If you take Paul “literally” on homosexuality take Jesus literally on money

Girl blinded by greed, money, profit
The reason anti-gay Christians invariably give for their conviction that homosexuality is an egregious sin against God is, “That’s what the Bible says.”*

“God said it, I believe it!” is their credo.

The question that raises is this: if you’re going to look to the Bible generally, and to the words of Jesus Christ specifically, for guidance and direction on how to live your life, then don’t you need to very assiduously attend to the actual words of Jesus?

Christ said it; you believe it. If you’re a Christian, that’s your deal. And if you’re a conservative Christian, you most certainly look to Jesus for critical input about anything and everything in your life that is of particular importance to you.

Like money, for instance.

Here is what Jesus Christ said about money:

“Sell your possessions and give to the poor.” (Luke 12:33)

“You cannot serve God and Money.” (Matthew 6:24)

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.” (Matthew 6:19)

“It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” (Luke 18:25)

Nowhere in the Bible is Jesus more explicitly clear about anything than he is about money. He cuts off any and all wiggle room on the matter.

Because he does, I do not see how it is possible to avoid the conclusion that there is something profoundly wrong with any Christian who is not voluntarily as poor as the proverbial church mouse pointing to the Bible as justification for the condemnation of gay people.

How can any Christian insist on taking literally what Paul said about homosexuality*, but at the same time refuse to take literally what Jesus Christ himself—who never said a single word about homosexuality—said about money?

Gee. I wonder.

 

* Nowhere in the Bible does Paul or anyone else say that homosexuality, in and of itself, is a sin.

A version of this piece appears in John Shore’s book UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question. (NOOK edition.)

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • BarbaraR

    Words fail at the awesomesauce of this.

  • Alliecat04

    Yes. So much yes.

  • http://codybateman.org/ Anonymous

    Your post begins on this premise – that Christians (true Christians are neither liberal or conservative but rather, obedient) view the perversion that is the act of homosexuality as “sin” and you are correct – as is murder, hatred, idolatry, adultery and gluttony as example. But, the verses you used to validate your point about Christian and their money – are taken out of context. ALL FOUR VERSES (Luke 12:33, Matthew 6:24, Matthew 6:19 and Luke 18:25) exposes the motives of one’s heart, begging the question, “Do you love Me (Jesus Christ and the Father Who sent Me) more than yourselves and the things of this world? Adhering to the practice of homosexuality and refusing to repent this reprobate act(s) is a sure sign that that person is NOT born of the Spirit but rather, still loves self and the things of this world more than submitting to the commands of God to put away such things from amongst you. Perhaps you should have added this warning from Jesus to the world who thinks they can skate into heaven and at the same time, hold onto their carnal ways (homosexuality, money, adulteries, idolatries and the such) : “If you love ME, KEEP MY COMMANDMENTS.” John 14:15

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      You must be new here. Have you taken the time to see our “what we belieive” tabs, or read some of the other posts?

      • http://codybateman.org/ Anonymous

        I am not concerned with the “What we believe” tabs more than correctly handling the Word of God. Just saying…

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          If you are handling the “word of God” in a means that discredits the authenticity of someone’s faith, to dismiss them as unworthy, reprobate and perverse, then you are going to have some splaining to do to the wonderful folks who frequent this place.

          • ogunsiron

            William cody is about to be accused of mansplaining, I can feel it lol

        • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

          Some people are just too lazy to let knowledge interfere with their bigotry. Just sayin …

        • http://www.whoaisnotme.net/anakinmcfly Anakin McFly

          But so are we, and correctly handling the Word of God involves also realising that the Bible was not written in English, and all of the words translated as ‘homosexuality’ actually referred to very specific acts of male-male sex such as pedophilia, rape, gang rape, and pagan sex rituals.

        • de_la_Nae

          Thing is dog, we think we’re handling it more correctly than you are.

          If you want to engage with that, or at least do an internet drive-by, cool, fine, whatever. Buuuut….you might want to do at least a couple minutes homework. Heretic.

        • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyLynne

          So you’re trolling. Got it.

        • Lamont Cranston

          You are an idolator. Turn or burn!

        • J. Gerard O’Neill

          I’m also one of those people who like to throw things into machinery to see what happens Bill. Jesus said that we should look within for our answers and I understand that because most scripture was written by MEN. Not God,
          nor was it written by Jesus. In fact, the new testament dates from the reign of Constantine, some 300 years later where the story was changed in some part to make it more acceptable to the average Roman. I was an actor for some time and so, look at things a bit differently. Was Judas a traitor or was he a super hero? I say the latter. It wasn’t him Jesus called traitor at the dinner, it was Peter. He then commanded Judas to do what they had planned for later that night. Three patrols went through the garden ever night, Roman guards, Palace guards and the Temple guards. It was imperative the Temple guards got there first for the next stage to occur in Jesus’ plan. Everyone knows that, but everyone is happy to believe that the one person that Jesus depended on to make that happen, is a damned traitor. Here’s another one. Jesus, Pilate and Bar Abbas stand before the crowd. Pilate offers to let one go and the crowd doesn’t know which. Sometimes even a translation not happening is enough to lay a confused mind down. Bar (Son of-Descended from) Abbas (Father – GOD) Changes the whole dynamic of the situation doesn’t it? Don’t believe. You must FEEL with your heart. Only there lies the true word of God. Do not worry about others and their journey to enlightenment, you are the only one who can help you with yours and it’s a lifetime journey.

        • Alliecat04

          Well, by reading the “what we believe” tabs, you might not have started your post with a statement about John’s premises which isn’t valid and makes you look like an idiot. Generally it’s a good idea when arguing to pay attention to what the other person is saying before opening your mouth. Keeps you from, what was it, oh, looking like an idiot.

          Speaking for myself it’s one of my goals to AVOID looking like an idiot as much as possible. You may have other goals.

    • http://www.whoaisnotme.net/anakinmcfly Anakin McFly

      Except that the verses on homosexuality are likewise taken out of (linguistic, historical) context. Also, homosexuality isn’t about loving self; it’s about loving others (of the same sex), kind of by definition. I generally hate myself. I have a reputation as a doormat and neglecting my own welfare for the sake of others, sometimes to the point of clinical depression. Still gay.

      Meanwhile, as a 25 year old virgin who has never been kissed, I get profoundly annoyed at people who go on about ‘reprobate act(s)’ I have allegedly done. Especially when all of them are usually having way more sex than I am and possibly ever will.

      • http://codybateman.org/ Anonymous

        The “love” you speak of between two practicing the act of homosexuality is no more than an ‘erotic’ and/or ’emotional’ love for self and the other. But, the “Love” Jesus speaks of profound love for HIM more than for self or others or things of this world. God has declared His own intent in fashioning us in His image – male and female. Anything other than this is a perversion of what He declared as good in His sight alone.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          The love anakinmcfly speaks of is quite similar to the love I enjoy with my spouse. its a love that offers stability, and companionship, and friendship, and comfort and yes, and sex, does enter the equation now and then, (because, seriously, who has sex all the time). And I truly hope that Anakinmcfly finds that person who makes their heart sing as my husband has made mine. Its sad that anyone would want to deny someone such a beautiful thing, just because the parameters are not to one’s idea of normal.

        • http://www.whoaisnotme.net/anakinmcfly Anakin McFly

          “is no more than an ‘erotic’ and/or ’emotional’ love for self and the other”

          So I’m guessing you’ll say the same for heterosexual love?

          Although I fail to see what’s particularly erotic or self-centred about the kind of love that would make me want to give my life to save my hypothetical future boyfriend/husband.

        • Hardley

          William, out of curiosity, given that you evidently believe that God has fashioned mankind in his image, some questions:
          1 how do you explain innocent children being born intersex (ambiguous or both genitalia)? Why does God let that happen?
          2. You refer to God as Him – suggesting you see him as male – so who did he base females on? Or is God intersex?
          My guess is that you see God solely as male – so, assuming he is a complete male, why does he have male sex organs? Is there a Mrs God? Why does God need sex?

        • DeirdreTours

          William, it takes a lot of rationalization to twist the very, very, clear biblical instructions about money and wealth into some sort of symbolic “love of Christ” bit that doesn’t really mean Jesus said to surrender wealth. Really, a lot. If one actually reads the gospels from beginning to end, the clearest, most oft repeated instruction Jesus gives is to surrender our materialistic selves. Not only does he say give to the poor, he says give it all away, hold back nothing for the future (“consider the lilies of the field, etc).

          • DRF

            That shows that Jesus was a hippie, not that he was a homophobe.

        • DRF

          Mr. Bateman, you are quite wrong. You have friends who are men and friends who are women, right? I will assume that you also have had romances with women. Were you ONLY lusting after those women or were you lusting after them and befriending them and hoping for their well-being? With your non-romantic relationships with men, don’t you befriend them and hope for their well-being? Why wouldn’t two men who are in a romance also befriend each other and hope for each other’s well-being?

        • Forblat

          Since you aren’t taking people who are ACTUALLY gay at their word about their emotions, I presume you have an inside track on the true emotions of gay people.

          Ergo, you are gay.

          QED

          • Alliecat04

            I don’t know any straight men who have this much time to spend insulting others for being gay.

        • canuck13652

          Have you ever felt that kind of love? It’s funny for you to say it’s not real.

          Also: The Anglican and Episcopal Churches, the Lutheran Church, almost every single European Protestant Church, the United Church of Canada (biggest protestant group by far in Canada): They all disagree with you that homosexuality is a sin or a perversion; the United Church argued before the Canadian Senate that its faith required gay marriage. Are you going to say they’re all completely wrong?

        • canuck13652

          Also, how do you get from a God who does things that clearly He intended to do, and then screwing them up? I can guarantee that I was born gay; nothing in my family or past converted me to being gay. I have never, not since any time I can ever remember, had any kind of sexual or non-platonic feeling for a woman.

          So are you telling me that god made me “in His image” but then designed me so that I couldn’t comply with “what He declared as good in His sight alone”?

    • DRF

      I agree that this article offers a skewed interpretation of the Bible, but neither do all true Christians believe that homosexuality is a sin. In Catholicism, for example, being a homosexual isn’t considered a sin; only homosexual actions are sinful.

      In the cases of murder, hatred and adultery, real harm is done. This is not the case in homosexual romantic relationships. They tend to be no more harmful than other types of romantic relationships.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

      Out of context? Here’s your sign:

      P.S. Quit using “context:” as a way of neutralizing Bible verses you don’t like, and trying to make them equivalent to the cherrypicked Bible verses you do like for your preconceived dogma.

  • Otniel Veres

    Noticed my comment was banned. seems like the love from the site’s slogan doesn’t function in the case of contrary opinions.

  • Lawrence Dahlia

    I always find it interesting when defenders of homo-sexuality use the argument that Jesus never said anything about homo-sexuality. Even this article makes the claim that “Nowhere in the Bible does Paul or anyone else say that homosexuality, in and of itself, is a sin.” Perhaps not word-for-word, but the Bible is full of statements against sexual immorality. I believe that counts. But to use their argument, Jesus also didn’t specifically mention rape or incest, but does that make them okay? They also like to throw the Bible back in Christians’ faces and quote all the other “abominations” the Bible mentions. Here’s how I feel about that. Christians know that they are not perfect and do not follow the Bible as perfect Christians. We recognize our sinful natures and to argue that we shouldn’t be against sin of one kind when we sin a different way is ludicrous. The difference is that Christians recognize their sin and try to improve while sharing that aspiration with others. We don’t have “sin pride” parades. There are no parades for rape, incest or adultery or any other form of sexual immorality. No parades for drunkeness, etc. As the old saying goes, “Two wrongs don’t make a right.” So pointing out another’s failure does not justify your own, nor does it make it right much less a civil right.

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Homosexuality, Lawrence, in and of itself, is no more a sin than is baldness or the need to wear glasses. See this for why that is: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2012/04/the-best-case-for-the-bible-not-condemning-homosexuality/

      • Lawrence Dahlia

        Homo-sexuality may not be a sin “in and of itself”, but acting on those feelings is. Sin is not man-defined. Just as legalizing marijuana doesn’t magically make it safe or non-detrimental to people who use it or those around them.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          marijuana??? It is safer than beer.

          • J. Gerard O’Neill

            Think of domestic violence and there is your answer.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Seriously? You think pot smokers are more prone to violence, death, injuries and illnesses than beer and other forms of alcohol drinkers, and are the ones to be abusers of the people they love?
            Balderdash. My ex/seriously crappy husband kept the cheep beer makers in the black, almost all by himself, plus the makers of low to mid grade scotch. He was a bastard when sober, meaner than spit when toasted.

          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

            I’m an RN who has worked psych. Drunks are violent, not potheads.

            UT Research Finds Link Between Alcohol Use, Not Pot, and Domestic Violence
            tntoday.utk.edu/2014/01/27/research-link-alcohol-not-pot-domestic-violence/

            P.S. I don’t smoke it, not defending it, just tired of the BS about it.

          • J. Gerard O’Neill

            I should clarify. Beer and marijuana are usually consumed in small amounts by a large number of us at one point in our lives. When there is PTSD involved, then these two options may have an adverse effect on us. With alcohol, the incidents of domestic violence rises. With marijuana, it does not. We usually crawl into a ball and cry.

        • Lamont Cranston

          Fortunately, most people are not interested in whether or not you or your imaginary friends define something as a “sin”. It must be rough to know that one day you and your beliefs will be thought of as an embarrassment by your children.

          • Lawrence Dahlia

            said the unrepentant sinner…

          • Lamont Cranston

            I wouldn’t want to do anything that might end up with me spending eternity surrounded by “people” like you.

          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

            I quit worrying about having to go to Heaven long ago. It’ll be worse than a Wednesday evening prayer meeting. I’m going wherever my son’s gentle therapy pony who is buried in my pasture is going. Bible tells me so.

            “Man’s fate is like that of the animals; the same fate awaits them both: As one dies, so dies the other. All have the same breath; man has no advantage over the animal.” ~Ecclessiastes 3:19

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I have no problems with the end of my life being the end of life either. It may or may not be, that doesn’t really cause me concern. I will be simply thankful for this life, a gift, rich, and deep, and that, when its all done, served a positive purpose.

          • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

            Bye, Larry. Take your smug bigotry elsewhere: we’re adults here.

          • canuck13652

            Lawrence, your only argument seems to be that even if Jesus doesn’t expressly say that homosexuality is wrong, he says that sexual immorality is, ergo, homosexuality is immoral. But you haven’t managed to explain how you get to an edict that homosexuality is immoral. Your argument is circular: “Homosexuality is immoral, immorality is wrong, thus, being gay is a sin (or acting on gay, whatever, you say they’re different, we say they’re not.)”

            Can you give us a reason why homosexuality is immoral other than either (a) the circular reasoning that it’s immoral because it’s homosexual; or (b) you just think it’s icky?

          • Andy

            Damn, now he won’t get the chance to explain.

          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

            “Your sins are the only thing interesting about you, you dreary, bleak mother******s.” ~Doug Stanhope

        • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

          Lawrence, I have a question for you:

          When the “Apostle” Paul was genitally mutilating his “traveling companion” for a trip—unless he used a modern glass tube to prevent infection from sexually transmitted diseases—what does that act make him?

          P.S. That filthy imposter isn’t my “apostle.”

          “Of this band of dupes and impostors, Paul was the great Corypheus, and first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus.” ~Thomas Jefferson (Jefferson’s Works, Vol. ii., p. 217)

        • DRF

          Sin might not be man-defined, but it is only human definitions to which we have clear access. The Bible might be the word of God, but we get it filtered through human scribes and writers, who are subject to error. The Gospels don’t all agree on the timing of Jesus’s death, for example (John doesn’t match the others). So while God determines what is and is not sinful, we must do our best to figure out what he really thinks, and many well-meaning people may come to completely different conclusions. Regardless of whether homosexual acts are sinful, treating homosexuals cruelly and denying them equal protection under the laws of man are probably sins.

        • Karina Thompson Gardian

          Are you kidding me?? Everytime I read a bit from you I shake my head with shame..The good news is that your belief is slowly dying out and bigotry is becoming less tolerable..You make my stomach turn

        • Raymond Watchman

          Well then Lawrence, what you say affirms the fact that homosexuality as such is not a sin and is not condemned in the Bible. What you are talking about is promiscuity – the deliberate sexual exploitation of others for one’s own selfish gratification. The sexual orientation of the offender is not the issue. Heterosexuals, homosexuals and bisexuals of both genders are capable of promiscuity. They are also capable of entering into long-term loving, committed relationships. Sexual orientation of itself is morally neutral and thus a non-issue. Why then single out gay people for condemnation? Clearly, heterosexual promiscuity and homosexual promiscuity are both regarded as “sin” in the Bible, because both are exploitive and thus are fundamentally unjust. That has nothing whatever to do with sexual orientation. Having said, what should be the Christian response to this? My own observations persuade me promiscuity is a compulsive disorder – the manifestation of an individual’s deeply embedded sense of, and fear of, rejection. Sex becomes an “idol” in much the same way as money can become and idol, or alcohol can become an idol, or gambling can become an idol or food can become and idol. This being so, should not the Christian response be one of compassion – of helping the person discern and humbly embrace his or her own brokenness and powerlessness in that particular area of their life and in so doing, enable God to bring a necessary healing and restoration? The wounds which give rise to compulsive, addictive, disorders most often lie beyond the reach of human intervention. When confronted with the destructive ugliness of promiscuity in a fellow human being, surely my response as a follower of Jesus is not to be one of self-righteous condemnation, but of a genuine poverty of the spirit and a desire to see that person healed of whatever drives his or her sexual compulsion so that that person can find the freedom to be able to engage in truly loving, creative, intimate and committed relationships, be it with a member of the opposite sex or the same sex, depending on orientation (which is, as already established, of itself morally neutral.) Jesus turned to the woman taken in adultery and said: “…neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more.” It wasn’t a command. It was a declaration of her healing and restoration. Think about that story, Think about it long and prayerfully. Especially the line about “Let he who is without sin be first to cast a stone at her.”
          The whole “anti-gay” posturing by churches is a red herring and has achieved nothing except hold the Gospel up to public contempt, given offense to spiritually mature Christian people and worst of all, slammed shut the gates of grace against those who need it perhaps more than most because of the condemnation, ridicule, rejection and misunderstanding they have had to endure from those who should have known better.

          • Guy Norred

            I “upvoted” this a while ago, but your words keep returning to me. This is one of the most truthful and beautiful statements I have ever read on this and I want to thank you for it–and ask if I might quote you on it sometime?

          • Raymond Watchman

            Guy, thank you for your kind and affirming words. I am deeply grateful what I shared holds meaning for you. You are most welcome to quote me if you think anything I write can help bring God’s love, healing and reconciliation into the lives of those who have been victimized by prejudice and rejection. L’chaim!

          • Raymond Watchman

            Guy, I did reply to this, but I’m not sure where it’s vanished! I wrote: Thank you for your kind and affirming words. I am deeply grateful what I shared holds meaning for you. You are most welcome to quote me if you think anything I write can help bring God’s love, healing and reconciliation in to the lives of those who have been victimized by prejudice and rejection. L’chaim.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Hmmm. Rape and incest and adultery were condoned in the Bible. See Abraham, Lot, Jacob, David, the children of Israel.

      As for the “bible is full of statements against homosexuality”. Yeah right.
      There are about seven verses that could possibly be talking about the subject. Seven out of 31102. 64 verses mention mercy…still only seven possibles for homosexuality. Compassion 90 to homosexualty’s probable seven. The word money 140, and combined with the other forms of financial exchange or wealth is the largest topic in all of scripture.

      Wanna try that again?

      • Lawrence Dahlia

        To say that there are “only 7 verses” that deal with homo-sexuality in the Bible dismisses the fact that it is sexually immoral. Stating that the Bible mentions money more than homo-sexuality does NOT legitimize it. Nor does having a parade about it. Wanna try a legitimate defense?

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          Those verses MAY deal with it, not that it is completely conclusive that they do….which they don’t, of course.
          People have to really jump through some hoops to come to those conclusions…and that they want to do so just so they can degrade, diminish and condemn someone is, too me, quite tragic, and sinful, because it flies in the face of the command to love someone as we love ourselves.

          And if I ever get the chance I will walk in a parade, in support of my gay friends and family members and their friends and family members, whom I love, because they are my friends and family members, as well as people with whom I have the privilege of sharing this planet with.

        • DRF

          Of course she should ignore the “fact” that homosexuality is sexually immoral; that’s the conclusion that’s being questioned. Of course she shouldn’t hold the conclusion over her eyes while examining the evidence that will support or contradict it. The number of times that homosexuality is mentioned in the Bible is relevant to an examination of what the Bible’s message or messages on this topic really are.

        • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

          Lawrence, what sort of pretties are you going to dress in for your wedding night as the “Bride of Christ?” Now that sounds sorta gay.

      • Shinjitsu

        Where are any of those condoned in the Bible? Chapter and verse please.

    • bonj100

      “but the Bible is full of statements against sexual immorality.” If it’s not defined in the Bible, who defined “sexual immorality.” Man is who decided what is and is not immoral. There are other statements in the Bible about making yourself a judge among men. If my education recalls correctly, the statements were against it.

      To be honest though, for everyone, conservative or liberal and anyone in between, the ultimate statement is “So when they continued asking Him, He lifted up Himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.” Can you Lawrence Dahlia? I would suspect not, no matter how pious you think you may be. The truth be told, I seriously don’t believe there is a man or woman on earth who is.

      • Andrew

        How can a man judge another man? There is only one God. And we all need Him.
        God told us that he does not approve of homosexuality. It’s plain and simple. Jesus is the Son of God, and God and Jesus don’t disagree.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          Andrew, please stop with the judging.

    • Alliecat04

      I’m willing to bet, however, that somewhere there’s a Christian-sponsored shrimp festival!

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

      I don’t defend homosexuality. I just tolerate other people’s sexual behavior that does me no harm, much like Thomas Jefferson tolerated other peoples’ religious beliefs that didn’t harm him:

      But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods or no God. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg. ~Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, 1782

      So stop fretting about other people’s tastes like some totalitarian communist and start acting like a red-blooded American who isn’t a control freak over his neighbors. You’ve got a red tie, so let it remind you.

      • Andrew

        Therefore, you are not a Christian, because you don’t care about improving the well-being of the world through God. Why are you here?

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          The assumption on the authenticity of someone’s religion based on personal opinions on what makes a partaker of a faith, when the faith itself is quite diverse in thought and practice is just……sad, and judgmental, and of no benefit whatsoever. I do wish people would just stop.

  • DRF

    “No wiggle room”? Actually, all of those quotes about money are open to interpretation. Most of them boil down to “The spiritual life is better than the material life” and “don’t put your worldly well-being above your love of God.”

    It’s not cool when fundamentalists lie and twist scientific “facts” to claim that the Earth is only 6,000 years old (it’s not) or that science supports intelligent design (it doesn’t), and the same rules have to apply here. If you’re going to argue that the Bible supports this or any political position, you need to read up on it some more. There is lots of scholarship on this subject that you can use to learn about the best translations into English and the historical context that give these words meaning (like how “eye of the needle” was also a name for a really small gate through a specific wall–was Jesus talking about a literal needle or about coaxing a camel through a narrow doorway, which would have been annoying but possible?).

    • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

      Though I think you think you’re arguing with us, DRF, you’re making the exact point of this post.

      • DRF

        If your point was “the Bible is open to interpretation,” then you made it very poorly. “He cuts off any and all wiggle room” indicates that you think these lines are not open to interpretation. If the point was, “people can twist the content of the Bible to support any cause that they wish, even if it is the exact opposite of its true meaning,” then you’re good to go.

        If you want to say, “Homosexuality isn’t sinful,” go ahead. That’s like saying, “God created the world,” a legitimate belief that no one can disprove. If you say, “Homosexuality isn’t sinful and the Bible never says it is,” then you’re either wrong or lying. That’s like saying, “Science proves that God created the world.” Either way, you’re discrediting yourself. Make your point, but make it sincerely and accurately. There are lots of ways to do so:

        Don’t say, “Paul never says anything bad about homosexuality” because that is not true. Say “Paul says bad stuff about homosexuality, but he says very similar things about heterosexual sex (see ‘fornicators’), even within marriage” because that is true. Say that some scholars believe that Paul might have been talking about the male patrons of boy prostitutes when he said “sodomites” and not about the equal and consensual relationships under discussion today because that is true.

        • Alliecat04

          That’s valid. However, there’s really no room for doubt that Jesus never said anything good about people who preferred hanging on to their money to helping others.

          • DRF

            Unless you look at Mark 14:1-9, Alliecat04. Mary was using a luxury item on someone else rather than herself, but one could certainly argue that using money for a pleasure rather than for charity has its place.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Money is just a tool, a means of exchanging one thing for another.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

      I call BS on that Tammy Faye prosperity gospel “eye of the needle” exegesis. Quite simply, “there is no evidence for the existence of such a gate.” /wiki/Eye_of_a_needle

  • RNegron

    I will say this as nicely as I can. I have no use for bronze age myths in my space age life.

    • Andy

      I think you might be trolling the wrong post

    • Andy

      Nobody cares

      • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

        “Nobody cares” is my political mantra, at least on Fridays. 😉

  • j0b1n

    – Leviticus 18:22 – “Do not lie with a man as one lies with a woman; that is detestable.” (NIV)
    – Leviticus 20:13 – “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a
    woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to
    death; their blood will be on their own heads.” (NIV)
    – 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – “Do you not know that the wicked will not
    inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually
    immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” (NIV).

    • Andy

      You won’t last long here.

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        Just gotta love the hit and run trolls, as if their statements have any impact whatsoever.

        • j0b1n

          Just gotta love the people who spend all their time on here debating, as if posting online makes any impact whatsoever.

      • j0b1n

        True.

    • Andy

      Also, lesbians are A-okay, as they are not mentioned by the verses you posted.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

      Leviticus? Oh, Leviticus!

      Just like being gay, eating shrimp is an abomination!

      P.S. I’m not gay, not interested in it. But I know many gay RNs. Get sick or injured, go to the hospital, they’ll take care of you, without bigotry. Why not return the favor?

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        Your link appears to be broken. Can you redo it?

        • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

          Yeah, it isn’t showing up, even though it did last night. I edited the first comment, and found the picture and just downloaded it, for here. It’s pretty funny. :)

          The website is godhatesshrimp.com

      • StephanCasey

        Not to mention the fact that we do not actually know that the corinthians verse refers to homosexual offenders. The word in Hebrew “Arsenokotai” is not known exactly. It makes reference to “man” and “bed”. Just like “cyclops” means “one eye” but actually refers to a giant man that happens to have one eye

    • Andrew

      Matthew 5:17
      “Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.”

      • adam

        Matthew 5:18.

        For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

        Why is this missing from your dialogue?

  • Charlie Mas

    I remember seeing a fancy car with a WWJD bumper sticker and thinking “Jesus would sell the car, give the proceeds to the poor, and walk.”

  • StephanCasey

    “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man!” – Luk 6:22

    What do I take from this verse? Just because people think that homosexuals are evil and that God hates all homosexual acts, doesn’t mean it is true.

    What the bible really says about homosexuality. It is actually very easy to see that it is likely talking about the kind of “homosexual acts” that would be considered sin anyway in any kind of relationship.

    The bible talks just about things like heterosexual marriage, etc. because that was all people really knew at the time. When the bible talks about man and women coming together as one, people focus on that fact that it says man and women but they are too blind to see the irrelevance. The real point of those verses is that people should only get married once to one person and become connected to that person (their gender is not the point here).

    It’s like looking at the parable of the sower and saying that it is sinful to plant seeds in bad soil. Look at the message. Not the small details.

    Here is a good case for homosexuality: http://www.gaychristian.net/justins_view.html

    It is at least good enough to say hey, who are you to judge?!? You do not actually know if God has a purpose for gay people and there are many reasons he might.

    People like to pretend that humanity is endangered and they forget to realize how overpopulated it is when they think we’re heading for a gay-induced extinction. It’s ignorant

    • Andrew

      I think you forgot to include ‘on account of the Son of Man’.

      It means that you are blessed when people hate you for being born in Christ and following His ways over the world’s. It has nothing to do with people hating in the name of Christ, because that is evil, unchristian and is unrelated.

      Matthew 5:17

      “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

      Jesus refutes nothing in the Old Testament. It was all meant to be, part of a story of how God and mankind have a relationship over the course of centuries, filled with lessons and truth.

      Matthew 19:4-5

      He answered, ‘Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one’?”

      Stop living in lies and stop trying to wiggle out of this. Either go defile yourself with other people or get married to have the life that God intended for you.
      It’s very, very simple.

      • adam

        Isaiah 45:7

        King James Version (KJV)

        7 I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.

      • Joe

        Oh that’s so convincing. Some guy says that some guy says God means something about something that some guy said God said that some guy says is God. Where do I sign up for that.

      • http://nobleexperiments.blogspot.com/ NobleExperiments

        “Either go defile yourself with other people or get married to have the life that God intended for you. ”

        And if you’re not allowed to get married in your state? What then?

  • StephanCasey

    I do not agree with the article though. All the verses on money should actually be taken quite literally. Where is the harm in selling some possessions to give money away. How can you serve God while serving money. Well, the more treasures you have, the more can be stollen that’s just a warning. It is not easy to enter heaven. All you need is a really big needle 😉

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Money or wealth is the largest topic in scripture. Not all of it is discussed in a literal manner…a do this, don’t do this sort of thing. Often money is portrayed in a neutral light…so and so gave this much money to pay for this item or this much was given as a tribute or a gift, or this item was valued at this amount.
      The parable of the lost coin shows money in a positive light. For the woman in the story, the coin had great value, possibly allowing her to make necessary purchases, it representing that week’s wages. Think of it like us misplacing our debit card. (been there, have torn the house apart to find that silly card)
      And then there is the teachings on generosity and compassion. Everyone can be generous and share what they have, whether they be rich or poor. Everyone can also be stingy, regardless of financial status. Money or lack thereof have nothing to do with our afterlife status. Whether we value our stuff more than people, does affect us, and others in this life, which was the point of Jesus’s teachings.

  • Andrew

    Wow, I finally figured it out. You people think we hate you, and that we use the Bible to attack you. I am not a hater, I never have been, and I never will be. You really can’t see the reason why we say the things we do about homosexuals.
    I think I know now the difference between being reborn in Christ and taken down the path BY God and not really knowing if God exists (not being sure) and wondering what all we real Christians are talking about. By the way, that word, ‘conservative’ is not used by us, because it’s common definition was created by someone who didn’t understand. It has never had anything to do with holding to the past or any kind of tradition.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      People who happen to be gay, and have directly experienced hatred that has been justified by biblical interpretations, would most certainly disagree. Being condemned, being belittled, being ostracized, being physically, emotionally and spiritually harmed by people who claim to be acting in love….

      Let’s call it what it really is…

      hatred, born of fear, ignorance a sense of self-righteous condemnation and an unwillingness to see another on equal terms.

      • Andrew

        That’s evil. I hope that any Christians in your area come out against that. What kind of good man would punish another for a sin when he himself has committed sins before?
        Only GOD can show men the error of their ways. He will forgive those who come before Him through His Son, and he does not count sins.

        That’s not even punishment, that’s discrimination. Sin is between you and God.

    • Gregory Peterson

      “You people…?” Those two words say a great deal about you.

    • j.lup

      No, no, we know that Christians like you love gay people…love them to death (preferably and whenever possible). Or, less drastically, you want to love them so much that they’ll choose a life of celibacy and loneliness and despair so that you won’t have to think about all the icky gay sex they would be having otherwise.

  • Andrew

    I advise you to read my last post before you read this one.
    You can look into humanity with clarity and see that homosexuality is not natural. They are simply trying to condone their lifestyle.
    Until a decade ago, sexual ‘orientation’ was called sexual preference. Why? Because men and women would have sex with each other and their own gender because they just wanted to. And now people are trying to condone it with respect to Christianity so that they can do it with abandon like they did in Sodom.
    I’m pretty sure that if you are defending homosexual acts, then you either A) have no clue what is going on, or B) you are evil and/or you don’t believe in the God of the Bible.
    It’s obviously lust. Lust is worship of idols, because, in essence (spiritually), it is holding up the creation as an object of worship over the creator. God wants you to MARRY.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      I’ve read all of your posts. I see nothing but self absorbed judging and condemnation, that is quite common when this topic arises. There is just a over repeated variation of the same narrow-minded, non-loving mantra, with the caveat of “agree or you don’t believe in God” to try to prove just how right you guys are. Frankly its a bucket of bovine offal, and serves no positive purpose, not even for the people who think they will gain “holy” points by spouting such nonsense. There’s no love, no compassion there, no desire to engage, to understand, to consider that God’s love so trumps ours that ours is piteous in comparison.

      Offer something constructive, or just move along.

      • Andrew

        I’m not going to say that it’s right, if that’s what you want. I’ll be back after my class.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          No one is telling you to not believe as you will. I am just asking you to stop posting these types of comments here. You are not going to win any converts over with those kind of tactics.

          • Andrew

            Ahh so you are an exclusivist with your own kind here? I get ya…
            Now all I’ll say is that, after having seen the God of Abraham myself in my life, I cannot believe another way. If you want to talk about the God of the Bible, your only choice is to embrace Him yourself and try to find Him no matter what you THINK you may find, or talk to someone who has ACTUALLY spoken to Him and who is actively engaged with Him on a daily basis.
            I’m telling you that you’re preaching a different god from the God I am telling you I know.

            Like it or not.

          • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

            Is your face so radiant you have to wear a veil?

          • Andrew

            His love is stronger than anything. Light in dark places is one thing.
            Love in all places is another, because the world is devoid of it.

          • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

            There’s no love in the world? What a sad world you must live in. But you didn’t answer my question. Since you’ve actually seen God and spoken with Him, I figured you’d have the whole Moses-radiant-face-thing going on. Which must explain your lack of a profile pic. Thank you for protecting us from the glare.

          • Andrew

            There absolutely is love in the world, but not nearly enough. From God’s point of view, because we all need Him.
            Yeah I figured you would be that way. Thanks.

          • Matt

            I disagree. I think that love is present everywhere. God exists within every person through the Holy Spirit, and all who love know God. The world is suffused with love, beauty, and awe-inspiring power. We just need to stop and look.

          • Andrew

            But there are lies manifest within the world through people’s ignorance or willful rejection of what is natural. That is why we preach – to make the truth be known, to bring God closer to the world. And to help people come into a true relationship with the creator, and to live with Him and beside Him in their lives so that their dreams can be fulfilled, they can receive guidance and not be lost, and to bring peace. God has a plan for every man and woman, and there are similarities in His plans and differences.
            All I’m here to say is that sexuality is not one of those differences, save for celibates. Homosexuals, as with all of us sinners, need help and healing, and the willpower not to go down those paths again. God is the source of that willpower.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            If this is how you work to bring people closer to God, than you are not doing it in a manner that is remotely inviting, or that has success in bringing people to God.

          • Andrew

            No, that’s not how I am day-to-day with people, I look at their problems and give them advice and they trust me. I am there for them. I help them whatever way I can. And I provide companionship.
            What do you want, Allegro?
            Let me be clear – how do you think it should be?

          • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

            “No, that’s not how I am day-to-day with people”
            why would you be different online than you are in real life?

          • Andrew

            Because I see people on here saying that homosexuality is okay, and I believe they are in direct defiance to the creator and are in league with the enemy. That makes me mad. It makes me want to excoriate people. Because it’s condoning the cycle of HURT.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Ah. one of those. You don’t know anyone who is gay, by your own admission, you’ve never taken the time to know anyone who is gay, by your admission, you had decided that anyone who doesn’t agree with you is not a Christian, by your admission. It makes you mad, and has you want to physically harm someone, by your admission.
            And you wonder why we stand against you./

          • Andrew

            Ah, you don’t know me. But I see you think you do. I doubt anything I say now will change that.
            Did you look up what excoriate meant? It means to censure. I want to correct them.
            And now you think I’m violent because you interpreted excoriate wrong. Am I fitting your preconception right? Am I evil now? Violence is not my way.
            I know you are of love. But the truth is just as important as having love, because God pours out both love and truth.
            Talk to your Father about it. He can mitigate between us.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            No Andrew. Excoriate means:
            1. To denounce or berate severely.
            2. To strip or remove the skin from.

            I did not interpret the word incorrectly.

            I don’t need anyone mitigate for me to deal with a bully.

          • Andrew

            A bully. You are serious.
            Alright, I’m done. Have it your way. I’ll continue talking to Matt if he wants to.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Yes we are. Goodbye Andrew.

          • j0b1n

            Commend you for trying to express your point of view, Andrew. Scanned through this conversation and wanted to say good on ya for sticking to your convictions.

          • j.lup

            The only cycle of hurt is the one you promote and propagate.

            It must be nice to be actively engaged with your God on a daily basis, to know his thoughts and to have him confer with you and for him to have chosen you to be his mouthpiece on Earth, but I don’t think he’d approve of you going online, because you and your God oppose that which isn’t natural, and computers certainly aren’t natural.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            What do I want. I want you to be civil, to stop thinking you have all the answers to what you think everyone’s ills are, and to stop judging people in a harsh, self righteous manner.
            And if this is not how you interact with “day to day people”, or I am guessing people you speak to face to face, what makes you think its ok to treat people so callously online?

          • Matt

            Oh, absolutely people lie. People lie all the time, big and small.

            I just have to wonder–how can being gay lie so far outside of God’s plan? God knows all that will be and that ever has been. Nothing lies outside of His domain. Neither height nor depth can separate us from His love. There is mercy and the possibility of redemption even for those people who do the most awful things.

            Yet I don’t see the same language being truly used towards LGBT people (let’s use some accurate words, please). I hear a lot of talking about LGBT people in the third person, but not much listening. Even a murderer is allowed to plead their case, and assumed innocent until proven guilty. Meanwhile, LGBT people are assumed to be all the same, and little more than slaves to an abominable sin by default.

          • jimmccrea

            “People lie all the time, big and small.”
            And many of them call their lies Christianity, as well.

          • Andrew

            I see what you mean. I have not been led to interact with one as of yet in the Spirit, so I don’t know what it’s like to be there for one of them. I don’t consider them to be slaves automatically – that would discard their humanity. It’s just like fornicating without repentance – there is only a very small amount that are complete HOUNDS, if you know what I’m saying. I’m not saying they are any less human, either. In fact, I believe that many of them actually know it’s wrong. Just as any person in sin would cry out, I think they are doing so.
            And you are totally right on His open arms. God will never push a person away. There is no sin that he cannot take someone in for – to say there is would be to deny His character.

          • Matt

            Well, aren’t you in for a treat. I am LGBT. To be more specific, I am transgender. I was born in a female body, but I am male in my heart and spirit. Many people mistakenly think that this means I am gay. I’m not, but it gives me a lot of sympathy towards my gay and lesbian siblings in Christ. Not because I think they “sin” worse, but because I get what it’s like to be treated like less than a human being.

            I know when I sin, as every self-aware person does. It happens a lot. But I don’t think I am sinning in being myself. God and I have talked a lot about this, and in being myself I have grown in compassion, patience, and peace.

            Unlike you, I actually know LGBT people. They are my friends and the person that I will marry. I watch them love and lose and cry and make beautiful art and be passionate, intelligent, creative, and kind. So I don’t think the spiritual “fruits” of being LGBT are automatically sinful. They can be, just as any heterosexual person can use their sexuality for harm. But not in and of itself. And to be frank, I find that the sin doctrine of LGBT people is just used to deny people like me equal treatment in society and under the law. That is sinful.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            And Matt is beautiful people, with a wise, beautiful soul.

          • Andrew

            You guys really think you know me. This is horrible. I’m a good person.
            But I don’t believe you. I think I’d have to meet you and talk to God about it.
            I think you have been mistaken.
            Let me help you understand it. I don’t know if people are intentionally going against the words of God or are deceived. You are certainly not the former, but I also don’t believe that deceived fits you.

          • Matt

            I say you’re a person, period. A person can be good, and make choices that hurt other people. Good and evil can exist simultaneously in one person, and indeed they often do.

            I think that you are causing harm, whether you know it or not, whether you see it or not. The question remains if you have enough courage to actually examine your actions and beliefs. If you’re not causing pain, then it will be nothing more than a mental exercise. But if you are, then you will have gained new understanding and insight, and be able to love your neighbor more deeply and truly.

            You can’t lose.

          • Alliecat04

            Dude. You just called yourself a good person. Not even Jesus had the nerve to do that… when others called him good, he replied that there was none good but God. Go back, read your Bible, pray, and take a lesson. Stop assuming that you are closer to God and to the Holy Spirit than the many people here. What makes you think that they have not experienced God in their lives? How dare you assume that about anyone?

          • Andy

            I wish I could have seen Andrew’s face when he read this.

          • Andrew

            Remember, people, not everyone is good. There are evil people in the world. That is who I fight. I fight FOR love. I will wrestle for love till death. I want to be an agent of change.
            I really appreciate you all.

          • Lamont Cranston

            You may very well be the anti-Christ.

          • Andrew

            You don’t know what you’re talking about. Why post. Do you even know what love is? Have you explored it’s heights and depths? Has God showed you how deeply He loves you, and how He will fight for your love? I…don’t think so.

          • Lamont Cranston

            I was raised by and among ignorant fools like yourself. I want nothing to do with them, you, or the Satanic goon you worship.

          • Andrew

            And because you don’t know what you are talking about, why are you wasting your time?

          • http://patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/ Dan Wilkinson

            Be what way? You said the world is devoid of love, and now you say there is love in the world. I’ll agree that we all need more love…and we certainly all need to show more love.

          • Alliecat04

            She’s not being exclusivist, she is being protective. There are real people here and your comments are hurting them. Where in the Bible were you instructed to be cruel to other people? Because I am telling you that is against the instructions of the God of the Bible, and that if you indeed believe as you say, you should tremble.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            He’s gone Alliecat04, the welcome had long worn out.

          • Alliecat04

            Shame. He’s obnoxious, yes, but obviously very young.

          • http://johnshore.com/ John Shore

            It’s not a shame, Allie; he needed to go. (And I see no indication that he’s young beyond “I’ll be back after my class.” Perhaps he teaches that class. His, “Until a decade ago ..” and “after having seen the God of Abraham myself in my life,” indicate he’s not young at all. If anything I’d guess he’s pretty old. Either way, enough is enough.)

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            I just got over a week-long migraine and came back to discover I had missed all the wild stuff. I agree, that was just enough. It was drastically important to that guy to marginalize, oppress, hate, and exclude a group–so important he got his rear end tossed off a board I consider to be one of the most easy-going out there. Dang, that’s almost impressive.

            I wanted to mention this though–I noticed he called himself “a good person” and it twigged me to the idea of cognitive dissonance. He knew that hating, marginalizing, and oppressing people is bad, and he doesn’t want to think of himself as a bad person, but here he is doing something that is very cruel and mean to others–so he separates that behavior from the “core” of himself, which he sees as “a good person,” so he can continue to think of himself as “a good person” while simultaneously doing something that’s really horrible. All those “I’m not a X, but here’s a statement that only an X could love” things we keep hearing, that’s what they are in essence. I’m kinda mulling the concept over still, but that’s what this thread’s triggered in me. I do hope he’s young, but agree, he comes off as older to me too–either way, though, even an old dog can learn new tricks. I think there’s hope for everyone.

          • Andy

            I’m skeptical he’s seen the God of Abraham. Unless he’s older than Larry King and Keith Richards.

          • Matt

            Perhaps I gave him something to think on. At any rate, I had laundry to finish, studying to do, and a Friday night date to keep. I’m glad the mods got involved.

    • StephanCasey

      I agree with you that God wants us to get married but why can’t a same-sex marriage be any different.Your idea that just because you are physically attracted to the person that you marry means that you are lustful is misguided. How can you fully offer yourself to your spouse if you do not even want to have sexual relations with them. God makes people gay for a reason. Accept it and get over it. At the very least, respect the fact that you cannot judge people and pretend you know what God thinks

    • Alliecat04

      Honey, the most recent info from the NT isn’t that God wants us to marry, it’s that God wants unmarried people to stay unmarrried but will tolerate marriage if those horny little bastards just can’t keep their pants on. Have you ever READ the Bible? No one takes that instruction from Paul seriously today (except for people in Catholic orders) so why the need to take Paul seriously about other aspects of human sexuality?

      As for why this is happening today, when as recently as a decade ago there was much misunderstanding about sexual identity – it’s not a coincidence, and it has nothing to do with any “gay agenda.” The simple truth of the matter is that the internet happened. The internet enabled large numbers of gay people to find each other without risk, to talk to each other, and to talk to the world. You, on this forum thread, today, have spoken to more gay people more openly than Paul in the first century probably ever met in his life. You have a unique opportunity to listen and learn instead of concocting theories about other people in the isolation of your own head. It would be tragic if you chose to throw that opportunity away.

  • Andrew

    I want you to admit it’s wrong. That’s what I want. That’s all I want. I don’t want you to go on a hate rant on gays. I don’t want you to talk about how you don’t like them.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      It ain’t going to happen dude.

    • StephanCasey

      Please go read this http://www.gaychristian.net/justins_view.php

      Now I want you to pray about this. The bible is not so clear cut and literal as you’d like to think. Yes, God made me only attracted to the same sex. That is a fact. It’s just the way it is and I believe it is in line with his purpose. Maybe you are naturally heterosexual which means you do not really know what you are talking about because you haven’t been there. Remember that all the laws are meant to be based on love. Now explain to me how two people who are attracted to each other and love God cannot have an honest and loving relationship with one another and get married therefore allowing them to have sex with one another and only each other.

      How can you possibly pretend that you KNOW what God wants and what his purpose is based on a few misinterpreted and taken-out-of-context bible verses.

      You do not sound like a follower of Jesus to me. Jesus confronted and challenged conservative views but you just carry on like a self-righteous pharisee. I don’t understand how people can be so arrogant. You are not God and you never will be. Now go read about what Jesus said about passing judgement on others (regardless of what you truly believe)

      • Scriptualtruth

        Stephan / Andrew… God did not make you attracted to the same sex. Please don’t defile yourself in that manner. By all means, you can’t possibly believe that it’s in line with his purpose. One thing I can agree with is the fact that heterosexuality is natural. What isn’t natural is homosexuality. Romans 1:26-28 “26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” 28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

        Remember GOD said in Ecclesiastes 1:9 “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.” Heterosexuals may not have experienced homosexuality, but someone back in the days the scripture was written has and GOD spoke clearly against it. Whether it came from Jesus himself or his disciple “Paul”. All the scriptures are the words of GOD. In Luke 10:16 Jesus told his disciples before sending them out 2 by 2 to preach the word of GOD: “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”

        It’s easy to know what GOD wants if you take what is written and not try to ergonomically fit the scripture to your lifestyle. In Revelations the scripture clearly says Revelation 22:18-19 “18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. 19 And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll.”

        So please, take the word as it is written. It’s not an misinterpretation 2 Peter 1:20 says; “Knowing this first of all, that no prophecy of Scripture comes from someone’s own interpretation.

        The world is not judging you when we talk against homosexuality. We are clearly stating the scriptural laws. The definition of judge is to give your opinion and the abomination of homosexuality is clearly written as LAW. How is it so easy to understand earthly laws, but biblical laws you fall short of understanding.

        In the new testament (1 Corinthians 6:9-11) (Romans 1:26-28) (1 Timothy 1:10) without a shadow of a doubt speaks against homosexuality. Accept it as everyone accepts what their sins are. Change or repentance does not come until recognition arrive. Please Recognize Homosexuality is a Sin.

        In closing, this is in no way a hate post against Stephan. It’s a hate post against the spirit within Stephen that has caused him to be gave over to a reprobated mind. I hate sin….WHY? because GOD said to: Romans 12:9 “9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good.”

        We are called to practice love in all things except when it comes to sin. Sin we are to despise and hate, and in doing so we are to turn to what is good and cling to it.

        P.S. Please don’t post a comment with no Biblical Support. Otherwise I consider you a unbeliever.

        Proverbs 23:9
        Speak not in the ears of a fool for he will despise the wisdom of your words.
        Titus 3:10
        Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.
        Tim. 2:25-26
        Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth, and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

        • StephanCasey

          First of all, there’s more biblical support in that link I gave than you could’ve hoped for but here’s some.

          hmm.. Okay first of all let’s go through some history. These bible verses were written in a time when it was common practice for men to gang rape each other for power (Soddom & Gomorrah) – though people love to pretend that the story is just about how homosexuality is wrong?

          One thing that was pretty unheard of in biblical times. Men marrying each other. It just didn’t happen then. That’s why there’s nothing about it in the bible. Just a few vague bible verses that are probably just referring to the kind of homosexual acts that would be considered sinful anyway.

          Now I want you to look at that Romans verse from a slightly different perspective. Say God really did make someone naturally gay (whether that be just gay or something like a hermaphrodite – they belong in the kingdom of God too), then the verse would be reversible and you could actually use it to argue that giving up on your natural relations (which could be homosexual) is in fact sinful.

          I can tell you now that I have no physical sexual attraction to girls and I never have. I prayed to God, I surrendered my life and my sexuality to him. I tried to change it but it never did. Either I had to give up on God (like most other gay people do) or just accept that he made me this way for a reason.

          “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man!” – Luke 6:22

          You know, it doesn’t surprise me in the slightest that if I was right, people like you would read the bible and use this as proof that God does not condone homosexuality because that’s just the human thing to do. Jesus came and let’s just say he didn’t love the way pharisees threw biblical laws around proclaiming they knew exactly what God wanted from them.

          Galations 3:24-25: “Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian until Christ came, it protected us intil we could be made right with God through faith. And now that way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our gurardian.”

          What does this tell us about the laws in the bible (including the ones in the new testament that Paul gave us about homosexuality. He wrote Galations btw). It tells us that these laws were a sure way to get into heaven. Take anything God could possibly not like and put it in law so that our people can go to heaven if they follow them perfectly.

          So now Jesus came and we can “be made right with God through faith”. So yes, I decided that this is not something that will come right by believing laws in the bible. I consulted God, fought with God, reasoned with God, eventually just gave up on fighting and realized that, yes, God made me this way for a reason and now I have made peace with God and I am happy. Every decision I make right now, I try to consult God and see if it makes him happy.

          You seem more interested in the written word than actual faith and relationship with the actual God. I’m not judging. That’s entirely your decision.

          Galations 5:1: “So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.”

          I’m not saying you should not read the law to get some perspective but do not just follow it without question. That’s a sure fire way to ensure that your faith is not actually very solid. How can you believe something entirely without knowing why you believe it? I do not know exactly what God thinks about homosexuality but I know why I believe he has no problem with it.

          • cole

            Excellent, very very well said.

          • Scriptualtruth

            Soddom & Gamorrah doesn’t indicate in no way that homosexuality is okay unless it’s a gang rape. Besides, there are so many other verses in the scripture that clearly talks against men lying with men without the mention of the word homosexual.

            After reading your response, I’m more than certain
            that you are not only clung to sin, but sin is your belief. You like to use terms such as (vague bible verses, probably, different perspective, naturally gay, say for instance, something like, verse would be reversible, can actually use it to argue, give up on GOD, if it was right, let’s just say, etc….) These terms point out the fact that you don’t have a clear understanding of the Holy Scriptures nor is your faith solid.

            To look at Romans 1:26-28 from any other perspective
            than what is written is sinful and is a sure sign that you’re trying to fit the scripture to your lifestyle. What do your think God meant when he said “men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men,” We’re not going to get into what God said about “Sodomy”.

            In response to “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn
            your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man!”(Luke 6:21) The key is “on account of the Son of Man” Which means: You’re blessed when people reject you on account of his teachings! For example, I am blessed because you (Shephen) reject me because I am spreading the truth of God. That doesn’t mean Stephen is blessed because I reject his sins that goes against the word of God. Besides, 1 Corinthians 5:11 says: 11 But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual
            immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one.

            The bible is proof that Jesus doesn’t condone
            homosexuality. I can’t absorb your metaphors because Jesus has told Christians to spread the word of God from town to town. So I’m doing exactly what he has told us to do. I’m sorry if you feel that the bible is some kind of rock being thrown at you, if that’s how you feel then that’s a sure sign that you’re fleshy.

            You’re exactly right; my interest is totally in the
            written word of God, because God is the “word” Romans 10:17 “Faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the Word about Christ.” My
            relationship with God is tied strictly to his written word.

            You ask me “How can I believe something entirely
            without knowing why you believe it”. Well, I believe homosexuality is wrong in its entirety because of my spiritual connection and belief with God. Not only
            does my natural spirit tell me its wrong but my holy spirit confirms it.

            Galations speaks of Christ setting us free from the laws of Moses (Old Testament). Children of Israel are not set free from the New Testament (the teachings of Christ).

            Galations 5:13
            “13 You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh.

            ”Galations5: 7-10
            “who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? 8 That kind of persuasion does not come from the one who calls you. 10 I am confident in the Lord that you will take no other view.

            Galations 5:16-21
            16 So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. 17 For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever[c] you want. 18 But if you are led
            by the Spirit, you are not under the law.19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

            Being the Christian I am and having the wisdom I
            have, Galations 3:24-25 means this:

            “The law was our guardian until Christ came” means: The Old Testament (Moses Law) was our guardian angel UNTIL Christ came. Key word “until”, once Christ came we are bound by his teachings. The gentiles were told they must come under the Law of Moses or God would not bless him. This meant they must be made pure according to the Law of Moses. So he has the operation and as soon as the cut is made, the Holy Spirit is poured out upon him. Of course, this is not how it works. We receive the Holy Spirit by faith and not by coming under the works of the laws of Moses. Paul said. Did you receive the Spirit through the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?

            “it protected us until we could be made right with God through faith” The Galatians were deceived into thinking that spiritual growth or maturity could be achieved
            through the works of the flesh, instead of a continued simple faith and abiding in Jesus. Once Jesus came we were made right with God through faith. Faith being the belief in the words taught through Jesus Christ. Faith never abolishes the teachings of Christ.

            “And now that way of faith has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian.” Meaning, now that Jesus has come, we are no long bond by the laws of Moses (Old
            Testament). This is the when Paul Stated in Galatians: “for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” We came under the teaching (not called the law but the New Testament) of Jesus Christ.

            “Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding,” (Proverbs 3:13)

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            “Besides, there are so many other verses in the scripture that clearly talks against men lying with men without the mention of the word homosexual.”
            Many? Really? Try maybe, and its a big maybe. Try a possible seven.
            And as has already been mentioned, throwing scripture verses at people, and so many, serves no purpose but demonstrating your skills at copy/pasting. You are using scripture to state your opinion, pure and simple, and are doing it in a manner that suggests that only your view on what scripture says is the valid one, allowing for no room for another way of looking at things. You waste your time.

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            That kind of toxic fundamentalism draws judgemental, rigid thinkers to itself. I used to be one. I still have to fight it. It’s very hard to get out of that rigid, black-or-white thinking style. Long after I’d left that faith, another ex-fundie friend and I would laugh at our insistence on rules and chant LAW LAW LAW LAW at each other when we caught ourselves doing it. I think the structure and easy certainty were what nailed me. But nothing’s that easy or that certain with such a religion as Christianity or such a sourcebook as the Bible. See, this is why we can’t have nice things.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I understand Cap’t. I’ve heard the rhetoric all my life, but I never could really accept it, because I had too many questions.

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            I wish I’d let those questions bubble a bit more, myself! Things had to get to an absolute crescendo before I listened to those inner questions that’d always been at the back of my mind. I see people stuck in that mode now and I feel a great deal of sympathy for ’em, but I am really genuinely thankful that y’all are so kind and gentle to folks. Ya know.. I really wonder what my life would have looked like, had the internet really existed in its current form back then. I think I’d have ended up where I am faith-wise and spirituality-wise; I’m happy here and it suits me. But I don’t think it would have taken as long as it did to reach there, and the journey would have likely been a lot less histrionic and painful! Y’all are wonderful, and I love learning and hearing your perspectives. It’s a balm to me.

          • Scriptualtruth

            If you think of the scripture as rhetoric then that’s the problem. Your an atheist and Christians are instructed to not debate with unbelievers…

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            This didn’t qualify as a proper debate. Goodbye Scriptualtruth.

          • hawaiiangurl

            Okay scriptualtruth, I don’t know what your problem is, but I can tell you that your conduct was very un-Christian like. Our job is not to act like God and tell people that they are pagans, no matter what our gathered opinion is. That’s his job not mine. Yes, we can identify what a sin is, but we can’t go around being all like “You’re a pagan so I shouldn’t argue with you.” No, no and NO. I am a Christian, and I’m pretty sure that Jesus wouldn’t say the things that you did. The Bible isn’t for us to throw into someone’s face and say “This is the law, you’re a pagan and I’m right and you’re wrong.” Yes, it is God’s law, but it also is a letter of love. How do you know that allegro63 is an atheist? Maybe they are just trying to ask questions. Maybe they’re having their doubts. Also where in the Bible does it say that we are not allowed to debate with “unbelievers”? How do you think we get people in to the Christian church? The Bible isn’t a bat to whack over people’s heads. That was not very Jesus-like I disagree with it. The Bible even says that you should ask questions and challenge things so that you find out more. So maybe you should actually read the Bible instead of looking up categories on the internet? Show me one Bible verse that says we can’t debate with unbelievers!!!

          • Andy

            Pray tell, what do you think of Ken Ham, who just the other day debated with Bill Nye?

          • Scriptualtruth

            The scripture is black or white….there’s no grey area in biblical teaching. Jesus is not an author of confusion.

            Revelation 3:15-16
            15 “‘I know your works: you are neither cold nor hot. Would that you were either cold or hot! 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.

          • http://rolltodisbelieve.wordpress.com/ Captain Cassidy

            One of the biggest problems I had, as a fundamentalist, was realizing just how NON-black-and-white the Bible really was/is. Most reputable seminaries teach their students stuff that “flocks” never, ever even hear about–because so many of them are like you, rigid and confused. It seems clear you read the bits you get told to read, you interpret them the way your favorite ear-tickler tells you to interpret them, and you get to feel all smug and comfy in your bubble, safe and secure from any hint of nuance. If your faith depends on rigid black-and-white thinking, it will fall apart by the same means once you start seriously learning about it.

            Oh, and btw, parroting Bible verses at someone who doesn’t think the Bible is infallible or divine doesn’t really do much for you except make you look (more) insufferable. Maybe you need to brush up on the stuff about loving your neighbor; you’re doing it all wrong.

          • StephanCasey

            Thanks :) I can’t listen to this bigotry anymore. I’m done trying to explain this to people. My faith is strong and I know that. I do not need people telling me that all I believe in is sin. I’ve tried very hard to let God allow me to understand the topic better. Believe me, no one has gone back and forth as many times as me. The only difference between me and them is I’ve looked at both sides and considered every opportunity where they just look for reasons to believe what they already do and why do they believe it. Because that’s what they were told first

            Proverbs 18:17: “The one who states his case first seems right, until the other comes and examines him.”

            Just because people were told that God does not condone homosexuality does not mean that he doesn’t. All it means is that it’s what people will believe until they open their eyes to the dictatorship they fail to notice.

          • Scriptualtruth

            Proverbs 18:17 “17 In a lawsuit the first to speak seems right, until someone comes forward and cross-examines.” They were actually speaking of court cases; besides, Proverbs is under the laws of Moses. We are under Jesus teaching now. People are not told that God doesn’t condone homosexuality, God himself said it. All words are spoken through the inspiration of God.

          • Scriptualtruth

            “Many? Really? Try maybe, and it’s a big maybe. Try a
            possible seven.”
            Wow! Is it not as meaningful or do we not have to follow his teaching if he mentions it once as opposed to 7 times. You are definitelyof the pagans he warned Christians about

            Once again, if you feel that scriptures are something that
            can be thrown and hit you, then your just as fleshy as Stephen. I say to you, come out of the flesh and into the spirit of God.

            The only reason why you have a problem with the word of God (scripture) being copied/pasted to justify my point, is because you have know understanding of the scripture yourself. No one should ever have a problem with the word of God but the devil himself! If I demonstrate my skills at being able to locate scripture and copy/paste it following every statement I make, then what purpose do you serve….. NONE. No one wants to hear your views or thoughts on this matter. You can only entertain other pagans like yourself. If you want to discuss God or Jesus Christ, then discuss him using his own words……If you know any

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            And thus enters the condemnation, the disrespect and disregard of one’s faith.
            And people wonder why these tactics have such little success. May I suggest, nicely, that you cease with this means of trying to force your views across?

          • StephanCasey

            Here. I found this read. Now this is written by someone with a master’s and doctoral degree from a conservative biblical seminary. I know you probably won’t read this but though you may argue with me, how can you argue with her?

            http://soulforce.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/09/whatthebiblesays.pdf

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          Throwing bible passages at a person is not going to change someone’s mind. Posting what adds up to be a sermonette, repeating the same rhetoric that others have already heard, oh so many times, is not going to get people to care what you have to say. Dismissing someone’s faith, or deciding, that because they see things differently that they lack it, is not going to change someone’s mind either. Standing in condemnation and judgement of someone certainly isn’t going to do it.

          Yet people keep trying it, and fail repeatedly at winning anyone over. Why? Because the message is wrong, the intent may be noble, but is still wrong and the mindset is wrong. The message lacks love, compassion or understanding, the intent lacks it, and certainly the mindset does as well.

          And lastly, you don’t get to tell people how to frame their posts. Valid points can easily be made without interjecting a scripture verse at every turn.

          • spiritualtruth

            Allegro63….Christians use Scriptures to make their point valid. You see, as a christian a point isn’t valid unless it’s justified by scripture. Man surely cant make a point more valid than “scripture”. If it originates from man than it is opinion or a person’s point of view. With that said, if we are having a discussion on God and Jesus Christ, what better point would you make than his exact teachings and words “scripture”.
            There is no love, compassion or understanding in sin. You provide me one scripture where the teachings of Jesus Christ showed love and understanding to sin. Christians don’t absorb man opinions or teachings, we absorb only the teachings of Jesus Christ.
            As I mentioned before, the definition of “judge” is to give your opinion. That’ why I interjected scripture….and not my opinion.
            Since you don’t have a heaven or hell to put anyone in, I think i will continue to follow the word of God and do as he has instructed.
            Titus 3:10
            “Warn a divisive person once, warn them a second time, after that have nothing to do with them.”

  • Alexi Trevor Malmgren

    i don’t take paul literay on gay peole nor do i take jesus literaly on money according to australian priests he exagerates . such as if you eye causes you to sin pluck it put he was not urging sel;lf harm any one doing that would be quite rightly committed to a mantal hospital

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Jesus used a lot of what we could also call fables, or stories with a point, word pictures and use of tongue in cheek. They weren’t meant to be taken literally.

  • Joseph A. Loerzel

    Religious strife has caused more deaths and destruction throughout the history of mankind than marriage equality could ever think of doing.

  • hawaiiangurl

    Yes, Paul DOES say that homosexuality is a sin. In I Corinthians 6:9-11 “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” If stealing isn’t a sin or being greedy, or being so drunk you can’t think, or being any of those things isn’t a sin, then I don’t know what is.

    • Guy Norred

      Actually, to be precise, it is translators of the bible who say that homosexuality is a sin. Most of the people who appear absolutely certain that this translation is correct seem to be those who have never really questioned the possibility that the translation might be erroneous. There are a few others who appear to have questioned it and come to the conclusion that it is correct, but as far as I can follow, their reasoning seems to be based on their belief, again unquestioned, that homosexuality is immoral. This kind of circular logic hardly seems to be loving God with all our mind as Christ commands, much less our neighbors as ourselves. Also, if we look further and explore the results of this teaching as we are called to do, we quickly find much that is not good fruit.

      • hawaiiangurl

        If God intended there to be homosexuality, then why did He just create Adam and Eve in the garden? If He wanted to include homosexuality along with heterosexuality, then why didn’t He make two couples of two guys and two girls along with Adam and Eve? It totally corrupts God’s original plan for human kind. There was no homosexuality in the beginning of time and that’s what God wanted it to be. Also, in Leviticus, Moses clearly says that God says “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.”(Lev.20:13) That ain’t no translation error. I’m not saying that we shouldn’t love gay people or exclude them from the Christian church, and while every one is a sinner, one should not just excuse their sin and revel in it by being gay. God came to save us from our sins, not to save us in our sins.

        • Andy

          What makes you think God intended anything at all?

          Of course, if you take the Adam & Eve story literally, I guess you can make some leaps and come to the conclusion that God intended for men and women to be straight.

          So let’s go there: if God didn’t want any men to ever be with other men, why didn’t he just not allow it to happen?

          • hawaiiangurl

            God can’t stop us from making our own choices, that’s just how God works. He didn’t intend for sin to happen either, but because He loves us, He didn’t force us not to sin. You can’t force someone to love you, you can only give them a choice for them to love or not. And yes I do condemn tattoos, the eating of unclean animals, and for the shaving thing, God didn’t want the men to trim their beards in the ways of the pagan men who were around them in their new land. He didn’t want them to trim their beards on the sides and stuff like the other men did. Do certain types of haircuts determine if you’re a pagan or not these days? No. But back then it did. God didn’t want them having any part in sin and wanted the best for them. I personally think that the consumption of unclean animals such as rabbit, shrimp, pork and meat eating birds is wrong. For one thing, they don’t do a whole bunch of good for your body, and two, why would I want to eat anything that eats poop like shrimp does or a bird that eats other dead things? That’s just gross. And the issue about the Levites, yeah I’m not going to go around in tabernacles and sacrifice lambs and stuff, because that has been done away with because of the death of Jesus Christ. So yeah there are some things that are irrelevant for these modern days but there are other things that are morally wrong. Like being gay. And yes, God did mean for men and women to be straight. He said in Genesis that a woman will come out of her house from her parents and be with her husband in his house. So yeah He intended straight marriage from the very beginning.

          • Andy

            It’s quite humorous the lengths you’re willing to go to in order to justify your bigotry. Please do continue, though, I am quite amused.

          • hawaiiangurl

            This? You think this is bigotry? Take a look at scriptualtruth down below. That is bigotry. This is truth. I am not “justifying” my “bigotry”. I am proving it. If you refuse to accept the things that are true as opposed to the things you believe, isn’t that bigotry too? Please explain how me believing in things are true and standing up for it is bigotry. But I’ll ask you a question: Is homosexuality right?

          • Guy Norred

            For homosexuals, yes.

          • hawaiiangurl

            Then for murderers bigotry is people who are saying killing is wrong. Is that bigotry too or just an opinion?

          • Guy Norred

            There is no comparison. One quite irrevocably harms a human being. The other, in its best forms, is loving and caring for a human being.

          • hawaiiangurl

            . . .but in a perverted way that God didn’t intend for there to be. . .

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            According to your opinion, and your personal belief. Therin lies the difference. You will not convince others who believe quite different, and for very valid reasons, that your beliefs hold water for them.

          • hawaiiangurl

            Fine, so do you think that God intended there to be homosexuality? Just because God allows something, doesn’t mean He intends it.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Yes I do, as well as all of us who make up the staff of this page, and the vast majority of those who make up the wonderful, diverse group of people who are regular visitors and commenters. Your opinion of what God intends is irrelevent.

          • http://www.whoaisnotme.net/anakinmcfly Anakin McFly

            EVERYBODY IS JUST GOING IN CIRCLES :(

            @hawaiiangurl: You seem young (I don’t mean that in a condescending way, and feel free to correct me!), and if that’s true then, while I disagree with your conclusions, I genuinely admire your strength to stand up for what you believe is right, and remain relatively civil in a context where you’re far outnumbered.

            That said, as a gay and trans Christian who chose neither of the first two things (and is still a virgin who has not yet had the fortune to be in any relationship with any gender), I’d like to correct some misconceptions in your posts.

            You bring up the Bible verses. Those verses were not originally written in English, and the Romans one in particular had the words translated as ‘homosexuality’ been translated as many other different things – some of which do not mention homosexuality at all. There was an actual Greek word for homosexuality, which makes it odd that it was not the word that got used if it is indeed what Paul meant to condemn; instead, scholars still do not know for sure what the word meant, though they think it might refer to boy prostitution.

            The Leviticus verse also has translation issues: the Hebrew word used for ‘man’ was a word that refers to a specific kind of man, namely a male shrine prostitute who would sometimes engage in ritual sex in the process of pagan worship. The placement of the Leviticus verse where it is (amidst other verses on religious rather than sexual behaviour) lends additional support to the theory that what was being condemned here were rituals in which (probably straight) men would have sex with each other for the sake of worshipping a pagan god, and which is thus understandably condemned by God.

            It would mean a lot to me if you took some time to read through this (or watch the video) by a young gay Christian talking about the Bible and homosexuality:
            http://www.matthewvines.com/transcript

            It’s one of the best I’ve seen on the subject, is biblically-sound, and addresses most if not all of your queries. Even if you disagree with his conclusions at the end, I hope that it’ll help you at least get a better idea of where some of us are coming from.

            God bless, and have a good week.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Exactly, being gay hurts no one, two people of the same gender, in a committed, relationship hurt no one. In fact their devotion, can serve as a beautiful example of how to do a relationship right. There is one couple I know that have personally shown me multiple times how love between two people is a thing of beauty and joy. Another couple, have been together so long, that they moved into an assisted living center together, when one’s health began to wane.

            How can such a thing be a perversion?

          • Shinjitsu

            “The virus eventually entered male gay communities in large United States cities, where a combination of sexual promiscuity (with individuals reportedly averaging over 11 unprotected sexual partners per year[56]) and relatively high transmission rates associated with anal intercourse[57] allowed it spread explosively enough to finally be noticed.[53]”

            56: Morris, M.; Dean, L. (1994). “Effect of sexual behavior change on long-term human immunodeficiency virus prevalence among homosexual men”. American Journal of Epidemiology 140 (3): 217–232. PMID 8030625

            57: Jin F et al. (March 2010). “Per-contact probability of HIV transmission in homosexual men in Sydney in the era of HAART”. AIDS 24 (6): 907–913. doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e3283372d90. PMC 2852627. PMID 20139750

            53: Gilbert MT, Rambaut A, Wlasiuk G, Spira TJ, Pitchenik AE, Worobey M (2007). “The emergence of HIV/AIDS in the Americas and beyond”. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104 (47): 18566–70. Bibcode:2007PNAS..10418566G. doi:10.1073/pnas.0705329104. PMC 2141817. PMID 17978186

            Homosexuality is, hence, a public health issue just like Typhoid Mary and the spread of Typhoid Fever was in the early 20th century.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            There is a difference between promiscuity and committed relationships, now isn’t there? Promiscuity was not uncommon in the gay and the straight community. One thing the AIDS outbreak did, was have everyone rethink sexual safety, and in the deveoloped world, changes were quickly made.

            That AIDS affects 4.7 million today in just Asia, proves that its not a gay issue. The sex trade, drug use and lack of contraceptions play major roles in the spread of the disease.

          • Shinjitsu

            So gays no longer have to worry about being infected or infecting others with AIDS?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            No more than any of us have to worry. If one is in a monogamous relationship, then no worries. If one is not, and precautions are taken to protect oneself, then the risk factors are much reduced. If one is infected with an STD, and they are mindful, and proactive in their health and the health of others, then again, worries are minimal.

          • Shinjitsu

            Then why is AIDS such a pandemic, especially in the third world?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Lack of contraceptions, high intravenious drug use, lack of education and health care, poverty and a very lucrative and largely unregulated sex trade where sex workers (so many young girls, and even children) often lack access to health care, much less contraceptions.

            That the global LGBT community is about 10% and that is just a guess. Roughly half are women, a very small percentage of that demographic would be those who would qualify as promiscuous. To assume all LGBT people are sexually active and engage in dangerous sexual behavior is so dishonest that it’s insulting.

          • Shinjitsu

            And yet, “The virus eventually entered male gay communities in large United States cities, where a combination of sexual promiscuity (with individuals reportedly averaging over 11 unprotected sexual partners per year[56]) and relatively high transmission rates associated with anal intercourse[57] allowed it spread explosively enough to finally be noticed.[53]”

            56: Morris, M.; Dean, L. (1994). “Effect of sexual behavior change on long-term human immunodeficiency virus prevalence among homosexual men”. American Journal of Epidemiology 140 (3): 217–232. PMID 8030625

            57: Jin F et al. (March 2010). “Per-contact probability of HIV transmission in homosexual men in Sydney in the era of HAART”. AIDS 24 (6): 907–913. doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e3283372d90. PMC 2852627. PMID 20139750

            53: Gilbert MT, Rambaut A, Wlasiuk G, Spira TJ, Pitchenik AE, Worobey M (2007). “The emergence of HIV/AIDS in the Americas and beyond”. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 104 (47): 18566–70. Bibcode:2007PNAS..10418566G. doi:10.1073/pnas.0705329104. PMC 2141817. PMID 17978186

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Copy/pasting stuff from an article, twice, proves nothing, other than your skills at copy/paste.

          • Guy Norred

            As has been pointed out before, you are pointing out the fruits of promiscuity, not homosexuality. Promiscuity is no more inherent in homosexuality than in heterosexuality. It is more common primarily because we are still trying to shake off the centuries of oppression in which anything approaching a openly healthy homosexual relationship was not just frowned upon, but in many instances would have been tantamount to at least exile from anything resembling civil society and at worst a death sentence. The fact that there have been at all healthy relationships (if generally closeted) in the past (despite no societal acceptance or support) says much more good about the strength of those relationships than it does about the society around them.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Because the Religious teaching that condom use is a sin is pervasive ???

          • http://www.whoaisnotme.net/anakinmcfly Anakin McFly

            Right now, the most typical AIDS victim is a heterosexual, married, monogamous woman in Africa whose heterosexual husband gave her HIV after getting it from his also-heterosexual girlfriend, who possibly got it from her likewise heterosexual boyfriend or husband.

            In Africa at least, the rapid spread of HIV is due largely to their practice of having concurrent relationships (vs the serial monogamy more common in the West) – such that while they are overall much less promiscuous than their Western counterparts, for instance having just two concurrent, long-term sexual partners vs a whole string of relationships and breakups with many more people as often happens in the West, it creates a web of sexually-interconnected people that allows the virus to basically plow through a whole population pretty much unhindered. So promiscuity isn’t always the issue; it depends a lot on the sexual culture of a place.

            Meanwhile, HIV is, well, an STD. Meaning that it obviously only gets transmitted between people who have sex with each other. Given that gay men are generally only having sex with other gay men, it’s logical that once HIV gets into that population, it would be spread within the gay community. But likewise where the virus gets into the heterosexual population, as in Africa, it spreads within the straight community.

            I personally think that the world would be a much healthier and better place if everyone just stuck to monogamous relationships and kept sex for marriage, but that’s just my sexually perverse gay opinion.

          • Shinjitsu

            Are you suggesting that none of those millions infected in Asia are gay?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            No, unprotected sex between gays is still one of the causes of the spread, but it is not the primary cause.

          • Shinjitsu

            So homosexuality continues to be a public health issue …

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Good Lord. Not only no, but HELL NO.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            No. Unprotected sex with multiple partners is a public health issue.

          • Lamont Cranston

            Normal people don’t actually care what a worthless bigot goon like you thinks. Fortunately, the 2nd amendment helps me protect my family and myself from trash like you.

          • Shinjitsu

            Do you know what percentage of all those millions you referred to earlier are gay vs. normal?

          • AtalantaBethulia

            I once asked my Jewish college roommate if the wedding she was going to was a Jewish or a normal one.

            It was the last time I made that mistake.

          • Shinjitsu

            What do you base this conclusion on? Do you know specifically what percentage of these are gay vs. normal?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Statistical data, that is available from a variety of sources that deal with health and population. WHO, the UN, CDC and others. It takes five minutes to look.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            gay is normal.

          • http://www.whoaisnotme.net/anakinmcfly Anakin McFly

            Are you saying that none are straight?

          • hawaiiangurl

            Love itself is not a perversion, being gay is.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            This has gone on long enough. Trying to ram your point home, repeatedly is not working. Its offensive to the people who visit here who are gay, and to us who are supporters. The choice of words is hurtful, to people who are sick and tired of being beaten about with words and words phrased around religion. Its time to stop.

          • Andy

            It’s as right as heterosexuality. People love who they love, and you can’t change that. And I refuse to believe that God would create homosexuals and then condemn them for being who they are.

            The only alternative to that is to believe that homosexuality is a choice, and frankly, I think that’s as bullshit as bullshit can be. I’m straight, so I can’t speak from experience, but I’ve heard countless gays say they wish they could be straight. The abuse many of them suffer is unbelievable. The idea that they all choose that lifestyle, which might condemn them to abuse, is just disgusting.

          • hawaiiangurl

            I’m not saying that people who are gay choose that lifestyle, but I do think that homosexuality is still wrong. Homosexuality is a perversion of God’s original plan and is an effect of sin on human beings. We are so corrupted in sin that we think this is right. I’m not hating on gays, heck, I have a lot of gay friends and some of them are the funniest people on the face of the earth, but I still do think that homosexuality is wrong. Does that mean I’m going to yell at them that they’re going to hell every time I see them? No. But I also know that they are missing out on the wonderful relationship that God intended them to have with a person of the opposite sex.

          • Andy

            I’ll bet many of them have awesome relationships, regardless of which gender the person they’re with is. In fact, some of them are probably much more fulfilling than hetero relationships between a lot of people I’ve known.

            If you think they’re “missing out” just because they’re not being with a person of the opposite sex, you’re seriously in denial.

          • Guy Norred

            Let me preface by saying that I do not believe you are a bad person–I do not waste my time with bad people. Now–

            And here is your big leap in logic. You acknowledge that a person’s homosexuality is not a choice, but because you see God as having very strict gender issues, then while it may be something deeply ingrained in the deepest part of them that is human, it cannot be from God and they would have such a more fulfilled life if they just forgot about it and fell in love with a person of the opposite gender. First, I really think you should consider the possibility that you are wrong. Remember, almost everyone who is an adult now, has lived a portion of their life with the assumption of the immorality of homosexuality–if studied at all, that, as you say, it is the effect of sin in the world. How could they not? Centuries of culture have done little that did not enforce this view. This influence has been not just over Christians, but all of society–and felt most by the homosexuals themselves. Start with them–these you say did not choose to be homosexuals–and ask why if they did not choose this might this not be God’s plan for them. There are people who have prayerfully come to that conclusion. I am not saying that all new thought is necessarily good, but do you think that the Spirit quit revealing new things at the end of the first century (or fourth depending on who you listen to as to when the biblical canon was written or finalized–which is a whole other can of worms by the way). Above you say that the view of women was different in Paul’s day and therefore we should look at what Paul says about women with at least a little salt. This makes sense to me. I think Paul was sincere in his words, but he is not God and he would be the first to say so.

            Now I feel I must do a little testing. Christ own command is that we beware of false teaching and look to the fruits of the teaching to determine its validity. Here we have two teachings–one that homosexuality is wrong, sinful, a denial of God–and two that homosexuality is part of God’s plan. Of the first, the fruits I see nothing but suffering. Of the other, I see people living happy lives together, praising God and loving their neighbor.

          • http://www.whoaisnotme.net/anakinmcfly Anakin McFly

            “But I also know that they are missing out on the wonderful relationship
            that God intended them to have with a person of the opposite sex.”

            How do you know that God didn’t intend them to have a wonderful relationship with a person of the same sex? You said before that you don’t believe they choose to be gay; therefore God must have made them with those desires to love someone of their own sex. It would thus be odd if God then actually intended them to have a relationship with someone that he didn’t make them attracted to and knows they can’t truly love.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            It isn’t wrong. your proofs are no different then anyone else who uses the same few verses of poorly translated scripture to attempt to justify holding a group of people to an impossible standard, just so they can be condemned.

          • Raymond Watchman

            Goodness me, what theologically illiterate Christian kindergarten teacher placed such a question in your mind?
            Homosexuality is neither right nor wrong – just as heterosexuality is neither right nor wrong. Our given sexuality is morally neutral. You can no more put a moral equation on sexual orientation than you can on gender. Your question is like asking: “Is being female right?” or “Is being male right?”
            The issue you are trying to address is a behavioral one. To put it simply: Our morality is determined by what we do with our sexuality, not by our sexuality per se. For example, promiscuity and infidelity are moral delinquencies manifest in both the homosexual and heterosexual communities. These usually have their origins in an individual’s deeply-seated sense of rejection. To me it seems profoundly un-Christian and hypocritical to single out one group (homosexual) for moral condemnation while turning a “blind eye” to the other (heterosexual). More than that, the Gospel imperative is not condemnation, but healing. When Jesus said to the woman taken in adultery “….go and sin no more” he was not wagging a moralizing finger at her – he was declaring her healing. Her accusers had condemned none but themselves, and knowing theirs was the greater sin, had scuttled away like cockroaches. The woman found herself loved and accepted unconditionally by our Lord and through His grace, was healed of the brokenness of rejection which had driven her into adultery in the first place. She would go and sin no more.
            Are not we who are Christian called on to extend the same compassion and grace to all who fall into immorality – irrespective of gender or sexual orientation? In terms of the Christian life, is not the issue of sexual orientation in reality nothing more than a red herring, drawn under the noses of the faithful by prejudiced hypocrites disguised in priestly garb?
            Why is it we Christians, who have been the recipients of abundant grace, ofttimes find it so hard to extend that grace to those we do not understand; to those who are vulnerable, or different, or whose behavior exposes a wounding so deep that only God can bring them healing?
            Why is it we so often morph into cockroaches scuttling off to find shelter in the dark when the Lord of Light calls on us to be instruments of His compassion and healing?
            Why is it we audaciously cloak ourselves in the garments of priesthood, when Jesus Himself exposes the very nakedness of our hypocrisy and pride?
            Why is it we find it so hard to love others as we are loved; to accept them as we are accepted?
            As Christians, are not these the questions we need to be asking of ourselves – not “Is homosexuality right? You see Hawaiingurl, it’s really not even a question – it’s a thinly veiled restatement of a prejudice you learned somewhere along the way from those who should have known better.
            I am 71, straight, married, with five fine sons. My wife and I have a number of gay and lesbian friends. No, we don’t understand same-sex attraction and activity, nor does it hold any appeal for us. But that is their normal – and we accept that, just as we have to accept our own inability to understand same-sex attraction. And yes, these are cherished friends – dear friends who love and laugh and cry and hope and sing and dance and pray and know God as every bit as much as we do. And yes, they are able to faithfully commit to long-term loving relationships with one partner, just as my wife and I have been blessed to enjoy for 38 years of marriage.
            There is no more wrong with them than is wrong with any of us. To say otherwise is to deny the Gospel and to mock the One who gave His life for us all.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Did he also intend marriages between siblings (Abraham and Sarah) or between close cousins, (Jacob and Rebekkah, Joseph and Leah and Rachel) Did God intend marriages with extras? (all those concubines) or polygamous unions (very long list there) Did God intend to make it ok to take sex slaves (both genders) as a token of war, or to force a rape victim to marry her attacker? Was it ok for a group of men to kidnap and force into marriage, virgins from a conquered city, all because no one would allow their daughters to marry these guys? All that was allowed and even condoned in the Bible.
            You see, you cannot say, “God says its only this way, cause its in the Bible” when its quite obvious, that it wasn’t.

          • hawaiiangurl

            There are a lot of things that God wasn’t okay with, but He allowed it because He can’t force us to make any decision. Also, God didn’t agree with polygamy because Nimrod invented it and he was a rebel against God. He led out in the rebellion of the Tower of Babel. Also, a raper had to marry the victim because the victim would have had no future because no one would want to marry them with their history. It was not okay for the group of men to attack and rape women from a village. If you notice, God did not command them to do so. Also, when God tells his people to attack a city and take it over, he didn’t tell them to rape the women. He just said take them and the children. Also, in order for the Israel tribe to grow, they had to marry their close cousins and whatever. Otherwise, there would have been paganism mixed in with the chosen people and that was not God’s intent. I’m not saying that everything that is in the Bible should not be condoned because there are fallible human beings that were being told of in the Bible, but I am saying that in every story God made good for all the bad things that happened to His people. It’s a story, not perfection. Every word that came out of God’s mouth is good and pure but that doesn’t automatically mean that the people were perfect.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            If you haven’t done so, read the books of Deuteronomy and Judges. There’s not a lot of “and God condemned these actions” when it came to how people treated one another. The only thing the authors of the books seemed to have issues with was with local deity worship, and of course that was more religious propeganda than actual history.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            Re: “God can’t stop us from making our own choices, ”

            Can God stop us from having autonomic nervous system reactions – like arousal and attraction that arise at a subconscious level?

            Can God stop our brain stem from spontaneously causing us to inhale without thinking about it at all? We don’t “choose” to breathe, after all.

            Can God stop the negative feedback mechanism of hormones from causing ovulation or pituitary function – or do we choose for our eggs to burst forth from our fallopian tubes each month?

            Being inclined to fall in love with someone of the same gender is not a choice. It happens: just like erections, breathing, and ovulation. Love happens.

          • Andrew

            Having sex with them is a choice. I might fall in love with someone else’s wife, but I choose not to go against God, my wife, her husband because I am not an animal. I can control my behavior. Even though it might feel natural to want to breed with a random hot chick, or smack some jerk in the face, does not make it the right thing to do. In this fallen world, sometimes doing the right thing is not the easy thing.
            If you truly want to serve God, ask him what he wants you to do with no personal weight on what you actually want to do, and a willingness to obey. Very hard to do, but when you choose to obey it is much easier than you think. The biggest stumbling block to a fruitful life is to have your own agenda in front of Gods. Whether something be a sin per se or not

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Having sex with someone is of course a choice. But who we see as a desirable sexual partner, often isn’t. Some men only have sexual attraction only in other males, and some women only have sexual attraction with other females, and some see it with either gender. They don’t choose how their bodies react, or which person they will find attractive, it just happens, and its completely natural, and can lead to the most beautiful relationships.

            Also, there are some wonderfully fruitful lives all around us found with people who are not at all spiritual, much less Christian. To assume that we only achieve happiness and success by being religiously devoted is a fallacy, and can be a very dangerous one.

          • AtalantaBethulia

            It’s a false equivalency.

            Re: “Having sex with them is a choice.” Yes, but being attracted to them is not.

            Re: “I might fall in love with someone else’s wife, but I choose not to go against God, my wife, her husband because I am not an animal.”

            Right, you are, presumably, a rational human being who knows that cheating on your wife with your neighbor’s wife would cause a lot of harm and pain to a lot of people and breaks a commitment that you promised to keep to your wife.

            Re: “Even though it might feel natural to want to breed with a random hot chick, or smack some jerk in the face, does not make it the right thing to do.”

            First of all: “Breed with a random hot chick” is disrespectful to women and slimy and it would be really super if you are, in fact, “presumably a rational human being” if you didn’t use language like this, even to make a point.

            Secondly: Promiscuity causes harm. Smacking a jerk in the face causes harm. Two people who are in a loving committed mutually monogamous long term relationship – not causing harm.

            RE: “In this fallen world, sometimes doing the right thing is not the easy thing.”

            Yes, like loving and respecting the rights of people we don’t like or identify with.

            Re: “If you truly want to serve God, ask him what he wants you to do with no personal weight on what you actually want to do, and a willingness to obey.”

            I do believe Gay Christians do this on a regular basis. Gay Jews and Muslims too.

            Re: “The biggest stumbling block to a fruitful life is to have your own agenda in front of Gods. Whether something be a sin per se or not.”

            Bingo. Now apply this to the person whose four fingers are pointing back at himself.

          • Andy

            I love this comment.

          • Guy Norred

            Re your third to last paragraph–absolutely! And in my experience, eventually they start to realize that God has beenaanswering all along and they needed to stop listening to all the voices contradicting God and accept the gift He gave them that is their sexuality.

        • Andy

          I was going to have one big long post to reply to all of this, but I thought you might be more inclined to read it if I didn’t cram it all into one. So, here goes:

          If you’re quoting Leviticus, I’ll remind you that you can’t pick and choose. So, if you’re going to use this to condemn gays, you also have to condemn tattoos, shaving, the eating of unclean animals, and some other things that nobody adheres to anymore. If you don’t, you’re a hypocrite.

          There is also the question of whether or not Leviticus (which probably wasn’t written by Moses) should actually apply to everyone, which is debatable. The Levites were unique among the Israeli tribes, and they had a very specific role. In short, it’s understandable that God may have intended for there to be specific rules applying to them, possibly so that their continued health and existence was assured. But things are different now, and the Levites are hardly relevant today.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Many scholars agree that Moses didn’t pen any books in the bible, that several were written during the Babylonian exile, which would be after Moses, David, Solomon, all those other kings.

        • Guy Norred

          I haven’t anywhere near the time to go into everything you say here, but I will make a start.

          You seem to be under the impression that if Adam and Eve did not exhibit a trait, then that trait is not of God. With just the two people, an enormous amount of the diversity of humanity is something of which to repent. Say Adam had green eyes, and Eve had blue–then my brown eyes are not from God. God has endowed each of us with many characteristics that could not possibly be broken down into this simple dichotomy. God had a plan for Adam, He had a plan for Eve, and He has a plan for each of us, and each plan is different. Now to be fair, I find the literal interpretation of these passages to be questionable at best (and likely missing out on much that they have to teach us), and at worst, the kind of false teaching that the writer of 1st Timothy, whoever he might have been, warned against when he spoke of those who devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. I may question some of his motives elsewhere in the letter, but here I think his advise is sound.

          Do we really have to go into all the things that are listed as abominations in Leviticus? Though, if you are to take that as proof of immorality, it says nothing about lesbians so…

          • hawaiiangurl

            Yes God did create Adam and Eve certain traits like different color eyes and stuff. Maybe they were skinny, maybe they were fat, maybe they were both blonde, maybe they were brown-haired, whatever. But God didn’t find those traits as important to mention in the book of Genesis as He did to mention that one was male and one was female. Yes God does have a different plan for each of us, but He had one plan for a man and a woman- to be straight. Simple as that. He didn’t say that a man would go into another man’s house to be with him as husband and. . .husband(?), but for a woman to go into her husband’s house to be husband and wife. And for lesbians, they’re pretty much the same thing as gays, so please just don’t.

          • Andy

            Nuh uh. Sorry, you said there was no translation error. So we’re going to take Leviticus 20:13 at the translation you provided. It doesn’t say anything about women. Lesbians are A-OK.

            Nanny nanny boo boo.

          • hawaiiangurl

            Fine. As I quoted from the first verse “people who practice homosexuality.” And in Romans 1 Paul says that “even women were laying with women.” or whatever. So there.

          • Andy

            So everything that Paul said is sacrosanct? Like 1 Corinthians 14:34?

          • hawaiiangurl

            That’s taking a verse totally out of context. The church of Corinth was really messed up and Paul was just giving directions to straighten them out when they are worshiping because they weren’t doing anything right. Paul doesn’t say that women couldn’t talk at all during church throughout his whole letter to Corinth, because in 1 Corinthians 11:5, he says that a woman can pray and prophesy in church and can speak during worship services. But let’s face it, women tend to chatter a lot and generally more than men. Paul was just telling the women to just be quiet and talk while they were at home. And Paul was referring to a specific situation, so yeah. Also the view of women was different in those days.

          • Andy

            Oh, so it’s okay for society’s view of women to evolve, but not the stance on gender relations? Good to know. I’ve seen less picking and choosing at a cafeteria.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Women tend to chatter alot and generally more than men? HA! My husband talks more than I. You ought to work where I do. Women are in the minority and trust me, men are not only chatterboxes but gifted gossips as well.

          • hawaiiangurl

            Obviously Paul was talking about the women in the church in Corinth, not your workplace.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            “But let’s face it, women tend to chatter a lot and generally more than men”
            Your words, not Paul’s.

          • http://www.whoaisnotme.net/anakinmcfly Anakin McFly

            Oh, just to add:

            “But let’s face it, women tend to chatter a lot and generally more than men.”

            This isn’t true, actually; there have been a bunch of studies done in which everything a person said was recorded throughout the day. In some studies they did find that women talked more, but in others they found that men talked more, and yet others showed that there was no difference. In cases where there was a difference, it wasn’t anything significant.

            One of the reasons people perceive women to talk more is the situations in which it happens. Men tend to talk a lot more in work/office/political settings, because they usually have the positions of authority and thus hold more meetings, give more lectures, and so on. They run more of society, and this requires a lot of talking. In cases where men are the main breadwinners and many women are housewives, men basically talk a lot at work; and then when they get home and have exhausted their word quota for the day, their wife is there to chat to them because she hasn’t had that same outlet apart from maybe a few friends; and he then perceives her to be talking a lot, even though at the end of the day they’ve both said about the same number of words.

            Regarding that particular instance in the Bible though, you’re right in that Paul was referring to a specific church. If I recall correctly, he might have been referring to a specific group of women who were being disruptive at that church, rather than women in general, but decided to give a blanket condemnation because he’s not a very nice guy.

            At the same time, several scholars have pointed out that this particular verse did not exist in some earlier Biblical manuscripts, and there’s the possibility that it was a later addition, *not* by Paul. They mention how it doesn’t seem to fit into the flow of the rest of the passage, which has also led others to speculate that Paul was actually quoting someone else, rather than using his own words; such are the pitfalls of not having effective punctuation. :( That verse about women needing to keep silent was followed immediately after with “Or did the word of God orig­i­nate with you? Or are you the only peo­ple it has reached?” which would seem, in that context, to be rebuking the men who believed that women should be silent; if not, it doesn’t follow naturally from the part before and sticks out as odd.

            Oh, I found the article! -> http://coolingtwilight.com/putting-words-in-pauls-mouth-women-shut-up/

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Traits…like people born with both sexual organs? The Bible doesn’t mention that, yet that is a genetic quality that exists in humanity. So if that is something that isn’t mentioned in scripture, what proof is there that people born gay, or transgendered are not also genetic qualities that exist in humanity? To assume that the Bible contains all that we need to know about human physiology is laughable.
            They didn’t even understand the biology of reproduction all those thousands of years ago, thinking that women just were the “fertile ground” and all the make up of a future child was found in the man’s “seed”. If they were wrong on that, and other things we’ve since proven incorrect according to their very limited understanding of biology, chemistry and astronomy.

          • hawaiiangurl

            In the beginning God created man and woman. Opposite genders. One had male sexual organs and the other had female sexual organs. God never intended for there to be transgender or gay (or lesbian if you want to be technical). Sin polluted nearly everything on this earth since the first sin, and of it came transgender and homosexuality. I’m not saying that the people themselves who are gay are an abomination to the world and should be wiped out, but their mentality is wrong. Also, if love is love is love, what if someone wanted to marry their dog? Should they be able to? There are people who do want to marry animals. Is that right? Or will it become right eventually just because many people are doing it? No. Just because a lie is “normal” that doesn’t mean it’s not a lie.

          • Andy

            The idea that there’s even a shred of similarity between same-sex attraction and bestiality is appalling.

            You don’t have to like homosexuality. All we ask is that, if you don’t like it, you simply leave gays alone. Don’t condemn them. They aren’t harming you. It is absolutely no one else’s business what goes on between two people that love each other.

            If that’s too much to ask, then you’re probably on the wrong website.

          • http://www.whoaisnotme.net/anakinmcfly Anakin McFly

            “like people born with both sexual organs? The Bible doesn’t mention that”

            Actually it does. ‘Some were born eunuchs’, etc.

          • Marie Perkins Moore

            It does say in Romans that the women leaving the natural use of their bodies ,,,,

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            And what is a natural use of a woman’s body? Women deciding to not be baby factories and instead using contraception, women doing the same job as men…you know those jobs guys think women are just too weak and talentless for, women deciding not to be the “receptacle of some man’s pleasure”?

            There is a whole lot of ambiguity in that “natural use of a woman’s body”, isn’t there?

          • Guy Norred

            Hawaiiangurl brought forth Leviticus to back up her reading of Paul. Are you bringing up Paul to back up your reading of Leviticus?

        • thewordofme

          You write:
          “If God intended there to be homosexuality, then why did He just create Adam and Eve in the garden? If He wanted to include homosexuality along with heterosexuality, then why didn’t He make two couples of two guys and two girls along with Adam and Eve? It totally corrupts God’s original plan for human kind. There was no homosexuality in the beginning of time and that’s what God wanted it to be.

          Well, the easy answer is that some God did not create Adam and Eve. There never was an Adam and Eve as written in the Bible. This is known fact.

          You write:
          “There was no homosexuality in the beginning of time and that’s what God wanted it to be.”

          That is pure speculation and putting words where there is none.

        • Lamont Cranston

          If God didn’t intend for people to be gay he shouldn’t have made me that way. If that’s a problem for you, you can either get over it or worry about it until it kills you. It doesn’t matter to me which you choose.

      • Grendel007

        Everything you’ve read in the Bible is a translation, unless you wrote it. Even reading in the original language means you are translating the authors intent. So I guess that pretty much means any part if it says whatever you want it to. That’s AWESOME! I can do whatever I want ala guy (God’s personal clarifier)!

        • Guy Norred

          If I implied any personal infallibility of my own, it was entirely unintentional. All I really mean is that at base we all bring baggage to our reading of scripture and understanding of God. None of this is to say that I do not sincerely believe myself to be right in this regard and because of this also hope to convince others, but I would add, I did not come to this without first starting with an opposite point of view.

  • veritatis_splendor

    When we read a verse, it’s important to discern its right context and meaning.

    Luke 18:25 was addressed to the rich young man whom Jesus was calling to follow him along with the Apostles. This is a special calling. Not everyone is called to this lifestyle, the same way that people today not all become priests or monks who take the vow of poverty.

    The other verses speak of the evil of greed and attachment to/inordinate love of money. Take note that these verses don’t say that money or possessions by are bad in themselves. They only speak against giving much emphasis on gaining money as if they are the main goal in life, as well as the great responsibility rich people have because of their wealth (to whom much is given, much is expected, Luke 12:48) It’s good good when money is justly earned and when it is shared to the needy. It’s bad when one grows so attached to money that one tries to gain it at the expense of others and when rich people despite their abundance turn a blind eye to those in need.

    The reason why money is not bad in itself is obvious. You cannot give money to the poor when you yourself have no money. Right? 😉

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      One can be poor and still give something of value, a hug, babysitting for a sick friend, or a blanket, or a place at the table, where everyone shares a meal of pinto beans and cornbread, and most importantly, friendship . Possessions are only of value when they are used, and sharing our possessions is an excellent way to use them.

    • Andrew

      That’s the whole point of this article. If people are taking the verses that are somehow about homosexuality literally, why aren’t they taking the parts where Jesus was talking about money literally? It’s a challenge against cherry pickers. Otherwise, your post is spot on in my opinion.

  • veritatis_splendor

    BTW, while Jesus did not directly speak about homosexuality, he spoke about sex and marriage: Matthew 19:4-6

    “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    Jesus just affirmed that in God’s plan in creation, he created only two genders: the male and the female, and it is the two destined to be united in marriage. The reason Jesus didn’t speak about homosexuality is that it is out of his plan.

    This only confirms what we already know by natural reason and human biology: that the male is designed for the female and vice versa. Let’s not pervert the plan that God has designed in creation. If we do so, we will be only hurting ourselves because we would not be living up to what we were designed for.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      I really do wish people would come up with new material, instead of dragging out the same sad stuff all the time that just doesn’t hold up under minimal scrutiny, and read up on biology and zoology that has been written after the early 1900s. After awhile it all just gets boring.

      • Andy

        I had a response to this, but I decided yours was better.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          Welcome to me working the night shift, the squirrels that man the hamster wheel that run my brain are on caffiene laced overdrive.

          • Andy

            Well you caught a comment that couldn’t have been up for a minute before I redacted it, so, well done!

      • Johnny

        Biology after the early 1900’s, you mean like nazi eugenics?

    • Andy

      [redacted]

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        I am also wondering about people who don’t want to get married. Are they shunning their “destiny”? Considering that Paul seemed to think it was ok to remain single, then maybe “god’s plan” is a whole lot more complex then that.

        • Andy

          Dammit, I was hoping no one would see this.

          Okay, so the comment I redacted was challenging the assertion that God intended all men and women to procreate with each other, because some of them are unable to (impotence, defects, etc.) I redacted it because after I read allegro’s comment I realized I’ve made this point before…

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Its almost feels sometime that we are in a veritable time loop aka groundhog day, where the same stuff is trotted out, and we have to try every variation of creative countering imaginable in hopes of breaking that damnable loop.

          • Andy

            Ha! That analogy works surprisingly well.

            So how do we break out?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I can only think of heavy doses of satire and a shrubbery, but I think I’ve tried that before with no success.

          • Andy

            Did you try cutting down the tallest tree with a herring?

    • http://www.whoaisnotme.net/anakinmcfly Anakin McFly

      So now the question is… if God didn’t make intersex people, who did?

      (My money is on the same entity that created Steve.)

      • http://www.whoaisnotme.net/anakinmcfly Anakin McFly

        Nooo, why did that comment get deleted before I got a chance to see it? D: I need to know who created Steve!

  • Adam334

    A theory as porous as a luffa! What a blind stab in the dark!! I’m praying that you guys here at patheos will come to the knowledge of truth! Be blessed.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Ah, another “first timer” to disqus. Seriously people, if you are going to troll our forum, please come up with original material.

      • John Smith

        Why do you ridicule those who are just joining the conversations? I have not heard of Disqus until today and I’m certain that John Shore does not want a bunch of “allegro63’s” pouncing on everyone who shares an opinion about his article…especially if you are a moderator! Once again, your intolerance is becoming intolerable. You know what it means to demand tolerance, don’t you? I’m sure you scream it loud every chance you get and then ban those who don’t fall in line. Good grief!

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

          Your persecution complex is showing.

      • Adam334

        Haha, well…I *was* about to say something about Swiss cheese but…. :)

  • John Smith

    As a Christian who studies the Bible (and learns from it daily), I disagree with the author’s opinion. Pulling passages out of context while trying to play “gotcha'” instead of looking at the whole counsel of God is what many people do in order to make the Bible fit a line of thinking that is comfortable to them. But one important point is being missed. The author does NOT say that homosexual behavior is acceptable before God. As well he shouldn’t. Even if the authors opinion was “spot on”, then in the final analysis the best that can be said about the article is that many Christians are hypocrites. And on that point, I certainly agree.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      You made a Disqus account just to say that? Let me guess, your last account has already been banned here.

      • John Smith

        Stalk much? I’m guessing that once upon a time you created a Disqus account in order to make a comment as well. And by the way, your intolerance is showing…..again.

  • JWells

    For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions . . . (2 Timothy 4:3, ESV)

  • Johnny

    This is an interesting channel of patheos I’ve never heard of, these “unfundamentalists”. Hard to tell if this is just a channel for liberal unitarian methodists or sneaky athies (or both.) Still, the discussion has been an interesting one.

    I don’t get too hung up on the homo issue. I personally think it’s questionable Biblically, but then again, I think it’s questionable when a Christian couple has one kid and then the man decides to get his body surgically morphed to avoid having any more children (as if that’s any less of a biblical violation of God’s design for human sexuality.)

    Seems like we get too hung up on this issue and there are much bigger issues, and while the main article above is seriously flawed, I have known folks at church driving $50k vehicles, living in mansions and otherwise openly flaunting a love of money, which to me isn’t much different than overtly flaunting an alternative lifestyle.

    Still working out this issue. Its been an interesting study

    • Guy Norred

      Johnny,

      While admitting a certain twinge at your use of some phrases I usually see as red flags, the open mind you exhibit in this post is, speaking for myself, what I wish everyone could bring to this. Thank you for this.

      By the way, I was intrigued enough to check out a little of what you have said elsewhere. Loved the post on the baker article.

      Guy

    • Andy

      I think we’d like to hear what flaws you found in the article.

  • Greg Galpin

    For anybody who has read the entire Bible without imposing their own agenda on it, there is NO question about what God thinks about sin. Rationalize all you want, God’s not going to play your games.

    • adam

      Really?
      And (minus YOUR agenda) what would that be?
      As it appears virtually no two people agree 100%.

      • Greg Galpin

        Are you serious? Anybody who has read the Bible, as I stated, cannot ignore what God thinks about sin – there is no ambiguity or question at all. Starting back in Genesis, He’s clearly said that the wages of sin is death, so ultimately, somebody’s got to die for it. We get to choose whether or not it’s us, or we accept His gift – believing in Jesus, who sacrificed His life once for all. And that doesn’t mean an intellectual belief, it means trusting in, relying on, and clinging to Him. And if we’re doing that, we’re supposed to think the same thing about sin that He does: hate it and turn from it – don’t compromise, rationalize, or make excuses for it… and certainly don’t encourage others to practice it. The New Testament is FULL of that instruction. It also has has a warning that everybody should pay attention to, as spoken by Jesus Himself in Matthew 7:21-23

        “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

        • Andy

          It doesn’t make sense to me that God would create us, as diverse and imperfect as we are, and then demand such strict adherence to a code of rules that wasn’t committed in writing for many years after the events in Genesis (allegedly) took place, upon pain of death. But that’s just my opinion.

          • Greg Galpin

            I struggle with that too… but all I really need to remember is that He sent Jesus to take care of all that. All we need to do is take His word for it and accept His free gift.

          • adam

            He sent Jesus to take care of all that.

            Don’t ‘Christians’ worship Jesus AS god?

            Doesn’t that mean he sent himself?

          • Andy

            But don’t we want to know why he sent Jesus? It isn’t enough for the intellectually curious to simply accept that something that consequential happened. We want to know why. Why was that necessary?

          • Greg Galpin

            He sent Jesus to show the extent of His love for us, and according to the Bible, it’ll take all eternity for God to demonstrate how much He loves us while we’re with Him in heaven.

            But in order for Him to do that, we have to do it on His terms: accept Jesus’ sacrifice in our place on faith. He made the method so simple that anyone could do it, (and probably also so we wouldn’t have to spend eternity with a bunch of insufferable fatheads bragging about how they “saved themselves” by their works… there’s no place for pride in heaven, Satan demonstrated that), but He won’t overrule our free-will.

          • Andy

            So let me get this straight…you’re saying that God loves us so much he can’t demonstrate it to us in a timely fashion…us mortal beings that are imperfect and sin. And because he hates sin, he sent his son to die for all the sins of all time. And if we believe that this happened and for that reason, we’ll go to heaven, and if we don’t, we won’t? Whether or not we were “good people” (albeit by a standard defined somewhat arbitrarily by mankind), we go to heaven if we believe, and hell if we don’t? Is that what you’re saying?

          • adam

            Exactly, the Adam and Eve story makes no sense at all.
            Adam (and subsequentially ALL life) was punished for Adam’s innocence of not knowing the difference between good and evil.

            By an “all knowing god”?

          • Andy

            Hence the allegorical interpretation.

          • adam

            If only all would interpret all the bible allegorically.

    • Andy

      He’s not? That’s a shame. And I thought we got our sense of humor from him. I figure he would be a riot to play Cards Against Humanity with.

      • Greg Galpin

        Sinning isn’t a game to God. It’s serious enough to where He had to die an excruciating death on a cross to pay our price for it, because we can’t.

        • Guy Norred

          Well, I think the real point, for the moment, is not how God sees sin, but what God sees as sin.

          • Greg Galpin

            And He made that abundantly clear throughout the Bible. There is no escaping it.

          • Guy Norred

            So far I see nothing really on which to disagree with you. Am I missing something?

          • Greg Galpin

            I hope not… I just took your first comment as arguing about what activities are sinful.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            What activities are sinful are of course debatable. Therein lies the problem.

          • Greg Galpin

            No, it’s really not if people really study the Bible and are truly saved. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin and tells us what’s right, and what God (still) doesn’t approve of. God hasn’t changed, and His moral laws are still in effect. If people aren’t spiritually reborn, then yeah – there’s probably going to be all kinds of arguments about “interpretations” of the Bible, because those things are spiritually discerned (1 Corinthians 2:14).

          • Guy Norred

            I still see nothing to really disagree with in the words you write. The Holy Spirit does show us our sins and also shows us the sins in the world around us, and while sometimes we willfully don’t listen, we are also often either deaf to His voice or just never quiet the voices of this world enough to discern that He is even talking to us. I also agree that God doesn’t change, but thankfully, with the help and continuing revelation of the Spirit, we do.

          • Raymond Watchman

            I think the problem is compounded by the fact we tend to see sin as “activity”. In other words, we take a superficial judgmental view and thus inevitably default to trying to “control” activity through the futile imposition of some or other legalism. My own understanding of the Gospel is that God does not so much view an activity as sin, but rather as a manifestation of sin – in other words, the sin lies in the underlying cause of the activity, not in the activity itself. Why? Because our God is a God of compassion, healing and restoration, not a God of condemnation and rejection. For this reason, I believe God is not so much interested in what we do, but why we do it. Please read my previous comments concerning sexuality and promiscuity for a more in-depth discourse on this subject. Legalism seeks to control. Grace seeks to liberate.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            And that is your take. Not everyone here sees it that way.

          • Raymond Watchman

            Hi allegro. I’m not sure what you mean and I do hope I didn’t unintentionally cause you offense. Maybe I didn’t express it well. What I’m trying to say is that in my view, God is interested in healing the causes of our destructive behaviours, not in just trying to control them through imposed legalisms. I believe in a God of compassion, not a God of condemnation – because that has been my experience of God. Robbed of compassion, the Gospel, for me, is meaningless. This is what I repeatedly try to get across to those who use Scripture to feed and justify their apparent homophobia.
            Having said, I do accept there are many sincere “Bible believing” Christians who, while not able to condone homosexual activity, agree the Bible does not condemn homosexuality per se (and by implication, GLBT people), and are every bit as compassionate as I believe you and I are in their attitude towards such people. I hope I graciously accept this to be the case, even though they and I would probably not agree on the issue of gay sexual activity within committed, monogamous relationships.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            And apparently I read your last comment with too much distraction, folding laundry while one of the children is calling for fifth time that day…or was it the 18 month old granddaughter who has figured out that pushing these buttons gets Nana on the other end?

            You are of course correct. Sometimes I need to put my speed reading skills into low gear and pay better attention.

            Personally I don’t care who someone has sex with, but I’m completely on board with monogamy. There is security there, and so much room for so many other things, that less committed relationship can offer.The only sexual encounters I have problems with are those that are coerced, forced, where a child is involved, or where one party has little regard for the care, or feelings of the other.

          • Raymond Watchman

            Thanks so much for that. As a father of five and grandfather of nine I entirely understand!
            A hug from New Zealand. :-)

        • Andy

          It’s kind of difficult to logically support the position that Jesus had to “die an excruciating death on a cross to pay our price for it, because we can’t.”

          Also, what Guy and Allegro said.

          • Greg Galpin

            No it isn’t if you read the Old Testament. A kinsman-Redeemer had to buy us our of our slavery to sin. And that person had to be able to pay the debt – so if he was a sinner, he couldn’t even pay his own debt. Jesus paid our debt by taking God’s wrath that would have been ours, if nobody buys us out of it.

            There isn’t enough space in this forum to go through it all, but it’s all perfectly logical and constant throughout the Bible. The Books of Romans and Hebrews explains it all very well.

          • adam

            Jesus paid our debt by taking God’s wrath that would have been ours, if nobody buys us out of it.

            Isn’t Jesus GOD?

          • Greg Galpin

            Yep, but He was also man at the time. He came down here, took on the form of a man and lived a perfect sinless life, that’s why He could be our kinsman-redeemer.

          • adam

            Then let me rephrase your statement in context:

            Jesus paid our debt by taking Jesus’s wrath that would have been ours,….

            ???

            This is not even borrowing from Peter to pay Paul.

          • Greg Galpin

            God is a trinity – three distinct individuals (the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) in one being. Nobody really knows how to explain it so we can understand it. I sometimes think of “God” as the family surname (for example, say that I’m standing in the park with my dad and brother, and somebody yells ‘hey Galpin’. All three of us will look. But if they yell ‘hey Greg’, only I will look). Another way I’ve thought about it is when you use a projector to blend the primary colors (red, blue, and yellow), you get white… but you call all of them light, individually and collectively.

            So let me rephrase what I said:

            The Son paid our debt by taking the Father’s wrath that would have been ours,….

            Bear in mind that God (the Father) didn’t force Jesus to do anything, so He wasn’t being tyrannical toward His Son. It was the plan of redemption from the beginning, and “all three Gods” were on board with it. There are several of verses about it all (in both testaments).

          • adam

            Nobody really knows how to explain it so we can understand it.

            Obviously, which is why is sounds so absurd if you don’t ALREADY believe it.

            Why does God need a plan of redemption for something he created in the first place?

            If I were offended by my creation, I could forgive them.
            To plan out a human sacrifice of my ‘Father’s part of me Son, so I could forgive people of what I imposed on them in the first place as the ‘Father’ part of me.

            So in your example:

            YOUR father started a feud with all his grand children because a couple of them didn’t respect his wishes,(their children, etc), and would only end the feud with the torture and death of you.

            How can you even find this concept morally acceptable?

          • Greg Galpin

            Because I know, God, and I know, what His intentions for me are. I also know, what He did for me to save me from myself. I was as guilty as anybody for my whole life – several decades – yet He forgave me once I dropped my preconditions for salvation and started earnestly seeking Him and following Him. I’m living proof of His grace. If He were wanting to send anybody to Hell, I certainly deserved it.

            God gave us a free will, He showed us the way, but He won’t force us to accept Him. The Holy Spirit tells us when we’re not right with Him (our consciences – something that evolutionists can’t explain), and He draws us to Himself. It all comes down to our own choices, and if we end up in Hell, it’ll be because we pushed Jesus aside in order to get there. And He certainly won’t force anybody who spent their entire life avoiding, ignoring, and even hating Him to spend eternity in Heaven with Him (and people like me).

            God gives us all plenty of warning during our lives, while Satan tells us to question His motivations, His morals, His rules, His judgement, and His love for us. Sadly, Satan helps most people convince themselves that their morals are ‘better than’ God’s, and they ignore His warnings until they can’t even hear Him calling anymore.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            If we KNOW God, KNOW God’s intentions, KNOW all that God has done in the past, and in the future, then doesn’t that make God a rather mundane, deity, of little to learn from and respect? And if Satan has that much influence, and apparently, according to this line of reasoning that seems to be the case, if not more, seeing the belief that Satan ends up with the larger portion of the human pie, then doesn’t that make this deity as powerful as God, if not more so?

            It is those questions that had me just set the concept of hell, Satan and most of evangelical theology aside. It is also those questions that turned me towards a more mystical view of God.

          • Greg Galpin

            I said I know God, I didn’t say I know everything He has done or will do, just what He has chosen to reveal to us. All that the widespread influence of Satan proves is that most people prefer the darkness to light – just as Jesus said. It also proves God’s amazing patience with a bunch of prideful, rebellious people, and His amazing grace that’s available to us all.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            OK. I’m confused. If you know God and other people know god, but how they know of is not how you know god…then what is the problem?

          • Greg Galpin

            By reading the Bible and praying daily, we know what He wants of us. … Kind of like our conscience is exponentially amplified. The Holy Spirit guides us.

          • adam

            Don’t people who disagree with you do the SAME thing?

          • Greg Galpin

            Maybe. But if a person isn’t saved, God doesn’t have a relationship with them… He knows them from afar (Psalm 138:6). That’s very clear in the Bible. Until a person is saved, the Holy Spirit isn’t in them, He’s beside them – telling them that they need to repent because there’s a judgement coming for everything we do (what most people dismiss as their nagging conscience). Until they do that, they don’t have the Holy Spirit living in them.

          • adam

            Since you seem to have a “personal relationship” with your god, send over to me, I have been looking for him for almost 50 years. IF he is omnipotent he knows exactly what I need from him to believe.
            It is not ‘free will’ under the threat of hell.
            It is coercion.
            It also seems obvious that you and I have different notions of “love”.
            I don’t threaten those that I love if they don’t love me back.
            I make it clear to them that I love them.
            I don’t hide and seek vengance because they don’t recognize my love.

          • Greg Galpin

            Every Christian has a personal relationship with Jesus – if we don’t, we’re not saved. If you’ve been honestly seeking Him with your whole heart, you would find Him. How have you been seeking Him? Have you attended a Bible-believing and teaching church… or one that preaches to scratch people’s itching ears? Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God – not little feel-good sermons about the preacher’s personal thoughts. That’s what worked for me – I got saved when I was 50 because I finally swallowed my pride and took God at His word.

            As far as your judging God about His ‘threatening’ us with Hell, He stated that it was never intended for humans (Matthew 25:41), it was made the devil and his angels. We’re choosing sides in this life, and if that’s where he’s going to be – so will we, there’s only two places to spend eternity.

            And I really don’t know how God could have demonstrated His love for you any more thoroughly than the crucifixion.

          • adam

            Everyone that I have a personal relations, I could contact them and they could directly communicate to you the relationship that we have, and if they wanted to have a personal relationship with you – they could.

            Yes, I have honestly been seeking god/gods.

            I have read and studied the bible, that study is why I cannot believe that it is the ‘word of god’.

            Matthew 5:22

            AND

            “Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”Matthew 10:28

            And I really don’t know how God could have demonstrated His love for you any more thoroughly than the crucifixion.

            Seriously?

            Love is torturing your child and I having it killed?

            I find this impossible to comprehend as love.

            1love
            noun ˈləv
            a feeling of strong or constant affection for a person

            Full Definition of SADOMASOCHISM
            : the derivation of pleasure from the infliction of physical or mental pain either on others or on oneself

          • Greg Galpin

            So you say you’ve read and studied the Bible… but didn’t mention how you did it. I specifically asked you if you went to a Bible-believing and teaching church, which you didn’t answer, so I assume the answer is “no”. You do realize that God gives people the gift of teaching for a reason, don’t you? You should, if you’ve really read and studied the Bible. In fact, in 1st Corinthians 2:14 it tells us:

            But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

            That means that people are not going to find God with just their intellect. God gave us enough brains to read verses like that and realize that we can’t perceive everything, but He does put people here who can guide us to the right path to find Him. How come people refuse to acknowledge that principle, but have no problem admitting that we can’t see ultraviolet light, hear ultrasonic sounds, or ‘feel’ love? Why do people think that we should be able to pry our way into a spiritual world with carnal means?

            Also, if you’d been reading and studying the Bible, you should have noticed the prophecies scattered throughout the Old Testament. Most of them point to Jesus – and they were so specific that only Jesus could fulfill them (do a Google search for a short book called Science Speaks by Peter W. Stoner for the specifics on some of those verses, and the odds of one person fulfilling them). But many other verses tell history in advance – like Daniel Chapters 8 and 11, which are so specific that for years, enemies of God tried to say that they were written after the events… too bad for them that they were found in the Dead Sea Scrolls (and in the Septuagint, which was translated before the events happened), which shot that argument down. The abundance of fulfilled prophesies in the Bible prove that it’s Gods word.

            Your last statement mocking God’s method and sacrifice in order to save us from judgement isn’t worthy of a response. But it makes me seriously question just how honestly you’ve been searching for God. It looks like you’re searching for a God that you can be comfortable with.

          • adam

            Sorry, your assumption is wrong.

            And no, I don’t find the prophecies of the OT to be about Jesus, quite the contrary.
            If TRUTH is our goal, the objective of our language should be to CLARIFY, IDENTIFY and EDIFY, not obfuscate.
            It STILL seems like you and I have different definitions of ‘love’, too bad you are ‘above’ responding…

          • Greg Galpin

            Sorry for wasting your time. I mistakenly believed that you were really seeking God. You’ve proved otherwise with your hateful attitude toward Him, because He doesn’t allow you to mold Him into something that’s comfortable for you.

          • adam

            You do understand that I can’t hate something that I don’t believe in?
            If it is true, then of course I want to believe.
            And thanks not wasting any more of my time with ad hominems.

          • Greg Galpin

            You’re right, I shouldn’t have done that, I’m sorry. I tried to delete the last of that post but couldn’t find it on this ridiculous disqus forum. Good luck to you.

          • adam

            Thanks, NP.
            Best wishes to you as well.

          • RealityFD

            God IS: Father, Son, Holy Spirit. The Father is not the Son or the Holy Spirit, The Son is not the Father or the Holy Spirit, The Holy Spirit is not the Father or the Son.
            What is a cherub? An angel.
            What are cherubim? Angels, plural, more than one.
            In English we use an “s” to pluralize things, In Hebrew/Aramaic “im” make things plural. First sentence of the Bible: In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The word God is ElohIM. God, plural. When Elohim created man; God said, “Let US make man in OUR image, in OUR likeness . . . are you getting it? The Bible teaches that God exists eternally as three distinct persons.

          • adam

            So Jesus is NOT God….

            So Christians only worship a sub deity, or a subset of that deity

            Thanks that is the same way I would have read it.

            Not all that unlike Hinduism.

            From an outsider, you can understand that the way the majority profess monotheism that this seems deliberately contradictory and invokes a deliberate cognitive dissonance.

            dis·tinct
            : different in a way that you can see, hear, smell, feel, etc. : noticeably different
            : easy to see, hear, smell, feel, etc.
            : strong and definite
            But the question remains,
            .
            .
            Why would ONE part of God need to send another part of God to relieve the WRATH of that God?
            More cognitive dissonance.

          • Andy

            That doesn’t explain why. Why is God so wrathful, in this exercise? Why does he not love his children unconditionally? Why would he condemn his own children to hell?

          • RealityFD

            Misconception: ALL are God’s creation, NOT all or God’s children. Children/Sons of God is a rarely used phrase in the Bible and Romans 9:8 says: They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God: but the children of the promise are counted for the seed. To become a child of God you must be born into his family; “born again” of the Spirit, as Jesus told Nicodemus in John chapter 3. John 1 says that those who received him (The Word/Jesus), those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.
            Obviously, there are many who reject Jesus; they are not God’s children. There are some who “believe in him” but reject his Word, not sure how that works, but personally, I’m not gonna bank on that.
            Why is God wrathful? Because he’s holy. God’s holiness is something I don’t think we’ll fully understand in this life, but we get a glimpse of it in relationships of authority/rank; Be it parent/child or boss/employee. Why do parents discipline/punish their children if they love them? And a boss may care about, even love an employee but that doesn’t excuse the employee from being suspended or fired if they break certain rules. God already proved his unconditional love for us through Jesus going to the cross on our behalf. The responsibility is now on us to repent of sin and believe in him . . . or not. The “not” seems to take a lot of colors these days, some dismiss, some distort truth, some attack it. Whatever the case, all will stand before a Holy, Loving, Awesome God and be judged accordingly.

          • Andy

            …you do realize that this won’t convince any non-Christians, right? Logically speaking, it’s full of holes. And you’re throwing around buzzwords, which doesn’t really help you connect with non-Christians, either.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Yeah, I’m a Christian and I’m unconvinced. To me it makes God out to be more like an abusive parent or spouse. I just can’t follow a deity like that.

          • RealityFD

            You should take this future-telling act on the road and make some money. I find it quite amazing that you can say what affect my words will have on “any” (every) non-Christian (as if I made such a claim to begin with). It’s also amazing that you would call out my logic as being ‘full of holes’ but not give clarity as to what those holes are; that’s illogical! I wasn’t responding to every non-Christian, I was responding to you. And not only did I give you biblical reference (so you could read them in context for your self, and maybe understand), but I also gave you very simple, everyday examples to compare it to. If you don’t understand that, I’m sorry, but speak for yourself, not the whole of non-Christians who may read my posts or have a conversation with me.
            And what “buzzwords?” Your question mentioned “wrath”, “unconditional love”, and “condemnation to hell.” That’s Christianese if I ever heard it, so I figured maybe you could comprehend on the same level in which you yourself spoke.
            . . . It seems you’re not really interested in actually hearing answers to your questions . . . you’re just posing them for the sake of argument . . . am I right?

          • Andy

            I don’t want to plagiarize John’s book, but he goes into plenty of detail about why non-Christians don’t want to hear things like “you’re going to hell if you don’t repent and accept Jesus.” It’s a good read, and I would recommend it.

            There was a time in my life when I thought all non-Christians would go to hell. I no longer think that, and I have no desire to think that again. I am not comfortable with the idea of so many great and wonderful people going to hell simply because they aren’t/weren’t Christian, especially when I know a number of people who are ostensibly Christians but really aren’t very good people. This is kind of a form of what some people have called the atheist’s wager. I call myself a Christian, but I tend to agree with that anyway.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I am in a similar camp Andy. The more I thought about the whole hell thing, and why it was taught, the more distasteful unfair, and cruel it became to me. Then I took a World Religion’s class, taught by a Southern Baptist teacher, who just couldn’t quite keep from trying to convert the non- christians in the class..

            Comparing how different faiths, taught, how they have similar roots, and how newer ones have borrowed heavily from older ones, had me rethinking a lot of things, and piqued my curiosity even further. Hell and afterlife teachings were different, yet each had one thing in common, man’s desire to end well, and to determine a not nice for fate for those they figured did not deserve to end well.

          • RealityFD

            I don’t recommend that approach either, which is why I don’t use it. But again, I was responding to your very specific questions about God’s wrath vs. His love.

            It seems, the problem is, you think being a good person is what makes you acceptable to God or gets you to heaven. I’m sure you know that’s not what the Bible teaches . . . (I hope you do). The trouble with that thinking is that you have to 1) define what “good” is 2) Determine how much good one must do. It also sucks for all the bad people out there; they either have no hope or they have to spend the rest of their lives trying to do enough good to outweigh all the bad they did. Also, it’s totally unrealistic to the world we see around us. If I stand before a court of law and tell a judge “I’m really sorry for all the illegal stuff I did, but I did a lot of legal stuff too.” Only the worst judge ever would say, “Okay, I forgive you, you’re free to go.” No sir, the crime must be paid for. Jesus is our payment.

            Your hopes and discomfort can’t save yourself or anyone else. And your good works aren’t good enough to get you into heaven. Also, you’re not a good person to begin with, neither am I. I mess up everyday; God forbid I bank on my own morality to get me into heaven. What would you say to justify yourself before God?

            You say you’re a Christian, but you don’t seem to understand the gospel of CHRIST, which would be the root of being Christian. I mean, you’re asking why Christ died . . . Why do you think you lack the understanding of what the Bible teaches?

          • Andy

            I absolutely understand the gospel. And I was playing devil’s advocate from the perspective of a non-Christian.

            I am not a “good” person by the standards of the sinless. I would like to think I’m a good person by earthly standards, though. “That’s not enough,” you might say, because perhaps you think your interpretation of the bible is better than mine. Do you think you are a better interpreter of what is said in 66 different pieces of writing, written by many different people, many hundreds of years apart, in several languages, none of which was English?

          • RealityFD

            Okay, so, please explain the gospel as you understand it from the Bible. Then I can respond to your question of “better interpretation.”

            I just hope you’re asking that with the sincere understanding that not every interpretation is equally valid or accurate; I know that’s hard for many relativist to get, but it’s only logical.

            Also, for the points you made: “66 different pieces of writing, written by many different people, many hundreds of years apart, in several languages . . .”

            I also hope you realize that this in one of the extraordinary things about the Bible that set it apart from any other religious book. All these people from different times and continents somehow told a complete and unified narrative; to where you have the New Testament making sense of the Old and vice versa, prophets predicting events 10’s, 100’s, even thousands of years before they occur, knowledge of humanity and the world that were beyond the scope of sciences and medicine of the time . . . those points you made, as well as the ones I just made, are not a barrier to interpretation or faith, rather they are amazing truths that support the authenticity and authority of the Bible.

          • Andy

            If it’s so unified, why are there contradictions?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Why is there the assumption that Andy doesn’t understand what the Bible teaches. Could it instead be that Andy sees things from a different perspective…not erroneous, just different? Dismissing someone’s views because they are not yours just shuts the door, and presents a rather presumptions assertion.

          • RealityFD

            More relativism. Let me ask you, could it also be that Andy sees things from a different perspective that is incorrect? . . . Isn’t that also possible? Especially since we live in a world where there are absolutes all around us. I mean seriously, no one lives their life the way you’re describing. Only when it comes to spiritual matters do people seem to lose touch with reality. If you pay for a $10 item with a $20 dollar bill, are you gonna respect the cashiers different PERSPECTIVE to only give you $5 back?
            Especially in writing, an author usually has a specific purpose or point in their writing. Now, many people can come along with all kinds of differing “perspectives” about the meaning of the material, but you truly don’t understand logic if you think all of those differing perspectives can be correct or equally valid. Especially if the author has made clear and concrete statements throughout the material. If the author says the door is wooden and brown, and someone comes along with a “perspective” that the door is wooden and purple with green stripes . . . their perspective is wrong . . . a child can understand this. And it’s not “dismissive” or an unfair “assumption” for me to say it’s wrong. It’s not about disagreeing with MY view, He seems to disagree with the Bible, but he’s saying he’s a Christian, and that is troubling. And where do you see me “dismissing” him anyway? I’m DISAGREEING and explaining why I am.

          • Andy

            Yeah, I could be wrong. So could you. If we both admit we could be wrong, then we’re getting somewhere.

            And thank you, but don’t trouble yourself about me. Me and God are as cool as we can be.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            There is a difference between tangibles…money and exchange of goods, and intangibles, religious belief.
            A writer may say a door is wooden and brown, but how big is the door, is there a window, is it thick, or made of particle board. The perpception isn’t wrong, if the original color of the door was brown, when the author wrote about it, and afterwards someone came a long and painted it. So you see perception is not set in stone.

            If Andy says he’s a Christian, then he is, and I believe him, just as I believe you are. That he doesn’t fit your intangible view of what a proper Christian is, therefore dismissing its validity, is based on nothing but opinion.

          • ttpog

            He is a holy and just God. Kinda of what makes Him God and you not.

          • Andy

            That doesn’t answer the question.

          • ttpog

            It does answer the question. That you don’t like the answer does nothing to diminish that fact. Is a judge who sentences a guilty person to life in prison or to death not acting justly? Do we cry, ‘Judge, why do you condemn guilty persons to death (likely hell)? Why are you ‘so wrathful in this exercise’?

          • Andy

            So you think God is more of a judge than a parent?

          • ttpog

            I am a parent, therefore I am a judge. Same is true of God.

            I answered your question, yet you failed to answer mine. Is a judge who sentences a guilty person to life in prison or to death not acting justly? Do we cry, ‘Judge, why do you condemn guilty persons to death (likely hell)? Why are you ‘so wrathful in this exercise’?

          • Andy

            Well, there’s a pretty big difference. For example, practically every civilized society has condemned murder. So when a judge sentences a person convicted of murder to life in prison or death, you don’t have a lot of people cry foul. I mean, that person killed someone, and not accidentally.

            On the other hand, you have a lot of good people that aren’t Christians. A few of them maybe haven’t heard about Jesus. Most of the others follow another religion or none at all. There are a myriad of reasons why. But for those good people, suppose that God does indeed condemn them to hell for not accepting Jesus. Do you not think many people would take issue with that? I would. I would not want to worship a god like this one:

            “God, why did you condemn him to hell? He was a great man in his time on earth. He gave freely to those less fortunate. He put his family and friends before him. He always loved his fellow man and did right by them as well as any of us people could be expected to.”

            “Yes, but he didn’t accept Jesus as his savior.”

            “But you just allowed another man into heaven who, by our earthly standards, was a terrible person. He abused his family and swore at them. He stole from the company he ran. He cheated on his wife. He did not love his fellow man and took advantage of them every chance he could.”

            “Yes, but he accepted Jesus as his savior.”

            “Really?”

            “Yes. Sorry, my heaven, my rules.”

            I sincerely hope that’s not how God is. I know too many great people who for one reason or another aren’t Christian, and it doesn’t seem just to me that, if there is a heaven, that they wouldn’t go. If life is a test, then they will probably pass, when some ostensible “Christians” will not. And you are not going to convince me that the bible says that the above conversation is the way it’s going to go, so don’t even try.

          • ttpog

            I am aware of many instances where pleas for stays on executions are made. One such plea was recently made in Missouri for a man convicted of murder. It happens often. Eleventh hour stays do happen. However, you still failed to answer my question.

            There is no such thing as ‘good’ people. No one is good, not one. Not me, you, anyone. This according to God, our righteousness (goodness) is as filthy rags. Nothing except repentance, the blood of Jesus and faith in Him alone brings salvation. If being ‘good’ was all that was needed to keep out of hell, Jesus did not need to die and there would be no need of a Savior. Missing hell and gaining eternity has nothing to do with our goodness, only Him. Yes, God will condemn multitudes of ‘good’ people to hell who neglect to repent of their sins, strive to obey and live according to His Word, put their faith in Him alone and trust in His righteousness, not their own. It doesn’t matter that anyone was a ‘great man in his time on earth. He gave freely to those less fortunate. He put his family and friends before him. He always loved his fellow man and did right by them as well as any of us people could be expected to.’ If he failed to make God the Lord of his life, he will be condemned to hell. Again, His rules, not ours….He is God, not us. When you can make anything out of nothing, then you can question His ways. Until then, He alone is God.

            Look at the account of the thief on the cross next to Jesus. He lived a life that led to crucifixion on a cross, yet he is in paradise with Jesus because of his faith in Christ alone. If a person who leads a terrible life and is abusive to family, steals, commits adultery, and has no love for his fellow man does not repent of those sins, believe on the Lord and put faith of salvation in Him alone, he will be condemned to hell. However, if he does these things even late in life, like the thief, he will be forgiven because God is merciful to those who seek Him.

            This is how God is whether people like it or not. By my standards, I too know many ‘good’ and ‘great’ people. Thing is, it is not my standards, your standards, or anyone else’s standards that matter, only God’s, the judge of all mankind.

          • Andy

            So your interpretation of this voluminous collection of ancient writings is better than mine? Excellent. I bow to your superiority.

          • ttpog

            Obviously so.

            Are you capable of answering questions that are posed to you? I have answered all of yours. Is a judge who sentences a guilty person to life in prison or to death not acting justly? Do we cry, ‘Judge, why do you condemn guilty persons to death (likely hell)? Why are you ‘so wrathful in this exercise’? That is a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question.

          • Andy

            You answered the questions, but your answers are obviously based on your interpretation of the bible. Granted, your interpretations are pretty common. That doesn’t make them always right.

            The constitution is the same way. We are constantly revising our interpretation of it.

            But let’s assume for the moment that every interpretation of yours is correct, and that every verse you interpret is actually directly from the mouth of God. Do you at least understand why a lot of non-Christians are pissed at Christians?

          • ttpog

            No, it is irrational anger.

            Is a judge who sentences a guilty person to life in prison or to death not acting justly? Do we cry, ‘Judge, why do you condemn guilty persons to death (likely hell)? Why are you ‘so wrathful in this exercise’? That is a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ question.

          • Andy

            If you don’t understand why this kind of condemnation pisses off non-Christians, I don’t think we have anything more to discuss on this issue.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Here is the problem with your judge scenario…the “judge” is always finding someone guilty, there seems to be no clemency, no determining that there is no guilt, no deciding that yeah, they messed up, but community service would be a much better solution. No, the judge merely decides guilt..every single time, and then proceeds to determine sentence, and although it is left unsaid, likely commutes the sentence without qualm.

            That is not judgement, instead it, like Andy keeps saying, pure condemnation. No pentitent who would stand in front of such a judge has a prayer of fairness, or justice. That is why so many reject such a notion, as unrighteous, unholy and unjust.

          • Andy

            Thank you

        • adam

          Babies and children starving to death for YEARS on the African plans is an excruciating death.
          What is death to an omnipotent eternal GOD?

          • Greg Galpin

            Why are you coming back to this? There are answers for all of this in the Bible, but you don’t like them. God hates this situation more than any of us do, but most people keep insisting that He stays out of their lives… so He is. There will come a day soon where He takes control again, then everything will be the way He intended it. But until then, this is life outside His will.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            How is a Bible going to help kids dying of Malaria and Diptheria in war torn Mali, or the Republic of Congo? What comfort does it offer to a Syrian family who don’t know if at least one parent is still alive, and who are living in a refugee camp In Lebanon? How is the Bible going to help us transition away from dependence on fossil fuels and recover the mess extracting oil, gas and coal from the earth? You see, it just doesn’t offer all the answers at all. It wasn’t its purpose.

          • Greg Galpin

            Christianity commands people to help others, and there are lots of Christian outreaches all over the planet. At our church alone, we have different people coming in once a month or so, gathering things for people in different countries. And beside those, we have several groups of people who take it upon themselves to send food, seeds, and animals to poor families.. and pay for wells to be dug and bathrooms to be built in poor villages in the third world. Christians do a lot of that, but they’re a minority of people on the planet, and they also don’t trumpet it. Do an internet search on Christian outreaches or Christian charities.

            As far as your ecological concerns, God told us to take care of the planet, and the Bible says that God will deal with the people that destroyed the planet. But you’re right – the purpose of the Bible wasn’t to tell us every detail of how to run our lives (although that comes along if we follow the principles it teaches), it was to direct us to Jesus, our salvation. If we follow the principles that He laid out, pretty much everything else would be solved:

            Matthew 22:37:40

            Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            You are right, loving our neighbor is key. And who is our neighbor? Everyone.

            All sorts of religious agencies do local and global outreaches, from soup kitchens, to hospitals to disaster relief. Faith can be a wonderful motivator to help one’s neighbor, thankfully it isn’t the only motivator, as there are plenty of non-religious willing to help their neighbors as well. We can be grateful for all their hard work, and be willing to support and assist as we can, because it is good and right, and there is joy in seeing someone be comforted and helped. Its a win/win.

            My church is a green church, meaning that we purposely are looking to be better stewards of the earth, even in small ways, like recycling, minding driving habits, and taking reusable bags to the grocery store. We can also champion and support the development of renewable energy, seek an end to harmful natural resource extraction, and educate people on the benefits of good stewardship for our sakes and the sakes of our great great grandchildren, as well as every plant, and animal we share this planet with.

          • Andy

            Matthew 22:37-40. One of my favorite passages.

            So, do you think homosexuality is a sin? Because if you do, you are condemning those who love a member of the same sex for something they cannot help and which hurts nobody, which hardly seems like loving your neighbor.

          • Greg Galpin

            The Bible is clear that it’s a sin. So is fornication, which is the heterosexual equivalent. But so is adultery, lying, stealing, laziness, gossiping, hating people, coveting other people’s “stuff”, dishonoring your parents, and cursing God.

            And no, I’m not condemning anybody – Jesus warned against that (Matthew 7:1). Refusing to endorse sinful behavior isn’t condemning the practitioners of that activity, it’s hating the sin itself. Everybody’s a sinner – we’re all in the same boat. The best way to show somebody you love them is by telling them that they need the forgiveness that only Jesus can provide, otherwise, they’ll be judged. I know some alcoholics, and I warn them that what they’re doing will probably wreck their lives, and probably eventually kill them. It wouldn’t be loving to just pat them on the back and say “God loves you just the way you are”. God does love them, He loved them enough to come down here and die on a cross for them. But He has conditions for salvation, one of them being turning from your sin once you’ve given Him your life.

            The thing that bugs me when I see a lot of Christians arguing is that they don’t usually tell about the power of Jesus to change our nature. Before I got saved, I used to enjoy doing a lot of things that are sins. God slowly took those away from me as I submitted to and obeyed Him. I don’t want to get drunk anymore. I don’t want to be selfish with my time or money anymore. I don’t want to hate politicians that I don’t agree with anymore. I don’t want to illegally download software or music anymore. I do want to tell other people about what Jesus offers – forgiveness of sins and a fulfilling life. I could go on and on with things that I just don’t want to do anymore, and the new things that I do want to do. The point is that if we’ll let Him, God will transform our minds to where we naturally want to do His will. Being a Christian is actually liberating, as I don’t have to keep myself from doing what I want to do because I’m afraid that maybe there’s a big scorecard somewhere, and I’m heading for a final test. Now I just do what I’d rather do, which happens to be what God wants me to be doing too.

          • Andy

            The bible is anything but clear on a lot of things, and homosexuality is one of them.

            I’ve had this same conversation with a lot of people recently, so I’m not sure I want to keep it up. Neither of us is going to change our minds, anyway.

          • Greg Galpin

            I’m not going to change my mind, because I know that God exists, and I want as many people as possible to go to heaven.

            I hope that I can say something that causes a spark to cause people to look at things from a different angle and reconsider misconceptions that are running rampant on the internet. Really, if you read the New Testament in any modern translation (NIV and NLT versions, for instance ‘talk’ a lot like we do, and don’t use words that are obsolete and unknown, like the King James Version does), all these things are really clear. And I’d love to have a dialogue with anybody who honestly has questions that have bugged them – and will seriously consider the answers without prejudice.

            But if you just want to argue, then I’d rather not, because I really don’t want to make enemies or just frustrate you.

            No hard feelings either way.

          • Andy

            I want as many people as possible to go to heaven, too. It’s not really a problem for me, though, since I’m not sure I believe in hell. At least, not the everlasting torment kind. But that’s just my opinion. Life is too hard to go through it with unnecessary weight on your shoulders, and where other people go when they die, and how any of us could affect that, is really not something I would wish on anyone. The idea that someone might go to hell, and the thought that you could have made a difference, seems incredibly burdensome. It makes more sense to me that an all-loving God wouldn’t pile that on to all the troubles people already have.

            Either way, I do appreciate your candor and civility. We may not agree on everything, but we’ve had a reasonable discussion. Thank you for that.

          • Greg Galpin

            It’s not really a burden like we normally think about it, because there’s really nothing I can do about whether or not a person will accept Jesus. All I can do is to try to faithfully try to show who He really is. God is the one who will do all the work on people, He just uses the weak and foolish things of the world to spread the message. :)

            It’s been enjoyable talking to you, and I hope to hear from you again soon, thank you.

          • adam

            Because the nature of the concept of GOD, is that GOD don’t die.
            And what is the suffering of hours in the concept of eternity compares to the constant suffering of people THEIR WHOLE LIVES.
            Babies and children WANT GOD out of their lives?
            So that they can suffer and die on their own?
            So YOUR god is currently POWERLESS.
            What kind of god does that make it?

          • Greg Galpin

            God did come to Earth as Jesus – as a man (Philippians 2 tells about how He put aside His “God” powers while He did it) – and He went through everything that we do and died a painful, humiliating death to pay the price for our rebellion. We don’t know the intensity of the suffering that Jesus went through, but the Bible says that God (the Father) poured out His wrath on Jesus while He was on the cross. So it was nothing to be scoffed at.

            The babies’ parents don’t want God, so the babies pay the price, unfortunately. That’s what God was talking about visiting the sins of the father upon the children. People’s choices affect people around them, especially their children. If a child grows up in a household that is against God, most often they will grow up to be against Him also, and so will their kids.

            But on the other hand, the Bible indicates in several places that babies go to heaven. We don’t go to hell because of our sin, we go there because we reject Jesus. Since a baby has never had the opportunity to accept or reject Jesus, he is counted innocent. Just how far along into our lives that extends, nobody knows because the Bible doesn’t say. But it does say that people get judged on what they did with the knowledge of God and His will they were given.

            And no, God isn’t powerless. He’s made it quite clear that He’s letting the god of this age (Satan) run the world for now, because we gave it to him back in Genesis 3. But soon, He’s going to come back and set everything right. All the dominoes are lined up, it’s just a matter of time until the first one is pushed over in the middle east, and the war of Ezekiel 38 will start up.

          • adam

            “The babies’ parents don’t want God, so the babies pay the price, unfortunately. That’s what God was talking about visiting the sins of the father upon the children.”

            And you accept this as morally GOOD?

            Punishing the innocent INSTEAD of the guilty?

            This is brutality not justice…

          • Greg Galpin

            Yeah, they pay the price here on Earth for a while, but then the babies end up in heaven forever. You seem to have a mental block against considering anything good about God. You also seem to totally give people a pass for the decisions they make in this life. Reminds me of Proverb 19:3

            A person’s own folly leads to their ruin, yet their heart rages against the Lord

          • adam

            Perhaps one of the most evil and vile ideas I have every heard of.

            People who can believe like this are truly frightening.

          • Greg Galpin

            Are you purposely proving that proverb true? Your heart really is raging against God.

            Would you rather have God run every aspect of your life and immediately judge you the moment you disobey Him? That’s the alternative.

          • adam

            I have no rage against what I consider a mythological figure.
            But I have to tell you that if I did BELIEVE, I would be raging against this type of mentality from a god.

            The idea that parentless children get to starve to death for YEARS and YEARS because of what you CLAIM their parents WANTED, is morally reprehensible.

            As is to judge this ‘good’.

            Seems your god is a much better fit to the definition of rage:

            Full Definition of RAGE
            1 a : violent and uncontrolled anger
            b : a fit of violent wrath

          • Greg Galpin

            Do you take everything that literally? I didn’t say that each parent wants their kids (or certainly not themselves) to starve. I’m saying that humanity rejected God’s guidance and fellowship, and continue to do so every day, so we get the consequences.

            You sure expend a lot of energy raging against something you don’t believe in. Do you split your time between this topic and the anti-Allah, anti-Buddha, and Anti-Shiva forums?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            errr. This is not an anti-God forum, we welcome Christians, non-deists, as well as people from islamic, buddhist, Hindu and other faith practices.

          • Greg Galpin

            Some welcome.

          • adam
          • Greg Galpin

            OK… help me out here. Where did I say that the parents want their kids to starve, or anything else bad to happen to them?

            You sure like to “debate” like a liberal – pick a single point out of a post, twist it into the worst interpretation possible in order to “prove” your point… and ignore everything else in the post that is inconvenient.

            Why even bother? Do you think you’re going to convince me of anything with those tactics? Or are you just constantly mad, and have to take it out on somebody?

          • adam

            The idea that parentless children get to starve to death for YEARS and YEARS because of what you CLAIM their parents WANTED
            Sorry, my bad – what you CLAIM their parents DIDN’T want.
            typo on my part.

            No need to keep projecting on me, I am not angry or mad.

            I am not the one blaming parents alive and death for the brutal suffering of babies and children…..

          • Greg Galpin

            You totally ignore what the Bible says about what the cause of all this is, and what the remedy is. If enough people would follow Jesus (or even do what He said, even if they don’t believe He’s God), they’d take care of all those people. But most people won’t, and most people are all wrapped up in themselves, rather than helping other people. They don’t want God to ‘tell them how to live their lives’, but then get mad at Him when the consequences come down.

          • adam

            And you are totally ignoring the abhorrent immorality of a god who justifies such suffering on the innocent due to parents who CANT believe ‘He’s God’ BECAUSE he hides from them so well.

            Perhaps like with Pharaoh, he has hardened their hearts purposely, perhaps purely for his own sadistic satisfaction.

          • Greg Galpin

            No, God doesn’t hide from anybody who honestly seeks Him – I know, I’m living proof. You’re demanding that He bow down to you and do things your way.

            Again, you prove that you don’t understand Biblical lessons. The Pharaoh hardened his heart repeatedly before God confirmed the decisions in increments. Before it all happened God told Moses that He was going to do it because He knew what was going to happen in advance (there is no future or past to God). Pharaoh could have repented and spared his country all the trouble, but he thought he was a god himself (that’s what the plagues were all about – every one of them was specifically judging Egypt’s gods), so he refused to bow down before the real God.

            But just to clarify the whole hardening of the heart exchange:

            The Hebrew word when Pharaoh hardened his heart was kâbad or kâbêd, which means “dulled”.

            But when God did it, the word was châzaq, which means “confirmed”. God basically said “OK, you’ve done it enough, so I believe you, and I’m going to seal that decision”.

            The lesson of that series of exchanges is that every time we reject God, we harden our heart just a little bit more – building up an immunity to hearing or caring about Him. Paul also warned about that in 1 Timothy 4:1-2 and Romans 1:28 and 2:5. Odd that you’d jump to that example, as maybe the Holy Spirit is warning you that you’re in that very process of hardening your heart to a point of no return.

          • adam

            Yes, god does hide from those who honestly seek “Him”.
            I am living proof.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            snerk!

          • Greg Galpin

            OK, have it your way then.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            .and damned if I don’t have a really old fast food jingle now stuck in my head. cursed earworms!

          • adam

            It’s not MY way, it is your god’s way.

          • Greg Galpin

            No, it’s your way. Do you really expect God to jump through your hoops when you’ve got this kind of an attitude toward Him? God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.

          • adam

            I am not the one HIDING…

            And I didn’t created this bizarre hide and seek…
            Don’t find me and I will torture mercilessly for eternity.

            God jump through hoops?
            Are you SERIOUS?

            What kind of power does your god have anyway?

            The hoops I would have to jump through to believe as you do that god capriciously tortures and starves children and babies cause their parents couldn’t find ‘him’ are really the issue.

            50 years of LOOKING for god has given me this perspective and information “attitude”. And of course reading the perspective of believers like you.

            It IS your god’s way….

          • Greg Galpin

            You should read a book called Is God a Moral Monster by Paul Copan.

            It addresses pretty much everything people blame God for.

          • adam

            So…..
            What god says in the bible is NOT what he really means and he doesn’t mean what he says there?

            Sounds like typical apologetics…

            Actually, I don’t blame god for the bible, just greedy power hungry MEN……they told the stories, translated them to their liking and then decided which parts would make a powerful political lobby when they created canons.

            But NO DOUBT, the story is of a moral monster, with the goal to incite FEAR.

          • Greg Galpin

            No, the book goes into culture and history to explain why things were the way they were. I told you about that book because I thought that maybe you really do want to try to believe in God. But I’m really beginning to doubt it. I think you just like to draw people into a discussion with an act of being somewhat of a seeker, but then you show your true colors and use the platform to spew your hatred of Him.

          • adam

            AGAIN, I cannot hate that which I don’t believe in.
            You keep trying to project this on me.

            there is no doubt that the god YOU describe is a monster for punishing the innocent for others failure to find a god that hides more and more every year that we learn more and more about nature.

            And if the bible is as deceptive a you claim, then it comes off sounding more like being written by a deceptive demon (perhaps one who’s ONLY power is that of deception) rather than an all loving all knowing creator.

            My search continues…

          • Greg Galpin

            Where did I claim the Bible is deceptive?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            God isn’t a moral monster…on the other hand, people who claim to represent the divine, certainly can be.

          • Greg Galpin

            I totally agree with that… even though I think it’s partially aimed at me. No human is an adequate representative of God, and some people are flat-out lying about “who’s side they’re on”. They commit atrocities in God’s name, and for the next thousand years, people cite them as examples of Christianity.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            No its not partially aimed at anyone. Its a general observation on humanity, and a personal observation, and experience, in and outside of this format, on how people of religious persuation can act towards others. Sadly, some of the most hateful words and actions I have seen, or have personally been subjected to has been from Christians…and to me, if you claim to be one, you is a true Christian.

          • Greg Galpin

            People are flawed, and we react emotionally far too often. About the only thing that gets me wound up anymore is when people misrepresent God’s word – and especially the need for Jesus. It’s an eternal consequence if they’re wrong.

            If people want to believe whatever they want about their spirituality, I don’t really say much about it. But when they start trying to convince others that Jesus isn’t necessary for salvation, I’m compelled to jump in and tell them what’s really in the Bible. I don’t do this for enjoyment, it’s what God tells us to do (other than my method of delivery, that needs a lot of work).

          • adam

            The problem is that the bible is so vague, convoluted and doesn’t mean what it says or say what it means according to people like you, that there is no way to tell that they are ‘flat-out lying about “who’s side they’re on”‘

            Their actions don’t seem all that out of line from what god says in the bible.

            IF the bible is correct, then it’s god creates evil (Isaiah 45 7) and sanctions it in the book, is petty and his name is Jealous. Demands worship and absolute tyranny. These APPEAR to represent the emotional equivalent of a spoiled child.

            As for being partially aimed at you.

            It is YOU who are describing and justifying actions we see as abhorrent and attributing them to your god claiming they are actually ‘good’.

            It is nothing personal to you.

            For me personally, I cannot look at the obvious cognitive dissonance between what you describe as morally abhorrent – yet claim ‘good’ all loving and see that as something I want to support morally.
            Quite the opposite.

          • Greg Galpin

            It’s really not that vague once you’re saved (and I’m not trying to be snarky – that’s the truth). The parts that are essential for salvation are very clear, mostly found in the Gospels.

            Yes, God does take responsibility for creating everything. He created evil when He created mankind and the fallen angels. He didn’t make them evil to begin with, but they became that way. But still, He did create them.

            God wants everybody saved, and He does everything He can while they’re alive to do it – short of overruling their free will. The Old Testament is a history book, and it shows a lot of unpleasant history of humanity, and the consequences for their actions. But all along the way, God was warning people and trying to get them to turn so He wouldn’t have to judge them. And there are examples of people who did just that and were saved. Manasseh is one of the more extreme examples (in 2 Chronicles 33). The purpose of the judgement is to turn people to repentance, because unfortunately, that’s what it takes with some.

            Like I said, that book explains a lot of the things you object to. You call it apologizing, I call it explaining. We’re really not in a position to judge the actions of God the distant past when we don’t have all of the information.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            You do realize that all of this convinces no one who has come to a different conclusion, right?

          • Greg Galpin

            Obviously, but my hope is that people will think things over. I think about things that were said in these conversations in the hours between posts. All I’m doing is trying to be faithful to what God tells Christians to do.

          • adam

            Like I said, that book explains a lot of the things you object to. You call it apologizing, I call it explaining. We’re really not in a position to judge the actions of God the distant past when we don’t have all of the information.

            All we have to judge is ‘his word’ and the fruit of that word.
            That and all the myriad translations and ‘revelations’ from it’s proponents.

            god does nothing to clear up the confusion.

          • Greg Galpin

            Jesus is the proof of His intentions and love for us. I really don’t know what more God can do to help people believe. Look at what the Hebrews did in Exodus – miracles every day, yet they still didn’t believe. If you go through the Bible, God’s done several different things to reach people – but in the end it just comes down to we just have to take Him at His word (Habakkuk 2:4).

            All I know is that when I finally gave my life (all of it – I had to let go of a few things I was holding back because I wasn’t ready to give them up for a few months) to Jesus, He took the blinders off my eyes. That doesn’t mean I understand a fraction of why God did what He’s done, it just means that I know Him well enough to know that His reasons are just, and that He tries everything to save everybody until they finally tell Him to leave them alone.

          • adam

            WHICH Jesus,
            You do understand that there are tens of thousands of incompatible sects of Christianity.
            So have you sold all that you own and given the money to the poor and depend on god for your daily needs?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            You two butting heads with no one gaining anything but bruises is serving what purpose?

          • adam

            Clarity

          • adam

            To clarify and focus points of view.
            thanks.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            How someone approaches the divine is as varied as humanity. How the divine interacts with us is just as divine, and whether someone seeks to look or not, for a wide variety of reasons, is frankly not our business.

            Insisting God only does things one way is making God in our image, it is limiting the scope of divinity to a human scale of reasoning, and it serves no purpose but to pad our own pride.

          • Greg Galpin

            It’s our business as Christians when people start forcing Christians to violate their beliefs in order to bend to the popular trends of the day.

            Again – take that up with Jesus:

            Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. – John 14:16.

            Note that He didn’t say “I am a way…”

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            No one is forcing Christians to violate their beliefs, despite the railings of a vocal few. But on the flip side, when a those same vocal few insist that their views must be the only beliefs, even when not even all in the larger body of the group don’t even agree, must less society at large, then we have a problem.

            No one has to comply by beliefs, only those that feel compelled to hold them. No one is trying to keep anyone from having their personal beliefs, only to be free to believe as they themselves feel compelled.

          • Greg Galpin

            There are lawsuits across the country, driving Christians out of business because they won’t photograph, bake cakes, or do floral arrangements for gay weddings. That’s just off the top of my head. And in each one of those cases, there were other businesses in the towns that would have gladly taken the jobs… and it’s not like anybody was denied a life or death service.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Oh nice try, but wrong.

            In both cases the businesses in question had agreed to provide a service and the reneged after learning that the couple was gay and at a time where they had to scramble to find someone else. They didn’t get sued, they got outer for shitty customer service. One of the businesses broke their States anti discrimination law.

            Here’s the thing. They had a zillion excuses they could have used to refuse service and they could have done the right thing and referred to some other business. It happens every day. They didn’t have to give the real reason, they didn’t have to go to the press to defend their views. They lost their businesses as a result, because most consumers these days don’t like obvious bigotry or someone who is willing to treat a customer so shabbily. They are two isolated cases that deserved their fate. It is not a rampant problem with Christian business owners.

          • Greg Galpin

            They’re Christians, they can’t lie about their reasons, like the rest of the world. The fact that they didn’t do that and take the easy way out should prove their sincerity. They ended up going to the press after they were villainized on social and other media, and they started getting death threats and other correspondence from the “tolerance” crowd. One of the incidents happened in my area, and I watched the dogpile on Facebook and in our newspaper’s comments section from all over the country. I haven’t seen that much hatred on full unabashed display ever. And it wasn’t the allies of the business that were displaying it,

            It’s happening all over, just because they don’t make the national news every time it happens doesn’t mean anything. The “unbiased” media doesn’t want to show what’s going on, because they know that most people would still be outraged about it. Rationalize all you want. Wrong is wrong.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            “They’re Christians, they can’t lie about their reasons, like the rest of the world.”

            Thank you for writing something that made me spew coffee all over my computer monitor.

          • Greg Galpin

            Translation: I really have no grasp of true Christianity.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Sigh. And out comes the “neener neener” offense.

          • adam

            How else can you justify the position and call it ‘good’?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Maybe it is why I don’t take his position, Adam. I”m well familiar with it, having been surrounded by similar mindsets my entire life, and more than once subjected to it. There’s so much fear and loathing there, and complete overkill on methodology.

            I see it and I can’t help but wonder why.

          • adam

            Political power, is a very rational explanation.
            Makes it easier to hurt and kill people that you fear and loath.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Politics and religion have long had alliances. Which is why I suspect our founding fathers wanted to try to keep the two as separate as possible. They’d seen how well the two worked together in Europe with anything but stellar results..

          • adam

            Plus they probably didn’t want the competition.

          • Greg Galpin

            I responded with just about the same amount of courtesy and thought as you showed me. I know you don’t subscribe to what the Bible demands of us, but true Christians aren’t supposed to lie, for any reason. And Christians aren’t supposed to do anything that promotes or justifies sin. If I go into a business that has several Christian symbols hanging around, I expect them to act a certain way – and so do most people. If I try to get them to do something that violates their faith, I expect them to politely decline my business.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I expect people to act like humans. I’ve long ago known that people will lie, cheat, be hateful, act like real turds, regardless of faith, and that some will use their faith as an excuse to do all the above.

          • Greg Galpin

            Yes, some do. But real Christians are not supposed to. They’re supposed to be transformed by the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. And since God told us not to lie, we’re supposed to be obedient, and He gives us the power to do that.

            In the case of the florist, I haven’t heard of any instances of her acting hatefully toward anybody, especially gays. She drew the line where her faith told her to – and in the process gave up probably a good sum of money and a lot of future business. And if you read the story from the beginning, before the activists from all over the world piled in, there was no animosity on either side.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Real Christians are human beings, and will lie, even though they know they aren’t supposed to..Because, they are human beings. And there is no magical godly power that keeps people from doing stuff. That’s just silly. Learning to behave differently takes time, effort, and a hell of a lot of mistakes.
            Your take on the florist is yours. I see it quite differently.

          • Greg Galpin

            Yes there really is a “magical godly power”. Christians receive it when they’re saved. Again, it’s all throughout the New Testament. God doesn’t just give us a bunch of rules that are impossible to follow, then just sit back and laugh while we repeatedly fail at it. Most Christians won’t openly talk about it because they’re afraid of reactions like yours, but if you get to know people who really know Jesus, you’ll find that it’s common place among believers.

            Read Fox’s Book of the Martyrs sometime, if you want to see what the Holy Spirit will help people through. He’s real – and so are the demons on Earth that are convincing everybody that He isn’t, and that we’ll be just fine without Him.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Uhm. I’m a Christian, have been most of my life, and I have never heard of such a thing, and I’ve been in three quite different denominations. I also have extensive experience talking with people from a wide spectrum of religious thought, and its not what I hear from them either.
            I’ve seen Fox’s book. It is certainly a very political work pitting Catholics against Protestants during a very volatile time in the religious/political environment of the time. It contains historical accuracy, but also legend and bias.
            I personally don’t believe in demons, being things constructed as scapegoats and designed to strike fear and compliance….You see what happens to people who read history, philosophy, theology, and asks questions, listens to how others think. It tends to give us a much broader view about God, faith and humanity. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

          • Greg Galpin

            Well I don’t know what to say then. If you didn’t hear about the Holy Spirit in the different churches you went to – they failed you. It’s the only way a person can live a Christian life, if God doesn’t transform our mind and desires, we’ll go through life white-knuckling it trying to be obedient in our own power.

            I don’t know if we’re talking about the same book, the one I’m thinking of is basically telling how Christians were killed and tortured throughout history, starting with Stephen (Acts 7) and then the Apostles. My point of bringing that up was that many if not most of those people died horrific deaths, and I don’t believe they could have handled it without supernatural help from God. In many cases (if not most – it’s been a while since I’ve read in it), the people seemed to be immune to pain throughout long torture sessions.

            I’m not really a fan of denominations… I know that they “work” for some people, but I’ve talked to a lot of people that got nothing out of their church after years of attendance. If they’re just going through rote ceremonies and reciting a few Bible verses sprinkled into some loosely related story every week without really getting into the Word of God in depth (as exampled in Nehemiah 8:8 and Acts 2:42)… it’ll be real hard for anyone to be reborn or grow.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            “The babies’ parents don’t want God, so the babies pay the price, unfortunately. That’s what God was talking about visiting the sins of the father upon the children”

            I find that theology reprehensible, in fact there is little in this statement that I haven’t chucked into the dustheap of unacceptable religious dogma years ago, having had it preached at me since the age of four.

            It is this type of teaching that pushes people away from God, not draw them near.

          • Greg Galpin

            Sorry if you don’t like what the Bible says. Take it up with Jesus.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Oh I did. He said, “hun, don’t worry about what other’s think about that book. You’d be surprised at some of the crazy ideas people have gotten from it. You just stay the course, and remember I love you more than you can ever realize”

          • Greg Galpin

            So while you were having your private talk with Him, did He happen to tell you why He authored such a detailed book just so you can ignore it? And did He give you special knowledge just what scriptures we can ignore?

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Is there an assumption here that the writer of this piece or the people who are regular commenters have not read the entire Bible, and they have any more of a personal agenda than anyone else?

      • Greg Galpin

        It’s either that or they’re deliberately ignoring God’s word.

        As far as a personal agenda, I definitely do have one: speaking the truth of what He said in His word, which God commands us to do. And when we do that, we’re not to cherry-pick verses in order to twist them to suit our argument (2 Peter 3:16) – everything has to fit in with the whole council of God.

        • adam

          So Isaiah 45 7 means just what it says?

          • ttpog

            Yes.

          • adam

            Then besides irrational FEAR, what reason does this god deserve worship?

  • http://thesidos.blogspot.com/ Arthur Sido

    So if we aren’t sufficiently faithful in one area we shouldn’t be Biblically faithful in any area? I agree we are far from the Biblical model on the issue of money but that shouldn’t lead us to chuck everything out of the window. Instead we should be stirred to be prophetic and more faithful on every issue. I can understand the teachings of Christ on money and strive to meet that standard, no matter how imperfectly, while also recognizing what the Bible says about human sexuality. You might be right about how far from the mark we are on the question of money but your apparent solution of embracing deviant sexual behavior condemned in Scripture is simply stacking error on top of error.

    • Andy

      I don’t see any errors. Pretty much everything is backed up with well-conceived arguments that are based on the human experience and common sense (as well as theological resources), as opposed to the dreck we hear on a regular basis from people that still want to justify their bigotry, whose arguments are built on a foundation of “because bible”.

    • http://www.whoaisnotme.net/anakinmcfly Anakin McFly

      “embracing deviant sexual behavior”

      I’m a 25yo gay transgender guy who has just gone through Valentine’s Day being a lonely virgin who was passive-aggressive at everybody. TELL ME WHO I’M ALLOWED TO HAVE SEX WITH WITHOUT EMBRACING DEVIANT SEXUAL BEHAVIOR. I’m going to start a tally, because so many good bible believing Christians give me different answers and it’s about time I started counting. My aunt and a pastor and a doctor said ‘women’, because they say I’m a guy who just got unlucky with the genital distribution lottery; a bunch of internet people said ‘men’, because ‘if you don’t have a dick you’re a woman and need one in you’; another aunt started extolling the virtues of singlehood because ‘either way it would be gay and that’s wrong’; my mother thinks both men and women are fine, because ‘either way it would be straight and that’s ok’.

      Your turn. I’m waiting.

  • Keith Humphrey

    Good point. You have to understand that
    the profession of a preacher depends on not offending members of the
    congregation who pay his salary. Since many of them are covetous,
    this topic is out-of-bounds; but condemnation of homosexuality is
    pretty safe in those circles. You could make the same case with
    divorce and remarriage, which Christ frequently condemned. Since it
    is the preferred sexual sin in the churches, it is no longer safe to
    address.

    Disclosure: I am voluntarily poor and homeless, and
    I take very seriously Bible teachings against the accumulation of wealth,
    as well as those against sexual immorality. Needless to say, it is
    rare that I am ever invited to preach in a church.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      I thought Jesus only talked about divorce and remarriage that one time. It didn’t seem to be that big of a concern to him, other than pointing out that people were ditching their wives to remarry unjustly.

      None the less, you are right, Its easy to point fingers at what is perceived at other people’s sins, and ignore your own.

  • Brett Vermillion

    Every one of the passages you quote Jesus saying had a particular context and you cannot rip them out of that context and then paste them together to build a new, context that is foreign to each passage individually and the Bible’s teaching about this on the whole. That is eisegesis, not exegesis.

    One quick example, the passage in Luke 12:33 was spoken to a particular group for a particular purpose. Saying the Lord’s advice to one group at one time is binding upon everyone or even advisable for everyone is superficial and foolish. Once you put that passage in context your argument crumbles.

    This approach to the scriptures causes contradictions to the point that one has to decide what to believe and what to ignore. But the benefit is that you can make it say anything you want. And that is really the point of eisegesis isn’t it?

    • Andy

      Went right over your head, didn’t it?

      • Brett Vermillion

        That’s really funny Andy. You make a pointless attack comment and don’t (or can’t) address the substance of my argument. Either it is hypocritical or (giving you the benefit of the doubt) laughingly ironic.

        • Andy

          The whole point of the article was to point out what you said, that you can’t take a verse out of context and expect it to retain its meaning. The parallel, of course, is that people do this with the so-called “clobber passages” which they use to justify their bigotry. It was obviously sarcastic. From your post I inferred that you somehow thought it wasn’t. Was I wrong about that?

          • Brett Vermillion

            John’s point is that we cannot take Jesus at face value or we would all be beggars therefore we cannot take Paul at face value about homosexuality. But he has to violate the context of the passages he uses as support to say that so his invalidates his own point by using poor hermeneutics.
            My post shows one small example of how he does that. His interpretation, logic and application are all deeply flawed. If you have to rely on sleight-of-hand to make an argument, you don’t really have an argument.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I think the point I get is that people give Paul’s opinions in his letters more credence than Jesus’s statements about money, which is a topic he covers much more often than Paul’s two probable mentions about homosexuality. That we live in a culture here in the west that is very possession oriented with a strong movement in the church that places emphasis on physical wealth being a sign that God is blessing someone (especially if you are one of those pastors, more often than not) , and don’t consider that a problem, but a couple of debatable passages in the New Testament gets a lot of attention, is of course problematic…very problematic

          • Brett Vermillion

            All the passages in the Bible are debatable if you approach it the way John does. Correct me if I am wrong but it seems as if you may use the same approach.
            No, these passages had and have very clear meanings in their context, exegeted properly to those of us who believe they are inspired.
            Apparently you are suggesting that we add to the mix that Paul and Jesus may have disagreed or one’s teachings outweigh the other? Well I guess follows that if you throw out inspiration, plenary inspiration goes right along with it.

            That does seem like a lot of effort in order to undermine the clear and consistent teaching of the Bible though. And what is left after all the undermining and dismantling? Is it worth anything?
            It is really curious to me that you guys use a Bible at all. I’m sure you can find some other religious text out there to agree with your favorite desires. Or possibly even write your own.

            Or consider, if for a moment…what if there really is a God, who actually inspired the text, and who is going to actually hold people accountable for their belief in (and adherence to) what it says. And what if this God cannot be fooled by willful or even self-blinded eisegesis (or surface twisting) to accommodate a person’s favorite sin. What if you died today and had to answer to that God?

          • Guy Norred

            To start close to the top, if it ever comes right down to it, yes Jesus out ranks Paul–and Paul would be the first to say so. As to plenary inspiration, I see no reason to believe Paul was not inspired by the Spirit, but I see no reason to believe the Spirit stopped inspiring us at the time the biblical canon was set. On the contrary, I see much reason to believe He continues to speak to us and lead us ever closer to the image of Christ to which we aspire as Christians. This is not to say that any of us is infallible and certainly we can be self-blinded, but we can just as easily, even more easily some might argue, be blinded by the centuries of cultural baggage we all carry around, especially if we never question whether we have or not.

          • Raymond Watchman

            Well said Guy and I entirely agree with you. As with all living organisms, Christianity is and must be subject to the processes of evolution. Sadly, when the Christian Church resists this process (as is often the case with fundamentalist biblical literalism) it becomes about as relevant to society as a discarded chrysalis case does to a butterfly. I am persuaded by the Gospel that closed-mindedness blasphemes the Holy Spirit and subverts God’s leading of His people, individually and collectively. This is clearly evidenced by the manifest, often deeply offensive, absurdities arising out of US fundamentalism.

          • Brett Vermillion

            Raymond, you have a god who didn’t have enough foresight to give you transcendent commands? And you are talking about absurdities?

          • Raymond Watchman

            I think you are rather missing the point Brett – and the reason for your doing so tends to validate what I said. I’m not talking about (what you consider to be) transcendent commands. And by what arrogance do you blaspheme the character of God in your ridiculous and ill-advised question to me? Perhaps you should troll elsewhere.

          • Brett Vermillion

            I don’t see it as arrogance or even elevated thought to read your angry insulting post of some ‘mystical evolving Christianity’ and see how it has serious disagreement with the Bible and the God of that Bible. I see that as fairly elementary.
            You call a lot of things blasphemy. Perhaps you should buy a dictionary.

          • Raymond Watchman

            Brett, you are a naughty boy. You are so enamored of the sound of your own Bible-thumping you seem to be unable to clearly hear what other Christian voices are striving to say. Perhaps you need to desist from your clamor long enough to listen to the perceptions, insights and views your Christian brothers and sisters are attempting to share. Now: I said nothing about ‘mystical evolving Christianity’ and do not appreciate your having employed quotes around words I did not use. If you have issues with Christianity being an evolving living organism, that is your problem. Surely, if you know your Bible as you say you do, you will appreciate Judaism as having been a living, evolving religious entity. It still is, as is that product of Jewish evolution, Christianity. The only thing I see as ‘fairly elementary’ is your own appreciation of scripture. As a retired journalist who spent much of his career as senior writer for a highly respected national Christian newspaper, I don’t think I need to act on your suggestion that I buy a dictionary. Nor do I need a new Bible. I cherish the versions I already have. But enough words. As they say, if you could reason with a religious fundamentalist, there wouldn’t be any.

          • Brett Vermillion

            You see, there is that anger issue rearing its ugly head again. Calling me a fundamentalist just makes you seem unreasonable, Ray, kind of like a bratty kid on a playground. You simply don’t have enough info about me to make that assessment. Unless you define a fundamentalist as anyone who resists your sloppy attempts to make up your own definitions.

            Yes, I am busted. I used the single quotes incorrectly. I was restating your idea without using your words.

            Well, then perhaps you should buy a theological dictionary, and then you should actually use it before you use the big words as ammunition to comdemn those who disagree.

            Working for a Christian newspaper makes you a Christian? Wow, you missed the boat on that one, Ray. Maybe that’s the problem? Have you ever heard the gospel?

          • Raymond Watchman

            Brett, some people use spades to dig sound foundations for enduring buildings. Others use spades to turn the soil to plant good seed. Still others use spades to dig big black holes for themselves into which they inevitably fall. Your comments convince me you are in the latter category. Asking me ‘Have you ever heard the gospel?’ is, sadly, a question typical of someone who may have heard it, but has yet to learn to live it. Meantime, if and when I need another theological dictionary I’ll make sure not to buy it from the AIG online bookstore. Good night and God bless.

          • Brett Vermillion

            Ray, you are truly a very metaphorical guy. Now, if your metaphors make a point they can be insightful and perceived by others as such. If they don’t they are just boring, eventually become annoying and make you look like you have a bloated sense of self importance. I will let you decide which category yours are in. All I can say is: spades?

            You also use your persistent accusations of narrow-mindedness and judgmental-ness as a cover for your own. Sorry, but that is really pretty obvious.

            Why so much anger?

            G’day mate.

          • Raymond Watchman

            Okay Brett. Spades it is: Spades at 20 paces at dawn.
            I’m not angry per se. But yes, I do get angry when I see Scripture misused to attack vulnerable marginalized people, rather than used as an instrument of God’s grace to invite them to the table to partake of Jesus’ acceptance, healing and reconciliation.
            And yes, I get angry when I see the precious Gospel held up to ridicule and contempt by the likes of Ken Ham and his New Earth Creationist acolytes.
            And yes, I get angry when I see (a perversion of) the Gospel used to justify crass materialism and individualism.
            But enough of this focus on the negative and what we apparently disagree about. I am sure it is nothing compared with what we share in common and are agree on.
            ‘G’day mate’? Are you an Aussie? If so, I’m just across the ditch. Kia Ora back at you.
            And thanks for the sparring match! You know, we wouldn’t bother ourselves if we weren’t passionate about the Gospel. No offense taken – and if any has been given, please accept my apology. The important thing is we care.

          • Brett Vermillion

            You da man, Ray. An apology and forgiveness before I could even apologize. I was much too hard on you. Forgive me and thank you.
            That said, my pet peeve and driving issue is the way people handle the Scriptures. I’m confident that whatever we have in common, we’re miles apart there. That is why I commented on this article to begin with.
            I don’t think I used any scriptures to attack anyone. But I also do not invite anyone to God’s table of grace without repentance, that is His requirenent and it would be arrogant to change it based on (my) puny flawed human understanding.
            BTW, Ken Ham is (my cousin and) a really nice guy.

          • Raymond Watchman

            Thanks Brett. Forgiven – and a brotherly hug from across the ditch. I’m sure Ken Ham is a nice fellow, but that does not make his views correct. That doesn’t necessarily mean he is insincere. Just wrong. Demonstrably wrong. The entire body of published scientific evidence shows it to be so. (I am an amateur astronomer and get pretty peeved when I see anti-science pseudo-doctrine trotted out as “God’s truth”.)
            But let us not go down that siding.
            More importantly, your latest response to me suggests there might well be a really valuable dialogue to be had concerning God’s table of grace, and whether or not Jesus’ invitation to sit at the table is conditional or not – and if it is, what might that condition, or conditions, be? You mention repentance (and I’m fine with that) but I look to the Gospel accounts of Jesus deliberately – and provocatively – dining with assorted social outcasts, untouchables and “sinners”. The only call to repentance seems to have been directed at those who condemned both his compassion and the objects of His compassion. Did “those who are sick who need the physician” find healing and wholeness as an outcome of Our Lord’s unconditional acceptance and love? I like to think so, as I’m sure you do. Those who condemned seemingly had no place at the table, not because Jesus forbade them, but because, it seems, they excluded themselves by being too puffed with self-righteous pride in their purity doctrines to repent of their hardness of heart.
            Legalistic puritanism vs compassionate grace. That seems to be at the core of the tensions Jesus had with the religious elite of his day – and the tensions we encounter in these blog dialogues. Maybe John (if he’s reading our antipodean jousting), can come up with a thoughtful and challenging blog on this subject and open it up for discussion?
            I rather tend to think there are as many ways people ‘handle the scriptures’ as there are people who read them. Our individual perceptions are inevitably colored by our life experiences, cultural environment, upbringing etc. Indeed, our human understandings are flawed, but I believe if we are truly and humbly open to God’s Spirit, he will guide us into truth. That is His promise to us, irrespective of where we may be at on the journey at any given time. (Hence my banging on about closed-mindedness.) So yes, we might be ‘miles apart’, but the important thing is we are, through God’s grace, on the same journey and it is the same God of all love, compassion and truth who guides and encourages us as we stumble along the way. As Thomas Merton once observed: “If the you of five years ago does not consider the you of today a heretic, then you’re not growing spiritually.”

          • Brett Vermillion

            Well that depends on how you define God’s table of grace. If you mean the common grace He gives to everyone, no need for anyone to invite, everyone is already welcome and actually already partaking. Jesus dining at a physical table with sinners while here incarnate does not automatically equate to salvation. Jesus interacted with and even healed many people but very rarely proclaimed someone to be saved.

            The general:
            “For the gate is small and the way is narrow that leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:14)

            The specific:
            And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham. “For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” (Luke 19:10-11)

            If you mean God has some acceptance of people into His Kingdom while still in their sin, that is not true. No one is accepted into the Kingdom outside of Christ, the wrath of God abides upon them. (John 3:18)

            I don’t think “Legalistic puritanism” and “compassionate grace” are the only 2 choices. In fact I see every bit as much legalism on the ‘compassion’ side as I do the puritanical side. The Puritans were very compassionate with people. They were just willing to do the hard work to help people, not the easy thing of lowering their view of Scripture to throw the gates open wider. The more a truth is watered is down the less power it has to help. And distorted truth does more harm than good.

            John the Baptist, Jesus, the Disciples and the Apostle Paul all preached repentance. Anyone who disagrees is coming up against a pretty powerful cloud of witnesses.

            No matter how many ways people handle the scriptures there is only one correct interpretation of any given passage. We either understand it or we don’t.

            Yes, I agree that many of us are growing spiritually. But that in no way gives us an excuse to embrace heresy.

            BTW, I really like the way you write.

          • Raymond Watchman

            Points well made Brett and I genuinely appreciate your fidelity to your own understanding of scripture.
            I’m mindful we’ve moved off the subject of this blog, so I won’t respond in depth. Rather, I hope John will pick it up and run with in a subsequent piece, and perhaps address your views from his perspective.
            I have no question about repentance – it is the ‘small gate’. I guess my primary concern is how people are actually drawn to repentance. In my own case, suffice to say that God, in His infinite compassion, allowed me to fall and be broken wide open. There was no other way He could reach me.
            Meantime, let you and I remain mindful that pure light, when refracted through a prism, is broken down into a spectrum. It is of no matter that blue is not red and red is not blue. What is of matter is that both, and all hues in between, are components of the one pure light – like you and I, and all others who share their thoughts on these pages. And the remarkable thing is that the visible spectrum – that which can see with our very limited vision – is only one tiny part of the full spectrum, which if set out in a straight line, would reach all the way to the sun! Paul sure had it right when he said “For now we see through a glass darkly…..” and I guess like yourself, I wholeheartedly embrace the hope explicit in the rest of that quote. Go well.

          • Guy Norred

            I believe that in what he sees as truly important, God has absolutely been transcendent in his commands. At the same time he treats us differently over our lives (and the life of our, well, species) in the same way a parent does not treat a two year old and a teenager the same way.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            You are right Raymond. Christianity has evolved from its beginnings as a collective body, and it is quite capable of evolving on an individual/personal level. It is a natural process, and to resist it is not healthy and unnatural.

          • Brett Vermillion

            Most Bible-believing Christians believe in verbal plenary inspiration. Therefore rank is not applicable. And the Holy Spirit is most certianly not still inspiring the scriptures in that unique way.

            I really don’t get why you guys have Bibles. This just
            gets curiouser and curiouser…

          • Andy

            I can read it and appreciate it and even learn from it, but I don’t live my life by every verse. Some of them just don’t make sense in this day and age.

          • Brett Vermillion

            I agree but have a feeling that we wouldn’t agree on which verses were still applicable…LOL

          • Andy

            Really, for me, everything but the greatest commandment is of secondary importance. Love God and love others. Everything else is details.

          • Brett Vermillion

            Loving God is defined as obeying His commands. (1 John 5:3) There is no reality to our profession of loving God without obeying His commands. Those commands are the details.

          • Andy

            Reverend Lovejoy: Get a divorce.
            Helen Lovejoy: Mmm-hmm.
            Marge: But isn’t that a sin?
            Reverend Lovejoy: Marge, just about everything is a sin. [holds up a Bible] You ever sat down and read this thing? Technically, we’re not allowed to go to the bathroom.

            (Emphasis mine)

          • Brett Vermillion
          • Andy

            Sorry, I pretty well dismissed it when I read that she considers homosexuality a sin.

            Let me ask you a question: do you think sexual preference is a choice, or is it innate?

          • Brett Vermillion

            She does not say or believe that. In fact she makes that clear in the article. You are a thinking man, Andy. Please do not dismiss her so easily. She is no lightweight. She was a practicing lesbian and college professor for many years. And she criticizes some of the more superficial, insensitive and unfair ways LBGT folks are dealt with. She also dismisses some of the superficial and unfair ways LBGT folks smear and dismiss the arguments against their views. You may not find it helpful but I believe you will find it insightful.

            I believe in Original Sin so I think it is innate, like my propensity to get drunk or have sex outside marriage or be selfish. But I also believe God commands otherwise. That creates a dilemma for us. But God is good and if we repent, provides a new heart with new innate-ness.

          • Andy

            Oops. I actually completely missed one key sentence, which changes a lot. I apologize. Thanks for reminding me to take another look.

            I understand your perspective on Original Sin. So if you believe that homosexuality is innate, but that same-sex acts — just like extramarital sex, as you said — are sinful, do you believe that gays are basically called to celibacy?

          • Brett Vermillion

            Yes, this is how it worked for me. While waiting to be delivered from things I was more or less born with, I had to abstain. This seems to happen quickly for some and is a real battle for others. As fantastic as it may sound, God has the ability to give us completely new desires. I believe God gives us a whole new innate-ness when we are converted. Why wouldn’t He be able to, He is God. Anyway I am a firm believer that He actually makes us a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17) He did for me.

          • Andy

            Well if you’re happy with how things worked out, I’m happy for you. But I don’t think it works that way for most people.

          • Brett Vermillion

            Sadly I think you’re right. But I believe it can work that way if we trust God. We step out and He meets us there. That’s the real shame.

            “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)
            Right?

            But also:

            “He who believes in Him is not judged; he who does not believe has been judged already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. “This is the judgment, that the Light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil.” (John 3:18-19)

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            One of the appeals of The Simpsons is its aptness when it comes to culture, and being satire will peel back all the curtains and shows the reality of how silly we can be over something like we view things, and when it comes to American religion, we are extremely silly.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            The command, Love God, love your neighbor IS the key. It’s the greatest commandment, its the one many hinge their lives around, and its beautifully universal, not restricted by dogma, or denomination, or even religious parameters.

          • Brett Vermillion

            No argument with the commandment, but I’m confident that we define theological terms differently. And that is critical. Christian love is defined in the Christian Bible, not by modern culture. That is where “dogma and religions parameters” come in.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Oh it is with certainty that we define theology, and terminology quite differently. To me, Love is not restricted to just the Bible, and its not only restricted to Christianity, or to culture, modern or ancient.

            The first person recorded to come up with the concept of “love your neighbor as yourself” was not Christian. He wasn’t even from Asia Minor, or the Judean region. He was from China and died in 479 BC. It also was part of the Hindu and Buddhist teachings, and Zorastarianism. That faith had some real influence on Jewish thought, thanks to the exile.

            I find it interesting this one teaching on love, has been found in so many places, in almost every culture, for so many generations. I personally believe that God felt it important enough for us, to ensure that we’d learn it, not matter how we perceived the divine.

          • Andy

            Practically every worldview and belief system has a version of the Golden Rule. Wikipedia has a number of examples: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule

          • Brett Vermillion

            Who said love was restricted to the Bible or Christianity? You either read what I said too quickly or you were just looking for an opportunity to insert your take on history.

            The Bible affirms that God tries to give his gifts to all types of people, not just Christians. That is called common grace.

            Does not wisdom call, And understanding lift up her voice?
            On top of the heights beside the way, Where the paths meet,
            she takes her stand;
            Beside the gates, at the opening to the city, At the
            entrance of the doors, she cries out:
            “To you, O men, I call, And my voice is to the sons of
            men. (Proverbs 8:1-4)

            The problem is that people keep resisting God’s wisdom.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            You said Christian love is defined by the Christian bible. Never mind that the first half is not Christian in authorship or theme.

            I don’t define love by religious confines. or the statements in a single book. Which was my point. God’s wisdom is not confined to that book either, which was the rest of the point.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Pretty much where I sit as well Andy, especially as the Bible has so many examples of how to, or how not to do that beautiful commandment.

          • Guy Norred

            Sorry for the delay–I have had a very busy few days. Anyway, why would you think that he that is “the same yesterday, today, and forever” would not still be inspiring Christians as he did in the early church? To be clear, I am absolutely not saying that God changes, but that our ability and readiness to understand him does. Paul himself acknowledged this even of his own teaching. “I fed you with milk, not solid food, for you were not ready for solid food.” As to the Bible, I cannot speak for all those at which your statement is directed, but I do fully believe it contains the wisdom of God–that there is much to be learned in its study–but I do not believe it contains the entirety of God–and, no, I do not believe it to be unadulterated even in what it does contain. Even though I believe that most of those who have had a hand in how it has come to us (either by writing in the first place, compiling the never completely agreed upon canon, translation, or interpretation and commentary) have had the best of intentions and asked for divine guidance, I know that worldly motives were not always absent. We must look to the Spirit to lead us in our reading. In the end, the Bible is not God but an (imperfect–a dim mirror, if you will) representation of God.

          • Guy Norred

            I just came across this and found it pretty much summed up my thoughts on the matter.

            http://www.patheos.com/blogs/rogerwolsey/2014/01/16-ways-progressive-christians-interpret-the-bible/

          • Brett Vermillion

            I want to be as generous as I can with this. The writer of this article is all over the place. He frequently interjects his assertions and assumptions into the article with no supporting evidence. I could refute what he says point by point and then show how his conclusion is just a stab in the dark but I only want to address what I think is the main danger. And I will show that at the end.

            He assumes a problem that coincidentally he has the cure for. That is Marketing 101. His, ‘get you on board’ solidarity buzzword is fundamentalism. Those are the evil bad guys we need to stand against, and we are the good guys. Sounds very familiar, I hear about these fundamentalists all over the place. They are responsible for, well, pretty much all the evil in the world. If it weren’t for them we would all live in peace and harmony. I have heard fundamentalist Christians compared with fundamentalist Muslims but never with atheists. They are both total nonsense comparisons but he gets your attention with this, like he has some special wisdom that he will bequeath to solve the problem (which never happens). Of course these are his own imaginary fundamentalists so he gets to make the rules on what his imaginary ‘friends’ (his words from last sentence) will do.

            He defines a fundamentalist as someone who interprets everything in Scripture literally. Really, where are these people? I have never met a person like this. Jesus said: “He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” The fundamentalists he is alluding to must believe they actually tried to start cannibalizing Jesus. Complete nonsense, no one takes everything in the Bible literally. The truth is that they don’t draw the lines in the same place he does. How arrogant of them! Don’t they know his way is the right way? But instead of exposing his position as hypocritical he uses emotional manipulation to get your agreement.

            For the rest of you who have fallen for this ‘fundamentalist’ trick in the media and from these manipulators. A real fundamentalist is a person who believes in the fundamentals of the religion. For Christianity that means things like: Jesus’s virgin birth, sinless life, vicarious atonement, death on a cross, bodily resurrection, ascension into heaven, etc. There are a WIDE variety of Christians who believe these fundamentals as truth and most of them are very nice people.

            What most people mean by fundamentalist is that there are a group of people who believe some things that they disagree with and are unwilling to yield on those points, even to the point of conflict. But you must see that this is completely subjective to the person making the accusation. Further if someone said something about my daughter that was untrue, let’s say accused her of prostitution and I refused to agree with them, even to the point of conflict, whom would you say the problem was with?

            Next he also borrows a framework of biblical interpretation from conservative Christians that completely contradicts his assertions, but inserts his beliefs into that framework whenever he thinks it is needed to support his conclusion and then pretends it is all consistent. People usually do this to give weight to their arguments. This is the way the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses use the Bible. They lean on it to give their religion credibility and then turn around and undercut it every turn when needed to get you to believe their book or organization. His assertions are internally and externally inconsistent.

            And then finally he reaches into his big mixed pot of assumptions, facts, illogic and other people’s logic and pulls his rabbit out the hat. It is nauseatingly inconsistent. Either he cannot distinguish between facts and unfounded assertions (doubtful) or he is dishonest.

            The same fundamentalists he insulted as stupid or evil at the beginning, he ends by calling them ‘friends’. This came off as soooo insincere. In reality these imaginary fundamentalists are just a platform for him to stand on to draw attention to himself.

            I want to warn those of you who pride yourselves on not using discernment (the ‘we love everyone’ folks) and those of you who think you have great discernment but somehow keep coming to the same conclusions regardless of the situation 😉 , be very careful with this guy. The way he distorts truth for his own advantage is classic false teacher stuff.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Your warning is noted, but unwarranted. This is of course your opinion on the author, and his beliefs, as well as the beliefs of those who have issues with the conservative branch of Christianity, and have sound reasons to have issues with that branch.
            You are of course wasting your trying to convince anyone that John or any of the other contributors to this forum, or the commenters or the mods are just some crazy, apostate fringe group with a blinded cult following. First of all, its just your opinion, second, that’s not who we are.

          • RealityFD

            Obviously those passages get that attention because of the time we live in; where homosexuality is this mainstream movement and people are being told they must agree, support and celebrate it because it’s right/normal. If you don’t agree/support/celebrate, you are a hateful bigot . . . because disagreeing without someone’s actions obviously means you hate them.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Well most people in this country support marriage equality and several states amdbthe federal government have passed laws to ensure greater equality to this minority group. Several nations, including our neighbor to the north have offered full equality for awhile.

            It is in only some religious groups, generally of the more conservative sects, were resistance seems to be the strongest. It is in that same group, also a minority group, that the most vehemence against the LGBT community seem to lie. It is members of this group that is working to pass discriminatory laws against gays or to combat ones that remove discriminatory barriers.

          • adam

            I think in the vernacular, some religious zealots do not want to ‘give to Caesar that which is Caeser’
            That is OUR government is based on a premise of freedom, which necessitates treating all its citizens equally under the law.
            Personally I believe it is much more likely that it is the Ted Haggard syndrome. Me thinks they doth proteth to much.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I do wonder, as well, what is the real motivation behind some of the stringent attacks against true equality for all, or the staunch defenses of a stance against homosexuality, based on just a couple of verses in the Bible that may not even be discussing that topic at all.

            Is it fear, and if so of what? Of being in error of their views, of being found out, of having to actually consider someone they think as deviant, apostate or condemned by God as no different than themselves. Is the purpose diversionary, or is it based on something more nefarious, a willingness to hate and to use religion to justify it?

            We of course just don’t know. All we can do is to continue to offer what we do here, to be respectful, even when others don’t like what we have to say or our beliefs, and to continue to strive towards a world where all people are seen as loved by God, all equally beautiful, of purpose and value, and our neighbor.

          • adam

            All I can do is speak from my experience about this.
            When I was young I was homophobic for a couple of reasons.
            1. “those kind of people” were heavily shunned by society as well as friends and family.
            2. I didn’t understand my own sexuality enough to realize that homosexuality wasn’t contagious. Once I grew up and understood that I wasn’t gay and that nothing could change that, I understood for those that were, that just IS what they are (not to sound impersonal) and therefore it was really not my concern – except for how civil society is to them.

            The cognitive dissonance of people who BELIEVE that a god is responsible for EVERYTHING and EVERYBODY to shun those people based on political translations of a collection of stories, is frankly beyond my comprehension.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            It is beyond mine as well adam

          • Brett Vermillion

            Unfounded accusations, hyperbole and hatred against the Bible and those who believe in it. The only bigotry that is acceptable is against those you assume to be bigots. It serves them right for just for being easy targets, huh? It was folks like that who were defining homosexuality as a mental illness 30 years ago and scared they were going to get AIDS from being sneezed on. But now it’s popular so the wind blows the other way. Cite the studies that support your accusations ma’am.
            Those of us who believe the Bible also believe that that the God who created marriage gets to define it, even if you don’t think it’s fair. We think truth is more helpful to people than warm fuzzies. And we are also the ones who are willing to lay down our lives for sinners of any flavor…and not because it’s popular.
            We also believe bullying others is wrong, even for being accused bigots.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            No 30 years ago I was 21 years old, and had already worked with a couple of really cool guys who were gay, and I was worried about them, hoping that the wouldn’t get sick. I was also troubled by the vehemence aimed towards gay people because of something that wasn’t their fault. I also read up on early studies and it took me no time at all to learn how the disease was spread, and was thankful that education was soon common enough to quell the ridiculous rumors, and that people started using condoms, and being much more mindful about drug use, and began thinking of the dangers of sex for just the thrill had possible consequences. We ended up being much wiser, using more precautions following a decade free ranging promiscuity throughout the country. Something many people including myself participated in. Which is why I was a single parent at age 21.

            I didn’t buy the evil, ugly rumours and the hate mongering that were hurled against the LGBT community 30 years ago, based on fear, ignorance, and the unholy rise of the Moral Majority, and I certainly don’t buy that shit now.

            If we were to depend on the bible to define marriage, then polygamy would be popular, rape victims would be either stoned for not crying out, or forced to marry their rapist, people could marry their siblings or close cousins, or a series of brothers, Men could marry and have a harem, Because that is how the bible. Which is why we don’t use the bible to define marriage, despite protests to the contrary.

          • Brett Vermillion

            You are either unable or unwilling to separate fact from assumption. Is it at all possible that you have been doing the very thing you accuse them (or possibly us) of doing?

            You may be able to copy-n-paste but you don’t know anything about the Bible. The Bible defines marraige one way from beginning to end. Does your liberal theology or secular history book approve of everything it reports happened? Can anyone say shallow argument?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I just gotta love the “you don’t know the Bible” rebuttal, not that its relevant or true. When people resort to that, that means that there was no desire for dialog or sharing of ideas. It dismisses personal experience, understanding or even the possibility that God may have shown something to someone not yet considered, only because they see scripture a different perspective.

            For the record there are reams of data on the AIDS epidemic, they just aren’t in the Bible, there libraries full if information on the history of marriage, the bible is just one book there. The same is true for human sexuality, sexuality in other species, and more. Reading is one of my favorite past times. Its how I , and many others learn.

            And I rarely copy/paste, save the odd link, or a brief relevant statement or quote

          • Brett Vermillion

            No, you’ve got me all wrong. I don’t say you don’t know the Bible to shut down discussion, I wasn’t even aware that there was a discussion. You seem to be perfectly content with just hitting all ‘your’ (unsubstantiated) talking points and don’t appear to be open to anything from people like me. No, I said that simply as a statement of fact based on what you say about the Bible. I am more than willing to have a conversation about the Bible. In fact I love to teach people the Bible. I just wasn’t aware you were interested.

            We can start with this: there are many types of literature in the Bible but it is primarily a history book. As such like any good history book, it reports many things and just because it reports something that is not always an approval.

            When I say copy-n-paste I do not necessarily mean that in a literal sense. It means using other people’s ideas without thinking them through in a logical and critical way to determine truth or validity.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I simply do not see the Bible the way you do. Why? Because I have read it, studied it read what others have had to say, areas how the book came to be, been involved in three very different Protestant denominations…. and have drawn my own, very unique conclusions.

            As you have, I merely share my views, which I’ve admitted all along are personal, and have shared just a touch on the why, I reject the doctrine of condemnation of the LGBT community, a doctrine that has literally caused death and suffering to innocent people.

            As for biblical history. Yeah its there, but as most history written in that time its biased and not written to get facts and dates recorded correctly.that wasn’t the author’s purposes, in don’t hink, and many agree. Which is why I choose to use a variety of sources when considering the history of any time.

            I understand well what critical thinking is, which is why my faith and views are what they are. I just wonder if that is what biyhers you, about me that I do not accept things at face value especially from an evangelical stance or that I’m not a sola scriptira adherent?

          • Brett Vermillion

            We have a lot in common: promiscuous teen/adult beginning, child out of wedlock, trying Christianity as a solution, wanting to reason it out for ourselves. The main difference is that in the process I was converted (you know, born-again) and you were not.

            So you do not have the ability to see things the way I do because the things of God are spiritually discerned. You have to view everything from a naturalistic perspective because you simply don’t have any other options. Your intellect is the measure of all things. You stand as judge over God or gods with your superior reasoning ability. The problem is that your reasoning ability has failed you many times already, is failing you as we speak, and will fail you again. That is a bad strategy for success. If there is a God who created everything that exists, thinking that our puny intellect is adequate to put Him on trial is just foolishness.

            Your conclusions of the Bible and Christianity are not at all unique, they are pretty much cut-n-paste. You say all the same basic things the liberal theologians and liberal media outlets say, yet most of it has no proof or basis in reality, it is just subjective opinion. And you are able to keep making the statements because you avoid or dismiss anyone who challenges you. You are only open to things that disagree with Christianity because you do not understand it. So you listen to a variety of voices as long as they do not disagree with your fundamental doctrine of a deeply flawed Christianity with hypocritical or blind adherents.

            Case in point, you say: “the doctrine of condemnation of the LGBT community, a doctrine that has literally caused death and suffering to innocent people“.

            This is completely fabricated; there is no doctrine like this anywhere (except Westboro Baptist Church). This idea was created for the sole purpose of finding someone to blame. It is seriously bigoted smear against innocent people, a hypothesis created by bullies to make themselves feel superior. I challenge you to show me the existence of this doctrine somewhere other than in people’s minds.

            In fact the complete opposite is true, Born-again Christians’ deepest desire for the LBGT community and every other community is for them to experience the same love and forgiveness they have experienced. They are deeply greived when people are mistreated and margianilized. I know these people, many of them, and I am very offended when they get bashed by baseless and hypocritical bullying, picking on the easiest targets.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            In the US, 40% of homeless youth are gay, They were ejected from their homes by parents…christian parents. For too many of these kids, that is a fucking death sentence. Gay people are raped, beaten, tortured, and murdered…in my country!!!, JUST because they are gay. In a couple of countries now,being gay is a death sentence, an ally of a gay person is subject to the same thing. Here they can be denied employment, housing, death benefits, solely because they are gay. This is promoted, preached and legislated by chrisrtians! If that is being a Christian, in thinking such treatment is right in God’s eyes, then I reject that God.

            Thankfully I know many Christians who are just as appalled as I am.

            I am content with my faith, delighted in knowing how richly i am blessed and grateful to be unfettered by the trappings of dogma. I love a God I cannot define, although I try, and whom I believe loves us all equally, religious thought, teachings etc. Not a barrier to that love.

            I don’t won’t to back to where I once was, where you seem to want me. To me that would be rejectong all god has taight .me.

          • Brett Vermillion

            Seriously, you have to stop making up your own definitions for things. You need to look at what the Bible says is a Christian before you proclaim someone to be a Christian and then condemn them for not acting like one. I really think the main hindrance is that you haven’t been converted. If you were the scriptures would be illuminated and you would see all this clearly.

            I do not deny that LGBTs are treated badly. They are not the only ones. What I said is that Christians are not the cause of it. Many claim to be Christian but are not truly converted. “You will know them by their fruits.

            For instance you don’t believe in the Bible and you stand as the judge over God and His Children. You justify sin and you condemn Christians. Christians are commanded: “test yourselves to see whether you are in the faith.” The book of 1st John was written specifically for this purpose (1 John 5:13). Here is a quick test [all passages are from First John]:

            [1:6] If you walk in darkness (defined as rejecting biblical truth/correction from other Christians) you are disqualified.

            [1:7] Do you walk in fellowship with other believers “in the light”, in other words transparent about your sins? (Prerequisites here are obviously that you accept God’s definition of sin and that you are in fellowhip [church] and that you have real Christians that you are honest with and accountable to.)

            [1:9] Do you confess your sins to God seeking His forgiveness and cleansing? (Prerequisite again is that you accept God’s definition of sin.)

            [1:10] If you refuse to accept your sinfulness and your sin (as defined biblically) you are disqualified.

            [2:3-4] Do you obey God’s commandments? (Do you even believe His commandments?)

            [2:9-11] Do you have a love for Christians (“love” and “Christian” both as defined by Scripture)?

            [2:15-17] Do you have a hatred for the things of the world? (Things includes philosophies, posessions, worldliness, etc.)

            [2:24-25] Do you have a perserverance in doctrine or have you lost faith in Christianity?

            [3:10] Is your life defined by biblical righteousness?

            [4:13] Has the Holy Spirit given you deep assurance that you are born again?

            If you examine yourself honestly and fail the test in most or all of these things you are not a Christian. There is no harsh rhetoric or hyperbole here. This is in your Bible.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            You said:

            “I am an evangelist so I talk to lots of people but only see them in two types. Those who are willing to submit to God and those who aren’t. ”

            So you enter into things with a preconceived notion on just who is “willing to submit to God and who isn’t” and everyone fits into those two camps. Isn’t that an arrogant and presumptuous stance to take?

            First of all, based on what? Second on all, how do you know for certain you are correct? Third, what business is it of yours?

          • Brett Vermillion

            No, I don’t think is is arrogant. The Bible say no one seeks after God. So if someone shows resistance to truth, then I assume they are not willing to submit to God. For the most part I just listen and take them at face value.

            Your questions (in order)…
            1st – based on the Bible.
            2nd – Bible has never been proven wrong.
            3rd – Great Commission.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            So you’ve made assumptions, and based on assumptions you assume ahead of time that people are not going to fit into your mold. Therefore, you cannot take people at face value.

            The bible has been proven wrong. 1. Jericho, one of the longest continually inhabited towns in the world. It was never destroyed, the walls falling outward, never to be rebuilt, THe bible was wrong. 2. Rabbits, it is assumed that rabbits chew their cud, like cows. They don’t. 3. The concepts of Astronomy was wrong, right for their understand, but has long since proven now exactly accurate.

            So if those two things have been proven incorrect, there could be more things that the authors didn’t get right, and there is. It doesn’t mean its lacking value, cause dayum its so rich in so many ways, but that its a poor source of science and not that great a historical reference. yes we can see places that were mentioned, and a few people, but there is much, secular history, with many years of research and study shows us so much better.

          • Brett Vermillion

            The Bible has never been proven wrong.

            You very specifically and pointedly only listen to sceptics and not even mainstream sceptics. Whenever your secular sceptics and the Bible disagree you automatically believe the sceptics. You start with your assumptions that the Bible must be wrong and then cull for some copy-n-paste arguments to try to prove your point. The first 2, I will answer, the third one is so vague that it isn’t even a valid accusation with no way to rebut.

            1) Rabbits are not ruminants based on modern classifications of animals but the Bible doesn’t claim they are. It claims they “chew the cud” or re-chew partially digested food. And the Bible is correct; they re-chew partially digested food (from the soft feces) which is the same basic process as the ruminants with exactly the same effect. The Bible is correct.

            What I think is amazing is that this scientific process that has been recently discovered/documented could have been known by what you guys keep calling dumb sheepherders over 3000 years ago.

            2) The ‘evidence’ against the Biblical account of the conquest of the city of Jericho has been disproven since the early 80s. And where does the Bible say Jericho will never be rebuilt? It does say there is a curse upon whoever rebuilds it and that was fulfilled.

            You see how you selectively only use the sceptics assertions and findings, each with his or her own axe to grind? And you discount any that disagrees with your already decided narrative.

            I just do not get why you keep hanging around Christianity; you don’t believe it, you insult it’s God, dig for any evidence to disprove it’s Bible, hate it’s followers.
            But you’re a pacifist, right?

          • ttpog

            “…his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares? And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them.…’Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”‘” Matthew 13:25-30.

            Many supposed Christians are actually tares.

          • Brett Vermillion

            Amen. What I try to do is convince folks to examine themselves to see whether they are tares with an objective method. Then, if by God’s grace, they find out they are tares they can cry out to God for salvation. Otherwise they go to Hell self-assured. That thought is unconscionable to me.

          • adam

            possibly ALL

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            wait, the bible has a patron deity? Or is the Bible itself more deific?

            I don’t hate Christianity. Its a beautiful faith. What I hate is some of the doctrines, teachings and history. I hate how the Bible has been used as a weapon to destroy, demean, condemn, cause sorrow and pain. The book itself is benign, but its wielders can be anything but.

            I am a Christian, because I know people who read scripture and see the love it contains, the hope, the message to be peaceful, generous souls. They use scripture as a balm, to comfort, to uplift.

            I’ll stick with the peaceful lot, who see the Bible as just a tool, a beautiful important one, but just a tool that has much to offer to Christians and to others. I don’t see it as divine, or God breathed, but I think people were inspired to try to share what they thought of God, and we have the privilege of reading those ancient thoughts.

            I don’t have to live up to your standards of what a Christian is….thank the Lord for that, but then I don’t want to live up to the standards of any preacher, who really doesn’t know me, and the ones that I do, wouldn’t dare treat me as you have, they are too respectful of who I am and of any of their congregants, or friends, acquaintances, etc.. Beside’s the only opinion that matters when it comes to my faith is God’s, and so far s/he has steered me along beautifully.

            I’m done here..

          • Brett Vermillion

            The bottom line is that if you only accept the things you want in the Bible you believe in yourself, not the Bible.

            And if you decide what you want to think about God (rather than what He says) and then worship that god, you are worshiping an imaginary god. Imaginary gods can’t save you from divine wrath.

          • ttpog

            Same-sex deviancy should not be confused with something like skin color. Sure they can be denied employment and housing the same as drug addicts, alcoholics and all those with any manner of deviant behaviors can. God forbid the day ever come when we can’t deny such things on the basis of deviant behaviors.

            You deleted that comment for what reason? I see Lamont Cranston’s comment below did not get deleted yet it was quite rude and filled with hate. Favoritism? Hypocrisy?

          • RealityFD

            I am aware of the current prevailing/advancing views in this country and around the world in regards to redefining something as obvious as marriage, thank you. I’m also aware of the various employed tactics that got us to this place; from flooding the media and entertainment with sympathetic homo-figures/characters, to fear and intimidation of being called hateful if you voice any disagreement with homosexuality, to downright indoctrinating elementary students that homosexuality is right/normal/healthy. The game plan is pretty much spelled out in an 80’s book called ‘After the Ball.’ Any you’ve bought it hook, line and sinker it seems. So telling me what MOST people think, means nothing to me, I don’t strive to live my life according to what MOST people do and think. MOST people in different cultures all over the world (including ours) have/do condone/accept all kinds of evils crazy things. God forbid I live my life based on following the majority.
            As for your 2nd point, the same vehemence is found against Christians, political (laws) and otherwise. Laws being put in place that try to force Christians to go against their moral conscience, and a common demeanor of hostility and ridicule to people who profess faith in Christ and actually try to live according to the Bible. Point is, your “negatives” can be found on both sides, so it’s kind of hypocritical to point the finger.

          • adam

            This is the problem when religion and government mix.

            Marriage is a civil contract under the law.
            It is not a religious endevour under the law.

            So denying rights to people is not a religious concern but a social and moral one.

            The bible is NOT the law of the land.

            We have seen the consequences of rule by theocracy and found it unjust, inhumane and immoral.

          • RealityFD

            “Marriage is a civil contract under the law.
            It is not a religious endevour under the law.”

            That’s your opinion, sir. For one: Many people acknowledge marriage as more than a civil contract and would get married even if our country didn’t acknowledge it. And marriage can exist even in a land that has no man-made rule of law. Your logic is backwards. Example: The law doesn’t make stealing wrong. Stealing is wrong, and societies either accept and enforce it, or not. If they don’t, they deal with the consequences.

            “So denying rights to people is not a religious concern but a social and moral one.” Yeah, the whole problem there is your assumption/opinion of what constitutes a “right.” This is what many are failing/refusing to acknowledge in this particular argument. Not to mention what our “rights” and “morals” ultimately come from.

            I’m not a fan of religion and power being in bed with one another either, but the problem isn’t religion, it’s the heart of man. Because we currently live in the results of democracy and you don’t have to look around very long to see how inhumane, unjust and immoral people are, including those who run this democracy. One example is the “legal” killing of hundreds of millions of unborn babies in the past 60 years. Yay democracy!

          • adam

            “Marriage is a civil contract under the law.
            It is not a religious endevour under the law.”

            It is NOT my opinion it is LAW.

            If people want to get ‘married’ in a church, they don’t need government to cement what ever bond they want.

            But if they don’t make it LEGAL by signing a civil CONTRACT, they don’t get the RIGHTS that CONTRACT guarantees.
            Plain and Simple.
            In the RIGHTS of CONTRACT in our system, the goal is insure that EVERYONE is treated equally and fairly in the eyes of the LAW.

            “Not to mention what our “rights” and “morals” ultimately come from.”

            …That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,…

            They come ultimately from the our government.

            Rights of inheritance, custodial power, power of attorney, ability to share bank accounting are all rights that ultimately come from OUR government. (you may not have some of these rights under other governments).

            Personally, religion should stop calling it ‘marriage’ and move to something like ‘Holy Matrimony’, and have their dogma that those: who don’t practice their dogma, doesn’t have their marriages recognized as ‘Holy Matrimony’, in their dogma.

            Religion could easily OWN ‘Holy Matrimony’ TM, it has the ‘Holy” in it that MEANS god and religion. It also means there are no special rights to the law given or implied.

            The LAW owns marriage, because you don’t need to have a god to get married.

            We have already shown our morality by dismissing what the bible supports – slavery. Stoning to death disobedient children, people who do work on Saturday, adulterers, etc….

            Nature (god) aborts the greatest number of ‘unborn babies’ in all history. Yay god!

            If you really want to reduce abortions you should encourage those things that demonstrate to be effective, like contraception and knowledge.

          • RealityFD

            “But if they don’t make it LEGAL by signing a civil CONTRACT, they don’t get the RIGHTS that CONTRACT guarantees.”

            Sure, here in America at this time in history, but you’re missing the point. I’m talking about what marriage is foundationally. Not what societies use to enforce, track, and regulate it. MY point is: MARRIAGE CAME FIRST, not the law that says you must sign a state license, not the law to included 2 men or 2 women.

            “. . .That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,…They come ultimately from the our government . . . The LAW owns marriage, because you don’t need to have a god to get married.”

            I love how you completely bypassed the sentences that lead up to what you quoted so you could make your incorrect point . . . Here they are: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights–So wrong, our RIGHTS come from GOD, not man. MARRIAGE came from GOD, not man (that’s why you don’t need a gov’t to have a marriage) and that’s why Christians acknowledge that it’s not okay for man to redefine it.

            You don’t have to believe in God to be married and the Bible never says you have to; just needs to be a man and a woman.

            “We have already shown our morality by dismissing what the bible supports – slavery. Stoning to death disobedient children, people who do work on Saturday, adulterers, etc.”

            Stoning children, slavery, Sabbaths, etc. were laws specific for the Nation of Israel to live by under the Old Covenant (Before the sacrifice of Jesus); they are nation-specific punishments, rules. Commands regarding sexual immorality are not nation-specific. According to the Bible, God condemning/judging of sexual perversions (there are many) reaches to nations outside of Israel.

            Btw, many biblically founded laws WERE very much the law of the land here in America (sodomy was illegal up until like the mid-1900’s in many states, divorces were very difficult to get, etc.), our country has just steadily drifted away from such laws.

            “Nature (god) aborts the greatest number of ‘unborn babies’ in all history.”

            The God I serve is not nature, nor is He synonymous with it, rather He is distinctly separate from it.

            “If you really want to reduce abortions you should encourage those things that demonstrate to be effective, like contraception and knowledge.”

            Actually I “encourage” the MOST “effective” behavior and knowledge; saving intimate and sexual behavior for marriage. It keeps people from not only abortion, but disease, unwanted pregnancy, unwanted clingy partners, being used and misled, using and misleading, emotional baggage, walks of shame, idiocy and so much more J

          • adam

            It is said that the first union between a man and a woman took place in Mesopotamia at 2350 BC. Marriage evolved since then and such practice was observed by the Romans, Greeks, and Hebrews. However, the union was never about love or religion. The primary purpose of the marriage is to ensure that the man’s children are biologically his, and so women were treated as mere ‘property’.

            http://www.historyofmarriage.org/

            the bible didn’t CREATE marriage, it mearly borrowed from the culture.

            Yes, my Creator is Evolution.
            god and gods are specifically absent from our Constitution.
            Jesus was clear about the old law:

            Matthew 5:18 King James Version (KJV) For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

          • RealityFD

            So, because that website says so, it must be true?
            I didn’t say the Bible created marriage, GOD created marriage and the Bible tells us who, how and why.
            Many of the same people who penned the Declaration of I. Put together the Constitution. I’m convinced that their acknowledgment of a Creator God didn’t disappear from their minds as they were putting it together.
            Not sure what your point is, but indeed, Jesus was clear. He was also clear that He will return in glory to judge His creation, which includes you, sir. I hope you’ll find truth before then.

          • adam

            If you have better information on the history of marriage.
            YOU have the opportunity here and now to demonstrate that.

            So you believe god created marriage so that a man’s children is his property? Because that is WHY it was created.

            Yes, Jesus was VERY clear:
            Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.”

            That generation passed away almost 2000 years ago.

          • RealityFD

            That better information is in the Bible. Genesis 2:23-25 and Ephesians 5: 31-33 (plus 5:20-33) is a good place to start. No I don’t think it had anything to do with property, I don’t doubt it was distorted to such, at some point, though.

            Oh yes, what a wonderful passage that verse is taken from. I didn’t understand it for quite some time myself either. (Matthew 24:32-35 & Mark 13:28-31) This “generation” that won’t pass away, is directly connected to the parable of the fig tree you read before it (and the end-time-recap before that). Like many trees, the fig tree looks dead during the winter, and for all we know it could be, but when we see it budding and producing leaves we realize not only is it alive, but that a certain season undoubtedly approaches. This is a parable, right? What does it mean? Well, the fig tree is the nation of Israel. (In Joel 1:7 the nation of Israel is referred to as God’s fig tree).
            Israel has had quite a past with being conquered and its people dispersed (1st in 586 B.C., 2nd time was 70 A.D.), and yet it has returned to being a nation, TWICE; This is unheard of in the history of nations around the globe to be done even once, let alone TWICE. And yet it was prophesied in Isaiah 11:10,11 that it would happen TWICE, even before it had happened the first time. The nation looked dead for 2 seasons of time. This latest winter lasted almost 1800 years. The fig tree, Israel, showed it was not dead, but alive, when it was restored as a nation for the 2nd time in 1948; 65 years ago. THAT marked the beginning of the “generation that would not pass away” until all be fulfilled. You are living in the generation that scripture seems to imply will experience the rapture, endure the great tribulation, and see Christ return. And what an appropriate time; when so many doubt God’s existence, but swear that if God would just show proof of Himself, they would believe in Him. Revelation says that many WILL actually repent during the tribulation, but many will also harden their hearts and hate God all the more. I hope you will do the former. If you’re open minded enough, check out this series on the book of Revelation, it’s where I got most of the info I just shared with you. It’s chock full of prophecy and should be intriguing even to a non-Christian or skeptic. http://www.calvarychurchfl.com/media/revelation.php

          • adam

            What the bible created was “One Flesh”, this is even better than Holy Matrimony. Support One Flesh all you want.

            Marriage is about legal rights and always has been.

            Jesus and those around them were VERY clear, they expected it in their generation. Only when the prophecy FAILED were all the apologetics necessary.

            I have looked at other CLAIMED prophecies and they fail to be supported as well.

            Sorry, not impressed.

          • adam

            John if you are reading this, this might be a topic for a post if you haven’t already done so.

            What the bible created was “One Flesh”, this is even better than Holy Matrimony. Support One Flesh all you want.

            Marriage is about legal rights and always has been.

          • Guy Norred

            Generally speaking I would agree–and actually I find it interesting that you should bring this up at the moment as that phrase (One Flesh) has been on my mind in the last week. So many people get stuck on the male and female…and don’t seem to ask what that means.

          • adam

            Credit goes to RealityFD for pointing out what the bible says.

          • RealityFD

            The most literal understanding of “One Flesh” would be a husband and wife coming together and making a child. Two becoming one; that’s only possible with a man and a woman.

          • adam

            NP,
            NOTHING about legal rights, which is WHY marriage was created and WHAT it is today.
            So have your “One Flesh”tm and enjoy it.
            In YOUR church…

          • Guy Norred

            I will admit to not always following the most standard of rules in regard to punctuation, but your seemingly random sprinkling of periods is making it very difficult to follow your thoughts.

          • RealityFD

            Where was Jesus VERY clear on this? Please, by all means, support your statements.
            What failed claims?
            Not impressed? Hm. Well please, do explain to me how Isaiah could have guessed that his native people would be scattered to surrounding countries and farther and brought back into their homeland not once, but twice. That he could guess that, 2500 years before it would happen for the 2nd time. Why he would guess such a thing to begin with? being that it doesn’t happen; Nations get conquered and assimilated, they don’t retain their culture for multiple generations and somehow end up back on their land after 1800 years. Doesn’t. Happen. 1 in _______ probability. And yet the only nation to ever do it, has a prophet that predicted it! Your inability to be impressed sounds more like a hard heart and stubbornness. I pray that your heart be softened and the scales from your eyes, removed. Peace & Blessings.

          • adam

            Yes, Jesus was VERY clear:
            Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.”

            That generation passed away almost 2000 years ago.

            Well please, do explain to me how Isaiah could have guessed that his native people would be scattered to surrounding countries and farther and brought back into their homeland not once, but twice.

            The same way you’ve described it – he guessed.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jeane_Dixon

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nostradamus

          • Christine Spencer

            Well, what came first in this country was respecting and honoring same sex marriages. You see for thousands of years native Americans practiced and respected all of their people. Those marriages had the force of law in the tribe.

            So if we want to talk about the history of this country.

          • RealityFD

            I’m not familiar with historical homo. practices of the Native American but you’re speaking of a people group that lived on this LAND, not the people who birthed the “country” know as the USA.

          • Guy Norred

            I completely agree with your second paragraph and would like to point out that getting married without government acknowledgement has been happening in the LGBT community for a long time now. I look back with wonder at the strength of those who not only did so, but made these marriages work despite not just a lack of governmental acknowledgement, but societal denigration and dealing with the psychological fruits of centuries the oppression that scarred their souls, most likely long before they ever found each other. I am extremely aware that many were not able to overcome this. How do you think our current roughly 50% heterosexual divorce rate would stand under the same circumstances? It is about time that something be done to right this wrong. Luckily the last few years of just the things you seem so upset about in your previous post are making a dent, but there is obviously a long way to go when I read the kinds of things you and others are saying here.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            I remember when about the only jobs most women could get was secretary, shop clerk or bank teller. In other words low level, on the pay and hiarchy scale. Television shows like That Girl was rather contraversial and revolutionary because portrayed women as strong sucessful career minded individuals who didn’t need men to bring home the paycheck or make major decisions. It took culture to help bring to the forefront more equality for women in the workplace, something we are still not quite done fighting for almost 50 years later.

            I remember the first interacial kiss on television. It was so controversial that the tv sensors refused to allow the couple to actually be seen kissing on screen, instead they turned away at the last moment. (ten points to whomever guesses the show) That show and the film “Guess who’s coming to dinner” made us very aware of the racial tensions, and likely opened up needed dialog that eventually allowed interracial marriage to become legal. Considering the hoopla over a cereal commercial and the hues of an adorable little girl’s parents, we still have a ways to go there still, but in 45 years, we’ve made good progress.

            As for our LGBT neighbors, and those in media, Libarace and Paul Lynn, never said a word about their sexuality, in fact they went out of their way to be flamboyant, sort of an in your face the sensibilities of tv sensors. Others stayed under the radar in the public eye, for their own personal reasons. They’ve always been there, playing ordinary roles, or portraying people more like themselves.

            The first film I saw starring John Lithgow had him playing a former football player who’d had a sex change operation and it earned him an Oscar. He deserved it. (who can guess this one without googling?)

            The LGBT community is part of who we are, honestly portraying them in media, as human beings, friends, families parents, business owners, politicians, is right, and healthy for our culture. That we can use the media to help bring positive change like we have for women in the work place, or race being not a factor for how people construct families, is to me awesome.

          • RealityFD

            The problem here is you’re COMPARING sex with the same gender (or changing your gender) TO, being born as a female, or being born with a certain skin color. You think these things are all on the same level. This thinking reveals that, as Malcolm X said, you have been hoodwinked, bamboozled, led astray.

            Without debate: I don’t choose what skin color I’m born as. Without debate: I don’t choose what gender I’m born as.

            The same canNOT be said for who I have sex with. The same can’t even be said for who I “fall in love with.”

            Who I have sex with is a moral issue. Skin color is not.
            Who I have sex with is a MORAL ISSUE. The gender I’m born as, is not.

            The closest civil rights ties you can make to “sexual orientation” is to that of religious rights (the nature vs. nature debate fit both very well). We are free to BE/IDENTIFY WITH whatever religion we want to, but we cannot PRACTICE that religion in anyway that is outside of the law. A cult the desires the sacrifice of children won’t be accommodated by the law (unless it’s an abortion of course), If I make up a religion tomorrow that requires me to live life in the nude, the law does not bend for me, my job does not have to accept that and change it’s dress code policy for me, and for me to sue my job or the gov’t for not accommodating me is ludicrous. I think it is equally ludicrous for same sex couples to demand and expect everyone to be comfortable, supportive and celebratory of their relationship habits, to demand it be taught as normal and healthy in schools, and to the demand the definition of marriage be changed to accommodate them.

            Now don’t get me wrong, it is not okay to physically or verbally attack, hurt and discriminate against homosexuals, but changing marriage laws and indoctrinating children . . . I’m not okay with that.

            If you’re attracted to the same sex, and you’re a slave to your desires, so be it (that’s sad, and there is freedom in Christ, but so be it; we’re all in different places in life), but don’t tell me how I must respond to it. I don’t support and celebrate homosexual sex, just like I don’t support and celebrate premarital sex or adultery.

            So, I’m sorry, I understand you’ve bought into the lie of this being a righteous, civil rights cause, but you’ve been duped.

          • Andy

            No, you‘ve been duped. You’re trying to make a moral issue where none is necessary.

            Also, are you familiar with all the ways marriage is defined in the bible?

          • RealityFD

            “You’re trying to make a moral issue where none is necessary.”

            Really. How?

            “Also, are you familiar with all the ways marriage is defined in the bible?”

            Do tell. I doubt you’re using the word “defined” correctly in this scenario. Maybe it recounts or acknowledges (not condones) practices that occurred (such as polygamy), but recounting something doesn’t mean you support it, you’re simply telling what happened.

            Jesus was very clear though, when confronted with a question about divorce; “But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; And they two shall be one flesh: so then they are no more two, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”
            One male, one female, not to be separated, pretty simple.

          • Andy

            Yikes. Your “reality” handle does not befit you. You are as far away from reality as anyone.

          • RealityFD

            Another statement with no support, explanation, or logical argument. You are as far away from this thing called discussion and debate as anyone. Resulting to witty insults now? . . . Don’t be that guy!

          • Andy

            But witty is funny.

          • RealityFD

            True, sometimes 😉

          • adam

            “One Flesh” (TM) is not marriage.

            Marriage from the beginning was about legal rights.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Legal and property rights as often brides were purchased with contractual agreements, that included the exchange of goods, or properties, and alliances. There have been cultures in history where women had much more freedom when it came to choosing spouses, and a few were matriarical in nature. But for most, its only been in the past couple of hundred of years, where women, at least in the west, had the rights to owning or inheriting property, legal rights in business or personal matters, including financial, and full autonomy.
            One flesh, I believe was more about the act of sex, than about marriage.

          • RealityFD

            “”One Flesh” is not marriage.”
            Reading comprehension, dude, seriously. 1) He’s answering a question about divorce 2) He’s says “cleave to his WIFE”.

          • adam

            Sorry what is it that you cant comprehend by reading?
            Marriage from the beginning was about LEGAL rights.
            In YOUR bible it is called “One Flesh”tm.
            Marriages don’t make two people one, it contracts them to rights and responsibilities.

          • Guy Norred

            Well, as has already been pointed out, it is you who have been duped, but that is not directly what I want to address here. You say that who one has sex with is a moral issue. I agree, but there is a big leap between that assertion and a proscription of homosexuality. It is not at all surprising that this leap is often made though. Centuries of our culture have done almost nothing but reinforce this. Actually, you may note if you study it, that in general, translations of the Bible have actually gotten stauncher and more black and white on this point over the years. Until relatively recently almost no one, especially the heterosexual majority, has thought to question whether this is a valid take on the issue. It took being divinely knocked off his horse and blinded for Saul to question his the foundations of his faith and become Paul, so why should it be surprising that most of us do not think to question the assertions that blissfully place us in a position of moral superiority. The point of all of this being, that most people, as heterosexuals, would be wrong to engage in a homosexual relationship, but this is not because of the sexual activity per se, but because they would not be able to form the kind of bonds with each other that homosexuals do. The inverse is also true. Not all that homosexuals do among themselves is morally right either, but, again, the same thing is true of heterosexuals. One does not negate the other. Becoming one flesh really has very little to do with our bodies and what our bodies are doing, and a lot about our hearts and souls.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Who you have sex with is a moral issue to some people, and it seems to be more an issue with who other people have sex with, than who you personally have it with. When you insist on your morality, and disregard someone else’s, especially when they are not doing anything harmful, or dangerous, you are butting in where you have no right to be.
            As for the whole “indoctrinating children” line of nebulous reasoning….indoctrinating them how? for what purpose?

          • RealityFD

            Sex is a moral issue to just about everyone on the planet. The truth behind “relative” moral issues are easily exposed once you make them personal. I’m sure you yourself would take “issue with who other people have sex with” once that “other person” is your teenage child or significant other. If it’s Joe from down the street you may say, “whatever makes him happy,” but if you’re truly consistent in your morals then the same should be said for your spouse or child. So please, enlighten me as to if that is the case with you.
            “especially when they are not doing anything harmful, or dangerous”
            Here we have a clear difference in views of the world. I believe anything sinful is ultimately harmful to the offender and those connected to him, especially sexual sin. There is obviously more hurt that exists than physical hurt. And we don’t always know the outcome of our choices (whether they will hurt us or others in the future or not), but I believe God does know the outcome, and that’s why He commands certain do’s and don’ts. To this day, I have NEVER regretted obeying God’s commands of sexual purity, but for the times I have failed, I have nothing to boast of, only regret.
            Indoctrinating: LGBTQ books being implemented in elementary school curriculums. What purpose? They say to teach acceptance, tolerance, anti-bullying. I say, to teach that LGBT behavior is normal, healthy and morally acceptable. Which obviously opens the doors for kids to engage in it/experiment with it.

          • RealityFD

            Indoctrinating Children: Here it is, spelled out, 10 years in the making from good ‘ol Massachusetts.

            http://www.massresistance.org/docs/marriage/video_2013/index.html

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            Ah, a propaganda site, that states half truths, and misrepresentation of the facts, sort of like a FRC wanna be.

            Come on, how about actual hard data.

          • Christine Spencer

            There is a study that was just released which correlates the life expectancy of LGB people to the levels of acceptance in their local communities.

            In areas where acceptance/support are high LGB people live more than a decade longer.

            Consider the decade difference in their lives a record of the genocide that occurs from merely disagreeing, not supporting, or targeting them with harassment.

            Love brings life and hate brings death.

            It is hate.

          • RealityFD

            Drug abusers live shorter lives too. Will I roll out the red carpet to make things easier for them to keep consuming drugs and live in a less dangerous manner? No . . . they need to get free from whatever has them bound to drugs.
            Homosexuals need a similar freedom.
            Sin brings death, but Jesus Christ bring life.
            It is truth.

          • Guy Norred

            Way to miss the point. Try rereading and ask yourself which teaching it is that is bringing death (homosexuality is always wrong or homosexuality is a natural–God given even–variation to be treated with the same respect as heterosexuality).

          • adam

            Thank god it is not a sin to be prideful and spread discord amoung brethren.

          • RealityFD

            I didn’t miss the point, I disagree with it. Sin leads to death (death is any separation from God and what he desires for us in this life and the next). I agree with the Bible’s view of homosexual relations as sin. Therefore it could never be loving to encourage and support it. It would be no different from encouraging someone to do keep doing meth. The loving thing to do is share the truth, the truth about sin, the truth about God’s response to it, the truth of God’s grace that is available through Jesus, the truth about this world and the powers at work in it. Speaking the TRUTH in LOVE is the goal here. I don’t expect you to agree, but at least comprehend the logic.

            Why do you think it’s natural? And is everything natural ok?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            ironically the phrase “truth in love” or its variations never appears except when it talks about how “sinful” being gay is, or how god is going to judge them, or pour his wrath upon them, and crap like that. “Truth in love” is never trotted out for any other reason than as the loophole used to excuse degrading, marginalizing and condemning a particular group of people. What makes it worse that no other people group on the planet are under such vehement scruntity by some Christians.

            Which is why the “truth in love” statement rings so false to us.

          • RealityFD

            The message of tolerance rings equally false, as those who preach it refuse to tolerate anyone who disagrees with them. I’ll agree, there are some people speaking Biblical truth with no love connected to it, but I doubt in your ability to distinguish ‘truth with love’ versus ‘truth w/o love’. I’m convinced that anything short of full agreement with you is thrown into the hateful-bigot pile. If this is not the case, PLEASE clarify: What would be a suitable compromise on this issue? Pleeease answer this question!

            As far as no other group being under such scrutiny, the homo agenda is unceasingly pushed on public and private sectors, it (the idea, not the people) deserves to be scrutinized. Do you let people tell you what to believe and feel without judging it for your self?? I think that’s why we’re having this discussion, right?
            On the other hand, the world is very fond of scrutinizing and mocking Christians. Muslim and Communist countries kill and imprison Christians daily for nothing more than meeting together and worshipping God, telling others about Jesus, possessing a Bible. In the U.S., you can’t watch prime time tv without someone disrespecting the name of Jesus, and you can’t express belief in Jesus and the Bible without being met with hostility or ridicule. Many who rush to the defense of gays, don’t seem to mind that. But make a perceived hostile comments about gays, then you better get a good lawyer, be ready to lose your job or the like.

          • Andy

            I don’t see any sleight-of-hand. As you said, if you take that passage out of context, you could try and apply to everyone what Jesus said to one particular individual in a particular situation. Similarly, the Leviticus passage was written for the Levites, and at that particular time, and therefore should not be used to make prohibitions for the entire world now, then, and forever. They are analogous.

          • Brett Vermillion

            I am not sure why you brought in the Mosaic Law. But since you have I believe that most of the Mosaic Law is not binding upon us today. The Law was divided into 3 categories: moral, civil, and ceremonial. We can gain insight into our God’s character and see how the sacrificial system points to the Cross of Christ when we look into the civil and ceremonial laws but they are no longer binding. However the moral commands are binding upon all people of all time. This is evidenced in many ways and very specifically evidenced by their repetition in the New Covenant.

          • Andy

            I brought it up only because some people commit the sin of decontextualizing Leviticus — and some other passages, of course — but when confronted with verses like Luke 12:33, they insist the context is relevant. Validity of the old covenant aside, exegesis should be consistent. Hence the title of John’s article.

            You bring up another point that I’d like to address, though…nowhere in any bible verse is there a footnote saying “this applies to everyone for all time” or “this only applies to this particular audience right now; thousands of years later when culture is very different, don’t bother with this one.” The distinction between moral, civil, and ceremonial laws is entirely man-made and arbitrary.

          • Brett Vermillion

            The footnotes (that you call for) are “entirely man-made” although arbitrary applied to an interpretation is kind of hyper-cynical. The divisions I mention come from a proper exposition of the text, which many here seem to lack any fondness for. However if it is indeed God’s Moral Law then it is binding upon all people by the very nature of God. And again I provided one evidence that we can see: the moral law is repeated in the New Covenant.

          • Andy

            I disagree with your assertion that many here lack fondness for proper exposition. I could go on a long rant here, but you don’t care, because you are probably quite set in your belief and no amount of explanation on my part will convince you that my interpretation is better. And that’s fine, just don’t expect me to go along with it if you insist that homosexuality is a sin. I refuse to believe that.

          • Brett Vermillion

            I am quite set in my belief about the Bible. However I am willing to be corrected if someone can show how I interpret something wrongly. My beliefs have changed quite a bit since I started studying carefully instead of blindly accepting what people say.
            That depends on how you define homosexuality. If you define it as a predisposition for attraction to the same sex then I agree with you, it is not a sin.

          • Andy

            Okay, so I’m guessing if you don’t think homosexuality is a sin, per se, you think sex between people of the same sex is?

          • Brett Vermillion

            Yes…kind of. I don’t make a major distinction between unmarried hetero-sex and unmarried homo-sex. They are both condemned consistently in Scripture. But I don’t even do much sin-dividing between sexual sin and other types of sin. Some sins are clearly worse than others but any of them, unrepented of, will condemn us (including discrimination against gays or discrimination against Christians). I reserve the right to define repent(ance)

            I am an evangelist so I talk to lots of people but only see them in two types. Those who are willing to submit to God and those who aren’t. Each one of us has a prefered sin (or sins) that we want to hold on to. Those who aren’t willing to submit provide different ways to justify their sin. A surprising number want to interpret their sin out of the Bible. That is not peculiar to the gay community by any stretch. But for some reason, and I cannot understand it, a large number in the homosexual community seem to want acceptance from Christianity, albeit, they want it on their own terms.

            And Christianity doesn’t allow for that from any of us. It is the great leveler, none of us gets to come on his or her own terms. God doesn’t expect perfection from us (that was provided by and in Christ). But He does expect full submission to His rules.

          • Christine Spencer

            The filter we use to apply the rules to all time is love. Gods law is life giving, exceedingly fair, and just.

            1 Cor 13:
            4. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8 Love never fails.

            One question….does saying a gay person wanting to marry is like a murderer dishonor them?

          • Andy

            I don’t see how that’s even a question, but if you want an actual answer I would have to say yes, that is dishonorable. On the one hand, you have a gay person wanting to marry (presumably another gay person). Regardless of your feelings on gays, marriage is an act of love, the thing that holds people together and helps us get through this often difficult life. On the other hand, you have a murderer, someone who deliberately committed probably the worst deed a person can do. Comparing anyone who didn’t commit a horrific crime to a murderer is such a grave injustice I can’t find words for it.

        • Guy Norred

          Well, not to put words into Andy’s mouth, but I think he was trying to point out that your comment on context is pretty much the point of this article. Actually, since it had been a few days since I had actually read this particular article, I did skim it before replying to you, and in that skim, I would have to admit, unless I missed it, this article does not actually bring that up directly. That said, the context of this article in this blog does lead one to believe that context of scripture (in time, culture, geography, and its direct place in the canon) is important and cannot be disregarded in giving meaning to a particular verse.

          • Andy

            That’s pretty much what I was implying.

    • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

      CONTEXT!!!!!

      • Guest

        It was really hard to listen to this nonsense but I did, bleh. Thanks, now I need a shower. Listen mate, you don’t know me, which is almost completely inconsequential. But worse, much worse, you don’t know God, which is eternally impacting for you.

        • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

          You worship a false god of torture and psychopathic sasdism.

          “I can never join Calvin in addressing his god. He was indeed an Atheist, which I can never be; or rather his religion was Daemonism. If ever man worshipped a false god, he did.” ~Thomas Jefferson, letter to John Adams, April 11, 1823

      • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

        I love this.

      • RealityFD

        The main point of this that I disagree with is 3:38 – 3:58. The Bible in its ENTIRETY must be understood in context, whether it sounds appealing or horrendous, brutal, savage, etc. Appealing things like; God is love. We all know love is a very misunderstood word, so even that verse must be understood in the context of a Biblical definition of love. Luke 6:38: “Give and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.” Prosperity preachers love to use this verse to talk about financial giving, saying God will bless and give more back to you. Sounds great, right? But in context, when you look at the verses before and after it, Jesus is speaking about being merciful and forgiving to your enemies, or being judgmental and condemning to them. Whichever of those things we bestow on our enemies, will return to us . . . Nothing about money. So again, appealing or not, it all must be understood in context. Just like any other piece of literature.

        • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

          The Bible in its ENTIRETY must be understood in context,

          It was written by a bunch of people that disagree with each other. It has contradictions. It has evil. So here is how you use the Bible:

          1. You pick and chose the verses you like.
          2. You wave the magic “context” wand over the troublesome verses.
          3. TADA! They all mean the same thing now.

          Well, I’m past a third grade “context” trick like that, ok?

          • RealityFD

            It always amazes me when someone who has never met me can tell me how I behave/what I do, etc.
            Please, please, pleeeease give me a specific example of a troublesome verse (explain why it’s troublesome), and what the meaning changes too once my magic wand is waved. If you’re right, I’ll admit it (and be further amazed) if not, I’ll clarify.
            An example of a “disagreement” would be nice too.

          • http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Censorship Censored

            I described how the word “context” is widely used by bibliolators. It’s nothing personal, ok?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

            He was talking about how people attempt to force scripture into being something it isn’t. I didn’t read it as a personal slur

  • Chelle44

    Let’s just throw hermeneutics out… Simply stated, Paul was addressing a church and the sexual (and other) immorality happening there. Pretty clear what he was was saying. Jesus was speaking either to individuals to make a point with them or in parables. If we Want to know what God says, we’ll adjust our thinking to to scripture, not twist scripture to our thinking.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com/ allegro63

      Maybe its just me, but It think we all look at scripture using our own ways of thinking. That is why people can have so many different views on it, or feel more strongly about certain passages than others. The cool thing is, is that I think its purposeful. Much of scripture was written to reflect over, to see if its applicable, if has meaning or not.

    • Christine Spencer

      Engaging in sexual rituals as a form of worship of other false Gods is idolatry on the face. The particular sexual rituals were somewhat irrelevant. The idolatry is.

      Interestingly enough the same setting appears to occur in Leviticus with one of the other clobber passages.

      Scripture is twisted when we take a specific account and apply it broadly over the real and actual needs of people for an emotional and stable loving relationship.

      No one is saying all gay relationships are good and right….For example, priests/alterboys (or anyone/child) or captor/captive (often done to dominate and show superiority)….most of us would call these a form of rape.

  • Brett Vermillion

    John actually makes a good point about our culture’s preoccupation with possessions and Jesus’ teaching about this. However he takes it too far by saying, “I do not see how it is possible to avoid the conclusion that there is something profoundly wrong with any Christian who is not voluntarily as poor as the proverbial church mouse.” That just does not follow logically and it is not borne out contextually. Even assuming he could make an argument for poverty, how would disregarding one teaching make it okay to disregard the other?

    • Andy

      Are you new to this sarcasm thing?

      • Brett Vermillion

        No, I see (and enjoy in a way) his sarcasm but choose to ignore it and address the serious points he is making.

        • Andy

          What “serious” point did he make? The hyperbolic excerpt you quoted is dripping with so much sarcasm it’s leaking down the front of my monitor.

          • Brett Vermillion

            Andy, dontcha think that if sarcasm is pointless, it ceases to be sarcasm?

          • Andy

            Who said it was pointless? I think he made a very good point. By not making any “serious” points in the article.

          • Christine Spencer

            John is making the point that context matters by holding up a straw-man argument using the same logical fallacy as bigots use against our LGBT brothers and sisters.

            He’s right.

  • goyaboy

    John does what so many people do take a verse and just quote it without any actual understanding of the meaning of the verse. By meaning I don’t mean you’re meaning but to actually study the verses, read commentaries, and do a little research on the subject matter.

  • ogunsiron

    There are quite a few christians who take both Paul on homosexuality and Jesus on money seriously. Are you actually ok with those christians or are you just hoping that there aren’t any such christians ?
    Old style catholic traditionalists and orthodox christians strike me as the type of anti-liberals who despise both social and economic liberalism. They despise the worship of freedom and the worship of money. Somehow I’m not sure that you’d be prepared to repect those very consistent kind of christians.
    You can’t think of a time when there were many, many christians who were vehemently opposed to both money and homosexuality and the flesh in general ?

    • JT

      I agree with ogunsiron. I also have to point out that even though I am not rich compared with many in the USA, I am rich compared to the rest of the world. I have indeed sold many of my possessions and I do give to the poor. I also happen to believe that homosexuality is not what God intended for our sexuality as human beings. However, it is ludicrous to say that homosexuality is the thing that sends a person to hell, rather it is the heart of the person who wants to do things his way instead of God’s way – and there are countless areas in life where we can struggle with that, not just in sexuality.

      My own story is a good example: For years I did sexuality my own way, and it wasn’t God’s way. I’ve been set free from that, which doesn’t mean I am never tempted, but it does mean that sin doesn’t have to control me. God is my focus and my strength. Because I trust in Him and rely on Him, I grow in relationship with Him and I am confident that I will spend eternity with Him. If I had continued in my own way, it would have led to hell.

      I understand that homosexuality is a “hot button” for many evangelicals and that it overrides other things (including an understanding of love and grace) to an extent that it should not. I therefore understand why people feel the need to run to the opposite extreme. But neither is appropriate.

  • Maurice

    Are liberals the new fundamentalist?

    • Lamont Cranston

      Nope. Any other dumbass questions?

      • BarbaraR

        That actually made me laugh out loud.