The Tony Jones Blog at Patheos
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Rod, I too want to see us all live together in harmony. But I think it is very clear that God is doing something with this people group right now, so I have a strong sense of hope that it can and, in some measure, will happen. Lord, please oversee the remainder of this blogalogue, and all parties involved and affected, as there will be many. Let us not compromise purity for the sake of community, nor forsake community for the sake of purity. Help us in this journey Lord. We love you. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
rod seems a tad disingenuous talking about civil conversation and calling foul about calms of “bigot” given the way society as a whole and many conservatives specifically have treated gay & lesbian people the video seems to be shot in someone yard, staged as a conversation. I yearn for a day when we can pitch tent together – when Tony does not serve as a stand-in for faithful gay & lesbian creations of our loving God. I understand philosophy and politics – heck I even respect it at times. but these are not abstractions – these are are our fellow body of Christ, people who we cast out simply based on who they love in a little more than a month, Christians will remember Jesus being born – not to a “traditional family”, but an unwed teenager and his confused betrothed. God pitched tent – that is the exact translation. it is a big tent – thankfully I do not guard the door at that tent, nor does Tony or Rod or Jo Hudson. God invites us to the banquet and commands to love – not to understand, not to judge, but to love
“…people who we cast out simply based on who they love” We do this all the time. Pedophiles, Polygamists, etc. Love doesn’t give you a pass to act however you want.
brian, the vast majority of pedophiles and polygamists are straight white men, “normal” people from society’s POV loves does give us a pass – that is true faith does not give a license to judge and exclude the faith traditions that draw their line to Abraham all teach, at their core, the imperative to love one another as we would love ourselves & our God.
I don’t have any problem with gay people, but why do gays have so much venom against child-lovers, incestuals, and polygamists? We’re all just looking for love. What’s wrong with that? What could possibly be wrong with that?
tony- it may just be my DSL speed, but your video won’t play for me–either here on or on the YouTube site.
I agree with Timone. I have many friends who pursue faithful, committed, consensual man-boy love, and I can tell you, it is REAL. It makes me feel ashamed when I see so many in the gay community shun this expression. I feel like the homosexual community is on the verge of something big here, something equal, something just, something true. Any, yet, simultaneously, we are shutting the door on our brothers and sisters who just see love a little differently. Why is that? Love erases the hate of those who would judge us. Can anyone help me out here? Seeking understanding, A.S.
I’d say this to Rod’s face, but he won’t allow me to post on Crunchy Con because he says he’s afraid of what I say. In this case, it should be. The “some of my best friends are gay” argument he makes is disgusting given how he brags about the fact that he lives and was raised in the South, yet did not absorb its culture’s historic prejudice against African-Americans. Cry me a river. The “separate but equal” position he pushes has not only been proved to be “separate but equal” (businesses, etc. recognize marriages but not civil unions for purposes of health insurance, etc.) but smacks of Jim Crow. Plantation owners said slavery was necessary to defend the traditions of civilization as well, once upon a time.
Aaron S. I hope you are being sarcastic. That is gross. It’s child rape they are pursuing.
Larry, Marriage, the institution, is rooted in biology. Heterosexuals cannot help but produce children at a very high rate of incidence, and those children require a social contract to protect their long-range rights to material care and provision by the people who sired them. This biological and anthropological reality cannot be changed in the way economic systems like slavery or socialism can be changed. You are thus comparing apples and oranges. Marriage law can apply to all groups of couples (triples?) when heterosexuals have evolved to no longer procreate or when gays evolve to procreate. Until then, marriage law for heterosexuals is a law that addresses a unique set of child-rearing family responsibilities and duties. As I said elsewhere, 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.
Tony, I really do appreciate the tone in your conversations. I believe this is one aspect of the Emergent church that can be helpful to Christianity as a whole, and especially to conservative Christianity. Dialogue that is respectful of persons, done in a loving spirit, can benefit both sides. With that said, however, there are certain portions of your reasoning that I must reject. You say that the philosophical and theological arguments are not the only driving factors that have brought you to where you are. The emotion (movement of your own spirit) seems to have guided you as well. I affirm that the Holy Spirit works with our spirit to guide us, but only as it does so in accordance with the revealed will of God as found in the Scriptures. Any emotion that we have, any â€œmovement of our spiritâ€ that points us or leads us in a direction that is contrary to Godâ€™s Word is a leading that comes from a heart â€œthat is deceitful above all elseâ€ (Jeremiah 17:9). You are right that emotion cannot be extricated as part of the conversation, but as stated previously, our emotions are affected by sin. We feel things we should not feel! Therefore our emotions must be tested by objective truth (at this point I believe we have an epistemological difference of opinion). I liked Rodâ€™s point when he said you cannot simply tell a person who is gay to simply choose to live differently. This is exactly what Luther said was impossible for the human being. Our wills are bound by our nature. Our sinful nature drives our choices. Therefore, to say to a gay person that they must simply choose to be different is to deny the extent of fall in this regard. Only a transformed heart and mind can live as God has called us to. This is the power of the gospel. Concerning the post above, with the Pie Chart, I simply disagree with your assessment that the family is not destroyed. The other examples you use are logically fallacious in that they attempt to point towards outrageous examples of what you think the majority of conservatives believe will happen with the rise of homosexuality. I know of no conservative that believes Russia will invade because of this moral issue. It is a ridiculous chart. The problem is rooted in our belief about truth in regards to the Word. Either it is absolutely and authoritatively true, regardless of your experiences, or it is not. I believe Francis Schaeffer was correct to say that â€œHe is there and Is Not Silent.â€ God has spoken, now we must bow before His Word.
I have a friend who is a homosexual and a Christian and chooses not to pursue the lifestyle due to their conviction that it is sin. I have to say it is so very hard and they are alienated form the uncompassionate Christians as well as the gay community who basically sees them as a traitor. What a lonely road they walk which is why mutual respect is so crucial here. I do not equate homosexuality with pedophelia in anyway but there was mention of real man-boy love. Not sure if that is sarcasm to make a point but either it is and it does make the point and if it isn’t sarcasm then it makes the point even more profoundly that when we look to our own feelings, emotions and ideas of love we can easily rationalize our own sin in the name of love. Someone said it earlier that the Holy Spirit does guide us but will not guide us away from God’s word. Our oppinions or love does not trump God’s word. EVER. Our NATURAL emotions and feelings are very often incorrect and sinful and contrary to God’s word (and that goes for heterosexuals as well).But Christians so often do treat homosexuality like some sort of greater sin and that is wrong…although in their defense most people don’t ride floats and wave flags promoting their sin so??? I have been reading Tony’s blog posts all day and the fact that so many people ARE responding respectfully on both sides has, for now, (after all this Prop 8 aftermath) restored my faith in humanity that we can be civil and respectful rather than acting like the crazed, rage-filled folks on the news. Thanks guys! I mean that.
TJ – nice work all around. Posting the video may be the best part so far, showing how empathic dialogue is possible….and on his front porch. Peace, SW
The Bible is very clear on the act of homosexuality as it relates to The Law and Paul was very specific in stating why people have homosexual tendencies “because of the hardness of their he arts…” While it’s true that one can find Christ giving no direct scriptural condemnation of homosexuality one can also find no contradiction in the scriptures regarding what Levitical Law and Paul had to say about it. There is always the “leberal Christian” argument that states “SO do we stone women who are caught in the act of adultry? While it is true that Christ’s mortalization and fulfillment of the law lightened the carnal punishment of such offences that did not lessen the divine guilt of that person committing adultry in the Father’s eyes. Indeed Christ told the adultress woman to ” Go and sin no more”. To give homosexulity a free pass on this one is strictly bias and preferential treatment. God tells us to love sinners and that includes gays but where do we draw the line between love and acceptence of sin to the point where we become like Solomon stray away into lives of sin and spiritual oblivion ourselves?
Marriage is between a male and female,anything else is ,well you can call it something else, but its not marraige. Homoseual is the death nail of a society,they cannot reproduce,they can only recruit your kids. Its kind of like magnets,(like charge repell,unlight charge attract), this is the sceince part of it. The creator created man and woman to marry and reproduce thats while we have a world today ,not two men or two women. It does’nt take a rocket scientist to understand this. Homoseual or gay is a learn behavoir,you are not born that way. When does the creation tell the creator what they will and can do. Oh by the way sex is between a male and female not two of the same sex. Animals don’t seem to have this problem only the humans whom GOD gave a mind and free will.
GOD is the problem solver,man is the problem creator.Why is it so hard for one to see with the eyes ,hear with the ear,and feel with the spirit (God holy spirit). We are incomplete as the natural man and complete when we repent of our sins and give our life to God,then we hear,see and dance to a different drum, because we are back in grace with HIM (GOD).
I think, you should follow your own heart, not someone elses, not what people want you to follow. If your heart tells you to go for it, then go for it. Because it doesn’t matter who you marry. you have to live with yourself forever. And I believe that God just wants us to be happy, because he may have thought “male and female is only allowed” In the beggining because there wasn’t enough population. But look at the earth now! I don’t think he’ll care who you marry as long as your happy with yourself.
The Bible clearer states that homosexuality is a sin. Unfortunately Pastors these days don’t talk about the truth. Marriage is sacred and God made marriage between a man and a woman. If we buy into this accept homosexuality God will pour his wrath upon us. The same way he did on Sodom and Gommarrah. Pastors wake up, Christians wake up and fight the good fight. This is a spritual warfare. Everyone will be judged.
Let us comprehend Genesis 1:26-3:24. Chapter 1 man are both genders and told to multiply and replenish the earth (KJV) on the 6th day, the 7th day god rested (2:1-3) then there is the preview of the next 2 chapters in verses 4&5. 5 suggests there is the need of a man to till the ground which didn’t happen until Adam ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (3:6&17-18). Therefore, mans coming into the mind of good and evil was intentional to get us to till the earth. Now return to where Eve is said to have come out of Adam (2:18-24). You will notice Adam didn’t feel the need of anyone to “help” him “meet” the requirement to “multiply” given to those first man, god did. [Evidently god heard Adamâ€™s thoughts of a desire for someone to live with in a group as he saw some birds and the other animals living.] You will notice god didn’t tell Adam of the operation, he only put him to sleep and when Adam awoke Eve was there. Having named everything else previously, he named her according to the dream he assumed took her from him, woven from man in the single term woman. Had Adam asked the voice about his dream of the girl being removed from him he would have received something like; â€œfor you to live in a group like you see the animals living your masculine or feminine attribute will become dormantâ€, but having seen the girl in his presence he did not feel the need to ask. I am a straight but had an experience where a boy laid his hand on my leg which caused my body to act sexually toward him. When I left my wife to live â€œnew bornâ€ (John 3:8) I told god to take control of my sexual desires, so that â€œblew my mindâ€. After leaving him I began to meditate on it and the foregoing is the results of the answer I obtained.
In response to Leah Ann. The problem with the written word is the lack of emotion sometimes depending on the verbiage used. In writing that I wish to convey to you that in no way do I mean this in a harsh way but, no actually “we people” are not miserable as a whole and in the wholeness of the Christian life. I’m speaking completely from my own walk with Jesus. I believe according to what I read in the Bible that I’m to live according to the example set by Jesus. I can never be perfect on this Earth and to think other wise would be folly not only in my cohabitation with the rest of the human race or my growth in my faith. I am heterosexual, but I have many homosexual friends that I love deeply. It saddens me to think that they would be absent during my eternal life in Heaven. I wrestled with what’s right or wrong in so many areas in my life from drug use & alcohol to the actual existence of God. I’ve had experiences in my life that have proved to me that God exists, and during those instances confirmed what took place corresponded with His nature as it’s presented in the Bible. I’m not here to judge you or anyone. I believe that He calls us all and I believe that we can either answer the call or not. I believe that’s why he gave us a free will and this whole existence called “life” happened. I believe he wanted us to CHOOSE to love Him or else he would have just created some beings to worship Him and not bothered with all this. How fulfilling would that have been though? I don’t want anyone to love me or even like me for any other reason than because they choose to. I will live morally to the best of my ability through the grace of God and hope people will love me, but that’s all I can do. I can love someone and show them how much I love them, but it’s up to them to receive it or not or to reciprocate it or not. I’m sorry if you’ve been persecuted or hurt because of your sexual orientation. According to the instructions and rules that I’ve read and through the Holy Spirit’s guidance to understand, I’ve come to the only conclusion that homosexuality is a sin. I didn’t write it in there but I believe that the Bible has been divinely inspired to be written. I can say that I DO believe that people can be predisposed for certain behaviors throughout life. I’m predisposed to crave alcohol. I’ve not stopped it completely and I don’t believe that according to the word it’s wrong to simply consume alcohol. I do believe that to overindulge to the point of drunkenness is a sin. Having said that I don’t mean to be degrading by comparing your sexual orientation to alcoholism as an “affliction.” I’m simply saying that according to what I’ve read and believe homosexuality is a sin. I apologize if I’ve offended you and if I have, I ask you personally and Jesus to forgive me. I believe he made you a beautiful person and He wants you to be in His presence forever, but I have to believe in all of the Bible or none of it. I believe Jesus came and gave His life to save the world not condemn it, but I believe that He does have a few requirements for this gift. One is that I confess that I’m not perfect in His eyes (a sinner) and believe that He paid the price for me which is death (for sins) and that He rose from the grave (conquering death) so that we also can conquer death and live with Him through his accomplishments forever. I used to think that “Okay, I believe all that so I’m saved and that’s that.” That is where I have to go back and say “If I believe that extremely good part of the Bible then I have to believe the stuff that’s hard (all or none of it),” and since as I’ve stated before that I’ve had proof of existence, I do believe all of it, and that’s where the Christian life begins. By living according to the words written for me to live by. I write honestly when I wish you the best in life and always know that He loves you and longs for your love. Not all of â€œusâ€ wants to beat you down. I believe the majority wants to build you up, but we canâ€™t compromise what we believe as truth either. God bless you Leah Ann.
I will be glad when all people would read the part in the Bible that talks about judging people or the part about the splinter and the plank,or maybe the one about love everybody.I am not a “Christian” I have found most Christians to be arrogant,judgmental people who interpret the Bible to meet there own agenda.I have never seen a group that was more hate-filled than a group of so-called born again Christians. I believe in God but the God I follow loved the world so much that he gave his only son.Maybe there should be an 11th commandment “Thou shalt mind thine own business”
I an a saved, holy spirit filled christian who believes everything I read in the bible. The bible views marriagas a very important relationship in the bible. The bible even refers to the great marriage feast that take place for the saints who make it to heaven. Don’t get it twisted, GOD is NOT gay. God loves all who he created but he does not love the sins that we commit. He lets grace and mercy abound. We should love one another as chistians but that does not mean that you love the sin. Often times, christinans are afraid to speak the truth because we are afraid to lose friends or family or popularity but the bible says to preach the word in and out of season. Now, If someone can show in the bible where god allowed same sex marriage to happen please post the scripture verse. Other than Sodom and Gommorah who God told Lot to leave and later destroyed, I have not seen any other refrences of same sex marriage. God did bear all our sins on the cross so that we may be free but if we continue in our ways, God will leave us to our retobate minds. What does it profit a man to gain the world and lose his own soul? If we are spirit filled christians that follow christ, we follow all his precepts. One day we will all give an account for every word and deed. There is no need for fighting or arrogance from either saved or non-christians. God does not need to fight with anyone for the word to go forth. God is not a man that he should lie or repent. When we chose to come out the will of god for our own selfish purpose god will deal with us until we are convicted in our spirits. My thing is, I will never fight with someone about same sex marriages. My job is to love that person to tell them what the word of God says and let God deal with them because when I am in my sins, God teaches me the truth without condemnation.
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