Comment of the Day 2

I’m adding another one today since I found what BudCath had to say interesting:

Thanks for your comments. I would love for America to be guided by
golden rule, but it is not and never has been. Indians, slavery, jim
crow, terrible injustice toward our fellow human beings. But we can be
better. I do not support abortion, captial punishment, homosexuality or
gay marriage personally. That is a religious and moral stance. But, I
know gay people and they are not horrible folks and should be treated
as the golden rule says. I don’t understand why they are the way they
are, but their fate is in God’s hands. But to me the important thing
about the separation of church and state, is that if we lose that,
someday, Judaeo-Christians might not be in the majority and we would
have to succumb to authoritarian rule by some other religion (the most
likely would be Islam the way they are growing in numbers around the
world). They take be fruitful and multiply seriously and I believe for
them abortion is also a sin. The world is changing fast my friend, and
is getting so complicated.

  • Todd Burus

    Honestly, do we not know enough yet to see that we can’t push the Golden Rule too far?
    What about drunk drivers? If they get drunk, drive, and accidentally kill someone, are we going to say, “Well golly-gee. That’s such a nice person. They just have a little flaw but I surely wouldn’t want someone to incarcerate me, therefore let’s just let them go”? No, we would want justice, and through charity would desire for them to have a fair trial in case they were innocent. Similarly, if we were being tried for a crime we would want a fair trial. That is the Golden Rule with justice and that is how we should approach sin.
    To put this on a theological footing, think about Romans 3.21-31 and 9.1-23. In both of these passage Paul is dealing with people who are asking about God’s fairness in dealing with people. They are appealing to the Golden Rule in regards to God’s justice. Should we ignore God’s commands on homosexual sin in the Bible? We certainly wouldn’t want God ignoring his promise of salvation to those who come to him in faith, so why should we ignore his promise of condemnation for the sin of practicing homosexuality?
    Or maybe the Golden Rule was just for that culture? How come no one ever questions if God still means for that one to hold today?

  • Vashti Winterburg

    Of course, we send drunk drivers to jail. This has nothing to do with the golden rule or being merciful and everything with preventing harm to others.
    Trying to hide behind the bible to justify anti-homosexuality comes in under the same category as using the bible in the 19th century to justify slavery. It could be done, but you get the same ugly results. One of my basic beliefs for Jesus’s divinity was that he saw women, children, slaves, the poor, the mentally ill and the sick as real people. Two thousand years later many of us still can’t get over these hurdles. We don’t excommunicate anyone these days for divorcing, charging interest, getting a tattoo or hanging on to wealth. Why would we think that gays and lesbians are beyond God’s infinite love? Why would we think that they are not our neighbors and that we are not called to love them as ourselves?

  • http://ToddOnGod.com Todd Burus

    Vashti, et al.,
    My wish is that someday people on your side of the argument will see the difference between “think[ing] that gays and lesbians are beyond God’s infinite love” and thinking that living out the actions of a homosexual lifestyle are sinful. I agree, gays are not unreachable by God’s love, but as with anyone who is called to faith, they must be called to a renewed life through the transforming power of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3.3-7). I do not believe that we can just throw out the admonitions against homosexual behavior (particularly the ones in the NT, though everyone here just seems to want to argue against the OT passages), and thus, when someone is saved it should be a life transforming call in that respect.
    Let me get set this straight. There are bad, fundamentalist beliefs held to by some on the conservative side of this argument. However, most conservatives who are not stuck in fundy-land do not have a problem with saying that people may have homosexual desires. This is in no way contradictory to God’s Word and in fact is almost expected as a result of the fall and the effects of Original Sin on humanity. But, desires are no excuse for failure to adhere to God’s Word. Does that mean that a Christian who struggles with homosexual desires is not a Christian? Certainly not. Does that mean that they may not occasionally fall into acting on those desires and give birth to sin? Not at all. What it does mean though is that anyone who claims to have saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ should be washed anew from the inside and not desire to live in their old life.
    It is here where the conservatives and the liberals diverge. Either the liberal side doesn’t believe homosexual acts are sinful, in which case I think they are wrong based on Scriptural commands, or they don’t believe that salvation should be manifest in a transformed life, which is also contrary to Scripture. Therefore, if one is holding to the liberal side of the argument I think it is hard to say that they are not interjecting their own authority of experience or emotion or philosophy in place of the authority of Scripture, which I think is a dangerous move for anyone to make.

  • Your Name

    I’m just trying to point out that while we as christians see behaviors as sinful (homosexuality, abortion, etc) and our churches condemn such behavior, we have to understand that we live in a country that has laws and has separation of church and state. We can work to have laws changed and we can vote. If the majority doesn’t agree with us, then there is nothing else we can do except live our spiritual lives and pray. It does no good to constantly be so hateful toward people who don’t hold our beliefs and values. This is a very sinful world and satan is all over the place, but God is the ultimate judge of people, countries and the world. Not trying to start an argument, just stimulate thinking and comments. Bless.

  • budcath

    The Your name just posted is me, budcath. Crazy comment software.

  • http://ToddOnGod.com Todd Burus

    budcath,
    I agree with you on the idea that we live in a country where majority rules (though I think our interpretation of Separation between Church and State might differ). However, the conservative side of this argument actually IS the one winning (for once). I think Tony’s whole point here is that it shouldn’t be and that we should be going to the dark, I mean liberal, side.
    And as I have said elsewhere, the fact that this is a “majority rules” country is even more reason why we (as Christians) should be focusing on what Scripture has to say and lining ourselves up appropriately with it on this issue, and not just going by humanism and secular philosophical ideals.

  • budcath

    Thanks for the reply. My definition of separation of church and state is just that there should be no State religion, or a Theocracy if you will. In England and most of Europe there is a state church and people have to pay taxes to support that church, whether they attend or are a member of that church. It is the official state religion. I find no problem with schools having moments of silent prayer, or allowing campus ministries, as long as any faith can have their own ministries.
    But my main point was that there is such ugly and hateful talk going on about gays and same sex marriage and such, that it should just tone down and get more reasonable. I believe even Jerry Falwell, said hate the sin, but love the sinner.

  • http://ToddOnGod.com Todd Burus

    budcath,
    I agree with you that “ugly and hateful talk” is unnecessary in this debate. There is certainly no reason to try and dehumanize a person no matter what sins they may or may not be committing. We are all image bearers of God (sans our depravity) and should offer each other that respect. To that end I see the Golden Rule as being a good measuring stick.
    What unnerves me is how “ugly and hateful talk,” at least in some circles, has come to mean saying what the Bible says. This is not only wrong for Christians to say to each other, but is also dangerous if it begins coming from the level of the government.
    As far as Separation of Church and State, I agree with you that the national government is not intended to support or condemn any expression of faith. However, this prohibition has gotten stretched way too far. The best book I have seen on this is called “Thomas Jefferson and the Wall of Separation Between Church and State” by Daniel Dreisbach. In this he examines the origins of this phrase and shows that the idea was only meant to say that the federal government should not exert influence on religion, but that religious influence on the government was okay, and almost even taken for granted as the norm. Today we have constructed a two-way wall which struggles to keep religion and government at two separate extremes, chastising anyone who dares bring their religious convictions into governance, even though this was never the intention.

  • Jeffery

    “Hate the sin, love the sinner” has lost all meaning to me. It translates as “Hate the cancer, kill the patient to kill the cancer” or “I hate weeds, so I’m gonna pull up my whole dang yard to kill ‘em.”
    My church condemns same-sex marriage. Frankly, I disagree with my church. As a gay man and a Christian, I am disgusted by the behavior I see of fellow Christians towards gays and other “fringe” people. It’s easy to judge a situation that you’ve never been in. You’ll never know what it’s like to live in fear of being killed by some nut or being disowned by those you love most, just because of who you’re attracted to. That’s not a ploy for sympathy, that’s a fact. If someone tried to tell you who to love and who you couldn’t spend your life with, you’d probably be pretty torked, and you’d definitely be justified. Lgbt people have the right to be happy like you do, and that means the right to love whoever we please. Don’t like it? Tough. You can believe what you want. You can believe whatever you want. I will respect your beliefs, but here’s the catch–you will respect me, too.

  • http://ToddOnGod.com Todd Burus

    Jeffery,
    As much as I respect you and your experiences and your opinion, why do you think sinful overreactions by conservatives and your philosophical beliefs towards peoples’ “right to be happy” overthrow the words of the God of the universe?
    There was a point earlier where Tony asked what the difference between conservative and liberal people are. I think, upon reflection, what I would say it is is that conservatives are more likely to hold a belief that they realize is too extreme when they meet the people they are judging and liberals are more likely to hold a belief that they realize is too extreme when they meet the One who will judge them.
    BTW, “Hate the sin, love the sinner” is a hijacked phrase from that pillar of Christianity Mohandas Gandhi. If we are going to say that we might as well throw in that “God helps those who help themselves,” so I don’t put must stock in people abusing it.