Some Things To Consider If You Think Being Gay Is a Sin

Some Things To Consider If You Think Being Gay Is a Sin May 29, 2014

Please consider that regardless of whether you’re able to fully accept this or not, there are gay Christians.

Like I said yesterday, perhaps your theology on the issue might not ever change or evolve, but please know, these are real people you’re talking about. This isn’t just a “concept” or an inanimate object– these are real live Christian brothers and sisters that deserve every bit of love and empathy as anyone else. Maybe you haven’t counseled the teenager in your church who wants to kill themselves because they’re finally realizing that they’re gay and always have been. Maybe you haven’t had a friend weep in your presence over the fact that they realize they are gay, but also realize they did not chose to be– and that they’ll never be accepted by the tribe. Maybe you haven’t had a chance to serve in church for years on end next to someone who you never realized was in fact, gay the whole time and also unwavering in their love for Jesus and commitment to the church.

These things have happened to me, but I get that maybe you’ve never experienced them. So please, just consider that we are not talking about an “issue” here– we’re talking about real people. People created in the image and likeness of God. People with feelings, passions, hopes, and dreams. When we allow this to simply become an “issue” within modern Christian discourse, we end up dehumanizing the very real people we’re actually referencing.

Please become willing to reexamine what the Bible teaches on homosexuality.

The apostle Paul taught that the church at Berea was “more noble” than other churches because they didn’t blindly believe what he taught, but instead studied the scriptures for an answer. Would you be willing to do what the church at Berea did, and reexamine what is, or may not be, in scripture? Remember- when looking at scripture there are all sorts of things to consider, such as historical context, the original language, etc. While such exegesis is encouraged in many other theological areas (such as women covering their heads) it’s not often encouraged on this issue. I would invite you to reexamine these passages and consider the same factors we consider when interpreting or applying any other part of scripture.

If you’re willing to do this, Matthew Vines has a great new book with does exactly that– God and the Gay Christian— and I would strongly urge you to read it. Matthew is a conservative evangelical who writes from a conservative evangelical perspective, and does an outstanding job at showing that there is a very legitimate, alternate understanding of some of these texts. When considering any issue, it is important to take into account and give an honest ear to all sides of an issue. Rarely has a conservative evangelical done what Vines has done, and I would strongly encourage you to read it, and consider the arguments he makes as you formulate your own opinion on what the Bible does, or does not, teach on the issue.

Even if you don’t agree with Matthew in the end, his book will help you to realize that many people affirm monogamous, same sex marriage without discarding the Bible. I know to some of you that might sound crazy, which is really why you should read the book– from one conservative evangelical to another. I think what Matt has done is huge: at a minimum, he has helped to show there is an alternative biblical understanding which should firmly place this issue into the category of “secondary theology” where Christian charity should leave room for disagreement without declaring who is in, and who is out.

Please consider that we treat our gay brothers and sisters differently than everyone else, and even if you’re right– this behavior is wrong.

Let’s say your theology doesn’t change and that you even turn out to be correct in that homosexuality is a sin. Still, you face a cultural issue that one should find appalling– the fact that we’ve basically forced gay Christians to go out and get their own churches instead of being welcomed at ours.

Greg Boyd shows the absurdity of what we’ve done in his book, Repenting of Religion (one of my favorites– and will provoke you in good ways. Greg once said that he lost 1000 members of his church when he wrote it). In the book, Greg points out that America has an obesity epidemic and that much of the time, the obesity is caused by gluttony (over eating)– which is a sin. Furthermore, we know that over-eating is also greed (taking more than what you need), which the Bible calls idol worship (Col 3:5, Eph 5:5). Boyd’s question then becomes (as does mine): if we make gay Christians go out and get their own churches, why are we not forcing people who are obese due to over eating to go out and get their own churches as well? Obviously, we’d never dream of such a thing– the sin of over eating is culturally acceptable, so we ignore the teachings of scripture on it most of the time. On a more practical level, as Boyd points out, we know the reasons why a person may over eat are complex, personal, and unknown to us– which means that only God can judge them, since God is the only one who understands the whole picture.

Therefore, even if homosexuality is a sin, following this line of thinking, we should be using the same standard that we use with people who are obese from over eating: love them, include them, and refrain from judging them. The fact that we have created an entire, separate way of viewing and treating our gay brothers and sisters, is nothing short of corporate sin.

We’d rarely- if ever- treat these people the way LGBTQ people get treated, and that should be a deeply concerning realization. The fact that one group, and only one group, has been effectively marginalized from the church (you know, that thing that’s supposed to represent Jesus here on earth) should cause us tremendous sorrow.

Please consider that even if you’re right, it shouldn’t dramatically change the praxis of your faith.

Tuesday I was with my friend and fellow author, Frank Schaeffer and he was telling me a story about his parents. They were theologically conservative on the issue of homosexuality, but as Frank describes, were “glorious hypocrites” because they were so loving to their gay friends in their day to day living. Ultimately, I think the correctness of a theological opinion is somewhat irrelevant in comparison to personal behavior– a truth Jesus taught in Matthew 25. Consider all sides and still think it’s a sin? Have at it– but please consider being a glorious hypocrite on the issue, as we are on so many others, by choosing radical love for other people instead of planting your flag in the rightness of correct belief.

Even I have publicly admitted that I still struggle with the entire theology around this– struggling with theology is okay. However, as I have also stated publicly, wherever I land will be irrelevant to the praxis of my faith, just as it was for Frank’s parents. I will still radically love people. I will still radically include people. I will still invite everyone to join me in following Jesus… and I will still refrain from judgement, because I’m not God and I don’t have all of the information to make righteous judgements about others.

There’s no reason why this issue should change the praxis of your faith, either. We’re all just trying to follow Jesus, and we should be so focused on our own issues that we lack the time to focus on the perceived issues of others.

Please consider that the cultural obsession with homosexuality within the American Church is detracting from the things Jesus asked us to do.

Later today I’ll be releasing an interview I shot Tuesday with Frank Schaeffer regarding his new book, Why I’m An Atheist Who Believes In God. In the book, he writes that “Jesus was a traitor to the culture wars of his day”, because the message Jesus came to bring didn’t line up with the battles the current culture wanted to fight. The same is true today– it is American Christian culture who has placed this issue at the front and center and convinced much of the culture that this is “the” war worth fighting. Meanwhile, in the past two years I’ve met with rescued slaves in India, orphans in Africa, seen kids in third world countries drink water that could easily kill them, and watched the homeless trot off into the streets during a New England blizzard. There are real, pressing issues we could devote our time to– but the whole anti-gay battle? That’s a distraction from the real issues facing our world– issues we can actually impact if we don’t get caught up into fabricated culture wars. So, please consider being like Jesus– be a traitor to the culture wars of today, and focus on the issues that really matter.

 ///

As I said, I believe this to be an issue that should be kept to secondary theology that still allows for Christian unity and that regardless of where our theology lands, it should not impact the praxis of our faith. I understand this is a hard issue for many of you to wrestle with, and this post isn’t one where I’m trying to provoke you or get in your face– I just humbly ask, that you please consider these few things… and see what might change within your own heart.

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

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

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

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

Yes, What Israel Is Doing To ..."

Browse Our Archives

Follow Us!


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

    I think what you write is worth considering, and as a Lutheran, I don’t fit neatly into the usual left/right, liberal/conservative categories (outside of which it is apparently impossible for the wider culture to think). Even so, I wonder about this statement: “it is American Christian culture who has placed this issue at the front and center and convinced much of the culture that this is ‘the’ war worth fighting.”
    Isn’t it likely that the push for acceptance of gay relationships, gay marriage, and now the judicial fight to make sure there is never any dissent on this issue, is just as responsible for putting this issue front and center? Prior to, say, the 1970s, were Christians preaching against homosexuality? I think many of the conservative evangelicals toward whom your post is directed would say that the fight came to them, and not the other way around.

  • Susan Mechling

    here. here. right on. (polite applause) Food for thought and lots of books to read. love it. You say it so much better than me. going to share…

  • Kerry Thomas

    Being a formally fat person, I’ve lost 130 lbs., I understand the sin of gluttony. Trust me, I could eat sugary sweet goodies like no other, I drank as we say in the South ” Cokes” and sweet tea by the gallon.
    Yet, do you think you would hear a minster speak against gluttony? Most of his Southern Baptist or Pentecostal parishioners and even the pastor can’t wait until evening fellowship ” pie supper” in which after 8 slices of pecan, coconut cream, and sweet potato pie, the minister himself ” might ” say, well, I may have had enough….
    I’ve never understood why one so called sin is worse than others? And to be honest, why is my ” sin” not as bad as your so called sin?

  • Rebecca

    Beautifully and brilliantly written. Thank you so very much! I have family and an ex-husband who are gay. My hope and prayer for them is that they find a church family who will love them not because they are gay or straight but because they are made in the image of God. My prayer is they experience the reality of the love Jesus has for them instead of viewing Him through the lens of a church they have been spiritually abused in. This is about real people with real relationships whom God loves, and delights in. I am sharing this post with others.

  • Interesting article. I do agree that the church needs a new approach to homosexuality, seeing people who have same-sex attraction as people rather than a cultural war. Though I don’t know if comparing homosexuality to obesity is quite fair. Perhaps compare it to extra-marital heterosexual relations? B/c sexual sins do seem to be emphasized in the Bible. The whole idea that every other sin is outside the body (1 Cor 6:18).
    What do you think? Do you think Christian’s sexual choices are of particular interest to God?

  • That is an interesting thought about why homosexuality is a front and center issue. Even if it is the ACLU etc. that put it front and center couldn’t we as Christians fight against it being a front and center issue for us? Like I heard some non-Christians boycotting Chik-Fil-A b/c of their stance as a Christian company against homosexuality. I love that Chik-Fil-A is a Christian company. But shouldn’t Christians be known for say helping foster care kids, and aiding the homeless?
    Tangentially, I wish there was actual, legitimate scientific research about the effects on the brain/emotions of various sexual activities the Bible talks about. It’s not politically correct these days to do such research, but I bet that type of research would reveal a lot general revelation wise on why the Bible gives certain special revelation guidelines about sex.

  • Cory N Jamie Gilliam

    preach it brother! :-) With all the starving families in the world why in samhill are church folks sitting around on their butts stuffing their faces first place? Which is worse: Loving someone of the same-sex or scarfing down rich delicacies knowing full well someone needs the nourishment that you are over consuming?

  • PawneeBill47

    I’ll have two pieces of pecan please.

  • I’m not going to deny that you have some nice sentiments here, Mr. Corey, and I’m sure there are going to be people here chiming in to state that they agree with you. But the fact remains that it’s far too late. It’s too late for the American Church to repair the irreparable damage it did to these people.

    Spend some time in the manstream LGBT community if you have the chance. Not the church crowd and not the pride parade that conservatives love to portray as ‘the gay lifestyle.’ Just regular ordinary people working jobs they could be fired from for their orientation, raising families that they had to fight for and so often aren’t even recognised as legitimate. You will find an underlying layer of resentment and bitterness and undiluted rage towards Christianity like you wouldn’t believe. And I don’t think anyone here will deny that American Christianity has earned all that bitterness ten times over. It’s 2014, and there are more LGBT affirming churches every year, but that doesn’t mean that the 70’s and 80’s and 90’s didn’t happen. People have long memories. The LGBT community remembers the violence and the theraputic torture and DADT and the AIDS crisis where the Church laughed as thousands died.

    You’ve lost this community for good. The older generation doesn’t want the church and the next generation won’t need it. I’m sure this seems tragic to you, but in my eyes it’s the best possible outcome. I’d rather see people living free even with their scars than running back to an institution that will hurt them again in a heartbeat as soon as it’s convenient.

  • “Extra marital relations’ is not a good comparison for three reasons.

    1. The Bible provides sexual, romantic, and emotional outlets for heterosexual people that it doesn’t for LGBT pepole.
    2. There is nothing comparable between falling in love and raising a family and breaking trust in a relationship.
    3. The Bible is completely permissible towards extra-marital sex – if you’re a man.

  • By that logic, abolitionists brought the fight to slave owners and suffragists brought the fight to misogynists. No one is forcing the church to ‘accept homosexuality.’ Your views and opinions are a choice. But until recent history, the church had such immense power and they hated gay people so much that they broke them down and brutalised them with absolute glee. And now that people are opening up their eyes and LGBT people are demanding to be treated like human beings under the law, you’re claiming that the fight came to you, so you apparently can’t be blamed for the knee-jerk reaction.

    Maybe it did. But it’s a fight you asked for and deserved.

  • Cory N Jamie Gilliam

    I disagree with the misinformed drivel you just said b/c My partner and I are married in a faithful, committed relationship. Go read Mathew Vines book, The periodical called “A letter to Louise” and also check Troy Perry’s “Don’t Be Afraid Anymore”. Adultery is a willful act committed against someone you professed to stay physically and emotionally faithful to. Saying God makes someone exclusively gay and then that GLBT person is “cheating” on God by just being true to their sexual preference is the height of insanity!

  • David

    Much could be said, but I – someone who still believes that homosexuality is a sin – agree with the general gist of this article. I do think that it’s proper to a point to make it a big deal because our culture makes it a big deal. The honor of God is on the line, and we should fight for it where the culture is trying to diminish it. But we must have balance and still be the people Christ has taught us to be. Instead of fighting the battle like a bunch of Ninevites we should fight the battle like God’s people.

  • Jakeithus

    While it is one small part of the whole article (that I largely found positive), I thought the exact same thing as it’d be the one area I have pushback on. Overall, I find pointing fingers and blame assigning to be pretty meaningless, since who started the “fight” doesn’t really impact things.

  • If the honour of your god is threatened by two men loving each other and raising children in a good home, it’s not honour worth fighting for.

    But then, Christians always seem to want a battle against something, don’t they?

  • David

    This makes me laugh. I clearly wasn’t picking a fight, but rather trying to throw out a little praise even though I clearly don’t agree with the author on the issue at hand, and here you are antagonizing me by saying stuff about how we Christians always want to battle against something. It’s just a bit humorous to me. Not sure if you get the humor though.

  • Erik Novitsky

    Where in the Bible is it permissible towards extra-marital sex?

  • HappyCat

    Having been a bit of a bookstore geek all my life, i can tell you that there were definitely books, tracts, etc written on the subject. It was definitely front and center especially when it taken off the list of mental disorders. None of it was pretty, or loving, or true.

  • HappyCat

    It is easy to preach against ‘sin’ when it is a sin you never struggle with.

  • Kerry Thomas

    Amen

  • what Bible verse defends your #3 point? And in #2 were you assuming I meant adultery by “extra marital relations”? B/c that would also include premarital sex which often is not breaking trust in a relationship.

  • Might I suggest, David, the use of words like “fight” and “battle” (several times actually), in reference to defending the honor of God can easily stir a defensive response regardless of your greater intent. As a preachers kid, I’m well familiar with the lingo and grew up singing “Onward Christian Soldiers” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” But in reflection, this militant sounding language and approach doesn’t seem to accurately reflect the Christ of the Gospels. It depicts a modern, western, military-minded cultural influence so pervasive in American Christianity. When using this type of language we shouldn’t be surprised at a reactive response even when we’re attempting to be genuinely generous and kind. I’ve been re-reading the Gospels and, to be honest, there’s often very little Christ in our churches and in our western Christianity. In my opinion, the use of battle metaphors in modern Christianity waver from Christ’s life and example of sacrifice (Paul’s reference to soldiers and armor were recognizable, visual tools for his readers and not a call to stray from the gentleness, humility, sacrifice and peace that Christ exemplified).

  • Erik Novitsky

    You clearly have strong bitterness and distaste for all religion, but beyond that side of things, you are arguing that it is better to move on and give up when something wrong is done, rather than to try, with genuine love, to repair or (as little as it may be) to right a wrong. And even if the wrong can’t be righted (as you say, in regards to damage already done), at least the same wrong won’t be committed again.

    If in any relationship something is done that greatly hurts the other, would you say that damage is done and cannot be repaired, so what’s the use in trying to correct any wrong-doing?

  • Erik Novitsky

    Plus, who are you to say that an entire community of people has been lost? You may identify with the community, or simply support the community, but you cannot speak for every LGBT member to say that every person “doesn’t want the church and the next generation won’t need it.”

  • The Bible demands that a woman be stoned if she is not a virgin, but it makes no such admonition against men. There is no admonishment towards men who have sex outside of marriage at all, as long as they themselves are not married. The laws of the Bible consider women to be property, so if she despoiled herself before her husband can take possession, she must be discarded, but men are free to sow their seed as they wish.

    Furthermore, Exodus 21:11 allows men (and commands) men to have sex with their female slaves even if they take another wife, and Exodus 21:7 states that if a female slave doesn’t sexually please her master, she doesn’t have to be freed in the year of jubilee. Not to mention all the instances of Yahweh commanding his people to keep virgin female captives to be sexual slaves as well. So much for one man, one woman nonsense. Kind of makes you long for a nice, straight-forward gay wedding, doesn’t it!

  • Lindsey Thomson

    So, in your opinion, trying to change, or deciding that he wants to change his (& other conservative evangelicals’) behavior is pointless & fruitless & he/the church in general should just remain a bigot because it doesn’t matter? Urging people to grow in both their understanding & their humanity, and to change the way they interact with & speak of the LGBT community is pointless? Unforgiveness & bitterness are just as sinful & hateful. I am not saying it is unjustified, but harnessing it & rebuffing someone’s efforts to bring about real, needed, heartfelt change is pretty hateful to me.

  • Erik Novitsky

    You should consider reading the whole Bible, or actually understand the teachings Jesus taught. “You have heard that it was said, ‘Do not commit adultery.’ But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. (NIV, Matthew 5:27-28.Check out these versus on Adultery as well. 1 Corinthians 6:15-16, 1 Corinthians 7:2.You shall not commit adultery. (NIV, Exodus 20:14.

  • Erik Novitsky

    Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. (NRSV, Hebrews 13:4

  • Erik Novitsky

    But a man who commits adultery lacks judgment; whoever does so destroys himself. (NIV, Proverbs 6:32

  • Erik Novitsky

    But because there is so much sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman should have her own husband. The husband should fulfill his wife’s sexual needs, and the wife should fulfill her husband’s needs. The wife gives authority over her body to her husband, and the husband gives authority over his body to his wife. Do not deprive each other of sexual relations, unless you both agree to refrain from sexual intimacy for a limited time so you can give yourselves more completely to prayer. Afterward, you should come together again so that Satan won’t be able to tempt you because of your lack of self-control. (NLT, 1 Corinthians 7:2-5)

  • Erik Novitsky

    To use the one of the most common phrases known from the Bible, you are basically stating that the Bible “commands” violence against others based on the “Eye for an eye” passage in the Old Testament. In the process, you are completely ignoring the fact that Jesus came to expound upon old teachings, and he then (actually) “commanded” Christians to “turn the other cheek”.

  • You may be right on the current generations, but I appreciate Ben’s article because new generations will follow, and gay kids will still have the misfortune of being born into religious families. If Christian culture and attitudes can change on this issue, hopefully the next generations won’t have the same scars (at least not about their orientation.).

    As I’ve told Ben a bunch of times, even if motivation to be a decent person has to be scraped together from within Christianity somehow, it’s still worth the effort. You and I can be decent to people without the Bible’s permission, but lots of people can’t . If Ben can show those people where and how the Bible gives them permission to be decent, more power to him, I say.

  • Perhaps his comment was a non-sequitur, but it’s a fair point. If God requires defending from human beings, either God is not God, or God is being portrayed as a sensitive teenager, but doesn’t care enough to change that perception. I’d propose if God is who Christians believe he is, he could defend his own honor if he felt like it.

  • David

    He doesn’t require it. But I wish to do so because I genuinely love Him. If you read the minor prophets it becomes obvious that God is perfectly able to give honor to His own name. But then heaven meets earth, and we Christians, His people, don’t just sit back and watch the world fall away. I know you’re going to try to open up lots of cans of worms, which I have no interest in wasting my time trying to prove/disprove on those who have no ears to hear. but the main point is, He doesn’t need aid in defending His honor. He is almighty Sovereign God regardless of who admits it. But I admit it and I love him, therefore I defend His name among those who seek to defame Him. Simple as that.

  • Erik Novitsky

    Thank you for your openness to change, to prevent further harm to any and all people, truly. And I think that is a main point of this article. One thing about this post, though, is a generalization that all religious families hate gays. There’s no need to say that a child (regardless of condition, lifestyle choices, whatever) has a “misfortune” of being born into a religious family. I know several people in this situation who did not suffer misfortune by being born into religious families.

  • CKPS63

    Bingo.

  • You’re right. I’m less reconciliatory towards Christians these days, and sometimes it’s too obvious. My particular scars (being a straight person) are related to having to think my way out of Baptist fundamentalism. Certainly religious traditions that do not require conformity of thought are capable of producing children with no ill effects of religion. Most of those, I think, would take Ben’s approach to the LGBT issue.

  • Ex 21:11 is NOT commanding men to have sex w/ female slaves. It says if a man takes a slave as a concubine he has to treat her fairly with his other wives or else she is allowed to go free. The reason polygamy was allowed in the old testament was b/c of Jews’ hardness of heart (Matt 19:8) not b/c it was God’s ideal (Gen 2:24).
    Exodus 21:7 says that if a man takes a female slave as concubine he can’t just dump her as a single mom w/ no livelihood on year of jubilee. He has to keep providing for her and the resulting kids. If he doesn’t like her anymore, he can’t keep her as a non-concubine slave, but has to free her.
    Men were stoned for adultery too in OT. Rule was you couldn’t stone the adulteress unless you caught the adulterer too. So absolute gender fairness there. (Lev 20:10)

  • You’re much more optimistic than I am, Mr. Blanchard. Even if every church on the planet became LGBT inclusive overnight (a miracle that would actually make me question my atheism), I would strongly advise LGBT people to stay away from Christianity. In every abusive relationship, the abuser needs clean up his act and reform himself, but that doesn’t mean the abused shouldn’t stay healthy and safe and as far away as possible.

  • Lily

    for thinking gluttony and being gay were just as “bad”, I was expelled as a youth teacher from my church. This was the best thing that ever happened to me, being liberated from an unloving church (full of overweight chrisitans) set me free to love the way I felt God wants me to love. Thank you for sharing your beliefs.

  • God absolutely does not require defending by human beings. The Bible is filled with examples of Him defending His own honor. But the examples were always very unpleasant for the people and nations involved. So please don’t wish for that.

  • ‘You clearly have a strong bitterness as distaste for all religion.’

    What was your first clue?

    ‘If in any relationship something is done that greatly hurts the other, would you say that damage is done and cannot be repaired, so what’s the use in trying to correct any wrong-doing?’

    If that’s the sort of advice you’d give an abused and beaten wife, that she should repair and correct the relationship, I sincerely hope you never become a marriage counsellor.

  • CKPS63

    Good essay, Mr. Corey. From some standpoints, these insights may seem like baby steps that should have been taken long ago; but at least the journey’s finally beginning. Hope you continue your fruitful discernment on these questions, and that many others will be encouraged to do so, as well.

  • The Christian demand that abused and damaged people must forgive their abusers without fail or be held at an equal level of sin is one of the most abhorrent, abusive, and vile doctrines in the entire bloody religion.

  • Erik Novitsky

    Again with the generalizations, this time the ENTIRE CHRISTIAN POPULATION… You are reducing literally about 1/3 of the world population, and are comparing them to abusers.

  • Yeah I remember. Genocide, butchery, extermination, rape, all for not bowing down before your preferred deity. Your god is a monster.

  • It’s sounding like you need a great big HUG today Irish. Here’s me,
    reaching my arms out toward the computer screen, and giving you a hug
    that lasts a little bit longer than what you’re comfortable with.

  • Erik Novitsky

    Can you please put aside your hate for religion, and try to honestly read whatever is posted. The quote you referenced is regarding the wrong-doer trying to correct his/her actions/seek forgiveness. If one’s life or physical safety were ever in danger, I would never suggest to confront or try to repair such damage. And for you to draw that inference from the overall statement only illustrates your closed-mindedness toward anything someone posts if they don’t share your specific beliefs.

    To say that a gay person being harmed by a religious institution or a religious person (more likely) is the same as a wife being beaten and abused (where her life and physical safety are in perpetual danger) is just ridiculous.

    Perhaps a better generalization for you would be if a woman was abused by a man (husband or boyfriend or stranger), then by your logic, she should never ever trust another man again, because it was a man who harmed her in the first place. That logic just doesn’t make sense.

  • Ben Corey: Tempering your anger at the cost of your dignity.

  • Erik Novitsky

    Maybe I missed something, but did God rape someone?

  • guest

    Because oppressing people by making their sex lives illegal isn’t fighting against them?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodomy_laws_in_the_United_States
    There was no need to preach against gay sex before 1970 because in many states, if you had it, you went to jail.
    Gay people are still being denied their right to marry the person that they love. If you are standing on someone’s hand and they say ‘stop standing on my hand’ they didn’t start the fight; you did.

  • guest

    All the research that’s been done show that there’s no special effects on the brain/emotions for gay sex, except that gay people find it very enjoyable. The bible is wrong on this issue, like so many others…pork (delicious), shellfish (tasty!), the pillars of the Earth (fake), the mustard seed (not actually smallest), faith (can’t move mountains) and Jesus’ return (still waiting though the present generation are all long gone).

  • guest

    God’s a horny old bastard. The voyeur in the sky.

    Just read the passage about Israel’s whoredom if you doubt me.

    Or maybe it’s just that the bible was written by old celibate men. :|a

  • Dee Coles

    What a wonderful article. It certainly gives food for thought. We used to treat left-handed people in ways considered barbaric today. Maybe one day, compassion will be our default emotion regarding this issue.

  • Elizabeth 44

    Jesus had a lot more to say about divorce than homosexuality. What is the cultural attitude towards divorce today?

  • Elizabeth 44

    Please read the first recommended book. I don’t think the honor of God is on the line. God’s bottom line seems clearly to be love, not personal honor.

  • Elizabeth 44

    Israel’s whoredom had to do with chasing after other Gods.

  • Jonathan Stone

    Can you just clarify one thing for me? I eat a lot of shrimp, am I going to hell? May I still serve the church?

  • Livin

    An interesting question is since being gay is no longer a sin should gluttony still be a sin? I don’t think so. 1: God made them that way they are not defective 2: Do they care if they are gluttonous or are they happy? 3: Would forcing them to repent have a negative impact on their health?
    Well
    1: God would not make someone gluttonous who wasn’t meant to be so. Gluttony can be found in nature when food is available.
    2. If they are happy with their life who are we to stop them from being so?
    3: If they want to change then help would be good if not then it would do harm.
    So I do not see how it is a sin unless it makes them miserable.

  • TomVermilion

    Why we’ve gotten so hung up on the words in scripture is beyond me. I don’t mean to diminish the importance of scripture. However, scripture is not the only tool that we should be using when considering what God wishes for us to do.
    Scripture, just like seeking guidance through prayer, having discussions within a congregation, and communion with the Holy Spirit, is one of many tools that we should use in order to figure out what God wants for us.
    Historically, we can look back over the centuries and see how various cultures have translated scripture and further see how these cultures have used their translations to interact with humanity.
    In our own culture we have seen the rise and fall of slavery. We continue today to see how our culture struggles to support women’s rights and eradicate racial and ethnic prejudice and discrimination.
    Throughout our country we have congregations and subcultures that seem to hold diametrically opposing views on these issues.
    Overall, however, we have seen a movement towards enlightenment, which emphasizes reason and individualism rather than tradition. It’s this desire to understand the intricacies about ourselves and others that has led to large equality movements, including LGBT equality.
    When I look at this movement, I see the mighty hand of God. It’s much more prominent and relevant to us today than the 66 Books of the Bible.
    God didn’t stop speaking to humanity the moment the last book of the Bible was penned. He continues to interact with us. He continues to guide us.
    That’s why it seems so misguided to remain so focused on scripture.
    When I was struggling with my own orientation in my early 20s (I’m 47 now); like so many young gay people, I was terribly focused on scripture and what I’d heard from the pulpit.
    I engaged in a litany of prayers to God during almost all of my waking hours. I begged Him to change me; to make me straight. I didn’t want to be gay. I’d never asked for it.
    I couldn’t understand why He wouldn’t intervene in my life. I tried to be a good Christian. I tried to force myself to be heterosexual by dating women. I tried to avoid visual temptations that would bring about homosexual urges. I certainly didn’t act on my desire to be with another guy.
    It was only during a period of particular angst that I “stumbled” upon the fact that for most of my life I’d been begging God to do what “I” wanted Him to do. I was so convinced by what I’d read and what I’d heard that accepting my orientation was not the path that God wanted for me.
    One fall evening I was in my parent’s garden helping my father to burn off the brush, vines, and stalks from the previous season’s yield. It was something that he and I had done many times before. I always enjoyed the task on those crisp, fall afternoons and evenings. The sight of smoke hanging all around, the bright blue sky, the large oak tree that sat on our property as its leaves changed to gold, the chill in the air; all of these things put me at ease.
    I was standing in the dirt enjoying my surroundings. My best friend and my first true crush drove by our house. As usual, he threw up his hand and waved. I waved back. Images began to flood my mind. I pictured myself in my friend’s passenger seat, holding his hand the same way I’d seen girls hold guy’s hands so many times before. I allowed myself to bask in that vision; to allow myself to imagine what a reciprocal and loving relationship would be like with another man.
    It was in that moment that I realized that for so many years I’d been praying to God for what “I” wanted; not what He wanted.
    So, I stilled myself and literally said to God, “Whatever Your will, let it be done…”
    The impact was instantaneous. A sense of peace, warmth and love rushed over me, the likes of which I’d never before experienced. And while I didn’t literally hear the voice of God, I could feel His presence. I heard Him speak to my soul, “Tom, I made you the way I made you. I want you to be happy.”
    There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I had been touched by God’s mighty hand on that fall evening. The depression, the anxiety, the sickening feeling of being a sinner; all of those long held and overwhelming feelings were washed away in an instant.
    We need to go to God with our issues; our concerns. He speaks to us today just as He spoke to those who wrote the various books and letters that make up scripture.
    He didn’t want us to struggle over these kinds of issues by wading through ancient texts that have been interpreted multiple times over thousands of years. Rather, he gave us the means to go directly to Him for guidance.
    I have told this story many times over the more than two decades since it occurred. To me, it is undeniable proof that God meant to create gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people as a part of His overall creation. While we may never understand His reasoning for creating us, that shouldn’t keep us from enjoying and embracing the fact that He DID create us.

  • TomVermilion

    Man! I have said this exact thing many times over the past few years! Could not agree more!

  • TomVermilion

    Do we need a church in order to interact with God on a personal level? I don’t think so. Traditional churches have changed many times over the eons. Ancient worship events involved people purchasing doves outside of temples so that they could be sacrificed to God. Compare that to current and more traditional church activities.
    I have found prayerful meditation with the Holy Spirit to be a much more powerful and fruitful way of obtaining God’s guidance.

  • TomVermilion

    I don’t know that I agree with you about this being an abhorrent and abusive doctrine.
    I don’t typically resort to clichés, but there is a saying that’s been going around recently that puts it this way… “Hanging onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting someone else to die.”
    I will admit that I hold onto anger about many things. I’m furious at the social, political, and religious atmosphere of the American south where I currently live.
    I had a horrific mother who was physically and emotionally abusive to me; leaving me with excruciating memories and frequent nightmares. Sometimes I feel like I see her more today than when she was actually alive. And it pisses me off all of these years later that I was dropped in her lap so that she could terrorize me and my sister with guns, knives, fists, feet, furniture, etc.
    When she learned that I am gay, she would call me and tell me how she wished she’d had an abortion–how she’d rather see me lying in a coffin than to know I’m gay. She then became enraged to the point of planning to come to my home and murder me so that no one would ever know about my “shameful secret”.
    How does someone get over–forgive–a person like that?
    It helps that she’s dead.
    I don’t picture her as being in a lake of fire, burning for all eternity. Rather, I picture her in an afterlife in which she has great insight–an acceptance of who I am. I also believe that she has a great deal of love to offer now, which she was too deranged to offer my sister and me when we were younger.
    I don’t know if forgiveness means that I’ll one day no longer care about my early years with her–that I can pull out the few positive moments we shared as a family and focus on them.
    But it’s been about 30 years since I was able to distance myself from her toxicity and I still have the nightmares that wake me up at night with my heart racing.
    Still struggling with all of that…

  • mikesensei

    Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.

  • Like you said– you’d rather debate Ken Ham because there’s no telling what I’ll do. I just might throw the script on the floor and hug someone.

  • Chip

    Benjamin, I, and I’d wager many-to-most evangelicals and other orthodox Christians, agree with you about compassion and being welcoming to all types of people, including gays and lesbians. Except perhaps in Westboro Baptist and a minority of other fundamentalist churches, I don’t think you’ll find gays and lesbians being thrown out the door. But you will find the traditional Christian understanding of marriage upheld, and even if that’s conveyed without attacking gays and lesbians (as is true in many churches, from what I’ve seen), that might not be one where gays and lesbians desire to stay. If that’s the case, what can be done? Genuine love and compassion might only carry you so far. (I’m not being flippant in the least here; this is a very serious issue.) While I have no doubt that some have been unjustly treated and lament that, I believe you way overgeneralize when you say that the Church has a) treated gays and lesbians differently from all other types of people (people leaving churches for real and perceived slights/rejections happens regularly), and b) has “forced” (your term) gays and lesbians to join other churches/create new ones. Is some repentance in order? I have no doubt. But if the Chuch’s understanding of marriage does not change, there will always be a barrier that prevents some from feeling at home in an orthodox congregation.

    Your solution seems to be to treat a change in the Christian understanding of marriage as adiaphora, but why should Matthew Vines — as good of a person as he might be — be listened to over the Church Fathers, the medieval and Reformation saints, and other saints over the centuries? Or is Vines somehow a better exegete than the Anglican evangelical John Stott, who modeled upholding the traditional biblical/Church understanding on these matters with compassion? And what about Vines’s contemporary Wes Hill, who comes to very different conclusions? More generally, why are late 20th/early 21st century views on these matters more relevant than the orthodox Christian understanding over two centuries?

    The bottom line is that for many churches, any changes to an understanding of Christian marriage (not just gay marriage) cannot be adiaphora, because the Church is not given the authority either biblically or from the way God has guided it throughout history. And that will continue to be a flashpoint for some, no matter how loving the congregation.

  • Chip

    I’ve heard several ministers address gluttony — normally not in a sermon to itself, but when it’s listed in a catalog of sins that is part of the Scripture text for the day.

  • Chip

    Actually, many evangelical clergy today agree that churches got too permissive with divorce and are working to change that situation . . .

  • Wayne

    Ben,

    My greatest difficulty with you and with what you are teaching here is that you are a self-identified “Anabaptist”. The most distinctive mark of Anabaptism is a willingness to take the scriptures, particularly the New Testament, at face value, no matter how inconvenient or how at odds that puts one in relationship to the surrounding culture. It has always been a dangerous and unpopular hermeneutic. Anabaptists are not pacifists because it is a practical political strategy, or because of some political or ethical rational, they are non resistant because Jesus said to not resist an evil person and to love one’s enemies.

    This hermeneutic of obedience inevitably leads to a wall of separation – between the church and the “world” such that while we acknowledge our weakness to overcome our sinfulness, we do not yield to the values of the world that contradict the values of God. We do not call sin virtue or accommodate practices among us that God calls sinful or abominable. Rather we admonish each other and struggle in mutual love of God and in His strength to do His will always.

    An “Anabaptism” that rejects warfare and greed yet embraces sexual sin (and struggles to make the biblical texts accommodate unnatural sex and marriage) is just a contemporary western progressive social and political worldview wrapped in a now popular religious wrapper. It is not something that can have fellowship with Felix Menz, Conrad Grebel, Michael Sattler and Menno Simons. It is something that opposes them – a convoluted twisting of the plain and obvious teachings of Jesus and his apostles.

    A brother at the Bruderhof communities used to remind me that the hardest thing to repent of is our own goodness, our own view of what is right and good. Contemporary progressive American values that embrace equality, justice and freedom are good, but where they contradict what God has revealed they must too be repented of. They are not of God.

    It grieves me that some very nice people who want to be a part of the church are unwilling to repent and reject their sexual desires for someone of the same sex. It hurts (a lot) to be called a “hater” for quoting the New Testament in regards to homosexuality. But likewise it grieves me that the very nice soldiers, sailors and airmen I know are unwilling, in their patriotic zeal, to say no and to put down their arms in order to follow Jesus and be a part of His kingdom.

    The first thing Jesus said when He began His ministry was “change your mind” (repent). One of his chosen emissaries expounded on this eloquently: “Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.”

  • Darach Conneely

    If you are quoting John Stott I presume you are Protestant and belong to a church that overthrew 1500 years of tradition in the Reformation by going back to scripture and seeing what it really said, If you aren’t Anglican Lutheran or Presbyterian, your church probably questioned and ejected Protestant traditions too because they believed a proper understanding scripture contradicted some of the protestant traditions. We need to go back to scripture and examine the texts and the arguments.

    While there is a lot to be learned from the Christian writers in previous centuries, The modern debate on homosexuality is asking questions they never addressed.

  • I’m not saying that forgiveness is a horrific doctrine. Often it’s a very noble gesture. I’m saying that to demand forgiveness from one is. Lindsey Thomson above states that if you were not to forgive your mother for years of abuse, you would be just as hateful and guilty as she was. That’s not doctrine, that’s further spiritual abuse. If and when you forgive your mother should be in your own time and in your own manner and no one, least of all Ms. Thomson, has the right to demand that from you.

    Also, your story is heartbreaking and my heart goes out to you.

  • Marie Gallagher Fisher

    I sympathize with both of your main points, Erik Novitsy and The Irish Atheist.

    Erik, I feel compelled to point out that abuse is not only valid if it is physical or sexual. Abuse may be emotional, mental, or spiritual. These forms of abuse may even be worse, as people often discount or invalidate them, as you did, Erik.

    And I think that the level of suffering may make enough of a difference to warrant a permanent separation sometimes. Unless you have walked a mile in these footsteps, Erik, you cannot know this suffering. Your judgment shows a lack of empathy.

  • Nate

    People are involved in all issues and people should be treated with dignity and respect. The issue/people thing is a ruse, in that it applies to every situation. There is always ‘an issue’, and how one treats people should always be foremost on a person’s mind., but how one treats people, does not negate something as an ethical issue. Sloppy thinking abounds in this post.

  • Timothy Weston

    Too often, pointing to someone else’s sin is a way of demonstrating superiority over them.

  • HappyCat

    There are few churches that actually take a black and white view on divorce, which does not surprise me in the least, hence my comment. I’ve been a bit of a wanderer and the only church that ever took it literaly was my brief stint as a Catholic. I investigated the annulment process and it would’ve been incredibly painful for my husband at the time, so I dropped it. Getting married in the Episcopal Church (I’ve been married 3x )was an expensive but worthwhile endeavor as it required pre-marital counseling to make sure the marriage would last. Honestly, I can’t think of a more infernal distraction than the current culture war. It makes everyone miserable and takes heat and light away from doing the things Jesus commanded us to do.

  • Steve Smith

    Mr. Corey, you are a kind and very tender hearted heretic. The only part of this entry I can agree with is that believers should love sinners and show it.

  • Cory N Jamie Gilliam

    @Chip Question: I’ve heard it “addressed” but does the same gross out, persecution reactions follow gluttonous people in church? Answer: No because to walk up to someone who over eats or is over weight and lecture them about their sin would be considered very rude. Do preachers become disqualified from the pastorate for being a glutton? The answer: No! To say something about their consumption would be considered to be nosy and nitpicking. We wink at the preacher who eats too much pie! On the note we dismiss it when people purchase over priced conspicuous luxury items they don’t have any real need for (gold and diamond encrusted jewelry, highend designer clothes, exotic spa trips), on a credit card cause they don’t really have the money, which is according to the classical definition a form of gluttony. When consumption becomes our God in n anyform we are gluttonous which pretty much puts half of the Christian church on the spot. Just sayin’ maybe one needs sweep their own doorstep and not worry about any one else’
    s!

  • Cory N Jamie Gilliam

    @Erik Novitsky You hit the nail on the head I have met woman who won’t trust any man and have felt that stigma even though I gay and don’t want to do anything other than be said woman’s friend. But being a “man” would put me in an off limits category, shutting this woman off to love and a good relationship. The church is responsible as a whole for the PTSD that many GLBT people have but for someone to throw away all Christians because of some encounters with a group of bad apples is unfair. It would be like judging and stereotyping all Aethiest but as a Christian I refrain from such and I have friends who are good people but are not believers, The anger has to give way to logic and healing eventually. One day that might come so I remain hopeful.

  • Thanks– that means a lot.

  • Cory N Jamie Gilliam

    @Marie Gallagher Fisher I am a gay Christian and I do not associate with the anti gay, narrow minded side of the block. It is a matter of carving out ones own spiritual walk. I would never encourage any GLBT to walk back into antigay churches and dive in head first. These churches need to be isolated and rebuked for their nasty, fundamentalist stance until they see the light. This is the aim of GLBT Christian activist such myself and Mathew Vines. We want to serve as a therapeutic family to help heal those who have been damaged by such spiritual violence for as long as it takes for things to permanently change in the hearts and minds of mainstream Christianity. I will stand strong in my town of Gadsden Alabama in the heart of the Bible Belt even if I am looked down or unpopular. My partner and I go to our GLBT affirming church, hold hands in public and even give the occasional good bye kiss because frankly we learned not to give a shit what homophobes or anyone else thinks.

  • gimpi1

    Actually, I think the Bible’s sexual restrictions have much more to do with the classic male fear, ‘momma’s baby, poppa’s maybe.’ Most of the restrictions in the Old Testament are on women. Men are free to have plural wives, concubines, even commit rape if they are willing to marry the victim afterwards. Women are extremely restricted, so that their husbands can be absolutely sure any child the woman has is theirs.

    I think some of the issues regarding male homosexuality (female homosexuality isn’t mentioned at all) may have to do with male status. Men held higher status than women, and viewed any man acting in a way perceived as feminine as below them on the totem pole. You can see the same behavior in many all-male settings today.

    But then, I don’t regard the Bible as the inerrant word of God.

  • gimpi1

    Just an aside, what’s a Ninevite?

  • $1754985

    Someone from Nineveh. Not sure what it has to do with the topic at hand, though.

  • gimpi1

    David, above, said, “battle like a bunch of Ninevites…” and I didn’t know what he was referring to.

  • gimpi1

    If I may jump in, how did the medieval and Reformation saints feel about Jews? Were they right or wrong? What about women? What about slavery?

    From an outsiders perspective, the view of someone living today often has more value because we know so much more. We know that people are all pretty much equal, so we don’t allow enslavement based on losing a war or a physical characteristic. We know that women aren’t intellectually inferior to men, so we don’t prevent them from practicing medicine or law, from serving on juries or voting. We certainly don’t regard Jews as some kind of threat. We know “The Protocols of the Elders of Zion” is nonsense.

    I don’t blame people in antiquity for their ignorance. They truly had no way to know better. But we do. And sometimes new knowledge demands overturning established orthodoxy.

  • $1754985

    Yeah, I get that. I’m saying I don’t know why he chose those words in this context.

  • Luv_Eclair

    I think the problem is more related to LGBT people not wanting to be in a church that affirms traditional marriage, than people not liking or loving them in the church. Regarding the gay issue, it’s just like any other cultural (worldly) issue of the day. It’s not as if there weren’t always gays and the church didn’t know about it or didn’t think gays were human. But the Bible is actually clear on the issue, just as it is on some other sin issues. Jesus’ first recorded words included “repent.” Let’s just throw Jesus out, OK, if we’re only going to listen to his “nice” things.

    The whole gospel message involves repentance of sins and God’s forgiveness, AND, which so many seem to forget, becoming a new creation with the help of God’s spirit. We should wish to be a new creation, to be holy, to be closer to perfection (Jesus didn’t have sex and there is no marriage in heaven), and let God’s spirit change us in that direction. All we read about today, with issues like this, is that all should be kept as it is – in this world now controlled by Satan. But maybe the Bible is wrong there too (Lol). If you can’t believe that God had control over what was begin written in His words to us, then what faith do you have?

    The faith in the weeds of the church that will be pulled out at the end? I had sexual problems before Jesus got a hold of me, but once He did have me, he changed me. To allow the spirit to work is like having layers of your old self slowly being pulled off, like peeling an onion. Others I have spoken with and read have the same experience. I knew someone with a different kind of sin than I was used to – he had a real innate desire to rip people off (like embezzling). He did that, and had jail time for it. After he became a Christian, he was changed. He acknowledged that what he did and FELT was wrong (he repented, in other words), even though that feeling was still there to a degree. With some people, their desire to sin in a certain way will be removed completely, for others it won’t be.

    But to honor God is to acknowledge Him in all His ways, not say He doesn’t have the power to get a book written where His Word is meant to be representative of Him. Would He mock Himself? We honor ourselves now. We want to be worldly and not let Him change us. We act like these issues are “new” and that everyone that doesn’t go along with our progressive program is stupid – let’s face it – that’s what you’re saying. I don’t think Stott and others like him were stupid or mean-spirited or whatever. To put others down for actually reading the Bible and praying about it, for seeking God’s will, instead of just going by someone’s book or with what feels good, is mean-spirited, however.

    As for the salvation of gays, each individual is in God’s hands. We are all sinners and we all have our unique relationship with God – or don’t. All will be sorted in the end. But I wouldn’t want to be one of those blind followers Jesus talked about (the blind follow the blind, and both will fall in the ditch – He then said to let them be! How nice, huh? ). And as far as the whole “created that way” argument – well it’s not. People in the church have always known that creation is corrupted and that creation also awaits it’s redemption – it being turned back to its original state – but so many keep ignoring this as well. The world is fallen and corrupt, and so are all humans until they accept their Maker and accept the process of being changed into what God intended them to be.

  • FosterW

    This article is premised on several assumptions that, depending on their validity, have the power to make or break his idea. Much of what he says sounds like wisdom: carefully consider scripture, be open to the possibility of being wrong, love people radically. And indeed those are all wise things to do. Since the pro-gay theology has been addressed in countless books and articles already, I’ll just look at the last point: love people radically.

    It’s seems like today “loving someone” equates to telling them that they are ok:

    I’m ok, you’re ok, we’re all ok. There’s nothing wrong with any of us. God made us just how we are, so we should affirm and celebrate all those facets of what make us who we are.

    In my observation, this need to believe we are ok and for other people to believe we are ok is but a smoke screen trying to cover that deep seated, gnawing truth that haunts us all: that

    We are, in fact, *not* ok.

    We are desperately and hopelessly not ok. To tell someone they are ok when they are not isn’t “loving radically,” and at its heart is incredibly selfish. Essentially it’s the same game as “I won’t call you a glutton so that you won’t call me a gossip.” You’re ok, so I’m ok too. Remember: judge not *lest you be judged*. I don’t want anyone putting a magnifying glass over *my* heart and life, so I’ll keep my mouth shut about yours. But is this “loving radically?”

    I’m not saying we should go down the aisles of our churches and throw all the sinners out. If we did that, no one would remain but the self righteous. Perhaps we should throw them out–those people self admittedly don’t need God because they’ve got it all together already. They’re “ok.” But there is a big difference between the self righteous and a congregation of sinners saved by grace, fighting the good fight together against their sinful natures, lovingly helping one another to struggle against those things in themselves that if left unchecked would destroy their souls. And that’s really my point here, and indeed it flies in the face of the author’s assumption.

    What is “loving radically”? When Jesus addressed the woman caught in adultery, He said “go and sin no more.” You see, *loving* that woman in that moment consisted of compassion and understanding yes, but also very importantly of a desire to see her not go back to doing the things that were destroying her soul (and nearly got her killed in that instance).

    C.S. Lewis put it this way:
    “Love may forgive all infirmities and love still in spite of them: but Love cannot cease to will their removal.” ― The Problem of Pain

    I’m very glad the author used the example of gluttony as an “acceptable” sin the church wouldn’t dream of calling someone out on. I’m glad because it just shows where this is all headed. It’s human nature to need to feel ok. One way to do that is to redefine what “ok” is. Oh, you’re a glutton? Well that used to be sin, but now it’s ok. Oh you divorced and remarried? Well that used to be adultery but now it’s ok. You’re ok, I’m ok. That is definitely one strategy to deal with the problem of sin.

    Thank God He provided another Way in the person of Jesus Christ. His death on the cross deals with sin not through wishful thinking, but through ultimate sacrifice that makes atonement. It is through the seriousness of what I’ve done in sin–deadly serious enough that Christ had to die–that I learn just how much He loves me. To realize the depths of that love, I have to face the horror and the enormity of the debt which has been paid. To minimize the sacrifice He made is to minimize His love. To say “I’m ok” is to essentially tell Christ He didn’t need to die for me. The ultimate loving act becomes an unfortunate shame.

    I’m thankful I can still go to churches of people who humbly come alongside and help me struggle just as they do. People who help me fight the good fight and run the race with dignity. I don’t want to be somewhere where I’m told that it’s ok to act on my homosexual orientation because by some unfathomable logic the fact that I have such an orientation means that it must be good and something to act upon. Instead, I take up my cross and yield even this great struggle to Him that made me.

    I realize most will respond to this decision to battle my homosexual desires as pitiable and sad. But that’s just discomfort with someone owning his non-“ok”ness. You’d rather I didn’t so you can be let off the hook dealing with whatever “impossible” battle you face. And I can so identify.

  • Guy Norred

    Along with suggesting that if you haven’t, you at least do give real consideration to Ben’s second point (be willing to reexamine the teachings that have come down to us on homosexuality). God’s honor is not hurt at all by this. In fact, might it not be seen as decidedly not honoring His creative intent when the LGTB are told that God made them to live lives out of keeping with the nature He gave them?

  • Tom Cole

    I find myself in a unique position. I lived as an active gay man for 13 years and as an openly gay man for 7 of those years. My friends and family accepted and loved me as I was. I then worked with a Christian woman who loved me unconditional. She loved me so well I met Jesus through her. I began a journey of discovery on what it meant to be same-sex attracted and a Christian. After much soul searching and bible studying, I came to the conclusion that same-sex relationships were not God’s intent for me. Since then I have made a variety of friends from conservative theologians to gay activists. My theology has never affected my ability to love and be loved. I also recently read an excellent series in response the Matthew Vine’s book. I’ve read Matthew’s point of view as well. I think it’s important for all of us to read material from both sides of the debate. Here is the link to Joe Dallas’ 5 part series:
    http://joedallas.com/blog/index.php/2014/05/05/assessing-god-and-the-gay-christian-part-one-of-five/

  • I really like the spirit of this article. Thank you Benjamin for your appeal to the way we practice our faith. I believe from scripture that practicing homosexual action is sin. However, I really regret how poorly people who struggle with that sin are treated. I am a pastor and I dearly wish I could be better at caring people from the LGBTQ community that I encounter.

  • Expatmom

    I have known gay people all my life. Gay people make great neighbors, great friends & great relatives! Some were filled with sadness, some added great color to my life, but all made me a better individual. I loved them dearly. They also make wonderful parents!!! It is time to stop this fear & fear caused hate. Tear down the walls of a small life & live one of acceptance, love & peace. That is how it was meant to be!

  • jimfromcanada

    Sin, missing the mark, making a mistake. Sometimes we sin when we do things quite law abiding, like marrying someone we do not love, or not marrying someone we do love. More profoundly, as Jesus noted, when we look at someone in a lustful way, no matter what sex they are, or whether they are married, it is a mistake, and has consequences in us, and perhaps in others. It is sin, a mistake, missing the mark and separates us from others as well as God, and parts of our own personalities. But it is legal, strictly speaking.
    When we eat too much, or hoard too much money or many possessions, it is legal, but has negative consequences for our relationships with others, with God as well as ourselves. It is sin, a mistake, missing the mark.
    Is it a sin to be a practising homosexual? Does it separate us from others, does it separate us from God? Does it divide our personality? Do we miss the mark? is it a mistake? I think it depends on the context like all of the other “sins” Homosexuality is not intrinsically a sin where it nurtures loving relationships. Sin can exist in homosexual relationships as in any other relationships, but is the occasion for reconciliation and forgiveness.

  • Chip

    Darach, I am an Anglican, but on the oft-debated topic of whether Anglicanism is fully Protestant or a via media between Roman Catholicism and Protestantism, I hold the latter stance. I did intentionally use Stott as an evangelical of whom Benjamin would be aware, but I could have cited many (perhaps all?) of his former Gordon-Conwell professors instead: They are scholars well aware of the modern debate and current questions who still find persuasive the traditional biblical understanding. And so my question still stands: Why go to Matthew Vines instead of them? Is he a better exegete, or does he rely on better exegesis (from mostly liberal scholars, judging from the reviews I’ve read), in Benjamin’s opinion? And it bears remarking that Vines’s stance isn’t new to evangelicals in mainline denominations, where these issues have been discussed for several decades now, and the biblical arguments have been examined many times over. The traditional biblical understanding still holds weight for very many of us, as does the Church’s fidelity to God-given revelation.

  • alwaysamused

    Is that not the very essence with Jesus’ presence on Earth and his
    message to others…He was preaching against sin and did not struggle
    with it…

  • Guest

    No one in the history of the church has ever questioned what sin is and what it isn’t. Until now. Here are two blogs by two real people who completely identify with same sex attraction.

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/article/god-and-the-gay-christian

    http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2014/02/14/rosaria-butterfield-after-wheaton-three-unbiblical-positions-on-christianity-and-homosexuality/

    Read “Is God Anti-Gay” by Sam Allberry (ssa minister)

    Read “Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert” by Rosaria Butterfield (former lesbian who would vehemently disagree with your irresponsible conclusions).

  • Chip

    gimpi1, in a public forum it is always your right to jump in. :)

    One major difference that I see between your examples and the current issue is that they don’t involve a settled matter of Church teaching. We can lament, say, Luther’s anti-semitism, but that wasn’t tied to any specific doctrine, nor was slavery. Nor were women universally seen among Christians as inferior to men.

    The current issue, however, centers on a doctrine central to the very essence of Christianity: marriage. Not only was marriage instituted at the time of creation, but it is the central picture of how Christ relates to the Church. As one of my rectors likes to say, the Bible begins and ends with a wedding — it is a framework image for the entirety of the Scriptures. And on such a critical issue, the Church must be faithful to its creator, redeemer, sanctifier, savior, master, friend, and spouse.

    So we’re not dealing primarily with an issue of ignorance here, but of how the Church is to uphold God-given revelation.

  • Dan Syrcle

    Matt Vines book is bunk….

  • Doug Truitt

    Rather than rely on Stott, Vines, or any other exegete, aren’t we responsible for examining the issue ourselves. At least that was my takeaway about the Protestant Reformation from my early upbringing in an Evangelical Lutheran Church. It took me way too long to finally do the work myself rather than rely on what others in the Church were saying. So applying the hermeneutic principles I’ve learned sitting under conservative Baptist teaching for the past 35 years, this straight, white, Evangelical male can find no condemnation of homosexuality or same-sex marriage in the Bible. To find condemnation I would have to ignore the context of verses and the meaning they would have had to the original hearers, read more into the model of marriage in Genesis 1 – 3 than is actually there, and ignore the very real questions regarding polygamy in the Bible and what that infers about God’s view of non-conforming marriages. I’ve come away troubled by the real damage we in the Church do in the lives of hurting people who are so beloved by God, and also by the lack of integrity of so many writers and teachers who abandon sound hermeneutic principles in their zeal to defend the conventional Evangelical position.

  • Linsey

    May God bless you for running the race with perseverance! You are an example to all of us true followers of Jesus. May we all chose to count the cost of following Him… it will be so worth it in the end, and thanks to Him we don’t have to do it alone.

  • Linsey

    see Brad Youngs post above, some other great links to this topic.

  • HappyCat

    Ummmmm….no. Jesus dealt with the same struggles we all do. However, temptation and struggles is not the same thing as sin. The temptation in the desert is a good example.

  • “No one in the history of the church has ever questioned what sin is and what it isn’t.”

    Gee, it’s like the Reformation never happened. When you start out with a bald-faced lie, it doesn’t bode well for your post. When you continue on by plugging the Gospel Coalition, a virulently anti-gay organisation that is in the midst of a child-abuse cover up scandal, your credibility drops to a negative.

  • Chip

    Doug, I share your concern about hurting people. Unfortunately, any communication can be either misunderstood by the recipient or poorly conveyed by the author, creating hurt where none was intended. It should be a matter for prayer.

    When it comes to hermeneutics, we do have some different understandings. We are to read the Bible for ourselves, yes, and in dependence upon the Holy Spirit, yes. (You didn’t mention the Holy Spirit, but given your Baptist background, I assume you’d agree with my addition.) But we also are to read the Bible in concert with the Church both present (in weekly worship) and past (down through the ages), because God has guided the body of Christ collectively, not just individual Christians. I think it was John Stott who said (paraphrased) that Christianity always starts with the individual, but it never ends there; Christianity is not, in the end, an individualistic faith, as each Christian is part of the larger body of Christ.

    And when we do look at how God guided the Church over time, we do find a normative understanding t

  • Chip

    (Continued from previous comment)

    And when we do look at how God guided the Church over the ages, we find a normative understanding that not everything in the Scriptures is to be taken prescriptively; much is instead descriptive, for our warning (as the book of Hebrews says). So polygamy is not reflective of God’s intention, but, like divorce, a concession during a given period of time to hardness of heart.

    But to go back to hermeneutics: We are all readers and students of Scripture, but we are not all exegetes — and those who are should not undertake their task outside of the larger context of the Church.

  • Dan Francis

    Decent message, but, erm….nearly none of what is depicted in that book actually happened. Further…show me verses that the guy actually said about homosexuality. Show me. I doubt anyone can. And yes, I HAVE read this book, from cover to cover.

  • Patrick Freedom Eagle Sparks

    1/3 is not equal to 1/7

  • Patrick Freedom Eagle Sparks

    it’s a perfect analogy considering gay people have been killed by the church for a thousand + years

  • Guest

    Chip, I’m sure there is much we agree on. The hermeneutic principles I’ve embraced
    include approaching scripture with an attitude of faith, believing that God has
    given us a reliable, authoritative, and consistent guide in the original texts
    and that they have been preserved sufficiently throughout the ages to be
    trusted and applied to our lives. In
    regards to the historical Church I believe the best approach is one that is at
    once respectful and critical. Luther
    didn’t intend to split from the Catholic Church, but he boldly challenged its
    tradition and authority when he nailed his 95 Theses to the door. Based on its traditional understanding the
    Church held Copernicus and Galileo to be heretics. The conservative Church in America long used
    the Bible to justify slavery and oppose inter-racial marriage. When examining beliefs, whether traditional
    orthodox ones or those that challenge orthodoxy, conservative hermeneutic
    principles can provide a framework for holding those beliefs up to
    scripture. My personal studies have
    included reading the works of many who have looked at the issue of
    homosexuality and the Bible before. I’ve
    read Hayes, Bailey, Gagnon, Stott, Scroggs, Boswell, Vines, Schreiner, Wenham,
    De Young, Countryman, Miller, Mohler, and so many others. When these authors cite a source text or
    research study I’ve looked up the original to see what it actually says. I’ve learned a lot, but what has struck me
    most is that nearly everyone who writes on this issue is an advocate for a
    position, and regardless of their position it’s not unusual at times to find
    them abandoning hermeneutic principles or sound reasoning in favor of making a
    point. In sorting through all of this
    I’ve kept returning to the conservative hermeneutic principles I’ve been grounded
    in. I try to apply those principles
    prayerfully, faithfully, and honestly, and in doing so I do not find
    condemnation of homosexuality in the Bible.
    I have found conservative scholars taking verses out of context and
    performing eisegesis rather than exegesis to support their conclusions. Lack of condemnation doesn’t entail
    affirmation so perhaps that should be left as a matter of conscience, but I
    find nothing that would prohibit the church affirming same-sex marriage. There are persuasive advocates on all sides
    of this issue, and anyone that wants to can find support for what they already
    believe. Because this issue effects how
    we individually and as a body treat people, including our brothers and sisters,
    I think we should each do the work of examining our beliefs and let God by his
    Holy Spirit challenge what we think we know.

  • Ugot2bkidding

    I don’t belong to a church and I don’t think homosexuality is a sin and so I don’t have a dog in this “fight”. However, your sweeping generalizations about how all gay people feel towards the Christian church and the idea that it’s all a lost cause, simply isn’t accurate. Nothing is so black and white. You may wish for the Christian church to be of no use to entire generations and be an utterly lost cause but that doesn’t make it so. I suspect there was quite a bit of projection on your part and how you wish it to be. Certainly, there has been considerable damage but to paint it all in such black and white, totalistic terms is just not accurate.

  • Doug Truitt

    Sorry about the formatting on my last post. Also, I don’t know why it posted as guest. Regarding polygamy in the Bible, I don’t maintain that it is prescriptive at all. It clearly isn’t consistent with God’s original model for marriage. But rather than condemn polygamous marriages, God worked through them. He founded the tribes of Israel through polygamous marriage. The genealogies of Christ in the gospels demonstrating he is the legitimate heir to the throne of Judah pass through polygamy. God calls King David a man after his own heart and pens much of the Psalms through him, even though he is a polygamist. The heroes of faith in Hebrews include several polygamists. So examples we have of how God’s view of marriages that don’t conform to his plan in the creation story is one not of condemnation or merely tolerance, but of his working through those same individuals to do great things, and lifting them up as leaders. So why are we so convinced God condemns same-sex marriage?

  • Steven Waling

    Just to say one thing: the church should clean up its act because it’s the right thing to do not to get back the people it’s lost bcause of its hatred of gay people.

  • Devin Crane

    So here’s a question? Did Mary Magdelene continue being a fornicator and prostitute after she started to follow Jesus? Jesus was friends with sinners but he still preached repentance, he came with grace and truth. Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

  • Brad Young

    First of all, let me say that I love the humility of this post.

    Second, I don’t think you can be a conservative evangelical while holding a liberal approach to scripture.

    Third, I completely agree, we need to radically love people as they are as Jesus does. He does not require us to fix ourselves up before we come to Him. I have several SSA friends and I love them. BUT Jesus will never leave us as we are because he loves us too much to let us stay that way.

    Fourth, Matthew 7:1 is one of the most misquoted, misused verses in the bible. We all make judgements every day for our good and for the good of those we love. Calling something “sin” that the bible calls “sin” is not “judging”, it’s called telling the truth. To judge is to write someone off, condemn, stand in the place of God. It is NOT speaking the truth (i.e. seeing sin and calling it sin).

    I want people to speak this kind of truth into my life on a daily basis because we serve a HOLY God and without holiness it is impossible to see God (Hebrews 12:14). I struggle with gluttony and it’s not okay. It’s sinful. The most unloving thing someone could do would be to say, “I won’t bring it up because who am I to judge?”. To love me would be to say, “you need to repent and I want to help you walk in repentance”.

    Fifth, it’s dangerous to impose new interpretations on scripture. There is a reason why certain passages have been interpreted a certain way for thousands of years. It’s like we think that we are the first Christians who have the tools to see what’s really going on in the text. As though the Holy Spirit as not been active in illumination until now.

    I recommend “Is God Anti-Gay” by Sam Allberry and “Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert” by Rosaria Butterfield

  • Brandon Blaylock

    Many Christians have looked at the biblical evidence and have come to the conclusion homosexual practice is a sin. Therefore, they ought to treat people who live this lifestyle with respect and love but not affirm their sinful behavior and also speak against it when appropriate. Does this belief make a person a fundamentalist, bigot, homophobe, unloving?

  • Erin

    “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.” – 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.

    There is no debate.

  • simon

    Obesity doesn’t happen outside of the body. If gluttony leads to obesity, it’s a sin happening inside the body.

  • Some say “you had me at hello”, others say “you lost me at Gospel Coalition”.

  • Brent

    Where? What is their stance? Jesus makes it clear that divorce is a sin (except for marital unfaithfulness…perhaps) and remarriage is not permitted.

    Matt. 5:32: “But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

    Thus, every divorced woman is an adulteress. Either she was unfaithful and committed adultery or the husband makes her the victim of adultery…along with any man that marry her.

    What church is teaching this verse?

  • Bach Stirling

    I read your article. You did not state why you believe homosexuality is not a sin- and maybe you didn’t intend to. Instead, it seems to me, you pointed the reader at other sins, such as gluttony, and then you directed our attention to big problems not related to homosexuality, and said, basically, “Let’s worry about these things instead.” Romans 1 seems to imply that a society’s rampant practice and acceptance of the sin of homosexuality, specifically, indicates that God is already judging that society.

  • BT

    What is a divorced man?

  • BT

    Nicely said.

  • Read it in Greek.

  • Awesome. So if the kid in youth group who wants to kill himself because of his sexual orientation just truly “believes” it will all go away. Cool– I’ll let him know.

  • TheBattman

    The Bible instructs us to preach the Gospwl to every person. The Gospel includes the truth about sin, homosexuality included.

    To deny homosexuality is a sin is to reject the Bible. To attempt to retranslated and interpret Scripture out of context is literally agenda-driven “adding to or taking away”, which is also strongly addressed by God!

    By the standards set by this opinion piece, and even more so by the promoted book, we would no longer have a Biblical standard. Adulterers driven by sexual addiction are still sinners, rebelling against God.

    Murderers (even murder in the heart through hate) is still rebellion and sin.

    The Gospel says to repent from all sin. If we treat certain classes of sin, especially sins very dramatically and strongly condemned sin- as a special protected class so we don’t hurt anyone’s feelings, we are preaching another gospel- of which Paul strongly condemned and instructed Christians to avoid.

  • Guest User

    A “player”. Book of Luke 9:34 [pm]

  • BT

    Wouldn’t they both be adulterers?

  • jchriswo

    There’s a dismissive comment.

    Maybe if this kid was being taught in a Wesleyan-tradition church, he might have a problem. I don’t think same-sex attraction just will “all go away” even for Christians. Sin remains.

    You are right that the church has done a poor job ministering to people who are attracted to the same sex. But it’s a mistake to say “God made you this way, therefore it’s not sin.” Scripture doesn’t teach that. We sin because we are sinners, but Christ died for sinners.

  • Chip

    Doug, of course God uses people regardless of whatever state of life they occupy. He uses polygamists, murderers (e.g., David again), ruthless foreign invaders (e.g., the Babylonians), pagans (e.g., Rahab), and people from many other backgrounds to fulfill his purposes. And it is a mystery, isn’t it, why God uses sinful people in that manner — including me, you, and everyone else reading this? A. W. Tozer marvels in The Pursuit of God that God indeed seems to overlook very serious sins when a person’s heart is directed toward him, and he cites David as an example.

    But as you affirm, using the example of polygamy, we’re still talking about things that are against God’s desire. God’s use of David is not an affirmation of David’s polygamy or murder. And David himself suffers the consequences of some of his sinfulness. The question for us as Christians should not be whether God will work through us; he might or might not do that regardless of how obedient we are to him. Rather, are we loving God by following his desires? We should not desire to do something against his will. (And it seems to me, Doug, that by the way you frame your last post, you would come to the same conclusion about polygamy as same-sex marriage. Have I misunderstood you?)

    And when it comes to the issue of marriage, the Church is bound to uphold the revelation that God has given it. As I said before in a slightly different manner, Doug, my, your, or anyone else’s application of hermeneutical principles to any text, concerning any subject, have no weight outside of the context of the Church. Why should my own (hypothetical) hermeneutical exegesis, no matter how seemingly sound, be considered over the dominant weight of Christian belief over centuries? It should not, and neither should any new exegesis on any topic be given that weight, no matter how reasonable it may seem. This is not a matter for the individual, but the Church — and it’s a matter that necessarily involves both a) the Church’s own understanding of Scripture over its history, and b) the Church’s own leading from God over its history in dealing with it.

  • Hannah Hicks

    Well said.

  • Heather McCuen Dearmon

    Amen! Have to share this one on FB!

  • Ken

    Where in the Bible does it say we are made in the image of God?

  • Ken

    I agree, if one doesn’t admit they have a problem, they will never seek a solution.

  • Charlie Reaser

    thats the problem with Christianity. We’ve become an ‘Institution’ following a set of (man made) ‘laws’ and have ceased to be the caring COMPASIONATE individuals God called us to be.

  • dj

    Thank you, from one of the outcasts.

  • Lynn

    Good luck with that. All they’ll do is alienate more followers. Oh wait, maybe I DO wish them good luck with that. How many evangelicals does it take to change a lightbulb? None. They’re forever in the dark, and they’ll never change.

  • Lynn

    And the penalty for adultery is stoning, so everybody get your rocks ready. Or just get your rocks off and find something besides religion to fill the void.

  • Lynn

    Oh, heavens no. This is a PATRIARCHAL religion.

  • BT

    I forgot that part.

  • Steven Herring

    Let’s take the divorce issue one step further; so churches, as some say, are coming around and taking the “black and white” issue seriously as Jesus commanded. But I have yet to see groups such as “Divorce International” when speakers come to denounce divorce and counsel people out of it…I have yet to see anti-divorce marches and protests, I never hear the “Love the sinner hate the sin” ramblings when the topic of divorce comes up…I never hear of the bakery refusing to make a cake for the straight couple who are marrying after a divorce…I never see right wing politicians proposing “Defense of Divorce” legislation because of the sanctity of the family who need divorce protection in case it is needed….I have yet to be met with big signs that say “God hates divorcees”….how about the National Organization of Marriage dumping millions of dollars into ballot measures protecting divorce as “between one man and one woman” …I have yet to see picket signs that say “God created Adam and Eve–even if they want a divorce….” Let’s be honest, I could go on forever. My point: hypocrisy abounds and I don’t see such disparity ending anytime soon.

  • Steven Herring

    This has more political “tinges” than I like…but I can’t hold my tongue. Whatever the position I take on the issue of homosexuality, it must be know that I have gay friends and I love them dearly. I have friends that are gay and Christian who live more upright and moral lives than I do. This post is not to start a debate–please don’t because I don’t have the strength and I won’t respond. This i…s for the simple means of reflection for you and me; this is simply a statement of my frustration and the blatant hypocrisy in the church today–so much that gay people–even straight people–won’t dawn the doors of the church because we “Christians” have become known more for what we are against than what we are for. I wrote the following for a gay friend of mine who feels depressed over this…I hope that some may see the disparity on the subject and reflect on the problem and how we can change our thinking and behavior.

    Jesus spoke on many occasions on marriage and divorce in scripture but NEVER mentioned homosexuality. SO….

    Let’s look seriously at divorce in our culture; The church, some say, is coming around and taking the “black and white” issue of divorce seriously as Jesus commanded, yet I don’t see it. Do you? WHY WHY WHY have I yet to see groups such as “Divorce International” when speakers come to denounce divorce and counsel people out of it…why have I yet to see anti-divorce marches and protests, I never hear the “Love the sinner hate the sin” ramblings when the topic of divorce comes up…I never hear of the bakery refusing to make a cake for the straight couple who are marrying after a divorce…I never see right wing politicians proposing “Defense of Divorce” legislation because of the sanctity of divorce and the family who may need one….I have yet to be met with big signs that say “God hates divorcees”….how about the National Organization of Marriage dumping millions of dollars into ballot measures protecting divorce as “between one man and one woman?” …I have yet to see picket signs that say “God created Adam and Eve–even if they want a divorce….” Let’s be honest, I could go on forever. My point: hypocrisy abounds and I don’t see such disparity ending anytime soon. My ultimate point? I don’t really care what one’s position is on the subject, but if you can’t shut your mouth for the purpose of loving someone….(As Tony Campolo said so eloquently “LOVE THE SINNER…hate YOUR OWN SIN–and then you can worry about the other guy later”) shut it so you can cease the incessant harassment and patronization of people who God loves just as much as you. Understand that if you are one of those people standing on your soap box, wagging your finger at gay people blathering on about “love the sinner hate the sin” you look like a fool and no one believes you love shit. All you are doing is taking on a moral authority you have no right to.

    Amen.

  • Seriously?

    How about instead of pointing people to a book that talks about this let’s go to scripture? Scripture states that homosexuality is a sin. Period. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) Scripture states that gluttony is a sin period. Neither are acceptable in the eyes of the Lord.

  • Not necessarily, but it would undoubtedly make them a hypocrite.

  • Good points. FYI, I haven’t said that Vines should be listened to above others- just that his voice should be considered and that he articulates an alternative view, and does so well– even though I personally didn’t agree with all of his arguments. I’m simply encouraging folks to consider all sides, and to listen to diverse voices, of which he is one.

    I think you’re right in that this issue is likely to always be a flashpoint for some. My hope is to see more “third way” churches which agree to disagree on the issue but refuse to break with Christian unity as believers in Christ.

  • Brandon Blaylock

    Are you saying that speaking against sinful behavior makes a man a hypocrite? How so?

  • Michael
  • bryan

    ” I will still invite everyone to join me in following Jesus… and I will still refrain from judgement, because I’m not God and I don’t have all of the information to make righteous judgements about others.”

    1.) I may not be understanding this correctly but you will invite people to follow Jesus but won’t make a judgment on any sin issues in their lives as a follower of Christ? Paul makes judgments in 1 Corinthians 5:12 “For what have I do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to Judge?” Paul is judges those in the Corinthian church who are sexually immoral by saying that believes shouldn’t associate with them but he makes the clear distinction that follower’s of Jesus aren’t to judge those who do not follow Christ.

    2.) Will you judge someone who has an intent to physically harm your family by doing whatever it takes to stop him? (this is a judgment) If you didn’t make a judgment on the one who would harm your family your family would be in trouble.

    3.) Where does it say that one can’t make a judgment because they aren’t God and don’t have all the information? Why is this conclusion correct? In James 4:11-12 this is referring to speaking evil against another not correctly judging sin within the church in a way that builds up rather than tears down. In Matt 18 Jesus is asking us to make judgments regarding another brother’s sin.

    “The fact that we have created an entire, separate way of viewing and treating our gay brothers and sisters, is nothing short of corporate sin.”

    1.) This seems to be a judgment against the “church” in spite of the first quote above where you say that you will refrain from making judgments but just will invite people to follow Jesus? This seems to be contradictory with the above quote…?? I in no way will condone poor treatment of any person – gay or not.

    2.) What are you appealing to in order to come to the conclusion that this is “corporate sin”? Why are they wrong and you rightfully judging them to be wrong? It appears that you have interpreted scripture like 1 Cor6:9-10 or Romans 1 or 1 Timothy 1:8-10 to be unclear and open to interpretation. Why is this interpretation of scripture correct and the opposing view not? If you are open to have an interpretation of scripture why can’t others – even if it conflicts with your view?

    The Bible teaches that all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God (Rom 3) which means the issue of homosexuality should not be a polarizing issue. It isn’t that there is the church on one side and then there is the homosexual on the other side. No, it is the fact that there is God on one side then there is us -fallen mankind- on the other side. But God who is rich in mercy and because of the great love that He has for us sent Jesus to bridge the eternal separation that existed between us and Him by paying our penalty of the sin we all committed on the cross 2000 years ago. Now all sinners can be forgiven an eternal debt that Christ paid for in full on their behalf by grace through faith. Which means our old identity whatever it may have been gets replaced with our new identity as dearly beloved children of God. But why should those who believe in the trustworthiness and authority of God’s word shy away from calling what is sin sin. Especially when scripture is clear in saying that those who practice things like: sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, homosexuality… those who are greedy, drunkards, ….ect will not inherit God’s kingdom… This is a scary thing to get wrong…

  • Rebecca

    Genesis 1:26

  • Melissa

    1. Divorce is much more detrimental to society *right now* than homosexuality is. The church needs to step up and denounce divorce at every turn, yet they don’t. Divorce is very harmful to children that were born into the marriage, if any. Look up the statistics on how many households in the U.S. do not have a father in the household. The ramifications of divorce are untold.

    However,
    2. We are not supposed to turn a blind eye to sin. We are to help each other. We, as Christians, do not trust other Christians enough to tell them our problems. Sexual sin is very hard on everyone involved, and Jesus only wants the best for us. So tell some kid, hey go to church and talk to someone. Who? It’s awkward for outsiders not in “the clique”. This needs to stop. We need to help people through their difficulties, and we all have them. We ALL sin. Billy Graham sins. Mother Teresa sinned. Every person ever born sinned except for Jesus Christ.
    3. The church is the problem. We have to stand firm but be loving at the same time. Can we do it? We haven’t yet. I don’t know all the answers.

  • Heather McCuen Dearmon

    Benjamin, would you please translate and dissect this verse in Greek? I would try, but it’s all Greek to me. oh ho ho.

  • Heather McCuen Dearmon

    never mind… I found this on Google:

    http://www.inherit-the-kingdom.org/bible/arsenokoites.html

  • Eddy G

    So Bottom line here as I understand it is,,,,,even tough you know something is a sin….but say you believe in Jesus…..it is okay to keep living in that sin….because others are living in theirs….Hmmm…..Sorry but all the sins I have committed in my life i have repented for and asked for forgiveness…then I needed to do one more thing that Jesus told us to do….Go and sin NO MORE!!!
    This writer only tries to codon what is known to be sin in order to keep sinning. NO matter how much or how little Jesus spoke on a subject, if he said it he meant it.

  • Fhillsman

    Intriguing article. Haven’t read the book, so can’t comment on the theology. Agree that there has been different treatment of this particular sin, however, very few other categories of sinners try to argue that they are not sinning at all . . . . Intrigued by the idea of glorious hypocrisy. Note on title of article: The bible doesn’t say that being gay is a sin – it says that engaging in certain activities is sinful.

  • Dan Schneider

    Really glad to see you guys take a message written in love, and slather it with hate.

  • Sarah14

    I am a Christian, a believer in Jesus Christ and what He did for me on the cross. I believe it whole heartedly. I also believe that the whole Bible is complete TRUTH. Because my Jesus and my God is the TRUTH, the way, and the life. My belief is that homosexuality is a sin. I believe this from what the bible tells me. (1 Cor. 6:9) I do not believe that those practicing the sin should be an outcast. Just as others practicing other sin should not be considered an outcast or humiliated for their sin. I struggle with certain sins in my own life. But I have hope. I know that I am no longer under condemnation for my sins because the Lord Jesus Christ has taken my sins (past, present, and future) upon Himself and has paid the punishment for my sins. I have been saved by His grace. I am deeply saddened that there are countless people out there that feel alienated and abused by what Christians have said to them/about them regarding their sexual orientation. I want you to know that no matter what earthly man may do or say, Jesus loves YOU. Even if your life doesn’t line up with His ways, even if you don’t even believe in a god, even if you live your life as a divorced person, homosexual, or glutton. He still loves YOU. The Bible says in Romans 10:9-11 – 9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.” The bible also says in 1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

    I do not put my belief systems in what others think or man’s beliefs. I put my belief in God and what He has said in His word. I hope and pray that if there are any that are confused or hurt by what anyone in this world has said or done to them, that they remember that the only one who matters is God, and He loves you with a love so deep you will never comprehend it. He loves you right now, in the midst of your uncertainty, doubt, sin, and unbelief.

  • Peter De Jong

    Paul, under the inspiration of the holy spirit, talking about the “…ungodliness and unrighteousness of men…”(Romans 1:18) says in (Romans 1:26&27 KJV) “For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly….” and goes on to say (Romans 1:32 KJV) “Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”
    So if you love your gay friends, in or out of the church, then bring them the Word of God, that they may flee from sin, live and not perish.

  • Lynn

    Oh, forgive me, I didn’t realize it was hateful to mention what the Old Testament says to do with adulterers. Well, female adulterers, that is. Boys will be boys, right? Now, if those boys lay with other boys, the OT calls it an abomination and implies that Jehovah may incinerate an entire city over it. Hmm…harsh. Jesus defended cheating spouses with that superb, “Let he who is without sin cast the first stone,” speech, but either He didn’t care what happened to sodomites or His defense of them somehow got lost in translation. Perhaps you were more offended by my suggestion that people get their rocks off and find something besides religion to fill the void. Well, I apologize for ruffling your feathers, but that’s the mildest of admonitions in comparison to the things “true believers” routinely say to myself and other atheists/agnostics. I didn’t imply that Christians will writhe in agony forever in the bowels of hell. I didn’t condemn anyone for sinning. I just gave my opinion and some tongue-in-cheek advice. Advice you might consider taking. Or not. Everyone ought to have freedom of choice.

  • gimpi1

    Actually, marriage as an institution pre-dates both Judaism and Christianity. It has also worn many faces. Hunter-gatherers pair-bonded. Polygamy was part of most ancient societies, including the Hebrew culture. Polyandry has been practiced in many tribal cultures, as has group marriage. Hindus, Buddhists and Pagans of many kinds all had marriage-ceremonies, with varying understanding of what marriage means.

    I understand you believe your version of marriage is a divine institution. However, other groups have had differing beliefs. They do today. For instance, the Southern Baptists were founded to counter Abolition-minded northern churches. Race-based slavery and later Jim Crow were described as fundamental and divinely mandated by them. They later realized they were mistaken. You could also be wrong.

    Your beliefs regarding divine revelation are yours. You have an absolute right to them. However, you have no right to inshrine them in civil law. Forgive my cynicism, but I, personally, have to believe part of the reason conservative Christianity feels so strongly about same-sex marriage is that it’s a powerful example of how their power is waning in society at large. We have had laws prohibiting same-sex marriage, and even same-sex sex, for a long time, based on religious beliefs. They are being overturned because we realize religious belief is no basis for civil law.

    Churches used to write laws, and order the civil government to enforce them,such as laws regarding heresy and blasphemy. Now, we have free speech. Churches used to write laws regarding private behavior and compel the civil government to enforce them. Now we have a right to privacy. Churches used to write laws regarding the role of women in society, the treatment of children born out of wedlock and the transmission of property. They no longer have that authority, except over their own membership, with their members consent. Churches have lost a great deal of power over the last 500 years. I think there’s a lot of anger about that. I think that same-sex marriage has become their line in the sand, because they fear becoming totally irrelevant in society.

    Unfortunately, this line may actually lead to them losing even more power. Young people are rejecting it out of hand, much the way a previous generation rejected the Southern Baptists race-based beliefs.

  • Eddy G

    So my post did show up or was deleted simply because I did not agree with the writer…..So much for being open, and tolerant…..P.S. Will the people that claim to being born adulterers, a pedophile, or a thief be able claim acceptance as Christians or will they need to start their own church as well.
    Jesus said and I QUOTE “I forgive you of your sins, go and sin NO MORE”

  • Dan Schneider

    I’d already taken it, but tone of voice is everything.

  • You mean the post four below this one that begins “So Bottom line here as I understand it is…”?

    The one I can see clear as day?

    Persecution Complex: 1, Common Sense: 0

  • Mary Raine

    So appreciate your take on this!!! Thanks!

  • Disqus User

    If you really love someone, you tell them when they are doing something harmful to themselves. If a church member is guilty of the sin of gluttony, you tell him and, if you are one with that authority, you work with him to help him overcome that sin. And if it is a sin present in your congregation, you preach on it, in a loving manner, calling for repentance. The same applies to sexual sins, whatever they may be, be they incest, adultery, fornication, contraception without sufficient and compelling justification, or homosexuality. You do this because you love the sinner.

    Every single last one of us have temptations to sins and every single last one of us need to come to recognize our behaviors which are sinful and our temptations to them, pray not to be led into temptation, pray for strength to resist when we are, confess when we fall into sin, repent, and continue to the struggle. The worst possible thing we can do is to pretend that what God’s word calls sin is not sin and in fact should not only be tolerated, but approved.

    As to both gluttony and homosexual behavior, God’s word is clear: both are sins. The appropriate Christian response is to help the sinner, not by denying the sin, but by pointing to God’s plan for freedom from sin and offering to help the one trapped in the slavery of sin to sin no more, and to accept the sincere repentance of those who struggle against overwhelming temptation.

    To either ostracize the repentant, struggling sinner or to deny the sin is not to love one’s brother. Both responses are working for the damnation of a fellow human being.

  • gimpi1

    Why is a monogamous, committed loving same-sex relationship a sin while a monogamous, committed loving opposite-sex relationship is not a sin?

    If your only answer is, “It’s in the Bible,” I would recommend a review of everything that’s in the Bible. There’s some unpleasant stuff there. Things that were used to justify racism. Things that were used to justify slavery. Things that were and still are used to justify oppression of women. Things that were used to justify religious wars, heresy trials and witch hunts.

    We put those things behind us. We are more mature. Perhaps it’s time for beliefs regarding what the Bible says regarding gay people to be re-examined in the light of reason?

    But it’s easy for me. I’m outside this debate looking in. From out here, the loving thing to do is obvious. Inside, perhaps the light is not as good?

  • gimpi1

    “Regarding polygamy in the Bible, I don’t maintain that it is prescriptive at all. It clearly isn’t consistent with God’s original model for marriage. But rather than condemn polygamous marriages, God worked through them.”

    Can I jump in and ask how you came to that conclusion?

  • Exactly.

  • gimpi1

    As an outsider, I would guess because you, yourself are most likely not perfect. If we spent all our time pointing out each others faults until all faults were no more, we would:

    A) Have no time to do anything else. At all.

    B) Become annoying, pushy, judgmental busy-bodies, faults in themselves.

    I think Ben’s point might be that we don’t do this. You ignore my spare-tire, I ignore your tightwad tendencies, and we let people sort out their own behavior, unless it impacts on others. Except in this case. This has become the Special Sin that has to be harped on, to the exclusion of all others. And that’s hypocritical.

  • alphagator96

    Just because a person is over-weight doesn’t mean they are a glutton of excessive eating. I’m sure we all agree. But think about this….Maybe they were a glutton of excessive eating during a period of time in their life and now they don’t over eat but are consuming approximately the amount of calories that their body burns on a daily basis. Problem is they aren’t losing or gaining weight. Are they still a glutton of excessive eating…..No…..are they over-weight….yes. We can’t usually tell if a person in this situation is living in sin. If we can and we love that person we should address it to them. Being Gay is really no different of a sin, but if a person continues to live that lifestyle then they are choosing to live in sin. The sin of being a homosexual, as the Bible speaks, is easily viewed in a persons lifestyle or even openly admitted. At that point a conservative christian church really has no other option but to confront it and ask that they turn away from that sin. If they don’t then they must separate themselves from the sinner. If they repent, then the Church will welcome them back.

  • gimpi1

    Disqus can be slow. Don’t assume you’re being picked on. Many posts disagree with Ben. Generally, slow or missing posts are web-based glitches. (I speak as someone who has done system admin.)

  • gimpi1

    “If a church member is guilty of the sin of gluttony, you tell him and, if you are one with that authority, you work with him to help him overcome that sin.”

    You know that doesn’t happen, right? In general, sexual ‘sins’ are set into another category. As I understood it, that was part of Ben’s point.

  • gimpi1

    You always have a choice.

  • Disqus User

    My point is that he is correct to identify that inconsistency, but he is wrong if he is suggesting that the solution is to treat sexual sins as we now treat sins which are ignored or even denied, like gluttony. The solution is to treat all mortal sins as mortal sins. That is, if a sin is deadly, treat it as such. It is not love to allow a brother or sister to continue in serious sin without warning and certainly not to deny it is sin, whether the sin is gluttony, greed, gossip, pride, or sexual.

    And he begins one point by writing: “Therefore, even if homosexuality is a sin.” I assume he means there homosexual behavior. If so, then there is no “even if” about it; Scripture is clear. Scripture is also clear that gluttony is a sin. Both should be treated as such. To the extent gluttony is not treated as sin, it should be, and to the extent homosexual behavior is not treated as sin, it should be also.

  • Disqus User

    By the way, a more apt parallel issue is the indiscriminate use of contraception. Christian churches of all traditions taught this to be a sin from very early in the faith through the first quarter of the 20th century. Luther called Onan’s sin of coetus interruptus a sodomitic sin. That’s the issue that really needs to be addressed here. There is a huge hypocrisy in condemning homosexual acts when one is regularly and with no compelling justification (e.g., real health risks to the wife from a pregnancy) practicing contraception as a regular part of their marital life. Gluttony will be addressed before contraception is, however, because contraception is the pet sin of Western Christians and has been for at least the past 80 years. In this respect, we see two different species of sodomy treated very differently: one (contraception) is routinely accepted and even encouraged; the other (homosexual acts) are routinely condemned.

  • gimpi1

    I understand that’s your point, but it will never happen. Pastors are often gluttons. Deacons are often greedy. Good Christians are often cruel, judgmental and gossips. People will always be much more comfortable calling out “sins” that they and the majority of people like them don’t perform. That’s just human nature

    Since you can’t change that, you have to decide if you want your church to be hypocritical. It can attack behaviors that most of the members don’t have any desire to engage in while giving a miss to those behaviors that they do struggle with, or it can let people police their own lives, only stepping in where someone does harm to another.

    I would point out the irony that some conservative Christian churches would be much more likely to shun or pressure a gay parishioner than a parishioner that abuses his wife. That should be looked at, in my opinion.

  • Eddy G

    Well I do not see it anywhere even as I scoured every post. It is absent on my screen. But I am sure you will find a way to try and belittle me for that. Either way no can refute the fact that sin is sin no matter how someone wants to redefine it. And here is no persecution complex except on the part of those who don’t want to be called sinners anymore, so they must re-write, re-define, and omit Bible verses in order to continue in the lifestyle that is comfortable to them. And by the way maybe you could give facts on where christians have persecuted the lgbt community. Maybe the christian community just doesn’t want to told they must change their religion in order to fit another.

  • Disqus User

    No, the solution to hypocrisy is not to just ignore all sins. It is to stop being hypocritical by treating all sins for what they are. I don’t disagree one iota with the criticism of hypocrisy in churches. How could I? I disagree adamantly with the proposed solution.

  • gimpi1

    Well, as an outsider, all I can say is that I wish you the best. You’re trying to fly in the face human nature, and that usually does not end well. Good luck.

  • Melinda Hailey

    Disgusting. Divorce, greed, monetary wealth, judgement, gossip, impure thoughts, jealousy (I could go on) are ALL sins. The Bible teaches that ALL are welcome in His house and ALL are loved by Him. For you, or your church, to exclude a person based on your own judgement of his or her sin is the height of audacity and a DIRECT sin against God. I hope, for your sake, you go back to your Bible, use your brain, pray for compassionate and true understanding of scripture and the love of Christ, and allow your heart and mind to be opened to the possibility that you are wrong in your assessment of the meaning of The Word. The message of the gospel is love, pure and simple. I hope your life is blessed with the love of God, and that you will be open and brave enough to honestly live according to that love. Peace be with you, brother. Signed, a Christian Liberal Lesbian.

  • Disqus User

    I’m sorry, but St. Paul deals rather explicitly and in depth as to how sin within the church is to be handled, and it is not by the wisdom of the world. And it most certainly is not to deny that sin is sin.

  • Melinda Hailey

    Scripture is also clear that judgement of sin by any other than God is a sin. Yet here you are, preaching, judging, and condemning a person’s sexuality as sin. You need to repent of your own sin of speaking for God and then STOP!

  • Melinda Hailey

    Judgement and unloving communication: 1, showing the love of Christ with your actions and words: 0

  • Melinda Hailey

    I love your obvious expression of Christ living within you. I disagree with your view of homosexuality as a sin. BUT, your beliefs and relationship with God are yours personally and intimately, as are mine. We can agree to disagree without judging one another on God’s behalf. Signed, a Christian Liberal Lesbian

  • Melinda Hailey

    “3. Where does it say that one can’t make a judgement because they aren’t God?” Luke 6:37 is where you will find the answer to your question. Have you read the gospel?

  • Melinda Hailey

    Exactly where does the gospel condemn homosexuality specifically? And, perhaps more importantly, who are you to say which interpretation of the bible and scripture is the correct one?

  • Disqus User

    No it doesn’t. It teaches no such thing. We are called not to judge people. Scripture teaches us what sin is. In fact, Scripture goes to great lengths in teaching us what sin is. What Scripture says is sin is sin. This is one of the great misunderstandings about what Scripture teaches.

    Even in condemning me you recognize the concept that some things are sinful saying, “Scripture is also clear that judgement of sin by any other than God is a sin.” You can’t say that without making a judgment about what is sin yourself.

    And I was very careful not to condemn a person’s sexuality (that is, their orientation), but only actions. God’s word calls certain sexual acts sinful and is clear about that. Adultery is a sin. Incest is a sin. Sexual acts with an animal is sin. That’s not my judgment. That’s God’s word.

    If I said that it is a sin for a married man to have sexual intercourse with a woman who is not his wife, would you condemn me for calling that a sin? If I said that it was a sin for a man to have sex with his father’s wife or with his sister, would you condemn me for calling that a sin? If I said that it was a sin for a man to have sex with an animal, would you condemn me for calling that a sin?

    We must use judgment about what sin is so that we can confess and repent of it and seek to not engage in sinful acts. And churches are responsible for teaching their parishioners what sin is so that parishioners can confess and repent of their sins and seek to not engage in sinful acts. That is one of the jobs of a church, just as it is the job of a doctor to warn his patients against smoking or excess drinking. A doctor doing so is not judging his patient; he is giving him helpful, loving advice.

  • Disqus User

    By the way, a church which does not teach that gluttony is a sin when there is an obvious problem with gluttony in that congregation is not providing loving care for its parishioners.

  • TheBattman

    Let me guess – you are a “red letter ‘Christian'”?

    Lets see – in just one example, the Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 6, of an extensive (though not comprehensive) list of particular sins that were being “indulged in” among the Corinthian people (and indeed – some of the believers WERE among those committing the sins):

    “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10

    And before anyone tries to play games with the Greek…

    The Greek word translated as “homosexual” is arsenokoitēs, which literally means “sodomite” or one who practices homosexuality.

    Paul addressed the particular sins that were plaguing the culture in which the Corinthian church was serving and ministering in – the “hot button” issues – that even some of the Corinthian church folks had once participated in.. but they were changed/transformed by the Blood of Jesus (as the following verses clarify).

    And let us go to another reality-check. God is not the author of sin, nor of temptation. Scripture specifically states (1 Corinthians 10:13 to be specific) that God will not allow temptation beyond what one can handle – but with such temptation, will also provide the way (means/avenue) of escape –

    In other words – Any temptation to sin, for the believer – is accompanied by a means to escape/endure the temptation without committing the sin.

  • ‘The love of Christ’ is your business, not mine. Why would I care about such a thing? I have no love for people who despise a community because they’re different but are wrapped up in their own tragic narrative.

  • Anon

    God can change those who are willing.
    “Everything depends on the right action of the will. The power of choice God has given to men; it is theirs to exercise. You cannot change your heart, you cannot of yourself give to God its affections; but you can choose to serve Him. You can give Him your will; He will then work in you to will and to do according to His good pleasure. Thus your whole nature will be brought under the control of the Spirit of Christ; your affections will be centered upon Him, your thoughts will be in harmony with Him. ”

    http://comingoutministries.org

  • Melinda Hailey

    “If I said that it is a sin for a married man to have sexual intercourse with a woman who is not his wife, would you condemn me for calling that a sin? If I said that it was a sin for a man to have sex with his father’s wife or with his sister, would you condemn me for calling that a sin? If I said that it was a sin for a man to have sex with an animal, would you condemn me for calling that a sin?”

    No, I would not. See Luke 6:37. I would agree with you that these examples you have given are morally wrong as they are detrimental to society. But judging a person based on your religious belief and declaring them as sinners is not your responsibility nor is it something Christ called on you to do. I believe whole heartedly in the teachings of the gospel. It is clear that Jesus said he fulfilled the law from the Old Testament and we are to continue forward with love in our hearts for each other, regardless of our own viewpoint of their “sins.” I am not audacious enough to claim that I am worthy of speaking for God in regards to the things others think or do. That is not my place. I do not judge you for your actions or words, but that doesn’t mean I am not going to point out to you how hurtful those words are to others. Take personal religion out of the equation and replace it with kindness for all and you will be much more effective at bringing God to non believers without ever speaking the name which your religion has given Him.

  • Brandon Blaylock

    Gimpi, if a person looks at the verses in the bible, studies, researches and becomes convinced that homosexual behavior is wrong in God’s eyes do they become a hypocrite for speaking against it? Provided they speak against it a loving way with genuine concern for their brother/sister in Christ.
    If so, why? Is speaking out against other immoral acts like adultery or arrogance a hypocritical act?

  • bryan

    Thank you for the comment and here are some thoughts:

    1.) The judging referred to in Luke 6:37 seems to be referring to a critical judgment that one makes in hypocrisy with a big plank in their eye. I agree this judgment is wrong but Jesus is not ruling out good discernment / judgment that is a benefit to the person. He demonstrates this by saying in Luke 6:42b “You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye and then you will see clearly to take the speck that is in your brother’s eye.” If Jesus was saying that all judgment or correction is bad he wouldn’t have said to take the log first out of your own eye so you can see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” Jesus further demonstrates this need for making good judgments within the church in Matt 18:15-17 which describes church discipline. This involves making judgments.
    To restate a point I made earlier:

    Paul makes judgments in 1 Corinthians 5:12 “For what have I do with judging outsiders? Is it not those inside the church whom you are to Judge?” Paul is judges those in the Corinthian church who are sexually immoral by saying that believers shouldn’t associate with them but he makes the clear distinction that follower’s of Jesus aren’t to judge those who do not follow Christ.
    It is clear from scripture that Christians are to make good judgments and not judgments rooted in hypocrisy and criticism. When my oldest son hits my younger son I immediately make a judgment upon the situation and actions of my son which leads me to try to lovingly correct him. If I never made good judgments I would be a bad father. In the same way Christians should not shy away from standing up for the truth. I recently had a friend that admitted to me that he was committing adultery and with around 5 other women over the years. If I took the approach from what I understand is prescribed in this article to just tell him to follow Jesus but never point him to the truth of God’s word where it says adulterers will not inherit God’s kingdom (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) but God is willing to forgive and full of mercy and grace then it would be a dis service to him and God’s word. I shared with him these truths and encouraged him to repent and turn to Jesus for forgiveness. He didn’t hate me or get angry with me. He was very thankful and appreciative that I shared these hard truths. Truth in love should not be sacrificed because it may be offensive because it is only the Truth that can set us free. (John 8:32)

  • Proud Amelekite

    God will have to prove to me my orientation towards falling in love with and wanting to protect other men is evil before I would be willing to change it. As of yet, nobody has been able to provide me such an explanation and so, I ask, why should I change? Why should I turn my back on my brethren who need me to save myself? That sort of self focused drive isn’t in my nature.

  • Proud Amelekite

    Paul was probably a False Apostle.

    http://danizier.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/paul-vs-jesus-and-james/

    Now, even if he wasn’t a false apostle, what do you say to a man who has found happiness and long term, monogamous love with another man? Are you going to ask him to walk away from that love and be alone, devoid of affection and companionship for the rest of his life? Pretend I am that guy and sell me on it here.

  • Proud Amelekite

    Matthew Vines already debunked your view of Scripture, as have most reputable Bible Scholars. You can say that God protected Scripture and kept it easy to understand but to do that he would have to get rid of human free will and it would make the last line of Revelations a lie (since man could never change the Word in the Bible as you state). Just own your hatred of us. Quit with that “I am just doing what the Bible says” and own your views as your own. Don’t cower behind legalisms and interpretations that appeal to your itchy ears.

  • Proud Amelekite

    I don’t really feel it is a sin, to be honest.

  • Proud Amelekite

    Well, your interpretation of Scripture states that.

  • Proud Amelekite

    Paul is probably a False Apostle. Unworthy of trust, I am afraid. Do you have any other Scriptures you could share that weren’t invented by a lying, self-aggrandizing, hypocritical Pharisee?

    http://danizier.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/paul-vs-jesus-and-james/

  • Proud Amelekite

    Prove it.

  • Eddy G

    Honesty is not the problem it is the start of repentance and forgiveness. What this article wants people to do is lie to themseves and say that homsexuality is not a sin So they can keep on living in it. The Bible cleary states what is and is not sin. If a person claims Christianity then they accept the whole Bible and and not just the parts they like. If they don’t then the dishonesty is in the person claiming Christianty. And by the way just because someone feels something is not a sin does not make it true.

  • Nope, the point of the article is to ask: “even if you’re believing rightly, are you behaving rightly?”

  • Disqus User

    Everyone save Christ (and some would add the Virgin Mary) is a sinner, you and me included. What I may not judge is who is a saved sinner and who is a damned sinner. God’s word makes that clear. He also makes clear what acts are sins. He does this because He loves us. And any pastor who loves his flocks will tell the truth to his flock on the subject, just as a doctor will tell his patients what behaviors in their lives are harmful to their health, such as smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol to excess. One would, I would hope, flee a doctor who told a patient that his smoking was perfectly fine, even admirable, and should be celebrated by all. And one should flee a pastor who does the same as to sin.

    A pastor who misleads his parishioners as to the immorality of their sin doesn’t do so because he loves his parishioners. He does so because he loves himself. He is not seeking to affirm his sinning flock, but instead to have them affirm him. And he is doing so by tickling their ears.

    I’m sorry you are hurt by the truth. I’ve been hurt by hearing the truth about my life and behavior at times, especially when I heard the truth from someone who cared about me and my welfare, cared enough to tell me the truth even at the risk of earning my anger toward them. Praise God that He sent such people into my life.

  • Eddy G

    Fine as long as you are not telling me that
    I have to accept homosexuality as not as sin anymore because it is and that is
    what the Bible teaches. And no Christian I know has ever denied that nor have
    they or I ever told someone of the glbt community they are not allowed in our
    church or tried to dehumanize them. As a matter of fact I have never ever heard
    anyone in the mainstream church say or do that ever. BUT, and that is a huge
    word used by God many times in the Bible……but if a person decides to
    continue to live in their sin, have they really accepted Jesus? Adultery,
    pedophilia, lying, stealing, murdering, bestiality, coveting, drunkenness, and
    homosexual behavior are all sins and are not open to interpretation just because
    there are more people doing it. They are to be repented for, ask forgiveness
    for and then turn from said sin. That is what the Bible teaches whether you or
    anyone else like it or not. Lastly, can a Christian be in sin and still be
    saved, the answer is yes. BUT it is the job of their fellow Christians to help
    them out of it. That is what the love of Jesus is about, not allowing their
    brothers and sisters to be in the prison of SIN.

  • andre_lefebvre

    There is no debate, except in the application. This verse is truth and reality, no matter what language you read it in. So I suggest we all get busy with the part that belongs to us. We all are called to follow Jesus, be discipled, sanctified, learning to love and be loved, and share the good news. And we all have our story of ‘before’ and ‘after.’ Actually, we should.

    @Benjamin, this was a great article that made me think further on a topic I had given up on for many reasons. But this brought back with power the great need we all have to not categorize homosexuality (which I have had both attraction to and loathing toward over the years).

    I’d also like to suggest we don’t assume that EVERYONE dealing with homosexuality is miserable, nor is EVERYONE at peace. And that we would give as much attention and care in helping those who don’t feel comfortable with it and express a desire to be freed, as we aim to welcome those who feel very comfortable with it..

  • hcat

    Being gay isn’t a sin. Doing gay is.

  • hcat

    So why didn’t he stay faithful to you? He owes it to you to come back. And the church has the right to demand it of him .

  • Heather

    I’m super amazed at how off you are. Jesus was the first to give a woman value, especially in that culture. He was the one who told the people who were going to stone the woman who was caught in adultery to only throw if they were sinless. the one who told the church to take care of the widows and the orphans (in a culture where the widows and orphans were seen as worthless) or their religion was worthless, the one who brought the widows son back to life (because, again, in that culture the son was the last person she had that would take care of her), he was the one who mentioned that divorcing a woman (their divorce rate might have even been worse than it is here today, but a woman’s VALUE got degraded with a divorce, and she would not have been taken care of because she would have been shamed. She would have been penniless and had no means to provide) was a sin because it caused the woman major difficulty in that culture. Jesus was the one who gave the woman value. I don’t know where your bitterness and anger came from, but putting it toward this is a little off. Jesus came to set things straight, the old testament laws are kind of void in light of Jesus’ love in the new.

  • Darach Conneely

    Hi Chip. The Anglican 39 Articles seem to do just what you say, distinguishing Anglicanism both from Catholicism and the more radical Puritans and Baptists. But in doing that the Anglican church overturned a lot of Catholic tradition that went before.

    Looking at the Anglican Church’s Pilling Report http://www.churchofengland.org/our-views/marriage,-family-and-sexuality-issues/human-sexuality/pilling-report.aspx which admits the meaning of the word arsenokoites really is as unclear as Matthew vine’s claims:
    ” [240] To take just one example, ‘sodomite’ in the NRSV is a translation of the Greek word arsenokoitēs. Most scholars recognize that the precise meaning of this word is extremely difficult to pin down. It is a compound noun which combines arsen meaning ‘male’ and koites meaning ‘bed’. The general meaning is reasonably clear. But in a compound noun, the first part could be either the subject or the object of action. To determine which reading is correct, the obvious method would be to compare this occurrence of the word with others to see if a 72 contextual meaning emerges. The problem is that arsenokoitēs does not occur in Greek literature prior to the New Testament and only rarely afterwards, usually in commentaries on 1 Corinthians 6 or 1 Timothy 1. Asserting that all the sources agree that arsenokoitēs must be translated in one particular way is to beg the question.

  • gimpi1

    If they truly treat all ‘sins’ as sins, no, they would not be hypocritical. However, in my experience, that isn’t what happens. I feel that 99% of people are far, far more comfortable speaking against ‘sins’ that they and their close associates aren’t likely to have in their lives. It appears to be just how people are wired. If I were to hazard a guess, perhaps the enjoinder not to engage in judgemental behavior common to several religions is due to this trait.

    I feel when we ignore basic human traits we often wind up becoming hypocritical, because we don’t see what we and those like us are doing. The sins closest to us are often invisible. The long line of pastors abusing parishioners is testimony to this blindness. Those the most upset about gay people often seem to be the same people who defend a pastor caught in inappropriate behavior, and many times seem to blame the victim.

    The ability to focus on ‘outside sins’ often seems to make people less, not more, willing to confront their own shortcomings. I would wish for people could get that beam out of their own eye, but I don’t see it happening. When I see more loving, open-hearted, Christians like Ben, I might be more willing to listen to their views on right and wrong. But from where I sit, they are a distinct minority.

    Speaking as an outsider, I also feel it’s important to have multiple source of information in making decisions about the world. The Bible is only one source. It has many profound moral statements. It also has multiple endorsements of slavery, double-standards of behavior, apparently divinely endorsed acts of barbarism and odd rules regarding diet and clothing. I feel we have greatly improved upon Biblical times.

    If the best available information states that sexuality is inborn, and a person has no more control over it than being right or left handed, (and it does) then I, personally, would regard the Biblical injunctions as an aspect of an earlier, less knowledgeable time and I would discard them. But, as I said, I’m not a believer, so my standards are different from yours.

  • Brandon Blaylock

    Gimpi, how would you describe yourself in relation to belief or non-belief; Are you an atheist, agnostic, or another religion?
    Also, do some statements in the Bible regarding homosexuality, slavery, and barbarism get in the way of accepting the Bible as the word of God and have they led to your rejection of Jesus as the incarnation God?

  • Brandon Blaylock

    Benjamin, if you mean being a sinful human being makes one a hypocrite then being a hypocrite is innate to all humanity but if you mean speaking out against immoral behavior is a hypocritical act we should not do, then this is at odds with scripture. What would you think of a pastor who couldn’t confront a believer who is engaged in an affair? Should we look a blind eye to sin, the bible clearly states to admonish not only individuals but also false doctrines on the widespread level. The whole book of Galations is Paul speaking out against Judaisers preaching false and immoral gospels.
    I think you have allowed your exegesis to be influenced by the relativism of our culture and the politics of our day.

    If many Christians began to believe Jesus was not the Messiah would it be a hypocritical act to speak against such a false belief?

  • gimpi1

    I regard myself as an outsider. Not so much an atheist as agnostic. I have seen no hard evidence for or against a deity. I have had experiences that I can describe as spiritual, but if I’m intellectually honest, I have to admit I could be mistaken or deluding myself about them, so I don’t regard them as “settling the issue.”

    And yes, what I see as profound immorality in appearing to endorse forms of slavery, in appearing to order wars of aggression and conquest, in appearing to play favorites, and condone barbarism, I’m not willing to say I find the concept of God portrayed in the Old Testament as someone I find worthy of worship. Frankly, I wouldn’t have a person that acted that way over to dinner. I’m uncomfortable with holding God to a lower standard than I do people.

    Also, as I said, no matter how authoritative a source, I would never simply ignore all evidence to the contrary. Any source can be wrong. Even if you believe the Bible to be of divine origin, it was written, edited, assembled and translated by people. Words don’t translate perfectly, and after several translation, any text can have its meaning scrambled. Did this happen? I don’t know, but it could have.

    I’m also married to a scientist. My husband is a geologist. Through intellectual osmoses I’ve picked up a great deal of information about the age of the earth, how geologic forces work and the way they shape the planet. Many of these facts contradict Genesis. They have proved up scientifically so I can’t logically deny them.

    And, frankly, I don’t want to. Discussions and trips with my husband have become a true delight. I was educated mostly in art (I have an advertising art degree and work in print and web design) and I had no idea how exciting science could be. I refuse to turn off my brain and simply decide to ignore the wonder of the natural world, and the thrill of learning.

    As to the issue of salvation, I’m undecided. I can’t truly say I reject it, but I don’t understand it. Why an all-powerful deity would need to incarnate and perform a ritual-sacrifice of himself to himself doesn’t make sense to me. That doesn’t necessarily mean it isn’t true. Many true things appear nonsense until a central fact is uncovered. So I consider myself to be doubtful on the central point of Christianity, but I have not discounted it altogether. That’s part of why I lurk here. I find Ben’s approach interesting.

    Does this answer your questions?

  • Disqus User

    What God’s word calls sin is not loving and wanting to protect other men (or women); it is performing sexual acts with someone of your own sex. That’s it. You are free to love and protect whomever you choose. One problem in addressing this issue is the conflating of “love” with “performing sexual acts with”. We can love other people without performing sexual acts with them. Only the latter is called sin in Scripture. No one is calling for you to turn your back on your brethren and no one is calling for you to be self-focused, quite the opposite. You are to be so other-focused that you won’t engage in behavior to satisfy your own desires which is detrimental to another.

  • Brandon Blaylock

    Yes, you answered my questions. I am an artist as well, if you allow musicians to be considered as such. I am a music educator. What if belief in God did not mean closing your mind to science and the evidence? I would say the Genesis account is inconsistent with the current scientific consensus if it is literal but Genesis does is not necessarily historical narrative, many scholars believe it is figurative prose. Augustine wrote in the 4th century that Genesis may be figurative, 1400 years before Darwin so this is not revising biblical interpretation with the science.
    I would say the wonder you experience and the trill of learning was given by God and He wants us to engage intellectually, not check our brains at the door.

    What if I could give you strong evidence the bible has not been changed like a game of telephone, but it is the same since the first century?
    Also, what if God had great moral reasons for the wars in the Old Testament, and issues like slavery? I have struggled with these questions and I have found answers that are satisfactory for meriting belief that Jesus was the Savior and the God of the Old Testament is loving and moral.
    I think the case against God gets quite a bit more publicity but the answers to the objections are stronger than the objections themselves.

  • gimpi1

    I understand many Christians don’t insist on a literal reading of the Bible as a science-text. Many do. How did you determine your beliefs? For me, it’s obvious that it’s an allegorical myth. I do understand that most Christians don’t check their brains at the door of the church. The ones that do are just among the loudest.

    However, I feel you are asking me to check my sense of justice at the door. Wars of conquest are almost never justified. Wiping out whole cities, including children and livestock is simply never justified. Raping and enslaving female prisoners of war is never justified, and calling that enslavement a ‘marriage’ only adds salt to the wound. Slavery is never, never justified. Condemning behavior that causes no harm with the death-penalty is never justified. Regarding half the human-race as subordinate is not justified.

    If you have answers, I would be interested in them, but I can’t guarantee to view them as reasonable. I’ve heard some, and in my view, they didn’t amount to much. But, as I said, I am well aware that I don’t know all there is to know.

  • Rosanna Miller

    To the author of this story, Benjamin L. Corey, I have questions for you: Would you also be accepting of an adulterer who came out and said that he was a Adulterous-Christian? Do you believe in Transexual-Christians and Omnisexual- Christians?

  • MarioRom

    Gluttony is not a sin. Not Biblical. The concept of the seven deadly sins is linked to the works of the 4th century monk Evagrius Ponticus, who listed eight evil thoughts in Greek and the Catholic Church uses them but that isn’t any more sinful than me claiming that using the Internet is a sin..

  • MarioRom

    How many people say that being gay is a sin? Not too many that I associate with. It is not the person but the act which is the sin. Let’s not confuse the two. The post said to look at the Bible and if you ask me that would work against the spirit of the post because homosexuality is condemned in both Old and New Testaments. It is not the Christian that has an issue with gas, it it God Himself unless you believe that the Bible is full of lies.

    Now here is the rub. The Bible also tells us that the blood of Jesus Christ covers all sins (that is if you accept Him as your personal savior). We are all sinners and have come short of the Glory of God. Straight or Gay, we all sin. The problem becomes what happens next? A sinner who asks for forgiveness may stumble and fall. The trick is to pick one’s self up, dust themselves off, ask for forgiveness again, then strive to walk without stumbling further than the last time you stumbled.

    It is not the job of the Christian to judge anyone. That is God’s job. If one accepts Jesus as their savior and they are doing something wrong, well it is God’s job to convict the person of error and they themselves will seek to change the behavior. That’s probably what some may not want to hear, but it is truth.

    My comment will I’m sure open some eyes, and also garner hatred but this is what I believe the intention of Christianity is – to bring the sinner into the Kingdom of God.

  • MarioRom

    God allowed Moses to grant divorce in certain circumstance.
    No where did God authorize re-marriage which means that if you have remarried, you are technically living in sin. Perhaps that is the message that needs to be shared.

    Jesus had no reason to discuss homosexuality, nor change the (Biblical) Law. To claim that Jesus did not object to homosexuality is a falacy. Homosexuality was not really very prevalent during His life basically because homosexuality, like suicide under Roman Law (and now that I think about it, even Jewish Law) was punishable by death.

  • Proud Amelekite

    So, if my desires when making love to someone else is to bond myself to them and make them happy does that change it? And I found out I was gay late in life when I fell in love with another guy. Even without sex, I have to imagine that snuggling, kissing, and living with him would be problematic. Yet no one can tell me why it is wrong – just empty legalism, assertion of absolute truth, and threats of hell. Ditching the man I care about to save myself from hell doesn’t interest me much.

  • Proud Amelekite

    I find your assertion of Biblical truth to be unconvincing compared to the arguments against you from guys like this blogger, Matthew Vines, etc. You maybe right; maybe God is vindictive and petty, setting meaningless rules so He can damn as many as possible over who they are. I don’t bow before tyrants – not in my nature. So, in that event, I choose hell.

  • It is very disturbing to read this plea to reconsider the sin of homosexuality as acceptable in a person’s claim to be both gay and a Christian. These two are mutually exclusive and not compatible.

    It is not possible to prove from the Word of God that He accepts men having sex with each other, or women having sex with each other, as an acceptable lifestyle. The Bible is crystal clear that being gay is a sin that will exclude those who practice this sin–from heaven.

    What does a person do with the Old Testament scriptures in which God calls homosexuals “an abomination,” Leviticus 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. or 1 Corinthians chapter 6 where Paul is very specific that those who do such things are excluded from the kingdom of God, 1Corinthians 6:9 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 homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.

    Then Paul describes those who were living in this lifestyle but have repented and are now living apart from their former sins, and in a relationship with Jesus as: “and such were some of you…”

    We must detach from our adulterous affair, our drunkenness, our homosexuality and them receive Jesus as our Savior–before we are saved.

    A person must repent of the sin of homosexuality or lesbianism before God will grant them eternal life. There is NO heaven, no forgiveness and no eternal life for any person who chooses to continue in their sins.

    Jesus will not hear the prayers of a person for salvation who refuses to repent of their gay lifestyle, their drunkenness, their adultery, or their homosexuality. These are the facts of the Gospel and they are indisputable and without change.

    Society may have accepted homosexuals and lesbians and grant them equal rights, but God does not grant any immunity in their sin, or any other sins, from His future judgement. Repent and be saved, this is the Gospel.

  • Divorce will not exclude a person from heaven, sodomy will, this is the principle difference.

  • Chip

    Darach, you’re right about Anglicanism overturning some catholic tradition, but then you can look at, say, the Lambeth Quadrilateral and its appeals to the undivided church for one influential articulation of Anglican essentials.

    Although I have not addressed any particular passages of Scripture and am not an exegete myself, I am aware of the Pilling Report. I am also aware, as I would wager you are, that evangelicals within Anglicanism are generally not favorable toward it . . .

  • Chip

    Thanks for the clarification, Benjamin.

  • Chip

    gimpi1, and you certainly have a right to your beliefs, even as we strongly disagree. I would encourage you, however, to look at history through a different lens, as religious faith has been the catalyst for so much of what people commonly consider to be good for any society.

  • Chip

    Brent, I was referring to the fact that in both theologically-conservative Anglican circles and other theologically-conservative Christian circles (just search among conservative Christian pundits over the last few years), there are discussions occurring and regulations being set in attempts to roll back more permissive stances toward divorce. I understand it is now more difficult to become a member of the clergy in some conservative Anglican bodies than previously.

    With regard to Matthew 5:32, if that is a particularly important verse for you, I would recommend that you look at how the Christian Church has understood that passage over its history.

  • Darach Conneely

    The Lambeth Quadrilateral throws out Catholic tradition’s place on an equal footing with scripture, the necessity of believing Catholic dogma, 5 of the 7 Catholic sacraments and the authority of the Pope. You still have a lot of traditional ideas and interpretations thrown out when the church reexamined what scripture says.
    The Pilling Report gives both sides of the argument, so I wouldn’t be surprised evangelical Anglicans with a traditional view of homosexuality don’t like it. But “Most scholars recognize that the precise meaning of this word (arsenokoites/sodomy) is extremely difficult to pin down” is a simple statement of fact, whether people like it or not. We can’t use obscure verses to exclude and marginalise a whole section of society.

  • gimpi1

    I understand the valuable things many religious faiths have added to the world, including founding our hospital system and helping to develop many important charitable institutions. I don’t deny that for a minute.

    However, the specifics I cited are not beliefs, they’re facts. The Southern Baptists were founded to support the institution of slavery in the south. They were strongly in favor of segregation, a position they did not renounce until the 1990’s. The current scandal in Ireland regarding mass-graves of children taken from unmarried mothers and housed in institutions that apparently warehoused them with little care and poor nutrition happened because of the Catholic beliefs at the time regarding children born out of wedlock. The religious wars that tore Europe apart several times, the Inquisition and witch-hunts happened because of religious faith. These are facts, not subject to belief. They are every bit as real as the care of the sick and destitute that religious groups are rightly lauded for.

    From where I sit, it appears that religious groups are at their best when they are not in secular power. When they hold legal authority, it appears that the temptation to wield it to try to compel – if not belief, then the appearance of belief – is very hard to resist.

    I support and applaud religious groups that are doing valuable work around the world. I have done volunteer work in web-design for World Vision. But I don’t believe anyone has the right to legislate belief. When you pass laws compelling people to follow your religious codes in issues such as marriage, that’s what you are trying to do.

    I support your right to believe homosexuality is sinful. I support the right of your church to refuse to marry same-sex couples and to not recognize such marriages. But you have no right to tell churches that believe differently that they must follow your beliefs rather than their own. You have no right to tell people who don’t share your faith that we must abide by its rules. You have no right to discriminate in public accommodation, any more than someone who devoutly believes that race-mixing is an abomination has the right to refuse to serve mixed-race couples.

    At least that’s how it looks from the outside.

  • gimpi1

    Do you think she would want him to stay in a relationship that clearly was unhappy for him? Do you think she would want that kind of relationship for herself? Would you want to keep your spouse suffering in a miserable marriage? Would you be able to be happy with their unhappiness? Do you truly think God wants that?

    They appear to have parted as friends, and still care about each other. They did the right thing. I’m glad they found a way to move on in peace. I wish Rebecca and her ex and family the best.

  • gimpi1

    And you know that how, exactly?

  • gimpi1

    The Southern Baptists (the largest Protestant denomination in the US) used to believe interracial marriage was a sin. They used to believe race-based slavery was God’s plan, and denying that was a sin. They used to believe that, failing slavery, segregation was God’s will, and integration was a sin. They have changed all their beliefs.

    The Catholic church used to believe that children born out of wedlock were not entitled to full-church membership and that they could not be buried in consecrated ground. I’m pretty-sure they changed that. They used to believe unbaptized babies that died were damned. They changed that belief. They used to believe that the plague was God’s punishment for sin. They no longer believe that.

    These are just off the top of my head. Now, tell me again how no church has ever changed it’s beliefs.

  • Melinda Hailey

    I haven’t been hurt by the truth that God loves me. I have been hurt by the hateful, exclusionary, judgmental pseudo christians, like you.

  • Melinda Hailey

    I can appreciate your points, although you and I disagree on the interpretation of the text and the religious meaning of judgment.

  • Melinda Hailey

    If by “Red Letter” Christian you mean one who believes and follows the examples set by the deeds of Jesus instead of the words a human used to describe his own interpretations of what God might have meant in his last vision, then yes, I am. And proud to live the life of love that Jesus taught instead of a life pointing out bible versus to justify my own bigotry and hate.

  • TheBattman

    Jesus quoted primarily from the Old Testament – you know – where God originally used the term “Abomination” in reference to homosexual behavior. But that is another issue…

    Go ahead and cling to the lovey-dovey version of Jesus. Ignore the wrathful conquerer that Revelation portrays Him as – who, with the wrath of God will bring judgment and extreme trials as humanity has never experienced – all due to rebellion against God (which includes the unrepentant sin).

    Oh – God is indeed love – but you cannot focus on simply His love – as He also is wrathful against those who choose to pick and choose what parts of His word to accept or reject…

  • David A Páez

    Homosexuality was extremely predominant in that era, even more during the Greek empire. You’re right about Jewish law but your argument about roman and gentile homosexuality is completely flawed.

    Sources:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality_in_ancient_Rome

  • Melinda Hailey

    You forget that, in the New Testament, God said that the law had been fulfilled. God made me this way and God makes no mistakes. I do not believe that the love I have for my wife will be judged according to an ancient text that has been interpreted by humans again and again. The whole of God is love and it is our duty to seek to be as God is, full of love for all.

  • Melinda Hailey

    Your God, in your interpretation, would send me to Hell for loving and being faithful to my wife. I want no part of your God and will gladly burn in Hell for the sin of love. Open your mind, God is not about turning away from love for any reason. You, however, will be judged against the Gospel. I truly hope that you repent before it is too late. May God bless your family with love and acceptance.

  • Chip

    Darach, but the Lambeth Quadrilateral is as controversial and subject to variant understandings as the Articles and the idea of Anglicanism as a via media! Your view reads a bit like that of a triumphant, fully Reformed evangelical, while other evangelicals (including some fully Reformed ones) fret over the excessive catholicism they believe is in the Quad. For me, the main takeaways are the appeal to the undivided church in the original 1886 Chicago-Lambeth Quadrilateral (implied, I would argue, in the 1888 final version) and the appeal to the historic episcopate in both versions. To flesh this out a bit more, I agree with those scholars who essentially see a Vincentian canon-like approach to the Quad.

    With regard to the specific biblical passages, we could each cite scholars on both sides of the debate forever. I think we may just have to agree to disagree at this point.

  • I don’t have to believe in transsexual Christians – I happen to know many…

    …AND I am a married Christian woman of transsexual experience.

    Jesus captured my heart over thirty years ago, and will never let go, nor go-back on His promise to love others through me as He continues to re-make me into the image of Christ.

    God is my judge, Jesus my Savior, His Spirit my guide and assurance, and I am called their “Beloved.”

    Blessings & Joy!!

  • Sarah Campbell

    Wow. Awesome. I look forward to sharing this on facebook. But not at 130 in the morning b/c no one will see it ;-)

  • Lisa E. Rogers

    Thank you for your article! Another wonderful presective!

  • Chip

    I’m glad you do see the positive to some degree, and thank you for your volunteer work with World Vision (my favorite charity for several decades now).

    Please realize, though, that you might not be seeing the full picture on some issues. For example, Southern Baptists weren’t segregated until the 1990s; resolutions against racism date back to at least the 1970s, and efforts to roll back racism began in the 1940s. The current Ireland issue is murky in what conclusions can be drawn; see the religious news analysis site Get Religion for more details. And while wars lamentably have been started over religious issues, more have been started over non-religious ones.

    Also, kindly avoid jumping to conclusions about people with whom you disagree. I have shared here about the Church changing marriage rites — a pretty narrow topic. From this outsider’s perspective, you’ve made some inaccurate conclusions both about other posters and groups of people.

  • I suspect the question of homosexuality being a sin is because many hetrosexuals find the idea of homosexuality distasteful for themselves. Watching someone eating cockroaches would make some say “oh that’s gross!” but to others it would be a luxury. So, recoiling against their inbuilt dislike, the ‘sin’ is shot to the top of the list.

    I think Paul’s teaching about eating different foods is important in this debate, if someone thinks it is sinful to eat certain foods then it would be sinful for them to eat those foods (because they are deliberately choosing to do what they think is wrong – and that is sin). If someone thinks that all foods are OK then it is not sinful to eat the same foods. So if a heterosexual thinks it is sinful to practice homosexuality the it is sinful FOR THEM. But that does not mean that it is sinful for everyone else. And similarly if a homosexual does NOT think its a sin to practice homosexuality the is is NOT sinful FOR THEM.

    We are repeatedly told not to judge others, so that we may not be judged. Perhaps we can agree that there is no single answer, and act with grace and love when dealing with others.

    Blessings to all,
    Phil
    pdhemsley.com

  • Rosanna Miller

    I was addressing the author of the story. Good day.

  • LMc42

    Beautifully stated…thanks.

  • MarioRom

    Can you come into the 21st Century? But then again in Muslim nations, that is still the norm but no one complains about the “Women of Islam: now do they?

  • MarioRom

    I am guessing that you therefore believe that because of that behavior those empires fell? That’s what some people think.

  • Carmen Sandiego

    It was prevalent throughout human history, it’s just depending on the time and culture, it was often hidden.

  • Benjamin Venable

    Wait… “…anyone who divorces his wife…makes her the _victim_ of adultery…and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.”

    Did I get that right? ‘Cause that doesn’t sound like she’s an adulteress; it sounds like her ex-husband (and new husband) is an adulterer.

    Somebody help me with this?

  • Carmen Sandiego

    This is just a technicality, but many gay couples do not practice any of the definitions of sodomy anyway.

    Also, the bigger sin is not supporting the poor and assisting them, according to the old testament.

  • TheBattman

    How do you reconcile scripture with your views? The Bible says that God does not tempt us – that He is not the author of sin. Is it more of that “selective editing” – using your feelings to determine what is and isn’t “really” scripture? That would be placing yourself in God’s position.

  • Rusty Reiter

    Jesus always warned against religious conservatives, never against gays.

  • Rusty Reiter

    Chip, what a dishonest thing to say. Public opinion polls show the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions the word “evangelical” is ‘the people who hate gays.’ 8 of 10 inside the evangelical church said the same thing. Preachers get big bucks in the collection plate when they turn gays into the boogie men “out there” but find the donations dry up when they preach against divorce and remarriage.

  • Rusty Reiter

    Chip, talking out of both sides of your mouth must get tiring. Try admitting the truth that religious conservatives have a super strict standard for homosexuals and a very very low bar for themselves. Even you admit they are just beginning to discuss straights getting divorced and remarried while spending 99% of their energy attacking gays for getting married.

  • Rusty Reiter

    When you consider that Jesus ALWAYS spoke negatively about religious conservatives, you should stop attacking gays (who Jesus never said a negative thing against). “homosexuality” is a modern medical concept based on scientific evidence unknown in ancient times. To pretend the bible addresses science and current civil laws on marriage in our nation is dishonest at best and misusing the bible as a mask for cruelty and prejudice at its worst.

  • Rusty Reiter

    MarioRom: It is true that every nation in history that approved of homosexuality went out of existence, but so did every nation in history that disapproved – that’s why we call them “history.”

  • Rusty Reiter

    Most people who commit “sodomy” (anal sex) are heterosexuals. And oral sex was always included in sodomy laws, and sometimes any sex outside the missionary position was also included. So most Sodomites are heterosexuals. Google “anal sex” and the first five pages you get all are about heterosexuals doing it.

  • paizlea

    Eating too much at Thanksgiving is a sin, too. Have you rebuked your fellow Christians for that?

  • paizlea

    It’s hard to avoid public comments when you make public comments. But good luck with your attempt.

    To your question: all Christians are sinners, so any sinner can be a Christian. At least, that’s what I got from the article.

  • Anna

    There’s a fine line, and I do think it’s important to consider both. I have the privilege of having 2 friends who have privately come out as being homosexual in the last few years. They are all some form of Christian, and they came to me (I’m the child of a pastor) for advice. There are many places in the Bible where it’s explicitly said that homosexuality is a sin. No ifs, ands, or buts about it. It is the same way with divorce. Just because popular culture condones these things doesn’t mean the Church does. However, it’s not right to ostracise these people because of their sin either. We don’t hate the person who lies or takes the Lord’s name in vain. That doesn’t mean it’s okay to let them continue in their sin either, though. Instead, the Bible tells us to show our brother/sister their sin and urge them to repent. My friends may be homosexual, but they don’t act on it. It’s their sin, and they carry the burden of it every day, just as we all carry our burdens. I don’t hate them, but I don’t say that their sin is okay either.

  • Stephanie Page

    Marriage and family is not an exclusive right or privilege and real Christians should not dare to presume to know what God is thinking and deny anyone in an unconventional relationship the happiness of love and family just because it doesn’t follow some moral code that was probably already outdated more than 1000 years ago. We don’t have to agree with it or approve of it but to use a
    sacred text like the Bible to justify imposing or legislating our moral will on
    the private lives of others is one of the most insidious acts of emotional
    terrorism a human being can perpetrate against his fellow man. And it sure as hell is not Christian.

  • Beau Jackson

    Every place in the bible that mentions homosexuality, it is about rape, abuse, idol worship, or a man reduced to the status of a lowly woman. There is not a single condemnation of loving homosexual relationships being bad. I conjecture that homosexual sins are the same as heterosexual sins. It are only sexual activities that cause harm to another that are sinful.

  • Chip

    Rusty, how was I “dishonest”? In relating that evangelical (and other orthodox) Anglican clergy and laity have lamented the way divorce became too commonplace in the church and have worked to effect changes to reverse the tide? (I’ve been at such meetings.) In relating that it now is more difficult to get ordained in such circles? (I know well someone who was not ordained for that reason.) In saying that such concerns have become commonplace among non-Anglican evangelicals as well? (See the more-than-a-few pieces over the last five-to-seven years in which prime evangelical leaders have discussed the scandal of divorce among evangelicals and the need to repent of an overly cavalier acceptance of divorce — including a 2010 Southern Baptist resolution to that effect.)

    Nope, I didn’t lie. Nor did I ever make any statement about it in connection with gays and lesbians. All I did was point out that there are sea changes occurring in the evangelical world concerning divorce in an attempt to reverse the acceptance of it.

  • Beau Jackson

    Leviticus was about treating a man sexually like a woman. In those times, women were property. It was reducing the status of a man. Corinthians was about effeminate men and sodomites are rapists. Romans was about idolaters. All of the homosexual sins in the bible were abusive or reductive to men. None are about loving relationships. Homosexual sins are the same as heterosexual sins.

  • Beau Jackson

    It sounds like you should move to an Amish community.

  • We’re on the same team, but as a personal request, please don’t lump fundamentalist together with the Amish. This is an Anabaptist blog, and the Amish are part of that Anabaptist tradition. They are a very loving and peaceful people– very different from the fundamentalists you’ll encounter here on the blog.

  • Beau Jackson

    As far as I know, the Amish do not accept active homosexuals into their community.

  • Myron Crandall

    As I have grown up, I have become aware that I have an attraction to people of the same sex. Just because I am physically attracted to another guy does not mean that I should pursue a relationship with him. I have found it more rewarding to pursue obedience toward God rather than trying to rationalize my appetites. I perceive homosexuality to be against God’s law. I didn’t choose to be tempted by other men, but I do have a choice whether to give in to that temptation (and I have not always been successful, this is the hardest temptation I have ever faced). We dont necessarily have a choice of what tempts us, but each of us has a choice whether to give in to that temptation or not. Whether it’s gluttony, homosexuality, hate, malice, envy, etc. we all have a choice. Christ says we should pick up our cross and follow him, whatever that cross may be. Let’s do that.

  • onebluestocking

    “that doesn’t mean that the 70’s and 80’s and 90’s didn’t happen” Hey, my church (United Church of Christ) ordained the first openly gay Protestant minister in 1972. Don’t assume every Christian church is the same.

  • onebluestocking

    “The Old Testament – you know – where God originally used the term “Abomination” in reference to homosexual behavior” The same chapter forbids wearing clothing of different fabrics mixed together, eating shellfish, trimming the sides of your beard or getting a tattoo. Pretty much anything is an abomination in Leviticus.

  • onebluestocking

    “neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who
    practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor
    revilers, nor swindlers” Anyone who is divorced and remarried, or rich, or cheats on their taxes, or has one beer too many with any regularity is also included on this list. But you’re probably not fixated on condemning them, because just about everyone has been guilty of one of these things at some time or other. Best to seize upon the one thing you’ll never do and make the argument all about that, conveniently ignoring all of the others.

  • onebluestocking

    She was never a fornicator or prostitute.

  • LivinginVA

    What about those who work on the Sabbath? Do you tell them they are sinning and urge them to repent?

    What if a female friend came to you and said her husband was abusing her? Would you advise her against divorce?

  • LivinginVA

    Suggesting that you know and understand God’s Word better than others is prideful & boasting and people who do that won’t enter heaven either.

    According to you, unless everyone who does any of the following don’t repent, they will not be going to heaven. Heaven is going to be empty.

    Women who don’t wear hats in church
    Those who attend churches with female preachers or Bible study leaders
    Those who remarry after a divorce that isn’t for adultery
    Those who have ever looked with lust on someone
    Gossips
    Those who are jealous
    Comedians

    Swearing on the Bible
    Grumbling or complaining

    (These, by the way are just New Testament. Since you included Leviticus, I could also include: men who shave, anyone who has a tattoo, anyone who eats crab or lobster, etc.)

  • LivinginVA

    Would you be accepting of a Christian woman who openly refused to cover her head in church?

  • AlabamaAnomaly

    I believe that self-righteousness is a manifestation of blasphemy. To think and act as if someone else’s sin is worse than my own separates me from my Redeemer. People who claim Christianity need to take the parables seriously, starting with the Good Samaritan.

  • Annie2591

    Beautifully stated, Benjamin.

  • James Martin

    You can not be a practicing Christian and a practicing any Sin. Clearly there are many sins listed in the Bible, Homosexuality is not all by its self in that category, but it is listed with other sins. The bible says you can not “practice” these sins and go to heaven. We can not just pick out a sin say such as adultery or fornication and say ok well I am good with that even if the Bible says it is wrong.

  • switcherdawna

    Try not confuse Jewish cultural norms of the times with Jesus’ Christian views. Jesus also said ‘he among you who is without sin, let him cast the first stone.’ The Old Testament taught ‘an eye for an eye’… and Jesus corrected that by teaching ‘turn the other cheek’.

  • Daniel Carlson

    Is being a Christian about fitting into a group? Is being a Christian about being “accepted” and “affirmed” by the people around you? No.

    There is one founding principle that cannot be overlooked: Being Christian is about justification by grace through faith. Without this, the church falls and Christianity ceases to be.

    Now, what does this mean, “justification by grace through faith”? Well let’s look at it in the negative: If someone is NOT justified, it means that he stands condemned and facing punishment. Punishment for what? For wrongdoing! Why does that person stand condemned? Because without faith, the grace of God stops at the door of the heart.

    What IS that door? Unbelief. Obstinance. A hatred toward God. Thus before someone can take on the title “Christian,” the door of the heart must be opened.

    Let’s be clear: God is the only one who can open that door of unbelief. But what is it called when the door is finally opened? REPENTANCE. Repent of what? Unbelief, obstinance, and the very root and nature of unbelief which is sin.

    It does no one any good, in fact it is a boldface LIE, to tell someone that what God calls sin is really not sin. Why? Because if I tell a homosexual that it’s ok to remain homosexual and to continue to practice it, then I am not leading them to repentance, and the door of the heart remains closed. There can be no faith in the true Christ if there is a refusal to repent.

    This reality is the same for anyone, for any sin, for any lifestyle which defies God’s order of creation, God’s plan for humanity, and God’s desire for marriage to be a true symbol of Christ and the Church (bride and bridegroom).

    Now repentance doesn’t mean that they should no longer struggle WITH sin (such foolish pentecostal teaching is VERY harmful to the weak of faith), but what it does mean is the acknowledgement OF sin.

    Acknowledging sin, confession, repentance IS a JOY! Why? Because by faith we know that God forgives sins and loves to do it! To tell a person that their action or lifestyle isn’t sin (when it clearly is) does not ease the conscience or create true joy. I would much rather tell a sinner that he IS a sinner, and that God loves to forgive sins, than tell him he isn’t a sinner and that there’s no sin for God to forgive.

    You you think Kind David never struggled with lust after he acknowledged His sin in Psalm 50? I’m sure he did, but he lived a life of repentance; he admitted the sin and allowed God’s Holy Spirit to lead him and guide him in the true way, and this is why he was a “man after God’s own heart.”

    THAT IS FAITH! Faith is not “I believe in Jesus, but only if Jesus conforms to my ego”, no. Faith is “I know I am a sinner, and I know Jesus died for me; may God grant me the Holy Spirit and the faith to sin no more.”

    This is the whole vain issue with the Historical Critical method of biblical interpretation. It assumes that the interpreter knows better than God – and that is a very VERY scary assumption for anyone to make, especially for people who label themselves as “trained evangelical conservative theologians”.

  • mgsulli

    So, Lynn, is it possible that YOU share their darkness due to your judgmental attitude? Just asking.

  • Darach Conneely

    If Anglicanism is a return to the Vincentian Canon, that is still overturning 1,100 years of Catholic tradition. Vines questioning of tradition simply goes back further to look at what Paul actually says. I am sure you can find a minority of scholars who argue for the traditional interpretation of arsenokoites, but it means people are being condemned and excluded in church based on an obscure word scholars disagree on. I have looked at the Greek texts used to try to understand the word and the meaning really isn’t clear.

  • s dubbya

    This is disqus. If you’re hearing voices, you should see a Dr.

  • Doug Truitt

    Do you mean concluding God doesn’t prescribe polygamy or that rather than condemn polygamy God chose to work through polygamists? I guess it’s possible to conclude God prescribed polygamy in the case of Levirate marriage, but those aren’t the examples of polygamy in the Bible.

    Regarding not condemning polygamy – With all the examples of polygamous marriages in the Bible, not once is anyone called to repent of them. Instead God founds the tribes of Israel through polygamy, he chooses the polygamist Gideon to defeat the Midianites and makes him a Judge of Israel, God makes the polygamist David King of Israel, uses him to pen Scripture and calls him a man after his own heart, and the genealogies showing the legitimacy of Christ as heir to the line of Judah pass through polygamous relationships. The list of the Old Testament heroes of the faith in Hebrews includes several polygamists. So we have several examples of people in the Bible whose marriages don’t conform to the “traditional” model of marriage that we derive from Genesis. Rather than condemn them for their disobedience and call them to repent, God promotes them to leadership positions, writes scripture through them, considers the offspring of their relationships legitimate, and honors them in the New Testament. If non-conforming marriage is sinful don’t you think God would have at least once pronounced it so?

  • Peter Jensen

    Funny – at my tribe’s conservative church we have gay people in it – however at a liberal church of YOUR tribe, I got shunned for my “Bush ’04” sticker.

  • Chip

    Darach, I said “Vincentian canon-like.” The original text of the Quad refers to “the early undivided Church,” normally taken to mean the early Church Fathers.

  • jak

    Yes. The problem lies, at least in part, in the new translations and interpretations of the BIble. I am divorced, but that was before I was saved. Now that I’ve been saved, it doesn’t relieve me from having problems in my marriage, it merely influences me to try to work things out instead of resorting to (the easy way out) divorce.

    The same can be said in the case of gays. The Bible is very clear that;
    Rev 21:8 But people who are cowardly, unfaithful, detestable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars will find themselves in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This is the second death.”

    So, our love towards everyone, including gays, is not to alienate them, but to bring them to the warning of what the Bible truly says in order for them to repent and be saved.

    This is what Jesus was doing during His ministry, and what we, as Christians, should be doing as well, as the ulitmate act of love.

  • jak

    Here’s the actual verse.
    Luk 16:18 Whosoever putteth away his wife, and marrieth another, committeth adultery: and whosoever marrieth her that is put away from her husband committeth adultery.

  • jak

    Rev 21:8 But people who are cowardly, unfaithful, detestable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars will find themselves in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This is the second death.”

    Actually, divorcees would fall into this category as well as gays. Divorcees who have remarried, fall into adultery, which is sexual sin. The same as homosexuality.

  • Stephanie Page

    The Bible was written by men who were inspired by their
    belief in God and let’s not forget that the earliest books were originally
    transmitted for thousands of years orally before being written down by Moses
    and other early prophets and their perception of God was skewed by the human frailties of bigotry, ignorance and the ultimate conceit that they alone were “God’s
    Chosen People”. In fact a good case could be made that much of the Old Testament could well serve as an example of how NOT to be a Christian. Marriage was not as sacred to the ancient Israelites as fundamentalist Protestants would have you believe. It was perfectly alright for Abraham to have sex with his wife’s handmaiden with his wife’s blessing, Kings David and Solomon (who was a product of David’s illicit affair with another man’s wife) both had harems of many wives and Lot had sex with both of his daughters, using the excuse that is even oft repeated today, “boy was I drunk last night.”

    Even the famous Leviticus quotes are erroneous translations of the Fourth Century Greek transcripts from which all Biblical translations (except the King James Version) derive as the majority of the Hebrew and Aramaic manuscripts were long destroyed before the books of the Old Testament were translated into other languages (the so called “Ark of the Covenant”, which was said to contain all of the biblical manuscripts up to the time of King David, probably burned along
    with the Temple in Jerusalem, 586 B.C.E. and the remaining and newer ones perished when the Romans leveled the second Temple in 70 A.D.). The actual literal translation from the Koine Greek manuscript of Leviticus reads “If a man lie
    with a man AND a woman together in a woman’s bed, it is an abomination.” This is clearly not a reference to homosexuality but refers to a practice which we today call a “menage à trios.” The ancient Israelites were not concerned
    with homosexuality; they were too busy having sex with their wife’s handmaidens
    and their sheep. Of course, none of this has any meaning for the fanatical Fundamentalist heretics who preach the hatred and bigotry that is the hallmark of the Puritan Protestantism on which the United States was founded. The fact that they believe the Bible is the “actual word of God” instead of a collection of verses first delivered orally by men who were inspired by their belief in God and read and quote the King James Version, a work of fiction freely translated from the Latin Vulgate and several untrustworthy heretical sources and not even
    considered a legitimate translation of the Holy Scriptures by real Christians,
    says volumes about what judgmental, hate-filled bigots they are. This is not to say that all Protestants are not real Christians; you don’t have to belong to any Church or Denomination to be a Christian, but if such people are real Christians it is in spite of being Fundamentalist Protestant, never because of it.

  • Andrew Dowling

    You were denied communion or fellowship with the church because you had a Bush sticker on your car? . . . forgive me for completely not believing you.

  • Andrew Dowling

    I have to correct something I’ve seen in all of these comments. Paul never says “if you do these things, you don’t get to heaven.”

    Newsflash. Paul did not believe in “heaven.” Heaven was not a live concept among 2nd Temple Jews in the 40s and 50s AD. Paul believed in a general Resurrection of the Dead (a one-time event, and believed it would happen before he died . . whoops) . .when Paul speaks of “Kingdom” he could be referring to the state of being post Resurrection or he may even be referring to the “present” spiritual Kingdom extolled by Jesus. He did not believe in “souls” that rise to a place called “heaven” when you die . . that is Platonic thought that mixed with Christian thought in the 2nd century when it became clear Jesus wasn’t coming back anytime soon. Go seek the prominent conservative NT scholars (Wright, Hurtado) if you don’t believe me.

    So stop mistranslating Paul. It’s annoying.

  • Gay marriage. The abomination that causes desolation.

  • Comradebg

    I would conjecture that taking a highly evolved, astronomically complex structure of humanly developed rules and regulations which were built WHOLLY on considerations of the implications and ramifications of heterosexual capability to conceive a human being and implying that they represent the framework of authority one should use as a guide for assessing activities which have ABSOLUTELY NO REPRODUCTIVE CAPABILITY is a demonstration of the dreadful standard for religious thought processes. That abysmally-reasoned condemnations of homosexuality have been such a pervasive part of religious practice for so long begs the question of why anyone should assign credibility to any other conclusions that are products of such an abysmal process.

  • Comradebg

    Is the sin of arrogance committed when one merely satisfies himself that his own lazy, unjustifiably-reasoned construct for assigning sinfulness to others is correct or must he openly state his condemnation in order to commit the sin of arrogance? And if he states it but nobody hears him, is it still a sin?

  • Teddytoy

    jak.. in your quote.. there is not one word about gays.. and if you claim to be ‘Christian’ you should be following Christ’s words not a man’s writings. Christ NEVER mentioned gays .. he never condemned or judged them.. He did however heal a guards male lover and then instructed the guard to go home and care for his lover. Christ also never condemned gay marriage. it was a normal thing of that time.. only man has made that up.

  • Teddytoy

    Once again your quote says NOTHING about gays .. And where are Christ’s words? Is he not the core of the ‘Christian’ faith? Why then are you quoting a man’s comments instead of Christ’s? Is it because Christ NEVER said one thing against gays. BTW.. Sodomy is actually a sin against caring or not being hospitable towards guests.. again nothing about gays.. It does also mention the sins of gluttony in those verses .. but nothing about gays.

  • Teddytoy

    Mario.. actually you are wrong.. Homosexuality was very common then. Even when the Catholic Church was forming they had a rite of matrimony for two men. Do you remember where Christ healed a guards male lover and then instructed the guard to go home and care for his lover?

  • Teddytoy

    ahh but see this is where there is a problem.. “the sin of sodom was gluttony and not being hospitable to guests”… It never mentions a ‘sin of homosexuality’

  • jak

    Teddytoy, first thing one must do is define “sexually immoral”. Secondly, the Bible says,

    Joh 1:1 In the beginning, the Word existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God.
    Joh 1:2 He existed in the beginning with God.
    Joh 1:3 Through him all things were made, and apart from him nothing was made that has been made.
    Joh 1:4 In him was life, and that life brought light to humanity.

    The common understanding is that Jesus is the “Word” and, if He created everything, then it was He who in the Old Testament, destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah because of:
    2Pe 2:10 especially those (who satisfy their flesh by indulging in its passions and who despise authority). Being bold and arrogant,

    Earlier in the passage Peter explains:

    2Pe 2:6 and if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and destroyed them by burning them to ashes, making them an example to ungodly people of what is going to happen to them;

    There are many other similar verses, but ultimately the whole argument about gays as well as all other arguments, are merely a distraction from the true message of the Bible. So, if you would like to discuss that, I would love to.
    By the way, thank you for your response.

  • Why use 2Peter for a proof text on why God destroyed Sodom when there’s an actual verse in scripture, that explicitly states why he did it?

  • jak

    Who cares how many verses there? Either one believes what the verses state or not, it’s just trying to create rabbit to chase. but that’s not the real issue no matter how much one tries to point in that direction.

  • Nope. You cited a verse as if it claimed why God destroyed Sodom… I was simply inviting you to go see what scripture actually says about it. I’ll give you a hint– there’s only 2, one is explicit (OT) and one is implicit (NT). It’s not a rabbit chase, just scripture… if that’s what you’re building your opinion from.

  • Melinda Hailey

    I reconcile by using the brain God gave me instead of blindly following someone else’s interpretation. Try it sometime, it’s very enlightening. This conversation is over, I am tired of banging my head into your wall.

  • gimpi1

    Thank you for your reply, Jak, but you didn’t actually address my question. Citing scripture is not proof to someone that does not regard it as inerrant. Even Christians of the same denomination disagree on interpretations. Proof would be actual evidence that Rob’s statement is factual or not. Quotes, no matter the source don’t constitute proof.

    (end lecture mode:-)

  • gimpi1

    Actually, I would view this as evidence that God, if there is a God, perhaps has greater issues on the plate than how we humans marry. I’ve never quite grasped the “God as micro-manager” meme.

    But if you believe that God has specific plans for human marriages, you would have to accept that God has changed that plan several times over historical time. If that’s true, it would be consistent to allow for further changes, such as egalitarian marriages or same-sex marriages. At that’s least how I see it.

  • gimpi1

    If I’ve jumped to inaccurate conclusions, I apologize. Were did I get off the track?

    I feel that I have a pretty clear of the good and the bad of organized religion. If you see errors I’ve fallen into, let me know. I don’t know everything, that’s for sure.

    I understand the positive force religion can be. Do you understand how negative certainty and the desire to judge others can become? I view a bit of doubt as a positive thing. For reasons I don’t fully understand, people of faith both claim to be totally certain of their beliefs and seem to be insecure enough about them to condemn anyone who doesn’t share them. That can be a bad mix.

    And, for that reason, I apologize if I’ve come off as condemning. Everyone has the right to their beliefs. I just get testy when I perceive people wanting to inshrine their beliefs in law. That practice often takes away that very right of belief for others. If that’s not your goal, I have no issue with you.

  • Doug Truitt

    gimpi1: This whole discussion presumes a starting point of faith, including the belief that God has given us a reliable and authoritative guide in the Bible. If you don’t share that view than any of our arguments on either side of the questions about God and homosexuality will probably seem like nonsense to you. If one believes in God as viewed by Christianity, omniscient, omnipotent, and omnibenevolent, there is no difficulty in conceiving of God as being concerned with the smallest details of creation. For me, starting from that position of faith and applying conservative, orthodox principles for understanding and interpreting the Bible, I can find nothing in the Bible that leads to the conclusion that God would condemn or oppose same-sex marriage or consider LGBT believers as anything other than full, equal partners in the Body of Christ, the Church. What I have found, over and over again, are conservative Bible scholars who are willing to read into passages meaning that isn’t there, and who all too easily remove passages from their original textual and historical context in order to support their conclusions. In doing so they not only become a stumbling block for people coming to faith, they also cause considerable harm in the lives of people who are beloved by God. As a former philosophy major it’s easy for me to get caught up in the debate, and I have to keep reminding myself that what really matters is that God has called me to love others with the same sacrificial love with which Christ loves me.

  • gimpi1

    I wasn’t aware that a “This whole discussion presumes starting point of faith, including the belief that God has given us a reliable and authoritative guide in the Bible.” I thought it was about weather that belief should have any standing in law. At least that’s what I was talking about.

    That said, I’m glad you have come to believe that your concept of God would condemn same-sex marriage. If I did find myself drawn to a belief in divinity, I would be much more able to accept a divine plan that is open and inclusive to all. The idea of a God that discriminates based on sexual orientation is, to me, no more loving than a God that discriminates on the basis of race.

  • MarioRom

    I can understand what you say but nowhere in the account does it stipulate that the “servant” was a man.

  • MarioRom

    Okay, I’ll pay. Homosexuality is NOT mentioned. It goes more like this… Leviticus 18:22
    “You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination.”

  • jak

    First, Sodom and Gomorrah were judged because of grave sin. Genesis 18:20 says, “And the Lord said, ‘The outcry of Sodom and Gomorrah is indeed great, and their sin is exceedingly grave.'” Indeed, not even ten righteous people could be found in the city.”

    Second, it seems the judgment of these cities was to serve as a lesson to Abraham and to others that wickedness would be punished. In 2 Peter 2:6 we learn that God condemned and destroyed the cities as “an example to those who would live ungodly thereafter.”

    Third, peculiar qualities of the sin are described by Jude and Peter. Jude 7 depicts the activity as “gross immorality” and going after “strange flesh.”[4] Peter wrote that Lot was “oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men,” and “by what he saw and heard…felt his righteous soul tormented day after day with their lawless deeds.” These people were “those who indulged the flesh in its corrupt desires and despised authority” (2 Peter 2:7-10).

    Fourth, there are 27 references outside of Genesis where Sodom is mentioned. It is emblematic of gross immorality, deepest depravity, and ultimate judgment.

    Rev 21:8 But people who are cowardly, unfaithful, detestable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars will find themselves in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur. This is the second death.”

    So, one understanding of Rev. 21:8, is that
    – cowards, includes those afraid to lift up Jesus
    – unfaithful includes, among others, those who misrepresent Jesus
    – detestable, many understand this correctly

    – murderers, also those who hate others
    – sexually immoral – what we are discussing
    – sorcerers, that’s another discussion
    – idolaters, which most would be surprised what this includes.
    – liars, which also includes (excluding the truth), as well as much other facets.

    So in conclusion, I’m not saying that gays are bad people, I am merely conveying that the understanding that I have from the Bible, based on prophecies which have been proven true and fulfilled, includes warnings, that I simply forward to those, like myself, who are, or seem to be, not living according to It’s precepts in order to save them from ultimate torment.

  • Doug Truitt

    gimpi1: by “this whole discussion” I was referring to Benjamin’s article about books by Matthew Vines and Greg Boyd and this discussion thread regarding that. I’m sure there are plenty of posts here that address the issue outside of the Biblical and theological debate, and I apologize for posting something that makes it sound like I’m somehow privileged to define the parameters of the discussion. It seems to me that in the United States the Establishment Clause and the right to Equal Protection under the Fourteenth Amendment should be enough to determine that laws against marriage equality shouldn’t have legal standing. My posts above were in response to the notion that the Bible condemns same-sex marriage and homosexuality. I expect there are a lot of things we agree about.

  • Rebecca

    ha ha ha ha ha…please

  • Alan

    Many of you need to re-read the first paragraph of this heartfelt article. The level of unthinking cruelty in so many responses here is one of the reasons that Christianity has increasingly become something that represents an exclusive club of unthinking, self-congratulatory coldness.

  • Drea

    So many here are saying”It’s 2014,get with the times.”Jesus is the same yesterday,today and forever….He doesn’t change.God hates divorce and that is no ones fault but man’s, as well for everything that was written for people to live by his word in Obedience.People are always gonna do what they want.from a lie to homosexuality,it’s a sin.Read your bible,it’s in there.You might not like what it says,I don’t like what a lot has to say,but it is the word of God and i believe it.Please don’t hate me,i didn’t write it.Here is a link about this subject.Don’t trust man,trust the bible.Question: “What does the Bible say about homosexuality? Is homosexuality a sin?”
    Answer:The Bible consistently tells us that homosexual activity is a sin (Genesis 19:1-13;Leviticus 18:22;20:13;Romans 1:26-27;1 Corinthians 6:9).Romans 1:26-27teaches specifically that homosexuality is a result of denying and disobeying God. When people continue in sin and unbelief, God “gives them over” to even more wicked and depraved sin in order to show them the futility and hopelessness of life apart from God.1 Corinthians 6:9proclaims that homosexual “offenders” will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    God does not create a person with homosexual desires. The Bible tells us that people become homosexuals because of sin (Romans 1:24-27) and ultimately because of their own choice. A person may be born with a greater susceptibility to homosexuality, just as some people are born with a tendency to violence and other sins. That does not excuse the person’s choosing to sin by giving in to sinful desires. If a person is born with a greater susceptibility to anger/rage, does that make it right for him to give into those desires? Of course not! The same is true with homosexuality.

    However, the Bible does not describe homosexuality as a “greater” sin than any other. All sin is offensive to God. Homosexuality is just one of the many things listed in1 Corinthians 6:9-10that will keep a person from the kingdom of God. According to the Bible, God’s forgiveness is just as available to a homosexual as it is to an adulterer, idol worshipper, murderer, thief, etc. God also promises the strength for victory over sin, including homosexuality, to all those who will believe in Jesus Christ for their salvation (1 Corinthians 6:11;2 Corinthians 5:17;Philippians 4:13).

    Read more:http://www.gotquestions.org/homosexuality-Bible.html#ixzz34DXs4eHW

  • James Walker

    then don’t practice any sin, including the sin of trying to judge whether other people are or are not sinning. it’s not your place to try and convict others. that’s the proper office of the Holy Spirit.

  • James Walker

    God does not create a person with homosexual desires.

    this is a load of hogwash.

    does God create people who have the external genitalia of both male and female? (hint: the answer is yes) if the doctor surgically “assigns” a female gender to such a person but they identify as male and are attracted to women, are they going against God because they are externally a female seeking to have a relationship with another female? (hint: the answer is no)

    who are you to judge what God intends for another person? your name is not Holy Spirit. I admonish you, as Paul did the church at Thessalonica, to work with your own hands and to work out your own salvation.

  • Drea

    Who am I to Judge?

    Like i said;Don’t hate me for saying it,i didn’t say it,God did.Not once but MANY times in the bible.Wanna share the gospel,TELL THEM THE TRUTH.BTW,working out your own salvation is not sinning while you already know you’re in sin.you repent and learn to be OBEDIENT.I lived the Gay life stile for 25 years.I’m working out my salvation.you can enjoy the “flesh”.

  • Rob Ward

    Please, read the response to Matthew Vines’ book. It’s a short read and costs $0.99 on Kindle. http://www.amazon.com/God-Gay-Christian-Response-Conversant-ebook/dp/B00KBA8L9Q/

  • gimpi1

    Internet discussions tend to wind down many an unusual path, don’t they? I just posted on a discussion that started out about overprotective fathers and wandered into an alley about jello salads. Really, jello salads. No apology necessary.

    I think you’re right, we would mostly agree. Even if we don’t, that’s fine. That’s what makes horses race. The only issue I have is when a religious group tries to write their beliefs into secular law. To my mind it’s no more reasonable to have laws against same-sex marriage based on Biblical principles than it is to ban pork products based on the same Biblical rules.

    The fact that we’ve had those laws in the past is no reason to keep them, in my mind. We’ve had laws condoning slavery and segregation. Those laws were wrong. So are laws telling adults who they can marry, as I see it.

  • JoAnn Forsberg

    Wrote this poem today. Hope it brings some beauty to you on the inside.

    http://joannforsberg.wix.com/love-sets-us-free

  • Darach Conneely

    That just means they change 1,500 years of tradition instead of 1,100 my point remains.

  • Brent

    Chip, thanks for the response. I am aware that there are a number of groups who are making this trek back to earlier understandings. (However, those who have taken substantive changes tend to be small in number. The SBC has made strong statements but as of yet have not taken steps to enforce strong discipline.)

    Also, I have been doing some research on the historical viewpoint of the church in general and in my grouping…the Church of God. (I teach in the area of postmodernism and my focus is moving towards how relationship is viewed in postmodernity versus modern and pre-modern eras.)

    In 1910 our national ministerial fellowship put out a letter to all churches concerning a change in their stand on divorce. These ministers took the stand that those in 2nd marriages (without the previous spouse having died) did not need to divorce their second wives if they did not know that divorcing their first wife and and then remarrying were wrong. Otherwise the expectation (in keeping with verses like Mt. 5:32) was that the 2nd marriage was illegitimate and constituted not only an act of adultery but also a state of adultery. One could not willfully remain in this state and be a child of God. These ministers were assaulted as liberals by many other groupings for caving in on their theology in order to accommodate the flood of divorces that were happening at that time. (What they considered a flood would be barely a trickle today.)

  • sherry

    “…the easy way out?” You’re kidding, right? I am a life-long christian (you call it “saved”), and I consider divorce a “valley of death” which I am currently walking though. Thirty years married through many difficult times (serial adulterer), and still, the divorce is horrible. I challenge your interpretation of the scripture: sexually immoral≠homosexuality.

  • Russell

    Of course “gay” Christians exist! So do Christian pedophiles, murderers, thieves, embezzlers and adulterers. All Christians are self proclaimed sinners but we try not to sin again. Acknowledging homosexuality as sin free is tantamount to utilizing the same “logic” to arrive at personal irresponsibility for any other sinful behavior. Why is murder a sin? There’s as much “evidence” that criminals have a genetic predisposition to crime as there is for environmental-familial circumstances. It’s a cop out. I’m not homosexual but I’ve struggled with sexual addictions and behaviors for a lifetime. It would be so much easier to take the “victimless sinner” defense and just say “whatever!” One’s sins should be a matter between yourself and God, not media and the pop culture. The obsession with homosexuality is not with the church . . . it’s with those who choose to make it a political and social cause simply because they can!

  • Russell

    Cultural attitude and church law are ions apart especially if you’re Roman Catholic like me. I’m also a retired attorney and divorced. One need only look to the ruin and wreckage of families that divorce creates long after it is over.

  • Russell

    Freedom of “choice?” With limits or not?

  • Russell

    There’s already a power struggle between the sexes and now we have a third, fourth or perhaps even fifth gender/lifestyle to contend with.

  • Russell

    We can all thank Henry VIII I suppose.

  • Russell

    I received an annulment in the Catholic Church and I know it was painful for my former spouse who was not Catholic but Jewish. These kinds of issues are horribly painful to decipher and discern.

  • Rosanna Miller

    Sounds like a Muslim belief, not a Christian one. But that was not my point. There are no such thing as a homosexual Christian. There are Christians and there are sinners. A Christian may fall but they do not remain in the sinful state. They repent and reconcile themselves back with the Father.

  • LivinginVA

    “But every woman who has her head uncovered while praying or prophesying disgraces her head”

    1 Corinthians 11:6

    So you will now wear head coverings in church so you are no longer in a sinful state?

    Gluttony is a sin – anyone who is obese or who looks forwards to pigging out on Thanksgiving is a sinner and therefore not a Christian, right?

  • Rosanna Miller

    What does that have to do with what I asked the author of the post?

    Are you even a Christian? If I sin, then my Father deals eith me in my spirit. My conscience bears witness of if I am sinning against God. I don’t need to discuss with you what He has me do or not.

    So is this your acknowledgment that you know that homosexuality is a sin? Sounds like you do and that is good because it is. If you know that those things you asked me about are sins then to you they are sins for you. And you know you shouldn’t do them, so don’t.

  • LivinginVA

    You said that one can’t be Christian and homosexual. According to your standards, one cannot be a glutton and look forward to pigging out at Thanksgiving and be a Christian.

    Yes, I’m a Christian. No, I don’t believe homosexuality is a sin. Just as I don’t believe a woman who divorces an abusive but faithful spouse is committing adultery if she remarries – in spite of what the Bible says. Just as I don’t believe it is a sin for a woman to not cover her hair while praying.

    “If I sin, then my Father deals eith me in my spirit. My conscience bears witness of if I am sinning against God. I don’t need to discuss with you what He has me do or not.” — yet you think the same is not true of other people.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “Fifth, it’s dangerous to impose new interpretations on scripture. There is a reason why certain passages have been interpreted a certain way for thousands of years. It’s like we think that we are the first Christians who have the tools to see what’s really going on in the text. As though the Holy Spirit as not been active in illumination until now.”

    NEW interpretations based on current societal understanding of language, and frankly based on who was in power at the time of said translations, have been occurring for hundreds of years. Every generation and every person comes at the Bible with the knowledge and influence of the world as they know it coming into play.

    MEANING is not a completely static thing, as dictionaries even in English have adjusted and altered to keep up with how word usage has changed. Why should this one particular translation or interpretation of this passage of the Bible remain completely unchanged? Or were alterations such as adding the word homosexual to the NKJV in 1946 acceptable reinterpretations? Are we just supposed to declare that everyone who translated the Bible before we were born was correct, and that’s the only way to interpret it? Should we not be asking the Holy Spirit to illuminate the meaning of the texts as individuals in our own personal studies? I personally think it’s each individual believer’s responsibility to work the Scripture in his or her OWN faith walk, not just parrot back what we are told. Otherwise, how are we to be personally enlightened by the Scriptures?

    So, to paraphrase your last sentence: “As though new interpretations of the Bible have not been actively happening until now.”

  • docwatson

    Romans 1:26-27 pretty much says it all.

  • Romans 8:38-39 pretty much says it all.

  • docwatson

    You’re out of context here since it’s important to read the **rest** of Romans 8 to put it in full perspective; specifically 8:5-8 and onwards.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Actually the New Testament as a whole says it ALL. Presenting 2 verses and saying that is the only possible impression to have about homosexuality is myopic at best.

  • docwatson

    If telling a Biblical truth is cruel, then you’re into 2 Tim 4:3 territory for anything else.

  • docwatson

    I’ll agree we aren’t to judge but DO have a clear responsibility to point out errors and sins to our brothers and sisters in Christ.

  • James Walker

    no, actually. if you’re referring to the passage in Matthew 18, the best translation is “offends you” rather than the more general “sins” as it appears in the NIV and the NASB. so, Jesus is not instructing His followers to point out errors and sins generally among their fellow believers, but rather instructing them on a systematic method of dealing with interpersonal conflicts within the body of believers.

  • docwatson

    You’re deliberately avoiding the writings of the New Testament; Luke – a physician and scientist of his time – went around Judea and sought out the first person narratives of everyone who was around Christ during His time here. This wasn’t ‘my cousin’s brother-in-law saw that guy 10 years ago..’, it was people who were literally *there* – people who had been personally healed by him, people who personally witnessed His execution on the cross, people who were in Jerusalem at the same time and personally witnessed His resurrection. IMHO, Luke’s Gospel is the litmus test of the New Testament.

    The New Testament is where much of where the source material that’s been quoted here in regards to homosexual sex and Liberal/Progressive/Jesus Project folks want to denigrate His deity and choose 2 Tim 4:3 over good and sound teaching.

  • Martin Heward-Mills

    Heather go and sin no more…remember that

  • Martin Heward-Mills

    Benjamin…can you perhaps shed some light then on what a progressive considers to be sexual sin ?

  • Alan

    I’m sure many of the people here would be convinced that they are speaking from a position of “sound doctrine”, and if Biblical truth were that clear, it wouldn’t have been a source of argument for the past two millennia. However, fencing with bible verses is a activity which only emphasizes the point I made above.

  • Jeff Preuss

    And the thing that many folks who insist there is no reinterpretation/translation/discernment by the individual believer to be had, then I always remind them that has been occurring for CENTURIES. Theology has been debated as long as the Bible has been collected into a unit, and anyone who acts like the interpretation of ANY of it has remained the same since Jesus walked the Earth is kidding themselves.

  • Jeff Preuss

    We do go and sin no more, when we do not believe that being gay is a sin.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Ah, but you base that responsibility on YOUR interpretation of the theology, an interpretation that some of us do not share. And, before you get into stating it’s the only way to interpret it, remember there are many detailed issues that have many interpretations based on Scripture, such as the role of women in church, owning slaves, wearing mixed fabrics, eating shellfish, yet you do not see much of anyone going around, pointing fingers at women who are leading church services or entering a church with their heads uncovered, and calling them unrepentant sinners or false Christians…without being considered pretty ridiculous.

    There are those folks who think that watching R-rated movies are a sin, based on THEIR interpretation of Scriptures. Yet, they do no regularly “point out the errors” of their brothers and sisters in Christ who differ on their theological interpretation of an R-rated movie. And, if they do “point out that sin,” they’re usually met with a fair amount of skepticism.

    If we attended the same branch of a denomination as you, and espoused following the EXACT same theological positions as you, you MIGHT have a case about pointing out our errors. Yet, Christianity is a broad and multifaceted approach to following the Lord, with not every one agreeing on EVERY detail. (Or even which Books constitute the Bible.)

    We follow God. We have walks with Christ. We study, pray, and discern meaning from the Scripture. But, we do not agree with you that being gay is a sin. So, you do NOT need to continue to lecture us that it is.

    (The BEST metaphor I read in any of these discussions is to say that I am a meateater, and you are a vegetarian because you think eating meat is wrong. Now, obviously we are BOTH human beings who consume food, and can coexist with our beliefs peacefully, knowing we don’t agree on what is okay to eat. However, as SOON as you start lecturing me about how WRONG [sinful] it is to eat meat, when I clearly do not believe it is yet I STILL qualify as someone who eats, not a “false eater” then you have crossed a line.)

  • Martin Heward-Mills

    thats where the issue is. Giving Value doesn’t mean the sin isn’t sin. God ordained that sex is only for `marriage. And that Marriage is between a man and a woman. He is aware that people have urges but the argument that God didn’t understand homosexuality is making God very small….Jesus in the new testament is of course love but its not a love of Sin

  • Martin Heward-Mills

    This is again not true… There is nothing that suggests the man’s servant was anything but his servant

  • Martin Heward-Mills

    This I guess that would follow for murder and sterling and adultery… Or?

  • Jeff Preuss

    And, as has been stated multiple times here and elsewhere, there is a theological differing on the interpretation of Scripture in regards to this issue, so we are not just “giving value to a sin,” we actually do not believe it IS a sin. I don’t know how more simply I could have phrased that when I first said it.
    This isn’t about ‘urges.’
    So, continuing to tell us to “go and sin no more” is pointless, because we do not think it is a sin to be gay, nor act upon it within a committed relationship.

  • Jeff Preuss

    And, I personally don’t think “God didn’t understand homosexuality” because of COURSE he did and does, but I do wholeheartedly believe that the men who wrote down the words that make up the Scripture did NOT understand it. And, no matter how divinely inspired they might have been, they were still just men with their own prejudices and failings.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Your comparison is invalid, as each of those has a direct victim as a result of a choice that is made. Homosexuality derived from an orientation that is apparently wired into us just like heterosexuality is wired into you is simply NOT the same as murdering someone, stealing from someone, or cheating on your spouse. And you good and well know it.

  • Martin Heward-Mills

    But then you have an issue if you call Homosexual natural then the bible that calls it unatural is wrong ?…and when does sexual sin become not sin because of a commited relationship…that would mean David was not guilty of adultery with bathsheba because he married her …even though Jesus was a decesndent of solomon that resulted from the union David was still punished severely

  • Jeff Preuss

    Hi! Perhaps you haven’t been paying attention. We do not think the Bible calls it unnatural!
    Seriously.

  • Martin Heward-Mills

    Jeff i have listened to Matthew Vine and appreciate the arguments not that i agree with them. I think i need and humbly ask how being committed and loving changes the language here

    Romans 1
    24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

    26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Martin. I am not here to debate the theological interpretations of the Scriptures with you. There are many MANY other places on this progressive channel that outline the places felt open to interpretation. My point that I will reiterate with you ONE FINAL TIME is that we have already reached a point in our OWN study and discernment from the Scriptures at which we do NO believe it to be a sin. Many Christians over the thousands of years since He walked the Earth have disagreed with interpretations of Scripture as a matter of theology over ALL manner of details, yet we are ALL still Christians.

    We disagree that this is a sin, yet your argument is always summed up as “But, it’s a sin.”

    NO. We do not think it IS. You are free to disagree as part of your own path to the Almighty, however, it is fruitless and more than a little condescending for you to continue to assert your position as the only valid interpretation/translation of any Scripture. Especially when your position limits the civil freedoms of an entire group of people.

    Have a brilliant day. I think your horse is dead, so you may want to stop beating it.

  • docwatson

    I’m walking with 6,000 years of Jewish and Christian theology, law, tradition, and exegesis. You’re right, your own conscience should dictate where that collection of Truth in the Word of God and the greater Church clashes with what is clearly anathema.

  • Martin Heward-Mills

    I agree and I will refrain.
    Just remember that Christianity is founded upon Jesus saying I am a the way the truth and the life and I think you have to admit that fundamentally infringes on Muslims Jews Hindu.. And all other religions. Bear that in mind

  • Jeff Preuss

    And, I follow Jesus and his teachings. Thanks. :)

  • Jeff Preuss

    It is clearly anathema to YOU. It is not so clearly anathema to ME, and I walk with the same 6000 years of Jewish and Christian theology, law, tradition, and exegesis. This is not the FIRST detail from Scripture that is debated from multiple theological angles, nor will it be the LAST. We are all still Christians if we follow Christ as our Savior, even if we disagree on the finer points.

  • Do you really think so? I think there are some pretty significant differences.

  • docwatson

    I’m not above and education so, please, cite with references the 6000 years of Biblical theology, law, tradition, and exegesis that actively supports homosexuality. I’m looking at Luther’s commentary right now (cross-referenced of course) and can’t find a single supporting position on being gay in his writings. Are you saying that Martin Luther was wrong in his interpretation of the Word? How about Tertullian, Saint Augustine, Catherine of Siena, Justin Martyr, and Clement of Alexandria – did they *all* get it wrong?

    Let’s go back to the Torah, was *GOD* wrong about it?

    To say so, is arrogance and self-serving of an unsupportable position within the Church.

  • Jeff Preuss
  • docwatson

    I’ll take the sigh as an admittance of failure to argue cogently since there is *no* support for your position in Biblical theology, law, tradition, and exegesis.

  • docwatson

    Let’s all cut to the chase:

    I’d love to have anyone supporting this position cite – with references – from the 6000 years of Biblical theology, law, tradition, and exegesis that actively
    supports homosexuality. I’m looking at Luther’s commentary right now
    (cross-referenced of course) and can’t find a single supporting position
    on being gay in his writings. Are you all saying that Martin Luther was
    wrong in his interpretation of the Word? How about Tertullian, Saint
    Augustine, Catherine of Siena, Justin Martyr, and Clement of Alexandria –
    did they *all* get it wrong?

    Let’s go back to the Torah, was *GOD* wrong about it?

    To say so, is arrogance and self-serving of an unsupportable position within the Church.

  • Jeff Preuss

    It’s no admittance of defeat, you sanctimonious buffoon.

    It’s the realization that you will not accept arguments made on this blog and on other blogs on this channel and the links provided therein as valid. We do not expect you to have to AGREE with us on these theological points, we simply expect you to ALLOW that we have reached these conclusions, different conclusions from yours, with the full study and discernment that is due them. But, despite HOW many times it is presented to you, nor the number of times we tell you it’s okay to disagree, you seem to have to “win” the argument. “HA HA! Luther never said it was good, so therefore YOU are WRONG!”

    You are simply another stuck-up Christian busybody who thinks it’s his business to tell other Christians how to believe. You list all those who have interpreted and translated over these hundreds of years, yet they don’t all agree with each OTHER over many other details, but somehow THIS detail is IMMUTABLE and can NOT be interpreted ANY other way! It’s patently ridiculous to say that modern scholars who might have a different thing to say about Biblical study and the interpretations might not have a worthy point, just because it disagrees with you.

  • docwatson

    It’s not that disagrees with me, personally, it’s that ignoring the foundational precepts of the Church and the early Fathers is a dangerous path to follow and leads to heresy.

    Anyone can justify whatever they want – as many have done in this blog – yet if they are claiming Christianity, it should be in light of the very Biblical theology, law, tradition, and exegesis that our faith is founded on. That’s not debatable because where is someone coming from if they aren’t grounded in foundational Christianity?

    The answer is that they are just making it up as they go along and leading people astray – something that 2 Timoty 4:3 warned us about when he wrote “For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.”

  • Jeff Preuss

    So when should we have stopped studying and trying to make sense of the Scripture? 1600? Or how about 1946 as soon as the word homosexual was interpreted into the Bible for the first time? Should we have stopped there?

    It’s not heresy, yet those you mentioned were called heretics in their time for THEIR interpretations of Scripture. Heck, some people STILL consider them heretics.

  • docwatson

    You’re getting shrill, the first sign of logical failure.

    At this point in history, there is no denying the Church fathers shaped Christianity and it’s mores; by doing so, it was made clear that were sexual behaviors that were sinful and unacceptable in Christiandom. Those beliefs were based in the Torah as well as Western philosophy as far back as Plato, who condemned the practice.

    You have His grace if you’ve accepted His death on the Cross for your sins and now I’d challenge you to be honest about what you’re doing with it. Check out the book “The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert” by Professor Rosaria Champagne Butterfield.

  • Rosanna Miller

    You fail to understand that it is not MY standards that matters! So you don’t believe that homosexuality is a sin? So what is a sin to you?

  • Jeff Preuss

    I’m getting shrill? What an…odd assessment of my reaction to you. I think what you’ve missed is that I’ve realized there’s no talking in logical points to you. You bring up a score of theologians with the accusation that I am calling them WRONG, and declaring my point of view on a single theological issue is tantamount to heresy. I rightly pointed out that all of vaunted theologians were considered heretics by their contemporary critics, as well as some today.

    That’s not shrill; that’s showing you the very thing I’ve been saying all along, that it’s all a matter of perspective and interpretation, and it’s extremely tricky to go around telling other people their faithfully-discerned thoughts are just flat-out WRONG. Which I have not done to you.

    All I’ve been expecting of you as a fellow Christian is room to have a different theological thought on a detail in life, and you are unwilling to bend.

    You can challenge me to be ‘honest’ all you want. Honest is all I have been since I made peace with God and being gay. He is perfectly fine with who I am and “what I do with it.”

    (“You’re getting shrill, the first sign of logical failure.” By the way, not that you don’t know this already about yourself, but a condescending tone like you used in this phrase and pretty much every other one you typed doesn’t foster theological debate – it makes people not want to talk to you at ALL. And it does not make you right.)

    I’d challenge YOU to be honest about what you’re doing with your faith – are you honestly trying to share the Good News with others in order to grow the Church, or are you trying to bludgeon others with it to make yourself seem more important? Check out the book “Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories” by Dawn Metcalf.

  • docwatson

    You’re asking every Christian to accept a theology based on a lifestyle and behavior that literally *thousands* of years of Biblical theology, law, tradition, and exegesis of the Church has clearly called sinful.

    In according to Titus 3:10-11, I’ll not bother with you anymore on this.

  • Jeff Preuss

    No, doc. I’m not asking you to accept. I’m asking you to allow that there IS a different theological take on something in the Bible, because there is precedent for doing so, since people HAVE been examining and re-examining the Scripture for thousands of years.

    If we have to decide there is one point in time when we stop analyzing, stop trying to understan how the Bibe relates to us, and how we may have changed asa society, then we might as well be Amish and attempt to cut ourselves off from the world.

    But, I’m not Amish and neither are you.

    3:10-11, eh? Cute. Except I’m not the divisive one here. Again with that condescension you do so well. As long as you’re done being a stumbling block to your fellow Christians here, I don’t really care what reason you tell yourself.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “Romans 1:26-27teaches specifically that homosexuality is a result of
    denying and disobeying God. When people continue in sin and unbelief,
    God “gives them over” to even more wicked and depraved sin in order to
    show them the futility and hopelessness of life apart from God.”

    That’s cute. So, apparently, 11-year old fervent believer me, with a kind nature, and a loving obedience to God, who attended church 3 times a week and truly followed all the teachings of the Bible to the best of his ability, who respected his elders, who did ALL his chores, who studied HARD at school to get good grades, who held the door open for all the little old ladies in the church after Sunday morning services, who once chided his Mom when she wanted to go to a movie other than what she paid for since it was essentially “stealing,”…was denying and disobeying God? And, therefore, God “gave me over” to homosexuality at puberty?

    Am I reading that right? You think that God turned people gay because they were already sinning pretty bad? Because that’s pretty messed up.

  • Stephanie Page

    There is nothing in the New Testament that explicitly refers to homosexual orientation, only to abuse, idolatry or illicit pagan sexual practices of any kind within the Roman Empire. Of course if you are quoting the so-called King James Version of the Bible, well you can’t take anything seriously from that work of pure fiction and heresy. I’d wager that if Jesus Christ were to return to earth and was given a copy of the King James Bible to read His first reaction would be: “Who wrote this shit!”

  • Lbj

    There is no positive affirmation of homosexuality in the Bible. Its all condemned.

  • Stephanie Page

    There is no positive affirmation of ANYTHING in the
    heretical Fundamentalist Protestant Puritan interpretation of the Bible; it’s all ugly and hopeless unless we cower to the demands of drunken lunatic preachers thumping their King James bibles which bears about as much resemblance to REAL Christianity as fools gold does to the real thing. You don’t have to approve of any one else’s life choices but the moment you condemn or judge, which is the same thing as
    presuming to know what God is thinking, you are not a Christian. Christianity is about forgiveness and acceptance, not condemnation and judgment, a concept for which most Americans who erroneously call themselves Christians seem to have little use.

  • Stephanie Page

    I think the fact that the Southern Baptist Conference is and always has been the “Official Church” of the Ku Klux Klan says volumes about what a sick, evil brand of Christianity was brought to these shores by the Puritans and early settlers of what is now the United States and that same black-hearted evil that provoked the Salem Witch Trials and the decimation of the Native population is still with us, with all its hypocrisy and mendacity intact.

  • Lbj

    You show an utter lack of understanding of what the Scriptures teach. There are many positive affirmation in the Bible.
    Christianity is about forgiveness when one repents of their sins. Practicing homosexuality is a sin that keeps one outside the Kingdom of God. See I Corinthians 6:9-10.

  • Stephanie Page

    I do understand by your statement that what you call Christianity and the Scriptures teaches hate, bigotry, intolerance and hypocrisy, all things the founder of Christianity, Jesus Christ, preached against and are all sins that keeps one outside the Kingdom of God. The Scriptures have nothing to teach if you reject the teachings of Jesus Christ. That is what is wrong with the fundamentalist brand of Christianity that has infected our society much as it did in the 16th Century in Europe and who were were all driven out one step short of the hangman’s noose for their heresy only to come to the New World to infect this Country as they still do today. The most dangerous and insidious enemy of Jesus Christ and His teachings today are fundamentalists and “born again” heretics who are a greater danger to our faith than Islam or any other perceived threat from without. Why would these people bother to destroy us from without when our own people are doing such a great job from within. The rabble who laughed and cheered at the scourging and crucifixion of Our Lord and screamed to Pilate to “Give us Barabbas”, the original fundamentalists, are still with us. That is all I have to say on the subject. I forgot that you can’t reason with fanatics.

  • Lbj

    Jesus certainly did speak against homosexuality in Matt 5:32
    and 19:9 where He uses the word “unchastity” and
    “immorality” which includes adultery, incest, premarital infidelity,
    homosexuality, beastiality and any other sexual conduct condemned in the OT.

  • Stephanie Page

    Jesus only said that in the King James Version, which is a discredited work of fiction and not really a Bible at all to real Christians. The 4th Century Greek manuscripts have no such statements attributed to Christ in Matthew. These are all fabrications, which is what almost all Protestant bible feature throughout to justify their sick, evil brand of Christianity..

  • Jeff Preuss

    I like the King James Version more for the poetry than any of the details.

  • Stephanie Page

    Exactly! It is indeed well written poetic fiction. Unfortunately, it is a skewed, willfully distorted transcription of the Holy Scriptures.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I just think it should be used in conjunction with other translations and interpretations to glean the overall message of the Gospels, rather than get too hung up on specific details from one set of interpretations. Speaking with absolute authority about any one translation being the only “right” version just leaves one more open to being wrong, IMHO.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting any Amish folks, but all the Mennonites I’ve met were kind and very loving people.

  • Stephanie Page

    If only that were possible, but judging by the fanatical commentary displayed here, it seems unlikely. I wish we could go back and be more like the early Christians.
    From its very beginning, the Christian movement abolished animal sacrifice and other remaining vestiges of paganism in the Jewish religion of the time and replaced it with prayer (which the Jews themselves also officially did more than forty years after the Crucifixion of Christ), rejected the Old Testament depiction of Jehovah, or God the Father, as angry or vengeful and proclaimed that all living creatures, not any one singular group or religion, were “God’s Chosen.”
    The early Christians met in the homes of the more well to do followers of Jesus in the intimate form of what we today call a prayer meeting. There was no talk of a formal
    church or building of worship. Worship was not a requirement of the Christian movement. This was the manner Christians communicated and exchanged ideas with each other during the first 3 centuries of the
    movement. They did not believe or speculate on the virginity of Mary, the mother of Jesus. They did not discuss, speculate or believe in the Trinity, nor did they believe that the exchange of bread and wine was anything but a symbolic gesture of remembrance.
    The establishment of Christianity by the Emperor Constantine in the 4th Century was the best and the worst thing that happened to the Christian movement. It legitimized the movement and put a stop to the horrible persecution of Christians but it also ushered in destructive compromises that would make Christianity more appealing
    to the pagan majority such as the building of unneeded ornate places of worship (churches), the elevation & veneration of Mary, mother of Jesus to replace the female goddesses, the celebration of Christ’s birth during the former pagan winter equinox, the canonization of saints, again to replace the many gods of the old pagan religions and most damaging of all, the formation of the hierarchy of the new church, which included the College of Cardinals, the world’s first corporation and the blueprint for the Mafia and all the criminal and corporate organizations today. This led to unspeakable atrocities that triggered a reform movement in Western Christianity that gave birth to radical protestant groups like the Baptists, Methodists, Calvinists and Mormons, the lovely people responsible for the Salem witch trials, the massacre of American Indians, prohibition and the current
    core base of the Tea Party movement, whose primary goal is to impose their fanatical religious will on everyone and establish a theocracy. Yes, the establishment of Christianity as the state religion of the Roman Empire brought with it acceptance, prestige and most of all, power; and as we all know, power corrupts. The original simple concept of Christianity has been corrupted, probably irreparably, ever since.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Over on the post about the detained Sudanese Christian woman and what REAL Christian persecution looks like, a few of us suggested that perhaps “we” are losing majority power in the West and we can return to what we feel Christianity should be, which is NOT the majority influence in a society, but a fervent group of those who serve, heal, praise, and make peace.

    And, of course, you know that stating any of this in any historical context just means you are citing “Biblically unsound” teachings, and you likely haven’t actually heard the Gospel. ::rolleyes::

  • docwatson

    As far as real vs imagined Christianity, I can only offer that some Christians’ perception of Christ as some long-haired flower child/fairy godfather with ‘some good ideas’ misses the point and denies his Deity. (After all, the nature is Christianity is Christ as a substitutional sacrifice for our sins)

    I’m personally a fan of the NASB, a recovering NIV user, and the KJV drives me nuts. That being said, the Bible is pretty clear about what God is thinking since it **is** the Word of God.

    My suggestion; get serious about your Bible study – get a Strong’s Concordance, Commentaries (Luther on Romans is pretty amazing), and start looking at the Greek and Aramaic for a deeper understanding of the context behind the English versions.

  • docwatson

    You seem to be missing the point of why Christ was crucified.

  • docwatson

    “The 4th Century Greek manuscripts have no such statements attributed to Christ in Matthew.”

    Please provide source as I’m interested since this seems to be an argument for contextual criticism.

  • docwatson

    “From its very beginning, the Christian movement rejected the Old Testament depiction of Jehovah,
    or God the Father, as angry or vengeful and proclaimed that all living creatures, not any one singular group or religion, were “God’s Chosen.””

    If He is God, then *all* of the aspects of His Deity are there – Healer and Conqueror, Creator and Destroyer, Father and Son. You can’t deny the God of the Old Testament without denying Him.

    My question to you is simple; Was Jesus God or just a wise man?

  • docwatson

    Another thing I keep noticing is that you talk about His teachings like he’s just some guru and not God and are more or less blowing off the OT entirely.

  • docwatson

    How do you explain the bar to sexually deviant behaviors in Leviticus?

  • Stephanie Page

    And I keep noticing that all you talk about is the sins and condemnation of sinners in the Bible, never any of the beautiful, hopeful passages, always the ugliest portions of the Holy Scriptures. There are some lovely passages to be found if you care to look for them.

  • Stephanie Page

    At the time Jesus walked the earth, the Jews were still burning live animals in sacrifice to their God. They were essentially pagans who worshiped a cruel, vengeful, petulant God of their own creation. Remember, these are the people who witnessed a pillar of fire and the parting of the Red Sea and still went on to worship the golden calf. And to add to their conceit, they called themselves “God’s Chosen”. The one thing most people who claim to be Christians miss is that Jesus Christ came to change the world’s flawed perception of who God the Father really was and who better to do this than His Son. If He is God, the aspects of His Deity are only positive ones; otherwise He is not God. Whereas human beings have “common sense”, God, as a being of unimaginable intellect, has “superior sense”. Nothing within the Bible is the literal word of God and was not meant to be interpreted as such. In fact a good case could be made that significant passages of the Old Testament and the letters of St. Paul
    in the New Testament in particular, offers a textbook example of how NOT to be a Christian. These are often the parts of the Bible quoted by many who call themselves Christian today to justify the hatred, racism, bigotry and uncharitable political agendas. I think Jesus Christ Himself put it best in these two literal translations from the original Greek manuscripts, the oldest known version of the New Testament: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of
    extortion and excess.”, and
    “Woe unto you, hypocrites! for ye are like white sarcophagi, which indeed appear beautiful outward and also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but are full of dead bones and of all uncleanness and iniquity within.”
    Those are the words of a REAL God.

  • docwatson

    So I’m getting it through my middle-aged brain: Are you saying Jesus is or is not God?

    Also, if you can give me passage and reference citings to follow along with…

  • docwatson

    Since AD 33, the common understanding for what defined the Christian church is the understanding of Christ, as the Son of God, as a substitutionary sacrifice and atonement for the sins of the world and through Him we are cleansed.

    So, if there is no sin, there was no need for Jesus to die on the Cross.

  • docwatson

    You keep bringing up the 4th Century yet ignore the writings of the Pre-Augustine Church Fathers who were opposed to homosexuality:

    Justin Martyr (AD 151)
    Clement of Alexandria (AD 190)
    Novatian (AD 250)
    Cyprian (AD 253)
    Arnobius (AD 305)
    Tertullian from 160-220 AD, who espoused the Trinity, condemned homosexuality obviously using the original texts and writings of earlier Christian Fathers and source material from the Greek (http://bit.ly/1mxb8As)

    “Yes, and also in the first chapter of [Romans] [Paul] authenticates nature, when he asserts that males and females changed among themselves the natural use of the creature into that which is unnatural, by way of penal retribution for their error.”

    “[A]ll other frenzies of the lusts which exceed the laws of nature,
    and are impious toward both [human] bodies and the sexes, we banish, not only from the threshold but also from all shelter of the Church, for
    they are not sins so much as monstrosities” (Modesty 4 [A.D. 220]).

  • Stephanie Page

    I believe Christ is the Messiah prophesized in the Bible, the Son of God, who amended God’s covenant with mankind to include all living things, not just one nation. He was the earthly flesh and blood manifestation of God
    the Father, and His teachings and general behavior while on this planet, all chronicled in the Gospels tells me that prior to this the perception of God the Father was wrong on many counts such as:
    He did not want animals sacrificed to Him EVER! That is a pagan practice.
    He preferred that you live your life in accordance with His Ten Commandments and have the good common sense to use your own judgment as to the righteousness and validity of man made laws such as those in Leviticus and
    to speak out against any unjust laws of men. Jesus Christ made God the Father’s covenant with mankind even simpler with His two great commandments, which are
    to Love God as God loves you and to Love your neighbor as you would yourself.

    To get to the real issue that triggered this comments section I have no problem if you firmly believe that homosexuality is a sin according to your perception
    of Biblical writings or if you simply disapprove of it or even find it abhorrent. But otherwise it is none of your business what your neighbor is doing as long as it does not interfere with you living your life as you choose. Your sins are your sins and your neighbor’s sins are your neighbors. It is between them and God, not you. It is not Christian to accuse anyone else publically of being a sinner even if you believe this to be so. God did not put us on this earth to be His personal judges and juries. That is the mentality of the Salem Witch Trials or Invasion of the Body Snatchers. If you don’t like someone or something the Christian thing to do is simply avoid it. Stop looking and go back into your own house. When the religious right say that the ‘sanctity’ of marriage is being threatened by unconventional and possibly sinful unions, it is quite obvious that they are confusing the noun, ‘sanctity’, with the adjective, ‘sanctimonious’.

    To cap it off finally, it is my belief that we don’t have to agree with another person’s life choices or approve of it but to use a sacred text like the Bible to justify imposing or legislating our moral or religious will on the private lives of others is one of the most insidious acts of emotional terrorism a human being can perpetrate against his fellow man. And it sure as hell is not Christian to make a public issue out of something that is a personal one between God and somebody else. End of discussion.

  • Proud Amelekite

    Not arrogance, just conscience. As in, it doesn’t jive with my conscience and the supporting evidence not linked to scripture is often blatant falsehood and slander (eg the fake science from NARTH, Family Research Council, etc). I find it telling that the side claiming to have this absolute truth uses worldliness and lies to defend it. I could be wrong but if I am, then at least I have a perfectly legitimate excuse for being wrong and mistrusting your side and your interpretation.

    We walk the path as high as we do in our knowledge because of those who walked before us and built the way. So the view that Luther, Augustine, Catherine, and so on didn’t have the whole truth is not outside of the realm of possibility. The ancient Greek society understood some of the basics of how the human body worked and we use names from Greek for many of the body parts in medicine today but they still attributed certain emotions to parts of the digestive tract and organs in the torso. We now know it originates from the brain. Same thing here.

    Assuming your ancestors were immaculate and all knowing is ancestor worship, in my view.

  • docwatson

    So, if the guy next to you in the pew is beating the crap out of his wife (Malachi 2:16) you’ve got no grounds to call him out in front of the church and the elders? He shouldn’t be subject to church discipline and accountability?

    That the idea that Christians have no accountability to one another is a gross misunderstanding.

  • Arlen Horn

    The church I attend has many gay Christians and our gay pastor and his partner have been together for over twenty years. Pastor Randy Eddy-McCain recently published a book that’s now available on Amazon called, “And God Save Judy Garland…a gay Christian’s journey”. It’s the story of his life as a child, growing up as a gay Christian and the trials and tribulations he’s had over the years and how he made it to where he is today as the pastor of a small church in Sherwood, Arkansas that’s known around the world.

  • Stephanie Page

    Now you are being ridiculous and borderline fanatic. If a man is beating his wife in a pew in your church, that is criminal behaviour and of course you should come to the woman’s aid if possible. But that man is subject
    to civil discipline and accountability, not to the church. The church has no authority or business in civil matters, even if this assault took place in a church as you described unless you are one of those people who believe that we should have a state religion that supersedes civil/criminal law like most Muslim states. And what does a non violent sexual act between two consenting adults in the privacy of their home have to do with the public criminal act you described anyway?
    Are you equating private homosexual acts with violent criminal ones? Does your church think it has the
    right to burst into their homes and drag them out on the lawn so the pastor can shame them in front of the congregation? Maybe you could light a torch and burn them right there. That is what the sick heretics in Salem did to each other. That’ll be so pleasing to God, wouldn’t it. That is the trouble with the insane, intruding, accusative fundamentalist brand of Christianity, which is to say it is not Christianity at all. There is no compassion, no understanding, no charity, just condemnation and to make your point you bring
    up an extreme example which has no bearing on anything we are discussing here. This is the kind of hypocritical evil Jesus Christ warned us about and here it is still full of hatred and mendacity in the
    21st Century. As for as accountability goes, Christians accountability to each other is through acts of charity, love and understanding, never condemnation or calling another out for their perceived sins. That is God’s duty. What you are talking about is not Christianity, it is First Century Judaism and present day Islam.

  • LivinginVA

    You fail to respond to my question – is it possible for someone who looks forward to pigging out at Thanksgiving to be a Christian? They know they intend to sin, they may regret it, but they don’t repent and they fully plan on doing it again.

    You said “A Christian may fall but they do not remain in the sinful state. They repent and reconcile themselves back with the Father.” You used that phrase to explain why there could be no gay Christians (because you consider homosexuality a sin). Can one be a Christian and look forward to overindulging at a meal?

  • Brent

    Matthew 5:32, Mark 10:12, Luke 16:18, and Romans 7:2-3 says it all for a lot more people. But we lose our fundamentalism when it comes to these NT verses.

  • Rosanna Miller

    I failed to give you the answer you were looking for, but then again you ignored the fact that my question was addressed to the author of this post.

    Here is the point, a person has to recognize that something is a sin before they can recognize there is sin within them.

    “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)

  • docwatson

    A clearer example:

    What if you sat next to someone every week who had obvious covered up bruises and you thought was being abused? What if she confided that he’d hit her and has a problem with his anger? Do you tell anyone or is it just their private business?

    I believe that in accordance with Matthew 18:15-20 he should be confronted with his behavior by the Pastor and Church Elders and also submit to ongoing counseling, church authority, and accountability while he lives apart from her. Scripturally, Christians have a clear mutual responsibility and accountability to each other to call out sinful behavior. Should we do it more tactfully and sensitively? Absolutely!

    As far as condemnation goes, the purpose of condemnation is to call attention to another brother or sisters sinful activity or, worse, heresy in hope that they cease and desist of things that don’t glorify His kingdom. Grace, mercy, and forgiveness comes into play when they repent of their sin and return to the fold. (Luke 17:3-4)

    Some other thoughts:

    1) If, as the pagans say, everyone may do as they wish and there is no sin, then there is no need for a Savior and Christ’s death on the cross was unnecessary.

    2) In the Old Testament no animals were sacrificed alive; all were blood sacrifices for substitutionary atonement and the carcass was used for burnt offering. Christ’s death on the cross was a necessary blood sacrifice for all of mankind’s sins.

    3) The Nature of Christ is that He is God in all of His glory, the Trinity, Three in One. There is no ‘God of the Old Testament’ and ‘God of the New Testament’ there is only one God who was, is, and will be to come. (i.e., The Nicene Creed)

    4) Progressive ‘theology’ – My faith is based on 6000 years of foundational Biblical tradition, law, faith, and exegesis so when I hear about progressive movements that seek to denigrate the Old Testament as just a collection of stories (removing the underpinnings of the Word as a whole), denigrate the letters of Paul (thereby destroying a large section of the New Testament), and then seek to redefine Christ as merely a ‘wise man’ (thereby removing His deity) the result is that there is no authentic, historical faith as Christ as Lord and Savior left over. When there is no ‘theo’ in theology, He simply, at best, becomes a Semitic, hook-nosed version of Buddha or, at worst, a madman and a liar.

    4) Christianity is radical, it fights society’s complacency to accept the status quo of what is popular culture; it’s inconvenient, it’s uncomfortable, it’s unpopular, it calls us to look inside ourselves, measure our behavior against a higher standard, admit and confess our sins, and strive to be closer to His perfection daily and, as a result in emulating Him, we are called to help the sick, the injured, the infirm, widows and orphans with His mercy and grace. The two are **not** independent of one another.

  • docwatson

    No, we don’t. We just remain the sinners we are. I’m divorced (not by my choice) and believe that unless my wife reconciles with me she should remain single and, by logical extension, so should I.

  • Stephanie Page

    If someone confides in you that they are being abused, the right thing to do is to tell that person to go the the proper authorities (the police) and if they don’t you do have the right to intervene by alerting the police. The pastor and church elders have no business intruding in to this person’s life unless the person goes to them and asks for spiritual guidance, the only thing a religious personage is qualified to do. Leave the criminal acts to the professionals. As far as church elders or boards they are not qualified to counsel people on physical abuse and the fact is it is none of their business unless the abused person is stupid enough to subject herself to their usual bigoted, hateful, condemning Protestant heretical rhetoric. Once again, you skirt the issue of what does this obvious criminal act have to do with two consenting adults engaged in consensual activities in the privacy of their home. No church or neighbor has any right to intrude on such activities just because they disapprove of it or believe it is sinful. It is also a violation of the First Amendment of the Constitution to infringe on anyone else’s religious freedom or lack thereof. The First Amendment guarantees freedom FROM religion as much as it does freedom of religion. The United States was originally settled by 17th Century hate filled, judgmental protestant heretics and to compound the evil an even more insidious heresy known as the Mormon Church was also founded here and to this day most of the people who call themselves Christian in this Country wouldn’t know what a real Christian was if it was staring them in the face. They are not only an embarrassment to the rest of the Christian world, they are a danger as well. There is no such thing as progressive or conservative Christianity; there is only Christianity and I am beginning to understand why the Eastern Orthodox Church, the only true Christian Church currently in existence on earth and the keeper of Our Lord’s legacy since its founding 40 days after the crucifixion, keeps its distance from the western churches which, for the most part are either schismatic (Catholicism, Church of England or heretical.(all protestant sects and the Mormons.). The Eastern Orthodox Churches read from the Holy Scriptures in the original Greek (New Testament) or 4th Century translations from the Koine Greek manuscripts, which were not written in that century but date back to the 6th Century BCE, the oldest existing manuscripts of the Old Testament in existence at the time. Like all true Christian movements they are not ecumenical; you have to go to them and profess a desire to participate in their congregation and they are more concerned with virtue, not sin and promote a personal relationship with Jesus Christ of faith hope and charity, with the greatest virtue being charity, especially charity which is administered anonymously, with the Church offering guidance only when asked. They offer confession of one’s sins as part of their beliefs but only privately to a priest who acts as conduit between the sinner and God, but never public confession, which is considered an insult to God and the rest of the congregation. That does not mean that they don’t appreciate the beauty of our faith. The Orthodox Divine Liturgy is one of the most divinely inspired rituals you are ever likely to witness. They are the real Christians. It is possible for a Catholic or any protestant, even a Mormon to be a true Christian, but if they are it is in spite of, rather than because of any affiliation with those churches.

  • Brent

    So, as part of Christian accountability, do you counsel those who are currently remarried (with a living ex-spouse) to get out that marriage? Can living in a state of adultery really be glorifying to God? Serious question.

  • docwatson

    I’m gobsmacked.

    You’ve managed to flip between neo-paganism (‘do what you will’) and Eastern Orthodox Catholicism as well as butcher the US Constitution, ignore clear references to church discipline and mutual accountability within the Church (1 Cor. 5:1-13; Matt. 18:17-18; Titus 3:10; 2 Thess. 3:6-15; 1 Tim. 5:20; Gal. 6:1) , dismiss Church History going back to the *1st* century AD (e.g., Tertullian who was a Greek scholar and reading the Greek New Testament manuscripts that were being written while he was alive) and ignoring that the Eastern Orthodox church wasn’t clearly separated from the rest of Christendom until 1054 AD (the *11th* century).

    When someone cites Bible verses, be a Berean and seek them out for yourself – in the Greek if you read it, which is pretty remarkable – since you seem to believe that a 4th century text supersedes the authoritative writings of all of the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd century Church Fathers and Ecumenical Councils who used the primary source material of contemporary Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew texts of the their time.

  • docwatson

    No, leaving the the new marriage is a ‘no go; Deuteronomy 24:4 makes it clear that if there is a divorce and remarriage, the one flesh bond is broken since the new marriage means that couple are bound to one another in a new flesh bond, so leaving that partner to return to the old marriages equates to, in my opinion, ‘two wrongs don’t make it right’.

    As far as counseling someone? To me, remarriage falls under a matter of individual Biblical conscience; knowing what the Word says and working it out in your heart and life. I’m struggling with loneliness and want nothing more than to seek someone out and remarry yet I can clearly see what the Word says about it and it’s bloody hard work to live to that level of obedience. At times, it just seriously sucks.

    John Piper has a good paper on the topic: http://bit.ly/1lnmt14

  • Stephanie Page

    And you seem to think that all you have to do is quote hand selected figures in the Early Christian movement when it was forming into a Church, something Jesus Christ clearly did not want because he knew human nature was given to mendacity towards each other. He wanted His message and teachings kept simple so even single minded individuals like yourself could comprehend. All the writers you mention did was complicate and corrupt His teachings until all you had left was dogma not faith. The Orthodox Churches did not break away from Western Christianity. It was the other way around; these genuine Christian bodies, older than any in the West, refused to support the corruption of the faith by the highjacking of the Western Church by the College of Cardinals and the heresy of evil men such as Martin Luther & John Calvin. It has become quite obvious that Jeff Preuss was right in calling you a fanatic who is here to insist on having the last word and to justify your warped views of Christianity.
    I will no longer engage with a fanatic, so come back and have the last word if you will. It won’t erase my words from the forum. I’ll leave you by stating again that calling another Christian (or anyone) to accountability is and never has been a part of real Christianity except in corrupt, heretic congregations (like Grace Community Church) which quote the Bible selectively to justify their heresy and cruelty. Anyone who says that they believe that the Bible should be taken literally is either a liar or a moron.

  • LivinginVA

    Posting to a discussion board generally opens one up to having people comment – even if you are asking a specific person a question.

  • Brent

    Doc, I am sorry that you have gone through this difficulty, and you know better than most that its effects keep going on. I don’t know but can only imagine the loneliness is great…and your level of obedience is admirable.

    At the turn of the 20th century many, if not most, holiness groups believed that 2nd marriages (with the ex still living) should end with a divorce. (For example this was part of the belief coming out of Azusa Street.) That belief has obviously eroded where today, unlike you, many evangelicals will marry again willy nilly. It’s a hard call all the way around.

    P.S. Here is a source on the church’s long held viewpoint that 2nd marriages are wrong while the ex is still living. In much of church history it is clear that one is living in a state of adultery. Thus, one cannot willfully continue in this state and be pleasing to God.

    http://www.danielrjennings.org/ThisHistoryOfChristianThoughtOnMarriageDivorceAndRemarriage.pdf

  • docwatson

    That you keep claiming some intimate knowledge of the mind of Jesus – and therefore God – is well beyond heresy; you lack the ability to cite *any* reference in Scripture for any of your arguments (so they’re based solely in what’s in your head), and your own insane bigotry against the rest of Christendom only serves to divide the universal Church.

  • Stephanie Page

    I cannot believe that considering what you have previously written on this page that you have the gall to accuse anyone of insane bigotry but since we do not know each other personally perhaps it is unfair for either of us to make such accusations towards each other or anyone else who has written here. I would like to believe that you are fervent in your Christianity and that in life your actions speak louder than your words.

  • Ann

    Yep: he’s kinda on “E” in the EMPATHY department or willfully uninformed.

    But if permanently separated “sometimes” . . . who would the “holy warriors” hate? Because without a target hate group, they’d HAVE NO IDENTITY. Oh. Yeah. They’d hate Latinos, African-Americans, women who want reproductive rights and ultimate control over our own bodies, as in the “less big bad gov’t/don’t tread on me b.s. crowd” EXCEPT when it comes to thaa-aat (and other legislations of THEIR morality via a gov’t that they say that they hate) and they’d hate First Nations peoples (again), as lately witnessed with that football team in Washington, and they’d eventually get back around to hating Jews, if they ever left that arena, as did Martin Luther, highly inspirational for Hitler . . . because theirs is an agenda of no identity outside of hate, while robbing select bible passages to justify violence.

    They’d be a minority in existential crisis without somebody to hate . . . but they’d be a MINORITY . . . which is really the “issue” here that drives the debate. Good ole time religioners, living the “dream” of Filmer’s PATRIARCHA, white men with privilege as bestowed upon them by GOD, in their minds, to have dominion over, and their women who go along, willing to be an annexed afterthought in exchange for a new outdoor patio set . . . feel threatened.

    The problem for them is that they didn’t get close to the folks they abused, after having made years of amends, or change, 180 degree behavior, TO LEARN FROM US! The colonizer is always the victim in the learning department. They dismiss that which the colonized knows, and that knowledge is CRITICAL to their survival. Neo-colonialism 101.

    The LGBT pop, along with First Nations, African-American, some Euro-White women and men, and Latino populations, write the book on existential crisis while living in fear and become okay within ourselves and faith or lack thereof. Write the book on receiving violence while living in fear and do a workaround. Write the book on being blamed and refuse to accept the blame. Write the book on negotiating living lives in sociological/cultural, and legal limbo. Write the book on how to live in one’s skin, in one’s heart, with condemnation, violence, bashing, and discrimination and yet many, so many, remain human beings who refuse to do unto others as they have been done unto! Write the book on love as a behavior.

    This is what the abuser does NOT know: how to survive and how to triumph as the OBJECT of transgenerational hate and marginalization. They’ve already lost because they lack the skills necessary to survive as the minority that they are becoming, because no such minority can survive the ordeal with hate: just won’t happen.

    And this reality drives the debate. Jesus has nothing to do with this aside from maybe how one gets OUT of hate. He showed the way. Thanks and good luck.

  • Rosanna Miller

    No, not EVEN if…..when I post to someone in particular, that does not mean it is open to everyone. I would’t have specified otherwise.

    So tell me, do you at least acknowledge that homosexuality is a sin? That is what I am getting from your replies having examples of other sins?

    If that is the case, that proves you have misunderstood the reason for my post. I could care less to judge anyone, God alone is the judge.

    The author has called God a liar. It would seem you somewhat acknowledge the Truth and that is a good thing.

  • Chris Larosa

    Martin – I have read most of your conversation with Jeff and I felt I had to jump in simply because of this posting where you are using Romans 1 to finger gays. Seriously, Martin, if you carefully(!) look at this passage, do you sincerely believe Paul is using this to address homosexuals? what about gay Christians? We’re talking about a pagan culture – in ancient Rome – that practiced temple prostitution – homosexual prostitution. These were HETEROSEXUAL pagans, who decided to reject the truth of Christ and instead worship literal idols and immersed themselves into the common practice of sex with temple prostitutes – something that the OT refers to several times. Of course this is unnatural..to heteros! Eventually God gives these pagans over to a complete reprobate mind, completely rejecting God, and then become filled “with all kinds of wickedness”. The question here is how can you attribute or label this on gay Christians? It doesn’t make any logical sense, Martin. If Romans 1 was truly about homosexuals, then gay Christians COULD NOT POSSIBLY EXIST. But they DO. I am one, and I know countless gay believers – true believers who worship God and believe 100% in the Gospel. We do not have a “reprobate” mind. We confess Christ and the cross. So, may I challenge you to rethink Romans 1, in context of the pagan Roman culture? To turn the tables a little, “there are ways that seem right to a man”. Martin, our culture has been conditioned to see Romans this way, as it has been conditioned to see the account of Sodom and Gomorrah as a referendum on gays, but, clearly, if anyone actually studies the account HONESTLY, they discover that S&G’s destruction had nothing to do with gays. Logic would reveal that, and certainly EZ 16:49-50 clarifies that.
    Blessings.

  • Martin Heward-Mills

    There are many angles here and with love I must say the issue here is the interpretation of Scripture through a sexual lense rather then interpreting sexuality thought a scriptural lense. christians all over the world have struggles be they adultery pre marital sex etc etc they exists as we have a sinful nature. However some points
    1. Romans 1 speaks of the result of their idolatry which isn’t just temple based it’s replacing the Image of God with creation and that extends to sexuality. So have Iver to depraved minds they were overcome. I think the gymnastics to make this applicable just to temple worship is very loose.
    2. A s100% Christians appreciates the supremecy of the Gospel and also understand that the Bible is the inspired word of God not a bunch of historical documents. Whilst I agree that Paul was and is fallible .. He is writing under the inspiration of the almighty God who knows the beginning from the end and as a result he understands all things. Especially sexuality

    I really do agree that there are Christians who have homosexuality urges. Just as some are prone to other forms of sin… And yes I have to classify it as sin and I mean no offense as I have no right to judge but it’s not me it’s God. Just as a heterosexual who loves his or her partner commits sin if they have sex before marriage.

    That is the really big question in love to ask. Is the Bible the inspired work of God and not humans and if so can God not understand Human sexuality.

    Homosexuality isn’t the big sin. It’s one sin without being disrespectful so please I beg of no one to think I am homophobic of not appealed at the hate sent the way of this group by the church and many alleged professing Christians. However the significance of the move to reclassify sin is a massive danger. The strength of feeling and emotion cannot lead us to say Sin isn’t Sin.
    ..

    Happy to engage and I hope this hasn’t come across as rude. Certainly not my intention. But I wanted to communicate my heart on this.

    Saying that Gay Christians don’t exist is something that is troubling. Christians have identity in nothing but God. That’s true we are slave so Christ. So I do believe we have Christians who have homosexuality attraction and have struggles and battles and failures and successes. But to try and redefine what the Bible speaks about I think is wrong.

  • Martin Heward-Mills

    Re Sodom and Gommorah… The verse in Ezekiel speaks of more then just homosexuality. I think it’s dishonest to say that wasn’t part of their judgement and it’s also misleading to says that it was the only thing they were judged on. Bear in mind that God could judge the world today and without Christ we are all condemned however from time to time he makes examples….

    Ezekiel 16:49-50 NIV
    “ ‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. [50] They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

    The sin is described in total. And constant with the language. I think we have to be brave enough to be honest…

    Forgetting all else we have to acknowledge that God was always aware of everything in his creation.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “To me, remarriage falls under a matter of individual Biblical
    conscience; knowing what the Word says and working it out in your heart
    and life.”

    And, yet, you won’t extend this courtesy to other Christians working through their own consciences and study of the Word in regards to homosexuality? What distinction do you make in leaving one up to an individual’s personal walk, and not the other? I mean, just last week you “gave me up” to my own self-condemnation, but you won’t be quite so declarative when it comes to divorce, even though you say the Word is clear on the topic?

    Is it perhaps because you are personally affected by divorce, and it allows you a bit more compassion for other Christians going through the same thing? Could you not extend the same respect to gay Christians, allowing that you don’t know their personal walks, so maybe you don’t have the most accurate insight to the validity of their faith-based decision making?

  • docwatson

    Jeff,

    Thanks for your reply, it brings up a few interesting points.

    We all know from Malachi 2:16 that God hates divorce, and that he only granted it “out of the hardness of their hearts” (Matt 19:8); that hardness is born of pride, arrogance, self-worship, selfishness, and a desire to ‘do as they wish’. In short, divorce is a result of serious sin.

    I am a firm believer that, if anything, the Church should stop blindly accepting society’s ‘no fault’ position and take a much stronger stance *against* divorce.

    Today, from Secular Humanists to Born-Again Believers, we all recognize the ravages that divorce has brought to our society; there are no ‘Divorce Pride’ parades, no one is saying that we should teach divorce as a preferred and acceptable lifestyle in kindergartens and grade schools, and there isn’t a hardcore push to advocate divorce throughout Christendom. The Church as a whole, regardless of denomination, recognizes that it’s sin in action.

    I should have been clearer earlier, I have no issues with Christians who identify themselves as gay or alcoholics, or addicts, murderers, lawyers, or tax collectors and are struggling with their faith as a result – they have my support through prayer; I have *every* issue with Christians who continue to engage in homosexual sex.

    The difference is:
    1) Recognizing that God clearly hates divorce and forbids homosexual sex
    2) That we have a choice if we are divorced or gay (or the double whammy, both) to remain single and trust in the Lord for the future
    3) We need to recognize that His grace is sufficient for the day.

    If you are struggling in your own way as I am, you have my sympathy. If you are actively engaging in sexual sin, then I will pray that you will turn back from it.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I’ll say, Chris, this response from you is amazingly refreshing, since your previous interactions on the topic have been…belligerent. So, firstly I thank you for being respectful.

    I’ll stand by my assertion from earlier conversations that I don’t believe that my being gay and physically active as such IS a sin, because I am only doing that as part of my monogamously-committed relationship, the only one I have had. As other blog posts have shown, there is something to be made for a lack of clarity on the topic of homosexuality in the Bible (along with many others).

    I totally get that you disagree on that point. And, I completely understand where that comes from. (Heck, I used to be Southern Baptist.) But I still disagree with it, and am still a Christian.

    So, am I struggling with being gay? No. I long ago made peace with that and with God on the issue. But, I also am not engaging in sexual sin, though I know you’ll disagree. And, I’ve only reached this point of acceptance in my life afterlaborious study and fervent prayer, and I am ONLY happy through the gift of His grace.

    I’ll pray that you are able to make peace with whatever results from your divorce, whether that be a reconciliation, though that sounds unlikely, or single status.

    God be with you. Thanks again.

  • LivinginVA

    I answered your question earlier: no I do not believe homosexuality is a sin. I am using examples of other sins because YOU believe it is – and you appear to think it is a larger sin than others.

    You believe that one cannot be Christian and homosexual, yet you refuse to answer whether one can be a glutton and Christian.

    Saying “you cannot be Christian and….” you are judging.

  • Tami Gregory

    Easy, yes. Wrong to preach against sin one doesn’t struggle with? No.

  • Tami Gregory

    Wrong. It was so abhorrent there would be little need to instruct someone about it, anymore than for most people you need only to tell them once not to put their hand on a hot stove.

  • Tami Gregory

    In other words, there is no point in replying to your question unless one is physically present with you.

  • Jeff Preuss

    A) Benjamin has not called God a liar in this blog; he has indicated there are different interpretations on theological issues that may not line up with the traditionally-expected positions. Saying humans may have misinterpreted the Bible in the past, or there may have been human contextual bias when the Scriptures were written is NOT equivalent to calling God a liar.

    B)If you don’t want your comments opened up to potentially be addressed by other folks, send an e-mail or something. This is an open thread for open conversation. You can choose to ignore the questions posed to you; however, you cannot choose to BE ignored by everyone but the person you want to address.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “not open to interpretation?” So much for all that interpreting and translating of the entirety of the Bible that’s been occurring for thousands of years. THESE things are set in stone with THIS translation.

  • Jeff Preuss

    At some point, you might get to realize that continuing to preach against folks who theologically differ with you over whether it IS a sin might just become a bit of bludgeoning the spirit of your fellow Christian, and causing them to stumble.

  • HappyCat

    I would rather folks focus on things that Jesus requires of us, rather than those things He was silent on. In terms of priorites, doesn’t that make sense? Think about all the time, talent and resources devoted to the debate over homosexuality and then think of all the positive change that couldv’e been accomplished amoungst, the poorest of us on the planet. How many people have died of hunger because of it?

  • Eddy G

    Sorry Jeff, that is a straw man argument.
    The only translations made, have been from one language to another.
    And the bible has not been re-writtten and only been tried to be interpeted differently in other books claiming what they believe the Bible says.
    Just like those trying to claim homosexuality is not a sin anymore.
    The Bible, its content, and what it means has not changed since it’s begining. Of course some words have been updated (and far to many as far as I am concerned) to tie in with the ever changing languages or culture.
    But the bottom line is the Bible is the Bible………..

  • Jeff Preuss

    It’s not a straw man argument – nothing I said was a falsehood. The Bible continues to be interpreted and translated with details changed to this day. Phyllis Schlafly and her ilk are specifically working on a conservative Bible RIGHT NOW with an admitted bias to change the passages they feel are too liberal.

    The word homosexual was added in 1946. Meaning was altered as a result.

    You can still believe homosexuality is a sin, but what IS the truth is that many details in the Bible HAVE changed over the years, and insisting they haven’t is just naive.

  • gimpi1

    I’m not sure where you got that. Factual evidence is easy to communicate. E+MC2, 2+2=4. The common cold is caused by a virus. Onions and leeks are in the same family of plants, the Allium family. All these things are facts. Evidence can be found. I don’t need to be standing next to you for you to google” Allium family.” You can easily add 2 and 2 and count the results.

    However, divorce is a sin is an opinion. There’s no way to prove it, independent of one’s belief. Facts are things that don’t change when we change our view of them. My belief in relativity doesn’t change the speed of light. And we don’t have to be in the same room for that to be true.

  • Alana Brown

    You need to read this great new book called the New Testament.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Wow. Ain’t you a peach?

    Signed-
    -not a pervert

  • Justin

    I was an openly gay male in a same-sex relationship that lasted two years. I was content with who I was, believed that I was born that way, and wasn’t looking to change.

    Fast-forward 22 years: God entered my life, and radically changed it. I gave my life to Christ, and He gave me new desires, and set me free from the bondage of homosexuality. No one ever told me I had to change, and no one ever condemned me, but God gave me new life!

    Not only that, but he brought me a beautiful wife, and we now have 2 amazing children (and one on the way). My life is more fulfilling now than ever, and the blessings of God are all around me.

    My question is…if homosexuality is okay, then why did God set me free? Why did He lead me down a path of having to break up with my partner (who I was with for 2 1/2 years), move out on my own, and navigate through a world that I was completely unfamiliar?

    It was not easy, but I believe that He delighted in restoring me, and I delighted in the fullness of His presence in my life.

    Do “gay Christians” have the fullness of God’s presence in their life or have they grown comfortable with a god that they have created to cater to their brokenness (i.e. the god of self)?

    To people reading this that do want out of the gay-lifestyle, there is hope in Christ and the power exists to set you free. It doesn’t come from an ex-gay ministry or “reparative therapy.” It comes by submitting to God and genuinely following after Him.

    As Christians, our struggles and weaknesses do not define us. Our identity is/should be in Christ alone.

    Sorry Ben, but the lie you (and others like you) are feeding people negates the power of the Gospel. Jesus died to destroy the works of the Devil. He died to set the captives free. Homosexuality isn’t the problem, rebellion is. Rebellion against God and His ways which are clearly defined in His Word.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Oh, gosh. Where to begin?

    Congratulations for being at peace with our Lord, and I am truly happy that you feel your life is very fulfilling.

    “My question is…if homosexuality is okay, then why did God set me free?” A fair question in response is…if God hasn’t “set me free” after being a Christian for over 40 years, and aware of being gay for over 30, why is that not okay?

    I gave my life to Christ before I knew I was gay. Realizing I was gay at puberty didn’t take away my dedication to Christ. I’ve fully submitted to God, and He has set me free from the shame and the fear of being gay, yet not from being gay itself. I’ve enjoyed a very fulfilling life with my partner of 18 years and our combined families.

    This is my path, my faith walk. For you to declare that, since YOU have been “set…free from the bondage of homosexuality,” everyone else must to be right with God is disingenuous at best.

    And, for you to call it a lie when people preach and teach and believe there might be another take on the issue theologically is self-righteous at worst.

    Again, I am happy you found the healing YOU needed in Him. It is not the same specific healing that every gay person needs.

    I am no captive; I am not suffering from bondage of homosexuality; and I am not rebelling. I am fully free through my relationship with Christ.

    (I am paraphrasing the following a bit to remove the inappropriate quotes from your question.)
    “Do gay Christians have the fullness of God’s presence in their life?” I can only speak for myself, but 1000 times yes.

    As for whether everything about this topic is clearly defined in Scripture, well, I’d encourage you to follow some of Ben’s links to see some folks who’d dispute that. Bible-studying, God-fearing folks with sincere and valid Christian faiths.

  • Raymond Cote

    well….I must say after reading post after post after post after post I’m not sure which expert to agree with.

  • Laurie Harrison

    You might be reminded that some people who call themselves “Christian” do not believe that Jesus is the only way to heaven…..but is that open for interpretation, too?

  • jaystriggle

    Gagnon’s book on The Bible and Homosexuality is by far the best resource for this debate. The historical research and references are abounding.

  • jaystriggle

    if they were divinely inspired doesnt that make their theology right?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Divinely inspired doesn’t preclude a man with his own foibles from inserting his biases into what he writes down, whether it is the original Scriptural texts or the modern attempts at translating and discerning what a multiple-times-over translated verse may mean both in the context of ancient times and in how to apply it to modern understandings.

    If you want to apply “right” to the Scriptures, you’d have to operate under the assumption that the words are crystal clear on their meaning as it related to this topic, and I just don’t feel they are.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I am…really not sure what the heck that has to do with any of the disagreement I was having here. I’m a Christian. No quotes necessary. I follow Christ as my connection with God and my path to Heaven.

    But…thanks for the reminder?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Another way to look at it, one is responsible for one’s own faith and understanding of the Scripture. Through discernment of study, we assume the Spirit moves through us and helps us to be enlightened, making our Biblical study divinely inspired. And, therefore right.

    So, if my divinely inspired understanding of the meaning of the Scriptures contradicts what you think the original writers’ divinely inspired meaning is, does your “right” trump my “right”? Or do we each hold responsibility for our own walks?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Hi, hi. Sorry, I’m not trying to bully you with my point of view, since I’ve already given a few long-winded answers to your succinct question, but this morning I thought of one other thing: The Crusades were considered divinely-inspired in their application of theology in military action, yet many Christians today don’t think they were right.

    So, I guess ALL of it is a matter of what perspective you have.

    Thanks, sorry. I’ll stop beating this horse now.

  • jaystriggle

    If your divinely inspired view conflicts with my inspired view (by the way, I dont hold out my view to be inspired, just simple reading of the text) … then one of us is off, there is only one truth, if not then it is not truth at all….

  • jaystriggle

    that is because nobody wants to see pictures of men doing it…

  • Jeff Preuss

    Okay, then who is the arbiter of that truth, other than God? No one on this earth decides that truth for us, and as far as discernment of the true meaning of the texts, it ultimately comes down to the individual believer. Whether we get it “right” will come to light when we meet God at the end, not right now.

    I believe my understanding of Scriptures and the application of those learnings in my life to be right and true.

    And, whether our readings of the texts is divinely inspired or not, I’d argue that there is no such thing as a “simple” reading of them. It seems to me (and maybe this is different for you, as I am not living your faith for you) that study and absorption of Scriptural meaning is a far deeper process that goes beyond the surface of the words, especially since the English translations we use are filtered through centuries of linguistic adaptations and attempts to line up words and concepts as we understand them now to the words and concepts presented in the original Greek and Hebrew.

  • jaystriggle

    granted, but there is still one truth, there can not be multiple truths on one subject…. I refer you to Gagnon’s book: Homosexuality and the Bible….it is authoritative in the languages, both Biblical and para biblical….. He has done his research…. you can not ignore this book if you really want to know about the meanings of the original scriptures..

  • Jeff Preuss

    If you look at Christianity as a whole, and the simple existence of thousands of denominations, all created from differing theological opinions on faith topics, I think you’d be hard-pressed to say there is ONE truth common to the belief, save for Jesus being the Son of God, sent to die for our sins.

    “[T]here can not be multiple truths on one subject.” Sure there can. Ask a Protestant and a Catholic how they feel about transubstantiation, and each will say his belief is the truth. Each is a Christian, and each lives and believes by his truth. Again, this works to my earlier point that God is the final arbiter on those topics.

    Now, if you live by the belief that there is only one particular denomination in all the world that is truly Christian, and all within that denomination follow the exact same thinking on every piece of theology, then I cannot make an impression on you, because the odds are that I don’t belong to your denomination, and I will never be a true Christian in your eyes.

    And, thanks, but I did scores of research and Bible study decades ago before coming out. I understand enough for my faith and sexuality to both be secure and unchanged.

  • Guy Norred

    Just saw this on Unfundamentalist Christians (and decided the easiest way to copy it was to attach the image…)

  • Guy Norred

    Tried to post this earlier but it isn’t coming up. I can only assume because I tried to do it as a pasted image rather than type it all out, so here goes. (if redundant, sorry)

    I saw this earlier on Unfundamentalist Christians and find it perfect for what I believe.

    “But for me, EVEN IF I’m wrong and being gay is a sin, I am comfortable with that because the two, and only two, laws Jesus gave us were to love God and love our neighbor. And Paul says love is the fulfillment of all the laws. So as long as my relationship with God is in tune, and I’m doing my best to treat others decently (as I want to be treated), then I AM fulfilling all the requirements of the law. I’m walking in the love of God. And Love is all God is concerned about. The rest are just religious technicalities.”

    EDIT. (Whoops forgot to give credit–this is from Steve Schmidt)

  • jaystriggle

    yes, I would say we probably dont belong to the same denomination :>}, but salvation is not in them. I think God allows for them because man is sinful. I also think it would be boring if we were all , say ,Catholic or Bapitst. I can appreciate the differences in the denoms and the culture that bring us to them. My statement of truth is not about denominations, and yes God will be the final arbiter.May God’s blessings be on you and your search, or struggle, which ever is appropriate. If you are secure and unchanged, then maybe you have found all truth. If we say we have no sin, we make God a liar and the truth is not in us.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Well, I never said salvation lies in the denominations, either. I disagree that denominations exist because of man’s sin, because I don’t feel that every differing take on a theological point stems from sin itself; instead it seems that denominations sprung up from each generation of Christianity attempting to understand the meaning of the Scripture, based on how their language translates it, yet still all stemming from an earnest desire to understand His word.

    (Of course, then you could say that language confusion exists because of the Tower of Babel, itself a story about the sin of hubris, so then that could sorta count in a meta way.)

    And I would never say I have NO sin. Goodness, no, but I definitely do not believe my gayness is sinful.

    All God’s blessings to you, too. Thanks for the truly respectful interaction – it’s a rarity in comments sections where things are often heated and borderline irrational.

    (PS. I clicked through to your FB and saw where you studied. Based on that, I’m guessing that you and I were the same denomination, at least until I was 20. :) )

  • jaystriggle

    I think what I meant about sin and denominations is that we are not all in complete understanding because we are sinners, one day we will know in full…….

  • Jeff Preuss

    Agreed. It is up to us to endeavor to live our lives as right with God as we can.

  • jaystriggle

    Those of us who disagree with your sexual choices are not necessarily dependent on the Bible only for our beliefs. We also think it is unnatural via anthropology, biology, and socially. It does result in the production of the next generation. Therefore homosexuality is a dead end street.
    Biologically the parts dont fit, and are against their intended purposes. (now have I really opened up a can of worms, no pun intended)?.

  • Jeff Preuss

    A) It’s not a choice. B) It isn’t unnatural – it occurs in many species in nature, and for all intents and purposes, appears to occur naturally without the stereotyped assumed causes in human beings. C) Homosexuality in itself is a biological dead end? We are not each as individuals responsible for procreating. As a society, we collectively advance the human race, and not solely as biological contributors. If we’re strictly talking biology, perhaps we are intentional Darwinian endpoints to stave off progression of a defective gene that needs weeding out. Also, if it were only up to a biological imperative, have you gone out and created lots of children with multiple women to create more more more people? Wouldn’t that be the “moral” antonym to my “immoral” lack of making kids? D) The social aspect comes from being entitled to actually share love with those to whom we have legitimate romantic connections, just like you. E) Whether or not our parts don’t fit is both something I would not elaborate on, and none of your business. Up until your most recent comment, I honestly thought I’d at least had your respect, but with this it seems you are another anti-gay sort more focused on my sex life than I am.

    [Edited to change “concerned with” to “focused on” in E) because concerned implies a certain altruistic looking out for my well-being, and I honestly don’t think it’s rooted in that as much as you may like to think.]

  • jaystriggle

    as a Christian we are to love, love does not mean tolerate sin. We can love someone when we warn them the bridge is out at the road upahead. One thing I am certain about, The Bilbe is very clear about is its proclamation that the homosexual sex is a sin. Romans 1 can not be explained away. It first condems lesbian sex and then homosexual.
    Sorry but we will have to disagree on this one. I dont care who where or what you have sex with, it is none of my business, But I will always defend the inspired Word of God as speaks clearly to so many topics of the way we all should live our lives. I dont appreciate anyone who calls me a hater just because we disagree with our interpretations of scripture.
    Once again, I refer you to Robert Gagnon’s book as you have refered me to Vines book. I hope for you all the best in your Christian endeavors…… oh, and just this morning in an editorial about homosexuality(DMN), the authhor of a short editorial reply said he wished that all people who disagree with homosexual marriage would be imprisoned for their beliefs. wow ?

  • Jeff Preuss

    My life is not a life of sin.

    The Bible is NOT clear on homosexuality.

    YOU are the one who brought up the sexual aspect of my relationship, so if it is truly none of your business, then don’t attempt to make it so by bringing it up. “I dont care who where or what you have sex with.” What an amazing lie. If you did not care, you would not be imploring me on its “morality.”

    I will also defend the inspired Word of God, but I am not defending YOUR version of it.

    Did I call you a hater? Not even one little bit. But, I did point out that as soon as you brought in the bits about the parts not fitting, you stopped showing me an OUNCE of respect. Up until that point, we’d had a truly respectful exchange, one in which it was clear we didn’t agree with each other, but allowed that to be so. Now it is clear that is no longer the case for you, as you belabor your position, attempting to stop me from disagreeing.

    I will NOT read Gagnon’s book, and I don’t recall referring you to Vines’. You can lump me in with someone who wishes people like you to be imprisoned all you like — it doesn’t classify me at all.

    But, it’s funny you should bring up calls for imprisonment, since there are still very conservative anti-gay folks out there who vocally call for my imprisonment for being gay.

    Just so we are clear – I do not tolerate YOUR sin of insisting that yours is the only correct theological interpretation of Scripture and that you must be able to impose it upon me and my life. (And, before you say you are not, you are when you continually suggest I read (as I’ve seen written a few places) “rabidly anti-gay” Gagnon’s book.)

    Walk away. I’m right with my soul, and my soul is right with God. It’s not your call, nor your place to judge.

  • Lamont Cranston

    Liars burn in hell. Turn or burn.

  • jaystriggle

    Gagnon’s book is not rabily antigay, it is rabily pro biblical hermeneutics . Biology speaks for it self. Your website endorses Vines book. If I am guilty of insisting my way is the only correct theological view, which I dont think I said, which I have a right to believe, then you are also guilty of the same with your expressed rejection of my view. The imprisonment comment was to show a lack of intollerance for the traditional views. I never said you are anyone deserves that. It seems to me you only endorse views that support your views. There are many more books that support Gagnon’s views , it is not an isolated tome. I probably have not read as many books on the subject as you, but this one is full of ancient texts as well as ………….. never mind you are just probably not interested, walking away now……….

  • jaystriggle

    Jesus endorsed Gods creative order when he said, ” He made them male and female” he quoted Genesis directly.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Biology DOES speak for itself. And there are signs there could be a biological or genetic predisposition to homosexual attraction. That the dominant trait in most species is a procreative heterosexual attraction does NOT eliminate the natural occurrence of the contrary.

    I was well aware of what your imprisonment comment was to show, that there are rabidly intolerant folks on the pro-gay side, just like on the anti-gay side.

    My website? What the ding dong are you talking about?

    Look, it’s clear that you have a lot of difficulty accepting that I have a different point of view on this as you. MY adherence to MY point of view on this does NOT preclude you from holding YOUR point of view. You are the one who cannot let go of me not changing my mind, yet I’ve never attempted to force your mind to change, instead being more than happy to agree to disagree. I’ve never given you any indication that you need to change your opinion on the issue, rather that you need to accept that yours isn’t the only spiritual angle from which this theological issue can be viewed.

    (And, the more you refer to points I have NOT made to you (books and websites) the more it makes it look like you’re not even paying attention to my perspective.)

    I get your side, I really do. I grew up Southern Baptist. I just have many MANY reasons attained after years of prayerful discernment and study to not believe the same thing, and in the end, it really is MY call for MY life and soul.

    So, respectfully — allow me control over my own walk with Christ, and quit meddling — He’s got this. Really, He does.

  • jaystriggle

    homosexuality inplies sex does it not……

  • Jeff Preuss

    Just as much as heterosexuality does, Jay. You are still the one who started the conversation about what I do with my parts, not I, then claimed it to be “none of [your] business.”

  • jaystriggle

    what is your point ? Your are saying the Bible does not condemn or even address homosexuality, and then get upset if we mention any thing about the act of homosexual sex, how can you seperate the two….
    My point is I dont care if you engage, it is not my place to decide for you what to do. Our discussion is about the Bible and Homosexuality. I said “parts” I did not say they were your parts. You claimed them in your reply.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Sigh
    Look, I tried with you, I really did, to be
    respectful and engage you with sincerity and integrity, realizing we
    were not likely to agree, and that you were unlikely to change your
    mind. I’m really okay with that.

    But, you
    don’t get to insist that yours is the only way of thinking, and continue
    to beat the dead horse under the guise of looking out for a fellow
    believer.

    All God’s peace and blessings to you, my friend, but I simply cannot engage with you any more. You argue points that I didn’t make, and went from being an engaging conversationalist to an offensive one. And, the truly sad part is you don’t understand why.

    But, I’ve got to put a Killfile on you, Jay. I won’t see your comments any more. There’s no point – you’re just going round and round and it’s not healthy for either of us to continue.

  • Possibly the best article on this topic I’ve ever read. Especially love the part pointing out gluttony not seeming to be a problem especially in American culture because it’s so acceptable. I’ve had the same thought. Thanks for your thoughtful and compassionate articles. Blessings.

  • Jon

    Wow, thank you for the thought provoking read! I really appreciate the way in which you spoke to this subject.

    I have a heavy heart for Christians who struggle with these feelings. I live in CA and I have seen first hand how cruel some people in the church can be toward the gay community–even gay Christians who are striving toward abstinence.

    I read your article this morning and it’s been on my heart all day. I will most certainly be considering how I can be a better encouragement to my fellow Christians who struggle with these feelings.

  • BSA

    Wow… IQ’s have suddenly dropped. The first few sentances from the author of this article reveal just how corrupt man can be in his thinking. For example…Theology is by definition is the study of God. And if you study God as He is revealed to us in the Bible, then you’ll understand that God never changes. Yet here we have somebody telling us that our theology can and probably should evolve on this subject matter which implies that God really has no authority here. The problem for this author is that God has spoken clearly and concisely on this matter and it’s not a suggestion open for man (let alone this author) to diminsih that authority while elevating his own. That is the sin of divination. That is Satan telling Eve that God really didn’t mean it when said you surely won’t die if you eat of the forbidden fruit. That’s all this article is… the same old ancient lie of the devil.

  • Mark N

    The difficult line to walk is standing against sin, all sin, and the Holy Spirit will call to our own, to us and beckon us to leave it behind and believe in the power of Christ to help us over come, and the battle will also teach us humility in that we show love and compassion with out judgement. The danger is becoming complacent with sin, and that is important to the relationship of the individual before God. We work out our own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord. Knowing the love of Christ and the battle with sin is an ongoing process of recovery, much like the ones we clearly recognize, such as substance abuse. We are all in recovery and it takes honesty, openness, oneness, and transparency to gain ground, but during my time in AA no one ever supported or encouraged anyone to go on a bender, and that is a dangerous fine line to cross, no matter what the sin may be. We need to default on the side of love and compassion, but Satan was able to deceive eve by call “sin” goodness and God a liar. Much like AA membership, it only asks that you approach the program with a desire to leave insanity behind, no one ever interrogated me or put a bright light on me to answer yes or no, did I drink today, but they were there to listen, help, heal, and guide if I needed support against my struggle to over come the insanity of this rather obvious and destructive sin. The addict vernacular for judging someone else’s battles is an error in approach termed “taking someone else’s inventory.” But still the message was undeterred that the goal is to over come addiction and pursue recovery. It did not matter if I thought cocaine abuse was more grievous than alcohol abuse, my challenge was still alcohol and the compassion brought by understanding the battle was so I did not judge another or take their inventory, but I would never tell anyone taking cocaine is a good idea. Compassion is a attribute for others, complacency is only a danger in consideration of our own accountability with our own inventory. But the battle to obtain healing only began when I acknowledged that alcoholism was a destructive sin that I had to move beyond for my own health and sanity and I was powerless to do so with out the love, power, and guidance of God.

  • Mark N

    During this time in the culture, I would assume men perpetuated divorce solely, and Christ is trying to open their eyes to the damage they subject their wives and the complications of the situation. During His discussion about married He references the design of the garden of Eden and how they were meant to be together, other facets of this deeply physical and emotional bound refer to the two becoming “one flesh.” Also, if men were the ones to pursue divorce He points out that such allowances were begrudgingly made by God because people had hardness of their hearts. He is showing the realities of the situation to illuminate how their hearts were hardened showing the callus destruction divorce creates, so get married, stay married, strive to work it out, if none of those three pan out, pray for God’s guidance and wisdom. We are to strive to love one another and not have a desire to hurt one another, but it is a broken world and because of that it creates tough calls for us all that should never be if we all strove to love one another and respect the relationships we enter into as God outlined. At that time in history fertility was a huge social pressure and one was perceived as blessed if they had children, and this discussion is for those who perpetuated divorce for them to understand the gravity of the situation you are putting your spouse in, if you consider divorcing her. It was exposing reality to the men of the day in order for them to consider the hardness of their own hearts and beckoning them to show love and compassion to the women they married. If they were divorced young, and men abstained form marrying her, she would seem cursed in the society at that time. He was beseeching the men to show love and compassion to their wives and put away the hardness of their hearts. I would strive not to find who to pin the label and blame on and pray for guidance in the very stormy waters of today’s society, if this is a situation you are personally facing. In the blame game, I have to laugh at Adams reply when God asked him specifically if he ate of the apple, it was a yes or no question, man up buddy. There obvious reasons why God calls us His children.

  • Patricia Garvin Fox

    When Jesus spoke the commandment to love one another, there was no “except.” You no more choose your sexual orientation than you choose to be left handed. And it’s just as unreasonable to try to change either one. In the 1950’s, it was the policy in schools to change all of us lefties to be “normal” right handed folk. That was embarrassing, even traumatic, and didn’t work worth beans. I can only imagine how much worse it would be to have someone attempt to change your innate sexual identity as well as have them insist it is sinful.

    What I will never comprehend is how someone else’s sexual identity affects another person, or how marriage equality threatens marriage in any way. Being statistically less common is just a fact, not a curse.

  • WilmRoget

    Your slander is sin. Please repent.

    “God has spoken clearly and concisely on this matter”

    Nice lie. You are not God, BSA.

  • WilmRoget

    Let’s see – an anonymous person on the internet repeats the same old talking points from failed ex-gay “let make lots of money” ministries, without anything to back it up. But across the internet, real humans using their real names have testified the real harm caused by such ministries.

    And then you provide a touching story – that is hardly any different from the lives of millions of GLBTQ Christians who begged God to change their sexuality, without any success at all. They have loving families, an intimate and uplifting relationship with God, they are fulfilled and blessed – but, unlike you, they don’t need to come here and denigrate the lives of hundreds of millions of people.

    “To people reading this that do want out of the gay-lifestyle,”

    There is no gay lifestyle, only liars use that term.

    “there is hope in Christ and the power exists to set you free.”

    Christ has set millions of GLBTQ free from homophobia and self-hate, from feeling inferior and degraded, by affirming that their innate capacity for love and intimacy is not sin.

    ‘but the lie you (and others like you) are feeding people negates the power of the Gospel.”

    Your false accusation is rebellion against God.

    “Rebellion against God and His ways which are clearly defined in His Word.”

    And you are engaged in such rebellion.

  • WilmRoget

    “cite – with references – from the 6000 years of Biblical theology, law, tradition, and exegesis that actively supports”

    using the id ‘docwatson’.

    using computers.

    reading, writing, speaking English.

    Your test is fraud, but unfortunately for you, because you have tried to judge others by ‘absence of affirmation = condemnation’, you have made your id sin, your use of computers sin, your use of English is sin, your use of anything that is not affirmed in the Bible, including the test you imposed on us, is sin.

  • WilmRoget

    Well, it says all we need to know about you: Fraud, rapes passages out of context, disregards logic and reason.

  • WilmRoget

    How hypocritical of you to accuse others of being out of context.

  • WilmRoget

    Your post is vicious slander. Equating homosexuality with pedophilia indicates that you have no moral sense. As a slanderer, you are barred from the Kingdom of Heaven, unless you repent.

  • Guest

    Plagiarism is a sin, Drea, a form of stealing.

  • WilmRoget

    You are not telling a Biblical truth, so your defense does not apply to you or your peers.

  • WilmRoget

    Slanders like that bar people from the Kingdom of Heaven.

  • WilmRoget

    There is no condemnation of homosexuality in the Bible.

    There are more than three hundred passages condemning specific expressions of heterosexuality.

  • WilmRoget

    You mean the passages that describe having sex with your mother or father, in heterosexual contexts? Or describing having sex with your children, in heterosexual contexts?

    The Bible contains hundreds of passages that explicitly condemn specific manifestations of heterosexual sexuality.

  • WilmRoget

    “See I Corinthians 6:9-10.”

    See it in the original Greek. It does not use any of the greek words of Paul’s culture and time that meant homosexual.

    And if you had any moral sense, you would instinctively realize that homosexuality is not like stealing or addiction. You are a slanderer, and under the very passage you cited, you are condemned.

  • docwatson

    My point is that you’re advocating a narrative that has, as far as back as the 1st century, been proven to be the antithesis of the history, theology, and exegesis of the Bible and The Church.

    It’s your place to prove that you’re not wrong when the common understanding in theology that homosexuality is sin and has been so and confirmed in Romans 1:26:

    26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

    Feel free to argue with the Apostle Paul, not me.

  • docwatson

    I did starting with Leviticus 20:13, the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:26-27 through Tertullian, Saint Augustine, Catherine of Siena, Justin Martyr, and Clement of Alexandria, and Martin Luther – all giants in the formation of Christian theology, exegesis, and canon. If you claim to be a Christian, then you have to accept that homosexuality is a sin and clearly forbidden by the Bible and the greater Church. You can identify yourself as gay, but must cease practicing it.

  • Realist1234

    As a gay Christian myself, I believe God does not want me to have sex with another man, whether as a one night stand or within a so-called ‘marriage’. I have yet to read any book or commentary on the subject that shows that God doesnt really condemn all sex outside heterosexual marriage. It is true that many Christian leaders have down-played Jesus’ teaching on sexual morality and have primarily condemned gay sex above all else, but thatdoesnt mean that our atitude should be of ‘anything goes’ . The Church (ie Christians) should not be going along with society’s ‘norms’, it is supposed to be counter-cultural by definition. Yes Jesus told the prostitute she was forgiven,but he ended by telling her to stop sinning. Dont dilute what he actually said (yes Ive read your book Mr Corey).

  • docwatson

    Starting with Early Church fathers including Paul, the understanding was/is/will be that it homosexuality is clearly a sin. You can chirp and wish for some bizarre interpretation of the Bible that glorifies your position but that’s not going to happen.

    I’m open to be wrong so I would love to see a *clear* Scriptural reference to the acceptance of the practice.

  • docwatson

    So your position that there is no universal truth and reference for the Gospel? That’s some seriously dangerous territory.

  • docwatson

    Are you saying that there is no core canon to Christianity? That Tertullian who spoke fluent Greek and had *first hand* access to the Greek texts, was wrong? You also didn’t read another post I made so I’ll repeat it:

    The writings of the Pre-Augustine Church Fathers who were opposed to homosexuality:

    Justin Martyr (AD 151)
    Clement of Alexandria (AD 190)
    Novatian (AD 250)
    Cyprian (AD 253)
    Arnobius (AD 305)

    Tertullian from 160-220 AD, who espoused the Trinity, condemned homosexuality obviously using the original texts and writings of earlier Christian Fathers and source material from the Greek (http://bit.ly/1mxb8As)

    “Yes,and also in the first chapter of [Romans] [Paul] authenticates nature, when he asserts that males and females changed among themselves the natural use of the creature into that which is unnatural, by way of penal retribution for their error.”

    “[A]ll other frenzies of the lusts which exceed the laws of nature, and are impious toward both [human] bodies and the sexes, we banish, not only from the threshold but also from all shelter of the Church, for they are not sins so much as monstrosities” (Modesty 4 [A.D. 220]).

  • docwatson

    So, you’re position is that Paul and the Early Church Fathers – the foundational giants of Christian Theology – were *wrong*? If so, that is a massive degree of hubris and arrogance if not outright heresy.

  • docwatson

    Please, educate me contextually in light of Scripture – you’re a Christian, right? You should know your exegesis. If you’re not a Christian here, then you’re just a troll.

  • docwatson

    We are discussing states of being and Grace – you may have been a murderer, pedophile, a thief (think of the Cross), an alchoholic, or an addict? The issue is whether or not that person is still killing, stalking children, committing theft, or using? Are you continuing to sin? The same applies to being a *practicing* homosexual.

  • docwatson

    I didn’t see him claim he was, just that the issue has been clearly understood within the Church since at least AD 33.

  • docwatson

    Post-Modernist Theology fails in light of any truly objective understanding of ‘right and wrong’ as defined by the Word. Today we see Post-Modernist Theology preach a subjective, interpretive theology that has no place in the purity of the Gospel and, like many good intentions, is blazing a pathway if not to Hell then to simply lead people astray.

  • docwatson

    So, am i understanding that, in your theology, anything goes?

    If homosexuality is okay, why not bestiality, pederasty, and incest?

    They are *all* clearly banned by what you seem to believe is 2,000 years of incorrect exegesis and canon; logic would say that as a result the Bible and Christianity as a whole is worthless since the so called underlying basis for it is utterly incorrect and critically flawed.

    Don’t believe me about the Early Christian Fathers, look it up and do your own research – seriously. Be a Berean! :)

  • WilmRoget

    “My point is that you’re advocating a narrative that has, as far as back
    as the 1st century, been proven to be the antithesis of the history,
    theology, and exegesis of the Bible and The Church”

    No, I’m not. And certainly not because you said so. Frankly, I have doubts that you are using the word ‘antithesis’ correctly. After all, essentially, you are arguing that the opposite of “justified by grace through in Jesus Christ” is “homosexuality is not a sin”. That just is not rational.

    “It’s your place to prove that you’re not wrong when the common understanding’

    No. Actually, you are accusing hundreds of millions of people of sin, the burden is yours. GLBTQ people are presumed innocent, not presumed guilty. Unless, of course, you want to be presumed guilty and forced to prove your innocence?

    ” has been so and confirmed in Romans 1:26:”

    And so, you start with fraud. What happened to the rest of Romans 1, and to Romans 2?

    So let’s begin. https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Romans+1%2C2&version=NIV

    Romans 1-17 are Paul’s greeting to the church in Rome, and end with the assertion “The righteous will live by faith.” Your theology, your condemnation of homosexuality, is not about faith, but works. You make salvation contingent on the work of being heterosexual.

    Verses 18-20 tell us that no one is excused from knowing God, the creation itself proclaims God’s nature. That creation docwatson, includes homosexuality in more than a thousand species of life, and that creation, at least the life we know on earth, is not entirely, or even most heterosexual. The majority of life on earth is asexual. The next most common sexual strategy is forms of hermaphrodism. Then there’s heterosexuality, bisexuality and homosexuality in species with distinct gender dimorphism, and species that change change gender, and species that have event thousands of genders. The creation proclaims diversity when it comes to sexuality and reproduction.

    Next we have verses 21-25, where Paul explicitly describes idolatry:
    “21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

    24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. 26 Because of this,”

    Oops – I got a bit of verse 26 – to show your fraud. It is explicitly clear that what follows in 26 is tied to, in a causal relationship, to the idolatry described in 21-25. So your entire argument begins with deliberate, and sinful, wicked deception on your part. That, on its own, entirely destroys your credibility – until you repent.

    Now we know now about the fertility religions in Rome that Paul is actually talking about, the priests and priestesses of Cybele/the Great Mother, and her consort Attis. We know that worshipers had sex with these priests and priestesses to earn the goddess’ blessing – a form of ‘works theology’ and remember, Paul opposed that in Christianity as well. We know that at least some of the priests castrated themselves to be like Cybele. We even know from archeological evidence that some of the priests preferred women sexually. And if you are honest, you’ll admit that this has nothing to do with homosexuals.

    So before we even get to the passage you raped, yes, raped out of context, we have a situation that has nothing to do with homosexuals.

    And then 26, 27. Paul uses the words ‘physikos chresis’ – the innate, instinctive, inborn sexual use of – to talk about people abandoning their innate attraction to the opposite sex.

    Guess what? No, really, guess.

    Homosexuals do not have an innate sexual attraction to the opposite sex. They cannot abandon or exchange the ‘natural sexual use of’ the opposite, because they don’t have it. They have the natural sexual use of their own sex. Our “physikos chresis” is toward our own gender, yours, presumably, is toward the opposite gender. We cannot abandon what we do not have.

    And it is fraud, wicked, wicked fraud, for you to ignore that vital component of abandoning, exchange – since is what ties the whole thing together in the first place. People “exchanged the glory of the immortal God” and as a result exchange their innate sexual attraction to the opposite sex as a part of these religions’ worship practices.

    Paul is not talking about homosexuals, he is describing heterosexual idolaters engaged in temple prostitution and fertility worship practices.

    Now here is the ironic part. You see, you have a great deal in common with the people Paul is actually writing about. You try to coerce, through death threats (Lev 20:13) GLBTQ people into abandoning their physikos chresis toward their own gender, that God gave them, that is entirely natural for them, in obedience to your false god of pride and heterosexism. You and your peers are the idolaters in this situation.

    Which explains why the end of Romans 1 so aptly describes you and everyone else who teaches ‘homosexuality is sin’, people like Fred Phelps, and Pat Robertson, and Martin ‘kill the gays” SSempa:

    “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.”

    Whether you admit it or not, whether you like it or not, whether you recognize it or not, that is you and everyone else who teaches ‘homosexuality is sin’. Everyone. The proof is in the thousands of murders of GLBTQ people, the corrective rape, the torture and bullying of GLBTQ people, the viciously unjust laws like Prop 8.

    And, we still haven’t reached Paul’s point, because everything so far has just been a set up, an intro to Paul’s point:

    ” You, therefore, have no excuse, you who pass judgment on someone else, for at whatever point you judge
    another, you are condemning yourself, because you who pass judgment do the same things. 2 Now we know that God’s judgment against those who do such things is based on truth. 3 So when you, a mere human being, pass judgment on them and yet do the same things, do you think you will escape God’s judgment? 4 Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, forbearance and patience, not realizing that God’s kindness is intended to lead you to repentance?

    5 But because of your stubbornness and your unrepentant heart, you are storing up wrath against yourself for the day of God’s wrath, when his righteous judgment will be revealed. 6 God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”[a] 7 To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality, he will give eternal life. 8 But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil, there will be wrath and anger. 9 There will be trouble and distress for every human being who does evil: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile; 10 but glory, honor and peace for everyone who does good: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. 11 For God does not show favoritism.”

    Did you catch this part: God “will repay each person according to what they have done.”? I hope so. It should give you pause, because what you’ve done is promote violence and destruction of real human beings. What you and your peers have done is slander, revile and persecute real human beings.

    And that is what God will repay you for.

    Unless, of course, you repent.

  • WilmRoget

    “I did starting with Leviticus 20:13″

    I hope you realize that to start with, you have bound yourself for judgement to all of the laws in Leviticus, every single one of them. The food laws, the dress code, every single law.

    Second, this passage demands the death penalty. So you have informed me, and anyone else with integrity, that you approve of, embrace, welcome the wholesale slaughter of some seven hundred million human beings

    as blood sacrifices

    to your god.

    The moment you cite that, you commit seven hundred million counts of murder in your thoughts and in your words. And murder, docwatson, actually is sin, unlike homosexuality. So while you revile us for our sexuality, you are a mass murderer in thought and word. Talk about the pot calling the snow ‘black’.

    ” the Apostle Paul in Romans 1:26-27″

    I addressed this in depth below.

    “Tertullian, Saint Augustine, Catherine of Siena, Justin Martyr, and
    Clement of Alexandria, and Martin Luther – all giants in the formation
    of Christian theology, exegesis, and canon.”

    And not a one of them the Christ. But the Christ, Jesus, gave a test: good trees bear good fruit, evil trees bear evil fruit. Those who teach ‘homosexuality is sin’ bear evil fruit. Luther was a rabid antisemite, do you embrace his theology on that as well? Tertullian contradicts Paul’s theology on the Jews as well and is frankly rather repugnant. Saint Augustine was also more than a little antisemitic.

    Do you embrace antisemitism too?

    “If you claim to be a Christian, then you have to accept that homosexuality is a sin”

    No. No where does Jesus Christ make condemnation of homosexuality a requirement for following Him. No where. I argue instead that if you embrace ‘homosexuality is sin’, then you have rejected Christ, for after all, Jesus said “whatever you do for the least of these you do for me” and “whatever you do not do for the least of these, you do not do for me”. When you revile homosexuals, you revile Jesus with us. When you fail to end the persecution of homosexuals, you fail to end the persecution of Jesus with us.

    “clearly forbidden by the Bible”
    Absolutely not.

  • WilmRoget

    Further, not a word of either of your two posts below addresses your sin here.

    You invoked ‘absence of affirmation = condemnation’ to judge others, and so, per Matthew 7:1,2 – you are judged by that standard.

    You sinned by posting here. Basically, how ever bad you think gay sex is – you committed the same level of sin by posting here. Or by driving a car, talking on the telephone, watching television.

    You made everything that you do in life, that is not explicitly affirmed, as much sin for you as you think gay sex is sin for homosexuals.

    I am so glad I am not in you shoes – which had better be sandals, handmade of all natural materials.

  • WilmRoget

    “Starting with Early Church fathers”

    Starting with Jesus, it cannot be. And many of those ‘early church fathers’ were rabid antisemites – do you hate Jews as much as you hate homosexuals?

    “including Paul, the understanding was/is/will be that it homosexuality is clearly a sin.”

    Absolutely not.

    “You can chirp and wish for some bizarre interpretation of the Bible that glorifies your position but that’s not going to happen.”

    I don’t need to chirp and wish, as so you condescendingly, sinfully, pridefully and dishonestly put it. I just have apply the test Jesus gave in Matthew 7:15-23, and factor in the innate and perfect justice of God, and read the passages in context, translate them accurately, and evaluate them with a bare minimum of reason and integrity. The result is clear: “homosexuality is sin” cannot possibly be accurate. It is intrinsically unjust, contradicting the Bible’s claim “God does not play favorites”. It produces only evil fruit, it produces every evil humans are capable of, and those who believe and practice ‘homosexuality is sin’ engage in all seven of the things God hates:

    16 There are six things the Lord hates,
    seven that are detestable to him:
    17 haughty eyes,
    a lying tongue,
    hands that shed innocent blood,
    18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
    feet that are quick to rush into evil,
    19 a false witness who pours out lies
    and a person who stirs up conflict in the community. Proverbs 6.

    Notice that there is no mention of homosexuality in that list, but you and your peers commit all seven in large ways and small, in thought, word or deed, or all three.

    “I’m open to be wrong so I would love to see a *clear* Scriptural reference to the acceptance of the practice.”

    I am still waiting for a clear Scriptural reference to the acceptance of the practice of using computers, the internet, English, and identifying by the term ‘docwatson’.

    Unless you can provide such support, you’ve made all of these things, and many, many more, sin for you.

  • WilmRoget

    “So, you’re position is that Paul”

    My position on your prior post is that you committed fraud. Are you going to repent?

    ” If so, that is a massive degree of hubris and arrogance if not outright heresy.’

    While your position is that seven hundred million human beings, twice the population of the United States, are to be murdered as human sacrifices to your god.

    You really have no business at all accusing any of hubris and arrogance.

    Your slander of me is sin, and as a slanderer, docwatson, you are barred from the Kingdom of Heaven, by Paul’s own words,

    unless you repent. Please, for your sake, do so.

  • WilmRoget

    “then you’re just a troll.”

    Nice sin. By some people’s standards, you cannot be a Christian, for you produce evil in the world.

  • WilmRoget

    “We are discussing states of being and Grace -”

    No, we are discussing your vicious slander of hundreds of millions of people. Of course, elsewhere, you cited Leviticus 20:13, essentially proclaiming that seven hundred million human beings are to be sacrificed as blood offerings to your god.

    The issue is that you are equating something that is not intrinsically harmful and does not intrinsically violate consent – homosexuality

    with things that do, like murder, raping children, etc.

    This proves that you simply have no moral sense, or that you abandon it. Now, frankly, I think you use this comparison to revile and bully GLBTQ people, to vent your hate and scorn in a way you think you can get away with. You are a slanderer, and as such, barred from the Kingdom of Heaven.

    But I doubt if you care. I think you are just here to feed your pride by reviling us.

  • WilmRoget

    What you did, or did not see, is not evidence. After all, when you cited Lev 20:13 to condemn homosexuals, you became a mass murder in your thoughts and heart, calling for the slaughter of seven hundred million human beings as blood offerings to your god.

  • Realist1234

    As a gay Christian myself, I agree with you, but after whatever number of years I am still gay (ie find men attractive and not women), but I am glad you have been changed.

  • Realist1234

    Sorry but there isnt a ‘lack of clarity in the Bible’ regarding gay sex. It cant be any clearer but you are trying to justify your own behaviour and lifestyle by muddying what the Bible and therefore God has to say about your chosen life. And before you assume Im a straight bigoted Christian, Im also gay and Christian.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I will actually stand firm in my assertion that there is not clarity about homosexuality in the Bible. It could be a LOT clearer – it could explicitly say “you who feel you are born homosexual are still called to be heterosexual” yet it doesn’t. Homosexuality as a concept is not even mentioned. Gay sex sure seems to be, but as recounted many places, there are a number of contextual possibilities for why those texts were written to address it.

    You say you are a gay Christian, but interestingly enough, you go straight to me justifying my “chosen life” and “lifestyle.”

    What, exactly, do you think is my lifestyle?

    I’ve neither “chosen” this nor am I justifying anything.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Doc, good to see you again. I hope you are well. I know when you were last here, you related a bit of your struggles. Hope they’re a little easier for you.

    Before I start, I read your other post. It doesn’t mean I found compelling truth in it.

    A)Yes, my point IS that there is a variety of books that are considered canon across the world of Christianity, and it’s not the same across all denominations/orthodoxies. Yet it’s all still Christian.

    B)Just because there are earlier theologians and scholars who were opposed to homosexuality does not mean there is NO theological basis for not finding it sinful.

    C)Don’t cause a conclusive leap that I didn’t make and say I am calling Tertullian wrong, someone you happen to have read the writings of and agreed with. As I’ve stated a dozen times before to you, one theologian’s interpretation isn’t the end-all be-all explanation of Scripture. There are and were other theologians who disagree, and you cannot simply discount them because you don’t agree with them, even though you’re accusing me of doing that with Tertullian’s writings.

    D)I’ll remind you, all of the folks you like to bring up as (allegedly) absolute authorities in their theological positions were considered heretics by many Christians in their time.

    E)”Yes,and also in the first chapter of [Romans] [Paul] authenticates nature, when he asserts that males and females changed among themselves the natural use of the creature into that which is unnatural, by way of penal retribution for their error.” Fine. Except my NATURAL use of my sexuality is homosexuality. I have never experienced heterosexual attraction/longing/romance whatsoever. My homosexuality IS natural to me. It is not a “frenzy of lust.”

    Frankly, I don’t care how many times you trot out scholars from the first 400 centuries AD or even recent ones. The point I have ALWAYS made to you is that there are those who theologically oppose your point of view, yet believe you are entitled to have your view and still qualify as Christian. But, you are NOT entitled to use your point of view to beat down other people and declare them unChristian or hellbound or whatever term it is you want to use.

    You have “shunned” me before, and you can shun me from your sight, or your church perhaps. But NOT from Church. NOT from Christ. NOT from Christianity.

    You and I both belong to this wonderful religion, though we have different takes on, frankly, secondary or tertiary guidelines for being a Christian. There are central tenets to being a follower of Christ, and being straight isn’t what I would call a central tenet.

    Okay, again, I do hope you’re doing well, Chris. God bless you.

    (Edited because I had responded to some words that Doc didn’t use, and I didn’t want to create an argument from misreading his comment.)

  • docwatson

    Citing a Scriptural framework isn’t a death threat, it’s pointing out a historical, theological, and exegesis for my position and the position of the greater Church for the last 2,000 years. There’s no violence in anything I’ve said and certainly not been advocated in any way.

    20 As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. – 1 Tim 5:20

    Your reaction to Scripture is well into heresy and a deliberate and gross self-justification for what the Bible, the greater Church and the Church fathers clearly and specifically said was a sin. Your spin doesn’t make that any less true.

    We are *all* guilty of sin or otherwise there was no need for Christ to die on the cross; the principle of ‘Go and sin no more’ applies to us all yet if someone persists in their sin, they are denigrating Christ’s propitiation for our sins.

    The key here is that through Salvation, there is a way out of the lifestyle through His Grace and Mercy – provided you want to take it and count the cost for doing so.

    If you identify yourself as gay, fine. If you identify yourself as a Christian, that’s great. If you identify yourself as a Christian and gay, then you have an obligation to not continue to practice it and have an opportunity to be a missionary to the gay community.

    If you had to choose between giving up your sexual activity for His Kingdom or continue to have sex with other men, which would be more important to you?

  • docwatson

    Throw red herrings and straw man arguments, much?

    I’ve certainly never proclaimed myself a prophet, I’m just taking a historical theological position that somehow has only recently become unpopular in light of Post-Modernist Theology and subjective reasoning in understanding Scripture. In light of that *anything* goes as long as that person doesn’t agree that any act is forbidden; homosexuality, pederasty, bestiality, murder, thievery, etc.

    If you use the position that one activity clearly forbidden in Deuteronomy and prohibited by Paul is okay, then why have any restraints at all?

  • WilmRoget

    “Citing a Scriptural framework isn’t a death threat”

    Citing Leviticus 20:13 is a death threat.

    “There’s no violence in anything I’ve said and certainly not been advocated in any way.’

    Please stop lying. By citing Leviticus 20:13, you called for the slaughter of seven hundred million people. Your denials don’t change that.

    Face it – your theology calls for real humans to be murdered to please your god – and people do it.

    “Your reaction to Scripture is well into heresy”

    Your slander is sin. Slandering me does not change the intrinsic nature of your theology. It does, though, demonstrate that malice is at the very heart of your belief on this matter.

    ” If you identify yourself as a Christian and gay, then you have an obligation to not continue to practice it”

    No. I have no obligation to obey your vicious theology. I understand, you need to ruin other people’s lives, break up their relationships, sentence to a life of misery, to feel good.

    “If you had to choose between giving up your sexual activity for His Kingdom or continue to have sex with other men, which would be more important to you?”

    I’ll tell you what. You spend all of your life celibate, and on your death bed, ask me again.

  • WilmRoget

    You teach murder, docwatson. Do grasp that. Everything you post is viewed in light of your acceptance of slaughtering seven million human beings as blood sacrifices to your god.

    Oh, I know, you will restrain yourself, we don’t have to die for your god, if we spend our lives deprived of a loving, unitive, intimate relationship. You demand celibacy on pain of death.

    If only you could see how utterly evil that is.

  • WilmRoget

    “So, am i understanding that, in your theology, anything goes?”

    Nothing in cajaquarius’ post indicates that. So we find in your post that you endorse mass murder, specifically, slaughtering seven hundred million people as blood sacrifices to your god – which you articulated by using Lev 20:13 against homosexuals.

    And you lie frequently, readily, without remorse or apparent conscience. You slander hundreds of millions of people, and individuals.

    If anyone is demonstrating an ‘anything goes’ theology, it is you.

    ‘If homosexuality is okay, why not bestiality, pederasty, and incest?’

    I have no doubt that it made you feel really good inside to slander our relationships in that way, equating them with forms of rape. But it only shows that you cannot tell the difference between a consensual relationship and a coercive one – or that you choose to disregard that difference.

    And that means that any living thing alone with you, is at risk.

  • WilmRoget

    “Sorry but there isnt a ‘lack of clarity in the Bible’ regarding gay sex.”

    Really? No lack of clarity at all? Then you should realistically have no problem answering a few simple questions, in detail:

    Where, exactly, is the mishkap ishshah in my home? And where is it exactly in the homes of every gay man on earth. Precise coordinates, down to the centimeter, would be appropriate.

    Why did Paul choose not to use any of the Greek words of his culture that actually were used to convey the concept “same-sex attraction”? He had seventeen words, why, exactly didn’t he use them? You will need evidence from Paul by the way.

    Returning to the OT, how did God have sex with (yada) Abraham, Moses, the people of Israel, and the people of Egypt?

    And then back to the NT, how to people abandon something they do not ever have?

    “And before you assume Im a straight bigoted Christian, Im also gay and Christian.”

    There’s no reason to believe you. Only homophobes use the term ‘gay lifestyle’.

  • WilmRoget

    Your empty dismissal, as arrogant and egotistical as it is, accomplishes nothing beyond making you look bad.

  • WilmRoget

    As anonymous entity on the internet, there really isn’t any reason to believe you. Frankly, though I’ve known more than a thousand GLBTQ people over the last 30 years, I’ve yet to find one who would equate homosexuality with prostitution, as you did.

    And calling ‘anything goes’ is strong evidence that you are heterosexual homophobe playing gay on the ‘net.

  • docwatson

    Jeff,

    As Ive asked before to you and your peers, I’m seeking a historical context for your point of view, so please provide a source as early as (or earlier than) 400 AD to support your position. I’m open to reading it and being convinced of it. What I struggle with is Post-Modern Theology that somehow has come to light and declared a sudden revelation that, after 2,000 years, more or less says, ‘all is acceptable.’

    I see the Church as something with a solid foundational basis beginning with the Council of Nicea; all of Church history and doctrine is linked to that time and place and, from that, a globally universal accepted theology, exegesis, and canon. Those Councils gave rise to the Early Church Fathers and the continuance of the basis for the theology of Christendom.

    Either the foundational beliefs, theology, exegesis, and canon that the greater Church is based on for the last 2,000 years are correct or they aren’t and, if they aren’t correct, then every major author, Church Figure, and Apostle underpinning the Faith is a liar and there is no Christianity to be followed. There is no middle ground here and no room for equivocation.

    I agree that being straight isn’t a central tenant to Salvation yet the consequences of taking up your Cross means self-honesty, an acknowledgment of sin, and to not continue in behavior that is contrary to Scripture. If you’re an alcoholic, then you should repent and stop drinking, if you’re literally screwing your pooch, you should repent and stop doing so; if you’re having sex with children, you repent and stop doing it. If you’re having same sex relations then repent and stop doing it.The reason I cite those activities that way is because until very, very recently, it was understood that forbidding these behaviors *was*, in fact, the Truth in the light of the Word.

    Ultimately, it’s a matter of conscience in light of the Truth of the Word and someone can accept it or reject it and live or die with the consequences of their choice.

  • WilmRoget

    “Throw red herrings and straw man arguments, much?’

    Nope. But you are invited to demonstrate anything in my posts is either of those things. Of course, a person of integrity would have done so when they made the accusation, and you did not. That failure strongly suggests that there is nothing to substantiate your claim, as usual.

    “I’ve certainly never proclaimed myself a prophet,”

    Nice red herring there.

    “I’m just taking a historical theological position that somehow has only recently become unpopular in light of Post-Modernist Theology'”

    Gee, look at that, another one. Your characterizations ‘only recently and ‘post modernist theology’ are both false, but they do have pretty red fins, don’t they?

    “In light of that *anything* goes as long”

    One red fish, two red fish, three red herrings in a row. We’re on our way to a whole school of ’em.

    “homosexuality, pederasty, bestiality, murder, thievery, etc.”

    And again, while it no doubt made you feel very tingly to slander us with those comparisons, it simply shows that you have no moral sense, or that you discard it. Such hate speech only proves you wrong.

    “If you use the position that one activity clearly forbidden in Deuteronomy and prohibited by Paul is okay,”

    Since no one here is making that position, this is your fourth obvious red herring (other people might be more picky than I was and reach a higher count).

    You’ve practically call a whole tin of red herrings there.

  • WilmRoget

    Now, with your pretty red herrings all tucked away in their tin, you demanded Biblical affirmation for something, and in return, I held you to that standard.

    You have repeatedly failed to even attempt to verify that you live by the standard you tried to judge us with.

    And you keep on racking up examples of to’ebah, things God detests –

    “haughty eyes, a lying tongue, a false witness who pours out lies and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.”

    just in your more recent posts.

  • WilmRoget

    “NOT from Christ. NOT from Christianity.”

    Romans 8:

    38 And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[b] neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. 39 No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    As hard as folks like docwatson try, they cannot achieve what they so avidly seek.

  • docwatson

    Obviously, you haven’t read my post about celibacy and no remarriage in light of divorce; It’s been 4 years since she left and I don’t have to like it but I *DO* have to be obedient to it even when it’s lonely and sucks to the point of despair and fleeting thoughts of self harm. I’m dying to self every single day.

    Faith isn’t a matter of convenience, it’s not a Chinese menu where we can pick and choose what to believe and if you take up your Cross, you’re going to have to give up things for His Kingdom.

  • Proud Amelekite

    [So, am i understanding that, in your theology, anything goes?]

    You misunderstand, but before I correct I am curious if you would answer a question for me: why is rape morally wrong, in your eyes? This is not a trick question and I will answer your question but I need to know where you are coming from before I do.

    [If homosexuality is okay, why not bestiality, pederasty, and incest?]

    Bestiality: Animals can’t give consent, nor can they love, mutually, as homosexuals can in a relationship with one another. Animals cannot love in the self giving sense that human beings can.

    Pederasty: Children can’t give consent and sex can actively harm their emotional development. As a result there can be no legitimate love between a child and an adult, even if the child loves said adult because the adult it harming the child.

    Incest: Sex with close family causes revulsion in neurotypical people precisely because it can lead to birth defects in offspring. Rotten meat smells bad to us because it makes us sick. Beyond this, incest violates a familial bond in a way that damages it forever. It is a betrayal of familial love. Homosexuality causes no revulsion that isn’t first taught and, assuming it is not violating familial bonds, is not directly harmful.

    I can selflessly love another man in the same way my straight counterpart can selflessly love a woman. The same cannot be said for any of the above. That is the difference.

    [.They are *all* clearly banned by what you seem to believe is 2,000 years of incorrect exegesis and canon; logic would say that as a result the Bible and Christianity as a whole is worthless since the so called underlying basis for it is utterly incorrect and critically flawed.]

    Faith built on logic is doomed to fail. I have given you legitimate reasons bestiality, pederasty, and incest are morally wrong and I didn’t depend on rules lawyering, clever tautology, or falsehood to do it. Heaven is made for children, not for lawyers, pharisees, and clever philosophers. Unless you are willing to drop the empty legalism in favor of exploring morality in an intimate and intuitive way you will remain blind to the truth. It is that simple.

    [Don’t believe me about the Early Christian Fathers, look it up and do your own research – seriously. Be a Berean! :)]

    I already have. The lion’s share of the problem lies with the False Apostle Paul. I find when you recognize him for the charlatan he was and discount everything linked to him the teachings of Christ become much more clear and palatable to the conscience. That said, I feel God used him to protect the truth in Scripture from tampering by creating a lattice work of cleverness made to baffle the intellect of those who might turn their minds to subverting the truth buried beneath the nonsense.

    I grant Paul a high honor in that regard, the same as I would Alexander the Great for paving the way for Christ’s teachings into Asia. That said, I grant him the same teaching authority that I would a three legged dog.

  • docwatson

    Okay, so let’s cut to the chase: from your point of view, I’m clueless and ignorant so I’m open to reading a Scriptural-based, historically-rooted source of your choice to support your position. In a perfect world, that would original source material but that’s not always possible on the Net.

    If you can provide it, I’ll happily read the material you present – a challenge that no one seems to be able to meet – and would happily discuss it. If it’s compelling enough, I may very well take up your point of view. That’s just simple intellectual honestly.

  • docwatson

    “The lion’s share of the problem lies with the False Apostle Paul. I find when you recognize him for the charlatan he was and discount everything linked to him the teachings of Christ become much more clear and palatable to the conscience.”

    Ummm, yeah, about THAT. O.o

  • Jeff Preuss

    Doc, as I’ve replied to you before, the historical contexts and readings are presented in many places on Corey’s blog, John Shore’s blog, and other places within the Progressive Channel here on Patheos.

    It’s a bit myopically insistent on your part to only accept points of views from early church leaders as permissible theological discourse. While YOU may struggle with any Post-Modern theology, that doesn’t automatically discount any of its validity.

    For you to see it as “everything is more or less acceptable” as it relates specifically to this issue of homosexuality denies the possibility of understanding any scientific advancements that we as humans with God-granted intelligence and capacity for knowledge have made over the ensuing 2000 years.

    “Either the foundational beliefs, theology, exegesis, and canon that the greater Church is based on for the last 2,000 years are correct or they aren’t and, if they aren’t correct, then every major author, Church Figure, and Apostle underpinning the Faith is a liar and there is no Christianity to be followed. There is no middle ground here and no room for equivocation.”

    Baloney. Then no one EVER had any right to attempt to interpret or translate or figure out on a personal level how to apply Scripture in their lives. Not even your oft-quoted early century theologians. For they interpreted, translated, and applied the Scripture as best THEY understood it. You are simply using the gift of hindsight to declare they must have been right because it’s already happened, and using that confidence to declare any current thinking that might contradict it to be incorrect. Again, your theologians were considered heretics at the time — will hindsight have the DocWatsons of 1000 years hence insist with such vehemence that today’s heretics were the true scholars?

    [And summing ALL of the church canon into one monolithic, unified thing for the last 2000 years denies the very existence of denominational splits that have occurred over theological debates that played out much like this. The Church has very few solidly unified positions on anything, and to play it off as if it does makes it seem like you are the one who is ignoring what you are seeing if it doesn’t fit your narrative.]

    I’ve said to you before – I don’t need to repent for being gay, or living in my committed marriage with my husband. For I don’t believe it is a sin. I’ve been completely honest with myself AND with God, and it’s the only way I even got to the point that I started dating men when I was 24. You can’t say I’m not being honest with myself – you are not living my life.

    It IS a matter of conscience. My choice is to accept that I am already gay by no choice of my own. And I live free in Christ with that acceptance. I accept the Truth. Whether you cannot see it as Truth doesn’t make it any less so in my faith.

    “If you’re having same sex relations then repent and stop doing it.” No.

  • WilmRoget

    “Obviously, you haven’t read my post about celibacy and no remarriage in light of divorce;”

    Nice red herring.

    “It’s been 4 years since she left and I don’t have to like it but I *DO* have to be obedient to it even when it’s lonely and sucks to the point of despair and fleeting thoughts of self harm. I’m dying to self every single day.”

    There is no reason to believe you, docwatson. Historically, people like you who proclaim ‘homosexuality is sin’ are unusually likely to be caught in adultery. Additionally, you have made explicitly false assertions about people’s posts, here where the truth can be examined. How can you possibly expect me to believe you about a claim that cannot be tested, when you have lied at me about my own posts?

    Further, since you have an intimate relationship, you are not qualified to even ask anyone else to be celibate their entire life. Not in the slightest. You have no credibility on that.

    And such a selfish lack of compassion. You are, in theory, hurting because your intimate relationship has ended, so what do you do? You proclaim that I, and millions of other gay and lesbian Christians must end our relationships too – under pain of death and damnation.

    If you were ‘dying to self’ even once in a while, you would not be reviling homosexuals here – because the sole purpose of proclaiming ‘homosexuality is sin’ is to make yourself feel good at our expense.

    Lets say, just for giggles, that you are telling the truth, your wife left you. So you are miserable, your pride is wounded, you have to make sacrifices.

    Hmmm – how could you make that better? Oh – got it. Go to public places and tell an entire class of people that they are to live an even more restricted life – under penalty of death since you cited Lev 20:13. Now you can take comfort in knowing that you’ve made someone else feel worse than you do. Your life ain’t so bad now, right? At least you are not gay or lesbian, barred for all of life from intimacy.

    Your posts here are entirely about yourself.

    ” if you take up your Cross”

    My cross is not my sexuality, it is working to limit the damage people like you inflict on people like me. I took it up 30 years ago.

    And no, it is never, ever, ever your place to decide what anyone else’s cross is. Ever.

    Ever.

    ” you’re going to have to give up things for His Kingdom.’

    Your job is to worry about your sacrifices, not to decide for me what mine should be. And you might consider setting aside your pride for a second or two, and consider the possibility that God and I are in a relationship, and God has informed me that my husband and I are not sinning when we make love, that God blesses our relationship and our intimacy.

    You see, God doesn’t condemn homosexuality, homosexuals do not need you to be our liason with God, and we do know better than you do the state of our relationship with God.

    You want to be the gatekeeper between us and God – and that is not your role, at all.

  • WilmRoget

    And thanks for the additional red herrings for the tin.

  • docwatson

    Don’t confuse taking an opposing position with judging; if your conscience is pricked, you might want to seriously examine the ‘why’ behind it.

    Not sure what litmus test you want to use for the standard you want since I’m a sinner redeemed by Christ assuming my own cross for His sake. You could be as well.

  • Proud Amelekite

    Don’t take my word for it:

    http://danizier.wordpress.com/2011/04/22/paul-vs-jesus-and-james/

    I have yet to meet anyone who can rebut the points made by the guy and he backs it up with proper historical respect to the Scripture as well as the words from Paul himself. His case against the “apostle” is, essentially, bulletproof. He has a comment section where you can engage him as well, if you think you can convince him he is wrong. He does respond to and engage with people, so long as you are not retreading old arguments already answered.

    Again, he is harsh to Paul (I grant Paul a high honor of protecting the Scripture, even if the guy was doing it for his own benefit) but I simply do not see him as a valid teaching authority any longer after studying him.

  • docwatson

    If it’s not pricking your conscience than why care about anyone taking my position?

    From where you stand, Progressive, Post Modern Theology is the ONLY way to truth in sexual expression despite consistent, historical core canon on certain human behaviors and activities to the contrary. Progressive theology in it’s fullest expression removes the barriers to ALL behaviors – you love your dog and they love you so it’s game on Fluffy! You love your son and he loves you so why not kill two birds with one stone – pederasty and incest are okay for the Progressive theologian since there’s nothing in the historical context outside of Leviticus that prevents it. No early Church fathers specifically condemned it (your peers counter-argument) so it’s fine.

    Frankly, it’s opening the bottle of the Djin with the result of the loss of what it means to be a Christian and the obliteration of the lines of right and wrong.

  • WilmRoget

    “from your point of view, I’m clueless and ignorant”

    Once again, you are inventing things that simply have not been expressed in my posts. Now, think about that. You do that here, to me about my words. It stands to reason that you are doing it much, much more with the Bible, and your other authorities.

    “so I’m open to reading a Scriptural-based, historically-rooted source of your choice to support your position.”

    In other words you are doing to summarily dismiss everything I’ve presented. And no doubt, if I provide you with such a citation, you’ll find some excuse to dismiss it as well, tighten your criteria, and then dismiss what ever source fits that.

    “That’s just simple intellectual honestly.”

    No, it is a nasty game.

    I’m still waiting, by the way, for the Scripture that condones your use of computers, the internet, the id docwatson, sunglasses, and cameras.

  • docwatson

    I’m using the context cited in Leviticus since they are all in the same portion of the text.

    God’s purpose was for procreation between man and woman; Adam and Eve, not ‘Adam and Steve’ is used as an illustration. Feel free to troll and tell me Genesis was wrong, too. ;

    You’re getting shrill, btw.

  • Jeff Preuss

    It’s not pricking my conscience, Doc, it’s that I don’t want anyone else who is struggling with rectifying their faiths with their sexualities to come on here and see the less-than-compassionate stuff you spew forward with claims of it being the TRUTH and think there is no hope for them, since God isn’t seeing fit to change them in the only way people like YOU say is acceptable.

    MY conscience is clear. I do not believe yours is. The slippery slope argument to bestiality and pedophilia are completely disrespectful to the very real people with very real orientations toward those of their own gender.

    I care about you taking your position and trying to bully people into thinking it’s the only way to believe on this issue, because THAT, Doc, is WRONG. It hurts people. You’re not “getting to me” in any way because my faith is solid. Has been for decades. So has my monogamous commitment for 18 years. And the two are intimately compatible.

    Doc, treat me with the respect I’ve afforded you. Quit being a condescending pious jerk, and you might be able to argue your positions with a few more ears turned to your words. As it stands, you’re just coming off as another blowhard who’s decided it’s “my way or the highway.” And, that’s the surest way of ensuring that people paint you as the crank who complains that nothing is good enough, while not actively trying to make anything better.

  • WilmRoget

    “Don’t confuse taking an opposing position with judging;”

    Wait, I need to get another tin for red herrings, you’ve filled the first one up.

    You sentenced us to death by citing Leviticus 20:13 at us. Your attempt to wiggle out of that is degrading to everyone.

    “Not sure what litmus test you want to use for the standard”

    I’ve already provided one, one that comes from Jesus Christ.

    “redeemed by Christ”
    Are you redeemed by Christ? You question my relationship with God, that certainly makes yours fair game.

    Now, you teach ‘homosexuality is sin’, and that belief only bears evil fruit. People are murdered, raped, tortured, as the direct and intentional enforcement of that belief. Jesus said we can recognize false teachers by their evil fruit. You bear evil fruit. Jesus also said that He will say to such ‘I know you not’.

    Jesus also said that what you fail to do for the oppressed, you fail to do for Him, and such ‘goats’ will go to eternal punishment. You fail to protect GLBTQ people from oppression, and in failing to protect them you fail to protect Christ with them. You persecute us, and in doing so, you persecute Christ with us. Sounds rather more goat like than sheep like.

  • docwatson

    I’m **quite** serious; if you can provide me with a definitive, Scriptural-based, historical source advocating homosexual sex I may very well change my position. (I’m too arrogant to want to stay wrong.)

    My guess is that you can’t provide it.

    I confess I’m boggled how you manage to equate the use of modern technology with an argument against buggery.

  • WilmRoget

    “I’m using the context cited in Leviticus since they are all in the same portion of the text.”

    Your excuse does not help you any. You read us into that text, against all reason and logic, and impose the death penalty. No one made you do that. You committed seven hundred million counts of murder in your heart and in word.

    “God’s purpose was for procreation between man and woman;’

    No, that is your purpose for procreation. And further, God does not have the same purpose for each person. Some are called to be heterosexuals, some are not. Some are called to be preachers, and some are called to be healers, and some are called exhortation.

    “3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” Romans 12.

    We have different gifts, according to the grace given us. Heterosexuals have the gift of heterosexuality, homosexuals have the gift of homosexuality, bisexuals have the gift of bisexuality, and asexuals have the gift of asexuality. Some people have the gift of perfect pitch, others do not.

    “Adam and Eve, ”

    Ok men can only marry a woman cloned from his body. Right? If one criteria in that relationship must be met by everyone, all criteria in that relationship must be met. Or to use Genesis 2:24 “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.”

    Orphans cannot marry. They cannot leave their mother and father, they have none to leave. If one criteria, male/female must be met or else, then all of the criteria must be met.

    “Feel free to troll and tell me Genesis was wrong, too. ;

    You’re getting shrill, btw.’

    Your abuse only reflects your character, not mine.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “Don’t confuse taking an opposing position with judging;”
    Are you freaking kidding me? You’ve done nothing BUT judge on this issue, or have you already forgotten how you “gave me up to my self-condemnation” a few months back? You’ve admonished me to repent for my gay sins, and lectured MANY other people on here for the same.

    But, you’re not “judging.” Gotcha.

    Perhaps you might seriously want to examine the “why” behind THAT.

  • WilmRoget

    “I’m **quite** serious;’

    I’m serious – it is impossible to believe a word you post. First address, in detail, what has been presented. If you can manage to refute what I have presented, I will provide you with additional resources.

    “I confess I’m boggled how you manage to equate the use of modern technology with an argument against buggery.”

    Your use of degrading slurs, intended of course only to denigrate my loving relationship, indicates that your entire premise is driven by malice, and has no relationship to God whatsoever. Your use of that term, alone, is evil fruit showing that you are a false teacher. And you must know the historical association between that term and the execution of homosexuals convicted of it. That was another veiled death threat on your part.

    You invoked ‘absence of affirmation = condemnation”. I’ve been explicit about it. Before you can ever credibly use that test on us, you have to prove that you are living up to it.

    So prove that your computer is affirmed in the Bible.

    We both know you cannot. So either you can show some integrity and admit that your test was fraudulent and sin, or be condemned under your own test.

  • WilmRoget

    About your appeal to tradition – do you also support the ancient tradition of antisemitism, and the long-standing tradition ‘slavery of the black man is God’s will’?

    Appeal to tradition is a fallacy.

  • WilmRoget

    No, you are deceitfully and maliciously reading your assumptions into those words.

  • WilmRoget

    While I wait for you to provide Scripture that indicates that it is not sin for you to post on the internet,

    perhaps you should see a real world example of your theology here at work:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=1df_i26wh-w

    There is strong language and violence, fyi. Will you invest 5 minutes to see what is not even the most extreme demonstration of how destructive your theology on this matter is?

    And I hope you understand, for anyone else who sees this, you are going to need a lot more than the empty sophistry you’ve presented here so far to back up your claims going forward.

  • docwatson

    You say you’re not in sin but *millions* of other Christians – based on 2,000 years of biblical interpretation, exegesis, and canon – say you are.

    So the last 20 centuries of church history on this topic, *everyone* was wrong? Really? Seriously?

    Compassion has a place yet so does confrontation with other Christians over their sin.

  • docwatson

    You haven’t presented a single fact regarding the *Biblical* basis for your position; calling me a murderer still doesn’t answer the questions I’ve posed.

    Seriously, if you call yourself a Christian then have the exegesis to back up your position. I know I can.

  • docwatson

    I share about as much blame for this as you do for the Armenian Holocaust; I’m not responsible for someone else’s reaction to *anything*.

    I am responsible for my own reaction to heresy.

  • Justin

    Amen! Sexual purity is what God desires. It doesn’t matter what our sinful hearts want, we all have a choice to obey God or gratify the lusts of our flesh.

  • Justin

    Actually, there is no scientific evidence that anyone is “born gay.” There is no gay gene. However, we are born with the desire to sin and rebel against God.

    How does homosexuality affect another person? Well, go immerse yourself in the gay culture and then we’ll talk. Casual sex with multiple partners (sometimes simultaneously), drugs, diseases, and a short life expectancy. All realities within the gay community. Are there homosexuals who have managed to escape this reality and give the illusion of a leading a good life? Sure. But they are far and few between!

    This is coming from someone who identified as gay for 22 years and who the LORD set free. Praise be to God!

  • Justin

    God will slaughter more than seven hundred million when He comes to judge sin on the earth!

  • Justin

    Praise God! It doesn’t matter what your desires are, you have chosen to obey God. If God has a woman that He wants you to be married too, then He will provide the attraction. Until then, keep glorifying God in your sexual purity.

    Here’s a little encouragement: I recently met a guy twice my age who, like you, understood the truth about homosexuality but for 30 years prayed that God would change his desires. He remained faithful to God, but still struggled with only being attracted to men. I told him my testimony, and six months later God took the desires away!

    Deliverance belongs to the LORD, not an ex-gay ministry!

  • Justin

    I laugh at this because I’ve never been accused of being an anonymous person after sharing my testimony, but that’s okay. I can see why you might hide behind that!

    FYI – I don’t support ex-gay ministries. Deliverance belongs to the LORD and it His power that sets captives free.

    You can fool others into believing that gay people are just innocent folks with only the desire to “love and have intimacy,” but we both know the truth and how dark the gay community is. Those desires might be in there somewhere, but they they have been perverted and corrupted by sexual deviance, drugs, and diseases.

    Praise God for the few who are in loving committed relationships with their same-sex partner (that means less perversions for the rest of us). But as recent history goes, even the champions of gay marriage will most likely end up in divorce.

    So sad.

  • Justin

    Wow! 18 years! Congratulations for beating the odds! That is a rarity in the gay community! Amiright?!

    I’ve read some of your other comments, and noticed that your partner is not devoted to Christ like you are. How do you deal with that in light of the Scripture that tells us to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers?

    I’m just curious how someone who loves and is devoted to Christ (like you) can be in love with someone who is against Him?

  • Justin

    Well said!

  • Justin

    Actually, it makes him look like someone who takes the Gospel seriously and actually knows his bible.

    Jesus Christ was manifested to destroy the works of the devil, to defeat sin and death.

    He didn’t die to make you feel good about yourself.

  • Realist1234

    Well its up to you if you believe me or not as to my sexuality as I cannot prove it on a blog. But I am not telling lies, something I have not accused anyone else of. With regard to my relating of Jesus’ encounter with the prostitute who was about to be stoned, I was simply making the point that whilst He forgave her sexually immoral behaviour, He also strongly told her to stop sinning in this way. God does not condemn me for being gay, ie attracted to other men, but he would condemn my sexual behaviour if I chose to have sex with another man. No doubt there is a multitude of reasons why I am gay – genetics, relationship with dad and others (I have yet to meet a gay man (including myself) who, if he was totally honest about it, could say he had a genuinely loving and healthy relationship with their dad), and other factors. But just because I am sexually attracted to other men does not mean as a Christian I should act on that. We all struggle with sexual temptation whether gay or straight, single or married. I know of a number of Christian women who are celibate because they have not found a Christian man to marry and they rightly believe it would be wrong of them to sleep with a boyfriend etc before marriage. Their temptation and frustration is no different from mine.

  • Realist1234

    You are right that the Bible both Old and New Testaments only talks about gay sex, but it is that behaviour that God condemns. A straight person has sexual feelings towards the opposite sex but that does not mean a Christian woman should sleep with her bf. Pehaps ‘lifestyle’ wasthe wrong word, but you have chosen to have a sexual relationship which you believe God approves of, which is not the case.

  • WilmRoget

    “You haven’t presented a single fact regarding the *Biblical* basis for your position;’

    I have, so you claim is more evidence that nothing you post is accurate.

    “calling me a murderer”

    Denying the fact that you call for murder, by citing Lev 20:13 against homosexuals, does not make that sin go away. You commit murder in your thoughts, seven hundred million counts of it, when you use that passage against homosexuals.

    “I know I can.”

    Very funny. All you have done so far is make appeals to disputable human opinion, tradition, and issue empty dismissals.

    “Seriously, if you call yourself a Christian then have the exegesis to back up your position.”

    By your standard then, you must not be a Christian.

  • WilmRoget

    “I share about as much blame for this as you do for the Armenian Holocaust;”

    Absolutely wrong. You teach the very belief that produces this violence.

    ” I’m not responsible for someone else’s reaction to *anything*.”

    Not according to Jesus. Remember Matthew 7:15-23. It is odd how quick you and your peers are to reject or ignore Christ when it suits you.

    “I am responsible for my own reaction to heresy.”

    You are responsible for the fruit your teaching produces – like the violence inflicted in the video.

    But I doubted you had the compassion to learn from it, and you showed that I was right.

  • WilmRoget

    So you justify murdering people in your thoughts and heart by making even greater death threats.

  • WilmRoget

    “I laugh at this”

    Arrogance indifference accomplishes nothing. It only strengthens the impression that you are a fraud.

    “FYI – I don’t support ex-gay ministries. Deliverance belongs to the LORD and it His power that sets captives free.”

    Silly, that is the message of ex-gay ministries.

    “You can fool other . . .”

    You can create fantasies to excuse your sin as much as you like. But when you misrepresent my position, you affirm that you are not telling the truth about yourself either.

    “but we both know the truth and how dark the gay community is.”

    Well, it seems there is darkness in you. I know the GLBTQ community as full of varied and passionate people, many of whom have been deeply damaged by the lies and slanders people like you tell about them. I also know that there is nothing ‘dark’ that any GLBTQ person does, that many, many more heterosexuals aren’t also doing. And worse.

    Let’s talk about heterosexuals who murder their own children, and heterosexual rates of addiction, prostitution, rape, sexual abuse and sexual addiction. Let’s talk history – how every genocidal leader in history has been heterosexual, according to the history books. Let’s talk about all of the conservative clergy who cheat on their spouses, steal from their congregations, abuse legal and illegal substances.

  • WilmRoget

    “Actually, it makes him look like someone who takes the Gospel seriously and actually knows his bible.’

    No, it does not. I see you’ve joined docwatson in his red herring operation.

  • WilmRoget

    “But I am not telling lies”

    You told a huge one by using the term ‘gay lifestyle’.

    “With regard to my relating of Jesus’ encounter with the prostitute”

    It demonstrates contempt for GLBTQ people, and indicates that you perceive our loving, unitive relationships as equivalent to prostitution. That indicates that you lack sufficient moral sense.

    ” God does not condemn me for being gay, ie attracted to other men, but he would condemn my sexual behaviour if I chose to have sex with another man.”

    So your God is cruel, unjust, irrational, and in contradiction to the Bible – for you God gives you a gift and then forbids you to use it, despite:

    9 “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11 If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12 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

    You are arguing that when people ask for the gift of sexuality – something they can use as one would a fish or bread, God gives some people something they cannot ever use, the way one cannot use a stone when one wants bread.

    Further, you are asserting that God plays favorites, though the Bible says God does not, for you claim God gives to heterosexuals a sexuality that God allows them to use, but to homosexuals, God gives a sexuality that God does not allow them to use.

    That is not just, so it cannot be God at work.

    “Their temptation and frustration is no different from mine.”

    No. And the more you use standard talking point that heterosexual homophobes flood the internet with, the less believable your “I am gay” becomes.

  • Justin

    “Let’s talk about heterosexuals who murder their own children, and heterosexual rates of addiction, prostitution, rape, sexual abuse and sexual addiction. Let’s talk history – how every genocidal leader in history has been heterosexual, according to the history books. Let’s talk about all of the conservative clergy who cheat on their spouses, steal from their congregations, abuse legal and illegal substances.”

    And who is justifying these atrocities? I’ve never heard any Christians saying that these things are okay!

    Dude, there are broken people everywhere. In fact, the bible says we are ALL broken. That’s a fact. We all need Jesus to save us from the power of sin and death. Hiding behind the wall of, “well everyone else is doing this” isn’t going to excuse anyone from the righteous judgment of God. If He is Holy and just then He has to punish wickedness. The only thing that can save any of us is putting our trust in Jesus ALONE for our salvation. Gay or straight is not the root issue. The problem is that everyone of us has a natural inclination to turn away from God and gratify our own desires.

    I don’t feel like it is beneficial to go back and forth in a public arena like this. The world is watching, and I have no reason to exalt myself. I’d rather see Christ exalted than fight with anyone.

    If you want to know more about my story maybe we can chat through email.

  • WilmRoget

    “And who is justifying these atrocities?”

    Irrelevant to the issue.

    ” I’ve never heard any Christians saying that these things are okay!”

    Existence is not limited to what you have heard.

    “Dude, there are broken people everywhere.’

    And yet you specifically revile GLBTQ people, en masse, because of the ones who are broken. You are a bigot.

    “The problem is that everyone of us has a natural inclination to turn away from God and gratify our own desires.’

    Yet it is only homosexuals that are required to live their entire lives celibate. No one demands that heterosexuals live celibate their entire lives.

    “I don’t feel like it is beneficial to go back and forth in a public arena like this.”

    So you don’t have, and never really did have, a valid or honest point to make.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Realities for whom exactly? Not everyone. And those “realities” exist within straight culture as well, so perhaps we should tell people they shouldn’t be straight, because drug use and promiscuity and group intercourse and STDs exist in the straight community, too, so obviously straight people are also rebelling as an entire group!

    I, for one, have never had casual sex, used drugs, or had any STDs. I’ve had a monogamous relationship for 18 years that is my only sexual experience whatsoever. My life expectancy is high, because I am very healthy.

    And I’m gay.

    Going with the stereotyped expectations of the “gay lifestyle” and projecting them onto the entire group of gay people is inaccurate and itself a cause of perpetuating the oppression OF gay people by continuing to paint us as these hedonistic “others” that normal people aren’t like.

    Your perception of homosexuality is that most gays are like that. But, here’s the rub, even if they are it doesn’t actually mean you get to call the whole lot of them (us) damaged and rebelling by being gay.

    Praise be to God indeed, for He has granted me peace with myself and my homosexuality, and I have identified as gay for 31 years, and been at peace with it for 20!

  • Jeff Preuss

    Simply put, just because someone does not follow Him, it does not automatically make him “against” Him. He is an agnostic, unsure of the existence or inexistence of God because he has no “proof.” Although he says he sees Him in me more than he does in some other who wave their faiths around like a weapon. And, that’s all I can hope for, to be an example unto Christ for someone in this world.

    And my partner has NEVER caused me to question my faith, or ask me to turn away from it, because he can see that it makes me the person I am.

    And 18 years is a rarity for relationships and marriages to last in society PERIOD.

  • Jeff Preuss

    By the way, your astounding arrogance is really disappointing to see, because right before you “took a sabbatical” from here for two months, you were actually very respectful toward me, though we clearly do no agree, and I’d hoped there could be legitimate discussion. But, since you’ve come back full force, I’ve no choice but to use the killfile.

    So, whatever self-righteous things you spout at me will fall on deaf “ears” because I won’t even see your comments any more. I don’t have time for your attempts to spiritually destroy.

    God bless you, Chris. I hope you make peace with your divorce, and find a way to move on and up.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I know God approves of my relationship being the actual expression of my innate sexuality, or else I would not have entered into it. I only chose to have a sexual relationship with my partner after I made peace with God and myself after years of Bible study and prayer.

    There are many contextual explanations that indicate the gay sex that was forbidden was straight people using temple prostitutes in Pagan rituals for blessing their crops (OT), or Roman upper class men lording their caste power over younger, lower class men by forcing sexual behavior upon them, something that was generally accepted in Roman society.

    Neither of those was considered gay people acting on innate sexual orientation, rather it was straight people performing same-sex acts for various reasons.

    I know with certainty as it applies to MY life. If you feel it is a sin for you, then fine – don’t do it. But, don’t lecture me about what is “clear” about God’s will in this case, as I’ve long been perfectly capable of studying the Scriptures myself.

  • Justin

    So what did Jesus mean when He said, “He who is not with me is against me?”

    You didn’t address the Scripture that tells us to not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. How do you reconcile that verse with your decision to be in a close-committed relationship with an unbeliever? Do you understand the biblical principal that marriage is the closest relationship that we can have on earth that best reflects Christ’s relationship with the Church (i.e. the Bride of Christ)?

    There is no Switzerland in the spiritual realm. We are either being ushered into the kingdom of God or into the kingdom of God’s enemy, Satan.

    These are all legitimate and sincere questions from one believer to another.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Do you possibly mean there is no Switzerland?

    Look, I am not going to play into your game of using that passage to polarize every single person into a dogmatically-forced “us v. them.” It makes enemies of those who are not saved, and it’s not what Christ calls me to do.

    For a different take on that verse, analyzing it contextually with the rest of the passage:
    http://www.kencollins.com/answers/question-43.htm

    Highlight: “Spirits who are not for Jesus are against Him”

    Of course, there are different takes from a variety of places about what that passage means. This is just one option to read.

    “Do you understand the biblical principal that marriage is the closest relationship that we can have on earth that best reflects Christ’s relationship with the Church (i.e. the Bride of Christ)?” I understand YOU believe that to be true. It is not my responsibility to ensure my marriage adheres to whatever you think the Biblical principle of it is.

  • Justin

    I thought Sweden was neutral too, but I stand corrected (and corrected it in the comment)! The point remains the same.

    You haven’t really answered anything though. Or maybe you have?

    I still think it is somewhat unfortunate that your partner can’t fully join you in your love and passion for Christ. Aren’t you at all sad that he will most likely spend eternity separated from you and God?

  • Jeff Preuss

    I answered the questions you posed that were directly stated, without any attempts at “getting” me, and that were worth answering.

    I’ll tell you a story of a wonderful Godly woman who was a member of my church growing up. She was kind, generous, charitable, and overflowed with the joy of knowing Christ. My entire childhood, she was married to an atheist. When she died during my highschool years, something clicked with her widower, and he professed a love for Jesus.

    That’s just one possibility out of many, but things are not so clear cut as you’d like to believe they are. What is clear is that I will continue to follow Jesus and His teachings, and attempt to be an example unto Him.

    Have a good day – I’m going to a car show.

  • Realist1234

    Dear, dear. The irony of you saying I lack in moral sense. That my God is in contradiction to the Bible. When it is you that misunderstands and misuses Jesus’ words in relation to good gifts from the Father and apply them to sexuality (I didnt know I ‘asked for’ my sexuality). How desperate is that to twist Jesus’ own words to suit you?! And you continue to call me a liar when you are the one that believes the lies the fallen one would have you believe (‘did God really say you could not eat of any tree in the garden?(false – God did not say that). You surely will not die’ (false – God said you will die)). It is obvious that a continued ‘conversation’ between us serves no good purpose for either of us as you are clearly entrenched in your views and relationship. So, to quote Douglas Adams, Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish.

  • WilmRoget

    “The irony of you saying I lack in moral sense.”

    Nope. You equated something that is not exploitative, with something that intrinsically is.

    “When it is you that misunderstands and misuses Jesus’ words”

    Your false accusation is another demonstration of a lack of morals on your part. The passage I cited applies to any and all good gifts. You cannot refute, so you dismiss and slander instead.

    “And you continue to call me a liar”

    And yet I have not. I have pointed out explicit lies you’ve told, but rather than repent, or even acknowledge that lying is wrong, you complain that you’ve been rebuked for immoral behavior.

    ” when you are the one that believes the lies the fallen one would have you believe”

    Once again, your vicious slander is sin. Please repent.

    “It is obvious that a continued ‘conversation’ between us serves no good purpose for either of us as you are clearly entrenched in your views and relationship. So, to quote Douglas Adams, Goodbye, and thanks for all the fish.”

    Typical. Like so many millions of your peers, you unload a dumpster of filth on me, and then run away, hoping that by making a dramatic exit, you can have the last word.

    Well, most people who pull that cannot live up to it. We’ll see if you do. If you do reply to me again, ever, it will show that you have no integrity at all.

    You and your peers teach evil, people are murdered and raped as the direct fruit of ‘homosexuality is sin’. That makes you a false teacher, a worker of iniquity.

  • WilmRoget

    So you and your sock puppet can go be sexually pure – be celibate.

    But your heart is not pure when you revile hundreds of millions of people, and as Jesus pointed out – it is what comes from the heart that defiles someone.

  • WilmRoget

    So you are against Jesus Christ then. After all, Jesus forbids the injustice you impose on GLBTQ people.

  • Patricia Garvin Fox

    I’m sorry you have such issues with your own sexual identity. However, the things you ascribe to the “gay culture” such as casual sex, multiple partners, drugs and diseases are also part of heterosexual c”culture” and it is at least disengenuous to pretend otherwise. A lower life expectancy has had something to do with increased suicide and self destructive behavior caused by bigotry and ignorance and misguided “religious” pontificating.

    I’m not ready to accept your final pronouncement on the genetics of human sexual orientation. Your Lord creates some of us gay and some of us straight and there is nothing sinful about either condition.

  • WilmRoget

    “there is no scientific evidence that anyone is “born gay.””

    Not exactly accurate there. The ever-growing body of evidence does indicate that sexual orientation is an innate quality people are born with, one strongly associated with a number of physiological features, like facial symmetry.

    “There is no gay gene.”

    You cannot know that. And there is very strong evidence that one or more genes do account for homosexuality in some males. There is also evidence of a hormonal route, i.e., the hormones present in the mother’s womb influencing sexual orientation accounting for some male homosexuality, and there is epigenetics, a new field of genetics, that people like you never factor in.

    Further, the fact that homosexuality occurs in more than a thousand species – with evidence found in more every year, points to a natural cause.

    “All realities within” humanity. Everything you attribute to “the gay culture” as if there were some uniform such thing, is found in every human culture. And there is no credible evidence that anyone has changed from gay to straight, or straight to gay.

    “However, we are born with the desire to sin and rebel against God.”

    We can see that in your posts.

  • WilmRoget

    Since homosexuality is not sin, you really have no point here.

    And equating homosexuality with addiction, as you clearly do, is slander.

  • Guest

    I respect your opinion, but I see homosexuality as sin and the only reason I mentioned addiction is because that is my sin and I struggle with it. I mention it as a manner of humility that with out Gods help I have no hope and my battles are my battles. The battles of others are there’s and none of my business. I am struggling with sin in my life and it is humbling and thus I have no desire to judge the person, but I see the behavior as sin. The temptation is not a challenge for myself, but I have others and I struggle against them. If you do not see such actions as sin, I respect your opinion. I do not agree that having firm ideas about specific behaviors that I use to guide my life and talking about them with confidence is slander. It is not my battle or concern, but my battles have created a desire to call sin, sin, but have the humility of knowing I struggle and with out Gods help I would not have been able to over come the things I have or have a light shining on those things that still need His help to help me move beyond. I am a sinner and quite lowly, and only the power of God will help me in the present and in the future.

  • Mark N

    I would post and it would disappear to the back, oh well, what can I say. I am just not a good internet troll. Take care brother good luck in spreading your gospel. Just letting you know in case you want to delete any replies to my deleted replies. Peace out all, I think I have severe avoidance issues and posting on the internet is starting to feel like not really doing the work I should be doing. God bless to all, see you all at the family reunion. Going to cruise through and clean up the multiple postings then I think I am done. Probably good verses for us all to consider is Proverbs 9:6-9:9

  • WilmRoget

    “but I see homosexuality as sin”

    And that makes you a false teacher, someone who purposefully endangers the lives of real human beings.

    ” I mentioned addiction is because that is my sin”

    And so you wish to make your sin seem insignificant by falsely equating our innate capacity for love and intimacy with your addiction. But instead, you compound your sin by slandering us.

    “thus I have no desire to judge the person, but I see the behavior as sin.”

    Your distinction is false, and dishonest. But you’ve made it clear, you are here to revile us so you can feel that your sin of addiction is less important.

    ” I am a sinner and quite lowly,”

    So you really have no business slandering our lives, and yet, you did.

  • hcat

    Yes, God sometimes does want us to stay in unhappy marriages till we die. There are cases of abandonment, abuse, or adultery that do justify divorce.

  • WilmRoget

    Once again, there is no evidence at all that anyone has actually changed from gay to straight. Exodus Intl, formerly the world’s largest ‘ex-gay’ group, admitted publicly that none of their thousands of clients changed from gay to straight.

    It is now scientifically possible to measure someone’s brain responding to sexual imagery, and show that someone is gay, or straight. This has been available, relatively inexpensively, for several years.

    Yet not only ‘ex-gay’ has stepped forward with the scientific evidence to back up their claim.

  • gimpi1

    I think that’s a decision people need to make for themselves. Your view of God’s design is not shared by everyone. I, personally, can’t get my head around a deity that cruel. You can. That’s fine. Different strokes and all that.

    However, no church has the right to “demand” anything. Separation of church and state is a thing. Churches can pressure, guilt-trip and cut off association, but they can’t compel any action. And, given how profoundly differently people in the States view religion and the will of God, I think that’s a good thing.

  • Justin

    People stop engaging with you because of your antagonistic manor in communicating. Your comments are designed to get people worked up so you can look like the good guy.

    I’m sure many weak Christians have fallen into your trap, but it doesn’t make your argument anymore valid. Shame on you for manipulating peoples emotions and thinking that you are doing a service to God.

    If you could have a sincere conversation without getting so emotional about everything, you might actually learn something. In your current state you fall into the category of those will do not love the truth spoken about in 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12.

  • Justin

    Your temptations don’t define you who are in Christ. Whether you identify as a “gay” or “straight” Christian is pointless. Our identity is in Christ not in the labels of a broken and fallen world. As a follower of Christ, we still have an obligation to humbly submit to the One who gave His life so that we could be free from sin and death.

    I love this quote from just one of many who have turned away from the sin of unrepentant homosexuality.

    “I believe that change is not the absence of struggles, but change is the freedom to choose holiness in the midst of our struggles. Because the ultimate issue is not our feelings or our struggles. The ultimate issue is that we yearn after God in total surrender and complete obedience.” – Christopher Yuan

    As far as evidence, my own testimony is evidence. And there are many more testimonies out there of people who have walked away from their sin to pursue God.

  • WilmRoget

    “As far as evidence, my own testimony is evidence”

    No. You are anonymous.

    http://www.christianitytoday.com/gleanings/2013/june/alan-chambers-apologizes-to-gay-community-exodus.html?paging=off

    Exodus International is publicly apologizing–again–to gays and lesbians for “years of undue suffering and judgment at the hands of the organization and the Church as a whole.”

    The apology comes from president Alan Chambers, who writes in a blog post that his ministry not only has hurt many people, but also participated in a “system of ignorance” and “perpetuated that hurt” with the goal of reconciliation.

    http://www.advocate.com/arts-entertainment/television/2012/08/21/breaking-news-exodus-leaders-shocking-revelation-tonight

    “Alan Chambers, the charismatic leader of Exodus International, has been making headlines this year, telling reporters he no longer believed in so-called reparative therapy. “I do not believe that cure is a word that is applicable to really any struggle, homosexuality included,” said Chambers, who is married to a woman. “For someone to put out a shingle and say, ‘I can cure homosexuality’ — that to me is as bizarre as someone saying they can cure any other common temptation or struggle that anyone faces on Planet Earth.”

    But a new interview tonight on the season finale of Our America With Lisa Ling called “Pray the Gay Away?” revisits the OWN show’s groundbreaking episode on this topic, along with an exclusive new interview with Chambers, who says Our America changed his mind on reparative therapy — and gay Christians.

    “Do I think there are people living a gay Christian life who are going to be in heaven with me?” he asks rhetorically. “I do. If they have a relationship with God.” He says that Christians should now shift from “change” to “acceptance” because the gay cure doesn’t work and gays who believe in God can know God as intimately as any heterosexual person.”

    And for you and Christopher Yuan, there’s:
    http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2007/winter/coming-out

    “Harrison finally quit the movement in 1990 after deciding he could, after all, reconcile his sexuality with his Christian faith. Today, he speaks to parents of gay and lesbian children about the dangers he sees in the ex-gay movement. ”

    and

    “There’s psychological damage when change doesn’t occur, when sexual orientation remains homosexual. I certainly heard stories and knew people who committed suicide. I’ve seen what I believe is a higher incidence of risky behavior and alcohol and drug use among a lot of
    people who go through an ex-gay ministry. A lot of it is because of spiritual conflict that emerges going through that, feeling betrayed by God, feeling betrayed by the church.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Paulk

    “John Paulk (born April 13, 1963) is a former advocate and promoter of the ex-gay movement and conversion therapy and author. He was the founder and former leader of the ministry Love Won Out, which was launched by the organization Focus on the Family. From 1998 to 2003, he was chairman of the board of Exodus International North America. His 1998 autobiography Not Afraid to Change addressed his sexuality and attempts to change his same-sex desires. Later that year, after an incident in which Paulk was revealed to have attended a gay bar, both organizations disciplined him, but he remained with Focus on the Family until 2003. He resigned as Exodus board chairman but continued
    his elected position until his term was completed. In 2005, Paulk opened a catering business in Portland, Oregon. In the April 2013 issue of PQ Monthly,
    he was quoted as stating that he no longer supported the ex-gay movement or efforts to attempt to change individuals’ sexual orientation,[1] and that he was in the process of ending his marriage to his wife, Anne. The couple divorced in June 2013.”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ex-ex-gay
    John Smid is the former director of the Memphis, Tennessee ex-gay ministry Love In Action, a position in which he was a leading spokesman for converting homosexuals into heterosexuals.[15]In 2011, years after having left his Love In Action post, he stated that he was homosexual, and that he had “never met a man who experienced a change from homosexual to heterosexual.”

    And many more. I’ll be happy to post about it for days – whatever is necessary to save lives.

  • WilmRoget

    Your slander of me is sin. It shows that like all of your peers, you cannot refute what I present, and when you run out of insults, you’ll run away too.

  • Mark N

    If you do not see it as sin, I will respect your opinion. Any label with a negative connotation is indeed judgement of another, and I think slander would fall into that category.

  • WilmRoget

    The only way to make your slander go away Mark is to repent.

  • Mark N

    I can not make my words go away or your interpretation of them, and people have the freedom to interpret the tenants of life in a manner they feel is best given their own understanding. Your understanding of what I have to say does not mean that is what I am saying, because you have your own understanding when you read them.

  • Mark N

    .

  • I moderate this place, and nothing is being censored.

  • Mark N

    sorry Benjamin, I did not understand how the page worked.

  • Mark N

    .

  • Probably just a glitch in the system. If I delete a comment it will show up as “comment deleted”. If I have to delete a comment, I often ban the user, so you’d know quickly that I had intervened in the conversation.

  • Mark N

    not a glitch, just not knowing the lay of the land. I deleted the multiple postings. I really like your stuff on Matthew 5:44, God bless brother. PS I found the posts that went to the back and deleted the multiples.

  • WilmRoget

    You could repent, but you choose not to. You slandered the lives of hundreds of millions of people, equating our innate capacity for love and intimacy with addiction. You could repent, but you choose not to.

  • hcat

    The only punishment churches – and mosques – should be able to do is church discipline and excommunication. This is more of a problem with Muslims, many of which don’t like to accept that limitation and engage in kidnapings and “honor killings.” even Bill Maher, who does not like Christians, concedes that there’s only one religion that’s killing people nowadays, and it’s not Christianity.

  • Mark N

    .

  • Mark N

    .

  • Mark N

    .

  • Mark N

    on this side of eternity truth is in the eye of the beholder, but God is truth and there is only one God and He is the judge of all. To say there are many truths is saying we should believe in polytheism, but you do state God is the arbitrator and I think that is the main theme you wish to express and I do whole heartedly agree.

  • Mark N

    Christ is God and He also said those who love me will obey my commandments, so it is the due diligence of the believer to understand and follow the commands of God. Christ also said His life and words were the sum of the commandments and the prophets, so there is a bit of learning the heart of God and wishes of God in these two simplified instructions. It will involve continual reading and prayer to truly pursue these two commandments.

  • Mark N

    .

  • Mark N

    .

  • Mark N

    Repentance is great when needed, but I was talking about ideas, not a brother, Thoughtful consideration would be found in Proverbs 133, Isaiah 58, James 4:11

  • Mark N

    Love ya brother, peace be with you

  • Mark N

    Well brother, I do not agree with you, and still love you, peace of Christ be with you.

  • Mark N

    When did love and sex become the same thing, Paul talked about great love for everyone, but pretty sure he was celibate, since when the new testament catches up with him he is not married, but many think he was at one time because of the division of the pharisees he was in.

  • Mark N

    Here?????? Us???????? the article I get caught up was about compassion, and understanding and I thought that was the topic, not one sin or another or a viscous debate that everyone must see the word of God as you do or they are just evil spirited. I caught up with Mr Corey merely because I was looking for verses about love your enemy and he had some postings about the passage of Matthew 5:44 and this is one of Mr Corey’s things. Believing others should be compassion should not entitle anyone to beat others up for their view of the word with aggressive judgmental titles, that some how seems to lack compassion as well. I have no knowledge of anyone’s lives. I do not spend time researching the lives of others. There is really no equity in taking in such a task.

  • gimpi1

    That’s mostly true today. It wasn’t true in the past. When Christianity commanded armies, it was engaged in religious wars. When Christianity had state power, it enforced orthodoxy with imprisonment, torture and killings. Those things don’t happen now, but, frankly, I’m not sure if that’s because Christianity has matured and no longer wants to do those things or because, without state religions, Christianity no longer can do those things. Perhaps that’s just my natural skepticism.

    There are also Christian terrorist-groups. They’re often linked to racism (the KKK) or anti-semitism (Church of Jesus Christ, Christian, the Brotherhood) or general anti-government (Huttertree, Covenant, Sword and Arm of the Lord, several others) They, with the exception of the Klan, are small and weak, but they do strike out. Oklahoma City was the most notorious, but Planned Parenthood bombings, and attacks on Gay nightclubs happen occasionally.

    Fortunately, these groups are usually caught before they act, however. Since membership is a matter of belief, they are easy to infiltrate. Islamic groups tend to make membership a matter of family-ties, so infiltration is much harder.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Polytheism? There is only one God, but there are many ways Christians interpret His directives. To each denomination, their interpretation on any theological issue IS the truth.

    Or perhaps you are saying the denominational variety that exists within Christianity IS polytheism?

    Because I certainly wasn’t saying anything calling for polytheism.

  • WilmRoget

    No, you don’t love us. You revile us, and that is not love.

  • WilmRoget

    No one said love and sex are the same thing. But you are reviling us, and calling it love – so when did malice and love become the same for yo?

  • WilmRoget

    What kind of game are you playing? – you slander people, and then delete the content of your posts.

    They all arrived in my email. I saw the ugly things you wrote.

  • WilmRoget

    You cannot love me when you revile my innate capacity for love as sin – worthy of death and damnation. Your ‘peace of Christ be with you’ comes across as dishonest and attempt to make yourself appear righteous, when you teach violence and evil.

  • WilmRoget

    Your dismissal indicates contempt, not love, apathy, not empathy. Real humans are murdered, raped, tortured, as the direct fruit of ‘homosexuality is sin’ – and since you clearly do not take that seriously, you neither love us, nor want peace for us.

  • WilmRoget

    Your dismissal is sin. Please repent.

  • Mark N

    I in error posted a gizzillion times the same thought because they kept disappearing. Every time what I was trying to express got more distilled. So pay me grace brother, I have no knowledge of the workings of this site and it took time to figure it out. It was all up there, it was just up there over and over and over, because I can not figure it out the site. Wilm, people get offended it is human, we choose to stay offended. Hebrews chp 12 speaks alot about bitterness, I will make you a challenge brother lets both read it and meditate on it before we discuss any further. I have no qualm in your stuff, I just know I have let sins go unchallenged in my life and they brought lots of destruction even though many said I was too hard on myself and they were not sins beseeching me to leave them dormant. I just find no equity in it, and people should not get beaten the crap out of for standing on sin. And yes, God knows for certain what is sin and what is not sin and we are humbly following those words in the honesty of our hearts. It does not mean we discount the words of condemnation and judgement, and that observation is on both sides of the road. Much like my friend and his view on coffee, I do not see his point of view so I really do not care, if God changes my views on coffee then I will listen to him a bit closer. You mission seems more specifically focused, and you seem very angry about other peoples points of view. I am not angry about yours, but you seem to wish to tell me my heart, judge my ever comment as sin for my walk, perhaps I should tithe to you as well. We all are human and grace is something God calls us to pay one another, so if you disagree then just disagree. It is that simple. But do not fall into the trap that you can only love people if they agree with every single part of your gospel, you end up being guilty of the very thing this article was supposed to bring enlightenment. I still love you brother and I wish you well, and the challenge to myself is to read Hebrews chp 12 again and meditate on its words. If you wish to join me, it would be a nice. Peace. I dismiss you because you seem too confrontational to even talk to, and I looked at the body of your comments. You seem really ticked off and I am sorry people have hurt you. I had a great, great, great deal of that in my life as well. Peace and love brother.

  • Mark N

    I am thinking specifically around verse 15 and bitterness. We all need to look deeply into ourselves and see how much it affects our filters.

  • Mark N

    God grant me the serenity to accept the people I can not change, the courage to change the people I can, and the wisdom to know that person is me. Peace brother, paint it any way you like. Take care and the love of Christ be with you.

  • Mark N

    Wilm anything anyone says contrary to your view is ugly and sin,

  • WilmRoget

    “I in error posted a gizzillion times the same thought because they kept disappearing.”

    That is not what showed up in my inbox.

    “Wilm, people get offended it is human, we choose to stay offended.”

    No, you wrote offensive and degrading things about hundreds of millions of people, and that is sin.

    “Hebrews chp 12 speaks alot about bitterness,”

    Whatever issue you have with bitterness is not relevant to your slanders of GLBTQ people.

    “I just know I have let sins go unchallenged in my life and they brought lots of destruction”

    That is why I am rebuking you sin against GLBTQ people – it kills people. Real human beings are murdered, raped, tortured as the intentional, deliberate, direct enforcement of ‘homosexuality is sin’. You teach evil.

    ” and you seem very angry about other peoples points of view.’

    Your ‘seem’ demonstrates depraved indifference. Every real follower of Jesus Christ should be very angry about the persecution, slaughter, rape and torture of homosexuals produced by ‘homosexuality is sin’. But you are only interested in trying to make yourself seem righteous.

    ” I still love you brother and I wish you well,”

    Your lies are not convincing. You are slanderer, you revile the lives of hundreds of millions of people to make yourself seem righteous.

  • WilmRoget

    Your slander is sin. Please repent.

  • WilmRoget

    Your lack of compassion for the people who are murdered and raped and tortured because of the evil belief you teach, indicates that you have no business counseling anyone about anything.

  • Mark N

    I am sorry if I am on a sight devoted to such things. I liked what Mr Corey had to say about Matthew 5:44 and I wondered into a hornets nest, I am bowing out brother to focus on reading Hebrews. Peace.

  • WilmRoget

    Jesus spoke of folks like you. Did you know that?

    9 To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everyone else, Jesus told this parable: 10 “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 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. 12 I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’

    13 “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.’ 14 “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.”

    Luke 18. You work so diligently to portray yourself as righteous, though you teach evil. The harder you try to exalt yourself, in your passive-aggressive games, the worse you look.

  • WilmRoget

    So all that sin on your part, and no repentance, no apologies for slandering people, just more of the passive-aggressive pseudo-righteousness game.

    Mark – you cannot fake righteousness, please stop trying.

  • hcat

    No, He defined it. The whole Bible is the Word of Jesus.

  • Chris Larosa

    I would submit RD Weekly’s “The Rebuttal” is far superior as, different than Gagnon, he doesn’t read into scripture his homophobic biases. Weekly used to firmly believe as Gagnon, but in the course of researching his first book to oppose homosexuality, discovered the fallacies and deception of anti-gay “theology”. Alas, most “conservatives” wouldn’t dare read a book opposed to their hardened beliefs because the vast majority of them are afraid of being challenged. In this life, tradition trumps truth…until the veil is removed…

  • hcat

    That is true actually . There were periods when Jews felt safer in the Muslim world than in “Christendom.” but Christianity did not reach the point of conversion by the sword for the first 800 years, or denying religious liberty for the first 400 years.

  • unicyclemom

    Thought provoking. As a conservative Christian with gay friends I am always struggling with how to approach this. I have heard rebuttals to Matthew Vines talks and book suggesting none of his points are new and that they are just repackaged arguments of older works (I don’t have the references here, but they can be found online). I have found the following website very helpful especially since it is run be gay Christians trying to living Biblically honoring lives. They debunk Matthew’s interpretation of scripture. I figure they are very educated men who have everything to gain by agreeing with Matthew’s take so their disagreeing has more clout. http://www.livingout.org/

  • LeRoy Whitman

    I agree with your point about the praxis of faith not changing in the case of any believer dealing with a sin. We are all liable to temptation of any sin. However, to pretend that there is not currently a battle to redefine sin in this case is disingenuous. We need to repent also of our lack of courage, and our slothful thinking, in being unwilling to speak the truth of the Bible while also helping those caught in sins of various kinds. The real problem is that people do not want to give up their sins, because the displacement of them will require such hard and persevering work in our very soul. Giving a “secondary interpretation” of adultery, murder, etc., would not be doing anyone favors, either. Jesus is a REDEEMER.

  • WilmRoget

    ” However, to pretend that there is not currently a battle to redefine sin in this case is disingenuous.”

    Well, to be really blunt and accurate, people who believe the evil false teaching ‘homosexuality is sin’ have been attempting to redefine sin to suit themselves for about 13 to 17 centuries.

    ‘The real problem is that people do not want to give up their sins,
    because the displacement of them will require such hard and persevering
    work in our very soul.”

    Exactly – people who teach ‘homosexuality is sin’ do not want to give up their sin of pride, and deceit, and murder in thought, word, and all too often deed, they don’t want to give up their sin of favoritism and injustice. It would mean too much hard and persevering work on the other sins in their lives if they have to give up reviling and slandering homosexuals.

    ‘Giving a “secondary interpretation” of adultery, murder, etc., would not be doing anyone favors, either.’

    Equating homosexuality with adultery, murder, etc – is of course the sin of slander on your part. It shows that you either have no understanding of the concept of harm, or that you simply dismiss it as irrelevant when it gets in your way. After all, murder destroys a life, homosexuality does not, murder is harmful, homosexuality is not. So equating our innate capacity for loving, unitive, intimate relationships with murder is damning slander on your part. It is also ironic, since so many people who believe as you do murder homosexuals.

    So the question is – will you give up your sin?

  • WilmRoget

    Since their website opens with a lie – – –

    “I figure they are very educated men who have everything to gain by
    agreeing with Matthew’s take so their disagreeing has more clout.”

    That’s so naive as to be disingenuous. It is run by three people whose career is pushing conservative, anti-gay theology. That has been a very lucrative “ministry” and business for decades.

    “that they are just repackaged arguments of older works ”
    And their website is full of the same old tired frauds – which is ironic since according to you, they dismiss Matthew Vines’ work for lack of originality. Since Jesus said that that you’ll be judged by the standard you use on others, your source gets to be judged by the “just repackaged arguments of older works” standard, and found to be the same old fraud.

    For example, regarding Sodom: “But a close look at the text makes it clear that homosexuality was in fact involved.”

    No. In fact, a close look, or better still, a complete look at the text, indicates that homosexuality is not involved.

    It helps to start a bit earlier in the story, where we learn that Sodom lost a war and was sacked, its people and property carried off as spoils of war. Abraham saved them for the sake of Lot. The conquering army was not destroyed, and remained a threat to the city. (Genesis 14)

    Then we have God speaking with Abraham, and Sodom is already judged and sentenced, in Genesis 18. It is not rational to proclaim that events that occurred after God has already decided what to do are to blame.

    And then Genesis 19. And your source’s claim: ” it is clear both from the crowd’s aggression (and Lot’s dreadful attempt at offering them his daughters as an alternative) that they are looking for much more than social acquaintance.”

    The most likely scenario is interrogation, determining whether Lot’s guests are spies, but your source believes that it is more likely that an entire city of people will gather for public rape.

    What does that tell you about your source? It should tell you that they believe that they could get an erection and rape someone in front of their family, their wives and children, parents, siblings.

    Now God tells us in Ezekiel 16 what the sin of Sodom was, but your source dismisses that in deference their rape fantasies.

    “49 “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.”

    No, detestable things is not a reference to homosexuality. In fact, God tells Ezekiel what God means by ‘detestable things’ earlier:
    ““‘And you took your sons and daughters whom you bore to me and sacrificed them as food to the idols. Was your prostitution not enough? 21 You slaughtered my children and sacrificed them to the idols. 22 In all your detestable practices and your prostitution ”

    Human sacrifice to idols, and idolatry itself.

    Bear in mind that in this chapter, God is telling Ezekiel to tell Jerusalem that its sins are the same as those of Sodom and surpass it.
    “51 Samaria did not commit half the sins you did. You have done more detestable things than they, and have made your sisters seem righteous by all these things you have done.”

    The terrible thing for everyone who believes ‘homosexuality is sin’ is that they are among the heirs of Sodom. You see, homosexuals are murdered, sacrificed to an idol to be blunt, as the direct result of ‘homosexuality is sin’. That is a detestable thing, that is to’ebah, something God hates:

    Proverbs 6

    16 There are six things the Lord hates,
    seven that are detestable to him:
    17 haughty eyes,
    a lying tongue,
    hands that shed innocent blood,
    18 a heart that devises wicked schemes,
    feet that are quick to rush into evil,
    19 a false witness who pours out lies
    and a person who stirs up conflict in the community.

    The tragic and ironic truth is that while homosexuality, and homosexual sex is not on the above list of the the things God hates and detests, everyone, including your source, who teaches ‘homosexuality is sin’ commits these seven to’ebah, detestable things, abominations, one way or another, as they proclaim ‘homosexuality is sin’. It is homophobes, people who teach ‘homosexuality is sin’, who are the heirs of Sodom, not homosexuals.

  • WilmRoget

    Oh, and I’ll be happy to address more of their incompetent and dishonest claims, if you’d like.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Just because they are “very educated men” doesn’t make their perspective or opinions on the matter any more valid. If what they needed to rectify their faiths with their sexuality was to become celibate or work to somehow alter their orientation (a likelihood of which I am very skeptical) then more power to them. God bless them and give them happiness and strength of faith.

    But, that doesn’t mean that their take on it, or their reasoning, has to apply to all homosexual Christians. Not everyone interprets ANY theological point the same, and that goes back millennia. This is just another issue. Another debate. There will be those on both sides of the issue claiming the opposition has no real and complete understanding, and spin about refuting each others’ points.

    At the end of the day, one’s faith and how to apply the Scriptures to one’s life is a very personal thing, and is ultimately up to the individual believer. There are many of us who feel we can live Biblically honoring lives while still being gay. And we don’t come to this decision lightly.

    Still, thanks for sharing this from a (from what I can see) respectful point of view. It’s better than being called a mockery. God bless.

  • unicyclemom

    Jeff and anyone else I irritated. I honestly am trying to live like the ‘glorious hypocrites’ Frankie Schaeffer described his parents to be. So please forgive me if my post offended. I am reading what I can from those who support gay Christian relationships and have spent the past few years grieving and crying for pain inflicted by the church on gays. I also serve in a nighttime ministry helping nighttime revelers and have had many positive contacts with LGBT and my heart cry is that I treated them with the same dignity, love and care that I gave everyone else. I am not trying to judge anyone.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Oh, gosh, you didn’t irritate me, and I’m sorry if I gave that impression. I just wanted to clarify that there are a few different angles on what constitutes a Biblical reaction to homosexuality, and any one person’s (or website’s) perspective cannot automatically be applied to all others. :)

  • gimpi1

    That’s correct. Islam also became more militant as it aged a bit. When I look at Islam, I think of Christianity in the 1500’s. Religions in their teens seem a bit like people in their teens. Self-obsessed, still immature and aggressive.

  • LeRoy Whitman

    What? Have you read your Bible? Ezekiel cites homosexual sexual relations as an abomination in the same breath with lying with a woman during her menstrual period. Many make fun of this. But, indeed, both are equally oppressive, placing my sexual desires over the good of the other person. Love does not require sex. Loving relations are to be had with all. Sexual relationship is a covenant union, one man and one woman. It is more than just natural (though it is that); it is a cosmic symbol.

  • WilmRoget

    “What? Have you read your Bible?”

    Cover to cover, several times.

    “Ezekiel cites homosexual sexual relations as an abomination in the same
    breath with lying with a woman during her menstrual period.”

    No. Go ahead though and quote the passage book, chapter and verse.

    “Many make fun of this.”

    I’m not.

    ” But, indeed, both are equally oppressive, placing my sexual desires over the good of the other person.”

    That is exactly what you are doing to GLBTQ people.

    “Love does not require sex.”

    Then take a vow of celibacy for yourself. Recommend it for all heterosexuals, and campaign to make heterosexual marriage illegal and heterosexual sex a felony. Or admit that you are making empty noise.

    “Sexual relationship is a covenant union, one man and one woman.”

    It can be, but it can also be a covenant union between a man and another man, or a woman and another woman.

    It looks like you’ve answered my question though – you won’t give up your sin.

  • WilmRoget

    Well, I’m irritated now. I make the effort to provide you with a detailed rebuttal of the false, and frankly, evil theology on the site you provided to judge our lives

    and get a weak apology. How about apologizing for actually being offensive?

    unicyclemom – you cannot actually be an ally, much less treat GLBTQ with dignity and love, if you don’t recognize the basic fact that anti-gay theology is intrinsically degrading, offensive, dehumanizing and destructive.

    The abuse you have “spent the past few years grieving and crying for” we live, and it comes directly from the evil belief ‘homosexuality is sin’. We suffer in the hospital with broken bones, gun shot wounds, acid burns and worse, as the direct fruit of ‘homosexuality is sin’. We get beaten, murdered, raped as the direct fruit of ‘homosexuality is sin’.

    Until you reject ‘homosexuality is sin’, you are judging us.

  • lorigrizzell

    My problem with this line of thinking is that is not logical and applicable across the board. We don’t allow the practicing rapist, the practicing child molester and the practicing jihadists to sit amicably in the church pew. The reason is that there are victims. Homosexuality also has it’s victims. Homosexuality is spread and becomes rampant because of psychological imprinting. Our first sexual experiences imprint us and our minds are altered when our first experience is with, say, a homosexual Catholic priest, much the same way that growing up in a violent home usually means I end up violent myself. I grew up with an angry mother. Does this make it okay for me to beat my children no matter who irresistible it may seem when they are annoying? Every human being in relationship with the Creator must face their own fallen nature, take responsibility and Believe God when He says that something is a soul killer. I am told by Christ die to my flesh and accept God’s will and plan FOR MY OWN GOOD. To not do so is utter foolishness for anyone and will ultimately lead to spiritual death. Homosexuality is not excluded, no matter how we play around with the Greek.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “Homosexuality is spread and becomes rampant because of psychological
    imprinting. Our first sexual experiences imprint us and our minds are
    altered when our first experience is with, say, a homosexual Catholic
    priest”

    No. This doesn’t at all allow for the very real experience of a large percentage of gay people who never had a gay experience before realizing homosexual orientation, like myself. No one imprinted anything upon me. Sexual/romantic attraction materialized at puberty, much like pretty much everybody else.

    Homosexuality is not something so easily “spread.”

  • Jeff Preuss

    You know, the more I thought about your comment, the angrier I got. How dare you?

    How in the world can you liken me to a rapist, a pedophile, or a terrorist? Rapists violently create rape victims, pedophiles violently maliciously molest innocent children, terrorists murder people. MURDER. Your arrogance and self-righteousness will lead to more spiritual deaths than my commitment to my husband.

    When you start kicking out the adulterous, the single parents, and all the other sins from your pews, THEN AND ONLY THEN may you lecture us on our “sins.” However, at that time your pews will be otherwise empty, and you likely not welcome to sit either.

    I sincerely hope you one day are faced with someone close to you experiencing the anguish and fear that people like YOU cause them as a result of their sexuality. And I hope you extend a hand to them in peace, rather than equate them with a rapist. You could either lead them to hope, or to suicide.

    Your choice.

  • lorigrizzell

    I am not speaking about this to anger anyone and certainly don’t want to ever be “self-righteous.” The word itself makes my skin crawl. Also, I am not lecturing, I am speaking out against what I believe is a perversion of the Word of God. The “how dare you?” should in my mind be to anyone who speaks on God’s behalf about what God has already spoken clearly on. Where do we as a society and world get our notions about what is right or wrong? Why would society ever even have a debate on whether abortion is “murder” or just the removal of tissue? We debate it because we have been blessed with a gift, the gift of knowing the thoughts of our Creator through His written Word. His Word and His definition of Sin is universal and timeless. All humans from Creation until now have had the same makeup, the same “image of God” and the same eternal souls. God alone, who created us, knows what kills our souls. I turn to Him and ask, “Lord, what in me needs to be changed so that I can be like Christ.” My natural ferocious temper was just the beginning of all that He is working on in me. Every day as I walk with Him, He convicts and cleans my spirit, His Temple. Don’t ever be afraid to ask Him, to hear from Him through the Word and through the Holy Spirit. Also, please don’t ever presume that somehow we have evolved past listening to His voice through the Word. It endures forever.

  • lorigrizzell

    And also, I used those as examples to make my point. I consider beating your children in anger just as much creating a victim as in any other sin. So I would categorize myself (along with every other human being) in the same context. It is the idea that SIN has it victims and the church should be calling people out of sin, not acting as if it isn’t sin.

  • lorigrizzell

    One last thing….I didn’t say we “kick” them out. You really shouldn’t try to put words in other peoples mouths. I said “sit amicably in the pews” meaning that sin should be confronted in the pulpit and in the elders boardroom. We work with people to encourage them to leave their life of sin, whether it be adultery, greed, bitterness, theft, lust such as pornography, violence, lying, AND homosexuality. All of these things and many others are traps that the evil one has set to destroy us and destroy relationships with others. If you are committing any known sin and refuse to even admit that it is sin, you have bigger problems than you even realize. I say face them, and start to deal with them in the 80 short years you have on this earth. Walk with the Father. Allow Him to heal and strengthen and transform you into the person He created you to be. Don’t listen to lies just because you don’t think you have the strength to change. I have a loved one living in deep bitterness and anger. All that ever comes out of her mouth are long diatribes about what others have done to her. She is killing her own soul. Surely you can see that she needs to be confronted and encouraged to repent. All sin is like that. It is the gospel of freedom from sin, not freedom to sin.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “You really shouldn’t try to put words in other peoples mouths.”
    I didn’t put these horrible words in your mouth, you did, bolding for my emphasis:
    We don’t allow the practicing rapist, the practicing child molester and
    the practicing jihadists to sit amicably in the church pew.”

    We don’t allow. If you think that isn’t giving the impression that you’d kick people out of your pews who don’t measure up to your standards, you should have picked different words.

  • Jeff Preuss

    It is interesting that you spoke to logic in your first post, because there is no logic (or, for that matter, compassion) in those words you typed.

    ” Don’t ever be afraid to ask Him, to hear from Him through the Word and
    through the Holy Spirit. Also, please don’t ever presume that somehow
    we have evolved past listening to His voice through the Word. It
    endures forever.”

    I agree with you on this, but I have listened and do listen to His voice every single day. And, despite your presumptions, it is His abiding voice that tells me homosexuality is not the sin you make it out to be.

  • lorigrizzell

    I guess we will just have to disagree on what the definition of sin is. Keep seeking and listening and reading and I will too. I am sorry for making you angry but I stand by a belief in the words of the Scripture. God is faithful and wise and just. He is well able to communicate to us properly and clearly. Our responsibility is to enjoy our redemption through Christ and allow Him to sanctify us through the washing of the Word.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “I am sorry for making you angry but I stand by a belief in the words of the Scripture.”

    As do I, but not your interpretation. Perhaps next time you won’t compare gay people to violent offenders to make your example.

    “God is faithful and wise and just. He is well able to communicate to us
    properly and clearly. Our responsibility is to enjoy our redemption
    through Christ and allow Him to sanctify us through the washing of the
    Word.”

    None of this excuses the words you chose. You apologized for making me angry, yet still think your words were justified. They weren’t.

  • Guy Norred

    Much of what you say eventually, I agree with (and for that matter I am reasonably sure Jeff does as well), but this does not negate the great, at very least, misunderstanding you appear to have, particularly from your first comment, of what it means to be gay. I can only assume that this is your sincere understanding, but it does not meet with the reality of the great majority of individuals who at some point in their lives find that they are gay, and even for the few whose experience might point in this direction, this does not inherently point to direct causality. When one runs into this kind of situation, is it not the logical (after all you brought logic into this) thing to look at the sources of your information, and, importantly, strive to see how this might have colored your understanding of the subject, your reading of Scripture, as well even of the reading (and translation) of Scripture by those who have come before you (and may have also influenced your understanding even apart from Scripture)?

  • LeRoy Whitman

    Buddy, I lived a long while seeking to be celibate, and God had to convince me to marry – I was not seeking it; in fact I was seeking not to be, based on 1 Cor. 7. Also, you act like what God says in His Word is something I decided arbitrarily. Covenant union occurs, or can occur between any number of people who belong to Jesus. This does not mean they are to have sexual union. The Law is given to manifest transgression.

  • WilmRoget

    “Buddy, I lived a long while seeking to be celibate, and God had to convince me to marry”

    So your excuse for not living by the advice, no, the demand you impose on GLBTQ people, is that ‘God told you so’.

    Had it ever occurred to you that God has told GLBTQ people that they are not required to be celibate? Of course not. How would you get to feel superior that way?

    I’m not your buddy.

    “Also, you act like what God says in His Word is something I decided arbitrarily.”

    No, I’m arguing that your interpretation of what the Bible says is a deliberate distortion you’ve concocted to allow you to denigrate and trivialize millions of people. I don’t think your sick belief is arbitrary at all, I think it is deliberate, a purposeful and intentional construct you sought out so you could sin against us with presumed impunity.

    You are transgressing the Law every time you impose on GLBTQ people a standard you are not living by yourself. You are a lawbreaker.

  • Rosanna Miller

    NOTE: First let me say that NO, I am NOT saying one person is like anyone else. If you believe that about me, are you claiming to be better than anyone else?

    This challenge DOES NOT apply to you IF you DO NOT believe in God. Or you don’t believe that sin exists. Or you simply do not care. Well it applies to you, as I know that God does exist but you have every right to believe that God doesn’t exist, if you so choose but that is another story and another day. For now, I bid you a good day. I leave you in His capable hands. :)

    And that is why I am here. I am hoping for a miracle. I am hoping that
    hearts, eyes, and ears are opened to the Truth. HIS TRUTH. I pray that my words are silenced to them and the only One they can hear and see is Jesus ….in His name I pray, Amen.

    For the purpose of saving time, when I use the term “homosexual”, it will cover the following people:
    1) homosexuals, of course
    2) lesbians
    3) transsexuals
    4) bisexuals

    And I recognize there are other sexual orientations out there, so please feel free to add it to the list, as you consider and answer the
    questions. The only one that is separate from the list above is that of
    heterosexuals. The reason being the question at hand is not pertaining to the heterosexuals within God’s plan. We know that God created man to be with woman. The question is about those of the homosexuals. And that is what the challenge is for.

    ANSWER YES/TRUE or NO/FALSE.
    1) Do you believe that homosexuality is a sin?
    2) Do you believe that homosexuals are good?
    3) Do you believe that you can be a homosexual AND a Christian?
    4) Do you believe that homosexuals were “born that way” vs. everyone chooses for themselves?
    5) Do you believe that God created homosexuals?

    Did you answer as follows?
    1) No
    2) Yes
    3) Yes
    4) Yes
    5) Yes

    If so, taking the same logic for the homosexuals, I want you to answer the same about these people:
    1) pedosexuals
    2) zoosexuals

    Don’t try to say that “PEDO-sexuals” and “ZOO-sexuals” do not exist because oh yes they do. They are as real as you and me. They are just like you and me too. They have desires that they either rule over (through crucifying their flesh with Jesus) or the desires rule
    over them. But we are all the same in that we each have been given the free will to choose whom we serve and live for. If anything, I am simply adding those of different sexual orientations to the list above, like I invited you to do.

    So, back to the challenge:

    Do you also believe the same things (you believed about the homosexuals) about these people?
    1) Do you believe that being pedosexual AND/OR zoosexual is a sin?
    2) Do you believe that pedosexuals/zoosexuals are good?
    3) Do you believe that you can be a pedosexual/zoosexual AND also be a Christian?
    4) Do you believe that a pedosexuals/zoosexuals were “born that way” vs. everyone chooses for themselves?
    5) Do you believe that God created pedosexuals/zoosexuals?

    Now surely YOU answered exactly as you did for the homosexuals, right?
    1) No
    2) Yes
    3) Yes
    4) Yes
    5) Yes

    IF NOT, please answer why?

  • Jeff Preuss

    Oh, it’s you again. Your hateful ‘challenge’ spam is disgusting. Quit equating homosexuality with pedophilia and bestiality. They are not even close to being the same thing.

  • Guy Norred

    I thought it was woman who was created to be with man

  • MyrtleMartha

    Oh, dear. Yet another Christian who pretends to have no concept of consent. Perhaps you believe that God forces himself upon people who refuse to consent to be saved, but most Christians believe that even God values consent so much that He asks each person to consent, to accept, his Love, before saving that person. Legally, psychologically, and morally, children and animals cannot give competent, informed consent to complex matters like marriage and sexual acts. Therefore, anyone having sex with a child or an animal is committing rape. There is a difference between rape and a loving, mutual, consenting relationship between competent adults. If you do truly not see that, then you may need mental health counseling.

  • Rosanna Miller

    You have no grasp of the truth. And your bigotry and bias is what’s disgusting. As if you were above becoming a pedophile of murderer! NOT! You are just another flawed human, capable of heinous acts…just like “them”. You are more like them than you like to believe. You are on your way to hell, just like they are. It isn’t man that saves, it takes Jesus. So quit thinking you are so much better than the worst of the world because you aren’t. And until you see that, you have no idea what you are talking about.

  • Jeff Preuss

    You are the bigot. I’ve seen the other things you post as “truth.” God bless you, you are not speaking His love. Now, go away.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I’ve had some time to think and amend and add to my hasty phone response to you from earlier in the day. Let’s react piece by piece:

    “You have no grasp of the truth.” I know the truth of my life and my faith in Jesus Christ, yet you come on here and pretend to know all about my life as a homosexual. You don’t.

    “And your bigotry and bias is what’s disgusting.” I haven’t shown you (or I hope anyone else) bigotry on here or anywhere else, as I try to live my life as an example of Christ and give everyone love and compassion and equal respect. If you feel that I’ve been bigoted to you, I will note I am simply reacting to your unfortunate words and you declaring them as Truth, but that isn’t me being bigoted.

    “As if you were above becoming a pedophile of murderer! NOT!” I should hope that I am above becoming a pedophile (since I’ve no sexual attraction whatsoever to children) or a murderer (since I’ve never been, nor do I plan to become a violent person).

    “You are just another flawed human, capable of heinous acts…just like “them”.” Oh my goodness, of course I am a flawed human, capable of heinous acts. So are you, as proven by your posts.

    “You are more like them than you like to believe.” I am far less like them than YOU want to believe, but again, that is where YOUR bigotry comes into play.

    “You are on your way to hell, just like they are.” I am not on my way to Hell – I am bound for a different end due to my faith in and love of Christ. I was saved over 3 decades ago, and that hasn’t changed.

    “It isn’t man that saves, it takes Jesus.” Agreed.

    “So quit thinking you are so much better than the worst of the world because you aren’t.” I never said I was better than the rest of the world, but that is the distinct impression you are giving of yourself.

    “And until you see that, you have no idea what you are talking about.” Thanks for sharing your “Truth,” now to put it (at least at the end) succinctly – go away.

  • Rosanna Miller

    I will not go away, devil. I have not come here, of my own accord. AGAIN, you do not know the Truth of Jesus Christ and therefore are no judge of it. You are beneath the feet of Jesus and on your way to hell.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Wow. Your actions and your words are truly despicable. You are not speaking the Love of Christ with any of your actions. You are not the appointed arbiter of His Word.

    I pray for the Miracle that one day YOU will truly comprehend the damage and hurt YOU cause. It’s a complete travesty that you think you are acting in His name. You aren’t. Not even close.

    Notice I haven’t attacked you. I won’t call you a devil, or any of the names that you honestly deserve. I think you are a fellow believer in Christ, yet a wholly misguided, and horribly hateful one. Seek His Love, and figure out a way to share that Love, even with those you have decided are beneath you.

    You likely WILL come here (absolutely of your own accord) and spout off more demeaning, despicable diatribes at fellow humans worthy of your love, worthy of His Love, but I won’t respond to you again, for it is clear you are either unwilling or unable to participate in compassionate discourse. God bless you. Go away in peace. Harm no more people.

  • Jeff Preuss

    You know, I take it back. After what I saw you typed over on Charisma 4 hours ago, I have one more response, including a quote from you:

    “You are delusional. If a person NEVER had sex, they would be neither heterosexual or homosexual or whatever their sexual orientation they have. It takes the sexual ACT to determine a persons orientation. No, sexuality is NOT born with a person, it is a choice of preference. Maybe the Lord should just send you to hell to take one of those homosexuals place?”

    That’s simply awful. The part I bolded above shows such a simplistic, and wholly willfully wrongheaded take on how people might be gay. You clearly have no grasp of how human sexuality works, and you have NO business telling people how it works.

    And suggesting someone should go to Hell (from what I read, someone who didn’t attack you in the slightest, yet just had the smarts and Scriptural backup to validly debate you) is beyond the pale. You immaturely lash out, because you don’t honestly believe the filth you vomit forth, and don’t wish to be caught in your hatred and lies.

    I pray you find some peace in your life, and that you share it with others. Have a good night.

  • Rosanna Miller

    Of course you would. And I did have a wonderful night. lol

    Everything you have spoke has been and will be awful, meaningless, and pointless because again your OPINION is moot to me.

    I know that God DID NOT create homosexuals, anymore than He created heterosexuals. Sexuality is a personal choice that each person makes for themselves. Although, we do know that God does bless those who live for Jesus and seek HIS KINGDOM. And in HIS KINGDOM, He created sex as a gift meant for those (man AND woman… not man and man or woman and woman) He joins together.

    She had no scriptural backup! There was no validity or truth in what she was saying. Anymore than there is validity or truth in what you are saying. You will be with her and homosexuals in hell too, lest the Lord intercedes for you.

    I have the peace of God in me. His name is Jesus. He was, is, and is to come forever more, Amen.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Oy. Not only are you pure, unadulterated evil, but you’re an idiot.

  • Rosanna Miller

    Vey. Call me what you want but you will see who the evil one is come judgment time. I know the Lord, so I am not the fool here.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I’m praying for you, by the way. My sincere hope is that you realize the way you treat people is heartless and not evocative of Christ’s words for us. It is apparent there is no reasoning with you, so you are now blocked. I, for one, have no more patience for your attacks.

    Peace be with you. True peace. Share that peace, instead of attacking those you’ve decided are beneath you.

    I honestly feel you bring shame on the Church with your actions, and push more people away from God.

    Goodbye.

  • LeRoy Whitman

    The capacity we have for interpreting and re-interpreting reality is a reason God gave certain objective standards. Almost everyone claims to love. If I claim I am loving, while stealing from someone, then my subjective claim about my motives is exposed by God’s objective Word. I am a Lawbreaker, by the way, which is why I have sought God, and to learn and walk in His ways. It is first of all a heart thing, not a religious keeping of rules (depsite many who do the latter). I am sorry if you are hurt by those who have condemned you. I have not done that, but was discussing what you brought up. I am not imposing something, I am talking about it.

  • LeRoy Whitman

    Love and sex are not equal terms. If heterosexual sex were made a felony, I would break that “law.” But no one would execute it, because it would be done privately. The law does not have to issue in a witch hunt, but it is required as a social standard, to restrain evil.

  • WilmRoget

    ” God gave certain objective standards.”

    Ah, like ‘good trees bear good fruit, evil trees bear evil fruit’. The belief ‘homosexuality is sin’ bears evil fruit, and only evil fruit.

    ‘If I claim I am loving, while stealing from someone, then my subjective claim about my motives is exposed by God’s objective Word.”

    Thus, when you preach ‘homosexuality is sin’, you are destructive motives are exposed by God’s objective word.

    ” by the way, which is why I have sought God, and to learn and walk in His ways.”

    And yet you do not, at the very least in this issue, and frankly, given your behavior in this issue, probably not in most issues.

    “I have not done that,”

    Your falsehood does not accomplish anything. Of course you are judging all GLBTQ people, then you lie about it.

    Your platitudes that you clearly neither mean, or live, are a poor and lazy substitute for addressing the points I raised, and your obliviousness to rebuke I have presented about your position, only indicates the sin of pride and arrogance on your part, and contempt.

    You are walking in your way, not God’s.

  • WilmRoget

    “Love and sex are not equal terms.”

    No has argued that they are.

    “If heterosexual sex were made a felony, I would break that “law.””

    So you are a hypocrite then.

    “but it is required as a social standard, to restrain evil.”

    You are engaged in evil. So presumably, you will have no problem with your evil belief about homosexuals being criminalized.

    Once again, you didn’t bother t to address the issues raised.

    You wrote: “Ezekiel cites homosexual sexual relations as an abomination in the same breath with lying with a woman during her menstrual period.”

    And I replied: “No. Go ahead though and quote the passage book, chapter and verse.”

    It has been more than two weeks, and you have not provided the Scripture to back up your claim. Clearly, you were wrong, deliberately or by accident.

  • LeRoy Whitman

    I think the question will be resolved either when there are more hearts listening to God, or when we once again see the results in society when people do not listen to Him. I have not reviled homosexuals. I was discussing God’s Word – the God who loves all of us sinners so much that He died for us, so we could see that.

  • WilmRoget

    “I have not reviled homosexuals.”

    Everyone who proclaims ‘homosexuality is sin’ reviles homosexuals. You reviled us by calling our innate capacity for love ‘abomination’, citing by the way, Ezekiel, who makes no such statement.

    “when we once again see the results in society when people do not listen to Him.”

    Ah, like the murder and rape produced by those who teach ‘homosexuality is sin’.

  • Rosanna Miller

    Good, as am I for you. My sincere hope is the Lord opens your eyes to His Truth about His Love. His Love is not simply the sweet, powerless thing you are trying to make it to be. There is judgment for the wicked because His Love is Just, Righteous, and Holy.

    I am at peace with Him because He abides with me. I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me.

    Goodbye again.

  • Steve67

    Nobody has forced homosexuals to make churches of their own. Homosexuals are not just seeking to be accepted they want to be affirmed in their sin. Starting your own church because the church you go to continues to uphold what they have always upheld and what Christianity in general has always upheld is not forcing anyone to start a new church.

    And your friends who hold to traditional teaching in regards to homosexuality who welcome homosexuals and treat them with respect are not nearly as unusual as you would like to believe. In fact I don’t know of any churches-regardless of what they teach about sexuality-that don’t welcome homosexuals just as much as they would welcome anyone else. But a lot of homosexuals aren’t satisfied with merely being welcomed and respected. To many homosexuals if a church is not willing to cast aside thousands of years of church teaching to accomodate them then they say that church is discriminating against them.

  • Steve67

    What “biases” of Gagnon’s are you talking about? You mean thousands of years of church teaching??? If you seriously think Gagnon and other conservatives are afraid to read opposing views then you clearly are not nearly as well versed in their work as you think. It’s conservatives who are always challenging liberals to debate. Gagnon is a voracious reader and I would wager that he reads as much literature that opposes his views as he does that agrees with his views, and probably more since he spends so much time refuting opposing viewpoints. And if you don’t think liberals have their own biases that they eisegete into scripture then you must not have even a basic knowledge of hermeneutics.

  • jspessina

    I find it interesting that you talk about the sin of gluttony and obesity, citing the fact that Christians still love these people, and they do not need to go out and find their own churches. You err in lumping all known sins together with that of sexual sin. While the Scripture DOES declare that all sin is sin, and that every human being is individually guilty of personal sin, and any amount of sin is sufficient to separate us from God (traditional Christian teaching), the Scriptures do NOT put all sins in the same category. In fact, Jesus cited one type of sin that would never be forgiven, either in this age or that which is to come. And the Old Testament clearly enunciates sins of varying degrees, and that required varying action on the part of the sinner and the priests to deal with. Besides all that, you seem to forget that the Church universal, throughout history, has also “condemned” certain types of sin, and not only homosexuality. What about adultery? Why are people not trying to condemn Christianity because we STILL declare adultery a sin, advise people NOT to do it, and remove people from leadership who practice it? And, it’s interesting that almost all people worldwide still seem to “get” that. But the adulterer is not rejected any more than the homosexual is; he is counseled, prayed for, loved, and still cared for. And he or she can still come to church, but will usually NOT be allowed to participate in any leadership role. While the New Testament does advise us not to reject sinners (since we would have to reject ourselves also!), it also advises us not even eat lunch with someone who calls himself a brother if we KNOW that he is willfully practicing certain sins (1Cor 5:9-12). And even with that, when we deal with an errant, or sinning person, we are also advised to be gentle, considering ourselves, knowing that we too could fall into sin ourselves (Gal 6:1). The Bible never tells us to hate sinners. However, it does not tell us we have to change our doctrines to acommodate the conscience of people who don’t like the guilt that our beliefs seem to make them feel. If people do not like the Biblical teaching on Adultery, then the negative feelings they feel simply mean they are in the wrong place. They could go start their own “Church of Adulterers” if they wanted to, and then mount a political campaign to change the laws against adultery, and eventually have it declared normal behavior that no religions can speak negatively about. Be that as it may, it will really never change eternal realities; or move the One who made all things -including declarations of right and wrong, good and evil- to a new position on such matters.

  • Many things you’re saying here are exactly what I’ve been saying for many years, yes, on culture, hypocrisy, gluttony, selective judging, etc. As one formerly from my tribe, you comprehend my struggle with homosexuality as an ‘issue’ but I’ve never struggled with those I’ve known who are gay. I’ve always managed to accept that at the very least, in THEIR minds, they are not gay by choice or circumstance, but it is, FOR THEM, just who and what they are. I once knew a young man who struggled to overcome his gayness and find solace in a lovely girlfriend, though we were not told at the time. When he could not do so, convinced he could not be both a Christian AND gay, he just fell away from the faith, and I was forever saddened by the news.

    So many things in me have changed recently, and it’s very uncomfortable, but I’ve never wanted to just be in a comfort zone, so I pledge that I shall read Vines’ book soon, and with an open mind, as I always do. Thank you for your blogs and the reassurance I get from knowing I’m not just a lone weirdo freak within the church!

  • “Please consider that the cultural obsession with homosexuality within the American Church is detracting from the things Jesus asked us to do.”

    That comment alone exposes the heart of the writer. He is using it as a dig against Bible-believing Christians, when in fact it is the LGBTQX obsession of the Leftist “Christians” within the church that is detracting from what the real Jesus asked us to do. They brought it up, not us. You Leftists are welcome to drop it any time and just agree with what God said in his word.

    Churchgoers who support “same-sex marriage” have nearly identical views to the world. It shows who their real father is. http://4simpsons.wordpress.com/2014/08/13/churchgoers-who-support-same-sex-marriage-are-identical-to-the-world/

    1 John 2:15-16 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride of life—is not from the Father but is from the world.

    http://wp.me/p1wGU-3P7 The Bible couldn’t be more clear. Bible-believing Christians and even two out of the three types of pro-gay people* (religious or not) can see these truths:

    – 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior describe it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.

    – 100% of the verses referring to God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.

    – 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).

    – 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions of any kind. There are no exceptions for “committed” relationships.

    – 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to LGBT couples parenting children.

    * The three general types of pro-gay theology people:

    1. “The Bible says homosexuality is wrong but it isn’t the word of God.” (Obviously non-Christians

    2. “The Bible says it is wrong but God changed his mind and is only telling the theological Left.” (Only about 10 things wrong with that.)

    3. “The Bible is the word of God but you are just misunderstanding it” (Uh, no, not really.)

  • LeRoy Whitman

    But homosexual behavior is called sin in the Bible. By noticing this, I am not “reviling” anyone. Does my noting that drunkeness is sin mean I hate Noah? This is extremism. Secondly, “love” can be expressed in other-than-sexual ways. No one is having a problem with that.

  • LeRoy Whitman

    Search it yourself. If you are interested in truth, you will find it right there, in Ezekiel. One point is: I can still love my wife while not lying with her during her period (which would be painful to her). This distinguished love from sex. I don’t think anyone has a problem with two men living together if they so choose. No one would know what else they do, either. It is this “need” to have explicit, vocal, public acceptance of particular sex acts that is really at issue, isn’t it? The connection of love necessarily involving sexual relationship is very much at issue here, whether spoken or unspoken.

  • LeRoy Whitman

    And you are not judging? It seems we are all in the same boat.

  • LeRoy Whitman

    We are all lawbreakers. It should be our larger concern, since we will all face judgment.

  • Stevie D

    I guess from your desire to uphold the OT on adultery, that you will be calling on your elected representatives to restore death by stoning as the appropriate response.

  • Stevie D

    QUOTE ”
    “I am not speaking about this to anger anyone and certainly don’t want to
    ever be “self-righteous.” The word itself makes my skin crawl. Also, I
    am not lecturing,”

    you might want to read back through your posts and check on this one.

  • Stevie D

    Justin, is your first paragraph meant to be really funny or is it a glorious, innocent accident ??

  • Laureen

    Hmmm…how do I say this?
    The Catholic Church teaches that a body is in sin ONLY when that body is engaging in homosexual acts–both males & females. A woman can’t lie w/a woman, nor a man w/a man, & NOT be in mortal sin–the sin that, if you should die in it, (meaning, you haven’t moved away from these acts & repented of them @ the time of your death), you have condemned your soul to Hell. You cannot receive the Eucharist in an active homosexual state. There are programs in the Church that help you with this if you want to depart from active homosexuality.

    To have homosexual tendencies, s-s attractions, is not a sin. This means that if you are in & remain in a chaste/celibate state, while being attracted to people of your sex, you have not committed any sin. Therefore, people in this state can receive the Holy Eucharist. They are encourage to participate in programs the Church has that helps them to cope effectively with this attraction, and remain chaste.

    Now, all of this also applies if you are hetero- & unmarried. Heteros are in mortal sin when they engage in sex outside of marriage–period. They cannot receive the Eucharist while being unmarried & sexually active. They suffer the same penalty for their behavior as active homosexuals do. There are also programs in the Church that help sexually active, unmarried heteros to become & remain chaste.

    If you are in an active homosexual relationship, or unmarried in an opposite-sex one, want help to stop, & heal your soul from the wounding it has suffered from sexual or any other mortal sin, don’t hesitate to call or stop in at any Catholic Church & inquire as to the help that is available to you there. You don’t have to be a Catholic to get help you need from the Church–everyone is welcome there.

    I can testify from personal experience that she is very effective in helping people get free of the sin in their lives, & get closer to Our Blessed Redeemer.

    The Church’s door is wide open to ALL people in whatever state of sin they may be in–homosexuality included–she’s the hospital for sinners, not a resort for saints.

  • Falken

    Seriously? You came here to spout the same crap so many of us hear “lovingly” from bullhorns, from fists, from bats, from the number of times we’re called inhumane, abominations, so on and so forth? Really? How absolutely awesome it must be to be a type of person to see discrimination from the outside and say “that’s not discrimination, we just love them so much we need them to know how wrong they are”. It is so very easy to be against “sin” that magically doesn’t apply to you. To be against a part of who a person is that they’re supposed to snip off like an offending wart just because it’s unaccepted by power hungry, self-righteous, pseudo-pious pricks. I still don’t hear any real uproar when it comes to divorced people being remarried, or to the numerous times heteros run off having sex but that’s just magically all well and good because that’s an okay form of being who you are to that hypocritical den. In fact, why don’t you name a few times that people who are heterosexual and sexually active or divorced have actually been denied the Eucharist?

    And for the record, if you ever did know what people like me and those closest to me went through, you wouldn’t dare. You wouldn’t dare say 20 years of tears and prayer and begging, pleading to be like everyone only to realize you may just be who He wants you to be after all means nothing. You wouldn’t say the scars on a man who spent almost that same time, still praying and begging even carving into himself because he convinced himself he needed to sacrifice his own blood to be healed are just trivial. You wouldn’t say the very man I loved who killed himself along with god only knows how many others was for nothing because your precious little social club decided that this group of people don’t get to be happy.

    And for the record, I’m not just some angry little queer upset because I can’t justify my sin. I am a broken, bleeding human being like so many others. I am a child of God who’s own siblings have laid siege to me because they pick and choose – and yes, you most certainly do – what’s conveniently a sin and what is conveniently no longer relevant. I am one of the millions who a man didn’t just die for, but suffered and died for to be redeemed and no matter what little rules you come up with, what little tenants you hide behind there is nothing you can do to take that from me. My problem in life has never been the Son or his sacrifice or the Father and his love, but the rules and regulations of the people who proclaim to know them both so well they can declare who gets in or not.

  • Laureen Holt

    You seem to be saying that if you aren’t in a particular sin, you have 0 “business” preaching against it.

    Who on this planet does not struggle with sin, HappyCat?
    What difference does it make whether you struggle with envy, or pride, lust, or greed, sloth, or wrath, or gluttony?

    If there are 2 people who are in a battle with sin–pick any two–I don’t know how 1 of them can say to the other, “My sin is harder to deal with than yours. I have more pain coping with my sin that you do with yours. I have a more difficult & longer battle to fight w/mine than you do with yours. My sin keeps me awake more nights than yours does you…” without having a decent conversation about it first.

    I don’t have to be in the same sin as you to know what it means to do battle w/it. Everyone who is a follower of Jesus Christ should be preaching against sin–his/her own, as well as that of others.

    You may be struggling w/same-sex attraction or active homosexuality, but that by no means says that your struggle is greater than whatever I may be dealing with in my own life w/a different one. Suppose mine is greed/avarice, & you’ve never had a problem w/that in your life–does that mean that you should not speak out against it to me? Why should you have to be in this same fight against avarice that I’m in, in order to “preach against” it? Why should a woman have to be a former lesbian to speak against the sin that it is? Or a former adulterer to “preach against” lust?

    Understanding that sin is sin, the hold it so often takes on a soul & the damage sin does to it, how it separates the soul from God, how a soul can win the battle w/sin….is all it takes to be able to “preach against” it.

    Any & all sin is a “struggle” for the one who loves Christ & wants a close relationship w/Him, which can’t be had when one is in sin…it’s a constant battle of flesh & spirit; don’t say that just because I may not be struggling w/the same sin as you, doesn’t mean I can’t or shouldn’t “preach against” it.

  • Laureen Holt

    You need to have addressed this to those with the “bullhorns,” “bats” & “fists,”, etc., as I have none of them, & the tone of my post indicates none of the “hate,” ostracization, “intolerance,” etc. that you speak of.

    You have only Jesus Christ Himself to blame for the “rules and regulations” of the Church (not “people”) that He founded upon the Rock of St. Peter in Matt. 16, where He tells St. Peter, among other things, …”and I shall give unto thee the Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven; that whosoever thou shalt bind on earth, shall be bound in Heaven, & whosoever thou shalt loose on earth, shall be loosed in Heaven…”

    Yes, there certainly ARE “rules & regulations” that one must comply with to reach his/her heavenly reward. The 1st among them being you must first give up a life lived after the flesh & renounce sin, of which homosexuality & all other sexual sin, is just one.

    Your problem is not with me. I hear you loud & clear w/all the pain you’ve had (& still are?) experiencing. There is healing & recovery available to you, if you wish to avail yourself of it. The Catholic Church can & will help you, but you have to want it.

  • Falken

    Right. I should speak to the people who are just being slightly more hostile than your passive aggressive stance. Understood.

  • Laureen Holt

    Whatever.
    There is nothing in my post that should have provoked the reply that I got from you. It was neither “hostile,” “passive,” nor “aggressive.” It isn’t hard to find people w/your stance toward Christianity or the Catholic Church–about which so many know little or nothing–no matter what is said, or how it is said.

    When a body makes the choice to live contrary to the Gospel–a life of sin–s/he has to do something about God. That usually means having nothing to do with Him, @ least until s/he decides to give up a life lived after sin.

    You have a huge chip on your shoulder that accounts for some to all of your misery. You’d do well to rid yourself of it, in one way or another, for good. Life is too short to waste being miserable.

  • Falken

    I was raised in the church. From a little kid I actually enjoyed going Sundays, it was one part habit and one part just a good part of my day. I didn’t worry that I wasn’t attracted to girls when I was little – they were icky at that age. I got a bit concerned when middle school hit. Then high school. You people talk easily of things you don’t have to deal with, which for that I rather envy you. I envy being able to say it’s a choice and a sin without either of those words really having to weigh on me because I “chose” right. I prayed. 15 years. I begged. I pleaded, I tried to bargain, even demanded. I was mad for a bit, actually. “You can do all things,” I said, “you can do all things just how I was taught. Just please take this away, I don’t want it and every person keeps saying it’s bad for me. I don’t even care if I can’t love anyone or get married, I just don’t want to be like the people they kill, who get sick and die.” I considered seminary, figuring that if I went into training to become a pastor, maybe jump ship into Catholicism and become a priest, that would be perfect. I thought I was defective, I thought I was wrong. Oh god, when I got a hold of that “predestination” crap I really went off the rails. “You gave me this so that I’d be condemned no matter what?” Then came more begging and pleading. Do you have any clue what it is like, what it is really like to plead for your very soul? Not for your life, not for your future, but for your very existence. You hear about the treatments, from the laughable to the horror stories but figure it’s worth the pain, it’s worth the torture. Hell, even if you die during it, it’s worth it if it fixes you. Then I realized, I was sinning in an entirely different matter. I was so unhappy with who He made me, and it wasn’t from a message from him but all the people like you. You speak of having a chip on my shoulder? What I have is a large number of arrogant swine so convinced they’re so pious and righteous constantly telling me I’m defective, I’m wrong, I’m an abomination, and even when they try to sugar coat it, it just doesn’t sound very loving. So carry yourself elsewhere with your “people like you” crap. People like me are the very children of the church cast out by the church and it doesn’t seem to matter what the denomination is. People like you make excuses for the parents who put their children out, the people who bash and kill, the people who spout such ugly words. Every time you spout more of this rubbish you think is truth, you just add another link to a problem. You have blood on your hands, while claiming innocence.

  • Herm

    Hence, “Onward Constantine soldiers as we march to war!”

  • “You came here to spout the same crap so many of us hear “… In other words, it’s a foregone conclusion that the Bible doesn’t condemn homosexuality, and there is no room for disagreement. Aren’t you doing exactly what this article says we must not do — assume that we are right and those who disagree with us are wrong? Your mind is as closed as all those you condemn.

  • The issue isn’t whether a person can be a Christian and have homosexual desires. Homosexual behavior itself is not unforgiveable. The real problem comes in when a person decides to reject part of Scripture and still consider himself/herself a Christian. The church is clearly instructed in Scripture to exclude that person from its fellowship. “But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people” (1 Cor. 5:11). It sounds harsh, but this is both for the protection of the fellowship and a testimony to the person.

    As to the Bible’s prohibition of homosexuality, that is stated in stark, categorical language. The passage in Romans couldn’t be more clear, and it is presented directly in the context of mankind’s essential rebellion against God’s order (Rom. 1). Unfortunately, we are living in a time when people simply devise “interpretations” of Scripture to accommodate their pet sins.

  • I didn’t get that from Laureen’s comments at all. She calmly and respectfully stated what she believes, and she was compared to a bullhorn-bellowing, bat-wielding fanatic. The one making war in this instance was Falken.

  • Nice generalization, Rusty. Jesus said nothing about “religious conservatives.” He specifically condemned the derailed religious authority in Israel, which was the Pharisees. And your phrase “attacking gays” is as tired as can be. If I see a man sitting in a burning house and I tell him God wants him to get out, am I attacking him? And please don’t try to obfuscate the facts about homosexuality. It was condemned categorically in Scripture (Rom. 1) regardless of whatever “new” medical perspectives there are. Truth isn’t “cruelty and prejudice.” Reject God’s Word if you want, but it’s cheap and dishonest to sling mud at those who choose not to follow suit.

  • No, being a Christian requires acknowledgement of sin and a change of heart and mind. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). To confess means to agree with God that what we have done is wrong. We also must turn from our sin — not perfectly, but with the right intentions. Pretending something isn’t a sin doesn’t make it go away.

  • “But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people” (1 Co. 5:11).

  • “Paul was probably a False Apostle.”

    If Paul was a false Apostle, then Christianity is nothing but a comforting vapor, not even worth a second look. He wrote half of the New Testament and helped shape and flesh out the church more than any other Apostle. If you don’t believe he saw Christ, you believe the Bible is a lie. Good luck with your exit interview.

  • Herm

    Thank you for calling me on my childish snippet. I am just not good with 140 characters or less to illustrate religious bigotry. It’s okay for male Roman (Constantine) Catholic priests to have sex with boys. Seemingly okay because when caught they are shifted to another community to still serve a sacred mass, take confessions and administer communion to the flock. But gays are just too sinful to be served because in the Old Testament it makes it quite clear that the God they knew that took them to war is sickened by only the homosexuality of men laying with men.

    “When a body makes the choice to live contrary to the Gospel–a life of sin–s/he has to do something about God. That usually means having nothing to do with Him, @ least until s/he decides to give up a life lived after sin.”

    Laureen Holt posed an extremely judgmental certainty based on what she calls the “Gospel” (which means good news) when Jesus the Messiah never said a word against homosexuality. Sex of any form shared between consenting adults is not ours to persecute as it does not affect us. Sex by subjugation, intimidation and manipulation is a crime because it is a destructive relationship to mankind known as victimization.

    Read Falken’s story and if you can’t find any compassion for his plight there then might be a sin greater than an adult male being attracted to a consenting adult male.

    The apostle Peter was not all the saint or “rock” he has been touted to be when he, as Jesus said he would, denied Jesus three times. Jesus had already taught to deny Him before Man would cause Him to deny them before the Father. Peter learned much later that it was not what went in your mouth that counted but what came out. Peter is not the rock foundation for Jesus’ church because Jesus church is wholly dependent upon the Holy Spirit and not any of mankind.

    I’m failing here to make my concern clear because I’m shotgunning rather than writing a book to explain it fully.

    Laureen did not calmly and respectfully state what she believes. She demeaned Falken and placed her self so far above Falken in righteousness that she basically said get your act together or God just can’t love you like He loves me. … the second is like the first, “love your merciful gay neighbor like your self.”

  • Proud Amelekite

    Actually, by your owm admission, I only believe half the New Testament and the Church with it’s wide, easy saved by “Grace” (Sloth) doctrine to be contrived nonsense and utterly, irredemably false. You have made an accurate appraisal. Believing Paul and Timothy to be false teachers doesn’t negate the words of the real apostles, just those two.

    The guy himself tells us he is a liar who wins converts through trickery/guile. Jesus supposedly appeared to him on the road to Damascus (no real unbiased witnesses… how convenient) and nobody thinks that is fishy? We just accept what this self aggrandizing, murdering, lying sociopath has to say as literal Gospel? Really? Hard to accept but that is often the case with the truth.

  • The sin isn’t being attracted to the same sex, it’s deliberately ignoring God’s clear statements about homosexual behavior. I have compassion for everyone who has dealt with hard experiences such as what Falken went through (and everyone who must battle with powerful sinful urges). Let me ask you this: are some experiences so hard that they exempt the sufferer from having to submit to God’s authority?

    The fact that Jesus didn’t specifically prohibit homosexuality is irrelevant. As God, he already said it in the Book of Leviticus. And Was Paul going rogue when he reiterated the prohibition against homosexuality in Romans 1? No, because then the Bible’s integrity disappears.

    You seem to believe that the hypocrisy in the Catholic Church is somehow a justification for telling homosexuals that they don’t need to worry about God’s commands (or worse, telling them the Bible doesn’t actually prohibit it). Homosexuals have often been treated badly by the Church. But telling them homosexuality is okay is no better. Perhaps the greatest service one human being can do for another is to tell them the truth.

  • Herm

    The Bible is an expose of humanity written in a picture language of each society for only the last ten thousand years of a 25 million year old humanity and how we’ve dealt with God and God with us. The Word of God is alive and is known as our Lord Jesus. God’s written beloved King David first of the lineage of the Son of Man had a husband murdered by placing him intentionally on the front line so King David could have his wife for himself. Homosexuality is not a sin but not loving your merciful neighbor as yourself will not inherit eternal life. Homosexuality does not stop anyone from being compassionate, loving and merciful, just life the Samaritan who could easily have been gay. Talk to God in your spiritual heart and mind and you will know this is true. Talk to a Roman Catholic priest and you will not. You just don’t get it that homosexuality is natural of which each who is would choose differently if they could. Gender and sexual representation is not the same in anyone as each person represents a different point on the spectrum. Sexuality and gender just don’t have a thing to do with life in Heaven where guaranteed Jesus said there is no marriage and propagation of the specie is not necessary when all who live there have will do so for the rest of eternity. God is male and female. Get off your judgmental kick against others you do not understand and are not threatening you who if they can’t live in Heaven Jesus can do all the judging necessary when the time comes. There is no New Testament passage in the original tongue that condemns being gay. Bias is prevalent among all biblical authors especially related to their societal time on this Earth. I’m tired, it has been a long day but I just had to scream if it stands even the slightest chance of helping get this straight, you not them. Ask God directly, please, to quit negligently hurting your neighbors who are not hurting you..

  • Laureen

    You mean “Christian,” right? There’s 0 hymn w/”Constantine” in it.

    (Which was supposed to have been written by that arch-heretic, Martin Luther. No friend to Christ or His Church he.)

    Homosexuality IS grave, mortal sin. (Period. End of sentence.) I don’t “think” homosexuality is a sin; I know it is.

  • Herm

    Where does it say and what empowers that you truly believe you are the judge, jury and executioner for the enforcement of what is attributed to Moses as relating what he understands as “disgusting” (an abomination) to the Lord God and is separated from even a perversion?

    You shall not approach a woman to uncover her nakedness while she is in her menstrual uncleanness. You shall not have sexual relations with your kinsman’s wife, and defile yourself with her. You shall not give any of your offspring to sacrifice them to Molech, and so profane the name of your God: I am the LORD. You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. You shall not have sexual relations with any animal and defile yourself with it, nor shall any woman give herself to an animal to have sexual relations with it: it is perversion. Leviticus 18:19-23 (NRSV)

    Are you being enticed to become gay? Are you or any you are responsible to in your name being molested by a gay? Would that be any worse than being molested by a heterosexual? Why then do you take your attitude of family impressed abhorrence out on another more merciful other who doesn’t take theirs out on you? Why do you act as a soldier for Jesus to fight what are His wars and not your own?

    While I’m here I need to mention it is none of our Christian business to condemn the informed decisions for the responsible triage of doctor assisted abortion or contraception. That is between the potential parents, doctor and God who we must respect their decisions when it does not affect us or ours, no matter how much we might hurt in empathy for the child that might have been.

    It is our business that we sent to war to die 50 thousand children in Vietnam and 4 thousand children in Iraq. It is our business that we invaded and murdered 100,000 men, women and children citizens in our invasion to stop nonexistent WMDs.

    Sin is an easy word to throw around as justification for judging another when all it means is a separation from the will of our Lord God and Creator. The actual will of God is succinctly spoken by the Word in Luke 10:25-37 and Matthew 7:12, in everything nothing else need be done according to God’s will.

    If you weren’t so preoccupied with your soldier for Christ allegiance under the authority of whomever your spiritual recruiter or sergeant major might be you might actually find out that being attracted to a physical intimacy between consenting adult male and male or female and female is a physical condition and not some misplaced attitude which can be unlearned. There is no marriage in Heaven and there is no need for propagation if each life is eternal. God is female and male and we have yet to have seen a representation of God’s feminine side. The often unreasonable instinct of mankind to couple to propagate the race has no place in eternal life but love does.

    To become students of only Jesus the Messiah/High Priest we must pick up our own cross to be willing to die so that our enemy, who knows not what they do, might learn to love their merciful unique neighbor as themselves; not at all to subjugate, enslave to our will, demean or destroy our perceived enemy as would a soldier. He has told us to put away the sword that we may live or else we will die to the sword. He has chartered us as His students to share the Holy Spirit with all who might be in need and receptive throughout the world. He did not ever ask us to condemn what is only within the purview of the Holy Spirit and thereby God. We are no greater than little children in the Family of God and no loving father calls his little children to arms to fight and die for the family or even recruit for the family from his enemies. We do ask our young “adult” children to fight and die for the survival of our beloved family as did our Father in Heaven ask Jesus by accepting His cross but not wield His sword. The Guide, Advocate and Councilor sent by the Son and Father leads us to those hearts and minds who are receptive to Him as we allow His light to shine though us.

    “Homosexuality IS grave, mortal sin. (Period. End of sentence.) I don’t “think” homosexuality is a sin; I know it is.”

    No it is not. You are wrong. The worst homosexuality is condemned as is in the Bible is an abomination to God and God can handle that all by Himself, especially if all we who know introduce the availability of the Spirit of Truth (Jesus the Christ) to those others who don’t know what they do, as I pray the embattled gays forgive you of your ignorance only clear by your crucifixion of merciful homosexuals, all gay disciples of Jesus already have forgiven you.

    I am empathetic to your impassioned recruiting effort toward me to soldier up by demanding that I correct my seemingly heretical, certainly childish, response to your absolute certainty of a perceived sin that you feel impressed to eradicate at all cost. I’ve been there, I am a combat vet physically and spiritually, but since in relationship fulltime with the Spirit of Truth I have learned that I was wrong.

    We have all watched the majority of our nation sponsor to invade and destroy another sovereign nation that we deemed as an enemy poised and ready to exercise horrific weapons of mass destruction on us. That was a propaganda lie intentionally used to manipulate us to go to war against an enemy who at minimum stabilized the region now out of our control due to our ignorant war posture. The same destructive propaganda from Constantine churches, Protestant and Roman Catholic, decreed as sacred that each church might survive, regardless of innocent collateral damage, by calling up their minions to soldier to fight for and populate the survival of their particular church (witch hunts, crusades and bigoted Christians haunt the Church administered by Jesus our more than sufficient High Priest). That is no different than the propaganda marketing efforts that other corporations destructively perpetuate in the USA that they too might survive wholly regardless of producing a viable product for the health of the nation (the NRA lobby?).

    Our loving creator God is only concerned with the health of His creation, has no need for marketing propaganda and hurts for those He loves who are destructively intimidated and manipulated by lies that support only the individual survival at the cost of the whole of His creation, especially the whole of mankind female and male in His image. Jesus the Messiah only asks for His little children students to live and spread His Word in the powerful Spirit of the law of love written in our hearts and minds throughout the entire world, not to enforce the Word on others. It is His Word that clearly says the Spirit of Truth is available to every heart and mind bare, open and ready to welcome His baptism, not the symbolic baptism by emersion or sprinkling, baptism by the Holy Spirit. When bonded in love as one in heart and mind with the Holy Spirit who is one in heart and mind with all of God we will not be intimidated nor manipulated by the propaganda of the Pharisees and teachers of the law, oh, woe to them for they know not what they do. We will in everything do to others what we would have them do to us.

    Jesus was crucified as a certain sinning heretic in the judgment of the church who knew Him not. Do you know the Spirit of Truth that you too would passionately choose to pick up your cross sharing the Word with those who don’t know Him?

    Sorry for laying all this at your feet for it is not completely your fault that you are acting out of ignorance to destroy a condition that you cannot understand but neither was it completely the fault of Pontius Pilate, Joseph Caiaphas or the so certain affirmative crowd for the crucifixion of Jesus. Neither was it entirely the fault of the religiously zealous Saul to persecute Christians to their death as a soldier for God. The Holy Spirit, and only the Holy Spirit, can overcome the destructive certainty of ignorance spawned from the sincere intellectual teachings and traditions of mankind.

    Love you and pray that you find it in your heart and mind the peace and joy to harvest the fruits of your passion into a savory love for all your merciful neighbors, gay or not.

  • DrewTwoFish

    “Good luck with your exit interview.” I can feel the love even through cyberspace.

  • We are at an impasse. You insist on believing that my understanding of Scripture in this matter equates to “hating” and “harming” my neighbors, which you have no way of knowing. I guess we have very different ways of loving our neighbors.

  • Laureen

    What blather!
    If you want to pray for me, don’t make it that. No matter your opinion, I’m already there.

  • Herm

    good

  • LeRoy Whitman

    On this line of thought, I guess I revile drunkards. adulterers, murderers, thieves, drug addicts, witches, those who curse parents, and those who do not love others from the heart, just because I point out that God is not like that, and has made a way for us to begin to receive from Him, so we can love like He does, even if imperfectly.

    But it is true, I did not revile any of these. Thanks for listening.

  • Melinda Hailey

    This is a letter from Paul to the Epistles and the sexual immorality to which he is referring is men having sex with their father’s wife. This is not a command from God, it is a letter specifically written to discourage the wayward behavior of a specific people in a specific time. You posting this verse as if it is a direct commandment from God is not only reckless, but a complete misrepresentation of His Word. I would suggest that you do a bit more research about the verses you tout so that you can properly share the true meanin of the Word of God (Assuming that is your intent).

  • Great article. thank you for writing this.

  • All we know is that Paul wrote this command to a church that was ignoring greivous sexual immorality in their group. I didn’t say we should banish all church members who disobey Scripture; I implied that there is a time and a place for people, who call themselves Christians but ignore biblical teaching, particularly by sinning sexually, to be disassociated for a temporary season, for their own good and for the protection of the church. You assail this as being unscriptural, but I didn’t state any parameters. Could it be that you simply don’t like the idea of spiritual authority? Rebellion always bristles against boundaries.

  • Allen

    The Bible speaks in the OT that God orders gays to be slaughter. Christians regardless of the context believe this was a moral action. In the NT it says that gay people will burn forever in hell and are sick perverted abominations. Christians agree and that’s why gays are treated horribly. I don’t understand how a person can claim to love someone while believing that that person should be punished and tortured and even killed in some context. Christians don’t just disagree with the “gay lifestyle” (whatever that means given that straight couples do all the same things that gay ones do) Christians go further than just disagreeing when they believe that harm should and will be done to gays. i’m not sure why any gay person would actually trust their lives to a Christian when Christian believe that gays should be destroyed/killed/burned for being gay. Christians better be happy that gays are a small and for the most part non aggressive group otherwise Christians wouldn’t be so comfortable treated them so terribly…….

  • Rusty Reiter

    Douglas, it’s sad you fail to see the role the religious conservatives played in the life of Jesus. They always played the word games you engage in, carried the smugness you carry, and eventually led to the arrest, beatings and death of Jesus, if you would read the real Gospels instead of the anti-gay gospel. And Romans 1 has zero to do with “homosexuality” a modern medical term and concept unknown 2,000 years ago when that letter was written. http://www.gaychristian101.com/Romans-1.html You are simply making the same kind of error the Pharisees did, the same error every religious conservative made in the history of civil rights since then. You are a bigot on the wrong side of history. Sexual orientation is not a choice, bigotry is.

  • Rusty, Romans didn’t mention “homosexuality,” it condemned the behavior of men having sex with other men — and women with women. In case you haven’t figured it out, that is what “homosexuality” means. Don’t get mad at me. It’s not my word, it’s God’s. Why do you call me a bigot? The word means “a person who is intolerant toward those holding different opinions” (Merriam Webster). Just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean I’m intolerant. In fact, since you are calling me names for voicing my beliefs ( which is usually an attempt to pressure that person to be silent), it would seem that you are the bigot. But that is between you and the mirror, my friend.

  • Herm

    And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind and to things that should not be done. They were filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice. Full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, craftiness, they are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, rebellious toward parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless. They know God’s decree, that those who practice such things deserve to die—yet they not only do them but even applaud others who practice them.
    Romans 1:28-32

    Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things. You say, “We know that God’s judgment on those who do such things is in accordance with truth.” Do you imagine, whoever you are, that when you judge those who do such things and yet do them yourself, you will escape the judgment of God? Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed.
    Romans 2:1-5

  • The point of the passage is that we are all under God’s wrath and need to be saved.

  • Herm

    You say, “We know that God’s judgment on those who do such things is in accordance with truth.”

    All of Romans 1 and 2 go together. Paul did not do chapter and verse. You will find if you read Romans from beginning to end that by his own admission Paul is tormented. There is not the peace Jesus said He would leave His disciples.

    That peace is available. It really helps to understand that we are all ignorant children dependent upon our Father.

    For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all
    ungodliness and wickedness of those who by their wickedness suppress the truth.

    You are suppressing the truth that God loves us all and is available to each and every heart and mind as the Word through the Holy Spirit.

  • It sounds like you believe Paul’s writings are not inspired by God. Is that the case?

  • Herm

    Jesus said,

    “You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life.”

    Within the following verses:

    But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his form, and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent. “You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life. I do not accept glory from human beings. But I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? John 5:36-44

    I know the Hebrew Scripture (the Old Testament) is prophesy pointing to the entire mission of Jesus. I know even in those inspired books the authors only wrote to the level of expertise of which they were capable relative to their times. I know that after the veil was rent the only Holy of Holies on Earth became the hearts and minds of human kind accepting the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.

    You will not find eternal life in the scriptures. You have to come to Jesus as a little child to inherit eternal life according to our Lord’s command. You have to become a child of God through baptism of the Holy Spirit. You can only know the truth from the heart and mind of Jesus our Rabbi as His disciple bound in love through the Holy Spirit in your heart and mind. The only Word of God is Jesus. All who know the Word are inspired today no less than any of the authors of books and letters in the Bible then. You will know them by their fruits.

    I love you and hope you know in your heart and mind what I just said is true. It truly will set you free and you will know true joy and true peace even on this Earth.

  • You are trying to separate discipleship from the Scriptures, which is impossible. “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness so that the man of God will be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16). That statement means either that the entire Bible we read is authoritative and relevant (including Paul’s epistles), or that none of it is. Either 2 Tim. 3:16 is true, or it is not. The Scriptures you quoted above have to be understood in conjunction with the rest of the Bible. Otherwise, they are meaningless. Think about why you trust that portion of the Bible. Isn’t it because you believe God sovereignly arranged for the words of Christ to be preserved intact? Why would he be able to accomplish that but unable to prevent the rest of Scripture from being perverted? It doesn’t make sense, and it is heresy. God’s Word is the only firm anchor we have.

  • Herm

    Douglas, are you a student of the Bible or a student of Jesus the Rabbi?

    The New Testament was compiled over three hundred years after Jesus’ ascension from accumulated books and letters written by the best sources as could be determined by the council assembled by the Roman Emperor Constantine in Nicaea. Paul had long since been beheaded in Rome.

    Paul wrote:
    Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, for the sake of the promise of life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord. 2 Timothy 1:1-2

    2 Timothy 3:16 is a passage taken from a letter expressly sent to Timothy from Paul. It is in no way considered by Paul as scripture. Paul, as a Pharisee, was a classic student of the Hebrew scripture and in every case he is referring only to the Hebrew scripture.

    Paul wrote to Timothy:
    But as for you, continue in what you have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it, and how from childhood you have known the sacred writings that are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:14-17

    Disciple means student.

    Jesus said:
    But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted. Matthew 23:8-12

    I testify by my own experience that the Holy Spirit will teach you everything as Jesus knows you are ready if you humbly accept Him into your heart and mind bonded by love to God.

    We have communicated before and you should know that I am not intimidated by the hollow threat of heresy from anyone that is not, according to their fruits, a direct student of Jesus the Messiah. The greatest students of the Hebrew scripture branded Jesus as a heretic to be crucified. I have already picked up my cross and died to my carnal family’s traditions (Luke 14:26, 27).

    I love you and suggest that you get away from the false carnal family spiritual teaching that you seem so strongly committed to and accept the family of God’s nurture only. I am not deriding your intentions for I am certain they are meant to be loving but I am pointing you to the only Way and the only Word that you may inherit eternal life.

    Thanks for your intentions!

  • I am both a student of Jesus and of the Bible. I know all about the Nicene Council and its work to decide what would be the Holy Canon of Scripture. I believe this group reverently and prayerfully assembled the Canon using several criteria: 1) Nothing would be placed in the Canon that contradicted existing Scripture (the Old Testament) or the words of Christ, as recalled by those who had walked with him; 2) The Canon would include only writings of people who were accepted as church leaders, including the Apostles and those who were closely associated with them throughout the early development of the Church; 3) The Canon would include only those writings which were known, accepted and in regular use for teaching purposes by Church leaders. If you do not believe that the entire New Testament is divinely inspired, then I question where you draw your faith in the words of Christ, which were recorded in the same book. If any part of Scripture is false, it’s all false. But it’s not. Jesus himself said, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.” (Matthew 4:4)

    I was not trying to intimidate you by using the word “heresy.” That is my honest conviction in the matter. If we can’t trust God to bring his word to us intact, we have nothing solid to go on. I believe in the authority of Scripture and will never change my mind.

  • Herm

    Much was preserved from the witness of the Lord Jesus. More than enough to seek, ask and knock directly with God through the Holy Spirit. The four “gospels” agree mostly in spirit but not in word. All are subject to varying degrees of different interpretation as is attested to by sincere fragments of the Christian Church Corporation in contest with one another. Which one to you agree with 100%.

    Why do you insist on, “If any part of Scripture is false, it’s all false?” There is nothing that justifies that statement. There is nothing on Earth today that is perfect except the Holy Spirit available to your heart and mind that you may know the Truth.

    And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

    But he answered, “It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” Matthew 4:4

    Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. “I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. John 14:23-27

    You can harden your heart and mind to never change because you find your security in the authority of the scripture that has evolved in interpretation through carnal traditions. You can through the varying accounts of the witness of Jesus in the New Testament and through testimony of disciples of Jesus today choose to seek Him as a student only from His teaching according to your needs. If truth is truly your convicted desire why not beseech God to convince and convict your heart and mind directly?

    Jesus Christ is teaching disciples walking with Him today without a Bible in their heart and mind. Jesus is the Word of God and is the mouth of God, not the Bible.

    I would know that you were a disciple of Jesus filled with the Holy Spirit because you would not judge your neighbor except to be either merciful or an enemy, either one you would love. The words in the Bible came from the mouths of mankind inspired, but not perfect, by God. The mouth of God is available. As children of God we are not even close to mature enough to digest the entire truth of God. We have to trust Jesus to know what and when we are ready to understand, each individually.

    Please, remember that the authorities of the Hebrew scripture had to choose between their interpretation and Jesus.

  • If you do not believe in the sanctity of Scripture, whence comes your faith in what Scripture says about Jesus? The point is that if some of Scripture is suspect, it’s all suspect. If God is unwilling or incapable of preserving his Word through the process of translation and the formulation of the Canon, then we can have no confidence in a single word of it.

    The problem with each individual hearing from the Holy Spirit and thus establishing the truth in his own mind and heart should be obvious, but if it’s not, just look at people like Jim Jones and David Koresh. They claimed to be led by the Holy Spirit.

    As far as interpretation is concerned, those who read Scripture and ask God sincerely for illumination will be guided. The fact is that Christianity and the Church rest on the revealed Word of God — the Scriptures. If you’re throwing the Bible away, then Jesus is nothing but a cult figure that can mean anything to anybody. You are badly mistaken.

  • Herm

    The problem should be obvious with Jim Jones and David Koresh is that people followed Jim Jones and David Koresh, not Jesus the Messiah. Your mind and heart is so hardened that you cannot hear what Jesus is chronicled to have said through witnesses and what I am saying. Why, if the written words are so important, didn’t Jesus write down anything except in the sand? This is not a competition of which one of us is right, or even most right, but truly the question is, “do you believe Jesus is capable to be your Lord, your Christ, your Messiah, your High Priest over His church, and your Rabbi today?” If not continue on judging others against your more righteous self based solely on your interpretation influenced by your church family. If you do not want to believe that you can come as a child, incapable of judging or converting others to your way of life, of the family of God today then there is nothing I can really help you with. If you want to be a child in the family of God then I can share the actual mechanics of what worked in my life. I am a child and don’t want to, nor can I, lead you in place of or between Jesus as did Jim Jones and David Koresh. I am only pointing to the Way who can take the lead.

    You can judge me as “badly mistaken” but I am testifying to a divine relationship that you might just be too ignorant of to make a judgement in regards to it. You are basing your resistance on a book you wish not to let go of and I am basing my outreach on the relationship I have with God. You don’t need me but if you are interested you do need to open up to Jesus, the Holy Spirit and the Father as a humble little child before you can know what I am trying to share with you. Your choice!

    Thanks for sticking with me but I feel it is time to shake the dust from my feet.

  • I wish you well.

  • Andy Gerken

    Man this article is making a lot of assumptions about how Christians feel about gay people in our society and virtually makes no distinction between the person and sin. Just because a Christians hate sin, does not mean Christians hate the sinner, yet the author does not talk about that. I cant speak for all churches, but my church welcomes gays, alcoholics, fornicators, adulterers, liars, murders and, well, I think you get the point. All are welcome, but you will all hear the same truth. The truth will not change or conform to anyone of us in order to accept a sinful lifestyle. It would not be truth anymore. That’s the funny thing about truth. When you take away from it or change it, its no longer truth but a lie.

  • Dave McCarthy

    Perhaps you can’t separate the two as you suppose. It’s like going up to someone forced into a divorce and saying… Anyone who marries you will be a sinner, But you know “I love the sinner and hate the sin.” I’ll continue to advocate breakups, splitting blending families, people shunning you if you lapse (or even don’t), and such. I’m going to pass a bunch of laws to prevent you from joint adoption as well. It’s only fair. Its only love.

    A love that requires nothing to be actually done but actions that look like anything but love… Call a rose by any other name, it’s still a rose. Call hate by any other name it’s still hate.

    The irony though is you think it is a matter of truth. I have not seen conservatives wrestle or engage with these verses of scripture as much as the so-called ‘revisionists’. There is much to learn about what is ‘Biblical’ and true and just a culture of saying its biblical…. and bad translations. Start with looking into the verses on lesbianism (only 1, look at the past interpretations also.) and the word ‘Malakos’. They are the weakest and most stretched areas in the debate.

  • Dave McCarthy

    Sexual immorality is ‘pornos’. You may find it means something different than you think it means. The best interpretation is Sexual exploitation, prostition, and sexual idolatry. C.S Lewis suggests it is sex without a relationship. Notice there is no intrinsic link to sex outside of marriage per se or homosexuality. It is theologically that we arrive at those points.

    The sexual ethic of ‘pornos’ is summed up in 1 Thess 4:4-7. Wronging and transgressing in contrast to honor and self-control. Notice no intrinsic link to sex outside of marriage. (The case is made against premaritial sex as it is without the appropriate commitment and often leaves open people to exploitation. In the past ,people were common-law married even! Which sounds fishy… Sex and God make a marriage not a priest.) The ethic does not address LGBT people in a committed equal relationship. Indeed it cannot as such an idea is too new even for greeks and romans.

    You might find that the scriptures say more about power-based sexuality than we think. It is funny how rape and BDSM seem to be strangely silent in the NT and in churches. Too busy on gender-based sexuality to get what scripture intended.

  • Melinda Hailey

    I respect spiritual authority but believe as humans we are entrusted by that spiritual authority to use the brains that we were given. With that said, I do not trust in the christian God. I do not believe in the strict following of arcane ideas and laws written by “inspired” men. I do not believe in contradiction, which is rampant in the Bible, and I do not believe that our spiritual authority deemed women as “less than.” I also believe that bisexual and gay people are more open to true love of another person, regardless of external or basic human traits (such as gender) due to a higher comprehension of the true meaning of unconditional love, which is what God himself says He desires us to be as close to living as possible. Gender attraction is an animal trait, which on a spiritual plane we are not. Living as close to our spiritual selves is more important than following the human idea of morality. These opinions are only my own, but are based on extensive studying of the Bible in a university setting and my knowledge of the christian beliefs as well as other religions and their beliefs. You can agree or disagree, of course, but I hope you at least walk away with the understanding that just because I am not a Christian doesn’t mean I do not still follow a higher power and do not strive to love in its purest form.

  • Melinda Hailey

    Leviticus 19:19
    “‘Keep my decrees. “‘Do not mate different kinds of animals. “‘Do not plant your field with two kinds of seed. “‘Do not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material.

    Deuteronomy 22:12
    Make tassels on the four corners of the cloak you wear.

    I assume you follow these laws? Do you add tassels to your clothing? Do you eat GMO’s (you know, GENETICALLY MODIFIED foods)? Do you wear any cotton/polyester blends?

    We could go back and forth like this, trading bible verses that support our own beliefs and contradict the life each other lives. But really, what is the point? You believe what you believe and follow the scriptures you choose to follow. Perhaps you too should be cast from the church for a season for its well being as you suggested I should be. You, as most hard core, scripture spouting christians, are a hypocrite. How dare you suggest my sins would cast me out while your sins are no better considering the bible claims all sins equal. Yes, you are definitely spreading the word of Christ in a way that brings people closer to Him. But the truth is, your staunch view points are exactly why people are fleeing the Christian church in droves. I believe God views that with utmost sadness since, in His eyes (again according to YOUR scripture), you are doing Satan’s work by driving people away from Him with your version of love. For shame, sir.

  • Marianne Morris

    Let he who has not sinned cast the first stone.

  • Naters

    that study is so so fake. 2,659 churchgoers that oppose same sex marriage and 990 that don’t??? then you have only 150 or so christian gays and around 330 non-christian gays?? lots of flaws.

  • Naters

    plus, what’s pornography got to do with gay marriage????

  • Naters

    have these churches ever considered what they believe is a flaw too?

  • Naters

    there’s a difference between saying “you can come into church” and saying “i accept you for who you are”

  • Steve67

    And there is a difference between saying “I accept you for who you are” and “we’re going to cast aside everything we believe about marriage just for you” which is basically what many of them expect

  • Steve67

    Ahh the classic revisionist appeal to Mosaic laws that were given to ancient Israel, not 21st century. In Mark 7 Jesus declares all food to be clean. The Jerusalem council-in Acts 15-decided to oppose the Pharisees who wanted to uphold Mosaic laws. And while it is clear that the Mosaic laws no longer apply in the New Testament, it’s equally clear that the New Testament does have many exhortations to sexual purity.

  • Steve67

    Why should they be expected to do that just because someone is not comfortable with it?

  • Naters

    it’s not just that someone isn’t comfortable with it. it’s also that they may not be right after all. we need to make gays feel welcome, and we can’t do that by making them feel like they’re sinning when they aren’t.

  • Naters

    no. many of them want acceptance but they keep getting called “sinners” for what they believe.

  • Naters

    christianity is losing followers because of bigots claiming homosexuality is “wrong” and a whole bunch of other corrupt stuff. i would go to genesis 6: 5-8 in this situation.

  • Melinda, please show me where I wrote anything condemning or hypocritical.

  • Please indicate exactly where I condemned anyone and how I was hypocritical? I’m not your problem. I don’t even have a horse in the fight. Your fight is with God.

  • You seem to believe that holding to Biblical instruction is “casting stones.” What if we are actually hurting people by lying to them and telling them their sin is harmless? Who’s doing the hating then?

  • Your fight isn’t with conservatives or Christians, it is with God. And maybe God forbids homosexual behavior because he loves us too much to watch us hurt ourselves. I understand that you are angry. You have probably been mistreated by jerks with Bibles. Don’t assume all Christians are like that, and especially don’t believe God is. He loves gay people.

  • A little learning is a dangerous thing. Scripture is holistic and God isn’t schizophrenic. Your fragmented word study here isn’t valid. Any trustworthy interpretation of Scripture has to fit with the rest of Scripture. There’s no getting around the Bible’s prohibition of homosexual behavior. You are free to tinker with the meaning of Scripture, but you are challenging God, not conservative Christians. We don’t even have a dog in the fight. I’m not doing this because I have a bone to pick with liberals but because I want to serve God. It’s his truth you’re dismantling.

  • Dave McCarthy

    Yeah, even if all scholars agree lgbt relationships are NOT addressed even if behaviour was.

    I guess ‘porno’graphy with the same linguistic root must therefore mean pictures of unwed people… I just know it when I see it… lol. It is probably the most direct to share the ‘sexual immortality’ root word. Pornography is obvious it involves prostitution.

    Likewise, fornication (fornix=gate) must have always meant something other than going to the gate to pick up people. And common law marriage (ie cohabitation) must never have been a practice that godly people ever did in centuries past with integrity. Even before marriages had traditional marriage vows… Truth remains true in whatever century it is from. The problem is you are too short-sighted even in words that never made it into a bible translation before 1946.

  • Dave McCarthy

    I mentioned the bible seems to be silent. I do not think it is. I think arsenokotia is related to rape. I think malakos is related to promiscuity. I think have shared my view on sexual exploitation with pornos. I will even grant the homosexuality is not clear as it was confused with power-based sexuality. In much the same way that homosexuality exists in all male prisons with straight men. It is about power.

    Then again, I stopped learning about heterosexuality after the rape of Tamar.

  • Allen

    “Your fight isn’t with conservatives Muslims or people who practice Islam , it is with God. And maybe God forbids one from practicing any other religion but Islam and those who do should be punished with death. maybe God does this because he loves us too much. I understand you might be angry. You have probably been mistreated by jerks with Korans. Don’t assume all Muslims are like that, and especially don’t believe God is. “…… ………… Since you care nothing about gay people and you honestly believe that believing that gay people should burn or be killed in some context is a good thing that makes you a reasonable person don’t complain when Muslims people ,who are strong followers of Islam, want to degrade or kill you because you are Christian. Their argument is the same as the one Christians use for gays. So you are welcome to keep hashing out a hypocritical argument of love while hating an individual enough to think they should burn forever or be killed but just know there is another group of people who feel the same way about u and unlike gays ,who are a small non aggressive segment of society you pick on to stroke your own ego of imaginary self righteousness , Muslims are actually larger in number and tend to be more aggressive and tend to hate Christians just as much as gays. So if they ever come into power and they use the same crap on you that u are using on me im sure u will nod agree and say “oh those Muslims they love me such to let me know that i’m wrong and if i don’t stop they will kill me but they love me”

  • Allen

    by the way i don’t believe in God if he is found to exist one day i would become an antithesis because your God is an ass. You are an ass for worshiping this God and believing people should be killed and burned for being gay or not believing or any other stupid thing in the Bible that this God demands . Your beliefs are a reflection on you as a person. A apologizing campaign about how you are sorry for how you and other Christians have treated gays is worthless if you still believe the shit in which the problems originated in the first place. Apologizing to gay people for the words you use while still believing they should burn or die makes you a evil rotten slick person. It’s like the KKK saying they are sorry for treating black folks wrong while still believing that blacks are inferior. It’s a joke. I big sad dangerous joke……

  • I said nothing about believing gays should be punished or killed. You’re stuck in the Old Testament. God’s grace and love are extended to all through Christ, but that doesn’t mean we can do whatever we like. At some point, every person has to acknowledge God’s authority and repent. This isn’t easy by any means, and we don’t have to do it perfectly. The important thing is that we sincerely intend to follow Christ.

    As for Muslims, unlike gays, they are committing acts of violence and barbarism. They are making war with the entire Western world, and we’re stupid if we don’t defend ourselves. Your comparison makes no sense.

  • I think you have me confused with someone else. You should ask yourself why you are so angry with me for simply having my own beliefs.

  • Allen

    ?? The OT say that God ordered gays to be killed with their blood over their heads. Regardless of context do you believe this was morally correct to do if so that means that you would support this God if he demanded Christians to do it again. Would you actively do the killing if God ordered you too? You believe God is coming back and you believe he can do whatever he wants Meaning you aren’t to be trusted because you’ve already agreed with this monster that there is some context in which gays should be slaughtered. Now to the NT you believe that gay people should burned for being gay and having gay thoughts . You don’t love gays you love straight people. You wish gay people didn’t exist. You believe gays should burn because they aren’t like you. So with the fact that you believe that their is some context that gays should be slaughter and also believe that they should burn because they aren’t straight you aren’t to be trusted. I don’t care if Christians have ceased fire on killing gays like you did in the past (which isn’t even the case search Africa and other parts of the world) in principle you still want gays punished with murder or fire . You have negative intentions and then sit there and pretend that you have no clue why one would be angry at you. You are at the peak of arrogance. Just because you have “beliefs” doesn’t mean that they should be respect and your beliefs are violent and dangerous just like your Abrahamic counterparts the Muslims. You want to pretend that your shit don’t stank and you are more civilized than they are yet you sit there with a belief that every gay person should be burned because they are sick mental diseased perverts and then have the audacity to look gay people in the eye and tell them that you love them. Are you kidding me? Its self righteous arrogance coupled with the fact that Christians control the world because of the sheer number of you guys that you are able to hash out this crazy bullshit without any question because you have a billion people on your side but i guarantee if the Muslims were to overtake you and force you to listen their bullshit that you are trying dish out to me you would get a taste of your own medicine and you wouldn’t like it at all but since that’s not going to happen you will continue restating tired old Christians arguments about how you love gay people while at the same time thinking they should be punished with fire or killed in some context and your Christians buddies will all clap and congratulate you on presenting a “nice message” to the gays while still keeping those beliefs filled with hate. So i could careless if you are upset. Just remember as an atheist and a gay person there is nothing i bring to the table that say “i hate Christians” or Muslims. I have no creed that says Christians should burn or that Christians are perverts but you guys do and you hate me to the point of punishing me with imaginary fire or realistic killing. You guys started this and you bet your bottom dollar that i’m going to defend myself… Your intentions of punishment for me are evil and i will never trust a person like you.

  • I’m not upset. Your diatribe has nothing to do with me. Your problem is with God. Why don’t you try praying and asking him to show you the truth? Most of what you believe (as evidenced by your statements about the Bible and about Christians) is untrue. If I hated you, would I spend time having this conversation with you? Have I said anything insulting or hateful to you? No.