Video Response: Those Pesky Six Verses about Homosexuality

  • Mac

    Tony,
    If I understand you correctly, one of your main concerns (I am sure there are others) with an interpretation that prohibits homosexuality is that you think it is inconsistent. How do people hermeneutically justify prohibiting homosexuality while at the same time conveniently ignoring other prohibitions that they conveniently labeled cultural–dietary restrictions, clothing restrictions, and so on.
    My question to you is how do we go about determining what should be considered a cultural prohibition in the Bible and determining what prohibitions still apply today? And related to that question, I am curious what you think of William J. Webb’s “Slaves, Women & Homosexuality” — a book devoted to answering that question.
    Thanks!

  • Bo

    I really resonate with your objection, Tony, that people don’t always have the best grounds for taking some verses literally and others not so much. After just finishing Scot McKnight’s “The Blue Parakeet,” I really appreciated how he used the last part of his book to come to the defense of women in the Church against certain Pauline verses using a nuanced hermeneutic, something McKnight should be applauded for. I was a little disappointed that McKnight didn’t really talk about why he doesn’t treat verses about homosexuality in a similar manner, as I know (or think i know) where he stands on the issue. For me, it seems like an easy step to contextualize NT verses about GLBT people if one has already done so with women. I haven’t found a clear explanation, although I deeply respect the scholars and writers such as Dan Kimball, Dr. McKnight, and especially N.T. Wright, whom I find myself at odds with.

  • Robert

    Tony,
    Perhaps you have addressed this elsewhere, and perhaps you will get to it in a few days, but I have to express my frustration with you and generally with anyone who raises the argument:
    Hey, the people of God once said shellfish was bad but now they don’t. You all are just so arbitrary who want to say homosexuality is morally wrong because you eat shellfish! Ha ha, got you!
    I am being a little sarcastic (obviously), but you are clearly an intelligent man. Have you never read any exegesis that explains differences between eternal moral laws, temporary theocratic regulations for Israel, etc. You need to respond to that exegesis and why it isn’t compelling. Did you even watch the Michael Brown video from the last post? If you want to get people over to your side, convince us that his arguments are wrong or invalid.
    I once had a liberal Catholic professor who said this: The Bible is overwhelmingly concerned to tell us that homosexual relations are sinful. Those portions of Scripture must be rejected as divine revelation.
    Ultimately, that position is far more intellectually respectable than those who say the NT is not talking about committed gay relationships. That seems to be your position on original sin (that we can ignore Paul here), why not just say this is what you feel about homosexuality.
    Finally,
    If the overarching story of the Bible is the interrelationship of the Creator with His creatures (as reasonable a summary as any other), then we must remember that we are creatures and that the CREATOR establishes the terms of the relationship. Quite frankly, that is an emphasis that I have yet to see from you. Forgive me if it is present and I have missed it.
    Robert

  • panthera

    I fail to understand why the conservative Christians refuse to accept what modern science and medicine have shown us – that homosexuality occurs throughout all the high-order mammals, that it is neither a disorder nor a choice nor yet evolutionarily disadvantageous.
    All this nonsense about how the Bible condemns my marriage is perfect garbage. Regardless of whether one finds an overarching disapproval of being gay or not, our knowledge in the 21st century overrides any ignorance of earlier generations.

  • idontgetit

    I know this is somewhat if not totally irrelevant, for two reasons, one I am not a professional Christian and two it does not offer an effective apologetic. Thus it has no merit, what so ever in the modern evangelical Church. The fact that so many Christians struggle with these issues shows the great falling away is happening and we have to be in the end times not that modern “conservative” evangelicals may be wrong on some of these issues. That cannot be true. Mr. Jones if I am correct you mentioned your view of original sin was not the same view of many Conservative Christians I E that man is born in sin, guilty before a Holy God of rebellion at the moment of conception. When the sperm “meets” the egg, new life is created and that new life is from that instant, under the wrath of a Holy God because of the Sin of Adam. If God wishes to cast a non elect baby into hell, then so be it, He is the Creator we are the Created. We should not ask, or question. But what if this is just a “view” of God, then maybe we should question it.
    This does lead to the same conclusion about people whom are gay. If special creation is an historic fact, if a literal world flood which covered all the mountains, if a boat with every kind of animal and eight people floated on the flood waters for around a year, then the waters abated, then all the kinds of animals spread around Mount Ararat and Logically the animals had to cross over land so some speculate that the one continent would break apart over a quick period of time, from a geological time scale. The same is for all of man at the tower of Babble, and so on. Of course there is plenty of “proof” for this, just read the blogs, go see the Creation Museum, there is a vast conspiracy lead by the Jesuits / contemplative emergent people and the vast majority of all scientists, geologist, paleontologist, climatologists, physics, etc. Of course one tell tale sign of this vast satanic conspiracy is the support for the “Homosexual agenda”™ .
    Or maybe “this view” is not correct? Maybe we can’t compare the Homosexual activity of two thousand plus years ago and now, just like we can’t compare the major world views held by a majority of the population. This is not a cut to those in the past, but we have more information we live in a different universe then they did. Why I respect the emergent Church is that they are not afraid to ask, the second is they admit things are grey and one can’t just nail down those doctrines and stand firm for the faith. If we look down some of that firm ground is sand and the water is washing in. As for Tolerance, you should be allowed to preach and believe what you will; Churches and faith groups should be granted exemptions etc. and I do understand their concern for discussion. I don’t have all the answers, the problem is most of us in faith communities no one thing, don’t ask the questions.

  • Greg

    Can someone point me to some site that they consider to have the best hermeneutic against taking those 6 verses as literally speaking against monogamous homosexual relationships? Most of the stuff I have found tends to be really brief, like a sentence or paragraph, and doesn’t really get into the context. I’d love to, along with Tony and others, affirm monogamous homosexual relationships, but it would be helpful for me if I knew how to address those 6 verses. They must mean something, so if they could logically be read to mean something other than the traditional conclusion I’d love to hear it.

  • Pete

    Not eating shellfish…addressed in Acts 10…”Rise Peter and Eat”.
    Women wearing head coverings… Paul says, “Only if your culture agrees”.
    That is why those two examples are not followed literally by many Christians.
    Jesus tackled homosexuality in an indirect manner, seeing that it wasn’t the hot button topic of his time, divorce was.
    “For this reason a man and a woman…”
    What am I missing here?

  • The amazing Rando

    Tony: then could you please tell us YOUR interpretation of them. For all this talk of people interpreting things wrong, we would like to hear exactly what you think these verses were meant to mean, and what they mean for us today.
    No more beating around the bush.

  • RJohnson

    “Women wearing head coverings… Paul says, “Only if your culture agrees”.”
    Incorrect. In 1 Corinthians 11:11-16 we read the following (note especially verse 16):
    11In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. 12For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God. 13Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him, 15but that if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For long hair is given to her as a covering. 16If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.
    “We have no other practice – nor do the churches of God.” Seems quite clear to me that there is no exception to the rule here at all in any of the churches.

  • churchmouse

    Tony you say use the bible but don’t use it. How can you pick it apart and eliminate parts because you find them offensive? There is power in every verse and there must be some underlying reason why you want those verses struck from the debate, or the conversation. You can’t toss verses out of the bible to win a point. Anyone doing a deductive bible study on any issue has to take the entire book into context. Its like a judge does….you have to weigh all the evidence. Biblical reasoning is using the entire book.
    Tony I believe you are trying to condone an act that is an abomination in both the OT and the NT. You are trying to find a loophole that is not there. There is no example, no quote from anyone in the entire bible that condones homosexual, heterosexual sex outside marriage. Christ is specific about who can marry and it is not two woman or two men. The Bible spans centuries……show an example, quote Christ where same sex marriages are condoned. They are not. And don’t give me the excuse that Christ didn’t mention the word homosexual so therefore it must be ok. Christ didn’t talk about a lot of issues but that does not mean they are right. He said enough to make it clear that sex was for one man and one woman who are married. You are trying to see something that just is not there.
    We should take to heart what Christ says. It’s not about what we think should be right, it’s about what He has instituted. Do you also think we shouldn’t take Thou Shalt Not Commit adultery literally? Or Thou Shalt not Lust? Or murder? Or steal? Or is it just the laws against sex and marriage that you find fault with?
    The NT backs up the OT in regards to Gods vision for the family. He said……a man should leave his father and mother and cleave to his ONE wife. Let no one put asunder. Show me one verse in either the OT or the NT where God condones same sex marriage or sex outside marriage. I am asking you scripturally to make a case for same sex unions and sex outside marriage.
    You obviously do not understand the Law because you wouldn’t have brought up the shell fish and fabric comments. I just posted about this very same thing on another blog if you would like to read it, I won’t copy it here. The things you mention we are not held to since Christ came and there are scriptures to back that up as well. Christ came cause we could not do it alone, we could not fulfill the law perfectly.
    I am really wondering since you seem to pick and choose to freely what is right and wrong in the Bible……what exactly you would classify as sin. Do you even believe in sin? If you say toss the scriptures out in Leviticus…..we have it all wrong, then maybe we have the rest of sin in that chapter wrong too. Then maybe bestiality is ok too.
    And if we shouldn’t take that literally, maybe we shouldn’t take what Jesus said literally either. He said that He was the ONLY way to Heaven….do you take that literally? Or will Buddah or Muhammed get you there?
    If you do toss Leviticus out……you still have the NT and what Christ said about sex and marriage. There is no case in the NT for sex outside marriage or same sex unions.
    If you think there is then, make your case scripturally.
    We are not at an impasse…….you are at an impasse with the Word. I did not write it. God handpicked people to write His Word. It is God Breathed? Or don’t you take that literally? If you have a problem with Gods Word you need to ask Him through prayer for revelation concerning this.
    I will agree that God loves mankind, He created us. But we screwed things up by sinning. And the Bible defines what sin is very clearly. Sin separates someone from God. He is love, He is good and we are bad and evil. Wrong is wrong and when we do wrong we should repent and ask forgiveness. He is a forgiving God if you repent and ask for forgiveness. I had an abortion when I was younger. I killed the living human being inside of me. I mocked God and I mocked His Word by my actions. When God started to draw me in, I became aware that what I did was murder. I asked Him into my heart and He changed me. My sin almost ruined my life and my family years later suffered because of me. I did not try to find a loophole in the Word for my actions. I was guilty whether I wanted to believe it or not. It’s not about what I saw as wrong……its all about what God says is wrong.
    The amazing Rando ask a good question as well. Why are the verses that call homosexuality an abomination in Leviticus, in the Bible at all?
    Panthera you put science and society above your God. It’s not about what our culture the 21st Century says about what sin is, its about what God says sin is in the Word.
    I have asked you many times to make a scriptural case for sex outside marriage, for same sex unions, and you have yet given me one scripture that helps your side.

  • Sherree

    Churchmouse, no one could have said it better!!!! Quit trying to take words out of the bible just to meke you right!!! You know you’re guilty or you wouldn’t want things changed. You believe in the WORD, the Whole word or not. It says you can’t add to or take away from the word, so leave the word alone and change yourself. God is not one to be made a mockery of. Churhmouse, I am in the same boat as you and the murder does have to be dealt with and it’s hard at times but to continue to trust in the Lord and not let the devil get you down. (He does remind me of this awful thing at times.)

  • panthera

    Tony,
    You are dealing with two sets of Christians, I think.
    The first set could care less that they selectively interpret both the Scriptures and science to fit their fear-driven needs.
    The second set are trying very hard to do what Christ asked of us.
    For the fear-driven, no amount of explanation as to why they are cherry-picking verses, interpreting texts out of context and ignoring firm science will change their minds. Rather the opposite. The clearer it becomes to them that things aren’t as they need for them to be, the more their fear drives them to the hateful acts towards gays and transgender we experience in the US every day.
    The other group is split into many subsets.
    Some, gay Christians like me, are failing so miserably at Christ’s command to love our neighbor and practice charity, we don’t have time to worry about that speck in our brother’s eye which only an electron microscope could find.
    Others, straight Christians, are trying very hard to do the same.
    Yet others, gay or straight, are trying to have a serious dialog.
    The hard part for me is to engage the serious Christians and not lump them in with the hateful and fearful ones. This is not easy.
    Please keep at it, your work here is important.
    Churchmouse, just a little note. God and God alone is my God. Science and medicine reveal His natural world to us in far more detail than do texts which were written thousands of years ago. Of course I am happy that science confirms that homosexuality is normal. I would not, ever, abandon my husband even if science were to have concluded differently. In this, we are similar.
    Jesus never once limited marriage to a man and a woman. Given his very firm words on so very many topics, it is absurd to suggest he just had to set priorities on the various ‘sins’. He didn’t. That is not what he came for. Had God seen homosexuality as a sin, He most certainly would have had his only Son, sent to die for us, to redeem our souls, talk about it. Yet, not one word.
    Were homosexuality to be a sin (and it is not) then, and if we were to apply the same absurd ‘literalistic’ standards of the conservative Christians to the Bible, the fact that Jesus doesn’t mention it relegates it to very minor sins, indeed.

  • Prayerwarrior09

    PRAISE GOD FOR HIS LIVING WORD, ALL HIS LIVING WORD!!! ANYONE WHO READS THE BIBLE NEEDS TO ASK YAHAWEH (GOD,YOUR FATHER) TO REVEAL THE TRUTH OF HIS LIVING WORD TO YOU AS AN INDIVIDUAL. EACH PERSON WANTING AN ANSWER FOR HIS OR HER LIFE WILL RECEIVE THEIR ANSWER FROM YAHAWEH (GOD,YOUR FATHER) THE BIBLE SAY’S PUT NOT YOUR TRUST IN MAN, BUT PUT YOUR TRUST IN ME. SEEK AFTER ME, SEEK MY FACE AND YOU SHALL FIND ME. FOR I HAVE LOVED THEE (KNOWN YOU) BEFORE YOU WERE FORMED IN YOUR MOTHERS WOMB. THE LORD SAID TO ASK FOR WISDOM AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE WISDOM. FOR FEAR OF THE LORD, IS THE BEGINNING OF WISDOM. THE LORD LOVES YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN IMAGINE, HIS LOVE IS BEYOND THE LOVE THIS WORLD HAS FOR YOU!!! (AGAPE LOVE) THIS WORLD HAS MUCH PAIN, HURTING AND SUFFERING THAT ONLY THE LORD CAN HEAL!!! THIS IS THE TRUTH!!! CALL UPON HIS NAME AND BE SAVED FROM THE THINGS OF THIS WORLD. WE ARE IN THIS WORLD, BUT WE ARE NOT OF THIS WORLD!!! PRAISE GOD, JESUS. LOVE YOUR BROTHER IN CHRIST, DAVE.

  • Miriam

    1. Most important Scriptures
    2. History
    3. Science
    Jesus absent of comment directly about homosexuality never condone
    it.(he never mention sex with animals either.)Jesus was here to sav us to live a life for him not point out every transgression of the law.
    But he did make clear what married was.
    But at the beginning of creation God ‘made them male and female.’[a] 7′For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife,[b] 8and the two will become one flesh.’[c] So they are no longer two, but one. 9Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate.”
    You have to also look within the bible the actually practice of things. Scriptures, History show early Christians were not not marrying same sex. Science, physical a man an women are form to be one. Where do you see mention of a gay marriage among Christians?
    Regard eating of foods, this has a precise meaning. The unclean has become clean. The early Gentiles were consider unclean, and after conversion were clean. They were eating these things, it mention in the New Testament.
    Again Practice is mention. Scriptures, History, this I have research, but I do believe as civilization progress,preparation, and storage made these foods safer to eat. Do you think there some divine connection to this?
    But with any discussion you have to be open to heard, consider, because a man convince against his will, is of the same opinion still.

  • panthera

    I most respectfully ask the conservative Christians posting here to stop SHOUTING at us.
    Writing in all caps is considered SHOUTING and extraordinarily rude on the internet.
    Miriam,
    You make a good point when you say that trying to force people to accept things against their will needs must fail. This is why homosexuals and transexual need legal protection against the conservative Christians.
    My husband and I are Christians and married, by the by. There is far more tolerance and love and desire to serve Christ in Christian communities apart from the hateful, nasty, spite-filled conservative Christians who so dominate these discussions.

  • Jules

    I’m glad Tony has asked these questions. I’ve watched the developing conversation and I think (and could be wrong) the overall point of the conversation has been missed. I think it is more of a challenge and the church (universal) is failing at.
    The fact is there are LGBTQI (and rest of the ABC’s) who are Christ followers. They are a part of the gathering and the church has yet to fully answer this. My feeling from this conversation is that it is almost too much for Christians (conservative and liberal) to answer this and to be flexible enough to realize we are here and real. I think Tony’s question is very real and should be taken in consideration. The reason I say this is because churches (gatherings) are going to have to accept the fact there are LGBTQ who are very much followers of Christ and accept the gospel.
    Is it too much to ask Christians to bring down the walls, take away any assumptions and fully accept the gospel story that the LGBTQ comes with. Maybe I am since I do come from an Emergence stand point and accept someones experience a long with theology as enough. So I guess for me,the overall question is it too much?
    Tony, wish I could do this on youtube, I haven’t figured out my webcam to youtube yet. However, I’ll be at #C21 so maybe we can have a conversation there at some point! :)
    Jules!

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

    Greg, here is a link for you. http://www.gaychristian.net/justins_view.php

  • http://lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com LutheranChik

    The general tenor of this conversation makes me glad that I, a partnered lesbian Christian, have an affirming faith community where my partner and I are not only treated as fellow sisters and brothers in Christ but also have leadership responsibilities within the congregation and beyond. For LGBT Christians reading this and feeling despair that there’s no church home for them — please understand that conservative Evangelicalism isn’t the only game in town. There are open, affirming congregations (officially or otherwise) throughout the world of mainline Christianity. Do not let the haters and Pharisees here drive you away from your relationship with Christ or with fellow Christians. You don’t have to abandon Christianity nor do you have to abandon the spiritual comfort and support of a faith community because you’re gay.

  • Dan

    Regarding the six verses, Edith Humphrey’s piece in CT is calm, cogent and compelling. http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/september/11.36.html?start=3
    Dennis Prager’s article on how Judaism’s attitude to homosexuality was a repudiation of the practice in surrounding cultures in a way that liberated women and made the family, including children, something to be valued. See http://catholiceducation.org/articles/sexuality/ho0003.html
    Free Republic has a lengthy and footnoted summary of a number of key extra-biblical factoids generally not discussed because they are perceived as “negative” and “hateful” by the gay lobby. The issues include health risks, both physical and psychological, the reality that the vast majority of male gay relationships are unstable (very few monogamous committed relationships), and the footnotes are often from studies by the CDC, and the American Journal of Epidemiology.
    Names like Jeffrey Satinover and Robert Gagnon are curse words in the gay community, but if Tony really wants solid, well reasoned information from the opposing side, they should not be ignored.
    Personally, I think the “six verses” thing is a little disingenuous. There are all kinds of passages in scripture that deal with marriage and family, always referring to male/female relationships, not just six verses. 1 Peter 3, Ephesians 5, 1 Corinthians 7, Colossians 3, 1 Timothy 5, and more all speak of male/female relationships in connection to marriage. No passage in the scriptures ever portrays any homosexual relationship in a positive light.
    Finally, the idea that conservative Christians are “picking and choosing” which Old Testament passages apply in contemporary times is simply a straw man. There are very solid hermeneutical reasons for excluding numerous Old Covenant practices from New Covenant faith, and they are all based on clear New Testament teaching, not arbitrary “cultural” considerations. Old Covenant dietary laws were abolished in Acts 10 with Peter’s vision. Old Covenant ceremonial laws regarding sacrifice and offering were abolished most explicitly in the book of Hebrews. Old Testament civil laws that governed Israel as a theocracy obviously cannot apply to nations other than Israel. But nothing in the New Testament voids the moral laws against stealing, murder, bearing false witness or adultery. Homosexuality falls into the moral law category and is explicitly affirmed as part of the New Covenant by Paul.
    Tony, do you really want to hear from the other side? Or are you just trying to stir the pot?

  • J D

    Tony,
    I appreciate that you are willing to serve as one of many catalysts in this conversation. I post this recognizing that I obviously do not have all of the answers, and as such seek to continue dialoging to deepen my own understanding of God’s Word. God has spoken through the mouth of an ass before (Numbers 22:21-41), so I shall do my best to faithfully contribute to this discussion.
    Hermeneutically, I really wrestle with removing these six verses from the conversation. And I do so on the grounds that the over-arching narrative of God’s Word is given and revealed to us through the whole of scripture. That is also to say that once we begin picking and choosing verses to affirm or disregard, we do so on our own. Thus, to say that God commands or condemns certain deeds is done through lens of our own human biases (conservative or liberal). It would be like exclusively reading selections from a book without having read the book in its entirety to understand that broader context which the selection comes from. We can take human agendas and find bible passages (or lack thereof) to back up nearly anything we would like to. But again, the bottom line is that without looking at the over-arching narrative of God’s Word, we inevitably affirm and condemn based upon our person presuppositions and intentions.
    But ultimately discussions, dialogues, and conversations about exegesis, history, and systematics all fall short because alone they are nothing but words. These disciplines should ultimately lead to an application. And in this case, regarding “those six pesky passages” the application of the over-arching narrative of Scripture, the context for those verses, is Love. We were created by God out Love, we were redeemed from our sin though Love by Christ’s death, and Love was demonstrated as Christ rose from the tomb as a foretaste of the perfect reunion between the Creator God and His created people. That is the Gospel message.
    Can and do literalists hold true to every command of Scripture? If so, how does gay-bashing, intoleration, and insensitivity reciprocate the way that you are loved unconditionally by Christ, despite your own personal shortcomings?
    How far from the inspired Word of God can a liberal go be before they fail to recognize it as such, and not merely a collection of fables? At what point does defense become offensive?
    I am not claiming that either side has it right, but rather that neither does. The fact that this conversation has even digressed to taking sides misses the point. We are not called to have the answers or to be perfect, we are wanted by God as we are with all of our baggage. Through Christ’s love we are made perfect and should be compelled to love others in the same fashion, unconditionally. To act otherwise would presume to know the will of God, which we obviously can’t. Classifying what is sin and what is not is consuming, and this legalism eventually misses the point. I would rather error on the side of the Gospel and Free Grace from God, than miss an opportunity to love someone because I was to busy talking/writing instead of actually doing. It’s not about what we are individually, but who we are through Christ.
    Again, I don’t have all of the answers. But right now, this is how I have come to understand Christian Living in Scripture, through the lens of God’s love for His people.
    God Bless!
    (Sorry about the long post)

  • George Burris

    The Biblical verses don’t matter. What matters is what the Quran says. This is now a Muslim nation. We have a Muslim president, the Messiah Barack Hussein Obama. What he thinks matter, not what christians think.

  • churchmouse

    Panthera, what is sad is that you do not make any attempt whatsoever to make a case for what you claim is blessed by God. And you bash those of us who do make the case for heterosexual marriage.
    I am not cherry picking verses. At least I give them as examples to support what I believe is right. YOU HAVE NEVER POSTED ONE EXAMPLE TO BACK UP YOUR VIEW.
    You love to play the victim. And you make up lies to puff yourself up. I do not hate gays, but you cant accept that. You hate those who do not condone your lifestyle.
    You make up anything you want to make yourself feel better. You put science above Gods law.
    Is anal sex healthy? What is the function of the anus panthera?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anal_sex
    http://www.talksexwithsue.com/analsex.html
    It’s real function is to release “waste” from the body. It’s an eliminative organ, not a penetrative organ. A female vagina is made to stretch. The anus is not or it will tear. It also does not naturally lubricate itself. Anal sex weakens sphincter muscles, that is a fact. Cancer is also increased, especially anal cancer. Other problems…constipation, bleeding,digestive problems and many people who engage in this have a hard time controlling their bowel movements. I wont even get into bacterial waste.
    I specifically gave scriptures where Jesus backed up marriage only between a man and woman. You can not provide even one example and you know it. They don’t exist. And you wont address any questions I ask you. You run.
    You think that because Jesus did not say the word homosexual that its ok. He didn’t mention other sinful acts either. He never talked about bestiality, but do you think this is ok? He never talked about spousal abuse or pedophilia…….are they ok too? Try answering questions for a change.

  • http://lutheranchiklworddiary.blogspot.com LutheranChik

    I’m through with this. You people make me want to become a Buddhist, a Wiccan…anything but what you are. I’ll retreat to my inclusive mainline-denominational sanctuary now. Sandals/shake/sand. Sorry, Tony. They really do hate us.

  • panthera

    LutheranChick,
    I usually end up checking out of these threads at some point, too.
    Thanks for sticking around and trying so very hard. When people base their hatred on false science (those health claims are ludicrous and the statement that gay relationships don’t last is false witness. Go to a straight pick up bar and ask the same questions which those supposedly rigid studies did in gay pick up bars and see what answers the bettersexuals give…) and carefully chosen viewpoints of the New Testament, it is very hard to reason with them.
    We need legal protection in the US and recognized marriage. Anyone arguing that we are tolerated and treated as full human beings has not read these threads.
    Tony, I appreciate your efforts on behalf of our Christian religion. If these discussion serve any purpose at all, it is to show other people just how hateful the conservative Christians are.

  • panthera

    Churchmouse,
    I do not understand this extreme focus by conservative Christians on anal sex.
    Do you really think that my entire marriage is nothing but buggery?
    We have built lives of love, respect, trust, affection, friendship and confidence. We support each other, we help each other with our families.
    Sex is a part of our marriage (yay!), yet only part.
    Many straight couples practice anal intercourse, and not just with the man penetrating the woman – ever hear of pegging? Many gay couples don’t at all, many do have anal intercourse. Frankly, we enjoy the whole range of physical intimacy open to two humans. If you think vaginal intercourse is the only means to express physical love, then you have never been kissed with such desire that it – literally – made your toes curl and left you on fire. Poor you.
    Since you go into such detail, sure, you can hurt someone during any form of intercourse if you are clumsy or uncaring. Yes, lubrication is required – as it is by women past menopause. Are you arguing that women past childbearing age must never again have intercourse?
    Many men have enough pre-ejaculate (which is specifically a lubricant) to make intercourse work without additional lubrication. Way more than just to neutralize a too low vaginal Ph.
    God put the prostate right where He did for only one reason. To permit stimulation to orgasm during anal intercourse.
    Really, I wonder what your concept of heterosexual love is to be so focused on just this one aspect of gay life. Your sex life must be extraordinarily limited, indeed.
    It is ironic that one hears the argument from conservative Christians that the Jews opposed being gay on the grounds that they valued women. Given the nasty way conservative Christians treat women in America today, such arguments border on sadism. Friendships between gay men and straight women are frequently the strongest relationships to be found, we value women as fully human beings.
    LutheranChick, I think my last post got eaten by the gotcha! interface. Thanks for sticking around. It is often very frustrating to see Tony try so very hard to communicate and read the reactions by these hateful people.

  • panthera

    Churchmouse,
    Get your mind out of the gutter. Suggesting I would support bestiality, spousal abuse or pederasty because Jesus did not specifically address them by name is uncharitable.
    No, I do not support them.
    Honestly, just how base you conservative Christians can be. This is showing God’s love? What’s next, arguing for torturing us? Oh, sorry, that one has already been advocated by your side on these three threads.

  • Nathan

    Robert, #3:
    Something you said reminded me of something I read in response to Prop. 8 in California. The day it was being voted on, I read two op-eds from the same Jewish news service, one in favor and one against. And I saved both on my computer because of the impression is left on me. On one hand, the pro-Prop 8 (anti-gay marriage) post appealed to Scripture for his reasoning. The anti-prop 8 (pro-gay marriage) editorial not only did not appeal to Scripture, but said “the divinity of any passage in Scripture that diminishes the humanity of another—as the one in Leviticus does—surely can be questioned.”
    Were I to choose between two spiritual leaders to follow, even if I supported the acceptance of homosexual marriage or same-sex unions, I could never attend such a house of worship that promoted the second view. When the opposing side is literally bending-over-backwards to undermine what we believe in as Jews and Christians, how can they claim any spiritual authority?
    Obviously, they cannot.
    I hope the two will post:
    http://jta.org/news/article/2008/11/03/1000715/backing-prop-8-means-standing-up-for-torah-traditional-values
    http://jta.org/news/article/2008/11/03/1000720/op-ed-prop-8-goes-against-gods-love-for-every-person

  • Mere_Christian

    Gays and the other folks rep’d by letters attached to their “community” are the ones that are displaying intolerance, bigotry, hatred and animosity towards Christians.
    There is nothing compatible with Gay life and culture, with that of Christians in the worldwide Church.
    You can try to re-label believers in anyway you can fathom, but The Church is a settled issue.

  • Bo

    @ Mere_Christian
    Really? You think that gays are the ones who start the fight be being intolerant of Christians? Do you think scientists are the ones who start the fight about creationism? Unfortunately its almost always us (the Christians) who reach out and take the first swing. And how can nothing about gay life and culture be compatible with the Church? Try reading Andrew Marin’s book “Love is an Orientation.” Andrew is a self professed conservative evangelical who has totally immersed himself in the gay community of Chicago’s Boystown. His organization, the Marin Foundation, has brought hundreds within that community to God. Though he does not necessarily believe homosexuality is not a sin, Andrew testifies that the love and acceptance practiced within the gay community is something the Church should aspire to and look up to. Not to say all aspects of the community should be valued- far from it- but on the issue of loving unconditionally, they do it better than “Christians in the worldwide Church.” GLBT can love, so that alone qualifies them for acceptance within the Church or cooperation with it towards the same goals (namely loving humanity).

  • Bo

    Don’t forget about 1 Corinthians 5:12-13. It is not part of our job to judge those outside the Church, and I realize this is a discussion primarily about allowing GLBT people to act on their sexual desires within the Church, it often goes far, far too far and end up with people getting riled up over passing some prop that disallows gay marriage. Jesus came to save not condemn.

  • Panthera

    Bo said:
    “Jesus came to save not condemn”.
    Heavens above, what sort of radical Marxist-Leninist-fascist-socialist-crypto-heathen must you be to suggest our Lord came to save us?
    Saints preserve, next you’ll be saying Christ died for our sins.

  • Your Name

    Remember the rich young ruler in Mark 10? But he was sad at this word, and went away sorrowful… Sometimes people do not like what Jesus is telling them so they go away from Him. Often times our own pride makes us want to reject what Scripture is clearly telling us. Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. So how can homosexuality hinder ones relationship with Christ? Anything that we place outside the authority and obedience to Christ will hinder our relationship to Him. It’s called rebellion and idolatry.

  • Jules

    I read the things that say I cannot love my Abba and I can’t be a part of the community of Christ,I think I’m suppose to get angry. Instead my heart breaks. More for those who say it more than any thing. I wonder often that if they looked closely at themselves if they would realize even they don’t belong in the fellowship. None of us do. But praise be to our father who send his son to break that wall and allow us to come into fellowship!
    Again, its heart breaking to see more of those who can’t put down defense to look beyond what they think they know.
    And funny enough I fight for his Church. Can’t stop myself. I love how Derek Webb says in his song, The Church, “if you love me, you must love the Church.” I love the church, I just wish the gathering could see the same thing I see. *shrug*
    God have mercy on us all!

  • panthera

    Amen to that, Jules.
    The hatefulness and sheer nastiness of the conservative Christians in the US reminds me of the stories I heard as a child in Europe of the N azi era.
    No surprise, there.
    These people already reject us as Christians, nothing would make them happier than for us to go away.
    Ain’t happening.
    We have as much right to practice Christianity as they do. At the end of our lives, we will all stand before God. I don’t see Him getting upset with me for having loved my husband. I surely do see Him furious with me for every person I drove away from His love through my intolerance…

  • churchmouse

    LutheranChik so sorry you will be leaving. Do you usually run when people disagree with your position? Panthera made the comment that anal sex was not dangerous that it was healthy. I’ve heard differently so I researched and found some facts online about how unhealthy it really is. Is there something wrong with that? Are the facts wrong? If so then show the error of what I posted, I am willing to listen. And I do not hate you, you are the intolerant one. You obviously can’t take someone who disagrees with what you believe. So instead of sticking around to discuss the issue…….you leave. Are you constantly on the run?
    Panthera you seem to be the hateful one on here. You absolutely can not tolerate anyone that has a different opinion than your own. And because I interpret scriptures differently than you obviously do, you say I am a hateful person.
    I do not accept your marriage as anything but sin and I base it on the Word. The Word is clear on this. Come up with scripture to back up your marriage if you think I am wrong. I believe you love your partner I do not doubt that…….my girlfriend loved the guy she was having an affair with too, but she was still sinning and I still told her she was sinning. You might have love and respect for your partner but IMO and based on what I read in the Bible you are mocking God.
    As for anal intercourse being unhealthy it goes for heterosexual couples as well. Did you even look at the websites I posted? None of those things happen to people who engage in this?
    “If you think vaginal intercourse is the only means to express physical love, then you have never been kissed with such desire that it – literally – made your toes curl and left you on fire.”
    God created women with vaginas and he constructed them to procreate AND for the joy of having sex. “He created them male and female” for this reason. And you are right kissing and fondling can be just as good as sex and yes I have been intimate with my husband and felt on fire. You can discuss this until the cows come home but scripture is scripture. God meant sex for those who are married, whether they need lubrication is another issue and has nothing to do with this discussion whatsoever. There is no place I have read in the OT or the NT where God condones sex outside marriage or sex between two of the same sex. PROVIDE THE SCRIPTURE and show me my error panthera.
    “God put the prostate right where He did for only one reason. To permit stimulation to orgasm during anal intercourse.”
    What difference does that make? He put our eyes together on our head so we could see better. So what? You can have an orgasm simply by massage…….that has nothing to do with the Word.
    My sex life is wonderful with my husband. We have gone through periods when it was difficult and we had to compensate. When I had my hip replaced, when I was pregnant, when he had back surgery. What is your point? The point is we are married and doing what God commands.
    “Given the nasty way conservative Christians treat women in America today, such arguments border on sadism. Friendships between gay men and straight women are frequently the strongest relationships to be found, we value women as fully human beings”
    Boy you are one bitter, intolerant person Panthera. How are Christian woman treated today, what do you mean by that? What on earth are you talking about here? I never said straight women couldn’t be friends with anyone. What does that have to do with gay marriage and sex outside the marriage bed or anal sex?
    Boy its all or nothing for you isn’t it? I value how God created me and I will live according to what He says and not what society says. My husband is head of our household and that does not mean I am a second class citizen. He loves me like Christ commanded, which is absolutely an incredible love. Love your wife as Christ loved the church. Give yourself up for your wife. [Ephesians 5:25]
    Wow. That is a lot of love.
    “Give yourself up…..” Christ gave EVERYTHING UP for the Church. And He is telling husbands to do the same thing. He didn’t stop there either. He also said,
    “Love your wife in the same way you love your body and yourself. [Ephesians 5:28-33] Be considerate as you live with your wife. [I Peter 3:7] Do not be harsh with your wife. [Colossians 3:19] Your body belongs to your wife. [I Corinthians 7:3-5]
    Rejoice in your wife. Let her breasts satisfy you. Be captivated with her. [Proverbs 5:18-19] Do not be captivated by other women [Proverbs 5:20] Praise your wife. [Proverbs 31:28-29] Tell your wife how captivated you are with her body [Song of Solomon, esp 4:7; 7:1-8] Honor your marriage; keep it pure by remaining true to your wife in every way [Heb 13:4] Be thankful for your wife and realize the favor you have received from God. [Prov 18:22] Be “one flesh” with your wife in every way. [Matthew 19:5]
    Incredible……….and you should notice here in all these scriptures that these commands were given to married couples, one woman and one man.
    Panthera if I remember right you say that the scripture in Leviticus is not valid and never was. You would probably also like it tossed out like Tony does. You have picked out the homosexual part in Leviticus to toss out. I brought up bestiality and the other sins listed in Leviticus to make a point. Why shouldn’t they be tossed out they all appear together. You picked only one. How can you do that?
    Bo, just because someone sins does not mean we should not love them, or no one would be loved because we all sin. We are talking about one sin here on this thread. If the discussion was adultery……..how many here would condone the adulterers sin who also wants the scriptures pertaining to that sin tossed out of the Word. No one likes to be told that what they are doing is wrong. God says sex outside the marriage of one woman and one man is wrong. That includes adultery, premarital sex, homosexual sex. Etc. I remember trying to justify the abortion I had. I pretended the verses didn’t mean what I knew they really meant. I could not change my actions because they were evil and they were sin. The Truth will always be the Truth.
    You can bring or lead people to God but you can’t lie to someone who is sinning against Gods Word if the scripture says they are sinning. You can lead someone who is having extramarital affairs to God……but their actions are still sinful and can’t be condoned. It has or shouldn’t have anything to do with love.
    You also made a great comment when you said that we cant judge those outside the church like we can those who are inside. We can never judge someones heart but we can judge their actions, or we wouldn’t be able to protect ourselves from those who are unrighteous and leading ungodly lives. But we have people who claim here to be part of the Church, so what they say and do is fair game and their actions should be looked at according to the Bible. Jesus came to save but he also talked about salvation and how to get it. He said those that acknowledged Him publically, who believed in Him would have eternal life, those who did not would spend eternity apart from God. He was specific about who would and who would not make it. He gave us free will to either accept or reject……It’s our choice.

  • Jules

    churchmouse-
    “We can never judge someones heart but we can judge their actions, or we wouldn’t be able to protect ourselves from those who are unrighteous and leading ungodly lives”
    you cannot judge no matter what! it is never and will never be our job to judge the heart or action. do you realize how pharisical that sounds? would you have judged Jesus for working on the sabbath? it WAS an action. do you think through some of the things you say? our job is NEVER to judge, our job is to love as we have been called to do. the moment we put ourself as judge or jury we have put ourself in the place of God. our part again, is to love, to fellowship, and to walk together in the light. you cannot judge a heart nor can you judge an action. you have no clue what the father has called that person or persons to do. you nor I will EVER be God and thank the LORD for that.
    please, pray, seek and for the love of Christ, slow before speaking. I also encourage you to watch this sermon from Andrew Marin…it touches on what I have said here. I pray it gives you new perspective and opens your eyes,ears to something new. http://www.loveisanorientation.com/2009/my-sermon-from-newsong-church-in-irvine-ca/

  • J D

    It boggles me how some ‘conservative’ Christians, especially those posting on this blog, find it their place to condemn. And frankly, as a straight, male Christian I struggle, because we clearly must not be reading the same Word of God. At what point was it permissable for us humans to condemn someone for their sins, at what point were we given the authority to cast the first stone. So Conservative Christians, I pose this question, if you don’t want sinners in your ‘church,’ where should they be instead? And where would you see yourself? How can you call yourself a Christian, yet not recognize yourself as a sinner?
    I honestly believe that you use scripture as a weapon to combat what you find to be socially uncomfortable. You don’t even see the person, you’ve lost sight of them in your perceptions of the their bedroom habits. No one asks you specifics about your sex life, yet that seems to be what you resort to. If you doubt this, refer to the posts regarding the healthiness of GLBT sex practices. Which by the way, you could find just as many heterosexual couples practicing also. Step back from your biases and personal opinion and really seriously consider what the Bible says about how to treat our neighbor. Love them. We don’t always have to agree, but Thank God for Grace because we don’t have to agree on who’s a sinner and who isn’t. If you were truly a biblical literalist than you would put your legalism behind you and live in the light of the Gospel, compelled by grace to love your neighbor, unconditionally, as Christ loved us.
    As far as gay Christians, I find us all to be sinners, regardless of the specifics of our lifestyles. Don’t let anyone tell you that are not and can not be a Christian because of your lifestyles, no one sinner is better than another thus they have judgment on you.
    Thank God that the Church cannot exist outside of flesh! Were it an institution, where would all of us sinners go?

  • The Amazing Rando

    Panthera: Many of us have not been rude or vile, we just disagree with you. I may be conservative, but that doesn’t make me hatefilled. I may believe that homosexuality is not something that God has ordained, but that doesn’t make me full of “nastiness”.
    Relax. We are aloud to disagree without falling into your categories.
    There are many conservatives that are not hateful
    There are many liberals who do not accept homosexuality as righteous behavior
    There are many liberals who are hateful and fundamentalist in their own way
    There are many of us who have wrestled and wrestled and come to a different conclusion than you and Tony.
    And pride is a far greater sin than any other.
    And it’s okay!

  • http://alanreynolds.wordpress.com Alan

    I know that this comment will likely be lost in the multitude of other posts, but I have something that is absolutely burning within me at this moment.
    I really get what Tony is asking, and I did from the beginning. In fact, for all of those who get so irate at the thought of having to explain homosexuality as a sin without using 6 particular verse, it really shows your ineptitude as a biblical, theological thinker. The Bible is bigger than those verses, and it’s bigger than God saying, “do this” and “don’t do that.”
    I am of the belief that homosexual practice is a sin, just like any other sin. I have no intention of defending that at this point. But there is a certain mindset from some (certainly not all) people who believe homosexual practice to be biblically and theologically acceptable. It is quite infuriating. That mindset portrays all “conservative” Christians, all of us who believe that homosexual practice falls outside of the plan of God and should be consider sinful, are hateful, fearful, Nazi-esque jerks. Please, stop. That’s ridiculous.
    Nazi? Seriously? Could that be any more hateful and propaganda laden?
    Fearful? Of what? I’ve yet to see a homosexual militia taking up arms to destroy conservative Christians. Although, if the Nazi comments continue–FROM THE NON-CONSERVATIVE SIDE–then I might begin to get concerned, but that will not be because of anyone’s sexuality, it will be because of their guns.
    Hateful? Because we believe something to be wrong? I would simply refer you to a few homosexual friends I’ve had through the years. Not only that, but most of the Christians I know–and I run in circles of Christians like myself–have homosexual friends.
    I’ll tell you what most of us hate and are in fear of. We hate that we get painted with the big, broad brush that you don’t want to be painted with. We hate that you are willingly, intentionally, and adamantly practicing sin. We fear that the moment you find out where we stand, you’ll reject us. I’ve never rejected one homosexual person and denied them my love or time or resources. But guess what, I’ve been rejected by them.
    So for those who want to paint “conservative” Christians as being hateful, fearful, Nazis: STOP. Bigotry works both ways. Hate works both ways. Fear works both ways. I know that some of you (certainly not all) have been hurt by Christians (who were probably well-meaning, in all fairness). I wish I could have been there to stop it, and I wish I could offer a satisfactory apology on their behalf. I wasn’t and I can’t. But take that for what it’s worth. Please, though, stop the bigotry.
    FWIW: I offer any GLBT person, or a Christian who thinks it shouldn’t be considered a sin, and lives in the Raleigh, NC area a drink (beer, wine, coffee….your pick), on me, and a nice, loving (even if tough), cordial conversation. I would love for us to sit and both hear each other’s stories and see that two people who disagree can talk openly with each other. Follow the link to my rarely updated blog, then leave a comment on something. I’ll get the email, and will email you back.

  • http://alanreynolds.wordpress.com Alan

    I know that this comment will likely be lost in the multitude of other posts, but I have something that is absolutely burning within me at this moment.
    I really get what Tony is asking, and I did from the beginning. In fact, for all of those who get so irate at the thought of having to explain homosexuality as a sin without using 6 particular verse, it really shows your ineptitude as a biblical, theological thinker. The Bible is bigger than those verses, and it’s bigger than God saying, “do this” and “don’t do that.”
    I am of the belief that homosexual practice is a sin, just like any other sin. I have no intention of defending that at this point. But there is a certain mindset from some (certainly not all) people who believe homosexual practice to be biblically and theologically acceptable. It is quite infuriating. That mindset portrays all “conservative” Christians, all of us who believe that homosexual practice falls outside of the plan of God and should be consider sinful, are hateful, fearful, Nazi-esque jerks. Please, stop. That’s ridiculous.
    Nazi? Seriously? Could that be any more hateful and propaganda laden?
    Fearful? Of what? I’ve yet to see a homosexual militia taking up arms to destroy conservative Christians. Although, if the Nazi comments continue–FROM THE NON-CONSERVATIVE SIDE–then I might begin to get concerned, but that will not be because of anyone’s sexuality, it will be because of their guns.
    Hateful? Because we believe something to be wrong? I would simply refer you to a few homosexual friends I’ve had through the years. Not only that, but most of the Christians I know–and I run in circles of Christians like myself–have homosexual friends.
    I’ll tell you what most of us hate and are in fear of. We hate that we get painted with the big, broad brush that you don’t want to be painted with. We hate that you are willingly, intentionally, and adamantly practicing sin. We fear that the moment you find out where we stand, you’ll reject us. I’ve never rejected one homosexual person and denied them my love or time or resources. But guess what, I’ve been rejected by them.
    So for those who want to paint “conservative” Christians as being hateful, fearful, Nazis: STOP. Bigotry works both ways. Hate works both ways. Fear works both ways. I know that some of you (certainly not all) have been hurt by Christians (who were probably well-meaning, in all fairness). I wish I could have been there to stop it, and I wish I could offer a satisfactory apology on their behalf. I wasn’t and I can’t. But take that for what it’s worth. Please, though, stop the bigotry.
    FWIW: I offer any GLBT person, or a Christian who thinks it shouldn’t be considered a sin, and lives in the Raleigh, NC area a drink (beer, wine, coffee….your pick), on me, and a nice, loving (even if tough), cordial conversation. I would love for us to sit and both hear each other’s stories and see that two people who disagree can talk openly with each other. Follow the link to my rarely updated blog, then leave a comment on something. I’ll get the email, and will email you back.

  • panthera

    Ah, The Amazing Rando,
    love that handle, fits great with the last sentence of your posting.
    Given that in the last several days, across these three threads, conservative Christians have advocated our torture, argued for the return of slavery, stated that gay Christians are the same as pederasts and practice bestiality, argued passionately for the return of enslavement, stated that our marriage is no marriage, stated they would dissolve our marriage had they the legal power and flat out stated that because we are gay we can not be Christians…
    …I may be forgiven if my patience has worn a bit thin.
    We are here, we are queer, we aren’t going away. May sound very much like a 1960′s civil rights chant but it very much sums up the situation in the American Christian communities today. No, you don’t have to approve or like us. When, however, we are experiencing over 1500 acts of torture, beatings, rape and murder of gays and transexual every year in America by conservative Christian, you are not permitted to just lecture me on painting with an overbroad brush.
    By tolerating the actions of your less-restrained ‘brothers in Christ’ you are just as guilty as were all the nice, good Germans who let the National Socialists have their little fun. After all, it was only a few who were that way.

  • panthera

    Alan, through the joys of the posting system here, my last post and your duplicate posts overlapped.
    This is unfortunate because I would gladly have addressed your statements as well as those of The Amazing Rando together.
    As a Christian, I feel very strongly about slavery and the mistreatment of Negroes. Given that, when in the US, I live in the deep South, this has led to many very heated conversations in Church. To put it mildly.
    I understand that for someone who feels (however wrongly) that my nearly 25 year partnership of true, faithful, committed, monogamous love is wrong that he would want to speak out.
    Fine.
    That is not the issue here.
    The issue here is not the gentle reproach you are discussing. We are being physically attacked at a rate of three rapes, beatings, murders and acts of torture in the US by conservative Christians every week.
    Studies of homeless adolescent through teen-age children routinely show a horribly high number – often as high as 1/3 to 1/2 here in the South – were kicked out of their oh-so-loving Christian homes by their own parents for being gay or transgender.
    You are welcome to continue to believe your version of the Bible over God’s natural creation. Just, as long as your fellow believers are making life for other Christians who are gay or transgender as well as for those gays and transgender who do not know of Christ’s love and forgiveness a pain filled hell of rape, beatings and death, maybe you should consider just how you are fulfilling God’s will.

  • rl

    That pesky Word of God.
    Blessed are those who hear God’s Word and keep it!

  • Edward Green

    To begin to understand the Bible’s views (and they are various) on sexuality you need to get into the culture.
    Sex was something that came with marriage. For women between the ages of 14 and 18. For men probably a little later. Scripture supports what we see in society and studies of sexual dysfunction show, that human beings are designed to be sexually active from late teenage years onwards.
    When I read the Song of Solomon I find an erotic poem describing many different diverse acts of love, most of which happen before the couple are married. Once you key into the imagery there is not much that is not covered. Love is awakened? Perhaps she fell pregnant. It is almost implicit. And so they marry.
    Pre-marital sex in Scripture means pre-adult sex. It also means the risks of pregnancy outside of the core economic and family unit. The Gospels are clear that Mary & Joseph did not marry for love after all (although I am sure they grew to love each other) and they story demonstrates the stigma of pre-marital sex. But Joseph’s response was one of grace (to put her away not shame her), and grace doubled (to marry Mary). And yes I do hold to the Creedal statements on the Virgin Birth. But is is the appearance of the situation that should guide our response.
    So the ‘No Sex Before Marriage’ argument doesn’t wash. The ‘Sex is part of the journey of two people towards life long covenant loving commitment’ argument does. Contraception offers us more sexual freedom, but not the freedom to be irresponsible, recreational or promiscuous. Remember plenty of STI’s are passed on by skin contact, that is by ‘fooling around’. The ideal is one intimate sexual partner for life.
    So what of same sex relationships in Scripture. King David, despite his many wives and concubines turned down the warming of a young girl on his death bed. The text almost gives us a reason why. His love for Jonathan exceeded his love for any woman. We are not asking what they got up to in private here (although the whole exchanging of armour story makes it pretty clear to me) as that is a secondary issue. Ruth and Naomi is more complicated. Ruth needed a husband, and is guided in seducing Boaz by Naomi. Uncovering ‘feet’ on the threshing floor is not about a pedicure, feet being a handy Hebrew euphemism for genitals. Gosh aren’t biblical sexual ethics interesting?
    Jesus deals directly with a same sex relationship. The Centurion and his servant who is ‘very dear to him’. Again what they did together in private is irrelevant, as Gerd Theissen points out in the ‘Shadow of the Galilean’ observers may well have seen the healing as a blessing of a same sex relationship even if the relationship was not ‘active’.
    The Gospels do dead with serious sexual sin. The abuse of Salome (probably under-age and brought to dance for Herod’s courts titillation). The Samaritan woman’s multiple partners. The hypocrisy of judging others when we have all committed adultery in our hearts.
    So we have two theological streams.
    Firstly Sex should be part of the journey towards lifelong commitment. I do believe that a sexual relationship that does not lead to such a covenant relationship and ends requires repentance. Just as we should all repent of adultery of the heart. See I do believe in original sin and there are plenty of sins we commit that we have little control of.
    Secondly there are scriptural examples of covenent loving relationships between same sex individuals. Although we cannot make clear conclusions about any physical aspect of those relationships.
    Of those ’6 texts’ the Hebrew ones are the weakest. The shellfish texts shall we say. But Paul’s thinking does raise questions.
    It depends on how we read Paul.
    If we see Paul as conservative then we are left with the position held by many evangelical same sex couples I know. They enjoy celibate covenant loving relationships.
    If we see Paul as a liberal radical mystic we may begin to ask questions about how people born same sex orientated can be fully grafted in to the covenant of grace as those of us born gentiles are. Sexual intimacy of some sort is part of this.
    As a ‘pastor’ this is how I approach the issue. My ultimate personal conclusion is that I have no issue with a same sex couple in an unique covenant relationship expressing that relationship in a physical way. That could be hugs, it could be kisses, it could be more. I don’t tell wedding couples what they should do or not do in private in great detail. The same for same sex couples. I will give them resources to work with but the degree of celibacy or activity is something they need to ultimately reconcile for themselves.
    And when I do work with folks who are of whatever orientation and choose to be promiscuous or polyamourous I remember that my eyes still wander in summer, that I don’t do all I can to combat the sexualisation of the under-aged, and that I have failed relationships behind me. Because in my eyes a failed relationship with out full sexual intimacy (kissing girls/boys at bible camp when you were 17 still counts folks) still falls short of God’s ideal for us.

  • Sedated Tim

    For the GLBT victims rape, beatings and death…
    Lord, have mercy
    For those GLBT who experience condemnation, hatred, and violence against their spirits…
    Christ, have mercy
    For those GLBT who have committed suicide in despair…
    Lord, have mercy
    For those who seek to love GLBT persons as whole persons…
    Christ, have mercy
    For those engaged in this conversation with folks with a variety of understandings of your Word, seeking to embody the historic, biblical Christ…
    Lord, have mercy
    For judgment that purifies, refines, reveals, heals and opens us to that Day when the universe is made whole…
    Christ, have mercy…

  • http://alanreynolds.wordpress.com Alan

    Panthera,
    I have no desire to argue in such a medium. I, too, am from the Deep South (originally from Mobile, AL), and I understand how some people are. I get outraged when I hear of crimes against homosexuals because of their orientation, just as I get outraged when I hear of homosexuals attacking people for seeing homosexuality as a sin. Again, bigotry works both ways, as does hate and fear.
    But being from the South, you know as well as I do, that a bunch of beer guzzling rednecks who worship Hank Williams and haven’t darkened the door of a church since they went to VBS get put in the “conservative” category with those of us who strive hard to practice love on a daily basis. My gay aunt and her “roommate” are the ones who reminded me of that fact.

  • Bo

    @churchmouse
    Judge their actions but not their heart? It’s amazing how some people can “explain away” the radicalness and beauty of some passages of the Bible that conflict with their theology. I’m probably doing it too (obviously you think I am with verses about homosexuals), but I think there is something amazing and unique about 1 Corinthians satying not judging non-Christians is essential, if you really feel it is a beautiful gift that we must not tolerate homosexuals then so be it.. But good thing people like you and me are here to clarify what Paul REALLY meant. Gosh if only he had said what he meant. Silly of us to think that gay people aren’t actually an abomination and even sillier of us for thinking we should refrain from judging those damned non-Christians (most of whom will suffer eternally and consciously in hell fire anyway, hey they’re God’s enemies).

  • Sacramental Bea

    churchmouse,
    “If you do toss Leviticus out……you still have the NT and what Christ said about sex and marriage.”
    What Christ said about marriage was His answer on whether or not divorce ought to be permitted. Seems modern culture has tossed out more than just the OT.
    Meanwhile, despite all your pleadings, tell us where Christ condemns homosexuality (our understanding of it today, that is). It isn’t in the Ten Commandments nor in Christ’s two.
    I believe every word He spoke about it – which is absolutely nothing.

  • Sacramental Bea

    churchmouse asks the oh-so-relevant (i.e. NOT) question, “Is anal sex healthy?”
    As if this had anything to do with the discussion. And as if heterosexuals don’t practise it both within and outside of marriage. Tell us, cm, does anal sex prevent you walking with Christ?

  • Sacramental Bea

    “LutheranChik so sorry you will be leaving.”
    No you’re not, churchmouse. What you type helped drive her away.

  • Sacramental Bea

    “Do you usually run when people disagree with your position?”
    I won’t speak for her, but I stop ‘discussing’ when people tell outrageous lies about me and pretend it’s ‘debate’.
    “Panthera made the comment that anal sex was not dangerous”
    And you brought it into the discussion to begin with. It is irrelevant unless or until you admit that heterosexuals practise it too, yet you never argue that those that do should not be allowed to marry. Why that? It isn’t “dangerous” if it is done correctly.
    “I am willing to listen.”
    We’ve seen no evidence of that.
    “And I do not hate you”
    And we’ve seen plenty of evidence (i.e. so much false witness that you bear constantly against gays) to the contrary. It is, I believe, the very reason Lutheranchick left.

  • Sacramental Bea

    alan,
    ” I get outraged when I hear of homosexuals attacking people for seeing homosexuality as a sin”
    That is not the reason we “attack” (your word, certainly not mine). What we object to is the constant comparisons of our committed, consenting, adult human relationships to beastiality, rape, incest and child-molestation.
    When they stop with those false witness/accusations/comparisons, we will stop ‘attacking’ them. But it will be up to the “Christians” to stop bearing that false witness.

  • Sacramental Bea

    “my girlfriend loved the guy she was having an affair with too, but she was still sinning and I still told her she was sinning”
    Why do “Christians” have to be such busybodies? Isn’t the plank in your own eye large enough?

  • Rob

    “That is not the reason we “attack” (your word, certainly not mine). What we object to is the constant comparisons of our committed, consenting, adult human relationships to beastiality, rape, incest and child-molestation.”
    Well, to be fair here, I didn’t see anyone comparing your relationships to beastiality. What I saw was someone, from a theological perspective, questioning whether or not we can call it (beastiality) acceptable because Jesus didn’t specifically mention it. I think what the person was trying to get at was that just because Jesus doesn’t mention something specifically doesn’t mean He wasn’t against it, a contention being advocated by some folks in regards to homosexuality. Not saying I agree with the comparison, but I think there has been some flame throwing from both sides on this thread, and it’s really disheartening.

  • Bo

    @ Sacramental Bea
    Please forgive us. we know not what we do.

  • Pete

    RJohnson,
    No. Concerning headcovering Paul makes it clear it is up to each church to decide according to their custom.
    1 Cor 11 Paul says, “If anyone wants to argue this, we have no such custom” KJV…
    In other words, this is nothing to be legalistic about.
    So again, shellfish and headcoverings are both in a different category than homosexuality in the NT.
    Again, what am I missing here?

  • http://www.nopearlsb4swine.com Wes

    Is it “hateful” for me to say that I honestly believe that the Bible prohibits homosexual behavior (along with all other sexual activity outside of a hetrosexual marriage)?

  • Panthera

    Rob,
    This thread – and the other two related – are only a small part of the ongoing discussions on whether we homosexuals have human status or not.
    In many, very many, a truly extraordinary number of other threads on this topic on beliefnet, over the last two years or so, we have very much been compared to rapists, child molesters, people who have sex with animals, etc.
    Will it suffice for you to mention that the argument has been made on these three threads that we homosexuals should be tortured and murdered, beaten and raped as well as that slavery should be reinstated?
    Be happy to cite author, date, etc. if your pink-tinted glasses overlooked it.

  • Ted Seeber

    panthera- I need to respond to you in a different way, I think, than I have in the past. I fear you may be turning science itself into an idol, when science itself rejects that. I suggest reading this before you call something in science, fact:
    http://www.arachnoid.com/opinion/religion.html

  • churchmouse

    Jules,
    I am going to make the case for judging actions.
    “Judge not lest you be judged. You therefore have no right to judge me when it comes to my sins!”
    The world often takes this verse out of context and uses it to accuse Christians of being “judgmental” when they speak of sin. In the context of the verse Jesus is telling His disciples not to judge one another, something the Bible condemns (Romans 14:10; James 4:11). In Luke 6:41,42 He speaks of seeing a speck in a brother’s eye. In John 7:24 He said, “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.” If someone steals, lies, commits adultery or murder, etc., the Christian can make a (righteous) moral judgment and say that the actions were morally wrong, and that these sins will have eternal consequences. Chuck Colson said, “True tolerance is not a total lack of judgment. It’s knowing what should be tolerated—and refusing to tolerate that which shouldn’t.”
    Read Matthew 18:15-17 JESUS SAYS:
    18:15 “Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.”
    18:16 “But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.”
    18:17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.”
    Is Jesus judging here? Is the church judging here? Do either have the right? You tell me what Christ says.
    Read John 7:24
    24 “Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.”
    1 Corinthians 5:11-13, says
    “I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people, not at all referring to the immoral of this world or the greedy and robbers or idolaters; for you would then have to leave the world.
    But I now write to you not to associate with anyone named a brother, if he is immoral, greedy, an idolater, a slanderer, a drunkard, or a robber, not even to eat with such a person.
    For why should I be judging outsiders? Is it not your business to judge those within?
    God will judge those outside. “Purge the evil person from your midst.”
    What is he saying here? Outsiders are unbelievers….Insiders are believers……….Is it not YOUR business to judge insiders?
    Paul is saying we are not responsible for judging unbelievers, but WE ARE REQUIRED TO JUDGE OUR FELLOW BELIEVERS. Plain and simple.
    1 Corinthians 6:1-4
    1 “It is widely reported that there is immorality among you, and immorality of a kind not found even among pagans–a man living with his father’s wife.
    2 And you are inflated with pride. Should you not rather have been sorrowful? The one who did this deed should be expelled from your midst.
    3 I, for my part, although absent in body but present in spirit, have already, as if present, pronounced JUDGEMENT on the one who has committed this deed,
    4 in the name of (our) Lord Jesus: when you have gathered together and I am with you in spirit with the power of the Lord Jesus,
    5 you are to this man to Satan for the destruction of his flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.”
    Leaders are expected to judge those whom they lead. Hebrews 13:7 and 13:17.…it is clear church leadership is expected to exercise authority and maintain discipline. If a leader sees a member in sin……you think he should do nothing? Or protect those who remain?
    Culture today has negative attitudes towards judging. It resents authority and law enforcement. You obviously assume the primary function of judging is to punish the wicked. It is NOT, that’s secondary. The primary function of judging is to PROTECT THE RIGHTEOUS. Look at our justice system today. We bend over backward to protect the criminal and offer little to the victim. This is perverted thinking. It is NEVER in line with Gods will to deal with righteous as with the wicked.
    We as Christian have ever y right to judge believers behavior and actions. We are not however responsible for the final evaluation of anyone’s character, including our own. (1 Corinthians 4:4)
    God alone has this authority. We are responsible to judge conduct and relationships. We are not to base this on our feelings, or by the opinions of society or even by our own estimation of ourselves. We are to judge conduct and relationships by the CLEAR TEACHING AND STANDARDS REVEALED IN THE WORD OF GOD.
    “would you have judged Jesus for working on the sabbath?”
    And who could ever be in a position to judge Jesus Christ? By you asking this question implies that you think we are somewhat equal. We are not held to the OT law because Jesus came. That is a whole other subject. He respected the law but even He did not follow it to the letter. We are not Christ however. Judging has nothing to do with love. You can love someone with all your heart but still judge them according to the Word. I gave the example of my son living in sin. I judge his actions to be wrong. But did I stop loving him? NO. He claims to be a Christian and I made him aware of the scriptures that do not condone his behavior. Has nothing to do with love other than the fact, I told him BECAUSE I LOVE HIM. I believe you are in error if you say we can’t judge actions. As a parent I certainly hope you make judgments concerning your children and their friends.
    “you have no clue what the father has called that person or persons to do. you nor I will EVER be God and thank the LORD for that”
    I do have a clue when it comes to knowing when something is wrong or right especially if God says something is a sin. I know if someone is doing something that Satan is directly involved in. My daughters friends sister is a stripper. This is not godly behavior. I can love her and minister to her but as far as having a relationship with her that involves what she does, I can not. Sorta like the person who is against abortion but drives a woman to get one…or pays the fee because she has no money. I do not want to be a part of someones sin, because sin often times splashes. The man who has an affair and brings a disease home and gives it to his wife. The man who steals from work and gets fired and then has no way to support his family.
    I am not God and do not pretend to be God in any way. I read and pray on the scriptures and I try to live a life without sin. It’s impossible but I make the attempt. We are to take the Great Commission seriously and in everything we do, we should do it in love. As I said judging actions have nothing to do with hating someone. They are done to protect those who are trying to live godly lives.
    I appreciate your comments and hope you will look at judging in a new light. I have no book, no sermon, no link to tell you to read….its all in the scriptures, everything you need to know. Gods plan is perfect.

  • churchmouse

    JD I am not condemning anyone for anything. I simply point out what the scriptures says about ungodly behavior and we have every right to protect ourselves from it. Just because someone is judged does not mean they are going to hell. God is the final judge but we have every right to judge actions or the world would be in utter chaos. No police, judges sentencing people to prison…etc.
    Example. Your daughter is hanging out with undesirable kids. One kid you know is doing drugs. Your daughter says she is strong and she won’t do drugs. Do you continue to let her hang out with the group? I should hope not. If you say no…..you really are making judgment on the kid you wont let her hang around with. You are saying, no its behavior I do not want you involved with. You are judging the kid. God does not expect us to sit back and do nothing against evil forces in our lives. And anyone who is deep in sin is not with God because He is good.
    JD you posed this question, “if you don’t want sinners in your ‘church,’ where should they be instead? And where would you see yourself? How can you call yourself a Christian, yet not recognize yourself as a sinner?
    We all are sinners. There is not one church in the whole world that is perfect. Christ came for the lost, the sick and weak. But when you accept Christ you should be trying to live according to the Scriptures. You should be trying to live like Christ. And the head of the Church….the teachers, the pastor, the elders, deacons should be examples for the flock.
    What should a church do if the married pastor was carrying on with a member of the church? She he/she be in any position to stand up at the pulpit and talk about being godly? The church should minister to those who need it, but should NEVER CONDONE ungodly behavior. The minister should go to God repent and work on getting his heart aligned with the Word. No one should be kicked out of any church unless they have ungodly behavior they are not working on because the rest of the people who do attend who are trying to stay sin free are exposed to evilness. The righteous have to be protected. We have to pray that God will do the rest.
    Would you ever walk into a strip bar to have a drink? If you are a Christian I should hope not. Then I would ask you why you wouldn’t go to one. Because you know it is a place where God would not want you to go. You are making a judgement about everyone in there, especially the actions that are taking place there. Whether you want to admit it or not, you make judgements about people every day.
    My uncle is gay and has had the same partner for over fifteen years. They both know how I feel about it but it does not affect our relationship at all. I adore them and they love me too. I know that is hard for some of you to grasp, but it is true. They don’t hate people because they simply disagree with them. His partner is not a Christian but my uncle is a Christian and has accepted Christ but obviously IMO is not walking in the light. I do not think his sex sin will affect his salvation….but God will judge him for his actions. He wont discuss the scriptures in fact he wont even read them and I know why. He knows what he is doing is wrong. He knows there is no scripture that backs up his lifestyle. So he tries to put it out of his mind. But we cant hide from God, he knows our thoughts, he knows our hearts.
    Alan your post was amazing and thank you for sharing your heart with us. We are not hateful people just because we believe that the gay lifesyle, the heterosexual having sex outside marriage is sin. Homosexual sex sin is no worse than heter sex sin.
    A Christian must stand on scripture.

  • http://www.nopearlsb4swine.com Wes

    Panthera,
    Is it “hateful” for me to say that I honestly believe that the Bible prohibits homosexual behavior (along with all other sexual activity outside of a hetrosexual marriage)?

  • Rob

    Will it suffice for you to mention that the argument has been made on these three threads that we homosexuals should be tortured and murdered, beaten and raped as well as that slavery should be reinstated?
    Be happy to cite author, date, etc. if your pink-tinted glasses overlooked it.

    If you say that is what happens on other threads, I believe you. I don’t visit very many other sites with discussions because honestly I don’t see much redemptive value in arguing. I have not seen on THIS thread that you should be tortured, murdered, beaten, raped, and that slavery should be reinstated. I may have missed it though in the numerous comments. I’ll honestly admit that if someone’s comment is just full of Scripture quoting, I tend to disregard it.
    As to the pink-tinted glasses comment…dude, who’s being argumentative here? I’m trying to bring some dialog and I get a underhanded comment thrown at me?

  • Rob

    My daughters friends sister is a stripper. This is not godly behavior. I can love her and minister to her but as far as having a relationship with her that involves what she does, I can not.
    So let me ask churchmouse, based on your reading of the Gospels, how do you think Jesus would treat your daughter’s friend’s sister versus how the Pharisees would treat her? What does the story of the “sinful” woman at Simon’s house teach us?

  • Rob

    Would you ever walk into a strip bar to have a drink? If you are a Christian I should hope not. Then I would ask you why you wouldn’t go to one. Because you know it is a place where God would not want you to go.
    So you believe God isn’t already there, at work in people’s lives? How could Jesus be accused of eating and drinking with sinners if He didn’t go to places where they were, and even INVITE them to hang with Him? I’m confused? Why we interpret Jesus based on Paul instead of the other way around?

  • Sacramental Bea

    Rob,
    “I didn’t see anyone comparing your relationships to beastiality. What I saw was someone, from a theological perspective, questioning whether or not we can call it (beastiality) acceptable because Jesus didn’t specifically mention it. I think what the person was trying to get at was that just because Jesus doesn’t mention something specifically doesn’t mean He wasn’t against it, a contention being advocated by some folks in regards to homosexuality. Not saying I agree with the comparison”
    Rob, which is it? Either the comparison (that you don’t happen to “see”) was made or it wasn’t. You can’t say you “agree with the comparison” if the comparison wasn’t made. I can actually read that comparison being made in several comments. Sorry you can’t.

  • Panthera

    Rob, I admit that I shot first and asked questions…not.
    Please forgive me.
    And, yes, sadly – I could have easily provided the statements.
    Wes, don’t be silly.
    Ted, I do not make an idol of science. Like you, I am trained in logic and read several languages. Unlike you, I place not my faith in princes and principalities. Frankly, as long as you advocate torturing me and enslaving people, I see no common ground for Christian discourse.
    Tony, I have a suggestion. Please engage in these discussions more actively.

  • Jules

    churchmouse-
    “I am not God and do not pretend to be God in any way. I read and pray on the scriptures and I try to live a life without sin. It’s impossible but I make the attempt. We are to take the Great Commission seriously and in everything we do, we should do it in love. As I said judging actions have nothing to do with hating someone. They are done to protect those who are trying to live godly lives.”
    ok, so I see you say this and what you have said about myself and others in the LGBT community do not fit.
    You want me to just readily accept that you do all these things and are a person who loves and chases after God. I tell you I do the same and yet I’m under question and you use the excuse you have the right to judge. It blows my mind away to be honest.
    I could list you every thing I do every day to glorify my God, our Father. You would smile, nod your head, probably have some great convo with me, but as soon as I mentioned my gf the tables turn. Do you not get the contradiction?
    As far as the rest, I’m not going to touch and you can make up what ever reason you think I’m not. The reason I’m not is the feeling of being talked down to. I have no desire to bastardize the scripture. It makes me feel dirty and makes me feel like the bible is to be used to prove something. To show my point: “I appreciate your comments and hope you will look at judging in a new light. I have no book, no sermon, no link to tell you to read….its all in the scriptures, everything you need to know. Gods plan is perfect.”
    You may not see it, but that is very condescending and you know it all. BTW: not every thing I need to know is in scripture. It can and will always show me the characteristics of God and his plan, however, I know how our human eyes can always be skewed through that lens. I also believe God can speak through others to teach us about himself. So, I ask, did you bother to watch the video or were you too bothered by turning your nose up to it to be given something different that could elevate the conversation?
    Alright, I’m done. No hard feelings, but I really want to see this conversation go deeper and since I am part of the LGBT I feel this question was never orginally intended for me to answer. I’ve just popped in and out of it to watch, ask questions and put two cents in here and there.
    I pray at some point bridging does happen. My biggest hope is to be scene for the lover of Christ I am than my sexuality. I hope that for all in the LGBT.
    Blessings!

  • http://www.nopearlsb4swine.com Wes

    Panthera,
    “…Wes, don’t be silly.”
    I’m not. I’m asking a serious question: Is it “hateful” for me to say that I honestly believe that the Bible prohibits homosexual behavior (along with all other sexual activity outside of a hetrosexual marriage)?
    I’m asking this because (based on your comments) I think you would answer “yes” and, in any event, to understand your point of view.
    Please don’t give me the typical patronizing, marginalizing, dismissive answer.

  • Husband

    Wes,
    “Is it “hateful” for me to say that I honestly believe that the Bible prohibits homosexual behavior (along with all other sexual activity outside of a hetrosexual marriage)? “
    Not in my opinion it isn’t.
    As I’ve frequently said, you (and churchmouse, cknuk, etc.) are free to “believe” what you wish to believe the Bible says or doesn’t say.
    My point is that other people disagree with your belief and have their own beliefs. We honestly believe that the Bible does not prohibit certain types of homosexual behavior (namely committed, loving, consensual, adult, human relationships – whether the State OR the Church recognizes them or not yet). In my case, Lutheranchick’s case, panthera’s case (and others), we are married, I believe all of us in our own respective Churches [they can correct me if I'm wrong on this]. IOW, “The Church” (TM) is not of one accord on this issue.
    Usually, your side insists on its freedom of religion but does not extend that right to our side.
    Your post/opinion is not hateful, imo, because you didn’t add to it that ‘my church was wrong’, or ‘my belief (or my church) is untrue’. You did not throw in a false and gratuitous comparison of our relationsihps to rape, incest, child-molestation, beastiality, necrophilia, or “marryin’ a plant”. You didn’t suggest that our love, our relationships cause hurricanes. You have not said we do not deserve equality before the law, that we should not be allowed to visit our spouses/partners in the hospital, nor inherit our mutual estates, nor be fired merely for being gay. You did not say we should not be allowed to serve our country in the military.
    Why on earth you may have thought we’d find someone who merely disagrees with us as “hateful” escapes me. Or, maybe your side hasn’t actually paid attention to what it is that we have been calling hateful for ‘lo these many decades.

  • Panthera

    Wes,
    OK, I’ll take the bait.
    So, do you believe that our your private version of Christianity is valid reason to forbid legal marriage for gays in the US?
    Do you believe that our children should be taken away from us?
    Do you agree with the practice of conservative Christians of denying our access to our partners and making decision for them in medical emergencies, even tho’ we have legal medical powers of attorney?
    Do you agree with our being tortured, murdered, beaten and raped at the rate of three a week in the US by conservative Christians?
    Do you agree with the practice of frontal lobotomy and electroshock therapy against us as is still done by conservative Christians in their mental institutions to ‘cure’ us of our sexuality?
    Do you agree with all those oh-so-Christian families who throw their adolescent and teen-age children out of their homes onto the streets when they find out they are gay? Between 1/3 and 1/2 of all homeless kids in that age group in the South end up that way because of this.
    Please answer those questions, then I shall know what your position really is.

  • John Sullivan

    Hi Tony and others.
    First time here and commenting…
    Before I comment I have to say that this conversation has been interesting and uncomfortable for me.
    I am a returning Anglican/Episcopalian… was baptized and confirmed in an Episcopal church, wandered away from church in the mid 70′s, woke up to my faith in the late 70′s, worshipped with evangelical/charismatics through the 80′s and 90′s, and felt drawn (believing this to be the Holy Spirit at work) to the church (and parish) of my youth.
    Bound to be many viewpoints on this… I think based on our “take” on scripture… that seems too obvious. Forgive me.
    I’m reading Anderson’s Emergent Theology… for the first time. I just finished a section where he writes about the play between “narrative theology” and “scripture theology”… primarily in the context of Paul’s “revelation” of the gospel to the gentiles and the response of the Jerusalem church to it. My evangelical/protestant roots, particularly the root labeled the “Word of God”, react to any challenge to “modify” the “revealed will of God” in the scriptures… and this was the reaction of the Jerusalem church to what Paul was preaching… in order for them to accept this “revelation” of the Gospel of Christ, these men and women had to rethink both their reading of scripture and tradition… I think we evangelicals tend to think that the moment at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit fell upon those believers gathered in Jerusalem that all was revealed to them… this simply wasn’t the case and the scripture (the narrative) shows that clearly…
    This is hard to face for those of us who have held so dearly to the Scripture and to a “theology of the Scripture” that has as it’s foundation the “inspiration” and “inerrancy” of the Word of God… we are no different in many respects from that early church… we hold to tradition and scripture… and to ways of reading that tradition and scripture… I think this is the challenge… maybe.

  • http://umbl0g.blogspot.com/ John Umland

    If Jones is hesitant to acknowldege a settled Biblical issue due to controversy over clear verses and consistent ecclesiastic historical understanding then what doctrine is settled. All heresy comes from disagreeing with an established hermeneutic, which for the first 4 centuries was settled by a church wide council. Can anyone be a heretic in Jones’ world? Is a Jehovah’s Witness a heretic in danger of hell due to his different opinion on several key verses? What about a Mormon? How is their extra scripture any different from the new revelations of scientists, our modern priesthood? It’s controversial because it means some people are wrong. Hurt feelings does not necessitate re-interpretation.
    God is good
    jpu

  • http://www.nopearlsb4swine.com Wes

    Husband,
    Perhaps I’m reading too fast, but what I think I see in the comments above is a near-hysterical reaction against any suggestion that homosexuality is wrong. I think I am paying attention!
    I’m grateful that you are willing to suggest that I can hold an honest belief based on Biblical exegesis and not suggest that I’ve got ulterior motives… but if you read the comment following yours, that is exactly what Panthera suggests! This attitude is “why on earth [I] thought someone who merely disagrees with [you] as hateful.”
    Truth claims are, if nothing else, exclusive. I would agree that we shouldn’t be hateful in our debate. I would hope we’d agree also that if we believe something, we’ll seek to apply it consistently. In this case, I understand that you and I might go toe-to-toe in debate about what the Scripture says, and that’s appropriate. But the Scripture ought to govern, along with the Spirit who leads all Christians (at least eventually) into all truth.
    Panthera,
    I wasn’t trying to set a trap. I want to answer your questions (some of which I find deeply offensive and uncalled for) directly:
    “…do you believe that our your private version of Christianity is valid reason to forbid legal marriage for gays in the US?” No. But as I said above, I would vote against legalization of gay marriage out of personal conviction as you would vote for it. I’m more concerned, though, about anything which would affirmatively REQUIRE churches to conduct gay marriage.
    “Do you believe that our children should be taken away from us?” No.
    “Do you agree with the practice of conservative Christians of denying our access to our partners and making decision for them in medical emergencies, even tho’ we have legal medical powers of attorney?” No. I’m not aware of this practice (or, at least it being a matter under the control of “conservative Christians”).
    “Do you agree with our being tortured, murdered, beaten and raped at the rate of three a week in the US by conservative Christians?” No. BTW, anyone who does this isn’t “Christian” regardless of their profession.
    “Do you agree with the practice of frontal lobotomy and electroshock therapy against us as is still done by conservative Christians in their mental institutions to ‘cure’ us of our sexuality?” No.
    “Do you agree with all those oh-so-Christian families who throw their adolescent and teen-age children out of their homes onto the streets when they find out they are gay? Between 1/3 and 1/2 of all homeless kids in that age group in the South end up that way because of this.” No.
    Your sarcasm and tone are unbecoming of your profession as well. Beware what you fear, lest you become the hate-monger you say you’re fighting against.
    Here’s my point: I think you think it is hateful for me to say that you are wrong. But what the Word of God assumes – and what the World scorns – is that we know “the Truth.” We live in a time that easily qualifies as an age of relativism, that wants to say that all things are equally “true” (which is impossible to say). To say that we can know the Truth is to ‘lean against the winds of modernity.’ There are some in our day who, if you ask them difficult questions about truth and they’ll say that “those sorts of questions are above my pay grade.” Someone of great prominence recently said that “I’m taking a more humble approach on that.” It is not more humble – it is arrogant – to believe that what God has clearly revealed in Scripture is unclear! And to say that what God has revealed does not meet my standards for clarity is not a humble statement – that is an arrogant statement! God has revealed His Truth – and what the Bible assumes is that we can make sense of it… we can even know it.

  • http://www.kevindhendricks.com Kevin D. Hendricks

    Wow, Tony, this is quite the conversation you’ve started. Nice work.
    I can’t possibly read all these comments, so maybe this question has been raised already.
    I understand that different hermeneutics can explain away these six verses (the clobber verses, is that what you called them?). The shellfish one seems pretty obvious (why do people still use Leviticus to justify anything?) and the New Testament examples (especially in regard to women) also seem plausible to me.
    But this is where I feel like I’m in a bind. How can a lay person lacking an advanced theological degree and knowledge of ancient culture even read the Bible and properly understand it if it can always be interpreted differently based on some archaic misunderstanding of a word or cultural practice? If something seemingly straightforward like these verses is wrong from a casual reading, how do I know I’m not misinterpreting other seemingly straightforward verses?
    I realize the Bible is complex book, but it seems like this could be a path that leads to interpreting anything you want into the Bible. I’m not trying to accuse anyone of that, it just seems like an obvious difficulty. At the same time, I think it’s intentional that God gave us the utterly complex Bible as is, and not just a straight-forward statement of faith or list doctrinal positions.
    I tend to go back and forth in this debate quite a bit, so I appreciate your attempts to discuss it in a respectful manner.

  • Husband

    Wes,
    Thanks for your reply, but you in no way contradicted anything I said. You asked if merely disagreeing was “hateful”; I said it wasn’t, and that it is the other rants that get added that are hateful – because of their falseness.
    Now to your other contentions…
    “I would vote against legalization of gay marriage out of personal conviction as you would vote for it. I’m more concerned, though, about anything which would affirmatively REQUIRE churches to conduct gay marriage.”
    My point all along is that putting people’s freedoms and rights to a popular vote in the first place is what is unethical, un-Christian, and un-Constitutional.
    Your contention that Churches would be REQUIRED to conduct same-sex marriages is false as well. It is an unfounded fear. No Catholic Church or priest is REQUIRED to marry divorced Catholics, even though divorce is perfectly legal, even for Catholics. It is called freedom of religion, something that is currently denied to any faith in America (except in 6 States) – those that WOULD perform them willingly (the UCC, MCC, the Quakers, the Universalist/Unitarians, both Reformed and Conservative Judaism, etc.)
    You said to panthera, “I think you think it is hateful for me to say that you are wrong.” Panthera made it perfectly clear what is “hateful”, as, I hope, did I. It is not “sarcasm” on his part or on mine – the things that both he and I have delineated here (and elsewhere) continue to happen to GLBT citizens, and you said a clear “No” to each and every one of his/my concerns. IOW, merely disagreeing is not “hateful”; all the other practices and false comparisons most observably ARE hateful. We aren’t discussing rape, beastiality, necrophilia, child-molestation, etc.
    “it is arrogant – to believe that what God has clearly revealed in Scripture is unclear!”
    Wes, if it were so “clear”, this debate would not be happening at all. Please see the partial list of 6 faith denominations that disagree with you. “The Church” (TM) is NOT of one accord on the matter.
    “a near-hysterical reaction against any suggestion that homosexuality is wrong”
    This is not “near-hysteria” – it is our lives and our experiences of which we speak – and I’ve already said that you are free to believe “homosexuality is wrong”. We believe otherwise, and we should be free to believe otherwise in a land that ‘promises’ freedom of religion. It is all the other hate and lies that get added to the ‘debate’ that is “hateful”. If you find that near-hysteria, so be it. You asked your question and I answered it. Now you wish to prolong/highlight/exacerbate the theological differences on which neither of us is going to change our mind.

  • Panthera

    Wes,
    I owe you an answer.
    No, I don’t think your refusal to recognize my status as a human being and therefor entitled to human and civil rights is hateful.
    Your postings remind me of many people I have met through the years here in the South. They are appalled by the hateful actions of their neighbors who attack and kill Negroes. They abjure all violent acts themselves and sincerely regret that things have gotten so ‘out of hand’.
    Are they, however, willing to raise their voices to put an end to the attacks?
    No.
    Your concern about the church being ‘coerced’ into blessing my civil marriage (also Christian, we were married in Europe, in the church as well as civilly) is either another case of false-witness or pure ignorance of the Constitution.
    For someone who denies any games or laying of verbal snares, you surely are playing a very snarky hand of cards here. Not surprising, one of the most common threads running through the conservative Christian postings here is an assumption that people supporting human status for gays and transgender are neither literate nor especially intelligent.

  • Your Name

    Panthera,
    I’d ask if you consider the tone of your comments to be in any way helpful in bridging the divide in the discussion. I don’t.
    For the record, I don’t in any way “[refuse] to recognize [your] status as a human being and therefor entitled to human and civil rights.” That would be hateful. I do believe that homosexuality is sin. So is everything else that is contrary to the will of God – much of which I am guilty of as well.
    Your branding, labeling, sarcastic responses may help you wallow in your self-imposed victim status, but they just dodge the real question of what God thinks. When real christians disagree about issues of this type, they go to the Word and wrestle with it. Your tactic is as hateful as the one you accuse “conservative christians” of employing.
    I have gay friends. If you knew me, you’d know how unfair your characteristic of my “passivity” would be. But defending people’s rights doesn’t extend to condoning their sin. Real friends don’t do that… they love their friends enough to seek to bring their friends to God’s point of view.
    Just suppose I’m right about this and you’re wrong. If I was, wouldn’t it be loving for me to beg my friends to recognize this? I think it’s unfair and uncharitable to call that line of thinking a “snarky hand of cards.”
    I don’t have a lack of respect for you because you’re gay. I have a lack of respect for what you’re saying because you’re acting rude.

  • http://www.nopearlsb4swine.com Wes

    Sorry – didn’t mean to post without my name…

  • panthera

    A man who uses Matthew 7:6 as a URL accuses me of being sarcastic?
    Oh, and as for wallowing in victim status, wrong. I was not especially active in the gay rights movement (having moved back to Europe as a young man and being treated as a full human being there) until American Christians (relatives, to be precise) nearly beat me to death. When my husband covered me with his body to shield me, they left him with a punctured lung and so many broken bones that the doctors were astonished he lived.
    Despite our possessing medical powers of attorney, legal and recognized in the State this happened, he was not permitted to visit me nor I him in the hospital until a court forced the christianists to recognize the law.
    Not a wallowing victim, a furious man who has had it up to hear with you imposing your hatred upon our secular world. Do what you like in your twisted, hateful, nasty christianist church. But your right to discriminate against me ends the moment you depart the doors of that oh-so-Christian place.
    Actually, I was not precise in comparing you to those racists who are too cowardly to stand up and voice their hatred of Negroes directly. You’d fit right in with the Mitlaeufer in Central Europe during the 1930s who supported the National Socialists by turning in those parents who tried to shield their handicapped children from the death squads.

  • panthera

    Tony,
    These hatefilled Christians are incapable of reasoned discourse, it if pointless.
    This is precisely why we need strong hate-crime laws and secular marriage rights. This is why adoption must be based on what is good for the children and not for the christianists.
    This is why transgender and those who do not fit the traditional christianist view of male and female need legal protection.
    Thanks for trying, I appreciate it. When they start re-writing the Bible to ‘prove’ their otherwise indefensible points and call their hatred love, it is time to ask what we hope to achieve here.

  • churchmouse

    You deserve no more protection than anyone else here. No minority or group should be protected any more than any other.
    No one has the right to hurt you, but they should have the right to speak out about what you do and say. You have that right as well to speak out against injustices that you see as long as you do not hurt them.
    The hate crimes bill is a direct attack on free speech. It is an attack on Christianity and all religions that talk about homosexual sex as being wrong. This legislation passes and the Bible will be classified as hate literature. Its already happened in Canada and Sweden and its happening here as well. Anyone saying anything negative about homosexuals will face imprisonment or fines. That includes pastors of churches. No Bible…..no Leviticus. The bible……hate speech.
    If you really study this legislation you would see that it directly violates the fundamental Constitutional protections of equal justice by promoting unequal justice under the law. It creates a two-tier system of justice where some “victims” are more equal than others under the law. This unequal justice makes one motivation for assaulting a person more heinous than another.
    Person “A” kills a homosexual because they hate them.
    Person “B” kills a fellow gang member.
    Person “C” kills a drug dealer.
    Person “D” kills his wife.
    Which one of these would get the worst sentence and would get more protection by the government should this type of legislation go through? Person A
    How is this fair?
    This goes through and free speech will end.

  • http://www.nopearlsb4swine.com Wes

    Panthera,
    Your comments call for no response beyond sincere prayer for the working of the Holy Spirit in your life. I’ll pray that you come to see that Christians – even those who believe the Bible teaches that homosexuality is sin – aren’t your enemy. We are brothers and sisters subject to a higher authority than your opinion or mine. Perhaps you ought consider the fact (and I do mean fact) that your comments are the most hateful, venom-filled in this thread.
    As for my URL reference, I think its usage is consistent with the Text’s intent.
    Tony – is there any merit in my concern about Pathera’s comments? If so, it would be helpful for you to weigh in. If not, perhaps you could let me know… I am hoping this is a safe place to discuss difficult topics, even from an unpopular perspective. If not, I certainly don’t want to create issues.

  • panthera

    Wes,
    Let’s see.
    Conservative Christians here have called for my torture. Have I even remotely suggested you and your ilk should be tortured? Why no, I have not.
    Conservative Christians here have called for the forced dissolution of my legal marriage (the advantages of dual-citizenship, our marriage is legal and valid in Europe). Have I suggested destroying your relationships? No, I have not.
    Conservative Christians here have said my sexual identity made me the same as a pedophile. Have I imputed such about your? No.
    Conservative Christians here have agitated for the return of enslavement. Am I asking such?
    No.
    Shall I go on? There is quite a bit more to be found amoung these several threads (and going back several years) along those lines.
    When you attack me, that is ‘Christian love’. When I tell you to get your narrow minded, hate-filled opinions back behind the door of your church and out of the sphere of secular government, ah, then I am being hateful.
    Right.
    If you want to ask Tony to ban me, just do so. Don’t play such silly games, pretending tolerance.

  • http://www.nopearlsb4swine.com Wes

    Panthera,
    Hummm. Re Ipsa Loquitor.

  • churchmouse

    Panthera loves to play the poor victim that everyone is against.
    Who has called for your torture? Who has called you a pedophile? Post the proof you have or stop making claims like this. You are so drenched in your own hatred for people that you have let it cloud your thinking.
    About your marriage……I do not care what country, county, city, planet condones your marriage, it is not scriptural. You can’t back it up scripturally either. Abortion is against Gods laws and that is legal in my country. The act is ungodly even if the country says it is ok. It’s not about what the country says is moral, it’s about what God says is moral. And sex outside marriage (scripture says one man and one woman) is immoral.
    Attack you? I have never attacked you. But you think that if anyone disagrees with you that they are attacking you and that they hate you. You think if anyone posts the list of sins in Leviticus that they are attacking you. Do you hate scripture panthera? Isnt all scripture God breathed?
    It takes a loving and compassionate Christian to call another out on sin. When I had the abortion people called me out on it, not because they hated me but because the loved me. I was not pleasing God by my behavior and actions. I was controlled by my sinful nature.
    Romans 8:8 says, Those controlled by the sinful nature cannot please God.”
    And who wants you banned? You certainly love drama.

  • panthera

    So glad you asked, Churchmouse.
    I reference all the threads going on The New Christians right now as well comments made by people posting here over on Crunchycon.
    Let’s see. Ted made the direct statement that we should be tortured for our own good.
    Dear me, so many have compared us to pedophiles it is hard to remember the very last reference, tho’ it was John G. who imputed that our immutable sexuality was the same as uncontrollable sexual urges and then went on to say my husband and I were the same as the catamites.
    True, he made the reference in bad Greek, but the meaning remains the same.
    So, my dear, there you have it.
    I can provide exact thread, date and time if you would prefer.
    Frankly, I don’t give two cents what you and your hateful church thinks about gay marriage as long as you keep your nasty opinions to yourselves. Once you enter the secular arena it is time for you to recognize my human status and civil rights.
    It is fascinating – the conservative Christians here say the most hateful things yet when someone returns their fire, suddenly they are the most peaceful lambs.
    Yeah, right.

  • http://www.nopearlsb4swine.com Wes

    Panthera,
    I’ll end my conversation with you by saying that praying for you. If you chose to twist that into some hate-filled statement, I’ll let it go although I won’t be surprised.

  • Husband

    Wes,
    “Real friends don’t do that… they love their friends enough to seek to bring their friends to God’s point of view.”
    Except Panthera, LutheranChick and myself already have an understanding of ‘God’s point of view’. Our understanding differs from yours, that’s all. I don’t wish you to “condone” anyone’s sin, but we have not been convicted that our relationships are sinful. We disagree, that’s all.
    BTW, Panthera’s “victim” status was by no means “self-imposed” – he and his partner were rather severly beaten by hate-mongers. I think he has a right to be “furious” with ‘christians’ such as his own relatives who did that to them.
    Your “sincere prayer for the working of the Holy Spirit in your life” uncharitably assumes that It isn’t working in his life already.
    “is there any merit in my concern about Pathera’s comments?”
    Panthera uses strong language and usually directs it at the appropriate target. His experience warrants strong language. As, I believe, do the constant comparisons to rape/incest/beastiality/child-molestation, etc. They aren’t ‘christian” at all – they’re the bearing of false witness – and deserve to constantly be exposed as such.

  • Husband

    churchmouse,
    “The hate crimes bill is a direct attack on free speech. It is an attack on Christianity and all religions that talk about homosexual sex as being wrong.”
    Why would any religion,, nevermind “Christianity” (as if it were of one acord about gay people), want the ‘right’ to attack and kill/harm people? I think youhave confused “hate crimes” with “hate speech”. Now, I know you are over-familiar with the latter, but why on earth do you want the former? I have said over and over again, you (and Wes) are free to “believe” whatever you wish. Why is that same freedom not extended to people who believe differently than you do?
    “This legislation passes and the Bible will be classified as hate literature. Its already happened in Canada “
    This is a lie from the pit of he11, cm. I am from Canada and that is just an outrageous falsehood. It is the lying about us, the bearing of false witness (an actual sin!) that we cannot tolerate.
    “Anyone saying anything negative about homosexuals will face imprisonment or fines.”
    Amazing. Pure and utter bullsh!t comes out of the mouths of people calling themselves “christian”. I have lost any and all respect for you that I ever might have had (admittedly little). Outrageous – lyin’ fer Christ.
    ” No Bible…..no Leviticus.”
    Come on, cm, even you have already dismissed some parts of Leviticus. And when we point out this selective literalism, you just ignore it. Do you, or do you not believe gays should be put to death? It sez we should, right there in yer ‘precious Leviticus’. Ditto with disobedient children. Good grief!
    “the fundamental Constitutional protections of equal justice
    You know NOTHING of justice.
    FYI, hate crimes take into account motive, as does all criminal prosecution.
    “Panthera loves to play the poor victim that everyone is against.”
    Pantera was violently attacked. It ain’t no ‘playing’ he’s doing – he IS a victim – of people who are buttressed by the likes of you and your ‘arguments’ against his legal equality. Such comapssion you have – NOT!
    “Who has called for your torture?”
    Well, his ‘christian’ relatives, for starters. No, they didn’t just call for it; they took it upon themselves to perpetrate it.
    “Who has called you a pedophile?”
    Many, many comboxers call us the equivalent of pedophiles. Can’t/don’t you read?
    “I do not care what country, county, city, planet condones your marriage, it is not scriptural.”
    It is spiritual. His marriage was performed in his church, as was mine, and LutheranChick. Just because it wasn’t your church doesn’t support your claim. “The Church” is not of one accord on this, and you won’t even admit that.
    ” It’s not about what the country says is moral”
    Sorry, cm, but countries do not make judgements on the morality of anyone’s marriage. (Some churches do that, but again, panthera was married in his church. Maybe his church is just free of mice.)
    “I have never attacked you. “
    Almost every word you type is an attack on Panthera’s personhood. And mine.
    “Isnt all scripture God breathed?”
    If you think putting disobedient children to death is “God breathed”, or that we should put gays to death, or that we should force rape victims (are they just “playing the victim”?) to marry their rapists, etc., etc., etc., then there’s no helping selective fundacrazicals like you.
    “It takes a loving and compassionate Christian to call another out on sin.”
    God, please spare us from such “compassion”; it’s killing us. Literally. cm, it’s your (and your faith’s) version of what is “sin” that you’re pushing. I don’t go to your church, so I will not abide by its tenets.
    You people don’t even recognize hate when you type it.

  • http://www.nopearlsb4swine.com Wes

    Husband (and Panthera),
    Name calling isn’t debate.
    The issue isn’t my belief or yours. Both of us are to be subject to God’s will. A reasoned, exegetical discussion might lead to that. Hysteria like what you keep spreading won’t.
    I’m sorry you’ve been hurt. I didn’t do it. Please don’t talk to me as if I did – and you continually demonstrate that my holding a position different than yours is intolerable to you.
    My point is that, while we’re all imperfect, the responses you continually show aren’t consistent with the fruit of the Spirit. I guess you’d answer Paul’s question in Galatians 4:6 by saying either (or both) “Yes!” and “Who are YOU to say?”
    I am praying – not because I know your heart, but because I see your conduct.

  • panthera

    Wes,
    One of the greatest weaknesses of the fundamentalist, literalistic, conservative, Bible-as-sole-authority or whatever other term you desire for your branch of Christianity is that it results in trampling the human and civil rights of others.
    The Bible was used to deny Negroes first human status and then the right to marry a person of their choice. I remember the very tail end of those days, the arguments waged were identical to the arguments against my marriage.
    Same passion, same certainty, same selection of Bible verses, same ‘overarching themes’ of the Bible (beginning with saying Negroes were Cain’s descendants!) same ‘sorry ’bout that, but it’s God’s will’…
    No.
    If you want to limit your arguments to say: “In my church, gays are not welcome”, fine. If you want, within the confines of your church, to see being gay as an extra special sin, fine.
    There are enough Christian churches where all are welcome that we don’t need you. Indeed, it is easier for all Christians when people of your mindset stay alone by yourselves.
    The nanosecond you bring your views on gay marriage and treatment of gays in to the civil areana, I have every right to protest your attacks on my human status and civil rights. Science, medicine and law enforcement have all rejected your claims and arguments that we are disordered, incapable of raising healthy children, not entitled to the same human status and civil rights – including marriage – as you are.
    My opposition to you is not disagreement with your right to practice your version of Christianity. It is not even with your position that Christians who recognize God’s children in us are wrong – Christianity has been filled with major disagreements from the beginning. Paul spent an enormous amount of time settling such disagreements or at least trying.
    No, as long as you stand between me and civil and human status, you are my enemy and I will do every legal thing I can to defeat you.
    And that’s really all there is to it.

  • http://www.nopearlsb4wine.com Wes

    Panthera,
    Your response proves my point.

  • Stephen

    Panthera’s responses to Wes are simply astonishing. I’ve never seen such venom in a “Christian” post. I just skimmed through these posts for the first time, so maybe I’ve missed something. But all I have read is Wes basically saying that all Christians must submit to a higher authority…that being the scriptures. The fact that many disagree on what the scriptures say doesn’t change that fact in the least. The challenge, and one of the reasons blogs like this should exist, is to try, through honest discussion using biblical exegesis, to get at what the scriptures are actually teaching, not to be a place to call others who disagree with us our “enemy!”
    Of course, this assumes that anyone posting here actually submits to the authority of scripture, which I assume panthera does not when he uses the phrase “fundamentalist, literalistic, conservative, Bible-as-sole-authority or whatever other term you desire for your branch of Christianity” in response to Wes post. If that’s the case, then there simply is nothing to talk about. If there is no absolute authority of scripture to submit to to (as difficult as getting to the truth can sometimes be), then there is no point in arguing.
    However, if one DOES believe, by God-given faith, that what the bible teaches is the SOLE authority regarding these things, then it is our DUTY as Christians to honestly get at the truth of scripture, regardless whether we “like it,” agree with it, think it’s “fair,” etc. None of that matters. And yes, it IS, as Wes said, arrogant to think that God gave us the Holy Spirit-inspired scriptures to confuse us, rather than to be known and understood. The fact that we may disagree is irrelevant to our duty to get at the truth. There can only be one “right answer,” and it’s not enough to simply accept all beliefs as equally valid. That sounds “loving” and all, but it’s nonsense.
    Panthera, I have nothing personally against you regarding your beliefs, even though I firmly disagree with you. And you can disagree with me all that you like. I DO, however, have a huge problem with your name-calling here. That, to me, is a far more serious concern than your sexual orientation.

  • panthera

    Tony, I’m done.
    These people are incapable of anything but hatred and persecution.
    Thanks for your efforts, no doubt there will be other threads in the future in which we can discuss. For the moment, however, I wash my hands of all these hateful people. Their love of God is exclusively defined through their hatred of the other.

  • Stephen

    WE (THESE PEOPLE?) are incapable of anything but hatred and persecution? Words fail me, panthera. I can’t help but feel anything but sorrow for your anger, hatred, and your need to pick a fight. You might be “done,” but I pray that God is not done with you. I pray He will change your heart. I mean that sincerely.

  • http://www.nopearlsb4swine.com Wes

    Stephen,
    Don’t waste any more effort. I’ve come to the conclusion that “Panthera” isn’t serious. Based on Tony’s silence, I’m wondering if he’s an alter-ego for Tony.

  • Husband

    Wes,
    “Name calling isn’t debate.”
    Agreed. What names do I call others? What names do others call gays by? Let’s go through the entire list, shall we?
    “Hysteria like what you keep spreading won’t.”
    Sorry, but refuting lies, point by lying point, is not hysteria.
    “I’m sorry you’ve been hurt. I didn’t do it.”
    But self-described “christians” did. That is our point. (But I’m pretty sure you are actually referring to Panthera’s situation, not mine, tho I have been gay-bashed too.)
    “you continually demonstrate that my holding a position different than yours is intolerable to you.”
    You must have confused my posts with someone else’s. I have repeatedly said that you are free to believe what you wish to believe, and that I (and others) believe differently and should be free to do so. God has not convicted our hearts to ensure we believe the same things. America is still a land that ‘promises’ freedom of religion to all, no?
    What I actually have said is “intolerable” is your side insisting that you are right and we are wrong which means, in effect, that our side is not entitled to freedom of religion. I have also said that what is “intolerable” are the interminable, insufferable, uncharitable, untrue, constant comparisons of our committed, loving, adult, human relationships to rape, incest, beastiality, necrophilia, incest and child-molestation. As I said, perhaps you have confused what I have (repeatedly) typed with someone else’s posts.
    “I am praying – not because I know your heart, but because I see your conduct.”
    As we see yours. And churchmouse’s. Etc. And we do, in fact, find your conduct vile.
    Originally, you made a simple statement and asked if we found it hateful. I said no. Then you went and added the other statements to it which we do find hateful, and have explained ad nauseam why we find it hateful. I am not sure why you are surprised.

  • Stephen

    And we do, in fact, find your conduct vile.
    Husband, can you please remind me what is so “vile” about Wes’ conduct? NOT what other unloving, so-called “Christians” have done to you, but specifically what Wes has done/said that is so vile?
    You are absolutely correct that you have total freedom of religion in America. However, no one has the freedom to willfully violate God’s law without suffering consequences. You may or may not deny the absolute authority of scripture, but that does not change this fact. The only “vile” things I have read in Wes’ posts are his correct beliefs that the scriptures have full authority over our lives.
    I get the fact that you read into scripture your belief that it’s perfectly fine to engage in monogamous homosexual activity, even though you cannot point to anything in scripture that condones this. Alternatively, there are scriptures that specifically condemn homosexual activity, without singling out monogamous, committed relationships as the exception (1 Cor 6:9-10, Rom 1:26-27), just as scripture condemns fornication, adultery, lying, stealing, etc. Of course, once again, one must submit to the full authority of scripture, or the discussion is pointless. Your beliefs simply deny this authority. But yes, you are completely free to believe what you want in America, and I respect that right as a fellow American. As a bible-believing Christian, however, I do not condone your beliefs.
    You also compare your “committed, loving, adult, human relationships” to “rape, incest, bestiality, necrophilia, incest and child-molestation,” …as if this comparison (that highlights your “good behavior”) negates what scripture teaches on the topic of homosexuality. This is nothing more than self-righteousness, all of which is “filthy rags” before God (Isa 64:6). This includes my own self-righteousness, and that of every Christian, which is precisely why Christ shed His blood.
    Until you are willing to completely submit to the full authority of scripture, you will continue to believe what you believe. Only God can do this work in your heart. I have no personal issue with you, Husband; my only issue is with your plain theological error.

  • http://www.nopearlsb4swine.com Wes

    Stephen,
    I still think this is Tony just playing with us. I’d say that the tone of response here reminds me of my kids when they were in elementary school, but that would be insulting to my kids.
    Come over to my blog sometime for a more reasoned discussion.

  • Husband

    Stephen (and Wes, etc.),
    “you” was meant to be plural (as in Wes “& chruchmouse, etc.”). They’re all hateful. They are hateful because what they say about God’s gay and lesbian children is not true. They know it is not true. They know that telling untruths is bearing false witness, aka a sin. Or are they exempt from your warning that “no one has the freedom to willfully violate God’s law without suffering consequences”?
    “The only “vile” things I have read in Wes’ posts …”
    Again, it’s more than just Wes, but if you haven’t read the comparisons of our relationships to rape, incest, beastiality, necrophilia, and child-molestation, then it is your selective reading of this blog (and many, many others) that is to be blamed. Not only are they not true, they are also uncharitable (because they’re not true.
    And, no, I do not compare my relationship to those things. Why would I? They cause harm. My relationship does not.
    “Only God can do this work in your heart. “
    Then why do people like you, Wes and churchmouse keep on trying to do this work that you think “only God can do”? Stop casting stones. Stop judging. You aren’t qualified.
    Me? I’ll simply follow Christ’s commandments to love God and neighbor, and then I’ll follow His words on homosexuals – which was absolutely nothing.
    Be healed.

  • http://www.nopearlsb4swine.com Wes

    Tony?

  • Stephen

    Husband, it’s a huge leap to call someone who disagrees with you “hateful.” I haven’t read every single post here, but what has Wes (or I) said that is so hateful? I don’t know you or your heart, but reading your posts SOUNDS a bit hateful to me, although I am assuming the best, that you are NOT hateful.
    Again, your statement that “God says absolutely nothing” about homosexuality indicates you do not submit to the authority of scripture (see the verses sighted in my last post). You are free to not do so, but if that’s the case, please admit it, and we can end the discussion. However if you DO submit to this authority, then show me, from the bible, how you end up believing homosexuality is not sin. Start with the two passage I sited, and go from there. I’m certainly open to hearing what you have to say, based on scripture, not your opinion. Pointing out what the bible says about what is sin and what is not is NOT judging you. It is simply stating the truth of scripture. My opinions don’t matter one bit, but what the bible teaches matters eternally.
    Let me be clear, Husband. We are all sinners that are in need of a savior. I sin every day (no, every hour of every day). When I placed my faith in Christ, He gave me a new heart and a new nature that seeks to please Him, and desires to submit to His law. I cannot keep that law perfectly, but my desire is to do so. Submitting to that law is NOT what saves me (only the Christ’s atoning work on the cross can do that), but this desire in me and other believers is one indication that we are truly saved (1 John 2:3-6). But Christians are to submit to ALL of God’s law, not just the parts that we agree to submit to.
    I’ll say it one more time another way. I have NO hatred towards you, Husband, just as I have no hatred toward one of my good male friends who right now wants to leave his wife of 15 years. I LOVE that guy, but I have told him plainly that he is willfully sinning, not because I think so, but because God’s word says so. I’ve also told him this because I care for him and his soul, not because I hate him.
    You may continue to call Wes an me “hateful” because we disagree with your homosexual behavior. For the life of me, I cannot see why you would believe that. You clearly disagree with Wes and me. Have we called YOU hateful?

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