40 Questions for (fear-mongering) pastor Kevin DeYoung, now stomping the rainbow flag

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Going viral today is a post by pastor Kevin DeYoung called 40 QUESTIONS FOR CHRISTIANS NOW WAVING RAINBOW FLAGS. A few Christians have written me to discuss how they should respond to his chunk o’ chum—to ask how they can beat DeYoung at his own game. But that’s a fool’s errand: once you accept the premise of DeYoung’s questions—which it’s assumed you do if, hook by hook, you start taking his bait—then you’ve already lost. It’s like a reporter asking, “So, Mr. President, when did you first realize you’d have to hide the fact that you’re a Muslim?” The torpedo’s already been launched. (Although, Buzz Dixon does provide some great responses to DeYoung’s questions in his post on the Unfundamentalist Christians blog.)

DeYoung’s core premise informing every one of his questions is the same: Any Christian who affirms LGBT equality is sinning against God and destined for hell.

And this is exactly why DeYoung’s faux-humble questions are so loathsome: He’s flat-out (if ever-so-subtly) bullying Christians who have changed their minds, or are considering changing their minds, on the issue homosexuality. He knows his audience; he knows who reads The Gospel Coalition, where he blogs. He knows that many of his readers are right now questioning the idea that homosexuality is a sin. And he knows how emotionally vulnerable that kind of questioning can make people who were raised amidst the same brand of toxic Christianity that he makes his living selling.

With his feet firmly planted in his pulpit, he is trying to put the fear of God in those whom he knows are vulnerable to that manipulation. By their necks he’s trying to drag his “sheep” back into the fold. And how is he doing that? By attempting to make them feel, at the deepest level of their beings, that if they don’t toe the line on the issue of homosexuality they will incur the wrath of God and end up in hell.

DeYoung, and all Christian leaders of his sorry ilk traffic in fear. They rely upon the teaching and fueling of that fear to make their livings—and most of them are masters at stirring that fear while pretending to be doing nothing more than asking innocent, thoughtful questions.

How about we turn the tables, and ask Pastor DeYoung to answer questions that we ask him?

In bolded text below, find the questions from his post that he’s asked Christians to answer—followed by the question it triggered in me that I’d like him to answer:

1. How long have you believed that gay marriage is something to be celebrated? How long have you believed that gay marriage is something to be condemned?

2. What Bible verses led you to change your mind? What Bible verses led you to override your own innate moral sense?

3. How would you make a positive case from Scripture that sexual activity between two persons of the same sex is a blessing to be celebrated? How would you make a positive case without Scripture that sexual activity between two persons of the same sex is an abomination to be condemned?

4. What verses would you use to show that a marriage between two persons of the same sex can adequately depict Christ and the church? What verses would you use to show that a marriage between two persons of the same sex cannot adequately depict Christ and the church?

5. Do you think Jesus would have been okay with homosexual behavior between consenting adults in a committed relationship? Do you think Jesus ever said a single word about homosexuality?

6. If so, why did he reassert the Genesis definition of marriage as being one man and one woman? If so, why do you think it’s okay to quote from the Bible without any reference to the context of that quote?

7. When Jesus spoke against porneia what sins do you think he was forbidding? Why do you think it’s okay to quote from the Bible without any reference to the context of that quote?

8. If some homosexual behavior is acceptable, how do you understand the sinful “exchange” Paul highlights in Romans 1? Why do you think it’s okay to quote from the Bible without any reference to the context of that quote?

9. Do you believe that passages like 1 Corinthians 6:9 and Revelation 21:8 teach that sexual immorality can keep you out of heaven? Do you believe that the money you make teaching that homosexuality is a sin plays any role whatsoever in your continuing to choose to interpret the Bible as saying that homosexuality is a sin?

10. What sexual sins do you think they were referring to? Do you think there’s anything unhealthy about the amount of time and energy you spend thinking and worrying about the “sexual sins” of others?

11. As you think about the long history of the church and the near universal disapproval of same-sex sexual activity, what do you think you understand about the Bible that Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, and Luther failed to grasp? Do you have an organic, internal moral sense, or compass, that operates within you, by which you are capable of judging right from wrong without having to first validate that judgement by checking it against the opinions of historical figures?

12. What arguments would you use to explain to Christians in Africa, Asia, and South America that their understanding of homosexuality is biblically incorrect and your new understanding of homosexuality is not culturally conditioned? What arguments would you use to explain why you’re incapable of determining right and wrong for yourself—of having to first gather together the opinions of people all over the world before formulating an opinion of your own?

13. Do you think Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama were motivated by personal animus and bigotry when they, for almost all of their lives, defined marriage as a covenant relationship between one man and one woman? Do you find that questioning the morality of others in any way benefits your own moral condition?

14. Do you think children do best with a mother and a father? Do you think that what most matters for a child isn’t the sexual orientation of his or her parents, but rather the quality of their characters?

15. If not, what research would you point to in support of that conclusion? If not, have you ever met any families?

16. If yes, does the church or the state have any role to play in promoting or privileging the arrangement that puts children with a mom and a dad? If yes, have you ever known any parents who wanted the church and/or state to tell them how to live their lives?

17. Does the end and purpose of marriage point to something more than an adult’s emotional and sexual fulfillment? Does the end and purpose of your sophomoric questions point to something more than your emotional and sexual frustration? (And why do you think that people are incapable of understanding for themselves the reasons for which they got married?)

18. How would you define marriage? How would you define bigotry?

19. Do you think close family members should be allowed to get married? Do you think you should be a guest on The Jerry Springer Show?

20. Should marriage be limited to only two people? Should you replace Jerry on The Jerry Springer Show?

21. On what basis, if any, would you prevent consenting adults of any relation and of any number from getting married? On what basis, if any, do you think it’s acceptable to foster the persecution of an innocent sub-population by posing inflammatory and irrelevant questions as if those questions were thoughtful, legitimate, and pertinent?

22. Should there be an age requirement in this country for obtaining a marriage license? Do you think it’s acceptable to foster the persecution of an innocent sub-population by posing inflammatory and irrelevant questions as if those questions were thoughtful, legitimate, and pertinent?

23. Does equality entail that anyone wanting to be married should be able to have any meaningful relationship defined as marriage? Do you think it’s acceptable to foster the persecution of an innocent sub-population by posing inflammatory and irrelevant questions as if those questions were thoughtful, legitimate, and pertinent?

24. If not, why not? If so, why?

25. Should your brothers and sisters in Christ who disagree with homosexual practice be allowed to exercise their religious beliefs without fear of punishment, retribution, or coercion? Is it ever okay for anyone to teach and preach that innocent people are abominable offenses to God?

26. Will you speak up for your fellow Christians when their jobs, their accreditation, their reputation, and their freedoms are threatened because of this issue? Will you speak up for your fellow citizens when their jobs, their accreditation, their reputation, and their freedoms are threatened because of this issue?

27. Will you speak out against shaming and bullying of all kinds, whether against gays and lesbians or against Evangelicals and Catholics? Will you speak out against the shaming and bullying that most often occurs in our schools and on our playgrounds?

28. Since the evangelical church has often failed to take unbiblical divorces and other sexual sins seriously, what steps will you take to ensure that gay marriages are healthy and accord with Scriptural principles? Since the evangelical church has often failed to take unbiblical divorces and other sins seriously, what steps will you take to ensure that the members of your church aren’t hypocritical bigots?

29. Should gay couples in open relationships be subject to church discipline? Should anyone in any relationship be subject to anything as immaturely draconian as “church discipline”?

30. Is it a sin for LGBT persons to engage in sexual activity outside of marriage? Do you really not understand that it’s impossible to judge the sinfulness of any sexual intercourse without first establishing the emotional context of that intercourse? Do you fail to grasp the moral difference between loving consensual sexual relations and, say, rape?

31. What will open and affirming churches do to speak prophetically against divorce, fornication, pornography, and adultery wherever they are found? What will closed and condemning churches do to stop themselves from the ego-delusion that they’re “prophetic,” and then from rotting into oblivion?

32. If “love wins,” how would you define love? If “hate wins,” how would you define hate?

33. What verses would you use to establish that definition? What verses would you use to establish that definition?

34. How should obedience to God’s commands shape our understanding of love? How should obedience to God’s commands shape our understanding of love?

35. Do you believe it is possible to love someone and disagree with important decisions they make? Do you believe it’s possible to sound profound while asking questions a four-year-old could answer?

36. If supporting gay marriage is a change for you, has anything else changed in your understanding of faith? If condemning gay marriage is a change for you, has anything else changed in your understanding of faith? Or have you always believed exactly as you were taught to believe?

37. As an evangelical, how has your support for gay marriage helped you become more passionate about traditional evangelical distinctives like a focus on being born again, the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ on the cross, the total trustworthiness of the Bible, and the urgent need to evangelize the lost? As an evangelical, how has your condemnation of gay marriage helped you better understand any of those things?

38. What open and affirming churches would you point to where people are being converted to orthodox Christianity, sinners are being warned of judgment and called to repentance, and missionaries are being sent out to plant churches among unreached peoples? What closed and condemning churches would you point to where people of every stripe feel unquestionably welcomed, where nobody is shamed, persecuted, and condemned for being inherently sinful, and whose leaders aren’t deeply concerned about how much money they’re making or how much power they wield over others?

39. Do you hope to be more committed to the church, more committed to Christ, and more committed to the Scriptures in the years ahead? Do you hope to be more committed to the church, more committed to Christ, and more committed to the Scriptures in the years ahead? And, if so, when do you think you might publicly proclaim that you’ve finally understood that it’s no sin to be gay?

40. When Paul at the end of Romans 1 rebukes “those who practice such things” and those who “give approval to those who practice them,” what sins do you think he has in mind? Why do you think it’s of such vital importance to you personally to establish or “prove” that in those passages Paul had in mind gay people today?

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Benjamin de la Pena

    Sharing a piece by Jayeel Serrano Cornelio that is relevant:

    LGBT as Moral Panic

    “My invitation to the moral entrepreneurs in the community is first to be at peace. Stand down, temper your religious fervor, and recognize the value of composure and silence. You already represent the majority, even if you may feel threatened. Assume too the position of the weak. Minority groups – whether in terms of gender or ethnicity – resist (and celebrate with one another) because they feel left out.

    “So what role then is left for religion? I believe the Bible has already given the answer: Perfect love casts out all fear.”

    http://bit.ly/1LFgQN5

  • spinetingler

    Comments closed, of course.

  • Love 6-8.
    Mic-drop worthy are 21-24.

    But the most pertinent and under-discussed question is this one:

    30. Do you really not understand that it’s impossible to judge the sinfulness of any sexual intercourse without knowing the context of that intercourse? Do you fail to grasp the moral difference between loving consensual sexual relations and, say, rape?

    Traditionalists seem to believe that the morality of gay relationships hinges on the permissibility of gay sex. It doesn’t. The moral permissibility of gay sex is grounded in the sanctity of gay covenantal relationships.

    Considering that duality is a human condition – we all have the potential for good and evil (or we are living in a post fall world, if you prefer, and dealing with post fall sexuality) – it’s presumptuous to say that the relationships gay people form are automatically more sinful than some of the straight relationships blessed by the church.

  • BarbaraR

    The obsession traditionalists have with what other people do in bed is disturbing.

  • *hugs John*

  • Jeff Preuss

    Yes, one of my gay friends commented on a shared link to those questions, and I clicked through to see what had bothered him so.

    Though I cannot properly formulate the words to explain precisely what upset me about DeYoung’s litany of detritus, I can say that down in my gut, I felt an anger welling up. It’s yet another case of a Christian “leader” making it clear that the only way one can have conversation with him about this topic is by accepting his version of “Truth.” And that “Truth” is LGBT people are evil and we suck.

    Would that these “leaders” EVER learn the more they use this argument tactic, the more people they turn away, especially those whom they feel need the most help. I will NOT be shamed into heterosexuality, for two distinct reasons. A) My orientation is immutable, and B) Christ has relieved me of all shame associated with being what I am. THAT is the change that following Christ brings to my life.

    What a twit.

  • otrotierra

    Thank you John. Who will dare tell Kevin DeYoung and his frothing-at-the-mouth followers about Jesus, who chose to remain silent on the subject of gay marriage?

  • Kim

    Why is it that society only picks on Christians? We aren’t the only religion that is against it. I have gay, lesbian and pansexual friends and i don’t have these discussions with them, but if the conversation does come up I tell them my honest feelings towards to but i don’t insult them.
    Most Christians don’t use versus out of context as this article claims we do. But still sexual intercourse outside the confines of marriage between a male and female; Male, and female, male to male, female to female: is adultery.
    Also the question response to question 5, Jesus never said anything against homosexuality is because at that time, its was understood as a sin. So since everyone understood it, there was no need to bring it up.

    Please don’t shit on a whole religion just because there are a few extremists. People say the same with Islam, how are we different?

  • BarbaraR

    …. I don’t even know where to start with this….

  • Richard W. Fitch

    My only response to your comment is to recheck the meaning of “adultery” as expounded in the Hebrew and Christian scriptures.

  • Richard W. Fitch

    My only real problem with the article is the use of the word “abomination”. It has degenerated into meaning anything “you” do that “I” find repulsive. If we look at the term from a strictly Biblical perspective, there can no longer be *anything* that is an abomination. To the writers of Torah and the various other additions, it meant essentially a state of being sacramentally unclean. One could not enter the Temple while in such a state, whether the uncleanness was due to nocturnal emission,which would be resolved at the next sunset, or the presumed male-male prohibitions (which have a myriad of interpretations) which could bring “death” (banishment from the tribe?). The Temple no longer exists; there cannot be any abominations.

  • And not only that, the old Paul argument in Romans 1 is undergoing (undergone) some significant reinterpretations from highly respected scholars – that it was possibly not Pauline to begin with. The Deliverance of God: An Apocalyptic Rereading of Justification in Paul by Douglas A. Campbell is significant in this regard (http://www.amazon.com/Deliverance-God-Apocalyptic-Rereading-Justification/dp/0802870732/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1435895000&sr=8-1&keywords=the+deliverance+of+god+an+apocalyptic+rereading+of+justification+in+paul)

    To get the gist of this also refer to Romans Session 2: Paul and the False Teacher video by Michael Hardin – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r32A5Yh09sE

  • CoolHandLNC

    For some reason the phrase “church discipline” reminded me of the scene from “Scrooged” where Frank tells Claire she should fire the workers at the shelter, whereupon she points out that she can’t fire them because they are volunteers.
    Freedom of Religion implies that nobody can be forced to submit to church discipline unless they voluntarily accept that the church has the authority. So perhaps a response to 29 would be “Does it ever concern you that asking people to submit to church discipline is an expression of human authority that can invite abuse, tempt you to elevate yourself above others, or even usurp divine authority?”

  • Jeff Preuss

    “So since everyone understood it, there was no need to bring it up.”
    Um.

    Then why bring up all the other things that everyone “knew” were sins throughout the rest of the Bible?

    For your argument to work, it requires quite the assumptive leap about what everyone “knew” at the time, and a widely sweeping ignorance of the cultural context.

    (Also, since John is a Christian, and writing from a Christian perspective, he is hardly “shitting” on the entire Christian religion with this post. Rather, he is calling out the same indefensible “shitting” all over gay people done in the name of Christianity. It’s funny – this from you comes across the same as the cries that the recent Supreme Court ruling is an “attack on Christianity” – if it’s not about you, it might not be about you. )

    “Why is it that society only picks on Christians?” It doesn’t. Really. Look around some time.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Oh, I did.

  • BarbaraR

    It rather reminded me of a huge patchwork of pieces of clothing. One leg from a pair of pants, a sleeve from a child’s t-shirt, a petticoat, one sock, a long skirt and a short skirt, all sewn together in a zig-zag stitch of bright red thread, and the person who did it saying, “Look at this. Isn’t it great?”

  • You’re right. Other religious people are anti-gay too. Does that justify Christian bigotry?

    I love it that all these anti-gay commenters insist that they have gay friends. They think it lends credibility to their anti-gay views. To me, it underscores their callousness. That’s kinda the opposite of Christian love.

  • Reinis

    While I agree with the sentiment of the responder, this is hardly a mature way of dealing with the original poster’s attitude. Ridicule (which this was, at least to a degree) rarely does anything more than entrench the holders of the opposing view in their positions. Furthermore, it doesn’t exactly “stink of grace”, to borrow a quote from Drew Marshall.
    Some of the questions were ones that needed an open debate not outright condemnation. A lot the original questions had theological problems, which need to be addressed, because if you don’t tackle them, they still remain a means of argument.
    My point being – this post doesn’t promote dialogue. It is simply reactionary.

  • I’m not trying to promote dialogue. I’m trying to help impressionable (read: young) gay people know that they are free not to be cowed/depressed/made suicidal by the life-ruining idea that God finds them disgraceful. (And I have thoroughly tackled/addressed all the theological concerns on this matter: Taking God at His Word: The Bible and Homosexuality.

  • Reinis

    With respect to what you are trying, I doubt that a shouting match is what helps someone be less suicidal.

  • Eric Weiss

    Good post/points.

    38. Last sentence should be “wield over” not “yield over.”

  • It’s not what I’m “trying.” It’s what I’ve been doing, to considerable effect since 2007.

  • Yes! Duh. THANK YOU!

  • John Masters

    Here’s a thought Kim, quit picking on everyone that doesn’t see the world as you do, and maybe everyone else will stop picking on you.

  • John Masters

    I’m actually not convinced that he was totally silent on the topic of gay marriage. In the story of the Centurion, it’s my understanding that the original Greek word, usually translated as “slave” or “servant,” was actually a word used to describe the younger lover of an older man. It would seem somewhat strange that a high ranking Roman Officer would approach a controversial Jewish man for help to cure a slave or servant. He would certainly be able to easily replace a slave. The whole story just supports the idea of a very deep relationship. And Jesus, without question, heals the Centurion’s lover…and then, goes beyond that to praise the Centurion and set him as example of to his other followers…no condemnation, and more than that…praise. Obviously, he doesn’t specifically say…”I bless your relationship,” but he also didn’t say a single word about him needing to repent first, or that the Centurion was living in sin. As noted, he used him as example of a good and faithful person. Funny how that works.

  • otrotierra

    One takeaway is that Jesus didn’t condemn same-sex marriage, and thus followers of Jesus likewise won’t waste their energy condemning same-sex marriage.

  • Shawn

    Thank you Steve for this Video. I was confused reading the Bible this morning (I do not often read it) where one part says we are saved by grace and then in the in the same passage, it talks about God’s wrath for not following the law. I have been dwelling on hearing the good news but not feeling it based on this very example . I cannot tell you enough how this has helped me today.

  • donnadaisyduke

    The only people who are interested in a “shouting match” in the name of God are these Christians. Now that marriage is legal, I suspect no reasonable gay man or woman will want a thing to do with evangelical christianity. And frankly as a Christian, neither do I. As CS Lewis wrote, “The dwarves are for the dwarves.” these people could give a crap about the LGBT community, their terrified, histrionic and abusive rhetoric is a symptom of their own privilege and narcissism. They’d not entertain a reasonable dialogue if they were forced to. They WANT a fight.

  • CanuckAmuck

    Why is it that society only picks on Christians?

    Which society? Would it perhaps happen to be the society which is 90% Christian and in which those Christians have, for centuries, wielded the overwhelming majority of political power?

  • donnadaisyduke

    Because we are the MAJORITY in America! What is so hard to understand about that? Christians have tremendous influence over our nation, they lobby, they have political influence, etc. Muslims are a tiny majority in the USA, they can hardly influence people from screaming at them on the street, it’s not exactly like they have TV shows dedicated to expressing their faith likee Christians do. Come on. Open your eyes. Christians are the force behind anti-gay rhetoric in this country to suggest otherwise is intellectually dishonest.

  • Margaret Whitestone

    Bravo!

  • Margaret Whitestone

    The original poster wasn’t interested in dialogue, merely lecturing and crapping on LGBT and LGBT supportive people in the name of Jesus/the Bible.

  • Margaret Whitestone

    Let me know when Buddhists, Jains, Pagans, Satanists or any other religious group in the US do anything to restrict the rights of/harm LGBT people.

  • Ann Kah

    His objective wasn’t to sway the mind of the author of the original 40 questions. His objective is to show OTHER people that there are other and better ways to look at the questions, not just the snide condemnation of the original.

  • Ann Kah

    The most vocal opponents are, unfortunately, expressing their opposition through the pretense that it is unchristian and unbiblical. I think you must take note of the distinction between offense and defense. And you bring to mind an interesting conflict; if sex is an offense outside of marriage, but the dig-in-the-heels crowd wants gays not to marry, they are trying their worst to condemn homosexual Christians to either a life of isolation and marginalization, or a life of guilt. That, in itself, is evil and vindictive …..one might say “unchristian”.

  • Mr 40 “sincere” questions does not want dialog. The questions range between homophobic and irrelevant, slippery-slope fear mongering.

    John’s response reveals each question’s bias beautifully.

  • Pinkamena Diane Pie

    Ah yes, the age-old “but she did it too!!” defense, used by kids in trouble since time immemorial.

    Grow out of it.

  • Pinkamena Diane Pie

    Your tone-trolling is
    https://youtu.be/L6z6A5TP7uA

  • PREACH IT

  • Your silencing tactics are truly impressive. And the biggest weapon people have against overreach is mockery. I can tell why you don’t like it.

  • “Church discipline” really is one of the creepiest new developments to come out of the Religious Right. I’ve read so many accounts of horrific abuse caused because evangelical and fundamentalist churches employed that strategy. The more power a church leader gets, the worse the abuses that result.

    It’s really the weirdest thing. /s

  • Jamie Brown

    Love it!

  • JustAnotherVoice

    Well done, sir!

  • Ruthitchka

    Answer #s 10, 19 & 20 for the win. #10 is especially applicable to “Fr. X” @ my parish.With a mixed audience of adults, teens and children, I sometimes feel his teachings on sex, gay or straight, would be best in front of an adults -only Bible class rather than in a Sunday homily. I’ve also always wondered if the late Fred Phelps hade ever preached on a topic other than the one he was famous for. For some preachers it’s an obsession.

  • Ruthitchka

    I appreciate the humor here! It was most welcoming.

  • Who are intersex people allowed to have sex with?

    Also, adultery is a married person having sex with someone who is not their spouse; so unless those examples you give are of married people, that isn’t adultery, by definition.

  • The one problem I have with that story is the question of just how consensual that relationship could have been, especially since such slaves were often young boys purchased for the purposes of sex. Perhaps they did genuinely fall in love with their masters sometimes, but it still skeeves me out.

  • Brandon Roberts

    nice article man. honestly i used to oppose same sex marriage i even wanted to harm homosexuals and advocates (i was going through a lot of personal stuff still kinda am and homosexuals were an easy target for my hatred) and i changed

  • Brandon Roberts

    agreed 🙂

  • Reinis

    Silencing tactics… ? Excuse me?

  • Reinis

    I completely understand that they want a fight, and I agree – I simply don’t understand a lot of evangelicalism, it’s like nonsense to my ears. My problem is with giving them a fight. It’s satan casting out satan (in a Girardian interpretation of the phrase). It’s the age old question of leading with example – one must give grace to be able to expect it from others. It’s not that they deserve grace. Grace isn’t something one deserves.

  • BarbaraR

    That isn’t the point here. This is not a place where such people will come for a dialogue. This is a safe place for LGBTQ people to come and know they will not be attacked by people like DeYoung. Whether DeYoung wants to fight is irrelevant; the people here are LGBTQ-affirming and do not expect grace or quarter from those who are not.

  • scott stone

    Reinis,
    I’ve learned that when you are commenting on a Progressive Christian blog the slightest query will not be tolerated. You must agree 100% with the bloggers position or there will be hell to pay. So much for progressive tolerance and acceptance of divergent views

  • Reinis

    It seems you misunderstand me. This isn’t just about “them” it’s about how we as progressive christians (which I also self-identify as) respond. To my mind this wasn’t a great, mature response. It wasn’t graceful and seemed troll-ish.
    Look, I’m not from the US, so maybe some of the more subtle cultural undertones are going past me, but whenever we build a community where we find an “other” to despise, that is a clear warning signal. Which is why I’m cautious of the example set by these answers.
    It is laudable to have a community where one can be sure that they won’t be attacked. It is a different story when one can be sure that people one doesn’t like will be attacked.

  • Reinis

    This was quite surprising to me…

  • BarbaraR

    Oh, I see.

    http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Concern_troll

    I’ve got other things to do today.

  • Reinis

    *slow clap*
    wow…

  • Lookingup73

    Awesome questions in response to the 40 questions. Throws it back in his court, and I doubt he will have great responses!

  • Blank Ron

    And the more so because the things they obsess over are the things they condemn the most. A friend once said that they think about gay sex far more often than gays do. One has to wonder if perhaps they’re actually so deep in denial that they’re fending off crocodiles.

  • Blank Ron

    Heh, the Satanic Temple has been smack upside human rights being for ALL humans, not just straight ones or white ones or Christian ones. There’s so much irony in that it’s probably attracted to magnets.

  • Blank Ron
  • Blank Ron

    For my part I find ridicule quite effective. The one thing the Christianists cannot stand is being made fun of – their egos are so intimately tied to their positions of power and influence that not being taken seriously cuts ’em to the core. As others have said (mostly with greater kindness than I am capable of) it ain’t about dialogue – they’re not gonna listen anyway. It’s all for those who need to know that they are loved, and that the haters and professional fearmongers and self-appointed mouthpieces for God are unworthy of attention.
    Plus, none of the original questions require debate. They spell out quite neatly the sort of sh*tweasel Kevin DeYoung is.

  • Blank Ron

    I wish I had another upcaret to give you for quoting from The Last battle.

  • Blank Ron

    Do any of them concern muffins?

  • Blank Ron

    Nicely done, sir. It’s just too bad that the odious Mr DeYoung will never be compelled to answer your set of questions, though I’m betting it’d be easy to guess what those answers would be.

  • McJakome

    Obsession with sex, especially homosexuality, money and power are characteristics of pastors and priests that Jesus did not have, according to their own book.

  • McJakome

    They won’t listen to reason, and won’t engage in honest dialogue, and won’t stop attacking others. What other recourse is there, short of physical force, is there but ridicule, public shaming and exile to some kind of Amishlike
    Fundigelistan?

  • McJakome

    I know what you mean, as I found some of the suggestions less than superb. However, here in the US the confrontation has been ongoing since the foundation of the country.

    The bigots started mistreating the native people, then brought in Africans to mistreat, when slavery was abolished they continued “Christian” mistreatment by denial of equal rights, when equal political rights were in the offing the “Christian” bigots denied inter-racial contact and sex. Now that they have lost on that front, the same people, using the same bible quotes and with the same lack of compassion for anyone but their own are targeting LGBT people with the same rhetoric.

    It may not seem the “life or death” situation is in some other parts of the world, but it is harsh and leaves precious room for nuance or compromise. In fact, “equal rights for all” is not something on which compromise can be made!

    The revolution in recognizing equal human rights for all must live forever! Vive la révolution des droits humains!

    Lassen Sie uns nicht die Menschenrechtsrevolution verlassen!

  • Dave-n-TN

    Check Reinis’ account – appears that this person created the account just to make comments on this thread. Hmmm …

  • Yeah – I know the feeling Shawn – this is immensely informative and eye opening. More on this new perspective of Paul can be found here https://www.gci.org/media/paulconf2011 – have a great day!

  • Charles Stanley

    Nicely done, John. But the catchphrase in Deyoung’s article that offended me was “If you are a Bible-believing Christian….” I think this is the root of his error. The term “Bible-believing Christian,” has no biblical or historical precedent. It appears to function as a codeword to let people know that “we’re not one of those liberal Churches that has sold out to modernism and culture and abandoned the true faith.” So Brother Deyoung, just what do you mean by Bible-believing Christian? Are there Christians who don’t believe the Bible? Or, are you making one specific approach to biblical interpretation necessary for authentic Christian faith?

    This becomes trouble, for example, when we read the book of Genesis. Much of the opposition to same sex marriage arises from a belief that God’s intention for marriage is revealed in how God created the human race. How many times have we heard “God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve”? But the fact is that the interpretation of Genesis as something that approaches modern History or Science (rather than what it obviously is: theology), is actually very recent. It has its origins in the early 20th century, after the Scopes trial, when scientific and biblical views of creation for the first time became an either/or. Centuries before this, Church fathers like Origen and Augustine took a more moderate approach, insisting that Genesis should be viewed as theology. A good article about this is found here: http://biologos.org/questions/early-interpretations-of-genesis. Being a reformed clergyman, Deyoung might look at what John Calvin said about it as well: http://spectrummagazine.org/article/news/2010/01/31/john-calvin-literal-meaning-genesis. Yet, The following tenet appears on the statement of faith of the Church Deyoung shepherds, University Reformed Church of East Lansing, MI: “We believe that Adam and Eve, our first parents, rebelled against God…” The idea here is without two historical people, there is no fall, and thus, sin is an illusion.

    Deyoung and his Gospel Coalition cronies have been able to bully us into thinking that we who believe Adam and Eve are our theological (but not our historical) parents have given up the true faith, and compromised with the world. This leaves them to be the true church. You can tell, not by their love, but by the correctness of their statements of faith.

    I do not consider Rev Deyoung to be a bible-believing Christian. I consider him to be bible-using Christian; a proof text-aholic, who ignores context, culture, and history the Biblical texts to suit his purpose, then who arrogantly believes his position is the word of God. It’s not. Not even close.

    I think this is the real error of the Christians who have opposed same sex marriage. Does Deyoung believe Genesis is history? Did God really create the human race from two historical people named Adam and Eve? Do those who view the creation Stories as theology rather than as history or science have authentic Christian faith? Will only those who believe in a historical Adam and Eve go to heaven?

  • Reinis

    Very true. I rarely comment anything on the net, but thought that this was worth engaging in a discussion. I’ve followed this blog for a few years now.

  • Reinis

    Thank you for the civil response! 🙂
    It is very difficult to find a nation, state or community where some kind of confrontation doesn’t take place. I understand that the US has been the soil for many acts of abuse. I am from Latvia, a small European country, and we have seen our fair share of historical injustice. Our nation has been abused for hundreds of years. However, now, when we have our freedom, on certain issues we have turned into the abusers ourselves. And it is a very sad thing for me to see. And for the most part the problem can be boiled down to an “us” vs “them” rhetoric. I won’t go into the specifics, but the whole point I’ve been trying to make (incidentally, which isn’t tone trolling or concern trolling or whatever other fallacy fallacy someone tries to pin on me, because that would require me to disagree with the conclusions, which I don’t) is that we must be cautious as to what kind of a rhetoric we set up, EVEN when the moral truth is on our side. It’s not even a question of compromise. Yes, encourage, support those who need it, show the faults of the opponents. But don’t make them the other that can never be right and against whom we can never be wrong. This is a dangerous path.
    Eh.. OK I guess I’ve said all I can for the moment. Sorry to have caused a troll alert. I guess you get many of those here. Was not my intention.

  • McJakome

    You live in a tough neighborhood. Latvia has been fought over by the Teutonic Knights, the Vikings, Sweden, Prussia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Germany, and the USSR [Russia again]. I may have forgotten a few:)

    The enemies of freedom, or those who want your land and possessions, are usually the same people. Sometimes the want to steal your goods and other times they want to steal your souls for their own religion. People who want to remain free must fight to keep what is theirs, particularly their own identity. I am sure, as Balts, Latvians know it!

    Unlike the Ukraine, the US is fortunate to be isolated from would-be aggressors and conquerors of political as well as ideological/religious kinds. Truth to tell, we have been more likely to be aggressors. Our ideals are great, but we have too often failed to live up to them.

    You are right about fearing and hating “the other,” however when “the other” seeks dominion, as the evangelicals do, and as Czar Putin does, then resistance is the right of free people everywhere.

    Lai dzīvo bezmaksas Latvija.
    Tegyvuoja laisvas Lietuva.
    Niech żyje wolna Polska.
    Хай живе вільна і незалежна Україна.
    გაუმარჯოს თავისუფალ და დამოუკიდებელ საქართველოში.

  • Dean Ismail

    I’m glad you changed your mind. May I ask what changed your mind? Just curious. Sorry if it’s something too personal, and feel free to ignore my question.

  • Kent Villard

    I don’t think this article really responded in a meaningful way to most of the original questions. Just reversing the question being asked for most of the questions is no better than random scripture quotes out of context. I’m not even getting into the Christian anti-gay view vs any other view – just commenting on the quality of the responses.

  • tonycutty

    Brilliantly put, sir 🙂

  • tonycutty

    Great post

  • Charles Stanley

    Thank you very much

  • Brandon Roberts

    basically i realized that gay people aren’t born gay and that jesus never mentions homosexual marriage at all

  • Andy

    Pretty sure that was the point.

  • hermit_au

    But wait – it doesn’t make any difference whether people are born gay or not; We were conceived and born sinful. “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Psalm 51:5”.

    Further, the Bible is the word of God, and Jesus is God, therefore, everything said in the bible about homosexuality is the words of Jesus. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” 2 Timothy 3:16.

    Therefore, being born gay has nothing to do with whether homosexuality is right or wrong, good or bad, and Jesus clearly says that homosexuality is an abomination. Anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to get around the very plain word of God.

  • Andy

    You should probably take some classes in logic, hermeneutics, and biblical history. Until then, kindly refrain from posting here if you’re going to make such poorly-supported assertions.

  • hermit_au

    This is just a weak response to some very legitimate questions. There’s holes in nearly every argument.

  • BarbaraR

    If you didn’t read John’s intro, you missed the point.

    that’s a fool’s errand: once you accept the premise of DeYoung’s questions—which it’s assumed you do if, hook by hook, you start taking his bait—then you’ve already lost. It’s like a reporter asking, “So, Mr. President, when did you first realize you’d have to hide the fact that you’re a Muslim?” The torpedo’s already been launched.

  • BarbaraR

    This makes zero sense.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Nah. JESUS is the Word of God. The words in the Bible are mostly human men’s words, divinely-inspired or not.

    “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness” Great. Which translation? Which language? Does this verse apply to ALL translations and orthodoxies the world and history over? Because they don’t all say exactly the same thing. Some Eastern Orthodox Bibles even have books that our English ones don’t possess. And, don’t even get me started on the Ethiopian ones.

    All Holy Bibles. All God’s Word? Because they quite handily contradict each other and themselves.

    “Jesus clearly says that homosexuality is an abomination.” Nope, He doesn’t. Actually, the Bible doesn’t even say homosexuality is an abomination. The Bible in SOME verses in SOME translations says certain homosexual acts are abominations (context, context, context). But it points out a SCORE more heterosexual ones that are. So, does that mean that heterosexuality is an abomination? Because that follows your logic…

  • Jeff Preuss

    “With respect to what you are trying, I doubt that a shouting match is what helps someone be less suicidal.”

    I might offer a different point to this. The shouting match has occurred for a long time, usually NOT at the gay person’s urging. In other words, many Christians and the Church in general have been shouting AT LGBT people for many years. If other Christians who are not LGBT join in to shout back in our defense, it does help.

    If an ally steps in and shows there ARE Christians who will stand up for LGBT people to other Christians, then yes it does help an LGBT person feel that if this other Christian might be on my side, so might Jesus.

    The shouting match would happen whether or not John (or someone like him) chimes in. I’ve seen too many fellow LGBT people kill themselves because no one chimed in and shouted FOR them.

  • Jeff Preuss

    HULK SMASH

  • Like there were holes in all the arguments in the original 40 questions?

  • The bible is not God. God is the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. I recommend listening to the Holy Spirit (whom Jesus said would lead us into all truth) than worshipping the bible.

  • Well, I get the same treatment when I post on fundamental blogs. So we’re all human. You’ve got to know when you post on a blog that is opposite of your belief, you’re going to get hammered. Shouldn’t be any kind of surprise.

  • Megs! 😀 <3

  • And please don’t stop. 🙂

  • What in the hay-ell?

  • Reinis

    I agree, one would expect that from opposing parties. It is a surprise, however, because I’m not of the opposite belief. In fact this blog is to a degree responsible for my own set of beliefs. And I don’t oppose John’s views in principle, just the method.

  • Reinis

    I completely agree, as Christians we must stand up for those being bullied and oppressed. As I understand it, Jesus is always on that side to which the rock is being thrown at. I am criticizing the method, not the fact itself.
    Perhaps I’m just being overly cautious..

  • Blank Ron

    I know, I prefer the comic version over Louis Leterrier’s Abomination as well, but hey, it was his movie.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I understand the caution.

    Lately, in the US, the anti-gay rhetoric has been whipped up to a crazy fervor, and the accusations from the anti-gay camp (“in the name of Jesus”) have gotten out of hand. Is it a good idea to be just as…forceful back? I don’t know, for sure, but even the LGBT rainbow flag is being called an “attack on Christianity,” so it’s a bit unreal.

  • Jeff Preuss

    It’s the Abomination, a villain for the Incredible Hulk. 🙂

  • tonycutty

    “Jesus clearly says that homosexuality is an abomination” – can you tell me where, please?

    I’m not normally into asking people to quote chapter and verse, but I’d be really interested to get that reference. I’m pretty sure none such exists, but I am willing to stand corrected.

  • Lookingup73

    One of the good things with being a non-believer in the power of the Bible is that you don’t even have to worry about these questions. there is no rational, logical reason to treat our GLBT brothers and sisters any differently than our straight brothers and sisters. Simple answer to all the questions 🙂

  • Lookingup73

    How were those questions legitimate for a Christian to ask?

  • lrfcowper

    Probably worth noting that marriages were also basically financial transactions between families. They weren’t the romantic, egalitarian, or consensual marriages of today. So, yeah, if the pais was a sex slave, it’s skeevy, but the same could be said for a wife. Simple fact is, unless you were a freeborn man of decent family and means, you probably did not consent to the sexual relationships you had. Even if you were the guy, you could easily find yourself gifted with a bride you didn’t care for. That’s why Paul’s instruction that husbands were to love their wives (as Christ loved and sacrificed himself for the church, no less) was revolutionary.

  • lrfcowper

    Tell you what, when DeYoung converts to Islam and still posts the same drivel, we’ll deal with Islamic Quran interpretations. If “Christians” (by which you appear to mean those who are anti-lgbt bigots, rather than Christians) paint targets on their chests by posting unloving attacks on others, they *will* be chastised for it by their fellow Christians.

  • ccws

    (Cross-posting a response I wrote elsewhere)

    I’ve got a few questions for Kevin, including:

    [1] What makes you think you know better than the God who called Pete to the pastoral ministry, so he would be there to help my church heal after a time of division as well as to help me personally through one of the worst depressions of my life?

    And the second is like unto it:

    [2] What makes you think you know better than the God who gave Pete and Mark (and Richard and Brad, another clergy couple I’ve known – not to mention numerous LGBT couples I’ve known in all walks of life) to each other in decades-long lives of love and mutual support and encouragement that put many straight couples to shame?

    [3] Do you really think a love that can (and often does) say, “I love you so much – in heart, soul, and mind as well as body – that I’m willing to risk having the whole world hate and hurt me for loving you” can be called evil?

    [4] To be LGBTQI is to be the “despised Samaritan,” the Syro-Phoenician, the centurion, the tax collector, the leper, the “fallen woman” – all of whom Jesus welcomed without reservation or condemnation; indeed, he put them forward as models of faith. Why do you insist on straining out the gnat of difference, even in the guise of “morality,” and swallowing the camel of cruelty to the outcast whom he loved?

    [5] The authorities of Jesus’s day thought they knew better because “it is written” or “it has been said.” Jesus said repeatedly, and continues to say, “But I say to you…” confounding those Powers That Be and turning expectations and conventions on their heads. How can we who want to follow him avoid trying to do the same?

    I fly the rainbow flag because LGBTQI Christians have been a source of joy and inspiration to me, and I’m not about to second-guess their grace and strength to live in faith, hope, and love in the face of those who “think they know better because it is written.”

    I fly the rainbow flag because I don’t believe the God who is Love would send anyone to Hell (if there be such a place) for loving “the wrong person.”

    I fly the rainbow flag because I’m not afraid of what we’ve learned about human sexuality and psychology over the centuries.

    Most of all, I fly the rainbow flag because LOVE IS LOVE, and none of
    us petty little humans can fully comprehend the totality of that. All I
    can do is stand back in awe and acknowledge that in the faces of those who continue to love without bitterness against a cruel world, I’ve seen the face of the God who is Love. Amen.

  • Yeah, that’s true.

  • tonycutty

    It’s not all that new, though. It’s been going on for centuries; I suppose you could call the medieval stuff like the Inquisition ‘Church discipline’, but certainly whenever there’s a revival (in the true sense) it’s always followed by a wave of legalism that is empowered by ‘Church discipline’.

  • otrotierra

    No, that’s not what Jesus says.

    No thanks, I’ll stick with Jesus.

  • elephantix

    I read his post and he tries to base everything on scripture. As if the Bible says anything explicitly forbidding homosexual marriage. It also says nothing about how I’m supposed to use or not use computers, my iphone, or even if I’m supposed to avoid going to Home Depot. Why use the Bible for anything if it’s not explicit about today??

  • elephantix

    Just to confirm.. the guy who is raising a series of questions, and bases them on specific verses and passages, is not the Bible-believer, but the guy who wants to poke holes in his argument and does so without mentioning even 1 verse and instead spends his post talking about “us vs. them” is?

  • lymis

    It seems you misunderstand me. This isn’t just about “them” it’s about how we as progressive christians (which I also self-identify as) respond. To my mind this wasn’t a great, mature response. It wasn’t graceful and seemed troll-ish.

    Reinis,

    I think you’re missing an extremely important piece of the puzzle.

    Yes, there’s unquestionably a place for civil discourse, reasoned debate, and calm disputation. Without that, nothing is ever going to get accomplished. And I’ll stack my own “being reasonable in the face of severe provocation” credentials against anyone’s. I suspect people who know me from my writing here will back me on that.

    But, when you shift the focus from “trying to convince the people who have made it clear that they are impervious to discussion” to “supporting the people most badly in need of support” – in this case, as John and others note, particularly (but not exclusively) young LGBT people who have no choice but to be barraged by anti-gay evangelical and fundamentalist messages – there are some other very significant things that come into play.

    Do you have any conception of what it’s like to have your very existence as a human being, the concept of your being able to be a moral being, the possibility of ever being able to form a lasting, loving relationship with another person, and for many, worst of all, the very idea that God could ever love you, constantly up for debate? As seen as being a debate.

    Certainly, it’s far worse to get nothing but the negative messages, being crushed and morally and emotionally brutalized for something you had no part of choosing and no way of changing. But if the ONLY response to it is calm and reasoned debate, then I don’t think you realize how soul-shredding that can be.

    Because the messages from the bad guys aren’t “You need to be more restrained and appropriate in your sexual conduct” and they absolutely are not “We’re only asking you to do what we are doing ourselves.”

    The messages are “Let’s discuss whether God vomits at the sight of a homosexual” and “Remember, the Bible says we should all murder you on sight, so anything we do short of outright slaughter is a sign of how kind, moral, and tolerant we are being.”

    The media, since the recent Supreme Court ruling saying that as far as civil marriage is concerned, people must be treated equally, is full of people claiming that as a result, God will literally destroy the US.

    Gay kids are thrown out of their homes and disowned at a horrific rate, and driven to attempt suicide in numbers that far exceed their percentage of the population.

    If the only support they see is people willing to say only, “Gosh, you know, murdering gay people is an option worth discussing rationally, so lets compare Bible citations about it” or “You know, I’m willing to concede that you might have some valid justification for your believe that God abhors all gay people and condemns them for all eternity, so even though I disagree with your conclusions, we’ll have the dialogue on your terms” then gay kids get the message that their lives, loves, and existence is up for debate.That God may, in fact, actually loathe them. And that nobody, anywhere, actually has their back.

    “You have a point, let’s discuss it like adults” sends the message that as far as their “supporter” goes, the answer could go either way, the disputants will shake hands and walk away, and the gay kid will be left alone in the cold, again.

    But “You are an absolute idiot, if not an outright monster, and the very idea that LGBT people are not fully beloved of God, fully equal in dignity, and fully capable of love, honor, commitment, and joy, and are not fully welcome in the community of believers is utterly ridiculous and monstrous, not open to debate, and suitable only for mockery” sends an entirely different message. That someone is on your side, that you may not be hopeless and evil, and that someone somewhere thinks you’re worth standing up for.

    Sure, there needs to be a balanced dialogue at some point. But when someone is beating a child to death in front of you, you don’t have a considered dialogue about the possible merits of corporal punishment as a disciplinary philosophy.

    Somebody has to be willing to stand up and say “NO. This is not tolerable. This is evil.”

    Because of the nature of things in the past, adult, happy, balanced gay people are often not in the position to do that, because so many of us left or were driven from the church, and those who were not are so easily dismissed as “Well, of course, you’d say that.” And that’s just among the LGBT people who aren’t so embittered by religion that they refuse to even attempt a dialogue of any kind.

    So yes, there’s a deeply important place for someone who is straight, who is clearly a believer, and who is clearly articulate and grounded in their views to be able to stand up and say, “You, sir, are a fool and an idiot, and you are dangerous to yourself and others.” And the best way to deflate a pompous windbag is to mock them when they deserve mockery.

    If John was mean and vindictive, or if all he ever did was mock, he wouldn’t have the place in the ongoing dialogue that he does. But he isn’t, and so he does.

    Silencing his unique voice and those of others like him, in some misguided idea that the only appropriate response to grave moral evil is always polite discourse, would be to do deep and further harm to innocents who are already being harmed more than they can often survive.

    Keep that all in mind when you tell him that his approach may not be appropriate. Appropriate to whom? The people who are consciously and intentionally driving people away from God? Causing innocent children to kill themselves? Encouraging literal and figurative bullying? Advocating rewriting laws and Constitutions to permanently belittle and oppress people? Yeah, like they deserve a lot of consideration.

  • lymis

    I have gay, lesbian and pansexual friends and i don’t have these discussions with them, but if the conversation does come up I tell them my honest feelings towards to but i don’t insult them.

    Keep telling yourself that. If your “honest opinions” are that they aren’t equal to you in all ways, that their lives and loves are not as real and valid as yours, or that you feel you get to decide how God feels about them, then yes, you’re insulting them.

    Don’t fall into the common error of thinking that saying something politely can’t still be insulting.

    You may not have these conversations with them (and why not, one can only wonder?) but I assure you, they’re having them about you. And probably not in the most flattering terms.

    And, while I don’t know you and don’t presume to judge, I’ve been around enough to know quite well (and sometimes, from personal experience) that the number of bigots with “gay, lesbian and pansexual friends” doesn’t often line up with the perception of those LGBT people that the friendship is mutual. There’s a reason you hear “But I have gay friends” FAR more often than you hear “But I have gay people who consider me a friend” from people claiming that their disapproval, judgement, and bigotry doesn’t impact their friendships. And when was the last time you heard anyone say “But some of my best friends are bigots who think I’m not as good as them!”

  • lymis

    How consensual was the average heterosexual marriage of the time?

  • otrotierra

    Jesus, who chose to remain silent on same-sex marriage, is little use to Kevin DeYoung and his frothing-at-the-mouth followers. That’s why Jesus is missing in their world view.

  • Guy Norred

    I am now mad at myself for already forgetting (just read this last week) who it was who wrote of the “false Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Bible”

  • elephantix

    Jesus chose to remain silent on a TON of stuff. He knew how it would all play out. He could have told us not to drive Honda Civics and to avoid spending too much time on Google. BUT HE DIDN’T. Even the adulterous woman- he didn’t tell her stop committing adultery- he told her stop “sinning.” He doesn’t say what sin he was talking about! In reality the Bible is only against 10 things, and they are pretty explicitly condemned, even carved in stone. I wonder why people bother with the rest.

  • Val

    You talk about an “organic, internal moral sense, or compass.” What if his organic, internal moral sense, or compass that judges right from wrong is telling him homosexuality is wrong? You make the assumption in your writing that he isn’t listening to his moral compass, but what if he is?

  • Guy Norred

    What do you know? It was tonycutty.

  • lymis

    If you only read Christian sites or opinions, of course you’d get the idea that people only pick on Christians.

    If you actually read LGBT sites or progressive sites that include discussion of LGBT issues, you’d see that anti-gay Muslims, Hindus, Atheists, – and anti-gay bigots with no professed religious views – are just as roundly condemned.

    However, there are vastly more self-professed Christians claiming, not only that THEY disapprove or are disgusted by homosexuality, but that they are speaking for all other Christians, and that Christianity itself is inherently and irrevocably anti-gay. Since those voices, in the US at least, vastly outnumber the odd publicly anti-gay Muslim, and they reflect a huge politically powerful constituency, it’s pretty obvious why they get the most kick-back.

    If Christians want to stop being “picked on” (for demanding the deaths and legal and social suppression of their fellow citizens, no less) then they need to stop saying things like that, and others need to stop allowing them to speak in the name of all Christians. There’s really very little publicly visible sign of that, at least where the anti-gay views are most vehemently expressed.

  • Tim

    One of the many things that has caused me to question the traditional doctrine of hell over the years is precisely the fact that it is so often used as a goad to force people back into line, when they don’t follow the proscribed “Official Required Stance” on some issue or other

  • Is that…good?

  • tonycutty

    But I have to confess that I plagiarised the phrase from a friend of mine 😉

  • indignation5

    When is an opinion that conflicts with the position that same sex marriage is scriptural not considered intolerant? Meaning, is every person’s opinion that does not believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman considered intolerant, bigoted, hateful (as it applies to scripture)? Is it possible to have a conviction rooted in the strict interpretation of scripture that adheres to traditional marriage that is not considered hateful? If there is, please let me know what it specifically looks like? I honestly would like to hear your opinions on it. My understanding based upon the articles and comments on this blog is that it would be impossible. I wanted to make sure though….

  • Charles Stanley

    I am saying that there is no such thing as a Bible believing Christian as opposed to a Christian who does not believe the Bible.

  • Neil

    @scott_stone:disqus – Liberal theology is not systematic, so you’re exactly right.

  • Charles Stanley

    What is an “orthodox” Christian as opposed to an “unorthodox” Christian? What is a “Biblical” Christian as opposed to an “non-biblical” Christian? Do you believe that only those who interpret the book of Genesis as History are orthodox and Biblical? I don’t. I believe Adam and Eve should be considered our theological parents, but not our biological parents. The idea that Genesis is history or science is actually recent and a form of liberalism itself. The historic position (Augustine, Ireneaus, Luther, Welsey, etc) is to think of Genesis as theology, not history or science. I put my position to the right of yours. You are reading anti-gay into the text.
    I also don’t think the purpose of marriage is to procreate. It’s to experience and give love. Procreation is one dimension of some marriages but not all. The Bible clearly attests to love in same sex relationships. Jesus and John, Ruth and Naomi, David and Jonathan for example. In the third case it is spoken that their love for each other surpassed the love of a man and a woman.
    I believe that the Bible is infallible. I also know that we, the interpreters of the Bible, are 100% fallible. So am I a true Christian or not, Neil? I am washed in the blood of Jesus, the Son of God.

  • otrotierra

    I’ll make this easy for you. Here are all the passages where Jesus mentions same-sex marriage:
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  • Neil

    Here are the scriptures where Jesus spoke against pedophilia:

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  • tonycutty

    With respect, Neil, you have no basis for your assessment of my belief or otherwise in the Scriptures or Jesus. (Unless, of course, when you use the word ‘You’, you’re not referring to me personally, but as ‘people’) However, I think from your last sentence that you mean ‘me’; Tony. You don’t know me, and you don’t know about may faith – however, if you research my answers to various people on these forums, you will rapidly glean some of that knowledge!

    Much of your evidence in your answer – and thanks for making the effort to expound your views in such detail – is in fact circumstantial. It could indeed be argued, for example, that the Cana passage you mention was in fact a coincidence that He did His first miracle at a heterosexual wedding. So, ‘Coincidence?’ Maybe. It’s not evidence.

    And despite your elaborate answer, you still have not answered the question, which was a reasonable one. To reiterate: “Jesus clearly says that homosexuality is an abomination” – can you tell me where, please? Is there a passage where He stands up, say on the sixth day of the Feast, and says, ‘Listen up, folks, homosexuality is an abomination?’. As far as I know – and I am open to correction – He does not.

  • otrotierra

    No, this comment thread is not about pedophilia. That’s why nobody takes you seriously. You’re just having an intellectually lazy conversation with yourself, all by yourself.

    But since you’re confused, I’ll help you: Jesus never compares same-sex marriage to pedophilia.

  • tonycutty

    He’s written the exact same passage to me below…..

  • Neil

    Jesus never compares marriage to same-sex marriage. *Again* — who is Jesus and what authority does He have? You’re avoiding the answer.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “If you don’t believe the infallibility of Scriptures, then you need to ask yourself if you believe in the real Jesus.”
    Um, no I don’t, because ‘inerrant Scripture’ is not a universal Christian belief for all the ages. As a concept, it’s only gained traction in the last 200 years or so, with many MANY Christians (for thousands of years) understanding (and accepting) the poetic and allegorical nature that is much of the Bible.

  • Jeff Preuss

    …okay. That still didn’t back up your assertion that I addressed before.

    Jesus was a historical figure. Great. I believe that, too. That doesn’t prove the Bible to be infallible.

    I believe in the real Jesus, as you so put it, but I don’t find the Scriptures to be inerrant.

    Does that qualify me as an Orthodox Biblical Christian? I don’t care, because I still follow Christ as my Savior, and there is nothing that tells me that I have to be an “Orthodox Biblical Christian” to meet the criteria of a “real” Christian. (Well, nothing save your words and the words of others like you who’d prefer God to stay in your neat little box so you can keep Him all to yourselves.)

  • Jeff Preuss

    Whose systematic theology? Catholics? Eastern Orthodox? Ethiopian? (Whole lotta extra books in those Bibles.) If you maintain “the Canon” is infallible, surely you have to select which Canon and which language and which interpretation. Otherwise, your assessment of “real” Jesus holds no water because no Christian could ever hazard a guess at the barometer by which you measure the validity of our belief.

    And, as soon as one guessed correctly, there would be another one of you out there to tell them they picked the wrong Bible.

    “If you don’t believe in the infallibility of scripture, how do you know with absolute proof that Jesus is God?”
    My belief does not hinge on absolute proof. It hinges on faith. It is not dependent on some empirical evidence of His Holiness. It is not reliant on some objective proof that He performed miracles. Because we have neither of those things. We have tales with some historical corroboration, but we have no observable data to show the water turned to wine, or the supernatural feeding of the masses with fish and loaves.

    The Bible is full of parables. Jesus Himself taught with them. If even Christ Himself saw fit to use non-literal stories to teach and inspire us, then why can you not allow the rest of the Bible to be less than literal? Do you elevate the writings of men above the teachings of Christ?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Okay, all your discussion hinges on the awfully silly premise that “Bible is true because Bible says it is true.”
    I didn’t ask “What is systematic theology?” yet that was your response, so it’s clear you just enjoy whirling around in the merry-go-round that is the circular logic of your belief, never quite answering or explaining.

    Have a great day! Hope you don’t get too dizzy.

  • tonycutty

    …and now he’s deleted them both. Most odd….

  • Charles Stanley

    oh well go figure.

  • Susan Cottrell over at FreedHearts had some pretty good answers for him too: 40 real answers to your 40 questions: to Kevin deYoung

  • elephantix

    2 Tim. 3:15-17

  • Jeff Preuss

    ???

    Random versing.

  • elephantix

    Did you read it? *I feel like you may not have before you responded.*

  • Jeff Preuss

    Yes, presumptuous. Did you offer any context?

    *I feel like you may not have actually contributed anything to the conversation I’d been having with now-deleted comments by lobbing a drive-by verse without context.*

  • elephantix

    Sorry, it’s just that those verses are pretty straight forward as to the value of all of scripture, which would counter the claim, “Um, no I don’t, because ‘inerrant Scripture’ is not a universal Christian belief for all the ages.”

    ” But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

    Paraphrase: if you’re going to believe in Jesus, you’re going to believe in the Bible, and if God breathed the words of the Bible, then that makes it “a universal Christian belief for all the ages.” Otherwise, why would you believe in Jesus? Where would you learn about him other than in the Bible? And if the Bible is not infallible, why would you believe that parts about Jesus?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Those verses don’t make a claim for the Bible being infallible, especially since those verses are not universally translated the same. Some translations state “all God-inspired Scripture,” which at the very least implies that not ALL Scripture is necessarily inspired by God. Which is almost essential to details of belief remaining in the hands of the believer instead of some unsupportable claims of Biblical clarity and inerrancy, because as I said to Neil there are many MANY Christian canons and orthodoxies, each with their own assortment of books of the Bible. If the Holy Bible of the Ethiopian Orthodox church is definitely “God-breathed” then why don’t we Western Christians use verses from 3 Maqabyan to guide our lives?

    After all, ALL Scripture is valuable for correction and instruction, right?

    No, what you are attempting to use those verses for is the unsupportable circular logic argument that “Bible is true because it says it’s true.” As I told Neil, I don’t have to take the entirety of Scripture as literal objective fact (because the “facts” contradict with each other, both across and within translations) to believe in and follow Jesus.

    Why would you insist I have to?

    [EDITED to add a link a pastor friend shared, regarding some of the inconsistencies of the Scriptures the translators of the NIV Bible tried to fix, as well as some of their rewording to change meaning. https://isthatinthebible.wordpress.com/articles-and-resources/deliberate-mistranslation-in-the-new-international-version-niv/ This is in anticipation of a response claiming there are no contradictions in Scripture, since it is “infallible.”

    Additionally, Paul wrote those words to Timothy, guiding him on how to minister to others. At the time Paul wrote that, many Books had still been unwritten, and certainly not compiled into what we know as the Holy Bible today. Should I take Paul’s words to use all Scripture for only what was written up until that time? Or can I apply it to the Books he and others wrote later (what if Paul didn’t like those books)? And did Paul even consider those words he wrote in 2nd Timothy to BE Scripture?

    You may think I’m playing with semantics here, but these are all important distinctions to make if you’re attempting to prove infallibility with these 3 verses out of context. As to how I can believe in Jesus without taking the whole Bible as “true” you should read my answer to that in one my responses to Neil.]

  • Bones

    Yes and one of those is men with long hair. (Hi Paulie)

    Which means the Bible is against Jesus.

    Which is weird.

  • Bones

    Just as well we don’t need the Bible to tell us that rape is wrong. Or incest. Or genocide.

  • Bones

    For starters, Paul didn’t write 2 Timothy. It is dated at least in the second century. There is a high probability that the books the unknown author considered as ‘scripture’ are not the same ones we have today. Many second century Christians discounted certain books of the NT canon including Hebrews and Revelation and included many other books not listed in today’s canon.

    It’s quite a dishonest use of that verse.

  • Bones

    That’s the spirit.

    Use your brain.

  • elephantix

    I would disagree with your claim about Paul and 2 Timothy, and would place it in the 1st century.
    That said, I don’t think it’s a dishonest use of that verse- how can the verse mean anything other than what it says? I’d challenge you to provide a different understanding of what the verse means.

  • elephantix

    For starters, maybe it’s best to use the ESV, which I have found to be a better translation because it attempts to be literal instead of using dynamic equivalence like the NIV does. That should take care of a lot of the problems you’ve raised, since they seem to be the result of translation errors, and not the content of the Bible itself.

    You raise an interesting question- did Paul consider 2 Tim to be scripture? I don’t know. I will think on that more. But I’ll counter- does it matter? The Bible claims to be the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit is the true author. Is the Holy Spirit bound by time?

    In regards to the Biblical canon of East vs West: I’d have to be more knowledgeable of 3 Maqabyan- is it instructive? Historical? What genre is it? Does it conflict with the message of the Bible?

    Where can I find the response to Neil? Is it the one below this? Assuming you are talking about the one that says “My belief does not hinge on absolute proof. It hinges on faith…” that’s great. My question is- where did you get that idea from? The Bible?
    Good. But you maintain that parts of the Bible can be true and others just parables. So how do you know that idea of faith didn’t come from the parable part? Or that the part that says “Jesus taught in parables” is really supposed to be taken literally?

    I’m not telling you you’re wrong- I’m just genuinely interested as to how this thought process would work. If the whole work isn’t reliable, then why believe any of it? Or further, is it up to each and every Christian to decide for himself which parts are true? And if you say yes, this just sounds like a watered down version of moral relativism, which says “I think Jesus is a good teacher, but there was nothing more special about him than that.” (“I think the Bible is useful for introducing us to Jesus, but nothing more than that.”)

  • Jeff Preuss

    Well, for starters, I didn’t say the whole work is unreliable, just not inerrant. My faith comes from the overarching story of redemption coming through the rather long-form story of Christ. That is not reliant upon every word being literal or factual.

    I had a course at my Southern Baptist college which analyzed discrepancies and inconsistencies in the Bible itself, “errors” which dated back to some of the scrolls which don’t always seem to jibe with each other. Many other students in the class took away from that the fear that makes the Bible untrue. Yet, I took away from it that it is true on a larger scale. But, not infallible. We simply cannot use it as a fully-accurate historical document, a science textbook, or objective proof of the glory of God.

    “Or further, is it up to each and every Christian to decide for himself which parts are true? And if you say yes, this just sounds like a watered down version of moral relativism, which says “I think Jesus is a good teacher, but there was nothing more special about him than that.”” Except, it’s not relativism, because every SINGLE Christian already decides which parts to hold in high regard, and which parts to wave off. Every SINGLE Christian already decides for him or herself whether eating shrimp is permissible now. Every SINGLE believer interprets for him or herself when reading the Scriptures to discern meaning.

    And for that individual discernment to be at ALL worthwhile, it simply must be up to the individual soul to suss it out. We are each responsible for our own souls. You can call that relativism all you want, but without it, we wouldn’t have different Christian denominations.

    The “inerrancy” of the Bible is a relatively new concept. It is bizarre to me that both you and Neil seem determined to excoriate my faith because it doesn’t hinge on literal “truth” of the Bible.

    “For starters, maybe it’s best to use the ESV, which I have found to be a better translation because it attempts to be literal instead of using dynamic equivalence like the NIV does. That should take care of a lot of the problems you’ve raised, since they seem to be the result of translation errors, and not the content of the Bible itself.” Nope. My best understanding of the Bible comes from parallel study available on sites such as biblehub.com, where I can compare and contrast the different translations to get a better idea what the passages are really about, instead of how they’ve been aligned (and sometimes maligned) in any individual iteration.

    Who is the authority to declare the ESV is “true”? Should I value your endorsement of it over the angry commenters who uphold the KJV Bible is the only “real” one? How about the lady a few weeks ago who lectured me with some verses from the Book of Mormon as evidence of my sinfulness (and apparent worship of Lucifer)? What about the apocryphal stuff “shouted” by Catholics insisting they follow the one true Church?

    (By the way, when you paraphrased the 3 verses earlier, you were offering your interpretation of them, offering your translation that added to the text you quoted. Those verses said “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching…” but they didn’t say “you must believe in the Bible.” If that was your takeaway from those verses, great — that should apply to YOUR life and YOUR belief. Call it relativism if you must.)

  • Bones

    Say it isn’t so isn’t a basis of a defence. 2 Timothy is not mentioned in any Church document before 170CE. 2 Timothy is a very Catholic epistle showing that it was written in the second century. It exhorts believers to uphold the ‘traditions’ which were non-existent at the time of Paul eg bishops and deacons and to preserve correct teaching. It has different vocab, different style to any of Paul’s authentic writings.

    http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/2timothy.html

  • elephantix

    My apologies. I mistyped and meant to have said 2nd century.

    That said, give me your thoughts on this ESV Study Bible introduction:
    “The first two verses of 2 Timothy clearly present the author as Paul and
    the recipient as Timothy. As with 1 Timothy and Titus (the other two
    “Pastoral Epistles”), the authorship of 2 Timothy has been challenged in
    the past 200 years. The challenges to Pauline authorship are the same
    as those leveled against 1 Timothy.
    However, a number of the scholars who deny Pauline authorship of 1
    Timothy and Titus still affirm Pauline authorship of 2 Timothy. The
    arguments for the authenticity of 1 Timothy apply to 2 Timothy as well,
    providing a good basis for affirming the straightforward claims of 2
    Timothy (and of 1 Timothy and Titus) to be authentic letters written by
    Paul.”

    RE: 1 Timothy
    “The first verse of 1 Timothy clearly states that Paul is the author,
    and this was universally affirmed until the nineteenth century. In the
    last 200 years a significant shift has occurred in biblical scholarship
    so that many today deny that Paul actually wrote 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy,
    or Titus. Critics point to ways in which these three letters (the
    “Pastoral Epistles”) differ from Paul’s other letters in style,
    vocabulary, theology, church order, and the way in which Paul is
    portrayed. However, the differences in theology and church order, for
    example, are typically overstated based on a particular reading of
    Paul’s earlier letters, and based on the effect of reading these three
    letters as a unit rather than individually (as the rest of Paul’s
    letters are read). For example, some claim that the Pastoral Epistles
    picture a much more structured church with an emphasis on church
    officers (esp. elders and deacons) rather than the dynamic,
    Spirit-directed church in Paul’s other letters. This overstates the
    evidence of both groups of letters in opposite directions. Elders are
    mentioned as early as Paul’s first missionary journey (Acts 14:21–23), and Philippians is addressed to the “overseers and deacons” of the church in Philippi (Phil. 1:1).
    Furthermore, difference in style and vocabulary is not unusual for a
    creative mind, especially considering that these letters differ from the
    other letters in purpose, subject matter, and audience, these being the
    only ones written to coworkers.

    Additionally, it is problematic
    to argue that these works were written under a false name since the
    early church clearly excluded from the apostolic canon any works they
    thought to be pseudonymous. While critics point to the common practice
    of pseudonymous writing in the ancient world, they usually fail to point
    out that this practice, though common in the culture, was not common in
    personal letters, and was categorically rejected by the early church
    (cf. 2 Thess. 2:2; 3:17; also Muratorian Canon 64–67; Eusebius, Ecclesiastical History 6.12.3). Tertullian (c. a.d. 160–225) wrote that when it was discovered that a church elder had composed a pseudonymous work, The Acts of Paul (which included a purported Pauline letter, 3 Corinthians), the offending elder “was removed from his office” (On Baptism
    17). Accepting as Scripture letters that lie about their origin is also
    a significant ethical problem. Thus, there is a good basis for
    affirming the straightforward claim of these letters as authentically
    written by Paul.

    The title indicates that this letter was sent to Timothy (1:2), and its contents confirm that, chronologically, it precedes 2 Timothy.”

  • elephantix

    I have more to write later, but for now, 3 things:
    1) talk to me more about “unreliable” vs “inerrant.” What renders a certain part “reliable” and another “unreliable?”
    2) Nobody is “excoriating” your faith. I’m actually inquiring as to how it works and how I can learn more about it since the method seems to be *unreliable* yet you’re standing by it very strongly. Therefore I’d like to hear more. As for inerrancy, there was no need to argue it before recent times.
    3) Speaking only to the difference of translations within Christianity, we’d probably agree that a literal translation has benefits over other translation types, yes? Additionally, you offered issues from the NIV that arose out of translation errors, directly linked to the translation philosophy they use. Therefore you can use a translation that corrects those errors, or instead insist on sticking with them if you prefer.

    You’re right to say that we each interpret the Bible because ultimately it’s every man for himself. But that doesn’t mean that we’re all touching parts of the elephant in a dark room and that all roads lead to Rome. Instead it means doing some heavy lifting, regular praying, and figuring out which points are not flexible, and which are just details. It takes discernment, and getting rid of everything in the Bible other than the red letters is not a good exercise of this. I’m open to hearing your interpretation of those verses.

  • Jeff Preuss

    1) Again, I did not say “unreliable” – you did. And I’ve already explained why I don’t find the Bible as a whole to be infallible, so I’m not answering that again.

    2) I beg to differ. You’re clearly expecting me to accept YOUR literal interpretation as the only acceptable way to read the texts as YOU have interpreted them. “As for inerrancy, there was no need to argue it before recent times.” I don’t know how you can possibly think that. When the Protestant Church came out of Catholicism and differed on finer theological points, I would heartily bet there was an argument about following the Scriptures.

    3)I offered the NIV link as an example of how there are translation changes, not as an example of a singular text I read. Those examples objectively occur in all translations, and always have. Editors of each edition have inserted their contextual influences into how they think the verses should read.
    A “literal” translation would offer some benefits over other translations, but that would leave out contextual understanding of the life and time in which the verses were written, so it would be sorely deficient in explaining the verses (that, despite what you seem to be saying, are NOT always crystal clear) that have no literal cultural parallel to our thousands-of-years later society.

    In other words, I don’t believe there IS a purely literal translation, nor do I think it entirely possible. We simply do not have the same references or cultural/historical understandings that people had 2000 years ago, so our perception and discernment cannot possibly be exactly the same.

    ” Instead it means doing some heavy lifting, regular praying, and
    figuring out which points are not flexible, and which are just details.” EXACTLY. That is actually what I’ve already said to you. And I think the 6 “clobber verses” and perceptions of “Biblical marriage” are details, not doctrine.

    “It takes discernment, and getting rid of everything in the Bible other than the red letters is not a good exercise of this.” And it’s statements like THIS one and the previous one I quoted where the excoriation comes in. Since I have a different conclusion from you, you’ve concluded (or at the very least are heavily implying that you’ve concluded that I have not done the heavy lifting, I have not done the discernment, because I don’t take the Bible as literal fact. And I never stated anything about chucking out the rest of the Bible except for the red letters. But, the fact is, I worship CHRIST, not the Bible.

    “I’m open to hearing your interpretation of those verses.” What, again? No. You’re talking in circles if you’re going to keep asking me questions I’ve already answered. I think we’re at an end here.

  • elephantix

    Jeff- We’re having a dialogue here. There’s not persecution going on. Often people are asked why they believe what they believe, so don’t get into a huff if you have to engage in a conversation with someone. I’ve given my explanation of 2 Tim. 3:15-17, which you have disagreed with, so I’m inviting your take on those verses. You’ve compared all of the translations, so I’m guessing you have a thought. If your conclusion is “there have been different translations of this verse, therefore it’s not reliable,” then I’d point you towards more research into the differences in translations theories as opposed to trying to make all translations jive together.

    Before I get into my responses to your questions, let me ask you another: if we are all free to have our own beliefs, why are we having this conversation? Why are you trying to convince me that we are all allowed to have our own beliefs? That’s an absolute truth that you are trying to convince me of, but in the guise of “there are no absolutes.” I’m trying to convince of you of an absolute (the Bible), but am appealing to a source outside of myself (again, the Bible), because you can agree- if it were left up to a sinner like me to determine truth, well, that’d be bad news.

    A lot of this discussion needs to be had further back upstream. For instance, what role do you think the Holy Spirit played in the authorship of the Bible? And what are the implications of this role? And what is the role of the Holy Spirit in personal salvation?

    Now to your questions:
    1)I think this is the summary of your position: You said you don’t find the Bible infallible because sometimes Jesus taught in parables and so it’s logical that part of the Bible must be in parables, right?
    And part 2, there are different translations and they differ on verses, therefore the text itself is not inerrant. Yes?

    2) When the Protestant Church came out of the Catholic church, I don’t think they argued about the *inerrancy* of scripture. I think they argued about the *interpretation* of scripture. The fact that they argued these points was even more important because they believed the scriptures to be without error- and they wanted to get it right. They didn’t just say, “let’s ignore that part- it’s not making any sense.” That’s not a fault of the text- that would be a fault of the reader. You could say that the translation isn’t good and try to go farther up towards the source- learn Hebrew and Greek – but to blame the original text for poor translations? I’d blame the need to argue for inerrancy (rather than understanding it to be implicit) in the last 200 years on the scientific revolution, and the shift of the search for truth from absolutes to only that which is revealed by the scientific method.

    3) You are confusing translation and application. The job of a translation is to accurately represent what is in the original manuscript in a new language. That you don’t know how heavy a shekel is and don’t have that context doesn’t matter to the translator- that’s the information he needs to communicate. The job of a teacher, professor, Sunday School teacher, small group leader, individual reader is the work of application. I don’t need the text to interpret itself for me in regards to application. That’s the work I need to do. You’re right, it would be sorely deficient in explaining the cultural contexts, because unless the original author wrote one, I’m not going to ask that it be added on. I can go research the Egyptians or talk to a Hebrew expert and work through it that way. That’s the lifting I’m going to do. I’m not going to ask the text to do it for me. This, of course, belies the belief that the Bible is not a “how-to” manual that you just open, read line for line, and come away with a daily survival guide. It was written in a certain time and place that illustrated then and illustrates now qualities about God, God’s love for his people, and God’s plan for redemption of his people that culminates in Jesus. (That’s why it’s hard to understand how you can have any context for the value or worth or importance of Jesus without having the backstory, or aka the rest of the Bible. )

    A purely literal translation is impossible as some words don’t exist in our language (English) that did in Hebrew. However, that’s a different argument than *our perceptions not being the exact same, therefore the translation is faulty.* Again, that is a shortcoming on the part of the reader- not the translation. And therefore, I would fault the reader before I fault the Bible itself. (That’s why it’s hard to understand why you would choose to say the Bible is somehow lacking, just because it was written in a different time and culture than you live in.)

    I don’t mind you having a different conclusion, but if we’re going to have a discussion I’d like to understand more of your reasoning. You don’t have to win me over and I don’t have to win you over either. And while I’ve learned quite a bit in this back-and-forth, my main question is still a very basic one. Rather than asking why you don’t believe in the infallibility of all of scripture, I’ll ask why do you give it any credence at all?

  • Jeff Preuss

    I mean it, elephantix. We’re at an end to our conversation. Have a nice day.

  • Bones

    Why would I use the ESV? Books claiming apostolic authorship were common in the second century. Even living church fathers had their name forged onto documents. There were many documents claiming to be written by Paul eg 3 Corinthians and the Letters to the Laodiceans and Alexandrians. The equally dubious 2 Thessalonians ironically warns against false letters claiming apostolic ownership.

    There’s plenty of other examples as well. The Greek is different. They are different theologically including admonishing women to be silent in church (compared to Paul’s exaltation of the female Apostle Junia in Romans 16:7). Also the chronology of 1 Timothy and Jude simply don’t fit with Acts.

  • Bones

    “The Bible claims to be the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit is the true author.” No. Those are presumptions which are worked into the text. And yes some parts aren’t reliable because it’s a series of human documents. That’s a problem for you not for me. I don’t have a problem with that neither do I need the Bible to tell me what to think which by the way is more honest than finding Bible verses to justify your own beliefs/bigotry which is basically what it comes down to in the end. I mean no person thinks long haired men are unnatural as Paul says (eg Jesus) but have no problem quoting Paul’s claims that homosexual sex is unnatural. The epistles, AT BEST, are giving advice, no differently than a Christian pastor would today. Some of it maybe good. Some of it is not.

  • elephantix

    A lot here… for starters, what translation would you use? That said, what do you make of what I quoted? “Saying you don’t use the ESV isn’t much of a defence.”

    The examples you gave about 3 Cor, etc, support my viewpoint- those aren’t in the scriptures. (Rom 16:7 says Junia is known to the apostles, not that she *is* an apostle.)

  • elephantix

    Do you consider the Bible to talk about supernatural things?

  • Bones

    Poor Kevin’s been reading this.

  • Bones

    Like what?

  • Bones

    Poor Junias has been written out of the apostles. Heck her name was a man for centuries. “Greet Andronicus and Junias, my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners, who are outstanding among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me.” NASB But hey the ESV is anti-women.

    The Greek is here. You decide which is more accurate.

    http://biblehub.com/text/romans/16-7.htm

    The ESV isn’t a literal translation. It’s a translation of the NIV which was a translation of the RSV which was a translation of KJV which wasn’t a literal translation in the first place! Interestingly the ESV had an agenda to go back to being more masculine in its pronouns.

    See more

    THE PROBLEM WITH LITERALISM WHEN IT COMES TO TRANSLATION
    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/bibleandculture/2012/11/05/the-problem-with-literalism-when-it-comes-to-translation/

    And no those false epistles don’t support your cause at all. It was common for the false epistles to have the apostle’s claim just like the pastorals.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Thank you ever so much for reinforcing points I was making with the detailed information you’ve linked!

  • elephantix

    Thanks for the Greek. I think it supports my position that “of note to the apostles” means “known by,” not “an apostle herself.”

    The ESV is an “essentially literal translation,” and it 100% is NOT based on the NIV. The NIV uses an entirely different translation approach- dynamic equivalence. The NIV is a paraphrase. To confuse or in your case, assert that the ESV is based on the NIV makes me wonder how much you actual understand what you are typing.

    And thanks for that article, though I think I’ll side with the people Ben Witherington cites. He’s extremely liberal, having grown up and served inside the world of academia.

  • elephantix

    Like… anything? Would you consider any of the content, any of the topics of the Bible (ie Jesus) to deal with the realm of the supernatural? Or is it just a good moral book?

  • elephantix

    Jeff, sorry I missed this, but you replied to yourself on this one. Either way, you don’t have to reply to my response. Knowing that you have read it is enough for me- that those thoughts are now in your head has made this all worthwhile. Go look into Bible translations, how they work, and how they arrive at the positions they do and it will help you resolve a lot of the issues you are currently blaming on the text or citing as reasons that the Bible is NOT infallible. I hope you find your way back from your current understanding, not so that I am right, but because there’s so much value in understanding the worth of the Bible! Truly it sounds to me that you are hung up on discrepancies between translations, and not the Bible itself.

  • Bones

    The Bible is not A book. It is a collection of writings. The authors of say Revelation and John had no idea their work was going to be included into a collection and counted as divine utterances for thousands of years.
    The supernatural doesn’t interest me. I’ve never encountered an angel, spent 3 days in a fish, seen the oceans part or been deceived by talking snakes. And Jesus the revolutionary prophet is far more interesting than Jesus the magician.
    I’m more interested in this world and reality. But that’s because I deal with real people every day.
    Btw I went to a Pentecostal church for years. The only healings that God seemed interested in were headaches and bad backs. The poor bugger in the wheel chair is still going around claiming God’ll heal him.

  • Bones

    “I think it supports my position that “of note to the apostles” means “known by,” not “an apostle herself.”” Now you’re being dishonest.

    Piper and Grudem General editor of the ESV have no exegetical evidence for interpreting the Greek as they do. In fact all Grudem claims is “we cannot be certain.” So I’ll interpret it my way. But it does fit their ideology.

    So what does exegetical scholarship say

    “a. Discussion. Greek scholar, A.T. Robertson states that the phrase en tois apostolois “naturally means that they are counted among the apostles in the general sense of Barnabas, James, the brother of Christ, Silas, and others. But it can mean simply that they were famous in the circle of the apostles in the technical sense.”26 Moo also concludes that it is more natural to translate the phrase episemoi en tois apostolois as “esteemed among the apostles” and not “esteemed by the apostles.” He also states that earlier interpreters would argue against Paul meaning a woman because they had difficulty in “imagining that a woman could hold such authority in the early church.27 In this sense, such a translation would also represent the harder or more difficult one. J.B. Lightfoot agrees that the only natural way to translate episemoi en tois apostolois is “regarded as apostles.”28 Cranfield states it is “virtually certain” that the phrase means “outstanding among the apostles.” Walkers, commenting on Cranfield’s remarks said, “this is the way the phrase was understood by all of the patristic writers and by most all modern commentators.29 Bauer provides the normal meaning of episemoi en tois apostolois as “outstanding among the apostles.”30

    Aida Besancon Spencer, makes the grammatical point that “the Greek preposition en which is used here always has the idea of ‘within.'”31 Greek text books point out that en followed by the dative normally means “in, on or among.” For example, en tois is translated as “among those” (1 Cor 2:6), and en tois ethnesin as “among the Gentiles” (Acts 15:12, 1 Cor 5:1, Gal 2:2, Col 1:27, 1 Pet 2:12). Where en tois is followed by a plural noun referring to a group of people, the word en is translated as “among.” F.F. Bruce adds that not only were they “well known to the apostles” but they were “notable members of the apostolic circle.”32 Liddel-Scott defines the Greek word episemoi as “having a mark on” it.33 James A. Witmer, explains that episemoi, literally means “having a mark [sema] on them,” therefore they are “illustrious, notable, or outstanding” among the apostles.34 These defintions seem to describe them as one who “bears the mark” of an apostle.

    b. Assessment. Numerous contemporary and past scholarship, lexical definitions, and grammatical construction provide conclusive support that they were “regarded as apostles.””

    Also John Chrysostom writing in the fourth century “On Romans 16.7 he “noted: ‘Oh how great is the devotion of this women that she should be counted worthy of the appellation of apostle!’ (The Homiles of St. John Chrysostom, Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Series I, 11:555; Wm B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1956).”35 Chrysostom praised Junia as an apostle. ”

    Compare:

    http://www.greeknewtestament.com/B45C016.htm

    Ben Witherington is a liberal? Now you’re just being a comedian.

    You can tell yourself the ESV is accurate but it clearly is not. Though undoubtedly you like it because it supports your ideology.

  • elephantix

    Thanks for the links- I’ll do some work with them. In the meantime, I take issue with you regularly using “ideology” to discount an honest discussion in both the case of Piper, Grudem, etc and also my own views. If anything I would say it sound likes you are using your own ideology to discount opposing viewpoints.

    And as for Witherington being a liberal, I would say he is MORE liberal than those he disagrees with, and that would make sense given his past teaching positions at large schools within academia.

  • elephantix

    Thank you. This helps clarify your position greatly.

  • Guy Norred

    Sorry to be so long–weird couple of weeks–anyway, yes, as a matter of fact. I haven’t been able to keep up with his blog as much as I would like but….

  • Bones

    You can take issue all you want. It’s clear what Grudem’s position towards women is.

    Wayne Grudem: Women Pastors: Not the ‘Path to Blessing’
    Read more at http://www.beliefnet.com/Faiths/Christianity/2006/10/Women-Pastors-Not-The-Path-To-Blessing.aspx#oDxqBxYapIvd8bdB.99

    And Piper’s

    John Piper: Bible Does Not Allow Women to Preach Even Under Elders

    http://www.christiandaily.com/article/john.piper.bible.does.not.allow.women.to.preach.even.under.elders/49871.htm

    So of course they’ve interpreted that verse to take away any hint that Junia may have had authority in the early church.

    It’s quite despicable and dishonest really that they would do that to push their own barrow.

    As for Witherington being liberal,that’s just nonsense but being a liberal is a trendy throwaway word for your sort to dismiss others who disagree with you.

    My own ideology is that Paul is just giving his opinion anyway. So it doesn’t bother me either way. However it is clear that Bible translators’ agendas trump accuracy. And this is a clear example of it.

  • Bones

    I can tell you which parts are unreliable

    The Flood – is a story nothing more
    Moses – a legend in the mold of King arthur. The laws he gives such as the Pentateuch weren’t given by God to the nation but written later as a combination of the requirements of the Priestly class and various other tribal laws. (And that’s really the only way you can honestly look at it unless God had a massive change of mind and became enlightened over issues such as women’s periods etc.)
    The Exodus – nil archaeological evidence. Cities mentioned didn’t even exist at the time. Is an exilic revisionism of the nation of Israel.
    Canaanite Conquest eg Jericho – archaeological evidence is AGAINST this, Continual revisionism of Israel’s history. Though to be fair even Judges disputes the events in Joshua.
    David’s Kingdom – archaeological evidence suggests it was hardly as large as written. The legend of David is rewritten into the revisionism of Israelite history.
    John’s Gospel – was written in a time of conflict and hostility by the author’s Christian Jews and the Jewish community. The Jews are darkness and sons of the devil in John’s gospel because of their rejection of John’s community which is written into the Jesus narrative. Rejection of Judaism is now a prerequisite to Christian belief.
    Some of the Pauline epistles are doubtful. The Pastorals definitely weren’t written by Paul but are claims by some anonymous Christians who could be anyone.
    Revelation is firmly based in the first century and has absolutely no futuristic application at all. There are no secrets hidden in it to solve.

    That’s off the top of my head.

  • iseethereforiam

    The Q and A section of this page is merely avoidance of the issue. It’s neither answering the questions nor is it cute.

    To be Christian is to love everyone but not their sin. This theme is prevalent throughout the Bible.

    Homosexuality is a sin: here is a site clearly outlining the verses in the Bible which attest to such https://carm.org/bible-homosexuality

    Leviticus 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”

    Leviticus 20:13, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them.”

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Or 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 effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

    Romans 1:26-28, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 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 and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.”

    Equality is great, because all humans deserve love, but tolerance isn’t acceptance. That’s where Christians have to draw the line, God’s Word says homosexuality is a sin, therefore we have to adhere to loving the person but condemning their sin.

  • iseethereforiam

    Leviticus 18:22, “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”

    Leviticus 20:13, “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltness is upon them.”

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10, “Or 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 effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the kingdom of God.”

    Romans 1:26-28, “For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 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 and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper.”

  • Bones

    Leviticus 15 “19 ‘When a woman has a discharge, if her discharge in her body is blood, she shall continue in her menstrual impurity for seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening. 20 Everything also on which she lies during her menstrual impurity shall be unclean, and everything on which she sits shall be unclean. 21 Anyone who touches her bed shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening. 22 Whoever touches any thing on which she sits shall wash his clothes and bathe in water and be unclean until evening.23 Whether it be on the bed or on the thing on which she is sitting, when he touches it, he shall be unclean until evening. 24 If a man actually lies with her so that her menstrual impurity is on him, he shall be unclean seven days, and every bed on which he lies shall be unclean.”

    1 Corinthians 11:14 “Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him

  • iseethereforiam

    It is a fallacy to believe that abstract/immaterial concepts like Morality are physically induced phenomenon of a finite being constrained to this reality frame. A finite entity does not create an infinite expression, as that expression has existed independently of its observation. For example: the golden ratio is observed, but not created upon each observation, merely instanced from a pre existing data set.

    We lived in a constructed reality, independent of our observations/perceptions, which is instanced by our current reality frame relative to space time.

    e^(pi * i) + 1 = 0

    God exists; therefore the supernatural is a possible state/variable of our reality, despite it not being a constant observation. No one constantly sees Pi or E, yet the exist despite observation within that observers specific reality frame.

    Some attribute/term this as Spirituality, since all of the above is indicative of reality where such observations are possible but not readily accessible to all based on the observer’s predisposition of the subject (unbelief).

    The Bible is asserting that some constants in our reality are easily observable and have portents other than the desire of the actor/observer. a.k.a God tells us in scripture to “Go forth and multiply” and to procreate. That’s coming from the same entity that spoke existence into being. IF we are to witness daily the magnitude and implications of the importance of God’s word being able to create all of existence, then why does it naturally follow for some that disregarding God’s command to procreate is permissible? All of creation had no choice but to come into being at God’s beckon, however God gave us free will, as a determining function which enables us to choose whether or not to comply with the Creators will. So we either choose to love or to disobey. It is at our expense that we do so, for IF God is the very force which has created all of existence and sustains all of existence, then it follows that outside of God is the opposite of Life/Sustainment/Existence. The Bible even states this: Colossians 1:17 “He is before all things, and by Him all things hold together.”

    So yes, people can choose to be LGBT, and we as Christians must “tolerate” their choice and continue to love them but that doesn’t mean we have to accept their decision/sin. We are told to abstain from such relations, because it is not only (as shown above) a detriment to our persistence, but also an abomination and blasphemous to God. Sin is sin. Any perversion of the intended design is liken to “missing the mark” or not accurately living by God’s law.

    So, your assertions that Christians are “Bible Verse Cherry Pickers”, as stated in several of your postings, is not a conclusive nor exhaustive truth. SOME may do so, but others merely understand the theology beneath the verses context. This issue persists to be evident beyond this forum/topic.

    God Bless and I love you all 🙂

  • Bones

    “Sin is sin”

    Well no it isn’t. It’s no longer a sin to eat shellfish. Neither is it a sin to work on the sabbath. Men with long hair are not a disgrace despite what the apostle says.

    It’s not a sin to remarry after divorcing your husband for beating you up, which Jesus didn’t mention as a qualification for divorce.

    Whereas religious genocide is a sin.

    Of course you guys cherry pick.

    The problem of course is that you think God wrote the Bible.

    When He clearly didn’t.

  • Bones

    The free will argument is nonsense. Nobody has free will. We are conditioned by the way we are brought up and the environment we live in.

    If you or I were born in Muslim Saudi Arabia or pre colonial native America, you would not a have a choice on whether to be a Christian or not.

    Same if you born in the Middle Ages. You’d probably be a Catholic who thought it was ok to burn people alive.

    Be thankful that you were born in a modern Western predominantly Christian country.

    And people don’t decide to be gay any more than you choose to be straight.

  • Bones

    Deuteronomy 25:5, “When brothers live together and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the deceased shall not be married outside the family to a strange man. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her and take her to himself as wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her.”

    Deuteronomy 25:11. “If two men, a man and his countryman, are struggling together, and the wife of one comes near to deliver her husband from the hand of the one who is striking him, and puts out her hand and seizes his genitals, 12 then you shall cut off her hand; you shall not show pity.

    Why don’t you cherry pick these verses?

    Oh and according to Leviticus you should be putting gays to death, but you’re disobeying that part.

  • iseethereforiam

    I see. And you know all this to be definitive because you are God, or have asked God and been told that it is as you say it is?

  • Bones

    You’re the one claiming to be talking for God.
    Does God still think women are unclean during their period?

  • iseethereforiam

    No, I never claimed that or insinuated that. You said yourself that you know The Bible to be fallible and not written by God. You’re attempting misdirection, but it won’t work.

    My Question still stands: What makes you the authoritative expert on what God does and does not say or mean, when you yourself assert that Men cannot know the will of God and have only misrepresented the will of God?

    Merely answering with more questions isn’t the answer. You have to know you don’t have the absolute truth, because by your own self you’ve asserted what isn’t the truth in regards to the will of God. You NOT knowing the will of God is a contradiction to your claims here and on other posts within your DISQUS history.

    In other words. You are only true or honest by your own perception/definition. Truth isn’t relative. Therefore, you are a liar, and by your own definition anyone else who speaks about God’s will with any type of confidence is also a liar. So no one should believe anything you say about what God is or isn’t and what God did or didn’t do.

  • Bones

    Women aren’t unclean because they have periods.

    Never have been. Ever.

    Nuff said.

    That you choose to believe that says more about you and your lack of understanding about the Bible which you selectively quote like a billboard.

    Which is pretty ironic because I would say no one would believe anything you say about what God is or isn’t and what God did or didn’t do.

  • iseethereforiam

    You’re the one qouting those verses about menstruations (guess that’s a fetish of yours) not me. You’re claiming a woman being bloody between her legs isn’t unclean… Really… So why do they wear tampons? Obviously they didn’t have tampons back then. Women don’t just walk around spewing blood everywhere. They wash themselves during their period for specifically that reason. TO STAY CLEAN, WHICH MEANS, BEFORE THEY WASH THEY ARE UN-CLEAN.
    ————

    1. The “moral” laws in the Old Testament such as killing, stealing, lying, adultery, sexual immorality, and so on are all valid today. Jesus referred often to the Old Testament, and said that He didn’t come to abolish it, but to fulfill it. Although many of the ceremonial and dietary laws of the Old Testament do not apply today, the moral laws do. They are as significant today as they have been throughout history. For example, Leviticus 20:13 states, “If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination….” To suggest that this verse is invalid today is to advocate the dangerous practice of redefining or deleting what God has said. Jesus referred to the Old Testament often in regard to moral behavior.

    The consequences of wrong actions may have changed, but the moral implications remain the same. For instance, even though we no longer stone to death those who commit adultery, this does not mean that adultery is acceptable or any less dangerous. Adultery is wrong even though there aren’t legal consequences.

    2. Jesus condemned “all” sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and woman when He said, “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications…these defile a man” (Matthew 15:19). Jesus was implying that all sexual activity outside of marriage between a man and a woman is harmful and immoral. The word “fornication” in the Greek is porneia; where the word “pornography” comes from. We cannot say, “But I was born this way,” because we were all born to lie, cheat, lust, and deceive, but this doesn’t make it right…it makes us sinful and in need of a Savior.

    3. An argument cannot be based solely on silence. To suggest that Jesus approved of homosexuality simply because He did not use the term “homosexual,” is to imply that He approved of necrophilia, pedophilia, incest, and bestiality. But, of course, we know better.

    4. Other passage in the New Testament are clear on this issue as well. Romans 1:18-32 and 1 Corinthians 6:1-20 are good places to start. In short, mankind did not see fit to acknowledge God and they suppressed the truth; therefore, God gave them over to a depraved mind-to do those things which are not proper. Homosexual behavior, and sexual sin in general, is comparable with dishonoring the body and turning from God. “The sexual disordering of the human race is a judgment of God for exchanging Him for the creature” (John Piper).

    5. Jesus said that since the beginning of creation, God created them male and female in order that they would be joined together and become one flesh. He adds, “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate” (Mark 10:9). Marriage between a man and a woman is God’s plan since creation. No matter how many laws are passed in favor of gay-marriage, it will not change God’s mind. Man often rebels against God; this is nothing new.

    In closing, Jesus would often speak out against sin, but His love and mercy also reached out to those who regretted and hated their condition. Forgiveness is a mark of genuine faith. We should have compassion for those who struggle with same-sex attraction because we all struggle with sin, but at the same time, we should not condone or excuse this type of sin any more than we condone or excuse any other sin.

    It’s obvious that The Bible doesn’t encourage anyone to be LGBT, so lets all stop trying to make it fit those personal desires. That’s the real purpose I see here, is people trying to adapt the Christian faith to accept LGBT lifestyle. It’s not going to work. The Bible isn’t the Bill of Rights, so changing or rewriting or misinterpreting it isn’t compatible with its designed purpose.

    Let Christians do their thing and LGBT do theirs. Don’t force Christians to accept LGBT practices and don’t force LGBT to accept Christian practices.

    I for one don’t care if someone is LGBT: I’m going to love everyone, but love doesn’t require me to accept everyone’s personal choices or desires as my own.

  • Bones

    So women aren’t unclean because they wash themselves better?

    That has to be the dumbest thing I’ve ever read.

    The dishonest one is you who thinks that ancient priestly cleanliness codes are commands from God and who selectively selects Bible verses that correspond to your bigotry.

    And seeing God changed his mind about women being unclean, eating shellfish, wearing two different types of linen, planting two types of crops in the field, polygamy, levirite marriage, capital punishment, religious genocide, rapists marrying their victims and of course slavery, maybe God changed His mind about gays.

    The liar is you who claims to be the mouthpiece of God yet is really a clanging gong which merely shows how stupid and ignorant your beliefs are.

  • Bones

    “We pick and choose the scriptures that we wanna beat folk up with, rather than look at our own lives”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6rHhW3Fnk6I

  • Wordtothewhys

    John – I stumbled on your post hoping to find something… I don’t know… fresh? At least aside from the same responses I’ve been seeing from the “Christian” blogosphere at large to the fundamentalist, intolerant and supposedly unjustified pastors and christians who disagree on this issue. For as frustrating as it is for those who disagree to feel as if the other side isn’t even addressing or hearing the other, instead of talking past one another, If you’d indulge for a moment, could I offer some ideas that hopefully at least help justify the opposing position and perhaps you haven’t already considered? I’m not interested in the Bible debate over the internet or cherry-picking OT passages…

    You stated one of the problems you see with DeYoung is that he is: “bullying Christians who have changed their minds, or are considering changing their minds, on the issue homosexuality”. “Christians”; It is from your own words that I would highlight that you’re presenting a very similar loaded-bait that you’ve pointed out was in DeYoung’s words. Your presuppositions just happen to be different and perhaps unrecognized (as perhaps were his). It seems that you’re assuming the transient, changed, or open position on this issue and others is the orthodox “christian” position, which it was, and is not. So perhaps maybe the problem is in nomenclature as much as the varying opinion on interpretation. Calling someone or something Christian and then changing the basis or motivation for that said thing calls in to question the original purposes and idea of that thing/person. If words don’t have meaning then communication and thus truth is impossible. As such “Christian” needs to hold as an objective definition as a “square”. If I decide that I don’t like corners on my squares I can call them squares, but that doesn’t make them so… You see, for all of us to just pull in our own direction based on the idea that our own interpretations of Scripture or how we feel about God is the correct one would mean that Christianity is based on how we think or we feel, and it is indeed not! So as much as it might rub me or you wrong… or culture, we still have to hold an objective truth, not a subjective one.

    Perhaps another issue being identified, and it is the fault of pastors and churches. Is a complete lack of Biblical teaching in general and a lack of Biblical worldview. This is evident precisely in these kinds of discussions. Everyone seems to feel that their ideas and opinions are to be equally valued etc. uh oh…hide your feelings! THATS NOT BIBLICAL! If pastors started with better Biblical foundations on what it means to be Christian, how we’re saved, what it means to be conformed to the image of Christ and sanctified etc. this would already put to rest much of these discussions. But it’s so very hard, and maybe even impossible to correct these expectations in restrospect because if you’ve assumed it’s ok to be a round square for your life as a shape, it’s going to be a problem when the discussions move to defining shapes.

    So perhaps, to the detriment of the faith, we’ve been too interested in inclusivity (for all the wrong reasons) and now finding dissension among the people when we actually start talking about Biblical ideas. Biblical illiteracy in general is a problem. Allowing the vocal, yet mostly biblically ignorant people to have the public debate is a disservice because no one wins and Scripture loses. DeYoung isn’t Biblically ignorant, but a discussion on exegesis of Scripture against an “I feel” discussion is a losing proposition. I can pull OT passages out all day about things I don’t think we should do, but I also understand that isn’t the law we are under. At the same time, I believe sexual perversions of every kind are VERY clearly spelled out in the NT. This doesn’t have to specifically be highlighted as an anti-homosexual agenda. All of the sins should be equally seen as… well sin. Part of the issue is that the discussion is being called one on homosexuality specifically and then everyone wants to know why the church hates gays or they are being singled out. Well, I don’t think it is being “singled out”, but if you ask about a specific sin, you’re going to get a specific answer. Seems reasonable to me? I don’t see how this is being overlooked. If we are trying to find out if adultery is a problem then you’re going to have the same kind of discussion.
    The Church (as in Christ’s pure body) is infallible, preserved and held in his sovereign power. The church as a corporation and human structure is anything BUT infallible. We are improperly and imperfectly attempting to follow God and His Word. So, don’t point to the actions of the church as the precedent, nor its historic failures, these are man’s problems, but the idea that there still exists an objective good, and truth and the pursuit of this is what it is to be the Church means that we don’t have a perfect model but we have an objective standard.

    I apologize for the length. I’ll stop here – Presuppositions, especially ones that lack perspective are what frame and box this issue in perpetual circuity. I believe your post to DeYoung reveals these kinds of presuppositions, not just as a personal problem, but its also a collective issue for those who self-identify and would raise similar objections to what you have here.

  • > So yes, people can choose to be LGBT

    No, we can’t. I know that I for one had no choice in the matter, and I know tons of LGBT people who ‘choose’ not to be but still are.

  • > Still mixing hygiene, ceremonial and religious laws again, I see?

    The Jews made no such distinction.

  • > Although many of the ceremonial and dietary laws of the Old Testament do not apply today, the moral laws do.

    The Jews made no such distinction between ceremonial, dietary and moral laws. They were all the same to them. The separation is a modern method of trying to categorise them. But if you’re using that argument, then it’s worth noting that the Levitical prohibition against men lying with men is quite likely a ritualistic law, given the link between that and pagan worship practices. We’re also talking about a group of people who needed badly to procreate in order to grow their nation.

    It’s also interesting that the verse parallels similar rules in surrounding cultures that prohibited men lying with other free men – but *not* male slaves, who were considered acceptable sexual objects.

    > Adultery is wrong even though there aren’t legal consequences.

    Yes, but that’s because adultery hurts people. That’s what makes it wrong, just like in pedophilia. Whereas with two gay people who love each other and wish to consummate that love, neither is hurting the other; to the contrary.

    Where is the sin in life-giving, self-sacrificial, romantic love for someone who feels that same love for you? Condemning same-sex attraction – the act of being attracted to and falling in love with the ‘wrong’ gender – as sin has done nothing but caused grave damage and despair to countless people, many of whom resort to drugs and alcohol to numb themselves until it gets to the point where they can’t take it any longer and commit suicide. Those who are Christians end up turning from the faith, being constantly told that God finds one of the highest expressions of their love to be a perverted abomination, unable to change their orientation despite their best efforts and being convinced that it means God has rejected them. Whereas accepting and affirming gay people has brought joy and light and healing to so many lives.

    Jesus said to judge things by their fruit. How can a course of action that often drives people to suicidal despair *and* turns them away from God be considered good fruit in any possible way?

    Even if homosexuality were a sin, accepting it seems to bring people closer to God and make them better, kinder, people more likely to exhibit the fruits of the spirit, which makes it pretty inept at being a sin, and at the very least one of the mildest and not at all deserving of the disproportionate condemnation levelled at it. People should save that vitriol for the sins that actually hurt people.

    > Let Christians do their thing and LGBT do theirs.

    Some of us are both.

  • Bones

    Keep up, stalker.

    I know context is difficult for a troll like you to understand.

  • Bones

    Your God is …..

    But you seem obsessed with me.

    Sorry but I’m married.

  • Bones

    Yawn…..

  • Bones

    That you’re a wanker.

  • Bones

    Nope.

    The old Testament is one Law.

    Nice try. But totally dishonest which is to be expected.

  • Bones

    Nope that’s you, stalker.

  • Bones

    Still being dishonest.

    Why am I not surprised.

  • Bones

    Yes, claiming women as unclean is self-righteous opinion.

  • Bones

    Not anti-Christian.

    Anti-dickheads.

    Like you.

  • Bones

    Look stalker, I’m married.

    Get your jollies with someone else.

    Why would anyone want to be a nutter like you.

  • Bones

    You obviously don’t.

    The breaking of the Torah into different compartments is totally foreign to Jews ie Jesus. It’s an artificial attempt to keep people under the Law.

  • Bones

    Bye bye troll, you won’t be here for very long.

  • Puddin Tane

    BRAVO. So sharing this!