No, Franklin Graham, LGBTQ Children Are Not The Enemy

No, Franklin Graham, LGBTQ Children Are Not The Enemy January 26, 2016

young homeless boy sleeping on the bridge

(What Franklin Graham is Wrong About Today, Vol 3)

Sometimes I see a comment or hear a clip of Franklin Graham, and while I typically disagree, many times they are dismissible comments that allow one to roll their eyes and move on. But then there are times where his comments are so damaging, so destructive, so heartbreaking, that they cannot be ignored by anyone with half a conscience.

Such is the case with comments that were aired recently on the radio program of Dr. James Dobson. In the interview they discussed one of Franklin Graham’s favorite topics: all things LGBTQ. This time however, the focus was more on our LGBTQ children– the beautiful children among us, image bearers of the Living God, who happen to be LGBTQ.

I’ll be honest; Franklin Graham has said a lot of things that have made me angry. But this time? This time I felt a sadness that swept over me as I considered the implications of his ideas. Speaking of LGBTQ children Franklin said:

“We have allowed the Enemy to come into our churches. I was talking to some Christians and they were talking about how they invited these gay children to come into their home and to come into the church and that they were wanting to influence them. And I thought to myself, they’re not going to influence those kids; those kids are going to influence those parent’s children. 

What happens is we think we can fight by smiling and being real nice and loving. We have to understand who the Enemy is and what he wants to do. He wants to devour our homes. He wants to devour this nation and we have to be so careful who we let our kids hang out with. We have to be so careful who we let into the churches. You have immoral people who get into the churches and it begins to effect the others in the church and it is dangerous.” 

The reason why Franklin’s comments make me so incredibly sad is because of how destructive and violent they are. Make no mistake about it– what he’s teaching on this point is not harmless, but is actively destroying lives.

Don’t let our children have LGBTQ friends?

Make sure we don’t let LGBTQ kids in our churches?

I mean, are LGBTQ children not isolated and vulnerable enough already?

Violent, fear-based teaching such as expressed by Franklin Graham is precisely why 40% of homeless children in the United States are LGBTQ. It’s also why 68% of them report their homelessness is due to family rejection because of their sexual orientation or gender identity, often by religious parents.

For someone with millions of followers, these are dangerous, dangerous ideas– ideas the people of Jesus must resist and rebuke.

Jesus once said that you can tell a good tree from a bad tree based upon whether or not such a tree produces good fruit or bad fruit. Regardless of one’s theological persuasions on these matters, one need not a botany degree to know that a net result of homeless children is bad, bad fruit.

As I ponder this statement by Franklin Graham, I almost wonder if he’s read the New Testament yet, or if he understood what he read if he did make it that far. Because you know what? This was the same attitude of the religious leaders of Jesus’s time (the only group of people whose sin Jesus publicly rebuked). They couldn’t fathom why Jesus preferred the company he kept, why he included the excluded, or why Jesus pushed back so hard when they questioned it.

In fact, one of my favorite moments in Scripture is when Jesus stood outside the temple and yelled to them, “Hey guys! I’ll tell you the truth: the sinners and tax collectors have entered the Kingdom ahead of you!”

Let’s just say they weren’t amused with Jesus. (Not to spoil the ending, but they actually ended up killing him.)

All these years later, I can imagine Jesus shouting the same thing outside of Franklin Graham’s office: “Hey Franklin! I’ll tell you the truth: our LGBTQ kids have entered the Kingdom of God ahead of you!”

Because from what I can see, that’s exactly what’s happening. I see our beautiful LGBTQ children who love Jesus, love their parents, siblings, and everyone else.

And I see them shut out, snuffed out, and their lives destroyed by the kind of ideas being expressed by Franklin Graham.

Why Franklin Graham feels our LGBTQ children are the enemy and need to be excluded from our lives, I have no idea. All I know is it’s a destructive belief that produces horrible fruit, and that it is not rooted in the tradition of Jesus of Nazareth.

Our LGBTQ kids are not the enemy.

But ideas that lead them to be isolated, shunned, and abandoned?

Well, those ideas are certainly the enemy– and it’s an enemy worth fighting.


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  • “What happens is we think we can fight by smiling and being real nice and loving.”

    I don’t know about the smiling part, but as for the rest of it, you bet your Family-Focusin’ ass. That is exactly how we fight. This is how you oppose the Beast.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Thank you for this. I was also very saddened upon learning of his comments. Granted, he made sure to point out at the end of the talk how much he “loves” gay people, even though nothing about these words bear the fruit of love – it’s more of the us v. them rhetoric that he’s made his calling card.

    “We have to be so careful who we let into the churches.” Some of us GREW UP in churches, Franklin. We are not the enemy, or the Enemy. Quit making us into your targets.

  • Nixon is Lord

    The clergy and choir leaders and organists and church bureaucrats are some of the most disproportionately gay jobs/occupations in North America; how can you run a church without gays? You’ve got so many closet cases taking out their issues on people around them and it would make you look comical, if it didn’t lead to so many screwed up lives.

  • JD

    Disgusting comments from Graham. Just disgusting.

  • B real

    I’m not saddened by his comments. Not at all. I’m freaking pissed! Someone needs to call him out to EXACTLY what he is: a modern day Pharisee who loves the letter of the law and despises the spirit of it!!!

  • So much for church being a hospital for sinners. Way to contradict your own theology there, Graham.

  • Patricia

    He’s just a bully with a lot of financial clout who is able to cash in on the high esteem in which his father is still held. Apart from Franklin’s homophobia, there’s his islamophobia, his support of the NRA, his opposition to immigration reform, his vile reactions to other Christians and Christian organisations with whom he doesn’t agree eg Rob Bell, World Vision etc. His Facebook page encourages so much hate. If I see another of his ill informed and often semi-literate “Christian” supporters talk about President Obama being a Muslim and/or a socialist, that the US should nuke Iran or that black people protesting about police brutality are playing the race card I shall scream. I am more concerned about Franklin’s unhealthy friendships with the likes of Glenn Beck, Donald Trump, Rupert Murdoch, Jerry Falwell jnr, Greta van Susteren, Pat Robertson, James Dobson etc than I am about my grandchildren playing with LBGT children.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “…his opposition to immigration reform…” Well, not entirely. He’s very comfortable with calling on India to loosen their borders for refugees from Tibet. Yep, he’ll call on another country to accommodate the influx of people living in plastic tents, but unwilling to encourage OUR country to do the same.

  • Momatad

    He also advocates Christians being armed to the teeth (like Falwell’s ‘junior’ also has taken a stand on). What’s next? Calling it ‘justified’ if you shoot a kid because you think he might be LGBTQ (whether he is or isn’t) because he might give your kid the ‘gay cooties’? Oh the Beast is alive and well, and usually standing in a pulpit saying ‘God told me exclusively to tell you to HATE this neighbor over here, as that love your neighbor stuff was only for those who fit our narrow criteria’.

  • samantha

    Amen!!!!

  • otrotierra

    Thank you for this. Franklin Graham demonstrates what it looks like when one erases Jesus from their theology.

  • Violet

    I’d add the clarification that being the LGBTQ children of God people were created to be is NOT sinning. It’s not helpful to compare LGBTQ kids to tax collectors. Perhaps your point was that people “perceived to be sinners by some” would enter the Kingdom of God first, but please consider the damage done by your comparison.

  • PremiumOsmium

    Yes, Franklin Graham is awful. But honestly it’s not that surprising. The fact is that he and his ilk have been allowed to become the face of American Christianity. White, rich, conservative, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, dishonest, and hateful. Why the progressive branch of Christianity has silently stood by and allowed this to happen is beyond me. Fortunately I’m an atheist so trying to change Christianity isn’t my problem.

  • tyler

    daily reminder that conservative christians really do hate lgbtqia people, and really do want them to be excommunicated, shunned, disowned, and living on the street

    further reminder that empty platitudes like “love the sinner hate the sin” and side b christianity are little more than meaningless catchphrases meant to disguise the fact that they are rooting for our misery

  • Allison Williams

    Don’t know much about the Grahams, pere et fils, but I wonder if Billy was as much a hateful hypocrite as Franklin.

  • Herm

    I see the comparison as more closely aligned than you might believe from the surface. During Jesus time on earth a tax collector was caught between the masses and the government. The tax collector was looked down upon by both sides as not worthy of their respect. They were shunned.

    The only reason for becoming a tax collector was their God given talents allowed them to make a survival living for themselves and theirs. You did not choose such a role in life because you wanted to be loved by all. It was all you had to survive by.

    I am certain we have LGBTQ people working in the IRS today because that is the best they can do with what they have. For those of us aware being LGBTQ (child or adult) or a tax collector then or now does not in and of itself make anyone a sinner when gauged against Matthew 7:12 and Luke 10:27.

  • VisionaryJax

    Thank you Benjamin! Your calling out Franklin Graham is definitely needed so LGBTQ folks know not all evangelicals are like that. His example was also interesting, parents who invite gay kids into their homes in hopes of changing or converting them … That’s not even real love, is it, if the only reason we welcome them is that we hope some evangelical heterosexuality will rub off on them? What if we just love, without an endgame in mind?

  • Herm

    And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

    And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?”

    And he answered, “YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND; AND YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.”

    And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; DO THIS AND YOU WILL LIVE.”

    Luke 10:25-28 (NASB)

    “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets./blockquote>Matthew 7:12 (NASB)

    Does being LGBTQ keep anyone from inheriting eternal life based on the verses from the mouth of Jesus Christ our Lord with all authority over heaven and on earth today?

    For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

    Matthew 5:20 (NIV2011)

    Might Franklin Graham and James Dobson have something to worry about?

  • otrotierra

    No, Jesus was silent on homosexuality.

  • Nixon is Lord

    He out-anti Semetic’ed Nixon. That tell you something?

  • Kitsune Inari

    Thank you, Mr. Corey! As a secular humanist there may be some ideas about which I may disagree with progressive religious people, but important matters like this sure aren’t among them!

  • Jeff Preuss

    “Romans 1 clearly shows LGBTQ is a result of a disordered worship, and not in line with God’s desire for human sexuality.”
    No, it doesn’t. That’s not what the crux of that passage is in the slightest.

  • pookdesignz

    Wow, just another wow type response from me. Sad really, and really sad. What’s that verse in the Bible with regards to there not being any “male nor female” in Heaven? What does this infer? That we are really “souls/spirits” living in a physical body? Yes we have a body while here on earth, but so many young people are coming to earth who display affinities for the opposite of their genders – why is it so prevalent now? Why, because I see this a kind of “Heaven prep – they are our teachers” testing the rigid conformist belief systems that so many people have – the fundamentalists keep seeing “evil” in anything that is different from their so called “norms” and rigid understanding of Scripture . This is not just from the Christiian right – the other major Abrahamic based religions are homophobic too. LGBT people teach us how to grow and evolve and expand our limitless expressions of love between one another and God. God sees us in a very different format – eventually humanity will be able to “see” one another as Christ sees us – in the format of Love and Light. At least this is what I would like to believe. Check out the NDE of Christian Andreasen – he’s a gay Christian man and is a singer – his NDE clarified something deep for me. I am not sure what the overall vision for humanity and our destiny is, but I get the sense that the numerous LGBT individuals who are here and who are coming to earth are meant to help transform our understanding of who we truly are and how we relate to our Creator. I used to be a fan of Franklin Graham and FOTF but not anymore ..they’ve lost me..

  • Jordan Hurley

    Homosexuality is a sin.

  • Franklin Graham is one of many reasons why HeartStrong has been in existence for 20 years.

  • Ruthitchka

    I was unable to listen to the entire conversation between Dobson and Graham. It was just too horrifying. I think those two gents will wind up with the proverbial blood on their hands. Many Christian parents follow their advice, and may throw their kids out of the house, which can lead to self-destructive behavior and suicide among these children. This breaks my heart.

  • Exactly. Love with an agenda isn’t really love.

  • Herm

    Where does your life find value? For just how long can hope for that value be sustained? By what knowledge, without supposition, do you presume to judge another?

  • I’m certainly not making a moral comparison. The only comparison I’m making is that in Jesus’s day, the people the religious conservatives insisted were “out” actually ended up being the very first groups of people declared “in” and that this still seems to be the case today.

  • otrotierra

    #ThingsJesusNeverSaid

  • Traci Miller

    Not the point.

  • ashpenaz

    When somebody consistently calls himself a Christian and consistently does and says the opposite of what Jesus would say and do,then that person is Antichrist. Just by definition. It doesn’t help to continue to call Franklin Graham, Dobson, Falwell, Jr,, Huckabee, Cruz, Kim Davis, Palin, et. al. fellow Christians. The purpose of Antichrist is to mislead and persecute and ultimately try to remove the real Jesus from the earth–by replacing Him with an idol Antichrist calls “Jesus.” That’s exactly what conservative Christianity has done–no one can see Jesus any more. All people can see is the idol the conservatives have erected in His place.

    We need to name the Antichrist. We need to pull down the idol. We need to stand apart from the conservatives and reveal them for the Antichrist they are.

  • Herm

    Intimidation, manipulation, subjugation, no empathy for another, no compassion another, no forgiveness for another and in everything not doing to others as you would have others do to you is a sin.

  • Herm

    Save all fetuses until we know for sure they are LGBTQ then we can abort in the name of God!!!

  • Meredith Indermaur

    One of these days – maybe in a couple of years or so – I might just be able to roll my eyes at many of the things Franklin Graham says and move on, but his latest antic with Dobson has stopped me cold. I cannot move on until I, as mom to an LGBT child, have said what needs to be said. The spirit of antichrist is in FG’s words about our gay loved ones, because he preaches death. Graham preaches death when he calls our children immoral for something they did not choose and cannot change, while Jesus said that those who choose to judge others are the ones in danger. Graham preaches death when he urges churches to bar the doors against our children; in Luke 11:52 it is recorded that Jesus said, “Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.” In Matthew 23:2-4 Jesus is recorded as saying, “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.” Graham preaches death when he equates our children with the Enemy and blames them for being bad influences, yet Jesus said in Matthew 23:15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” Jesus said He came so that we may have life – and have it abundantly; therefore, Graham is not speaking Jesus’ words to or about our LGBT children but is instead speaking the dark, oppressive, sin-filled words of the Enemy.

  • Graham, like us, might be wrong on many occasions. Children are not the enemy, Satan is the enemy. But we are so legalistic as those who condemn the words of a minister.
    I think Graham’s statements are harmful, and I think that churches should be prepared for LGBTQ people, but not simply be “good” but because it is right. What happens is in God’s hands and the way in which we relate to them, that is through love.
    As a psychologist I admit that is a controversial topic, as believers think that deserves a proper reading, which should invite us to take away from pointing the sinner, and point toward sin.
    As a married, heterosexual and Christian man, I think that question of the 80’s and 90’s comes to life: what would Jesus? or perhaps, what would do not Jesus?
    Perhaps we are wrong, but Jesus will not.

  • Guy Norred

    Amen

  • Jonathan

    I see you found Romans. And since it’s so clear to you, perhaps you should spend more time reflecting on Romans 2:1, Romans 2:19-21, Romans 2:29, Romans 3:21-24, Romans 3:28, Romans 8:1, Romans 8:34, Romans 10:4, Romans 12:11-16, Romans 13:10, and Romans 15:7.

    Or perhaps you prefer to continue twisting scripture, shoehorning a verse about idolatry out of an entire epistle denouncing the very same legalistic attitude you espouse.

  • Arbustin

    Billy is (he’s still alive, although very frail and Franklin seems to be calling the shots now), on the whole, relatively less crazy than Franklin. Billy Graham was even held in suspicion by some in the evangelical community for allegedly “watering down the Gospel” and making it more accessible. Not to say he was faultless, of course.

  • Guy Norred

    I may regret this, but I really do want to know what you mean by PC. Whenever I hear it, it always seems to be from people complaining that they are expected to treat others with respect, to consider things from another’s perspective, yet still acknowledge that we are not God and cannot possibly know all that is those others’ hearts. Honestly this seems to be the very heart of what Christ calls us to do.

  • VisionaryJax

    Did you ever red “Torn” by Justin Lee? It’s a lovely account of a good, evangelical boy born into a great evangelical family who loved God and wanted to be a nice evangelical Christian and minister but had only one problem: he was attracted to other guys. He did all the therapy to quit it, which of course failed because who you’re attracted to is not a choice, and then he discovered there are other interpretations of those “clobber” verses that so “clearly” show homosexuality is a sin. If you are able to look at the Word without the prejudice of what your particular church authority has taught you about it, and with the overarching metanarrative of God’s love in mind, you will be able to see that love as a big tent that covers all of us, not just well-behaved heterosexuals. I strongly encourage you to let go of your preconceived notions and read the book with an open mind. You may discover that there’s room at the cross for all of us, just as we are.

  • Sheila Warner

    Good luck with trying to fight Franklin Graham on this issue. Where is his father? Does he not see how his son is destroying the very Gospel on which Billy Graham Ministries is built? Not until someone like Billy Graham stands up for our LGBTQ youth will Franklin Graham shut his trap.

  • FWIW –
    I agree that Dobson’s words and actions are contrary to the teachings of Christ. But as a Christian man married to a man, I know the hurt that comes from others judging my heart – casting aspersions about my faith and faithfulness. If we’re serious about loving others as self, I think we’d be wise to refrain from rhetoric that demonizes Graham and all those who are likeminded.

    IMHO, Ben has the right posture here – assertive and convicted while not pretending that we’re in a different communion.

  • Precisely. Perfectly said!

  • Jonathan

    This got me to thinking… I only see two ways to it:

    “Not bowing to the PC culture” is selfish, because in doing so, you are demanding others change to benefit yourself.

    Being “PC” is selfless, because in doing so, you are sacrificing your own will of expression for the benefit of others.

  • Just out of curiosity, have you ever come to affirm the sanctity of gay relationships? Not trolling, just wondering (thinking back to a comment you once made on your podcast which divorced your presumably non-affirming beliefs from the politics of the marriage debate…if I’m misremembering, apologies).

  • Guy Norred

    Thank you

  • Shea

    I don’t agree, but even if it were are you free of sin? Get the log out of your own eye…

  • That’s not likely to happen because the Billy Graham Association has gone “Calvinist,” believes in T.U.L.I.P including “limited atonement.” God sent Jesus for only a limited number of humans.

    That is totally contrary to Graham’s message of God’s saving love for every single human who has ever lived and who will ever live. Plus, their magazine, usually has 3-4 Calvinists writing in it each month.

    John Piper has wrecked their cover. He’s the famous Christian leader who declared that tornadoes are God’s “fierce fingers,” that Jesus rules the tornadoes; the winds are his to kill people,:-(.

    According to Calvinists, newborn infants are “in essence, evil.” They are “vile guilty worms” at conception!

  • Yes. I’m LGBTQ affirming.

  • Exactly. This is why I specifically worded it as being about his “ideas” and not him specifically. I don’t know his heart, and I think it’s wrong to play the “no true Scotsman” card, but I do feel compelled to speak against ideas I believe are dangerous.

  • BHLaurie

    It seems the enemy was really smart. He was n the home long before any of God’s children may have been invited there.

  • Ruthitchka

    Haha! Even though I’m actually very religious, Herm, your comment makes me think of that bumper sticker, “Nuke the gay whales for Jesus”. Also, one of my two darling sons is gay, and I totally disagree with my priest and denomination about “the gay”; they agree with Franklin Graham and Dr. Dobson, unfortunately.

  • Ruthitchka

    Amen to that.

  • Patricia

    Billy Graham is about 97 with a huge range of health issues and is not allowed to speak to the press directly. Franklin occasionally issues a statement on behalf of his father through the BGEA that sounds remarkably like Franklin’s own views rather than Billy’s.

  • Dennis Wilson

    I didn’t see anything in Dr. Graham’s words that I would disagree with. I would never allow my children to be by themselves in the company of homosexuals, thieves, fornicators, drug users, drug dealers etc.

    We have no members in my church who are openly any of these. Those who openly practice these sins would never be accepted as members in my church or in any true Christian church.

    The chances of homosexuals even attending services at my Christian church are very slim. I mean when the word of God is preached and taught these will either repent of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior or they will quickly leave. Unrepentant sinners are not going to listen to sermons about their immoral behavior for very long.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Yes, Christian love cares about others and their fate for refusing to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.

  • Absolutely right. No true Christian church should ever accept sinners, only the righteous. Not like that Jesus character who was always condemning the righteous and eating and drinking with sinners and hanging out in their houses and whatnot. That guy was just not a true follower of himself.

  • $136305622

    Why would Billy stand up for LGBTQ?! He is as conservative as his son!

  • $136305622

    It gets so confusing with Christians these days – gays are the anti-christ, no Graham is the anti-Christ, no Obama is the anti-Christ, no Dobson is the anti-Christ. Scary folks!

  • VisionaryJax

    Where to begin!

    I’ll skip over your lumping homosexuals with thieves and drug dealers and look at this: “Those who openly practice these sins would never be accepted as members in my church or in any true Christian church.” How nice that sinners are not welcome are not welcome in your church! Where did you find all the perfect people to be in your church? Oh wait, it’s only the OPEN practice of sin that is discouraged in your church. As long as folks are HIDING their sins, it’s OK. What the what?

    And then “The chances of homosexuals even attending services at my Christian church are very slim.” How sad is that?! Why would you be proud of such an unwelcoming and unloving stance? What if your church were so welcoming and loving that TONS of homosexuals (and the drug dealers and fornicators you reviled) would want to attend? Then people like you would look down their nose and say, “Look at those Christians fellowshipping with prostitutes and sinners and wine bibbers.” But guess what? They said that same thing about Jesus. You would actually be MORE like JESUS if everyone felt welcome at your church.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    I’m wondering how you’d determine which members of this congregation might be gay, or sleeping around, or addicted to porn, or addicted to pain killers, closet alcoholics, etc. (including your pastor)? These religious “hedges” may appear to keep the bad out, but by default they drive those struggling (and I’m not lumping LGBT people into this) with these issues deeper into closets.

    I also fail to see in Scripture where Jesus picked the ‘perfectly religious’ as His companions; in fact, He chastened them pretty soundly.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Jax Hill ,you said – How nice that sinners are not welcome are not welcome in your church!

    Oh no, you misunderstand. We welome homosexuals, drug users, drug dealers fornicators and other openly immoral people to attend our services. We want them to hear the message of Salvation.

    However, we like other true Christian churches, would never allow these as members. We most certainly want them to attend our services.

  • PremiumOsmium

    Then why do you stay with your denomination? Why give your support to something so wrong?

  • Ron McPherson

    “Thus LGBTQ kids are NOT in the kingdom of God if they are not repentant of their sin.”

    What happens if a kid is born into God’s kingdom at an early age and only later comes to the realization that he/she is gay? Does God then kick them out of the Kingdom and the Holy Spirit abandon them if they don’t ‘change’? Do their circumstances somehow catch God by surprise? Or is it rather that He refuses to receive them in the first place (in spite of what He expressly told us being that of such is the kingdom of heaven) even if they bow their precious knees to Him in humble dependency and love. If a 10 year old child bows their knee to the Savior does He reject them at that point knowing that 5 years later they will be gay? Or does He send the Spirit to them on a 5 year probationary basis?

  • PremiumOsmium

    Franklin speaks for his father. Billy appointed Franklin to head his organizations, so we can be confident that this is what the elder Graham would want.

  • Jonathan

    Translation: “We let the filthy sodomites in as long as they know their place.”

  • Dennis Wilson

    Jax Hill, you wrote -As long as folks are HIDING their sins, it’s OK. What the what?

    Oh no, you misunderstand. The meaning of “hiding” is that something is not known. You used that word, I’m sure you know the meaning of it. For instance, someone could be a member of our church and be having homosexual sex with another in secret. Since our church teaches the doctrines of Christianity which is in opposition to such behavior, it is unlikely that a practicing homosexual is going to hang around.

    If you were a hidden homosexual, would you stay in a Christian church having to listen to sermons on your coming judgment?

  • Dennis Wilson

    Jonathan, you wrote – “We let the filthy sodomites in as long as they know their place.”

    The mission of the true church of God is to preach the Gospel to all, because we all need salvation. We welcome all sodomites to come hear the message of Salvation.

  • Jonathan

    Exactly as I said, then. Wow. My words were meant to be hyperbole, but apparently some people really are that hateful.

  • Meredith Indermaur

    Since when is the Gospel a morality program?

  • VisionaryJax

    Seriously though, “You are welcome here but we will never accept you as a member!” that is the opposite of welcoming! That is condescending. Where are you getting this idea that no one should be allowed to be a “member” of the church until they are sin-free? Do you not allow anyone “openly” drinks, curses, lusts, lies, etc. to be a member? And how do you enforce this? And why is doing these things “openly” worse than doing them secretly? In Al-Anon we learn you are only as sick as your secrets. It seems to me your emphasis on the “open” practice of certain behaviors you deem sinful is just a recipe for forcing people to do them secretly …

    You say you aren’t advocating for only perfect people in your church, but in practice you only extend membership to the perfect (or those who can perfectly hide their sins, which is worse). Being an evangelical means sharing the Good News — but your message seems to be: hide your sinful behavior or quit being who you are and you can join. That’s not Good News at all. :(

  • Jonathan

    Since the self-appointed guardians of True Christianity™ declared it to be so, using Jesus as a mascot and selected bits of the book-idol as a field guide.

  • Herm

    Love is not easy. I truly empathize. Thank you for your response exactly as it is!!! Love you!

  • Good to know. Thanks!

  • Jonathan

    If I might be allowed to jump in, raylampert (and Ruthitchka, please correct me if it’s different for you), but I don’t think support and attendance necessarily go hand in hand. I think one of the church’s problems is that people leave when they don’t agree with what the preacher says. Sometimes (not always, I’ll admit – especially when children’s welfare is involved – but sometimes) it’s a much stronger help to work from the inside to make things better.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Attendance and membership are different.

    We, like all true Christian churches welcome non Christians to attend our services in the hope they will become Christians. Then they will be welcome as members.

  • Jonathan

    True. Jesus didn’t do his godly duty and warn Zaccheus of his sinful lifestyle. No True Christian™ would have stayed silent when sin was involved, now would they?

  • Jeff Preuss

    We welcome all sodomites to come hear the message of Salvation. Salvation is only achieved when we squish people into our preconceived mold of what Salvation looks like to us, and any other shapes are clearly NOT Salvation. (Our Salvation-shaped cookie cutters are patented.)

    We don’t sing Baptist Hymn #307 at our church.

  • Jonathan

    When I was choir director, I made it a point to pick that one out a few times. Ironically, it’s one of Billy Graham’s favorite hymns.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Jax Hill, you wrote – Seriously though, “You are welcome here but we will never accept you as a member!”

    I didn’t write that. You must be quoting someone else.

  • The elder Billy Graham sounds far more like Pope Francis than his son Franklin. He was/is a democrat, and in his older age developed a gentleness and humility of spirit that got him accused by fundamentalists as being a universalist. Even if you just google a few video clips of him, you’ll quickly find he’s been denounced by the hard right long ago. In fact, the Bible school I went to 20 years ago broke relationship with Billy eons ago because he refused to say that Catholics were “out” and even used priests as spiritual counselors at his crusades.

    If Billy weren’t bedridden and likely completely unaware of what Franklin has done, I honestly believe he would be deeply grieved.

  • Teresa

    Find a United in Christ Church and go there. If your priest and denomination is not an affirming congregation, this is another thing that will bring your son down. My son hasn’t been to a church in 9 years because of the condemnation. If I had it all to do over again, I would be driving an hour to an affirming church with my son instead of going to the same church for 33 years.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Phil Ledgerwood, you wrote- Absolutely right. No true Christian church should ever accept sinners, only the righteous.

    Oh no, you misunderstand. We are all sinners. All of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. There is none righteous, no not one.

  • And there’s even a convincing argument that Billy’s final book wasn’t written by Billy at all: http://religiondispatches.org/billy-graham-is-probably-not-the-author-of-his-own-final-chapter/

  • Herm

    You wrote, “I mean when the word of God is preached and taught these will either repent of their sins and accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior or they will quickly leave.

    “But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your Teacher, and you are all brothers.
    “Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.
    “Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ.
    “But the greatest among you shall be your servant.
    “Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

    Matthew 23:8-12 (NASB)

    Dennis Wilson, you exalt you and your God forsaken church above the Teacher.

    But He said, “Woe to you lawyers as well! For you weigh men down with burdens hard to bear, while you yourselves will not even touch the burdens with one of your fingers.

    Luke 11:46 (NASB)

    “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

    Matthew 7:12 (NASB)

    That, my pompous friend, is the entire Law and the Prophets according to Christ. It would be good for you and your exclusive body of judges to realize that a humble and merciful homosexual is more certain of entering heaven than any of you practicing Pharisees and teachers of the law. The Moses seat ended with the tearing of the curtain top to bottom, you can’t bring it back. We have an eternally sufficient Judge, High Priest, Brother, Teacher and Lord today and we don’t need you but you need Him. In Jesus name, as His little student, I witness this is so! amen

  • Would you let your kids hang around over-eaters? Cause the Bible says anyone who is friends with an over-eater is a shame to their parents, and that over-eaters are idolaters.

    In fact, maybe you should bring a scale to church and have everyone weigh in before they’re allowed to attend the Sunday service? I mean, it’s important we’re consistent, you know?

  • Jonathan

    But they’re allowed to attend, just not to be members. (I’m not sure why that’s relevant, but Mr. Wilson seems to think it is).

  • Ah, got it. I’ll assume Mr. Wilson isn’t a hypocrite and thus, his church does not permit overweight people to become members unless they have a doctor’s note or something.

  • Jonathan

    Also, mandatory stoning of disrespectful children before parents are allowed to become members, yes? Then we might be onto something.

  • Herm

    … soooo who exactly makes up your accepted membership???

  • Oh, and since Paul says that you should always “greet your brothers with a kiss” I’ll assume that all the guys in Mr. Wilson’s church greet with kisses. Cause, you know, we probably shouldn’t take into account the culture Paul was writing to, just to be safe.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Huh?

  • Jonathan

    Oh, right. That, too. And make sure the women wear burqas. We need to make sure we’re following Paul on that, too.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Christians.

    Since you deny that Jesus is God, you would not be allowed membership into any true Christian church.

    Now, answer this question – Would you let the members of a true Christian church know that you deny that Jesus is God while seeking membership to that Christian church?

  • Nick

    Can a holy handshake be a substitute for the holy kiss?

  • Brian Kellogg

    Yup!

    God I can’t stomach fundamentalist/evangelical dogmatic nonsense. He’s becoming the very enemy he says he despises. The God some of them project is a weak narcissistic beast. Tacitly he is admitting that their beliefs can’t stand up to reality. Therefore he advises that you must keep reality out.

    I grew up in deep fundamentalism and am just so tired of its person-hood destroying foolishness. Comments like that coming from someone at his age I still find unfathomable. Ignorance, ignorance, ignorance, … Makes me angrily sad.

  • Dennis Wilson

    How was I not clear?

    “Attendance and membership are different.”

    “We, like all true Christian churches welcome non Christians to attend our services in the hope they will become Christians. Then they will be welcome as members.”

  • Bring it in for a holy bro hug, but be sure to say “no homo”.

  • You seem to be under the impression that gay people and Christians are mutually exclusive people groups. Perhaps you should get to know some of us gay Christians.

  • Herm

    I rest my case.

  • Dennis Wilson

    You better duck. Ha,ha!

  • Wil Franklin

    But you would allow gossipers, overeaters, hypocrites, false prohets and their followers, people who preach hate and intolerence? Religious extemists are the worst sinners in the world today. You do not preach God’s word, you are doing Satan’s work in invoking divisions, hatred, lies, and decite. It is not Gays destroying America. It is the EVIL that has overtaken today’s churches.The bible I read covers alot more than just gays and abortions. You fail as Missionaries of God who Jesus said Teach all nations you choose to dictate and control the world and governments. Not God’s plan but todays false prophets behind the pulpits who brainwash their followers in belivieng them rather than reading the Whole Bible. If you would spend as much time helping those in need the world would be a better place. Prove your fatih put your work, enegery, money and mouths where thy should be serving God!

  • As are lying, cheating, stealing, fornicating, adultery, coveting thy neighbor’s wife, murder, violence, taking the lord’s name in vain, eating shellfish, working on the sabbath, touching the skin of a pig, eating pork, planting two different crops side-by-side, wearing garments made of two different threads, having contact with a menstruating woman, approaching the altar of God if you have a defect in your sight, charging interest on a loan, thinking wicked thoughts, breaking promises and being proud.

    Oh, and perhaps the three that you should be most worried about – oppression of others, hardness of heart, and injustice towards others.

  • ashpenaz

    It’s not actually that confusing. Read about Jesus’ life and teachings. Are these people saying and doing what Jesus would say and do? If they are doing and saying the opposite of Jesus, then they are, literally, Anti-Christ.

    Why are people so afraid to stand up and identify Christian conservatives as following the Spirit of Antichrist?

    Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see
    whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into
    the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: every spirit that (acts and teaches) that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, and every
    spirit that does not (act and teach) Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit
    of the antichrist, which you heard was coming and now is in the world
    already.

  • Well, let’s talk about sin, shall we?

    Yes, the Old Testament talks about ‘men lying with men,’ which certainly appears to be a condemnation of homosexuality. But is that the only sin listed in your Bible?

    Why, no. No, it’s not. In fact, your book lists all sorts of sins. Lying, cheating, stealing, fornicating, adultery, coveting thy neighbor’s wife, murder, violence, taking the lord’s name in vain, eating shellfish, working on the sabbath, touching the skin of a pig, eating pork, planting two different crops side-by-side, wearing garments made of two different threads, having contact with a menstruating woman, approaching the altar of God if you have a defect in your sight, charging interest on a loan, thinking wicked thoughts, breaking promises and being proud.

    Oh, and perhaps the three that you should be most worried about – oppression of others, hardness of heart, and injustice towards others.

  • Dennis Wilson

    You raise a valid point. Preachers in Christian churches should address the sin of gluttony.

    My children don’t have any friends who are obese. I can certainly say that gluttony is a sin. I assume you can as well.

  • Wil Franklin

    Seems like a lot of church members here have forgotten a SIN IS A SIN AND ALL SINS ARE CREATED EQUAL! So seems Religious right assumes that they are sin free. Such Hypocrites!

  • Herm

    What exactly do you think you’ve been saved from to be able to do what if not in everything doing to others as you would have others do to you eternally!

  • Well, yeah, but let’s be honest – guys like you and me don’t commit really BIG sins like being homosexual. That’s the difference. You can’t let the bad sinners in. Just the ones that only sin an average amount after conversion.

  • Steve Reagin

    “True” Christian church. So your church is “true” compared to everyone else’s? I was talking to a Catholic friend of mine who said something similar. I said, well, whose Christianity is true? Which literal do we take? My evangelical background, his Catholic background, Quakers, who? Of course, he proceeded to tell me why his Catholicism was the “true” version of Christianity.

  • $136305622

    He said: “I think that the Bible teaches that homosexuality is a sin, but the Bible also teaches that pride is a sin, jealousy is a sin, and hate is a sin, evil thoughts are a sin. ”

    So he wouldn’t be challenging his son on anything. While he might be a nice guy (kind of like the schtick the Pope is good at) he still has the same views. I do agree the messaging is different and he would not speak the same way Franklin would. But that is just different pr skills.

  • $136305622

    Yeah, but hard to tell what is antichrist. If you really want to use your standard then most people I see are the anti-christ: they have money, they don’t give food/clothing/shelter to every homeless person they pass in the street, they eat a lot, they don’t speak disrespectfully to their parents like Jesus did, etc. You are right! It is not that confusing! Everyone is the anti-christ!

  • $136305622

    A few more good links to learn about what billy graham’s organization stands for and believes:
    http://billygraham.org/answer/are-homosexuals-born-that-way/
    http://billygraham.org/answer/does-the-bible-approve-of-some-homosexual-relationships/
    http://billygraham.org/answer/i-have-a-loved-one-who-is-gay-where-can-i-find-help/

    His name; his beliefs; his responsibility; his legacy.

  • $136305622

    It is funny – I attended several churches in my 20s and always assumed 40% of the men were gay – most effeminate, touchy feely people I have ever met. I was disappointed to find out if they were not gay or maybe they were deeply closeted. Promptly left when I realized they were just anti-gay queens!

  • $136305622

    But they shouldn’t want to be there in the first place (if they accept their sexuality). I was raised in the Roman Catholic Church and was involved in it until I was 22. I finally got my head on straight and realized I did not belong in the RCC! 21 years happy now :)

  • Burqas? You must go to one of those post-modern liberal churches who don’t take modesty seriously.

  • $136305622

    Exactly. People are blinded by the old Billy smile. His website is clear what they believe on this issue.

  • $136305622

    That is a question I have asked so many people for decades. I think it is emotional weakness and intellectual dishonesty. If one TRULY disagreed with the priest and denomination (denomination is the whole shebang!!!) on the issue, one could not stand to be in the church with the priest or associated with the denomination for one second – it should make one sick. LIke, I didn’t agree with the local country club near where I grew up because they discriminated against black people. So I refused to go there. And there were a LOT of functions there growing up – that I just refused to go there. If I went, I was a racist – implicitly. Unfortunately for these religious people who continue to go to a churhc that is against gay people, they are anti-gay themselves.

  • yes!

  • Don Zolman

    Billy is suffering from dementia or maybe alzheimers. He doesn’t even know what Franklin is saying.

  • Don Zolman

    Dennis you think all the members of your church are Christians? LOL

  • Jonathan

    Oh, right, I forgot. I mean, we all know that it’s really the lust-crazed gays who are undermining the church, but I forgot that when a straight man can’t control his lust, it’s obviously the woman’s fault because she didn’t cover up. How silly of me.

  • Jonathan

    I certainly don’t want to go to that kind of a church.

  • Jonathan

    In point of fact, Billy is not in good health, physically or mentally, and it’s very unlikely that he has any control over his website or his organization anymore. I’m certainly not suggesting he’s a saint, either, but I also don’t think it’s as simple as you’re suggesting.

  • $136305622

    In find people will make any excuse they can. The facts suggest he is certainly of the v same ideology as his son. He had 50 years of ministry to prove he was different and never did:(

  • joekenobe

    I sure do love grey areas and blurring of lines. Makes my life a whole lot easier!

  • Jordan Hurley

    And they would change their ways. I would hope.

  • Psalm023

    The four-walled churches are not the Church of Jesus Christ. The 4-walled churches might have some of those of Christ’s Church occupying the seats, but those who are really His, don’t have to prove membership to a worldly man like Franklin Graham.

    No man has to give account to Franklin Graham, but only to Jesus our Lord and Saviour. In fact, these past few decades there’s been a trend to talk about personal sin to strangers and wear one’s christianity on their sleeve; this started with christian TV. The voices we hear who wear their ‘I am a Christian’ medal, or hold their poster up for all to see, for political gain and greed are in danger of not being part of Christ’s true Church. Anyone part of the Body of Christ will never lift themselves up, lift up their campaign, ministry, name, family, heritage, flag, to gain notoriety for Christ. Only Jesus should be publically lifted up and worshipped.

    Any true Child of God should never prevent anyone from entering the Kingdom of Heaven; those like Graham stand at the door and think they are Heaven’s appointed bouncer. Sin? Do we check out every pew and seek each member’s sin card? There are many who appear righteous, but underneath are full of dead men’s bones.

    Revelation 22:17 says: “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” The Spirit’s words are who we should listen to, and NOT Franklin Graham.

    Things are coming to a head around the world, and if a child wants to sit at the feet of Jesus and learn, let him learn. It’s not up to us to play sin police. Our own responsibility is to train up our children in the word and our responsibility is to sow God’s good seed, not pluck it out of the garden before it’s fully grown.

  • Ghostdreams

    Dennis Wilson – YOU, sir, are a completely fool. Those of us who are open and honest wouldn’t bother with the heresy you teach. We know who and what you are. You are the draft dodger running for president pretending to support American values. You are the vile, evil, puke that sits in judgment as your own soul is eaten by an insidious hate that makes God, Himself, repulsed and disgusted with you. You don’t obey the bible unless it’s convenient to your hate agenda. I know you for what you are. We have heard you and your lying mouth as you pronounce, “gay is an abomination” but then break every dietary law ever given, shave your face, divorce and remarry, break the sabbath laws (most of which you don’t even know exist), etc. etc. You’re such a joke. I’d be embarrassed to show my face in public if I were you. At least Orthodox Jews PRACTICE all the 613 laws that Moses gave. You couldn’t keep a kosher kitchen on a dare. If anyone is a stain on humanity it’s you and your kindred.

  • Jonathan

    This is where the danger lies in generalizing people based on their ideology. No, I don’t agree with a lot of Billy Graham’s ideology. Some of it is very distasteful. But where he differed from his son was that he was usually more concerned about caring for people than about being right. And I am not going to sink to the fundamental extremist level of thinking someone has to believe everything exactly as I do before they “measure up”.

  • $136305622

    That is true, people do not have to believe everything I do for them to “measure up”. But I will never idolize or even speak favorably of someone thinks my mere existence is abhorrent, because I am gay.

  • Joseph Allen

    Instead of criticizing the man for his opinion on this matter, why not engage the issue. Should I, as a parent, encourage my teenage children to actively seek out close relationships with their classmates who have declared themselves to be homosexual? Should I encourage them to bring them into close relationships with the members of the youth group? Is there any merit to these concerns? Paul has some opinions on being unequally yoked. Do those apply? Paul criticized the church in Corinth for tolerating the man who “had” his father’s wife. Are we in danger of being tolerant to a fault? Paul warned the Galatians to be careful in trying to “restore” a brother. Are his warnings valid? Paul told the Ephesian elders to “shepherd the flock” against those who would lure others away from sound doctrine. Is that a legitimate concern in this case? Could these passages be on Mr. Graham’s mind? These are issues we need to discuss. Why not debate the question instead of demeaning the man?

  • Herm

    When did your church give up on the “good news” part of the original Gospel?

    And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

    Matthew 28:18-20 (NASB)

    What all did this Jesus command? You don’t know what it is for Jesus to be with you. You don’t know Jesus, this Jesus;

    “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.
    “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; that is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not see Him or know Him, but you know Him because He abides with you and will be in you.
    “I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you.
    “After a little while the world will no longer see Me, but you will see Me; because I live, you will live also.
    “In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.
    “He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.”

    John 14:15-21 (NASB)

    Dennis Wilson, you are of the world and cannot receive the Spirit of truth. You do not see Jesus but many of us do and we are His disciples, His students, from all nations. You will not live because you see Jesus because you don’t. You do not love Jesus because you do not keep His commands.

    He *said to them, “But who do you say that I am?”
    Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
    And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.
    “I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
    “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”

    Matthew 16:15-19 (NASB)

    You are not of Jesus’ church for the rock He builds it upon is the Hole Spirit sent by the Father. The church you falsely claim as the “true followers of Christ” builds theirs upon scripture which was not written nor compiled when Jesus’ temple was built in three days after the veil before the Holy of Holies was torn:

    And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;

    Matthew 27:50-52 (NASB)

    As has been said before to you, we know you and we know you do not know Jesus as your Lord, as your only benevolent Master! You are invited but have not been chosen because you do not meet the prerequisite of following Jesus’ commands, not the least of which are here:

    “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple. “Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.

    Luke 14:26-27 (NASB)

    Sin against God is not following the will of the Father. All of Jesus’ commands are the will of the Father.

  • B real

    I don’t allow my child to be by themselves with homophobic, bigoted, racist, judgmental people…see how that goes? Point one finger at someone, three will point back at YOU.

  • Chuck Bryant

    Religion is a choice. You are free to choose a different church.

  • Chuck Bryant

    Billy is not in good spiritual health either. And never was.

  • You are a terrible parent and a pretty rotten human being.

  • Herm

    How many good and holy men of the church calling itself Christian of nearly every denomination have now been found to have led young boys into sodomy and young girls into sexual relations? Associating with another who is openly gay is not a threat to your teenage children. Such happens everyday throughout this nation of perfectly healthy non sexual relationships between gays and straights. It may be a threat to you if your teenage child is gay already and you are embarrassed. The person hidden behind the pulpit, by the numbers, is far more of a potential threat to your pre-adolescent child than any others who are openly LGBTQ.

  • Chuck Bryant

    Everything in my garage is a car. Even the shovel and the box of Christmas decorations – all cars.

  • “to have led young boys into sodomy and young girls into sexual relations?”

    Herm, the word you’re looking for is rape. Just a heads up. You can’t ‘lead’ an underage girl ‘into sexual relations.’ That’s rape.

  • Lana

    sounds like the fundamentalist lines I heard out of the homeschool groups as a kid.

  • Herm

    … both will do regarding a child because very often, when such destruction happens, the position of authority is used to seduce the child over a period of time rather than forced instant gratification for the perpetrator against the will of the victim. “Subjugation” of another for any self indulgent reason is the word, or phrase, that I am thinking of but no one seems to get that that was the sin for all those New Testament verses Franklin Graham and James Dobson misinterpret as the sin of homosexuality.

  • I could come here and write a comment expressing my anger, my disdain, and my contempt not just for Graham, not just for the commenters here who are bleating about ‘discussing’ the intrinsic worth of LGBT children, but for the very system of Christendom that considers our lives worthy of debate and contempt and dissection. I’d like to, but I’ve said it so many times now, and for what? The only result is my complete and utter exhaustion with this.

    Christians, your theology is killing us and all we get are crocodile tears in return.

    40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ primarily because they’ve been kicked out religious homes, and those homes are primarily Christian. Go out and do something about it. Contact your nearest LGBTQ homeless shelter. Oppose legislation that disproportionally targets LGBTQ sex workers who have no other way to provide for themselves. Support the Trevor Project. If you don’t know how to support, do a bit of internet research and contact a group that might have some solid ideas.

    We are dying. We are killing ourselves in despair because we cannot survive your rejection. We can’t survive a life wracked with PTSD and depression from your attempts to cure us. We can’t survive life on the streets, or in your homes, or in your churches. In the case of many of us, and disproportionally trans people of colour, we cannot survive walking around the planet without being murder targets.
    Christianity has collaborated in killing us for decades and you think that the most grievous issue is the proper hermeneutics of passages in Romans.

    I am tired. I am tired because being a survivor of Christianity means I am breathing where others are not and Franklin Graham is part of the reason why.

    I’m tired of the necessity of blog posts like this one and I’m tired of hundreds of comments debating it like my life and relationships and family are a controversial vulgarity.

    I honestly don’t know what else to say except that I am tired, and I’m not even thirty. Christendom has had 2,000 years to get the concept of basic human decency towards people not quite like you, and I want to know how much longer we are expected to wait.

  • To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other people—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

    “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’

    “I tell you that this man, rather than the other, went home justified before God. For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

  • Translation: They won’t let filthy sodomites participate but they’ll take our filthy sodomite money.

  • Thank you Jordan Hurley, I’m sure none of us queers have heard your brilliant interpretation of Scripture before.

  • “PC Culture” is the term used when someone refuses to show basic human decency to others but doesn’t want to face the consequences.

  • I get it and I’m with you…but please….

    The theology some (many but not most) American Christians choose is not the theology of all of Christiandom. I personally believe in the teachings of Christ. I am a Christian. I am not anti-gay. I am a man married to a man. Your indictment of all Christians is understandable but unfortunate and inaccurate.

    Your beef is with those who teach contempt for gay people. Mine too. That’s not an exclusively Christian thing.

    I, too, hate that my humanity has been put up for public examination. That’s not my choice. I’m exhausted too. But I’m extrodinarily grateful for those who have refused the traditionalist’s idea that I am something less than human. I hope you can share that gratitude.

  • Yes, you should encourage your child to know and be known by other human beings – image bearers if God – including people who are gay. To do otherwise is contrary to the faith you claim.

  • My comment doesn’t convict all Christians, Ford. I’m not convicting you, I’m not convicting Ben. I’m convicting Christendom. Yes, all of it, because even affirming congregations and denominations usually have an anti-LGBTQ past. They helped build this system too, regardless of whether they’re trying now to tear it down. I don’t have the energy to tack a #NotAllChristians hashtag to everything I say. This isn’t an indictment of everyone who’s ever picked up a prayer book, but it is a full indictment of a fully rotten system and I’m not going to back away from that.

  • Your choice. I wish you peace and blessings.
    -David.

  • Jeff Preuss

    That’s a big garage.

  • I stayed with the PC(USA) while they put my humanity up for public examination. Ultimately, the denomination found me fully human (Robert Gagnon’s elder position notwithstanding). I know many gay Methodists and allies who are fighting for their denomination to affirm the full humanity of gay people – some of whom are risking their livelihood. This is the process of revelation.

    I’d encourage people with your perspectives to have patience with those of us who believe our best lived faith is to remain in communion with the community in which we were raised.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Oh, he even personally reached out to me on Facebook to hurl condemnation my way months ago. So, I’ve heard just such BS from him.

    He offers nothing new.

  • The time and effort Christians put into their harassment of LGBTQ people is quite astonishing.

  • Mr. Corey’s blog has been a long exercise in Ben eventually coming to agree with the Irish Atheist.

    *smirks* *pops open another bottle of beer*

  • $136305622

    Most affirming congregations actually have a strain of anti-gay sentiment still remaining. They mostly still abhor gay sex outside of committed monogamous relationships. Still very much a bible based sexual morality perspective.

  • Brandon Roberts

    um………..so because of an old book innocent kids who are victimized for no reason are the enemy? what a prick

  • Bones

    I find it interesting when atheists have a better understanding of the Bible than some Christians do.

  • Siding WithConservatives

    Thanks Benjamin for confirming your allegiance to the world, not God’s word. It should be obvious to all who have read this article that you have mis-represented Franklin Graham in this article by suggesting Graham is calling kids who call themselves ‘gay’ the enemy. He never said that. Does integrity mean anything to you self proclaimed ‘renaissance’ men?

    You are on the same path as Rob Bell. When you meet Jesus, you won’t be able to hide behind your degrees, affiliations and published books. That you would attack a public figure like Franklin Graham, a man who has stood firmly for Jesus Christ and His word over many years, is all too revealing regarding where you sit. Again, can’t hide behind your degrees and affiliations when you meet Jesus. When it is obvious someone who puts himself out there as a Christian would fit nicely within Hillary Clinton’s campaign team, that person needs a radical pause to look in the mirror and ask, how did I get here? Have you become the very wolf in sheep’s clothing that you were taught to avoid as a child. I would never allow someone like you to take care of my children and set them back from all the teaching my wife have invested in them regarding godliness and holiness.

    As one who is currently enrolled in seminary, I have seen enough to know there are lots of PhD’s and academic types who have begun to put more faith in their collegium than God’s word,,,,are on the path to effectively losing their way. Time to get back to basics. It is no wonder our society is in such a mess when we have people like you, not standing behind leaders like Graham,, but attacking them.

  • Dennis Wilson

    You and Irish Atheist both deny that Jesus is God. Does that trouble you?

  • Dennis Wilson

    My, you are judgmental. You do profess to be a Christian?

  • Dennis Wilson

    Thank you.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Herm, you deny that Jesus is God. So do atheists, Mormons, Jehovah Witness, and a host of cults. Which one are you in?

  • Dennis Wilson

    Can you make your comments a little longer?
    Which cult do you identify with?

  • This isn’t a question to be debated. It’s not an “issue”. What he’s advocating is literally costing lives– people are dying.

  • Ron McPherson

    Ironic isn’t it

  • I wish you freedom from your fear. God is still God.

  • Ron McPherson

    Nailed it. You beat me to the punch.

  • Bones

    Irish Atheist probably understands more about Jesus than you do.

    Your inane interrogations about Jesus being God are frankly childish and an attempt to change the subject and somehow discredit other commentators.

  • Bones

    Pot. Kettle. Black.

    You better ask Wil if Jesus is God because that will prove something or rather.

  • Brian Kellogg

    Lets not forget about stoning your wife if she isn’t a virgin.

    Love the apologetic nonsense found here trying to rationalize this: https://carm.org/bible-difficulties/genesis-deuteronomy/stone-woman-not-being-virgin.

    Funny the writer forgot that: God is love, God never changes, Love can do no harm; yet the writer of this forgets the implications of those things found elsewhere in the Bible and can only say this: “Finally, she was not stoned for not being a virgin but for carrying out a deception in trying to appear as one.”

    This is what happens when you follow a book non-critically.

  • Bones

    You are aware that many early Christians had no concept of Jesus being divine.

    The Shepherd of Hermas was a very popular second century document which some Church Fathers had in their primitive canons eg the Sinaitic Codex.

    In it, Jesus becomes divine through the power of God, after consultation with the Son of God, who elsewhere in The Shepherd is identified with the Holy Spirit. Jesus i also referred to as “The most venerable angel,” “the glorious angel,” “the holy angel”.

  • Bones

    Dennis, do you think the thief on the Cross thought Jesus was divine?

    Or the woman at the well in John 4:4 who merely proclaims Jesus as the Messiah, not God?

    Frankly believing Jesus is God ain’t gonna save a lot of Christians from judgement given the horrors they’ve committed.

  • Bones

    Well that’s CARM for you.

    They only really exist for the like minded.

    Any decent scholar sees right through them.

    Why is it such a big deal that God doesn’t change because clearly he does or the Old Testament is bogus which is probably more accurate.

  • Bones

    Wonder if they do a virginity test?

  • JD

    So you just post a bunch of generic inflammatory comments in rebuttal, but give no specific rebuttals of anything Corey actually said?

    If you think our society is a mess because we don’t fall lock-step in behind politicized Christians like Fallwell and Graham, then there’s really not much that we are going to be able to discuss. it’s such a simplistic mindset.

    BTW, it looks pretty clear why you are so upset. From your username, to your reference to Hillary Clinton, it is clear that you support this heavily politicized Christianity that the Graham’s of the world peddle.

  • Jonathan

    Well, since you’re clearly so much more spiritually enlightened than the rest of us, surely long comments aren’t a problem for you. At the very least I’d think you could write a proper response rather than petty insults. I mean, you being the only True Christian™ among this worldly rabble and all.

  • Al Cruise

    Right wing conservative Christianity does not represent Jesus or the Kingdom of God. It is to the Spiritual health of people, the same as the water from the Flint River is to the physical health of people. The sad truth is, the poor and the marginalized suffer the brunt of both poisons. Those who dispense the poisons almost always come from the same level of privilege.

  • JD

    I’ve noticed a trend. Why is it that the people who get most angry and bitter over these subjects, without fail, always make it clear they are viewing it through political lenses? It doesn’t matter what side they are coming from. It just highlights why I despise politics so much. It’s inherently divisive and skews how one sees the world and shifts people away from loving responses.

  • Jonathan

    You and Irish Atheist both deny that Jesus is God.

    Which is completely off topic. We’re talking about gay children allegedly being a threat to the church, not the merits or faults of gnosticism. How about actually addressing Herm’s point now?

  • JD

    Seriously. Does he do this “Is Jesus God?” bit on every article? Next he’ll be demanding people cut/paste a personal pledge stating we actually believe what we have already explicitly stated that we believe.

  • JD

    Irony.

  • Sue Bonner

    Once again, there seems to be the assumption that LGBT people are the evil outsiders coming into the church to corrupt our innocent, closed Christian society. This is so much bunk. LGBT people do come from the inside. We were baptized and raised in church, we went to Sunday School and youth group, we sang in the choir and went on mission trips. We’re a part of you. And often when we realized we were gay we didn’t know where to turn. Please remember we’re part of you, and when you reject and abandon us, you’re rejecting a part of the body of Christ. In 1 Cornithians the apostle Paul talks about the parts of the body needing each other. He says that the head can’t say to the foot “I don’t need you.” If the church rejects LGBT people, it rejects a needed part of the body. And everyone suffers.

  • Ron McPherson

    It’s a result of conversations (if you can call it that) from postings from another topic on Ben’s blog. He interrogates people and gives litmus tests to determine the validity of their comments. I DO believe Jesus is the Son of God but still couldn’t escape his interrogatories. Others have affirmed their views as well but if they don’t parrot their views back in a manner that fits perfectly within his construct, then they fail his tests.

  • JD

    Yes, very true. It’s tiresome and immature. I had assumed it was just how he happened to be on that one blog re: Exodus and violence, but it looks like it’s his shtick everywhere. Reasonable, rational conversation is impossible with Dennis.

  • Fulgentian

    “Right wing conservative Christianity does not represent Jesus or the Kingdom of God.”
    Why not?

  • Herm

    The cult with the fewest in. I belong to the little band of students directly mentored by the Rabbi Jesus Christ.

    I honestly can’t believe you have any children, at your age.

  • Fulgentian

    “the concept of basic human decency”
    How on earth would you argue, given atheism, that there even is such a thing as this concept?

  • tyler

    #NotAllChristians
    #NotAllMen
    #AllLivesMatter

    i don’t know about irish atheist but i’m certainly tired of christians falling over themselves to declare how great they and their congregations are to lgbtqia people and we’re not like that literally every time anyone fails to include at least five thousand lines of qualifiers and clarifications

    i can certainly understand the distress one can feel when something they identify with is criticized but if your first reaction on hearing someone complaining about the very real issues that are ubiquitous in christianity and the church is to declare you’re #NotAllLikeThat, maybe you should think about just why you’re so very concerned if you’re really not like that

  • Humanism. Google it sometime. Next question.

  • Jeff Preuss

    It’s a common tactic that I’ve encountered. If I don’t pass whatever test someone has, then I’m not truly a Christian, and therefore ineligible to participate in theological discussion. Usually that test is failed simply because I’m gay, but the ones who provide these tests don’t all agree with each other, so I’m waved off as irrelevant by a wide range of members of the church of one.

  • The fact that today, the 27th of January, is International Holocaust Remembrance Day does very much speak to an important point. Demonization of ordinary human beings for nothing more than existing in systematic fashion, regarding them as “inferiors”, “the enemy”, “parasites”, “subhumans”, etc, leads down a horrifically ugly path that doesn’t just hurt the victims but also corrupts the perpetrators as well. That the language between modern day right-wing authoritarians such as Graham and past right-wing authoritarians is so highly similar really is disturbing. Thank goodness that they’ve has been losing badly in many different areas.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “It should be obvious to all who have read this article that you have
    mis-represented Franklin Graham in this article by suggesting Graham is
    calling kids who call themselves ‘gay’ the enemy.”
    Yet those whom I’ve shown Graham’s words – Christian and non-Christian alike – saw them as just the very heartless and exclusionary “us v. them” bits they are. Graham has long been making a practice of declaring an “other” – an opponent to combat, whether it be Muslims, refugees, or LGBT.

    “Franklin Graham, a man who has stood firmly for Jesus Christ” That is not the perception that many have, including a number of Christians. But, go ahead, chalk that up to us having “allegiance to the world” instead of what it really is – dismay at such a public abandonment by Graham of Jesus’ teachings.

  • It’s a long, sad history that I hope is coming to an end at least in the U.S., particularly with the moves toward liberty and freedom away from big government authoritarianism when it comes to LGBT rights in the past ten years.

  • Christendom, beyond just Christians as regular people, but the power structures… great point. After all, the Gospels are rather clear about putting Mammon above the real needs in real people’s lives, but that hasn’t stopped a lot of Christians from getting involved in materialistic greed, as against the actual spirit of the Gospels as it is.

  • Herm

    Mr. Menace, you wouldn’t know my cult (defined as: a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister in the dictionary) for we are without a church building unless you could understand our High Priest’s temple in our heart and minds. We aren’t as popular nor as blind as your Club of Insolence modeled after those administered by Jim Jones, David Koresh, James Dobson and Franklin Graham.

    I deny that the God I see and know personally is any less than our Father in heaven and His only begotten Son Jesus Christ. Because I’m sitting at my Father’s table this moment I will tell you there are sitting with me a slew of carnal gay children first born of Man who are now my, and Jesus’, brothers and sisters born of God by our Father through the eternal “indwelling” of the Holy Spirit.

    Did you ever read where my Brother and Teacher explained that there is no marriage in the Spirit and God is only spirit? Can you begin to understand that children of God, male and female equal helpers of one another, have no need to propagate to maintain their numbers as those of carbon based mankind does to propagate their species for all carnal will otherwise go back to no more than dust? That is why all the commands of Jesus are relative to spirit and work constructively in the carnal.

    You have no excuse if you will not listen to the word of God spoken boldly that you may learn. It is not too late to come out of your carnal beast!

  • Moral codes, beliefs in fairness, senses of decency, and the like precede both Christianity and Judaism. You can look it up yourself in terms of the history of religious thought, with the ancient Mesopotamians discussing matters of morality back while organized writing as a very concept was still coming into being. And that’s not even mentioning how much morality was wrestled with in non-Judaeo-Christian China, India, Europe, and elsewhere. Don’t be so myopic.

  • Indeed.

  • Herm

    Your ignorance apparently is blind bliss. Irish Atheist is so much closer to the reality of God than you.

  • It happens so often that it’s actually been studied, and it looks like, academically, there’s a clear negative correlation between religiosity (in the fundamentalist / evangelical / traditionalist sense) compared to understanding about religious viewpoints as ideas. I’m no atheist, but I find it rather fascinating that this fact doesn’t bother more people that are devout.

  • +1

  • Ruthitchka

    Yup. I chose not to let my jerky priest ruin my otherwise great love for Eastern Orthodoxy, though. (My priest is a bit of a nutter about all types of “bad” sex.) Our Metropolitan is a very loving man towards the gay community, even though I think he believes in the celibacy-for-gays thing. I should’ve clarified that my denomination is not as harsh as Graham and Dobson, though. The denomination doesn’t believe that gay children are out to harm and indoctrinate others. My priest, however, does believe that “the gays” have an “agenda” to pretty much take over the world, ruin religious freedom, etc. I can always go to a different Orthodox Church in the area if my priest gets worse. ( o :

  • Jeanne Fox

    Someone once said that when Christianity began in the Middle East, it was a religion. When it came to Europe, Christianity became a culture. When Christianity came to the United States, it became an enterprise.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Herm, you wrote – Irish Atheist is so much closer to the reality of God than you.

    Thanks for the quote.

  • JD

    Let me guess. You are going to distort and misrepresent the quote without any regard for what he’s actually saying.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Herm, if you want me to respond to your comments in detail, you are just going to have to make them longer.

    You deny that Jesus is God and you have said that you are not a Mormon. Jehovah Witness also deny that Jesus is God. Is that your cult?

  • Jeanne Fox

    John Piper sounds like those clerics in Saudi Arabia.

  • Herm

    You’re being generous using the word “some“. I would venture to say that to choose atheism over Christianity, Islam and Judaism requires that you refuse to be intimidated by what you do not know but apparently this or that influential group demanding allegiance to god does. Those who dare to despise the intimidating fruit from an unknown god of their fathers and mothers and wives and children and brothers and sisters and their local gang, yes, and even their own lives, are motivated to test other fruits until they find the one most nutritious and satisfying, then possibly arriving at the peace and joy they seek.

    As a career troubleshooter I can say that if all possible solutions have not fixed the problem then the solution that will fix the problem appears impossible. To find the only solution that I am obviously blind to I had to clear my head and senses and start at the beginning eliminating the already tried but once thought possible solutions. In the realm of the spirit an atheist who clears her/his heart and mind of all already tried but failed solutions has a better chance of success than those holding on to what clearly is not working.

    I boldly, insanely to most, testify that the spiritual solution exists and an atheist has a better chance of finding the true working solution than “many/most who cling, as if their life depended on it, to the blind trust that their fervent group (of any religious or family order) must know better than they.

    I trust more the chances of finding truth for any atheist who risks to read the Bible, and any book of spirituality, for in their daring, counter to their labeled belief, they will find what those satisfied with their ignorant spiritual bliss will not.

  • Hilary

    Thanks

  • Hilary

    It’s still rape

  • Herm

    You can use that quote if you wish but only in context. It is true and you are welcome!

  • Jeanne Fox

    C’mon. I thought everybody knew that the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod is the true expression of Christianity. ;)

  • Herm

    … and my point is that openly LGBTQ people, child and adult, are less likely to rape Joseph’s child than the holy man behind the pulpit. The irretrievable physical, mental and spiritual destruction to each and every victim is not nearly conveyed in the legal word rape. I hear that destruction in your voice and I am deeply sorry.

  • Hilary

    In a way I agree with Graham. In the sense that knowing gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and all other types of non heteronormative people is the enemy of stereotypes and fear. Not always, but often just knowing a person as a real human being can be the first crack in questioning all the lies and fear. And without lies and fear, what else does Graham and his ilk have to say about us?

    When people can question why what they’ve been taught about us doesn’t match up with our reality, that’s the beginning of the end for Graham and co. So yes, we are his enemy.

    I hope you don’t mind that I’m following you on Disqus, I just like what you have to say and don’t want to miss it.

  • Herm

    Catch 22

  • Jeanne Fox

    Steven Anderson said in one of his sermons that the gays should be killed.

  • Jonathan

    Seriously, it’s juvenile questions like this that make me ashamed of fellow Christians. Humanity is what separates us from the other animals. It doesn’t take belief in God to know that you shouldn’t harm other people. In point of fact, if we’re to take the Bible literally, God tried to keep knowledge of good and evil out of people’s hands, so trying to claim that atheism offers no concept of morality is patently ridiculous.

  • Joseph Allen

    Have we met? Or are you just going to assume to know me? I hate that we did not have the opportunity to trade ideas and make each other more understanding.

  • I expect nothing less from Franklin Graham. Most dinosaurs don’t change their spots. What truly saddens me is the fact that he has millions of followers, who fall in line behind him, echoing his hateful words instead of thinking with their own heart. These are the people who turn away their own children … because someone like Franklin Graham tells them they should.

    Thank you for a wonderful read.

  • Joseph Allen

    I do not find people engaged in an unrepentant lifestyle to be a physical threat, but I would be a fool to disregard the threat they may pose to my children’s faith. I was a college pastor for many years, and I saw one teenager after another turn away from the church when they started dating someone who did not share their faith. The legacy of King Solomon is a legacy of a man who was turned from God by his many wives. This is why I am asking the question . . . seeking a good discussion. Do I encourage my children to seek out close relationships that MAY cause them to question their faith, to doubt the Scriptures, and to turn to their friends’ standard of morality? Again, the question is do I encourage it?

  • Al Cruise

    It is based on inerrancy and literal interpretation which both science and history have debunked years ago. Those of us who work with the oppressed and marginalized have found that many of them are there because of right wing conservative Christian beliefs that have been taught to families and systemically passed on. Keep in mind the right wing conservative Christian belief that this blog is addressing has it’s origins in Bible justified slave ownership in the south. It has still not come to terms with losing that right.

  • Joseph Allen

    Should I place ANY restrictions on that encouragement? Are you saying I should disregard all the warnings found in the Scriptures I quoted?

  • VisionaryJax

    Sorry, just got back to this. You did say in your previous that homosexuals were welcome at your church but could NEVER be members.

    Then in your next post outside of this chain, you allowed that there may very well be people who sin up a storm who are members of your church, but that they cannot be members if they do their sin openly … but at the same time you deny that you are advocating for hiding sinful behaviors.

    If the only way a sinner can join your church is for her to be secretly sinning, then your church asks people to hide their sinful behavior.

    If the only way anyone can join your church is to be a non-sinner, then no one can join your church.

    But this is way off topic as homosexuality isn’t a sin, and even if it were, all our sins were nailed to the cross so we don’t have to worry about them anymore! Jesus paid it all. Blessed be the merciful and compassionate One.

  • JD

    “Instead of criticizing the man for his opinion on this matter, why not
    engage the issue.”

    Because his “opinion” is antithetical to Christian teaching, and given that he’s a very prominent Christian leader, he should be called to task.

    “Should I, as a parent, encourage my teenage children to actively seek out close relationships with their classmates who have declared themselves to be homosexual?”

    Actively seek out? Probably not the best phrasing. You should encourage your teenage children to love others, regardless of their sexual attraction. If they are “out”, then I do believe we, as Christians, should intentionally seek to show them love.

    “Should I encourage them to bring them into close relationships with the members of the youth group? Is there any merit to these concerns?”

    Absolutely you should invite them to youth group. The relationships they build are up to them and the other children. But how are we going to show them God’s love if we don’t engage with them. Are there merits to the concerns? I don’t believe so. Being gay is not contagious.

    “Paul has some opinions on being unequally yoked. Do those apply? Paul criticized the church in Corinth for tolerating the man who “had” his father’s wife. Are we in danger of being tolerant to a fault? Paul warned the Galatians to be careful in trying to “restore” a brother. Are his warnings valid? Paul told the Ephesian elders to “shepherd the flock” against those who would lure others away from sound doctrine. Is that a legitimate concern in this case? Could these passages be on Mr. Graham’s mind? These are issues we need to discuss. Why not debate the question instead of demeaning the man?”

    If you remove remove context, especially cultural context, then I could see how those are concerns. But even so, those were talking about members of those specific churches. What Graham is saying is to not even reach out to LGBT children at all. All we have to do is look to Jesus to see how we should handle situations like this. He was accused of being a drunk and sinner because of the types He associated with. You may need to be on guard against your own flesh weaknesses, but we absolutely shouldn’t shun this segment of society.

  • JD

    Did Jesus refuse to associate with tax collectors, adulterers and terrorists?

  • Joseph Allen

    The degree to which we encourage our teenage children to be “unequally yoked” is not a question we should even consider? We should disregard Paul’s warning to the Galatians? I would agree with your thesis to engage those in the homosexual community IF I felt we in the church could do so from a secure position. We should be the first to love, to care, and to minister to them, but we must be wise. The lesson of King Solomon should at least give us pause . . . his wives “turned his heart away from the LORD.” This is what I think is worthy of a good conversation among disciples of Christ.

  • JD

    “Do I encourage my children to seek out close relationships that MAY cause them to question their faith, to doubt the Scriptures, and to turn to their friends’ standard of morality? Again, the question is do I encourage it?”

    Yes. How do you expect your children to have a positive influence on those people and their “standard of morality” if they refuse to associate with them?

  • Dan Tucker

    How about the foot-washing Baptists?

  • Jeff Preuss

    I’m also seeing a whole lot of “Paul said…”

  • JD

    The lesson of Jesus, the One we are called to imitate, is one of intentionally seeking out and building relationships with sinners. Let’s follow His example.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “Do I encourage my children to seek out close relationships that MAY
    cause them to question their faith, to doubt the Scriptures, and to turn
    to their friends’ standard of morality? Again, the question is do I
    encourage it?”

    To me, it seems the only other option is to encourage blind faith and obedience in your children, and that seems to nullify any sincerity to said faith. If your (or your childrens’) faith is unable to withstand any questions, challenges, or doubts, what is it worth?

    Personally, my faith was strengthened upon a critical examination of Scriptures. Asking myself WHY I believe is critical to the existence of my faith at all.

    EDIT: (Of course, as one who may fall under your description of an “unrepentant lifestyle,” my point of view may not even be one you would consider valid.)

  • $136305622

    If one believes that homosexuality is a sin, then you are probably correct that such a conversation needs to be had. It is sad to me that people believe there is something sinful about homosexuality – it defies reason – but you are correct that those who do believe that probably should try their best to teach their children to avoid such people.

  • Herm

    Joseph, if your teaching relied on you being the ultimate teacher then your ministry was not in relationship with the Teacher. You were teaching your faith and not a relationship in and with Him. A church turned away from is not backsliding but is a seeking of the truth that that church did not have to offer.

    I, too, have ministered and administrated in and for churches convinced they were following Christ but in the end they never shared these verses with their children for fear they would leave their traditions of faith.

    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 (NIV2011)

    Today, I can honestly and with full conviction share that Jesus is a relationship that all of mankind can know personally. My faith is not that He is, for that I know, but that He does provide all the services a good Lord will by providing, protecting, and teaching all I might need today and to the end of eternity

    All my children are adults with children of their own. I feel so fortunate that I could share Luke 14:26-27 in faith that they would make their own decisions and the Messiah would be there for them when they chose to come to Him as little children clean in their hearts and minds of my traditions. I am truly blessed for every one of my three children in everything do to all others as they would have all others do to them. What more could I ask from my seed to continue when all I did, and could do, was trust my Brother and Father to look after them where I could not?

    The answer is yes for if they truly are seeking the truth they must face reality just as it is, as they are ready, and not be consigned to some sterile bubble to remain only under our pitifully inadequate supervision compared to our creator God’s ability to love each and every child of Theirs.

    Excellent question, thank you!

  • Ruthitchka

    That’s good advice, Teresa. Actually, though, both my sons are adults and live on their own in the next county. The gay son is “agnostic leaning towards atheism”, and the straight one is “agnostic”, they say. The only time the boys came to my I am a recent convert…if things get too bad, I may revert to the Episcopal Church of my childhood (affirming) with all the same sacraments and a beautiful liturgy. (I like the liturgy.)

    I am a recent convert, and only found out how nutty my priest was on this one subject AFTER my Chrismation. Believe me, I struggled last summer after the Homily of Horror he preached about the Supreme Court decision on gay marriage. The homily was almost entirely political, with all the stereotypes you could think of.

    After the Homily of Horror, I left my home parish for about six weeks and went to other Orthodox Churches where they stuck with RELIGION rather than politics. I’m not saying I’ll never leave this parish, because one never knows!

  • Who are you supposing that Jesus wouldn’t come into relationship with?

  • Ruthitchka

    It’s complicated, I suppose. I agree with them on most everything else, BUT, I am “never saying never”. On the other hand, I have never been a member of a church where I agreed with them absolutely 100% since I became an adult. I could change my mind though, depending on what happens in the future.

    I don’t debate, but I do very openly support gay marriage, LGBTQ rights, and my wonderful son.

  • This gay Christian refuses to cede to the narrative preached by the conservative church and parroted by Mr Atheist. If you would like to, that’s your business. But your lecture is unwelcome.

  • Why do you begin from the assumption that a child or adult who is LGBT is actually an atheist apologist seeking to unravel your kids’s faith? That’s a rather absurd (and untrue) premise. Being gay doesn’t automatically = massive huge fan of Richard Dawkins. It’s not as if they’re going to convince your kids to erase Chris Tomlin from their iPods and replace him with some intro to atheism audio book.

    Now, what I’m about to tell you might come as a huge shock, but I’ll let you in on a little secret some of us know about:

    Some gay people are Christians who love Jesus. And some Christians who love Jesus happen to be gay.

  • Dennis Wilson

    I will give you an idea that you should like. Start your own religion made of those who will not inherit the Kingdom of God as stated in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.

    Now, if you add to that those who deny that Jesus is God, like yourself, then you should have scores of people to preach your false doctrines to.

  • Jonathan

    Exactly. I’m gay, Richard Dawkins gets on my nerves just as much as Franklin Graham. They both like to rant fundamentalism.

  • Because it is not based on self-sacrificing love. It is based in a fear of hell.

  • Yes, conservative Christians and Muslims have many views in common!
    Consider these similarities (excluding the Trinity, of course):

    #1 Both Muslims and most conservative Christians are theological determinists.

    #2 Both Muslims and most conservative Christians (at least historically) think Christians should impose Christian views via the government on others.

    #3 Both Muslims and most conservative Christians consider women to be under a man’s authority because that was God’s plan.

    #4 Both Muslims and most conservative Christians think that doctrinal purity is most important. Think of how similar in many ways that the Sunni-Shia conflict of the last 1,300 years is similar to the savage conflicts of Roman Catholics versus Reformed in the French religious wars, the 30 Years War, etc.

    #5 Both Muslims and most conservative Christians think that God’s will is done through war.

    #6 Both Muslims and most conservative Christians think that God’s primary essence is self-focus, not love for all humans.

    #7 Both Muslims and most conservative Christians think that God orders human government to commit capital punishment.

    #8 Both Muslims and most conservative Christians think that scripture from God is inerrant.

    #9 Both Muslims and most conservative Christians emphasize that the non-elect go to Hell, eternal punishment.

    Etc.

  • $136305622

    You are right – left wing progressive Christianity says the right wing is wrong and the right wing conservative Christianity says the left wing is wrong. The truth is in the middle – they are both probably wrong and misguided. Looking at the Graham statement, if one takes off the blinders of Christianity, one realizes the statement is irrational, inhuman, unethical, and destructive. It is wrong. Don’t need a religion to tell you that and you probably get to the right conclusion a heck of a lot more quickly without the religious debate getting in the way.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Hey, we might have some common ground here. You seem to actually believe that Homosexuality is sin unlike many who frequent here.

  • “Gay” isn’t a communicable disease. Of course your kids can be friends with gay kids.

  • Herm

    When you petition our creator God, Father and Son, and the answer in your heart and mind is to remain with your church then you should stay. Such relationships can be reciprocally good for all sides. We need to present what our Lord offers to all nations as good news. Your church, more than most, is a nation in and of itself. For you to openly support what your heart and mind knows as truth before a hostile nation is commendable and I thank you!

    Note that the apostle Paul never seceded from his Roman citizenship, just his Pharisaical authority. He worked from within a hostile system and not from without.

    Love you respectfully and dearly!!!

  • Jonathan

    “The degree to which we encourage our teenage children to be “unequally yoked” is not a question we should even consider?”

    This is the same argument that Christians used to justify racism and anti-miscegenation laws back in the 1950s and 1960s. It’s no more applicable now than it was then.

    “I would agree with your thesis to engage those in the homosexual community IF I felt we in the church could do so from a secure position.”

    What exactly is it about gay people that is so threatening to you that you don’t feel “secure”? The biggest threat gay Christians pose is that we don’t fit into the nice, neat little box conservative authorities have tried to portray as the core of Christendom. Yes, if you realize you’re mistaken about us, you might find yourself forced to re-evaluate other aspects of your religion, but that shouldn’t be a source of fear if your faith is well-founded.

  • $136305622

    To be fair, Christianity as a whole is based on fear of hell/fear of judgement.

  • Jonathan

    No. It’s not. I’m a Christian, and I’m not afraid of hell because I don’t believe in it.

  • $136305622

    Okay….well that just reveals a misunderstanding of Christianity/Jesus/the Bible and ignorance of Christian history. But I do understand how one can just call oneself whatever they want and that becomes the definition. Even if it differs from the reality of the concept.

  • Brian Kellogg

    There is a lot of irony to be found in this respect.

  • Herm

    Are you a “Right wing conservative Christian“?

  • Jonathan

    No, it reveals that some Christians recognize that we haven’t always gotten it right. You have no more right to evaluate whether I’m a True Christian™ than fundamentalists do.

  • How much more secure can you be? Paul said that he was persuaded that nothing, neither life nor death, angels or demons, and basically all things…NOTHING could separate him from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus. What are you afraid of? LOVE. That’s our Lord’s command. Just LOVE and see what happens.

  • Oh yeah, dude, we might disagree on the violence issue, but I’m totally with you on the pervert issue.

    We’ve got people in our churches who aren’t just gay, but people who masturbate, people who have had affairs, people who look at porn, people who have sex before they get married, people who have been divorced and remarried… and we’re expected to just be nice to these people and loving when, really, these people are doing to be the death of what’s left of our Christian nation. If we really loved them, we’d always remind them of how sinful all this stuff is and how repulsive they are in God’s presence.

    Not to mention the influence on my kids. Like I want my kids sitting next to some teenager who was having a wrestle with the ol’ trouser snake the night before, right? Last thing I need is some namby-pamby Joel Osteeny youth leader trying to be “real” with our kids by pretending God will accept them in spite of their numerous tugs of war with the Cyclops.

    The Christian church has a lot to do in America that Jesus has called us to do. We’ve got to get the Ten Commandments back up in courthouses. We’ve got to get a Republican in the White House. All things true followers of Christ should focus on. And I can’t do that when someone is sitting down the pew with their second “wife” or spent Saturday night looking at the Victoria Secret catalog and giving their undercarriage a bit of how’s your father. Those people are going to burn and they need to know it!

  • Jeez, you can just hop on over to various other blogs among traditionalist Catholics and evangelical/fundamental Christians to hear the same kind of thing too. It’s so disturbing. Glad that, at least, that side seems to be losing.

  • $136305622

    I never said you were not a “true christian” – you are whatever you call yourself. But Christianity is founded on fear and fear of judgment is fundamental to its practice. (One can not believe in hell but must still believe in judgment…right? If not, it really isn’t what Jesus was all about.) It certainly sounds like you have a good way of life though, so it is not me judging you personally, I am just pointing out what Christianity believes about judgment.

  • Guy Norred

    Had to look that up to see what it was. God bless Google. One of my favorites. I rarely get through it without a tear or two.

  • Thanks for the comment. No worries about your kids– they have google and one day they will find me. I get letters from kids just like them every day, so it’s only a matter of time.

    Rob and I will save a seat at the table for them… across from Hillary.

  • Jonathan

    But, as I’ve said, Christianity is more diverse than that. You’re also making the assumption that Christians believe judgment is something to be feared, and that’s not necessarily true, either. And Jesus wasn’t all about judgment. John 3:17 explicitly says that. There’s also a huge difference between foundation and fundamentals. Just because a belief existed at an earlier time in history does not mean beliefs don’t change. The American constitution has been revised and reinterpreted countless times, but that doesn’t negate America’s validity as a nation, nor does it make today’s Americans all guilty of the sins of the founding fathers. Values change. People change. As Christians learn more about the world, we learn more about ourselves and about God.

    Yes, it’s true that there are those among the Christian community – large sects, even – who refuse to admit that. But making blanket statements about an entire religion based on the actions, even the beliefs, of some of its followers, is unfair to the millions of others who aren’t like that.

  • Guy Norred

    LOL

  • Herm

    The word sodomite is a mistranslation of the Hebrew word qadesh, which literally means “holy one.” It is a title given to the cult priests and (male) prostitutes of the Canaanites. (The corresponding female priestess/prostitute is qadesha.) Several modern translations, including the NIV, have addressed this translation inaccuracy.

    This is what it takes, all it takes, to inherit eternal life:

    Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind and the second is like that love your merciful (gay, Samaritan, Black and/or Muslim no matter) neighbor as yourself.

    I don’t need to start a church I am already a little child within Jesus’ church.

  • Jonathan

    No, but I still fit into the “Christianity as a whole” category.

  • Herm

    So do I. I don’t fear hell. Lookingup73 was referring to Fulgentian’s question raised at the beginning of this thread.

    “Right wing conservative Christianity does not represent Jesus or the Kingdom of God.”

    Why not?

  • $136305622

    That is a very fair point. I suppose the lesson to be learned is that all varieties of Christian practice are equally legitimate. They all had the same starting point and have morphed as people, customs, cultures, ideas, etc. changed. I would think and hope that we will see fewer articles criticizing folks such as Graham therefore since his view is just a different version of things. He sees his way of leading a good life and helping others get to God. there is absolutely no basis for criticizing it as somehow “unchristian”.

  • Jonathan

    I was replying to the comment of “To be fair, Christianity as a whole is based on fear of hell/fear of judgement”.

  • tyler

    yes, i am aware that you are a gay christian. that does not mean that you are suddenly scrubbed clean of any hint of homophobia just because your particular tradition is affirming.

    frankly, it makes what you’re saying even more damning. nice to know that you apparently believe that neither i nor Mr Atheist are capable of reasoned, rational examination of our own circumstances and are merely parroting the
    narrative preached by the conservative church. nice to know that lgbtqia people that don’t belong to your particular faith tradition are apparently entirely irrelevant and can be safely dismissed as merely misled agents of the very people that most rabidly campaign for our continued stigmatization. nice to be reminded that even affirming christians will double down before even considering there might be something they can do better on in the future.

    honestly i’m a little in awe of how well you managed to make my point about christians being more concerned with zealously defending their particular tradition and making it all about them by smugly declaring themselves “not like that” over having meaningful discussions.

  • Anne Gull

    Franklin Graham’s caution concerning whom we allow into our homes is wise, and you know this full well, especially when it comes to the awesome responsibility of parenting bestowed by God. Sadly, you lived through the horror of making an unwise decision, Mr. Corey, when you ignored the sage warnings against adopting a dangerous Peruvian girl into your home. How tragic that you put your family at risk, as she was intent on perpetrating violence against your family.

  • Guy Norred

    I saw someone essentially say that he also didn’t believe in the god that most atheist don’t believe in–it was much more than that, but really rather beautifully said.

  • Jonathan

    I have very frequently criticized Graham, even going so far as to call him a “false prophet” a couple of times, but not once have I questioned whether or not he is really a Christian. I’m not God, and I don’t know people’s motives. I do know his rhetoric is harming people and it needs to stop, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to hold the entire diverse faith responsible. That kind of all-or-none response is the same thing fundamentalists do to gay people. I certainly don’t see validity in his teachings. But the initial comment I responded to was a pronouncement against “Christianity as a whole”, and I’m saying that no, the problem is not “Christianity as a whole”, nor is it accurate to say the entire religion is based on fear, because, as I have said, it’s not.

  • $136305622

    What is Christianity based on then? Jesus spoke of how you need to know him to get to salvation. The only reason why, historically, people converted from their perfectly fine religious beliefs was that the missionaries presented the negative consequences of not converting. People don’t want to disappoint Jesus. And if you don’t believe in Jesus – yikes! No salvation. This is in the book. But maybe there are those who don’t believe in the book either. It gets confusing why they would even want to call themselves part of a religion if they didn’t believe in those things. Graham is not a false prophet if he is just preaching what is clearly laid out in the book.

  • You just crossed a line, Anne. You crossed a big damn line. How, in the name of every angry god I don’t believe in, dare you. Just…how dare you.

    Oh wait, I know how you dare. Because Christians like yourself will cause any amount they can if it means they can stay on their palanquin of morality. Does it make you feel smug to publicly chastise a man who tries to help children most people would cast off? Do you mentally tick off points in your favour as you speak with authority on the lives of children in need?

    I have known Christians who were intent on hurting children since I was not even ten years old and Northern Ireland was at war, and yet I’m still blown away by the level to which you will stoop. The audacity you must have, to compare associating with LGBTQ children with a tragic adoption that brought a family real pain. One that you have no business even commenting on, much less sneeringly moralising about.

    What a hideous display of the content of your character.

  • Herm

    You really haven’t heard the good news understood for nearly three hundred years after Jesus’ ascension. You seem to only know the bad press Constantine’s influence managed to give the student’s of the Messiah. Jesus said to come to Him as a little child, not to be judged, but to learn (as His disciple/student) how to live beyond the carnal. All judgments were meant to be left to Him, of no concern to us having found peace and joy as well tended children, and only then that the wheat lives separate from the tares consumed for all time to come. The penalty for being a tare is that you will at death know nothing and will be forgotten. No fear of hell as compelling a desire to live a puppet in God’s domain.

    All reason for me to want to be constructive and productive, as Jesus teaches, is simply to continue to learn, adventure and relate with a family of God that loves me and sees me as the helpless little ignorant child that I truly am without Them.

    Christian was initially meant to signify those who followed Christ. The name has been hijacked by the same spirit inspiring those who crucified Jesus in the name of God. The authorities in the “Christian” religions today do in fact use the threat of God’s wrath as a club to keep their flocks in line, as did the Pharisees, rather than the invitation to be loved and adored just as you are by our Father in heaven and our more than capable Lord’s administration for our health physically, mentally and spiritually.

    The picture you draw is not gospel but neither is the picture most Christian churches today draw.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Wow, you continue your pattern of being insensitive to the point of cruelty.

  • Guy Norred

    For what it is worth, I think there is a lot of faith out there that should be unraveled. I am sure I am holding onto somethings myself (though I don’t know what they are now, but isn’t that what seeking should be?). I have a good friend who I wish wasn’t an atheist, but am truly happy he doesn’t believe in the god he was raised to believe in.

  • Guy Norred

    ^^^THIS^^^

  • Guy Norred

    ^^^^THIS AS WELL^^^ [sorry I read Jonathan first] :-)

  • Anne Gull

    Everyone has to eat to survive, Mr. Corey. Just because someone is chubby does not indicate he/she is a glutton. Just because someone is slim does not indicate he/she is not a glutton. Most people obviously have no clue as to what constitutes the sin of gluttony.

  • James Quinn

    Wow.

    Just to be clear: last time I saw you on here you were advocating we shoot abortion providers.

    This time, you’re mocking someone who is so pro-life that he’s adopted children with severe special needs, and now you’re calling his decision to care for these otherwise unwanted children “unwise” and “tragic”.

    You’re sick. (And that’s being really, really generous.)

  • Jeff Preuss

    “…conservative Christianity is not based on fear of hell.”

    Maybe not in the broadest sense, but I know of many conservative Christians who have verbatim said, when asked if they believe in God, “Of course I do. Otherwise I burn in Hell.”

    So, for some conservative Christians, it IS based on fear of hell.

  • Herm

    I very much stand corrected!!! thank you!

  • Jeff Preuss

    Hi! Or you could acknowledge those of us in the church who are in the “homosexual community.”

  • I don’t parrot, Ford. I make judgements based partially on a lived experience you don’t know, and will never know. I’m no one’s lackey or mouthpiece. Not the Church’s, and I will not be yours. I’m tired of having my anger and grief policed when I express it by people who only want the Church to look a little shinier.

  • Most LGBTQ Christians have little concern for those who have left the Church. Once we’re out of reach of the pews and the hymns, we’re on our own and our experiences within those walls count for little.

  • This is exceptionally well stated. Do you have a source for that?

  • Come to one of my parties and you’ll see me turning water into wine, at least.

  • Jonathan

    “Jesus spoke of how you need to know him to get to salvation.”

    Salvation from what, though? One doesn’t need to believe in hell or fear judgment to believe in salvation. What about salvation from death? For that matter, in the passage I mentioned, Jesus was talking to a Pharisee, so what about salvation from the Law? Or salvation from war? There are lots of things that Christians can be “saved” from. That’s not based in fear, that’s based in hope.

    “The only reason why, historically, people converted from their perfectly fine religious beliefs was that the missionaries presented the negative consequences of not converting.”

    That may be so, but just like I don’t want to be held responsible for the sins of my Confederate namesake, I’m not going to hold today’s Christians responsible for the sins of their ancestors. If Franklin Graham is preaching hate, I’ll blame Franklin Graham, not colonial missionaries.

    “People don’t want to disappoint Jesus.”

    Do you enjoy disappointing people you care about? My guess is that you try to avoid disappointing people you care about, and that it’s care (not fear of consequence) that motivates you to avoid it.

    “No salvation. This is in the book.”

    The book also says there are “other sheep not of this fold”. So, no, that statement doesn’t necessarily hold true across the board, either.

    “But maybe there are those who don’t believe in the book either.”

    I can’t speak to that, but I do know that while I see the Bible is often (not always) a good source for answers, it is not an object to be worshipped, nor is it the sole source of faith. Christians believe that guidance and revelation ultimately come from the Holy Spirit. Some think the Holy Spirit only reveals itself through the Bible. Some think it primarily reveals itself through the Bible but also in other sources. And some think that it reveals itself equally through the Bible and other sources. As I say – the religion as a whole is too diverse to make a blanket statement, even about beliefs.

    “Graham is not a false prophet if he is just preaching what is clearly laid out in the book.”

    As I’ve said, it’s not clear. If it were, we wouldn’t have over 40,000 different Christian denominations. Look, I’m certainly not suggesting Christians are any better than anyone else. We’re just trying to figure out what life’s all about, the same as everyone else. If something has to be criticized, criticize the harm people are doing. But even if you got your wish and Christianity disappeared entirely off the face of the earth, people would just hide behind something else as an excuse to harm others.

  • To be fair, being atheist doesn’t automatically = massive huge fan of Richard Dawkins either.

  • I’m by no means attempting to absolve Christianity. That said, Christians are not, by any stretch, the only group to teach contempt for people who are gay. The Hindus and Muslims in India are working to keep homosexuality criminalized. There is rampant homophobia in Russia, the Middle East, Asia, and many African countries. Not for nothing, there are plenty of homophobic atheists in the west to go around too. Your distorted victim narrative is narrow, unfair and demonstrably inaccurate. It’s most certainly unproductive in making change.

    So I’m advocating, IRL, to clean my own house because that’s within my sphere of influence. Perhaps you could do likewise rather than peddling your anger here – shrilly lashing out at those of us who recognize (and who have endured) the abuses of the Christian church and are working to mitigate them.

  • $136305622

    I don’t know that I ever said my wish were that Christianity disappear! It would be great if it were a force of goodness in the world! I guess i wish more people were rational about everything and sought to “figure out what life’s all about” and “criticize the harm people are doing” – like yourself. You are a good example. You bring up good food for thought. I just think the problem with clinging to Christianity as a basis for refuting Graham is that he and his kind can easily make the case that they are NOT actually causing harm since they are preaching against sin. So in the end the religion is not a good resource. It is much easier to criticize graham from say a humanist perspective, since he is clearly wrong if we use reason to evaluate his comments.

  • Herm

    Thank you Guy, there is much more truth in that than what Dennis Wilson promotes as the value of becoming a “true Christian”, to his liking, if you only first believed “Jesus is God” alone.

    The sad part I understand for Dennis and his church teachers of the law is that their strict commands to enter into heaven are so much longer and stricter than Jesus’ published commands, and they’re adding more daily as though a competition between fundamentalists as to who has the more precise understanding of God’s will and wrath. It gets even sadder when those of us who have accepted a relationship with Christ know by our own lives that they (Dennis and his like) don’t realize they have no relationship with God beyond their scriptural supposition.

    We have dared him to go to Jesus directly for his learning and he refuses. I would guess for fear of losing the security blanket of religious superiority he seems to value now in separation from our more capable Teacher, Lord and Father who is gracefully inviting him to join in their love reciprocally as a Their little child.

  • Herm

    Where and when?

  • Jonathan

    And is it BYOB?

  • Herm

    … of water?

  • Or Bill Maher. I can’t fathom a universe where I could stand that guy. Several years ago I had VIP tickets to a taping of the Tonight Show and was soooo disappointed when I realized Bill Maher was the guest that night.

  • Joseph Allen

    Jeff, you are certainly welcome to visit our church. But you need to know that while I will tell you that I do not condemn you, I will not stop pleading with you to sin no more. To repent. To live a life of purity. That is what my Rabbi did.

  • Jonathan

    I don’t know. If water gets turned into wine, can we add sugar to it and have him turn it to rum?

  • It might be a good idea to reflect on what you were hoping achieve with such a rotten comment. Especially if it is true that all will be held accountable for every thought, word, and deed.

  • Jonathan

    What an utterly vile thing to say.

  • Joseph Allen

    The same Paul sent Timothy and Silas to Thessalonica to check on their faith. Why? He feared that the people would turn them away from their love for God. The same Paul warned the Galatians to be careful in turning a fallen brother. It is true that nothing can turn God’s love away from me, but just ask Solomon if anything can turn our love from God. All he did was LOVE . . . and we know what happened.

  • From following you comments for several years, I believe we share a lot of common ground in our perspectives. But in this case I profoundly disagree with you.

    You ascribe the motivation that I want to make the church shiner? Not a chance. I want to lay naked the psychological and spiritual abuse that flows from the dehumanizing traditionalist theology.

    But I fail to see how characterizing all Christians as the abusers is any different than characterizing all gay people as depraved. You are participating in the very behavior you object to. And, yes, by doing so, you are perpetuating the false narrative that Christianity and homosexuality can never be reconciled.

  • Sheila Warner

    It’s beyond disgusting.

  • Maybe you should consider spending more time listening to “lots of PhDs and academic types” before assuming they are the ones with an agenda who just want to side with “the world.” It may be that education has a winnowing effect on fundamentalism because fundamentalism is incompatible with reality.

    I found out a long time ago that if you find yourself relentlessly hunting for wolves in sheeps’ clothing, you might take a moment to look in the mirror. The real wolf might be you.

  • I have already explained that to condemn a system is not the same as condemning everyone associated with it. I will repeat as needed.

    But you really don’t think your priority isn’t making the Church look shinier? Please. I wrote a comment commenting on real ways people can help LGBTQ kids who really need it, and you rushed to a defensive position to tell me to be nicer to the Church. That is a clear demonstration of exactly where your priorities lie.

    (And no, I’m not singling out Christians to imply that they’re the only homophobes on the planet. We’re on a Christian blog and this is an article on Christian people, and I am speaking from my lived experience as a survivor of Christianity. If it were about Islamic treatment of LGBTQ people, you’d see me reacting accordingly, by amplifying the voices of LGBTQ ex-Muslims who have the education and lived experience to speak with authority.)

  • Sheila Warner

    I was raised in a similar flavor, that we are all born into “Original Sin” & that nothing good we do can earn us enough points with God to get into heaven. But our pastor preached that any person can be covered by God’s grace in Jesus. We even sang a song about it–the power of Jesus’ blood shed ‘way back on Calvary, it never loses its power…. Of course, I don’t believe any of it anymore, but I am dismayed at how hateful Franklin is compared to his dad.

  • Peace and blessings.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    How is abhorring both straight and gay sex outside monogamous relationships anti-gay, specifically? You could equally well say it is ant-straight.

  • $136305622

    Very good point. They are anti-sex and see sex outside of marriage as a sin – because the bible says so I suppose. But yes, exactly the same thinking as conservative, fundamentalists.

  • Jonathan

    You know what, I’m sorry I’ve gotten a little testy about this. It just seems like we’ve had this debate more times than either of us really wants to. Pax? Let’s start again.

    “I don’t know that I ever said my wish were that Christianity disappear! It would be great if it were a force of goodness in the world!”

    Okay. I apologize for making that assumption. But if you think that Christianity and Christian teaching are inherently bad, as you seem to be saying, how could it ever be a force for good? And if it can’t be a source for good, then why wouldn’t you want it to disappear. I guess I’m just confused at what you’re getting at.

    “I just think the problem with clinging to Christianity as a basis for refuting Graham is that he and his kind can easily make the case that they are NOT actually causing harm since they are preaching against sin.”

    I think “harm” is a lot more objective a term than “sin”, though. Sin may cause personal internal conflict, yes, but “harm” is observable and tangible in its effects on other people. In that, I would posit that trying to stop and prevent tangible harm is just as much a religious mandate as it is a humanistic endeavor.

    “So in the end the religion is not a good resource. It is much easier to criticize graham from say a humanist perspective”

    And if you’re a humanist, go for it! But, as I say, I just think it’s more effective to keep your criticism confined to what Graham and his ilk are saying. I’m not a humanist, though, and a lot of pro-LGBT Christians already speak Graham’s language – surely an advantage when it comes to dialog and discourse, right? And, unfortunately, you have a disadvantage as a humanist: you will be largely ignored solely because you are a humanist. And please understand, I’m not criticizing that, but the kinds of people who agree with Graham definitely would. So in that sense, I don’t know that humanism makes any better of a resource than religion does.

    “…he is clearly wrong if we use reason to evaluate his comments.”

    But, as you and I both know from experience, you can’t usually reason with unreasonable people. In light of that, I’m not sure that logic, however sound, is any help in stopping people like Graham, unless it is used in a secular court of law to try and convict him of a crime as a result of his actions.

  • Herm

    … depends on how long you’re willing to wait. BYOS?

  • Heh. Solomon was lusting, not loving. Jesus is our example of how to live doing nothing but love. And if Paul was “fearful” then he was not walking in Christ’s love. Perfect love casts out fear. It’s as if we don’t think the Lord is capable of being the good shepherd he is. He’s REALLY good at shepherding. Just trust him.

  • Does Jeff get to plead with you about your sin all the time, then? Are you going to give him a list of your sins so that he can plead in a clear and direct manner?

  • Ouch.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    “Unequally yoked” refers to marriage. Even if you think on theological grounds homesexual relationships are bad for one and to be avoided, the most Paul’s warning would mean is not to encourage your teenage children into a homosexual marriage. Which would be nonsense anyway, since if your teenage children are not, in fact, themselves gay, they are kind of unlikely to have any particular desire to enter one.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I have repented. I do not find homosexuality to be a sin upon honest discernment and critical review of Scripture as moved by the Holy Spirit.

    Not an “unrepentant lifestyle” as you put it.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I agree it is sad. No, they were not being contrary.

  • Jonathan

    Sadly, I’ve seen people who really do think that and aren’t just saying it for argument’s sake.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Also, would I be allowed to continue to “plead with you” to repent of your sins? Seems like that’s an awfully harsh tactic which you are not invited to take in my life.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Find a quote in scripture where Jesus (or anyone else) encouraged the ostracising of gay people. By all means, if someone were to ask your opinion, counsel against homosexual relationships (if you think it is a choice) but you seem to be under the impression that homosexuality somehow rubs off onto other people by association. What do you think homosexuality is, cooties?

  • Jonathan

    Right after we “take away everyone’s guns” to clear the way for the New World Order. It was item 3 in the Gayluminati’s meeting last week to discuss the Gay Agenda.

  • Herm

    Alyssa, I pose this very personal question in hopes that you understand I am not looking for a gotcha or to sit in any form of judgment over your answer. You do not have to answer. I really want to know because of your concerned passion shared so graciously with us. For that, thank you! What is your Christianity based on that supports your allegiance?

  • Iain Lovejoy

    You are confusing “dating” with “association” or “friendship”. I worry for you if you can’t tell the difference. You may rest assured your teenage boys are in no danger of accidentally dating a boy, or your girls a girl, unless they themselves are actually gay.

  • JD

    Wow! Way over the line Anne. What a vile comment to make. It’s amazing how vile supposed Christians can be, but comments like this serve as a reminder.

  • Dennis Wilson

    If you are a homosexual, would you be honest enough to admit it?

  • Jonathan

    Translation: “You’ll never be fully welcomed until you agree with me, but of course I’ll take your offering money in the meantime. And as an added bonus, I’ll keep pluggin’ away at that speck in your eye.”

  • Herm

    SWC, I question the source of “God’s word” you seem to reference. Careful, please, I have completed seminary followed by over 40 years of sincerely in faith work for God. I very sincerely have to tell you I didn’t know God’s word to speak, even with full academic credential, until actually being filled for eternity by the Holy Spirit 20 years ago. What is God’s word to you?

  • JD

    Why am I not surprised by this vile comment though? Everyone, please be aware, that Anne has even tried to make the argument that killing abortion doctors is okay (see Ben’s post on Exodus 22). Her argument is based on perverse belief that people can lose their souls, and since abortion doctors do what they do with no pang of conscience, then that means they’ve lost their souls and we can murder them.

    This is far from her first vile comment on Ben’s posts.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Eh, I wouldn’t saywould hope it’s not most. I would like to think LGBTQ Christians would be especially sensitive to anyone who’s left the Church, since we constantly face attempts to push us out of it. However, I certainly understand there is a bubble that many Christians surround themselves with, setting those outside the bubble who “don’t matter.” It’s a human-nature tribal instinct that we LGBTQ are not exempt from.

    Not an excuse, of course. It’s still sucky behavior.

  • Herm

    I am not a homosexual but through no fault of my own, sorry. I know by whom I am attracted to sexually. Sexuality has no other purpose to our species but to populate this world with our carnal species. We have over populated the resources our Creator graced us to be stewards of representative in His image. In the metaphorical tale of creation the female from the side of the male was meant to be only significant to the value of a helper for an otherwise alone being. For spiritual children of God there is no marriage to propagate the species of mankind for that carnal animal species will not be in heaven. The differences, like male and female in a spiritual sense, will be there to share an eternity before us all of helper companionship, monogamous or not. You carnal reasoning animals just cannot get through your self centered brains what true love is all about, sorry, again.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Dawkins is a bit of a jerk…so is Neil Degrasse Tyson, despite some of his excellent points.

  • Jonathan

    Which tradition, though? There are several.

  • Herm

    Thank you!

  • For a lot of Christians, it certainly is. What does salvation mean to you?

  • Herm

    Do you have any concern for having to atone for your sins in purgatory?

  • The Church has done a thorough campaign to paint the non-religious as the ultimate enemy to Christians, God, etc. Many of the same LGBTQ Christians who would gasp in rage if someone said I’m going to hell for being gay would simply nod if someone said I was going to hell for disbelief. Maybe even add a hearty Amen after that.

  • Jonathan

    Tyson doesn’t bother me as much as his fans. He can be a bit insensitive sometimes, but unlike Dawkins, he doesn’t usually take himself too seriously.

  • On the other hand, neither Dawkins nor Tyson have ever convinced 10,000 people to abandon their pledges of support to children in need because religious people might touch the food. Unlike certain charity fiascos I could name.

  • Jonathan

    To be fair, a lot of Christians were outraged over World Vision, too, (which I realize is meaningless in and of itself, but many also pledged in spite of the fiasco.)

  • Jeff Preuss

    No kidding. Maybe I should just take a page from when Christians act as violent terrorists, and declare these acts were perpetrated by folks who were either “mentally ill” or “not truly Christians.”

    Instead, I’m just going to sadly acknowledge there is a real ugly side to my religion.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I find it difficult to declare others are going to hell for disbelief/nonbelief (not that I ever found it easy, or have made the accusation) when I interact with people of different/non-spiritual beliefs as human beings every single day. Had I been raised in an insular environment in which my only schoolmates/friends were all Christians just like me, perhaps I’d be more likely to proclaim others to be hellbound.

    I am very thankful that I wasn’t. I wouldn’t have found my husband.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Herm, that’s some bizarre sophistry you came up with.
    OK, you say that you are not a homosexual.
    What was the purpose of this, your comment – The word sodomite is a mistranslation of the Hebrew word qadesh, which literally means “holy one.” It is a title given to the cult priests and (male) prostitutes of the Canaanites. (The corresponding female priestess/prostitute is qadesha.) Several modern translations, including the NIV, have addressed this translation inaccuracy.

  • Joseph Allen

    This discussions about our kids, and my kids are still learning their faith. My fear is that they will be dulled to the offensive nature of sin. My daughter is a sweet kid and she is hesitant to offend anyone. This makes her susceptible to downplay sin. I would be negligent of my role as a father if I did not protect her from this inclination.

  • Joseph Allen

    Fully agree with Scripture . . . don’t need your money . . . and I am working on the log in my own eye so I can love you enough to deal with the speck.

  • Joseph Allen

    My concern is that their view of sin will be altered . . . slippery slope.

  • Joseph Allen

    It is a lifestyle that disregards the teaching of the Bible . . . worse than cooties!

  • Joseph Allen

    I would expect nothing less.

  • Joseph Allen

    I would accept nothing less if you love me.

  • Joseph Allen

    Not sure how you came to that conclusion . . . so many passages that call it sin, say that it will disclude you from the kingdom. I just do not want you to be wrong on this . . . too much at stake.

  • Jonathan

    “Fully agree with Scripture”

    Nope, just your misguided version of it.

    “don’t need your money”

    Whatever you say, Joseph.

    “and I am working on the log in my own eye so I can love you enough to deal with the speck.”

    No, you deal with the log first. You worry about the speck after you’ve taken care of the log (which you can’t – that was kind of Jesus’s whole point with that illustration). If you can’t even present a version of scripture that’s consistent with itself, it kind of undermines your demands that everyone agree with it.

  • Jonathan

    Your proud heart is an abomination, according to Proverbs 16:5. Also, you’re trying to speak for God. That’s blasphemy. Repent.

  • Jonathan

    So… you’re threatened by gay people because you fear you won’t be allowed to be offensive and insensitive? I’m pretty sure there are priorities here, and compared to the suicide and abuse that the exclusion – or worse, grudging and self-superior marginal inclusion – of gay people is leading to, your resentment of facing consequenses for insensitivity is pretty damn low on the list.

  • Jeanne Fox

    My former pastor, Howard Fabricius, said that during a sermon back in 1996 or 1997.

  • Jeff Preuss

    So, you would be fine with me asking you to repent of something that you discern is not sin? Because that is the equivalent. If I love you.

  • Joseph Allen

    Proud? Help me understand why you draw that conclusion. Not sure how I am speaking for God.

  • Jeff Preuss

    So many passages, in English that call certain acts sin. And not the same wording depending on translation. Not as clear cut as you’d like it to be.

  • Jeff Preuss

    To echo what Jonathan says below, you need to be transparent that you would expect me to agree, not with Scripture, but with your interpretation of Scripture, which is not an interpretation with which I agree. I’ll reiterate — “I do not find homosexuality to be a sin upon honest discernment and critical review of Scripture as moved by the Holy Spirit.”

  • Jonathan

    Well, for starters you’re convinced that people only “agree with scripture” if they agree with it exactly as you see it. That’s pride (unless you’re suggesting the Bible is God, in which case I stand corrected and you’re guilty of idolatry instead). In either case, it’s the Holy Spirit’s job to convict of sin, not yours, so there’s the “speaking for God” part.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “I just do not want you to be wrong on this . . . too much at stake.”

    I’m not. And the brilliant thing is…it’s my soul at stake. There’s an old Southern Baptist standard that’s fallen by the wayside in recent years of the individual’s responsibility to his or her own soul and salvation.

    So, lovingly, this “sin” does not harm you in any way. (Neither does it harm me.) It’s patently not your call.

  • Joseph Allen

    You are wrong on this one, Jeff. I wish we could sit down and go through the texts together. Just too much at stake to side with a small minority of theologians who do not find homosexuality to be sin.

  • Herm

    again, thank you!

  • anne I make comments like this when I am very very ill indeed! what triggers me is when I am having thr feeling that I am invisible & nobody loves me! when I cannot get the love & attention of those closest to me I get very angry & look around for ways to blow off steam & anxiety. I’m glad you are here & can start your day over on a more loving note. god never leaves one or forsakes one. love you! “(j:D

  • Joseph Allen

    Trust me. I have studied the Greek and Hebrew. Don’t listen to them, Jeff!

  • Jonathan

    And, for that matter, it really doesn’t matter if you believe you’re sinning (you even agreed with Jeff on that). The Bible says you are and I just told you about it, so I’m going to keep telling you to repent until you see things exactly the way I do agree with scripture.

  • Herm

    Its is truth relative to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.

  • Jonathan

    So have I, and I still call BS.

  • Joseph Allen

    Of course.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Jax Hill, you have greatly misunderstood me. How you could though, is beyond me.

    Please read my words carefully. Our church could have homosexuals as members ONLY if they were were practicing homosexuality in secret.

    Simple, right?

    You could also deny in your mind that Jesus is not God, but unless you stated so, or you had stated beliefs that revealed that you deny that Jesus is God, (like Herm) our church or any true Christian church would not know you blasphemy.

    Simple, right?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Joseph, it’s not up to you to broadly say, “You’re wrong on this one.”
    ” I wish we could sit down and go through the texts together. Just too
    much at stake to side with a small minority of theologians who do not
    find homosexuality to be sin.”

    Again, I’ve studied this, critically. I’ve been a Christian for 40+ years. At the end of the day, I don’t need to go through the texts with you. I’ve already been saved. You can’t take it away just because you read things a different way.

    You have to let it go.

  • Joseph Allen

    I want her to love her friends enough to speak the truth in love.

  • Herm

    You are aware that a judgment of bizarre sophistry is what Jesus Christ was crucified for, aren’t you, in the name of God?

  • Jonathan

    You know what? Sometimes shutting the heck up in love is called for as well. Jesus knew that. Read Luke 19 sometime. There’s an awful lot of speaking the Truth™ going on, but too many people like you just paying lip service to the “in love” part.

  • Joseph Allen

    Can’t let it go if I love you . . .

  • Jeff Preuss

    “Of course.”

    I highly doubt that. If I were to constantly call you to repent for something YOU do not consider a sin, you would likely get bored with my pleading based on YOUR critical reading of the texts. Such is the reality of the diverse theological positions within Christianity. We can debate finer theological points, but when you feel you have to wage a battle for my soul, it’s a futile escapade, for that battle has already been won by Jesus.

    You’re worried I need to be saved, but I already am.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Huh?
    Herm, forget the huh, please tell me the purpose of this comment of yours – The word sodomite is a mistranslation of the Hebrew word qadesh, which literally means “holy one.” It is a title given to the cult priests and (male) prostitutes of the Canaanites. (The corresponding female priestess/prostitute is qadesha.) Several modern translations, including the NIV, have addressed this translation inaccuracy.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “Them”? Them who? I’ve not referred to any “them.” Do you not want me to listen to the Holy Spirit?

    Why should I trust YOU over my own decades of faith and study? Because you’re “right”?

  • Joseph Allen

    You said I was being proud and speaking for God . . . I am not debating whether those are sins, just trying to understand why you think I am committing those sins.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “Can’t let it go if I love you . . .”

    You love your hubris more than you love me. You can’t trust my faith to matter as much as yours, because we differ theologically. You can’t leave my personal relationship with Christ alone, you have to insert yourself into it.

    You are attempting to block that relationship – why?

  • Joseph Allen

    Do you discount all the passages as being related to forced homosexuality or promiscuous sexuality?

  • Joseph Allen

    I tried . . .

  • Jeff Preuss

    “I tried . . .”
    …to insert yourself into my relationship with Christ, and negate my salvation? Yes, yes you certainly did.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I’m not answering your questions if you won’t answer mine. I think we’re done here.

  • Nick

    Well said Mr. Atheist. I don’t know why Mr. Corey doesn’t ban her. She never seeks to engage in a real conversation and spews nothing but hate.

  • Jerry Lynch

    I am curious that Graham suggests that the progression would be “they’re not going to influence those kids; those kids are going to influence those parent’s children.” Why is that? Despite the fact this comment is just hateful and fear-mongering, why does he believe Christian children will succumb to this “enemy” he sees? I thought Satan was in chains for the Christian? Where is the power of Christ in his twisted logic? Is he insulting the children of Christians? The “roaring of a lion” strikes fear in a person, if the lion is not in some zoo. (Maybe even then.) So his answer to fear is to react with fear instead of faith in Christ in rejecting these children? Many curious anomalies, if not apostasy, in his comments.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Again, why is thinking sex outside marriage “anti-sex’ in itself? On that basis being against obesity is “anti-food” and against drunk driving “anti-car”.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Slippery slope to what? You think they will suddenly start fancying people of the same sex if they discover gay people don’t have horns and a tail?

  • Are you concerned about any family or friends who haven’t received salvation? I’m not Catholic, so I don’t know about purgatory. Maybe that makes it easier to swallow if your family is headed to purgatory rather than the ever-burning fires of hell? (for the record, I don’t believe in hell)

  • Ruthitchka

    Thank you for your kind words, Herm. I was not expecting such kindness and encouragement. God so far has not “pushed” me to another Church. I am able to participate in some very loving ministries, especially the meals for the local homeless shelter. My parish is Antiochian, but like many Orthodox parishes in the U.S.A., it’s actually MANY nations – Arabic, Russian, Eritrean, American… The Liturgy is in English, with some Arabic, some Old Slavonic, some Greek… One of my best church pals is the mother of a gay man who died of AIDS in the late 80’s. She helped me to calm down and to remember that I am blessed because my son is alive and HIV free. She was a big help when I was rejected and hated on by my in-laws for loving my son exactly as he is – they had advised me a “good Christian parent throws him out of the house”.

  • Ruthitchka

    You are so right about love not being easy. Life can be a tough road, although any problems I have are “First World” problems.

  • Jonathan

    Your comments have made it abundantly clear, Joseph, that you know nothing about Ford’s “lifestyle”. You haven’t even tried to know. To you, his “lifestyle” consists of “has sex with other men” and that’s all you need to know. Do you boil everyone else’s lifestyle down to who they have sex with? That’s a rather voyeuristic obsession.

  • PremiumOsmium

    Billy Graham doesn’t need anybody to defend him.

  • Herm

    I already told you: It’s is truth relative to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.

  • Yes, conservative Christians and Muslims have many views in common!

    Consider these similarities (excluding the Trinity, of course):

    #1 Both Muslims and most conservative Christians are theological determinists.

    #2 Both Muslims and most conservative Christians (at least historically) think Christians should impose Christian views via the government on others.

    #3 Both Muslims and most conservative Christians consider women to be under a man’s authority because that was God’s plan.

    #4 Both Muslims and most conservative Christians think that doctrinal purity is most important. Think of how similar in many ways that the Sunni-Shia conflict of the last 1,300 years is similar to the savage conflicts of Roman Catholics versus Reformed in the French religious wars, the 30 Years War, etc.

    #5 Both Muslims and most conservative Christians think that God’s will is done through war.

    #6 Both Muslims and most conservative Christians think that God’s primary essence is self-focus, not love for all humans.

    #7 Both Muslims and most conservative Christians think that God orders human government to commit capital punishment.

    #8 Both Muslims and most conservative Christians think that scripture from God is inerrant.

    #9 Both Muslims and most conservative Christians emphasize that the non-elect go to Hell, eternal punishment.

  • Herm

    Thank you for sharing with me. This is the example I have of the perfect, not just good, Parent of Christ quoted from the mouth of Jesus:

    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 (NIV2011)

    In complete disregard for your in-laws rejection even as you love your son exactly as he is forgive to, also, love your in-laws for they know not what they do.

    God will, I know from many ups and downs in His company, let you know how to love as you need to love. If your relationship with your church becomes to where the learning and supporting is insufficiently reciprocal for all, no matter how difficult a struggle it may seem for either or both, you can have trust in our Lord that you will know in what direction to move. Until then those moments of when what is shared between you and your church fellowship honestly, empathically and compassionately will strengthen you all! It is written that we have not been left orphaned.

  • Steve Bailey

    Graham’s unfortunate and pathetic comments – particularly in the context of Dobson’s movement – are typical of American “evangelicals”. Wee don’t hear much of that stuff in Canada, God be praised. The Gospel off Jesus Christ has nothing to do with the agendas of both men. Thank you, Ben. These kinds of aberrant “Christian” fomentations need to be repudiated over and over again until American evangelicalism again has some credibility. Living in judgment and fear is not what Jesus taught.

  • Steve Bailey

    Rubbish, Anne. Showing the love of Jesus sometimes means unintended consequences. It’s part of living the Gospel. I’m extremely disappointed in your attitude here. It is most un-Christlike.

  • otrotierra

    #ThingsJesusNeverSaid

  • Dennis Wilson

    Herm, you wrote – “I already told you: Its is truth relative to 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.”

    The truth is that no homosexual will inherit the Kingdom of God. You wtote some nonsense about a translation having nothing to do with that fact. So, my question to you is, are you trying to say that practicing homosexuals will inherit the Kingdom of God?

  • $136305622

    What’s your point? There is no logical reason to be against people having sex without being married. The idea that having sex outside of married is similar to obesity, which I didn’t realize was something Christians hated too, is absurd. Then equating both sex and obesity to drink driving is the icing on the cake. Makes no sense whatsoever.

  • Good grief. The word homosexual didn’t exist back then. It’s been in that passage since 1946 or so. A Greek course will help explain a lot of the Bible– English is very insufficient in many ways.

  • r u making this comment to me, charles, or to anne? “(j:D

  • Herm

    … maybe, inheriting eternal life in the same percentage as practicing heterosexuals or higher.

    Luke 10:27 says nothing to homosexuality between consenting adults and everything about loving your merciful neighbor as yourself relative to inheriting eternal life. You know nothing except what is acceptable to those around you who guess at God even worse than the Pharisees and Scribes who judged Jesus to be guilty of “bizarre sophistry” in God’s name. I am not playing with you. I truly am trying to confide in you what I know for certain. I am not qualified to judge you except you do fit under the psychological definition of repeating the exact same stimulus expecting a different result each time. This is always frustrating working with someone trying to force my healing when it is (s)he that is sick. You are sick and you do no good here but exasperate.

    Oh, by the way, this earth and its entire cosmos occupy a minute part inside of the Kingdom of God. All authority over heaven and on earth is Jesus’, given by our Father. This too is true. This too is the word of God spoken.

  • Jim Eckland

    Jesus and God The Father did not approve of Homosexuality and would rebuke the parents of such that didn’t straighten out their kids. It is an evil and perverted life-style. They are not born like that it is because of their environment. Love but help them to change and if they seem to be adversely influencing our kids keep them away. What’s wrong with Christians today: aren’t they familiar with basic morality. SAD !!! Franklin Graham was pretty much correct

  • Vernon Goins

    If Lucifer really exists, he’s holding Franklin Graham by the short hairs. The evil that spews forth from that ogre’s mouth makes me wish the worst on him.

    He is not his father’s son. Billy Graham would never have allowed hate to rule his life. Franklin Graham is fomenting hate for LGBTQ children. How pathetic.

  • Herm

    Jim, you are not correct. You do not know Jesus and the Father. Using your biblical references you show me where Jesus and my Father in heaven ever said they did not approve of Homosexuality.

  • Brian Kellogg

    Wow, what an ignorant response. Please study the work being done both in philosophy and biology concerning morals.

    Black and white reasoning at its best/worst. Beautiful example of a false dilemma though.

  • Sorry, but there’s not “so many passages”. There’s six. SIX. And of those six, none of them call homosexuality (an orientation) a sin (because they didn’t understand orientation as we do) and none of them condemn monogamous, loving relationships (because that’s not the type of same sex behavior they witnessed and condemned). So the theological discussion, even among many conservatives, is broader than what you are aware or acknowledge.

  • If people become gay because of their environment, what is it about raising kids in Christian homes that’s making so many of them gay? Because I know plenty of gay people from conservative, Christian families.

  • Herm

    Basic morality” is summed up according to Jesus, and many before Him, “in everything do to others as you would have others do to you“.

  • Jeff Preuss

    What environment? Please, enlighten me on what environment I lived in that made a homosexual orientation manifest in me at puberty?

  • Jeff Preuss

    No, no, Ben. He’s read the Hebrew and Greek, so…um…no, wait, I got nothing.

  • I bet it was too much of the Gaither Band.

  • Jim Eckland

    Not sure but they are not born that way !!

  • Jeff Preuss

    Well, there was only church music and classical in our house, so maybe… No, wait! I grew up in Oklahoma, and occasionally Mom and Dad took us two-stepping to a Gatlin Brothers cover band. Elvira was a favorite. It must have been that. Dancin’ to a song that shared a named with the “Mistress of the Dark.”

    I had no chance…

  • Jeff Preuss

    “It is an evil and perverted life-style. They are not born like that it is because of their environment.”

    “If people become gay because of their environment, what is it about raising kids in Christian homes that’s making so many of them gay?”

    “Not sure but they are not born that way !!”

    Well, as long as your reasoning is sound…Reminds me of the bumper sticker: “If I don’t understand it, it’s stupid.”

  • Jim Eckland

    The bible tells us to bring up our children properly and morally.

  • Jim Eckland

    The Old Testament !! GOD the father and the son are one….

  • Herm

    No Jim, if you want to use the Bible fine, but don’t use your interpretation of the Bible without references. If all you listen to to know your Bible is Franklin Graham and his supporters then you are deceived. If I am deceived let’s agree to use the Bible as a common ground to help each other. My children are teaching their children in everything do to all others as they would have all others do to them. By the fruit of my efforts and a lot of God’s support I can honestly say that my children were brought up properly and morally.

  • She’s banned now.

    I’m fair game. As a public figure who makes his living sharing my opinion, critique away. Write books about how wrong I am. Hire a sky writer to paint it over NYC. Get congress to pass a non binding resolution that says Benjamin L Corey is an idiot. I don’t care- it’s all part of the deal.

    But @&$#%!, leave my children out of it.

  • Thanks mate. I’ve seen a lot in my time, but no one has gone after my kids before. I just… Can’t even.

  • Brian Kellogg

    They must not be born that way because the way you want the world to be demands it.

    That is what you are saying.

    In the mean time who cares what effects such wishful thinking has on actual lives. Because, you have the Pharisaical truth.

  • ExFallwellian

    I would not be surprised to learn one day that Franklin Graham harbors homosexual tendencies … not that there’s anything wrong with that. But, those who seem to have the most outspoken revulsion have a tendency to surprise us later by revealing it to be nothing more than hatred of their own being.

  • Jim Eckland

    It’s sad that Christians have embraced sexual perversion as a normal lifestyle. This reminds me: “In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes.”
    Judges 21:25
    Isn’t this the problem in America today? We consider what’s right is now wrong and what’s wrong is now right. Sad what’s happening !! Good Night !!!

  • Dudley Gilmer

    I wonder what Franklin’s mother would have done if one of her children had brought home a gay friend. Or what his father would have done if a gay person came to his church.
    Was Franklin taught by his parents that such people should be shunned? Kept away from even our churches? When he hangs out at gun ranges, is he practicing to protect himself from ” dangerous” gay children? I just can’t figure where all his fear is coming from. Imagine saying that “immoral people” should be kept out of our churches!! Incredible.

  • Dudley Gilmer

    Jesus never mentioned homosexuality.

  • Jeff Preuss

    What’s sad is that you cannot even defend or properly explain your position and reasoning on the matter, yet expect the emphasis of buckets’ worth of exclamation points to prove how right you are.

  • Herm

    Let’s see, according to Jesus Christ He fulfilled all the scriptures on the cross. The only Scripture He spoke about was what we call our Old Testament. Our New Testament was not compiled and canonized until the year 325, long after Jesus’ ascension into heaven with all authority over heaven and on earth.

    This is exactly how Jesus was quoted relative to the Old Testament:

    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 (NIV2011)

    This is how Jesus referred to all we should have derived from the Old Testament relative to God’s commands:

    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 22:37-40 (NIV2011)

    I am a little child disciple (which means student) of the Messiah Jesus which makes me a little brother of Jesus and we share the same Father:

    He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

    Matthew 12:48-50 (NIV2011)

    These are the prerequisites I accepted before I was accepted as a disciple of Jesus:

    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 (NIV2011)

    This is the template for how I am expected to address our Father:

    And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

    “This, then, is how you should pray: “ ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

    Matthew 6:7-13 (NIV2011)

    I was born of God when I was actually filled with the Holy Spirit:

    Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.

    John 1:12-13 (NIV2011)

    This is an example of how I am speaking the word of God to you:

    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 (NIV2011)

    This is how God (Jesus, our Father and all the little children born of God today) are one in each other by the Spirit of truth:

    “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 (NIV2011)

    Please read everything. Ask yourself if you’ve heard Franklin Graham point out these verses in the Bible. Most of all compare what I just shared with you and ask yourself where your counsel to me is lacking in contrast.

    No where above is there a hint that homosexuality between consenting adults is not approved of by Jesus or my Father in heaven. The word of God is not the Bible, Old or New Testament, for Jesus lives with all authority over heaven and on earth today and the Holy Spirit is in the hearts and minds of all who are of God today. Why would you need to keep consulting the road sign when you already arrived at your Father’s house? That is all any testament written by the hand of mankind is good for as a pointer from their perspective. If God took the time to write by His hand the Ten Commandments in stone because they were so important why would not He do the same for the entire Bible?

    Don’t ask me or Franklin because at most we are very little ignorant children restricted to a view only from earth. Go to God directly with all humility as a little know nothing child and ask Jesus and the Father to share the true word of God with you.

    This is real and not the imaginative authority Franklin Graham usurps from our Lord Jesus Christ. You do not have to serve anymore than one master if you know and accept Jesus as your only Lord today.

  • spirit

    But Jesus DID say that He came to FULFILL the LAW. Matthew 5:17…”Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. ..1 Corinthians 6:9 .Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men

  • Jeff Preuss

    First part, Jesus. Second part…not Jesus. Don’t conflate things Paul wrote after Jesus died with actual commandments from Him.

  • Herm

    If sexual is subjugation, intimidation and manipulation then it is a perversion. Any mutually supportive relationship between consenting adults is not a perversion. Christianity changed from carrying a cross for those who knew not what they were doing to carrying a sword to be judge, jury and executioner for God (exactly like the Pharisees Saul before he was converted to Jesus’ apostle Paul) under Constantine’s patronage in the year 325. Between then and now Christian crusades financed by rape and pillage were right then and are now wrong. Christians enslaving native Africans and euthanizing native Americans was right then and are wrong now. Christian witch hunts were right then and are wrong now. Sad that you can’t see that there has been some Christian change for the good.

    We don’t need a king when we have an active and benevolent Lord with all authority over heaven and on earth today.

  • Steve Bailey

    As the comment says, Anne.

  • Herm

    “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. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

    Matthew 5:17-20 (NIV2011)

    Everything was accomplished at Jesus’ last breath and for Him heaven and earth disappeared for three days. Until Jesus’ last breath counsel with the Holy Spirit was limited to the Holy of Holies under the covenant of the Moses seat of authority occupied at Jesus’ time on earth by the Pharisees and the Scribes of the Israelites. Yes, the authority that inspired the crucifixion of Jesus in God’s name. The spirit of the temple was destroyed by the tearing of the curtain before the Holy of Holies and was rebuilt in three days when Jesus rose to become the High Priest for all time. The Holy Spirit can now fill every heart and mind acceptable as are those only of little know nothing children to be the temple administrated by our beloved Rabbi Jesus.

    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 (NIV2011)

    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 22:37-40 (NIV2011)

    That is all Jesus said in reference to the law of our Father in heaven. I repeat Dudley’s assertion, “Jesus never mentioned homosexuality” in any form.

  • Herm

    you used the Reply under charles’ comment and not Anne’s comment.

  • otrotierra

    Jesus, who was silent on same-sex marriage, was undeniably clear on his stance against divorce. Where is Franklin Graham’s fear mongering about keeping “dangerous” divorced people away from church?

  • otrotierra

    When Jesus is removed from one’s theological world view, all sorts of hate-filled behavior becomes possible. This is what Franklin Graham shows us by his words and actions.

  • otrotierra

    A profound critique, that Jesus’ actual teachings “don’t count” because they are inconvenient to Franklin Graham’s fear-mongering crusade.

  • spirit

    Yes

  • Herm

    If your child is born LGBT or Q how would you bring her/him up properly and morally? I’m interested.

  • otrotierra

    Jesus, who was silent on same-sex marriage, sure is a threat to your “parenting.”

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Christians don’t hate obesity. That was an analogy, as was the reference to drink driving.
    I will make the same point again without the use of analogy if that helps.
    If someone says that doing a particular activity (lets call it “X”) is wrong under particular circumstances or that X is best done in a particular way, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they think X is bad or wrong or they are opposed to activity X in general.
    In this case the particular activity concerned is sex. Christians think that sex is best done in the context of a lifelong monogamous relationship. They think that having sex with multiple partners, or emotionless sex with someone you do not love or are not committed to misses what they consider the principle point of sex, which is to develop a committed loving relationship with someone. They also think that sex inder those circumstances makes it subsequently more difficult to form lifelong, loving sexual relationships in the future because (a) hang ups, complications and hurt from previous relationships get in the way and (b) if sex has become a mechanical activity done for pleasure without emotional content ot becomes more difficult to get back to it being instead a means of cementing a loving relationship.
    You may disagree that sex outside marriage has or can have this effect, but the belief that sex under those circumstances may have that effect is not the same as believing sex itself is wrong.
    These are two separate beliefs (see the explanation re “activity X” above).
    This is considerably longer than my previous post, but hopefully you will find the point made is clearer.

  • Cindy Bird

    My son happens to be bisexual, currently involved with a wonderful young man. My son was BORN bisexual. We know that the hypothalamus of gay and bisexual individuals is different than their straight counterparts. We know there are differences in the DNA of homosexual and bisexual individuals. http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-genetic-homosexuality-nature-nurture-20151007-story.html

    Read this article for a history and explanation of current research into the biological basis of homosexuality and bisexuality. http://www.theatlantic.com/past/issues/97jun/burr2.htm

    So I’ve got big news for you, God MADE the LGBTQ Child LGBT whether you like it or not.. I love my son and would NEVER turn away from him. He is precious and perfect just the way he is.

  • Bones

    Too much Elton John, dude.

  • Bones

    So you want a king?

    That’s an interesting verse given that Israel supposedly had the Law.

    Or did they?

  • Bones

    Surely it’s ok to abort Peruvian girls and gays though?

  • RidgewayGirl

    Franklin Graham has made me reassess my respect for his father. Billy raised a son devoid of mercy or grace and handed his ministry over to him. It says a great deal about Billy Graham and none of it good.

  • Bones

    I wonder who the real wolf is.

    The ones who are no different to the Pharisees but believe in a Trinity and think that Jesus is their boyfriend?

    Or those who practise mercy and compassion?

  • Bones

    I wonder if Paul ever met a gay person?

  • Bones

    I don’t mind Dawkins.

    Love the way he carves up Creationists.

    Sam Harris comes across as a it of a wanker though.

  • needtimetothink

    The article is written out of context. There comes a day in the life of every parent that they realize exactly what “false teacher” really means. Innocent children aside, it’s important to keep false teachers out of the church.

  • RidgewayGirl

    Also heartbreaking for the parents who think that they have to choose between love and faith. I have the utmost respect for those parents who have been able to see that the greatest of these is love and to buck the cultural and religious pressure to behave inhumanely.

  • Bones

    What Jesus didn’t say is much more important……

  • Patricia

    Three of Frankin’s siblings are divorced and remarried, one several times, as are other relatives so he never speaks on that topic.

  • RidgewayGirl

    Thanks for the reminder. We should all be thoughtful and consequent in our voting and remember that we should look for the candidate that will best protect our LGBTQ brothers and sisters.

  • otrotierra

    Thank you for clarifying this. Very revealing and helpful.

  • Matthew

    Don´t these perceived enemies deserve even a grain of understanding and grace Irish Atheist? Even Jesus proclaimed “Forgive them for they know not what they do”. There is a person — a real person — behind the intolerance that is being handed out. We would be right to remember this I think. We are all … every last one of us … broken people.

  • RidgewayGirl

    I’m glad you’ve taken such a brave stance in encouraging your children to shun their overweight classmates.

    You are truly a light unto the world.

  • otrotierra

    It is indeed important to keep Franklin Graham’s false teachings out of the church.

  • otrotierra

    #ThingsJesusNeverSaid

  • Patricia

    Billy was away on preaching Crusades all over the World for much of Franklin’s childhood. The children were largely brought up by Billy’s wife Ruth with the help of her very conservative retired missionary parents (they opposed civil rights and racial integration) . I think most of the children were sent away to boarding school in their teens and all married very young, not always successfully. As a Brit I’ve never quite understood how ministries can be inherited by family members but that seems to be a pattern in US evangelical circles . I guess it’s to do with the finances.

  • otrotierra

    No, Judges 21 is about Israel in 550BCE or earlier, not about “America” in 2016.

    Why have you embraced a perverted lifestyle of misinterpreting scripture?

  • RidgewayGirl

    I guess if you are frightened that their faith is too brittle to withstand a friendship with a chubby kid, you should do what you need to do.

  • RidgewayGirl

    The slippery slope to what? Grace? Love? Charity?

  • otrotierra

    Very likely, yes. And as for Jesus, who spent so much time with sex-workers, absolutely.

  • otrotierra

    #ThingsJesusNeverSaid

  • RidgewayGirl

    I guess if your definition of unChristian behavior excludes actively driving people away from Christ or harming them, then Graham is not behaving in an unChristian way.

  • Allen

    Lets not forget there was one time in this country not long ago ( pretty recent actually) that some of these same “gay loving” liberal folks hated gays too. That’s why i trust no Christians because i know how quick they can change and how misguided they can be. Their whole idea about gay people being good or bad is based on what they get from the Bible. If God came back and said gays were bad their view would change which is one reason gay people should be very carefully around them regardless of what they say. If the Bible or God says you are to be hated ,killed, whatever they will follow that over real morality.

  • Velvetpage

    I believe in open communication with my children. However, as far as I’m concerned, if they grow up never seeing anything by Franklin Graham, that will be all to the good. You see, my daughter tentatively identifies as a lesbian, though she’s not sure yet. She’s also got a heart of pure gold and a mind like a steel trap. The idea that anyone would tell her that their parents wouldn’t let her be their friend makes my heart hurt. The idea that they would do this out of misplaced love because Franklin Graham told them to makes me angry.

    The conversation about LGBTQ acceptance in the Church was too slow for me. I’m gone and not going back. Nowadays, the money that used to go to the Salvation Army instead goes to the homeless shelter in Toronto that specifically serves gay youth.

  • frosty7530

    Dear Mr. Corey: I am a Conservative Republican, but I am in full agreement with you in re to the despicable tone of Rev. Graham’s Hitlerian rant on LGBTQ children. It sounds so histrionic, I’d venture to guess the man has suffered some type of sexual trauma that’s never healed. At a time like this, when serious Conservatives should be concerned with the priority of a Civilization ready to implode, Franklin Graham is a distracting aberration who needs to be sent on retreat for broken ministers.

  • Velvetpage

    I grew up not knowing what “gay” meant, and discouraged very actively from considering the idea that I might have a woman as a partner. So I did exactly what the church wanted me to do. I married a man from my church, my best friend, and settled down. We had a house, two jobs, two kids.

    But it was never right. You see, I was (and am) friends with him, but there was no chemistry and without it, we weren’t happy. It took me years to figure out that I had no business being married to a man. No matter how much I tried – and I gave it everything I had for more than a decade – I couldn’t be the wife he needed and deserved.

    Now I have a wonderful (female) partner. She’s good friends with my ex-husband – in fact he introduced us. I’m still good friends with him, too. My kids are the ones who advocate for those who don’t have a voice in their classrooms. They stand up for the right to believe, for the right to be as they are, for the right to like what they like. They are good friends and someday, they’ll be good partners. They already know that I don’t care if they bring home a girlfriend or a boyfriend. (I would kind of like grandchildren though.)

    I tried to be straight. I couldn’t. You are simply wrong – sexuality is inborn.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Herm, my question was – are you trying to say that practicing homosexuals will inherit the Kingdom of God?

    You say – … maybe, inheriting eternal life in the same percentage as practicing heterosexuals or higher.

    Your answer allows that some practicing homosexuls will inherit the Kingdom of God. I want you to read closely 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 in the NIV. I choose the NIV because you made an earlier comment about the NIV translating accurately.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10New International Version:

    9 Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor men who have sex with men 10 nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.

    Note the words “men who have sex with men.” Everyone knows the word for “men who have sex with men,” is Homosexual.

    Note that it is not just one act of homosexuality but a pattern, a lifestyle of homosexuality that bars one from the Kingdom of God.

  • $136305622

    That makes more sense to me. Sorry I didn’t get the first one. I should not b use the term anti sex. My point remains that the only reason they reach this conclusion is through biblical, religious means. So the fact that gay people would continue to perpetuate such thinking is just silly. They are using the exact same tactics as these people who view gay sex as bad. As a gay man myself, I am always more wary* of a gay Christian than any one else; I figure if they are self righteous and agree with fundamentalists on the issue of sex , there is no telling when they will stab me in the back.

    *edited for spelling

  • Ron McPherson

    So if kids’ sexual orientation can so easily be explained as being a product of their “environment,” I’m curious how you would explain how one sibling could be straight while another is gay. Same parents, same household, same upbringing, same church, etc

  • Ron McPherson

    I don’t know of a single Christ follower who truly adheres to OT laws and commands.

  • $136305622

    Graham is trying to bring people to Christ. In his mind and the mind of millions of Christians, he is harming no one. He is lovng them. I think they call it tough love. His followers, and even many progressive Christians, think gay sex is a sin. Christians have been trying to get people to turn away from sin for centuries. What he is doing is precisely what Christians do.
    The best discussion to have is not what is wrong with graham’s actions, because technically they are as Christian as you can get. The real issue is why Christians talk about sin with regard to sex to begin with. There is nothing sinful about sexual relations, as long as no one is harmed. If people continue to speak of certain sexual things as wrong and sinful then they give power to the graham types because they make the topic legitimate.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Herm, you wrote :

    “This is what it takes, all it takes, to inherit eternal life:”

    “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind and the second is like that love your merciful (gay, Samaritan, Black and/or Muslim no matter) neighbor as yourself.”

    You clearly said – “This is what it takes, all it takes, to inherit eternal life:”

    But what does the Scriture say? Scripture says differntly than you. I am to be obedient to what Scripture says and not to any man or men. I don’t subscribe to the doctrines of men. Jesus who is God, condemn the Pharisees for teaching the doctrines of men and not the word of God. I will continue shortly.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Herm, you wrote – “This is what it takes, all it takes, to inherit eternal life:”

    “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind and the second is like that love your merciful (gay, Samaritan, Black and/or Muslim no matter) neighbor as yourself.” You clearly said – “This is what it takes, all it takes, to inherit eternal life:”

    I have not done that, and neither have you, and neither has anyone else, ever!

    You obviously believe that you will inherit eternal life by doing good works. This false notion notion of inheriting eternal life by doing good works is believed by the vast majority of people. This is a doctrine taught by men and not by Scripture, It is damnable heresy! I will continue shortly.

  • Bones

    Jesus teaches a doctrine taught by men and not by Scripture.

    That’s weird.

    Oh it’s about Jesus being God/Trinity.

    But hey a thief on a cross can get just by saying Jesus was an innocent man.

  • Fulgentian

    OK, but why does ‘humanity’ mean I should do good things?
    And you are confusing moral ontology with moral epistemology. I’m not asking ‘how can atheists know what is right or wrong’? I’m asking ‘if atheism is true, why should I believe there is even such an objective category as right and wrong’?
    And I cannot understand your reasoning. How can some indefinite term like ‘humanity’ suddenly imbue mankind with objective moral values and duties?

  • Fulgentian

    Again, you are confusing moral ontology with moral epistemology. I’m not asking ‘how can we know what’s right and wrong’? Clearly all humans have a sense of this. I’m saying that if atheism is true, that sense is illusory.

  • Fulgentian

    I have – and I can’t see how it provides a moral ontology, see my above responses.

  • Fulgentian

    OK, can you give me a brief summary of this work, and how it shows moral values to be objectively grounded in the absence of God?

    And why is it a false dilemma? Please do not simply assert things without reasoning.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Herm, you wrote – “This is what it takes, all it takes, to inherit eternal life:”

    “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind and the second is like that love your merciful (gay, Samaritan, Black and/or Muslim no matter) neighbor as yourself.” You clearly said – “This is what it takes, all it takes, to inherit eternal life:”

    What does the Scriptures say? The doctrines of Scripture should have authority over your life and not the doctrines of men. There are scores of verses that teach that Salvation is not of works, here is a couple:

    Ephesians 2:8-9 – “For BY GRACE are ye SAVED THROUGH FAITH; and that NOT OF YOURSELVES: it is the GIFT of God: NOT OF WORKS, lest any man should boast.”

  • Don Zolman

    Who’s defending him? Just facts. Something many have a problem with.

  • M85

    It would be great to see who is willing to really follow Christ instead of following left wing or right wing politics: both are unfaithful to Jesus.

  • Fulgentian

    1. That’s an unfair generalisation. Conservative Christianity is not based on a fear of hell, but on a belief that the Bible is the final authority in the church.
    2. Jesus in the Gospels mentions hell and the need to fear it more than in any other part of the NT.

  • Fulgentian

    Thank you! I wish people would understand my point rather than dismissing it as myopic. I find it ironic that so many ‘Christians’ in this discussion berate conservative evangelicals for not being loving enough and yet are quite happy to fill their online responses with insults.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    I have no idea what you mean by “such thinking” or why if a Christian you are suspicious of the Bible informing how one should live where there are not good reasons for thinking it has been misapplied or misunderstood.
    I may be in turn misunderstanding you, but if you don’t think religion has or should have anything to do with how one should live ones life, or that addressing these issues is “self righteousness”, I am unclear (other than as a recreational activity) you think religion is for?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Not out of context at all, based on Graham’s comments. But, you’re right – we should endeavor to keep false teachers like Franklin Graham out of the church.

  • $136305622

    Now I am confused :) We might be talking past each other. My main point was to say that you are correct, I probably should not use a term “anti-sex”.
    If religion is informing how one should live their life, then there are an infinite number of ways in which it will be applied. There are tons of religions. So Graham has his view. Which has to be equally valid to a progressive Christian’s view. Both camps think certain (consensual) sex is “sin”. How can a progressive criticize Graham for speaking against something that they both think is sinful?! That is where the problem comes in for progressives and why I mistrust them. I know where Graham is coming from. He is clear and to the point and consistent. The progressive? Not so much. For instance, a progressive Christian says they love gays. Then they find out I am a gay non-Christian. So there is a little less love. Then they find out I enjoy sex and am not married. There comes the judgment! I am not the good kind of gay lol.

  • $136305622

    Sorry I did not address the point of religion. I am not religious, so I actually don’t know what religion is for aside from a social activity and something to occupy a Sunday morning. If, however, part of using that religion in one’s life is to determine that certain activities are wrong because they offend one’s God, then one enters into a whole world of possibilities of what is “wrong” that in the real world or logical world don’t actually make much sense. Such is the case with sexual sins. They are based on the Bible I assume or on the religious teachings of people who realized using sex is a good way to control folks. So if person A says: gay sex is wrong and person B says: gay sex is wrong outside of a marriage, they still agree on a basic premise. So how can person B in good conscience say person A is bad for saying what s/he says? They can’t actually.

  • JD

    How you make the jump to Herm making the case for works-based salvation is beyond me.

  • Dennis Wilson

    If Herm, myself, you, or everyone else loved the Lord God with all our heart, soul, and strength and our neighbor as ourselves, then we would not be sinners in need of Salvation.

    Do you profess to be a Christian?

  • buricco

    “You’re on your fourth wife, and somehow you think gay people are going to destroy the sanctity of marriage.” :P

  • Herm

    I used the Bible you said you preferred (the NAS) and thought you would have at least used the concordance to know “homosexuals” (and in the NIV “men who have sex with men”) and Leviticus 18:22 are words derived from “sodomite“.

    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-10 (NASB)

    Greek NASB Number: 733a

    Greek Word: ἀρσενοκοίτης

    Transliterated Word: arsenokoitês

    Root: from 733b and 2845;

    Definition: a sodomite:–

    List of English Words and Number of Times Used

    homosexuals (2).

    New American Standard Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.

    The word sodomite is a mistranslation of the Hebrew word qadesh, which literally means “holy one.” It is a title given to the cult priests and (male) prostitutes of the Canaanites. (The corresponding female priestess/prostitute is qadesha.)

    All of the unrighteous in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 are relative to the Decalogue written by the hand of God. Anything that is intimidation, manipulation, subjugation, having any gods before our creator God, coveting, and what ever else you might read into or around that is against the Ten Commandments is clearly and succinctly summed up in Matthew 7:12 is a sin of unrighteousness.

    “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.

    Leviticus 18:22 (NIV2011)

    … is Levitical law not written by the hand of God. It was detestable to the Levites but not to God. All the commandments of Jesus apply to heaven and on earth with no exception. Sex to propagate a species of carnal animal to keep from extinction is useless in heaven. In what spirit we treat each other is all that is applicable to heaven for this determines whether or not you would be a bad seed, continually sowing strife, eternally.

    Think about it Dennis, would you want you always entering other people’s places of worship, exasperating everyone else because you coveted to judge what was another’s to be responsible to, like a merciful gay person’s life, for an eternity? That would be hell, not heaven. Please, for your sake, get your nose out of what belongs to others for as it is written, quoted from the mouth of the only Judge I trust with my life, you have to exceed the righteousness of those obnoxious, judgmental Pharisees and attorneys to enter heaven. God really detests people going around crucifying all they judge to be of bizarre sophistry and/or heretical in His name.

    This is what it takes, ALL it takes, to inherit eternal life according to Christ Jesus:

    On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

    “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

    He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

    But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

    In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

    “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

    The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

    Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

    Luke 10:25-37 (NIV2011)

    Seven times seventy I ask you my Father in heaven to forgive Dennis Wilson for he know not what he does. amen

  • Herm

    I am not a sinner for I fulfill all of Luke 10:25-37 exactly as written. I am a child born of God who has an eternity to learn to do better and I have every expectation that I will be perfect just after the end of eternity.

    All that matters is both Jesus and I know all that I just said is true. You do not know that because you only know what you’ve gleaned from what you call scripture.

    If Christian meant to be a follower of Christ, which it no longer does because Christ isn’t setting the rules for Christianity, then the first most necessary part to be a follower is to know the guide you are being led by. A guide book is not the Guide.

    I profess and do love the Lord my God with all my heart, soul, strength and mind and my merciful neighbor as myself. By you fruit on display here you are not merciful and you do not love your merciful gay neighbor as yourself. Three fingers are pointing back at you for the one you point a us.

  • Jonathan

    Still desperately trying to change the subject of the forum, I see.

  • Jonathan

    Maybe you just missed it. Let’s try again. “Basic morality” is summed up according to Jesus, and many before Him, “in everything do to others as you would have others do to you”.

  • Jonathan

    Eaten any pork lately?

  • Jonathan

    1. “Conservative Christianity isn’t about fear of hell”.
    2. “We should fear hell, and that’s very important.”

  • Dennis Wilson

    Herm, you wrote – “I am not a sinner for I fulfill all of Luke 10:25-37 exactly as written.”
    Wow! Do you your neighbors, friends, relatives etc. know that you claim to be a perfect man? Do some people worship you?
    That is the most mind boggling statement I have ever read.

  • Jonathan

    1. When you have fulfilled a contract, are you still bound by its terms?
    2. 1 Corinthians was Paul, not Jesus.
    3. Incidentally, ἀρσενοκοῖται does not mean “men who have sex with men.”

  • JD

    Yes, I am a follower of Christ. Is there going to be some statement you are going to demand everyone cut/paste again?

  • Jonathan

    I’m pretty sure Rent and Wicked are to blame in my case.

  • JD

    I don’t believe he’s claiming to be perfect. I don’t want to speak for him, but I read it as him stating that his sin was forgiven on the cross and is no longer held against him. When God sees Herm, He doesn’t see sin. He sees a bearer of His divine image that’s covered by the blood of His Son. Our sin is separated from us as far as the east is from the west.

  • Jonathan

    Again, it doesn’t take belief in a god to know that you shouldn’t harm other people. That’s a pretty objective standard right there. “Right” doesn’t harm others, “wrong” does harm others. Read Plato’s Republic some time.

  • Jonathan

    Ironically, she ran for her clerk position as a Democrat.

  • If you can’t understand the most basic points of humanism, that’s not my problem. Suffice to say it does provide a moral ontology and it’s one I follow.

  • JD

    Odd that you consider what Christ taught to be a “damnable heresy”.

    And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”

    And Jesus said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.”

  • Herm

    You are teaching doctrine of mankind, men and women, not of God. I don’t inherit eternal life by doing good works but only by love. You are so locked into your own Rabbinical righteousness that you don’t see that there really are disciples of Christ in your midst.

    The Messiah fulfilled His mission by allowing usurpers of God’s authority to crucify Him on a cross for the crime of “damnable heresy”. They entered His place of worship, the garden, as you are entering our place of worship to take Him to die for their righteousness of authority.

    I carry my cross but I have not yet been issued a mission by my Father or Lord Jesus to die on it for you.

    You can stay and learn with us all but if you stay to only judge I really have to tell you, because I do love you, that you are wasting your time and all the righteousness you think you are accumulating by fighting the bad gays and pacifist liberals here, in this place in Jesus name He is here. You don’t occupy the long gone covenant of the Moses seat and have no authority to be judge, jury and executioner in God’s name. My Judge does much better today for all justice than do your destructive efforts. Really! No joke! This is a make or break moment in your spiritual life, choose wisely.

  • Grace is not my purpose, and citing Jesus’s words isn’t exactly going to convict me. Grace is a religious concept, and the cheap and tawdry uses for it have repelled me to the concept. I’m here for justice. I’m not here for your cheap grace. Leave that to your gods.

  • Fulgentian

    Again, you are confusing moral epistemology and moral ontology. I am not asking ‘how do you know you shouldn’t harm other people?’.
    I’m asking ‘why do you believe there is such a thing as objective right and wrong?’

  • Iain Lovejoy

    In your last post you said you were a gay Christian, which I think caused my confusion.

  • Jonathan

    Are you reading my whole comments? Right doesn’t harm others, wrong does harm others. That’s a perfectly “objective” standard right there. It’s tangible and observable, and therefore doesn’t require any “belief” in order to exist. We’re all very impressed that you took Sociology 101, but there’s also such a thing as critical application.

  • Fulgentian

    Please tell me how you know that moral values exist objectively, regardless of how we perceive them? For example, would there be such a thing as right and wrong if humans never existed?

  • Fulgentian

    Is it a platonist understanding?

  • Herm

    Jim, are you just a lazy Christian or do you really believe your word here is more important than the word of God spoken boldly directly from the Spirit of truth?

    If you are serious use references we can all learn from, please!

  • Dude, exactly. What are these people thinking that good works are what makes a real Christian? I can’t think of any true Christian who would say that faith was worthless without works. It’s all about what you -believe-. What you do is totally irrelevant.

    It’s like that parable Jesus told about the sheep and the goats, and He was told the goats, “Sorry, you didn’t believe in me and that I was God, so you have to go to Hell.” And then he let the sheep in because of their faith! This COULD NOT BE CLEARER. Thanks for fighting the good fight.

  • Hey Bones, I don’t mean to correct you here, but the thief on the cross clearly confessed that Jesus was God and asked him to come into his heart.

  • JD

    Nobody that I’m aware of is making the case for works-based salvation. HTH.

  • Jonathan

    Okay, I thought you were just ignoring me, but it seems you’re ignoring everyone. TIA said absolutely nothing about morals. He was talking about “basic human decency”, which is very objectively based in the tangible, observable harm that is done or not done to others.

  • Fulgentian

    Are you a Christian?

  • Jonathan

    Actually, I just checked, and no, the only thing the thief said was that Jesus had done no wrong.

  • $136305622

    Ah okay – I am not so if I did say that it was definitely a typo (can’t find any comment where I wrote that!!). I was Christian up to 22 and was gay, but once I accepted being gay I promptly left the Church, which made sense.

  • otrotierra

    OK, but technically, the thief never uttered the words “I confess.”

  • Forgot to put the /sarcasm tag in my comment.

  • Jonathan

    Not relevant.

  • Sorry. Sometimes I depend on the long time readers to recognize when I’m not being entirely serious. ;)

  • Jonathan

    Sorry. I’m slow on the uptake sometimes.

  • otrotierra

    Oh, didn’t catch the sarcasm..

  • JD

    Ha! My bad. I thought it seemed out of place, but I’ve only had 2 cups of coffee this morning so I’m still a tad slow.

  • Oh man, you’re right. That guy is probably in Hell now.

  • Fulgentian

    I’m just wondering, as I’ve been a bit upset by people’s reactions to my comments on this board. If they are Christian, then I would not expect the unpleasant aspects to the comments. We’re all brothers and sisters in Christ, and even though we cannot see each other face to face, we should still behave cordially to one another.

  • I’d like to say it’s a testament to my POE skills, but really, the actual positions are so out of whack with reality that it’s hard to tell when someone is making fun.

  • $136305622

    Ah I see where the comment was confusing – I said I was “way of gay Christians” when I meant “wary” – changed that. Sorry about that!

  • Jonathan

    It’s true. Nowadays on Facebook shares, I can’t always tell the difference between The Onion and CNN.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Your doctrine is correct but a child of God still sins and gives evidence that he has a saving relationship to God, If we confess our sins He is faithful to forgive us of our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    Herm, does not love the Lord God with all his mind, heart and strength and his neighbor as himself and neither does anyone else. The law was given by God to show His standard of righteousness, a standard that no man can keep. The Pharisees and modern day self righteous Pharisees invent a standard they think they can keep, but they never do.

    The law was given to show that man is a sinner in order to show him his helplessness in keeping the law so that he might accept the gift of salvation through the atoning work of Jesus Christ, who is God.

    A child of God still does not love the Lord God with all his soul, mind and strength and his neighbor as himself. Failure to do so is sin, a child of God still sins, right?

  • JD

    What does Jesus say?

    The greater point though is your attempt to misrepresent what Herm was actually saying. He’s not advocating works-based salvation. He’s not saying he’s perfect. But, when he says it, you call it a “damnable heresy”, yet just above you said the doctrine is correct. Which is it? Heretical or correct? Are the goalposts getting heavy from constantly moving them?

  • $136305622

    I get what you are saying, but to be clear:
    Christians enslaving native Africans and euthanizing native Americans was NOT right then and is wrong now. Christian witch hunts were NOT right then and are wrong now. Etc. There were always people at those times who knew it was wrong and spoke out against it, often at their own peril. Likewise today, people still speak out against the harm caused by religious thinking and are often told to pipe down. (I have experienced it in the comments on this story in fact!)

  • Boyo, this article is about a Christian celebrity who openly declared LGBTQ children to be the enemy of the Church, and the thing that has most grievously offended you about the whole thing is that a gay atheist professed a standard of morality.

    You have no platform to bemoan people not acting to your standard of civility. None.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Good works are the result of being a redeemed child of God and NOT the means to Salvation. This is missed by the vast majority of people who think that they can inherit eternal life by doing good works.

    Salvation is by faith, NOT works. This is taught by scores of Scripture passages.

  • Fulgentian

    “the thing that has most grievously offended you about the whole thing is that a gay atheist professed a standard of morality.”

    Nope, your comments did not offend me! Anyone stating a well-reasoned argument should not be offensive.

  • Herm

    Dennis, you don’t read, you don’t comprehend, you only try to crucify your most merciful neighbors. I am not perfect, as the know it all you try to portray, for I am no more than a child dependent upon my family to take care of me.

    I am only adorable because my divine most loving family thinks my antics to emulate them are oh so cute. I guess that might be a form of familial worship of me. My siblings don’t worship me nor should they.

    I am an eternity away from being perfect and I’m sure eons away before I mature to a spiritual adult.

    I’ll pose this question again, “Would you want you constantly dismissing you as unacceptable throughout the full term of eternity?” Dennis, if every time I turned around in heaven and your spirit, as it is today, were there to tell me Father loves you and not me I would prefer an eternal hell without you. Do you truly believe your attitude of condemnation is what Jesus would judge as healthy for all in the kingdom without end?

  • JD

    Dennis, you seem to be fighting windmills. I don’t recall anyone here advocating works-based salvation.

  • Herm

    Yes, you do get what I am saying. Thank you!

  • Dennis Wilson

    But the lawyer did not and neither have you.

  • Herm

    By what authority do you speak?

  • JD

    The important thing is what Jesus said. What did Jesus say?

  • JD

    Dennis, mind if I ask you a question? What denomination do you attend?

  • Herm

    Read, read, read … salvation is only by submitting to an attitude of love, period!!! Faith is another word for trust. You have to know what or who you trust in first. You do not know the Spirit of truth!!!

  • Jonathan

    In an article about anti-gay Christians, the one of the first things you felt the need to give voice to was your problem with an atheist daring to profess to have a sense of human decency, which is not only completely off topic but also insulting to people who believe differently than you but still have personal standards. And it surprises you that people might be just a tad miffed at your insensitivity?

    When you are rude, it’s a bit hypocritical to demand people respond cordially, even if they are Christians.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Ha!
    Honestly, I don’t even really like him that much.

  • Jonathan

    I’m pretty sure it’s self-fulfilling. He’s arguing about works-based salvation now because he knows if there is such a thing, he’s goin’ the way of the goats.

  • Jonathan

    He’s not so bad when he teams up with Tim Rice.

  • JD

    Agreed. Left wing and right wing are based on man’s politics. Christ is political, but His politics are of a different Kingdom and call for us to operate around an axis of love and forgiveness. Man’s politics operate around an axis of violence and fear.

  • Fulgentian

    Since when is a well-intended and neutrally-posed question insulting?
    How have I been rude?
    I have not called anyone ‘juvenile’, ‘myopic’ or ‘ignorant’. All I wanted to do was get clarification on a point that The Irish Atheist made. No insult was intended, hence why I did not use insulting language.

  • I know, right? Why can’t people get this? God doesn’t care at all what you do. It’s like James says, “We are justified by faith alone and not by works.” I mean, every time people ask Jesus what to do to be saved, he always tells them the right things to believe and goes on his way. I mean, yeah, it’s great if people do good things after they pray the Sinner’s Prayer, but that’s the moment people are saved. I mean nobody gets into the kingdom because they fed the hungry or visited the persecuted in prison. What kind of nutball liberal would believe that?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Ooooooo, but then we get into my general distaste for musical theater… :)

  • Jonathan

    And you call yourself a gay man. :P

  • $136305622

    Okay good – it was a bit weird to say Christians were right in those past circumstances.

  • Tim

    We certainly have allowed the Enemy into our churches, but that enemy takes the guise of the likes of Franklin Graham and his ilk; not LGBTQ people.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    The “basic premise” you refer to, and which I think you are objecting to, is the entire concept of personal morality.
    I can’t speak for Graham, or for every progressive Christian, but my understanding of the point of moral rules is not a set if arbitrary strictures to avoid “offending God” but that one’s life and behaviour, and what you do and do not do impacts on your emotional, mental and spiritual health and development, and that being loving towards one’s neighbour and being selfles and moral in your personal behaviour will help make you a better person and bring you closer to God, whereas e.g. self-indulgence and unkindness to others will leave you emotionally stunted, jaded and bitter, and damage your ability to love and respond to both other people and God.
    If you really think that saying otherwise is “judgement” and you can have sex as a purely recreational activity which has nothing to do with emotion or love either you are deluding yourself or you have suffered exactly the damage to your ability to form a loving relationships that Christians believe sex without love or commitment can cause.

  • Joseph Allen

    I consider six passages, all condemning homosexuality as a sin, to be a considerable number. I we need to consider why there is no mention of homosexuality between the absolute prohibition of male homosexuality (without any qualifying language) of Lev 18:22 and the death sentence for both participants in Lev 20:13, and Paul’ reference to it in 1 Cor 6:9. Maybe there was no understanding of the orientation because the Jewish people recognized the seriousness of the prohibition of the act, and the holiness of the One who prohibited the act as being detestable. Paul’s Corinthian audience (some who “used to be”) were told that those engaging in homosexuality (again without any qualifying language) would not inherit the kingdom . . . a position John restates in Revelation 21:8 and 22:15 (referring to “detestable” and “sexually immoral”). Paul tells the Romans that the unnatural act of homosexuality (both of male and females) was an example of idolatry and was worthy of death. He later told Timothy that homosexuality was on the list of things to be regarded as “lawless, rebellious, ungodly, sinful, unholy, and irreverent”. I am certain you know these passages, but I just wanted you to see them one more time. You may think Franklin Graham is dangerous to kid’s lives, but my fear is that you may be endangering their souls. They are listening to you and finding solace in your blog posts. You are treating their brokenness superficially, claiming “Peace, Peace” when there is no peace. My fear is that you will become the fulfillment of the last phrase of Romans 1:32. I have said all I need to say . . . I tried . . .

  • $136305622

    I do not object to personal morality. I have standards by which I live that I believe make for a better way of life. They are not based on God or the Bible however. So for instance, I would never make fun of someone because they are different. I believe that is morally wrong. It is mean-spirited and disrespectful of the person. I believe it is always wrong because I cannot find an instance where I can logically and reasonably conclude it is right to do. That is an example of a personal morality.

    but that one’s life and behaviour, and what you do and do not do impacts on your emotional, mental and spiritual health and development, and that being loving towards one’s neighbour and being selfles and moral in your personal behaviour will help make you a better person and bring you closer to God, whereas e.g. self-indulgence and unkindness to others will leave you emotionally stunted, jaded and bitter, and damage your ability to love and respond to both other people and God.

    That makes some sense. I can agree with the premise there – as long as one has a moral code that makes one more loving towards one’s neighbour and makes one a better person, that is perfect! So far so good – has nothing to do with sex.

    If you really think that saying otherwise is “judgement” and you can have sex as a purely recreational activity which has nothing to do with emotion or love either you are deluding yourself or you have suffered exactly the damage to your ability to form a loving relationships that Christians believe sex without love or commitment can cause.

    This part…can’t get behind. It is a perfect example of the judgment I was talking about. Just look at the terms: “you are deluding yourself”. I can find no reason why my partner of 10 years and I cannot have sex simply because we are not married.

    Years ago I had a couple “flings” with some folks – not sure how it was devoid of emotion simply because we were not married.

    Again, your lens is through what makes sex good in the eyes of God. Take that away and you can’t make the claims that sex has to have a loving commitment to be meaningful. I respect that you believe that for yourself. It is problematic that you would feel the need to judge others by that standard. But this conversation and exchange was well worth it because you illustrate precisely my point. I don’t know if you are more fundamentalist or progressive in your religious beliefs in general, but at least on the issue of sex you have shown that there is actually very little difference between the two. Therefore, most of the outrage behind so many of the comments against Graham are hypocritically by the progressives who themselves believe their notions of “correct sex” should apply to everyone as well!

  • Joseph Allen

    Apathy

  • Brian Kellogg

    Nope I won’t. I doubt you are honestly willing to examine your own beliefs as intricately and as uncomfortably as one would need to in order to honestly wrestle with these questions. And especially coming from me since I was so blunt.

    Besides, you made the claim so the burden of proof remains on you. Lay your argument out for why either you have a belief in a God and thus a foundation for morality vs you don’t have a belief in a God and therefore no foundation for morality. That is what I am understanding your claim to be and what I call a classic false dilemma.

    “Please do not simply assert things without reasoning.” Funny, you did just that.

  • Fulgentian

    I’m not sure what point you’re trying to make. I agree with both of the summaries of my statements you have made – what’s the problem?

  • Fulgentian

    “Nope I won’t. ”

    How can you accuse me of intellectual fear when you brush my question off with a simple ‘nope’?

    “I doubt you are honestly willing to examine your own beliefs as intricately and as uncomfortably as one would need to in order to honestly wrestle with these questions.”

    How would you know that? I think it’s important to examine one’s own beliefs in such a way!

    “Lay your argument out for why either you have a belief in a God and thus a foundation for morality vs you don’t have a belief in a God and therefore no foundation for morality.”

    I think that if God exists, objective moral values and duties exist. If he does not, they don’t. This is the classic argument of people like Dawkins. I also think objective morals cannot be founded outside ourselves in a platonic manner, so if they exist they must have their source in God.

  • Fulgentian

    Sorry, just to clarify – are you saying you HAVE loved the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself? I don’t mean to be rude or accusatory, I just want to be clear.

  • Ruthitchka

    RidgewayGirl, indeed, “heartbreaking” is an apt description. I have discovered that affirming parents of gays receive a lot of hate, too. That is quite heartbreaking in itself. I was actually “a little suicidal” early on because of the nastiness from my husband’s side of the family. Fortunately, I hate pain. Also, I am a chicken.

  • Ruthitchka

    Herm, that’s very encouraging. I am in a bad place in another aspect of my life right now, so I was feeling a little blue this morning. Your words are helping!

    I don’t have ANY issues or problems with my grown-up kids, other that Mr. Gay Kid and Mr. Straight Kid are super busy, and so am I – we don’t see each other as often as I’d like.

    May God bless you.

  • peteolcott

    Ye shall know them by their fruits.
    Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
    Can’t people tell that the opposite of Love is a bad fruit?
    Even if these kids would be enemies, (they are not)
    Christ said to Love (even) your enemies.
    Are people really stupid enough to think that shunning is a form of Love?
    Love your enemies so that animosity can be vanquished.

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much Irish Atheist.

  • Brian Kellogg

    My apologies, if I misread you in your comments. I brushed your question off as you made the initial assertion. Therefore the burden of proof lies on your side.

    I understand that is how you believe it to be but you haven’t established the necessity of it being so. The wanting does not necessitate the needing. So if you are going to say Atheists have no basis for such moral claims you need to have a much tighter argument than just simply wanting something to be some way.

    This is a very summary overview of some work being done on the study of moral behavior in other social species. https://www.ted.com/talks/frans_de_waal_do_animals_have_morals?language=en

    Just maybe our morals arise out of our species “socialness” and ability to empathise? And I have no problem with believing this was orchestrated by a god. But, you need to prove that causal link or at least make it as air tight as possible if you are going to make such a black and white I know how it is claim as you did.

    Why must they have their source in God? Is that the only possibility? If not, why is that possibility the most likely? Why must they be absolute? I think Jesus did a pretty good job pushing back against the absolutism of the Pharisees. Absolutes have a tendency to close our minds and worse, our hearts.

    It is the exclusion of possibilities other than our preferred ones that really bothers me. This evangelical idea that I know that I know that I know is just silly and self-deceitful to me. I used to think that way and am sorry for it.

  • ThoroughbredWriter

    If ANYone is an agent of satan in this scenario, it’s Franklin Graham. How DARE he spread hatred in the Name of Jesus. Wolf in sheep’s pastoral robes. :(

  • Fulgentian

    I think Jonathan misunderstood me – I was refuting the point that conservative Christianity is ‘based’ on fear of hell. So Jonathan is right to say conservative Christianity is not ‘about’ fear of hell, if by ‘about’ he means ‘based on’.
    I also agree with his second point that we should fear hell.

    I think he was trying to show an inconsistency in my thinking. We need to be clearer about terms like ‘based on’ and ‘about’.

  • Fulgentian

    Lots of points to cover!
    1. I don’t think one needs to establish necessity for one’s belief to be plausible.
    2. It is not that I want this to be so, but rather I believe it to be plausible!
    3. Even if we see moral behaviour in other species, that does not mean that our moral behaviour has no objective basis. By objective I mean this – would there be right and wrong if humans did not exist? If one were to claim that objective morals do not exist because they arose from our animal nature, that would be committing the Genetic Fallacy.
    4. They must have their source in God because I think other source (the only one I know of being Platonic Moral Realism) is not as plausible. If you want to discuss PMR further we can but it might take a while!
    5. I am not arguing they are absolute, so much as objective.
    6. I do not exclude other possibilities, I simply think that it is most reasonable to believe that objective moral values and duties are founded in God.
    7. “This evangelical idea that I know that I know that I know” I’m not sure what you’re referring to here. I certainly know that I know that I am currently replying to your post!

  • Kate Johnson

    Well just more evidence that Franklin Graham is a pharisee, who has absolutely no business in church leadership. If we’ve allowed “the enemy” in our churches, it’s the enemies like Graham that are truly apostate. Also, I never donate to Samaritan’s Purse as they will not open their books and have too many family members on their board. Given what I’ve seen of Franklin Graham, I could absolutely see him stealing bread from hungry children’s mouths to feather his own nest. I will do shoe boxes, but never donate cash. World Vision is a far better place to donate.

  • Herm

    All that I am, and have command over, spiritually, in the image of God is IN love right now. I am filled with empathetic, compassionate, forgiving, worshipful, caring, ever attentive, eagerly anticipating, totally respectful, perfectly fitting, comfortable, peaceful and joyful love for all of God that I am born a child of. Yes, I am in love with my merciful neighbor no more or less than I love myself. I am learning everyday better ways, well beyond the cross I carry, to love with empathy, compassion and forgiveness my enemy, also.

    Did this help clear things up a bit or did I get carried away just to be asked?

  • Herm

    If Christian churches were truly the church of our Lord and High Priest Jesus it would not be up to any of us to allow or disallow anyone in. My Lord has a known minimum of twelve legions of angels at His command to protect His church and all the children of God from harm should He choose to do so. We all are the enemy if we don’t have at least that much faith in the authority and love of our Christ.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    I am not suggesting you and your partner cannot have sex because you are not married, I am suggesting that you and your partner’s relationship might be deepened if you were, and that (in general at least) a reluctance to make such a commitment can weaken a relationship.
    Your premise seems or seemed to be that any suggestion that it is or was “judgemental” to consider that in any circumstances consensual sex might be a bad idea, or to consider that sex without commitment can have a downside in terms of emotional hurt and encouraging selfishness in sexual relationships and that is therefore best avoided.
    I am not aware of “judging” anybody: you may be right and I may be wrong and if you are sincere in seeking to do what is right and acting out of good will and love, best of luck to you.

  • Herm

    Dennis, your wrote, “The law was given by God to show His standard of righteousness, a standard that no man can keep.”

    By your fruit according to the words of Jesus it is true you do not comply with the law. Many here do known by their fruit. This is the sum of the law, not just a standard, that God, both Father and Son, demand be upheld by all of mankind, female and male, to enter heaven so as to not be an irritating bad seed to all in the kingdom forever more, without end.

    Many here and throughout the world do comply with the law in spirit and to the letter today because it is right for all on earth and in heaven.

    “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.
    “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.
    “Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?
    “Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he?
    “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!
    “In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

    Matthew 7:7-12 (NASB)

  • $136305622

    Okay – I think we are on the same page. I agree that there might be circumstances where sex without commitment might be a bad thing depending on the person. I thought you were saying that there is a religious reason to not have sex without commitment. That is a different thing. I will say, since I read many religious blogs where they talk about gays, that most Christians on the blogs (progressive or conservative) think it is immoral to have sex without a marriage. That is judgmental since there is not harm in doing so depending on the person. But they still see* it as a “sin”. In any event, since I am with my partner for 10 years – pretty safe bet it is a committed relationship. And up until last year, we could not have gotten married, so…that would have been 9 years of living sinfully, even by progressive standards, lol!
    I would agree that sex without commitment could have a downside for the immature and those not ready to explore their sexuality. Many of those folks probably come from a religious perspective that has put way too much emphasis and moral judgments on a purely natural act. (Imagine if they put as much restrictions and neurotic behaviors around food! – well, actually religion has done that lol).
    *Edit – added “see”

  • I’ve always had a hard time swallowing the concept of hell, so I ultimately realized it couldn’t be real. Basically, when I look at the love Christ poured out on the cross, it can’t then be reconciled with him turning around and torturing with fire the same people he died for. Just doesn’t make sense and in no way fits with his character. And if it doesn’t fit with the character of Christ, it doesn’t work for me.

  • Christianity should be based on the love of Christ as demonstrated on the cross, not on the Bible. The Bible only serves as a window into the character of Christ. Once you know Jesus and are following Him, the Bible rightly becomes secondary to your relationship with Christ and his leading by the Holy Spirit. The Bible is not part of the trinity and is not to be worshipped. That is my belief.

  • Brian Kellogg

    1. very much agree, but understanding that our beliefs are contingent should make us more careful about making absolute statements. Something I try to remember but fail at sometimes.
    2. ok, no worries there
    4. Its not really important to me one way or another. Ultimately I think there are good arguments to be made from multiple angles. At the end of it all I’m more concerned with the practical effects and the humility needed to broach the topic. I’ve become ok with living in the questions not needing all the answers.
    I kind of work backwards here sometimes and I think most do. What is the effect of a moral choice on myself and others? If I were that person that I just did whatever to, how would that make me feel? Its not necessary to understand the origin of the moral impulse in order to make the moral decision, obvious I know. But, when you have dogmatic claims that start interfering with that moral reasoning process then there’s a problem. Such as what Ben points out in this article.
    5. gotcha
    6. I can live with that.
    7. Just complaining over the fundamentalist absolute certainty they have that they know they are right about many things that are very much in question, if not wrong entirely; such as the earth being 7000 years old, evolution being a lie, no one is born gay, etc… .

  • Morris Fleischer

    Uuugghh!!! Growing up in the LCMS was like being caught in a soul-killing bear trap. One has to gnaw off an appendage to escape from it, and, even years later, one still walks with a limp.

  • Kate Johnson

    Amen Herm! Our God is so mighty it’s impossible for the human mind to conceive. He is more merciful, loving and faithful than any of us deserve or could ever understand. He is powerful and in control, even when we don’t understand what’s going on. I will not be afraid and live in fear, because I believe God has a plan and has things well in hand. What I will do is try to follow his example by loving beyond reason, forgiving more than is deserved and lifting up even my enemies for blessing. I have absolutely no delusions about my position. I’m a sinner just like everybody else. What Mr. Graham seems to have forgotten, it is the righteousness of Christ we are dressed in, not our own, I believe the Lord said, “our righteousness is as filthy rags to God”.

  • gimpi1

    You’re far from a chicken, Ruthitchka. You didn’t back down to people who tried to intimidate you into being cruel and rejecting. You’ve stood your ground in the name of love and family. You were stronger and braver than the nasty people who attacked you for standing by your family. That’s not cowardice, it’s courage. Well done.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Perhaps there is where the difference between me at least (and I suspect many “progressive” Christians) and fundamentalist Christians lies.
    As you have spotted we do regard many of the same things as “sins”, but what we mean be “sin” is a bit different.
    I would view a “sin” as something which harms others, or yourself, or distracts or inhibits you from leading a better life or drawing closer to God, rather than (as I think fundamentalists tend to) something for which God punishes you for being naughty.

  • Herm

    Kate, I 100% affirm your relationship with God as in line with mine until, to be frankly honest, “I’m a sinner just like everybody else”. Though your humility is admirable, if you do, as I believe you do, as stated before that sentence you are not “a sinner just like everybody else”.

    Because you know and do what your heart and mind in God asks you to do does not make you more loved and valued by God than anybody else. It does make you more constructive and productive to everybody else than those who cannot adhere to trusting in and sharing, no less than Jesus’ example, the God-you-know’s mercy, love and faith.

    Sin is destructive for it is separating in its exclusive nature which is why the law (defining sin) of our Father is summed up in everything do to others as we would have others do to us. Love is constructive for it is bonding together in its inclusive nature; God, neighbor, self and enemy.

    I personally do not believe mankind could or ever did fall from God’s grace. Grace means unmerited so how could stupid, ignorant little newborn mankind who has just received the breathed spirit in the image of their creator God fall from what they hadn’t even had time to earn? My children at their youngest and most ignorant to my ways never fell from my grace nor have they today.

    I do not consider myself in any way a sinner beyond my expected ignorance and immature judgment that all children have to struggle through before they can be productive, constructive and responsible as an adult. My carnal self became an adult at 18 to 21 legally with an expected lifespan of 80 or so years, 120 years maximum. Insurance companies did not consider me reaching an age of good judgment until I was 25. My spiritual life is still in its bassinet infancy with an expected lifespan of without end. How old might I have to be spiritually before I’m expected to act like a responsible influential adult being and then at what age might my judgment become trustworthy as is my Lord’s?

    Today, because my attitude in love is to be constructive and productive for all carnal and spiritual I no longer feel or think, in counsel with the Spirit of truth, that I am a separator (sinner) but I am now, as much as any child can be expected to perform, a constructive and productive child born of Man and a child born of God. My ever continuing personal faithful mentor is none other than the WORD, in me and I in Him, who has no beginning, was born of Man by the Father, died by Man, and raised by the Father to be given, at that moment, all authority over heaven and on earth. My humility is that of a little child ever so proud of his family in God. I am an imperfect child growing into an imperfect adulthood within the family of my Father and adult Brother. My Father is perfect and all His little children who know Him, are with Him, are in Him and He is in us are not sinners (dividers) but are uniters in love by the example of our adult Brother Jesus. This is what it means to be filled by the Holy Spirit for that is how we of God are united in each of our spiritual hearts and minds together as one bound in love.

    Kate, I probably went too far but I needed to get this out and it feels so good to see it in writing. Thank you for the opportunity!

    For what it’s worth, coming from such an infantile child, you are not a sinner.

    Love you!

  • Ron McPherson

    Ya know Phil. You’re kinda like an anti-Pharisee. Instead of being a wolf in sheep’s clothing you may actually be a sheep in wolves’ clothing ; )

  • Herm

    I wish I could triple up vote you on that one!!! thanks for the observation

  • $136305622

    That is how I have always regarded sin! Very good definition. That is why I view very few sexual things as sin – as long as you are by yourself or with consensual partner(s), there is no basis for a “sin” there. Good discussion.

  • That is maybe the nicest thing anyone ever said to me.

  • Apollos

    Thank you for showing the readers of this thread, once again, that atheists are some of the ugliest souls on Planet Earth.

  • Gary Roth

    I never had to deal with Franklin Graham – he sure is a far reach from his father, though. I have had to deal with Dobson and Focus on the Family. Dobson must have gotten his degree out of a Cracker Jack’s box, and that’s the best that can be said about him. I’ve had to deal with damage he’s done to kids for many years now – particularly gay kids, and those who don’t fit “traditional” roles. I remember at a Creation Festival, when Clinton was President – his son was doing a presentation, and started talking about how ugly Chelsea was, and making fun of her. My group was up front – we got up, very noisily, and left, and complained to the folks hosting the event. Ultimately, they were kicked out. A nasty bunch. Franklin has turned out to be no better.

  • Sentiments I have always appreciated:

    If you turn to the Bible looking for an unambiguous, definitive and categorical statement on almost any given point, you’ll likely find one. That would solve your problem … until you realize that you can find more than one, and that they’re not all the same.

    This is the trickiest, most troublesome kind of ambiguity. It’s relatively easy to deal with a single vague statement that might be open to more than one possible meaning. We have a good set of tools for handling that kind of ambiguity. But it’s a much tougher situation when we’re confronted with multiple statements that are not vague — statements that do not seem to be open to more than one possible meaning, but which do not all say the same thing.

    That is the kind of ambiguity that the Bible often presents us with, and that is why it’s almost always unwise to say “The Bible is really clear about X.” It may be true about X. But it’s quite likely just as true about Not-X.

  • gimpi1

    So… Irish rejecting people who are attacking and excluding gay kids (remember, that’s the original topic) is showing an “ugly soul,” but the people attacking and excluding those kids aren’t? This must be a new, unknown definition of the word, “ugly.”

  • Apollos

    No. He is an ugly soul because of the vitriol and ugly way he chooses to respond to those who do not share his views. This same vitriol is commonly found in those professing atheism. It doesn’t take a 10-year old to see that by scrolling through and reading the responses of these people.

  • In that case, why were so many laws changed both during and following his ministry?

  • $136305622

    I am sorry you had to deal with Dobson! I can’t imagine what that must be like. (I drive past the exit for FoF a couple times a year in Co Springs and it ruins an otherwise beautiful city! :)).
    I did follow Billy’s ministry in the news growing up and was curious why people keep saying that he is so different from Franklin? Where do we think Franklin learned his views? Also, there is so much evidence out there that Billy is the farthest thing from a gay ally! (See his position on gays during a Larry King interview in 2005, his speeches against gays in MN and his position on gay marriage in NC in 2012, his website, etc. etc.). Let us not pretend Franklin is some outlier!!

  • gimpi1

    Do you see the same vitriol in Mr. Graham’s attacks on gay kids, Moslems and others?

    Frankly, I thought Irish was pretty reasonable and civil, considering the topic.

  • Apollos

    I should have expected as much from a student at Fuller. The more liberal and progressive the school, the more close-minded they are to those who are conservative in their views.

    So, Benjamin, would you allow a lesbian teenager into your daughter’s home or a heterosexual teenager, for that matter, and allow them to go into the room and shut the door, spend time strolling through the woods behind your house, etc.? If you would, then you obviously don’t care about protecting your daughter from sexual experiences that she should never be having at that age.

    Do you not understand and can you not comprehend the logic of what Graham is saying, while contemplating your irrational and dangerous response? You are talking about teenagers and older children who are going on overnight trips and doing sleepovers, summer camps, etc. Do you honestly believe that teenagers who have been sexually active (and don’t dare deny that the majority of gay teenagers HAVE NOT BEEN ACTIVE) would not be at risk for doing those acts with other teens in a church group?!

    Even if you don’t care about your child, you have no right to be angry at those who do. Churches are places for those who are seeking God. They are NOT places for those who are bused in simply because we want to show them that we love them. We can show them that in other venues, thank you very much.

  • $136305622

    If your daughter is not attracted to girls, you would most likely have nothing to worry about. Also, neither of us have stats on this, but I would imagine that gay teenagers are having sex at about the same rate as straight teenagers. Although, speaking from personal experiences and those of fellow gay folks, I would suspect they are probably having sex later since it takes longer to fully accept one’s sexuality in most cases and let’s face it, there is much less opportunity to find sexual partners.

    It is fine if you want to not have gay folks near you but don’t make up stuff to justify your anti-gay attitudes.

  • $136305622

    Being for justice makes one an “ugly soul”?! That would be very funny if it weren’t so sad that you sincerely think that :(

  • Just an hour ago you said LGBTQ people are disease ridden mosquitoes who should be exterminated. I’m not exactly going to take your assessment of my soul to heart.

  • gimpi1

    That’s the most horrific thing I think anyone’s ever said on this blog, and that’s a high bar to clear. Shame on you! Attacking Ben for reaching out to hurting kids, and condemning a child for showing scars of their suffering. You are an awful person. I hope you are banned, forthwith. We don’t need you taking up bandwidth…

    Wow, she pissed me off. OK, I’m fine now.

  • Dennis Wilson

    You have not answered my question.

  • Apollos

    “I’m not here for your cheap grace. Leave that to your gods.” Yes… this line above is the very definition of “civil”. I don’t think so. Usually, they use foul expletives. At least, he didn’t do that… yet. All this is common for atheists and it shows what’s in their souls.

    The very definition of vitriol is, “harsh and angry words”. Graham is of the opinion that it is foolish for churches to be actively seeking to bring gay teenagers into their churches to show them that they care, love, etc. This is not vitriol… it is an opinion. And guess what? It is a logical and reasonable opinion.

    Churches are places for those who are seeking God/truth. They are NOT places for recruiting and busing in people who have no interest in going other than because they were recruited/coerced. Bringing someone in who is not serious about seeking God only exposes others to the problems that they bring. Kids in these churches go on overnight trips and do sleepovers, etc. Is it unreasonable to assume that a teen who is sexually active will not be tempted to have sexual relations with another teen at one of these events? Of course, it is. Therefore, Graham is correct to warn for caution and to rethink what we do as it does have unintended effects.

    Just because you do not agree with it and are angered by it or get your feelings hurt by it, etc. does not make it “vitriol”. Graham is not angry and he is not using harsh words either. So, no, I do see any vitriol in Graham’s opinions (which you wrongly term “attacks”).

  • Apollos

    I did? Go read again and show me that quote, please and good luck with that.

    You read into things in the way that you want to see them and then project it on others. I never said that. I said that God has the right to tell YOU how to live and has the right to even kill you or I if we prove to be harmful and contradictory to his original design. That is logic and it is unassailable.

  • Dennis Wilson

    I know what Jesus said. He gave His standard of righteousness and you and I and no one else, have loved Him with with all our heart, mind and soul and our neighbor as ourself.
    And that is why we all need a savior. Dare you tell me that you have?

  • Herm

    NO, Christians said they were right in those past circumstances with as much credibility of authority as they exercise today all in God’s name.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Then you need to read Herm’s plain statements, the ones I posted several times.

  • Apollos

    Not every word in a sentence is a verb, my friend, and neither is everything in his reply an example of vitriol. Read my post and understand.

  • gimpi1

    I thought that was her…

    She’s… quite a peace of work. She wants to kill people who provide a sometimes necessary medical service (remember, sometimes pregnancy goes wrong), she hates gay people and calls them “soulless,” she condemns people who help injured or hurting kids and she stirs in a just a taste of racism (the “Peruvian” reference). So she’s a “right to life” supporter with terrorist inclinations, she favors abandoning injured kids to the mercy of the streets, and she’s racist and homophobic.

    Quite a package.

  • $136305622

    Yes, and just like in the past, there are good people out there (usually non-Christians) that are pointing out where they are wrong!

  • “If we decide that he has no right over us and that we can live as we wish, then we will be caste out just as a defective thing should be destroyed and just as a disease-carrying mosquito should be exterminated.”

    Since you were speaking directly in the context of LGBTQ people and our supposed ‘rebelliousness,’ my comment stands. You cannot hope for deified extermination on myself and my community solely for our sexual orientation and then bemoan us as ‘ugly souls’ when we let our anger and disgust show.

    Well you can, but no one is going to be fooled by the stench of your hypocrisy.

  • gimpi1

    The best evidence says you’re wrong. What evidence do you have for your position?

  • $136305622

    “Not every word in a sentence is a verb”
    What the heck does that even mean? lol

    I DID read and understand your post. That was why I replied! Now if you meant something else, that is your problem, not mine.

  • JD

    I’ve read them. He’s not advocating works-based salvation.

  • $136305622

    Got it – in fact, NOTHING in his response if vitriol. Maybe you meant to call out his ugliness from another comment he posted. That one isn’t a good example.

  • Apollos

    You are wrong… there are stats on the sexual activity of gays. BTW, how many gays do you know who have never had sex. For crying out loud, don’t tell me that water isn’t wet. I am old enough and have enough gay friends to know what the gay lifestyle is about even without statistics!

    What is said is very clear. You don’t recruit people to be a part of something that they are not wanting for themselves. It is foolishness and folly, while trying to help your child to grow up in a safe and sex free environment, to invite a bunch of gay teens to a sleep over! What part of that is hard to understand or comprehend?

    The irony here is so incredible. On one hand, you people hurl insults at Graham and Evangelicals for trying to “shove their religion down people’s throats” and then, on the other hand, you people condemn him for cautioning Evangelicals against rushing to bus in unbelieving teens into churches to influence them! Make up your minds.

  • Herm

    A savior from what??? Without being filled by the Holy Spirit you are not save from anything, you are stilled mired in the same Pharisaical spirit who crucifies God by their authority. Jesus saved me and now He is in me and I am in Him both of us filled by the Holy Spirit.

    I don’t celebrate that Jesus saved my from the rule of the Moses seat, that’s long past. I celebrate every moment we savor in our relationship together as I learn from Him as His disciple and little brother. Our time will be filled always too much to continue to consider what He did for me and I’ve done for Him by what we’re doing together today.

    You have read of Him but you do not see Him because you are still holding securely onto the carnal traditions of your species. You are of this carnal world and not of His world in the Spirit.

    You can dare to try top bluff that you know Him but for those of us who are in Him we know you for what you are; one of mankind who usurps His authority to judge founded only on what you know of Him and no more.

  • Homosexuals, bisexuals, and others have sex at the same rate as heterosexual people. As well, being homosexual, bisexual, etc is not transmittable by proximity like the flu or something. To pretend otherwise is simply to lie. The rest of your post is hysterical whining and the layering of false assumptions upon false assumptions.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “…spend time strolling through the woods behind your house, etc.?”
    That is…oddly specific.

    Irrational and dangerous response? I’ve yet to see what is dangerous about Ben’s response to Graham’s vitriolic rhetoric, but I…guess you feel threatened?

  • Of course, they have to make up nonsense. After all, lying is the core foundation of homophobia, same as how lying is the foundation of anti-semitism, anti-Hispanic racism, class prejudice, and other such things.

  • JD

    “So, Benjamin, would you allow a lesbian teenager into your daughter’s
    home or a heterosexual teenager, for that matter, and allow them to go
    into the room and shut the door, spend time strolling through the woods
    behind your house, etc.”

    Franklin wasn’t talking about letting them hang out in a closed bedroom together. You mention going away on church camps. Every church camp I ever attended was heavily chaperoned.

    “Churches are places for those who are seeking God. They are NOT places
    for those who are bused in simply because we want to show them that we
    love them. We can show them that in other venues, thank you very much”

    Yeah, I’m going to go ahead and side with the Man that ate and associated with sinners, prostitutes, terrorists, and adulterers. I prefer the church to be the place for the broken and needy. Let them come in and show them love.

  • $136305622

    I actually don’t know many gay people who have never had sex. Know plenty who have not had sex in a long time. We were talking about teenagers. Keep focused. Since you have stats – please share. Also, based on your comments here, you do NOT have gay friends. You might know gay people.
    Gay sleepover? Now you are just adding things and making things up that had nothing to do with your original comment nor my reply. At least you did say that gays don’t recruit! Finally a true statement.

    I never condemned Evangelicals for what they want to preach and teach in their churches – you should actually read my comments. I recognize that Graham and Dobson spread nastiness and harm people by their words on gays. But it is their church and I would never tell them they have to change that.

    Please stick to responding to my actual comments and don’t take out your frustration with others on me. Thanks!

  • Apollos

    You have just… in many words… proven that you do not have a quote. You have a “connect the dots” schematic. If I say something, then quote it… don’t connect dots and then say it’s my picture.

    I used MYSELF too in the post. So, following your logic, I am calling myself “a disease ridden mosquito who should be exterminated”. That makes perfect sense!

  • Jeff Preuss

    ” I am old enough and have enough gay friends to know what my stereotype about the gay lifestyle is about even without statistics!” Fixed it for you.

    Tell me. You “have enough gay friends.” Show them your posts. Do they feel love, compassion, and charity from you? Or just more of the fearmongering Graham was doing?

  • If Franklin Graham was alive back when Billy Graham was young, then Franklin would be one of bigots telling Billy that segregation, anti-semitism, and the like is God’s plan while Franklin would be shoving himself in front of Billy to prevent Billy from physically tearing up the barriers made to prevent African-Americans from hearing Billy speak.

    I’m no evangelical, nor am I even a Christian, but I can see how the elder Graham actually really did take the ‘trying to make the world a better place’ thing seriously, particularly when it came to instances of hatred.

  • JD

    Ah, the “I have gay friends” line. It’s like the “I have black friend” line given right before saying something that clearly indicates you do not.

  • Jeff Preuss

    So, by this logic of yours, you are also an ugly soul?

  • $136305622

    I know! No conservative Christian or evangelical has “gay friends”. It is hilarious to read statements like that.

  • Sometimes, the mere existence of certain groups of people is somehow threatening, just that they happen to be alive, even if those people aren’t actually doing anything. It’s sickening. I wonder what Apollos would have to say about the shooting of Tamir Rice… as another example.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “Churches are places for those who are seeking God.”
    Great. So let the gay kids who are seeking God, just like the straight kids who are, come to church. Done deal. So glad we could agree on this.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “I’m not racist, but…”

  • Herm

    It is not time to separate the tares from the wheat so from a distance those looking on won’t always see the difference from one professed follower of Christ from another. All of mankind is loved by our creator God equally without merit. Those of any religious pursuit who abuse that name to cause harm pains the heart of my God more because He loves them no less than you and I. How’s that for waxing poetic? It is true all the same.

  • Apollos

    I sorry it went over your head. Let me break it down for you. Just as a sentence is made up of nouns, verbs, and adjectives, etc., it would be incorrect for me to claim that every word in your sentence is a verb JUST AS it is incorrect for YOU to quote one part of his post as if that was the only thing he wrote. Understand now?

    In brief, not all of his post was vitriolic (harsh and angry words). He said: “I’m not here for your cheap grace. Leave that to your gods.”
    Any objective person would confer that the above quote consists of harsh and angry words. If you can’t see that, then I don’t know what else can be done for you.

  • Jeff Preuss

    He just said, “Not sure.” I think that is his best evidence.

  • Apollos

    Let’s assume you are may be right. Now, provide the evidence of what you think is “harsh and angry” from my post.

  • $136305622

    No need for more explanation – as I stated in my reply, I understood. Your comments clearly show your arrogance and vitriol, so I concede I am talking to an expert on the topic!

  • How does the existence of God posit objective morality?

  • JD

    Would I allow my son or daughter to have a gay friend of the same sex, or straight friend of the opposite sex in their rooms w/ the door closed? Well, most likely not, but it really depends on my children. I’m a big believer in treating children as though they are actual human beings and not just my property. So, much if it will depend on my knowledge of my kids and the actual circumstances. I’m not a fan of blanket policies like that, especially when it involves restricting people other than myself.

    The thing is, though, most of the time, especially with teenagers, you have no clue if they are gay or not. Why? Because they’ve been bullied and shamed for generations that most stay hidden in the closet. So, you may think your little Johnny is just hanging out with his straight friend Jeff, but Jeff very well may be gay. Heck, your little Johnny may be gay.

    Raise up a child in the way they should go, IMO, doesn’t mean force arbitrary rules on them without allowing them the opportunity to prove themselves. If you raise them up to love God and make sound decisions, then trust them. Will they screw up? Possibly. Guess what? Adults screw up constantly. But trusting children goes a long way in developing healthy, open, and honest relationships with them.

  • Adult human beings have sex. This is a commonality across class lines, racial lines, gender lines, and all over the place. Your insane denial that straight Christians are out having sex would be funny if it wasn’t so deranged and separate from objective factual reality.

    If you actually cared about Christianity as a belief system, rather than just using it as a justification for a hatred against LGBT people that you just already happen to have (religion aside), then you’d know that Christianity states that: All humans are sinners. All humans have fallen from God’s grace. All of the sins separate them from God, and mere good works alone is not enough.

    This notion you have of being a member of an elite, ‘homo superior’ kind of exalted class in God’s eye because you’ve never done what’s labeled as one particular sin but have done a ton of other sins is… not something out of Christianity. At all. You’re a sinner, and you’re in the same boat as the other sinners.

    BTW: I’m not a Christian, and it’s ironically sad that I have to explain Christianity to you.

  • $136305622

    I wold upvote you many more times than once if it were possible! Maybe one of the best comments on this story! Thank you.

  • Apollos

    Arrogance is easily confused with confidence and as for vitriol, give me the evidence for that – “harsh and angry words”.

    I am not angry, nor am I being harsh. I am being direct and logical in my answers.

  • JD

    Thank you. My wife and I have embraced peaceful parenting, and it’s completely revolutionized the relationship we have with our children. ‘Jesus: the Gentle Parent’, by LR Knost, is an absolutely phenomenal book on the subject.

  • >’I’m a big believer in treating children as though they are actual human beings and not just my property.’

    This… seriously, this… also, thanks for noting that being LGBT is something that people happen to be born as, so conservative Christians can and do have LGBT children because there’s zero reason that they inherently couldn’t– any more than they couldn’t have left-handed children or disabled children in wheelchairs.

  • Anyone can look back at that thread and see that you were not referring to yourself, but LGBTQ people in a thread about LGBTQ people on an article about LGBTQ people.

    No matter how much you perfume your violent rhetoric, the stench remains.

    I stand by the words, the anger, and the grief I’ve expressed for what my community has endured at the hands of your Church.

    Your self-righteousness and refusal to take responsibility for you own violent rhetoric is not on me, nor will I entertain it.

  • Herm

    No one whose heart is actually FILLED with the Holy Spirit from our creator God of unmerited love could have such vitriol spew from it. You are closed minded to the views of an eternally progressive Lord Jesus who chose to die on a cross for His enemies rather than call 12 legions of angels to destroy His enemies. You are the definition of conservative and that is no where like my Brother Jesus who you obviously do not know.

  • Apollos

    That’s fine IF (a BIG IF) they are seeking God. However, if you read the article, you realize that Graham is speaking about religious recruitment on an organized scale. Do you think that equates to gays coming to youth group of their own insistence and volition?

  • JD

    Oh, I fully know that it is a matter of being born that way. It’s a subject that’s very close to home for me. I’ve seen the soul-crushing depression caused by being forced into the closet. I would never wish that on anyone.

  • It can translate into being anti-gay by dint of disproportionate application. If it comes bundled with an argument that gay people cannot and should never pretend to be married, then one arrives at a situation in which straight people have a means of legitimizing sex and gay people do not.

    Similarly, one could arrive at a position which is inherently anti-poor by forbidding the theft of bread, the begging of coins, and sleeping under bridges for rich and poor alike.

  • $136305622

    Anger and vitriol:

    Do you honestly believe that teenagers who have been sexually active (and don’t dare deny that the majority of gay teenagers HAVE NOT BEEN ACTIVE) would not be at risk for doing those acts with other teens in a church group?!

    Even if you don’t care about your child, you have no right to be angry at those who do. Churches are places for those who are seeking God. They are NOT places for those who are bused in simply because we want to show them that we love them. We can show them that in other venues, thank you very much.

    Arrogance and condescension:

    I sorry it went over your head. Let me break it down for you. Just as a sentence is made up of nouns, verbs, and adjectives, etc., it would be incorrect for me to claim that every word in your sentence is a verb JUST AS it is incorrect for YOU to quote one part of his post as if that was the only thing he wrote. Understand now?

    In brief, not all of his post was vitriolic (harsh and angry words). He said: “I’m not here for your cheap grace. Leave that to your gods.”

    Any objective person would confer that the above quote consists of harsh and angry words. If you can’t see that, then I don’t know what else can be done for you.

    No evidence of directness and logic in your responses to me.

  • Nick

    Amen brother.

  • Once again, if you actually understood Christianity at all, which you clearly don’t, you’d know that the New Testament features frequently Jesus and the new Christians going to all kinds of downtrodden groups and inviting them to do many different things and go many different places.

  • JD

    Yes, I absolutely believe that Franklin Graham is talking against even that. I grew up in that world that he spews that venom from. I am still wounded from that fundamentalist bubble. In no way would a homosexual teenager ever been accepted by those churches, even if they were coming to seek God.

  • Apollos

    I was 90% sure that you would seize upon that. Let’s try another angle… go to the Castro District in San Francisco and tell me what you see in the chop windows, please. Go to a gay bar and tell me what you witness. Would you like more proof that the gay lifestyle is very much centered on the sexual?

  • Herm

    Is that a hint that you believe those evil gays are out to get you and your children?

  • $136305622

    Much better explained than my feeble attempts!

  • JD

    The funny thing is that Jesus didn’t wait until the tax collectors, prostitutes, terrorists, and murderers sought Him. He went to them. He recruited them. He dined with them. He was attacked by the religious elite and accused of being a drunkard because of it.

  • But rather I wrote to you not to associate with any one who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or robber—not even to eat with such a one. —1 Corinthians 5:11

    And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” And when Jesus heard it, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” —Mark 2:13-17

    Curiously, we arrive at circumstances in which Paul would have condemned Jesus…

  • Apollos

    My gay friends know that, while I love them as people, I do not agree with their lifestyle and also believe that it is against the design of God for his creation.

    Are you telling me that, when your daughter dates a porn star or a drug dealer, you will not let her know what you think while also remaining steadfast in your love for her? Please be honest.

  • Lee Anne

    I am a transgender woman. I knew that I was “different” in 1957 at age 5. I retreated into myself when it became evident that my feelings were considered to be wrong. I lived my life in despair. I sought comfort in drugs and alcohol and eventually the christian church. I became a lay reader and eventually became senior warden knowing all the while that I would be shunned if the congregation found out my “secret”.
    I was miserable and turned to binge eating to ease the pain. It finally came to the point of either authenticity or suicide. I chose the former and I have never felt more at peace. I traded a god for sanity and hope. I lost 80 lbs, quit my substance abuse and left the church that had offered no comfort or understanding.
    I have been told that god does not make mistakes. If so I wonder why he made me and the tens of millions of LGBTQI people scattered across the earth. Perhaps we are a test as to just how loving religious people are. If so, a large number are failing his test.

  • JD

    Go to any mall in America and see the lingerie shops. Turn on a tv and watch the scantily clad women prancing around. Go to the beach and see women wearing nothing but strings. Would you like more proof that the heterosexual lifestyle is very much centered on the sexual?

  • ‘Go to any red light district in major European nations, such as neighborhoods in Paris. Can you see any clearer sign that the straight lifestyle is all about sex?’

    There’s so much lying and stupidity in your posts that wading through it is a major slog. Two important points:
    1. Sexuality is a common thing, and having sex is a common thing… both of this happens all of the time among all human beings, LGBT or not LGBT alike.
    2. Orientation is a trait, like being left-handed, that you happen to be born with. It’s not a damn ‘lifestyle’ any more than being Jewish is a ‘lifestyle’ or being African-American is a ‘lifestyle’.

  • $136305622

    I think that is a good idea! You should actually go to gay bars and witness what you see. I go every Tuesday to play pool. I think you would leave the bar thinking that the gay lifestyle is focused on darts, pool, drinking, laughing and making friends. Not sure that is much different from teh lifestyle I see at “straight” bars lol.

  • I understand, however, hell can only exist if God is willing to sustain it. I don’t believe he is willing to do that. I couldn’t torture my children forever or send them to an abyss of my absence simply because they chose not to love me. I am not better at loving than God.

  • JD

    I seriously doubt you have gay friends. Also, it shows your lack of understanding when you essentially equate homosexuals to porn stars and drug dealers. What’s next? Beastiality and pedophiles?

  • Jeff Preuss

    “That’s fine IF (a BIG IF) they are seeking God.”
    It’s only as big an if for gay kids as it is for straight kids. Kids of all stripes want to learn about themselves and their place in this world, and that usually includes spirituality. If a gay kid is objectively less inclined to want to hear about God, perhaps that is because people like Graham (and you) make it clear they are not welcome in the Church, and by extension, welcomed by God.

    “However, if you read the article, you realize that Graham is speaking
    about religious recruitment on an organized scale. Do you think that
    equates to gays coming to youth group of their own insistence and
    volition?”
    A) No, that’s not what the article indicated at all. Graham expressed concern over some Christians he knew inviting gay kids into their homes and into their churches. That’s called evangelizing.
    B) I think it equates to gay kids coming to youth group of their own volition, yes, because I don’t know of many who find kidnapping and proselytizing to a captive audience to be a well-received or effective system.

  • The insanity that you think that an adult choosing to be a drug dealer is somehow the same as a kid being born black, born gay, born Jewish, born disabled, born left-handed, etc is rather breathtaking… I don’t know if it’s sad, pathetic, disturbing, funny in a negative way, or all of that altogether.

  • $136305622

    It is not angry. I understand. I don’t make the assumption that gay people are in relationships. I happen to be in one but I know many who are not. (how did you get that I made that assumption?!). I believe that you probably have a gay friend. You just dont’ fully accept them, or if they are a great friend, they most likely don’t accept themselves fully. I know Catholicism very well and they preach that you are to love anyone even if they are gay, so I can see how you would not reject them as a person.

  • JD

    Homosexuality and guns. Two surefire topics that you can almost guarantee the most unloving responses from American Christians on.

  • $136305622

    Porn star and drug dealer as the equivalent of being gay. Is this the logic you were referring to in a prior comment to me? lol. I think we can all see there is not reasoning with you if this is your starting point.

  • If a Person X has a friend that X thinks is an inherently inferior class of human being that should have less freedom than everyone else, just because they happened to have been born something that X inherently dislikes (born Jewish, born gay, born left-handed, whatever), then that makes Person X a pretty lousy friend. That needs to be said.

    [Note that X is not necessarily you and you X, just making the point for life in general.]

  • JD

    In his defense, it does seem to be an improvement from the pedophile/bestiality comparisons that I most often see.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Please be honest? I am a Christian who is gay, and the idea that my life is some lifestyle you equate with “dating a porn star or a drug dealer” is ridiculous, offensive, and not of Christ. Get over yourself, and get over your fear of us. In your first comment, you painted the gay kids as these predators that would make your daughter have some gay intimate experience.

    You thrive on stereotypes.

    “My gay friends know that, while I love them as people, I do not agree
    with their lifestyle and also believe that it is against the design of
    God for his creation.” SHOW them your posts. ASK them how it makes them feel. Don’t give me the BS of “they know I don’t approve of their lifestyles…” Talk to THEM and get REAL answers. Ask THEM if they know you “love” them. Their answers might surprise you.

    You pretend you don’t know the damage your words regularly do, to gay people, gay kids, and to the Church. But you know. You know.

  • Apollos

    You are right that I should respond to your comments only and not assume too much. I apologize for doing that.

    However, teenagers are, by nature, explorers and the kind that do before they think things through. They are also more sexually active than you are assuming. Even if you were correct about teens taking longer to figure out their “orientation” then that would not define the type of teens to whom Graham is referring. He is talking about gay teens — people who know they are gay. They are attracted SEXUALLY to the same sex. Right there, you have intent. All you need now is a risk taker and the right venue. Church youth groups provide this.

  • Herm

    Apollos, one more time porn stars and drug dealers are made that way more often by their circumstances. Gays and Blacks are born that way from the womb. If you were really close to either you would know they are honest in who they are attracted to no different than an honest heterosexual. I don’t want my children with anyone who would subjugate, intimidate or manipulate to harm. An all inclusive blanket definition of gay in no way says, because of their sexual or gender attractions, they are, also, going to subjugate, intimidate or manipulate my child anymore than a heterosexual. There is more physical, mental and spiritual rape by heterosexual perpetrators than all open LGBTQ put together. You are homophobic.

  • Because let’s remember how evangelical Christians have been bombing hospitals in order to kill laser eye surgeons, because God clearly opposes the idea of altering one’s eyes to see better. God doesn’t make mistakes. You must stick to the eyes you’re given because that’s your God-created body that cannot be changed in any way.

    /sarc

  • Jeff Preuss

    Sooooo, go to the most stereotyped gay-centric ghetto in the world and expect that is representative of us as a whole? Yup. No bias from you. None at all.

    Should we go to a seedy straight bar and project everything we see there on YOUR life?

    Where is Jesus in your words here?

  • I used to like his show, but it grew wearisome after awhile. I hadn’t realized how much I disliked him until I was watching some of his stand-up comedy and had to leave the room when it started getting really sexist.

  • JD

    This is simply asinine. Christian youth groups provide a refuge for those that are broken, confused, and hurting. You want a lily white church with no warts. That’s not where God is. Want to find Jesus? He’s with the sinners. He’s going out into the highways and hedges, compelling them to come in. It’s not “fix yourself, then come”. It’s “come”.

    Not all gay people are sexual predators as you are painting them. You paint a picture of homosexuals being incapable of self-control, and just looking to spread the gay.

  • $136305622

    I work with gay teens. They know they are gay because they are attracted sexually to the same sex. Some have actually had sex, I know. Most have actually not. Just like the kids I worked with at a sports camp – many were heterosexual. They knew that because they were sexually attracted to the opposite sex. Some had had sex. Not at the camp because it was chaperoned and monitored.

    So yes, some kids want to have sex and will try it. The problem is that you are saying that GAY kids are going to be more sexually active and aggressive than their straight counterparts. That is simply false.

  • Dennis Wilson

    His words say so.

  • Only imitate?

    Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I go to the Father.

  • Apollos

    The ONLY sentence that I would say may be angry is, “Even if you don’t care about your child, you have no right to be angry at those who do. ”

    I meant to and thought I wrote Even if you didn’t care about your child…

    So, yes, you have one instance, but that was an error… I was not angry. My use of ALL CAPS is for EMPHASIS because there is no way to bold or underline words on these posts (that I know of).

  • Sunnisong

    So Apollos, Would you allow a wife-beater or crooked businessman into your home? Do you realize the odds are great that you have done that. Why is it that many modern Christians act like the only sins are about sex? How about the ones Jesus was most quick to rebuke: self-righteousness, lack of compassion, judgment. Paul said it, “We are all sinners.” It appears to me one of your sins is self-righteousness. The same one Jesus decried in the self-righteous Pharisees.

    And, as for church camps. My adult friends who used to attend those camps as youths tell me stories of a lot of heterosexual hanky panky that the adults had no idea was going on. Better look to that instead of assuming that your children will be “converted” to something that people are born with, not “converted” to.

  • JD

    No, how you are choosing to inject your bias and infer things is what “says so”.

  • Works: So evil that Jesus hinged belief in him on the value of the works themselves.

    Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own authority; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father in me; or else believe me for the sake of the works themselves.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Your hair looks nice today. (I’m trying to one-up Ron…)

  • $136305622

    Fortunately you have provided more examples of vitriol in your comments about gay teens. That is, venemous language expressing ill-will.

  • I’d just like to point out that you are implying that gay teenagers rape straight teenagers and somehow this recruits them into homosexuality.

    Is this that Christian love I’ve heard so much about?

  • Apollos

    I don’t believe it to be false. Look at the world of rap music, for example. It is full of sex talk and focused on sex more than anything. What has a sex-focused industry produced in the black youth? A higher rate of sexual activity.

    Gay culture is focused on sex. No one can deny this. That will and does produce more sexual activity in gay teens, especially the males.

  • Apollos

    That thought NEVER came into my mind. So, no, you are drawing incredible conclusions.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Yeah, I was kind of an anomaly at Southern Baptist youth camp stuff, in that I wasn’t fooling around, trying to sneak a cigarette, or find some alcohol. But, clearly, as a gay kid, I was the dangerous influence in the midst.

  • $136305622

    “no one can deny this”
    And yet you have received many comments from actual gay people here who have in fact told you differently. Sorry, can’t talk anymore to someone who refuses to engage in good faith discussion. It is shameful to spread lies about a group of people. I’m done.

  • Apollos

    Please. I’m not going to waste another second defending what I have said. If you want to believe that I desire for gays to just die and that I have some “ill-will” towards them, then you keep believing that. Take care.

  • It may not have come into your mind, but it is the conclusion to the scenario you propose. Why else are you concerned about a gay teenager being in the same room as a straight one? You are directly implying that they will have sex. If one of them is truly straight, then the only way this will occur is by rape.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “Is this that Christian love I’ve heard so much about?”
    Don’t you feel all warm inside now?

  • $136305622

    That is exactly what he is implying. Well said!

  • Apollos

    Please type in “gay” and look at the images from google. I rest my case.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “They are attracted SEXUALLY to the same sex. Right there, you have intent.”
    That is NOT intent. That is ATTRACTION. Quit making gay kids into predators.

  • Herm

    Thank you Lee Anne, I am crying right now as I know your pain. God bless your journey to the end of eternity!!! Love you!

  • JD

    “you people condemn him for cautioning Evangelicals against rushing to bus in unbelieving teens into churches to influence them”

    Because what he’s calling for is in direct contradiction to the Great Commission.

  • JD

    Wow. That’s your “evidence”?

  • Some do. Mary Lambert included lines in her contributions to Same Love and She Keeps Me Warm which allude to the years she spent growing up attending an evangelical Christian church, hearing horrifying sermons lambasting the group of which she was part every Sunday.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “Please type in “gay” and look at the images from google. I rest my case.”

    …what an infantile and ludicrous argument. It doesn’t even deserve to be picked apart with reason.

  • Apollos

    I did not say and am not painting them as sexual predators. I would not have a problem with a gay person coming to church because they had a desire to do so. What Graham is talking about is clearly a different issue. It is with TEENAGERS who are being brought in willy-nilly, not having a true desire to be there. The verse you quote above is for SALVATION and NOT FOR CHURCH. A church is a BODY OF BELIEVERS and those who are seeking truth. There are many other venues to share God’s truth with gays. What is so hard to understand about that?

  • Some do, some don’t. Often, those who do, do because they grew up in the faith and later lost it. Others glean a perspective from critical study of the Bible without the unspoken obligation to accept every word for its sermon-instructed meaning. Others simply read it and realized that much meaning had been glossed over, left out, or outright distorted.

    And then there are those who don’t. Like any average, there are those on one side and those on the other…

  • Apollos

    I can give you example after example of how the gay lifestyle IS centered on SEX. What do you find in GAY DISTRICTS????????

    Is it not SEX SEX SEX AND MORE SEX? Don’t tell me that the sun doesn’t rise in the East, please.

  • Recent years have led me to twitch especially hard at such concepts.

    People: the hymen? It doesn’t break. If someone bled on their first sexual experience, it’s probably because there wasn’t enough lubrication.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Wow. And the fear that is so patently present in a recent guest is so CLEARLY blinding him to reality or compassion. He’s part of the very same problem that Franklin Graham is – we’re an opponent, an enemy, that must be kept at a distance, lest we pollute the sanctity of the Church. Apparently, it’s too fragile of an institution to withstand our influence.

    Apparently, Jesus is weak and needs defending. I don’t get it.

  • JD

    That is EXACTLY what you are painting them as. Who the heck is Graham to know the heart of these gay teenagers and their motives? What Graham is calling for is anti-Christ. It is repulsive and directly contradictory to the Great Commission. You and Graham are assuming intent. You are assuming they have no desire to seek God because they were “bused” in.

    You know what? They may not have a desire to seek God when they are invited. But for many, especially those that are on the receiving end of venom that you and Graham spew, inviting them in may be their best chance to see Jesus. Because they aren’t seeing Him through Christians on tv or in media.

    Christ went out and sought sinners.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “I did not say and am not painting them as sexual predators.”
    BS.

    “So, Benjamin, would you allow a lesbian teenager into your daughter’s
    home or a heterosexual teenager, for that matter, and allow them to go
    into the room and shut the door, spend time strolling through the woods
    behind your house, etc.? If you would, then you obviously don’t care
    about protecting your daughter from sexual experiences that she should
    never be having at that age.”

    YOUR words. Your FIRST comment. You feel teenagers need protection from the gay teenagers.

  • JD

    What do you find at football games? Scantily clad women gyrating. What do you find at the beach? Women barely clothed.

  • Herm

    Then why fear them differently than heterosexual children?

  • Apollos

    The very definition of the word gay points to a sexual attraction and to the act itself. More than anything, Sex is what is center in the gay lifestyle. That’s where I stand on the issue. If you don’t agree, go to a gay bar and witness it for yourself. You know in your heart of hearts that gays are much more sexually active as the statistics bare out.

  • Jeff Preuss

    As I said, your irrational comment does not deserve a rational dissection of its inanity. You are using hyperbole and extreme examples and applying them to us as a whole.

    Your comments lack Jesus.

  • Apollos

    Wrong. The focus at football games is not the cheerleaders (except for the perverts) and 99.9% of women attending are NOT gyrating. The focus at beaches is sun-bathing and swimming, etc. It is not a sex-charged atmosphere. Apples are not orange, oranges are orange.

  • JD

    Heterosexual = physical attraction to opposite sex
    Homosexual = physical attraction to same sex

    You keep talking about gay bars as though you been to one. I think you have no clue what goes on in gay bars outside of what your imagination is telling you. Then again, walk into any nightclub on any weekend night, and guess what you’re going to see? Men and women dry humping on a dance floor, getting wasted, then going home together. But yeah, the gays are the problem.

  • Billy Sunday!

  • JD

    Riiiiiight, those string bikinis are just for sun bathing and certainly not about attracting members of the opposite sex.

  • Herm

    The very definition of the word heterosexual points to a sexual attraction and to the act itself. More than anything, Sex is what is center in the heterosexual lifestyle. That is where I stand on the issue. If you don’t agree, go to a heterosexual bar and witness it for yourself. You know in your heart of hearts that heterosexuals are much more sexually active as the statistics bare out.

  • Apollos

    A gay bar is an extreme example? The very gay capital of America is an extreme example? A Google search is an extreme example? Look. There are gays who are monogamous and would prefer to have one gay partner forever and ever. BUT, that is not the norm and YOU know it.

  • lilycarol

    A gay person is not the same as a drug dealer or pornographer. Oops for you.

  • JD

    Your caricatures of cherry picked “evidence” is extreme.

  • Apollos

    Over have of those women are MARRIED with kids. HELLO? Do you honestly think they are wearing two-pieces or bikinis to pick up some knuckle-head they don’t know? I think not.
    You are starting to give the wrong impression about yourself here… be careful ;)

  • Technically speaking, the Bible does say there will be multiple antichrists:

    Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come.

    Just one of those things that never gets mentioned in premillennial dispensationism.

    On the other hand, the Bible also says that the Antichrist is anyone who denies God and Jesus. That pretty much means that the majority of the planet is made up of Antichrists.

  • Jeff Preuss

    The words “you obviously don’t care about protecting your daughter from sexual experiences that she should never be having at that age” sure do seem to set the lesbian teen referenced earlier as a sexual danger.

    Funny how his own words don’t mean what he thinks they mean.

  • lilycarol

    All those qualities have been disparaged in the past and some even now. Let’s show Christ’s love to all, starting now. GLBTQ is in the open. Your kids will accept that as parents or your grandchildren will. Why wait to do God’s Word?

  • Dennis Wilson

    So says you. You refuse to say if you profess to be a Christian. I reply to you and you just run to another attack.

  • Herm

    I was a heterosexual teenager often having no true desire to be in church, Sunday school or youth group unless there was an attractive girl present. I was never considered a predator due to my sexual attractions. What is so hard to understand about that?

  • Guy Norred

    Just remember, we cause earthquakes and floods. Surely we should have no problem pulling apart a church?

  • I can’t even believe what I’m reading. By your logic, straight teens shouldn’t go to youth group since their sexual orientation is “intent”. This is an absurd line of thinking.

  • $136305622

    Yes, this. There are all kinds of “bars” – both hetero and gay. If I go to one gay bar (where I play pool every week), it is a sports bar. There is no sex going on. If I go to a straight bar down the street, another sports bar, there is no sexual activity going on. Now, if I go to the local strip club (straight) I see some tawdry stuff. Similarly, there is a local gay strip club where there is “sex” stuff (although, funny enough, it is MUCH tamer than that straight club…). Everything Apollos says about gay bars applies to straight bars. Why can’t he see this?!

  • Apollos

    “A 1994 study in the United States, which looked at the number of sexual partners in a lifetime, found 20% of heterosexual men had only one partner, 55% had two to 20 partners, and 25% had more than 20 partners.[20] More recent studies have reported similar numbers.[21] Earlier studies found homosexual men were more likely to have very large numbers of sexual partners.”
    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Promiscuity#Male_promiscuity

  • JD

    Oh, I don’t believe I’m giving a wrong impression of myself. I believe the impression people get from me is, hopefully, one that loves others and treats them with respect and like human beings. I believe we should love like Christ loves. What did Christ do? He sought out the sinners, even when the Franklin Graham’s of His day accused Him of being a drunkard.

    You don’t want to bus in gay teenagers because they aren’t “seeking” God. But you seem to have no problem busing in heterosexual teenagers, even if they aren’t “seeking” God. But then again, I grew up with your ilk. It’s all about finding gay people “icky”, so you create these special, nonbiblical, rationalizations to treat them like dirt. You will point to a mythical gay friend and hide behind lines like “love the sinner, but hate the sin”. Of course, this is manifested by hateful treatment of the sinner.

  • >’ X thinks his/her friend is inferior (and if X did, why would he/she hang around with that person)’

    That’s far more common that you might think. Just look up how there are many American white supremacists identifying as having Jewish friends and African-American friends, and it’s actually true. Hence why “some of my best friends are ___” is never a good thing to say in any form in any kind of discussion, because it doesn’t necessarily imply personal tolerance.

  • JD

    What are you talking about? I said I am a follower of Christ.

    Oh wait, were you wanting my declaration of faith in a certain format?

  • $136305622

    It gets worse Ben – stop reading :) (J/k)

  • Jeff Preuss

    It reminds me of the “scientific” studies that were performed a few decades back about our relatively shorter lifespan, and the source of information for the study was death notices in gay bar magazines during the swell of the AIDS crisis.

    So, yeah, during that time, you’re going to rely on bar magazine death notices about their regulars (who, y’know, drink and party a lot, or at least enough to be notable fixtures in bars) as “proof” that gay people live much shorter lives? While not comparing those stats to equivalent sources from the straight world?

  • >’The very definition of the word gay points to a sexual attraction and to the act itself. More than anything, Sex is what is center in the gay lifestyle.’

    This is a factually incorrect lie. It’s not a matter of opinion. It’s a lie. You might as well claim that the earth is only 5,000 years old or that the Holocaust didn’t happen. You have a right to whatever opinions you want, but lying about facts is pathetic.

  • JD

    It really is disgusting. Don’t go out and try to compel them to come in because, you know, they intend on turning your kids gay. Nevermind that whole Great Commission thing.

  • Herm

    If my teenage daughter had a lesbian sexual experience I wouldn’t have to worry that she might seek an abortion to save our family embarrassment due to her inquiring hormonal mind armed with insufficient judgment.

  • lilycarol

    Your gay friends think you are ignorant and pity but put up with you. They are outstanding individuals if they truly love you. Can you walk in the woods with one?

  • Jeff Preuss

    I KNOW your comments still lack Jesus (and truth), which is odd for someone so intent on protecting the Church.

  • Ah, but that presumes he announced it for our sake, as opposed to announcing it to declare tribal boundaries.

  • JD

    But they are some FABULOUS earthquakes and floods though.

  • Kate Johnson

    I think perhaps it is you who need to make up your mind. What are we here for? Are we here so we can live in our happy little insular world with no one that make us uncomfortable in view, totally committed to sanitizing the world for our protection to make it a more comfortable place for us? Have a lovely social club where we get together with our friends and talk about the Bible, but when it comes time to take some risk for obedience, we take a pass? Or are we here to glorify God by preaching good news to the captives and bind up the brokenhearted and walking straight out of our comfort zone to shine the light of God’s love in the dark places? It’s amazing to me how completely driven by fear you folks are. Apparently the idea of trusting God and believing that he who is in us is greater than he who is in the world, is currently not something you ascribe to. So worried about protecting your comfort and safety, you turn away opportunities. I’m sad for you that your god is so weak that allowing a gay teen through the door of your “church” would mean that they would be the one’s to influence you kids, instead of the other way around. Your god seems very tiny and stuffed in a box as to never really challenge you or make you uncomfortable. That’s not my God. My God takes all comers. My God is the God of transformative power. Who doesn’t run from sinners, thankfully, but goes out to them to draw them in. Who enters into the mess, and I”m so glad he is.

  • So now you’re lying and claiming that African-Americans are obsessed with sex now? Doubling-down on ignorance? Wow, you really live in a bubble world without facts and logic intruding on it.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I DO have a lot of glitter at work.

  • Zey probably pictured some form of seduction taking place, forgetting or ignoring that sexuality doesn’t work that way, or defining sexuality as “who you’re currently having sex with.”

  • Apollos

    Nice try. Most heterosexual bars are centered on drinking. Yes, there are dance clubs that are focused on picking up people, but bars are not primarily pick up joints.
    I’ve been in gay districts and I’ve seen what goes on. I repeat… That is where I stand on the issue.

  • Apollos

    Never said that gays were the problem… that came from you. I said that gays have a higher focus on sex. You can’t do anything with that… try as you may. You will lose because the statistics are against you.

  • Apollos

    Really? Have you ever lived in a gay district or even visited one?

  • Guy Norred

    ^^^This^^^^ because one like just isn’t enough

  • lilycarol

    So gay kids aren’t interested, but heterosexual kids are? After confirmation, 90% of my group never came back. “Got that over with … Whew.” I’m Hetero btw.

  • $136305622

    The sad thing is that we are even worried about some shop windows having sexual stuff. So what?! I guess Christians like Appollos believes sex should not be fun or a part of life. How sad is that?!

  • lilycarol

    So he’s hurt and bitter, and you judge all atheists as ugly In their talk. He doesn’t represent every atheist any more than “name that crooked TV preacher” represents us Christians.

  • Apollos

    Let me restate it for clarity. The gay lifestyle IS… IS… IS centered on SEX. A homosexual teen is either IN that lifestyle or he is thinking about getting into it. Since there is more sexual activity (a statistically-proven fact) in the gay lifestyle, then it follows that teens who “come out” in that lifestyle will be in a sexual relationship or looking to “experiment”. A church is not the place for that and it is certainly not a place for gays who do not see their lifestyle as outside of God’s intent for human relations.

  • Do you have an actual argument to make? Of course, there are red-light-type districts in a lot of places. There are strip clubs in a lot of places. It goes on. All you’ve been doing is wiggling around, spewing out fallacies, hand-waving, and the like. Where is a valid argument for you? All I’m getting is “I hate LGBT people and will come up with whatever validation to justify my underlying hatred”. You should note that anti-semites, anti-black racists, and other groups do the same thing in terms of reaching out for nonsensical justifications when they’ve already made up their mind in the first place to hate.

  • Apollos

    Jeff, Answer the question… Is it possible for you to LOVE YOUR CHILD and NOT approve of his/her actions and or lifestyle? Is that possible? Answer it please.

  • lilycarol

    Oh for pete’s sake, just let the kids be and leave off everyone else’s sex lives. Good grief.

  • $136305622

    You are correct, I am not a Christian. I left at age 23 after years in the seminary to become a priest. I have met many many Christians of course. I have met two Franciscans who I might say “really” practiced the message of the Gospel. That is it. So you are right, it is VERY rare.

    Thanks for the comment and clarification – makes a lot of sense. Get some sleep!

  • $136305622

    How would they make their money?! (Dobson and Graham that is)
    /sarcasm of course.

  • Apollos

    God is way past an adult, but we are talking about CHILDREN? If you really believe what you are saying, then why not send your teenage son into a strip club and share with the ladies. Why not ask your teenage daughter to go into a biker’s bar and preach the good news?

    We have faith in God, but we know that God created gravity, so we don’t throw ourselves off of buildings to prove our faith, do we?

    Jesus said, “Do not put the Lord your God to the test.” What adults do is one thing, but now we are talking about children. And, BTW, I am sure Graham does not have a problem with a gay teen or a gay adult coming to church! Please do not make a mountain out of a mole hill! We are talking about adults WHO ARE PUSHING their teenage sons and daughters to bring in their gay friends. If this was the teenager’s idea, that would be a different story!

    Lastly, don’t assume you know me or my estimation of God. I have lived for over a decade in the Middle East where people are killed for their faith. I have risked my life and still do. Your estimation of me is of no importance.

  • Apollos

    I can’t speak to your experience… only my own and statistical fact.

    Were you pushed into going to church or camp by a Christian teenager who was pressured to do so by his parents for the purpose of your conversion? If your answer is no, then you are not who Graham is talking about. Is that clear?

  • Guy Norred

    It is coming down to that thing where some straight people sure do seem to think about gay sex a LOT more than I do.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Well, Herm would say that he is a follower of Christ and yet he has said – “Jesus, the Christ, is not God.” So, Herm is not a follower of Christ and he cannot be a Christian.

    I asked if you profess to be a Christian, not if you are a follower of Christ.

  • Joseph Allen

    Letters have audiences and contexts . . . You have to read a letter through the lens of the audience. The Corinthians were new believers and their church was full of people who were unwilling to confront sin in their midst, so Paul encouraged them to avoid people who claimed to be followers of Christ, but were living in unrepentant sin . . . a lot like Franklin Graham is doing.

  • Apollos

    You are entirely off the mark and completely misunderstand what the article (and I) are referring to. Let me be clear. WE ARE TALKING ABOUT CHURCH KIDS WHO ARE BEING PRESSURED BY THEIR PARENTS TO BRING GAY TEENAGERS TO CHURCH FOR “MINISTRY”. THIS, MIND YOU, IS NOT THE IDEA OF THE CHURCH KIDS, BUT IS COMING FROM THE ADULTS!

    It is ridiculous to even suggest that I, somehow, believe that only people who have gay sex are outside of God’s will. ANYONE who practices a lifestyle of ANY SIN, is just as FAR outside of God’s will.

    BTW: Both genetic science and nature itself are against your premise that people are, somehow, born gay. That is not science nor is it fact. The fact is, nature created female plumbing that is compatible with male plumbing. It is not complicated. Either nature, genetics, and God’s Word are wrong OR you are right. I’ll go with the former.

  • Apollos

    Your home is not the place for a restaurant and neither is your car a the appropriate place for sleeping. The Church is not a place for people who Do NOT REALLY WANT TO BE THERE. Why… Why is that so hard for you to understand?

  • Apollos

    No. Salvation can be had anywhere and is an issue of the HEART. Church is the place where BELIEVERS AND THOSE SEEKING GOD GO? Is that clear? It is not a place for people WHO DON’T REALLY WANT TO BE THERE. Do you want us to start shoving kids in the doors of the church by all means? IS THAT WHAT YOU ARE CALLING FOR?

  • Joe Miller

    Dr Corey thanks for this article. I did not know that Graham said those things. So appalling, but I am not too surprised! Good article.

  • Apollos

    This is not about the issue of fear or of gays even. This is more of an issue of adults trying to pressure their kids to bring gay teens to church for the purpose of “ministry”. Can you understand that that is not the way that things should work? NONE of the teens really wanted any of it, necessarily… IT CAME FROM THE PARENTS!

    So, do you think that church is a place for people who really don’t want to be there? I don’t and the Bible doesn’t either.

  • Apollos

    This is not worth responding to… sorry.

  • Apollos

    You’re a wonderful dad.

  • here’s a handy thing I learned in the AA program: fear is False Evidence Appearing Real.

  • Apollos

    Do you want your daughter to have sexual experiences at a young age (if you had a daughter)? What is wrong with you people, really?

  • Apollos

    Are you saying that active church going teens are having more sex than gay teens? Let’s put this into perspective, shall we?

  • Apollos

    I’m lying?! LOL! Do you read the statistics. Please do give me water and tell me it’s milk. ALL… ALL… ALL the STATISTICS are OVERWHELMINGLY CLEAR THAT AFRICAN AMERICAN TEENS ARE MORE SEXUALLY ACTIVE AND AT AN EARLIER AGE.

    Now, you are either lying or just ignorant of wide-spread statistics that no expert would deny.

  • Guy Norred

    In 1994 heterosexual men were allowed–expected even–to openly have a relationship with a woman. These relationships might have found disapproval for any number of reasons, but generally they were approved and were never disapproved BECAUSE they were heterosexual. In 1994 these relationships were nurtured not just by the couple itself but by the society around them recognizing the relationship. The same can not be said of any homosexual relationship at the time. Sure there might have been a few people in a few locations who were insulated in some ways from the general societal disapproval but they all knew it existed. The very fact that in this environment there WERE relationships that survived and would be considered healthy by any standards if they had been heterosexual is a true testament to them. Today is better, but not consistently. Also, no homosexual adult today has lived to this point without feeling some of the shame of this disapproval. People do not experience this without bearing some scars–scars that often don’t heal well. The truth is, often the people I know who seem to have the most unhealthy relationships with sex are the ones who grew up in the environments most unfriendly to the LGBTQ. This is seen as the bad fruit of these teachings by all who have not closed their eyes to the possibility–it is likely to take a very long time for the vestiges of this to disappear from our society–if the fruits of racism are any clue, it may never. Those who were lucky enough to find themselves in somewhat less repressed circumstances seem much closer to their reasonably healthy heterosexual counterparts. Also, I should add since you seem to be bringing it up so much, I not only have been in gay neighborhoods, but actually live in Chicago’s Boystown (named this long before West Hollywood). Yes, there is a certain openness here–and that may even lead to some extreme things–but isn’t that to be expected of a relief from repression. I have been with my husband for over thirteen years now and still am VERY aware of where I might be if I so much as hold his hand in public–outside of the confines of my neighborhood, I do fully expect that their are disapproving eyes on me.

  • Jeff Preuss

    NONE of your ranting has been based on keeping kids from sex period, it’s been about protecting them from GAY teens. What is wrong with YOU? NO one is saying what you are accusing us of here.

    EDIT to add: I do know what is wrong with you here. YOU are the one who is obsessed with sex, and you’re projecting. Take a step back, and reassess your position here, and perhaps your witness. All you’re doing is screaming.

  • Guy Norred

    Thank you so much for saying this! I didn’t want to throw all the heterosexual in my youth group under the bus but…;-)

  • Jonathan

    You are in the same comment saying that conservative Christianity isn’t about fear of hell, yet fear of hell is a central belief. Those two ideas are pretty mutually exclusive. I suppose in the semantic sense a basis of faith and a central belief aren’t exactly the same, but there’s precious little difference.

  • Apollos

    I’m not protecting anybody. The type of love you want is the type to pats you on the back and approves of everything you do. The kind of love you want is the kind that shuts its mouth and does not warn others of impending judgment, in the hopes that they might go in the other direction and believe that what God has said is true.

    John the Baptist, who Jesus called the “greatest of men”, was put in jail for what? For supporting a gay rights parade? No. He was put there and executed because he took a stand against Herod’s adultery and lifestyle and called it sinful. Did he not have love? God’s love takes many forms, but it NEVER TAKES THE FORM OF APPROVAL OF SIN.

  • Guy Norred

    And in all of this, the thing that I keep finding missing is that Graham especially seems to be wanting to exclude not just some random gay teens, but specifically those gay teens who have already been rejected–he is saying that those who have been thrown out should be left there.

  • JD

    No, a homosexual teen is someone that has realized they are attracted to the same sex. It doesn’t mean anything more than that. It does not mean they are looking to start having sex. It just means they are attracted to the same sex.

    And you are right. A church is not the place to experiment with any sexual act. Not just gay teens. A church is a place for he broken. It is a place for those who are hurting. You keep yammering about busing gay teens in that have no intent to seek God. The thing is, that would then apply to anyone. In your world, anyone without the intent to seek God shouldnt be invited to church. Screw planting seeds. Their intent wasn’t right (ignoring the fact that you are foolishly assuming intent of a complete stranger), so we won’t invite them in. That’s what your’s and Graham’s “church” looks like.

    You conveniently ignore the fact that, regardless of their intent, the Spirit may move powerfully in their lives as a result of being invited. Paul had no intention of seeking Jesus. His intent was to kill His followers. Yet Christ sought him out. Matthew had no intent of following Jesus, but Christ sought him out. You are treading in dangerous waters by refusing people because of what you believe their intent is. You point to how evil you believe their community is and use that as evidence to not go out and compel them to come in. You want your lily white get together of like minded folks, but God is found with the dirty, the broken, the hungry.

    What Graham calls for is simply irreconcilable with Christ. Christ never tells us to go out to the highways and hedges and compel them to come in, but only if their intent is to seek me. You and Graham seek to deny the Holy Spirit the opportunity to plant a seed in hearts. You say there are other venues to do this, but what is more powerful than a collection of those that are showing Christ-like love? We aren’t even talking about church membership. We’re talking about inviting people from a demographic group. Nobody bats an eye if you invite your adulterous neighbor to church, but inviting a homosexual is out of bounds? You speak against big efforts to target this group, but perhaps you should stop looking at it as targeting gays, but instead targeting sinners like you and me.

    Graham is wrong. Just flat-out wrong. His comments are dangerous, especially given the accurate perception of American Christian views towards homosexuals. Ask yourself this: do Graham’s comments bring glory to God and draw sinners closer to Him? Will his comments bring the people you and he “claim” to want to reach any closer to Him? Or will they only reinforce the perception of how American Christians are homophobic and hate-filled? Because , in the end, our job is to represent His Kingdom here and now. Our job is to love as He loves. When we are so easily, and in many cases accurately, labeled as hate-filled, then we’re not doing our job.

    Whether you think the gay lifestyle is focused on sex is irrelevant. It’s also unprovable. But our job is to go out to them and compel them to come in. Our job is to love them as Paul defines love in 1 Cor 13. Graham calls them enemies though. Before anything, he assumes their intent is to infiltrate and attack. It’s a disgusting assumption, especially given how hard a life gay teenagers face. They are not enemies. They are bearers of the divine image of God, just as you and I. Graham wants to exclude these “enemies”, but Christ hung on the cross for His enemies. What Graham calls for is not love. He calls for protection of his lily white, comfortable flock. God is about getting His hands dirty in His efforts to redeem His children.

  • Guy Norred

    And what tree is this the fruit of–is it not the tree of centuries of systemic racism?

  • JD

    Don’t worry. I’m sure he has an imaginary black friend back home too.

  • Apollos

    If it’s any consolation, men and women don’t hold hands in public in he Middle East either — it would be out of place, for the most part.

    But, your hypothesis is really only a hypothesis as to the reason for the statistics I gave. The bare facts remain as they are. However, I do feel that you are correct in saying that the number of gay partners will probably go down some given more time.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Because that is not, as has been pointed out to you, what Graham was referring to. By your rationale there should be no evangelistic outreach at all. You’re painting gay kids (and not kids in general) as predators who don’t want to be in Church, so they shouldn’t be allowed in. Shame on you and your histrionics.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Apollos, rational discussion isn’t possible with you, so there will be no answering your questions. As soon as you likened gay people to porn stars and drug dealers and went off the deep end on your sex obsession, you lost the privilege to be treated like an adult.

  • JD

    Stop assuming they don’t want to be there. Just because they are invited, doesn’t mean they don’t want to be there. They aren’t being forced to attend, so that at least shows they have some desire to be there.

    Also, stop trying to rob Christians, and thhe Holy Spirit, the opportunity to plant seeds in the hearts of the broken.

    Just absolutely vile stuff you are spewing.

  • Apollos

    Bull. You don’t know me from Adam… don’t try to pretend you do. I could care a less about what gay people do in there homes. I don’t want to see anyone — whether gay or straight — having sex in public or attempting to.

    As, for church, I DO HAVE A PROBLEM with manipulating people into going to church for alternative reasons! No one should be coming to church for a party, for the music, or for the business connections, etc.! Church is not a place for people who do not want to be there for what church is meant to provide at its core. I don’t know how many times I have to say that before people on this thread understand. It is logical and reasonable.

  • Apollos

    Nothing at all. Frankly, your parents should have told you to stay at home if you can’t go for the right reasons. How many adults are in churches for the wrong reasons? They have been the source of countless problems.

  • Apollos

    This is true in some youth groups in churches. It comes from untrained and immature youth “pastors”, thinking that high numbers equals success. That is a part of a big problem in the American Church.

  • JD

    I know your type. I grew up in a hate-filled, homophobic fundie baptist church. I know you from the anti-Christ nonsense you’ve spewed here. If they are invited and come, then they want to be there. Using your logic, we shouldn’t invite a lost neighbor to church.

    Perhaps there wouldn’t be “attractional” aspects bringing them in if Christians in that church actually loved as Christ calls us to. When you don’t love like that though, you have to resort to attractions. You’d rather a gay teenager never be introduced to Christ than someone have to audacity to invite them to, say, a Christmas performance.

  • Apollos

    Your reading comprehension is greatly lacking. NOTICE: I included heterosexual in the example. So, bull, is right.. but only if you are referring to your own assumption. My first comment covered both, not only one.

  • Guy Norred

    My hypothesis is not just my hypothesis. Others with much more time, talent, and resources than I have found much evidence to connect these dots. More than that, it rings true with the lived evidence of many I know. The point being though, that you should no more equate a homosexual’s life, or even his or her sexual life, simply to orientation any more than you should a heterosexual’s.

  • Apollos

    Yes. You said it. Christ went OUT and SOUGHT sinners. The church is not a place for seeking sinners! The church is a place for BELIEVERS and SEEKERS of GOD to GATHER.
    The message of the gospel GOES OUT AND SEEKS SINNERS WHERE THEY ARE! That is basic teaching.

  • JD

    How do you know they aren’t seeking God? Because they were there as a result of being invited. You sure do love to assume about the intent of others. How about we leave that to God? You keep talking as if it’s a given that they aren’t seeking God. How do you know? Maybe they’ve been thinking about finding a church and the timing worked out and they were invited.

    I want people to come that are willing to come. Nobody is forcing them to attend. The fact that they come is evidence enough that their intent may be more than turning the straight church kids into gays, as you seem to be worried about.

    STOP ASSUMING THE INTENT OF ANOTHER PERSON’S HEART!!!

  • Apollos

    Never said thaaaaaat. Nice try.
    What I said AGAIN was “Churches are places for those who are seeking God/truth. They are NOT places for recruiting and busing in people who have no interest in going other than because they were recruited/coerced.” This means ANYONE, not just gays.

  • Apollos

    I kindly refer you to YouTube. Please search for Christian Atheist debates and scroll down to the comments.

    I rest my case.

  • Apollos

    I know your type too. You go to gay bars and have endless sex with gays in the bathroom… Oh wait… that’s only a stereo type which represents only a tiny minority of gays!

    Do you see how this works? You don’t know me. I disagree with the gay lifestyle and many other lifestyles that do not conform to what God desires for his creation. I am okay, though, with the idea that people, including myself, should have freedom to express what we believe to be good and bad… I am doing that here.

    I have personally shared with many different types of people, including gays. I know several gays who came out of the gay lifestyle and are now happy and in love with God. It doesn’t matter what you think of me. What matters is what you think of God. He is your final reality and you will, like me, stand before him. I want to come out of that with out regrets and I wish the same for you whether you believe that or not.

  • Herm

    Appollos, anyone who goes to a bar to just drink is an alcoholic. What goes on in “gay districts” may be too honest and too gay for your tastes but that is purely do to you making them an outcast in your sanctimonious district. That’s like pointing to the Black district and saying how poor they are when you won’t employ them or educate them or medicate them as you do yours at the same price. As long as you remain exclusively homophobic you will always think “that district” is just having too much of a gay old time for you and yours.

    If and when you become inclusive, as is Jesus Christ, you will find all people of all sexual attractions can be as respectful of you and yours as you are of them and theirs. You’re the catalyst here not those you shun. Where you stand is sick to all of humanity and to the will of God.

  • Apollos

    Perhaps, as time moves on and gays start showing the world that they are no longer all about sex and multiple partners and that they are, in fact, seeking monogamous relationships, then more people, including gays, will stop equating the gay lifestyle with sexual activity.

  • Apollos

    Gays are not a race. Historically speaking, Christians have suffered longer and more intense persecution than have gays. Gay sex was widely accepted throughout the Greek Empire, the pre-Islamic World, and the Roman Empire.

  • Apollos

    I actually roomed with black friends for over 8 years… So… there you go. Would you like to eat your words on a sesame bun or pita bread?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Also, as JD hinted before, there’s a blatant hypocrisy when we’ve got Victoria’s Secret store windows in every mall in the country. But shop windows in the Castro prove we are obsessed with sex.

    Uh huh.

  • JD

    Riiiiiiiight.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “Please type in “gay” and look at the images from google. I rest my case.”

    Please type in “woman” and look at the images from google. You find many pictures of women in bikinis. CLEARLY WOMEN ARE OBSESSED WITH SEX. PROOF!!!

  • Apollos

    Jesus is inclusive? So, that’s why he told the Samaritan woman that her people didn’t know God because the truth was with the Jews and not with the Samaritans who had set up a parallel system with there own version of the Scriptures and places of worship, etc.?

    You, so-called “progressive christians” are the modern Samaritans of this world. You have forsaken the Scriptures and made up your own post-modern teachings and “inclusive” “churches”. Go an d read Jesus’ own letters to the seven Churches of Asia Minor and see how “inclusive” Jesus was. Jesus will not accept idolatry no matter what kind of theological gymnastics you perform — it is still not the truth of the Gospel of Christ.

  • Apollos

    A Gambian for 5 years, three different black football players and a Army ROTC candidate for 4 years. So, actually, I lied! It’s 9 years! So sorry.

  • Herm

    Then speak in generalities relative to all teens as equals and not gay teens as different from heterosexual teens. The issue is whether you teach your children to welcome any of their friends and acquaintances to their church, gay or straight equally. That on you as a parent. Until people come to find themselves welcome in a church fellowship they don’t know if they want to be or not. You’re hiding your homophobia behind excuses why you are trying your hardest not to allow gay children to feel welcome in your exclusively heterosexual and probably, for the most part, exclusively white church.

    Jesus’ church holds worship of God in each and every heart and mind filled with the Holy Spirit. God is spirit and that is the only way God will be truly worshiped ever since Jesus became the High Priest. It is written. You’re not teaching that by your phobias.

    Every heart and mind of mankind is the same color and the same sexuality, spiritual and carnal.

  • Herm

    Thank you!

  • Apollos

    No. You’re right. It had been more about keeping people OUT of CHURCH IS THEY DON’T WANT TO REALLY BE THERE IN THE FIRST PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Are you not okay with that?!

  • JD

    Wait, are you saying the One who intentionally sought out the most despised in society, especially those despised by religious elite, wasn’t “inclusive”?

    I’m done with you. What you are peddling is not the gospel of Jesus. Have a good day.

  • Apollos

    Jesus sought those WHO WANTED TO RECEIVE HIM WITHOUT CONDITIONS!!!
    Have you even read the gospels?! Many, MANY people came to Jesus and they wanted things, BUT they did not WANT HIM ENOUGH TO DENY THEIR OWN DESIRES! Anyone who puts his own pleasures above God is NOT worthy of him!

    Jesus said: “For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.” Mt. 16:25

  • Keep digging in yourself further, I guess. I suppose next you’re going to tell me that young Jewish-Americans are inherently more likely to cheat and steal in order to get ahead in the workplace, right? *sighs*

  • Jeff Preuss

    I’m…floored by some of the tenor of his comments. “Truth in love” in action.

  • Apollos

    I did speak in generalities when speaking about teens being in church when they don’t want to be there, actually.
    To your quote from Jesus, YOU LEFT OUT a word. Jesus said, “They must worship him in spirit AND in TRUTH.” That is your problem… you have exchanged God’s truth for a lie as Paul wrote in Romans 1.

  • JD

    Now you are attacking him as a parent. What is it with you people?

  • Herm

    The one who had mercy was Samaritan, not the Jewish authorities who had to keep their hands clean. If you really want me to go through and show you where you are way off base in Jesus’ response to the Samaritan woman I will. I would suggest you reread all of that in context first.

    The Samaritans may not have been so anxious to murder Jesus in God’s name as were the haughty Jews. Jesus’ focused ministry, called by the Father, was to the Jews only, not the Samaritans, because they were the chosen ones to fulfill the Scriptures from beginning to end.

  • JD

    How do you know hey don’t want to be there? The simple fact that they agree to come is evidence that, at some level, they do want to be there. Stop assuming intent of others.

  • JD

    It really is vile, and now he just seems to be doubling down on his venom. I think it’s simply time to dust off our sandals and move on.

  • JD

    He never said he wants his daughter to experience that. Yes, it’s an attack. There is no Jesus in your comments here. This will be the last response I give to your venom and hatefulness.

  • Herm

    You really don’t understand exposing your children to all they are ready for, willing or not, so they can make the healthiest decisions later in life when you aren’t there to monitor and regulate. When as a high ranking church official, I had to spend most of my time because of those with the attitude you display because yours was the problem, not the solution, to healthy growth in fellowship in the name and example of Christ.

  • Jeff Preuss

    That won’t be a problem. I need to take the trash out while my husband’s at the gym anyway.

  • Apollos

    Herm, Your inclusive teaching would not hold up to even moderate scrutiny. The Samaritans were NOT ALL saved, only a group from her city — those who heard the Samaritan woman and believed. The Samaritans had there beginning from the time of the Persians, during the Babylonian Exile. They were heretical and this is known from the Old Testament as well as extra biblical sources.

    Furthermore, the Samaritans were not interested in Jesus nor had any interest in killing him as the Jews and Romans did, so that is a moot point. Jesus rebuked the Samaritans’ false religious system and this is clear from the text. If you are trying to say that Jesus was “inclusive” because he stated that the Father is looking for worshipers and that they would not worship on this hill or that because they would worship him in spirit… that doesn’t work… sorry.

    Jesus’ revelation to his beloved Apostle John completely crush any idea that God is inclusive and that all will be saved. This is a false teaching and will be condemned as it is already condemned in the Scripture. Perhaps, this is why so many progressive christians selectively reject certain books of the Bible. You have to do this to somehow make it work.

  • Apollos

    The Scriptures say that the gospel is a scent of death to those who are perishing. It is not good that I quote the Scripture to you and you only smell “vile”. I am sorry that you love your life and what you want more than you want to please God and desire what he wants for you. That is on you and not on me.

  • Apollos

    No. That would be false, like many of the things you have said.

  • >’Both genetic science and nature itself are against your premise that people are, somehow, born gay.’

    Both genetic science and nature go the other way, and this is clearly demonstrated by study after study. Do please actually go out and learn what real scientists do and how actual research works rather than babbling on and on about total garbage. But then you already think things like that African-Americans are inherently inferior because they’re hyper-sexual or something, so I guess us normal people trying to talk reason to you are wasting our time… but the principle of at least trying to educate you remains.

  • Apollos

    I am living in a 3rd world country right, risking my life, caring for the poor, providing for at least 15 families and you want to talk about my problems? Please. Your high rank means nothing. You progressives talk about your “compassion” and “inclusiveness”, but I have been here in the Arab World for almost 15 years now and I have NEVER seen a progressive christian here doing anything other than sight seeing.

    We, Bible-believing followers of Christ are 90% of those helping and representing Christ. The only others who are here in some numbers is the RCC and their work is diminishing. You people are all talk and no action. Your churches are mostly old people and the ultra liberal.

    I am sorry, but there is little to learn from you people. Christ has already removed your lamp-stands and rightly so.

  • Ah, the ‘being born gay, born black, born Jewish, etc is somehow invalid and it’s only a lifestyle choice’ cliche rears its head again.

    The point isn’t valid and has been refuted thousands of times before, and even honest social conservatives are now at a situation where many of them already concede that people are just that way, choice having nothing to do with it. Even the administration of the freaking Vatican admits that LGBT people are set a certain way from birth and says that they’re called to celibacy, not that the people are inherently bad (at least this is the administration line).

    Sheesh.

  • Apollos

    Okay. I’m sorry. I just reread his post and I must have read it too quickly. You are right. I will erase my comment.

  • Brian Kellogg

    3. Correct, but it may certainly mean morals evolved along with our biological evolution which leads us to some interesting questions. It may also be that we are incapable of understanding some things or lacking the evidence to fully understand something and therefore posit a God to fill in and make ourselves comfortable with the gaps.

    “would there be right and wrong if humans did not exist?” Not sure if that is really a meaningful question. As its only practically applicable when moral beings, or as you may rather think of it, morally capable beings exist. Perhaps its a leading question? ;)

    Not sure how that would constitute the genetic fallacy if it can be reasonably shown our moral sense evolved with our species. Initially I would think the burden of proof lies on your side to show that objective morality exists apart from our own moral agency as you are positing something more, something outside of ourselves.

    I still fail to see how a God is needed in the equation and why said God must be the source.

    Now, there are some arguments concerning non-violence, enemy love, and the like that I would say may go beyond human morality and here is where my questions lie.

  • Herm

    Thank you Ben, for removing Apollos offensive comment!

  • Apollos

    How do you think they are invited? 90% of the time, they have non-church events, like pool parties or cook-outs, etc. That is reality. If someone comes for that reason, they are not coming for the right reason. That is part of the reason why so many youth groups are no better than the local high school.

  • Apollos

    I removed it after seeing that I misread your comment and posted based on my mistake.

  • Oppression? You want to talk about oppression? Black people have been raped, murdered, enslaved, and otherwise oppressed around the world for the past several thousand years, but you hardly give a damn about that as you view them as being inherently inferior due to being supposedly hyper-sexual.

    I feel sickened by people like you. That you speak for the Donald Trumps of the world and make up an overly influential 20% or so of the country is pretty sad. Hope that you guys keep losing.

  • Apollos

    Jeff, Your reply translated in plain English: “I can’t answer your question above for fear that you will prove your point and win this particular debate, so I will now refuse to answer it and give a lame excuse for doing so.

  • >’ I know several gays who came out of the gay lifestyle and are now happy and in love with God.’

    So you’re one of those ‘reparative therapy’ believer types who think that electric shocks, drug overdoses, locking into rooms alone for long periods of time, and other discredited garbage transmogrifies LGBT people into being straight? Yeesh… though I’m not surprised that you’d advocate such things. The fact that the people practicing ‘reparative therapy’ have the same reputation in the medical field as writers who practice Holocaust denial have in the history field ought to tell you something, even if you refuse to see it.

    And again with the ‘lifestyle’ lie. Being born black, born straight, born white, born gay, born Jewish, born disabled, and so on is a category trait that people have. They don’t choose it. Piling lies upon lies upon lies… why don’t you just join up with the Trump campaign as one of their key advisors or something? Sheesh.

  • ‘Pharisee’ is too kind a label. Graham is more like a theocratic fascist, someone who wants secular government coupled with non-government institutions throughout society to actively hunt down and harm LGBT people for the crime of just happening to exist.

  • Apollos

    The most sickening thing here, by far, is your almost total ignorance of history! Whites were enslaves by the Barbary Muslims of North Africa in much greater number (up to 10 times more) than blacks within just a few years of the start of the African slave trade. Black slavery isn’t any more brutal than other European, Asian and Middle Eastern slavery which has just as long of a history!

    In fact, Irish were enslaved and brought to America as well as blacks! They were sold for less than black slaves were too!

    Start reading please before you comment and show your ignorance.

    p.s. I have lived and roomed with black people and love them. You are clueless!!!

  • Apollos

    Sorry. I have to be more selective as to what is worthy of a response. Your lack of knowledge about basic history and your wild assumptions have sunk you proverbial ship. You been given at least 3 strikes several times over.

  • Herm

    Thank you!

  • Apollos

    Another unworthy post to which I am not going to respond. You need to leave the posting to the other guys on the thread. Your posts are out there.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Well, at least that one. :)

  • AmyHerrmann

    Oh for Pete’s sake, enough with the histrionics. Your hetero daughter is perfectly safe with a lesbian friend. The way you’re talking about children is despicable. I suppose you’d cast the fist stone, right?

  • Apollos

    You are welcome and I am sorry for misreading your comment.

    The other assertions I have made about progressive christians and your false theology of “inclusion”, I still stand by and will continue to do so.

  • Apollos

    Everything is offensive if you don’t want to hear it. But, that doesn’t call into question its veracity.

  • Herm

    But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”

    In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

    “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

    The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

    Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

    Luke 10:29-37 (NIV2011)

  • Jeff Preuss

    maybe this is Sarah Palin?

  • Apollos

    Amy, I’ll give you every right to condemn me if you will spend just one year of your life doing what I have been doing for the last 15 years. When you live in a 3rd World country and actually do something helpful, then come and give me your pronouncements. I’ll be here.

  • David Hawkins

    Pardon the tl;dr but Graham’s words have really set me off.

    Just as I am, without one plea,
    But that Thy blood was shed for me,
    And that Thou bid’st me come to Thee,
    O Lamb of God, I come! I come!

    An evangelist is a shepherd and I grew up believing that Billy Graham was not just a good man, but a good shepherd.

    I knew by heart the lyrics of the hymn that closed his crusades. I had answered more than one altar call to the cadence of those words and that tune.

    It’s a powerful message: God wanted me just as I am, flawed, doubtful, blind, lost. All I had to do was get up and walk into the arms of Jesus.

    Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
    Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
    Because Thy promise I believe,
    O Lamb of God, I come, I come!

    But according to Billy’s son, that song doesn’t apply to everyone. Some can’t be permitted to come, just as they are. Some can’t be allowed — it seems — to even approach the door. They are monsters, he insists, who will devour homes, steal children and destroy the entire nation.

    The problem is I have known some LGBTQ people who had both their hearts and minds set on Jesus. One was the pastor of my long-time church. Michael is a great example of Christ and the best example of a servant/shepherd I’ve seen in 55 years of being in and around churches of all kinds.

    Faced with the contradictions of Franklin’s words and Michael’s life, I have to make a choice. They can’t both being telling the truth, one must a liar.

    Michael is who he is. Those who know him will attest to his qualities. Those who agree with Franklin likely don’t need to meet Michael to render judgment. I’m not going to defend him, his morality, or whether he should be allowed in a church. Rather, I’m going to compare Franklin’s words and the things he has done to those of the Master Shepherd.

    I first encountered Franklin through the charity Samaritan’s Purse. Christmas campaigns were done in support of that charity and I heartily recommended it to many seeking a responsible way to help meet the spiritual and physical needs of people around the world who were suffering from war, poverty, disaster, disease, and famine.

    I ended my relationship with Samaritan’s Purse during the run up to the last presidential election. Franklin had dismayed me before, with such things as his support of the Iraq invasion, but I kept supporting his good cause because it seemed like something Jesus would support. But, early in 2012, Franklin said that followers of Jesus would be compromising their faith if they voted for Obama, while also opining that the president might not qualify as a real Christian.

    While I was not and am not a big fan of President Obama, I was taken aback to hear a spiritual leader of Franklin’s stature questioning whether the man was saved. But Franklin wasn’t content to stop there, he apparently could see into the hearts and minds of many politicians.

    He backed Donald Trump in 2011 and endorsed the real estate mogul again in December, 2015. Franklin’s support is apparently tied to their shared desire to see severe restrictions on muslims coming to the US and those already here. Everyone knows that Trump thinks it might be necessary to round them all up and put them into camps. But here’s what Franklin had to say on the subject.

    “Every Muslim that comes into this country has the potential to be radicalized — and they do their killing to honor their religion and Muhammad, During World War 2, we didn’t allow Japanese to immigrate to America, nor did we allow Germans. Why are we allowing Muslims now?”

    Franklin also professed himself a big fan of Sarah Palin and went so far as to use jets owned by Samartian’s Purse to chauffeur her around the country.

    But Rick Santorum was the candidate Franklin believed was most closely aligned to Christian values in his words and deeds. So, while he wasn’t sure about the salvation of Pres. Obama, Franklin said Santorum was clearly the real deal.

    That all leads to the most ironic of Franklin’s tangled spiritual and political endorsements. When Franklin was first asked about candidate Mitt Romney’s faith he said: Most Protestants do not view Mormonism as a Christian faith.

    Perhaps more to the point, Mormonism was listed as a cult on the Billy Graham Evangelical Association website right up until November, 2012.

    You see, Mormons’s may call themselves The Church of Jesus Christ, but what they believe isn’t in synch with some central tenants of Christianity. Forget for the moment the exclusionary nature of Mormonism (if you aren’t a member of the Mormon church, you’re going to hell) or the tabloidish issue of polygamy.

    Consider that Mormons believe that the faithful all have the potential to become gods themselves, which will allow them to create their own universes complete with inhabitants to whom they would send — if necessary — a savior of their own making.

    So, Franklin and his dad took the position Mormons not only aren’t Christians, but — as members of a cult — they are a danger to the church. Until Mitt Romney became the Republican nominee for president. Then Billy Graham publicly endorsed him and Franklin said voters should look past a candidate’s personal religion when choosing a candidate for office.

    And all references to the Mormon religion being a cult were scrubbed from the BGEA website.

    So, apparently the Church can and should open its doors to those who believe in magic underpants and the exaltation of the truly faithful to the state of godhood.

    But not someone who is gay, no matter how much they try to imitate Christ.

    To me this says that Franklin Graham is something worse than a liar. Worse even than a bad man. He is a wolf in shepherd’s clothing.

    When Peter asked Jesus how to prove his love, Jesus said: “Feed my sheep.” When Jesus spoke to the masses he said: “If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? So, I tell you, love your enemies.”

    In some of the harshest words in the New Testament Jesus condemned those who made themselves bouncers at the door to the Kingdom of God.

    And in warning to the faithful Jesus said: Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them.

    It isn’t up to me whether Franklin Graham is a Christian. That’s between him and God. And I’m not going to tell him where he can’t go or what he can’t say.

    But when he orders that the doors to the Church — not the building down the street, but the body of Christ itself — must be barred to those he doesn’t like, then I’m not simply going to withhold my support for his ministry or turn him a deaf ear. I’m going to respond: You do not speak for Jesus. You do not speak for me. Maybe the words of that old hymn are false, but the invitation from Jesus remains true.

    “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.”

  • Herm

    “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 (NIV2011)

    “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 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.”

    The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

    Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

    John 4:21-26 (NIV2011)

    The Messiah was from the Jews who knew God so well they crucified Christ as a heretic for their salvation. Those who spoke exclusively like you are now were the Pharisees and the teachers of the law:

    For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven./blockquote>Matthew 5:20 (NIV2011)

    This is the only true source available to all who are receptive for the word of God:

    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 (NIV2011)

    The above was witnessed to hundreds of years before the New Testament was assembled and canonized.

  • Apollos

    What is your point? Do you not know that the Samaritans were hated by the Jews? This is why Jesus used the Samaritan as an example, to bring shame to the Jews, who because of their religious platitudes, would not lift a hand to help. But, a Samaritan, who did NOT have the truth, did those things that he should have done by means of his conscience.

    The context of this parable (a parable teaches a single, razor-focused truth) is a condemnation of the Jewish religious leaders because their teachings did not lead to any meaningful good. The whole story was a response to an expert of the Jewish Law who was trying to show himself to be great. The parable DOES NOT mean to say that anyone who helps someone in need at any point in his life is going to heaven or that being a helpful person is all that is needed! That’s absurd! Obviously, the religious leaders weren’t going to be saved if that’s where you try to force this narrative — which proves that Jesus is not teaching inclusiveness because, in the end, someone is condemned. Either way, the false doctrine of inclusiveness is brought down quickly.

    The idea of the parable is simple. Knowledge of the Scripture does NOT save — the fruit of good works must be present. This is a fundamental truth taught throughout the New Testament.

  • $136305622

    They probably are. There is absolutely no reason to think otherwise.

  • $136305622

    You don’t realize that most gay teens are “active church going teens”? Incredibly naive or purposefully argumentative. Guess which one I am pretty sure you are based on available evidence?

  • The irony of you, someone standing basically alone in your full-throttle denialism of objective reality, pointing to me and claiming these things is hilarious. Pot, meet kettle.

  • And now you’re being an apologist for black chattel slavery, claiming that it’s not so bad because of illogical hand-waving. I’m not surprised. Keep on living in your bubble world, I guess.

  • This coming from someone who stands basically alone in preaching your nonsensical garbage, with person after person calling you out. It’s like you as the Emporer are repeatedly told that you have no clothes, but you double-down each time calling every member of the crowd a liar even when it’s all of them using facts and common sense against you and your wishful thinking. Wow.

  • Maybe. But then (weird as it is to say this), Palin appears to be more intelligent than Apollos because at least Palin doesn’t defend chattel slavery of black people as somehow being excusable. I swear, this lunatic is going to cross the line into threats and get banned probably soon enough, such is their disconnect from reality.

  • Jeff Preuss

    +100

  • Jeff Preuss

    Fridrik does appear to be…disconnected, doesn’t he?

  • Jeff Preuss

    “It’s like you as the Emporer are repeatedly told that you have no clothes” Actually, I think it’s more that the crowd is holding up mirrors to him showing his lack of fabric, and he flat-out denies the science behind those mirrors.

  • Apollos

    “the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth”
    The Greek puts NO definite article before the word “spirit” as it does not put one before the word “truth”. Therefore, the NIV 2011 errs in this regard.

    What was Jesus saying to the Samaritan women? In the context, it becomes very clear: Worshipers will worship in spirit (not at a physical location like their temple of even the Jewish Temple, but through their hearts and minds and bodies, which is the temple of God) and in truth (not according to the false teachings and system set up by the Samaritans, but by the Scriptures).

    Now, I am not sure why you are trying to unify the two and make them one — the words spirit and truth. The Spirit of God gave the disciples the revelations from Christ which we now have in the New Testament (which ironically, you are trying to diminish in favor of the four gospels and Acts only).

    Jesus plainly said that the Spirit of God will convict (rebuke, reprove, or expose) the world of sin, righteousness, and also judgment. This lays lows the idea of inclusiveness because sin does exist and a terrible judgment coming! Also, it is important to understand that Jesus words in the Greek are clear to mean rebuking the world by making their sin be evident as Paul also writes in speaking about the plight of the world in Romans 1 (homosexuality being condemned there as well).

    What you thought was proof is actually destroying your argument soundly. There is a judgement and second death as the Scripture teaches. Jesus will separate the sheep from the goats as he taught. God does love Jacob, but hates Esau (speaking to his reckless abandonment of God and his offered blessing). Jesus will send those that are not in him to be cast out as he also repeatedly taught.

    I don’t know what you can do beyond trying to show some “proof texts” here and there. I know you don’t have anything of value because I have already been through the Scriptures back and forth and I know what is and isn’t there.

  • Herm

    I do not have a problem and exchanged nothing for a lie. The spirit and the truth alludes to the Spirit of truth sent to us, Jesus’ disciples, as the Advocate for God by the Father. The world does not see him or know him but those filled with the Holy Spirit know and speak the word of God hundreds of years prior to the assembly and canonization of the New Testament. Thousands died of crucifixion or beheading before the New Testament knowing and testifying to their death the word of God. Jesus was from the Jews who they crucified for the salvation of the world, including the Samaritans.

    You cannot worship God in the Spirit and the truth without first being filled with the Holy Spirit. In the Spirit you will then understand that your heart, soul, strength and mind (all God truly cares about an all that can inherit eternal life for all carnal will die one day) is purely spirit that you love the Lord your God with. Purely spirit has no concern for sexuality at all and in an overpopulated world such as our own, that we are the stewards of, propagation of our carnal species is neither of concern to us or God.

    “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.”

    “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 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.”

    The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

    Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

    John 4:19-26 (NIV2011)

    “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 (NIV2011)

    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. All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.

    Acts 4:31-32 (NIV2011)

    The most exclusive of the Jews were those most responsible for the crucifixion of Christ for heresy against the God they only knew through the Scriptures and didn’t recognize in their midst. Nowhere does Jesus ever say to exclude homosexuals from your church for any reason and especially from His church then and today.

    For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.

    Matthew 5:20 (NIV2011)

  • Apollos

    Sorry. My decision is made. You offer nothing of real value in this discussion. If you red and can offer substantial rebuttals or some sort of real history, then I may reconsider. But, your not even in the ball park yet.

  • Thank you for embracing love over Christians persecuting others. Identifying the tree by its fruit principle shows the Christian spectacles where the Christ doctrine of love is being transformed into one that hates and judges others in order to empty the pockets of people who follow people with moral difficulties.

    http://www.amazon.com/John-J-Kuykendall/e/B018AK0WKY/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

  • Apollos

    Congratulations on being a pristine progressive. You throw out the entire New Testament and leave only the first five books, claiming that some how those books are true and the others are not — somehow. It must be amazing having knowledge that is found only in the creative imaginations of progressives (whose teachings and beliefs are but a century or so old anyway).

    I predicted that you would have to do away with a lot of Scripture and it seems that you have indeed! What is sad is that, even with your discarding of EVERYTHING except the gospels, you still don’t stand a chance on showing that Jesus was inclusive. In fact, you prove Jesus to be a liar, because he himself promised that the Holy Spirit would guide the disciples in truth (he was only speaking to the 12 at the time) and yet according to your teaching, that truth was lost or something of that sort. Because it would make no sense to you, apparently, that the fulfillment of Jesus’ prophecy and promise would be fulfilled in the writing of the New Testament written by those men plus one more (Paul) who Jesus chose to reveal himself to personally after his resurrection.

    Disappointed… but not surprised.

  • Yeah, funny in a sad way, isn’t it?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Less funny ha-ha, and more funny uh-oh.

  • Thank you for making me laugh by typing “If you red” rather than “If you [can] re[a]d”. It makes the irony of you accusing me of not making sense all the more blatant.

  • Ruthitchka

    Gosh, thanks, gimpi1. It’s not easy being brave. I’m too much of a chicken to “off” myself, though. I suppose that is a good thing.

  • Herm

    Apollos, you have worn me down. I am so sorry you have such a low opinion of progressives no more liberal than than the Messiah and, though you don’t see it, no less serving. I’m glad that for you that you find some reward in ministering in third world countries. I am sorry you don’t feel supported by all Christians. I am 71 and for most of my life have traveled the entire world ministering to all who I was called to serve, including more prisons than I can now remember. I have never been as fundamentalist nor conservative as you but much more so of each than I am today.

    Your allegiance to the Bible is no less than I once had, until I lost everything I thought I had earned (family, church and occupation). Ten years prior I had prayed to God, thanking Him that He had stuck by me through thick and thin and told Him He didn’t have to worry about me now I got it all and He could use me as He wished (sorry for the run on but it’s late). For ten years all I thought I had went away until I had nothing but my relationship with God. At age 51, prostrate before my Lord I thanked Him for the level of valuing grief for what I had no longer and asked Him to send the Holy Spirit to reside in me even when I thought I might be sinning. I had been sprinkled and immersed as a Christian but until I was 51 years old I had not been filled/baptized/whelmed by the Holy Spirit.

    I know all of the Bible you speak to. Once I used it for the hammer you use it for today to drive home Christ. It’s funny now but looking back my best work for the Lord was without the Bible even before the permanent indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

    I know what you’re feeling and thinking as some of my most beloved friends were probably even more hardcore fundamentalists and conservatives. Today, although, as you are working in this chat room of worship I don’t believe you have the peace and joy I know today.

    I hurt for you thinking that Jesus doesn’t work through progressives and liberals in His name. It doesn’t fly with what I know having been in foreign and remote trenches in the service of my Lord and His people.

    You are wrong to study the Scriptures thinking you’re going to find eternal life and yet you don’t come naked, no Bible, to God. You can’t answer reality questions from the Bible that God can answer directly in your heart and mind by the word of God. I now know as I’ve need to what was before the “big bang”. I now know what really went on in the Fertile Crescent before the campfire metaphor of the Genesis story. I know that Jesus has been active wielding His authority for the last 1,983 years. I know, really know, not just by faith and supposition, where we go from here. Do you know how much longer it has been since the ascension of Jesus compared to Moses’ birth to Jesus’ birth?

    I am trying so hard to get this over because I have to be back up in 4 hours so you’re getting the random shotgun affect hoping we hit the target that will encourage you to go directly to your Father in heaven to receive the Advocate in your heart and mind free from all the fundamentalist and conservative baggage you serve and trust today. Both you and I don’t thin that’s going to happen but apparently God does.

    You see, I’ve heard all the arguments you are using before and I know you have not heard mine.

    You know that the New Testament is not the Scripture Jesus fulfilled on the cross or spoke to during His ministry to the Israelites. I’m sure you know down deep that the compiled letters, missives, directives and differing gospels making up the New Testament were not anymore inspired 1946 years ago than what may be equally inspired by God today on any blog in His name, and some not in His name. You know that disciples (students) of the Messiah are still alive and kicking today as they were at the end of Revelations. You know that Jesus lives with all authority over heaven and on earth today as He did 1,983 years ago. You know, even if it’s been an in and out relationship for you, that the Holy Spirit is active in relationship with any who call whether permanently in their heart and mind or temporarily in a time of need in which God had to intervene. You know a lot of things that point to God’s presence and communicative abilities and yet you cling to the Bible that all it can do is point to the word of God.

    I really can show to any objective person that the Old Testament is inspired by God but not any more so than would be an expose written by mankind the best they could, with their skills and imagination, of their relationship with God. I really can show that, other than a few areas that showed up later than the original writing, the books of the New Testament are inspired by God but no more so than their skills and imagination would allow to point to the living word of God, the good news shared before the writing.

    You can condemn me and anyone you wish using the Bible but most here don’t care. They know, see, are in Jesus and Jesus is in them so they know the real Judge personally. If you do not then you are truly wasting your time trying to convict others here by your Bible. You are not wasting your time if you’re looking for truth that you cannot find in your Bible but, not to worry, will be supported by your Bible when the truth is shared.

    Have you asked yourself why you are drawn to so passionately hang out with “the creative imaginations of progressives”? We’ve asked. Let it be known that where two or more are gathered in His name there is He.

    Yes, I discard for the most part anything that Jesus is not quoted to have said, but not all the time. An exception is I find much truth in the letter to the seven churches that was not changed by decree of our Lord. Jesus revels himself to all His disciples even after the book of Revelations, John 14:15-31. Read it all in counsel with the Spirit of truth in full faith that Jesus does not break His promises.

    Apollos, there really is much more peace and joy as a liberal progressive ever growing little child of God tutored by our Lord Brother than as a scholar of the Bible. I’ve been both. The Holy Spirit tells me what I need to say before all courts, even the ones you choose to preside over.

    You very much deserved to be jumped all over by so many here by your decrees of condemnation. Hang out here more and you might just grow out of that attitude.

    Love you!

    There is no editing and no second readings for this is the first and last draft of this comment so errors abound!

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Quite right, although I would put it the other way around, in that it would be the objection to same sex marriage in that scenario which itself would be anti-gay.

  • You are… unaware of singles’ bars, I take it.

  • Define “the gay lifestyle.”

  • Jeff Preuss

    “Amy, I’ll give you every right to condemn me if you will spend just one year of your life doing what I have been doing for the last 15 years. When you live in a 3rd World country and actually do something helpful, then come and give me your pronouncements. I’ll be here.”

    She takes you to task for your tantrum here, your deplorable behavior, and you consider yourself unassailable because you’ve done mission work?

    Wow. Just wow. As if any and all charitable mission work you’ve done gives you license to be an ass to people. It doesn’t. What an arrogant, self-righteous buffoon you’ve made of yourself.

    When you find a way to actually productively contribute to the discussion at hand, then come and talk. We’ll be here.

  • BTW: Both genetic science and nature itself are against your premise that people are, somehow, born gay. That is not science nor is it fact. The fact is, nature created female plumbing that is compatible with male plumbing. It is not complicated.

    Every part of this tells me that you’ve never spent any great length of time studying nature.

    * Homosexuality exists in nature.
    * Females that penetrate males exist in nature.
    * Hermaphrodite species exist in nature.
    * Female-only species exist in nature.
    * Hermaphrodite-and-female only species exist in nature.
    * Female-only species wherein the females mate to reproduce exist in nature. * Females that become males and vice-versa exist in nature.
    * XY chromosomal females exist in nature.
    * Females who produce male genetic material exist in nature.

    And just to round out the deck: nature also added erogenous zones within the anus which are best stimulated with between five and six inches’ penetration.

    Either nature, genetics, and God’s Word are wrong OR you are right. I’ll go with the former.

    Another thing that could be wrong: your presumptions that nature is in any way obligated to be simple for your moral convenience.

  • I don’t know about “obsessed with sex,” but they are statistically more likely to have had it.

    Source

    In 2003 and 2005, 53 percent of U.S. high school students reported never having had sexual intercourse, up from 46 percent in 1991.[2,3]
    Between 1991 and 2005, the percentage of U.S. youth that said they never had sex increased in all high school grades. For example, 33 percent of high school seniors in 1991 said they never had sex, compared to 53 percent in 2003 and 66% in 2005.[2,3]
    Abstinence rates also increased between 1991 and 2005 by gender and by race/ethnicity. In 1991, 49 percent of high school teenage women said they had never had sex, compared to 54 percent in 2005; among males, the numbers were 43 and 52 percent, respectively.[2,3]
    Fifty percent of white students said they never had sex in 1991, compared to 57 percent in 2005; among Latino students, the numbers were 47 and 49 percent, respectively; among African American students, 19 and 32 percent, respectively.[2,3]
    In one study, only 14 percent of gay, lesbian, and bisexual high school students had never had sex, compared to 52 percent of their heterosexual peers.[4]

  • If youtube comments prove atheists are ugly, then they prove Christians are at least as bad, if not more so. It takes two to tango, and I’ve never been so harshly insulted than when I have spoken to Christians.

    An ugly atheist can wish you to die in a horrible fashion, but an ugly Christian will will do that and then happily sentence you to an eternity of conscious torment.

  • Yes, and gay sexuality is shoved down everybody’s throat, but if you’ll excuse me, I have bikini-clad women serving me coffee while I watch swimsuit models parade about on television in between commercials for the new internationally acclaimed romance movie…

  • Jeff Preuss

    And I live a mile from a Hooters…it’s literally next door to Chik Fil A.

  • Hmm. But it’s up to you to decide whether they actually want to be there or not so that you can bar the door to them?

  • We do know that some animal species seem to have at least a basic idea of morality.

  • Kate Johnson

    Once again delusional hysteria trumps common sense with the fear crazed crowd because they know the Bible is NOT on there side in this. (please since you’re such an expert, point out to me the verses that say homosexuality is worse than any other sin and that those sinners shouldn’t be allowed in church.) No one is suggesting that you send your kids to a strip club. The profound ridiculousness of such as statement only goes to prove my point since you can’t actually bring a rational perspective to the argument. Apparently you didn’t actually read the article either as Mr Graham most certainly did say that if gay children were allowed in church they would influence the parents and children, not the other way around. (““We have allowed the Enemy to come into our churches. I was talking to some Christians and they were talking about how they invited these gay children to come into their home and to come into the church and that they were wanting to influence them. And I thought to myself, they’re not going to influence those kids; those kids are going to influence those parent’s children. “) That’s weak god talk to me. If you actually lived in the Middle East, and risked your life you certainly never showed the slightest indication whatsoever of the fruit of that faith in anything you’ve said here. Just the same extreme paranoid fear crazed excuses and justifications with a dash of delusions of personal righteousness. The pharisees thought they were real holy also, but Jesus didn’t like them much.

  • Technically, “Pharisee” isn’t an insult at all. It’s not a pejorative term. It’s the name of a specific school of Judaism which is held to be the predecessor to Rabbinic Judaism.

    So using Pharisee as an insult is kind of like calling someone a Jew as an insult.

    Similarly, calling someone a Samaritan isn’t actually saying something positive, because a Samaritan is the name of people from Samaria, not a compliment.

  • Jesus was very fond of using people who were held in contempt by his audience as a measure for how much room they had to improve.

    “But Jesus, I love my children.”

    “So do the tax collectors! What makes you think you’re special?”

  • Here in Washington, bikini baristas are surprisingly common. I know it’s because there’s such competition among coffee shops that some have tried to stand out using the sex appeal, but it’s so ridiculous and unsafe for the workers.

  • hipsterbarbie

    “We have to be so careful who we let into the churches” — how can any Christian hear this and not see that it is the ultimate antithesis of Jesus?

  • Bones

    What is it with people who bleat “but you don’t know me” after condemning a whole group of people they haven’t met?

    Homophobia like racism is taught.

  • Bones

    You forgot Muslims.

    Theres your trinity.

  • Bones

    There are gay people who help in third world countries too.

    But they’re bad.

  • Bones

    Jesus spoke of people like Graham in that prostitutes and tax collectors will enter the kingdom before them.

    I worry that someone like Graham will indoctrinate my kids so I teach them how to read the Bible.

  • Bones

    Why did Jesus tell the pharisees that prostitutes (porn stars) and tax collectors ( drug dealers) would enter the kingdom before them?

  • Herm

    I think some of His shock, get people thinking, value rubs off on me. I know I need attitude adjustments every so often so I share some of that with my friends … aren’t they lucky to have such a caring friend???

    Thanks!

  • Carly Lehwald

    It’s posts like these that keep me from completely abandoning my faith. Thank you. We need to be calling these people out all the time. They are not genuine and they are dangerous.

  • Carly Lehwald

    And crap like this is what makes me flee. This kind of thinking is sickens me to my core. It weakens my spirit, fills me with rage and leaves me feeling there is no place for me in the Christian Faith. Ugh. Wake up Apollos.

  • Carly Lehwald

    You self righteous twit. The idea of service is service. Not being a tool to boast and build your ego. Blah.

  • Sunnisong

    It’s impossible to discuss anything with someone who insists on ignoring genetic science and nature (there is plenty of homosexuality in nature). Your prejudice is so big it can’t see the facts. I’m done.

  • Jonathan

    Most eloquent. Thanks for sharing this.

  • Jonathan

    On the other hand, you seem to be thinking a lot more about sex than most gay people I know.

  • Jonathan

    Then, to repeat the other part of my comment: “I suppose in the semantic sense a basis of faith and a central belief aren’t exactly the same, but there’s precious little difference.”

  • Jonathan

    And Alexandria doesn’t seem to believe to much in honesty. Hi there, Alexandria. Long time no see.

  • Jeff Preuss

    No, no, no. He said he wasn’t making it about the gays, see? “Never said that gays were the problem…”

    Except when he did.

  • Bones

    Yeah, why do they do that?

  • 12 steps is very close to true church, imo.

  • Jonathan

    Either way, you’re being deceptive.

  • Apollos

    The leading zoologists on sexual behavior among animals (and they are atheists to boot) concede that homosexual behavior among among animals is extremely rare.

    Bagemihl states, “this is “necessarily an account of human interpretations of these phenomena”.[7] Simon LeVay introduced the further caveat that “[a]lthough homosexual behavior is very common in the animal world, it seems to be very uncommon that individual animals have a long-lasting predisposition to engage in such behavior to the exclusion of heterosexual activities. Thus, a homosexual orientation, if one can speak of such thing in animals, seems to be a rarity.”[8] One species in which exclusive homosexual orientation occurs, however, is that of domesticated sheep (Ovis aries).[9][10] “About 10% of rams (males) refuse to mate with ewes (females) but do readily mate with other rams.”[10]

    So, ONLY ONE species out of ten of thousands exhibit anything close to what you are claiming to be “plenty of”. Even among this species, the males who do such things account for only 10%… AND WE ARE TALKING ABOUT ANIMALS here who think with their libidos and DO NOT REASON!!!
    The fine print is very important and it destroys your argument.

  • Jonathan

    If you don’t want people reading your comments on other threads, you can always make your account private, though.

  • Bones

    Bullshit it isn’t.

  • Apollos

    What an ignorant comment. That happens to be part of our discussion and out of necessity, must be brought up.

  • Jonathan

    No, our discussion was about inclusiveness. You’re the one that made it all about sex in the first place.

  • I’m kind of thinking that people who don’t want to be at church don’t go. If someone is forcing LGBT folks to go to church, I totally agree that should stop.

  • I would keep my kids away from anyone who might influence them in ways I don’t like. I just have to find bubbles big enough.

    I am curious about how you’ve been showing your love for homosexuals in “other venues,” though. Sounds spicy.

  • Jonathan

    Working in a 3rd-world country doesn’t excuse your asinine behavior here, despite your repeated insistence that it somehow should.

  • Apollos

    If you are enraged by common sense and a desire to protect children in a reasonable way, then maybe church isn’t a place for you either.
    The funny thing is, if your child was raped or seduced into a relationship with another child at school because of lack of supervision, your tune would be very different, wouldn’t it?

  • Apollos

    This isn’t about living in bubbles… we are talking about YOUR OWN HOME! There are common sense measures that should be taken by any parent to protect there child. I know MANY adults who have been psychologically and physically harmed in their OWN BEDROOMS BY NEIGHBORHOOD KIDS because their parents did not think to supervise correctly!

  • Apollos

    What asinine behavior are you talking about? I don’t have to defend myself to you. Goodbye.

  • $136305622

    Let’s be clear – here is what Franklin said:

    We have allowed the Enemy to come into our churches. I was talking to some Christians and they were talking about how they invited these gay children to come into their home and to come into the church and that they were wanting to influence them. And I thought to myself, they’re not going to influence those kids; those kids are going to influence those parent’s children.

    You are inventing some specific group of people you are saying Graham is referring to. But even under your invented scenario, do you honestly think that sounds good? Calling kids who happen to be gay “The Enemy”?

  • I was floundering & clueless 40 years after I asked jesus to be my lord. when I bottomed out as a drunk is when I got into 12step AA. the ‘constant contact’ on the third step made all the difference & practical recovery possible on so many levels. (*|:D

  • Apollos

    Finally. Someone gives in to rationality and reason. Teenagers can be coerced into doing many things AS ANY FOOL KNOWS because we’ve all done foolish things as teenagers. NOW… I am not for adults in churches pressuring their teenagers to then pressure gays to come to any event. That is logical whether or not anyone on this thread admits to it or not.

  • Apollos

    No. Inclusiveness was a side issue brought out and not my original point.

  • Apollos

    I boast only that I know Christ. But if someone is going to cast a judgment about me, then let him speak from experience and not from his ivory tower.

  • Apollos

    I don’t agree with Graham when he refers to these kids or anyone as “the enemy” as the Scripture says, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph 6:2). So, you are right about that and I do not say that Graham is correct — he is wrong to say that.

    Graham, like ALL of us, speaks out of anger and frustration on occasion. Doing such things do not serve the truth, but rather bring us into wrong-thinking. Sometimes, these things we say are slip-ups and DO NOT reflect our true beliefs and sometimes, they reveal our true beliefs. I know enough about Graham to be convinced that he is not against gays as an “enemy”. That is my opinion.

    As far as the scenario is concerned, it is still apparent to me that Graham was talking about adults who were talking about how THEY were taking the initiative to invite gay kids. The initiative should not come from adults and that is a large part of what I am saying.

  • Bones

    What are these stats you keep throwing around?

  • Apollos

    If you will read the passage in context with a view to of the entirety of the four gospels, you will find that Jesus consistently considered the Jewish religious leaders of his day to be the FARTHEST away from salvation because they were too proud to ever admit they had any sin in the first place.

    The prostitutes and tax collectors were considered to be the worst of sinners by all the Jews but, at least they recognized their sins. THAT is why they were actually closer to salvation than the Jewish religious leaders. Jesus is not saying that they were saved at all.

    It is like saying, “You have more of a chance of being eaten by a shark tomorrow than winning a billion dollars in the lottery!”. He is comparing one seemingly impossible idea with another idea that is even more impossible.

  • Jonathan

    No. Inclusiveness is the entire point of the article.

  • Jonathan

    Not my problem. If your profile is public, don’t complain about people reading it.

  • Apollos

    Bull, Jeff. You can’t give a quote by me that shows that. You are being deceptive in your claims. If I truly claimed that, I would HAVE NO PROBLEM ADMITTING IT! I you can see by my posts, I do not fear 1000 gays and liberal bloggers. I do not care what you think about me. But, shame on you for trying to project your words on me.

  • Jonathan

    Pretty much every post you’ve made on this forum, for starters. If your little “goodbye” means you think I’m going anywhere, you’re mistaken. If it means you’re leaving, don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

  • Jonathan

    Yet another example of the can’t-refute-ergo-insult maneuver.

  • Apollos

    Have you seen HOW MANY RESPONSES I have written?! Don’t even suggest that I can’t respond. The question is whether I want to respond. I have chosen not to, that’s all.

  • Apollos

    Great.

  • Apollos

    That your perspective… not mine.

  • Apollos

    Read my posts and you will find some.

  • Apollos

    See my reply above to Sunnisong, please. You will see that you are, in fact, wrong.

  • Jonathan

    First off, YELLING IN ALL CAPS makes you look like a child throwing a tantrum. Secondly, you have arrogantly stated several times that you will only respond to comments that are “worthy” of a response (which makes you look like a petulant child determined to get the last word – if something is “unworthy” of a response, then instead of making a diva comment about it, just don’t respond. Simple.). Thirdly, I never suggested you can’t respond – I said can’t refute. Big difference. Fourthly, it seems a curious coincidence that all the comments you find unworthy of a response are sound and irrefutable points – for example, the comment made here by AnonymousSam.

  • Apollos

    Here’s some things Jesus actually said. You are guilty of using your imagination to reconstruct a Jesus that please you, instead of striving to please him. This is what idolatry is.

    Matt. 7:4, “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”
    Matt. 15:7, “You hypocrites, rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you, saying, 8 ‘This people honors Me with their lips, But their heart is far away from Me.” 9 ‘But in vain do they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’”
    Matt. 23:13, “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from men; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.”
    Matt. 23:15, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites . . . ”
    Matt. 23:16-17, “Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘Whoever swears by the temple, that is nothing; but whoever swears by the gold of the temple, he is obligated.’ 17 “You fools and blind men; which is more important, the gold, or the temple that sanctified the gold?”
    Matt. 23:23-24, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you tithe mint and dill and cummin, and have neglected the weightier provisions of the law: justice and mercy and faithfulness; but these are the things you should have done without neglecting the others. 24 “You blind guides, who strain out a gnat and swallow a camel!”
    Matt. 23:25, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!”
    Matt. 23:27-28, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. 28 “Even so you too outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.”
    Matt. 23:29, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!”
    Matt. 23:33, “You serpents, you brood of vipers, how shall you escape the sentence of hell?”
    Mark 12:38-40, “Beware of the scribes who like to walk around in long robes, and like respectful greetings in the market places, 39 and chief seats in the synagogues, and places of honor at banquets, 40 who devour widows’ houses, and for appearance’s sake offer long prayers; these will receive greater condemnation.”
    Luke 11:39, “You foolish ones, did not He who made the outside make the inside also?”
    Luke 11:43, “Woe to you Pharisees! For you love the front seats in the synagogues, and the respectful greetings in the market places. 44 “Woe to you! For you are like concealed tombs, and the people who walk over them are unaware of it.”
    Luke 11:52, “Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter in yourselves, and those who were entering in you hindered.”
    Luke 12:1, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.”
    John 8:44, “You are of your father the devil, and you want to do the desires of your father . . . ”
    John 8:49, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me.”
    John 8:55, “and you have not come to know Him, but I know Him; and if I say that I do not know Him, I shall be a liar like you, but I do know Him, and keep His word.”

  • Jonathan

    Oh, so when it’s something that disagrees with you, it’s a matter of “perspective”. Well, that’s sure convenient. But, no, in this case, the author’s point is very clear, as evidenced by the wording of the article and the additional things he’s said right here in the comments. But okay. Whatever makes you happy.

  • Jonathan

    One of those always-has-to-get-the-last-word types, too, I see. And I don’t see it as a “problem” or a “waste” at all, so that’s fine.

    [EDIT: Original comment I responded to: “Great. If you want to waste your time on this thread, that’s your problem, not mine.”]

  • Jeff Preuss

    I’ve quoted you twice. From your first comment. Everyone else has seen it. I’m not the only one who read it as painting gay teens as predatory. You then went on to scream about statistics showing we’re all about sex, when you’re the one who is clearly obsessed.

    You’re so bald-face hypocritical in your ranting here. Say one thing, then exclaim you never said it. Have fun fighting the enemies you have made up in your head – you’re only waging war with yourself.

  • Apollos

    Lev. 20:13: “If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act.” The word in the Hebrew is an adjective that gives the strongest possible meaning known and that is why it is translated “detestable” or “an abomination”.

    With regard to “church”. You are greatly mistaken about what a church is and why it exists. It is not for unbelievers. It is a group of believers and those seeking to know Christ. First, as the body of Christ, the church is often defined as a local assembly or group of believers (1 Corinthians 1:2; 2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:1-2). Second, it is defined as the body of individual living believers (1 Corinthians 15:9; Galatians 1:13). Finally, it is defined as the universal group of all people who have trusted Christ through the ages (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 5:23-27).

    In the New Testament, we do not have churches being filled with unbelievers. Unbelievers first became believers and then entered the church body. Yes, there were unbelievers who came to hear about Christ, but they came for the right reason.

    AS far as my faith is concerned. I am sure it is foreign to you because you are in a church that condones and accepts sinful lifestyles and has made a god in their own post-modern image. Neither Jesus nor ANY of his disciples were inclusive in the way that you people claim. They did not mince words and were unashamedly proclaiming the truth of Scripture. They never changed God’s Word to make it more palatable to others.

  • Well, there’s also police brutality, income inequality, hatred against transgender people, and…

  • Because if Jesus Christ ever believed anything about charity and service, it’s: “Be sure to do charity works because then you can use it as a bludgeon against other people; as well as use it to feed a bloated sense of personal superiority that you can hold over other people. Thus says the Father.”

    (Spoiler–> that’s not actually in the gospels. At all.)

  • Ron McPherson

    But to me that’s an issue irrelevant to ones sexual orientation.

  • Shadowbelle

    “I know MANY adults who have been psychologically and physically harmed in their OWN BEDROOMS BY NEIGHBORHOOD KIDS because their parents did not think to supervise correctly!”

    And far more were harmed by their own parents and relations. The chance of a child being harmed by a neighborhood kid is miniscule in comparison.

  • Shadowbelle

    “…what I have been doing for the last 15 years. …”

    What have you been doing? Please share.

  • It’s not that such words “can be used” insincerely, it’s that said words are “generally used” insincerely.

    You should go to various large scale political type blogs (of the CNN, MSNBC, FOX, etc) style and see how outright anti-black racists, anti-Jewish bigots, etc flock immediately to the “but I hang out with Jews, so I know them!” type claims.

  • Apollos

    Herm, I am sincere and you are sincere. I have seen Mormons, JW’s fundamentalist cult Christians, Muslims, Hindus, and Jews who I am convinced are completely devoted to their beliefs and they are all believing completely different things. Who is right? Not all can be right. Obama is not a short, fat, Chinese woman, is he? Neither is God everything we attribute to him to be.

    Now, the difference between you and I is simply this: I subject myself to the Word of God and you do not. My friend, the snapshot you have of me from this thread is not as accurate as you imagine it to be. I am truly happy and I do know that I am filled with the Spirit of God. I am not boasting about anything except that I know Christ and I know what His Word teaches. I am a sinner — undeserving and made righteous only by God’s grace through Christ.

    Jesus himself taught that the Word of God must be true even to the point that the heavens and earth will pass away but the Word of God and its promises will all be made reality. I spent many years in formal education studying the Scriptures and also the claims of people like yourself. Trust me when I tell you that you do not have any new ideas that have not already seen the light of day. I would much like to debate with you on your claims. I am very confident that your opinions are just that… opinions. If Bart Ehrman can be debunked easily, I doubt you have anything better to bring to the table.

    I love you too and have no animosity toward you at all. I can disagree with you and I can admit when I am wrong (as I have already done a couple times on this thread). But, I know enough to know that the Bible is reliable and it is inspired. Any fool can have an opinion. I dare not trust my own opinion and I advise you to do the same. Given that you are this hard core and now over 70, I realize it will take a miracle for you to change your mind. I hope God will have mercy on you before the end.

  • RonnyTX

    Benjamin:
    I’ll be honest; Franklin Graham has said a lot of things that have made me angry. But this time? This time I felt a sadness that swept over me as I considered the implications of his ideas. Speaking of LGBTQ children Franklin said:

    “We have allowed the Enemy to come into our churches. I was talking to some Christians and they were talking about how they invited these gay children to come into their home and to come into the church and that they were wanting to influence them. And I thought to myself, they’re not going to influence those kids; those kids are going to influence those parent’s children.

    What happens is we think we can fight by smiling and being real nice and loving. We have to understand who the Enemy is and what he wants to do. He wants to devour our homes. He wants to devour this nation and we have to be so careful who we let our kids hang out with. We have to be so careful who we let into the churches. You have immoral people who get into the churches and it begins to effect the others in the church and it is dangerous.”

    Ronny to Benjamin:
    Yes, I do believe parents need to be careful, about who they let their kids hang out with. For example, I don’t think any parent should let their kid(s) hang out with Franklin Graham or those like him. And I can’t see anything he says here, that would make me think he has ever been saved/born of God. But, if he hasn’t been, he will be. For God/Jesus Christ, will see to that. :-)

    And Franklin Graham said we have to be careful of who we let into the church. Well, I have news for him; I’m gay and it was God/Jesus Christ who put me into the church/body of Christ. And in doing so, in my being born of God, God never even brought up my being gay, much less called on me to repent of such. In fact, God brought me to repentance over my sinful selfrighteousness. And the great irony is, I was taught to be selfrighteous, in the church I was brought up in. I was taught there, that I was better than other people, because I was a member of that particular church.

    Well, to start off with, I was made a member of that church, when I was 12 years old. Now I knew I was gay, at that age. Though I had never heard the words gay or homosexual. But I overheard some of my church elders scornfully talking about those homosexuals, how they chose to be that and how it was the worst of sins. Then I looked up the word in my Mom’s medical dictionary and found they were talking about people like me! :-( So, I went up at church in tears, believing everything the pastor said about God,Jesus Christ, the Bible,etc,etc. He thought I had been saved/born again. So, so did I. Baptized a few days later, so a member of that local church. For four years, I truly thought I had been saved and was a Christain; but what I actually was, was just a wet Baptist! (ha) :-) Then four years later, God/Jesus Christ directly entered my life and I was born of God. :-) And as I say, God never condemned my being gay or called me to repent of such; but irony of ironies, God showed me my sin of selfrighteousness and the goodness of God, caused me to repent of that. :-)

    Yeah, I was put into the church/body of Jesus Christ by God and God sure didn’t need to ask Franklin Graham or anyone else for permission, to do just that! :-)

    Simply put, I would tell young people or older persons, don’t believe in and follow a Franklin Graham. But who you can believe in and follow is God/Jesus Christ. For they love you and that true, no matter what the likes of a Franklin Graham, says about you. Well, he isn’t God. He isn’t Jesus Christ. He was never on the cross for us, there taking our sins upon himself. No, that wasn’t a Franklin Graham; but that was Jesus Christ, who loved and loves us all, just that much! And that so, whether you’re gay, bisexual, heterosexual, male, female, intersexed or transgendered! :-)

  • I agree that people have a fundamental amount of respect and there should be a natural kind of ‘leeway’ given in regular conversations. At the same time, if you’re an adult who knows about the world, being lectured by the same person who told you that “Jews start most of the wars of the world” or “Jews always cheat” that somehow “But… but… I’m friends with some of them” is pointless. A lot of the world’s lies are clear and blatant. A lot of what’s on people’s minds and in their hearts are worn out on the sleeve are clear as day.

  • Apollos

    That can’t be helped as much, but the other can.

  • I understand all of that, though, anyone faced with an actual, literal hell would not choose it. “The Great Divorce” by C.S. Lewis is probably a good mix between your beliefs and mine. At any rate, my belief is that a hell would still need to be sustained by God and if it is a place of torture or simply complete aloneness away from Him, He still has to be the one sustaining the torture and/or loneliness. So that still is anti-Christ in character. Therefor, for me, it does not fly.

  • Apollos

    I’ve already responding to your connect the dot quotes. I am not going to continue to do so.

  • Apollos

    But, it’s relevant to the article and that’s why it’s important.

  • Actually, there’s quite a lot that can be done to help victims of child abuse at the hands of parents, older brothers, older sisters, etc. In county after county, shelters for people such as abused kids and battered women are almost completely out of resources and there’s little more than that they can do. They’re simply swamped. There’s also the matter of law, where perpetrators of heinous crimes against children often get kid gloves treatment.

    But then you don’t actually give a crap about helping people and just want to preach foaming-at-the-mouth hatred against gay people, black people, and others, so I’m talking to a wall. At least other people are reading these comments.

  • Apollos

    Right. There’s a lot of people who can read minds and then take the children away from those homes before their own parents molest them. That is entirely possible. I don’t think so.

    There can only be steps taken after the fact. Preventing sexual abuse and other abuse by parents is impossible for parents who are determined to do it.

  • Herm

    Apollos, can you not see with that liberal plank in your eye that I have countered nothing that you just shared with me that Jesus actually said?

    This too did Jesus say:

    You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me, yet you refuse to come to me to have life.

    John 5:39-40 (NIV2011)

    John concluded his most complete testimony of witness with:

    This is the disciple who testifies to these things and who wrote them down. We know that his testimony is true. Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

    John 21:24-25 (NIV2011)

    This from a disciple who had no concept that there were more solar systems in the cosmos than earth has grains of sand. A student of Jesus who wrote the epistle to the seven churches that binds your New Testament. A follower of Christ who did not know the world was not flat, that all the suns in the universe did not revolved around the earth or that the land of the garden of Eden was the sight of the hunter gatherers of mankind first becoming farmers (Cain) and ranchers (Able) enabling the first long term cities to spring up around the already full populated earth 7,000 years prior. Do you really comprehend that Jesus did more in his sight, that he witnessed to us, than the earth could contain in writing?

    Moses was born 1,393 years before Jesus. I was born 1,911 years after Jesus’ ascension. By the platitudes you offer me as evidence, considering I went to and excelled at seminary to learn more of this God I had seen the hand of at work at my tender age of 17, considering that I have worked most of my life ministering in the name of Jesus, then by your own words Jesus died and went to heaven relying solely on the bible to share His words of directive and comfort. By your arguments in defense of your inadequacy you rely only on the Bible, compiled and canonized by Man only as sacred in the year 325 under the patronage of a warlord not the LORD, to know what you have the opportunity to be saved for and how to please God to earn it. I am now in it and it is in me and there lies my eternal faithful reliance. The Bible and all other forms of communication developed by Man can be tools to realize God’s presence but nothing on earth is God with one exception; depending upon your fear of infinite perspective, there are the children once of Man but now born of God to be little daughters and sons of the Father as well brothers and sisters of our Lord Jesus.

    Apollos, you have to do much better than that to come into my house of worship and condemn me and mine as heretical do nothing progressive liberals. Do you expect me to come into your house of worship and do the same to you and yours?

    When filled with the Holy Spirit you begin to realize God knows so much bigger words of explanation than all of Man has compiled in their short existence. You start communicating in much the same stages you did as an infant. The divine pictures developed on your personal four dimensional computer screen are so much more alive and vibrant than any word or words could convey. Your keyboard expresses more truth of you and us than you could have ever realized without the Spirit. The terminal for each of God who all are connected together as one bound tightly in divine love via the conduit of the Advocate (Father and only begotten Son included) is our spiritual (breathed into the carnal body species of mankind in God’s image) emotions (heart) and reasoning (mind). Not by your works, which appear to be self sacrificing for others and that is good, but by your fruit on display here your heart and mind is not filled by the Holy Spirit but only by the limited text you have apparently dedicated your life to.

    Go to God directly asking that your almighty Father in heaven protect you from evil, provide for all your needs, teach you as you are ready to learn, and lead your heart and mind in ways that you can truly serve your mankind and all of God’s realm productively and constructively for all without ceasing eternally. If you do not get an answer, or just can’t muster enough trust that our creator God can actually do that for you today, then go back to your texts for there is where your God lives and will die beginning at Genesis and culminating at the end of Revelations.

    When you get your answer, tailored to be an exact fit filling your heart and mind, then you will know how much our Lord Jesus is administrating all His authority for all our good today. Then, and only then, will you surely welcome carrying your cross of sacrifice and finally get to wield your obviously well honed sword from your mouth in consort with the true directive word of God that all the databases throughout the entire carnal cosmos could not contain. There is enough more to learn that an eternity is insufficient to reach a final destination. The joy is in the journey of companionship and the peace savored with no hurry when you know there is no end.

    My imagination? My God is worthy of eternity!

    Love you!

  • Do you have more of these stock answers? You know Carly isn’t enraged by someone wanting to protect their children and act sensibly. Where is your faith? Are you going to hide behind an illusory wall of security that apparently protects your own but condemns your ‘neighbours’ and leaves them out in the cold? “if your child was raped” is easy to throw around to justify your exclusivity and defence of your precious morality.

    We perfectly understand Graham’s logic and its that what makes many here want to throw up. So your idea of church is that its for God seekers. Has it occurred to you that the ‘god seekers’ of the NT were the Pharisees who were so full of self righteousness that ‘sinners’ needed to be shunned. The sinners had given up on God because they’d been convinced they weren’t good enough and that their ‘sins’ simply made them bad people.

    Jesus made his disciples fishers of men. That means going out of your way to persuade the fish to jump into your net. The sinners that Graham despises are not interested in his god who ‘hates their sin’. They’d rather go to hell.

  • What distresses me is that so many Christians with fine sounding arguments and appeals to reason give bigots and people haters a cast iron excuse to continue in their hypocrisy and restrict the Gospel to a moral code devoid of any risk to love. They value their own petty lives and completely deny Jesus’ request to swap such a moth eaten life that they will ultimately lose for one that cannot be taken away from them.

    When my faith is safe, depends only on an ABC prayer and a prescribed morality and is a ticket to heaven, it is not a faith in the Jesus who asked us to risk all for love. Where your treasure is there your heart is also. Graham’s treasure is in his wealth, his position, his religion, his politics and the fence he puts up between his own and the ‘sinners’ he so clearly despises.

  • Shadowbelle

    ‘ WE ARE TALKING ABOUT CHURCH KIDS WHO ARE BEING PRESSURED BY THEIR PARENTS TO BRING GAY TEENAGERS TO CHURCH FOR “MINISTRY”. ‘

    I have just reread the post for the third time and I still cannot see where you are getting this. Can you explain?

  • Daniel McDonald

    BLC
    I am so proud of your work, your words and the fact that you have an educated, empathetic point of view.
    I grew up in a very blue collar, isolated and ignorant trailer park community. I knew as early as age 6, that I had unusual feelings and interests that soon began to set me apart from my best friends and even my family.
    In 1963, Dundalk was not the place to be recognized as ” one of them”, and suffice it to say I had to learn early on how to defend myself against the angry, sometimes very violent reactions to the fact that I was simply being me.
    In highschool things like the various choirs and drama classes and clubs allowed me to discover that I was not alone, that there was nothing sad, bad or evil about the path The Universe had placed me on. I was so very fortunate to have instructors and mentors that recognized the gifts and talents that The Universe had gifted to me, and who helped me get the training and scholarship funding that lead to a 30 plus year career in the entertainment community!
    I am also extremely grateful that The Universe gave me the insight and opportunity to help teach and mentor so many talented, beautiful young people who have also gone on to have even more success in show business than I did.
    The hateful vitrol spewed forth by Mr Graham and his followers will most likely always be a wall ( thank you Mr Trump!) that separates people of differing viewpoints.
    But if we continue to bring to the conversation the type of same minded ignorance, judgment, and vituperative unyielding points of view, how can we have any chance of re educating those close minded, seemingly hopeless individuals that so desperately need a glimpse of the fact that The Universe is good…I’m just saying…

  • Apollos

    Where to begin… You truly are a work of art.
    This is not “your place of worship” or even your website or FB page. This is a thread on a blog. So, yes, I will come to you and I will challenge you and I will point out your cult doctrine which is not of God. Anyone, ANYONE, can claim to be “filled with the Holy Spirit”. I have cast out demons and healed the sick through the the power of the Spirit of God, but that too does not mean that I am a believer or saved.

    You criticize and try to diminish those who words were “breathed out” by God by what rational? You say they didn’t understand science and astrology, etc. so that means what they wrote concerning God is not trustworthy?! What kind of ridiculous talk is that? There are literally hundreds and even thousands of basic science questions that neither you nor anyone alive is able to answer right now… does that mean that no one can be given spiritual revelation form God to speak to his truth?! Think about that for a while.

    I do NOT worship a book and I do not live my spiritual life limited to the pages of the Bible. But, I BELIEVE in what the BIBLE says. YOU believe in what you say and what your experiences tell you. That is your sin and your idolatry. I am not a young man, so don’t think that you are wiser or more knowledgeable than I either. When I speak about progressives, I speak from experience. I know who is here in the Middle East and they are not progressives. You’d be hard pressed to find even a handful here.

    You can make all the excuses you want… BUT, the fruit of progressive churches is very scant and your churches are weak and dying out with every year that passes. That is another testimony to the fact that, despite your oratory gymnastics, you cannot make a weed look like a rose. Conservative Protestant Evangelicals are doing the work of God in great numbers all around the world while your progressive churches are fighting for “gay rights” and “social justice”. That is not what Jesus was about. When he rose to heaven, his disciples went out PREACHING and HEALING and MAKING DISCIPLES.

    Your knowledge of Scripture is not as great as you think that it is. If it were, you would not be quoting the things that you are quoting and trying to make weak connections as you are doing. You talk about my posts as if they are hate-filled nd can’t possibly be from the Holy Spirit… Have you ever read the words of Elijah, of Isaiah, of Jeremiah, of John the Baptist, of Jesus (I posted those earlier), of Peter who condemned the false teachers who rejected Paul’s teachings and twisted then into heresy.

    You quote the Apostle John, but then commit heresy by cutting out whole sections of his writings (including most of Revelation) because, in your self-pride and arrogance, you have decided that they are just empty talk. Constantine and any other evil emperor or king that had a role in calling together counsels for whatever purpose DOES NOT negate the hand of God in those events. God uses them as his servants in the things he desires to accomplish and this is true on many occasions within the Old Testament and New. Not a single book of the NT was written by or under the direct supervision of the very men to whom Christ appeared and directed to write. It matters not that it took the persecuted church 300 or 1000 years to come together and affirm its divine authorship.

    As to your claim that John was somehow deluded or dishonest in writing that he supposes the things that Jesus did and said could not be contained in all the world’s books. All you have done is show your post-modern scientific rigidity and ignorance of the nature of divine Scripture. The Scripture is god-breathed, not God-written. God does not remove from the writers, their customs and practices of expression.

    Semitic languages are all full of hyperbole and, without it, problems would have arisen for the reader. Allegory, hyperbole, and exaggeration are integral parts of Semitic cultures and other ancient cultures. No one would have read what John wrote and taken it literally. Does “You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.” (Matt. 23:24, NIV), mean that people are straining gnats and swallowing camels?! Does, “If any man come to me and hate not his father and mother…” Luke 14:26, mean that we must hate our parents?! NO.

    What John was doing was highlighting the incredible amount of work that Jesus accomplished in the short span of time he had. That’s all. I can’t believe that you did not learn such things as seminary or over the many years of your intensive study. This is very basic knowledge. I am not trying to berate you, but rather point out the obvious flaws of these faulty proofs you are putting forth.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “Everybody does realize that Franklin was saying the church shouldn’t except the sin in the church….right?” …except that isn’t what he said. Read his words. He casts “gay children” as the enemy, as immoral people “who get into the churches.”

    Again with parallels of being gay to committing adultery. Not the same thing. You choose to cheat on your wife – you become an adulterer with action. A homosexual is a homosexual whether or not he or she becomes intimate with someone. Whether you choose to express that orientation IS your choice, but the innate orientation remains.

    “You can come to Jesus just as you are but HE will change you.” He did change me. But He did not make me heterosexual. I came to Jesus a long time ago, before I knew I was gay.

  • Apollos

    You have no idea what you are saying or the people to whom you are referring. I’m sorry, but this is not at all what is happening in conservative churches or in the lives of Bible-believing Christians.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “I’ve already responding to your connect the dot quotes. I am not going to continue to do so.”

    Great! You’re just digging your hole deeper whilst digging in your heels, trying to spin the bigotry that you’ve been caught spouting.

    You demand I quote where you painted gay kids as predators; I remind you I have. That is somehow insufficient for you to admit your error, so it’s best that you’ve decided you’re done.

    Have a great day!

  • Apollos

    Graham said that adults were telling him what they were doing — inviting gay kids to their home and church. Who is doing the inviting? Who is initiating it? Do these parents know these gay kids? How are they inviting them if not through their children?

  • Kate Johnson

    So, in your church, do they hand out a questionnaire at the front door to determine if someone is actually “seeking to know Christ” before they are allowed in? How exactly is that determined? You claim to be evangelical yet you don’t encourage people to bring their currently completely uninterested family and friends to church, because the church is not for them since they aren’t seeking Christ already? Which sins are the ones that your church has decided means that you aren’t seeking Christ? If we’re going to go there, my favorite, because it is so ubiquitous, is mammon worship. Less than 14% of those claiming Christ actually tithe 10% (according to Christian researcher Charles Barna) , apparently many have better things to do with their money than support the church and the poor, like get a better car or a bigger house. Compare the 8 verses on homosexuality to the over 2500 about money and what how you interact with it says about the truth or fiction of your faith. Then of course there’s gossip, probably as ubiquitous a mammon worship. Gluttony is an obvious issue in the church, in fact it really relates back to Sodom and Gomorrah “this is your sin oh Sodom, that you were overfed and unconcerned about the poor.”. The thing that I find interesting is the tolerance and in fact indulgence of some sin in the church, but other sins (especially the ones that make us uncomfortable and we aren’t current embroiled in) seem to be judged more harshly. When Jesus was here, he dealt with those that seem to count their own behavior as righteousness and themselves as superior to others with significant severity and walked right passed them to the people who were rejected by the “religious” of the time. We aren’t in a significantly different situation now, and the “religious” people are acting just like they did then. Anyone with even a bit of self awareness of their own struggles would be far more hesitant to exclude others from the gift they were given though grace alone and not anything they ever did to deserve it then or now. It’s sad to me that folks like these are called “evangelical” when that couldn’t be farther from the truth. They are exclusionary and arrogant, forgetting that they were saved by grace and requiring others to jump through hoops to receive that grace. Practically barring the door to make sure none of the people they look down on are saved. As I said, not much has changes since Jesus was here. He was pretty stern in his warnings that seem to be apropos here. ” “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.” (Matt 23:13-15) I will pray for you that you end up on the right side of that equation.

  • RonnyTX

    Ronny to Jeff
    Thank you Jeff, for saying what you did to Ben. :-) Wanting to say something to him myself; but after reading his post, I’m a bit too angry. Plus, don’t have that much time right now. But just thinking about when I first discovered I was gay. Before that, I’d noticed boy/girl couples at school. Walking along hand in hand, arm around the other or sometimes even kissing, if no teacher was about. :-) Well, that’s what I desired to do to; but with another boy. :-) And as I’ve been known to tell some people, why, you can’t get more innocent than that! (ha) :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Apollos to Jeff:
    Your home is not the place for a restaurant and neither is your car a the appropriate place for sleeping. The Church is not a place for people who Do NOT REALLY WANT TO BE THERE. Why… Why is that so hard for you to understand?

    Ronny to Apollos:
    Frankly, I would love to be a local church member. That is, where others are loving of each other and of those outside the church as well. But then I know of no local church that would have me. That, because I am gay. Also, because I believe Jesus Christ is also the Saviour of the whole world, he came to seek and to save that which was lost, which is all of us and that he has completely succeeded, at what he came to do! :-) But, I don’t have to be in a local church, to be a member of the church/body of Jesus Christ. For God directly put me in that, many, many years ago now! :-)

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    So they choose to be gay? On what basis do you make that claim?

  • I can’t believe you’ve spent the better part of the last day arguing against inviting people to come to church.

    Did they not have some sort of “Bible 101” class before you went to the mission field?

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    What evidence do you have for your position?

    Easy. If they were born that way, that would mean that God made them that way, and if God made them that way, then either it is not sinful (since they are as God made them) or God is a bastard who condemned them to hell with no chance to escape by the nature of just being born. Since homosexuality is clearly sinful according to his interpretation of the bible, and God is not a bastard, being gay must be a choice. It’s not like Jim could be wrong in his interpretation of the bible or anything…

  • RonnyTX

    Guy to Jeff:
    Just remember, we cause earthquakes and floods. Surely we should have no problem pulling apart a church?

    Ronny to Guy:
    :-) LoL And I also have BO at times! :-) And guess I could stink people out of a place?! LoL

  • Jonathan

    No, Graham was pretty clear that he wants to make exceptions for who is allowed in church.

    And adultery is a completely different thing from being gay. Adultery is a harmful action – it is a profound betrayal of a commitment made to a loved one. Homosexuality is an orientation – a part of someone’s being that is completely personal and harms nobody. The two are not comparable. One is not guilty of adultery unless they commit an act of adultery. One is gay whether or not they have sex.

  • Shadowbelle

    I should certainly imagine it’s through their children. As in:

    “Hey Mom and Dad, I have a gay friend at school, and he really feels out of it and depressed because some of the other kids are being mean to him. I’d like to help him somehow. Can I invite him over to dinner? And maybe we can go to church together? Some of the mean kids are saying he’s evil because Christian think it’s evil to be gay. I know they’re wrong because that’s not what our church teaches. I think it would help him if he knew not all Christians are like that.”

    Or possibly:

    “What’s wrong, honey?”
    “There’s this guy at school, and the other guys are always picking on him and they either call him a [f-g-t] or tell him he’s evil and he’s going to hell because he’s gay. I don’t know what to do.”
    “Would you like to invite him over to dinner?”

    The scenario that seems least likely is:
    “Hey, son, why don’t you go find the gay kids at school and bring them over so we can take them to church?”

  • RonnyTX

    Lee Anne, God doesn’t make mistakes. And God/Jesus Christ made you, me and all of us, because he loves us! :-) And here is one of my favorite webpages, about such as this. :-)

    http://bestpossiblenews.com/

  • Herm

    I will be honest with you, I do not want to continue. I am being compelled to answer. First being human with an image of the Spirit of God is truly the most divine work of art. That is all of mankind.

    The Bible, your Old Testament scriptures, were not sufficiently inerrant to keep the brightest students of Scripture from crucifying Christ in the name of their God. You don’t even apply the intent of Matthew 23:24 you just shared as possibly meant for you and me.

    You miss the entire intent of Luke 14:26 and 27 when you don’t consider you cannot come to Jesus as any more than a little, clean of heart and mind, child. Father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life are the strongest symbols of influential traditions in teaching that any child has to trust to survive to become a responsible adult of mankind. We of the institutional church apply those very symbols to our own familial fellowship to illustrate our relationship.

    If we do not despise enough to die to those traditional values, after become an adult of Man, we cannot be taught as students of Jesus. If we are not convicted to the absolute necessity of our willingness to sacrifice our carnality to our fellows of mankind, good and bad, then we cannot be students of Jesus Christ.

    I am not berating you either for I have been exactly, maybe a bit less defined as conservative and fundamentalist, where you are right now. I am so frustrated in how to get you, a very sincere person for the truth, to see beyond the traditional end of the Bible. Jesus has been influentially around for 2,016 years and John can’t contain 33 of those significant years in all the libraries of this world. God never once called for the New Testament to replace the word of God I drew attention to in Acts 4:31. Read the letters sent expressly to the seven churches and see where Jesus and the Father’s thrones are today with the river of the Holy Spirit flowing through the hearts and minds of His disciples with the orchards on each side, today.

    Go back and do what I suggested for you to trust fully that you are in and of God and not only in the tradition of God, please. It is not mine to convict you but it is mine to point you to He who can convict you for an eternity separate and outside your traditional comforts. I can only testify to you that what I share here is truth and works according to our Father’s will. The proof is in the relationship and not ever the study of the relationship. Please, don’t trust me but put your trust in Him to the test and go directly to Him.

  • Jonathan

    But, apparently, whether or not your article is actually on inclusiveness is just a matter of perspective (according to a comment above), so I’m not sure it much matters, Ben.

  • Jonathan

    This from the one who likes to keep replying to irrefutable points with “Your comment is not worthy of a response”. Seriously. Grow up or go back to the kids’ table while the adults are talking.

  • JD

    “Graham’s treasure is in his wealth, his position, his religion, his politics and the fence he puts up between his own and the ‘sinners’ he so clearly despises.”

    That’s how it appears at least. It’s a shame, because Samaritan’s Purse does great work, but when he opines on politics, he ceases to look anything remotely like Christ. There is no love in his political commentary. There’s certainly no love in his calling gay children the “enemy” and calling for them to not be invited to church by their Christian friends.

    The sad thing is, I’m sure Graham would have zero issue if I invited an adulterous neighbor, or a morbidly obese neighbor, to church one weekend. But invite a gay person?! Nope, can’t do that. They’re the enemy and apparently don’t bear the image of our Creator.

  • Apollos

    First off… Just because the American church commonly does something, doesn’t mean that it is right or good for the health of the church. I already laid out for you what the actual Word of God says about the Church and how it defines it. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions, but I am of the opinion that the church should not market itself as an entertainment venue as some churches seem to be doing. My comments are especially true with regard to youth groups which have long been known to be entertainment-centered.

    Secondly, the number of verses on any given subject do not all mean that the one subject is more important or weighty than another. The Israelites did not have a homosexuality problem — they did not struggle with this area as it was a capital offense and not part of their society anyway. Why would Jesus beat that dead horse? That would be like the president of the USA calling press conference and repeatedly encouraging people to take baths and brush their teeth! We don’t need to be told that in the 21st century.

    However, money was the major issue in Jewish culture. I don’t have time to get into all the reasons why, but there were many false teachings about money and the Jews were putting money before God. Does this make sense?

    Sodom had many problems and sins and that was just one. But, the gluttony issue was not what the text is referring to. It is referring to the extreme selfishness of the people and their utter disregard, even contempt, for their neighbor (others).

    You wrote: “When Jesus was here, he dealt with those that seem to count their own behavior as righteousness and themselves as superior to others with significant severity and walked right passed them to the people who were rejected by the “religious” of the time. We aren’t in a significantly different situation now, and the “religious” people are acting just like they did then.”

    To your assertion above:
    Jesus was being rejected by many because the religious leaders were telling them that he was false. Am I doing that? I believe in Jesus as the Messiah and the Savior of all those who love him and obey him — they did not.

    You wrote: “It’s sad to me that folks like these are called “evangelical” when that couldn’t be farther from the truth. They are exclusionary and arrogant, forgetting that they were saved by grace and requiring others to jump through hoops to receive that grace. Practically barring the door to make sure none of the people they look down on are saved.”

    That could not be more far from the truth. This is absolutely NOT about keeping gays from being saved!!! NO ONE SINNER IS MORE LOST THAN ANOTHER SINNER. We want them to be saved, of course. We are asking them to do EXACTLY what Jesus asked those who came to him to do! Jesus calls for the repentance of sins and he calls for obedience to God’s will. Gay sex is not God’s will — it is a lifestyle of sin and rebellion against the expressed purposes and design of God. Any man or woman in any sinful lifestyle, must repent and obey the gospel. So, it is not I who is keeping them from being saved… it is THEM. The vast majority of gays want the church to change the Word of God so that they can continue to do as they wish. The Word of God cannot be changed.

    We ALL struggle with sin and evil desires! “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” (Gal. 5:17)

  • JD

    It’s quite clear what Graham was saying.

    “We have allowed the Enemy to come into our churches. I was talking to some Christians and they were talking about how they invited these gay children to come into their home and to come into the church and that they were wanting to influence them. And I thought to myself, they’re not going to influence those kids; those kids are going to influence those parent’s children.”

    So, inviting gay children into their home and to come to church won’t influence the gay children, but instead will result in the gay children influencing the straight ones? First, that’s insulting to the parents and how they are raising their children. To assume that the parents haven’t instilled a solid foundation and that their little snowflake will be led astray by gay children is an attack on their parenting. Second, he said he thought to himself that they aren’t going to influence those kids? Way to underestimate the power of the Holy Spirit working through their children to influence others. But, when he sees gay children as the enemy, then there’s really no way to discuss it with him.

    “What happens is we think we can fight by smiling and being real nice and loving. We have to understand who the Enemy is and what he wants to do. He wants to devour our homes. He wants to devour this nation and we have to be so careful who we let our kids hang out with. We have to be so careful who we let into the churches. You have immoral people who get into the churches and it begins to effect the others in the church and it is dangerous.”

    You mean we think we can “fight” with love? You mean like Christ told us to? Like Christ displayed for us? He seems to underestimate the power of love. I believe God is love, so love is the most powerful weapon at our disposal. Yes, immoral people get into churches. We call them sinners. If you find a church with no sinners, then leave, because you will ruin their perfect record. We’re all sinners. If a prostitute walks into the church, she should be embraced and loved, not rejected. You know, kind of like Christ did with tax collectors, adulterers, prostitutes, and terrorists.

  • Apollos

    Lee Anne, You are loved by God. The conservative believers I know do not hate you and others like you, we love you. What you do or don’t do does not take away your value. We all have sinful desires and all of us have to deny ourselves and take up our crosses and follow Christ. You may have desires that are strong, but God has promised to be your companion if you are willing to subject your desires in obedience to him.
    “For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.” (Galatians 5:17).

    Do not give up. You are more than your sexual preference or sexual orientation.

  • Apollos

    And I responded to those quotes adequately. Repeating the same lines does not make you right. I and I alone know what I believe.

  • ‘Bible-believing’ means nothing. The Word of God dwelt among prostitutes, lepers, fraudsters and adulterers. His ministry was to sinners – the poor, the powerless, the lost and the hopeless. He sent the rich and the self righteous to the back of the queue and told them they would perish with their wealth and high standing.

    Franklin Graham and Dr Dobson are political animals. They are wealthy and powerful and have very little compassion. They are self absorbed, deluded and mean. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing. I used to listen to James Dobson and think he was an authority. I have friends who follow the likes of Benny Hinn and other crooks like him. I can now see what hypocrites they are and how hollow is their teaching.

    John Wesley said that if he died with £10 he should be called a liar and a thief. I won’t condemn any Christian for being a conservative but too many conservative evangelicals wear salvation as a badge and make endless excuses for not living according to the teaching of Jesus.

  • Apollos

    You’re the one butting into this discussion. Find another table, please.

  • Statistics Palin

    So you and Franklin Graham can’t stop thinking about gay children having sex? Are you two pdeophiles?

  • Jeff Preuss

    I mean, even the lousiest of exclusionary conservative Christians leave Bible tracts instead of tips, offering invitations to join them at church.

  • RonnyTX

    Apollos to Phil:
    This isn’t about living in bubbles… we are talking about YOUR OWN HOME! There are common sense measures that should be taken by any parent to protect there child. I know MANY adults who have been psychologically and physically harmed in their OWN BEDROOMS BY NEIGHBORHOOD KIDS because their parents did not think to supervise correctly!

    Ronny to Apollos:
    Well then, let’s watch out for church officials too. For I was 16teen years old, in the back of a car one night, that was loaded down with family members. A male in-law, an officer in our local church, he molested me. Shocked me at first, then scared me, felt good of course; but it made me mad. So as soon as I got home, I drove up towards out pastors house. I meant to tell him and his wife, what had happened to me. But right before I got there, I pulled over to the side of the road and thought some about it. Then went back home. Why? Because I was so afraid that it might come out some way, that I was gay and I was scared to death, that my pastor or others would find that out. So you see, my church elders negative beliefs about gay people, that didn’t help me a bit, as a teen and in fact, it greatly hurt me.

  • Statistics Palin

    Some gay kids may actually think the Christianity has something to offer them. Some were raised by Christians. Something they need salvation. I think that Mr. Graham and you have lost sight of that.

  • Shadowbelle

    Franklin said, “I was talking to some Christians and they were talking about how they invited these gay children to come into their home and to come into the church and that they were wanting to influence them. And I thought to myself, they’re not going to influence those kids; those kids are going to influence those parent’s children.”

    There is nothing in that statement that indicates that the parents took the initiative. Moreover, we don’t know anything about what was actually said — all we have is Franklin’s version. I hope you will think it over, look at what he actually said, and consider the likelihood of what may have actually happened.

  • JD

    Nobody is forcing anyone to go. Nobody is pressuring anyone to go. If a parent tells their kids “hey, Suzy, you should invite your gay friend to church”, and their gay friend says “yes”, then great! You seem to have an unbelievably low opinion of children and teenagers.

    If they don’t want to come, nobody is forcing them. If they come, then at some level, they desire to be there. But, you seem to love making wild assumptions about their motives.

  • You just don’t get it. She has given up on God because all Christians tell her is that she needs to deal with her sexual orientation. That is obviously her worst sin. Now how many times did Jesus challenge someone on their sexuality? Not once. So what did he challenge? Greed, hatred, jealousy, hypocrisy, self righteousness. And, of course, he really hated it when his disciples kept children away from him.

  • Jonathan

    As you so eloquently pointed out in another comment, this is a thread on a blog. If you want to control who replies and who doesn’t, get your own blog.

  • JD

    I just do not get this obsession that American Christians have with homosexuality. Especially when there’s so much greed, anger, fear, and pride already festering in the church.

  • I think you might have misread me or maybe I was being unclear. The commenter I was responding to seems to be under the impression that his church is full of homosexuals who are being forced to be there. I was saying I think this fear is unfounded.

    I think there are plenty of great reasons for gay and straight people to go to church, but I can’t imagine anybody’s forcing them to be there. If they don’t want to be there (gay or straight), they don’t go.

  • Apollos

    What will the Holy Spirit convict me of, exactly? Not telling homosexuals that they are going to be saved no matter what God’s Word says about it? Am I to make up a new Bible like you have done? IS that what the Holy Spirit is in the business of TODAY? What “Him” are you wanting me to put my trust in? Your idea of “Him” which you narrowly define inside of five books of the Bible? LOL! You are really amazing! I have seldom met anyone so brain-washed to believe that his idea of God trumps the very Word of God itself! Truly astounding.

    Do you honestly claim that the Old Testament in not inerrant BECAUSE the Jews crucified Christ?!!!!!! I am just amazed! You are over 70 years old and that is the best you can come up with? The passages that I quoted were meant to show hyperbole — I DID NOT post them in order to analyze or comment on their application! Are you requiring me to do so?

    You write: “If we are not convicted to the absolute necessity of our willingness to sacrifice our carnality to our fellows of mankind, good and bad, then we cannot be students of Jesus Christ.”

    Do you honestly believe that serving and being kind to good and bad people necessitates rubber stamping their beliefs and lifestyles as being wholly good and acceptable in God’s sight? If so, WHERE IS THAT FOUND ANYWHERE IN YOUR SCRIPTURE?

    You people sound just like the gay lobby. You want to permanently connect love with approval! How utterly ridiculous is that! Does God do that anywhere in the Bible? I’d like for you to show me that. You cannot.

    We will have to agree to disagree. Without question, you have become a worshiper of your experience and your intellect. God help you. You have forsaken the truth and have tossed it aside for an ideal that you feel is right. Your own heart is your god and we know what the Scripture says about our hearts…

  • Apollos

    Jesus did not address the issue of rape or bestiality either. Why? Because that did not need to be said to the Jews. These issues were settled in stone for them. Why bring up the need to get up early if everyone already does that? Do you see what I am saying?

  • Jonathan

    And editing comments after they’ve been replied to, without marking them as edited, is dishonest. Your morals are pretty selective there, kiddo.

  • Apollos

    LOL! Then, who are those adults? Do you invite kids to other adults’ homes? No. They are the parents who live in that home.

  • Apollos

    I agree. Churches today are taking very strict measures to make sure that children and teens are safe from sexual predators. Thanks for sharing that.

  • Kate Johnson

    I notice you didn’t answer any of my questions about your church. If the church as you so vehemently assert is only and exclusively for those who are already believers and those who are seriously seeking how do you act that out in your church? What does that look like? I didn’t for a minute say that any of the behavior I described was good, I just said it was present. Perhaps my point will be clearly by referencing the parable of the servant who owed his master a lot of money, his master was going to throw him in jail, but he begged for mercy and the master showed mercy on him, then that same servant walked out of that meeting, found someone who owed him money and had him thrown in jail. In my opinion, that’s exactly what this kind of thing feels like to me. You say you don’t want to keep gay people from being saved and in the same breath say they can’t come to church and we should have nothing to do with them. If you can’t invite gay people to church (because as you said the church is not for them) then exactly how is that evangelical. You have taken one sin, that makes you uncomfortable, hey, me too, and elevated it into something more than mammon worship, gossip and gluttony, all of which exists in every church in the country, because, and here’s where you and I apparently differ, I see the church is a hospital for sick people, not a gathering place for the spiritually elite. Perhaps it’s because I’m so broken myself. I’ve made many poor choices and gone down dark roads, and I’m so grateful that God is a shepherd that will leave the 99 to go after the 1 stupid one. Unfortunately, I have been the stupid one more than I would like. Homosexuality is not my struggle, but I certainly have my own, so I won’t elevate someone else’s struggle and say it’s somehow more “evil’ than my own. You’re probably a much better person than I, but I will tell you that you’ve made some pretty spurious, and in some ways deeply ironic assumptions about me and my church because I don’t believe the roof will fall in if we let a gay teenager through the door. I guess it’s because I think that the Word doesn’t come back void. That sometimes even enemies of the church (like the Apostle Paul) can be transformed into brothers and sisters. I believe in the transformational power of a mighty God who offers grace to even the most wretched. You can’t know how much I have struggled and prayed over this issue. In the end I guess we must all continue to go to God and pray that he will correct any of our errors. I’ve realized over the course of this conversation that I haven’t been very loving either and I think we both know the truth that our struggle isn’t against flesh and blood. So, first please forgive me for being a jerk, and may God bless you, your church and your family.

  • Apollos

    YES! God dwelt among sinners! YES!

    Now, are you suggesting that he approved of their sin and said to them, “Hey, keep on prostituting yourself and keep on cheating people and, hey, don’t worry… God doesn’t care… You do whatever you want!”

    Is that the Jesus you are peddling? Look. The religious leaders were condemned BECAUSE THEY REJECTED JESUS AND WERE LEADING PEOPLE TO HELL BECAUSE OF THAT! DO NOT EVE TRY TO EQUATE THEM WITH GRAHAM AND OTHER CONSERVATIVE BELIEVERS! THEY BELIEVE IN JESUS AND CALL SINNERS (GAYS TOO) TO REPENT AND BE FORGIVEN. IF PEOPLE DO NOT COME, IT IS THEIR OWN DECISION AND THEY BARE THE RESPONSIBILITY FOR THAT — NO ONE ELSE!

  • Apollos

    Thanks for your kind words. I appreciate it and realize that I get impatient and want to fight fire with fire sometimes — I’m definitely guilty of that in this thread. :(

    But, let me be clear. I am not saying that unbelievers should never come to church and they are not wanted there. Of course, not. I am saying that the church is a place, primarily, for believers to gather and be built up and made ready for doing the work of Christ OUTSIDE OF THE CHURCH.
    Eph. 4:11-12
    “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; FOR (this is the key word in the Greek) the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”

    So, you see, God has established the Church for this reason above. In modern times, the church has become more of a place for people to hear the same salvation message every Sunday. This is unfortunate, because believers do not get to hear the deeper teachings of God.

    I don’t agree with the “enemy” statement from Graham, but I do think that he is also addressing the problem I stated above. God bless you as well.

  • Apollos

    I don’t know how to “mark” them as edited to be perfectly honest. I thought they would be marked automatically as on FB. It’s not right to hurl out accusations like you are doing.

  • The main obsession is with sin. Jesus spoke of ‘sinners’ but what he meant was those who didn’t follow the rituals of the religious elite. It’s interesting that Jesus reserved nearly all his criticism for those who thought of themselves as righteous and distinguished themselves from the riff raff.

    It’s not that strange that those most vocal about others’ sin tend to be up to their necks in hidden practices worse than what they condemn others for. What’s really galling for them is when homosexuals are getting on with their lives without getting hung up on what they should and shouldn’t do while these grubby preachers are plagued with guilt.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Yep. I think there’s a whole lot of subconscious (or maybe even conscious) concern or envy that we gay Christians “aren’t playing by the rules” while those who regularly vocally condemn us feel like they have to. How unfair, right? Why do we get to do “whatever we want” while straight people who want to sleep around can’t?

    Of course, that’s not what being gay is, but through their filter it must look that way.

  • Jonathan

    Whether you marked it or not, your comment wasn’t unclear and there was no reason to edit it, particularly after it had been replied to. My statement stands.

  • Jonathan

    In which case you’re misrepresenting your beliefs (deliberately now, since it’s already been pointed out and you continue to ignore it). We’ve all seen your comments, and if that’s not what you believe, you’ve done a remarkably poor job communicating that.

  • Hey, stop shouting. Jesus condemned them for parading their goodness, getting the best seats, making a huge fuss in their penance. He condemned them for giving to God from their excess while driving widows into destitution. He condemned them for punishing adulterers when their hearts were filled with lust. He condemned them for labelling others sinners when they were sons of the devil themselves.

    They pointed out to Jesus that he had a prostitute anointing his feet. They were concerned with her sin while Jesus was concerned about her. When Pharisees were ready to stone a woman for adultery Jesus told her that he didn’t condemn her. Jesus came not to condemn the world but to rescue it. You don’t say to a drowning man, “The problem is, you can’t swim”. No, you pull him out of the water and then give him swimming lessons.

    You are obsessed with sin instead of life.

  • JD

    The Grahams and Fallwells of the world are absolutely comparable to the Pharisees. Graham’s comment re: gay children is a great example. His comments on Muslims are great examples.

    Choctaw never implied Jesus was fine with the sins of the tax collectors, prostitutes, terrorists, etc. He wasn’t. But He didn’t require they fix themselves before reaching out to them. That is what Graham is calling for. Graham wants to reject people until they fix themselves. It’s all too very Pharisaical. The Pharisees were condemned because they were whitewashed tombs. They knew the Law, but had no love. Sound familiar?

  • Jonathan

    Read Luke 19 some time.

    [Edit: Also, stop yelling. It’s not helping you at all.]

  • Lee Anne

    Thank you but I assure you that I am no longer in pain. I am happily married to a wonderful woman, we have an unofficial dog rescue, I lead an adult support group and volunteer with a youth group. I am happier now than I have ever been in my life. is it perfect? No. But then nothing in this life is.

  • Because for so many Christians, the imperative is not to bring others into the flock through love and compassion and justice — it’s to keep themselves apart from the world, abstain from sin, and wait out the coming judgment with grim contempt for the masses of sinners beneath them.

  • I think it’s more a case of, “We’ve worked damn hard to be moral and upstanding yet we’re still plagued with guilt over stupid stuff that doesn’t matter. Then you commit what we are taught is gross sin and you don’t even think about it. We’ve been led to believe that we are superior but we’re not feeling the benefit.”

  • Isn’t that always the case? Conservatives fantasize (with disgust, they assure me) about me having sex far more often than I have any desire to engage in it myself.

  • Jonathan

    I’m sure there will be a perfectly good stock religious answer in response to your comment, but that’s an excellent point. I had actually never thought of that. Envy. Very interesting indeed.

  • Ron McPherson

    I fail to see that. How does inviting gay kids to church translate to coercion?

  • Kate Johnson

    Discipleship is sorely lacking in our church traditions and it shows. It’s part of why I’m more of a fan of expository preaching than topical. I absolutely love the Word and believe understanding is greatly enhanced with the study of original language, historical context and of course active application. I’ve spent the last 15 years with fibromyalgia and arthritis in pain most of the time and for long periods mostly alone and unable to participate as much as I would have liked in the community (Yay for online sermons from my church), and let me tell you it is only a constant bathing in his Word that keeps my attitude out of the toilet and reminds me of the true context of my suffering. No matter what, I will believe that God is good. I live everyday by his mighty power and don’t lose hope because of his faithfulness. When my heart hears from him that “it’s not his will that any should perish”, it can’t me mine either. : ) By which I mean I won’t lose hope for anyone

  • Jeff Preuss

    That, too!

  • Herm

    Well, you hit upon one point I know for a fact the Holy Spirit will convict you of should you let Him in. I was homophobic when I thought for certain I was liberal with my love for all mankind. I was shown that was a pride that I had to fall from or be consumed in my superior ignorance. I fell, thank God!

    What was ALL that the attorney had to do to inherit eternal life? I know, I’m repeating myself but when it’s this simple it bears repeating. Whose righteousness did we have to exceed to enter into heaven?

    The Decalogue is the only law of covenant written by the hand of God. Levitical law was never the law of our Lord God as proposed to the Israelites, never. That is the source of Jesus’ grief found in Luke 11:46. The experts of the law were those occupying the Moses seat, the Levites. The Moses seat is no longer since the counsel of the Holy Spirit was released to the world by the curtains, before the Holy of Holies, being torn top to bottom. The only administrator of the law is the One who has all authority over heaven and on earth today. What Levitical law did Jesus sum up in Matthew 7:12? What are all the commands of Jesus that you can quote today?

    Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

    Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV2011)

    We were never called by Jesus, as His disciples, to condemn in anyone in any form but to share the good news that we have a living Lord people from all nations can trust to serve them. We were called to teach His commands and in so doing bring people to Jesus to be His student (disciple), not ours.

    Not one thing Jesus commands, barring Levitical law which Jesus does, can be considered against any form of consensual adult sexuality just as long as it does not break any vow of covenant between spouses. As long as an active homosexual person abides by what is written in Luke 10:27, in which sexual attraction has no bearing, and all the law and prophets (given directly to mankind, through the Israelites, as testified to in the Old Testament) summed up in Matthew 7:12, (s)he will live. Not my judgment, Jesus’.

    Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

    Matthew 5:8 (NIV2011) applies also to Luke 14:26

    For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

    Matthew 6:21 (NIV2011) applies also to Luke 14:26

    “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

    Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV2011) applies also to Luke 14:26

    You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

    Matthew 12:34 (NIV2011) applies also to Luke 14:26

    I can go on, but yes I know what New Testament witness says about our hearts. I know, most importantly, that it is my heart and mind that the Spirit of truth has filled, my soul the container and my strength the potential of energy to serve us all. I know my treasure is in God and God is in me, our hearts are intertwined by the Holy Spirit bound in all love. I can only hope the same for you. In Jesus name, amen

  • JD

    Yeah, he keeps portraying it as though these gay kids are being forced or coerced to attend, and then saying that, as a result, we should let them come since they don’t want to be there. I’ve never seen, outside parents/family forcing their own children, anyone forced to go to church. I’ve never seen a complete stranger show up and say “I don’t want to be here, but that guy over there forced me to come”.

    Of course, Graham wasn’t even talking about forcing, or coercing, gay children to come. He was just talking about inviting them.

  • Jonathan

    Yep. That’s the way of things, it seems. It’s much easier to otherize an invented ‘lifestyle’. Glad you’re here – ten points to Ravenclaw.

  • Shadowbelle

    Sorry, I don’t understand what you are saying.

    As a kid, my brothers and I certainly invited other kids to our home. My parents welcomed them. Some of these kids joined us on family outings. My parents issued the invitations.

    Many continued to visit my parents after they (the kids) had grown to adulthood — because my parents (my mother in particular) — made them feel welcome and valued.

    Some of those kids were gay.

  • Jonathan

    It’s not exactly a new technique. I sometimes wonder if that kind of people’s whole idea is to convolute the whole debate to the point that it’s unrecognizable, then blame everyone else for not getting the original point.

  • Ron McPherson

    What on earth does this have to do with gay kids? One’s sexual orientation has nothing to do with whether or not they’re sexual predators.

  • Herm

    Thank you so much for sharing that Lee Anne! Vicarious hope can be contagious. May God continue to bless your journey to the end of eternity!!! You bless ours!

  • Jeff Preuss

    It is truly bizarre that the discussion went off in that direction, since forcing other people’s kids who don’t want to be there to go to church is nowhere in what Graham or Corey were saying.

  • JD

    Yeah, it is odd. Jonathan touches on it below. He’s intentionally trying to distort the entire debate so we’re no longer discussing Graham’s comments, but instead focusing on comments never made.

  • JD

    He does this. He spent all day yesterday painting homosexuals as vicious predators, just waiting to pounce on our children and turn them gay.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Your mom sounds great!

  • Ron McPherson

    Exactly. It’s totally mind boggling that we even have to address this. The One we worship touched the ‘unclean’ lepers, healed the broken hearted, rescued the ‘outcasts’, and said it would be better for us to be cast into the sea than to cause a little one to stumble. That we are to allow the children to come to Him, that we must become childlike to enter the Kingdom. To think professing Christ followers are speaking of gay kids like they’re some kind of diseased monster is heartbreaking to me. I just want to cry. Kids kill themselves over this! Dear God have mercy on us who are called to be your Ambassadors!

  • You are still making it about sexuality. When a man complained that his brother wasn’t being fair over their inheritance Jesus pointed out that he should be more concerned with what was really important. When he was asked about taxes he pointed out that they should be concerned more about giving God his due. He told the Pharisees to stop straining gnats and swallowing camels.

    Who is claiming rape and bestiality are virtuous? My point was that what Jesus spoke against were the most pressing sins. They are the sins that destroy lives and communities, those things he spoke of in the beatitudes.

  • Jesus did not address the issue of rape or bestiality either. Why? Because that did not need to be said to the Jews. These issues were settled in stone for them.

    Considering how the issue of rape was set in stone makes a person of conscience look for a chisel.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “He spent all day yesterday painting homosexuals as vicious predators…” and then denying that he did.

  • JD

    What you are really saying is this, “We don’t hate you, but I’m going to continually compare you to pedophiles and people that have sex with animals. We don’t hate you, but I’m going to assume you are a predator looking to convert children to being gay. But, I totally love you. I promise”.

  • That was Dr. Richard C. Halverson, Presbyterian minister and former chaplain to the U.S. Senate.

  • Shadowbelle

    She was a true lady.

  • “These people.”

    Hm.

  • The rarity or commonality of homosexuality in nature is irrelevant to the point, and you are not acknowledging the many other examples contradicting your claim. You stated that nature and science prove homosexuality is not innate, while I’m showing that nature and science allow plenty of room for species to have homosexuality and far more original inclinations without contradiction of the established order of the universe.

  • Shadowbelle

    “AND WE ARE TALKING ABOUT ANIMALS here who think with their libidos and DO NOT REASON!!! ”

    I’ve seen animals reason. It’s not uncommon.

  • We understand that you are taking criticism of a group you belong to personally, criticism that is richly deserved but hard to listen to because it is born of real and horrible pain and wantonly inflicted cruelty. You aren’t dealing with it well, perhaps because you yourself feel like you are being criticized (perhaps because you feel the need to defend, or you yourself would like to engage in, the behaviors being criticized.)

    Criticism, even angry criticism, isn’t abuse. If you think that The Irish Atheist is some kind of avatar of rhetorical ugliness, you badly need to recalibrate. And it is no vice to be furious in the face of injustice, especially when it is slathered in smug superiority.

  • Any grace you might offer a person who has actually been a victim of Christendom’s shamefully abysmal track record towards GLBT youth would indeed be cheap, and best left unoffered, especially since as you seek to defend these practices, it isn’t even sincere.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I’m going to take that as “these delightful people who have the patience of saints for putting up with my hooey.”

  • Moral ontology does not begin and end with divine command theory. There are moral realists who are atheists (Hi!), and even if one eschews a universal metaethic, there are plenty of ways to construct a coherent rubric of mutual obligations and actions between similar sentient actors. In that sense, you are indeed being a bit myopic.

    (And the Euthyphro does significant damage to the claim that those who depend on any sort of divinely gifted moral code are truly moral realists.)

  • WRP5

    Franklin is correct unrepentant homosexuals have no place in the church and Jesus was not a liberal in the slightest on sin he taught repentance.

  • I suggest you actually look into the usage of the word translated as abomination in the original Hebrew, toebah, and contrast it with the word translated as sin, chet.

    The word toebah is used in Genesis 46:34, Exodus 8:26, Deuteronomy 14:3, Isaiah 1:13, and Proverbs 29:27. None of these are commonly considered abominations, much less sinful, in the present day. In every usage of the word, it is something contrary to tradition, not a sin.
    By assuming that the translation is representative of the intent behind the original word, you are committing a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. An example of why this is a fallacy is, ironically, found in the word sodomite, which undoubtedly you take to refer to homosexuality, despite having been coined in the early 1600s and having no etymological root beyond translators who believed, or wanted others to believe, that the story of Sodom was about homosexuality.

  • Most atheists who assert a moral realist perspective assert it as an emergent property of sentient beings being in proximity and having the capacity to act upon one another, much like gravitational attraction between two objects being an emergent property of their relative masses and proximity. Humanists would further argue that this emergent property depends upon consistent and stable features of humanity that one finds regardless of culture or upbringing.

  • I’ll take it. :)

  • He also taught humility. So, will you be lining up to cast that first stone?

  • otrotierra

    #ThingsJesusNeverSaid

  • Jeff Preuss

    He said “gay children.” You got “unrepentant homosexuals.” I think you have a translation error.

  • Being transgender isn’t about desire, it’s about self-perception, and the science (which you’re such a fan of) has turned out a number of studies which indicate that self-perception is a function of the brain, and that one’s self-perception correlates strongly with physical brain characteristics resembling that of the sex identified as, rather than the sex assigned at birth.

  • For that matter, we don’t know that anything was said. He could have made the whole thing up to have a diatribe against The Enemy. Wouldn’t be the first time someone’s done such a thing (just look at conservative Christian advice columns for examples of people allegedly writing letters full of things no one ever says or does).

  • JD

    Except that Franklin isn’t talking about “unrepentant sinners”. He’s talking about inviting gay children and teenagers into your homes and churches. He’s not talking about them becoming members of the church, but simply inviting them. Franklin is wrong. Absolutely and completely wrong.

    Why must Franklin’s defenders continue to make up fictitious statements and try to argue those?

  • JD

    No, homosexuality is not a choice. It is not even an act. Now, there are homosexual acts, but homosexuality is simply being physically attracted to people of the same sex.

  • titaniumnape

    Every sin always attracts someone first. It is still a choice. Alcoholism, drug addiction, adultery, they all attract and convince the sinner it is something to be desired.

  • Also take note that zir reasoning for barring people from the church has wandered from “because they were coerced to be there” to “because they’re there with sex in mind” to “because they’re only there for social functions.”

  • Jeff Preuss

    Those are…not what are known as facts.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Robert Polvado, they not only have no place in the church (Christianity) they are not IN the Church, the body of Christ.

    It is a great blessing that open Homosexuals are not members in local Christian churches. Open Homosexuals will not attend Christian churches simply because they are not about to sit and listen to the truth that they are bound for hell. They would place their hands over their ears and run for the door.

    CINO churches attract the Homosexuals, resulting in a segregation of Homosexuals and Christians, a tremendous blessing.

  • otrotierra

    #ThingsJesusNeverSaid

    Wow, Jesus is terribly inconvenient to your theology.

  • otrotierra

    #ThingsJesusNeverSaid

  • Destructive how?

  • titaniumnape

    Try to make sense when you comment.

  • I’d dispute that there are even homosexual acts. Name anything a gay person does and I can find straight people who do it too.

  • titaniumnape

    Death, anal tears, parasitic infections, STD’s, Chronic IBS, The list goes on and on.

  • titaniumnape

    yeah, they are sinning also.

  • Dennis Wilson

    And just think JD, normal people, moral people, Christian people have always thought Homosexuals have sex with those of the same sex. You should publish a book informing everyone that it is just lust and not behavior.

  • JD

    Hey, look. More vile, anti-Christ comments from Dennis Wilson. Color me shocked.

  • Post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. You are drawing a causal link between being gay and having a shorter lifespan without consideration for whether this is due to internal or external influences. For example, the majority of homeless youth in America are LGBT (driving up the death rate of LGBT youth), but a person doesn’t typically lose or leave their home at that age unless they’re thrown out of home or feel unsafe being there.

  • JD

    Homosexuality is about attraction. One can have homosexual attraction and not act on it. Then again, you do nothing but spew anti-Christ venom on here.

  • How many of these are suffered by lesbians?

  • titaniumnape

    You can name all the fallacies you like Anony, Homosexuality kills and destroys those who partake in such activities. It is fact, regardless how you dance and try to frame your argument. It is a compulsion that few escape without the help of Christ.

  • Dennis Wilson

    Thank you for attacking me instead of attempting to refute me. I sincerely rejoice.

  • JD

    All you do here is attack. You have shown time and time again that you are incapable of having rational discussion. You will spew your venom, then demand people cut/paste some silly statement you come up with to try to prove themselves.

    It’s not an attack. I’m simply pointing out the obvious. You show up again and post comments that are not grounded in Christ, but in your own hate. You claim Christ with your words, but your actions speak differently. Whitewashed tomb. I’m done responding to your filth. It puts me in an unloving mindset, so I’ll dust my feet off and move on from you and your nonsense.

  • titaniumnape

    That is actually what is also sad. Lesbians also have a shortened lifespan by about 25-30%. Seems like a pattern to me. It is not a victim less act either. Why the deflection? Do you really even care?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Again, you are not stating facts. Bias and stereotype, with assumptive conclusion jumping? Sure.

    “Sure Jeff, check the CDC facts. Homosexuality shortens the life span on average by 33%.” Prove that with a link to the CDC, or else admit your lie.

  • Dennis Wilson

    JD
    Homosexuality is about attraction. One can have homosexual attraction and not act on it. Then again, you do nothing but spew anti-Christ venom on here.
    =======================================

    Sure it is. They get all those diseases just by transferring thoughts.

  • JD

    Okay, I’m going to have to leave this discussion. When nothing but venom and hate are spewed, it puts me in a bad place. The Graham defenders are having to completely fabricate comments because his actual comments are quite clear. His actual comments are dangerous and not grounded in Christ. So, the Graham followers pretend like he’s saying something that he didn’t actually say. It is impossible to have constructive discourse with people that simply refuse to come to the table with any honesty or love.

    Have a great day everyone.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Did my own research. It’s not on the CDC’s site. Back yourself up, or back out of the conversation.

  • otrotierra

    Indeed, their theology is so filled with venom and hate, they have no room for Jesus.

  • Pointing out the flaws in your logic which demonstrate that what you hold to be true is built upon faulty premises isn’t something I do because I believe it scores points with authority figures. Perhaps you should think hard about what it means to dismiss critical thinking when trying to form a factual argument.

    Christ could care less about homosexuality.

  • Dennis Wilson

    More attacks, I rejoice.

  • That wasn’t a deflection, it was asking a question about your claim. How many lesbians suffer STDs and damages from improperly performed anal sex?

  • Jeff Preuss

    And they’re perfectly happy to lie and make up facts to reinforce their hatred. Not of Christ.

  • titaniumnape

    No Jeff I won’t, And you did not research it. You are a wolf leading others to slaughter, plain and simple. But I will back out of the conversation with you.

  • JD

    With some of them, I genuinely believe they agree with Graham because they don’t want homosexuals to embrace Christ. They don’t want them to spend eternity with our Savior. They want them to “burn in hell”. Maybe not all of them, but I’m confident that deep down, that is the case w/ some.

  • Lesbians actually suffer significantly lower disease transmission than heterosexual couples.

  • JD

    But, that’s why I’m no longer engaging with them. It’s clearly put me in a bad place where I’m making such judgements that I shouldn’t be. But there’s just no love in their comments. It saddens me for the gay teens that are rejected. It saddens me for them too, as they miss out on so much peace and love from Christ.

  • Incidentally, the CDC itself contradicts your claim.

    Differences in sexual behavior account for some of these disparities, but others are associated with social and structural inequities, such as the stigma and discrimination that LGBT populations experience.

  • titaniumnape

    “Christ could care less about homosexuality” Very logical of you, did you speak with him or deduce this from the bible?

  • I’ve certainly come across my share of people for whom the point of Heaven isn’t that it’s life, it’s that it’ll be life apart from everyone else. They tend not to like it when I suggest that Paradise is the ultimate destination of every soul.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “No Jeff I won’t, And you did not research it. You are a wolf leading others to slaughter, plain and simple. But I will back out of the conversation with you.”

    I did. I just went through all their site with a comprehensive search of the things you said were there. I am not lying.

    YOU are the one who started into this with unsupported “facts” claiming “Sure Jeff, check the CDC facts.” I did. They aren’t there. Yet, somehow I am a “wolf leading others to slaughter” when you are the one making hyperbolic lies into “facts”?

    You’re a liar, a bigot, and a hypocrite, plain and simple. In your short time here, you’ve cast such an extreme black mark on the reputation of our Savior with your words. I wish you peace, but you need to check yourself. You should be ashamed.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Well, clearly, Titanium speaks with love, right?

  • Neither. When I visited Paradise, it was made pretty abundantly clear by the words, “You belong here.”

  • Dennis Wilson

    A married couple who obey the word of God in regards to sex will never contract an STD.

    We don’t get tested because we will never get an STD.

    Do you get tested?

  • titaniumnape

    Telling the truth about Homosexuality shortening the life span on average of 33% is untrue? That is your claim? O.k. Check the hospitals and morgues

  • Jeff Preuss

    It’s not truth. You can’t even back up your claim – it’s unsubstantiated. Saying it over and over again, emphatically, doesn’t MAKE it true.

    Bye, Felicia.

    EDIT: Oh, hey, puddin’. I see you responded to me. Yeah, that’s gonna be futile for you. I’ve put a killfile hush on you. Your evil is not something anyone should be subjected to, and I just can’t be bothered with you anymore.

    Peace be with you.

  • titaniumnape

    Got it.

  • titaniumnape

    Oh but it is true. Bye Jeff. And please make sure you keep getting tested.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “…and the science (which you’re such a fan of)…”

    I’m sorry. I had to LOL at that statement.

  • titaniumnape

    33% of your life Sam. There is a better way, seek Christ. Don’t wait until it is too late.

  • Demonstrably untrue, and shockingly ignorant.

    You can contract STDs through blood exposure. Is a person living an ungodly lifestyle if they’re injured in a car accident and an EMT gives then contaminated blood to save their life?

    You can also be born with an STD if your parents had it. Are you disobeying the word of God by being born to the wrong parents?

    Your partner could have contracted an STD through either of the above. What does the word of God have to say about marrying someone who is infected through no fault of their own?

    No, I don’t get tested. I haven’t had sex in years, though I keep protection on hand in the event it should be necessary for any reason, both to reduce the odds of STD transmission and to prevent pregnancy. I ask partners about their medical history because I can never simply assume they enjoy the fortunes of a life without undue suffering.

    Why? Do you live under the impression that the only people who suffer are those who deserve it?

  • titaniumnape

    May you find peace also Jeff, take care.

  • A lot of people who say they love science seem to have mistaken love for a passing, exploitative encounter. That’s not love. That’s pinching science’s butt as it walks by, and it’s not okay.

  • I assure you, if I die 33% sooner than others, it will have been for unrelated reasons — probably because I am impoverished and have to struggle to make ends meet, and have a better than improbable chance of winding up on the street. If Christ is doing any calling, it will have more to do with your duty to me in those circumstances.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Thanks for your input, JD. It’s been valued.

  • Jonathan

    No, pretty much every credible organization agrees that it’s pretty clear that the “destructive act” is the stigma and discrimination people place on it.

    As for whether homosexuality is a choice, you can choose to go against the consensus of the American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association, American Counseling Association, National Association of Social Workers, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Child Welfare League of America, American Association of School Administrators, American Federation of Teachers, National Association of School Psychologists, American Academy of Physician Assistants, National Education Association, Royal College of Physicians, Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality, American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists, World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Research, Chinese Society of Psychiatry, American Psychoanalytic Association, British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy, UK Council for Psychotherapy, Australian Medical Association, Australian Psychological Society, and pretty much every other credible body in existence, but continuing to scream that the sky is green will not make it any less blue.

    None of this, I might add, is even remotely relevant to Ben’s original point of Franklin Graham’s blatantly un-Christlike behavior. If you want to keep beating that same bloody smear where there used to be a dead horse on the issue of whether or not homosexuality is a choice or if it’s sinful, Breitbart and Charisma Magazine are that-a-way.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I’m sure if your social/financial standing has any relation at all to some ostracizing over being LGBTQ, that Titanium would very emphatically declare it’s as a result of you choosing to be that way. Ergo, he would see it as “dying early because gay.”

  • their denial is a defense against reality they are not prepared to cope w I think!

  • Jonathan

    I’m sorry, JD, but I understand. Hope to see you around sometime!

  • Dennis Wilson

    AnonymousSam, I thought of the possibility that someone might bring up blood transfusions because that was all they had. You did not disappoint. I used the word sex for a reason. You have unknowingly admitted the truth that married couples faithful to God’s word will never get an STD through sex.

    God’s plan for marriage is one mate of the opposite sex for life. And no, these will never have to “keep protection on hand” to “reduce the odds of STD transmission” unlike yourself.

  • Bones

    He will find peace away from people like you.

  • And it doesn’t particularly. Most of my family still has no idea, and I didn’t leave them because of it; I left because of my abusive stepfather and for lack of opportunity or growth where I was living (middle of nowhere).

  • yes! there is a disconnect so profound that one does not know one is disconnected IMHO. just venturing a contradicting comment, albeit, innocently w/o a hidden agenda among a tribe of such, can bust down the house of cards IMHO!

  • Jeff Preuss

    Well, I’m glad you got away from your stepfather. I doubt I could do middle of nowhere well, at least not while staying in a creative field.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Oh, I’ve even got peace around people like him. Too much peace and joy in my heart and soul. I am peace with myself and my Creator.

  • You have unknowingly admitted the truth that married couples faithful to God’s word will never get an STD through sex.

    Except that’s not true. If either partner contracts or inherits a disease, they can transmit it to their partner without ever having any past sexual history or indiscretion.

    And no, these will never have to “keep protection on hand” to “reduce the odds of STD transmission” unlike yourself.

    If their partner has contracted a disease (which, as established, they can have through no fault of their own), they certainly won’t want to spread it, and may have qualms about passing it down to their children.

    Your ignorance will not protect you if the worst should ever happen. Stop being so eager to look down upon someone. It is poor behavior for one who should be known by their love.

  • glad you are here dennis. the love of jesus includes everyone even you! (*|:D

  • RonnyTX

    JD to Otrotierra:
    With some of them, I genuinely believe they agree with Graham because they don’t want homosexuals to embrace Christ. They don’t want them to spend eternity with our Savior. They want them to “burn in hell”. Maybe not all of them, but I’m confident that deep down, that is the case w/ some.

    Ronny to JD:
    Sadly, that wouldn’t surprise me one bit JD, at least with some people. :-( But the best news is, no matter what some people have been taught, Jesus Christ is truly the Saviour of the whole world and there is no Jesus Christ created hell of eternal torment. :-)

    http://www.tentmaker.org/FAQ/DoesJesusREALLYLoveLittleChildren.html

  • Dennis Wilson

    You really need to discover the meaning of STD.
    Christian couples who are faithful to God’s word have no need to get tested. These have no need or worry to about sexually transmitted disease.

  • I spent most of my life in deep rural environments, and the only reason I liked them was because, by contrast, I only knew towns and cities with little to no greenery in or around them. I was used to seeing large farms around small towns, or bad-smelling cities, as the alternative to small clearings in the forest.

    Nowadays, I live within a few blocks from a good-sized public park despite living in a city of 650,000 people. I wouldn’t want to do New York City (population of almost 8.5 million) and looking across the Hudson River at the Bronx was bad enough (AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH SO MUCH GREY), but this city — yeah, I could spend the rest of my life here, and I will if I have anything to say about it. 33% less time or not.

  • Jeff Preuss

    It’s like going to Ken Ham’s museum and using that visit to claim a complete understanding of paleontology.

  • RonnyTX

    ASam to JD:
    I’ve certainly come across my share of people for whom the point of Heaven isn’t that it’s life, it’s that it’ll be life apart from everyone else. They tend not to like it when I suggest that Paradise is the ultimate destination of every soul.

    Ronny to ASam:
    I know what you mean Sam. I was raised up in a Calvinist church, so even after God/Jesus Christ saved me, I still thought that my church’s teaching had to be right, that God had chosen for most people to go to hell. :-( I’m just so glad, that a few years ago, God showed me better. :-) Showed me that Jesus Christ is truly the Saviour of everyone, from Adam on down! :-)

  • You can be born with HIV/AIDS. You can be born with syphillis. You can be born with chlamidya. You can be born with gonorrhea. You can also be infected by these diseases by blood-borne contamination.

    You need an education.

  • Dennis Wilson

    You have an insurmountable problem, it is reality.
    I don’t need to get tested, you do.
    I don’t need protection, you do.

  • Bones

    Yeah go get some fresh air and reflect on the beauty of your life and that you are loved.

    The ugliness in this thread can only be classified as extremism.

  • Jeff Preuss

    We are fortunate to live next to a wooded lot in a very tree-dense area near a lake. Deer parade through our yard all the time. (Which also means an occasional dead deer with which to contend…) 20 minutes to work in a large downtown. So, it’s a nice balance.

  • Jonathan

    “The ugliness in this thread can only be classified as extremism.”

    Oh, I don’t know. I can think of a few other choice words for it.

  • Jonathan

    I find Manchester NH is a nice medium. It’s a decent-sized (100k-ish) city, but it’s a short drive to the country. And it’s also a short drive to Boston. Best of both worlds.

  • Bones

    Actually, no.

    The religious leaders were condemned because of their exclusive religion which was diametrically opposed to the inclusive kingdom of God.

    Conservative Christians have adopted the same religion but tagged on the Trinity.

    It is no different.

  • Bones

    I was being nice.

  • Jonathan

    Point taken. I’m fresh out of nice at the moment.

  • RonnyTX

    Robert:
    Franklin is correct unrepentant homosexuals have no place in the church and Jesus was not a liberal in the slightest on sin he taught repentance.

    Ronny to Robert:
    Robert, I was born of God when I was 16teen years old and in doing that for me, God called on me and caused me to repent of my sin of selfrighteousness; but God never even brought up my being gay, much less condemned me for such. Some people condemned me and taught me to condemn myself, because I was gay; but I got that from some church people and not from God/Jesus Christ.

    Now lets look at some scripture.

    “4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?” Romans 2:4

    Here we see that it is the goodness of God, that leads us to repentance.

    “10 He (Jesus Christ) was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not. 11 He came unto his own, and his own received him not. 12 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: 13 Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” John 1:10,14

    Here, we see we are born of God and not born of our will. So we have nothing to brag about in ourself, in our being saved/born of God. For it is all of God/Jesus Christ. So, we have no room to brag or look down on anyone, who has yet to be born of God.

    “20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. 27 For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. 28 And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.” 1 Corinthians 15:20,28

    Here we see, that we all died in Adam; but just as surely, we all shall be made alive, in Jesus Christ. :-) So again, because out new birth, our being born again, is all of God/Jesus Christ, we have nothing to brag about and should look down on no one. For our being born of God/ Jesus Christ, is not of us; but of God.

  • RonnyTX

    Dennis to Robert:
    Robert Polvado, they not only have no place in the church (Christianity) they are not IN the Church, the body of Christ.

    Ronny to Dennis:
    Well, yes we are Dennis. I was raised up in church from an infant, discovered I was gay at 12 years old and then I was born of God, when I was 16 years old. So you see, God/Jesus Christ, put me in the church/body of Christ.

    Dennis to Robert:
    It is a great blessing that open Homosexuals are not members in local Christian churches. Open Homosexuals will not attend Christian churches simply because they are not about to sit and listen to the truth that they are bound for hell. They would place their hands over their ears and run for the door.

    Ronny to Dennis:
    Dennis, there is no Jesus Christ created hell of eternal torment. Such a hell was taught in pagan religions; but it was not in the scriptures, as they were written in Hebrew and Greek. But hell was added on to the scripture by Jerome, in his RCC Latin Vulgate translation of the bible.

    Dennis to Robert:
    CINO churches attract the Homosexuals, resulting in a segregation of Homosexuals and Christians, a tremendous blessing.

    Ronny to Dennis:
    Dennis, do you think all heterosexuals are presently saved/ born of God? You know they aren’t. So why are you acting like heterosexuals are so much better than people who are homosexual? Do you need someone to look down on, so you can feel good about yourself? Do you not know Dennis, that a lost person is saved by God’s grace? And that true, be the person gay, bisexual, heterosexual or transgendered?

  • “What’s in hell?”
    “People like you.”
    What’s in heaven?”
    “People like me.”

    Sounds like you need to work on your threats.

  • RonnyTX

    titaniumnape:
    Homosexuality is one of the most self destructive acts any man or women can do to himself or another. It is a choice, and that choice shortens the life span of millions upon millions. It is as bad as being a full blown heroin addict. These are the facts.

    Ronny to Titaniumnape:
    Being gay is not an act, nor is it chosen. I was born in 1955, grew up in rural, small town NE Texas. I never even heard of or knew about gay people or couples;but what I noted growing up, were that there were males who were attracted to and liked females and females who were attracted to and liked males. But then I got to 12 years old and discovered about myself, that I was attracted to some males and not to any female. And at the time this first occured, I didn’t even know there was such a thing, as gay people. So no, I didn’t choose to be gay.

  • RonnyTX

    Titaniumnape to Jeff:
    Not lying Jeff, do your own research. Homosexuality is a death sentence.

    Ronny to Titaniumnape:
    Titaniumnape, why are going to die?

  • RonnyTX

    Sam, I like the sound of where you live. :-) I’m glad you’re just a few blocks, from a good sized public park! As far myself, I live out in a rural area, with only smaller town about. I like it here. :-) In good dry weather, I can drive just a few miles and then go down some back roads, where no one lives for several miles! I like that; but all of my life, I have also liked living fairly close to some people. :-) The first I remember well, was a lady and her husband, just a short ways down a country road. I was less than 10 years old and would go through the pasture and woods, to get to their house. She always asked me, does you Mom know where you’re at? And I would tell her no. Well, the thing was, this lady always had good cookies at hand! :-) LoL

    My, there are some great places for walking around here. Lots of back roads, pastures, woods, creeks, etc! :-)

  • Shadowbelle

    Reading your post, the word “hubris” comes to mind.

    You are not qualified to judge others. You are not God, and you are not qualified to speak for God. Mind your own salvation, and let others mind theirs.

  • Shadowbelle

    “Lesbians also have a shortened lifespan by about 25-30%.”

    Says who?

  • Shadowbelle

    “Death, anal tears, parasitic infections, STD’s, Chronic IBS,”

    None of which are unique to gay folks. And you’re wrong.

    The single most self-destructive act is smoking. And you know what? Smoking really is a choice.

  • You have an insurmountable problem, it is reality.

    Funny, I was thinking the same thing about you. The difference is that I have medical knowledge on my side and the willingness to take ten minutes to Google it. You, on the other hand, seem to be stuck with citing dogma and trying really hard not to let in new information that disturbs your assumptions about the universe.

    I don’t need to get tested … I don’t need protection

    I hope for your sake that this is actually true.

    you do.

    Actually, I don’t. I’m not sexually active. But you can bet I will when and if I start a new relationship, because unlike you, I’m not willing to take my partner’s safety or my own for granted. This goes for genetic diseases as well, as I have at least one that I’m not willing to pass down to anyone else.

    But whatever helps you built that warm, enjoyable contempt for other people, I suppose.

    May you find harmony, man of clay.

  • I’m surprised to have seen as many deer as I have since moving west, but I wouldn’t mind if I never saw another one again. Deer were excessively plentiful where I lived before, and for awhile, my family survived on poached venison, so I became intimately acquainted with the lean, tough, tasteless meat.

  • Boston’s… eh, I might like it better if I visited earlier in the year. Every time I’ve been there, it’s been autumn or winter, so the best I’ve gotten to see are the cranberry farms.

  • Shadowbelle

    This was put forward by Bob Marshall and debunked in Politifact in 2012. Here’s part of the article.
    ————-
    ‘The report, conducted by researchers at the British Columbia Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, examined how HIV affected the mortality of gay and bisexual men in Vancouver from 1987 to 1992. …

    The report’s authors, in 2001, took exception to conservatives who used their study to condemn the lifestyle of gay and bisexual men. The researchers said circumstances had changed since their study ended in
    the early 1990s.

    “If we were to repeat this analysis today the life expectancy of gay and bisexual men would be greatly improved,” the authors wrote. “Deaths from HIV infection have declined dramatically in this population since 1996.”

    Our Ruling

    Bob Marshall said homosexual behavior cuts a person’s life by about 20 years.

    The research Marshall cites to support his claim is two decades old and was conducted near the height of the HIV epidemic. One of the authors said there have been tremendous advances in HIV treatment over the last
    20 years and that Marshall’s statement is a “gross misrepresentation” of the research.

    The U.S. death rate from HIV was nine times higher in 1990 than it was in 2010, the latest year for the data.

    Marshall cites a number of other studies that show homosexuals face certain health risks. But none of them focused on the life expectancy of homosexuals, and they certainly didn’t conclude that gays die about 20 years earlier than heterosexuals.

    We rate Marshall’s claim False.

  • I grew up far from other people and the result was that I only got to see my friends at school, never to visit them outside it. It didn’t help that the transit system in that state is atrocious (or at least was when I was there), so if I wanted to go anywhere, it had to be by driving — which, in my youth, meant that I spent most of every summer with no company outside my parents, with the nearest neighbor (an old farmer) living over half a mile away.

    Nowadays if I moved back, I’d have a slightly better time of things, but I still wouldn’t have the convenience of being able to walk or bus to any destination I’d care to visit.

  • Or, for that matter, necessarily part of gay folks. It’s amazing what one can accomplish simply by taking a little care and precaution before sex. For that matter, not all gay men have anal sex at all, and lesbians certainly aren’t prone to having it frequently.

  • Shadowbelle

    “As I grow older and older,
    And totter toward the tomb,
    I find that I care less and less
    Who goes to bed with whom.”

    (Dorothy L. Sayers)

  • Paraphrasing many a soul: God is a being with power beyond comprehension, wisdom encompassing the ages that have past and have yet to be, and benevolence that makes the greatest acts of charity look like depraved evil by comparison.

    And he is keenly interested in your genitals.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Yup. But, that doesn’t stop these anti-gay types from further circulating these “statistics” and insisting they are factual. And, then when they cannot back up their claims, somehow we become the evil troublemakers.

    Le sigh.

  • Shadowbelle

    Homosexuality does not kill. Risky behaviors kill.

    Homosexuality is not inherently risky. Social factors can make it risky, but you know what? In many places, social factors also make it risky to be an albino. Or a woman. Or a child. Or human.

    Many straight people engage in risky sexual behaviors. Many people engage in risky behaviors without respect to their sexual orientation. Anyone who plays tackle football is risking his life. The same is true about people who engage in extreme sports or who golf in the rain.

  • Something I keep having to say…

    “If your side is right, why do you have to lie so much?”

    But that’s the consequence of starting from the conclusion and then building any justification, regardless of how flimsy, to support it.

  • Jeff Preuss

    To further extrapolate, childbirth is inherently risky for the mother and child, yet no one seems to be making a case condemning the immorality of heterosexual activity as a result. But this, THIS, is somehow “proof” of the inherent immorality of being gay.

    Boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Well, I just love being accused of lying and “not doing the research” when I didn’t actually find the “CDC” stats Titanium kept insisting, even though he repeatedly proved himself unwilling to actually link to the facts himself. “Do your own research!”

    Ah, yes, because I can’t substantiate your claims for you, that clearly means I am lying because I know you’re telling the truth! Super logic!

  • Once, when I pointed out that childbirth carries an extensive list of short and long term risks, the response was that if that were true, then the moral thing to do would be to force women to have abortions.

    Morality, man, some people just don’t fucking get it.

  • Jeff Preuss

    IF that were true?

  • For that matter, when even a cursory study of the site reveals the CDC backing up my statement that it’s not some inherent biological truth that homosexuality shortens the lifespan, claiming the CDC’s support while refusing to provide citation seems disingenuous at best.