Southern Baptist pastor accepts his gay son, changes his church.

UPDATE: Pastor Danny and his son Drew were invited to the White House on June 30!

Hi John,

I wanted to introduce myself to you. My name is Danny Cortez and I pastor a small Southern Baptist Church in La Mirada, CA. We’re about a mile from Biola University in a very conservative neighborhood.

Anyway, I recently became gay affirming after a 15-year journey of having multiple people in my congregation come out to me every year. I scoured through your whole website and read everything I could. And it was especially the testimony of my gay friends that helped me to see how they have been marginalized that my eyes became open to the injustice that the church has wrought.

In August of 2013, on a sunny day at the beach, I realized I no longer believed in the traditional teachings regarding homosexuality.

As I was trying to figure out what to tell my church, I was driving in the car with my 15-year-old son Drew when a song on the radio came on. I asked Drew who sang it, and he said, “Mackelmore.” And then he asked me why I was interested in it. I told him that I liked the song. He was startled and he asked me if I knew that the song’s message was gay affirming. I told him that I did know and that’s why I liked the song. I also told him that I no longer believed what I used to believe.

As we got out of the car, I could tell he was puzzled. so I asked him what he was thinking. In the parking lot, he told me in a nervous voice, “Dad, I’m gay.” My heart skipped a beat and I turned towards him and we gave one another the biggest and longest hug as we cried. And all I could tell him was that I loved him so much and that I accepted him just as he is.

I couldn’t help but think that my 15 year journey was in preparation for that moment. If it wasn’t for this 15 year journey and my change in theology, I may have destroyed my son through reparative therapy.

My son decided to make a coming out video on YouTube on Feb 7, 2014 which he posted on Facebook. [See Drew's video below.] I then told my church on Feb 9 about my new position. [See Danny's video below.] However, I expressed that my goal wasn’t about trying to convince everyone what I believe, but that we should allow room for grace in the midst of disagreement. I shared that the body of Christ is segregated every sunday between gay affirming and non-gay affirming and that there must be unity and love.

Unfortunately, many weren’t pleased, so the church had to vote whether to terminate me or accept my proposition. On March 9, the church voted instead to prolong the period of prayer, study and discernment until May 18. We then invited teachers, both gay and straight, from both sides of the debate to speak to our church.

The church just voted two Sundays ago, on May 18, 2014, to not dismiss me, and to instead become a Third Way church (agree to disagree and not cast judgement on one another—see Ken Wilson’s book, “A Letter to my Congregation”). This is a huge step for a Southern Baptist Church!!

So now, we will accept the LGBT community even though they may be in a relationship. We will choose to remain the body of Christ and not cast judgement. We will work towards graceful dialogue in the midst of theological differences. We see that this is possible in the same way that our church holds different positions on the issue of divorce and remarriage. In this issue we are able to not cast judgement in our disagreement.

Unfortunately, many who voted to remain traditional will now separate from us in a couple of weeks. We are in the period of reconciliation and forgiveness. Please pray for us in this. Then on June 8, we will formally peacefully separate, restate our love for one another, and bless each other as we part ways. It has been a very tiring and difficult process.

All of this to say, I believe God is moving in beautiful ways. And I’m thankful that you were part of my journey through the many things I processed through your writings. I pray that you would be encouraged that a conservative evangelical church like ours has embraced the LGBT community.

I am now in conversation with other pastors who are now wondering what in the world we are doing. I’m thankful for these opportunities. I pray that the church will no longer be segregated. I pray that those who have been marginalized would feel safe in our churches. I pray that we as the church would set aside our difference and learn what it means to be the body of Christ. So please keep us in your prayers as the road ahead promises to be filled with difficulty. Thank you again for helping me through my journey.

Blessings
Danny Cortez
Pastor
New Heart Community Church

Below is the coming out video made by Pastor Cortez’s son, Drew. Drew’s honesty, sincerity, kindness, strength and sensitivity are extraordinary.

YouTube Preview Image

And here is Pastor Danny Cortez, Drew’s father, speaking to his church on Feb. 9th. This is an honest man of God sharing his heartfelt, hard-won testimony of how he came to understand, despite everything he’d been taught to believe, that it is no sin to be gay. Danny’s strength, coupled as it is with his humility, is mightily inspiring.

YouTube Preview Image

 
Bless you, pastor Cortez. And bless you, young Drew. You guys make me proud to call myself a Christian.


I’m the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question:

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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. John is a pastor ordained by The Progressive Christian Alliance. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. And don't forget to sign up for his mucho awesome monthly newsletter.

  • Dani Smith

    This was great to read, until, “So now, we will accept the LGBT community even though they may be in a relationship.”
    So there is still judgement of gay relationships. I can’t tell if that’s his position, but they way it is worded makes me think it is.
    Cause we love hearing, “We love you and want you to be happy, but not in a loving relationship. Cause you’re gay, you know.”
    Still a bit far back.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Dani: Fwiw, I didn’t read it that way. What I heard is, “We have grown so much that we now understand that there is nothing wrong with a gay person being in a gay relationship, when that in particular
      used to be a problem for us.”

      • salter47

        Dear Dani, Bob and I are so happy that your congregation has based their decision on love, not judgement. We are sad though that some members could not show the love that Jesus had for us, and decided to leave the church.
        Since we last spoke on Facebook I have been trying to find out what your congregation decided, whether you would stay or go. Needless to say, they have made the right decision. Of course there will be a price to pay, but the rewards will be priceless. Bob and I have two dear friends, Dennis and Evelyn Schave, who live in Phoenix. They have been serving God for over 25 years in the LGBT community. At one time Evelyn believed that gay and lesbian people could not have a relationship with God. However she was invited to a conference in Texas, where most of the attendees were gay or lesbian. During that conference the Holy Spirit dealt with that disbelief, and since then she and Dennis have been two of our strongest advocates. For so long we have sat quietly under the table, waiting for the few scraps that were tossed our way.
        I am reminded of the picture of Jesus, standing at the door of the Church, but not being able to enter. Most say this represents Jesus knocking on the door of our heart. However I see another picture. One that says: You are not welcome in this Holy place. This is how most of us have felt all of our lives. We Praise God that churches such as yours are beginning to listen to the Spirit of God, and throwing off the shackles of bondage called fear. We wish you, Drew, and your entire family all the blessings of God, as you face the future together.

        Lloyd and Bob Peacock

        Vancouver, B.C. Canada

        • Lilly Munster

          Well said. We often forget that Jesus was vilified, demonized, mocked and……murdered….by the Official, Biblically Correct…..Church. He was knocking at the door of the Church, and they were not able to understand Grace, Love and even more important, John 3:17….Mind your own business.

      • Dani Smith

        Thanks for clarifying. I have got to stop commenting on stuff late at night, when I’m tired. I don’t always think things through well enough. But at least I keep myself civil. Just cranky.

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

      Dani.
      I totally get this. It’s frustrating when there’s not full acceptance of people who are gay. But what this congregation has done is agree to withhold judgement and fully accept gay people – including couples – into their congregation. That’s huge!

      I’m sick to death of the “side a”/”side b” (affirming/non-affirming) language. There’s a whole spectrum of belief about the sinfulness of homosexuality ranging from total exclusion to total inclusion. People don’t jump from one end to the other, they take a journey along that spectrum and arrive, almost invariably, at inclusion. As a gay man, I had to make that journey; I think we need to give the rest of the world the space to do their own traveling.

      My very best to you
      David

      • Julie

        Very well said…as usual. :-)

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

          Julie!!!!

          • Julie

            I’m just seeing this now. Some kind of odd delay going on. Oh well, it’s all good. Yes..it’s me, Julie. Love to you sweet man! :-)

    • Nigel Berry

      In Ken Wilson’s book (reference in the article), pastoral discernment/judgement is warranted towards BOTH gay and straight relationships. So there is certainly judgment- just of a healthier variety that gives life to a person’s core as opposed to condemning it. : )

    • Justin Pease

      Dani, the Bible condemns the act of homosexuality. It does not say that being attracted to or loving members of the same sex is a sin. It condemns homosexual sex. It also condemns sex outside of marriage. When I was a kid, I didn’t agree with my parents but they set the rules for my benefit and they loved me. I had to struggle to understand their rules rather than just toss out the ones I didn’t like. We need to do the same with God. I admit the church has really handled gay rights poorly but we can not rewrite the word of God when it disagrees with us. His love and wisdom are greater than ours. We need to show people love, but that does not mean that everyone gets to do whatever they want. If it did, I would be a total mess and probably wouldn’t be alive, as would most of us.

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        It does huh? So why would God make people who are attracted to members of their own sex,and then make it a sin for them to act upon that attraction? That would make God rather vicious.

        of course I gotta ask this question. Which of your parent’s rules did you promptly chuck once you left home, never to participate in again? Bed time at 8pm? you must make your bed before school? Eat your broccoli or no dessert? Only speak when you are spoken to?

        • Allen

          Why then do you pick and choose what God says? I’m sure you beileve God said “thou shall not steal” but when he says “kill the gays” you explain it away as man or interpretation. I just don’t understand you guys.

          • Julie

            It’s not so much about picking and choosing as it’s about attempting to discern authorial intent. That can be tricky when immediate context provides insufficient details.

        • anakinmcfly

          BUT BROCCOLI IS AWESOME

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            That it is. But i can’t get my husband to eat it.

          • Andy

            Have you tried putting cheese on it? I like a little garlic, too.

          • Lilly Munster

            Is vomiting a sin? Where’s the Biblical Answer?

          • Andy

            I’m not sure. I just did a search on Bible Gateway for “upchuck” and nothing came back. Maybe I should try “chunder”.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            He will eat it if its well hidden.

          • Lilly Munster

            So, you married an Unbeliever? Broccoli is God’s Litmus Test for Obedience to Mother.

          • Lilly Munster

            For you maybe, Apparently, I am going to burn in Hell, forever, because I disobeyed mother and didn’t eat the darn things. Did God create broccoli to allow parents to strangle us? Ask my mom. She could have strangled 10 kids.

        • Lilly Munster

          And gladly and obediently accepted being strangled to death over the issue of broccoli, and curfew violations. After all that penalty is “Scriptural.”

          • Andy

            Hey Lilly, I’ve been meaning to ask you, what do you think of broccoli?

      • Dani Smith

        The only reason the Bible condemns homosexuality is because it has been written and translated primarily by the misogynistic patriarchy.
        The only verse I put any validity to is Leviticus 20:13. But I still don’t believe it is warranted anymore. It was there because the Hebrews needed to build their nation, and men together doesn’t accomplish that. We don’t need more people being born. There’s enough people in this world, and enough children who need to be adopted.
        If God is LOVE, then He cannot have made it so people are born homosexual (or transgender *me*) and then condemn them for the love they have in their hearts.

        • Allen

          wait? so if the world had three couples left and one happened to be gay and the other two straight the logical thing to do with be to kill the gay couple? regardless of if you are building a nation or not killing the gay couple would be counter productive. Why would the gays need to die? If you kill them then thats minus two people. You couldn’t even force them to have sex with women if you really crazy about nation building because now their dead. Why to people try their best to explain the craziness of this God? Which ever way you put it this god wanted gays dead. It wasn’t right. why is it when God says not to steal you praise him but when he says kill gays you make excuses?

          • Lilly Munster

            Well said. God created flowers, bridal gowns, bakeries and Interior Design Studios because He really loved His Gay Creations. It is written.

        • Andy

          I haven’t done any research supporting this, but I suspect the book of Leviticus, at this point, has done far more harm than good. That seems like a bad thing.

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

            I recently moved to a new neighborhood that’s predominantly Jewish. For the most part, that’s really cool. My husband and I do occasionally encounter some ultra-orthodox who shout “Leviticus” at us as we hold hands walking down the street. I think what I take from that is: it’s not the book, it’s what you do with it that matters…which of course is what we can say about the entire bible.

          • Lilly Munster

            We have had similar experiences in our Orthodox Brooklyn Neighborhood. We reply “compound interest, bacon and eggs, or just Margin Call.” That shuts them up.

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

            LOL

        • Lilly Munster

          Bravo. Well said. Are you afraid of Burning in Hell? Me neither.

        • crash2parties

          “The only verse I put any validity to is Leviticus 20:13″

          From a Biblical study POV, Leviticus 20:13 is completely irrelevant and exists only as an example of pre-Moses thought that required correction.

          That single statement in Lev. is clearly and purposefully refuted as incorrect by Isaiah 56:3-5. Which is then mentioned by Jesus and further explained in Matthew 19:12. And then finally played out in great descriptive detail in Acts 8:26-40. Three lengthy passages in all three time periods, and they cross reference.

          If that isn’t a clear indication of God’s Will, what is?

      • cajaquarius

        So, I am expected to call the love I felt for a man I fell for some time ago evil when I know it isn’t and repent of it because God set a rule down that He never bothered to explain the meaning to because He knows best. I am not sure how you were raised, Justin, but my parents actually explained to me why the rules were in place. If God wants me to repent of being gay or wanting to form a romantic loving relationship with another man then He is going to have to come to me and explain to me why it is I should follow that rule. Love is something I give freely: trust is not. If your God wants me to follow this rule then He will have to prove Himself worthy of that trust by explaining it to me.

        Send me a reason that convinces my conscience or an apologist I can’t simply rebut. or better yet, probe Himself half the parent my mother is and tell me Himself rather than cower behind His underlings. These are reasonable terms, yes?

      • James Walker

        so God lovingly and wisely condemned people to live in slavery for life?

        i’m thinking, no. the writers of the Bible got that one wrong and really, really badly so. just like they also got women’s role in the Church wrong and the death penalty wrong and a whole host of other things that, you know, in their Iron Age way of looking at things seemed great at the time but we’ve learned better now.

        but, in spite of all that stuff they got wrong, they never actually said a single word against homosexuality when they wrote the books that eventually became the Bible. this isn’t a matter of disagreeing with the Bible. it’s a matter of the subject just not being there for agreement or disagreement. at all.

      • Lilly Munster

        Homosexuality is a given, not a Choice, not a Sin, nor an affliction.
        You are certainly not recommending that we believe, follow or honor ALL the ancient values in the bible, or we would have strangled all our children already, and stoned the majority of “sinners.” After all,
        you are recommending that we blindly follow ALL those Ignorant, Vile and Male Dictated, Vindictive Myths.

    • James Walker

      I think he specifically phrased it that way because he is trying to let his congregation be a “third way church”, as much as John and many of us reject the idea of a “third way” in favor of full affirmation.

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        “third way” may be a way to allow for transition. Yes people need to decide, but for some it may take some time..

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

    This is so wonderful. The Feb 9 speech to Danny’s congregation is posted on Kathy Baldocks site (I think). It’s amazing. It’s astounding to actually see the Holy Spirit at work in the Body. I’m so encouraged. God bless you pastor.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      The pastor sent me that video of his talk, too. Why don’t I post it to the .. post? I’ll go do that.

  • Kwasi

    Another joker of a confused person. Homosexuality has got nothing to do with religion. It’s a weakness. People who would succumb to compulsive sexual urges want to be pitied and appear as it is the coolest fashion on planet earth. Well, may be, there should be no rules. We should just accept anything and allow people to be whatever they want to be. Is being gay heroism? Too much noise!

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

    I’d like to offer a clarifying comment. Pastor Danny uses the phrase “the third way”. This usually means allowing beliefs about the sinfulness of homosexuality to be a disputable matter within the Church (a la Romans 14-15). Individual believers do not necessarily believe that gay relationships are morally permissable, but agree to withhold judgment of those who believe differently. This allows the congregation to be inclusive rather than exclusive.

    A couple of months ago, the Christian humanitarian organization World Vision tried to do exactly this by changing their employment policy to allow the hiring of married gay people. The official response of the Southern Baptist Convention was that the sinfulness of homosexuality is not a disputable matter and, in fact, World Visions decision was an affront to scriptural fidelity. Russell Moore went so far as to say that the gospel itself was at stake.

    So when you compare Pastor Danny’s congregation’s approach to the official SBC position, it’s clear that this is a huge step for them. This is so very encouraging!

  • JosephCain

    I think the ones that left their church were the biggest losers. They’re the sort of people that need, every sunday, to hear that their bigotry and hatred is right. That they are moral and justice. It needs to be shouted in unison, or they start to question what they believe, and might just have to face the fact that they’re an asshole.

    I will however say that Pastor Danny and those that stayed give me hope. We as a society have embraced other religions, other races, other genders/sexes, and even abolished slavery, all of which the Bible told us not to ever mix with. Still, you have to keep in mind that the people leaving are probably in a barbecue restaurant sucking down a pork sandwich, and cheering at football on the TV, all of which are abominations by the bible (Pigs are unclean, afterall).

    Still, I’m glad to see some movement forward. I know one day we’ll look back on this just like those that had to live through religion screaming against women and other races than white did. They lost those battles, they’ll lose this one too.

  • Janet

    I am so impressed by the process followed by this church. Talking, thinking, praying, waiting. Even the separation is being done “in good order.” This is how it should be, if separation needs to happen. Blessings on Pastor Cortez, his son, and the congregation.

  • JenellYB

    For an SBC church, yes, this is big, and as more that have been aligned in those old traditions begin to transition toward growth in this matter, such growth must be appreciated. But there is an element within so many, whether individual or collective, transitions in attitude, how some that have been seen as unacceptable, come to be seen as acceptable, among the religious, in churches, and religious communities, that has troubled me from a young age, and still does.

    That is a pattern evidenced so many times, of “I felt that way until…” fill in some incident, turn of events, set of circumstances, that touched them personally, made their “old way” of feeling and thinking inconvenient or uncomfortable to their own self interests. How many judged harshly, and rejected and even persecuted those they saw guilty of such “sins” as divorce, non-marital sex, unwed pregnancy, alcoholism, or even mere differences such as race, ethnicity, class, that came to their change toward acceptance and compassion when confronted with the choice of “condemning” their own selves or someone they love and care about, or changing their harsh judgement position.

    Such as, rejection of divorced and the divorced, until divorce happens to them or someone they love and would not want to condemn or end relationship with. So often seen is the same in the issue of LGBT. They felt that way, “until…” I’ve known many religious, such as one family that had been deeply immersed into their Pentacostalism, the man an ordained and active pastor of a church in that denomination, as determinedly anti-homosexual as is traditional in that denomination, but that came to changed attitude when one of their own sons turned out to be gay. They put that poor boy through hell, but at the end of it, had to choose their love for their son over their religion, and leave their church and denomination.

    I’ve seen, as has been the common course of change, in such matters even before the gay issue came to the fore front, the same thing with divorce, unwed pregnancy, alcoholism, and any number of other things traditionally condemned by the religious. “I didn’t believe in divorce until….” “I believed any girl pregnant outside of marriage was a harlot until….” It happened to them, or their own loved one.

    What troubles me about that is that even if the change is “good,” it came about not through open, honest consideration of anything real about that previously judged matter, or empathy and compassion for those they condemned and persecuted, but instead, selfish interest.

    To me, it is that underlying inclination to determining ‘right or wrong,’ ‘condemned or approved,’ ‘rejected or accepted,’ according to how it affects one’s own interests and comfort, that is where growth must take lace, if there is to be anything truly called growth about it.

    It is the very core belief that any one, or a faith tradition, has the right, authority, and calling, to make such judgements upon people these things have happened to or whom are affected by, out of their own opinions, beliefs, and feelings to begin with.

    • Guy Norred

      I agree overall. I remember being infuriated actually at the fact that Rob Portman said before his son came out, he had never really thought about LGBT issues while at the same time actively and directly persecuting these same people through legislation. At the same time, I had to realize the hypocrisy of my anger when I myself had a long journey to acceptance despite the fact that I am gay myself. I hope and strive to never to do this to others, but I fear I may very well be just as unknowingly guilty. I haven’t had a chance to listen to Pastor Cortez’ entire sermon, but it is interesting that this very issue is what he says is the emphasis of Romans 1 and 2.

      • JenellYB

        I don’t think your anger over that was hypocrisy at all. You had been betrayed, lied to, unfairly treated and hurt, by people you loved and trusted, and that should have loved you and been trustworthy in return. I struggle myself with a lot of anger, born of the hurt of feeling betrayed, lied to, as I’ve become more aware of so much falsity in the religion I was raised in, and have walked away from, rejected. So much I was taught to believe, I LOVED, I WANTED to believe, but facing truth about what simply isn’t true is hard. I still have many feelings toward not just the religion itself, but those within it that misled me, and continue to mislead, and cause hurt to so many, and that deny how they hurt ones such as me, that I can only closest describe as what one might feel were a parent or a spouse you loved very much, adored, and trusted, to love and care for you, has kicked you aside and rejected you, revealing all you thought your relationship with them was was build upon lies, empty self-serving seductions, for their own interests and purposes. Betrayal, yes, that is the most significant over arching thing I still struggle with, and have come to think I always will. I met with the very conditional nature of the church, the religious, form of ‘love’ early in life, as a too young pregnant ‘bride’ then inevitable divorce. Back in the 50′s and 60′s, the judgement and rejection for such things as that was about as much so as it is for LGBT today. And while publicly, ‘officially’ that has ‘changed’ in most evangelical community, it is in truth still very much alive and well and functioning within both individual attitudes, and many organizational formal and informal codes of standards. In many evangelical, fundy, pentecostal, and charismatic churches and denominational organizations, for example, any ever divorced are still barred from any position such as teaching, elder, deacon, preacher, or any other kind of ‘leadership’ position. Even in my more recent ventures into those communities, stereotyped immorality, especially sexually related, were clearly and openly applied to me, although married at the time and a good many years after my divorce. As simply having been divorced in my past, those stereotypes were too often the filter through which even the most ordinary, innocent things observed about my life were ‘interpreted.’ God may forgive and forget our past sins, many in the church never do. And I see all of this rooted in the underlying problem as I described above. The right, capacity, ability, authority, to sit in judgement over others.

        • Guy Norred

          You are right that I had been lied to and all the rest that you mention by people who should have done anything but, however, these lies and betrayals did not start with those passing them to me. They too had been lied to by people who had been lied to by people who had been lied to…. That said, you are also right that the church has been known to nurture very un-Christ-like legalism and judgmentalism. I fear this will be with us to some extent or another to the end of the age.

      • JenellYB

        I don’t think your anger over that was hypocrisy at all. You had been betrayed, lied to, unfairly treated and hurt, by people you loved and trusted, and that should have loved you and been trustworthy in return. I struggle myself with a lot of anger, born of the hurt of feeling betrayed, lied to, as I’ve become more aware of so much falsity in the religion I was raised in, and have walked away from, rejected. So much I was taught to believe, I LOVED, I WANTED to believe, but facing truth about what simply isn’t true is hard. I still have many feelings toward not just the religion itself, but those within it that misled me, and continue to mislead, and cause hurt to so many, and that deny how they hurt ones such as me, that I can only closest describe as what one might feel were a parent or a spouse you loved very much, adored, and trusted, to love and care for you, has kicked you aside and rejected you, revealing all you thought your relationship with them was was build upon lies, empty self-serving seductions, for their own interests and purposes. Betrayal, yes, that is the most significant over arching thing I still struggle with, and have come to think I always will. I met with the very conditional nature of the church, the religious, form of ‘love’ early in life, as a too young pregnant ‘bride’ then inevitable divorce. Back in the 50′s and 60′s, the judgement and rejection for such things as that was about as much so as it is for LGBT today. And while publicly, ‘officially’ that has ‘changed’ in most evangelical community, it is in truth still very much alive and well and functioning within both individual attitudes, and many organizational formal and informal codes of standards. In many evangelical, fundy, pentecostal, and charismatic churches and denominational organizations, for example, any ever divorced are still barred from any position such as teaching, elder, deacon, preacher, or any other kind of ‘leadership’ position. Even in my more recent ventures into those communities, stereotyped immorality, especially sexually related, were clearly and openly applied to me, although married at the time and a good many years after my divorce. As simply having been divorced in my past, those stereotypes were too often the filter through which even the most ordinary, innocent things observed about my life were ‘interpreted.’ God may forgive and forget our past sins, many in the church never do. And I see all of this rooted in the underlying problem as I described above. The right, capacity, ability, authority, to sit in judgement over others.

  • Daniel Morgan

    People my age (32) just don’t care about organized religion anymore. We all understand that arguments from authority / tradition are fallacious, and all the more so when the cited authority / tradition is “the bible”…

    Basically, organized religion is in a death spiral, and it’s a matter of time.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Well, 2,000 years into Christianity so far tells me you might not want to hold your breath on that…

    • Andy

      I’m within a year of your age, and I care. I care because a lot of organized religion still holds promulgates archaic bigotry and represses those who aren’t straight, white, male, and Christian…or possibly other particular demographics (e.g. substitute other races or religions). I care because I want that kind of horrible dogma to die out. It’s not going to happen anytime soon, but maybe one day it will be so uncommon that it will be easier to dismiss the lunatic fringe.

      • Justin Pease

        Hi Andy. I just read your response and I’m a little heart broken. The church is not supposed to repress anyone. People have repressed others with in the church but it’s never based on the teachings of Jesus. If you read the New Testament, you will see the Jesus lifted up women, broke down the racial walls of those days and is the most loving being in the universe. He does not hate people. But hateful people have hated others and used His name to defend their own ideas. I will say that God does not approve of homosexual “practice” but that does not mean that gay people are sinners just because they are attracted to someone of the same sex. It’s the sexual act that God opposes. It wasn’t His design. This is maybe the toughest issue I see in discussing God. It seams unfair. I don’t want to tell someon they can’t have sex with people they want to, but I also can’t deny the word of God. Gay people are no more sinners than anyone else. We all fall short of His glory. The true message of the Bible is that God forgives all when we come to Him wholeheartedly. The church can not rewrite God’s word to suit anyone, but should always act in love. I’m so sorry for any experience you have had with hateful people using God’s name to justify their actions. Please don’t penalize God for the so called Christians who ruin His name. Read about Him for yourself. He is good, loving, patient, kind, forgiving all with out ever minimizing justice and His holiness. I know I’m a stranger but I’m here if you have any questions.

        • BarbaraR

          Justin, yes, it is clear you are a stranger here. If you were familiar with this blog and the people who hang out here, you wouldn’t say “Read about Him for yourself” (patronizing and assuming Andy is ignorant of the Bible) and “It’s the sexual act that God opposes” (you haven’t read any of John Shore’s work).

          All of that has been discussed to the nth degree here.

          See

          http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2012/04/the-best-case-for-the-bible-not-condemning-homosexuality/

          • Justin Pease

            I haven’t read John Shores work, I have read the bible though.

          • BarbaraR

            Pretty much everyone here has read the Bible many times over in multiple translations.
            What is on the printed page is not the same thing as what it means.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Maybe you aren’t meaning to be patronizing, but that is exactly what you are doing.

          • BarbaraR

            We are not ignorant here. We have skills and powers of discernment and are capable of analyzing the Bible within its cultural and historical context. We don’t take it at face value nor do we take it literally; it’s a document that has many interpretations.
            When someone comes in and assumes we “don’t understand,” that comes off as arrogant and patronizing.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          I’m curious how anyone can penalize God.

          • Justin Pease

            Anytime people ascribe untrue characteristics to Him based on the way some Christians have acted. Or when people turn away from Him who is a loving God , when people have acted unlovingly and assume that that is who God is.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            That isn’t answering the question.

            How can anyone penalize God? How is that remotely possible? How can God be penalized for anything people do, or s/he that weak, that the actions have negative consequences on a personal level?

          • Lilly Munster

            You mean YOUR God? Your prejudices? Your homophobia? Look around you. Christians, of every stripe, on a par with all others, are rejecting the Bigotry, Anger and Judgmentalism they were raised in, and now reject, across the board.

        • Guy Norred

          I agree with much of what you say here, but I would suggest that you at least consider that in affirming the love gay people have in the same way that it does straight people, the church might not be rewriting His word, but truly seeing it for the first time.

          You speak of honoring His design. God did not simply design a generic man and a generic woman. He created us each as individuals with a unique place in the world. How is it honoring His design to deny the love that gay people have for each other?

        • Andy

          Hi Justin, thanks for your comments.

          I have indeed read the bible, though I don’t do it every day. I wonder if you may have mistook my condemnation of (some) organized religion as an anti-Christian rant. I do identify as Christian, but I’m non-practicing and I’m fine with that.

          I think some of my fellow commenters have pretty well addressed the other issues you raised, though on a personal level I’ll address something else you brought up.

          I was raised in accordance with the same view of all of us being sinners, and equally so in God’s eyes. While I do still (sort of) believe that, I mostly trivialize it. Having seen and heard of the worst that Christianity has engendered (bigotry, violence, even death occasionally), I prefer not to focus on the aspect of sin. I find it largely counterproductive. I think it’s fine to raise children to tell them what they can’t do because it’s either illegal or immoral, but in general I prefer to focus on what we can do.

          We can stand up against bigotry and violence, perpetrated by anyone, Christian or not. We can love our neighbors and care for those in need. We can do what’s right, and we can make a difference.

          Too many people get caught up in telling others what they can’t do, just because someone who supposedly has either a better understanding of theology or a better hotline to the Almighty told them that that’s what was said in a book that’s actually a collection of some 60 different pieces of writing that were written by many different authors across the span of many centuries and, somewhat arbitrarily, collected together and deemed canon to the exclusion of some other pieces of comparable importance.

          Furthermore, at the time they were written, none of the authors knew that their writing would eventually be compiled into what we today know as the bible. We have no reason to believe that many (if any) of them were written for the purpose of being a rule book for people thousands of years later who live in completely different historical and sociological contexts.

          And finally, the issue of language is a huge hurdle for many arguments of legitimacy. As you probably know if you’ve taken a hermeneutics class, there are words in most or all of those writings that do not have direct equivalent succinct words or phrases. As such, certain liberties had to be taken. Reading the bible out of context, and using it to pass judgment on what others do or don’t do, is a dangerous thing indeed.

          For me, the only thing I really care much about is the greatest commandment, to love God and each other. The rest is details. That which condemns a person for something innate in him or her is not loving, and thus disregarded, not tolerated.

          If you would like to discuss this further, I’ll be around. Peace.

        • anakinmcfly

          “It’s the sexual act that God opposes. It wasn’t His design.”

          Do you mean physically? If so, do you likewise consider sex between intersex people and/or, say, a castrated man and a woman to be likewise against God’s design and thus sinful, because the parts won’t fit? I’m genuinely curious to know.

          • Justin Pease

            Hey Andy, I’ll try and respond this week. I’m running a small business and have very little time right now but I will get back to you.

          • Lilly Munster

            Not to mention the millions of Hermaphrodites, Asexual Persons, and the millions of Humans who just don’t like sex? Particularly the millions of maladjusted, married, heterosexual, unhappy Americans??

    • Jacob Lupfer

      Demographics tell the tale. Religious market share is, I would argue, mostly a function of three demographic rates: fertility, intra-marriage, and adult retention. Secular liberals should enjoy their ascendant moment. But the tide has already turned against them. Look at who’s reproducing and who’s not. I recommend a book by a British political scientist, Eric Kaufman, “Shall the Religious Inherit the Earth?”

      • anakinmcfly

        IIRC, conservative Christianity is on the rise in Asia (mostly thanks to US evangelical missionaries), and, well, we’re reproducing a lot over here.

      • Lilly Munster

        Profoundly incorrect. ALL religions, except thse in the Authoritarian, Fear Based Fundamentalist Spectrum, are experiencing LOSS of members. You may want to read the dozens of studies, accumulated by many, many Denominations, where 35% of all “Believers” have confidentially stated “I have never believed ANY of this stuff.” Please take note that in the United States, Fundamentalist Churches have lost almost ALL of their children to Secular Humanism, or even to complete Disbelief. That is the result of Religions that they can no longer, in Moral Conscience, be a part of. Sure, we have exported Fear, Persecutio and Anger to Africa, but it simply cannot survive. Love and Equality always wins. Look around you, or ask your children and grandchildren why they do not believe what you have stated.

    • Matt

      I see no need to have an either/or situation. For some people organized religion will still play a significant positive role in their lives. For others, not so much. The important thing for everyone is that we learn how to interact with people who don’t share our exact views.

  • Jacob Lupfer

    Will the SBC seat this church’s Messengers at the annual meeting in Baltimore next month?

    • Lamont Cranston

      Why would a Christian organization want to be a part of an anti-Christian organization like the SBC?

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        Uhm. I have several family members, including my husband is SBC. I work, and interact with people of that branch of the faith every single day. While I disagree sharply, with a great deal of their theology, I do not for one moment doubt their claims to Christianity.

        • Lamont Cranston

          The only reason the SBC exists is because they were in favor of slavery. They got around to apologizing for it in the 1990s, but having been raised by and among SBC members I have no doubt about their level of sincerity. You may consider them to be Christian; the experience of my life so far tells me that’s bullshit.

  • http://samesides.wordpress.com Emily Reese

    I am happy. Simply elated.

    Gosh… I can remember the days when my gay husband (closeted) and I had many grueling moments in the church when big and controversial things were discussed and decided. People were hurt. Gossip ran amok. Relationships were severed. Things were dealt with secretly, most of the time brushed under the carpet. People were demonized, made to seem like they were rebellious and a blight to Christ himself.

    This still happens everyday.

    I agree with JenellYB. “I used to think that way until…” That was me through and through. I thank God with all of my heart that my ex came out of the closet. It sucked. I tried to make him change. It didn’t work. Duh.

    So I leaned to accept and work with it. The church however blamed me for wanting to divorce so I could go out and “sin myself” and actually denied and pretended to believe that my ex wasn’t really gay. He was just struggling.

    Our Rainbow Family is so beautiful now. I don’t regret a thing.

    And I’m so glad my thinking has changed. I am still learning to pick up the pieces of my life of faith, burning in effigy the pieces that don’t fit and clinging to the ones that do.

    To Pastor Danny, his family and their church: I am so thankful that the proper time was taken to really process this. True change needs to come from WITHIN the church. They have set a precedent for others to follow. People sitting in the pews, who believe that the LGBT community has been shunned and unloved but DON’T speak out are actually part of the problem. I understand why they don’t: FEAR. But fear has no place in the arena of love, and I pray for bravery for those inside the walls of those “following the herd.” Let Pastor Danny’s church give you courage… it is possible to follow love and Scripture to affect positive change.

    Maybe someday soon, as truth and love prevail, I will actually be able step inside a church again and enjoy the fellowship and the Holy Spirit that I still long for and grieve for.

    Danny, you and your family are loved by many, without strings attached.

    In other words, you are loved unconditionally.

    Live Life, Love Life, Impact Others,
    Emily Reese

    P.S. I am going to write a little thingy about this wonderful display of care and love on my blog using this website. My ex and I run a site that is called SameSides: Aimicable Divorce and Getting Along With Your Ex by using our story to encourage others that they WILL be okay. I realize this is a plug, and I hope it doesn’t seem obnoxious. Thank you for allowing me to be commandeering in these comments. http://samesides.wordpress.com/

    • Danilo Cortez

      Hi Emily, Danny here. I’m encouraged by your own journey through this. Thanks for sharing it on your blog. I can’t imagine going through what you did (and continue to go through). Blessings to you and your family.

  • Jeff Martin

    It certainly hits home when it is someone close to you. Where was the debate though as this was happening? The article makes it sound like it was because of attrition that he finally threw his hands up. I disagree with his conclusion, but we should embrace everyone of every orientation in love and yet debate.

  • Jill

    Cracks continue to spider-web out through the walls separating people from love and true acceptance. It doesn’t respond to rushing, pushing or demanding– even though it’s been tried. But we can hold sacred space for it and for those who need our love and true acceptance. All the while we continue to bring our power and presence, to educate and continue our education and stay closely bonded in support of each other.

  • Jill

    “Everyone deserves to love who they are.” — beautiful thing to say, Drew.

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

    made this angry ‘ol atheist get misty. What a brave family, and congregation.

  • Caspian

    Great to finally see a Church living out Romans 14.

  • Agni Ashwin

    The use of the term “Third Way” seems to have at least two different meanings. One, the meaning used by Pastor Danny, seems to be that persons in same-sex relationships are welcomed into the church, even if the church itself includes members who differ on the wholesomeness of same-sex activity. The second meaning, as seen in Fr. John Hollowell’s film “The Third Way” (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/j-patrick-redmond/queer-catholics-and-the-t_b_5325001.html ), is that persons with same-sex attraction are welcomed into the church, while remaining chaste and abstaining from same-sex activity.

  • Criselda Marquez

    I am so happy for you, Danny! I’ve been praying that love would prevail!

  • Julie

    From the video:

    “I might not have all my theology down and there’s some passages that I’m still working through…but I do know what grace, mercy, peace, and love look like…

    For me the study of God and the way I find truth is no longer trying to find the best arguments, the best books, the best scholarly research, it’s looking at the way Jesus lived his life and finding the kingdom of God in the things people deem worthless and in the people who are most broken.

    …do we as a church have space for disagreement…are we as a church willing to say that we have different ideas about homosexuality, and therefore can we not judge anyone and just accept them into full membership. Or do we choose to say we disagree with you and therefore we have no fellowship with you. Personally, I don’t think that’s the way of Christ.

    It’s so easy to look at the word of god and merely look at the letter of the law but there is something underneath there, a deeper current that is only understood by the spirit, moved by love and drawn into compassion. Our thoughts can’t just be about arguing the biblical text. It must be understood in the context of love and that means in the context of real human relationships, because compassion is what gives clarity to this matter.”

    I pray we all let compassion give us clarity in this matter.

    • Guy Norred

      Wasn’t that beautiful?

      • Guest

        Thank you for being a compassionate Christian Julie!
        For many of us it can often seem that Christianity offers no compassion. How wonderful to be shown otherwise!
        Your Christlike example gives hope, and that hope saves lives.
        It is seen, and appreciated! :)

    • Guy Norred

      Wasn’t that beautiful?

    • tewaz1

      Thank you for being a compassionate Christian Julie!

      For many of us it can often seem that Christianity offers no compassion. How wonderful to be shown otherwise!

      Your Christlike example gives hope, and that hope saves lives.

      It is seen, and appreciated! :)

      Edit: These new fangled websites are hard to navigate. I posted this in the wrong place. Sorry for any confusion.

      • Julie

        This comment made my entire night…and even more than
        that! Warm hug to you and Christ’s love
        to you! As a conservative evangelical
        Christian, I’ve been on my own long journey to figure this whole thing
        out. I don’t even have a gay child or
        gay relative (at this time). I just
        know, though, that unless we can figure out a way to see this through the eyes
        of Jesus, we’ll miss something huge.

        • tewaz1

          And there you have the heart of Christianity, to be a “little Christ.” The entire point was to be an example of Christ on earth, and by that love and joy, draw people into the love of God.
          I may have lost my faith, but I never lost my admiration for Christ-like love. With all the vitriol we see on a daily basis, it is sometimes easy to doubt that example is present in the world anymore.
          It fills me with both pride and hope for we humans to see that example being set again!

        • Danilo Cortez

          Hi Julie. I think your responses are a breath of fresh air. You’re able to graciously moderate other people’s comments and highlight the good that others have written. I hope you continue this caring work. If you have a blog, let me know. I’d love to follow you. And please keep Drew and our church in your prayers. We have a long way in trying to figure out how the Third Way model will work its way out in the practical sense.

          • Julie

            Such uplifting words, Danilo, thank you. I will keep you all in my prayers. It will be a challenging journey for your church, but I’m so encouraged by the steps you’ve already taken. Your church is an example to all of us and I pray others begin to follow in your footsteps. I truly believe it’s possible to agree to disagree on this issue while worshipping side by side. I don’t have a blog; I just have a little bible talk group on Facebook. It’s mostly filled with conservatives like me. I began opening up this long overdue discussion to the group last fall, and it’s been very challenging in many ways as I’ve slowly come to an affirming view on this issue. My main concern, though, had always been about establishing unity with others who don’t believe the same way, but as I studied and prayed more, I began to take an affirming view myself. I don’t believe, though, that we all need to come to the same conclusions on this in order to all fall before the foot of the cross together as one Body of believers in our Savior.

          • Julie

            Danilo, I responded to this post earlier today but I don’t see it now. Did you see it? I’ll repost below, because I just don’t know what happened to it:

            Such uplifting words, Danilo, thank you. I will keep you all in my prayers. It will be a challenging journey for your church, but I’m so encouraged by the steps you’ve already taken. Your church is an example to all of us and I pray others begin to follow in your footsteps. I truly believe it’s possible to agree to disagree on this issue while worshipping side by side. I don’t have a blog; I just have a little bible talk group on Facebook. It’s mostly filled with conservatives like me. I began opening up this long overdue discussion to the group last fall, and it’s been very challenging in many ways as I’ve slowly come to an affirming view on this issue. My main concern, though, had always been about establishing unity with others who don’t believe the same way, but as I studied and prayed more, I began to take an affirming view myself. I don’t believe, though, that we all need to come to the same conclusions on this in order to all fall before the foot of the cross together as one Body of believers in our Savior.

          • Danilo Cortez

            Yes I did see it. Thank you Julie. Looks like God has us in the same path. Hopefully we’ll connect sometime. I plan on starting a blog on the Third Way soon. It would be good to share to others the process we will go through as a church.

          • Julie

            Oh, good. I think my system was glitching or something…it posted as “guest.” I would love to follow your blog. I’ll send you an email so you can let me know when you begin. Is that okay?

          • Danilo Cortez

            yes definitely.

          • Julie

            Great. Just sent you an email. :-)

  • http://Facebook.com/JesusandAIDS Frederick Wright

    I know this is a big movement in the the Christian Community of celebration for many in part of the Spirit of the Church to have courage, to change and thankful God ,for truly this courage, which can help another young person within the Gay community not to commit self death, by the lack of support from their elders, in understanding and unconditional love for all of God’s Children. We in the progressive Christian LGTB community have been waiting each moment for more to join in on affirming people that at times are caught in the middle of the Righteousness of Theologians that cause harm to the spirit-man of LGTB people, LGBT mothers and LGBT fathers both secular and Christian..

    I forgive all of these elders in this moment, I pray. Some parents understand the dogma of hate can cause a young person to commit suicide,lustful behavior, drug addiction, etc in thinking their is no way out, due to elders of mistaken leadership, with in their thinking of dogma of tradition and their lack of affirming love to LBGT people of pure heart. I forgive all the elders of The Church that have follow the path of destruction by cursing Gay people and pray for more LGTB people to forgive and heal from the pain and suffering cause by misguided Christian elders of the past,, within all Human Religion. Again, I forgive these elders for their misguided words and actions. Can you forgive today, an be free, to be what God has called you to be, yes let the chains fall off today.

    Sincerely,

    Frederick Wright-Stafford
    Healing In Victory +

  • Jesse Barnhart

    A lot of discussion and affirmation based upon feelings.

    • Julie

      There’s a difference between feelings and fruit.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      That’s not fair at all. The pastor clearly put a LOT of thought into this entire issue.

    • Matt

      And what is your beef with feelings? The feeling of thirst keeps you from dehydrating. The feeling of hunger keeps you from starving. The feeling of your location in space (proprioception) allows you to walk. The feeling of attachment to your family and friends (hopefully) lets you know who is safe and who is not. Feelings are not the whole deal, but they’re not nothing either.

      • Julie

        Nicely put.

        • Andy

          He does that a lot.

    • cajaquarius

      Are you gloating about being heartless or what? I don’t get the purpose of this post. We know you hate gays, blacks, and so on but the trick is to at least try to hide it. If you are this open about it then it won’t be a challenge at all to defeat you. Where is the fun in that?

  • Allen

    So the Bible says gay people are sick and should suffer and this pastor believed it was true and just until he saw threw the immoral nature of the Bible. Two things… What is the purpose of the a book that makes people believe evil things about other people even their family? How many other lives are effected negatively by what this book tells them.?… If he had to go outside Christianity/Bible to treat someone with love and it took him this long that should tell you about the religion/Gods………

    • Guy Norred

      He did not have to go outside–he had to go deeper in.

      • Allen

        Yep cause the bible surely never says to kill gays or that gays should burn. Yep all this time for centuries it wasn’t the fact that this god hated gays from the words of the BIble it was the fact that Christians haven’t gone deeper into Christianity. Because when people go deeper into Christianity gays get better treatment , oh but we know that’s not true. I think the polls clearly show that you wrong. When people become deeper Christians they deeply hate gays. You know Africans are deeply Christians. They love their gays over there dont they?

        • Bones

          I’m a ‘deeper’ Christian and the idea of killing gays is offensive as is limiting their freedom.

          Assumption = FAIL

        • Guy Norred

          I am not going to argue with you right now. I have not the time, energy, or eloquence. I will agree that the Judeo-Christian tradition has much to answer for, but that only shows the weakness and fallibility of the humans following it. Clearly you are hurt and angry and I don’t doubt the truth of your feelings. I only pray that someday you are able to put it away before it devours you completely.

          • Allen

            and if it does it wouldn’t bother you a bit because God and religion you love so much it cause of all the problems. YOu will never give it up. You will make excuses and re-shift it to make it seem better . You will even trying to change your thinking to where you can keep your “gay” friends and your “God” but in the end you will always choose your God over a person even when that God say/does horrible things. That’s the Christian oath. So don’t pretend you care that much. You don’t and you know it. You are a servant of this God and his wishes. He said kill me tomorrow you would try to reason around how that would the greater good. You will never call out your God ever as wrong. you will always shift blame on people. So their is no need to argue with you. i already know exactly who you are!!!

          • Guy Norred

            I am gay.

          • Allen

            So you had to reason with yourself on how to worship and keep near and dear to you a religion and God that has murdered, and shamed gay people to suicide , is the cause of imprisoning people and killing them for crimes against humanity and denying rights and you come to talk about you hope it doesn’t destroy me and your gay? You would rather choose to be hated in this religion by this God than not and tell me not to let it not destroy me? Why would you think your comment would make me feel better? Your God is more important that your own life, or happiness or anything. You don’t care about yourself why would you care about me?

          • http://brmckay.wordpress.com/ brmckay

            Allen, I’m responding to this older comment because I didn’t want to interrupt the flow of your session with tewas1.

            Thank you for letting us all participate in the Grace of it.

            Gaining God means gaining Yourself. Leave the rest behind.

          • anakinmcfly

            You’re assuming that being a Christian and gay means willingly engaging in self-hate. But for many of us, the opposite is true. It’s in (liberal) Christianity that I found comfort, healing and the slow journey towards self-acceptance in a way that nothing else ever managed to. And love: unconditional love, the sort that insisted that I was as much deserving of human dignity and respect as any straight person, no matter what society keeps trying to tell me.

            God doesn’t hate gay people; nowhere in the Bible does it say that. Nowhere. People project their own hate onto their ideas of God, and I’m deeply sorry that they used it to harm you. I always believed that if God created me, and knew everything that went on my mind, then he would know that who I am was not a choice but exactly the way he made me. It made no sense that he would hate me for it. The evil that people do… that’s just people. Not God.

          • Allen

            Look Guy. I have attempted suicide because a Good christian morals and Good Christian people who apparently are only in the “minority” . i will never give a Christian the ability to control me like that ever again. Ive read that book and I’ve seen what it does to people.. The only way i kill myself if someone forces me be a Christian. I want nothing to do with that religion or any other for that matter . I am shocked that after all the injustices done and all the hate this book clearly say about gay people, women and other why a person who is one of those hated would want to be apart of it and make excuses for this God who clearly doesn’t’ love everybody.

          • tewaz1

            Allen,

            I, like you, was subjected to horrible torture by people who claimed to be acting in the name of Christ. I underwent reparative therapy, was shamed, humiliated, terrorized. I too was driven to attempt suicide. After all, if I was going to hell for being gay, I might as well go to hell for killing myself and save myself the hell on earth I was experiencing.
            Now, 20 years later, I am being treated for PTSD from the abuse, torture, and conditioning that those people inflicted on me.
            When I finally had the courage to leave the church and live authentically, I lost everyone I knew and looked up to, but I gained myself in the process. For the longest time I felt as you did. I hated every single Christian for the suffering that was inflicted on me. I sent door to door missionaries away in tears. I unleashed every ounce of pain in me onto them.

            Then one day I realized that, in judging every Christian based on the ones who had hurt me, and by expecting everyone else to reject their faith as I had, I had become exactly the monster that had hurt me. I was treating human beings exactly the way only some of them had treated me. I realized that their venom and hatred had taken root in my own heart.

            Don’t get me wrong, I still think that the Bible is a barbaric, bronze age story written by barbaric, silver age people, and twisted into something even uglier by ruthless, power hungry, and manipulative dark age people, and still used to this day by barbaric, violent, and small minded people to justify their poor character.

            That isn’t everyone, though. The Bible is a bit like a horoscope, or the movie “Frozen.” People can project their own character into it. They can take the message of love and compassion and putting others first, or they can take a message of exclusion, selfishness, and control.

            It accomplishes nothing to hurt the people who do the former because we are hurt by the people who do the latter. In fact, it hurts us inside, turns us into them, and turns away some of the people who have the power to heal the hurts their brothers and sisters in name only have caused. Remember, victims of abuse always have two choices; to become their abuser, or to become something better. I believe the latter choice to be the braver one.

            I can’t tell you how to feel or think or act, and I wouldn’t try to, but I want to share my experience with you, and ask you not to let your pain and fear fester into the same anger and bitterness our oppressors have shoved inside us. Instead, let us be examples of what we want to see in the world. When we do this, we see that there is much more beauty and kindness and love in the world than we’ve experienced so far, and therein we can finally find the hope that helps us through the healing process, and the loving people who are best suited to bring us there.

          • Julie

            This really resonated with me: “People can project their own character into it.” It’s not the bible that’s the problem; it’s the people who read it. The bible is a record of history and let’s be honest, if it’s a record of human history it’s gonna have a lot of disturbing images in it, because flawed human beings can exhibit some pretty disturbing behaviors. So, now we have flawed human beings approaching the bible as if it’s a recipe book that will make them whole, and yet it’s a book with stories of a bunch of other flawed human beings in need of being made whole. “The bible is not a record of the blessed good but rather the blessed bad. The bible is not a witness to the best people making it up to God; it’s a witness to God making it down to the worst people. The bible is one long story of God meeting our rebellion with his rescue; our sin with his salvation; our failure with his favor; our guilt with his grace; our badness with his goodness” (Tullian Tchividjian). When are we going to realize that life and wholeness are not found in the scriptures but in the One to whom the scriptures point?

          • Allen

            This is exactly what i needed to hear!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Julie

            Love to you, Allen.

          • tewaz1

            I’m really glad. :)
            Sometimes we need to know that someone understands, and sometimes it helps us to understand others. In both cases we become a bit less alone.
            I wish you the absolute best, for healing, peace, and fulfillment.

          • Allen

            Once again I appreciate your comment.I really needed to hear it. i think what i said to Guy Norred was over the line.Its not the person i want to be or use to be. I’m just at a point that i get so angry. Christians have hurt and continue to hurt me so whatever way i can stick it to them even on web forums i wanted to do that but its making me a terrible person.In my mind i wanted to hurt the people that hurt me and i have the knowledge and logic to back me up. I wanted to hurt them emotionally. i mean why do people get to make my life miserable everyday for no reason and get off without anything? i just wanted to get them back . I’ve treated all of my real life interactions with Christians this way. i have only 3 friends left and they are all nonreligious. Every single one of my Christian friends considered me broken or slightly sick . Why do they do this? i don’t get it!! They’ve known me all my life but im a sick person who they don’t want their kids around? I just don’t understand i didn’t know why they were determined to make me feel less and make themselves feel superior? They basically were saying that all the teasing that i got when i was a child and all the negative treatment that i get today was correct. Every Christian said the same thing. i wanted answers. i wanted to determine why they hurt. Why do they go out of their way to hate?WHY? They would all say the same thing. We don’t hate you we just think you should burn. That’s basically what hate the sin not the sinner means. I’m an atheist i don’t even believe in that but to hear a friend say they want you to burn for any reason leaves a lasting impression. So i wanted to get them back.i wanted to make them hurt like them made me and I’ve said some horrible stuff to them to make them feel less but thats not who i am. I don’t like doing that to people. i also felt really bad about it always but i just wanted them to feel terrible. That was the goal. Make them feel as horrible as possible. The Bible and this God aren’t always the most moral things from the stories. Its incredibly immoral (whether Christians want to admit that or not) so i knew i could guilt trip them and i knew it worked because they would always make excuses. Despite the fact that the Bible is immoral and so is this God, people tend to be moral, well most liberal Christians. They get hung up on this reiglion but they still ulitmaltey do the right thing but to be honest i didn’t matter to me because they were Christians. They were apart of the group that hurt me so im gonna try to hurt them too but i can’t do this any longer. i don’t feel right about it. i don’t want to hurt someone like I’ve been hurt. That’s not going to help anyone. All i want is all the pain to have never happen but you can’t change the past. You cant change the past when everyone in school called you a faggot on a daily bases and shunned you . You can’t change getting beat up for being a “faggot sissy”. You can’t change family members constantly telling you that gay people are evils of the world. You cant change the fact that gay people have been the butt of jokes. You can’t change the fact of having to check yourself everyday to make sure that you look straight enough to past without someone finding out. You cant change the guilt that society puts on you because of God’s word. You can’t change the fact that laws discriminated against gays. You can’t change the fact that people still think gays will molest children or want to harm children. You can’t change people wishing all gays would die of AIDS.You can’t change any of it…The past haunts me and the present scares me. The future looks brighter but there are lots of rain clouds. People just dont understand. People still hate gay people. thats the honest truth and i will never understand WHY ever. And i wanted to get Christians back for trying to destory me ,for trying to make out to be a monster or a freak my whole life when i have done nothing to anyone. i didn’t want Christians to die or suffer or be outcast but they seem to wish those things on me. i wanted everyone to live peacefully . i even went out of my way to even try to respect Christian hatred against me at one time. That was one of the hardest things that i ‘ve ever done.. But nothing worked and i just wanted to make them feel the way i did but i realized now that no one should have to feel the way i did. i apologize for saying the things i said to people on here i just really don’t know how to handle everything that has i happened…

          • Andy

            I don’t think I could imagine how awful it must feel to have to endure that kind of abuse. There’s absolutely no excuse for it. It’s not fair, and I know it has to really, really suck. It makes me mad just knowing those assholes are out there condemning people. I wish I could change all of their minds. But I can’t.

            I wish I could do more, but for now I can offer you the support of this community. No one here condemns anyone for being who they are, or they are not welcome. We’re on the same side here. We all want peace.

            I hope you find some.

          • tewaz1

            I know Allen. I’m sending you bear hugs right now. I know exactly how you’re feeling. It seems like that pain will just never go away, and right when we think that it might be hurting less, along comes another Pharisee to rip off the scab and dig at the wound some more.
            We can’t change what happened, and the change that we can help along still comes slow, and often puts us right in the line of fire when we’re the most vulnerable.
            What we can change is how we react to that pain, though. It is so hard. Believe me, it took me years, and those wounds still torment me sometimes, but I realized that I was making it hurt worse, because as I tried to inflict pain on others, it brought my mind to my own pain, and held me there, letting the wounds fester.
            The two things that I’ve found bring the most relief are exactly what we’re doing now. Helping those who experience similar pain, and letting other people try to understand that pain. It wasn’t till a few years ago that I told someone the things that had happened to me. They looked at me with horror and said, “That was torture! No wonder you’re in so much pain!” and like that, I didn’t feel shame for my pain, I didn’t feel like I needed to hide it anymore, it didn’t control me anymore. It was as bad as it felt, it wasn’t me being a baby or a “pansy.” I can’t explain why, but that understanding did more to heal me than years of trying everything else.
            You will get through this Allen. You are strong for having survived it, and you’re strong for fighting against the hatred those monsters tried to force feed you. Keep fighting, keep loving, and always remember you’re not alone.

          • Bones

            Totally understandable, dude.

            Shame on those who treated you like that. In the name of Christ shame on them.

            I hope you find peace in your life despite those morons.

          • Andy

            Yes, you’ve said that before. Most of the denizens of this community do not have the same conception of God as the one that the people who tormented you do. It’s a terrible thing that they did, but that doesn’t mean that other (non-judgmental) Christians must forever be apologizing and offering restitution for the sins of others.

            No one here tries to force their beliefs on anyone or tells anyone they’re going to hell for any reason. If they do, they’re not welcome here.

            Let me ask you point-blank: what is it you want from here? Because so far it seems like you simply want to badmouth all the Christians you can find for all the ways you were wronged by other people who claim to follow the same belief system but in fact have key differences. If all you want is to engage in catharsis or insult everyone, you will not be welcome here.

          • Allen

            Wait no im sorry i had to stop and think about it. Apologize to you. i just wish everyone could feel all the hate the I’ve gotten my whole life. Everyone thinks they understand but they don’t. Its one thing to be hateful to gays because of what the bible says but the change your mind but its another thing to actually being on the receiving end. I been teased ever since grade school. That never leaves. its always there and i get so angry when people make excuses of where that hate comes from. I know where it came from because guess what i was on the receiving end and i still am and as long as Christianity exist i always will be. That’s a hard pill to swallow. I’m hated and I’ve yet to do anything to anyone. Imagine that? people hate you because a book told them to and you grow up not understanding what you done to be hated you just know that they hate you and their is nothing you can do because the “minority” have decide long ago that you are a sick person. It doesn’t matter your accomplishments. It doesn’t mater who you help. You will always be a sick pervert who should die of AIDS cause the Bible says your sick . It hurts and i don’t think people understands that..

          • Julie

            Allen, the bible never says to kill gays or that gays should
            burn. Someone has told you that and it’s
            not true. The bible doesn’t say God
            hates gays. Someone has made you to
            believe this and it’s not true. People
            have shown you hatred, not God. People
            who claim to know God have shown you hatred, not God. People who claim to know what’s written in
            the bible have shown you hatred, not God.
            God’s heart is broken over the hate you’ve been shown. It is God who has demonstrated you have
            unsurpassable worth through His unsurpassable sacrifice in Christ Jesus. I have no doubt that Jesus wept each time you
            were treated with hatred and calls you to himself even now, so that there will
            come a time the hurt and pain will leave you forever, and your past painful experiences
            will equip you to facilitate peace in the lives of others who’ve gone through
            the same hurtful things you have.

          • tewaz1

            Allen, my heart goes out to you so much. It’s true, most people will never understand the depth of suffering that is inflicted on gay young people every single second. I think a lot of people think it’s simply a few kids “picking on” others, like they pick on the nerd or the heavy kid, etc…rather than the unceasing torment from peers, friends, parents, authority figures, public figures, and we’re even trained to do it to inflict it upon ourselves. That our very value as a person is questioned and slandered by the people we look up to.
            Sometimes I wish they could understand, but mostly, I’m grateful that they can not. No one ever deserves to suffer like that. I do hope, so much, though, that you will have the chance to experience the depth of compassion that people can have, and how experiencing that soothes the wounds.
            Remember, suffering is what allows us to experience empathy. We have a unique opportunity to turn our pain into something incredibly beautiful, to protect and heal others. It may not seem like it now, but it gives us a very uncommon strength. One that is desperately needed in the world today.

          • Julie

            Wow and wow…needs to be repeated: “We have a unique opportunity to turn our pain into something incredibly beautiful, to protect and heal others. It may not seem like it now, but it gives us a very uncommon strength. One that is desperately needed in the world today.”

          • Andy

            Okay, you have to stop this. I’d like to appreciate your contributions, but you are getting belligerent and/or trolling too much. If you can’t be civil, you need to abstain from posting until you can be. So pretty please, lighten up and be nice.

          • Guest

            That’s it. I’m starting a NALT project for atheists.

            Liberal Christians are 90% of the atheist ideal (basically all the actions, some of the thoughts), and yet still the constant drum beat of “delusional” this and “crutch” that. It’s exhausting for everybody.

          • http://brmckay.wordpress.com/ brmckay

            What are you assuming to be delusional?

            Creative engagement with metaphor quickens and illuminates the full range of experience.

            The universe having manifested human beings looks upon it’s own self through our eyes. Our imaginings opening door upon door.

            It is only attachment and fear that puts twists and tangles in the journey.

            Get off your high horse. Time is short.

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

            Sorry – I posted the comment above, then deleted it after reading tewaz1′s comment below, which was a far better response to Allen. ( I assume a mod un-deleted it and made it a guest post cuz they liked it? If so, thanks!)

            I think you misunderstood my use of “delusional.” My point was that we (atheists) use aggressive words like delusional and crutch and nonsense against liberal Christians, and we should stop doing that. Liberal Christians AGREE with most atheists on most social issues. So why are we being jerks to them? That was my point.

          • Andy

            I think when you delete a post it doesn’t actually go away, it just becomes a “Guest” post. I believe that if you want a post actually deleted, we have to do it.

          • http://brmckay.wordpress.com/ brmckay

            Thanks for clarifying that. And perhaps I over dramatized anyway.

            The “high horse” thing sounds a bit rough in retrospect Though it certainly applies to us all. Which is what I hope I meant.

          • James Walker

            the “guest” thing when you delete a comment is a feature of Disqus that helps prevent a “popular” method of flame-warring wherein someone will drop in, create an inflammatory comment, wait for an equally inflammatory response and then delete their original comment, leaving the responder looking like an idiot.

        • anakinmcfly

          Some of the most devout Christians I know are gay. Most of them moreso than the straight ones, because they’ve questioned and challenged and tested their beliefs and found them to still hold true in their lives.

        • anakinmcfly

          You know Japanese are deeply atheist. They love their gays over there don’t they?

      • Allen

        lol who are you fooling man? Christianity is the problem .Christianity is telling people that gay people are perverted its only threw personal experience that people are finding out the bible is wrong.Trying to explain it away in a “deeper”sense make you look slightly pathetic. People are taught that gays are wrong threw Christianity and other forms of religious indoctrination but now that gay people aren’t hiding anymore people are seeing that gay people aren’t monsters and finding out that religion is wrong. Because of the brainwashing even tho some people have been around gays they still see them as bad.. This is what religion does to people. It turns people against others in a wolf pack mentality. Us against them. That’s what it always done.

        • Bones

          I don’t believe any of that so your assumptions about religious people = FAIL.

          • Allen

            Yep its crazy to believe the stories about how Christians once believed gays were perverts because of the Bible but now have changed their mind by being around them. There are no stories about that anywhere and i don’t know any Christians person or family on the plant in the last 30 years of my life who have said that gay people are bad or that gay is a sin or that gays are perverted. All Christians embrace gays and always have This site has no purpose.

          • http://brmckay.wordpress.com/ brmckay

            Do you generalize to this extreme about other aspects of the human species-scape?

            Gaining perspective is a precursor to wisdom. Best not waste the opportunity.

        • Julie

          Christianity doesn’t tell people that gay people are perverted; people tell people that gay people are perverted. I know some non-religious people who hold the view that homosexual attraction and behavior are perverted. This just tells me that both religious and non-religious people are flawed human beings who struggle with pride and hatred and are in need of the same grace and mercy we can all fall short in showing.

          • Allen

            so the Bible says nothing on this topic?

          • Julie

            The bible says something on the topic of male-male sexual intercourse. Whether it says something on the topic of female-female sexual activity is unclear. For the first 300 years of the Church, it was believed that Romans 1 spoke of non-procreative heterosexual intercourse rather than women with women.

        • cajaquarius

          [who are you fooling man? Christianity is the problem]

          I have met enough transphobic atheists to know this is mistaken. Christianity is a logo on a t-shirt and it bends the way the fabric beneath it bends. If you want to know the real problem that this springs from, look no further than the Patriarchy upon which all of these problems are built.

          Male dominated culture built upon ceaseless ambition and conflict, men who carry no risk controlling the reproductive rights of the women who carry all of it, and the concept of gender that gives you and I (assuming you are a gent as well) great privilege and great blindness. If you truly believe a two thousand year old religion is to blame for the past nine thousand years of horror then you are just a tool in the immune response to protect the real problem, ironically no different from the Christianity you clearly take issue with. Just another blind little antibody.

          In places like Norway, there is a growing contingent of anti-Feminist sentiment that exists without a Church to back it up. In countries like Japan where nearly eighty percent of the population is atheist/humanist there still exists unbelievable bigotry towards homosexuals. I am not asking you to not be outraged at the excesses of religion but I am asking you to not get so focused on the pawn that you lose sight of the queen.

          • Julie

            “Christianity is a logo on a t-shirt and it bends the way the
            fabric beneath it bends.”

            I’m going to try to remember that one. Nice.

            For those of us unfamiliar with chess, who is the queen in this scenario?

          • cajaquarius

            In chess, the queen moves in any direction as far as she likes on the board and is one of the penultimate pieces when it comes to winning the game. She is the most dangerous piece, at least in my view.

            In this instance, the queen refers to the patriarchal hierarchical system that lies beneath most of the problems in the world today (including those referenced by Allen).

          • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

            There is no doubt in my mind that homophobia spring from the patriarchy. I have always taken the prohibitions in Leviticus as products of a culture that treated women as second class citizens. The “sin” of laying with a man as a women had nothing to do with same sex relations and everything to do with lowering your status as a superior male and acting like a women. This view is also present in many other cultures. It arises from seeing women as inferior not from Christianity or any other religion.

    • anakinmcfly

      “So the Bible says gay people are sick and should suffer ”

      Evidence please.

  • Malachi

    “Prophecy of the end-times by 90 year old woman in 1968: “A lukewarmness without parallel will take hold of the Christians, a falling away from true, living Christianity. Christians will not be open for penetrating preaching. They will not, like in earlier times, want to hear of sin and grace, law and gospel, repentance and restoration. There will come a substitute instead: happiness Christianity. Churches and prayer houses will be emptier and emptier. Instead of the preaching we have been used to for generations -like, to take your cross up and follow Jesus, – entertainment, art and culture will invade the churches where there should have been gatherings for repentance and revival.”

    The true analysis of the church in our nation is exactly what this woman prophesied. The sackcloth and ashes are nowhere to be found. The playful, careless attitudes have resulted in a measure of happiness but no revival.”

    - via Thelab University

    • Julie

      A falling away from the “true living Christianity”? I thought it was the true living Christ we are to follow? We need to stop following a religion and start following Christ.

      • Malachi

        True living Christianity does entail following the true and living Christ. The term “religion” has a negative connotation because there are so many false ones prevalent throughout the world. James chapter 1 describes “pure and undefiled religion”. It does exist, and it looks like Spirit-led adherence to the entirety of God’s word, including the parts that are seemingly unpalatable to the flesh. The Lord is the one who decides sin, not us. We have no authority to do that. We can write blogs, post Youtube videos, host conferences, publish books, etc. and tell people that homosexuality is not a sin, and it will do absolutely nothing to sway God’s authoritative stance on the issue. The Bible is the word of God and should be revered as such, not Mackelmore’s lyrics. False prophets of positivity-gospels who preach faux-love messages based upon their worldly definitions of “love” will lead us to believe that what God calls evil is actually good, and what God calls good is actually evil. How do you accurately discern the difference? Via the Holy Spirit and the word of God (the Bible). The two will never contradict one another. The spirit of this age is veiling the understanding of many, and it is only the revelation of Jesus the Christ (meaning “the Anointed One”) that will set captives free. The anointing of Christ breaks the yokes of bondage, it doesn’t pacify people into believing a false gospel that advocates people indulging in perpetual lifestyles of sin. Homosexuality, whether you feel you were “born into it” or not, is a lifestyle of sin. Our call, according to John 1:12 is to be born again anyways, so it honestly does not matter how what state were “born” into the first time. The Spirit of God does not birth slaves of sin. That is not to say that saved people never stumble, but even in those instances, godly sorrow and genuine repentance should immediately follow any believer who finds his or herself to have fallen. If a homosexual is truly born again, then he or she will be a new creation with new desires that align with God’s definition of purity, not Western society’s definition. We have to choose to agree with the Spirit of God speaking through the apostles of old. In other words, we must agree with scripture. To disagree with scripture is to disagree with God. Paul did not write the following out of his own will, it was birthed via Spirit of God:

        Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11

        • Julie

          Malachi,

          Many have attached their own meaning to the word “arsenokoites” without knowing what Paul truly meant by the word. The most we can discern is that it has to do with male-male sexual intercourse and that it is in the midst of other vices that emerge from malicious intent or overindulgent desire, all of which cause harm. To expand the meaning of “arsenokoites” to extend to loving, covenantal relationships is going beyond what the context truly reveals. Romans 1 synchronizes with this as we see the context of the acts is excess lust (v. 27), not mutual love and self-sacrificial giving of one to the other.

          This wouldn’t be the first time “truly born again” (as you
          put it) Christians have gotten something very, very wrong (i.e. slavery). Even though Christians believed they were “agreeing with the Spirit of God speaking through the apostles of old” they ended up expanding the meaning found in the text to extend to something it was never meant to extend to.

          Rather than assume we have this one all figured out, why not withhold judgment in humility and allow God to have the final say on this? Why not worship with those who disagree with us about this and let the Spirit do His job?
          If you are concerned they’re in sin and you know it’s the Spirit who changes hearts, wouldn’t it be better if they’re hearing the word of God in a Bible teaching church and witnessing the Spirit move among the body of believers as they worship in unity?

          • Malachi

            Julie,

            No truly born again Christian was pro-slavery. The true born-again Christians were the abolitionists who had accurate understanding of the difference between the “slavery/servitude” that is described in the Bible vs. the brutal abuse/desecration of an entire ethnic group that took place at the hands of America’s founding generations. Christians warped/altered the Bible to satisfy their own lusts (sounds familiar) when it came to the slave trade. These so-called “Christians” would cheat on their wives by raping African-american women, beating them, subjecting them to substandard living conditions, etc. These were not “truly born again” Christians. These were delusional/deceived vessels of dishonor who operated under the title of “Christian”. The fruit bears witness to the type of tree, not the sign that is next to the tree. If I see an apple tree, with a sign next to it that says “Pear Tree”, then I’m going to assume that the sign is misplaced. In like manner, those people who founded this generation and were pro-slavery while deeming themselves as “Christ-fearing individuals” presumptuously and mistakenly attached that title to themselves.

            In the instance of homosexuality, Romans 1 is actually a scary passage for homosexuals, as well as for those who are in support of homosexual lifestyles, because it actually describes a point in which God gives people over to that mindset. God resists the proud. Therefore, when people allow their pride to allow them to begin making interpretations of scripture that are clearly only being made to fit their point of view, then He is at liberty to give them over to that. There is not one single scripture that exonerates or negates homosexuality as a sin. Not one. On the contrary, we see it being indicted across the span of the OT and NT. The problem with your statement of allowing “God to have the final say on this” is that it is worded in such a way that suggests He has not already issued a final say on the matter. He most certainly has. And he or she who has an ear to hear what the Spirit of God is expressly stating to the church will hear the final say of God on this issue, as well as every other issue. Often times, the problem is not that we do know what the Spirit of God meant by a particular word. The problem is that the Spirit wars against the flesh, and our flesh does not want to be crucified with Christ, thus our human reasoning begins to make concessions in our own interpretation of a divine and clear-cut word from God. When we allow the word of God to be choked out of us by not wanting to offend others, then we have bitten the bait of the enemy. The gospel is offensive to the flesh. It always will be. Does that mean we convey it without compassion? Absolutely not. However, the concern of every Spirit-filled believer should be freedom in Christ for other people, not freedom in American litigation, societal acceptance, or any other sort of alternative.

            To answer your last question of “why not worship with those who disagree with us about this and let the Spirit do His job?” The answer boils down to this: the Spirit of God is one that makes war against all principalities and entities of darkness. It does not fellowship with sin, it rages against it (see Galatians 5:17). Hence, anyone who disagrees with what God calls “sin” is someone who has not come into the fullness of the knowledge of Jesus the Christ as a deliverer. I know too many people who encountered Jesus the Christ (the “Anointed One”, who breaks yokes of bondage) and they were delivered and set-free from even the desire to live a homosexual lifestyle. The truth of scripture coupled with their testimony makes it impossible to agree with any sort of alternate doctrine. I believe in the Jesus who makes *all* things new, not just “some” things new. The gospel makes new creatures, not slightly improved ones. And you are right, since we are concerned that homosexuals are in sin, we do allow the Spirit to do His job, and the Spirit of God often does the job by continuing to use people to preach truth in any way possible. In Galatians 1, the Spirit of God speaks to the church through Paul that if anyone preaches a different gospel from the one that they have heard from the apostles, then that man is accursed and preaches a false gospel (Galatians 1:6-10). Today, that false gospel looks like passivity on the matters of sin. Satan couldn’t care less if people retain the title of “Christian”, go to church, get “married” in the church, etc. as long as he can keep people in bondage to sin at the soul-level. True worship is not a song or a concert. Me singing songs to God alongside a homosexual is not corporate worship between us, because a homosexual, fornicator, or anyone who is in a lifestyle of sin is unable to worship God in truth while in that state. True worship is a lifestyle of picking up the cross, crucifying the fleshly understanding/inclinations, and leaning on the word of God as the final authority on every matter. Once again, believers may stumble, but it should be grievous to the soul of that person when that happens. Literally. There should be anguish over sin, not a nonchalant posture of the heart that says “Well Jesus love me, so I’m fine.” followed by little to no repentant effort. Jesus does love us. That is why He prescribes repentance from dead works. Indulging in a homosexual lifestyle and/or affirming homosexual lifestyles is a dead work that will produce death, specifically, spiritual death that leaves people in danger of the second (and permanent) death (see Revelation 20:11-15). Jesus knows that we cannot rationalize our sin away. We must first acknowledge it, then repent of it. But how will people come to know that their sin is sin, and subsequently repent from it, when we have people (who identify themselves as Christians) telling other people that their sin is not sin after all and that it’s all just one big misunderstanding? That’s a clever trick of the enemy to keep people in ignorance/bondage, while giving them the illusion of serving God in truth. Those false-shepherds will not be held unaccountable and they will answer to God, not me, for misleading people, unless they repent and decide to align themselves with what the Spirit of God said, says, and will continue to say.

          • Andy

            I assume, then, that you don’t think there were many “born again” Christians in the southern US in the 19th century.

            By the way, I think “born again” is a pretty silly term that sounds haughty and condescending, but that’s just my opinion.

          • Julie

            No “truly born again” Christian was pro-slavery because born again Christians don’t make mistakes?

            You say true worship is a lifestyle of crucifying the fleshly understanding and leaning on the word of God as the final authority, but what you are really asking is for others to lean on your understanding of the word of God. Like all of us, you are a flawed human being and you will continue to make mistakes until the day you die. Your understanding of Scripture can be just as flawed as anyone’s but you seem unable to recognize that and, instead, require others to come under your understanding of God’s word. I ask you to prayerfully consider your accusation that it’s pride that causes others to not agree with your interpretation.

            Abolitionists were also spiritually bullied by being called false-shepherds by other Christians who felt justified for doing so since they were certain they were not aligning themselves with Scripture and the Spirit of God.

          • Malachi

            You have no word of God to support you stance, yet you indict my understanding. Give me one scripture that implies God has changed His mind on this issue. Just one. It does not exist. You speak the dictates of your own heart, which is nothing new as we see below:

            16 Thus says the Lord of hosts:

            “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you.
            They make you worthless;
            They speak a vision of their own heart,
            Not from the mouth of the Lord.
            17 They continually say to those who despise Me,
            ‘The Lord has said, “You shall have peace”’;
            And to everyone who walks according to the dictates of his own heart, they say,
            ‘No evil shall come upon you.’”

            18 For who has stood in the counsel of the Lord,
            And has perceived and heard His word?
            Who has marked His word and heard it?
            19 Behold, a whirlwind of the Lord has gone forth in fury—
            A violent whirlwind!
            It will fall violently on the head of the wicked.
            20 The anger of the Lord will not turn back
            Until He has executed and performed the thoughts of His heart.
            In the latter days you will understand it perfectly.

            21 “I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran.
            I have not spoken to them, yet they prophesied.
            22 But if they had stood in My counsel,
            And had caused My people to hear My words,
            Then they would have turned them from their evil way
            And from the evil of their doings. – Jeremiah 23:16-22

          • James Walker

            God did not write the books compiled into the Bible. Nowhere in those books is there any claim that God did write them.

          • Andy

            If you take all of the bible as gospel, it appears that God changed his mind between the Old and New Testaments. Could he, perhaps, have changed his mind since the writings that became the New Testament were written? Or did, the moment the New Testament was compiled, he basically tell humanity he’d never change his mind again?

            Or perhaps he never changed his mind to begin with.

          • Malachi

            All of the Bible is gospel. If you do not believe that, then there truly is no basis to discuss it further seeing that you do not believe that God can even author His own book. No wonder you cannot fathom that He can deliver homosexuals from bondage. Jesus did not change His mind morally as you imply, He manifested in the flesh to fulfill the requirements of the law. That fulfillment resulted in a rescinding of the old type of system for repentance. No more blood sacrifices, because Christ was the ultimate sacrifice that satisfied the conditions of atonement for all people IF they believe in Him, which does not mean simply believing that He existed. To believe in Christ means to believe in His beliefs. Homosexuality is not one of His beliefs, therefore if you believe in a Jesus that approves of same-sex relationships, then you believe in a false replica of Jesus conjured up by the lusts of your own heart.

          • Andy

            What books of the bible claim they were authored by God?

            And Jesus never said a thing about homosexuality that ended up being written in any of the books of the bible. Not a word.

          • Julie

            Yes, I question your understanding as the final authority on this, but I’m not asking you to change your position as you require of others.

            God hasn’t changed His mind on this. It’s still a sin to engage in male-male sexual intercourse emerging out of excessive lust or malicious intent to do harm.

          • Andy

            I think your last sentence works fine if you take out “male-male”, too.

          • Andy

            Also, this is an example of the No True Scotsman fallacy, so I must disagree with your premise.

    • BarbaraR

      It’s curious how this “Prophecy of the end-times by 90 year old woman in 1968″ is never found anywhere except on right-wing fundie sites. No one ever says who she was or why we should believe anything she might have said.

      Also, “Thelab University” is “is fueled by deep and prophetic prayer both in a small group setting and as we move out together to intercede in churches throughout the region.”

      Uh-huh.

    • James Walker

      are you unaware of the purpose and role of prophecy in Jewish and early Christian society before the first century? it wasn’t about predicting the future. it was about calling the people to repentance and re-dedication to God. it was about laying out a laundry list (usually) of “very bad things” that might happen to the people if they failed to put away their idols and the unclean ways of the other non-Jewish or non-Christian people around them.

      modern-day “prophets” who claim to foretell the future are nothing more or less than charlatans. they are a perfect example of “wolves in sheep’s clothing” devouring the flock.

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

        Hi James –

        In addition to rebuking the wrongdoers, the other characteristic of prophecy is that it comforts those who have been wronged.

        That’s why I call the NALT Christians Project prophetic.

        Best!
        David

  • Julie

    Here are some more helpful insights that I gleaned from Danny’s video with some words directly from Danny himself.

    The homosexual behavior that took place and was condemned in ancient times was not what it is today. The homosexual behavior in ancient times was filled violence and abuse and rape and humiliation and oppression and slavery and temple prostitution; and THAT is the homosexuality that was condemned by the writers of Scripture.

    But even if you have no knowledge of the historical context in which Scripture was written, is truth reserved only for those who are debating scholarly research and all of us have to align ourselves by faith in one scholar over another? Did God intend for His truth to be revealed to the learned or also to the simple?

    We’re wired to recognize hatred and injustice. We don’t have to have all that scholarly knowledge in order to recognize fruit. Do you want to know how to respond to issue of homosexuality? Look at the fruit.

    Truth offers words of life. Truth bears good fruit. In speaking to those struggling with sin, Danny would offer truth and tell the one involved in adultery, pornography, or drugs their need to remove themselves from such a lifestyle. This truth would resonate with them as the Spirit affirmed within their being that heeding such words would bring them liberty from such bondage. But when the pastor offered the same advice to gays, it would not resonate in the same way, and the Spirit did not affirm within their being that heeding such words would bring them liberty but, instead, enslave them to a lifetime without the possibility of intimate love. The pastor began to recognize that of all the commandments that imparted life, this one was different in that it seemed to impart a feeling of dread and fear and anxiety.

    Matthew Vines says: “Good teachings, even when they are very difficult, are not destructive to human dignity. They don’t lead to emotional and spiritual devastation, and to the loss of self-esteem and self-worth. But those have been the consequences for gay people of the traditional teaching on homosexuality. It has not borne good fruit in their lives, and it’s caused them incalculable pain and suffering. If we’re taking Jesus seriously that bad fruit cannot come from a good tree, then that should cause us to question whether the traditional teaching is correct.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/robertoscar.lopez Robert Oscar Lopez

      Julie, I grew up in the gay community. I was raised by a gay couple in the 1970s and 1980s and came out as bisexual in 1989. I still consider myself queer, even though I am a Baptist. Today homosexuality still involves all the ills you mention — there’s tremendous predation on youth, diseases, sexual assault, domestic violence, drugs, and now, slavery once again since gay male couples are legally permitted to buy women’s babies in California. Soon very likely the governor will sign a bill allowing gay men to print birth certificates that erase the name of the mother of the child they will purchase. That’s slavery. I do not undertake any hostile actions toward queers who choose to engage in sodomy; I love them as my brothers. But a Baptist church has to be a place where someone can go and be given the strength not to engage in sodomy, since it is condemned in Scripture for the same reason that it produces so many problems today. If opening up your anus to another man to penetrate is really that important to you that you think this is a horrible fate worse than being separated from Christ’s word, you aren’t a Christian, I am sorry. Everyone has to give up fleshly temptations in order to live in accordance with Scripture.

      • Andy

        I think there are bigger things in this world to wring our hands over than what people do behind closed doors. You know, instead of oppressing LGBT+ people, they could maybe address the myriad of real issues facing the world…

        If you’re into that sort of thing, you could remember that the NT declares us free of the old law. Now there’s just the great commandment. Everything else is details. Screw that “fight your temptation” crap. If you’re a responsible person, I don’t care what you do. Or who. Just be smart about it and only with consent. That’s not too much to ask.

      • anakinmcfly

        “Today homosexuality still involves all the ills you mention”

        As does heterosexuality. Way more so, actually. I guess we should make that illegal too? Instead of, I don’t know, actually trying to get people to be be nicer to each other regardless of sexual orientation?

        Also, adoption isn’t slavery. And being gay isn’t about having gay sex any more than being straight is about having straight sex. Not to mention that only about 30-40% of gay male couples actually have anal sex to begin with, and a lot straight couples do. I have no interest in anal sex and would be okay dying a virgin if I have to. But yes, it *is* really that important to me that I one day get to have another guy to love and be loved by, and I fail to see how that involves any separation from Christ’s word.

      • Julie

        You reduce relationships to a sex act. If you think this is about “opening up your anus to another man to penetrate” then you are very mistaken. It’s about opening up your heart up to another human being. It’s about experiencing a total selfless giving of oneself to another that can only be found within intimate, covenant union.

  • Battynurse

    I love the part about grace in the midst of disagreement. So true and appropriate right now in so many ways.

  • Just Flora

    Way to go Pastor Cortez. As you know that GOD does not discriminate. He waits upon us as his children to GLORIFY him. Praying for you and your son.Blessings

  • Maura Hart

    bless you

  • Rick Piva

    If you read my new Book Americas First Family of Adoptions Pivas Portant People you will find I encountered exactly the same things that you have seen but radically different. I hope yu and your son can read my new book about true FORGIVENESS. Since I came out with the true story of my birth into the HOLOCAUST of CANADA where I was tortured beyond belief along with 220,000 tiny other babies in the orphanage where I was born and Dr. Josef Mengele was in charge of the BUTCHERING and SLAUGHTER and MUTILATION of over 220,000 tiny innocent babies directly under the auspices of the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH and the VATICAN along with our CIA as a direct result the main stream media looks the other way since the Government and the Roman Catholic Church made tons of money off of the experimentation and selling of body parts and mutilation of 220,000 tiny innocent babies and now that we have over 3000 survivors telling this true story of how we were killed and experimented on with Roman Catholic Nuns and Priests along with Dr. Josef Mengele and other stalwart CIA operatives using tiny babies for waterboarding and ice baths and pouring gasoline on my body personally and then the nuns and priests lighting cigarettes and then placing them into our private parts and if the baby was immolated they sat back and laughed- and the priests along with Mengele took steel drill augers and drilled into our skulls with no anesthetics and lobotomies and shock treatments and I have revealed what happened to me personally and now I am like you and your son banned from my church as some form of out cast because I tell the true story of what happened to all of us and why have we been treated to such hideous and horrible atrocities just like my older brother who was born in Auschwitz and oh yes he had to survive the same thing the first three years of his life. I feel you and your son are truly awesome kind and caring humans the best that this life has to offer and I salute you both for your courage and honesty. Our country went to hell in a hand basket since they killed Kennedy in 1963 period! My new book is on Kindle and in hard copy on AMAZON and hope you and your son can read it for true forgiveness and hope for all of us amen!

  • http://www.xandergibb.biz/ Xander Gibb

    I am so heartened by this. So many Christian parents reject their children for being gay. I am glad that God is working to effect change in his church!

    • http://reasontostand.org/ Wes Widner

      I’m glad that Satan is working to effect change in the church.

      There, FTFY

  • Jesus Christ

    I have watched this video of son and father and I hope you can read my book about true forgiveness called Americas First Family of Adoptions Pivas Portant People. It will help you and the entire family to soothe the hurt and its a profound look at FAITH and LOVE and mostly COURAGE as well as unconditional love which our family exudes and we admire your same audacity of HOPE. My book is on AMAZON in hard copy and on Kindle from any device and I will dedicate it to just exactly these same sorts of courageous individuals who show what humanity is really like one of LOVE and comfort and true faith in each other and not HATE like we received my brother and I from the cradle since each of us was born into the HOLOCAUST! So we know true HATE and it ain’t pretty so God bless this family and this courageous son who is tops in my book and in Gods book as well amen.

    • Andy

      Could you please explain how this book is relevant to the conversation? I hope you’ll pardon my skepticism, but this comment looks like a lot like it’s basically spamming the forum.

      • Jesus Christ

        Anyone who has been HURT as my brother and I have been as well as this child who is coming out needs to know there is someone else who understands and using this instance in both my brothers and my life as an example of human compassion and forgiveness which is anything but spamming so your very sick to think that.

  • http://PaulAndrewAnderson.org/ PaulAndrewAnderson

    No servant can serve two masters. For either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will hold to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon. And being money-lovers, all the Pharisees also heard all these things. And they derided Him. And He said to them: You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (Luke 16:13-15)

    Therefore, be followers of God, as dear children. And walk in Love, as Christ also has Loved us, and has given Himself for us as an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling savor. For let fornication and all uncleanness or covetousness not be once named among you, as becomes saints, neither baseness, foolish talking, jesting, which are not becoming, but rather giving of thanks. For you know this, that no fornicator, or unclean person, or covetous one (who is an idolater), has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the children of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them. For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth), proving what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore he says, “Awake, sleeping ones! And arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.” See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. (Ephesians 5:1-16)

    On the whole it is reported that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not even named among the nations, so as one to have his father’s wife. And you are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, so that he who has done this deed may be taken from your midst. For as being absent in body but present in spirit, I indeed have judged already as though I were present concerning him who worked out this thing; in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when you are gathered together, with my spirit; also, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ; to deliver such a one to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? Therefore purge out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, as you are unleavened. For also Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. Therefore let us keep the feast; not with old leaven, nor with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. I wrote to you in the letter not to associate intimately with fornicators; yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then you must go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to associate intimately, if any man called a brother and is either a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such a one not to eat. For what is it to me to also judge those who are outside? Do you not judge those who are inside? But God judges those who are outside. Therefore put out from you the evil one. (1 Corinthians 5:1-13)

    Do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor abusers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).

    And this is Love; that we walk according to His commandments. This is the commandment, as you heard from the beginning, that you should walk in it. For many deceivers have entered into the world, who do not confess Jesus Christ coming in the flesh. This is the deceiver and the anti-christ. Look to yourselves, so that we may not lose those things which we worked out, but that we may receive a full reward. Everyone transgressing and not abiding in the doctrine of Christ does not have God. He who abides in the doctrine of Christ, he has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your house, nor speak a greeting to him. For he who speaks a greeting to him is partaker of his evil deeds. (2 John 1:6-11)

    Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother who walks disorderly, and not after the teaching which he received from us. (2 Thessalonians 3:6)

    Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers; for what fellowship does righteousness have with lawlessness? And what partnership does light have with darkness? And what agreement does Christ have with Belial? Or what part does a believer have with an unbeliever? And what agreement does a temple of God have with idols? For you are the temple of the living God, as God has said, “I will dwell in them and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people.” Therefore come out from among them and be separated, says the Lord, and do not touch the unclean thing. And I will receive you and I will be a Father to you, and you shall be My sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. (2 Corinthians 6:14-18)

    Monk of YHVH!

    • Julie

      Paul, something for you to consider:
      “When Paul wrote to ‘the church in Corinth’, he was writing to the entirety of the Christian population of that city, which was likely no more than a hundred people. In Paul’s time, the whole Christian community in a given city was rarely more than a few dozen people, so that church was the only church. If you were kicked out, you were out. So we really can’t follow through with Paul’s instruction to the Corinthians even if we wanted to. There’s just no reasonable, practical way to carry out excommunication in today’s world, when the person being kicked out can just drive down the street to another church and no one is the wiser.

      A responsible reading of Paul’s letters acknowledges that each one was written to a specific group of people in a specific time period for a specific occasion. What Paul decided was the best solution for the Corinthians may not be what he decided was the best solution for the Thessalonians. Excommunication doesn’t work today the way it would have worked for the first-century Corinthians, so I think churches today should recognize Paul was not laying down a one-size-fits-all rule for all churches for all time. Instead, they should follow the point of Paul’s instruction to Corinth, and the point was not punishment, but correction.”
      http://www.redtheology.com/2014/03/some-as-to-q-part-1.html

    • Julie

      Paul,

      As you consider my previous post to you, allow me to add that Danny’s church is not serving two masters; they are serving Jesus in humility and vulnerability in their recognition that they don’t have this issue all figured out. In their admirable example so worthy of replicating, they are actively exercising Paul’s teaching on principles of conscience found in Romans 14. They are doing their best to put unity above exclusivity and love in humility above judgment in arrogance. There is nothing for them to fear in Christ who knows their hearts and their desire to lead all men to the cross as we all equally look through a glass darkly.

    • BarbaraR

      So you haz mad copy and paste skillz.

    • Dandhman

      In defense of fornicators, It was easy to avoid that particular sin when you’re married off at the age of fourteen! It seems that we all today have grave issues with child marriage which never bothered St. Paul.

      “Therefore come out from among them and be separated, says the Lord, and do not touch the unclean thing,” that particular passage seems to be the scriptural basis of the Amish Lifestyle. I maintain that keeping rigidly separated from everyone else violates the “hide not your light under a bushel” commandment, but whatever.

      All I am trying to say is: by trying to rigidly follow one commandment you may sin nonetheless.

      • anakinmcfly

        It’s also easier to avoid fornication when one can actually, you know, get married. Hence gay marriage should be made legal in order to reduce sinning, QED.

    • Andy

      I don’t get your point. It would be more helpful if you said something other than quoting verses (and long passages, at that).

  • Svein Magnussen

    I guess a lot of folks forget they live in a constant sinning phase… the love of money, eating too much, drinking too much …oh so many things…they don’t want to change. That’s why it is good to have scapegoats…gays…at least they were born that way, but the love of money and power that is a thing you don’t need to change, it’s accepted as normal and good…but making the world a hell for millions…Sins…always about the other with the “worst” sin….

  • Adey Wassink

    Thank you so much for the beautiful post and videos. Drew, you are brave and amazing!!!

  • Julie

    This is a reply to Danilo Cortez that doesn’t seem to be sticking onto the site in response to his post to me, so I’m going to post a new post to him:

    Such uplifting words, Danilo, thank you. I will keep you all in my prayers. It will be a challenging journey for your church, but I’m so encouraged by the steps you’ve already taken. Your church is an example to all of us and I pray others begin to follow in your footsteps. I truly believe it’s possible to agree to disagree on this issue while worshipping side by side. I don’t have a blog; I just have a little bible talk group on Facebook. It’s mostly filled with conservatives like me. I began opening up this long overdue discussion to the group last fall, and it’s been very challenging in many ways as I’ve slowly come to an affirming view on this issue. My main concern, though, had always been about establishing unity with others who don’t believe the same way, but as I studied and prayed more, I began to take an affirming view myself. I don’t believe, though, that we all need to come to the same conclusions on this in order to all fall before the foot of the cross together as one Body of believers in our Savior.

  • Maureen Clinton

    This beautiful young man is as God made him and God don’t make junk! Hold your head up, Drew, when you say “I am gay”. God walks with you. With Love.

    • Kara

      Amen! God doesn’t make mistakes and being gay is no sin or mistake. I’ve been happily married for 27 years and have two wonderful children. We are church going Christians . We raised our children in the church. But, guess what happened? God gave us a little homo! Yes, a gay kid. Go figure. I mean why would God give a good Christian couple a gay kid? I mean she wears a cross and everything. She didn’t look like a little gay homo when she was born. I mean she was pink and shiny and seemed fine. She went to school and got good grades. Never said a bad word or even got in trouble. But, there is was, she was as gay as a three dollar bill. Now what do we do? Do we tell her it’s a sin? Doesn’t seem to be a sin. I mean he made her this way. I always thought God doesn’t make mistakes so what’s up with this? How could this have happened? Then the light came on! She’s perfect in God’s eyes. She was made just the way he wanted her to be. She feeds the hungry like he said too. She attends church and stays true to her beliefs. She’s in graduate school for engineering. She is awesome and gay and my beautiful daughter.

  • Geoff lamb

    I’m a ‘flaming liberal’ and an atheist who followed a link to this place from a LGBT friendly message board and I just spent an hour of my Sunday watching those videos and that is the first time a sermon has ever moved me to tears. I’ve had plenty of conversations with ministers & theologians which have cause me to think deeply about religion but this instead had me flat out bawling my eyes out right along with the guy. That was a beautiful speech from a loving father and a good man.

    • http://www.facebook.com/robertoscar.lopez Robert Oscar Lopez

      So you come into our congregations, split us apart based on your political quibbles, then crawl back into your atheist neighborhood and never talk to us again, since you don’t believe in God. I am not a flaming liberal or an atheist — I am a Southern Baptist and this is a travesty. Accept this pastor and his gay son in your atheist community. Don’t come into our community and rip us apart when you have obviously no commitment whatsoever to our faith.

  • http://reasontostand.org/ Wes Widner

    A much better title for this would be “Former SBC pastor abandons his faith when faced with a difficult choice.”

  • Dan_Cartwright

    Scripture is sufficiently clear concerning what sin is and even specifies some habitual practicioners of certain sins as not able to enter the Kingdom of God. Wither the Bible is lying or, depending on what ‘affirming’ means, some professing believers are lying to themselves, not a good place to find oneself in. It seems to mean that there is nothing inherently sinful in homosexual behavior. The Bible clearly disagrees with that, and to say otherwise is to deny the clear text of scripture,

    As for the “Progressive Christian Alliance,” of which John Shore is a member, here is something from the PCA site concerning ordination:

    “Holy orders are open to all, without regard to race, social status, disability or orientation.”

    If that means that homosexuals can be ‘ordained’ in the PCA, at the bare minimum, the PCA is apostate as a ‘Christian’ organization.

    • James Walker

      that “clear text” to which you refer makes no reference to behavior indicative of homosexuality as we understand it.

      do try to remember the various writings compiled into the Bible were not written in English and translators have historically been biased toward “traditional” interpretations of the meanings of words without regard to evidence pointing toward a vastly different cultural context.

      by way of example, the Greek word malakos is often translated as “effeminate” but it actually refers to someone who is accustomed to softness and luxury, who would turn away from anything requiring confrontation with harsh reality. such a person was unfit to be a church member in a time when the Roman authorities might demand, on threat of pain and suffering, that people inform on other Christians so they could be rounded up and prosecuted.

      • Dan_Cartwright

        One needs only read Romans 1 – never mind 1 Cor 6 and other passages. Homosexuality as ‘we’ understand it? Hogwash – what God says about it is what matters and even some rather notable LGBT types know what the Bible clearly condemns in the ‘clear’ text. I won’t go into further detail, except to add that it sounds like you’ve been duped by ‘pseudo’ Greek scholars.

        • Andy

          Paul didn’t speak for God. You’ve been duped by homophobes.

        • BarbaraR

          God didn’t say anything about it.

        • James Walker

          ah, yes, the “excellent” suggestion that we read the last part of Romans 1 all by itself, without considering Romans 2 or Romans 3.

          are you somehow unaware Paul did not write this letter with those chapter and verse markers? did you miss the fact everything from 1:19 to 1:32 is not only an expansion on the statement in 1:18 but is Paul setting up the rhetorical trap he springs in 2:1 pointing out that the hypothetical “good Jewish Christian” reader who agrees with this diatribe against the heathen Gentiles is also condemned and is no better?

          • Andy

            He probably chose to ignore that, like most cherry-picking bigots.

        • toujoursdan

          If I believed that the Bible was clear on this I’d obey it. But after reading arguments on both sides, I have to say that the anti-LBGT commentators are extremely sloppy in their interpretation of scripture, understanding of ancient culture and understanding of LGBT people and their pastoral needs.

          It’s no surprise that some LGBT types believe the Bible condemns homosexuality and many straight scholars who often have a lot to lose by embracing the LGBT community believe that it does not. Obviously the passages aren’t that clear.

          • Andy

            MY INTERPRETATION OF THESE ANCIENT WRITINGS IS THE CORRECT ONE

          • BarbaraR

            *Bursts out laughing*
            Andy winz teh internetz 2day!

          • Dan_Cartwright

            I guess God is either a liar or said one thing, but meant something else? This hs nothing to do with ‘pastoral needs’. It has everything to do with what is clear to the reader from the words on the pages of scripture. Read Romans 1 again, sir. The WORDS say that we all know that God exists, and also what is natural and what is not. I can choose to believe ‘either side’ and LI pick God’s

  • Michael D. Osterman

    I find it interesting that Mr. Cortez never mentioned the word “Bible” in his letter. Maybe he does not believe what it clearly teaches on this issue.

    • BarbaraR

      What is it you think it “clearly teaches”?

      • Michael D. Osterman

        1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (ESV): “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

        • BarbaraR

          So you can cut and paste.
          In your own words.

          • Michael D. Osterman

            God’s Word is very clear, but I’m happy to provide my own words for you. Salvation is limited to those who a) confess to God they are sinners, b) repent of their sins, and c) put their faith in Jesus and His finished work on the cross, making Him Lord and Savior of their lives. Anyone who willingly embraces their sin and continues to practice it without any desire to obey Scripture and follow Jesus has clearly demonstrated that they really have not followed through on these steps.

            Moreover, this is not limited to homosexuality. A business owner who says he is saved and then gladly continues to defraud his employees, or a woman who says she is saved and continues to commit adultery with no desire to stop, has demonstrated by their actions that they really are not saved and, according to the Scripture I cited, will not inherit the Kingdom of God – i.e., inherit salvation.

            Being against gay marriage and not accepting a gay lifestyle is not homophobic or anti-gay. In fact, if one believes the Scripture I cited and the entirety of the Bible, then wanting people to abandon their sin and embrace Jesus is actually the only loving position on the issue, since it is the only one that will get people to Heaven. On the other hand, being confronted with the sinfulness of another’s actions – whether it be swindling others, committing adultery or practicing homosexuality – and simply accepting it as an alternative lifestyle – is not demonstrating love, since it accepts a lifestyle that is guaranteed by Scripture to prevent one from being saved.

          • James Walker

            did we somehow give you the impression this was your opportunity to “witness” to us and share the gospel? most of us here are Christians. we simply don’t agree with you on whether or not homosexuality is a sin (which, by the way, does not in any way affect our Salvation).

          • Michael D. Osterman

            Barbara, I recommend the following for an explanation of the issue you raised:

            http://www.equip.org/articles/is-arsenokoitai-really-that-mysterious/#christian-books-1

            Telling someone they will go to hell, and then sharing the good news of the Gospel as the only means to keep them from going there, actually is loving. If a doctor had diagnosed her patient of a fatal disease and knew of the cure, but failed to tell them about either because of a desire not to hurt his feelings, would that be loving? Moreover, “being gay” is a behavior that can be abandoned. Someone who is tempted to practice homosexuality but does not do so is not gay, in the same way that someone who is tempted to drink a fifth of whiskey in one sitting, but does not do so, is not a drunk.

          • James Walker

            Salvation is not about escaping Hell. whoever taught you that it is, has done you a grave disservice.

          • Michael D. Osterman

            James, I realize that, but please read my response in context to BarbaraR’s comment.

            What is salvation about in your opinion?

          • James Walker

            we are saved TO a new life in Christ, one where the only commandments that are relevant are the ones He gave us. to wit – 1) Love God and 2) Love your neighbor.

            Paul himself said that all things are permissible, but not all are profitable. as in, not all produce good fruit. that is the guiding principle we as Christians are to apply in our lives. bear good fruit. there is no more “sin”, there is no more “death”, there is no more “unrighteousness”.

            my loving, consensual relationship with my same-sex partner bears good fruit and does not interfere with my Salvation in any way at all. you are not in a position to stand in judgement over that.

          • Michael D. Osterman

            James, I am not your judge, only God is, and we both will be called to account for our faith in Jesus – or lack of it.

            We could continue this thread endlessly, but to what end?

          • James Walker

            the point is that you’ve claimed the people mentioned in the blog article are deviating from the “clear teaching”. we’re arguing that there is no such “clear teaching” present.

          • Michael D. Osterman

            James, I’m not sure how much more clear the Bible could get on this issue. If God could not make His word sufficiently clear to you, then there is no possibility that I could.

          • Andy

            It could be a lot clearer. For example, if there was proof that Paul spoke for God. Or that his letters to specific people were intended for everyone, everywhere, for all time. Or that they were written in a language and context, that left no room for ambiguity in translation.

          • BarbaraR

            You’ll find that people here do not worship the Bible as the infallible word of God. There are many interpretations and translations, and everyone claims their interpretation is the only correct one.

          • James Walker

            I’ll leave aside the whole “God … make His word sufficiently clear” comment for now.

            for starters, if those who passed down and eventually wrote the Law in Leviticus had used the same kind of terminology in 18:22 that they had used in the previous prohibitions against sexual relations with close relatives, it would be a lot more clear they intended to prohibit same-sex sexual activity. instead, they used wording that suggests the problem wasn’t so much same-sex interaction as where and how it took place. what’s condemned isn’t just one man “knowing” another man or “seeing the nakedness” of another man but specifically lying down with another man “in the lyings of a woman”.

            there are no other references in the Old Testament that I’m aware of so we’ll move on to Paul’s epistles, which contain the only New Testament references.

            once again, if Paul really intended to condemn same-sex sexual activity, there are a whole set of other words he could have used that would have spoken loudly and clearly to his audience. instead, he used terms that do not in any way clearly describe homosexuals or homosexual behavior.

            Romans 1:26-27 is not a condemnation of same-sex sexual behavior but a description of a consequence of 1:18-25 – people who were naturally attracted to the opposite sex taking part in things that were normally repulsive to them in order to be as depraved as possible.

          • toujoursdan

            The Bible could be a lot clearer. Why are the condemnations always found in the context of pagan idolatry? Why do the Leviticus verses only condemn one act (male to male anal sex) rather than all expressions of both male *and* female homosexuality? Why is also found in a list of things not to do because the (pagan) Egyptians do them?

            Even Conservative Jews who think the Leviticus laws are binding welcome gay and lesbian couples into their midst, bless their relationships and ordain them as Rabbis while expecting men to abstain from that one act. Why can’t Christians, who don’t even believe that these laws are binding should make that accommodation, at the very least?

          • BarbaraR

            Again – you’re stating your religious opinion as fact. Those of us who regularly post disagree on many things, including this, but we know it’s our opinion and try to state it as such.

          • Michael D. Osterman

            Barbara, when Jesus said that He was the way, the truth and the life and that no one gets to Heaven except through Him, that’s not my opinion. You may not believe it, but it’s outside the realm of opinion.

          • Andy

            Oh, but it is an opinion. John made a video about it.

          • toujoursdan

            Jesus taught that He was the way, not that your interpretation of scripture is the way. Big difference.

          • Michael D. Osterman

            We are in complete agreement on that point.

          • BarbaraR

            That does not mean everyone has to be a Christian or to believe in a god at all.

          • Michael D. Osterman

            We agree. While not everyone has to be a Christian or to believe in God at all, one must if they are to get to Heaven. Jesus said that, not me, so if you disagree with that premise you can take it up with Him.

          • BarbaraR

            *Checks Bible*
            You must have a different Bible. Mine doesn’t quote Jesus as saying that.

          • toujoursdan

            Jesus didn’t say that. He said that no one has to come to the Father except through him. He’s the gatekeeper, but that doesn’t necessary mean that only Christians get through the gate.

          • Andy

            You didn’t watch the video I posted, did you? Here it is again. Take a gander.

          • Julie

            I love that! The guiding principle we as Christians are to apply in our lives is “bear good fruit” as we seek to love God and love our neighbor as ourselves. Oh, how I wish we could all keep that in the forefront of our hearts and minds.

          • Andy

            Salvation is a rather nebulous concept. What must we be saved from? I personally don’t believe in the idea of a literal, fire-and-brimstone hell. The idea of an all-loving God condemning a majority of his children to a literal hell for all eternity makes no sense.

            One idea that has occurred to me is based partially on the Sartre quote usually translated “hell is other people”. We humans are imperfect, and hurt one another all the time. Perhaps the “hell” we need saving from is that which is plagued by bigotry and violence.

          • BarbaraR

            You may believe that being gay is a behavior that can be abandoned, but I would ask you to first abandon being straight for a month and see how that goes.

            Frankly, the CRI is not what I would call an impartial authority. The Oxford Classical Dictionary is the standard for translations from antiquity. ““… the sexual penetration of male prostitutes or slaves by conventionally masculine elite men, who might purchase slaves expressly for that purpose, was not considered morally problematic.”

          • Michael D. Osterman

            Of course being gay is a behavior, just like being heterosexual is a behavior. And abandoning both can be done: married military personnel who remain faithful to their spouses, married people who go on long business trips and remain faithful to their spouses, etc. do this.

          • BarbaraR

            You’re not abandoning anything by being away from your mate for a long period of time. You’re still either gay or straight. You may not be having sex, but your orientation remains the same.
            And being married has nothing to do with remaining faithful.

          • Michael D. Osterman

            Orientation and action are two completely different things. Acting on an orientation is the difference.

          • Andy

            Homosexuality and heterosexuality have nothing to do with action. They have to do with attraction.

            So are you okay with people being gay, as long as they don’t partake in sex with people of the same sex?

          • BarbaraR

            Not true. You are still gay or straight. You don’t become asexual just because you’re celibate.

          • Andy

            I disagree. Celibate people can be heterosexual or homosexual or anything else. Let’s try that again.

          • anakinmcfly

            “And abandoning both can be done: married military personnel who remain faithful to their spouses, married people who go on long business trips and remain faithful to their spouses, etc. do this.”

            Yet they’re still married, presumably to opposite-sex partners, so that’s being heterosexual right there.

            But for the sake of argument – would you then still be against gay marriage if the people involved had no sex, like in the above examples? If so, why?

          • toujoursdan

            I wouldn’t even know where to begin discussing the flaws of this.

          • anakinmcfly

            “Someone who is tempted to practice homosexuality but does not do so is not gay”

            So before you had sex, you weren’t straight either?

          • Andy

            And if you’re a virgin, you’re not on the Kinsey scale at all? Good to know.

          • James Walker

            sexual desire is not at all the same thing as temptation or lust. we have sexual desire to help us find someone to love and to partner with. our bodies respond to the sights, sounds, scents and other stimuli of the sex to which we are attracted. these reactions are not within our conscious control, therefore cannot be sinful.

            temptation and lust are fixations on those sexual desires in an illicit way that, if acted upon, would take us away from healthy relationships.

            equating someone who is gay and wants to date in order to find their partner with an alcoholic failing to “resist” the temptation of alcohol is just sickening and reveals that you have zero understanding of your own heterosexual nature let alone the sexual natures of LGBT+ people.

          • paganheart

            Well said, James. I’d further add that–in my experience anyway–people who make such comparisons, or who make statements such as: “Someone who is tempted to practice homosexuality but does not do so is not gay” … let’s just say that they often turn out to be a bit…shall we say…conflicted about their own sexual orientation. In my experience, anyway….

          • Michael D. Osterman

            James, I recommend the following for an explanation of the issue you raised:

            http://www.equip.org/articles/is-arsenokoitai-really-that-mysterious/#christian-books-1

            And no, you did not give the impression that this was my opportunity to witness. Barbara asked me to put 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 in my own words, which I did.

          • BarbaraR

            The modern translation as “homosexuality” is erroneous and not the same thing as occurred in Biblical times. “Homosexuality” as known today was an unknown concept. What was common then was forceful rape of slaves and lower-class boys by wealthy/powerful Romans. It was a show of power. It was not a sexual identity. It was no different than heterosexual rape but it was socially acceptable.

            “Demonstrating love” by telling another person they will go to hell if they don’t “stop being gay” and “repent of their sins” is not loving. This blog is peopled with those who rejected exactly that kind of condemnation and have been severely scarred by the hatred show to them. You can no more “abandon” being gay than you can abandon being blue-eyed.

          • Michael D. Osterman

            Barbara, a question for you: if homosexuality as known today was an unknown concept in Biblical times, to what was Paul referring in Romans 1:26-27?

          • BarbaraR

            As I said before, non-consensual rape of slaves by heterosexual Romans.

          • Michael D. Osterman

            We will simply have to disagree on this.

          • toujoursdan

            See Romans 1:23. These were pagan idolaters practicing temple cult prostitution. In 1:23 Paul even describes the pagan gods. In Romans 1:26-27 the lustful acts are the punishment for idolatry and in the original Greek it’s not even clear that they are homogenital. (Again, relying on an English translation is problematic.) Romans 18-32 is paraphrased from the apocryphal Book of Wisdom Ch 13-14. What is being condemned is idolatry, not homosexuality. It doesn’t speak to those who aren’t acting against their nature (para physn) nor those who are not worshiping pagan gods.

          • Andy

            I would think it would be depressing to think that we do in fact need salvation from a literal hell, and that only explicitly-confessing Christians can go to heaven, but I guess if you think you have the inside track, then maybe it’s comforting. After all, obviously all non-Christians are terrible people and you don’t want to share eternity with them.

            You are not the authority on any of those things. If you are going to tout such condemning ideas on here, please remember that your opinions are exactly that — yours and opinions. Please comment thusly.

        • James Walker

          I’ll give you the same advice I gave Dan_Cartwright. try and remember Paul’s epistles to the Church at Corinth were not written in English. the word “homosexuality” does not appear there in the original language. instead, there is a word Paul appears to have invented – arsenokoite – which may or may not be related to the Septuagint version of Leviticus 18:22. at any rate, the actual meaning of this term is lost to us because no one else in the 1st century used it and the only people to use it in later centuries were quoting Paul.

          • KorndogMan

            Wrong, James. arsenokoite is a masculine conjunction of two words, the word for man (ἄρσεν for man, see Gen. 5:2) and bed (κοίτης, which figuratively stands for sexual activity associated with the bed). So the Bible does condemn same gender sex. Now, it can be argued that it is invalid to derive a words meaning from it’s parts. Clearly, not all words can be defined by their parts. The word butterfly’s meaning cannot be deduced from putting the words “butter” and “fly” together. But, for instance, many words are the combination of their parts, such as airport or (in German) zusammenbinden which means “to bind” and “together’ to form the word meaning “to bind together”.

          • James Walker

            arsenokoite is a masculine conjunction of two words, the word for man (ἄρσεν for man, see Gen. 5:2) and bed

            and you know that Paul intended that interpretation how, exactly? from the body of work he left behind explaining it? Greek, you may notice, is not German and not a Germanic language. it does not typically generate new words by conjoining words in novel ways as do the Germanic languages.

            also, your analogy to zussamenbinden falls apart when you consider fledermaus and eichhoernchen.

          • KorndogMan

            One derives interpretation from the text of scripture itself, as with other writing. Christians have a doctrine of perspicuity, in which we believe that a person can read and understand the text of scripture by its own lights.

            Greek is different from German and is not Germanic. I didn’t say it was. I think we both know my point was that words can derive meaning from meaning of their conjoined parts. This does happen in Greek, for instance in koinonia, metanoia, and ekklesia.

          • James Walker

            koinonia is a stand-alone word which is (probably) the adverbial form of koinonos, not a set of conjoined words.

            the meta- in metanoia is a prefix, not a stand-alone word so this is also not an example of what you’re trying to demonstrate.

            ekklesia is indeed a compound word. please note I did not claim Greek never made compound words, but that this was not a typical strategy as in the Germanic languages.

          • toujoursdan

            No denial that arsenokoite is a masculine conjunction of two words, the word for man (ἄρσεν for man, see Gen. 5:2) and bed (κοίτης, which figuratively stands for sexual activity associated with the bed), but you’re missing the rhetorical context in which the word is being used. If it is being paired with malakoi before it and the two words are linked, it is likely a condemnation of paederasty, which given Greek culture makes more sense.

            But again, a definition of a word only gets you so far. There is shading in how the word is used in a sentence as well.

        • Andy

          Paul wrote this. Can you give me a reason to construe this letter, for which we only have evidence that it was intended for the Corinthians and nobody else, as being the word of God?

          • Abnvet

            Read Romans 1.

          • Andy

            Okay, I read it. What’s your point?

          • Abnvet

            The context of Romans 1 is that man is without excuse and will be judged according to his deeds, whether they have knowledge of the Law or Not. They are not exempt. Idolatry is one of the most prevalent sins of the world today (as it was back then as well) and is alive and well within the US though not in the form of creatures, but of moviestars, football players, and famous people. The degrading passions that they are given over to Sin (and destruction) by God is clearly in the context of sexual impurity in the form of homosexual degradation. Romans 2 continues by stating that those under the Law will be judged by it and those not under the Law will still perish under judgement. Bottomline, ignorance of sin as sin is still no excuse. Your body of ‘evidence’ of debunking on this forum is flimsy.

          • Andy

            You didn’t attention to a word I typed, did you?

            Here’s what I said:

            “Paul wrote this. Can you give me a reason to construe this letter, for which we only have evidence that it was intended for the Corinthians and nobody else, as being the word of God?”

            You said absolutely nothing about why I should acknowledge a letter from Paul to the Corinthians as the word of God.

            Your reading skills are flimsy.

          • Abnvet

            Well if you don’t interpret the Pauline letters to be the inspired word of God, then I got nothing for you. What do you consider the Word of God?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            the word of God? music, the wind, silence, thoughts, nature, prayer, friendship, kindness, compassion, meditation, poetry, the written word, love. God’s word is everywhere

          • Abnvet

            Your God is not the same God that I worship. The True and Living God of the Bible, the Word of God manifest in the Flesh who redeems those who put their faith in Him for Salvation, because NONE of us deserve his Favor.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I have no problem with that. I don’t consider The Bible deity.

          • Abnvet

            Then why do you even respond when this is a discussion on dogmatic evangelical Christianity?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Because I am a Christian and a moderator here. There is a wide view of theological thought here, and we expect that we respect that we see things uniquely. It is how we learn about one another, and how we show compassion and love, feeling that God loves us all, even those who don’t even believe in the divine. Therefore I suggest that you discover where you left your manners, and be respectful to the other people here.

          • Abnvet

            And just how have I been disrepectful? Compassion is not sitting back telling a person burning in the fire, that it is ‘okay’ because we don’t want to offend them. Compassion is telling them the truth as is stated in the Living word, to rescue them. Yes God is a God of Love and Compassion, who wishes that none would be condemned. However, he is also NOT like us in the fact that he is Utterly Holy and must be regarded as such. His Holiness is what requires his judgement of Sin. Telling someone that everything is Okay, when they are fully under the wrath of God is not compassionate nor loving… quite the opposite.

          • Andy

            Firstly, I would consider at most only that which is ascribed to God or Jesus. Secondly, I am a rather skeptical person by nature, and I try to always remember that people are imperfect, and occasionally malicious. I try to question the veracity of everything. Accordingly, I am skeptical of anything that contradicts the great commandment, which resonates with me as the most likely thing to be true, hence I use it as a yardstick for everything else.

            I am highly skeptical of things like letters which do not purport to be divinely inspired or dictated, for one because they were written by men, who are imperfect, and two, because advice is highly context-dependent. Just as parents have different rules for young children than adults have for themselves, the instructions that one of the letter writers had for his audience may not apply at all to other people. And further, many hundreds of years later, some things are different, and as such, we must question them to see if they are still relevant today.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            We have a plethora of preachers who pass by…folks like yourself who are convinced they have the sin thing down pat and are therefore destined to point out everyone’s “sins”. Seriously, if you want to have a conversation with people, you know share ideas, get to know how we think and see things, then great. If you are here to rail about sin, and point fingers, this is not the place for you.

          • anakinmcfly

            It’s always nice to be reminded of my sexual impurity in the form of homosexual degradation, despite being a celibate virgin who hasn’t jerked off in 67 days. SIXTY-SEVEN DAYS, PEOPLE. o/

            meanwhile all the sexually pure straight people around me are pre-maritally copulating everywhere and catching STDs. I’m not sure what ‘pure’ means any more. :/

          • BarbaraR

            Andy has read it. If you’re going to just say “Read the Bible and you’ll totally agree with me,” you’re wasting your time and insulting people here.

          • Abnvet

            If you are insinuating that I am insulting him by pointing to a particular passage of scripture, than you are truly deceived. Thanks for trying to dogpile the discussion.

          • BarbaraR

            People come here all the time and say “Read this verse and then you’ll understand.” There are many interpretations of scripture; just because Andy reads it doesn’t mean he is going to agree with you or me or anyone else.

          • Abnvet

            There are many interpretations of scripture, of that much you are correct. We are called to interpret it according to the Scriptures not according to our own fleshly desires. Only one interpretation is ultimately correct. Many will go to the Lord on that Day and say “Lord, Lord….”

          • BarbaraR

            I disagree with that. People interpret through their own lenses which include cultural, economic, linguistic, educational, sexual, political, etc. factors.

            There are any number of “correct” interpretations. God sees the heart, not how we interpreted a verse. And I don’t believe God is going to condemn people for their “fleshly desires” (sounds like the title of one of those bodice-ripper Harlequin novels).

          • Abnvet

            Interpretation will be how the Holy Spirit and God Interpret. “let God be found true, though every man a liar…” Your unobjective interpretation has no effect on the absolute justice and judgement that God must impart. God does not mince words with what he is like…. which is totally HOLY and must do justice (i.e. punish sin), hence why it was necessary for Christ to die on the Cross to give hope to the hopeless.

          • Julie

            Fleshly desires? Like my fleshly desire to nourish my body with food? :-D Fleshly desire is a good thing. If we didn’t have it, I suppose we’d starve and die out. I think God has our best interests at heart and knows that often our overindulgence is what gets us in trouble.

          • Abnvet

            Man does not live by Bread Alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

          • James Walker

            when Jesus said many would come to Him and say “Lord, Lord…”, whom did He say He would command to depart for He never knew them? hint, it wasn’t those who interpreted Scripture “incorrectly”.

          • Abnvet

            Umm…. what do you think a false prophet does?

          • James Walker

            a false prophet devours the sheep, the way so-called “ministers” do who pretend piety all the while using the churches they lead to enrich and aggrandize themselves.

            was that supposed to be a tough question or at all relevant to the topic at hand?

          • Julie

            I find these kinds of comments–”Many will go to the Lord…saying Lord, Lord”–a form of spiritual bullying. I often see it used as a last resort that if one doesn’t agree with the interpretation presented, why not try to scare them into agreeing?

          • BarbaraR

            *Nods*

          • Abnvet

            Really? Well I guess that the Lord was mistaken to warn the false Prophets of his day, as was Paul, Peter, James and Jude… I guess they were all bullies too.

          • Julie

            Yes, really. And it damages your credibility. Name calling, no matter how you justify it, is ineffective in opening hearts to what you’d like to share.

        • toujoursdan

          Except that Paul wrote this to a Greek congregation where man-boy paederasty was the norm. In the Greek original, the terms being used are malakoi and arsenokoitai. Malakoi literally means “soft” and was a slang reference to boys. Arseonokoitai were their adult clients.

          “(n)or men who practise homosexuality” is a poor English translation which is not supportable in the original languages.

  • KorndogMan

    What is the alternative to a pastor accepting his gay son? This whole issue is being set up in such a way that disagreement with a person over something is rejecting them. That simply is not true when compared to other matters. For instance, if the dad had maintained his “traditional’ view against homosexuality but still said he loved his son and hugged him, what would the headline read? “Pastor rejects his gay son?” Or what if the dad required the son not to date guys while he lived in his house…you know, my house my rules kind of thing. Still said he loved him, hugged him, etc. Let me guess, the headline would be “fundamentalist dad rejects son for being gay”. And why should agreeing with Drew be required for accepting Drew? I have tons of family members who disagree vociferously with my religious beliefs, yet whom love and accept me. This is true in regards to all other aspect of life…even spouses! But with sexuality, either you agree and accept or you disagree and reject. This is simply a false dichotomy.

    • BarbaraR

      It wouldn’t be a headline. “Fundamentalist dad rejects son for being gay” is not news. But a Southern Baptist pastor accepting his gay son and changing his church – THAT is news.

      • KorndogMan

        I’m not out to make a point about what makes headlines. As you say, it happens every day and is not news. My point is about the way we think about accepting someone. I understand WHY it is a headline, but I disagree with the assumption behind the headline. Namely, that acceptance is loving and mean agreement, while disagreeing with a person over sexuality is hatred and involves rejecting them. That is simply not the case.

        • BarbaraR

          Gay people do not “disagree” with straight people over their sexuality. It seems only to come from the other way.

          If someone doesn’t like gays, that is their prerogative. But to “disagree” with a person’s sexuality is like disagreeing with their hair color.

        • James Walker

          mere disagreement is not hatred. that much is correct. however, when disagreement amounts to outright denial of the validity of another person’s experience on matters you yourself have never experienced, it is certainly not loving.

          as a male, I may have an opinion about abortion and I may disagree with a woman’s opinion on the topic. but there comes a point when I must recognize my opinion can never weigh the same as that of a woman. my opinions on the topics of childbearing and other women’s health issues are, of necessity, uninformed ones. I lack the necessary biology to make informed statements about them.

          likewise, someone who is not LGBT+ who “disagrees” with our “lifestyle” is attempting to equate their lack of knowledge with our direct experience. it doesn’t work and it can’t work.

          • KorndogMan

            James, what does it mean to disagree in such a way that amounts to “outright denial of the validity of another persons experience”? You say “mere” disagreement is not hatred. I’m not sure I understand when disagreement becomes hatred.

            This works both ways. As a Christian, I understand that many people love me as a person but disagree with my Christianity. They strongly disagree, in fact. They accept me, but not my religion, even though my religion is very much a part of my identity.

            I am suggesting the same is true for those of us who love homosexuals as people yet strongly disagree with their sexual identity.

            Your comment about lack of knowledge is odd, quite frankly. Why do you assume I have not had direct experience with same sex attraction? What an odd assumption. But if I have not had such an experience, why would it be the case that I cannot still reasonably disagree? Why must a person experience that which they disagree with in order for it to be an acceptable critique. Can I not critique substance abuse even though I have not been an addict? Can I not critique fascist ideology even though I have not been a fascist? Likewise, people critique my religion who have not themselves been Christian. Presumably it is OK for them to do so. Why the double standard?

          • Andy

            Preferences of faith, ideology, and substance abuse are all things that, theoretically, we have control over. (Unless you want to make this a debate about semantics of epistemology, which seems off-topic.) The preponderance of scientific evidence not conducted by entities with an obvious bias indicates that sexual orientation is not a choice. Condemning someone for an innate quality is just wrong. To use Barbara’s example, it’s like condemning them for their hair color.

          • KorndogMan

            People seem to often “choose” the religion in which they were raised. My point is that a person who is raised in a religion understands the idea of having something that is central to their identity be critiqued and rejected by others.

          • Andy

            But do people who have no religion understand the idea of having that aspect of their identity critiqued and rejected by some others?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            People are less prone to choose a religion than one would think. If you were born in Pakistan, you’d likely be Muslim, In India, Hindu or Buddhist. Japan, athiest or maybe a Taoist, Italy Roman Catholic, South Carolina, Southern Baptist. Cultural environment is a huge factor when it comes to how one ends up religion-wise.

          • Andy

            You’re probably more likely to be a Shintoist or Buddhist in Japan than a Taoist, but that’s beside the point.

          • James Walker

            actually, I’m going to disagree with Andy. it is my opinion that people who’ve never had a religious faith are not entitled to hold forth on whether having a religious faith is good, bad or indifferent. it is my opinion that people who’ve never been addicted to a substance are not entitled to hold forth on how easy or difficult it is to break free of such an addiction. it is my opinion that people who’ve never had to live with same-sex attraction are not entitled to hold forth on whether it’s natural, unnatural, sinful or permissible.

          • Andy

            I actually don’t disagree with everything you said here, but I’d rather not derail the conversation with details only tangentially relevant.

          • Abnvet

            I beg to differ. The Bible is explicitly clear in the sinful nature of homosexual acts.

          • James Walker

            you haven’t read through the rest of the comments (and the rest of John’s blog) to see how we’ve shown over and over that the idea the Bible condemns homosexuality is simply not true.

          • Abnvet

            “God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Romans 1. In fact, Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed for that very sin. This is not a new sin and has been recognized by the church as sin since the time of the apostles.

          • Andy

            Your understanding of the Sodom and Gomorrah situation is flawed, and the idea that Romans condemns homosexuality has been debunked repeatedly. Several times on this page, even.

          • Abnvet

            Your interpretation from apocryphal writings is unsound. You base your interpretation on what you want it to say, not in the clear context of scripture. Grace is not a license for sin. I have read Romans completely and know it rather well thank you James. The context was that God is giving them over to a depraved mind as punishment. Notice the word
            unnatural… it did not mean alternative, notice the word shameful. You claim to be Christians and yet you cannot distinguish even the milk of scripture.

          • Andy

            Apocryphal writings? Like Genesis? My interpretation of it is as valid as yours is.

          • Abnvet

            Then only one of us is correct in the interpretation. Genesis is accepted canon. If you are wrong, then you are leading many to hell in your interpretation. If I am wrong, then what, people are not ‘true to themselves’ in this vapor of a life.

          • Andy

            “Accepted canon” doesn’t imply literal acceptance.

            And I can’t lead anyone to hell if I don’t believe it exists.

          • Abnvet

            Whether or not you believe it exists does not affect whether or not it truly exists in reality. If it does exist then you are a total fool…time will tell.

          • BarbaraR

            OK, we get it. You believe your interpretation is the only correct one.I don’t see any point in engaging with dogmatism.

            Also? Repeatedly stating your interpretation as fact rather than opinion, along with calling someone on this board a fool, is going to get you blocked. Your choice.

          • Abnvet

            I let scripture speak for itself. I guess you are of the opinion that anyone that doesn’t agree with you or your opinion should have their mouth stopped up…. or blocked. Scripture repeatly calls those who fail to see the truth as “fools”, so I apologize… I will use the term “self-deceived.”

          • Julie

            How is giving a public opinion of what scripture says allowing scripture to speak for itself?

          • Abnvet

            I back up what I say with Scripture. I don’t just say, well I believe that “God, is …… because that is what I believe” but without a biblical context.

          • Julie

            And the word “arsenokoites” is in the context of other vices that emerge from malicious intent or excessive lust and all of the vices cause identifiable harm. This compares with Romans 1 where the context is excessive lust (v. 27). The acts Paul condemns do not occur outside of malicious intent or excessive lust. So extending this to loving, covenant union is going beyond the context.

          • Abnvet

            The word “arsenokoites” is not used. The context of Romans 1:27 is specific toward the desire for homosexual acts as a punishment for idolatry. Hence the Preposition “therefore” or “likewise”. It has nothing to do whatsoever with excessive lust or even malicious intent.

          • Julie

            Yes, Paul uses the word “arsenokoites” in his two vice lists. The vice is in the context of other vices that emerge from malicious intent or excessive lust and all of the vices cause identifiable harm. As far as Romans 1, God doesn’t punish people by making them fornicate with other people. As we see with idolatrous behavior, it was a deliberate casting away of that which was evident within them and the resulting excessive, burning desire that led to their immoral acts.

          • Abnvet

            God did not make them do anything. God gave them over to a depraved mind to do all manner of wickedness. One of the specific examples of rampant sin was men doing away with the natural desire for men and burning with desire for other men. The text is very plain there. There is no other way to interpret it except to do what Andy does and that is to throw out the Pauline letters completely.

          • anakinmcfly

            Gay men don’t ‘do away’ with natural desires for women. They never had them to begin with. So the passage can’t have been referring to them.

          • Wayne

            Wrong! The word “arsenokoites” is indeed used in the text. Yours is a typical “gay revisionist” approach, and that approach has been refuted and debunked many, many years ago!

          • Abnvet

            ὁμοίως τε καὶ οἱ ἄῤῥενες ἀφέντες τὴν φυσικὴν χρῆσιν τῆς θηλείας ἐξεκαύθησαν ἐν τῇ ὀρέξει αὐτῶν εἰς ἀλλήλους ἄρσενες ἐν ἄρσεσιν τὴν ἀσχημοσύνην κατεργαζόμενοι καὶ τὴν ἀντιμισθίαν ἣν ἔδει τῆς πλάνης αὐτῶν ἐν ἑαυτοῖς ἀπολαμβάνοντες is the Greek and Arsenonkoites is not used in Romans. The terms that were used was “men (arren)abandoned (aphiemi) the natural (physikos) function (chresis)of the woman (thelys) and burned (ekkaio) in (en) their (autos) desire (orexis) toward one another (eis allelon), men with men (arren en arren) committing (katergazomai) indecent acts (aschemosyne)….the revisionism is from your side that is trying to cut and paste homosexual behaviour as “normal” into the scripture.

          • Julie

            Abnvet,

            No one said arsenokoites was used in Romans–we said it was used by Paul in the two vice lists in the NT. Let me ask you something, though. Do you believe the men in Romans 1 engaged in arsenokoites?

          • Abnvet

            That reply was to “Wayne” who stated: “Wrong! The word “arsenokoites” is indeed used in the text.” (refering to my post in Romans).

          • Julie

            I don’t know that that is what Wayne was saying, but, in any case, do you believe the men in Romans 1 engaged in arsenokoites?

          • Andy

            Yours is a typical archaic and primitive approach, and that approach has been refuted and debunked many, many years ago.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            If you let scripture speak for itself, you wouldn’t be here trying to insist you are speaking for scripture, and insulting those who say, “hey, wait here a moment, I don’t read it that way.”

          • BarbaraR

            Hasn’t his 15 minutes of fame expired yet?

          • Abnvet

            Because, you and your “friends” are discrediting the truth of the Word. If you were familiar with scripture you would know that Christians are called to defend the Word of God, hence the whole field of apologetics.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I will say this one time. The people here are very familiar with scripture. You are entitled to your opinion. You’ve stated it multiple times. I think its time to move on.

          • Julie

            No one here wants to stop up mouths when those mouths stick to attacking the text and the view rather than the people. There is no place for calling anyone anything other than something pleasant and kind.

          • Andy

            Well, duh.

            And if it doesn’t, then you are a total fool. Time will tell. And in the meantime, you will alienate more non-Christians than I will.

            Your move.

          • Abnvet

            Telling people who remain in a burning house that it is not on fire is not alienation, it is compassion. If God Calls them, then they will respond to the Gospel. If they are not called, then their alienation will be of their own making. Just because you flow down the current of pop culture and the current conventional wisdom does not mean it’s of objective truth. You argue with unsound logic. I only mean to sound a warning, since Scripture warns pretty intently on those who lead people into the wrong doctrine as being accursed.

          • Andy

            Your logic is no more sound than mine. Your interpretation is no more valid than mine. If you don’t realize that, then I pity you.

            Also, we generally tolerate differing points of view here, but one thing we don’t tolerate is pretending your personal opinions and interpretations are objectively factual. And if you continue to talk as if they are, you will no longer be welcome here.

            And finally, you are not a martyr, so don’t even bother painting yourself as one. We’ve seen that before, too.

          • anakinmcfly

            God called. I responded. Still gay.

          • Andy

            If God calls back, could you ask him who’s going to win the World Series? I could use a new yacht.

          • BarbaraR

            If you find out, don’t ruin it for us! #SFGiantsFan

          • BarbaraR

            So there’s only one possible interpretation? Yours or Andy’s?

            I don’t believe that.

          • Andy

            Correct. Both of us could be wrong.

          • Psycho Gecko

            So, if Genesis is accepted canon, do you believe in a six day creation where evolution never took place, all animals are unrelated to each other, and nothing died in the Garden of Eden except any living fungi or plants that were eaten by vegetarian lions?

          • Abnvet

            Evolution does not ring true. I will stick with what is stated in Bible. I don’t know what was eaten in the Garden.

          • Andy

            Welp, you just lost all credibility. Either that, or you have a revolutionary theory that explains the origin of life in a more scientifically defensible way than evolution, or you deserve a Troll of the Day medal.

            Check that, I think you deserve that medal either way.

          • Abnvet

            Excuse me, but is this not name calling and bullying?
            I guess the same standard does not apply to the MODs of this forum? Evolution is just a theory sparky…as is creation.
            Where is Allegro63 to help me? I have been threatened to be blocked for merely stating that you are foolish. And here you are… a moderator calling me a Whelp and a Troll…..
            Who is name calling now puppet?

          • Andy

            Do you think gravity is just a theory, too?

            I didn’t threaten you because you called me foolish. You presented your opinion on a highly subjective and contentious subject as objectively factual, which is a no-no. The fact that you don’t recognize it as subjective does not excuse it.

          • Julie

            //Excuse me, but is this not name calling and bullying?//

            Abnvet, you and I were having a conversation when this was brought up. I wasn’t speaking with Andy, I was speaking with you. As I tell my sons, we should concern ourselves with and keep clean our own side of the street. Yes?

          • Andy

            Yes, that’s what I meant.

            Who says “whelp” anyway, and why should it be construed as an insult?

            Thanks for helping me out, Julie. :)

          • BarbaraR

            “Whelp” is a puppy. Who wouldn’t want to be called a puppy?

            But apparently it’s also a baby dragon. Who knew?

            http://www.wowwiki.com/Dragon_whelp

          • Andy

            I did, because I’ve played some nerdy games (not WOW; Magic and D&D).

          • Julie

            For the first 300 years of the church’s existence, they believed Romans 1 was talking about non-procreative heterosexual sex rather than women with women. They couldn’t get past milk for the first 300 years?

          • Abnvet

            “…and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts….” <– sorry but that doesn't look heterosexual to me.

          • Julie

            I just noticed this. I’m not sure what your point is on this one. Is it to say that that the church was wrong for the first 300 years because it’s so obviously not heterosexual to you?

            By the way, “in the same way” means that they, too, exchanged the natural function for something else. Heterosexual non-procreative sex was also known as “against nature.”

          • anakinmcfly

            Nah, on that part at least he was correct. It *was* referring to homosexual sex, but of a very specific type – done in orgiastic sex worship of pagan gods, between people who were probably heterosexual (and who were also having heterosexual sex in there). IIRC it included people (male and female) having sex with the priests and priestesses and each other (including lots of incest within families) as part of fertility rites, with no actual love or attraction involved. Which… no gay person I know has actually done.

          • anakinmcfly

            Yeah, but the rest of that passage in context looks nothing at all like the gay people and relationships I know. The “for this reason” at the start of that bit is important.

          • James Walker

            you’ve misunderstood Romans 1 and need to re-read it in the light of Romans 2 and 3.

            you’ve also mis-read the story of Sodom which in Genesis was never about homosexuality but about acts of rape directed at guests in the town. the Bible is quite clear (oddly enough, since it’s rarely clear about anything) that Sodom was destroyed for failing to help those who were less fortunate.

          • jenelle

            There are more passages in the Bible to read on this subject, although giving them to someone as proof will not likely make any difference in what they’ve chosen to believe. If one wants to know the whole truth, he will search them out for himself and read them, asking God sincerely to show him the truth. Of course, if one wants to know the truth, he must understand that the Bible is the word of God rather than assuming it is not. God will show him this truth also if he truly wants to know.

          • Julie

            jenelle,

            It sounds like you’re assuming James is choosing to believe what he currently believes and you are not choosing. Don’t we all choose what we believe and don’t believe based on how persuaded we are? And what makes you think James has not wanted to know the truth and has not sought out the truth for himself while asking God sincerely to show him the truth? Because he came to a different conclusion than you? Is that how we judge another’s intentions? Whether or not someone comes to the same conclusions we have?

          • James Walker

            jenelle – I grew up in the Southern Baptist Church under the teaching of a deeply fundamentalist father who was a pastor and the leader of our Christian school. I assure you, I have not only read the entire Bible more than once, I have studied it deeply and from the very viewpoint that you now hold.

            That viewpoint simply does not work here in the real world. The Bible, when we study its pages carefully and search out the meanings of the words and phrases the writers actually used in their original language, has exactly nothing to say about same-sex sexual relations as we understand them today – loving partnerships between equal adults.

          • brodennis76

            I find it laughable how so many of you call something “you’re interpretation” when you disagree with it, but when you say something you’ve shown it “over and over” as “simply not true.”

          • Andy

            The bible is explicitly clear about very few things.

          • BarbaraR

            If you think you’re the first person to come here and say that, you’d be mistaken. We are not illiterate; people here have read and studied the Bible in numerous translations.

          • anakinmcfly

            The Bible is explicitly clear on the sinful nature of *some* homosexual acts, just like it is explicitly clear on the sinful nature of some heterosexual acts.

          • Andy
          • Andy
    • Julie

      KorndogMan,

      You’ve missed some very miraculous things here. The Spirit had been preparing Danny all along. Danny did not know his baby born to him would have a same-sex orientation. At the birth of his child, Danny held a traditional view. That’s what he had been taught and he didn’t really question it. Over many years, the Spirit allowed people to come into Danny’s life whose situations required him to think more deeply about this, and the Spirit moved his heart to scrutinize and test his traditional view rather than assume he had all the answers to this. By the time his son told him of his sexual orientation, Danny had been fully prepared to hear this with a heart of peace rather than fear. Fear can lead to all kinds of inappropriate responses, but peace makes room for the full
      movement of the Spirit. Now, that is newsworthy, even if the title doesn’t fully capture all that.

      Another miraculous thing is that this church was willing to pray, study, and wait on the Lord rather than making a hasty decision about Danny’s future with the church. By the direction of the Spirit, rather than asking Danny and his family to leave the church (which wouldn’t have looked like acceptance to me), they chose to have them remain and allow members to follow the principles of conscience as seen in Romans 14.

      • KorndogMan

        Julie, I understand your interpretation of events. I share a belief in the Holy Spirit and in the providential leading/guiding of the Holy Spirit. I would guess that we also share a view that not everything is the work of the Spirit. Therefore, some criteria must be established to know what is and what is not the work of the Spirit. I would suggest that the Spirit leads in concert with the Word. My reasoning for this is, in part, based on the unity of the Triune God; Father, Son (Incarnate Word), and Holy Spirit. So I would be very uncomfortable seeing the Spirit move in opposition to the Word, which is called the “sword of the Spirit” in Ephesians 6. I will not re-hash the textual arguments against Christianity. I will say, however, that there is a good reason to believe the Spirit leading to accept homosexuality would be contrary to the teaching of Scripture.

        • James Walker

          you seem to be making the common mistake of conflating the Word of God (Jesus) with the written words contained in the books of the Bible.

          • jenelle

            Jesus is the Word and the Bible is his word. All of it. Yes, he deals differently with various groups at different times. And no, He doesn’t change, but he has dealt differently with different dispensations i.e. Garden of Eden, pre-flood, pre-Israel, Israel, Gentiles, New Testament church. However, those things that are repeated for another group are meant for that group also.

          • James Walker

            the Bible is his word. All of it

            that teaching is unscriptural

        • toujoursdan

          You mean *your* interpretation of the teaching of Scripture.

          (Whether modern gay relationships actually conflict with the teaching of scripture is a matter than Biblical scholars who are intimately familiar with the original languages and cultures don’t even agree on.)

          I happen to believe that there is no conflict between the teaching of scripture and gay relationships and the rhetorical, historical, cultural and scientific context of what scripture opposed is quite different.

          • jenelle

            “Biblical scholars.”

          • pax2u

            at least Biblical scholars do not accept the rapture bus

        • Julie

          //Therefore, some criteria must be established to know what is and what is not the work of the Spirit. I would suggest that the Spirit leads in concert with the Word.//

          I agree. That’s one of the reasons I recognize it’s likely that the traditional view has it wrong. The view has produced some very bad fruit. On the other hand, we see good fruit coming out of the unions of same-sex Christians. This is cause to question if the traditional view is, indeed, in concert with the Word.

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

      Hi KorndogMan –

      You may be right about the “accepting” / “rejecting” language as far as you go. There is an element of intent to consider. The traditionalist parent is not necessarily intending to seperate from their gay child. And most often, that parent truly wants what’s best for their child.

      Intent counts for something, but it doesn’t excuse impact.

      There’s a world of difference between saying “I believe God asks us to wait for marriage before we have sex” and “I believe you are fundamentally flawd and therefore asked by God to remain celibate and uncoupled for your entire lifetime.” In the case of the former, you are making a statement about sexual ethics. In the latter, you are making a condemning statement about an essential quality of the child. So, in that sense, the parent is indeed rejecting as corrupt the child’s personhood (and, I believe, holding a belief that is unintentionally emotionally and spiritually abusive).

      So I would argue that in the broad sense, failure to affirm one’s gay child is a form of rejection regardless of his intent to seperate from them. The onus is perhaps on the gay person – as the object of the condemnation – to accept and forgive the family that rejects them.

      • KorndogMan

        Ford,

        I agree there is a difference. I would suggest that both of your quoted statements above are actually statements about sexual ethics. But why is it a problem to suggest that a person is “fundamentally flawed” and therefore in need of radical change? That is, in essence, the very teaching of Scripture about sin. We are made in God’s image, and yet, are fallen and thus in need of redemption which is (thankfully) provided by Jesus and accessed through faith. The idea of being “fundamentally flawed” is echoed by the Apostle Paul who in Romans 7 says “oh wretched man that I am!?” When asked, “what is wrong with the world” the great Christian writer G.K. Chesterton responded thusly: “I am”. So I would suggest that sexuality aside, all of us are fundamentally flawed!

        Regarding your last paragraph: I simply disagree that failing to affirm a persons sexuality is a form of rejection. Again, I am a Christian. It is as central to my identity as sexuality is to a homosexual’s identify. I accept that many people love me who reject my religion, oppose my religion, and argue against my religion. And yet, they love and accept me!

        Isn’t that what a truly open-minded society is all about?

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

          Hi KorndogMan –

          I am a sinner in need of redemption for sure – but not because I’m gay. I don’t believe God demands people who are gay to live in a way that is incongruent with His creative intention. To the contrary, sanctification brings us more into line with God’s ideal.

          In my experience, the the biggest sin in my life – the thing that kept me far away from God – was living inauthentically and rejecting his gift of sexuality. Lifelong celebacy isn’t just about refraining from sex. It necessarily requires emotional distance. This is a barrier to relationships both romantic and platonic. I believe that God created us as relational beings.

          I am a Christian. It is as central to my identity as sexuality is to a homosexual’s identify.

          What would lead you to believe that a gay person’s identity is any more central to their identity than a straight persons? Why would you believe that, to a Christian who is gay, his faith is not central to his identity? There’s a certain judgment and callousness in this statement that betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of sexual orientation.

          • ACTS 2:38

            @ford1968 – you my friend are wrong – you can’t be a homosexual Christian – that’s about as contradictory as you can get – JESUS said homosexuality is an abomination – to be Christian is to be Christ-like – the two just don’t go together. JESUS loves us unconditionally – but NO sin can enter into heaven – homosexuality is a sin – as is adultery, fornication, lying, stealing, etc… – JESUS loves the sinner – not the sin – JESUS’ plan of salvation starts with ACTS 2:38 – repentance, baptism in JESUS name, receiving the HOLY GHOST – with JESUS’ salvation you can be delivered, changed, saved – without it you’re lost and going to hell. JESUS wants that none be lost – but salvation is a choice – homosexuals and with anybody else can be changed and saved – but it is our choice. JESUS is very specific on what we must do to be saved – in this life you’re either serving JESUS or satan – there’s no in between my friend.

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

            Thanks for clearing that up for me. I hadn’t considered this question at all.

          • D M

            Jesus never had sex but is the most relational person who has ever walk this earth. Celibacy does not necessarily entail emotional isolation.

          • BarbaraR

            Jesus never had sex? How do you know this?

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

            DM – that’s a mighty glib response.

            You may be right as far as you go, but clearly not all are called to celibacy – including people who are gay. Many / most people experience such sexual repression as emotionally isolating. Even those who choose celibacy willingly often find it unsustainable (see the research on Catholic priests).

            Why did God give Adam a helpmeet? Why did Paul say it was better to marry than burn with passion? The traditionalist theology insists that all gay people are somehow called to celibacy. That’s a heavy, cumbersome load indeed. And the carnage it has caused is undeniable.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            There is nothing to support or deny anything about Jesus’s sexual life. We don’t even know if he was ever married, or had kids. The Bible is utterly silent on the matter, mainly because it didn’t matter to the authors.

        • James Walker

          This recurring trope that LGBT+ people need to be “saved” from the “sin” of their non-straight identification in the same fashion that everyone else must be “saved” from their “sin nature” due to the Fall needs to be addressed.

          We are not saved from sin. We are saved from the Law of sin and death written on tablets of stone and saved to a new righteousness that stems from the new Law written in our hearts. We did not need salvation because we were flawed. We still are! We needed salvation from a Law that was ineffective in producing righteousness and could only condemn all of us.

          The idea that, as Christians, we are somehow required to live according to the purity code in Leviticus is just… crazy.

          • brodennis76

            James that is not a correct understanding of salvation. When Christ died on the cross he died to pay the penalty for our sins, not to save us from the Law. The Law itself is not evil, nor is it something that we must be saved from. In Romans 7:7, Paul notes “What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin.”

            It is sin that produces “death in me through what is good, in order that sin might be shown to be sin, and through the commandment might become sinful beyond measure.” (v. 13) The Law is a mirror, or as Luther called it, a schoolmaster that shows us how sinful sin really is.

            Ultimately Christ came to be our penal substitute, accepting the penalty for our sins and standing in our place accepting the righteous wrath of God in our place. Granted, when Christ came he freed us from the bonds of adherence to the law for our justification, but that does not mean that the law can be or should be thrown out. In Christ, I am free to do what I could not because of my sin nature. Because of Christ, I am free from the weight of sin, no longer enslaved by sin, but now free to live with him and for him (Romans 6:6-8). Thus the law which before was a vicious judge has now been satisfied in all of its righteous requirement (Romans 8:8). We don’t need salvation from the law, but the sin that the law served to safeguard us from (Gal. 3) (though in fact it serves to show us how desperately we need salvation that comes through Christ Jesus.

            Plus, your logic does not track. Are you actually saying that before the law there was not need for salvation? That is the implication of your statement that we do not need to be saved because we were flawed but from the Law. If we were only to be saved from “the Law of sin and death written on tablets of stone” then there would be no need for Adam and Eve to be punished for their sin because the “tablets of stone” did not exist, nor would Cain be guilty, nor the world that God destroyed in the flood, nor the pretentious builders of Babal, nor the deviants of Sodom and Gomorra, etc.

            Yes, we are still broken, but that is what sanctification is all about. Christ came first to die for our sins to save us from the penalty of sin:

            For Christ also sufferedb once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit (1 Peter 3:18)

            For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, (1 Corinthians 15:3)

            (Jesus) who was delivered up for our trespasses and raised for our justification. (Romans 4:25)

            Now as to the idea of living according to the purity code in Leviticus, I would note that no one is saying we should go back to Leviticus. I am stating that homosexual activity is strictly prohibited in the New Testament.

            In Matthew 19, Jesus notes that marriage between one man and one woman was created by God in the beginning and violating that polysexual monogamous relationship is sinful.

            Romans 1:18-32 discusses homosexual relationships as sinful.

            1 Corinthians 6:9-11 – Paul notes that some in the Corinthian church had been homosexual (the Greek actually uses two terms to connote both partners in a same sex relationship): “such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

            I understand that this is a sensitive subject and that for some very personal, but I find nothing in scripture that would reverse these statements.

          • James Walker

            let me cut right to the quick of where you and I disagree.

            Adam and Eve were never punished for their “transgression” because they never existed. the story in Genesis was just that – a story. its purpose was to explain to the Jewish people how they came to be, to explain the existence of suffering in a world that was supposed to have been created by a perfect God, and to place their God squarely in the center of all the common mythology they shared with the rest of the middle-eastern cultures around them.

            as for the rest of that extremely long comment with lots of Bible verses that, yes, I have read and studied (in the context of their entire epistles, no less), let me just say that Paul was the chief architect and instigator of the substitutionary atonement model of Salvation and I don’t buy it. it doesn’t even jive with the rest of his teachings on how we go on to live as Christians once we have received Salvation.

            finally, none of the New Testament writers actually discusses anything comparable to same-sex sexual relations as loving partnerships between equal adults. none. there are many different interpretations of Romans 1:18-32, but even the most “literal by the English text” of those interpretations doesn’t look anything at all like a modern day gay or lesbian relationship.

          • Sheryl Lynn

            If you deny the existence of Adam how do you explain the existence of Jesus his coming, his crucifixion and his resurrection. How do you explain the genealogy of Christ? YOu need to believe its ALL the Word of God or its not.

          • Andy

            You most certainly do not need to believe all of it. Or at least to take it literally. The bible is actually not one piece of writing; it comprises more than 60 pieces by a lot of different writers, written hundreds of years apart in some cases. Considering how long many of those narratives were likely told orally before being written down, you don’t think it’s possible somebody made a mistake here and there?

          • James Walker

            Jesus was an historical figure, with plenty of secondary source evidence to validate that He was here, that He gathered disciples, taught as a Rabbi and was executed by the Roman government.

            Adam and Eve are mythical figures with zero evidence supporting their existence. Mitochondrial DNA evidence shows that there were at least 8 different “first mothers” of the human race, not 1. I forget how many paternal lineages are evident in the DNA of currently living people, but it’s certainly more than 1.

            Also, the Word of God was Jesus, not the written words in the various books compiled into the Bible. I can, and do, believe that the Bible was written by human beings who may have tried their very best to convey what the Spirit inspired them to write, but had only the words of their native language and the context of the culture they lived in to portray the timeless concepts of God and faith.

          • brodennis76

            Thank you for that clarification. Unlike you, I base my spiritual walk with God on his inspired special revelation that I find in the Word of God, the Bible. Yes, there is a distinction made between o Logos, Jesus and o logos, the Scriptures, but the scriptures are God’s revelation of himself to us. I think Jesus’ own use of scripture, and dependance on scripture (I know that the scripture he spoke of was the Old Testament) gives it weight and authority.

            Also, Jesus himself spoke of Adam and Eve in this passage you refute as being actual people who God actually created and whose marriage he actually instituted. Thus, Jesus himself believed in a literal Adam and Eve and based his teaching on marriage on the fact. So either Jesus was mistaken or he wasn’t. So is Jesus, the Word of God or not? Is he God incarnate or not?

            We disagree on Paul’s theology of substitutionary atonement, though I find that it not only “jives” with the rest of his teachings, but it also jives with the rest of scripture and find no biblical basis at all for your assertion about what we must be “saved” from.

            Also, you say that noting in Romans looks like a modern day gay or lesbian relationship and that is true, but that does not change the reality of what it says. Even in a monogamous gay relationship there is still sexual intimacy that contradicts scripture.

          • brodennis76

            But, being gay does not send you to hell any more than being straight gets you to heaven. Salvation is about the complete work of Christ for us on the cross.

          • anakinmcfly

            Suffice to say, there is a lot of scholarship on the verses you mention. Regarding Romans 1 in particular, even a good number of conservative scholars agree that it’s not talking about gay people, but rather referring to homosexual (and heterosexual) sex acts done in ritualistic worship of pagan gods, specifically those in the temple of AcroCorinth, which Paul had been writing about. The context of the passage (talking about denying God and delving into pagan worship) supports this view.

            The words in 1 Corinthians are still debated about. Of the two words, ‘malakoi’ was almost definitely not referring to gay people; it originally meant ‘weak’, as in ‘spiritually weak’, but through the course of translation ended up being translated to ‘womanly’ (because women were seen as weak), then ‘effeminate’. The meaning of the other word is likewise disputed, and thought to have been related to those involved in the prostitution of young boys – which we’d consider pedophilia and sex trading, and also condemn.

            There’s a lot of literature out there on the topic if you’re interested. Here’s a good article that goes fairly in-depth: http://www.thegodarticle.com/faith/clobbering-biblical-gay-bashing

            You don’t have to be convinced by the article, but it’s at least good to know the counterarguments.

          • brodennis76

            I do know the counterarguments. I do not agree with the position you have taken on them though based on biblical scholarship and allowing scripture to interpret scripture. Kevin DeYoung has written a piece arguing against the Revisionist line of reasoning.

            http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/kevindeyoung/2012/05/16/what-the-bible-really-still-says-about-homosexuality/

            as does Albert Mohler
            http://www.albertmohler.com/2004/04/21/homosexuality-and-the-bible-twisting-the-truth/

            Saul Olyan has a great article on this subject
            http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/3704197?uid=3739616&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21104254060533

            and others.

            You stated that malakoi almost definitely did not refer to homosexuals, but that is simply a revisionist mistruth. First the work malakoi is related to catamites. Catamites were boys kept for the purposes of homosexual activity, or to men who submit his body for unnatural lewdness. It can mean effeminate or weak, but that is only one possible translation.

            The view that arsenokoitai is a reference to “homosexuals” is based on the simple fact that it is recognizable as a compound word which originated in the Septuagint translation of Leviticus 20:13 which speaks of a man who lies with mankind as with womankind. In Leviticus, the compound word arsenokoitai word is presented as two separate words – arsenos meaning “man” and koiten meaning “lay.”

            Some have stated that no ancient texts use this word for homosexual activity, but it is clear that this is based on Paul’s knowledge of Lev. 20:13 and why he uses it in Romans writing to Helenistic Greeks (This would have been familiar with the Septuagint and thus it would be recognizable to them).

            What bothers me, and why I am writing at all, is that many who view homosexual marriage as biblical act like the argument is settled and they have won. I think it’s another example of an appeal to novelty logical fallacy. The church has for almost 2,000 years viewed Paul’s words to mean homosexual sin (Clement of Alexandria, Justin Martyr, etc. all spoke out against homosexual sin.)

            Let me say this. As a Christian, I love homosexuals as much as I do anyone who struggles with any sin. I have no malice towards anyone who is a homosexual as many who are homosexuals who I am friends with can attest. I just believe that scripture teaches that homosexual activity is a sin and because of that I must teach it to be a sin. I understand this pastor’s dilemma. I have three sons and if one came to me and said he was homosexual it would affect me greatly. I would love my son, but I would not condone sinful behavior.

          • anakinmcfly

            There were actual, clearer words for homosexuality that Paul could have easily used. In that context, it’s curious why he chose to use such an obscure word as ‘arsenokoites’, whose meaning is still debated. Yes, it’s clear that it involves men and sex in some way. But from other texts, there’s a strong link with economic transaction, suggesting male prostitution – specifically between men and boys. Which would line up with the thing about catamites, and which would be pedophilia and sex trading, which most people – gay or otherwise – would agree is a sin.

            Those were in fact the most common forms of homosexuality back when Paul was writing – apart from pagan sex rituals (between otherwise heterosexual men), it was in the context of slave boys sold as prostitutes, as well as the gang rape of men by other men as a way to humiliate them. All of which is abhorrent and justly condemned. But to then say that that extends to condemning all gay people is like saying that heterosexuality is a sin because the Bible speaks so often about the sinfulness of, say, rape and incest between opposite-sex couples.

            It comes down to motivations. Sex that emerges from the desires to hurt, to dominate, to control – that’s sinful. Sex that emerges from love… that’s something completely different.

            Meanwhile, full disclosure: I’m a gay transgender guy, which means that even conservative Christians who believe homosexuality is a sin can’t agree on who I’m allowed to be attracted to, depending on whether or not they view transsexualism as a medical condition (as is the current official medical stance). If they do, they consider me as just another guy, just one with atypical anatomy, and believe that I should thus only have relations with women, even though I’m only attracted to men. If they don’t, they consider me to be a deluded woman, and believe that I should thus only have relations with men. Which works fine for me. I’m still a virgin and have yet to get into a relationship with anyone, but it’s been years since I transitioned and most people know me as just another gay guy. What’s your opinion on who I’m allowed to love and have sex with?

        • cajaquarius

          [Again, I am a Christian. It is as central to my identity as sexuality is to a homosexual's identify. I accept that many people love me who reject my religion, oppose my religion, and argue against my religion. And yet, they love and accept me!]

          Actually, it would be more akin to me saying I love a black person while maintaining that his race makes him cursed and inferior. When you reject the orientation of someone who is homosexual you are rejecting a pillar upon which who they are is built. Our romantic inclinations are a huge part of what makes us human. They are and have been the basis of epic tales through the ages, from the Iliad to James Cameron’s Titanic.

          To reject who we are is far more devastating to many of us than it will ever be for you. That is changing as more and more gay role models appear and the bad science is beaten out by the good in the periphery, but it is still a destructive thing all the same. This need to demystify and create acceptance for us is what drives stories like these. Without that, our enemies would surely spread the same lies about us they did through the sixties and seventies. Even today, there wicked men and hate groups dedicated to our annihilation (eg Scott Lively, the American Family Association, the Family Research Council, etc).

          • Andy

            “But I’m not racist! I have black friends!”

          • Julie

            //Actually, it would be more akin to me saying I love a black person while maintaining that his race makes him cursed and inferior.//

            Indeed! Why can’t we see this?! Ugh! Lord Almighty, we desperately need your help!

        • rcdcr

          “Regarding your last paragraph: I simply disagree that failing to affirm a persons sexuality is a form of rejection.”

          Oy.

          I grew up in the Christian church. Multiple services a week, Sunday School, Youth group, the entire thing.

          I came out at 16. I am now 45.

          The day I came out, my ‘christian’ parents handed my my backpack and $100.

          I was told never to return.

          I didn’t.

          That was over 29 years ago. I’ve not seen or heard from a single family member in ALL that time.

          Not rejection, you say?

          Wipe your conscience, korndog man. That’s what ‘christians’ really desire. To abuse. To degrade. To dehumanize and to torment your LGBT children without ANY harm to your own consciences.

          The luxury to live in the dark. Eyes closed. Heart shut. Superiority-complex on full display. So that your LGBT children know that they are inferior to you.

          It’s disgusting and pathetic and those who participate in it should be ashamed of themselves.

          And you want to attribute this to God so that your consciences don’t haunt you for your entire lives while you are abusing your LGBT children. Pathetic. Why do you not treat your heterosexual children who participate in pre-marital sex in this manner???????? The biblical punishment is the same? Why no laws to degrade THOSE people in society??? That’s rhetorical, by the way – it is CLEAR why.

          Rejecting my sexual orientation IS rejecting me as a human being.

          Only a heterosexual could or would allow themselves to believe otherwisse. becasue you have NO IDEA what you’re talking about in regards to being LGBT. NO IDEA.

          I know B.S. when I see it, brother.

          Go ahead. Wipe your conscience.

          • Andy

            That is absolutely disgusting. I’m ashamed to share a planet with these kinds of people. I am so sorry.

          • Julie

            rcdcr,

            On behalf of those who love the Lord Jesus and desire to
            walk in love as he, I am heartbroken for the pain you’ve gone through and I’m so sorry that you had to experience that.

  • Abnvet

    “…. When the Son of man comes, shall he find faith on the earth?”

    • Julie

      Faith in…our interpretations? I pray you’re not relying on your interpretative abilities but rather on Christ alone and that you see the fruit of that faith as you humbly submit to his call to love others through the same mercy and grace you’ve been shown. That’s the faith he wishes to see at his return.

    • anakinmcfly

      “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13

      Shall he find love on the earth?

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

    As I’m reading through these comments, I’m appreciating Pastor Danny’s church even more. The (big C) Church has a desire for certainty. Many of us, myself included, have a desire to be correct. But that’s not really walking by faith, is it?

    What New Heart Community Church has done is put people above dogma. They’re willing humble themselves and say “I may or may not be right, but I’m not going to let my beliefs break our communion.” That’s truly counter-cultural in our hyper-polarized world.

  • Wayne

    This is very, very tragic! To reject the clear teachings of Scripture on human sexuality for political correctness will result in dire consequences for the church. To embrace one’s child because he/she is gay is one thing, but to reject God’s clear word on the perversion of homosexuality is quite another thing. God is not mocked, and HE will judge all unrepentant homosexuals and other sexually immoral people and there is no wiggle room around that reality. Can the Scripture be any more clearer than these words:

    “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.” (1 Cor. 6:9-10)

    So let me make one final comment: if living a homosexual lifestyle is okay and not abnormal or sinful, then being an adulterer, fornicator, drunkard, thief, pedophile, and the like, is also not sinful and abnormal. This pastor didn’t do his son any favor and he could possibly have sealed his son’s eternal fate by making him feel justified in living the gay lifestyle. If the above verses are NOT TRUE, then we can have no confidence that any other aspect of Scripture is true!

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

      Wayne,
      I’m interested to know where, in either the letter or videos, you got the impression that Pastor Danny’s new belief is a result of political correctness rather than a sincere, faithful process of discernment.

    • Psycho Gecko

      Alright, I’ll bite…

      Where is your hard evidence the above verses are true?

      • jenelle

        So many levels of deception. This taking words out of context, and even using different words than the Bible uses, is quite popular these days.

        • Psycho Gecko

          I know, but that’s just how these anti-gay types are. After all, rather than read the whole bible, they figured the only important parts were the ones addressing things they themselves didn’t like.

      • Andy

        This will have to do; it’s all I could find.

    • mindy

      Wayne. Please try to see the difference between differing sexual orientation (who a person loves), and everything else you listed, all behaviors that victimize other human beings. You are basing your prejudices on antiquated and failed Biblical translations, and the more research you do, from various sources, you will see that believing this young man and all those like him are loved by God will not, in fact, doom you. Because, after all, isn’t that your primary concern?

  • Truth Unites… and Divides

    SBC Pastor Danny Cortez: “In August of 2013, on a sunny day at the beach, I realized I no longer believed in the traditional teachings regarding homosexuality. … I couldn’t help but think that my 15 year journey was in preparation for that moment. If it wasn’t for this 15 year journey and my change in theology, I may have destroyed my son through reparative therapy.”

    A response to thoughtfully consider from blogger Steve Hays:

    “It’s tough to be a parent. That said, let’s consider a few comparisons:

    i) There are devout Christian parents who raise their kids in the faith, yet their kids leave the faith. That’s heartbreaking.

    Is the proper reaction to say, “Well, I used to think it was all-important to follow Jesus, but now that my own kid turned his back on Christ, I guess it’s not terribly important after all.” Or is the proper reaction to continue to pray for your straying child?

    ii) As a parent, you oppose cocaine and heroine. Suppose your son or daughter becomes addicted. Do you suddenly reverse your position on drugs? “Well, I used to think a heroine habit was a bad thing, but now that my daughter is a junkie, I guess it’s not so bad after all.”

    iii) Imagine if you’re the parents of Ted Bundy or Jeffrey Dahmer. Imagine what it feels like to discover that your son is a serial killer.

    Does the fact that your son has been outed, or come out of the closet, as a serial killer, change your views on serial murder? “Well, I used to think serial murder, necrophilia, and cannibalism were evil, but now that I find out that that’s what my son is into, I accept him just the way he is.””

    From Coming Out Videos

    • Psycho Gecko

      1. Homosexuality is not an addiction or serial murder. Nobody is being physically harmed by his son admitting he is gay.

      2. The pastor changed his views before he found out his son was gay, meaning every question which implies he changed his beliefs just because of his son is based on a flawed assumption.

      3. Praying for a “straying” child is quite a bit different than trying to force him to no longer be gay. Such therapy, if you can call it that, does nothing but cause psychological harm to someone.

    • Andy

      You have the audacity to compare being gay to being a serial killer? No. Just…no.

      Good riddance.

    • Matt

      This comparison of LGBT people to murders, cannibals, and pedophiles needs to stop. No matter what one’s views are, it is the antithesis of respectful conversation.

  • William Lane

    Anyone who thinks that Christians are still bound by any part of the law ought to read Romans 7:4-9. There Paul says that we are released from the law and we “serve in the new way of the spirit.” The only law that binds Christians is the law of love.

  • muscleinabmw

    FIRE this preacher NOW……..judgement begins FIRST in the house of GOD

    • Julie

      Boo! :-)

      Instead of making a hasty remark such as that one, the church chose to pray, study, and wait on the Lord before making their decision. Such a godly and commendable way to handle this whole thing.

      • muscleinabmw

        Preach the whole BIBLE or shut the doors……this is an abomination and you are no longer a church when you pick and choose which parts of the BIBLE to obey. This is an ABOMINATION BOO! A TRAVESTY BOO! FIRE THIS PREACHER NOW and let him go be a part of the APOSTATE WORLD CHURCH….LEST YOU BECOME A PART OF IT TOO
        I know the BIBLE is right and somebody is wrong!!!!!!

        • Julie

          Excessive use of all caps represents shouting rather than emphasis. You’re heard even when you’re not using all
          caps, and readers become more receptive to what you share when you use all caps in moderation for emphasis only. Excessive use of exclamation marks also comes across as shouting rather than emphasis. One exclamation mark will do the job of emphasis.

          The church isn’t picking and choosing which parts of the
          bible to obey. The church has recognized that this is a disputable matter, and therefore they are letting each member be accountable to their own conscience (cf. Romans 14).

          • http://progressivesalvationist.blogspot.com Timothy McPherson

            It’s best not to feed the trolls.

          • Julie

            Jesus died for even trolls. Who am I to give up on them when Jesus didn’t? :-) But I understand there are times the weariness sets in and it’s time to move on and just pray.

          • anakinmcfly

            But it’s only tuppence a bag!

          • James Walker

            anakinmcfly – there’s a very confused chimney sweep on my doorstep asking for you…

      • Andy
      • Andy
  • William Lane

    In the southern baptist convention,n nobody gets to fire the preacher but the congregation and they agree with him.

  • Jerome Dupree

    So now his poor dad has to accept the fact that his son goes down on other men and takes it up the garbage chute.

    • James Walker

      wow.. keeping it classy, I see…

    • Andy

      Okay, we’ll have none of this shit. Good riddance.

      • James Walker

        aww… we needed to keep our anti-gay atheist fossil long enough for Allen to see they’re not as extinct as he predicted. =)

        • Andy

          Heh. While I appreciate this sentiment, he went way, way over the line there.

          We’ll just have to tell Allen that not only did we get visited by one, but that he was substantially more vulgar than most.

        • anakinmcfly

          inorite. I got so excited when I saw his posts, and then they got deleted. :(

  • GibbyD

    Does this mean that that California church will also accept other sins ? What about fornication , adultery , stealing from the collection plate, raping little children , incest and polygamy, arsonists , pornographers , murderers , mobsters , warlocks , All these also say they can’t help themselves just like the homosexual son of the pastor. Surely they will also accept all of those sins as being ok too . Right ?

    • James Walker

      for the umpteenth time, being homosexual is not a sin. nowhere in the Bible does it say that it is. this pastor and his church are not, in any way, shape or form saying “it’s ok to sin”.

      and, before you decide to drum out the same collection of Bible verses that nearly 2 dozen other commenters have trotted out here since this article was posted, let me tell you a secret – we’ve read them all and we are not persuaded that the Bible has a single word to say on the topic of homosexuality. period.

      • ACTS 2:38

        @james walker – you’re wrong my friend – JESUS said homosexuality is an abomination – not you or anybody else will ever change this. don’t know what book you’re reading but it’s definitely not the Bible. you ever read the KJV my friend – JESUS had plenty to say about homosexuality. yes i said JESUS – for JESUS is God – JESUS is the author of the Bible – IIPet 1:20,21 – who do you think told those men what to write? homosexuality is ungodly, immoral, unnatural – it’s sin my friend – and NO sin can enter into heaven. JESUS wants that none be lost – salvation is a choice – don’t be lost cause you made the wrong choice. JESUS’ plan of salvation starts with ACTS 2:38 – repentance, baptism in JESUS name, receiving the HOLY GHOST – with JESUS’ salvation you can be delivered, changed, saved – without it you’re lost and going to hell. this is the last day – IITim 3:1-5 – and it’s only gonna get worse. today is the day of salvation for tomorrow is not promised.

      • GibbyD

        ALL are sinners . We are sinners by inheritance (nature) and by actions .” Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:” ( Romans 5:12)KJB. There are only two kinds of sinners , saved and unsaved. Saved sinners have confessed and agreed with God that He is right about the evil of sin and they are trusting The LORD Jesus to save them. An unsaved sinner is someone who may or may not say he believes in Christ but he never confessed that his sin is sin but rather tries to justify his sin and may even be proud of it . By doing this , he is calling God a liar and he will remain lost and headed to a devil’s hell forever . ( I John 1:9)KJB. What to do , what to do ? ” repent toward God ( HOLY LOVE ) and place your faith and trust toward The LORD Jesus Christ ” ( Acts 20:21)KJB. Being an unsaved sinner is being a sinner. Your a sinner because you sin . You cannot be saved if you justify it . You may be saved if you start with first admitting that the sin is sin .

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

      Warlocks. That’s a new addition to the list. I’m super-psyched to be in the company of warlocks. Not so much with the others.

      • GibbyD

        It does not matter your preference or flavor of sin . If you do not agree with God that it is wrong , He cannot and will not save you from an everlasting hell and lake of fire . If you admit and confess that it is sin and that you are powerless to be able to do anything to change or make yourself “good enough ” , then He will see your repentant heart as you repent toward God ( HOLY LOVE) and place your faith and trust toward The LORD Jesus Christ( God incarnate ) ( Acts 20:21; I John 4:7,8; John 1:1-14)KJB. Don’t justify it or be proud of your sin , confess that it is wrong and place your faith and trust toward The LORD Jesus to save you from the consequences of that sin and in time God may give you the victory over it . Some have immediate deliverance , others may need time and help as they grow in The LORD and His Word before they can be free . Never though justify the sin and call God a liar about it . He said it was wrong , don;t let your pride resist The HOLY Spirit .

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

          Well it’s super-cool that you are so certain about this. That puts you ahead of Paul who admits that a mature faith recognizes that we look into the mirror darkly.

          I sincerely hope you aren’t spending your life worrying about salvation. Rest in the Lord. No one knows how salvation works and it really doesn’t matter. God knows our hearts and His grace covers our misunderstandings. Meanwhile, the life we’ve been given is our current challenge. Love God and neighbor (including enemy). That’s the only task in the here and now.

          • GibbyD

            “We see through a glass darkly ” ( I Corinthians 13:12)KJB. The command of God an purpose for us is to go into all the world and preach the Gospel . . The Life , death and resurrection of the LORD Jesus Christ and what man needs to appropriate salvation from hell and gain everlasting life .”Repentance toward God and faith toward The LORD Jesus Christ ” ( Acts 20:21)KJB. . God became a man in the person of The LORD Jesus Christ , bore our sins in His own body while on the cross , died and then arose from the dead . He is coming back for His church made of every born again believer . ( John 3:3; I Peter 1:23 )KJB.

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

            Yes, I understand that’s what you believe. The problem is twofold:

            First, you claim to know the hearts of others – both their sins and their posture of repentance. That’s something you simply can’t know.

            Second, you are saying that God’s unconditional love has conditions. While I agree that Christians desire to live a God-pleasing life and follow the example of Christ, I also know his grace covers a multitude of sins – perhaps even unrepentant hearts or disbelief.

    • anakinmcfly

      But all those (except warlocks) involve actual acts. Fornicators have to fornicate before they can be considered fornicators. Adulterers adulterate. Thieves steal. And so on. They need to actually *do* things in order to be considered sinning, and thus by definition *can* actually help themselves.. But gay people are considered sinning just for existing, which makes no sense at all. A person can not fornicate or steal or commit adultery. But a person can’t not be gay, any more than they can spontaneously not be left-handed or black or red-haired or all three, and even if you still believe it’s a sin, you have to at least be able to tell that it’s one that’s fundamentally different from the others.

      (I’m also a little disturbed by how you felt the need to specify the rape of ‘little children’, rather than, you know, rape in general. Pro-tip: rape of adults is wrong too, just in case you weren’t aware.)

      • GibbyD

        no , homosexuality is not a race of people . Homosexuality is the desire for sex with those of the same gender. It is just another sin desire to do that which God says is wrong . Sin is sin and sinners are sinners . . You do not have to commit the act to be a sinner .According to The LORD Jesus Christ ( God incarnate ) , you only have to think it . If you think it or if you do it , you are still a sinner . To be a saved sinner and nort suffer the everlasting consequecnes for those sins , a person must , “.. repent toward God ( Holy LOVE) and place your faith and trust toward The LORD Jesus Christ ” ( Acts 20:21)KJB, If you try and justify or even are proud of your sin , then God will not save you. ( I John 1:9; Romans 10:9,10)KJB

        • anakinmcfly

          “Homosexuality is the desire for sex with those of the same gender”

          Well, if you’re going to define it that way, which is at least still better than most people do, it’s only fair you do the same for heterosexuality. Though on my part, sex doesn’t figure very much into it. As I’ve said elsewhere, I’d happily die a virgin if it meant I could find another guy to love and be loved by and spend my life with.

          ” to do that which God says is wrong”

          Except he doesn’t, as has been explained countless times on this thread and elsewhere.

          I take it you’re not with the ‘once saved always saved’ camp? I don’t justify nor am I proud of my sin. I just don’t consider sexual orientation to be sinful, because it makes no sense that God would create me as so inherently broken that any expression of non-platonic love on my part – any inkling towards romance, any feeling of sexual desire – would be evil and to be shunned. Which would imply that straight people are inherently better than me through no effort of their own, and *they* get to fall in love with God’s approval, while I never can; which doesn’t gel with my impression of God as not a cruel sadist.

          • Malachi

            The Lord created sinless beings who contaminated their bloodline when they sinned. We are then struggling with the byproduct of their choices. God didn’t “create you broken”. You simply inherited a corruptible flesh that we all have. Assuming that heterosexuals somehow have it easier is a false premise. There are (statistically) heterosexual fornicators than there are homosexuals in America and the heterosexual fornicator is no closer to God than the homosexual. The heterosexual must repent, crucify his or her desires daily, and live for Christ just like the former homosexual must do. What people fail to mention is that the Holy Spirit does not leave you to fight that fight based upon your own strength. When you are truly baptized in the Holy Spirit, you are changed from the inside out. New desires. A new heart. New inclinations. Check out this youtube video below from a friend of mine who gives her testimony. This is the truth that you won’t find on CNN, FOX, etc. I have known this woman personally for years, and she is an entirely new creation. All things are possible. Check out the video below:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0J8F0J6sZA

          • anakinmcfly

            ” The heterosexual must repent, crucify his or her desires daily, and live for Christ just like the former homosexual must do”

            Yes, but the heterosexual has the chance to have a fulfilling romantic/sexual relationship in future. The homosexual does not have that chance.

            Can’t view videos right now because I’m at work, but I’ve seen similar things before. From my experience, most of those ex-gays were either not actually gay to begin with (in some cases their attractions were the result of sexual trauma and not their natural orientation), or actually bisexual, or merely entered heterosexual relationships with people they loved but were not attracted to. In a few other cases (particularly women), they did experience a change in sexual orientation, but not under their own volition. Exodus International – previously the largest ex-gay organisation in the world – themselves admitted that in 99.9% of cases there was no actual change in sexual orientation, just behaviour.

          • Malachi

            Exodus international is an example of the undesirable side to what Jesus said in John, chapter 1:

            But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. – John 1:12-13

            Exodus international pursued a renewal via the will of man. However, sheer will power will not cut it. It is either total dependency on God or nothing at all. That is what people keep missing on this issue. We’re talking about the Holy Spirit independently doing a transformative work in the soul of a willing man or woman. We’re not referencing rehabilitation programs, self-help books, self-improvement seminars, etc. We’re talking about people who have had an encounter with Jesus, the Christ (“Christ”, meaning “the Anointed One”, who is anointed to break the yokes of bondage off of sinners ). You’re not going to be able to convince me of any presuppositions about my friend because I have known her for years. She’s heard everyone’s worldly theories on why she is now heterosexual, and she’s refuted every one of them. Same with my friend Carl Wright. Same with my friend Clinton James. Same with my friend Juan Thomas. Same with Jamison, Tiaira, Francesca, etc. The list goes on. And once again, these are people I have known for years. People that I love, who are very close to me that have had encounters with their Creator. They came to Him, and He responded with mercy, grace, and renewal. By their own testimony, they were birthed by the Spirit of God, not by exodus international or any other faux-substitute for deliverance. These people are completely different people because they have encountered Jesus, the Christ. The real one. They were baptized in the Holy Spirit. He has delivered them from homosexuality. The counselors, books, “same-sex experts”, etc. have no power to deliver you. They never will. It is the tangible mercy of God that He would deliver His message of salvation and complete renewal to mankind. However, if they reject it, is He any less merciful? Did He not reach out time and time and time again? Thus, on who will the burden of guilt fall in that day where man or woman will stand before God? He is a loving Father that has given up His only begotten Son so that we may avoid the wrath to come. Not only for that reason, but so that we may also know the joy of fellowship with Him in this life as well. Jesus has proven Himself far too many times, in my own life alone. Run to Him with an open and humble heart, and you will encounter the literal true and living Savior. We can either submit ourselves to Him in full and reap the life that He longs to give us or we can lean on our own understanding and try to rationalize Him away. He wills that no man should perish (2 Peter 3:9). But we do have a choice in the matter.

          • BarbaraR

            If your friends are happy – truly happy – then that’s fine for them.

            But there are many, many, MANY more gay people who threw themselves at God’s feet, begging for years to be delivered of what they believed to be sinful desires, and never hearing a peep. They were as sincere as it was possible to be: going to church as often as possible, participating in activities with people whom they believed to be fine examples of what they should aspire to, praying and studying the Bible beyond obsession. They avoided temptation and cried out for this burden to be taken from them.

            And… they were still gay. They might as well have asked for God to change their eye color or make them six inches taller. There was nothing for them to be delivered from. God made them gay in the same way God made me straight. Once they realized there was nothing wrong with them and that God loved them exactly the way they were, their lives changed. They turned from self-loathing to self-acceptance.

            They will not perish because they are gay. There will be no wrath of God visited upon them for being the way they were created.

          • Andy

            Triple like.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I keep trying to order a triple like button, but the “like” store tells me their are on back order.

          • Julie

            Exodus international pursued a renewal via the will of man.

            You worked there and know this?

          • anakinmcfly

            All this rests on the pretty offensive assumption that gay Christians aren’t actually Christian or have strong enough faith. I know too many examples to the contrary of gay Christians who surrendered all to God and spent years in prayer and therapy. Still gay. Many were driven to suicide at their lack of ability to change, thinking that it meant God hated them.

            Sexual orientation *is* fluid for some people, more commonly among women. So it’s quite possible that some of your friends fall under that. But even in those cases, it’s not something that can be changed at will.

            Meanwhile, Exodus was a Christian-based organisation, which aimed to do precisely what you say.

          • Malachi

            It’s the baptism of the Holy Spirit, not the “fluidity” of one’s sexual orientation. That is the point people continue to miss. New creations experience change, not therapeutically improved ones. That’s what Exodus Int’l missed and that is why they saw no true change. And the gospel is offensive to the flesh. That is why it is the gospel. If we begin to take out the “offensive” parts, then we have no true gospel left. Yes, it is impossible to be a homosexual and be a born-again believer, which once again, is someone who has been completely blood washed and is born again as a new creature. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11. That’s not poetry or mere allegory, that is how a true conversion actually goes. You get a new nature. New desires. New life. Anything short of that is not the true gospel, and has no power to save people at the soul level. That’s not an offensive assumption. That’s an offensive reality. But Jesus says in Luke 7:23 – “And blessed is he who is not offended because of me.” Intentionally, Jesus says this after saying “the poor have the gospel preached to them”. Hence, whether the gospel offends you or I will make it no more or less the true/authentic gospel. What is in question is whether you will receive the blessing of putting your offense aside and actually believe that Jesus can thoroughly cleanse, wash, and sanctify His people like He says He can all throughout the New Testament.

          • Malachi

            “All this rests on the pretty offensive assumption that gay Christians aren’t actually Christian…” – a quote by you. “Blessed is he who is not offended because of me.” – a quote by Jesus. It’s no coincidence either that Jesus says this right after talking about preaching of the gospel. Why? Because He knows that the gospel is “offensive” to the unsaved mind. Yet, we have a choice to let that offense drive a wedge between us and God or we can set that offense aside and realize that we are in need of a Savior. To believe in Jesus means to believe in who who He says He is per the scriptures, which includes believing that He is able to deliver you from everything that He (not we) define as a sin. Thus, your choice is to remain undelivered and “un-offended” or submit your offense before Him and acknowledge that you need to be born again by the Spirit of God, which is more than a mere possibility. As I stated above, we’re not referencing rehabilitation programs, self-help books, self-improvement seminars, etc. We’re talking about people who have had an encounter with Jesus, the Christ (“Christ”, meaning “the Anointed One”, who is anointed to break the yokes of bondage off of sinners ). You’re not going to be able to convince me of any presuppositions about my friend because I have known her for years. She’s heard everyone’s worldly theories on why she is now heterosexual, and she’s refuted every one of them. Same with my friend Carl Wright. Same with my friend Clinton James. Same with my friend Juan Thomas. Same with Jamison, Tiaira, Francesca, etc. The list goes on. And once again, these are people I have known for years. People that I love, who are very close to me that have had encounters with their Creator. They came to Him, and He responded with mercy, grace, and renewal. By their own testimony, they were birthed by the Spirit of God, not by exodus international or any other faux-substitute for deliverance. These people are completely different people because they have encountered Jesus, the Christ. The real one. They were baptized in the Holy Spirit. He has delivered them from homosexuality, and at the end of your lifetime, you will not be able to stand before the Lord and say that nobody warned you or told you the truth.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            And I firmly believe they are lying, to themselves, to you, to God, terrified to be honest with who they are, a beautiful creature, whom God adores no matter who they would prefer as a life partner, because God made them that way.

            Why are they terrified? Because they know very well, the rejection and condemnation they’d face, from their faith community who has heaped on thick that God would as well. They’ve been taught to be afraid to be honest, and to accept reality.

            There is no deliverence from homosexuality, because there is nothing to be delivered from. Its completely normal and natural. To force people to live a lie, to force them into an unnatural mold, to consider them worthy of God’s love ONLY if they reject how God made them is horrible, unloving, and a form of controlling domination.

          • Malachi

            I pray your eyes open one day.

          • BarbaraR

            What an incredibly smug, condescending thing to say.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I think smug and condenscending is part of the starter kit.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Her eyes are open NOW, dude. (Or dudette.)

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            My eyes open every single day. When I put my glasses on, I can stumble my way to the bathroom.

            Thanks for the offer of prayer. I really don’t need it.
            In the meantime, I will keep trying to help people understand that God really isn’t interested in forcing people into something they are not. I will forever be willing to encourage people to be who they were born to be. I will be trying to show love, not rules, compassion not condemnation, laughter, not fear.

            For everyone of you, there are at least one of me. Gently, persistently, vocally, and physically working to undo the tissue of lies, fears, condemnation and control that keep people from being truly free.

          • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

            I pray you find a blog where you’re tolerated. But this ain’t it.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Huh. I had my own deliverance from the fear of being gay once I gave it all up to Christ…and He gave me the patience and the peace to accept who and what I am as a gay man and go and try to live my life as an example to His word…as a gay man. I got His mercy, grace, and renewal as well. And joy. SO much joy.

            There was no deliverance from homosexuality, rather there was a deliverance from the unnecessary shame of it.

            You say with such certainty that your now-straight friends have had their encounters with Jesus, but you cannot truly see into their hearts – you take them at their word, just as you cannot see into ours to “prove” to yourself that we have not. Likewise, you should take us at our word. Even if you don’t like our results.

          • anakinmcfly

            You’re still assuming, wrongly, that gay Christians aren’t Christian and haven’t done all those things you say we should do.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            And they are being dishonest, with themselves, with you with your church. Why would God undo the beauty of her/his creative work just because the variations purposely put there make you squeamish?

            What makes you think there is anything to be delivered from? What makes you think that these people desperate attempt to be considered acceptable to your group’s version of what is Christian is giving them a moment of peace or joy? Why are you insisting on trying to stuff these dear people into a box of you or your church’s making, trying to force what sticks out because you think that is what God wants?

            Has it occured to you that God simply wants you to love them as you love yourself? That your desire to be accepted as you are, your hope that you don’t have to change a thing, about yourself for people to love or befriend you, is also their desire?

            OR, that God has loved them from the day they were born, knowing and delighting in the beauty and potential of these children, and h/she is saddened as any parent would be that someone would treat one of her own thusly, and worse knowing that all this was done to these beautiful ones in the name of God?

          • Dan_Cartwright

            What is said on this thread and elsewhere, when in clear contradiction with God’s declared moral law, does not determine what is sin and what is not.

            What has been said ‘proving’ homosexual behavior is no long sin on this thread and anywhere/everywhere else only proves that the truth expressed in Romans 1 concerning the two basic groups of people – those who have embraced the truth and those who suppress the truth they already know in their unrighteousness.

          • anakinmcfly

            This is long, but you could give it a skim – http://www.matthewvines.com/transcript/

            (not pressurising you to believe what it says, but there’s a lack of knowledge of the counterarguments on this thread.)

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

            Dan-

            I love how you keep insisting that scripture is cut and dried. I get your perspective – you’ve made yourself perfectly clear.

            Your certitude notwithstanding, the bible is rife with contradiction and ambiguity. Insisting it’s not only underscores that your faith is grounded in tradition rather than scripture. That’s certainly OK – tradition is one way we try to discern God’s will. But at least have the intellectual integrity to admit that you lean on tradition in your beliefs and stop pretending that scripture is clear.

          • RonInTenn

            OK, here are a few random thoughts after reading quite a few of these comments.

            I don’t recall reading in the Bible that once you’re saved, you’re always saved but I have read where those who once were saved can be lost.

            In his parable of the sower’s seeds, Jesus said in Luke 8:13 “Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away” [NIV].

            The apostle Paul also touched on this in Galatians 5:4,; I Corinthians 10:12; 1 Timothy 1:18-20; Hebrews 4:11; Hebrews 12:15; and Peter also mentioned it in 2 Peter 3:17.

            So, how does this mesh with the idea that we are ALL sinners? Even after we have accepted the blood of Jesus as our salvation, we continue to sin. Paul writes that God’s grace saves us from our sins so, can we continue to sin “so that grace may abound?”

            Paul answers emphatically, “NO!” Yet, we still keep sinning.

            The key is that we recognize our sin and that we attempt to grow in the faith, discipline ourselves, and earnestly strive to become more Christlike.

            If we are addicted to porn, we try to put it behind us and do whatever we can to stay away from it. But, sometimes we fall off the wagon and have to jump back on it.

            If we’re alcoholics, drug addicts, use filthy language, cheat customers out of money, continually lie, or engage in sexual immorality, we are still saved if we attempt to pull ourselves out of doing it.

            In Genesis 2 we read that God created woman from man’s body and then, immediately after that said, “for this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and will be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh”.

            The relationship between a man and woman in matrimony is God’s design for sexual activity. Anything else outside of that is outside His moral law. It has been that way since the beginning, before Jesus came to Earth and even before God gave the Israelites the Ten Commandments.

            And, for that matter, if God did, in fact create the universe (including the laws of science and nature) and create mankind, he should know human genetics and mentality. And furthermore, if He inspired mortal men to write what we have now as the Bible, why would he have instructed them, or allowed them, to write verses that indicate the homosexual activity is sinful?

            The idea that homosexuality in ancient days is different than what it is today because, back then, it involved violence, oppression, humiliation, and other things is also not a valid argument. There are many relationships today, both homosexual and heterosexual, that involve violence, oppression, and humiliation. We hear about it on the news all the time. Of course, back then the whole world in general was a rougher and more dangerous place to live but that was for ALL people, not just homosexuals.

          • anakinmcfly

            “why would he have instructed them, or allowed them, to write verses that indicate the homosexual activity is sinful?”

            Because the specific homosexual activity he was referring to *was* sinful, Same as the bible condemns heterosexual activity that is sinful.

            “There are many relationships today, both homosexual and heterosexual, that involve violence, oppression, and humiliation.”

            Yep, and that’s sinful.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          So, as a straight person, trying to to place myself in the shoes of a gay woman, and imagine what it would be like to be attracted to a pretty female, want to have a relationship with her, get married, grow old together, which I suspect is just like how it was with my second husband….just that imaginary scenario would be sinful?

          • Andy

            At least the shoes would be comfortable.

      • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

        “Whatsoever a man thinks’ in his heart- so is he”. Jesus in Bible The Lord made it clear in Sermon on the Mount that the attitude is the crux of the matter when sinning. “IF a man even looks’ upon a woman to lust after her- he has already committed adultery in his heart.”

        • anakinmcfly

          Okay, so lust is bad. So don’t people ever focus as much on heterosexual lust, which is far more prevalent in the world?

          • Dan_Cartwright

            Using the same logic, my friend, men lusting after men and women lusting after women (condemned as unnatural behavior) means that whoever is engaged in such lusting has already committed abominable (according to God) acts, yes? In like manner, if I hate someone, I have already committed murder in my heart, according to Jesus BTW. Of course, if somehow (by a VERY wild stretch of the sin justifying imagination) homosexual behavior is OK today and only forbidden way back then, that particular sin is no longer sin. God’s moral laws (ALL of them) have not changed, and no amount of scripture twisting is going to alter that fact and make some of them irrelevant while retaining others.

          • Julie

            The homosexual behavior that took place and was
            condemned in ancient times was not what it is today. The homosexual behavior in ancient times was filled with violence, oppression, humiliation, and slavery emerging from malicious intent, and temple prostitution, etc. emerging from excessive lust. That’s still a sin.

          • Dan_Cartwright

            So goes one of the latest and now favorite attempts to justify what God calls sin by those engaged in it, all the while knowing their behavior is repugnant in the eyes of the God they know exists. I know that sounds harsh, but that is exactly what Romans 1 says. Having said that, there is some really good news on the street, and it’s the good news of God – the gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ. All who repent of their sin (no matter what it is) and believe in His Son are welcomed into His Kingdom!

          • BarbaraR

            Because you’re doing a bang-up job of making gays feel loved by calling them repugnant.

          • Dan_Cartwright

            That would only be remotely accurate if I had called ‘them’ and not ‘behavior’ repugnant. Please tell me you haven’t bought into the lie that saying certain behaviors are repugnant to God is the same as calling the ‘doers’ of those behaviors repugnant. Please!!!!!1

          • BarbaraR

            Gay people cannot change who they are. Their sexuality is as innate as the color of their eyes. Like all humans, they are sexual beings. They have sex.

            When you say it’s the behavior you find repugnant, you’re (1) revealing that you find gay sex icky (which is your prerogative) and (2) saying their unchangeable identify is repugnant.

            You HAVE said you find them repugnant.

          • jules

            Untrue. People can change their behavior.

          • BarbaraR

            Start. Be gay for six months. Let us know how that works for you.

          • anakinmcfly

            Except that we’re not talking about behaviour, we’re talking about sexual orientation. In fact I find it more morally repugnant that you would wish people to have sex with people that they feel no attraction to. That’s basically treating someone as a mere tool for sexual release that could be just as easily replaced with, I don’t know, an anatomically suitable fruit, as opposed to having sex with someone you actually love. What you’re proposing is dehumanising and wrong.

          • anakinmcfly

            Describing all of someone’s expressions of non-platonic love to be repugnant isn’t that far from calling them repugnant. Love – including romantic love – usually brings out the best in people. To call that best something horrible, in the case of gay people, isn’t particularly uplifting. :(

          • Julie

            I’m not trying to justify anyone’s behavior. I want to know what scripture condemns and not add to scripture. We find Paul’s condemnation of homosexual acts within the context of acts that emerge from malicious intent or excessive “burning” desire. Behaviors emerging from such things are what God finds offensive.

          • Dan_Cartwright

            Julie, have you read OT law on the matter? There is nothing in the texts that call men with men and women with women sexually anything other than abomination in the eyes of God. I offer that since you seem to think that the NT use of ‘burning passion’ means if it’s consensual is just OK with God. He sort of wipes that argument out in the OT.

          • BarbaraR

            Abominations in the OT include eating shrimp or pork, cutting your bread, and wearing mixed fabrics. We’re past that stuff.

          • Dan_Cartwright

            Apples and oranges my dear (equating OT dietary restrictions with God’s moral law). There’s some good material out there about that and we do have the technology.

          • BarbaraR

            There is no distinction between dietary law and “moral” law. That is your personal label. These are all set down in Leviticus as laws to be observed, not chosen from. If you are going to obey one, you have to obey them all.

            And I am not your dear.

          • Julie

            Leviticus doesn’t give us much to go off of but we have
            context in the NT that narrows it down for us. Also, Barbara makes a valid point; there is nothing in the context of Leviticus that tells us it’s now okay to wear mixed fabrics yet we do. Why? Because Leviticus doesn’t apply to NT believers. So if someone wants to make an argument from Leviticus, then they should be ready to apply all of it.

          • Dan_Cartwright

            Ditto what I said to Barbara about fruit.

          • Julie

            Are all the Lev. 18 prohibitions God’s fixed moral law?

          • anakinmcfly

            You misread what Julie said there – she was condemning the lust that emerges from ‘burning’ desire.

          • jules

            Romans 1, I Corinthians 6, 1 Timothy 1, for starters.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Yet, amazingly, I do not “know” that God finds it repugnant, because that is NOT the result of all my decades of prayers, contextual research, and Scriptural study. I’ve reached a different theological conclusion from you, but not one that was achieved lightly. Many of us are not acting upon things that we “know” are repugnant, because we have reached the conclusion that they aren’t.

            And I continue to pray and be a Christian. Ta dah!

          • anakinmcfly

            But likewise with that logic, if lust is the sin here (which the Bible seems to agree on), gay people are sinning no worse than straight people who likewise lust after others.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            Sin against the body is worse- as the body is the Temple of the Holy Spirit- so a Christian is on a Higher standard.

          • anakinmcfly

            Yes, but that doesn’t address my comment at all.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            Yes, it does’. We sin because we ARE sinners. To NOT keep pure until we meet the OPPOSITE SEX, and marry them is fornication. No matter what sex that we started OUT with.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            Well fornication- theres’ that…

          • anakinmcfly

            Hence gay marriage. I’ve always wondered why people against gay sex would be against gay marriage, because it would for starters reduce fornication. Even if you do believe it’s a sin, it’s not like preventing marriage means gay people will have less sex, but the contrary; that’s how it seems to be for straight people, at any rate.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            To continue in sin is a DEAD giveaway of a person “dead” in their sins. NO repentance is shown. TURNING from a sin is REQUIRED by the LORD.

          • anakinmcfly

            I do turn from sins. The issue here is that I fail to comprehend how all my expressions of non-platonic love could be sinful when it’s not the case for straight people.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            Have a Christian brother pray for you. Have a person that you are accountable to, whether it is a friend who obeys’ God, or a Pastor. God says’ that no sin is worst than the other- but the sin against the body is more hurtful to you AND Him- because the Body is reserved to be the Temple/abiding place of the Holy Spirit. Jesus comes into the body of the Christian when he does the redemptive work of making you a new creature- Fit for the Heavenly Kingdom. THIS is accomplished through God giving you the righteousness of Jesus, so He does not see you anymore, but sees’ the blood of Jesus covering you as well as your sins, when He looks’ at you NOW. The problem is that we are NOT sinners because we sin. We sin because we are sinners. SO- God made a way where there is no way- through the Saviour Jesus.
            We are already forgiven! Come as you are- He will do the work in you, when you completely trust Him.

          • anakinmcfly

            I’m already a Christian. Have been all my life. Nothing you’re saying is new to me, and I don’t know how it’s relevant to anything we’re talking about.

          • jules

            Because the two are not comparable. You choose not to embrace that, though certainly you must know it in your heart.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            For a man to lay with another man is an abomination. PERIOD.

          • anakinmcfly

            That’s not what it said in Hebrew. The word translated as ‘man’ instead meant ‘holy one’ (or more loosely, ‘priest’), and in the context of the passage is thought likely to be a reference to male shrine prostitution, not gay people.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            WELL- then that prostitute will feel better if they have a gay marriage.This boy ruminated to himself about what he was thinking. THEN he goes to family and people and says’ that the think is that he is gay. IF he read the bible, or even IF he was a Christian- his consceince would so bother him- AFTER praying, that- he could NOT continue in this thought-life. ONCE you utter these things put loud, satan can USE THEM AGAINST YOU! And bring all kinds of fears, temptations, opportunities etc. to SIN. he will tell you Yeah- you poor devil! Bring your requests to the lord- and He who hears’ in secret will grant your requests- according to His riches in Glory- according to His Will. It is His WILL that man be with a wife. From the beginning it has been this way- and he set us up this way. to do other is to completely turn around and rebell!

          • James Walker

            you don’t seem to have read the article. the boy and his father are both Christians. his father is a minister who studied and prayed on this question for 15 years before concluding that the Bible does not call being gay a sin. after reaching that conclusion, the son came out as gay to his father.

            you have no basis for claiming that the son has failed to read the Bible or that he is not a Christian. please try to focus on the beam in your own eye before you start trying to pick specks out of other people’s eyes.

          • anakinmcfly

            “WELL- then that prostitute will feel better if they have a gay marriage”

            ? Were you talking about the shrine prostitute? Then no, I doubt they’d feel better about (or even want) a gay marriage. Because they weren’t gay, they were just having homosexual sex as a pagan ritual. Which is something completely different.

          • James Walker

            you’ve dropped a phrase from that verse that is significant. it’s “in the lyings of a woman”. whatever it is that’s being prohibited here is not merely one man lying with another man. there’s something about either the specific way or the specific place it’s done that is considered unclean for Jewish men.

        • Jeff Preuss

          “Whatsoever a man thinks in his heart – so is he”
          So, are you a BETTER person than we are, just because you think it?

      • Dan_Cartwright

        I do believe Jesus kicked things up a notch when he said that when a man lusts in his heart he has already committed adultery. Gay people are not being said to be ‘sinning’ by anyone Christians I know. That’s just a popular/trendy claim to make to try and dodge the real issue of the sinfulness of what the Bible calls sin, and in some places ‘abomination’.

      • muzjik

        Another patheos article noted that, instead of evaluating an act theologically and morally, labeling just “dramatizes the temptation”.

        “Whereas the infusion of the theological virtues sets the Christian free, identifying as homosexual only further enslaves the sinner. It intensifies lust, a sad distortion of love, by amplifying the apparent significance of concupiscent desires. It fosters a despairing self-pity, harming hope, which is meant to motivate moral virtues. And it encourages a strong sense of entitlement, which often undermines the obedience of faith by demanding the overthrow of doctrines that seem to repress “who I really am.””

        • anakinmcfly

          You could say the exact same for people who say they are heterosexual. To do otherwise is hypocrisy.

          • muzjik

            It’s difficult to respond because it’s not clear whether you did not read the quote, didn’t understand it, or are unsure of the meaning of hypocrisy.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            The writer of that particular blog post, does not reflect the mindset of John’s views on the topic, nor the views of the core of his commenters.

            I also agree with anakinmcfly here, You could say the exact same thing about heterosexuality. Either way the writer of that quote, has a very poor and quite negative viewpoint on human sexuality. I suspect they are likely ignorant about the thoughts, mindsets, hopes and dreams of any LGBT person. I’m not even sure if he or she is aware of most heterosexial thoughts about sexuality.

          • anakinmcfly

            I meant to say: would you then likewise consider heterosexuality to be intensifying lust, a sad distortion of love? If not, then what’s your basis for believing that all expressions of homosexuality spawn from lust, but not all(?) those of heterosexuality?

          • muzjik

            Thank you for rephrasing your question.
            The point of the quote is that “gay Christians” are labeled by their attraction, struggle, temptation, however you want to define it.
            To apply that concept to heterosexual lust: to my knowledge, no one introduces themselves as a “adulterous Christian” or a “porn-addicted Christian” or “prostitute-visiting Christian” or a “habitually fornicating Christian” and expects “tolerance”. If we had a movement where pastors announced that their churches were a safe place for self-professing “adulterous Christians” to worship within their chosen relationship without condemnation, and that was accepted by the same people who have a problem with Pastor Cortez’s announcement, then THAT would be hypocrisy and you would be correct to call it out.

          • BarbaraR

            Being gay is as much a part of a person as the color of their eyes. It cannot be changed. Their sexuality is as much as part of them as being heterosexual is to a straight person.

            However, you have equated being gay – which is innate and hurts no one – with actions people choose to do that DO hurt others or themselves, such as adultery.

            Fail.

          • muzjik

            Barbara
            1) Do you differentiate between genetic characteristics, like eye color, and behavior? Can behavior be chosen or changed?
            2) Do you differentiate between an innate orientation and sexual activity? Do you allow that environmental or experiential factors, apart from DNA, may determine an orientation?
            3) If sexual orientation cannot be changed, as you claim, how do explain the numerous gender/orientation designation within the LBGT community and the fluidity in which some people move between them?
            4) Do you allow for the theological position that a Christian may identify a same-sex attraction or orientation yet is required Biblically not to act upon it with sexual behavior?

          • BarbaraR

            1. Orientation is not the same thing as behavior. People may not act on their sexuality, be it LGBTQ or hetero.
            2. See #1.
            3. Why can’t there be numerous sexual identities? People who are struggling to find their own are also struggling against societal/religious “standards” which define anyone outside the “norms” as deviant/perverted/sick. It’s no easy task for many people to break loose of those conditions and expectations. It may be that some people change sexual identification on their journey.
            5. The Bible does not “require” anyone to act or not act on their sexual orientation, whether it be LGBTQ or hetero. People seem to worry excessively about six – SIX – verses in the Bible concerning what people may being doing with their genitals. Biblical worship has usurped the love of God and treating each other with kindness and empathy.

          • muzjik

            Thank you.
            One thing: if there can be numerous sexual identities and people can change their sexual identification, then it is not an immutable genetic trait embedded in one’s DNA, like eye color, as you previously stated.
            Finally, whether or not the Bible requires people to act or not on their sexual inclinations, is an entirely separate matter from how God requires Christians to respond to those struggling with whether or not to act on their sexual inclinations.

          • BarbaraR

            Not at all. Why can people be confined to one identity? One or more might be correct for certain people. I did not say that people changed; I said that on their journey to find themselves, they may go through several changes to find the truth.

            I do not believe God “requires” Christians to act in any particular way in regards to sexual identity as long as they are not hurting others.

      • jules

        Untrue. A person can choose whether or not to practice homosexuality. A person who struggles with same-sex attraction or any other sin is a person in need of the love of the church. It is very different, however, when that person engages in a sinful act and then wants it called blessed.

        • anakinmcfly

          Except that in my case (and that of other trans and/or intersex people), no one can even agree on what practicing homosexuality would mean.

    • Andy

      No.

      Hasta la vista.

      • anakinmcfly

        noo, what was the deleted reply to my post? Did they at least admit that raping adults is wrong too?

        • Andy

          I don’t see a deleted comment in the last 12 or so hours that was in reply to one of your posts, but I could be missing it.

          The comment I deleted here asked if the pastor’s church would now also accept various horrific types of sinners (using the word “other” to try to slip homosexuals into the company of those atrocities) just because they might also say that they “can’t help themselves.”

  • ACTS 2:38

    pastor danny needs to find another job or his congregation needs to find another church – you can’t compromise the Word of God – JESUS said homosexuality is an abomination – this will never change. how can you tell someone it’s not sin to be homosexual? that’s like saying adultery, fornication, stealing, lying, murder, etc… is not sin. ppl need to stop blindly following preachers who are not following JESUS’ word. this is the last days – IITim 3:1-5 – and it’s only gonna get worse. preachers and congregations that compromise what JESUS said are risking damnation and hell for eternity. open up the Book my friends – JESUS is very specific on what we must do to be saved – ACTS 2:38 – how we are to live, what we should and shouldn’t do and how to get to heaven. today is the day of salvation – for tomorrow is not promised.

  • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

    For thus saith the Lord unto the eunuchs
    that keep my sabbaths,…. That fear and serve the Lord; religiously
    observe all times of divine worship, and walk in all the commandments
    and ordinances of the Lord; show regard to all the institutions of the
    Gospel, and perform all religious exercises, private and public, on
    Lord’s days, and at other times: and
    choose the things that please me; who do that which is well pleasing unto
    God, which he has declared in his word to be acceptable to him; and do
    that from right principles, with right views, and of choice; not forced
    to it by those who have authority over them, or led to it merely by
    example and custom: and take hold of my
    covenant; not the covenant of circumcision, as Kimchi; for what had
    eunuchs to do with that? but the covenant of grace, the everlasting
    covenant, the covenant of peace before spoken of Isaiah 14:10,
    made between the Father and the Son, on account of the elect; which may
    be said to be taken hold of when a person by faith claims his interest
    in God as his covenant God; comes to Christ as the Mediator of the
    covenant; and deals with his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, for
    pardon, justification, and atonement; regards all the promises and
    blessings of the covenant as belonging to him and lives by faith on
    them, as such; so David by faith laid hold on this covenant, 2 Samuel 23:5. Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
    4. please me—sacrifice their own pleasure to mine.
    take hold—so “layeth hold” (see on [856]Isa 56:2

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Long quoted text are not necessary. Know one wants to read them.

      • Dan_Cartwright

        Sounds like a contributing to the poor level of Biblical literacy I am seeing here and there.

        • James Walker

          we read the Bible in our personal meditations and study. we don’t care to have lengthy passages copied and pasted here as comments. we expect members of the community to type comments in their own words and if they must quote something to make a point, to do so briefly.

          • Dan_Cartwright

            Thanks for letting me know. I guess it would depend on whether or not the quotation is appropriate to the discussion, would it not? I enjoy intelligent and profitable human commentary as much as the next guy, but God’s word applied to the discussion I also consider profitable.

          • James Walker

            then mention the passage in question, make a brief quotation from it if necessary and do the rest in your own words. I quite enjoy looking up references in multiple versions and in the Greek and Hebrew interlinear editions. I’d rather look them up and read them in context on my own than trying to parse through a lengthy passage here in the comments section, particularly since very few of our visitors understand how to use Disqus to present their text clearly (or paragraphs or, in some cases, sentences).

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            I am not a scholar- just a P. K.- need to authenticate stuff with the Big Boss up there.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            LOVING is so sweet- and it is NOT guaranteed from another human in this world, nor should it be our goal. To be happy is NOT the Christians’ instructions from God. It is to be working out our salvation with fear (reverence for God) and trembling- for the temptation to be conformed to this world.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            Yeah- the scholar of Hebrew lineage lists, to explain why the new Testament mentioned BOTH Mary and Joseph’s lineage, which was this hater’s- who usurped my comments- wanted to know SUPPOSEDLY- Oh, well…

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            Sorry- I was asked a question, and the person who asked it- erased MY quote from a source that would have explained it , in a way that only a Scholar of lineage lists in the Bible would have been able to do, and this hater wrote something else on MY comment line -scandalous, don’t ya think?

          • James Walker

            Nope. You’re in someone else’s house here. You should not be surprised if they enforce the rules on you. Also, you might think your long copy/paste comment explained something, but it didn’t make any sense.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            Eunichs are men who are NOT into girls- either mentally, or physically. god blesses’ them for adhering to His word, and staying PURE.

          • anakinmcfly

            Yes, which applies to everyone else. What’s your point here?

            Also, what’s your opinion on who intersex people are allowed to have sex with in order to remain pure? Or do you advocate celibacy and singlehood for anyone who doesn’t have a standard male or female body? Where do you draw the line? If you discovered that you’re slightly intersex, would you then abstain from all forms of romance and sex?

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            Man and woman. It is NOT that complicated. For life, hopefully only with each other til death. IF one dies’ then the other is free to marry again.

          • anakinmcfly

            You didn’t answer my question. Some people don’t qualify as men or women. Who are they allowed to love?

            I have no disagreement with what you say about sin, so all that quoting is pointless. I just disagree that having a non-straight sexual orientation is sinful to begin with.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            When there is an abnormality, then the person can remain pure, and hopefully find his/her way to Peace with God. IT is not written in stone that you get married. God says’ that a person can devote their time to God and serving Him- which is the chief end of man, as single much more completely, and without distraction. BUT; He says’ a man should have his own wife- to avoid temptation.. Surrounding yourself with a Church Family, for advice and prayer from trusted, mature Christians is the way to go. Pray for these people. BUT- for YOU, and this young man, it is clear. We do these things- have this confusion, because we are lost in our trespasses and sins. To BE gay-seems’ to ME – to prove our thought-life is not under subjection of God, EVER- and GETS’ us into such trouble! We need to put every thought under His Lordship.

          • anakinmcfly

            ‘Abnormality’ is arbitrary. There’s no clear place to draw the line.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            When there is an abnormality, then the person can remain pure, and hopefully find his/her way to Peace with God. IT is not written in stone that you get married. God says’ that a person can devote their time to God and serving Him- which is the chief end of man, as single much more completely, and without distraction. BUT; He says’ a man should have his own wife- to avoid temptation.. Surrounding yourself with a Church Family, for advice and prayer from trusted, mature Christians is the way to go. Pray for these people. BUT- for YOU, and this young man, it is clear. We do these things- have this confusion, because we are lost in our trespasses and sins. To BE gay-seems’ to ME – to prove our thought-life is not under subjection of God, EVER- and GETS’ us into such trouble! We need to put every thought under His Lordship.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            We have a thought-life. Christians learn that they can bring these to God, and He will be faithful and just to forgive us of our sins- and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness! Good News! What soever a man thinketh- so is he. WE. NEED. A. Saviour. SO, God came down in human flesh- to be that perfect sacrifice, that we might live eternally with HIM.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            God blesses’ ALL- even ones who are not with women, by that individual obeying HIM, and loving him more than their sin.

          • http://www.enesvy.com/ Enesvy

            Riiight, so that relationship is between that person and God. What do you have to do with it? Why is it your business? Do you think God is incapable of leading other people in lives of purity?

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            We are so supposed to spread the Word of the Lord in season and out of season- which means whether it is particularly in sinc with others’ beliefs or not.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            Well, I would seek the Lords’ face.

          • anakinmcfly

            Why the assumption that gay Christians aren’t doing just that?

          • Andy

            What? No. No, no, no, no, no. Being a eunuch does not remove orientation. It simply removes the organ required to take action on such. Maybe drive, too, but it doesn’t go into your brain and make you attracted to another sex, or to none.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            God blesses’ the Eunich if he does what pleases’ God- and remains’ pure.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            No spiritual EARs.

        • Bones

          What’s pretty funny is I’ve been posting on Dan’s site and he now puts me in moderation because he can’t refute what I have to say even from scripture.

          If only I had his level of biblical literacy.

    • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

      DO NOT re-do my post, O secular atheist that YOU said that you are! IF you ask a question, and do NOT want the answer from a student of lineage of Hebrew text- then don’t waste my time.

      • BarbaraR

        You’re treading on thin ice.

      • Guest

        Um…John’s a Christian, Daphne.

        • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

          Who’s John may I ask?

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

            John Shore. He’s the author of the blog on which you’ve been commenting. He’s the one who moderated your comment. He’s a Christian – not a secular atheist.

  • http://jw-thoughts.blogspot.com/ John

    I am not sure I understand. If we begin choosing to throw out stuff from a biblical perspective why not throw out the entire Bible? Or do we pick and choose what we like in there? Please enlightenment me because I am really trying to understand why these things happen.

    • James Walker

      picking and choosing is not involved and is not an option. reading the Bible and studying it from the perspective of the writers, their language, their culture, is required. one cannot simply read the words in English and obtain a full understanding of what passages meet the requirements of 2 Timothy 3:16 to be Scripture for us, today.

      • http://jw-thoughts.blogspot.com/ John

        Understand that but it seems to me in this day that because the homosexual march is on for acceptance and normal and not sin, a revival has begun to steer what is emphatically says to what it doesn’t say(in English). So, are we supposed to believe that we have had it all wrong and now enlightenment has come to establish this ‘truth’ that homosexuality is now not sin?
        If this is so what else are we going to find?
        How much influence do social norms have in our interpretation of scripture? If there is major influence then do we have a biased view.

        • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

          No one’s throwing out or failing to take seriously the Bible, John. Just the opposite:

          Taking God at His Word: The Bible and Homosexuality.”

          • Dan_Cartwright

            John, I just read that article, and some of the very passages you quoted refute your argument! You might also want to dig a bit to find out Paul’s core teaching concerning the law and grace, that the law could never bring perfection in us humans (God’s demand to enter the Kingdom), but grace (Christ’s perfection) does.

        • Dandhman

          John,
          Thank you for grappling with this with us. All that I’d like to add is, we have to grapple with what is good and what is evil Every generation needs to come to terms with the Bible. We, today are horrified at passages that bid us to stone girls who are not virgins as they would not hesitate to condemn us today.
          Early in the old testament, God’s name was written. in later eras this was seen as sinful and was replaced by the term Elohim.
          This doesn’t mean that nothing is wrong, but we must look to our brothers and sisters, OUR NEIGHBORS and do right by them.

        • anakinmcfly

          One rule I heard was to look at the Bible through the lens of the two greatest commandments: to love God, and to love your neighbour as yourself. Many sins in the Bible – murder, stealing, committing adultery, etc – violate those two commandments.

          But when it comes to homosexuality within the context of loving relationships, there is nothing in it that involves breaking those two laws; the opposite is true. So many gay people found themselves growing closer to God the moment they were able to accept themselves as God had made them. Many left behind their hate and anger and started to love others more fully. I’ve seen so many examples of that in the people I know, myself included. Whereas the incredible harm that has been done to gay people – the discrimination, hate crimes, refusal to understand, comparing gay people with serial killers and pedophiles, parents kicking their kids out into the street – is about as far from loving as one can get.

          The second rule is to judge things by their fruit. Denying gay people a fundamental part of themselves – who they fall in love with – has produced nothing but rotten fruit. We get self-hate, suicides, descents into harmful addictions and promiscuity, anger, violence, and all manner of actual sins. But when acceptance and affirmation is offered instead, what emerges are love, gentleness, peace, kindness, and all the other fruits of the spirit. This is never the case with any actual sin – what other ‘sin’ increases one’s joyous love for God and others? – and at the very least is reason to stop and reconsider the issue.

          • John Buchanan

            Sorry, but there is no scriptural support for anyone being born homosexual. Paul, who only wrote two-thirds of the New Testament made it clear that lesbianism/ homosexuality is unnatural and sin against God. It is a lie from the pit of Hell

          • anakinmcfly

            Neither is there scriptural support for computers. Yet here we are.

            “Paul, who only wrote two-thirds of the New Testament made it clear that lesbianism/ homosexuality is unnatural ”

            No he didn’t.

          • anakinmcfly

            Neither is there scriptural support for computers. Yet here we are.

            “Paul, who only wrote two-thirds of the New Testament made it clear that lesbianism/ homosexuality is unnatural ”

            No he didn’t.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Also, there is no Scriptural support for people being born intersexed, with genetic and outward aspects of both male and female, yet THEY ARE BORN THAT WAY. In far fewer numbers than other people, but there they are.

            And, some people like to use the Bible to prove intersexed people are wicked abominations, yet they’ve been SCIENTIFICALLY PROVEN TO ACTUALLY BE BORN THAT WAY.

            So, do we just rail against hermaphrodites and continue to tell them they’re bound for the lake of fire for an accident of their birth? Seems like your logic so dictates.

        • http://www.enesvy.com/ Enesvy

          We have often “gotten it wrong” throughout Christianity’s history. All those statues of Moses with horns? http://taylormarshall.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/horns-of-Moses.jpg That’s because we interpreted the shining light of God on his face as horns. And you would’ve most likely been labeled a heretic back then if you attempted to suggest that Moses didn’t have horns!
          To assume that our English Bible is a perfect representation of the Bible and that we don’t need to dig in to the context and the times in which its many books were written is simply head-in-the-sand behavior.

          • John Buchanan

            Jesus Christ , the same yesterday, today and forever. The Lord changes not. Eve thought herself progressive and forward thinking, and rationalized sin by questioning hath God really said. I’ll keepmy head in the sand of God’s word. There is protection there .

          • http://www.enesvy.com/ Enesvy

            Eve thought no such thing. She just did what we all do: let her curiosity overcome her better judgment. So did Adam–even worse! The Bible says he was with her when this all went down (Genesis 3:6). He just stood there and didn’t even try to dissuade her–probably to see if she was struck by lightning before he would try it. What an asshole. Neither of them were progressive. Just typical humans.

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

          John,

          Is your faith really so fragile or shallow that joyfully accepting your gay siblings in Christ to the communion table will shatter it completely?

          Maybe, just maybe, the modern day holiness codes you’ve attached yourself to are sinful legalism. We have a new covenant in Jesus that frees us from the law. And he promised that the Holy Spirit would reside with us and guide us.

          I believe the change you so fear, the one that would shatter your faith, is the work of the Holy Spirit convicting the Church.

    • Steven W. De Bernardi

      Women in the life of the religious community. Slavery. Eye for an eye. Men with long hair. Women with jewellery and braided hair. The list goes on. New light in a new day?

    • Julie

      Hey, John. It’s not about throwing out stuff from the Bible. The homosexual behavior that took place and was condemned in ancient times was not what it is today. The homosexual behavior in ancient times was filled with violence, oppression, humiliation, and slavery emerging from malicious intent, and temple prostitution, etc. emerging from excessive lust. But even if you had no knowledge of the historical context in which scripture was written, is God’s truth reserved for only the scholarly who happen to have access to such information? We are capable of recognizing fruit, and we can see that the traditional view has brought forth corrupt fruit. Words of truth bear the fruit of liberty. Those in bondage to pornography, adultery, and drugs recognize words of truth that they need to escape such lifestyles. Those in loving same-sex lifestyles find bondage not in their loving commitment to one another but in heeding the advice of the traditional view that requires them to remain behind the bars of celibacy never to see the light of love found in the intimacy within covenant union. I’m concerned that we continue to insist that the “words of truth” of the traditional view bring forth liberty when, in fact, it has done just the opposite.

      • vitario2000

        It is about “sexual Immorality” not about violence.

        Act 15:20 but instead we should write to them to abstain from things polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from eating anything that has been strangled, and from blood.

        Again it is strictly condemned:

        Rom 1:24 Therefore God delivered them over in the cravings of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves.

        Rom 1:25 They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served something created instead of the Creator, who is praised forever. Amen.

        Rom 1:26 This is why God delivered them over to degrading passions. For even their females exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.

        Rom 1:27 The males in the same way also left natural relations with females and were inflamed in their lust for one another. Males committed shameless acts with males and received in their own persons the appropriate penalty of their error.

        You decieve yourself in that statement, it has to do with sexual lust for same sex partners instead of the opposite sex. Sameone intentionally misled you by teaching what sounds good to your ears instead the truth of what the Bible teaches.

        • anakinmcfly

          I know of no gay man who left natural relations with women for men, and vice versa. They had no desire for the opposite sex to begin with. The verse speaks of heterosexual people who, due to idolatry, pursued sex that was contrary to their natural desires.

          • vitario2000

            There has been many people who turned gay after years of marriage and child rearing. Since they had children you might deduce they were at some point turned on by the opposite sex. They also claim they were always gay. Sexual immorality is just that epithemos and it comes in many forms homosexual is one of them, pedophilia, beastuality, adulterary, pornography, addictions to masterbation the list goes on, All are forgivable with repentance towards God in CHrist Jesus, but to say “I sin not” is to call God a liar. I advocate callit the sin it is, then day by day walk with God and allow Him to help you over come your sin no matter what that sin is. It takes time and you will not be perfect till you are glorified in Heaven. But at least you will be honest and agreement with God.

          • anakinmcfly

            “They also claim they were always gay.”

            And why do you call them liars?

            Lots of gay people have been in heterosexual relationships or marriages – often because they were pressured to, sometimes to hide their orientation, sometimes hoping that it would turn them straight, sometimes because they didn’t know they were gay and thought that everyone else felt the same way they did. That doesn’t mean that they were originally straight.

            One doesn’t need attraction to the present partner to be turned on enough for sex; imagination and/or physical stimulus can easily do the job.

          • vitario2000

            You seam to be a bit contradictory here, I did not call them liars. I was responding to your comment “I know of no gay man who left natural relations with women for men, and vice versa.”

            You are wrong for a man to get erected for intercourse there has to be some level of attraction, for a woman no just some moisturizer. No tto be crude but stating fact for this point. Love is not needed but attraction even if it is only to the idea of sex is needed for men. It is epithemos (lustful sexual immorality). For a man to love another man without the sexual componant is simply Philao (brotherly love). It is the abnormal sexual attraction that makes it homosexual (love of sex with same sex)

          • BarbaraR

            Thanks for reducing women to “just some moisturizer.”

            Men can attain an erection for reasons other than attraction. Rape is an act of violence, not attraction. Some men have sex with women they are not attracted to whatsoever.

            There is nothing abnormal about same sex love.

          • vitario2000

            Nice try at redirection, but you fail as I did not reduce women to anything, I was merely stating a physical fact conserning anotomy. Rape is the attraction for the rapist, se attraction is there. Those men are attracted to the idea of conquests (they are taught it is manly to bed as many women as they can) hence the attraction.

            No there is nothing abnormal in same sex Love, I love my father and my brothers, but there is a lot abmormal in same sex, sex.

          • BarbaraR

            Being female, I take offense to that. There is no attraction in rape, only violence.

            Same sex activity is not abnormal.

          • jules

            That’s what some people are missing. It’s the action that God condemns. Every time a person makes a choice to have sex, he chooses whether that sex is within the bounds of the Gospel or not. He makes a decision to have heterosexual or homosexual sex.

          • BarbaraR

            I don’t. I choose according to my orientation, as does everyone.

          • John Buchanan

            Romans 1 v 24 Wherefore God gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts , to dishonor their own bodies between themselves.
            Free will, and lust work together . God allows free will. Thus the argument of orientation is futile. It’s a choice. It’s sin. It’s unnatural. It dishonors God. However, as much as God loves humanity , He will allow someone to go to Hell. It is a choice.

          • anakinmcfly

            Do you say the same to straight people and condemn all straight people for experiencing lust?

          • anakinmcfly

            Do you say the same to straight people and condemn all straight people for experiencing lust?

          • anakinmcfly

            How about people just choose to have sex with people they love and are preferably married to, regardless of orientation?

          • anakinmcfly

            What’s your explanation for male-on-male prison rape, then? Or are all the men in jail gay?

          • anakinmcfly

            Okay. I should have probably rephrased that – they did not give up natural attractions to women for those for men. It’s pretty unfair to hold that against them, either way, given that if it weren’t for society pressurising them into those relationships with women, they wouldn’t have been in them to begin with. And it’s tragic how many lives that ends up ruining when they’re made to have romantic and sexual relations against their nature, to women who deserve someone who’s actually attracted to them. I know some gay men who stayed on nonetheless in faithfulness to their vows, but it’s a struggle for everyone involved, where they apparently feel more like good friends rather than husband and wife, and continue to feel that desire for a proper partner.

            “You are wrong for a man to get erected for intercourse there has to be some level of attraction”

            Erections can happen with purely physical stimulation, and sometimes not even that – from what I’ve read it apparently happens about four times a night, despite non-sexual dreams, often in the morning, likewise without sexual stimulus. Plus there’s always imagination – they’d just need to think about someone they’re attracted to.

            “For a man to love another man without the sexual componant is simply Philao (brotherly love)”

            The way I love my friends – even close friends – is fundamentally different from the way I fall in love with someone, even without the sexual component. That’s where romantic love comes in.

          • vitario2000

            You presume they were married to the opposite sex to begin with because of social pressure. I challange you to prove that to be the case in more than 50% of the cases.

            As I have posted in answer to you already “eros’ and “eptithemos” have no bearing on the Christian mandate to “LOVE one another” That would be “agape”. I still say homosexual love is a mix of “philao, eros, and epithemos”. is it personalized? yes. Is it heart felt? Yes. Is it lustful?, Yes. But what makes it right? Nothing! in fact taking it to the level of physical pleasre (sexual contact) is strictly forbidden. “Agape” demand truth, and for a CHristian to say anything other than the truth of the sin would be against “loving one another” as Christ commanded us.

            Remember NO WHERE in the Bible does it say to even so much as respect “Romantic love (eros)”. The closest would be in Song of Songs with the anology of God and Israel’s relationship to that of a man and his woman.

          • James Walker

            I’m going to call your bluff. I want to see the medical study from which you’re obtaining your information. else, I’m calling you a blustering fool who knows nothing about human sexual response.

          • James Walker

            many people who turned gay after years of marriage and child rearing. Since they had children you might deduce they were at some point turned on by the opposite sex. They also claim they were always gay

            and why on earth should we believe your claim that they “turned gay” rather than their own claim they were always gay to start with?

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            Right- and but for the grace of God go I- remember that line? Married people are to put a hedge around the marriage- to protect it. THAT means reading material, internet stuff, parties, anything that is taking the thoughts away from oneness with their spouse. Marriage does NOT make a Gay couple Legit in God’s eyes. Pastors will not even marry a couple who have been living together unless they stop doing this, and until the wedding remain pure. THIS is turning from their sin. I have given up a man FOR GOD. It came down to His strength to do it, and it was there, when I needed it!

          • anakinmcfly

            “Marriage does NOT make a Gay couple Legit in God’s eyes”

            So basically what you’re saying is that if someone is gay, tough luck, their love for another will never be considered legit in God’s eyes and the only way for them to be holy is to either marry someone they’re not attracted to or live single celibate lives forever.

            If that’s so, then just *say* so, instead of going on and on about sin and trying very hard to convert Christians to Christianity.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            No. RATHER- Turn from that person, and do the Lords’ will for awhile, until He is the soul purpose for your life. As for Celibacy– YES. BUT God can cleanse you from all unrighteousness It will go AWAY.. You could ask that person if he or she wants’ to pray to ask God into their soul.

            Now that is love. The LOVE of GOD. Selfless.
            We cannot be buddy-buddy with others who would lead us astray. We can be acquaintances with them.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            YES! that is what it takes’ being in agreement with God on your condition. To say-” I lusted after that person, and I didn’t care what you felt when I did, and it felt good- Please help me”! THEN we are getting somewhere! This is what the Holy Spirit does- He brings’ us to God, by showing the exact state that we are in, and that God Loved us, while we were yet sinners- and Christ died for us.

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

            Wow, Daphne,
            Your judgements are harsh. Do you really believe that people who are gay are really just lustful straight people?

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            God is NOT our Judge right now. Jesus is our merciful Saviour. We. are. all. sinners. THAT is why we ALL Sin. Lust is one of them. Out of control is to TALK about it.

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

            Daphne,

            I agree that we are all sinners and fall short of God’s ideal.

            You seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding of sexual orientation. Some people, like me, are attracted exclusively to people of the same sex. Even before we discuss the sinfulness of gay sex, we need to know that there is nothing shameful in these attractions. They are not necessarily lustful. They are not unnatural. We don’t get to choose who we’re attracted to.

            Being gay is no more sinful than being left handed.

            If we’re going to have productive discussions about the difference in our beliefs, we need to understand the facts about human sexuality.

          • anakinmcfly

            I don’t understand your implication that only gay people experience lust and have to be saved from said lust, whereas straight people never lust over anyone ever.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            TRYING to impart the knowledge that we are SINFUL man!

          • anakinmcfly

            I find it interesting that you specified ‘addiction to masterbation (sic)’ rather than just ‘masturbation’. Or was that just you justifying your masturbation as non-sinful because it’s not an addiction?

          • anakinmcfly

            I find it interesting that you specified ‘addiction to masterbation (sic)’ rather than just ‘masturbation’. Or was that just you justifying your masturbation as non-sinful because it’s not an addiction?

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            anakinmcfly-The Lord requires’ that we love HIM with all of our heart; soul; body and mind! Please understand- you cannot bargain your way to heaven. ACCEPT His free gift of salvation, and be FREE from sin and death. (second death) We all fall short of the Glory of God. Just know that the words of the Lord will bring LIFE- and that everlasting! No earthly pleasure can compare to the Joy that is set before us, in the heavenlies with Christ.

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

            Daphne,
            How do you know anakinmcfly isn’t saved? Are you able to see into the hearts of others?

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            By their fruits you shall know them. The manifesting of following Jesus.

          • anakinmcfly

            I’m sorry that the tone of some of my responses has fallen short of that Christian ideal. Thank you for the reminder, and I seek your forgiveness if I’ve been rude.

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

            Hmmm.

            First, anakinmcfly has written previously that he is a virgin. So you may need to rethink your “acting on his temptations” position.

            Second, the fruits of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. I’m not sure what you have read in his comments that would suggest he is not manifesting these. Further, a gay couple in a covenantal relationship can also show the fruits of the Spirit.

            Your presumption that anyone who believes differently from you is not saved seems overly religious and uncharitable (plus it must make you a ton of fun at parties;).

          • anakinmcfly

            Thanks. <3

            Though upon a second re-read, by 'acting on temptations' I think she was referring to accepting that I was gay and had 'found myself'.

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

            Daphne,
            How do you know anakinmcfly isn’t saved? Are you able to see into the hearts of others?

          • anakinmcfly

            I’m already a Christian. Accepted Jesus as my Saviour, repented of sin, all that. Years ago. You’re preaching to the choir.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            So- why are you being the devils’ advocate? YOU are sayng that a Christian can continue to act out Homosexuality, and you are encouraging others to do so. There needs’ to be a change, brother.

          • anakinmcfly

            Because my years of study, prayer, struggle, dialogue and reflection has led me to the indisputable conclusion that there is nothing inherently sinful about being gay, and to claim otherwise is to work against the truth.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            Just obey God. No ifs, and, or buts. We cannot reason our way out of our predicament, brother- in- waiting. I forgive you- I have the compassion of Jesus for you. I love you already, as God does. Just know that I pray for you now and always.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            That is like saying there is nothing inherently sinful or willful about the human race. THAT works’ against THE ONLY TRUTH.. READ PROVERBS, and HEBREWS! Er and ROMANS, chapter ONE etc., etc., etc.,you will garner the gist of the Lords’ ideas.

          • anakinmcfly

            No, it isn’t.

            And I’ve read the entire Bible. More than once. Including the footnotes.

          • http://www.enesvy.com/ Enesvy

            Anakin, you have the patience of Job. *hug*

          • anakinmcfly

            *hug* Thanks! :)
            It was a slow day at the office.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Because, ma’am, just because one IS a Christian, does not mean one is no longer homosexual. Some of us were Christians long before we knew we were gay. They do not cancel each other out, and no amount of your proclaiming that we just need to know God is going to change that we already DO, and differ from you on a theological issue. We study the Bible, we pray to God, and we follow Christ, and we’re gay.

            Nothing you say is going to take away the profound spiritual relationship we already have with Jesus.

          • anakinmcfly

            I’m already a Christian. Accepted Jesus as my Saviour, repented of sin, all that. Years ago. You’re preaching to the choir.

        • Julie

          vitario2000,

          I also wrote, “…and temple prostitution, etc. emerging from
          excessive lust.” Romans 1 put these acts in the context of excessive burning lust (v. 27). What define these acts as immoral are the excessively lustful desires that drive the acts. This excessive lust arose as they cast away that which was made evident within them, and acting out in excess lust was always considered against nature.

          • anakinmcfly

            It’s also worth noting that for centuries, homosexuality was assumed to be the result of heterosexual people with excessive lust, where straight men had had so much sex with women that they were bored and wanted to try something new and exciting.

            Matthew Vines covers some of this, with historical evidence as support; among others, he quotes a first-century Greek philosopher saying:

            “The man whose appetite is insatiate in such things [referring to heterosexual relations] …will have contempt for the easy conquest and scorn for a woman’s love, as a thing too readily given…and will turn his assault against the male quarters…believing that in them he will find a kind of pleasure difficult and hard to procure.”

            There are a few other similar quotes to show that this was a common view: http://www.matthewvines.com/transcript

      • John Buchanan

        Homosexuals tried to raise the same argument about Sodom and Gomorrah, claiming that destruction fell due to lack of hospitality, yet no sane person could read scripture and make that conclusion. Be not deceived

        • anakinmcfly

          “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” – Ezekiel 16:49

          Perhaps my reading comprehension is lacking, but I don’t see anything about homosexuality in there (or in any other verse about the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, for that matter).

          • Bones

            Ezekiel obviously wasn’t a fundamentalist or no one got around to tell him the full story.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Duh. John Buchanan says you cannot get that out of that explicit phrasing in the Scripture. That would be insane.

        • anakinmcfly

          “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.” – Ezekiel 16:49

          Perhaps my reading comprehension is lacking, but I don’t see anything about homosexuality in there (or in any other verse about the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah, for that matter).

        • Bones

          Only an insane person would think the stories of Sodom and Gomorrah are about homosexuality.

          They don’t seem to understand what pack rape is.

          The story is almost identical to Judges 19 where supposedly homosexuals rape a concubine.

        • http://www.enesvy.com/ Enesvy

          I’d say straight men looking to gang rape a couple of strangers in their town to show them who was boss was pretty damn inhospitable. That said, if God had wanted to clarify any further, he could’ve done so through Ezekiel per Anakin’s quote below. Gosh darnit, why didn’t God just say it was all about the gays when he had the chance?

  • RTZSC

    Obviously, not Christians. God warned us about people like this: 2 Timothy 4:3: For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. Just like those who call themselves, “prochoice” Christians. Let me put it this way to you “prochoice” Christians. God told us that we were made in His image. So, when you abort, you are aborting Christ, Himself. Wrestle with that one you heretics!

  • brodennis76
  • vitario2000

    Get out of the SBC. This is a denouncing of the teaching of the New Testament. Accepting this is like accepting a policy of adulterary in the Church. We do not form our Church Doctrines around the sexual desires of people period. This Church is now in opposition with the statement of the Baptist Faith and Message and needs to leave the COnvention peacefully saving the rest of the Churches the trouble of having to vote them out.

    • anakinmcfly

      What about the romantic desires?

      • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

        Sadly- you are going ’round and ’round in circles- just like this boy. you are not going to reach the right conclusion OUTSIDE of the Will of God for your LIFE. THAT is the BEST. He wants’ to give you LIFE and that- more abundantly! Believe Him! Ask that He indeed come and be your Lord- when He calls’.

        • anakinmcfly

          This is getting frustrating. Let me spell this out to you: I. Am. Already. A. Christian.

          “He wants’ to give you LIFE and that- more abundantly!”

          funny, that’s pretty much what a gay Christian friend of mine told me when I was suicidal and struggling to come out. And I did, and received that abundant life and freedom after years of depression and anger and hatred.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            NOTHING should matter EXCEPT the Lord’s call on this young man’s life. THAT is what this Father/Pastor should have told Him.

          • anakinmcfly

            Except he, like me, was already a Christian. Which is a huge point you seem to be missing.

          • anakinmcfly

            Except he, like me, was already a Christian. Which is a huge point you seem to be missing.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            This young man does not know how to rely on God. He is figuring everything about his future without even relying on God to reveal it to him- or WAIT. God holds’ our future. We cannot predict it. HE is trying to do that, too! satan frighten’s us with what we do- he says- “God doesn’t really care that much to help you- why don’t you do whatever feels’ good- that is the right thing. Whatever makes’ you happy.” Oh, REALLY!!?? ALSO- Being guilt-ridden is NOT from God, either; when it turns’ you AWAY from Him. satan condemns’. Jesus FREES’. Come just as you ARE to Jesus. Not to a person, like a Priest (or Pastor). Jesus says’- “My burden is light. and I will carry yours FOR you.” Which means’ that He is in charge of comforting you, and making you strong. He will be there, and make the burden go away, too.

          • anakinmcfly

            That’s a lot of assumptions about someone you don’t know. Pretty offensive ones, too.

            “Being guilt-ridden is NOT from God, either; when it turns’ you AWAY from Him.”

            So why do you insist on plaguing gay people with the kind of guilt that turns them away from God?

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            All people turn away from God. It is only with His calling you to be His child- in a personal, powerful WAY- that we are ABLE to respond, at ALL! Through the Holy Spirits’ wooing you. We are going to resist until He comes’ and makes’ our heart of stone into a heart of flesh, moldable- maliable- into the image of Christ. I am saying, that Christians need to be a witness to the things of God- and not tell the whole world their struggles, because non-christians will be influenced to think that they are not benefiting from the Lord God in their life then- which in this case,this boy is an instrument of satan- along WITH his DAD. That is possible, you know.

          • Bones

            God’s not interested in what you do with your sex organs.

            That’s a human obsession.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Addiction and recovery have no gray areas in order to prevent relapse. Being an alcoholic in recovery means giving up alcohol. AA teaches that this is black and white.

            But addiction is not sexual orientation. And what works for addicts (complete abstinence) is not the solution for every other issue in the world.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Ok, my eyes finally stopped rolling.
            Your opinion of how God works is noted. Your opinion of the pastor and his son, is noted, along with the attitude you are presenting that just oozes off the screen. We get it. Everything and everyone that doesn’t fit within your idea of a “godly person” and “godly behavior” is a tool of satan, damned and to be hated. That’s your opinion. It is not our reality.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Daphne- you’re saying that this boy should come just as he is to Jesus. That’s all he wants to do! Yet, there are those who would attempt to turn him AWAY from Jesus for being not good enough.

            It was often said to me that God answers ALL our prayers, yet often not in the way we are expecting. I’m thinking this is one of those cases. Drew’s answered prayers came in the form of acceptance and peace with his God.

            It’s just not the answer YOU expect. It doesn’t mean it’s not an answered prayer to the Lord.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            This young man did not give Glory to God in his actions and words. He has hurt the Body of Christ. Us who are his brothers and sisters. He has grieved the Holy Spirit! It is as if the Holy Spirit did NOT change him! That Jesus did not come in to his body and soul and be the Lord of His life! What good did the Faith that God gives’ to all freely- when saved, and when we ask- do for him? THIS makes’ others think that God is not needed At ALL. A terrible disservice to Our Lord. A Christian would NOT go on and ON about how HE made a decision. We live- IN Christ. We DIE to SELF- and our own desires.

          • Aunt Tasty

            I could use your logic and insist that your pride and anger are hurting the body of Christ. But I don’t believe that. I believe you’re being deluded by evil and that you have absolutely no idea how much you’re hurting people you come into contact with when you insist that people are grieving the Holy Spirit. You have my prayers.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            anakinmcfly- satan will always be very eager to holdout to you the first answer to your problem. It seems’ so great, and just what YOU wanted to hear! WAIT on the Lord. He will renew your strength. To be accepted by a certain group of people is NOT a rubber stamp of God’s approval. He loves’ you- you need to respond to HIS will for your heart and life, NOT what you THINK makes’ you happy at this moment in time! You are probably still young, and this confusion of lust and sexuality will work itself out IN THE LORD. HIS timing is what is important. STAY pure, though. He can work in our life as— you keep getting more and more obedient- with His Spirit growing in your life. The Lord will continue to bring you, by the Holy Spirit into the fullness of the knowledge of God, and His call on your life. We as Christians would not really be loving you in the Lord if we just said- God Bless You, now go in peace—when You came to our door, asking for Bread ( the Word of God)- in the middle of the night, now would we? To leave you hungry still? A man of God is one who hears’ His voice- and drowns’ OUT all others.

          • anakinmcfly

            I’m not sure if I’ve said this to you before, but even Christians who believe that homosexuality is a sin cannot agree on who I’m allowed to be attracted to. Meanwhile it makes no sense that God would create me and consider every possible expression of romantic or sexual love on my part to be sinful, including the kind of love that would make me willingly lay down my life for another, and there is nothing – *nothing* – in the Bible to support that idea.

            You’ve been making a lot of wrong assumptions about me. I’ve struggled with my gender identity for over 20 years, and my sexual orientation for over 12 years. I’m 25 now. I spent years in clinical depression and suicidal thoughts and fear as I self-harmed and tried to be ‘normal’. It drove me further and further from God. Then one night by a ledge from which I intended to jump, I made a last cry out to God; and I was suddenly filled with a sense of overwhelming peace, and love, and the assurance that everything would be okay. I didn’t kill myself that night. I came out to family a few months later. And from there began the slow climb back up out of a darkness to which I never wish to return.

            Since then, I’ve been blessed in ways I never could have imagined. I’m closer to God than I’ve ever been. I’m no longer that angry, hateful kid who wanted to hurt everyone else. Accepting myself wasn’t something I suddenly decided was okay because it made me ‘happy’; in many ways it still doesn’t. But I couldn’t keep denying the truth about myself. I live in a country where homosexuality is illegal. I’m not exactly surrounded by support. I’m devastatingly lonely. If I could just choose to be straight and cisgender, I would, believe me, if only so I could find someone to love. But that’s not how it works, and God seems to have other plans for my life, which I intend to follow.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            Dear, I read what you said. I read all of the time about the struggles that people go through- in life in general, to the point of despair. Hopefully, the Lord has shown you that sorrowing unto death- (like what Judas did, when He did not realize the true mission of Jesus, and wanted to make Him into another type of thing like an earthly king/conqueror and kill the Romans, was NOT a Believer’s way, in the real Jesus which is Crucial)- is not what he gives’. He gives’ sorrow unto LIFE- like Peter! the Holy spirit comes’ and shows’ us how we are totally lost and undone! We cannot do what we want to do- we have no power. Then the “Resurrection Power”, that makes’ the dead in sins– alive unto Christ comes’…and we are transformed into a new creature! My Christian Mom didn’t tell me that life was not fair. They were strict, but I thought that others would be more giving. My Dad was a preacher. I learned from the Lord how to be a Christian- and my church members were my family who gave me the support that I needed. I have been a typical heathen at times, but I cannot remain in sin- this is the key to sanctification, being more Christ- like until we die and ARE like Jesus THE. We are to be sober, and don’t exactly have the right to be happy per say. We have JOY in the midst of sorrow. We are down-trodden but NOT destroyed! To be happy in temporal things is to love this world, and everything in it- including people. That is unrealistic, especially when we still have the sin nature, albeit put under subjection to the rule of Christ now. We are set apart now. He who started a work in you will complete it.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            People who get off alcohol have to make new friends. They need to go to different places. HABITS DIE HARD! It made me cry when I would continually drive back two feet, in a parking place- even AFTER I hit a grocery employee trying to retrieve a cart, injuring her knee! I read that my personality would be more entrenched when I was very old. God breaks’ the curse of Fathers, that WERE from the tenth generation- by the power of Christ, in the regenerated person that we become.

          • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

            anakinmcfly- satan will always be very eager to holdout to you the first answer to your problem. It seems’ so great, and just what YOU wanted to hear! WAIT on the Lord. He will renew your strength. To be accepted by a certain group of people is NOT a rubber stamp of God’s approval. He loves’ you- you need to respond to HIS will for your heart and life, NOT what you THINK makes’ you happy at this moment in time! You are probably still young, and this confusion of lust and sexuality will work itself out IN THE LORD. HIS timing is what is important. STAY pure, though. He can work in our life as— you keep getting more and more obedient- with His Spirit growing in your life. The Lord will continue to bring you, by the Holy Spirit into the fullness of the knowledge of God, and His call on your life. We as Christians would not really be loving you in the Lord if we just said- God Bless You, now go in peace—when You came to our door, asking for Bread ( the Word of God)- in the middle of the night, now would we? To leave you hungry still? A man of God is one who hears’ His voice- and drowns’ OUT all others.

    • Bones

      Is attacking homosexuals a church doctrine now?

      • Jeff Preuss

        What now? It seems to have been a doctrine for decades at least.

    • whisperingsage1

      The SBC has been on the list of members of the CFR (Council on Foriegn Relations) for many years now, decades even so they are part of the New World Order and will be a part of the One World Religion.

    • Justas399 .

      Amen. That pastor needs to be disciplined and relieved of his position as a pastor.

  • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

    Churches are falling away. Judgment shall begin with the Church.

    • http://www.enesvy.com/ Enesvy

      Love will always be more powerful than the law. Churches aren’t falling away. They’re allowing the Holy Spirit to bend and break their stubborn, arrogant wills at the foot of the cross where Jesus exampled what it means to love.

      • jules

        The Holy Spirit does not act contrary to God’s Word. It is not He that is leading…

        • http://www.enesvy.com/ Enesvy

          You can only say that for yourself. You have no idea how the Holy Spirit is leading other people. You have only your own experience. And the Holy Spirit is not limited by you, nor by your interpretation of the Bible.

          • John Buchanan

            I’m not sure which Bible you are reading.

          • http://www.enesvy.com/ Enesvy

            The same one I’ve been immersed in since I was a child. King James. NIV. Is there another translation you prefer?

      • John Buchanan

        You mean lust is more powerful , because that’s what gratifying one’s flesh through the act of sodomy is . To somehow use Jesus to endorse the act of homosexuality is an affront to all Christ followers

        • AtalantaBethulia

          What’s your position on heterosexual sodomy (non-procreative sex acts)?

          • whisperingsage1

            It hurts.

          • anakinmcfly

            And what reason do you have then to be against gay people who *don’t* engage in anal sex? (which is like 60% of gay male couples.)

        • anakinmcfly

          Are you saying that heterosexual lust does not exist? What is it then that drives straight people towards having sex? Or committing adultery? Or raping? Love, is it?

        • http://www.enesvy.com/ Enesvy

          Uh, no, I meant love. Unless you somehow see Jesus dying on the cross as an example of lust. What a weird reply!
          And for the record, John Buchanan, other people’s walks with Christ should in no way be an affront to you. If so, your faith is very weak. Jesus himself stepped down from his place as God and fully immersed himself in the world. Then he died for all people. He is our example, but you’re doing the opposite. The same people Christ spilled out his life for in love, you are affronted by.

    • whisperingsage1

      Rev 20; 4 And
      I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto
      them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of
      Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast,
      neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads,
      or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand
      years.

  • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

    Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible
    God has THIS single Hope for those ‘different’— “For
    thus saith the Lord unto the “EUNICHS” that keep my Sabbaths,…. That
    fear and serve the Lord; “Religiously observe all times of divine
    worship, and walk in all the command- ments and ordinances of the Lord;
    show regard to all the institutions of the Gospel, and perform all
    religious exercises, private and public, on Lord’s days, ***and at other
    times: and ***CHOOSE THE THINGS THAT PLEASE ME; who do that which is well pleasing unto God, which he has declared in His WORD to be acceptable to Him; and do that from right principles,
    with right views, and of choice; not forced to it by those who have
    authority over them, or led to it merely by example and custom: and
    take hold of my covenant; not the covenant of circumcision, as Kimchi;
    for what had EUNICHS to do with that? But the Covenant of Grace, the
    everlasting Covenant, the Covenant of Peace before spoken of Isaiah 14:10,
    made between the Father and the Son, on account of the Elect; which may
    be said to be taken hold of when a person by faith claims his interest
    in God as his Covenant God; comes to Christ as the Mediator of the Covenant; and deals with his blood, righteousness, and sacrifice, for
    pardon, justification, and atonement; regards all the promises and
    blessings of the Covenant as belonging to Him and lives by faith on
    them, as such; so David by faith laid hold on this Covenant, 2 Samuel 23:5.SHALL BE BLESSED. etc.– READ ALL of it.

    • anakinmcfly

      It’s ‘eunuchs’, with a ‘u’, and there aren’t any quotes around them in the Bible.

      Also not sure how this is relevant. Everyone – eunuch or not – is supposed to keep God’s laws and do the things that please him. No one’s arguing against that.

    • James Walker

      Well, at least I was finally able to figure out what it is you’re trying to quote here. It’s from John Gill’s commentary on Isaiah 56:4. Unfortunately, you’ve mistaken the significance of the eunuchs in this passage.

      Isaiah is speaking to the males of Israel who have some injury or defect in their genitalia, making them impotent. such men were unable to participate in the Temple, because they were barred by the purity laws from entering the grounds. You have to read almost the entire previous chapter plus most of chapter 56 to get the context. Essentially, God (through Isaiah) is promising that even those people who cannot participate fully in the Jewish Temple worship but still do everything else required by the Jewish laws will be recognized as righteous in God’s Judgement.

      Unfortunately, this has very little to do with the topic at hand.

  • http://www.enesvy.com/ Enesvy

    This is wonderful. So amazing to see the Holy Spirit moving on hearts and minds.

    • John Buchanan

      The Holy Spirit convicts of sin, righteousness, and judgement , thus would never lead someone to sexual sin, which the Bible makes clear in Romans 1,.that homosexuality is. This pastor is deceived

      • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

        To live your life without God- gets’ you going to hell.

        • Bones

          Bahahaha.

        • http://www.enesvy.com/ Enesvy

          Yes, because God is a sadistic psychopath who enjoys torturing people by burning them for eternity.

        • Snooterpoot

          Why would you or anyone else worship a god that creates human beings only to subject them to eternal torment if they don’t strictly adhere to words written by fallible men?

          If it gives you comfort, good for you. As for me, I want no part of a murderous, sadistic, merciless god that would do that.

          • Justas399 .

            You may not want no part of God but you will be judged by Him after you die.

          • BarbaraR

            Please do not state your personal belief as fact.

          • Justas399 .

            Why not?

          • BarbaraR

            Because it is your opinion. People here have a very wide variety of opinions about God, faith, and religion; stating your opinion as fact is not conductive to the exchange of ideas. It’s OK to say “I think this” or “I believe this” but not “This is fact.”
            And as allegro pointed out, that last statement was hateful.

          • Jay

            Jesus certainly believed that God existed as a fact as do many other Christians. If you want me to say it is not a fact then show me some counter facts that shows I am wrong.

            To warn people about the judgement at the end of their lives is not hateful but a loving thing to do.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Belief in the divine is ancient, and very varied, according to culture, place in history and time. God still enjoys a very varied view point as to exactly who and what he she or it is.

            To “warn” people that God is plotting to eternally torture them, unless they adhere to a certain religious format is not loving. I fail to see how, and most who are disagreeing with you do as well.

          • Jay

            Since Jesus taught it how could it be unloving to warn people about judgement and hell? He is the One who taught that hell exists and for people to repent and believe in Him lest they perish.

          • BarbaraR

            Stop. Just… stop.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Its over.

          • BarbaraR

            Thank you.

          • Filius Regis

            Revelation 20:15And if anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.

          • BarbaraR

            *SMH*

          • Filius Regis

            Why are you critical of me quoting (or cutting and pasting as you pointed out) the divinely inspired Word of God? Is it the texts or the application?

          • BarbaraR

            There is no shortage of people who come here and cut-and-paste Bible texts, as though no one else had a Bible.

            I assure you that the people here already know what it says. To continually post it is wasting everyone’s time. You’re convincing no one.

          • Filius Regis

            I beg to differ with you, BarbaraR. Apparently very few people here know what it says, at least that’s the evidence I find in many of the comments. Could it be argued that being on this site instead of in His Word is wasting all of our time? I’m not here to convince anyone of anything. Holy Writ, illumined by the Holy Spirit, will “guide you into all the truth.”

          • BarbaraR

            This is exactly the same thing that all the other cut-and-paste people say: that those of us on this site “don’t know what it says.”

            I assure you that we do.

          • http://www.enesvy.com/ Enesvy

            “Holy Writ, illumined by the Holy Spirit, will “guide you into all the truth.” And it has. That’s why I will always put love before the law. Like Jesus did on the cross.

          • Snooterpoot

            And you won’t? Keep your god. For me hell, if it exists, would be spending eternity with the likes of you.

          • Jeff Preuss

            As an aside, Snooterpoot is one of my favorite new names.

          • Snooterpoot

            Thank you. I’ve received many comments on it, all positive.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            You are on thin ice. That is a hateful remark, and utterly based on your own personal opinion, and apparent disregard for beliefs that are not yours.

          • Justas399 .

            Based on scripture. Matthew 25. These are the words of Christ.

          • Jay

            How is that a hateful remark when it is something Jesus Himself said it? How does that follow?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            1. It is merely an opinion of an interpretation of scripture. used as means to condemn and dismiss

            2. Its condescending and rude.

          • Jay

            No its not “condescending and rude.” Its also not my opinion but the teaching of Christ. Its not meant to “condemn and dismiss” but to warn people that there will be a judgement at their end of their lives where they will give an account of their lives before God.

          • Jeff Preuss

            And, Jay, you will also be given judgment at the end of your life. How will your life and the way you treat other human beings be accounted? Will you be rewarded for causing a fellow Christian to stumble by telling him his faith isn’t good enough? Will you be lauded for trivializing the importance of another human being? Will you be feted for refusing to love and understand when given the chance?

            Because, you may think you aren’t doing any of these things, but that is exactly what you are doing.

          • anakinmcfly

            It’s also worth mentioning that hearing allegedly Bible-based anti-gay sentiment doesn’t make me think “oh, maybe being gay is wrong after all”; instead, it makes me doubt the Bible and my faith. Because if – as they claim the Bible claims – my sexual orientation is a lustful, perverted choice, when I know with 100% certainty that it wasn’t, they’re basically saying that the Bible is wrong. Which doesn’t seem like a very Christian thing to do.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Anakin, one of the things that was actually instrumental in my coming to terms with myself was a critical Bible Scripture class at my (now-formerly) Southern Baptist undergrad school (where I came out! whee!).

            It was a class that looked at the Bible as a historical document, analyzing contradictions between translations, or sometimes within one specific translation, such as the variations between the accounts of the Gospel.

            It called into question the veracity of EVERYTHING if we are to believe in an inerrant Bible. And many students had difficulty because it made us questions our faiths. (Which, as it turns out, is a super-healthy thing to do. If we cannot hold our faith up to our own questioning, then are we just regurgitating what someone else tells us? What kind of belief is that?)

            Some students took it to mean that our professor was telling us the Bible is a lie. In reality, that professor (who now also tunes my Mom’s piano…) is a sincerely devout Christian, and his big takeaway, which is one I share, is that MUCH of what is in the Bible is instructive as a parable. I do not believe we are to take every single little bit of it as the literal truth, especially because there have been scores of translations over the years, influenced by men and their opinions, and the original texts were written by many different men who perhaps did not agree upon what it meant to be a Christian, thousands of years ago.

            So, if it’s not all absolutely true, what good is it? What truth is there? Christ is the truth of the Bible, and the promise and grace of the New Testament. If all the OT rules and codes and specific, yet, vague commandments don’t hold up on cross-examination, what do we do? We exemplify Christ’s love for our fellow humans. It’s the greatest commandment, and wholly worth believing.

            I say question your faith. Analyze what it REALLY means to you. The thing that got me through the toughest times was knowing that even if I questioned my belief in Christ, He never questioned His belief in me.

          • anakinmcfly

            Thanks. I agree; I have questioned my faith – extensively – and it’s all the stronger for it, plus I emerged with a much deeper and complex understanding of (and interest in) the Bible and Christianity than I previously had. Although even with that, being surrounded by enough literalist Christians occasionally brings doubt, and the idea that I’ve just been fooling myself. It’s tempting and feels so much easier to just take the Bible at face value and believe that all the stuff people say about me is correct. Because then it would make all the hostile things people say and do about LGBT people justified, and I wouldn’t have to keep fighting but can just give in; and a part of me finds surrender to lies an easier prospect to deal with than continuing the uphill struggle against injustice. But that’s not what Jesus would do.

          • Jeff Preuss

            And what we have to remember is all the people who are lashing out at us have their own struggles and their own questions of faith, and MAY be doing the classic bully move of putting down someone else to make themselves feel better. Only, this time they are calling the validity of your faith into question to build up their own.

            As crazy as it may sound, they could be hurting more inside than we’ve ever experienced.

            We’re all humans, no better no worse than each other, and all loved by God. The hostile things to us aren’t justified, and neither is a hostile response from us. As hard as it is, keep fighting by being true to yourself and to God.

          • Matt

            Jeff: It’s hard to impress me as fast as you have. You’re really cool.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Oh, piffle. I’m just an old gay nerd who happens to like Jesus. “Cool” is nothing I’d ever call myself.

            Thanks, anyhoo. :)

          • BarbaraR

            Bonus points for using the word “piffle.”

          • anakinmcfly

            yep. It’s hurt people who hurt others, and for that I try my best to heed the call to love our enemies. But that doesn’t usually go down well with others; I’ve been angrily accused of caring more about oppressors’/bullies feelings than that of marginalised groups, or of the ever-popular ‘tone policing’ when I suggest that other LGBT people tone down the hostile responses because it makes things worse, so I’ve been conflicted about that too. :/ I don’t like conflict.

          • Guy Norred

            This sounds very, very familiar.

          • Bones

            The opposite of faith isn’t doubt – it’s certainty.

          • Guy Norred

            That is really good–I may quote you

          • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

            Well said. I am a preacher’s kid and lapsed atheist. I haven’t believed in the doctrine of inerrancy since the fifth grade. Once you reject inerrancy you can reject everything in the Bible and become an atheist or come to a greater understanding of what it means to follow Christ. It took me years to work it all out but my faith is stronger for it.

          • Filius Regis

            Ezekiel 33: 7“So
            you, son of man, I have made a watchman for the house of Israel.
            Whenever you hear a word from my mouth, you shall give them warning from
            me.
            8If
            I say to the wicked, O wicked one, you shall surely die, and you do not
            speak to warn the wicked to turn from his way, that wicked person shall
            die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand.
            9But
            if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from
            his way, that person shall die in his iniquity, but you will have
            delivered your soul.

          • BarbaraR

            I can haz copy and paste.

          • anakinmcfly

            So will you.

      • http://www.theunderstandingapp.com Kevin Osborne

        My experience is that Spirit is completely practical, forgiving and honest, and one step beyond my personal understanding of where I am. Therefore to understand I must be willing to step beyond myself just a bit. However that is just my experience.

      • Julie

        The homosexual behavior that was condemned in ancient times was not what it is today. The homosexual behavior in ancient times was filled with violence, oppression, humiliation, and slavery emerging from malicious intent, and temple prostitution, etc. emerging from excessive lust. That is the homosexuality condemned in Romans 1.

        • Justas399 .

          Paul does not make any qualifications for condemning homosexuality. He condemns it all.

          • BarbaraR

            The only kind of homosexual activity Paul would have known about was exactly what Julie described.

          • Justas399 .

            Not necessarily. He also condemns in I cor 6:10. The scripture never affirms any kind of homosexual relationships.

          • BarbaraR

            Paul spoke about the only kind of homosexual relationships he knew about: non-consensual rape between Romans and slave boys.

          • Justas399 .

            There is no evidence for this in the text.

          • BarbaraR

            If you take it exactly at face value, that is true. However, examination of the culture and history at the time Paul may have written that is vital in order to get a better understanding.

            It is also vital to know that this has been translated umpteen times and each translator believed they had the best, last, final word on what each word meant. As I said, “Homosexual” as you have quoted it refers to non-consensual sex. It does not refer to committed, loving relationships because that was an unknown concept in his time.

          • Jay

            You are speculating here when you write ” It does not refer to committed, loving relationships because that was an unknown concept in his time.” As i have said, Paul puts no qualifications on his condemnation of homosexuality.

            If he had meant that a “committed, loving relationship” was permissible he would have said so.

          • BarbaraR

            He could have said nothing whatsoever because he would have been completely unaware that such a thing existed.

            He said nothing about the internet, Native Americans, the earth revolving around the sun, avocados, kangaroos, or stiletto heels. He knew nothing of them and said nothing.

            There was a great deal Paul said nothing about.

          • Jay

            Agreed. However, we do know what he wrote about homosexuality and we have to deal with that. We know he did not support it in any way. No Jew in this period would have.

          • BarbaraR

            As I said before, “homosexuality” as Paul wrote about it was confined to non-consensual rape. It had nothing to do with gay people living in a committed relationship, which (I am repeating myself here) he said nothing about because it was unknown to him.

          • Jay

            How would you know he said nothing about it if we don’t have everything he ever wrote? You would think if this was ok that the other apostles would have mentioned it also but there is nothing either from them.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Its called looking at history, and the ancient cultures of ancient people, of which the Bible is not intended to be a reliable source. The statements of one person, speaking to a particular audience about a particular topic that was not homosexuality, is not remotely an accurate assessment of an ancient culture.

          • Jay

            I know of no ancient historian in this period that does not think homosexuality was not practiced. The Bible has yet to be proven to be historically inaccurate.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Sigh. I am not playing this game…..again. Just because you know of no historian, doesn’t mean that they do not exist.

            As for the historical accuracy of the Bible. There is a list. But I don’t do people’s homework for them.

          • anakinmcfly

            Breaking it down for you:

            1. Homosexuality as Paul knew it = rape, pedophilia, slave prostitution

            2. Paul said that was wrong. And are those things wrong? Obviously, regardless of the gender of the people involved.

            3. Would he have likewise condemned homosexuality in the context of two gay people who love each other? We have no idea, because he didn’t know that existed and thus said nothing about it.

          • Filius Regis

            “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”

          • BarbaraR

            Stop.

          • anakinmcfly

            The same back at you.

          • Jeff Preuss

            “For the time is coming that people will just randomly quote Bible verses and translations they think are pithy that will just blithely denigrate an entire group of people they choose not to get to know in any shape or form because it’s easier to continue to be churchy with people just like you rather than extend your hand and heart in Jesus’ name to share His Love and message for ALL mankind.”

          • Justas399 .

            Every passage in scripture that addresses homosexuality is always negative. Paul never affirms it in any context.

          • anakinmcfly

            That’s because every instance of homosexuality condemned in scripture *is* negative, and *should* be condemned. Gang rape, like in Sodom? Always wrong. No matter what the gender of the people involved.

          • Justas399 .

            A husband should never abuse his wife nor the wife her husband.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Agreed. and something much worthy to fixate on.

          • anakinmcfly

            and hey, I noticed you didn’t reply to my post over on that other article. If I get a boyfriend (and hopefully eventually get married and possibly have sex) it’ll be cool with you, right, because the parts fit?

          • Justas399 .

            Have sex when your married and not before. Yes you will complement your husband sexually in marriage.

          • BarbaraR

            You know anakinmcfly is trans, right?

          • anakinmcfly

            Yeah, he does. We were talking on another thread. So I’ll put him in the James Dobson camp rather than the Pat Robertson camp regarding who trans people are allowed to have sex with. Although from experience, I’m guessing that he or the general person on the street wouldn’t bother to establish my genital configuration if they saw me holding hands or cuddling with another guy in public, before forming opinions on it. Which is great, because that’s not a polite question to ask.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Because sex is all about husbands….

            I swear, I’m going to shatter my desk with all the head contacts, your comments prompt.

          • vitario2000

            You are totally wrong, Homosexuality in Pauls day was just as it is now, No more rape then now, no more or less violent then now. Your points here are based on the supposition of others and because it sounded good you took it to be truth, sorry not true.

            Your basing “love each other” as fitting God’s command to “Love one another”, You are in error here also, God commanded us to “Agape” one another, the relationship type of “love’ has nothing to do with that command. Paul would have had not reason to consider if they were in “eros’ with one another but in fact he oints to the fact they were experiencing “epithemos” with one another. Stop trying to “cutsie” up something that is a disgusting perversion of the sexual relations God set for men and women. Nothing cute or loving about a man sticking his penis up the annus of another man, or about one man using his mouth as a woman vagina for the pleasure of another man. That is what is forbidden.

          • Aunt Tasty

            Psssst, Allegro, if we don’t try to lay logic down over an illogical argument [read: person] our days vastly improve. :-)

          • vitario2000

            This would be the same cultures which allowed for pediphilia of young boys as part of the norm, You ok with that too?

            The Bible is clear and right it is simply sexual perversions and lusts.

          • anakinmcfly

            “This would be the same cultures which allowed for pediphilia of young boys as part of the norm, You ok with that too?”

            I thought the whole point of this thread of discussion was that we were not okay with that. You’re just proving our point that the ‘norm’ of homosexuality in that culture was not gay people as we know it today, but pedophilia and suchlike.

          • BarbaraR

            You can speculate endlessly about what Paul or Jesus or anyone else might have said. It doesn’t matter. If the Bible is taken as inerrant, then it has to be the final word and nothing can be taken away or added to it.
            However, if (like most people here on this site) the Bible is not considered inerrant, we need to look at historical, cultural, and linguistic context as well.

          • Jay

            I also look and study the historical and linguistic contexts as well.
            It matters eternally what Jesus and His apostles said. They speak with the authority of God.

          • Julie

            Why do some feel it’s okay to assume Paul would condemn what we’re talking about today — loving sexual acts within a loving marriage between two same-sex oriented Christians? He never mentioned acts in such a context. He only spoke of them in the context of excess burning lust (Rom. 1:27) and in the context of other vices that emerge from malicious intent or excessive lust (1 Cor. & 1 Tim.).

          • Jay

            Because there is no positive case for homosexuality in Scripture. It is always condemned.

          • BarbaraR

            Not true.

            I will point you to this link, where John Shore debunks that nonsense.

            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2012/04/the-best-case-for-the-bible-not-condemning-homosexuality/

          • Julie

            There are no positive cases of lots of things in Scripture that we know are okay to do.

          • vitario2000

            You are totally wrong, Homosexuality in Pau’ls day was just as it is now, No more rape then now, no more or less violent then now. Your points here are based on the supposition of others and because it sounded good you took it to be truth, sorry not true.

            References to the temple prostitution are another issue intirely, Your attempts to confuse what is Scripturely clear fails

            Your basing “love each other” as fitting God’s command to “Love one another”, You are in error here also, God commanded us to “Agape” one another, the relationship type of “love’ has nothing to do with that command. Paul would have had not reason to consider if they were in “eros’ with one another but in fact he points to the fact they were experiencing “epithemos” with one another.

            Stop trying to “cutsie” up something that is a disgusting perversion of the sexual relations God set for men and women. Nothing cute or loving about a man sticking his penis up the annus of another man, or about one man using his mouth as a woman’s vagina for the pleasure of another man. That is what is forbidden.

          • Julie

            vitario2000,

            The point is not whether it was more or less. We have only the context Paul gives us, which is excess burning lust (Rom. 1:27) and in the context of other vices that emerge from malicious intent or excessive lust (1 Cor. & 1 Tim.). That’s all we have and nothing more. To say more is adding to scripture.

            The documentation that shows the culture overlooking the widespread habits of pederasty and the culture’s acceptance of temple prostitution corresponds with the context in which Paul places these acts.

            I find this biblical and historical evidence more persuasive than your flawed human “gross odometer.” If we based everything off of what we thought was gross, our parents would have to stop having sex as soon as they told us how they brought us into
            this world.

          • vitario2000

            Julie you confuse yourself. First you talk about Paul refering to excessive lusts (He does) then you some how jump that to temple prostitution? You need to go back and study again with out the predetermination that you are going to prove homosexuality as ok by the Bible.

            All excessive lust outside the bonds of male female marriage is sin and that was Paul’s point. If Homosexual relations is not sin then neither is adulerary and or other forms of fornication such a beastuality.

            The problem again is “Homosexuals deny that they are sinning there fore they call God a liar”.1Jn_1:10 If we say, “We don’t have any sin,” we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us.

            It is the arrogance and false pride of that denial which makes this sin such an abomination to God and His followers. If I was to say that I commited adulterary but because it was with my ex it was not a sin. I would be a liar and call God a liar. My self pride would be put before God and His will in our lives.

            Keep defending that homosexuality is not a sin and you will find you are fighting God.

            Much better to tell the truth of God’s word, “All have sinned and fall short”, Homosexual practices are sin like many others sins no better no worse. As such we should seek God’s help to resist the temptation to this and all other sin in our lives.

            Keep the Son in your eyes, YOU are in His,

          • Julie

            vitario2000,

            It’s irrelevant if you perceive me to be jumping around when the point is that the acts are condemned within a particular context. We don’t get to extend the prohibition outside of that context. That would be adding to scripture.

          • http://limpingtowardsgrace.com/ James Jarvis

            You mistake eisegesis for exegesis.

          • BarbaraR

            You have tipped your hand. It isn’t the Biblical view or whether it’s okay or not; it’s that you are grossed out by what you imagine gay people do in the privacy of their own homes that disgusts you. Which is fine; you don’t have to like it, but I do have to ask: do you feel the same way about heterosexuals practicing it?

          • anakinmcfly

            “Homosexuality in Pau’ls day was just as it is now”

            History disagrees.

            “You are in error here also, God commanded us to “Agape” one another, the relationship type of “love’ has nothing to do with that command.”

            Showing agape love to gay people is, however, everything to do with that command.

            “Nothing cute or loving about a man sticking his penis up the annus of another man”

            No more than there is anything cute or loving about a man sticking his penis up the vagina of a woman, or having a woman use her mouth as a second vagina for the pleasure of a man.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            You are critical of Barbara’s comment calling it speculation and defend your position with: “If he had meant that a “committed, loving relationship” was permissible he would have said so.” – a speculation of your own.

          • Jeff Preuss

            That’s a bit of a stretch considering that very little of the Bible was written as, “Do this THIS way and THIS way only.” If we were to expect Paul to speak of loving and committed homosexual relationships at a time in history when that wasn’t a part of society as we know it, we might as well expect him to have written, “I decree it permissible to use the internet.” Homosexual activity at the time was largely an idolatrous display to pagan idols or Greek pederasty, both of which were fairly unsavory examples of physical intimacy, not at all like a preset orientation leads to a romantic love like in modern times. (Because, in all honesty, the notion that marriage is determined by a romantic love, gay OR straight, is a fairly modern development that has little to do with the arranged marriages so common in the Bible.)

            Where in the Bible does it describe STRAIGHT couplings as “committed, loving relationships?” Is that after the passage where I am to take my deceased brother’s wife as a (potentially second) wife? Is that after the passage detailing the conceptions of Moab and Benammi? Am I okay to engage in an incestuous relationship to procreate simply because it’s heterosexual?

            By your logic, these polygamous or incestuous connections are permissible because they are expressly detailed and not forbidden in the Scripture. These were known concepts at the time – why are they not acceptable today, Jay?

          • Matt Peake

            so of course you dont have short hair Lev, or wear blended fabric and ALWAYS slaughter a bull on the altar?? if not then YOU MUST be stoned to death~ and btw does your husband allow you to speak for yourself cos ass the bible states women are just chattel! cant be a literalist and just pick and choose bits to follow! #INANE MUCH WOMAN??

          • Julie

            What define these acts as immoral are the excessively lustful desires that drive the acts. This excessive lust arose as they cast away that which was made evident within them. Also, acting out in excess lust was always considered against nature.

          • Matt Peake

            homosexuality is found in 1500 species in NATURE OMGoddess that MEANS ITS natural~unlioke being inculcated in a hateful reimagined Egyptian solar cult~

          • Julie

            Matt,

            The ancients believed that anytime humans engaged in excess, it was acting “against nature.” So, if you overeat, you act against nature. If you have sex with anyone but your wife, you act against nature. Some of the ancients believed that if you have anything but procreative sex with your wife, you act against nature. Sexual orientation was a nearly nonexistent concept (a couple ancient writers hinted at it). The leading belief was that all people were heterosexual and therefore same-sex acts were generally considered an expression of excessive lust. And considering the extreme examples that were prevalent (i.e. pederasty, oppression, humiliation, temple prostitution), I don’t think it’s any wonder why that was the common belief.

      • Matt Peake

        no mate youre a xenophobe who takes a book written by many many MEN and changed by many many men ~literally when its plainly allegorical~i feel sad that your so hateful and uneducated~Blessed Be

  • Daphne Wallace-Edwards

    To: James Walker- There is an age of accountability. This young man has a sense of right from wrong, and he has NOT won the battle over his sin. He can NEVER win. We need a Saviour. God provided a way of escape. There is NO excuse- because with every temptation- God provides’ a way OUT of it! FOR Christians. We are to renounce our soul-ties, in the Name of Jesus, and never look BACK. Did this Pastor/Father teach this son that? Apparently NOT. Any action toward any one other than this young man’s wife would be and is sin. We are weak. while we were yet sinners- Christ died for us, and bore in his own body the punishment for you and ME. The DESERVED punishment! If it (sin) was not serious- then WHY would He knock off about four levels of deity to come down (and stay in the form of a man for eternity, as well)- and come down to earth as a Lamb of God, to die meekly, and quietly, for us. He showed His love, by stretching out His arms- in LOVE and dying FOR US!

  • Lilly Munster

    Who in their right mind would recommend or even accept that their straight son, daughter or friend married a Closet Case, because it is “Biblical Marriage.” There are millions of marriages right now, destroyed because of the hiding and pretending that Gay People have to do, to NOT be hounded, discriminated against, and demonized. Including my daughter, niece and nephew. They married Closet Cases. It was a disaster.

  • Wit

    Reading a number of these comments below – yeah, how’s that ‘humanity in christianity’ in your blog tagline working out for ya?

    I’ll share with you this truth that I have learned over and over again during my 50 some odd years in this world. Christians, when it comes to homosexuals, are some of the cruelest, meanest, most dirty, vindictive, self righteous and down right evil people you can ever meet and they will do their worst with a smile on their face and god on their lips.

    If this is christian ‘love’ then I wake up everyday thankful that I am an atheist.

    You can go ahead and ban and block me now because I know you will.

    • James Walker

      why on earth would we ban or block you for acknowledging the very same problem within the Christian faith that we’re here fighting against?

      • Wit

        Because I’ve been banned and blocked by Jim Shore before. Some people may think I am too aggressive, too coarse or too in your face because I’m bluntly honest. I have no qualms about laying it out as it is but my goal is not to just antagonize believers but to make people think about just what it is they believe and why. I hold no illusions that I’ll ‘win converts to atheism’ or any such nonsense. Frankly speaking I may, and can, debate someone’s beliefs at anytime but really I don’t care what people believe or worship as long as they aren’t hurting someone else in the process. However this war against homosexuality is personal. I don’t live to make enemies of the christians or muslims but I will fight the injustices, bigotry and hurtful effects these religions unleash on the world and I make no apologies for that. I realize not all christians are the same, good or bad. Like I said I’m not here just to make enemies – if you are serious about fighting this injustice then I believe there can be room for atheists and believers alike to work together as allies. However I will not tolerate christians making excuses for their hateful anti-gay bigotry while hiding behind a book. We might be on the same page in this but don’t waste my time with a lot of endless discussion about your beliefs. I don’t care about it. Don’t talk to me about your beliefs but show me your character, show me who you really are when your pastor, your congregation and no one else is looking because that’s what really matters. You may think my words here are too harsh but like I said, this is personal. As a christian you may think you have a dog in this fight but really you don’t. As a member of the religious majority in this country you have absolutely nothing to lose while we, the marginalized, the bullied and victimized, the Drew’s and David’s (my real name) of this world have everything to lose if we don’t stand up and fight.

        • BarbaraR

          *We might be on the same page in this but don’t waste my time with a lot of endless discussion about your beliefs. ”

          No one here is wasting your time. It appears you chose to come here of your own accord. This page is for Christians to discuss Christianity. Gay rights is one facet of that, and as Christians we do use the Bible to make our point that being gay is not a sin.

          You will find plenty of gay Christians here who do have a dog in this fight. But it is John Shore’s page – his virtual home – and people who misbehave here will be shown the door.

          • Wit

            ‘Misbehave’? As horribly as we’ve been treated by you for centuries and you’re threatening me for being ‘uppity’? Cute.

          • BarbaraR

            Like I said: misbehaving here will get you tossed out. Your choice.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            That comment puts you at risk for a return to the ban zone.

          • Wit

            Do as you will. You’re going to do what YOU want to do regardless because I certainly don’t matter to you. Truth be told if you really understood what has been done to us by your religion and your fellow christians – how many men, women and children have died or had their lives ruined by the church for being gay you would be on your knees begging our forgiveness but I’m not holding my breath waiting on that. We weren’t born into the world asking to be persecuted for who we are, that was YOUR doing. If you can’t understand the depth of our suffering, of our anger and hostility then there is nothing to talk about with you and I truly am wasting my time here.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Yes you are.

          • Wit

            Then I’m gone. Thank you for proving once again your reputation as being impossible to deal with because for all your talk of love and compassion for your fellow man it’s just that, all talk. You only care for your own.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Wit, please.

            Your anger is misplaced at these folks. Just as anti-gay extremely fundamentalist Christians unfairly lump us all into the same hedonistic camp without taking care to get to know each of us as individuals, you are painting all Christians with the same broad brush. No one here is saying you cannot be angry at mistreatment from the Church. But express and channel that anger in the right way at the right target – you’re attacking allies here.

            There ARE heterosexual Christians who are genuinely loving and affirming of us as a people, and embarrassed and angry at the hurt churchy folks have done to us “in God’s name.” They’re truly trying to build bridges. Maybe you could help a bit by starting on your end, and we could all meet in the middle?

          • Wit

            Hey, I tried that here and all I got for my effort was a reprimand for ‘misbehaving’ because I’m honest and I will tell you how it is in the real world and not in the sugar coated bubble you believers like to live in. You have no idea how many dead, how many broken lives and destroyed families lie in the wake of the church’s persecution of homosexuality. If you really knew and understood you wouldn’t be able to manage the grief and despair at the amount of loss we’ve suffered let alone pat yourself on the back for ‘building bridges’.

          • James Walker

            you got a reminder from someone with whom you’d clashed before (who happens to be a moderator) that you need to make an effort to be kind and respectful here.

            some of us here are also gay. so.. you know.. don’t go lumping us in with the bad actors who’ve been abusive to you in your personal history. not all Christians are “straight” and not all Christians are anti-LGBT+.

          • James Walker

            part of being a grown up is overcoming the natural inclination to deal with people according to stereotypes. that’s a relic of our evolutionary baggage that doesn’t help us in the modern world.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Wit, you came in here belligerent with a clear chip on your shoulder. If that was trying to compromise, it certainly appeared to be an attack on these people who are our ALLIES. As you stated, you aren’t sure you can 100% trust Christians, but coming in here guns-a-blazing is not really the way to try to find that trust.
            AS A GAY MAN, I say that not all people in the Church are the same as the ones who’ve done horrible things to us. We’ve every right to be angry, but taking down those who are truly on our side doesn’t solve anything.
            And, as much fun as it might be, I do not live in a sugarcoated world. As a gay man, I’ve experienced pain and rejection and hurt, so BELIEVE me, I know the anger.

          • Jeff Preuss

            To extend my silly metaphor, if you’ve no interest in actually building bridges, then you’ll stay on an island alone.

          • Wit

            Let me state this calmly and simply. You can consider me a reality check, if you will. Do I have a chip on my shoulder? You’re damn right I do. I was not born into this world begging to be hounded, persecuted, shamed and ostracized all my life for being gay, for being human and wanting nothing more than the same freedom to love as any of you. I didn’t ask for this, that was all YOUR (i.e. christians) doing to hate on the gays and drag the whole world down to hell in the process. YOUR religion. So yes, like you said I have every right to my anger and I will continue to hold the feet of christians to the fire over this. I will make no apologies for my anger or for whatever you deem ‘belligerent’. Your religion made this bed so learn to deal with what has come home to roost in it. Learn from me that there are and will continue to be unpleasant consequences from your thousand year reign of terror. You want me to be nice, polite and forgiving? As long as there are christians that believe I am not even human? That preach ‘love’ out of one side of their mouth and spit on us out of the other? Not a chance.

          • James Walker

            all we are asking is that as we’re standing next to you holding “feet to the fire” as you say right along with you is that you not turn around and lash out at us who are your brothers-in-arms because we happen to also claim the title Christian but aren’t anti-gay ourselves.

          • Andy

            Please do not bear a grudge against us for the sins of other people who claim to be Christian but do not show love to their fellow man. We can’t atone for all the wrongdoing others committed, and we shouldn’t have to suffer the backlash.

            If you see anyone on this website that condemns someone simply because of who they are or who they love, please report it. We do not tolerate it here. In the meantime, would you consider learning a little more about us?

            Believe it or not, we are on your side here.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Then, dude, you’re not going to get any sympathy from the Christians here who actually admit to all those things and take ownership/responsibility for them even though they as individuals didn’t perpetrate said actions.

            You came in here looking to pick a fight, and never once held a reasonable conversation with those here. Again, you’ve every right to be angry, we BOTH do, but starting every exchange with the massive chip on your shoulder will cause absolutely NO understanding to occur. No one is saying you should come in all sweetness and light, but we ARE asking you to recognize when there is some sincerely-held apologetic stance taken here.

            The pro-gay folks on here were not fighting you until you came in and started fighting. And every time I’ve tried to point that out to you, you’ve just kept your back up. What did you expect would happen? They’d gnash and grovel, and beg you to forgive them? No, you likely came in here, predicting you’d get a fight, and start off all crabby so you could say, “See? I was right.”

            Go and argue with the ones who actually NEED to change their thoughts on gay rights. The ones STILL perpetrating discrimination and exclusion in the name of religion. Coming in here solves nothing.

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

            Wit –

            You have no idea of my story of my journey. How dare you tell me and people like me that we don’t really understand the destruction of life caused by the church? Who the hell do you think you are?

            But for the grace of God, I’m not just another corpse on that pile of discarded homosexuals. And I know it’s not just people who are gay who are being harmed by toxic beliefs.

            For whatever reason, God didn’t let me go. I believe despite the pain of the journey and the destructive doctrine of the church. I now channel a pretty significant amount of energy into trying to protect the fourteen year old gay kid in the front pew of the traditionalist church.

            And, not for nothing, I’ve found amazing, compassionate fellow travellers on this site – starting with John Shore whose words gave me oxygen at a time when I really needed it. I’ve also conversed with some really compassionate traditionalists who, despite holding harmful beliefs, are living admirable lives of faith and don’t intend harm.

            I’m truly sorry you’re hurting. The choice in what you do with that pain can be life-giving or destructive. Even if you don’t identify as Christian, you’re welcome to join me and others here in repsonding to it in life-affriming ways.

            I wish you peace,
            David

        • James Walker

          I’m a gay Christian who regularly speaks out against bullying tactics in several forums on a variety of topics, including taking the “bad actor” kinds of Christians to task for anti-atheist bullying. Ally enough for you?

          • Wit

            Maybe. I’m not 100% certain I can trust christians but to truly get anywhere the anger and mistrust has to be set aside however that’s hard. There’s a lot of bad blood in our history that is hard to let go. One thing you will never have to doubt from me is unflinching honesty. At the moment this will have to be tabled for later. I’m at work now trying to slog through another 9 hour day in 90 degree heat inside the building because it’s been 5 weeks and they still cannot get the air conditioning system fixed and working. That’s not helping my mood for debating sensitive topics.

          • Andy

            You aren’t the first person we’ve encountered who’s been burned by hateful “Christian” people. If you want to have any meaningful discussion, I hope you’ll give us a chance. We probably have a lot in common with you, and we’re definitely Not All Like That.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      We don’t feel that degrading people, denying them rights we ourselves take for granted, condemning them to “hell” or any of that is how Christianity should be done. I agree with you, love has nothing to do with it.

      Thank you for your input.

      • vitario2000

        What RIGHTS are they being “denied”?

        • BarbaraR

          Not that I think it matters to you – you’ve already indicated you’re disgusted by gay people – but here are a few rights straight people take for granted that are denied to gay people:

          In 29 states a gay person can be fired for being gay. In 24 states you can be fired for being transgender.

          Fewer than half of the states allow same-sex couples to marry. 8 states have constitutional amendments prohibiting the freedom to marry, 20 states have constitutional amendments prohibiting the freedom to marry AND alternative forms of legal relationship protection, and 3 states have state statutes limiting the freedom to marry.

          People who are prohibited from marrying are denied a host of rights including tax benefits, social security benefits, employer-provided benefits, estate taxes, etc.

          There is currently no provision for FMLA to apply to same-sex couples.

          I could go on but it is easy enough to look up. However, I don’t think you’re really interested.

          • Julie

            Wow. :-(

          • anakinmcfly

            and in Uganda, being in a committed same-sex relationship
            (“aggravated homosexuality”) will get you a life sentence in jail. Which is already a huge step up from what was supposed to be a death sentence for simply being gay.

        • Bones

          Anyone from Idaho here?

          Did this get passed?

          IDAHO ANTI-GAY BILL WOULD ALLOW DOCTORS AND NURSES TO REFUSE SERVICE TO LGBT PEOPLE ON RELIGIOUS GROUNDS

          http://www.thegailygrind.com/2014/02/13/idaho-anti-gay-bill-allow-doctors-nurses-refuse-service-lgbt-people-religious-grounds/

          What’s next?

          Wearing a pink star?

  • donmwallace@msn.com

    19 Now the Lord God had formed out of the ground all the wild animals and all the birds in the sky. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. 20 So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds in the sky and all the wild animals.

    But for Adam[f] no suitable helper was found. 21 So the Lord God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs[g] and then closed up the place with flesh. 22 Then the Lord God made a woman from the rib[h] he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man.

    23 The man said,

    “This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
    she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.”

    24 That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

    25 Adam and his wife were both naked, and they felt no shame.
    ….Spin this anyway you want God made Adam and Eve Not Adam and Steve He made a man and a woman to be helpmates to procreate nothing about homosexuals is found here. If they want to love each other as parents love children or siblings love each other or any other type love that doesn’t involve physical contact maybe that is ok but any thing else is unnatural …………….

    19 When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went into the region of Judea to the other side of the Jordan. 2 Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there.

    3 Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

    4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

    8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

    10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

    11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”………….
    No where and Jesus is speaking here does he condone marriage between same sexes and reiterates man and woman were created for each other not man for man or woman for woman…..genesis…..Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh….Ephesians…….Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church…….Matthew 7:15
    “Watch out for false prophets who come to you in sheeps’ clothing but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.
    16 By their fruit you will recognise them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles?
    17 Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
    18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.
    19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
    20 Thus by their fruit you will recognise them………….Didn’t bring up what bad things the Bible says about homosexuality except here…but no where in the Bible does God or Jesus promote marriage between the same sex, .The Bible says we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God and we should love one another and help each other and pray for each other and remove the beam from our eye before we point out the speck in someone else’s eye. I can’t support homosexuality because the Bible doesn’t Have I sinned…yes am I a sinner ..yes. If I was a preacher I would be careful what I teach because pastors in God’s eyes are held to a higher standard and causing someone to stumble is like tying a millstone around your neck…Love the sinner and hate the sin and that is in all sins because according to the Bible there is no lesser or greater sin except for the unpardonable sin. I’ll pray for your situation pastor and give it to God to settle because in the end he will be the ultimate judge.

    • BarbaraR

      Stop copying and pasting. And stop with the “love the sinner” crap.

  • Justas399 .

    The church should have disciplined the pastor and relieved him of his position. If he refuses to repent he should be excommunicated.

  • Matt Peake

    and to think GLBTIQ people are bron this way…………religion on the other hand is a choice! well done mate!

    • Matt Peake

      born*

    • vitario2000

      Another lie believed by the gullible, They are in no way “born” that way….well done, great pair of blinders you have on there.

      • Jeff Preuss

        Okay, when one arrives at puberty and develops a same-gender attraction, thereby only ever having any conscious concept of sexuality as a homosexual, it’s very understandable to make the conclusion that perhaps it is an innate characteristic that has existed since birth. It’s resoundingly difficult to, as a 12-year old, point to some time in our childhood and exclaim, “Oh! THAT’s when I became gay!”

        It’s not a gullible belief, it’s not succumbing to a lie. It’s trying to figure out what has made us diverge from the majority, and understand why it is. We are not wicked, we are not tools of the Devil, we are just different from you.

        You are the one with blinders assuming there is no other possible way people can rightfully exist in sexuality except for the norm which you are fortunate to possess.

        I did not choose to be gay, but I chose to accept Christ and believe and follow Him. And, I’m still gay.

        At the end of the day, it does not matter if this was nature or nurture. It is an inherent part of my being, and I accept it and move on.

        (And, since I’m leaving to go get coffee with my husband, I’ll try to stave off any of the typical questions/assumptions with a quick summary: my loving and religious parents were married for 47 years before Dad passed, I went to church 3-4 times a week from the time I was born, I accepted Christ when I was 7, realized I was gay at 12, never left the Church, never stopped believing in God because He never stopped believing in me, never was abused or molested, tried to study and “pray this away” for over a decade (GUESS WHAT DIDN’T WORK), never was promiscuous or a drug user, my only intimacy has been with my partner of 18 years. Sometimes, people just ARE homosexual. Perhaps we’re born that way.)

        • Julie

          Jeff, you have a sister in Christ in me. Thank you for sharing some of your story. Love to you in Christ.

        • vitario2000

          Well Jeff, having counseled with homosexuals and having had long discussions about their past some traits are evident. First all started with I was born this way, second all find a place in their pace where they had natural attraction to a cousin or other person (mostly a young adult) of the opposite sex. thirdly all were moslested in one form or another by an adult they trusted, some times this molestation is seen as somthing they willingly took part in. Lust and sexual experamentation at young ages often leads to the homosexual life because of the intence sexual gratification and forbiddeness of the acts.
          As for your story, I frankly don’t believe you. You simply presented the LGBT propaganda senario in a personalized fashion. Sin is sin, The Bible is clear on sin, it is one thing to be a sinner, admit your sins and repent of them. It is another thing to blatenly claim you do not sin, denying your sin and calling God a liar. You claim to be a Christian then you know the Scriptures, and knowing the Scriptures you purposely deny them in favor of you deciding “good and evil”. That is where you worse sin lies. Putting oneself above God when you know God is worse than any other sin even Homosexual activities, pedophilia, beastuality, sluggardness, gluttoness, fornication, theivery etc…….. Get the point.

          I believe the problem most Christians have in accepting that some struggle with homosexuality is that denial of the sin. If there is no repentance there is no forgiveness.

          • vitario2000

            also sin is slavery, think on that then be honest with yourself. Are you a slave to homosexuality?

          • Jeff Preuss

            A slave to it? No more than you are a slave to heterosexuality. It informs my romantic and sexual desires, and therefore my mate in life, and that’s it. Sex is certainly not the most important aspect of my life; Christ is.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Amusingly enough, now that many of vittario’s comments have been deleted, it makes me look like I’m talking to myself.

            Well, it wouldn’t be the first time….. ;)

          • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

            that’s my fault; sorry. I should have taken the time to more artfully eliminate his crap from the page. sorry again; you did a great job responding to that cretin.

          • Jeff Preuss

            More artfully? I’m a painter. Let’s just slop some emerald green acrylic paint over the deleted comments. (In reality, I think most would assume I was actually responding to a real person, rather than the myriad voices in my head. MOST.)

            And, thanks. I’ve had over 20 years now making peace with myself. (Well, the first ten I didn’t quite get there…) The further I get from the day I made peace with God and myself, the easier it is for me to not give in to anger in these debates. Believe me, I want to get angry, but I don’t think that would best present me as trying to emulate Christ.

            No matter how ridiculous some things are that are said to me, or some of the names I’ve been called.

          • Jeff Preuss

            ALL were molested? I wasn’t. Clearly, there are some cases that don’t fit in with your preconceived view of homosexuality.

          • Jeff Preuss

            You don’t have to believe my story. I don’t lie. My story was the truth, and you cannot conceive of someone just being gay without some outside influence.

            Just because you cannot accept the truth of my story as valid doesn’t mean it didn’t happen that way. And, frankly, it’s more than a bit condescending of you to exclaim that I must be lying simply because it doesn’t fit with your presuppositions.

          • vitario2000

            Preconcieved? No learned is closer to the truth. Like I said you are hiding something in your story in order to support your point of view on this issue. What you consider molestation and what is molestation may be the difference. Now a days society begins molesting the children by selling this normal mindset in the schools. “I’m ok you’re ok” mentality is driving more children towards homosexuality, in effect we are socially molesting children who are far to young to be exposed to these sexual things. However the LGBT groups have had legislation passed which forces this mind bending type of child molestation upon our culture. Prehaps you are a victum of that or you are just lieing. With our many hours of hearing you talk about your life growing up I cannot tell. Have you ever had a cruch on an older girl? Felt that electricity sitting next to one. I don’t need your answer but you do in the recesses of your own mind, so you can realize the truth about what has happened. Somewhere along the line this was brought to you, stop blaming yourself for it with the “I was born that way” propaganda. You did nothing wrong it was brought to you, Freedom only comes from truth. LGBT is a tool of Satan to keep you in slavery for if he convinces you that you in fact were “born that way” you would always have no choice but to be a slave to it. Our battle is not with the flesh but with Spiritual powers.
            I recommend Celebrate Recovery, not as a “cure for homosexuality” (which is redicules), but as a 12 step in growing close to and more like Christ Jesus.

          • Bones

            Oh yeah forgot about the homosexuality is satanic one.

            It’s his story dude, not yours. We’ve heard enough from amateur religious psychotherapist wannabes who heard it from another wannabe who heard it from….

            If you don’t believe him then leave.

            You won’t be around for long. We protect people here from the likes of you.

          • Jeff Preuss

            I am not hiding a single thing in my story. I am not lying about anything. YOUR preconception (excuse me, your ‘learned expectations’) does not apply to me, as I’m an exception to your rules. Part of my earlier struggle with being gay was my personal insistence on TRUTH. I could not present who and what I was because the truth violated expected rules, and as a child, I LOVED following the rules. It broke my heart upon discovering I was gay, because I could no longer follow the rules simply by nature of my being. But, I suffered through 10 years of lying to other while praying and studying the Bible EVERY DAY. And crying.
            It was only AFTER coming to terms with being gay and a Christian that I allowed myself to actually date for the first time (and, well, after college graduation, since I didn’t want to foul up my finals, and betray the trust my parents had in me to focus on the education they’d so lovingly provided).

            I am so sorry that you are so wound up in your inescapably erroneous insistence upon your “truth” since it just does not apply to others who do not share your experiences.

            I literally have nothing to hide. No dark secret. No skeleton in my closet. Every thing I have said about my story is valid and factual.

            It isn’t MY failing that you cannot accept truth as truth.

            Please, go in peace – your words are certainly falling on deaf ears because we realize you aren’t listening either. God bless you, and have a wonderful day.

          • BarbaraR

            Brilliantly told, Jeff.

          • Matt

            I know how that feels, wanting to follow “the rules” and realizing that you can’t just because of who you are. Thank you for saying that, Jeff.

          • anakinmcfly

            “I could not present who and what I was because the truth violated expected rules, and as a child, I LOVED following the rules. It broke my heart upon discovering I was gay, because I could no longer follow the rules simply by nature of my being.”

            STORY OF MY LIFE. I used to get bullied all the time as a kid for being a ‘teacher’s pet’ and dutifully obedient to everyone in authority. I wouldn’t even lie to my parents about the kind of stuff that everyone else lied to their parents about. People used to tell my parents how they wished their kids were more like me (they no longer do). And now all those same kids – who haven’t changed much, and who are now copulating pre-maritally all over the place – get to be regarded as holy and pleasing and rule-abiding to the mainstream Christian church, while I’m the depraved sinner, just by virtue of existing and being out of the closet. I’ve never even been in a relationship, or been kissed, or anything. :( And I guess part of it is my fault, because I don’t want to give them any more ammo against me.

            Thanks so much for sharing. I like you, and it gives me hope to hear that it all worked out for you.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Hey, kiddo. (I say kiddo because I am sure I am a billion years older than you.) I expressed some stuff over on John Shore’s blog about the SBC and transgendered folks this morning, and I want to make sure it comes off as an attempt at being respectful. Since I think I read that you are trans, could you let me know if in my ranting I was at all inconsiderate from your perspective?

          • anakinmcfly

            I’m 25 this year. :D
            Nothing wrong with your posts that I could see; they were all great. Thanks!

          • Jeff Preuss

            Okay, only 17 years older. Still, I might ask you to change the tennis balls on my walker.

          • Bones

            I don’t believe you either.

            You’re just parroting the same bs we’ve heard over and over.

            Homosexuals were abused, had problems with their father or mother, blah blah, blah.

            No evidence just the ol take my word for it or you’re calling God a liar.

            That’s the crap Exodus International spruiked for years.

            Look what’s happened to them.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Spruiked? I like that. I’ve never heard that word before. It sounds messy.

      • Julie

        So you chose to be straight? Hmm…

      • http://intelligentanderuditejew.blogspot.co.uk/ Hannah

        Hi vitario2000,

        ” They are in no way “born” that way….”

        Well I beg to differ.I am a lesbian. I am sexually attracted to other women, not men. I don’t hate men and I have many male friends, but I cannot be intimate with them. I’ve never had any of the ‘issues’ that you talk about with such excellent pseudopsychological confidence below. I didn’t choose this, but I am what I am and happy to be gay. I am still human. I love my God, religion and my community as well as the stranger and the neighbour. I work, pay my mortgage and my taxes and do all the things that other people do. I’m in a committed, loving relationship with another woman, which makes us both very happy & I’m looking forward to seeing her later this afternoon.

        “great pair of blinders you have on there”

        Looking at the thread discussion below, the same could be said of yourself; with your ‘ homosexuality is all sin, it’s all satan, it’s all LGBTQ propaganda.’ I dunno, can’t you just get on and enjoy your life, chillax & stop arguing about how others should live theirs? Is that too much to ask?

        • Melissa

          Sin is ALWAYS a choice.

  • Matt Peake

    lmao at all these ppl arguing about a book of fiction #SIGH studies prove that religious folk are poorer and less intelligent than secular folk~no study needed just need to read these comments~i pray to Goddess you leave the hate out of your hearts~doubt it though NAMASTE

  • http://www.rruuaacchh.org/ John Fairfield

    We can be in communion with people whose actions we consider
    reprehensible. Jesus accepted the hospitality of, or extended his own
    hospitality to, all kinds of people he disagreed with: sinners,
    prostitutes, tax collecting collaborators with the Roman occupation, and
    Pagans. He accepted to eat with them (though it cost him much public
    disapproval).

    And from within that acceptance and communion he voiced
    his disagreement loud and clear, and called them to repentance.

    Note that this practice would stand the common understanding of
    communion on its head–what used to be an expression of exclusion, a
    boundary marker of a community based on uniformity of belief, would
    become a rite of hospitality deliberately reaching out across
    differences of belief. In this we would follow Jesus, who deliberately
    sought out offenders to eat with.

    A theme throughout the Bible is God’s desire for a covenanted
    relationship with an Israel who had offended and would offend again.

    Titus 3:10 “Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second
    time. After that, have nothing to do with them.” Note that it doesn’t
    say “warn a sinner once…”.

    So it depends on what communion means to us. If it means “live in
    covenanted community with, including continuing to challenge each others
    behavior,” then there is a third way.

    For further development of this ecclesiology see rruuaacchh.org

  • Melissa

    Jesus told the sinners to go and sin no more. It amazes me how many people want to change the word of God to accommodate the sins of their friends and relatives. God and the Bible will never change. Homosexuality is a sin and if you want to go to heaven you must repent and turn away from that lifestyle. This pastor is another false preacher leading people away from the truth.

  • nickrcf

    Yeah, it’s so much more convenient to lead & be a part of “a church” once you throw away those pesky commandments & Biblical standards.

    • anakinmcfly

      I don’t know where you get the impression that anyone is doing that.

    • Julie

      Why make comments when you have no idea what the church is actually doing?

    • Jeff Preuss

      I liked it better 4 years ago when you said smart things like this (bolding mine):

      “Age based segregation is just as bad as segregation based on race or sex. The fear motivation goes both ways. Obviously we feel the effects of how the older generation fears our involvment but we fear them too. We fear that we will have to defend ourselves or make accomodations for them that are inconvenient for us. ***But that’s the essence of christlike love in the context of the church, deny yourself for the blessing of others. Strive for a way in your congregation that forces every group to join together somehow & in some way, especially In worship & instruction. Be unified now because someday every tongue, tribe, nation, & yes even generation will worship together in Christs presence. We should start practicing now!***”

      It’d be nice to actually all worship together, wouldn’t it?

      POOP! The bolding didn’t show up. Okay, Asterisks to indicate bolding mine.

      • Matt

        Bolding can be done using standard HTML tags (substitute “” for brackets): [b][/b]. Italics can be done similarly using [i][/i].

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          Thanks! I’d forgotten all about that.

        • Jeff Preuss

          It was so much easier when I could just CTRL+B (like it showed up when I typed it)…and I’m essentially lazy. ;)

          But, THANKS!

        • Julie

          [b]Cool[/b]. [i]Thanks[/i], Matt. Is there a way to do a quote box to distinguish another’s comment from your own?

          • James Walker

            Is there a way to do a quote box to distinguish another’s comment from your own?

            Julie – use these tags for quotes

            [blockquote] … [/blockquote]

          • Julie

            Julie – use these tags for quotes

            Thanks! :-)

  • nickrcf

    I love that my comment was deleted due to excessive snarkiness. Good thing we’re all open minded adults & tolerant of differing views. Or is that just with views you agree with? Gee I wonder. I’ll see myself out now.

    • nickrcf

      Make sure you delete this right away just in case someone might read it & get their feelings hurt. Because that would be really sad.

      • BarbaraR

        Comments that are useful in open communication and discussion of a wide variety of views are welcome. Snark for its own sake is not.

        • nickrcf

          The snark is to point out the hypocrisy of supposed “tolerance”. It’s quite useful on people who have their minds engaged. But admittedly not as effective on those who are enlightened & tolerant.

          • BarbaraR

            Once more: snark for its own sake is not welcome here. An open discussion of opinion, sans rudeness and vitriol, is welcome.

            It’s your choice.

          • nickrcf

            Snark=vitriol now? I’m so so so so sorry.

          • nickrcf

            Just wanted to offend accurately.

          • BarbaraR

            Goodbye.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Oh, my snoot. Now I really wish I’d gotten to see what he wrote. Oh, well. It seems apparent based on his reaction that he wasn’t at all concerned whether what he said might hurt someone.

          • Andy

            Nothing really, just general assholery and grousing about not being allowed to be hateful without repercussions.

          • Jeff Preuss

            It’s always supremely disheartening to me when someone can speak out of one side of their mouths about unity and communion within the church, with such an earnest spirit that calls for involving all in worship, but as soon as the topic involves LGBT all bets are off. There’s such a vitriol from ones who so lovingly spread the Word of God…unless you’re gay.

            There’s a specific man who trolls every single article about LGBT topics in a major metro paper’s online comments, saying very hateful (yet, at least, not threatening) things about gay people, painting us all with the same wicked paint brush….while being an elder of some note at his conservative church. Because he has had a career doing some public speaking, he is often recorded for Bible study discussions and then shared on his church’s website.

            He speaks with such a clear passion and understanding of the Spirit, and reverence for Christ, and says all the right things in a supremely sincere way in these recordings, then uses EVERY chance he gets to bash those of us who don’t count.

            It’s such a stark dichotomy to see; it feels like I’m in crazytown.

          • dannyiselin

            If I were an elder in Pastor Cortez’s church…. I would question why he has INVERTS his Arminian/Pentecostal??/open-Evangelical E X P E R I E N C E OVER the Word of God. What he HASN’T understood is how the gay lobby is nothing but a satanic incursion into the church, presenting an “human rights” alternative TO THE ONE FLESH given model of marriage as a creation ordinance. You guys need to fetch your Christian ethics textbooks from your shelves, if YOU DIDN’T SELL THEM!!!! We need to covet the spiritual gift of DISCERNMENT before we do any SOCIOLOGICAL TOLERANCE. In the coming months Mr. Cortez’s church finance committee will likely see its operating budget REDUCED BY TWO-THIRDS!!!! Stick around. You get more and more wisdom as you guys will move into your 60s!!!!!

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Dude. He said he went through a period of prayerful discernment. And sometimes the Holy Spirit – if you are willing – opens our eyes so that we may see our error and understand the text anew.

          • Jeff Preuss

            I was disappointed to see his post edited, but YAY since he responded to my post directly, the entire content showed in my inbox! I…don’t know at ALL what he was trying to say, but it had a lot of capitalization.

          • dannyiselin

            I WOULD NOT HAVE YOU TO BE IGNORANT, BROTHERS AND SISTERS:
            When you stroll outside the perimeters of Scripture, you’re venturing into the devil’s territory. STAY WITHIN THE PROTECTIVE FENCE OF GOD’S REVEALED WORD.
            There are lyrics to an old hymn that goes:
            What more can he say than to you he hath said,
            To you, who for refuge to Jesus hath fled.
            Rule # 1 of biblical hermeneutics: (unless you are a charismaniac): THE HOLY SPIRIT WILL NEVER CONTRADICT WHAT HE HAS AUTHORED IN HOLY SCRIPTURE.-whether you seek discernment, advice, experience, “I HAVE A DREAM………..” or the like.
            Either submit to this or don’t insult the Holy Spirit by calling such enlightenment “Christian.”

          • Jeff Preuss

            Really? Fencing? Well, that’s an abomination.

          • Guy Norred

            Pastor Cortez presented nothing that would imply his discernment was anything but from the Holy Spirit. The Spirit has infinite means at its disposal in leading us if we but open ourselves to it. Christian ethics all derive from the great commandment (and the second). All else is etiquette.

            As to the church budget, this is not necessarily the measure of a spiritually healthy church.

          • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

            Hey, whichever of our blog admins here edited this comment. When you handle it this way, always put whatever text you’ve left behind in brackets, not parenthesis (Brackets indicate the editorial voice, where parenthesis don’t.) And you have to use the word “deleted,” so people … understand what happened. So this should read, “[Weird unintelligible babble deleted.]” Then everyone will fully understand what happened. AWESOME JOB!! Thank you soooo much for keeping this blog a safe and sane place.

          • Andy

            This wasn’t me (I rarely “fix” comments, usually just delete them) but I’m curious, is there a way to view a comment’s edit history?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            No, once it’s edited, I believe the content is lost.

          • Andy

            Rats.

          • BarbaraR

            *Raises hand* Will do!

          • BarbaraR

            Name-calling to start. After that it went downhill. Sad for a youth pastor to behave that way.

          • Andy

            Is it wrong for me to be tempted to send his hateful comments to his church?

          • anakinmcfly

            But if I remember correctly, you weren’t presenting a different view. It was a flat-out insult.

          • nickrcf

            I guess we’ll never know since my comment was deemed too snarky for advanced, loving, mature intellectuals.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Compassion and Tolerance doesn’t mean that you get a free pass to be a jerk.

            There are things that no one is to be tolerant of:
            Abuse
            Neglect
            Torture
            Murder
            Rape
            Sexual assault
            Racism and all the other isms
            Injustice
            Inappropriate behavior
            etc.

            We have participation rules. Drive bys and ad hominem attacks are part of the very short list of things that aren’t welcome. If you want to have a nice conversation, fine. If not, move along.

    • anakinmcfly

      Tolerance of differing views =/= leaving excessively snarky comments about views you disagree with

      • nickrcf

        I’m glad to see that the irony wasn’t lost on you.

  • PJ Tibayan

    Danny Cortez is clearly a good communicator. He also has a genuine heart felt love for God, the church, and his son. He is right to love his son. He is right to hug and accept his son as his son no matter what. But he gets the Bible wrong here. He says 3 things that don’t cohere: (1) Romans 1 is a mirror to deal with your own sins, not the sins of others so don’t judge. Then he says (2) that the text doesn’t refer to homosexuality but to homo-erotic violence and “judges” those who do that as being wrong/sinful. Then he says (3) that we can’t know what the text really means because scholars disagree and go back and forth. The only way we can know is by the evaluating the “fruit” of someone’s life. That is certainly a necessary part of the evaluation. But it’s not the only part. What the Bible says is the crucial starting point, not the fruit of someone’s life (as important as that is). To summarize: he says the text means judge your sins not others, then judges the sins of those who participate in homo-erotic violence, then says we can’t really know what the text means but we need to look at the fruit. Those don’t cohere.

    And I’m glad he loves and hugged his son. He should. And he should support him. I’ve prayed for Danny and his son Drew and will continue to. I’m in the same Los Angeles Southern Baptist Association and want for their family to be strong and blessed (according to God’s Word). But the path of blessing from Jesus Christ is in trusting his words rightly interpreted and applied, so I’m praying that Danny understands and applies the Word rightly to loving God, his church, his son, and the rest of his family.

    • Andy

      If points #1 and #2 conflict, that is a logical inconsistency based on his exegesis, and is independent of what the bible says. The bible says different things in different places, and both, neither, or just one of those points might be true.

      • PJ Tibayan

        Good point Andy on the independence of Danny’s comments to the Bible’s.

        I don’t think the bible contradicts itself in designating homosexual practice as sinful. If you think it contradicts that in some places I’d be grateful to know where to examine those passages. Thanks!

        • Andy

          I do not think it contradicts itself in that regard, either. I think that the acts it condemns are not the same as those between loving homosexuals today. John wrote about this here and I pretty well agree with it.

          I also have other issues with people claiming that it’s relevant to gays today, what with translations and intended audiences and divine inspiration/dictation and infallibility and other such things, but you didn’t ask about those, so I won’t get into them…yet.

          • PJ Tibayan

            Thanks Andy. I checked the link and see where you’re coming from. I too would have issues with the way people claim it’s relevant for those with same-gender-sexual-attraction today if I understood the texts in the Bible the way you or John do. Thanks for helping me to see your perspective.

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

          Hi PJ –

          We were created as relational beings. We are meant to be in relationship (of all kinds).

          If you look beyond the clobber passages and consider what it means to be human and where sexuality fits into that, you’ll see that the traditionalist doctrine demands that gay people live contrary to God’s creative intention for humanity.

          • PJ Tibayan

            Thanks Ford1968 for sharing and replying. I hear you. Yes we are all created relational beings and are meant to be in various relationships. I agree.

            Do you mean “don’t consider” when you say “look beyond” the “clobber passages”? I assume you interpret those clobber passages as not designating homosexual activity (homosexual sexual relations) necessarily sinful. I think those passages do say that homosexual activity is sinful (along with a whole host of other sins that we are all guilty of). I take those “clobber passages” as part of defining “God’s creative intention” and therefore homosexuality desires that are acted on and homosexual sexual relations engaged in are “contrary to God’s creative intention for humanity.”

            We both agree we should live according to “God’s creative intention for humanity.” I’m grateful for that. We (respectfully) disagree on how we know what “God’s creative intention” is. I think we take all of the bible including those “clobber passages.” Am I crazy? I appreciate the discussion and thank you for the conversation thus far.

            By the way, have you read or heard of Sam Allbery’s book, “Is God Anti-gay?” If not, I recommend you take a look at it. He is a Christian Pastor with same-gender attraction. Even if you disagree with it, it’s good food for thought.

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

            Hi PJ –

            There is no need to disregard the clobber passages, but there is a need to decide if they apply to covenantal same sex relationships. There’s also a need to decide if the traditional interpretation matches the heart of God. For me, the answer is no and no.

            The clobber passages refer to exploitative, coercive and lustful expressions of homosexuality. That is nothing like physical intimacy between two people in a mutually self-sacrificial, covanental relationship.

            Further, if you can judge a doctrine by its fruit, traditionalist doctrine regarding the sinfulness of homosexuality has been undeniably destructive – not just because of the way the church has held these beliefs, but because the belief is inherently harmful.

            So if we are to discern God’s will through scripture, reason, and experience; the needle clearly points toward affirmation of the full humanity of people who are gay.

            It’s time for the Church to stop causing harm to people who are gay. If we’re serious about loving people who are gay, we must change our theology. We must believe in a way that deosn’t cause harm.

            RE: Allbery’s book – no, I’ve not read it yet. But I have had conversations with dozens of celibate gay Christians. I disagee with them on the theology, and I view their suffering as unnecessary and unjust; but I’m often inspired by their faith.

          • PJ Tibayan

            Ford1968, thanks again for continuing the discussion. Obviously and rightfully this hinges on the correct interpretation of the clobber passages.

            If (for the sake of argument) the belief that homosexual romantic and sexual relations were against God’s intended design and therefore sinful, would you still consider that view inherently harmful (again “IF” that’s what the Bible actually said)?

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

            Hi PJ –

            That’s a hypothetical I don’t think I can answer. IF the traditionalist theology correctly reflects God’s creative intention for humanity, it would not be harmful. But it has caused demonstrable harm to flesh and blood people. On the other hand, many gay covenant relationships abundantly manifest the fruits of the Spirit.

            BTW – as long as we’re trading book recommendations, have you read A Time To Embrace by William Stacy Johnson? He makes the most cogent theological case I’ve ever seen for affirming the relationships of gay people.

            Johnson outlines seven specific positions along the spectrum of beliefs about the sinfulness of homosexuality. One of those positions is somewhere between yours and mine – it’s the Accomodationist position (advocated by Helmut Thielicke, Lewis Smedes and other conservative theologians). This position basically says that, given the cards that people who are gay have been dealt, a covenant relationship is the “most moral” life possible for some and therefore morally permissable.

            I believe that the accommodationist position is a way forward for traditionalists – it’s a way to believe that causes less harm.

            Best –
            David

          • PJ Tibayan

            Thanks for the book recommendation David. With the vast amount of literature on the topic it’s a good to get a top recommendation.

            I land on the other side that I do think the Lord calls even same-gender sexual relations sinful even as they seek to be self-sacrificial and faithful to their one partner. I was checking if you thought it made sense that we see it as not inherently harmful since we think (maybe wrongly) that this is what the Bible teaches.

            This has been a helpful exchange that helped me understand where the other side is and even a book recommendation. Thanks! I hope I was able to clearly communicate that the intention is not harm for those who think the Bible says what we think it says but it’s an attempt to be faithful to God, the Bible, and trusting that the Bible defines what is loving and helpful and serving and non-harmful. I do admit that just because one has the right biblical view doesn’t mean they don’t sinfully abuse, misuse, or misapply their view (that would go for both sides of the debate I assume). Thanks again David.

            Best,
            PJ

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

            Hi PJ –

            Thank you for the exchange. I want to respond to this:

            I was checking if you thought it made sense that we see it as not inherently harmful since we think (maybe wrongly) that this is what the Bible teaches.

            Without a doubt, there are faithful, godly people who hold traditionalist beliefs. They believe that gay relationships are immoral becuase they are contrary to God’s will.

            But the other aspect of the moral conversation regards the harm that befalls the fourteen year old gay kid in the front pew of the traditionalist church. Traditionalist doctrine engenders detachment, depression and self-loathing. Statistically speaking, most of these kids will seriously consider suicide. Many will attempt to harm themselves and some will succeed. That’s not hyperbole; it’s fact. Christians who pursue emotionally-coerced celibacy are often crushed by the lonliness.

            (I don’t usually link to my own stuff, but I think this may be helpful: http://fordswords.net/2014/02/18/is-traditional-morality-moral/ )

            A harmful belief, no matter how sincerely held, is still harmful. You may feel like God requires that harm for the flourishing of humanity in the same way some Christian Scientists believe God requires them to withhold essential medical treatment from their children as an act of obedience. But the harm must be acknowledged in the conversation.

            My prayer for the Church is that we humble ourselves, admit the harm we have caused, admit that somehow we got it wrong, and ask God to show us a way to believe that doesn’t cause harm.

            PJ – I invite you to join me in that prayer.

            I wish you peace –

            David

          • Julie

            Great article on your site. I put a link to it in my bible group. Hope to see some genuine engagement with it.

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

            Thanks Julie! I’d be interested to hear feedback if you get any.

          • Julie

            I don’t know if you have a Facebook account, but you’re
            welcome to respond to the comments in the bible group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/232196363581667/

            I found the video at the end of your piece very interesting. I hope he’s right about the change we’ll see over the next 30 years. It is very difficult to be an advocate in the Christian community, though, especially when you’re surrounded by those who hold the traditional view in such an uncompromising way. I’ve had friends leave the bible group just because of this one thing. I just discovered that a couple of my closest friends don’t want others to think they have the same view as me, so they’ve left the group. I’m a bit shocked by it and unsure of how to respond. It really breaks my heart. Anytime it comes up in conversation and I voice my view, you’d think I just told them I’m an advocate for child pornography or some such crime. No wonder there are so many gay affirming Christians still in the closet. It’s not easy for most to get that kind of backlash from friends and family.

          • Guy Norred

            I am sorry you go through this, but thank you for doing so.

          • Julie

            Thank you, Guy. It really makes me think, though. If this is what happens to me, it’s very heartbreaking to think about what Christian gay folks have to go through.

          • Julie
          • Guy Norred

            I haven’t had a chance to read the second one yet, but the first rings true.

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

            Thanks Julie!

            Yes! Steve Chalke wrote this some time ago and made a big splash (as you might imagine). He’s been called “the Billy Graham of the UK. So you know the evangelical gatekeepers went berserk.

            This piece has been a balm to my friends who have lost their church jobs for speaking up as an ally.

            Steve later went on to say that it is impossible for conservatives to love gay people better unless they change their theology. I agree with him completely about that.

          • Julie

            Oh, I didn’t realize this was a bit of old news. I think he did such a thorough job with his article and it captured much of what I have been feeling.

  • dannyiselin

    after 45 minutes of listening to Pstr Cortez, I hear him devolving into an apologetic for his experience among the the LGBT community at the TOTAL EISOGESIS OF THE WORD OF GOD. If he can’t uphold the church’s commitment to Scripture, he should move on… not corrupting the church with his newly enlightened stance. When his church’s elders count up the offerings when most have voted with their feet, then they too will get the message.

    • Andy

      Based on the rest of your comment, I’m guessing you mean “enlightened” in a sarcastic sense. If not, well, I do not think it means what you think it means.

      And what hermeneutical qualifications do you have to say his interpretation is wrong? You certainly didn’t provide any evidence to the contrary.

      Not a great first post, Danny. Let’s try again.

      • bonzai

        Why are you questioning dannyiselin’s hermeneutical qualifications since he didn’t say anything that requires any hermetical skill. His comment merely reflected an understanding of the tractional and orthodox teaching of the Church with regard to the sin Sodom. You, on the other hand, cited an apostate agonistic as an authority on whether the perversion of Sodom had anything to do with sodomy. What’s your hermeneutic? Any heresy is OK? Your appeal to an “authority” was non-authoritative. I hope you don’t live in a glass house.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          Nice use of all those big words. Now can you ask the question again coherently?

          • Jeff Preuss

            Eh, looking at his post history, it’s assumable he’ll launch into several epithets at gay people, before declaring we’re destroying the country, so I wouldn’t even bother.

          • bonzai

            My questions were:

            1. Why is Andy questioning dannyiselin’s hermeneutical qualifications since dannyiselin’s comment did not require any hermeneutical skill? (Maybe you have a problem with hermeneutic, but I used it because Andy did).

            2. What is Andy’s hermeneutic?

            3. Is any heresy okay with Andy? Put differently, is Andy’s requirement for interpretive fidelity that the interpretation contradict or oppose the traditional teaching of the Church?

            If you don’t find those questions coherent, I guess we’ll have to leave it at that.

          • James Walker

            dannyiselin made the extraordinary claim that Pastor Cortez completely excluded the Bible without providing any evidence or discussion beyond some all-caps shouting. Andy was completely within bounds to ask how he arrived at that claim. until dannyiselin responds, Andy is under no obligation to provide you the answers to your questions.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Meanwhile, the rest of us can proceed.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            So again with the over use of the word hermeneutical. and the convoluted phrasing. Hermeneutics is merely one’s interpretation of something, usually religious, philosophical or wisdom texts. We use that because these things are designed for a variety of views. As a result, one can question another’s freely, knowing that it is all opinion based.

            What is heresy? Well, other then a different view of a strongly held belief or custom.

            And of course I have to ask….Which traditional teaching of the church? There are more than one, depending one which major branch plus sub branch, plus sub branch you are talking about.

          • Andy

            Your last paragraph reminds me of Emo Philips.

        • Andy

          1. My qualifications are not the issue here. I’m not the one who came in here brandishing the bigotry banner.

          2. One’s theological and epistemological positions have nothing to do with one’s hermeneutical abilities. This is both ad hominem and the No True Scotsman fallacy and it’s very wrong. There are many Christians who are very poor at exegesis, and many non-Christians who are not. In fact, for some of them, it’s a reason why they are no longer Christian.

          Also, I did so in response to another comment, which is therefore not necessarily relevant to this comment.

          What else ya got?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I just can’t help myself.

        • Bones

          Anyone who still thinks that Sodom has anything to do with homosexuality forfeits any right to tell us what the Bible says.

          You clearly have no idea what you’re talking about.

    • Jeff Preuss

      Amazingly, many people who don’t use the Scripture to bully and shame homosexuals are precisely UPHOLDING the commitment to Scripture. Maybe not your particular perception of the Scripture, but they are no less committed to it simply because they’ve arrived at a different answer on this particular theological issue.

    • James Walker

      when direct experience “among the LGBT community”, as you put it, conflicts with the “facts” of traditional biblical exegesis, then a pastor would be unworthy of the title if he failed to challenge the traditional view and re-examine what the Bible actually teaches on the subject.

    • Cynthia Brown Christ

      Perhaps if you prayed for guidance from the Holy Spirit before you listened to differing opinions, to things you don’t believe, or don’t want to understand, then at least you would see the truth in the intentions and in the beliefs of others – rather than denigrating or dismissing them, or whatever your heart is actually doing. You can do that even if you don’t yourself believe it.

      It is just a thought.

  • http://jw-thoughts.blogspot.com/ John

    How does today’s liberal Christian, who accepts homosexual as not sin and not immoral deal with Jude 7?
    7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns
    gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as
    an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

    What is your spin on this passage?

    • Andy

      The phrase “sexual immorality and perversion” says nothing about homosexual acts.

      The perversion of Sodom had nothing to do with homosexuality.

    • James Walker

      the key words in that verse are ἐκπορνεύσασαι and σαρκὸς ἑτέρας. the first is generally used for sexual immorality but the second phrase is a lot less clear. “strange flesh” does not clearly translate to “perversion”.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      My take? None of us lived in those two cities. No one even knows where they existed, or even if they did, that the odd tale about them is factual or mythical.
      The entire book of Jude is rich with allegory and imagery, including an interesting line about a dispute over Mose’s body. It is has a harsh negative tone, full of condemnation and accusation against people we do not know. What to do with it? I know I don’t want to look at others in such a light as Jude, and his letter is a wonderful example of the opposite of how I want to be.

    • AtalantaBethulia

      Ezekiel 16: 49-50 49″Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had arrogance, abundant food and careless ease, but she did not help the poor and needy. 50″Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it.

    • Cynthia Brown Christ

      It is not spin. Please go to this site, which lists all the versions of the bible, and you will see that the word homosexuality is not used in any of the versions. What is considered perversion is not even clarified in this passage. Also, as a mother of a beautiful gay son – I believe that he is a loving man, and will someday be involved in a loving relationship with another man, and perversion will not be any part of it.

      http://biblehub.com/jude/1-7.htm

      Lastly, i implore you to go to biblegateway.com and do a keyword search on sodom or gom… and you will see that there are many old testament passages that say NOTHING about sexual sins as being their problems.

    • anakinmcfly

      My spin on this passage is that sexual immorality and perversion is wrong.

      Which has nothing to do with homosexuality any more than it has to do with heterosexuality.

    • http://www.reformedcelticchurch.org/Episcopate%20Red%20River.htm Jack Douglas

      Honestly, you have read what happened in Sodom and Gomorrah? If so, how did you miss the fact that they were planning gang rape? Did you miss Isaiah and Ezekiel when they said the sins of those two cities was oppression of the poor, where the rich keep getting richer and the poorer more ignored? And you really think that homosexuality is the problem? The problem is very simple. People want to read in their own bigotry and fears in the Scriptures so they can feel better about themselves when they hate others by demeaning them, which by the way, is CLEARLY against Scripture (cf Matthew 23).

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore
  • Cynthia Brown Christ

    This is just the story I love to read after reading the disgusting one on their new viewpoints about the transgender.

  • vbenitez0801

    Nooooo……bending for the world is a no.no. serve the creator tell his truth and his truth alone…that is LOVE.that is RIGHT…that would make what this father has done wrong. Christians please pray that this family wil repent…for we know his love will lead us to repentence. Jesus is powerful, mighty glorious, amazing, lov ing, authoritative, full of justice, full of truth and one day every knee will bow and u will see this is not an open issue..this is done settled…homosexually , cheating, stealing , is wrong its SIN…we can have sex, property and so on just not in WRONG, its not good for us….GODS the best dad let him show u .through jesus

    • anakinmcfly

      “we can have sex, property and so on just not in WRONG, its not good for us”

      I don’t understand how having sex with people you don’t love and are not attracted to is somehow ‘good for us’. Which seems to be what you’re telling gay people to do instead.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      You joined Disqus for that???

      • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

        And tried to learn to type, apparently …

        • Andy

          …and still needs work.

    • http://www.reformedcelticchurch.org/Episcopate%20Red%20River.htm Jack Douglas

      So, what is your point

  • JVanderSpek

    I feel for Drew. His father accepts and affirms his same sex attraction. Now what?

    Is Danny teaching Drew how to effectively deal with lust? My fathers, earthly and heavenly, affirmed and accepted my opposite sex attraction as well. However, my well-meaning, godly, earthly father did not teach me how to deal with my desires when they were misdirected and Danny appears not to be teaching Drew how to live with his either.

    The answer is not in Romans 1, over which Danny dwells. It lies further on, particularly in Romans 6-8. “those who live according to the flesh cannot please God.” “So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”

    The transforming power of the gospel can free us from the bondage of lust whether our desires draw us to illicit conventional sex, adultery in the heart, homosexual sex, sex with self or any other form of sin. They are all evil.

    Praise God. We can overcome lust.

    overcoming-lust.com

  • JVanderSpek

    I feel for Drew. His father accepts and affirms his same sex attraction. Now what?

    Is Danny teaching Drew how to effectively deal with lust? My fathers, earthly and heavenly, affirmed and accepted my opposite sex attraction as well. However, my well-meaning, godly, earthly father did not teach me how to deal with my desires when they were misdirected and Danny appears not to be teaching Drew how to live with his either.

    The answer is not in Romans 1, over which Danny dwells. It lies further on, particularly in Romans 6-8. “those who live according to the flesh cannot please God.” “So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh—for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.”

    The transforming power of the gospel can free us from the bondage of sin, including lust, whether our desires draw us to illicit conventional sex, adultery in the heart, homosexual sex, sex with self or any other form of sin. They are all evil.

    Praise God. We can overcome lust.
    overcoming-lust.com

    • BarbaraR

      Virtually every comment you’ve made on Disqus has a convenient tie-in to your book and website. It would appear that lust is YOUR issue, not Drew or Danny’s; projecting your stuff onto an article that makes no mention of it is shameless self-promotion.

      • JVanderSpek

        I don’t know how lust can be separated from the issues that Danny and Drew are addressing. Those with same sex attraction must deal with misdirected desires like the rest of us. As Danny increasingly ministers to the LGBT community, he has an opportunity not only to affirm and accept, but to teach them how to overcome lust. I hope he will do that.

        Free resources are available on the website linked and I do not mention my book.

        • Guy Norred

          Correct me if I am wrong, but your comment seemed to say that any same sex desire is lust.

          • JVanderSpek

            We all have misdirected desires. We lust when we gratify those desires in our hearts. I believe that same sex desire is misdirected but not sin.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Maybe its mis-directed for you, because that is not how you are hard wired, but for others, its completely normal.

          • JVanderSpek

            I get that. Assuming you are correct, at what point is some one with same sex attraction committing the sin of lust?

          • Guy Norred

            At the same point that a person with opposite sex attraction is committing the sin of lust. Short answer, I know when I do but I don’t know when others do. I may have thoughts and may even give them when asked of specific situations, but I do not know the hearts of those involved.

          • BarbaraR

            I do not consider all lust as sin. Acting inappropriately toward the object of one’s lust is hurtful; lusting after one’s partner – assuming it’s reciprocated – is not.

            Do we not have more important sins to worry about – say, cruelty, anger, and hatred?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            When it hurts someone.

          • Andy

            …the same as when someone with opposite-sex attraction commits the sin of lust.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Exactly

          • http://www.reformedcelticchurch.org/Episcopate%20Red%20River.htm Jack Douglas

            same sex desire is misdirected as opposed to different sex desire as being direct? It amazes me how much time and effort some people put in to justify a phenomenon that is natural in of itself yet might not be the dominant or the majority…

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          I How about affirming and accepting…period?
          Accept and affirm that gay people may have sex…just like straight people may also have sex. In either case, the sex is never a 24/7 thing.

          So. How about teaching people how to be compassionate, and kind, and friendly, and good listeners, and generous, and to stop being such doodoo heads about other other people and their body parts?

          Damn…all this talk of lust has completely disolved my resolve. The bag of caramel popcorn on my co-worker’s desk is my current and yummy object of lust.

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  • Chazaq

    Danny,

    That’s not theology. That is homology. Your opinions were based on man (homo), not God (theos). We can NEVER base our theological opinions on what we see in human beings, we can ONLY base it on God and His word.

    It’s great to be compassionate, but that does not amount to a biblical theology, it amounts to an emotional ideology.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      It’s great to be bigoted, but that does not amount to biblical theology, it amounts to emotional ideology.

    • Andy

      On the contrary, we absolutely should base our opinions on what we see in our fellow man. Who wants to worship a god that tests his children’s faith and condemns them to hell for eternity if they refuse? Or condemns them if they happen to have a different race, orientation, gender identification etc.? Or if their conception of god(s) is different but they also practice loving their fellow men, which Jesus said was the greatest commandment?

      If that’s the god you worship, I want no part of it. I believe God is all-loving and no fire-and-brimstone talk is going to convince me otherwise.

  • Guest

    [oops, wrong blog post]

  • ipastor

    We sure need more pastors like Danny who base their THEOlogy on anthropological experiences of church attenders (insert REAL theologians!) rather than God’s Word! If I hear one more Bible defending Christian who discounts the super importance of human feelings (like self-esteem!) I’ll just scream. Everyone knows God’s Word is just made by religious control freaks not the collective committee of feelings from all wise human mankind. They claim ‘God gave them (LGBTQ) over to a debased mind’ (R.1:28) but we know its not the revelation of an omnipotent God. How would that work anyway? Like ignoring what God says would bring consequences. Huh! How arrogant that some like Jesus, Paul, etc think the Bible is authoritative and inerrant saying how ‘God gave them (LGBTQ) up to vile passions’ (R. 1:26) is a judgment of God. We all know that’s just a denial used to hide all homophobias. That is our story still right?

  • JohnStefanyszyn

    [fundy rave deleted]

  • Bill

    [Useless fundy comment deleted]

  • Guest

    [John Shore, I think I'm gay and I love you!]

  • joejohnson043

    What is the scientific rationale for embracing the LGBT lifestyle?

    • James Walker

      I’ll answer that if you can coherently describe the “LGBT lifestyle” in any kind of definitive way.

      • Jeff Preuss

        Lots of velvet throw pillows. And fringe. OO! AND GLITTER.

        • BarbaraR

          LOTS of glitter.

      • Bones

        A rainbow singlet? Dancing, handcuffs and the Village People?

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlGclIZV5JQ

        • James Walker

          that clip does have some unfortunate sub-themes, though… of course, it was from the 80′s when we hadn’t developed quite as much nuance to the portrayal of LGBT+ folks in film and TV. not to mention, hadn’t quite grasped the concept of “informed and enthusiastic consent” yet.

          laughing and cringing at the same time.. oh my! ;)

    • BarbaraR

      Oh, you must be lost. This is a Christian forum, not a science forum. The science forum on LGBT is here: http://www.thescienceforum.com/politics/44965-lgbt-movement-all.html
      Have a nice visit. Send us a postcard.

      • Andy

        I agree, except for that last sentence.

        • BarbaraR

          I need a sarcasm font.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Had to get home to upload this for you.

          • BarbaraR

            And I don’t even charge for it.
            The WTF expression, though: I may have to start billing on that one.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            My youngest and I practicing that perfect expression a few year ago.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            the other is my favorite WTF photo ever. My two daughters, being photo bombed by my granddaughter

          • BarbaraR

            That made me laugh out loud.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            My kids are creative, very smart and funny as hell.

          • Jeff Preuss

            I’m sorry, but I can’t stop giggling when I see this.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      What is the scientific rationale for coming here and ask such a ridiculous question?

      • joejohnson043

        trying to help my fellow man think more clearly about its decisions on what to embrace culturally. It’s also a bit of self preservation, since the collapse of Western Civilization would not be good for me either.

        • BarbaraR

          Holy hubris, Batman.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          It is comments like this that help me perfect my WTF expression.

          • BarbaraR

            You and me both. Too bad it doesn’t show online.

          • joejohnson043

            nice, glad I could help perfect your facial expressions….
            so, if its such a wonderful behavior for humanity, what is the scientific rationale for it? How does homosexuality benefit our society?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Is that an A-10 you have as your profile picture?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Benefit? It shows the beautiful diversity that is found in the species called human. It shows that the array of variety that is all of us, can live and work together. it allows for greater freedom of expression, and relationship, so that all people have greater opportunities. It shows how our supposed significant differences are really not as significant as we are often led to believe.

        • Bones

          Wow, how kind of you.

          It’s good to see the ol fear of the fall of Western Civilisation still around.

          That card’s been played since blacks were freed from slavery.

          Personally, I’m still waiting for the Millennium Bug to kick in.

          • joejohnson043

            Falling birth rates equates to the collapse of a civilization. Widespread adoption of a homosexual lifestyle would work towards this end, would it not? You may say we are overpopulated, but most economists and politicians will tell you we need mass immigration in order to support our aging population.

          • BarbaraR

            Falling birth rates doesn’t seem to be a problem. What is the world population now, something like 7 billion?

            Your second sentence implies that once everyone discovers how cool it is to be gay, that everyone will suddenly become gay.

            What the fuck is a “homosexual lifestyle”?

            We need mass immigration? What?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Re: “Widespread adoption of a homosexual lifestyle would work towards this end, would it not?”

            You seem not to understand how homosexuality actually works.

          • joejohnson043

            if it worked completely how you think, they wouldn’t have to send LGBT recruiters into elementary schools….

          • BarbaraR

            Do you actually have a reasonable argument, or is this just the tip of the crazy iceberg? Because that nonsense is not going to fly here.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            That’s it.

          • BarbaraR

            I was tempted but was kind of curious to see how much more ludicrous it could get. I think this one might have been a bottomless pit of insanity.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            If you look at his recent comments elsewhere, he makes the case that Of course everyone has equal rights to marriage: Any single adult can marry another single adult of the opposite sex. Easy peasy.

            And, he was circuitous, never really making a point. And the point he was finally attempting to allude to isn’t supported in the way he thinks it is by science, reason, or “benefit to society.”

          • BarbaraR

            Ah, one of the semi-foxy bigots, then. “I’m clever! I won’t come out and say I hate gays – I’ll just make a lot of disconnected comments!” and then – ooops, out popped the LGBT recruiter stuff. Wowsers.

          • James Walker

            aww, shucks. and I just trotted out my “raised and living in the south” street cred, too… *sigh*

          • BarbaraR

            No one likes a bragger.

          • Jeff Preuss

            I do wonder, if he’s banned, will he still get the responses to his posts? Because I quite like that thought.

          • BarbaraR

            Dunno how it works. He’s only banned from John’s page, not Patheos or Disqus, so he may still well get notifications.

          • Jeff Preuss

            You are an idiot.

          • Bones

            There you go folks, everyone will be taking up the ‘homosexual lifestyle’. Everyone is going to get gay.

            If the birth rates are so bad we can just legalise polygamy. That’s why it existed.

          • BarbaraR

            Dammit, I wish someone would reveal once and for all what that “homosexual lifestyle” is.
            I asked my best gay boyfriend and he said if he told me, he’d have to kill me. He wouldn’t show me the secret handshake either.

          • anakinmcfly

            “Widespread adoption of a homosexual lifestyle would work towards this end, would it not?”

            ^every time people say stuff like this, they’ve basically just outed themselves as gay. Because no straight guy I know thinks that socio-cultural pressures are the only thing stopping him from giving up women forever and having sex with every guy they can see, or whatever this ‘homosexual lifestyle’ refers to.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Yes, because clearly we are only LGBT because it’s fun, and once it’s “okay” with society, everyone else will realize what fun we’re having and join us!

            Wait. That’s not how it works…

          • Falken

            Not in reality, but it is how it works in the minds of fundamentalists along with the delusion that people like us are only intending to “pave the way” to this nightmare of theirs.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Well, I’ve got a lot of work to do to catch up, since in my 20 years of being out, I’ve converted exactly zero people to gayness.

          • Falken

            I probably fail, since I didn’t realize we were supposed to be converting.

          • Jeff Preuss

            How are we ever supposed to take over if we don’t? With all this recruiting we’re accused of doing, I’m surprised I haven’t gotten bad marks on my yearly review.

          • BarbaraR

            Well, dammit, where are the incentive rewards? Not once has anyone offered me so much as a clock radio.

          • Jeff Preuss

            I think the first level is a sequined tube top. Clock radio, preset to wake up to Abba’s ‘Waterloo,’ is only after 50 recruits come with you to the meetings.

            It’s just your typical Queeramid scheme. (Yes, I went there.)

          • BarbaraR

            Oooh! Sequined tube top!
            Lemme think about this.

          • Jeff Preuss

            If you can’t wait, you can have mine – it’s itchy.

        • AtalantaBethulia

          Did someone teach you that the fall of the Greek and Roman Empires had something to do with homosexuality?

          Funny though (or not so funny) that it may in fact be the Sin of Sodom (Ezekiel 16:49-50) that does bring down Western Civ. Great disparities in income will do that to a society.

          • Jeff Preuss

            I always thought the fall of the Roman Empire was due to the rise of Christianity within the Empire itself. If it was homosexuality, that was something with fairly widespread acceptance in the Empire…oh, only for about 300 years before it fell.

            So, if Joe’s worried about America and the effect impending gay rights will have on it, should there be a direct cause and effect, in reality, he’ll be good until about 2314.

            REST EASY, JOE! You have until you’re about 350 years old to prepare for the gay-riddled US collapse!

    • Andy

      This is hardly a valid question. It’s like asking what the mathematical reason is for embracing irregular verbs. Science doesn’t care what we think. If it did, it wouldn’t be scientific.

      A better question, to which science can help us find an answer, might be “Is being LGBT+ a choice or not?” And the overwhelming consensus, of course, is “no.”

      • joejohnson043

        no, the better question is whether or not this is a behavior we as a society think is beneficial, detrimental or neutral. I find it ironic that the sub culture that is antagonistic towards the concept of the authority of scripture, is now trying to use scriptures to silence dissent of the LGBT agenda.

        • BarbaraR

          1. Being LGBT is more than “behavior.” It is as intrinsic to a person as the color of their eyes.
          2. Being LGBT has no bearing on whether a person is beneficial, detrimental, or neutral. How people take care of each other – or don’t – has effect on society. People in loving, committed relationships can only be a stabilizing element.
          3. No one here is antagonistic toward scripture. It is the blind allegiance toward only one correct interpretation that is abhorred.
          4. What is this LGBT agenda?

          • James Walker

            #4 – aside from glitter, you mean? ;)

            my agenda (although I only cover the “G” and a smidge of the “B”) is to be treated just as well and with just as much respect, courtesy and kindness (and legal protection) as everyone who isn’t part of the LGBT+ minority. shocking, I know. it will probably destroy society as we know it if my agenda comes to pass. but, that’s the way the disco ball falls…

          • joejohnson043

            but we aren’t really talking about respect, kindness or courtesy, are we? Because no one would deny you that. Maybe you equate non support of gay marriage as the biggest affront to your humanity? You realize Obama and Hillary in 2008 vigorously argued how marriage is between a man and a woman. Were they bigots and homophobes then?

          • BarbaraR

            This is pretty rich coming from someone who is attempting to cover up loathing of gays and failing miserably. “No one would deny you that (respect).” Yeah. So far your comments have blamed gays for some imaginary fall of Western Civilization. Not a great way to show respect.
            As for kindness and courtesy, there are any number of LGBT people here who can tell you exactly who has denied them that.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            For those who supported civil unions, “marriage”, even then, was a semantic issue.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            To me the biggest affront to humanity is the utter disregard for the poor in the pursuit of power, territory and resources.

          • James Walker

            I grew up in Arkansas, Missouri and Texas. please, tell me again how no one would deny me respect, kindness or courtesy and I’ll carefully explain to you exactly what “fag bashing” is and why I grew up very, very afraid of people outside my trusted circle of friends and family finding out I was gay and why I’m still careful to this day about who knows the details of my personal life.

          • James Walker

            legislators in my current home state of Tennessee have attempted on multiple occasions to pass laws preventing public school teachers from educating children on the fact homosexuals even exist or are a part of the overall spectrum of human sexual expression. they have attempted to pass laws carving out a “religious exemption” for bullying of LGBT+ people, meaning they intend for nominal “Christians” who bully people like me to get a free pass because of their “sincerely held religious belief” that I deserve to be dead in a gutter.

          • debycox

            No one would deny gay citizens respect, kindness or courtesy? Where’ve you been? And, yes, President Obama and Sen. Clinton have seen the light, and even if it was more of a political commitment doesn’t matter (at least to me), as much as it sets a good example and shows that we all can grow and evolve. Having them on the side of equality for ALL citizens is what’s important.

          • Falken

            Non-support of gay marriage is not the biggest affront to my humanity. I have a personal laundry list of “affronts to my humanity” and that is just not on it.

            This kindness, respect, and courtesy you think that is being given to us? Kindness in letting us know we’re abominations, not real men, affronts to God, stains on the human race in the bluntest and most abusive ways possible. Respecting our souls so much that we have no rights as human beings, not even the right to talk back when we’re being actually persecuted or to ask for equal rights because that means we’re persecuting our persecutors. And I indeed love when they courteously tell me I deserve to go to hell, I deserve to burn in eternal fire with a murderous gleam in their eye and a smile on their face.

            Yes, they were bigots then, and if these are still privately, sincerely held beliefs they’re bigots now. However, the example set by them is one many of your ilk fail to follow: they showed that they can grow up.

        • Andy

          Deciding whether or not something is beneficial or detrimental or neutral is not scientific, it’s ethical. Would you like to tell us which one you think it is?

          And just because we may question scripture doesn’t mean we automatically discount it. Whether it’s good or bad has nothing to do with where it came from. So there’s no irony.

        • Bones

          What’s the scientific rationale for the concept of the authority of Scripture?

        • AtalantaBethulia

          Seeing as a great many people who oppose LGBT rights and support LGBT discrimination turn to scripture as their only authority and are often openly hostile to both science and reason, using the teachings of Jesus and scripture seems not only a logical approach, but the only one to which this target group would pay any attention.

          And since we, as people of faith, hold dear Jesus and what he taught and it is the responsibility of believers to work toward Justice by creating greater understanding within the faith, addressing the harm our fellow Christians are causing LGBT people is an important issue that needs addressing.

          • joejohnson043

            So now the scriptures are the rationale for supporting the LGBT agenda? I thought we had a separation of church and state. Now, all of a sudden we have to be okay with homosexuality because the Bible says so? This is a secular Nation, what is the scientific rationale justifying homosexual behavior?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            You might note that I advocated using a religious argument with religious people.

            A secular argument would appeal to human equality, equal protection under the law, and Justice.

          • joejohnson043

            even with disingenuous religious people?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            You seem to be talking in circles.

            If you have a point, make it.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Reams of science in the fields of biology, zoology, psychology, archaeology, anthropology. Not hard to find it if one bothers to look for the wealth of information out there.

          • BarbaraR

            We could get through this conversation a lot quicker and save us all a lot of typing if you’d just come right out and say, “I think gay people are icky.”

          • joejohnson043

            But I don’t think ‘gay’ people are icky. Since this is a Christian forum, the concept of sin should matter no? I’m equally against fornication, adultery, etc, but I don’t read of many pastors coming out saying those things are okay. I’m sure it will happen soon though. Do you think those are sins? It should be self evident that homosexuality is not God’s intent, why would it be?
            The only possible argument for homosexuality being a legitimate behavior, would be that ‘we as technologically advanced human beings think that it shouldn’t matter how our sexual behavior is expressed, we do what we feel like, and here are our reasons why it is beneficial to our society’. So, I’m asking, what would those reasons be?
            Because you can’t say God intended it.

          • BarbaraR

            Yes, I can.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            You make a lot of assumptions here and state them as fact. Not the best choice for a thoughtful exchange.

            Is strawberry pie beneficial to society?
            A slow-roasted pork shoulder with BBQ sauce and slaw?
            Beer?
            Art?
            Music?
            Sparkly nail polish?
            Plastic surgery?

            Insomuch as love and connection and human happiness and fulfillment of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs is “beneficial to society”, so too are healthy gay relationships.

          • joejohnson043

            We need children to continue as a species. As a Nation, we need to average 2.1 children per woman just to maintain our population, unless you want to just kill off all the aging people when before they get old, like in ‘Logan’s Run’.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            We have an adequate supply of reproducing humans on the earth. We do not lack sufficient reproduction.

            But if you would like to bark up this tree, homosexuality helps to naturally limit a population, making resources more likely not to be overused = beneficial to society.

          • joejohnson043

            so, then is that one of your scientific rationals for embracing homosexuality? We have to many people and need to limit our population?

          • Jeff Preuss

            You REALLY want a scientific rationale for embracing homosexuality? How about that it exists as a statistically-normally-occurring variant within our species and we are something more than non-sentient farm animals, therefore our ultimate worth in function is not solely dependent upon whether we produce little versions of us to eat?

          • Andy

            We have too many people.

          • BarbaraR

            Are you under the impression that people have stopped having babies? People are continuing to reproduce; LGBT people haven’t been successful in their devilish plan to overthrown Western Civilization and stop all heterosexual activity.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            But, if you’re really concerned about these things and Justice and Equality are of little concern to you, why not force every woman to have at least 2 children? Clearly some women aren’t pulling their weight. Slackers. And just to be safe, we should probably test them all and figure out which ones are infertile and divvy up the difference to the most fecund of the women so that we don’t fall behind.

            Hmmm, I wonder at what age we should start doing this.

            I can see the PSAs now: “It’s an honor to serve your country. Reproduction is your patriotic duty.”

            I think I might have read a book about this once…

          • debycox

            AB – I think this is already in the platform of the repub/teanut party, isn’t it? Except that two children aren’t enough. Barefoot and pregnant, doncha’ know?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Oh good lord that argument??? Never mind that as a global population we are already at seven billion people and climbing. More people are being born than are dying every single day. http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

            3.9 million kids are born each year in the US.http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/births.htm And what I will find ironic is that you are quite likely anti-immigration.

          • Jeff Preuss

            See, what’s supremely ridiculous about this kinda argument against my “agenda” is that we gay people are not trying to supplant straight people in any way, shape, or form. There is no taking over of society that would render all these straight child-producing couples ineffective.

            In fact, straight folks would probably just…continue making babies even with all us gay people not getting stoned to death and stuff.

            So, even if we do not further the procreation of said species in a purely biological way, we contribute things beneficial to the society in which the biological children of straight couples are reared, and therefore a net plus to the whole deal.

          • Andy

            One could argue that, by not procreating, you are in fact helping the future generations. The world population is growing too fast already, and running baby factories only makes it worse.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Ahhhh, also just noticed – “As a Nation.”
            Yeah, the rest of the world is taking up the “slack” on creating kids, so the world and human race will soldier on, despite us gay people getting all hitched and stuff.

            Even if this country doesn’t exist.

            And your Logan’s Run reference is reeeeeeally strange. I can honestly say I’ve never seen THAT scenario being equated with gay rights advances.

          • Bones

            It’s obvious.

            If we don’t allow same sex marriage all the gays will become straight and have lots of kids.

            And you won’t have to kill off your parents/grandparents/anyone over 35.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Y’know, I rethought this a bit. It seems to me the renewals that occurred in the Carrousel in Logan’s Run were a form of population control, which would only stem from there being more people made than this world could support…which would result from all us gays being “straight” and making American babies for God.

            So, us getting marriage rights wouldn’t create Joe’s scenario at ALL. (I know, maybe I’m overthinking it…or maybe he simply meant the odd hedonistic life the characters in the movie lived will result from gay marriage. Oh, no, wait. That doesn’t make sense, either!)

          • anakinmcfly

            …and Logan won’t have to run anywhere.

          • Bones

            Do you think homosexuals are going to reproduce because they can’t get married?

          • CLarosa

            Hey Joe. I’m gay and I have FOUR kids – all biological.
            Get over it.

          • debycox

            This is a silly argument. There are still plenty of women in this world to make babies. And haven’t you ever heard about over-population? Actually, there are already many, many “extra” babies in the world, and we should worry about them before we get concerned about replacing ourselves.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Deby, Deby, Deby. He didn’t say anything about the babies of the world. He said “As a Nation.” I don’t think he cares about the world’s babies.

          • debycox

            Oops. I missed the “as a nation.” I think you’re right — folks like that sometimes think that no one but white Americans are important or worthy. Thanks for setting me straight (so to speak). :)

          • Bones

            You know what you do in your bedroom is none of my business.

            Do you want to know what I do in mine?

            So your comment is that homosexuality is an illegitimate behaviour.

            No doubt you’d like to see it criminalised.

            To protect the human species.

          • Guest

            [fundamentalist blather deleted]

          • Andy

            In the future, please remember that not everyone believes the same things that you do. If you don’t, or if you don’t care and just want to pontificate, please don’t comment here.

          • Phil Skiles

            I took my comment down sir.

          • Andy

            No, I took it down. Or, more precisely, I edited it. Your deleting it simply makes it anonymous.

          • Phil Skiles

            I took it down because I felt somewhat hypocritical. And for that I apologize.
            Subject: Re: New comment posted on Southern Baptist pastor accepts his gay son, changes his church.

          • Phil Skiles

            I should have never put it up to begin with because I felt even while writing it I was being hypocritical. I should have obeyed God in that matter but I didn’t want to because I wanted to get something off my chest even though I knew it was hypocritical. I’m sorry. Subject: Re: New comment posted on Southern Baptist pastor accepts his gay son, changes his church.

          • Bones

            Dude, we all make mistakes. Pick yourself up and remember that you are to love yourself as well as others.

          • debycox

            Actually, I CAN say that’s what God intended. I can say whatever I want, just like you, because nobody knows what God intended. Not you; not me. Actually, nobody really knows there is a god. So, there you are.

          • Bones

            Lol at bringing up the separation of church and state.

            If your society was truly secular, you wouldn’t have people jumping up and down wanting to ban gay marriage because the Bible says and using legislation to get their way.

            Of course, it’s ok to use scripture if it supports your bigotry.

    • Bones

      Must’ve taken a while to think of that.

    • http://www.reformedcelticchurch.org/Episcopate%20Red%20River.htm Jack Douglas

      Hmmm. Tough one. Tough because we are seeing LGBT as a lifestyle. No one ever thinks being straight is a lifestyle. Think about it. Did you ever chose to be straight (assuming, of course, that you are straight)? What is the scientific rationale for being straight? Once we find that, we would have found what rationale for being gay or lesbian is.

  • JC

    [The usual fundie "this isn't scriptural" blather deleted]

  • debycox

    So tired of people not caring about an important issue that affects, hurts or helps many people until and unless it actually affects them. I guess we should be grateful that they have finally seen the light, but why didn’t they just make an effort to understand from the beginning? Especially “christian” people.

    • Falken

      Simple truth is, sympathy is one of the great gifts of God. So is empathy. However, these days we’re sometimes made to be more selfish, more “all about me”. I have unfortunately encountered more individuals with this thought process who were self-proclaimed as religious followers of one of the Abrahamic faiths – not a slam, just an observation. Many truly cannot fathom differently until they step out of one set of shoes and into another. Some cannot manage this even still until they actually walk a mile in those shoes. We should be grateful, because it matters not how the Holy Spirit speaks to one, or how God has set up that learning experience, but only that we learn the lesson we are to be taught rather than harden our hearts with scripture like a mantra of madness.

      • debycox

        Well said, Falken. And maybe, just maybe, some of these folks who have now “walked a mile in another’s shoes” will actually be more empathetic, understanding and caring as to what goes on around them.

        • Falken

          That may be difficult. So many claim to learn scripture, but the truth is they’ve merely memorized it. They use the verses as some sort of ward against anything they dislike or that may conflict.

    • http://www.reformedcelticchurch.org/Episcopate%20Red%20River.htm Jack Douglas

      I do understand and sympathize with you. However, one does not really, truly know unless they experience something themselves. We may assume what we think is true, but we really don’t know, until we have gone through the gauntlet. Had I not have a similar episode of knowing someone who just so happens to be lesbian, I might have remained what is called these days, a “fundie” bunny. In a way, a homosexual blessed me and facilitated my spiritual growth that would otherwise had been stopped dead in its track.

      • Jeff Preuss

        I like bunnies.

  • David

    If his convictions changed because his son came out, then what he held were not actually convictions. Changing your beliefs about a particular sin because you have a greater proximity to someone dealing with that sin is evidence that your beliefs were the product of convenience and not conviction. I wouldn’t change my views on robbery just because my children grew up to be thieves.

    • Bones

      More like changing your convictions that Muslims are all terrorists and blacks are an inferior race. Then meeting some and discovering you’re a racist bigoted merkin.

      • David

        Not at all. The two examples you cited are without biblical support. To suggest that Scripture does not actually condemn homosexuality as sinful is to ignore what Scripture actually says. You’re talking about beliefs born out of ignorance and prejudice. I’m talking about beliefs born out of a sincere desire to align one’s beliefs with Scripture.

        • Bones

          No you pick verses to support your bigotry.

          Worry about your own sin.

        • BarbaraR

          David, we have been down this road with a whole lot of people long before you created a Disqus account to come here and harangue us about something you believe and which we do not. You are not going to convince anyone here that your interpretation of scripture is the only correct one. You are wasting your time and ours.

        • Bones

          What makes you think Paul didn’t write from beliefs born out of ignorance and prejudice?

        • http://www.reformedcelticchurch.org/Episcopate%20Red%20River.htm Jack Douglas

          And condemning homosexuals is not out of ignorance and prejudice? Prejudiced it is, because it seems like to me you already “pre-judged” homosexuals to “sub-Christian” status. Ignorance it is, because you are assuming that St. Paul had the same cultural values and global viewpoint that we do.

        • Falken

          You pick beliefs that don’t affect you. You pick beliefs that don’t keep you up at night. You pick beliefs that won’t get you kicked to the streets. You pick beliefs that won’t lead to you getting beaten, sometimes raped and told not only is it your own fault but you deserve it. You pick beliefs that are nice and easy for you, because even when you go out Saturday and do all your sinning, you know the Sunday sermon won’t be about that girl you checked out and had all those filthy thoughts about – and actions. Nope, it’ll be on how the queers are trying to destroy the country, the faith, the world even. You align yourself with scripture. I’ll align myself with what’s right. We’ll all be fine.

      • anakinmcfly

        ‘merkin’. Aaand I just learnt a new word today. And kind of regret it. >_>

    • Jeff Preuss

      Before you came here, I was convinced all guys named David weren’t asses. Now I’m not so sure. I guess it wasn’t actually my conviction after all.

      • BarbaraR

        Hmmm, Well, there’s Dave Clark, David Niven, David Lee Roth, Dave Brubeck, David Bowie, David Beckham, David Cassidy, David Copperfield…

        It looks about 50/50.

        • Jeff Preuss

          Dave Coulier, Super Dave Osborne, David Hasselhoff, King David, Dave Thomas…

  • http://www.msvolosen.wordpress.com Mircea Stefan Volosen

    “Do not
    be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male
    prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards
    nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what
    some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified
    in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”(Corinthians 6:9-11) If you do not believe this, you can not call yourself a Christian.

    • Jeff Preuss

      That phrase “homosexual offenders”? Not added until later English versions, starting around 1946.

      Do not be deceived; you may not tell another Christian they can not call themselves Christian because they differ from you on a theological issue. It is the ultimate in hubris.

      • Guy Norred

        It did always seem strange that people who offend homosexuals would automatically be excluded from the kingdom. I mean, well, being rude is not really a good thing, of course, but I can’t see why it is inherently THAT bad. ;-)

        • anakinmcfly

          This is my new favourite translation of ‘homosexual offenders’. If I’m ever in a troll-y mood I’m totally taking that and running with it: “BUT THE BIBLE PLAINLY SAYS IT IS A SIN TO OFFEND HOMOSEXUALS”. Upvote to you, good sir.

          • Guy Norred

            Thanks. It kind of jumped off the screen at me. I hope I remember it myself next time someone says how clear the Bible is.

    • Bones

      9-11 Don’t you realize that this is not the way to live? Unjust people who don’t care about God will not be joining in his kingdom. Those who use and abuse each other, use and abuse sex, use and abuse the earth and everything in it, don’t qualify as citizens in God’s kingdom. A number of you know from experience what I’m talking about, for not so long ago you were on that list. Since then, you’ve been cleaned up and given a fresh start by Jesus, our Master, our Messiah, and by our God present in us, the Spirit. (The Message)

    • Bones

      What is the kingdom of God?

      • http://www.reformedcelticchurch.org/Episcopate%20Red%20River.htm Jack Douglas

        Whatever the Kingdom of God is, apparently it was here, at hand, 2,000 years ago.

    • BarbaraR

      If you do not believe this, you can not call yourself a Christian.

      So you are making decisions for God now.

    • http://www.reformedcelticchurch.org/Episcopate%20Red%20River.htm Jack Douglas

      Funny, this proves that no one will inherit the Kingdom of God, for all are sinners. But here we see something that is beyond our doing. God washed us, sanctified us and justified us in whose name and by what Spirit? It is not us or our actions that save us. It is strictly God. Nothing I can do, or avoid doing will ever earn me a place in the Kingdom, least anyone could boast. So, how do we like them green apples?

      We know that heterosexuality is a sin, because if someone was to have sex without getting married, or was married to someone else, despite the fact that the partner was of a different gender; well, that would be a sin, right? But, once we get these two married, there is no sin. Perhaps that is what we should do. Get these people married. Perhaps that is all it takes to keep homosexuality from being a sin. Now, let’s stick that in our pipe and smoke it…

      • azchurchmouse

        [comment deleted]

        • http://www.reformedcelticchurch.org/Episcopate%20Red%20River.htm Jack Douglas

          “All sex outside the marriage” I agree is sin. But why did you go on and say “of one man and one women (sic)?” There is no formula in the Bible that even suggests polygamy is a sin. Abraham had more than one wife. Jacob had more than one wife. King David had more than one wife. The letter to Timothy says that a bishop and a deacon must have one wife, but no where is it implied that it is a sin. I’m not denying that polygamy is not a sin, nor am I affirming it. I was wondering why you would include that in your definition. Thanks in advance.

          • Guy Norred

            I do find it slightly funny how often that particular “one” gets included in these diatribes.

          • Bones

            “”All sex outside the marriage” I agree is sin. ”

            Yes but sinning against who?

          • http://www.reformedcelticchurch.org/Episcopate%20Red%20River.htm Jack Douglas

            That is the BIG question! When we sin, who is it against, ultimately? I don’t think it is what is often times called God… Much too big and universal to notice or even care… A real good guess on my part would be sinning against myself, if and only if, I keep myself from my potential. Otherwise sinning against others would be if I hurt them in some way or likewise, put up obstacles that would prevent them from reaching their potential. Now, the question, what potential? My answer: Beats the heck out of me!

        • BarbaraR

          OK, as I said to David somewhere on this page:

          We have been down this road before with plenty of fundies who are convinced their interpretation of scripture is the only correct one, and if we don’t believe it, then we are doomed to burn in hell forever.

          We don’t share your interpretation. You will not convert anyone to your version of God and scripture. You are wasting our time and your time with this nonsense.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Just be careful, Barbara. I’ve seen azchurchmouse on other forums, and she is likely to get her feelings hurt for being disagreed with. She perceived something someone said as a gay person to other gay people about how we shouldn’t always jump to just playing the victim.

            And az, while not gay, took offense and said that poster ‘slammed’ her.

            It spiralled from there, with a lot of “meaning no harm” and “speaking truth” nonsense.

            Have fun!

          • BarbaraR

            I’m not gay so that gives me more leverage then, right?

            I’ve been down that passive-aggressive road of “mean no harm” and “speaking truth” nonsense with a lot of people and it’s still BS by any other name.

          • Jeff Preuss

            I know. And the faux petulant pouting when we might dare to reject their “showing us love” with this “truth.” “I was only trying to help.”

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      So believing homosexuality is a sin is THE marker for true Christianity?

      • http://www.reformedcelticchurch.org/Episcopate%20Red%20River.htm Jack Douglas

        Either that is the marker, or belittling others who are homosexual is. No one can get to heaven unless they make others feel bad about themselves. Didn’t you get the memo?

      • BarbaraR

        No, it’s believing exactly what this guy believes.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          Yeah….that never really worked for me. Because I have this pesky, inner, insatiable curiosity that continually asks “why?”

          • Andy

            Really? How come?

      • azchurchmouse

        [comment deleted]

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          So God will punish people who’ve spent all their lives Buddhist, or Sikh, who live in a third world country with no access to a Christian church, much less have enough reading skills to read a bible? Who lived in a time after Christ, but before christian missionaries came to a land? Who lived before Christ? Who believe in God, but not in the fundamental conservative branches of any religion?

          And we should worship this God why???

          • anakinmcfly

            eh, playing devil’s advocate, it’s not really God choosing to punish them. The idea is that separation from God *is* basically hell, experienced as a burning or whatnot, such that anyone who executes their free will to not accept God is basically not taking the escape out of that fiery darkness. In short, hell is a place that exists by default if God exists (the same way that if there is such a thing as heat, there must necessarily be such a thing as cold), everyone is headed by default, God says “hey, here’s a way out!” and people who don’t take that way out (be it from wilful rejection, or innocent ignorance) will thus be left there, even though God wishes all be saved but does not have the power to override free will.

          • Bones

            “God wishes all be saved but does not have the power to override free will.”

            Unless your name is Paul or Moses.

          • anakinmcfly

            I don’t think those were cases of overriding free will, though, but convincing/coercing them to do stuff. They still had to make that decision.

          • Bones

            Do you believe that?

          • anakinmcfly

            It seems that if God intended to override their free will from the start, he wouldn’t have bothered taken so long to convince them. Though I guess it could have been a last-resort.

          • Bones

            If God spoke to me through a burning bush, a donkey or blinded me with a vision and told me to go to a specific destination and see Homer Simpson, I think I’d believe and so would nearly every other human being.

            Unless they’re on weed.

          • http://www.reformedcelticchurch.org/Episcopate%20Red%20River.htm Jack Douglas

            If God wishes for all to be saved, and if God can do it, why doesn’t he? I think he has. There is a freedom within all of us to choose to free ourselves and become who we truly are (whatever that is — possibly a “Christ Within” or a “Buddha Within” or something like that) and not enslaved to something or someone… It is up to us, the choice is ours. And, according to St. Paul, it is a free gift, there for the taking. Kind of like what Christ said when he said something was at hand…

          • http://www.reformedcelticchurch.org/Episcopate%20Red%20River.htm Jack Douglas

            On an “elementary” but mystical level, the power to let go of anger and resentment is a very liberating power indeed. Once I relinquish control from someone and they can’t push my buttons, they don’t have a say if my day is ruined or not. They cannot make me happy or sad. Instead that comes within my power, my ability. I say so. Of course I said it was “elementary” but only because it is a stepping stone. It is not easy. Trust me. I’ve been down this road before and have scars to prove my mistakes down here…

          • anakinmcfly

            Well, that’s based on the assumption that God *can* do it, which might not be the case.

          • http://www.reformedcelticchurch.org/Episcopate%20Red%20River.htm Jack Douglas

            “Might” being the operative word. However, if one feels that everything will end up going back to it’s origin, then the concept of Universal Salvation is not so far fetched. Mythological cycles from various places all around the globe (including Christianity) seem to point in this direction…

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            You point out just one of the problems I have with that theological theory.

      • Bones

        You’ll be ok. According to 1 Timothy 2, women can be saved by child birth.

        • BarbaraR

          Well, I guess I’m doomed, then.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Go watch one happen. I’m sure just being in close proximity to one happening will work, too.

            Thank goodness my Mom had my sister, I don’t think she could have gotten saved by just picking me up in that cardboard box by the side of the road labelled “free monkeys.”

          • http://www.reformedcelticchurch.org/Episcopate%20Red%20River.htm Jack Douglas

            oh my…

          • BarbaraR

            I exited the hospital room in January when my niece had her baby as it was starting to look like the stateroom scene from “A Night at the Opera.” I figured she could get along without me, and sure enough, she produced the baby as scheduled.

            I’ve seen plenty of animals born, though, so that should count for something.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I watched my grandson being born…not like I had a choice. My daughter has fast labors. Staff was running in and out of the room in a panic as he was coming right now! We grandmothers were standing in the hall wondering what the fuck was going on, as Daddy was trying to get home from the base he was stationed at 9 hours away. My daughter asked for her Mom and that is when they realized who the two worried looking women in the hall were. We were let inside and literally shoved into a closet, the only open space in the room. We had a very clear bottom side view. 9 pounds of furious baby boy shot out less than a minute after we made it inside.
            I immediately checked, watch a birth OFF my bucket list.

          • http://www.reformedcelticchurch.org/Episcopate%20Red%20River.htm Jack Douglas

            If being saved is by giving childbirth, then every man in here is doomed! That is why the author of that letter had to make sure it is all on the women!

    • Falken

      The way you use scripture as some miracle ward against outside views means you have no real right to call yourself Christian either. Just egocentric and narcissistic, believing that you have the right to preach to people how they can’t call themselves a Christian. Who the absolute hell do you think you are?

      • azchurchmouse

        [comment deleted]

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          I have already addressed this, providing a list of stories in scripture that prove your theory wrong.
          Being a Christian is simply being a follower of Christ. The label is quite broad. If your take on what makes a Christian works for you, then fine, but don’t expect any success trying to stuff people into your tiny parameters.

        • Falken

          Wow. Ok. So you guys figure that if you throw scripture after scripture – ignoring all sorts of rationality as to the possibility that it is not as it was originally in tone or even the actual text or translation – and figure that enough clobber passages are going to do what? Make me go “Oh mah lawd, I see the light! Thank you for trying to beat the gay out of me or push me into depression! I deserve it and the Hellfire! Praise Jesus!”

          No. It just doesn’t work like that. And all the people who believe it does usually are able to sit right there and be comfortable, because the time period of focusing on their actual sins have passed or it’s just better to focus on the sins that you want to label on me. Go pass your Fundie, Hyper conservative, hypocritical dogma elsewhere, “mouse”.

    • anakinmcfly

      fun fact: the phrase ‘homosexual offenders’ was at one point translated ‘child abusers’. Other scholars say that the context points strongly towards referring to the men who engaged the services of the aforementioned male prostitutes, who were often young slave boys, and which I think most people today would consider wrong, regardless of sexual orientation. Homosexuality as a concept didn’t even exist until the 19th century, so it’s pretty impossible that the verse could have been intended to refer to gay people.

  • azchurchmouse

    [comment deleted]

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      “God no where in the Bible, Old Testament or New…condones sex outside marriage.God no where in the Bible, Old Testament or New…condones sex outside marriage.”

      Actually…..

      These are the stories where there is not a word of condemnation for about the sexual activities of these unmarried people…

      The story of Tamar, the story of Lot and his daughters, (not a syllable of condemnation there), the Levite’s concubine (The Levite who, in a means of self preservation shut himself up inside and allowed her to be raped and murdered over night, then chopped her up and had her parts shipped out), the story of Jael, the concubines of Jacob, the harems of David AND his son Samson.

      Try again.

      • http://www.reformedcelticchurch.org/Episcopate%20Red%20River.htm Jack Douglas

        There is plenty. Which really makes me wonder. It probably wasn’t the sin so much as to who exactly was doing it. In other words, if Jacob can tell a bold faced lie to his father Isaac and claim to be Esau, that is okay (because no where was that condemned anywhere — even Paul and/or Jesus was silent on that, as far as we know) but I guarantee it. If that was Esau who told a lie, claiming to be Jacob, there would be all kinds of hell to pay! God does seem to play favorites from time to time in the Old Testament.

      • http://www.msvolosen.wordpress.com Mircea Stefan Volosen

        You clearly don’t (want to) understand the book of Judges. There is a very clear condemnation of the what happened to the levite’s concubine, it comes it the phrase that precedes the story and follows the story: “In those days there was no king in Israel and everyone did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Sound similar to what we are doing today? Rewriting morality?) David and Solomon clearly violated the laws that God established for kinds (Deut 17) and their acts need no other condemnation because everyone understood what the nature of their violations was. Same with Jacob. Though his actions are not explicitly condemned, in the narrative there is more than enough that says what he did was not right. Of course its more convenient for us not to see these things.

        • BarbaraR

          You clearly don’t (want to) understand the book of Judges

          OK, stop right there.

          This is NOT a website where you can tell people that your interpretation of scripture is the only correct one, nor can you say that another person doesn’t want to understand.

          This is an LGBTQ-affirming blog. If that is contrary to what you believe, please find another website to post in.

          • http://www.msvolosen.wordpress.com Mircea Stefan Volosen

            I’m sorry. If there is more than one correct interpretation of the text, why are so offended by MY interpretation? You either accept the text and the message of te Bible or you do not. You do not have the authority to bend it and make it fit your lifestyle. No one does.

          • BarbaraR

            It is not your interpretation; it is your arrogant belief that yours is the only possible correct way to look at it.

            If you cannot accept that others read and interpret it in different ways and that you do not have a hotline to God, please find another forum.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Because you speak with the “authority” that YOUR way is the ONLY way to read it about this issue. It isn’t. Would that there were only one translation of the Bible that means exactly the same thing on every page in every word from the beginning of its existence until now. But there isn’t.

            When YOU start allowing that there could be another interpretation of a contested passage or two, then WE will accept that you don’t agree with our take on it. But, so far, Bossy Britches, you have declared that people who do not agree with your interpretation can not call themselves Christians. So, it is YOU who are not accepting.

            Also? Not a lifestyle.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            “bossy britches”

            You have no idea Jeff, but thanks. (its made my day as a lowly, over-worked, underpaid civil servant, not want to kill someone and smile instead)

          • Jeff Preuss

            :) Always happy to make someone smile.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Because you you are expecting your interpretation to be the only correct one, failing to realize that stories such as these ancient tales have layers of meanings, multiple things one can learn from it. We have the authority and right to make it fit however we want, just like you do. Its a story, that’s it. If you believe it is something else, fine by me, but don’t expect others to jump on board.

          • http://www.reformedcelticchurch.org/Episcopate%20Red%20River.htm Jack Douglas

            If anyone has the “correct” interpretation, it would be Jews, right? Yet even they cannot see eye to eye on these texts. That is why we have Orthodox, Conservative, Reformed, Reconstructionists, Charedim, etc, etc… They all are disputing.. There is no one way. Plain and simple.

          • Jeff Preuss

            The Jewish woman whose wedding I officiated sure didn’t seem to have any spiritual issue with me being gay.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Why is it that everytime I read the word lifestyle in this setting, do I read it hearing Robin Leach’s voice?

          • David Hutchison

            The Bible has been translated multiple times. Each translation leads to alteration. SO how do we really know what the original Bible says. Maybe if you read the original version you would have a clear picture. However, we are many translations down the road now, so the bend and fit may have already occurred.

        • Jeff Preuss

          Sooooooooo, YOU can read between the lines where something is not explicitly condemned in Scripture and come to a conclusion that is correct, but if WE read between the lines in Scripture and use that to determine a different answer from you, we clearly do not understand, or simply do not want to?

          You clearly do not want to see how hypocritical you are being.

          • http://www.msvolosen.wordpress.com Mircea Stefan Volosen

            By no means am I reading “between the lines.” I’m reading the text, and the text is very clear. It is not my interpretation of the text, its the message of the text.

          • Jeff Preuss

            Your words:“Though his actions are not explicitly condemned, in the narrative there is more than enough that says what he did was not right.” “their acts need no other condemnation because everyone understood what the nature of their violations was”

            THAT is reading between the lines. You are reinforcing YOUR interpretation of texts to support YOUR point of view, and summarily reject points of view contrary to yours as “not understanding.” Scripture is always always being interpreted to glean understanding, down to the level of the individual believer.

            Hypocrisy.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          So there wasn’t a king, and people self governed, usually tribal leaders or village chiefs, a common practice in the ancient world, not a bad thing at all. But yet the writers of this, decided that kings were bad, and because kings were bad, people were incapable of adhering to a religion that hadn’t really developed yet.

          And no Jacob, no punishment. Abraham, who twice sold his sister/wife to a king for the purpose of the king sleeping with her…no punishment, Judah, who willingly slept with a prostitute who was also his daughter in law, no punishment,

          So, the apparent moral of this story, if I am reading you right is that a slave deserved to be beaten, gang raped and chopped into pieces (hopefully after she died) as a result of her owner deciding to use her as a human shield? This happened because Israel sinned….

          Im sorry, but what the fuck?

    • Jeff Preuss

      Hi, az. Your arguments and protestations will get nowhere here, as folks will see right through your “sharing the truth.”

  • Frank6550

    I can’t think anything more pitiful then denying the truth of God because it affects your personally. Another separation of the chaff.

  • Gina101

    Too bad azchurchmouse’s comments were deleted. I like reading everyone’s opinion.

    • BarbaraR

      Our primary purpose here is to maintain a safe space for LGBTQ persons who have been hurt, rejected, abused, and discriminated against by people who take the same tack as azchurchmouse. It is not to provide a platform for hateful twisting of the Bible and vicious personal attacks against disenfranchised people.

      By clicking on her name, you may read her other comments posted on other sites.

      • Jeff Preuss

        You can also google azchurchmouse to find some other lovely places where she’s posted very belligerent, self-righteous stuff that’s also come off (I’m not the only one to say it) uncomfortably racist.

        However, seeing Gina’s other comments about gay marriage being a mockery and tool of Satan, I’m not so sure she’s going to bring a positive contribution here.

        • BarbaraR

          I’m pretty sure you’re right.


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