly be fixed on an internet comment board.

    Two days ago, one of your brothers in Christ said right here that if God honestly commanded him to murder all the men, women, and children in a village he would do it. Now you’re using your sacrificed god to make a case for owning and selling human beings. I knew how sick your religion has become, I’ve known that since I was a child, but to see it in your face like a festering tumour, swathed in your pretty words of transforming power and Christ and protection….Manannan’s beard, I’m actually going to vomit.

  • malcolmkw

    “Sadly, more often than not the poor and weak were taken advantage of – the bible clearly speaks out against this.”

    That’s what I wrote in my last post. I’m talking about a voluntary act, by the slave and slave owner. No abuse, no bending anyone to anyone else’s will. We’ve largely been condition to see slavery as it was in the southern US, where slaves were forcibly taken and abused, but that’s not what I’m talking about here. Maybe I’m conflating slavery with indentured servitude? It’s clear that forcible slavery is not condoned (as mentioned above when talking about 1 Timothy 1:10).

    The kind of case I’m thinking of specifically is one where a person is unable to support themselves and deep in debt. That person could sell themselves into the slavery of a benevolent owner, who would pay their debt, and provide them with food clothing and shelter in return for work to recoup what he had spent. Both parties would benefit and get what they want. Obviously there is no reason, this should happen in our current welfare system (which is far superior to the help that slavery could provide). As a believer, I would like to point out that if I were in that position, I would rather just give the person what they need than put them into slavery however there may be times when that is not feasible.

    Obviously, I understand that this is all very theoretical, and things almost never work this way in real life. That is why in practice I am totally against slavery. I’m simply trying to explain that this is why the Bible doesn’t condemn slavery. Slavery is a tool – the bible is concerned with the motivations of those who wield it. It is concerned with the hearts of the people involved in the system, the subjugation of the weak and poor, taking advantage of others for your own benefit, that is the issue. As a believer it is my desire to put the welfare of others before my own.

  • Lbj

    All Christians are slaves of Christ. The apostles refer to themselves as such and Christians have been bought by Christ and we are owned by Him.

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

    Here is the truth about what most of the folks in this thread do: they want to believe certain things about Christianity, the Bible, homosexuality, social issues, etc. So they read men like Ben who will give them the perspective they want. They do not start out saying “I only want the truth.” It is NOT truth you are after. It is only the “truth” that you find acceptable, non-offensive, palatable, that you are after. You have an ideal in mind before you ever start reading. And that ideal determines who you find worthy and who you find repulsive. As a theologian, I know when someone is searching the issues the right way and when someone is just looking for support. It isn’t too difficult to see the bias. Most of the people I read in this thread spend more time watching reality TV than they do seriously reading AND studying Scripture in search of truth.

  • LivinginVA

    You said:

    1. Scripture does not compel people to give all their money to the poor, but only to meet legitimate needs.
    2. Scripture does not instruct the rich to stop being rich but rather to be ready to give to genuine needs.

    “Jesus said to him, “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
    “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.”

    You seem to only want the “truth” that you find acceptable, non-offensive, palatable and that you are after as well. Something about log in your eye comes to mind.

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

    Context context context. No scholar worth his salt would say that Jesus is laying down a general condition for salvation with this rich young ruler. NONE! Only an uninformed, desperate person would make such outrageous claims.

    Jesus said to the woman taken in adultery, neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more. Does that mean that in order for us to avoid future condemnation none of us can sin any more? Outrageous and silly.

  • Darryl Phillips

    Outrageous and silly is the point. No matter how you interpret that book some will see it another way and call you names too. Everyone has to ignore or deny a lot of the bible to believe the other parts. Or…you can examine the basic faults in logic and come to understand that it’s all a crock.

    Remember that the four corners of the earth proved the earth was flat…until it wasn’t.

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

    The “four corners of the earth” is a symbolic expression for a comprehensive view, that is, all of the earth. Job 26:7 says that the earth is suspended in space. Job 26:10 and Isaiah 40:21-22 teach that earth is a circle. Your comments are based on sheer ignorance and your unbelief is based on an unjustified optimism in your own self. Place your faith in Christ, not yourself. Lean not to your own understanding, but rather place your trust in the Lord. Only then will you find true knowledge and understanding.

  • art scott

    Benjamin L. Corey – thank you for your great writing and for sharing the truth in love. Pastor McArthur obviously has some personal issues dealing with his own sexuality. Mark my word, I don’t care how much money John M. is worth, or how many books he was written, the man has sexual issues in his own person life. I would even go so far as to say, he is a religious bully.

    I just know that one of McArthur’s key staff members at his college from a few years ago, Gary Aldrige fell from grace while serving as the Senior Pastor of Thorington Road Baptist Church in Montgomery, AL.

    Gary was a personal friend of mine from my undergraduate studies at Liberty University. Gary had a secret fetish involving autoerotic aphexiation. He died while having sex with a young man half his age. The details are found on this link including Gary’s autopsy.

    Dr. McArthur flew all the way to Montgomery, AL and played golf with the chief of police to find out the secrets surrounding Gary’s demise. I simply talked with private investigator locally and found out the truth of the whole case.

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/dead-reverends-rubber-fetish

    Dr. McArthur is basing his homophobic rhetoric based on passages for which their is not even a word in the greek language for homosexual. How sad that people do not read or research and the validity or lack of accurate Bible translations and, will buy into the rhetoric of religious bigots.

    Again, the gay issue, abortion issue and prayer in school are a catalyst for raising money into the coffers of some many religious right folks. Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell and John McArthur use these issues as hot buttons to cause donation money to be sent in.

    When will Christians and other religious groups stop this Spiritually Violent behavior. To borrow a phrase from my friend Mel While, this type of behavior is Spiritual Violence to the maximum degree.

    Thank you again Benjamin L. Corey.

    Stop Spiritual Violence…..Art Scott, 1980 Graduate, Liberty University, Masters Student at Walden University, Mental Health Counseling

  • Lbj

    This is article quite frankly is shock consider the author considers himself a Christian. Don’t you take the Bible seriously given that it condemns homosexuality? Doesn’t your church believe in church discipline for sin?

  • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

    And it came to pass, as Jesus sat at meat in the house, behold, many
    publicans and sinners came and sat down with him and his disciples. And when the Pharisees saw it, they said unto his disciples, Why eateth your Master with publicans and sinners? But when Jesus heard that, he said unto them, They that be whole need not a physician, but they that are sick. But go ye and learn what that meaneth, I will have mercy, and not sacrifice: for I am not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Matthew 9:11-13

    John MacArthur said ” Refuse to have a meal with them.” Many Christians who take the Bible seriously do not believe that homosexuality is a sin. I am one of them but even if it were what John MacArthur is teaching is a bad interpretation of scripture.

  • Lbj

    Did you notice that your passage you used that Jesus came to call ” sinners to repentance”? Engaging in homosexual sex is sin in Scripture as all sex outside of marriage between a man and woman is.

    On what grounds is Macarthur misinterpreting Scripture? Certainly I Corinthians 5:11-13 applies.

  • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

    First sexual orientation is not a sin therefor no repentance is required. Second the scripture you quote refers to how the church is to treat sinners, not how we are to treat family. Third I follow Jesus not Paul.

  • Lbj

    If that person in the family is claims to be a follower of Christ he must not engage in homosexual practices. It is a sin to do so.
    Jesus appoint Paul to be an apostle. An apostle is one who speaks in the place of and in the authority of Christ. If you are not following Paul, you are not following Christ.

  • DavStp

    Methink Pastor MacArthur doth protest too much. Someone check his browser history and I’ll bet its chock full of “protest data”. Educational material, to be sure.

  • http://www.ordosalutis.com/ Christopher Shaw

    This article (along with the HuffPost article in which this author is quoted) gets destroyed in 12 minutes by Dr. James White.
    http://groovychristian.com/2014/06/15/huffington-post-article-destroyed-in-12-minutes/

  • buccoman

    Dr White sounds like an imam giving a sermon at the most radical mosque in the world. Shunning? Is that what your religion teaches you? Shun your own Christian child just because he is gay? And then justify it by “holy passages from our holy book?” God help you.

  • http://www.ordosalutis.com/ Christopher Shaw

    Are you trying to make an argument? Because you didn’t rebut a single point made by Dr. White. Just an ad hominem rant.

  • buccoman

    You mean “Imam White?” Seriously, it’s just silly to treat the letters of Paul as applicable in their literal sense to today’s world. He can defend it as “Biblical” all he wants but it is absurd to shun your own Christian child just because s/he is gay. It’s also arguable as to the exact context of Paul’s instruction, but I don’t even care, because that’s not the way one should apply the Bible in any case. And the subjectivity in which those teachings are used is a whole other topic.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    White completely ignores the context. Paul sets up the context for us– he is responding to reports that there’s a person in their church who is sleeping with his step mother and he’s shocked that the church hasn’t addressed his behavior. How someone could transpose that into the context of the discussion is beyond me.

  • http://www.ordosalutis.com/ Christopher Shaw

    You say (and correctly so) that Paul responded to a report of a man sleeping with his father’s wife… how does this help your case???? Later in the chapter, Paul clearly uses this as an example of church conduct by expanding it to include numerous other sins:

    “But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.” (1 Cor. 5:11)

    According to the logic of your article, if your son is sleeping with your wife, you should just “walk across the room, give them a big hug, and tell them that you’re always going to love them.”

    Right? Right? Or is homosexuality the only sin that the church should accept with open arms?

  • buccoman

    What an absurd example. Use common sense. Use discernment, Chris. My God, this isn’t that difficult. You are over-generalizing and applying a formula to stuff that need not be so complicated, especially using an absurd hypothetical.

  • http://www.ordosalutis.com/ Christopher Shaw

    @buccoman:disqus I don’t know why you care to argue this since you don’t believe the Bible should be taken literally and applied to Christians today. (BTW, that’s Paul’s “absurd hypothetical” — but what do you care? The Bible’s just an outdated, irrelevant book in your view.)

  • buccoman

    I certainly don’t think the Bible is irrelevant. I think Dr MacArthur and Dr. White are going to cause pain, suffering and abandonment in families. That’s why I’m commenting here, and elsewhere–to try my best to gain compassion for gay Christians. Shunning is not compassionate.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    Orientation is absent behavior and therefore neither moral or immoral. That’s the point. Further, it’s utterly foolish to apply church discipline to the family unit. Paul is talking about church and behavior not family and orientation.

    And if it were a sin, would it really be the only sin accepted with open arms? Of course not. We have US flags on stage, have bring your gun to church days– the sin of idolatry, judgment of others, and gluttony among others, are already accepted with open arms.

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

    That is an interesting way of saying nothing at all about Christopher’s point. I am not even sure it would qualify as a response. Second, we are not talking about orientation (temptation, proclivity, desire). We are talking about practice. The number of gays that restrain from gay sex and who still refer to themselves as gay is infinitesimally small. So small that it does not deserve a place in this thread. MacArthur’s comments are the context. So lets stay on point and remain in the proper context of the subject at hand.

    Your list is fascinating. A flag can be a sin? A gun is a sin? Making judgments is a sin? idolatry and gluttony are not accepted with open arms. Perhaps what you call gluttony might be.

    This has nothing to do with what the Church accepts that it should not accept. That is a red herring and you know it. This has to do with your overhaul of God, Christ, and Christianity in a direction that is, well, fundamentally different from your fundamentalist upbringing.

    The Corinthian case has not been addressed in your response. It has been ignored. Will you write an article condemning the practice of gay sex outside of “gay marriage” as if such a thing exists at least? We can debate gay marriage elsewhere. I just want to know if your version of Christianity allows for unbridled gay sex which is what homosexuals want and the overwhelming majority of them practice according to every study that has been published on the subject.

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

    The misrepresentation here is ridiculous. Conservatives do NOT shun unbelievers. That is not what John MacArthur said. I listened to his answer this question. He was unambiguous. Gay unbelievers are being unbelievers. However, gay unbelievers that claim to love Christ are the issue. It is no different than drunks, adulterers, fornicators, liars, cheaters, murderers. Matt. 18 and 1 Cor. 5, 1 Thess and 2 John all provide language commanding the practice of shunning and excommunication.

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

    All of the sudden, my comments are disappearing. Isn’t that how its done. Can’t counter the arguments so we simply delete the comments.

  • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

    No they aren’t, dear. When a comment is deleted on Disqus, there’s a little marker that says ‘Comment deleted.’ If you cannot see the more than 30 comments you’ve posted that are clear as day on my screen, the issue is on your end. No need to falsely accuse Mr. Corey for your own incompetence.

  • JoAnn Forsberg

    A post I put out there today:

    This culture trait which began with the internet explosion is actual a detriment to the church body. As in a church body we are to be interconnected to one another.

    This “wall” of a internet screen removes that personal connection.

    If Christians could stop looking at Christ through their own lens of life experiences and teaching.

    If Christians could stop speaking and start listening in silence to our Lord and Savior.

    If Christians could place themselves as the broken on the side of the road.

    Than, Christianity shall stand into future generations. As, now on a daily basis these sites and lack of respect shown to one another as brethren is causing those out side of the Church to run away from the very love they should be running too.

    I ask one consideration out of everyone whom reads these post to please do this:

    Ponder this without trying to put any knowledge into it, any taught doctrine into it. Just let the words sink into your soul again and again.

    WE, AS HUMAN BEINGS HAVE IT BACKWARDS.

    WE VIEW FAITH FROM A HUMAN PERSPECTIVE NOT GOD’S PERSPECTIVE.

    SO, WHAT IS THE GREATER FAITH?

    FAITH IS NOT THAT WE BELIEVE IN GOD… A “SELF” ELEVATION THAT WE HAVE FOUND SOMETHING ANOTHER HAS NOT.

    FAITH IS THE FACT THAT GOD LOVED US FIRST. IT IS THAT GOD STILL BELIEVES IN MANKIND…

    IT IS THAT OVERWHELMING, VAST, INDESCRIBABLE MESSAGE OF THE CROSS.

    IT IS NOT ABOUT YOU….

    T IS NOT ABOUT ME…

    IT IS ABOUT THE FACT GOD HAS FAITH IN MANKIND STILL.

    UNDESERVING AS WE ARE…. GOD STILL HAS FAITH REGARDING US.

    THAT IS THE MESSAGE OF CHRISTIANITY. GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD…

    THOSE WORDS “GOD SO LOVED” ARE THE ONLY WORDS THAT CHANGE MANKIND.

    YET… IN CHRISTIANITY, WE SEEM TO BELIEVE WE ARE DOING GOD A FAVOR BY BELIEVING IN HIM.

    HARDEST LIFE LONG LESSON… IS TO LEARN TO REMOVE THAT “SELF” FROM THRONE. FOR IT IS NOT A ONE TIME ACT. IT IS A CONTINUOS ACTION WE DO EACH DAY IN EVERY MOMENT. THAT IS THE “TRUE CHANGE” CHRIST DESIRES FROM ALL THAT CALL UPON HIS NAME.

  • buccoman

    Firstly, If one moves beyond the hypothetical and considers one’s own kid actually coming out as gay, one realizes just how ridiculous this advice is, and how undeniably absurd it is to apply literally the letters of Paul to the real lives of human beings today. Secondly, no matter how much the conservative Christians revolt when one says so, it is quite true that they only selectively follow Paul’s admonitions and ignore others.

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

    By the way, I wonder what this thread thinks about unmarried gay sex. In other words, how many of these gay relations take place outside of gay marriage even if we granted that such a thing were possible. Are Christians that endorse gay sex instructing “gay Christians” to remain celibate until their gay wedding? Ever heard of a gay person refraining from gay sex until gay marriage? I haven’t. There may be a few, but this component of the issue is never discussed by gay proponents. If gays can have sex outside of marriage and call it love, why can’t heterosexuals? Just thinking out loud over here about the really, really bad arguments put forth in here.

  • Lbj

    Those are excellent questions. If you look at the Center for Disease Control data on the health problems associated with same sex sex there does not appear to be hardly any celibacy going on.

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

    That fact is conveniently ignored by the gay advocates. The truth is that the homosexual advocates and homosexuals themselves begin with how they want things to be rather than with how God has created them to be. They are not searching for truth, but for a version of truth that fits the story they desire to tell. The approach these deceivers take is subversive to God’s Word and to the Christian message. The antithesis is between righteousness and lawlessness, between sin and holiness, between knowledge of Christ and a false knowledge of Christ is ignored in preference for a perverse fallen definition of love and tolerance. It is this simple:

    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. (1 John 3:10) earlier John had already said that those who practice sin, which would include practicing any sort of sex outside of marriage as defined by God, as a way of life, is of the devil. We know that we have come to know God because we have forsaken our sin. Even the great variant on adultery, Jesus says to the woman caught in the act, “Don’t do this again.” Jesus did not accept her as she was, an adulteress and celebrate her sinful proclivities with her. Instead, He warned her NOT to engage in sin any longer. He commanded her to stop sinning. The gay advocate crowd says just the opposite. To them, unless you stop the message of repentance, you are unloving and not being like Jesus. Well, apparently they have no clue who Jesus actually was and what He actually taught about sin in the lives of people. The sinners Jesus dealt with knew they were sinners. They did not pretend to be righteous or worthy of God’s blessings. The religious hypocrites were just the opposite. They rejected the idea that they were sinners and in need of grace. They earned every rebuke Jesus gave them. Who are the gay advocates most like? The Pharisees, of course. Why? Because they do not think they NEED to repent from their sin. They consider themselves to be perfectly fine before God because they think God’s love excuses the sexual perversion they call love, or the emotional perversion they call love. Feelings and sex are not love.

    The Pharisees thought they were fine because they kept the law. Homosexuals and their advocates think they are fine because they too have a set of laws they keep. They think being kind to others and being completely accepting of others makes them a good person and accepting to God. It does not! So you see, this modern movement that so often likes to condemn orthodox Christianity using the Pharisee, religious hypocrite card, is actually much more like the religious hypocrites of Jesus day than those they level that charge at. The irony is painfully obvious for anyone willing to open their eyes.

  • https://www.facebook.com/toujoursdan Dan Sloan

    There are also very similar statistics that show all the health problems associated with opposite sex sex as well as childbirth.

  • Lbj

    That is not what the Center for Disease Control stats show. There are devastating health problems related to same sex sex.

  • c’est vrai

    What is the difference between unmarried gay sex and unmarried heterosexual sex? And why the fascination with the sexual act?

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

    From the standpoint of Christian ethics, there is no difference. Both acts come under the very same prohibition. Let me allow the apostle Paul to address your question:

    Finally then, brethren, we request and exhort you in the Lord Jesus, that as you received from us instruction as to how you ought to walk and please God (just as you actually do walk), that you excel still more.

    2 For you know what commandments we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

    3 For this is the will of God, your sanctification; that is, that you abstain from sexual immorality;

    4 that each of you know how to possess his own vessel in sanctification and honor,

    5 not in lustful passion, like the Gentiles who do not know God;

    6 and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you.

    7 For God has not called us for the purpose of impurity, but in sanctification.

    8 So, he who rejects this is not rejecting man but the God who gives His Holy Spirit to you.

    Sexual immorality in v.3 is the Greek word πορνεία. It is a word with a broad range of meaning when it comes to prohibited sexual activities. It covers every aspect of forbidden sexual behavior to include any and all sex outside of the confines of the husband-wife relationship.

    That is the first point. There are two more to follow.

    Notice how Paul says in v4 that each person should be able to POSSESS his own vessel in sanctification and honor. This is a euphemistic expression for managing one’s sexual desires. The presence of a sexual urge is completely irrelevant. What is expected is discipline to control oneself with Honor in Sanctification. Failure to do so is not only shameful, but ungodly.

    The last point is located in v.8. Anyone that rejects this teaching is not rejecting me. They are not rejecting John MacArthur. They are not rejecting Paul. In fact, they are not rejecting any man. They are in reality, without a doubt, rejecting God.

    In summary then, gay sex falls under the classification of PORNEIA, which is sexual impurity, sexual immorality. The fact that there is such an urge within humans is irrelevant to the discussion. We are all expected to control our sexual urges. And finally, rejection of this teaching is a clear rejection of God.

    I hope this answers your question.

  • c’est vrai

    When Paul rejected the need for circumcision, was he rejecting God? Paul’s bible was pretty clear on the subject.

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

    I thought this thread was for at least those who profess to believe and accept Christian theism. Apparently that was a poor assumption.

    1. God’s revelation is progressive in in nature as we see thoughout the history of redemption.
    2. The New Covenant that God had promised is enacted in Christ, though not fulfilled.
    3. The Mosaic covenant requiring circumcision has been replaced with the new covenant which no longer requires circumcision.
    4. Paul did not change anything, God did, just as God had promised. The covenant relationship changed.
    5. There is no new revelation from God replacing the new covenant or the final revelation of God we have in the New Testament.

  • c’est vrai

    Circumcision was required in the Abrahamic covenant, not just Mosaic, and it was said to be an everlasting mark in the flesh. When did God say he was going to change that? Doesn’t everlasting mean everlasting? You see, Paul was a radical thinker who wasn’t afraid to go against his own bible. And that is why the more traditional Jewish Christians had such a hard time with him.
    What about slavery? Do you support it like Paul did?
    Or what about head coverings? Do you believe women must wear them when praying or prophesying? Paul said they must. You see, we can’t get away from interpretation. Just because someone rejects the way you read the bible does not mean they reject God. They just reject the way you read the bible. Paul believed the way to follow God in his day was to reject what his own scripture said.

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

    The Abrahamic covenant was an unconditional covenant. The circumcision was a sign of God’s everlasting covenant that He made with Abraham. Scripture makes plain that Abraham’s circumcision came after his faith and serves as PROOF of a covenantal relationship at that time. This was to point us up to the fact that in the New Covenant arrangement, the proof of faith is the circumcision of the heart, i.e., righteous living. Rejecting circumcision was simply the rejection of the covenant. Just as doing good works does not bring us into the covenant, obtaining circumcision does not ipso facto bring one into the Abrahamic covenant. Faith is always the basis and circumcision was the proof of faith.

    God made an everlasting covenant with Abraham and that covenant was to bless people from all people groups through his seed, Christ.

    Your lesson in hermeneutics is miserable. It ignores the fact that Scripture itself does not permit such a radical subjective approach in interpreting it. Your view destroys the very possibility of false teachers, something the NT writers were very concerned to write about continually.

    Concerning slavery, ancient slavery was far different from modern slavery. In addition, social reform and dictating to the governing authorities is not the business of the Church. Finally, there is a very distinct Christian ethic given regarding the behavior of slaves and masters and it is nothing like what you seem to be implying.

    Concerning head covering, one should always look for the principles involved in cultural practices to understand the broader issue at hand. This is surely the case with head coverings. But something tells me that you already know this. I am reminded of the Pharisees and Sadducees who were continually asking Jesus questions, not because they wanted to learn anything, but because their hearts were evil. They wanted to set a trap. Sound familiar.

    While I agree that there are passages that are somewhat obscure and Christians must allow room for alternative views, the question of homosexuality is not one of them. Just as sure as Jesus rose from the dead or was virgin born, or is Lord of lords, the Bible condemns homosexual sex.

    To argue that Paul rejected his own Scripture is a very stupid thing to say. It deserves that sort of classification. I usually do not do that, but your view is worse than absurd. Paul continually appealed to Scripture as his reference point as his final source of authority. It was Paul that said this:

    “and that from childhood you have known the sacred writings which are able to give you the wisdom that leads to salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.” 2 Tim. 3:15-17

    πᾶσα γραφὴ θεόπνευστος, all Scripture is God-breathed. The Scripture that Paul is referencing is the Old Testament. How often did Paul reason from Scripture, proving that Jesus was the Christ? Paul would take incredible exception to your characterization of how he handled the sacred Scripture. You failure to comprehend what Paul is doing with the OT text is no excuse to accuse Paul of rejecting the Scripture of his day. Jesus certainly NEVER preached or taught this, his disciples did not teach this, Paul had their full endorsement, and Paul never handled the text in the manner that you say. You will need more examples than the silly ones you mentioned.

  • c’est vrai

    The bible supports slavery. Do you agree with the bible? Do you support slavery? I am looking for a clear answer. I do not support slavery even though the bible does.

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

    I will answer your question if you can answer my question. Do you believe that human beings are the recipients of God’s grace?

  • c’est vrai

    Yes I do.
    So, do you, like the bible, support slavery?

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

    If it is true that all that human beings enjoy is the result of God’s grace, then the slavery objection is moot. The reason is because we all DESERVE to be cast into slavery and worse due to our rebellion. If one believes in grace, then one must acknowledge that we do not deserve freedom and that we do deserve slavery and worse. If your claim is that no one deserves to suffer as a slave, then you do not believe in grace. Humans suffer in the ways that we suffer because of our rebellion against God.

  • c’est vrai

    So according to your understanding of the good news, all of those black slaves deserved what they got?? They deserved to be cast into slavery. My objection to slavery is moot? I do not believe anyone deserves to suffer as a slave. That is the good news I accept. Your good news doesn’t sound so good to me.

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

    Wrong! Your statement demonstrates that you do not believe in grace. I bet you also think people deserve to be redeemed by the work of Christ as well. I bet you think people deserve to hear the gospel. I could go on. No one deserves anything good because no one is good. Rebellious God-haters deserve every ounce of evil and ill treatment we suffer in this life. It is only by God’s tremendous kindness and amazing grace that we receive anything good from Him at all. In your system, God has a moral obligation to treat humans a certain way. In the Bible, God is absolutely free and absolutely holy. The Bible exalts grace when it depicts men as undeserving and yet God is merciful. But God’s mercy toward one does not mean others deserve the same mercy. Mercy is undeserved. Your thinking about this is all wrong because you do not understand the nature of God and you clearly reject the bible’s teaching on the nature of human beings as well as the seriousness of sin. That is your fundamental problem.

  • c’est vrai

    Because I do not believe black people deserved to suffer as slaves I do not believe in grace? Wow. You have taken the doctrine of total depravity to a whole new level.
    If a small child is raped, do they deserve that ill treatment as a rebellious God-hater too?

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

    Why didn’t God stop the rape? Is He not strong enough?

  • c’est vrai

    So, the child deserved to be raped as a God-hater then? Is that where your theology leads you? Small children who are sexually abused are God-haters that deserve that ill treatment? I guess if the rapist tortures them for days and then murders them slowly, they deserve that as well?? Will you answer Ed? Or keep trying to avoid the depraved implications of your theology?

  • Jeff Preuss

    This is saying something, but I think he’s actually gone off the deep end with his most recent comments. And, I didn’t think his deep end could get any deeper.

  • c’est vrai

    I did mean to back him into a corner. I never expected him to reply affirming we could kill slaves if God told us to and that little children who are raped deserve it as God-haters. I am hoping he will reconsider where his theology has led him.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Based on my past experiences with him, I am going to guess no. He doesn’t seem to want to rethink anything – when I’ve debated with him, he tends to stick to his guns and shout down anything that is in theological opposition to any positions he holds as heretical. I believe our final exchange ended with his insincere offer of “I’ll pray for you.”

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    Yeah… my kids deserved to grow up in an orphanage where they experienced nothing but sadness and misery… cause they were just miniature God-haters…

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

    In general, no human being has the right within themselves to expect good from God because of something within them that makes them good, not even small children. How dare we! Sin has contaminated the entire human race and all rape exist as a result of human depravity. Child rape is wicked and should be punishable by death.

    By the way, I noticed that Jesus never condemned pedophilia. Based on popular gay arguments, pedophilia should not be condemned as a sin. If could be an expression of love. So my 12 year old neighbor can be intimate with my 50 year old neighbor.

  • c’est vrai

    So, just to be clear, the little child, raped, abused, tortured and killed deserved that as a God-hater?

  • c’est vrai

    Ed?
    Cricket, cricket….
    Ed??

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

    So, just to be clear, the entire human race is given over to rebellion against God…all of us. Children receive good from God but they do not deserve the good they receive. There is nothing within the child that merits God’s good treatment. God is good within Himself. He is not compelled by the intrinsic goodness of child to do good to them. God condemns the sort of treatment that you speak about because God is good and that treatment is evil. That is as far as I am willing to go. From here you can logically conclude what I think. Now, let me introduce you to some Scripture: Who was it that killed the first-born in Egypt all the way down to the infant? Who was it that permitted Satan to destroy all that righteous Job had, to include all his family which surely included small children?

    The One forming light and creating darkness,
    Causing well-being and creating calamity;
    I am the Lord who does all these. Isa. 45:7

    God is sovereign over all the earth. He does as He pleases and what He pleases is always right.

    You reject God’s word for what it is. You create your own moral code and dare to subject God to your morality. No Christian sits in judgment of God’s word.

    Now that I have answered your question it is your turn to answer mine. Why is it wrong to rape a child or anyone for that matter?

  • c’est vrai

    Because my conscience tells me it is wrong to harm others unjustly. And so does the conscience of the vast majority of humanity. Try reading some Kant. Or even CS Lewis. Or maybe even Paul.

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

    So if someone else’s conscience does not tell them it is wrong, then it is not wrong? You think Kant has the answer? I have read Kant and Lewis. Obviously I prefer Paul. Paul never locates objective morality in the human conscience. And even if he did, why couldn’t that be subjected to the same sort of challenge you spoke of previously? And if I can challenge Paul, why can’t I challenge Kant, Lewis, and your subjective conscience?

    What Paul says is that human conscience bears witness to the fact that God’s moral law is stamped upon humanity because man is created in God’s image. But it must also be acknowledged that the human conscience cannot be trusted. While it testifies of an absolute morality transcending humanity, its sinful condition also perverts that morality and the truth of God. That is the nature of sin. Paul made this very point in writing to Titus:

    To the pure, all things are pure; but to those who are defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure, but both their mind and their conscience are defiled. 16 They profess to know God, but by their deeds they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed. Titus 1:15-16

    Seems like a very appropriate verse for this thread and the subject we are discussing.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    Ed, when one of your daughters has been sexually abused and physically assaulted, circle on back and let’s chat. You know NOT of what you speak.

    When one of your loved ones has been sexually abused by a PASTOR, I’ll be waiting over here for you with empathetic words.

    But wow, oh, wow, it’s frightening how off the rails you are sounding.

    The God you are falsely promoting is a monster, and you’re afraid to look at Him in any other way. You’ve accused everyone else of “parroting” others’ words and belief systems, yet you appear unwilling to be mentally challenged as to God’s true nature and character. Do we see Jesus smiting people? Do we see Him helping and healing, or do we see Him ignoring and cursing? Did Jesus call down fire and brimstone on people, or did he take the disciples to task for dare asking Him to do so?Did Jesus say that when we see Him, we see the Father? Is there even a remote chance that the ancients had no other way of explaining disease and death and catastrophe other than to blame God for it? I think so.

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

    And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. Matt. 21:12

    And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last; and great fear came over all who heard of it. Acts 5:5

    And immediately an angel of the Lord struck him because he did not give God the glory, and he was eaten by worms and died. Acts 12:23

    But Saul, who was also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, fixed his gaze on him, 10 and said, “You who are full of all deceit and fraud, you son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, will you not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord? 11 “Now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and not see the sun for a time.” And immediately a mist and a darkness fell upon him, and he went about seeking those who would lead him by the hand. Acts 13:10-11

    For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself if he does not judge the body rightly. 30 For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. 1 Cor. 11:29-30

    Your problem is that your view of God includes His love to the entire exclusion of His holiness. I confess God loved me and saved me even though I did not deserve anything good from His hand. It was His grace entirely and only His grace. God will not permit sin to go unpunished.

    These texts are all NT examples of God’s wrath being poured out on rebellious and wicked men.

    Jesus actually said that we are to remove people who practice sin from our community.

    “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 “But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. 17 “If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Matt 18:15-18

  • Meredith Indermaur

    If God were interested in smiting wicked men, then he’d do something about the hundreds of thousands of predatory pastors just in the U.S., alone. I don’t see that happening.

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

    The same Bible that condemns predatory pastors condemns sex outside of marriage and this includes gay sex. I agree that there are millions of worthless pastors in the ministry for all the wrong reasons. They are a scourge to the Church. John MacArthur is not one of them.

    God ours out wrath in this life for reasons known only to Himself for HIs glory. Our attitude should be one of humility. We do not know why the couple in Acts 5 were killed and the Jews that stoned Stephen were not. God knows. It is God’s place, not ours. We can only say what God has said and warn men about coming judgment and point them to the cross as the greatest act of love ever witnessed. Because men are sinful, grace is amazing. Unless men are wicked, grace is so extraordinary after all.

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

    Your confusing the issue. From the standpoint of sovereignty God controls everything. From the standpoint of the human condition, there is not single good person among us. From the standpoint of how we treat children and what our responsibilities are, Jesus was clear. Suffer the little children to come to me. But that does not mean that children are not natural born sinners. That does not mean that children are born inherently good with intrinsic worth in and of themselves.

    Why does God allow child rape? He is surely powerful enough to stop it. Would you say that free will is so valuable that God would sacrifice children and women in such a manner just so that humans could enjoy freedom? Really? Why does child rape exist? Why did God create such a world?

  • c’est vrai

    Don’t try to answer a question with a bunch of questions.
    Do little children who are raped, tortured and killed deserve that ill treatment as God-haters? That is what we are discussing. You seem to believe yes but are too cowardly to admit that your theology takes you there. Be a man and own your theology Ed.

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

    I would like it if you would not tell me how to answer questions.

    Actually, the thread was never about child abuse. The thread is about the impossibility of gay Christians. You have turned it into a discussion of child rape because you think you are onto something when all it is is a red herring. It has NOTHING to do with the subject under discussion. And, you do not like the way in which I worded my answer. I have answered the question. Cowardly. That is a word I have never heard another man use with me while standing in front of me. Amazing how a computer makes men so brave.

    I have answered your question. If you cannot arrive at a conclusion based on my answer, then I recommend a course in logic or critical thinking, or better still, one in theology or philosophy even. It is obvious to me that whatever you studied, it had nothing to do with critical thinking or Biblical theology. You are as faithless as the atheists I deal with. By the way, they would destroy your concept of Christianity.

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

    Was Christ obligated to redeem or at least “try” to redeem men? And why do you keep using the term “black people?” All races have been enslaved and all have suffered ill-treatment. There is only one man. He comes in all colors.

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

    Why is it wrong to rape a small child?

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

    If Scripture can challenge Scripture and there is no objective basis from which I can launch a challenge, then I am free to challenge your view of Scripture ad nauseam. If you can’t see the absurdity in that view, I don’t know what else to say.

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

    Follow up: What do you mean that the Bible “supports” slavery? How does the Bible support slavery? What sort of slavery does the Bible support if it supports slavery at all?

    I think you are the person that basically said that people don’t have to agree with each other’s interpretations of Scripture. Now all of the sudden, you want me to agree that your interpretation of the Bible’s teachings on slavery is the correct one when just a moment ago you would have nothing of that sort of approach. Make up your mind.

    In addition, I am going to go out on a limb and say that you think that slavery is morally objectionable. I would like to understand what informs your morality on this issue. Why, in your view, is slavery wrong?

    I think these are fair questions for anyone who desires to engage in the blasphemy of challenging the veracity or morality of Scripture.

    I will answer your question. I promise.

  • c’est vrai

    You don’t have to agree with my interpretation of the bible on slavery. But I am not going to say you have rejected God, like you do with people who disagree with you. That is my issue with you. You can pick and choose with slavery. Let others pick and choose like you do.
    I think slavery is wrong because it brings harm to another human being for no just cause. My conscience accuses the act as wrong. Do you believe slavery is wrong? If so, why? What bible text would say that slavery is wrong???

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

    Remember, what I am seeking is the text in Scripture where the Bible endorses the concept of slavery.

  • c’est vrai

    When a man strikes his male or female slave with a rod so hard that the slave dies under his hand, he shall be punished. If, however, the slave survives for a day or two, he is not to be punished, since the slave is his own property. (Exodus 21:20-21)

    However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you. You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land. You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. (Lev.25:44-45)

    When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are. If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again. But he is not allowed to sell her to foreigners, since he is the one who broke the contract with her. And if the slave girl’s owner arranges for her to marry his son, he may no longer treat her as a slave girl, but he must treat her as his daughter. If he himself marries her and then takes another wife, he may not reduce her food or clothing or fail to sleep with her as his wife. If he fails in any of these three ways, she may leave as a free woman without making any payment. (Exodus 21:7-11)

    Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as you obey Christ (Eph.6:5)

    Slaves, obey your earthly masters in everything (Col.3:22)

    Tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect (Tit.2:9)

    Slaves, accept the authority of your masters with all deference, not only those who are kind and gentle but also those who are harsh. (1Pet.2:18)

    If Paul did not support slavery, why did he tell Christian slave owners to treat their slaves with respect? Why did he not tell the Christian slave owners to free them?? Paul supported Christian slave masters keeping slaves as their personal property. What sort of slavery did the bible support? The kind that treated slaves as property that could be bought and sold and beaten with rods. If the beaten slave died after a day or two after the beating, oh well, the slave was the property of the master. That kind of slavery.
    If you want to work hard at making the bible not support slavery, go ahead. But get down from your self-righteous horse from which you call into question everyone who reads the bible differently than you on homosexuality. You can’t have it both ways by denying the bible’s teaching on slavery and saying that’s ok but it’s not ok to deny its teaching on homosexuality. You are picking and choosing as much as anyone else. You just don’t want to admit it.

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

    I never said I read the Bible as condemning slavery. I simply asked you for a text where the Bible endorses the concept of slavery. Exodus 21 provides guidance for the discipline of slaves. Lev. 25 provides for guidance around purchasing slaves and distinguishing between Israelites and foreigners. Slavery in that time was a merciful system that at a minimum allowed people to live. In our day we just give people stuff and call it love without requiring anything in return. Slavery was a way out for a poor person who might be in danger of starving. Slaves were also produced by war.

    “If your kinsman, a Hebrew man or woman, is sold to you, then he shall serve you six years, but in the seventh year you shall set him free. “When you set him free, you shall not send him away empty-handed. “You shall furnish him liberally from your flock and from your threshing floor and from your wine vat; you shall give to him as the Lord your God has blessed you. “You shall remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God redeemed you; therefore I command you this today. “It shall come about if he says to you, ‘I will not go out from you,’ because he loves you and your household, since he fares well with you; then you shall take an awl and pierce it through his ear into the door, and he shall be your servant forever. Also you shall do likewise to your maidservant. “It shall not seem hard to you when you set him free, for he has given you six years with double the service of a hired man; so the Lord your God will bless you in whatever you do. Deut. 15:12-18

    I like how you intentionally tried to paint it in the worse possible light.

    The NT writers were not attempting to overthrow the Roman civil code which is why Paul and others focused on a different approach. They were concerned with the gospel, which does not ipso facto include the social justice messages that your type think it does. If a slave was a Christian, he was expected to be the best slave he could be for the sake of the gospel in hopes he might win his master. A Christian master and slave pair would be better circumstances than most employer-employee relationships today. Many think it is the duty of the Church to engage in social reforms and social justice. That is not the case. The ancient church did not do so. Preach the word. That is the business of the church.

    Jesus never once condemned slavery. Not one single time. Why not? Why didn’t Jesus command the release of all slaves?

    1. Paul and others operated within the system that they were in just as we do.
    2. That economic system required slavery for a number of reasons.
    3. However, the principles of Christianity truly do pave the way for the abolishment of the practice as better alternatives are created to deal with things like debt and prisoners of war.
    4. Gospel preaching was the primary focus of the NT authors rather than social reform. Changing slavery does nothing to help the wretched lost condition of men. It is better to have eternal life and slavery than no slavery and no eternal life. Though I give my body to be burned and have not love, it profits me nothing.
    5. Eliminating slavery would have made the quality of people’s lives worse. Chaos would have surely been the result.

    I believe that all men deserve the worse sort of treatment as slaves. You and me both deserve the most extreme treatment. But God in His grace has shown kindness when He did not have to. The cause of slavery is sin. Absent sin, it would not exist. But sin exists, so all men deserve slavery. But for grace, that system would have continued worldwide to our present day. It still persists in some parts of the world. The message to those folks is the message of Paul and Peter and other NT writers. Christian principles will lead to better conditions because of God’s grace. If you think men do not deserve to be slaves and worse, then you do not understand God’s grace at all. Rebellious men deserve nothing good, nothing kind, nothing but judgment from the hand of God. All men are rebellious.

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

    What I intend to demonstrate is that once you remove Scripture, you no longer have any basis from which to condemn slavery that does not end up being arbitrary. So you have the problem of having to preserve that which you want to nullify in order to have any objective basis for condemning the modern forms of slavery.

  • c’est vrai

    But the bible never condemns slavery so why would I think I need the bible to condemn slavery? Do you condemn slavery? If so, on what basis? What bible text condemns slavery??

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

    I condemn the sort of system that existed in modern America. That system viewed slaves as less than human and their treatment was diabolical. In addition, the going out and capturing humans like animals is a very different set of circumstances than the one from ancient practice. Most slavery in antiquity was the product of war or the system that sustained people who otherwise would have starved. All humans have dignity and value by the fact that they are God’s image and this includes the slave as well as the aristocrat.

    Now, your thinking reflects rebellion. You seem to think autonomously, apart from God, having a standard of your own by which you judge God’s word. For example, you begin with your own view that slavery is unacceptable in any form whatever. And then you move to condemn Scripture because it allows for certain practices of slavery to exist. Your argument is as follows:

    1. All slavery for all time is wicked under any and all circumstances.

    2. The Bible allows for slavery to exist.

    3. The Bible endorses evil.

    4. Therefore, the Bible is not trustworthy in all that it teaches.

    Your major premise is the problem. You cannot demonstrate why all slavery for all time is wicked under any and all circumstances. Once you remove Scripture as your reference point for right and wrong, you replace it with yourself. And if YOU can do that, so too can anyone else. What is to stop someone from holding that incest is acceptable? Why can’t a brother and sister marry? What is wrong with pedophilia?

    No one deserves anything good from the hand of God. No one. Why?

    as it is written,

    “There is none righteous, not even one;

    11 There is none who understands,

    There is none who seeks for God;

    12 All have turned aside, together they have become useless;

    There is none who does good,

    There is not even one.”

    13 “Their throat is an open grave,

    With their tongues they keep deceiving,”

    “The poison of asps is under their lips”;

    14 “Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness”;

    15 “Their feet are swift to shed blood,

    16 Destruction and misery are in their paths,

    17 And the path of peace they have not known.”

    18 “There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

  • c’est vrai

    So you would support the kind of slavery the bible supports? I would like to hear a yes or no on that one. I would not.
    Would it still be ok to beat a slave with a rod today, as long as he didn’t die for a couple of days after the beating since he was the master’s property? The bible says this was ok. I disagree.
    What you need to consider is that biblical writers challenged their own scriptural traditions. The writers of Job and Ecclesiastes challenged the Deuteronomistic writings. The writer of Jonah challenged the theology of Nahum. The story of Ruth challenged Ezra/Nehemiah ideals of inter-racial marriage. Paul challenged enormously important parts of his own Torah – including circumcision, dietary laws and the Sabbath. Paul actually nullified one of the ten commandments in light of the work of the Spirit among gentiles. James challenged Paul. You read the bible through an interpretive lens that does not allow you to appreciate its diversity. Consequently, you are unable to think outside of the box you have shut yourself in. Had you been a bible following Jew of the first century, I would guess you would have rejected Paul and stuck with the traditional Jewish Christians (which is fine btw). Paul went against his scripture. James endeavoured to follow it.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Ooooo, careful. You’re being rebellious. ;)

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

    First of all, if God says to kill a slave for a particular offense, you better put him or her to death. Otherwise God may just kill you. Have you ever heard of Ananias and Sapphira? They lied to the Holy Spirit about how much they gave. They gave a lot. God killed them for lying. They gave a lot of money to the Church which was a good deed and God killed them for lying.

    What right do you have to challenge the morality of Scripture? Do you claim to follow Christ? What is the basis of your moral judgment if it is not God’s word? Why should anyone live their life according to YOUR morality opinions?

    It isn’t diversity that your hermeneutic lends itself to. It is foolish contradictions. Your display of ignorance around properly understanding Scripture is astounding. The Bible is not filled with competing views and doctrines that contradict one another. Such a position is heresy and worthy of discipline. In my view, you should disciplined and if you refused to repent, you should be alienated and excommunicated in hope that God will grant you repentance.

    Your interpretive grid ignores the progressive nature of revelation which Scripture itself teaches. We have the law of Moses given for a period of time for a very specific purpose. Once that purpose is fulfilled, another arrangement, one already foretold by the law and the prophets comes into view. It isn’t that difficult. It is only if I accept your silly notions rejecting the progressive nature of revelation and God’s acts of redemption across history that I end up destroying Scripture.

    Finally, if all things are open to challenge, then so too is Christ. Why not challenge that Jesus is God or that Jesus literally rose from the dead or that anyone ever stands under God’s wrath? In your system, Scripture has absolutely no authority whatsoever. None! Where is authority in your system? That is not too hard to see. It is located within your own reason. You are in charge. You are the measure of all things. You are free to challenge whatever you want. I will stick with Paul, Nahum, Jonah, Moses, Peter, Jesus, and John and the rest. As for you and your own system of authority, it will perish and you with it if you don’t repent.

  • http://gracerules.wordpress.com/ Liz Dyer

    Ed probably also supports the way marriage was handled in scripture … where women were a piece of property and men could have more than one wife and were the only ones who could ask for a divorce

  • Jeff Preuss

    I don’t know about property, necessarily, but here’s some quotes attributed to him:
    “God has not called a female to the role of
    rebuking or correcting male leaders in the church in any way, especially
    in front of an entire class.”

    “A Christian woman has no right to oppose her husband or the male
    leadership of her church so long as these men are not asking her to
    sin. She does not have to agree with the counsel of her husband or her
    spiritual leaders, but she does have to submit to it.”

    http://reformedreasons.blogspot.com/2010/12/critial-thinking-christian-iv.html

  • http://gracerules.wordpress.com/ Liz Dyer

    No, Ed, you thought this was a thread for people who profess “your brand” of Christian theism.

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

    Your statement would be hilarious if was not so very sad and deadly serious. You have no earthly idea what Christianity is. You imply that gay sex is fine and that in fact, all sex outside of marriage is okay. You think that Christians share the very same ethic as the world and that there are fundamentally no differences between Christians and non-Christians. Let’s see what John says about your view:

    No one who is born 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. 1 Jn. 3:10

    By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 1 Jn. 2:3-4

  • http://gracerules.wordpress.com/ Liz Dyer

    Ed – why do you have to specify “gay sex” – why can’t you just say that you think people should refrain from having sex until they are married. I personally think that people should wait until they are in a loving, committed relationship but am fully aware that most people (straight or otherwise) don’t wait. The numbers among Christians show that Christians are no more likely to wait to have sex until they are married than non-Christians. In some areas Christians are more likely to have pre-marital sex. Christians are also not more likely to remain faithful in their marriages. Whatever the church has been doing doesn’t seem to be working.

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

    Uh…because the subject is gay sex.

    I don’t care what the numbers show. What I care about is what Scripture teaches and that is what this conversation is about. God does not change because men become more and more wicked does He? Your argument suggests that perhaps God’s holiness reduces over time to match or keep up with the moral erosion we see.

    True Christians are far more likely to refrain from sex before marriage and they are far more likely to remain faithful to their partner. Your views are a mockery of Christianity, essentially suggesting that being truly born again makes absolutely no difference in how one lives. That is absurd.

    This conversation is not about what the typical person in this thread might do. This conversation is about what Scripture teaches, what God expects, what God reveals about what it means to be a regenerated believer in Jesus Christ. The version of Christianity I read in here, the one that reduces and ignores Scripture, that adopts obscene interpretive paradigms in order to preserve worldly thinking and living, the one that ignores Christian praxis, a sound biblical ecclesiology, that does not understand grace, holiness, God, Christ, sin, and man is not the version of Christianity presented in Scripture.

    Your language also implies that you reject marriage altogether. You say “a loving, committed relationship.” That implies that cohabitation and sex are fine outside the covenant of marriage. Such views and those propagating them need to be corrected and purged from the Church. At least that was Jesus and Paul’s way of handling that kind of behavior.

    My purpose in here is to influence one or two hopefully and at a minimum to defend biblical Christianity against the heresy I see all over this thread. I can’t wait to get Corey’s book so that I can review it on reformed reasons and provide people with the actual truth and show how his techniques are not novel, not progressive, not new, but are designed to undergird the basic idea of human autonomy.

  • http://gracerules.wordpress.com/ Liz Dyer

    No one said God was changing … but God often has to change our minds about stuff that we have wrong. That’s what is happening now. He is changing people’s minds.

    It won’t be the last time. There will always be stuff that we are having to change our minds about. It’s called repentence and it is an ongoing occurrence of anyone who is a follower of Jesus because we are all works in progress. No one knows it all perfectly and never will. But some are so closed up with their certainty that they don’t recognize a word from God and the thing that gets in their way more times than not is their religion … not their sin. It was that way when Jesus showed up and it is still the same today.

    Free yourself from all the stuff you are putting before God … stop making the bible or your church or your religion or your belief system your God. It is keeping you from hearing from God.

  • Jeff Preuss

    My hope is that the more people who listen to you, the more people hear God.

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

    A word that contradicts God’s written word, Holy Scripture, is NOT a word from God. How would anyone know that God is speaking against His own previous revelation? By what standard? Let’s pretend that I say that marriage is no longer necessary like someone else has already done. Or let’s pretend that I say God is now telling us that abortion is not really murder or that pedophilia is an acceptable expression of love. Where does such a subjective approach end? It is yet one more attempt to make humans the measure of all things.

  • http://gracerules.wordpress.com/ Liz Dyer

    don’t worry so much, Ed. If it is of God it will last and if it is not it will eventually pass away. Do what you think is right in your own life with enough conviction to do it wholeheartedly but with enough humility to recognize when God reveals that you got something wrong.

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

    Thanks Liz, but I think I will follow my many years of training in theology and the languages. I trust those more than I trust my own subjective experiences to inform of truth.

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    Fallacious response to her. You’re simply attempting to appeal to a higher authority. In addition, there’s thousands of crappy schools that will give someone and advanced degree in theology for just reading John Piper in their underwear, so your unquantified education doesn’t earn you any additional troll points. If you want people to respect your education, quantify it. If you want them to listen to you, stop being such a douche to everyone. It’s not complicated.

    BTW, I did find this site amusing– to bad he didn’t keep it up. Sounds like you’re a professional troll, not a professional theologian.

    http://exposingeddingess.blogspot.com/

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

    Nice Job Benny. I bet that Holding would do the very same thing to you because he disagreed with your position. You shouldn’t believe everything you read on the internet. Do you have any idea what the biblical definition of slander is? And do you know how wicked it is to pass on and give endorsement to such slander? Of course you lied about John MacArthur so why should I expect anything less for me.

    Why don’t you show us all why my response was fallacious instead of engaging in ungodly ad hominem responses. I would guess Benny that you have run out of responses and I suspect your book will be about as miserable and unscholarly as your article about MacArthur is.

    If you are interested in the source of Benny’s link, just google J.P. Holding or Robert Turkel. That will give you a good sense of who we are talking about. In addition, if you want to experience what I experienced, visit tekton apologetics and dare to disagree with him and see how many vile names he calls you. There is nothing Christlike about his site.

    The reason he created the link is because I sent threatening emails he sent me to various ministries that linked to his site. These prominent ministries began to delink from his site. The above link was his way of retaliating against me.

  • Jeff Preuss

    http://www.gospelway.com/morality/slander.php:

    “Slander” – “The utterance of defamatory statements injurious to the reputation or well-being of a person. … A malicious statement or report.”

    This applies to every single thing you have ever uttered about gay people on the internet. THANKS FOR THE EDUMACATION, DOCTOR KNOW-IT-ALL! I now return you to my Biblical shunning of you.

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

    Sooooooooooo predictable! It is one thing to post lies about a person in an attempt to “get even” with them for sharing private, threatening emails is quite different from condemning what the Bible has ALREADY condemned. Immoral people are immoral because Scripture declares them to be immoral. To call the facts as they are in the course of gospel preaching or teaching is not slander.

    Your reasoning is very incoherent. Ben accused me of using fallacious reasoning without actually making any attempt to demonstrate why that was the case.

  • Jeff Preuss

    You accused him of Biblical slander. I looked up what that means, and posted it here. You are consistently making statements injurious to the reputation or well-being of gay people. Slander.

    That’s all. You are immoral because Scripture declares it so in your actions. Bless you. Back to ignoring you and your Fundamentalist Misogyny and Bigotry.

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

    What sin have I committed that Ben is correcting? Ben has passed along a lie posted by a man whose credibility is obvious to all that have interacted with him over the years. Anyone that has ever disagreed with Holding knows what he is capable of. Just look around on the net and you will see.

    I, on the other hand, have disseminated the historic orthodox Christian teachings on homosexual behavior. Christian doctrine condemns the behavior as immoral and always has. THAT IS NOT SLANDER. That is quoting Scripture and teaching the Bible. If you cannot see that, I cannot help you.

  • Jeff Preuss

    No, Ed. Shhhhhhhhhhh. I’m not talking to you, remember? Silly man.

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

    I’m talking to you.

  • $105158253

    Ed your attempts are admirable and full of truth yet the deceivers and liars will never accept the truth. But keep trying, not for them but for those in the background who deserve to hear and know Gods truth.

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

    What I hope Frank is that there are silent readers who are being persuaded that the stuff they read in here is utterly absurd. That is my hope. Ben and crew may think that I am trying to convince them and while I hope that would be the outcome, I am not naive. But I do know that others are reading our exchanges and seeing the very, very poor arguments made by pseudo-Christians in this thread. Thanks for the good word Frank.

  • $105158253

    There are many more lurkers than commenters. Keep up standing up for the truth of God!

  • Rosanna Miller

    I heard nothing wrong with his message. I believe it is a Holy Spirit led teaching.

  • Morgan Smith

    When your child falls into sin, a horribly destructive sin, we are to “walk across the room, give them a big hug, and tell them you’re always going to love them”??? I can’t think of any response that would be LESS loving, helpful, biblical, or God-honoring. As it has been previously stated, we need to understand and function by the biblical definition of “love”; and not that which is currently defined by our culture.

  • JoAnn Forsberg

    This child you speak of…. could you now see this child as a child of a gay couple.

    A child handicapped, unwanted, left to the system. With no one to love them until another soul; an adult soul that has experienced rejection themselves from those whom walk “tall”. Comes into that child’s life and picks them up, pushes their wheelchair, wipes their tears, offers them a place to belong in a world that is cold and hard.

    For, I have seen Christ in many families…. called gay families… that brings this straight Christian Quaker to her knees in humility of the beauty love can do in action. When some one actually shows actions. Not just words, actual actions and daily loves and cares for a child. Cares for children that “straight families” scan their eyes over as they look for a child to adopt.

    The most beautiful picture of Christ I have had the privilege to witness again and again here on earth is: A PFLAG FAMILY GATHERING. Where the “rejected”, “broken”, “left to die” members of humanity come together in celebration of the children no one else wanted. The joy, the love, the beauty found when wheel chairs are the norm is a precious encounter of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

    Horribly destructive sin? In your eyes, not in the eyes of a child who are deeply loved by these “gay people” so many righteous Christians reject.

    Truly, the purest place to see Christ is to look for the broken in humanity, those verbally stoned in humanity and sit for awhile there. If it does not bring you to tears witnessing such love… I would suggest much more time spent in silence and listening to the Holy Spirit on humbled knees.

    Blessings, Quaker Grandmother.

  • c’est vrai

    First of all, I do not believe being gay is a horribly destructive sin. Second, if my child did fall into such a thing I would absolutely walk across the room, give them a big hug, and tell them that I will always love them. I hope you would believe the same about God should you ever “fall into sin”.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I do actually wonder how one falls into homosexuality. Like, did I trip over a rock or something and land in the Green Gay Valley? Or did someone push me into Man-Man Canyon?

  • Morgan Smith

    Hi Jeff,
    Like myself, you were born with an evil, vile, rebellious heart; and from this polluted and wicked heart stem homosexual desire, thought and behavior; along with a host of other horrible desires, thoughts and behaviors.
    The love of God is only accurately seen when we understand that God hates sin; hates the sinner; and has given a death sentence to all who are sinners. But, Christ came and died; the sinless for the sinful, that the holy, righteous judgment of God might be redirected. There is the very real sense in which God loves humanity; which is why we have the cross; but there is also another real sense in which God hates/abhors us; which also is why we have the cross.

  • Jeff Preuss

    No, ma’am. Homosexual desire does not stem from a sinful nature, any more so than also normal heterosexual desire stems from it.
    I am a sinner like you, however my sins are not homosexuality. My acceptance of my gayness goes hand in hand with my acceptance of Christ into my heart. The Truth indeed HAS set me free.

    No amount of you spouting your opinions on the matter will change that.

  • Morgan Smith

    Actually, I am male (though my name is Morgan); unless you were trying to be funny.
    I’ll encourage us both to provide more meaningful forms of argumentation; for if you re-read your note, I can easily plug my position into your phraseology; meaning, assertions by themselves have zero credibility — where is your support?

  • Jeff Preuss

    No! I wasn’t trying to be funny! Oops, sorry! Sir it is!

    (And, as I just stated in another response, the questions raised about the validity of anti-homosexuality Scripture are ALL over this progressive Christian channel, and are usually within the TEXTS of the blog posts, or linked. I’m not gonna just try to parrot what all of those say, nor do I expect them to convince you *I* am right. I do, however, expect you to at least allow there can be a difference of theology on this and every other issue, and ask you to err on the side of loving your fellow Christian, who may not be walking your same path. Encouraging shunning, in my opinion, is NEVER the correct way to love your fellow Christian.)

  • Morgan Smith

    That’s a great example of your position; let’s look at your argument:
    1) What does it mean to “love your fellow Christian”? Meaning, how is that to be manifested and how/where do we see it explained in scripture. Clearly, there are graphic examples and guidelines for church conduct; of which include the moral purity of the church; and, how to maintain that purity.
    2) Our difference is not merely an academic disagreement on some obscure theological topic; rather, it is a difference of thought on the very gospel and on those who will be shut out the Kingdom and those who will allowed in. The eternal souls of human beings are impacted.

  • Jeff Preuss

    But, when you use your theological ‘certainty’ to shut out other people from hearing the Good News of the Gospel (shunning them from Church) based on YOUR assessment of what constitutes a sin (even if it is a shared assessment with some others) you run the very risk of denying Christ to those who (in your eyes) might need Him the most.

    Plus, on the off chance that your assessment of the sin might be wrong (since not all denominations of Christianity agree on what is and is not sinful) why on earth would you stick to your guns and kick someone out “with love?”

    I love you enough as a fellow Christian to tell you I believe you to be misinterpreting the main commandments of Christ to love God and love our neighbors by manifesting a hubric judgment upon other people. And, you are hurting them (us.)

    Our differences ARE a theological difference. The main thing that should unite us is a shared belief in our Lord Jesus Christ, and following Him, but based on your other comment about there being no gay Christians, YOU would deny me the opportunity to share this faith with you.

    Once you get past the 2 main commandments from Christ, everything else IS fairly minor in detail. And, I reiterate that shunning someone you don’t think is “good enough” for the Kingdom is NOT a valid execution of either commandment.

  • Morgan Smith

    Technically speaking, as mandated by Christ and the apostles, church is not intended for proclaiming the gospel. Rather, church is intended for those who already believe, for the purpose of corporate worship.

    We are commanded to make moral judgments (AKA moral evaluations) continuously as Christians. What we are to avoid is, making a final, authoritative ruling, one any person’s ultimate eternal destiny.

    To be clear, no one is “good enough” for the Kingdom; that is why Christ lovingly went to the cross.

    As an example, in your argument, let’s substitute the word “gay” with “gossiping”. Could someone be an unrepentant, proud, “Gossiping Christian”? Would it be unloving to suggest that the person who practiced gossip, openly and proudly, who has no desire to turn from that lifestyle, be removed from the body of believers (Church)?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Ah, but see my response to your other question, as regards to ‘unrepentant.’

    If church is intended only for those who already believe, then why do we invite nonbelievers to join us at church? Shouldn’t you start to implement an entrance questionnaire to ensure only people who believe, and believe in the way you say they should, into the walls?

    I disagree with you (and MacArthur) about us being commanded to make moral judgments as Christians. And, for those who are not supposed to be making final authoritative rulings, they sure do that a LOT.

    Look, if we’re going by what church is intended for, technically speaking, wherever Christ is in the heart of a believer, there church is. So, whether you agree with my lack of need for repentance, no matter where I am, I am part of the Church. Because Christ is there with me in my heart, guiding my choices.

  • Morgan Smith

    That some people invite unbeliever’s to church has no relevance on what the scripture teaches regarding New Testament church order and function. The scriptures, not people’s opinion or conduct, have authority over life.

    Let’s look at John MacArthur’s study habits for a moment:
    Dr. MacArthur has systematically and carefully studied and taught through the entire New Testament (over a 40+ year time-frame). His process of study is done by means of a sound hermeneutic, which include: (1) education which has provided him a functional understanding and practical usage of New Testament Greek; paying careful attention the importance of grammar and syntax (2) exhaustive cultural, historical, geographical study and reconstruction of each passage being studied, so as to further his understanding on the meaning (interpretation) of a particular text (3) an extremely thorough use of appropriate cross referencing for the means of fostering the concept of analogia scriptura (scripture interprets scripture); (4) before any actual studying is performed, he saturates himself in the particular book he’s studying; for example, before studying the epistle of 1 John, he read the book repetitiously 90 times. (5) by all outward appearances, his life has been without scandal or reproach (6) after listening to him for over 10 years, it is quite clear that Dr. MacArthur’s primary concern in life is glorifying God and the love of God’s truth (as revealed in scripture) — regardless of how popular or unpopular it may be (7) he has spent, on average, 30 hours a week (over 40 a year+ history) in study preparation.

    Now, this does not mean that Dr. MacArthur is incapable of error, misunderstanding or misinterpretation; however, given his study habits, might not it be wise to give his teaching some serious consideration, over against the typical arm-chair theologian who has not given his life to such rigorous study? Most pastors, let alone the average lay person, gives less than a fraction of their time to serious study; and yet, often, they will be the quickest to disagree and cry foul.

  • Jeff Preuss

    You know, I never said that I’ve not giving teaching like his serious consideration. (In fact, due to my lengthy period of chastising myself, you should already be able to extrapolate the assumption that I DID.) I grew up in the Southern Baptist Church, surrounded by that type of teaching. However, his ‘authority’ based on years of study does not supersede the responsibility, nay the mandate, of the individual believer to study and discern from Scripture and other studies OF said Scripture to divine meaning pertaining to the individual believer’s faith walk. If one is simply relying on others to discern from the Scripture and from prayer for us, then that is no faith at all, save for the faith in a human faith leader.

    Meaning, MacArthur’s proclamations are nigh-irrelevant when applied to my life and my relationship with Christ. I also study the Scripture to reveal God’s Truth, and my interpretation and study reveals the Truth in a wholly different way from what MacArthur is stating.

    MacArthur’s is not better simply because he has devoted more time to it.

  • Morgan Smith

    Study in itself is only helpful if the manner of study is sound and logical given that the bible is an ancient and foreign document. That you study at all or a lot is meaningless unless by what means you study. By what hermeneutic do you study?
    It is whole-heartedly true that individual Christians are to perform their own diligent study; not given to laziness, allowing the pastor or teacher study for them; in part, that is one way in which cults can gain power; however, we are also not to despise the teachers that God has given us (as mentioned in His word as a gift to the Church). Teacher’s are men gifted, from God, to assist us; let us not despise that which God has given us. Furthermore, it is also true that the Holy Spirit will teach and illuminate the individual Christian; however, ought not we also to heed other godly men who have had illumination from the same Spirit; or, shall we proudly assume that we contain all knowledge and need not interact with other men of God. There is a reason we are commanded to avoid neglecting the ‘assembling together’ (Church); we are not meant to study the bible and therefore interpret the bible in vacuum, without teachers and other Christians.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “If the manner of study be sound”? There you go again, attempting to assert YOUR judgment on whether or not something is studied or interpreted correctly.

    Look, I’ve humored you long enough, but you are treating me like a subject of the Inquisition who must PROVE my faith to you. You and MacArthur have no authority over my faith, and cannot rightly call it invalid.

    I’m done answering your questions. I am a Christian, and that’s not up to you to call; it’s up to me. I do not need your permission or help to believe. Or be a part of the Church.

  • Morgan Smith

    I will quickly admit that doubtless, your intelligence exceeds mine, for I’m not always the sharpest tool in the shed; however, to suggest that any random method of bible study is sound and will lead to an accurate interpretation is just foolhardy.
    I believe your verbiage is a slightly mellow dramatic; we’re simply attempting to understand the nature of man; the nature of God; and how the bible relates. Also attempting to communicate on issues that require thought and discernment.
    No one is “judging” you and certainly not me of all people. Disagreement is not judgment; neither is correction or reproof.
    Best wishes to you, Jeff. I wish nothing but God’s true peace to you.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Oh, I was not being melodramatic to you. You came in here with your predisposed bias that there is no such thing as a gay Christian, then proceeded to barrage me with questions determining the validity of my Christian faith. I do not have to prove my faith to you nor do I seek your approval for the existence of my faith. Also, you questioned the soundness of my Bible study, simply because you do not agree with my positions on Scripture and homosexuality.

    We gay Christians grow ever so tired of having to prove our faith to you. And, you acting as if we do not exist does not grow the church or build any kind of unity for Christ.

    Edit to add (and, oy, correct some punctuation):
    I didn’t see this from you until I got home late tonight:
    “Forgive me, most importantly, by far, is that it appears that you may not know the gospel. Though you grew up in Church and religious activity does not mean you know or even heard the gospel. The doctrines of regeneration, justification, sanctification and glorification are not academic topics for the theologians, but for all who call themselves Christians. A clear, lucid, coherent, specific understanding of the Gospel is essential for salvation. Are you sure you know the gospel? Can you provide coherent, meaningful support (from the Bible alone)?”

    THIS. THIS is the relentless sort of calling into question the validity of our faith, summed up into one nutshell. It appears I may not know the Gospel? What hogwash. You peppered me with a dozen questions to try to “test my faith” and were able to reach your conclusion (which you had before we even entered into a conversation) that I am not indeed a Christian.

    People who are so convinced of their own codified beliefs against homosexuals are so quick to attempt to tear down the faiths of those people who are them or support them. What unbelievably condescending claptrap, Sir.

    The hypocrisy of this all is that very few of you go about interrogating other Christians ad nauseum to figure out if they really follow Jesus.

    This is not spreading the Gospel, Morgan. Not even close.

  • Morgan Smith

    Forgive me, most importantly, by far, is that it appears that you may not know the gospel. Though you grew up in Church and religious activity does not mean you know or even heard the gospel. The doctrines of regeneration, justification, sanctification and glorification are not academic topics for the theologians, but for all who call themselves Christians. A clear, lucid, coherent, specific understanding of the Gospel is essential for salvation. Are you sure you know the gospel? Can you provide coherent, meaningful support (from the Bible alone)?

  • Jeff Preuss

    And, I should know better – I’ve just been to my male friend Morgan’s wedding. Oy!

  • Morgan Smith

    No worries :)

  • http://gracerules.wordpress.com/ Liz Dyer

    Morgan – people don’t fall into being lgbt – they are born that way. The biblical definition of love doesn’t include promoting a belief system that results in self hate and self harm. That isn’t good theology.

  • $105158253

    No evidence that people are born gay and even if it were it doesn’t matter. Its sin that makes the that way not God.

  • Jeff Preuss

    So, what makes you a jackass?

    (PS: Now that was an attack.)

  • $105158253

    I’m sorry the truth has caused you to lash out. It will set you free if you let it.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I am gay and Christ loves me! You’re right! That DID set me free!
    (And, Frankie, you’ve been lashing out since day one in here, so maybe you need a good ol’ dose of the truth. I’ll send some your way.)

  • $105158253

    Sadly you apparently don’t know what the truth is. Yes Jesus loves you dearly but hates your sinful behavior.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Good thing I don’t have much sinful behavior, then. Being in a monogamous committed relationship with my husband for 18 years has been a blessing that has enriched my life and my faith and the bond with BOTH our families! Truth!

  • $105158253

    You don’t have a husband. Its an impossibility. And its too bad you have settled for something less. its your choice however.

  • Jeff Preuss

    He is my husband in every way that matters except the legalities of my state. Not an impossibility at all! Certainly not in about a 1/3 of the United States and several other countries now!

    (Impossibility – that’s cute! I don’t think you know what that word means.)

  • $105158253

    You can call a pineapple a pear all day but it doesn’t make it so.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I can call him my husband all day and night for 18 years and it makes it true. Especially once we can make it legal in this state.

  • $105158253

    As I said you can call him anything you like but you are not married.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Not technically yet, no. We WILL be soon enough. For now, he’s my common-law husband, if you want to get technical! We’ll be having a big reception when it’s done – I’ll make sure to invite you. There will be lots of cake.

  • $105158253

    You will never be married. Its not possible for two people of the same sex to make a marriage.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Yes, we will. So say 19 US States (and counting), and with the Presbyterian Church decision this week, an ever-growing number of Christian denominations!

    (Seriously, do you not watch the news? I feel like you don’t actually know what’s happening with this.)

  • $105158253

    What human opinion decides on is irrelevant. Gods Will is paramount and therefore you will never be married to a person of the same sex no matter what you or anyone else says or does.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I’m so sorry you are lying to yourself over this matter. Alright, it’s been a LOT of fun playing “Last Word in the Debate” with you (although, honestly, a lot of yours have simply been, “so sad,” and you’ve gotta step up your game, because you were repeating yourself a LOT), but we both know the last Word will be had by the Lord Himself.

    I cannot WAIT to see the look on your face in Heaven when I’ve saved you a seat next to me. I hear St. Peter makes a great mac and cheese — I’ll sneak you an extra helping.

    God bless you and grant you peace, and an ability to actually share LOVE with the world. The world (and you) could use it.

    Night, friend.

  • $105158253

    Yes you are very familiar with living lies.

    You maybe next to me in heaven but that doesn’t change the sinfulness of your relationship here on earth. And if you lead others astray as well chances are I will not see you.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Oh my GOODNESS you can’t leave it alone! I guess you really do love playing this game.

    I’ll see you there, Sport! ::playful punch to your chin::

  • $105158253

    Says the person who said they were finished but commented again.

    You’re consistent.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Hard to resist when you’re like a puppy with a chew toy!

  • $105158253

    Too bad you have chosen to stay a puppy instead of maturing.

  • Morgan Smith

    Hi Liz,

    That individuals are born lgbtq is irrelevant. People are born with all kinds of sinful inclinations and evil desires — I am certainly no different.

    I’m not sure what you mean by self-harm; for I never advocated such an idea; but, self-hatred is essential for salvation and will be the natural disposition of the person who has been truly regenerated.

    Listen to the amazing apostle Paul, who wrote:

    “For I know that nothing good dwells in me” – Romans 7:18

    “Wretched man that I am” – Romans 7:24

    Those are not the words of a man who has self-love; rather, they come from a man who had met the holy, risen Savior, and had contrastingly seen the ugliness of sin in his own person — that person being the apostle Paul.

    That is good theology; though it is not popular theology.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Your theology is so supremely flawed, and being gay is not sinful. Bless you!

  • Morgan Smith

    It is not “my” theology; but that which is revealed in the N.T.
    By what standard do you call it “supremely flawed”?

  • Jeff Preuss

    It is YOUR interpretation of theology (from YOUR translation), and not one that is shared by ALL Christians. For you to proclaim it as the only ONE truth available to any believers immediately makes your exclamations suspect. Allow other Christians to discern from the Scriptures, too.

    (Because, if you just say it “is revealed in the N.T.” you have to say WHICH N.T. and be willing to fight against all OTHER versions of the N.T. which may dispute your interpretations.)

  • Morgan Smith

    I start with the premise that each author of the N.T. had a specific, singular reason for writing a particular book. Assuming the writer’s were of a sound mind, it’s only logical to conclude that they desired their writing to be understood.
    Next, we look to church history and scholarship to discern which books belong in the “cannon” and which do not. There are many great scholarly works on this matter which I’m sure you’re well aware.
    But, if we start with the presupposition that all of the bible is indiscernible, with no ability to accurately interpret, then we have no bible at all. For example, how do you know God is loving? One could argue, that concept is merely your “interpretation”.
    Everything becomes convoluted, futile and silly.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Yes, but, sir (see what I did there?) WHICH version of the N.T? Different translations and languages take on different meanings for the verses and the books, and the word homosexual wasn’t even added into the English translations until 1946. So, certainly all English Bibles were more anti-gay after that date, since the word was specifically inserted into verses where it simply didn’t exist. So, does that mean that the translations before 1946 are invalid? Or at least incomplete?

    That fact alone at least calls into question the anti-gay fervor so often attributed to Scriptural teachings, let alone stuff like this:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/if-gay-christians-go-to-hell-so-are-the-ones-who-dont-recycle/

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/yes-gay-christians-exist-a-sincere-plea-to-my-conservative-friends/

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/some-things-to-consider-if-you-think-being-gay-is-a-sin/

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2012/04/the-best-case-for-the-bible-not-condemning-homosexuality/

    And, there are many more that get into specific contextual discussions about what the specific codes from Leviticus might have referred to. There’s just enough out there that calls into QUESTION the “definitive” old stand-by that gay people are just falling into destructive sin. Many of us are not and a large number of the gay people who are hurting are hurting because of what is being said and done to them in the name of God. That has got to stop.

    Okay! Like I said in my other comment, I don’t expect this to just up and change your mind! But, read it, and understand that it IS okay to question, but not so okay to just declare us all living in sin or broken or self-destructive because that shuts a WHOLE GROUP OF HUMAN BEINGS down, and it shuts the conversation down.

    Sir.

  • Morgan Smith

    Hey Jeff,
    I don’t know what it is like to be you; nor do I know what you’ve been through or go through on a daily basis. Also, I know that this topic usually is surface-level in nature, emotionally charged, highly incoherent and rife with biblical ignorance.
    My point: I don’t take this topic glibly, or lightly; I understand the nature and seriousness of it. There are far too many professing Christians who speak my position, that are filled with gross pride, gross bible ignorance and legitimate hate.
    Let me ask you a couple of sincere questions:
    1) Assuming you consider yourself a Christian, how did you become one? How do you know you’re going to Heaven?
    2) What would the bible actually need to say, in order for you to believe that God hates same-sex relations, of any kind?
    3) “IF”, you truly believed God condemned same-sex relations, would that impact your decisions and behavior; or would you continue life as usual?
    If preferred, feel to contact me at:
    distinguishing.the.difference@gmail.com

  • Jeff Preuss

    1)I professed my faith in Christ Jesus in front of my entire church as a child. I was there 3 times a week. I received a Bible embossed with my name. I have lived every day since that time trying to be an example to His name in thought and act, word and deed. I know that I am saved by my belief in Him, and as such will gain entry to the Kingdom.
    2)What would the Bible NEED to say? It would need to say, “You cannot be in a committed loving relationship with another of your gender” across ALL languages and translations, dating back to when the Books were first written. But, it simply doesn’t.
    3)IF I believed God condemned same-sex relations, it would impact me, yes. I used to believe He did, and for over a decade after puberty, I prayed multiple times a day for Him to take it from me, remaining penitent and abstinent (no, REALLY). After a few years of struggling with it, I even considered suicide. I undertook specific Bible studies on the topic, and cried and cried and cried. So, if I thought to this day that He condemned it, yes I would be living my life differently. But, I no longer believe that. I made my peace with being gay and with the Almighty about the whole thing. After MUCH prayer and study. I am truly at peace with the Truth.

    I see no need to take this private; I’ve nothing to hide from my life experience, and my life is relevant to the overall topic of this page. Unlike what MacArthur suggests, my very religious parents accepted me for who I am, and prayed that I never lose my faith in Christ who never lost faith in me.

    If the discussion ever seems emotionally charged to you, it’s because we gay people are being told an innate part of our nature is inherently sinful, and nothing helpful can come from such a statement. One cannot discuss this topic in an expressly clinical way as if one is excising a gangrenous foot. Hearts and souls are on the line here, and it IS emotional.

    What you see as Biblical ignorance is often a lot better-researched than you might allow, but with a different conclusion. You cannot speak with ultimate authority that yours is the only valid interpretation of Scripture, and that all other takes are ignorant.

  • Morgan Smith

    The biblical ignorance I was referring to both sides; those in particular who hold the vulgar signs, make the vulgar comments, and quote the six “clobber passages”. Though they are correct in their usage, I highly doubt they understand the foggiest reason why they are right; moreover, the utterly lack the humility, grace and love (while still speaking truth) that is necessary in their speech.
    And, it should not come as a shock that, not only is a part of man’s innate nature sinful, but all of man’s innate nature is sinful. There is no part of man’s nature and disposition that is upright or unpolluted; this includes the mind, the will and the emotions. So that, what we think, what we feel and how we act are all sinful. Being gay doesn’t make a person a sinner; rather, they are gay because they are sinners.
    Let me re-phrase a question to you:
    by what grounds does one enter God’s Kingdom? By what grounds is he declared righteous before the Holy One?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Nope, hold on. I’m gonna stop you right there, because you can not categorically state that one is gay because one is a sinner, and expect that argument to even carry any weight here if I do not agree with you that it IS a sin. Unless you are also to articulate that one is straight because one is a sinner.

    Those two states (and, I would guess, bisexuality) occur in human beings not as a result of sin. True, there is nothing scientifically proven to be the ’cause’ of one or the other occurring, but neither one has an intrinsic good or bad value. They just ARE. Because there is as of yet no “proof” to their cause, it cannot ethically be determined it’s just sin. That’s the same determination that used to be declared for mentally retarded children, or kids with physical deformities. How could those children be created in God’s image if they were imperfect (by our standards)?

    And the Biblical ‘backup’ to your statement of its sin would be the very stuff that I purport is called into question, and therefore somewhat unreliable in a DEFINITIVE declaration.

    One gains access to the Kingdom by professing to love and follow Christ, and repenting of one’s sins, leaving them behind and living a life as an example to Christ. Which I’ve done, and strive to do daily.

  • Morgan Smith

    The most important aspect of this response comes at the end; sadly, this is not the biblical definition of God’s means of justifying the guilty sinner. Following Christ unconditionally, repenting, living a life as an ax ample to Christ are pre-requisites (or conditions) to salvation; but, they are not the actual means that justify sinners before the Holy God.

  • Jeff Preuss

    But, yes, all man is sinful, and people on both sides argue with biblical ignorance. (Wanted to make sure you knew I saw those points.)

  • Morgan Smith

    Also, thanks for sending the links; I’ll definitely check them out.

  • Morgan Smith

    Also, please remember that it is not enough to merely make an assertion (such as “your theology is so supremely flawed”; but, one must also provide actual and meaningful support.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Morgan, had you looked at any of the meat of any of the discussion on this blog post or the related blog posts, and the links therein, you would have noticed there is MUCH discussion about questioning the validity of many of the texts purported to be against homosexuality. That’s generally the TOPIC of this blog post, so it’s not MY job to read those arguments to you.

    I asserted my point with as much conviction as you and your proclamations about my “destructive sin,” yet all you can offer is relying on the same “clobber texts” that have been used against my kind so often.

    We are allowed to disagree. You are NOT allowed to use your difference of opinion to cause further spiritual harm to gay Christians by shunning them. You are not showing Love, ma’am, no matter how many verses you use to prop up that fallacy.

  • Morgan Smith

    Actually, I have read many posts contained herein; and, they are almost identical to those arguments given from the viewpoint; meaning, the common thread is an unbiblical view of God’s love; an appeal to emotion; perceived and certainly contrived victimization; the refusal or inability to receive the plain meaning of a given text, in conjunction with the bible as a whole.
    Moreover, gay-Christian is a false title for it does not exist in the bible (not in term or in concept). Further, the information that Dr. MacArthur addressed comes from Christ and the apostles; so the problem is not with him, but with Him.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Gay Christian is not a false title. I am gay. And I am a Christian. Both terms apply to me, therefore they can be combined to call me a gay Christian. Because I am saved by my relationship with Christ Jesus, and nothing is changing that.

    Being gay is not a sin any more than being straight is. Your insistence that there are no gay Christians doesn’t make me stop existing, and my very existence disproves your statement.

  • Morgan Smith

    I’ve learned that defining terms is very important on this topic; which these types of forums don’t typically encourage.

    When you say you’re a gay Christian, do you mean that you’ve repented of that lifestyle; see it as evil and desire instead to live a godly life (though you may struggle with regular, even daily, homosexual desires and thoughts) — see Romans chapters 6 and 7.
    Or do you mean, that your a gay man, who feels no need to repent of that lifestyle, and intends to practice said lifestyle, while using the term Christian too.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Definitely the latter, although I take exception to the term “lifestyle” as it is so casually used to paint us in the broad category of other (instead of knowing the person), when my life is likely very similar to yours. The only major difference is I have a husband. That is not practicing a lifestyle – it’s living a life.

    I do not see it as a sin, and definitely do not see it as ‘evil’ or ‘wicked.’

  • Guy Norred

    The term (Christian) is rarely qualified at all in the Bible. When it is, it is to distinguish Jew from Gentile (racially, geographically, but mostly culturally in the context), or something akin to (but not fully interchangeable with our current usage) what we might call nationality. The absence of the term hardly negates its meaning or the necessity of its use in the present.

  • c’est vrai

    As I keep saying, we have re-considered the issue of slavery. Make no mistake – the bible condones slavery in both the OT and NT. Why are so many opposed to re-considering the issue of homosexuality? There are more verses in the bible that support slavery than that oppose homosexuality.
    What do we do with all of those Christians who are gay? It’s easy to write them off as sinners. I know too many to do that. We need the courage to re-think those texts. Jesus did not alienate or separate from people. That is one of the reasons the fundamentalists of his day hated him.
    Also, shunning was a part of the honour and shame culture of which Paul was a part. Most people in western cultures today realize that it is ultimately ineffective. Sadly, some cultures, and fundamentalists in our own, have not.

  • http://gracerules.wordpress.com/ Liz Dyer

    Why is it that there are Christians who can’t embrace the reasonable argument that you put forward? I don’t get why they can’t seem to get it!

  • Jeff Preuss

    I think, honestly, what scares many Christians who oppose the gay rights argument that there are different interpretations of Scripture, is the idea that allowing THIS reinterpretation would call into question their entire belief system (and their stance on other theological issues), which is (by and large, though not all) based on a belief in Biblical inerrancy. I think for some Christians it is immensely frightening to try to question their faith critically, because what if questioning leads them to non-belief?

    If we change our minds on THIS issue, do we have to start reexamining our thoughts on every OTHER issue?

    When I think the questioning and critical thinking is what leads one to strengthen one’s faith, because one begins to reallyunderstand it instead of just doing and saying “what we’re told” our faith should be.

  • http://gracerules.wordpress.com/ Liz Dyer

    Jeff, I agree! Most people, including me, would like to be in control of “stuff” if possible and being certain about God and scripture and Christianity and what is right and wrong can make us feel like we are in control.

    When we have lived that way for a while we can become addicted to the secure (even though it is a false security) feeling that being certain makes us feel and letting go of that certainty … the feeling that we are in control … can be very scary. But, an honest pursuit of the Christian faith … an honest examination of our life as a follower of Jesus is going to reveal to us that we can’t put God in a box like that.

    When we continue to try and box God in he will end up blowing the top off of that box. He will turn stuff upside down and inside out to show us that there is more to him and his love and his ways.

    Most people will get it when that happens but there are those who dig their heels in and won’t budge. They get SO angry at those who stop coloring inside the lines and thinking outside of the boxes.

    Like Ed here, they exhaust themselves and anyone who will listen to them with their certainty about things.

    The only reason I reply to people like Ed is to make sure that any true seekers will see that although Ed is loud his is not the only voice that is speaking and they can discern for themselves where the truth lies.

  • http://www.hopehorner.com Hope H

    I went to MacArthur’s conservative college years ago and can tell you he REALLY believes this and the staff at the school lives it. I was completely shunned when I was “outed” by my room-mate. It took me YEARS to get over being called “disgusting” and “an abomination” by staff in “counseling” sessions at the school. (On a side note, it turns out my counselor was gay, too. Yes, the one who worked at the college! That explains a lot of the vitriol!) And then, when I couldn’t “leave the lifestyle” I was just told to leave the school. MacArthur sure did “turn me over to Satan” – and Satan almost won. Thankfully, God chased me down and through his love brought me back to the faith. Today, I stand in Christ–I trust Him to save me, not “Christians” like MacArthur who speak from a place of pride and condemnation because their God is so small. “Christians” like MacArthur have it all backwards–they use their words to “cast out” instead of to “reel in” people who need God.

    I still struggle with the ‘residue’ of my experience at MacArthur’s college, but luckily, I have known many Christians since then who have loved me AS IS and didn’t see any need to call Satan and ask him if he has room for one more in his den of sin.These type of Christians ARE out there, thankfully.

    There’s also a book out there by Jeff Chu–Does Jesus Really Love Me?–where he shares his story of traveling around the United States as a gay Christian man and talking to pastors and church folk about what they believe. I share about this book/topic in my blog here: http://www.hopehorner.com/2013/08/who-is-this-god-you-love.html

    If you are reading this and you are gay, do NOT think all Christians feel the way MacArthur does and want to shun you. I can assure you they do not. Do not let this unloving, narrow-minded Christian turn you from a fulfilled life in Christ. John MacArthur loves being “right” more than he loves being “righteous.”

    If you’re interested, you can read more about how I bounce back from “MacArthur meanies” here: http://www.hopehorner.com/2013/07/life-is-painand-great-i-guarantee-it.html

    In Christ Alone,
    Hope

  • Jeff Preuss

    I am very glad you recovered from your shunning and realized that Christ Himself never shunned you.

  • http://gracerules.wordpress.com/ Liz Dyer

    Hope – You are right – not all Christians are like MacArthur! And more and more people are realizing how unChristlike that kind of thinking is.

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

    Can’t wait to see the multifarious delusions contained in undiluted. Why is it that these guys dilute the gospel and then turn around call it undiluted?

    I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:

    2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.

    3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires,

    4 and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.

    5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

  • http://gracerules.wordpress.com/ Liz Dyer

    Ed – you’ve made your point a few thousand times. We understand you disagree with the post. Now stop it and go out in the world and do something nice for someone – give someone a hug, encourage someone, lift someone up, feed the hungry, care for the sick, visit someone in jail (not to tell them how bad they are but to let them know that someone cares about them), plant a tree or a flower, cheer for a kid that is trying something new – find something positive to do for a change.

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

    Considering Ben stooped to the level of malicious slander, I think I will stick around and do what I can to help occasional visitors see the folly of the hermeneutics and philosophy propagated on this blog. But thank you anyways.

  • http://Www.theirishatheist.wordpress.com/ The Irish Atheist

    MacArthur says something and Mr. Corey repeats it verbatim: slander.

    Ed Dingess falsely claims that Mr. Corey is deleting his posts: not slander, just lying for Jesus.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Because if you’re being a big jerk for Jesus…well, you’re still being a big jerk.

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

    You didn’t even read what MacArthur said. And Corey did not tell the whole story which is bearing false witness. How about that Ben! The Atheists are on your side also. What does that tell you.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Hahahhaaahaaahaaa! I don’t think Ed actually knows what ‘slander’ means!

    noun: slander
    1.
    the action or crime of making a false spoken statement damaging to a person’s reputation.

    Nothing Benjamin posted in this blog post comes close to being a false account of anything MacArthur said or did, especially since it is backed up by MacArthur’s own video!

    Slander. teehee.

  • Susan S.

    High five, Ben. :) I just found your blog, and I’m intrigued. Sounds like you look at the Bible a bit like I do–albeit from a religious perspective rather than a purely historical one, and focused on the NT rather than the Tanakh. Going to have to start following you, I think.

  • http://gracerules.wordpress.com/ Liz Dyer

    I posted this comment as a reply to Ed (with an additional admonishment to him about his arrogance) further down the page but I also wanted to post it here as I want to emphasize and share the idea that “good theology leads to good psychology”

    Here’s what I know …. I know that scripture does not speak clearly for or against a loving, monogamous same sex relationship and for anyone to say that it does completely strips away any integrity that they may have when speaking of scripture. If you really know original language and historical context you have to agree that it is not clear. In light of that we have to decide how to proceed without any clear scriptural guidance on the matter.

    Being the parent of a son who is gay and having spent many years connecting with hundreds of Christians who are LGBT – taking the time to get to know them and hearing their stories and becoming friends with them, I have come to the following two conclusions:

    1) It would be unjust to condemn something without clear evidence that it should be condemned or clear evidence that it is harmful.

    2) Good theology leads to good psychology. If our theology is leading to depression, hopelessness, self hate, self harm, suicide and other negative states then we must reconsider what we are teaching and believing. Over and over again I see Christians who are suppressing their lgbt sexual orientation living emotionally unhealthy lives and over and over again I see Christians who are living authentically into the person they were created to be (as an lgbt person) becoming whole and healthy human beings. Not only are they healthier physically, mentally and emotionally but they are healthier spiritually. The evidence speaks for itself.

  • $105158253

    Apparently you do not know what you think.

    All homosexual relationships beyond simple, friendship are condemned quite clearly. Paul knew exactly what he was saying..

    What leads to depression is those that encourage sinful behavior. No wonder kids are confused and make their identity their sexuality.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Wrong! Ostracizing from folks like you leads to the depression!

  • $105158253

    No their sin destroys them, even their very life sometimes. Its hateful to encourage sin.

  • Jeff Preuss

    No, YOUR sin of misplaced judgment beats them down, causing fellow Christians to stumble (itself a big Biblical NO-NO). I can see how you might get it so wrong, given your horrible fundamental biases and all. I love you.

  • $105158253

    SIn has a powerful hold on you. Sad.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Sin has very little hold on me. Nothing sad about my life since I came to Christ. I am full of peace and joy.
    You, on the other hand, are the sad one full of hatred and anger which causes you to lash out at those you perceive weaker.
    I wish you peace in your life as well. :)

  • $105158253

    Yup very sad indeed.

  • Jeff Preuss

    What is really truly wonderful about my walk with Christ is that bond is TOO powerful for YOU to rip it apart. Nothing you can say invalidates my faith. Nothing you can do diminishes my love for the Lord. And, you shall never be able to take it away from me.

    But, I will NOT stand by and allow you to discard and shame someone else who may still be struggling.

    So, you can keep trying, Frank, but I and others like me will continue to do the Lord’s work and lift other souls UP. Even yours.

  • $105158253

    Yes God does use sinners for his purposes. Its too bad they let their sin prevent greater uses and blessings.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Like you are doing? Think of all the good you could do if you weren’t so blinded by your haughtiness!

  • $105158253

    Yup so sad.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Horrible. This attitude leads to this kind of abuse:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XxXmxIVHoag

    “We’re in the business of trying to save prodigals.”

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

    The entire thrust of this article and the summation of this movement is a complete dismissal of God’s holiness. God’s love is the entire focus while God’s holiness is completely ignored.

    1. Ben Corey says that Christ would never separate families in the manner suggested by MacArthur. Jesus actually said: “Do you suppose that I came to grant peace on earth? I tell you, no, but rather division; 52 for from now on five members in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three. 53 “They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” Luke 12:51-53

    2. Ben Corey says excommunication was only about Church membership, not family membership. Corey fails to grasp the seriousness of professing Christ while living a lifestyle predominantly defined by sin rather than righteousness.

    3. Ben Corey engages in the red herring strategy by implying that gun owners are idolaters. Personally, I think the bring your gun to church day is silly, but that doesn’t make it idolatry or even a sin. I am not sure what the purpose is to be honest.

    4. Ben Corey then pulls the orientation versus behavior card as if MacArthur thinks that the temptation for gay sex is sinful but that is about as dishonest and unfair as anyone could be. In addition, the number of people with homosexual proclivities that abstain is so infinitesimally small it is hardly worth mentioning. Another red herring.

    5. Both MacArthur and White’s comments come within the context of children who announce they are living a gay lifestyle while claiming to be Christian. MacArthur and White would both applaud a person who was attracted to the same sex but abstaining from sex altogether because they realize it is a sin. Neither James White nor John MacArthur would say that same-sex attraction is ipso-facto a sin. What they would argue is that you cannot act on that attraction. You cannot engage in that BEHAVIOR as a lifestyle AND be a Christian at the same time.

    Corey wants his cake and to eat it too. In one place he wants to place men like John MacArthur and James White in the worse possible light, set up his straw man and knock it over. In another place he wants to go all out and argue that gay sex itself is NOT a sin. In short, Ben Corey and his crowd are all over the map on this one. Just read a few posts and you will discover for yourself just how convoluted and incoherent the arguments are. One minute he is appealing to the Bible and Jesus and the next minute he is completely ignoring it. Well folks, you can’t have it both ways. Either Scripture is the final authority or it is not. And when it comes to something as fundamental and as basic as a sexual ethic and sin, Scripture is very clear. No one needs a seminary degree to understand what sin is.

    Having children that profess a love for Jesus while living a life defined by homosexual sex is a serious matter. A parent has the very unpleasant and regrettable task, but also the duty and opportunity to place God over their love for their child and do the right thing. They will do this if they love their child. If they do NOT confront this situation and handle it according to Scripture, they are NOT loving their child.

    If Jesus did not mean that He would bring division within households just like this sort of division, what exactly then did He mean?

  • http://www.formerlyfundie.com/ Benjamin L. Corey

    At 852 comments, I think it’s time to move onto other topics… closing this thread down. Feel free to take the dialogue to other pieces. Thanks.