Randomness

A couple interesting links:

– A gay-friendly pastor, Andrew Marin, promised to build bridges between evangelicals and the LGBT community. Many groups put their trust in his message. Turns out that at the same time, he was leading training sessions for anti-gay groups and saying on Christian radio that homosexuality was a sin. There’s a conflict of interest if ever there was one…

– A new Bible just cuts out all those confusing, controversial passages. According to this article,

…those troublesome verses about justice for the poor, responsibility for the rich to address their neighbors’ needs, and all that talk about money, are gone. Not just edited out, cut out.

A report from Assist News Service said the Western Bible Foundation published the book to meet the “growing wish of many churches to be market-oriented and more attractive.”

[tags]Andrew Marin, gay, LGBT, atheist, Christian, Bible, Western Bible Foundation, Assist News Service, Advocate[/tags]

  • Mike O

    From pg 3 of the article …

    “There is a difference between affirming and welcoming.”

    After Melissa Garvey alerted me to the Reader article, I invited Marin to be on my program on Sirius Satellite Radio, where he would not answer a simple question I asked four times: “Do you affirm homosexuality as normal, natural, and healthy?” Marin claimed that as a “bridge” he had to be circumspect

    I believe this is the crux of the issue … I don’t know anything about it other than this article, and from this article it sounds like Marins tactics and motives may truly be in question. But isn’t it possible for a Christian like myself to befriend the GLBT community? Isn’t it possible for a Christian to welcome and not affirm? And isn’t that enough?

    Isn’t that what people in the GLBT community do with Christians … they can welcome and befriend without affirming the Christian faith? And they expect that to be enough.

    Likewise, it should be enough for Christians to welcome even though we can’t affirm.

  • http://www.conversationattheedge.com/ Helen

    By the way, Andrew Marin has responded to the article in The Advocate.

    From The Advocate article:

    Listening to the interviews, it becomes clear that when Marin spoke to gay people he told them what they wanted to hear, but when he spoke to evangelicals he told them what they wanted to hear as well.

    A few months ago I visited the church I used to attend regularly (I no longer attend church) because Andrew Marin was going to be there as a guest. I was impressed by his website and curious to hear what he had to say.

    He seemed like a nice guy; he impressed me as sincere and caring. He came across as genuinely wanting to help gay people, because some were his best friends, rather than simply wanting to force his agenda on them.

    If his website does indeed misrepresent the truth then I’m sorry to hear that. I’m not sure what to think. I know that this is a very touchy sensitive issue and I can see why the GLBT community would be very angry and upset if they feel anyone has been exploiting them.

    Speaking for myself, I am impressed with anyone doing their best to build bridges between any communities which do not have good relationships with each other. I was impressed that Andrew Marin seemed to know enough and be respectful enough to avoid saying the highly offensive things I’ve heard other evangelical Christians say about GLBT people. I hope it was not just all marketing. I didn’t think it was when I heard him and spoke to him for a few minutes afterwards.

    Maybe the people who believed Andrew Marin did believe a little too much, but maybe the author(s) of and contributors to the Advocate article are believing too little.

    Maybe they also could try to believe that there are evangelicals out there who don’t want to exploit them, who genuinely want to help and whose agenda does NOT include feeling personally responsible for changing the sexual orientation/behavior of GLBT people.

    Andrew Marin wrote in his response:

    Those in the GLBT community who actually know The Marin Foundation intimately, and have actually been to our classes and programs, actually participated in our research, and actually know me and call me a friend, understand that we are not here to tell any of them what they should or should not do with their lives, but rather we are here to help them focus on the Lord for all of the free power and strength He provides

    To me, there is a huge difference between an evangelical Christian who urges people to connect with God and says “Your lifestyle is between you and God” and one who says “You’d better clean up your act”. While both may believe homosexual behavior is a sin, the first one doesn’t push that belief on the other person, whereas the second one does. It makes all the difference, relationally – or should, imo.

    I didn’t see any evidence that The Advocate acknowledges this difference, unfortunately. And again I respect that this is a very sensitive issue and I don’t want anyone to be used or exploited and I hope that Andrew Marin hasn’t done that. He is at the beginning of his bridge-building vocation and maybe he has some things to learn. If so I hope he learns quickly and perseveres with his bridge-building efforts in spite of criticism.

  • Logos

    Christians are capable of more depth and sensitivity that many homosexuals would expect. A short clip showing this can be found at this link.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zYRhVcJsypg

  • HappyNat

    LOL, nice clip Logos.

  • http://www.disinterestedparty.com Stephen Ayer

    Er, the bible you mention is actually an elaborate joke. If you read this story you’ll find the details… Stephen

  • Andrew Marin

    Hello,

    I just saw this blog and figured I’d pop in and give my 2 cents worth…whatever it’s worth. Where Mike O. quoted the portion of the article and spoke about Michelangelo asking me four times…in fact, all Michelangelo did was yell, accuse and blame me for about 15 minutes and never gave me the true opportunity to speak my mind. If that is what he means by asking, then I guess we have two different opions of what a conversation is.

    Also, the most interesting part of the article was when Steve Forst, the President of Dignity was quoted as not being happy with the foundation and me misleading him. Well, the truth always comes out, and Steve is now on the record through the Advocate and the media as saying that he NEVER said any of what was printed in the article. How interesting?!

    The Marin Foundation is here to build bridges, and we would love the opportunity to talk to anyone about what we do and who we are. I will never enter into their one-sided, he-said-she-said debate, so if you would like to learn the truth, feel free to contact me directly.

    We have also posted a repsone on our website, http://www.themarinfoundation.org.

    Thank you and God Bless.

    Andrew Marin

  • http://www.conversationattheedge.com/ Helen

    Thanks for stopping by, Andrew. I wish you well in your ministry of building bridges. I very much respect you for making the effort to do that.

  • Logos

    Well MR.Marin then it would not be to much to ask you to answer this question. Do you think homosexuality is a sin.

  • Pingback: Friendly Atheist » Andrew Marin

  • Mike O

    I know this wasn’t addressed to me, but to Logos, I would ask, “And what if he does?” What does that have to do with anything? If Marin thinks it’s a sin, so what. I do. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be friends. That doesn’t mean we can’t welcome each other into our homes and just go on with things.

    THink of it this way … we don’t decide what is a sin and what isn’t. God (if there is one … I know this is an atheist site) does. If there is no God, there is no “sin.” But if there is a God, then maybe there is such a thing as sin. And God defines what is and isn’t sin, we don’t.

    So asking Mr. marin whther or not he thinks homosexuality is a sin is really nothing mroe than asking him what he thinks God thinks. A God maybe you don’t even believe in (I don’t know you.) So with that in mind, the question is sort of inflamatory and is looking for a reason to pick a fight. If it’s a sin, it doesn’t matter what you or Mr. Marin think. It either is or isn’t, and apparently you disagree on what you think the answer is.

  • Denise

    I recently listened to Andrew Marin on GCN online radio (www.gaychristian.net) – where some in that community are now grappling with the Marin Foundation’s legitimacy.

    Trying to see what else I can learn in the blogosphere I found friendlyatheist. Following onto this discussion track:

    It seems fruitless to ask a man in Andrew Marin’s position “Do you think homosexuality is a sin?” and to expect a yes or no answer. Although it is a ciritical question in many contexts, I don’t a think straight, Christian who assumes the role of a scientific/theological “bridge builder” can afford, philosophically or socially, to give a firm, consistent answer to such a question. So be it.

    But personally I am more disturbed by the allegation that Mr. Marin’s bridge building efforts could be viewed by him as little more than a personal wealth scheme….

    “He always said he would make a lot of money and his foundation would make him rich,” says Melissa Garvey, a former college classmate, talking about the months preceding the foundation’s inception. “He even told my mom that.” -
    (from The Advocate article)

    I haven’t seen a rebuttal to that.

    It was also alleged that Mr. Marin listed certain supportive GLBT groups amongst his financial sponsors and donors when that, in fact, was not the case. Creating a notion of money out of nothing belies a certain calculated, manipulation….or a significant naivete. I just wouldn’t give a donation to either character without more assurances.

    Too bad, because in the big scheme of things I do believe there is a God who is sending a gospel (“good news”) message of unconditional love, and providing a life of eternal hope and inspiration to all concerned in this matter. And I believe that the Christian community, in spite of it’s many current and historic flaws, has known and offered this good news and manifested this hope very legitimately, time and time again, for 2000 years — and, with or without the Marin Foundation, will continue to be blessed to do so.

    Finally….and free for the taking….from a straight woman….I believe homosexuality is not a sin.

  • JaneS

    I don’t know if this blog is still active or not, but I am doing research on this foundation, and some fact checking.

    Seems that Melissa Garvey and Emily Webster should be asked directly about the character and purpose of the Marin Foundation. Follow the money, or the intent to make money off of an unsuspecting gay community.

    This disturbing information about getting money from the Bush administration, using people’s photos on a webside without permission, claiming donors that don’t exist…that is material information. Check the material. Evangelical money makers are nothing new, and the place is crawling with them.

    Anyone who has a clever answer about gays being sinners etc, usually uses God says it, and that’s what they really think. Well intentioned or not, this is not in the best interest of the gay community.

    So I’d like to know the material truth of Webster’s and Garvey’s charges.

  • http://gartendekoration24.com/ Bronzeshop

    Interesting page. Never seen one like this bevore.


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