An Honest Question about Gays in the Church

OK, I’m serious about this. I’m not even being snarky. Really.

If you are one who thinks that homosexual sex is sinful, can you please explain to me WHY a gay or lesbian person who is in a long-term, monogamous relationship would not be able to wholeheartedly follow Christ?

My only stipulation is this: You may not quote one of the six verses in scripture that mentions homosexuality.  Instead, you must use theological and/or philosophical arguments to attempt to convince me that when you have genital contact with someone of your own gender, it somehow inhibits your relationship with Christ.

Thank you in advance for your civility in answering this question.

  • Joe White

    C’mon Tony.
    ‘Tell me why this is a sin (i.e. why it would hinder one’s walk with Christ) but don’t quote scripture’ ??
    No, you are not being serious.
    ‘Tell me what Christ expects of us, but don’t quote scripture.’ yeah right
    Please repent, brother. please I ask you on behalf of Christ.

  • Gwyddion9

    Joe White,
    So, do you worship Jesus or the Bible?
    are you under the law or grace?
    Have you ever considered that what’s in the Bible is simply a mans opinion? Probably not as most Christians have no clue to the history and the historical make up of the Bible. They take it as always being the way it’s written…which it isn’t.

  • http://bluecollarphilosophy.com Blue Collar Todd

    And try condemning adultery without referring to the Bible, or child sacrifice, or incest for that matter.
    Maybe Jesus presupposes heterosexual relationship as the normal expression of true love. Natural law and the propagation of the species coupled with Aristotle’s notion of telos necessitate against homosexuality. The pieces of the puzzle are not designed to fit together in homosexual acts, thus violated God’s design for human sexuality. Liberalism ejects God as the moral center of universe and replaces it with man’s subjective and whimsical desires, which is exactly what homosexuals are trying to do and you are enabling them.

  • Timmy C.

    Joe I didn’t ready Tony asking this:
    “Tell me what Christ expects of us, but don’t quote scripture.’ yeah right”
    I read it as him asking for a theological argument, not just quoting a “proof text” and considering that a close enough facsimile to an argument to count. Don’t just use a few Scriptures as a crutch. Make a real argument from theological ideas, principles and reason.
    Actually I find it an intriguing, serious thought experiment and look forward to those who view same sex sexual activity sin to engage it seriously.

  • Zach Lind

    If you ask someone on the conservative side of this issue why they aren’t actively stoning to death all known homosexuals, you get a theological argument explaining why that’s not necessary. but if you turn the tables, like tony has done here, they refuse to allow the conversation to wander outside the “this is what the Bible says” boundary. it’s maddening.
    If you think women and men deserve to be treated equally or that slavery is not normal, then I’m sorry to break it to you, but you are in direct opposition to some verses in the Bible.
    So you have your verses and I’ll have mine. At least I can be honest with myself that I’m in disagreement with portions of a text that I still hold sacred.
    thanks for the post, Tony. your voice is need on this.

  • ArtBoy

    Tony – Your only stipulation happens to be the very thing that matters most, because this is ultimately a question of authority. I personally don’t care whether or not gay sex is sinful. But if there is a YHWH who has communicated a design and intention for human sexuality, then I accept that. I don’t need theological and/or philosophical arguments, but they accompany God’s word nonetheless because God is rational. Philosophically, one could argue that Kant’s categorical imperative defines gay sex as immoral. Theologically, Paul speaks of heterosexual marriage as a great mystery which refers to Christ and the church, citing the 2nd ch of the Torah, “For this cause a man shall…cleave to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.” Apparently, the unity in diversity within heterosexual marriage is reflective of the nature of the church, and also the nature of God himself. But none of this provides a compelling, transcendent reason. What is compelling and transcendent is that there is a YHWH who objectively exists, and who has spoken on the matter of our sexuality.
    If you toss out the authority of scripture, you’re left with personal, emotional, cultural, hormonal, and/or trendy subjectivity. Apart from revelation, we don’t know what is loving, good, and Christ-like. It’s hard enough to know WITH revelation.

  • Eddie Hallahan

    It is quite simple really. Sex (either heterosexual or homosexual) outwith marriage is wrong. Marriage is Man+Woman i.e heterosexual. Ergo any homosexual relationship is basically an adulterous one.
    I personally view homosexuality as a subset of adultery, and when we examine what the bible says about adultery you get a lot more than 6 verses saying it is wrong.
    That said, a practicing adulterer(homosexual or not) can still have a relationship with Christ, they can be saved and exist under grace, while still practicing their adultery. If they continue in their adultery however they will only ever be able to exist in that state of grace, they will never be able to see their relationship with Christ move into the realm of His favour, where a life of abundance resides. Grace sees our debts paid and no more, Favour sees our debts paid and us given even more.
    As Paul says everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial. So I suppose a practicing adulterer is faced with that choice – Do they value their relationship with another person over their relationship with Christ? Do they settle for second best? Of course, if they really love their partner, surely they want what is best for them and would thus want them to have a full relationship with Christ rather than a stunted one so again we must conclude that choosing to continue in the adulterous relationship is, at the base level, a selfish choice to make.
    Regards
    EddieH

  • Rockett

    “..WHY a gay or lesbian person who is in a long-term, monogamous relationship would not be able to wholeheartedly follow Christ?”
    I got married two years ago. 8 months prior to getting married one of my best friends introduced me to friends of his that were a lesbian couple. I had a very negative view on gays and lesbians up until then. But after getting to know them and to see their love of each other and of God; things changed (it was like when Peter has that vision in Acts of all the food he can now eat coming down on the blanket). And if you were to ask me a week before my wedding what I wanted my marriage to look like; I would have said this lesbian couples relationship and the my Uncle and Aunt’s relationship.
    My Uncle and Aunt divorced a year later.
    What makes the above question seem great to me is that it can be changed to this:
    “…WHY a heterosexual person who is in a long-term, monogamous relationship would not be able to wholeheartedly follow Christ?”
    The answer is the same for both, and it is, simply put: selfishness and our own desire.

  • Chall8987

    Oh you Christians and your lack of real arguments. It’s problems like this that continue to lead to the decline of Christianity and the rise of either neopaganism or secularism. The absolute adherence to scripture as the “design” communicated by “YHWH” is so funny when one considers there wasn’t such thing as a coherent Bible until the Council of Trent following the Reformation. Have any of you ever wondered by Catholic and Protestant Bibles have different books? There’s also that tricky problem of which translation best gives “YHWH’s design”.
    Also, there’s a problem with the adultery argument too. Adultery is a very specific offense. Cheating. To be an adulterer you have to violate a vow of monogamy to someone else. Furthermore, I’ve never read any verse in the bible that has deemed sex outside of marriage as a sin. Yes, fornication is a sin, but fornication carries the connotation of promiscuity or having multiple partners in a short period of time. If a couple is monogamous but simply haven’t sought out a license from the state I fail to see how that’s adultery.

  • Scot McKnight

    Let me ask you a question Tony: Are there any kinds of genital contact that can inhibit one’s relationship with Christ?

  • panthera

    I do have a question for those arguing that the Bible is an Authority of equal rank with Christ:
    How do you circumvent Jesus’ very clear position on divorce?
    How do you tolerate the rejection of slavery in America despite Paul’s equally clear endorsement of it and his firm words to slaves regarding accepting their lot in this life?
    Please do feel free to quote those passages of Scripture which permit you to ignore these two unequivocal positions God has (according to you) set out for us.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jesseturri Jesse Turri

    @Rockett
    “What makes the above question seem great to me is that it can be changed to this:
    “…WHY a heterosexual person who is in a long-term, monogamous relationship would not be able to wholeheartedly follow Christ?”
    The answer is the same for both, and it is, simply put: selfishness and our own desire.The answer is the same for both, and it is, simply put: selfishness and our own desire.”
    Good answer.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/churchbasementroadshow/ Tony Jones

    Joe, et al,
    I know the arguments from the 6 verses in the Bible that mention homosexuality. That’s why. And I’ve blogged about how weak they are here. And “the parts don’t fit” is not only wrong, but is another non-convincing argument.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/churchbasementroadshow/ Tony Jones

    Yes, Scot, surely there are. An adult and a child, for instance. And I think that I can make compelling theological and philosophical arguments against such genital contact.
    But I have yet to hear a convincing argument about why a *long-term, monogamous* homosexual relationship would inhibit one’s relationship with Christ.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/churchbasementroadshow/ Tony Jones

    Eddie, adultery is always defined vis a vis marriage, and it seems that you are using a NT version of marriage? Yes? What causes you to reject the OT version(s) of marriage?

  • panthera

    Blue Collar Todd says:
    he pieces of the puzzle are not designed to fit together in homosexual acts, thus violated God’s design for human sexuality.
    endquote
    Heterosexual sex acts with you must be rather, er, limited in scope. I can’t imagine how you could otherwise come to such a conclusion.
    I won’t go into details, but if intercourse is the only aspect of sex you indulge in, then I truly pity your partner(s).
    There is nothing more intimate, nothing more sexually arousing than a good kiss. Hands? Ever heard of them and all the wonderful things one may experience with them? Lips? Tongues?
    Now, it is true that women don’t have a prostate or penis and men don’t have a clitoris or vagina, but it is well documented just how very good, indeed, sex between two people of any gender combination works. When sex is coupled with love (as, in my opinion, it should be) then it can be truly transcendent, regardless of the plumbing involved.
    Actually, I will go into one detail because this is what seems to fascinate conservative Christians in America enormously. Anal intercourse done right can give the recipient wonderful orgasms. This is why heterosexual couples practice pegging.
    Come to think of it, there are also reliable statistics showing that quite a large percentage of the heterosexual population practice anal intercourse.
    Blue Collar Todd said:
    Maybe Jesus presupposes heterosexual relationship as the normal expression of true love. Natural law and the propagation of the species coupled with Aristotle’s notion of telos necessitate against homosexuality.
    end quote.
    Ah, so you do interpret Jesus’ words to fit your own needs.
    Fascinating.
    Personally, speaking as a Christian man married to another man who has a happy, fulfilling, monogamous, faithful, true love (soon to be for 25 years), I am shocked you would grant Aristotle’s ‘notions’ the same weight as God’s.
    But heh – any weak reed will do when you want to assert your hateful positions.
    Question applies to you, too, Blue Collar Todd: How do you get around the Bible’s firm views on slavery? How do you avoid compliance with Jesus’ position on divorce?

  • Richard C

    Tony, I think it’ is a fair question to ask, whatever one’s view is of the authority of Scripture. You are not asking people to ignore Scripture in the position they take, you are just asking the question.
    Two points:
    I think it is impossible to answer the question effectively without deconstructing the current ontology that exists around sexuality. I totally disagree with the paradigm that says there are two simple categories, gay and straight with bi thrown in there somewhere. I would go even further than saying it is a continuum as I believe everyone has their own sexuality. Your question is flawed in that the six verses do not refer to “homosexuality” as this is a nineteenth century word and construct, but to homosexual sex. I don’t think I am being pedantic it is just the arguments that exist against homosexual sex in areas such as the telos of the person etc. can only make sense once we have acknowledged the flaws in how we understand sexuality today.
    Secondly I think it is fair to ask that if monogamous long-term same sex relationships are OK then we need to go back to the whole of Scripture and re read it, not just the six verses. This is an exercise which has never really taken place within the Body of Christ as we haven’t had the opportunity yet. E.g. what do you think of the current use of Ephesians 5 in same sex wedding liturgies with “man” substituted for “wife”? Is this good exegesis?

  • hootie1fan

    It’s up to the Church to determine what they believe to be sinful. I know Christians & other religious people like to reference God and the Bible or religious text of choice, but given that there are so many different religions with so many differing beliefs and so many cherry-picking, it’s hard to keep track.
    Here’s my question to my fellow Christians, why is it that the “abomination” of homosexuality is the only one that seems to be applicable to modern day Christians? There are many abominations mentioned in the Bible but we don’t seem to have problems with Red Lobster feeding us crab claws, Denny’s & their sausage patties or Ralph Lauren and their mixed fabrics, etc, etc. If it’s that they are based on Old Testament, Talmudic law then why don’t Christian stick more to the New Testament and the sins that Jesus mentions and those he doesn’t?
    My sister has an interesting theory on why homosexuality is so vilified. It’s the one sin the “we”, meaning the heterosexuals and those who think that what happens behind closed doors doesn’t count as long as you are married to a member of the opposite sex & have children, will never commit. We divorce, have premarital sex, lack charity, commit adultery, etc, but “we” aren’t homosexual.

  • Scot McKnight

    Tony, not that you don’t know what I would say:
    Philosophically, it is epistemologically disingenuous to ask Christians to defend their epistemic basis for moral beliefs while excluding the basis on which Christians make moral decisions.
    Theologically, Scripture is God’s Word; God’s Word says “no.”
    Overall, though, I find your approach unfair to the conversation. Why should a Christian be asked to defend his or her beliefs without recourse to Scripture?

  • Your Name

    “”Everything is permissible”-but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”-but not everything is constructive.” 1 Cor. 10:23
    I’m not convinced either way on the subject. To be honest, no one has posted a truly ‘mind changing’ argument on either side. This probably won’t be one either, but I feel like no one has posted the middle ground yet. I’m not sure that it would HINDER a relationship; but would it HELP?
    “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” 1 John 4:16b
    Can homosexual people love? Absolutely.
    “The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Genesis 2:18
    Just a few paragraphs later we see that the only ‘suitable’ helper for man is woman. This seems pretty clear here, but what the process looked like in between, we’ll never know.
    In the end, it might come down to what we think our purpose is. Homosexual people can love, worship, teach and give joy. But evidence in nature and through scripture (even without using the six specifics) points towards God’s original intent of male and female.
    Once again, does homosexuality hinder? I don’t know. “All have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God” Romans 3:23. Does it help? I don’t reallly think so…
    Thanks for reading, lets try to keep this civil, and for the Greater Glory.

  • Your Name

    Zach Lind there makes a lot of sense. It’s hypocritical to cite proof-texts in one case (against homosexuals having sex) and then ignoring the very same proof-texts in favour of theological arguments the other case (against stoning homosexuals). We all, as Zach says, distinguish between different parts of the Bible. I am convinced that the proper way to read the Bible is to read it Christocentrically. As Luther said, Christ is the sun the shines at the center of the Bible and not all parts of the Bible are as well lit up by that sun. Proverbs, say, is not as important as Romans. And the law of Moses is not as important as the Gospel. We need to be honest, first of all, that we do distinguish between texts (because we do) and, more importantly, why or how we do so. What is out theological hermaneutic? Very important. As Zach said.
    So applause to you, Zach!

  • Jesse

    Sadly, I think protestants are woefully ill-informed on a proper theology of sex and sexuality, which is why some are embracing liberal positions on homosexual sex.
    Tony, I would encourage you to read some of the Catholic writings on sex, specifically JP II’s Theology of the Body. A proper theology of sex can only be spoken of with reference to marriage, and marriage is ultimately about more than two people (an idea which contradicts the thinking of most people in and outside the American church, sadly). Marriage is about family, and homosexual sex is inherently closed off to this possibility. In short, it is a selfish act.
    If you really are uninformed about the philosophical/theological work in this area, you really haven’t looked into it at all. There is a TON of writing and traditions on this area.
    I think the previous commenter’s question is a good one for you: what genital contact between two consenting adults would inhibit their relationship with Christ? Why is even a monogamous relationship required?
    In the end, it’s important for all of us to keep asking ourselves: are we approaching these issues with a desire to please God or to please man?

  • http://www.arnizachariassen.com/ithinkibelieve Arni Zachariassen

    That last comment applauding Zach Lind was mine. Refreshed the captcha and Beliefnet forgot my name.

  • KTKL

    I’m still looking for an answer that directly addresses the original question. The arguments about adultery and monogamy are important and the point where I see most of the “fallenness” among homosexuals – without a clear way to hold same-sex couples accountable for their commitment, it makes it that much harder to stay committed. If married couples are more likely to divorce than stay together, how much harder must it be for those without that official commitment?!
    For those who argue the law of scripture in any way, I’d ask you to look at the things that are “forbidden.” I see two themes – one is to keep God (the Hebrew God) as the one true God and the other is to respect the humanity in others and not abuse relationships. This includes keeping us safe from ourselves (ex. the laws about washing that Christians typically don’t follow anymore). While incest can be damaging (abusing familial relationships and too much likelihood of creating a child with severe complications) and relations between adults and children abuse the weaknesses of children, I don’t see what is being protected by “outlawing” homosexuality. It neither removes God as THE God nor abuses power differences nor hurts those participating. In fact, with the planet’s current overpopulation problem, we could say heterosexual sex is more damaging!
    One comment I’d like to go back to – ArtBoy, you say “God is rational” – that is probably the funniest thing I’ve heard for a long time. If God were rational, we’d all be in trouble! Grace is NOT rational! Sending your only son to die for others is not rational. Creating human beings knowing they will fall into sin is not rational. Thank God that God is NOT rational!

  • panthera

    A relevant question for all those who use the Bible as a basis for attacking us (by ‘us’ I mean Christians who are gay) is how the get around the problem of science and medicine in all the other situations in which Scripture is clearly incorrect?
    This cherry-picking, i.e.: OK, we accept gravity, the heliocentric world view, the earth is round and sidereal time; yet we reject the virtual unanimity of science and medicine that homosexuality is neither disordered nor a choice is just plain indefensible.
    Actually, for those arguing here that homosexuality is contra naturam, there is firm evidence that homosexuality is present in several thousand species and is regarded by no other species as being aberrant, not even the most social of species.
    There are also studies which show a very interesting correlation between survival of children to sexual maturity and a ‘strain’ of homosexuality in families. There is a link between families which bear male homosexuals across several generations and those families having more of their heterosexual children survive to reproduce.
    In other words, all the Aristotelian, contra naturam and 19th century evolutionary psychology one sees batted around on these fora is nonsense. Ironic, really, that exactly that group of conservative Christians who otherwise most loudly reject evolution and natural selection are the ones who pervert it to fit their needs.
    Still waiting for a justification for ignoring Scripture’s clear dictates on slavery and Jesus’ very clear stance on divorce.
    Need I provide chapter and verse?

  • Lou Ambers

    Hahahahah, I love it, asking a question about biblical matters but not allowing people to use the scriptures on the matter. Well, I’ll ask my own questions.
    Is there anywhere in the Bible where when talking about marriage, a homosexual couple is being referred to?
    Why is all marital advice in the Bible strictly referring to a man and a woman?
    Is there any place in the Bible where homosexuality is even mentioned in a positive light?
    The argument of being in a monogamous relationship is void in the sense of that is not the sinful part of homosexuality from a biblical perspective. We already have sins for breaking the monogamy of marriage (adultery) and having sex outside of marriage (fornication), but we also have a sin called homosexuality that is clearly defined in the Bible. Where does this argument come from? Certainly not because the Bible is unclear about this. Homosexuality has never been mentioned in a positive manner in the Bible, anywhere. All commandments and advice on marriage have been for a husband and wife. And nowhere in the Bible is there a homosexual couple mentioned as being disciples of Jesus.
    Also, I want to address this:
    “Instead, you must use theological and/or philosophical arguments to attempt to convince me that when you have genital contact with someone of your own gender, it somehow inhibits your relationship with Christ.”
    Colossians 2:8
    “See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.”
    2 Timothy 4:3
    “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wader off into myths.”
    God’s people throughout the Bible have done things that our society has looked down upon but was acceptable in their time. David had a multitude of wives and concubines but his sin was not in this, but in taking another man’s wife. Solomon had slaves, but his sin was turning away from God to worship the foreign gods. There has never been a time in Biblical history where homosexuality has been acceptable in the sight of God. At least if you were trying to support polygamy or slavery you would have some sort of a Biblical basis but homosexuality has none.
    In closing I’ll say this, if the King of kings, the Lord of lords, and the supreme master of the universe wanted a civilization where people fell in love with whomever they liked with no regard for gender, don’t you think he could have arranged that? He could have created a single gender that could reproduce with each other. This planet and the animals (including humans) did not get here by accident; this was all carefully calculated. We must look at the world and see that everything in it was specifically created that way. God INTENTIONALLY created two genders that could only reproduce with the opposite gender. Why? Why not give humans the ability to naturally change their gender? There are a million things God COULD have done to support homosexuality, but the reality is that he didn’t. The problem with homosexuality (besides the afore mentioned points) is that it becomes peoples’ identity. An identity which they hold above the word of God and his order of this planet. That identity in itself becomes an idol. Rather than serve God and his word, they serve this identity and their desires.

  • KTKL

    BTW – Forgot to mention that Tony’s not asking us to eliminate scripture. Scripture literally states a lot of things I don’t believe. It also reveals to me a Jesus that cares more about grace, caring for others, and love than following the “rules.”
    Luke 25-28: “Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. ‘Teacher,’ he said, ‘what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ He said to him, ‘What is written in the law? What do you read there?’ He answered, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.’ And he said to him, ‘You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.’”

  • Angela Hagler

    I understand that you see a monogamous relationship between two gay or lesbian individuals as being morally acceptable. However, while the couple may be spiritually zealous and have a strong, family based relationship, it is not scripturally correct. The scripture tells us to rightly divide the word of truth. It is impossible to omit scripture and rightly divide the word of truth. Paul tells us that homosexuality is unnatural. It is common sense that God intended for procreation to occur between a woman and a man, not two women or two men. It simply is not possible to read the Bible and study as we should and not understand that homosexuality goes against God’s teachings. The bottom line is that a child of God must never omit scripture when searching for scriptural answers to a question. You aren’t getting the true answer if you choose to disregard parts of scripture.

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/churchbasementroadshow/ Tony Jones

    Scot,
    I’m not asking for Christians to exclude the scriptural resources on the matter for all time. Of course, I understand that a recourse to scripture is the highest authority for many Christians (myself included). I’m simply asking that, for the sake of this particular blog post, other rationales be brought to bear on the conversation. If you think that’s unfair, so be it.
    Further, I know that you have a sophisticated and nuanced biblical hermeneutic — it’s what you’re known for. So I find it a bit odd for you to write, “Scripture is God’s Word; God’s Word says ‘no.’” In fact, many biblical scholars have problematized that “no” with the historical context of homosexuality in the first century. And, secondly, God’s Word says “no” to lots of things that you and I do every day.

  • Khad Young

    I’ve always loved this quote from Martin Luther:
    “If you are a preacher of mercy, do not preach an imaginary but the true mercy. If the mercy is true, you must therefore bear the true, not an imaginary sin. God does not save those who are only imaginary sinners. Be a sinner, and let your sins be strong, but let your trust in Christ be stronger, and rejoice in Christ who is the victor over sin, death, and the world. We will commit sins while we are here, for this life is not a place where justice resides. We, however, says Peter (2 Peter 3:13) are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth where justice will reign. It suffices that through God’s glory we have recognized the Lamb who takes away the sin of the world. No sin can separate us from Him, even if we were to kill or commit adultery thousands of times each day. Do you think such an exalted Lamb paid merely a small price with a meager sacrifice for our sins? Pray hard for you are quite a sinner.” — Martin Luther (1521)

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    You may not quote one of the six verses in scripture that mentions homosexuality.
    And therein lies your biggest problem. So, a “philosophical or theological argument” is a higher authority than the very revelation of God?
    Enjoy your navel-gazing.

  • hootie1fan

    Here’s my question to my fellow Christians, why is it that the “abomination” of homosexuality is the only one that seems to be applicable to modern day Christians? There are many abominations mentioned in the Bible but we don’t seem to have problems with Red Lobster feeding us crab claws, Denny’s & their sausage patties or Ralph Lauren and their mixed fabrics, etc, etc. If it’s that they are based on Old Testament, Talmudic law then why don’t Christian stick more to the New Testament and the sins that Jesus mentions and those he doesn’t?

  • Husband

    Blue Collar Todd,
    “The pieces of the puzzle are not designed to fit together in homosexual acts, thus violated God’s design for human sexuality.”
    This is one of the silliest ‘argumenbts’ I’ve ever heard. The “pieces” fit just fine, thanx anyway. Jeez, you’d think heterosexuals never had oral or anal sex. Or, don’t their “pieces” fit either?
    Such nonsense.
    Hey, Todd, ever think that God might have a different “design” for each and every one of us? After all, we call it a personal relationship with Christ, so my relationship with Him is really none of your business.

  • panthera

    So, those who argue that my husbands love for me and mine for him is wrong because it can’t lead to us creating children are therefor arguing that any sexual act between two heterosexuals which is not specifically aimed at impregnation is wrong?
    Defend that, please.

  • http://www.virtuphill.blogspot.com phil_style

    Firstly, let me say that I DO NOT hold to these arguments in any way. I’m just trying to throw some possible arguments out there which do not require scripture. This is really just a matter of making argument for the sake of it. Once again, these are NOT reflective of my personal opinions, so don’t have a go at me OK.
    1. The isolation of homosexual people from the reproductive process (should their monogamy result in no extra-relational reproduction) potentially restricts the gene pool available to wider society. People with potentially healthy/strong physicality have a moral obligation to ensure that those genes are continued.
    2. What about the Papal argument that “sex” should always be open to the possibility of creating new life? Obviously this also undermines contraception -> but it could be used against homosexual relationships.
    3. Umm, go and clean up your room?
    I think though, that from the perspective of the community of faith, excluding the sacred texts of that community is only seeing half the story. How those texts are read/applied, is another matter.

  • Husband

    Those infamous 6 passages, often referred to as the Clobber verses, do not ‘condemn’ what we know of as homosexual relationships. They speak of ‘lieing with mankind as with a woman’. That would, if taken literally, describe heterosexual men (you know, the ones who actually do ‘lie with women’). Plus we’d have to take a look at what it meant to ‘lie with a woman’ back in the Bronze Age – property/chattel and not much more – and in those days, to treat a man thusly really would have been looked on as abomination.
    Another passage refers very specifically to cult/temple prostitution. That’s not what we speak of when referring to homosexual relationships/marriage today.
    The one that speaks of ‘turning away from the natural’ again speaks to heterosexual men giving up what is natural – for them. In today’s vernacular, that would be called going ‘on the down low’. Homosexual sex is what is natural for God’s gay and lesbian children.
    The Sodom passage referred to rape, not consenting relationships. (And their true ‘sin’ is revealed in Ezekiel – and it sure wasn’t being a sissy.)
    I have no problems condemning homosexual rape, homosexual cult/temple prostitution or even homosexual lust (hail, Jimmy Carter), but it isn’t what we are discussing when we speak of same-sex marriage.

  • panthera

    Still waiting for the conservative Christians to justify their willful disobedience regarding slavery.
    Here’s a verse from Paul on the subject, his opinions being of greater weight to you than God’s:
    “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.” (Ephesians 6:5, KJV).
    Not heard a peep from you about divorce, either. Need help finding the reference? Hint: That sandal wearing, long-haired Jewish rabi, good ole’ what’s-his-name spoke on it rather firmly. Well, never mind – he wasn’t Paul, so obviously his opinion is irrelevant.

  • Husband

    “But if there is a YHWH who has communicated a design and intention for human sexuality, then I accept that.”
    a design”??? Only one? Singular? My heavens what a limited god you worship. It’s sorta like there should only be roses and no daffodils, nasturtiums, lillies, clematis, hydrangea, hostas, sunflowers, etc.

  • Husband

    “It is quite simple really. Sex (either heterosexual or homosexual) outwith marriage is wrong.”
    But we are discussing sex within marriage.
    “Marriage is Man+Woman i.e heterosexual.”
    Not in about a dozen countries it isn’t (and yes, I include America in them). Catch up.
    “Ergo any homosexual relationship is basically an adulterous one.”
    My pastor defines adultery as the breaking of a covenant. All the married gays and lesbians I know very much honor their covenants. So I think what you typed is in error and very (intentionally) misleading.

  • http://rhoblogy.blogspot.com Rhology

    Tony Jones said:
    In fact, many biblical scholars have problematized that “no” with the historical context of homosexuality in the first century.
    Not really. Do even basic comparisons between the LXX usage of arsenakoites (sp could be wrong) and the NT usage thereof and these biased “scholarly” obfuscations go away. And one has only to read the attempted explaining away of Romans 1 to see the ludicrous nature of pro-homosexual “exegesis”.
    And, secondly, God’s Word says “no” to lots of things that you and I do every day.
    And why is that relevant? Maybe I kick homeless children every day. By your logic, we should be asking for theological and/or philosophical arguments, not Bible verses, to prove why that would be wrong. And then when you do so, we’ll just cite ‘scholarship’ to explain it away and pretend like we haven’t been soundly refuted. Then we’ll ask for a 5-year moratorium on making judgments about kicking homeless children, b/c Christians disagree on it.
    Peace,
    Rhology

  • http://founderandperfecter.wordpress.com Ben Mordecai

    God created marriage to mirror Christ’s relationship to the Church (Ep 5:31).
    Christ is the husband, Church is the wife.
    Two women married? You are saying that the Church should be content with another Church-like group of people, not Christ, which is idolatry.
    To men married? You are saying that Christ could marry some (non-existent) deity, leaving the Church unredeemed.

  • Will Ty

    The question shouldn’t be to give an intellectual defense (or refutation) of homosexuality, the question should be what will be your response to God when you are judged and have to give an account – not only of every act you have committed, but of every idle word. And when God tells you that your conscience has already told you homosexuality is wrong (regardless of how it “feels”), what will be your reply to HIM? All the rest is intellectual pride – that the mind of man needs a reasoning from first principles on everything. The natural man cannot please God – only that which is of faith can please God. And faith is believing GOD (not man) WITHOUT receiving the promise (or a reason as to why you should obey Him). If we are believers, we WILL have the witness to what is truth regardless of intellectual wrangling and self-justification. That’s what Romans 1 is all about – not homosexuality specifically, but rebellion against what man KNOWS is right and the ensuing purging of the mind of considering God and His Law.
    We were subject to the law of gravity for ages before we had any clue as to how it worked (and we still don’t know where it comes from). Some things we simply know. And to try and wrap the mind around them results in perversion of truth.

  • Husband

    “I think it is fair to ask that if monogamous long-term same sex relationships are OK then we need to go back to the whole of Scripture and re read it, not just the six verses. This is an exercise which has never really taken place within the Body of Christ as we haven’t had the opportunity yet.”
    Actually, we have been having this discussion – for longer than Stonewall. The Metropolitan Community Church was formed in 1968, i.e. we’ve been having this discussion for more than 40 years now. It’s just that the mainstream ‘Christian’ churches are only now catching up.

  • Lou Ambers

    …Ok, how’s about this. Everyone just seek truth wholeheartedly and realize that if homosexuality is a sin, God will reveal that to the homosexuals seeking him. Do we trust God that much? I do. Ok, now, let’s all get off of our computers and go spread Christ’s love and his Gospel. Jesus says that we will be known by our love for one another. Paul says to avoid meaningless quarrels. I think those are the real takeaways from this conversation.

  • Richard C

    As some of the conversation has moved onto the area of reproduction I do think it is important to say that Protestant evangelicals have a lot more work to do when it comes to saying contraception is OK. The logic has always seemed a bit lazy to me (not that I don’t follow it!)
    Also I recently heard an interesting argument re homosexual sex and reproduction not being possible. Not sure I fully get it but it goes like this:
    A now classic retort to those who say that those of the same sex cannot marry as reproduction is impossible, is to cite infertile heterosexual couples. However if you believe that the GENERAL principle of reproduction not being possible cannot be applied then why can two siblings where the relationship is infertile not marry?

  • Husband

    “God’s Word says “no.”
    Where, Scot?
    ” Why should a Christian be asked to defend his or her beliefs without recourse to Scripture?”
    We homosexual Christians have been asked to defend our beliefs – both with and without recourse to Scripture – since time immemorial. Maybe it’s time your side ponied up, Scot.

  • Joel

    My question to you Tony, is without appealing to Scripture, why does it matter if they’re monogamous or not? Appealing to theological/philosophical reasons, can you make the case for monogamy?
    Just keep in mind if you do, the bi-sexual crowd (that “B” in the “LGBT”) is going to inherently be discriminated against.
    Anyway, to answer the question:
    First I’d say – you’re just going to toss out 6 passages? Though quality is always more important than quantity, six is still quite significant. Considering most of those passages were written in cultures where homosexual sex was the norm, it’s hard to say that it’s a part of “social conditioning.” In fact, Paul speaks out against the act of homosexuality, not the orientation, so the idea that he is simply referring to male prostitutes is a bit absurd. He’s referring to the act of two men or two women having sex with each other. Regardless…
    All goodness comes from God. It is a part of His character. Thus, morality is based upon His goodness and He has commanded certain things that are in accordance with His goodness. When we violate these things, we violate not just some abstract Kantian moral “other,” but instead we violate the goodness, the character, of God. How do we know God’s character? From the Bible. As William Lane Craig puts the reasoning:
    1) We are all obligated to do God’s will
    2) God’s will is expressed in the Bible
    3) The Bible forbids homosexual behavior
    4) Therefore, homosexual behavior is against God’s will
    You either have to deny 2 or 3. It is impossible to deny 3, so my guess is you’re denying 2. If you deny 2, then you’re relying on the Enlightenment ideal of rationality as a standard for morality. In your effort to be postmodern, you actually become a sort of Hegel-Kant-Nietzsche mix on ethics. So the question, “Why is homosexuality wrong” can easily be turned back on you, “Why is homosexuality right?”
    Thus, assuming that the above 4 points are true, we look to why God is such a homophobe. God intended marriage for a reason. He created woman as a helpmate to man, that is, she is man’s compliment. Secondly, it is this symbol of marriage that Paul uses to describe Christ’s relationship with the Church – the relationship is not Christ and Christ or Church and Church. Marriage between one man and one woman is God’s design for humanity – premarital sex is wrong, extramarital sex is wrong; anything done outside the confines of marriage between a man and a woman is wrong, whether it be heterosexual or homosexual.
    Secondly, there is quite a bit of legitimacy to the argument that the sexual organs between two men are not meant for each other. Certainly two men are capable of oral sex, but anal sex (whether man on woman or man on man) is extremely dangerous. Long term engagement in the activity can actually damage the prostate and lead to ruptures and ulcers in the anal cavity. Furthermore, anal sex increases the chance of infection for the penetrator because he’s putting a sensitive sexual organ into a part of the body that’s sole purpose is to eject bacteria from the body.
    But ultimately, as a Christian, you’re going to have to draw your morality from the Bible. Like it or not, that’s just what it is. Now, if you want to stay in your modernistic state and reject the Bible as a foundation for Christian morality, go right ahead, but at least admit that you’re being a modernist in doing so.

  • Husband

    “Just a few paragraphs later we see that the only ‘suitable’ helper for man is woman.”
    The “only” suitable helper??? I’m curious where that came from. Not that ‘Adam’ and ‘Eve’ – or even ‘Lillith’ were real actual people instead of alegorical, but we all know that hetreosexual sex does populate the planet, even if it is with brother-killers. But really, the “only” suitable helper? Gonna need some evidence for that claim.

  • Husband

    “I would encourage you to read some of the Catholic writings on sex”
    ASh, but Jesse, we ain’t all Catholics. Why should we be ‘informed’ by the teachings of a religion to which we do not belong?

  • Panthera

    Valid point Lou Ambers.
    Still waiting for the Bible thumpers to address slavery.
    Guess you are afraid to confront literal, Scriptural Truth as set down by God’s will through Paul’s hand, eh?
    Not that any of you have bothered with good ole’ what’s-his-name’s position on divorce. Well, never mind. He was only speaking for God, not for Paul.
    So, a married heterosexual couple which remains childless is not a family?
    Fascinating.
    The defenses offered for hating and persecuting us here have been anything but sound.
    I suspect, truly, the whole focus by conservative Christians on hating us is based on avoidance. By persecuting us, they needn’t focus on the really hard work God set out for us: Love.
    Having listed chapter and verse on slavery, here’s one of the many verses citing Christ’s words on divorce.
    Luke 16:18: (KJV) Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.
    Honestly, this cherry-picking is disgusting.

  • Richard C

    Husband… that is an excellent point and I think MCC have contributed a great deal to the conversation over the last 40 years. However as Tony would be the first to say, we all read Scripture in context and we have yet to read it in the context where homosexual sex is fully accepted by anything close to a majority of Christians worldwide. My point was how would we read passages like Ephesians 5 if it was?
    Good point Lou although I don’t think it is meaningless for the many homosexuals who hold various different viewpoints and are wrestling for answers. We need to listen to all their stories more effectively.

  • kevin

    This has been one of the most depressing threads I’ve read in a long time. I can’t believe this is the state of discourse on gay Christians.

  • Husband

    “Marriage is about family, and homosexual sex is inherently closed off to this possibility. In short, it is a selfish act.”
    This is one of the reasons I reject Catholic ‘theology’. It’s so selective. My sister married twice (both times in her Church i.e. not Catholic). She never produced any children. If you’re telling me her marriages were “selfish acts”, or that she should not have been allowed to marry because she was non-reproductive, then we cannot have a discussion at all.
    I can see the protest signs now – ‘Marriage – it’s for the reproductive only now. Always should have been only that!’
    Pure and utter nonsense.

  • http://www.thechristianwatershed.com Joel

    Also keep this in mind Tony;
    At the point you admit there are some sexual sins, you’re acknowledging there is a design for humanity that we can go against. That your adopt a liberal cosmopolitan view of ethics concerning sin, that something is wrong if and only if it goes against a person’s choice (or if the person isn’t old enough to make the choice, which does open the door for man on boy intercourse).
    So this really isn’t an area where you can have your cake and eat it too. The two most logically consistent views (that is, within their worldview) is the Christian one, which is going to say that homosexual sin is wrong, or the liberal cosmopolitan view, which says that so long as the person chooses to act a certain way and the partner(s) are willing, it’s not a sin.
    And that would be the philosophical answer I’d provide. Humanity was designed for a purpose. Sex is part of this design for some people (not all). For those it is designed for, it is meant to occur between a man and a woman because that is simply how our natural bodies are supposed to function. The opposite view is complete sexual liberation. There is no in-between that is logically coherent.

  • Tim

    Tony,
    In direct response to your question…
    If homosexuality is sinful, then engaging in homosexual behavior creates a relational barrier between God and the person practicing such behavior. And this is the case with any sinful behavior. Sin causes a relational rift between God and the person engaged in sinful behavior–thus, preventing them from wholeheartedly following Christ.
    So the key issue is whether homosexuality is sinful. I know you remain convinced that it is not. And if it is not, then it would seem quite natural for you to conclude that there is no outstanding reason why it would create a relational rift between a practicing homosexual and their relationship with God.
    But here are some things I want to throw back at you:
    First, I am not sure there is too much I could say to get you to reconsider your interpretations of the passages that are often sited. You have already concluded that interpretations arguing homosexual activity is sinful are “weak.” But someone may conclude that your interpretations in favor of homosexuality are equally as “weak.” Are we at an exegetical stalemate?
    Second, what basis is there for morality apart from revelation? For me (a finite human being) to determine what is sinful–using theological or philosophical arguments–is nothing short of arrogant. Apart from Scripture it is your reasons against mine? Are we at an intellectual stalemate?

  • panthera

    Joel,
    I call horse feathers on you.
    Cite valid scientific studies showing that anal intercourse is dangerous.
    God forbids false witness, not that that has ever stopped you or the other conservative Christians from lying through your teeth.
    Still waiting for a defense from those who reject Paul’s clear advocacy of slavery.
    Still waiting for a defense on accepting divorce.
    Would love to hear a rational for deciding which aspects of science to accept and which to reject – apart from the cherry-picking.

  • http://www.thechristianwatershed.com Joel

    Finally, to deal with the “cherry-picking” issues.
    Paul’s words on slavery are essentially to make slaves co-equals as they are considered part of the family of God. This mindset – that you are not my slave but my brother, that we are not working on my property, but our property – is anti-slavery. The early church wasn’t in a democracy, so there is little political action on their part. Rather, there is quite a bit of social action and slavery did fall under this.
    By abolishing slavery we’re not disobeying Scripture – we’re actually following Paul’s commands to their logical ends.
    As for divorce – yeah, we ignore Christ’s words on divorce and look at the pain it’s caused for many people. I think it’d be better if we started following what He says on divorce. Divorcing over stupid stuff, such as “We don’t get along” or “irreconcilable differences” shows selfishness on the part of those divorcing and a complete disregard for God’s plan in marriage.

  • Your Name

    Good morning. First, I do not think we should approach any discussion and exclude the revelation of God. It sounds cool to just be an intellect but being a fallen man it is diffucult if not impossible to know the “mind of God” without spirtual illumination of his revelation. Second, the Gay issue for me is no more an issue than any other “sin” (assuming you think it is sin). Romans 14 gives us guidance on our “liberty”. It’s always been a great guide for me regarding anything. Rom.14:23 “whatsoever is not of faith (conviction, persuasion.) Sooooo, can you do something with complete conviction that it is being done for and to the Glory of God. I have met many people who took liberties, perfectly ok for others, but for them they violated their own hearts. That is why it so important not to teach our children “cultural truth”. When we violate our heart we condemn ourselves. Sooooo, if you can be in a Gay relationship without guilt or spirtual liability – Maybe So. However, like other liberties we should be careful to encourage them lest we are guilty of hurting a “weaker brother. Blessings on all!!!

  • Joel

    Wanna talk about cherry-picking science? You’re going to tell me there’s no risk when you insert your sexual organ into a bacterial discharge?

  • panthera

    Nice try, Joel, but since you are arguing for my being stoned to death based on the literal truth of the Bible, you need to explain just exactly how these words are freeing of slaves:
    “Servants, be obedient to them that are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in singleness of your heart, as unto Christ.” (Ephesians 6:5, KJV).
    Oh, right, you can’t – either they are in conflict with other Biblical passages (oh, the horror!) or you are cherry-picking and, worse, interpreting the literal Word of God, as set down by the infallible and far-more-important-than-Christ Paul.
    You can’t have it both ways.
    Defend yourself.

  • http://rich-twoedgedsword.blogspot.com Rich B

    This question is difficult to answer if you rely on your human wisdom. No this question is impossible to answer relying on your human wisdom.
    To adequately address this issue, you must know God. It is not enough to know about God, you must know God. Those who know God, have a high view of scripture. They respect his Word as truly God breathed.
    At creation, God formulated a plan for the family. Although he said all of creation is good (See generally Gen. 1), in Gen 2:18, he said “it is not good for the man to be alone; I will make a helper suitable for him.” That is followed with the presentation of the woman, whom we know as Eve.
    The relationship between God the Son and the Church is similar to the relationship between the Husband and the Wife. See Eph. 5.
    There is no argument that these relationships have been under attack since the beginning of time. Gen. 3. It is through the family that God would like to advance his Kingdom. Deut. 6. Is it any wonder that God tells us that he hates divorce. Mal. 2. An attack against the family structure presented in Gen. 2 and discussed in Eph. 5 is an attack on God.
    The pathologies in the families are many. These problems have been created by man, who is incapable of correcting himself. These problems can only be fixed by God.

  • panthera

    Rich B.
    Which ‘church’ are you referencing?

  • Husband

    Lou,
    “Is there any place in the Bible where homosexuality is even mentioned in a positive light?”
    Well, David’s love for Jonathan was one “surpassing the love of women”. The Roman Centurion who asked that his, er ‘slave’ be healed is often interpreted that way.Ruth’s devotion to Naomi has been usurped for opposite sex wedding vows for eons now.
    But then again, the word “homosexuality” didn’t even exist until the late 19th Century, so it’s not surprising you find it in only one version of what we have left of “The Bible” (TM) – and even in that case, its creators subsequently apologized for their bad interpretation.
    “we also have a sin called homosexuality that is clearly defined in the Bible”
    B.S. If it were so “clearly defined”, this (and myriad other conversations) wouldn’t be taking place.
    “Homosexuality has never been mentioned in a positive manner in the Bible, anywhere.”
    Homosexual cult/temple prostitution is notnatural’). Nor is rape (the Sodom story). Try again, but do better.
    “David had a multitude of wives and concubines but his sin was not in this”
    Now there’s a selective interpretation if ever I saw one. Tell it to the Baptists.
    “Solomon had slaves, but his sin was turning away from God to worship the foreign gods.”
    So slave-owning is now a good, moral, Christian thing?
    “if the King of kings, the Lord of lords, and the supreme master of the universe wanted a civilization where people fell in love with whomever they liked with no regard for gender, don’t you think he could have arranged that?”
    Um, it sorta looks like that’s exactly what happened. Except, of course, that rational people realize that this ‘no regard for gender’ crap is just that – crap. I know of no heterosexual who doesn’t regard the gender of his or her beloved. They seem to only be attracted to those of the opposite gender. And the reverse is true. Every single gay or lesbian person I know is only attracted to people of the same gender. “no regard” for it? Again, pure and utter nonsense.
    As was the rest of your post.

  • Husband

    phil,
    “1. The isolation of homosexual people from the reproductive process (should their monogamy result in no extra-relational reproduction) potentially restricts the gene pool available to wider society. People with potentially healthy/strong physicality have a moral obligation to ensure that those genes are continued.”
    There are enough (i.e. probably waaay too many) heterosexuals around reproducing. They don’t need my genes.
    “2. What about the Papal argument that “sex” should always be open to the possibility of creating new life?”
    What of it? I’m not Catholic.
    Besides, many non-reproductive heterosexuals get married all the time. And many who are ‘reproductive’ perform many, many, MANY acts that do not result in reproduction. Should they be forbidden too?

  • http://thenuance.wordpress.com Zach

    Tony, it IS a snarky question, even if you claim it’s not. If I’m someone who thinks, coming into a debate, that premarital sexual contact is not forbidden in Scripture, at least under certain modern circumstances (such as long-term commitment, etc.), then I might ask the same question and stand with a victorious smile. The point is, in one’s own experience there may be no sense or feeling of relational distance from God based on “genital contact.”
    So it’s an unanswerable question. But I think you could possibly reword it or redirect it into a good one, perhaps by opening up a general discussion on the biblical idea of behaviors which “distance” a Christian from Jesus relationally, and whether gay sex falls into that category, and if so, where on the spectrum of separation it might fall. I think you could do this while still negating the “big six” verses.

  • Rich B

    The Church is the body of believers. The Church is not a denomination – (i.e., my denomination is better than yours). The Church is not a building. The Church consists of those who have been adopted into God’s family. E.g. John 1:12. At Caesarea Philippi (interesting location by the way) Jesus asked his followers, who do you say that I am. Peter answered you are the Christ the Son of the living God. Matt. 16:13-20.
    Before his crucifixion, Jesus prayed for his disciples, then he prayed for unity in the Church. John 17. Unfortunately, we messed things up and have 20,000+ different denominations.
    But going back to your original question, the Church consists of those walking with Christ.

  • hootie1fan

    Why homosexuality and not those who consume pork, eat shellfish, wear mixed fabric clothing? Why not women who wear pants? What of those who divorce and remarry? Biblically speaking they are committing adultery against their first spouse.
    The vilification of homosexual pales in comparison to the other abominations for reasons I just can’t justify.

  • panthera

    I do not think the question put by Tony was ‘snarky’.
    Stipulated, he did not formulate the question as clearly in the beginning as he later did. This does not change the fact that the Bible thumpers are cherry-picking both Scripture, science, medicine and 19th century evolutionary theory to justify their hatred.
    And I think that is what he really wanted to call forth in this discussion: The hatred and persecution gay Christians suffer is neither charitable nor a reflection of God’s will.
    Still waiting for Joel and the other literalistic ones to explain away Paul’s clear words on slavery being OK by him.

  • hootie1fan

    Why homosexuality and not those who consume pork, eat shellfish, wear mixed fabric clothing? Why not women who wear pants? What of those who divorce and remarry? Biblically speaking they are committing adultery against their first spouse.
    The vilification of other abominatins pales in comparisonto homosexuals for reasons I just can’t justify.

  • Jules

    Artboy-
    “Philosophically, one could argue that Kant’s categorical imperative defines gay sex as immoral.”
    As I’m studying Kant right now I don’t see that. I see Kant’s categorical imperative saying something completely different. For one Kant says,“May you live your life as if the maxim of your actions were to become universal law.” So if anything he supports that you live life such that you live in such a way that how you would want to be treated is how you treat others. Your MAXIM. On that alone would those who oppose same-sex relationship want what has been said to the LGBTQI community said to them?
    The foundation of his second imperative states:“Act so that you treat humanity, whether in your own person or in that of another always as an end and never as a means only.” So Kant is saying here, as far as I can tell and as I’ve discussed this with my Ethics prof (who is VERY Kantian in thought), is that again you see the humanity in another and never using them to meet your end to your means. So in much reflection can those who oppose truly say this hasn’t been so in light of the LGBTQI community.
    I personally like how my text book on this states Kantian ethics, “Anyone who recognizes that he is or she is free should recognize that he or she is responsible (that he or she is a moral being).” So even there again, it shows that you should accept that each person is moral and responsible. So again, with in Kantian ethics you would have to acknowledge that anyone is a moral and responsible person.
    One of my favorite Kant quote is this, “Every man has a legitimate claim to respect from his fellow men and is in turn bound to respect every other.” Again, I think this supports deep thought in action towards the LGBTQI in community. Also to sum up what this quote says and to sum up his book Metaphysics of Morals, “There Kant argues that respecting people means that we cannot be indifferent to them. Indifference is a denial of respect.” I feel these quotes and many things Kant says is in support to at least a very different treatment of LGBTQI in the Christ follower community.
    So within the light of those specific quotes and no I’m not picking and choosing these quotes. They are quotes from an article I recently read Sweatshops and Respect for Person by Denis G. Arnold and Norman E. Bowie. Although it is very different circumstances I think the over all message is still very real for many. Especially in the light that these quotes were used in how to treat humanity in general and later delves in sweatshops later. So I ask how does Kantian ethics say or would lead one to believe that being LGBTQI is not moral.
    Thanks!
    Jules

  • http://www.virtuphill.blogspot.com phil_style

    Hey Husband,
    1. There’s much stronger defeaters for the first argument than the one you propose. Although, point taken.
    2. My reference to the papacy was only descriptive, not prescriptive. Catholic or not, doe sht eargument have merit? I just can’t think of anyone else who uses that argument. I’m no papist either.
    Like I said, I don’t buy into those arguments, I’s just seeing if I could satisfy the post. . . never convinced that I or anyone else could though.

  • http://www.virtuphill.blogspot.com phil_style

    Hey Husband,
    1. There’s much stronger defeaters for the first argument than the one you propose. Although, point taken.
    2. My reference to the papacy was only descriptive, not prescriptive. Catholic or not, does the argument have merit? I just can’t think of anyone else who uses that argument. I’m no papist either.
    Like I said, I don’t buy into those arguments, I’s just seeing if I could satisfy the post. . . never convinced that I or anyone else could though.

  • Josiah

    Some who are questioning Tony’s approach to this blog post are missing it I think. Why should Tony momentarily ask for a suspension of appeal to scripture to “prove” that homosexuality is a sin? If everything is permissible, sin is certainly that which is not beneficial – moreover, it is destructive/damaging to yourself in some way and usually to those around you as well. Tony is asking what about homosexuality is inherently destructive within the context of a loving, monogamous relationship between two consenting adults (is this not why groups like focus on the family constantly try to show – with false data and terrible researchers – this very supposedly destructive side of homosexuality?). If there is a valid argument for why this situation is damaging and unhealthy, then I suppose we continue forward with this idea of sin. If the situation is not inherently destructive, we must question this idea and category of sin and it is with this understanding that we return to scripture and wrestle with it. The arguments thus far in this blog to convince us of the former traditionalist view are unconvincing at best. There is simply no data, no qualified studies or research in any field that has proven (though many have tried) homosexuality to be more potentially damaging than heterosexuality.
    Personally, I have a number of friends who are gay/lesbian and have been in long-term committed relationships for a number of years (one of them going on 14 years now, and they are raising a child who is turning out to be a wonderful, smart, kind, and loving 10 year old). They have provided an example of this loving, monogamous relationship that so many folks here need to experience first hand. These people are also deeply committed to the Christian faith. I see nothing destructive, nothing damaging, no consequential outcome that has ruined either of their’s or anyone’s life in any way – and they’ve helped someone like me be a less fearful, more loving person towards the GLBT community. I see something beneficial and beautiful in this relationship. No, homosexuality within the same context of my commitment to my wife is not sinful. If it is, then we are slaves to the law, and to the letter – and probably a particular interpretation of it at that.
    Thank you Tony for being a voice for the GLBT community!
    Blessings,
    Austin

  • http://www.virtuphill.blogspot.com phil_style

    Let’s all assume, that it is clear that God considered homosexual act to be Sin. What’s the odds of us asking him to clarify WHY he thinks it’s sin?
    That get’s us to the issue I think Tony is getting at (??). Does God have a reason for declaring something a no no? or does he just randomly out with it?

  • Ted Seeber

    This is one place where I have a tendency to dissent from the official position of my faith; however, I have at least taken the time to understand the official position of my faith.
    Homosexuals in a monogamous relationship are like heterosexuals in an infertile relationship; there is zero possibility, barring a miracle, of procreative sex.
    A strict Catholic would encourage such a couple (even the heterosexual one) to take mutual vows of celebacy, for without the procreative aspect of sex, the intimacy aspect is incomplete at best, and using the submissive partner purely for pleasure at worst.
    THAT is the reason the pro-gay pro-celebate Catholic group Courage (http://www.couragerc.net/) is blessed by the Pope and the Bishops, and the pro-gay pro-monogamous Catholic group Dignity (http://www.dignityusa.org/) isn’t.
    Having said all that- I say, leave it open to God whether he wants to give you a miracle.

  • Josiah

    Some who are questioning Tony’s approach to this blog post are missing it I think. Why should Tony momentarily ask for a suspension of appeal to scripture to “prove” that homosexuality is a sin? If everything is permissible, sin is certainly that which is not beneficial – moreover, it is destructive/damaging to yourself in some way and usually to those around you as well. Tony is asking what about homosexuality is inherently destructive within the context of a loving, monogamous relationship between two consenting adults (is this not why groups like focus on the family constantly try to show – with false data and terrible researchers – this very supposedly destructive side of homosexuality?). If there is a valid argument for why this situation is damaging and unhealthy, then I suppose we continue forward with this idea of sin. If the situation is not inherently destructive, we must question this idea and category of sin and it is with this understanding that we return to scripture and wrestle with it. The arguments thus far in this blog to convince us of the former traditionalist view are unconvincing at best. There is simply no data, no qualified studies or research in any field that has proven (though many have tried) homosexuality to be more potentially damaging than heterosexuality.
    Personally, I have a number of friends who are gay/lesbian and have been in long-term committed relationships for a number of years (one of them going on 14 years now, and they are raising a child who is turning out to be a wonderful, smart, kind, and loving 10 year old). They have provided an example of this loving, monogamous relationship that so many folks here need to experience first hand. These people are also deeply committed to the Christian faith. I see nothing destructive, nothing damaging, no consequential outcome that has ruined either of their’s or anyone’s life in any way – and they’ve helped someone like me be a less fearful, more loving person towards the GLBT community. I see something beneficial and beautiful in this relationship. No, homosexuality within the same context of my commitment to my wife is not sinful. If it is, then we are slaves to the law, and to the letter – and probably a particular interpretation of it at that.
    Thank you Tony for being a voice for the GLBT community!

  • KTKL

    Ben – Your comparison of human relationships to the metaphor of Christ as husband, church as wife is totally irrelevant. It’s a metaphor. The church is not literally a woman and the two aren’t married in the same sense that two humans are. God (or any deity) also isn’t literally male.
    Another thought – if Paul says that it’s best to remain celibate but that for the weaker individuals, go ahead and marry rather than give in to sin, does that suggest that marriage equals a contract to have children? To me it suggests that marriage is merely an arrangement made to justify sex. Farther than I’d like to take the definition, but certainly not the definition of those who say that sex is only for the purpose of procreation!

  • panthera

    I sometimes feel like a sandwich in a short-order restaurant: LGBT.
    Or GLBT.
    Or LGT.
    Or GLT.
    Jules, I now feel like alphabet soup!
    Which is why I speak exclusively of gay and transgender. The rest is just political correctness gone wild.
    Doesn’t change the fact that I really like your analysis of Kant’s thoughts on human dignity.
    Usually, I lose patience very rapidly with people reading English translations of Kant, you, however, have lucked upon a Prof. who actually is competent. Keep up the good work!
    Oh, and, please, could you decipher that alphabet soup for me?
    LGBTQI…is Q ‘queer’ (which I like) or ‘questioning’, which is nonsense. And, if Q is questioning, then is I ‘inquisitive’?
    (Admitting to a bit of snark here, sorry. Just had a very nasty discussion with a group of gays who felt Transexual did not belong together with us but bi-sexuals do.)

  • Ted Seeber

    Chal897:
    “one considers there wasn’t such thing as a coherent Bible until the Council of Trent following the Reformation. Have any of you ever wondered by Catholic and Protestant Bibles have different books?”
    Incorrect, the books in the Catholic Bible were solidified at the Council of Carthage, not the Council of Trent. The Protestant Bible removed some, the Council of Trent added nothing.

  • Joel

    Panthera,
    I use a historical-grammatical, tradition-based, spirit-guided hermeneutic, not a literal one. That means when the text requires it be taken literally, I do so. When it doesn’t, I don’t.
    No where did I say you should be stoned to death for your sin. The punishment for our sins was taken upon Christ on the cross (regardless of what Tony says). Thus, if you still deserve to be stoned for being a homosexual, how much more do I deserve to be stoned for the far worse sins I have committed. If death is the warrant for your sin of homosexuality, then death is the warrant five times over for me.
    Rather, a conservative reading of Scripture should not be confused with a literal reading of Scripture. In fact, most conservatives with an academic or understanding lay-person’s view will reject a literal reading of Scripture (also known as the prima facie reading of scripture).
    So we read about slavery where Paul tells slaves to be obedient to their masters. But did you forget what comes next?
    ” Masters, DO THE SAME TO THEM, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.”
    So the instructions Paul gives to the slaves – to do good will to the masters and to serve them – is the same instructions he gives to the masters. That places the slave and masters on equal footing. Not to mention that in Ephesus 1/3 of the population was composed of slaves and that most slaves were considered part of the family…but that’s not what this debate is about.
    The point is this – you’re trying to create a false dichotomy. You’re saying we either abandon the Bible as God’s Word or take it literally. The problem is, there are multiple other options out there. One can even reject my hermeneutic, accept a different one, and still believe the Bible is God’s Word (take Catholics for instance). So don’t act like there are two options. You need to study up a bit on Biblical interpretation before making such blanket assumptions.

  • Ted Seeber

    KTKL: Yes, in short, marriage in the western world is not only just a contract to have children, but also a contract to care for those children and a contract that defines inheritance for those children.
    If you don’t want to have children, or reject the concept of having children, I see nothing wrong with living together without benefit of marriage, since you don’t intend to fulfill the promises of marriage anyway.
    Oh, and for those of us who believe sex should be procreative- then it would also be correct to say that the process of sex lasts between 17-25 years, and in this economy, sometimes 35. It’s not complete until the child you raised is a functioning adult.

  • Casey

    I havent read all 79 + comments so I apologize if this has been asked.
    But first let me say, if homosexuality was normative/intended, very few of us would be discussing this, not because it wouldn’t be an issue necessarily, but because few of us would be alive.
    Secondly, why do lesbian women (typically at least one woman in the relationship) want to look like men? And why do gay men (typically at least one man in the relationship) want to look like women? The role play that happens between homosexuals says something about the inherent design of femininity and masculinity within relationships?
    Why is it that the masculine partner (either the “herm” or the “shem”) always seems to lead in the homosexual relationship and not the other way around? The gay community may have good arguments but their whole way of livng is borrowed capital. It seems that while the gay community defends its position, it can’t help but borrow from the creator. So to summarize, gay women and gay men, why do you act and dress like the opposite sex and not like the sex you are? Does that not say something?

  • panthera

    Ted,
    I never cease to be amazed at the depth of thought with which you confront and reason through things which are not easy for you or within the compass of your natural philosophy.
    Wish I had that capacity.
    That said, this whole ‘submissive partner’ thing is one of those myths perpetrated by those who assume a man whose prostate is being stimulated in sex is pretending to be a woman who is inherently submissive to the man having intercourse with her.
    Three fallacies. Women are not made to be submisse to men, that is rape. Gay men are not pretending to be women nor is the receiving partner in anal intercourse by any means passive. If he is, then he is called a lame ass and that is just as bad as a woman who just lies there and thinks of England until her RORO (roll on, roll off) husband has had has 30 seconds and spent.
    We trade off, but when I have the pleasure of my husband penetrating me, there is nothing feminine or submissive to it. That is reserved for the realm of BDSM, something more heterosexuals enjoy than do gays. Just look at all those Republicans, and oh, my, another scandal involving a conservative Christian Republican Congressperson is just coming up…
    God does not reject our love. Conservative Christians do, and they do so in order to sidestep our responsibilities as Christians, not out of any sort of compassion.

  • panthera

    Casey,
    You are suffering from ignorance. Try getting out and meeting some real gay people.
    Joel,
    I am not arguing for discarding Scripture. I am merely applying semantics to the absurd contention of the conservative Christians that my monogamous, true, faithful and loving marriage is somehow invalid.
    Frankly, I find my of value in the Bible. I also find much which is sheer nonsense. Doesn’t bother me a bit because I know the Bible was written by man, not God.

  • Casey

    Zach Lind,
    Love your drumming so you rule there, but hermeneutically, if one read the bible flat, you “would” have a point. However, because God is a God of culture and condescends to a people, most of what we are dealing with in the OT is culturally acceptable, and was not ” ex nilo”, inspired by God to Israel. In other words, God gives Israel a special place in the culture of their time but not completely distinct from the surrounding cultures. God allowed Israel to participate in the cultural norms and practices. God’s revelation is progressive and culturally sensitive. In other words, we as Christians read God’s word with a new set of eyes than say Israel did. Flat reading just won’t cut it if you want to take this conversation to a level of sincere and genuine concern.
    The question will then be asked, can we not do this same sort of hermeneutical gymnastics now? The answer is no, because God has spoke uniquely and finally through his Son once and for all. Revelation so to speak has reached its intended goal in Christ. He has the final word on all issues.

  • churchmouse

    ArtBoy said, If you toss out the authority of scripture, you’re left with personal, emotional, cultural, hormonal, and/or trendy subjectivity. Apart from revelation, we don’t know what is loving, good, and Christ-like. It’s hard enough to know WITH revelation.
    Eddie Hallahan I agree with you. I believe there is one sin that keep ones from eternal life with Christ and that is unbelief in who He is and what He came to do for us. If we live sinful lives we will never like you said, “If they continue in their adultery however they will only ever be able to exist in that state of grace, they will never be able to see their relationship with Christ move into the realm of His favour, where a life of abundance resides. Grace sees our debts paid and no more, Favour sees our debts paid and us given even more…”
    God instituted marriage to be between one man and one woman and Christ backed this up in what He said. Sin is clear in the Bible and those who do not like it try to find loopholes to get around it. “God is love…..so He overlooks the bad things I do, they arent that bad.” Good people sin, but God is Holy and cant tolerate sin period. I know same sex couples to, my neighbors are lesbians, nicest women in the world….kind, loving, great neighbors. They are sinning according to the Word. You cant candycoat sin it is what it is. And God will not overlook the sin in our lives. And we will have no excuse for our actions on earth and will account for every one. God will not accept excuses.
    Someone here mentioned the decline in Christianity. God said the Gate would be narrow and few would enter in……with that said, the decline is due to the people who are not living according to the Word, they want to justify their actions according to THEIR VIEWS, not Gods. And because of that more and more Christians see sin as not sin. This affects their actions on every level and it trickles down on society. What is legal is moral….abortion is moral because the laws in the US say its moral. Not so according to God.

  • Chris

    To address the original question, I belive it is an issue because homosexuality goes against God’s natural law. If homosexuality was part of natural law you could reproduce in a homosexual relationship. If 150 years ago everyone became a homosexual we would all be extinct today.
    Now, that doesn’t mean homosexuals are any worse sinners than I am. We are all sinners in need of a savior. For those of you that actually hate homosexuals remember that they are created in the image of God just like you and you are a sinner too.

  • Casey

    Panthera,
    You just disqualified yourself from honest discussion because you made so many assumptions about me that I know you won’t take the time to answer anything I ask. The fact is, I have many gay friends and they do typically fit the stereotype I laid out. In fact, some of which are Christian and non practicing homosexuals, are concerned about their disposition to either acting more masculine or feminine, depending on sex. I am not being ignorant but frankly and bluntly observant and honest.

  • Jules

    panthera-
    thank you! sometimes on Tony’s blog I feel like I get missed because of other “important” discussion. LOL So thank you for acknowledging it.
    My experience with Kant has been a good one and one I wish to delve more into. I don’t want to forget the lessons I have learned. I feel I have been very lucky to have the prof I have had. She has done a wonderful job of teaching us so many different ethical issues. Even if times it was very easy to see what side she falls. LOL
    The “I” is “intersex”. I apologize for getting into the ABC soup. I think I add as I’m processing those who are a part of our larger community. I do this with other things as well. In other words, I do it to keep them in mind and to process and acknowledge them. I know there is another “T” that is part of the soup as well, I always forget what it is. Twin-Spirited I believe, that one, to me, sounds like another way to say “bi”. Anyway, that is WAY off subject. HA
    Blessings!
    Jules
    BTW: I think Kantian ethics is valid within this discussion. I wish more would delve into it.

  • Jules

    Casey-
    quick thought, you said, “The fact is, I have many gay friends and they do typically fit the stereotype I laid out. In fact, some of which are Christian and non practicing homosexuals, are concerned about their disposition to either acting more masculine or feminine, depending on sex. I am not being ignorant but frankly and bluntly observant and honest.”
    I think you need to acknowledge you are being observant and honest about your circle you may know. You may even have to acknowledge that is limited to your knowledge. You could be making assumptions upon your limited circle. Just because you “know” someone who is gay, lesbian, ect. does not mean you KNOW the whole or have a full complete understanding of them or of the community.
    I do not say this to be rude, but to challenge thought.
    As someone who is a lesbian it gets very frustrating for someone to qualify certain statements with, “oh my BFF is GAY!!!” or “I know MANY gays and they…” It sounds very condescending and normally only supports silly stereotypes I wish not delve into.
    Blessings!

  • Casey

    Jules,
    Fair critique and I accept it. My main concern in stating what I originally stated though has yet to be addressed. If you will accept for a moment that God has intended roles for relationships, would not that the relationship have intended structural design that we cannot escape from. I am not just making “ignorant, uneducated” remarks when I say the things I do about gay/lesbian identities, I am merely drawing a theological conclusion based upon a presupposition that God intended relationships to be governed by male/female roles. So I state again, I think the homosexual community is borrowing capital.

  • KTKL

    Casey – First, I don’t think anyone’s arguing that everyone was meant to be homosexual. It’s still a minority, but we do have an overpopulation problem, so I’m not so worried about the kids that will never be because gay people aren’t forced to have heterosexual intercourse to procreate.
    Second, gender (masculinity & femininity, not male and female) is a social construct. There is some argument for nature, but not much. I can’t think of any scripture that requires certain characteristics for either gender. As for why partners in same-sex relationships play one role or the other, I see it as balance. Not all gender roles are played out in the stereotypical way in heterosexual relationships either. I don’t think two assertive people who NEED to win all the time work very well together, so someone has to be assertive and someone more passive (not that one is strong and one weak, one just takes the “lead”). In my marriage, I (the female) tend to be the more assertive one and my husband the more passive one. That’s just who we are.
    They’re interesting questions you raise, just not the answer in my opinion.

  • Anon

    Here’s a more interesting question: Why would LGBT folks–monogamously coupled or otherwise–have any desire to join the Church? After centuries of terrible treatment by Christians, we’re not exactly dying to jump on the Christian bandwagon. For most LGBT folks who were raised Christian, leaving Christianity ends up being a crucial step in the coming out process and a prerequisite to leading a happy, well adjusted life.

  • Ted Seeber

    KTKL- Overpopulation is a myth unsupported by the current demographic mathematics: http://www.enterstageright.com/archive/articles/0500overpopulation.htm

  • Casey

    KTKL,
    Thanks for taking the time to answer and engage. Let me state first that I think we are operating from different axioms. You seem to be arguing from a more egalatarian approach to understanding male/female characteristics/roles and I, a complementarian approach. With that being said, the social construct vs. natural order issue, is worth considering. I will have to say though, the natural order perspective does seem to be the more biblically consistent perspective, while the social construct theory does appeal to people of our culture. I know my perspective isn’t sexy but its consistent with God’s revelation. I wish social construct had an inspired edge to it but it seems to undermine scripture and make scripture subservient to reason.

  • Zach Lind

    Casey,
    What I gather from your comment is that the only portion of the Bible exempt from a flat reading is the NT. That’s interesting. The author(s) of the gospel of Matthew might disagree with you on that point. And the idea that God has spoken “finally, once and for all” is news to me. If that’s truly what you believe, then let’s just drop the subject and just be friends. :)
    But I DO commend your taste in drumming! ;)

  • Ted Seeber

    Panthera- nice sidestep of the original issue, which is that non-procreative sex is *inherantly* submissive, not because of the roles one plays, but because of the fact that the true gift of sex (new life) isn’t given.
    This isn’t about homosexual sex vs. heterosexual sex, it’s about procreative sex vs recreative sex, with the second being inherently inferior.
    I would agree that at least the couple engaged in monogamous recreative sex is only hurting each other- that is, refusing to share their love with the world. Love is to be given away, with NOTHING in return.

  • Ted Seeber

    KTKL- I believe in a rational God. I believe sending his son to show us how to live was a rational act.
    An irrational God would never have allowed humanity to survive this long- he would long ago have decided free will was a mistake and wiped us all out.
    Perhaps your view of the world being with an irrational God is a part of your wish for the extinction of humanity.

  • KTKL

    Ted – numbers or not, just for the sake of argument, is it possible that we need fewer people now because we’re more “efficient” and the planet can support fewer because we are less “efficient” regarding resources?
    Casey – While I’m not sure I entirely agree, I do understand your approach. I’m curious about where you see gender roles divinely revealed? Are you simply referring to the roles of wife and husband in the Bible, which is a VERY different culture? If so, my argument is you can’t lift scripture from it’s cultural context. It doesn’t mean you can negate things willy nilly and blame it on culture, it just has to be part of the discussion.

  • Lou Ambers

    So I’m a little confused I suppose. If the Bible consistently asserts itself as being against an issue, and never even so much as mentions the issue in a positive light, where is there room for a debate?

  • http://takethestand.typepad.com/ Andrew

    Tony,
    I’d like to answer with a question, if you’ll permit me:
    If you are one who thinks that [theft] is sinful, can you please explain to me WHY a [thief who is an otherwise upstanding citizen] would not be able to wholeheartedly follow Christ?
    My only stipulation is this: You may not quote one of the [34] verses in scripture that mentions stealing. Instead, you must use theological and/or philosophical arguments to attempt to convince me that when you [take something that belongs to someone else], it somehow inhibits your relationship with Christ.

  • http://faiththeory.wordpress.com/ McHonza

    We are called by Christ to love God, love each other, and make disciples of all.
    The problem with rationalizations are that we all make them with whatever our own particular weaknesses are.
    We are all skewed by whatever hierarchy of sins we choose that makes us feel as if we are not as bad as others.
    If you know someone for whom homosexuality is preventing loving God, loving others, or making disciples, then you have an opportunity for ministry to help them.
    Now the purpose here may actually be to help those who’s prejudices about a particular sin. So I think we’re not really talking about what is right or wrong with any particular form of sexuality, but why we can’t simply “love each other” which keeps us from “making disciples” and should make us question our own ability to “love God.”

  • Lou Ambers

    Andrew, come now, that argument makes sense and therefore does not belong in this discussion. Please refrain from such logic in future interactions.

  • http://founderandperfecter.wordpress.com Ben Mordecai

    KTKL – You’re wrong in this case.
    Ephesians 5 does not say that the Genesis passage about marriage is like Christ’s relationship to the Church. It says that when Moses wrote those words God had worked out that it would be referring to Christ and the Church.
    Should Christians baptize Muslims? Should Jews have circumcised pagans who were not in their household? No. They are not in the covenant.
    Likewise, sex, the sign of the covenant of marriage belongs in marriage. The covenant between husband and wise was created to refer to Christ and the Church, so marriage finds its deepest meaning in Christianity.
    Like it or not, when we change marriage, we say something about God’s covenant with the Church.

  • Jules

    Casey-
    “Jules,
    Jules,
    Fair critique and I accept it. My main concern in stating what I originally stated though has yet to be addressed. If you will accept for a moment that God has intended roles for relationships, would not that the relationship have intended structural design that we cannot escape from. I am not just making “ignorant, uneducated” remarks when I say the things I do about gay/lesbian identities, I am merely drawing a theological conclusion based upon a presupposition that God intended relationships to be governed by male/female roles. So I state again, I think the homosexual community is borrowing capital.”
    Sorry to put your full thing here, but I do this so I can make sure to see what you are saying and remind myself to better address what someone is saying.
    I appreciate first of all you acknowledging my concern. So thank you!
    Second, I don’t know if that was God’s design or if it became a cultural construct. You have more and more in our culture (western, US and Canada,and more) rejecting the common roles of “this is what a man should do and this is what a woman should do.” Many are rejecting what a western wedding is and what it is truly saying about society. So I think your issue cannot just be questioned even with in the gay community but needs to be looked at in a broader sense.
    I think in the gay community what you bring up is kind of a hot topic. For me and I acknowledge this may have EVERYTHING to do with my experience and background, is that I hate this need to have “gender roles.” I think even with in a straight couple this is rather cave manish. I see a relationship as a partnership of sorts. One in which both work together and make each other better. I know there are many in the gay community who tend to or seem to look to try to obtain gender roles in their relationship. I won’t get into all the definitions, but I can acknowledge they are there. For me, its silly and old. In my relationship with my girlfriend I don’t try to emulate anything but the love I’ve been shown through Abba and lover has God wants me to.
    So you may have some critic of those who do try to emulate this, but at the same time the straight community is going through the same thing. I believe it was Emerging Women blog who had something on this several months ago.
    I hope this answers you in some way. I apologize if I didn’t delve deep enough. Please let me know and I will try to do better.
    Jules

  • http://founderandperfecter.wordpress.com Ben Mordecai

    KTKL – You’re wrong in this case.
    Ephesians 5 does not say that the Genesis passage about marriage is like Christ’s relationship to the Church. It says that when Moses wrote those words God had worked out that it would be referring to Christ and the Church.
    Should Christians baptize Muslims? Should Jews have circumcised pagans who were not in their household? No. They are not in the covenant.
    Likewise, sex, the sign of the covenant of marriage belongs in marriage. The covenant between husband and wise was created to refer to Christ and the Church, so marriage finds its deepest meaning in Christianity.
    Like it or not, when we change marriage, we say something about God’s covenant with the Church.

  • KTKL

    Lou – because context comes into play. There are lots of other rules/laws in the Bible we don’t follow anymore.
    Andrew – about a thief, a thief has placed his/her own selfish desires above those of his/her neighbor. Basically, it hurts others and serves only the self. Homosexuality, when acted on in a healthy relationship equal to a heterosexual one other than the sex of the partners, doesn’t hurt anyone and creates a loving relationship rather than one that devalues the rights of another (as thievery would). As has been mentioned earlier, a sinner can still have a relationship with Christ, but a sinner who acknowledges his/her sin but chooses not to seek to overcome it devalues the grace and love of Christ and therefore that relationship.

  • Lou Ambers

    So I have a question… Jesus says that whatever man looks at woman (other than his wife) lustfully has committed adultery in his heart. If homosexuality is not a sin, then if a married man looks at another man lustfully in his heart has he committed adultery? The Bible only states that if he looks at or has sex with another WOMAN he is committing adultery, not if the situation is with a MAN.

  • Casey

    Lou,
    That is a safe presupposition to have and one that Christ himself commends. He himself never questioned his Fathers word and we should follow the same pattern. When we begin to ask the question, “did God really say?”, we are playing a game we will ultimately lose. God does hold in derision those who play quick and loose with his self revelation but their knee will bow and they will give an account.
    KTKL,
    We are definitely not operating near enough with the same presuppositions to continue this conversation. It will just take us into an entirely new subject. I will say though, while the authors of scripture are locked into a culture and have a unique authorial intent, there is still the divine author who has universal intent, salvation and submission to Christ, who is Lord of the universe. Humble exegesis is the key to this issue. God knew we would be reading Romans 1 in 2009 and knew that it would offend the hell out of the pomo culture, especially the niche homo culture within the pomo culture. Hell, it offends me and I am a middle class white seminary student who loves taking God at his God.

  • Casey

    Should have read, “who loves taking God at his word”. My bad.

  • Matt

    I think people who argue for the blessing of same-sex relationships do so for two, maybe three reasons.
    1) They feel same-sex attraction and want blessing and validity. (I completely understand this perspective, and I think it includes a wide range of people, from those who have tried everything to “get rid of” their sexual orientation to those who have embraced it wholeheartedly.)
    2) It is VERY unpopular to believe anything else. Certainly in the world at large, and increasingly so in Christian circles. It is becoming harder and harder to say that one believes Christians who engage in gay sex are sinning.
    3) We who are concerned about being the light of Jesus in the world want desperately to love and reach out to our GLBT brothers and sisters, and we don’t want them to feel hated or excluded in the Church. (I understand this perspective as well… It’s my perspective!)
    I think that any theological, scriptural or philosophical arguments to prove that gay sex is OK for Christians is based FIRST on one of those 3 reasons. I don’t believe anyone has ever come to the text and seen a scriptural, theological or philosophical argument FIRST.
    Am I right?
    My question is this: Is anyone willing to admit that a homosexual orientation MIGHT BE a broken condition? A “not the way it’s designed to be” condition? I’m not asking if it’s “curable” or “sinful” – I want to know if it’s what God intended. Is it exactly akin to skin color?

  • panthera

    Andrew,
    Are you implying that Christians are the only ones to whom theft is abhorrent? Sure reads like it.
    Ted, here is the definition of submitting, the root of submissive in the context in which I meant it: (merriam-webster.com/dictionary/submitting)
    Middle English submitten, from Latin submittere to lower, submit, from sub- + mittere to send
    Date:
    14th century
    transitive verb1 a: to yield to governance or authority b: to subject to a condition, treatment, or operation 2: to present or propose to another for review, consideration, or decision ; also : to deliver formally 3: to put forward as an opinion or contention intransitive verb1 a: to yield oneself to the authority or will of another : surrender b: to permit oneself to be subjected to something 2: to defer to or consent to abide by the opinion or authority of another
    Can it be that we are working from a different basis. English not being my native tongue, I do tend to be a bit literal at times.
    Jules, thanks. A friend of mine who is Cheyenne says twin-spirited has nothing to do with bi-sexuality, which is concomitant to being either male or female. Rather, it is (to the extent I understand it) a matter of having both female and male aspects in one body.
    It fascinates me no end to see the nonsense being discussed here relative to evolutionary theory. Since when has Mother Nature cared a fig about survival of the individual? Survival of the species, yes. Individual, not so much.
    If conservative Christians (who otherwise reject evolution and natural selection) insist on cherry-picking science as they do the Bible, the very least they can do is to use real science as the basis.
    Casey, you do not possess the authority to disqualify anyone here. I stand by my statement, your further comments only serve to confirm my initial impression. By your logic, Rod Dreher, one of the biggest racists and nastiest gay-bashers at beliefnet should be a flaming queen – watch any video or read any of his ‘from the heart’ entries. And yet he was too macho for Louisiana and had to go to Texas where real men are appreciated…and sheep are afraid.
    Such nonsense you write. Cultural perceptions of masculinity and femininity are highly fluid, subject to context and very few truly universal.
    Now, given that science has now confirmed that gay men have the same brain structure as do straight women and lesbians have the same brain structure as do straight men, it may not be surprising to discover the preponderance of teaching, healing, nurturing and natural sciences professions among gay men. These are the field in which straight women (when not held back by bigots) excel.

  • Joel

    I’m still waiting for Tony (or anyone) to explain to me why promiscuity is a bad thing. Remember, the rule is one cannot turn to Scripture.
    If someone is bi-sexual, why can’t that person have a male partner and a female partner? Why must it be monogamous?

  • Lou Ambers

    KTKL – Yes, but the reason we do not follow levitical law is not because it is obsolete, but because we are not priests in the order of the levites. We are priests of a different order, Melchizedek. However, the new testament also speaks ill of homosexuality, so it is not simply levitical law.

  • Lou Ambers

    Casey – My comment about adultery was to make the point that Jesus speaks about a man looking at another woman lustfully with the assumption that homosexuality is a sin, therefore he does not say something along the lines of “whosoever looks at another woman OR MAN lustfully commits adultery in his heart” or “looks at another PERSON lustfully” but since the fact that he said if a man looks at another WOMAN lustfully shows that this statement was made with the assumption that men shouldn’t be looking at other men anyway. Because if it was ok for a man to look at other men, that scripture would leave a loophole for men to be unfaithful to their wives with other men.

  • Ted Seeber

    KTKL- “numbers or not, just for the sake of argument, is it possible that we need fewer people now because we’re more “efficient” and the planet can support fewer because we are less “efficient” regarding resources?”
    Anything is possible, but only a few things are based in facts. Yes, we need fewer people working fewer hours to survive due to our efficency; but no that means the planet can support MORE not less, because we are more efficient regarding resources, far more efficient. Right now, we are letting 3x the amount of land that is arable lie fallow than is in production; we’re feeding the entire planet on just 25% of the land that is available for this purpose.
    Overpopulation is a local, political phenomenon where it exists at all (it’s also hype by certain “charity” organizations to keep you giving, but that’s another subject entirely)

  • Your Name

    Lou,
    I understood and I think we are on the same page. I was actually backing up your original comment (not the second or third comment), just so you know. Maybe re-read my comment to you. With all the people commenting, it probably looked like I was responding to one of your later comments. Thanks.

  • Your Name

    I think that the insistence that one must be able to defend a theological position without reference to Scripture begs a huge variety of other important questions on how we ought to learn about God, or God’s heart on an issue, in the first place. Talking about different interpretations of texts is one thing. Insisting that a theological position must be able to be completely reasoned from our own cultural sensibilities and framework, not allowing Scripture to speak into it, depends on many unspoken presuppositions about the nature of Scripture, the nature of the Holy Spirit, and the nature of revelation. I would like to see more articulation on those issues.
    To briefly answer the question–I believe that anyone can wholeheartedly follow Christ, even if many of our conscious and unconscious actions, choices, and even desires that we have may not reflect God’s original created intention for us. (So even if homosexuality is a sin, I believe a gay person can wholeheartedly follow Christ if they honestly do not believe it to be such). Whether or not gay and lesbian attraction and sexuality is part of God’s original created intention is a question I do not have certainty about right now, but I do not believe I can answer that question completely independently of dealing with Scripture.

  • Casey

    Lou,
    I am sure you figured this out, but the response from “your name” was from me.

  • Lou Ambers

    I really don’t understand this debate, when Jesus speaks about marriage, he speaks of a man and a woman and nothing else. Therefore, the idea that marriage could be anything else is completely unsupported by the Bible. Moving from there, sex outside of marriage is defined as fornication which is a sin. Just because you don’t like the Biblical definition of marriage, doesn’t mean you can make up your own. Show me a scripture that defines marriage as a same sex couple and I will concede defeat. Logically if homosexuals can’t be married in a Biblical sense, then any sexual contact they have is fornication and therefore sinful.

  • KTKL

    Casey – I see the differences now. You’re a “God wrote the Bible” person, I’m a “God inspired the Bible” person. That’s a whole other argument (maybe THE argument since God is culture-less and people aren’t?).
    Lou – There are lot of of “picking and choosing” instances in reading the Bible. The NT also says that women should be quiet in church and defer to their husbands. My church, though not all, have pretty much ignored that.

  • Scott H

    If homosexual sex is a sin (which is MOST CERTAINLY is), then why does it matter under what context that sin takes place? The wages of all sin is death. Just because someone is in a “relationship” doesn’t mean that God decides to look the other way on the sin.
    What Holy Scripture have you supposedly been reading?
    How could you even know what a relationship with Christ is without Holy Scripture? How could you know of sin, repentance, redemption, or saving grace?
    What God are you following exactly? With the above so-called challenge about homosexuality, you are MOST CERTAINLY not following the God of Holy Scripture. In fact, you are active opposition to the Will and Word of Holy God.
    I call upon you to repent, fall upon your knees before Holy God, and turn from your heretical support for things the Lord has called ABOMINATION. Preach sin, repentance and salvation to homosexual. They need (and deserve) to hear the message as much as any other people. Advocating for and supporting their sin is not showing love to them; it is actively condemning them to Hell!
    This is no game. The love of men is no prize to covet! I would rather all of mankind despise me and God favor me. If God is for us, who can be against us?
    I pray for your soul and for all of those you are clearly damaging by your false and blasphemous teachings.

  • Ted Seeber

    Panthera- Yes, I’m working from a very different basis. The basis I’m working from is John Paul II’s Theology of the Body, in which removing the procreative aspect from sex *inherently* removes the equality from sex, regardless of what the individual participants feel.
    By that theology- sex without both sperm and egg present is just two people using each other for selfish biochemical satisfaction, as opposed to two people engaged in the primary way in which the community, country, race, and species survives.
    A heterosexual marriage (ideal form- I reject the concept of divorce as being MORE sinful than homosexuality) doesn’t just give back to the two people in love; it gives back to the human race as a whole. EVERY child is valuable; EVERY life a blessing. Homosexuality just doesn’t have anything to compare to that.
    I’m perfectly willing to get government out of marriage. I’m perfectly willing to call *ANY* household living together a civil union, with full tax and hospital visitation benefits. But a sacramental marriage should, and must, be something more, and sex done properly should take 18 to 35 years, until the child is a fully functioning adult.

  • Lou Ambers

    On a more biological note, if one can be genetically predisposed to become homosexual and unable to reproduce, wouldn’t that be nature’s way of weeding your DNA out of the gene pool? Essentially if homosexuality is genetic, that means from a natural selection standpoint, there is something wrong with you and nature doesn’t want you passing those genes on. Spiritually though, someone was talking about homosexuality being passed on through the generations, the bible talks about things that pass down from generation to generation… they’re called curses.

  • Lou Ambers

    KTKL – You’re right, I think from now on, I’m only going to pick the scriptures I like and live by those. It’s a good thing too, I really didn’t like that one about that thing called hell, I think I’ll ignore it from now on, God didn’t really mean that people will go there.

  • Your Name

    You open with statement that you are serious, but you finish with don’t quote authority “Bible Verses” about the topic – what a joke.
    Theology and Philosophy will not lead you to a true answer that is black and white w/o the gray you may be seeking. It doesn’t matter what the sin is, as any sin separates us from fellowship with God. We can love (phileo) God and live in sin, but which is greater….our pleasure of sin.
    To live in a constant state of rebellious sin can not create an enviroment or desire to truly love (agape) God. Our lives apart from God’s most important law to love (agape) Him with all our, hearts, minds, spirit etc. are a reflection that we love (agape) ourselves more than we do him. To see this, you have to see that sexual sin as well as any other sin is contrary to a true love (agape) relationship with God.
    There is no agape love for God w/o sacrifice of the desires of the flesh………

  • Ted Seeber

    Panthera- “So, those who argue that my husbands love for me and mine for him is wrong because it can’t lead to us creating children are therefor arguing that any sexual act between two heterosexuals which is not specifically aimed at impregnation is wrong?”
    Yep. Exactly. Although- I might disagree with “wrong”. I’d say “selfish”. “Sinful” quite probably. But “wrong” indicates an ethical judgement that is universal rather than confined to the religion at hand, and that’s going a bit too far. I’m not at all sure, for instance, that homosexuality would be wrong for a monosexual species living halfway across the galaxy.

  • Husband

    “when God tells you that your conscience has already told you homosexuality is wrong”
    Hmm, not sure why God would have to tell me that my conscience “has already told” me my sexuality is somehow ‘wrong’. My conscience hasn’t told me that, and I’ve been gay for the last 57+ years.
    Maybe you just believe that’s what God will tell me because you happen to believe certain God-given, innate sexuality is ‘wrong’. But then again, just maybe you are wrong.
    “Some things we simply know.”
    You certainly seem to “know” that what you happen to believe is the truth. Odd how that works, eh Will?

  • Lou Ambers

    Husband, you think that you have a “God given” sexuality? Maybe you’ve never heard of a little thing called a “generational curse” Maybe, if you read your bible a little more and worried a little less about what you think you know you would have read about… maybe.

  • tattoo jordan

    In my experience with churches and Christianity it seems that there are several sins that are way worse than any other. Drugs/Alcohol, premarital sex, rock-n-roll, homosexuality, just to name a few. As was your request I will not cite any of the 6 passages, cause they don’t help the conversation anyways. My opinion is built upon experiences I had as a missionary in the French Quarter of New Orleans and my Father who ‘came out’ 8 years ago.
    Do I think homosexuals/lesbians can have a meaningful relationship with J.C.? Yes. I’ve witnessed it with my own two eyes. But, the vast majority does not and cannot, although some might fool themselves into thinking they do. Another way to put it might be that alcohol for some isn’t a hang up and doesn’t affect their own relationship with Christ, but for thousands of others it is a key ingredient in destroying that relationship. It’s easy to fool oneself into thinking that everything is cool with the big man upstairs.
    Why I call being gay a ‘sin’ was always based upon what other people said the Bible said about it. Now my opinion is not based upon those 6 Bible passages at all, but my Father’s life. How that lifestyle dictates every action, his choice precedes every moment of his life. It destroys, and has destroyed, families and relationships just as much as the addict who loves the needle more than his wife and his God. What is sin for you may not be sin for me. I believe some old dead Bible character guy wrote about this, speaking of certain foods that might be sin for some and not for others.
    Any action where God is not present is, sin! This could and does take place within both hetero and homosexual relationships. The problem is that our own mind can deceive us as well as the serpent did Eve. Within one’s own mind we can justify something that is completely unjustifiable if we try hard enough. The group Shinedown has a song called, “Burning Bright”. The chorus goes, “The more the light shines through me, I pretend to close my eyes. The more the dark consumes me, I pretend I’m burning bright.” So, my question in response to yours, Tony, is who among us truly has a wholehearted relationship with Christ? Aren’t we all pretending to burn bright when it comes to truly leading a 100% holy and devoted Christian life?

  • Husband

    Lou Ambers,
    “Everyone just seek truth wholeheartedly and realize that if homosexuality is a sin, God will reveal that to the homosexuals seeking him.”
    It would seem many people here don’t even believe that God’s gay & lesbian children do “seek truth wholeheartedly” in the first place. And, they likewise seem to think that God has not revealed God’s self and God’s truth to the homosexuals (and the heterosexuals) seeking God. Why on earth do you think that? Oh, because God hasn’t revealed the same answer that you got.
    You say, “Do we trust God that much? I do.” Why do those anti-gay people not believe gay people can trust god that much too? I do.

  • Ted Seeber

    Husband-”This is one of the reasons I reject Catholic ‘theology’. It’s so selective. My sister married twice (both times in her Church i.e. not Catholic). She never produced any children. If you’re telling me her marriages were “selfish acts”, or that she should not have been allowed to marry because she was non-reproductive, then we cannot have a discussion at all.”
    I consider both of those marriages to be selfish acts that should not have occurred, and the second to be outright sinful based on Christ’s teachings about divorce. Of course, it may be she wasn’t Christian.
    This is why I have a hard time seeing Protestants as Christians at all- they fail to follow the teachings of Christ.
    And I guess, since you only believe in non-reproductive marriage- you were against your parent’s marriage.
    And that you’re against the continuation of the species.

  • Husband

    Richard C asked:
    “why can two siblings where the relationship is infertile not marry?”
    A good question, Richard. But apart from the fact that marriage is not solely about reproduction, it is also in order to establish kinship. siblings already have that kinship established; i.e. they’re already related. Marriage joins 2 unrelated people.
    Thanx 4 askin’ tho.

  • Lou Ambers

    Husband, that was quite a lot of words to use when you could have just said “Lou, no, I have not heard of a generational curse, what is that?”

  • jestrfyl

    No person can prevent another person from following Christ.
    Somebody may not let you in their church, their house, or their family. But God’s house and Christ’s Table is too big and too open for anyone to say, “You’re not welcome”. Anyone who tries is deluding themselves with their own sense of authority. Everyone who follows Christ is a person of power. I would rather sit at Christ’s Table with people of power than guard the door with people who think they have authority.
    Ya’ll welcome to our church, to Christ’s table in our sanctuary, and to share in the work & worship & fellowship of our congregation. It’s the other folks who’ll be sitting by a quiet door.

  • http://apolarity.com Adrenalin Tim

    Blue Collar Todd: And try condemning adultery without referring to the Bible, or child sacrifice, or incest for that matter.
    Andrew: If you are one who thinks that [theft] is sinful, can you please explain to me WHY a [thief who is an otherwise upstanding citizen] would not be able to wholeheartedly follow Christ?
    Joel: I’m still waiting for Tony (or anyone) to explain to me why promiscuity is a bad thing. Remember, the rule is one cannot turn to Scripture.
    I think this is part of Tony’s point: it’s easy to condemn other ‘sins’ through appeal to the Great Commandments: adultery, promiscuity, child sacrifice, rape, slavery, subjugation of women (despite the acceptance in the Bible of some of these practices), etc. are all harmful – i.e. not beneficial, i.e. they do not show love to the other.
    Not so with homosexuality, in the context of a committed, monogamous, lifelong, faithful relationship.
    Because I believe that God is fundamentally good, I don’t believe [he] is capricious and makes laws just to watch people suffer. I believe God desires that which is beneficial and life-giving to people. I believe God wants [his] people to live in shalom – wholeness.
    If someone is bi-sexual, why can’t that person have a male partner and a female partner? Why must it be monogamous?
    Joel, you’re confusing bisexuality with polyamory.

  • Husband

    Joel,
    “without appealing to Scripture, why does it matter if they’re monogamous or not? Appealing to theological/philosophical reasons, can you make the case for monogamy? Just keep in mind if you do, the bi-sexual crowd (that “B” in the “LGBT”) is going to inherently be discriminated against.”
    That’s an illogical non-sequitur, Joel. It is fallacious (aka a lie, aka the bearing of false witness, aka a sin).
    Bisexual people are those who are attracted to people of both sexes. The state of being bisexual does not necesarily mean bisexual people cannot be monogamous.
    It’s sort of like saying heterosexuals, by nature of their being attracted to people of the opposite sex are going to be non-monogamous and have sex with every one of the opposite sex and thus are in danger of being discriminated against.
    Try again, but next time, do better.
    “First I’d say – you’re just going to toss out 6 passages?”
    No, Joel. Not “toss out”. Re-examine more closely in light of what we now know. (See passages above re: what it means to “lie with a woman” (aka property/chattel) in the Bronze age. Also, see above re: abandoning what is natural vis a vis heterosexuals being on the down low and not referring at all to homosexual people. Also, see above re: homosexual rape (aka the Sodom story) vis a vis consenting relationsips.
    Et cetera.
    “six is still quite significant”
    To quote philosopher Lynn Lavner, ‘Though there may be 6 Biblical passages that purportedly deal with certain homosexual behaviours, there are more than 360 such passages dealing with certain heterosexual behaviours. Now, I’m not saying God doesn’t love str8 people, only that they seem to need a great deal more supervision ;{O)”
    “the idea that he is simply referring to male prostitutes is a bit absurd”
    Not at all, especially for those passages that actually refer to homosexual cult/temple prostitution,. You could look it up.
    “3) The Bible forbids homosexual behavior”
    No, the Bible forbids some kinds of homosexual behaviours.
    “It is impossible to deny 3″
    No it isn’t. Many Biblical scholars disagree with your conclusion.
    “Thus, assuming that the above 4 points are true, we look to why God is such a homophobe.”
    What a ridiculous statement. Ignorant too.
    “Marriage between one man and one woman is God’s design for humanity”
    It might very well be God’s Plan (TM) for heterosexual humanity. (But, according to the ‘logic’ of some here, only for the reproductive heterosexual humanity. The rest of us can rot, apparently.)
    Yes, apparently so: “But ultimately, as a Christian, you’re going to have to draw your morality from the Bible.” Which means that we must immediately start being Biblically ‘moral’ “Christians” and begin putting homosexuals to death. (‘Cuz The Bible tells me so.) Along with stoning disobedient children, and with denying communion to the disabled. You’d beter be picketing Red Lobster too if you rely so precisely on drawing your ‘morality’ “from the Bible”.
    Sorry Joel, you’ve failed utterly to convince me.

  • Husband

    Richard C,
    “we all read Scripture in context and we have yet to read it in the context where homosexual sex is fully accepted by anything close to a majority of Christians worldwide”
    So? Does “the majority” mean it’s the truth? Reminds me of Sally from ’3rd Rock From The Sun’ saying,
    “We’re in the majority now. That makes us right!”

  • Troy

    Tony,
    Good question, and one which has spawned much heated debate for sure. I believe the
    reason that this topic has become a moot point in many churches today is because it
    has not been properly addressed. As you stated in your question, most pastors simply
    just string together a few scriptures on this topic and try to answer this question in a
    practical way instead of searching for a theological explanation of why the scriptures
    say what they say about the issue of homosexuality. In Genesis chapter 1, we find that
    God creates the first humans, Adam and Eve. Verse 27 tells us, In the image of God he
    created them; male and female created them. Male to female relations is God’s creative
    order. This is why homosexual relations are condemned, because they violate God’s
    creative order. This leads us to another question, are people born homosexuals? If
    people are born homosexuals and homosexuality is a sin, that makes God unjust and
    cruel because of the standards He places on Christian sexual relations. Or
    to swing the pendulum in the other direction, if people are born homosexuals
    and God allows us to stay this way then Jesus’ work of redemption on the cross is
    cheapened. However, if we look at scripture what we find is that no one is born gay or
    straight but rather all of us are born sinners and as such are born into brokenness. It
    makes as much sense to say that someone is born gay or straight as it does to say that
    someone is born an alcoholic. We may be born with certain propensities, but
    theologically we are all born sinners, fully depraved because of the fall. So theologically
    homosexual relations are sinful because they violate God’s creative order. And
    secondly, every person is born a sinner with propensity toward sin. This is why Jesus is
    so important.
    Blessings!

  • Husband

    Joel,
    “At the point you admit there are some sexual sins, you’re acknowledging there is a design for humanity that we can go against. That your adopt a liberal cosmopolitan view of ethics concerning sin, that something is wrong if and only if it goes against a person’s choice (or if the person isn’t old enough to make the choice, which does open the door for man on boy intercourse).”
    Absurd and surreal at the same time. Totally lacking in logic. The ‘going against the (apparently there’s only one) design for humanity’ is violation. Sex without consent is rape. That is not what is under discussion here. We are discussing consenting acts – between adults, btw. Your last sentence could just as easily (and just as falsely) said, ‘if the person isn’t old enough to make the choice, which does open the door for man on girl intercourse’. Sorry Joel, but we ain’t talkin’ about no pedophilia. Do try to keep on track.
    “The two most logically consistent views (that is, within their worldview) is the Christian one, which is going to say that homosexual sin is wrong”
    Apart from the fact that you slipped into talking about “homosexual sin” vs. “homosexual sex” (they’re not one and the same), how do you explain the United Church’s, the MCC’s, and the Quaker view (not to mention many Anglican’s, Methodists, and heck, even some branches of the Pentecostal Church!) – aren’t they “Christian” enough for you? (And nevermind both the Reformed and the (ahem) Conservative branches of Judaism.) Apparently, (and much to your evident chagrin) “The Church” (TM) is not of one accord on this issue. Not by a long shot.
    “Humanity was designed for a purpose. Sex is part of this design for some people (not all). For those it is designed for, it is meant to occur between a man and a woman because that is simply how our natural bodies are supposed to function.”
    Poppycock. The design you describe is obviously for heterosexuals. Homosexuals’ bodies don’t function that way. Or don’t God’s gay & lesbian children have a “purpose” (apart from fodder for hate, that is)?
    “The opposite view is complete sexual liberation. There is no in-between that is logically coherent.”
    I haven’t seen enough ‘logic’ or ‘coherency’ in so many postings, it’s hard to refute what isn’t there.
    DO BETTER!

  • Your Name

    ” there is quite a bit of legitimacy to the argument that the sexual organs between two men are not meant for each other. Certainly two men are capable of oral sex, but anal sex (whether man on woman or man on man) is extremely dangerous. Long term engagement in the activity can actually damage the prostate and lead to ruptures and ulcers in the anal cavity. Furthermore, anal sex increases the chance of infection for the penetrator because he’s putting a sensitive sexual organ into a part of the body that’s sole purpose is to eject bacteria from the body. ”
    So apparently God’s cool with blowjobs but not fudgepacking. So I guess the gays aren’t sinning if they stick to oral sex.
    Talk about your straining at gnats.
    U 2 funneee, joel.

  • Husband

    Joel,
    “You’re going to tell me there’s no risk when you insert your sexual organ into a bacterial discharge?”
    You seem to know so very, very little about anal sex (gay OR str8) that it hardly seems worthwhile discussing things with you, Joel. Google douche for some sanitary hints, ‘kay?
    But apparently since you harp on it so much, does this mean you, like God, are perfectly okay with oral sex? (If it’s any comfort to you, neither my husband nor I have participated in anal intercourse in a coupla decades.)
    Meanwhile, can we get back to discussing gays’ sinful relationships?

  • panthera

    Homosexuality a generational curse?
    Homosexuals don’t pass on our genes because they are defective?
    OK, I know it is pointless, but really and truly – instead of applying 19th century concepts of genetics (which you conservative Christians reject, anyway), why don’t you try actually learning something and read up on evolution and natural selection?
    I’m out of here for a while. The christianists have arrived and the chance of a fruitful discourse is slim.
    Ted, I try very hard to follow your reasoning. Clearly, there shall be no meeting of minds between us on an enormous number of points.
    Even if I reject the premise upon which you build your work, at least you are trying to approach the matter from a Christian basis. Which is more than can be said of most of those here who are nominally in agreement with you.
    One thing I do thing you might take into account – the Catholic church is in an ongoing discussion regarding the nature of homosexuality. This is why the basis for your objections to my nearly quarter-century partnership are based on doctrine, not dogma. Keep that in mind, please. When it comes to disagreeing with what natural sciences teach us about God’s creation, the Church has had to reverse her positions on several things over time, not last in 1992. And we all remember the bru-ha-ha over that one.
    Husband, keep fighting the good fight. Your spouse is very lucky to have you.
    I am now going to walk the hounds. More sense and charity in them than in all the christianists here, combined. Good ole’ what’s-his-name, that long-haired, sandal wearing Jewish rabi did have one or two things to say on that topic, did He not?
    Why yes, He did.
    Pity He was only God and not the almighty Paul.

  • Husband

    Rich B,
    “At creation, God formulated a plan for the family. Although he said all of creation is good (See generally Gen. 1), in Gen 2:18, he said “it is not good for the man to be alone; I will make a helper suitable for him.” That is followed with the presentation of the woman, whom we know as Eve.”
    Wrong. At creation (well, the human invented one, anyway), God first sent ‘Adam’ ‘Lillith’, not ‘Eve’. ‘Eve’ was number 2 ‘wife’. ‘Lillith’ didn’t work out so well. And God’s ‘fambly plan’ didn’t work out very well either, since 1 of the first 2 borthers was a murderer. And no one has ever explained where their ‘wives’ came from.
    Hint: go to the dictionary and look up “allegory”.

  • Nathanael Pedrone

    Okay, I’m no theologian… but am I the only one who actually read the post?
    “My only stipulation is this: You may not quote one of the six verses in scripture that mentions homosexuality.”
    One of the six… when does it say you can’t quote the Bible?
    joe white
    “‘Tell me what Christ expects of us, but don’t quote scripture.’ yeah right”
    blue collar todd
    And try condemning adultery without referring to the Bible, or child sacrifice, or incest for that matter.
    Maybe you guys should read the post before commenting… i’m just saying
    My only thought is I think the whole point to the post is that there is a few more verses in the Bible about love than about homosexuality…
    But I’m a Crazy liberal

  • Husband

    Rich B,
    “But going back to your original question, the Church consists of those walking with Christ.”
    So how does this preclude homosexuals then?

  • Joel

    Honestly Husband, you make this almost too easy. :)
    You say that bi-sexual means the person is attracted to both genders. I agree. Why can’t they act it out?
    See, the argument goes that if a person is attracted to the same gender, asking that person to abstain from sexual relations with the same gender is “cruel” and asking the person to go against his or her nature. But if the person is a bi-sexual, then the person must deny half of his or her nature? Oh do tell how you can justify this double standard. :)
    As for the Bible passages – even liberal scholars agree that these passages are outright against homosexuality. Very few still attempt to reinterpret what is meant. Never mind the fact that 2,000 years of interpretation, regardless of denomination (until recently) has interpreted these passages to refer to homosexuality.
    As for the “we better put homosexuals to death and picket Red Lobster”, to that I respond with this: *sigh*
    Study up on those issues before even bringing them up.
    You stated:
    “vAbsurd and surreal at the same time. Totally lacking in logic. The ‘going against the (apparently there’s only one) design for humanity’ is violation. Sex without consent is rape. That is not what is under discussion here. We are discussing consenting acts – between adults, btw.”
    Yeah, and? As I stated, this opens the door for polygamy, multiple partners, etc. Why is promiscuity bad, but monogamy good? No one has answered this…
    As for this:
    “Apart from the fact that you slipped into talking about “homosexual sin” vs. “homosexual sex” (they’re not one and the same), how do you explain the United Church’s, the MCC’s, and the Quaker view (not to mention many Anglican’s, Methodists, and heck, even some branches of the Pentecostal Church!) – aren’t they “Christian” enough for you? (And nevermind both the Reformed and the (ahem) Conservative branches of Judaism.) Apparently, (and much to your evident chagrin) “The Church” (TM) is not of one accord on this issue. Not by a long shot.”
    First, Reform and Conservative Judaism – again, study up. Reform is the extreme left of Judaism. Conservative is actually liberal in Judaism. The Orhodox Jews are the conservative branch. Look up the etymology of why Conservative Jews call themselves conservative – the fact is, they’re not conservative (they acknowledge this as such).
    As for the others – no, they’re not “Christian enough” according to the Bible. My opinion is irrelevant on if they are or aren’t “Christian enough.”
    As for homosexuals not having a purpose – of course they do, they’re just working against their purpose. God didn’t make them that way, nature did, but they’re the ones who choose to act with their nature and not God’s plan.
    Love the hatred you’re spewing too, tells me you don’t really have a reply. :)

  • Husband

    Josiah (or anyone else that can answer my question)…
    “If everything is permissible”
    Where does this line of ‘logic’ come from? No one I’ve ever heard on the ‘religious left’ has ever used the argument that ‘everything is permissible’. No one.
    We are saying that 2 consenting adult human beings can enter into a loving committed relationship/marriage that is in no way ‘sinful’. How does this commitment, this love, this relationship devolve and become “everything”? The multitude of comparisons of said relationships to sex with children/animals/inanimate objects/corpses is vile (but readily found elsewhere on B’net) and it is those comparisons that reduce, diminish, demean and debase God’s gay & lesbian children into the “everything” and anything. Is this how you would be done unto yourselves, folks?

  • Husband

    phil_style,
    “Let’s all assume, that it is clear that God considered homosexual act to be Sin.”
    It isn’t clear. Why should we “assume” that?

  • Husband

    Ted Seeber,
    “A strict Catholic would encourage such a couple (even the heterosexual one) to take mutual vows of celebacy, for without the procreative aspect of sex, the intimacy aspect is incomplete at best, and using the submissive partner purely for pleasure at worst. THAT is the reason the pro-gay pro-celebate Catholic group Courage (http://www.couragerc.net/) is blessed by the Pope and the Bishops, and the pro-gay pro-monogamous Catholic group Dignity (http://www.dignityusa.org/) isn’t.”
    1. I’m not Catholic, so I don’t care which group of people “the Pope and the Bishops” bless or don’t bless.
    2. Is there any similar group – either pro-heterosexual pro celibate OR pro-heterosexual pro-monogamous – for non-procreative heterosexuals? Thought not. Heterosexuals are pretty much left alone, even the sinful kind. Not too many busybodies telling them they’re SINNERS!!!, eh?
    Ainst selective fundamentalism just peachy?

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Joel: You say that bi-sexual means the person is attracted to both genders. I agree. Why can’t they act it out?
    See, the argument goes that if a person is attracted to the same gender, asking that person to abstain from sexual relations with the same gender is “cruel” and asking the person to go against his or her nature. But if the person is a bi-sexual, then the person must deny half of his or her nature? Oh do tell how you can justify this double standard. :)

    Still confusing bisexuality with polyamory.
    Why do you consider it impossible for a bisexual person to choose to enter into a covenant relationship with one person, forsaking all others, in the same way a heterosexual person can do?

  • Ted Seeber

    Panthera: Thomas Aquinas said that the educated conscience must be the last judge of anything in faith. I’ll agree with you that modern church doctrine surrounding human sexuality is doctrine, not dogma; but it’s pretty well reasoned doctrine, and until you’ve read Humanae Vitae and John Paul II’s audience of October 13, 1982; I’ve got to question whether you’ve adequately informed your conscience enough to even have the discussion on this level. After all, we’re talking about sacramental marriage being something *bigger* than the union of two people- something non-American to say the least (and WAY outside the concepts I’ve seen presented on marriage by the Protestant Christian Church- divorce is unthinkable in a situation where the reasons for sex are procreative and unitive instead of merely recreative).
    What did you imagine the Church reversed herself on in 1992? I’m trying to remember something along those lines- as far as I know, doctrine develops extremely slowly, with no reversals at all, just new understandings.

  • Joel

    Tim,
    I’m not confusing a thing. I’m taking the arguments that are used for homosexuality and applying it to bi-sexuality. Why can’t they be with both? Why is monogamy good? Why is promiscuity bad? Why is it wrong for a person to be with both a man and a woman at the same time?
    Likewise, if bi-sexuals can choose one gender, why can’t homosexuals choose not to engage in sex?

  • Matt

    I have a simple question for the Christian GLBT folks here. Please answer honestly, because I ask it honestly. (They say good questions are ones you don’t know the answer to.)
    What do you think about people who claim to be attracted to people of their same sex but who are not acting on it… Instead they are attempting to live out either single abstinence or heterosexuality in marriage. And they claim to be in the process of changing.
    It’s probably obvious I’m talking about myself.
    I have been attracted to males since I was young, but I am in the process of changing… I am married, I have children, I can and do have beautiful, intimate sex with my wife.
    I still have a physical and emotional longing for union with a man, but based on my beliefs and a real desire to be obedient to God and live out His design for my life, I’m “starving” that desire and allowing Him to grow my desire for my wife.
    Honestly, it’s happening. Now I know no one can really know that but me and God, so that’s why I ask…
    What do you think of us? Of me? Am I lying? Am I deluded? Am I simply bisexual and not acting on my “homo” side? I’m very curious to know where you place me.
    And, in your view, what should I do? Do you think I’d be happier if I would embrace my same-sex desires? If I’m honest, they have been dominant since I was a small child.
    Thanks for reading, and I’d love some answers!

  • Joel

    Matt,
    God bless you for your self-control and desire to serve Him.

  • Husband

    “No where did I say you should be stoned to death for your sin.”
    Ah, but Joel, many literalists do believe that. Or would like to, the State permitting. After all, the Bible tells us so.
    “a conservative reading of Scripture should not be confused with a literal reading of Scripture”
    Tell it to the conservatives and the literalists. Let fight it out and leave us alone. Please.
    “most conservatives with an academic or understanding lay-person’s view will reject a literal reading of Scripture”
    Then I guess the conservatives who post here are merely the lunatic fringe element of the conservative movement?
    “So the instructions Paul gives to the slaves – to do good will to the masters and to serve them – is the same instructions he gives to the masters”
    Odd, but I read (then re-read – seven times, no less) and no where did I find God telling the masters to “obey your slaves”. Please indicate where that passage is hidden. Thanx in advance.
    “places the slave and masters on equal footing.”
    Sorry but that’s just BULLoney.
    “You’re saying we either abandon the Bible as God’s Word or take it literally.”
    No one here has suggested we “abandon the Bible as God’s Word”. Many have said that we should take it literally. It is not us that has set up this “false dichotomy”.
    “The problem is, there are multiple other options out there. One can even reject my hermeneutic, accept a different one, and still believe the Bible is God’s Word”
    Not according to literalist fundamentalists. Of course, there is no such beast, only selective literalists/fundamentalists. It’s the cherry picking again. It is impossible to take the entire Bible (oh, and which version?) literally. It contradicts itself in so many places.
    Don’t act like there are two options??? Only TWO? What of the (how) many versions and translations that likewise do not agree? And what of the 20,000 denominations? Please O Sage, tell us – I beseech thee – which one is THE correct one?

  • Husband

    Ted Seeber,
    “in short, marriage in the western world is not only just a contract to have children, but also a contract to care for those children and a contract that defines inheritance for those children”
    Sorry, Ted, but I’ve been to hundreds of weddings and not a single one of them mentioned this alleged “contract to have children”.
    Why, I do believe that we will let women who have had hysterectomies and men who have had vasectomies to marry. Much to your apparent dismay.
    Sorry, but that thought is delusional. It is false, aka the bearing of false witness, aka a lie, aka a sin.
    This “Western World” (TM) you live in is about as real as “WestWorld” (a movie from the 70s if I recall correctly – aka a fiction).

  • Ted Seeber

    “1. I’m not Catholic, so I don’t care which group of people “the Pope and the Bishops” bless or don’t bless.”
    If you’re not Catholic, then I’ve got some questions as to whether or not you ARE “wholeheartedly following Christ” that are quite separate from the question of homosexuality and have much more to do with human bias in reading scripture making the entire concept of Sola Scriptura impossible. But that’s another subject. I can only respond from my tradition, and my tradition is Roman Catholic.
    ” Is there any similar group – either pro-heterosexual pro celibate OR pro-heterosexual pro-monogamous – for non-procreative heterosexuals?”
    Yes. In fact, several. They’re generally called Orders, with various degrees and focuses. I am in fact going to my Knights of Columbus Council meeting tonight- an Order specifically created to support heterosexual fatherhood and families.
    “Heterosexuals are pretty much left alone, even the sinful kind. Not too many busybodies telling them they’re SINNERS!!!, eh?”
    Apparently you’ve never read Humanae Vitae- where that “busybody” the Pope told us that married couples using birth control were essentially practicing abortion and guilty of murder.
    “Ainst selective fundamentalism just peachy?”
    I would not know, not being a fundamentalist and not having a selective morality. I’m a Catholic.

  • Ted Seeber

    Husband: “Sorry, Ted, but I’ve been to hundreds of weddings and not a single one of them mentioned this alleged “contract to have children”.”
    It’s the meaning of the sacrament. I’m sorry if you’re not Christian and don’t believe that Marriage is a sacrament.
    “Why, I do believe that we will let women who have had hysterectomies and men who have had vasectomies to marry. Much to your apparent dismay.”
    Yes, but we ask such couples to be celebate- just as we ask homosexual couples to be celebate.
    “Sorry, but that thought is delusional. It is false, aka the bearing of false witness, aka a lie, aka a sin.”
    I’m talking about the pre-Reformation Roman Catholic Church, which created Western Civilization. What are you talking about?
    “This “Western World” (TM) you live in is about as real as “WestWorld” (a movie from the 70s if I recall correctly – aka a fiction).”
    Are you claiming that the Roman Catholic Church didn’t define morality for the Western Hemisphere for 1500 years before the heretic Luther came along?

  • Husband

    ” if homosexuality was normative/intended”
    Casey, “normative” and “intended” do not mean the same thing. And if God is The Intendor, don’t you think God could have made only heterosexuals? And heterosexuality isn’t normal, it’s just common.
    “why do lesbian women (typically at least one woman in the relationship) want to look like men? And why do gay men (typically at least one man in the relationship) want to look like women? The role play that happens between homosexuals says something about the inherent design of femininity and masculinity within relationships?”
    Your understanding of homosexuals and our relationships are so perverse, twisted and not-based-on-reality, I should hardly deign to dignify them with an answer. But you are simply wrong. All of the many lesbians and lesbian couples I know look like – women. Some of them may be more mannish, but the same goes for some heterosexual women. And likewise, all of the gay men and gay male couples I know look like … men. DUH! (as the kids used to say). Again, some of them are somewhat effeminate, but then again, so are Ernest Aingley, Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart, the late-and-not-lamented Jerry Falwell, Preston manning and Ned Flanders – avowed, self-confessed, admitted, known heterosexuals (well, most of them are – nominally).
    Any role playing in our relationship (my husband’s and mine) does not have to do with being feminine or pretending to be a woman. You’d do yourself a favor to actually find out a bit more about God’s gay and lesbian children than the nonsense you’ve been fed by James Dobson. Currently, you just make yourself look terribly foolish.
    “Why is it that the masculine partner (either the “herm” or the “shem”) always seems to lead in the homosexual relationship and not the other way around?”
    Foolisher and foolisher. There are two (very) masculine partners in our marriage. And, like most married couples, we take turns ‘leading’ (whatever you meant by that).
    “gay women and gay men, why do you act and dress like the opposite sex and not like the sex you are?”
    We don’t. You’ve swallowed a lie, hook, line and sinker.
    “Does that not say something?”
    What it says to me is that you are very ignorant about actual gay people. Or you’re being what Rod Dreher calls an “asshat”. Or, maybe both.

  • Ted Seeber

    Husband: Apparently you’re quite ignorant of either Western Civilization before the Reformation, or the fact that Western Civilization continued *despite* the heresies of the Reformation and Enlightenment.
    As far as I can tell, you’re just trying to use agape to justify eros, without taking on the responsibility that eros entails for all of humanity.
    This was the attitude that destroyed pagan Greece and allowed the Romans to conquer in the first place.

  • Your Name

    “God instituted marriage to be between one man and one woman”
    Yeah, right, churchmouse. No polygamous marriages in The Bible (TM) eh?
    “nicest women in the world….kind, loving, great neighbors. They are sinning”
    There’s that “Christian” “love” we keep hearing so much about. God, please spare us from your followers and their kind of “love”. It’s killing us. Literally.

  • Troy

    Let’s start at the beginning. In Genesis chapter 1, we find that God creates the first people, Adam and Eve. Verse 27 tells us, “In the image of God he created them; male and female created them.” So we see that God’s creative order is Male to female relations. Homosexual relations deviate from and violate this order. So from a theological perspective, homosexuality is sinful because it violates God’s creative order.
    This leads us to another question, are people born homosexuals? If people are born homosexuals and homosexuality is a sin, that would make God schizophrenic based on the scriptures that condemn homosexual relations. Also, if people are born homosexuals then God is unjust and cruel because of the standards He places on sexual relations. Or to swing the pendulum in the other direction, if people are born homosexuals and God allows us to stay this way then Jesus’ work of redemption on the cross is cheapened. However, if we look at scripture what we find is that no one is born gay or straight but rather all of us are born sinners and as such are born into brokenness. It makes as much sense to say that someone is born gay or straight as it does to say that someone is born an alcoholic. We may be born with certain propensities, but theologically we are all born sinners, fully depraved because of the fall.
    So from a theological perspective homosexual relations are sinful because they violate God’s creative order. And secondly, every person is born a sinner with propensity toward sin. This is why Jesus is so important.

  • Your Name

    Chris,
    “I belive it is an issue because homosexuality goes against God’s natural law.”
    You’re free to believe what you wish. Please grant others the same freedom. Then, please point out where this “God’s natural law” is printed in The Bible.
    “If homosexuality was part of natural law you could reproduce in a homosexual relationship.”
    Huh??? I know many heterosexuals who can’t (or won’t) reproduce. Are they ipso facto un-natural? Are they ipso facto sinners?
    “If 150 years ago everyone became a homosexual we would all be extinct today.”
    Now there’s a piece of ‘logic’, eh? Trouble is, everyone didn’t become homosexual 150 years ago. Nor now. Nor ever. Postulating unbelievable scenarios doesn’t help you make a point. You simply do not have one. However, throughout ALL of history, between 5 and 10% of all populations have been homosexual. Go figure.
    Seek professional help.

  • Troy

    Can a homosexual follow Christ wholeheartedly? Of course. The question is can a homosexual follow Christ wholeheartedly and remain a homosexual?

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Matt: What do you think about people who claim to be attracted to people of their same sex but who are not acting on it… Instead they are attempting to live out either single abstinence or heterosexuality in marriage. And they claim to be in the process of changing.(…)
    What do you think of us? Of me? Am I lying? Am I deluded? Am I simply bisexual and not acting on my “homo” side? I’m very curious to know where you place me.
    And, in your view, what should I do? Do you think I’d be happier if I would embrace my same-sex desires? If I’m honest, they have been dominant since I was a small child.

    Matt, thanks for sharing. It’s very brave for you to share yourself so candidly.
    Like Tony, I have come to believe that a committed, faithful, monogamous, lifelong same-sex relationship can be practiced in a manner consistent with a Christian ethos, though I am not myself gay.
    To be honest, I don’t know what to say to your experience. I trust that you know yourself better than some random guy on the internet, and I have no doubt of your genuine love and commitment to your wife and family. I don’t have a categorical ‘box’ in which to ‘place you’, and I wouldn’t presume to make a claim of what you ‘should’ do, or what would give you the maximum fulfillment and shalom in your life. (I prefer these concepts over that of ‘happiness’, as you put it.)
    I believe you when you say you are changing, and that you are able to ‘starve the desire’ for same-sex intimacy. I’m happy for you, and I wish you all the best.
    I do know that your experience is not by any means the norm, for people who have attempted to overcome same-sex desire. Many physically cannot achieve arousal for a person of the opposite sex. The vast majority of people cannot choose to change their sexual orientation, and so-called ‘reparative therapy’ has not been shown to be effective.
    I’m not sure if that answers your questions at all.

  • Lou Ambers

    unless I’m mistaken, there hasn’t been anyone to give any scripture stating that the other scriptures are untrue and homosexuality is ok. So… I win.

  • Husband

    I love it…
    “You just disqualified yourself from honest discussion because you made so many assumptions about me” says Casey who did likewise.
    Pot meet kettle.
    ” If you will accept for a moment that God has intended roles for relationships…”
    I agree but they are not necessarily the (very limited) ones you delineated. And, I think they can differ from couple to couple. As for your conjecture that the plumbing parts don’t fit, you are simply wrong. They fit good. REEEEAAALL good, if ya catch my drift. Both my husband’s and my “structural design” accommodate our lives very handily.
    ” I am not just making “ignorant, uneducated” remarks when I say the things I do about gay/lesbian identities”
    Maybe not. Maybe they just come across that way. Or, maybe you should meet some different gay people than the ones you seem to know.
    “I am merely drawing a theological conclusion based upon a presupposition that God intended relationships to be governed by male/female roles”
    Your presumption presupposes that God made all people heterosexual. Just didn’t happen that way. Too bad for your assumptions. The relationships you will only talk about are of God’s heterosexual children. What of God’s homosexual children? Speak to us of us, please. And not some false effeminate male/butch female stereotype.

  • http://www.nytimes.com/1992/10/31/world/after-350-years-vatican-says-galileo-was-right-it-moves.html panthera

    Ted,
    Since the weather has conspired against us – even hounds don’t like hailstones falling on their head, and boy howdy – they do keep falling – I’m back.
    The link refers to our dear old friend and his mutterings: “e pur, si muove”.
    Actually, thanks to a discussion with another firmly devout Catholic who posts around here, I have read quite a bit of the Church’s position on homosexuality, much in Latin, some in Italian, most in another European translation. Not all, I do confess.
    It seems to me that the Church is once again caught up in a period of discovery and reflection. As I am not a Catholic, my only interest in the Church’s affairs is the extent to which she makes my life difficult when I am in the US. Otherwise, I stick to Christian communities who are accepting of gays.
    It pleases me no end that we agree on the distinction between doctrine and dogma. Doesn’t it drive you bananas that the Christians who share your viewpoint on homosexuality are mainly hateful, nasty, spiteful, illiterate and illogical?
    There are two reasons I never joined the Greens in my home in Europe. First, they very much objected to my not dropping my family title from my name. It’s only a name, but just as I insist on the Gaelic spelling so I refuse to dishonor my parents.
    Second, their position on Israel is so absurdly hateful, all the rest they stand for can’t outweigh it. You’re not one of them, but the group you stand with is very similar to these European Greens in many ways. It’s worth giving some serious consideration to. Just because people are nasty does not necessarily mean they are wrong (the French were sure right about Iraq). Contrast, please, the writings of husband, celtic dragon critter, james gilmore or your brilliant cousin and some of these folks.
    Me, it would give pause to have such allies.

  • Lou Ambers

    Husband – Show me scripture that says that homosexuality is ok. If what we believe doesn’t line up with scripture, it means nothing. So stop giving me worldly philosophy and give me something that actually has meaning… SCRIPTURE.

  • Ted Seeber

    “However, throughout ALL of history, between 5 and 10% of all populations have been homosexual. Go figure.”
    Do you have a time machine to prove that?

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Sorry for the formatting mishaps in my last two posts. I’ll do better in the future.

  • Josiah

    Husband, I’m not sure if I’m understanding you correctly, but if I am, I think you may have misunderstood what I meant when I was quoting part of 1 Cor. 10:23 (everything is permissible, but not everything is beneficial). I appologize if I offended you – I think it’s clear that it’s my intent to affirm all GLBT folks as God’s beautiful children. My point is theological and practical (as is Paul’s), and not at all meant to lump the GLBT community into a semi-negative, degrading category called “everything” (like pedophiles or something – not at all). It’s a statement of freedom from past ideology and a forward approach to a new way of life free from the law. All things should be evaluated this way, from black, white, to gray issues. In other words, under the law, we would carry a heavy burden – in fact, “the letter kills”. Under Christ, we are free…but not everything we do under that freedom is necessarily good and furthers the kingdom. Measuring actions according consequences is just commonsense and it’s mainly due to cultural homophobia that this is even something we are forced to discuss – I see no reason to say a loving, monogamous relationship between any two consenting adults is in any way inherently dangerous to anyone. But the debate goes on…and yes, some on the religious left have used this line of thinking (Marcus Borg for one – see his new book on Paul).

  • Lou Ambers

    And as far as paul saying everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial, if you read it, “everything is permissible” is in quotes in the bible, Paul is quoting someone and giving a rebuttal. BTW. Oh, and I’m still waiting on that scripture that states homosexuality is not a sin.

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Lou: So stop giving me worldly philosophy and give me something that actually has meaning… SCRIPTURE.
    There are practices prohibited in scripture that we all engage in, and practices explicitly endorsed by scripture from which we abstain. There are practices not mentioned in scripture that we engage in, and others that we condemn.
    It takes more than a naive, surface reading of a few passages of scripture to form a coherent argument on which to base a Christian ethos. Personally, I subscribe to something like the Wesleyan Quadrilateral – in which the sources of authority for a Christian are said to be Scripture, Tradition, Reason, and Experience.

  • Jules

    Matt:
    “What do you think of us? Of me? Am I lying? Am I deluded? Am I simply bisexual and not acting on my “homo” side? I’m very curious to know where you place me.
    And, in your view, what should I do? Do you think I’d be happier if I would embrace my same-sex desires? If I’m honest, they have been dominant since I was a small child.”
    Answer to first: I think you are living out your journey to the best you can, just as I am. You are no less or even better than me. On some they do come across very higher than though and extremely conservative in belief. Since I do find myself always firmly in the question it does make them harder to relate to me. They don’t get it. I talk to those who are in the conversation and they do tend to get me better.
    Answer to second: I think I answered that above. So I’ll answer about deluded or lying. I can’t say. Are you? Only you can answer that. I personally don’t think you are. If you feel firm in your conviction, if you feel you are exactly where our Father has put you than how can I say you are one way or the other? I can’t. That is why I wish people would give me the same respect.
    Answer to third: well, at GCN they would classify you as Side B. So, side B and a M.O.M? I don’t know, what do you label yourself as? Whatever it is go with it. If it is what God has laid on you I’m all about it.
    fourth answer: man, I can’t tell you that. I didn’t want anyone telling me one way or the other of what I should do. I was married. I tried to stay in it. For me that just didn’t happen. If you go to Queermergent you will find my story there. Its called “Where Do You Start” Please, feel free to read it. :) I don’t want to get into ALL the details here, but to say, for me I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt where God was leading me. That is ALL I can tell you to do. I cannot and will not tell you anything different. I’m not trying to be wishy washy, but going by my conviction and how I processed my story and journey!
    I guess to end, Matt…I don’t look down on you. I just see you as a brother in Christ on the journey with me. I don’t expect our journey to be the same. And I don’t put any rules on it. OH, yes, I’m a good lil’ emergence girl. ;)
    To Troy:
    “The question is can a homosexual follow Christ wholeheartedly and remain a homosexual?”
    YES, YOU CAN!!!! :) All I will say to that question.

  • Lou Ambers

    Tim – So in other words… you have no scripture to back up your belief. That’s all you needed to say, instead of going on about a geometric shape of theology, you could have just said “Lou, I have no scripture and therefore no reason to believe what I believe except that I want to believe it and don’t care what the bible has to say about the matter.” You could have just said that and been honest.

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Lou: Tim – So in other words… you have no scripture to back up your belief. That’s all you needed to say(…)
    That’s not what I said, and it’s not what I intended. I have come to the opinion, after much soul-seeking, prayer, and study, that a committed, monogamous, lifelong, covenantal same-sex relationship can be entered into within a faithful Christian ethos.
    I base that on my understanding of the big picture of Tradition, Reason, Experience, and yes, Scripture.
    “Here I stand, I can do no other, so help me God.”

  • Ted Seeber

    AARRGH! I wrote an entire response to panthera, and the captcha ate it!
    First, on Galileo- his sin was never his science, and the Church has believed that planets rotate the sun for a century *before* Galileo (Copernicus). His sin was in calling everybody who didn’t believe orbits were perfectly circular, an idiot- in other words, a sin of arrogance and pride, coupled with a very uncharitable attempt to force his beliefs upon others. I find it interesting that you use this example since that’s exactly how I see the gay agenda right now- they *almost* had a majority of Americans ready to vote for civil unions, then they turned around and called all the civil unioners a bunch of bigots while pushing for same sex marriage.
    Second- doctrine develops, the church has *always* been in a state of reexamination of doctrine, and always will be. But I’d point out that the Roman Catholic Church *IS* accepting of gays, has two orders (one even approved by the Vatican) specifically to give homosexuals a place in the Church. All they ask in return is that you meet them halfway- in either celebacy or monogamy, depending on the Order.
    Third- yes it does give me great pause to see some of the heresy written by Protestants, but that goes far beyond just this subject. Moral relativism in general is horrific to me. In this subject alone- it drives me nuts to see people against same sex marriage when divorce and the murder of a million children a year are still going on in the United States.

  • Jules

    Matt:
    “What do you think of us? Of me? Am I lying? Am I deluded? Am I simply bisexual and not acting on my “homo” side? I’m very curious to know where you place me.
    And, in your view, what should I do? Do you think I’d be happier if I would embrace my same-sex desires? If I’m honest, they have been dominant since I was a small child.”
    Answer to first: I think you are living out your journey to the best you can, just as I am. You are no less or even better than me. On some they do come across very higher than though and extremely conservative in belief. Since I do find myself always firmly in the question it does make them harder to relate to me. They don’t get it. I talk to those who are in the conversation and they do tend to get me better.
    Answer to second: I think I answered that above. So I’ll answer about deluded or lying. I can’t say. Are you? Only you can answer that. I personally don’t think you are. If you feel firm in your conviction, if you feel you are exactly where our Father has put you than how can I say you are one way or the other? I can’t. That is why I wish people would give me the same respect.
    Answer to third: well, at GCN they would classify you as Side B. So, side B and a M.O.M? I don’t know, what do you label yourself as? Whatever it is go with it. If it is what God has laid on you I’m all about it.
    fourth answer: man, I can’t tell you that. I didn’t want anyone telling me one way or the other of what I should do. I was married. I tried to stay in it. For me that just didn’t happen. If you go to Queermergent you will find my story there. Its called “Where Do You Start” Please, feel free to read it. :) I don’t want to get into ALL the details here, but to say, for me I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt where God was leading me. That is ALL I can tell you to do. I cannot and will not tell you anything different. I’m not trying to be wishy washy, but going by my conviction and how I processed my story and journey!
    I guess to end, Matt…I don’t look down on you. I just see you as a brother in Christ on the journey with me. I don’t expect our journey to be the same. And I don’t put any rules on it. OH, yes, I’m a good lil’ emergence girl. ;)
    To Troy:
    “The question is can a homosexual follow Christ wholeheartedly and remain a homosexual?”
    YES, YOU CAN!!!! :) All I will say to that question.

  • Lou Ambers

    Tim – You still didn’t give me a scripture affirming homosexuality… maybe I’m not making myself clear… I would like you *points at Tim* to take this *picks up bible* and give me a phrase, sentence, or sentences that affirm homosexuality. I do not want a geometric shape, I do not want to discuss differential equations, I do not want you to discuss calvinism vs. arminianism, I do not want you to give me experience. I want you to give me something out of the bible. This isn’t a crazy request, as Christians, the bible is where we are to form the majority of our opinions and if you’ve formed an opinion on this topic, you’ve obviously found a scripture that I haven’t, so enlighten me.

  • Ted Seeber

    Husband, you wrote: “And heterosexuality isn’t normal, it’s just common.”
    What is your definition of normal then, if not that which is so common that it fits within the first sigma of a bell curve?
    That’s the definition of normal I was taught in statistics class, and actually, it’s the only one I’ll accept. Just about any other definition will have me screaming about discrimination against autistics.

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Lou: maybe I’m not making myself clear… I would like you *points at Tim* to take this *picks up bible* and give me a phrase, sentence, or sentences that affirm homosexuality
    Lou, okay fine. Here’s the quote you wanted: I do not believe there is a ‘phrase, sentence, or sentences’ in the scripture that affirms ‘homosexuality’ (by which I am reading your definition as same-sex sexual intimacy).
    Here’s the quote you didn’t want: I also do not believe there is a ‘phrase, sentence, or sentences’ in the scripture that condemns same-sex intimacy – as practiced in a faithful, committed, monogamous, lifelong, covenantal relationship.

  • Lou Ambers

    Tim – you’re right, it seems I can only find instances of heterosexual marriage in the Bible… go figure eh? And what’s even more strange, is that anytime the Bible gives advice or commands referring marriage, it only ever refers to a husband and wife, weird. Perhaps the strangest part is that one of the requirements of a new testament church leader is that he must be the “husband of one wife.” I think someone removed all the scriptures affirming homosexuality… it must be a conspiracy. So what part of all that says to you that homosexuality is acceptable in Christianity? Oh and I can’t find a scripture that condemns same-sex intimacy – as practiced in a faithful, committed, monogamous, lifelong, covenantal relationship, I can only find one that condemns all homosexual relationships. I like how people choose that one part of levitical sexual law to question. No one questions the other laws on sexual purity, i.e. not having sex with immediate relatives and animals and such…

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Lou: anytime the Bible gives advice or commands referring marriage, it only ever refers to a husband and wife, weird
    Make that husband and wife – and wife, and wife, and wife (etc.), and servant, and concubine, and virgin spoils of war. Yes, I’d say that’s weird.
    I like how people choose that one part of levitical sexual law to question. No one questions the other laws on sexual purity
    That’s not true either – I affirm the prohibition on temple prostitution in Leviticus. The one I ‘question’ is the ban on all intercourse during a woman’s monthly period.

  • Lou Ambers

    Tim – Why don’t you follow through with that statement about husbands and wives, commands are how husbands are to treat wives, not husbands, and wives are to treat husbands. Where does that leave room for homosexuality? And btw, I refrain from intercourse during my wife’s period =oP

  • http://themattscott.com Matt Scott

    Gah, I’m only halfway through with this, but I have two things to say.
    First, in relation to Kantian thought, the categorical imperative would no longer disqualify homosexual behavior, advances in modern science allow reproduction without having intercourse. Granted, in the 18th century, Kant would have rejected homosexuality, you have to put him into our current matrix.
    Second, this has conversation has turned into embittered diatribe from both sides. As a straight ally, I must admonish my homosexual friends for some of the ungracious comments, we (gays and allies) need to be far more careful of our language and our approach, lest things said in the heat of the moment be used in this continual battle for equality. (and of course the other side of the argument needs admonishment as well, but I wanted to address those with the same views as mine).
    I actually with belief net would close down this thread, I think it’s moved beyond uselessness.

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Why don’t you follow through with that statement about husbands and wives, commands are how husbands are to treat wives, not husbands, and wives are to treat husbands. Where does that leave room for homosexuality?
    Argument from silence.
    And btw, I refrain from intercourse during my wife’s period =oP
    Congratulations. Some people do not.

  • Lou Ambers

    Tim – “argument from silence” = no argument. There is no disagreeing with this. There is not a single instance of advice or commandments for same sex couples. That’s quite revealing isn’t it? Where is the advice for the homosexual couples?

  • Adrenalin Tim

    “argument from silence” = no argument
    That’s correct, an argument from silence is not an argument.
    There is not a single instance of advice or commandments for same sex couples. That’s quite revealing isn’t it? Where is the advice for the homosexual couples?
    There’s not a single instance of advice or commandments for a lot of things that weren’t conceived of in the ancient world. Where is the advice for the mixed-race couples? Where’s the advice for the intergender, or the hermaphroditic, or the asexual? Where’s the advice for the bipolar, the autistic, the mentally handicapped?
    I could go on. Shall I, or should I stop here and say ‘that’s quite revealing isn’t it’ triumphantly as if I had made a point about the immorality of these things?

  • Lou Ambers

    Tim – lol, good point, except for the fact that homosexuality was not one of those things that “weren’t conceived of in the ancient world.” Homosexuality is spoken of in the Bible, it’s just never spoken of in the context of a christian marriage or in being an acceptable practice. Btw, I really don’t want you to think that I think ill of you, or homosexuals for that matter. We are all family in Christ and I know that I cannot instill conviction in someone’s heart; that is the exclusive domain of Jesus. At the end of the day, I cannot change anyone’s heart; that, too, is the exclusive domain of Christ. So, I have to trust that God will reveal himself to those to forsake all to follow him. I want you to know that I wish you nothing but blessing from God and a deeper relationship with him.
    –Your brother in Christ

  • Josiah

    Lou, I am aware that the first half of the statement is in quotations, and then Paul responds – and without Paul’s response the first half is an utterly irresponsible statement. But he does not disqualify the original statement, rather he qualifies it somewhat paradoxically…essentially, with freedom from the burden of legalism comes great responsibility to be guided by the spirit in love and concern for all. Our actions are to be weighed in accordance with this concern, not in accordance with the law. When rules govern our life (and sin then becomes about keeping sometimes questionable, mysterious rules), the Spirit of love does not.

  • Husband

    Andrew’s “theft” comparison is invalid because theft results in harm to the person stolen from. Same-sex marriage does no harm to anyone. Nor does non-procreative heterosexual sex harm anyone. What an absurd assertion. As is the postulation that sex needs to be “shared with the world”.
    This discussion has devolved into looneytunes land.

  • Jules

    Matt Scott-
    “Gah, I’m only halfway through with this, but I have two things to say.
    First, in relation to Kantian thought, the categorical imperative would no longer disqualify homosexual behavior, advances in modern science allow reproduction without having intercourse. Granted, in the 18th century, Kant would have rejected homosexuality, you have to put him into our current matrix.”
    Yes, this. However, I think his statements can speak to how to treat humanity….
    “Second, this has conversation has turned into embittered diatribe from both sides. As a straight ally, I must admonish my homosexual friends for some of the ungracious comments, we (gays and allies) need to be far more careful of our language and our approach, lest things said in the heat of the moment be used in this continual battle for equality. (and of course the other side of the argument needs admonishment as well, but I wanted to address those with the same views as mine)”
    Amen, why I’ve stayed out of the debate. I don’t even know what they are saying to be honest. I’ve just scanned until I have found a post worth conversing with!
    Thank you Matt Scott!!!

  • Annie

    they might well be followers of Christ. all kinds of sinners are. That’s really beside the point.

  • Husband

    Joel,
    “I’m still waiting for Tony (or anyone) to explain to me why promiscuity is a bad thing. Remember, the rule is one cannot turn to Scripture.”
    And we are still wondering what the heck that has to do with the topic of homosexuality. Or do you believe all homosexuals are promiscuous thus making your query semi-quasi-somewhat-peripherally relevant to what we are discussing – committed, faithful relationships?
    “If someone is bi-sexual, why can’t that person have a male partner and a female partner? Why must it be monogamous?”
    Huh? Um, they can have both male and female partners, especially considering they are attracted to both sexes. And it “must” only be monogamous in the context of what we are discussing – committed relationships (aka marriage). Same rules apply to all, no? That’s why. Thanx again 4 askin’.

  • Husband

    “I must admonish my homosexual friends for some of the ungracious comments, we (gays and allies) need to be far more careful of our language and our approach, lest things said in the heat of the moment be used in this continual battle for equality. (and of course the other side of the argument needs admonishment as well, but I wanted to address those with the same views as mine)”
    And I’m waiting for some anti-gay poster here to admonish their own for their un-Christian remarks comparing loving, committed, consenting, adult, human relationships to things like theft, rape and adultery. I think there’s more than ample justification for using heated language when bombarded with viscious, vile lies about our very being. Heterosexuals wouldn’t put up with the nonsense and outrageous (not to mention uncharitable) comments if they were being said about them.
    I think the Bible calls this treating others as you wish to be treated. Or, it could be that the Bible calls this reaping what you sow. Depends on how you interpret it, I guess ;{O)

  • Your Name

    “we are not priests in the order of the levites. We are priests of a different order, Melchizedek”
    I never got my ‘New Priest Kit” (TM). Does this mean I’m authorized to perform “marriages” for betterosexuals? Or only if they’re fellow Melchizedekians? And what’s the secret Melchizedekian hand signal so I’ll know one when I see one?
    LOL and all that.

  • Alan K

    I agree with those who call for the shutting down of this thread. Tony, you need to ask yourself if your question was the very best question you could have posed. There simply is no coherence whatsoever in this thread as to where authority lies, what are the vehicles of authority and in what manner authority should be exercised.
    May I suggest future questions: what sort of book is the Bible and what is its relation to the authority of Jesus Christ?
    What is the relationship between theology, philosophy, biology and psychology?
    What is the relationship between cosmology/worldview and Jesus Christ?
    How does the church know when it is doing theology and when it is doing mythology?
    Unless our conversation begins to address some of the questions above then I fear we are doomed to being nasty and talking past one another while making a mockery of Christian unity.

  • Husband

    Hey Lou,
    Ever hear of Jimmy (2 Wh0res) Swaggart?
    Yer comment, “this statement was made with the assumption that men shouldn’t be looking at other men anyway. Because if it was ok for a man to look at other men…” reminded me of when the good Reverend (you should pardon the expression, for a man caught twice with prostitutes) said on international television, (and I quote) “If a man so much as looked at me ‘funny, I’d kill him and tell God he died.”
    Maybe Pastor Swaggart was just re-inforcing the Biblically correct teaching that people who have sex with people of the same gender “shall surely be put to death”.
    You and Swaggart scare the bejeezus out of me. Good thing those prostitutes were women, eh?

  • Your Name

    I confused.
    “sex done properly should take 18 to 35 years”
    Wouldn’t she be pretty tired? Him too, I suppose, if there’s a “him” involved.
    Oh wait, there’s a further ‘clarification’ …
    “until the child is a fully functioning adult.”
    Well, one shouldn’t be having sex with a child in the first place. Plus, a child becomes a fully functioning adult in a lot less than 35 years.
    Oh wait, you meant raising children, not “having sex”.
    This is absurdist nonsense. Once a child is born, the parents need not continue to even have sex in order to raise it well. For sex to have to continue until after the ‘child’ has graduated from post-grad work and set up her practice is just such an awful demand, even on the betterosexuals of the world.
    Woe is me. And woe unto you. Here would endeth the lesson but the fundies never learn it.

  • Husband

    Lou Ambers, do you even read what you write???
    I crown you King of non-sequiturs.
    “On a more biological note, if one can be genetically predisposed to become homosexual and unable to reproduce…”
    Apart from the illogical nonsense of ‘becoming homosexual’ (could you somehow ‘become homosexual’?), merely being homosexual in no way means that we cannot reproduce. Gay men produce sperm. Lesbians have wombs. Use your (admittedly limited) imagination and figure it out. No wonder you don’t convince me. Your points aren’t convincing. They’re shallow or hollow non-sequiturs.
    And you cannot tell people “there’s something wrong with you” and call them a “curse” and then begin a sentence , “Spiritually though …”. I see nothing of the spirit of Christ in what you type.

  • Husband

    Ted,
    You are one ungracious SOB, that’s for sure. Your comments about my sister (whom you know not at all) were insulting, and un-Christian.
    I see nothing of the Christ in what you typed. Only hate and spite and ill-will.
    Here goes…
    “I consider both of those marriages to be selfish acts that should not have occurred”
    Like you get to decide that for others. How on earth would you know, since you don’t even know the circumstances. Who died and made you Judge?
    “and the second to be outright sinful based on Christ’s teachings about divorce.”
    Her first husband beat her. I hope you rot in he11.
    “Of course, it may be she wasn’t Christian.”
    Or hey, maybe it’s YOU that isn’t Christian. Christ is love. There’s not an iota of love in your condemnatory, judgemental, hate-filled supposition.
    “This is why I have a hard time seeing Protestants as Christians at all- they fail to follow the teachings of Christ.”
    I believe this disparagement is against B’net’s ROCs. You Catholics may not get divorced, but I’d say an annullment after 28 years of (non-)marriage and producing a coupla sons is a neat loophole. If my Church had loopholes. See how easy it is to get nasty with the ‘other’?
    “And I guess, since you only believe in non-reproductive marriage- you were against your parent’s marriage.”
    Where on earth did you get the idea that I “only believe in non-reproductive marriage”? I know you make things up a lot, but that’s just (another) outright lie. And here all this time I thought you ‘followed the teachings of Christ’ (who said you shouldn’t bear false witness – you seem to keep forgetting that one).
    “And that you’re against the continuation of the species.”
    So many fabrications, so little bandwidth to refute such idiocies.
    Go reproduce yourself.

  • Lou Ambers

    Husband, you ever stop to think that maybe I got bored with your nonsensical dribble and just started attempting to entertain myself? just wondering…

  • Lou Ambers

    Husband I think you’re maybe just a bitter old man. Oh wait, I think I hear kids on your lawn… they aren’t going to chase themselves off… time to get the broom out.

  • Husband

    Matt,
    “What do you think of us? Of me? Am I lying? Am I deluded? Am I simply bisexual and not acting on my “homo” side? I’m very curious to know where you place me.”
    It isn’t important what we think of you. What matters is what does your heart tell you? What is God saying to you in your life? Is it ‘Be true to yourself’? Is it, ‘Subdue by any means the affection you feel for others of the same sex’? Is it merely ‘I love you. You are My creation and I did well and did not make a mistake when I created you – just as you are’?
    I personally do not think you are lying. I think you are torn, not deluded. Torn by the conflict created by the natural affection in you for others of the same sex and those who would tell you your feelings are ‘wrong’, or ‘sinful’. It is love you are capable of, and I don’t think it matters that much to God the gender of the person you love, but only that you love.
    There’s so much conflict in your post. You claim to be in the process of changing, but yet you are “starving” one side of you, and that you are allowing God to grow your desire for your wife. That doesn’t sound like change is happening, but only you know the answer to that. That desire should be (should have already been) there when you decided to marry, despite (or because of) the terrific sex you claim to have.
    From what you’ve told us, it sounds very much like you are a truly bisexual person. Since you are married, I wouldn’t encourage you to act on your ‘homo’ side. That would be breaking your marriage vows. You made a commitment and you should stick to it. I don’t “place” you anywhere. Only you can do that.
    “And, in your view, what should I do? Do you think I’d be happier if I would embrace my same-sex desires? If I’m honest, they have been dominant since I was a small child.”
    Hmm, balancing being honest (a good, if rare, trait here) with your own personal happiness is always tricky, but there’s another person involved now (your wife), so it is no longer just a matter of “embracing” desires. Have you been honest with her regarding your dominant same-sex desires? Obviously, if your sex life is as ecstatic as you say it is, you are truly bisexual. But what I said above still holds true. Just being attracted to people of both sexes doesn’t mean you are at liberty to act on those attractions – because you’re married. What are your marriage vows? If you promised fidelity, then fidelity it should be. If you promised her you’d be honest with her, you haven’t been, so you will need to make some tough decisions.
    Hope this helps in some small way. Good luck. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

  • Mordred08

    Husband: “Bisexual people are those who are attracted to people of both sexes. The state of being bisexual does not necesarily mean bisexual people cannot be monogamous.
    It’s sort of like saying heterosexuals, by nature of their being attracted to people of the opposite sex are going to be non-monogamous and have sex with every one of the opposite sex and thus are in danger of being discriminated against.”
    The voice of reason. Too bad more people haven’t figured this out. Even in the LGBT community, bisexuality seems to be considered the ultimate sin. Probably because we’re used by heteros trying to prove sexuality is a “choice”.
    I guess I don’t really have anything to add to the discussion. Not being a Christian, I’m not terribly concerned about the place of non-heterosexuals in conservative Christianity. But when these same conservative Christians try to tell me what my place is in society, then we have a problem.

  • Mary

    Artboy wrote: “I personally don’t care whether or not gay sex is sinful. But if there is a YHWH who has communicated a design and intention for human sexuality, then I accept that.”
    I love how fundamentalists like to launder their hatred of homosexuals through God: “I think we should love homosexuals. It’s just that God has a problem with them.”

  • Mary

    Artboy wrote: “I personally don’t care whether or not gay sex is sinful. But if there is a YHWH who has communicated a design and intention for human sexuality, then I accept that.”
    I love how fundamentalists like to launder their hatred of homosexuals through God: “I think we should love homosexuals. It’s just that God has a problem with them.”

  • Eddie Green

    Homosexuality is clearly a disorder in creation. Like many aspects of the world. There are some who are outside the Covenent unless they become like us.
    For example the Gentiles. To be Christian they must be Jewish first.
    Which is why the early church as right to stay in Jerusalem, reject Paul with his crazy liberal ideas of the Gospel drawing those outside the Covenant in, and remain the small Jewish sect it is to this day.

  • Eddie Hallahan

    Tony.
    My definition of marriage is both OT (check in Genesis) and NT, in short it is God’s view of marriage.
    Husband,
    Marriage is a tripartite covenant – husband, wife and God. That various countries allow same-sex couples to be ‘married’ has absolutely no bearing on the way that god views marriage, and God has made it perfectly clear through His Word that marriage is Man+Woman and anything outside of that is sin.
    So far from being misleading my words are true.
    I rejoice that you and your partner love each other, equally I’m sorry that neither of you is experiencing the full favour of Christ in your lives.

  • Eddie Hallahan

    I would also like to make it clear that I don’t think homosexuality is some sort of uber-sin or anything like. It is just one among a multitude of things that can hinder our walk with God. There is no difference between the monogamous homosexual and the married heterosexual who looks at porn on the internet – they are both falling short and putting themselves outside the favour of God.

  • Sacramental Bea

    “Homosexuality is clearly a disorder in creation.”
    Odd, especially considering Who it was that did the ‘ordering’.
    Ya think God got it wrong?

  • Husband

    “My definition of marriage is both OT (check in Genesis) and NT, in short it is God’s view of marriage.”
    Well, like I said, the Genesis account missed referring to “Adam’s” first ‘wife’, “Lillith”. Plus, if you only rely on Genesis for your OT description of “marriage”, then you’re really missing out on the myriad examples of OT polygamy, plus “marriage” to concubines and conquered (i.e. raped) women (objects) and slaves. So you’re really missing out on a lot of good examples of what “marriage” really can be.
    “Marriage is a tripartite covenant – husband, wife and God.”
    My marriage is also tripartite and covenental, except the 3 in ours are husband, husband and God. Get used to it.
    “That various countries allow same-sex couples to be married has absolutely no bearing on the way that god views marriage”
    Except, of course that gay people are primarily (though absolutely not exclusively) concerned about civil marriage. It is the State, not God, that gets to decide these things. If you want your “marriage” that was performed in a church/mosque/synagogue etc. to be recognized by the State, you have to have it performed by a representative of the State. Fortunately or unfortunately, clerics, priests, rabbis, pastors and immams are all recognized by the State as capable of performing marriages. (Odd, though, that the State does not trust clerics to preside over dissolutions of marriages.) Perhaps the State should take away the privilege of clerics to perform marriages and have them stick to the sacrament of holy matrimony. Would that satisfy you?
    I always find it interesting how “how God views marriage” always conincides with how anti-gay people selectively view it.
    “and God has made it perfectly clear through His Word that marriage is Man+Woman”
    If it were so “perfectly clear”, this debate would not be happening.
    “I rejoice that you and your partner love each other”
    Funny how I don’t feel your ‘joy’ only your condemnation. Oh, and a hint – he ain’t merely my “partner”, he is my legal husband and I’ll thank you to refer to him that way.
    “equally I’m sorry that neither of you is experiencing the full favour of Christ in your lives.”
    You do not know us – God does! – so you are not qualified to make that statement. Meanwhile, please go reproduce yourself. It seems that is what ‘qualifies’ couples for marriage in the eyes of the ‘right.
    Thanx 4 playing.

  • Husband

    Eddie,
    “I don’t think homosexuality is some sort of uber-sin or anything like. It is just one among a multitude of things that can hinder our walk with God.”
    It certainly hasn’t ‘hindered’ our walk with God. Why do I get the impression that, although you say you don’t think of our existence as “some sort of uber-sin”, that that is precisely what you think?

  • Jess Leeper

    Tony,
    If you don’t understand Why homosexuality is sin, and if you don’t understand the problem with affirming people in the “gay lifestyle” (more correctly a deathstyle), then I don’t think you have anything to say as a Christian or as a minister.
    If the Bible calls it sin, then it is sin. It doesn’t matter if society approves this. Society is not the standard. The Standard is the WORD OF GOD and Jesus Christ.
    Tell these people the truth about sin and righteousness, according to what “Thus says the Lord.”

  • panthera

    I guess nobody is really interested in explaining why slavery is not OK – despite Paul, who is far more important to conservative Christians than Christ – having mandated acceptance of it.
    Nor is anybody, apart from a few whom I suspect to be Catholic priests or theologians interested in discussing the problem of divorce…except for Husband…
    Fascinating.
    Come to think of it, my third question: How do conservative Christians pick and chose which aspects of God’s creation science has revealed to us they accept and which they pretend don’t exist?
    This thread should not be closed for the simple reason that the conservative Christians here are showing the world very well just exactly how hateful, spiteful and nasty they really are.
    Their exclusive interests in abortion and homosexuality stem from a desire to avoid confronting their own shortcomings as Christians.
    Their absurd demand we pay attention to their interpretation of scripture regarding our innate sexuality while totally ignoring those parts of scripture which are inconvenient (divorce, slavery to name but two) is nigh onto false witness.

  • Crisjunfan

    My very postmodern friend once told me that in this very postmodern generation there is a strong undercurrent of cynicism and skepticism.
    I must be going postmodern then because I have a great deal of skepticism regarding the sincerity of your question. In conversations with my friend he has also told me how he didn’t feel as though the studying of non-Christian religions for the purpose of refuting them, as is sometimes done in apologetics, was cool.
    I get the same sense that on this topic you are unpersuadable and would never change your mind. It would be advantageous though to hear any arguments so that you could formulate your counter responses. I have what I feel are sound non-biblical, philosophical reasons for why not every relationship is ontologically equivalent, but I would be reluctant to share those with someone whose attitude and motives I am suspicious of. I do think your question is serious as you’ve stated, and thank you for not being snarky, but it doesn’t mean that your question is a sincere one.

  • Rick Presley

    Tony,
    I love this question. In a nutshell it has honed in on the core fallacy of nearly all discussions on the issue. In almost every instance, the battle lines are drawn on “Why is this wrong?” with the unacceptable answer being, “Because the Bible says so.”
    No one ever asks, “Why is monogamous heterosexual marriage right?” or “Why is chastity right?” For that matter, none even question what is the nature of virtue or why it should be pursued with respect to sexual mores and conduct.
    Even fewer as, “How can I aspire to purity and godliness in all of my relations with others?” Rather we look for reasons to accuse or excuse one another based on our own internal reasoning (Ro. 2:15 for those who didn’t catch the scripture reference) rather than looking to the Bible for a road map to virtuous living. As long as the question is, “How can we accuse/excuse (fill in the controversy of your choice)?” we are asking the wrong question. Rather, we should be asking who we can inspire and encourage others to live godly in the this present world.
    rick

  • Chad Holtz

    I’m coming in late to this discussion and don’t have time to read all the comments.
    I think Tony’s question is a worthwhile one to be asking (although I would have asked it in a different way, one that didn’t raise the guard up of the sola-scripturists so quickly). But it is a fair question. God’s commands are not arbitrary and they are for the purpose of conforming us to the image of his Son. I was asking another person yesterday to explain me why God commands us not to lie, cheat, steal or kill and he was perfectly able to reflect theologically about these things and offer responses like, “because it harms your spouse” or, “it betrays someone,” or, “it hurts someone created in the image of God.” All good reasons not to do those things. And yet when asked what the purpose might be for not allowing a committed, monogamous, homosexual union the answers divert back to, “Because God said so.” What happened to theological reflection???
    Regarding the last comment about taking our cues of marriage from Genesis…
    I read a very interesting interpretation of Genesis while I was doing the research for my ethics paper I titled, “Homosexuality: God’s Gift to the Church.” Here is the section I wrote that pertains to the model in Genesis:
    Finally, Gareth Moore offers a creative interpretation of the Adam and Eve story that nevertheless takes the text seriously. He starts with God’s judgment that “it is not right for man to be alone” (Gen. 2:18). God is prepared to experiment in finding a solution to Adam’s loneliness, starting first with animals to see if any are appropriate before offering to him a woman. God does not impose any of these upon Adam, but accepts Adam’s judgment that the woman is the right one for him. Moore concludes, “The fitting partner for the man, then, is the one that he, the man, receives with joy, the one whom he himself recognizes as a partner fit for him.”10
    grace and peace,
    Chad

  • Your Name

    If you are one who thinks that homosexual sex is sinful, can you please explain to me WHY a gay or lesbian person who is in a long-term, monogamous relationship would not be able to wholeheartedly follow Christ?
    Isn’t the answer obvious? If homosexual sex is sinful and one is committed to a relationship that includes homosexual sex, then it is impossible to be committed to following Christ, the one who is without sin. All sexual morality has to mean in this case is sex without sin, something homosexual sex fails by definition. The only possibility of escape is to say that two gay people are committed to a long-term, monogamous relationship without sex. Then we could entertain the possibility of following Christ wholeheartedly. But I am not sure anyone would seriously want that.
    I fail to see how this question is very clever.

  • http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com Chad Holtz

    “Your Name”,
    You are jumping to the conclusion that homosexual sex, within itself, is sin. The question being asked is, “Why?”
    You can probably tell me why stealing, murder, adultery or worshipping idols is sinful. I bet you and everyone else could come up with many reasons why such sins deter us from living faithfully in Christ. So the question here is: why is sex between two people of the same sex who are in a long term, committed relationship sinful?

  • http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com Chad Holtz

    Forgive me for pasting another portion from my paper here, but it is easier than retyping. Here are some more historical considerations that I find the conservative view generally unwilling or unable to engage in:
    The issue of homosexuality is not an isolated one. When explored with any real depth or sincerity it will unmask our perceptions of relationships in general, particularly marriage and the goal of marriage as well as what we think of when we say “sin.” For instance, sex, particularly in the Judeo-Christian tradition, has evolved over time. In the Old Testament it was considered normal to have multiple wives (polygamy) and having a concubine was common place. Sex and marriage in the Old and New Testament was driven by the economic concerns of an agrarian people. Children were vital not only to ensure the race survive but to help work the land, a theme not restricted to ancient days but even embraced by American families in the settlement years up until the Industrial Revolution.
    Historically there is no question that women were seen as a commodity. I noted earlier (pg. 7) that as early as Augustine the role of women was seen as child-bearer. Throughout our holy scriptures we find marriages arranged to bring families and lands together and no restrictions to how many wives or concubines a man might have. Our understanding of words like “marriage” and “sex” are vastly different today than they were even a hundred years ago, let alone the times in which our scriptures were written. Today we think of marriage as a free choice made in love. This is a foreign concept throughout history, including the biblical witness.
    Paul, for instance, exhorts a person to get married if lust rages. Better to marry than to let your sexual appetite get the best of you. Today we would most surely counsel a person against getting married just to satisfy their sexual urges because we have learned that a healthy marriage is built on love, commitment, sharing of the full self and not just on sex and child bearing. In Deuteronomy 22:29 there is a statute that requires the man who rapes an unmarried woman to pay the father a bride price, marry her and never divorce her. There is no concern for the emotional or physical state of the woman but high concern placed on making the sexual relationship “normal” in the eyes of the community and restoring order. What if the rape resulted in a pregnancy? Well, now they are at least a “family” and the child can become a productive member of the agrarian society. Andrew Mein argues that because of these and other factors we cannot take the moral world of the Bible as it relates to sex and marriage for granted and think it is like our own.

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

    TONY- RE: Original post:
    How Gnostic of you to make such a distinction. Do whatever you please w/your body, it doesn’t matter, it’s only physical.

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Mordred08: I guess I don’t really have anything to add to the discussion. Not being a Christian, I’m not terribly concerned about the place of non-heterosexuals in conservative Christianity. But when these same conservative Christians try to tell me what my place is in society, then we have a problem.
    I understand, and I pretty much agree. I think that the question of the place (or denial of place) of gay and lesbian people in churches is of secondary importance to the question of basic equality under civil law.

  • Nathan

    There’s nothing unique about the sin–genitals touching–that inhibits a relationship with Christ. ALL SIN, of which homosexuality is one, inhibits our relationship with Christ. We admit this everyday, which is why we’re called to repent (change course) and seek NOT to sin (“your faith has healed you, now go and sin no more”).
    The uniqueness of homosexuality in our society is it is definitely sin, the scriptures and the Church say so, yet some people think it’s a necessary evil, but that it’s GOOD to indulge and practice it. There is no call of repentance or change, to turn away from the sin. We’re told we have to accept it and according to distorted LGBTA theology, that it’s “holy” to live out your life based on your “inner self” (sexual orientation). But that’s not the message of the gospel (it’s almost the message of pantheism, trying to find the “divine” hidden within us, but not exactly). The gospel tells us to follow Jesus, was must DENY OURSELVES and live according to his model and his commands.
    Just as being a thief, and not repenting, or murdering without repenting, or practicing idolotry without repenting, inhibits our relationship with Christ, so too does sexual immorality (of which homosexual is one) without repentance and denying that activity inhibits our relationship. Thus, why is says ALL such people I just listed will not inherit the Kingdom of heaven…

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Mary: I love how fundamentalists like to launder their hatred of homosexuals through God: “I think we should love homosexuals. It’s just that God has a problem with them.”
    Indeed. It’s concern trolling (link) of the worst kind.

  • Nathan

    That should say, yet not only do some people think it’s a necessary evil, but also that it’s Good to indule and practice it…

  • Your Name

    Chad said: You are jumping to the conclusion that homosexual sex, within itself, is sin. The question being asked is, “Why?”
    Sin is a theological category that derives from biblical theology. We know things are sins because God reveals to us within the biblical text that they are so. Without God’s decree of what is and is not sinful, we do not have a concept of “sin.” We may be able, as many Moderns have done, say things like murder and theft are IMMORAL, yet deny they are SIN. The answer to why something is SIN necessitates divine revelation, thus a question that asks to prove something sinful without appeal to revelation is confused.

  • Dan Hauge

    Hi Tony, you say above that you have blogged about how weak the ’6 verses’ about homosexuality are. Would you mind giving a link to that post? I would be interested to see how you engage with those texts.

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Lou: Tim – lol, good point, except for the fact that homosexuality was not one of those things that “weren’t conceived of in the ancient world.”
    Can I ask you to use a phrase or term that denotes that you’re speaking about same-sex sexual intimacy? ‘Homosexuality’ in common usage today generally refers to the orientation, inclination and attraction to the same gender, rather than sex acts themselves.
    With that being said, you’re shifting the goal posts on our conversation here. Same-sex sex acts are indeed among the things conceived of in the ancient world. Sexual orientation, and the prospect of a monogamous, lifelong, covenantal relationship as practiced today – was not. I’m convinced that the condemnation of same-sex sex acts in the scriptures are referring to actions done within ‘relationships’ of power dominance, control, humiliation, manipulation, pederasty, and idol worship.
    In contrast, the relationships of the gay Christians that I know (and those in this thread) are characterized by the same characteristics of a righteous opposite-sex marriage – commitment, faithfulness, self-sacrifice, mutual submission – in other words, αγάπη.
    Btw, I really don’t want you to think that I think ill of you, or homosexuals for that matter. We are all family in Christ and I know that I cannot instill conviction in someone’s heart; that is the exclusive domain of Jesus. At the end of the day, I cannot change anyone’s heart; that, too, is the exclusive domain of Christ. So, I have to trust that God will reveal himself to those to forsake all to follow him. I want you to know that I wish you nothing but blessing from God and a deeper relationship with him.
    –Your brother in Christ
    Thank you. I truly appreciate that – and especially appreciate that you don’t consider this disagreement to ipso facto put me out of the body of Christ. I agree with you that only God can change hearts and minds – and that it is usually a gradual process of learning and growing. I believe that God can be trusted to “lead us into all truth”.
    Shalom.

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Your Name: Sin is a theological category that derives from biblical theology. We know things are sins because God reveals to us within the biblical text that they are so. Without God’s decree of what is and is not sinful, we do not have a concept of “sin.” We may be able, as many Moderns have done, say things like murder and theft are IMMORAL, yet deny they are SIN. The answer to why something is SIN necessitates divine revelation, thus a question that asks to prove something sinful without appeal to revelation is confused.
    Fair enough. It sounds like you’re saying that same-sex sex acts are not necessarily ‘immoral’, but they are ‘sinful’. Can you name me other things classified as ‘sins’ that are not classified as ‘immoral’?

  • Ted Seeber

    Your Name (or as we’d call you in other places, Anonymous Coward):
    Sex is more than just getting naked and having fun. Sex is creating a new human life. When I say sex should take 18-35 years, I mean that’s the time it takes for human beings to create a new functioning human being. Get your head out of the gutter and join the thinking human race.

  • Ted Seeber

    Husband: “Apart from the illogical nonsense of ‘becoming homosexual’ (could you somehow ‘become homosexual’?), merely being homosexual in no way means that we cannot reproduce. Gay men produce sperm. Lesbians have wombs.”
    That, to me, is final proof that God didn’t intend homosexuality to be inborn.

  • Ted Seeber

    This got posted in the wrong thread:
    Husband: “You are one ungracious SOB, that’s for sure. Your comments about my sister (whom you know not at all) were insulting, and un-Christian.”
    Only from your point of view. Let’s examine them from an ORTHODOX worldview instead of a morally relativistic one, shall we?
    “Like you get to decide that for others. How on earth would you know, since you don’t even know the circumstances. Who died and made you Judge?”
    I’m not the Judge, Jesus Christ our Once and Future King is, and he’s the one who said Divorce was a sin.
    “Her first husband beat her. I hope you rot in he11.”
    I might, gladly, if my Lord Jesus Christ sends me there. Having said that, if her husband was beating her, that’s a mental illness and reason to commit him to an insane asylum, not a reason for divorce. “In Sickness and in Health” says the vows- why did she have to break *her* vow just because *he* got sick?
    “Or hey, maybe it’s YOU that isn’t Christian. Christ is love. There’s not an iota of love in your condemnatory, judgemental, hate-filled supposition.”
    Christ isn’t Love, Christ is God’s Word. Yet another way in which Protestantism had twisted and faked Christianity. GOD is Love, but he’s not unjudgemental love, he’s not unconditional love. Sin exists, much as we sinners wish it weren’t so, and God’s love is tough love, wanting something better for us than we want for ourselves.
    “I believe this disparagement is against B’net’s ROCs. You Catholics may not get divorced, but I’d say an annullment after 28 years of (non-)marriage and producing a coupla sons is a neat loophole. If my Church had loopholes. See how easy it is to get nasty with the ‘other’?”
    I agree that annulment after 28 years of non-marriage and producing a couple of sons is a loophole that should be closed. I’ve in fact argued against annulment before, except in cases of infertility.
    “Where on earth did you get the idea that I “only believe in non-reproductive marriage”?”
    Because that’s the only form of marriage you have supported in this argument so far.
    “I know you make things up a lot, but that’s just (another) outright lie. And here all this time I thought you ‘followed the teachings of Christ’ (who said you shouldn’t bear false witness – you seem to keep forgetting that one).”
    You don’t even know what the teachings of Christ are. They aren’t the ten commandments- those were the teachings of Moses. And based on the evidence you’ve produced thus far, I’ve got to say that you’ve not only failed to convince me that homosexuality isn’t sinful, but you’ve failed to convince me that you are a thinking human being who is capable of examining evidence dispasionately and from the other side of the equation. In other words, you’ve failed the Turing Test. Any hatred you feel is all on your side, I can assure you, because emotions are not contained in this media.

  • Adrenalin Tim

    DNFTT

  • Ted Seeber

    Husband: “You are one ungracious SOB, that’s for sure. Your comments about my sister (whom you know not at all) were insulting, and un-Christian.”
    Only from your point of view. Let’s examine them from an ORTHODOX worldview instead of a morally relativistic one, shall we?
    “Like you get to decide that for others. How on earth would you know, since you don’t even know the circumstances. Who died and made you Judge?”
    I’m not the Judge, Jesus Christ our Once and Future King is, and he’s the one who said Divorce was a sin.
    “Her first husband beat her. I hope you rot in he11.”
    I might, gladly, if my Lord Jesus Christ sends me there. Having said that, if her husband was beating her, that’s a mental illness and reason to commit him to an insane asylum, not a reason for divorce. “In Sickness and in Health” says the vows- why did she have to break *her* vow just because *he* got sick?
    “Or hey, maybe it’s YOU that isn’t Christian. Christ is love. There’s not an iota of love in your condemnatory, judgemental, hate-filled supposition.”
    Christ isn’t Love, Christ is God’s Word. Yet another way in which Protestantism had twisted and faked Christianity. GOD is Love, but he’s not unjudgemental love, he’s not unconditional love. Sin exists, much as we sinners wish it weren’t so, and God’s love is tough love, wanting something better for us than we want for ourselves.
    “I believe this disparagement is against B’net’s ROCs. You Catholics may not get divorced, but I’d say an annullment after 28 years of (non-)marriage and producing a coupla sons is a neat loophole. If my Church had loopholes. See how easy it is to get nasty with the ‘other’?”
    I agree that annulment after 28 years of non-marriage and producing a couple of sons is a loophole that should be closed. I’ve in fact argued against annulment before, except in cases of infertility.
    “Where on earth did you get the idea that I “only believe in non-reproductive marriage”?”
    Because that’s the only form of marriage you have supported in this argument so far.
    “I know you make things up a lot, but that’s just (another) outright lie. And here all this time I thought you ‘followed the teachings of Christ’ (who said you shouldn’t bear false witness – you seem to keep forgetting that one).”
    You don’t even know what the teachings of Christ are. They aren’t the ten commandments- those were the teachings of Moses. And based on the evidence you’ve produced thus far, I’ve got to say that you’ve not only failed to convince me that homosexuality isn’t sinful, but you’ve failed to convince me that you are a thinking human being who is capable of examining evidence dispasionately and from the other side of the equation. In other words, you’ve failed the Turing Test. Any hatred you feel is all on your side, I can assure you, because emotions are not contained in this media.

  • Ted Seeber

    Ok, damnit, this is the 2nd time capcha replaced my reply to panthera with my reply to Husband. Sorry about the double post.

  • Ted Seeber

    BNET- you’ve got to do something about the captcha time out if you want an in depth discussion.
    panthera: “I guess nobody is really interested in explaining why slavery is not OK – despite Paul, who is far more important to conservative Christians than Christ – having mandated acceptance of it.”
    Sorry, I had missed this. Here’s mine- Paul wasn’t wrong. If slave owners had modeled Paul’s advice in the 18th and 19th centuries, instead of splitting up families, using corporal punishment, refusing the ability of a slave to earn his freedom, etc. then the Civil War would never have happened and slaves today would have a better life than illegal immigrants and minimum wage workers (the employers of which have, unlike the slave owner, no obligation to provide food, clothing, shelter, and medical care).
    “Nor is anybody, apart from a few whom I suspect to be Catholic priests or theologians interested in discussing the problem of divorce…except for Husband…”
    Thanks for the vote of confidence, but I’m a lay person who just has theology as a hobby, though I’m probably better informed than 90% of the Catholics out there.
    “Come to think of it, my third question: How do conservative Christians pick and chose which aspects of God’s creation science has revealed to us they accept and which they pretend don’t exist?”
    We don’t. But then again, homosexuality as a genetic cause is not proven yet. Myself, I recognize that I didn’t reach full sexual orientation until adolescence; I strongly suspect most homosexuals of being recruited at a young age based on the fact that older homosexuals tried to recruit me, mistaking my autistic behavior for “flaming gay behavior”. This, despite the fact that to any girl in my grade school class, I was *obviously* heterosexual and just as obviously deficient in empathy.
    “This thread should not be closed for the simple reason that the conservative Christians here are showing the world very well just exactly how hateful, spiteful and nasty they really are.”
    Or how honest they are. I’ve taken great steps to see things from alternate worldviews- might you take a baby step to see things from the worldview of a conservative fundamentalist Christian who is seeing his friend and neighbor drowning in a sea of addiction to sin? Would you decide a drowning man doesn’t deserve a rope? That “hateful, spiteful, and nasty” behavior is to them, love.
    The real problem is that Americans think the opposite of love is hate. It isn’t. It’s tolerance. The opposite of love is not caring enough to hate, to let people drown in their own sin without warning them that their behavior is sinful.
    “Their exclusive interests in abortion and homosexuality stem from a desire to avoid confronting their own shortcomings as Christians.”
    No, it comes from a desire to see human life and the human species succeed and increase- in which situation EVERY human life is infinitely more valuable than individual rights, and none should be denied the chance to live.
    “Their absurd demand we pay attention to their interpretation of scripture regarding our innate sexuality while totally ignoring those parts of scripture which are inconvenient (divorce, slavery to name but two) is nigh onto false witness.”
    What about those of us who don’t ignore such things, and have a worldview that is logically coherent but merely interprets differently than yours does? Who are you to say we are wrong?

  • Ted Seeber

    Chad: You wrote:
    “Paul, for instance, exhorts a person to get married if lust rages. Better to marry than to let your sexual appetite get the best of you. Today we would most surely counsel a person against getting married just to satisfy their sexual urges because we have learned that a healthy marriage is built on love, commitment, sharing of the full self and not just on sex and child bearing. In Deuteronomy 22:29 there is a statute that requires the man who rapes an unmarried woman to pay the father a bride price, marry her and never divorce her. There is no concern for the emotional or physical state of the woman but high concern placed on making the sexual relationship “normal” in the eyes of the community and restoring order. What if the rape resulted in a pregnancy? Well, now they are at least a “family” and the child can become a productive member of the agrarian society. Andrew Mein argues that because of these and other factors we cannot take the moral world of the Bible as it relates to sex and marriage for granted and think it is like our own.”
    For a man who is raised in the faith- commitment cannot be divorced from sex. I’m still living in an agrarian society- or at least, I’d rather be living in an agrarian society, in keeping with natural law, than this monstrosity globalization and urbanization has given us.
    If you’re NOT wanting to live in an agrarian Kingdom, then I have to ask, why are you Christian (with the entire pre-Reformation religion being based on the concept of an agrarian Kingdom, right down to our Once and Future King Jesus Christ and his Vicar the Pope)?

  • http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com Chad Holtz

    Ted,
    As a pastor, I pray that you will never be one sought out by a desperate woman for advice.
    You are a classic example of why battered-wife-syndrome is as great a “disease” as the mental instability that cause a man to beat his wife.

  • Ted Seeber

    Husband: Earlier you asked what makes me think you’re against the continuation and survival of the human species. I quote from an earlier message:
    “Same-sex marriage does no harm to anyone. Nor does non-procreative heterosexual sex harm anyone. What an absurd assertion. As is the postulation that sex needs to be “shared with the world”.”
    THIS tells me you’re against the continuation of the human species. You want to reduce sex to only it’s recreative aspect, removing the unitive and procreative aspects that are the basis of human civilization itself.

  • http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com Chad Holtz

    Ted,
    So you married your wife only because you lusted after her?
    You married you wife so that your families could be joined together to raise crops and animals? You had children for the sole purpose of providing workers for the land?
    Really?
    You may wish you live in a purely agrarian society like ancient Israel but you do not. The moral codes such a society lived by were for the purpose of maintaining their society. Would you have no issue with a rapist marrying his victim as Deuteronomy commands? This illustrates in part the fact that ethics are not necessarily universal but are adapted to time and place.
    If you counseled your son to marry a girl he lusts after I would feel as sorry for your son as I would the battered wife who seeks your advice.

  • Ted Seeber

    “As a pastor, I pray that you will never be one sought out by a desperate woman for advice.”
    Well, I probably won’t be- I recognize that I made my choice not to be a pastor when I got married, for a man cannot serve two masters. :-)
    “You are a classic example of why battered-wife-syndrome is as great a “disease” as the mental instability that cause a man to beat his wife.”
    I didn’t say it was OK for a man to beat his wife. I said it was an illness and not a reason for divorce, but rather a reason to commit the husband to an insane asylum. My reason for this is quite well thought out- any man who is crazy enough to beat his wife, is crazy enough to be a danger to himself and others, and needs to be locked away for treatment for the condition, until it can be proven safe to allow him back out into society.
    Divorce is not necessary for this treatment- and when unilateral, can actually make the problem WORSE, especially in a materialistic society such as this one where human life is worth less than a Zimbabwean Baked Bean. Urging divorce in this situation is paramount to signing the wife’s death warrant.

  • http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com Chad Holtz

    Ted,
    I don’t think your position is very well thought out at all.
    (oh, and by the way, a husband/wife relationship is not a master/servant relationship. I assume you think it is since you say one cannot serve two masters – your beliefs about pastors and marriage are informed not by Scripture but by your Church. At least own that).
    If you are going to equate violence with nothing more than an illness (albeit a serious one) that needs to be treated than why not do the same for adultery? The illness, Ted, is sin. Adultery is sinful. Why not just admit anyone who is sinful to an insane asylum?
    And you are very naive to think that a person who beats his wife is a danger to society at large. Most abusive husbands function quite well, even excel, outside the home. My sister was beaten by her husband for years. He is a lawyer. A family lawyer, of all things. If you knew him, you’d never know he punched my sister behind closed doors.
    I thank God she finally woke up and divorced him.

  • Ted Seeber

    “So you married your wife only because you lusted after her?”
    Well, lust was a part of it. Wanting children was a larger part. So I went to a dating agency, found somebody compatible, converted her to Catholicism. We’ve had a bit of a bumpy road due to marginal fertility problems, but that makes me all the more “seamless garment of life” or “agrarian” as you’d call it.
    “You married you wife so that your families could be joined together to raise crops and animals?”
    To some extent, yes. Ok, so I’ve been forced off the land to work in high tech, but at least I can plant a permaculture on my little .25 acre patch- enough to feed my family of three.
    “You had children for the sole purpose of providing workers for the land?”
    I had children because I wanted to see my species survive.
    “You may wish you live in a purely agrarian society like ancient Israel but you do not. The moral codes such a society lived by were for the purpose of maintaining their society. Would you have no issue with a rapist marrying his victim as Deuteronomy commands?”
    I’d say it would be appropriate punishment for a rapist to have to complete the sex act he started, yes. And if you think you don’t live in an agrarian society, what have you been eating?
    “This illustrates in part the fact that ethics are not necessarily universal but are adapted to time and place.”
    So says the moral relativist. I am not one such. I recognize that human beings still need food, clothing, and shelter, and I am not quick (like the idiots on Wall Street) to abandon the practices that bring food, clothing, and shelter.
    You have no proof that your newer ethics will be sustainable long term; in fact, this new society is already cracking at the edges. The banking system has collapsed, millions of families are being thrown into homelessness, unemployment is at levels unseen since the great depression, and freedom has resulted in license to lawlessness. In under three centuries, the great experiment in humans ruling themselves is being destroyed. Contrast this to the Holy Roman Empire, which lasted over a thousand years, and I can certainly see which is the more preferable way to live.

  • Your Name

    Fair enough. It sounds like you’re saying that same-sex sex acts are not necessarily ‘immoral’, but they are ‘sinful’. Can you name me other things classified as ‘sins’ that are not classified as ‘immoral’?
    Failing to love one another like Christ loved us. There is nothing in philosophical ethics that says we must be supererogatory. We can be perfectly moral by making sure we are not harming others and protecting people’s basic rights. But, according to divine revelation, that is not sufficient.
    The point to made here is that conventional ethics dosen’t have the resources to tell us what sin is.

  • Ted Seeber

    Chad- “(oh, and by the way, a husband/wife relationship is not a master/servant relationship. I assume you think it is since you say one cannot serve two masters – your beliefs about pastors and marriage are informed not by Scripture but by your Church. At least own that).”
    My church edited the scripture. If not for the Council of Carthage, you wouldn’t have a scripture. So yes, I am going with the interpretation of scripture from my Church- because Protestantism is heresy.
    “If you are going to equate violence with nothing more than an illness (albeit a serious one) that needs to be treated than why not do the same for adultery?”
    Because it messes up the inheritance is the short answer. The long answer? I think we should treat adultery as a mental illness, and a forgiving spouse does.
    “The illness, Ted, is sin. Adultery is sinful. Why not just admit anyone who is sinful to an insane asylum?”
    Well, that’s the reason I like the character of Wonko The Sane in the old Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy books- he had it right, the entire world is insane, so he built his house inside-out and tried to make the poor thing as comfortable as possible.
    In reality, though, there is venal and mortal sin. Adultery affects only 4 people: the two spouses, the external to marriage partner, and God. Society has a duty to protect all citizens, and in the case of spousal abuse, that’s a warning sign for a guy who thinks he is so important that the lives of other people don’t matter *at all*- it’s a sign of schizophrenia psychosis. Such a person is incompatible with civilization itself.
    “And you are very naive to think that a person who beats his wife is a danger to society at large. Most abusive husbands function quite well, even excel, outside the home. My sister was beaten by her husband for years. He is a lawyer. A family lawyer, of all things. If you knew him, you’d never know he punched my sister behind closed doors.”
    Actually, I’d probably provoke him to violence. I have a tendency to provoke everybody to violence, it’s a part of my autism.
    “I thank God she finally woke up and divorced him.”
    And yet, he’s still in society, ready to recommit his act on some other unsuspecting woman at best, ready to take his revenge on your sister at worst. Divorce doesn’t mean he can’t come back with a gun. Anybody that cold and calculating, means you can’t predict what they will do- the safest place for such an individual is in solitary confinement with the door welded shut.

  • Chad Holtz

    Ted,
    YOu can’t be this naive.
    No, you do not live in an agrarian society. Certainly NOTHING like ancient Israel. While you may have a nice little patch of garden in your back yard (as do I) your very life is not depending on the rain and the sun to make that one little patch grow. Should it die, you can very easily go to McDonald’s down the street. Now, while it is true that we need food (ie. farms) to supply much of our food there is much these days that is processed. Furthermore, you nor I nor anyone much after the Industrial Revolution has married a wife and had children so that your farm could be stronger.
    But in any event you are missing the entire point. THe point is that within the moral world of the Bible the concept of marrying a woman simply because you love her and want to have a family with her would be foreign. You married for economic reasons. You had kids for the same reasons.
    “I’d say it would be appropriate punishment for a rapist to have to complete the sex act he started, yes.”
    What an inhumane thing to suggest! Have you even thought to consider the woman in this? The victim? You see, the difference between our age today and the time Deuteronomy was written is that THE WOMAN WAS THE SOLE CONSIDERATION! You fail to see that. In ancient Israel a pregnant woman without a husband was as good as dead – both woman and child. They had no support. The command, then, was a way to ensure her survival. Today, however, that does not apply. And yet you show no thought to the woman’s well being by suggesting it would be a good thing to make the rapist marry his victim.
    How callous of you.

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Your Name: The point to made here is that conventional ethics dosen’t have the resources to tell us what sin is.
    Again, that’s fair to say, as far as it goes…but I wonder if you’ve thought this through as far as it goes.
    Failing to love one another like Christ loved us. There is nothing in philosophical ethics that says we must be supererogatory. We can be perfectly moral by making sure we are not harming others and protecting people’s basic rights. But, according to divine revelation, that is not sufficient.
    But your example is a negative one – of ethics/morals not being enough. There’s no specific action involved with demonstrating agape – with going the second mile, turning the other cheek, forgiving 70×7.
    I guess I should’ve been more clear – are there any commandments for specific behaviors required to avoid ‘sin’ (whether a prohibition of an action, or a requirement of an action), that are not also ‘immoral’?

  • Nathan

    The issue of divorce is a side issue, and not a very good one. Context is everything, and the context of that discussion is when a MAN should be permitted to divorce his wife. A man may only divorce his wife for sexual adultery. Woman-on-man domestic abuse wasn’t really a concern in ancient Judea, so Jesus isn’t addressing it. He simply isn’t address on what grounds a woman could require a divorce. He was expositing on the law, which spoke about man’s grounds for divorce and whether a man simply could divorce a wife for any reason. Jesus said “no” in order to protect the wife from being abused and then cut off from her financial support). Jesus is taking the side of the wife over the husband!
    But his silence on the alternative, when a woman might initiate a divorce, does not mean wife was without recourse. The Law of Israel was very clear that a wife was to be provided for and not abused. “If he marries another woman, he must not deprive the first one of her food, clothing and marital rights. If he does not provide her with these three things, she is to go free, without any payment of money.” (Ex. 21:10-11, this is in the context of a marriage between a Hebrew servant girl and her master, thus “without any payment of money”—but could a slave have any less rights than any other wife?). The Jews themselves had instituted a process where a Jewish court could compel a husband to grant a divorce under the right circumstances.
    The New Testament itself is clear that Jesus was not speaking exhaustively about divorce, for Paul comments on grounds for divorce for both men and women
    in contexts other than adultery in 1 Cor. 7.

  • Sedated Tim

    Why are there so many comments generated by this post over against other issues?
    1 billion live on less than $1/day
    1 billion live on less than $2/day
    Human beings are causing extinctions, damaging ecological diversity, threatening the health of life on our planet. We might be past the carrying capacity which Earth can sustain.
    Meanwhile, sinful-prone-to-error human beings have access to all kinds of WMDs.
    Say one side or the other wins. Big deal. You win the Raffle, a bomb (automobile) rigged with a bomb (explosive) from Al Qaeda Motors. Good luck with that!
    It’s conversations like this that require me to be sedated.

  • Ted Seeber

    Chad, from my point of view, you’re the naive, deceived one.
    “No, you do not live in an agrarian society. Certainly NOTHING like ancient Israel. While you may have a nice little patch of garden in your back yard (as do I) your very life is not depending on the rain and the sun to make that one little patch grow. Should it die, you can very easily go to McDonald’s down the street. Now, while it is true that we need food (ie. farms) to supply much of our food there is much these days that is processed. Furthermore, you nor I nor anyone much after the Industrial Revolution has married a wife and had children so that your farm could be stronger.”
    Processed food is poison for autistics like me, McDonalds might as well be serving up hemlock as far as I’m concerned. I get as much of my food as possible from unprocessed, local sources for that very reason. And the “Industrial Revolution” just made things worse; you now need a two parent family to work just to survive at minimum wage, where mother taking care of the kids and father working the fields was sufficient before.
    “But in any event you are missing the entire point. THe point is that within the moral world of the Bible the concept of marrying a woman simply because you love her and want to have a family with her would be foreign. You married for economic reasons. You had kids for the same reasons.”
    As did I. As does anybody who is actually HONEST about what love means and is. “Marrying a woman simply because you love her” is a recipe for divorce in my book- it shows an utter lack of commitment, communication, and duty, three things that are necessary to a strong marriage and family.
    “What an inhumane thing to suggest! ”
    Good thing you neurotypicals don’t consider me to be human anymore then, I guess.
    “Have you even thought to consider the woman in this?”
    Women have all the power in a marriage- it’s a plus for her.
    “The victim?”
    Are you victimizing the woman then, instead of giving her power over her assailant?
    “You see, the difference between our age today and the time Deuteronomy was written is that THE WOMAN WAS THE SOLE CONSIDERATION! You fail to see that. In ancient Israel a pregnant woman without a husband was as good as dead – both woman and child. They had no support.”
    And in this age of pushing for abortions for a better stock price on Planned Parenthood is different how?
    “The command, then, was a way to ensure her survival. Today, however, that does not apply. And yet you show no thought to the woman’s well being by suggesting it would be a good thing to make the rapist marry his victim.”
    The woman’s well being? Let’s see, you give her complete control over the rapist’s life, and you’re worried about HER well being? Like I said before, looks like a punishment that fits the crime to me.
    “How callous of you.”
    And how incredibly historically ignorant of you. Why are you even Christian, if you’re going to reject the entire wisdom of the past 6000 years?

  • Ted Seeber

    Sedated Tim: “Why are there so many comments generated by this post over against other issues?”
    Mainly because, most of the other issues, intractable as they are, are simply not controversies- everybody agrees they are a problem. This issue, well, a large number of people think it isn’t a problem (on both sides).
    “1 billion live on less than $1/day
    1 billion live on less than $2/day”
    I agree with President Obama and the recent studies done by the UN on this one- give a man a sack of grain and his dictator will take it away from him, but give a man a sack of seed and a tractor and he’ll feed his whole village. We need to change the way we look at farming and resource allocation- and perhaps remove food from the free market altogether.
    “Human beings are causing extinctions, damaging ecological diversity, threatening the health of life on our planet. We might be past the carrying capacity which Earth can sustain.”
    Incorrect, by those same studies- overall the Earth could, using modern sustainable farming practices, sustain a population of 29 billion human beings. The problem is political, not ecological; a small percentage of the 7.5 billion people now on the planet are living an intensely anti-life lifestyle; and are keeping, for strategic reasons, nearly 1.6 billion hectares out of production. I wrote a journal entry on it just last month on slashdot:
    http://slashdot.org/~Marxist+Hacker+42/journal/233211
    “Meanwhile, sinful-prone-to-error human beings have access to all kinds of WMDs.”
    That’s being reduced slowly- but once again, it’s something everybody believes is a problem and in error. There’s a plant in my home state that will finish decomissioning and destroying all of the chemical-based WMDs for the United States in the next two years.
    “Say one side or the other wins. Big deal. You win the Raffle, a bomb (automobile) rigged with a bomb (explosive) from Al Qaeda Motors. Good luck with that!”
    Also more of an invented, political problem that everybody agrees is a problem, than something which one special interest group celebrates and encourages, while another special interest group decries it.
    “It’s conversations like this that require me to be sedated.”
    I have a tendency to resemble that remark….
    Saints be praised! The capcha didn’t delete this!

  • Your Name

    I guess I should’ve been more clear – are there any commandments for specific behaviors required to avoid ‘sin’ (whether a prohibition of an action, or a requirement of an action), that are not also ‘immoral’?
    Well there are plenty of people, not to mention our whole society, that think it is not immoral to have sex before you are married, and yet that is a sin. Could we not argue from commitment and consent and a lack of harm that two people’s genitals touching before their wedding have no effect on their commitment to follow Christ? Are not those conditions precisely the one’s used to make homosexual sex an acceptable thing? Even as I have revised the logic of Tony’s challenge this way, it only demonstrates my original point which still stands.

  • Frankie

    Ask yourself if there was ONE time that our Father has had one inkling of teaching us how to have sex with the same sex. In no way has that been okay. God has created man and woman to create life. Not for a man and a man to do what our Father has not blessed. If you take words from thought processes on this topic, put them in a tree and watch it grow with knowledge as you will understand what GOD would say. First of all, if you cannot find answers think of what the devils would want. And if it leans to there fuel than you know it’s not granted for you. The Lord will work with you. Because he is with you.

  • Pamela Urfer

    Tony,
    You are so right! No reason at all. It always puzzles me why we are so interested in other peoples’ sex lives, esp. homosexuals. Are they interested in ours? Is this deviant behaviour on our part? And also, why we are so interested in proving them wrong?

  • Eddie Green

    Odd, especially considering Who it was that did the ‘ordering’.
    Ya think God got it wrong?

    Bea read what I wrote again. I was comparing Homosexual orientation to other aspects of creation that were disordered. i.e. Being a Gentile!
    The message of scripture is of Grace and a drawing in. Of purifying and redeeming judgement.
    I see Homosexual practice (including masturbation) as being akin to eating meat sacrificed to idols. Indeed most of the Gay Christians I know have a strength of faith that many heterosexuals lack because they have had to work through so many issues.
    I cannot read Song of Solomon without wondering why a (pre-marital) sex manual is in the scriptures. I suspect that human sexual intimacy is a foretaste of the intimacy we will enjoy with one another and God in the eternal. When I also suspect we will be neither male nor female.

  • Anita Shortland

    My 2 cents worth: Absolutely gay/lesbian people can have a relationship with Jesus. As that relationship grows, the Holy Spirit will convict them of anything they need to change in their life to grow their relationship with God. For Pastor Sy Rogers that meant his sexual orientation changed, and I highly recommend checking out what he has to say, to me he speaks with more authority on the subject than someone who’s never been there and doesn’t really know what they’re talking about. http://www.youtube.com/user/BraveNewDay http://www.syrogers.com/ I wish churches would make less of a fuss and be more welcoming and loving to all people, pray and trust God to ‘fix them up’ as he sees fit, just as he fixes the rest of us up if we let him. Something about a log and my eye springs to mind ;0) Blessings
    Anita

  • Illary

    “My only stipulation is this: You may not quote one of the six verses in scripture that mentions homosexuality. Instead, you must use theological and/or philosophical arguments”
    How a Christian dare to say this?. Why don’t you ask God this: “Please, God, tell me your opinion on homosexuality, but don’t use the Scripture”… What do you think He is going to say? Do you think God will contradict His opinion, that is already in His Word? Why do you ask for “theological and/or philosophical arguments” instead of the Bible? So the Bible worth less for you than man’s arguments? I’ts a joke, a bad joke.

  • Christopher

    Very well said Tony. You know they will always say this subject is wrong, but God knows your heart Tony. Keep on following Christ beliefs. You are correct sir in what you state here, no matter what anyone else says ( as in differently ). As you live your life in Gods image Tony, you will always then be blessed my brother.
    Your brother in Christ,
    Chris

  • killsing

    Okay, forget the fact that the bible says that homosexuality is “an abomination to God”, lets just focus on your normal everyday garden variety of “sins of the flesh”. I think we all fall prey to these sins as they are the “I am a weak, sinful human being”sins. Even a hetero couple, engaging in sex outside of an ordained marriage is living in sin. God cannot look upon sin so therefore we simply cannot LIVE in sin and have a meaningful relationship with God. We MUST chhose one or the other. I know that I am certainly not very politically correct but then again neither is the bible ut it IS the truth even thoug we may like it. God NEVER ever changes. I just don’t see any way around it. I was a drug addict for many years, I knew God and wished to have a better relationship with Him but I could not while I was in sin, not just with drugs but also just living in a general middle ground. I wasn’t a bad guy, I wasn’t hurting anyone but myself but I was not living for God. A man cannot serve two masters. We must live our lives for God, which is why we were created. He gives us free choce to live His way or our way. Our reward comes after this physical life. God does not hate hmosexuals at all, He loves each and every person no matter what but He cannot look upon us while we engage in sin and wants us to give those things up. He will forgive anything that we ask Him to. I love sex as much as the next guy but there came a time that I knew that in order for me to live according to my faith that I would have to remain abstinent until I find a partner whom I can marry. But I don’t know if that will happen so if I choose to walk with God it is a sacrifice that I MUST make. I don’t like it either but that is just part of obedience. I lived much of my life my way and didn’t do very well so I am living for God as best as I can. I think an eternity with HIM is well worth the sacrifice. Pray and tell God your feelings and ask for His help. God loves all of you more than you will ever know.

  • Your Name

    The argument is very baseless in the first instance. In fact, this should not be meant for Beliefnet, I mean believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. How can we talk about an ideal church without any reference to the WORD of God? What forms the basis for the existence of any Church that that denies the infallibility of the WORD of God, the Bible? If you need theological and/or philosophical arguments, then I must tell you that you are not interested in the whole TRUTH. If the Bible will not convince you, then you you expect deception from theological and/or philosophical arguments that are devoid of the mind and purpose of God.
    This is an end-time strategy of the Devil to lure the careless Christians to the pit of hell.

  • Philips

    The argument is very baseless in the first instance. In fact, this should not be meant for Beliefnet, I mean believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. How can we talk about an ideal church without any reference to the WORD of God? What forms the basis for the existence of any Church that that denies the infallibility of the WORD of God, the Bible? If you need theological and/or philosophical arguments, then I must tell you that you are not interested in the whole TRUTH. If the Bible will not convince you, then you you expect deception from theological and/or philosophical arguments that are devoid of the mind and purpose of God.
    This is an end-time strategy of the Devil to lure the careless Christians to the pit of hell.

  • http://www.angelabuckland.wordpress.com Angela

    “…can you please explain to me WHY a gay or lesbian person who is in a long-term, monogamous relationship would not be able to wholeheartedly follow Christ?”
    This is the real question. Not a question of biology. Not a question of whether the “parts” fit or not. I have wrestled with this question myself, and no one has been able to give me a suitable answer. I haven’t read through all 250 or so comments to see if anyone else has brought this up or not, but the point I would like to make regarding this is, if you believe that homosexuality prohibits a person a from having an intimate relationship with God (through Christ), then does POLYGAMY??? If so, then you are going against the very scripture you proclaim to know, love, and quote so well. Was King David, then not in sexual sin, as a notorious polygamist? King Solomon? Every other dude in the OT??? Polygamy was a part of the CULTURE in those days, and most of the men practiced it. It still did not hinder them from loving and seeking an intimate relationship with God.
    Funny, in all my years as a Christ follower, I’ve NEVER heard a pastor preach that before.

  • http://www.joshrhone.com/2009/08/05/a-response-to-tony-jones-regarding-an-honest-question-about-gays-in-the-church/ Josh Rhone

    Tony,
    I am writing in regards to your post- “An Honest Question…” Your post appears to have stirred up a great deal of emotions on either side. Undoubtedly, that will always be the case with such a “hot topic.” That said, you have asked for a reasoned approach, which does not reference the six passages from the biblical text which reference homosexuality. I have formulated a response, which while imperfect, will helpfully further the discussion regarding the topic.
    I don’t want the conversation to be mean and malicious. In fact, I’m willing to bet that even after further dialogue there will be some disagreement. I think that it would simply be beneficial to hear two Christians intelligibly talk about this highly charged topic, without taking cheap shots at one another.
    I look forward to your response!
    Josh

  • Wes

    I look at it this way, if we all were either lesbian or gay, in 150 years from now humans would not exist. God had wiped them from the face of the earth. “exstinction”

  • Laurie

    If God created all of us and we are in his image and he lives within us, then he created this homosexuality to. Right? Most people who are homosexual’s have that feeling from the beginning of their life that something is not right.That they are different, then everyone else.They didn’t ask to be this way. I have some very nice clients that are very loving ,kind people that are homosexual’s ( and are also raising children together)and their faith has always been strong. They are devout christians. They are really good people. They give more back then anyone I know. I would never make fun of them or put them down for who they are. They shine in my book……

  • Tony

    Response to Laurie: It is my understanding that the gay lifestyle is chosen. You are implying that people are born gay. Sort of like the chicken and the egg. Some people might have strange feelings early in life, but they still know right from wrong, God gave us a free will. Someone that develops a disease or deformity early in life in most cases will seek help. Why doesn’t the person with the strange feelings seek help?

  • http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/06/health/06gay.html?em Panthera

    Tony-not-the-Blog-Host,
    Yesterday (see the link, please) the APA released yet another study showing “little evidence” that gays can be ‘cured’, only hurt by reparative therapy.
    By a majority vote of 125-4, this study was recognized as a resolution by the APA.
    For scientists, “little evidence” is the same as when laymen say ‘impossible’.
    This resolution, based on detailed protocol based study, is in accord with what doctors, scientists and everyone except for the Islamic murderers and Christian conservatives have been saying for decades: We are normal. We are born this way. We do not chose to ‘be’ gay.
    Interestingly, the study also refutes the nonsense that we ‘recruit’ young men to ‘make’ them gay.
    You’re either gay or you’re not. You can’t become gay.
    Nor can a homosexual ‘become’ straight.

  • Johnny Carter

    Why is it that everyone wants to justify this ? Homosexuality is a sin point blank. Yes God loves you but it’s that act that is the sin and for this it is wrong. You can say that you are saved and you love God but as long as you are living the homosexual lifestyle you’re still sinning. If homosexuality was okay then God would not have destroyed Sodom & Gormorah for this very act.

  • jeannie

    I HAVE HAD GAY FRIENDS ONE IN PITICULAR THAT I LOVE DEARLY. I HAVE LITERALLY CRYED AND PRAYED FOR HIM. I BELEAVE THAT WITH ALL OF MY HEART THAT GOD TOLD ME HOW TO LOOK AT THIS.
    I WAS BORN AN ALCOHOLIC ( SO SAY THE EXPERTS) THAT IT IS HEREDIARY. I HATED BEING THAT PERSON. AFTER YEARS OF PAIN, AA MEETINGS, MEDS…FINALLY ONE DAY I TOLD GOD THAT HE IS GOD AND HE COULD FIX ME… I HAD STOPPED SAYING I AM AN ALCOHOLIC. I STOPPED SAYING “I QUIT” I STOPPED GOING ON THE WAGON. I JUST KEPT TRYING AND ONE DAY I JUST HAD TO HAVE THAT GLASS OF WINE..THATS WHEN I SAID TO GOD YOU ARE GOD!FIX ME OR I WILL BE DRUNK WITHIN AN HOUR. SINCE THAT GLASS OF WINE I HAVE NEVER HAD THAT OBSESSION EVER AGAIN. BUT I HAD TO LEARN VERY PAINFULLY HOW TO LIVE DIFFERENTLY. GOD TOLD ME ONCE WHEN I WAS PRAYING FOR GAY PEOPLE, THAT THEY ARE NO DIFFERENT THAN ME, WHEN I WAS FALLING OFF OF BAR STOOLS. THAT I HAD TO PICK MYSELF UP, HAVE FAITH AND CHANGE. I AM 59 YHEARS OLD, I STILL DONT HAVE A LIFE LIKE MY FRIENDS, BUT IT IS STILL 100% BETTER THAN IT WAS. I CAN HAVE A GLASS OF WINE NOW. BUT THE SIN WAS THE OBSESSION. SEX IS NOT A SIN. PREVERSE USE IS.
    IN MY OPENION, BUT I AM NOT GOD!

  • Nate

    Panthera,
    You may, in fact, be “born that way,” but that does not make it normal. People are born all sorts of ways which are not “normal,” some are obvious and treatable, such as illnesses, deformaties, others are less subtle and more insidious to a person’s relationship with God, such as active sex drives, pronesness to alcoholism and perhaps homosexuality. The key to the gospel is that you are empowered to overcome and leave those natural sinful inclinations behind, and to deny yourself if needed to avoid living in your sins.

  • Jay Tee

    The question itself is reflective of the problem with the approach to this debate. We are supposed to answer without using scripture???
    Without scripture you can go virtually ANYWHERE using “theological or philosophical” arguments. Basically, you are looking for man’s wisdom, not God’s wisdom.
    Scripturally, the sin of a homosexual lifestyle is clear. In your scenario, I’m guessing these monogamous homosexuals are living under the assumption that homosexual behavior is not sinful, which is contrary to scripture. That’s a problem
    So, you as could easily ask the question, “Can a thief who thinks stealing is OK live wholeheartedly for Christ?” Pick any sin you like to replace “thief”. Yes, we all sin, but we are called to repentance and holy lives, not to embracing sin as “OK”.

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Wes: I look at it this way, if we all were either lesbian or gay, in 150 years from now humans would not exist. God had wiped them from the face of the earth. “exstinction”
    Well that settles it, doesn’t it? The morality of a choice can be directly inferred from the consequences if everyone made the choice. (Even granting, for the sake of argument, that homosexuality is a choice.)
    It’s clearly immoral, then, to take a vow of celibacy, or to use birth control, or to have a vasectomy or hysterectomy. Heck, it’s even immoral for women to go through menopause – after all, if all women were past childbearing age, ’150 years from now humans would not exist’.

  • ArtBoy

    TO JULES & MATT SCOTT ON KANT: I hope you’ll see this, as my comment was post #6.
    My reference to Kant was an attempt to actually answer Tony’s question. Thank you for staying on topic. Jules, I absolutely agree with your conclusion, “… I feel these quotes and many things Kant says is in support to at least a very different treatment of LGBTQI in the Christ follower community.” Yes, evangelicals CAN be taught – consider how “unwed mothers” were treated by the church even 60 years ago compared to today. Yet that change is not a result of the church “reinterpreting” scripture to say sex outside of marriage is not sin.
    However, Tony’s Q was not “how should LGBTs be treated”. Tony said, “you must use theological and/or philosophical arguments to attempt to convince me that when you have genital contact with someone of your own gender, it somehow inhibits your relationship with Christ.”
    Thanks for the refresher – I haven’t read Kant for 30 years, but he made an impression on me because he brings insight to the NATURE of good vs evil. Good is not just arbitrarily good. Good is complete, independent, and self-sustaining, while evil is parasitic and requires good in order to exist. Usually, if not always, it is a corruption of good. (Incidentally, this helps us understand how God is eternal – because he is good, i.e. complete, self-sustaining, etc.)
    Kant’s categorical imperative states, “Act only according to that maxim whereby you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.” I think Kant cites the example of lying vs truth-telling: in order for a lie to have meaning it requires that most people tell the truth. If everyone lied universally, lying would lose its meaning. So with regard to non-heterosexual sex, the categorical imperative places gay sex in the category of “immoral behavior” because, on a philosophical level, it cannot exist on its own.
    As I said earlier, this is not a compelling, transcendent argument. I’m just answering Tony’s question. No one cares. People will do whatever they want, as they always have. Current technology makes ANY type of sex arguable, including incest, pedophilia and bestiality. Matt Scott touches on this: ”First, in relation to Kantian thought, the categorical imperative would no longer disqualify homosexual behavior, advances in modern science allow reproduction without having intercourse. Granted, in the 18th century, Kant would have rejected homosexuality, you have to put him into our current matrix.”
    Matt is incorrect here. Kant would reject homosexual sex today. The categorical imperative is a theoretical, philosophical guide. The fact that an immoral behavior can be “gotten around” through technology does not render the behavior in question a moral behavior. Similarly, were scientists to figure out how to resuscitate murder victims, we couldn’t say the categorical Imperative no longer disqualifies murder.

  • Preson Phillips

    I guess you really have to differentiate between “morality” and “sin”. Morality is a human identified stipulation that decides what is right/wrong based on the affect of the action on other humans. Sin, on the other hand, is offense against God.
    So I guess you could say that a monogamous homosexual relationship wouldn’t be “morally” wrong because, no, it’s doesn’t hurt anyone physically. But sin is not based upon wether or not something offends man, it is based upon what affects God. And it doesn’t take much searching through the scriptures to see this.
    I would argue that the ONLY person really hurt by a monogamous homosexual relationship is God… and therefore your relationship with Him. Afterall, it is (by definition) an abomination unto GOD, not us. Many of us would love to do nothing more than to proclaim out of compassion and humility that it is perfectly permissible, but we cannot. Because while it may not hurt any relationships with anyone in the physical realm, if it is an abomination to the one in the spiritual realm with whom we desire a relationship, then yes, it hurts our relationship with God.
    You stated that the arguments in all 6 of the biblical passages that says it is an “abomination to Christ” are “weak”. But you did NOT say that they are impotent/powerless/wrong. It might just be possible that your own words have betrayed you. Just because a law is weak doesn’t mean that it is not still law.
    That’s my conclusion to your question. But I’m glad you asked it, it was fun thinking through it.

  • Ted Seeber

    My text wasn’t lost by a hard to read catpcha, hey? What a joke!
    Panthera- I’ve got great skepticism about anything the APA says about human sexuality. After all, this is the same group that back in the 1970s and 1980s was telling Roman Catholic Bishops not to worry about priest breaking the vow of celibacy- that pedophilia could be cured and that it would be a great idea to return a “cured” priest back into a parish with a school, after six months of intense therapy of course.
    We all know how THAT turned out. Why should we believe APA studies now that claim that the under 10% population is “normal” thus implying that the 80% population is “abnormal”, when that is exactly the reverse meaning of the terms used in statistical analysis?

  • Brent

    Typical emergent thinking. Let’s leave the Bible out of the picture even though we wouldn’t know anything about Jesus or our faith without the Bible. That’s why I left after two years of trying to be in the conversation-I could see this coming.

  • Mel!!!!!

    One U just can’t answer this question without the word of God. Sorry you want the truth ain’t. Well it’s wrong the word say man and and woman not woman, and woman, nor two men is just not right read the book of Leviticus. Hey I an no one judge for the word also say we must not judge if you don’t want to be judge yourself, and sometime we are doing things no one knows about. Well I hope you get the answers. Mel

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Preson Phillips: So I guess you could say that a monogamous homosexual relationship wouldn’t be “morally” wrong because, no, it’s doesn’t hurt anyone physically. (…)I would argue that the ONLY person really hurt by a monogamous homosexual relationship is God
    Thanks for your candor. Here we come close to the heart of the disagreement, I believe. I believe that God is fundamentally good, and that [his] laws are designed for the betterment of those who follow them. I don’t believe that God is capricious and willy-nilly in the things [he] forbids.
    If I come across a ‘law’ that seems to have no moral justification, it leads me to wonder in what way it ‘hurts’ God. I think that’s the question that Tony is asking: granted that a same-sex relationship can be characterized by just as much courage, commitment, agape, self-sacrifice, etc. as an opposite-sex relationship, what is the source of the ‘offense’ to God?
    Afterall, it is (by definition) an abomination unto GOD, not us.
    There are, of course, many other things defined by the Torah as ‘abominations’, most of which Christians happily (and rightly) ignore.
    Many of us would love to do nothing more than to proclaim out of compassion and humility that it is perfectly permissible, but we cannot.
    Once again, it’s concern trolling on behalf of God. “I don’t hate gay people; God does.” “I believe the president is a US citizen; these other people just have questions…”
    You stated that the arguments in all 6 of the biblical passages that says it is an “abomination to Christ” are “weak”. But you did NOT say that they are impotent/powerless/wrong. It might just be possible that your own words have betrayed you. Just because a law is weak doesn’t mean that it is not still law.
    I think the implication is clearly that the weak justifications are indeed impotent/powerless/wrong.

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Illary: How a Christian dare to say this?. Why don’t you ask God this: “Please, God, tell me your opinion on homosexuality, but don’t use the Scripture”
    Philips: How can we talk about an ideal church without any reference to the WORD of God?
    Jay Tee: We are supposed to answer without using scripture?
    Brent: Typical emergent thinking. Let’s leave the Bible out of the picture
    Me: U just can’t answer this question without the word of God
    (and so on)
    Please re-read the OP. Tony did not say “Don’t use scripture”; he called for a thought experiment in which six particular passages were temporarily set aside in favor of a discussion about the big picture, i.e. the purpose and aims of God in allegedly forbidding all same-sex practice.
    Try it – appeal to creation, appeal to design, appeal to God’s original plan for human partnership and covenant, etc. Quote all the scripture you like – just set aside, for now, for the sake of this particular argument, those six passages.

  • Your Name

    “a long-term, monogamous relationship”
    Why do you include that caveat? Why would that matter as well? You seem to apply certain “standards” of moral behavior while questioning others. I do, however, deeply believe the church has treated ceratin sins with verbal violence and shown deferrance to to our own hedonistic manifestations.
    http://judahslion.blogspot.com/2008/04/inconvenient-truth-matt.html

  • Ted Seeber

    Adrenelin Tim: “Thanks for your candor. Here we come close to the heart of the disagreement, I believe. I believe that God is fundamentally good, and that [his] laws are designed for the betterment of those who follow them. I don’t believe that God is capricious and willy-nilly in the things [he] forbids.”
    I don’t believe so either- however I also don’t believe human beings are very good at judging the laws of God. I think his plan is a mystery- one that we as finite beings are incapable of knowing.
    “If I come across a ‘law’ that seems to have no moral justification, it leads me to wonder in what way it ‘hurts’ God. I think that’s the question that Tony is asking: granted that a same-sex relationship can be characterized by just as much courage, commitment, agape, self-sacrifice, etc. as an opposite-sex relationship, what is the source of the ‘offense’ to God?”
    I don’t particularly see this ‘law’ as having no moral justification- that is, I disagree strongly with the Bible only crowd here, seeing heterosexual marriage as the norm and celibacy as the moral alternative as being a HUGE positive from an evolutionary perspective, in that cultures and species that embrace these seem to survive far longer than those that don’t. Thus, once again, we have a religious law that exists primarily for the continuation of the religion; it insures that there will be future generations for the religion to be passed on to.
    “There are, of course, many other things defined by the Torah as ‘abominations’, most of which Christians happily (and rightly) ignore.”
    But usually not without going through an ecumenical council and/or several centuries of doctrinal development FIRST. Homosexual monogamous relationships have passed neither of these tests as of yet.
    Of course, I’m the only one in the discussion it seems who has yet to appeal to scripture.

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Ted Seeber: I don’t believe so either- however I also don’t believe human beings are very good at judging the laws of God. I think his plan is a mystery- one that we as finite beings are incapable of knowing.
    That’s fair, and I agree, to an extent. However, I do think that we can talk intelligently about what is good, right, helpful, beneficial, life-giving, and producing shalom.
    seeing heterosexual marriage as the norm and celibacy as the moral alternative as being a HUGE positive from an evolutionary perspective, in that cultures and species that embrace these seem to survive far longer than those that don’t.
    Really? What ‘cultures and species’ have died out as a result of acceptance of same-sex intimacy?
    [Me: "There are, of course, many other things defined by the Torah as 'abominations', most of which Christians happily (and rightly) ignore."]
    But usually not without going through an ecumenical council and/or several centuries of doctrinal development FIRST. Homosexual monogamous relationships have passed neither of these tests as of yet.
    Again – really? What “ecumenical council and/or centuries of doctrinal development” were required for Jesus, and his earliest followers, to relativize the Kosher laws with regard to food (e.g. shellfish), hygiene (e.g. beard-trimming), Temple (i.e. the sacrifices), farming (e.g. mixed crops in the same field), etc.?

  • Susan

    It can’t be answered because it isn’t God who has a problem with it, it is men. Probably because they did such a good job at dominating women that they think that any man who “submits” to another man, or a woman who doesn’t “submit” to men are a little too threatening to their power trip. Imagine… if they weren’t the top dog they might end up being DOMINATED!!! Must… claim… God… Said… So…!!!

  • Rose

    So many are being deceived by the ENEMY…

  • Tony

    The enemy is good at getting us to perform his work for him. Why would someone who is knowingly violating one of God’s laws openly , insist on being called by His name and insist on being accepted in that fashion? Homosexuals who believe that the Bible is wrong, should then become Moslems, or hindus, or some other religious belief where this practice is accepted. By force your rebellious and licentious lifestyle on everyone else?

  • Jim Leavenworth

    Wow. If I’m understanding this, you want an answer to why a monogamous “gay” couldn’t wholeheartedly follow Christ…but you don’t want to hear from Christ on the matter?
    Sorry…what you don’t want to know is what God says about the matter (btw…Christ is God, He is part of the Holy Trinity, right?). You want to continue in your sin and be justified in doing so. If you wanted to really follow Christ wholeheartedly then you would want to know what the Word of God says about it.
    Homosexuality is a sin, just as lying, stealing, etc…it’s wrong because God clearly says it’s wrong. Philosophy and vain deceit are not the answer.

  • Rhydonia

    John 1:1″ In the beginning was the Word. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.” This is saying that Jesus is the Word. Jesus is God, and He “was” from the very beginning. When we come to know God’s Word,the Bible, we get to know Jesus, and what pleases Him. When we get to know Jesus, we come to love Him. When we come to love Him, we want to please Him. When we love Him and desire to please Him, He will not withhold the knowledge we need to truly serve Him in the capacity that brings Him pleasure. When we trust Him as our Savior, and LORD, He will reveal through His Holy Spirit what is right and just. We won’t have to go seeking this information from other people.
    That “KNOWING” will just be in our heart. When it gets down into our”KNOWER”, with the help of the Holy Spirit,we can become a “DOER”. If we KNOW to do , and don’t do,(or do what we shouldn’t) we will be held accountable before God.
    Ask the Holy Spirit to help you:)

  • Your Name

    The act of the sexual preference is the least of the issue here as it relates to sin. Sin is the outward expression of a inward problem. Sin is the result of disobiedience. Whether you marry and adopt children, contribute to your communinty and practice your religion faithfully as a homosexual, God could careless. Our Fathers problem is that He told us from the beginning of creation what was acceptable and what was not acceptable and it is a point blank as that, people of the world debate over this but why not go straight to the source? Why not harass God about this matter since it is mostly His problem, because quietly as it kept, the people of this world could care less what the homosexual population of this world is doing we simply want life to continue in terms of procreating. We are seed bearing human beings. Our charge as humans is to replenish the earth. when God destroyed the earth He saved two of a kind in order to start this process called life over again. Nowhere in the Bible have I found that God saved specifically for the sole purpose of his special design two human beings of the same sex and called them 2 of a kind in that manner. As a child we all were potty trained, we were taught how to walk. If you visited a country somewhere in this world where they were not potty trained, neither did they walk to move about what would you do? I know, you would do just like the others would do right? Right! Ok then maybe you would? Well answere me this if you will? After a considerable amount of time spent in that particular country lets say you returned home where your training was most relevant and a ordinary way of normalcy and or life what would you do, what felt good for you at the time or what in your heart you knew was the best and most correct thing to do? Think about it, innate responses need not to be taught or learned they come natural. Homosexuality is not natural and such is life. Kay sera, sarah….

  • panthera

    Well, this has been interesting.
    Ted, I shan’t bother refuting your argument against trusting the APA, you’d blow a similar argument from me regarding the Church’s position on various aspects of the natural sciences and their current stance on homosexuality out of the water and you know it.
    Of course, the APA is just one of several hundred professional medical and scientific organizations which have come to the same conclusion. Again, you know perfectly well that a phenotype can be normal without being the most expressed. Don’t play those games here, we may not all be graced with your genius but we aren’t exactly D-U-M dumb, either.
    As for your heartfelt defense of the christianists, may I remind you that, out of their ‘love’ for us, they have submitted us to electro-shock, castration, ice-baths, locked us away in institutions and still murder, rape and beat to death between three and four of us and the transexual in America every week? That is showing God’s love?
    There is a big difference between your position which is intellectual and purely based on what the Pope says – should he change his mind tomorrow and declare homosexuality a virtue, you’d be the first to defend his position – and what these hateful people do to us. Remember, 68% of the conservative Christians support torturing people. Where’s the love of Christ there? Your fellow travelers should give you pause in your considerations. Read up on the science, Ted. Again, this is doctrine, you are permitted to think and learn on this one.
    I regret that some men molested you, they were pedophiles which has nothing to do with sexuality, gay or straight.
    I have a question for the Bible thumpers around here. Was Jimmy Carter right when he insisted that his lusting after women was just as great a sin in God’s eye as if he had actually committed adultery?
    Now, if this be so – and Scripture backs him up on it, then we certainly have one jim-dandy of a problem here. Your argument against me, as a Christian being in a committed, faithful, true, monogamous marriage with another man is that I don’t ‘repent’ and turn away. And yet, how many of you heterosexual Bible thumpers admired the view when a woman walked past you today, yesterday, this week? What? Having once repented from your ‘sin’ at age 12, you never did it again?
    Just asking. Remember, dearest christianists, false witness is also a sin. Or doesn’t that count anymore, being sooo OT?

  • Michael

    Luke 17 1-4
    Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to sin are bound to come, but woe to that person through whom they come. It would be better for him to be thrown into the sea with a millstone tied around his neck than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin. So watch yourselves.
    “If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him. If he sins against you seven times in a day, and seven times comes back to you and says, ‘I repent,’ forgive him.”
    If you teach that homosexuality is okay in a long term relationship. Then you are misleading people and their sin will be on your head.

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Michael, you’re begging the question. One could just as easily make the same statement with regard to other aspects of ‘biblical’ morality that modern Christians do not observe:
    If you teach that slavery is immoral, then you are misleading people and their sin will be on your head.
    If you teach that eating a bacon cheeseburger is okay, then you are misleading people and their sin will be on your head.

  • Chad Holtz

    I’ve posted on my blog a treatment of the 6 verses that people keep wanting to bring up. Feel free to comment…
    http://chadholtz.wordpress.com/2009/08/07/homosexuality-the-clobber-verses/

  • Brent

    From a purely naturalistic point of view,leaving God out of the picture, homosexuality is merely a choice. A choice that will leave you out of the gene pool if you don’t procreate with someone of the opposite sex. I remember a basic law of biology that I learned in high school stating that a genetic or behavioral preference that does not allow you to reproduce will not be passed on to your progeny. So how did we ever get the idea of a genetic preference for homosexuality from a population that can’t reproduce naturally without the help of someone of the opposite sex? Doesn’t seem logical to me.
    What it boils down to is God’s stated preference and there is no indication from the Bible that a same sex preference is even in the picture, pure and simple. There are the clobber passages in both the OT and NT and nothing to contradict them. It’s interesting that the Apostles asked the Gentiles to refrain from only three things, blood, food offered to idols, and sexual immorality. I guess if you accept the Pauline epistles as authoritative teaching to a largely Gentile church, then you have to accept that Paul knew what he was talking about he compared Christ’s love for the church to that of a husband for his wife and stated that an elder must be the husband of one wife.

  • Brent

    From a naturalistic point it’s merely a choice, though you remove any chance for your inclination to be added to the gene pool since you can’t reproduce.
    It’s that God has made a choice for opposite sex marriage since same-sex partners cannot without major medical intervention fulfill God’s command to Adam and Eve in the garden to procreate and fill the earth.
    It’s interesting in Paul’s letter to Gentile populations that routinely practiced every sexual variation immaginable that he compared God’s love for the church to that of a man for his bride and that he instructed that an elder should be the husband of one wife. You don’t need to say anything else if you’ve clearly set the standard.

  • Brent

    Sorry for the two comments but this captcha business is frustrating and actually pretty much impossible for someone with low vision to navigate.

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Brent: From a naturalistic point it’s merely a choice, though you remove any chance for your inclination to be added to the gene pool since you can’t reproduce.
    From a naturalistic point [of view], the survival of the species, not of the individual, is what’s important.
    It’s that God has made a choice for opposite sex marriage since same-sex partners cannot without major medical intervention fulfill God’s command to Adam and Eve in the garden to procreate and fill the earth.
    The earth has been sufficiently filled (even leaving aside your dubious scientific claims).
    So how did we ever get the idea of a genetic preference for homosexuality from a population that can’t reproduce naturally without the help of someone of the opposite sex? Doesn’t seem logical to me.
    That’s a great question – I encourage you to dwell on it more. If homosexuality is this gross abnormality that is by definition doomed to die out within a generation, how is it that it has existed, in roughly the same proportions, throughout all recorded human history, in every human culture?

  • Your Name

    To me Man and woman should be together….and it is stated in the Bible in Corithians….that it was not accepted for two people of the same sex to be together…It is in immoral…in must cultures…It is sinful…and you will have to answer to God on “Judgement Day”…

  • Helena

    I feel that homosexuality is Biblically and immorally wrong…Those who want to live this lifestyle…Will have to answer to a higher power on Judgment Day…

  • Your Name

    Simply put God want us to love one another fully and completely…homosexuality creates mistrust between those of the same sex jealousy if you will. I also believe that the actions that someone commits here on earth cannot be harshly judged by those of us here on earth we must as Christians condemn the act without condemning the person. This being said homosexuality interfers with the full word of the Word of Christ. As a pastor tends to avoid saying things that are unpopular to protect “his” flock from negative attention. When we say ‘ yeah butt ‘ we are interjecting our feelings in to God’s word and twisting it into something we find more palatable. I am a alcoholic and have many faults with that in mind I do not say to another alcoholic dont do that. Instead I say
    ‘Do you see where you are going? And that you are putting yourself in danger?’ You can only flee from sin,look up repent, turn from it and recognize the weakness that is within and allow God to work though you to make you stronger in your weakness. Even if you area in a committed relationship IF it is sinful and corrupt then it is not complete, it is not whole so how can you feel whole. We as Christians must seek to condemn NOT the person but the action Christ even states this, You will know a Christian by the way they live. If you look at your life and things just are not that fulfilling you might just find you are not living but surviving.

  • Ed Lawson

    Why add the stipulation not to use these verses? They follow throughout the New and Old Testament. Often people try to negate Paul’s verses by saying he was just a man, a homo-phoebe. This thinking is totally wrong. Maybe we need to throw out Moses to. Let’s edit the whole Bible and just throw out what makes us uncomfortable. The Bible is what it is and says what it says. Except it or throw it away.
    God is against Homosexuality for one reason, God is always pro-life. Homosexuality is antithesis of life. Throughout the Old testament you see homosexuality associated with rape and mob behavior. Something we should take into account. It always occurs in society when morals and the rule of law have broken down. They are seen as forsaken by God. They are not seen as having a lifestyle, instead it is portrayed as a sinful act. It is no better or worse than other behaviors such as adultery or fornication.
    Without Repentance and Christ’s forgiveness we are dead.

  • Karen

    I have know a few homosexuals while living a good long time. Morally, it is the rules we place on people, with the emphasis on “we”. There are quite a few same sex partners who have already raised their families so they have completed the scriptures found in Genesis. There are also many that have been born that way, with physically or hormonal problems which lead them in this dirrection. It is not always a choice for these people. Why then did God make them this way if it is not to show us that sometimes our rules are incorrect. Sometimes there is more understanding from a same sex couple than with a married couple and again that is something that “we” have not addressed at all. If a same sex couple are faithful to each other and have faith in God, follow a Christian lifestyle, who are we to judge them so harshly.

  • Panthera

    Thank you, Karen. You show the charity God asks of us.
    Brent, natural selection favors survival of the species not the individual. This is why we see drones among many social species including bees. They don’t (normally) reproduce, yet without them the species could not continue.
    Were your logic to hold, we would not see homosexuality among the other high order mammals – and yet, we do, in roughly the same ratio as among humans. Surely you don’t mean to suggest that wolves, lions and orangutans, three of the most aggressively social and intelligent animals would tolerate it if it were not advantageous? And yet, they do. Actively.
    Jesus focused on loving God and loving our neighbors. He came to save us. Paul and the later editors and committees who gave us the Bible focused on putting together and maintaining the body of a new religion. You can’t have it both ways, you can’t ignore Paul’s very clear words on embracing slavery – as all Christians posting here except Ted, who advocates slavery, and then whale on me for being in a monogamous, committed, true, loyal and faithful marriage to another man – for nearly 25 years, now.
    You just may not do this. Either you have to accept the whole thing, word for word (since English is not my native tongue, obviously we don’t read the same translation. I stick to the Latin and early German, you are limited to translations from those texts. Others, more erudite, read Koine and Hebrew. The variations across all these works are enormous – and you want to pretend they are God’s word, literally?
    I suppose for Catholics and the Orthodox Christians who have surrendered their intelligence to the flavor of the month from the torturer or Hitlerjugend Pope who is currently turning a blind eye to pedophiles whilst attacking transgender and gays, there is no choice. For the rest of us, the matter is simple: Either we acknowledge what science and medicine have taught us and move on or we continue to discredit Christianity in the eyes of younger generations who, knowing gays and transgender, just plain reject the hatred.

  • Amanda

    As Christians we are all sinners that have received salvation by Grace and therfore forgiven. It is always the sin that we don’t do that we tend to make worce than the sin that we do do. The bible clearly tells us that there is no measure of sin. This is a very black & white situation. God does not measure sin, it is either sin or not. The person who posted this is obviously troubled and the Holy Spirit is at work, the best advise is to draw near to God and listen to His voice, He sill speak to you personaly. So whilst we are on the topic of sin…. who of us can cast the first stone? What about addictions, there is pornography and then also female version of pornography would be Mills & Boone love stories, lots of women are adicted to these books and this destroys marriages, as you will never find a relationship that is fiction in your life, after all we are living in the real world. Having said all of this, Homosexuality is an abomination to God fact, and we are all siners fact. We all need to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. My question is rather what is your calling from God? Do you know who you are and do you have a Godly purpose driven life. Many of us are guildty of sitting at the cross and only dealign with salvation, a lot of us are guilty of not moving further into finding who we are in Christ and our calling – only a small percentage are called to full time work, the others of us are called to full time ministry within the market place. Let’s stop judging and talking, but rather let’s BE… that which we aere created to be… blessed and favoured of the Lord!

  • Prayerwarrior09

    Yahaweh (God’s) Living Word, The Bible, Says; Love all people but hate the sin! Humans sin every day! We are to ask God to forgive us of our Sin’s Daily. And he will forgive us! Most people do not know this! His Living Word says, my people perish for the (their) lack of knowledge. First of all God’s Word says, PUT NOT YOUR TRUST IN MAN OR THIS WORLD ! TRUST ONLY IN ME, THE LORD YOUR GOD. FOR I LOVE YOU WITH UNCONDITIONAL LOVE (AGAPE LOVE) MY LOVE. A LOVE THIS WORLD KNOWS NOT ABOUT. I LOVE ALL MY SONS & DAUGHTERS, BUT ALL SIN (HOW SMALL OR BIG)WILL NOT ENTER INTO MY KINGDOM. TO BE A CHRISTIAN IS TO HAVE AN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP WITH YAHAWEH (GOD). NOT WITH A RELIGIOUS BELIEF OR CULT. THE ONLY WAY TO HAVE THIS RELATIONSHIP IS TO CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH A SINNERS PRAYER! EXCEPTING JESUS CHRIST AS LORD AND SAVIOR OF YOUR LIFE. THAN GOD CAN START TO WORK WITH YOU IN YOUR LIFE, TO HELP WITH THE DIFFICULTIES OF THIS WORLD. WE MUST LIVE IN THIS WORLD BUT WE ARE NOT OF THIS WORLD. PRAISE GOD, JESUS. GOD BLESS YOU, LOVE YOUR BROTHER DAVE.

  • Prayerwarrior09

    GOD SAYS; WORRY ABOUT NOTHING BUT PRAY ABOUT EVERYTHING!!! IN JESUS NAME, AMEN. IT takes more than just believing there is a God to secure your salvation. The bible says that even the demons in hell believe there is a God, and yet, they will not be saved. The answer is in Romans 10:9-10 which says: “That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Salvation comes through believing that Jesus is the Son of God and confessing Him as Lord and Savior, of your life. So if you believe that Jesus is the Son of God and that He died for your sins and rose again, you can know for sure that you’ll go to heaven. If you pray this Prayer and mean it with your heart, you will be saved and know that you have eternal life. HERE IS A SINNERS PRAYER; PRAY THIS PRAYER: “GOD IN HEAVEN, I KNOW I’M A SINNER AND I NEED YOUR HELP. I BELIEVE IN MY HEART THAT JESUS CHRIST IS YOUR SON, THAT HE DIED ON THE CROSS FOR MY SINS AND GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD. JESUS, RIGHT NOW I OPEN MY HEART AND INVITE YOU TO COME IN. MAKE YOURSELF REAL TO ME. TAKE CONTROL OF MY LIFE. KEEP ME FROM EVIL AND MAKE ME THE PERSON YOU WANT ME TO BE. BE MY LORD AND SAVIOR. AMEN” PRAISE GOD, JESUS

  • churchmouse

    Karen you said, “Morally, it is the rules we place on people, with the emphasis on “we”.
    If you are a Christian it is not about the “we” it’s about the “HE”. He places the morality and the morality is made clear in scripture. We live the Word we don’t determine what morality is.
    “There are quite a few same sex partners who have already raised their families so they have completed the scriptures found in Genesis.”
    They have not completed anything that has been stated in scripture. Genesis says…
    “So God created man in his own image,
    in the image of God he created him;
    male and female he created them.
    And God blessed them, and God said to them,
    “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it.”
    Book of Genesis 1:27-28
    Therefore a man leaves his father and his mother
    and cleaves to his wife, and they become one flesh.
    Book of Genesis 2:24
    The Biology is plainly obvious. The natural and God planned way was for males and females to be joined together. Females were created because God said that it was not good that males to be alone.
    The true love between the man and woman leads to marriage, then to children. This is heavenly romantic love. Anything else is worldly love and not ordained by God.
    “Why then did God make them this way if it is not to show us that sometimes our rules are incorrect. Sometimes there is more understanding from a same sex couple than with a married couple and again that is something that “we” have not addressed at all.”
    I do not believe homosexuals choose to be gay. However I do believe that people do choose how they will act on those feelings. We are all born biologically heterosexuals and Genesis backs this up. We all have sinful temptations.
    Jesus offered Himself with these words in Matthew 11:28, “Come to Me, all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” He promises to be faithful. Faith in Christ is a prerequisite for pursuing change and people can change especially if they ask the Holy Spirit for strength. Struggles to overcome sex sin are not easy nor all the same. But through Christ, and through loving Christians, people are finding freedom from sin.
    God says, “Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.” Hebrews 13:4
    “If a same sex couple are faithful to each other and have faith in God, follow a Christian lifestyle, who are we to judge them so harshly.”
    It’s not about being faithful to one another, but to God. Sinning is not being faithful. The Christian lifestyle does not include sin. As Christians we should never attempt to judge anyone’s heart, only actions. And any sex outside marriage is sin. Marriage is between one man and one woman.

  • churchmouse

    Panthera said, “Jesus focused on loving God and loving our neighbors. He came to save us. Paul and the later editors and committees who gave us the Bible focused on putting together and maintaining the body of a new religion. You can’t have it both ways, you can’t ignore Paul’s very clear words on embracing slavery – as all Christians posting here except Ted, who advocates slavery, and then whale on me for being in a monogamous, committed, true, loyal and faithful marriage to another man – for nearly 25 years, now.”
    Jesus came to save the lost the unsaved from going to hell. He talked about sin and hell more than he did about heaven. He told the adulteress to sin no more for a specific reason. We are commanded to love our neighbor that is the second greatest commandment. But it has nothing to do with condoning sin as part of loving. My friend had an affair. I still love her but I still told her she was wrong and was deep in sin.
    You have said to me numerous times that homosexuality is ok because Jesus never said it was not bad. Your line of thinking assumes that if He never said it was wrong it must be ok. But Jesus never talked about a lot of things. He never talked about the environment, never said anything about animal rights or ignoring and neglecting the elderly. He never talked about sex with minors, pedophilia, rape or abortion. Does that mean He blesses torturing kittens, aborting unborn baby or rape of a child or physical or mental violence against an elderly parent?
    If we base standards on only the words Christ spoke, many moral issues are up for debate, including spousal abuse and pedophilia. He gave us the entire Word to live by and we should ground our faith and align our faith with His. The Bible allows no wiggle room when it comes to sex sin particularly homosexuality. It is clearly against Gods original intent for mankind. It’s sin.
    There is nothing wrong with loving a man if you are a man. It’s the sexual expression of that love that is wrong. You can’t take the love commandment and twist it to support behavior that contradicts other scripture about sexual intimacy. God is love………BUT love has boundaries that protect.

  • Jules

    ARTBOY! feel like I’m screaming over a mob or something. LOL In some case I guess I am. LOL
    Thank you for your response. I’m thinking it through. I’ve been very distracted today. However, I wanted you to know I did see it. I’ve been just scanning names, looking for those I have been waiting for a response from and I was pleased to see you had! So thank you!
    Like I said I’m thinking through what you are saying about Kant. I admit I’m new to him and learning so what I share is from my new exposure to him.
    I did want to say I wasn’t truly trying to look at LGBT treatment and I’m sorry what I said did focus on that. I did mean it in a theological way. That if you did look at scripture through the eyes of Kant it may effect how one interpret from there. I think I’m understanding you on this, but I’m still digesting it. I feel SO slow today, so I apologize.
    Thank you for responding! When I can and make a good response back I will try!
    Jules

  • Lil

    God loves all people. He sent Jesus into this world to die for our sin and whoever believes in Jesus will have eternal life. God hates the sin people commit. Sex outside of the realm of God law is sin and will be judged like all other sins. God forgives us when we sin and when we confess our sin to him. He is faithful and just to forgive us of that sin. However, when we continue committing and living in sin, we lose fellowship with God. In order to maintain fellowship with God, we need to draw nigh to him and stay in communication with him and not yield to Satan. Satan aim is to attack God People and cause them to yield to his evil ways. Thank God for sending Jesus into this world to die for our sins so that we can live eternally with Him.

  • Panthera

    Churchmouse,
    I could be snarky and remind you that God, in Genesis created Adam and Eve. Now, one of their sons having killed the other, just where did all the other people come from?
    Answer me that.
    I don’t say homosexuality is OK because Jesus didn’t say anything about it. I do say, regardless of the genders involved, God blesses all love between people.
    It is interesting tho’, that christianists hammer away exclusively on homosexuality although Jesus didn’t say a word about it…and He certainly did speak quite a lot about relationships, now didn’t He?
    Why yes, He did.
    Look, churchmouse, the only way you are going to succeed in your hate based agenda is by torturing and murdering all of us…and then doing that to 10% of each new generation.

  • Tony Myles

    Perhaps the original question is lacking the tag, “And even if this question cannot be answered by a human, will we all agree to submit to God on this issue?”

  • Chad Holtz

    Churchmouse, you said:
    “I do not believe homosexuals choose to be gay. However I do believe that people do choose how they will act on those feelings. We are all born biologically heterosexuals and Genesis backs this up.”
    I’m sorry, but this does not make much sense.
    You say you believe that homosexuals do not choose to be gay. I agree. So if they do not choose this, you must agree with every professional on this matter and concur that they are born this way – God created them in this way, just as he created you and I to have desires for the opposite sex.
    And yet you then say we are ALL born heterosexuals. You can’t have it both ways.
    Genesis does not back this up, by the way. THe first thing God does when he says Adam should not be alone is God creates animals. Adam, apparently, didn’t think any of the animals were suitable for him as a partner. It was Eve who delighted him. But notice that God does not force this on Adam. It is Adam’s choice. God honors and sanctifies the partnership that brought delight to Adam.
    If heterosexuality is proven in Genesis than why didn’t God immediately create Eve and say, “this is your partner”?

  • Panthera

    Tony who is not the moderator
    Speaking as a gay Christian – as opposed to a christianist – I should say that we all are subject to God’s will on the question of whether my love for my husband and his for me is pleasing in His eyes.
    Those who justify their hatred, their oppression of us, their beatings, raping, torture and murder of us (at least three gays and transgender are killed, raped, tortured in the US by fundamentalist Christians every week) by claiming “God’s will” are violating yet another few commandments. Of course, given their penchant for false witness, why should they be bothered with the rest, they are, after all, so OT.

  • Dubious

    “at least three gays and transgender are killed, raped, tortured in the US by fundamentalist Christians every week”
    Please document that claim. Thank you.

  • Michelle

    I think it is sad that so many people cannot tell the difference between good and bad without direct quotes from the Bible. It is easy to condemn adultery, child sacrifice, or incest without referring to the Bible–it is harmful. If you’re hurting someone or yourself, it’s probably wrong.
    Jesus doesn’t say X, Y and Z are wrong because I said so. The Bible is full of parables that explain why certain acts are a sin, and why certain acts are good. Jesus did not simply teach a set of rules, he taught a philosophy.
    Is it reasonable to say that if a mere 10% of the population is gay it’s going to bring about the end of humanity because they’re not procreating? Of course not. Need I remind you that Catholic priests and nuns are celibate?
    The question that should be asked is are two gay people who are monogamous and committed to each other harming anyone in their intimate moments?

  • Benjamin Burgess

    I do not know your name dear friend, and I find that regretable but nonetheless, I hope that you will receive my perspective not because an eloquent philosophy or because I can propose the most solid theological or biblical arguement, but because I genuinely love you and want the best for you…and Christ does too
    It is indeed frustrating how western culture [non Christians] tend to give the reluctant “okay” for young men and women to mess around outside of wedlock, yet in most cases homosexualaity is considered taboo. There is a seriously warped expectation of what makes a man a man and woman a woman. Speaking on the guy’s perspective (seeing as I am one) there almost seems to be a supposed expectation of how to become a man. Namely through sexual activity. I went to a high school where sports was prominant and popular, yet because for one I had no interest, and two I was physically unable…my “manhood” was imeediately put into question. On top of that I grew up in a Christian home and for my own reasons decided not to date while in high school, mainly to avoid the drama and heartache, but also because my motives were selfish. So if you can imagine with me, not being athletic (because of my hemophilia) nor interested in girls with an eccentric personality to boot…you can imagine what most people began to presume. I would even try to explain my genetic disease [Hemophilia] to people and although jokingly the common joke was “Homo feel ya wha–?”. That is all a very round about way of saying, I think it’s unfair that homosexuality is exploited as a “worse sin” than any of the others when it clearly is not.
    I do not condone homosexuality in anyway, shape, or form. But I genuinely believe that Our Creator had the best in mind for us when he created man and woman to love each other intimately and (as Christ loves the church). And any diversion from that (ALL sexual sin, not just homosexuality) will ultimately lead to more pain and hurt than anyone has ever bargained for. I cannot possibly divulge the myteries of a Godly marriage in one setting and perhaps in a lifetime I may still not know fully…but God’s Word leaves us clues as to how to achieve these things. So perhaps rather than focusing on the “Thou shalt dont’s” focus on the “Thou shalt DO’s”! If you want a down-to- earth message on that helps divulge the mysteries of marriage I would encourage you to listen to Mark Driscoll’s series on Song of Solomon. He is not the see-all-end-all authority on Marriage but he certainly has a great and funny perspective…
    Everytime that I’ve fallen into sin my Father has always told me…”I love you, and I want to see you succeed”. Dear friend I pass that on to you…I Love you and I want to see you succeed. I hope that by God’s Grace this message finds you, and perhaps leads you to a life well lived in Christ
    I am Benjamin David Burgess, and I am Second

  • Michelle

    Benjamin, I wonder though does God change his mind, or perhaps has a plan that causes humanity to keep evolving? Jesus came and made changes to rules of the Old Testament. Indeed, he violated or disregarded many.
    I don’t believe God made some people gay in vain. If a gay couple says they are not in pain when they are in love and they say the pain they feel only comes from others who reject them or condemn them, then it seems to me the source of their pain is from man, not God.
    I do believe that the ability to love is a gift. And I do believe that gay people are part of God’s plan. It would of course be easier if we were all alike.
    People speak of Adam and Eve as if they are a mold we all fit into. But what color were Adam and Eve? Were they black, white or brown? Do we all have their personalities? It’s not possible because we’re all different.
    So why are we different? Accepting people who are just like us is easy. Accepting those who are different is challenging. We grow when we are challenged and our hearts grow bigger.

  • http://www.tomhypes.com Tom Hypes

    Seems like a lot of conversation in the last few days… I was going to chime in but seems like Tim nailed what I was going to say very well. However, since there is so much chatter, you may have missed it…. so let me repost….
    “Tony,
    In direct response to your question…
    If homosexuality is sinful, then engaging in homosexual behavior creates a relational barrier between God and the person practicing such behavior. And this is the case with any sinful behavior. Sin causes a relational rift between God and the person engaged in sinful behavior–thus, preventing them from wholeheartedly following Christ.
    So the key issue is whether homosexuality is sinful. I know you remain convinced that it is not. And if it is not, then it would seem quite natural for you to conclude that there is no outstanding reason why it would create a relational rift between a practicing homosexual and their relationship with God.
    But here are some things I want to throw back at you:
    First, I am not sure there is too much I could say to get you to reconsider your interpretations of the passages that are often sited. You have already concluded that interpretations arguing homosexual activity is sinful are “weak.” But someone may conclude that your interpretations in favor of homosexuality are equally as “weak.” Are we at an exegetical stalemate?
    Second, what basis is there for morality apart from revelation? For me (a finite human being) to determine what is sinful–using theological or philosophical arguments–is nothing short of arrogant. Apart from Scripture it is your reasons against mine? Are we at an intellectual stalemate?”
    Tony, I know your policy is to not comment in the comment sections (unless, it appears, it is someone who is somewhat famous you are responding to). However, I think Tim has posed a wonderful answer to your question that includes some great questions for you. Response or silence?

  • http://www.fbi.gov/ucr/ucr.htm#hate Panthera

    Sure thing, Dubious. Sadly, no problem at all.
    We’ve had that discussion several times here at beliefnet over the last several years and it was Tony, here on this blog, who first discussed the appalling hate crimes statistics against us.
    I do have a favor to ask of you, regardless of the motives behind your asking a questions which two seconds on google might have answered…the last time we got into this discussion, the conservative Christians ended up saying it was a good thing to hurt gays and transgender, that would bend us ‘back’ to God’s will. Please, if that is the motive behind your putting this question, let’s not go there again. I’m out of this conversation if that is the case.

  • Drew Tatusko

    Tom,
    “If homosexuality is sinful, then engaging in homosexual behavior creates a relational barrier between God and the person practicing such behavior.”
    This is an excellent question. Also useful to turn it around.
    Can a non-heterosexual couple receive the love of Christ in their relationship more fully than outside that relationship?
    If the answer is no, then what do we attribute what could be thousands of non-heterosexual relationships that only after coming out of the closet who are quite sure that they have become closer to God as a direct result of getting honest and open about their sexual identity? Is it delusion? Is it Satan? Or is it simply more reasonable to say that it is in fact God calling them out of the closet?
    The evidence from same gender relationships tells us that we should affirm this latter claim and reject that same-gender relationships are inherently disordered creating the rift with God that you (and many others) mention. For them it is no different than for a man and a woman called to marriage (I believe this is a calling as much as singleness and abstinence are). It is clear that any form of slavery is unjust and ultimately dehumanizing; and women in places of theological and biblical authority over men is up-building and not destructive to the church. Likewise we are obligated to affirm where the love of Christ is being revealed, experienced, expressed, and witnessed among those who happen to have found Him in a place that the church currently rejects as legitimate. Not to respond to this revelation of Christ is to grieve the same Spirit that gives life to the church universal.
    I further argue this in a letter sent to the PCUSA here: http://notes-from-offcenter.com/2009/07/28/on-covananted-same-gender-relationships/

  • Panthera

    And the captcha promptly did eat my comment.
    I am still waiting to hear from all those conservative Christians attacking me for my faithful, true, loyal, loving and monogamous marriage to another man who only once in their lives thought lascivious thoughts when looking at an attractive woman.
    After all, the whole core of your hypocritical comments is that you are following God’s will and I am not because I love my husband.
    So come on, tell us how you repented and the Lord freed you of those lustful thoughts.
    Waiting. Any takers?

  • Your Name

    Folks all you have to do is to read what the Bible says about homeosexuality, and it explains how wrong it is. I certainly do not believe that other people should harm them in any way.here are some scriptures for them to read:Genesis 19:5———-Levitcus 18:22-23;20:13—Judges 19:22-24. Romans 1:24-27.1Corinthians 6:9-10,1Timothy 1:10. Revelation 17:5 I pray everyone should wake up and follow what The Word says. God Bless You All.

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Your Name: I certainly do not believe that other people should harm them in any way.here are some scriptures for them to read: (…) Levitcus [sic] 18:22-23;20:13
    Do you consider putting a person to death “harming them in any way”?

  • Michael

    If you teach that slavery is immoral, then you are misleading people and their sin will be on your head.
    If you teach that eating a bacon cheeseburger is okay, then you are misleading people and their sin will be on your head.
    Except you miss the point. The bible does not teach that eating a bacon cheeseburger is wrong. But it does teach that Homosexuality is an Abomination. Your teaching is contrary to what is in the bible.

  • Brent

    From a naturalistic point it’s merely a choice, though you remove any chance for your inclination to be added to the gene pool since you can’t reproduce.
    From a naturalistic point [of view], the survival of the species, not of the individual, is what’s important.
    ACTUALLY, ACCORDING TO NATURALISTIC THEORY, IT IS THE PASSING ON OF NEW MORE ADAPTIVE TRAITS FROM INDIVIDUALS THAT ALLOWS THE SPECIES TO SURVIVE. IF YOU CAN’T REPRODUCE, THEY AREN’T PASSED ON.
    It’s that God has made a choice for opposite sex marriage since same-sex partners cannot without major medical intervention fulfill God’s command to Adam and Eve in the garden to procreate and fill the earth.
    The earth has been sufficiently filled (even leaving aside your dubious scientific claims).
    CONSIDERING MY DUBIOUS SCIENTIFIC CLAIMS, CITE ME ONE CASE OF A SAME-SEX COUPLE CONCIEVING AND CARRYING A BABY TO TERM WITHOUT THE ASSISTANCE OF SOMEONE OF THE OPPOSITE SEX-IN EFFECT, A HETEROSEXUAL UNION.
    So how did we ever get the idea of a genetic preference for homosexuality from a population that can’t reproduce naturally without the help of someone of the opposite sex? Doesn’t seem logical to me.
    That’s a great question – I encourage you to dwell on it more. If homosexuality is this gross abnormality that is by definition doomed to die out within a generation, how is it that it has existed, in roughly the same proportions, throughout all recorded human history, in every human culture.
    EASY. WE ARE ALL CONCEIVED IN SIN IN EVERY GENERATION SO SIN ENDURES THROUGH ALL GENERATIONS.

  • http://unfinishedchristianity.com Virgil Vaduva

    Tony, why did you have to specify “monogamous” relationship in your question? I am just curious.

  • Adrenalin Tim

    The bible does not teach that eating a bacon cheeseburger is wrong. But it does teach that Homosexuality is an Abomination. Your teaching is contrary to what is in the bible.
    Michael, yes it does. In fact, it teaches that it is an abomination. (Or do you somehow relativize Leviticus 11 but not Leviticus 18?)

  • Brian Stephen

    Tony,
    Don’t forget that Christians have a rich tradition both East and West besides 6 Bible verses. This Traditions has spoken quite clearly about marriage, homosexual sex and family. It has only been until the sexual revolution that these questions were seriously raised by Christians (and perhaps in the greater society). The Church has always taught that its goal of union with God through Christ could be achieved through a marriage of a man and woman or celibacy/monasticism. Hard teaching, yes, but none the less the unmistakably clear teaching both implicitly and explicitly of the Church.
    Don’t forget the potent images of Christ and his bridegroom and the mystery of the intercommunion of the Trinity which a marriage between a man and woman manifests. To tamper with it is to tear at the very arena which God gave to us for our healing and salvation.
    Also remember that no society or religion has ever taught or fully embraced homosexual relationships as normative. Sure, it has been practiced (the Greeks for instance) but never as the normative.
    You can question it and wrestle with it, but to change it is to clearly fall outside of the Christian understanding of sex. Tamper with it if you must, but know that you have zero support from the entirely of the ancient Christian Tradition– Orthodox or Catholic.

  • idontgetit

    The giant 800 lb gorilla riding on the pink poke dotted elephant in the corner that few deal with. Were we really “WE ARE ALL CONCEIVED IN SIN IN EVERY GENERATION SO SIN ENDURES THROUGH ALL GENERATIONS.”. Does anyone else not see the total contradiction with every fact we now understand if this is taken in a literal physical sense?

  • Stan Leonard

    Maybe another question to ask… How do Gay and Lesbian relationships reflect the Imago Dei (Image of God)? Can they? Can the image of God be fully reflected through one gender. In Genesis it talks about how God made man and woman in the his image. A same gendered partnership only reflects part of God’s image. I think this idea centred around the image of God is a stronger presupposition to start from than some other common ones.

  • panthera

    I find it fascinating that all the fundamentalist Christians here are totally ignoring what science and medicine have revealed to us: Homosexuality is not a choice.
    How do you decide what aspects of reality you accept and which you reject?

  • http://notes-from-offcenter.com Drew Tatusko

    so now we have resorted to the “no civilization has ever survived” assertion (how long are you looking for a civilization to survive by the way? the greeks did well, right? gays all over the place there) and ALL CAPS with dubious scientific claims which come out when we are talking about gays, and then go back in the sheath when we talk about evolution. natural selection cannot happen with gays, but evolution cannot happen either since god created adam and eve. always a mystery how those two are held at the same time… anywhoo..
    all of this stuff in the 300+ comments and very few actually address the question itself. “WHY a gay or lesbian person who is in a long-term, monogamous relationship would not be able to wholeheartedly follow Christ?”
    maybe those who cannot affirm such relationships cannot address the question and so, avoid it altogether by appeals to irrational assertions that are self-contradictory? if that it so, and i think it is, our civil christian discourse is as maligned as i perceived it to be. anyone opposing the question actually want to answer it?

  • Benjamin Burgess

    Hi Michelle…to be forward, the reason I posted what I did on this site was to answer what I perceived to be a desperate cry for help and love from our unnamed friend. I feel any debate that deals with the ins and outs of this sensitive issue takes away from the real issue. I don’t mind answering questions, but I have observed through multiple blog discussions that people tend to have a “grenade philosophy” where they throw in their opinion into the fray and then walk away…I find it very hard to reason with such inpersonal social tactics…if you wish I would be happy to exchange email or facebook information so that we can continue this conversation in an appropriate place where conversation isn’t constantly and unfairly dissected by hyper conservatives or wide eyes librals…

  • R. Jay Pearson

    I’m not a Christian, but I suppose an answer to your question, Tony, is grace.
    I visited a co-worker’s Bible study group several weeks ago at his invitation, and the topic of grace came up. But it was being discussed in incoherent broad strokes without being distinctly defined.
    So I said to them: “Look, use your own theology to define what grace is. With your god as the model, grace can be defined as disregarding what we perceive to be faults, deficiencies, or imperfections in other people and choosing to care deeply, and even sacrificially, about those people anyway. According to you Christians it’s what your god did, right?”
    I then remarked about the perverse inconsistency of a god who first comes down to die for peoples’ sins but then returns later to kill them for their sins. Either the Christian god is a horrific sadist, or the portrayal of him (and his grace) has been corrupted.
    But it is the grace and kindness of Jesus that I think squares with human intuition, over and above cold legalism which seeks to stratify human beings according to class.
    So grace is how gay men and women can be in monogamous relationships and still follow your Christ. It’s also how straight men and women can be in monogamous relationships and still follow your Christ.
    I just wonder when so many Christians will eventually stop accusing, abusing, and mocking gays, stripping them of their garments of human liberty, placing crowns of thorns on their heads, and then making them a despised spectacle and exclaiming “here is sin”.

  • Panthera

    R. Jay Pearson,
    The day fundamentalist Christians discover another group they can get even more pleasure out of oppressing, we will be out and their new victims will be the ‘real’ danger to America, God’s own Land.
    Good analysis of grace, by the way.
    Still waiting for your heterosexual conservative Christians to set down in writing that you stopped lusting after women after you prayed to Jesus for His forgiveness.
    What, no takers?
    One of the things which is most frustrating about these discussions is the way the conservatives base their arguments either on bad Greek philosophy, worse 19th century science or poorly translated late 19th early 20th century German/Danish philosophers (the kind who ran around, at midnight, by the light of the new moon, looking for black cats in dark houses after their candles had burnt out) or on their own private interpretation of the Bible which they then call ‘literal’.
    The other nasty aspect of dealing with them is that anyone who rejects their personal interpretation of the Bible must be capable, probably culpable of every major sin and villainy imaginable.
    The fact that the Bush dictatorship’s attacks on hour human and civil rights, their illegal wars and torture just slide on by, despite the fact that the whole thing was orchestrated – and the wars quite probably begun – as a response to fundamentalist Christian principles.
    I think by now, Tony has an answer to his question. There is neither a scientific nor a medical rational nor yet a socially valid reason to persecute us. It is all hatred and all based on a desire to avoid developing their own spirits through a dialog with God. It is far easier to murder, rape, beat and oppress gays and transgender than it is to actually work on that looming log in one’s own eyes.
    Grace. Indeed.

  • Wendy

    Panthera, You seem to think that all who believe the Bible teaches against homosexuality are seeking justification for their hatred. I can only imagine the atrocities you have suffered at the hands of such people in order to have come to such a conclusion. That you have experienced anything less than unconditional love and acceptance from Christians saddens me deeply.
    Having said that however, I wish you wouldn’t be so quick to paint all Christians with the same brush. I am a Christian who believes that the Bible teaches that homosexuality falls short of God’s ideal for his creation (as does many of the sins I regularly commit), but I do not do so out of hatred of anyone. I have several homosexual friends whom I love and respect (and attend church with) and I feel deeply for them in their struggle with this issue.
    Please understand: As I have chosen to be a Christian, I am morally obligated to bow to the wisdom of scripture as being far and above my own wisdom. That I do so, and thus must find many lifestyles to be less than ideal (including my own, as I am a single mother who has never been married), does not mean I do not love you or other homosexuals or lesbians. In conclusion, I pray that you will find the true love and acceptance from Christians that Christ offers to us all.

  • Zee

    can you please explain to me WHY a gay or lesbian person who is in a long-term, monogamous relationship would not be able to wholeheartedly follow Christ?
    First of all we need to understand what wholeheartedly means? to follow wholeheartedly means that you are devoted and committed to the teachings of the bible, even if it went against your old beiefs, emotions, feelinges, etc. The reason why you do that is because you are broken about your sins and you are convienced that the word of God is the only truth.

  • http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com Chad Holtz

    R. Jay Pearson,
    I’m a pastor. Would you be willing to come preach at my church one Sunday? :)
    Thank you for your honesty and your critique. I find it very true.
    grace and peace,
    Chad

  • http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com Chad Holtz

    Zee,
    There are many gay and straight Christians who believe “wholeheartedly” that the Bible is the holy and inspired word of God and is the source for instructing us, rebuking us, informing us and growing us in our faith in Christ. They happen to come to different conclusions than others about the verses in Scripture in question. If you are interested to read a different perspective I have addressed each of the 6 verses dealing with homosexuality on my blog here:
    http://chadholtz.wordpress.com/2009/08/07/homosexuality-the-clobber-verses/
    I know sincere Christians on both sides of issues like consuming alcohol (should we abstain totally or is moderation OK?) or women in ministry (female ordination or not?) or baptism (dunking vs. sprinkling or infant vs. adult?) or any number of even deeper, more impactful theological concepts. And yet, both sides are living faithful lives unto Christ. Both sides would insist they are being faithful to Scripture.

  • Your Name

    Hi Chadholtz, Thanks for your response. Okay, what your saying may have truth to it only because drinking wine was done in the bible and yes there were women in the bible who was part of Christ ministry (They just weren’t leading like men) and baptism sprinkling vs. dunking is pretty clear to me in the bible (I have not read anything on Sprinkling in the bible). However, does the word say these things are SINS! Drinking is not a sin, drunkeness is! The bible tells us to examine ourselves from time to time because we need to see if we are in tune with the word and I’ve come to realize in my confused life that when things become to complicated to understand, I need to study out Christ Character. If I am a Christian and I dicide to cheat on my husband or get drunk, I then need to ask myself if Iam who I say Iam! I do believe there are things that are harder to overcome, so they are the thorns on our side that we continue to battle until the day we die. I’ve also experienced in my years that my convictions have weakened when I had less quite times, bible readings, and prayer with God. I sincerely think this is about mankind and our struggle with sin whether gay or not. The greatest thing of all is that God loves us and he gives us freedom and choices. Unfourtanetely, there are consequences with every choice we make. What matters the most is what God thinks and the only way to find out is for us to stay close to him for the answers.
    If my child kills someone and I witnessed it, should I give her up? Yes, I love her, but she must deal with the consequences that follow.

  • Husband

    What are the “consequences” of being in a committed, loving, consenting adult, (human) same-sex marriage?
    When your child murders someone, we all know the “consequences” – namely grave (mortal) harm to another. There’s nothing remotely to be compared with murder in what we understand of homosexuality today.
    How un-charitable to even make such a comparison.

  • Husband

    Ditto for the ‘loving’ (NOT!) comparison to drunkenness.
    These are Christian things to do/say? I sure don’t see it.

  • Zee

    My comparison is that SIN is SIN! And, no there is no consequences to same-sex marriage.

  • Ted Seeber

    Adrenelin Tim:
    “That’s fair, and I agree, to an extent. However, I do think that we can talk intelligently about what is good, right, helpful, beneficial, life-giving, and producing shalom.”
    I actually don’t think human beings are even that capable. After all, the Nazis thought killing the Jews off would produce a good, right, helpful, beneficial, life-giving and producing shalom.
    “Really? What ‘cultures and species’ have died out as a result of acceptance of same-sex intimacy?”
    Well, the Greek Empire for one. But I suspect there were far more than that.
    “Again – really? What “ecumenical council and/or centuries of doctrinal development” were required for Jesus, and his earliest followers, to relativize the Kosher laws with regard to food (e.g. shellfish), hygiene (e.g. beard-trimming), Temple (i.e. the sacrifices), farming (e.g. mixed crops in the same field), etc.?”
    The Council of Jerusalem in Acts Chapter 28. The debate over that was in fact the start of the Councilar Method, which itself was the prototype for the modern Scientific Method.

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Ted Seeber: I actually don’t think human beings are even that capable. After all, the Nazis thought killing the Jews off would produce a good, right, helpful, beneficial, life-giving and producing shalom.
    How postmodern of you! ;)
    I agree – to an extent. (Though I certainly have my doubts that the Nazis were considering the Jews if they thought their actions were helpful and life-giving!) But I think that such an extreme of a “chastened epistemology” can be used as an excuse for inaction. If all attempts for justice are inherently susceptible to be corrupted toward injustice, then why work for justice at all?

    The right kind of question…is not how to achieve the final reconciliation, but what resources we need to live in peace in the absence of the final reconciliation.
    From the postmodern critique of emancipation we can learn that we must engage in the struggle against oppression, but renounce all attempts at the final reconciliation; otherwise, we will end up perpetuating oppression. From the limitations inherent in the projects of liberation we can learn that the struggle against oppression must be guided by a vision of reconciliation between oppressed and oppressors, otherwise it will end in “injustice-with-role-reversal.” Both the modern project of emancipation and its postmodern critique suggest that a nonfinal reconciliation in the midst of the struggle against oppression is what a responsible theology must be designed to facilitate.
    -Miroslav Volf, Exclusion and Embrace, 109 (emphasis in original)

    Well, the Greek Empire for one. But I suspect there were far more than that.
    Any evidence that the Greek Empire died out as a result of acceptance of same-sex intimacy? That is – to put it mildly – outside the mainstream of historical opinion.
    No disrespect intended to what you “suspect”, but you’re going to have to provide a bit more than a suspicion to convince me of ‘cultures and species’ driven to extinction by the gays.

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Rats, the Volf blockquote broke formatting. I copy+pasted, so I’ll do the whole comment again.
    Ted Seeber: I actually don’t think human beings are even that capable. After all, the Nazis thought killing the Jews off would produce a good, right, helpful, beneficial, life-giving and producing shalom.
    How postmodern of you! ;)
    I agree – to an extent. (Though I certainly have my doubts that the Nazis were considering the Jews if they thought their actions were helpful and life-giving!) But I think that such an extreme of a “chastened epistemology” can be used as an excuse for inaction. If all attempts for justice are inherently susceptible to be corrupted toward injustice, then why work for justice at all?

    The right kind of question…is not how to achieve the final reconciliation, but what resources we need to live in peace in the absence of the final reconciliation.

    From the postmodern critique of emancipation we can learn that we must engage in the struggle against oppression, but renounce all attempts at the final reconciliation; otherwise, we will end up perpetuating oppression. From the limitations inherent in the projects of liberation we can learn that the struggle against oppression must be guided by a vision of reconciliation between oppressed and oppressors, otherwise it will end in “injustice-with-role-reversal.” Both the modern project of emancipation and its postmodern critique suggest that a nonfinal reconciliation in the midst of the struggle against oppression is what a responsible theology must be designed to facilitate.

    -Miroslav Volf, Exclusion and Embrace, 109 (emphasis in original)

    Well, the Greek Empire for one. But I suspect there were far more than that.
    Any evidence that the Greek Empire died out as a result of acceptance of same-sex intimacy? That is – to put it mildly – outside the mainstream of historical opinion.
    No disrespect intended to what you “suspect”, but you’re going to have to provide a bit more than a suspicion to convince me of ‘cultures and species’ driven to extinction by the gays.

  • Ted Seeber

    panthera- “Ted, I shan’t bother refuting your argument against trusting the APA, you’d blow a similar argument from me regarding the Church’s position on various aspects of the natural sciences and their current stance on homosexuality out of the water and you know it.”
    I don’t think you know the Church’s current position on the natural sciences, or why their view on homosexuality is what it is. I think you’re fighting against a Catholic and Christian Church that doesn’t actually exist.
    “Of course, the APA is just one of several hundred professional medical and scientific organizations which have come to the same conclusion. Again, you know perfectly well that a phenotype can be normal without being the most expressed. Don’t play those games here, we may not all be graced with your genius but we aren’t exactly D-U-M dumb, either.”
    I know no such thing. I know *MY* meaning of the term “normal” has to do with statistics, not biology, and that a minority can never be normal by that definition of the term. I suspect strongly that the misuse of the term “normal” away from statistics is mere politics and psychology- two forms of “science” that I have grave doubts about being science in that they fail to be rigorous in either their evidence or their theories. I have yet to see PHYSICAL evidence of a “gay gene” or any other form of inborn homosexuality, and I can point to a certain time in my life when I choose to be heterosexual based on logical reasons, so if anybody’s acting less than intelligent here- it’s your illogical choice to end your DNA strand with your generation.
    “As for your heartfelt defense of the christianists, may I remind you that, out of their ‘love’ for us, they have submitted us to electro-shock, castration, ice-baths, locked us away in institutions and still murder, rape and beat to death between three and four of us and the transexual in America every week? That is showing God’s love?”
    Yes, in fact it is. I know you don’t understand that form of love, or the existence of an eternal soul- but that doesn’t mean it isn’t love.
    “There is a big difference between your position which is intellectual and purely based on what the Pope says – should he change his mind tomorrow and declare homosexuality a virtue, you’d be the first to defend his position ”
    Incorrect. The Pope can’t change his position without an ecumenical council and rigorous defense of the truth. Far more rigorous than your APA and their peer-reviewed journals that no non-peers or non-subscribers are allowed to ever see. The Pope is only infallible when speaking from the Chair of Peter on a subject of faith and morals *in keeping with the whole tradition of the church*. Such a reversal, therefore, would have to have more proof than just homosexuality being considered normal by a bunch of scientists.
    ” and what these hateful people do to us. ”
    Hate is just an expression of caring.
    “Remember, 68% of the conservative Christians support torturing people. Where’s the love of Christ there? ”
    True love, requires pain at times. It requires *TRUTH* above all else. Otherwise, it isn’t love. There is no love in mere tolerance.
    “Your fellow travelers should give you pause in your considerations. Read up on the science, Ted. Again, this is doctrine, you are permitted to think and learn on this one.”
    No, that’s discipline that we’re permitted to think and learn on. Doctrine must be logically developed from the teachings of dogma, not willy-nilly go with the latest fad science on. And you’ve yet to reference dogma in support of your position *at all*. At least bring up the example of Kings Saul and David.
    “I regret that some men molested you, they were pedophiles which has nothing to do with sexuality, gay or straight.”
    Bullshit- they choose what they were interested in, just as I choose to want to have children. And I was over 12- pedophilia had nothing to do with it. They wanted to recruit me.
    “I have a question for the Bible thumpers around here. Was Jimmy Carter right when he insisted that his lusting after women was just as great a sin in God’s eye as if he had actually committed adultery?”
    Yes. It’s the same line the Catholic Church uses to teach against Divorce.
    “Now, if this be so – and Scripture backs him up on it, then we certainly have one jim-dandy of a problem here. Your argument against me, as a Christian being in a committed, faithful, true, monogamous marriage with another man is that I don’t ‘repent’ and turn away. And yet, how many of you heterosexual Bible thumpers admired the view when a woman walked past you today, yesterday, this week? What? Having once repented from your ‘sin’ at age 12, you never did it again?”
    I include that in my weekly confession. AND I attempt to turn away from that sin. Are you attempting to turn away from yours?
    “Just asking. Remember, dearest christianists, false witness is also a sin. Or doesn’t that count anymore, being sooo OT?”
    An honest question deserves an honest answer- nobody said we’d conquer sin in this life, only that we be found to be attempting to conquer it. That’s the meaning of conversion and repentance. But what have you repented of? Or do you simply demand a God made in your own image?

  • Ted Seeber

    husband:”What are the “consequences” of being in a committed, loving, consenting adult, (human) same-sex marriage?”
    Taking on the responsibility for continuation of the species. Something that YOU have been unwilling to do.
    “When your child murders someone, we all know the “consequences” – namely grave (mortal) harm to another. There’s nothing remotely to be compared with murder in what we understand of homosexuality today.”
    Maybe not in what YOU understand of homosexuality, but there is in what I understand of homosexuality- for denying your DNA the right to reproduce is as close to murder as suicide. Immortal Love sometimes requires mortal harm.
    “How un-charitable to even make such a comparison.”
    Truth is sometimes uncharitable. Too bad you’ve yet to learn that.

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Ted: responsibility for continuation of the species…denying your DNA the right to reproduce is as close to murder as suicide
    That’s – quite frankly – insane. By what basis do you say that every individual is responsible to his/her DNA to give it “the right to reproduce”?
    It’s been said many times in this thread, but you’re still ignoring it: natural selection is concerned with the survival of the species, not of the individual.

  • Ted Seeber

    “That’s – quite frankly – insane.”
    That, quite frankly, is evolution and the reason for sex in the first place.
    “By what basis do you say that every individual is responsible to his/her DNA to give it “the right to reproduce”?”
    By that being the only way the species will survive, new species and sub species will get the chance to appear, etc. Survival of the fittest.
    “It’s been said many times in this thread, but you’re still ignoring it: natural selection is concerned with the survival of the species, not of the individual.”
    To be exact, evolution is most concerned with survival of information; these are just big robots designed to preserve the DNA strand itself. In fact, once the best chance of replicating is past, the DNA is programmed to begin the process of aging, and eventual death, to allow a better chance for younger generations to continue to survive.
    To argue for anything else, is to go against the natural order- is to be abnormal.
    Ultimately, the only scripture we can be sure of, isn’t written in any book- it’s in the genetic makeup of individuals. And that is why human life, EVERY human life, is so incredibly valuable- for we in and of ourselves are an expression of The Word, Jesus Christ.

  • panthera

    OK, that does it.
    Ted, congratulastions. Your defence of torture is what broke the camel’s back for me.
    I’m out of this thread.
    Wendy, your interpretation of Scripture is not mine. We are both Christians, and I am very glad that it is to God and not fundamentalist Christians to whom I am answerable. Your fellow travelers – just read this whole thread – are pretty nasty people.
    Husband and all the others pleading for charity – including Wendy – I wish you the best. For me, this thread is over and done with. There is no discussion possible with racists and torturers.

  • http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com Chad Holtz

    Ted,
    I’m sorry, but you can’t be this big a fool.
    The human species will no more die off because of gay people not reproducing children than they would because of the large number of heterosexual couples who are either infertile or don’t care to have kids.
    Being gay is not a disease nor is it contagious. My God.
    Just because we affirm homosexual couples does not mean straight people are going to stop making babies. BUT, what MIGHT happen, is one of the millions of orphans in the world will wake up tomorrow with a loving couple wanting to start a family.

  • Husband

    Although I hesitate to respond to an irrational man who actually believes gay men are out to “rape” him …
    Ted,
    I said: “Same-sex marriage does no harm to anyone. Nor does non-procreative heterosexual sex harm anyone. What an absurd assertion. As is the postulation that sex needs to be “shared with the world”.”
    You reply ignores the very point I made and is utterly devoid of truth.
    You said:
    “THIS tells me you’re against the continuation of the human species.”
    That does not follow, logically, what I said. But to address the ‘point’ you made, you heterosexuals have enough, er, ‘participants’ to ensure the “continuation of the human species”. How you ‘get’ that I am somehow “against” humanity continuing escapes me. I’ll chalk it up to yet more paranoid delusion from the delusional ‘right’.
    “You want to reduce sex to only it’s recreative aspect”
    Please be so Christian as to point out where I said any such thing, any where at any time and people (i.e. I) might begin to believe you. ‘Til then, a reminder that bearing false witness actually IS a sin.
    What I do believe (though I have never articulated it) is that there are (at least) 3 reasons for sex: 1. procreation, 2. as an intimate expression of love, and 3. recreation. (I don’t think God would have made it so enjoyable if it wasn’t supposed to be fun.) But for you to imply that I wish “to reduce sex to only it’s recreative aspect” is yet another lie of the ‘right’.
    “removing the unitive and procreative aspects that are the basis of human civilization itself.”
    You’re free to believe that and that that is what I “want”. It is neither.
    Now back to our regularly scheduled reality.

  • Sacramental Bea

    Hmm, I wonder just how sincere someone is when they confess weekly of their ‘sin’ of ‘lusting’ after someone (or the opposite sex) by merely looking at them and yet doesn’t, ‘repent of’ (i.e. turn away from) it.

  • Ted Seeber

    Chad: “The human species will no more die off because of gay people not reproducing children than they would because of the large number of heterosexual couples who are either infertile or don’t care to have kids.”
    Each individual in any given species represents a unique DNA strand that could eventually evolve into it’s own species with it’s own useful traits for survival. There is *NO* good reason to kill off a given DNA strand.
    “Being gay is not a disease nor is it contagious. My God.”
    You have NO proof of that statement, nor does anybody else, especially since psychology is not a science.
    “Just because we affirm homosexual couples does not mean straight people are going to stop making babies.”
    No, but it will mean fewer straight people, since same sex relationships are always going to be the easy way out for some.
    “BUT, what MIGHT happen, is one of the millions of orphans in the world will wake up tomorrow with a loving couple wanting to start a family.”
    That would be wonderful. And how much better for the child if that loving couple included *BOTH* genders, each with unique parenting gifts?
    Oh yeah, your type denies that the genders HAVE unique parenting gifts to give- once again without any real proof whatsoever.

  • Ted Seeber

    “Although I hesitate to respond to an irrational man who actually believes gay men are out to “rape” him …”
    Were. I believe I’ve chosen a lifestyle with certain health aspects that will forever end that now (in fact, since I passed 185 lbs, I haven’t had a single incident).
    “I said: “Same-sex marriage does no harm to anyone. Nor does non-procreative heterosexual sex harm anyone. What an absurd assertion. As is the postulation that sex needs to be “shared with the world”.”
    “You reply ignores the very point I made and is utterly devoid of truth.”
    From your point of view, perhaps, but not from mine. You are a bit of a narcissist insisting that your worldview is the only one that exists.
    “You said:
    “THIS tells me you’re against the continuation of the human species.”
    “That does not follow, logically, what I said.”
    Your claim that non-procreative sex does no harm, tells me that you are against the continuation of the human species, because anybody FOR the continuation of the human species is for procreative sex. I’m sorry that your logical brain is not up to understanding that basic fact, that continuation of the human species requires procreative sex.
    “But to address the ‘point’ you made, you heterosexuals have enough, er, ‘participants’ to ensure the “continuation of the human species”.”
    But not all subspecies- and any given subspecies may become, at random, valuable to the survival of the whole.
    “How you ‘get’ that I am somehow “against” humanity continuing escapes me.”
    That’s because apparently you don’t understand that procreation and DIVERSITY is what makes a species strong.
    “I’ll chalk it up to yet more paranoid delusion from the delusional ‘right’.”
    That would be a mistake.
    “”You want to reduce sex to only it’s recreative aspect”
    Please be so Christian as to point out where I said any such thing, any where at any time.”
    See above where you put forth that non-procreative sex “harms nobody”.
    ” and people (i.e. I) might begin to believe you. ‘Til then, a reminder that bearing false witness actually IS a sin.”
    I don’t expect you to believe my worldview- only to acknowledge that it exists and is equal to your worldview.
    “What I do believe (though I have never articulated it) is that there are (at least) 3 reasons for sex: 1. procreation, 2. as an intimate expression of love, and 3. recreation. (I don’t think God would have made it so enjoyable if it wasn’t supposed to be fun.) But for you to imply that I wish “to reduce sex to only it’s recreative aspect” is yet another lie of the ‘right’.”
    To me the 3rd reason ONLY exists to enable different genders to achieve the other two reasons. Otherwise, the different genders are *so different* in thought process that relationships between them become impossible.
    “”removing the unitive and procreative aspects that are the basis of human civilization itself.”
    You’re free to believe that and that that is what I “want”. It is neither.”
    Then why claim that non-procreative sex does no harm?

  • Ted Seeber

    “Hmm, I wonder just how sincere someone is when they confess weekly of their ‘sin’ of ‘lusting’ after someone (or the opposite sex) by merely looking at them and yet doesn’t, ‘repent of’ (i.e. turn away from) it.”
    Hormones, mainly, and eventually the one who keeps trying to turn away from it, will succeed- because those same hormones in most cases naturally diminish after becoming a parent.

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Ted: I don’t expect you to believe my worldview- only to acknowledge that it exists and is equal to your worldview.
    Just how much of an extreme postmodernist and relativist are you? Not all worldviews are equal. Not every blind, baseless, naive supposition is equal to factual, observable, measurable reality.
    You’re entitled to your own opinions. You’re not entitled to your own facts.

  • Ted Seeber

    “Just how much of an extreme postmodernist and relativist are you? ”
    Actually, none at all. In fact, I’m an autistic who is afraid of change and who craves absolutism. However, I am attempting to learn coping skills to deal with this fact. I just insist that others show other people the same moral relativity that they themselves exhibit- if you want me to tolerate same-sex marriage, then you’re going to have to tolerate my fears about same-sex marriage, especially when there are equal levels of evidence supporting both sides.
    “Not all worldviews are equal.”
    True from my perspective, but how can you defend both that statement and the idea that homosexuality is equal to heterosexuality? Either all worldviews are equal, or some are more valuable than others for certain purposes. I’ve given the purposes I care about- valuing genetic diversity as a means to species and cultural protection in long term survival. What are the purposes you care about that make my worldview less valuable? And don’t say love and tolerance- because you’ve just admitted to not valuing either of those purposes.
    “Not every blind, baseless, naive supposition is equal to factual, observable, measurable reality.”
    There is no such thing for human beings, at least when it comes to psychology. Our five senses and varied experiences are far too falible to have a factual, observable, measurable reality when it comes to our own species; only differing opinions.
    “You’re entitled to your own opinions. You’re not entitled to your own facts.”
    And one of my opinions, when it comes to psychology and other religions, is that there are no facts, only faiths.

  • http://www.chadholtz.wordpress.com Chad Holtz

    “No, but it will mean fewer straight people, since same sex relationships are always going to be the easy way out for some.”
    Ok, I retract my earlier statement and change it from “you can’t be this big a fool” to “you are a fool.”
    “The easy way out?” Yeah, it’s really easy for gay people right now. If only people were as charitable towards them as you are.
    Like being gay is any more a choice than it is for you to choose to be straight. Are you married to a woman because you weighed the options and decided it would be easier to be with a girl than a guy?
    Wait. I’m the fool. I’m a fool to carry on a conversation with someone as irrational as you appear to be.

  • Husband

    A voice of reason typed: “Just because we affirm homosexual couples does not mean straight people are going to stop making babies.”
    To which a non-reasoning/reasonable voice replies: “No, but it will mean fewer straight people, since same sex relationships are always going to be the easy way out for some.”
    People who enter into same-sex relationships aren’t straight to begin with, Ted. Nor does it follow that affirming God’s gay and lesbian children “mean fewer” heterosexuals. Still delusional I see.
    “anybody FOR the continuation of the human species is for procreative sex”
    Where on God’s green earth have I ever said I am against procreative sex. You’re like Sarah Palin – you just make things up.
    “since I passed 185 lbs, I haven’t had a single incident [of attempted rape by a gay person]“
    Bully for you, but I’d watch out for the chubby chasers if you’re gonna pack on the extra pounds ={O)
    “I’m sorry that your logical brain is not up to understanding that basic fact, that continuation of the human species requires procreative sex”
    I already said I agree with that statement. So I guess I’m sorry that you can’t read. Or that you can’t ‘understand’ that there’s more than enough (as in maybe way too many) betterosexuals out there droppin’ babies. Heck, the Palin klan alone could repopulate Alaska by itself.
    “That’s because apparently you don’t understand that procreation and DIVERSITY is what makes a species strong.”
    Pardon me while I choke on you using the word “diveristy” – and in a somewhat positive light. Guess irony ain’t dead after all.
    “Otherwise, the different genders are *so different* in thought process that relationships between them become impossible.”
    Well, I can see why a relationship of someone of the opposite gender might be “impossible” – if you were that person and I were a woman. The rest of the thinking world, not so much.
    “Then why claim that non-procreative sex does no harm?”
    Because it doesn’t, your poor exegesis on the matter notwithstanding.
    You get to explain away your constant lusting and lack of repentance with a flippant “Hormones, mainly” Would that you were that lenient on your fellow gay citizens.
    I will continue to pray for your healing, Ted, and that your precious little skinny-assed bumhole stays safe from “The Gays” (TM).

  • Ted Seeber

    Chad- “Ok, I retract my earlier statement and change it from “you can’t be this big a fool” to “you are a fool.””
    Better to be a fool for Christ than burn in hell, right? However, let’s drill down:
    “”The easy way out?” Yeah, it’s really easy for gay people right now. ”
    Spoken by a man who has never had to answer the question “Does this dress make me look fat?”. It reminds me of a joke going around the protect marriage conservative groups: Let the gays have marriage, they deserve to be as miserable as the rest of us.
    ” If only people were as charitable towards them as you are.”
    Actually, I’m quite charitable towards them- I only ask them to meet me halfway. I’ll accept their worldview has some validity if they accept my experiences have some validity (which is something you don’t seem to do). You’re perfectly willing to accept and tolerate gays- why aren’t you willing to accept and tolerate conservatives?
    “Like being gay is any more a choice than it is for you to choose to be straight.”
    At age 12 I decided I wanted to have children, naturally. That decision led to my choice of orientation. Before that, I was equally attracted to both sexes. After that, I made a conscious decision to be attracted to only one.
    “Are you married to a woman because you weighed the options and decided it would be easier to be with a girl than a guy?”
    In fact, it is much harder to live with a woman than in a male-only household. But there’s only one way to continue evolving one’s descendent’s genes, and that isn’t to be gay. I made a completely rational decision based on the ONLY criteria I could see about what life is truly about- to beget more life. My decision was based entirely on biology, history, and HARD science, not religions like psychology. The purpose of life is to beget life- that’s true over every species on the planet. Our species is bisexual, and our culture teaches us that after many thousands of years of experimentation AND FAILURE OF OTHER FORMS, the best way to do this is in heterosexual monogamous relationships.
    That’s what my choice, weighing the options available to me, was based on. Ten thousand years worth of experimentation and two million years worth of human biology beats your 150 years of Freud. When you have that level of evidence behind your worldview, let me know. Homosexuality is a failure because it fails to fulfill the purpose of life.

  • Adrenalin Tim

    I’m done too. As the saying goes, you can’t reason someone out of an opinion they didn’t reason themselves into.

  • Ted Seeber

    husband: “A voice of reason typed: “Just because we affirm homosexual couples does not mean straight people are going to stop making babies.”
    To which a non-reasoning/reasonable voice replies: “No, but it will mean fewer straight people, since same sex relationships are always going to be the easy way out for some.”
    People who enter into same-sex relationships aren’t straight to begin with, Ted.”
    What makes you say that? I made a conscious decision to be straight at age 12. Wasn’t it the same for you?
    “Nor does it follow that affirming God’s gay and lesbian children “mean fewer” heterosexuals. Still delusional I see.”
    Your worldview is not mine, sir. Mine is based on ten thousand years of experimentation into what works and what fails. What is yours based on?
    “”anybody FOR the continuation of the human species is for procreative sex”
    Where on God’s green earth have I ever said I am against procreative sex.”
    When you claimed to be for recreative sex. Or did you forget?
    “”since I passed 185 lbs, I haven’t had a single incident [of attempted rape by a gay person]”
    Bully for you, but I’d watch out for the chubby chasers if you’re gonna pack on the extra pounds ={O)”
    Luckily, since recreative sex is the only purpose of gay sex, those don’t exist.
    “”I’m sorry that your logical brain is not up to understanding that basic fact, that continuation of the human species requires procreative sex”
    I already said I agree with that statement. So I guess I’m sorry that you can’t read. Or that you can’t ‘understand’ that there’s more than enough (as in maybe way too many) betterosexuals out there droppin’ babies. Heck, the Palin klan alone could repopulate Alaska by itself.”
    Not according to the World Health Organization, who looked into it over the past year. But I know you overpopulation myth types seem to dislike hard numbers.
    “”That’s because apparently you don’t understand that procreation and DIVERSITY is what makes a species strong.”
    Pardon me while I choke on you using the word “diveristy” – and in a somewhat positive light. Guess irony ain’t dead after all.”
    Well, from my worldview, you’re strongly against tolerance and diversity- you’d like nothing better than to eliminate conservatives from the planet.
    “”Otherwise, the different genders are *so different* in thought process that relationships between them become impossible.”
    Well, I can see why a relationship of someone of the opposite gender might be “impossible” – if you were that person and I were a woman. The rest of the thinking world, not so much.”
    Then why books like “Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus” if there isn’t a gap between the genders? Oh, no, not another fact that messes with your carefully constructed worldview.
    “”Then why claim that non-procreative sex does no harm?”
    Because it doesn’t, your poor exegesis on the matter notwithstanding.”
    Either it creates harm by denying genetic diversity, or it creates no harm because genetic diversity isn’t important. Which is it?
    “You get to explain away your constant lusting and lack of repentance with a flippant “Hormones, mainly” Would that you were that lenient on your fellow gay citizens.”
    I am. I’m perfectly accepting *and support* the Roman Catholic Order Courage and the Knights of Columbus, and am a firm believer in the Sacrament of Confession and the idea that you should forgive a fellow believer’s sins indefinitely as they work on their own repentance.
    Show me repentance, instead of insisting that the very definition of sin be changed to fit your lifestyle, and I’ll show you the same charity.
    “I will continue to pray for your healing, Ted, and that your precious little skinny-assed bumhole stays safe from “The Gays” (TM).””
    Luckily not so skinny assed anymore, thanks to those bigots.

  • Ted Seeber

    AT: “I’m done too. As the saying goes, you can’t reason someone out of an opinion they didn’t reason themselves into.”
    Now that, I hate to see; I really wanted to hear you try to defend demanding toleration of homosexuals while refusing to tolerate conservatives.

  • Jake Dockter

    Hello All,
    I am not here to weigh in much of this debate. I am not here to “quote” others or to debate and nitpick. I am saddened that mud has started to be thrown and that it seems civility is slowly being thrown out the window. Lets be reminded of a few things:
    1) we don’t have to agree but we have to LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
    2) if you cant say something nice, don’t say anything at all.
    3) we are all loved, we are all flawed.
    I will say that an easy way out is to turn a disagreement into a blanket statement. So when someone disagrees with a statement by a conservative it would be easy to say “YOU ARE INTOLERANT OF CONSERVATIVES.” Just because I might be a “liberal” and disagree with a conservative does in no way make me intolerant. disagreeing with a philosophy of political ideology does not define intolerance, its just a disagreement. So please don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. And all please don’t lump things together that shouldn’t be.
    MOST IMPORTANTLY,
    I often wary of these debates for one main reason. What a luxury we have to be arguing and throwing out stats, facts, opinions, philosophies, theologies, isms and sayings and witty remarks. When in reality, out there now, living life are real gay people who are struggling with this very question. Not in an academic or on the blogosphere but in the deepest parts of their heart and mind. I am all for discussion and hopefully and ultimately this discussion will lead to one thing. LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER. Hopefully we can learn more about each others thoughts and how to RECONCILE and come together instead of dividing and polarizing. Its not an argument to be won, a stamp on the side of the laptop for zingers and snark, its not a checklist of ideology and conservative or liberal arguments, its real life for a lot of people. most of whom will have no part in this discussion, this debate. for the vast majority this blog will in no way affect their life (no offense tony). so instead of putting effort into winning a blog-ument (blog argument) lets put that into loving others.
    if you disagree with the idea that we need to love others, gay or straight, like you or not…than we have nothing to talk about and I question even bigger tenets of the faith than homosexuality. in that case, if you would argue the need for love and the command for it…i would ask you to reexamine your faith and understanding of who Jesus was.

  • Adrenalin Tim

    Ted: Either [non-procreative sex] creates harm by denying genetic diversity, or it creates no harm because genetic diversity isn’t important. Which is it?
    Neither. It creates no harm because sufficient genetic diversity exists in those who do procreate.
    I really wanted to hear you try to defend demanding toleration of homosexuals while refusing to tolerate conservatives
    So be it. I have no idea where you got the idea that 1) I demand toleration of homosexuals, or 2) I do not tolerate “conservatives” (however it is that you define such term).
    What I do demand is equal protection under the law, and what I do “refuse to tolerate” is bigotry based on pseudoscience being enforced by civil law.

  • Sholiday

    Can someone please tell me why you believe promiscuous sex in sinful? Im not being snarky. My only stipulation is us cant use any scriptures in the bible that address promiscuous sex.

  • Tammy Raybould

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever read or heard anything put quite so beautifully put, Jake Dockter! (August 11, 2009 5:42 PM) You said everything perfectly without a hint of anger and you said exactly what I’ve always believed in…LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER! Hate breeds hate and and love breeds love, whether people “breed” or not. There should be many more people in the world like you!

  • Darren

    convinced yet, tony? ;)

  • http://jusmeagain.blogspot.com Julie

    Yes, Mr. Jones, I have an answer for you. Why can’t a person in a committed homosexual relationship wholeheartedly follow Christ? Because NO ONE can wholeheartedly follow Christ! No one seeks God. (Romans 3:10-12)
    Wholeheartedly following Christ (obeying God, loving God with all your heart, mind, and strength) is a law. The Law of God demands perfection. But, instead, all have sinned- we are all under it (Romans 3:23, Romans 3:9). We are children of wrath by nature (Ephesians 2:1-3) and enemies of God (Colossians 1:21). We are sons of Adam, born in sin, and sinful from conception (Romans 5:12-13, Psalm 51:5).
    Mr. Jones, have you wholeheartedly followed Christ all your life? Do you obey the Law- always? Again, the Law demands perfection. And we can’t do it. So, therein enters the cross.
    Jesus didn’t come to teach us new laws or even how to follow the already established one. He didn’t come to teach us a ‘better way to live’ (which is a law). He came to fulfill the Law. (Matthew 5:17) Sent by His Father (John 8:42), Jesus came to call sinners (Matthew 9:12-13), ‘that those who do not see may see and those who see may become blind’ (John 9:39), and to die for them (John 12:23-29).
    In doing so, Jesus doesn’t abolish the Law (Matthew 5:17), but He sets us free from the yolk of the Law (We are no longer slaves to it.) (Galatians 4- Galatians 5:1)
    What does this mean? For mankind, who has had the Law of God written on our hearts (Romans 2:14-16), we are invited to enter the rest that Jesus Christ provides from the pain and conflict of striving through works (such as wholeheartedly following Christ) (Matthew 25:30, Hebrew 4:10).
    How do we enter that rest?
    Well, the Law demands perfection, and it demands justice when it is not obeyed. However, for His name’s sake, for His glory John 12:28), and for His love of the world (John 3:16) God sent His One and Only Son to meet that demand for justice.
    But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although, the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it- the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who had faith in Jesus. (Romans 3:21-26)
    We enter into that rest through faith- faith in Christ and His atoning work on the Cross. For even Abraham, his righteousness was a result of faith. (Galatians 3:5-9) “A person is not justified by works of the law but through faith in Jesus Christ, so we also have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ and not by works of the law, because by works of the law no one will be justified.” Galatians 2:16 (emphasis mine) We are no longer imprisoned to sin, but are justified by faith in Christ. (Galatians 3:23-26)
    And, now, I would point out, Mr. Jones, that you have asked two distinct questions. You asked why can one living in a committed homosexual relationship would not be able to wholeheartedly follow Christ. The answer would be because no one can do that. No one can follow the law.
    And you ask for thoughts on why practicing homosexuality inhibits one’s relationship with Christ. Yet, you ask me not to use the Scriptures that reference homosexuality, only philosophical and theological arguments.
    When one understands that one’s relationship with Christ is dependent on Christ and His work on the Cross, not on our work of wholeheartedly following Him, we understand that through faith in Him, the Spirit is given to us, and through the Spirit, we are given santicfication. “…Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law or by hearing with faith?… Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?” (Galatians 3:2-3) If we are led by the Spirit, we are not under the law, yet when we walk by the Spirit, we will not gratify the desires of our flesh. (Galatians 5:16-18)
    If you remember, while Jesus has fulfilled and freed us from the Yolk of the Law, He has not abolished it. He has set, clearly, His desire and commands for our sexuality. When Scripture is read in context, we see clearly in Genesis 1 and 3 that man and woman are created in the image of God and together reflect that image. We also see that it is not good for man to be alone, so God gives Him woman. We see that the people that God loves, Israel in the Old Testament and the Church in the New Testament, are represented as a feminine Bride that our masculine Bridegroom pursues, changes (calls to repentance), saves, and loves like a jealous lover.
    That being said, I cannot completely respect your stipulation to ignore Scripture pertaining to homosexuality. For the Bible must be read in whole and in context. (It’s interesting that you imply that a committed homosexual relationship would be more acceptable- more Biblical?- than homosexual promiscuity. Is that assumption part of Scriptural references to sexuality taken out of context?) As it says in 2 Timothy 3:15-17, “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.”
    Homosexuality inhibits one’s relationship with Christ because it is sin. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11, 1 Timothy 1:9-11, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, Romans 1:18-27). “If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1:6- 10
    And, yes, my answer ultimately is- because the Bible says so.
    Oh, but there’s good news! Christ died even for the sin of homosexuality. The Spirit makes us new! (1 Corinthians 6:11) We still struggle with our sin, as we will until we die. But forgiveness is promised for those who put their trust in Christ and there is hope in the change that comes from sanctification through the Spirit.

  • Your Name

    I have to ask the question. If we judge people badly for practicing same sex relationships are we not juding them? And doesn’t the Bible teach us that we aren’t to cast stones at each other? And isn’t it the person who has that relationship the one who has to explain to God? And if we judge negatively against that person do we not ourselves have to explain tha one to God? I was once told by a Priest that divorce is a bigger sin than the adultery my husband committed so why wouldn’t a long term relationship be allowed if it’s okay to cheat ( in a way ).

  • http://blog.beliefnet.com/churchbasementroadshow/ Tony Jones

    As much as it pains me to write this — both because it seems uncharitable and because it will decrease my pageviews — I ask all of you to stop responding to Ted Seeber in this (and all) strings.
    Sorry, Ted, but your opinions, while well-intentioned, in no way advance this discussion. Why? Because they are completely irrational.

  • Husband

    Julie,
    “That being said, I cannot completely respect your stipulation to ignore Scripture pertaining to homosexuality. For the Bible must be read in whole and in context.”
    The passages that you believe “[pertain] to homosexuality” in fact do not. Certainly they do not pertain to what we understand homosexuality (or, more specifically, homosexual relationships) to be today. The passages discuss homosexual rape (hi, Ted), homosexual lust, and homosexual temple/cult prostitution. We are discussing committed, loving, consenting, adult relationships, not rape, lust or prostitution – or even pederasty.
    This distinction is important because of what you call for – reading the context. We have to examine what it meant to “lie with a woman” in the Bronze Age. Women were chattel, property. That is context. And, in that time, to treat a man thusly, was considered an abomination. That, too, is context. Likewise, today, we no longer hold it true that to enter into communion with God means you have to have sex with a temple prostitute. Context demands that we examine what it means to turn away “from the natural”. Having sex with someone of the opposite sex is not “natural” for a homosexual. Does this/can this passage not be referring to (admittedly nominally) heterosexual men going on (what is now referred to as) “the down low” for a ‘bit o’ fun on the side’? Lying with women is natural – for heterosexual men. And it is they who ‘abandon’ what is “natural” for them.
    Ted often refers to his lust (for which he is seemingly unrepentant due to “hormones”!), for example, while we discuss intimacy, affection, love.
    I will gladly join you in a debate when, indeed, Scripture is examined “in whole”. If lying with another man is “an abomination”, then we also have to ask how grave is that if eating shrimp or lobster is likewise “an abomination”.
    If, we insist on the “whole”, then we must ask why we ignore the passage that says (what conservatives think of as) homosexuals “shall surely be put to death”. We must examine why we no longer deny communion to the disabled, or put disobedient children or the victims of incest to death – as the exact same Scriptures say we ought to. We’d have to examine why we allow divorce despite Jesus prohibition of it.
    “In whole and in context”? We’d welcome it. In fact, we’ve been making the “in whole and in context” arguments ad nauseam, but conservatives like Ted will have none of it.

  • Tisha Brown

    As a lesbian in a committed relationship with a woman I’ve known and loved for 17 years and as a pastor I am getting really tired of this debate. I have long since resolved these issues for myself. There is nothing in my relationship with my partner that inhibits my ability to be a follower of Christ. In fact, the love we share, and the community support and recognition we receive from our church community – the congregation I serve and the wider United Church of Christ, our families and the wider community in which we live strengthens my faith, encourages my spiritual journey, keeps me focused when I’m tempted to stray, lifts me up when I am down, and encourages me to face life (including this very painful at times debate) with humor and integrity.
    It seems to me that the question of gays in the church is primarily a question for heterosexuals and is also a question that, in my view, inhibits many heterosexual christians, not your homosexual sisters and brothers, from following Jesus.
    My read of the gospels has Jesus reaching out to the outcasts, welcoming them into the fellowship of disciples, engaging them in community, extending love and hospitality. And in my read of the gospels he does this not to manipulate them into changing but to ensure them a place in the realm of God as beloved children of God.
    If homosexuals are the last acceptable group for much of society to consider as outcasts – to scorn, ridicule, demean, poke fun at, be disgusted by etc. then in my view the church should be on the forefront of extending a loving embrace – not so that we will change (assumption here is that homosexuality in and of itself is a sin, which I do not believe it is) but so that we are welcomed just as the tax collectors, the prostitutes, the woman bent over from the flow of blood, the lepers of the gospels were welcomed by Jesus and restored to a community of support, encouragement, discipleship and most of all love.
    So, have fun arguing about gays in the church. Meanwhile, my faithful sisters and brothers who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered and I will continue to love and serve God and Jesus Christ to the very best of our ability in the church and mostly outside of it.
    Blessings to all,
    Rev. Tisha Brown

  • Bobby Ray Hurd

    Alright,
    I’m excited to get to present some thoughts here.
    First of all, it should be important to understand up front that I write from an Emerging, Quaker, Messianic Jew, Mennonite, Christian Anarchist point-of-view (in the tradition of John Howard Yoder, Jacques Ellul, Greg Boyd, Stanley Hauerwas, Shane Claiborne, and David Stern) that does not see the Bible as the Word of God, but rather, understands JESUS as the Word of God. If you closely look at the patterns by which God gives revelation to his people than you will see that God DOES NOT reveal through philosophy, moral code, or metaphysical construction. God enters human history and accompanies people. This is in the same notion as Jesus saying that he is “the way”- the notion that he’s not TELLING you the way but is saying that you and he will actually perform a sort of “spiritual piggyback” whereby he will CARRY you as a road carries those who tread upon it. He HIMSELF is the way- not the Bible. Jesus also says, “I am the truth.” He doesn’t say, “I will tell you the Truth.” Jesus says that he himself IS truth. Therefore, any conclusions that you draw can only be formed in relationship to “the truth” and “the way”; Jesus.
    Therefore, whenever you look at the Bible, you absolutely cannot read it as if it were a philosophical construction or a system of knowledge. The entire Bible- from Genesis to Revelation- should not be viewed as a veiling and unveiling of abstract and objective truths. The stories of the Bible should be viewed as one HISTORY of a continuing conversation about what it means to live “optimally human” in accordance to this history; the history of God’s agreement and disagreement with his people. Biblical law is only true because it is God who speaks it.
    All law gets its worth because of who it draws truth from.
    If you detach it from its speaker (from its relationship to God and his people) than any conclusions that you draw are only a mere subject for discussion with some acceptable elements.
    This is what is meant whenever “emergents” talk about the relativity of the Bible. It isn’t a renunciation of truth. It is an embrace of truth from which it draws its conclusions that are dependant upon one’s understanding of the RELATIONSHIP by which the word was spoken. Nor does relativity suggest that there isn’t anything timeless about the Bible. But “truth” regarding homosexuality has to be viewed in RELATIONSHIP to the Word of God (this would be JESUS!). Therefore, anything that is said outside of the Word of God-Jesus- has to be put into prospective to HIS teachings. “The law” is the point of the covenant and the starting point of a new history. It is never some sort of frozen code abstracted from existence. God sent a MAN to do his work and not Gnostic revelations, books of metaphysics, or a perfected wisdom.
    Therefore, EVERY ethic should be viewed in relationship to Jesus. You have to be able to take very seriously the teaching that is the most pervasive and definitive of Jesus’ ministry; the Kingdom of God.
    Moving to homosexuality…
    Like I said, every conclusion that you draw about an ethic has to be viewed in relationship to Jesus. PAUL is not Jesus. Timothy is not Jesus. The writers of the Torah are not Jesus. The writers of the Bible are not Jesus. Therefore, I adhere to Tony’s point-of-view that suggests that the most widespread understanding of homosexuality in the church conflicts with Jesus’ teachings on relationships in accordance to the Kingdom of God/Heaven.
    Therefore, the notion that, “God said it, therefore its good enough for me” is not entirely true. The Bible is the God-inspired reporting of those events…not truth itself. PAUL and Timothy are not truth in themselves, but anything that they write or say has to be viewed as it is RELATIVE to Jesus. (HAVE I SAID THAT ENOUGH TIMES!?!?)
    I believe that the Bible teaches that sin is the essence of human destruction. Sin, in the bible, is defined as “missing the mark” or HAMARTIA. Therefore, yes, I consider sin to sell short the notion of God’s ideal for humanity as the scriptural evidence shows this belief to be consistent with the first Christians AND the first Jews. With this being said- if you take Jesus’ teachings of relationships seriously- sin shouldn’t be handled as if it were taboo. One should not be prudish, resentful, or indignant of gays. Nor is ministry to them any different than how you would minister to any other sinner. In fact, it irritates me that I even have to single them out! If you take the scriptures as literally as they are generally presented, than you must assume that gays should be PUT TO DEATH as this is what the three scriptures in the Torah suggest is a “just” consequence. Juxtapose this to Jesus’ example, you will reach a very different conclusion.
    Therefore, if you’re going to be a literalist, be an honest literalist.
    Hence, this only proves my point further. This shows the relativity of the original “law” of Israel. Its not that the law was bad, poor, or foolish. It’s that it was relative to the time it was written and the relationship that God had to Israel in an ancient time. Therefore, put into prospective that these are HUMAN writings about their take on Israel’s relationship with God. This is what it means to be “God-inspired.” Also consider that “the law” is also relative to Moses’ role as a leader to an ancient people without an identity, where superstition and idolatry was rampant, and people needed some structure to their obliviousness in regards to their own humanity.
    Jesus was a friend of the “worst” types of culturally taboo sinners. In our American culture, homosexuals are among these culturally condemned sinners. Therefore, I believe that Jesus- if alive today- would have MADE SURE to befriend homosexuals just to spit in the face of cultural Christianity and their system of morality just as he spat in the face of cultural Judaism and their frozen code of morality.
    Jesus befriended the “worst” types of sinners not to convert them to a religion or to even change their behavior…he was after changing their heart. Jesus is a living testament that if you turn people’s hearts toward recognizing that they are divine creations of the LIVING God that they will naturally rearrange their lives. Any system of morality that is adopted is then God-inspired and, therefore, a self-choice brought on by one’s relentless commitment to their discipleship to “the way.”
    Therefore, ministry to gays is NO DIFFERENT than ministry with any other sinner. If you shoot for their heart, they naturally reorder their lives once they’ve had an encounter with the resurrected Christ. If homosexuality is truly immoral- which is the debate here- than their encounter with the resurrected Christ will change them as they are honest about their own humanity. Its not for YOU or ANYONE to change there behavior! Judgment is God’s. This is what separates man’s judgment from God’s judgment.
    It is, therefore, the role of a Yeshuine disciple to not judge what is “acceptable morality” but to shoot for changing the heart of people so that they may reorder their lives in relation to their relationship with Jesus.
    For an example, I recently became a vegetarian. Not because of some system of morality or because I somehow think I’m earning spiritual brownie points for not eating meat, but because an encounter with the resurrected Christ does weird things to you. You do things that you would never imagine were feasible; let alone practical! No one tried to convert me to their religion, no one gave me a guilt trip, and I’m not a member of PETA. Whenever you have an encounter with the resurrected Christ, you continually ask yourself, “what does it mean to live optimally human?” In response to this question I became convicted that the my dependence upon meat is an aspect of fallenness… and I just naturally gave it up. My decision to be a vegetarian is relative to my relationship with Jesus. I’m not the only one who’s had this conviction.
    Therfore, doing anything- whether it be abstaining from homosexuality or veganism- should be viewed as something in relationship to one’s relationship to Christ AND NOT a relationship to a frozen moral code.
    Adhereing to a frozen code is like using an instruction manual to “operate” your spouse. You would be using instructions that are relative to the writer’s experience. They may offer some “true” elements, but, fundamentally, the manual is not an end in of itself. If you want to understand how to “work” your spouse, BE with your spouse. Just like if you want to know Jesus, BE with Jesus.
    Therefore, don’t start with morality. Start with Kingdom relationships and lose the mentality that ministry is somehow helixed with attempts to change behavior. Jesus never modeled that!
    Moving on…
    There are a number of scholars who dispute that the six passages (3 in OT and 3 in NT) are not as explicit in condemning all forms of homosexuality as they may seem. Some indicate that the word Paul uses in I Timothy 6 and I Timothy 1 is usually translated as “homosexuality” (arsenakoitai) is very indefinite. It’s never used before Paul says it and it has historically been translated in a wide variety of ways. Martin Luther translated it “masturbation.” Some also argue that the kind of homosexuality Paul had in mind when writing Romans 1 would have been the kind typically practiced by Romans and would not have included loving, reverent, monogamous committed relationships. I am not totally persuaded by these arguments, but neither should ANYONE dismiss this debate.
    Secondly, there is nothing in the Bible that suggests two people of the same gender can’t share a love for one another that is as profound as a love between a man and a woman. David and Jonathan had this kind of affection for one another. At one point scripture says: “So Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, ‘May the LORD call David’s enemies to account.’ And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself” (I Sam 20:16-17).
    Later, in 2 Samuel, David says to Jonathan:
    I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother;
    you were very dear to me.
    Your love for me was wonderful,
    more wonderful than that of women (2 Sam. 1:26).
    So it seems two people of the same gender can share a deep, godly, profound love for one another. The Bible is against homoerotic behavior, but not against same gender love itself. Nor is the Bible against homosexuals anymore than it is against any other sinner- as if Jesus were against ANY sinner!
    Third, it’s my opinion that homosexual behavior goes right along with the other sins that Paul lists as what I am calling the “degenerative sins”; or the sins that are fundamentally worsening as they become habitual lifestyles. Paul cites drunkenness, cheating, being miserly, idolatry, foulmouthed revilers, and sexual immorality as these “degenerative sins” (this is my term not the bible’s). Take a close look at each and every one of these Pauline citations. What is the common thread? Every single one of them are lifestyles of degeneration/destruction. Notice none of these are religious taboos, but they are lifestyles that essentially lead to one’s annihilation. Paul nails it whenever he condemns these lifestyles, because they, all-in-all, degenerate people into a failing existence and lead to a disintegration with God (is this not the DEFINITION of damnation as well?).
    It’s my opinion that trying to reinterpret Paul and Timothy’s words is not the way to go. Rather, embrace what they have said for the mere reason that their words are relative to their relationship to Jesus. It was adopted within the Hebrew tradition and moral thought of that day that homosexuality was a sexually degenerative act. Therefore, the point of what Paul and Timothy are articulating is a warning to not sell short your own sexuality because it is intended to be a reflection of God’s love and it is, therefore, ingrained into the biology of human beings (“honor God with your body”). Paul says in 1 Corinthians 6:15, “Do you not see and know that your bodies are members (bodily parts) of Christ? Am I to take the parts of Christ and make [them] parts of a prostitute?”
    Paul is giving a warning that it is ESSENTIAL that you are honest about one’s sexuality because the LAST THING human beings want to do is cash in their sexuality for something shorter than its fullest fulfillment. (Rob Bell has the best commentary on sexuality I have ever read).
    Perhaps a more contemporary metaphor would help…
    Am I to take gold and forge it into a toilet or a dumpster?
    Am I to take diamonds and grind it up into rat food?
    Am I to take a BMW Roadster for a demolition derby car?
    Notice that Paul is accentuating the unending worth of human beings and, therefore-when we participate in lifestyles of degeneration- are going against divine common sense (and being downright asinine) whenever we take something with never-ending splendor/value and co-opt it with a less-than-beautiful principle.
    Being able to be honest about our design is central to living a life in integration with God.
    THEREFORE…
    The question that is raised for me is:
    “Are there elements of the human experience that people are incapable of BEing in any true, honest, or genuine sense?”
    Is this a question that can be answered with any sense of organization?
    Is the answer simple “relativity?” (which to be intellectually honest, you have to consider).
    Perhaps the human experience is compromised of universal AND relative truths?
    Perhaps our most modern Christian ethos has denied relativity or, at the very least, been very irresponsible with its application.
    Perhaps the Christian ethos has deemed “universal” what is certainly “relative?”
    Perhaps we have called “relative” what is certainly “universal?”
    What is the full extent that one may live out the truth, “Unto thyself be true”?
    Whenever we can honestly distinguish between the God-sculpted elements of the human experience and the man-sculpted elements of the human experience we will fundamentally be able to answer this question that not only creates hostility and division in the church, but has saturated the human conscience since the beginning.
    As reasonable, loving, Jesus-focused people, let us continue the discussion.
    To be “true to thyself” is central to living in integration and abundance of the eternal life of YHVH.
    How may one be “optimally connected?”
    or better…
    How many one live “optimally human?”
    Ask and answer these questions with a loving heart, judgment aside, and an open mind.
    Remember that above all, Jesus says that “love wins” because love leads to truth- or where there perhaps may be a lack of it.
    Love never fails because love leads one to the truth.
    Because, above all, love is the drum major in the marching band of truth.
    Shalom!

  • http://ouremergingthoughts.blogspot.com Bobby Ray Hurd

    Sorry about the long post. I got carried away. I can’t keep anything short!

  • Arthur

    Hmm, I find it interesting that, while Christians who believe certain verses are true are not allowed to use them, the other side can frequently refer to them. A tad unfair I would say.

  • Your Name

    Well this has all got a bit silly hasn’t it??
    Tony, I must admit to finding your question a bit bemusing, being that a) of course there is a strong ‘non-biblical’ case, that’s how the ‘orthodox’ view of marriage has been maintainted – it’s called the Western tradition (ignoring the Orthodox Church for now, but that’s a different story). I’m afraid the burden of proof is very much on you here! b) As Scott McK pointed out, it’s a little mischievious to ask Evangelical Christians to build a case against same-sex marriage (I presume marriage is what we are talking about and that we haven’t decided to totally go awol from Scripture and Tradition) given that their epistomology is built on a high view of Scripture (not to say that you don’t have one to).
    Still, you asked the question, and I think I know what you are driving at. In response I recommend you read a fellow luminary at Princeton University, Professor Robert P George, defending marriage as union between man and woman. You may disagree with him, but surely you will take his reasoning seriously. Presumbably you will ‘not find his arguments compelling’ :).
    You could also read N. T. Wright’s recent comments on gay ordination and post-modern misunderstandings of ‘rights’.
    http://www.firstthings.com/article/2009/07/what-marriage-is-and-what-it-isnt

  • panthera

    I find the argument that we have no right to marriage more than questionable, it is rooted in the absurd contention that heterosexuals know what is best for homosexuals. Of course, not only do we have that right in the civilized world, we also have several supreme court cases here in the US which grant that marriage is a right. Funny how conservatives just love to cherry pick the Bible, science and jurisprudence.
    Such arrogance admits of no serious discussion.
    In the end, there are two personality types. Those who demand others obey their own personal rules (and, if they are conservative Christians and or Republicans that means they don’t give a fig for obeying them, themselves) and those who wish all the best but leave them alone to find their own path to happiness.

  • churchmouse

    panthera show scripture that says you can get married.
    This isn’t about homosexuals against heterosexuals. This is about doing what is right and allowing the bible to guide you in your decision making. This is about the whole human race. Its about those committing sex sin period and that goes for heterosexuals as well. Sex outside the marriage bed is sin. And Marriage is between one man and one woman. Read what Jesus said about marriage and creation.
    And this is NOT about my rules, its about Gods rules. And they are made crystal clear in the Word. You just wont face it.
    Tisha make a case for lesbian marriage, relationship and use scripture. WHY WONT ANY lesbian or homosexual here do this? No one will even attempt to do it. You bash scripture, you take it out of the bible because its cultrually outdated……….but you have no evidence from the Word to make your case.
    ????????????????????

  • Your Name

    In order to wholeheartedly follow Christ you/we must do what Christ did.
    In the Garden of Gethsemane, as Jesus prayed before being arrested:
    Luke 22:42 Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done.
    Jesus submitted to the will of the Father, he did not just do whatever he wanted to do. This is what we all have to do to follow Him completely.
    John 6:38 “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.

  • panthera

    Sigh.
    Churchmouse, you argue for following the Bible yet cherry-pick the texts to suit your own needs.
    Don’t be absurd.
    My marriage is recognized both by our federal government and our Christian church.
    Are you really arguing for basing all your actions exclusively on your own, private interpretation of the Bible?
    Read Matthew 22:15-22.
    Honestly, this just gets more and more absurd. If you are not careful, I shall start asking your opinion of Paul’s clear statements on slavery.
    Oh, right, we had that one already, too. You conservative Christians advocate re-enslaving Negroes.

  • Charles

    Jesus presumed marriage was between a man and a woman. In Matthew 19, He quotes Genesis. The topic was divorce, but His assumption was marriage as a union between a man and a woman, exclusively. He also talks about any lust outside of matrimony is adultery and condemned. Not only does Jesus not condone gay marriage. He seems to only condone heterosexual marriage as a compromise, if the person isn’t strong enough to stay single and totally dedicated to God first. So, its hard enough to find Christ all giddy about hetersexual marriage, aside restating Old Testament disdain of all other kinds of sexual expression. My thought is that if you define yourself by your sexual proclivity, then that is what comes first in your life. If you define yourself by your job, social status or political affiliation, those are your gods too. Anything placed ahead of Christ is misplaced. And for those relationships that do matter, only by placing Him first, can you love those people best….and not according to your own inclinations, but to what is ultimately for their best, guided by His Spirit. If I placed my wife and child first, even before God, I would be doing the same thing. Sometimes those things in life that are uncontroversial good things are the easiest to deify. And those things that are more controversial are usually deified through indignation and hostility. Not sure I answered your questions. I didn’t quote scripture per se, but figured you already knew the parts in Matthew 5 and 19 I refer to. I’d also say that there is no reason to consider Jesus and Paul at odds on this or much any other issue, even if one or the other is sort of implicit or silent on the matter. To do so is to read alot into the text to suit our vested self interest…..which is bad news, regardless if you are gay, straight, skeptic or a pharisee.

  • churchmouse

    Panthera I truly feel sorry for you really I do. The hate and bitterness you carry around must be heavy.
    I do see color but I believe all colors are beautifully created by God. My daughter is dating a wonderful talented black fella that my husband and I both adore. The best man in my sons wedding is black and over one third of the church I attend is black. One of my best friends is black.
    You are wrong Panthera I welcome the questions you ask and I am not running from them. You are the one that runs and won’t address any questions that I put to you.
    Not all Christian Churches will recognize your marriage and in the United States most states will not acknowledge it either. I believe in my heart that if you go to a Church that accepts your marriage that they are not walking in the light of Gods Word. I can only imagine what else they say God condones.
    Charles I agree with what you said here. “My thought is that if you define yourself by your sexual proclivity, then that is what comes first in your life. If you define yourself by your job, social status or political affiliation, those are your gods too. Anything placed ahead of Christ is misplaced”
    Good point.

  • Naphtali

    You jump through a lot of hoops here to try to redefine the argument into on that you can win. If you’re looking for loop holes in the law it makes me seriously question where your heart is in keeping it. Then to say we can’t use the clear and definate texts that speak to it is like saying, “Prove murder is illegal without quoting the penal code or any offical records.” Then you redefine the SIN as having “genital contact with someone of your own gender” to under play the depravity of it. That’s like saying an ax murderer just “passed a sharpened ax blade into or through someones body.” No one is going to Hell for making “genital contact with someone of your own gender”. The wages of sin is death, thats why people go to Hell. If its possible to have “genital contact with someone of your own gender” with out Sinning and thats what you do… then you have nothing to worry about. But you know its wrong. Its definantly acting against God. Its filled with lust and SELF love. Its taking someone out of their proper natural and Godly use. You try to add all these provisos of being in a long term and monogomous relationship, like that makes SIN ok. If I had sex with my daughter from the time she was 10 till she was 20 and only had sex with her and no one else… would that make it ok. OF COURSE NOT. You sir have no love or respect for God, His word or His people. And you are leading people to Hell with you. So I leave you with 2 Peter 2:17-19
    “These men [false teachers] are waterless springs and mists driven by a storm, for whom the utter depths of darkness have been reserved. For by speaking high-sounding but empty words they are able to entice, with fleshly desires and with debauchery, people who have just escaped from those who reside in error. Although these false teachers promise such people freedom, they themselves are enslaved to immorality. For whatever a person succumbs to, to that he is enslaved.”

  • Husband

    churchmouse,
    “Tisha make a case for lesbian marriage, relationship and use scripture. WHY WONT ANY lesbian or homosexual here do this?”
    Um, you can read, can’t you? Tisha is a lesbian.
    “Not all Christian Churches will recognize your marriage”
    So? Catholics don’t “recognize” the 2nd marriages of divorced people. Do you have a point?
    “and in the United States most states will not acknowledge it either.
    Currently, you mean. There are 6 States that perform them, and several other jurisdictions that recognize same-sex marriages performed legallye elsewhere (NY and D.C. come readily to mind). Then there’s that pesky Constitutional challenge based on the Full Faith & Credit Clause. (Yes, I know that DOMA specifically exempts itself from this clause – pretty convenient, imo, and only for the time being – it’s what makes DOMA itself UN-Constitutional, again imo.) Recall, please, when some States would not recognize inter-racial marriages either.
    “I believe in my heart that if you go to a Church that accepts your marriage that they are not walking in the light of Gods Word.”
    That’s the beauty of freedom of religion; you are free to “believe” what you want on this or any other issue. Too bad you won’t allow others who “believe” differently than you do the same freedom.

  • Sacramental Bea

    “My thought is that if you define yourself by your sexual proclivity, then that is what comes first in your life.”
    Trouble is, it’s heterosexuals who are “defining” gays solely by their sexual acts.

  • http://www.Neothoughtsofken.blogspot.com/2008/02/homosexuality-argument.html Ken

    Tony –
    I have not commented on your Blog previously, however, I feel it is time to speak up. First of all, I believe your standard is irrational, we should never seek to set aside any biblical text. Moreover, Even if we are doing things that the bible condemns, that doesn’t change the fact that it is condemned (ie, that means not that we should look past the text, but rather that we should look into ourselves, and discover why we are acting in a contra-biblical manor.). Despite my objection to your question, I feel that it should be answered. My answer is as follows -
    I am showing:
    1. Why marriage can not be between members of the same sex, as there is not starting of the practice by God. ( Genesis 2:24)
    2. As Homosexual’s can not marry, therefore they must fornicate.
    3. Fornication is sin. (1 Corinthians 6:18 Darby : Flee fornication. Every sin which a man may practice is without the body, but he that commits fornication sins against his own body. )
    4. Christians should Hate Sin. ( 1 John 3:8-10)
    Therefore:
    5. A Christian can not be a homosexual, in action.
    All fornication is sin. (1 Corinthians 6:18) This is regardless of who you are fornicating with.
    Now, the issue is can a homosexual be married. Because if he can then one might be forced to look beyond this argument, as it is beyond the scope.
    So, lets look at when marriage was instituted.
    Gen 2:22-25: And the rib, which the LORD God had taken from the man, made He a woman, and brought her unto the man. And the man said: ‘This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.’ Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh. And they were both naked, the man and his wife, and were not ashamed.
    some NT statements to the same effect…
    Eph 5:22-31: Wives, be in subjection unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, as Christ also is the head of the church, being himself the saviour of the body. But as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives also be to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself up for it; that he might sanctify it, having cleansed it by the washing of water with the word, that he might present the church to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. Even so ought husbands also to love their own wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his own wife loveth himself: for no man ever hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as Christ also the church; because we are members of his body. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh.
    Mark 10:4-9: And they said, Moses suffered to write a bill of divorcement, and to put her away. But Jesus said unto them, For your hardness of heart he wrote you this commandment. But from the beginning of the creation, Male and female made he them. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh: so that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
    Mat 19:3-6: And there came unto him Pharisees, trying him, and saying, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? And he answered and said, Have ye not read, that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife; and the two shall become one flesh? So that they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
    The question then is -
    Can anyone give a God ordained example of members the same sex marrying, from the bible or one could show where homosexual marriage is instituted by God.
    If not, we must say that all homosexual acts are fornication, and therefore sinful.
    I am not saying that Christians can not have homosexual attraction, But i am saying that if they openly practice this behavior, they are in opposition to Scripture.

  • http://Neothoughtsofken.blogspot.com Ken

    Hey Tony,
    Here is a Video Response.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4yitnQkgE8

  • http://god-at-the-center.blogspot.com Chris Coppenbarger

    God ordained marriage as that between a man and woman in Genesis 2:24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh.
    If one is not following after even such a command as this, how can they follow Christ with their own heart. That being said, you attempt to remove the Word of God itself in the argument against homosexuality. In other words, you are attempting to make it impossible for you to lose the argument.


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