cartoon: wwjd lgbt

Sorry. I don’t know what happened. When I posted my new post on rejection it somehow replaced this morning’s cartoon. This was commissioned by Wendy Gritter for New Direction Ministries for a DVD cover.

About David Hayward

David Hayward runs the blog nakedpastor as a graffiti artist on the walls of religion where he critiques religion… specifically Christianity and the church. He also runs the online community The Lasting Supper where people can help themselves discover, explore and live in spiritual freedom.

  • http://www.bigmama247.com Alise

    Fantastic. Sounds like a great DVD as well. I hope that she is able to get her message out there.

  • http://www.iemergingchurch.net Fred Knowlton

    Where can I get the DVD?

  • Lennart

    Good cartoon.

    I try to preach the same thing, but that still doesn’t mean i think that this particular sin is no sin, just that we’re all sinners and should all be welcome in church.

  • http://rianniello.blogspot.com/ rick

    What does “safe and welcoming place for a gay kid” mean?

    If it means literally a safe and welcoming place for all of us not yet living fully sanctified lives, I get it … just not sure how one does that while calling out one specific sin area.

    If it means accepting practicing (not being tempted) homosexuality as consistent with growing in Christ-likeness then … well that’s a discussion that doesn’t bear fruit here.

  • Brian

    But it does bear much fruit here.

  • http://rianniello.blogspot.com/ rick

    Lennart – I love the old Vineyard phrase (may not be ours originally) of “safe but not comfortable” …

  • dcsloan

    Being gay is not a sin. Being gay is a form of being, of who a person is, of being part of creation as God created it.

    The scripture is not a package of certitudes or a sole authoritative source. To treat the scripture as a sole authoritative source or to live as thought there were only a singular interpretation is to practice idolatry. When “something other than God has been given an absolute status,” then that is idolatry. Faith without a questioning spirit is idolatry (Marcus J. Borg, WashingPost.org, June 14, 2007).

    The Old Testament is parable, poetry, and metaphorical narrative that is meant to provoke questions, inspire reflection, and initiate discussion. The Old Testament is a collection of stories about discovery, exodus-journey-arrival, exile-and-return, of faithfulness in the midst of or out of: success, failure, happiness, tragedy, relationships, disaster, or any blessing or any evil that people can foist on each other. Most, if not all, of the stories of the Old Testament are incomplete and inaccurate records of an oral tradition.

    We are not citizens of ancient Israel and we are not bound in any way by their covenental relationship with God. God expects our faith to grow and mature beyond what was practiced by a wandering desert tribe 3,000 years ago. Our relationship with God is to be informed by what has gone before, not controlled or restrained by it.

  • http://rianniello.blogspot.com/ rick

    brian … see dcsloan’s comments and understand why i say there is not point to conversation here … we share no common base for truth and pressing the conversation leads towards the wrong kind of fruit …

  • Philly-Mom

    I love this. Thank you.

    I am not gay, but I have had gay friends who loved Jesus but had to leave the church because so many people doused them in shame, guilt, and fear.

    They just wanted to read the bible and learn to love God and do his will… but they became a convenient whipping post for angry fearful Christian Heterosexuals.

    Years later, my two gay friends are atheists. A lesbian friend avoids church, having be ‘cast out’ of worship on a few previous occasions.

    Why can’t Christians ACT like Jesus and actually love sinners?

    Anywho – thanks for the cartoon.

  • Philly-Mom

    Oops…
    Theological point of note regarding the use of the highly charged use of the word “sinners” as used in the context of the above text.

    Some Christians believe that the term “sinners” refers to “people who don’t love Jesus”. And, we know that someone loves Jesus when they shop at Christian stores, buy Christian books, hang out with Christians and tithe… um… with some regularity. It doesn’t.

    The term “Sinners” refers to humans who have not yet died and gone to meet Jesus. Sin equals imperfection, and to live breathe and interact with humans, is to be imperfect. Even those of us who follow Jesus (IOW “Christians”) mess up sometimes. We are ALL “Sinners”.

    We are Justified, not Sanctified, through Faith.
    We are Sanctified by the presence and influence of GOD.
    We may strive to live Holy lives, but we are not Holy.
    Only God is Holy. We are Sinners.

    Peace ya’
    - Love, Mom.

  • fishon

    dcsloan

    June 3, 2010 at 8:59 am .Being gay is not a sin.
    ———-Sure it is.

    The scripture is not a package of certitudes or a sole authoritative source. To treat the scripture as a sole authoritative source or to live as thought there were only a singular interpretation is to practice idolatry.
    ———-Of course you believe that—-you don’t believe the Word {Bible} is the infallible Word of God.

    Most, if not all, of the stories of the Old Testament are incomplete and inaccurate records of an oral tradition.
    ———–And you know they are inaccurate, how?
    Oh, I imagine heritic Borg told you. Like he is a better authority than Scripture.

  • dcsloan

    “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.”

    “You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. You shall not bow down to them or worship them;”
    NRSV Exodus 20:2-5a, Deuteronomy 5:6-9a

    Do the first two commandments have any authority?

    God is. There is one God. There is only one God. We are to worship and revere only God. We are to worship and revere God as the only God. We are to worship and revere God as our only source of spiritual authority. We are to worship or revere or give spiritual authority to nothing else – no person, no animal, no object. This singular God is to be worshiped directly and be worshiped only directly. The direct worship of God occurs only between an individual and God. Nothing is to interfere with the direct worship of God. There is no replacement and no alternative and no supplement to the direct worship of God. No enabling or intervening or representative object, animal, or person is needed or required for the direct worship of God. No intercessory, surrogate, substitute, guide, or leader is needed or required for the direct worship of God. The direct worship of God does not require any symbol in the form or presence of any person, animal, or object – including books and the content of those books. The more we try to elevate scripture to a level of indisputable sanctity, the more the scripture enjoins us from doing so.

    Don’t argue with me. Argue with the author of the first two Commandments.

  • fishon

    dcsloan

    June 3, 2010 at 10:46 am
    ——Well, if the Word is not authoritive and infallable, then the Words of the Commandments you cite as evidence for your stand are suspect. You use the very Word of God to support an arguement that the rest of the scriptures are not commanding. You can not have it both ways.

  • bob

    Can a Christian, any Christian, explain to me why anyone should accept or believe the claim that the bible is “authoritive and infallible”?

  • dcsloan

    Worship only God.
    The Bible is not God.
    The Law is not God.

    What is so hard to understand about that?

    The scripture has two support beams:
    One of the scribes came near
    and heard them disputing with one another,
    and seeing that he answered them well,
    he asked him,
    “Which commandment is the first of all?”

    Jesus answered,
    “The first is,
    Hear, O Israel:
    the Lord our God, the Lord is one;
    you shall love the Lord your God
    with all your heart, and
    with all your soul, and
    with all your mind, and
    with all your strength.

    The second is this,
    You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
    There is no other commandment greater than these.”

    Then the scribe said to him,
    You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that
    he is one, and besides him there is no other;
    and
    to love him with all the heart,
    and with all the understanding,
    and with all the strength,
    and
    to love one’s neighbor as oneself,
    – this is much more important
    than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”
    NRSV Mark 12:28-33

    When the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees,
    they gathered together,
    and one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him.
    “Teacher, which commandment in the law is the greatest?”

    He said to him,
    “You shall love the Lord your God
    with all your heart, and
    with all your soul, and
    with all your mind.
    This is the greatest and first commandment.

    And a second is like it:
    You shall love your neighbor as yourself.
    On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.”
    NRSV Matthew 22:34-40

    What is important here is that these two admonitions – “Love the Lord your God” and “Love your neighbor as yourself” were considered central to Jewish theology before Jesus acknowledged them.

    Long before Jesus arrived, it was well understood in Jewish theology that God was calling us forward. The Law called us forward from tribal justice. Through the prophets calling for a “new covenant”, God was calling us forward again. Through Jesus, God was and is calling us forward. All that has happened in the past is informative only, not controlling or restraining.

    You want infallability? You want constancy and permanence? Here it is – “Love the Lord your God” and “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Everything else is superfluous. Neither God nor your neighbor are found in a book. To act as if they were – that is idolatry. To find God and your neighbor in your life – that is faithfulness.

  • http://rianniello.blogspot.com/ rick

    Bob – some of us think it says so but that aside, without that, on what basis would you claim to be a Christian? That’s rhetorical. Feel free to answer but I’m working hard to not “internet debate” …

  • http://rianniello.blogspot.com/ rick

    dcsloan – again, it is pointless to discuss this here. Not only is your logic flawed, your ability to represent even the snippets of Scripture you use is severely lacking.

    You wrote: “Love the Lord your God” and “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Everything else is superfluous.

    You represent God’s Word not unlike the serpent in the garden. “Everything else is superfluous.” Really? Is that what Jesus said? I don’t think so.

  • JP

    “Infallible” is a very unhelpful category in my opinion. When many people use this term they seem to imply that their understanding of scripture is infallible or that there is one correct understanding of scripture that they just happen to have. ALL people who read scripture INTERPRET scripture. We are infallible and scripture is understood by us humans, so whether or not it is infallible, we likely cannot achieve an infallible understanding of it.

    We disagree over the meaning of some or many texts. To say that the original texts are infallible doesn’t help much either. No one has access to the originals and those who might have read them were likely still puzzled by Jesus’ parables & teachings and Paul’s teachings.

    “Authoritative” also raises many questions. But it is a more helpful category than infallible in my opinion.

  • bob

    Rick – “…some of us think it says so but that aside, without that, on what basis would you claim to be a Christian? That’s rhetorical.”

    I don’t pick the bible up much anymore, so I can’t remember where, or even if it claims that it (the bible) is “authoritive and infallible”.

    And I am guessing you believe a person can’t, or shouldn’t claim to be a Christian unless they believe the bible is “authoritive and infallible”? I am not exactly sure what you are saying in the second part of your answer.

    I guess I am just curious if the Christian idea, notion, or belief in the authoritative[ness?] and infallibility of the bible is based more on church dogma or on bible verses. I believe either reason presents problems, which I think should be obvious.

  • Christine

    Rick,

    The term Christian has taken on many different connotations over the years, but I’m not sure that it has ever been a direct reflection of one’s views on how the Bible should be read and interpreted, of which there are a seemingly endless number of opinions out there. Personally, I prefer Christ-follower because I’ve known far top many Christians who are anything but followers of Christ.

    Jesus taught that the commandment to love God and to love your neighbour was the basis of all the law and the prophets and he told a questioning scribe that if he would simply do this he would live. You strongly object to dcsloan’s interpretation that everything beyond those two commandments is superfluous, in other words, that everything else is beyond what is necessary. Whether you like the terminology or not, that is the essence of what Jesus was saying is it not? If you fulfill these two commandments you will have done all that is necessary because everything else comes out of these two. Everything else is the overflow (which by the way is a quite literal definition of superfluous). Paul taught the same thing in Romans and again in Galatians. To quote Galatians, “For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” He doesn’t specifically mention the first commandment to love God here but did not Jesus teach that to love God is to love your neighbour. That is the practical aspect of loving God is it not? Anybody can say they love God, but that is lived out in loving your neighbour.

  • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    Sorry folks, sooner or later I will learn, that last post was not Christine it was me.

  • Regina

    Loving this discussion. If we can’t talk freely, respectfully, here, how else can we grow in wisdom? All of our lives are carefully structured so that we do not have opportunities to actually communicate with those who might think differently from us. This leads to isolation and an inflated assurance of our own infallibility. There are idols everywhere, they give us a sense of security in a very unsafe world.
    This reflects back to the article. It is about a primordial fear, a fear that is so easily assuaged by an idol. But I hear dear nakedpastor responding to his fear with acts of hope and vulnerability. I see that as Christ-like, providing the possibility that the reign of God be made visible in a wounded world.

  • http://rianniello.blogspot.com/ rick

    Bob – authority, infallibility, and inerrancy are all different and all hotly debated. I personally think it is all three and cannot defend that in this space

    The reason I asked the question regarding the basis for Christianity is pretty much one of logic. If we say the Bible is not authoritative and is fallible, then who is defining the word Christian and what would the strength of that argument be? So I’d like to avoid the question “can someone be a Christian without the Bible being infallible or authoritative?” Rather I’m addressing, “can a person define and defend what it is to be a Christian without the Bible?” To that I’m saying “no”. So I’m amazed at those that wear the tag and suggest problems with the Bible. To me, the wearing of the label is worthless if you do that.

    But now we have drifted quite a bit from the conversation on what it means to be a “safe and welcoming place.”

  • http://rianniello.blogspot.com/ rick

    Cindy – once again we are dealing with a misrepresentation of the whole of Scripture. Jesus didn’t say only that to love God was to love our neighbors. He said that if we love Him we would obey Him.

  • fishon

    bob

    June 3, 2010 at 12:04 pm .Can a Christian, any Christian, explain to me why anyone should accept or believe the claim that the bible is “authoritive and infallible”?
    ——–Bob, you, no doubt, have heard most or all the arguements to your question. As a non-believer, are you telling me that you have NOT investigated the reasons Christians give—–or have you rejected just because? No, you know our reasons—–you just want to fight and tells us we are wrong.

  • bob

    Rick – “…can a person define and defend what it is to be a Christian without the Bible?”

    From my perspective, now, as a former believer, I would say that no person, ever, should have to “define and defend what it is to be a Christian”. I do understand the mentality though. As humans, we live by do’s and don’t's, laws, borders, solid yellow lines, etc. But for the most part, the purpose of our laws and regulations is for safety and the continuity of society.

    With regard to Christianity, I wonder why we feel the need to make sure that others who “claim” to be Christians have certain core fundamental beliefs? Why do we insist that they define their “Christianity”, then when we do not like their definition, we require them to defend their definition? Is all of that actually necessary? Is it beneficial? Does it actually result in harmony, fellowship, or conversion? I don’t believe I have ever witnessed a positive result of such define and defend requirements.
    From what I have experienced, it mostly results in separation, and seldom if ever, unity.

  • http://lewisboulton.blogspot.com Lewisur

    You’re all wrong.

    **Insert pointless supporting statement here**
    :)

  • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    Yes Rick, indeed he did. And we obey him by loving our neighbours. Please show me how it is a “misrepresentation of the whole of Scripture” to say that Jesus and those that came after him taught that the fulfilment of the whole of the law is wrapped up in loving your neighbour. And since you believe very strongly in the inerrancy and infallibility of the whole of scripture, please explain to me how you interpret Paul’s very clear statement in Galatians in light of that idea.

  • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    fishon,

    I can’t help but notice a trend here where someone (anyone) asks a question and you answer by saying, you already know our answers. I’m curious as to why you bother answering any such questions in that manner. It seems entirely pointless to me. I have been reading this blog for a few months now and I for one can say that I don’t know your answers to anything, because you avoid answering questions like it was going to give you some incurable disease to do so.

    Just an observation…

  • http://rianniello.blogspot.com/ rick

    Bob …

    1) because there would be no value to calling myself something if it had no meaning. Therefore we define it.
    2) see number 1
    3) to me, yes
    4) yes
    5) my experience, yes
    :)

  • http://rianniello.blogspot.com/ rick

    Cindy – because (1) you limited obeying to “love your neighbor” and (2) you define “love” differently than Scripture does. And discussing this with you continues to prove pointless.

  • Christine

    rick – (this is actually Christine)

    Jesus did indeed say that if we love Him we will obey Him, but Jesus didn’t say one word about homosexuality. The explained the obeying Him is to love Him. He told us to feed the poor, clothe the naked, heal the sick – in short, to love others, to be servants to one another, to usher in the Kingdom of God. And why is obedience to those commands loving Jesus? Because whatever you do for the least of these…

    The person with the rainbow scarf in the cartoon (presumably gay but he could just be a *really* committed ally), does not seem “tempted” or closeted. He seems pretty affirming to me. What is he doing at the wwjd group meeting? Well, there are Christians who do not think the Bible condemns homosexuality (more than most might realize) and who think that God blesses same-sex relationships.

    Whatever you think of that perspective, I think the question the cartoon raises is how are/would/should affirming gay Christians or partnered gay Christians be treated among other Christians.

  • Christine

    rick – Just reading your last post. Yes, Jesus did say more than that – but He did not hold to strict definitions of the law (He broke the Sabbath, for example and said it wasn’t that goes in us – food laws – but whats comes out od us that makes us unclean). I see Him calling us to a purity of heart, moving the murder and adultery commandments, for example, to heart issues and not strictly behaviour in the sermon on the mount. But over and over, the criteria is to love, to not harm others. There’s good stuff about humility in there too.

  • http://rianniello.blogspot.com/ rick

    Christine – glad to be back on topic. To your point, that’s what I thought I asked in my original comment. “If it means literally a safe and welcoming place for all of us not yet living fully sanctified lives, I get it … just not sure how one does that while calling out one specific sin area.” We want people to feel safe but not comfortable. We are to encourage, confront, challenge, etc… That’s true love. I’m not isolating this to homosexuality. If I have an anger issue, I would hope to feel welcome and at the same time I would hope someone would help me understand this is not ok.

  • http://societyvs.wordpress.com/ Societyvs

    “Cindy – once again we are dealing with a misrepresentation of the whole of Scripture” (rick)

    Your telling me, listening to you and fishon act as if your versions of what orthodoxy is and isn’t – isn’t helping. To me, as an outside reader of those comments it seems ‘condescending’ towards someone like dcsloan…who I think did an admirable job of explaining his position on scripture (ie: via the NT lense).

    He may not agree with you nor fishon, but what exactly makes your interpretive wisdom more authoritative than dcsloan’s? No one has laid a single piece of that wisdom down yet, and I wouldn’t mind hearing what make your version ‘more authoritative’? (Since this seems to be the case)

    As for the love your God, love your neighbor (and I’d include ourselves in that as a part 3 of the lense) passages as authoritative on their own – they are a lense for scripture – a paradigm to build from for the rest of the teachings to be filtered through. Jesus, Paul, and James all point to this scripture as ‘fulfilling the law’…which is also based on an earlier Rabbi’s teachings (part of Judaism also). How can one not view that as a key piece in interpretation, as at least the filter for interpretation?

    “Jesus didn’t say only that to love God was to love our neighbors. He said that if we love Him we would obey Him” (Rick)

    True, Jesus didn’t exactly say that – but Paul and James did. In fact, Paul and James both dropped the love God part and simply said ‘love your neighbors as yourself is the fulfillment of the law’. Now to me it’s obvious they are borrowing from Jesus’ teaching – and if one reads back from those 2 writers – it’s not hard to see how loving one’s neighbor is absolutely crucial to loving God.

    I agree with the ‘love him – then obey him’ part as well, isn’t ‘love your neighbors’ an obeyable teaching? In fact, it is. But I get your point, all of scripture is to be looked at with that same respect (obedience). I cannot find a single person in this thread that claims otherwise…it’s really a moot point.

  • Christine

    Okay, so a gay Christian finds such a place and is challenged, confronted, encouraged, and ends up more affirming than where they started. And in every other way, their Christians life is blossoming. They feel perfectly comfortable, even with the challenges and confromtations. Then what?

  • bob

    Rick – “…because there would be no value to calling myself something if it had no meaning. Therefore we define it.”

    Value? To who?
    Meaning? To who?

    If two Christians meet, do they have to define their particular core beliefs before they can enjoy each others companionship (don’t answer that fishon)?
    Is it necessary to iron out the virgin birth, water baptism, and tongues before you can sit down and enjoy time together? My question is – is it necessary?

    I guess this requires some out-of-the-box thinking.

  • http://rianniello.blogspot.com/ rick

    Christine – I think you make a good point in “But over and over, the criteria is to love, to not harm others.” You see the issue is I understand homosexuality as sin. Since I have that view, then the loving thing for me is to confront that. This doesn’t equal screaming and yelling at people, jailing them, murdering them, and the endless list of ugliness demonstrated by people on one side against those on the other. But to be clear, I must confront – that is love.

    If I didn’t find homosexuality to be sin, it would be different. Or if I redefine the Biblical concept of love it would be different.

    But I don’t … so for me, to confront in a loving, safe manner is love. Not “accepting” as is.

  • http://rianniello.blogspot.com/ rick

    Bob – yes.
    :)

    I’m thinking we’re not going to get much further do you?

  • http://societyvs.wordpress.com/ Societyvs

    “We want people to feel safe but not comfortable. We are to encourage, confront, challenge, etc… That’s true love.” (Rick)

    True love is messy my man. I agree it is not always comfortable. One should view love in the best way they can understand it – with the person closest to them that they love (ie: a spouse).

    It is true, in close loving relationships – stuff gets scrutinized and certain actions are not allowed (in fact certain actions may get one the ‘boot’; depending on one’s level of forgiveness). So I agree with Rick here, real love does have an aspect of calling out some problems for the sake of betterment…we all do it in our closest relationships.

    However, there is a dual side to this…the closest relationships I have are ‘comforting’ and ‘content-like’….I would even venture to say they are ‘comfortable’ – thus why we seek them out in our worst of time and our best of times. Real love also seeks this aspect for anyone that finds it.

  • Christine

    rick – I see what you’re saying. And I actually agree with you. But that only makes sense if you see sin as being harmful by definition (otherwise “do no harm” does not equate to “confront sin”). So, do you thjink homosexuality is harmful because it’s sin, or that it’s sin because it’s harmful. (I know then end up being the same, but which comes first, which believe causes the other belief, makes a difference – at least a difference in helping me understand where you are coming from.)

  • http://rianniello.blogspot.com/ rick

    Societyvs – you are playing a game. In terms of arrogance, I can say the same about you. Your response is that of a child’s. And you clearly have little understanding of Truth. So feel free to rail on me but I won’t fall into your trap.

  • Joey

    Thanks David! How blessed we are to have a voice like yours in this unkind, judgmental and damning world of the Church!

  • bob

    “I’m thinking we’re not going to get much further do you?”

    Much further?…we actually regressed :(

  • http://rianniello.blogspot.com/ rick

    Christine – so in the end I think we come back to the bottom line which is we have different understanding of Scripture regarding homosexuality. I don’t hate you. I don’t feel anger toward you. I simply feel compelled to say, “hey, I don’t see it that way.”

    Peace and grace to you.

  • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    Rick,

    You really don’t get it do you. I did not “limit” obeying to loving. There is nothing limiting about love. And what I said was that if you truly fulfill this commandment you, you will have fulfilled all of the law, in other words, be in perfect obedience. How is it that you can such assured claims that love alone cannot fulfill the law, yet at the same time, you cannot answer a very simple straightforward question as to how you interpret Paul’s claim in Galatians that it does.

    And yes, I suspect that I define love very differently from your narrow interpretation of scripture. That is not to say that I necessarily define love different than actual scripture but I would be the first to admit that I am still learning what it truly means to love and suspect I will continue on that journey for the rest of my days on this earth. But then again, I also believe that if I was walking in perfect love, I would in fact have reached perfection in every way and that certainly is far from the case.

    It’s nice that you can dismiss me so easily. Is that part of your understanding of scriptural love?

  • bob

    Rick – “Societyvs – you are playing a game. In terms of arrogance, I can say the same about you. Your response is that of a child’s. And you clearly have little understanding of Truth. So feel free to rail on me but I won’t fall into your trap.”

    And suddenly, the peacock flared it’s tail.

  • http://rianniello.blogspot.com/ rick

    Bob – see, I was thinking Societyvs did that.

  • Christine

    Thanks, rick. Grace and peace to you, too.

    I agree there is just a difference of understanding. And often I feel equally compelled to say, “hey, I don’t see it that way.” I think that’s ok. I guess what I’m wondering is what a Christian space looks like when people with my view and people with yours meet together as the Body of Christ, like perhaps in the cartoon?

  • http://rianniello.blogspot.com/ rick

    Cindy – no, I think love involves restoration, repentance, growth, etc… As noted to Christine, because I see homosexuality as sin, I feel compelled to confront that. If you don’t see homosexuality as sin, then of you wouldn’t.

    But that aside, I wasn’t trying to dismiss you. I understood you to limit love to some sense of acceptance and not confrontation, refuting, etc… If I misunderstood, sorry. If not, then I stand by the statement that I see your definition as limited and mine broader.

  • http://rianniello.blogspot.com/ rick

    Christine – as a leader in a faith community, I really struggle with that one. I’ve erred to both sides. That is, I’ve been too hard and I’ve been to soft. I have not found a good place and so I say, follow the Spirit.

  • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    I’m sorry Rick if I said anything to give you the impression that love is limited to some sense of acceptance and never involves confrontation. I’m not sure what I might have said that would have given you that impression, but that certainly wasn’t my intent. If I love someone and see them doing something that is harmful to themselves or others, love would certainly compel me to confront such things, though doing so in a truly loving fashion always proves to be a challenge and one that I tend to approach with much fear and trembling. After all, when your motivation is truly one of love it is not about being right but about facilitating positive change. This is in fact why I cannot accept most (not all) of how Christians who believe homosexuality to be sin approach homosexuals as being at all motivated by love.

    I too would like to know if you believe homosexuality to be inherently harmful, or if you just believe that it is sin because it is breaking what you see as an arbitrary law.

  • Christine

    Thanks, rick. I agree that it’s a difficult thing to navigate. I’m part of a community that has members with both views, and we make it work (at least I think we do, but I’m sure not all people who hold the other view would see our way of coping as a success).

    I’m not sure what being being too hard or too soft means in practice. What do you mean by hard and soft?

  • http://rianniello.blogspot.com/ rick

    Cindy – Again, my bad … I misunderstood you.

    I happen to be very, very much in love with someone that at one point proclaimed they were homosexual and that the God of the Bible was ok with that, i.e., it wasn’t a sin. And I interact with others at various levels of relationship without any issues so far – well except internet arguments – most of which I regret.

    Today, the person I said I love deeply would say they still are sometimes tempted with same sex attraction on an emotional (not sexual) level but now desire a relationship with the opposite sex and they think God does not see homosexuality as ok. For my other relationships, frankly these are not the type of relationships that sexuality would come up in conversation and therefore there hasn’t been an issue. I guess the point here is that in casual relationship, these folks haven’t felt hated, feared, whatever …

    To your question, I’ll overlook “arbitrary” … :)

    I think it is inherently harmful but I should confess that I would be hard pressed to write out in a convincing way why. Fundamentally I completely embrace that homosexuality is against God’s base design and by definition that leads to harm. And because my worldview is such, any tiny bit of data that supports that is latched onto by my brain as true and anything contrary is rejected. I wish I could force myself to think otherwise but I cannot. On the other hand, I haven’t found others on either side of this or any other value-system type debate fairing much better than I do.

  • Christine

    I think there are places where the debate, or the conversation (depending on where you are) does fair very well. Not here, by the way – we rarely manage to discuss the actually theology, at least not with more than one perspective represented, and when it’s just one group it’s about the details, not how we got to the common assumptions of the group. But it does do well in places, and more than forums, the books and material out there, on both sides, is getting to be of much higher caliber.

    What is becoming quite clear (actually, what has been accepted for decades) is that homosexuality isn’t inherently harmful in any way we can measure. Socially, psyschologically, physically, emotionally, etc. It is no btter or worse for the person in question or by those affected by them to be gay or straight.

    Now, I think sin can be harmful in our walk with God even when it isn’t harmful in these other ways. But that’s why I mention the Christian that grows in their relationship with God, unhindered by their same-sex relationship, all the good fruit in people’s lives. It’s hard to say that the harm is there when in addition to all those things above, someone’s spiritual walk is unaffected.

    So, I guess that brings is to the question of whether something can be sin without being in any way harmful, if there could be a sin with no consequences of any kind (hence Cindy’s use of the word “arbitrary”) – which seems very difficult to believe as scripture tells us clearly about all the bad consequences of sin, that it leads to death.

  • http://rianniello.blogspot.com/ rick

    Christine – I have “kicked” someone out of our community for living/practicing an open, obvious sin with no sense of it’s wrongness and desire to change. It was not homosexuality. In retrospect, I do not think I went far enough in an attempt to restore this person to a place of wholeness. That was the too hard.

    On the flip side, I serve side-by-side with some people who are also living/practicing an open, obvious sin (again not homosexuality) who would say it’s wrong but aren’t taking any steps to change their direction. Aside from just listening to their story, I haven’t interacted with them on this point at all. That was the too soft.

    I do some work with the homeless and I participate in providing food and household items to lower income housing areas. In those I interact with several who are visibly homosexual (I hate stereotypes but sometimes …). Because of the nature of those relationships, there has not been a time I considered it appropriate to discuss sexuality and therefore it hasn’t come up. That’s an example of appropriate.

    I have a family member I love dearly that believed they were homosexual and that it was ok. I confronted them on the basis of our close relationship. We discussed it many, many times, and at least at this point in their journey they would now say they see homosexuality as sin from which they need redemption just as I do from pornography. Right now, we are both living practice free and relatively temptation free. That’s another example of appropriate but very different than the one above.

    Net, it depends heavily on the nature of the relationship and the situation.

    I have a friend that interviewed a homosexual christian solely because the person was a practicing lesbian and saw it as consistent with Christ-likeness. My friend said nothing to this person about the wrongness of her lifestyle. In fact he joined in with her speaking of the problems with Church, the hypocrisy of many, etc… HE was furious that I said he was wrong. I tried to convey that if he was interviewing this woman because of her knowledge of finances, some insight she had to some particular theological dilemma, her thoughts on the Israeli blockade, whatever, then of course I wouldn’t expect him to bring up her sexuality. But he picked her because of her sexuality, they spoke of her sexuality, and he never hinted at sin and in fact supported her disdain for those she saw as disdaining her.

    Bottom line, I don’t get those that go around screaming at others. At the same time, if we are talking about something, then talk about it.

    Sorry – rambling now … I’m trying to say I have no formulas but I have been displeased with myself on many occasions.

  • Christine

    Thanks, rick. I appreciate the specifics. I can see the too hard and too soft, and the appropriate. That makes sense. (I assume your friend who interviewed the woman also thinks it’s a sin.)

    I guess where I see this issue as being different from others is that word “obvious”. Some sins are very clearly destructive. There are some that are addressed quite directly and unquestionaly in scripture (although perhaps there’s always some context to be taken into account). Whatever one’s personal view on homosexuality, the answer is not obvious. The schism in the church on the issue confirms this.

    So, even if we always knew how to act when somthing is unquestionably sin, what do we do if some people believe it sin and many others don’t – and both groups with well researched and deeply theological understandings of the issue?

  • http://rianniello.blogspot.com/ rick

    Christine – again. Very insightful and that is the crux of the issue, what is sin? Or from a positive spin, why would we obey whatever we define as something that should be obeyed.

    My small group just did an overview of some of the covenants. My take; we obey because that is what reflects God’s nature and glorifies Him. It is only a side benefit that these “rules” may do us good. Now how does being “straight” v. being “gay” reflect or not reflect God … I can speculate, make up all kinds of arguable stuff, whatever … but from my perspective, the idea that something may not be harmful does sway me – and I get that many may be appalled that I think that way but I do.

    It doesn’t make me a hater or a homophobe. I just see it as sin and I feel compelled to help those I’m in relationship with find freedom and to reflect the glory of God.

  • http://rianniello.blogspot.com/ rick

    Hey guys – I’ve enjoyed the banter but I have to run now … and I’m no good at follow-up days later so I’m going to turn off the comment subscription. My brother – a convicted multiple murderer and several times divorced and remarried (you can decide which is worse … just joking around here) and who has received God’s grace and is now living his life to God’s glory – and his family are coming to town any minute. Big family time this weekend. I love him and celebrate His repentance and desire to glorify God. We can be changed – even me. Praise God!

  • Christine

    Hi, rick. Wow, that’s amazing. I wish you a wonderful weekend. I’ll go ahead and continue to respond to your comments – you might be able to catch up later or others may wish to chime in.

    I think rick made a very interesting statment: “we obey because that is what reflects God’s nature and glorifies Him.” Now, I’m not sure I would agree that the avoiding harm (particularly the avoiding doing harm to others) is only a “side benefit”, but I think there is something meaningful in trying to reflect God’s nature and to glorify Him, even aside from benefit or harm, that there is something wonderful in that that is worthy of obedience for its own sake.

    rick goes ahead and then asks the crucial question: “how does being “straight” v. being “gay” reflect or not reflect God”? This is a very good question and one we haven’t discussed directly before.

    This is a deep question, one that discusses God’s nature, it begs the question: “what are we reflecting?”

  • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    I too wish you a wonderful weekend Rick. Enjoy your family time, it is quite precious.

    Personally, I don’t see being straight or gay as having anything to do with our ability to reflect the image of God or bring Glory to Him. Though I’d love to be enlightened as to how anybody else might see this. I do believe that healthy, loving relationships of all sorts can bring glory to God. Not only romantic relationships but also friendships, parent/child relationships, etc. When it comes to romantic relationships, I think a loving committed relationship between two people, regardless of gender, certainly can bring glory to God as well as playing a role in helping both people involved to grow in Christ-likeness and better understand the incredible love that God has for us. I just don’t see how the gay-straight divide has any impact on that one way or the other…

  • The Apostle Paul

    Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

    For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

    And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving, unmerciful; who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them.

    Romans 2

  • http://societyvs.wordpress.com/ Societyvs

    “Societyvs – you are playing a game. In terms of arrogance, I can say the same about you. Your response is that of a child’s. And you clearly have little understanding of Truth. So feel free to rail on me but I won’t fall into your trap” (Rick)

    Huh? What game exactly? This is the second time I have been suggested of doing this – first time oddly enough was fishon. I merely followed the conversation to it’s logical end and nothing more…about the authority of one’s interpretation (since we were mentioning the authority of scripture). I merely threw out the exact questions that were not answered.

    I even went back and re-read it all a few times just to make sure your claim was accurate…it isn’t. Then on top of that you slander me (you clearly have little understanding of Truth)…and say ‘I am railing on you’? Thats some strange reasoning going on there.

    How do you know what it is I know about God or about Capital ‘T’ truth? You cannot even answer a very easy question posed at you because you don’t want ‘the conversation to lead towards the wrong kind of fruit’…again since no one is calling anyone names here nor demeaning their faith how can that even happen – unless it is somewhere in your thinking is where this will come from? Don’t lay that trip on me I have no reason to nail someone to the wall for believing differently.

    That being said, on the question of infallibilty of scripture – I believe there is tonnes of truth to be learned from it. I think it is authoritative, at least for my life. But I am aware of it’s limitations and ours as well (as limited beings in a context of time).

  • Heather

    Christine – “He told us to feed the poor, clothe the naked, heal the sick – in short, to love others, to be servants to one another, to usher in the Kingdom of God.” “do you think homosexuality is harmful because it’s sin, or that it’s sin because it’s harmful.”

    The Kingdom of God is within, not without. Luke 17:20-21 God tried changing people from the “outside in” in the Old Testament and then changed his tactic in the New Testament to “inside out” Hebrews 10:16-17. Doing good to others is Christ-like but it can never usher the Kingdom of God inside of someone. Only faith and repentance can do that. Love others all you want, but if you don’t love God it profits you nothing. Following the law cannot save you.

    I do think homosexuality is a sin, but it’s not a sin just because it’s harmful. It’s a sin because it goes against God’s character when you deny the natural use he gave it. Any defense on your part will require you to redefine “natural use” and “God’s character”. You can redefine anything you want and make it mean anything you want but you’re only going to convince yourself and deceive others. Does God make beings who are supposed to deny the natural use of the body? I would say no. Denying the natural use of the body is a product of sin being passed on from generation to generation, not an intention or a fault of God.

    Dcsloan – The scripture is not a package of certitudes or a sole authoritative source. To treat the scripture as a sole authoritative source or to live as though it were only a singular interpretation is to practice idolatry. “Love the Lord your God” and “Love your neighbor as yourself”. Everything else is superfluous.

    Psa 138:2 “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.”

    Clearly, living by the word of God is not idolatry or else you would have to accuse God of the same thing. God’s word is an extension of his character. He is showing you what he is like, his personality. His word can only have a singular interpretation because he does not have multiple personalities.

    Rick – If it means accepting practicing (not being tempted) homosexuality as consistent with growing in Christ-likeness then … well that’s a discussion that doesn’t bear fruit here.

    You are right. People can believe whatever they want if they think that the Scripture is relative, redefine what it says, or just think it’s a bunch of stories or parables. Cast not your pearls before swine.

  • http://thepreacherlady.wordpress.com preacherlady

    This issue of homosexuality has been discussed on here several times. Before we can even begin to discuss it…along with most every other issue…we need to realize that scripture isn’t clear about most of the things we disagree about. If it were clear, there would be no discussion, we would all see that it says such and so. If scripture were clear, we wouldn’t have so many denominations. Just the difference in what words meant thousands of years ago colors what it says…and then there are so many translations. And yes, there are those of you who won’t use any but the King James.The King James is true to what the words meant then…not now. Even in this present time, words have different meanings to different people. If I go to Providence Rhode Island and order a regular coffee in a restaurant I will get coffee with cream and sugar. Do the same thing in Chicago and I’ll get black caffinated coffee. A thousand miles and the same phrase means two different things. If something as simple as a cup of coffee can be misunderstood how much more can the things of God be misunderstood?

    Why must we speak with venom and condemnation, declaring that we have THE ONE TRUE WAY? None of has THE TRUTH…at least the whole truth, and we won’t until we leave this planet. Why can’t we discuss? Why can’t we come to a place where we can say I believe, or my denomination believes, or my understanding of that piece of scripture is, rather than making declarations that your way is the only way, and that anyone who believes otherwise is not only wrong but headed for eternal damnation? We have a document that is thousands of years old that has been rewritten, retranslated, edited, altered, and who knows what. No, the essence has not been lost, but individual verses and words have certainly been played with. Sit down with a dozen modern translations. They are doctrinely slanted as are the explainations at the beginning of each book. Go back in the ages and the Vulgate is doctrinely slanted. The bible isn’t inerrant and we are not infallible. The bible is a wonderful guide to our faith and it tells of the faith journeys of those who went before us, but some of it is just not applicable to today.

  • http://irrelevantaxiom.wordpress.com Daniel

    The Apostle Paul,

    It’s not like these people haven’t read that par of the Bible before. They just see it differently than you do.

  • Christine

    Thanks, Daniel. But dear St. Paul joining us for this discussion from the grave didn’t actually interpret his words for us (nor does he seem impressed by our divisions of his letter – we would normally refer to that as being in Romans 1, but I guess, dear Paul, you are setting the record straight).

    Paul, I love the wonderful letter you wrote to the Romans. It’s my favourite part of scripture. I love how you first show the Jewish Romans that you know exactly how they are feeling, their fears and insecurities against the Gentiles, in those passages, so in your second chapter (by our divisions) you can turn the tables on them.

    I appreciate you separating the gay sex reference from the part where you talk about sin and immorality. I know you couldn’t have known then there would be healthy, committed gay relationships, but I guess you were just that sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. You knew the truth that we no longer live under the law, and so avoided any strictly ethical terms to discuss something which was only forbiden under the law – something so important for when you finally got to the issue in that community – food laws – and taught them so much more about what Jesus accomplished for us all. If anyone knows that redemption, you do.

    And thanks fo saying later on that God does the “para physin” too. And for allusing to Genesis and creation in Galatians where you say there is no klonger any “male and female”. Thanks for making sure it was clear what we are all equal in Christ.

    I know you needed to give some very practical advice to communities where women and men weren’t equal. Don’t worry, I didn’t take it personally. I’m glad you’re back with us again, even for just this little while, so that so can see how far we have progressed as a society. I’m sure it comforts you that we have moved so much closer to that pure and practiced equality that you spoke about so often. We owe much of it to you.

    So, thanks Paul.

  • Christine

    (In case anyone think I have totally gone off the deep end, yes, I know that isn’t actually Paul. Just thought if someone else wanted to play dress up, I could play along.)

  • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    Hi Heather,

    Welcome aboard. I hope you don’t mind if I respond to a few things you’ve said. I don’t mind putting my “pearls” out there as I can’t seem to bring myself to write off any brother or sister in Christ as “swine”. After all, Jesus did say that anybody that calls his brother a fool is in danger of the judgement and we certainly don’t want to go there now do we. So I thought I’d offer just a few points of contention that I have with your post. I hope you won’t be offended by my disagreement as I do in fact welcome an open dialogue with you.

    You said, “The Kingdom of God is within, not without. Luke 17:20-21 God tried changing people from the “outside in” in the Old Testament and then changed his tactic in the New Testament to “inside out” Hebrews 10:16-17. Doing good to others is Christ-like but it can never usher the Kingdom of God inside of someone. Only faith and repentance can do that. Love others all you want, but if you don’t love God it profits you nothing. Following the law cannot save you.”

    First of all, I like your description of God trying to change people from the “outside in” in the Old Testament and then from the “inside out” in the New Testament. It’s certainly not a thorough description but I think it is fairly in line with the message of the famously named Sermon on the Mount where Jesus cuts to the heart of the matter rather than the actions that were being focused on. And I absolutely agree that following the law cannot save anyone. In fact, I suspect, though I could be wrong, that I believe that even more than you do, that is to say that I put far less importance in following law than you do. I do have to somewhat disagree with this statement of yours though, “Love others all you want, but if you don’t love God it profits you nothing.” I don’t believe that message is particularly consistent with much of New Testament teaching. Perhaps what you really meant to say was, “Do good to others all you want, but if you don’t love it profits you nothing.” Which is actually pretty much the message of the, oh so famous, love passage in Corinthians. You see, you can’t really love people the way we are called to without the love of God flowing through you. I suspect this is why both Paul and James were entirely comfortable in saying that the commandment to love your neighbour as yourself was the complete fulfillment of the law, whereas Jesus had said that the first and most important commandment was to love God and then the second was to love your neighbour. They were not saying that as long as you love your neighbour, you don’t need to love God. That would be ridiculous. Rather, they understood that to truly love your neighbour (as Jesus defined your neighbour, not just the people you’re comfortable living next door to) you absolutely must rely on the love of God. Anybody can love people who love them, but Jesus taught us that we must love our enemies. Jesus showed us what it really means to love people when he willing went to the cross for people that showed nothing but contempt for him. This sort of love you cannot have apart from the love of God.

    You said, “I do think homosexuality is a sin, but it’s not a sin just because it’s harmful. It’s a sin because it goes against God’s character when you deny the natural use he gave it. Any defense on your part will require you to redefine “natural use” and “God’s character”. You can redefine anything you want and make it mean anything you want but you’re only going to convince yourself and deceive others. Does God make beings who are supposed to deny the natural use of the body? I would say no. Denying the natural use of the body is a product of sin being passed on from generation to generation, not an intention or a fault of God.”

    First of all, I fail to see how God’s character is defined by sex. Frankly, that’s a bit much. Exactly what part of God’s character do you see as requiring that every woman have sex with a man and vice versa? I think our bodies were meant for far more than just sex. And I’m curious as to whether you would also see Paul as “denying the natural use of the body” because he practised (and also encouraged others to practice) celibacy. Was he denying the natural use of his body? Was Jesus, who was also celibate (unless we are to believe the ridiculous conspiracy theory of the Da Vinci code)? And if indeed sex with the opposite sex is the natural use of our bodies and God does not make beings who are supposed to deny the natural use of their bodies, how do you explain that Jesus himself said that there are those that are born eunuchs? Ah, but perhaps what you really meant to say was that it is perfectly fine to deny the so called “natural use” of our bodies as long as we do not replace said natural use with an “unnatural use” in the form of sex with someone of the same sex instead of the opposite sex. Is that what you really meant?

    You get this “natural use” argument of course from a particular translation and interpretation of what Paul said in Romans one. I must ask you though, how you can be so very certain that you have the correct understanding of what Paul meant by the word that he used which later got translated into “natural use”? Is it because you feel there is only one possible way to see that? Are you certain that this word means the way God created us? Does it always mean that, or only when that suits your particular beliefs? I ask this because, if you do just a small amount of study on the Greek word being used by Paul in Romans one, you will find that he uses the same word in at least two other places where your interpretation (which you claim anyone with another interpretation is deceitfully redefining the terms) absolutely does not fit. In one place, Paul refers to “nature” (same Greek word) as teaching us that men should have short hair. So, if we refuse to “redefine” the word here from what you are convinced it means in Romans one, what are we left with? We are left having to believe that a man’s hair does not grow long naturally. I would love to hear you explain that one to any barber. Perhaps you would like to argue that men’s hair growing long if left to its own devices is “a product of sin being passed on from generation to generation, not an intention or a fault of God”? Curiously though, I recall a story back in the Old Testament of a man named Samson who lost his strength because his long hair was cut. It seems to me the idea of “nature” teaching us that men should have short hair works so much better if we “redefine” the word being translated nature here as having to do with what was culturally accepted rather than what happens naturally. But surely we aren’t allowed to “redefine” it here if it would be deceitful to “redefine” it in the case of Romans one.

    The other place where Paul uses the same wording of going against nature is actually referring to an action of God. That’s a really sticky one because now to avoid any “redefining” we have to say that God did something that was against His own created intentions when He made a way for us gentiles to enter into fellowship with Him. I’m referring of course to the passage where Paul talks about how the wild olive branch (gentiles) was grafted into the vine (God) when the cultivated olive branch (Israel) was cut off. So here, I suppose we must say that God’s intentional created order, before sin messed anything up, was to exclude us gentiles. Now I thought that there was no distinction of peoples prior to the consequences of sin, just as there is no distinction now in Christ, but that doesn’t fit with our one and only possible definition of what natural use means. That’s quite a statement you have to make to insist that there is only one possible way to “define” what that Greek word means.

    You said, “God’s word is an extension of his character. He is showing you what he is like, his personality. His word can only have a singular interpretation because he does not have multiple personalities.”

    You do realize that saying that a passage can be understood different ways and saying that it actually means all those different things is not one and the same thing right? Multiple personalities? Nobody here is claiming that any scripture actually means multiple things that are mutually exclusive. There are many hidden treasures in what God has inspired but none of them mean that God has “multiple personalities”. However, what we are saying is that neither you, nor I, nor anyone else on this blog or elsewhere has the correct understanding of everything God has said and inspired. This is why we need to be humble in our dealings with each other and always take the attitude that we still have much to learn and others may have a better understanding of some things than we do. And thus we should discuss, dialogue, disagree at times, but love each other and respect each other as we all work through these things that can often be difficult and hard to understand and anything but crystal clear. Second Peter even warns us specifically that some of Paul’s writings can be particularly hard to understand and easily misapplied. Do you in fact believe that you know infallibly what this one singular interpretation of scripture is in every area? I hope not, because that would be the heights of arrogance and pride and we all know that God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. I know I certainly don’t have it all figured out. In fact, I have already in my relatively short time here on earth, come to find many things I once thought certain to be in fact untrue. And I suspect that I will continue to learn and grow (and perhaps sometimes digress) as long as I am here in this life seeing through a glass darkly until I see God face to face.

    In one last point, just because it never ceases to amaze me, you quoted Psalm 138:2, “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I got the distinct impression from the context in which you quoted this scripture that you believe this to be a reference to the bible (frequently referred to as God’s Word). I’m going to assume that you have at least a basic understanding of how the bible as the particular collection of scripture that we have today came into being, so I won’t go into that. But I simply have to ask how you could possibly see this as a reference to the bible?

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ steve martin

    Jesus would forgive the gay person and then say,”go and sin no more.”

    Yes, homosexuality is a sin. Yes, He died for that one too. No, it’s not ok to affirm sin. Yes, we ought be welcoming but not of sin…the sinner, yes..the sin, no.

  • fishon

    Cindy

    June 3, 2010 at 1:33 pm .fishon,

    I can’t help but notice a trend here where someone (anyone) asks a question and you answer by saying, you already know our answers. I’m curious as to why you bother answering any such questions in that manner. It seems entirely pointless to me. I have been reading this blog for a few months now and I for one can say that I don’t know your answers to anything, because you avoid answering questions like it was going to give you some incurable disease to do so.

    Just an observation…
    ———-Ok, Cindy, what might be a question of me.
    Oh, by the way, you might ask Alice if she has much of a problem knowing where I stand on most thing we talk about here. And I dare say, if you ask NP if he knows where I stand on things discussed here. ASK THEM.

    And I would challenge you, Cindy to point out more than two times that I have used that. Talk is cheap. Show me.

  • Heather

    Cindy,

    “I put far less importance in following law than you do.” I’m sure you do. However, being a Christian doesn’t mean we aren’t meant to follow it. If not, what would be the point of God writing his laws into our hearts? We fulfill the law. The law is still an extension of God’s character. Where others do not follow it, we must still loving instruct or lovingly discipline them.

    (Rom 7:7-8) What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
    (Rom 8:3-4) For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    (1Jn 2:3) And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
    Gal 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

    However, anyone who has spent any time as a Christian well knows that they do not follow the law much of the time because of the battle between the flesh and the spirit.

    1Jn 1:8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
    1Jn 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    1Jn 1:10 If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.

    But, this does not exempt us from seeking to have the sin out of our lives.

    Psa 139:23-24 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

    As far as your view of homosexuality not being a sin, I believe you are making the Bible fit your lifestyle and not the other way around. You are denying the nature of the body God gave you, but instead burn in the lust of the flesh. Maybe you are a slave to your flesh.

    1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.

  • http://thepreacherlady.wordpress.com preacherlady

    Jerry…I hate to disappoint you, but many times you are evasive when you are asked a straight out question. You answer with another question that is sort of connected, you say we already know how you’re going to answer, or, on some occaisions, you attack. I don’t have the time right now…its 2am and I have a workshop to give tomorrow…but if you go through your comments you’ll see that we don’t always know where you’re coming from. Other times, there’s no mistaking it…you are flat out blunt, but you’ve frustrated me more than once with circular reasoning, throwing in a red herring, or saying”you’re a smart person, you figure it out.” Alice

  • http://societyvs.wordpress.com/ Societyvs

    “As far as your view of homosexuality not being a sin, I believe you are making the Bible fit your lifestyle and not the other way around. You are denying the nature of the body God gave you, but instead burn in the lust of the flesh. Maybe you are a slave to your flesh” (Heather)

    Heather, are you a Canadian or American? Do you believe in democracy? Is the country you live in Capitalist? Is slavery still allowed in that country?

    The fact of the matter is we are all making the bible live up to our current cultural standards in one way or another. The bible adpats to out time frame and not the other way around, and that’s not such an un-biblical thing…we see a movement and change in God (from a human viewpoint) in scripture from Genesis, to the Torah, to Judges, to Kings, to Prophets, and then the NT. Thats just the way it is.

    The fact of the matter is, in the West, we interpret scripture through the lens of the rights we are afforded here…and through a Capitalistic lense as well. Whole faiths are built on this premise…capitalizing on the market via books or even offerings. I would fit more into socialism than into capitalism – but that’s a judgment call…neither system existed when he was around, neither did Canada and America, neither did actual democracy, but slavery did.

    Funny thing about slavery – there are laws allowing it in the Torah (same place we find these homosexual references). Heather, do you think it is okay to ‘own’ a slave? Well the bible thinks so, even Paul was okay with the practice. If you said no, aren’t you also trying to make the bible meet your ‘lifestyle’?

    I just think Christians want to fall back on the position that opposes the gay community – because we don’t like to imagine what happens sexually with these groups (which is in fact none of our business whatsoever). We use scripture to bang and blame the group…thinking we have some niche market on this. I don’t think scripture will be there to back us at the end of the day.

  • http://societyvs.wordpress.com/ Societyvs

    “I would fit more into socialism…” (Svs)

    Should read ‘I think Jesus would fit more into socialism…’

  • http://societyvs.wordpress.com/ Societyvs

    “Jesus would forgive the gay person and then say,”go and sin no more.”” (Steve)

    Prove it.

    Wait…you can’t with just Jesus’ own words in the NT correct? The problem with bringing Jesus into this debate:

    (a) He never mentions the issue – ever – best answer for Jesus on this issue would be ‘no comment’

    (b) The closest he does get to mentioning it in 2 instances (for both sides; marriage and eunuchs) is where somthing has to be ‘insinuated’ (may not actually be there).

    (c) Jesus railed on a lot of things in the NT: adultery, murder, lying, hate/forgiveness, idolatry…pretty much the totality of the 10 commandments and many issues within the law…but oddly enough he skipped ‘homosexuality’. Don’t you, as someone who follows Jesus as you Lord, find that very odd – for as much of an issue is raised about this ‘sin’? Jesus just kinda didn’t see it coming I guess.

  • http://irrelevantaxiom.wordpress.com Daniel

    Societyvs,

    Property in foreign slaves was a patriarchal custom Gen_17:12. Such slaves might be captives taken in war (Num_31:6 following; Deu_20:14), or those consigned to slavery for their crimes, or those purchased of foreign slave-dealers. However, it was the object of Moses, not at once to do away with slavery, but to discourage and to mitigate it. The Law would not suffer it to be forgotten that the slave was a man, and protected him in every way that was possible at the time against the injustice or cruelty of his master. For example:
    Killing a slave merited punishment.1 (Ex 21:20) Permanently injured slaves had to be set free (Ex 21:26-27) Slaves who ran away from oppressive masters were effectively freed (Dt 23:15-16) The law also gave slaves a day of rest every week (Ex 20:10, Dt 5:14). When one Hebrew owned another Hebrew as a slave, the law commanded lenient treatment: Slaves were to be treated as hired workers, not slaves (Lev 25:39-43) All slaves were to be freed after six years (Ex 21:2, Dt 15:12) Freed slaves were to be liberally supplied with grain, wine and livestock (Dt 15:12-15) Every fiftieth year (the year of jubilee), all Hebrew slaves were to be freed, even those owned by foreigners (Lev 25:10, 47-54) In special cases, slaves could choose to remain with their masters if they felt it was in their best interests (Dt 15:16-17). If a Hebrew sold himself as a slave to a foreigner, he reserved the right to buy his freedom (Lev 25:47-49) and was still to be treated as a hired man (Lev 25:53). Laws like this made it hard to hold on to slaves. This example of slavery is not at all like we think of slavery today. And it was eventually done away with which was the real goal. It was never God’s intention that slavery should exist. This is a fault of man, not a fault of God. Why do you blame him for the sins of humanity?

  • Heather

    Societyvs,

    “Heather, are you a Canadian or American? Do you believe in democracy? Is the country you live in Capitalist? Is slavery still allowed in that country?”

    What does this have to do with anything?

    “The fact of the matter is we are all making the bible live up to our current cultural standards in one way or another. The bible adpats to out time frame and not the other way around, and that’s not such an un-biblical thing”

    Luk 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

    You love society more than God. Try reversing that.

    Daniel,

    Thanks for the clarification on slavery. If people did more research they wouldn’t ask these questions. Maybe the Bible isn’t as hard to understand as these people make it out to be.

  • http://irrelevantaxiom.wordpress.com Daniel

    “He never mentions the issue – ever – best answer for Jesus on this issue would be ‘no comment’”

    Maybe you think Jesus isn’t God? Why do you accept the words in red and find fault with the rest of the Bible?

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

    Jesus is the Word.

  • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    Heather,

    ““I put far less importance in following law than you do.” I’m sure you do. However, being a Christian doesn’t mean we aren’t meant to follow it. If not, what would be the point of God writing his laws into our hearts? We fulfill the law. The law is still an extension of God’s character. Where others do not follow it, we must still loving instruct or lovingly discipline them.”

    Seriously? Are you kosher? Do you wear only fabrics of a single material? You at least attempt to do this right, even if you fail at some times. You must, if you in fact believe that you are still meant to follow the law. You absolutely cannot pick and choose and still be a follower of the law. If you offend in one part, then you offend in all. So if you are going to follow the law, you have to go all the way. If that is indeed what you feel is required of you, I highly recommend you go on youtube and search for AJ Jacobs and the Year of Living Biblically. His attempt to follow the law for one full year was quite revealing as to how that would play out in today’s society. I mean, it was pretty much impossible back when the law was given in the days of Moses, but now far more so. And I don’t think you’d get away with all the animal sacrifices that would be required to make up for your shortcomings.

    “(Rom 7:7-8) What shall we say then? Is the law sin? God forbid. Nay, I had not known sin, but by the law: for I had not known lust, except the law had said, Thou shalt not covet. But sin, taking occasion by the commandment, wrought in me all manner of concupiscence. For without the law sin was dead.
    (Rom 8:3-4) For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh: That the righteousness of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.
    (1Jn 2:3) And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments.
    Gal 5:14 For all the law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
    However, anyone who has spent any time as a Christian well knows that they do not follow the law much of the time because of the battle between the flesh and the spirit.”
    I’m finding it hard to believe that you even read all of the quotes (much less the chapters that you pulled them out of) that you prefaced that statement with. You seem to be lacking a very basic understanding of what Jesus did for us and the distinction between the old covenant and the new. Go back and read all of Romans 7 and 8. They are incredible chapters that give such insight into the difference between living under the law and under grace. I also highly recommend the book of Hebrews for such insight. Read it as an entire letter without the added chapter divisions. It’s an incredible book that is sure to make your spirit leap within you if you can catch even a glimpse of what it is saying. Anyone who has even a basic understanding of the distinction between living under the law and living under grace (and I doubt any of us fully grasp this) does not attempt to follow the law at all but rather relies on the grace of God working through them which allows the love of God to flow out of them to those around them, which is in fact the fulfillment of the law just as your final scripture quote in that list states so very clearly, better than I can do I’m sure.
    If I may recommend a book to you (which I promise has nothing to do with homosexuality or anything that you might shun as being liberal), you really should read Watchman Nee’s “The Normal Christian Life”. You’ll find it in any Christian bookstore as it is a classic. Pay particular attention to the chapter on Romans 7, he paints an absolutely beautiful picture of the difference between the law as taskmaster for a standard we could never attain and how Jesus came as the fulfillment of the covenant which he had to die to complete.
    “As far as your view of homosexuality not being a sin, I believe you are making the Bible fit your lifestyle and not the other way around. You are denying the nature of the body God gave you, but instead burn in the lust of the flesh. Maybe you are a slave to your flesh.”
    It truly cuts me to read this. Not because I take personally your scathing condemnation of me, as you have no power over me and no authority by which to bring any condemnation into my life. It cuts because it reveals to me the place that you are in which is far more harmful to yourself than to anyone you might seek to condemn. You write me off, knowing absolutely nothing about me, making assumptions that you could not have possibly gotten from anything I said but that can only come out of your clearly deep-rooted prejudice against an entire group of people that you know absolutely nothing about nor indeed can learn anything about as long as you are blinded by those prejudices. This hurts you far more than it could ever hurt me. You were not capable of grasping in the slightest anything I said in my previous post regarding homosexuality because you had already decided that you know the motivations of every gay Christian in the world (who I’m sure you would say are not actually Christians). I can tell you that I do not, nor have I ever burned in the lust of the flesh when it comes to matters of sexuality (which is not to suggest that I am anywhere near perfect as I have my weaknesses as do we all). I can tell you that I have only ever been with one person in my entire life and will in fact remain with that person until one or both of us dies. I can tell you that I was fully prepared to spend my entire life single (though that was not my desire) if that was what God asked of me. I can tell you that I refused to get involved with anyone without clear direction from God. I can tell you that I diligently sought the face of God asking Him to show me clearly the one person that He would choose for me to spend the rest of my life with. I can tell you that I told Him that if He did not make it clear to me I would serve him single and celibate for the rest of my life. I can tell you that I fully anticipated that if He was to give me someone, it would be a man despite having never had any “natural” attraction to men. I can tell you that I was far more surprised than anyone else when He told me that the answer to my prayer was in fact a woman that He had chosen for me. I can tell you so many things you cannot possibly know about me, but none of these things can mean anything to you while you are blinded by prejudice. And so all I can really do is pray for you, that your eyes might be open to the incredible diversity and beauty of God’s amazing creation. I honestly don’t care if you never come to see homosexual actions as anything other than sinful, I have no problem with people holding different views than I do; but I do sincerely hope you can move beyond the prejudice to at least be open to see people for who they really are. Because until you do, it is you that suffers and you that misses out on so much of the amazing beauty of our God and His creation.

  • Christine

    Daniel, I can’t help but feel you missed Society’s point.

    You illustrate wonderfully that much of the rules we see in the Bible were meant to respond practically to conditions of the time. (I would see Paul doing the same on marriage – extremely oppresive for women, particularly in Corinth).

    This is Heather is mistaken in thinking we live by laws. All of those behaviour-based, context-specific commands were replaced with one – to love. Not because these other rule weren’t important, but love will do a much better job of fulfilling their intent, and of applying to any context equally, than the law ever can.

    We need the love of God in us, chanign us and motivating us, helping us to be loving in a truly Christ-like way – in other word, we need to be disciples. We also need constant guidance and conviction when we mess it up (which we most definitely do) – in other words, the Holy Spirit.

    That’s why Paul so many times say that we no longer live by the law (which is different than saying the law is undone or was bad). Sometimes he says we know live by love, sometimes he says by the Spirit (and when he says “not the flesh” that isn’t about sex, or even sin – it’s about us not trying to do it in our own strength).

    Heather, do you eat shrimp? When it’s that time of the month, do you warn men not to sit in a seat where you just sat? Do you wear clothing of mixed fibres?

  • Heather

    Cindy,

    You said, “In one last point, just because it never ceases to amaze me, you quoted Psalm 138:2, “I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” Now, correct me if I’m wrong, but I got the distinct impression from the context in which you quoted this scripture that you believe this to be a reference to the bible (frequently referred to as God’s Word). I’m going to assume that you have at least a basic understanding of how the bible as the particular collection of scripture that we have today came into being, so I won’t go into that. But I simply have to ask how you could possibly see this as a reference to the bible?”

    When the Bible says in in Psalm 138:2 “Above all thy name” it is understood like this: – Above all else that thou hast done; above all the other manifestations of thyself to me or to the world. The word name here would refer properly to all that God had done to make himself known – since it is by the name that we designate or distinguish anyone; and, thus understood, the meaning would be, that the word of God – the revelation which he has made of himself and of his gracious purposes to mankind – is superior in clearness, and in importance, to all the other manifestations which he has made of himself; all that can be known of him in his works. Beyond all question there are higher and clearer manifestations of himself, of his being, of his perfection, of his purposes, in the volume of revelation (God’s Word), than any which his works have disclosed or can disclose. Compare Psalm 19:1-14. There are very many points in relation to God, of the highest interest to mankind, on which the disclosures of science shed no light; there are many things which it is desirable for man to know, which cannot be learned in the schools of philosophy; there are consolations which man needs in a world of trouble which cannot be found in nature; there is especially a knowledge of the method by which sin may be pardoned, and the soul saved, which can never be disclosed by the blow-pipe, the telescope, or the microscope. These things, if learned at all must be learned from revelation (God’s Word), and these are of more importance to man as a traveler to another world than all the learning which can be acquired in the schools of philosophy.

  • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    “Daniel,

    Thanks for the clarification on slavery. If people did more research they wouldn’t ask these questions. Maybe the Bible isn’t as hard to understand as these people make it out to be.” – Heather

    That’s just brilliant! Absolutely brilliant! I don’t suppose it even occurred to you that this was exactly the point society was making. I could easily say the same thing about homosexuality but you can’t even grasp the comparison because your personal prejudice prevents you from doing any research beyond the immediate face value assumption that you accept unquestioningly. Likewise, when Christian American slave holders were questioned by those who had other views on what the bible really had to say about slavery, their own personal prejudices prevented them from doing any research beyond the immediate face value assumption that they accepted unquestioningly. Thank you. Your statement exemplifies exactly why this comparison keeps coming up and why it fits so well.

  • http://irrelevantaxiom.wordpress.com Daniel

    “Thank you. Your statement exemplifies exactly why this comparison keeps coming up and why it fits so well.” – (Cindy)

    Homosexuality would be a proper comparison of slavery in the Bible if it had infiltrated society at one point in time and then was eventually declared wrong as God’s people progressed in their morality. (A morality directed by God) You’re thinking in the opposite direction. You call the regression of society a progression.

  • Christine

    Heather – Interesting explanation on Psalm 138:2 on what “word” there means. However, whether God’s word is the higher revelation of God it not at issue. Since that Psalm was written before the books that would make up the Bible were chosen as cannon, it cannot confirm to us that these (all of these and only these from among many writings) are the true Word of God. In addition, just because something is the highest revelation, the best source of knowledge, does not necessarily mean it is infallible or inerrant. I think this is closer to what Society was trying to say, which are really not questions that quotes from the Bible only can answer.

  • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    “When the Bible says in in Psalm 138:2 “Above all thy name” it is understood like this: – Above all else that thou hast done; above all the other manifestations of thyself to me or to the world. The word name here would refer properly to all that God had done to make himself known – since it is by the name that we designate or distinguish anyone; and, thus understood, the meaning would be, that the word of God – the revelation which he has made of himself and of his gracious purposes to mankind – is superior in clearness, and in importance, to all the other manifestations which he has made of himself; all that can be known of him in his works. Beyond all question there are higher and clearer manifestations of himself, of his being, of his perfection, of his purposes, in the volume of revelation (God’s Word), than any which his works have disclosed or can disclose. Compare Psalm 19:1-14. There are very many points in relation to God, of the highest interest to mankind, on which the disclosures of science shed no light; there are many things which it is desirable for man to know, which cannot be learned in the schools of philosophy; there are consolations which man needs in a world of trouble which cannot be found in nature; there is especially a knowledge of the method by which sin may be pardoned, and the soul saved, which can never be disclosed by the blow-pipe, the telescope, or the microscope. These things, if learned at all must be learned from revelation (God’s Word), and these are of more importance to man as a traveler to another world than all the learning which can be acquired in the schools of philosophy.” – Heather

    Am I to assume by your complete avoidance of my question (which had nothing to do with whether revelation or works was more important) of how you can see this reference to God’s word as being a direct reference to the “Bible”, to mean that I was wrong in my earlier assumption that you have at least a basic understanding of how the bible as the collection of scripture that we have today came into being? Do you see every reference to God speaking and/or revelation as being to the bible regardless of whether or not it was made thousands of years before the bible was compiled and before most of what it documents even happened? I honestly don’t know what I can say to that.

  • Christine

    Daniel – If one context could make something permissible and then another make it forbidden, why doesn’t it work the other way around?

    Oh, you mean that things only get stricter? So, Jesus breaking the Sabbath and Paul eliminating food laws and circumcision was what exactly?

  • Heather

    The commentary on Psalm 138:2 above was from Matthew Henry.

  • Christine

    Here’s another way to look at it. The law (and even the NT) required slaves to continue to be slaves (granted, under certain conditions, at least in the OT – the NT says slaves need to obey even harsh masters). We would say that no one is required to be a slave and that no one should have to stay in slavery.

    That is actually more lenient, not more strict.

  • Christine

    Well, then I find Matthew Henry quite inetresting and I might endeavour to read more of his. That’s for giving him credit. (This, of course, does not mean that his very interesting explanation had anything to do with the questions that were asked. He is on a different topic entirely.)

  • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    Daniel,

    I appreciate your point, but what you fail to realize is that it is only a moral regression if you already hold to the view that homosexuality is morally inferior to heterosexuality. You see the abolition of slavery as an improvement in morals and the acceptance of homosexuality as a digression only because of the assumptions you hold. I, on the other other hand, see both as related to a movement towards equality of all peoples, which is a higher moral standard. I see them as both being related to the idea that Paul preached (despite having to at times give practical advice to the contrary due to cultural issues of the time) when he said that there is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male and female.

  • Christine

    Should have been “Thanks for giving him credit.” Sorry.

  • http://societyvs.wordpress.com/ Societyvs

    “What does this have to do with anything?” (Heather)

    What it has to do with is comparison and culture. We are all creatures of a specific time period, country, and laws…in this case the 20th and 21st centuries and how that interjects itself into out biases on interpretation…that’s not really a fault – it just is.

    Also the comparison aspect is to show that slavery was allowed, with conditions as Daniel pointed out, in the OT (Torah) and in the NT (via Paul). Now I know slavery is morally absurd and wrong, and like Daniel, I think the movement to end it is also quite clear in the bible. However, that does not mean it didn’t make it into laws passed on from God to a specific time period in Israel’s history (and also via Paul into Christianity’s history). Just like laws concerning homosexuality – which appear much less frequently than the issue of slavery.

    Add them together and we see that in American history slavery was ‘okay’ and scriptural justification was used – via the Torah and Paul. Yet we know, that issue was just morally absurd. However, homosexuality does not get the same treatment. Why is this? Are we picking and choosing our morality as is assumed by many an atheist these days?

    “Luk 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.” “You love society more than God. Try reversing that.” (Heather)

    I don’t need to reverse it, the issue of homosexuality has nothing to do with that verse. However, the verse is a contradiction (since it uses ‘hate’) with the 2 commandments Jesus teaches as ‘fulfilling the law’ (ie” loving your neighbor).

    The reason there is no contradiction is because I am not trying to defend society – but to ‘love my neighbor’…in this case my neighbor happens to be gay.

  • Heather

    “Do you see every reference to God speaking and/or revelation as being to the bible regardless of whether or not it was made thousands of years before the bible was compiled and before most of what it documents even happened? I honestly don’t know what I can say to that.”

    Your God isn’t very big is he? I guess he’s not powerful enough to preserve his word. I guess he is powerless to keep his word which is magnified above his name from getting lost in the mess of human will and corruption. Your God is a parable and a story and is quite helpless against the will of man. Yet, you feel free to use some of his Word to support your lifestyle, and ignore other parts of his word, writing them off as figurative. I don’t serve your God.

    Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

    2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.

    You don’t believe the promises of the verses above. Notice the law in the following verses which you are so quick to point out as irrelevant to today.

    Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
    Pro 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life:

    We can’t pick and choose the way of life. There is one way and one life. God’s life. Don’t reject part of him and accept the parts you like.

    Romans 8:9B “Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”

    Accept God in his entirety.

  • http://irrelevantaxiom.wordpress.com Daniel

    Cindy says, “but what you fail to realize is that it is only a moral regression if you already hold to the view that homosexuality is morally inferior to heterosexuality.”

    To hold your view, you have to infer a historical context to verses that say homosexuality is an abomination to God that you, quite frankly, have to take an the authority of your teachers if it is real or not. You have no real evidence from the Bible that Paul had no idea of a loving homosexual relationship. You still have to create your own context there.

    I don’t have to make anything up to believe as the Bible says: Homosexuality is a sin.

  • dcsloan

    To our biblical legalists:

    This is the way you want us to live?

    —————————————

    Exodus 21:12 – 14
    Whoever strikes a person mortally shall be put to death. If it was not premeditated, but came about by an act of God, then I will appoint for you a place to which the killer may flee. But if someone willfully attacks and kills another by treachery, you shall take the killer from my altar for execution.

    Exodus 21:15
    Whoever strikes father or mother shall be put to death.

    Exodus 21:16
    Whoever kidnaps a person, whether that person has been sold or is still held in possession, shall be put to death.

    Exodus 21:17
    Whoever curses father or mother shall be put to death.

    When individuals quarrel and one strikes the other with a stone or fist so that the injured party, though not dead, is confined to bed, but recovers and walks around outside with the help of a staff, then the assailant shall be free of liability, except to pay for the loss of time, and to arrange for full recovery.
    When a slaveowner strikes a male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies immediately, the owner shall be punished. But if the slave survives a day or two, there is no punishment; for the slave is the owner’s property.

    Exodus 21:22 – 24
    When people who are fighting injure a pregnant woman so that there is a miscarriage, and yet no further harm follows, the one responsible shall be fined what the woman’s husband demands, paying as much as the judges determine. If any harm follows, then you shall give life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

    When a slaveowner strikes the eye of a male or female slave, destroying it, the owner shall let the slave go, a free person, to compensate for the eye. If the owner knocks out a tooth of a male or female slave, the slave shall be let go, a free person, to compensate for the tooth.

    Exodus 21:28 – 32
    When an ox gores a man or a woman to death, the ox shall be stoned, and its flesh shall not be eaten; but the owner of the ox shall not be liable. If the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not restrained it, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death. If a ransom is imposed on the owner, then the owner shall pay whatever is imposed for the redemption of the victim’s life. If it gores a boy or a girl, the owner shall be dealt with according to this same rule. If the ox gores a male or female slave, the owner shall pay to the slaveowner thirty shekels of silver, and the ox shall be stoned.

    Exodus 22:18
    You shall not permit a female sorcerer to live.

    Exodus 22:19
    Whoever lies with an animal shall be put to death.

    Exodus 31:12-17
    The LORD said to Moses: You yourself are to speak to the Israelites: “You shall keep my sabbaths, for this is a sign between me and you throughout your generations, given in order that you may know that I, the LORD, sanctify you. You shall keep the sabbath, because it is holy for you; everyone who profanes it shall be put to death; whoever does any work on it shall be cut off from among the people. Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall be put to death. Therefore the Israelites shall keep the sabbath, observing the sabbath throughout their generations, as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign forever between me and the people of Israel that in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, and on the seventh day he rested, and was refreshed.”

    Leviticus 20:10-16
    If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death. The man who lies with his father’s wife has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall be put to death; their blood is upon them. If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall be put to death; they have committed perversion, their blood is upon them. If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them. If a man takes a wife and her mother also, it is depravity; they shall be burned to death, both he and they, that there may be no depravity among you. If a man has sexual relations with an animal, he shall be put to death; and you shall kill the animal. If a woman approaches any animal and has sexual relations with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them.

    Leviticus 20:27
    A man or a woman who is a medium or a wizard shall be put to death; they shall be stoned to death, their blood is upon them.

    Leviticus 21:9
    When the daughter of a priest profanes herself through prostitution, she profanes her father; she shall be burned to death.

    Deuteronomy 17:8-13
    If a judicial decision is too difficult for you to make between one kind of bloodshed and another, one kind of legal right and another, or one kind of assault and another—any such matters of dispute in your towns—then you shall immediately go up to the place that the LORD your God will choose, where you shall consult with the levitical priests and the judge who is in office in those days; they shall announce to you the decision in the case. Carry out exactly the decision that they announce to you from the place that the LORD will choose, diligently observing everything they instruct you. You must carry out fully the law that they interpret for you or the ruling that they announce to you; do not turn aside from the decision that they announce to you, either to the right or to the left. As for anyone who presumes to disobey the priest appointed to minister there to the LORD your God, or the judge, that person shall die. So you shall purge the evil from Israel. All the people will hear and be afraid, and will not act presumptuously again.

    Deuteronomy 21:18-21
    If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father and mother, who does not heed them when they discipline him, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his town at the gate of that place. They shall say to the elders of his town, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” Then all the men of the town shall stone him to death. So you shall purge the evil from your midst; and all Israel will hear, and be afraid.

    Deuteronomy 22:13-19
    Suppose a man marries a woman, but after going in to her, he dislikes her and makes up charges against her, slandering her by saying, “I married this woman; but when I lay with her, I did not find evidence of her virginity.” The father of the young woman and her mother shall then submit the evidence of the young woman’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate. The father of the young woman shall say to the elders: “I gave my daughter in marriage to this man but he dislikes her; now he has made up charges against her, saying, ‘I did not find evidence of your daughter’s virginity.’ But here is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity.” Then they shall spread out the cloth before the elders of the town. The elders of that town shall take the man and punish him; they shall fine him one hundred shekels of silver (which they shall give to the young woman’s father) because he has slandered a virgin of Israel. She shall remain his wife; he shall not be permitted to divorce her as long as he lives.

    If, however, this charge is true, that evidence of the young woman’s virginity was not found, then they shall bring the young woman out to the entrance of her father’s house and the men of her town shall stone her to death, because she committed a disgraceful act in Israel by prostituting herself in her father’s house. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.

  • Christine

    Heather said: “Your God isn’t very big is he? I guess he’s not powerful enough to preserve his word. I guess he is powerless to keep his word which is magnified above his name from getting lost in the mess of human will and corruption. Your God is a parable and a story and is quite helpless against the will of man. Yet, you feel free to use some of his Word to support your lifestyle, and ignore other parts of his word, writing them off as figurative. I don’t serve your God.”

    Actually, Heather, we do believe in the Bible. We just don’t believe those references are about the Bible. I believe in the Bible on faith, not because I think a document can credibly be the only claim for it’s own infallibility. My faith is that God’s is able to inspire and preserve, but that does not make the Bible the subject of OT prophesy. The Bible cannot confirm the Bible. It’s a matter of faith.

    I do not take the Bible as parable or story (except the sections clearly maked as parable – like those of Jesus). I operate on the assumption of an inerrant, infallible Bible as the Word of God (although I admit this is a matter of faith). I don’t take the Bible as figurative (again, except in the parts clearly maked as metaphor – faith being like a mustard seed doesn’t mean faith actually is a mustard seed, for instance).

    You make quite a few assumptions there based on a simple question (which we only asked and did not give a position on – you assumed Cindy’s position out of nothing).

  • http://irrelevantaxiom.wordpress.com Daniel

    By the way, what else can Psalm 138:2 mean if it’s not talking about God’s Word? Let’s read it again:

    I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.

    now let’s look at it through the lens of another verse:

    John 17:17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

    “Thy Word” is used in both verses. “Thy” refers to God in both verses. Therefore, Psalm 138:2 is talking about God’s Word: The Bible. The Bible is magnified above his name. I fail to see how living by the Word of God is idolatry.

    Jesus said in Matthew 4:4, “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”

    Go ahead and live by society’s standards, Societyvs! I will live by the Word of God.

  • Christine

    Heather – My view of the law and its relevance for today comes from the Bible as a whole, from taking each verse of scripture from within the context of all of scripture. Taking the Bible in it’s entirety is essential to good intepretation, and I would posit that your selective quoting of limited sections without the sourrounding context and out of line with other parts of scripture is nothing more than keyword searching and prooftexting.
    The NT message on the law is clear and you are ignoring it and selectively taking things out of context.

    I am accepting God in His entirety – as much as I am able. I strive ceaselessly to do so even when it is very difficult and even painful. I think you are the one rejecting parts of scripture to suit your own biases.

  • http://societyvs.wordpress.com/ Societyvs

    “And it was eventually done away with which was the real goal. It was never God’s intention that slavery should exist. This is a fault of man, not a fault of God. Why do you blame him for the sins of humanity?” (Daniel)

    Myself, I don’t blame God for that – I blame humanity for using interpretations on that issue to forbear the obvious – slavery was not good to begin with (thus the Exodus from slavery in the Torah). But America and Britain did use scriptural justification for such abuses globally.

    I agree with you, slavery needs to be done away with and this was the intention…I arrive at this same conclusion everytime as well.

    My point is this, interpretively – you cannot have it both ways.

    In one way you want to go to scripture authoritively on homosexuality and say it cannot change. However, using the same interpretive model, you give slavery a pass because you say ‘it was eventually done away with which was the real goal’…however, there is no passage nor no part of the law that actually says this specifically (so the intent would have to be implied by you or me). How come the intent on homosexuality cannot also be ‘implied’ by this same interpretive model you used for slavery?

    This is where my whole issue lies.

  • Christine

    Danial said:
    “To hold your view, you have to infer a historical context to verses that say homosexuality is an abomination to God that you, quite frankly, have to take an the authority of your teachers if it is real or not. You have no real evidence from the Bible that Paul had no idea of a loving homosexual relationship. You still have to create your own context there.”

    Danial, you assume we hold a particular interpretation of the Bible what we do not. Even if Paul did know of such things (which is actually a possibility, although same-sex acts were predominantly between straight people for reasons of idol worship or social status), I do not see any condemnation of same sex act at all in Romans. None. It’s about the words used and what Paul is saying. The only context I need is the letter itself.

  • http://societyvs.wordpress.com/ Societyvs

    “Maybe you think Jesus isn’t God? Why do you accept the words in red and find fault with the rest of the Bible?” (Daniel)

    I am just going by what was written in the NT and attributed to Jesus by 4 varying authors, not a single one of them have him speaking on this issue (fact). So at best, Jesus has ‘no comment’ on the subject – and the bible completely bears this out.

    You are reading back an interpretation and have Jesus saying something which he never is recorded as saying in the gospels – but because he is ‘the word of God’ he must have had an opinion on the gay issue. That’s reading a lot into scripture when it is not warranted.

  • http://irrelevantaxiom.wordpress.com Daniel

    dcsloan,

    There is a difference between laws that direct society and laws that define what sin is. Sin is more than just an action, it is an internal rebellion to the person of God. Whether it manifests itself in actions or not, that internal quality will still separate us from God. Sin is inside of us. The homosexual act is an indication of a flawed internal quality. I wonder if this is the abnormal psychological makeup that Jake talked about on another post.

    Although your list of societal laws is daunting, I’m not sure what you’re trying to say. Maybe you’re saying that because we have different methods of dealing with law breakers today we should have a different method of dealing with homosexuals? Do these societal laws listed in the Bible override our societal laws? Should they? Please be more specific.

  • Christine

    Danial said: “Therefore, Psalm 138:2 is talking about God’s Word: The Bible.”

    Of course it is talking about God’s Word. God’s Word is Jesus. Gaod’s Word is what He spoke to bring about all of creation.

    There is nothing to indicate that God’s Word = the Bible. This is something taken on faith alone.

    And we could be wrong about the Bible being God’s Word (since the Bible doesn’t and can’t talk about itself since it didn’t exist until long after each of the books in it were written). We could just be wrong about what books should be in the Bible – they were chosen by fallible humans.

    But I do operate from the assumption that the Bible is God speaking to us. Just as you do.

    They point being made was that we can’t know that to references to God’s Word because there is nothing in that that says God’s Word is the Bible. the only point was that those particular references cannot tell us that the Bible is God’s Word. That is not to say it isn’t God’s Word, just that that scripture alone cannot prove that to be true…

    But this is way off topic. It actually has nothing to do with our conversation on homosexuality, since we can take the Bible as literal and inerrant and still find that homosexuality is not a sin.

    Society, I think, takes a different view on this but I’ll let him respond. Cindy just has a pet peeve with people using verses about God’s Word to prove that God’s Word is the Bible, since it isn’t directly speaking of the Bible. That’s it.

  • Christine

    Homosexuality is NEVER defined as sin in the Bible. The word translated “abomination” in Leviticus is used to describe ritual impurity and is a separate word from ones describing sin. In all other instances, the idea that homosexuality is the sin in question is assumed, and assumed for no good reason. You will not see the word “sin” used anywhere in the Bible to describe homosexuality.

  • Christine

    Daniel said: “The homosexual act is an indication of a flawed internal quality.”

    Show me one place in the Bible where this is actually stated.

  • http://irrelevantaxiom.wordpress.com Daniel

    Societyvs,

    Jesus existed before the beginning: John 1:1-14. Jesus is God as evidenced in John 1:1-14 and Acts 7:59. God said in Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Therefore, Jesus condemns homosexuality.

  • Christine

    Daniel – How ridiculous. The Bible says not to break the Sabbath, that it was an abomination, and that it was punishable by death (and God did command people be executed for doing so). And yet Jesus Himself broke the Sabbath. Explain that.

  • Christine

    If you take everything in the Bible as applying always for all time, and you take the Bible as Jesus, then Jesus has a serious multiple personality disorder and contradicts Himself constantly.

    I do not see Jesus in this way. But in order to see Jesus properly, we have to see that God’s commands to us changed and evolved.

  • http://irrelevantaxiom.wordpress.com Daniel

    Let’s be clear about the word abomination in the Bible and what its origin is:

    ????? ??????
    tô?êbah tô?êbah
    to-ay-baw’, to-ay-baw’

    properly something disgusting (morally), that is, (as noun) an abhorrence; especially idolatry or (concretely) an idol: – abominable (custom, thing), abomination.

  • http://irrelevantaxiom.wordpress.com Daniel

    Sorry, some words didn’t translate well.

  • http://irrelevantaxiom.wordpress.com Daniel

    This is taken from Strong’s Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries.

  • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    Sorry fishion, I don’t have the time to go back through a bunch of old posts to meet your challenge right now. Perhaps later when I’ve got nothing else to do, I’ll let you know if I find the time. Otherwise I guess I can just continue to point them out going forward, as I’m sure you’re not about to suddenly change your way of responding :o )

    In any event, I did not mean to suggest that you avoid letting people know exactly where you stand on any given issue, as that is certainly not the case. The questions you like to avoid pretty much always have to do with why you believe something rather than what you believe. Those are the things you either don’t want to or are unable to tell us. Just like the instance that sparked my comment where bob asked someone to explain why we should accept the bible to be authoritative and infallible and you saw the need to chirp in and tell him that he already knew all the arguments.

  • Christine

    Strong is just a reference as to how words are translated or what they are thought to mean. It isn’t a translation of the Hebrew word in question.

    to’evah is the word I was referring to. It does not mean sin. There is a nother word for that. I can look it up for you if you’d like.

    To make the point, though, we can look at how to’evah is used elsewhere in the Bible. Shrimp, for example, is to’evah. Not even to eat certain things, but those things themselves. How can something that God made be sin?

    Wearing closthes of mixed fabric or sowing two kinds of seed in the same field is to’evah. Is that sin?

    I could go on.

  • Christine

    Paul clearly says in Romans and elsewhere that ritual purity, purity laws, are not for us to follow and were not to be imposed on the Gentiles. This is, in fact, the whole point of the letter to the Romans. Paul says that nothing is unclean in itself. He discards the food laws, he eliminates circumcision.

    He purposefully separates things forbidden by the ritual purity laws (described as to’evah in the OT) from actual sin.

  • Christine

    I think this is actually the reason why Paul brings up same-sex acts in Romans 1 – to illustrate to the Jewish population in the church in Rome that their fear of and their attitudes toward the Gentile Christians was based as much on their nonadherence to Jewish law as to their actual sinful practices.

    Paul is alluding to the Canaanites in Romans 1 (in Leviticus 18 anal sex between men is forbidden specifically to separate the Jews as a people from the Canaanites). The Jewish Christians think the Gentile Christians are unclean (not even because they do these things themselves but because it is rampant in Gentile society like it was among the Canaanites). In order to “purify” the Gentile Christians, the Jewish Christians want to circumsize them and make them follow Jewish laws (most notably eating kosher), in order to separate them from the other non-Christian Gentiles.

    But Paul puts his foot down and won’t allow it, and even says it wouldn negate what Jesus has done for us.

    And all of this in the letter itself.

  • bob

    Daniel – “Go ahead and live by society’s standards, Societyvs! I will live by the Word of God.”

    Or, more accurately – “I will live by [the parts of] the Word of God [that I find acceptable, the rest I will ignore].

    Show me a Christian who lives, actually lives by the word of God (the bible, the whole bible), and I will show you someone who is insane, in jail, paralyzed from the hair down, or all three.

  • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    “Your God isn’t very big is he? I guess he’s not powerful enough to preserve his word. I guess he is powerless to keep his word which is magnified above his name from getting lost in the mess of human will and corruption. Your God is a parable and a story and is quite helpless against the will of man. Yet, you feel free to use some of his Word to support your lifestyle, and ignore other parts of his word, writing them off as figurative. I don’t serve your God.” – Heather

    Once again, you are allowing your own personal prejudice of all gay people everywhere to tell you something about me that you could not have possibly inferred from anything I said. My God is far from helpless or powerless. And I wrestle with the bible solely because of the importance I place on it. If I viewed it as merely a story I would give it the same weight in my life as fairy tales, which is none. I do not pick and choose from scripture based on what supports my “lifestyle” (whatever that means) but I search scripture and seek to understand it in it’s entirety beyond the selective, out of context bits and pieces that have been thrown at people from the pulpit for years. It seems to me this picking and choosing is very much your forte, which explains why you have yet to offer any explanation as to why you can ignore the many places in scripture that teach us that we no longer live under the law. You of course only ignore these when it suits your taste so you don’t in fact eat kosher or wear only non-mixed fabrics.

    “Notice the law in the following verses which you are so quick to point out as irrelevant to today.
    Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
    Pro 6:23 For the commandment is a lamp; and the law is light; and reproofs of instruction are the way of life: “

    Could you maybe just once humour me and read what I say before you respond. First of all I at no point said the law is irrelevant. What I said was that we no longer live under the law, which Jesus fulfilled, and we now strive to walk in the fulfilment of the law which is summed up in the law of love, the more excellent way. This is a very consistent message throughout the New Testament. You want to talk about picking and choosing, but you have to cut out a huge part of the New Testament to deny this and yet you refuse to even address it. You definitely know all about picking and choosing. Jesus words in Matthew that you quote as somehow meaning we are still under the law are a small part of a large teaching that Jesus did not come to abolish the law but to fulfill it, which he did through his death and resurrection. Please, for your own sake, stop doing your little keyword searches to say what you want to hear and start reading things in context and weighing them against the whole of scripture. For your own sake, please take your own advice and “Accept God in his entirety”.

    “To hold your view, you have to infer a historical context to verses that say homosexuality is an abomination to God that you, quite frankly, have to take an the authority of your teachers if it is real or not. You have no real evidence from the Bible that Paul had no idea of a loving homosexual relationship. You still have to create your own context there.” – Daniel

    I do not need to infer any historical context concerning the law saying that homosexuality (although if we are to be honest, the law only refers to male-male sex and says nothing about female-female sex whatsoever, but that’s another discussion entirely) is an abomination. No more do I need to infer historical context regarding shrimp being an abomination or failing to properly observe the Sabbath being an abomination. I am not a Jew and I do not live under the law. When you get circumcised and start eating kosher you can come and talk to me about what the law says. And your comment regarding Paul is not based on anything I said but on what you have perhaps heard some other gay Christian say at sometime in the past and you have somehow decided that we must all think alike. If you go back and read my posts you will notice that I have never commented on what types of homosexuality Paul may or may not have been familiar with. Frankly, I find such arguments as unnecessary since Paul at no point says that homosexuality is sinful. Please don’t put in a box with whoever you have discussed this issue with in the past. There may be some validity in the temple prostitution argument, but frankly I find it entirely unnecessary. I have thus far used only scripture itself in my interpretation on this particular issue. I believe scripture speaks for itself here.

    “I don’t have to make anything up to believe as the Bible says: Homosexuality is a sin.” – Daniel

    Where? Chapter and verse please? If you are going to tell me that no interpretation is required on your part to say that the bible says homosexuality and my relationship with my fiancée is a sin, show me where it says that. And don’t give me that Leviticus thing and say that it speaks for itself because I am not a man nor have I ever lain with a man, but I ate shrimp for dinner last night, so if I have committed an abomination, surely that was it. I’m quite sure you’re not going to tell me that was sin though are you?

  • Christine

    bob – lol. I hear this a lot. I think it is mostly a misunderstanding of what the Bible is calling us to, as Christians, not Jews.

    The Bible and Jesus are exceedingly clear that none of us can fulfill the law. And Paul is clear that we shouldn’t try.

    But the bar for us Christians is set even higher in some ways, with a similar acknowledgement that we just won’t make it, but not because it’s so much to keep track of and account for (a real problem with Jewish law), but because we just won’t have perfect love or a perfect heart or a perfect understanding. We aren’t God.

    So, we try to be the people we are called to in Christ. And that honest trying and discipleship (and repentence when we realize how much we are getting it wrong) are really what matters. Grace makes up for everything else.

  • http://societyvs.wordpress.com/ Societyvs

    “Jesus existed before the beginning: John 1:1-14. Jesus is God as evidenced in John 1:1-14 and Acts 7:59. God said in Leviticus 18:22 Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. Therefore, Jesus condemns homosexuality.” (Daniel)

    Interesting exegesis…it’s one way to make Jesus say whatever you want him to say.

    Jesus is the ‘word of God’ – this is John’s gospel claim (which was actually used about the messiah in the Midrash as well – this idea). In case you don’t know, the Midrash was a Jewish extra-biblical source that had some relevance in Jewish life prior to Jesus coming into town. Here is the quote from the Midrash:

    “OF the six things which existed before creation, when only ‘the spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters,’ two, the Torah and the throne of God, were complete in every detail. The remaining four, however, viz., the Patriarchs, Israel, the Temple, and the name of Messiah, existed prior to the creation only in an incomplete form.–Gen. Rabba 1″

    and

    “From the time of creation constant reference is made in Holy Writ to Messiah and the Messianic hope of Israel. ‘The Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters’; the Spirit of God means Messiah.–Gen. Rabba 2; also Levit. Rabba 14.”

    “In general the Midrash is focused on either halakha (legal) or Aggadic (non-legal and chiefly homiletical) subject matter. Both kinds of Midrashim were at first preserved only orally; but their writing down commenced in the 2nd century” (Wikipedia – Midrash)

    What can we deduce from a historical study concerning John 1:1:

    (a) it likely came from those 2 Midrashic ideas (on Genesis and Leviticus) – existed prior to John’s writing

    (b) It existed as an idea prior to Jesus (orally – which was how Jesus was also recorded by the gospels)

    (c) Was a thought within Judaism already

    However, and this is kind of odd, Judaism still uses the Midrash and they do not see the messiah as equal to God…and those midrashic passages even show that.

    So this could mean John does not mean to equate Jesus with God or has added another step (a new step) to the messiah that did not exist until 2nd century Christianity (when John was written).

    Regardless of all of this, Jesus still does not mention homosexuality at all…and this is the person that certain Christians are claiming was the ‘word(s) of God’…for some reason he didn’t see need to bring it up? Why? Not like Jesus didn’t live around Romans and see their culture…like Paul. In fact, this guy was ‘god’ (according to you)…why would he let this one idea slip and say nothing on it if it is crucial to one’s faith?

  • http://societyvs.wordpress.com/ Societyvs

    “Let’s be clear about the word abomination in the Bible and what its origin is:” (Daniel)

    Daniel, do you study Hebrew? If so, for a living and as part of your study of the Tanakh? I say we leave that one to the experts…rabbinical sources that have looked at it previously…instead of throwing out claims that may not have real substance.

    “Much attention has been given to the word “abomination” (to’evah in Hebrew). Though the terminology seems callous, the same word is used in Deuteronomy 14:3 in reference to forbidden animals. Several traditional sources temper the harshness of the “abomination” by citing the lack of procreative potential as the reason for the abominable nature of the homosexual act” (Steven Greenberg – http://www.myjewishlearning.com/life/Sex_and_Sexuality/Homosexuality.shtml)

    “The Biblical words usually translated abomination do not always convey the same sense of moral exceptionalism as the English term does today, as it often may signify that which is forbidden or unclean according to the religion (especially sheqets).” (Abomination – wikipedia) *It is in this case the Hebrew word is being used – to’evah (even check out the wikipedia reference).

    The fact a rabbi is coming out and detailing what abomination means should speak quite clearly…it is not neccesarily about ‘sin’ but that which is ‘forbidden’ and even that which was ‘strange as compared to the norm’.

    I have read some of Cindy and Christine’s stuff, they seem right on the money with this term and it’s definition. I think the literal ‘moral regunance’ is too harsh and does not fit here.

  • http://societyvs.wordpress.com/ Societyvs

    Cindy and Christine, I want to congratulate you on the writing and proof texts you have provided for all your reasoning and beliefs…wow…great job! (And I thought I could write a lot – lol)…big fan right here.

    I find, and maybe this is just me, that the side that does defend the LGBT lifestyle with scriptural references and critique seem to bring a lot more proof and thought out writing to make the case, like an actual and literal case in a court. I am a fan of that type of stuff and you 2 have a good grasp on it.

    Bob, thanks for the head nod…much appreciated!

  • Christine

    Thanks, Society. (Although we’ve come to see the term “proof texts” as like a four-letter word – I know what you mean.) Much appreciated.

    I think the difference in attitude comes from the position we are in (rather than our general attitude towards Scripture). We are on trial, and have been sentenced without a fair hearing. Our relationship would, in many churches, deny us the right of marriage, of ministry, or ordination. it is not just a matter of people thinking we are sinning, or even going to hell, but we are in many context denied full membership in the church. We must bring a case in our defence.

    Much like a trial, I feel the burden of proof lies with those who would deny full membership. If we are to be punished (“disciplined”, if you prefer) for something, it should have to be shown to be sin, beyond a reasonable doubt, so to speak. Otherwise, how can we be punished when we might just as likely be right?

    It’s how we navigate that difference of opinion that I am most interested in. Like debates over transubstantiation, arminism vs. calvanism, or pre-trib/post-trib rapture (notice I include a bizarre collection of debate, just trying to include everyone :) ), we will need to acknowledge that this doctrinal difference exist, particularly as more and more Christians and churches come to hold and affirming position.

    What rights of membership can we deny over such a difference of opinion? Who decides? When can personal conscience overide non-discrimination and when can’t it? These are the important questions at the moment, in my opinion, which are given very little attention.

    Eventually, I believe the church will look back on the issue like it does now on slavery, the subjugation of women, and on divorce and remarriage (all of which actually have much stronger cases from scripture than being against homosexuality). But we aren’t there yet, and in the meantime it would be nice if we could try and resolve or differences with some measure of unity, grace and humility, while trying to avoid major damaging schisms over the issue. That is what I ultimately hope we will achieve. And I hope that those who are tolerantly opposed can stand with me on that.

  • Pingback: "All Aboard the S.S. Faith" « Credo

  • http://irrelevantaxiom.wordpress.com Daniel

    Christine and Cindy,

    I have some personal concerns. Why would God give someone a mind that goes against the body’s natural use? What would be the purpose of that? Why would he do it? It doesn’t make sense to me. Also, how you get past the sin of fornication? Homosexuals could not have been married in the past. If they consummated their love, it would be an act of fornication. It’s not quite an issue today seeing as how some gay couples are married. I’m sure there may have been a society in the past that allowed gay marriage, but not most of them. Also, I know gay couples that encourage their male children to only play with female toys and dress in a female manner. I believe this to damage the psyche of the child. They aren’t giving him a choice on the matter. How is this acceptable? Also, how is the gay marriage an example of Christ’s relationship to the church? That’s part of the idea of traditional marriage. Men ought to love their wives as Christ loved the church and gave himself for it. How is the gay marriage fulfilling this? That’s all for now.

  • http://irrelevantaxiom.wordpress.com Daniel

    One more question: if homosexuality is acceptable (not a sin), why is it when it’s mentioned in the Bible it’s always in a negative context?

  • fishon

    Christine

    June 4, 2010 at 4:40 pm .

    Much like a trial, I feel the burden of proof lies with those who would deny full membership. If we are to be punished (“disciplined”, if you prefer) for something, it should have to be shown to be sin, beyond a reasonable doubt, so to speak.
    —–Yea, and OJ was found innocent because of reasonable doubt on the juries part. Was he?

    we will need to acknowledge that this doctrinal difference exist, particularly as more and more Christians and churches come to hold and affirming position.
    —–Who, pray tell denies that doctrinal difference exist?

    What rights of membership can we deny over such a difference of opinion? Who decides?
    ——Then I suppose that the porn star should receive membership because it is only a matter of opinion as to it being sin or not?
    You can not show me where Jesus condemns porn.

    Eventually, I believe the church will look back on the issue like it does now on slavery, the subjugation of women, and on divorce and remarriage (all of which actually have much stronger cases from scripture than being against homosexuality). But we aren’t there yet, and in the meantime it would be nice if we could try and resolve or differences with some measure of unity, grace and humility, while trying to avoid major damaging schisms over the issue. That is what I ultimately hope we will achieve. And I hope that those who are tolerantly opposed can stand with me on that.
    ——-Never! There can NEVER be unity with unrepentant sin.

  • T

    Daniel, (run away)

    I let a homosexual man live with me for about a year when he had no place to go. I did what Jesus would do. (18 years ago) before gay was cool. :) I cared for him, fed him, and loved him like a brother. By pure example I showed him two men could love each other without it being sexual.

    It is true Jesus associated with whores, thieves, liars, adulterers, murderers, fornicators, the religious, the sick, the hungry, and even the dead: but He did not leave them the way he met them and nor did I.

    I watched God deliver this broken man from witchcraft, drugs, depression, anger, fornication, porn, thirteen other addictions and homosexuality. I watched him transform into a beautiful new creation. Free of all the bondage’s he had been carrying. We are great friends to this day and he is free. I still remember the day he accepted Christ. I have yet to see such Joy in someone’s face. My goal with him was to Love him and show him Jesus and that is all I did. The Holy Spirit did the rest.

    tolerance is not Love!

    Tolerance came into this world, the enemy of Love, a counterfeit suited to our current culture’s wicked appetites. An idea crafted in darkness but made to look like light. It masquerades as Love always conspiring to destroy the miraculous transformations only made possible though the Love of Jesus. tolerance is a lie.

    Love cultivates new life.

    All of you can argue verses and texts all night long. We could even invite some Mormons, Jehovah Witness and Tom Cruise it couldn’t get any dumber.

    If only God had made Adam and Steve. Then the whole world, this website, and this pointless conversation would never have existed.

  • dcsloan

    In the law, homosexual relations are not just mentioned “in a negative context” and not just as a sin. According to the law, homosexual relations are a capital crime.

    “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.” NRSV Leviticus 20:13

    According to the law, there is no room for a second chance to change behavior or to find a “cure” or to become celebate. According to the law, there must be an execution.

    If we must adhere to the law, then men who engage in homosexual relations must be executed.

    Have I got this right?

  • http://freedompastor.blogspot.com Frank Emanuel

    Daniel, can I jump in here. Sorry I’m late to the party – I can’t promise I’ll keep up either. But I think it is interesting.

    The natural use argument is a key one. Really after the advent of birth control we have to ask the same question about sexuality. If we admit that sexuality is for pleasure then are we not making judgments about what is pleasurable that are based on our own preferences? I’m concerned about that. I want to be able to navigate that area carefully with better criteria than ‘it makes me uncomfortable.’ So for me it has to do with love versus lust. That is a better way to judge the health of sexual relationships. I would also augment it with a category of mutually reciprocated expressions.

    The second one is also really interesting. I’m with you on the fornication issue. I think it is a problem. But I’m also more convinced that the church has a responsibility to nurture loving committed relationships. To call couples to a high view of marriage. So perhaps the way forward is to let a high view of marriage trump the resistance to homosexuality. Give homosexual couples a legitimate place to express their mutually reciprocated love. I would say that even if we can’t imagine (at this point) how this can demonstrate the mystery of Christ’s love for the Church – do we not at least owe couples genuinely committed to Christ and to each other the chance to show us how it might? It isn’t Jesus’ maleness that saves us – it is Jesus’ Christness.

    In terms of your so-called friends who are gender casting their kids? Are you making that up? If you aren’t then I would say that problem is a bit deeper than their sexual orientation. Parents who impose ideals (often twisted) is not a problem just in the homosexual community – it is a parenting problem and probably denotes other problems as well. What makes me skeptical is that I’ve heard that sort of story as part of fear mongering tactics by Christians telling lies about groups they dislike. And there is not much I detest more than people using untruths to hurt other people. I apologize if you are not exaggerating here, but hopefully you can understand why this would be an issue for me. If you do know such people, you should might want to help them get help. So no this is not acceptable, any more than it is to not allow boys to play with dolls for fear that is might (as if) ‘turn them gay’.

    I want to throw in another caveat. I think that there is a huge amount of sexual brokenness in our society. I really believe that God can and does bring us healing from this brokenness. I think that is part of the mess that we have to face as Christians. But what I’m less convinced about is that healing is manifest only in heteronormative ways. What I look for is a heart going after God, cause I know that that heart will end up where it needs to be. I can trust my own discernment to help along that way – but I don’t have to impose my ideals on the situation. It is an incredibly liberating (and adult) way to live.

  • T

    Slone,
    Is adultery part of the law we no longer have to obey? Jesus stopped them from stoning the adulterous woman (also a capital offense), can we conclude that Jesus loves adultly?

  • T

    Slone,
    Is adultery part of the law we no longer have to obey? Jesus stopped them from stoning the adulterous woman (also a capital offense), can we conclude that Jesus loves adultly?

  • fishon

    Frank Emanuel

    June 4, 2010 at 11:57 pm . So for me it has to do with love versus lust. That is a better way to judge the health of sexual relationships.
    —–Frank, you didn’t address me, but I will pop in on your above statement and say, the better way to judge the health of sexual relationship is the Scripture.

    Give homosexual couples a legitimate place to express their mutually reciprocated love.
    —–I take it then, to state consistent, that you are not against multiple partners in a marriage so as to express their mutually love.——Of course that wouldn’t apply if you believe a person can NOT love more than one person at a time.

  • Christine

    Hi Daniel, thanks for your questions. I will try to answer them as best I can.

    I have to admit, though, that I have always found these “natural use” arguments a bit bizarre, even if homosexuality were clearly a sin. Partly, I just don’t get it. Can I ask if you get this idea from scripture, or simply from our anatomy, because I think your answer would help me understand.

    You asked: “Why would God give someone a mind that goes against the body’s natural use? What would be the purpose of that? Why would he do it?”

    I assume by this question you mean “why would God give me a female body if I am attracted to women” or “why would God make me attracted to women if I am a woman”.

    By “natural use”, I’m going to assume you are referencing anatomy. (This is not the meaning of “natural” and “unnatural” as Paul uses it, nor does this come up in the creation account and to my knowledge the idea of the purpose of our sex organs isn’t adressed elsewhere in scripture, but correct me if you do mean to reference scripture.)

    *** Please excuse the rather blunt conversation to follow. If we are discussing the purpose of sex organs, I really don’t know how else to do it. ***

    On the anatomy thing, it is clear that a woman’s sex organs are designed for procreation. Semen goes in through the vagina to fertilize the egg, the womb incubates the fetus, and the child is born, again though the vagina. Breasts are for feeding. This is pretty self-evident, as how the body is designed. I don’t believe this is a function of the fall or anything like that (although difficulty in childbirth seems to be), and the creation account does make reference to Eve having a womb – although it doesn’t say anything besides that.

    (Side note: I actually plan to get pregnant, and so does Cindy, so I do intend to take advantage of that function of my body, as does she, and am very much looking forward to doing so, as is she. This would be something that at least one of us would really miss out on if one of us had a man’s body. Yes, I suppose we could both get pregnant with men, but we actually really want to be pregnant together and think that will be very special. We would be so sad to lose the experience of being pregnant together as a couple. But in any case, we are being equally procreative whether the semen is delivered directly or indirectly, and in either case we are taking equal advantage of the natural function of the body.)

    From this, though, wouldn’t all non-procreative sex be against the natural use? Wouldn’t any histerectomy, sex with contraception, sex after menopause, sex when infertile, or life-long celibacy be denying the natural use of the female sex organs – procreation? Why would same-sex acts be any different?

    We could ask why God created menopause, for instance. What purpose does it serve? Why would he do that? Why would women have sex after menopause? Why would sex still be pleasurable after menopause?

    I think the answer here is that we do not see procreation as the only “natural use” for sex. It is certainly one natural and intended use, but we tend to see sex as also a means to intimacy, of bonding. It helps to not only give pleasure, but through pleasure and vulnerability, to create deeper emotional bonds between people and contributes to our ability to love another person unconditionally for our whole lives (which can be a tall order). That bonding would occur in any type of sex that involved intimacy, trust, vulnerability, and pleasure – gay sex as much as straight sex does this and therefore has all the non-procreative purposes or “natural uses” of sex. It has a much meaning and purpose as sex between straight people who cannot or chose not to procreate.

    (I am assuming here that you do not think all non-procreative sex is sin. Please correct me if you do.)

    Perhaps I’ll just finish by saying that there is a lot of diversity in people and in God’s creation generally for which we cannot identify an exact purpose. (Although, some level of homosexuality in a population could also be seen as a God-given means of population control – no unintended pregnancies.) But I think that the diversity itself is good. And I certainly see the benefits of being a woman in a relationship with a woman, as it has so richly blessed my life.

    You asked: “how you get past the sin of fornication? Homosexuals could not have been married in the past. If they consummated their love, it would be an act of fornication.”

    First, I should be honest and say I’m not convinced that any sex outside of legal marriage is sin. I would separate religious from civil marriage as being different – although not unrelated – things. In fact, throughout much of history, governments have not regulated marriage in the way they do now. This is why it is sometimes more helpful to talk about life-long or covenanted relationships, refering to what God is asking of us rather than what human governments have permitted.

    That being said, to say that the Bible in no way forbids same-sex acts generally is different from saying that specific instances of same-sex acts are not sin. Just like straight sex, some instances would be sinful and others not. If you believe strongly in the need for legal marriage, it would be possible to view gay sex as only permissible in legal marriage, just as you would straight sex. (Hypothetically, though, if a government stopped allowing straight marriage, would you think all straight sex in that country sinful? Would that government’s definition of marriage define what was sin? It’s an interesting question and I’m curious about your answer.) Whatever your view of the type of marriage required, there is no reason not to apply it equally to gay and straight sex – even if that meant that all instances of same-sex acts in a particular context (or outside of a particular context) were sin. (This would also answer your question below about why specific instances of same-sex acts are dealt with negatively even if the concept is never described as inherently sinful. I’ll add more on this below.)

    You asked: “Also, I know gay couples that encourage their male children to only play with female toys and dress in a female manner… How is this acceptable?”

    I’ve never heard of such a thing, and it surprises me. I would think that being gay would make one sensitive to being able to choose, and to not be stereotyped in any way, so why make your child play with things or dress in a way they don’t want to? But playing with dolls or wearing dresses has nothing to do with being gay – it’s not like these things could actually affect someone’s sexual orientation. So, I’m really not sure what that has to do with the sinfulness of being gay or not, or why anyone would make their child do that.

    You asked: “how is the gay marriage an example of Christ’s relationship to the church… How is the gay marriage fulfilling this?”

    Ah, a very good question, because I think this passage is one that affects a lot of people’s thinking on the matter. First, it is a metaphor. (I think Paul makes this point specifically to the Corinthians because women were treated so poorly in marriage and he needed to address the need for self-sacrificing love in marriage in a way that would be accepted in such a male-dominated society. He does go on to say there is really no difference between the sexes.)

    I do think this analogy is saying something important about how love is to be shown in marriage – but it doesn’t have to be seen as gender-specific. We are all called to love one another as Christ showed love to His disciples, so we are all, male and female, called to love in a Christ-like way, in the way that Jesus loved His followers (the church). This isn’t something specific to marriage only, so why would it be specific to straight marriages only? And this call to love in a certain way has nothing to do with sex organs or procreation.

    If I love my wife in the way Christ loves the church, is that not also a reflection of God’s love? Or, alternatively, we could both show that love to each other and each, in different ways or on different subjects or indifferent context, yeild to one another’s gifting, talents, and callings. Is that not trusting one another – and trusting God working in each other – much as the Church is called to trust Christ? This give and take happens as much in straight relationships as in gay ones.

    You asked: “if homosexuality is acceptable (not a sin), why is it when it’s mentioned in the Bible it’s always in a negative context?”

    I think we should be clear, first, that homosexuality is not discussed at all in the Bible. Homosexuality is an orientation, not an action. Same-sex acts are not frequently referenced in the Bible – there are only a few instances of mention (Levitcus and Romans being the main ones). Although the attempted gang rape in Sodom was by men with angels appearing as men, this was gang rape of visitors, of people who Lot were required to protect – the account is not discussing same-sex acts. Gang rape (of straight men by straight men – no gay people involved) was a common way to humiliate and subjugate someone else and is sadly still a recent phenomenon in parts of the world. It is about power, not sex, and certainly not about sexual orientation.

    Other than one other story very similar to the Sodom account, I am hard-pressed to think of any other references to same-sex acts in scripture. (Let me know if you know of any. If there are, they are not frequently cited.) The fact is, it was common for two straight men to have sex together, usually as a means for one to express domination over the other (as men were humilited to be used as women as they thought themselves better than women) or to worship gods. Both of these common instances were clearly sinful (rape and idol worship, just for starters) and so it is essential for the Bible to speak of these few instances negatively. Although loving gay relationships probably did exist, consumation of those relationships would have been a small, small minority of the same-sex acts committed. So, it is not suprising that such instances do not occur in scripture. This shows more that the contexts within which same-sex acts generally happened (and normally between straight people) were sinful, rather than gay sex itself.

    (Some people would argue that Jesus does heal a man’s gay lover in the gospels – we can discuss more if you like – but it is not certain if the word in question means that they were lovers. If this is true, the account is neutral on the subject, although the “go and sin no more” would be conspicuously absent. The closest thing we would have to a reference to homosexuality in scripture (the actual orientation) would be Jesus discussing those who are born eunuchs – but again it is not clear what is meant by this reference. This, too, would have a mostly neutral treatment, leaning slightly on the positive side as it would acknowledge that orientation is something that occurs from birth and is normal.)

    I hope I’ve helped you to perhaps get a little insight into my perspective. I’d be happy to clarify anything or try to answer any follow-up questions.

  • http://irrelevantaxiom.wordpress.com Daniel

    Frank Emanuel said, “So perhaps the way forward is to let a high view of marriage trump the resistance to homosexuality. Give homosexual couples a legitimate place to express their mutually reciprocated love.”

    Just my opinion, but if it were up to the church when confronted with gays who weren’t having sex but wanted legitimacy from the church, I think the church would have said no without a second thought. No one ever had to look further into the verses that mentioned homosexuality. When taken at face value, the verses seem to condemn the act every time. Only when research was done and defensive explanations were created was homosexuality seen as legitimate. And it’s still not accepted even though these explanations exist.

    “In terms of your so-called friends who are gender casting their kids? Are you making that up?”

    I know these people. These practices exist.

    Christine said, “Wouldn’t any histerectomy, sex with contraception, sex after menopause, sex when infertile, or life-long celibacy be denying the natural use of the female sex organs – procreation? Why would same-sex acts be any different?”

    I’m no expert on the subject, but let me explain this way: The previous list you mentioned doesn’t affect who you are. They are just choices. If they are wrong they don’t affect your identity. The same-sex acts denote an unnatural mental state in the person doing the acts. I’m not referencing the Bible when I say “unnatural”. I’m referring to acting against your gender. It changes the way you relate to life, truth, philosophy, the Bible, and other people. Who you are changes. This is evidenced in my inability to understand where you’re coming from.

    “This is why it is sometimes more helpful to talk about life-long or covenanted relationships, refering to what God is asking of us rather than what human governments have permitted.”

    Are you saying that covenant relationships outside of legal marriage is just as legitimate? Or are you saying that all sex outside of marriage is OK?

    “(Hypothetically, though, if a government stopped allowing straight marriage, would you think all straight sex in that country sinful? Would that government’s definition of marriage define what was sin? It’s an interesting question and I’m curious about your answer.)”

    If government had no say in the matter, I would prefer at the very least that the couple get approval from their parents and declare the permanence of the union they want to make. If the government did not allow marriage at all, marriage would still be allowed in God’s laws since it is his institution. I would encourage couples to have secret marriages (approved by parents) and hopefully people would work on changing the government or leaving it for a new one. I say I would prefer the parents approval but if there were none then the couple should at least try to get witnesses but the marriage vow is between the couple essentially. As a side note, I really don’t think parents would usually approve of same-sex marriages. Parents have certain expectations for their children and homosexuality is generally considered “off the beaten path”.

    “If I love my wife in the way Christ loves the church, is that not also a reflection of God’s love?”

    This is confusing to me. On one hand, love is the way of God. On the other hand, there are certain specific elements included in the metaphor. Husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. There are more parallels list in that particular scripture but I don’t really want to mention all of them. So can the gay couple reflect the relationship of Christ and the church? The jury is still out. But I think I can say it is not the intended example and things would be much clearer in the traditional marriage.

    “I think we should be clear, first, that homosexuality is not discussed at all in the Bible. Homosexuality is an orientation, not an action.”

    Again, you list homosexuality as a state of mind. I agree. But it naturally leads to certain same-sex actions. I think the difference between the straight mind and the gay mind is enormous. Your whole identity is different depending on the agreement of your mind with your gender as opposed to the disagreement of your mind with your gender. It affects all of your life.

    I’m completely confused by your statement that homosexuality is not discussed in the Bible. What about these verses:

    Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, How can you assume 100% that these verses just talk about rape? If they don’t address the orientation then they address the act that comes from the orientation. So it addresses orientation indirectly at the very least.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    Why don’t we look at it this way: Jesus fellowshipped with sinners. There is no talk of conversions. His desire to be with sinners is the biblical good news, and was the offense then as it is now.

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ steve martin

    Jesus was all about changing people’s lives.

    Did St. Paul continue to persecute the church? Did Peter continue to deny knowing the Lord? Millions have had their lives changed by Christ Jesus over the years. He has changed me, also.

    The Biblical Good News is that our sins are forgiven for Jesus’ sake. Do you really think He is content with not changing us?

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    To all who would receive him…

  • http://theoldadam.wordpress.com/ steve martin

    Maybe it’s time people started taking that seriously instead of placing their own wants and desires at the center of the universe.

  • Pat

    David,
    Am I the only person who finds it deeply depressing that your posts from Haiti generated very little comment, and no heated debate about WWJD in such circumstancesd, yet the moment homosexuality is mentioned…….

  • http://freedompastor.blogspot.com Frank Emanuel

    I think there is really little will to have a conversation here, when Daniel and Fishion both respond with an unqualified appeal to scripture as if their interpretation is the only right one – well there is no response. That effectively shuts down the conversation. I’m going to bow out.

    I really appreciated David’s interjection. The issue isn’t tolerance, as in putting up with or even capitulating to culture, it is wrestling through real life issues with people you are committed to love and crying out for the Holy Spirit.

  • Christine

    Hi again, Daniel. Thanks for the responses.
    You said: “The previous list you mentioned doesn’t affect who you are. They are just choices. If they are wrong they don’t affect your identity.”
    My choices do not affect my identity either. I would be just as gay and have the same identity even if I never had sex.
    “The same-sex acts denote an unnatural mental state in the person doing the acts… I’m referring to acting against your gender.”
    But who says it’s an unnatural mental state? What makes you think that? Is being attracted to men a defining aspect of being a woman? Is so, why?
    “It changes the way you relate to life, truth, philosophy, the Bible, and other people. Who you are changes. This is evidenced in my inability to understand where you’re coming from.”
    Daniel, I think you are really overestimating how different gay people are from straight people. Just because we have different perspectives, doesn’t mean that is because I am gay and you are straight. It may be difficult for you to understand what it is like being gay, but that doesn’t mean I would share your view of life, truth, philosophy, the Bible, and other people if I were straight. I don’t think being gay or straight affects these things.
    “Are you saying that covenant relationships outside of legal marriage is just as legitimate? Or are you saying that all sex outside of marriage is OK?”
    I was basically saying the first one, or at least that they could or can be just as legitimate. I was definitely not saying the second one.
    “If government had no say in the matter, I would prefer at the very least that the couple get approval from their parents and declare the permanence of the union they want to make. If the government did not allow marriage at all, marriage would still be allowed in God’s laws since it is his institution. I would encourage couples to have secret marriages (approved by parents) and hopefully people would work on changing the government or leaving it for a new one. I say I would prefer the parents approval but if there were none then the couple should at least try to get witnesses but the marriage vow is between the couple essentially. As a side note, I really don’t think parents would usually approve of same-sex marriages. Parents have certain expectations for their children and homosexuality is generally considered “off the beaten path”. “
    My hypothetical question was actually about a government not allowing straight marriage – that doesn’t mean forbidding marriage entirely. But your response is still helpful. I’m curious as to why you put so much emphasis on parental approval. A lot of people, gay or straight, get married without their parents’ approval, and certainly without their permission. Are parents the only ones who can or should condone or witness marriage? What about other family members, friends, or a church community? On parents approving of homosexuality, this is changing greatly. Most parents where I live completely accept their children being gay as much as they would them being straight. It is who they are. Why would a parent reject that? Usually, disapproving parents only disapprove because they think it against God.
    I like that you said that God would still allow marriage even if the government didn’t. This is basically where I’m coming from on the covenantal relationships thing – that God’s definition of marriage could be different than the governments. And I note that you think people should still get married and even try to change the government so that it allows marriage. This is essentially what gay people are doing in America.
    “On one hand, love is the way of God. On the other hand, there are certain specific elements included in the metaphor. Husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church. There are more parallels list in that particular scripture but I don’t really want to mention all of them.”
    The husband was clearly the head of the wife in Corinth. Do you think of all husbands today as the head of their wives? If so, perhaps it is worth discussing these references to women and men further to get a better idea of where we are each coming from. I don’t see anything inherent in the male anatomy that would make that so, and Paul is clear that there is essentially no difference between the gender (in the same passage I believe). I see it as the social place of men, which was much different from that of women, that made the difference in that instance.
    “So can the gay couple reflect the relationship of Christ and the church? The jury is still out. But I think I can say it is not the intended example and things would be much clearer in the traditional marriage.”
    The jury made be out for some, but it isn’t for others. It depends of on the gay couples you know, I suppose. Although it isn’t an example in scripture (because there wasn’t gay marriage) I’m not convinced God didn’t intend for there to be gay couples. When you say things would be clearer, what do you mean by clear?
    “Again, you list homosexuality as a state of mind. I agree. But it naturally leads to certain same-sex actions.”
    True. But, as hard as it might be to believe, heterosexual people also engage in same-sex acts as well. (Much less today, although in prisons would be a modern day example.) In Biblical times, same-sex rape and same-sex idol worship were common practices among straight people, as were other same-sex acts, usually between adult married men and boys. So, when the Bible discusses same-sex acts, not only is it not discussing an orientation (somewhat different than a “state of mind”), but it might not even be talking about things gay people are doing.
    “ I think the difference between the straight mind and the gay mind is enormous. Your whole identity is different depending on the agreement of your mind with your gender as opposed to the disagreement of your mind with your gender. It affects all of your life.”
    Again, I think you are wildly exaggerating the difference between gay and straight people. And I don’t see any disagreement between my mind and my body or gender. I don’t see being attracted to men as a defining characteristic of being a woman. And other than the particular sex organs of my partner, I would be exactly the same person if I was straight.
    “I’m completely confused by your statement that homosexuality is not discussed in the Bible. What about these verses: Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13, Romans 1:26-27, How can you assume 100% that these verses just talk about rape?”
    Sorry, I guess I wasn’t clear. I meant to say that the Leviticus passage and the Romans passage would be the only ones that could be discussing all same-sex acts (at least between men) generally rather than specific instances of rape (like in the Genesis account of Sodom). I don’t think any of those three passages is about rape at all.
    Again, though, these passages don’t discuss an orientation or something that was done exclusively by gay people.
    “ If they don’t address the orientation then they address the act that comes from the orientation. So it addresses orientation indirectly at the very least.”
    True. I should have said that the Bible doesn’t directly discuss homosexuality or sexual orientation. It does address same-sex acts fairly broadly in those three passages, but again, same-sex acts were something engaged in (for all kinds of reasons) regardless of sexual orientation. So, we can’t say the Bible is talking specifically about gay people in these passages, as it is talking about these behaviours for the population as a whole.

  • Christine

    Sorry that didn’t post with the spaces intact. I’m hoping it’s still legible. It’s long, but I could repost with the spaces if you like.

  • Christine

    Pat. I appreciate your concern for Haiti. But things can really impact us and be important to us, and still leave us speechless.

  • fishon

    T

    June 4, 2010 at 11:15 pm .

    It is true Jesus associated with whores, thieves, liars, adulterers, murderers, fornicators, the religious, the sick, the hungry, and even the dead: but He did not leave them the way he met them and nor did I.
    ——I am thinking that the “rich young ruler” went away unchanged. I am thinking that a man named Judas went away unchanged.

  • fishon

    nakedpastor

    June 5, 2010 at 8:18 am .Why don’t we look at it this way: Jesus fellowshipped with sinners. There is no talk of conversions.
    ———Then why did he go on to the cross? He didn’t have to.
    What is the cross all about if not about conversion. It
    screams conversion.

    His desire to be with sinners is the biblical good news, and was the offense then as it is now
    ———Oh, he had desire to be with sinners, and as far as I know, everyone he met was a sinner [tell me if I am wrong]. However, his “greatest” desire was to “seek and save what was lost.”

  • fishon

    Frank Emanuel

    June 5, 2010 at 11:18 am .I think there is really little will to have a conversation here, when Daniel and Fishion both respond with an unqualified appeal to scripture as if their interpretation is the only right one – well there is no response. That effectively shuts down the conversation. I’m going to bow out.
    ————–Now there is a genuine cop-out.
    This isn’t like we are all in a room [literally] and carrying on debate and I or anyone else can waylay the debate. It is quite easy for Frank or anyone to just ignore someones words in writing. DON’T READ WHAT WE WRITE FRANK!

    And heaven forbid, we talk about civil law and break out law books and cite them.

    Heaven forbid we talk about science and Daniel breaks out a science book and cites it.

    Heaven forbid we talk about Islam and break out the Koran.

    And heaven forbid that NP puts John 3:16 in his cartoon–displays WWJD and we dare use scripture. We bad!

    No Frank, to blame us for your leaving makes you a coward.

  • T

    Fishon, Your are correct.
    However, those who refuses to transform or change are most likely in hell.

    But Jesus did in fact offer both of the men you mentioned the “opportunity, the way” to become something new, redeemed. Both rejected.

    What I mean is that anyone, everyone “can” come to relationship with Jesus, but you nor I get to “stay” the same, the way we are born.

    The Rich Young Ruler could have “stayed” with Jesus, but he would have had to change, give up his state of being through his wealth – worldly possessions, Ruler – political power or status, youth – who he was.

    Judas too.

    My point is that we are all to Die to Self, Kill the Old Man, we are born damaged, corrupted and hell bound. Jesus provides not only grace and mercy but Life in the Kingdom. A Kingdom not of the world.

    Ultimately what I was trying to say (using your example) is that: Had the Rich, Young, Ruler responded to Jesus with, “I was born this way” “Jesus! Solomon was Rich, King David was a Ruler, and Jesus even you were a baby, so I don’t see what’s wrong with me. I think you should accept me the way I am and leave me this way.”

  • http://irrelevantaxiom.wordpress.com Daniel

    Christine says, “But who says it’s an unnatural mental state? What makes you think that? Is being attracted to men a defining aspect of being a woman? Is so, why?”

    I would say yes. But I really have no reason for this other than an innate instinctual feeling about it. If I see a male who likes males I feel I was deceived when I first met him and thought him just like other men. I actually have to relate to him differently. This is part of the reason for me saying that homosexuality changes who you are.

    “I’m curious as to why you put so much emphasis on parental approval.”

    It’s really a preference. I valued parental approval before I was married, and I like the idea now more than ever, now that I have two daughters. To me, it’s part of the litmus test for your potential mate. However, I do acknowledge that it doesn’t always work. Some people will just never get the approval of their parents no matter how hard they try.

    “Do you think of all husbands today as the head of their wives?”

    Yes. I think it’s Biblical but I do not think it’s everything that the male chauvinist egotistical fundamentalists say it is. And I don’t think my wife resents me as the head, especially when I ask her opinion for decisions that need to be made. Being the “head” is like having a second casting vote. If both do not agree, there is no majority rule in a group of two. The “head” should have that second vote for the purpose making a decision. This requires the voluntary submission of the wife. If she still doesn’t follow the head, the marriage is going to have problems and decisions are harder to be made.

    “I don’t see being attracted to men as a defining characteristic of being a woman”

    On one hand you say that your orientation doesn’t affect the way you look at life. But then you say:

    “Most parents where I live completely accept their children being gay as much as they would them being straight. It is who they are.”

    Your statement indicates a change of identity at some level. Please explain.

  • T

    Fishon

    One other thought.

    The two men you mention actually left Jesus.

  • dcsloan

    If the scripture is to be taken literally and we are to live according to the scripture, what do we do with these verses?

    Exodus 21:15 “Whoever strikes father or mother shall be put to death.”

    Exodus 21:17 “Whoever curses father or mother shall be put to death.”
    Leviticus 20:9 “All who curse father or mother shall be put to death; having cursed father or mother, their blood is upon them.”

    Exodus 21:29: “If the ox has been accustomed to gore in the past, and its owner has been warned but has not restrained it, and it kills a man or a woman, the ox shall be stoned, and its owner also shall be put to death.”

    Exodus 22:18: “You shall not permit a female sorcerer to live.”
    Leviticus 20:27 “A man or a woman who is a medium or a wizard shall be put to death; they shall be stoned to death, their blood is upon them.”

    Exodus 22:19: “Whoever lies with an animal shall be put to death.”
    Leviticus 20:15-16 “If a man has sexual relations with an animal, he shall be put to death; and you shall kill the animal. If a woman approaches any animal and has sexual relations with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them.”

    Exodus 31:15: “Six days shall work be done, but the seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD; whoever does any work on the sabbath day shall be put to death.”

    Leviticus 20:10-14 “If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death.”
    “The man who lies with his father’s wife has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.”
    “If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall be put to death; they have committed perversion, their blood is upon them.”
    “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.”
    “If a man takes a wife and her mother also, it is depravity; they shall be burned to death, both he and they, that there may be no depravity among you.”

    Deuteronomy 22:22 “If a man is caught lying with the wife of another man, both of them shall die, the man who lay with the woman as well as the woman. So you shall purge the evil from Israel.”

    Deuteronomy 22:23-27 “If there is a young woman, a virgin already engaged to be married, and a man meets her in the town and lies with her, you shall bring both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death, the young woman because she did not cry for help in the town and the man because he violated his neighbor’s wife. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.
    But if the man meets the engaged woman in the open country, and the man seizes her and lies with her, then only the man who lay with her shall die. You shall do nothing to the young woman; the young woman has not committed an offense punishable by death, because this case is like that of someone who attacks and murders a neighbor. Since he found her in the open country, the engaged woman may have cried for help, but there was no one to rescue her.”

    Leviticus 21:9 “When the daughter of a priest profanes herself through prostitution, she profanes her father; she shall be burned to death.”

    Deuteronomy 17:8-13 “If a judicial decision is too difficult for you to make between one kind of bloodshed and another, one kind of legal right and another, or one kind of assault and another—any such matters of dispute in your towns—then you shall immediately go up to the place that the LORD your God will choose, where you shall consult with the levitical priests and the judge who is in office in those days; they shall announce to you the decision in the case. Carry out exactly the decision that they announce to you from the place that the LORD will choose, diligently observing everything they instruct you. You must carry out fully the law that they interpret for you or the ruling that they announce to you; do not turn aside from the decision that they announce to you, either to the right or to the left. As for anyone who presumes to disobey the priest appointed to minister there to the LORD your God, or the judge, that person shall die. So you shall purge the evil from Israel. All the people will hear and be afraid, and will not act presumptuously again.”

    Deuteronomy 21:18-21 “If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who will not obey his father and mother, who does not heed them when they discipline him, then his father and his mother shall take hold of him and bring him out to the elders of his town at the gate of that place. They shall say to the elders of his town, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” Then all the men of the town shall stone him to death. So you shall purge the evil from your midst; and all Israel will hear, and be afraid.”

    Deuteronomy 22:13-21 “Suppose a man marries a woman, but after going in to her, he dislikes her and makes up charges against her, slandering her by saying, “I married this woman; but when I lay with her, I did not find evidence of her virginity.” The father of the young woman and her mother shall then submit the evidence of the young woman’s virginity to the elders of the city at the gate. The father of the young woman shall say to the elders: “I gave my daughter in marriage to this man but he dislikes her; now he has made up charges against her, saying, ‘I did not find evidence of your daughter’s virginity.’ But here is the evidence of my daughter’s virginity.” Then they shall spread out the cloth before the elders of the town. The elders of that town shall take the man and punish him; they shall fine him one hundred shekels of silver (which they shall give to the young woman’s father) because he has slandered a virgin of Israel. She shall remain his wife; he shall not be permitted to divorce her as long as he lives. If, however, this charge is true, that evidence of the young woman’s virginity was not found, then they shall bring the young woman out to the entrance of her father’s house and the men of her town shall stone her to death, because she committed a disgraceful act in Israel by prostituting herself in her father’s house. So you shall purge the evil from your midst.”

  • Pat

    Christine – I think you missed the point slightly. Haiti is just an example. Substitute any other topic of your choice to do with the great biblical themes of love and justice, care for fellow humans and creation or about use of money, inequality of access to resources etc. It won’t generate 100th the heat and outraged posturing,or the pugnacious displays of so-called ‘biblical knowledge’ and loud protestations of the ‘true gospel imperatives’ as a post about sexuality.

    As I said ….deeply depressing.

  • fishon

    T

    June 5, 2010 at 1:28 pm .Fishon, Your are correct.
    However, those who refuses to transform or change are most likely in hell.

    But Jesus did in fact offer both of the men you mentioned the “opportunity, the way” to become something new, redeemed. Both rejected.

    What I mean is that anyone, everyone “can” come to relationship with Jesus, but you nor I get to “stay” the same, the way we are born.
    ———Amen and amen.

  • Christine

    Oh. Sorry, Pat, I misunderstood. Then, yes, I completely agree with you.

    Daniel –

    On identity. Let me try to explain.

    First off, there is no “change of identity” as I was born gay, am gay, and will always be gay. So, my identity in this respect did not change. (Just for the record, I do believe Jesus calls us all to change. Many things change, mostly our heart attitudes, but not everything. If I’m left-handed, I don’t have to right-handed just because meeting Jesus changes me. The question at hand is whether or not God calls me to be straight, and I see nothing in Scripture to suggest this. Many people have thought that with prayer and faith gay people could become straight and that has caused much hurt, pain, and damage to people, so that should also be considered.)

    Being gay is part of who I am. Just as much as your attraction to women is part of who you are. In fact, as we are both attracted to women, and likely in the same way, this would actually give us more in common in some ways than I would have with a gay man. (The gay man would understand the prejudice we face as gay people, for instance, but this similarity is because of experience.)

    However, it is only one part, one aspect of my identity. I am gay, but I am also so many other things. Sexual orientation is just one part of a person. And even if that affected gender to a large degree (which it doesn’t necessarily), gender is only one aspect of our identity as well, one way in which we see ourselves, define ourselves. Why that one part of my identity, my sexual orientation, would change my view of the Bible, for instance, is beyond me. We all have many different aspects of ourselves. I would see your sexual orientation as one aspect of your identity as well. It is part of who you are, but it isn’t everything about you.

    I said: “Is being attracted to men a defining aspect of being a woman? Is so, why?”

    You answered: “I would say yes. But I really have no reason for this other than an innate instinctual feeling about it. If I see a male who likes males I feel I was deceived when I first met him and thought him just like other men. I actually have to relate to him differently. This is part of the reason for me saying that homosexuality changes who you are.”

    But it does not mean that homosexuality changes who a person is; it means it changes how you view that person. When you first met that man, you made an assumption that he was attracted to women. That was your assumption you made about him. He didn’t deceive you. When you know he is attracted to other men, then you realize there is something you thought you had in common with him – attraction to women – that you did not have. Since gender matters a lot to you, it might then be more difficult for you to relate to him about relationships. Why would this affect how you relate to him otherwise? And how does him being different from you make him inherently not a man?

    I asked: “Do you think of all husbands today as the head of their wives?”

    You responded: “Yes. I think it’s Biblical but I do not think it’s everything that the male chauvinist egotistical fundamentalists say it is. And I don’t think my wife resents me as the head, especially when I ask her opinion for decisions that need to be made. Being the “head” is like having a second casting vote. If both do not agree, there is no majority rule in a group of two. The “head” should have that second vote for the purpose making a decision. This requires the voluntary submission of the wife. If she still doesn’t follow the head, the marriage is going to have problems and decisions are harder to be made.”

    Having a different perspective on gender and gender roles can make it hard to understand one another here. But this isn’t because I’m gay. (Although it may have something to do with me being a woman.) There are a lot of straight men and women who would have answer “no “ to my question.

    To be frank, I think the idea that you “ask her opinion for decisions” is rather offensive. It makes it sound like she doesn’t have a right to a say in her own life and you are doing her some sort of favour by “letting” her have a say. And if you can simply override her opinion with a “second vote” then you are not really giving her a say, you are just taking her opinion into consideration before making all the decisions about both of your lives all by yourself. That sounds a lot like the “male chauvinist egotistical fundamentalism” I am familiar with on the matter, yes. I don’t mean to be rude, Daniel. I’m just trying to explain how I feel about what you’ve said.

    All of the relationships I know, gay or straight, do not function like this. Decision are made in common – this is no voting, no overriding, no unilateral decisions. Couples have to come to agreement. This is most often compromise, but in some cases someone ultimately has to give in to the other – but it isn’t always the woman. I would suggest that this is a much more loving way to operate.

    Although Paul uses the example of Christ and the church to explain how a man, who had complete authority over his wife in law and culture, could still love his wife, who he saw as property, in a self-sacrificing way, there isn’t an exact parallel between wives and husbands and the church and Christ. It is a metaphor, like shepherding or vine growing were used as metaphors. You can take the metaphor too far, which is why Paul essentially says not to read too much into it. I think you are reading too much into it.

    In my (perhaps our) social context, we do not have to deal with these inequalities. Husbands and wives can simply love each other with the love of Christ, and get along between them and resolve disputes they way they would with anyone else they cared for, like other family members, friends, and fellow Christians. What’s wrong with that?

  • http://irrelevantaxiom.wordpress.com Daniel

    Christine,

    I didn’t think I needed to defend my philosophy of marriage against years of fundamentalist abuse. I guess I have to. The problem with using the words I used is that fundamentalists have abused them to the point that they don’t even mean the Biblical definition any more, words like: Head, submission, and the phrase “ask her opinion”. My marriage doesn’t practically play out in any way that is offensive to a woman.

    Let me be clear. The second casting vote is used as a last resort. In our marriage, I really can’t think of any time where I’ve had to use this. However, there may be one coming up. I may be medically discharged from the Air Force in the near future. I have a job offer in the state that we live in and neither of us feel completely at peace yet with taking the job. We would both rather live in Ohio, but no real option to do so has been found. That is not to say I won’t take the job in order to survive. I believe as my wife does that the Lord holds me responsible for the well-being of my family. And since neither of us really knows what to do, it’s going to come down to me having to choose. But that’s going to happen at the last possible second, if no other options are found. That is an example of the second casting vote. It does not violate my wife’s freedom in any way. I would rather come to a consensus but right now it doesn’t look that way. The most important thing I am doing right now is praying that God would show us (not just me) the way we should go. I want to follow his direction for my family.

    Let me be clear about another thing: I really don’t have to defend my marriage to anyone, but I felt it was necessary for the good of the conversation. I end by saying that the head of the man is God and the head of the woman is the man. If you find this offensive then we disagree about a lot, especially since it’s a Biblical statement. I think the people who are offended don’t really know how a marriage should be. And a proper marriage does not step on the freedom of either spouse.

  • http://irrelevantaxiom.wordpress.com Daniel

    NP,

    Let me say a hardy thanks to you for letting the conversation progress on its own. I have learned much. I will offer my two cents though about people not commenting on your Haiti posts and commenting on GLBT posts. I think that this issue needs to be ironed out and it is near and dear to everyone’s heart. It’s important and it need not be diminished in any way. Haiti is important. yes. And I would not diminish it in any way either. But I firmly believe in settling matters of the heart so that it is free to do good in the world without the restraint of conscience. If the Conscience is cleared, then we are free indeed.

  • http://thepreacherlady.wordpress.com preacherlady

    Has anyone read Andrew Marin’s book ” Love Is An Orientation”? I highly suggest all straight Christians read it. And yes, he is a straight Christian.

  • http://nakedpastor.com nakedpastor

    Daniel: I agree. There is always personal work. And there is always world work.

  • Christine

    Daniel,

    I so much appreciate your explanation. Thank you. That really helps for me to know. (It is only because we have both been able to move past each other’s assumptions that we have both been able to learn from this conversation.)

    I do think we see marriage differently – and the proper roles of men and women. I see much of Paul’s instruction as being for a particular society, a particular context – in the same way that I see his instructions about slavery as being for a particular context.

    With your fuller explanation (and I never meant to imply that you should defend your marriage – I just wanted to be honest about how what you said resonated with me – and I’m glad I did because otherwise I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to have you describe what you meant), I would just ask if perhaps that is not the only way to opperate. Do all marriages have to work in this fashion?

    That being said, I don’t think my relationship functions much differently than what you’ve described. I have a job that requires us to move regularly, and as the provider of the family (not as a God-given role, but practically speaking), the one with the career, Cindy has always given me the space to make those decisions. Generally she entrusts me with them. There are things where she leads or excels, where I yeild to her (and raising children will likely be such area and she will be the one to be with them full-time). So, in the end, we are quite a traditional couple, despite our genders.

    I guess the difference is that we do not see these roles as being assigned based on gender, but based on our God-given gifts and talents. It’s fairly evident to us how we complement each other’s strength and weaknesses. And I have trouble believing this is less legitimate. (And I find myself having to defend my marriage constantly – so, believe me, I know how that feels.)

    When Paul wrote his letters, society dictated these roles. Women always raised children, as Cindy will. Men always provided, as I do. So, in that context, gender would always correspond to specific ways of functioning in a marriage. I doesn’t anymore. That doesn’t mean our marriage is different or operates differently. It just means that we (more specifically, I) don’t have the sex organs one would expect.

    But this is not a function of being gay. In most families, both spouses work and all functions are equally shared. In some, men stay home and raise the children while women work. This is a product of our society, not a sexual orientation.

    I think, just as Paul addressed the problems the Corinthians faced living out their Christianity in their context, we need to look at the challenges to living out our Christianity in our conext, which often means knowing how marriages function when there are no gender role ascribed by society and both men and women function in the same way.


CLOSE | X

HIDE | X