How I Went from There to Here: Same Sex Marriage Blogalogue

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Rod, as I mentioned to you in an email, I thought it might be interesting to start our same sex marriage blogalogue by telling a bit of our stories — about how we came to our respective positions on the issue.  So, here’s my story.  I’m looking forward to meeting you at lunch tomorrow.

I have a couple of vivid memories of the family room — we called it the “TV room” — in the house in which we lived until I was nine.  The first was asking my mom about streaking, right during the streaking boom of 1974 — that would have made me six-years-old.  I think I’d heard the song, “The Streak.”  Having been a student at UC-Berkeley in the mid-60s, my mom was quite familiar with nudity on campus (ahem, witnessing it, not participating in it; her senior year roommate was a nudist).

The second is a similar memory.  I don’t know what I was watching with my younger brother, Andrew, but the word “gay” was used.  I remember walking into the kitchen, my brother trailing me, and asking my mom what “gay” meant.

It must have been one of those moments when a parent instinctively knows that it’s time for a sit-down chat, and that’s exactly what she did.  I don’t remember exactly how she explained same-sex love to us, but I do vividly remember one thing she said.  “Tony and Andrew,” she said, looking at us intently, “I want you to know that your father and I will still love you no matter whom you love.  And you can always bring home, to our house, anyone you love.”

I suppose what struck my seven-or-eight-year-old self was that her statement implied that there were families in which being gay was not acceptable, in which family members were not necessarily allowed to bring home the person they loved, particularly if the lovers were of the same gender.

From there, I didn’t think much about homosexuality for many years.  I didn’t know any gay kids in junior high or high school — well, at least I didn’t know any who admitted they were gay — the Edina, Minnesota of my youth wasn’t the most diverse community.

Of course, I did have gay friends, and I didn’t know it.  My best friend in 9th grade, for instance, was constantly being called “fag” by others in the junior high.  I didn’t think much of it, since Steve seemed not much different than I.  We spent most of our time together at church, and we were both considered leaders in the youth group.

I lost touch with Steve during high school.  Years later, our junior high pastor, Paul, told me that Steve had recently died of AIDS.  Paul reached out to Steve’s family to offer condolences and offer to perform the memorial service, but Steve’s dad responded to Paul with vehement anger. He told Paul that he blamed Steve’s death on the church and that he would never step foot in a church again.

The same goes for high school and college.  I had gay friends, but I didn’t find out they were gay until years later when they came out.

When it came to what I thought about homosexuality as a Christian, I pretty much walked the middle of the road.  I’ve always thought that all persons should be afforded the same rights and no one should be discriminated against.  But I also knew that the biblical prohibitions to homosexual sex should be taken seriously.  And I remember quite a few debates in which I argued against homosexuality using the argument from natural law, the book of Genesis, and my own pithy deal-closer, “Look, the parts don’t fit.  The plumbing’s not right.  That’s how we know how God feels about it.”

Aside from that rather crass and unsophisticated argument, I didn’t talk about it much and didn’t think about it much.  Confronted with a gay couple who wanted to teach Sunday school, the church staff on which I was serving in the late 1990s studied the issue, read a book (Homosexuality in the Church: Both Sides of the Debate) about it, and took a vote.  We were each given a sheet of paper with a line on it that represented a spectrum.  On one end was “Shouldn’t be members” and on the other end was “Ordained.”  Between were “Members only,” “Teach Sunday School,” “Deacons and Church Council,” and “Weddings.”  When plotted out, the majority of our large church staff clustered around the middle, allowing gays to serve as laypersons in leadership, but stopping short of blessing gay marriages/unions.

As I gained a little prominence as an author in the youth ministry world, people began asking me my opinion on homosexuality.  I often quoted one of my seminary professors, Bill Pannell, who was involved in the civil rights movement.  I had lunch with him during my last semester at seminary and as we drove back to campus he said to me, “Civil rights and abortion will be nothing compared to how the church has to deal with homosexuality.  I’m glad it’s your generation and not mine who’ll have to figure that out.”

With that in mind, I always responded, “I’m holding that issue in abeyance.  I haven’t made up my mind yet, and I’m in no hurry to.  Homosexuality,” I would say, “I one issue that I don’t want to get wrong.”

And yet, all the time I could feel myself drifting toward acceptance that gay persons are fully human persons and should be afforded all of the cultural and ecclesial benefits that I am.  (“Aha!” my critics will laugh derisively, “I knew he and his ilk were on a continuous leftward slide!”)

In any case, I now believe that GLBTQ can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (at least as much as any of us can!) and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state.

Well, I suppose this blogalogue will be a test of whether I have good theological and philosophical reasons for supporting the rights of GLBTQ persons to marry, or whether I’ve simply caved to the mushy inclusivity of pluralized nothingness.  In either case, Rod, I’m looking forward to this conversation, and I’m praying that it is ultimately glorifying of God. (Read Rod’s reply here.)

  • tripp fuller

    Thanks for being honest and sharing your story. I agree with you and am interested in just how civil a dialogue you can have.

  • http://pomomusings.com Adam Walker Cleaveland

    Tony – thanks man. Obviously this type of blogalogue could only happen once you were not “the” spokesperson for Emergent – but I’m glad that you can have this type of conversation now. I agree with Tripp, and I do hope that the dialogue can be civil, but I’m not optimistic at all about the the comments remaining civil. I’d love to be wrong on this one, but I don’t think I’ve seen conversations like this in the blog-world remain civil around this issue…

  • http://pugnaciousirishman.wordpress.com Rich Bordner

    Tony,
    Hey..I’m a first time poster…hello. :)
    I really don’t want to start a Animal-House-like foodfight, but I do have a question: where does Scripture figure into your decision?

  • http://thingsthelordtoldme.blogspot.com/ brian

    What’s next Tony? Wow. Do you have any regard for God’s Word? Any?

  • http://www.lovefiercely.blogspot.com Cathryn Thomas

    Ok, so it was Tripp on Twitter that nudged to pop over…. – Dude- will be praying… that is quite a fire storm your about to start. Loved your honesty though. Shalom! cathryn

  • http://www.legerity.wordress.com John

    Hi Tony,
    Let me be straight up firstly – I disagree with your position. But I would like to hear and understand what you are saying. I think it would be helpful for those of us who do disagree but who would like to hear you clearly, if you could explain biblically to us how you get to this position.
    I read your post a couple of times and it does seem to me that much of what you are saying is based on your reflection on your experiences rather than God’s Word being reflected on and influencing and informing how you understand your experiences.
    One point I would like to take issue with you on though is your implication that those who do not support gay marriage regard gay persons as not “fully human persons”.
    I think you have blurred the categories (and I hope not on purpose?), I do regard homosexuals as fully human persons but as those who (like us all) are sinful. An example would be a prostitute – just because she is engaging in illicit sexual practices it does not make her any less human. But it equally does not mean I am discriminating against her if I do not support the legalisation of prostitution.

  • http://www.naturistspace.org Sara

    There is a difference in nudism or naturalism and pornography. Nudism believes in the freedom from the restrictions of clothing, Pornography is for sexual gratification. Naturist looks like you and I and come from all walks of life. You will find it to be a relaxing lifestyle that is free of the daily stress we all experience. Naturist groups like naturistspace.org are looking for people who are open minded and want to enjoy the company of others of a like mind.

  • Your Name

    __ IN GOD’S PRESENCE all are welcome, whether heterosexual or homosexual…..’judge not that you will not be judged’…..

  • http://newreformation.ning.com Frank!

    Tony,
    I’m glad to see you and Tod (I’m a fan) are having this blogalogue. So, could you unpack what you mean when you say,”should be afforded all of the cultural and ecclesial benefits that I am.”
    Can you also explain when you say,”their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state”, does this mean churches should bless same sex unions, or perform gay marriages? I agree with the Pugnacious Irishman when he asked what role scripture played in your decision.
    Brian– try to interact before you go to where you stand. I think it might be a bit more fruitful.

  • NightLad

    I think it’s great what your mother had to say to you and your brother when you were young.
    My mother raised me and my sister with a similar message. When I came out to my mother years later she immediately hugged me and said, “You are our son and we love you and we are proud of you.” (My dad said, “You’re gay?” and shrugged. ;P)
    As for myself, when I speak about same-sex marriage I tend to keep it in the scope of civil-secular law. That is to say, I address it as being the same type of civil marriage contract accessible to divorced Catholics or atheists; i.e., not inherently religious.
    In a nation where same-sex marriage is recognized (and I live in one), Catholics continue to refuse to re-marry Catholics who have been divorced and homosexuals, and no government or person has a say either way. Except perhaps people within the Catholic faith, should they chose to.
    But that is not a fight for me. I’m not Christian. I’m concerned with the civil, secular type of marriage that forms the basis of the contract itself. I’m concerned with ensuring that a same-sex couple who have been together for 40 years are not treated like strangers under the law. That’s my only wish.
    I’ve been told by many Christians that ‘the People are the Church’. For that reason, I believe that any lasting change to come to a faith can only come from within.
    Good luck.x

  • http://thecorner.typepad.com/ bob c

    This is gorgeous & messy & complex, Tony.
    Thanks.
    This statement is simple in its construction, but explosive in our culture:
    I now believe that GLBTQ can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (at least as much as any of us can!) and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state.
    There is so much hope in this. And hope in the truth that love wins – it always wins.

  • Michael C.

    So, your statement is that you believe this… why do you believe it? Because it seems right to you?
    I suppose if you re-define Biblical Christianity to mean: what ever I believe is Biblical Christianity, and there is no outside authority to judge it – then yes it can be in accord.
    If however you mean Biblical Christianity as judged by the Bible – then no it cannot be in accord. The Bible is rather simple on this section. The Bible defines Marriage (man should leave his family – joined to a woman) and prohibits homosexuality (both in OT and NT).
    I’m sorry to say but these arguments that I’ve heard from the Emergent movement seem to rely a whole lot more pleading and a lot less on Biblical exegesis (our rule and faith – especially when you say ‘Biblical’ Christianity).

  • http://www.astatum.net Andrew Tatum

    Tony, I’m glad you’ve posted on this as well. I can’t say that I’m in total agreement with you but I respect your voice and am looking forward to your more developed thoughts on this. I’ve even posted some of my own thoughts as well and I’d love to hear your perspective on the questions I’ve raised regarding transgendered persons and the church.
    Grace & peace,
    A.T.

  • H.S.

    I can understand people saying that the Bible endorses marriage between men and women, but what I can’t understand is where it specifies one man and one woman, which I presume is what people who say homosexual marriage is unBiblical are advocating for.
    Where does the Bible forbid polygamy? It seems to me that the form marriage takes in the Bible is usually polygamous; I can’t recall any passage that forbids polygamy.

  • Your Name

    > H.S.
    See Gen 2:24. The Bible forbids polygamy by showing us what Marriage is (man leaves family – joined to wife in unity – singular). Then we get a large amount of bad examples. Solomon and David being some of the most prolific. And what happens? David and Bathsheba and Solomon and foriegn women (then idol worship).
    I mean Samson is set apart to not be married though has multiply relationships with women (outside of marriage). When do we try to prove things based on bad examples in the Bible?

  • rob

    Great dialog here! I really respect Tony and his honesty in this discussion. As someone who considers themselves part of the emerging conversation, I have a difficult time with this issue. The treatment of GLTB has been atrocious to say the least, no denying. And allowing gay marriage as a matter of civil discourse is fine with me. However, I’m struggling with being able to say that practicing homosexual folks are honoring a Kingdom ethic. Of course, we all struggle with certain aspects of that in our own lives, but that doesn’t mean I don’t identify my pride for example as sin. I name it so that i can deal with it.
    One thing that I’ve learned as part of the emerging conversation is the narrative approach the Scriptures, as well as their contextual nature. I also view them as our framing story. That being said, I can’t square a few things in regards to this. If someone can help me to see where I’m misguided, I’m more than ready to look at it through a different lens. My narrative/framing story lens tells me this: the beginning of Genesis, whether myth or not (i tend to lean towards myth), portrays the union of male and female as being joined together to become one (not called marriage yet). Jesus, when asked about marriage, refers back to that same “story”. Paul also refers back to that same story. To me, and again, please correct me, that provides a trajectory story that says that the sexual union is intended for a male/female. Am I missing something here?

  • Michael

    > H.S.
    See Gen 2:24. The Bible forbids polygamy by showing us what Marriage is (man leaves family – joined to wife in unity – singular). We see later quoted in Mark 10 that God made them male and female (which would seem again to show God created marriage with the ideal state of man/woman). Then we get a large amount of bad examples. Solomon and David being some of the most prolific. And what happens? David and Bathsheba (audeltry and murder) and then Solomon and foriegn women (then idol worship).
    I mean Samson is set apart to not be married though has multiply relationships with women (outside of marriage). When do we try to prove things based on bad examples in the Bible?

  • http://www.religioused.org/tensegrities Mary Hess

    I’m glad to see you enter this conversation, and would add that from a Catholic standpoint — where we believe marriage is a sacrament — it can sometimes be a lot harder to make this argument. But I do — as do other Catholics — by pointing out that the sign of the sacrament of marriage (love poured outward, in part through procreation) can be and is present with gay couples.
    Archbishop Hunthausen of Seattle long ago wrote a wonderful pastoral letter on the sacrament of marriage (http://www.usccb.org/laity/marriage/statements.shtml) in which you could essentially claim the same statements on behalf of gay couples, if you simply re-worked what was understood by the term “procreation.” I think it’s high time that we do this! Supporting marriage for gays is essentially a very conservative commitment.
    I also think it’s important for those of us in faith communities to take an active stance on this issue, because in large part it really IS a religious one. I think the State ought to get out of the marriage business entirely — allow the legal, civil elements to exist as civil arrangements — and let those of us in communities of faith figure out what we mean by the sacramental elements.

  • http://julieclawson.com Julie Clawson

    Thanks for sharing your experience, I look forward to reading the details as this goes along.
    After reading the comments, I’m hoping you will address at some point the sex is for procreation mentality that has swept the protestant church recently. This whole debate hinges less often on the bible and more on our views of sex.

  • A Walker

    The State can’t get out of the marriage issue, as the heterosexual relationship is the machinery responsible for producing and educating the citizenry.
    The State has an interest in preserving and protecting the very machinery from which it is derived. Can children be born by the millions and a State not have an interest in how these citizens will be cared for? Of course not.
    And by the way, Catholicism argues that the necessity of the traditional marriage contract arises from natural biology and anthropology—namely, from the mass procreation of humanity by heterosexuals and the rights and responsibilities associated with that enterprise.
    Nature simply hasn’t tasked homosexuals with the responsibility of procreating and educating billions of infants.

  • Your Name

    A Walker: Your statement that “gay marriage” is a romance contract while heterosexual marriage is a family contract ignores the fact that many thousands of gay couples are bringing up children. Should we deny these children the benefits of married parents merely because of who their parents are?____Additionally, many heterosexual couples are not independently fertile either. Should we invalidate their marriages? Should we deny marriage contracts to heterosexuals when the woman is past menopause or when the man has had a vasectomy?__

  • http://thingsthelordtoldme.blogspot.com/ brian

    Tony, how dare you show such a disdain for the Word of God, especially as a supposed Christian leader.
    You should be ashamed. This subject is very clear in God’s Word. You are pronouncing a blessing on what Gods calls shameful and wicked. I’ll let the Bible speak for itself…
    Jude 7: “Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities around them, since they in the same way as these indulged in gross immorality and went after strange flesh, are exhibited as an example, in undergoing the punishment of eternal fire.”
    1 Cor 6:9: “Or do you not know that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals”
    1 Timothy 1:9-10: “understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine,
    Romans 1:21-28: “For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. Claiming to be wise, they became fools, and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things. Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen. For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.”

  • Glenn

    “my own pithy deal-closer, “Look, the parts don’t fit. The plumbing’s not right. That’s how we know how God feels about it.”
    Tony, I’m not sure why that’s invalid as an argument. We’re not Gnostics are we? The physical, material body we were born with was created by God and his creation is good, right? That’s part of the problem I have with people who undergo sex-change operations. Part of the argument for transgendered persons seems to be the disregard for the actual physical body they do have! Part of why traditional marriage has been hetrosexual is the fact marriage recognizes that two different, distinct physical bodies unite and become one, something that can never happen when two male/female bodies connect sexually.

  • Glenn

    Sorry meant to say when two male or two female bodies connect.

  • Lisa C.

    Tony, I appreciate your comments and the conversation, however, I wonder why a gay Christian is not speaking on this matter. It feels similar to so many issues in the Church- white, heterosexual men are the speakers. My issue isn’t with you (Tony), but with Beliefnet for not having a conversation with the living this out. All that said- I think you have given a wonderful frame to the conversation.

  • A Walker

    In response to “yourname”…
    Marriage law is based around the 98% of heterosexual couples who produce billions of infants worldwide, not the .00000001% exceptions you cite. We don’t create social contracts around the rarest of events or phenomena; we create them around the dominant, occurring-everywhere kinds of events. Marriage is one of these social contracts, and it exists to protect women and children from economic injury/destitution arising from abandonment by a spouse. That’s what the contract stipulates.
    Two adult gay men or women have no such material risk requiring contract law.
    Given the biological realities here, “gay marriage” makes as much sense as “male breastfeeding.” Can we create men who breastfeed? Sure. Should we? No. Will we create men who breastfeed at any high rate of incidence requiring laws? No. Likewise, it makes little sense to talk about “gay marriage” or “gay reproduction.”

  • http://lchatwin.blogspot.com Les

    Tony
    I am really looking forward to the development of this conversation. I am the taxi-driving pastor you met in Sydney a few weeks ago. I have started a spiritual exploration group in a gay bar in my city.
    I recently blogged on my views on this issue which mirror yours it seems.
    Keep walking this courageous path. Remember what you told me at the meal – there are not “unchurched” (or gay) – just PEOPLE. Let’s learn to love people.
    The link to my own stance is at http://lchatwin.blogspot.com/2008/10/off-fence.html

  • Beth

    Hi A walker. Sorry about the Your Name post, I mistyped the robot-excluding text and when I retried it my name was gone. Infertility is not a 0.00000001% exception, it happens to the vast majority of heterosexual or lesbian couples eventually. Would you like to dissolve marriages at the age when infertility becomes dominat?

  • Your Name

    This is going to be an interesting conversation…____My long considered view is a call by God to:____a) Live a celibate life as a homosexual.__b) Be married as a heterosexual but have tendancy, or to be homosexual by nature (whether or not there is an assertion of ‘healing’).__c) Live in a life long monogomous homosexual relationship.____Are each perhaps the hardest things a human can be asked by God to do. Funnily enough I have met committed Christ followers who have made all three decisions. I do not think either can be said to be right or wrong, I believe though the church should help and support the decision making process and the difficulties that each involves. I have not yet met a church that does.____N

  • http://www.kevers.net/blog kevin

    Tony,
    Any chance you and Rod can mostly discuss homosexuality and ethics/theology/revelation? The political and civic discussions are interesting, but there’s a more fundamental question. Since I suspect there are a lot of Christians quite open to gay marriage (or at least civil unions) but morally opposed to homosexuality itself, a more fruitful discussion should, in my opinion, focus on the thornier of the two questions.

  • Andrew Sims

    Les, I really enjoyed and was encouraged by your post. Thank you!
    As a gay Christian I think its great that Tony has engaged with this issue in such a level headed way. Its a hot potato that lots of people won’t engage with unless they can just rant (That statement goes for hetero’s and homo’s alike!) I try to avoid conflict over this issue because I think that conflict and its ultimate conclusion, especially on this issue, always being a bitching session between militant-right-wing-conservative-evangelicals and militant-protest-marching-rainbow-flag-waving-gays. Is not edifying or conducive to a belief in the true nature of the love of God.
    I grew up knowing only that I was attracted to other guys and it never crossed my mind to have a relationship with a woman. When I hit my early 20′s I tried to have a relationship with a woman and found the concept of heterosexual love-making utterly repugnant and disgusting. I know it is necessary for the continuation of the human race but the idea of it makes me nauseous (Much as the idea of me jumping into bed with Brad Pitt might make some of you feel a bit queasy).
    Therefore I can understand why so many people get their knickers/boxer-briefs in a twist. My sex life is not open for discussion just because the “label” or “box” society forces me to identify with is controversial in the eyes of some right wing evo’s; any more than theirs is. God alone can judge and so I think the order of the day is love for everyone and to embrace their healthy and reciprocal love for each other.
    My relationship with The Almighty is pretty fantastic thanks! I love him to bits and he loves me! If I’ve never known any other feelings than homosexual ones, and God made me in his own perfect image am I not insulting God by trying to be something I’m not? Did he not create me to have life and live to the full?
    I dream of the day when I can stand next to my Mr. Right in a crowded church and publicly proclaim my love for him and be accepted as nothing more or less than two individuals who love each other! After that we’ll move to the country and get a Volvo estate, 2.4 kids, a caravan for weekends away, and a couple of Labradors into the bargain! Whats wrong with that? Nothing in my opinion; furthermore the Good Lord himself hasn’t voiced an objection!
    And to close… When that day comes, be you militant-right-wing-conservative-evangelicals or militant-protest-marching-rainbow-flag-waving-gays or somewhere between the poles. You will still be welcome to break bread with my family!

  • http://anziulewicz.livejournal.com Chuck Anziulewicz

    A. Walker writes, “Two adult gay men or women have no such material risk requiring contract law.” That isn’t exactly true.
    According to a statement I recently received in the mail from the Social Security Administration, my married spouse would be eligible for over $1400 per month (after retirement) in the event of my death. I think anyone would agree that $1400 per month is a pretty hefty chunk of change. However, it is money that my significant other would not be eligible for, because we would not be allowed to get married. I would like to provide for the financial well-being of my spouse, just as I’m sure any heterosexual would, but in essence I’m throwing away money on a fund that my partner cannot take advantage to in the event of my death.
    A. Walker also writes, “We don’t create social contracts around the rarest of events or phenomena; we create them around the dominant, occurring-everywhere kinds of events.”
    Let me reassure you: Those dominant, occurring-everywhere kinds of events” (i.e. heterosexual marriages) aren’t going anywhere. Even when Gay couples are at last granted full marriage equality, Straight couples will continue to date, get engaged, get married, and build lives and families together as they always have. Nothing about Gay couples getting married will ever change that. What WILL change is that at last law-abiding, taxpaying Gay Americans will have equal protection under the law.

  • Larry

    Brian, dude, be careful how you swing that Bible around; someone could lose an eye.
    Seriously, if I make a suggestion, look into how the New Testament writers used the Old Testament and then asks if their hermeneutics agrees with yours. I’m pretty sure you’ll find that it does not. Paul, for instance, changes Isaiah’s “the deliver will come to Zion” to “the deliverer will come from Zion”, evidently only because if fit his argument better. Paul is not the only New Testament writer guilty of this. Secondly, consider what was generally associated with homosexuality in the first century (pedophilia, debauchery, etc.) and then ask yourself if Biblical passages in question can really be applied to a couple in a long term, monogamous relationship.

  • http://pantheon.yale.edu/~kd47 Keith

    I doubt that a blog comments discussion is the place to pursue the tricky issues involved in understanding the relevant New Testament texts — issues like (one example) which if any of the Greek terms in the passages commonly cited should be translated and understood in context as applying to homosexuality in general, as opposed to, say, gay prostitution and/or pederasty. But I will here make a reading suggestion: Those who are wondering how anyone who takes the Bible seriously can end up with a position anywhere near to the one Tony takes, and really want to understand what might be behind such a position, might do well taking a look at THE NEW TESTAMENT AND HOMOSEXUALITY, by Robin Scroggs:
    http://www.amazon.com/New-Testament-Homosexuality-Robin-Scroggs/dp/0800618548
    It’s from the mid-80s, so it’s a bit dated, but it’s short, fairly interesting, and an easy read. I recommend it not as a mind-changer (though who knows?), but as a tool by which some readers may come to better understand the positions of their fellow believers which the readers think are obviously at odds with the clear teachings of the NT. It can serve that goal well, I think, because Scroggs’s approach to the relevant texts is quite similar to the approach taken by many Christians who end up with positions that open up the various facets of church life to gays. (“Many” — but not all, of course, and in particular, I don’t want to presume that Tony’s take on the relevant passages is like Scroggs’s.)
    I like Tony’s example of the church vote *along a spectrum*: “We were each given a sheet of paper with a line on it that represented a spectrum. On one end was ‘Shouldn’t be members’ and on the other end was ‘Ordained.’ Between were ‘Members only,’ ‘Teach Sunday School,’ ‘Deacons and Church Council,’ and ‘Weddings.’” I’d add other possibilities: Like on one end of the spectrum (here I assume we’re talking about *practicing* gays): “Should be put to death” (well, just to get things rolling!), “Shouldn’t be put to death, but should not be allowed to attend church”, “Should be allowed to attend church, but only if they are properly working on addressing their problem, and they cannot be *members* of the church”, etc. In the middle, there can be series like: “can attend, but not lead, Bible studies”, “can attend Bible studies, and can take a turn leading them, but cannot be the permanent leader of a Bible study”, “can be the permanent leader of a Bible study”, etc. I often approach the issue in such a way in discussion, asking people where exactly they draw the line, and what they think is clear in the Bible about where the line must be drawn. It’s interesting: I find a lot of people are amazingly confident in their ability to discern from the very texts I find so puzzling an extremely precise idea of just where the line should — and must! — be drawn by anyone who would take the Bible seriously.

  • cp

    John–
    Equating any random homosexual with a prostitute (which you attached the pronoun “she” to) is equally as ridiculous as equating any random heterosexual with a prostitute of any gender.
    I do not believe that homosexuality is in any way a sin, but if Christians who do believe it is a sin say that “hey, we’re all sinners, so we’re all equal”, then why not focus on eradicating the societal sins that actually do harm to others (aka. violence, crime, etc.)? Or why not attack the “minor” sins in our own lives instead? Fear?
    It seems a sin to try so vehemently to deny caring, committed love amongst peaceful fellow children of God.

  • A Walker

    To Beth, humans don’t create social contracts around the rarest exceptions to things (e.g., infertile sex) and then use that as the contract for the rule of things (fertile sex and the long-range responsibilities associated with it). You simply can’t use the same contract for both, as the economic scenarios are entirely different and thus require different contractual stipulations. Marriage is a long-term family contract that protects women and children from economic injury resulting from the exit of an abandoning spouse. And that applies to gays how?

  • http://thingsthelordtoldme.blogspot.com Brian

    Larry
    It is what it is. The bible is clear. I’d like to see you interact with the verses I posted…

  • http://doxologica.wordpress.com Clint

    Tony,
    I’m sad for you. To coddle a sin that Jesus suffered for is not kind or loving at all. You shut the gate to heaven in people’s faces. John Piper was right in telling you that you should not preach. You shouldn’t write either.
    May God grant you repentance.
    1 Cor. 2:2,
    Clint

  • http://biblethinktank.blogspot.com Tim Schmoyer

    Interesting thoughts.
    Let me react to your sentence towards the end of the post. “I could feel myself drifting toward acceptance that gay persons are fully human persons”
    agreed, we are all made in the image of God. There is no “drift” necessary. “I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made” (Ps 139). I don’t think there are any Christians that enter this discussion from any angle with the statement that “GLBTQ’s are subhuman.” No rational person says that.
    Next part of your statment:
    “and should be afforded all of the cultural and ecclesial benefits that I am.”
    I guess this is where orthodoxy parts way with [i-dont-really-want-to-label-your-cohort]. What does the Bible say about the practice of homosexuality (Read Romans 1, you all know the pertinent texts)? We want to be compassionate and gracious to all people and if we didnt want that, we shouldnt be in the ministry, but the Bible is very clear on this issue. Personally, I really wouldn’t be suprised or even concerned what the greater culture does with homosexual marriage. But to have the church honor sin is neither orthodox nor God-honoring. We don’t speak only in love, but in truth AND in love. If we don’t present the truth, we really do not love those we minister to. If we present the truth in an arrogant or ungracious way, then we do our Gracious God a disservice and misrepresent Him to those we minister to. The truth from the Word of God is that this practice is a sin and those who practice it are sinners. I will be the first to say that I am a sinner, but I confess and repent. For the Church to bless homosexual marriages and welcome practicing homosexuals into the ministry, the Church would be declaring that it is not a sin when the Scriptures clearly do. I’d rather stick with the Word even if it is not popular than ignore the Word of God to side with the word of men. “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts 5:29).
    For people who have sexual passions towards those of the same gender, the Church needs to encourage and equip them to fight these temptations just as heterosexuals fight their own porneo (sexual deviations/immoralities). We have tendencies, whether by nature or nurture, by faith we can fight temptation and win… “to stand firm against the wiles of the evil one” (Eph 6). But John, under the direction of the Spirit, is clear about unconfessed ongoing sin “no one born of God continually sins” (1 John 3:6, 5:18). John is much more extreme than I would state it, but hey, that’s God for you… no one continually sinning is born again… how could they be ministers for God?

  • Jason

    Oh, yeah…Robin Scroggs and the pedastry/specific homosexual acts argument…yawn. It’s amazing that liberals will continue to bring up the same old tired arguments that have been refuted before, hoping that unsuspecting, ignorant evangelicals will buy into them.
    Here is an excerpt from the Biblical Ethics article in the ESV Study Bible, for those who are interested:
    “In a long list of sins, Paul also includes “men who practice homosexuality” (1 Cor. 6:9).This phrase translates two different Greek terms: malakos means “soft” or “effeminate” and was commonly used in the Greco-Roman world to refer to the “passive” partner in homosexual acts, while arsenokoitÄ“s is a combination of Gk. arsÄ“n (meaning “man”) and koitÄ“ (here meaning “sexual intercourse”). The term arsenokoitÄ“s was apparently coined by Paul from the Septuagint (Greek translation) of Leviticus 20:13, and means (in plural) “men who have intercourse with men.” In 1 Timothy 1:10 Paul uses the same word arsenokoitÄ“s in the midst of vices derived from “the law” (here, the second half of the Ten Commandments), which means that this verse also should be interpreted as an absolute prohibition of male-with-male intercourse, in keeping with Leviticus 18:22; 20:13. Early Jewish interpretation of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, and early Christian interpretation of 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10, also show that these verses were understood as absolute prohibitions against all types of homosexual conduct.”

  • A Walker

    Chuck Anziulewicz Said: Heterosexual marriages aren’t going anywhere. Even when Gay couples are at last granted full marriage equality, Straight couples will continue to date, get engaged, get married, and build lives and families together as they always have. Nothing about Gay couples getting married will ever change that.
    A Walker replies:
    Absolutely wrong, Chuck. The legal stipulations of the gay marriage contract (temporal, easily dissolvable, romance based) are not at all the legal stipulations needed by heterosexual women and their children. As a result, the “gay contract,” if applied to heterosexuals, removes all legal protections from women and children, resulting in economic disaster.
    Heterosexual women and their children *need* the contractual stipulations of traditional marriage law, which provides stiff legal penalties against the fleeing spouse. Without those stipulations, women and children are doomed to destitution and poverty via the spouses who “love them and leave them.”
    Just as it wouldn’t make sense to reorder our society and contract law around “male breastfeeders,” it doesn’t make sense to reorder our society and marriage law around “gay non-reproducers.” Instead, it makes sense to order our society and contract law around the billions of heterosexuals whom nature has tasked with procreating and educating the citizenry.

  • http://pantheon.yale.edu/~kd47 Keith

    Oh, yeah…the ESV Study Bible. yawn. Well, that settles it.

  • http://www.novuslumen.net jeremy bouma

    folks! do any of you realize that this is a series? as in like post 5 of probably 20?
    all of these questions of “where do you get off?” or “how can you defend this in scripture?” are way premature. sit down. take a breath. take a cold shower. while I may not be entirely where Tony is, I think I can give him enough respect and space to share why and how he has arrived at this position, regardless of where I may fall.
    thanks for your boldness and courage to foster this sort of conversation, Tony. You’re my hero ;)
    -jeremy

  • Jason

    Tony,
    Whether the words used are unsophisticated or not, I don’t think that reproductive design and God’s command in Genesis to be fruitful and multiply is an unsophisticated argument. It’s one of the most powerful and poignant arguments in the debate.

  • http://pantheon.yale.edu/~kd47 Keith

    Sorry, Jason: I shouldn’t have sunk to that level. I’ll just say that I don’t find the passage you cite a “refutation” of anything. Many will agree with what you cite, but among those who do agree with you, and even among those who would/could never change their position, some might still want to know what’s behind the views of others, and toward that end I thought the book could be helpful. So, I guess all I was “hoping” for out of “unsuspecting, ignorant evangelicals” (wow! – was that supposed to be how you thought i think of them?!) was that maybe some might not know what could possibly behind the other position, and that that book might help.

  • Michael

    I realize you are somewhat in jest – Jeremy
    But how is it courage what Tony does? The culture around him will celebrate him. Those who stand up against the radical syncretism of the culture will be the ones persecuted (just give it time).
    Tony loses nothing from saying this. Those who disagree with his position will just be closed minded stodgy hate-filled Christians. I would take it as: if the culture around me agrees with me, maybe this path is a wee bit to wide.

  • Beth

    I already told you how: Thousands of gay couples raise kids. Those kids deserve protection.

  • A Walker

    –COMPARE THIS–
    Traditional Marriage: a life-long “family-raising” contract arising from the biological reality that heterosexuals mass-produce infants who have a normative right to long-range provision and education by the people who sired them. Stiff economic penalties are levied against the party who breaches the contract, so as to protect spouses and children from economic destitution caused by abandonment.
    –TO THIS–
    Gay Marriage: a temporal romance contract that is easily dissoluble with no material penalty to the party who abandons the relationship
    QUESTION: If you’re a heterosexual woman or a child, which marriage contract listed above do you want to have in place for your marriage situation?

  • A Walker

    Hey Beth,
    The stipulations of the gay marriage contract don’t protect children and ultimately must allow “unions” between cohabitants of any imaginable kind (a father and son, a grandmother and granddaughter, a brother and sister, three fraternity brothers, two men and two women, you name it. What possible rationalization do you have for permitting gays to marry but not these couples and groups?
    There are no reasons why it would be a problem to marry your adult child or your sibling or more than one person, once marriage law is extended to gay couples.

  • Your Name

    I would bow to the argument marriage benefits are primarily for family procreation. This would mean that a heterosexual couple that receives benefits but does not create a family unit by their own biology (no adoption or donation) be penalized.
    Another solution would be to provide benefits only to those marriages that produce children when they produce them. “Rights” don’t come into play until you have had children, once again naturally by your own biology.
    Fact is, people of the same gender are going to live together like they are married. Should they not receive the same monetary and cultural benefits as people that are married receive? Tax breaks, visitation, inheritance…..these are basic things.

  • Beth

    It’s the same contract, just with first party and second party instead of bride and groom.

  • http://gracerules.wordpress.com/ Liz

    Tony – Thank you so much for doing this. I don’t know for sure what I believe on this issue but am leaning towards what you stated. I don’t think scripture is that clear on this issue (although at one time I claimed it was – before I really began to search for myself and hear both sides). I also am thinking that when I cannot be absolutely sure if something is right or wrong that God will not be displeased with me if I choose love and acceptance (disclaimer: I am not talking about someone who is hurting someone else or taking advantage of someone else etc.) or if I choose to extend the same rights and privileges to someone else that I have or if I choose to help those who are oppressed or persecuted or rejected. Maybe that falls under what you call “simply caving to the mushy inclusivity of pluralized nothingness” – but for me it is trying to make sense of real life, trying to figure out what the heart of God is on this matter. I am ashamed to say that I was not a mother who sent out the message that your mother gave to you when you were six years old and so my son lived many years dealing with this issue alone. It is a long & painful story but today we have a wonderful relationship, but it still breaks my heart to think that he didn’t feel like he could come to me for so long (and I have to say he was right in his assessment). I am sure that someone will have a good argument for what I have presented here – heck, I probably used it myself at one time – but like so many other things, this whole issue changes when you put a face that you love on it…and it should. So now I keep hearing God asking “who do you love, Liz, who do you love?”

  • AMG

    “A Walker” – You wrote: “..the gay marriage contract (temporal, easily dissolvable, romance based)…”
    Wouldn’t this description pretty much apply to all marriage for at least the past 50 years, if not longer? Gays didn’t change “traditional marriage,” hetrosexuals did.
    But ok, for argument’s sake let’s say we add a penalty for those in a same-sex marriage who leave the relationship. Does that settle the issue once and for all?

  • http://pugnaciousirishman.wordpress.com Rich Bordner

    Tony,
    Seems like I’m not alone in my question: several of us have noted the lack of Scripture and reason in your post. You rely pretty heavily on experience. Experience isn’t bad per se, but balance is needed.
    I think it would be helpful to devote another post to explaining how you fit Scripture and reason into your view. It would help quell the worry (or maybe not…depends on your answer!) that you are out of balance.
    An additional concern is that with your views, the tail is wagging the dog as far as the Scripture/reason/experience relationship goes.

  • http://existentialpunk.com Existential Punk

    Tony,
    As a Christ-follower who is queer, i sure would appreciate you taking this space to delve into the misinterpretations of scripture regarding homosexuality. It’s a debate those strongly on either side will continue to disagree on, but for those on the fence, or who are open-minded, or who hold that life is not all black and white, i think would benefit from that conversation. Just my thoughts.
    i appreciate you opening yourself up to attacks to talk about an issue that needs discussion. You are brave and i really admire you. Thanks!
    Warmly,
    Adele

  • Jason

    Keith,
    Keith,
    I accept your apology, and I forgive you.
    The article I quoted was written by four biblical scholars–Dr. Wayne Grudem, Dr. Daniel R Heimbach, Dr. C. Ben Mitchell, and Dr. Craig Mitchell. They have done the hard exegetical work, as well as many others, and, with a bit of the work I have done, I believe that they have correctly interpreted not only those passages, but the theme of the Scriptures concerning homosexuality. Any and all forms of homosexuality are forbidden in the canon of Scripture.
    BTW, from my experience, liberals do think of many evangelicals in that way. I appreciate intellectual honesty, but I truly believe that the liberal interpretation of those passages do not hold up. Therefore, believing that, I am praying that the Holy Spirit will convict homosexuals of their sin (just as He convicts us of our sin), repent of their sinful lifestyle, place their trust in the true Christ as their Lord and Savior, and, with the Spirit’s power, be freed from that sin’s power. In addition, I am praying that those who are being deceived by those who would distort the Scriptures would have their eyes opened, and I am praying that those who are twisting those Scriptures would also be saved.
    I pray that true believers who visit this page will do the same. May God bring more souls into His Kingdom.

  • Jason

    Keith,
    Oops, grammar error. The sentence should read, “…but I truly believe that the liberal interpretation of those passages does not hold up.”
    I apologize for the error.

  • Ryan James

    Dear Tony,
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but weren’t more than 50% of Jesus’ words quotes or references to the OT? Shouldn’t we look to Christ as an example for how to apply scripture?
    Why have you not once quoted or mentioned God’s word in your post?
    At least for me it would be really helpful to hear how God’s word helped shape you throughout your story and helped bring you to your present conclusion.
    Ryan

  • Your Name

    Hi Adele,
    I’m curious what those misrepresentations are? We have marriage defined quite simple in Gen 2:24, reitterated in 1 Cor. 7 that those who are sexual temptated men and women should marry. Or rather a man should take a woman as a wife and vice verse. Then we have the very institution of marriage as a typology for Christ and his church – yet the imagery used is Bridegroom/Bride. So, it seems clearly marraige is designed for male and female. We have Paul in Rom 1:26-27 discussing what is the natural order of things to what is unnatural order.
    I guess I am confused as to how clearly the Bible speaks and how easily we dismiss it. God has defined marriage for us let us follow that definition not what the culture would have us do.

  • Your Name

    Marriage should be a religious ceremony performed in, by, and for churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, etc. The government should issue civil union certificates, not marriage certificates. The civil unions would cover civil laws. Let “marriage” be the realm of religion. Be advised that there are churches that would (and already do)provide marriage ceremonies for gays and lesbians, so you social conservatives will have to get used to that.

  • Tony Jones

    Hi everyone. Just a note. This is going to be a long and engaging blogalogue over many days and many posts. Surely, Rod and I will both grapple with the scriptural passages that directly deal with homosexuality and those that indirectly have something to say about this issue. This was simply an opening post to give you something of my story.

  • Keith

    That’s a relief, Jason. I was worried for a while there that the bit you posted from the ESVSB was supposed to actually *be* the “refutation.” I was thinking that if you counted *that* as a clear refutation, no wonder you find the whole issue so clear-cut! But if that’s just a report, and the refutation actually occurs elsewhere, there might yet be hope. I would like to see the actual refutation sometime.

  • http://www.formandfocus.net Ryan James

    Tony,
    Thanks for clarifying!

  • Susan

    Being a Christian in the arts, I have lots of gay friends, Christian friends, and gay Christian friends. Yes, Gay Christians who’ve tried for years NOT to be gay. Some successful, others not, some stuck in the gitmo bay of that. I voted against Prop 8, because I want my gay freinds to have the same equality under the law. because we live in a democratic, pluralistic society, not a theocracy, and there is a separation between church and state. If Jesus said that there will be no marriage in heaven, then I believe our understanding of sexuality and intimacy is but a mere shadow of what we will be then. And my personal sins are just as dirty as anyone else’s. Ive never known a gay person who has dealt with his sexuality lightly. In any event, I think God can handle their sins as well as he has handled mine.
    That being said, I have been DEEPLY agitated over the militancy that has taken over here in California since Prop 8 was voted down. People picketed and harassed the owner, employees and PATRONS of El Coyote restaurant because the owner/manager, a Mormon, donated money to Prop 8. Harassed and bullied. Now eHarmony is being sued because it doesn’t provide service to match gays. Okay so eHarmony is not a Christian site, though its owner is. Should we force gay sites to match heteros?
    All I’m saying is, what about live and let live? If those who want gay marriage to pass were trying to convince the rest of the populace that they weren’t going to be forced to accept, fund, love and obey those with whom they disagree, they are NOT coming across as tolerant. And if tolerance is the issue gays want, then they ought to walk the talk.

  • A Walker

    Hey AMG,
    You are right that heterosexual feminists who added “No-Fault Divorce” in 1970 essentially re-wrote the marriage contract—but they did so with devastating results to women and children.
    Before “no-fault divorce,” women had legal recourse against unscrupulous men who abandoned their partners and children. After the implementation of No-Fault divorce, they did not. As a result, abandonment of women and children skyrocketed and sent women and children into chronic cycles of poverty and destitution, without any legal recourse against the guilty party. The only way to restore the legal rights of women and children is to repeal “No-fault divorce” law, thus giving marriage law teeth again.
    To your next point. If a new “everyone marriage law” added stiff material penalties against the partner(s) who leaves the “romance/cohabitation,” it would certainly protect heterosexual women and their children again. But gays would never want to enter such a dangerous contract, as a life-long romance contract is impossible to fulfill and amounts to economic suicide when the partners fail.
    The only reason “traditional marriage” works at all for heterosexuals is because the mission of the partners *is to fulfill a long-term project of raising multiple children whom they sired.* If children are removed from the mix, as is the case with gays, the “life-long” stipulation of the marriage contract makes no sense and is impossible to fulfill. No humans need or want a life-long “romance contract” punishable by law—which is what you’d be saddling gays with. Such a contract would economically devastate gays.
    Therefore, let the states offer civil unions to any two or more people who want them, but keep marriage law separate for heterosexuals. They are two different things entirely, and they produce different goods. The well being of women and children are at stake here.

  • Sheila

    I am a bisexual woman living a happy life with my husband – a man. Therefore I am fairly protected from this issue. But someone asked to hear from more gay Christians, so here I am. I battled with my orientation for a long time before finally asking God to take the gay side from me. I felt for a while that he had. He hadn’t. So I was left to wonder why not. I know that as a girl I was molested by a female on a regular basis. Perhaps that is why I have said orientation. Perhaps not. I know the jury is still out on the causes and sources of our sexual orientation. But we really need to deal with people where they are, not where they would be if they had not somehow become the GLBT person they are. So where do we go from here? I searched for months to find a way to validate homosexual activity (not the same as orientation mind you) in the Bible. I searched liberal Christian sources to do so, since primarily conservative circles feel it is indeed a sin. But I cannot look at the Bible and find it condoning a gay lifestyle. I wish I could, because frankly the real problem here is how we treat each other, and how we should love our neighbor as ourself. If a gay couple came strolling in to your church gathering, holding hands, how long would they stay? Long enough to find God’s love there? Long enough to get a taste of heaven? Or would they leave so hurt they could never possibly believe in him? That is why this subject is so very important. On the one hand it is dangerous to call what is evil “good”, and on the other hand it is dangerous to be calloused to others and to exclude people from the Kingdom of God. This is an extremely difficult subject. Tony, I would really like to see your Biblical basis for what you are suggesting, or to hear you clarify exactly what it is you are suggesting. It is vague enough that I still hold out hope that you feel the act is a sin, but feel that the church at large is doing a terrible job with this people group and that that must change. God bless you either way, whether we end up agreeing or not, because you are a man of God and I respect you highly.

  • A Walker

    yourname said:
    I would bow to the argument marriage benefits are primarily for family procreation.
    A Walker replies:
    Great.
    yourname said:
    This would mean that a heterosexual couple that receives benefits but does not create a family unit by their own biology (no adoption or donation) be penalized.
    A. Walker: this situation you describe is so rare as to create tremendous work for a government to keep track of. It’s easier for a government to simply set it’s policy for the 98% of heterosexuals who WILL procreate (literally billions of people worldwide) than to worry about the few thousand worldwide who might not. You just don’t bother with them. But you’d never re-write the entire marriage code just because .01% of couples would be getting a freebie. To do so would be utterly irrational.
    yourname said:
    Another solution would be to provide benefits only to those marriages that produce children when they produce them. “Rights” don’t come into play until you have had children, once again naturally by your own biology.
    A Walker: the smart solution is to simply set up a civil union contract that has its own stipulations arising from its own separate circumstances. Anyone who wants to live under those stipulations can. But heterosexual marriage is so unique, as it is a family-procreation-and-education enterprise. There’s no other human relationship like it.
    yourname said:
    Fact is, people of the same gender are going to live together like they are married. Should they not receive the same monetary and cultural benefits as people that are married receive? Tax breaks, visitation, inheritance…..these are basic things.
    A Walker: That’s what civil unions are for. Any people who want or need a long-range cohabitation contract would be able to get it.

  • http://www.4simpsons.wordpress.com Neil

    Sadly, this is the typical feelings driven verbiage used to rationalize what the Bible clearly calls sin.
    “He told Paul that he blamed Steve’s death on the church and that he would never step foot in a church again.”
    The church was at fault for his death? If the church encouraged him to pursue the gay lifestyle then perhaps they were accomplices. But ultimately we are each responsible for our sins.
    Tony Jones just displays the typical problems with pro-gay theology.

  • wendy

    You rock for taking this on!

  • H.S.

    Michael, I think the Bible promotes polygamy. Abraham and Jacob were not condemned for having multiple wives. Esther was in a polygamous marriage as part of God’s plan to save the Jews. One of Elkanah’s wives, Hannah, gave birth to the prophet Samuel. Gideon had multiple wives. In Jeremiah 31 God compares himself as the groom of both Judah and Israel. You mention David and Solomon, but David was condemned for murdering another man to take his wife, not for marrying Michal, Abigail et al; Solomon was condemned not for polygamy but for out-marriage, bringing in foreign women and worshiping their idols with them.
    We can make a case for one man-one woman marriage from the Bible, but it seems to me that polygamy is equally Biblical.

  • http://apprising.org Ken Silva

    The written Word of God clearly calls the practice of homosexuality sin; and therefore so does Christ Jesus, the living Word of God.
    Dr. Walter Martin was dead on target when he said, “It is not unloving to tell someone the truth; you can get in a lot of trouble for doing it, but it is not unloving.”

  • frwyer
  • http://thingsthelordtoldme.blogspot.com/ brian

    TONY,
    Your one comment doesn’t give you a pass. I agree w/John, you shouldn’t preach, teach, write, or speak in Christian circles as an authority if you are not under the authority of the Word. I know harsh right? Well…

  • Larry

    You mean under the authority of the Word as _you_ understand, therefore under _your_ authority. Just because somebody doesn’t agree with how your reading of scripture, or your doctrine of scripture, doesn’t meant that they are a less serious Christian than you, or less able to lead. I suspect that Tony knows far more of the Bible than you do, and has good reasons for his beliefs. Instead of taking every opportunity to knock him down, and on his own blog, why don’t wait and listen to what he has to say?

  • A happy ex-church goer

    Thanks Brian for weighing in so clearly with your Scriptural quotes and intensity of scorn for Tony’s musings. This is why I left my church, and it’s good to see it out in the open.

  • http://thingsthelordtoldme.blogspot.com/ brian

    A happy ex-church goer:
    No problem! Again, your beef is with the bible (see the above quotes), not me (you know the whole don’t shoot the messenger thing)

  • .rob@gmail.com

    Larry et al.
    We DID listen to what he has to say and what he has said. It doesn’t line up with “biblical Christianity”

  • Teresita

    First of all, no civilization in human history, no matter how primitive or advance ever authorized marriage between people of the same sex. And that has nothing to do with Christianity. Assyrians, Babylonians, Classical Greeks, Aztecs, Incas, Vikings, Hindus, Zulus, Ashantis, Polynesians, Chinese, Moslems, all these cultures arrived at the same conclusion – marriage is between people of the same sex.
    If gay marriage becomes the law of the land, what is to stop Moslems demanding the same rights under the law – that poligamy be legal?
    If the gender of the spouses doesn’t matter, why should the number of the spouses be sacred? After all, many civilizations have authorized poligamy. It would be discrimination to prohihit Moslem men to marry more than one wife. We would be discriminating against their culture, their traidition, their religion.
    Breaking the rule that has served the West for 2,000 years would leave open to all sorts of marriage “combinations.” We can’t discriminate against Moslems if we don’t discriminate against gays.

  • David

    Tony, I am genuinely confused. In your effort to include everyone in GLTBQ you undoubtly include people who consider themselves “bisexual.” How is it possible for them to continue in God-glorifying monogamy?

  • http://www.tomhypes.com Tom Hypes

    If you are truely searching the Bible on these issues, please see
    http://www.gaychristian.net/greatdebate.php
    It is not my web-site. It is two gay, Christian men putting out why they believe what they believe. One says the Bible supports having a gay, committed relationship. The other believes God calls homosexuals to celebacy. Again, they are both gay and point to the Scripture for thier points.
    It may be more founded than a straight guy talking about his personal experiences and how he feels.

  • http://eyesofhope.wordpress.com Theresa Seeber

    Ken Silva, I just wanted to give you a thumbs-up for the attitude you displayed above. I have seen many criticisms from you regarding the EC, but honestly I was touched by your kindness here. Thank you. If we all could truly be loving in our presentation of the truth, then people like “Happy Ex-Church-Goer” above would not have such a hard time with God’s people. However, we know this not be the case, unfortunately. :-( Too many people share the truth in unloving ways, leaving people to doubt the truth of God’s love. If that were not so, we probably wouldn’t have so many pastors trying to find a way to allow these beautiful people to continue in their relationships. The truth of God’s word has been shared in extremely ugly ways with these people. It is a shame.

  • Larry

    We DID listen to what he has to say and what he has said. It doesn’t line up with “biblical Christianity”
    I see, you’ve got it all figured out, have you?

  • Nate Joshua

    Neither Tony Jones nor Barack Obama are christians in any sense of the word. Jesus says “Depart from me you workers of iniquity!” unless both truly repent! Repentance is a lost doctrine among too many churches and denominations today and this country is DOOMED!!!! You think this fall has been bad…just wait for the judgement to really come this Spring!!!! The handwriting is on the wall specifically because the churches have abandoned the TRUTH that is in JESUS and has become NAMBY-PAMBY!!!!! All liars will burn in the lake of fire!!!! That is the words of Jesus in Revelation 20!!!!!

  • http://www.issuesthatmatter.com Matt

    I’ll let God speak on the issue so that you can take issue with God and not with me.
    Revelation 3:15-16 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.
    Jude 1:7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.
    1 Corinthians 6:9-10 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.
    Isaiah 5:20 Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who put darkness for light, and light for darkness; Who put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!

  • http://community.beliefnet.com/doxieman122 Larry Parker

    Tony:
    You say implicitly but should have said explicitly your response to what I’m guessing is going to be one of Rod’s arguments — the historic association between homosexuality and promiscuity.
    But of course, one of the reasons for the promiscuity was the dysfunctional nature of a sexuality driven underground by governmental and social pressure. Bring gay marriage into place and you encourage monogamy — which has all kinds of public benefits (reducing the spread of HIV, allowing gay parents to adopt kids, etc.).
    I for one am delighted to see the Religious Right (which Rod represents) hoist on its own petard of criticizing gays for promiscuity yet simultaneously opposing gay marriage. The two positions are in complete contradiction.
    A Walker:
    You might want to pay more attention to your ally Rod when you say 98% of marriages produce children. In the U.S., the fertility rate is down to 2 — which means for every marriage that has 4 kids, not a huge family even in this day and age, there is on average another that has no kids.
    In much of Europe, it’s plummeted far lower to 1.5. And in Germany and Italy, it hovers near 1 — which means statistically, for every marriage with 2 kids, there is another with no kids.
    By your own argument, marriage is becoming less and less relevant as a child-rearing institution, at least in the developed world. And if that’s the case, you should welcome, not decry, gays’ interest in marriage.
    Or, if you’re really interested in more kids and not in discriminating against gays, give more government assistance to parents. But the definition of marriage to include or exclude gays will not change the fertility rate one iota (though it will end the main argument against gay adoption).

  • Your Name

    “Should we deny marriage contracts to heterosexuals when the woman is past menopause or when the man has had a vasectomy?__”
    Exceptions aren’t the issue. Gays can never provide a mother and a father to a child, so those relationships should not be encouraged. Also, saying that marriage is not just between a man and a woman immediately opens the door to polygamy, incest, and much more.

  • dan

    This is not an issue of the strike zone being a little low or high.
    Tony has officially called a foul ball fair.
    But then it was he he told the theologians at Wheaton that there is no such thing as orthodoxy. I guess we shouldn’t be particularly surprised.
    “…every man did that which was right in his own eyes…”

  • TW Peck

    Mr. Jones definitely is struggling with this issue, but it is based not on the rule of God’s law but on one’s own experience.
    We Christians tend to twist our role in the world as the policemen of God’s Law to the world when, actually, we are to see the sin of the world and use that to police ourselves. We should not “hate” the person engaging in homosexual behavior any more than we should hate ourselves for our lusts of the flesh.
    Sin is sin to God, and the difference is that we Christians are at war with our flesh through the Spirit for our soul. Those without Christ do not have the spirit so they are at war with their own image of themselves. So, to put homosexual behavior as any worse (or any better) than any other sin is ludicrous and we should be repentant about that.
    However, to sanction a sin is another thing. I have seen this with heterosexual couples living together, in church, and no one saying anything in tacet approval.
    We are called to be God’s Ambassadors. That means we speak the truth, in love, about the sins of ourselves and others. We approach people as co-conspirators against God, the difference being that we know the Truth and want to share that Truth.
    We cannot do that by screaming or by staying silent. What causes one to have Homosexual desires is still unknown. It may be part of a genetic aspect and a developmental aspect, but most of the homosexuals I know have this preoccupation with sex (kind of like the rest of the world). It is an idol and holds bondage over them. The best response is to love but not endorse.
    This is a fine line to walk, a difficult line to walk. Love is doing that which is in the other person’s best interest. We should preach the Gospel while cleansing their wounds. We should heap coals that both burn and warm. Sanctioning will not change their hearts, but condemning will not save their soul. We should support their needs without supporting their sin. We should comfort them in this world while warning them of the dangers to come.
    To do otherwise is to fail in our duty to love Christ.

  • A Walker

    Hello Larry,
    A zero-child heterosexual marriage is extraordinarily rare. And again, public policy is *never* made around the rarest of exceptions.
    The rule for humanity is that heterosexuals worldwide are producing billions of children, and this can’t be stopped. Procreation for all species is rooted in the vast forces of natural biology (which is why homosexuality is said to be “against nature” or a rare disorientation of attraction).
    Again, we don’t order our entire society around our rarest exceptions. We order our society around the rule of things. In this case, heterosexuality, with its long-range family responsibilities and duties, is the rule of things, and thus requires a marriage contract that addresses those responsibilities and duties.
    Contrary to what you are saying, marriage continues to be a child-rearing institution, and children will always have a normative right/expectation to be raised and educated by the people who sired them (and not by the neighbors who did not). This would be so even if we had no laws on the books anywhere. This right/expectation is part of the natural law.
    If other groups of people need civil unions for one reason or another, let them work that out with the State. But the “child-rearing/family” responsibility of heterosexuals is biological, and is what marriage law is all about.
    To redefine marriage law as NOT pertaining to “child-rearing” protections is to expose women and children to grave material risk of abandonment. Thus, we cannot let “gay marriage” be the marriage law for heterosexuals. It does not work for heterosexuals. There are two entirely different scenarios at work here.

  • Tony

    Wow, obviously an explosive topic. I’ve been waiting for this post for some time – I’m suprised it took this long. Folks, you ain’t seen nothing yet! Emergent will continue to water down truth and blur lines – it will continue to deteriorate until it is a fully universal and fully relative world view. I’m suprised that so many of you are suprised! Tony, even though you are very wrong here, I commend you on your courage. Emergent is eating you alive TJ.

  • http://frightfullypleased.blogspot.com Stephen

    I guess this confirms what some of us suspected. That the emergent church movement is not modern or even “post-modern”. It’s the same warmed over theological liberalism that J. Gresham Machen was contending against in the early years of the last century. That version pretty much consigned the Protestant mainline to the dustbin of history and will do the same for the emergent village. The issues are different, but the fault lines are the same. Although I’ve found that folks who take the view espoused by Tony Jones also tend to be a little mushy on more central issues like the substitutionary atonement and divinity of Jesus.

  • Rob

    The Emergent movement is not Christianity or Biblical in it’s views and Tony Jones knows that and chooses simply to avoid the obvious. I feel great pain and sorrow for the thousands of young people in this country who are enticed by these Pied Pipers of new age relativity and subjective truth. They are like ships without sails tossed around by the whims and mercy of the waves they encounter and if left on their own they not only will flounder and fail, but will take many lost souls down with them.

  • http://christo-et-doctrinae.blogspot.com/ Noah

    Tony,
    I had no idea that you embody emergent. After reading these comments I have come to realize that Tony=emergent. I only wish that we could change Emergent Village to Tony Village….in all seriousness. I am glad you are working through this as I myself am. It is tough no matter how you cut it. I wish more people that accused others of relativism would stop and see people instead of issues. That is okay. Praying for you brother.
    Noah

  • PR

    I found this blog post very interesting! This is an issue I have been thinking long and hard about lately and praying for guidance on. While I cannot escape the fact that the Bible seems to be very clear that homosexuality is a sin (and I don’t think the “plumbing doesn’t work” argument is all that unsophisticated) I do struggle with how Christians respond to homosexuals. To ignore and encourage what God calls sin is unacceptable (and hurtful) but I am bothered with how we as Christians respond and confront struggling people with God’s love (if love has any part of it so many times). I also cannot help but wonder if taking the position that homosexuality is not sin is our own desire to not have to be in opposition of others. All that to say, while I don’t wholly agree or disagree with your position I do respect your honest attempt to find Biblical perspective on this very tough issue. And like you said, this is one issue I don’t want to be wrong about.

  • http://www.byron-harvey.com Byron

    Others have surely beaten me to the punch here (I should have posted yesterday when I first read this), but the position that you’ve arrived at, Tony, betrays one of three things going on deeper down (or a combination of the three): you’ve either lost a conviction regarding the veracity of the Bible, the authority of the Bible, or the sufficiency of the Bible. One does not arrive at this position while upholding those three things, and the fact that your reasoning above includes no reference to Scripture seems to corroborate my point. I would implore you to return to these moorings, for as long as you are not anchored deeply in these three things, you are not an asset to the cause of the gospel of Christ, but rather a hindrance, despite whatever good you might think you are doing. Something is wrong deeper down, Tony, and while I read Postmodern Youth Ministry and appreciated some of the things you wrote there, the path I see you (and so much of Emergent) taking is one that regretfully makes me want to steer as far away from the implicit theological compromise I’m finding there as possible.

  • Your Name

    Tony, thank you for this honest, deeply meaningful dialogue about an issue that all Christians (and all peoples) need to honestly, faithfully reflect upon. I am saddened by all those who have commented thus far with an outright rejection of your position as “unbiblical.” In the Reformed tradition from which I come, interpretting the Bible anew each and every day is a vital part of faith, as is the belief that the Spirit can open our eyes to new understandings of Scripture–or at least interpretations of Scripture with which others disagree. It’s what made the Reformation theologically possible. And it’s what continues to make church growth possible. And I dare say, when the “faithful” seem to assume that there is an automatic interpretation of Scripture on these very complex issues, I absolutely shudder.

  • Your Name

    I’m pleased you have introduced this topic, Tony. It’s a conversation that needs to happen.
    Those who are claiming “the bible said it, I believe it, that ends it,” let me respond, “No, you don’t!”
    Do you really expect folks to believe you follow every “law” in the bible? Unless you affirm that disobedient children should be put to death, or have bears maul them, you don’t. You are picking and choosing what texts apply, just like everyone else.
    Now, the methods by which we pick and choose what parts of sacred scripture apply might be an interesting discussion, but throwing out bible verses doesn’t accomplish much more than show you’ve dug up some texts to support your personal biases.
    But, since the above will most likely not curtail the biblical fast draw, let’s talk about the seven clobber verses that are claimed to ban same sex relationships.
    First of all, some scholars question if “homosexuality” was the topic of some of those verses. A poor translation of the text is not a good way to make your argument. You may want to read a bit deeper before claiming a biblical mandate for your position.
    Second, what we are talking about is two people of the same sex in a committed, long-term relationship rooted in love. Scripture is silent about such relationships. There’s much talk about those driven by lust to behave badly, but not a word about those drawn together by love.
    Third, the assumption was that everyone was created by God as a heterosexual. If that was the case, then a same sex relationship would indeed be “unnatural.” We now have good reason to question the validity of such an assumption. Just as we no longer believe Joshua stopped the sun (was it moving?), I would hope that most folks understand that sexual orientation has little or nothing to do with choice. If that’s news to you, you may want to listen to some of those who are gay before condemning them.
    It would seem to me that the Church should be about the business of encouraging more committed relationships, not acting as a stumbling block for them.
    The world is watching. Will our witness be that we exclude people based on our personal biases, or that we welcome all into God’s kingdom, and leave it up to God to decide who is fit and who is not.

  • http://frjakestopstheworld.blogspot.com Terry

    Ah, messed up the above.
    Not good form to add fuel to the fire with a mask on, eh?
    I claim responsibility for the Nov. 21, 1:40pm comment.

  • http://fathertlistenstotheworld.blogspot.com Terry

    Man! That time I posted the old blog link.
    Last time…I promise!

  • Bob

    So, if God made them homosexual, and if, as many scriptures clearly communicate, homosexuality is a sin . What do you do with James 1:13 When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; “Nor does He tempt anyone” How is it possible that some one is “born gay” in light of this truth.

  • Michael

    >>Terry
    Anyone who starts off with “But the Deuteronomical Laws say this…” and you don’t do that. So you don’t actually follow the Bible.
    I think most people would resposne back: right, we aren’t practicing Jews. We are Christians. This doesn’t null and void the law, but does however shift it.
    Besides your argument would only be compelling if the verses against homosexuality came from Deutronomy (or ok, Leviticus)- which they don’t.
    Also you’re argument is: “but some scholars say those verses aren’t even about homosexuality”. Fine, but scholars also say they do? So whose right?
    Lastly, what translation are you reading from – last I checked homosexuality is used in NIV/TNIV/ESV/NASB/KJV/NKJV* – but you’re right all of those have faulty scholarship because they what? disagree with your position?
    *I haven’t actually searched EVERYONE of them but feel free to correct me if I’m wrong with my state – in that I don’t regularly read from everyone of them.

  • Your Name

    To all those concerned with Tony’s lack of reference to scripture, no doubt future posts will delve into biblical passages. But be warned. Tony has repeatedly demonstrated a leaning toward a view that the meaning of a text cannot be objectively lodged in the text but is determined by the community that reads the text. While that may be an oversimplification, it is nevertheless “in the strike zone”. Quoting scripture to those who are so strongly influenced by the suspicion of reason and objectivity and a distrust of language is an exercise in futility. We may as well be speaking a completely different language. ____That is why the emerging “conversation” has lost all appeal to me. There can be no agreement because there is no common ground for the discussion to have meaning. At least in Protestant debates over various theological concerns in previous centuries there was an agreed upon belief that the text of scripture was true and a realization that certain truths were clear, such as the Trinity, the deity of Christ and the humanity of Christ. We fought over fine points of sovereignty and free will, over ecclesiological structures where scripture is less than explicit, but usually found common ground on creedal essentials.____That is all gone in the postmodern age. There is no objective truth to agree upon because all truth is deemed to be bound to particular cultures, particular tribes, particular biases. We are deemed to be unable to escape our biases and know with any degree of confidence what the foundational truths really are. We are prisoners of our own subjectivity. ____I’ve seen it over and over again with postmoderns. No matter how compelling the evidence, how cogent the arguments, the response is always dismissive of each carefully constructed case as just a different interpretation that is bound to a particular “tradition”. Nothing is ever settled and nothing ever can be. It is a waste of time. It is a “conversation” that is not meant to find agreement, only to allow for as many possible “non-judgemental” viewpoints as possible. It is not a quest for truth, only a neverending “conversation” that wastes everyone’s time. ____It is exhausting and destructive.

  • Jim

    The original message of the homosexual movement was about social tolerance, yet that has now evolved into social approval. They have redefined the word “tolerance” from respecting our differences, to a meaning of considering all views equally valid. If you don’t consider all views equally valid, you are “intolerant”, regardless of your respect for people’s differences of opinion. In other words, it is “intolerant” to disagree with someone’s beliefs, except when it comes to a belief in the Bible. They have questioned the government’s “unfair” partiality to traditional (heterosexual) marriage. The philosophies of “personal subjective relativism” and “absolute personal autonomy” are the foundation of their argument.
    In 1996, President Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) which allowed states not to honor same-sex marriages from other states and defined for the Federal Code that marriage is between one man and one woman. Interestingly, this came soon after the Romer v. Evans decision and right before a Hawaiian court ruled that forbidding same-sex marriage violated the state’s constitution. (Interestingly, however, the judge in the Hawaiian case blocked the distribution of marriage licenses to same-sex couples until a higher court ruled.)
    Early on, in terms of social tolerance, the assertion was that the state would stay out of the bedroom of individuals and ignore the immorality and avoid the expense of criminalizing homosexuality because of the impracticality of enforcement, yet still discourage it. There was no enforcement of a philosophy of “personal subjective relativism” and “absolute personal autonomy” as the state’s “neutral position” yet. People would be able to choose their lifestyle, wrong or right, as long as it stayed private.
    The “social approval approach” to this issue changed this. It is no longer about tolerance, but about social approval. Under this approach, the state is expected to be forbidden to give legal and social preference to heterosexual monogamy and deny it to alternative lifestyles such as homosexuality at the same time. The argument is that it “doesn’t hurt anybody.” They say it is unfair to say that one lifestyle is better than another since there is no objective good. Personal choice should be honored above what others may think. They contend that denying this violates equality. So it is no longer about “equal persons”, but now about “equal lifestyles.” It is sexual egalitarianism. They hold that all the notions we have about marriage and family are artificial social institutions rather than coming from the immutable human nature given to us by God.
    This flawed view of marriage opens the doors to allowing any kind of marital union. A marriage could include the marriage of brothers or of sisters, a mother could marry her son, or a father could marry his son, etc. It could include polygamous marriages, especially with the plight of bisexuals. It could mean fighting to lower the age of consent so that an adult could marry a child who consents. It also opens the door to one marrying their pet. It is “all about love”, they say. It is the argument that one should be allowed to marry the ones they love. If this flawed view of marriage becomes endorsed by the government through court decisions it would require that the public schools treat all marriage arrangements equally and teach children about each one of them, not favoring any one, to be intellectually and legally consistent. In short, the proponents of same-sex marriage are proposing marital and family anarchy, while convincing the court system to remain morally “neutral” (which is actually far from neutral) and assume no overarching good or purpose to human life, our relationships, or our communities.
    The foundation of marriage is actually quite different. It has its natural purpose in sexuality and an intrinsic value to society. It is only a man and a woman that can bear a child together. There is no other framework for this other than in traditional marriage. It is argued that we should not let infertile couples be married on that basis of their inability to bear children if we deny that to homosexuals, however that is a shortsighted argument. The argument against same sex marriage is based on the nature of human persons as beings with gender who have a purpose, with a gender that has a purpose that has come from nature. Males and females were meant to couple even if it doesn’t result in children. Marriage isn’t based on a human person’s function, ability, and desire, which could be inconsistent with how people should be by nature. Even though someone may have a problem mentally, physically, or morally, he is still a person who by nature should be sane, capable, and desiring good. The traditional marital union is the only way to consummate this purpose and maintain a solid family unit.
    Desires can be inconsistent with our natural purpose and even harmful to our own well being. People are faced with the desires to overeat, commit adultery, molest children, and even engage in gay bashing, but that doesn’t make those desires a good choice. You can simply look at the anatomy of men and women and see how they were meant to fit together and see there is significance to a marriage between a man and a woman. The man and the woman become one flesh in the “wedding” of their coupling. It is the “natural teleology of the body.” If proponents of same sex marriage reject this notion, they must also reject the natural purpose of the mind to seek knowledge (which flies in the face of their argument that Christianity’s opposition to homosexuality is ignorant and illogical.) They are subscribing to a philosophy and must stay consistent with that philosophy to have any intellectual integrity.
    Marriage also has intrinsic value because it is good in itself. Compare marriage to the concepts of “justice” and “yielding at yellow signs”. If marriage were a convention, it could be like a yellow sign and we could decide to change that to orange signs if we choose. Under that view, it would be logically consistent to allow same sex marriage. However, marriage is more like justice, because we can’t start killing people on the streets for no reason and call it justice. We can’t change the nature of marriage by redefining it. We know injustice when we see it, just as we know marriage when we see it. Justice is an intrinsic good, just as marriage is an intrinsic good.
    The same sex marriage debate is a culture war over worldviews, specifically the worldview of the Bible versus the worldview of naturalism and relativism.

  • http://www.bible.ca/s-homo=sin.htm James Hampton

    Romans 1:26-32, “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
    1 Corinthians 6:9-11, “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.”
    1 Timothy 1:9-10, “Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;”
    2 Peter 2:6, “And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;”
    Jude 7, “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.”
    http://www.seafox.com/homo.html

  • http://emailbrigade.com Marsha West

    Tony’s a liberal so his unbiblical view on same-sex “marriage” isn’t surprising at all. To borrow a quote T.M. Moore, “Liberal Christianity…is not Christianity at all, or, at best, a corrupt version. As J. Gresham Machen argued so eloquently in the last century, liberal Christianity has many appealing features, and much to commend it. In many ways it is a quite fascinating and alluring religion. It even uses all the language of Christianity and holds Jesus in high esteem. But for all that, liberal Christianity just isn’t Christianity. Indeed, Machen argued, it’s not even close.”

  • DragoonEnNoir

    I think there are two separate parts to this question, though they are often mixed and confused.
    The first is whether GLBTQ have a right to join in a loving partnership with another human being. Of course.
    “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.” (Genesis 2:24)
    The second is whether Christian churches should join them in marriage. The Bible is pretty clear that God views only male-female union as marriage. To ask a Christian church to marry people in clear violation of the teachings of the Bible would be entirely wrong.
    In either case, the GLBTQ person is still a creation of God, and deserves the same love that Christ commands us to have for all people.

  • http://emergentpillage.blogspot.com/ emergent pillage

    Well, given how much was in Jones’ book about emergent churches compromising over homosexuality, this comes as no real surprise. It was ,sadly, only a matter of time.

  • Scotty

    I believe that marriage is a Union of Souls, irregardless of gender. Our Soul is part of God and by its very nature is immortal and genderless. It matters not what sexual orientation you have in this particular incarnation.

  • Scotty

    Also-
    I see that the conservatives want to own the word marriage. Fine. I think the best we can do for now is a compromise of civil union.

  • Randall

    First, God created man and woman. Second, Marriage is a religious ceremony between one man and one woman, blessed by God. The California ban on same sex marriage is not a violation of homosexuals civil liberties. Homosexuals have already been given every right within a civil union. Homosexuals have the right of to own property jointly. Homosexuals have the right of survivorship. Homosexuals have every single right, as does every American, granted under the state and federal constitution. God Bless America. One nation under God. With liberty and justice for all.

  • A Walker

    To Scotty:
    Marriage is a life-long “family contract” that legally binds heterosexuals and their children together as one social unit. The contract protects women and children from grave material harm resulting from abandonment by a spouse. If one spouse seek to abandon the other family members, the law kicks in and protects the victims from material economic harm. That’s what marriage is and does.
    Why has marriage normally been constructed as “life long” in duration? This stipulation of the contract arises from the fact that heterosexuals produce children who require about 18 years of care each from the people who sired them.
    That’s what marriage is. It’s a family/society institution. The traditional marriage contract and the proposed gay marriage contract are two totally different animals, as they deal with radically different goods and duties to children and society.
    Quite simply, nature has uniquely tasked heterosexuals with the procreation and education of the citizenry at a 98% rate of incidence. This applies to billions of humans and must be protected in law or else women and children will continue to suffer grave economic devastation.

  • http://community.beliefnet.com/doxieman122 Larry Parker

    A Walker:
    Ask Tony’s partner Rod to supply you with the statistics about plummeting fertility rates around the world — not only in the developed world, but even in the developing world. Childless marriages are now common, contrary to your assertion.
    Rod agrees with you this has profound consequences for the future of traditional marriage. He also would insist it has nothing — NOTHING — to do with gay marriage, which he opposes for other reasons.

  • maya3

    A Walker
    Not every straight couple who are married have or want to have children.
    It’s a bit less than 98 procent who are straight, actually about 90 procent. That makes 10 procent of the human population gay, do the math, that means that there are more than 600 million people in the world that you see fit to discriminate against.
    No, gays do NOT have all the rights that straight married couples have, in fact there are more than 1000 privileges that us straight married people have that gay people dont have.
    Marriage and equal treatment is a civil right that should include ALL tax paying people in this country weather you are gay or straight. Every couple should have the right to civil marriage.
    Places of worship that does NOT pay taxes should NOT have the right to decide who should have the right to marry or not.
    Maya

  • A Walker

    In response to Larry and Maya:
    To Larry first. Childless marriage remains an extreme, extreme rarity, and societies don’t create contract law around extremely rare phenomena. Next, even active heterosexual women who try to sterilize themselves via contraception produce an average of two babies over the course of their lifetimes. Which makes sense, if you think about it: every species on the planet is designed to wildly repopulate itself at enormously high rates. Humans are no different, despite your appeal to a miniscule percentage of individuals who do not reproduce.
    Marriage exists because 98% of heterosexuals are wildly reproductive and thus in need of a social contract. The tiny percentage of non-reproducers have no need for a social contract—Nature has not tasked them with the duty to procreate and educate the worldwide citizenry.
    To Maya. The same thing I said to Larry applies to your comment. Namely, we don’t create social contracts around rare exceptions. And apart from children, there is *no need* for life-long marriage law. None.
    Also, just FYI, the percentage of the total population that is gay is about 2% to 3%. The 10% myth was debunked long ago. It had been a political propaganda trick used to inflate the numbers so as to strengthen the political message. The 10% number was fully fictitious. The National Health and Social Life Survey, the most widely accepted study of sexual practices in the United States, reports that 2.8% of the male, and 1.4% of the female, population identify themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
    Finally, in California, the citizens decided that marriage was something for a man and a woman (owing of course to the reproductive complementarity and nature of heterosexuals). In a democracy, the people vote on which laws everyone must live under. California voted.

  • Jason P/

    I cannot believe how tragic this man’s change of heart is. What makes this even more heartbreaking is that he claims to be a teacher in the Christian faith, which means a great many people will be led to the slaughter under his care. He has spit in the face of the spirit of grace.
    To whoever would have ears to hear: God loves you and has given his life to save you from homosexuality, sexual immorality, or whatever other idolatrous and dehumanizing desire that lies at the heart of man.
    So much of Scripture is clear regarding homosexuality. Jesus knew this; this was a prohibition that was so naturally evident that it would have been redundant to remind people of the actual command.
    Paul certainly knew this, which is why he reiterated in Romans 1 that sexual complementarity between man and woman is grounded in the creation account, as it is grounded-and evident-within creation iself.
    Why is it homosexuality dehumanizing? It is dehumanizing because it degrades masculinity and femininity by seeking sexual complimentarity in the same sex when it was intended to be fulfilled in the opposition sex. Don’t forget: Jesus may not have mentioned homosexuality, but he certainly upheld the uniqueness of marriage between one man and one woman.
    And even though homosexuality may be found in nature, God’s sexual commandments are not given to animals; they are for us.
    I urge those of you who are buying into this man’s teaching: turn away from him, and look to the Lord Jesus who loves you and desires to reconcile you–including your sexual identity-to God.

  • Marzette

    I almost don’t know where to begin. In response to A Walker, studies have shown that the divorce rate among heterosexuals is over 60%. Yes, marriage is a life-long contract that binds heterosexuals legally whether they have children or not. The LAW provides for them because of their choice to stay in a committed relationship. And let’s be clear, the law is in many cases very limited in their protection depending on the situation.
    Yes, heterosexuals can, in many cases, produce children, but many get married choosing not to do so. Those who are not able to produce children on their own adopt or have children in some other way. One of those ways is by using a surrogate. Many couples who have children often stay together long after their “marriage contract” has been fulfilled, ie the children are grown.
    Now, whether or not a homosexual couple choose to have children or not, is really not the issue. Their rights under the LAW is what people need to focus on. I personally have known homosexual couples who had been together 20+ years. In some cases they were in heterosexual relationships, and there were children who still loved their parents and their new partners in life. Under the LAW as a human being homosexual couples DESERVE the same RIGHTS under the LAW.
    I am not challenging them or questioning anyone’s spiritual beliefs, but what I am saying is that it is never acceptable to deny someone their rights because of your spiritual beliefs. I am just wondering if this is what people understand they are doing by fighting this basic of HUMAN rights? I mean how is this any different than segregation? What about the Holocaust? Apartheid?

  • Marzette

    continued . . . . I believe your statement below is untrue. We are (as I have stated) talking about human rights. There are thousands of children who (were it not for a loving gay/lesbian couple) would still be in an orphanage were it not for them. It is heterosexuals that keep having babies married or otherwise and giving them up. I am not talking about tragic situations of loss. What about them? In many cases they have been better qualified to care for children, financially and emotionally. They participate in their communities and are leaders to and for many people. How are their duties to their children, communities, and societies any different than yours or mine? They are members of our country’s society, they pay taxes, tithe to their churches, hold jobs, etc just as you and I do. Why would you deny them the same rights we have? To see their loved ones in the hospital without being turned away, to be beneficiaries on their partners life insurance, to be accepted as a “spouse” for health insurance, and the thousand of other rights we have. Human beings who make a marriage contract with each other should have the same rights no matter whom they love.
    “That’s what marriage is. It’s a family/society institution. The traditional marriage contract and the proposed gay marriage contract are two totally different animals, as they deal with radically different goods and duties to children and society.”
    An egg and a sperm are all that is required to procreate. Men and women regardless of their biological lifestyle are equally equipped to educate their children. And this does apply to all humans on this planet.
    “Quite simply, nature has uniquely tasked heterosexuals with the procreation and education of the citizenry at a 98% rate of incidence. This applies to billions of humans and must be protected in law or else women and children will continue to suffer grave economic devastation.”
    All human beings have the right to the same rights no matter the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, or their biological lifestyle.

  • JP

    Marzette wrote:
    “All human beings have the right to the same rights no matter the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, or their biological lifestyle.
    Marriage is no more a “right” than obtaining a driver’s licence is a “right”. They are both privileges. You have a “right” to take a driver’s test, but you still must meet the basic requirements before being granted the privilege of having a driver’s licence. You have a right to apply to Yale or Harvard, even though that right may be utterly meaningless (like having an IQ of 50), and once you are accepted, then you are granted the privilege being able to attend one of those schools.
    Further, isn’t it true that what the law recognizes as rights are always the properties of individuals? if so, how can marriage be an individual “right”? and even if it could be construed as an individual right, it would extinguish itself the minute the two are married. what kind of law is it that exists solely for the purpose of being extinguished?

  • dannyuk2

    To imply that marriage is all about procreation misses the point entirely. People don’t marry to have kids, thats not the main intent behind their desire to marry. the main intent is that they want to make their relationship official, both to each other and the state, because they are in love and are usually serious about that love, and want to protect that relationship. procreation can take place at any point before or after marriage, however as has been already stated, many choose not to have children. Many have children without the help of marriage, and manage to still do well. So please drop the red-herring and get back to the facts, as children and marriage are not part of each other. Marriage between two loving people is not a priveledge, it is a right. JP, your driving analogy was poor. One can apply for many different licenses to drive, marriage isnt like that. to pass a driving test you have to prove you can drive safely and responsibly without causing harm to other people. How does that relate to marriage at all?

  • dannyuk2

    PS. Also JP, your comparisons that you draw, they serve a purpose to society, however limiting marriage to heterosexuals does not. If gay couple gets married, it doesnt affect anyone else one bit. And would you care to explain about individual rights being extinguished? I find your arguments to be particularly lacking any substance.

  • A Walker

    Marzette,
    Divorces (spousal abandonment) soared after 1970 when marriage law was redefined to permit “no-fault” divorce. That redefining of marriage from being a *permanent* contract to a *temporal* one was a disaster for women and children, for it removed the the legal protections they formerly enjoyed and resulted in mass breaches of contract. The entire point of marriage being permanent was to secure the long-term provisions for children, who require about 18 years of material care from the people who sired them. Redefining marriage as was done in 1970 produces horrific social and economic consequences for women and children. We must not allow another attempt to reorder society by redefining marriage, so long as the well being of women and children is at stake.
    Next, marriage law exists because heterosexuals reproduce. Mere romance/attraction doesn’t involve material risk and thus requires no contract. But since heterosexual women and children accrue grave material risk *as a result of heterosexual intercourse,* a contract becomes necessary to protect them from economic destitution. That’s what marriage law is all about. The law binds heterosexuals together as a mini-society and levies severe economic penalties at the adult who seeks to abandon his spouse and children.
    Moving on…heterosexuals not only *can* produce children, they *do* produce children at enormously high rates of incidence worldwide (by the billions). That’s why marriage is needed in the first place. Marriage laws aren’t needed for mere romances. Marriage law is necessary because heterosexuals can’t help but procreate families who require social contracts. Marriage law is written around this dominant norm, and it would make no sense to write marriage law around the rarest of exceptions to the norm. Legal codes aren’t written around exceptions to the rule; they are written around the rule (for the exceptions and the rule are different things).
    Next, equal rights apply to individuals of the same circumstances (apples to apples). But nature has not tasked heterosexuals and homosexuals with the same circumstances at all, so far as sexuality is concerned. Heterosexuals are designed by nature to procreate and educate the entire worldwide citizenry, and thus require a social contract. Homosexuals simply have no such similar enterprise wired into their biology.
    Next, you talk about homosexuals as if they are procreators, when they are not. Egg and sperm requires sexual union of *female and man,* and Nature itself has done this. And, in society, whenever a child is born, the law says that the child belongs to the biological parents and the biological parents to the child. None of this applies at all to gays, for gays cannot produce babies.
    Finally, it’s nonsense to say that everyone has equal rights to do the same things regardless of their biology. There are major differences that arise from biology. Our body parts tell us things about who we are and what we are. But are you listening, Marzette?

  • A Walker

    To DannyUK,
    Falling in and out of love doesn’t require contracts.
    Contracts pertain to situations where grave material risk is involved. Since two gay men having sex doesn’t involve grave material risk, no contract is necessary. But when a woman sleeps with a man, both she and the child conceived during the act are immediately placed at grave economic risk—thus the need for legal protections (marriage law).
    In short, marriage law is all about heterosexual procreation, for all active heterosexuals encounter material economic risk requiring contractual legal protections. Marriage law provides spouses and children with legal recourse against an adult partner who abandons the mini-society he/she became legally responsible for at the time of sexual intercourse.

  • Johnny Reb

    Just another charlatan of the Barry Lynn, Jim Evans ilk.
    But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of. And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.

  • DOM

    If a nation doesn’t give you what you want, why not move to a nation that will. Why should all nations be the same. The USA was founded on Judeo-Christian principles let it stay that way. There are many places in the world to have what you want. There would so much more harmony that way if that is what your looking for?

  • Michelle

    Just by reading alittle bit of what Tony Jones said- he’s not reading the true word of the bible. He’s gone off onto his own interpetations of what the bible saids which is backwards. God created marriage in Genesis, not man. Jesus Christ did say while he was here there would be many false prophets,we’re already seeing them by what this one person saids. When you know the real God, you don’t question anything he saids or does. He’s the creator, not man. It also states in the new testament out of the heart of the man, the mouth speaks. I can find many sriptures where this Tony Jones is off, and if he’s smart, he’ll let the holy spirit convict him and correct him. In God’s world there’s no such thing as homosexual marriage, just in man’s world there is.

  • Richard

    Most respect Jesus as a great teacher, and some even recognize that he is God. However, many of these same people ridicule his disciples as narrow minded bigots. Jesus’ teachings were so controversial that they got him killed. So what is the big deal if he said something like, “Moses only allowed marriage between a man and a woman because of the hardness of your hearts, but I show you a better way”? No, Jesus chose to validate Genesis by stating “…a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife…” It is written that His followers turned the world upside down. Paul wrote that there was no difference in Christ between Jew and Greek, male and female. Would it have been more ground breaking if he added the couplet “hetero and homo.” Instead Paul wrote in Romans, “For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.”____As a society we have become hyper-sexualized. The majority of heterosexual Christians lack control of their sexual impulses. But hopefully we still acknowledge our endeavor to walk in the spirit and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. Just because a Christian man loves another man does not mean that he has to have sex with that man. Did David have a sexual relationship with Jonathan? I confess my sexual sins on a regular basis. I believe that someone with a same sex orientation can and should be a Christian. However, neither nature nor nurture trumps the power of the Spirit (“But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him

  • Richard

    Does any homosexual Christian plan on living in a loving but celibate union with someone of the same sex? If a biological brother and sister desired to marry would that be okay? How about mother and son? Father and daughter? What if they first met when they became consenting adults? What if of them is sterile? Am I grossing you out yet?

  • Dan

    No scripture is of a private interpretation so do we need to be
    reminded of Who the Author of the Book really is? The Author is
    rather, nO very, legalistic and His very words are THOU SHALT NOT!
    Christians have a choice: follow the heretics or
    follow the letter and Spirit of His law.

  • Bob

    Scripture did say that in the last days that men would be lovers of themselves and not of God and that even the elect would be deceived. I think Tony falls into that category.
    Scripture is very clear that homosexuality is a sin and an abomination before the eyes of God, so how can he come out and say that we should bless their sinful living when God forbids it?
    Tony needs to read Scripture again from the Holy Spirit’s perspective and not his own, and hopefully the truth will then set him free.

  • Robert

    The moment you made that “revelation” you have chosen to disobey God and His Word. God is pinpoint clear on what marriage is and what constitutes a marriage. Anything else is sin and for you to encourage sin in beyond comprehension.

  • Peter Silver

    Judith Reisman has done exhaustive work in identifying the fraud behind the “sex” studies of Kinsey from which emanated secular society’s views on abortion, promisuity, divorce, homosexuality, etc.
    The open practice of homosexuality is sin and anyone condoning it is promoting evil.
    Christians don’t promote evil, just like our loving Father in Heaven, God, doesn’t promote evil. Read the Bible.
    Please don’t insult the blood of our savior, Jesus Christ, by saying that you are a Christian and that you believe the practice of the sin of homosexuality is acceptable by God.

  • Thomas

    The tern ‘Christian’ simply means ‘ follower of Christ’. Is homosexuality following Christ? Was Jesus a homosexual? Are you following Christ?
    The absolutely only way to attribute homosexuality to Christ would be to rewrite the Bible, which Tony Jones is trying to do!

  • http://www.brennonsthoughts.blogspot.com Brennon

    You’re a heretic, Tony. I’m praying for you and all the people you’re deceiving.

  • Mike

    A great article that shows the complexity of this issue for those of us with Faith.
    I’m already sad to see some of the comments posted to this blog. There is a lot of people posting misinformation typical of the radical religious right. It’s important to understand this article has been posted on a radical right wing website.
    But at any rate, these issues are important for the church. There are gays in the church and always have been. Gay people can love the Lord. Gay people can serve the Lord.
    Gay is not a choice. It is so much more complex than that and gays will be the first to tell you this.
    Gays should be able to live normal lives without worrying of being assaulted for who they love.
    I wish more Christians actually practiced the true message of Jesus Christ, but yet they don’t. Jesus’ message has gotten lost with this people. They are too full of weird prejudices and hatreds. It’s sad.
    But it is up to us to reclaim our faith and to reclaim our Christianity from the radical right wing zealots.

  • daniel

    My question is this is your God God? or are you your God?they will be marring and giving in marriage right before the lord comes back. They will slip into the great falling away [apostasy]. And when they say peace and saftey sudden destruction will come upon them.

  • Your Name

    You are a part of what is wrong with the world today.

  • tom

    in an effort to be ‘loving’ and ‘accepting’ you spread lies about christianity, and about the Lord. you are telling people it is OK to sin away, no consequences, but you forget the Lord is not only loving, but also our judge. you look like a lamb, but speak like a dragon.
    The gay rights movement wants the silencing, and criminalization of traditional christianity, to be replaced by the hellish counterfeit that is advocated by the author of this lie.
    this emergent church is nothing more than than the same old lies.

  • daniel

    Don’t worry we’ll be taken out of the way soon and the world can have it’s last hurah of one world everything under the great leader fashioned after mans own heart. It all there plain to see in Gods word.

  • daniel

    marriage
    Luke 17:26-31
    And as it was in the days of Noah, so it will be also in the days of the Son of Man: 27 They ate, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all. 28 Likewise as it was also in the days of Lot: They ate, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they built; 29 but on the day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. 30 Even so will it be in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.
    NKJV

  • Your Name

    You state: “In any case, I now believe that GLBTQ can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (at least as much as any of us can!) and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state.”____What would be more helpful or solid in your argument is scripture to back up your statement. You “feel” or “believe” is fine – but not on any solid theological ground when you remove all reference to what the bible says about the matter. ____If I were to argue for the GLTBQ, I need more than a feeling to go on. I can “feel” many things – but if it’s not sound in biblical principals, it’s not of substance. ____I agree that all men/women are worthy of unconditional Godly love. I also believe that we all carry with us sin – sin that needs to be forgiven and forsaken. I may struggle with lying, that does not mean I need to justify it and have it blessed by church leaders and continue with that sin nature. Others have other sin struggles, i.e. homosexuality. While we *hate* the sin, we MUST love the sinner. ____We don’t condone sin that is directly and obviously addressed as such in the scriptures. What we need to do is to love the sinner, in spite of sin – is that where you’re headed in your argument?____

  • Maya3

    A Walker,
    “And apart from children, there is *no need* for life-long marriage law. None.”
    That is one of the most offensive comments I have heard yet.
    As a happily straight married woman without children you BET there are MANY reasons why I´m happy that my dear husband and I can be married.
    If we had not been I would not have been able to visit my aging parents without the risk of not being let back into the US to my love when I travel back here.
    That is just ONE major example.
    I´m embarrassed to read how many lies and ignorant people there are on this board. Shocked and saddened.
    Maya

  • Larry Clark

    Although I believe homosexuality is a sin I do not believe it is to be the targeted sin by the church. Greed, lust, pride, are among the list of sins the church should focus on. The church or the body of Christ should be focused on the sin in their own life rather than the sin of another. We all stand at the feet of Jesus equally guilty and in need of His grace and mercy.
    But when the church openly embraces sinful life styles it becomes what Paul spoke of in 2 Timothy 4. Paul tells us that there will come a time when the church will not endure sound doctrine but want to have their ears tickled, and will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires. Preaching the truth about sin is hard especially if you want to be liked.

  • daniel

    2 Tim 4:2-5
    2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
    NKJV

  • melissa

    Christians are not led by emotion, only faith to believe that God’s word is truth. And there is only one truth, unless you plan on re-writing the Word of God, which then becomes false doctorine. Homosexuals, like any sinner, should be allowed in the church, but their actions [sins] should never be condoned. It is Christian to love the sinner, not the sin. I am so sad to believe that you actually were taught the Bible, but refuse to learn the lessons. Jesus loved all sinners and forgave all sins, so they can live a full and prosperous Christian life.

  • Mel M.

    On many issues in Scripture, it is possible for reasonable and sincere people to arrive at different theological perspectives (Ie. infant Baptism, eschatology, church governance, etc.). But on the issue of homosexuality, we are not given that option. The Bible is unequivocally clear. The problem is, the clear teaching of Scriptures is diametrically opposed to the current elitist — and now in some places, “official” state — view. One can not approve of homosexual conduct and still hold to the traditional evangelical or orthodox view of Scripture. It can’t logically be done. We must choose who we are going to serve

  • Rivkah Gillespie

    If you wish to openly condone and assist homosexuals in marriage and life style, that’s OK with me. But, you MUST NOT identify yourself or your congregations with Christianity. Your Jesus openly condemned this practice and He, the inspiration for the book of Revelation and all the other books of the bible, openly states that homosexuality is an abomination in the eyes of God and those who practice it will spend eternity in hell. Sodom, Gomorrah and 2 other cities in the plains of the Dead Sea were destroyed by fire from heaven for this practice. I know, I have been there and have seen the evidence!

  • The Prophet

    Any honest evaluation of Scripture reveals that homosexual relations (or for that matter, heterosexual relations outside of marriage) are not condoned by the Word of God. In fact, the models given are quite the opposite. Clearly, the Bride/Bridegroom references throughout the New Testament, as well as the model placed before us in Genesis, defines the man-woman relationship and frequently warns against sexual perversions, adultery and the like.
    Only those who intentionally distort the intention and meaning of those words can see it otherwise.
    The debate here is not whether or not gay people and gay relationships will exist. They have for thousands of years. The question is whether or not society, especially the church, should “endorse” or approve of that conduct. As a church “leader”, and I use that term lightly, Tony, there is a distinct difference in loving gays and approving or endorsing their lifestyle.
    When someone engages in sinful behavior, regardless of the type or extent of that sin, it creates distance between the person and God, since he or she is living outside of God’s will and/or statutes of conduct that have been placed before us. Whether it is cheating on your taxes, lying to your boss, lusting after another, being jealous or covetous of your neighbor as well as a whole host of other shortcomings, it is still sin and with that sin, comes separation. Clearly, the man-woman relationship was specifically designed as a complimentary one, both biologically and emotionally. Only those with alternative motives can argue otherwise.
    But, before everyone piles on about hate-mongering and discrimination, let me explain further.
    There is precedent in Scripture for loving all people. The adulteress woman who was being pursued found mercy and forgiveness at Christ’s feet, but He instructed her to “go and sin no more.” He did not say “let me change the plan and rules I have established since the beginning of time so that you will feel better about your sin”. Clearly, God has boundless love for every person and His desire is that we walk closely with Him, striving to model His example. As a Christian, we should not “hate” gay people…we should love them as Christ loved the church. However, that does not mean that Christians, or the greater society, has to endorse or condone conduct that is out of line with the Word just because a group or movement tries to carve out protections and create a privilege where it does not, and will never, exist in biblical precedent.
    To be caught in the web and delusion of homosexual love and to be actively trying to overcome is one thing…but demanding both a state and church endorsement of a lifestyle is quite another. What the homosexual movement is truly seeking is an endorsement of their sin to which, unfortunately, churches and movements like yours have inexplicably catered. And to equate the “gay rights movement” to the “civil rights movement” is an insult to those who were part of that Great Awakening. There is something very different about discriminating due to skin color, and discriminating due to conduct.
    Tony, God does not intend for, encourage, condone or approve of homosexual relationships, and if you were intellectually honest with your readers, you would reveal that to them. Clearly, your movement has made a practice of twisting Scripture to create and carve out privileges, very much like the Supreme Court did when they found a Privacy right in deciding Roe vs. Wade.
    But alas, God’s word is proven true once again, as you have catered to itching ears under the guise of evangelical Christianity. Yet what you are doing is misleading a whole host of people to believe that their conduct is not only ok, but in fact, should be sanctioned by society. And as such, in your capacity as a supposed man of God, you will be held accountable for your teachings.
    We each have our sins and our own crosses to bear during our earthly sojourn…but when you isolate a segment of sin and call it good or acceptable, you cheapen and disregard the cross that Christ bore for us all.

  • G. Casey

    TO: H.S. ( Very sorry this the FINAL version, please answer this one. 8:04am PST)
    I can understand people saying that the Bible endorses marriage between men and women, but what I can’t understand is where it specifies one man and one woman, which I presume is what people who say homosexual marriage is unBiblical are advocating for. __Where does the Bible forbid polygamy? It seems to me that the form marriage takes in the Bible is usually polygamous
    Then please recall the passage/s in the New Testament, which we operate under today, where God endorses polygamy so that we might be enlightened. TY

  • http://averyheavystone.blogspot.com/ Marcel Cousineau

    “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is broad that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.
    For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.
    “Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves”
    Matt 7

  • theHumanStain.net

    Bottom line, a true born again believer of Jesus Christ can not pick and choose what parts of the Bible he/she wishes to believe and throw out the rest. It’s an all or nothing venture. You can not be a born again believer in Jesus Christ AND believe that homosexuality is righteous.
    The Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is wrong:
    Leviticus 18:22
    Leviticus 20:13
    Romans 1:26-27
    1 Corinthians 6:9-11
    There is not one example in the Bible that justifies homosexuality. To contend that the Bible does condone homosexuality is blatant dishonesty and utter disregard for the truth.

  • Maria

    I am a married heterosexual woman with two young daughters. I grew up outside the US in a country that was 90% of Christian faith, brought up in the Catholic faith in a culture driven by strong religious traditions.____I suppose the bible can be interpreted in many ways to suit anybody’s faith and belief. But did Jesus not embrace the lepers that everyone else shunned? Do you not think that for some people, being gay is not a matter of choice but something they were born as.____Explain to me how little boys (of 6 or 7 years old) can act so flamboyantly like little girls no matter how much they were made fun of by their bullies? Do you think they chose to be this way? These are people I grew up with….____For some it might be easy to hide behind the bible to justify their prejudice, ignorance or even fear– of something they don’t understand.____To those who insist that homosexuality is a sin, did Jesus not say: “…whoever has not sinned, let them cast the first stone” ____

  • Julian

    theHumanStain.net:
    The bible also never mentioned anything about dinosaurs– does this go against you theory of creationism? But those darn paleontologist keep digging the fossils up…..

  • Gary

    This comes from the book… What in the World is Going On by Dr. David Jeremiah.
    In 1947, forward-looking sociologist Dr. Carle Zimmerman wrote a text called Family and Civilization. He identified eleven “symptoms of final decay” observable in the fall of both the Greek and Roman civilizations. See how many characterize our society:
    1. No-fault divorce
    2. “Birth Dearth”; increased disrespect for parenthood and parents
    3. Meaningless marriage rites/ceremonies
    4. Defamation of past national heroes
    5. Acceptance of alternative marriage forms
    6. Widespread attitudes of feminism, narcissism, Hedonism
    7. Propagation of antifamily sentiment
    8. Acceptance of most forms of adultery
    9. Rebellious children
    10. Increased juvenile delinquency
    11. Common acceptance of all forms of sexual perversion
    One cannot read lists such as these and doubt that America is throwing away its treasured position as the most blessed nation ever on the face of the earth.

  • steve

    so let me get this straight; i can believe you and what you say about this subject, or i can believe God and what He says about this subject.
    Hmmm…you, or God.
    Gee, I’m sure you can see how this would be a really tough decision for me as to whom to believe on this matter…eh?

  • David Burton

    God says for man to lie with man is an ABOMINATION! Gen 35:11 says. God says to Jacob, I am God Almighty,go and be fruitful and multiply. Man with man or woman with woman cannot copulate and produce off-spring. Very simple.

  • OneWayOnly!

    Pick up your Bible, read it and get back to the truth. Scripture talks about how some will pervert the truth, and you are one of them!

  • Jeff M

    It doesn’t matter how you FEEL about it. It matter what GOD SAYS about it. Liberal’s problem is they do too much ‘feeling’ and not enough rational thinking. The ability to reason is disappearing from our society as it has from all nations that have rejected the Biblical God. You views are folly.

  • Debbie

    Christianity is the following of Christ and His Word. Tony Jones is creating his own religion using his own words. Please, let us not further confuse this man with Christianity.
    Luke 21:8 He (Jesus) replied: “Watch out that you are not deceived. For many will come in my name, claiming, ‘I am he,’ and, ‘The time is near.’ Do not follow them.

  • http://www.liftupjesusonly.net Art Telles

    Hi Tony,
    After reading your opening statement, the opening statement of Rod Dreher and every comment on this page up to this point, your lack of biblical references is appropriate because this statement is about you and your journey.
    I look forward to your biblical support in the future.
    In your biblical support for your current viewpoint, remember that if “original intent” means anything (i.e., words have meaning to the person who originally wrote them), then the reader of the text does NOT determine the meaning of the text.
    If your want us to accept the original intent of the words you write, then you also need to accept the original intent of the biblical record of God’s dealings with his chosen people and how they were to interact with the people around them.
    When God is brought into the conversation, the direction of the conversation results in action.
    As Jesus said, since no one is without sin, he does not condemn us either, so… “go, and sin no more.”
    Whether we look at our genesis from the biblical viewpoint or from the viewpoint of the creation vs evolution debate, the ONLY way to exist and to continue to exist is by a union of a man and a woman (marriage is a different discussion).
    If evolution were ever to be universally accepted as true, when did mindless evolution “decide” that heterosexual union had a competitor in homosexual union?
    Is this to be construed as evolutionary survival of the fittest?
    Not… it just does not make common sense. For example, which came first, heterosexuality or homosexuality?
    Your answer this very simple question, no trick is involved, will determine you action, not just for yourself but for your “emerging” world view.
    It may surprise that Adam and Eve were not created heterosexual (and by implication not homosexual).
    They were created male and female… their conduct by “choice” was to express themselves to each other in the heterosexual manner.
    “Be fruitful and multiply” (original intent) implies ONLY heterosexual conduct, not homosexual conduct… forever.
    I hope these comments come across with the same tone that you and Rod have expressed.
    Art Telles
    LiftUpJesusOnly.net
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    See You At The Resurrection

  • Will

    In the end times, that which is good will become evil. That which is evil will become good.
    Enough said.

  • Joe Bear

    It stands to reason if the plumbing doesn’t work how can anyone justify it. God is very spacific in the Bible.

  • Your Name

    Regarding marriage whether homosexual or heterosexual, the Bible is really focused on a relational base far superior to either. Traditional marriage is used in the Bible to illustrate our relationship to Jesus. Traditional marriage is not promoted in the Bible as the ultimate status of an individual. ____Unlike today’s churches, either liberal or conservative where flesh-based relationships are endorsed to the limit, the Bible talks about a relationship with Jesus in a Body of believers who are organically linked. This Body has a relational structure totally superior to the flesh-based relationships found in conservative and liberal churches. It is based on supernatural properties unlike the natural ones found in churches today. ____It is for this reason that I cannot relate to churches at all or any other religious institutions. The Bible and today’s churches are as much separated as Islam is to Judaism. Churches today are not the Body of Christ obviously. ____What the Bible says offers the ultimate form of marriage. A marriage to Jesus and His Body. __

  • http://www.dominicanidaho.org johncharles

    Good old fashioned [or should I say ancient and nothing-new-under-the-sun] rubbish!

  • A Follower of Christ – Thomas

    Typo, Fallower should be Follower. Sorry, you can stone be if you want, I want to go home! A Joke for the who are overly sensitive!
    Thomas

  • Your Name

    As a practicing homosexual I would have to agree that it is biblically and morally wrong. Marriage should remain between one man and one women. ____It is unbelievable, that there is a movement trying to ruin the traditional values of America. If we keep going down the wrong moral direction, this country will truly fall by the wayside and great will be the fall. Unfortunately, I am part of the problem not the solution.____The one good thing about homosexuals they stick together and seem to gain strength from there togetherness. Unlike Christians in this generation they seem to be all over the place and arrogant at times. This does not help the cause. Christians must stick together as one and fight the good fight in a humble manner. God only lifts those up who are humble and abases the proud. ____What I mean by arrogant

  • Kerry

    This is a fairly simple question. It is a bedrock Biblical principle that God is the same yesterday, today and forever. (His words). The Creator’s principles never change. In other words what was a sin in ancient times, was a sin in Jesus’ time, and is a sin today.
    God has specifically condemn homosexual behavior by his word and by examples (Sodom and Gomorrah as well as an incident with the Israel tribe of Benjamin.) Since God’s opinion about what’s right and wrong does not change, my question:
    Where does any man get the authority to overrule God?
    You either believe God’s word and His examples or you do not. You are a believer or a non-believer. Oh and the fate of non-believers is also announced by God, the final Judge of all things.
    “Good luck” in trying to change His mind!

  • Your Name

    To: Your Name,____ You Are closer to finding Christ than Tony is, with this acknowledgment, my prayers are for you that God in heaven will open your eyes completely for in Him do we have Life. I do not condemn you, but the sin itself even my sin, but Christ died and took all the sin of mankind on himself so that we would not have to die in sin but only if we accept Him as our Savior can we escape death. God is perfect and where perfection is, sin cannot be. Christ is the bridge between man and God! Today is the day of Salvation, not tomorrow. Ask God to reveal Himself to you and He will! You cant change who you are but God can, ask Him! He has the cure for the disease of sin. (your right about the church) its been polluted and to many wolves allowed in to corrupt it.__ May God reveal His Truth to You my friend! Thomas____

  • http://paulpraises.site40.net/mystuff/john1.html George

    The Bible still has the ultimate answers to life’s ultimate questions. Prayer still works. The holy spirit still moves and works in people’s life’s. God still inhabits the praises of his people. There is still powerful God-anointed teaching and preaching. There is still worshipful singing and praise. God is still pouring out his blessing on his people. There’s still room on the cross. Jesus still loves you and me. God will still save people who come to him.

  • Jim

    You are wrong Tony.____The homosexual movement wants us to believe they want to be married like heterosexuals. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact all the research of the homosexual sub-culture indicates a mere miniscule commitment by their population to “monogamous” relationships over any significant period of time. Very few in their movement will honestly say privately that they personally want life-long monogamous family commitments recognized by the world in the same way that heterosexual marriage is now in the larger society.__ __So what is it that they want? Why their outrage over the failures of their massive and expensive efforts to convice the public to allow them to “marry?” Put simply: their goal is a new level of acceptance that ameliorates their own deep-seated shame at their difference from the norm. Put another way, they want to be normal. They want the government, the IRS, and the rest of the world to say what they know is not really true. They want society to say to them: “You are normal and we accept you as such.” __ __However, homosexuality and heterosexuality are not morally, physically, sexually, socially, relationally or any other way equivalent. Simple science demonstrates that there cannot be two norms for human sexuality, because only one relationship can result in reproduction. This reality renders any other version of human sexuality abnormal, sub-normal, or at the least, deviations from the norm. That is simple science and unchangeable fact.__ __No amount of legislative change, judicial fiat, licensing or religious ceremony will assuage or change the underlying discontent and angst that comes from knowing that one differs from the norm. Most of us differ from the norm in some area of our physical, psychological, emotional, financial, social or spiritual makeup. Does that mean we all get to create and enforce laws to make us feel normal? Shall we seek new laws or change the Bible texts to make fat or skinny people feel better about themselves? How about sado-masichists or necrophiliacs? What about sex or drug addicts or alcoholics? There is an indisputable norm for nearly every behavior, and those who deviate always struggle with it.______If the difference from the norm is a lifestyle decision one makes, which all the evidence so far supports with respect to homosexuality and other sexual deviations from the norm, then there is only one escape from the angst. Change your lifestyle by making different choices. Will it be a painful struggle? Of course it will, but do not ever expect that making new laws or shifting a society will make you feel whole. It never has worked for any of us with any of our deviation struggles, nor will it work for homosexuals with theirs.____Please note that I did not quote the Bible once.

  • Mr. Incredible

    The Word of God defines what we call “marriage” as the union of a man, as husband, and a woman, as his wife. References to this arrangement are throughout the Word, and that’s cuz it simulates the “marriage” of Christ, the Groom, to His Church, the bride. Not only that, but Malachi 2:15 [AMP] tells us that the union of a man, as husband, and a woman, as his wife, simulating the marriage of Christ and His Church, should produce Godly children. Two men, for example, for, of and by themselves, cannot produce children of any kind, let alone Godly children.
    God condemns what we now call “homosexuality” as being an “abomination.”
    For Him to allow so-called “same-sex ‘marriage,’” while condemning homosesxuality, would be contradiction, and God does not contradict Himself.

  • Your Name

    Thank you for the encouragement. I realize there is only one way to the Father and that is through Jesus Christ who made the ultimate sacrifice for us sinners. The sin of not repenting and excepting the sacrifice of the cross will block us from getting to the Father in heaven. We as humans must not try to change the Bible and its meanings for our gains or politcal leanings. Tony will have a lot of explaining to do since he is teaching this rubbish. The Bible says let few of you be teachers (teachers of the Word will have higher accountability). Jesus is the Only Way, which means what he teaches is what must be thought. Since he is the Word and the Word became flesh. I myself need to repent, which means turn the other direction, not living in lustfull sin, which means missing the mark.

  • A Follower of Christ – Thomas

    To: Your Name
    Run the race to win my friend!
    Thomas

  • http://paulpraises.site40.net/mystuff/john1.html George

    The Bible still has the ultimate answers to life’s ultimate questions. Prayer still works. The Holy Spirit still moves and works in people’s life’s. God still inhabits the praises of his people. There is still powerful God-anointed teaching and preaching. There is still worshipful singing and praise. God is still pouring out his blessing on his people. There’s still room on the cross. Jesus still loves you and me. God will still save people who come to him.

  • Gerard

    First off I don’t believe for a moment that this discussion is a “them” or “us” discussion. This is not homosexuality verses heterosexuality as so many wish to make it about. No one is trying to say one side is better than the other or one life style is preferable to the other. The fact of the matter is that there are numerous people in this world that find them-selves to have a sexual attraction to those of the same sex. If we are going to use scripture as our foundation then we must start from the beginning of life.
    If we start in Genesis “God created man in his image in the divine image he created him; man and female he created them” (Gen 1:27) we find that we are all created in the image and likeness of God, male and female gay and straight. The point of this story is that God is the author of all life and in God’s image were we created. Not just a select few, not just Christians, not just straight people, all of creation, Jew, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, gay, straight, catholic, Baptist, black, yellow, white, tall, short, fat, thin this list could go on an on the fact is all of creation comes from God and it all is good.
    So we are all created in the image and likeness of God Jeremiah would tell us “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you…” (Jer 1:5) God created us just the way we are, before I was born God knew me, Love me and accepted me as Gods own image. Why can’t we do the same with each other? If we want to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, then let us follow his example to love and accept each other.
    Now before you go rattling off scripture verses to me do some research, most of the New Testament prohibitions against sexual immorality were due to cultic beliefs and pagan rituals. In Paul’s time there were male and female temple prostitutes. Paul’s issues were more in line with sexual immorality as understood in his day. Most openly homosexual practices in Paul’s day were from the Greek custom of older men having sex with boys. This was a common and accepted custom in the Hellenistic world in which Paul lived. This was not two adults in a consensual relationship looking to make a life together. The idea that two men or woman would wish to openly live together and raise a family was not even considered plausible way of life. To equate the gay and lesbian movement to the homosexual activity of ancient times is as valid as using scripture to support slavery. Paul speaks very openly and more often about slavery then homosexuality, yet today we realize that to understand Paul and his view on slavery we must understand the times.
    Now that is because our understanding has changed, we have grown as a race just as we have grown as a people of God. Jesus told us “I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now. But when he comes, the Spirit of truth, he will guide you to all truth.” (Jn 16:12-13) perhaps the Spirit of truth is guiding us to a deeper and more profound understanding of love and intimacy than we can understand and conceive. In that light the church’s understand of marriage is not wrong, it is absolutely correct yet it is not complete its time to consider including an “and” at the end of it’s statement to include the deep loving commitment that two people of the same sex can have.
    Its time to include the understanding that a loving relationship between two people whether they are gay or straight always includes God. For all relationships are Trinitarian in their nature. Any time two people, father and son, husband and wife, mother and daughter, friends or coworkers, have a relationship, the love they share, whether it is sexual or not, by nature includes the Spirit of God’s Love. That is, it includes God. So we are not talking about “them” or “us”, gay or straight, heterosexual or homosexual, we are talking about children of God, who want to more than anything else live out their lives in a loving relationship growing in the love of God, building up the kingdom of God here on earth.

  • http://randomcomments1.blogspot.com Bill Sines

    That this discussion is even happening is testimony to the fact that we are largely incapable of discerning God’s will about what’s right and what’s wrong. Even though it’s written down for us: “Do not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination.”, we are still unable to determine what the truth is. Are we really this blind as a society?____Now before you label me a “gay hater,” I must admit that I’ve been thoroughly embarassed by other Christians’ treatment of homosexuals. If we really knew Jesus, we would know that condemning homosexuals hatefully and spitefully is wrong. We must lovingly (did you hear that? lovingly….) call people to repentance…to turn away from self-destructive behavior, be it homosexuality, out-of-wedlock heterosexuality, rage, anger, greed, lust, or whatever other filth we’ve gotten ourselves into. ____Jesus endured the cross for a reason. Does anyone know? Does anyone know why Jesus had to die? That awful death that He bore was the wrath of God…the wrath of God against sin.____How have we become so out of touch?__

  • http://paulpraises.site40.net/mystuff/john1.html George

    The Bible still has the ultimate answers to life’s ultimate questions. Prayer still works. The Holy Spirit still moves and works in people’s life’s. God still inhabits the praises of his people. There is still powerful God-anointed teaching and preaching. There is still worshipful singing and praise. God is still pouring out his blessing on his people. There’s still room on the cross. Jesus still loves you and me. God will still save people who come to him.

  • Mr. Incredible

    ==Interracial marriage is no longer banned…==
    So what? We recognize[d] that they are still a man, as husband, and a woman, as his wife. That meets the requirement of God.
    In the so-called “same-sex ‘marriage,’” who’s the mand and who’s the woman [required by God], and who is the husband and who is the wife [required by God]?

  • http://randomcomments1.blogspot.com Bill Sines

    Please spare me the “God made me this way” logic. Because of the sin of Adam and Even (see Romans 5), we are sinners…we are so far from what God made us and originally intended us to be.

  • G. Casey

    November 23, 2008 11:15 AM __I am a married heterosexual woman with two young daughters. I grew up outside the US in a country that was 90% of Christian faith, brought up in the Catholic faith in a culture driven by strong religious traditions.____I suppose the bible can be interpreted in many ways to suit anybody’s faith and belief. But did Jesus not embrace the lepers that everyone else shunned? Do you not think that for some people, being gay is not a matter of choice but something they were born as.____Explain to me how little boys (of 6 or 7 years old) can act so flamboyantly like little girls no matter how much they were made fun of by their bullies? Do you think they chose to be this way? These are people I grew up with….____For some it might be easy to hide behind the bible to justify their prejudice, ignorance or even fear– of something they don’t understand.____To those who insist that homosexuality is a sin, did Jesus not say: “…whoever has not sinned, let them cast the first stone” ______Maria, you can’t be serious equating the fact Jesus’s embracing Lepers is in anyway relative to homosexuality, what in the world makes you think leprosy is a sin?__As to his statement,” whoever has not sinned, let them cast the first stone” point, he was merely pointing out we are ALL sinners, not one of us qualified to throw a stone, but again, in no does that have anything to do with the acceptance of sins. Do you really think Jesus told the adultress, go and sin some more? You either teach people truth or error, you current understanding of the homosexuality issue is error, please reconsider you conclusion/s using logic and reason, and more importantly, trust the Holy Spirit to reveal the truth to you if you are unsure. I pray that God will open your mind,heart & spirit to that truth. Amen

  • Don’t secular “morality laws” infringe on free will?

    As a gay athiest my question is not whether or not gay marriage should be blessed inside the church. I fully understand why it is not, generally. What I don’t understand is why believers should feel compelled to cross the church/state wall and try to impose their will on the greater population.
    Why do the Catholics and Mormans feel that it is their responsibility to change “secular” law? My religious friends have always told me that the essence of faith is free will.
    Also, when religious groups cross that wall don’t they invite secular examination of their claims. Isn’t that a threat to religious freedom (as we are seeing in the backlash to the Prop. 8 vote)?

  • Rabbi Gershon Steinberg-Caudill

    I think it odd that those who use the Hebrew Bible to persecute others also pick and choose which parts of that same Bible they will believe in. We have come a long ways from Abraham being told by God to kill his son Isaac and the Israelites being told by God to stone their stubborn and rebellious sons to the place where that same God tells us not to hate our neighbor in our heart and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. The evolution from the place where killing another person, including your son, was accepted if one did it upon God’s command to where the rabbis of the Talmud negated the killing of the stubborn and rebellious son was a good thing.
    I perform gay and lesbian marriages with or without state sanction. I shall continue to do so. I do not believe that God loves a homosexual (I am a heterosexual) less than God loves straight people.

  • David

    Since I am not a theologian, I can only respond from personal experience. As a man who has lived with homosexual temptation my entire life, I have chosen (by the free will that God has given me) to make my relationship with and dedication to Jesus Christ more important than fulfilling the desires of my sin nature…and that includes anything that the Bible has plainly lists as any sin that comes between me and Him (homosexual sex, heterosexual sex outside of marriage, rage, anger, greed, lust, and so on). I have personally experienced God’s grace and redemption after some very shameful moments of sin in my life, and He has done so in some very tangible and miraculous ways. In summary, the Holy Spirit has patiently shown me that my homosexual lust and temptation, my tendency to be greedy and selfish, my lust for things that others have, my tendency to put someone or something in place of Him, etc. is settling for less than God’s best for me. In the scope of eternity, my life here on Earth is too short, and our time as the body of Christ on the Earth is quickly coming to an end. I must make the best decisions that ultimately affect (1) my eternity with Him and (2) the eternity of those in my sphere of influence. Please trust that I’ll be praying for all readers of this blog as they spend time with God discussing this issue. D

  • vincent Ford

    My first post was to Tony this post is to the rest of you. Watch in the days and months that come, how Tony will be increasingly averse to the scriptural arguments against his abominable position. Notice how he (like the Democrats) can always find a STORY to tell about some poor homosexual or other, but he can’t seem to read the BIBLE!!!
    Notice how he will try to lure you away from truth with cleverly devised fables. I say this as a warning. Most of you don’t really know who Tony is …but I do. He is a minister of Satan. He isn’t asking questions to “start a dialogue” he is planting satanic seeds designed to pull you away from God’s word. The Word is replete with warnings against such men. Or didn’t you know that the DEVIL has MINISTERS and that they work a certain way? They always come with STORIES or FABLES and they NEVER come with SCRIPTURE!
    And curiously the point of their fables or stories is to get YOU to deny the truth of God’s word like they did. See, by the time satan’s leaven gets to the point where you are openly lying about JESUS CHRIST on a freakin’ BLOG, the damage is already done. False teachers like Tony will have their day. They just won’t like it.
    2 Corinthians 11:13-15 (New International Version)
    13For such men ( LIKE TONY) are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ.
    14And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will be what their actions deserve.
    And what does the word say about “ministers” who ask STUPID questions that were already answered by the Lord when he destroyed the sodomites in SODOM? Especially those who couch their opposition to the clearly revealed will of God in terms of telling “stories” or “fables” designed to appeal to you emotionally while countermanding scripture?……
    1TIMOTHY 1:4-10
    4Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
    5Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
    6From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;
    7Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
    8But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
    9Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
    10For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
    Nuff said about this false teacher. See by the time the Leaven reaches the point where you’re not just questioning the word in your heart but you’re openly defending it’s defiance on the internet, it’s probably too late. Nevertheless all is possible with God. I pray that God leads Tony to repentance so that he can stop leading people away from the truth. God is not mocked.

  • A Follower of Christ – Thomas

    Tony,
    Why remove my comment, is it because when the Bible speaks the truth and its quoted to you it hurts, or was it because when light exposes darkness, the darkness flees?

  • A happy ex-church goer

    Brian…you said:
    “No problem! Again, your beef is with the bible (see the above quotes), not me (you know the whole don’t shoot the messenger thing)”
    As a gay man the only time I have suffered physical violence is at the hands of those who thought they were more right than I am, who were simply delivering a message. God’s word is harmless. The Bible cannot break my bones.
    Fervent believers who take the Bible’s word as permission to speak judgmentally and exercise violence against GLBTQ people are dangerous, and so in this respect I am taking my beef up with you, not the Bible. How you speak to others creates a climate of trust and safety, or not. I left the Church because it was DANGEROUS for me and I had been threatened and assaulted by people who also claimed that my real issue was with God.
    Well God didn’t punch me in the face Brian. A man did. And he quoted Bible verse before and after he did it.
    And that is why I thank you for speaking so forcefully. Those of you on this thread who are not gay and lesbian…imagine how safe you would feel in a congregation of Brians.
    I’m at peace with God and myself. You can think what you want, and interpret God’s will any way you want, but it doesn’t change the love for my partner, nor the committment I made to him.
    Blessing to all. Speak your convictions, but leave your judgements behind.

  • http://www.tstl.net Thus Saith The Lord

    There is only one way to be “biblically” acceptable and that is to pit the clear teachings of Leviticus 20:13, Deuteronomy 22:5, Romans 1:26-32 condemning to hell such activities against 1 John 4:16 that seems to ignore such things under the blanket of love. To be biblical, one must not pit verses against each other. Yes, God loves the GLBTQ but love does not overlook knowingly committing sin. “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent” (Revelation 3:19).

  • J

    The Christian Church is being too soft in its defense of marriage stance. Marriage, yes, is weakened in a society where deviant behavior (sodomy) is sanctioned but the first thing to object to is the act of homosexual sex. It is considered an abomination by the God of the Abraham,Isaac and Jacob. There should be no limitation on civil contracts allowing two men or two women having legal arrangments allowing some shared rights and responsibilities under the law. The act of sex between two same partners is what is wrong. No one is saying two men cannot love each other. That is fine. It is the act of sex which is the evil.

  • http://silverliningministry.com Ron Henderson, Pastor

    Actually, it does not really matter how one got from here to there. What matters most in our spiritual journey is how close we are to Jesus and obey his teachings. Homosexuality is very soundly condemned by the entire Bible. It is a sin just as every other sin. Regardless of whether there are reasons or excuses for it, it is still sin. God himself makes that very clear in His Word. There may be reasons why a man may wish to have an affair with another woman than his wife; there may be reasons why men may wish to kill others with whom they are angry, but commission of these acts is still wrong and sinful. Worse yet, those preachers and teachers of the Word who delude others into thinking homosexuality is kosher and good do a great disservice to the sacrifice of Jesus for the sin of humanity; and they hold a fearful responsibility for thus falsifying the Word and so deprive humanity of knowing good from evil. The act of falsifying the clear Word of God was actually first committed by the Serpent in the Garden of Eden when he made it appear that God’s word was not trustworthy. God have mercy on preachers and teachers today who mimic the Serpent and so deface the image of God in humanity.

  • A Follower of Christ – Thomas

    Thanks Pastor Ron,
    Thats what I was saying but with a lot of scripture to back it up!
    God Bless My Brother!!!!

  • Chris J.

    We are at our end here in the USA. A nation founded by great men(the Puritans) who lived and understood the Bible as no generation since then. We are going the way of other great nations, Egypt, Greece, Rome and Great Britain to name a few. These nations succumbed to Gay Fascism also. Generally, by the time a nation gets to this point they are too far gone. I pray for a revival and a return to God’s word. Someone’s story has no bearing on Biblical truth. A homosexual is no worse a sinner than I am but I do not identify my whole being with a sin. When I describe myself to someone my sexuality does not even enter in to the equation. I do not want to wear my loins on my sleeves. I do not want to know what disgusting things you do with another human with your pants down. I don’t care whether you do these things with a person of the opposite sex or the same sex. I do not discriminate. Sex is about the 999th most important thing in life. Jesus did not tell us to pontificate about our sexual proclivities. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind, strength and soul and love your neighbor as yourself. We love God by trusting in Christ’s death for our sins and his resurrection. We love him through our obedience and we love our neighbor by holding him to the same standards we hold ourselves. We confess our sins daily and try and walk in the works that Christ prepared for us beforehand. These works do not include the clear sin of sodomy. Paul was all too familiar with the Sodomites of his day. Many greeks had their wives, their whores and the young boy they sodomized. Gay rights are one of the oldest kenards on earth. Sin destroys people and as christians, we are to point them to the holy perfection of our savior.

  • A Walker

    To Maya3:
    What percentage of human beings in history got “married” so they could visit aging parents across national borders? Zero.
    C’mon Maya3, marriage is a legal contract put in place to protect heterosexual women and their children from the long-range material risk assumed during sex acts. The contract binds the partners together under law and levies stiff penalties against any partner who seeks to abandon the others to whom he/she is legally responsible.
    That is, since heterosexual sex is procreative, and since procreation has long-range economic consequences for women and the infants sired during sex, a social contract is required to protect their material and economic well being against abandonment. That’s what marriage is.
    For sure, marriage is not a “visit-aging-parents-across-national-borders” contract.

  • Virgil Vaduva

    Tony, I largely agree with you, especially about how the Church has been treating homosexuals for a long time, but I am not seeing the scriptural or philosophical path to reaching your conclusion. If you are reaching your conclusion just because you are upset about how your homosexual friends have been abused and mistreated, that may be a bit fallacious.
    You are not dealing with Paul’s take on the issue or with the imagery of Chris as the bridegroom and the Church as the bride. So if you are looking out to test your “theological and philosophical reasons for supporting the rights of GLBTQ persons to marry,” you need to bring those reasons to light, because I am not the only one who is not finding them.

  • Bob Franks

    Anglican John Henry Newman remembered that God never changes, so he postulated that His true church could be discovered by analyzing not the doctrine of the various churches, but the CHANGES to doctrine in each of the Churches. He studied all of the Christian’s church’s doctrines back to the time of Jesus, and found to his surprise the only one whose doctrine hasn’t changed since the time of Jesus is that of the Catholic Church. (For example, all Protestant branches opposed birth control via contraception until the 1920′s, when the women’s suffrage/women’s rights movement built up a formidable head of steam and won women the right to vote amongst other things. Now only the Catholic Church opposes it, as it always has. The others changed starting in the 1920′s/1930′s to accommodate or bend God to the popular political motifs of that day.) He converted and died a cardinal in the Catholic Church. With all these lost souls of each generation trying to “find God” every 40 or so years with all their new theories, I thank God every day I was born into the Catholic Church, which has the UNCHANGING truth of God deposited within it.

  • Bob Franks

    I also think readers of this blog should investigate Pope John Paul II’s work on Theology of the Body, where he examines our human body as a great gift to us from God.

  • dr. jay

    the old fashion way to get into real trouble was by eating, drinking, taking drugs, getting diseases, and acting like a pig and a fool until you died. apparently today, in some church circles, this same lifestyle is sanctified by God. maybe they’re reading from the new marvel comics translation of the Bible.
    dr. jay

  • http://desh412.blogspot.com Joel Spencer

    Marriage is not a “right” to be obtained, it is a covenant. The entire premise of marriage is for us to understand the imagery of our marriage to Christ and the covenant that the LORD has made with us. When one starts to venture out into, “Well, I’m OK with it” despite what the Word states, I check out.
    God’s Law is not for me to translate in order to fit a PC stance. His Law is also not about my personal preferences whatsoever. My agenda, my understanding, whether I like it or not – all is futile for He is God and I am man. All of His Laws are in place for our good – period. The more we distance ourselves from them, the more we continue to unravel and move toward our own demise.

  • http://silverliningministry.com Ron Henderson, Pastor

    It is incorrect to say that the only church that has not changed since the time of Christ’s church is the RC Church!! Why was it called the Apostate Church? There are many false beliefs that the RC church brought into Christianity. But this is not the venue for that discussion.
    While we do not condone violent and rude actions shown to homosexuals, we cannot accept homosexuality because some people may have ill-treated them. Of course homosexuals themselves are being violent, rude, and offensive today. Once again, regardless of what preachers, teachers, government leaders, and others say to make homosexuality and such behaviour acceptable in our society we biblical Christians cannot and will not accept homosexual behaviour as moral, acceptable, and normal. And our reason for holding this stance? God condemns it. As long as God condemns it we dare not do otherwise. While we are to love all men, we are not to accept immoral practices. And no amount of reasoning nor excuses can ever make homosexuality moral and right. My wish for homosexuals is that they repent of their actions (as every sinner must do) and turn to God for forgiveness and salvation.

  • Your Name

    It does not matter what I think about this.
    It does not matter what you think about this.
    God says it is wrong..in the Old Testament in Lev 18:22 and 20:13.
    Again in Romans 1:24-27 and 32.
    There is a vast difference between condemning the sin and the person.
    Those that claim to be Christians historically do a poor job of this and usually wind up condemning the persons also, which clearly is not correct, either.
    The answer is one needs to study the Word and pray about this His will and way can be understood and done.

  • Randy

    This is what the world is coming to we now have leaders in our church that are saying the gay lifestyle is OK and right? When the bible and Jesus taught against it!!! All I can say is please lord come quickly!!! It do believe that homosexuality is a sin! And yes I believe that they can turn from this sin and be born again. But I do not think we should accept or let them practice their “Lifestyle” openly in our church just to lead them to Christ! What is next? Letting drunks and drug addicts drink and do drugs in the church? But we say it is OK because they are in church? It is the exact same thing as letting a gay couple come to the church. All we can do is pray for them and show them what we believe is to be the truth taught by the bible.

  • Nate

    Sin is a mistake we either make or something we choose to do then feel guilty or ashamed afterward. Homosexuality is something chosen to live day in and day out, it’s a sin that they don’t see a need to repent from or seek forgiveness for. You should be ashamed of yourself for trying to sell out Jesus to our modern, fallen culture.

  • Joe

    Jesus talked a lot about greed and power, and yet we embrace living in a country where love of money is the underlying principle of our society.
    People aren’t born greedy, either. We teach them.
    Scripturally, there’s a lot of evidence that says being greedy is a far worse sin than being gay. Yet we even ordain greedy people, and celebrate them.
    The love of money, not homosexuality, is the root of all evil. It is easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle than for a rich man, not a gay man, to enter heaven.
    And the U.S. is the most greedy nation on earth.

  • Michele

    Just one question Tony:
    What if you are actually wrong? You see, if I am “wrong” to believe that homosexuality is a sin and against God’s Word, there are no eternal consequences…but if you are really wrong–
    well, you may want to rethink this matter. Just a thought.

  • richtfan

    this is just another in a long line of mainline Protestant acts of appeasement.
    homosexuality is a sin, and they compound their sin by not being repentant about it. heterosexual extramarital activity and premarital fornication are both sins, but many are willing to admit that it’s wrong.
    The other big problem with homosexuality is that it perverts God’s first real miracle, the creation of mankind. God made Adam and Even, not Adam and Steve.
    How can you look a child in the face and tell him that his two parents, Carol and Angela, are God-fearing Christians and yet they openly flaunt their sin by being homosexual? How do you explain about the public school book that little Timmy brings home called “Heather Has Two Mommies”? How do you explain something that’s not normal to a child?

  • Vogie

    I think it’s very obvious why there isn’t a single scripture verse on this entire post. There are things somebody’s mom said, things some guy said, you said, and a reference to a book written on a subject that shouldn’t need to exist. If you say that God’s word accepts the sin of the gay and etc community as okay, You’re lying. If you believe that, you’re wrong. God said to the woman caught in adultery: “Go, and sin no more”. If you leave out any part of that when pastoring, you’ve lost what Jesus’ entire ministry is about. And from the above blog, It looks like you have.

  • Rachel

    Thank you Tony, for your brave words of love. And a deep heartfelt thank you to your mom.
    I wish that all of you who are posting would please cross post your comments on your own churches website – or perhaps consider preaching these words as a sermon. C’mon – be bold, be brave, speak up. Be honest with your congregations and tell them that you know who is clean and unclean. You know who the goats and sheep are. You have been given the divine answers. You were right about slavery too, so I say make a stand, preach it.

  • Steve

    Tony…your comments appear to be based on experiential rather than Biblical standards, and why those standards exist. I don’t know why you have chosen to negate what is in the Bible, but your anecdotal stories of your own life experiences are far to short sighted and ignore why there are Biblical problems with your conclusions. I would suggest you do a little more Bible investigation and either stand by the standards there, or renounce your faith to not confuse those you may influence

  • Bobby

    Unfortunately as most christians know, this is the beginning of the new movement of tolerant Christianity. If you take a look around you the world is falling deeper into acceptance. Don’t get me wrong, God most definately loves all, gay or straight, he just does not accept the lifestyle. After all he is the potter and we are the clay. Doesn’t he have the right to set the rules?
    If you are incorrect Pastor, how many people will stand before God feeling ok about their lifestyle and sin? The Bible states “it is a terrible thing to fall in the hands of God”. Not that he is an angry God but his wrath is beyond our comprehension and he has a right to distribute it as he sees fit. Also, person to person, what if you have to give account for the people that you may have led astray.
    Just a thought!! What would Paul say in a letter to you regarding this issue?

  • David W. Lincoln

    The comparison between the word, “man” and the word, “woman”, does a better job of communicating the reality that men and women are different, as compared to homosexuality.
    So, since when it is okay for people to cheat themselves in living a
    poor way to communicate reality that does not come from the activity
    of people?

  • Your Name

    Well, I had a very long response but it didn’t all post so I will try to reconstruct the end of the above paragraph on Nov 24 by YOUR NAME.
    I went on to say -
    We go to church to worship God and to be with fellow believers and to receive instruction. Those in authority must teach God’s true and holy word. If you water down or distort the Gospel you yourself will have to stand before God and explain to Him why you have led so many astray. You have put yourself in a dangerous situation with God himself when you preach acceptance of sin instead of preaching about how to turn from sin.

  • Your Name

    Michelle you wrote: __ __Just one question Tony:__What if you are actually wrong? You see, if I am “wrong” to believe that homosexuality is a sin and against God’s Word, there are no eternal consequences…but if you are really wrong–__well, you may want to rethink this matter. Just a thought. ____If you believe that there are eternal consequences for believing that homosexuality is right – why wouldn’t there be eternal consequences for believing that it is wrong? I think this is one of the attitudes that Jesus was so disheartened about when he confronted religious people in the NT…the idea that being more rigid than God is a good thing. In my opinion, if you are wrong in your belief, you are oppressing a whole group of people unjustly – denying them their God given place in the story they find themselves living in.____I am sure it will not make a difference but I would like to plead with everyone to please stop saying that people who interpret scripture differently than you are not followers of Christ. __

  • Bernie

    Read this today in Charles Stanley “In Touch” Seems very appropriate.
    Believing that the Lord still speaks to His followers, we must learn how to hear His voice. We have to develop discernment–many voices claim to be His and yet have nothing whatsoever to do with the true God.
    For example, just think of the many cults around today. No doubt, you’ve seen news reports or televised specials dissecting the odd-sounding belief systems of different faith-based groups. Many of them profess to be based on Scripture, yet they often have certain doctrines that are radically foreign to us; the God of the Bible is completely unrecognizable in their creeds. Obviously, this can pose a problem for those of us in the church who are eager to hear from our Father.
    When confronted by different voices that claim to be “true” and clamor for our attention, we remember two absolute truths:
    First, we know that the Lord will never say anything that contradicts Scripture. For example, suppose a religious group claimed that extra-marital affairs were somehow acceptable in the Lord’s sight. We would know immediately that this wasn’t from God, as it directly contradicts Exodus 20:14.
    Second, we know that God won’t add to or take away from the Bible. It is His complete and reliable Word. Therefore, anyone claiming to have “more” scriptures or another Testament is a fraud.
    Two of the Enemy’s best weapons are distraction and deception. Don’t fall for his lies. Test every voice against Scripture, and ask God for the wisdom to discern His voice among the impostors.

  • Sterling

    Christianity guided by emotions, rather than the Word of God is dangerous. Though we are created in the image of God, God is not like us (and thankfully so) – He does not change because of His emotions, and to change His Word because of your emotion is spiritually dangerous. If it does not agree with God’s Word, then it is something that we should not embrace.
    “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2Ti 4:3

  • Hollister

    “I want you to know that your father and I will still love you no matter whom you love. And you can always bring home, to our house, anyone you love.”
    This could be a quote from Jesus.

  • Bette

    I’d like to make an observation that may surprise some.
    The word homosexuality does not occur in either the new or old testaments. Didn’t some into use until the very late 19th century.
    So, any translation that uses the word is suspect.

  • Bob Franks

    Ron Henderson, Pastor says:
    “It is incorrect to say that the only church that has not changed since the time of Christ’s church is the RC Church!! Why was it called the Apostate Church? There are many false beliefs that the RC church brought into Christianity. But this is not the venue for that discussion.”
    It is not the venue, however, your lack of knowledge of the actual HISTORY of Christianity is great. You did not mention your church affiliation but whatever it is unless Catholic, it did not exist at the time of Jesus or the Apostles, so it cannot be that same church He and His apostles founded – who do you say founded your church – Luther? Calvin? who? What you don’t know about the history of Christianity is a lot. Apparently you know about 1000 or maybe 1400 years worth of Christian history, but not the first 500 years. Most protestants who read the first 500 years early fathers’ writings, end up converting to Catholicism.
    I applaud you for being against homosexual marriage, however, as this is in line with the teachings found in scriptures and tradition, which are the UNCHANGING truth of God.

  • Bob Franks

    Pastor Ron,
    Again, it is great you are against homosexual marriage, as this is not Christian in nature.
    Your church did not exist at the time of Jesus, so by definition it cannot be the one, true church He founded. So if your church is not founded by Jesus, it is founded on a set of books written by Catholics and Jews hundreds and thousands of years before the founder of your church was born. He read these books, edited them to his liking under his own (not God’s) authority, and started a new religious movement and you are now a part of it – part of a movement founded a long time after Jesus, based on books written by Catholics who originally were mostly all Jews (New Testament) and Jews (Old Testament).
    Go to Barnes and Noble and buy yourself a good history book, please.
    Again, it is great you are against homosexual marriage, as this is not Christian in nature.

  • Anthony Diaz

    Dear Sir,
    To assert that homosexuality, sodomy, or ‘gay”, however you like to refer to the lifestyle, is sanctioned by the Word of God, by Christ himself, is the grossest, most grotesque lie I have ever heard of.
    1. Christ validated the divine created order for love, and preservation of the species, when He told the Pharisees that ‘in the beginning, God created them male and female…and for this reason shall a man leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and they shall be one flesh.”
    2. Gen. 1:28, “And God blessed them, and God said unto them, be fruitful, and multiple, replenish the earth.” Here you have the first mention of sexuality in the human race, designed by God as between a man and a woman. No other such, or similar, passage exists in the entire Bible, sanctioning sexual interaction in man (male and female – v. 27). As you well know, life is not possible, in human terms, except through the union of a man and a woman. It is so basic, so rudimentary, so obvious, that is almost embarrassing having to point it out. But it has been my observation over the years, that it is very often a great problem in debating and addressing issues like the one at hand, the fact that basics are often ignored, not addressed, and in their stead many conjectures, sophisms, and assumptions take their place, thus complicating matters unnecessarily and introducing confusion, and a lot of hot air.. This current issue is no exception.
    3. If you take the trouble to research in the Bible, and look for the rules, laws, and statutes enacted by God regarding sexual interaction between the sexes, (male and female), you will discover that every single statute addresses the legitimate sexual interaction sanctioned by God and those He condemns.
    Notice how God addresses the regulations of sexuality to prohibitions of sexual interaction between close keen, such as mother, mother in law, step mother, sister, brother, uncle, aunt, and so on. Notice how all this clear and specific statutes are ‘gender’ specific; in other words, it prohibits sexual interaction between a man (male) and his mother, sister, aunt, and so on; and a woman (female) with her father, brother, uncle, and so on. All of this to set up a hedge of protection around the divine institution of marriage -covenant relationship-between a man and the woman (male & female). God declares his opposition to the corruption of his design in the forms alluded above.
    4. For all the effort God put on making clear which sexual expressions He sanctioned, and which ones He condemned, there is no mention, not even a single mention, of ‘same-sex’ interaction, except in the most severe expression of condemnation, as to qualify it as ‘abominable’, and worthy of death. It is undoubtedly clear from the plain reading of Scripture, that, in enacting so many and explicit regulations concerning sexual behavior, God placed extreme importance and focus on heterosexual behavior. Human sexuality, as He designed it to be expressed, required all these regulations to protect and ensure the purity, and order, the sanity, and well being of mankind. In contrast, there is only one single statute, regulation, concerning sodomy, or same-sex sexual experience, and it is expressed by the term “abominable.’ No law, no statute regulation the sexual expression of same-sex subjects, such as a son having sex with his father, or brother, or a sister having sex with her mother, sister, aunt, and so on, as it occurs with heterosexual experience. What does this mean? I believe you can come to the same conclusion I came to, after considering these ‘facts’. I am not speculating, I am not putting forth some contrived sophism or interpreting the Scriptures without scientific accord with itself, in what I am saying. You yourself, may come to the same conclusion simply by reading the text, and reading what it says, not attempting to read into the text your own prejudices and ‘theories.’ It is as clear a a bell. No mistake about it. To misunderstand these issue in the light of Scripture is no possible, unless your mind is vitiated with atheism or stultified by ignorance.
    5. Plenty of statutes and regulations dealing with heterosexual behavior, blessing one specific expression of it-the covenant of marriage-, and condemning all others.
    6. The divine paradigm for sexual experience among humans, is the covenant relationship of MARRIAGE, between a man and a woman.
    7. All other paradigm for sexual experience among humans is not only discouraged, but condemned in the severest terms, as they represent a corruption, a mockery, contrary to the original design of God for human race, and preservation of the species.
    8. Someone has made the claim that all those “laws” and regulations from the Old Testament are not valid for today’s world. The were given exclusively to the Israelites of old. This is a most grave error. I say error, because it is clearly stated in Jeremiah 31, that the Lord would make a ‘new’ covenant, (Hebrews 8:8-12), not as the old one; and this covenant will be characterized by having His ‘laws’ written in our hearts, not just on tables of stone, o parchment, but in our hearts. Now, which laws is He talking about? Why, He is talking about ‘His laws’ being written in the hearts of believers, the participants in the new covenant. And these laws as ‘gender’ specific, what applies to man (male) to man, what applies to woman (female) to woman. There is no ‘same-sex’ gender; such thing is an oxymoron-ludicrous, preposterous; and in fact, it is evil, condemned by the Creator with capital punishment. Since the law of God has its foundation or origin in His eternal, self-existent nature, not His will, His will simply declares it, reveals it, and enforces it, we have the unchanging rule of law from the very heart of God as our guide, to teach us concerning the issues of life, and sexuality is part and parcel of human life, and experience. God, does not have a ‘different’ set of rules for old Jews, and for modern man. Such notion is absolutely ignorant, absurd and wicked.

  • Bruce

    Anyone is free to believe anything they might. God does not force truth upon anyone — it is given as a gift; and we are allowed to accept it, or to reject it… as we see fit. This is also a gift — that of free will. However, the fact we are free to reject the truth also precludes us partaking in the benefit of His salvation, as a matter of accepting that same choice. The Truth shall set us free.
    Jesus is not a separate God. He is one God… Father, Son and Holy Spirit; and as the Holiness of God does not change, how is it we should believe His Holy Word changes upon our whim?
    We may argue our truths without ever knowing His Truth. Or, we may know His Truth and, therefore, never have need to argue truths at all. We may abide in the Spirit of Truth — or we may perish without the Spirit of Truth. We each, alone, have that choice. Are we not given the Truth, by which we may choose life… over death?
    1Pe 1:13-19
    13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;
    14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance:
    15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation;
    16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.
    17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:
    18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;
    19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:
    Amen.

  • dannyuk2

    Bruce, i think your argument is well put but i have to add that it would apply to both sides of the debate. If you base the “truth” of God on a book that was written a long time ago by the hand of man. before that it was passed on by word of mouth, so inevitably there are going to be falsehoods and misguided information in the bible, as mankind is fallible and there is far more to heaven and earth than any man can possibly understand. God doesnt speak through the bible – a book which is an object, not a living thing. God corrects those errors by talking to us himself.

  • A happy ex-church goer

    It’s just hate…you may say you love the sinner but hate the sin, but I have to say I can’t find any compassion in this comment thread at all.
    Make the rules for your little clubs if you will. I will do everything in my power to stop your influence in the secular state. Our Constitution gives me equality. If you feel that our Constitution is not in keeping with God’s teachings, I suppose you are free to leave this country and go and live in a place where reglious and secular law are the same, like Saudi Arabia or Iran.
    If you truly love God, why would you care what legislators do? If God is displeased, He’ll take care of it won’t he? Otherwise, all of this seems like a bunch of straight people trying to impose their thinking on folks who are different than they are, and by the laws of my land, you have no right to do that.
    So make your Churches what you will. I pity your gay sons and daughters for the misery they suffer.

  • Anthony

    Dannyuk2, your statement regarding the ‘truth’ of God written ‘on a book that was written a long time ago’, is absolutely immaterial to the issue of whether or not God ‘has’ spoken in it, and continues to speak in it. The Book’s age makes no difference whatsoever to what it contains. If its age were a significant fact, as to its irrelevancy or credibility, what is the exact age we must use as the criteria to determine whether something someone says is true, relevant, o credible? Who, and on what grounds, has the authority to fix that criteria? You? Me? A committee, a scientist, a theologian?
    The other half of your presumptuous statement is, ‘by the hand of man.’ The Bible does not say anything different concerning itself; the Bible was compiled by men, yes, but, is that a scientific criteria forcing us to dismiss it as irrelevant, or incredible? You need to do some serious thinking on these issues, before venturing into making such ‘bold’ and ‘unsubstantiated’ assertions.
    Yes, the Bible is an object, not a living thing. But that misses the point entirely. The Bible contains, ideas, propositions, historical facts. God interact with man through the use of ideas. The Bible provides HIS ideas of what truth, reality, justice, humility, honesty, righteousness and all the endowments of personality both on God Himself and man, his creation. La Bible contains ideas regarding the nature of the Creator, His eternal, self-existent nature, and His character, and personality. All of it penned by men in the course of their interaction with Him. Of course, all those things came to the mind of men as they were inspired, or moved upon by the Spirit of that Glorious Being we called God in English. Friend, God DOES speak through the Bible today. He communicates and validates His IDEAS, as recorded on the Bible, to us. Only we need the objectivity and humility required to HEAR Him. Yes, God speaks to us Himself, but in such a manner, that He WILL NOT contradict ANYTHING He has already revealed to us. God does not ‘speak’ truth for one generation of men, at a given time and place in history, and then turns around and speaks something different to another generation of men, in a different time-space continuum segment. Truth is grounded in the very eternal and self-existent nature of God; it does not change, it cannot change, and it is not in the power of any being, not even God Himself, to change that truth; that truth emanates from His very Being. You and I need to come to grips with this fact, otherwise, when the time comes, and it will come, of this you can be certain, you and I will pay dearly for our contempt of His Word.
    Christ said, that heaven and earth will pass away, but His word will never pass away. If He had the authority to make such a statement, He surely has the power to ensure that ‘word’ remains unadulterated for all generations to ponder it and abide by it. Your unbelief and arrogance notwithstanding. I rather believe Christ, than you.

  • Anthony

    Mr. Happy ex-church goer,
    You need to seriously study and research the history of the United Stated of America, its founding principles, the Articles of Confederation, the whole nine yards, in order to understand the FACT that there is no such thing as a right to sodomy in our Constitution. YOu need to do serious detective work, then speak with coherence and truth, not emotion, fiction and irrelevancy.

  • Bruce

    dannyuk2,
    As I said… we, all, have free will. However, our faith is supported by the testimony of the apostles as the foundation of the church, which is the body of Christ — all resting upon the chief corner stone, which is Jesus.
    2Ti 3:16
    16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    Ro 10:13-17
    13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
    14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?
    15 And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!
    16 But they have not all obeyed the gospel. For Esaias saith, Lord, who hath believed our report?
    17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
    Accept it or not, my friend, as you see fit. It is your free will to do either. But, before rejecting it out-of-hand, would it not be wise to ask God to reveal whether His power to create the universe, and all else, could be, as well, inadequate to preserve truth within a mere book — even if penned by the hand of man — which he commissioned, through His Spirit?
    If that be so, then would it not stand to reason the entire Bible is possibly a falsehood — that God did not, in fact, create everything? If that be so, then how do we know it is God talking to us, as you suggest? We have nothing else for comparison; and perhaps that voice is a lie, as well. How do we discern the voice of God from any other voice?
    That is why the scriptures exist — for our edification, to the Glory of Almighty God.

  • http://www.propheticprogress.blogspot.com/ JimII

    For our constitutional scholar, there is no right of sodomy, nor is there a right to sit at a lunch counter, nor is there a right of self defense. In the United States we have a living constitution that affirms fundamental liberties. Most recently, Justice Scalia found a new right of self defense in the Second Amendment and thus protected the rights of individuals to own handguns for self defense. Similarly, rights of privacy have been found. It is good that our Supreme Court protects us from government intrusion in private matters.
    For our Bible says so crowd, I suspect you know your argument is completely flawed. I suspect you know dozens of behaviors condoned by the Bible that you do not accept (slavery & polygamy) and restriction you reject (women speaking in church & wearing clothing of mixed threads). I’m not sure why you would bother posting something so dishonest. You did not open the Bible and discover a revelation that homosexuality was wrong.
    This, is a serious point, “The person who hates homosexuals will say ‘go ahead, there’s nothing wrong with it’. But true love warns of dangers.” I believe in my heart that those who suggest the love of gays & lesbians is equivalent to smoking are harming gays and lesbians. I think it is evil and missing the lesson of Jesus Christ that it is Love and not Tradition that acts as our guide. That said, I recognize the concern, and I take you at your word.
    The world is evolving out of this prejudice. Soon, we will look back at this as we know looked back on prohibitions against interracial marriage. Then, as now, people called the relationships unnatural and worried about the children. Then, as know, there were many hateful bigots attacking people with wickedness in their hearts. But, then, as now, there were people genuinely concerned and worried for the fellow humans. I disagree strongly, but I respect the position.
    Love,
    JimII

  • Your Name

    Mel M.,
    That sword cuts both ways though. Left-handedness was once considered evil. In fact Latin for left is sinister from which we get the word, well, sinister. Now it is considered a natural variation in the human species. Homosexuality could just as easily be analagous to that as it could be to smoking or alcoholism, which is sometimes used also.
    The condemnation of left-handedness as evil also served as a justification for victimizing and scapegoating. Condemnations of homosexuality often display these same elements. Of course, I’m a Girardian heavily influenced by Alison but it seems to that where scapegoating and wrath are the good news of God in Christ Jesus is absent or not being properly applied. This is an insight that I feel both sides of the discussion on issues of sexuality would do well to keep in mind.

  • Cruz Control

    What stunning arrogance is displayed here by people of faith who cannot distinguish between what they ‘believe’ and what they ‘know’. That’s a particularly dangerous blind spot when you claim to speak for God—as have many other false prophets throughout history.
    To those who posit straw man arguments about what gays really want: you flatter yourself when you claim homosexuals are seeking your ‘approval’ of their lives. It’s about respect. Gay people want the same respect that they afford you every time they congratulate you on a wedding, anniversary or the birth of a child. Nothing more…nothing less. It’s a recognition that while we may be on a different path, there is value in each of our lives.
    If you believe homosexuality is a sin, you’re free to preach and live that philosophy. Everyone knows the Biblical justification for it–you’re not the first to quote Leviticus. But others believe you are preaching unfounded nonsense and they must be equally free to live, believe and worship as they choose. Nobody can prove who’s right—and that’s why it’s called ‘faith’. If government is to be in the business of sanctioning personal relationships, it has no role in disadvantaging others who believe as fervently as you do that they are living their lives as God intends, even if they are homosexual.
    Christians, in particular, should be ashamed of themselves for the self-righteous way that they continue to treat gay people. Meanwhile, what legal sanctions have been promoted to address the ills of heterosexual marriage? Limitations on divorce? Banning single parenthood? If gays are to be excluded from marriage to preserve it as a childrearing institution, why make exceptions for childless straight couples that you’re unwilling to make for homosexuals? If there is a real concern for children, why deny the children of gay couples legal protections?
    There’s only one reason that the straight Christian community has not promoted any of these aims that address the breakdown of heterosexual marriage: hypocrisy. It’s easier to feel superior picking on the gays.

  • DaLight

    I just have a simple question: How can you justify making Polygamy/Incest (with no intent to have children) illegal, if your justification for making gay marriage legal is just “love” and “civil rights”? Relative truth is a slippery road this world is driving on.

  • Albert the Abstainer

    Free will is a persistent illusion not a fact.
    If God is omnipresent, then there is only God in fact, hence no free will.
    If God does not exist, then physical interdependence shapes the unfolding shape of the universe, and since we are part of that universe our individual state is continuously shaped by that of which we are a part.
    In either case, the sense of having choice may exist even while there is in fact none. I know this is untenable to the ego in its imagined world, but it is an epiphenomena not an independent entity. What pertains to the ego pertains to its religious projections.

  • Hans-Sachs

    I envision same-sex marriage to be legalized because there are two powerful economic forces that will be pushing for it: wedding planners and divorce lawyers.

  • darkmoonman

    Ya know, if folks hadn’t bound dozens of dozens of social, legal, and economic SPECIAL rights (not mentioned in any religious texts) to the state of marriage, few if any Gays would be pursuing marriage. Besides, we’ve been able to have religious marriages performed by progressive clergy since the late 1970′s.

  • Mel M.

    Your Name, your argument about the left handedness being condemned is flawed and thus similar to homosexuality being condemned is flawed. For one, there are no significant mental, physical, emotional, or spiritual health risks associated with being left handed. On the other hand, there are numerous dangers associated with homosexual behavior. And, of course, the Bible never condemns left handedness. But it is unequivocal in its condemnation of homosexual behavior.

  • Mel M.

    Jimll.
    You make several comments which are, in fact, not accurate. Christianity does not condone slavery or polygamy. The former, in fact, was abolished through the work of Christians. The entire book of Philemon was dedicated to the issue. And while it does not call for a revolution against the institution of slavery in a Marxist sense, it does logically end it through the teaching of brotherly love; that if the master treats his slave with such love, slavery becomes impossible. Which is exactly what happens, and is how Christians should pursue social justice — overcoming evil with good. As for polygamy it was never encouraged. That it happened was not because it was condoned, but because God’s people accommodated the surrounding culture rather than demonstrate the “two shall become one” divine principle which was established in the garden of Eden.
    Pointing out the numerous social, emotional, mental, and spiritual risks of homosexuality may, in the short term, hurt practicing homosexuals, just as showing pictures of ruined lungs on the back of cigarette packages offends smokers. But in the long term, if it saves lives and prevents further disease and suffering, it is the loving thing to do. Similarly, going to a dentist is seldom painless. But dentists do not inflict pain because they are cruel (well, not usually anyway)but because they are trying to ultimately do what is in the long term interests of the patient.

  • Gary

    Tony,
    First, I had never heard of you before running across an article on the World Net Daily website, which featured quotes from your, “How I Went from There to Here: Same Sex Marriage” Blogalogue. So, to start, I imagine it would be appropriate to offer a disclaimer, and that being that in no way are my comments meant as a personal judgement toward you as a person. God, and God alone owns that task. However, in a personal effort to adhere to the tenets found in (Acts 17:11), I feel compelled to offer a very candid judgement regarding your comments on the GLBTQ lifestyle. However, before I can conduct myself in accordance with (Acts 17:11), I would need more disclosure on your part.
    One of my questions comes from the title of the topic, “How I Went from There to Here”. Perhaps I missed it but as far as I can tell you never actually offered any definitive reasons ‘how you went from there to here’. You seemed to offer some inferrence in the conversation with your mother, but nothing for an outsider to anchor their perception of your current thought processes to. More importantly, and this is in relation to you being a “pastor” or, having a pastoral background, you did not offer any biblically founded reasons why you “now believe that GLBTQ can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (at least as much as any of us can!) and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state.” If you would be willing to offer more detail, I’m sure there are others as well as myself that would be interested in hearing the particulars behind your acceptance of the GLBTQ lifestyle.
    Personally, I don’t think any real meaningful exchange is possible with as little as you offered ‘your’ audience here. And, perhaps also it is the reason why there is a tendency to receive the ‘drive-by’ type of comments/judgments. It’s one thing to make a statement and leave it at that. It is quite a different thing to make a statement and then be willing to reveal the heart and mind processes behind the statement. At least if you want people to understand where you’re coming from, you should perhaps consider offering more insight to your readers.
    Just some thoughts to consider.
    Thank you.

  • Your Name

    There is no honest way to alter the teaching of Scripture concerning homosexuality.
    However, there is a way to deepen our love, deepen our grace, deepen our mercy, deepen our humility, deepen our compassion, and deepen our understanding about their struggles, both with their attractions and their theology. And we must deepen those things so severely and with such spiritual discomfort, that it appears we are compromising, facilitating, and condoning homosexuality. Just a tacit and safe “God loves you” will not present the heart of Christ, and in truth if we do not burn with love and grace for these men and women personally we cannot reach them.
    The easy road will be to reject all gays who are still practicing, or accept them and their lifestyles wholesale. The greatest challenge of all, and the highest mountain to be climbed, will be for Christians to accept the clear teaching of Scripture concerning homosexuality while accepting the clear teaching of Scripture concerning grace. This road is not clearly defined due to its historical lack of use.

  • Victoria

    Not surprisingly your “argument” here includes nothing of the sort, just a vague feeling and some autobiographical tidbits that have “urged” you in this direction (of supporting gays in the church).
    I will echo one early commenter here, where is your scriptural basis for your newfound acceptance? What we believe should be based on what we know from God, not anything so careless as our sentimentality.
    I am appalled at the frivolity of your post here. As though you’re the first one to have done some “soul searching!” Are you the one true archaeologist of the Bible’s true position on homosexuality? So self-important, not to mention self-deceived…

  • Victoria

    Additional question- What are you implying by your bold typeface over the comment of your friend Steve’s father: “he blamed Steve’s death on the church?”
    You obviously see this as a BOLD comment, yet offer no further insight to it. What is your implication here?

  • Your Name

    to Andrew Sims,
    God does not love your sin to bits. Neither does He love MY sin to bits. In fact, He hates it and chose His Son to DIE for repudiation of it.
    God would be contradicting Himself if He loved our sin.

  • Your Name

    I’d have to side with the crowd that believes the bible teaches that homosexuality is immoral.
    However, that is just one of many topics about which the bible is wrong.
    I say, let the Christians do as they please – if they don’t want to acknowledge gay marriage, so be it. However, the STATE should treat such unions as equal to heterosexual marriages, as the only reasons not to do so are 100% religious (or 100% BS). Although to be honest, there is little enough reason for the state to grant priviliges to straight married couples in the first place; maybe neither should receive government benefits…

  • Holly Williams

    Personally, I am also in full support of government sanctioned and endorsed civil unions or gay marriages. I do not believe that the government should be allowed to discriminate against people.
    Also, it is quite sad that Proposition 8 and similar propositions failed. I guess our nation simply isn’t ready to accept the GLBTQ community for who they are. Hopefully we will be ready soon.

  • http://sandman donsands

    ” ..or whether I’ve simply caved to the mushy inclusivity of pluralized nothingness.”
    You caved according to the clear teaching of Romans chapter 1, which is our authority, not how we feel.

  • Gary

    Jimll,
    As a content member of the “bible says so crowd”, I would be happy to clear up your confusion by emphatically stating that your “you know your argument is completely flawed” comment is only presumptuous at best. Also, a suggestion… you may want to back away from speaking for others. If you pose your suspicions in the form of a question, you would at least be offering the courtesy of allowing others to speak for themselves, which is far more palatable than your interaction here.
    And so, to answer one of those assertions, all one has to do is open up the bible and discover that at least as far as God is concerned, homosexuality is wrong.
    Also, simply because the bible speaks of slavery & polygamy, it does not mean that such conduct is God’s intended plan for how to live our lives, that is unless you can direct me to the chapter and verse where God gives instruction to Christians to take a slave or a second, third, etc… wife as a policy for how to live. Furthermore, because people in history engaged in such behaviors and they are mentioned in the bible does not equate with God’s stamp of approval on those modes of conduct.
    “I think it is evil and missing the lesson of Jesus Christ that it is Love and not Tradition that acts as our guide.”
    Would you be willing to define what you mean by ‘Love’? ‘Love’ is thrown around so recklessly even in Christian circles, so I would be interested to hear how you define it, in the context of this conservation that is. I would like to address this statement but only with a deeper understanding of how you are using ‘Love’ here.
    “The world is evolving out of this prejudice.”
    Perhaps it is because of my sense of a play on words, but I find the fact that you use the words ‘world’ and ‘evolving’ here interesting. I have no doubt that the ‘world’, in the secular sense is ‘evolving’ into an acceptance of anything under the sun, especially as they increasingly embrace a mentality of doing what is right in their own sight. I am reminded that as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the Last Days, so being one who holds a biblical worldview, I would expect such a progression.
    However, it is when the Church begins to ‘evolve’ into the very same mentality that I personally become extremely concerned. Christians are called to a much different moral mooring than the ‘world’ and that being the Word of God. And, at least for this topic, the bible does not mix words on the subject and only those with an alternate agenda could come away with an opinion that homosexuality is sanctioned by God. It is just not acceptable to God, by His own words and no matter how painful the reality of that position is for those living in the gay lifestyle. He is the same yesterday, today and for evermore.

  • Your Name

    Gay and Lesbian individuals dont choose to be so, it is genetic.
    If God has created them, then their choice of a partner in life is set by a far Higher authority than state or federal government !
    In our society , being gay or lesbian is a difficult life. Living in fear and predjudice is not what Jesus espoused.
    He treated everyone with love and kindness.
    Christians who judge others because they are “different” are not living the spirit of their faith.

  • Your Name

    All I can say is it’s a sad day in the American church. What will we tolerate next? This whole discussion is absolutely too ludicrous to warrant participation. Beliefnet is totally “off the chain” of late.
    God help America and the American church; You’re the only one Who can.

  • Mel M.

    There are two assumptions which under-gird the whole homosexual rights issue.
    First: The God (or gods) of all three “religions of the book” (Christianity, Judaism, and Islam)did not mean what He/they revealed — either in the Bible or the Koran. (Either that or there is no God at all, or at least not one who has revealed His will to mankind through the written word).
    Second: That there is nothing harmful or unhealthy in homosexual activity between two consenting adults.
    If either of these assumptions do not hold true, the case for homosexual rights falls flat. But with the first assumption, society as a whole is left with no choice but to allow diversity of opinion, and equality. It is strictly a religious issue, and those who are not religious should not have to obey the religiously based ideas they don’t believe in or consider out-dated and irrelevant. Of course within the “household of faith” the issue is of utmost relevance and importance, but in a free society, adherence to religious belief must be based on free will.
    But with the second assumption — that there is nothing harmful with homosexual acts themselves — the issue applies to everyone regardless of faith. And if the assumption is not true, which I think can be adequately demonstrated by available scientific, sociological and medical evidence, then homosexual behavior should be treated the same way that informed societies treat smoking — with a clear and unmistakable warning!

  • Concerned

    My relationship with God is my own. He is the only one who knows who I truly am and what I truly feel.
    I do not know whether God condems same sex marriages but I do know that it is not my place or the place of any human being to make that decision. “All men are created equal”. except in the church?
    I dont understand how the church is willing to welcome child molesters, murders, women beaters but can not accept God fearing decent citizens because of their sexual preference.
    For many years I was unsure how I felt about this situation. For the most part I thought homosexuality was wrong and an abomination.
    As I got older I realized that those feelings are a result of ignorance and fear. The same ignorance and fear that promotes racism and hatred. I decided that I do NOT want to live my life being that type of person.
    Here is what I believe….
    “Do not judge lest he be judged”
    “Love thy neighbour”
    Whether you believe that it is a sin or not then you must believe Let he without sin cast the first stone.
    My faith in God is STRONG but my faith in the curch is disinegrating.
    How can we support spirtual growth threw ignorance and hatred….? That is exactly what it is.

  • Mel M.

    Concerned.
    Your reasoning is based upon error. You stated: “I dont understand how the church is willing to welcome child molesters, murders, women beaters but can not accept God fearing decent citizens because of their sexual preference.” You are either deliberately slandering the church or else using a “straw man” argument, which is a complete fallacy. Which church condones child molesters, murderers or women beaters? The Bible, and all orthodox historic Christian churches condemn those things. Or maybe you are confusing Christianity with another religion. As for condemning homosexuality, if God’s word calls it an “abomination”, and “detestable”, who are you to say God is wrong? Of course you are free to do so, but we are also free to point out your grave and serious error.

  • Matt M

    This is not a surprise coming from the Emergent market. However experience in and of itself is a poor standard for determining truth. In a “physics of knowing” anything there are multiple factors which are interdependent. There are paradoxical and antithetical positions, each of which must exist in dynamic tension in order to produce a stable equilibrium. The truth, perhaps resides there. But experience cannot be made the ultimate arbiter. Take Wesleys Quadrilateral as a good example – Scripture, reason, Tradition and experience are all interdependent and in dynamic tension. All of these together make it difficult to support the argument that one can maintain a homosexual lifestyle and continue to to faithfully walk in Holiness of life and genuine participation in the Divine Being. Further more it is inconsistent with St .Vincent of Lerins formula for genuine catholcity – that which has been believed always, everywhere and by all. The argument from consensus is against it. And scripture as it defers to the sacred tradition on such matters further argues against it.
    We can adopt St. Vincents formula for the present as follows:
    • Arguments from the greater unity of historical consensus are stronger than those of personal conviction or the private interpretation of a community where historical consensus can still be justified by the plain understanding of scripture. In other words and by example, the consensual interpretation and response to scripture is stronger than the private interpretation of any single community or individual at any time. Thus, the plain understanding of scripture is understood as authoritative as it has been received by the greatest consensus.
    • Where the consensus of any sum of ages is contrary to the clear and plain witness of scripture it is non-binding tradition: where the consensus of a greater sum of ages is not in clear violation of the plain witness of scripture it is generally accepted as received tradition.
    • Where the consensus of one age, or community, is contrary to the greater consensus of the greater sum of ages and is not in clear violation of the plain witness of scripture it is provisional at best, suspect at worst. In this case, any localized consensus still represents a minority view which should not quickly be forced into practice.
    • And finally, where the consensus of one age, or community, is contrary to the greater consensus of the greater sum of ages and is in clear violation of the plain witness of scripture it is to be rejected as false and heresy.
    These principles hold scripture as the norming norm together with the consensus of the believing community. This results in a more universal and authoritative witness against error.
    Matt M

  • Mel M.

    Concerned.
    Saying that homosexuality is a sin,or unhealthy (or even dangerous)does not mean that we hate homosexuals. On the contrary, if those things are true — and the Bible and considerable medical evidence says they are true — then that is the loving thing to do. If you see someone buying cigarettes for the first time, the loving thing to do for that person is not to simply walk away and “be tolerant”, “accepting” and “non judgmental”. The loving thing to do — and we are commanded to love our neighbour as ourselves — would be to politely point out the risks that smoking can cause to one’s health. The Bible commands us to “speak the truth in love”. Warning people of dangers is not “ignorance and hatred” as you allege. It is the just and loving thing to do.

  • A Walker

    Anyone with logical capabilities can grasp the basis of marriage law: heterosexual sex acts place partners at immediate long-range economic risk and legally conscript them into a long-range, child-rearing family enterprise. That makes heterosexual marriage entirely unique.
    Moreover, people with basic skills of logic and reason can see that homosexual sex acts do *not* incur any comparable long-range economic risk or enterprise, and thus don’t rise to the level of requiring contract law. In other words, *there is no basis for gays to contractualize themselves* as heterosexuals do.
    So here’s the question SSM advocates must answer: Since contracts have to do with partnerships involving grave economic and material risk, and since gay sex does not incur grave economic or material risks nor enroll one in a mandatory long-range enterprise, why do gays need contracts?

  • http://camelbo.blogspot.com Justin

    There is a lot of interesting comments on here. I honestly only skimmed though the majority of the comments but what I have not seen in the conversation is scientific and psychological weigh-ins on this issue. I was a psych minor and that has greatly influenced how I interacted with the scriptures on this issue!
    I speak from the point of view of someone who has several friends who are gay, and have worked in pastoral care with non-profits who work with AIDS patients. So let’s be clear what plays into my understanding and the tension of where I stand in this: Scripture, Science (genetic research), Psychology, experience, logic/reason. This is not an order of importance, rather a web of interaction. I want my full life to fully interact holistically with the spiritual.
    2 books that I think are great on this topic (prob. the best I’ve read) both have Eugene Roger’s name on them.
    http://www.amazon.com/Theology-Sexuality-Contemporary-Readings-Blackwell/dp/0631212779/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1227717361&sr=8-2
    and
    http://www.amazon.com/Sexuality-Christian-Body-Challenges-Contemporary/dp/0631210709/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1227717361&sr=8-1
    I think both deal greatly with the overall issue of Christian sexuality. It is irrational and irresponsible to think that experience and other knowledge does not or should not play a role in our understanding of our spirituality. I see the comments that “liberals” rely on experience over scripture (or something to that effect), while conservatives do not (are above that). If we are honest, experience plays a lot into both. What makes and keeps a person conservitive in the first place? Experience. As a person who has been fired from a church simply because he had a friend who was gay, I can tell you that the initial problem was that the person who began that whole mess was making assumptions based on their own experience (or lack of experience rather) with the issue of homosexuality. There were also a lot of other experiences in this person’s life that played into that (psychological insight and family systems sheds a lot of light on why people act the way they do in differing situations).
    My only defense was that we are first and foremost called to love all with all we are, and not called to judge. If we are spending all of our time/effort loving we have no time (nor the right or even the calling) to stand in righteous judgment over another.
    I would like to see some of these aspects brought into the discussion eventually!
    thanks
    justin

  • Gary

    Justin,
    Speaking from a conservative evangelical biblical worldview, I can agree that a complimentary relationship exists between special and natural revelation. I wholly embrace this concept because God is the God of all truth as it is revealed through these perspective means.
    Where I divide with perhaps some that have posted here is when experience is elevated to the level of co-authority with scripture. This does not mean that experience is devalued, but rather afforded its proper place within a biblical worldview.
    I likewise agree that we are called to love with all we are, first God, then, our neighbors as ourselves. Where I differ with you is in the notion that we are not to judge. According to the full counsel of scripture, we actually are called to judge. I cannot help but think it is a bit reckless to take an isolated portion of scripture and then build an entire doctrine around it especially when taken out of its original context. So, I would offer a friendly caution in that regard.
    If you are referring to (Matthew 7:1) “Judge not, that you be not judged”, then there are some distinctions that need to be made. First of all, the word ‘judge’ here is the Greek word ‘krino’, which means to condemn, or damn. In other words, God is saying that we are not to condemn others and not to do so because it is not our place. God, and God alone has the authority to condemn, or damn a person. The context here is not to be a hypocrite quickly judging/damning (sentence to eternal damnation) others when there is a presence of unchecked sin in our own life. This does not mean that we are never to judge/discern a person’s actions or words.
    In fact, it is in this same chapter that Jesus warns us to, “(7:15) Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. (7:16) You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?” Jesus is clearly instructing us here to use judgment in order to identify false prophets and that they are known by their fruits, which takes the application of judgment in order to make the distinction.
    We are also called to admonish one another in Love in (Roman 15:14, 1 Thessalonians 5:12, 2 Thessalonians 3:15, Titus 2:4), which requires us to judge/discern one another’s actions and words. The motive though is to do it in love with the goal of restoring a wayward brother or sister in Christ, not to charge with the condemning attitude Jesus is dealing with in the first part of Matthew 7.
    A balanced view is to understand that as Christians our driving motive must be love but that sometimes that requires us to point out willful and continuous sin in each other. So, biblically speaking, you are in err to say that we do not “have the right or even the calling to stand in righteous judgment.” According to scripture we do and that it is apart of loving one another.

  • Your Name

    I agree with Gary and what the Bible has to say about Love and same sex couples. We are to judge according to God’s love and not condemn anyone. Comdamnation is between that person and God Himself.
    He loves everyone even in their sin. But it is our sin that keeps us out of God’s Will. We are called to pray for one another and lift each other up before God in prayer through Christ Jesus.
    Remember first to get the board of of your eye before trying to get the splinter out of someone eles’s eye. We are not called to be hypocrites.

  • Kristin

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10
    9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals,
    10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.
    Anyone can profess God with their mouth, and say they love Jesus. When there has been a true movement of God, through the Holy Spirit, a person cannot live in continual sin according to God’s Word.
    Ezekiel 36:25-27
    25″Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols.
    26″Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.
    27″I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances.
    Jesus says “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
    Repenting means turning from your sins(all of them, not just homosexuality), and believing. Not living in the flesh all the days of our lives. Clearly, gods will is not for us to continually live in a sinful mannor, and ignore His Word.

  • RFoerster

    In response to A Walker, what then of heterosexual couples who are aware that they are unable to conceive before marriage? Their sex acts carry no more economic risk than homosexual sex acts. Should they be denied marriage contracts as well?

  • Your Name

    There is overwhelming evidence that homosexuality is a natural phenomena, part of God’s creation, and not a choice requiring repentance. Our local Baptist minister said that when one person with an identical twin is gay, there is a 52% chance that the other twin is also gay. This is quite significant given that only about three percent of the entire population is gay. In my own family of twenty-two cousins, three of our thirty daughters (ten percent) are gay. In my friend’s family, three of fifteen daughters (twenty percent) in this same generation are also gay. This matches well known data supporting that homosexuality tends to run in families by gender. Shouldn’t we then be accepting of gay marriage as the natural right of children created by God!

  • http://iamhis-lyn.blogspot.com/ Lyn

    May I comment on this statement…”There is overwhelming evidence that homosexuality is a natural phenomena, part of God’s creation, and not a choice requiring repentance.” Where is the evidence to back this claim? This is anything BUT a ‘natural phenomena’; the reason for the explosion in homosexuality is found in scripture,”But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.” 2 Tim. 3:13 Also read Romans 1:24-32.
    Homosexuality is birthed out of lust, which lies with the human heart {Matt. 15:19, Jeremiah 17:9} This is not some ‘genetic defect’, this is a lost sinner acting out on the desires from within their own hearts {read James 1:13,14}. To say it is genetic is simply trying to escape accountability. As a former homosexual saved solely by the grace and mercy of God Almighty, and cleansed of my forbidden lust by the blood of Christ, I speak with boldness from God’s word that this is indeed a lust fulfilled by the individual when acted upon. Just like the heterosexual man or woman who seeks to fulfill their sexual lust, this too is the same scenario. We must understand we will indeed be held accountable for ALL our thoughts, words, and actions. It is no different when Adam and Eve fell into sin, Adam blamed Eve, and Eve in turn, blamed the serpent. Nothing has changed!
    God does not change {Malachi 3:6}, His word speaks out clearly against homosexuality in 1 Corinthians 6;9,10 as well as Leviticus 18:22. Men and women can twist the scriptures all they want and deny God’s truth; that does not change the fact that those who refuse to repent and believe in the Gospel will be hurled into the lake of fire.

  • Your Name

    For Lyn:
    Natural acts of homosexuality in animals -Over 450 species exhibiting homosexual behavior
    http://seedmagazine.com/news/2006/06/the_gay_animal_kingdom.php
    Zoologists are discovering that homosexual and bisexual activity is not unknown within the animal kingdom.
    There are other studies if you just google them….
    And if you want to look at another way, perhaps the increase of GLBT people is God’s way of thinning the population, but who knows God’s plan for our future, we surely don’t.

  • Lyn

    Animal sexual behavior is not comparable to humans {read Genesis for the uniqueness of the creation of man by the Great Creator}. Your statement was this ,”There is overwhelming evidence that homosexuality is a natural phenomena, part of God’s creation, and not a choice requiring repentance” You made NO MENTION of referencing your statement to animals. Then you said, ‘and not a choice requiring repentance’. Let us hear the word of the Lord, “Therefore having overlooked the times of ignorance, God is now declaring to men that all {people} everywhere should repent”
    There is nothing ‘natural’ about same-sex sex, we live in a fallen, sin-cursed world, which is why everything is ‘messed up’. Regardless of animal behavior, which has no bearing on human behavior, we are commanded to refrain from and turn away from all sexual immorality, to flee from it {1 Corinthians 6:18}.
    Let us do as the Lord commands in Mark 1:15, “Repent and believe in the Gospel” or “you will all perish” Luke 13:3
    Contrary to what you may think, we do indeed know the future. The wrath of God is quickly coming on this wicked world, God will unleash His anger at sin in ‘waves’{read about the seal, bowl and trumpet judgments starting in Rev. 6}. The birth pains spoken of by Christ in Matthew 24 have begun, and it is deteriorating rapidly. Just today, we have a shooting at a Toys R Us over a toy, and a Walmart worker is trampled over and dies, while a mob of degenerates race to their god, material stuff. Like the saying goes, ‘you ain’t seen nothin’ yet’…

  • http://www.WayOfTheMaster.org John P.

    As a seminary student, I have read many of the books and articles/blogs from leaders of the Emergent Village. I think that there is some real brilliance to some of the ways that Emergent folks push the envelope of traditional styles of worship and experiencing community. It is drastically sad to me though that Tony would say “I now believe that GLBTQ can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (at least as much as any of us can!) and that their monogamy can and should be sanctioned and blessed by church and state.” I have friends who are homosexuals, and some who claim Christianity despite their lifestyle. Would it be easy for me to affirm them and say it’s okay to be a homosexual? Yes. But it would not be loving. Homosexuality lived out is an offense to the Lord, contrary to his design for humanity, and destroys lives. “For a man shall leave his father and mother and cling to his wife.” Do people experience homosexual thoughts and feelings naturally?–>Sure…do I naturally want to have sex with attractive women I see on the street?–>Sure…but my wife would not be very happy and God would be angered at my sin! I have read some of the commenters arguments from the animal kingdom…and the answer is that WE ARE NOT ANIMALS, and when it comes to pleasing God, we have a choice whether we obey God or not, animals do not! Here are some little talked about statistics regarding homosexuality:
    I. Definitions
    Bisexual: the term used for those attracted to members of both sexes.
    Gay: term for a male homosexual
    Gender: the role a person takes in society. For example, the male gender is typically associated with being the head of the household and being the primary source of income, while the male sex is associated with having a penis and having testosterone.
    LGBT-collective acronym for Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender
    Homosexual: someone who attracted to someone of the same sex
    Homosexual lifestyle: the choice of engaging in homosexual sexual relationships.
    Lesbian: term for a female homosexual
    Transsexual: someone who feels that they were assigned the wrong sex at birth
    II. Nature of Homosexuality
    Myth: Homosexuals have made a conscious decision to be homosexual
    Fact: While homosexual behavior is a choice, feelings aren’t consciously chosen.
    (Bailey & Pillard, 1991)
    Explanation: Various studies suggest that the environment a person is raised in and biological factors have the most significant impact on whether a person’s sexual orientation is hetero or homosexual. While there is no proof the homosexuality is genetic, it is generally accepted that homosexual orientation is not a conscience decision.
    Myth: Homosexuality is unchangeable
    Fact: It is possible for some homosexuals to change their orientation (Thockermorton, 2002)
    Explanation: There have been various recent studies that have found about 13% of homosexuals who enter “reparative” or “conversion” therapy experience outcomes the participants described as favorable. While 13% is no where near a majority, it does suggest that under certain circumstances, it is possible for an individual to change his/her orientation. Despite the reported possibility of change, some believe that reparative therapy does more harm than good.
    Myth: Most homosexuals want to be members of the opposite sex.
    Fact: While some homosexuals do want to be members of the opposite sex, most do not.
    Explanation: A person who feels he/she is actually a member of the opposite gender trapped in the wrong sexed body, is called a transsexual.
    Myth: Homosexuality is completely natural since there are gay animals.
    Fact: Homosexuality among animals is different than among humans (Adler, 1997)
    Explanation: While homosexuality does occur, it is usually only when there is a scarcity of the opposite sex, there is a hormonal imbalance within the animal. Also, homosexuality among animals is usually temporary.
    Myth: 10% of the world’s population is homosexual.
    Fact: An average of the most recent studies find the number to be 3% lifetime homosexual involvement and then 2% for the past year (Hewitt, 1998)
    Explanation: The “10%” number most often quoted was most prominently found in Alfred Kinsey’s 1948 study of human sexuality. Since then, scientific studies have consistently found the number to actually fall between 1-3% with one as high at 3.7%.
    III. Concerns
    There are various reasons why concern should be shown for those struggling with LGBT issues. Some of the concerns below are directly related to the promiscuous sexual encounters that are common in the homosexual lifestyle; other concerns are strongly correlated to, but not necessarily caused by the lifestyle (depression, suicide, etc.)
    Note: Unfortunately, a great body of research concerning lesbian or transgender of the LGBT community exists. Most of the following information is specific to male homosexuals, however, statistics on suicide do contain info for GLB youth.
    Physical Health Risks
    1. Highest Risk for HIV (source: http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/aidsstat.htm based on CDC info)
    850,000-950,000 people in America have HIV.
    70% of the total HIV population in America male
    60% of those males contracted HIV through homosexual sex.
    Note: Health concerns associated with anal sex that are equally risky for anyone receiving anal sex (male, female, gay, straight).
    2. Problems associated with anal sex (The Medical Institute for Sexual Health, 1999)
    These problems are caused by frequent anal sex, which leads to damage of the anal lining and makes the intestinal tract more susceptible to disease. The problems and symptoms include chronic incontinence (loss of bowel control), cramps, bacterial infection, abdominal pain, fever, and increased risk for other STDs.
    Mental Health Issues
    Note: The following study was performed in New Zealand, a country that has some of the most liberal laws and is most accepting toward homosexuality. While people make the argument that suicide among homosexuals is caused by rejection and lack of support from society, this argument doesn’t hold in New Zealand, which is very open toward homosexuality.
    1. Suicide comparison (Fergusson, 1999) GLB = Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual
    Suicide Ideation: GLB*: 67.9% non-GLB: 28.0%
    Suicide attempt: GLB: 32.1% non-GLB: 7.1%
    Note: The following “harms” aren’t caused by homosexuality but by prejudice and hatred.
    2. Hate crimes and depression (APA, 2002)
    Common sense will tell us that anyone who feels hated and has hate crimes committed against them will suffer negative emotional effects. Various studies have shown that this is particularly acute among homosexuals because they are more likely to be the victim of hate crimes (69% of sexual hate crimes in 1999), and members of the LGBT community already have higher depression and suicide rates.
    V. Responses
    While only 1-3% of the population is homosexual, the associated issues are important on college campuses. People cannot choose whether they have homosexual thoughts or not, but the do have the choice whether or not to live a homosexual lifestyle.
    Appropriate Responses
    • Listening
    • Staying well-informed
    • Offering factual information
    • Friendship
    • Assist individual choice making
    • http://www.exodusintl.org—for those looking for support to leave the homosexual lifestyle
    • http://www.glaad.org—for those looking for support to live the homosexual lifestyle.
    Inappropriate Responses
    • “Gay-bashing”
    • Forcing decisions on people
    • Offering untruthful information
    o Ignoring or slanting statistics to offer an unfairly positive view on homosexuality
    o slanting statistics to an unfairly negative view on homosexuality
    • Ending friendships over LGBT issues alone
    • Discrimination based solely on orientation
    • While change in sexual orientation has been shown to be possible, it isn’t appropriate to place the expectation of change in orientation on anyone.
    VII. Partially Annotated Bibliography
    Adler, Tina, “Animals Fancies” Science News. January 4, 1997, pp 8-10.
    The above article cites research done on several different animal groups. It comes to the conclusion that homosexuality in animals seems to be based on pleasure, as in humans, but shows that most homosexual examples in animals are rare, and occur under certain circumstances.
    American Psychological Association. “Employment Non-Discrimination Act Testimony.” Committee
    on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. United States Senate. February 27, 2002.
    Testimony by the APA before the Senate concerning discrimination and hate-crimes against
    members of the LGB community.
    Bailey, J. M., Pillard, R.C., Archives of General Psychiatry. 1991, pp1089-1096
    Bailey & Pillard “Twin Study” confirms that biology can’t be 100% blamed for homosexuality. In fact, the data make a strong case that it is environment that is the largest factor in sexual identify. Look no further than the adopted son statistics in the study for proof of this.
    Bell, A. P. & Weinberg, M. S., Homosexualities: A Study of Diversity Among Men and Women (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1978, pp. 308
    A book with information on promiscuity among homosexuals.
    Fergusson, DM. Archives of General Psychiatry, Oct 1999 p.877
    This article explores the links between suicide and homosexuals.
    The Medical Institute for Sexual Health. “Health Implications Associated with Homosexuality” Austin:
    The Medical Institute for Sexual Health, 1999: 55.
    Article which cites and explains “Gay Bowel Syndrome” and dangers of anal sex.
    Hewitt, Christopher. The Journal of Sex Research. Nov. 1998
    http://www.niaid.nih.gov/factsheets/aidsstat.htm
    Lambda Report. “Survey Finds 40 percent of Gay Men Have Had More Than 40 Sex Partners,” Lambda
    Report, January/February 1998, p. 20.
    Remafedi, Gary. Harvard Mental Health Letter, Dec.1998.
    Thockermorton, Warren. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice. 2002. pp242-248
    This article is a review of research into changing one’s sexual orientation.

  • A Walker

    “In response to A Walker, what then of heterosexual couples who are aware that they are unable to conceive before marriage?”
    First, the percentage of heterosexuals that fit that description are probably .0001% (a few thousand people worldwide). In contrast, fertile heterosexuals make up the 99.999% of all heterosexuals on the planet (literally billions of babymaking humans). In a word, we don’t devise our society’s contract laws around the situations experienced by people in the rarest of exceptions; we devise them around the situations experienced by dominant majority.
    In short, it would be foolish to create society’s marriage law stipulations based around heterosexuals who cannot reproduce, for that legal contract would not remotely address the legal, economic, and social realities and duties of the 99% reproducers. And yet gays are demanding that we do just that–i.e., they demand that we rewrite marriage law for all people that is based around the non-reproducing cohabitators. Placing heterosexuals and homosexuals under the same contract is as insane as placing business partners and homeowners in the same contract. The situations are too different to allow both to be covered within the same contract.

  • Gary

    Your Name,
    Please do not alter what I post.
    I did not say we are to judge “according to God’s love.” I did say that love is to be the motive behind our judgment. As an expression of love, we judge and further admonish/correct one another in order to restore each other to a state of living ‘right’ before the Lord. And, the standard for living that Christians are to live by is expressed in His Word – the bible.
    God does indeed love us even in our sin. However, He does not leave us in our sin. If we are truly His then, we will live our lives in continuous obedience to His Word – not perfect living by any means, no one can, but over the course of our life in Christ there should be a noticeable effort to live in accordance to His Word. (Matthew 7:21) “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but HE WHO DOES THE WILL OF MY FATHER IN HEAVEN.”
    Those living in a continuous homosexual lifestyle are NOT living in accordance to God’s Word. They are not doing the will of the Father – period. There is no getting around this reality and several here have cited the scriptural evidence. You can cite supposed “scientific” evidence, or Tony Jones and others in the Emergent movement it does not matter. God’s Word is the final authority on the issue and according to His word homosexuality is SIN!!! Furthermore, according to God’s Word, homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God.
    My prayer, my admonition, my friendly warning to you offering your approval regarding homosexuality is to obey the Word of God and repent. Quit encouraging people to continue down this broad road that will lead only to their eternal destruction. God is love, but He is also Holy, Righteous, Just, etc… and, He is not mocked.

  • Ron

    A Walker -
    “…if gay attraction is a biological/genetic thing, identical twins must both be gay 100% of the time. Why? Because the identical twins have precisely the same genetic code! So if one is gay, they both MUST be gay if homosexuality is genetic.”
    Your logic is flawed…
    This from – http://forensic-evidence.com/site/ID/ID_Twins.html
    “Identical twins develop when a single fertilized egg splits in two, leading to two embryos. Because they both came from the combination of the same egg and sperm, they have identical DNA, barring the generally undetectable micromutations that begin as soon as cells start dividing. To a standard DNA analysis, they would be indistinguishable. Yet the parents of twins can usually tell them apart by subtle visual cues, and, * while their fingerprints are generally similar, they are not identical.”
    If “IDENTICAL” twins fingerprints aren’t identical then nothing you said holds true.

  • David Fair

    “Well, I suppose this blogalogue will be a test of whether I have good theological and philosophical reasons for supporting the rights of GLBTQ persons to marry, or whether I’ve simply caved to the mushy inclusivity of pluralized nothingness.”
    Strange. You didn’t even quote one verse of Scripture. How can you possibly think you have “good theological” reasons for supporting a sinful lifestyle.

  • Bruce

    To those who think homosexuality is a “natural occurrence”, rather than a result of a “decision”:
    I will try to not go into a long and drawn out disertation here. That having been said, if nature (we might leave God out of this issue, temporarily) affords the basic process of evolution as the origin of life — which I speculate is the platform on which most would stand as proponents of the argument for the “natural occurrence” of homosexuality — by default the existence of that evolutionary process requires us to also accept certain rules associated with and requisite to it, which allow for that process to pepetuate or reproduce itself… whereby without such, none of us would be here.
    Since sexual reproduction, absent artificial modification (human intervention, in one form or another, which is a quite modern factor), requires — by those same rules of evolution — that it be accomplished heterosexually. Threfore the fact is that over some period of time homosexuality would be eliminated by application of those same rules of evolution.
    Over time, evolution would eliminate homosexuality simply because it performs no functional part in the self-perpetuating process of sexual reproduction; either that or the presumed “genetic” characteristic of homosexuality would evolve into heterosexuality, by necessity.
    Homosexual entities cannot be reproduced by any known process of homosexual reproduction — throughout and until this exact point in our “evolution”, that has been a physical impossibility. Therefore, homosexuality cannot be a “natural occurrence” except as a deviation of the evolutionary process — or, if you will, a flaw in that evolutionary process. Since homosexuality is incapable of reproducing itself according to natural rules, it is also incapable of being considered a viable result of the evolutionary process, as any such flaws are minimized and eventually eliminated by the process itself.
    “Natural occurrence” cannot be a reasonable argument without the acceptance of applicable “natural laws”. We can talk until we are blue-in-the-face and it won’t change that fact. If we were to accept evolution (nature — the creation) as the mechanism for the origin of life, we must also accept the fact nature is quite frugal, in the least, with it’s efforts. Inefficiencies are, in the least, minimized, and inevitably eliminated, by the very rules required within the definition of the process of evolution. This fact precludes the evolutionary process holding onto any deviation which is incapable of reproducing itself.
    Now, God may reenter the issue:
    Ro 1:22-27
    22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
    23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
    24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
    25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
    26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
    27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
    This is offered to express the love of Jesus for His human being; not for the love of Jesus for the homosexual actions of that same human being.

  • http://thenortherngates.wordpress.com/ Patrick Oellund

    Hello,
    What is the Bible saying about homosexual love? You can only find one view, He hates the sin but as a loving God, He loves the sinner. But when we come to God we must confess Jesus as Lord and Savior and turn away from our sins.
    Yes, God loves everyone, but that doesn’t mean that everyone will be accepted by Him. If we turn from our sin He will accept us.
    You as a pastor must not compromise with what the Word of God is saying but stand as an defender of God’s Word not a defender of the ‘god of this world.’

  • Nathan

    The acronym GLBTQ inludes B for Bisexual. You mention that these people should be accepted in their “monagamy.” Bisexuality is inherently NOT monagamous. Why would you include bisexuality?

  • canucklehead

    If I post my blogsite, will you guys all please visit it and leave a few green-backs?? I’m trying to pay off a few student loans…
    Now, what were you talkin’ about, again?

  • tim

    Just a thought.
    Sorry, I haven’t read all the comments, and I will. I don’t know if this is the right context, there are just too many threads to know which one it’ll fit under.
    It is this: Tony is quoted on another site as having said: (paraphrase, and correct if its wrong) The lesbian, bysexual…etc. group should be sanctioned by the state and encouraged in monogamy.
    This is a valid point, that the bible is also explicit about the singularity of a marriage spouse, Paul is quite clear about this in more than one of his epistles. Do we have disagreements on this?
    If we start bending what Paul said about the immorality of homosexuality (all emotions and personal experiences aside), then what is to stop us from bending things about the monogamous nature of marriage?
    For instance, it’s said that homosexuals should be given freedom and blessing from the church to practice – can the same be said for a bisexual? After all, inherent to the title, bi – means two, not one. So, for a bisexual to “practice” this lifestyle biblically, we must allow that they have a male partner, and a female partner, otherwise we force them by our “fundamentalist” attitudes on Biblical truth, to select either hetero, or homosexual behaviours. This simply cannot be!
    Would someone care to explain how we reconcile these two things. And, if I’m not correct, let me know if its alright for me to have two wives.
    Sincerely,
    Tim.

  • http://psudain.blogspot.com PSUdain

    There seems to be a running confusion here about the nature of bisexuality. I have seen it so far in two comments and it is likely in more. It generally seems to be along the lines of, “Bisexuals want multiple partners.”
    This is not the case! A bisexual person may fall in love with a person of either the same or the opposite gender. But this relationship is just as monogamous as one between two heterosexuals. However, when dating and pre-marriage, a bisexual person may end up dating both men and women over time before settling down with one person in the end, just like a homosexual/heterosexual person may date several people of the same/opposite gender over time before finding one with whom s/he wishes to continue in a closer relationship.
    There is a word for a person who enters into a mutual relationship with more than two participants (who may be of any gender) total. This word is “polyamorous”. We could discuss that separately, but we should take care not to confuse it with bisexuality. (Also, I do believe that we would be mostly in agreement on polyamory, so it would be a pretty uninteresting discussion.)
    This is, alas, a common misconception, and I hope that I can help to clear it up.
    While it may seem ridiculous or foolish to make and maintain these distinctions, they are vital to a good discussion. Because if we have different views as to what a word means, then we cannot properly communicate when we use that word. Also, to discuss something we must be able to either name or describe that ‘something’ during the discussion.

  • tim

    I do appreciate the distinction.
    I have two qualms with it.
    1. You are assuming that upon marriage or a “settled” relationship, the tendency towards romantic attraction to both sexes dissipates, somewhat automatically? If that is the case, who is to say that that tendency couldn’t have been diminished through the grace of the Lord, as opposed to an act of legislature. I find that difficult to believe. That assumption also goes against the general sentiment that gays, lesbians, etc. have no choice in the way that they are, and its fixed within their very fabric. How then can it so simply loosen with a decision to stay faithful to one?
    And, if it does not ever dissipate, will that person continually lust after another being during his or her marriage? This is also something we see clearly condemned in “red letters”. Or shall we say to that person “we understand that your sexuality is not a matter of your choice, and thus permit your extra-marital lusting as its result”
    2. I’ll leave my second point to another time, the first is much more interesting to me.

  • tim

    Sorry, legislature was the wrong word. I just mean the legal process of marriage.

  • Gary

    This could very well continue on and on, as I am sure there is no shortage of opinion amongst those that would potentially post. Who I would like to hear from now that there has been a healthy amount of interaction is Tony Jones.
    Tony – you put the issue on the table and we have shown our interest in the topic, I think it would only be appropriate for you to re-enter the conversation since it was yours to begin with.
    You titled this, “How I Went from There to Here: Same Sex Marriage Blogalogue”, without actually explaining HOW. A brief history in the form of a conversation with your mother is hardly a viable ‘argument’ to account for your position.
    So, will the author join, or are you just going to make a grandiose declaration without explanation?

  • Tony Jones

    Gary,
    I appreciate you asking me to jump into the comment thread. Let me note a couple things for you. First of all, this post was just one in a string of posts on same sex marriage, and part of an ongoing debate with Rod Dreher. If you look in the right sidebar, you’ll see a “Tag Cloud.” Simply click on the phrase “same sex marriage,” and you’ll see a full list of the posts on this topic. In fact, I took up the question of how experience does or does not influence my opinion on this subject in another post.
    Secondly, I rarely get involved in the comment threads. I try to say what I want to say in the post proper. And if there’s more I want to say, I usually do that in another post.
    This blogalogue is continuing. Currently, Rod is writing a response to my last post. Then I’ll respond to him. Et cetera.
    Thanks for reading.

  • http://www.untwistedtruth.com UntwistedTruth

    For above posts…

  • mark

    It is a true saying, that a real friend will tell you the truth, even if it is something he knows might upset you, but he does it because he cares about you, and cares about the truth.
    I myself have sinned the same as anyone else has, but unless God had told me what I had done was wrong, I never would have repented, or even had known I had sinned. If we simply ‘do away’ with the truth in the Bible that says what God has declared to be sin, then we do away with the need to be forgiven. Or in-fact even the need for a saviour, which does away with Jesus Christ!
    God clearly states in the Old Testament and New Testament, that we are to repent from those acts that are sin, which means to ‘turn around’ or ‘change our minds’ from the things we were doing, and believe the good news that Jesus Christ paid the penalty for our sins, and that we are to live in newness of life, no longer giving ourselves to the lusts we once lived with.
    I find it hurtful and arrogant that you would contradict the truth of God’s word, to replace it with a gospel and view of your own imagination. In doing so you are constructing doctrines that are not based on any foundation other than your emotions and own sense of authority. An authority which you clearly place above that of the written word of God, and in doing so are leading people that God loves, wants to save and reveal His truth too, on to a path of error.
    There is no mistake when reading the scriptures what they say regarding men and women that are not willing to repent of lusts and perversions such as homosexuality, bisexuality, transsexuality or any form of life style that is not natural;
    “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortionists will inherit the kingdom of God”.
    1 Corinthians 6: 9
    We are to turn from our sins, (not declare them as no longer sin) and cry out to God and believe that Jesus died for us, so that we could be cleansed and forgiven.
    For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.
    Romans 1: 26-27
    Based on these ‘new testament’ scriptures, can I ask where you received your authority to proclaim these ‘sexual preferences’ such as homosexuality or transsexuality as ‘no longer sins’? because as I see it, if I truly was seeking truth, I would take my truth from the word of God, and not from a church leader that clearly has no faith in the words of the God he is supposed to be representing.
    can you explain to me how you came to the conclusion that the sins that Jesus Christ died a terrible death for are no longer sins that need repenting from.
    My word to anyone reading this is to listen and trust God’s word;
    Let God be true, and every man a liar! God loves us, and wants us to be saved, and sometimes truth hurts, but the end result is salvation and freedom.

  • Catherine

    Previous post:
    Secondly, consider what was generally associated with homosexuality
    in the first century (pedophilia, debauchery, etc.) and then ask
    yourself if Biblical passages in question can really be applied to a
    couple in a long term, monogamous relationship.
    Mankind is depraved. Even intellectually enlightened mankind is depraved. Mankind’s depravity, unchecked by the conviction of the Holy Spirit, leads down deeper and deeper roads of sin.
    Indulge me momentarily as I use abortion to draw a parallel to this current conversation.
    This previous post reminds me of the Roe v Wade(attitude)at the time it was decided. Namely, that women should be able to have an abortion in the case of incest or rape was the generally agreed upon (secular world) reason for legalizing abortion. The church was considered cruel and unreasonable, and without compassion for women for calling abortion what it is – a woman killing her own child. Satan prefers that we say “a woman’s reproductive rights.” He is so clever.
    I’m wondering if people could have imagined that the fight these many years later would be over the right to have late term and partial birth abortions, and abortions for school age girls w/o their parents even being informed. In the United States alone there are 1.3 million abortions every year. Very, very, very few because of incest or rape.
    Regarding homosexuality – Codifying sin (in secular world and/or church) may make sinners feel better about themselves and help those desiring to make Christianity more palatable to sinners feel good about being inclusive, but it doesn’t help anyone be conformed into the image of Christ. Christ was sinless and he called a sinner “a sinner.”
    Being conformed to his image is about denying the flesh and following God’s way. He gave us a book in case we really wanted to find His way. At least that’s my experience. It can be painful while denying one’s flesh until the truth breaks through and deliverance comes.
    Living in rebellion to God destroys the human soul and spirit, and yes it does indeed separate us from God.

  • Mark

    And can I also say, before I am called narrow minded or self-righteous. I am a Christian man, who only stands forgiven because I believed what God declared regarding what I was doing and how I was living, and having ‘repented’ from those sins I was doing, I received forgiveness, because Jesus spilled His righteous blood to pay for all those things I did. I was a transsexual, on hormone treatment. I had to humble myself and believe not only that what I was doing was against God and nature, but that it cost Jesus His life.
    God forgave me, because I believed His word, and not my own sense of what was right. He set me free from my transsexual desire which I had believed was something I couldn’t help and was proberbly born with, but it wasn’t true, as I no longer have this desire. Bless God

  • tim

    Bless God’s name forever, thanks for sharing that Mark.
    What an encouragement to those struggling with such sins, yet having the Christ-given desire to conform to his image.

  • Don S

    Wherever there is Love, God supports it. Man is not the judge of it.

  • Gary

    Blessings Mark. I would also like to thank you for your bold testimony.
    I praise Jesus for the transformation He has brought to your life.

  • Gary

    Tony,
    I once saw through the glass dimly as it were, now it is much more clear. :D
    Thank you for responding and thank you for the tip on the nature and flow of your interaction.
    Blessings,
    Gary

  • Your Name

    What a testimony Mark. Christ transforms sinful lives,He gave us His word to tell us what is offensive to Him and we know from His word that same sex relationships are. I do not mean to be offensive in saying that but the truth must be told. He saved me from a life of fornication and adultery. This lifestyle once was natural and appealing to me, now it is not as He transformed and delivered me.
    We are all sinners, thats why Christ died, we must acknowledge this, address this and allow Him to change our sinful desires. He is able just listen to th emany testimonies one can find online.

  • James O’Donnell

    Do you not understand the english version of the Bible let alone the original languages. You one day will stand before God Almighty and tell him that you opined that the practicing sodomites and lesbian could be attached to the called out ones of His only Begotten Son Jesus Christ and you will pay dearly. The Bible clearly says in Romans that when you approve of something worthy of death that you will share that fate. Are you self egotistical Angels of Light not afraid to declare Gods word nul and void and still cling to his name. The practicioners of arsen coitus as the Bible calls it will spend eternity in hell and all who approve it for it is obvious that they do not have theSpirit of God, the “HOLY” Spirit of God any where near them let alone in them. Their monogomy matters not one tuppence to God Almighty because he does not recognise ‘basar echad’ one flesh but two rebellious people whom he has given over too their sins until such time as repentence, a very dangerous place to be

  • Your Name

    I can understand it’s hard for the gays to live these days, but bible is very clear on gays and same-sex marriage. Marriage should be defined as man and a woman, this is not a traditional belief but it’s very biblical basis. Allowing same-sex marriage only brings them into a deeper sin. If the gays want to live together, let them do so. But bless them in a marriage, it’s completely wrong. Any pastors that bless them mock God and His Words.
    Many gays, when they believe in the bible and Jesus, they are released from their old life, they transform to the new life. It’s hard, but by the grace of God, they are able. For there is nothing that God cannot do.

  • tim

    PSU -
    I’d like to hear your reply to my question.
    As much as I believe the bible speaks clear as crystal on this issue, I’d like to uncover some of the implications of your line of thinking, as to how destructive they are to biblical faith.
    I very much believe in patient correction and brother love for one another when we wrestle with these issues. Paul says, do it gently in love in case God may grant them repentance. So lets focus on doing things out of love for Christ and each other.

  • Michael

    When I man plucks out his own eyes, he is responsible for being blind.

  • Adiel

    Mr Jones,
    Which other parts of the Bible don’t you believe?
    Also, do you guys allow those participating in unrepentant monogamous heterosexual fornication to teach Sunday School?

  • Your Name

    Yes, The Holy Bible is very clear on a lot of things. Circumcision, for instance. And what about Leviticus 15? That’s pretty clear, I think. It’s always amazed me how so many of the rules of God can be dismissed by man, while others are so violently upheld.
    As a kid, when I asked my mom (as she was frying pork chops!) about why we don’t follow all the rules in the Old Testament she wisely explained her take on it in terms that her 9 year old could understand. It may or may not have been entirely accurate, but it made an impression on me and has served me well.
    She told me that, at the time God made them, every rule had a purpose whether man understood it or not. For instance, pork wasn’t able to be easily preserved so it could be dangerous to eat it. There were reasons for the rules, but as time passed and people and situations naturally changed there needed to be new rules.
    Eventually, as people followed the rules, God recognized that there was one really big rule that He needed everybody to understand. He sent his only son to make sure everybody knew that to get into Heaven the most important thing to know is that He expects all of us to treat every other person with love and respect. If everybody could treat other people the way he or she would want to be treated we’d all get to go to heaven. (Ah-ha! I recognized the Golden Rule when I heard it! I was aware even then it appears at least twice in the gospels.)
    I’ve always thought that was one of the best answers I’ve ever gotten to a question about religion. I recognized that she lived her life that way, so I always had a good model growing up. I hope I’m half as deserving as she is of the reward.
    I feel strongly that we’re to treat every person with the respect God demands regardless of whether they eat pork, or if they’re circumcised, or on their period, or gay.
    Marraige today isn’t at all the same as it was in biblical times. It might just be time for some new rules again. Or maybe we just need a refresher on the big one.

  • Ben

    Sorry, the above was posted by Ben

  • Joel

    So are we just throwing the New Testament completely out the window now ?

  • Eli

    Good grief! How much further down into apostacy will the Emergent Church slide? Now it’s up to Tony Jones, and NOT GOD(!?!) to decide what is abomination and what is not. Shame SHAME on you Mr. Jones. Clearly you have no regard for written Holy Spirit inspired scripture, and are relying on your own thoughts and views to guide you. When you face Christ someday and must give an account of your actions, you can present Him with this diatribe and see how far it gets you. You will be held accountable for those you’ve lead astray with this blatant heresy you’re spreading. You’ve caved to the GLBT agenda. So much for boldy contending for the faith.

  • Your Name

    Well, I’m afraid that we will be waiting a long time for the biblical passages that support Tony’s decision. You can’t make a decision and then look for support in God’s Word.
    Saying this out of love and humbleness, Tony, you are wrong. Not based on feelings/emotions but from God’s Word as interpreted by itself, not you or me.

  • Craig

    Getting stinking drunk every day is a sin. Yes?
    Fornicating (sex outside marriage) is a sin. Yes?
    I hope we can all agree on those two things.
    Though there is debate on this, it is clear to me that some people are born with a propensity to alcohol addiction. Because they are born with this proclivity does not make it okay for them to get drunk every day simply because “God made them that way.” It is part of the fall, original sin, the brokenness of our world. Not an excuse to sin.
    Same goes for people who engage in sex outside marriage. I believe people are born with a propensity to homosexual action. But, like the alcoholic, that does not give them a right to go on sinning and blaming God for it.
    The alcoholic and the homosexual have a cross to bear. We all have our crosses to bear.
    We should NOT treat homosexual fornication any different than heterosexual fornication or other sin. Active gay Christians want an exception for their sin. However, we should hold everyone to the same standard, gay or straight. We should not descriminate. I don’t have sex (of any kind) with my fiancee. I know that is not what God wants for us. Why would I think God approves of gay sex?
    Now, the only problem with what I have laid out is this: if gays can marry and are monogamous than one could say they are not fornicating, but enjoying sex inside a marital union. BUT, The problem is that during the hundreds of years the Bible was written, we do not have a single representation of homosexual marriage/sex being God-honoring. I don’t see any reason to think otherwise today. From beginning to end, the Bible is clear that homosexual activity is a sin. From beginning to end over the hundreds of years accounted for in the Bible there is not a single homosexual marriage. Nothing is new under the sun. If you don’t think the early church had gay people in it, think again. Paul wrote harsh things about homosexual activity. He called it sin. Why would we justify it now? We are not experiencing anything different than the early church. This whole “times have changed” idea is bunk. There has always been homosexual activity, and there always will be. The only thing that has been changing is people accepting sin.
    Like I said, we should not treat the sin of homosexual sex any differently than other sin. We should love our homosexual brothers and sisters the same as straight. Loving them means not telling them it is okay to sin, just like I wont tell my friend it is okay to be having sex with is girlfriend.
    Is it sad that people feel they were made by God to be gay? Yes. It is also sad that people feel they were made by God to be alcohol and drug addicts. But, believing God “made me this way” doesn’t justify sin.

  • http://sharperiron.org Aaron Blumer

    Craig, well said. It’s sad that many have blurred the distinction between feelings of desire and choices to yield to desire. We can refer to the former as an “orientation,” and not refrain from condemning folks for how they feel. But the latter Scripture clearly forbids. And we don’t have to be perfect ourselves to simply acknowledge what the Bible defines as right and wrong.
    The Bible does not advocate “monogamy.” It advocates marriage.

  • Indiana

    Unless we start erasing bits of the Bible, we can’t get away from what it says about homosexuality. However last time I read, it says the same about jealousy, lust, lying, being self-seeking, ignoring the poor, pride.
    I am human and I have a sinful nature, the spirit in me wants to do right but try as I might, I will never be entirely free from sin until I leave this body.
    Every day I stand a child of God, totally sinful compared to him, yet utterly pure in him, washed clean, accepted, yet still prone to sin, unable to completely get rid of it.
    If I’m able to stand in church talking with God, knowing that there is no condemnation in Christ, despite my obvious sinfulness, then I think one day I’d like the church to be comfortable with a gay couple standing next to me doing exactly the same, basking in the same love and forgiveness, despite their obvious sin.

  • Your Name

    Indiana,
    You cannot “bask in forgiveness” of sin if you have not repented of the sin.

  • geroguy

    I just find it so amazing that people continue to belong to groups that ostracize them, religions being the most grievous of these. Who gives a flying fig whether or not Christianity or any other religion “sanctions” gay marriage? Aren’t people capable of thinking and reasoning for themselves? Or is it that they just don’t want to take responsibility for their actions and opinions and therefore defer to some “authority” as an excuse for not doing so? If so, no wonder these people are collectively referred to as “the flock. The only problem is what eventually happens to that flock. You see, all the members of a flock will some day, unwittingly and with no warning, be getting their heads sliced off at a slaughterhouse to be sold as lamb chops. Of all the words churches could have chosen with which to refer to their collective congregants, “flock” was certainly an interesting one, don’t you think? (Oh yes–let us not forget that sheep aren’t exactly the smartest of God’s creations.)
    As for the “Does God approve…” part: I find it interesting that if one uses religion to justify talking to God and interpreting “His” alleged word, then s/he is holy and reverend. If however, s/he does not involve religion when doing so, then it’s called schizophrenia.
    Interesting dichotomy.

  • UnaHomer

    As a man who struggled for many years to resolve the enormous struggle between the deep emotional desires, feelings, and lusts of homosexuality and the totally clear Biblical message that man and woman were created “BOTH” in the image of God, therefore human sexuality is an expression of the completion of God’s creation, most of my adult life has been involved in the pursuite of truth as to what is “right” about homosexuality and Christianity.
    I was sexually abused by my father, my brother, and several others such as family “friends” and babysitters between the ages of 5 and 12 years old. And, though I grew up “feeling” tht homosexuality was totally normal for me, I was able to change my “feelings, desires, and lusts,” by years of faith in God, His Word, and male reparitive therapy. Since then, my 20 years of counselling individuls and leading support groups involving more than 300+ “gay Christian” men, I have kept complete (yet confidential) records that show 88% of these men were also sexually abused as childern and, in addition 95% of these men claim to have had a “very bad,” relationship with their fathers while growing up! While I am not claiming these numbers to be a scientific representation of gay men as a whole, to me they clearly show that with a TOTAL lack of evidence from the Human Genome Project, conducted over the last 20 years, nothing even slightly suggests human sexuality whether heterosexual or homosexual has anything to do with genetics or being “born” straight or gay, in any way, shape or form. So I must conclude that with no singe shrd of evidence tha people are born straight or gay, and an enormous amount of evidence that gay men have had terribly bad relationships with their fathers or male role-models and/or been sexually abused; WELL the obvious conclusion MUST be that homosexuality is definitely a result of NURTURE rather that NATURE! People are not born gay, they are made that way from family disfunction. And even though many gay men I know totally agree with that, should we condemn them and DEMAND they change, or just accept them for who they are and let them be who theior feelings, desires, and lust tell them the must be?
    Well, just think about the gay rights movement’s demands that all homosexuals should “come out,” be “who they are,” and that the rest of society should accept them unconditionally. How would this same thing play out with other groups who’s urges, feelings. desires, and lusts drive them? What about gamblers? Would society be doing the compasionate thing by saying, “go for it,” “come out of the gambling closet, just “do what makes you feel good.” And, “follow your deepest desires!” Would we be doing a good thing by supporting gambling addicts by telling them to listen to the deepest innermost feelings of their heart and the urges that tell them that their reason for living is to gamble?
    What about pedophiles? I have actually counseled men who have confided in me their deep inner desires, feelings, and cravings toward childern. And, you know what? They are not any different than any other’s deep feelings, lusts, or desires of homosexuality, alcoholism, bestiality, gambling, drugs, compulsive spending, perfectionism, etc. ANYBODY who allows their lives to be ruled by FEELINGS, LUSTS, etc., is following the path to destruction and not the path to righteousness of which Christ spoke! But would anybody in society accept the call for pedophile preditors to, “come out of the closet” and “go with your deep feelngs,” and “BE who your innermost feelings tell you you MUST be!” You may argue that this will never happen and that pedophilia is a crime punishable by imprisonment. But just remember, 50 years ago homosexual sodomy was a crime, punishable by imprisonment! So what will pedophilia be 50 years from today? Bestiality?
    We have already seen rebellious groups, such as those who represent obese people in America urge severely overweight people who have uncontrollable desires to over-eat to just, “let go,” “come out of the fat closet,” and “be who you are.” Accept the fact that you are fat and screw anybody that says otherwise! Yet how many of these people are ruining their lives beyond repair by living in a way God never intended, just like those trapped in the gay life? Think about the fact that life should NEVER BE LIVED BY FEELINGS! EVER! Only by faith. DESIRES, FEELINGS, LUSTS; these are not the basis for any lifestyle. Our lives should be lived in obedience to God. PERIOD. And those thing that tempt us away from His Will and Word should be nailed on the Cross to die, just like He died for us.
    Galatians 2:20 – It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

  • Joel

    UnaHomer, well said. The Bible says if we live to please our flesh (feelings,lusts,etc) , we reap eternal destruction- But if we live to please the Spirit, we reap eternal life. That lines up with what you are saying.

  • Travis A

    Honestly I am glad that UnaHomer articulated the truth in the comprehensive way he/she did. I am inclined to respond very angrily to “leaders” who have the ministry of reconciliation- through the gospel- but all the while take white-out to what you don’t like in the WORD OF GOD. I am gonna let it rip anyways.
    This argument(which is with God- no two ways about it) does betray the belief that truth is relative and that we are not fallen, but rather moraly dictated by our “core-feelings”, which feel oh so good to us. Ever read the Scripture’s teaching that the heart of man is decietful and deperately wicked- who can know it? Your stance on this biggie is obviously apprent and indicative of other false beliefs you MUST posess. And oh the warnings the scriptures speak of that fall on “leaders” who pasture His sheep into deep dark pits.
    I do not really encourage you to repent. I’m not convinced that you can presently. You crossed a line. The Scriptures speak of it. You have followed the order of a false teacher that Scripture teaches can only recieve correction by a curse/stern rebuke- and that of the devil’s permission over you, which us believers would rather spare ourselves the imagination… and count yourself so mercifully entreated if afterwards it corrects you. That is, if ever in the first place, you were ever really transformed by the gospel- the love of God.
    Regretfully,
    Travis

  • Mel M.

    UnaHomer, Joel and Travis — Well said!
    Just to add to what UnaHomer said about pedophilia:
    Yes it is illegal now…at least in America. But it isn’t in many countries. This is extremely important to understand. Whereas homosexuality is condemned by virtually all major religions (certainly Christianity, Judaism, and Islam), pedophilia and polygamy are not. It is an undeniable fact that the Koran allows men to have 4 wives (at one time).
    It is also true that the “prophet” (Mohammad) married Aisha, his favorite wife, when she was 6 years old, and consummated that marriage when she was 9. The ayatollahs in Iran teach that a girl’s first period should be in the home of her husband. As our societies in the west grow increasingly multicultural, how are we going to tell Muslims that polygamy should not be allowed, when gay marriage is? And what argument are we going to use against someone whose defense is the life example of the “prophet” himself when society already supports an action (homosexuality) that to him is punishable — according to sharia law — by stoning?
    The right thing to do; the just thing to do; the righteous thing to do, is to flee all “lusts” and sexual desires that are outside the sacred bond of a committed marriage between one man and one woman. This is what God has ordained. And what God has joined together let no man put asunder. Marriage is sacred! Sex is a spiritual activity through which flows the very river of Life itself! It simply MUST be wholly confined to the sacred union of this sacred union.
    Malcolm Muggeridge once said that “sex is the mysticism of the materialist, and the only possible religion in a secular state”. As such sex outside of holy matrimony is false worship. It is a desecration of that which is Holy. It is, in reality, the very worship of the Beast!

  • Joel

    Malcolm Muggeridge once said that “sex is the mysticism of the materialist, and the only possible religion in a secular state”.
    Very interesting quote

  • Joel

    Did Tony repent yet ? Anyone know ?

  • Jake

    This ‘experience’ and ‘memory’ stuff that Tony talks about is so ‘me-centered.’ My prayer is that he would begin to see the Scripture with a gospel centered hermeneutic that makes Jesus not only Lord but also King. We must think in a Jesus-centered way, specifically about this topic… this must be foundational to all doctrine… not experience!

  • mic

    WRONG! Clearly, you are not operating in the Spirit. God does not contradict himself. Romans ch 1 specifically states:Rom 1:25 For they changed the truth of God into a lie, and they worshiped and served the created thing more than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.
    Rom 1:26 For this cause, God gave them up to dishonorable affections. For even their women changed the natural use into that which is against nature.
    Rom 1:27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust toward one another; males with males working out shamefulness, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was fitting for their error.
    Rom 1:28 And even as they did not think fit to have God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do the things not right,etc…
    Having been gay at one time, and graciously delivered from that deception by the grace of God (praise His holiness!), I can speak from experience. That lifestyle does not proliferate the peace of God, but wars with it. There is no sin in His kingdom. Homosexuality is sin, clear and simple. Please reconsider and choose life with God our King.

  • Mike

    I think the conclusion from this is that you have “caved to the mushy inclusivity of pluralized nothingness” from the simple basis that you have provided no theological reasons in support of your stance at all. The only reference to any content in the bible is found in your statement
    “I’ve always thought that all persons should be afforded the same rights and no one should be discriminated against. But I also knew that the biblical prohibitions to homosexual sex should be taken seriously.”
    Which shows that your opinion is not a biblically supported position, at least not as you see it; but, that your sense of everyone has rights and should be included and not made to feel left out, somehow over rides the authority of scripture. That your wisdom and convictions of right and wrong are superior to those of God. Your use of the phrase ‘fully human persons’ also puts forward the idea that how Christians act toward GLBTQ people is directly tied to our approval of their actions. Do I agree with homosexuality…no, but I also do not see gay people as sub-human people or treat them as inferior or diseased. Jesus did not treat sinners as sub-human or say that they don’t deserve human rights, but at the same time he did not condone their sin, or make allowances in right and wrong to accommodate opinions and beliefs contrary to God’s truth. Homosexuality is a sin just as is any other that people struggle with, why should this one be given special privilege among Christians, that we should embrace it?
    You close saying that you now believe that “GLBTQ can live lives in accord with biblical Christianity (at least as much as any of us can)” ., but you have yet to offer one biblical reference supporting how this is possible, and so we are left with the conclusion that this decision has been made completely based on your own desire to make everyone happy and have everyone fit in as opposed to based on what God teaches us in the scriptures.
    My closing argument as to why this conclusion is false, is not because the bible says it’s a sin, because as you pointed out we all struggle with sin and are not perfect, so why should homosexuals be viewed differently from you or I? The reason is the condition of the heart, there is a difference between struggling with sin, and actively taking part in it. If some one is in a homosexual relationship or marriage, they have said to the world, this is who I am , this is how I am living, and this is what I think is right. And to God they have said, I know you think this is wrong and I don’t care, I am doing this anyway, I am actively rebelling against you, and I am proud of it.
    How can some one who is actively rebelling against God in their daily life be living according to biblical Christianity? How can someone who has embraced a lifestyle of sin (any sin) recognize their sin problem and come to Jesus in repentance for their sin while they hold the view that it is in fact not wrong. And if they do not see the true nature of their sin, then they also cannot rightly accept Jesus because they have not actually recognized why they need him.

  • Caleb

    As a former self-identified gay man, I can say beyond all shadow of a doubt that Tony has no idea what he’s talking about. I bought into this squishy, muddled, emotionally driven, feelings-based pro-gay revisionist theology myself for more than a decade and it nearly killed me. Then, after having a born-again experience and becoming convicted in the core of my being that God’s Word is, indeed, reliable, trustworthy and true, I started studying the Scriptures and all of the various pro-gay arguments. What I found is that they simply don’t withstand critical scrutiny.
    There are many points I could comment on in Tony’s blog, but others have already done a good job of rebutting specific points. However, here is one example of how the pro-gay revisionists often set up a “straw man” argument and then proceed to knock it down as they pull on people’s heart-strings to win them over to the false doctrine.
    Specifically, Tony says:
    “I could feel myself drifting toward acceptance that gay persons are fully human persons and should be afforded all of the cultural and ecclesial benefits that I am.”
    HUH?! Newsflash to Tony: I don’t recall anybody on the biblically orthodox side saying that people who self-identify as GLBTQ are not “fully human.” Here, Tony simply regurgitates a pro-gay talking point and puts words into the mouths of those who hold to Biblical truth on this important matter.
    Fact is, it’s not a “package of benefits” that somehow makes us “fully human”—be they cultural or ecclesiastical. No, what makes us “fully human” is that each of us bears His image as either male and female—mysteriously reflecting Him in the diversity that is inherent to our biological sex, and yet coming together in a complementary unity that not only speaks to the Trinitarian nature of the God-head but also to the profound and glorious relationship between Christ and His bride, the Church.
    St. Paul calls this a great mystery, and I submit that this is the core of what makes us “fully human” and speaks to why we are called to treat every person we come across in our journey on this planet with the dignity and respect they deserve as image bearers of God—who are therefore of inestimable value and worth in His sight. So much so that He Himself as the Logos and Second Person of the Trinity—Jesus—died for us in our sin and iniquity in order to reconcile us back unto Himself.
    When Tony settles for a definition of humanness that merely speaks to certain benefits and “rights,” he misses the larger and more important point of who we are and how we are called to steward our bodies as gendered beings who bear God’s image and bring forth new life also in that image.
    I know from personal experience that pursuing homosexuality falls short of how I was created to function, who I was created to be, and the imago Dei I am called to bear. When self-professing Christians like Tony buy into a revisionist theology that fundamentally denies the foundational truth God puts forth in the opening chapters of His Word to us, then he helps to cement the 3-5% of the population that self-identifies as GLBTQ into tombs of death.
    The Gospel message is a compassionate and loving message that proclaims not only reconciliation with God from whom we are estranged by our sin and rebellion, but most wonderfully, a radical transformation and freedom from the bondages of our fleshly nature. As someone who has been set free from these chains, I know only too well that the sexual and relational brokenness inherent to the homosexual and “transgender” conditions are simply one or two tactics that the Enemy employs to destroy the image of God that we humans bear.
    As one who is in a position of spiritual leadership, surely Tony knows that he’s being held to a higher standard than others. I pray that he will come to his senses on this critical issue—critical because it gets to the heart of the imago Dei that we humans bear and express in our sex and sexuality, and critical because the lives of so many that depend on pastors like Tony to tell them the Gospel truth and not lead them astray hang in the balance.

  • John Boyer

    I met the Lord Jesus Christ 4 years ago as a 30 yr old gay man. For the first time in my life I felt Loved and Forgiven, He came into my heart and washed all my pain away. I ran hard and fast after this Jesus and He very quickly told me He did not want me to be gay or indulge in that lifestyle any longer. He told me “this is not who I created you to be.” I had been gay my whole life, as far back as my memory goes I was attracted to the same-sex. I thought I was born like that. He showed me through His own eyes how disgusting these acts were, these things I did with my body as a gay man with other men. He let me know how much it grieved His Heart. From that day on I turned away from being gay, no longer wanting to hurt my God like that ever again. He showed me love like I never imagined was even possible to experience while alive here in this body! Our Lord Jesus Christ loves each and everyone of us, died for each and everyone of us, but is calling each and everyone of us out of darkness into His Marvelous Light. He does not want us in bondage to our enemy, He desires us to be free. I never thought I would be saying these things but I have found the truth and the truth has set me free from a life of sexual slavery. I pray that you will ask the Lord Jesus Christ to reveal to you the truth. Ask Him to make Himself real to you and convict you of your sin. You are deceived if you think He is ok with you living this way. He loves you so much and wants you to be His and His alone. You cannot serve two masters. You must choose! Trust me whatever pain you have to go through, however hard it will be, it will be worth it I promise. I pray you come out of these lies of the enemy in Jesus Name! He has confirmed this to me not just with the Bible but with His Holy Spirit. Thank you for taking the time to listen to me and consider what I’m saying, I come to you as a brother in Christ, I come to you in Love not in Judgement. Ask God for the Truth, please?

  • Zach Mockbee

    Caleb and John,
    You are truly two encouragements in my faith walk. I have never suffered with this sin personally, but I respect that you two heard God’s call and responded and were subsequently shown grace. My prayer for both of you is that you will continue in the faith, as I know you will, and that grace from our Lord Jesus will be with you in this life and the next.
    Your brother,
    Zach

  • eddie

    Gay Marriage is Crazy!
    “Ye that love the LORD, hate evil…” —Psalm 97:10
    By David J. Stewart
    Any child knows that God created Adam and Eve; NOT, Adam and Steve! The very notion of two homosexuals getting married is repulsive and disgusting. In Romans 1:26 God calls homosexual “love”… vile affections, i.e., morally reprehensible affections. God’s Word condemns homosexuality, which is why Sodomites today are relentlessly trying to corrupt the Bible. Romans 1:25 told us they’d do this, “Who changed the truth of God into a lie…”
    Gay marriage is NO marriage at all in the eyes of God. Mark 10:9 plainly states that marriages are made in Heaven… “What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.” God will not honor a sinful marriage between two lesbians or homosexuals. The entire idea of same-sex-unions (i.e., gay marriage) is foolish, absurd, and most of all, unbiblical. We are a spiritually destitute people in America!
    One of the best secular arguments against homosexual marriages is the fact that a child NEEDS both a male and female role image in their developmental stage. For a child to grow up healthy and normal, BOTH male and female parental roles are required. A child who grows up with two lesbian parents, will grow up confused, having been denied the privilege of a NORMAL home. Homosexuality is NOT an alternative lifestyle; but rather, a sinful lifestyle. It’s not “a new kind of family” as the TV networks propagate; but is in reality a sinful kind of family. Homosexuality is a horrible sin, which brought the destruction of God upon the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. Although some people have pointed out to me that God destroyed Sodom for other sins besides homosexuality (Ezekiel 16:49), Jude 1:7 plainly states that God destroyed Sodom for sexual sins, including that of going after “strange flesh” (a clear reference to the unnatural behavior of homosexuality).
    Furthermore, Genesis 19:1-9 gives us explicit details about an angry mob of homosexuals in Sodom, who were about to break down Lot’s front door and rape the male guests (i.e., the angels). Genesis 19:4 reveals that Sodom was saturated with homosexuals… “But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter.” hence the term, “sodomite.” In addition, Romans Chapter one is a solid indictment against the sin of homosexuality. The fact that two homosexuals cannot produce natural children is evidence enough, that something is VERY WRONG AND UNNATURAL with being a homosexual.
    Homosexuality is a sin, which has led to the CRAZY practice of artificial insemination. Please read, Gay Men and Lesbians Utilizing Infertility Clinics to Have Babies. Think about how immoral and crazy this is! Two lesbians get married, and then pay a complete stranger, a man, to donate his sperm to artificially inseminate one or both of the women in a medical clinic. So while the two lesbians are having lesbian sex, their babies are the result of artificial insemination by a man they’ll probably never even meet. How crazy is that? Then there’s the case of two homosexual men living together, who pay a woman to be artificially inseminated with one of their sperm cells, so they can be fathers? Folks, this stuff belongs on The Outer Limits! It just goes to show that when mankind disobeys God’s Word, things get crazy.
    END
    ——————————————————————————–
    Bush cheers ‘gay’ church after ‘Marriage Week’
    Attempts to please family advocates, homosexuals baffle both groups
    November 12, 2003
    © 2008 WorldNetDaily.com
    Not long after he endorsed “Marriage Protection Week,” President Bush sent a letter of congratulations to a denomination founded by homosexual activists that performs more than 6,000 same-sex “weddings” each year.
    The president wrote to the founding congregation in Los Angeles of the Metropolitan Community Churches, led by leading homosexual activist Rev. Troy D. Perry, on the occasion of its 35th anniversary.
    “By encouraging the celebration of faith and sharing of God’s love and boundless mercy, churches like yours put hope in people’s hearts and a sense of purpose in their lives,” Bush said in his Oct. 14 missive. “This milestone provides an opportunity to reflect on your years of service and to rejoice in God’s faithfulness to your congregation.”

  • Rebecca

    So sad to hear a Christian make this comment. It’s not homosexuality – which means same sex attraction – it’s sodomy. The only way a man can participate in the act required of a “homosexual” act is to commit sodomy. For women, it’s more about emotional connection, but the sexual act is perverted in various manners of either fake “male parts” or oral sex. Thus no matter how you look at it, you cannot have monogamy be used in this conversation because you would not know how to have such a perverted sexual view of the “married” monogamous lifestyle. It’s impossible. Only if you have experienced an act of perverted sex would you even consider pursuing it as a “monogamous” option, yet if you ask any person involved in homosexuality if they “waited” until they were married to have “sex” with the “one”, not one person would be able to say no.
    Lust is in the mind, and is just as sinful as outside the mind with a body only. So in order for the supposed monogamy to exist in the eyes of God, God would have said “As long as you only have sex with a “homo or hetero” person inside marraige, it’s allowed, and not fornication or adultery” But God didn’t state it that way. Jesus, who is God said it as “A man shall cleave unto his WIFE(woman) until death do us part and let no man(man or woman) put it asunder”. Brief summary of Matthew 6, but Jesus states that any act of sex outside of marraige is adultery, and any act of sex before marraige is fornication…so..how could anyone even come to a conclusion about “sodomy” being ok ever? Only through perverted actions of immorality, which is why sodomy got it’s name…from Sodom and Gomorrah. Oy…the logic, er I mean lousy logic of thinking that homosexuality is ok in any frame reference. In truth, there is no such thing. It’s either you are a sodomist, or committing perverted sexual acts as described in Romans 1. Homosexuality isn’t even a biblical term, but it’s a term coined to define those who commit perverse sexual acts with members of the same gender. Let’s stick to the truth. Sexual sin is sin. Homo or fornication or adultery or incest or beastiality. All are sexual sin. Pretty simple.

  • Rebecca

    Praise the Lord for those who have gotten saved from the sodomy and lifestyle, spoken up on here. I’m so glad you found Christ! I pray that you don’t ever let someone who is this messed up – as Tony is right now on this issue – tell you that you are not “changed” or are free to live the wrong way with God’s blessing. Thank you for speaking up on here!
    Jesus changes all of us to be more like Him, no matter the sin, and His love and grace overrules any sin in the heart of those who repent. I praise God that you have come out of that lifestyle. Pray for my friend “X” who is a man who has chosen the homosexual lifestyle and tries to say it’s ok as a Christian..oy. Pray for those who are being led into sin via this article, that they will not follow this man’s advice.

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