Think gay is wrong? You’re better than that.

It’s perfectly okay with God if a person is gay or lesbian. Perfectly.

If you think being gay is wrong, because you think the Bible says it’s wrong, learn more about those passages in the Bible. Because if you don’t, and you cling to your misinformed bigotry, then you’re purposefully, consciously, and destructively choosing lazy, hateful prejudice over simple truthful righteousness.

And you’re better than that.

I know you’re better than that.

You know you’re better than that.

God knows you’re better than that.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter.

  • Don Rappe

    I can vote for that!

  • http://spierlee@yahoo.com Rev Nancy Spier-Lee

    Blazingly true … and only 64 words! Even better, 64 words that are easy to sound-out for those beloved children who can’t handle anything too complicated. Oooops … I slipped into John the Baptist mode for a second!

  • http://www.thefirst10000.com Paul

    Why not just condense it to three simple words, three simple syllables: “God is love.” No room, nor time, for hate. It’d also stand to reason, therefore, that we come closest to embodying that love when we simply love — not judge, preach at, or condemn — one another.

    But that’s just my opinion.

    • Rev Ann

      because, until the church is truly exclusive, many glbt’s will assume they are not incuded in our understanding of God’s love unless it’s stated explicity. Someday that may not be an issue. For today, it is.

    • Mindy

      Wouldn’t that be nice? But it doesn’t work because too many Christians justify it thusly: “We love our gay bretheren so much that we just want them to ‘turn straight’ or at least be celibate so they can join us in Heaven.” In other words, we hate being so bigoted, but we have to be to save you.

      • cat rennolds

        you know, most of them really do believe it. with tears. They really want what they believe is best for you, however much it might hurt. Pain and suffering are God’s ways of teaching us what is right, didn’t you know that? Spare the rod and like that.

        IF what they’ve been taught is true, AND someone they love is gay, they HAVE to try to change them. Lord knows how many things my grandma tried to beat into the 3 of us, better the body than the soul, right? With tears every time, but she was doing her duty as she knew it. She really believes in Hell, and thus really, REALLY doesn’t want us to go there, or for there to have been anything she could have done but didn’t do.

        At 89 today, though, I think she may finally have learned to let God handle it. Bless her.

        Unfortunately, the power sharks and the sycophants use the same lines, so you just have to listen for the love or lack of it underneath.

        • Mindy

          That all may be true, Cat, yes. But it is the power sharks and sycophants who create the naive believers like your grandma. In this day and age, I have a hard time giving anyone under the age of 70 a pass for not learning the truth about LGBT people. There is information everywhere, and lots of it – too much to claim ignorance in not learn more about it.

          My 13 yr. old came home from school today and told me about a girl sitting at her lunch table. She couldn’t remember how the topic of gay marriage came up, but this girl’s response was, “Oh no, that’s just wrong. God says so. He hates it. God says men can only marry women.” My daughter ignored her, because she didn’t want to knock someone’s religion when she wasn’t talking about any one person, but it hurt her to the core, because she didn’t know who else heard it.

          And unfortunately, students have the right to express such a belief, as long as they are not directing it at someone in particular. That, of course would be construed as bullying. This wasn’t, though, and it made me very sad.

          This is our first experience in a public school. At her old school, that line of conversation would have been nipped in the bud. It would have been addressed by the teachers, along the lines of “I understand that your church might have taught you that, but not all churches or religions believe that, and here, we believe that everyone should have the same rights as everyone else to marry the person they love.” It was a private school, and it was understood upfront that it was openly inclusive.

          I am still navigating the rules at this new school, but I want this addressed.

          • cat rennolds

            “it is the power sharks and sycophants who create the naive believers like your grandma.”

            Oh, absolutely.

            Unfortunately, in a public school setting, the best response you are likely to get is them asking the kids not to discuss the topic at all. and even that’s not very likely. most public school employees can’t afford to have their local fundamentalist and/or conservative Christians come down on them about religious “persecution.” But give it a try and keep us posted.

          • Mykelb

            Write a letter to the editor of your local paper about your issue and see what kind of response you get from the school board.  Also, your little girl is going to have to get used to getting her feelings hurt, that’s part of growing up.  She is also going to have to get used to defending her own point of view, that’s part of growing up.  Teach her well.  If you can get her to learn latin, or greek, have her study the classics (Greek classics) and study rhetoric, this will ground her in basic logic and also give her skills in communicating her thoughts in a logical way that will blast the other kids right out of the water.

  • Gene

    Why didn’t you just say: “I think the Bible is wrong and you’re a misinformed bigot, consciously lazy, and hatefully prejudiced it you believe it instead of me.” That is, after all, what you are really saying in those 64 wrods, and it would only have taken you 23 words to say it.

    • Mike S

      Sure why not.. I think your just a lazy, misinformed, close-minded bigot. Better?

      • Gene

        See, Mike S., that wasn’t so hard. But you left out hateful. Of course, based on who is saying what to whom, maybe you wanted to reserve that term to apply to yourself.

        • DR

          Gene., do think it’s hateful to express anger to an unrepentant child abuser?

    • Rebecca

      Read it again Gene: he didn’t say the Bible is wrong. He said “learn more about the passages in the bible”. As Jesus tried to teach us, the easy way (legalistic, law, see-the-words-but-not-the-meaning) is not always God’s way. HUMAN interpretation of scripture can always be flawed. Try reading some more, perhaps get some different opinions of what those words mean. If you don’t, I certainly hope you don’t eat shrimp, wear cotton-poly blend shirts or dance… or you are damned also.

      • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

        True, but John does allude that if you don’t interpret or read “those verses” as being supportive of same-gender sex / love (or not against it) then you’re chosing a lazy, hateful prejudice or “if you don’t interpret ‘those verses’ as I do, then you’re a bigoted homophobe” Sounds JUST like the fundies, only in reverse

        • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

          No, Brian, the fundies left Biblical scholarship and reason on the door of moral certainty and believe their favor with God (read: more loved status) is more secure the more firmly they refuse to consider additional information. He’s saying if you take it on face value or just go along with whatever one’s minister says it means or whatever is preached at one’s own church without doing the research oneself…..then you haven’t done the hard work of really thinking about it. You’ve just swallowed whatever has been thrown out there. And if there might be a different understanding out there that is more loving and less harmful and judgmental to people and you refuse to do that work or even consider it….if you hang your belief on what someone else told you…. you are, in fact, choosing to 1) be uninformed 2) do no work 3) accept prejudice at face value.

          The fact that so many choose to so easily believe they are right without considering they might not have all the information and that the Bible justifies the condemnation and marginalization of an entire group of people over a reading and understanding that says: God loves everyone, you are never more like God than when you love God and you love what God loves – shows how deeply embedded some people are in their ego – edging God out.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Christy,

            Sure some people just take what is said as truth because it came from some minister, but most do not. We are commanded to rightly divide the word of truth. Look, honestly I moved well past my pastors’ messages years ago. His are very general and simple so the most people can understand them. For many many years I have searched and studied the Bible. I use the Berean model to study. As the BIble says about the Bereans when Paul came around, they searched the Scriptures to see if what he told them was true.

            For a layman I am quite proud of my library of study materials on the Bible. It has taken me some 30 years to build it to where it is today. I take Bible study very serious. Even with all that, there is still much for me to learn, I have not arrived nor am I a Bible scholar, but I do study and I believe what I do with as much SOUND biblical support as possible. Though I still am capable of a wrong interpretation, I know that. For example for years I believed in only a 100% literal reading of the Genesis creation account that was approx 10,000 years ago. Through evidences in God’s creation and a more poetic interpretation of Genesis, I don’t believe that any longer. I believe God created, but more than 10,000 “earth” years ago. I don’t fault the young earthers, I’m just not one any longer. My beliefs have changed over the last 30 years as they probably will in the future, but to claim that just because someone believes differently than you then they’re lazy, hateful and prejudice is simply not correct, becuase YOU may be wrong yourself. I know I have been and may still be wrong in some areas, I admit that openly.

          • DR

            Brian, it’s not because you believe something “different” about being gay. I wish it were that easy. It’s because your beliefs that being gay = being sinful hurt people which you flat out deny. I’d have so much more respect for you in this conversation if you actually acknowledged, “I realize that me believing that God condemns homosexuality as being against his plan hurts people. I realize that me saying that – believing that – hurts them, alienates them from God, that it’s very confusing to understand how He still loves them in spite of that. I see the impact, I believe those who are gay who tell me how my beliefs about homosexuality have hurt them. But at this time of my life, I can’t see believing anything else.”

            It would be so refreshing if someone would just say this. But so far no one who is conservative will, you just keep pointing out how everyone is being mean to you by suggesting the above is true.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            DR,

            I’m not going to agree with that, because I don’t agree with that. What I believe about homosexuality, really doesn’t matter, what matters is what does God say about it and what does a gay person believe in their heart about it. It is an issue between God and the person, not me. I beleive people are alienated from God by choice, not by someone else’s belief. You have evangelicals that proclaim loudly that the “gay agenda” is sinful and because they do, people believe that opinion is the opinion of all Christians and so they CHOSE not to believe in Christianity. I can be wrong mind you, but that’s what I believe, people reject Christianity by their own free will, just like they believe of their own free will.

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            It doesn’t help when we give them good reasons to avoid choosing it.

          • DR

            Brian if someone who is gay told you that what you belief about homosexuality matters, would you listen to them?

          • DR

            If someone told you that they rejected the idea that Jesus loves them because of the Biblical interpretation of homosexuality being wrong – would you believe them?

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            DR,

            To someone who is spiritually searching, I try and stay on the essential points of Christianity – Christ and what scrafice he made on the cross, what love he demonstrated in life and their need for a savior. Again what I believe about homosexuality doesn’t matter, what matters is Christ and him crucified, what is central and important is Christ and not homosexuality. If someone rejcts Christ because of a specific interpretation of Scripture that says homosexuality is wrong then clearly homosexuality is more important to them than the love of God and salvation. Not until a person can see that it is their entire spiritual condition that seperates them from God and not homosexuality, they will never get it, until God the Holy Spirit works in their heart. It is a supernatural work that converts and transforms a person. I’m sorry, but it’s not all about homosexuality, it is all of Christ

          • DR

            You didn’t answer the questions. You’re evading.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            DR,

            I suppose it’s just not the answers YOU wanted, but that’s my answer. To me, homosexuality is not the focus, the focus is Christ and I’m not going to get pulled away ino a meaningless discussion about homosexuality with an unsaved person, they need Christ, not my opinion or beliefs on homosexuality, I’m not the authority. People need Jesus Christ and his Gospel of liberating salvation and love.

          • cat rennolds

            Brian. I’m bisexual. And your very own personal opinion on these verses matters very, very deeply to me. To me, if the Spirit of God does not move in you to ANSWER my question, you are saying, guess what, Cat, this question that’s so important to you doesn’t matter to me, Cat, you’re not important to me, how you feel is not important to me. And that doesn’t feel like the love of God to me.

            It makes me feel that what you are really saying is, yes, I think your being bisexual is very wrong, but I don’t want to tell you that because I don’t want you to stop listening.

            Which at least, the rest of you guys, is an improvement, okay? I actually believe that he is struggling with what to believe about this, and doesn’t want to chase anyone away from God with what he says.

            Brian, if you want to model the love of Christ, if you want to minister, you HAVE to consider the deep, heartfelt soul needs of the person you are ministering to, and not by avoiding their serious questions.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Cat,

            No it doesn’t matter, all that matters is what YOU believe about it and what you feel / believe God the Holy Spirit tells you. My opinion means nothing, it is between you and God all I can do is procliam the Gospel, the rest is up to God, not me or my opinions – God the Son, Jesus Christ and He alone

          • Mindy

            Brian, if Cat says your opinion on this matters to her, then it matters, TO HER. You may well wish your opinion didn’t matter to her, because you don’t want to hurt her feelings, but she’s telling you that it does.

            You may think your opinion SHOULDN’T matter to her – yet it does. So evading the issue and not answering the questions hurts her, just as she eloquently explained. Your evasion is another way of saying that you don’t care.

            Maybe you don’t. But you keep coming back here, keep engaging in these conversations, so I think you do care. I think you still believe being anything but heterosexual is a sin, but you are, in real life, a kind enough and compassionate enough person not to say so. And you reallyreallyreally wish that was enough.

            So many here are telling you that if this topic matters to you at all – and it seems to, since you are here – then keeping your opinion to yourself is not enough. Speaking out AGAINST that opinion is the call John and DR and Cat and Christy and Dirk and A’isha and the many others here are making to ALL kind and compassionate Christians. They are telling you that being silent while others willingly accuse LGBT people of being abominations in the name of Christ is NOT ENOUGH. Being silent is being complicit in that which wounds far too many souls.

            You wish that wasn’t true, because you are not yet ready to give voice to the idea that being gay is as acceptable to God as being straight. That gay people who engage in sex within the same loving confines as straight people are equally as capable of honoring vows in the eyes of God. That is what all the kind and compassionate Christians like you need to say. Regularly.

            I suppose until you can, being silent is better than the alternative. But Cat just explained to you that your silence, in a conversation on this very topic, hurts. And even though you wish it didn’t, you have to own the fact that it does.

          • DR

            Brian what if a gay person asked you – if you were talking to him about Jesus – if Jesus thought being gay was wrong. He’s looking to you for guidance on what to pray for so it’s confusing to know how you’d counsel him. But perhaps you’re saying you’d just encourage him to ask God. Which is certainly fine. I wonder if they’d need to know what that answer is from you before they considered the God you were pointing them to, that’s been my experience. So it might be wise to think through that answer if you’re ever in that situation.

          • Brian W

            If two men or two women love each other and their love and life is honoring to God, why do they need anyones approval, especially mine or my opinion?

          • DR

            Because you are making it your business by saying this while also saying their being married is “unnatural”.  You don’t seem to want to be held accountable for that belief. 

          • Mindy

            Nobody really NEEDS your opinion or approval, Brian – but in the context of this conversation, you are simply evading answering the question – again and again and again. And DR’s scenario is valid – what if a young person came to you for guidance on Christianity, on accepting Jesus, and asked you, point-blank, how you believe Jesus/God feels about being gay? WHAT would you say???

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Mindy,

            I would say that there are some Christians that read certain verses in the Bible and claim they condemn homosexual behavior, others interpret those same verses to condemn temple prostitution, pagan sexual acts, rape or someone who is naturally heterosexual committing unnatural (for them) homosexual acts. So there is differing opinions.

            We need to go to the basic foundational level where Christians agree, namely what is the Bible? It is “Gods eternal redemptive purpose of his people as embodied in the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ”. The question you should ask is not one of homosexuality but, “Are you one of His?” ‘Are you a child of God?” “Is Jesus Christ your Lord and Savior?” It is not one of simple belief in God, because the demons believe and tremble, it is absolute faith and trust in Jesus Christ. It is a realization that you’re a sinner before God and deserve judgment for that sin. You’re not a sinner because you sin; you sin because you’re a sinner.

            Let’s presuppose that monogamous homosexual love is perfectly acceptable to God. Let me ask you, is there a perfect homosexual? The answer is no, no one is perfect. No one is perfect is a softened up secular term of “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”. That is all people without exception. The wages of sin is death – not just a physical death but a spiritual death or separation from the love of God. Sin separates us from the love of God, not until we realize we need a Savior from our sin can we receive that free gift. Our good works will always fall short, we cannot ever be good enough to measure up to God, no matter how good we think we are or someone else is (like Mother Theresa), ALL have sinned and ALL fall short of God. Only through Christ can we really experience God’s forgiveness, mercy and deep abiding love. Flee to Christ.

            I would say more, but I’m space limited. This issue is NOT one of homosexuality, it is Christ

          • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=721446848 Donald Rappe

            Many Christians think Jesus Christ was the perfect man and they think that without having any information at all about whether he was homosexual or not. For them the question of whether or not there is a perfect homosexual is unknown.

          • Mykelb

            Bullshit.  You just use your buybull to justify your own prejudice, just as slave owners did.

    • DR

      Gene, your response simply proves that the hostile, thin-skinned defensive nature of those of you who are “anti-gay” will still read a simple 64-word sentence and twist it, even add a few more in there that the author didn’t even state. Because in doing so, you get to dismiss it outright.

      • Gene

        DR, you are quick to assume that I’m “anti-gay.” I actually, I don’t care whether you or anyone else is gay or not. The truth is that I don’t think that there is anything wrong with a person being gay. I’m all for gays being able to form families. For inclusion in our societies with full rights for coverage under insurance and other places that are presently often reserved for people joined by marriage. Why did you jump to such a conclusion? I suspect it is because I disagreed with the way that OP worded his statement, and that I didn’t just jump approvingly on the bandwagon. So, perhaps I’m not the thin-skinned one on the defensive here.

        I do think that John Shore’s 64-word statement says more about his attitudes toward others than it says about God’s attitude toward anyone. In my view it is just as wrong for those who support LGBT individuals to make projections regarding the motives of others as it is when FUNDIES do it against the LGBT community. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and John Shore’s statement that demeans others simply for reading the material and arriving at a different conclusion than he does is just as wrong as those he attacks with it.

        @ Richard Lubbers. I agree there is much about 21st century American evangelical Christianity that is wrong. But as for swallowing it all, I most certainly haven’t. I am able to find both good and bad in it. That is true with all movements in my experience. To suggest that simply because it is guilty of wrongs, that it is therefore all wrong is to be engaged in the swallowing of it all of which you accused me, but in the other direction.

        You asked if I constantly have people pointing their fingers at me and telling me “You’re doing it wrong?” Yep, there are some who do. But it certainly isn’t everyone. And that is the problem with John Shore’s piece. He thinks that if someone has read the same passages that he has and come out with a different point of view that having done so proves them to have been “consciously lazy”. This means he dismisses the idea that someone who takes the passage(s) seriously and intelligently researches it could arrive at a different conclusion than he has. Such a point of view is indeed the equivalent of saying that we cannot intellectually disagree. That any such disagreement is borne out of prejudice (i.e. a pre-judgment). In other words, he is doing the same thing toward those he disagrees with that he accuses them of doing to him.

        I, on the other hand, think that it is possible for two intelligent, and well intentioned people to read the very same passage of scripture. Research it well, and still arrive at different conclusions as to what it means. We have done that with respect to questions of God’s sovereignty vs. free will; Calvinism vs. Wesleyanism; eternal security, backsliding, sanctification, beliefs regarding the rapture, and the list goes on. And the Christian community has been able to do all this and learned that often we simply have to agree to disagree. And sometimes we’ve even been able to do so without resulting to name calling. So, I don’t see why we can’t disagree on this issue, without suggesting that those who disagree with us are “purposefully and consciously choosing lazy, hateful prejudice over simple truthful righteousness.”

        We can, we should, we must do better than that.

        • cat rennolds

          You might not be anti-gay, if so, fabulous, but you were definitely “anti” in general in that first post.

          logic, please: he didn’t say you are lazy and hateful if you study carefully and still disagree. He SAID: Learn more about it. IF you don’t, AND you cling to your preconceptions, THEN, etc, etc.

          As for me, the translation can be whatever it is, and every word and every concept STILL has to be measured against: Is this love? By that measure, even if every anti-gay verse was 100% accurate in its fundie translation, we’d STILL have to throw them out, like we have the rule about marrying your brother’s widow.

          Christ or not. Love or not. Same question.

          • Diana A.

            Beautiful. Especially the last sentence.

        • DR

          Would you vote for gay mean and women to be married legally?

    • Richard lubbers

      Gene, there is much about 21st century American evangelical Christianity that is wrong. And you have obviously swallowed it all. Do you live in fear that God hates you? Do you constantly have people pointing their fingers at you and telling you “You’re doing it wrong!” Do you think that God will punish you and make you accountable if you dare to question an erroneously translated portion of scripture? And let me ask this; have you elevated the bible to the level of an idol, to be worshiped along with God?

      I’m just wondering.

      • cat rennolds

        No, Richard, you’re not just wondering, you’re snarking and pointing fingers. If we can’t disagree civilly, there’s no dialogue, there’s no change. Do you want to confirm people’s negative opinion of this community?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          Just for the record, Cat: Richard Lubbers–like you!—is one of the good guys. Trust me on this.

          • cat rennolds

            Not making judgment call on character or point-of-view. Just tone. I’ll trust you.:)

            I’m just thinking as a community we have to figure out where the line is between standing up for ourselves, righteous rage, and the kind of sarcasm and name-calling that just confirms our opponents’ views of us. We gotta stop letting them push our buttons. Nobody wins a chess match on the defensive.

            Hi Richard!;)

          • DR

            Cat, I disagree with you. Getting defensive is a crucial part of understanding what it is we’re actually trying to accomplish in a conversation. Examining what makes us defensive and why is often a huge part of what purifies our minds and hearts. Before you open your heart, sometimes you need to be aware of why you choose to keep it closed in the first place.

          • cat rennolds

            it can be a starting place, but if it becomes a stance it’s difficult to change or learn past it. Been there, done that myself!

            And if your objective is not your own personal change, but changing the minds of others ABOUT you, it can become a serious liability. If I want to tame a feral animal or break a horse, it’s more effective if I establish relationship. If I want them to open up to me, I have to open up to them.

          • DR

            I guess we’ll just agree to disagree on this one. 

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            John,

            I just gotta, ask am I good guy or a bad guy? ;-)

          • cat rennolds

            I think you’re a good guy, does my opinion count?

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Cat,

            Hay, ANY opinion is welcomed, positive or negative

          • cat rennolds

            oh good, I have lots:)

    • hterrya

      Gene: You’re better than that!

    • Mindy

      Because that wasn’t what he said at all, Gene. He didn’t say the Bible was wrong. He said you should learn more about how those very few passages – as in how they have been interpreted and translated and CHANGED over the centuries since they were originally written. If you’re not willing to do that, and just continue to stick your fingers in your ears and not learn anything new, not acknowledge that what you’ve learned might be incorrect, then, yes, you are being intellectually lazy in order to hold onto a bigoted and ugly belief.

      • cat rennolds

        I dunno, there’s intellectually lazy, as in, I don’t want to put forth the effort required, and there’s moral terror, as in, what if I find out I was WRONG? Then I’M the sinner! then I’M in danger of damnation! There’s more security in not looking, especially when your teachers tell you just LOOKING is a damnable sin.

        • Mindy

          Good point, Cat. There is that.

  • Allen

    That was nicely done, John! And it would only have taken two more words to avoid the sentence fragment : “THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM.” But the fragment totally works. :.)

    I’m sorry that Gene thinks you and the Bible are at odds, I know you better I guess. Gene, did you know the Bible and the Bible don’t agree on quite a few things, when you actually read it? Or is that just my own crisis of faith in the written word…

  • Jim Wehde

    Even if you believe the classic Bible interpretation, there isn’t a single reason why anything but love should come out of you toward a gay person. Jesus demonstrated it time and again. Okay, one reason: your own personal discomfort – the discomfort the lepers did not sense when Jesus healed them…the discomfort the sick and orphaned did not sense when Mother Theresa touched them. And, yes, discomfort the woman to be stoned did not sense when Jesus forgave her. It is a chosen interpretation, (make no mistake), but even the most legalistic one could. Not lead the true follower of Jesus to despise openly.

    • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

      Jim, well said the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the love of God to a sinful world, to all people without distinction to race, color, sex, age or sexual orientation.

      • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

        Brian, what do you think would happen if we focussed on the transforming power of God’s love instead of reinforcing what people already know about human failing?

        • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

          Christy,

          God’s transforming power starts when a person admits their spiritual condition before a merciful, holy and loving God and cries out for forgiveness and repents. If you can never be deeply honest before God about your sin, you will never be transformed – “A broken and contrite heart I will not despise”

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            That’s not how it worked for me…..nor for many others. And so, by this, you say God’s transforming power is dependent upon a person admitting fault? No. God’s transforming power started with the Alpha and the Omega and it never ends.

            People don’t need to be reminded constantly that their lives are a mess and that they are worthless. Most of us already know this all too well and feel this way without a churchy person preaching at us. We don’t need to be told our boat is sinking…..we know our boat is sinking and we need to know that someone will give us refuge in the storm.

            Try this on for size: When we realize and are awakened to the reality of God’s transcendent love for us the scales fall from our eyes and we see anew and we hear anew and we think anew and we become new creatures – knowing, on a deep intimate level, we are beloved by God – transformed. And because of this great love made manifest in our lives, we turn (repent) and follow His way.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            That last paragraph is restating what I said, isn’t it? We simply must come to God on His terms, not ours and many times our terms, still has sin in our hearts (we’re not dying to self) and with a need to “do something” before God to gain God’s approval. It is NOT by works of righteosuness that he saves us, it is by his MERCY he saves us. By grace are you saved through faith, not of works (being a ‘good person’), unless any man can boast. You see even atheists can do “good works”, but in their heart, they are unbelievers

          • DR

            Would people who are gay have to confess their “gayness” to God from your perspective? Is this part of their spiritual condition that requires confessing? I’ve never gotten a clear answer from you on that.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            I’m not God, nor am I gay, so I’m not going to even try and answer that. A transformed life by the inner working of God the Holy Spirit is a work by God in a person heart, mind and manifested by thier actions, only they know what they need to repent of and God will make that clearly known, not me. That is between them and God

          • Mindy

            Brian, not long ago you seemed to almost acknowledging that you’d been wrong. Now you are backpedaling and using the tried and true Christian defense mechanisms. “It’s not me, it’s what God said.” “I can’t answer you because it’s between the gay person and God.”

            The question is this: Do you believe that “gayness” is a sin that must be confessed in order for a person to be “right with God?” Yes or no?

          • cat rennolds

            Hey, I happen to think , “gee, I dunno anymore” beats the tar out of “you are goin’ to HELL, I said HELL unless you change your sinnin’ homosectual WAYS!!” Allright?

            It’s an improvement, anyway. Give the man some space and he won’t have to defend so hard. This isn’t a belief that’s easy to change.

            Cause I think he’s gonna. Can’t keep appealing sincerely to the Love of God and not have it work in your heart sooner or later. Let’s let it.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            To be right with God, one must repent of sin in your heart, mind and actions. If YOU don’t believe or feel God the Holy Spirit telling you to repent of your “gayness” then you don’t, it doesn’t matter what I think. Sin to one person may not be sin to another, God is the judge, the Holy Spirit convicts the heart to repent however God moves. I know Christians that drink a glass of wine with dinner or on special occasions, I know there are others that think drinking is a sin. So a Christian that doesn’t believe a glass of wine is sinful, shouldn’t drink in front fo a Christians who does – it can cause one to stumble. Paul addresses that very issue concerning meat. If eating meat causes a vegan Christian to stumble, don’t eat meat in front of them. It si sin for one, not sin to the other. It doesn’t matter what I think about homosexuality, it really doesn’t all that matters is what do YOU think and what do you believe God thinks. I simply doesn’t matter what I think. What matters is the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not everything is about homosexuality.

          • LSS

            under this idea, would a same-sex couple not be able to attend church with people who believed their relationship was a sin?  i’m not talking heavy PDA or anything… that would be distracting in church no matter who did it … but just being obviously a couple.

          • DR

            Cat, why do you keep insinuating that somehow we’re pinning Brian into a corner? He’s a grown man who seems to really enjoy the conversations here. He’s been spoken to kindly, he’s been challenged quite harshly. I’m starting to wonder if you actually hold some of us responsible for challenging Brian in the ways we are. He keeps coming back to the conversation and he knows he’s going to be asked to answer questions very specifically. He’s admitted that gets challenging for him. We all kind of know the tone of this dialogue.

          • cat rennolds

            I think we poke Brian harder and more frequently than we do the raving fundies we sometimes get here, just because he keeps coming back. We ARE responsible for challenging him…because he volunteers to be challenged. That’s no-fault on either side.

            Me, I’m a waffle. A constitutional fence-walker. I have to see both sides and I’m much fonder of unity than stand-offs. Something about honey and vinegar.

            I can’t stand it when the fundies hit a note hard and refuse to change it, wrong, right or otherwise. I can’t stand it when other people fail to listen or have empathy. So I have to try to stand in Brian’s shoes every so many posts. Dunno how close I’m getting.

            I’m also considering who might be reading and not posting.

          • DR

            Brian is choosing to be here and speaking for myself, I am consistent in what I offer. If Brian is feeling uncomfortable, I trust he’ll speak for himself (he has in the past). 

  • Dirk

    Well put, John.

    It is important to remember, though, should we gays, lesbians and the transgender ever achieve human status, the conservative Christians will immediately choose another group of people to hate on.

    Jews, Catholics, Negroes, Women, Gays…there will be another, there always has been and always will be.

    • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

      Dirk,

      Come on, that is a bit absurd, don’t you thiknk? More Christians through out history have been persecuted or died for their faith more than any other group of people, ever.

      • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

        Got some stats to back that up, Brian? But even if you do…..

        If this were true, should it not help us be more compassionate and identify with the pain and the suffering of others rather than compete for most violated status? Because if it doesn’t, we learned nothing from that experience except how to continue to function as wounded human beings.

        • Jack

          Check and see how Christians were treated under Communism of Nazis…..or how they are treated in the Middle East by mahometans today.

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            I’m a compassion transcends selfishness kind of girl, Jack. I’m for doing all we can collectively and individually to reduce the sum of all human suffering.

          • DR

            Oh my goodness. You guys arent actually suggesting that Christians are being persecuted in the US in the same ways the GLBT community is. Are you?

          • Brian W

            Not is the US now, but historically they have far more than homosexuals.

          • DR

            Again, how is this relevant to the conversation we’re having about *today’s landscape*, Brian? When you bring these things up, it makes it seem like you want to distract from the very specific points people are making. I’m going to assume that’s not what you’re doing, that you have some kind of other motive but it makes it very challenging to have a conversation. Stay in the present moment with people, my friend.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            DR,

            No I don’t want to distract from points people are making, but I want to make points too, or is that somehow wrong? I know people in the LGBT community get persecuted for their lifestyle, I know that, but people seem to think that no other people group have suffered or are suffering the same or WORSE. Christians in parts of the world today are still being killed and tortured for thier faith, that’s all I wanted to say. Pain and suffering is not limited to the LGBT’s amongst us.

          • DR

            No Brian, it’s not wrong. You get to make the points you want to make, of course. Sorry if I overstepped. I know a lot of people have been wounded. For me, focusing on this particular group is important because we as Christians could actually *stop* the pain they are feeling if we chose to.

      • Dirk

        Brian,

        Even by the standards of hateful conservative Christians like you, that statement is on of such bottomless viciousness, I am struck nearly speechless.

        All those Jews murdered during the Third Reich?

        The 30 some odd million peasants murdered by Stalin, not for their Christian beliefs but to achieve the new socialist man?

        The more than 55 million dead of WWII?

        You are a perfect example of what I mean when I say conservative Christians show their ‘love’ of God through their hatred of everyone who does not see the world through their twisted, perverted hate filled eyes.

        • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

          Dirk,

          I know, it’s always about consevative Christians, that’s the problem with the world. Over 50 million Christians died or were persecuted from about the time of Nero, through the end of the Reformation (approx 1634), it has not stopped, but dropped off dramatically.

          I never said other groups were not killed or murdered like the Jews, peasants and don’t forget Pol Pot and the Japanease in WWll, there have been countless acts of geonocide in world history, it is not just homosexuals that have suffered Dirk. I don’t want to trivialize gay persecution, but compared to the numbers you quoted, the amount of homosexuals that have been murdered or committed suicide for being gay is minute in comparision.

          All the pain and suffering in the world has one primary cause – sin. The remedy is the Gospel of Jesus Christ resulting in God’s free and soveriegn gift of eternal life, what LOVE!!

          • DR

            But that’s the point you’re making. You did compare them and you just said their suffering is “minute” in comparison. What you actually say and write here is what you actually mean.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            DR,

            No, their suffering is every bit as real, I said in terms of raw numbers it was minute, not their suffering – more Christians have been persecuted or killed for thier faith, than gays have been murdered or committed suicide for being gay. I’m not trying to say that gay bashing isn’t real or every bit is painful as other people that have been killed for “who they are”, my point is, it is not limited to just homosexuals.

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            Well…I’m here now and the gays are here now and they are suffering…..so I am compelled to attend to the suffering I see before me, not the suffering of an era past of which I can do nothing about.

          • Wayne

            The suffering of anyone because we choose persecution via Christianity is wrong. The pain of one, or one hundred, or one thousand is irrelevant. We can sit here and trade emails back and forth about whose pain is greater – the Christians, the Jews, the Blacks, Women, Gays, Disabled, whatever. It is what is happening right now, before our eyes, that we must contend with. If you are using Christian beliefs to attack, demean, or put down anyone, it is wrong. Who suffered more throughout history is an interesting sideline but it is not the issue. It is who is suffering now and how can we make that suffering end that is important.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Wayne, agreed, the Gospel of Jesus Christ gives freedom and love, not hate and bondage….

          • DR

            Why in the world is tha even important In the first place? It’s like having a discussion about women who are victims of spousal abuse and you rushing in to remind us that spousal abuse happens to men too. It doesn’t have a thing to do with the experience of spousal abuse for women. It’s purely defensive. You can’t seem to stop seeing this from anything but defensiveness.

          • Don Rappe

            What we should learn from the persecution of Christians is that persecution is wrong, not that it’s all right.

          • Mindy

            Exactly, Don. When Brian brings up the persecution of Christians over the ages, what I find most appalling is that after all that victimization, Christians (of the very conservative ilk) seem almost to need some “other” to persecute (as if they need revenge against the cosmos?) rather than embracing all who might be persecuted with the deep sense of empathy one would hope they’d have developed.

            Otherwise, I just can’t figure out why it even matters. It’s like a little kid who gets in trouble for picking on one of his brothers, and his defense is “WELL, our other brother picked on me first!”

          • Jen

            well some christians actually take being persecuted as an honor, and say its because they are speking truth the masses dont want to hear.

          • DR

            Brian, when you bring this up in a specific conversation about homosexuals being abused by Christians, it only derails it and makes it look like you don’t care about the issue or can’t debate the issue on its own merits. That’s feedback I’m offering in hopes it serves as constructive criticism. 

          • cat rennolds

            Also, let’s not forget the countless numbers of Christians persecuted by Christians. Especially for witchcraft and heresy.

            I’m not talking about “simple” death penalty, either. Remember the Inquisition!

            I refuse to believe they caught the REAL witches:)

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Cat,

            Th Inquisition was primarily Catholics killing those that wouldn’t submit to the Pope

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            And those Catholics were Christians, Brian who were tormenting those who would not adhere to church sanctioned orthodoxy. Your detail does not change the facts. Bending the will of others to the orthodoxy of the most prominent group seems to be a familiar theme in Christianity.

          • Brian W

            It’s more of a tallied theme in Catholicism than Christianity as a whole, especially today. With such a wide variety of churches you can find a church that will suit just about anyone, from gay affirming to tongue speakers, rock n roll, touchy feely, contemporary, emerging, progressive, Arminians, Reformed, traditional, fundamental, evangelical, covenantal, denominational, non-denominational and on it goes. Just pick and chose, no pressure to change who you are or what you like.

          • http://www.facebook.com/cat.rennolds Cat Rennolds

            ….aaaaand we’re back at children who don’t have those choices yet.  kids are stuck in the church of their parents’ choice, if their parents so choose.  they may not even KNOW the other churches are out there.   if they do, they may be told, “no, those people are evil.”  these are the very kids who are most at risk for suicide.  This is what troubles me the most, because I am usually in favor of people teaching kids at home, and passing on their own beliefs.  But what happens when the very nature of the child, himself, is tortured by those beliefs?  

            If any other child were being told “You’re not worth loving,” that would qualify as emotional abuse in the eyes of any professional.  But make it, “God hates you because you’re gay,” and suddenly it’s a protected activity.

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            Yes, there is a diversity of choice today. Thankfully we ended the practice of convert or die.

            However, the top dogs still cling to the unholy position of their version of orthodoxy being the only proper and authentic path to God.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Christy,

            Agree, if the top dogs didn’t believe their position was most biblicaly sound, they wouldn’t have their church or denomination. I think all churches/denomination pretty much hold to that, don’t you think?

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            No. All denominations/religions do not.

            Self-preservation and self-perpetuation are positions born out of ego as are exclusivity and superiority.

            The humble heart knows that the ineffable nature of the Divine makes it beyond the scope of our tools of language to define or describe it and beyond our finite understanding of the infinite to fully understand it. To impose our subjective understanding and experience of the Divine as objective Truth and reality upon another is the ultimate act of hubris, lacking in the humility and grace of the One whom we claim to know and understand and seek to emulate.

            The difference between exclusionary doctrines, Brian, and inclusionary doctrines is that in my inclusive worldview I give you the room to hold a different understanding of God than I do and I still think you are right. I can hold in tension that there is more than one truth – that we can both be right. The exclusionary version of Christianity and Islam and Judaism and others says that theirs is the only right way to understand and be in relationship with God and everyone else is wrong….but not just wrong – doomed.

            The top dogs appeal to those who are still embedded in their ego (self, pride). To whom it is important to need to feel right and certain. Who need rules and control and absolutes. Who are uncomfortable with uncertainty and vulnerability. Who need measures by which to compare themselves to others to know whether they are good or bad – whether they are in or out.

            We who reject dogma as a measure of our quality of faith have often had a profound experience based gnosis with God. An internal, difficult to verbalize or explain knowing….that is undeniable. That is clearly Divine. Take our shoes off and weep moments in thin places that opened our eyes to a new way of seeing what has been right in front of us the whole time. A transformational experience. Not auditory. Not hallucinatory. Just – a knowing. A realizing that for too long we have tried to unnecessarily limit God to the size and shape of our various houses of worship. God is bigger than our church or our denomination or our synagogue or temple or mosque. For as long as we have known about adult learning theory and neurology, it is still surprising to me that we have attempted to make the religious experience of understanding God so unnecessarily uniform. God is ubiquitous. It should be self-evident by now that God values diversity. We think differently. We see differently. What speaks to me does not necessarily speak to you. We may not all be able to hear the good news in the same way. I give God the room to speak to us in God’s own way in God’s own time.

            So, no. The mystical and the compassionate traditions and the denominations that see a God of grace not punishment and judgement find no need to insist that their understanding is more right than someone else’s. They have often done the work of looking from many angles and points of view to find the core similarities rather than focussing on the perceived differences.

            You and I can know the same person and have a relationship with that person and understand that person in vastly different ways. We both have a relationship with them and yet we came to know them differently. Neither of our relationships is any less real or authentic. It would be lovely if others could enjoy their own relationship with God without needing to assert their perceived rightness over everyone else. Do justice. Love Mercy. Walk humbly with your God. This is what the Lord requires of you.

            It is when an understanding is used as a weapon to hurt, control, and oppress people that we tend to speak out and say: You are welcome to believe what you believe, to worship as you see fit, to have your understanding of God – but you may not use your understanding of God to cause harm to others in how you treat them.

            Perhaps this will help:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wktlwCPDd94

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Christy,

            Much of what you said I can agree with. However, to conclude that “ego” is the determining force as to why a denomination believes they are the “correct” truth is unfounded.

            I personally don’t agree to the “multiple paths” to the Divine. As a Christian, the BIble and Jesus is clear there is ONE WAY to the Father. God’s divine written revelation is contained in the BIble exclusively, there is no other divinely inspired writings. God is not limited to the Bible, but his written revelation to man, is limited to the Bible. Do I believe that out of a egotistic superiorty complex? No, I do not.

            God does reveal Himself in other ways he deems fit, he is sovereign in his actions, but he will not violate his written revelation to us, since he is not the author of confusion. God has made it crystal clear how we come to him – through Jesus Christ, there is no other way. God is Love, He is mecy, He is Grace and many other attributes, one of them is Judge. There are example after example in the Bible of God’s Judgement to a person, a people group, a nation and even the entire world.

            Our sin deserves His judgement, it’s that simple. If we willingly reject his free and sovereign grace, mercy, forgivness and love through the shed blood of the Lamb of God that takes away the sin of the world, then we will be judged accordingly. God’s free and sovereign Grace is available to all, up to the day you die, but who wants tp risk rejecting until the last second, since no one knows when that day is, except God.

            I know people think that it is so negative (judgement for rejecting God’s grace) and instills fear. NO, Gods grace and love and mercy is a wonderful thing. There is no greater defining moment of Divine Love for a sinful people than the death of Christ for the sins of His people. His grace frees us from the bondage of sin and judgement and gives us eternal life!!

            I know people can have different relationships with God but they will not violate His written revelation to us as contained in the Bible, if it does, it isn’t a Divine relationship, it is something different. So yes, Christianity is exclusionary, there is ONE WAY, Jesus Christ, there is no other. God has made it so simple, that a child can understand

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            You said: “There is no greater defining moment of Divine Love for a sinful people than the death of Christ for the sins of His people. His grace frees us from the bondage of sin and judgement and gives us eternal life!!”

            If you ascribe to Substitutionary Atonement then you said it right here. The debt is paid. Grace is what saves us – not our believing in it.

            I am very familiar with this doctrine, Brian. I know it well. I do know that this is what you believe. It is the predominant Evangelical doctrinal position.

          • Brian W

            The Atonement is an absolute essential doctrine of Christianity, to deny it, is to deny what is essential to salvation

          • Christy

            Not all theologians agree on this.

          • BrianW

            They may not, but Christ’s Atonement for the sins of His people is really what makes salvation even possible. No Atonement – no salvation, its that simple. I don’t know how any “theologian” could deny such an essential and fundamental doctrine of Christianity.  It is as essential as His Divinity. 

          • cat rennolds

            Well, except for the huge numbers who were killed by the Christians (the Catholics WERE the Christian church historically, remember?:) because they had land or money the church wanted.

      • cat rennolds

        Yes, Brian, but

        A Mohammedan torturing a Christian has his law and his belief behind him. The Romans had their laws and their beliefs behind them. The Russian and Chinese Communists had their law and their beliefs behind them.

        CHRISTIANS ARE THE ONLY ONES WHO ARE GOING AGAINST THEIR OWN PROFESSED BELIEFS TO DO IT.

        Christians who hate and torture have first promised to LOVE.

        • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

          Cat,

          Are you implying that Christians in America today are physically torturing homosexuals and simple disagreement with “the gay agenda” is tantamount to hate?

          • Mindy

            Yes. Well, I’m not Cat, but yes. Some Christians ARE physically torturing gays. And since there is no “gay agenda,” there is nothing with which to disagree, so saying that you do is absolutely tantamount to hate. We say that about any other physiological difference in humanity. We cannot “disagree” someone’s race, someone’s physical characteristics. We cannot discriminate against someone with a physical disability. But religion tries to justify discrimination as “disagreement,” when that simply is not possible.

            You can have an opinion about gay sex – as in, I’m straight so I find it off-putting – but that opinion should be kept to yourself and should never, ever be used to harm, discriminate against or instill self-loathing in a gay person.

            My favorite protest sign ever is along the lines of this:

            Gay Agenda:

            Expect Equal Rights

            Go to Work

            Buy Milk

          • cat rennolds

            Implying? No, Brian, I’m not. I am flat-out stating it.

            There are Christians torturing gays in America today. Physically and otherwise. In the name of God, not just ‘oh, I’m a fat mean bully and I also happen to be Christian, but this has nothing to do with Jesus.” They will use lines like, “”I’m gonna beat the fear of God into you, faggot,” right before they break your nose and rupture your spleen. Just as one mild example.

            There are Christians abusing children in the Name of God in America today because those CHILDREN are gay, or might be gay, or “just ain’t actin’ right.” Not just teenagers, but young children. Not JUST telling them that they’re evil and God is going to damn their souls to hell (which is abuse by itself when you are too little to have any refuge), not just spankings (because they don’t work), but all kinds of physical and emotional torture designed to force the child to show no evidence whatsoever that they aren’t a normal heterosexual kid. In the name of Love. Because they don’t want their kids to go to hell. Or the neighbors to think they’re bad parents and kick the whole family out of the church because Mikey wants to wear a pink tutu and doesn’t understand why God hates him for that.

            I’ve been talking to you long enough to know that isn’t the kind of person YOU are. Nobody is saying you, Brian, actually FEEL hate personally toward gays, much less that you would act on it if you did. But what we can’t seem to get through to you is this:

            Every decent, kind, civilized conservative Christian like you,

            who continues to endorse, even by silent implication,

            the idea that homosexuality – or any sexuality at all that isn’t normal het sex –

            is evil, sinful, bad, inappropriate, wrong, “not in God’s plan,” etc, etc,

            Is providing the justification for the active haters.

            that sentence got too long. Did I make myself clear?

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Ladies,

            Like I said you can find isolated instances of these horific abuses you reference, it happens and it is a travesty, especially if it occures in the “name of Christ” – down right disgusting, actually. But I know of no Christian that would physically torture, verbally abuse or psychologically harm another person, I know of none. Furthermore, I know of none that “silently” endorse such action. If evengalical Christians believe unbelief is a sin, that doesn’t mean they hate atheists, if they believe Islam is a lie, they don’t hate Muslims, if they believe gay anal intercourse is unnatural, they don’t hate homosexuals. Are some out there that hate, sure, but they are the minority, the extreme hyper-fundie ultra self-righteous types. Unfortunately they get all the attention. The vast majority – the VAST majority simply want to point ALL PEOPLE to the loving arms of Jesus Christ .

          • cat rennolds

            I didn’t say you were endorsing the abuse, I said you were providing the justification. The excuses they give for the behavior. The kind of people who do the abusing NEED the idea that what they’re doing has group support. “See, everybody knows that’s just WRONG…”

            Gay anal sex unnatural. Whooboy, are you trying to give me ammunition? First, Is heterosexual anal sex natural? Second, are you going to go out and tell the chimpanzees, dogs, giraffes, penguins, dolphins, etc, etc, ad absurdum, that what they’re doing is unnatural? In the entire animal kingdom, including the animal Man, if the male organ (or in the case of hyenas, the female organ) will go into ANYTHING, animal, vegetable or mineral, some male has, will and does put it there, regardless of orientation.

            whether ANY sexual behavior is sinful or not for human beings, who have a little more control over their actions, is another question, and one that only love can answer.

          • Brian W

            Humans are not animals, the physical purpose of the anus is not for intercourse, whether or not animals do it or people do it, does not mean it is “natural”. The anus is not designed to be penetrated with genitalia or foreign objects, that is not its “natural” use or purpose.

          • Diana A.

            “The anus is not designed to be penetrated with genitalia or foreign objects, that is not its “natural” use or purpose.”

            So what you’re saying, Brian, is that you, personally, are grossed out by it–a perfectly understandable response. Yet, it’s really none of your business what two (or more) people do in the privacy of their own bedroom–unless, of course, they’re forcing you to join in, in which case, it’s called “rape.”

          • BrianW

            No, I’m saying the physiological purpose of the anus is not for intercourse, it is for the elimination of bodily waste. 

          • Katherine B.

            You realize not all gay men engage in anal intercourse, right? And conversely that many heterosexual couples DO. There are many nerves in both the urogenital and rectal tracts that when stimulated produce sexual pleasure.

            Because humans are ingenious little pleasure-seeking monkeys, if something feels good we will find a way to repeat it.

          • DR

            I wonder if it’s natural when men and women do it?

          • Jen

            brian modern medicine isnt natural either you going to turn that down when you get a headache? Or how bout the compoter you are using, nope not natural.

          • Jen

            computer* :P

          • cat rennolds

            Isolated instances? Um, no. I don’t have data at my fingertips, just personal experience. I live in the Bible belt, so your mileage may vary, but have you been helpless and alone in any public schools recently?

            Not long ago I was trying to help a gay friend find a job. He had recently been laid off. He couldn’t get food stamps or charity assistance because his boyfriend’s mother wouldn’t admit they lived there, so he couldn’t prove he was a local resident. Nor would she loan them money to buy food for their two 9 year old girls. Her own grandchildren. In the Name of God, two hungry little girls were eating ramen and baloney, smelling real food from upstairs, while hearing their two dads called all kinds of vile names and threatened with hell and homelessness.

            But in Christian love, at least she let them stay there, right?

            He’s gotten another job and they are safe again. But isolated incidents? No.

          • Brian W

            That was mean and cruel and one isolated case

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            Brian, I gave you two cases yesterday. That’s three cases per two people in two days. You’ve seen other stories posted here. So let’s just say 5% of the US population have only one story of cruelty to tell. That’s 15 million stories. Shoot, let’s even just say 1% of 10% of American people have only one story of cruelty. That’s a million stories of cruelty…..

            But these are isolated incidents.

            If my fundamentalist friend got financially cut off from his parents for not going to the fundamentalist college of their choosing – how do you think they would have treated him if he had been gay?

            If our extremely conservative parents verbally and emotionally and physically abused us when we were straight…..what would life have been like if we were gay?

            If some of us fight depression and anxiety and the idea that being here is more painful than not because of a barrage of messages and other lies that were thrown at us by the church for what miserable loathsome creatures we are and we are straight….how much worse would we feel if we were gay?

            We’ve all suffered, Brian. In one way or another. None of us have ever been loved the way we want and needed to be. We all hurt and grieve and mourn and long for some aspect of our lives to have been or be different.

            We’re looking for one shred of empathy here, Brian…..one tiny shred. Connecting with others who are hurting requires us to be vulnerable enough to touch our own pain. So many are unwilling to do this. Because it is uncomfortable and painful….but it is the path to healing and to loving and to seeing the pain of others from their point of view……and feeling it with them.

            This is compassion.

            And then we commit to not being a part of the problem, but part of the solution.

            Won’t you join us?

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            Miscalculation: 1% of 10% of 300 million = 300K. Not 1 million. How many stories of cruelty will it take for you to see a pattern instead of an exception?

          • DR

            Brian there are literally hundreds of stories within the “It Gets Better” campaign. And on John’s “Tell us your stories” thread. Hundreds! You’re reminding me of the Catholic church when they kept trying to tell us that only a fraction of children had been abused by a fraction of priests. They simply refused to acknowledge the extent of damage.

            None of us want to make any of this stuff up, how would that serve us? It’s like you and others believe we have some kind of personal vendetta against the conservative christian community, like we’re attacking you personally. I have enough to worry about, I don’t need to conjure up any kind of imaginary holy war with people with different political/spiritual beliefs than I do.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Christy,

            Parents cutting off kids, kids cutting off parenst has been going on since the dawn of humanity, that is nothing new. Kids cut-off for being gay, othsr for converting to Christianity, others for falling in love with the “wrong race” and on it goes. Pain and suffering is part of life, because of man’s sin nature, it aint going away any time soon, it is not the exclusive club of homosexuals.

            You said “None of us have ever been loved the way we want and needed to be.” I agree and you will never be as long as you practice homosexuality, no that’s not it, you will never be loved the way you want out side of the love of Christ. Man’s love can help, no love is like the love of God however. NO ONE was rejected like Christ, NO ONE has suffered for sinners like Christ NO ONE has demonstrated love for sinners as does God the Son – Jesus Christ.

            If you don’t like what evangelicals say about homosexuality, then don’t listen to them, very simple. Flee to Christ!! You need the empathy of God, not from man, man will fail, man will disappoint, man will never fullfil that inner longing like God can.

            Why try so hard to gain acceptance and approval in the eyes of people that you call every derogatory name in the book, just ignore what evangelicals say and flee to Christ, God is in control of all things, he knows the number of hairs on your head, when the sparrow falls from the trees, he clothes nature with indescribable beauty, he knows all about you. Have faith in God.

          • LSS

            what about community?

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            So, I’ll take that as a no.

            I’m not even looking for approval, Brian – I’ve told you repeatedly here I’m not holding out or encouraging people to change their belief…….just change their actions. To treat others well….humanely…..justly.

            I won’t ignore this any more than Martin Luther King Jr. ignored the injustice in his day or abolitionists were willing to ignore slavery in their day. Injustice is wrong. Treating people badly is wrong.

            You think this is thought police out to get Christians and it’s not. It’s people, human beings recognizing the humanity and the rights of their fellow human beings and working to end the ACTIONS of others who treat them unjustly.

            And for the record – I don’t recall any derogatory names passing my lips.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Take it as you wish, I try my best to follow the example of Christ in word and deed, treat others the way I want to be treated. I don’t know what more to tell you, I don’t treat (or I don’t willingly) people differently.

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            It’s not about you, Brian. It’s about those who are doing harm to others and how silence and ignoring it is the same as condoning it. But I would like you to address the role of Christians in challenging injustice in society and from within the church vs. your suggestion of ignoring it.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Who is keeping silent? Who is ignoring it? Who is condong violence to LGBT? I’m not, My church isn’t. What is important, in my opinion, is propogating the Gospel to as many people in this world as possible before they die

          • cat rennolds

            For crying out loud, Brian, define “isolated!” How many, how often, how bad does it have to be before it isn’t “isolated?” We don’t count because there just aren’t that many of us?

            Ya know, Jesus was an isolated case. Rebirth of deity generally happens pretty rarely, depending on y0ur religion. Does that invalidate Him? Wasn’t he the guy who said “whatsoever ye do unto the least of these?”

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            Brian, you are aware that the group who most condoned and agreed with torture under the Bush administration was Evangelical Christians aren’t you?

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Torture under the Bush administration? Huh, what are you talking about? Soldiers torturing the enemy in Iraq?

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            Yes, that would be the torture of which I speak.

            You said above: “But I know of no Christian that would physically torture, verbally abuse or psychologically harm another person, I know of none. Furthermore, I know of none that “silently” endorse such action.”

            I do. I’m related to some of them. And they publicly endorsed such action. So, I’m asking if you are aware of that. I believe it was a Pew Center survey of religious people and unaffiliated. the more conservative and the more often you attended church and the more evangelical you were – the more likely you were to endorse torture.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            I don’t endorse torture and if you say some survey says evangelicals supported torturing Iraqi prisoners well I guess I’ll believe you, I just don’t know them however. People do desperate things in time of war. Not justifying what they did, but one ever knows what one will do in such cases. The truth is it was limited to a very very very few of the hundreds of thousands of men and woman that have served in the military in this awful conflict.

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            This wasn’t desperation. This was calculated, organized, premeditated from the highest office. No one did it in the heat of the moment. They had to get permission from the President to do it and he had to ask his lawyers. That took a lot of time. That’s not desperation. That’s cold calculated planning.

            And would you feel the same way about abortion? If it was limited to a very very very few? Because you just never know what one will do in such cases.

            No, I didn’t think so. Talk about moral relativism.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Christy,

            When you get done exposing the faults and in sins of others like bashing Bush, our servicemen and woman and of course how evangelicals cause, support, have knowledge of and ignore all the countries problems, just remember the words of Jesus..”He who is without sin, let him cast the first stone”…throw away Christy

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            I believe in speaking Truth to Power, Brian and challenging the Status Quo. I point to societal and church sins and say we can do better. I point out hypocrisy and create cognitive dissonance. I see examples of this in scripture and in the Christ I follow. We all have a role to play. We all have work to do. You stick to yours. I’ll stick to mine.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Christy,

            GOOD ANSWER, I was wondering if I was going to piss you off a little and I see I didn’t, a level mind prevailed. Christy, you really surprise me sometimes, in a GOOD WAY ;-)

          • Jessica

            “Gay agenda”?

            There’s a ‘gay agenda’? The only ‘gay agenda’ I know of is to be treated like human beings, and to be treated equally.

            They’re not trying to convert straight people to ‘their way of thinking’ (make them gay). They’re not trying to morally corrupt children. They’re not trying to persecute any group of people. They’re not trying to pass any laws EXCEPT those that would give them equality with straight people.

            “Gay agenda”? You make me sick.

          • Brian W

            That’s why I put it in quotations, because there are many people (not just paranoid fundies) that claim there is a vast “gay agenda”.

        • LSS

          many Muslims believe that hurting “infidels” is just as much against Islam as we believe hurting unbelievers is against Christianity.

    • http://somaticstrength.wordpress.com somaticstrength

      I agree. This is a religion of “rightness.” That has a need to have something others don’t have, and what they have is being “right” so they’re going to heaven and you’re going to hell because you’re “wrong.” It can be seen in some of the hell arguments. “If everyone goes to heaven, what’s the point?” There has to be that Other that is wrong, bad, sinful, hellbound, because it’s the only way they can believe that their faith means anything.

      • Diana A.

        “It can be seen in some of the hell arguments. ‘If everyone goes to heaven, what’s the point?’” Yeah. I hate that argument. I prefer the attitude of Jesus, “There is more joy in heaven over one sinner who changes his heart and life, than over ninety-nine good people who don’t need to change.” (Luke 15:7, New Century Version. Incidentally, for those who are not up on their Bibles, this is the chapter that talks about the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost/prodigal/runaway son.)

  • http://www.barnmaven.com Mary @Barnmaven.com

    It is so sad that so many people have choose to blindly follow a dogma that perverts the loving nature of God into one of hate and terror. Just as many misinterperet what they read in the Bible, so do many deliberately misinterperet John’s words here.

    John Shore preaches LOVE. The fact that so many “Christians” get their knickers in a twist over what he writes is clear evidence that the Christian church in America is controlling the beliefs of its congregations for money and power and political control, all of the things Christ warned us against. The message that John reminds us of is very simple: God loves us, EACH ONE of us, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, culture, religion or color, wholly and perfectly. All are welcomed into his presence and at his table. Why is that so hard for some people to grasp?

    • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

      The question is, does sin in our heart play a factor in that love? Does it effect God’s love if we harbor or practice sin (not simple acts of sin, but habitually practice / live in sin)?? Like hate, unfaithfulness, unbelief, pride, etc. etc.

      • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

        No, it doesn’t. God doesn’t stop loving us. There is nothing we can do that will make God love us more than God already does.

        • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

          It was directed at Mary, but anyway, I agree, but can and does sin effect that love and th answer is yes, it does, not God’s love towards US, but our love toward God.

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            That’s not what you asked.

          • DR

            Do you believe being gay is a sin? If not, is there any part of the gay experience you believe that God would call “sinful”?

          • Mark Hilditch

            Any part of the human experience that God considers sinful would be part of the gay experience that God considers sinful. When we put anyone or anything ahead of our love for God and obedience to God… that is sin. We need to apologize to God (confess) for those wrong-headed attitudes and then know and trust that we are forgiven and then try again to stay focused on how God prefers that we should live. This has nothing to do with sexual orientation, it has everything to do with being human. This has nothing to do with our identity, it has everything to do with our attitude. If we live out each and every day in heartfelt gratitude to God for all we are and all we have and all we can become… we’ll be fine. I believe, as I read it, that this is a central message of the New Testament.

          • DR

            So you believe that two men who are legally married have no need to confess their love and devotion to one another as something sinful to God?

          • Don Rappe

            Of course not. We’re better than that!

      • hterrya

        Brian W: You’re better than that!

      • Don Rappe

        No, that was not the question Brian. The question may be whether or not you are going to consider the responsible sexual activities of others to be sinful for no reason.

        • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

          Two unmarried people can have “responsible sexual activities” but biblicaly that would be the sin of fornication (sex outside of marriage). Relativism has replaced the biblical standard of morality.

          • DR

            Brian can you help me understand how this is relativism? You’ve stated before that you believe gay marriage is against God’s plan. So what are two gay people who actually want to be sexually faithful to one another do, Biblically, if they aren’t allowed to be married?

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            same as an unmarried hetro couple – abstain. Want to marry? Go to NY

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            So a piece of paper is what legitimizes true love?

          • Brian W

            It legalizes it and isn’t that what the issue is – LEGAL marriage?

          • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

            You are interchanging issues here. We were talking about the legitimacy of a relationship in God’s eyes….not the state. Religiously speaking, it seems to me that a ceremony and a document concerns the outside of our cup. If God looks on the heart then the ceremony is superfluous. It’s ritual and Jesus said ritual was not what God was concerned with.

          • http://www.BrianWendt.com Brian W

            Christy,

            Sorry, my mistake, yes the heart is what God sees

      • cat rennolds

        Nope, nothing can stop God’s love. What sin does is stop you being able to accept it. It’s like covering your ears.

  • http://www.pathministries.info Rev. Eileen Douglas

    I think it’ so important to remember WHAT JESUS SAID ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY–NOTHING!

    • Jaime Vidal

      … and if homosexuality were THAT dangerous/harmful, surely he would have found time to address the issue!

      • John Thompson

        Like he talked about slavery, child abuse, etc.?

        • Robin

          Child abuse was covered in the “suffer the little children” and “as you treat the least of these” passages. Though child abuse as we know it is much more a modern luxury than an ancient vice. Children were damn valuable- workers, economic tokens (through marriage) and they were your retirement safety net. Slavery was covered by Jewish Law as to treatment and the acceptable ways one could be enslaved- once again, mostly covered by Jesus in ” as you do unto others, you do unto Me”, and to do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If I don’t want to be enslaved, following that one command would prevent me from enslaving another.

          He didn’t have to speak to homosexual relationships because quite frankly, as long as you bred and kept Israel strong, I don’t think they cared. Using sex in pagan worship, or as a means of control through same sex rape, yeah, they had a problem with it. You know the only mention of lesbians in the Rabbinical writings was to state lesbians shouldn’t marry the rabbi because she needed to set an example of joy in her marriage bed, so should like guys, not girls. Nothing about lesbians being damned, or abominations, You have to get to Paul’s letters to find references to same sex relations, (this was a guy who felt all should be celibate anyway). as well as him writing specifically about sexual relations in fertility cults, not same sex love or attraction. Yet such attraction was known by the Greeks to exist.. Just adults in that day and time did their duty by breeding, and spouses did their duty to support each other by not griping about the hubby’s BF. Marriage was duty, respect, and economics. Love could become a part, but no guarantee. How on earth did Solomon’s many wives cope? I’ll bet they were not celibate. Not a word in the OT about that being bad.

          Jesus never spoke against gas chambers either, or guns,or taking drugs. You can draw proper inferences. Nor did he speak in favor of democracy, or capitalism, or free education of all. Lots of specifics never made it into the Bible. Some didn’t exist, some got mistranslated, some have meanings which have evolved.

          Follow His two main commandments and it is surprising how easy it is to know what Jesus would have said in most cases.

          • Diana A.

            Wonderful! Thank you, Robin.

          • Mark Hilditch

            Eloquent. As well-stated as Shore’s article.

  • Berto

    Instead of chastising you could help. What resources might help someone who is struggling with this issue?

    • PaulaTrietschChaney

      Jesus told us that we needed to follow two commandments, love God and love our neighbor as ourself. If you truly commit yourself to loving everyone, there is no room in your heart for hate, bigotry or even a sense of otherness. We are all loved by God and made in his image. See the sacred in all.

    • DR

      Chastisement is often the way we love one another. I’d start with watching the It Gets Better video series to have a better understanding of the impact of Christianity on the gay community, particularly kids, and how many of them just barely survived us. And some didn’t.

      • cat rennolds

        DR, that’s a little….weird? How come when we chastise it’s loving and when “they” do it, it’s hate?

        I don’t think that’s even sarcasm….I bet you can answer it:)

        • DR

          What are you talking about?

        • DR

          I don’t consider someone coming here and telling us that they believe we’re wrong or against God, etc. is “being hateful”. Being angry at people isn’t the same as being hateful, Cat.

          • cat rennolds

            Often, when fundamentalists or conservatives post here about their anti-gay beliefs, I am sure they believe they are chastising US in a loving way, but I’ve definitely gotten the impression that they have been told here that they are hating for making GLBT feel disowned, unloved, impure, incapable of salvation.

            I’m having trouble understanding where to draw the line between hate and loving chastisement, I guess. Does it depend on being right?

          • Diana A.

            I’m not helpful on this because I have the same problem telling the difference between “loving chastisement” and “hate.” A big problem I’ve had with people who have “lovingly chastised” me is that I often feel that they’ve not even bothered getting to know me before lobbing their bombs. They see something I’m doing that they regard as wrong and immediately lash out at me without even attempting to find out my story–my reasons for behaving as I do. This, in my opinion, isn’t helpful at all–in fact, my response to it is often “frig you!” and then going out and doing it all the more just to assert my autonomy. (Yes, I know, it’s such a mature response.) I can take criticism better from someone who I regard as knowing me well and as taking my story into account.

            One of the things about John’s blog, is that it is intended (in my opinion) as a safe place for people who are not fundamentalist in their approach to Christianity. It’s a place where a Christian can admit to being gay and a gay person can admit to being Christian. It’s also a place where people who have been raised Christian can admit to being ambivalent or even downright hateful of Christianity (or at least the version of Christianity that they’ve been taught.) Basically, John seems to try to keep this blog a safe place in which people can tell the truth without getting chastised for it.

            But some people seem to come over here with the express purpose of telling the rest of us how wrong we are to think and feel as we do. This, in my opinion, is not helpful and it also tends to lead to some of us (including me) to lash out in return. I have more respect for the people who seem to wait to comment on this blog until they’ve gotten to know some of the participants a little better and who then come in with a gentler approach than those who are so eager to assert their own rightness that they trample on the feelings of others in the process.

            This, of course, is just my opinion and I could be wrong.

    • stefano

      i found the book, ‘what the bible really says about homosexuality’, a helpful analysis of the context in which same-sex ‘prohibitions’ were given. the author is daniel heminiak.

    • cat rennolds

      I really appreciate your asking. I’d start here:

      http://canyonwalkerconnections.com/

      She does a very, very thorough overview and a beginning of how one can read scripture, be Christian, and come to accept that what we were taught about homosexuality was not the truth to begin with.

    • Mindy

      Berto, a good rule of thumb is that if you go to a blog – any blog – and read an article that seems to take a strong stand on something, you should read more articles from said blog on said topic before asking something like this. John and his commenters have provided probably hundreds of helpful links and arguments on this topic. All you have to do is take the time to read.

  • Jessica

    Wow…there are a few people on here who believes they are following God when they are not. Jesus’ central message is this….Love one another, as I have first loved you. Love….God is Love. Plus, about homosexuality, those people are born that way. Gays have different brain structures than straights do. They are born with the opposite brain structure than the gender they are born with. A homosexual male’s brain structure is similar to that of a straight female, and a homosexual female’s brain is similar to that of a straight male. God created these people this way. Love them, just as Jesus said.

    • Lauren

      Ok, I understand that you are well intentioned, but there are a few things wrong with what you have said.

      A gay male’s brain is not like a straight female’s brain, nor is a gay woman’s like a straight man’s. A gay man is a man. A gay woman is a woman. There are the gay stereotypes (effeminate men and masculine women) but they don’t apply to everyone, or even the majority.

      There have been studies showing a slight chemical difference between homosexual individuals and straight individuals (I can’t remember exact sources, from an old speech and debate paper, someone please correct me if I am wrong), but it’s most definitely not “the opposite brain structure than the gender they are born with.” I think you might be taking some common misconceptions about transgender folk and blending them with homosexuality.

      Transgender people are those who are biologically one gender, but feel as though they should be the other. It’s called Gender Dysphoria. It doesn’t have to do with the brain structure in that way either.

      I’m not transgender myself, so it’s hard for me to truly understand. If I’m wrong or offensive in any way, someone please let me know and tell me how to avoid it in the future. :) Thanks!

      • Dirk

        Actually, current research does show some interesting anatomical similarities between the brains of heterosexual women and homosexual men, as well as between homosexual women and heterosexual men.

        One must be extraordinarily cautious not to say one of the two variations is superior to the other, however it is at this point valid to say that gay men and straight women do have the same basic brain anatomy. Ditto lesbians and straight men.

        There are other anatomical differences, though they are more subtle. There appears to be a predominance of gay men and straight women among those who ‘see’ a wider range of the optical spectrum, to choose one example which is non-threatening.

        Of course, because gay men tend to have slightly better masculine hormone households than straight men, we are also slightly more able to put on muscle faster as well as having the ever so slightly better reflexes which we share with straight women.

        I encourage anyone who wonders about this to do some research in real scientific journals. Because of the underlying assumption of most of early medicine that the ‘male’ brain was superior to the ‘female’ brain, whereas current research suggests the opposite in many ways, this is one of those topics best approached with caution.

        It is very easy to extrapolate from the ‘uncle wolf’, an animal which tends to be a bit stronger and smarter than its straight male pack mates while also being great at babysitting and at killing threats to the pack’s young with humans to the chosen professions of so many gay men – teaching and policing/military. I personally believe the same principles apply to our species, but, then, I’m not exactly unprejudiced.

        Still, though, I get so very tired of people who haven’t a clue about genetic science trying to impose their falsely grasped and long since invalidated 19th century ‘gay gene’ approach to what is, so very obviously, a mechanism to ensure the survival of the species among all high order mammals – a certain number of us are born gay.

        • Dirk

          Lauren, I didn’t mean you in my rant against conservative Christians and Republicans (tautology much….).

          The variation of characteristics within each sex more than exceeds any anatomical differences across the sexes in every relevant aspect – I know straight men who are brilliant fathers and teachers and gay men who make Jack on Will and Grace look bright.

          • Lauren

            Really? Huh, I can’t say I’ve run across that. I’ll be updating my research then. It does seem to make sense. I admit to doubt that straight women’s brains and gay men’s brains are exactly alike.

            Then again, I also question exactly how much of our personalitie are really determined by our gender. There’s so much societal conditioning on both sides.

          • Dirk

            Sexual dimorphism in the human species is not very pronounced to begin with. Possibly because we remain female for a considerable part of our fetal gestation.

            No two brains are identical, not even those of twins, but there have been several follow-on studies which do, indeed show the same results as the original Swedish study: Anatomically, real gay men and real straight women have the same basic brain anatomy, differentiated in all the same areas from the brains of real lesbians and straight men.

            Our amygdalae are enormously better developed than the lesbian-straight male brain. Our inter-hemispherical communication is equal – something which a lot of feminist chauvinists weren’t at all happy about. The thought that men exist who really do ‘get it’ when a woman says she is of two minds about something was, for some reason, quite upsetting to some. Our sense of touch and smell and color vision and hearing…well, it’s a long list and one has to be really, really careful to note that the variations among men and women are so great in each of these areas that it would be stupid to say the ‘straight female-gay male’ brain is superior.

            Tho’ a part of me can see both sides:-)))

          • LSS

            what is a “real gay man” or a “real lesbian woman” ?  are there a statistically significant number of people who are gay by mistake?  

            serious question from a curious reader who is admittedly not that great at science.

  • Robert Hagedorn

    Is Saint Augustine’s exegesis correct? Do a search: First Scandal.

    • Don Rappe

      No, it is incorrect.

  • John Thompson

    You have said: “I’d have so much more respect for you in this conversation if you actually acknowledged, “I realize that me believing that God condemns homosexuality as being against his plan hurts people. I realize that me saying that – believing that – hurts them, alienates them from God, that it’s very confusing to understand how He still loves them in spite of that. I see the impact, I believe those who are gay who tell me how my beliefs about homosexuality have hurt them. But at this time of my life, I can’t see believing anything else.””

    I do not agree that it is “very confusing to understand how He still loves them”. I believe that the Scripture is very plain in that God loves us. The question is not if God loves any particular one, the question is one of how we live. The same texts that talk about homosexuality condemns telling a lie among other actions that we do. Are there those conservatives who go overboard – yes there are. I am always amazed at how we pick the sin that is the worst of them all. Yes I called this behavior a sin. i believe that this is Scriptural, just as I believes that it is sin to call another a fool.

    Does this upset those who are gay, I know some that it does. I am not one to speak what I believe to be truth just to hurt. I believe that “truth without love is brutality and that love without truth is sentimentality.” I do not go around and speak out against those who live this lifestyle. But when you accuse others of being lazy in their Bible scholarship because they hold to the traditional understanding I feel compelled to respond.

    You will all come back with your tortured interpretations of the Scripture. I have always been taught to take the simplest and plainest understanding when reading Scripture. Doing that (yes in the original languages) I have to stay with the traditional understanding of the Scriptures.

    Will this cause many to turn away from Jesus, maybe. But go and read where Jesus told those who were following him that “they would have to drink His blood and eat His flesh” many left and followed Him no more. So many that He turned to the Twelve and asked if they were going to leave also. This is the same Jesus who that said that He came “not to bring peace but to bring a sword.”

    Ultimately the question is what will you do with this Jesus? He is not monochromatic as many paint Him, not some cosmic grandfather who just pats us on the head and says do it if you want. I read many words here about God being love but it is not a very robust love it is merely indulgent.

    I realize that this will inflame but I would hope that it would also cause some to think deeper.

    • DR

      Listen, I’m not as invested in your point of view anymore because with education and awareness, people are realizing how damaging and toxic it is. That’s happening in some very big wave, this generation of Christians coming up understands that. Your opinion just won’t exist in ten years, It will quietly disappear just like the Christians who used scripture to justify keeping the blacks and the whites using separate drinking fountains.

      My only priority now is protecting you from the gay kids you hurt with your theology as your like minded people deny any responsibility for that. None of you wantto get close to the actual stories of gay men and women, how they were kicked out of their loving Christian homes for being gay. How they kill themselves after trying desperately to change because you tell them they can and somehow Jesus will help them. But they can’t and as a result of your well intended theology they just want things to end. I’ve seen that personally, I’ve dealt with that mess. I’ve dealt with sobbing gsyadults who have panic attacks when they step into a church.

      So with all due respect, save your explanations. Start doing something to save these kids from hurting themselves, get involved. Their blood is on your hands and I’m tired of cleaning up your mess. A lot of us are, you’ve been sheltered from the consequences of your outspoken collective theology. So how about you take a turn at these shelters, let’s see you explain all of this to a kid who’s begged God to change him. And then come back and tell us what that was like.

      • DR

        That should read, “My only priority now is protecting :::the gay kids::: you hurt with your theology ( you already shield yourself from that, you don’t need any help from me)

      • John Thompson

        So much for respect. You do not know what I do where I minister or how I am involved in others lives. Their blood is on all of our hands in some way or another. As is the blood of many others in many other situations that are just as difficult but you do not see them because of your blinders. My theology does not shield me it drives me to examine every aspect of the way I live, think, and believe.

        My “well intentioned theology” as I recognize may cause pain. It is not my intent to do so, but that may be the result. It does fall to me to help ease that pain when I am able.

        I know many who have looked for “Jesus to help them” and felt betrayed because He did not act in the way they thought that He should. This is a difficulty of the first order for anyone who seeks to know the risen Christ. But it is not a reason to abandon Him. We seem to be looking for easy answers and quick fixes. The walk of faith that I am speaking of here is not that.

        It is not a simple thing to work out your walk of faith with an eternal God. But it is the only thing that makes this life worth living.

        So with all due respect, if all you are doing is comforting them and not helping them to work out that relationship are you really helping?

        By the way one does not just “take a turn” at the shelters it is either the way you live or it is not.

        • DR

          So much for respect. >>>

          John, why do you believe that everyone should respect you? That’s a serious question. I am being honest here which I assume is what you want. I’m sure you’re a very nice man. I’m sure you have absolutely no desire to hurt anyone. But your theology *hurts children*. I’ve seen it a thousand times as someone who is in those trenches. So seriously – what is it that you want me to do here? I don’t respect your theology and I don’t respect your decision to keep it despite how it hurts people. If you prefer that I lie to you about that, then OK. But we’re adults, not everyone is going to like us or respect us.

          You do not know what I do where I minister or how I am involved in others lives.>>>

          I don’t need to, John, because your theology trumps all of it when it comes to kids who are gay who hear it. And I’m not at fault here, you chose to come onto this forum and make sure we knew that you believe God believes homosexuality is wrong. I am being honest with you about the impact of your declarations, the collective impact that has had on children.

          Their blood is on all of our hands in some way or another.>>>

          No, this is a lie. Their blood isn’t on my hands, I’m not the ones telling them that they way they are is against God’s plan. I’m just not, John, You are. You and others. I know that’s awful to hear – I used to believe like you did and it felt like I got punched in the stomach when someone told me the same thing. I just realized they were right. There’s no one telling children that their desires for someone of the same sex are against God’s plan – sinful – except for you. And that’s the message that they are hearing., It causes them to hate themselves and believe that for some reason, God has made them this way and therefore hates them too. I’ve heard it from hundreds of gay kids. Why would I make something like that up?

          As is the blood of many others in many other situations that are just as difficult but you do not see them because of your blinders. >>>

          It’s always so fascinating to see those of you who are conservative immediately jump out of this very specific point and generalize it. You want to distance yourself from it. Which is a refusal to really see it.

          My theology does not shield me it drives me to examine every aspect of the way I live, think, and believe.>>>

          Yes, it does. Just like you did above your theology allows you to step away from the very specific topic of gay teen suicide – the number 1 group of kids at risk – and start generalizing. You give yourself a very wide berth to be whomever you want to be, But some of us are now holding your accountable to the very specific damage your theology has done and is doing.

          My “well intentioned theology” as I recognize may cause pain>>>

          It causes despair and death. Not fruits of the Holy Spirit.

          . It is not my intent to do so>>>

          With all due respect, your intent doesn’t make one bit of difference when your theology actually causes someone vulnerable to harm themselves or to vow to never step foot into a church again. John, you are not your intent. You are your impact.

          But it is not a reason to abandon Him.>>>

          Gay kids believe that God has already abandoned them because your theology tells them the hard-wired deepest part of them is unholy.

          We seem to be looking for easy answers and quick fixes.>>>

          Really? Which “quick fixes” are gay kids looking for? Those from Christian homes are absolutely desperate for a miracle,. They never get it. Do you really expect them to keep walking with a God who you’ve told them finds their desires and thoughts about who they love despicable?

          It is not a simple thing to work out your walk of faith with an eternal God. But it is the only thing that makes this life worth living.>>>

          Try being a gay kid and hearing that worshipping a God who finds their desire to share their secrets and hold someone of the same sex’s hand as being “unholy” is a life worth living. I’m being quite serious. Try it.

          So with all due respect, if all you are doing is comforting them and not helping them to work out that relationship are you really helping?>>>

          Yes. And I have helped them, I tell them their Christian parents have trapped themselves into a Christian cage because they are too scared of a world they can’t control. That they’ve taken the Bible and perverted it because they need to have their world in black and white. But that actually, God is completely and utterly in love with them and they don’t have to change “being gay” in order to experience that through Christ. That they don’t have to do a thing and their parents are in darkness that is miserable. Or sometimes I just held them as they sobbed, begging God to change them so they can move into their parent’s home. How about we trade places, John, let’s see if it’s still worth it to believe that being gay is against God’s plan after you have a few hours of that.

          By the way one does not just “take a turn” at the shelters it is either the way you live or it is not.>>>

          BS. Go to a teenage homeless shelter. Face it.

          • DR

            John one more thing – I’m glad you’re angry. That’s good, it’s a sign that you’re paying attention. Anger is an activating agent, it wakes us up like a good cold bucket of water that a friend throws on us when we need it. Let it stay with you for a while – let my anger stay with you for a while, don’t dismiss it. It’s so hard, I know it is, I was so devastated when someone brought all of this to my attention that I couldn’t even see straight. But the dust settled and I allowed the anger of my friend to speak to me. It turned out to be a very beautiful gift. I want that for you, I want all of us who are Christian to be able to face those of us we’ve harmed (unintentionally) and with humility, take responsibility for what we’ve done. It is one of the most important things we can do,

            Jesus won everything by being willing to lose. What are you willing to lose? What will you lose if you start considering you might be wrong about this? That’s for you and the Lord. Good journey. :)

          • John Thompson

            Have you considered how angry you are? I am not angry at anyone. I did not expect respect from anyone. I am merely responding to your call for someone to say it plainly. You are the one who said you would respect more if they just said what they believed. Obviously you can not respect another point of view. You do not want to have a conversation but want to put anyone who thinks differently down. This is what I find most incongruous with what you say. You speak of the hatred of conservative Christians and yet yours is even more virulent.

          • Dirk

            “You speak of the hatred of conservative Christians and yet yours is even more virulent.”

            John, in that simple reply to DR, you made clear that her assessment of you as a good man doing wrong was, indeed, incorrect.

            You are a hateful man, willfully hurting gays.Your justification for it is that not everybody will turn to Jesus.

            The arrogance of that statement, the usurpation of God’s status unto yourself, the pretense you know God’s mind.

            Wow. Just, wow.

            You are sharing with us the same roots of hatred the Nazis had, the same which the Republicans who are trying to ax Medicare have for the elderly.

          • DR

            Have you considered how angry you are?>>

            Yes! I’m angry that people all over the world are being hurt for no reason for a number of things caused by non-Christians and Christians. And yes, I’m angry that gay children are being hurt in the name of God and being driven to harm themselves as a result of feeling they have no way out with a relationship intact. Frankly, I’m a little shocked that more of you aren’t angry about that. Perhaps you’re not as invested or you’re choosing to not think about it. Or maybe you don’t care, I don’t know. But all of us should be angry about this.

            I am not angry at anyone. I did not expect respect from anyone.>>>

            You’re not angry with people who hurt children? That seems in many ways, a reasonable response to be angry with them.

            I am merely responding to your call for someone to say it plainly. You are the one who said you would respect more if they just said what they believed. >>>

            Oh I see. Well sure, I respect people for being honest about it and who actually struggle with it. But how does that translate to respecting a theology that harms people? The two aren’t related.

            Obviously you can not respect another point of view.>>>

            When it hurts children? No of course not. You shouldn’t either.

            You do not want to have a conversation but want to put anyone who thinks differently down. >>>

            John, listen. There are people who have been so damaged by your theology. Read the stories of gay men and women who’ve posted them here, John has a link to it. Watch the “It Gets Better” series.

            Understand *why* people are angry with you. This is perhaps a theology you were taught and really don’t understand. Like anyone you deserve grace and mercy. But you need to open your eyes and heart here. You’re here at this forum for a reason. Let my anger wake you up, don’t use it as an excuse to stay in denial about this issue. It’s your choice to pursue the reasons *why* people are angry with you. As Christians, we’re not really entitled to dismiss someone if they are telling us we’ve wronged us or the world and they do so in an angry or even offensive tone. We still need to listen to it.

            This is what I find most incongruous with what you say. You speak of the hatred of conservative Christians and yet yours is even more virulent.

            Reply

          • DR

            This is what I find most incongruous with what you say. You speak of the hatred of conservative Christians and yet yours is even more virulent.>>>

            I hate the *impact* of your theology, John. I don’t hate you, I think it’s really great that you’re here and talking about this.

            Secondly, don’t like how you and others seem to believe that you actually can enter into this conversation with people who’ve actually experienced the damage of your theology firsthand or who’ve had to deal with that damage, insisting that you should be respected. This is a part of the world that perhaps, you’ve never been exposed to, people who actually don’t believe that you and others like you – despite your best intent to love those who are gay – are doing good things. We actually believe you’re doing harm, we see it. So we’re telling you that plainly as well. Perhaps you should revisit your expectations of what being honest really means. It’s all stuff that can be worked through if you’re willing to face what some people experience. If not, then the world will go on as it does.

          • John Thompson

            Thank you for allowing me to join in your conversation. I will not able to continue much after this and for that I am deeply sorry. Please allow me a few observations and a few final notes. I will try to check back later to read any responses.

            We do agree on several valuable points. The first being that there is a right and a wrong. Many do not believe this so at least we have a starting point. The difference would seem to be in our understanding of what the basis is or what the standard is. There are so many varied voices in the responses that I will not be able to summarize those positions here. Allow me to try and summarize mine own.

            I believe we were created in the image of an eternal God. That, therefore, we are eternal. That because He created to have a relationship with Him He has created us with a free will. Using that free will we have turned from that pure fellowship. God has used many ways to try and speak to us. I believe that this is where we get the Bible from, that God has preserved it for us throughout the millennia. If He is unable to preserve his message what good is He? I probably should have begun this argument with the resurrection of Jesus the Christ. That is the single event of history that confirms Gods message to us. It is that Bible that I use as the only basis for my understanding of what is right and what is wrong. Agree or disagree it is where I stand.

            Secondly, I believe that we can agree that there is great injustice in the world. I would contend that you have become myopic in seeing only the area that you feel most aggrieved about. Battered women, abused children, starving people, sex slaves, slaves, dictators, and on and on and on – the list are endless. Mankind’s cruelty to one another seems to be without end or relief. Part of where I would disagree with you is your contention that you must be angry. Anger has a place but it is very small. When you keep stoking it and stoking it nothing is accomplished but to make the one who is angry miserable. The law of Love rules out living and responding in anger, even when the other person so richly deserves it. Love is always seeking the best for the other especially when they are so unlovely. A constant diet of anger will result in bitterness. I attribute some of the responses that I have read to that bitterness, because they relied not upon reason but name calling and innuendo.

            Perhaps if circumstances change for me I can rejoin your conversation, that is, if you will have me. Until such time thanks again for allowing me to participate.

          • DR

            Secondly, I believe that we can agree that there is great injustice in the world. I would contend that you have become myopic in seeing only the area that you feel most aggrieved about. >>>

            This is the *classic* response of people who are feeling defensive. Because I care about gay kids not committing suicide and I’m placing some of the blame where some of the blame is due? I’m all of the sudden “myopic”.

            I’m not letting you go there John, and I’m also not giving you a pass because we agree on a lot of things. You’ll leave the conversation because it’s too uncomfortable which is fine – most people do, it’s a lot to face. I only pray you’ll continue to consider it and start talking about it. I know how scary that is. But you can still believe in Jesus and realize how wrong you are about this issue. You can still repent. Do so while there’s still time because God have mercy on you if you don’t.

      • john

        thanx…..Wanted to say the same,,, But,, I just Cuss Too Much!

        I’m a Suicide Survivior,,, from this kinda talk… Church/Family….j

        • cat rennolds

          I’m glad you’re a survivor. hang in.

        • DR

          Much love to you. The kind of strength to pull oneself out of that place – I can’t imagine the things you’ll do with it, for yourself and for others. xoxoxoxo

    • Lauren

      Want to know the difference between telling a lie and being gay? You choose to tell a lie. It is a CONSCIOUS CHOICE.

      I can promise you that I did not wake up one day and think to myself “You know, I should like girls AND guys! That will be fun!”

      I do not believe God would create someone a certain way only to condemn them for being as he created them to be.

    • Dirk

      John, if German is among your language skills, I would be happy to link you to several testimonials from Nazis who gave exactly the same justification for their positions as you do for yours.

    • http://leap-of-fate.com Christy

      John Thompson, I’m curious.

      In your simplest and plainest understanding when reading Scripture what do you take the two quotes you mentioned: “they would have to drink His blood and eat His flesh” and “not to bring peace but to bring a sword” to mean?

    • cat rennolds

      I am very curious, if you are reading the Bible in its original languages, how you can justify labeling “our” interpretation as twisted. I’m not sure how much reading you’ve done about that interpretation, but I recommend you to Kathy Baldock Verbiest’s site if you haven’t been.

      When you’re talking about ancient languages, the interpretation must of necessity be colored by the culture the language came from, and it’s very, very difficult to AVOID allowing your own cultural preconceptions to foul that interpretation. Yes, of course, we could be interpreting it to suit ourselves, and the same can be said of conservative Christians, or anyone else. Are you honestly considering the alternatives, or just dismissing them before you even look?

      How can you hear the Spirit if you have already decided what It says?

      But I will put 3 things out for you here:

      1. Even if all the Old Testament prohibitions are accurately translated, they were given to the Jews in a desert country thousands of years ago, in the same context as the other regulations for health and sanitation. Unless you maintain strict orthodox Judaic practice, in order to avoid all instances of abomination, you cannot in conscience apply any of the “abomination” passages to the GLBTQ community in the modern era.

      2. The Lord subsequently sent Christ to fufill the law, and he did so with the Great Commandment. He many times made clear that the I-dotting T-crossers, the Pharisees and the Saducees, the interpretations of the law by the Orthodox Jews of his time,. were not in keeping with his Father’s will.

      3. As if that were not enough, the Lord sent Peter unto the Gentiles with the express commandment that what God has made pure, the rules-lawyers do not have the authority to call impure. He was specifically referring to the cleanliness laws as in my first point, above.

      CAN gay sex still be impure? Abomination? Yup, sure can. Just like straight sex can. Neither one is automatically good or evil. It takes LOVE to make sex holy. Where love is, there is God.

      Are there people claiming love when what they mean is lust? Yup. But it sure ain’t limited to “the gays.”

      • http://www.barnmaven.com Mary @Barnmaven.com

        Cat, I adore this response. You are brilliant.

        • cat rennolds

          *blush*

    • Mindy

      All I can say, John, is that if you really aren’t angry with anyone, then you are not living. When a theology hurts children, we should ALL be angry about it. Every last one of us. Being gay is simply a variation of being human, no different than skin color, hair texture or handedness. The only thing negative about it is how others respond is hateful and ugly and pitying fashion.

      Read everything DR and Dirk and Cat say to you hear. Read other posts Mr. Shore has written on this topic. Read and open your mind up enough that you can really understand.

    • http://www.barnmaven.com Mary @Barnmaven.com

      Simply being the person one was born as cannot in an of itself be sinful. It is our behaviors as human beings that constitute “sin.” Being gay is not a sin. Being straight is not a sin. Behaving unlovingly toward others, doing things that degrade, dehumanize or harm ourselves and others in our intimate relationships, however, those ARE sins.

      Christian conservatives who insist that people who are gay or transgendered are committing a sin simply by living and breathing ARE harming others.

  • textjunkie

    Should be blazoned over every church entryway, John. :)

  • Sunshine

    I’m so glad Jesus didn’t ask anyone what their sexual preforenceis before he saved them. I’m not gay but Jesus loves me anyway.

  • Heather grills

    I think I might use a different word than lazy… It is offensive and might turn people off the statement even if they want to be more open minded. Perhaps misinformed…. May I suggest the DVD For The Bible Tells Me So (Netflix) and a new companion Bible study “This I Know” by Northhaven UNited Methodist Church in Texas.

    • Mindy

      Sometimes, though, Heather, you have to call an attitude what it is. I get your point, but people who believe everything they are told are intellectually lazy. That is WHY they are misinformed. And our country, sadly, has far too many of those folk. We have to call them out. Coddling them along hasn’t worked.

      • DR

        I agree. I’m abrasive, lazy sometimes and a thousand other things. If someone doesn’t call it what it is, I can’t do anything about it.

  • ZRM

    You know, as an atheist, I really do not understand you “Christians”. I grew up in the church and I know what the Bible says in Romans 1. I also know of the different myths in Greek mythology about homosexuality, so I know that they had a concept of homosexual love. It was a foreign concept in the 1st century.

    Listen, here’s how we see it: if you’re going to be a Christian, why don’t you accept the moral teaching of your Bible and church? If you don’t want to accept that teaching, don’t be a Christian.

    • ZRM

      Correction: “It was NOT a foreign concept in the 1st century”.

      • Lauren

        The ‘teachings’ you seem to think are so easy to understand and follow aren’t that simple. There are many interpretations and translations out there. More than that, Jesus was INCREDIBLY cryptic. He answered questions with more questions or confusing stories. The only things he IS clear about are that 1.) Those who set themselves up to judge others and follow the letter of the law, not the spirit, will fall and 2.) God loves us. All of us.

    • john

      Hey!! Any of you Christian/Athiest or What Ever,, You keep Quoting the Bible about “man laying with a man as a woman” Right?? DON”T!!!.. I Don’t lay with a man as a woman! He’s ALL MAN! And that THAT! I dont lay with him as Woman….when he’s a MAN!! No Thought of a WOMAN in that Picture at ALL!! No thought process of,,,”Hmmmm he’s gona be Just like a Woman???? WTF?? You are nuts to think,, we think,,, like THAT!…. thanks for letting me say that…. j

    • DR

      What does this even mean?

  • David J Martin

    I don’t believe God/ Christ really cares if we are gay or straight, black, white or yellow, rich or poor, etc. We are each “unique”…no one will ever exist who is identical to any one of us. His whole public life – His message – centered around accepting and loving one another as He loved us. He never condemned sinners – He reached out to them and all those who were in pain – physical or mental – with compassion and love. The only attitude which He utterly rejected and had no tolerance for was hypocrisy as personified in the Temple Cult, the Pharisees and Scribes. They are alive today – in the bigotry which exists in this who marginalize and try to do something no one can do (ST. Paul) deny or cut us off from the love of Christ by their Bible thumping words of exclusion. Once told a street Pastor at a Pride Festival that if he judged me as deserving hell, to save me a place, he’ll be there before me. We are Christians by virtue of our attempts to follow Christ in loving service to our fellow person. Whatever sin we may be guilty off will be outweighed by a life of love or at least trying to love all people. The institutional Church has no power over us – her duty is to guide. Christ founded His Church on the “rock” of Faith which Peter displayed by perceiving Christ as the Son of God. The teachers of the Church have the authority to guide us as shepherds but were never authorized to judge, condemn, commit atrocities (Crusades, burning of “heretics, ignoring the Holocaust, excluding, excommunicating, etc.) in the Name of Christ. In the end, each of us will be comforted by the Holy Spirit who guides, shepherds, lives and loves us in our hearts. In all matters, if sincere, follow His/Her promptings within your heart. You will never be lead astray and can confidently ignore the institutional Church’s all too human, imperfect directives.

  • Dale Marner

    Romans 1: 24-27 So God letlet these people go thier own way. They did what they wanted to do, and there filthy thoughts made them do shameful things with their bodies. They gave up the truth about God for a lie, and they worshiped God’s creation instead of God, who will be ptaised forever, Amen.

    God let them follow teir own evil desires. Women no longer to have sex in a natural way, and they did things with each other that were not natural. Men behaved in the same way. They stopped wanting to have sex with women and had strong desires for sex with other men. They did shameful things with each other, and what has happened to them is punishment for their foolish deeds.

    I don’t think this is all that cryptic, pretty straight forward, that being said, I believe homosexuality is a sin, so is lying and swearing and anything else that seperates us from God. I also believe Jesus paid the price for our sins, all we have to do is accept the free gift He offers, by repenting of our sin, admit and quit it. Does that mean I no longer sin? Of course not, but I try very hard not to.

    • Amelia

      And you need to do some serious biblical study. It is NOT just straight forward. Here’s a decent study and there are many more around that say the same thing: http://canyonwalkerconnections.com/romans-127-28/

      Cheers.

    • Dirk

      So, everything being so straight forward and all that…what do you do about the parts of the Bible you don’t care to follow?
      Oh, right – they don’t count.
      You are not one bit better than the Nazis.

      • Dale Marner

        I believe what I was trying to say is that everyone has sinned ,and does sin, and will always sin, no sin is worse than any other and that Jesus die on the cross to pay the price for my sins and your sins. I don’t hate anyone nor do I believe anyone should be rejected by the church for any reason. Jesus hung with “the least of these” , the sinners. As Todd Agnews say: “thieves and sluts and liars.” I believe the most important thing a person can do is get to know the real Jesus, accept him as thier savior, then let The Holy Spirit deal with thier sin whatever it might be.
        I don’t advocate for the extermination of homosexuals nor anyone else. As far as parts of the bible I don’t care to follow, I can’t think of any, does that mean I don’t sin? of course not, I also don’t try to change the bible to fit my needs or desires, like so many seem to do.
        Like I said before, I hate noone, not even you for comparing me to Hitler, or yourself to the Jews who were killed in the holocaust.

        • Katherine B.

          Regardless, Romans 1:24-27 was primarily written to psych up Christian priests and followers to commit acts of violence on a religious order primarily composed of transsexual priestesses.

        • DR

          Dale you get to believe anything you want to. You really do, religious freedom is a wonderful thing. What you also get to do – what all believers are held to do – is to denounce what harm is done in the *name* of those beliefs or even as a *result* of those beliefs. If not, we’re promoting and supporting the harm done.

          Gay men and women have articulated how your beliefs push them away from a salvation experience with Jesus Christ. They’ve told their stories about how your beliefs drove many to contemplate or commit suicide. Your beliefs are taken by many and used to justify kicking their kids out of their home. And you’re responsible for all of that – you’re responsible for stopping this damage done. You’re responsible personally and collectively, we all are if any of our beliefs cause damage.

          That’s the real issue here, a lot of us as your Christian brothers and sisters are simply done with those of you who just want to keep repeating your beliefs and you believing that your role just stops there. We’re not tolerating it anymore. Believe what you want – but also acknowledge the damage you do in the name of God. It actually might be worth it to you. If so be honest about that. But go to the trenches and actually learn the real *impact* of your belief system. Have the courage to actually go there. That is integrity and that’s what men of God do. They face things.

        • Matt A.

          “As far as parts of the bible I don’t care to follow, I can’t think of any” Well, let me help you think of a few.

          How about owning slaves….?

          “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. You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way.” (Leviticus 25:44-46 NLT)”

          How about where it says rapists should marry their victims?

          ” If a man happens to meet a virgin who is not pledged to be married and rapes her and they are discovered he shall pay her father fifty shekels[a] of silver. He must marry the young woman, for he has violated her. He can never divorce her as long as he lives.” -Deuteronomy 22:28-29

          How about Leviticus 11:10-12 where it says eating shrimp and lobster is an “abomination” (just like being gay is an “abominati0n”).

          Pick and choose, pick and choose.

  • Alex Haiken

    As a Jewish-Christian
    gay man, who is also a former leader of a so-called “ex-gay” ministry,
    but who has long since integrated my rich Christian faith with my sexuality, I
    appreciate what you’re doing here.  There
    are many people who still need assistance in learning how to connect the dots
    of their faith and sexuality (without throwing out the baby with the bath
    water), despite the fact there are also many who insist the dots are not meant
    to be connected.  Keep up the good work!

    -Alex Haiken

      http://jewishchristiangay.wordpress.com

  • Chad Jeremy

    I am adding the words above to my FB status, Lets see how many we can get to do the same.

  • http://www.shockandblog.com/ Jinx McHue

    John, who put you in charge of speaking for God?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Who put you in charge of asking people who put them in charge of speaking for God? (I see why you do this. It is fun acting like an 8-year-old!)

      • DR

        Jinx McHue is in love with me.

    • DR

      He’s back! Hi Jinx!


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