Clobbering “Biblical” Gay Bashing

Copyright: michaklootwijk / 123RF Stock Photo
Copyright: michaklootwijk / 123RF Stock Photo
by Mark Sandlin

This is a bit long for a blog post, but some may find it to be a helpful resource. I wrote the piece for another project and it just wasn’t a good fit. Honestly, if you are well read on the issue of the Bible and its take on homosexuality (or lack thereof), there is little new in here. For you, I hope this can be a quick reference. If you are not well read on such things, this may be a bit of a bumpy ride, but bumpy rides can be a lot of fun. Either way, I hope I was able to take what is sometimes thick reading, albeit important reading, and make it at least bearable and mostly straight forward.

Christianity and “Biblical” Hatefulness

We Christians are good at a lot of things. Helping others. Dressing up on Sunday.  Quoting scripture. Pot luck meals. Taking care of church members. Weddings. Funerals. Worship. But perhaps the thing at which we are the most persistently exceptional is misinterpreting the Bible then running amuck in the world because of it. Honestly, mad skills. And history backs me up on this one.

We have used the Bible to support, promote and act upon some pretty un-Christian things: slavery, holocaust, segregation, subjugation of women, apartheid, the Spanish Inquisition (which, no one ever expects), domestic violence, all sorts of exploitation and the list could go on and on. Oddly, if you ask theologians to pick one biblical theme to rule them all, most of them would say “love”… well, love and grace. Okay, love, grace and forgiveness. Fine. They probably would not specifically agree on a single term, but they would most likely name something that is, in every way, the opposite of the oppression, belittlement, hatred and marginalization represented by the numerous atrocities committed by the Christian Church.

More times than not, these atrocities are the result of trying to play God, pretending as if one group of people has complete knowledge of God’s will and is more blessed or chosen by God. Not surprisingly, the people who see the world this way are always exactly the people who also happen to belong in the group they believe to be the uber-blessed. Lucky them.

Time and time again, Jesus made it clear that we should not put ourselves in the place of playing God and that, unlike far too many humans, God welcomes and loves us all equally. Period.

But we keep doing it. We keep doing it even though each time after we argue, name-call, suppress others and fight for centuries, falsely playing the role of heavenly judge and jury, we slowly realize that we got it wrong. We realize that, in fact, Paul was not promoting slavery. We learn to contextualize his statements and letters. We become more skilled at interpreting the original Greek and, over time, we decide to stop quoting the Bible to support slavery (or the subjugation of women, or racism, etc.) because we finally come around to realizing that, as Rob Bell’s book points out, biblically love wins. Always.

And so we find ourselves here again. Doing the thing we do best: misinterpreting the Bible and ruining lives with it. We are, once again, ignoring the biblical bias for those who are marginalized, abused, belittled and negatively judged. Ignoring the biblical directive to show all the children of God love (and grace… and forgiveness).

Hate By Any Other Name

Oh sure, this time around we have “softened” our approach, saying things like “hate the sin, love the sinner,” but we fail to recognize that what we are calling a “sin” and the person we are calling a “sinner” are one and the same. A person whose sexual orientation is homosexual, or bi-sexual, or queer can no more separate themselves from their sexuality than a heterosexual person can. It’s like saying “hate the toppings, love the pizza.” It’s just not the pizza without the toppings. We just aren’t loving the person if we don’t love the whole person.

I suspect the “softening” of the language we use has everything to do with making us feel better and very little with making LGBTQ folk feel better, because it certainly doesn’t make them feel any better. As a matter of fact, the love/hate (emphasis on hate) relationship that the Church continues to push on this group of people only serves to push them into closets and into even darker places, which sometimes leads to suicide. The Church and its approach to this issue are at fault for most of the hurt, anguish, self-doubt, abuse and death associated with being LGBTQ. Not very loving. Not very grace filled. But it certainly leaves us in need of forgiveness.

Many Christians have lost their way in this twisty, turny maze of how to practice our faith. We would much rather reinforce the things we want to believe than believe the sometimes difficult teachings of Jesus. Who, on a side note, never said a word about homosexuality but did tell us to gouge out our lustful eyes. Which seems to me is more likely to leave us all blind than the “eye for and eye” thing.

The Bible As A Sex Manual

So, as others have pointed out before, we use the Bible as if it is a sex manual, telling us what is and isn’t acceptable in the eyes of the Lord your God. Thereby delineating out those whom it is okay for us to judge, and toward whom it is okay to direct all kinds of nastiness and holier-than-thouisms.The reality is that the Bible is not a sex manual. I know, shocker. Right? Actually, it’s a good thing (depending on your particular level of sexual prudishness – personally, compared to the Bible, mine is pretty high). You see, the Bible not only promotes marriage between a man and a woman, but it insist that that marriage be within the same faith. Not only should a wife be subordinate (Ephesians 5:22), but she should also prove her virginity… lest she be stoned (Deuteronomy 22:20-21). Oh, and the whole thing would probably be much better if it were arranged (Genesis 24:37-38). And that’s just the warm up act.

According to the Bible, if a woman’s husband dies and she hasn’t had a son, she must marry his brother and have intercourse with him until she has a son (Mark 12:18-27). Sometimes, biblically wives are good, but concubines are better. Many of the “men of God” were not only married, but at least three of them had more than one concubine (Abraham, Caleb, Solomon) and they remained “men of God.” But like I said, “biblically wives are good” and there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing. Right? So, why not have may wives? God frequently blessed polygamists (Esau, Jacob, Gideon, David, Solomon, Belshazzar).

As far as sexuality and the Bible’s perspective on woman as property and as slaves… well, as you can imagine, it does not get any better.

Making Choices

The point is this: most of us have matured enough theologically to recognize that we need to contextualize the writings of the Bible, and because of it we have moved passed using these examples as the end-all-be-all on acceptable practices of sexuality.  However, somehow, we have not managed to apply the very same understanding to the Bible verses that have become known as the “clobber verses” in the Bible. “Clobber” because they are the verses most used to clobber people who are gay or who support gay rights.

That is really interesting when you consider that, of all the topics I just mentioned, sexual orientation is the only one that is not a choice. Polygamy, concubines, marrying your brother’s widow? All choices, and we have decided to “get over” the biblical directives for them. Sexual orientation? Not a choice. (There are those who still argue otherwise, but the science is clear, so I’m not even having that discussion). So many Christians just aren’t able to get past that one. Equally interesting to consider: it is actually more of a choice to judge and marginalize people over being homosexual, or, bi-sexual, or queer; than it is a choice to be homosexual, or, bi-sexual, or queer. Yet we judge them and not ourselves.

Since we clearly have a difficult time letting go of the clobber verses, let’s take them one by one and very briefly consider what is really going on in them. It should help us arrive at a clearer picture of what the writers of these scriptures were trying to tell us. What we will find is this: as we get caught up in judging others over what we want the verses to say, we miss the opportunity to understand how to be the people God is calling us to be.

As we get started, we all need to be on the same page on one thing. When the Bible was written, the earth was flat, the sun orbited the earth and the idea of a person having a sexual ‘orientation’ was completely foreign. There is some debate about who actually kick-started the understanding of sexual orientation (Heinrich Hoessli or Karl Heinrich Ulrich – personally, I am on Team Heinrich), but it is clear that the concept of people having a sexual orientation was first introduced in the 1800’s making it a thoroughly modern construct.

Clearly, there are a few Bible verses that involve same-sex acts (and of those, almost all of them are male-male sex), but given the modern advent of recognizing the existence of sexual orientation, we must accept the reality that the writers of those verses were in no way trying to, let alone capable of, acknowledging, understanding and addressing homosexual orientation. What then, might they have been trying to tell us in the clobber verses? Let’s take a look.

The Clobber Verses

Let me just say right off the top, three of the verses that are sometimes considered clobber verses have nothing to do with the question of homosexuality. Putting Genesis 2:21-25, Deuteronomy 23:17 and Jude 1:6-7 in the category of anti-gay verses is nothing more than an attempt to beef up the number of verses that are supposedly “against” homosexuality. They have nothing to do with it. So, I am simply going to ignore them. If someone attempts to use them as proof of the “abomination” of homosexuality, I suggest you simply ignore them as well.

Genesis 19:1-11

The great thing about defending the Bible against people who want to use Genesis 19:1-11 to gay bash is that you really don’t have to do any work. The Bible does it for you. For better or for worse, this is also the verse with which the general population is probably most familiar in terms of what they think of as verses about homosexuality. Even the term “sodomy” is linked to this Bible passage.

It is the story of two travelers (messengers from God) being given shelter by Lot and his family. Hospitality was a very big deal in those days. In this story, the men of Sodom decided to approach Lot’s home and to make less than hospitable demands on him and his guest. To get a sense of how important hospitality was, when the men of the town say they want to force themselves (most likely sexually) on Lot’s guest, Lot actually offers up his daughters instead. Despicable, deplorable, a great way to permanently damage your relationship with your daughters and the rest of your family (to say the least), but a sure sign that hospitality was a big deal.

In the end, the men of the town did not get what they wanted. They wanted to exert their dominance of the guests. They wanted to humiliate them, as warriors after conquering a foe might do in those days, sexually putting another male into the position of a woman (who after all was thought of as property, as weak, and as soft and therefore less than a man).

Even though the men never actually exerted their power over Lot’s guests in a male-male sex act, people still insist on using this text as proof that homosexuality is an “abomination.” Well, like I said, “the great thing about defending the Bible against people who want to use Genesis 19:1-5 to gay bash is that you really don’t have to do any work. The Bible does it for you.”

Sodom is referenced multiple times in the Bible as an example of great sinning. And what might that sin be?

In Isaiah 1:10-17 it is thought to be injustice, not rescuing the oppressed, defending the orphan, pleading for the widow. In Jeremiah 23:14 it is adultery. In Ezekiel 16:48-49 it is the sin of not aiding the “poor and needy.” In Zephaniah 2:8-11 the sin is bullying, boasting and pride. In the Wisdom of Solomon it is “the bitter hatred of strangers.”

The sin is not about being gay. It is not about non-straight sexual orientation. The sin of Sodom was lacking hospitality, not being just, bullying, hating strangers, not caring for those marginalized.  Funny, they are all things Churches (and individuals for that matter) sorely need to keep in mind and be better at practicing when it comes to how we do or do not welcome LGBTQ folk into our lives. After all, in today’s society, who is more marginalized, more bullied, more treated like a “stranger,” than them? Come to think of it, not so funny.

Leviticus 18:22 & 20:13

If someone were to canonize a buzz-kill, it would look remarkably, and uncomfortably, like the book of Leviticus. Honestly, this three-thousand plus year old holiness code is not exactly a big ball of fun. For starters, just try reading it. On second thought, I like you, so don’t. Fortunately for you, I’ve done it for you. (I know, nice. Right? I’m just that kind of guy).

Among the jewels you’ll find in it are a mandate to kill disobedient children, a dietary restriction to not eat shellfish (God Hates Shrimp!), a law that would prevent bowl-cuts (or “rounding off the side-growth of your heads” – and to think I liked the Beatles), direction to not touch or eat the flesh of a pig (no bacon and cheddar soup for you!), and a prohibition on the rhythm method of birth control (you know who you are!). Oh, and presumably, gay sex (which, of course, is why I bring it up).

The section of Leviticus where we find the clobber verses is often called the Purity Code. “Purity” was mostly about two things. First, it was about keeping things the way they “should” be. “Should” is in quotes because the guidelines they used for what should and shouldn’t be were mostly made up. Said differently, they arrived at their conclusions in a time that didn’t have any science or at least not science like we have today. Which is to say, they didn’t have any science.

What they had was mostly superstition based on observation. A big part of this purity code was the idea that the world is consistent or follows particular preset rules. For the Israelites this meant things like: all fish have fins, animals with divided hooves chew cud, and male sperm contains the whole of life (women provided the incubation chamber). When things didn’t adhere to this particular three-thousand year old way of understanding the world, they were considered an abomination or more precisely impure.

The second thing the purity code did was define the Israelites as purely not Canaanites. That is, much like many Christians receive the mark of a cross on their forehead on Ash Wednesday or give something up for Lent, the codes in Leviticus helped define the people of Israel as the people of Israel. For the Israelites it was particularly meant to define them as not Canaanites. Basically, it’s a way of showing “we are not them.”

It is true that there are other reasons for many of the laws (just like there are many other reasons to give something up for Lent), but these are two of the larger ones, and they are ones that most directly apply to these clobber verses.

So what do we, presumably enlightened Christians of a scientific age, do with this code? Clearly shrimp are good to eat (for most of us).  For that matter, as far as I’m concerned, to borrow from an old Benjamin Franklin quote, they are proof that God loves us* – that’s just how darned delicious they are.

What we do is recognize Leviticus for what it was: a good thing for the people of God based on how they understood the world some three-thousand years ago. Interestingly enough, when it comes to things like shellfish, eating and touching pigs, cutting our sideburns and beards, and stoning children who mouth off to their parents, we have already managed to do exactly that. Why? Because we understand that they are just flat out silly laws. Not all “fish” have fins. Some come in the shape of pink commas and are delicious with a nice Riesling. Because not all split hooved animals chew cud. Some roll around in the mud and make breakfast just that much better. For that matter, wrap them around a shrimp, throw them on the grill. I promise you, God will not smite you and once you bite into them you’ll agree, they are not an abomination (they might, however taste slightly “impure” if you do not devein them well).

What many people have not been able to do is extend that simple understanding to these clobber verses. We have already established that it would have been impossible for these texts, or any biblical text, to be about sexual orientation. However, they do clearly describe a male-male sex act (sorry ladies, this one’s just for the guys). But what we have to begin to understand is that the issues which these specific laws presumed to address within their society, much like the other laws I’ve mentioned here, are no longer recognized as true.

Scholars have pointed to various reasons for ancient Israel’s seeing male-male sex as taboo in Leviticus. It may be the same reason the rhythm method was thought to be wrong in the eyes of God, which presumably is that, as I have mentioned, they thought sperm contained the whole of life (how typically male-dominated-society of them). Therefore, in their way of seeing it, “Every sperm is sacred. Every sperm is great. If a sperm gets wasted, God gets quite irate.” On the other hand, it may be that they thought it was taboo because it went against their understanding that mixing of kinds, just like the mixing of two kinds of cloth was taboo. Male-male sexual relationships, in that way of seeing things, mixes up their understanding of gender roles.

Whatever the reason, the perspective in these clobber verses were based on an understanding of sex and sexuality that was just as misinformed as their understanding of the earth in relationship to the sun, of fish, of pork and of reasons for stoning children. In our scientific age, it is time to let go of archaic perspectives and start recognizing the things that are truly an abomination in the eyes of God: lacking in compassion and love, exercising judgment against others, and practicing and encouraging hate.

(*The actual quote attributed to Benjamin Franklin is, “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Sadly, while Ben most probably enjoyed a mug of beer from time to time, the actual quote is, “Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.” In a happy coincidence, the same rains nourish the barley and hops that are changed into beer. In an even happier coincidence, wine and beer both pair exceptionally well with shrimp. God is good).

Romans 1:26-28

Good news ladies! Up until now, all of this clobbering has been about the guys. In Romans, you get to join in. Lucky you.

Romans is the one place the Bible speaks specifically about a female-female sex act. If you listen to Bible Thumpin’ Gay Bashers, you’d be surprised to learn that, while the counts vary on how many places the Bible directly address heterosexual relationships, it is a lot. Then again, compared to the precisely one verse the Bible has about female-female sex, even two is one hundred percent more.

The number of heterosexually oriented verses isn’t exactly clear. One thing is really clear, there’s plenty of them and, much like the Levitical purity code, we’ve managed to ignore many of them. So, if you aren’t also denouncing the divorced, then get off your lesbian judging high-horse, because otherwise you are just picking and choosing who to judge out of your own accord, and then quoting the one Bible verse that seems to support your choice. And even then, as we will see, it doesn’t actually support your argument. It actually does just the opposite.

In Romans, we have the most extensive discussion of same-sex intercourse in the Bible, a whole two seemingly specific verses – astounding.

There are plenty of approaches to understanding what Paul is trying to teach us in these texts. Any good exegesis ultimately points to the reality that what Paul is talking about and what people who use these verses as clobber verses want Paul to be talking about aren’t the same thing. That is, this is not about homosexual people having consenting homosexual relationships.

One convincing analysis of these texts looks at the fact that one of the most prevalent forms of same-sex sex in the Greco-Roman world was male prostitution which frequently involved boys. In that analysis, the texts become a condemnation of pederasty and prostitution, things of which most Christians (conservative to liberal) disapprove even today. There is also the perspective that Paul’s pointing to same sex intercourse as being idolatrous could be referring to the practices of priests and priestesses of Mediterranean fertility gods who regularly practiced that type of prostitution but elevated it, within a religious context, to the state of idolatry. Those approaches are valid and mostly convincing perspectives, but they do require a small leap of logic to arrive at their conclusions. Much less of a leap of logic, mind you, than believing that these texts are about something of which people at that time had absolutely no comprehension, but slight conjecture all the same.

The analysis that I find the most convincing concerns itself with the word “natural.” It is the word that has led many to speak of LGBTQ behavior as “unnatural” acts even though they occur throughout nature (in one study they were found in more than fifteen-hundred species).

As it turns out, the word is actually not “natural.” Not surprisingly, Paul did not speak English. While Paul performed a number of miraculous things, speaking English (which wasn’t around even in its earliest Prehistoric Old English form yet) was not one of them. Not to bore you too much, but the word Paul used was the Greek word, physikos. (Now that didn’t hurt too much, did it?).

It’s important to know the word in Greek because when it is translated into English, it loses a little of its original meaning. Without even knowing it, Lady GaGa has provided a better modern and contextual translation of physikos than the frequently used translation of “normal.” We will get to that in a minute. It doesn’t mean “natural” or “nature” so much as it means “produced by nature.” Those who use these verses as clobber verses tend to understand “natural” to mean something closer to “normal” than “produced by nature.” Not surprisingly, they also then define what is and isn’t “normal” based on their personal biases rather than on science or the reality of the world around them (e.g.: “I think gay people make me feel creepy, so I  henceforth do hereby dub it as an act of not-natural.”).

In reality, physikos has more to do with how things naturally occur in God’s Creation.  At this point, you may have begun to guess that physikos is based on the same root word from which we get the word “physics” which is, of course, the study of the realities of nature. Conveniently, the way Paul uses physikos here in Romans, it also means something very similar to “the realities of nature.” It is concerned with what is of our nature and not with what is defined as acceptable. That is to say, Paul is concerned with how God created something or someone to be. He is concerned with people going against their nature or in the words of Lady GaGa herself, if they are “born that way” he’s concerned with them behaving as if they were not.

That is the sin here in Romans, acting against the very nature of who God created you to be. In this case he seems to be addressing the idea of a same-sex sex act in which at least one of the two are not attracted to someone of the same sex; they just are not born that way.

Understood this way, it would be equally sinful for someone who is only attracted to someone of the same sex to have sex with someone of the opposite sex. It goes against their nature; they just weren’t born that way. Ironically, those telling LGBTQ folk that these verses mean they have to stop being LGBTQ folk are actually telling them to commit the very sin against which these verses warn, going against their nature. God has a wicked sense of humor.

Because these texts have been used so much to address homosexuality, it was important to address the issue directly, but the worst thing we could do is to think it is primarily about homosexuality. It is not.

Immediately following verse 28, Paul provides an extensive list of sins. It is so extensive that we all fall into at least one of the categories. “So there you have it,” says Paul, “we all sin. Don’t try to deny it.” And let’s face it, we all go against who we know we were created to be. How many times have you done something, felt guilt or shame, and then said, “I shouldn’t have done that. That’s not who I am.”?

As Paul says in the very next chapter, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” As he also says to start that chapter, “Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things.”

1 Corinthians 6:9-10 & 1 Timothy 1:9-10

So, remember back a few paragraphs ago when we talked about a Greek word? And remember how it didn’t even hurt one little bit? Good. We are going to do it again.

I have put the 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy clobber verses together because they both use a particular Greek word in a particularly similar way. The word is arsenokoitēs and it means “male prostitute.” (Behold the Greek scholarship. See that it is good and rejoice).  Actually, it could also mean “the customer of a male prostitute,” or  “boy molester” or  “someone who abuses themselves with a man” or  “using sexual manipulation to acquire money” or … (eh hem, “Behold the great and powerful Greek Interpretation!” <insert flashing light and crashing thunder>).

So, the word in these two verses, that is frequently interpreted as “homosexual” (which is absurd because, in Greek, it is clearly only a word referring to men) or “sodomite” (which is absurd, among other reasons, because that was not the sin of Sodom, as we have already discussed), is really difficult to translate. Why? In part, because it is only found in these two places and also, in part, because it is entirely possible that it is a made up word. It is very likely that Greek speaking Jews created this word to port a Hebrew word to Greek and over time the meaning has been lost. So, it is just hard to translate. So difficult, in fact, that scholars can’t agree on a single best translation. What most biblical Greek scholars can agree on is that it is not meant to be a blanket statement about a male-male sex act. Moving on.

There is another word used in 1 Corinthians 6:9: malakos. The good news about this word is that it is found in lots of literature, so there are plenty of references about its typical intended meaning. It literally means “soft.”  Some say it means “soft” as in “effeminate, but not in terms of sexual orientation.” Others, say it is connected with being wasteful of sexual and financial resources. Still others convincingly point to it singling out a particular type of male prostitution involving young boys. Also in the list of contenders: sexual perverts, sodomites, weaklings, the self-indulgent. (“Behold the great and powerful Greek Interpretation!” <insert flashing light and crashing thunder>). Like with  arsenokoitēs there really is no expert consensus on this.

Malakos was a word that could be used to refer to things as diverse as men who were weak in battle (or who were “soft”), to men who lived extravagant and pampered lives (or who were… well, “soft”). It was not specifically about sexual relationships. If Paul was actually trying to describe something about a submissive male in a male-male relationship (which is still not the same as homosexuality as we understand it today), it’s very likely that he would have used kinaedos, which was frequently used to describe that very relationship. But he didn’t. So, stop acting like he was.

Clobbered 

In summary of my look at the Christian Church’s use of the clobber verses, if you want to call homosexuality a sin, go ahead. But you are going to have to admit that it is not biblically a sin. Which means you are also going to have to admit that you are calling it a sin simply because that’s what you want to do. Because of that, you are going to have to admit that you are a sinner for using God’s name for false pretenses (it’s a little thing we like to call using God’s name in vain). And then, Paul has something to tell you, “…you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things.” (Romans 2:1).

Clobbering “Biblical” Gay Bashing is available as a download for limited distribution with no alterations:
Clobbering Biblical Gay Bashing Printable

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • kerry

    I read your article because I thought you could help make some sense out of the controversy for me. I love learning from the Bible – and historical context is important.
    Let me see if I can summarize what you are saying?

    Homosexuality as we understand it today is a natural inclination for those individuals. The science backs you up that they were born this way. But they weren’t born this way before 1800 so that is why biblical writers didn’t mean homosexuality as we understand it today. They didn’t understand science well enough (does this mean that God didn’t either? ). Does this mean God didn’t create them until the 1800s? Or is this the result of the evolutionary process? If it is, then does that mean that the more evolved “man” is not designed to reproduce himself? Or are we just simply more enlightened than the author of Ecclesiastes who penned “there is nothing new under the sun”?

    I honestly don’t mean these questions sarcastically – but I am having a hard time making your argument make logical sense. I am interested in figuring out how you’ve come to your conclusions (especially given that there is historical evidence that gay marriage did happen during the Roman Empire.)

    I don’t see marriage as God’s design to fulfill our desires. I believe God cares more about our holiness than our happiness. That marriage was designed by him to reflect the unity of Christ and the church – and to preserve future generations. In order for me to see how gay marriage fits in this design – I’m going to need some clarification.

  • Traca Flannigan

    I tend to find that you can twist and find anything in the bible to suit your POV. Most people are reading “Hole-y” bibles or bibles with blank pages on them or they would see this.

    • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

      You can do that if you ignore the Tradition of the Church.

      • Rick

        “Tradition of the Church” does not make anything biblical or correct. In fact Christ pointed out to the religious leaders at the time, they follow man made traditions OVER the word of God, so i would approch the use of Church Traditions carefully. The Word of God will always trump the teachings of man or even the Church which ever church you may be referring to.

        • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

          The Gospels speak negatively of the traditions of men, but not of the Traditions of Christ handed down through his apostles. See 2nd Thessalonians 2:15, and 1st Corinthians 11:2, and http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/tca_solascriptura.aspx for more detail.

          • Rick

            No offense, but i will gladly read passages in the bible and speak to that. however i will not go to your links of a church or teaching and speak for or against that. let us remain on a fair and even playing ground shale we? let us use the Word of God and it alone to divide truth. or our own words based on our understanding of Gods word. I can present 100s of links to other teaching, but i am here to speak o the Bible, nothing more nothing less.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            Where in the Bible alone do you find it taught that the Bible alone is what we should go by? No where. 2nd Thessalonians 2:15 states just the opposite. And this article goes into great detail on why you cannot understand the Scriptures by Scripture alone: http://orthodoxinfo.com/inquirers/tca_solascriptura.aspx

          • Rick

            Challenge accepted please allow me a few mins to get a response. However before i do, i didnt says the bible says use only the Bible alone, i asked that we, in our debate use it alone..in all fairness. But i will see if i can come up with some things to at least back my request. Fact is i may not be able to.

          • Rick

            Here is the my response for you. Mind you i had these text handy from one of my own studies i did, on what the Bible says of itself and how to study it.

            ———-
            (2 Timothy 3:16) All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is
            profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in
            righteousness:

            2Ti 2:15 Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

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

            Rom 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

            Mat 21:42 Jesus saith unto them, Did ye never read in the
            Scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become
            the head of the corner: this is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous in
            our eyes?

            Mat 22:29 Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God.

            Mat 26:56 But all this was done, that the Scriptures of the
            prophets might be fulfilled. Then all the disciples forsook him, and
            fled.

            Mar 12:24 And Jesus answering said unto them, Do ye not therefore
            err, because ye know not the Scriptures, neither the power of God?

            Mar 14:49 I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the Scriptures must be fulfilled.

            Luk 11:28 But he said, Yea rather, blessed are they that hear the word of God, and keep it.

            Luk 24:32 And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn
            within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us
            the Scriptures?

            Luk 24:27 And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded
            unto them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

            Luk 24:44 And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake
            unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled,
            which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the
            psalms, concerning me

            Luk 24:45 Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the Scriptures,

            Joh 5:39 Search the Scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

            Act 18:28 For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publicly, showing by the Scriptures that Jesus was Christ.

            2Pe 1:20 Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the Scripture is of any private interpretation.

            Act 17:11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that
            they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the
            Scriptures daily, whether those things were so

            Isa 28:9 Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to
            understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from
            the breasts.

            Isa 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept;
            line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

            Isa 28:11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people.

            Isa 28:12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause
            the weary to rest; and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear.

            Isa 28:13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon
            precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a
            little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and
            be broken, and snared, and taken.

            Luk 8:8 And other fell on good ground, and sprang up, and bare
            fruit a hundredfold. And when he had said these things, he cried, He
            that hath ears to hear, let him hear.

            Luk 8:9 And his disciples asked him, saying, What might this parable be?

            Luk 8:10 And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of
            the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might
            not see, and hearing they might not understand.

            Rom 15:4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written
            for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the Scriptures
            might have hope.

            Act 17:2 And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the Scriptures,

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            Not one of the passages you cite says anything about Scripture *alone*. 2nd Thessalonians 2:15 and 1st Corinthians 11:2 specifically state that we should also obey the Apostolic oral Tradition.

      • WilmRoget

        Doing so was good enough for Jesus, when those traditions produced harm.

        • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

          The Apostolic Tradition comes from Christ Himself. Saint Paul exhorts the Thessalonians:

          Therefore, brethren, stand fast and hold the traditions which ye have been taught, whether by word [i.e. oral tradition] or our epistle (II Thessalonians 2:15).

          The word here translated “traditions” is the Greek word paradosis — which, though translated differently in some Protestant versions, is the same word that the Greek Orthodox use when speaking of Tradition, and few competent Bible scholars would dispute this meaning. The word itself literally means “what is transmitted.” It is the same word used when referring negatively to the false teachings of the Pharisees (Mark 7:3, 5, 8), and also when referring to authoritative Christian teaching (I Corinthians 11:2, Second Thessalonians 2:15). So what makes the tradition of the Pharisees false and that of the Church true? The source! Christ made clear what was the source of the traditions of the Pharisees when He called them “the traditions of men” (Mark 7:8). Saint Paul on the other hand, in reference to Christian Tradition states, “I praise you brethren, that you remember me in all things and hold fast to the traditions [paradoseis] just as I delivered [paredoka, a verbal form of paradosis] them to you” (First Corinthians 11:2), but where did he get these traditions in the first place? “I received from the Lord that which I delivered [paredoka] to you” (first Corinthians 11:23). This is what the Orthodox Church refers to when it speaks of the Apostolic Tradition — “the Faith once delivered [paradotheise] unto the saints” (Jude 3). Its source is Christ, it was delivered personally by Him to the Apostles through all that He said and did, which if it all were all written down, “the world itself could not contain the books that should be written” (John 21:25). The Apostles delivered this knowldge to the entire Church, and the Church, being the repository of this treasure thus became “the pillar and ground of the Truth” (I Timothy 3:15).

          • WilmRoget

            Nice diversionary tactic, but it entirely fails to address the issue. In fact, that is a quite a good example of Obscurantegesis.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            Again, a gratuitous assertion. You have not engaged any argument I have made in any serious way so far.

          • WilmRoget

            Again, no. Your false accusation is sin.

            ” You have not engaged any argument I have made in any serious way so far.”

            That is a gratuitous assertion. Your sinful dismissals reflect poorly on you, and create the impression of gross negligence and considerable incompetence.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            Making snotty comments, and engaging an argument with a reasoned and supported counter argument are two different things.

          • WilmRoget

            So you should stop with the snotty comments, and at least attempt a reasoned and supported counter argument.

            You’ve made multiple snotty, gratuitous assertions about multiple people, you need to back them up.

            The more you sin against me and Mr. Sandlin, and GLBTQ people in general, the less likely it is that you understand the Bible, or God.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            You have yet to make one reasoned and supported argument in this entire exchange. Cite one Christian prior to 1960 who argued that homosexuality was not a sin. That gives you approximately 1930 years worth of time to draw such a person from, and quote him. I can cite numerous Christians who state that homosexuality is a sin, starting with St. Paul, in 1st Corinthians 6 and Romans 1, and cite Christian commentaries from then until now that substantiate that this has been the constant teaching of the Church. I can also cite ecumenical canons that state the same. You have nothing, zilch, zero, nada… nothing. Prove me wrong, and cite something… prior to 1960. You can’t, as proven by the fact that you wont, because no such people existed prior to that time.

          • WilmRoget

            “You have yet to make one reasoned and supported argument in this entire exchange.”

            Not true.

            “Cite one Christian”

            You keep making demands, but have yet to substantiate your accusations against Mr. Sandlin, or against me.

            “I can cite numerous Christians who state that homosexuality is a sin,”

            One can cite numerous Christians who state that slavery is God’s will, that racism is God’s will, that women have only half a soul, that the sun revolves around the earth. I could cite numerous atheists and agnostics who state that God does not exist. Your argument is yet another fallacy.

            “starting with St. Paul, in 1st Corinthians 6 and Romans 1″

            You would be lying then, for neither passage makes any such claim. Neither passage states ‘homosexuality is a sin’.

            I’m going to leap to the biggest flaw in your claim regarding I Cor 6 – that you make salvation (inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven) contingent on being born heterosexual. Because homosexuals are born that way, it is not a choice, and one is a homosexual whether one has had sex or not. So you are telling a tenth of humanity that they are born intrinsically excluded from God’s grace.

            So why should they listen to you? Did that ever occur to you? If you were right, and you are not, there is no reason for homosexuals to ever come into relationship with God. Your theology makes it pointless. Homosexuality is innate, immutable. It is the same as saying ‘blond people cannot inherit the kingdom of Heaven’, or ‘dark skinned people cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven’.

            And people like you do succeed in driving many GLBTQ people away from Christ.

            Oh, you could argue that the orientation is not the point, it is the sexual act. Then you have an even worse problem, for you make Christianity into a sex cult, where people have to act out in a certain way sexually to make your god happy. You are telling GLBTQ people ‘God will only love you if you have the right kind of sex to make Him happy’.

            And ironically, frjohnwhiteford, that is precisely what Paul actually is talking about in Romans 1. Paul describes idolatry, almost certainly the worship of Cybele/the Great Mother, a fertility religion in Rome of Paul’s day. Worshipers had sex with priests and priestesses of that religion to earn blessings from their goddess.

            Now this is work’s based theology, just as your ‘homosexuality is sin’ is really a works based theology, something Paul opposed. You and your peers, who use I Cor 6 to revile homosexuals, are actually preaching that people have to have a certain kind of sex to be saved. You dismiss, discard and ignore Christ’s death and resurrection, for saved by putting a penis in a vagina. You reject ‘justified by grace through faith in Jesus Christ’, in favor of ‘justified by heterosexual coitus’.

            ” You have nothing, zilch, zero, nada… nothing.”

            Your derogatory fantasies only reflect poorly on you. Now, as for ‘nothing, zilch, zero, nada, nothing’ -well, that pretty accurately describes what you have presented to defend your accusation against Mr. Sandlin.

            You’ve spent post after post talking about anything else, rather than provide evidence to support your claim. At this point, you now need 65 specific points that demonstrate Obscurantegesis on the part of Mr. Sandlin.

            Scream and holler, stamp your foot, lie about me as much as you like. It will not prove your accusation against Mr. Sandlin.

            ” I can also cite ecumenical canons”

            One can cite ecumenical canons to support many evils, like the torture and execution of Jews, or slavery, or the eradication of peoples like the Cathars, or the Tutsi’s. One can cite ecumenical documents claiming the earth is the center of the universe, and many other false ideas.

            And if you draw your canons from the RCC, you are relying on a organization with a long history of deliberate and purposeful evil, that I will happily expound upon at considerable and vociferous length.

            What you cannot do is quote Christ to defend your slander of GLBTQ people.

            Your use of fallacy does not help you any.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            Let me take your points in reverse order. No, you cannot cite ecumenical canons that support torturing Jews, Slavery, or the eradication of peoples like the Cathars or the Tutsi, and no, you cannot cite ecumenical documents that claim the earth is the center of the universe. You are perhaps confused, and think that I am a Roman Catholic. I am an Orthodox Christian, and the Ecumenical Councils I refer to are the seven Ecumenical Councils, along with the local Councils and Patristic canons which they affirmed.

            If you bothered to read the article on obscurantegesis, you would see that though it was responding to a different writer, it address the points made in this article. For example, this article essentially concedes that the passages in Leviticus condemn homosexual sex — though he attempts to dance around that indisputable fact by comparing it with the kosher laws, and then saying it doesn’t matter what the Old Testament says. The problem with that is that if you read the immediate context of the text in Leviticus 18, you will see that it is preceeded and followed by comments about how God condemns the heathen for engaging in these sins:

            “18:1 Then the Lord spoke to Moses, saying, 2 “Speak to the children of Israel, and say to them: ‘I am the Lord your God. 3 According to the doings of the land of Egypt, where you dwelt, you shall not do; and according to the doings of the land of Canaan, where I am bringing you, you shall not do; nor shall you walk in their ordinances. 4 You shall observe My judgments and keep My ordinances, to walk in them: I am the Lord your God. 5 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, which if a man does, he shall live by them: I am the Lord.”

            Then in verse 22, you find the statement: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.”

            Then the section ends with:

            “24 ‘Do not defile yourselves with any of these things; for by all these the nations are defiled, which I am casting out before you. 25 For the land is defiled; therefore I visit the punishment of its iniquity upon it, and the land vomits out its inhabitants. 26 You shall therefore keep My statutes and My judgments, and shall not commit any of these abominations, either any of your own nation or any stranger who dwells among you 27 (for all these abominations the men of the land have done, who were before you, and thus the land is defiled), 28 lest the land vomit you out also when you defile it, as it vomited out the nations that were before you. 29 For whoever commits any of these abominations, the persons who commit them shall be cut off from among their people. 30 ‘Therefore you shall keep My ordinance, so that you do not commit any of these abominable customs which were committed before you, and that you do not defile yourselves by them: I am the Lord your God.’””

            Nowhere in the Old or New Testaments did God ever condemn the gentiles for eating shrimp.

            Now St. Paul uses a greek word in 1st Corinthians 6, as well as in 1st Timothy, “arsenokoitai” is word without a pagan Greek pre-history. It was possibly even coined by St. Paul himself, but it is a compound word taken from the Greek of Leviticus 18:22. It combines “arsenos” (man) with the word “koiten” (lie, as in lay down with). And so the arsenokoitai are those men who sleep with men, as condemned in Leviticus 18:22. This word is also used in the canons of St. John the Faster (approved by the Ecumenical Councils) which speak of homosexual sex in no uncertain terms, and declare it to be a sin, analogous to adultery.

            Now you try to shift the discussion her to whether we should like what St. Paul says in 1st Corinthians 6… but that is a different question. Right now we are talking about what he did say, and he said in no uncertain terms that those who engage in homosexual sex and do not repent will not inherit the Kingdom of God. That homosexual sex is inherently sinful could not be stated any more clearly than that.

            And I do not think that you can cite any Christian writers of the first millennium who either said that slavery was a good thing, that it was obligatory, or that racism was taught in Scripture, or that women have only half a soul, and I doubt you could find very many outside of some odd Protestant sects thereafter, either.

          • WilmRoget

            ” No, you cannot”

            Once again, your derogatory accusations accomplish nothing. They simply show that you cannot back up your accusation against Mr. Sandlin.

            “You are perhaps confused, and think that I am a Roman Catholic.”

            No, I recognize that you use broad terminology and vague assertions as a matter of course, to avoid being responsible for any data that discredits your arguments.

            I see that you have no data to back up your accusation against Mr. Sandlin. You sinned against him. You lied about him.

            How can you possibly be a credible witness about sin anyone else’s life, when you lie so boldly, when you false accuse people? False accusation is explicitly condemned in the Bible, you are a false accuser, and a slanderer.

          • WilmRoget

            “Then in verse 22, you find the statement: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.”

            So according to Jesus Christ, you are bound for judgement to all of the laws in Leviticus. If you have not tithed ten percent of your gross income, you are damned under the Law. You must keep kosher, or you are damned. If you break any of the laws, you are damned.

            Jesus states in Matthew 7:2 ”
            2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.

            You use Leviticus to judge others, you are judged by it.

            No, your claim about different kinds of law is empty nonsense, and the fact is, there are many Jewish rabbi’s who find that whole argument degrading and offensive.

            Further, the Bible itself refutes that claim:

            8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”[a] you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it. James 2.

            Now, for the passage you bound yourself too, bear in mind, you also bound yourself to the other version, Leviticus 20:13. Which means that you openly endorse murdering seven hundred million people, as blood sacrifices to your god.

            How can you be a servant of Christ, and advocate, as you do, that seven hundred million people are to be sacrificed to your god? That is impossible.

            Frankly, when you use these two passages from Leviticus to condemn homosexuals, and no, you cannot use one without the other, James 2 makes that clear, nor can you use the rule and not the punishment,

            you, frjohnwhitefor, commit seven hundred million counts of murder in your thoughts. You are, in thought and word, a mass murderer. In your heart, you are a mass murderer. And while homosexuality is not a sin, murder most certainly is:

            Exodus 20:13

            “You shall not murder.

            Now, about that passage you cited. “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.”

            The word ‘you’ of course, encompasses everyone, so as you present this text, women are forbidden to lie with a male. And of course, rational people realize that gay men do not lie with a male as with a woman, they lie with a male as with a male. The huge glaring flaw in your interpretation is that phrase ‘as with a woman’, which frankly, it is dishonest translation of ‘mishkap ishshah’, bed wife.

            You puff yourself up here, strutting around trying to look like an expert, with so much sinful pride. So tell me, where exactly is the mishkap ishshah in the lives of gay men?

            You see, if the passage did not include ‘mishkap ishshah’ bed wife, you and your peers would have something of a case, you’d have a command ‘don’t lie with a male’. But because of that ‘as with’ you have no case, because the scenario described simply does not apply to gay men.

            At all.

            So either you are wrong, or God was dishonest, incompetent, a poor communicator, does not and did not understand His own creation.

            And you have the problem of zakar, which has yes, a general meaning of male, but the specific and dominant meaning of a male set aside for holy or special office, essentially a priest. The Leviticus 20:13 versions makes it especially problematic for homophobes like yourself. There, the author uses two different words for male, ‘ish’, male, husband, pairing with ishshah, woman, wife, and zakar, male, priest.

            It is irrational to ignore the difference in meaning between ish and zakar, to claim that these passages condemn ‘same lying with same’. And yet you do so, in order to proclaim that seven hundred million people are to be executed as blood sacrifices to your god.

            How do you plan on killing us, frjohnwhiteford? Do you plan on gassing us with Zyklon B? Or perhaps, stretching us out on an altar, ripping open our chests with an obsidian blade, tearing our still beating hearts out and burning them on the alter to your god?

            You must have some thoughts on how you want to carry out the sentence you pass on us. And again, no, you cannot take just the convenient part to revile us, and avoid the ugly punishment that goes with it.

            The ironic thing is that you even quoted the passages that make it clear that God is addressing idolatry and the worship practices of the surrounding peoples. But that is irrelevant to you, apparently, in your desire to murder seven hundred million people.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            The Hebrew word for homosexual is also taken from the words of Leviticus 18:22: Mishkab zakur (literally “lying with a male”).

            And there is no great hay to be made of the alternations of synonyms in Hebrew. That is the nature of Hebrew poetry. In Jeremiah 35:4, for example, we find the phrase “man of God”, and the word there for man is “Ish”… and obviously that does not mean “husband of God”.

          • WilmRoget

            “The Hebrew word for homosexual is also taken from the words of Leviticus 18:22: Mishkab zakur (literally “lying with a male”).”

            Again, your word for anything is useless.

            “And there is no great hay to be made of the alternations of synonyms in Hebrew.”

            So there is no great hay to be made from your unsubstantiated first sentence. But I understand, you are admitting that you discard any data that does not suit your prejudice.

            With only dismissals and excuses to offer, no wonder you did not address the meat of my post:

            Frankly, when you use these two passages from Leviticus to condemn homosexuals, and no, you cannot use one without the other, James 2 makes that clear, nor can you use the rule and not the punishment,

            you, frjohnwhitefor, commit seven hundred million counts of murder in your thoughts. You are, in thought and word, a mass murderer. In your heart, you are a mass murderer. And while homosexuality is not a sin, murder most certainly is:

            Exodus 20:13

            “You shall not murder.

            So tell me, where exactly is the mishkap ishshah in the lives of gay men?

            It is irrational to ignore the difference in meaning between ish and zakar, to claim that these passages condemn ‘same lying with same’. And yet you do so, in order to proclaim that seven hundred million people
            are to be executed as blood sacrifices to your god.

            How do you plan on killing us, frjohnwhiteford? Do you plan on gassing us with Zyklon B? Or perhaps, stretching us out on an altar, ripping open our chests with an obsidian blade, tearing our still beating hearts out and
            burning them on the alter to your god?

            You must have some thoughts on how you want to carry out the sentence you pass on us. And again, no, you cannot take just the convenient part to revile us, and avoid the ugly punishment that goes with it.

            Now your unwillingness to address the violence that arises directly from your belief reflects very poorly on you. After all, according to Jesus, what you fail to do for the oppressed, which includes GLBTQ people, you fail to do for Jesus?

            Why do you fail to care about Jesus?

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            You will find the reference to Mishkab Zakur in Gagnon’s book, page 111, footnote 178. You can also read about it in this essay: http://www.tms.edu/tmsj/tmsj3h.pdf

          • WilmRoget

            “You will find the reference to”

            Sorry, but you made that irrelevant when you declared: “And there is no great hay to be made of the alternations of synonyms in Hebrew.”

            Now that you are reduced to say, essentially, words only have the meanings you want them to have, you have no case, no argument.

            So tell me, where exactly is the mishkap ishshah in the lives of gay men?

            How do you plan on killing us, frjohnwhiteford? Do you plan on gassing us with Zyklon B? Or perhaps, stretching us out on an altar, ripping open our chests with an obsidian blade, tearing our still beating hearts out and
            burning them on the alter to your god?

            You must have some thoughts on how you want to carry out the sentence you pass on us. And again, no, you cannot take just the convenient part to revile us, and avoid the ugly punishment that goes with it.

            Now your unwillingness to address the violence that arises directly from your belief reflects very poorly on you. After all, according to Jesus,what you fail to do for the oppressed, which includes GLBTQ people, you
            fail to do for Jesus?

            Why do you fail to care about Jesus?

          • WilmRoget

            Now, you will no doubt whine about my attention to the murder you are committing in your heart by simply citing the Levitical passages to condemn, falsely, GLBTQ people.

            But such selfish heartless only discredits you spiritually. For real human beings are murdered, around the world, as the direct expression of the belief you are asserting here, and yes, you share responsibility for that. You are bound, in Christ’s name, to the violence inflicted on GLBTQ people,

            frjohnwhiteford, because you call that violence down upon us in Christ’s name.

            “Nowhere in the Old or New Testaments did God ever condemn the gentiles for eating shrimp.”

            Nice display of Obscurantegesis, but then, that’s what your whole post has been, a sad attempt to obscure the issue with a smokescreen.

            “Now St. Paul uses a greek word in 1st Corinthians 6, as well as in 1st Timothy, “arsenokoitai” is word without a pagan Greek pre-history.”

            Kind of you to admit that there is no historical reference to support the traditional, fraudulent translation of it. And there are greek words from Paul’s culture and time that were used to refer to homosexuals, in a variety of ways.

            http://www.gaychristian101.com/what-words-could-paul-have-used-if-he-intended-to-condemn-homosexuality.html Excuse me for quoting so much, but I want my point to be clear:

            “If Paul intended to condemn homosexuality, he could have used a word from the following list to make his point. Instead of using these words however, Paul coined a new Greek word, arsenokoitai or arsenokoites, from the arsenokoit stem. Thanks for taking time to educate yourself by exploring the textual links.

            Some people believe that Paul coined the Greek word arsenokoitai, from the words arsenos koiten, found in Lev 20:13 in the Septuagint, (a Greek translation of the Old Testament), where the cultural, historical and religious context is temple prostitution.

            Ancient Greek and Latin words Paul could have used

            arrenomanes – meaning mad after men or boy crazy

            dihetaristriai – a synonym referencing lesbian sexuality, meaning essentially the same thing as hetairistriai, tribad, tribades, from: Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism, Brooton, Bernadette, p. 23.

            erastes – a sometimes older man who loves a sometimes younger male

            eromenos – a sometimes younger male who loves an older male

            euryproktoi – men who dress as women, also a vulgar reference to anal penetration

            frictrix
            – Latin word referring to a lewd woman and sometimes used to refer to a lesbian. Tertullian, 160-220 AD, translated tribas (a masculine woman) as frictrix.

            hetairistriai – women who are attracted to other women, used by Plato’s character Aristophanes, in The Symposium. May also refer to hyper-masculine women, from Lucian’s Dialogue of the Courtesans, cited by Brooten, p. 52.

            kinaidos
            – a word for effeminate, κίναιδος or kínaidoi (cinaedus in its
            Latinized form), a man “whose most salient feature was a supposedly feminine love of being sexually penetrated by other men.” Winkler, John J., 1990, The Constraints of Desire: The Anthropology of Sex and Gender in Ancient Greece, New York: Routledge.

            Although some scholars, like Dr. Robert Gagnon, understand kinaidoi to mean the passive partner in a male couple, Davidson argues that kinaidoi refers to a man insatiable and unrestrained in his sexual appetites instead of merely effeminate or passive. Davidson, J. 1997. Courtesans & Fishcakes: The Consuming Passions of Classical Athens, New York, p. 167-182.

            lakkoproktoi – a lewd and vulgar reference to anal penetration

            lesbiai
            – a synonym referencing lesbian sexuality, meaning essentially the same thing as dihetaristriai, hetairistriai, tribad, tribades, from: Love Between Women: Early Christian Responses to Female Homoeroticism, Brooton, Bernadette, p. 23.

            paiderasste – sexual behavior between males

            paiderastes or paiderastïs – παιδεραστής derived from the Greek word pais, παῖς a boy, meaning lover of boys

            paidomanes – a male mad for boys or boy crazy

            paidophthoros – a Greek word meaning corrupter of boys

            pathikos – the passive penetrated partner in a male couple

            tribades
            – an ancient Latin word indicating the active female partner of a lesbian pair, sometimes interpreted to mean a pseudo-male, referencing genital contact between women. Rashi defines it as “rubbing in a sexual manner.”

            tribas – the active partner in a lesbian relationship, who takes the male role

            If Paul had used one of these words in Romans 1:26-27 or 1 Corinthians 6:9 or 1 Timothy 1:10, we could be reasonably certain of his meaning. However, Paul did not use any of these words, suggesting he had some-
            thing else in mind, like rape, interspecies sex or shrine prostitution, when he coined his interesting new Greek word, arsenokoitai.”

            Paul did not use any of the seventeen words his audience would have understood as ‘homosexuals’. Nor did he use the greek word for male prostitute (pornoi).

            Paul was not talking about homosexuals in I Cor 6 or Ist Timothy. It is irrational to proclaim, as you and your peers do, that Paul avoided using all of the words that would have communicated ‘homosexuals’ to his audience, and instead coined a new term.

          • WilmRoget

            “it combines “arsenos” (man) with the word “koiten” (lie, as in lay down
            with). And so the arsenokoitai are those men who sleep with men,”

            One of the laziest ways of deducing the meaning of a compound word is by looking at the component parts. Tell me, why do we park on a driveway, and drive on a parkway? Where is the spear in spearmint, or the butter in butterflies? What interest rates do the banks in a riverbank pay out these days? Why is a hamburger made of beef and not pork?

            Of course, a malebedder can also be a woman, so if you were accurate, and you are not, your interpretation would again forbid all women from having sex with men.

            Now, this source provides a reasoned and rational interpretation: http://www.jeramyt.org/gay.html#arsenos

            Paul had many different words at his disposal that referred to homosexuality in general, not just pederastic relationships, as was once thought. In this line of reasoning, Paul coined the term from the Septuagint, as discussed above, because there was no word that expressed all homosexual acts, regardless of the type of relationship. This is now known to not be the case, so we must search further for the meaning of this word. The best way to learn the meaning of this word is to look at its usage in other contexts. The problem is that we primarily find arsenokoites in lists, which give us little information as to the meaning of the word. A search of the Thesaurus Lingua Graecae database as of 1997 shows 73 usages.
            Most of these are in lists that are of the same basic
            pattern as that found in 1 Corinthians 6:9 or 1 Timothy 1:10, using mostly the same words. The few contexts in which we find these words do not necessitate that we interpret the word to mean generalized homosexual
            behavior.

            One method of interpreting the word is to try to discern some meaning from the use of arsenokoites in the lists. Martin notes that “sin lists” tend to congregate words of similar type together. For example, “first are listed, say, vices of sex, then those of violence, then others related
            to economics, or injustice” (pg. 120). In most of the TLG listings, the order is fairly standard (but not universal): , pornoi, moixoi, malakoi, arsenokoitai, kleptai, pleonektai, methusoi, loidoroi, with some substitution of andrapodistais kai epiorkrois following arsenokoites. Translated, the pattern is as follows: temple
            prostitution, adultery, moral weakness (malakos),
            arsenokoites, thief, greedy, drunks, foul-mouthed; or
            arsenokoites, slave-trader, perjurer. In the TLG lists, the
            division is not very clear, other than the first half of the list seems to be sexual, then arsenokoites is listed, then economic/injustice sins, sometimes followed by moral sins. If this were all we had, then we would not know on which side to classify arsenokoites–whether purely sexual, purely economic, or some mixture of the two. However, there are two non-TLG texts, both of which are early usages of arsenokoites, the first of which is from the Sibylline Oracle 2

            “Do not steal seeds. Whoever takes for himself is accursed (to generations of generations, to the scattering of life. Do not arsenokoites, do not betray information, do not murder.) Give one who has labored his wage. Do not oppress a poor man.” (Martin, pg.120)

            Similarly, the second text, from the Acts of John 36:

            “And let the murderer know that the punishment he has earned awaits him in double measure after he leaves this (world). So also the poisoner, sorcerer, robber, swindler, and arsenokoites, the thief, and all of this band…” (Martin, pg. 121)

            In neither of these texts do we find them in the context of purely sexual sins. In fact, we see no hint of sexuality at all in these lists. We do know, however, that arsenokoites is some type of sexual sin. However, if we put in the English translation “homosexual” in place of arsenokoites in these lists, it makes no sense. It doesn’t fit with the categories. What makes much more sense, is if the placing of arsenokoites in the TLG texts in between the sexual sins and economic/injustice sins is not an accident. What makes sense is that arsenokoites is a term referring somehow to sexual injustice. For example, when arsenokoites is placed just before slave-trader,
            this seems particularly appropriate, since homosexual slaves were normative in both Greek and Roman societies. The interpretation of arsenokoitai therefore, as one of homosexual subjugation and/or exploitation, rather than referring to all homosexual behavior, seems most appropriate as we see from these contexts.

            This type of connotation to arsenokoites fits well within two other TLG texts, both of which are early uses of the word. The first is out of the Apology of Aristides, chapters 9 and 13. It is relays the myth of Zeus, and his relationship with the mortal Ganymede. In the story, we are told that the myth is evidence that Greek gods act
            with moixeia (adultery) and arsenokoites. Similarly, in
            Hippolytus’ Refutatio chapter 5, we are told the story of the evil angel Naas, and how he committed adultery with Adam in the Garden, which is how arsenokoites came into the world. Hippolytus relates Naas and Adam
            back to Zeus and Ganymede (Petersen, pg. 284). In neither of these instances do we find a mutually consenting, equal relationship–we find an aggressor forcibly taking advantage of a weaker individual. In fact,
            Dover, when describing Greek art depicting Zeus and Ganymede, says that Zeus in B186 and R348* commands Ganymede in a manner that will not accept refusal . . ., and in R405, R829*, R833* he simply
            grasps Ganymede, who struggles violently. (p. 93)
            Dover later mentions two texts, one by Ibykos fr. 289, and the other, The Hymn of Aphrodite 202-206, which puts the Zeus and Ganymede story in the specific context of rape by drawing the parallel between it
            and the story of Dawn and Tithonos (p. 197). The human rights violations that are clear in the above uses of arsenokoites gives us a fairly clear indication of the meaning of the word, a meaning which matches the attributed meaning we surmised about arsenokoites as
            it was found in the few contexts/lists that we have. It seems clear that arsenokoites does not refer to mutually respecting gay relationships, but to a powerful aggressor subjugating/exploiting the weak, whether in the context of rape, or slave trading.”

            Now, before you think of arguing that a condemnation of same-sex rape creates a universal condemnation of homosexual, or that a condemnation of same-sex sexual in the context of temple prostitution creates a universal condemnation of homosexuality,

            bear in mind that there are over three hundred specific instances of heterosexual sex acts that are explicitly condemned in the Bible. They would comprise an even stronger condemnation of heterosexuality.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            There are many ways that we can determine the meaning of words found in Scripture. One is to look at how the ancient translations translated the term, and “arsenokoitai” is consistently translated as “men who lie with men”, for example, in Latin it is translated as “masculorum concubitores” https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+corinthians+6%3A9-10&version=VULGATE The word also has been used consistently by the Greek speaking Church to refer to homosexual men or homosexual acts, which is found in the canons of the Church. There has never been any controversy about the meaning of the term until the homosexualist agenda began to be pushed in our own time. The word is not mysterious, it has been universally understood by Christians since the time St. Paul wrote his epistles.

            The simple reason that the other terms you mention were not used, is that they refer to specific types of same sex intercourse, but St. Paul wished to be as sweeping as Leviticus 18:22 is.

          • WilmRoget

            “There are many ways that we can determine the meaning of words found in Scripture.”

            And you are ignoring all of them that do not suit your need to excuse wanting to murder seven hundred million people.

            “One is to look at how the ancient translations translated the term, and “arsenokoitai” is consistently translated as “men who lie with men””

            Again, no. You’ve completely ignored the material presented, to make a wholly unsubstantiated claim. To start with, you are relying on circular logic. Nice fallacy.

            Second you are again making claims without context, claims so vague that they are meaningless, like “The word also has been used consistently by the Greek speaking Church”

            When? Last week, or in the first century? It makes a difference to people with integrity. But apparently, not to you. The lack of any historical context makes your data useless, particularly since I provided a source that does place the data in time.

            “the homosexualist agenda”

            There is no such thing.

            “The word is not mysterious, it has been universally understood by Christians since the time St. Paul wrote his epistles.”

            Nice lie there. The passages you have cited have been rendered quite a few different ways.

            “The simple reason that the other terms you mention were not used, is that they refer to specific types of same sex intercourse, but St. Paul wished to be as sweeping as Leviticus 18:22 is.”

            Nice conjecture, but there is no evidence to back up that claim, and the source I provided refuted it. What part of
            “In this line of reasoning, Paul coined the term from the Septuagint, as discussed above, because there was no word that expressed all homosexual acts, regardless of the type of relationship. This is now known to not
            be the case, ” were you unable to follow?

            Your incompetence and dishonesty is not helping you, nor is it doing anything to substantiate your false accusation against Mark Sandlin.

          • WilmRoget

            I was so hoping you would explain these compound words to defend your prior claim.

            ” Tell me, why do we park on a driveway, and drive on a parkway? Where is the spear in spearmint, or the butter in butterflies? What interest rates do the banks in a riverbank pay out these days? Why is a hamburger made of beef and not pork?”

            You are demonstrating one of the chief flaws found in anti-gay rhetoric: the refusal to respond honestly to criticism and refutation of your points. You attempted to use construction to explain arsenokoite, I pointed out the flaws in that method – so you simply move onto to something else instead.

            That tells me that any method you chose is selected not because you believe it valid, but because it returns the answer you like. I suspect that if all means of deducing the meaning of a word were shown to disprove your claim, you’d then turn to a magic 8 ball or tea leaves.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            The fact that some compound words might have misleading roots does not negate the fact that most of them do not, and in this case, standard Greek Lexicons, ancient translations, and the commentary of every Christian writer that has touched the subject prior to 1960 all agree on the meaning of this term. You simply do not wish to deal with the truth.

          • WilmRoget

            “The fact that some compound words might have misleading roots does not negate the fact that most of them do not,”

            It means that the construction of a compound word is not a reliable indicator of what the word means. There may be a correlation, or not.

            ‘and in this case, standard Greek Lexicons, ancient translations, and the commentary of every Christian writer that has touched the subject prior to 1960″

            And again, your falsehoods and reliance on fallible sources does not help you.

            “You simply do not wish to deal with the truth.”

            Your abusive false accusation is sin. Please repent.

            And I am still waiting for you to back up your false accusation against Mark Sandlin: “This article is an example of Obscurantegesis.”

            It has been five days, and you’ve provided nothing to back that up.

          • WilmRoget

            “Now you try to shift the discussion her to whether we should like what St. Paul says in 1st Corinthians 6…”

            When you lie like that to me about my own words, it tells me that nothing you post is credible. It also tells me that you cannot refute the actual point I made.

            “Right now we are talking about what he did say,”

            No, please stop lying. We are talking about what you and your peers think he said. And relevant to what you think he said, is what your thoughts on that matter mean.

            So don’t be a coward, a malakoi, frjohnwhiteford, address the issues I raised:

            “I’m going to leap to the biggest flaw in your claim regarding I Cor 6 – that you make salvation (inheriting the Kingdom of Heaven) contingent on being born heterosexual. Because homosexuals are born that way, it is not a choice, and one is a homosexual whether one has had sex or not. So you are telling a tenth of humanity that they are born intrinsically excluded from God’s grace.

            So why should they listen to you? Did that ever occur to you? If you were right, and you are not, there is no reason for homosexuals to ever come into relationship
            with God. Your theology makes it pointless. Homosexuality is innate, immutable. It is the same as saying ‘blond people cannot inherit the kingdom of Heaven’, or ‘dark skinned people cannot inherit the kingdom of heaven’.

            And people like you do succeed in driving many GLBTQ people away from Christ.

            Oh,you could argue that the orientation is not the point, it is the sexual act. Then you have an even worse problem, for you make Christianity into a sex cult, where people have to act out in a certain way sexually to make your god happy. You are telling GLBTQ people ‘God will only
            love you if you have the right kind of sex to make Him happy’.”

            Either your interpretation, your guess about what Paul said tells GLBTQ people that it is pointless for them to follow Jesus Christ at all, or it proclaims that Christianity is a sex cult, where salvation is a reward for putting a penis in a vagina.

            If you fail again to address these two choices with honesty and integrity, I will have to conclude that you accept, embrace and knowingly teach both – that Christianity is a sex cult and salvation is a reward for heterosexual sex, and that homosexuals should reject Jesus Christ.

          • WilmRoget

            “Right now we are talking about what he did say, and he said in no
            uncertain terms that those who engage in homosexual sex and do not
            repent will not inherit the Kingdom of God.”

            And of course, that absolutely is not true. As you admitted, the very word ‘arsenokoite’ is an uncertain term. So you lied.

            Now, you conveniently did bring up the I Tim passage, so let’s take this opportunity to look at all the things you are equating my loving, intimate, God given relationship to:

            “lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for slave traders and liars and perjurers, idolaters nor adulterers thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers”

            Wow. You must really hate gays and lesbians a lot, frjohnwhiteford. You are telling the world that when we make love, it is comparable to, equatable to, someone terminating, destroying another human being.

            So, here’s where this makes you look really, really bad. Everything else in the two passages intrinsically either violates consent or produces harm, or both.

            Homosexuality, the orientation itself, and the sexual acts, are neither intrinsically violates consent or causes harm. Homosexuality, both the orientation and the sexual acts, are as morally neutral, in reality, as heterosexuality and heterosexual sex, at least.

            So when you cite these verses, you first tell me that you either cannot distinguish between harmless and harmful, consensual and coercive, or

            that you simply discard those distinctions when it suits you to do so.

            Either position exposes a fundamental lack of morals on your part. In other words, if you had the moral sense necessary to be judging GLBTQ people, you’d see that these two passages simply cannot be about homosexuals, for homosexuality simply does not fit with any of the other things on the list.

            Now, I expect that you will make some dismissal along the lines of ‘but Paul said, the Bible says’ –

            If you do, though, you would be saying that not only do you lack any moral sense of your own, you rely entirely on your personal interpretation of these texts to tell you what is moral.

            You’ll have to understand that I don’t find such circular, self-centered moral constructions to be convincing.

            So the harsh reality is that you, by asserting that homosexuality is comparable to, equatable to, equivalent to, like murder and patricide and matricide and addiction and all the rest, are a slanderer.

            So with your interpretation of these two verses, not only do you tell homosexuals not to bother with Jesus, not only do you teach that salvation is the result of heterosexual sex, you slander the same seven hundred million people you endorse killing as blood offerings to your god, and in doing so, condemn yourself as a slanderer.

            “That homosexual sex is inherently sinful could not be stated any more clearly than that.”

            And it absolutely could Paul could have used any, or better still, all of the greek words of his time and culture and said “This (seventeen greeks words for homosexuals) is forbidden.”

            But Paul did not. He did not use any of the words that would have

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            Again, you are trying to shift the focus from what St. Paul actually said, to why you don’t like what he said. St. Paul’s view of homosexuality reflected the same view that the Jews have always held, and still hold to this day. This was in stark contrast to the Greco-Roman culture of his time, which is why he cited homosexuality in Romans 1 as being the result of rejected the truth that God has revealed in creation.

            And if you are going to reject divine revelation as having any insight into questions of morality, on what basis can you make any moral judgments? Pedophiles have no less a temptation to do what they do, and yet we believe that they should resist that temptation, regardless. On what basis do you reject that inclination?

          • WilmRoget

            “Again, you are trying to shift the focus from what St. Paul actually said,”

            Your false accusation is sin. Please repent. And ironically, you are trying to shift the focus from the issue, to your conjecture about my motives. And you are doing so to shift attention away from your false accusation against Mark Sandlin.

            “St. Paul’s view of homosexuality reflected the same view that the Jews have always held, and still hold to this day.”

            Your circular logic and unsubstantiated assertion is not evidence of anything.

            “which is why he cited homosexuality in Romans 1 as being the result of rejected the truth that God has revealed in creation.”

            Lying about the Bible is very wicked, you really should stop. Paul absolutely did not cite homosexuality in Romans 1 as anything.

            “And if you are going to reject divine revelation as having any insight into questions of morality,”

            Once again, your derogatory insinuation about me is the sin of slander, and in Christ’s name, I bind you to that sin here on earth, and in Heaven, until you repent.

            “Pedophiles have no less a temptation to do what they do,”

            Equating homosexuality with pedophilia demonstrates that you have no moral sense, and further, that you have no argument, for you have turned to inflammatory and vicious, depraved slander.

            So let’s look at it just a bit.

            Patriarch Bartholomew has moved to change the administration of the scandal-scarred Monastery of St. Irene Chrysovalantou in Astoria, permanently ousting Metropolitan Paisios of Tyana, charged with sex abuses, and also Bishop Vikentios, who has no involvement in sex allegations.

            http://www.monomakhos.com/patriarchs-move-on-paisios-vikentios/
            “A little over a week ago, one of the miscreants involved, Bishop Vikentios, was ordered by Istanbul to take a position as an auxiliary bishop in the Diocese of Imbros and Tenedos, probably to buy his silence (he’s already turned over a lot of evidence to the FBI). I took this
            as a personal affront because the island of Imbros is where my mother’s people hail from. The indigenous Greeks there have suffered immensely during the last 90 years of Turkish occupation. Sending this yo-yo to
            “pastor” them would be like feeding stones to hungry children.

            The good news however is that when The National Herald first broke the story, it generated substantial outrage. I imagine some of the wealthier Archons made their voices heard. The backlash was significant enough to cause the Phanar to “rethink” the entire situation. As it stands now, Vikentios has been ordered to stay put in
            the States until they find some deserted island off the coast of Borneo. (Maybe he could serve the Metropolis of Gilligan’s Island, which no doubt falls under Istanbul’s purview under Canon 28.)

            Ever wonder what institutional rot looks like? You looking at it now. Usually, this game can be played for several years, decades even. Think of it as musical chairs but for different purposes than fun. You know, move Pederast A to Diocese B, move Pederast B to Diocese C,
            and so on. Sooner or later though there are no places left to run. Istanbul may have run out of places to dump the bad guys.

            http://www.monomakhos.com/what-does-institutional-corruption-look-like/

            Like the RCC, Orthodox Christianity has a problem with abetting sexual predators. So does the Boy Scouts for that matter. In fact, there is a growing correlation between people who try to link homosexuality with pedophilia, and covering up sexual predation. Those who do the first, are very likely to be engaged in the second.

            You might want to mediate a bit on the career of one of your peers, not from the Orthodox church, but someone who has preached anti-gay theology, and equated homosexuality with pedophilia:

            Bishop Eddie Long.

            Bishop Eddie Long of New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Georgia is being accused of having had an abusive gay relationship with a teen in a new book published earlier this week. F

            The accuser, Centino Kemp, was one of the five young men who settled out of court with Long over the alleged sexual relationships. Long has denied the accusations and tried to move on, but the newly published book,
            titled First Lady, co-written by Kemp and T. Benson Glover, has already surged to the No. 8 spot on Amazon’s non-fiction Kindle section.The “tell-all” biography of Kemp shares of a violent encounter between him and Long in 2006 in Miami at Keiser University, where the bishop allegedly physically assaulted the teenager. ”

            It really is not a subject that you should bring up, and frankly, it does nothing to substantiate your wicked accusation against Mark Sandlin here.

            http://www.christianpost.com/news/bishop-eddie-long-accused-of-abusive-gay-relationship-in-first-lady-book-90152/

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            I did not equate pedophilia with homosexuality, beyond noting that both drives are strong… and that is undeniable. I asked you on what basis you would condemn it, apart from divine revelation… and as usual, you refuse to answer because you can’t. Pedophilia was embraced by the pagan Greek culture… and so cultural norms cannot save you here. So answer the question.

          • WilmRoget

            “I did not equate pedophilia with homosexuality,”

            Yes, you did. And your ‘beyond . . .’ statement does not excuse your sinful slander of GLBTQ people.

            Again, that comparison shows that you either ignore consent and harm (which is quite clear from your posts anyways since you violate both), or you also do not understand either concept.

            “and as usual, you refuse to answer because you can’t.”

            And once again, you lie flat out about me, proving to me that nothing you say is truthful. I made no refusal.

            “Pedophilia was embraced by the pagan Greek culture… and so cultural norms cannot save you here.”

            So was heterosexual marriage. Once again, any tactic you employ to falsely justify your desire to murder seven hundred million human beings as blood offering to your god, works as well, when not better, against heterosexuals.

            Remember, not only do the overwhelming majority of pedophiles (those who identify with any sexual orientation) self-identify as heterosexual, heterosexual marriage in many cultures has, and still does allow, marriages of adult men to very young girls, cases of either pedophilia or ephebophilia.

            And researchers in the field point out that male on male pedophilia is essentially about a heterosexual dynamic anyways – pedophiles who prey primarily on boys, only target boys who have not become to show the secondary sex characteristics associated with maleness and adulthood – in other words, they target boys who are the most female-like.

            “So answer the question.”
            Oh, I probably will, but first you have to answer the one you’ve been dodging for days now: Substantiate your accusation “This article is an example of Obscurantegesis.”

            You see, until you do so, you have no business to ask anyone else to answer any question or back up any claim. You are not superior to anyone here. You cannot make a demand of others that you consistently fail to live up to yourself.

            And I promise, every time you demand or ask something of me, I am going to remind you, and anyone reading, about your unsubstantiated accusation against Mark Sandlin.

          • WilmRoget

            “And I do not think”

            And again, what you think anyone else can do is not relevant, it is a gratuitous argument. It is simply empty noise to avoid providing evidence to back up your false accusation against Mr. Sandlin.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            Oh, and when you say: “Paul describes idolatry, almost certainly the worship of Cybele/the Great Mother, a fertility religion in Rome of Paul’s day. Worshipers had sex with priests and priestesses of that religion to earn blessings from their goddess.” Upon what do you base those assertions? Cite one Christian writer prior to 1960 who states that this is what St. Paul was talking about in Romans 1. You can’t, because no such writers exist. St. Paul is talking about how men reject the knowledge of God, and suppress the truth. Homosexuality is cited as an example of going against the truth evident in nature. The anus was not designed for a penis. Rectal cancer rates among homosexual men demonstrate this.

          • WilmRoget

            “Oh, and when you say:”

            No, no, no. Bad, bad, bad. You do not get to demand anything from anyone, until you provide evidence for your allegation, your slanderous accusation, against Mark Sandlin.

            “You can’t,”

            Your fantasies accomplish nothing. But they do accentuate the appearance that you cannot, or will not, substantiate your accusation against Mark Sandlin.

            “Homosexuality is cited as an example of going against the truth evident in nature.”

            Impossible, for that would make Paul a wicked and evil fraud. Homosexuality is found in nature, it is found in over a thousand other species of life on earth.

            Now, going against nature, that’s not an argument you should bring up. The clothing you are wearing in that photo, are not natural, they were constructed. Written language is not natural. Computers are not natural, and frankly, the production and use of computers, and most technology is destructive enough to count as ‘against nature’.

            The Creation, the truth evident in nature, is that homosexuality is part of God’s plan, and part of God’s nature. Remember, Paul said that the creation reveals the very nature of God. And homosexuality is natural, it is part of nature.

            The creation, to the limited extent that we know it at this time, by the way, does not favor or prefer heterosexuality. The dominant form of reproduction on Earth, is asexual, life forms that are neither male nor female. Think about that for a second – most of God’s creation that we know, that reveals God, has no gender.

            The next most common form of reproduction, the most common form of sexual reproduction, is forms of hermaphrodism, living things that have both male and female reproductive/sexual organs. This includes the majority of flowering plants, but also many invertebrates.

            And in addition to heterosexuality and homosexuality, the creation includes species that change gender over the course of their life, species that have essentially hundreds or thousands of genders, species that reproduce parthenogenetically, species in which the vast majority of individuals never reproduce.

            Sexually, and reproductively, creatively, the Creation that we know of so far, is extremely diverse.

            But there is one thing, we know from the Bible that it was a heterosexual, or heterosexual acting, couple who brought sin into the world. We know that God cursed the fruit of heterosexual sex, that heterosexual sex resulting so much evil that God sent the Deluge to try and start over.

            “The anus was not designed for a penis.”

            No.

            “Rectal cancer rates among homosexual men demonstrate this.”

            Nope. And certainly not on your say so.

            http://www.cancer.org/cancer/colonandrectumcancer/detailedguide/colorectal-cancer-risk-factors

            Notice that homosexuality is not listed. Obesity, a trait your photo reveals, is a risk factor. From the aforementioned source:

            “African Americans have the highest colorectal
            cancer incidence and mortality rates of all racial groups in the United States. The reasons for this are not yet understood.

            Jews of Eastern European descent (Ashkenazi
            Jews) have one of the highest colorectal cancer risks of any ethnic group in the world. Several gene mutations leading to an increased risk of colorectal cancer have been found in this group. The most common of these DNA changes, called the I1307K APC mutation, is present in about 6% of American Jews. ”

            By your argument, Ashkenazi Jews and African Americans are not designed to have sex. Do you see how irrational your argument is?

            But since you raise the issue of a correlation between disease and death, and the wrongness of a sexual orientation –

            the leading cause of death for women, for nearly all of recorded human history, has been pregnancy, delivery, and complications arising from either/both.

            By your own argument, women are not designed to have sex. Do you see how irrational your argument is?

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            Male / female sex is obviously what the reproductive organs were designed for. It is necessary for the survival of the species. Homosexuals are at a higher risk for cancer than heterosexuals:

            http://www.bbc.com/news/health-13295300

            http://www.cancernetwork.com/articles/anal-cancer-incidence-rising-homosexual-men

            http://www.conservapedia.com/Homosexuality_and_Anal_Cancer

            They also have a much higher rate of domestic violence, alcohol and drug abuse, and suicide… and this is true in western european countries where acceptance of homosexuality has long been wide spread.

          • WilmRoget

            “Male / female sex is obviously what the reproductive organs were designed for.”

            It is one thing that the reproductive organs were designed for. But your argument is dishonest, because humans are not designed to communicate with keyboards over the internet.

            “The survey interviews “survivors” so is not a true representation of the number of cancer cases.”

            Not a true representation, yet you use it anyways. And the data does not show causation. For one thing, because of HIV, gay men tend to see their doctors consistently, which means that cancer will be caught earlier, and they will be therefore more likely to survive.

            Your second source makes no comparison with straight men. And conservapedia is not a credible resource.

            “They also have a much higher rate of domestic violence,”

            Nice lie.

            “alcohol and drug abuse, and suicide…”

            Yes, studies show that the homophobia your promote results in substance and abuse in GLBTQ people – you are condemning us for the results of your evil.

            Now for some reality. GLBTQ experience high rates of murder, rape, systemic oppresion, bullying to the point of suicide – directly because of the evil belief you are teaching.

            The belief you are teaching, ‘homosexuality is sin’ bear only evil fruit. According to Jesus’ own words in Matthew 7:15-23, that means that you, and your peers, are false teachers, to whom Christ will say ‘I know you not’.

            The reality is that people are murdered and raped as the direct result of the belief you are teaching.

            But clearly, you just don’t care. Heck, you’ve endorsed slaughtering us all as human sacrifices to your god.

            And that is utterly evil.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            If you actually get your hands on Gagnon’s book, he lays
            out the statistics from a variety of studies and from a variety of countries… including countries with a very high level of acceptance of homosexuals, and the results are similar there too. See “The Bible and Homosexual Practice”, pp. 471-485.

            You can also see this, which tries to put the best face on it, but confirms what I said:

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/2589133

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15963874

            http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14650663

            and then there is this:

            http://psychcentral.com/lib/higher-risk-of-mental-health-problems-for-homosexuals/0006527
            http://lasvegas.cbslocal.com/2012/10/10/study-domestic-violence-rates-higher-among-gay-men-bisexual-women/

            And the stats in San Francisco alone, are likewise very high in these areas, and it would be hard to find a city in which homosexuals are more accepted.

            And I am not wishing any of this on anyone. Alcoholics have very high rates of self destructive behavior too. But the solution is to try to get people out of self destructive lifestyles… not to affirm them in those lifestyles.

          • WilmRoget

            “If you actually get your hands on”

            And once again, your derogatory fantasies about me are sin. Please repent.

            “And the stats in San Francisco alone, are likewise very high in these
            areas, and it would be hard to find a city in which homosexuals are more
            accepted.”

            Such utter ignorance. GLBTQ people in San Francisco continue to endure violent hate crimes. People who believe as you do drive from surrounding communities to kill, beat and maim homosexuals.

            “And I am not wishing any of this on anyone.”

            Oh, you are doing a lot more than merely wishing it upon us. You are inciting it.

            “Alcoholics have”

            Equating homosexuality with alcoholism is vicious and damning slander. As a slanderer, you are barred from the Kingdom of Heaven, unless you repent.

            And you know, obese people, like yourself, have elevated risks of heart disease, cancer, stroke, so much so, that obesity when it is self created is a self destructive lifestyle.

            Homosexuality is not a lifestyle, but your prejudice is. Of course, it is most a lifestyle that destroys others and you don’t seem to care how many people are destroyed by your belief, as long as you can feel holy and superior.

          • WilmRoget

            It is rather amazing, frankly, that you can manage to google a few websites to sort of, maybe, back up these side issues,

            but in four days

            four days

            you cannot provide any evidence at all for your accusation against Mark Sandlin. Talk about doing everything one can to obscure, conceal and hide.

          • WilmRoget

            By the way, your failure to address what I wrote, yet again, portrays you as utterly incompetent.

            As an obese man, you have a elevated risk of rectal cancer.

            And again, the leading cause of death for women, surpassing all disease and famine and war, is pregnancy and complications. When ever you have sex with a woman, you put her life in danger.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            You have to resort to ad hominem attacks, since you cannot deal with arguments you have been presented with. I am not sure where you get the idea that I am an obese man. The profile picture you alluded to was a photo of me, standing in front of the doors of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, wearing a cassock, an athonite vest, and having a backpack slung over one shoulder because my wife and I were hoofing it through Jerusalem. But if I was obese, it would be irrelevant. People are obese for many different reason, but even obese people can make valid arguments… and so please stick to the issues, and refrain from ad hominem attacks.

          • WilmRoget

            “You have to resort to ad hominem attacks,”

            Thank you for drawing attention to your own behavior here. Bear in mind, your belief ‘homosexuality is sin’ is an ad hominem attack on seven hundred million people.

            I made no ad hominem attack on you. I pointed out, accurately, that you are obese, and obesity increases one’s risk of rectal cancer.

            “The profile picture you alluded to was a photo of me,”

            Your excuse does not fly. The excessive weight you carry is also evidence on your face, despite your beard.

            “But if I was obese, it would be irrelevant.”
            It most certainly is relevant. Obesity is a risk factor for an elevated risk of rectal cancer.

            Obesity when it is not the result of hormonal imbalance, is the physical manifestation of the sin of gluttony. So you, a glutton obviously, have no business reviling homosexuals, and yet you do so.

            ” so please stick to the issues, and refrain from ad hominem attacks.”

            That is advice you really ought to learn to live before you give it away.

            Please substantiate your wicked claim against Mark Sandlin, with at least 95 points.

          • WilmRoget

            “cite ecumenical canons”

            Now, you’ve pulled this card. As I mentioned, there are equivalent ecumenical documents that insist that the earth is the center of the universe, and that the sun revolves around the earth. So, do you believe that the sun revolves around the earth?

            And there are comparable documents that assert that torture is an appropriate means of encouraging conversion to Christianity, that defend the persecution and slander of Jews. Since you believe your hypothetical canons that condemn homosexuality, it stands to reason that you must, to have integrity, believe that it is appropriate to torture Jews and heretics.

            You see, you cannot wield some of the documents as authoritative because of their history and source, and then reject others of the same gravitas. You cannot have the condemnation of homosexuals without also embracing coerced conversion, torture of heretics, genocide, and an earth centric universe.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            No you can’t. Again, I am speaking of the 7 Ecumenical Councils, and those councils and canons that they affirmed.

          • WilmRoget

            “No you can’t.”

            Once again, this is an false accusation you really should not be making, because every time you avoid my very reasonable request for you to substantiate your accusation against Mr. Sandlin, you shows that you cannot substantiate that accusation.

            ” Again, I am speaking of the 7 Ecumenical Councils, and those councils and canons that they affirmed.”

            And as you so often did at Huffpost, you are altering the criteria, while still remaining just vague enough to have wiggle room.

            Your failure to address the principle at work here is incompetent, and dishonest. You claim, without evidence, that you can cite sources, as if that ability is proof of anything, or as if those sources are infallible.

            I point out that Christian history is full of citations that people treat as infallible that teach blatantly false and evil things.

            It is dishonest and fraudulent to wield some of the documents as authoritative because of their history and source, and then reject others of the same gravitas. YIt is dishonest and fraudulent to embrace condemnation of homosexuals without also embracing coerced conversion, torture of heretics, genocide, and an earth-centric universe.

            And that is one reason why your accusation here against Mr. Sandlin is so sinful.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            I have been very clear on my terms. You made an assertion here that you could produce citations, and now you refuse to do so. You find no basis in the ecumenical canons for coerced conversion, the torture of heretics, genocide, or geocentrism. You are referring to things that happened in the west, after the great schism, and after the 7 ecumenical councils. I feel no need to defend the actions of the Roman Catholic Church, since I am not a member thereof.

            And as for the Huffington post, I stopped posting there when it became clear that most of my posts were not being approved, because of their leftist bias. So the fact that you did not see my answers to arguments made there is not because I did not try to post them… they simply were not allowed to appear.

            No you have made a number of assertions of what you could produce. Produce them.

          • WilmRoget

            “I have been very clear on my terms.”

            Please stop lying.

            “You made an assertion here that you could produce citations, and now you refuse to do so.”

            Actually, that was you. Let me remind you about it yet again:

            frjohnwhiteford

            16 hours ago

            This article is an example of Obscurantegesis.

            You made that claim 5 days ago, and I started asking you to back it up 4 days ago, and you still have not done so.

            “You find no basis”

            Again, your derogatory fantasies about me arise out of sinful pride. And as a distraction from your own failure, they accomplish nothing.

            “most of my posts were not being approved, because of their leftist bias.”

            Your false accusation is sin. It is yet another gratuitous assertion. You must remember what you said about such things.

            “Produce them.”

            Again, your hypocrisy is astounding. You falsely accuses Mark Sandlin, please have the decency of substantiating that accusation.

            As for your requests, well, after you’ve produced your evidence against Mr. Sandlin, and after I have had a chance to read it, and rebut it as appropriate, I can address your demand. But first, you need to back up your claim against Mr. Sandlin, and a couple of your claims against me actually. Only once your veracity has been established, or disproven, is there any burden on anyone else.

          • WilmRoget

            By the way, you have falsely asserted several times that Scriptural support for homosexuality is new.

            http://www.christianity-revealed.com/cr/files/whensamesexmarriagewasachristianrite.html

            “These church rites had all the symbols of a heterosexual marriage: the whole community gathered in a church, a blessing of the couple before the altar was conducted with their right hands joined, holy vows were exchanged, a
            priest officiatied in the taking of the Eucharist and a wedding feast for the guests was celebrated afterwards. These elements all appear in contemporary illustrations of the holy union of the Byzantine Warrior-Emperor, Basil the
            First (867-886 CE) and his companion John.

            Such same gender Christian sanctified unions also took place in Ireland in the late 12th and early 13th centuries, as the chronicler Gerald of Wales (‘Geraldus Cambrensis’) recorded.

            Same-sex unions in pre-modern Europe list in great detail some same gender ceremonies found in ancient church liturgical documents. One Greek 13th century rite, “Order for Solemn Same-Sex Union”, invoked St. Serge and St. Bacchus, and called on God to “vouchsafe unto these, Thy
            servants [N and N], the grace to love one another and to abide without hate and not be the cause of scandal all the days of their lives, with the help of the Holy Mother of God, and all Thy saints”. The ceremony concludes: “And
            they shall kiss the Holy Gospel and each other, and it shall be concluded”.

            Another 14th century Serbian Slavonic “Office of the Same Sex Union”, uniting two men or two women, had the couple lay their right hands on the Gospel while having a crucifix placed in their left hands. After kissing the Gospel, the couple were then required to kiss each other, after which the priest, having raised up the Eucharist, would give them both communion.

            Records of Christian same sex unions have been discovered in such diverse archives as those in the Vatican, in St. Petersburg, in Paris, in Istanbul and in the Sinai, covering a thousand-years from the 8th to the 18th
            century.

            The Dominican missionary and Prior, Jacques Goar (1601-1653), includes such ceremonies in a printed collection of Greek Orthodox prayer books, “Euchologion Sive Rituale Graecorum Complectens Ritus Et Ordines Divinae Liturgiae” (Paris, 1667).

            While homosexuality was technically illegal from late Roman times, homophobic writings didn’t appear in Western Europe until the late 14th century. Even then, church-consecrated same sex unions continued to take place.

            At St. John Lateran in Rome (traditionally the Pope’s parish church) in 1578, as many as thirteen same-gender couples were joined during a high Mass and with the cooperation of the Vatican clergy, “taking communion together, using the same nuptial Scripture, after which they slept and ate together” according to a contemporary report. Another woman to woman union is recorded in Dalmatia in the 18th century.

            Prof. Boswell’s academic study is so well researched and
            documented that it poses fundamental questions for both modern church leaders and heterosexual Christians about their own modern attitudes towards homosexuality.

            For the Church to ignore the evidence in its own archives would be cowardly and deceptive. The evidence convincingly shows that what the modern church claims has always been its unchanging attitude towards homosexuality is,in fact, nothing of the sort.”

            Now, please do not even attempt to pretend that your credentials are superior to those of Prof. Boswell.

            And don’t even think about trying to discredit him based on anything other than his work. Anything you think you can use, will apply just as well to you and your sources.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            Boswell’s claim that the rite of Brotherhood was a form of Gay Marriage is nonsense. It flies in the face of the Canons of the Church which are unambiguous on the question. To cite one example, Canon 18 of St. John the Faster states:

            “It has seemed advisable to exclude any man who has been so mad as to copulate with another man from Communion for three years, weeping and fasting, and towards evening confined to xerophagy, and doing two hundred metanias. But as for one who prefers to take it easy, let him fulfill the fifteen years.”

            Here are some refutations of Boswell’s claims:

            https://www.newoxfordreview.org/reviews.jsp?did=1294-viscuso

            http://www.firstthings.com/article/1994/11/gay-marriage-reimagining-church-history

            http://orthodoxyandheterodoxy.org/2013/08/15/church-history-and-same-sex-marriage/

            http://www.touchstonemag.com/archives/article.php?id=08-02-034-b

            And there are many more.

          • WilmRoget

            “Boswell’s claim that the rite of Brotherhood was a form of Gay Marriage is nonsense.”

            Your empty dismissal is incompetent. Your citations, frankly, are not credible. We can though discuss them in as much detail as you like – later.

            After you back up your claim:”This article is an example of Obscurantegesis.”

            But I’m not getting sucked into your diversionary tactics.

            Until you do substantiate your accusation, your attempt to avoid substantiating your accusation against Mark Sandlin is desperate and sinful.

  • Jana

    For shame! I haven’t yet read the entire article, but misquoting the Bible I can’t abide. In Mark 12:18, which you argue states that Jesus says a man must marry his brother’s sonless wife until she bears a son, Jesus does not comment on this practice. The Sadducees were trying to trick Him, and yet he saw through their deception and responded to the real issue behind what they were asking. Using Jesus’ words to the Sadducees (v27), “You are badly mistaken!”

    Additionally, using the multiple wives of people of the faith like David, Caleb, etc is also misleading. It is like condoning adultery and murder because David did it and it’s in the Bible! God specifically prohibited kings from “multiplying wives” in Deuteronomy 17:17. Those that did, did so in disobedience to God’s command. These stories show that even great people of God are fallable and sin, just like the rest of us. They are not excuses for us to follow in the same disobedience.

    This is a good reminder to us all to go to the Bible ourselves to read what God says. Many errors are perpetuated by those who base their beliefs on the words of men.

    • WilmRoget

      “ut misquoting the Bible I can’t abide.”

      False accusations are a sin.

  • joesantus

    I’m a 58-year-old, blue collar, male hetero agnostic, married 34 years to a bisexual woman with whom I’ve enjoyed “lifestyling” and have had a sort of open marriage for decades. My best male friend is bisexual. I fully support the LGBT community and gay marriage. I have no anti-gay nor homophobe axe to grind here.

    As far as the “Scripture” texts used to condemn homosexuality…

    1) Although the majority of Christians fail to observe the point, and they “mix” elements from what the “Bible” itself terms “the first” or “the old” covenant (“the Law” under Moses) with elements of what the bible terms “the second”, “the new” or “the better” covenant (“the law of Christ”, under Iesus); according to the Bible, the elements and prohibitions found in the “old” covenant were and are disannulled and superceeded by the implementation of the “new” covenant in Iesus. Cf. Hebrews 6:1 through 10:21.
    Therefore, the debate about the meanings of the cited prohibitions/condemnations in Leviticus is moot, because the Bible itself says those prohibitions/condemnations were terminated when the “New Covenant” was initiated by God. Those professing to be New Covenant followers of Iesus have neither Scriptural authority nor grounds for applying nor observing any of the Old Covenant laws or teaching, not even if Christians would consistently obey/apply the entire set of prohibitions, commands, and instructions found within the Old Covenant instead of buffet-selecting them as they typically do.

    Since the (commonly accepted canon-and-text version) Bible itself states that that set of commands and laws is no longer in effect, having been replaced, by God, under Iesus, with a new “law” and set of commandments and teachings cf. Matthew 28:16-20, Acts 1:1-3, John 14:1515-26, 15:10, 16:12-14), then the Leviticus verses have no more bearing on homosexuality for Christians than the Leviticus verses about, say, animal blood or fat (7:23-27) have on eating for Christians.

    2) Romans 1:18-2:1, within which lies the pertinent 1:26-28, is no doubt making the point that, as Romans 3:23 and 5:12 summarily charge, “each and every person is guilty of sin of some sort and therefore needs to be forgiven by God and saved through Iesus from incurred punishment”.

    However, the article’s exegesis of Romans 1:26-28’s physikos (and its linguistic kin) depends on something the Bible never expresses; namely, that someone is BORN gay. On the contrary, the Bible as a whole and even this usage of physikos in Romans seems to build upon an assumption that heterosexuality is what is “instinctive”, and that therefore those engaging in any homosexual interaction are CHOOSING against their God-created heterosexual “nature”, in the same way that those condemned for fornication, covetousness, envy, murder, backbiting, and so on condemned in Rom 1:28-32 choose to engage in those “unrighteousnesses”. I certainly don’t believe everyone is instinctively heterosexual — objective study indicates we as humans are born somewhere along an orientation range from hetero through bi through homosexuality as well as asexuality, as well as born along a range of genders — but hetero “instinct” does seem to be the Biblical premise. I expect the Paul who allegedly penned Romans would say, “The 2014 understanding by science about natal sexual orientation is faulty.”

    The author offers, “In this case he seems to be addressing the idea of a same-sex sex act in which at least one of the two are not attracted to someone of the same sex; they just are not born that way.” Yet, Romans 1:27 reads, “…the men…burned in their lusts ONE TOWARD ANOTHER…” indicating MUTUAL same-sex attraction.

    While I’d happily embrace a clear debunking of “the bible condemns homosexuality”, since it would defang the homophobia and homo-condemnation from traditional and fundamentalist Christianity, I have to submit that these (now-popular) question-markings of Romans 1 and of 1 Cor.6:9/1 Tim. 1:10 seem like “have-one’s-cake-and-eat-it-too” efforts to salvage Christianity for homosexuals. I’ve observed others, who similarly recognize that their personal behaviors and desires conflict with what a literal reading of the Bible states yet who want to embrace the “reassuring/comforting/affirming” parts of Christianity, similarly treat their “problem passages” with “question-marking” salvage efforts (for example, women and I Cor 11:2-16, 14:34, 35; soldiers and Mat. 5:43-46, 1 Thess. 5:15, I Pet 3:8,9), so I’m not at all singling out LGBTs for doing this. But, I (as an agnostic) do see this as another strained effort to justify behavior that the Bible seems to condemn in order to enjoy the parts of Christian teaching that are more palatable and/or pleasant.

    • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

      There is no place in the New Testament in which it is stated that the Old Testament texts are “disannulled.” The ceremonial law of the Old Testament is replaced by the worship of the Church, and the laws against clean and unclean foods have been specifically set aside by Christ in the Gospels, and by the teachings of the Apostles. The moral law of God is not only not annulled, but is raised to a higher level in the New Testament. http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2011/10/continuing-validity-of-moral-law-of-old.html

      • Rick

        ” and the laws against clean and unclean foods have been specifically set
        aside by Christ in the Gospels, and by the teachings of the Apostles.”

        Can you point out where please, i think i know the texts you plan to use, but would ask for them rather than assume.

        • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

          For started, the most explicit statement is found in Acts 10: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts%2010&version=NKJV And then if you look at Acts 15, and what gentiles were expected to do, you find that observing kosher rules was not among them, but abstaining from sexual immorality was: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+15&version=NKJV

          • Rick

            thank you, my counter reply will be forth coming, need to look at the texts first.

          • Rick

            Acts 10,
            This stroy is of a vision, and as such had nothing to do with food, like all visons in the bible symbolisim is used here. Peter himself tells us what the vision means:
            Act 10:28 And he said unto them, Ye know how that it is an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation; but God hath shewed me that I should not call any man common or unclean.
            ——————————————

            Acts 15 from my reading has nothing to do with Clean vs unclean, but rather meats sacrificed to idols. That said, most sacrifices that i am aware of, we of Clean animals anyways, so i will have to say this text does not quite support what your saying, unless i missed something here.
            Act 15:28 For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things;
            Act 15:29 That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            He was told to eat non-kosher food, and not to call them unclean. Then in Acts 15 he along with the other apostles told gentile converts that they only need to abstain from blood, animals that have been strangled, meat offered to idols and sexual immorality. Aside from that, Christians have always understood these passages to teach that kosher restrictions were no longer applicable.

          • Rick

            I would respectfully say the text does not say that. You have to read all not just the first part. Peter himself tell us what was meant in this vision ..that he could take the Gospel to the gentiles that NO MAN is unclean or common. Just because many say this is the meaning and hold to that does not make it so, more so when the text itself tells you what was meant. But please dont take my word for it, pray and study, and if you feel i am wrong so be it. But if you look closely all the unclean animals are garbage disposals of the earth, and our current science also says they are not good for you. What you state above is Mans traditions vs the Word of God.

          • Rick

            I wold also state this is one of the teachings of the Bible i had a very hard time with myself, I loved my ham sandwiches but i had to pray and study to see it was not good. Also i am by no means perfect and am just speaking from what my studies have shown me.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            It all depends on why God commanded it in the OT. We know that God never condemned the gentiles because they ate non-kosher food, but he did condemn them for sexual immorality… so evidently sexual immorality is an immutable aspect of the moral law of God, and kosher laws are not.

          • Rick

            I am not sure i agree with that, I mean he says it was an abomination to eat these things. Also lets keep in mind, Kosher laws, were not Just for the Jew, the Jew was to be the light to the world. Also Clean vs unclean goes back to the Flood, Noah took 7 of the Clean, and 2 of the unclean of all animals, so there was a distinction back then, why would there be non now? and as far as i know, Noah was not a jew!

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            Show me where God ever condemned the gentiles for eating non-kosher food then? I can show you were He condemned them for sexual immorality and the shedding of innocent blood. But no where does He pronounce judgment on them for eating shrimp or ham.

          • Rick

            I did not say that the bible condemns the gentiles for food, I said the bible makes a distinction in clean vs unclean, and that it never said it was OK to eat the unclean Jew or Genital. Sure there are passages that Seem to say it is ok, but when reading in context, and looking at the whole Bible it is found that is not the case. See Isaiah 66 This is speaking to the end times and the second coming in the later half of the text the word of god says (and please by all means read all of Isaiah 66 for context.)
            Isa 66:17 They that sanctify themselves, and purify themselves in the gardens behind one tree in the midst, eating swine’s flesh, and the abomination, and the mouse, shall be consumed together, saith the LORD.
            Isa 66:18 For I know their works and their thoughts: it shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come, and see my glory.

          • Rick

            Note: “all nations and tongues” seems to include gentiles to me…could i be wrong?

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            Acts 15 is absolutely unambiguous. If the Apostles had expected gentile Christians to observe kosher, they would have said so there, and they specifically did not, based on St. Peter’s recounting of what happened in Acts 10. And Christians have always understood this to be so, until the Seventh Day Adventist came along in the 19th century, in America.

          • Rick

            Did it not cross you that the Bible of the time was the old testament? The the bible Christ preached from, the apostles preached from, was the old testament. Also the SDA’s are not the only Christians who practice this. Though there denominations are few, and i can not name them off the top of mt head. Has time has gone on, there are alot of things Not tough in churches today that should be, and some things that should not be. This is not a matter of what one sect says vs another, this is what does the word of God say.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            Where were the Christians who observed Kosher in the 3rd Century? What about the 6th Century?

          • Rick

            Does that really matter my friend? So they did or did not, again this is not about does a church say it is right or wrong, it is what does the Word of God say on the subject.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            It matters if you believe that Christ’s promise that the gates of hell would not prevail against the Church has any meaning. And what are the odds that the early church didn’t understand the text, but 19th century Adventists at long last have?

          • Rick

            I can not in good faith answer that question. I can not speak for why one group or another does not teach something or hold something to be true. I can only hold to what i have studied in Gods Word, and what it says to me. But i would further that though by saying, is it not a fact that SIN itself started over what we did eat that God told us not to?

      • WilmRoget

        “The ceremonial law of the Old Testament is replaced by the worship of
        the Church, and the laws against clean and unclean foods have been
        specifically set aside by Christ in the Gospels, and by the teachings of
        the Apostles.”

        That does not come from the Bible.

        • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford
          • WilmRoget

            Please stop exploiting this website to raise the visibility of your own, that is dishonest.

            And James 2, among other places, makes it clear that you are wrong:

            8 If you really keep the royal law found in Scripture, “Love your neighbor as yourself,”[a] you are doing right. 9 But if you show favoritism, you sin and are convicted by the law as lawbreakers. 10 For whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it.

            Your line of reasoning is dishonest, but expected from someone who endorses murdering seven hundred million human beings, not for any wrong they have done, but simply because of how they are born.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            Acts 15 clearly shows that the Apostles did not expect Christians to keep the ceremonial law of the Old Testament. Here is there letter to the gentile Christians:

            “The apostles, the elders, and the brethren,

            To the brethren who are of the Gentiles in Antioch, Syria, and Cilicia:

            Greetings.

            24 Since we have heard that some who went out from us have troubled you with words, unsettling your souls, saying, “You must be circumcised and keep the law” —to whom we gave no such commandment— 25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who will also report the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things: 29 that you abstain from things offered to idols, from blood, from things strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well.

            Farewell.”

            https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Acts+15%3A23-29&version=NKJV

            And the term “fornication” (porneia), includes any sexual immorality, which includes homosexuality.

          • WilmRoget

            “the ceremonial law”

            Nice fraud there, but the passage you cited makes no indication of ‘ceremonial’. And your characterization of circumcision as ‘ceremonial’ is false, either purposefully false, or out of ignorance.

            “And the term “fornication” (porneia), includes any sexual immorality, which includes homosexuality.”

            It does now because of dishonest people and poor scholarship, but it did not mean that when the NT was writing. It is dishonest to interpret a word for prostitution in broader terms, but apparently, you are content with dishonesty.

            I am still waiting for your evidence to support your claim against Mark Sandlin, “This article is an example of Obscurantegesis. ”

            The reality is that people like you, who argue ‘homosexuality is sin’ not only ignore passages from the Bible that refute your claim, and attempt to conceal and obscure the issue with lies about GLBTQ people and smokescreens of side issues, you and your peers use less of the Bible to make your case, than progressives do to refute it.

  • Justinian Demonte

    This was helpful, but not as you intended it to be. For quite a while I have struggled with Romans, and Paul’s meaning. If Paul says that men went against their nature, it would seem he has been proven wrong by modern, scientific understanding of homosexuality. Men and women, in performing homosexual acts, do not go against their nature because, as you say, they are “born that way.”

    But I have always suspected that this conflates to very different concepts of “natural.” You inadvertently clarify this confusion. Paul is not talking about nature understood as how we are born. As you say, he uses the word ‘physikos’ and this indicates (again, as you say) that “Paul is concerned with how God created something or someone to be.” But God didn’t create us to be as we find ourselves in this fallen world; He created us to be as we (humans) found ourselves in the Garden. After the fall we are alienated from God, and his perfect creation, spiritually, psychologically, and also biologically. In other words,
    by using ‘physikos’ Paul can be read as saying that homosexuality is contrary to how God created us to be, not how we find ourselves in fallen nature. Paul is pointing out that we have an authentic nature that is contrary to our fallen nature, and that homosexuality is contrary to the former – our true nature.

    Moreover, nature construed as “born that way” is irrelevant to the Christian moral and theological perspective. A whole lot of Christianity, or Christian virtue, has to do with going against what comes naturally. Many naturally want to have sex with multiple partners; many naturally are self-interested, and do not want to help the poor by sacrificing their material luxury or security; many want to eat and drink and be merry in accordance with their natural desires and wants. Christian virtue is contrary to all of these natural desires.

    But, of course, you think that homosexuality is more than a desire – it is part of a person’s essence, who they are. But traditional Christianity denies this as well. No sexual orientation –homosexual or heterosexual – constitutes a person’s essence. One is essentially a child of God created in his image and likeness and
    created for eternal communion with God. You again clarify this point inadvertently by referencing (and misrepresenting) the passage in Mark: Christ teaches that we will live eternally without marriage, and presumably sex, like the angels. And yet we will still be us. How could this be possible if our sexuality was essential to our being?

    • WilmRoget

      “As you say, he uses the word ‘physikos'”

      And physikos refers to innate nature, inborn, instinctive. Paul then writes of people abandoning their physikos sexual use of the opposite sex, something homosexuals do not have.

      “But God didn’t create us to be as we find ourselves in this fallen world;”

      So, since Paul uses physikos to describe heterosexuality, your argument then is that heterosexuality is a product of ‘this fallen world’.

      ” After the fall we are alienated from God, and his perfect creation, spiritually, psychologically, and also biologically.”

      Thus the innate sexual orientation of heterosexuals, the only people who can abandon the physikos chresis of the opposite sex, is a sign of alienation from God.

      “In other words, by using ‘physikos’ Paul can be read as saying that homosexuality is contrary to how God created us to be,”

      Only by a dishonest person ignoring how Paul used the term – to describe the innate sexual use of the opposite sex that some idolaters abandoned.

      ” Paul is pointing out that we have an authentic nature that is contrary
      to our fallen nature, and that homosexuality is contrary to the former –
      our true nature.”

      No. Since Paul uses physikos chresis to describe something people abandon, by your reasoning, he is asserting that heterosexuality is contrary to our ‘true nature’.

      “Moreover, nature construed as “born that way” is irrelevant to the Christian moral and theological perspective.”

      Therefore, you have no argument on which to condemn homosexuals. And instead, “A whole lot of Christianity, or Christian virtue, has to do with going against what comes naturally.” heterosexuals, according to your odd logic, should only have homosexual sex.

      “But traditional Christianity denies this as well.”

      No.

      “Christ teaches that we will live eternally without marriage, and presumably sex, like the angels.”

      And therefore, all theology based on gender distinctions, including condemnation of homosexuality, are anti-Christian in nature.

  • Rick

    2Ti 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
    2Ti 4:4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

    • WilmRoget

      And as a result of their unwillingness to endure sound doctrine, they promote violence and injustice, and people are raped and murdered as the purposeful expression of unsound beliefs like ‘homosexuality is sin’.

      Rick, you defend an evil belief that destroys human lives, and then have the sinful arrogance of accusing others, who teach justice and compassion, of not enduring sound doctrine.

      • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

        If you want to reject Christianity, you are free to do so. You are not free to deny what it has historically taught on the question. You can have your own opinion, just not your own facts. http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2011/07/bible-church-and-homosexuality.html

        • WilmRoget

          “If you want to reject Christianity, you are free to do so.”

          Since nothing in my post indicates any such thing, your insinuation accomplishes nothing. I am challenging a specific idea, one that contradicts Christ’s teachings. You are not Christ, and your thoughts do not define Christianity.

          ‘what it has historically taught’

          Your appeal to tradition is a fallacy. Just because something has been taught a certain way for a long period of time, does not make it accurate. Many evil things have been taught as good, historically.

          “You can have your own opinion, just not your own facts.”

          That is advice you ought to live before you give it away.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            You are trying to redefine Christianity in terms that it has never adhered to in any expression prior to our own life times. You cannot cite a single Christian in history who argued that homosexuality was not a sin prior to that. Go ahead and try to do so, if you are so inclined.

          • WilmRoget

            “You are trying to redefine Christianity in terms that it has never adhered to in any expression prior to our own life times.”

            Your false accusation is sin, and it is another example of your use of “gratuitous assertion”. You have provided no evidence to back up that claim.

            “You cannot cite a single Christian in history who argued that homosexuality was not a sin prior to that.”

            You have no idea what I can, or cannot do. Again, you are making claims without any evidence.

            Further, you are again employing fallacy, appealing to ‘that’s the way it has always been’ (even though it has not).

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            I know you cannot, and the proof that you cannot is the fact that you have not, and you wont. Prove me wrong, and start citing Christians prior to our own lifetimes who argued that homosexuality was not a sin, or that a man could have sex with another man under any circumstances, and that not be inherently sinful. Go.

          • WilmRoget

            “I know you cannot,”

            Nice sin of pride there, but you know no such thing.

            “and the proof that you cannot is the fact that you have not, and you wont.”

            Great. Now using that argument, your repeated decision not to back up your claim Mark Sandlin of
            “Obscurantegesis” means that you cannot back up that claim.

            And your attempt to shift the burden of proof regarding your false accusations about me onto me is further sin on your part.

            “Prove me wrong,”

            Actually, you have the burden of proving your claims. You are not God. You make nasty claims about people, then demand that they prove you wrong. But that is sin on your part.

            You’ve made false accusations, you have the burden of backing them up, or being condemned as a slanderer.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            Answer this question: if the Scriptures mention a topic in several instances, both in the Old and New Testaments, does it not stand to reason that any correct interpretation of those passages would be found in the writings of at least one person, prior to 1960?

          • WilmRoget

            “Answer this question:”

            First, shouldn’t you explain why a question based on circular logic is not inherently fraudulent?

            And before that, should you not first substantiate your accusation against Mr. Sandlin?

            “does it not stand to reason that any correct interpretation of those passages would be found in the writings of at least one person, prior to1960?’

            Since your question is based on arbitrary and false assumptions that you have not backed up with evidence, why should anyone answer your fraud?

            Bear in mind, Boswell more than adequately refuted your false assumption anyways.

            Now, where is the evidence to substantiate your slander of Mr. Sandlin?

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            Perhaps you need to read up on the rules of logic. There is nothing circular at all in my question. You don’t answer it, because the answer would be detrimental to your case.

            And Boswell has been more than adequately refuted. There is not a single recognized lexicon of Greek that takes his position on “arsenokoitai”. Greek is not some new and strange language. It is one of the most studied languages in the history of the world, and there has never been any controversy about that term until our lifetimes, and only because homosexualists like Boswell have an agenda.

          • WilmRoget

            “Perhaps you need to read up on the rules of logic.”

            Nice ad hominem, but no.

            ” There is nothing circular at all in my question.”

            Yes there was. Your denial of that accomplishes nothing.

            “And Boswell has been more than adequately refuted.”

            Now there’s another gratuitous assertion. You who so loudly make demands for proof from others, so rarely offer any evidence yourself.

            “and only because homosexualists like Boswell have an agenda.”

            Again, your false accusation is sin. Bear in mind, by playing this card, so to speak, we get to talk about your heterosexist agenda.

            By your reasoning, you cannot ever be a credible witness about this issue, you stand to benefit, personally, and even monetarily, from persecuting homosexuals. The whole purpose of anti-gay theology is to tear homosexuals down so you can look good by comparison.

            Now I presented a detailed and substantiated argument regarding arsenokoite, and you have resort to one fraudulent argument after another. What is next for you, tea leaves? Lexicons are not infallible.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            You have the burden of proving your own claims, and you have made quite a few, that you conveniently refuse to substantiate.

          • WilmRoget

            Your post describes you perfectly.

            Once again, where are the 95 points that substantiate your accusation: “This article is an example of Obscurantegesis.”

            I’ve been asking for days, and you have not come forward with anything.

            And I have not refused anything, so your accusation is a lie. Please provide 45 quotes from me in which I explicitly refuse to provide you with any information. Thank you in advance.

  • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

    This article is an example of Obscurantegesis. The book “The Bible and Homosexual Practice”, by Robert Gagnon demonstrates this in great detail: http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2011/07/bible-church-and-homosexuality.html

    • Rick

      Thank you i learned a new word, had to look that one up. based on what i just read i would have to agree 100% or so i think i should … either way this article is not biblical truth … its more of an excuse he is trying to make up for acceptance of the behavior instead of doing what he should, as a minister, and point it out as SIN. Though his point about being loving and caring is not Missed we are all sinners after all and fall short of the glory of God.

      • Rick

        ob·scu·rant·ism
        əbˈskyo͝orənˌtizəm,äb-,ˌäbskyəˈran-/
        noun
        the practice of deliberately preventing the facts or full details of something from becoming known.

        • joesantus

          Biblical obscurantism isn’t at all limited to (among others) homosexuals, feminists, militarists, racists, evolutionists, or civil disobedients trying to reconcile their ideas and behaviors with what the Bible labels as “sin” or “disobedience to God”. “Orthodox” Christians themselves, including Catholics and Fundamentalists, have routinely employed it to deflect challenges to and inconsistencies within their doctrines and beliefs too.

          One example is the Roman Catholic linguistic muddling of the meaning of words and phrases in the Gospels’ passages involving Joseph and those called Iesus’s siblings, passages which contradict the Romanist teaching that Iesus’s mother Mary remained a virgin after Iesus’s birth and until her death.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            You are incorrect here, and there is not the slightest analogy. The Church has always taught that the Virgin Mary remained a Virgin… even from the earliest times. The “brothers” of the Lord are called “brothers” in the Gospels for a very simple reason — there is no word in Aramaic, (or Hebrew or Arabic, for that matter) for “cousins”. If you want to specify that relationship you have to say something like “the son of my father’s brother”, which is quite a mouth full. And so cousins are routinely spoken of as “brothers”. You find these brothers specifically spoken of as being the sons of Joseph’s brother Cleopas in the early palestinian Christian writer Hegesippus in the 2nd century. See: http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2013/10/stump-priest-virgin-marys-sister-mary.html For there to be an analogy, you would have to have the Church going against the obvious meaning of the text, and the understanding that the Church has historically had of the text… but such is not the case. The author of this piece is blowing off both.

          • joesantus

            Thank you, for demonstrating the very obscurantism I mentioned is employed by Christians to, as I wrote”…deflect challenges to and inconsistencies within their doctrines and beliefs….”

            The Romanist position rests variously on 1) the old autographs debate concerning whether the new testament Gospel text was originally based in Aramaic instead of the koine Greek it seems to have been written in — and the Greek of that era indeed DID have a separate word for “cousin” which could easily have been employed to prevent any misunderstanding, yet its author(s) did indeed choose the words meaning “brothers” and “sisters”; and, even if koine Greek lacked a word for “cousin”, having to write “the son of my father’s brother” wouldn’t have been so much of a mouthful that it couldn’t have been used to avoid misunderstanding about such allegedly important doctrine 2) on the self-proclaimed premise that the Catholic Church is “the true church” and therefore has the accurate interpretations deposited within it; and 3) on the logical fallacy of “since the ancient Tradition of the Catholic Church has always been this, therefore it is true”.
            Hegesippus of the 2nd century is, of course, merely extra-scriptural evidence that supports a particular view; and many such extra-scriptural writings exist from the century after the apostles’ lifetimes which support diverse views that Romanism nevertheless rejects.

            LOL…of course, what’s “obscurantist” to one is “proof” to another, isn’t it?

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            Nonsense. It is not obscuring the text to understand it in the way that it has always been understood. It is obscurantism to ignore how the text has always been understood, and then try to twist the text to say something that non one has ever previously interpreted it to mean. Hegesippus was living at a time when people who knew the Apostles were still living. His testimony about the Cousins of Christ is very historically significant. To use a legal analogy, the way the Scriptures have always been understood is “The Course of Performance” http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Course+of+Performance

          • joesantus

            The antiquity of an obscurantism makes it no less obscurantism.
            Granting the argument that it is the way that Romanism has always held is no proof that it was also the way that the scripture text was originally understood by either its authors or by the followers of Iesus alive during the apostles’ lifetimes.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            That’s nonsense. It stands to reason that those whom the Apostles taught would understand the text better than someone separated from them by 2000 years, and living in a very different culture and speaking a different language would. St. Hegesippus was a Palestinian Christian and historian who wrote about the history of the Church of Jerusalem within the living memory of the Apostles themselves. To blow of his testimony as irrelevant is obscurantism at its truth denying worst. And the fact is, the views expressed by Hegesippus on this particular question were held universally in the Church. There is no evidence that there was every a divergent view within the Church on this question, with the exception of a single writer during the time of St. Jerome… and it is not even clear that he was in the Church, only that he argued that the Virgin Mary had other children, and St Jerome put his arguments out to pasture. St. Hegesippus wrote about two centuries prior to that time, and his words do not suggest that there was any controversy on the matter. And so to say that this interpretation is obscurantism is ridiculous on the face of it. That is hardly analogous to coming up with a novel interpretation of Scripture 2000 years after the fact, that no one ever held before.

          • joesantus

            Well, sure, no argument from me, the contemporary of any author is typically better-positioned to understand the author’s intended meaning than is a reader who’s 2000 years distant.

            But, from that does not follow that even an objective contemporary reader necessarily understands the author as the author intends — heck, I’ve been married for 34 years, have known my wife since we met when she was 16, have honest and careful communication with her, yet despite all that, I sometimes misunderstand what she means in notes she writes to me today.

            To the above human fallibility of interpretation, add the further pitfall of the strong potential for deliberate and/or biased misreading, especially when someone has a prior cause to support — as in, “I’ll understand it in the way that suits me”.
            The sum is that what even a contemporary reader claims a writing means can vary far from the author’s intended meaning.

            Romanism’s argument, of course, is that it, as an “organism”, is the deposit of divine truth given by “Iesus Christ” and that it is appointed by God as the infallible teacher and interpreter of God’s truth, including that part of it known as the Bible. Therefore, where the Bible seems to prima facie contradict Romanist interpretations, the Romanist magesterium, asserts Romanism, has the final say about what is the correct interpretation of that Bible text. And, Romanism’s grounds for asserting all this teaching authority? Itself — the ultimate reason Romanism offers once its centuries-honed apologetics and polemics are distilled is, “Because we insist we possess it.”

            That “reasoning” alone makes Romanism discredible. But
            (since you appeal to Hegessipus as being a non-ignorable witness, although the only extant fragments attributed to him are, of course, found in Eusebius, who is dated far later, to the CE 300s) Hegessipus himself inadvertently discredits Romanism with his description of post-apostolic Christiandom:
            “… Up to that period the Church had remained like a virgin pure and uncorrupted: for, if there were any persons who were disposed to tamper with the wholesome rule of the preaching of salvation, they still lurked in some dark place of concealment or other. But, when the sacred band of apostles had in various ways closed their lives, and that generation of men to whom it had been vouchsafed to listen to the Godlike Wisdom with their own ears had passed away, then did the confederacy of godless error take its rise through the treachery of false teachers, who, seeing that none of the apostles any longer survived, at length attempted with bare and uplifted head to oppose the preaching of the truth by preaching “knowledge falsely so called….”

            http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/text/hegesippus.html

            The New Testament text itself evidences the splintering of Christianity even within the “apostles'” lifetimes. Hegesippus (along with many other of the alleged “early Christian fathers”) claims that as soon as the apostles were no longer around to identify who was teaching “truth” and who was teaching heresies — and was obscuring what the apostles had taught — then the doctrinal free-for-all exploded.
            Hegesippus, of course, insisted that he and his associates held “the real truth” — but then, so did all those he branded as heretics (some of whom were so sincere that they too were martyrs for their beliefs); and they, in the same manner, branded as heretics those espousing the body of interpretation Hegessipus embraced.

            Since Hegesippus was not an apostle, nor even an adult contemporary of the apostles, then for all his (no-doubt sincere) insistence that he knew “the real truth”, his body of interpretation is as suspect as any of the ones who differed from his interpretations and whom he branded the heretics. Merely because Hegessipus — or any one, any group, any organization beyond the apostles’ era — adamantly insists, “these teachings are the true, the deposit of apostolic truth” doesn’t make it so, does it?

            Even IF, therefore, Romanism has held a certain doctrine — the perpetual virginity belief, for example — from Romanism’s inception, that is no proof of Romanism’s doctrine not being a distortion, a heresy, compared to what the apostles and the authors of the New Testament text taught and intended as the meanings of their text, and compared to what the apostles had taught for decades. Rather, Romanism’s having held a certain doctrine “all along” would only prove that Romanism’s obscurantism of that doctrine was OLD.

            I do agree there is “nonsense” here: Romanism’s self-authorizations and self-justifications. Romanism’s, “We’re the true church because we say we meet all the criteria for the true church, which criteria we ourselves have set,” is typical religious-group, logically fallacious nonsense. Romanism may be in the running for the most successful Christian system to date, but, “success” doesn’t necessarily equal “right”, “legitimate”, nor “true”, does it?

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            Joesantus, you make a number of false assumptions here. For one, you seem to think that all your slams against Romanism are hitting me in some way. I am not a Roman Catholic priest — I am an Orthodox Christian priest.

            Secondly, if you actually read what Hegesippus says on the subject at hand, he actually does not directly address the question of the perpetual virginity of the Virgin Mary. He simply states as a fact that the brothers of the Lord were in fact his cousins, and were the sons of Cleopas, the brother of Joseph. He was not making a polemical point, which adds to the credibility of his statement. The brothers he refers to were bishops of Jerusalem right up to the years just prior to the birth of Hegesippus… and one of their sons (the son of St. Jude), Judah Kyriakos, was the last Jewish bishop of Jerusalem, who was bishop at the time of the Bar Kokhba revolt, which occurred well into Hegessipus’ adulthood. And so to dismiss his testimony out of hand is foolish.

            It is true that even during the time of the apostles there were gnostic heretics that began to try to attach themselves to Christianity… but the gnostic movement clearly had an origin outside of the Jewish/Christian context, and so hardly has an equally credible claim to being the true preservers of the teachings of the Apostles. See: http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2006/04/st-irenaeus-primary-beef-with.html

          • joesantus

            I do apologize for not having recognized you are an Orthodox rather than a Romanist. If I had previously seen the photo you use on your blog, the beard would have made me immediately aware you were probably not a Romanist priest.

            You, in turn, wrongly assume I had not read nor studied Hegessipus’ fragments concerning Cleopas and Symeon. I’m well aware that those fragments contain no direct discussion about the virginity issue but have indirect bearing on the question.

            Since you appeal to those fragments again, I will address the contents, but will have to in a subsequent post here, since I’m pressed for time until tomorrow. But I did want to apologize for falsely identifying you as a Romanist (although, on most points, my thoughts are the same for Orthodox as they are for Romanist).

            EDIT, added 13 hours later: for my promised address about the Hegissipus contents, see my reply to you above headed, “WHAT DOES HEGISSIPUS INDICATE?”

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            And actually, the argument here does not rest on any assumption that the Gospels were originally written in Aramaic. They rest upon the assumption that Christ and the Apostles spoke Aramaic, and so clearly Aramaic influenced the way they would have spoken and written.

          • joesantus

            Note that I did not state, “originally WRITTEN in Aramaic” — being aware of the particulars of the question, I intentionally worded as “originally BASED in Aramaic.”

            Even granting the reasonable assumption about Iesus and his apostles speaking Aramaic, 1) Greek was nevertheless the sort of lingua franca of the region (even ignoring here the implications of the existence of the Greek Septuagint for this point), so they also likely spoke Greek therefore were highly likely to be familiar with a Greek word for such a common relationship as “cousin”; 2) there is no evidence that the Gospels named Matthew and Mark were autographed in other than Greek, making it reasonable that their authors, who knew Greek well enough to write those Gospels, knew the Greek word for “cousin” thus were able to utilize it (if not in the translation into Greek of an actual Aramaic quote then as a simple explanatory addendum to ensure the readers’ accurate understanding of the quoted Aramaic-speakers) and yet deliberately chose not to employ the Greek “cousin” ; 3) and, since the text is allegedly “given by inspiration of God”, it would mean “God” (who is, according to Romanism’s own theology, infallible, unerring, omnipotent, omniscient, omniprecogniscient, sovereign, gracious, merciful, loving, and just), could easily have directed or moved the Gospel penmen to employ the Greek word for “cousin” in order to avert any subsequent doubts, doctrinal misunderstandings, and consequent divisions over an ambiguous wording: but, apparently, despite all those divine super-attributes, deliberately allowed or even deliberately inserted into the text an ambiguity “He” foreknew would cause confusion and divisiveness concerning what Romanism calls a fundamental doctrine.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            Anyone who knows anything about linguistics knows that if you have a first language, but are writing or speaking in a second language, which you do not know with equal proficiency, the first language will influence how you speak or write the second.

            My oldest daughter learned Cantonese before she learned English, and when she started to speak in English, she would say things like “Open the lights” — which is a literal translation of how you would say “Turn on the lights” in Cantonese — and in this case, “Open the lights” is not a proper statement in English, whereas speaking of the “brothers” of the Lord was perfectly acceptable Greek, it just was a choice of words influence by Aramaic. You find many other examples of Semitic expressions in the New Testament that are much more obvious, and so the fact that the wording of much of the New Testament was influenced by Aramaic syntax is undeniable.

          • joesantus

            Agreed about humans and languages — but, unless your daughter and whomever else you’re referring to claims to be moved by the Spirit of God and to be penning inerrant divine revelation, as the Gospel writers are claimed to have been, comparing them to the Gospel writers, according to your own theology, is comparing apples to ant lions, isn’t it?

            That is, unless you’re excusing your deity, to whom you attribute sovereignty,omnipotence, infallibility, foreknowledge, etcetera, as being incapable of doing any better than establishing a lexical ambiguity that, say, even as simple a measure as “God’s Spirit” having nudged Matthew and/or Mark to solicit a bit of assistance from a Greek-fluent acquaintance would have easily avoided?

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            Before we move on to a different discussion about how the inspiration of Scripture works, let’s first wrap up the one we are having now. You argued that the belief that the Virgin Mary had no other children was an example of obscurantegesis. I have shown you how it is not, by citing writers close to the time that state as a matter of fact that the brothers of the Lord were actually cousins, and by pointing out that in Aramaic there is no word for cousins, but rather a common broader use of the word “brothers”, and by pointing out that the New Testament is full of Semitic idioms, reflecting the Semitic culture of the authors of the New Testament.

            Also, even if the New Testament was written in the purest classical Greek, it would still require that we understand the range of meanings of the words it used, its idioms, and cultural context, because all of human speech is idiomatic, cultural conditioned, and necessarily human in its limitations.

            But If you are now conceding that point, we can talk about inspiration.

          • joesantus

            WHAT DOES HEGISSIPUS INDICATE?

            Yep, before any theopneustos discussion, let’s address this one.

            Heck, for sure, our need as readers to understand idioms as well as cultural and historical contexts applies to any text which originates from the limited minds of limited men — but, as I’ve already pointed out, “Scripture” claims for itself and is claimed by Orthodoxism to ultimately originate from an unlimited “God”. That version of deity’s “omni-” attributes would easily enable “him” to ensure that even the (free-willed) human limitations of the people he moved to autograph the Gospels need not allow an iota of ambiguity about the intended meaning of those wordings. So I ask again: is substantial linguistic ambiguity, then, the best an all-powerful, all-knowing, all-foreknowing, all-controlling deity could do?

            (I do realize you’ll have to appeal (in part) to the Orthodox explanation of Inspiration to answer that question. I’ve reiterated my point about the implications of any claim for inspired revelation, despite our deferral here of a theopneustos discussion, only because you regurgitated your earlier arguments about linguistic understandings.)

            I’ll use the Hegissipus/Eusebius info and text as you give it on your blog:

            “After the martyrdom of James and the conquest of Jerusalem which immediately followed, it is said that those of the apostles and the disciples of the Lord that were still living came together from all directions, with those that were related to the Lord according to the flesh (for the majority of them also were still alive), to take counsel as to who was worthy to succeed James. They all with once consent pronounced Symeon, the Son of Cleopas, of whom the Gospel also makes mention [note the Gospels only list Symeon as one of the Brother’s of the Lord], to be worthy of the episcopal throne of that parish. He was a cousin, as they say, of the Savior. For Hegesippus records that Cleopas was a brother of Joseph” ((Eusebius’ Ecclesiastical History 3:11)

            “Some of these heretics, forsooth, laid an information against Symeon the son of Clopas, as being of the family of David, and a Christian. And on these charges he suffered martrydom when he was 120 years old, in the reign of Trajan Caesar, when Atticus was Consular legate in Syria. And it so happened, says the same writer, that, while inquiry was then being made for those belonging to the royal tribe of the Jews, the accusers themselves were convicted of belonging to it. With show of reason it could be said that Symeon was one of those who actually saw and heard the Lord, on the ground of his great age, and also because the Scripture of the Gospels makes mention of Mary the [wife] of Clopas, who, as our narrative has shown already, was his father. The same historian mentions others also, of the family of one of the reputed brothers of the Savior, named Judas, as having survived until this same reign, after the testimony they bore for the faith of Christ in the time of Domitian, as already recorded. He writes as follows: They came, then, and took the presidency of every church, as witnesses for Christ, and as being of the kindred of the Lord. And after profound peace had been established in every church they remained down to the reign of Trajan Caesar: that is, until the time then he who was sprung from an uncle of the Lord, the aforementioned Symeon son of Clopas, was informed against by various heresies, and subjected to an accusation like the rest, and for the same cause, before the legate Atticus; and while suffering outrage during many days, he bore testimony for Christ: so that all, including the legate himself were astonished above measure that a man 120 years old should have been able to endure such torments.”

            Prefacing those fragments is the comment,
            “Then we have the very early testimony of Hegesippus who states plainly that the brethren of the Lord were the Children of St. Joseph’s brother Cleopas and his wife Mary.”

            Yet, the Hegissipus fragments, at least as transmitted by Eusebius, expressly states only that SYMEON was a son of Cleopas. No other men called “kindred” are expressly named nor described in the fragments as being sons of Cleophas. No plural “sons of Cleophas” as the above comment implies — rather, a singular, a sole son, “Symeon”.

            Hegissipus nowhere identifies this Symeon as the Symeon named as the brother of Iesus in Mat 13:55,56. Without express identification, it’s at best a speculation that they were the same individual — and any objection that “it’s improbable that both Joseph and his brother Clophas would each have a son named Symeon” is weak if not nonsensical, since siblings with same-named children occurs even to today.

            Significantly, the fragments do mention another important person, ” …one of the reputed brothers of the Savior, named Judas.” JUDAS is not and never identified as a son of Clophas. In the context of mentioning that Symeon is a son of Clophas, it seems natural that if Judas had also been Clophas’ son, Hegissipus would have stated so. Yet, Judas, who is listed in Mat 13:55,56 as Iesus’ brother, is neither identified as Clophas’s son nor called a direct brother of Symeon in the fragments.

            The assertion, therefore, that, “… we have the very early testimony of Hegesippus who states plainly that the brethren of the Lord were the Children of St. Joseph’s brother Cleopas…” is erroneous, since Hegissipus never plainly expresses that in the fragements, and, to the contrary, “plainly” describes only ONE man, Symeon, as being a son of Cleophas; Hegissipus never says this Symeon was the Symeon listed in Mat 13:55,56; and Hegissipus nowhere identifies Judas as a son of Cleophas when such an identification would be pertinent within that context of discussing Symeon and Cleophas, if Judas was also. Instead and in contrast, Hegessipus says “plainly” that Judas was a brother of Iesus.

            If anything, the length to which Hegissipus legitimatizes Symeon evidences Hegissipus felt the need to explain why (in contrast to Judas who apparently needed no such legitimatization) this Symeon was qualified for the ecclessiastical position assigned to him despite Symeon not being a brother of Iesus as Hegissipus matter-of-factly states Judas was.

            Which lends to the conclusion that Orthodoxism merely parrots ancient obscurantism applied to blur the originally decades-old apostolic teaching about Mary found prima facie in the so-called “Scriptures”.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            The problem with your conclusion is that Hegesippus says that the Symeon (Simon) was mentioned in the Gospels. If you search the Gospels and exclude the obvious ones that could not be him (St. Peter, the Apostle Simon the Canaanite, the Simeon in Luke 2, Simon the Leper), you are left with Simon, the brother of the Lord. The brothers of the Lord are named “James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas”, which we can reasonably assume are mentioned in order of age, from the eldest to the younger. Hegesippus tells us that Symeon was the son of Cleopas. The Gospel of John tells us that the wife of Cleopas was Mary, who is referred to as the Sister of the mother of Christ. Interestingly a woman named Mary is mentioned as being among the women who went to the tomb, and she is said to be “the mother of James and Joses” (Matthew 27:56) the names of the two eldest sons. And the quote you cite from Eusebius, right after mentioning Simon the Son of Cleopas, says “The same historian mentions others also, of the family of one of the reputed brothers of the Savior, named Judas, as having survived until this same reign.” When it says others also, this is linking Simon with the “others also”, and this happens to be the name of the youngest of the 4 brothers. The translation here also speaks of “reputed” brothers of the Lord. Other translations put it as “so called”. I don’t have access to the Greek text, but the fact that the word “brothers” of the Lord is prefaced by a word or phrase that suggests that there is more to it than meets the eye is not insignificant.

            Origen also taught that the brothers of the Lord were not the children of the Virgin Mary,

            And St. Jerome argues that these 4 brothers were all the sons of Cleopas and Mary:

            http://www.ccel.org/ccel/schaff/npnf206.vi.v.html

            And his testimony, though later, certainly reflects what Christians believed on the matter at that time.

            Now you are free to remain unconvinced, but the idea that the brothers of the Lord were in fact his cousins is not a groundless notion, as you suggested.

          • joesantus

            NO — Hegessipus never says that this is the Symeon who is mentioned in the gospels. Rather, Hegessipus states that Symeon is the son of that CLEOPHAS who is mentioned in the gospels. Read carefully:

            “…with those that were related to the Lord according to the flesh (for the majority of them also were still alive), to take counsel as to who was worthy to succeed James. They all with once consent pronounced Symeon, the Son of CLEOPAS, OF WHOM THE GOSPEL MAKES MENTION.”

            The wording as it stands is stating that it is, not Symeon, but CLEOPHAS “of whom the Gospel makes mention”,

            Likewise:
            “…With show of reason it could be said that Symeon was one of those who actually saw and heard the Lord, on the ground of his great age, and also because the Scripture of the Gospels makes mention of Mary the [wife] of Clopas, who, as our narrative has shown already, was his father.”

            In the latter, Hegissipus states that the Gospels make mention of Cleophas when the Gospels mention a Mary being Cleophas’ wife. This harmonizes with it being Cleophas whom the former passage states is mentioned in the Gospels.

            NOWHERE do the fragments of Hegessipus read nor contain the statement, “Symeon, of whom the Gospels make mention”, do they?

            As far as Eusebius’s description of Judas as being one of τῶν φερομένων ἀδελφῶν, translated “the reputed brothers” and “the so-called brothers” — if my understanding is correct, “pheromenon” contains the sense of “carried along”, and thus likely is indeed significant, emphasizing that the recognition of Judas and the other three being Iesus’ direct brothers (rather than cousins) had been carried down from “way back” in the apostolic period.

            Your carefully-chosen phrasing, “…but the idea that the brothers of the Lord were in fact his cousins is not a groundless notion…” is a fine example of “question-marking” obscurantist tactics. I wouldn’t be surprised if it was one of those originally employed to justify variance from the prima facie revelation of the Gospels that Mary had four other sons.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            The phrase could be read as referring to Cleopas or to Symeon. The coincidence of the names of the sons of Mary, who is most likely the same Mary we are told is the Virgin Mary’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleopas, and the fact that Christ had to entrust his mother to the Apostle John make the case very compelling. If these 4 brothers were the sons of Mary, and she also had at least three daughters, as the text in the Gospels naming the 4 suggests, there would have been no reason for Christ to entrust her to anyone, because she would have had 7 or more children to pick from — most notably, James the Just, who was the first bishop of Jerusalem, and would have had no reason to not want to have cared for his own mother.

          • joesantus

            “If these 4 brothers were the sons of Mary, and she also had at least three [the Gospels merely state, “sisters”, plural, without saying how many, so perhaps you intended to write “at least two” ] daughters, as the text in the Gospels naming the 4 suggests, there would have been no reason for Christ to entrust her to anyone…”

            Huh? C’mon! I’m merely an agnostic here, not an ordained priest wielding Orthodox apologetics!

            As John 7:3-5 says and as other Gospel passages hint, during Iesus’s pre-resurrection ministry, “…for neither did his brethren believe in him.” Other Scriptures do seem to indicate they later changed their view of Iesus, but at the time of his crucifixion and burial, none of them seem to be present nor yet-believing.

            So, in the face of none of his own siblings believing on him at that point, in contrast to his mother believing him – and the potential intense family drama that could have ensued if the unbelieving siblings had taken Mary – Iesus had an excellent reason for entrusting Mary to the care of a “disciple…whom he loved” (John 19:25-27).

            And, you still haven’t answered me: Is linguistic ambiguity the best an allegedly unlimited deity should be able to achieve for a written revelation?

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            Human language is by its very nature, less than perfectly precise. The statement that his brethren did not believe on him is a general statement referring to his kinsmen. It is highly unlikely that St. James the Just would have become the first bishop of Jerusalem, and presided over the Council in Acts 15, had he been among those brethren that did not believe on him. St. Jerome makes the case that St. James the Just is the same as James, the son of Alpheus (Kalphi being the Hebrew name of the Father, and Clopas being a Hellenized form of the same name. That does not seem implausible to me. And St. James was a man of such piety that he was respected by those in the Church and without. And according to Josephus, some believed that the fall of Jerusalem was God’s punishment for the martyrdom of St. James.

            Furthermore, the Tradition of the Church is that the Virgin Mary continued to reside with the Apostle John until her death. Which explains why St. John drops out of the picture of the book of Acts. St. John was the longest lived of the Apostles, and so the traditions about him are very strong, and several later figures were among his disciples.

          • joesantus

            {EDIT: added 3 hours later to this post: You stated, “It is highly unlikely that St. James the Just would have become the first bishop of Jerusalem, and presided over the Council in Acts 15, had he been among those brethren that did not believe on him.”

            Yet, Scripture expressly posits a clear instance of a man having been an unbeliever but later believing and subsequently being chosen for high ecclesiatical authority: Saul of Tarsus. In Saul’s case, he was not only an unbeliever but a persecutor; and was not merely appointed a bishop but given an apostleship. So, it’s not at all “…highly unlikely that St. James the Just would have become the first bishop of Jerusalem, and presided over the Council in Acts 15, had he been among those brethren that did not believe on him….” is it?}

            “Human language is by its very nature, less than perfectly precise.”
            Complete agreement from me — if the context and parameters are “human nature”.

            But your version of almighty “God” is neither intrinsically nor extrinsically limited by human nature, according to your Orthodox theology, is “He”? Which means, unless you concede that Scripture is merely another human book and ultimately the product of human nature, that human nature needn’t have limited nor made less-than-precise the writing of the “Scriptures”. A God who supposedly created ex nihilo, sustains all time, space, and matter, and will infallibly judge every single soul he’s created since Adam, and is purported to be the one who created human nature (or at least foreseen the limitations of “fallen” human nature) should certainly have had no problem overseeing a few words to avert (or at least minimize) misinterpretation, shouldn’t “he”?

            So, I ask again: Is such linguistic ambiguity the best an allegedly unlimited deity should be able to achieve for a written revelation?

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            God could speak in a perfect language to us, we just wouldn’t be able to understand it, because we are human. God condescends to speak to us in ways that we can comprehend the same way a parent speaks at a lower level to their children so that they can understand it — only the difference is infinitely greater. St. John Chrysostom speaks about the condescension of God to human language with a great deal of regularity.

          • joesantus

            “God could speak in a perfect language to us, we just wouldn’t be able to understand it, because we are human. God condescends to speak to us in ways that we can comprehend the same way a parent speaks at a lower level to their children so that they can understand it — only the difference is infinitely greater”

            Yep, and that might be a reasonable explanation IF the God you purport was as limited in “his” capacities as are human parents and was not the all-powerful, all-knowing, all-foreknowing, sovereign deity you claim, with whom, in contrast to men, (to loosely cite Luke 1:37 and 18:27) “nothing is impossible.” If “God” was able to “condescend” as humans parents do well enough for you to comprehend what you stated above about “Him” and speaking, then why wasn’t he able to “condescend’ well enough to ensure no ambiguities are extant in the “Scriptures”?

            And, apparently, human parents can do a better job then your version of God — for, human parents communicate such that their children, as you said, “can understand it” — yet God, for all his alleged infinitely greater omni- attributes, failed to communicate in a way that prevented “his children” from misunderstanding the text.

            Do you see that you’re merely making excuses for why your version of deity hasn’t done what the limitless powers you attribute to “him” should have enabled “him” to do?

            (BTW, lol…in case the fact has been forgotten in our long discussion, I DO agree that the Scriptures condemn homosexuality, and that a practicing homosexual cannot therefore be a Christian without “repenting” of and ceasing from homosexual behavior. As an agnostic, I have zero issue with homosexuality and in fact I support gay marriage — but I have to submit that an objective, prima facie reading of the New Testament text yields a condemnation of homosexuality. I completely disagree with “apostle Paul’s” opinions, but I think it’s clear that Paul held them.)

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            St. Paul was not even allowed to see the Apostles for 3 years after his conversion. He was not made the head of the Church of Jerusalem. His role as Apostle become prominent because of his work as a missionary… not because he was handed a leadership role over an existing community.

            St. James was made the bishop of the all-important city of Jerusalem, very early on.

            God is not limited, however we are. We are finite beings, and by the very nature of being finite, there are limits to our ability to understand. Also, the fact that you have a Jewish accent to most of the New Testament actually adds to the credibility of the texts. Had they all been written at a high level of standard Greek, people like you would be arguing that they could not have been written by Galilean fishermen. The Epistle to the Hebrews is written in a high level of Greek, and that is one of the primary arguments made by most Protestant scholars against Pauline authorship. So the fact that God allowed human finger prints on the texts of the NT is a mark of authenticity, not the reverse. But using limited human beings, God has conveyed His truth to us in the Scriptures. Understanding them properly requires that we put ourselves in the context of the Church, and we do some work. St. Augustine points out that if everything in Scripture came too easily to us, we would not place any value on it. As it is, there is low handing fruit in Scripture that everyone can easily understand, and then there are parts of Scripture that require a great deal of work to understand. So on the one hand, he supplies us with what we need, but on the other we are spurred on to diligent study.

            If you can tell me how an infinite God could speak to us in some way other than language we finite humans are capable of understanding, I would be interested in hearing it. The fact is, you have simply posited that it could have been better, but not really how.

            You may say, “Well, He could have given us a text that we wouldn’t have any questions about.” But if he had, would the people of past centuries have been able to understand it? We are all limited by language, culture, and time. Our culture today is very different from the cultures of the time of the Apostles. Human speech cannot be trans-cultural. It is always from a specific culture.

    • WilmRoget

      Your false accusation is an example of sin. Please repent.

      • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

        Your assertion is an example of a gratuitous assertion, which according to the rules of logic can be denied with equal gratuity… so: Is not!

        • WilmRoget

          Your claim is false, but ironically, it does describe your initial post. You made a false accusation, and followed it up with another false accusation, and a dismissal.

          Do you think that simply dismissing every argument you cannot refute somehow makes you right?

          Now, you have a burden that you placed upon yourself – to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that your accusation: “This article is an example of Obscurantegesis” is accurate.

          I think 25 points, with examples, would be sufficient to prove your case.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            I am not making gratuitous assertions on the topic at hand. I have linked to articles I have written, which provide extensive documentation to back them up. But there is an entire book on the subject by Robert Gagnon, and that book has been highly praised by a number of Biblical scholars of very high reputation in the field: http://www.amazon.com/The-Bible-Homosexual-Practice-Hermeneutics/dp/0687022797 Refute that.

          • WilmRoget

            “I am not making gratuitous assertions on the topic at hand.”

            Yes, you are.

            “I have linked to articles I have written”

            Appealing to your own authority is rather fallacious.

            ” But there is an entire book on the subject by Robert Gagnon,”

            And there are many books by other scholars refuting his work. Nice appeal to authority though.

            You made a claim about this article, and have provided no evidence to back that up.

            Now, you were asked to provide 25 specific points, with examples, to back up your accusation, and you dodged. I’m upping the ante – you need 35 specific points to prove your claim of “Obscurantegesis” now.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            Clearly you have not read the articles in question, because they are not based on my personal authority. They provide rational arguments with documentation. In a rational discussion, you would engage those arguments with counter arguments, and provide contrary documentation.. if you were capable of doing so. Gagnon’s book has been well received by recognized experts of high reputation in the field of Biblical scholarship. Name one book which refutes it and has similar or higher praise from such scholars. You can’t, and you won’t.

          • WilmRoget

            “Clearly you have not read the articles in question,”

            Your fantasies about me not relevant, and your excuse is not accurate. Pointing to your own work is in fact invoking your personal authority.

            “In a rational discussion, you would engage those arguments with counter arguments,”

            Since you do not do that here – why are you raising an issue that makes you look bad?

            ‘Gagnon’s book has been well received by recognized experts of high reputation in the field of Biblical scholarship.”

            And it has been trashed by recognized experts of high reputation in the field of Biblical scholarship.

            “Name one book” You keep demanding evidence from others, while providing none yourself.

            “You can’t, and you won’t.”

            Your gratuitous assertion does not help you, but it does accentuate your hypocrisy.

            At this point, you are going to need 45 specific points, from the article by Mr. Sandlin, that demonstrate”Obscurantegesis”, to avoid looking dishonest.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            You say Gagnon’s book has been trashed by experts of high reputation in the field of Biblical Scholarship… name a few.

          • WilmRoget

            You claimed “This article is an example of Obscurantegesis.”

            Name 95 specific points that prove your accusation.

            The more you dodge, the more you demonstrate that your accusation was sin.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            You are not the arbiter of rational discourse. Your refusal to name the scholars you claim have refuted Gagnon’s book demonstrates that you do not know what you are talking about, and are simply making assertions. I can name the scholars who have endorse his book, if you want to see who I am talking about.

          • WilmRoget

            “You are not the arbiter of rational discourse”

            But you presume that you are? That is the sin of pride.

            “Your refusal to name the scholars”

            I made no refusal. None. Your falsehood about me again demonstrates that none of your claims can be trusted. But you have spent 5 days doing anything but substantiating your vicious claim against Mark Sandlin:

            “This article is an example of Obscurantegesis.”

            So once again, please name 95 specific points that prove your accusation. The more you dodge, the more you demonstrate that your accusation was sin.

            “demonstrates that you do not know what you are talking about, and are simply making assertions.”

            That applies to you then, since you have yet to provide anything to back up your accusation against Mark Sandlin. By your own reasoning, you do not know what you are talking about, you were simply making degrading, negative, vicious assertions to besmirch the reputation and attack the character of Mark Sandlin.

          • WilmRoget

            I should point out that I recognize you from Huffington Post, where you frequently pulled this same basic stunt – accuse some writer of something, without a shred of evidence to back up the accusation, and then when challenged, issue a new set of accusations and demands in a lengthy stream of noise and obfuscation.

            I have a theory why you have repeatedly dodged your duty of substantiating your accusation (“This article is an example of Obscurantegesis.”) against Mr. Sandlin.

            I think you really have no case. I think you were just being nasty and insulting and dismissive because you really are not able, as was so consistently the case at Huffington Post, to substantiate your claim with anything beyond appeals to long-dead, fallible writers who also endorsed evils like slavery.

            I think that you know that if you actually provided evidence to back up your accusation, Mr. Sandlin, or I, or any progressive Christian participating here, would readily demonstrate that you were in error. I think you’ve realized that if you get specific, you will end up looking very bad indeed, and that your only hope of saving face is to continue to dash about raising a smokescreen of accusations and red herrings.

            You may also be worried that if anyone digs too much into the idea of Obscurantegesis, they’ll conclude that Mr. Gagnon, whose reputation for writing 50 page dissertations on obscure greek declensions that appear in a handful of rare texts rarely read outside of the Vatican library, has made him infamous among less egotistical Christians and scholars, is a master of that particular art.

            But of course, all you have to do is provide 75 detailed points from Mr. Sandlin’s essay that demonstrate Obscurantegesis on his part, with substantiated citations (from someone other than yourself) to affirm your conclusion.

            That really is not too much to ask of you, when you have come to Mr. Sandlin’s blog and accused him so grievously.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            I have referred you to my articles in which I lay out the case in detail. Gagnon’s book is an encyclopedic response on the question. You have yet to engage any substantive point I have made, nor any that Gagnon has made. Have you actually read his book?

          • WilmRoget

            “I have referred you to my articles in which I lay out the case in detail.”

            I’m glad you brought this up again, because I think your antics here constitute spamming, are reprehensible, and that you are exploiting Mr. Sandlin, whom you slandered.

            It is clear that you are using this site to create external links to your own in order to raise your position in google searches. I find that reprehensible, and perhaps even a form of stealing. I am surprised that the moderators here have not removed those posts for being spam.

            “You have yet to engage any substantive point I have made,”

            Your abusive lies demonstrate how thoroughly evil the belief ‘homosexuality is sin’ is, for its defenders clearly cannot act with civility or integrity.

            Once again, you made an accusation, you have a huge and ever growing burden to substantiate that claim (though I’m going to stop at the symbolically significant 95).

            You need to stop dancing around and either put up concrete evidence to back up your claim, or repent and apologize to Mr. Sandlin.

            You see, and no one should have to explain this to you, until you specify exactly what you perceive to be ” Obscurantegesis” on Mr. Sandlin’s part, neither he nor anyone else can challenge or rebut your claim. It is simply an evil and wicked slander – that conveniently contains a link to your own website to raise its status in google’s analytics.

  • Giauz Ragnarock

    Something I haven’t brought up before: Suppose Jesus is real. Either he or his followers or both create the writings we harmonized, translated, and cut down to size to create The Bible. I look at passages like the ones above and think how irresponsible it all is (telling people to stone others who fcould apparently just ask for forgiveness and such). I look at passages calling Jews murderers and sons of the devil and claiming that Jesus blood is on their hands and those of their descendends. I look at all the passages uing ‘slavery’. I look at what people thought was wisdom from those passages and what it lead to in the past 2K years, and I think (assuming Jesus exists), “How irresponsible!”

    • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

      The Bible does not call Jews in general murderers or sons of the Devil… it says that of those Jews who rejected Christ, and who were trying to kill him, and eventually did so. The bible does not say that the blood of Christ is on the hands of the Jews and their children… it quotes those Jews who call for Christ to be crucified as saying “His blood be on us, and on our children.” As for slavery, see http://fatherjohn.blogspot.com/2013/09/stump-priest-slavery.html

      • Giauz Ragnarock

        But what would be the point in telling readers about what was said about Jews or what they (very surreally) supposedly said? By callous use of the pen by (supposedly) the holy spirit of Jesus, Christians got it in their heads that Jews were to blame for all kinds of bad stuff. We may not of had the Holocaust if Hitler had not read Martin Luther’s and Catholics’ writings based on the stuff written about Jews in the Bible (not to mention Jews to this day still see no merit at all in New Testament/Christian claims- and they come to those conclusions by reading the Tanakh!).

        • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

          With the exception of the Gospel of Luke and the Book of Acts, all of the New Testament writers were Jews themselves. Hitler was not a Christian as an adult. He was not motivated by reading Luther, he was motivated by reading Nietzsche. http://www.activehistory.co.uk/ib-history/extended-essay-history-samples/nietzsche.pdf

          • Giauz Ragnarock

            His entire upbringing was saturated by the writings of Luther (see “Positive Christianity” and antisemitism in Europe), who read those Biblical passages and the writings of Catholicism and applied them to the Jews of his day (they argued against the accusations of Christianity). Where might Nietzsche have picked up Jew-targeting thoughts? Also, the New Testament scrolls/fragments are of debatable authorship, a well-known fact.

          • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

            Hitler was raised a Roman Catholic, in Austria, which was a devoutly Catholic country. He was not immersed in Martin Luther’s writings. He used some of Luther’s antisemitic statements to his own ends, but Nietzsche was a real influence… and Nietzsche hated Christianity with a passion.

  • Tamra Bryan

    In my understanding, it wasn’t the rhythm method that got Onan in trouble back in Genesis 38:9, it was not wanting to fulfill an obligation to raise up an heir for his brother. This is the same sort of thing the Sadducees were talking to Jesus about in Mark.

    This practice seems to have been meant to preserve family names, as well as to provide a means for a widow to be cared for where she was already established, as very few women were able to possess or inherit land. Incidentally, I have also heard people use Gen. 38:9 as a Biblical mandate against masturbation – using the whole ‘spilling seed on the ground’ thing.

    I believe love is the underlying guidance system for living life. Love God. Love your neighbor. Lay down your life for a friend. Easy to say; not so easy to live. I hear of people, young and old, who die trying to shield their classmates, families, students from bombs, bullets, tornadoes, and I realize that they practiced that very love Jesus taught.

    C.S. Lewis makes a great allegorical point in “The Last Battle” regarding this.

    “For I and he are of such different kinds that no service which is vile can be done to me, and none which is not vile can be done to him. Therefore if any man swear by Tash and keep his oath for the oath’s sake, it is by me that he had truly sworn, though he know it not, and it is I who reward him. And if any man do a cruelty in my name, then, though he says the name Aslan, it is Tash whom he serves and by Tash his deed is accepted.”

  • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

    One more question WilmRoget, if the early Christians were perfectly cool with loving mutual homosexual relationships, how do you account for the Greco-Roman world going from being accepting of homosexuality as a pagan culture, to rejecting it when it embraced Christianity?

    • WilmRoget

      How do I account for your unsubstantiated claim made without any details?

      OK – you are a dishonest fraud who hates GLBTQ people so much, you’ll do anything to incite violence against us.

      Now, how do you account for your continued inability to back up your accusation against Mark Sandlin?

      • http://www.saintjonah.org/ frjohnwhiteford

        I have backed up my statements about this article. You simply do not like what I have had to say. In this case, you refuse to answer an honest question, because there is no good answer that helps your position.

        • WilmRoget

          “I have backed up my statements about this article.”

          I have been through every reply you have made to me, you have not substantiated your accusation. Not even slightly. You absolutely have not provided 95 points, as requested.

          But let me guess – your posts were deleted. Elves stole them from the servers and are holding your posts hostage in a dark and dangerous dungeon. The New World Order is removing your posts, in an unholy alliance with the Coalition of Pan Galatic GargleBlaster Retailers, LTD.

          ” You simply do not like what I have had to say.”

          Your derogatory fantasies accomplish nothing.

          “In this case, you refuse to answer an honest question,”

          I made no refusal. I answered your dishonest question.