Matthew Vines v. Michael Brown: The Gay Christian Debate

Matthew Vines v. Michael Brown: The Gay Christian Debate July 1, 2014

The other day Michael Brown agreed to debate Matthew Vines on the issue “can you be gay and still be a Christian?”. If you missed it, they’ve just put the full debate on YouTube, which you can find here below. I’ll present this without my own commentary and everyone can be free to watch, process, and arrive at their own opinion.

 

"You truly haven't a clue what you are talking about!"

5 Reasons Why I’m A Christian ..."
"Isrealis are the gentiles trodding down Jerusalem. Palestinians are the offspring of Jacob who inherited ..."

5 Reasons Why I’m A Christian ..."
"Psalm 37 says that the meek will inherit the land, the wicked will be defeated ..."

5 Reasons Why I’m A Christian ..."
"What's your point? Plus, those who make assertions are the ones who need to back ..."

Yes, What Israel Is Doing To ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


TRENDING AT PATHEOS Progressive Christian
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Lbj

    Wish the sound quality was better. I thought Vines position was very weak.

  • Guest

    Lots to think about, and the issue hits home for me personally. As far as this particular dialogue, I wish Vines would’ve been given some more room to play; the mod. & Brown let it turn into a shouting match at times, cutting arguments short, etc… Well, next time perhaps.

    I’m going to process a bit for my own sake & clarity of thought, so I really don’t mind if you skip over because tl;dr :-) but I really would appreciate any feedback/guidance you may have.

    I hate how gays are treated today by homophobes, and yet I’ve grown up with the historical teaching against homosexuality. Personally, I’m compelled by the biological argument (male/female sex organs), and on the other hand I’m faced with the reality in my own life that there are some gay partnerships/marriages that more stable and healthy (godly, if I may) than countless failed, destructive heterosexual arrangements.

    One of the key things that Vines & Brown almost got to but didn’t was the historicity of loving, committed same-sex relationships in Paul’s day. Apparently N.T. Wright has done some work on this, and I’ve come to love his writing — I’ll have to look up what he’s said. (Granted: Vines said Wright cites *4th century writers, could be important. I’m curious what Vines means when he says that there are other problems with those 4th century texts.)

    Another key issue is our inter-testamental hermeneutic: how do we handle the Old and New Testament? Continuity & discontinuity? For example: In the OT, violent, international war was the God-ordained means of spreading the Kingdom. In the NT, this clearly isn’t the case- Christian suffering & loving, prophetic witness are the means. Parts of the Law were given as ethnic boundary markers to separate Israel from other nations. Parts of the Law were incomplete and given because of Israel’s hard-heartedness (Moses’ divorce law vs. Jesus stricter instruction). In my view, people in the Church & broader American society flat out don’t understand these tensions and aren’t willing to invest the time to research. Further, there’s an element of humility needed- honest biblical-theological research could prove me wrong, after all!

    So, in terms of biblical theology and Leviticus 18, I’m thinking there’s a couple options:

    1) It was an ethnic boundary-marker (e.g., Vines’ mention of homosexuality in idol worship, on par with eating shellfish or getting tattoos) and the “dividing wall of hostility” between Jew & Gentile is broken down in Christ so that homosexuality is now O.K.

    2) It’s possible that those homosexual relations were so off-limits culturally (but not in God’s eyes) that they were temporarily off-limits to preserve the display of God’s glory before other nations (they would’ve gawked at Israel and God otherwise). Now that at least America is a more accepting place, God-blessed homosexuality is okay because it won’t tarnish the testimony before unbelievers

    3) It was an incomplete law (like divorce law); for whatever reason Israel just wasn’t ready to handle same-sex relations. They weren’t open-minded enough, loving enough, holy enough in other respects, something.

    4) Leviticus 18 was a transcendent moral instruction that should guide believers today.

    At the end of the day, I think there’s bigger fish for evangelicals to fry (corporate greed, systemic racism, militarism here & abroad, peace & justice for ethnic conflicts, care for the poor & disabled, etc…). Playing defense against “cultural decline” and trying to “restore America to its Christian roots” just doesn’t sound like Kingdom to me. Even if it *was Kingdom, there’s better ways — get at the root! In my view, raw capitalism/materialism/militarism are responsible for much American decadence. If homosexuality *is wrong, its largely symptomatic of other, deeper structural wrongs. Let’s look at those first (from my study, the Bible has a *lot more to say about those than about homosexuality anyway).

    Again, thanks for sticking with me if you bothered to read all this :-)
    I’d love to hear your thoughts on what I’ve written.

  • Michael Brown… OMG. Worst arguments I have seen yet. Super charitable of him to evangelize to Matthew (see sarcasm). I’m sorry. My eyes couldn’t stop rolling through this. Huge kudos to Matthew. That is all.

  • Lbj

    I thought Brown had by far the better arguments. Vines was not able to make his case from Scripture.
    There is no one positive word for homosexuality in Scripture.

  • Lbj

    Can you give a couple of bad arguments that Brown made?

  • Vincent

    He himself admitted that Scripture never addresses loving and commited same sex relationships. That’s a huge flaw in his argument.

  • Lbj

    That is true. Its is Vines weakness not Brown’s.

  • Bill

    I appreciate your thoughts. Thank you! Well said.

  • Bill

    I thought Brown was extremely condescending, was spiritually arrogant and acted like Vines was deaf. Brown sounded like a lecture instead of a discussion. Why do fundy’s and evangelicals act like God is totally dependent on them to defend His Word? I have come to the conclusion that they worship the Bible over Jesus – the created over the creator. I think they demean God with their conviction of inerrancy (sp) and literalism. I also felt that Moody radio was almost sly. Aren’t we the cool Christians willing to debate this hot topic? But only of course with someone (Brown) who can out shout the other person and definitely not willing to have Vines on solo. Maybe Moody is hedging their bets. If evangelicalism swings more to acceptance of Gays they will already have their foot in the door and can swing that way too. Just a thought…..

  • Jeff Preuss

    I don’t really think anyone “won,” but over on charisma news, the comments declare it a major victory for Brown. Perhaps no surprise there, especially since they mock and belittle Vines in the comments and the headline has gay Christian firmly ensconced in quotes.

    So, just…don’t go there. It’s depressing how Us v. Them this can get.

  • MaryA

    The framing question, “Can you be gay and Christian?” is problematic. The question seems to imply that the right (or wrong) conclusion on this particular issue may exclude a person from the kingdom of heaven. Why not ask, “Can you reject gay people and be a Christian?” What else are we willing to put in the blank when we ask “Can you be _____ and Christian?”

    As a Christian, I have faith seeking understanding. I acknowledge that I may have some things right, am still trying to understand some things, and probably have some things dead wrong…but I am still seeking. I certainly hope God’s grace covers my flawed understanding.

    I also think that Brown set up a straw man to argue against. Rather than understand and respond to Vines (even while disagreeing with him), Brown brought up incest, polygamy and pedophilia. Perhaps this is a good rhetorical strategy, but it is disrespectful and insulting – especially considering the risk Vines takes in coming to a conservative platform to engage in a discussion.

    Finally, I think that anyone in the majority (and as a white, male, heterosexual Christian I think I can safely say that’s where Brown sits) needs to take more care in these kinds of debates. We are all at risk of interpreting scripture through our own experiences. When we are sitting comfortably in the midst of a group that agrees with and wholeheartedly endorses our perspective, we are likely at greater risk than we realize.

  • Lbj

    The love that the law is referring to is not romantic love. 2 same sex people can love each other but it is not be sexual.

  • Lbj

    I Corinthians 6:9-10 does equates homosexuality with unrighteousness and those who practice ti will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    BTW- Brown was not being “rhetorical” when he said that incest, polygamy and pedophilia could come next. Some of this is already being argued for on the same grounds as same sex marriage is.

  • gimpi1

    ” Personally, I’m compelled by the biological argument (male/female sex organs)…”

    Just out of curiosity, how would you react to my marriage? I’m a woman, married to a man, and I’m sterile. We can’t have children. Why is that different than a same-sex marriage that is also unable to produce children?

  • gimpi1

    I find that depressing, too. Also, coming from the outside, off-putting.

    Seriously, as I try to understand the Christian belief-system, this belittling of anyone who isn’t exactly like some pre-defined model is not an attractive feature. Fortunately, there are Christians who don’t do it.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I honestly used to think “Love your enemy” would never really come into play in my life, because I’ve always tried to treat everyone with kindness and fairness and love. However, it’s become very clear to me that some make themselves my enemies…and they’re other Christians.

    It’s mind-boggling to me since we should be able to find some common ground with that Jesus worship we all share.

  • MaryA

    So your conclusion is that gay people cannot be Christian? Sorry. I’m not willing to go there. Scripture makes it abundantly clear that we are all unrighteous and none of us will enter the kingdom of heaven without the grace of God. I hope I have enough humility to know that I could sincerely seek God’s guidance in some area of my life and end up being wrong. I also live on the hope God’s grace covers me even when I fall short.

    My understanding is that “rhetorical” means that something is being used to persuade or impress. Vines never moved in the direction of affirming pedophilia or polygamy. Others might, but it seemed to me that Brown was using this line of reasoning to steer the discussion away from responding to Vines and toward typical alarmist “worst case scenario” points that seem almost inevitable in these kinds of debates. In fact none of the gay and lesbian persons I have been privileged to know affirm polygamy or pedophilia. Brown’s move may have created persuasive argument, but it was one that did little to show respect for Vines. His points communicate,”Yes, I already know your argument. I’ve already thought it through and I already understand all the implications. I don’t really need to listen to you.” I wish I could see and participate in more discussions that begin and continually return to a decision to listen and understand.

  • Guy Norred

    Why, oh why, didn’t I listen to you? I just had to go and see for myself. There are actually a few comments I came across that were quite the opposite of the ones you point out, but there seem to be a lot of deleted comments also.

  • Lbj

    It is different in that the model-template for marriage from Matthew 19 is between a man and a woman. Same sex marriage has never been a model in Scripture nor in societies until recently.

  • gimpi1

    That has no standing in law.

    I’m talking about the legal union of marriage, not the religious rite.

  • Lbj

    There is no legal standing for same sex marriage in the Constitution.

  • gimpi1

    That’s debatable. For example, my state, Washington, just ratified same-sex marriage. All domestic partnerships became marriages effective this last Monday, unless the participants opted-out. (I know because my I covered for my co-worker so she could spend the day with her wife. Greater support has no ally than they get up at 2:45 a.m. to cover a co-worker’s shift!)

    What’s not debatable is that the Bible, and your interpretation of it, have no standing.

  • Jeff Preuss

    What’s amusing to me is whenever this comes up to point out there’s nothing about straight marriage in the Constitution either.

  • gimpi1

    Good point, Jeff. There certainly isn’t.

  • Lbj

    Notice what Paul says in I Corinthians 6:9-10. He is saying that unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God and then gives a specific list that includes homosexuality. Those that practice homosexuality show that they are not Christians. Jesus said by their fruits you will know.

    What Vines wants to do is to justify his sexual desires as being something God intended for him and he wants so much to do that by Scripture. That cannot be done and Vines knows it.

    Your personal experience with homosexuals who don’t ” affirm polygamy or pedophilia” doesn’t mean others are not trying to. Since the law has redefined marriage there is no reason against these things being affirmed by society.

  • Lbj

    There is not grounds in the constitution for same sex marriage. Its not even debatable.

  • Lbj

    What has been the norm for marriage since beginning of our country? Did the founding fathers ever think of such a crazy idea as same sex marriage?

  • gimpi1

    There’s nothing in the constitution about marriage, period. Why are you trying to discuss this on constitutional grounds?

  • gimpi1

    The norm at the beginning of our country was (depending on the state) the the enslavement of people based on their physical appearance, the denial of voting rights to all women and most men, and women being denied the right to own property or sit on juries.

    The founders had some fine ideas. They also had some blind-spots and flaws. We’ve improved on some of their notions considerably. Using marriage as an example, they most certainly would have outlawed interracial marriage. They would have considered it “crazy.”

    Since religious belief has no standing in law, other than your religious beliefs, what is your basis for denying the right of some people to marry who they choose?

  • Lbj

    Religious beliefs do have a standing in the law. Just look at the Hobby lobby decision.

    There are many reasons to be against same sex marriage:
    1-they are unnatural. They cannot produce children naturally.
    2- A man cannot be a mom and woman cannot be a dad. 3-3-They cannot role model each parent.
    4- Major health issues. Life spans of male homosexuals are significantly lower than heterosexual men.
    5- we already see a far higher divorce rate among homosexuals. Especially among Lesbians.

    Do you think that 3 or more people should have the right to marry each other? How about a father marrying his adult daughter? What about their rights?

  • You do realize that the Bible doesn’t condemn polygamy? Exodus 21:10 and Deuteronomy 21:15 give instructions on handling these relationships. Later, elders in the church are instructed to have only one wife (1 Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:6-7), but nowhere is there a condemnation of polygamy anywhere else that I know of. If a man had multiple wives or a wife had multiple husbands, what biblical justification would you use to say they were in a sinful relationship? Is polygamy a sin? If it is, then I’m assuming a practicing polygamist can’t know God?

  • Jeff Preuss

    No there isn’t. And, similar to the Bible, we are tasked with determining the original intent of those texts, and figuring out the best way to honor the spirit (or the Spirit) of that intent in our applications of those instructions and guidelines today. And, each perception or angle is hotly-contested, even though the Constitution is a far more recent document written in essentially the same English we use today.

  • gimpi1

    The Hobby Lobby decision is, in theory about religious freedom, not religious imposition. I also disagree with that decision. The state can’t impose a religious obligation on people. For instance, you can’t require me to pay a tithe to a church. However:

    1- My husband and I can’t have children. That’s what led off this conversation. Children are not the only reason to marry. We married for love, to combine our property, simplify our legal affairs and to make our families happy. (We had lived together for years.)

    2-3- Blended families have been common throughout history. So have single-parent families. (The average marriage lasts about as long as historical norms. In the past, people died younger.) So have families with no children. Again, children are not the only reason marriages exist.

    4- I’d like to see your facts on this. Even if it’s true, it’s none of the law’s concern. Smokers are free to marry who they choose.

    5 Evangelicals have a high divorce rate. They are free to marry who they love. This, again, is none of the law’s concern.

    I think people should be free to live as they choose, as long as there aren’t profound consequences to society as a whole. Same-sex marriage has been going on for quite a while, with no downside I can see. Polygamy and incest have known downsides. The issues aren’t related, except in your mind.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Ha! Have fun! As a warning, if you ask for “proof” as to the shorter lifespans and health problems, you’ll get a link to highly-biased “research.” He’ll say it’s the CDC.

    1 – Childless couples DO occur naturally, as does homosexuality.

    2 & 3 are essentially the same thing, with wanting adherence to specific gender roles, as if a gay couple would have to assign one “mom” and the other “dad.”

    4 – Lies based on the assumption that we are all highly-promiscuous with addiction problems.

    5 – Christians have a much higher divorce rate than Hindus, so we shouldn’t allow Christians to get married.

  • Guy Norred

    Historically that statistic about the life expectancy of gay men has at least some basis in reality. That said, it isn’t that different from the statistics for other men living through societal oppression, often leading to depression, destructive behavior, and without the support that marriage encourages, so….

  • Jeff Preuss

    Also, some of the “proof” usually brought to the discussion is a VERY skewed study done in the 80s or 90s by some arm of Focus on the Family Research Council for Traditional Liberty (or whatever the hell it was called) which culled its information from obituaries in weekly bar periodicals. Super-scientific.

  • Actually what Paul condemns is “malakoi” (which means “soft” and was slang for boys) and “arsenokoitai” (their adult clients). In the proper historical and cultural context it was aimed more at Greek paederasty than anything. Paul was writing to a congregation in a place where it was expected that adult men (who was concurrently heterosexually married with kids) mentor pubescent boys in exchange for sex. In Greek thinking the man’s semen turned the boy into a man. The hierarchical nature of Greek society made it socially unacceptable to be in a monogamous homosexual relationship with an equal.

    So this is one of those cases where the English translation hurts rather than help bring clarity to scripture.

  • Lbj

    Society has a vested interest in couples producing children. That cannot be done with same sex couples. Even if a heterosexual couple can’t have children they still represent the model whereas same sex couples do not.

    4- From the CDC-“In 2011, in the United States, gay and bisexual men accounted for 79% of 38,825 estimated HIV diagnoses among all males aged 13 years and older and 62% of 49,273 estimated diagnoses among all persons receiving an HIV diagnosis that year.”
    “In 2010, gay and bisexual men accounted for 63% of estimated new HIV infections in the United States and 78% of infections among all newly infected men. From 2008 to 2010, new HIV infections increased 22% among young (aged 13-24) gay and bisexual men and 12% among gay and bisexual men overall.”

    Gay men lifespan shorter than non gay men: “The life expectancy for gay and bisexual men is 8 to 20 years less than for men in general. Robert S. Hogg et al., “Modeling the Impact of HIV Disease on Mortality in Gay and Bisexual Men,” International Journal of Epidemiology 26 (1997): 657.”

    Same sex marriage has already having profound consequences to society. People lose their jobs for being against it. Young children are being taught about homosexuality in schools against the wishes of may parents. There are major downsides to this.

    There are no legal reasons to be against Polygamy and incest. The same arguments for gay marriage will work here.

  • Guy Norred

    I have seen some of his “proof” as well and agree it is extremely flawed. I just wanted to point out that in the past this statistic wasn’t exactly wrong, but of course the conclusions he and others draw as to cause are ridiculous. The truth is, happily married people live longer so why would you be surprised that people denied that opportunity die earlier?

  • Jeff Preuss

    So, essentially, we live shorter lives, so NO MARRIAGE FOR US! Because, um…no, wait for it…the logic needed to process why that might pertain to whether we should be allowed marriages….is….um….I’m certain this logic can be applied to deny people with cancer diagnoses marriage licenses.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Exactly.

  • Lbj

    Where the evidence that Paul is referring only to “malakoi” and “arsenokoitai”? The fact is that there is nothing in any of his condemnation of homosexuality that he limits it to just this. If anything, Paul has in mind Leviticus and not just Greek culture.

  • Lbj

    True. This was not God’s intention and it appears primarily only with the kings. Even polygamy is opposite sex and not same sex.
    The model for marriage is laid out in Matthew 19:4-6. Jesus never affirms polygamy nor homosexuality in any form.

  • Lbj

    Homosexuals live shorter lives because of the diseases they get from same sex sex. That is what the CDC stats show. I know of at least 4-5 gay men who died before 50 or are very sick.

  • A list of things the founders never thought of:
    – Women voting
    – interracial marriage
    – women serving in the military
    – black people being assured freedom and not being bought and sold like chattel
    – Catholics in office (John Jay was particularly against that one)
    – atheists in office
    – iPhones
    – People ignoring science in favour of creationism
    – nuclear weapons
    – ‘In God We Trust’ as a national motto
    – HBO

    So spare us your ‘the Founders would be down with everything about America except the gays!” nonsense. You’ve embarrassed yourself enough.

  • Number 4 is a lie, repeatedly debunked by every medical association for the past decade and only cited by anti-gay hate groups. The research of Paul Cameron has been discredited by liberal, conservative, secular and Christian organisations and citing it earns you nothing but contempt.

  • I know a straight married woman who died of stomach cancer at the age of twenty-four.

    PEOPLE WITH CANCER SHOULDN’T GET MARRIED!

  • Dan Dosch

    @gimpi1:disqus thanks for your input here, helpful to see some of this played out.

    First of all, I’m sorry to here about the sterility… I don’t know if motherhood was an aspiration for you, but some friends in my life have dealt with stillbirth & similar problems. It’s heartbreaking.

    Back into the dialogue:
    I guess I’d have to line up with Brown’s interpretation of Romans 1: to be a little blunt, the very re-pairing of sex organs is the unnatural part, the thing that is itself (& also along with the patriarchal man-and-child relations, as Vines well observes) “unnatural” and evident of human rebellion against the knowledge of God. It’s not only lust & abuse of power, but the misdirection of sex organs that break a good, natural, God-designed mold. Man and woman, with respective sex organs, in natural complementarity.

    When, therefore, one of the organs in that rightly-oriented system fails (male and/or female infertility), I would argue that we shouldn’t question the male-female arrangement but mourn the brokenness, Satan’s theft of life. And yet life remains in that infertile partnership: other dimensions of the male-female complementarity remain, and it’s still beautiful. It can be a hopeful reminder that at the Resurrection full life will be restorative, every broken system from a set of ovaries to the Oval Office will be healed and restored to the way it should be, life will be returned and better than ever before.

    For all the good that can come out of a gay partnership (and a lot, a *lot can!), it can never reach the potential (if unmet) of a straight partnership. I don’t think homosexuality will persist through to the Resurrection, though much of the good will (I think of powerfully sacrificial gays in my own life, those who adopt orphans, teach difficult special ed classes, give children a real opportunity at life). All their work in life, including their sexuality, will be weighed in Jesus’ scales. While many gays will have a *lot more to show than many straight folks in terms of good deeds, their fundamental twisting of sexuality and the implied attack on God’s glory will have to be answered for.

    Thanks again, and please do let me know what you think.

  • Actually it really doesn’t. That statistic dates back to Paul Cameron, an anti-gay bigot who manipulated his research to show the result he wanted. Even the conservative Christian affiliated American Enterprise Institute calls it ‘ridiculous.’

    All studies completed in the past decade and more demonstrate that LGBT individuals of any orientation are just as likely to live normal life-spans as their straight counterparts, and that includes those living with HIV.

    I hate to sound callous here, but when a disease sweeps through a species with a small population, no credible scientist claims that the species in question naturally has a shorter lifespan than an unaffected population. The gay population was so affected by HIV because it’s a much smaller demographic and diseases, including STDs, spread faster in insulated communities. That’s just science. And with the advancement of HIV treatment, for the majority of those affected in developed nations they have every likelihood of a normal lifespan, so the point is completely void.

    Of course, the other reason HIV spread so quickly was because Evangelicals like Justas are more interested in using the virus to condemn LGBT people and deride them further instead of, you know, actually having some compassion.

  • Guest

    I find this to be a very helpful distinction, and I think it could lead to a creative church-state solution: perhaps religious people (I’m incl. Muslims, etc. in there because our discussion likely has implications in their view as well) could let the state do what it pleases while being more restrictive in-house.

    For example, a state-recognized marriage could end up being between man & man, woman & woman, but that marriage wouldn’t have to be recognized by churches that have concluded that homosexuality is unbiblical (as, of course, not all will). The process might look like a couple (straight or gay) coming to their local minister, becoming Christian-ritually married (entirely apart from state implications), and then proceeding to a *second ceremony before the state in which they would apply for married status (for tax purposes, etc.).

    Individual churches/denominations could choose to endorse or forbid gay marriage without getting tangled up in the state & vice-versa. The state wouldn’t be forcing ministers to marry gays, and ministers wouldn’t be forcing the state not to marry gays. Hands-off each other.

    What do you all think?

  • I still don’t see anything condemning polygamy. Jesus’ words simply don’t address it. Meanwhile we have other verses in the Old Testament that do address it, and they do not condemn it. There is no reason that two cannot become one flesh with one marriage partner, as well as another he has married. Jesus is addressing two participants in marriage but there is no limiting factor given. To say it is implied is reading into that text. Whereas, elsewhere the Bible does directly address it. Consider that Song of Solomon was purportedly written by someone who was a lifelong polygamist, yet the book is a part of the biblical canon. Not to mention his father David and all the patriarchs. Did any of the New Testament writers condemn the patriarchs for the supposedly sinful lifestyle of polygamy? The idea that a practicing polygamist can’t know God belies the fact that the Old Testament in particular is rife with it, and regulations are given on how to arrange it. . . and the New Testament never alters it.

    At the time of the early church, Jewish people were still in polygamous arrangements – in fact we have records that the Romans often made special exceptions for them even as far out as the 4th Century. Jesus and Paul came from this background. Yet they do not address multiple wives, except in the case of church elders.

    Really all we have is the condemnation of polygamy from some of the early church fathers, and this is no surprise due to the Greek/Roman influence. If one is deriving one’s sexual and marriage ethics sola scriptura, I can’t think of how to condemn polygamy (although I can think of extra-biblical reasons).

  • Guest

    Or, possibly, biblical-theological ones that are a little more implicit that explicit. Wouldn’t necessarily be as compelling as some sort of “Thou shalt not…”, but it’d be something.

  • Dude, if you can’t tell the difference between two consenting adults who enter into a life-long, monogamous relationship with each other and raping a child (pedophilia) I’m not sure you should really be participating in this discussion.

  • Lbj

    I’m just going by the CDC stats. I have the science on my side that shows how deadly gay sex is. The compassionate thing is to warn people not to engage in it. Not to is not compassionate.

  • You are clearly unaware that medication and treatment for HIV has grown by leaps and bounds by 1994 and that the vast majority of people affected with HIV in developed countries will live a normal lifespan as a result.

    But I understand how awful it is for you to comprehend that gay people aren’t always going to die horribly.

  • Lbj

    What are you talking about????? Where does Scripture affirm a homosexual relationship that is “a life-long, monogamous relationship with each other”? Where is this even hinted at?

  • I’m not in favor of the patriarchal polygamy presented in the Old Testament either, just to make clear. It’s just an example of how Ancient Near East context should be examined first before making grand pronouncements about what the Bible says once and for all time.

  • About the same amount of times condemnation of polygamy is hinted at (except for church elders). That is: none. You know what else would have been a foreign concept to people in biblical times? The equal rights of women in marriage relationships, or the need for their consent in such arrangements.

  • Lbj

    There is none for same sex relationships.See I Corinthians 6:9-10. Polygamy is not the same as same sex relationships.
    Jesus elevated woman a number of ways in Scripture. In Matthew 19 He no longer allowed the husband to divorce his wife for any reason, He allowed women to be His disciples and He first appeared to a woman after the resurrection. Paul lays out in Ephesians 5:23-31 how husbands are to love their wives like they love themselves.

  • Early Christianity was very attractive to women, at least at the beginning. I’m not denying that – Paul says there is neither male nor female in Christ (Galatians 3:28). Congregations often met in houses, which was the dominion of women at the time. But that isn’t all that is said (1 Corinthians 13:34, 1 Timothy 2:12). The whole culture (both Jewish and Gentile) was saturated in misogyny and the idea of women being inferior. My point is that the Bible should be understood in the context of its time. Today we treat women as equal partners in marriage, we marry for love, we give consent to each other rather than have arrangements made by families, in a way that would have been foreign to them – just as the current illegal status of slavery would have been foreign to them. This isn’t a condemnation of those times or the biblical writers, so much as a warning to those who try to impose marriage and sexual ethics derived solely from Scripture on us all today.

  • mirele

    This biological argument doesn’t play well with the reality that a not-insignificant number of people are born intersex, or are not XX or XY. If God was so into binary, you’d think he would have made it ABSOLUTELY CLEAR what sex a newborn is. That is not the case.

  • mirele

    Slavery was also A-OK in the Constitution. It took the 13th Amendment to eradicate that evil. We still don’t have an Equal Rights Amendment.

  • mirele

    Can you break the speed limit and be a Christian? Can you embezzle and be a Christian? Can you have lust in your heart and be a Christian? Do you see how absolutely obnoxious your argument is? You are putting this one sin (if it is indeed a sin, and that I seriously doubt) as outside of God’s forgiveness and that is NOT YOUR RIGHT.

  • Lbj

    I agree in the time period of Christ women were treated like second class citizens.
    As for homosexuality there is no reason to think that the condemnation of it in Scripture is not universal. Even in the centuries later in the church it is never affirmed.

  • Guest

    Fail.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Yes, and there’s ACTUALLY CDC pages talking about the negative health effects that stem from the social stigma and discrimination that comes from being gay. There are MULTIPLE instances on the LGBT pages on the CDC’s website which tie the negative health risks to higher risk behaviors and being gay is NOT the high-risk behavior itself. Rather, the CDC states: “Homophobia, stigma, and discrimination persist in the United States and negatively affect the health and well-being of gay, bisexual, other men who have sex with men (MSM), and other members of the LGBT community. Homophobia, stigma, and discrimination are social determinants of health that can affect physical and mental health, whether MSM seek and are able to obtain health services, and the quality of the services they receive.” (http://www.cdc.gov/msmhealth/stigma-and-discrimination.htm

    So, pretty clearly, the continued and persistent demeaning of LGBT persons more directly contributes to them becoming defeated and choosing to “act out” with riskier behaviors that result in poorer health.

    (Also, there is a Virginia State Rep. Bob Marshall who touted that “20 year” shorter lifespan, citing a study in Vancouver during the height of the AIDS crisis, over thirty years ago. And the researchers of the very study refuted his claims as bunk when it relates to modern health care improvements, and they reject their study being used to condemn gays. http://www.politifact.com/virginia/statements/2012/jun/07/bob-marshall/bob-marshall-says-homosexual-behavior-cuts-life-ex/)

    Besides, at the end of the day, how is having a shorter lifespan a legitimate excuse to block us from getting married? Answer: It’s not.

  • Jeff Preuss

    And I know dozens of happy and healthy gay men in their 60s and even 70s. I know a few straight people with HPV. I know a guy from college who was born with only one hand. My dad died of pancreatic cancer at 72. He was straight.
    What’s your point? Your anecdotal experiences with 4 or 5 gay men, ignoring any and all other factors that may have contributed to their illnesses and instead choosing to lump us all in the same pile do not amount to a hill of beans.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Thank you for naming him. I couldn’t remember his name, and my Google Fu was broken earlier.

  • Guest

    Dude, seriously. Give it up. You’re not allowed to be a homosexual, and that is simply that. Dredging up all the same old claptrap, wailing about polygamy, divorce, racism, kicking puppies… all the lame attempts to divert, deflect and dodge the issue…it’s all so much fail. Learn to cope already.

  • Jeff Preuss

    You’re not allowed? Wow. He doesn’t need YOUR permission, anonymous.

  • Jeff Preuss

    You don’t have science on your side. You have outdated stats and biased stats. That’s not the same as science. You continue to paint all gay people with the same high-risk promiscuity brush, and you’re just flat-out wrong.

  • Lbj

    Stats from 2010-2011 is “outdated”??????

    Studies do show that gay men as a group are highly promiscuous
    Consider this:
    “.Modal range for homosexual sex partners 101-500: “In their study of the sexual profiles of 2,583 older homosexuals published in Journal of Sex Research, Paul Van de Ven et al. found that “the modal range for number of sexual partners ever [of homosexuals] was 101–500.” In addition, 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent had between 501 and 1000 partners. A further 10.2 percent to 15.7 percent reported having had more than 1000 lifetime sexual partners. Paul Van de Ven et al., “A Comparative Demographic and Sexual Profile of Older Homosexually Active Men,” Journal of Sex Research 34 (1997): 354.”

  • Lbj

    If homosexual sex was healthy there would be no need for special drugs.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “AS A GROUP.” NOT everyone. You can NOT use that kind of statement to call everyone the same.

  • Jeff Preuss

    A) HIV is a virus, neither good nor evil. It can be caught and spread by anyone. That a disease is more prevalent within a subset of the human race is NOT reason enough to condemn said subset. Else one could condemn African Americans for their sickle cell anemia. Or one could condemn straight Africans for…being straight Africans since HIV is spreading so much there. Or, hell, even children for getting the chicken pox, which can be deadly to adults in proximity. THIS IS NOT A REASON TO CALL GAY PEOPLE WRONG.

    B) Your stats from Robert Hogg are the very ones taken from a study in Vancouver over thirty years ago in Vancouver during the HEIGHT of the AIDS epidemic. People hadn’t quite yet figured out how to properly protect themselves, nor did they even rightly know WHAT it was that was happening to them. Medical care and protection and awareness have obviously progressed MUCH since this time. This was a VERY limited and time-specific study, and your use of it is insanely inappropriate and outdated, and you know it.

    Here is the research team’s response to their findings being used like you wrongly use them:
    http://ije.oxfordjournals.org/content/30/6/1499.full

    Highlight bolded: Death is a product of the way a person lives and what physical and environmental hazards he or she faces everyday. It cannot be attributed solely to their sexual orientation or any other ethnic or social factor.

    So, STOP LYING. Your stats are wrong, and baseless for condemning people.

  • Lbj

    Never said everyone. Not everyone who is drunk and drives gets into a wreck. Yet we would not say that its good thing to be drunk and drive.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Those ‘special drugs’ also apply to straight people with HIV, so by your own logic, heterosexual sex is not healthy either.

  • Jeff Preuss

    In ALL your statements, you are using your stereotypes to condemn ALL gay people. Don’t even try to backpedal on this one.

  • Lbj

    Never condemned anyone. Just giving some good arguments with facts that have not been refuted.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I call BS on this. I have seen you wagging your finger at gay people ALL over these blogs.

  • Lbj

    Never condemned anyone but have shown that homosexuality is not supported by Scripture in any way and that same sex sex is deadly to the body. I have not lied on any of this.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Yes, you have. You bring up outdated stats. Biased “research” and refuse to allow any theological wiggle room on the issue of homosexuality. You positively reek of condemnation. It is amazing to watch you try to spin it otherwise.

  • Guy Norred

    One of the leading causes of death in women through much of history and still in parts of the world is childbirth or issues associated with it.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Well, women shouldn’t choose to get pregnant then. Clearly it’s their reprobate behavior that got them there. No one is BORN a woman.

  • Lucky for me, I only mindlessly obey orders from people who possess the modicum amount of time needed to create a screen name.

  • Jeff Preuss

    :D

  • Lbj

    Right. This just shows how dangerous sex is outside of marriage between a man and woman.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Which goes to show that intimacy within the confines of a same-sex marriage is ALSO healthy as it reduces the risk of diseases associated with promiscuity.

    And, if you are really SO concerned with the spread of HIV (since you keep bringing it up) then you might want to reconsider your position against gay marriage. Sex is less risky when it occurs within the confines of a committed relationship, marriage, civil union, yet you want to prevent that from being allowed to occur, which furthers the spread of disease. Then, on the other hand, you want to hold us accountable for the diseases spread outside the marriage which you don’t want to allow us to have.

  • Lbj

    I will not promote or affirm something that Scripture condemns.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Okay, I broke one of my own rules earlier by even talking to you again. And, now I am about to break another, for which I apologize to everyone else here.

    You are an asshole.

  • Lamont Cranston

    I am a homosexual. I don’t need the permission of you or whatever imaginary jackass you worship to be one. I will protect my family and myself from filth like you by any means necessary.

  • gimpi1

    Society has many competing interests. One of the most important is insuring maximum freedom freedom for all citizens. Another is providing equal opportunity for all citizens. Restricting who can marry is in conflict with those interests.

    My husband and I don’t “representing a model” of a couple that can reproduce. Our marriage is ours alone, and we’re happy without kids. My co-worker and her wife decided to adopt two lovely children. Their kids are happy and well adjusted. They don’t “represent a model” of a couple that can or can’t reproduce. They’re just a happy family.

    AIDS is mostly a heterosexual disease on the African continent. Promiscuity, not orientation, is the risk-factor. Gay people having the option of marrying would likely reduce that.

    No one has lost a job over “being against’ same-sex marriages. Some businesses are being sued for discrimination. That’s fine by me. We long ago decided that people in business to serve the general public needed to serve the general public, not just those sections of it that they especially like. Discrimination is discrimination. I see no difference between someone refusing to bake a cake for a same sex wedding and someone refusing to bake that cake for a mixed-race wedding.

    Homosexuality is a fact. Children should learn facts. If parents want to teach the religious belief that homosexual sex is a sin, they can do that in church. “Your downsides” are nonsense.

    As to your slippery slope argument, any change can have unexpected consequences. That’s no reason to maintain a unfair and unjust restriction.

  • gimpi1

    Yes, you have lied. You believe in the interpretation of the Scriptures that you prefer. There are others. Same-gender sex is not dangerous, promiscuity is.

  • gimpi1

    Yes, it’s truly bizarre. How about genetic screening to be sure we’ll live into our 80s before issuing a license? No marriage for smokers? No marriage license if your parents died before 60? It’s amazing how far one can take this goofiness.

  • gimpi1

    Thanks for your response.

    No, I’m quite content with not being able to have children. I suffer from a rather aggressive form of rheumatoid arthritis that is hereditary, and I’m just as happy not to pass along those genes. Some genetic legacies are better off being left out of the pool. My husband has a beautiful daughter from his first marriage, and I got plenty of time with her. Also, both my parents were disabled, my mother with post-polio syndrome and the RA I inherited and my father with a traumatic brain-injury suffered in a factory accident. I have always said that I did my nurturing growing up. After my parents passed, I was OK with not starting the caregiving cycle with a child.

    I understand your religious beliefs, but I don’t believe they should be reflected in civil law. I believe that people should be free to follow their own beliefs, as long as they aren’t directly causing harm. Loving, faithful gay couples cause no harm. I think that’s all the law should concern itself with.

    As to your beliefs regard the Resurrection, I don’t know. Many people believe many different things, and none of us knows if we’ve got it right. For me, personally, I don’t believe in living as an attempt to gather up afterlife “brownie-points.” I believe that everyone should try to live the best life they can with the hand they’ve been dealt, and do the most they can for others within that hand. I have to believe that would count for a great deal with any Judge worth his salt.

    But my beliefs have been colored by my intimate knowledge of life with disabilities. I think of my mother, stricken with polio at the age of three, hit with rheumatoid arthritis in her late-teens, wheelchair bound in her thirties, managing to fall in love and marry, have two kids against the odds, have a small business as a dressmaker and sewing teacher, and generally managing to be a good person, and I see a hero. I think she would have been equally heroic if she’d fallen in love with another woman instead of my father.

    I think of my dad, a young husband and father, having a drill-bit split his brain, going through a prolonged recovery, learning how to walk and talk again. I see a man volunteering at a local senior-center when he was unable to work. I see someone who cared about his family and his community. I see a hero. And he would have been equally heroic if he’d fallen in love with another man instead of my mother.

    Well, that’s my two cents. Worth every penny, right?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Yes, and studies show that people in happy and committed relationships of all stripes generally live longer lives. However, people like justas would rather just continue beating us down and telling us how absolutely wrong we are until we are broken, so they can turn around and tell us it is our fault we are broken.

    It is truly maddening because people like him use lies and the Bible to create all this shame and fear and self-loathing in so many gay people, it so often leads to death. And people like justas feel absolutely no remorse in contributing to it, because they absolve themselves of any blame, hiding behind their version of Scripture.

  • gimpi1

    That’s exactly the solution I would propose. No church should be forced to recognize a union it regards as sinful. Likewise, no church should be denied the right to recognize a union it wants to celebrate. There are many churches that do recognize same-sex marriages, after all.

    No person should be denied the right to form a union with the person they love. No one’s religious beliefs should be able to rule another person.

    By allowing civil marriages among any two consenting adults, the rights of the individual are respected. By allowing churches to recognize and celebrate only those unions that follow their doctrines, the rights of religious belief are respected. Everyone wins.

    There’s a precedent for this. The Catholic church doesn’t recognize many civil divorces. Neither do Orthodox Jews. A person who has a civil divorce, but not an annulment or get can remarry, but not in a Catholic church or Orthodox temple. The right of a person to dissolve a failed marriage and the right of a religious sect that believes marriage is a permanent bond are both respected.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I think your parents sound like they were wonderful and amazing people. And, it seems like they raised you to be intelligent and compassionate, so yay!

  • Nasty Woman Persisted

    That is the way it is already. No church or religion HAS to perform nor recognize ANY marriage. Catholic Church doesn’t perform 2nd marriages for divorcees, rabbis don’t perform marriage ceremonies for Hindus….

  • Nasty Woman Persisted

    You do realize that most of the NT was written in Greek, not English, right. When he speaks of malakoi and arsenokoitai he is limiting it to pedastry and practices that went on in pagan temples.

  • gimpi1

    Not only is it cruel, it’s a logic-fail. It’s the “it happened after so it was caused by” fallacy. Some people with a specific trait have problems. Are the problems caused by the trait, by the way others treat the person with the trait, or by some unidentified third cause?

    Because of his need to sit in judgement, he jumps to “caused by trait,” a trait that he just happens to disapprove of. Bad science. Bad logic. And bad behavior.

  • gimpi1

    Ah, gee thanks… (blushes and smiles.)

  • Cindy Harthorne

    Jesus was specifically talking about the Mosaic policy of divorce in Mt 19. I would hardly call this a blueprint for the entire institution of marriage. And it certainly was not just kings who practiced polygamy back then, it was pretty much anyone who could afford it. Read the Bible as if for the first time again, re-check your history. This should help.

  • $1754985

    Don’t bother using facts with him. It would make his tiny fundy brain explode.

  • Lbj

    Show me one verse of Scripture that affirms homosexuality. If you can then that would mean I did lie. If you can’t, then you lied about me.

  • Lbj

    No they don’t do ” exactly the same things in bed as straight people”. They cannot complement each other sexually.

  • gimpi1

    I haven’t addressed your views on Scripture because I don’t view them as relevant. I have addressed your instance that your interpretations of them is the only correct one, as many Christians disagree with you. You are on the blog of one of them. Patheos has many more. You know that full well. You are just insisting that your views are the only valid ones. You are basically claiming to speak for God. I assure you, you don’t

    I have also addressed your incorrect information regarding health-risks, which are not linked to the behaviors you claim, but to other behaviors, and your misstatements regarding societal harm. Your information has been proven wrong. You continue to cite it. That is either willful ignorance or deception. Take your pick.

  • Lbj

    That is not true. If you listened to the debate, Dr Brown (who holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University.) deals with this. Dr Robert Gagon another expert in this area shows this is not the case. Paul is condemning all forms of homosexuality.

  • Lbj

    Just because people disagree with me does not mean I am lying. No one on this blog has yet demonstrated my interpretation is incorrect.

    There are major health risks associated with homosexual sex. Just look at the stats at the CDC.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I was lucky, I have parents who support me and love me (as a part of their Christian beliefs) as a gay person. Mom worried more at first that the world would be harder for me, but they want the exact same things for me they’d want were I straight. So, my coming out wasn’t fraught with shame and self-loathing, because I came from a Godly environment of LOVE. I’ve never felt compelled to self-destructive behaviors that would put my health at risk.

    But, I have seen TOO many of my friends and acquaintances soundly rejected by their churches and families who convince themselves they can NEVER be good enough. They develop this nihilistic worldview as a result, and slip into sleeping around and substance abuse because they figure they will NEVER fit in, so none of the rules apply. And, they’re also trying to numb pain and find some substitute for the emotional fulfillment they are categorically denied. I mean, historically we’ve seen MANY straight people attempt to fill that void with physical intimacy and getting high, and gay people are no different in that respect.

    Abuse people long enough, tell them they’re not good enough for long enough, and eventually they’ll start to believe you, and stop caring about themselves.

    It’s not a problem that exists from being gay; it’s a problem that exists because society makes them feel like dung for being gay. It’s GOT to stop.

  • gimpi1

    No one has to demonstrate your interpretation is incorrect, because you don’t speak for God. You can believe as you choose, and so can everyone else. You don’t get to use force of law to compel us to pretend to agree with you.

    The “major health risks” you cite are, again, related to promiscuity rather than same-sex relationships. Promiscuity is not linked to being gay. Depression and low self-esteem can make someone more likely to be promiscuous. Being treated as 2nd class can lead to that depression and low self-esteem. Treating all people as equal and valuable can help end that problem. Again, you know all this. You just can’t accept it. That’s willful ignorance. I guess you have chosen.

  • Lbj

    So you have no facts, no counter interpretation that shows I am wrong.

    It is the homosexual lobby that has used the court system to circumvent the will of the people in many states. We are being forced to believe that homosexuals should get special rights based on their preferences.

    It is a fact that most gay men are promiscuous. This is what the studies show. The depression has not been proven to “Being treated as 2nd class” but rather to other factors such as abuse in their own gay relationships.

    There is wide support in society right now for homosexuality and I suspect it has done nothing to diminish the depression and substance among many homosexuals.

  • gimpi1

    This is exactly the point I’ve raised over and over. The destructive behaviors linked to disease are not about being gay, they are caused by the depression, low self-esteem and self-hatred caused by rejection, condemnation and abuse.

    Gay or straight people who are rejected and condemned for something they can’t control act out in exactly the same self-destructive ways. Look at how women abused in childhood often fall into promiscuous sexual relationships. Look at how common drinking and drug-abuse are among the poor and chronically unemployed. These people aren’t bad, they’re suffering!

    If we want to end the cycle of destructive behaviors, we need to ease that pain. Treat victims of childhood sexual abuse. Don’t force them to “confess their sin,” get them real counseling. Affirm that they did no wrong, that they were wronged. Don’t condemn people who can’t find work, help them find work, and help them get along until they can. Don’t deny the love and commitment of a relationship just because the people in love are the same gender. Love is to be celebrated in all its forms. Commitment is to be respected as honorable.

    If people want to see less destructive behavior in others, treat them better. Gay, straight, disabled, healthy, believing or non-believing, treat people as you want to be treated. Respect their choices, their relationships, their beliefs in the exact same way you want those things respected for yourself. Why is this so complicated?

  • gimpi1

    I’ve given you facts, and you refuse to accept them. Therefore I’m apparently talking to myself. There’s no point in that, so goodbye.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Honestly? I think it’s because, by and large, we build our religious expectations of what and who God is. We put him in a very specific box that dictates He is THIS and ONLY THIS. And, we as believers are very uncomfortable with the notion that belief can be questioned.

    Because they’re afraid that they could find out they’re wrong. And if they are wrong about THIS particular codified regulation about how to believe in and follow God, maybe they’re wrong about other things? And, I think there is a very real fear that, upon questioning, they’ll decide they don’t believe He exists at ALL. And, this will all have been for naught.

    So, it’s simply much easier to rail against others who express faith in different ways, call them out as heretics or “wicked” and continue on with self-applied blinders.

  • Lbj

    What facts have you given? Assertions are not facts.

  • gimpi1

    Coming from you, that’s rich.

    You keep citing your beliefs as fact. You use skewed data, obsolete data and logical fallacies. Nary an objective fact in the mix. You cherry-pick and data-mine looking for support for your pre-judged dogma.

    But there’s no point in this. I should have stuck by my goodbye. This time I will. Goodbye.

  • gimpi1

    You may well be right. I’ve read a description of, “Putting God in a Bible-shaped box,” and I think there’s a lot of that in the world. There’s also the discomfort many people feel with change, the desire to remain in a position of privilege, and a disinclination to reconsider existing beliefs.

    Beliefs can and should be questioned. If your beliefs don’t hold up to questioning, they could be wrong. You could be wrong. I could be wrong. The only way to learn, to grow, to become a better person, is to be willing to accept new information. Some of that may prove previously-held beliefs wrong. If you can’t allow that. you can’t change. What can’t change can’t grow. What can’t grow is dead.

    By refusing to question their faith, people can kill that faith. Then they wind up not with a living faith, but its rotting remains.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I passionately questioned my faith when I still struggled with being gay. How in the WORLD could I be this thing that I didn’t choose? Why would God DO that, if He ultimately deemed it wicked?

    Luckily, with enough study and prayer lasting over a decade, I didn’t find the two incompatible. I had to question what was absolute about my faith, and what might be seen a different way while still not losing the core value to the faith.

    And, I’m all the happier and healthier for it. And I believe in God stronger than before. And I’m at peace. I just want to be able to help others find that peace and joy in their own lives.

  • gimpi1

    That’s a worthy goal. Good luck.

  • Jeff Preuss

    :D Sometimes it means trying to be a louder voice than those who would shun me, hoping that some kid struggling with his or her happiness will hear ME (and hopefully God speaking through me) rather than the put downs and condemnations.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Yeah, I would take exception with your wording on some things. Gay people being gay is not an exercise in lust any more so than straight people being straight. It’s just different. Despite what some may say, we are not gay because we have given in to lust – we are gay because that’s the way we’re oriented. (Now, if someone actually says they chose to be gay, I guess that’s different, but I know of very few who seem to choose it.)

    (And, “abuse of power”? Really?)

    And to say there is an implied attack on God is really the wrong way to put it, based on people just BEING either gay or straight. If the entire world is as God designed, then how are gay people not as he designed?

    I didn’t choose to accept my gayness as “rebellion” — rather it was only after long years of careful study and prayer that I was able to determine God doesn’t condemn it in me, and then neither should I. My accepting it, and seeking out a committed partnership/marriage, was DUE to a submission to God and his answers to my prayers.

    (Blah blah blah, I understand where you come from, you may get where I come from, I just want to point out that consistently calling it things like rebellion and an attack on God comes across as kinda disrespectful to those of us who actually are gay Christians.)

  • Rich Farias

    Here’s the deal: your religious beliefs are yours, however asinine, odious, and wrong-headed they may be, and you’re allowed to hold them to your pickled little heart. However, YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO ATTEMPT TO CODIFY YOUR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS INTO SECULAR LAW TO THE DETRIMENT OF YOUR FELLOW CITIZENS. Take your book of fairy tales and shove it sideways.

  • Rich Farias

    I’m a biologist. I look at CDC reports all the time, as well as journal articles regarding HIV research (research which, incidentally, I ACTUALLY DO). I have friends who are epidemiologists. You have no bloody idea what you’re talking about.

  • Lbj

    Who said anything about codifying religious beliefs into secular law?

  • Rich Farias

    The rights of a minority should never be put to a majority vote. If people like you had your way, Jim Crow and anti-miscegenation laws would still be in place.

    Unless you yourself are gay, you really have no damned business talking about what gay people do, since everything you yammer about is pure speculation on your part. Also, I always find it rich how jack-holes like you always scream that “homosexuals are depressed substance abusers” while completely ignoring the fact that the abusive garbage you spout is depressing and would drive anyone to drink.

    It’s people like you that make me sad that lions are an endangered species.

  • Rich Farias

    You are a bloody moron.

  • Rich Farias

    No, you aren’t going by CDC stats. Stop lying.

  • Rich Farias

    Are you really that stupid? You’re quoting a paper from 1997 (I know how to read citations, genius), while claiming that the stats are from 2010-11. In addition, you’re ignoring the fact that the paper is specifically looking at OLDER people (i.e., those who were sexually active during the 1960s-70s) and analyzing their LIFETIME sexual contacts, with sexual contact being *very* broadly defined.

  • TLong

    .
    Equating pederasty with same sex marriage is surefire way to inflame proponents of ssm. It’s easy to see why. The secularist reasons that two grown adults should be free to do whatever they want as long as it doesn’t ostensibly hurt anyone else. That’s the very heart of secular humanism.
    Homosexuality was long considered immoral and even a mental illness until the early 70’s. And that’s why it’s hard to not at least see some parallels between where we are as a society with regards to intergenerational love and where we were with homosexuality say 40-50 years ago. Many experts now believe that pedophilia is a sexual orientation as immutable as heterosexuality or homosexuality. It is a deep-rooted predisposition — limited almost entirely to men — that becomes clear during puberty and does not change. Similarly, our culture is likewise starting to affirm the sexual identity choices of young children. If a preschooler can initiate gender reassignment, how can society deny sexual freedom from anyone?
    No one knows the future, but perhaps as we learn more, and free ourselves from the idea of absolute morality, which as we have seen is actually quite fluid, we will have a very different view of loving, committed intergenerational relationships. When enough people believe something is right, then it ceases to be wrong.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    See other YT debates featuring Michael Brown and his articles in Charisma Mag and Canyon Walker Connections review of one of his older books on homosexuality. This guy is pretty rotten to everyone behind his veil of feigned sincerity and smiling elation. Finally, notice how MV’s picture doesn’t follow the same rules as the other speakers’ pictures in the article’s video when they are in the lower right of the screen (I believe Matt only gets a half screen pic in the lower right and only at the very end of the video. This may not be intentional, but it still comes off as favoring the radio host, Brown, and even the radio show over showing that Matt is still in the conversation).

    Just as a finisher: I think Michael Brown is rotten. See why or why not for yourselves.

  • Lbj

    Maybe he is rotten but he made a better case than Vines did. It is Vines who deceiving people.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    Because I don’t have the framework of Jesus desiring a grand deception anymore, I don’t believe deception carries the meaning you want it to. While Matt COULD NOT point to some anachronism where ALL people are created equal (a principle that does afford respect to same-sex marriages as well as different sex marriages) NEITHER COULD Brown make that case for the marriages we straight people have today (that women are as men in all legal ways of marriage and life in general, but there still is room for improvement) nor teaching that non-majority sexualities should remain celibate (the older teachings of the Holy Spirit of Jesus seems to be to kill people, put them in prison, really anything you can do to make them miserable/eliminate them).

    So, yeah. We have Matt Vines seeking improvement for people like himself (born and raised with the Bible and still loving of Christianity and going through a hard time as people call lying behind your back and telling you lies about how you think and who you are to your face as virtues for saving you from ‘deception’/not killing yourself), and we have Michael Brown who holds the status quo in some of the most obviously and sneeringly ways possible all while telling you he cried his eyes out while writing a chapter describing what pedophiles have done to children in the most graphic slash-fiction style writing he apparently is willing to write……. in a book refuting adults of the same-sex wanting to be together (what was the point of discrediting yourself to people who know LGBT+ people quite a bit more than Brown puts stock in?).

  • Lbj

    Vines is trying to deceive people by claiming the Bible says nothing about the kind of same sex relationships he is referring to. He has to twist it to say what it does not say. For the past 2000 years no one in those centuries has come up with his kind of interpretations.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    Hey, if progressive Christians (relative to their times) could get away with calling the passages encouraging and praising slaves to obey their masters as they obey Christ as evil, why not the other passages that say, “ignore how ignorant and cruel this teaching would sound if applied to you because JESUS WILL RAPE YOUR CHILDREN IN HELL UNTIL THE TENTH GENERATION IF YOU DON’T KNOW YOUR PLACE!!!” (but, heh, that’s just what I hear when absurd commands are made at the consequence of absurd punishments. And why not rape? Jesus is supposed to be a more horrible person than anyone who can just destroy your body. He can crush souls better than any rapist one might fear according to the man himself).

  • Lbj

    ?????????????

  • Ron McPherson

    The entire debate never addressed the real question of whether one can be both gay and Christian. Instead, the focus centered upon whether a committed same sex relationship was sinful. Fortunately, the Savior died for my sins and the sins of countless others. If it’s a matter of a “sinful lifestyle” disqualifying us from eternal life, how about a prideful attitude? Or gossips? Or is it only the “major sins” that are a problem, like being gay? One might characterize me as a heterosexual glutton. I suppose that one is ok in the eyes of many. God doesn’t condone sin in any respect, but there is a reason The Lord Jesus Christ advised us to pull the piece of timber from our own eyes before trying to dig the splinter out of someone else’s.

  • John A. C. Kelley

    Dr. Michael Brown’s argument about Jesus being able to see into every man’s heart is laughable. It’s true that Jesus could see the hearts of all men, but the laughable part is that Jesus obviously saw homosexuals and never deemed it important enough to comment on speaks volumes. It obviously isn’t as big of an issue as fundamentalists think it is. Leviticus is irrelevant due to the fact that we are no longer under the law because Jesus fulfilled it. Sodom isn’t even about homosexuality and our word sodomy is framed in misunderstood Biblical texts. Paul was clearly talking about prostitution and pedophilia because he used those Greek words rather than the common Greek word for homosexuality.

  • Tanner

    That actually is false. Yes he uses Malakos as soft or effeminate (which in Greco-ROman world was used to refer to the “passive” partner in homosexual acts) a boy or adult. It was not only used for adolescent boys, regardless of pagan rituals performed. Then Paul addresses arsenokoitai which in greek is arsen (Man) and koite (sexual intercourse), but Paul using this term is referring to the Septuagint of Lev. 20:13, which means (in plural), “men who have intercourse with men. Also in 1TImothy 1:10 Paul uses arsenokoites again in the midst of deriving from “the law” of the OT. Both used in prohibition of Male to Male sexual intercourse. Granted the Greek context may have been young boys and men, but it is not addressing the ritual, it is addressing the act, that may or may not have been done for a religious ritual. He may have been speaking to the pagans at that time in regards to the ritual, but it isnt just the ritual that he is addressing, he is trying to reform the entire act that has been done for centuries in Greco-ROman culture. At least that is my take and my opinion of the Greek and OT Hebrew.

  • Joel Kessler

    What I didn’t like is although I respect the people who do not think the Bible allows them to support same-sex relationships, Michael Brown would Babel and Filibuster throughout the whole conversation. This shows the exact attitude of conservative evangelicals towards sexual anomalies, just mow ’em over and shut them up and have them submit! It is totally ridiculous the attitude of Michael Brown’s conversation toward Mathew Vines. I claim that the fruit just does not line up.

  • Joel Kessler

    Congratulations Moody!!! You took down Matthew Vines through an unfair regulation of conversation time given to the conservative apologist, through an unfair moderator who is unapologetically biased and leaves no room for thought, no room for questioning, and no room for the attitude of Jesus to not fear discussions about truth as long as we know and love Jesus who is truth. Totally infuriating.

  • Joel Kessler

    1 corinthians 6:9-10 condemns not “homosexuality” it condemns “arsenkoitai and malakoi” together which most strongly refers to a perverted relationship of pederasty. Some quotes from the early church are very edifying to the interpretation of this verse. Theophilus in 180 a.d. interprets this list in this quote, “How me yourself whether you are not an adulterer, a fornicator, a thief or a robber. Show me that you do not corrupt boys…..For God is not manifest to those who do these things.” The Didache which is the closest interpretation of the apostles teaching (and it almost made it into our scriptures itself) comments on the list by saying, “You shall not commit adultery; you shall not commit pederasty.” (c. 80-140 a.d.) Let’s let the early church interpret arsenkoitai and malakoi through the lense of the 1st century instead of 20 century culture debates.

  • Nope. Study ancient Greek culture. Adult men couldn’t be the passive partners in a homosexual relationship because that was beneath their status and would have brought anything from ridicule to banishment upon them. The only passive partners that were acceptable in ancient Greek culture were “inferiors”: women, and boys.

  • He could have Leviticus in mind, but the sin in Leviticus is a sin because pagans did it. (Leviticus 18:3) and the Greek who joined the Corinth church were also formerly pagan (1 Cor 6:11). However, again, Greek culture didn’t permit homosexual relationships between equals as the passive man assumed a lower status. So it occurred between men and boys.

  • There are quite a few experts that say just the opposite.

  • It is definitely Brown’s weakness.

  • The courts have determined that it is covered by the 14th Amendment.

  • Realist1234

    I didnt bother to watch the video as I am rather tired of the debate. As a gay Christian myself, I know the Lord’s will – not to have sex with other men. End of.

  • Jeff Preuss

    His will for you. Not necessarily for all.

  • Realist1234

    You are correct. Too many people trying to rewrite Scripture for their own use. Jesus is not amused.

  • WilmRoget

    Not true.

  • WilmRoget

    There is no evidence to support your claim.

  • WilmRoget

    As a gay Christian myself, I know that God’s will is for me to have the loving, intimate, sexual relationship with my husband of seventeen years, and to rebuke those who preach ‘homosexuality is sin’ for their false teaching and the evil fruit it produces.

  • Realist1234

    The Lord has spoken.

  • Jeff Preuss

    He has said something different to me.

    Scripture is open to interpretation, and always has been “through the ages.” Even this Scripture.

  • buildamoat

    I’m fairly certain that this isn’t true. Men had more sexual freedom than that.

  • Josh

    How is the fruit of that preaching evil? God did not create a separate entity called the “the homosexual man”. Do you know how I know? Because God in His PERFECT WORD would have said so. Here’s the fallacy and I understand the argument that a man who is homosexual feels as though he was born that way: Matthew Vines and people coming from this stance are essentially saying that they are a separate creation from the rest of mankind or a “new creation” or even a sub-species of people. Subject to different laws than the rest of mankind. Why, if God didn’t create a suitable partner for gay man in the garden, why does gay man feel the need to create one? There has to come a point where you either look at the truth in Scripture and say “either I’m right and God’s wrong or God’s right and I’m wrong.” I mean call it for what it is: you’re either saying that God messed up and you have more sense than He does or you submit to the Truth and do things the right way: His way.

  • Josh

    I don’t understand where everyone is getting their idea for what a good fruit is. How about this one?
    -Bring forth therefore fruits meet for repentance: (‭Matthew‬ ‭3‬:‭8‬ KJV)
    Gay people identify themselves with their sin. The issue is Jesus says you must be born again to enter into heaven. (John 3:3) So your first nature, which you were born with that has the same sex attraction is nailed to the cross and you are given a new spirit and you actually become a new creation. (Romans 6:4, 2 Corinthians 5:17). If you were gay and living a gay lifestyle before You met Jesus, then after you meet Him YOU ARE NO LONGER GAY. Will you struggle with homosexual desires? Possibly, but as you walk with Christ and as He changes you from the inside out you’ll find those desires weakening and weakening as your love for Him grows stronger and stronger. I am telling you, Jesus does not accept homosexuality as walking with Him. It may be a struggle you face after the fact in becoming more like Him but never a permissible part of fellowship with Him. If God said it was an abomination to Him 4,000 years ago in Leviticus it’s still an abomination with him today as this Scripture sets forth:
    Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (‭Hebrews‬ ‭13‬:‭8‬ KJV).

    It’s one thing to admit you struggle with homosexual tendencies and you’re going to Jesus to submit them to Him. It’s another thing to completely glory in your sin and say “God approves”. You’re setting yourself up for a very rude awakening.

  • Josh

    Jesus never said that. Where’s your proof? Book, chapter and verse. Where is it? I dont think you know it because it sounds like you’ve never read it.

  • Josh

    It comes down to this: a Christian is someone who has repented and turned to believe in the salvation that Christ bought with His blood on the cross after He was buried and resurrected. I don’t see how a God who hates sin could allow us to practice it willingly. Does He forgive us when we sin? To those who have accepted His salvation, yes. Is there a possibility you will sin after you are saved? Absolutely. But the fact of the matter is you should be walking with Jesus towards seeing holiness in your life, or freedom from sin. You were freed when you were saved but it takes time to see it work out in your life. There is no point where a truly saved Christian should think: God is ok with my sin and I can live this way. Sin separates and either you are separated from Him eternally through rejecting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, or separated momentarily through sinning in your relationship with Him. But you are not walking in the Spirit and having homosexual sex with a man, whether you are married or single. The verse in Leviticus that labels homosexuality an abomination has been fulfilled in Christ. So if something is fulfilled do you now do the opposite of what it said? No by standing in the righteousness of Jesus Christ Who fulfilled the Law, you stand in the righteousness as if you completed each Law yourself. That means in your personal life you uphold the notion that same gender sex is an abomination. You do not turn to another point of view; it would be outside of Scripture not to.

    To address Matthew Vines’ arguments, God did not need to create a partner suitable for gay man because man was not created to be gay, or else he would be in the garden with Adam. Homosexuality came about after sin entered in. Read Genesis 1-3 and tell me if you see any mention of homosexuality.

    Honestly, it doesn’t matter if a homosexual man feels like he has to be “celibate” for the rest of his life, or if because of the scriptural teachings of the bible the homosexual is left feeling hurt, torn, and has their dreams broken of becoming married to another man. It doesn’t matter because Jesus is trying to emphasize that this was never intended and if a gay person has to learn that they must give up these things as they follow Him so be it. It’s better than the alternative; living in the lie of thinking that the Bible approves homosexuality and end up in hell for all eternity because you never truly knew the real Jesus- the Jesus of the Bible. The real Jesus through His Holy Spirit convicts man of sin. Man has long been convicted of homosexuality as being a sin before this past couple generations who believe orientation is a choice. That’s another mistake: to believe that God was not omnipotent enough when writing the Bible to know that there would be gay people trying to find their place. And I tell you He did:

    For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (‭2 Timothy‬ ‭4‬:‭3-4‬ KJV)

    So the answer is this: homosexuality is a sin. God does not condone it neither does His Word. He hates it but He loves you. It is more important ending up in heaven forever living for Jesus correctly than ending up in hell listening to some guy who doesn’t believe the Word of God is the final authority and says that it’s ok to live the way you were before you got saved. And then maybe the question is how do you know if you’re truly saved to begin with? The gospel is simply stated as so:

    But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thy heart: that is, the word of faith, which we preach; That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

    For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (‭Romans‬ ‭10‬:‭8-11, 13‬ KJV)

    That’s it. If you’ve repented and believed the Gospel and called on the name of Jesus you shall be saved. I hope that God spoke through me tonight. I hope and pray that someone some time is helped by this post. I hate seeing people deceived and I hate seeing deceivers lead people, who don’t know any better, into a lie that could cost them their life. Well I pray that God blesses you guys and Jesus saves you :) I hope to see you all in heaven :)

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    Fear not those who can destroy the body but fear the one who can destroy both body and soul (paraphrase).

    So Jesus’s justice is more sickly than anything a rapist or torturer or cancer or murderer or starvation or slaver, etc could do?

  • Josh

    And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. (‭Matthew‬ ‭10‬:‭28‬ KJV)

    He’s talking about the Fear of the Lord which is reverence and awe, one, and two He’s telling this to His disciples who will be facing opposition for standing up for Jesus. Just read three verses before it and you’ll get the proper context of that Scripture.

    You should know that men will be held accountable for every idle word spoken:

    But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. (‭Matthew‬ ‭12‬:‭36‬ KJV)

    How much more when you rail false things against the Son of God? You need to repent and believe the gospel.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    You write to me that Jesus is a more nightmarish monster than any human ever could be in order to say I should really be a Christian again? Truly Jesus is “love” and “just”.

  • Josh

    No I’m writing that YOU are more nightmarish than He could ever be! The Word of God says that: For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (‭Romans‬ ‭3‬:‭23‬ KJV)

    You keep perverting the Word of God to fit your desires. You want to say that Jesus is somehow evil because He has more power than those who harm the flesh, where does it say such a thing? You need a hard dose of the truth. The Love of Jesus is shown in that He died for us on the cross for our sins, and was resurrected on the third day and that whosever believes in their heart that Jesus was raised from the dead and confesses with their mouth the Lord Jesus they will be saved. Saved from what? Eternal damnation.

    Right now where you sit because surely you were born sinful at birth: (Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me. (‭Psalms‬ ‭51‬:‭5‬ KJV)) you need to be saved otherwise you won’t see heaven. That is the issue here. Not whether I need to convince you that you should be a Christian because you’ll have a better life. Or even prove that you’re just trying to be argumentative and stir up dissension by claiming that Jesus is evil.

    What I will tell you is that you’re in the same boat as everyone who doesn’t believe in Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior: on the road to hell. So am I going to sit here and argue with you right now? No because honestly with such a hatred of Jesus Christ coming out of your mouth I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve got a devil working through you.

    Unless you repent and believe the gospel your soul will wind up in hell. Forever. You can’t get into heaven without Jesus.

    Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (‭John‬ ‭14‬:‭6‬ KJV)

    So the choice is yours. Continue in your ways or repent. You can chalk this up to whatever you want but the truth is this is one of the moments where God is making His appeal to you to come to Him since I’m providing you with the truth of the Gospel. So before you dismiss this I’d take great care to make REALLY sure that I don’t know what I’m talking about. Study the verses I’ve given you. Here’s some more:

    That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. (‭Romans‬ ‭10‬:‭9-11‬ KJV)

    The choice is up to you now. If you have REAL questions I’ll be happy to answer you.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    The Bible describes what it means by Jesus’ “glory” in great detail (see the Tanakh, especially Exodus). I am pleased to fall short of being a fictional monster. Clue: When someone says that they can harm you worse than those other people, that’s not a good sign. Lastly, no god claims any religious text nor communicates with people in any way distinguishable from a god being imaginary.

  • Josh

    You keep interpreting that Jesus said that from an evil perspective. He’s saying that from the perspective that God is Judge over body and soul. God does not destroy the soul unless men reject His salvation through Christ. There’s no alternative anyway; the choice is live through Jesus or die in hell FOR YOUR OWN SINS. We as sinners have broken God’s laws and therefore have earned a punishment. But Jesus, even though He certainly didn’t have to, came down and bore our sins on the cross and took our punishment on for us even though He did no wrong. And then God raised Him again. Where do you get off calling Him evil? He took your punishment that you rightfully deserve. The “clue” you’re referring to is for someone who just is waiting to zap you at a moments notice. That’s not how God works. This destroying of the soul is talking about everlasting damnation for those who deny Christ. And Jesus Christ identifies HIMSELF as the Word of God made flesh: And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. (‭Revelation‬ ‭19‬:‭13‬ KJV)

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    Well, at this point in your rant I have to wonder why it wouldn’t be easier to just have not created humanity at all. The love Christianity preaches is fluff. You right now, tell me what you would do to other people if they could not retaliate. How do I get such an impression of you and other worshippers of hell as justice? You not only believe there is a god who believes hell and all the laws of the Bible being just, but you say, “Hey, you and I agree that people and even their descendents to the tenth generation should just be mercilessy wracked with pain and suffering over and over again. If I were you I would totally do that to everyone not obsessing over me and my whims!” Do you think the god you believe in is or has been wrongheaded about anything? That goes for progressive Christians as well. Most damning is that Jesus nor any god seems to have no voice of their own outside of their religions (bunches of people pretending their personal similar “gods” are the same beings).

  • Josh

    Wow ok so I’m a worshipper of hell now. Dude you have no understanding of anything I’ve been saying. Not only do you not understand but you continue to twist my words and what I’ve said. Jesus is the only One Who claimed there was no other way to get into heaven but by Himself. I don’t just believe in God I know Him. And no, God is perfect. Jesus is God and He is perfect. He doesn’t believe hell He created hell for the devil and his angels. Answer this: why do you hate God so much? This isn’t just a “I don’t believe in Him” thing this is real hatred for Jesus Christ. Why do you hate Him so much? Have you just misinterpreted the bible so much or what?

    Bottomline: you’re not making any coherent thought known just scattering different ones , have no understanding of what I’ve said, you just keep twisting it to fit your views, and you’re just here to antagonize and try to prove me wrong, with no facts, I might add. If you don’t recall, I’m the one who found the scripture that you had twisted out of context. So form a coherent thought, quit trying to twist my words, and I’ll continue in debate with you.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    You necroed a year old post, and then we’ve been wastefully arguing over our differing interpretations of a character in a book. And if you don’t believe people can hate fictional characters (even ones that are not the mascots for political actions used to discriminate and harm others) I would encourage you to look into online book discussions (The Giving Tree by Shell Silverstein is a great book example). No, I wish to debate no further.

  • Josh

    I responded to a post that was wrong. I’ve seen your other posts too. They’re all opinion and no fact. And you mistakenly keep saying the Bible as being a fictional book with “characters”. First of all, the entire bible was written at different times and yet still completely lines up. You may try and say that there’s contradictions but I guarantee you’re reading it out of context, as you’ve done all throughout our communication. Second of all, Jesus is not a “character”. The entire Bible is written about Him. From Genesis to Revelation it’s all about Him. You can even see how it talks about Him book by book. So how could a simple “book” made out to be fictional, be completely accurate, and talk about someone 4000 years before He was born?

    Here’s proof that Jesus walked the earth:
    http://wol.jw.org/en/wol/d/r1/lp-e/2003441

    Because this hasn’t been a battle over “beliefs” this is a battle of the truth. You see, you’re not just telling your opinion, you’re broadcasting them as fact.

    Thank God Almighty above that you’ve finally decided to stop. You’ve refuted nothing, disproved nothing, at the very least you’ve heard the gospel. I’ll pray for you man.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    And I’ll continue to wonder why you care more about a fictional character than that character seems to care about itself. Good day to you, sir.

  • Paul

    I listened to that so-called “debate.” Brown was deliberate in rigging the debate in his favor.

  • Paul

    Just because God didn’t “create” something in the Garden doesn’t mean it wasn’t His will. Foods beyond fruits and vegetables didn’t exist back then, does that mean we’re forbidden from eating meat or dairy?

  • Paul

    For centuries very few Christians believed in the concept of salvation by grace through faith alone. It took one German ex-monk to spark a revolution in European Christendom in order to make more people aware of the concept.

  • Paul

    It was referring to effeminates.

  • Paul

    Even if he did have Leviticus in mind, Leviticus only applies to LEVITES. That’s why it’s called LEVITicus.

  • Josh

    But I can say with 100% confidence that God would never call something “good”, “acceptable”, or even “His will” that which He once called an abomination. How did foods like meat and dairy not exist back then?

    And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. And God made the beast of the earth after his kind, and cattle after their kind, and every thing that creepeth upon the earth after his kind: and God saw that it was good. (‭Genesis‬ ‭1‬:‭24-25‬ KJV)

    There’s the meat and dairy, so I don’t understand how that would apply to this line of thinking.

    People don’t want sin to be a sin. God is demonstrating the RIGHT way of doing things; the pure intent and natural way of doing things, while today’s media and society has become so screwed up that they’re trying to make the unnatural natural, and it’s just not going to be ok come time when it matters; I.e. When everyone is finding out where they’re spending eternity.

    God has set the rules. Jesus has paid the price. The Holy Spirit is convicting us of our sin. When will we wake up and realize that not everything is the way we, as selfish, evil and wicked humanity want it to be? For anyone who says that man sleeping with another man (or women with women) is not an abomination they are LYING to you. Why? Because the Bible is the TRUTH.

    Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. (‭Psalms‬ ‭119‬:‭160‬ KJV)

    And even worse they’re calling God a liar:

    Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. (‭Leviticus‬ ‭18‬:‭22‬ KJV)

    So at the end of the day, why would you (I’m talking to everyone) listen to someone who thinks they’re smarter than God? That they’re more perfect and righteous than He, and that they know what they’re talking about, and God, who created the heavens and the earth, with space having over 350 BILLION universes in it, has no clue.

    It’s downright foolishness and stubbornness. I’m trying to let you all know: there is going to be a last day known as the Day of the Lord. Jesus is going to come back and He’s going to collect those who’ve believed on Him in the twinkling of an eye. But the rest will perish. Is that His fault? Does that make Him evil for not saving people even though He’s extended His salvation time and time again through people speaking the gospel and time and time again the people who will perish are the ones who deny and reject the gospel that could have saved them? Is Jesus supposed to take away your free will and believe for you?

    Because to deny the gospel is to deny Jesus and to deny Jesus is to deny salvation and to deny salvation is to embrace death and hell forever. With there never being an end. I mean think about it. There is no end. It’s constant torment. There’s a worm and fire that cannot be quenched.

    Everyone please, I wouldn’t wish that on anyone! How much more does God want no one to endure that?

    The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (‭2 Peter‬ ‭3‬:‭9‬ KJV)

    Please repent and believe the gospel: that Jesus lived a perfect life and died in our place on the cross and was resurrected on the third day and that all who believe on Him will be saved!

    I have no reason to lie! What do I gain out of your belief but a brother or sister who I’d see one day in heaven! I leave to you all a call for you to respond to that is between you and Jesus Christ, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. And I pray you all answer it. This life is so momentary. It’s pictured as a vapor in the book of James:

    Whereas ye know not what shall be on the morrow. For what is your life? It is even a vapour, that appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away. (‭James‬ ‭4‬:‭14‬ KJV)

    So I pray, give your lives to Jesus. He doesn’t want you to die forever! He loves you why would He die for you if He didn’t love you? And His love is perfect! He’ll never leave you or forsake you! You may not understand why everything is the way it is but proverbs 3:5 tells us to not lean on our understanding but trust in the Lord! I’ll leave you with this scripture:

    But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (‭Romans‬ ‭5‬:‭8‬ KJV)

    He died for us knowing the worst of us, the worst thought we’ve ever thought, the worst deed we’ve ever committed He was thinking of you that day, as He sees everything. He loved you and deemed you more important than your sin and so He made a way for you to be with Him. Please don’t miss out. Please don’t reject Jesus. It’s not worth it. And He’s worth everything. Judge for yourselves what I’ve said. I’ve given you the gospel and told you what it takes to be saved. You just simply have to have faith in His death and resurrection and call on His Name. The choice is yours. God bless you guys. It’s the most important thing you’ll ever be faced with. I hope you choose correctly.

  • Paul

    Speaking as a Christian with a Jewish heritage, I can say that if you read the Leviticus verses in the appropriate context, you’ll see that it was more of a cultural thing as opposed to a moral thing. Also note that in Leviticus, eating shrimp and pork was considered an abomination. And yes, the same Hebrew word for “abomination” was used for shellfish as it was for the verse you think applies to homosexuality. If you read a few verses before it, you’ll see the author is addressing pagan temple practices.

    Besides, even if we accept your thesis, note that the chapter is LEVITicus…you know…Levites?

  • Josh

    I am also a follower of Jesus with a Jewish heritage. I did read the verses in context. Along with the chapters around it. And this is what I found:

    Defile not ye yourselves in any of these things: for in all these the nations are defiled which I cast out before you: And the land is defiled: therefore I do visit the iniquity thereof upon it, and the land itself vomiteth out her inhabitants. (‭Leviticus‬ ‭18‬:‭24-25‬ KJV)

    So you tell me, if God is saying that the “cultures” around them are being defiled by committing these acts and He cast them out of their land for doing them, how is it simply a cultural issue and not moral? So it falls to the actions being committed, not the time or place they were being committed. The actions were vile in the sight of the Lord and therefore caused judgement to be brought on the practitioners.

    According to the Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew Definitions, the word is used in both the ritual and ethical sense. And it also has to do with idolatry which is what this sin is: worshipping the creature instead of the Creator:

    Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. (‭Romans‬ ‭1‬:‭25‬ KJV).

    Idolatry doesn’t just have to be worshipping in the temple of Molech, it has to do with anything and everything that is exalted higher than Jesus Christ. Such as engaging and holding on to a sin that He specifically says is against Him. You are no longer serving Jesus you are serving sin:

    Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness? (‭Romans‬ ‭6‬:‭16‬ KJV)

    And let’s get this straight; I don’t “think” God is referring to homosexuality in that verse. I know He is. How can He be talking about anything else?

    Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination. (‭Leviticus‬ ‭18‬:‭22‬ KJV)

    What’s the definition of homosexuality?

    Erotic activity with another of the same sex (Merriam-Webster).

    What would you call it?

    And as for this being just for the Levites:

    All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: (‭2 Timothy‬ ‭3‬:‭16‬ KJV)

    Not some Scripture, but all is meant to instruct in righteousness.

    But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. (‭Galatians‬ ‭3‬:‭23-24‬ KJV)

    So understanding that all were meant to be under the Law, now we are in grace and the Law is fulfilled for those in Christ. GRACE DOES NOT ACT IN CONTRARY TO THE LAW. Jesus fulfilled the Law and in doing so brought us to a place of completion; there’s no need to strive to obey it because it’s been obeyed. Do you go and then break it because we’re under grace?

    What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. (‭Romans‬ ‭6‬:‭15‬ KJV)

    If I need light in a room and for years I pumped a lever to create electricity for my light bulb and then finally I get a switch to turn on the light, do I then throw away the light bulb because I have now been able to cease from my labor? No, the purpose for my work has been completed, but I still need a medium for my light to shine. The previous labor laid the groundwork for the completion. The goal that needed to be completed was for light to shine in my bulb. To say that our new state of grace means that we can do in opposite of what the standard of the Law set is to essentially say because we have a new light source we no longer need the light bulb. This is flawed and very incorrect.

    According to your thesis, now I can go and sleep with my family because Leviticus 18 is only cultural according to you. Well verses 6-16 is all against incestuous relations. Verse 23 is about not having sex with animals. Are these not moral issues?

    Is someone who sleeps with his daughter not considered a monster in today’s day and age? So why is only one verse out of this chapter supposed to be only relevant to the time it was written and none else?

    The author of this book is God. Jesus Christ Himself is the Word of God (John 1:1) to say parts of the Bible are no longer relevant is to say some parts of Jesus are no longer relevant. Which is pretty blasphemous.

  • Paul

    Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, an Orthodox rabbi, gave a great explanation for it. He said that because the Hebrew word for “abomination” is the same for both Leviticus 18:22 and for eating shrimp, homosexuality isn’t exactly some greater sin than eating pork or shrimp. He said, rather, that it’s only a mere part of the 613 Mitzvot (Commandments) that Jews are required to keep.

    He even says: “Homosexuality is a religious, not a moral, sin. A moral sin involves injury to an innocent party. Who is harmed when two unattached, consenting adults are in a relationship? Homosexuality is akin to the prohibition against lighting fire on the Sabbath or eating bread during Passover; there is nothing immoral about it, but it violates the divine will.” While he isn’t “open and affirming” regarding homosexuality, his insight into the Old Testament helps to vindicate Vines’ arguments from a Jewish perspective. And it’s good to get a Jewish perspective…after all, without us, there wouldn’t BE an Old Testament!

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704361504575552203494330686

  • Josh

    Hate to break it to you, but Rabbi Schmuley is wrong. First of all, I understand that in having Jewish heritage as I do, you seem to think it’s important to get a Jewish perspective.

    I disagree.

    The only one that you or I or anyone should be listening to is a bible-believing, born-again, doctrinally sound believer and follower of Jesus Christ. Why would you, as a Christian, let a non-believer dictate what you believe? They personally don’t know the truth, as Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life (John 14:6).

    Second of all, all sin is a morality issue as it’s willful disobedience to God. As morality is defined as concerning or relating to what is right and wrong in human behavior, obviously sin is wicked and obedience and faith is righteous.

    And why does everyone think there’s no one harmed? What about the potential family that could have been created? A man cannot be a mother no matter how feminine he may be, just as a woman can’t be a man. What about the family he already had? The damage is done on the family unit. And what about the unnatural act? Does it matter if the act is consensual if the act is unnatural? What’s the difference between that and someone who wants to have sex with an animal and the animal reciprocates? Who is it harming then? If you can’t answer that I’ll be glad to tell you. But seriously where does it end? What about pedophilia? The point is this: it’s a slippery slope of blurring the lines between what God’s standard for acceptable sexual behavior is. And He outlined what isn’t in Leviticus 18 and other places.

    That’s so foolish to say there is nothing immoral about it, it only violates the divine will. God is perfect and Holy, the eminence of morality, yet if something is against Him it’s not immoral? That’s flawed thinking from an incorrect understanding of morality.

    His insight into the Old Testament doesn’t add up to anything. He can approve whatever he wants, he’s still just as much in need of knowing the truth as Matthew Vines. Matthew Vines is trying to make an argument claiming he is a Christian and gay at the same time and God is ok with it. Well what God counts as sin He is not ok with. and Rabbi Schmuley most likely denies that Jesus is the Messiah and therefore is in desperate need of salvation, as I suspect Vines is still in need of. A Christian, a true Christian does not love sin or try to make it acceptable. A true Christian is deeply convicted of his or her sin and is convicted to turn from it.

    God could have made the Old Testament from any group of people. I’m sorry but he who is a Jew outwardly means nothing. Only he who is one inwardly:

    For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: But he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God. (‭Romans‬ ‭2‬:‭28-29‬ KJV)

    Your confidence is in the flesh. You’re assuming a lot by saying without the Jews there would be no Old Testament.

    Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham. (‭Luke‬ ‭3‬:‭8‬ KJV).

  • Bruce Atkinson

    The whole issue of homosexuality is deliberately rigged in God’s favor. Just check out the scriptures:: Matthew 19:4-6 (defining marriage), Genesis 1-2 (defining the image of God as male and female), Genesis 18-19 (Sodom and Gomorrah), Leviticus 18:22, Leviticus 20:13,
    Deuteronomy 23:18, Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9, and 1 Timothy 1:10. Jude 1:7 refers to Genesis 19:1-11, the Sodom and Gomorrah incident. These scriptures condemn homosexual behavior as sin, even calling it an abomination that of course, without repentance and amendment of life, will keep you out of heaven. Additionally, there are many more scriptures that condemn sexual sin in general, which is defined as any sexual behavior outside of male-female marriage (this then must logically include homosexual behavior).

    Chastity, sexual purity and sexual faithfulness in marriage are virtues valued highly all through the Bible. Their opposite is always condemned. I challenge dissenters to show me the scriptures which say that homosexuality is a good thing or even to be tolerated. They never can meet this challenge because such scriptures don’t exist. In order to maintain the heresy that committed homosexual relationships (and the sexual acts which accompany them) are not sin, a person must of necessity disbelieve and denigrate scripture. This means ignoring it, demeaning it, minimizing its authority, revising it, or re-interpreting it to fit one’s own point of view. This is because the scriptures are quite clear about sex being only right and holy within heterosexual marriage.

  • Proud Amelekite

    The size of your responses tells the whole story. You are on the ropes, clutching at straws, desperate because you see your immoral Biblical view shrinking with each passing generation. You even went back to those thirty year old anti-gay chestnuts (harm to the family, the natural acts nonsense, even the beastiality canard), desperately trying to prove homosexuality harms someone or something to validate your point.

    Or, perhaps, it is excitement and not desperation. Perhaps you relish in the thought of all the people you will get to watch burn in hell for not believing in your specific 1/40,000th of Christianity or being icky and gay. Most Christians of your ilk tend to have a sadistic side, I notice.

    Paul was right – in this debate, your man rigged the questions to make himself look better. Your side is full of liars and charlatans. Your side will lose this war, Josh.

  • Proud Amelekite

    “How is the fruit of that preaching evil?”

    Shame, depression, sexual acting out, shortened lifespans, suicide. The gay community that internalizes religious abuse and shame suffers quite a lot. Your arguments are the same used by Southern Baptists to explain why interracial marriage was wrong, back when your lot called black folks the Sons and Daughters of Ham.

    You can try to rationalize but so long as I and other LGBT people like myself are alive, we will always be there to point out the truth. Your dominionism ends here, monster.

  • Proud Amelekite

    But it was Brown who felt the need to rig the questions, talk over Vines, and filibuster his way to victory. If God is on your side, Bruce, why the lies? Why the tricks in debates? Why is your side always in the wrong, scientifically and ethically? Maybe you are right. Maybe we are going to hell.

    But I’ll tell you what: I won’t go there alone. I will be leading your children and grandchildren into the abyss with me. I will lead them, proudly, against the blackhearted God of liars you bow to.

  • Bruce Atkinson

    All sin is destructive of self and/or others. Just because we cannot always know exactly how and why God proscribes some behaviors does not change the fact that God knows best.

    The spiritual war? Satan is allowed to win some headway short term. The divine purpose is to reveal which people are really Satan’s (believing his lies) and which are the Lord’s (believing in His Word). Which are God’s sheep and which are the goats, pigs, and wolves in sheep’s clothing?

    The scriptures are clear about sexual morality (especially homosexuality) from beginning to end; it is totally consistent in both Old and New Testament that this behavior is sin. No declarations to the contrary. Do you need me to list the scriptures? Either God is sovereign and can make His Word written come out exactly as He desires, or He is not God. Either you believe God’s Word on things or else you belong to His enemy. No other choices.

  • Proud Amelekite

    [Either God is sovereign and can make His Word written come out exactly as He desires, or He is not God.]

    So free will doesn’t exist and God can overwrite human free will to ensure the Bible is simple and easy to understand for all time. Doesn’t the existence of many different Bibles counter this? Also, last I checked, Matthew Vines backs his views up with Bible Scholarship. Sticking your fingers in your ears and being dishonest is not going to work anymore, chum. You have to face people like Vines and myself, and you have to do it honestly. If you don’t you will lose the culture even faster.

    Save your threats of hellfire and devils for the kids. I grow weary of a God who is so stupid and evil he has to use threats and mass murder to keep human beings in line. You want to worship that monster in private, you go ahead, but I am done with that. Save yourself from hell. It is all people like you have ever cared about: yourselves.

  • Bruce Atkinson

    caja,
    Uh, it is those libertines who insist on worshiping sexuality that prove they only care about themselves. No one is against love.

    To answer your points (not for you who won’t listen, but for other readers):
    God chose the writers of the Bible because He knew they would follow Him and He knew that they would submit themselves (willingly) to His will. They prayed that the Holy Spirit would inspire their writings and God’s will was done, even though it was through imperfect human beings.

    All of the scholarly translated Bibles use Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic manuscripts. If you compare these translations and versions (as I do all the time), you will discover that the differences are very minor; the meaning of words remains the same almost always, and where they do differ, it does not impact major Christian doctrines whatsoever.

    The “scholarship” of Matthew Vines is full of heretical interpretations that go against what Christian scholars (early church fathers, Catholic fathers, Reformation fathers, and most churches today) have always believed. All these churches don’t agree on everything, but before the 21st century they all agreed on what the Bible said about sexual morality (especially homosexuality). We are talking about 2000 years of scholars and church leaders all agreeing with the scriptures. Vines is a totally off the wall heretic.

    Losing the culture? Heck, it is lost already. Regardless of the direction our culture moves, I am sticking with God’s Word. “Right is right even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it.” (often attributed to Augustine) We may vote on which government leaders we want, but we don’t get a vote on what is right and what is wrong. God said it and we are supposed to believe it. Whatever god you believe in, it is not the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, not the God of Jesus Christ and the Apostles.

    “If you believe what you like in the scriptures, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Word of God you believe, but yourself.” ― Augustine (City of God, Chapter 10)

  • Bruce Atkinson

    cajaquarius,
    These words of yours will haunt you forever in horrible isolation… unless you repent and humble yourself under Christ’s Lordship. It is clear to me who inspires your comments, and it sure is not God! It is the true “Father of Lies.” From the beginning he has deceived human beings by questioning and twisting God’s words. He works the same way today.

  • Josh

    Bruce, you hit the nail right on the head! I pray that the Holy Spirit keeps speaking through you brother.

  • Bruce Atkinson

    Thanks, bro’. I do get a lot of help.

  • Bruce Atkinson

    Monster? Name calling and ad hominems never help one’s arguments. They only show that you have no good arguments and must resort to personal insults. Like an adolescent.

    Blaming all these things (shame, depression, sexual acting out, shortened lifespans, suicide) on ‘religious abuse’ rather than their obvious true cause (the results of a chosen homosexual lifestyle) is dishonest to the extreme. Next you will blame AIDS on those that promote chaste sexual morality!

  • Bruce Atkinson

    In NT times they believed in grace and faith rather than works. Some of the early church fathers were on board with this truth and Augustine later wrote some things to this effect. It is just that Roman cultural influences bent the gospel for a millennium or so and needed to be pointed back at the truth. The church at Rome still did not accept it, so the true Church had to separate from these heterodoxies.
    But one can also go too far in the other direction, called “cheap grace”, where it virtually gives permission to sin. These people forget what Jesus taught on the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5, see especially verses 18-19). Jesus fulfilled the ceremonial laws (and later abrogated the dietary and cultural laws) but He made the moral laws even more strict (verses 21-46). We are not saved by keeping the laws, we are saved by faith in what Christ did on the cross to buy us forgiveness; but these transgressions are still sin, and without repentance, confession, and amendment of life, those who do them are denying any faith in Christ. The fruit doesn’t make the tree, but we can still tell the tree by its fruit.

  • Josh

    Cajaquarius, we have a lot to talk about, and I’ll start answering your statements with this post. I’m going to start this off by saying I honestly pray that you get saved. I hope that whatever God speaks through me will pierce your heart so you can actually hear the truth of the Word of God.

    With that being said lets get into this.

    First of all, Brown had no need to rig the questions, as most of the debate was just responding to each other’s statements. The questions that were asked were of basic theological and rational components that have to do with this issue, such as if a person really does have a fixed orientation or choice and whether or not they could ever change. If you watch the whole video, there are plenty of times where Vines is talking over Brown as well. Let’s not hold one side more accountable than the other. Oh and the victory was won by truth and factual information. Vines wanted him to give him a first century source talking about long term same sex relationships. Why does this matter? What could this have ever possibly proved? The issue that practicing homosexual people have, along with their argument, is with the Word of God. No book outside the Bible is valid for the standard of Truth that is needed to answer these questions in the sight of God. There can be books to talk about it, debate, discuss and what have you, but the only one that can tell you what God’s opinion on the matter is, is His own Word.

    Second, I ask you, where are the lies? What are you talking about? Do you have any specific examples of things he’s said that we can look at? When you find them we can talk about them. But just saying he’s lying when you have no proof to refute what he’s saying, you just make yourself out to be someone who’s just here to cause trouble. If Brown had gone on there and just answered Vines by saying “you’re a lying liar and I don’t believe you. You’re wrong.” Would anybody listen to him? No, because that’s just his opinion. So what did he do? He cited chapter and verse to support his argument. I suggest you do the same.

    And again, prove to me where “my side” is “always in the wrong, scientifically and ethically”. How does the Word of God violate ethics? How has science proved it wrong? It actually proves its truth. Nobody wants to talk about how evolution is still just a theory. They’ve never proven it to be true- hence the name.

    And finally, for your last statement, what an awful thing to say. First of all, not only have you yourself given a little bit of credence as to what Brown and the Gospel is saying as being possibly true, but you’re saying that if it is, you’re not only going to reject it, you’re going to work on the side of those who are enemies of God. Willfully. Purposefully. Let me tell you buddy, that’s not just sinful, that’s evil. And if you make that choice, you’re welcome to do so. Just know that God, myself, and many other faithful followers of Jesus will be, and have already been actively working against motives and agendas such as that. So I say, you can try and you probably will. But as for you and your father satan, well, you’ve already lost. Only a fool would choose death when he sees life in front of him.

    Ye do the deeds of your father. Then said they to him, We be not born of fornication; we have one Father, even God. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. (‭John‬ ‭8‬:‭41-45‬ KJV)

  • Josh

    The size of my responses should tell you that I’m trying to give you as much information as possible on the subject, and am thoroughly scrutinizing the information. It’s funny how you say things like I’m “on the ropes” or “desperate”. I actually feel very confident about what I am talking about and what I believe. And I challenge you to try and shake it. You think my view is diminishing as time goes by, I see it first of all happening exactly the way it’s supposed to: there’s going to be a great falling away. The world will turn its back on Jesus Christ and Salvation because they scorn the gospel, as you are in fact doing right at this moment. But there will be a day of judgement and it quickly approaches. So no. My view is not diminishing and I’m not getting “desperate”. It’s only confirming my faith in the Word of God. Secondly, I know that light shines brighter in the darkness. The darker it gets the more noticeable the light becomes to where you can’t ignore it.

    I didn’t go back to a thirty year old argument, I went back to a Genesis 1:27 argument, which is over 6,000 years older than whatever you’re talking about. Here’s what it says:

    So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. (‭Genesis‬ ‭1‬:‭27-28‬ KJV)

    Whatever you’re trying to argue is defeated just by this one Scripture. How about it harms the future of the entire human race? Two men can’t reproduce with each other. Two women can’t reproduce with each other. That’s because it’s not natural. Everything God created, He created good and able to continue on for generations. The earth. The sea. The sky. Plants. Animals. Us. He didn’t do that for the homosexual because he didn’t create man or woman to be homosexual. Sin twisted and perverted human flesh and desires and made it to where people are born with desires that are ungodly and against what God created. I’ve had urges to have sex outside of marriage. I’ve struggled with lust for a good part of my life and I’m young at that. And I never felt any true remorse until I met Jesus. Because it’s not the way He made things. It’s not His design. So was my next step to go and find Scriptures that say God is ok with fornication and lust? No! There’s far too many Scriptures that give evidence to the contrary. Which is something else I want to ask you: you who are of the LGBT persuasion, do you have sex outside of marriage even if it’s gay? Gay marriage isn’t honored by God either as it is sinful. Do you lust? Do you lie? Everyone’s putting the emphasis on homosexuality right now, but that’s because of our culture and everyone wants to get away with their sin. But there’s a lot more going on than just same sex attraction. That equals up to at least two other sins that are in play on top of homosexuality.

    Do you know who else it harms? How about God? Or at least, it harms your relationship with Him, which if you don’t believe is nonexistent at the moment. God is Holy and Just. He can’t live with your sin. He can’t just let people into heaven because “oh that would be unkind” why do you get a pass and Hitler has to burn in hell? Why do you get to go to heaven without Jesus and the Muslims don’t? We’ve all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Romans 6:23). Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life and no one comes unto the Father except through Him (John 14:6). So if you have to go through Jesus to get to God the Father, Who is in heaven, how will you get through? What do you have to offer that makes it acceptable to let you through? The answer is nothing. All of our righteousness are as filthy rags in his sight (Isaiah 64:6). The only thing that can clean you of your sin is the blood of Jesus (1 John 1:9). The only way to enter into heaven is to be born again (John 3:3). The only way to be born again is to believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God and that He died for you on the cross and after three days God raised Him up again and is alive forevermore seated at His right hand (Romans 10:9-10). That’s the only way!

    The only person who sounds sadistic in this argument is you as only you have confessed to being willing to take a man’s children and grandchildren and lead them to everlasting damnation along with yourself. So, your insults are empty.

    Again, there was no way to rig the questions as half of them were just responses to what was being said. One or two were from people calling in and asking questions.

    You still don’t understand, the war is over! Satan is defeated and Jesus reigns victorious! The cross was the atomic bomb on sin. It’s power is broken. Now it stands as an everlasting rescue beacon: if you want to live and escape judgement believe on Jesus! My eternity stands secure. You can’t take it away from me. No man nor no devil can. I am His forever. Honestly, this world is going to pass away. And even if you manage to live a long live here on this earth, and continue in your sin and feel justified til the day you die that homosexuality is right, eternity is going to be a hell of a lot longer. And it’s going to be because of your own choice, your own stubbornness.

  • Bruce Atkinson

    Josh,
    I hope your post will be read by some thinking people who have not made up their minds yet. However, the cagey aquarian will never listen. This ‘new age’ person has boxed his or herself into the PC libertine view of sexuality and looks for excuses to continue to do so without feeling guilty. So many today actually worship sexuality (that is, the freedom to act out however they want). I call it sexolatry. It was not unusual in the Roman Empire; loose morals and other reasons led to its collapse (just a slightly different judgment than that of Sodom and Gomorrah). Pompeii was known for its orgies, the worst of the worst.

    But those who truly seek God will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13). The rest … well, we can pray for them. Sometimes people have to hit bottom before they will look up (because then there is nowhere else to look). Others are too far gone; they are not lost sheep, they are goats or pigs. Different spiritual species. And you remember how Jesus said not to throw our pearls to swine. Or as has been said “Never wrestle with a pig. You just get filthy and the pig likes it.“ But online, others may be listening who benefit. Someone may discover that “pearl of great price.”

  • Bruce Atkinson

    cajaquarius,

    Malachi 3:6
    “I, the LORD do not change.”

    Isaiah 40:8
    The grass withers and the flowers fall,
    but the word of our God stands forever.

    Psalm 33:11
    But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever,
    the purposes of his heart through all generations.

    Psalm 119:89
    Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens.

    Matthew 24:35 (Jesus speaking)
    “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”

    Hebrews 13:8
    Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

  • Proud Amelekite

    A lot of passages talking about the words of Christ but nothing talking about the Bible. The fact that parody bibles exist disproves the view that it in the inerrant word of God, I am afraid. If I can print my own bible today and change what is in it then it can’t stand now and forever. And if the bibles of today are not guaranteed such protections as is evidenced by the fact I can print a parody bible tomorrow, if I so wanted (not to mention the dozens of additions and translations differing from one another) then it makes no sense to assume that the bibles of the fourth century or the seventeenth century had such protection.

    You just follow the lead of Constantine and Rome. The ones who were the most brutal, who wiped out the Hellenes in death camps, adopted their pagan superstitions into their Christian celebrations, and who approved of slavery for centuries until that, magically, got figured out. Apologists are excuse makers. Bullshitters. From Augustine to Gagnon. Even Vines, in his own way. Just goes to show you can make the book jump anyway you like.

    And the next generation sees them for what they are, Bruce. Your church will continue to crumble because the foundation is sand. Pure and simple.

  • Proud Amelekite

    Confidence doesn’t hide behind walls of text, love. And you can defend your man in this debate all you like but the fact is clear to see and has been called out by many viewers here already: he filibustered and stacked the debate in his favor. The same sort of dishonest debating as Duane Gish and his well known Gish Gallup.

    As for Evolution, Gravity is also just a theory. Save the nonsense for Sunday School and the rest of the hodunks – that doesn’t fly anywhere the average intelligence quotient jumps to three digits.

    Genesis mentions male and female but you will read into that however you like, just as the Southern Baptist before you called the dark skinned man the Son of Ham. Your anti-Semitic interpretations of the Tanahk and it’s meaning are noted and summarily dismissed, just as before. The lies of your hate groups, your Family Research Council and their thirty years of false science, speak volumes of how deep the fork in the tongue of the born-again hypocrite truly goes. And, thanks to the Internet, the world knows now too. I am proud to say I have helped in that regard.

    Save the fire and brimstone, fool. Why would I want to bow before a God I loathe with every fiber of my being? Why would I bow to a being who hates me for being gay? I embrace eternal separation from your God.

    And, what’s more: I will lead children to accept me as normal and a benign variation instead of an abomination using every means at my disposal for the entirety of my time in this world. When I go to hell on your judgement day, I won’t go alone. Every lamb who accepts me will join me in that furnace for turning away from your precious, spineless God. And there is nothing you or He can do to stop me.

    God bless free will, eh?

    Have a nice life, Josh.

  • Proud Amelekite

    The wide and easy road of the unthinking bigot. That is a path I am proud to stand against. I’ll don the goat horns for that.

  • Bruce Atkinson

    caja,
    Of course anyone can rewrite and print their own “bible” but we are talking about the scholarly works of the most generally accepted and used Bible translations and English versions. The top ten are very similar to each other; they say the same thing in slightly different English words. All of these do their best to stick to the Greek and Hebrew meanings from early manuscripts (copies made prior to the printing press). I use the English Standard Version (ESV) as one of the most trustworthy. The New International Version (NIV), the New King James Version (NKJV), and the Revised Standard Version (RSV) are all understandable to modern English speaking people and are reliable translations. But I don’t count paraphrase versions like The Message or the little known unscholarly and heretical versions(for example that make God feminine or genderless) in my list of scholarly translations. Changing the meaning of the original Greek or Hebrew words is never acceptable.

    2000 years of agreement by all Christian groups on what the Bible says and means about sexuality (homosexuality in particular) is hardly “making the book jump anyway you like.” That is, however, what some modern writers (like Vines) attempt do do. Poorly, I might add. The issue of sexual morality is made quite clear in the scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. And where homosexual behavior is concerned, there are no exceptions to be found. Not one. It is regarded as a heinous sin (even called an ‘abomination’ in Leviticus). Thus SSM was not even a thought in anyone’s head. In Jesus’ day, if they did not stone you for a blasphemer, they would have laughed you out of town for expressing such an idea.

  • Bruce Atkinson

    caja,,
    Speaking of sinking sand …. Jesus, teaches: “…
    everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” When Jesus had finished saying these things, the crowds were amazed at his teaching, because he taught as one who had authority, and not as their teachers of the law.
    (Matthew 7:24-29)

    And what did Jesus teach about the Old Testament Laws? “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. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-19) . Even though He fulfilled the prophetic ceremonial laws and abrogated the dietary and cultural rules, Jesus would double-down on the moral laws (see the rest of Chapter 5 of Matthew for proof).

    You do realize, don’t you, that your desperate forecasts on the Church’s failure are the same ones made by the Greeks and Romans 2000 years ago? Hmmm. They got that one wrong. The Greek and Roman empires have fallen. Christianity continues to grow, especially in the Global South. It is slipping in the west due to the libertine secular culture, but there still is a majority who believe in the Bible in the USA. That is pretty amazing.

    Caja, you may enjoy propping up the gates of hell, but as Jesus told Peter, “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” (Matthew 16:18) Your dire predictions are like mosquitoes in a windstorm.

  • Bruce Atkinson

    caja,
    Response to your first sentence: Ok, how about “… the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” (2 Timothy 3:16, NIV)

  • Bruce Atkinson

    Virtually everyone who accuses someone else of being a bigot must be one themselves. Definition of “bigot”:: a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions. I speak my opinions and back them up with scriptures; you resort to insults. Let the reader decide who is an “unthinking bigot.”

  • Herm

    ““You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” Matthew 5:38-42

    “But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot, burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.” Exodus 21:23-25

    ““‘Anyone who takes the life of a human being is to be put to death. Anyone who takes the life of someone’s animal must make restitution—life for life. Anyone who injures their neighbor is to be injured in the same manner: fracture for fracture, eye for eye, tooth for tooth. The one who has inflicted the injury must suffer the same injury. Whoever kills an animal must make restitution, but whoever kills a human being is to be put to death. You are to have the same law for the foreigner and the native-born. I am the LORD your God.’”” Leviticus 24:17-22

    “Show no pity: life for life, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot.” Deuteronomy 19:21

    ““You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48

    “Do not seek a treaty of friendship with them as long as you live.” Deuteronomy 23:6

    ““If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” Luke 14:26-27

    “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12

    ““Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”” Matthew 22:36-40

  • Josh

    Please read to the end.

    “Confidence doesn’t hide behind walls of text.” If that’s the case I don’t see you calling me out and trying to have a public debate or discussion. I have no problem telling you all these things to your face. All I see is someone who is trying to use the same bait and switch debate tactics that they’re accusing the man in the video of doing. Nice try.

    The radio host gave Vines just as much time to try and make his argument. He just got hung up on one thing and wasted the rest of his time. The show was done by the Moody Bible Institute. If you’re saying that’s how it was stacked against him he could have easily declined to do the debate. Have you even read my other posts? I tore apart his argument with biblical truth. What about those? Did I filibuster my way to victory on those? And I’ve never heard of Duane Gish but I’ll be looking him up.

    Ok, now we’re just getting into plain ignorance. Gravity is still just a theory? Go ahead. Test it. You can use your own body if you’re confident in that statement. You should have no trouble then trying to back it up with proof. So if I let go of a quarter in my hand 10 times you’re telling me that at least one of those ten times it will either levitate or shoot upward? Gravity is called a law not a theory because it has been tested and confirmed. I challenge you to tell someone else that as your support for evolution not being a theory and see if they won’t laugh you out of the room you’re talking to them in.

    And I’ll tell you this, cajaquarius, that I’m communicating to you on a rational and intelligent level. But:

    And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven. (‭Matthew‬ ‭18‬:‭3‬ KJV)

    And:

    For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God, it pleased God by the foolishness of preaching to save them that believe. For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;

    Because the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.

    But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; (‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭1‬:‭18-23, 25, 27‬ KJV)

    So you see, we’re already fulfilling our roles at this point.

    I’m sorry, but did I read Genesis as any other way as it was written? Did I miss the part where He made man gay? Or was it just not in there? I’m thinking the latter. We can always look it up again if you’d like and you can point out where it says that Steve was walking in the garden with Adam. Why do you keep likening me to a Southern Baptist? I subscribe to no denomination as I just want to believe the Bible and what it says. I guess you could call me a Bibleist or, even better, a follower and disciple of Jesus Christ. Because that’s Whose doctrine I follow.

    I’m laughing at this point. Now I’m anti-Semitic. You haven’t read my other posts to Paul where I’ve already told him I have a Jewish background and heritage. And now we’re getting to the point. Proof. You’re just making statements with no proof. I’ve never even heard of the Family Research Center and I have no idea what things you’re talking about. Where’s your documents so I can look at them? Where are my anti-Semitic interpretations? Where are your quotations? You said “thank to the Internet” but you can’t even use it to support your argument. You’re not helping anything. And I don’t see where you’ve made me out to be a hypocrite. Again, all of these are empty lies and empty statements. You don’t win an argument, discussion, or debate by sounding cool or trying to be witty. You win a debate with truth and factual information which you’re unable to provide which is why I’m continuing to talk to you about these things. The longer we talk, the more everyone can see how your arguments just don’t hold up to truth.

    I’m not going to “save the fire and brimstone” because I’m actually trying to get you saved from the fire and brimstone. And I think I see what you’ve done. You’ve lumped me into the same category as everyone who’s ever spouted God hates gays like Westboro Baptist Church.

    But is that true?

    I’m trying to tell you it’s not! I’ve been trying to tell everyone that it’s not true but apparently no one has been paying attention. Let me ask you something, if Jesus hated you, why would He die for you? You may say “well He didn’t die for me” and I tell you He did! He died for you and me. And I was just as much a sinner as everyone else is. The only difference is I met Jesus.

    For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die. But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. (‭Romans‬ ‭5‬:‭6-8‬ KJV)

    Why would you bow to a god who hates you? Well I’ve just shown you that God loves you. Jesus is God and He loves you:

    He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love. In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (‭1 John‬ ‭4‬:‭8-10‬ KJV)

    That’s the message of the Gospel. It’s not that God hates sinners and here, just believe on Him so you don’t have to go to hell, you just have to live with Him forever, no! It’s God loves you DEARLY! He made you in your mothers womb! He made you everything you are! It’s your sin that separates you from Him! If you get a speeding ticket, even if the judge is your father, if he’s just, you can’t just walk away without paying for it. It’s the same way with us. God is Holy, Righteous and Just. Our sin has incurred a penalty that needed to be paid for. So God loved the world so much (the world includes you my friend) that He sent His only begotten Son. (John 3:16). Jesus came and lived a perfect life in our place, because if you look at the Jews, them trying to fulfill the law was so that they could be counted as righteous in the eyes of God. Jesus was and is the only One Who has been able to perfectly complete the Law of God so that He could make a new offer of salvation: faith in His Name.

    But before faith came, we were kept under the law, shut up unto the faith which should afterwards be revealed. Wherefore the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ, that we might be justified by faith. But after that faith is come, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. (‭Galatians‬ ‭3‬:‭23-26‬ KJV)

    God loves the sinner not the sin. The problem is we confuse our sin with ourselves. Jesus doesn’t look at you and see a homosexual. He looks at you as someone He made with love; in His own image. He looks at you with longing to be your Savior! For you to know Him! Look at my life! How can I be so adamant for someone you can’t see to believe? How can I be so sure that He exists? Because He saved me from my sins! I know Him! And I know what it is to be forgiven! And not just of my own sexual sins but of every other sin I’ve ever committed!

    I think if you genuinely knew this you’re attitude would be much different so I know you’ve probably never heard this before. Jesus Christ loves you. That’s why I am here today telling you these things. Because I want you to know His love. What Matthew Vines is trying to do is negate belief in Christ by saying you can be saved and practice homosexuality and continue in your ways. When you meet Jesus and get saved, your life changes. From then on until heaven He’s going to be working holiness in you which just simply means He’s going to be working on changing you to where sin is no longer your lifestyle. So what Vines is encouraging is a life free of submission to Christ, yet still claiming Him and still expecting to get into heaven. Which is why I believe He doesn’t truly know Him because we’re supposed to live a life for Him now.

    Being saved means being born again. So don’t worry, I know it seems impossible to separate the feeling of homosexuality from yourself, but when Jesus saves you He gives you a new spirit and a new heart that you can walk in His ways. And they are not demanding! You’ll want to when you see how good and loving He is! But the life you’ll live is by faith not by sight.

    I haven’t been saved my entire life. I haven’t always been this way. I got saved 5 years ago and it was nothing I set my mind to do or had any intention of doing, it happened to me.
    Before, I was a slave to sexual sin. I lusted all the time and all I was ever trying to do was get laid. Like literally my life’s goal at that point was to have sex with as many women as possible. I can probably thank pornography for that. Yet here I am now 5 years later married and faithful to my loving wife. I don’t watch porn anymore. I still struggle with temptation, but I don’t even lust in my heart anymore. And let me tell you, it’s much harder to control the thought life than it is to control your behaviors. By no stretch of the imagination am I trying to say I’m perfect or that I did this to myself. I’m saying that before I was hopelessly addicted to sin and now I’m seeing freedom in my life every day because of Jesus Christ. And every time I fell into sin, He’s been there, lifting me back up.

    So I implore you, call out to Jesus. The Gospel is this:

    That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

    For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (‭Romans‬ ‭10‬:‭9-11, 13‬ KJV)

    I’m going to be praying for you today. I pray that you read this message and I pray that you hear what I’m saying. I pray that you get saved. Because I don’t want you to go to that place no matter how ready or willing you are to go there. It’s worse than anything you can imagine and I think you’ve just been told so much of the wrong information that you think God hates you. Don’t listen to them. Listen to the Scriptures I’ve given you. That’s the truth. If you have any questions or need any clarifications about what I’ve said, don’t hesitate to ask me. I’ll be praying for you.

    I deleted the first post to fix some typos.

  • DrewTwoFish

    Um, being gay means being attracted to the same sex. If you are still attracted to men you are, well, gay.

  • Bruce Atkinson

    Thank you very much for the scriptures. Now I must play the role of Philip with the Ethiopian official (see Acts 8:26-40), that is, explain what these scriptures mean— Why are there these differences between OT and NT (Jesus)?

    Two main principles are involved: understanding the purposes of the Law and the true source of sin.

    The Purposes of the Law
    BEFORE Jesus Christ came and before God sent us the Holy Spirit to empower us, people could not help but be selfish and rebellious (due to ‘original sin’ within). Unbelievers need the Law for the same reasons today.

    So the Hebrews needed the Law to:

    1) To clarify what is right and what is wrong (especially for the Hebrew “special people of God” culture),

    2) To keep them from becoming too evil (as had happened to the world in Noah’s time) by using the motivation of fear of judgment from God (“the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”), and …

    3) To show the Jews (and now us) the impossibility of keeping all the laws (thus requiring faith in Christ in order to be saved). In other words, much of the Jewish Law was intended to prepare people for the coming of Jesus Christ.
    This is still so today; the Law shows us that deep down we are sinners by nature and that we have not the power to really be good enough and obey God’s laws.

    Desires of the Heart
    In Matthew, chapter five and elsewhere, Jesus makes the OT moral laws stricter and more impossible to keep. He points to the problem as being in the human heart. So He revealed that the laws are really about our internal self rather than just the behavior. “But what comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person. For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person.” (Matthew 15:18)

    So Jesus and the Apostle Paul (Col 3:5, Romans 6:12) were both very clear that we all have desires of the heart (due to our fallen nature) that are not only dysfunctional but downright sinful. It is the battle between the fallen flesh and the Spirit of God within (Romans 7). Good and evil cannot both have their way in us; Jesus told us that we cannot serve more than one master. We have two clear options: Either we submit totally to Christ, who empowers us to withstand these temptations (1 Cor 10:13) and learn to become content regardless of our circumstances (Phil 4:12-13), growing in love, peace, joy and the other fruits of the Spirit (Gal 5:22-23) … or else we become re-entangled with the selfish flesh and the ways of the world, and thus are led by Satan instead of Christ. We know where that road leads.

    Choose well, people. Many pansexualists have chosen to reveal their “authentic” selves all right …, that is, unrepentant and unregenerate.

  • Bruce Atkinson

    No scholarly historian agrees that Jesus was/is fictional. A number of writings dating from those times, even non-Christian writings, mention him. There is more historical hard evidence of his existence than of most of the Greek philosophers. You just like using the word “fictional character” to aggravate Christians.

    Why must you act like a disrespectful jerk? Oh yeah …

    But this was two months ago, so maybe you have had a “Damascus Road” type experience since then.

  • Herm

    Bruce, you are missing so much while lost in your Bible. I can use the Bible easily to refute the way you speak in defense of your biblical foundation; that you have clearly worked so very hard to master. The Spirit of Truth can do so infinitely easier than I. Your heart is still so very much part of this world as your mind struggles to escape, or vice versus. By your fruits they are not in sync with each other nor one with God.

    You are not speaking as Jesus spoke. Jesus condemned no sinners but those He spoke woe of. There actually is an Advocate/Spirit of Truth available to join your heart and mind with all of God bound in love, of which the Bible points to throughout. You actually could be a student (disciple), as a little child of God, to your Lord and Brother Jesus if in all humility your heart and mind were cleansed by the word of God, the Holy Spirit. Of course, you would have to choose according to Luke 14:26, 27.

    You sit in judgment when Jesus did not judge as a Son of Man on Earth. In the Spirit you would be pointing those not of us to the only Lord, High Priest, Judge, Rabbi, Instructor, and Father necessary for the children of God on Earth as it is in Heaven. You would not be directing from your all righteous judgment of the gay, as Jesus did not, for you would not have the gay directing from her/his all righteous judgment of you. You would not be of this world as you would be where there is no marriage and there is male/female helpers in the image of God. You would not be so hung up on the carnal sexuality of others recognizing that it is only a gift from an eternal God that females and males can propagate the physical shell of mankind which otherwise would die too early. All physical will die as only the spiritual is eternal. The only image we are in of God is spiritual.

    You spent so much time explaining the law to me, thank you. You missed, because you were so sure you have already digested all those scriptural quotes, that either God changes, the Old Testament God is in direct conflict with the New Testament God, or the scribes quoted God erroneously from their own logic. This, of course, only if we accept Jesus as sharing the true Word of God.

    Jesus teaches me today that God does not intimidate, manipulate nor subjugate anyone at any time. With that in mind think of all those sinners you judge in contrast with Jesus’ words, “in everything do to all others as you would have all others do to you”. Maybe, then you can see why all you are called to do by Jesus is spread the good news that the Rabbi, with all authority from the Father who loves us all, is alive and ready to teach all who come to Him baptized (cleansed) by the Holy Spirit in their hearts and minds. All little children make errors as they learn at home and on the playground. Because a sibling is different in sharing their love is only up to the Father (parents) to judge whether it is an error against the family. Even your exhaustive Bible study should tell you that your attempt to intimidate, manipulate and subjugate others to your judgment and will is an error against the family, even if the Spirit of Truth cannot tell you directly.

    Everything I just wrote is expanded from and still can be backed up by the Bible that you’re so obviously proud to have mastered. Because you are a rabid student of the Bible I have been impressed to use innuendo to develop the more in depth images in your mind and heart. Remember, please, that even the least intellectual is not denied becoming a child of God to inherit eternal life according to Luke 10:27. I do love the sincerity of your efforts. Thanks!

  • Bruce Atkinson

    Herm,
    So I am lost in my Bible. What a terrible thing.
    You are big on “judging not,” right? That seems to be your most obvious critique of me, that by using Bible verses, I am being judgmental.

    The Word of God judges, not me. God has his eyes on everyone who reads the scriptures and He is able to touch their hearts and minds IF they are open to His leading. His Word is indeed more than just words on a page. “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to the dividing of soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.” (Hebrews 4:12, NIV)

    So why are you judging me and my traditional views on the Bible and morality? Who are you to play judge? Sounds a lot like liberal fudge brownie hypocrisy to me. Oh so sweet to the taste, but toxic. To which I can only point to Jesus’ words to the chief priests and Pharisees in Matthew 23. Read it again closely. Jesus did not condemn them for their views on the Law, in fact He told the people to obey them; but Jesus condemned them because they secretly did worse than what they accused the ordinary people in the street of doing. Jesus knew their hearts and deeds. He knew they were hypocrites and socked it to them.

  • Herm

    I am pointing to the Way very much in the same Spirit as is related in Matthew 23. It is your choice. Understand the Moses seat is no longer since the curtain was torn top to bottom.

    Please, know that I am standing between you and the sinners you persecute as did Jesus between the Pharisees/teachers of the law and the little children coming to Him.

    You did find some of the woe spoken to, good for you. I hope it helps.

    On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

  • Bruce Atkinson

    Perhaps that is the LGBTQXYZ definition of “gay” or homosexual based on some misconceptions. It is NOT a true Christian definition.Follow the logic:
    The scriptures are consistent (no exceptions can be found) that homosexual behavior is sin; therefore, being attracted sexually to the same sex falls into the category of temptation. To define a person by their temptations is absurd. Just because I am tempted to steal does not make me a thief. Like any temptation, I do not have to act it out. It is only because we live in a sex-worshiping, libertine culture that anyone would self-identify according to their type of sexual temptation and then lobby to make the sinful behavior acceptable!

    As a heterosexual man, if I find a woman not my wife to be sexually attractive, I may be tempted to lust and act
    out (sin). That is no different than if I were attracted to another man. Both are temptations, both must be controlled if I am to avoid sin.

    I personally know two different same-sex attracted men (they say they always have been attracted to men) who are happily married to their (female) wife and have children. They have to battle their sexual temptations sometimes (who doesn’t?) but they are content with their lives and very glad they are not caught up in the gay lifestyle. They are both committed Christians.

    You may not have any choice in the kind of temptations that come to you, but you always have a choice in terms of behavior and lifestyle. As Paul indicated in Romans 1, we have no excuse.

  • DrewTwoFish

    LGBTQXYZ. Charming. Does that sort of disdain help you win people to Christ? Anyway…

    Language changes and it’s not just gay people who use the term “gay” to mean “someone who is attracted to the same sex.” It’s all over 21st century English. Just like “straight.”

    Same sex attraction is no more or less a “temptation” than is opposite sex attraction. You may consider it to be broken but same sex attraction doesn’t automatically translate to lust or to actually having sex, anymore than opposite attraction does.

    Gay people (who don’t have sex, who do have sex, who have straight sex…) really do exist. It’s not a Christian fact or a secular fact. It’s just a fact, just like there’s not a special Christian force of gravity or pattern of embryonic development.

  • Herm

    “After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly. ” Acts 4:31

    Bruce, they did not speak the Bible as you know it. They spoke the word of God as they knew it from the Holy Spirit.

    “Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”” John 4:23-24

    ““If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”” John 14:15-21

    ““I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”” John 16:12-15

    Bruce, please, read the use of the word of God with these scripture in mind, not as the Bible.

    Love you!

  • Bruce Atkinson

    I know and love and use these scriptures. How do we know anything is from the Holy Spirit? Because it lines up with the Word of God which is of the Holy Spirit. He is not inconsistent.

    While I trust His Holy Spirit inspired words found in the scriptures, I do not trust your smug, smarmy, and disrespectful style, not one bit. I have been walking with God and studying the scriptures for most of my 69 years (including getting a graduate degree in theology). You need not talk down to me as if I were your uneducated and stupid student. It is not love at all. I know love when I hear it.

  • DrewTwoFish

    So now you’re talking about imaginary harm? The harm of not even existing because gays aren’t doing their reproductive duty? Seriously?

    How about the real harm done to the families of gay men and women railroaded into heterosexual marriages?

    How about the real harm of isolation and loneliness, harassment and discrimination?

  • Bruce Atkinson

    Harm,
    What a smug, self-righteous, and arrogant attitude! You are ‘talking down to’ me [as if] from a superior high ground, as if you were a Chief Priest and I was some ignorant teenage sinner. I am indeed a sinner … saved by grace, but I am not persecuting anyone. I have never done harm to any same-sex attracted person but I have helped a number of them, and some are my friends. Online and in my published articles I may warn people as per Ezekiel 33:8-9, but that is out of concern for their eternal welfare, perhaps “snatching some out of the fire” (Jude 1:23).

    But your own attitude of superiority sounds very much like the Pharisees that Jesus addressed in Matthew 23.
    What qualifies you to be my judge? Are you without
    sin? Are you perfect? You seem to think so. This arrogant attitude has totally eliminated any respect I might have had for you or your views. You shot yourself in the foot this time.

  • Herm

    My credentials are older and greater and they mean nothing. I am not your judge. I am standing between you and Jesus’ children who are drawn to Him. He is perfectly able to judge and teach all of us without either your or my help. He calls us only to learn from Him and to go throughout the world to bring others to Him. I carry a cross for all who have yet to come.

    I do use the sword from my mouth, as did Jesus as the Son of Man on Earth, to destroy the peace of mankind’s traditions, rituals, dogmas, and theologies of which I have been trained. Growing and learning is not comfortable and that will continue for an eternity. I do not speak down to you but as a sibling who truly does love you.

    You know in your heart and mind that what I am saying is true but you fear to break the ties you have with mankind’s sense of earned pride (Luke 14:26 and 27). I’ve been there and God had to show me over a decade of loosing it all that I was wrong when I told Him, “Thank you, I got it all now. You can use me as you will.” All that I really had was pride of certification and your same fear of being yet once again talked down to. Today I know I know relatively nothing at my 71 years of age compared to my creator God without a beginning. A God with the patience to take eons to build the perfect environment for Their new children to grow from a carnal shell that will cease to a spiritual reality without end.

    Love you. Don’t believe anything I say but go in all humility to He who knows.

  • Bruce Atkinson

    Google it. There are so many types of “sexual orientation” out there that I should have used the whole alphabet. Disdain for the LGBTQ lobby and their point of view? Absolutely. But not for the particular individuals i know who might be identified in that group. I try to do what God does: love the sinner but hate the sin. He hates the sin because all sin is by definition harmful to his beloved creatures. Just because some people don’t believe His words about their behavior being sin (harmful) doesn’t make it untrue or harmless. It not only is high risk behavior, it is blatantly rebellious against God, who has been very clear about His point of view regarding sexual behavior.

    Yes, opposite sex attraction can easily turn into sin (lust); but when it is toward one’s spouse, then it is not only allowed but blessed. It can produce children, making it especially blessed.

    “Gay people who don’t have sex” are not homosexual in my book. They are just like me except their particular temptations are sexual– directed toward people of their same gender. To have that temptation (or any other) is not a sin. Sin is when it turns to lust and to acting out in behavior. They are no more homosexual than I am a thief (I haven’t stolen in many years but I still get tempted). God has no problems with anyone because they are tempted; it is the acting out the behavior that is the clear sin. Even Jesus was tempted: “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

  • Bruce Atkinson

    We are multi-dimensional beings, at least body, soul, and spirit. When God says don’t do it, then it is because it will do us harm (like in the Garden of Eden story); we don’t need to understand all of details of harm to body, soul, and spirit, we are simply to trust His word. The one time I remember being tough on my daughter was when she was 3 years old and running straight for the street. I caught up to her just in time to save her from being run over. I whopped her on the butt for only one reason: so she would remember not to do that again. She was too immature to understand about injury and death. We likewise are too spiritually immature to understand why it is that God has told us to do this but not to do that. So we are to trust His love and wisdom. So when He says in His Word (consistently) that sex outside of male-female marriage is sin (destructive), then it is for us to believe Him. Or else we will be very sorry some day.

  • Bruce Atkinson

    There is only one way to know that one’s words and beliefs are from God and not just one’s own feelings and personal biases. They must be consistent with God’s revealed knowledge — from the scriptures.
    You say you “use the sword from your mouth” as did Jesus, but you are not Jesus and your word has no authority. You can have your mouth; excuse me if I don’t trust it. Instead, I will do my “best to present myself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Tim 2:15), wielding the “Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God” (Ephesians 6). I think I have the better sword.

    In seminary, I was taught that God reveals Himself to us in stages. Progressive revelation in its positive sense means that as we mature in Christ, God provides deeper and broader understandings of His unchanging truths. It does not mean that God will provide brand new truths that deny or countermand the Holy Scriptures. God is sovereign and eternal and He simultaneously lives in the past, present, and future. His revealed word to humanity is based on eternal verities, not on a changing perspective of God. God does not change (Malachi 3:8, James 1:17), Jesus does not change (Hebrews 13:8,Matt 24:35), and God’s plans and purposes in scripture do not change (Isaiah 40:8, Psalm 33:11, 119:89).

    You see, if progressive revelation means that God might suddenly give us a whole new view of things that is different from the traditional, orthodox biblical perspective, then it opens the door to three very dangerous things.
    First, it destroys our faith in Scripture’s validity and authority. Since that is the only place where we find the words of Jesus Christ and the OT scriptures that He revered as authoritative, suddenly our ground of faith becomes shifting sand.
    Second, God becomes a whimsical, untrustworthy being who, in effect, lies to us. How can I believe anything He tells me if He is going to change His tune tomorrow?
    Third, this liberal view of progressive revelation provides an avenue of acceptability in the church for virtually ANY idea or behavior. Heresies of every kind become possible and it becomes impossible to effectively critique these heresies because who is to say that this person with the “new revelation” has not gotten it directly from God? How can any authority for truth be established? Anyone can claim to have new revelation from the Holy Spirit. Like you, for example, regarding sexual morality. If our God, who knew exactly what we would be dealing with in this age and culture, provided to us (consistently) His point of view on sexuality, then who are you to say He has changed His mind? You have merely been hoodwinked by the world, the flesh, and the devil to believe in the PC worldly views over His Word. And if you are honest, you will admit that your own motivations for adopting this PC view is based on your own sinful desires that you want to justify.

  • Herm

    “Truly I tell you, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.” Matthew 24:34-35

    ““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. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 5:17-19

    “When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” John 19:30 … and for Jesus Heaven and Earth passed away (disappeared) for He had died to know nothing … at that moment the curtain was torn top to bottom as the Spirit and the Covenant left the Holy of Holies … three days later the temple was raised to reside in the hearts and minds of the disciples as the Holy Spirit.

    I have passed tests from different denominational seminaries, studied to know all that you have shared with me, officiated in good faith in two very different denominations and after being stripped by God of all I thought that I had down pat, for absolutely certain, I finally came to the Holy Spirit fulltime in continual reciprocal prayer. The word of God is best and truly known from the Advocate. The Bible, and all of scripture, is a road sign along the Way but is not meant to be worshipped or to usurp the Guide given to us by our Father.

    Bruce, there is nothing new here and everything I have shared is all biblically sound. The difference you seem to fear is that it is a relationship with God and not a religion of God. Jesus truly is God so when He tells me to turn the other cheek in direct opposition to the scriptures I know from experience to believe that was the Way of God from the beginning. God does not change but, yes, we grow as Man to recognize and share God differently step by step. We have an eternity to learn and grow but will only enter into eternal life as little children of God, not as instant gratification authorities.

    I know your fears for I have been there. I don’t ever want anybody to deceive me or mine and mankind is mine that I was born into without choice. I have chosen to accept the offer of divine grace to become a child of God but I had to die to this world. After the cord was cut I have had a certain peace and joy filled with love I never knew before. All I want to do is share my cup that is overflowing. All I feel called to do is to help my Lord find the lost, stand between their destructive drug dealers and point to the only One who can heal their wounds.

    Jesus is in me, our Father is in me, Jesus is in our Father, our Father is in Jesus, I am in our Father, I am in Jesus simultaneously without stop by way of the Holy Spirit within us all. The scriptures, which I shared earlier contain many conflicts of perception, I am taught to utilize to point those who do not know to the Counselor, the Comforter. When the word of God is available to ask any and all questions why would we need the Bible? Is not our fruits enough to know who is in the Spirit and who is not? Can’t we tell when our own fruits are lacking that we’re not in the Way?

    “As for other matters, brothers and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you. And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil people, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. ” 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5

    Do you have the faith that God alone is real enough to deliver us from evil when asked?

  • Bruce Atkinson

    Herm,
    Thanks for the interaction. You have put some time and effort into it. I certainly agree with the scriptures you provided (I always agree with Scripture) and I think the Matthew 5:17ff passage is one you might want to meditate upon. I also agree that it is the Holy Spirit who guides us into all truth and helps us to interpret the scriptures. I also agree that we don’t worship the scriptures but we are instructed and inspired by them.

    Word and Spirit go together and it seems you want to separate them, as if the Holy Spirit will tell us things that are contradicted by the scriptures. The problem with relying too much on the Spirit is that we can be deceived by other spirits (whether the Zeitgeist, ego-flesh, or demonic spirits) to think it is the Holy Spirit.
    If we are stubbornly living in sin, we will be deceived. The scriptures tell us that Satan can present himself as an angel of light. We also can be deceived if our egos get caught up in being important and right.

    Your assumption of my fear(s) is way out of bounds and flat wrong. My eternal situation is secure, my purpose in this life is secure, I am not aware of any fears. Inner peace has been a gift fruit that has come from walking close with the Lord for a very long time and living in His Word.

    I agree and have myself often taught that true Christianity is about relationship with God far more than about rules and religion. Relationship with God and the power of the Holy Spirit is what causes us to obey the rules, not out of fear of consequences or fear of rejection but out of love, gratefulness, and because the Lord is changing our hearts so that what we want is more and more according to His will and thus according to His written Word.

    You know that Jesus did not just say to turn the other cheek (that was primarily for dealing with unbelievers) but also we are sometimes to let our brother know when he is out of line. Matthew 18:15ff comes to mind. Paul indicated that we must sometimes rebuke our brothers and sisters, especially using the scriptures. 2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV) comes to mind: “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.”

    Your final question: “Do you have the faith that God alone is real enough to deliver us from evil when asked?” Why do you ask such a question? Of course I do. If God is for me, who can be against me? He has always been there for me. What have I to fear? You will also note that I use the scriptures, as did Jesus Himself, to fight off temptations of the enemy. This continues to be quite effective.

    But why would you ask that question if you did not suppose otherwise? It is clearly not the Holy Spirit who is providing your assumptions regarding me. A lack of discernment is evident. And I think I know why.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    Those “extra-Biblical sources mentioning Jesus” never amount to much, have been discussed ad nauseum, and we still don’t have anything new that more directly evidences a candidate for the basis of the New Testament fictional characters, Jesuses the Christs.

  • Bruce Atkinson

    Giauz,
    Of course, no one’s opinion makes something true or false. But we use 12 people on a jury to decide life or death questions in our system of justice. And I must say, thousands, perhaps millions of people more educated and intelligent than you believe the New Testament about Jesus and what He said, what He did. You appear to have some interest in the topic or you would not be interacting on this Christian website. I suggest you read “Evidence That Demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell. He is a brief synopsis [thanks to gotquestions.org].

    We do not grant the idea that the Bible cannot be
    considered a source of evidence for the existence of Jesus. The New Testament contains hundreds of references to Jesus Christ. There are those who date the writing of the Gospels to the second century A.D., more than 100 years after Jesus’ death. Even if this were the case (which we strongly dispute), in terms of ancient evidences, writings less than 200 years after events took place are considered very reliable evidences. Further, the vast majority of scholars (Christian and non-Christian) will grant that the Epistles of Paul (at least some of them) were in fact written by Paul in the middle of the first century A.D., less than 40 years after Jesus’ death. In terms of ancient manuscript evidence, this is extraordinarily strong proof of the existence of a man named Jesus in Israel in the early first century A.D.

    It is also important to recognize that in A.D. 70, the Romans invaded and destroyed Jerusalem and most of Israel, slaughtering its inhabitants. Entire cities were
    literally burned to the ground. We should not be surprised, then, if much evidence of Jesus’ existence was destroyed. Many of the eyewitnesses of Jesus would have been killed. These facts likely limited the amount of surviving eyewitness testimony of Jesus.

    Considering that Jesus’ ministry was largely confined to a relatively unimportant area in a small corner of the Roman Empire, a surprising amount of information about Jesus can be drawn from secular historical sources. Some of the more important historical evidences of Jesus include the following:
    The first-century Roman Tacitus, who is considered one of the more accurate historians of the ancient world, mentioned superstitious “Christians” (from Christus, which is Latin for Christ), who suffered under Pontius Pilate during the reign of Tiberius. Suetonius, chief secretary to Emperor Hadrian, wrote that there was a man named Chrestus (or Christ) who lived during the first century (Annals 15.44).

    Flavius Josephus is the most famous Jewish historian. In his Antiquities he refers to James, “the brother of Jesus, who was called Christ.” There is a controversial verse (18:3) that says, “Now there was about this time Jesus, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man. For he was one who wrought surprising feats….He was [the] Christ…he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him.” One version reads, “At this time there was a wise man named Jesus. His conduct was good and [he] was known to be virtuous. And many people from among the Jews and the other nations became his disciples. Pilate condemned him to be crucified and to die. But those who became his disciples did not abandon his discipleship. They reported that he had appeared to them three days after his crucifixion, and that he was alive; accordingly he was perhaps the Messiah, concerning whom the prophets have recounted wonders.”

    Julius Africanus quotes the historian Thallus in a discussion of the darkness which followed the crucifixion of Christ (Extant Writings, 18).

    Pliny the Younger, in Letters 10:96, recorded early Christian worship practices including the fact that Christians worshiped Jesus as God and were very ethical, and he includes a reference to the love feast and Lord’s Supper.

    The Babylonian Talmud (Sanhedrin 43a) confirms Jesus’ crucifixion on the eve of Passover and the accusations against Christ of practicing sorcery and encouraging Jewish apostasy.

    Lucian of Samosata was a second-century Greek writer who admits that Jesus was worshiped by Christians, introduced new teachings, and was crucified for them. He said that Jesus’ teachings included the brotherhood of believers, the importance of conversion, and the importance of denying other gods. Christians lived
    according to Jesus’ laws, believed themselves to be immortal, and were characterized by contempt for death, voluntary self-devotion, and renunciation of material goods.

    Mara Bar-Serapion confirms that Jesus was thought to be a wise and virtuous man, was considered by many to be the king of Israel, was put to death by the Jews, and lived on in the teachings of His followers.

    Then we have all the Gnostic writings (The Gospel of Truth, The Apocryphon of John, The Gospel of Thomas, The Treatise on Resurrection, etc.) that all mention Jesus.

    In fact, we can almost reconstruct the gospel just from early non-Christian sources: Jesus was called the Christ (Josephus), did “magic,” led Israel into new teachings, and was hanged on Passover for them (Babylonian Talmud) in Judea (Tacitus), but claimed to be God and would return (Eliezar), which his followers believed, worshiping Him as God (Pliny the Younger).

    There is overwhelming evidence for the existence of Jesus Christ, both in secular and biblical history. Perhaps the greatest evidence that Jesus did exist is the fact that literally thousands of Christians in the first century A.D., including the twelve apostles, were willing to give their lives as martyrs for Jesus Christ. People will die for what they believe to be true, but no one will die for what they know to be a lie.

  • Herm

    Bruce, I too thank you for your time to share with me.

    All that you wrote would be a repeat of any effort to refute, except you wrote, “Word and Spirit go together and it seems you want to separate them, as if the Holy Spirit will tell us things that are contradicted by the scriptures.”

    The word of God is the very same, without any separation, the Holy Spirit. The word of God was proclaimed boldly and not the scriptures.

    You cannot see, apparently, the contradictions throughout the Bible that Jesus, today, makes possible for us all to clear up. 3,760 years of Bible history in the Old Testament and 100 years of Bible history in the New Testament did not end with Revelations 22:21.

    The Old Testament is full of examples of an ever evolving oral elder law becoming written as,”the Lord God says”. Jesus dispelled most all of those contradictions in Matthew 7:12 and Matthew 22:37-40 (elucidated, not in contradiction, in Luke 10:25-37). Of those two observations of Matthew what is not sufficient to contain all of the Decalogue or “don’t eat the fruits of these two trees”?

    I don’t know how to explain how I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Spirit of Truth fully and always in my heart and mind is more than enough to know the Word without the Bible. I will always be indebted to the Bible to point to the Way but it is not holy; Jesus, our Father, the Holy Spirit is and They are 100% relate-able, even unto becoming little student children of Theirs today. I can honestly say that those steps you spoke to show up as fruit in both my heart and mind in a reality that I could not have known any other way: I truly do love my enemies and would die in all the anguish of Jesus that they might learn to live. The only solution to our problems of humanity that I know today would eventually work if we had the time is in everything we do to all others as we would have all others do to us. We are one mankind in the image of one God.

    Bless you that you care enough to reach out to us you see as lost sinners! You are truly loved! Again, thank you. amen

  • Bruce Atkinson

    Herm,
    You are very welcome, and may God bless you. I don’t know you but I know God loves you, so I love you too.

    You wrote: “The word of God was proclaimed boldly and not the scriptures.”
    This statement is patently untrue. Jesus referred to the OT scriptures again and again, as did Paul. But it is also true that Jesus and those who heard him and who were chosen to pass on His words were speaking and writing “scripture” from the beginning because Jesus was the Word of God in the flesh. When it was written down, it became scripture for us.

    Where else today do we get the Word of God but in the scriptures? If God tells me something personally that is contradicted by the scriptures, I know for sure it is not God who is speaking to me. You may disagree. If your own personal feelings of His personal Word to you is what you rely upon more than the scriptures — which were ALL inspired by that same Holy Spirit (“God breathed” as Paul says) — you then may be contradicting God. God does not contradict Himself.

    Knowing that God is omnipotent, omniscient, and knew exactly what the scriptures would say and authorized them for eternity from before all time, then it would be absurd for me to think that my current feelings and thoughts (even if I thought they were from God) were actually inspired by the Holy Spirit… IF what I think is from God is contradicted by what the scriptures plainly say, then I have been deceived. Anyone can think that God is speaking to them but there is absolutely no way to confirm that except though checking them out with the Holy Writ.

    What you call contradictions in the Bible are all rather easily explained by further revelations in the Bible as not being contradictions at all. 40 years of concentrated Bible study has proven that to me over and over. Like
    the issue of slavery, for example. See my article: http://www.virtueonline.org/portal/modules/news/article.php?storyid=17837

    As Augustine wisely wrote (I paraphrase): “If you believe what you like in the scriptures, and reject what you don’t like, it is not the Word of God you believe, but yourself.” ― Augustine (City of God, Chapter 10)

  • Bruce Atkinson

    No one can pin down the Spirit, neither can we easily prove what is of the Holy Spirit and what is of the ego-flesh (or of the world or even of Satan)— except that we have the Spirit-inspired scriptures to help us know the truth and our Spirit-inspired consciences to confirm it. This is why ‘progressive revelation’ is a dangerous idea because it is so easily misused. Without the confirmation of scripture, anyone can claim to have a Holy Spirit inspired idea (no matter how crazy it is) and who can prove that they did not get this from God?
    Similarly, anyone can say that I have the Holy Spirit but you don’t, or my church is in the Apostolic Succession but yours isn’t, or some other criteria for judging others and elevating oneself. But fortunately, God gave us the scriptures to allow us to discern truth from lies. As Paul wrote in Ephesians 6, the Word of God is the sword of the Spirit; it is a two-edged sword that not only confirms the truth of Spirit-inspired thinking but also disconfirms falsehoods.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    The scholarly consensus is that a founder of Christianity could have been named Jesus, could have been a Messiah claimant, and could have died by crucifixion. All the evidence you listed any teenager with a smartphone could find out is not cut and dry, and that’s not just the position of mythicists. The History of the Jews passages are the worst offenders for “evidence” that Christians interpolated (Josephus does not appear to be someone who would have written the passages, and they break up his standard writing flow because they never belonged in the work to begin with).

  • Bruce Atkinson

    Giauz,
    The historical evidence for virtually anything or any particular person who lived 2000 years ago or earlier is pretty sketchy. It just so happens that the evidence for Jesus is as strong or stronger than for anyone else who lived back then. The evidence for the reliability of the earliest New Testament manuscripts is also excellent.

    Check any encyclopedia. Parts of the New Testament have been preserved in more manuscripts than any other ancient work, having over 5,800 complete or fragmented Greek manuscripts, 10,000 Latin manuscripts and 9,300 manuscripts in various other ancient languages including Syriac, Slavic,Gothic, Ethiopic, Coptic and Armenian. The dates of these manuscripts are as early as 125 CE (the John Rylands manuscript, P52; oldest copy of John fragments}. There are more handcopied scrolls and codex manuscripts that preserve the New Testament than there are for any other ancient writing.

    However, people believe or disbelieve what they want about history regardless of the evidence. I challenge you to read “Evidence That Demands a Verdict” by Josh McDowell rather than merely trusting your smartphone. However, it is easy to predict that you will not get this book because you do not want to examine the evidence with openness and honesty…. because you have chosen not to believe, your mind has already closed up shop on this issue.
    So no more pearls for you.

  • Adam “Giauz” Birkholtz

    You assumed that I had not read it already when I was a Christian. Reading book and film criticism (including of such books as McDowell’s) helped me to see that sometimes authors make crap (or at least parts of their work are crap and/or poorly executed) no matter how good it initially looks (claiming that one’s religion is Truth and the key to eternal live and love and justice themselves- such a claim is a cool way of hyping up the look but says nothing of the validity of its substance under critical examination).

  • Bruce Atkinson

    Giauz,
    Thank you for interacting with me. I am not sure why you do so, given your point of view.

    I believe that if you look at the evidence without a bias, you will find it to be overwhelming.

    But let me get more personal. My real tangible evidence is my own life. If you knew my life in all of its details, I can guarantee you would trade yours for mine in an instant. Faith in Christ changed everything; I was a prodigal all the way, a wild and crazy hippie, all about feeling good (drugs, sex, etc.) and valuing the freedom to sin without guilt or shame.

    But all that changed. I now have some things I did not have before. I now have truly loving and fulfilling relationships. I have a strong sense of destiny and purpose, and things to do to help people that totally fit my personality and gifts. I have deep inner peace—knowing Who I will spend eternity with—and knowing that it will be far beyond my expectations. My previous insecurities and anxieties are gone. It is the “pearl of great price” for which one should be willing to give up everything else in order to receive.
    If you cannot trust it, cannot believe it, and refuse to ask God to change your heart, then this choice is totally on you. “How shall we escape if we ignore so great a salvation? This salvation, which was first announced by the Lord, was confirmed to us by those who heard him.” (Hebrews 2:3) It is REAL. It changes lives to an extent and depth that is beyond measuring. It provides those “fruit of Spirit” (Gal 3:22-23) that are what life is all about. This my personal experience and unless you really know me and can see the evidence of my life, it is meaningless to you. Sorry about that. This is the best that I can do online.