Al Mohler says the apostle Peter was wrong and that’s why evangelicals should ‘focus on homosexuality’

According to the New Testament book of Acts, the apostle Peter was given a vision from God. The 10th chapter of Acts describes that vision. And in that chapter and the next, Peter himself explains what that vision meant.

Southern Baptist enforcer R. Albert Mohler Jr. says that Peter was wrong. The vision from God, Mohler says, meant something else.

The Bible condemns a lot, but here’s why we focus on homosexuality,” Mohler writes today for CNN’s Belief Blog. Here’s Mohler:

“Look,” we are told, “the Bible condemns eating shellfish, wearing mixed fabrics and any number of other things. Why do you ignore those things and insist that the Bible must be obeyed when it comes to sex?”

On its face, it’s a fair question. But it can be posed in two very different ways.

First, the question can be asked to suggest that the Bible’s clear condemnation of sexual sins can simply be set aside. The other way of posing the question represents a genuine attempt to understand how the Bible is to be rightly applied to life today.

In truth, those asking the question the first way really don’t want an answer.

Fair point, but after dismissing those who ask the question dismissively, Mohler offers his response to those who ask it from “a genuine attempt to understand.”

It is here that Mohler tells us that the apostle Peter was wrong — that Peter misunderstood his vision from God in the Book of Acts and that, even worse, Peter spread this misunderstanding as a false prophet in the early Christian community.

Most of the biblical laws people point to in asking this question, such as laws against eating shellfish or wearing mixed fabrics, are part of the holiness code assigned to Israel in the Old Testament. That code was to set Israel, God’s covenant people, apart from all other nations on everything from morality to diet.

As the Book of Acts makes clear, Christians are not obligated to follow this holiness code. This is made clear in Peter’s vision in Acts 10:15. Peter is told, “What God has made clean, do not call common.”

In other words, there is no kosher code for Christians. Christians are not concerned with eating kosher foods and avoiding all others. That part of the law is no longer binding, and Christians can enjoy shrimp and pork with no injury to conscience.

I should note here that Mohler’s interpretation of Peter’s vision is widely held and quite popular among American Christians. (I wrote about this earlier in “The Abominable Shellfish: Why some Christians hate gays but love bacon.”)

But while popular, this view utterly contradicts Peter’s own interpretation of his vision. If Mohler is right, then Peter was wrong. If Peter was right, then Mohler is wrong.

For Peter, his rooftop vision wasn’t about kosher dietary laws — it was about people. He says this explicitly: “God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean.”

That’s a very different conclusion from the one Mohler draws. Mohler says this story — this scripture — is about purity laws. Peter says this story is about God’s commandment that no people should be excluded as impure.

I’m going to have to side with Peter on this one. Peter was right. Mohler is wrong.

Mohler’s case for his interpretation of Peter’s vision only looks plausible if you extract a tiny portion of the story from the rest of the chapter, but if you read all of Acts 10, you’ll see that the story doesn’t allow that.

Consider, for example, the purpose of Peter’s vision. It wasn’t sent because Red Lobster was about to bring back “endless shrimp,” but because of the people who were about to knock on Peter’s door. The author of Acts makes sure we don’t miss that point, writing: “While Peter was greatly puzzled about what to make of the vision that he had seen, suddenly the [impure, uncircumcised, bacon-loving Gentile] men sent by Cornelius appeared. They were asking for Simon’s house and were standing by the gate.”

And just in case you somehow miss that point, as Mohler does, the author of the book of Acts gets pretty anvilicious by repeating the whole thing in even more explicit terms in the very next chapter: “Peter began to explain it to them, step by step …”

And those chapters, again, must be read in the context of the entire book of Acts, which begins with Pentecost — bringing together people “from every nation under heaven … Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to the Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs” — and continues inexorably outward to include and embrace European tradeswomen and African eunuchs and anyone else the author can imagine the reader otherwise being tempted to exclude or reject. The book reads like an after-school special on celebrating diversity.

People — all kinds of people. No one is excluded. Not purity laws but people. That a major theme throughout the entire book. And not just that book, either.

“God is showing us that we should not call anyone profane or unclean.”

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  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I said stuff here and here regarding the selective discarding of the Old Testament among some Christians.

    I would just be repeating myself if I were to retype it all here.

  • http://forholyterra.hobbycore.net Paul Bagosy

    Acts 10-11 is my response to anyone who wants to trot out Leviticus or any other verse about homosexuality.  And I particularly love the “well it was just about dietary laws” argument, because that’s a tacit admission that the person hasn’t read the Bible and therefore doesn’t know enough about their own religion to use it as a weapon against other people.

  • Twig

    therefore doesn’t know enough about their own religion to use it as a weapon against other people.

    I am starting to think not knowing enough about their own religion is a prerequisite for using it as a weapon.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

    Much as I’d like to agree, I think the bigger problem is that there’s plenty of folks who know a lot about their religion… but then only really care about the parts they can use to bludgeon people.

    Someone like Al Mohler knows full well what Fred’s talking about – he KNOWS he’s lying through his teeth – he just doesn’t give a shit because that’s part of the game.  The people ‘at the top’ in the religious right are with maybe a couple exceptions,  just con men and women.  They know the material, but they also know how to work it in order to work up their target audience (a bunch of bigoted rubes for the most part.)

    Now, your average right wing Christian type… yeah I could totally agree there; but in the context of people like Mohler and Robertson and Dobson, not so much.

  • swbarnes2

    “Someone like Al Mohler knows full well what Fred’s talking about – he KNOWS he’s lying through his teeth – he just doesn’t give a shit because that’s part of the game.  ”

    You don’t know that.  So he’s not treating the text literally, he’s treating it metaphorically.  It may say “people”, but that’s a just a metaphor.

    Or is it that only liberal Christians know the real, true way to tell which parts should be interpreted literally, and which parts one should interpret more freely?

    The casual dismissing of other points of view here is alarming, but totally consistant with how religions usually operate. Refuse to hold this or that political premise, you aren’t a real Christian.  Someone says they believe something other than what a liberal Christian thinks, that person can’t be sincere.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

    I’ll give you this much:  I don’t know Al Mohler.  Maybe he really believes what he says.

    That said, I want to explain my reasoning and expand on it a bit:

    1)  I grew up in the fundiesphere – ie: that closed off cultural world where things like Transformers are “Of Satan” because they’re “Deceptive”.

    I say that to say this:  I saw the game up close.  I saw the wolves among the sheep, and I watched them grow fat on those sheep and then leave once they’d drained them dry.  This among other things has left me quite bitter and cynical toward anything associated with the religious right.

    2)  Biblical literalism is a hallmark of the religious right.  I’m not saying Mohler COULDN’T read it metaphorically like that, but it would be very, very odd for anyone on that side of things to do so.  Even Catholics like Rick Santorum who travel in those circles tend to pick up at least some of the whole “inerrant Bible” concept.

    3)  I’m neither Christian nor straight.  This is important because for me, these culture war battles are not abstract exercises in theology.  These are things that directly affect my life so long as people continue to try to legislate religious morality.* 

    It’s also important that not only do these attitudes affect the legislative process, but also the cultural norms which we live by; and those norms (often varying by region) can make being non-Christian or non-straight quite difficult, at least if you’re at all open about it.

    Or in other words:  Who’s theologically right is only important to me insofar as it affects aforementioned culture war.  If this were contained to within the church, and didn’t spill out into lawmaking, then frankly it wouldn’t be my business at all.

    —–

    The point of all this is that basically, I may have gotten a bit carried away by singling out Al Mohler.  I don’t know the man.   That said, while I may have gone a bit far,  this isn’t the first time we’ve talked about Mohler here on Slacktivist, and nothing before has given me a single reason to be remotely generous toward him and his views.

    *Whether or not that morality is even consistent with said religion in the first place really ought to be irrelevant within the context of law; but for now it actually does have some relevance.

  • swbarnes2

    “2)  Biblical literalism is a hallmark of the religious right.  I’m not saying Mohler COULDN’T read it metaphorically like that, but it would be very, very odd for anyone on that side of things to do so.”

    Don’t get hung up on what that particular blowhard may or not think.  Why would it be wrong for anyone to read that part “metaphorically” if reading it like that “worked” (that is, it agreed with their own beliefs about how the world works) for them?

    “Or is it that ‘liberal’ Christians know that reading the Bible ‘literally’ simply doesn’t work, and that the Spirit is infinitely more important than the letter?”

    Liberal Christians do not  know what the true “Spirit” of any text is better than anyone else, and there is no reason, other than smugness and wishful thinking, to think that they know it better than Christians with different political policy preferences.  Literalists are just as sincere in believing that they understand God’s meaning in the text as non-literalists.

  • Au_catboy

    If you treat the text metaphorically, but CLAIM that you’re treating it “literally”, then you are LYING.  Mohler is lying.  I seem to recall that the god he claims to worship is supposed to have some sort of problem with that…

  • http://twitter.com/wonderbink Sheila O’Shea

    “Or is it that only liberal Christians know the real, true way to tell which parts should be interpreted literally, and which parts one should interpret more freely?”

    Or is it that ‘liberal’ Christians know that reading the Bible ‘literally’ simply doesn’t work, and that the Spirit is infinitely more important than the letter?

  • alfgifu

    This discussion is not about whether a section of the text should be read literally or not, it is about how to interpret a passage that both sides already agree needs interpretation.  Fred’s interpretation is arguably more literal than Mohler’s, as he is citing the context around the passage as evidence.

    The casual dismissing of other points of view here is alarming, but totally consistanet with how religionspeople usually operate. Refuse to hold this or that political premise, you aren’t a real Christiangroup member.  Someone says they believe something other than what a liberal Christiangroup member thinks, that person can’t be sincere.

    There, fixed that for you.
    Yes, it is a common human failing, but you haven’t demonstrated convincingly that it has occurred in this post.  Or provided any evidence that it is particularly endemic to religious groups.

  • SisterCoyote

    I am starting to think not knowing enough about their own religion is a prerequisite for using it as a weapon.

    Or at the very least, pretending not to know enough about it. Because it is self-evidently not designed to be a weapon. There’s way too much ‘love’ and ‘peace’ and ‘blessing’ in there, so you kinda have to be willfully ignorant to still be trying to ignore it all. Like somebody handed them a bouquet of flowers, and once they realized there weren’t any thorns they spent several hours pulling all the softening petals off and thrashing and weaving the stems together to make a nightstick. Yes, technically they’re still using the source material, but they haven’t so much missed the point as grabbed all the points, discarded them, and then claimed their idea was the real purpose.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/XCVT7OC6DYHZ6LTKNAY6R7UNF4 Andy

    Paul, like Fred you really don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.  While it’s true that Peter applied the vision to people as opposed to dietary laws, there are two factors we must consider.  (1) While the vision wasn’t “about” dietary laws–that doesn’t mean it can’t and shouldn’t be applied that way.  After all, Jesus “declared all foods clean.” (Mark 7:19)  It makes no sense to suggest that God would use a vision that, on the surface, endorses the breaking of Jewish food laws, in order to convey a *positive* message about *people*.  If we are to be inclusive of people–then logically we should be inclusive of foods, also, instead of rejecting certain foods on religious grounds.

    (2) The vision is NOT about “including” all people–that is, in their sin-loving, unrepentant state–in the *Kingdom of God*.  In other words, the vision doesn’t magically make homosexuality or any other sin “okay.”  The point was that the Jews of Peter’s time were arrogant toward Gentiles, and God wanted Peter to realize that Gentiles had equal value in God’s eyes, and that God had extended salvation to them just as He had to Jews.

    So, Peter’s vision does NOT justify homosexuality or any other sin.

  • http://forholyterra.hobbycore.net Paul Bagosy

    “In other words, the vision doesn’t magically make homosexuality or any other sin ‘okay.'” 
    No, that’s true.  It just wipes out the multitudes of Old Testament laws  that were culturally-based and of little relevance to the wider world.  Dietary, cleanliness, etc., ad infinitum.  God isn’t saying “Peter, go forth and muuuurder because that’s cool now!”  He’s saying “eat what you want. Love who you want. Be friends with who you want. I think I made myself clear when I gave you my two most important commandments.”But hey, what do I know.  I’m not sure why you bothered writing two paragraphs at two people that haven’t a clue.

  • Twig

    Consider, for example, the purpose of Peter’s vision. It wasn’t sent because Red Lobster was about to bring back “endless shrimp,”

    You continue to be one of my favorite people.

  • http://www.facebook.com/chrisalgoo Chris Algoo

    I never realized that Fred was funny until this post.

  • RickRS

    Chris, you must have be a recent fan: Fred has always has humor popping up in his writings.  One of the things that makes slacktivist a favorite of mine; a guy that likes real people of all kinds.  All kinds except for the bullying types. 

  • stePH

    Haven’t been reading Fred for long, have you?

  • http://lliira.dreamwidth.org/ Lliira

    I’d say anyone who thinks opposition to homosexuality is what Christianity is about is not actually Christian. This is because, unlike Scots, Christians are not born Christian — it’s not an ethnicity. If hating homosexuality is at the core of your religion, you’re not Christian, you’re something else. Most likely a closeted non-heterosexual, for one thing.

    Which is not to say all homophobes are totally closeted. “Casual” homophobes who have never been forced to confront their bigotry and who can change (I’ve changed a couple) are mostly only a little closeted. They have not embraced their sexuality fully, whatever it is, because they have messed-up ideas about sexuality. As most of us do, since most of our cultures are messed-up about sexuality, thanks to a patriarchy which depends on messing all of us up. Also, I think most people are not a zero on the Kinsey scale; most of us have some level of attraction to the same sex, even if it’s only certain types of the same sex. (For me, it’s bosomy redheads.)

    Anyway, I’ve digressed here. And I have a question: when did this happen? Nowadays, so many religious leaders are spending their time loudly obsessing over anal sex and how women should submit to men in the bedroom and all sorts of other things. So now so many children are forced to sit and listen to these adult sexual fantasies from authority figures. Not okay.

  • Joe

     Christians dont hate homosexuals. We are sinners just like they.

  • Lunch Meat

    Christians dont hate homosexuals. We are sinners just like they.

    Some Christians don’t hate queer people. I should know; I’m one of them. In fact, I am a Christian and I happen to love everyone (at least I try to; I’m not perfect) regardless of their sexuality. Unfortunately, many Christians do hate queer people, and a lot of them think they can explain it away as “disagreement” or “opposition” or “love the sinner, hate the sin”. But if you call people sick, depraved, abominations, disgusting, freaks? If you bear false witness about them and accuse them of doing things that they don’t do and wanting things that they don’t want? If you advocate exterminating them? If you proclaim that giving them equal rights will destroy society? Then yeah, that’s a pretty good sign that you hate them.

  • http://twitter.com/mcclure111 mcc

    *Raises hand* I actually don’t care, at all, about understanding how to apply the bible to life today. I do want the people who write our laws to disregard the bible’s condemnations of “sexual sins”. I very specifically *don’t* want the people who write our laws to be thinking about how to apply the bible to modern law-writing.

    Fred’s biblical argument aimed at Christians seems like a fine one and it is nice to see Christians making it but, for those of us that aren’t Christians there’s a bigger problem here: Mohler’s distinction up there implicitly assumes that there is something inherently inferior or unacceptable about wanting to disregard the bible rather than wanting to apply it to a changing world. I myself would rather not accept that premise if I’m going to respond to his argument. Mohler says that “those asking the question the first way really don’t want an answer” and in my case he’s quite correct, I don’t really care what Mohler’s explanation for his hypocritical focus is. I don’t have any interest in engaging in a dialogue with Al Mohler, because I don’t think he’s reachable. I’m looking at the hypocrisy thing as an argument to offer to third parties in order to convince them they should not take the things Rev. Mohler says seriously.

    Rev. Mohler says

    “Why are Christians so concerned with homosexuality? In the first place, that question is answered by the simple fact that it is the most pressing moral question of our times.”

    …and I think he communicates a lot in a way he probably didn’t mean to, there.

  • SisterCoyote

     I think “But why is SSM totally not against Christian laws?” should indeed be an irrelevant question for the legality of marriage, because Freedom of Religion/Separation of Church and State.

    But that doesn’t make the question 100% irrelevant, because if when we finally jump that ridiculous barrier and all marriages are legal in all fifty states, plenty of Christians will still have to fight their pastors, deacons, priests, and elders tooth and nail to get married in church, or to have their church recognize their marriage. Not politically relevant, perhaps, but very serious and important to a lot of people nonetheless.

  • SisterCoyote

    Yeah, this passage was what convinced me, back in the early not-surrounded-only-by-strict-fundamentalists teenage years, that the people shouting about how QUILTBAG folks were Against God Evil, etc, were wrong.

    1) I will believe that LGBT folk choose their identities only when you can prove to me you chose to be straight (pinpoint the exact moment when you decided “Oh hey, I think I am going to chase women/men and am totally into them.”). If you didn’t choose to be straight, you didn’t choose not to be gay, the choice was never offered you… which means it was never offered them, either.

    2)  If QUILTBAG folk did not choose their identities, they were born that way. Which means God made them that way.

    3) God is all-loving. God Is Love. What kind of love is it to create someone a certain way and then forbid them to ever have a meaningful relationship, the kind they crave and need? The kind their neighbors and friends and loved ones get to have… but never them?

    4) “What God hath made clean, call not thou unclean.”
    “But I’ve never done anything unclean! You want me to defile myself now? ._.”
    “…What God hath made clean, CALL NOT THOU UNCLEAN.
    “*sigh.* This is gonna be fun to explain, innit?”
    [Paraphrased]

    5) Seriously? Seriously, you’re telling me that passage applies to shrimp, mixed drinks, polyester, women-on-their-periods, lobster, pork, bacon, ham, cheeseburgers, slavery laws, Jubilee laws, lobster, crayfish, beards, circumcision, ancestry…

    but not people. (Except Gentiles. It may have been about Gentiles, but NOBODY ELSE.)

    Yeah, somehow I doubt God went through that much back-and-forth with Peter just to tell him he was allowed to eat pork and shrimp.

    (It’s funny, though. Even after admitting all of the above, it still took me two years or so to be able to admit to myself that the feelings I had for my best friend were more than friendship. Feelings that were obvious to literally everyone but me… because I somehow thought giving her vaguely enthralled poems and flowers and art was Totally Normal, because even though being QUILTBAG is totally okay with God! …Good Baptists  Don’t Do That. Such very insidious ideology.)

  • Robyrt

    Great reminder.

    For those of you not familiar with Christian theology, here’s a quick rundown on the shellfish issue: The food laws (and by extension most of Leviticus) are repealed by Jesus in Mark 7, with an unsubtle editorial comment saying “Thus he declared all foods clean.” These parts of the Bible are not being “ignored” at will; they are subject to later revision in the text itself, like the 18th Amendment to the Constitution. Most of the book of Galatians is devoted to explaining how and why this works, which boils down to “Jesus accomplishes the purpose the rules were designed for, and does it better.” Acts 10 is on a different topic entirely, as Fred has ably explained above.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    So, when I hear “Oh, that was just the Oooooooold Testament. Totally just ignore that!” followed by thundering pronouncements about Teh Evul Buttsex based on Leviticus (an Old Testament chapter), that’s something else besides just rank hypocrisy?

  • Robyrt

    Yeah, that’s either hypocrisy and/or ignorance. Leviticus makes for a snappy quote, but its prohibition of gay sex is only valuable in an originalist, “What was God thinking when he said this?” sort of way. Sexual immorality in general is one of the few things forbidden the early church, but at that point you’re arguing translations and you’ve ruined your chance to make people feel icky about Teh Buttsecks.

  • http://adjunctions.wordpress.com/ Brittany

    If hating homosexuality is at the core of your religion, you’re not Christian, you’re something else. Most likely a closeted non-heterosexual, for one thing.

    While it is true that internalized self-hatred is a problem (for all kinds of people who suffer under oppression), and that there are some high-profile xtian-celebrity sexual scandals of this nature, this line of reasoning still sucks.  It is quite possible for straight people to hate and discriminate against GLBT people. People do hate difference and otherness. This is not, at heart, a gay-on-gay problem. This is, most definitely and emphatically, a Straight Person Bigotry Problem, period.

  • http://lightningbug.blogspot.com lightning

     I limit calling people “repressed gay” or somesuch to the folks who say things like “we’ve got to keep kids away from gays because once they find out how OMFG awesome gay sex is, the human race will die out”.  Obviously, they really think they’re straight …

  • Tricksterson

    Except that seems to be the basic premise of a lot of anti-SSM rhetoric.  although they’re not honest enough to outright say it the only reason I can come up with why legalized SSM marruage would corrode and ultimately destroy straight marriage is because it’s so much better a deal.

  • http://accidental-historian.typepad.com/ Geds

     While it is true that internalized self-hatred is a problem (for all
    kinds of people who suffer under oppression), and that there are some
    high-profile xtian-celebrity sexual scandals of this nature, this line
    of reasoning still sucks.

    I hate that line of argument, too.  When it gets right down to it, there are white people who really, really hate black people, too.  That doesn’t mean that the person in question is actually black, nor does it mean that the person really wants to get it on with Rhianna and is ashamed by their desires.

    Some people simply learn to hate and do so without question.

  • Tonio

    Andrew Sullivan:

    You find that most of the really impassioned anti-gay activists are just
    as motivated by personal passion – whether as an early victim of sex
    abuse (Paul Cameron), or as the father of a gay son (Charles Socarides), or as a single mother abandoned by her boyfriend (Maggie Gallagher), or someone fighting to restrain their own gay feelings (Ted Haggard, Larry Craig)
    – as pro-gay activists are. This is a perfectly legitimate motivation
    for all sorts of political movements, but on the gay question, one
    should always be alert to the personal psychological undercurrents.

    If Sullivan is right, why do you think the gay question would be prone to more of those undercurrents than would ethnic or cultural differences? I agree that most average people who believe homosexuality to be wrong probably aren’t motivated by internalized self-hatred, but with the professional homophobes there does seem to be something going on in their psyches.

    http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/05/spitzer-recants-cameron-comes-out.html

  • http://accidental-historian.typepad.com/ Geds

     If Sullivan is right, why do you think the gay question would be prone
    to more of those undercurrents than would ethnic or cultural
    differences?

    Quite frankly, I think that this is a Schroedinger’s homophobia thing.  The reason those undercurrents exist is because we’re observing them.  I don’t think anyone puts too much deep thought in to why someone would be racist, for instance.  We just see it as a case of someone being backwards and bigoted.  But there’s all kinds of conventional wisdom that people who are homophobic are because they’re afraid of their own latent desires.  So we look for those explanations or some other psychological fracture.

    I think we could find similar stories to Gallagher’s or Cameron’s if we dug into a racist’s past (I.E. husband left her for a black woman, was robbed at gunpoint and beat to a bloody pulp by a black person, etc).

    The problem, though, I think is exacerbated by the very nature of that particular variety of Christianity’s attempt to repress human sexuality.  So there are a lot of genuinely confused and frightened people who are actually struggling.  But there are also a lot of people who are innocently unaware of the whole, “Holy shit, does that guy have any idea what he just SAID?” aspect of things.  Then there are wolves preying on the sheep.

    Which, really, the sexual repression dimension pretty much explains a lot of the undercurrent.  However, it’s important to note that an outsider pointing out that there are repressed is likely to get a hit, especially if they point to the major crusaders.  But, again, it can be taught.  There’s also a self-selection problem, as I’m pretty sure that people who aren’t struggling with something or other wouldn’t choose to become an anti-gay crusader.  Sometimes, though, it’s an issue of, “I’m ashamed of myself for *this*, but at least I’m not as bad as *those people*,” so they try to redirect attention, but it’s from a completely different place than the simple “homophobic = closeted homosexual/traumatized by homosexuals in some way” explanation.

  • Tonio

    The flip side to your Schroedinger’s homophobia idea is that public expressions of explicit racism have become far less acceptable over the past few decades, so we have many more examples of anti-gay crusaders available for study. With a few exceptions, expressions of racism by public figures tend to be dog whistles. And usually they’re not “crusading” against non-whites, but intstead using demagoguery to get votes.

    Sometimes, though, it’s an issue of, “I’m ashamed of myself for *this*,
    but at least I’m not as bad as *those people*,” so they try to redirect
    attention, but it’s from a completely different place than the simple
    “homophobic = closeted homosexual/traumatized by homosexuals in some
    way” explanation.

    That fits Sullivan’s point about “personal psychological undercurrents.” It wouldn’t have to be trauma specifically.

  • http://lightningbug.blogspot.com lightning

    And if they want to harp on “sexual sins” (usury, lack of charity,  etc, no longer being problems) then we can talk about divorce, adultery, and fornication.  All of these are given much more emphasis in the Bible than homosexuality.

    Indeed, I’ve heard that the word translated as “homosexuality” in the New Testament is used *nowhere else*.  Maybe it means homosexuality, maybe it means temple prostitution, maybe it means something entirely different.

  • http://www.laughinginpurgatory.com/ Andrew Hall

    Ok, maybe it’s just me, but I’m confused. I’m assumeing that Mohler thinks that the Bible is inerant — every word is from God. If that is the case than how can Peter’s  analysis of the vision that we have in the Bible be wrong?

  • AnonymousSam

    Of course, one factor that can’t be underestimated is that for these people, the Bible outlawing homosexuality is just convenient justification for what they already feel. We’re not talking about people who are willing to be reasonable and accept what they can’t understand. These are people who are joyful to cause misery and pain unto others. See that misbegotten jackass who was gloating over the illegal abortions he was sure his bill would be certain to cause for an example.

    For them, homosexuality isn’t just a sin, it’s dirtyfilthy. Even if we somehow passed a Secular State Identity amendment tomorrow which outlawed use of religion as a reason to pass any law, I have no doubt that the majority of states would continue to ban homosexuality for the same reasons we have laws banning pedophilia and bestiality: to these people, we might as well be talking about the same thing.

  • http://mistformsquirrel.deviantart.com/ JJohnson

     Talking about the culture wars here got me thinking about just how tired I am of fighting this crap.  Really just how tired I am period.  I’m going to step back for awhile to recharge.  Maybe only drop in on Left Behind Fridays or something like that.

    Regardless, right now I’m taking a nap.

  • JonathanPelikan

    Very, very, very, very, very understandable. This shit is like a war; it’s like World War I, and the trenches only ever move in fits and starts ,with a titanic effort for each little bit and the constant danger that we’re going to start losing ground.

  • Tricksterson

    Come back when/if you’re ready.  We’ll still be here.

  • http://chaseafterwind.blogspot.com/ Amy B

    “Mohler says this story — this scripture — is about purity laws. Peter says this story is about God’s commandment that no people should be excluded as impure.”
    Seems to me this is a false dichotomy. Gentiles were considered unclean precisely because they did not keep to the laws of the Old Covenant – they were not circumcised, they did not keep kosher, etc. If I Gentile were to convert and begin obeying those laws, they would be considered clean. Yes, the Lord’s vision is taking away the barrier between Jew and Gentile – AND it is taking away the commandment to avoid certain foods. The two are bound up together. 

  • http://shiftercat.livejournal.com/ ShifterCat

    Except that according to Jewish law, any man without whole testicles is “unclean”.  Say you have a guy with an undescended testicle — doesn’t matter if he was born Jewish or converted, according to Jewish law he’d be forever unclean and there’s no law he could possibly follow that would make him otherwise.  And yet one of the people who gets converted, post-Peter’s vision, is a eunuch.

  • Praxeis

    “The book reads like an
    after-school special on celebrating diversity. People — all kinds of people. No
    one is excluded. Not purity laws but people. That a major theme throughout the
    entire book. And not just that book, either.”

     

    Absolutely! No one is
    excluded on the basis of race, national origin, observance of purity laws, etc.
    And yet, this same book that “reads like an after-school special on celebrating
    diversity” constantly focuses on behavior. In Acts 2:28 Peter calls people to
    repent. In Acts 3:19 he tells them to “Repent and turn to God, so that your
    sins may be wiped out.” In Acts 3:26 Peter speaks of how “God raised up his
    servant…to bless you by turning each of you from your wicked ways.” In Acts
    8:20-23 Peter tells someone that his “heart is not right before God” and
    commands him to “Repent of this wickedness.” In Acts 10, the chapter under
    discussion, Peter explains his visions saying, “I now realize how true it is
    that God does not show favoritism but accepts men from every nation who fear
    him and do what is right.”

     

    In chapter 15 Peter—apparently
    referring back to the events of chapter 10—says, “God, who knows the heart,
    showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did
    to us. He made no distinction between us and them, for he purified their hearts
    by faith.”

     

    In Acts 20:21 Paul says, “I
    have declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance
    and have faith in our Lord Jesus. There is the bottom line of the book: Ethnic
    differences don’t matter. Racial differences don’t matter. All that matters is
    that people repent of their sins and turn to Jesus Christ in faith (which could
    be defined as “loving devotion).

  • Tonio

    This is beyond hateful:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/21/north-carolina-pastor-gay-rant-starvation_n_1533463.html

     

    “Build a great, big, large fence — 150
    or 100 mile long — put all the lesbians in there,” Worley suggests in
    the clip, reportedly filmed on May 13.He continues: “Do the same thing for the queers and the homosexuals
    and have that fence electrified so they can’t get out…and you know
    what, in a few years, they’ll die out…do you know why? They can’t
    reproduce!”

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    This is beyond hateful:

    Holy crap!

    That has got to be the most un-American thing I ever did read.

    Where is the United States of America in that horrid pronouncement? The USA whose Declaration of Independence and later Constitution set out the kinds of values the nation would aspire to as its own country? The USA which fought a war to destroy slavery? The USA which shouldered a tremendous economic burden to rid the world of fascism?

    That is not the kind of USA that this… person… is endorsing. (>_<)

  • lowtechcyclist

    I agree with Fred’s interpretation of Acts 10.  But just in case I ever want to play along with Mohler’s little game , is there anywhere where he gets specific about which parts of the Old Testament are part of the ‘holiness code’ that Acts 10 supposedly tosses in the dumpster, and what parts aren’t?

    For decades, I’ve wanted to know which parts of the OT are for thundering “this is the word of the Lord!!” from the pulpit, and which parts are the ones that they get to say, “Real True Christians don’t have to do that – that’s what Acts 10 says!”

    Is it just Leviticus?  It doesn’t seem that way – there are plenty of commandments in Deuteronomy that they ignore, including those that have nothing to do with diet. 

    Like (Deut. 22:8) “When you build a new house, make a parapet around your roof so that you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from the roof.”  I don’t see too many houses built like that. 

    Or (Deut. 10:18-19) “[The Lord] defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt.”  I think we know how deeply most evangelicals hold to that commandment these days.

    So even if we accept Mohler’s premise, what are the rules here?  Which OT commandments must be obeyed today, and which ones were just for the ancient Israelites?

    Inquiring minds want to know.

  • Tricksterson

    As far as i can tell the only parts of “the Old Law” they still consider valid are the parts saying “you gotta hate gays” and “women are inferior and must obey their men at all times and in all ways”.  Gee. I wonder why?

  • Joe

     So you’re gonna lose Tricksterson! Sorry but I gotta pay the bills too…

    As I said before, I, as a Christian, do not hate gays.

    But because I believe that sex is confined to marriage, and because I believe that two men cannot marry, and two women cannot marry, then they are having sex outside of marriage what God commands

    It is as simple as that.

    The idea of two women/two men marrying violates the command God gave in Genesis:

    27 So God created mankind in his own image,     in the image of God he created them;    male and female he created them.
    28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground. ”

    You cannot “be fruitful and increase in number” when two men and two women get married.

    As to your argument about the old testament, let me refer you to Ephesians 5:

    He who loves his own wife loves himself; 29 for no one ever hated his
    own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ also does the
    church, 30 because we are members of His body. 31 For this cause a man
    shall leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the
    two shall become one flesh. 32 This mystery is great; but I am speaking
    with reference to Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let each
    individual among you also love his own wife even as himself; and let the
    wife see to it that she respect her husband.

  • EllieMurasaki

    You cannot simultaneously not-hate gay people and forbid gay people any opportunity to engage in sexual behavior without violating either their self or your rules.

  • P J Evans

     Joe’s only going to be happy when we all announce that hse is correct in everything and a true Christian. Which ain’t gonna happen.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    You cannot “be fruitful and increase in number” when two men and two women get married.

    If this turned out to be false, would you change your conclusion? Or does your conclusion actually depend on some other line of reasoning, and the truth or falsehood of this claim isn’t really that important?

    Put another way: if two married women could be fruitful and multiply, would it then follow that God commanded it after all?

  • Tricksterson

    No actually I win since you’re  using the politicians trick of replying to a question that wasn’t asked.  The question in question was “What happened tp verses 11-14?

  • EllieMurasaki

     Chapters, not verses.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

     This is relevant to you.

    Subtext: Look at all the fucks I don’t give for your Bible sword drilling.

  • Lunch Meat

    So I guess you don’t have an answer to my question. You’re just going to start talking about different verses and use them as your proof-texts. Okay, whatever.

    But because I believe that sex is confined to marriage, and because I believe that two men cannot marry, and two women cannot marry, then they are having sex outside of marriage what God commands
    It is as simple as that.

    So God’s will is limited to what you believe?

    The idea of two women/two men marrying violates the command God gave in Genesis: […] You cannot “be fruitful and increase in number” when two men and two women get married.

    So infertile people are violating God’s commands. Got it. You really are on a roll here.

  • P J Evans

     There seem to be a lot of people who like to tell God what She should do. All of them are trying to punish people for something that no one has any choice about.

  • http://profiles.google.com/maguyton Morgan Guyton

    Brilliant piece. Thanks!

  • Joe
  • EllieMurasaki

    No, it’s really not. Try again.

  • Joe

     Yes Ellie it is. Here’s the passage in question:

    9 About noon the following day as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the roof to pray. 10 He became hungry and wanted something to eat, and while the meal was being prepared, he fell into a trance. 11 He saw heaven opened and something like a large sheet being let down to earth by its four corners. 12 It contained all kinds of four-footed animals, as well as reptiles and birds. 13 Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.”
    14 “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.”
    15 The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”
    16 This happened three times, and immediately the sheet was taken back to heaven.

    As Peter says: :”I have never EATEN anything impure or unclean”.What part of EATEN dont you understand? God here is saying that the DIETARY code is repealed.

  • Mark Z.

    So God was really telling Peter to eat Cornelius. Got it.

  • Joe

     This is BEFORE he goes to Corneilus house.

  • Lunch Meat

    Are you being deliberately obtuse, or do you really not understand how the events in a story relate to each other? I suppose you think the Parable of the Lost Sheep was about a real shepherd with a real flock and had nothing to do with what people were saying to Jesus.

  • Joe

    Here is Acts 15:

    5 Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses.”
    6 The apostles and elders met to consider this question. 7 After
    much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know
    that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might
    hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. 8 God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. 9 He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. 10 Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? 11 No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

    That is the “tieback” to Acts 10, right there in Acts 15:10.  And Acts 15 goes on:
    23 With them they sent the following letter:
    The apostles and elders, your brothers,To the Gentile believers in Antioch, Syria and Cilicia: Greetings. 24 We have heard that some went out from us without our authorization and disturbed you, troubling your minds by what they said. 25 So we all agreed to choose some men and send them to you with our dear friends Barnabas and Paul— 26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 Therefore we are sending Judas and Silas to confirm by word of mouth what we are writing. 28 It seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to burden you with anything beyond the following requirements: 29 You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.Farewell.

  • Lori

     

    What part of EATEN dont you understand?  

    Snerk. I love a good 12 year old’s joke.

    Oh man, you didn’t mean for that to be funny did you?

  • P J Evans

     Clearly didn’t read anything after Acts 10:17. Because if he had, he’d see how Peter understood that vision, and it’s so NOT about food. Right to the end of the chapter.

  • Lunch Meat

    So, what, chapters 11-14 don’t exist?

  • EllieMurasaki

     So, what, chapters 11-14 don’t exist?

    In fairness, 11 is mostly a retread of 10, 12 is Peter escaping prison and Herod dying, 13 is Paul telling the Jesus story, and 14 is Paul and his buddy getting hailed as gods and saying “no we’re not” and also Paul’s travels. Nothing particularly relevant.

    What I find interesting is the command in Acts 15 against sexual immorality. Jesus had words on sexual immorality. Some of those words were ‘look on someone with lust and you have sinned’, yes, but some of those words were ‘let the one who is without sin throw the first stone’.

    Know how my atheist ass takes that command in that context? If you want to fuss at me for being bisexual, first prove to me that you have never looked at anyone of any gender with lust without first having married that person. And not incidentally, it’d be a lot easier for us gay and bi and queer types to behave with sexual morality if you lot would let us marry somebody we’re attracted to.

  • Tricksterson

    I still win my bet with myself that Joe would be too chickenshit to reply to the question.

  • Lunch Meat

    Ch. 11 is a retread of Ch. 10 because it’s Peter explicitly explaining the vision of Ch. 10.  That’s why it’s relevant.  Saying that Ch. 15 proves the vision is really about food is like saying that Yoda was talking about Anakin when he said “there is another Skywalker”, because Anakin shows up later, despite the fact the other Skywalker is explicitly stated to be Leia not two minutes later in the movie.

    I know no one is talking about this anymore, but I wanted to pull out that metaphor because I’m pretty proud of it. :-)

  • Tricksterson

    Well, I was still lurking so you had an appreciative audience of at least one.

  • Johndoe

    “God is showing us that we should not call anyone profane or unclean.”
    That obviously means that we shouldn’t categorically exclude anyone from being a Christian at all. But it doesn’t, and can’t, mean that we are not to say that people are sinners in need of salvation and rescue from their sins.  

  • EllieMurasaki

     Suppose I want to be a good Christian who doesn’t commit sexual sin.

    Why then are you keeping me from marrying the person with whom I want to have sex?

  • Lunch Meat

    Peter believed that only people who ate certain kinds of food were eligible for salvation, because others were unclean. He had good reason to believe that. The Jewish law is full of dietary requirements. Some kinds of food were even labeled abominations. God showed him that purity and cleanliness things aren’t as important as faith and love. God showed him that there are other lifestyles in which one can follow God than the way that Peter was used to. God showed him that God makes people clean in other ways than by following the law. “Do not call anything unclean that I have made clean”–God had cleansed Cornelius’s heart through Cornelius’s faith, not through ritual purity.

    I can understand believing that everyone is in need of salvation. But some Christians have decided that people who have certain kinds of sex are not eligible for salvation. This is biblically unsupportable. The important thing about sex in the Bible is not who you have it with; it’s the way you treat them. Are two women or two men in a loving, committed, consensual relationship in which they honor and serve each other and help each other become better Christians? Then who are you to say that God cannot make that relationship clean?

    I believe that when God puts God’s Spirit in our hearts, the Spirit provides guidance for us. If a person is committed to following God, then that person will know if they are doing wrong. If they are not committed, then nothing you can say will affect their salvation anyway, so why bother? And you have no way of knowing whether or not they are committed. I also believe that if the fruit of the Spirit is present in someone’s life, that is more important than ritual purity. If a person demonstrates love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control, what does it matter who they are having sex with? Who are you to say the Spirit is not active in their life? Welcome them as a fellow follower of Christ, and let God work it out if they are not clear on the details.

  • Joe

     Fred wants to set Peter’s recognition that the holiness code no
    longer stands between Jew and Gentile because God has made all things
    clean in Jesus against the vision in which Peter was told that
    God has made all things clean. The “tiny portion” of Acts 10 that Fred
    wants us not to pay attention to is the vision itself – the part where
    God declares the unclean animals clean; the part where God sets aside
    the first to establish the second (Hebrews 10:9). The holiness code is
    the reason Peter would not have gone to Cornelius’ house before the
    vision. The removal of that code is precisely what leads him to say yes
    and go with his visitors.

    Like most revisionist activists the Slacktivist is a selective
    reader. He loves the part where Peter affirms that (in Fred’s words) “no
    people should be excluded as impure” because he thinks that orthodox
    Christians believe that homosexual people are “impure” but the part
    about the removal of holiness code is terribly inconvenient so he simply
    pretends that the obvious connection between the two isn’t there and
    trusts that his readers have as much interest in actually reading the
    bible for themselves as he does.

    And he’s probably right.

  • EllieMurasaki

    And the Bible never uses symbolism. The Bible never uses metaphor. The vision of God making all foods clean can’t possibly include anything more broad than food.

  • Lunch Meat

    Do you wear mixed fabrics? I wear mixed fabrics because I believe that the vision in Acts 10 applies to the entire purity code, not just the part about food. If you’ll notice, the prohibition against mixed fabric is never explicitly removed.* I think I’ve made a reasonable extrapolation from the principle of the text, instead of proof-texting. That’s the same reason that I have no problem with my husband touching me while I’m on my period, because I don’t believe that the label “unclean” applies to me or to any other Christian. That’s the same reason I have no problem wearing my hair short, because I don’t believe that I can be “dishonored” based on my appearance. Honor, purity, cleanliness–these are all cultural, ritual externalities. The only thing that counts is faith working itself out through love.

    *Yes, I know the letter in Acts 15 mentions “sexual immorality.” Do you know what the Greek word there is? It’s just as vague as it sounds. Can you prove it includes consensual, committed same-sex relationships?

  • Lunch Meat

    Sorry, my footnote is incomplete. It should read “Yes, I know that the letter in Acts 15 only mentions four things, so everything else is implicitly allowed. But if that’s your argument, that letter doesn’t mention homosexuality either. It does mention “sexual immorality.” But  do you know what the Greek word there is? It’s just as vague as it sounds. Can you prove it includes consensual, committed same-sex relationships?

  • Joe

    Acts 10:
    34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts from every nation the one who fears him and does what is right.”
    God “accepts” those men who “fear him and do what is right.” Thus God
    still distinguishes between people as far as who he accepts. The change
    that occurred was in the need to distinguish between clean and unclean
    as far as the holiness code is concerned. It was not the case that God
    no longer held people to any standard whatsoever.

    I’ll put it this way. If Acts chapter 10 makes sex outside of the
    marriage of 1 man and 1 woman ok, then why not just say it removed ALL
    of the law? Thus its ok to kill, lie, steal, covet, blaspheme etc. From
    reading the New Testament its obvious that Christ still holds us to a
    standard and expects us to promote and follow that standard. The
    wonderful thing is, when we fail to meet that standard and recognize
    that we fail and believe on his saving work and repent, our sins are
    washed away.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Okay, I fail at being a heterosexual woman, I repent of not being a heterosexual woman, my sins are washed away, can I marry my fucking girlfriend now?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Less pissed-off: It is not okay to murder because murder is hurtful. It is not okay to lie because lies are hurtful. It is not okay to steal because stealing is hurtful. Coveting and blaspheming I’ll give you, but I won’t give you consensual same-sex relationships, because those are not hurtful.

  • Joe

    Consenual same-sex relationships are not of God, they are of man. So yes they are hurtful.

  • EllieMurasaki

     Consenual same-sex relationships are not of God, they are of man. So yes they are hurtful.

    Hurtful TO WHOM?

  • Joe

     To God of course.

  • EllieMurasaki

     So basically you’re arguing that there’s no secular justification for forbidding same-sex relationships including marriage. Also you’re arguing that I should take into consideration the feelings of someone I don’t believe exists.

  • Tricksterson

    Can it involve Emma Watson and Selena Gomez?  No never mind, I’ll take care of that one myself.

  • Au_catboy

     Yes, Joe has openly and proudly admitted that the ONLY reason to oppose same-sex marriage is that it makes his imaginary friend cry.  He’s not even pretending to have any actual justification anymore, just hallucinating up the most pitiful and helpless god imaginable and demanding that everyone obey him or he’ll sick the toothless half-inflated balloon dog on them.

  • Au_catboy

     So, according to Joe, consensual same-sex relationships are harmful to god.  Not so all-powerful a god, is he?  Rather a pitiful weakling, a puny little thing that can only be made to look big by tearing down others.  So, Joe, how many states have to legalize same-sex marriage before your god DIES?  I’m looking forward to watching your bigoted imaginary friend’s agonizing death throes, pointing and laughing at how pitiful and helpless it is. 

    Really, your god is THAT weak?  That USELESS?  That stupid and lazy and cowardly?  What possible value could there be in such a god?  Why would anyone believe in something so idiotic?  Oh, yeah, because Joe is a brain-dead bigot desperate for any excuse, no matter how flimsy, to justify his sick obsession with bearing false witness against his neighbors.

  • P J Evans

     They’re of God, because man was created in God’s image. And God has created homosexual birds and lizards, which are happy and reproducing. God has also created fish which can change their functional gender, too.
    All things are possible with God, including the ones you think are immoral.

    Now go troll somewhere else.

  • P J Evans

     Quote all of it, not just the bits that you think agree with you.

    Even the Devil can quote scripture, when it suits the purpose.

  • Tricksterson

    As a duly authorized representative of demonic forces I resent the comparison.

  • P J Evans

    It’s a back-handed compliment, really. (Why would the devil need scripture, when he’s got all those wonderful powers of persuasion?)

  • hapax

     

    The holiness code is
    the reason Peter would not have gone to Cornelius’ house before the
    vision. The removal of that code is precisely what leads him to say yes
    and go with his visitors.

    I beg your pardon?  I was under the impression that you read the Scriptures seriously, if not literally.

    Could you please provide citations for where Peter says all of this, instead of what he clearly, explicitly, and LITERALLY says:  “God has shown me that I should not call anyone profane or unclean.”

  • Joe

    Acts 11:

    The apostles and the believers throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. 2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him 3 and said, “You went into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”
    4 Starting from the beginning, Peter told them the whole story: 5 “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. I saw something like a large sheet being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to where I was. 6 I looked into it and saw four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, reptiles and birds. 7 Then I heard a voice telling me, ‘Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.’ 8 “I replied, ‘Surely not, Lord! Nothing impure or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’
    9 “The voice spoke from heaven a second time, ‘Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.’ 10 This happened three times, and then it was all pulled up to heaven again.
    11 “Right then three men who had been sent to me from Caesarea stopped at the house where I was staying. 12 The Spirit told me to have no hesitation about going with them. These six brothers also went with me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 He told us how he had seen an angel appear in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa for Simon who is called Peter. 14 He will bring you a message through which you and all your household will be saved.’
    15 “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning. 16 Then I remembered what the Lord had said: ‘John baptized with[a] water, but you will be baptized with[b] the Holy Spirit.’ 17 So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?”
    18 When
    they heard this, they had no further objections and praised God,
    saying, “So then, even to Gentiles God has granted repentance that leads
    to life.”

  • EllieMurasaki

     You…do realize that that’s the same bit that tells us that the ‘do not lie with a man as with a woman, for that is abomination’ bit is no longer relevant, don’t you?

  • Lunch Meat

    So if God gave them the same gift he gave us who believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to think that I could stand in God’s way?”

    So if you saw the Holy Spirit “come upon” a gay person, you would admit that God has no problem with it?

  • Joe

     If I saw the Holy Spirit “come upon” a gay person, I would expect that gay person to  no longer be gay. So that would tell me that God does have a problem with it.

  • EllieMurasaki

     So basically God hates exactly what you hate.

    Funny how that works.

    Incidentally, in between yelling at you I’m reading The Five Books of Miriam. “Why does the Torah forbid male homosexuality?” “Perhaps because the Torah wants [men] to lie together ‘as one lies with a man’!”

  • Lunch Meat

    If I saw the Holy Spirit “come upon” a gay person, I would expect that gay person to  no longer be gay. So that would tell me that God does have a problem with it.

    And what if your expectations were unfulfilled? What if the Holy Spirit was displayed in a gay person in a way that you could not deny, and they continued to be gay? What then? Or will you argue that that’s impossible because your knowledge of God is perfect?

    Consenual same-sex relationships are not of God, they are of man. So yes they are hurtful.

    Prove it.

  • Joe

     Romans 1:

    The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against
    all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by
    their wickedness,
    19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.
    20For
    since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal
    power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from
    what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
    21For
    although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave
    thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts
    were darkened.
    22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools
    23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

    24Therefore
    God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual
    impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.
    25They
    exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created
    things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

    26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones.
    27In
    the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and
    were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts
    with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their
    perversion.

    28Furthermore,
    since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God,
    he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done.
    29They
    have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and
    depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice.
    They are gossips,
    30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;
    31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
    32Although
    they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve
    death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve
    of those who practice them.

    That about says it all.

  • EllieMurasaki

     No, it really doesn’t. Same-sex relations in that era were kind of fucked up–there was great shame attached to being the penetratee in an m/m relationship, who was usually a slave who by definition couldn’t consent. We’re a tad more enlightened now. That passage has nothing whatsoever to do with consensual same-sex relations.

  • Joe

     They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created
    things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised.

    A consensual same-sex relationship is a “created thing” of man – not of God.

  • EllieMurasaki

    How is falling in love with a man different from falling in love with a woman? Never mind the gender of the person doing the falling; that is none of your business at the present time. Or perhaps the person doing the falling is genderqueer.

  • hapax

    A consensual same-sex relationship is a “created thing” of man – not of God.

    I John 4:16:  God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them

    John 13:35:  By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.

    Joe, why do you exchange the truth of God –  the love that abides between these committed couples — for the lie that this is the same thing as the perversion of abusive relationships that Paul is describing? 

    Why do you think the important thing to the Apostle is the configuration of the genitals, and not the perversity of those filled with ingratitude, pride, and selfishness?

    I know many people who are in committed same-sex relationships.  Some of them are in conversation with you right now.  These are good, generous, charitable, compassionate people.  I defy you to provide evidence that people involved in such relationships display higher levels of violence, abuse, betrayal, perjury, or paper-clip theft than any comparable population of people in heterosexual relationships.

    Since these loving couples are self-evidently NOT “full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice … gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful”; they do NOT “invent ways of doing evil [or] disobey their parents;”  they are NOT “senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless” …

    … either you make the Apostle out to be a liar, or these are not the people he is talking about.

    Which is it?

  • Joe

    “Joe, why do you exchange the truth of God –  the love that abides
    between these committed couples — for the lie that this is the same
    thing as the perversion of abusive relationships that Paul is
    describing? ”

    Because two men in a same sex committed partnership do not have the capacity to surrender genetic rights to each other.  Thus, a same sex committed relationship is a perversion and an abusive relationhip!

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Joe:

    You’re saying things, but I have absolutely no idea what you’re talking about.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Define ‘genetic rights’, define ‘perversion’, define ‘abusive relationship’ in this context, and tell me how any of this applies to a cis man/trans man couple where the trans man remains capable of being pregnant.

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Look guys, I think we have to give up here, I mean, look: Joe has actually figured out a way to make God do his bidding. Despite the various messages of love and acceptance in the bible, Joe’s found a way to twist God’s own words, in order to force God to enforce Joe’s bigotry for him. As we all know, God is a sort of genie who is legally bound to do the bidding of anyone who can find the right way to lawyer the rules. We should all be very impressed by Joe’s cleverness, and not at all worried that God might actually take offense to him making up shit in order to enforce his small-minded bigotry.

  • Nathaniel

     Let’s make something clear: Me, and a lot of other people here could give a flying crap and two donkeys about whatever you claim your book says. We hold your book in the same regard you do the Hindu Vedas, The Book of Mormon and Atlas Shrugged.

    So what exactly do you intend to accomplish here?

  • P J Evans

     He’s just another danged proof-texter, who thinks that that’s a way to win arguments. Maybe it is – if everyone you’re arguing with has the same beliefs. But hs hasn’t figured out that everyone outside his bubble-universe doesn’t care about proof-texts. We care about reality.

  • Joe

     There’s no argument with the word of God.

  • EllieMurasaki

     Prove God (1) exists, (2) is Christian, not Jewish or Muslim or Hindu or Wiccan, (3) actually said everything attributed to the Christian God, and (4) persists in forbidding same-sex sexual behavior among people to whom he gave homosexual desire, and then we’ll talk. Meanwhile I actually do have a lesbian romance epic to write.

  • hapax

     

    There’s no argument with the word of God.

    Well, first of all, Genesis 18:22-33 says you’re wrong.

    And second of all, I myself am not as righteous as Abraham, and would never dare to pit myself against the Divine Logos.

    However, you are placing not only a particular English translation of a mangled transmission of a Greek summary of a Hebrew formulation of one man’s application of his understanding of the Holy Will as applied to one specific manifestation of his cultural context in the place of the Divine Logos, but you are in fact elevating your  own personal idiosyncratic interpretation of all of the above in the place of the Irresistible, the Inexorable, the Incorruptible.

    Does not the arrogance fill you with fear?  Or do you imagine that “God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known” is not grieved at your presumption of His role?

  • Tricksterson

    Obviously there is or people wouldn’t have been arguing with it since practically the day it was written.  That’s basically why theology exists, so people with too much time on their hands can nitpick the words of Jehovah/Allah/Jesus/Ralph

  • Au_catboy

     Joe the pathological liar: ” There’s no argument with the word of God.”

    The very existence of this thread you are posting on proves that that claim is a lie.  Unless of course you AREN’T accurately representing the word of god…

  • Joemonk1964

    Hmmm…. has anything in the Bible changed to take your position? Because I am representing the same positions I have been taught in the Anglican Communion since 1964….

  • EllieMurasaki

    Word of God: “Sodom shall be destroyed.”

    Abraham: “What if there’s a hundred good people there?”

    Word of God: “You’re right. If I find a hundred good people there, I won’t destroy Sodom.”

    Et cetera and so forth; Abraham gave up when he’d argued God down to ten. Look up the citation yourself, it’s in Genesis somewhere. I find it astonishing that you can say with a straight face that the Word of God cannot be argued with when it’s right there in the Bible that the Word of God gets argued with and the not-God person in the argument has been known to win.

  • Joe

    Genesis 18:

    23 And Abraham drew near, and said, Wilt thou consume the righteous with the wicked?
    24 Peradventure
    there are fifty righteous within the city: wilt thou consume and not
    spare the place for the fifty righteous that are therein?
    25 That
    be far from thee to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with
    the wicked, that so the righteous should be as the wicked; that be far
    from thee: shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

    Thats not arguing with God: that’s asking him what will happen to the righteous?

    And as we see God keeps his word:

    Genesis 19:
    29 And
    it came to pass, when God destroyed the cities of the Plain, that God
    remembered Abraham, and sent Lot out of the midst of the overthrow, when
    he overthrew the cities in which Lot dwelt.

  • EllieMurasaki

    26 The Lord said, “If I find fifty righteous people in the city of Sodom, I will spare the whole place for their sake. ” 27 Then Abraham spoke up again: “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, though I am nothing but dust and ashes, 28 what if the number of the righteous is five less than fifty? Will you destroy the whole city for lack of five people?”
    “If I find forty-five there,” he said, “I will not destroy it.”
    29 Once again he spoke to him, “What if only forty are found there?”
    He said, “For the sake of forty, I will not do it.”
    30 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak. What if only thirty can be found there?”
    He answered, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”
    31 Abraham said, “Now that I have been so bold as to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty can be found there?”
    He said, “For the sake of twenty, I will not destroy it.”
    32 Then he said, “May the Lord not be angry, but let me speak just once more. What if only ten can be found there?”
    He answered, “For the sake of ten, I will not destroy it.”
    33 When the Lord had finished speaking with Abraham, he left, and Abraham returned home.

    Abraham argued with God. And Abraham WON. The difficulty is that the conditions Abraham set weren’t met. Now we can argue all day about whether God knew exactly how many righteous people were in Sodom before Abraham ever opened his mouth, but I’d much rather you answer my questions from eleven hours ago.

  • Joe

     Abraham did NOT argue with God. Abraham bargained with God for the Souls of the Righteous.

  • EllieMurasaki

    One: Not really seeing the difference there. Two: You haven’t answered my questions. I’ll paste them here for your convenience.

    (1) Zoe shares genetic material with Anne and Bob. Cate gave birth to Zoe. Dave sings Zoe to sleep at night and Ed works every day to have the money to buy Zoe’s food. Who are, who should be, Zoe’s legal parents?

     

    (2) Fred is a cis man and Gabriel is a trans man; Yvonne shares genetic material with both men, and Gabriel gave birth to her. Are Fred and Gabriel allowed to be Yvonne’s legal parents, or does that require Gabriel to pretend he’s Gabriella?

     

    (3) How can Dave and Ed, how can Fred and Gabriel, how can my girl and I get all the legal rights and responsibilities and recognition of marriage by signing a single piece of paper if that piece of paper isn’t a marriage certificate?
     

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    So you were only born about 300 years late. Good to know. Call me when you time travel back to 1694!

  • Au_catboy

     The Anglican Communion is a pack of delusional idiots, and the bible is a work of fiction.  Some people can derive worthwhile lessons from fiction, but you, Joe, are not one of them.  You don’t even know how to read, you just regurgitate preprogrammed responses full of bigoted garbage without even pretending to address what anyone’s actually saying. 

    Since you’re dumber than the average rock, I’ll spell it out for you:
    You claimed to be preaching the word of god.  People argued with you.  You claimed it was impossible to argue with the word of god.  The very existence of the posts in this very thread prove that at least one of your claims must be false.   

    You claimed it was impossible to argue with the word of god.  When quoted an example from genesis of someone doing EXACTLY THAT, you denied it.  You yourself are now arguing with the book that you claim is the word of your god.  You are doing the very thing that you claimed was impossible to do!  You’re doing a pretty shitty job of it, but that’s just because you’re a pretty shitty person all around. 

  • Joe

    Abraham did NOT argue with God. Abraham bargained with God for the Souls of the Righteous.

    To argue is completely different than to bargain.

    You may argue with me all day long as we are doing here, but you cannot argue with the Word of God.

    Isaiah 40:8 “The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.”

  • EllieMurasaki

    Okay, fine, let’s say (just for sake of discussion) that the Word of God is as you say, namely, homosexuals burn in hell or whatever it is you’re actually saying.

    And I say that the Word of God is therefore wrong.

    How is that not me arguing with the Word of God?

  • Joe

     LOL Ellie. You’re welcome to argue with God all you wish. You can also argue with me all you wish. I dont argue with God. I learned that lesson a long time ago.

    And notice I have never said that Homosexuals will burn in hell.

    But what I have said is that God says to refrain from sexual immorality, which includes sex outside of marriage. Since homosexuals cannot be married, then God commands homosexuals to refrain from sex.

  • EllieMurasaki

    You’re still ignoring my questions. To those three I add a fourth: does it pick your pocket or break your leg to let me and my girl get legally married? Since I know damn well the answer to that is ‘no’, why are you so dead set against it?

  • P J Evans

     You have, however, said that you believe gays are going to hell and that that’s in the Bible.
    Protip: It’s a bad idea to argue with people who actually read the Bible, especially if they can read it in Hebrew and Greek.

  • Joe

     Since my brother is my priest, reads the Bible in both Hebrew and Greek, and has no interest in lying to me… I tend to believe what he tells me.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Quoth a friend of mine: “I talk to God all the time. she says that queer folks are completely cool with her.”

    Yeah, I’ll take my friend’s word for it over your brother’s. Especially since David/Jonathan is fucking canon, yo. David says flat out that his love for Jonathan is greater than his love for women, and David had how many wives, again? (Which is, incidentally, another nail in the coffin of ‘biblical marriage is one man and one woman’. Biblical marriage is one man and as many women as he can afford.)

    Also, questions above, answered please.

  • Joe

     (1) Zoe shares genetic material with Anne and Bob. Cate gave birth to
    Zoe. Dave sings Zoe to sleep at night and Ed works every day to have
    the money to buy Zoe’s food. Who are, who should be, Zoe’s legal
    parents?

    Zoe’s presumed legal parents are Anne and Bob. Ed has a monetary claim against Anne and Bob for providing necessaries to Zoe.

     

    (2) Fred is a cis man and Gabriel is a trans man; Yvonne shares
    genetic material with both men, and Gabriel gave birth to her. Are Fred
    and Gabriel allowed to be Yvonne’s legal parents, or does that require
    Gabriel to pretend he’s Gabriella?

    Under the laws of my state, your sex is determined by your
    chromosomes. (Notice I didnt say gender).   Accordingly, Yvonne cannot
    share genetic material with both “men” – therefore Fred and Gabriel are
    the presumed parents, with Gabriel being listed on the birth
    certificate as the mother.

     

    (3) How can Dave and Ed, how can Fred and Gabriel, how can my girl
    and I get all the legal rights and responsibilities and recognition of
    marriage by signing a single piece of paper if that piece of paper isn’t
    a marriage certificate?

    1. Dave and Ed can’t.

    2. Gabriel because “he” is chromosomally a female, can marry Fred.

    3. You and your “girl” can’t.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    1. Dave and Ed can’t.

    But this is simply, demonstrably, false.

    There are many jurisdictions where Dave and Ed can, and routinely do, get all the legal rights and responsibilities and recognition of marriage by signing a single piece of paper.

    I understand that you don’t consider those people to “really” be married, but that’s not what Ellie was asking about in the question you reply to. She was asking about legal status.

    Presumably you believe that in Dave and Ed’s legal jurisdiction, the law no longer reflects what marriage “really” is, but there’s no question that the law reflects their legal status as a married couple.

    I think you would do better, given your apparent rhetorical goals, to back up and argue instead that the law does not determine who is really married and who isn’t.

  • Tonio

     

    back up and argue instead that the law does not determine who is really married and who isn’t.

    I think that would actually be an argument in favor of legalizing SSM. Frustrating when opponents keep insisting that legalization amounts to “redefining marriage,” as if a social concept could be instantly transformed by a vote or the stroke of a pen. Changing the law would only redefine marriage if the statute deemed all straight marriages were declared null and void.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    I think that would actually be an argument in favor of legalizing SSM.

    Depends on what we conclude does determine who is really married.

    More precisely: if marriage is the social recognition of a pre-existing fact about certain types of human relationships, it follows that if same-sex couples are capable of  having those types of  relationships, then same-sex couples are capable of marrying. (The same goes for many other groups of humans.)

    That leaves open the question of what types of relationship are we talking about?

    My answer is, roughly, relationships characterized by a commitment to ongoing mutual support among adults. (A commitment to ongoing unilateral support I usually characterize as parenting.) Consequently I consider marriage possible among same-sex couples, among opposite-sex couples, among groups that aren’t couples, etc.

    Joe’s answer, presumably, is relationships sanctioned by YHWH. Consequently, he presumably considers marriage possible among opposite-sex couples and among groups that aren’t couples (e.g., Jacob, Rachel, and Leah, whose relationship YHWH is described as explicitly sanctioning in the Bible).

    Other answers are possible.

  • Tonio

     

    Consequently I consider marriage possible among same-sex couples, among
    opposite-sex couples, among groups that aren’t couples, etc.

    That might be a good reason for you or I to support the general principle of same-sex couples being permitted to marry. But the question of legalization shouldn’t hinge on whether it’s possible for such couples to have those types of relationships. First, it provides an escape hatch for the homophobes who are convinced there’s nothing monogamous about homosexuality, that it’s allegedly just a hedonistic free-for-all. Second, the question is purely a matter of equality under the law – government has no compelling interest in denying legal marriage to gay couples.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    I have absolutely no idea what common prejudices about the lack of monogamy among homosexuals have to do with what I said… can you unpack that a little.

    WRT equality under the law… I agree, but that’s only part of the issue. The principle of equality under the law tells us that if you get a legal right or responsibility, and you and I are not relevantly different, then I get that same legal right or responsibility. It is still necessary to determine what relevant differences are.

    E.g.,  if the law requires us to give people making $80K/year the same access to low-income housing. The two groups are relevantly different.

    Similarly, to say that SSM is purely a matter of equality under the law, one must also believe that there is no relevant difference between SS and OS couples. I share this belief, but I acknowledge that it’s an important part of the argument; someone who doesn’t share it can believe in equality under the law just as much as I do and still oppose legal SSMs.

  • Tonio

     

    can you unpack that a little

     Sorry for the confusion. The question you raised was, assuming that marriage is the social recognition of a pre-existing fact about
    certain types of human relationships, whether same-sex
    couples are capable of  having those types of  relationships. I’m suggesting that most people who would answer no believe to some degree in homophobic myths, such as anonymous bathhouse encounters being the norm for gays. But the real issue is that determining that capability for gays is outside the realm of lawmaking.

    Similarly, to say that SSM is purely a matter of equality under the law,
    one must also believe that there is no relevant difference between SS
    and OS couples.

    I would amend that to say that any difference between the couples is irrelevant for the purpose of lawmaking, which is an important distinction. The people who insist on a relevant difference usually claim that government has an interest in children being raised by opposite-sex parents, and that argument requires huge assumptive leaps at best. Courts such as Maryland’s wrongly focus on straight couples’ assumed procreative ability, but taken to its logical conclusion, that would mean that couples who are infertile by circumstance or choice should be barred from legally marrying.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     Agreed completely that the myths you refer to are common among those who would assert that same-sex couples are incapable of the kinds of relationships we’re talking about.

    Agreed completely that whether same-sex couples are capable of such relationships is not a fact that the law can establish one way or the other; it exists outside the law. The law can, however, depend on it, much like laws about who is capable of giving informed consent can depend on facts about their psychology.

    Agreed that for the principle of equality before the law to justify marriage equality for same-sex and opposite-sex couples, one must further believe that there are no differences between those couples relevant for the purpose of lawmaking.

    I have met people who genuinely seem to believe that mutual fertility and the intention to procreate is a relevant difference between couples as applied to marriage… for example, who believe that mutually infertile straight couples ought not marry.  (I’ve never been able to extract a coherent opinion from them about adoption… they aren’t opposed to adoption, but neither do they quite seem to consider the intention to adopt a good enough reason to marry.) That said, as far as I can tell they don’t advocate for changing the law, they just don’t approve.

  • Tonio

     

    for example, who believe that mutually infertile straight couples ought not marry.

    Gene Weingarten at the Washington Post argues that couples who don’t intend to procreate need not bother with getting legally married. I disagree, because the rights and responsibilities spelled out in the marriage contract still have importance for childless couples. And Weingarten believes strongly that SSM should be legal.

    But I suspect that many more people use “mutual fertility and the intention to procreate” as a reason to oppose SSM. You probably share my stance that the argument is disingenuous at best. I’ve even heard “potentiality of procreation” used to justify the discrimination. Allegedly, legalizing SSM would lead to more single motherhood since straight couples would interpret the move as a sign that they need not marry to have children. (sound of Tonio puking in disgust)

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     I agree with you on all of this.

  • Lunch Meat

     

    Joe’s answer, presumably, is relationships sanctioned by YHWH.
    Consequently, he presumably considers marriage possible among
    opposite-sex couples and among groups that aren’t couples (e.g., Jacob,
    Rachel, and Leah, whose relationship YHWH is described as explicitly
    sanctioning in the Bible).

    And in that case, he should be trying to get marriages of atheists outlawed, as well as possibly all those that weren’t done in his church. After all, other churches have people like me in it, and how can he possibly believe that God would approve of me?

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    And in that case, he should be trying to get marriages of atheists outlawed, as well as possibly all those that weren’t done in his church. 

    Well, there’s two different questions here… first, whether he should consider them to be real marriages, and second whether he should be trying to get them outlawed.

    The second is easier: not necessarily. I mean, there’s lots of things that I think people ought to do, or not-do, but that I don’t think the law should enforce or prevent. Invoking the law has a cost, and sometimes the game is not worth the candle.

    The first presumably depends on Joe’s theological position… or, more likely, the theological position of whoever Joe treats as an authority on these matters, since I find it unlikely that he’s deriving his own theology from primary sources. The question, from what I’m assuming to be his perspective, is whether a relationship between two atheists can ever be considered a marriage by YHWH.  I have no idea what his position on this question would be; certainly my understanding of the Bible doesn’t support any such reading, but other people read all kinds of stuff into that document.

  • Mathbard

     And you fail to see the problems here?

    Zoe’s presumed legal parents are Anne and Bob. Ed has a monetary claim against Anne and Bob for providing necessaries to Zoe.

    Dave and Ed are raising Zoe; if I understand correctly, the situation is the same as though they had adopted her. That makes them her parents. The biological parents of an adopted child have no claim or responsibily towards that child; the adoptive parents are the legal parents.

    Under the laws of my state, your sex is determined by your chromosomes. (Notice I didnt say gender). Accordingly, Yvonne cannot share genetic material with both “men” – therefore Fred and Gabriel are the presumed parents, with Gabriel being listed on the birth certificate as the mother.

    Yvonne shares genetic material with both people. They are her parents. But you didn’t answer the question: Does Gabriel have to say he’s Gabrielle to be recognized as Yvonne’s parent?
     
    1. Dave and Ed can’t.
    2. Gabriel because “he” is chromosomally a female, can marry Fred.
    3. You and your “girl” can’t.

    I believe it would be morally wrong for me to marry someone of my gender. But guess what? That has no bearing whatsoever on the morality of someone else marrying someone of hir gender. “Separate but equal” does not exist. It should be legal for Dave and Ed, Fred and Gabriel, and Ellie and her girl to marry. Other people marrying the one they love does not diminish the value of my marriage one jot.

  • Tonio

     While I wholeheartedly agree with your last paragraph, I question the word choice of “morally wrong for me.” Right and wrong are universal concepts, so it doesn’t make sense that an action could be morally wrong for one person and not so for another person in the exact same circumstances. What  reasoning did you use to conclude that you are morally obligated not to marry someone of the same gender but where no one else has the same obligation?

  • Mathbard

    I chose that wording because it’s morally wrong under the religion I follow (granted, that part is easier for me since I’m not attracted to the same gender, but the precept would still be there if I were). Someone who doesn’t follow the same religion, shouldn’t be held to the same moral code.

  • Tonio

    Is your religion saying that all humans have a moral obligation to marry only the other gender? Or that only members of the religion have that obligation? Religions that claim the former should present secular arguments for that obligation, otherwise it’s tantamount to saying that everyone has a moral obligation to believe in and follow the religion.

  • Mathbard

    Only members. Of course. I did think that was obvious in both my previous comments.

  • Tonio

    Thanks for the explanation. It wasn’t obvious because again, morality is a universal concept. Our language doesn’t have a word that describes an individual’s belief that zie only is  morally obligated to refrain from a specific behavior, with no one else having that obligation. And the “only members” concept isn’t (or shouldn’t be) part of the concept of morality, because these are rules that members voluntarily agree to obey to belong to the religion.

  • EllieMurasaki

    So, in short, you’re a heterosexist, cissexist asshole who’s biased against adoptees and adoptive parents.

    Dear rest of world, if I respond to Joe any further, smack me.

  • P J Evans

     When a child is adopted, the state where the adoption is taking place issues a new birth certificate with the new parents’ names on it. Which you probably didn’t know, because adoption squicks you, too.

  • Joe

     No I knew that. And actually it is NOT the state where the adoption takes place, it is the state of BIRTH. You jhave to file the adoption order in the state of birt, which will then issue a new birth certificate.

    Only the state that issued your birth certificate can modify it.

  • P J Evans

     Excuse me for knowing whereof I speak. Because you’re full of baloney.
    My brother adopted his wife’s child by her first husband, and did it in the state where they were living, not the one where the kid was born, AND THE BIRTH CERTIFICATE WAS FROM THE STATE WHERE THE ADOPTION TOOK PLACE.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Ho-ho, siblings never lie to each other! Please, pull the other one.

  • P J Evans

     Ah, religious incest. It’s really as bad an idea as having your brother be your lawyer or doctor. See, for a well-known example, Westboro Baptist.

  • Lunch Meat

    God says to refrain from sexual immorality, which includes sex outside of marriage. Since homosexuals cannot be married, then God commands homosexuals to refrain from sex.

    Precisely where does God say gay people can’t be married? Oh wait, I forgot, you “believe” that marriage is between a man and a woman, and the intent of God’s commands depends on your personal beliefs.

    You still haven’t told me why you persist in violating Jesus’s clear commands by being part of a church with a priesthood.

  • Joe

     Umm ever hear of the creation story? If God intended for two people of the same sex to be “married”, then why did he create female from male and only make it possible for the “marriage” of those two to make the two halves whole again?

  • Joe

     “Precisely where does God say gay people can’t be married?”

    Mark 10

    “5 “It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” Jesus replied. 6 “But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’ 7 ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, 8 and the two will become one flesh.’ So they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

  • Lunch Meat

    Umm ever hear of the creation story? If God intended for two people of the same sex to be “married”, then why did he create female from male and only make it possible for the “marriage” of those two to make the two halves whole again?

    God giving instructions for some men to marry women is hardly proof that God did not want some men to marry men. I want to know where God says exactly that two men cannot be married. The purpose of marriage (stated by your creation story that you seem so confident I haven’t heard of) is that we would help each other and so that we would not have to be alone. Two men and two women can do that just as easily as a man and a women.

    Your second quote has nothing to do with gay people because Jesus was answering a question about divorce, which has to do with heterosexual marriages since gay marriages weren’t allowed in that time.

  • P J Evans

     Wrong again. You need to learn to read with your mind, not just your eyes. Unless all you’re doing is regurgitating the lies your pastor has told you. (Which is certainly possible. I’ve known people who claimed to be good Christians who were flaming religious bigots when it came to, for example, Catholics.)

  • hapax

     

    Abraham did NOT argue with God. Abraham bargained with God for the Souls of the Righteous.

    To argue is completely different than to bargain.

    Oh, for pete’s sake…

    Okay, playing your game:

    Exodus 32:9-14: 

    God:  Moses, these people suck.  I’m-a gonna kill them all and start all over with you.

    Moses, Yeah, but if You do that, the Egyptians will point at You and laugh!  Besides, You kinda promised Abraham and his boys, remember?

    God:  Oh poop, you’re right.  Never mind.

    No bargaining going on there.  No “righteous”, either.  Straight old-fashioned arguing with God, and God admitting that God lost.

    So what about ElliMurasaki’s and Lunch Meat’s questions?  Afraid to ask your “brother” what you’re supposed to think?

  • Tricksterson

    No wonder Joe and his ilk believe in RoboJesus, they’re barely more than robots themselves.

  • Joe

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/lcms-anglicans-affirm-common-beliefs-mull-fighting-homosexuality-abortion-together-75588/

    “The joint report recognizes “a pervasive threat to the understanding
    of marriage as the life-long union of a man and woman as husband and
    wife and oppose any efforts to redefine marriage in any other terms.”

    “The
    churches affirmed the biblical teaching that God intends sexuality only
    to be fully enacted within the sanctity of marriage between one man and
    one woman. “We oppose efforts within society or by some churches to
    view other sexual relationships as moral alternatives to heterosexual
    marriage.”

    I am a member of Anglican Church in North America.

  • EllieMurasaki

     And if the Anglican Church wants to never ever recognize religious same-sex marriage, forever and ever amen, no one’s arguing that they shouldn’t be able to do that. (That they’d be assholes for doing that, sure, but that’s another debate.) We’re talking about, can my female-assigned-at-birth ass file joint taxes with my girl and not get kicked out of the hospital when she’s too sick to see anyone but family.

  • Joe

     1. Why would you want to file joint taxes? It’s no picnic for those of us who have to do it.

    2. Your “girl” can desginate you in a living will as her person to make all of her decisions. Then you can see her anytime you wish.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Will my girl putting me in her living will and my reciprocating, one, be recognized by the damn hospital (unlike the civil union of any of the names in http://www.bluejersey.com/diary/13850/civil-unions-separate-and-unequal ), and two, guarantee that whichever of us dies first, the other one gets a share of her estate without estate taxes?

    I can go on like this all day if you like. There are lots and lots of benefits to being legally married, and some of them same-sex couples can only get with a bunch of paperwork, and some of them same-sex couples are supposed to get with civil unions but in practice don’t, and some of them same-sex couples cannot get at all.

  • Tricksterson

    I assume that’s seperate from the Episcopalian Church.  Let me guess you split because of female clergy or gay clergy?

  • Lunch Meat

    Hapax said it best, so I’m not going to add to her words in regards to this passage. I am going to say, Joe, that I feel sorry for you because I think it’s clear that your parents and teachers never bothered to teach you reading comprehension, critical thinking, or how to formulate an argument of your own. Your Bible teachers have also not bothered to teach you how to read, understand, and use the Bible without pulling out whole chapters and using them to clobber people. This is a shame and it is grievously unfair to you. However, I am not going to bother typing out carefully reasoned arguments anymore. They will be wasted on you. I do not have a lesbian epic romance to write, but I do have a delicious strawberry pie to make and a picnic to go to, and I think those are worthy uses of my time.

    I hope that you eventually come to a better understanding of the truth.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Joe:

    Are you seriously fucking saying you believe some totally undetectable spirit actually influences the sexualities of people?

    Jesus H. Baldhaired Ole Christ on a Unicycle.

    What is this I don’t even.

    Why didn’t you just become one of those loopy psychics who reads palms or something? You’d be less annoying that way, since then you wouldn’t be voting for politicians who want to put into legal practice your squicks about non-straight people.

  • Tricksterson

    And until you actually see that happen maybe you should withold judgement.

  • Joe

     In chapter 11 the objections to Peter’s going to Cornelius’ house was as
    follows: “the circumcised believers criticized him and said, “You went
    into the house of uncircumcised men and ate with them.”” (verses 2-3) So
    their objections were based on violations of the “holiness code” and
    thus point to the significance of the change in that code that Peter is
    about to tell them about.

  • P J Evans

     And the previous verses, in Chapter 10, which you’re NOT quoting because they don’t support your narrow-minded views? Where are they in that passage?

  • Joe

     They completely support that passage. No need to quote them.

  • P J Evans

     Nope. Go read it again. Or go away.

  • P J Evans

     My view is that that’s between them and their God. Just as your sins are between you and your God.

    Stop telling God what to do!

  • Lunch Meat

    Also, quoting an entire chapter is not an argument.

  • Joe

     I was asked to provide a citation. I did so.

  • Lunch Meat


    If Acts chapter 10 makes sex outside of the marriage of 1 man and 1 woman ok, then why not just say it removed ALL of the law? Thus its ok to kill, lie, steal, covet, blaspheme etc.

    Did you not read ANYTHING I said about the fruit of the Spirit, faith living itself out through love, etc? Do you really think we need a rule telling us not to murder?

  • Joe

     If God didnt think that we needed the rule – it would not be there!

  • Joe

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/299663/gay-marriage-not-inevitable-rich-lowry

    “The president’s willingness finally to say what he
    believes increased the sense among gay-marriage supporters that final
    victory is inevitable. History with a capital “H” is on their side. The
    21st century itself is practically synonymous with gay marriage.
    Although this smug confidence will envelop President Obama as he
    campaigns in such lucrative precincts as George Clooney’s living room,
    it badly overstates gay marriage’s prospects.

    “History is littered with the wreckage of causes pronounced inevitable by
    all right-thinking people. The failed Equal Rights Amendment looked
    inevitable when it passed Congress in 1972 and immediately 30 states
    ratified it. Opposition to abortion that was supposed to inevitably
    wither away is as robust as ever. The forces favoring gun control seemed
    unstoppably on the march when Congress passed the Brady Bill and the
    assault-weapons ban in the 1990s, but there are more protections for gun
    rights now than two decades ago.

    “Gay marriage’s inevitability hasn’t been evident to the voters in 31
    states who have written into their constitutions that marriage is
    between a man and a woman. The latest is North Carolina, where 61
    percent of voters embraced the traditional definition of marriage in a
    referendum. North Carolina isn’t Mississippi. President Obama won North
    Carolina in 2008, and Democrats are holding their convention there.
    Nation-wide, no referendum simply upholding traditional marriage has
    ever lost, and even in Maine, voters in 2009 reversed a gay-marriage law
    passed by the legislature.”

  • Joe

    I dont know Ellie. But you have a lawsuit waiting to happen if they don’t.

    As far as estate taxes, all she has to do is designate you as the beneficiary. You will still have to pax taxes on things like 401k, IRA, etc (just as I would) but any insurance assets would be tax free.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Okay, genius, how do I get hospital visitation rights AND the elective share of her estate AND automatically be the legal second parent of any kids she gives birth to, just like you’d be if you married her, by signing ONE sheet of paper, just like you’d do if you married her? And FYI, gifts to one’s spouse are tax-free no matter how big they are or whether they happen before or after one dies.

  • Amaryllis

    EllieMurasaki: Will my girl putting me in her living will and my reciprocating, one, be recognized by the damn hospital

    Joe: I dont know Ellie. But you have a lawsuit waiting to happen if they don’t.

    Me: Which won’t do her a hell of a lot of good, after the fact. Even a successful lawsuit couldn’t retroactively give back that time in hospital that she didn’t get to have, or the medical decisions that she didn’t get to make, or the health care that wasn’t received because the employer doesn’t provide benefits for partners and children of civil unions, and so on and so on.

    Everybody knows what civil marriage means. Civil unions, not so much.

    This post started as a theological argument. And, while I find Fred’s argument much more convincing than Mohler’s, you and he are free to argue all day about whether churches should recognized same-sex unions as eligible for the Sacrament of Matrimony.

    If you think that civil rights to civil marriage shouldn’t be extended to same-sex couples, you need to make a civil– that is, secular, although hopefully also polite– argument. “The Bible says so” won’t do it.

  • Tonio

    The underlying principle is that no one is morally entitled to decide who someone else should or shouldn’t marry. A religion can obviously deem same-sex marriage to be wrong for its members, and can forbid its clergy from officiating at same-sex ceremonies for members. But none of that applies to people outside the religion, and those members are still legally entitled to same-sex civil marriage. Whether, say, Amaryllis wants to be married to John or Jane should matter as little to others as whether Amaryllis prefers ketchup or mustard.

  • Joe

    You’re correct about gifts.

    Unfortunately 401k/IRA aren’t gifts (they aren’t to me either). So if my wife were to die, her 401k plan would still be taxable to me as her spouse.

    As far as the “automatic” legal second parent,there’s no such thing. The uniform parentage act says:

    Ҥ 160.201. ESTABLISHMENT OF PARENT-CHILD
    RELATIONSHIP.

    (a) The mother-child relationship is established
    between a woman and a child by:

                    (1) the woman giving birth to the child;

                    (2) an adjudication of the woman’s maternity; or

                    (3) the adoption of the child by the woman.

    (b) The father-child relationship is established between a
    man and a child by:
    (1) an unrebutted presumption of the man’s paternity
    of the child under Section 160.204;
    (2) an effective acknowledgment of paternity by the
    man under Subchapter D, unless the acknowledgment has been
    rescinded or successfully challenged;
    (3) an adjudication of the man’s paternity;
    (4) the adoption of the child by the man; or
    (5) the man’s consenting to assisted reproduction by
    his wife under Subchapter H, which resulted in the birth of the
    child.”

    So you would have a to file a legal proceeding no matter what. For me, I get it because I have the presumption of paternity. But that would apply regardless of whether I was married to themother or not.

     

  • EllieMurasaki

    BEING MARRIED TO THE CHILD’S BIOLOGICAL MOTHER AT THE CHILD’S BIRTH IS AN AUTOMATIC PRESUMPTION OF BEING THE CHILD’S OTHER PARENT.

    And even if I concede that there’s no way for the law to assume that I am the second parent of any children my girl will have, which I am not prepared to do, how do I get hospital visitation rights and elective-share-of-the-estate rights at the same time with the same single piece of paper without marrying her? Don’t say ‘civil union’, because as previously discussed, hospitals don’t care about that irrelevance.

  • Joe

    Thats incorrect. You notice the term is “UNREBUTTED PRESUMPTION”. The fact that you are married to the child’s mother does not preclude you from being excluded as a parent.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Define ‘unrebutted presumption’. Let’s say I’m married to a gentleman, call him Alex. And let’s say I get pregnant. This other gentleman, call him Bob, challenges the presumption that Alex is the other parent. (None of your business whether I am actually having sex with Alex or Bob or both.) Who gets declared the legal other parent?

    Hint: ain’t Bob.

    If I am in fact married to Anne, rather than to Alex, Bob challenging Anne’s presumption of being the other parent should still bear zero weight. Because I am still married to Anne, not Bob, and interested in raising children with Anne, not Bob.

  • Joe

     It will be whoever the COURT decides. Not you Ellie. The court will order genetic testing, and if neither Alex nor Bob are the genetic father, the Alex remains the unrebutted presumed father.

  • P J Evans

     Joe, why the fuck should a court have to be involved AT ALL? That’s the one you’re dodging out on answering.

  • hapax

     I believe this is where those baffling “genetic rights” are involved.

    Basically, Joe is all about declaring whatever the relationships and the wishes of the other persons concerned  that if there’s a possibility that a bit of his (male) DNA is involved in the construction of a particular biological unit, he has undisputed ownership of that construct;  if not, he has no responsibilities — legal, financial, ethical or otherwised.

    Any possible sanctioning of relationships that might threaten his ownership (e.g., that there are TWO males with potential DNA claims, or even worse, two FEMALES [ick!])  must be CRUSHED.

    In a weird way, it’s an argument for the absolute right of bodily integrity, even if the “body” in question is a bit of non-independently viable DNA forcibly expelled from the main unit hours or days or years earlier…

  • Tonio

     The argument is really about children as fatherly property.

  • EllieMurasaki

    You’re not answering the question of why my spouse Anne should not be the presumed other parent of any children I give birth to. It is, after all, she who will be raising them with me, not the sperm donor whose name we probably won’t even know.

  • Tricksterson

    Don’t sperm donors sign away any fatherly rights?  If not it should definitely be in the contract.

  • EllieMurasaki

    http://www.legalmatch.com/law-library/article/sperm-donor-parental-rightsobligations.html and also there’s the guy who was in the news the other day for leaving his wife to spend time with his multitude of children via sperm donation. In short, it is a complicated and contentious subject.

    But I have the distinct impression that Joe would prefer the legal parents of the child Anne and I will raise to be not Anne and me but the sperm donor and either Anne or me, whichever is the biological mother (though of course what if Anne provides eggs and I get the zygote(s) implanted, or vice versa?). So fuck him.

  • Joe

     Whoever provides the egg IS the mother (not presumed). Whoever provides the sperm is the presumed father. Presumed only because a woman can mate with many men and there is no way to tell who is the father without genetic testing. That is why the husband of a woman is the presumed father of any children born during their marriage – the law presumes that only he and that woman will have sex.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Whoever provides the egg IS the mother (not presumed). Whoever provides
    the sperm is the presumed father. Presumed only because a woman can mate
    with many men and there is no way to tell who is the father without
    genetic testing. That is why the husband of a woman is the presumed
    father of any children born during their marriage – the law presumes
    that only he and that woman will have sex.

    So. Anne donates eggs, gets paid $4000, and walks out of the picture, never to be seen again. The eggs, once inseminated by Bob, are implanted in Cate’s uterus, and Cate later gives birth to Zoe and then disappears from the picture, never to be seen again. Dave does all the work of raising Zoe, makes all the dinners and reads all the stories and sings all the lullabies and cleans up all the messes, and Ed does all the work of earning money to support Zoe and Dave.

    You’re saying Zoe’s parents are Anne and Bob, not Dave and Ed? And what, incidentally, is Cate? Invisible?

    How about the scenario where Fred and Gabriel want a kid, and because Fred’s a cis man and Gabriel’s a trans man who hasn’t bothered to be rid of pregnancy functionality, Gabriel’s eggs and Fred’s sperm combine in Gabriel’s uterus to produce Yvonne? Can Fred and Gabriel both be recognized as Yvonne’s parents then? Or are you going to be even more hideously fucking offensive and say Gabriel is in fact Gabriella?

  • Tonio

    When people like Brian Brown oppose SSM on the grounds that children need fathers, they sound as if they’re really trying to protect paternal privilege. At best, they’re making a very broad assumption that all women desire to become mothers and that the dreaded two-mommy scenario will be widespread with SSM. (Interesting that they don’t say anything about children lacking mothers being raised by male gay couples.) Joe’s argument about presumed fatherhood seems to echo Brown’s disingenuous rhetoric.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

     Don’t worry. There are plenty of other people are perfectly comfortable portraying all gay men as child molesters or irresponsible debauchees, especially when arguing why same-sex couples should be barred from adopting children.

    Compared to what real people are actually saying, the suggestion that gay couples will kill and eat each other if left alone isn’t that preposterous. It does make a compelling argument for making polyamorous marriages compulsory though. The fox won’t eat the chicken if someone else is there too!

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    I would imagine that the sort of person who thinks like that would quite likely assume that a pair of gay men would “naturally” have no possible interest in having a child, as it would be a distraction from their neverending hedonist fantasy.

    (I imagine they have put QUITE a lot of thought into the idea of gay men living out a neverending hedonist orgy.)

  • Joe

    You’re trying to spin the equation. Only a man and a woman can make a baby, so it is perfectly logical to have a man as the only “presumed” parent. (A woman is never a “presumed” parent for obvious reasons).

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    So are you like one of those people who are all like

    “Of course gay men and lesbian women can get married!”

    “TO THE OPPOSITE SEX HURHURHUR I R SO SMART I MADE A FUNEY”

    Because if you are?

    Then you’re one of the world’s biggest douchehats.

    Not that you weren’t aiming for that category pretty quickly in the first place.

  • P J Evans

     You’re behind the times. You’re missing all the other ways that babies are ‘made’.

  • Au_catboy

    Yes, and we all know that infertile couples are legally prohibited from marrying, and that any marriage that fails to produce a child within a year is dissolved…oh, wait, those things only happen in Joe’s delusions.  You can’t use that idiotic argument to justify your bigotry, Joe, because it’s blatantly obvious that you don’t actually believe it when it becomes inconvenient.  Just admit that your only reason for opposing same-sex marriage is that the voices in your head tell you it’s icky. 

  • Joe

     http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/299663/gay-marriage-not-inevitable-rich-lowry

    “History is littered with the wreckage of causes pronounced inevitable
    by all right-thinking people. The failed Equal Rights Amendment looked
    inevitable when it passed Congress in 1972 and immediately 30 states
    ratified it. Opposition to abortion that was supposed to inevitably
    wither away is as robust as ever. The forces favoring gun control seemed
    unstoppably on the march when Congress passed the Brady Bill and the
    assault-weapons ban in the 1990s, but there are more protections for gun
    rights now than two decades ago.”

    “Gay marriage’s inevitability hasn’t been evident to the voters in 31
    states who have written into their constitutions that marriage is
    between a man and a woman. The latest is North Carolina, where 61
    percent of voters embraced the traditional definition of marriage in a
    referendum. North Carolina isn’t Mississippi. President Obama won North
    Carolina in 2008, and Democrats are holding their convention there.
    Nation-wide, no referendum simply upholding traditional marriage has
    ever lost, and even in Maine, voters in 2009 reversed a gay-marriage law
    passed by the legislature.”

  • EllieMurasaki

    Bullshit. Also, you’re still ignoring my comment from five hours ago, the one with the questions in it.

  • Au_catboy

    As expected from Joe the pathological liar, your post does not even make any attempt to address what I actually said.  The fact that your fellow homophobic asshats want to deny basic human rights to others does not mean that they have any legitimate justification for doing so, it just means that you are all sociopaths who hate freedom.

    AGAIN, the fact you are fleeing in terror from is that your attempt to use reproduction as an argument against same-sex marriage is bullshit, because ability to reproduce is not a prerequisite for marriage, and no one even pretends it is except when hauling out your incredibly stupid failed attempt to justify your bigotry.  Just admit that your only reason for opposing same-sex marriage is that the voices in your head tell you it’s icky. 

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

    The fact that you are married to the child’s mother does not preclude you from being excluded as a parent.

    Excluded by whom?

    I mean, sure, I agree that there are plenty of people in the world who would try to exclude me from the role of parent, regardless of whom I marry or what genetic or social relationship I have to the child. There are others who would support me. The same is true of pretty much every other role there is.

    Generally: if you’re raising a child, and have accepted responsibility for that child, and the child is being well cared for, then I endorse you being included as that child’s parent, and I oppose-by-default anyone who wishes to exclude you from that role.

    That said, I haven’t been following the discussion too closely. Do you want to
    exclude someone from the role of parent? If so, whom, and why?

  • EllieMurasaki

    I am, for purposes of this discussion, female. Should my girl have a child, Joe wants to ensure that I am never considered the kid’s other parent. Because clearly that will encourage my girl to shack up with the sperm donor.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     Ah.
    Yeah, fuck that.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Joe?

    Now you’re just coming off like a snotty douchebag mansplaining to all and sundry.

    You really think you’re presenting anything new? Anything hitherto totally unknown? Anything which would be like a bolt of lightning from the sky which would thus cause people in same-sex relationships to forever accept second-class status merely because one “Joe” takes it upon himself to inform all around him that his rather particular holy book says it must be so?

    You’ve only just repeated stuff that’s at minimum 25  years old, and in some cases up to 100 years old.

  • Guest

    If a woman is married to an infertile man, and so they use donated sperm to have a child, the husband is the presumed father, right? Why is that ANY DIFFERENT if a woman is married to a woman?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Charity-Brighton/100002974813787 Charity Brighton

    Have you ever heard of that old riddle where you’re a farmer (or something) and you have to take a fox, a chicken, and a bag of seeds across a river, but your boat can only hold two people/things (you and one other thing) at the same time and if you leave the wrong combination of people/things on the same side of the river one of them will eat the other? (For example, you can’t leave the fox alone with the chicken or the fox will eat it, and the same will happen if the chicken is left alone with the seeds).

    Maybe it’s  like that. Either a man or a woman can be an adequate parent individually, and they can be really get together, but leave a man and a man or a woman and a woman together and they’ll kill and eat each other and leave the child lying in a heap of its own filth beside a riverbank, scared and alone.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

     Maybe it’s  like that. Either a man or a woman can be an adequate parent
    individually, and they can be really get together, but leave a man and a
    man or a woman and a woman together and they’ll kill and eat each other
    and leave the child lying in a heap of its own filth beside a
    riverbank, scared and alone.

    o.O was that meant seriously??

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    Why not? It’s no more ludicrous than the reasons hateful, bigoted, splaining monsters like Joe give.

  • Guest

    I mean, the whole point is that kids grow up in a stable home where both parents are committed to each other and to loving the kids and raising them well, right? Not because there’s something magical about the fact of being biologically related to one’s parents? Just because someone has reproduced doesn’t mean they automatically love the kid or are committed to taking care of it, you know.

  • Kiba

    Just because someone has reproduced doesn’t mean they automatically love the kid or are committed to taking care of it, you know.

    You’ve just described my early childhood. Neither of my parents should ever have had children; they just were not, and still aren’t, ready for it. Thankfully I had my grandmother and couldn’t have asked for a better parent than her.

  • Becky

     I’d just like to point out for the record that the “Anglican churches in North America” are not actually Anglican churches (they are out of communion with the Anglican church).  They’re churches that left the actual Anglican churches of North America (the Anglican church of Canada and the Episcopal church in the US) out of protest of the fact that those churches are becoming more inclusive of LGBT people.  So Joe is not just following the teachings of his church on this – he deliberately chose this church over staying with the Episcopal/Anglican church because it affirms his bigotry.

  • Joe

    You are incorrect Becky. The anglican church is in broken communion with ECUSA, not ACNA.

    At this writing 22 of the 38 provinces (or over 50% of the global 77 million anglicans) are not in communion with ECUSA, while they are in communion with ACNA.

  • Joe

     http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203476804576614932308302042.html

    Of the 38 provinces in the global Anglican Communion, 22 have
    declared themselves in “broken” or “impaired” fellowship with the more
    liberal American church.

    In 2009, breakaway Episcopalians in the U.S. and Canada formed the
    Anglican Church in North America, which now reports 100,000 members in
    nearly 1,000 congregations. This group has been formally recognized by
    some Anglican primates outside of the United States.

  • P J Evans

     In other words, it’s the part of the Episcopal church that prefers remaining bigots instead of following the commandments of Jesus, and can’t stand the idea of joining the RCs.
    What makes you think we’re ignorant?

  • Joe

     No, its the part of the Anglican Church that is orthodox, instead of descending into apostasy and spewing heresy and fomenting schism.

  • EllieMurasaki

    If your part of the Anglican Church doesn’t like schism, they shouldn’t have left the part that’s growing sense about gender and sexual minorities.

    Still waiting for an couple answers on my comment right about the end of page four.

  • Joe

     Thats why the Episcopal Church is bleeding members and ACNA is growing.

  • EllieMurasaki

    I hate to think you’re arguing in bad faith, but you’re doing a fine imitation of arguing in bad faith. Answer my questions:

     

    (1) Zoe shares genetic material with Anne and Bob. Cate gave birth
    to Zoe. Dave sings Zoe to sleep at night and Ed works every day to have
    the money to buy Zoe’s food. Who are, who should be, Zoe’s legal
    parents?

     

    (2) Fred is a cis man and Gabriel is a trans man; Yvonne shares
    genetic material with both men, and Gabriel gave birth to her. Are Fred
    and Gabriel allowed to be Yvonne’s legal parents, or does that require
    Gabriel to pretend he’s Gabriella?

     

    (3) How can Dave and Ed, how can Fred and Gabriel, how can my girl
    and I get all the legal rights and responsibilities and recognition of
    marriage by signing a single piece of paper if that piece of paper isn’t
    a marriage certificate?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    No, its the part of the Anglican Church that is orthodox, instead of
    descending into apostasy and spewing heresy and fomenting schism.

    Lulz. You sound like you’re a living Roman Catholic fossil from, like, the 1500s or something.

  • Lunch Meat

    I’m curious…can you ever foment something good? Can you foment rainbows, or harmony, or joy? I only ever seem to hear the word from people who think they live in the 1500s, or at least the 1950s. Maybe we should reclaim it.

  • http://stealingcommas.blogspot.com/ chris the cynic

    Looks like it comes from a word that means  “to warm; cherish, encourage”  so I’m going to say that you can foment something good even though, really, going back to etymology is rarely a good idea.

    That said, it apparently still means “to bathe with a cloth or sponge.”

    Anyway, fomenting kindness sounds like fun.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    Well, I lack a fomenter, so I will have to foment my foamy bath some other way.

    Yeah, not working too well at the jokes today. I’ll leave and come back in. :P

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    Anyway, fomenting kindness sounds like fun.

    Yeah… I so rarely take the time to bathe kindness with a sponge.

  • hapax

     

    can you ever foment something good?

    Well, it is standard veterinary practice to foment a wound or an injury or an abscess; that is, to apply a hot moist dressing to reduce the swelling and draw out and drain the pus and other nasty bits.

    So I kinda like the image of ECUSA “fomenting schism” in this sense, by openness to the ordination of women and LGBT priest (although, to my knowledge, we’re not doing very well on the T part yet) . 

    The denomination has gotten too rich and complacent and comfortable and has swollen like a tumor.  Apply a bit of healthful fomenting, and we will drain our congregations of all the bigots and sexists and homophobes and racists, and be the stronger for it.

    (Every time our priests started talking about our church getting too crowded, and we need to raise money to expand the sanctuary, I kept asking why it wouldn’t be simpler and cheaper and more Christian to just start blessing same-sex weddings, and have the same effect.

    I’m happy to report that the vestry has decided to go for it.  Not, I’m sure, with the intent of clearing out the pews, but they’re prepared for that outcome…)

  • Joe

     Women have no place in the priesthood. I do not take communion from women who pretend to be priests.

  • EllieMurasaki

    Women have no place in the priesthood. I do not take communion from women who pretend to be priests.

    The brain cells required to understand theology reside in the penis? Wow. Somebody tell the biologists.

  • hapax

    Women have no place in the priesthood. I do not take communion from women who pretend to be priests.

    Of course not, it has girl cooties on it.  So you’re saying that the ACNA is basically the church for all the boys who are stuck in the third grade?

    Women, after all, should stay in the kitchen with Martha.  Jesus said so, didn’t he? 

    (Spoiler:  No, he didn’t.)

  • Lunch Meat

    Women have no place in the priesthood. I do not take communion from women who pretend to be priests.

    Please explain where in the New Testament a priesthood is even authorized, and then I will consider accepting your bigoted views on who gets to be in it.

  • Joemonk1964

     matthew 28:18-20

  • EllieMurasaki

    Quoting those verses here so everyone’s on the same page:

    Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    Anybody can baptize last I heard, it’s not something restricted to the priesthood, and converting people to Christianity and teaching them about Christianity are sure as hell not restricted to the priesthood. So I’m with Lunch Meat.

  • Lunch Meat

    matthew 28:18-20

    As Ellie said, that mentions nothing about a priesthood. Even if he was, Jesus told them to “teach them to obey everything I’ve commanded you.” That includes the teaching and the baptizing, and as they were teaching and baptizing women, Jesus authorized teaching and baptizing by women. The Great Commission is not limited to men.

    But he wasn’t authorizing a priesthood. Take a look here, Matthew 23:9:

    And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.

    And Hebrews 10:

    Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. […] And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings.

    And 1 Peter 2:9:

    But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

    We have one father and one high priest. No one of us is more worthy of drawing near to God than any other, so if we have a priesthood, its a priesthood of all believers. We have one intercessor, we do not need any human to intercede for us. It is God who sanctifies the Eucharist, not the person serving it. So the person serving is no more special or more holy than you; they are just serving it.

    Your defense of the priesthood as representing people that are more holy or closer to God than you is in direct contradiction to the teachings of Jesus and his apostles. Why do you hate the Bible so much?

  • hapax

     Er, Joe, technically “heresy” is incorrect “doctrine.”  Nobody is accusing anyone else of doctrinal error (except those who don’t know what words mean.)

    “Aposatasy” is the renunciation of a faith or fellowship once held, which is the crime of those congregations who repudiate fellowship with ECUSA for  following its own ordination laws — laws that were previously accepted by the Anglican Communion and all member provinces — once those procedures produced some results y’all found icky.

    At theoretical worst, ECUSA is guilty of inappropriate ordination — an improper “practice”, although nobody seemed to think so until it got contaminated with girly and gay cooties — which can only rise to the level of “schism.” 

    You know, the exact same thing that led to the formation of the Anglican Communion in the first place.

    Your indignation would be laughable, if it weren’t so ugly and hurtful.

  • Joe

     Of course they are. Have you not read the Windsor Report, Dromantine Communique? Those docs flat out say that ECUSA has bad doctrine.

  • hapax

     Okay, I should say that nobody CREDIBLE is talking about doctrinal errors.

  • Joe

     Oh … so the archbishop of canterbury is not a CREDIBLE person? The primates of the Anglican Communion are not CREDIBLE people?

    http://www.anglicancommunion.org/acns/news.cfm/2005/2/24/ACNS3948

    “Many primates have been deeply alarmed that the standard of Christian
    teaching on matters of human sexuality expressed in the 1998 Lambeth
    Resolution 1.10, which should command respect as the position
    overwhelmingly adopted by the bishops of the Anglican Communion, has
    been seriously undermined by the recent developments in North America.”

    “We as a body continue to address the situations which have arisen in
    North America with the utmost seriousness. Whilst there remains a very
    real question about whether the North American churches are willing to
    accept the same teaching on matters of sexual morality as is generally
    accepted elsewhere in the Communion, the underlying reality of our
    communion in God the Holy Trinity is obscured, and the effectiveness of
    our common mission severely hindered.”

    “In the meantime, we ask our fellow primates to use
    their best influence to persuade their brothers and sisters to exercise a
    moratorium on public Rites of Blessing for Same-sex unions and on the
    consecration of any bishop living in a sexual relationship outside
    Christian marriage.”

    “These strategies are intended to restore the full trust of our bonds of affection across the Communion.”

  • EllieMurasaki

    …because what we really want is monkeys deciding who we can marry.

    I know that’s not what you meant, but the mental image is hilarious.

    Meanwhile, answer my questions from my next-to-last comment.

  • hapax

    The “many primates who are concerned” are those (surely damned) African (and one Australian) bishops who are totally down with their governments (or vigilante mobs, they don’t care) issuing the death penalty on anyone who is accused of not conforming to gender norms. 

    So no, not credible.

    The request for a moratorium on ANY rites is a) a matter of practice, not doctrine, as I said earlier and b) none of Canterbury’s freaking business, by their own institutes.

    They are illegal strategies intended to meddle, bully, and intimidate.

  • malpollyon

    ACNA is *not* a member of the Anglican Communion. The ECUSA is a member of the Anglican Communion. Despite Joe’s obfuscatory bullshit, those are the facts of the matter.

  • Joe

    Since my brother is an Episcopal priest, I can say with certainty that ECUSA is in the process of departing the Anglican Communion.

  • malpollyon

    I like that when Joe quotes Genesis to show that Abraham doesn’t argue with God, he leaves out verses 28-32 where the actual argument occurs. On par with his honesty in the rest of this thread, really.

  • Lunch Meat

    You may argue with me all day long as we are doing here, but you cannot argue with the Word of God.

    You’re welcome to argue with God all you wish.

    Do you even listen to yourself? How do you expect anyone to take you and your bigotry seriously?

  • Joe
  • Joe
  • Lunch Meat

     I would love to respond to these articles, but as they are actual arguments and not just Bible verses thrown at a wall hoping that one of them will stick, it’s going to take a little more time and thought. Unfortunately, I’m extremely busy this week, but I should have a response by tomorrow. Just wanted to let you know that, no, you haven’t silenced us, we just have lives.

  • Lunch Meat

    This is only a very brief response to the two articles posted above, because I only have a short lunch break to type this up. But I will try to hit all the major points. (I do notice that people have, for the most part, stopped posting on this thread (and a good thing too because the discussion was going nowhere) but I want to put my response to these articles out there.) I will not respond to every point in the articles because many of them are responding to other people whose ideas do not correspond with mine.

    I see three main points that Dr. Gagnor’s case rests on: 1) the institution of marriage as “of male and female” in Genesis, 2) the fact that all references throughout the Bible “presuppose a male-female prerequisite for all sexual activity”, and 3) a natural/philosophical argument as to why same-sex relationships are “degrading.”

    1) To begin with, the texts in Genesis 1 and Genesis 2 are separated because they come from two separate creation accounts. The first text, saying that God created people male and female, does not necessarily imply an absolute gender binary, because just as we often use two opposites to refer to a whole spectrum (“summer and winter” means the whole year, “rain or shine” encompasses all weathers, “Jew nor Greek” and “slave nor free” in Paul mean the whole spectrum of ethnicities and classes), therefore “male and female” could be interpreted as referring to the entire spectrum of genders. Further, Dr. Gagnor’s dismissal of intersexed persons is telling–he does not actually address the issue, simply saying that there are two few people to be concerned about. The issue is not that there are a lot of intersexed people, the fact is that the existence of any intersexed people proves that not everyone is either one or the other. He doesn’t address the question of where are intersexed people to fit into a world that requires a gender binary. Who are they to marry? How are they to see themselves? How do they form relationships without “degrading their genderedness” (a phrase with no real meaning that Dr. Gagnor uses a lot; I’ll get to that later)? Why did God not provide a way for them to participate in the sexual/romantic life of humans, if the only way to be sexual is with one’s “opposite”?

    The text in Genesis 2 is another problem. This quote exemplifies the problem with the way he is treating the story: “Put simply, if the logic of a heterosexual
    union is that the two halves of the sexual spectrum, male and female,
    unite to form a single sexual whole, the “logic” of a homosexual union
    is that two half-males unite to form a single whole male or two
    half-females unite to form a single whole female.” This is all wrong! He is using logic and mathematics to explain what Paul calls “a profound mystery”–the meaning of “one flesh”! I am not arrogant enough to say that I know exactly what it means, but I suppose it’s fair to offer my interpretation, since I’m criticizing his. Dr. Gagnor thinks that when the sexes were created, the human “sexual whole” was torn in half, so everyone wandering around is now a half-person and becomes complete when they get married. I reject this. Unmarried people may be flawed, as are we all, but they are complete people, and married people do not form a flawless, complete whole. If this were so, women would just be ribs–but when Eve was taken out of Adam, she became something more than just his missing part–she became a person. We are more than half-people, and when we are married we become more than the sum of our parts–it’s about synergy, not math. We are stronger together than we would be separate, we create something more than the sum of our fleshes. And I’m not just talking about sex, I’m talking about companionship and helping each other and compromising and solving problems and creating together–both procreation and recreation.Another problem with looking at “one flesh” like it’s just about sexual union is that it misses the point of why God created Eve. God did not create Eve because humans needed to be able to have sex or reproduce, God created Eve because “it is not good for people to be alone” and because we need companions, helpers. A man can meet that need for a man just as a woman can. Another problem is that implies the only difference between romantic partners is the difference in their genitals. My husband and I do not “complete” each other because I am a woman and he is man; we fit each other because I have strengths where he has weaknesses and vice versa–and these distinctions can also apply to same-sex couples, because not all women have the same strengths and weaknesses and neither do all men. God created a companion that was suitable for Adam in every way, and sex was not the primary one.Dr. Gagnor claims that Jesus’ reference to both creation stories in the same passage is proof that Jesus saw the gender binary as essential for romantic union, but I don’t read it that way at all. Jesus was talking about divorce and remarriage–about men abandoning women instead of taking care of them. His point was that God created us for each other and God’s plan is that we should be there for each other and stay together–not that there’s something essentially better about a two-person marriage, but that we should honor our commitments to one another and not seek out someone else because we’re tired of the first one.Lunch break is over–I’ll try to get to the other two points, briefly, in my afternoon break. Excuse any mistakes, I don’t have time to proofread.

  • Lunch Meat

    2) I will grant that the Bible does not give any clear examples of same-sex romantic relationships. However, I do not think that that means it is therefore definitively wrong. Dr. Gagnon’s answer to the problem of the Bible advocating slavery is that “The Bible accommodates
    to social systems where sometimes the only alternative to starvation is
    enslavement.” In that case, the Bible also may accommodate to social systems where women needed men to provide for them because they could not survive on their own, and where the system of inheritance and landownership was such that men needed to produce heirs. Therefore, a man would be renouncing his responsibility to be in a relationship with another man. This situation no longer applies to our culture. Further, innate same-sex attraction may have been known of in those times, as cited in the article, but it certainly wasn’t as well understood as it is now. One only has to read the quotes he cites to know that.3) As to the third point, this: “These include good philosophical arguments, where it
    is reasonable to view as inherently self-dishonoring and self-degrading
    sexual arousal for what one already is and has as a sexual being – males
    for essential maleness, females for essential femaleness – and the
    attendant effort at reuniting with a sexual same as though one’s sexual
    other half. In effect participants
    in homosexual practice treat their individual sex as only half intact,
    not in relation to the other sex but in relation to their own sex.” is pseudopsychological, pseudophilosophical crap, not to put too fine a point on it. Queer people do not “feel an arousal for what they already are.” It is not an “effort at reuniting with a sexual same.” In fact, I am much more similar to my husband in personality than I am to several women I can think of. The way queer people fall in love is no different from the way that we do, and Dr. Gagnon’s argument here only shows that he has made no real effort to understand what it is actually like to feel attraction toward someone of the same gender. I do not feel a need to argue against this statement: “it
    is reasonable to view [same-sex attraction] as inherently self-dishonoring and self-degrading” since I do not find it at all reasonable or obvious and he does not even attempt to prove it; he just assumes it.
    The “measurable harms” he refers to can easily be explained by the fact that until recently there was no effort to teach safe sex practices to gay men, and if hateful people weren’t attacking queer people, physically, mentally, verbally, emotionally, spiritually, I dare say they wouldn’t have as many “mental health issues”!He also says that same-sex relationships should be compared to incest and polygamy, and makes these ridiculous remarks: “As
    regards the incest analogue, homosexual unions are unions between
    persons who are too much structurally alike, in terms of sex or gender,
    much as an incestuous union is wrong because it involves two persons too
    much alike on the level of kinship identity.” That is not why incest is wrong, and the only reason why he would say that is because he’s predisposed to reject same-sex relationships. He attempts to address this: “The analogy is often
    rejected by proponents of homosexual unions. They claim that incest is
    always harmful because it involves children and leads to birth
    defects. However, incest can (and has) been conducted by consenting
    adults.” Very, very rarely can one be assured of full consent in incest cases, and honestly, I don’t see anything wrong with it if it is truly consensual. As regards polygamy,  he says this: “a prohibition of polygamy is
    grounded ultimately in the natural law argument that the existence of
    two and only two primary sexes—complementary to each other in terms of
    anatomy, physiology, and psychology—implies a limitation of two persons
    to a sexual union at any one time.” but again, that’s really not why most people reject polygamy–it’s generally because of power imbalances. “Natural law” arguments are extremely slippery, extremely prone to being pseudoscientific and very easily twisted into “proving” something that is not at all obvious to anyone else, but it looks logical if you were already predisposed to accept it.

    Finally, there’s this: “In
    conclusion, Lee Jefferson doesn’t want the Bible to have anything
    to “say” about “gay marriage.”” Well, duh! We don’t want God to be a sadistic jerk who puts heavy burdens on the backs of already oppressed people and doesn’t lift a finger to help them! We were raised with strong prejudices that seemed to be justified by the Bible, but when we began to feel empathy toward oppressed people, we realized those prejudices had to be re-evaluated, because we felt very strongly that the view we had been raised with was wrong, and we didn’t want God to be wrong. In fact, if I had not been able to comfortably reconcile my acceptance of queer people with my faith, I would not be a person of faith. And even if I must accept that same-sex romantic relationships are a sin (and I emphatically do not), it is obvious to anyone with a conscience that the church’s approach to this sin has been completely wrong and hateful, and I will not side with the oppressors over the oppressed. Ever.

  • Joe
  • Lunch Meat

     I’m not going to reply to another article by the same guy. I skimmed it
    and he’s just repeating himself. Also, I’m not going to reply to you
    anymore until you explain in detail why you attend a church that has a
    priest in opposition to the New Testament. Do you believe the Bible or
    not?

  • Joe

     LOL my priest in not in opposition to the New Testament!

  • Lunch Meat

    Since you apparently can’t read, I’ll say it again, and I will not argue with you further until you give me a satisfactory answer. I’ve answered enough. Matthew 23:9:

    And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven.

    And Hebrews 10:

    Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties; again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God, and since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool. For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. […] And where these have been forgiven, sacrifice for sin is no longer necessary.Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings.

    And 1 Peter 2:9:

    But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.

    We have one father and one high priest. No one of us is more worthy of drawing near to God than any other, so if we have a priesthood, its a priesthood of all believers. We have one intercessor, we do not need any human to intercede for us. It is God who sanctifies the Eucharist, not the person serving it. So the person serving is no more special or more holy than you; they are just serving it.
    Your defense of the priesthood is in direct contradiction to the teachings of Jesus and his apostles.

  • Joe

    The Great Commission – Matthew 28

    “16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

     “So the person serving is no more special or more holy than you; they are just serving it.”

    Except you are missing one part. The person serving (in an Anglican Church) has been laid on of hands  and charged by a person in the apostolic succession. Thus, the person serving has a lineage all the way back to the apostles, whereas the common man does not.

    “It is God who sanctifies the Eucharist, not the person serving it.”

    Agreed 100 percent.

  • Lunch Meat

    a) The Great Commission is for everyone and it has nothing to do with priests. b) The apostles were apostles. They were not priests, and I think they would have been horrified if you described them as such. c) Where is your scriptural justification for the idea that the apostles had to create more apostles?

  • Joe

    a. I would disagree with you. I think the Great Commission makes us all priests.
    b. Acts 6:6
    c. acts 1:21

  • Lunch Meat

    a) If we’re all priests (which I’ve been saying since the beginning) then WOMEN ARE PRIESTS. If it’s only people who’ve “had their hands laid on them in the apostolic succession” then the Great Commission has NOTHING TO DO WITH IT. You are contradicting yourself, AGAIN. b) That was about “deacons” or servants, people who supported the church with physical needs. Nothing about consecrated or holy duties. c) That was only to replace Judas because he betrayed Jesus and was no longer an apostle. Any other apostle, after he died, was still an apostle. In addition, there is no laying on of hands in that passage, and there is no reason to assume that this process would be used again for people who were new Christians (such as people 2000 years later). Peter even says that the qualification for an apostle is “one of the men who have been with us the whole time the Lord Jesus was living among us…one of these must become a witness with us of his resurrection.” Does that, can that apply to anyone living today? Honestly, do you even read these verses before you post them?

    Let me make it more clear: priest, “hiereus” is from “hieros”, which means holy, sanctified, consecrated, set apart for the temple’s service, of transcendent purity. Who else in the NT church is called holy, set apart, sanctified? everyone! 1 Corinthians 1:2 “to the church of God which is at Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints” Ephesians 1:1 “to the saints who are in Ephesus, and faithful in Christ Jesus” Romans 1:7 “to all who are in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints.” This word is “hagios”, but it means the same thing as “hieros”: holy, consecrated, dedicated to the service of God, pure, perfect. “hierateuma”, a derivative of “hiereus”, is used in 1 Peter 2:5, where it means priesthood and refers to the entire church.

    The apostles, by contrast, are not referred to as holy or consecrated or sanctified beyond that degree to which everyone in the church is holy, consecrated and sanctified. They were ordinary people with an extraordinary message. All apostles are is sent. Literally. “apostolos” means “a messenger who is sent”, from “apostello”, “to send out”. They were not sent for a cultic or sacred purpose, just to tell the message of good news. They were not priests, and did not call themselves priests, and did not want to be priests. (Paul, in Romans 15:16, mentions that he has “priestly duties” towards the gospel. Paul, incidentally, is never charged by someone in the apostolic succession by their laying on of hands. Thus, not an apostle by your standard.)

  • http://blog.trenchcoatsoft.com Ross

    a) If we’re all priests (which I’ve been saying since the beginning) then WOMEN ARE PRIESTS. 

    Well, only if women count as people. Three guesses where folks like Joe stand on that matter.

  • Joe

    We are all priests, but we are not all ORDAINED. I do not believe in the ORDINATION of women.

  • P J Evans

     Tough. You’re behind the times.

    There were female apostles and disciples, and apparently females running some of the ancient churches, so I think it’s a safe bet that Jesus and his disciples didn’t have any problem with women in roles that you consider ‘masculine’.

  • Lori

     

    We are all priests, but we are not all ORDAINED. I do not believe in the ORDINATION of women.  

    “Ordination” is an extra-Bbilical concept. There are no “ordained” priests in the Bible. Levitical priests were priests by birth and there are no priests, except the priesthood of all believers, in the New Testament.

  • Joe

     No its not. Paul and Barnabas did it in Acts 14.

  • Lori

     

      No its not. Paul and Barnabas did it in Acts 14.  

    What Lunch Meat said. They appointed, they did not ordain. Those are not the same thing.  And the people who were appointed were elders, not priests. The function of elders is very clearly laid out and they are not priests.

  • Tonio

    I don’t see much point to that type of quibbling. It’s simply wrong for any organization to make gender a qualification for leadership roles. Even if we had proof that the Christian god existed and that the god imposed that qualification, it would still be wrong.

  • Lori

     

    I don’t see much point to that type of quibbling. 

    It’s not quibbling. Joe has organized his spiritual practice around a structure which is not mentioned at all in the Bible he claims to follow. A book which is notable for, among other things, predicting dire consequences to anyone who adds to its teachings. 

    At the same time he’s arguing that other people (women and QUILTBAG folks) must be held to the strictest possible interpretation of parts of that same Bible. Parts with vocabulary which is unclear and teachings that are inconsistent with other parts of the book.

    I don’t consider pointing out that his position boils down to “slack for me, but not for thee” to be a quibble.

     

    It’s simply wrong for
    any organization to make gender a qualification for leadership roles.
    Even if we had proof that the Christian god existed and that the god
    imposed that qualification, it would still be wrong.  

    This is your opinion. One I  share, but still. It is not the opinion of people who believe in (whatever version) of the Bible. Telling people that their beliefs are totally irrelevant is not likely to be a convincing argument, no matter how many times one repeats it. Convincing people that one set of their beliefs is wrong within the context of their larger beliefs can be effective. I think that generally it’s better to go with the small chance of success than a zero chance of success. You apparently feel differently about it, which is fine. However, you really don’t need to keep telling me that.

  • Tonio

     

    Convincing people that one set of their beliefs is wrong within the
    context of their larger beliefs can be effective. I think that generally
    it’s better to go with the small chance of success than a zero chance
    of success.

    While I agree, that presumes that my goal is to convince people with a particular set of beliefs. No, I’m trying to articulate a sect-neutral concept of morality, meaning that it doesn’t (or shouldn’t) depend on any particular sect’s beliefs being true. Maybe I’m not all that interested in converting people who believe in things like male headship, because my first temptation would be to yell at them, “What is wrong with you?!”

    I find it sad that people like Joe don’t seem to experience moral revulsion at the thought of limiting ordination to men. Or at least, that they don’t find themselves in a Huck Finn dilemma, where they know deep down that the teaching is morally wrong but they’re afraid to risk questioning it.

  • Lori

     

    While I agree, that presumes that my goal is to convince people with a
    particular set of beliefs. No, I’m trying to articulate a sect-neutral
    concept of morality, meaning that it doesn’t (or shouldn’t) depend on
    any particular sect’s beliefs being true. Maybe I’m not all that
    interested in converting people who believe in things like male
    headship, because my first temptation would be to yell at them, “What is
    wrong with you?!”  

    I wasn’t talking about your goals. I was talking about mine and why you don’t need to keep making the same argument to me about my goals. Our goals in this case are different. Just let them be different.

  • Tonio

    Sorry, my arguments weren’t directed at you specifically. Or at Rachel Held Evans specifically. When confronted by someone like Joe who uses the Bible as an authority to defend a hateful and cruel position, I can appreciate the value of using that same authority to refute the position. I was just interpreting the latter as endorsing the former’s idea of morality being determined wholly or partly by authority, and I acknowledge that this interpretation may be wrong.

  • Tonio

     

    I don’t consider pointing out that his position boils down to “slack for me, but not for thee” to be a quibble.

    I agree. I was talking about the question of what constitutes ordination.

  • Lori

     

    I was talking about the question of what constitutes ordination.  

    But the issue of what constitutes ordination is pretty much the key one in terms of a Biblical foundation for Catholicism. If ordination is not mentioned in the Bible then the entire Church hierarchy is extra-Biblical. Which was my entire point about Joe thinking he can make up whatever he feels comfortable with but QUILTBAG folks and women who want to preach need to just suck it up.

  • hapax

     

    I do not believe in the ORDINATION of women.

    And I do not believe that you are still here on this thread, mouthing such blindingly, self-evidently, idiotic nonsense.

    Yet here we are. 

    QED, what either of us “believe” does not determine reality.

  • P J Evans

     Well, he didn’t believe me when I said that the state where an adoption takes place issues a new birth cert. Which I know-for-a-fact is true (the announcement my brother sent out had a photocopy of said birth cert on it).

  • Joe

    Adar v. Smith (Fifth Circuit – 2011) –

    “Mickey Smith and Oren Adar, two unmarried individuals, legally adopted
    Louisiana-born Infant J in New York in 2006. They sought to have Infant J’s
    birth certificate reissued in Louisiana supplanting the names of his biological
    parents with their own.”

    “Infant J was adopted in a court proceeding in New York state, as
    evidenced by a judicial decree. Appellees contend that Art. IV, § 1 and § 1738
    oblige the Registrar to “recognize” their adoption of Infant J by issuing a revised
    birth certificate. The Registrar declined, however, to enforce the New York
    decree by altering Infant J’s official birth records in a way that is inconsistent
    with Louisiana law governing reissuance.”

    “Louisiana can be described as the “sole mistress” of revised birth
    certificates that are part of its vital statistics records. Louisiana has every right
    to channel and direct the rights created by foreign judgments. See, e.g., Watkins
    v. Conway, 385 U.S. 188, 87 S. Ct. 357 (1966) (holding that Georgia’s five-year
    statute of limitations for suits on out-of-state judgments does not deny full faith
    and credit). Obtaining a birth certificate falls in the heartland of enforcement,
    and therefore outside the full faith and credit obligation of recognition.”

    In other words – Louisiana issued the birth certificate, and despite a New York adoption decree, only Louisiana can modify it, because Louisiana is the “sole mistress” over its birth records.

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I believe YOU are BEING an ASSHAT, Joe.

  • Joe

    “Let me make it more clear: priest, “hiereus” is from “hieros”, which
    means holy, sanctified, consecrated, set apart for the temple’s service,
    of transcendent purity.”

    Yes – but this refers to JEWISH or LEVITICAL priests.

    Let me refer you to Article XXIII:

    “XXIII. Of Ministering in the Congregation.

    “It is not lawful for any man to take upon him the office of
    public preaching, or ministering the Sacraments in the Congregation,
    before
    he be lawfully called, and sent to execute the same. And those
    we ought to judge lawfully called and sent, which be chosen and called
    to this work by men who have public authority given unto them
    in the Congregation, to call and send Ministers into the Lord’s
    vineyard.”

  • Lunch Meat

    Article XXIII is not in the Bible. And there are no priests in the New Testament other than Jewish and Levitical priests.

  • Joe

    Acts 14

    19 Now there came
    thither certain Jews from Antioch, and Iconium: and persuading the
    multitude, and stoning Paul, drew him out of the city, thinking him to
    be dead.
    20 But as the
    disciples stood round about him, he rose up and entered into the city,
    and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
    21 And when they had
    preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned
    again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and to Antioch:
    22 Confirming the
    souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith: and
    that through many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of God.
    23 And when they had
    ordained to them priests in every church, and had prayed with fasting,
    they commended them to the Lord, in whom they believed.

    So Paul and Barnabas ordained priests in the Christian church. Hmmm.

  • Lunch Meat

    Nope. Your translation is lying to you. The word there is “presbuterous”, which means “elder.” It also says “appointed or chose”, not ordained, and there’s no laying on of hands, and besides Paul and Barnabas aren’t in the “apostolic lineage” and you said only apostles could do that.

  • Joe

    “and besides Paul and Barnabas aren’t in the “apostolic lineage” and you said only apostles could do that.”

    Acts 14:14

    “14But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard of this, they tore their clothes and rushed out into the crowd”

    Hmmm seems Paul and Barnabas are apostles after all.

    Acts 6:6

    “6 These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them”

    So they ordained those people by laying on of hands. The Greek term translated “appointed” is cheirotonço, which is a compound word taken from “hand” (cheir) and “to stretch” (teinô).

  • Joe

     Nevertheless, in Patristic Greek it again came to mean “ordain with the
    laying on of hands.” Because of this later usage, some interpreters read
    this meaning back into New Testament and maintain that Paul and
    Barnabas ordained men to the office of elder by the laying on of their
    hands, indicating some special conference of authority or ecclesiastical
    power.

  • Lori

     

    “6 These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them”   

    Again, elders. Who were not priests. Who did not function as priests. Whose duties were not the duties of priests.

  • Lunch Meat

    You’re proving my point more than not. You want there to be a simple, clearly described pattern in the New Testament by which the apostles (who were actually priests) appointed elders (who were actually apostles and therefore actually priests) so that you can say this exact pattern has continued throughout the centuries and therefore you and your church can deny “authority and ecclesiastical power” to whoever you don’t think is worthy.

    But that pattern does not exist. You’re right that Paul and Barnabas are called apostles; I was looking at Paul’s first presentation to the apostles in Acts 9, where they do not lay their hands on him, but in fact they do in Acts 13, when he is sent out on his journey. I forgot about that. But why is there no mention of “laying on of hands” in Acts 1, when Matthias is made an apostle? Why was Paul allowed to perform the work of an apostle–a traveling evangelist–before being officially appointed one? If your pattern only has a couple of examples and they are significantly different, you don’t really have a pattern.

    And if “laying on of hands” definitively means ordination, why is it used for other purposes throughout the NT, such as praying for sick people to be made well?

    But your pattern really falls apart when you look at the functions of apostles and elders and priests. Apostles traveled and evangelized. Elders stayed at the church where they were from. They were administrative leaders and they also helped with teaching. If they are the same thing, then why does Acts 15 refer to “apostles and elders” several times? In addition, the church chose its own elders as often as not, and the apostles’ “ordainment” was really a recognition of what was already there.

    That’s how leadership in the NT church nearly always worked, in fact. Paul was apostling before the apostles laid their hands on him and sent him out. Elders taught and led before being appointed by the traveling apostles. And other people taught and prayed and prophesied and led who were not appointed or chosen or anything. The “ordainment” was a recognition of a gift already given, just like Cornelius’ baptism; it did not confer any additional power or authority.

    Here’s the worst part for your case: for those duties that traditionally only priests are allowed to do, there is no scriptural evidence that a specially ordained office existed to perform those duties. None whatsoever. No one had to be ordained to serve the Eucharist, or baptize, or hear confessions. Everyone could do that. No one was needed as an intercessor or intermediary between God and people.

    Everyone could also lead with administration and teach, even if they were not “ordained” as elders. Everyone could also evangelize, even if they were not “ordained” as apostles. Leadership gifts were given to whoever the Holy Spirit wanted to give them to–including people that maybe wouldn’t seem “worthy.”

    The fact is that the word “priest” is not the problem (although it isn’t used in the Bible, and it can be misleading). The problem would be the same if you called them elders or apostles. The problem is that you want to restrict authority and power and certain functions in the church to certain specially ordained people, and you want to be able to say who gets ordained. That is scripturally insupportable.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/GV7HP52Y2I3W2XEWXX4WPBB5RU Alan

    So what I am hearing is that Peter’s vision made the behavior of homosexuals okay in God’s sight. Now if Leviticus 18:22 has no more force on us, I’m not so sure it is, doesn’t that also mean that  Leviticus 18:1-21 and 23 have also been declared null and void?

    Thus… sex with one’s sister, mother, father, brother, in-law, step mother (1 Corinthians) and your neighbor is also allowable… Then of course there is the allowance of offering children for sacrifice to pagan Gods which takes place in v. 21.

    I can hear the outcry… No, no, no, those are abuse, those are crimes of power over the lives of those who have none yada, yada, yada….  But that’s how Biblical exegesis works. I’ve heard the ‘abuse’ argument for the rest but that doesn’t hold water.  BTW if the rest are in force what about the gay boy whose first experience is with an older, wiser uncle?

    Thanks for letting me muddy up the waters.
    Alan

  • Joe

     Not at all. We were told in Romans not to engage in sexual immorality. Homosexual behavior is sexual immorality.

  • Lunch Meat

    The abuse argument doesn’t hold water? So your only reason for not committing pedophilia and murder is because God told you not to? In that case, I’m glad you have your rule book to cling to, because your ethical reasoning is clearly not very developed.

    Also…”Love one another.” Need I really say more?

  • EllieMurasaki

    Now if Leviticus 18:22 has no more force on us, I’m not so sure it
    is, doesn’t that also mean that  Leviticus 18:1-21 and 23 have also been
    declared null and void?

    Thus… sex with one’s sister, mother, father, brother, in-law, step
    mother (1 Corinthians) and your neighbor is also allowable… Then of
    course there is the allowance of offering children for sacrifice to
    pagan Gods which takes place in v. 21

    Sex with one’s parent or child is wrong because by definition the parent-child relationship is one of unequals, and it’s damn hard to get a true consensual relationship out of a match of unequals. Also it fucks up the family dynamic. Same goes for sex with a sibling, in-law, or other near relation.  Offering children for sacrifice to anybody kills people and is wrong for that reason. Sex with someone whose genitals are the same shape as one’s own is wrong because…uh…um…I’ll come back in.

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     

    Same goes for sex with a sibling, in-law, or other near relation.

    Just to be clear: by “same goes,” here, do you mean that siblings are by definition too unequal to reliably get a true consensual relationship, or just that it would fuck up the family dynamic?

  • http://apocalypsereview.wordpress.com/ Invisible Neutrino

    I think it’s that statistically it’s rather rare to find cases of sibling sexual relationships for which it can be reliably ascertained that both of them understood what was going on and were consenting to the relationship.

    So given that it’s safe to assume that sibling dynamics being as they are the vast majority of such incestuous relationships have an element of coercion to them and can’t be considered a good thing.
     

  • http://dpolicar.livejournal.com/ Dave

     OK, thanks for clarifying.

  • malpollyon

    I’ve never understood why the trolls here are so dedicated to saying things that are so easily proven false, even about tangential matters. Whenever we get someone in here arguing for bigotry or libertarianism or whatever, they never seem to be able to resist proudly proclaiming absolute certainty about things even the most cursory application of Google would prove *just aren’t so*. 

  • malpollyon

    I’ve never understood why the trolls here are so dedicated to saying things that are so easily proven false, even about tangential matters. Whenever we get someone in here arguing for bigotry or libertarianism or whatever, they never seem to be able to resist proudly proclaiming absolute certainty about things even the most cursory application of Google would prove *just aren’t so*. 

  • Joe

    “The problem is that you want to restrict authority and power and certain
    functions in the church to certain specially ordained people, and you
    want to be able to say who gets ordained. That is scripturally
    insupportable.”

    The Holy Spirit is readily apparent within a person called to the ministry – ordination is merely the church recognizing that fact.

    Ordination does not do anything to a person other than make that person a designated leader within the church. Just as Paul possessed the Holy Spirit within him when he was ordained, a priest or deacon in the Anglican church also is infused with the Spirit before he is ordained.

  • Joe

     And by the way testing is in fact scripturally supported:

    1 Tim 3

    “8 In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.”

  • Lori

     

      And by the way testing is in fact scripturally supported:  

    And again, there is no indication that “testing” is being used in that verse in the way that you’re attempting to justify in modern times.

  • Lori

    The Holy Spirit is readily apparent within a person called to the
    ministry – ordination is merely the church recognizing that fact.  

    So does that mean that the Holy Spirit doesn’t consider pedophilia an impediment to the priesthood or that the church isn’t actually able to “recognize” the Spirit’s presence accurately?

    Ordination does not do anything to a person other than make that person a designated leader within the church.

    Which is actually quite a major thing. You don’t get to both say that ordination is the be all and end all for power within the church and then handwave like it’s no big deal.

    Your persistent attempts to have your cake and eat it too, even when it’s obvious that you’re not fooling anyone, are really something.

  • Lunch Meat

    The Holy Spirit is readily apparent within a person called to the
    ministry – ordination is merely the church recognizing that fact.

    Isn’t that exactly what I said? So are you conceding that ordination is an act of recognition and not a transfer of power? Are you conceding that sacred acts like baptism and serving the Eucharist can be done by anyone and are not restricted to the ordained? Are you conceding that the laity can perform all of the clergy’s tasks without being ordained or “authorized” by other clergy? Are you conceding that it is wrong for an ordained leader to lord it over the laity or act as if they are better/more holy than the laity? Are you conceding that the clergy can be wrong and that it’s the laity’s responsibility to call them out on it? Are you conceding that priests, apostles and elders are different things and that there is no requirement for a recognized leader to be in the “apostolic lineage”? Are you conceding that the Holy Spirit calls whom the Holy Spirit wills and that you do not get to disqualify whole categories of people just because you’re sexist? (Disqualifying 50% of the human race is not the same as “testing”) Are you conceding that you, not your priest, are responsible for your own spiritual growth? And do you concede that many of the practices and patterns in your oh-so-perfect-and-not-heretical church are in contradiction to the clear patterns of Scripture?

    I’m not quibbling about a minor detail. I’m not just trying to play “gotcha” to catch you out on an inconsistency (although you are being inconsistent), because this isn’t mixed fabrics or women praying with their heads uncovered. This is about how the church functions and grows and lives. The unscriptural divide between clergy and laity has arguably done more damage to the church–the laity have no sense of responsibility or ownership for either the service and ministry of the church or their own spiritual development, and the clergy are corrupted by power and perpetrate horrible abuses–than legalization or Christian recognition of same-sex marriages could ever do. Yet you’ve spent two weeks arguing here because it bothers you so much that some Christians somewhere might possibly be accepting of queer people, even though that doesn’t affect you, and it doesn’t seem to bother you at all that your church might be completely be wrong about the very principles its hierarchy and structure is based on.

    Possibly the reason it doesn’t bother you is because you’re too busy trying to argue to consider if it might be wrong. In that case, I encourage you to take some time out from this thread (it’s not going anywhere anyway) and try to read through the New Testament objectively, paying careful attention to how leaders are selected, what they do, what people who aren’t leaders with titles are expected to do, what happens during a worship meeting and who is involved in leadership. Then consider how much resemblance that bears to your own church and its worship services. I’m encouraging you to do this as a fellow Christian, and if you really are committed to doing exactly what the Bible requires, you’ll at least spend some time on it.

  • Joe

     So are you conceding that ordination is an act of recognition and not a
    transfer of power?

    I never said that ordination was a transfer of power.

    Are you conceding that sacred acts like baptism and
    serving the Eucharist can be done by anyone and are not restricted to
    the ordained?

    Baptism can be done by anyone.

    Serving the Eucharist is restricted to ordained priests/bishops. (A deacon in the Anglican church cannot consecrate a Mass).

    Are you conceding that the laity can perform all of the
    clergy’s tasks without being ordained or “authorized” by other clergy?

    No.

    Are you conceding that it is wrong for an ordained leader to lord it
    over the laity or act as if they are better/more holy than the laity?

    No concession to be made. But Yes that is wrong.

    Are you conceding that the clergy can be wrong and that it’s the laity’s
    responsibility to call them out on it?

    No concession to be made. But Yes.

    Are you conceding that priests,
    apostles and elders are different things and that there is no
    requirement for a recognized leader to be in the “apostolic lineage”?

    No concession to be made. In the Anglican church, bishops are in the apostolic succession.

    Are you conceding that the Holy Spirit calls whom the Holy Spirit wills
    and that you do not get to disqualify whole categories of people just
    because you’re sexist?

    No concession to be made. While the Holy Spirit calls who he wills, women do not belong in the clergy of the church.

    (Disqualifying 50% of the human race is not the
    same as “testing”)

    Are you conceding that you, not your priest, are
    responsible for your own spiritual growth?

    Always have been.

    And do you concede that many
    of the practices and patterns in your oh-so-perfect-and-not-heretical
    church are in contradiction to the clear patterns of Scripture?

    No.

    I will note that since many of the “innovations” such as gay clergy, same sex marriage and womens ordination took place in the Episcopal Church (all of which are supposed to be scriptural), that church has been bleeding members at a significant rate, while ACNA churches, which do not wholly embrace such “innovations” (and align with my beliefs) are growing mightily.

    http://archive.episcopalchurch.org/documents/ASA_by_ProvinceDiocese2000-2010.pdf

  • hapax

     

    I will note that since many of the “innovations” such as gay clergy,
    same sex marriage and womens ordination took place in the Episcopal
    Church (all of which are supposed to be scriptural), that church has
    been bleeding members at a significant rate

    Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude you, revile you, and defame you on account of the Son of Man.
    Rejoice on that day and leap for joy, for surely your reward is great in
    heaven; for that is what their ancestors did to the prophets.

    ‘But … woe to you when all speak well of you, for that is what their ancestors did to the false prophets.

    Personally , I would be very very nervous if my denomination suddenly became enormously popular.  I’d rather stand with the One “despised and rejected by men.”

    *****

    Lunch Meat, I cannot begin to express my admiration for your patience, your erudition, and your grace.  I am so glad that you are fighting the good fight.

  • Lunch Meat

    I never said that ordination was a transfer of power.

    I’ll just leave this here:

    Paul and Barnabas ordained men to the office of elder by the laying on of their hands, indicating some special conference of authority or ecclesiastical power.

    I can’t believe you can just blithely say things like “Serving the Eucharist is restricted to ordained priests/bishops” and “women do not belong in the clergy of the church” without offering a shred of scriptural justification for it, as if you didn’t even read anything anyone said refuting every point you made, as if you’d proven a single point, as if there wasn’t even an argument, as if you don’t even care enough to check and see whether your church’s most important practices are justified by the Bible. You have no credibility whatsoever to sit there and tell me that I’m not following the Bible enough. I’m done. I’ve wasted enough time here.

  • Joe

     Once again  – I never said that.

    When you take the entire passage:

    “Because of this later usage, some interpreters read
    this meaning back into New Testament and maintain that Paul and
    Barnabas ordained men to the office of elder by the laying on of their
    hands, indicating some special conference of authority or ecclesiastical
    power.

    “I can’t believe you can just blithely say things like “Serving the
    Eucharist is restricted to ordained priests/bishops” and “women do not
    belong in the clergy of the church” without offering a shred of
    scriptural justification for it, as if you didn’t even read anything
    anyone said refuting every point you made, as if you’d proven a single
    point, as if there wasn’t even an argument, as if you don’t even care
    enough to check and see whether your church’s most important practices
    are justified by the Bible.”

    Well of course not. You are a revisionist, willing to change things based upon your own flawed human reasoning. You want to change the bible to fit your needs, instead of accepting the truths that are in it as timeless and what we should be following, which is commonly understood as “the faith once delivered to the saints”.

    Enough. Peace out.

  • Lori

     

    Well of course not. You are a revisionist, willing to change things based upon your own flawed human reasoning.  

    Wow, way to miss the entire point of the discussion, demonstrate “pot calling the kettle black” and prove yourself pointless to talk to.

    And don’t think I didn’t notice that you skipped right over my question about how the Church ended up ordaining a bunch of pedophiles and pedophile enablers if the presence of the Holy Spirit is so readily apparent.

    Yeah, it’s past time to wrap this up.


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