The Orlando Massacre & The Ethical Dilemma for Conservative Christians

The Orlando Massacre & The Ethical Dilemma for Conservative Christians June 21, 2016

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What happened in Orlando recently is certainly worthy of outrage and action. 49 people killed in cold blood, and many more lying in hospital beds wounded. Between the lives cut short, and the lives that will never be the same, Orlando should be a moment the nation does not soon forget.

Certainly tragedies, natural disasters, and acts of terror have a way of bringing the nation together—and this is good. Finding solidarity and common ground wherever it exists should always be celebrated. However, and I have to be honest—the conservative Christian response to the Orlando massacre has left me scratching my head at times.

In the wake of the massacre, folks like Franklin Graham have expressed both sympathy and outrage. In that sympathy and outrage however, it’s as if they have forgotten their own belief system and are using this as an “ahhahhh!” moment to point out the dangers of the Islamic religion.

For example, Franklin Graham correctly noted on Facebook that this was an attack specifically on the LGBTQ community. He went onto say that “Islam’s Koran spells out very clearly their hatred for gays, Christians, and Jews,” as if being anti-LGBTQ is something he finds repulsive as a conservative Christian.

And here’s where I honestly get confused as to where folks like Franklin feel they have the moral high ground or superior worldview when it comes to attitudes toward LGBTQ individuals. In the end, are the conservative Christian views held by these folks all that better? Does their flavor of Christianity offer a more beautiful alternative to the type of ideology the Orlando shooter may have held?

Sadly, no. And that’s what’s so odd about the conservative Christian response. Yes, they are correct to denounce the evil that led to such a horrific massacre. But no, they don’t have a moral or ideological alternative that gives them a moral high ground that’s perched high enough to pretend their religious views are all that better.

 Let’s break it down:

 (A) By affirming the traditional conservative evangelical view of inerrancy, one would also have to affirm that God himself instituted the death penalty for homosexuality in the Mosaic Law (or at least, male-male homosexuality).

(B) By affirming the traditional conservative evangelical view of salvation, one would also affirm that LGBTQ people are not saved and thus cannot go to heaven unless they repent of being LGBTQ (as if that were even possible).

(C) If one affirms the traditional conservative evangelical view of hell, one would also have to affirm that all of the Orlando shooting victims are being burned alive at this very moment, and that their torture in the flames of hell will continue unabated for all of eternity.

So here’s my question: how in the world does holding these three positions provide one the moral high ground to pretend such an ideology is significantly better than the one held by the Orlando shooter? How can one claim that God commanded execution for LGBTQ people, but then say, “Hey look! Muslims hate gay people. Just read their Koran and see for yourself!” while still keeping a straight face?

I’ll save you the trouble and just answer it for you: It doesn’t. And one can’t.

Sure, if one held these three beliefs (as Franklin Graham and crew do) there’s still plenty of room to decry the murder of innocent people. However, there is not room for pretending that their religious worldview is morally superior in respect to LGBTQ people.

And this makes the conservative Christian response curious at best, and a gross example of using a tragedy to play into their war against Muslims at worst.

I have seen some conservative Christians argue that the Orlando shooting presents a major problem for progressive Christians because we have been known for loving and accepting LGBTQ people as well as denouncing Islamophobia. They incorrectly believe that we must now choose between the LGBTQ community and speaking against the oppression of Muslims in our country.

But progressive Christians aren’t the one with the moral conundrum. The ethical problem is actually for our conservative brothers and sisters, who must now figure out how to hold a belief that God views LGBTQ people as worthy of death, while denouncing a particular Muslim who happened to agree with them.

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  • I also wondered how this was going to go down, because it does create kind of a perfect storm for certain segments of evangelicalism. To simply my examples, I’m going to refer to these segments as The Chunk.

    On the one hand, it’s a horrible, violent thing that even The Chunk should condemn, although some of them are not.

    On the other hand, The Chunk already blames various acts of death and destruction in the U.S. on the presence of homosexuality.

    On the other other hand, this attack on homosexuals was done by a Muslim, which The Chunk also despises.

    So, The Chunk is getting pulled in all kinds of directions. A catastrophe happened to a people group who deserves catastrophe at the hands of another group who also deserves catastrophe – a catastrophe that any halfway moral person would condemn.

  • Don Lowery

    “a catastrophe that any halfway moral person would condemn.” The issue is that these supposedly moral persons are not condemning this act of terrorism but rejoicing because they would do the same thing if given the chance. I would propose that these are not moral persons…but the only thing I see coming out of this from them is not Jesus…but their true savior Satan (to quote The Church Lady).

  • Teague Allen

    Point by point, with biblical paraphrasing:
    A) All sin leads to death. The current societal outlook on the sin does not impress God.
    B) No one is saved, except by God’s grace. As a conservative Christian, I shudder to think that I could get what I deserve, except for that grace.
    C) We have no standing to judge. Refer back to point B.

  • Cognitive dissonance much?
    problem:

    (for our conservative brothers and sisters)
    ‘how to hold a belief that God views LGBTQ people as worthy of death, while denouncing a particular Muslim who happened to agree with them.’

  • This makes me think of the plagues of Egypt for some reason. Lots of Pharoahs running their crooked games in this place IMHO!

  • Questioning

    It’s pretty obvious most fundamentalist, evangelical type churches in my part of the world, rural SE, either: simply do not know what to do with this, or they are doing exactly what one might expect…. nothing. The wife and I, just this week, went on a little road trip up and down, in and out of the mountains. All these churches, with their signs out front, competing it seems, for the catchiest “Come to Jesus” slogan. In a 150 miles, I did not see one single church that said anything about praying for Orlando, or any mention of Orlando. I did see a veterinary hospital with a “Pray for Orlando” sign though.

  • Your post is a kind of pornography buddy! `~°●《

  • Our country most certainly has a history of Christian terrorism and gay people have, on many occasions, been the target of such. As bad as the Orlando shooting was, one only has to go back as far as 1996 to the Centennial Park bombing in which 113 people were the victim of a bombing by a Catholic terrorist enraged at abortion and homosexuality. We’ve had Army of God, the CSA, the Hutaree and numerous other Christian militias that have conducted violent attacks, murders, and assassination attempts, and a sickening number of murders, rapes and human rights violations have been perpetrated by our Christian soldiers against Muslim civilians in iraq and Afghanistan.

    As far as this most recent shooting goes, I know of multiple pastors who have praised the gunman, and at least one who stated that he hopes God will “finish the job” by killing the survivors.

    Christianity definitely has problematic people too.

  • The author wasn’t referring to conservative Christianity in general, though. He specifically said the conservative Christianity held by people who are condemning the actions, yet contribute to the same culture of hatred that feed into such murders.

  • Ben didn’t mention ISIS at all.

    Most Muslims are not killing homosexual people, either. Ben’s point is if there’s a meaningful theological difference between the two and, if not, on what grounds would conservative Christianity condemn this man’s actions?

  • But the article doesn’t say it’s the -fault- of conservative Christians. It asks if there’s any functional difference between the positions of Christian fundamentalists and Muslim fundamentalists with regard to homosexuality, and if there isn’t, on what grounds would a conservative Christian condemn this action? It’s certainly not biblical ones, because the very verses used to construct the conservative position on homosexuality also recommends killing them.

    And that’s Ben’s point. It’s ludicrous for a Christian leader to go on and on about the Koran’s “view of homosexuality” when it is so completely similar to their own.

  • Al Cruise

    “The fact that you actually equate conservative evangelical thought to an ideology that butchers people alive is incredible.” No it’s not. At one time they did the very same in this country against African Americans. Chopping feet off, castration, hanging, unbelievable types of torture, right up to bombing a Church killing innocent young girls. Most of the this behavior was sanctioned by the conservative evangelical church. It took secular law and order to rein you guys in. I strongly suggest you take some history courses on slavery in this country. Treatment of the LGBT community in past decades carried a very violent nature, often fueled by rhetoric delivered from the pulpits of conservative evangelicals.

  • Agni Ashwin

    It must also be noted that whereas Leviticus calls for the death of a Jewish male who has engaged in homosexual acts, no such death-punishment for the homosexual actor is prescribed in the Qur’an.

  • Benjamin, You wrote, “…the conservative Christian response to the Orlando massacre has left me scratching my head at times.”

    The same can be said about me observing you and other progressive Christian bloggers who defend Islam which is far more negative than the vast majority of Christians at present. Except for a few places such as Uganda, I don’t know of anywhere that large numbers of Christian leaders are supporting the punishment of same sexual persons.

    But the vast majority of Muslims in many countries oppose same sexuality.

    Why do you oppose conservative Christians, but repeatedly support and defend Muslims who take a much more literal view of the Quran, thinking that their book is eternal and perfect, and they support Sharia Law, and support jihad, and support punishment of ex-Muslims.

    Check out the statistics from Pew.
    “Overwhelming majorities in the predominantly Muslim countries surveyed also say homosexuality should be rejected, including 97% in Jordan, 95% in Egypt, 94% in Tunisia, 93% in the Palestinian territories, 93% in Indonesia, 87% in Pakistan, 86% in Malaysia, 80% in Lebanon and 78% in Turkey.”
    http://www.pewglobal.org/2013/06/04/the-global-divide-on-homosexuality/

    Or read any news, human rights documentation, etc. of the huge number of Muslims worldwide who oppress, harm, even kill former Muslims, heretical Muslims, etc.

    Side note: I personally don’t have a dog…er God in this fight because I am an ex-Christian, and even for most of the 55 years I was a Christian I was a very, very liberal Christian. I was a liberal Quaker, Anabaptist, and before that liberal Baptist.

  • But they get sent to fire and brimstone forever.

    Check out these references:Quran

    Quran (7:80-84) – “…For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds…. And we rained down on them a shower (of brimstone)” – An account that is borrowed from the Biblical story of Sodom. Muslim scholars through the centuries have interpreted the “rain of stones” on the town as meaning that homosexuals should be stoned, since no other reason is given for the people’s destruction. (Inexplicably, the story is also repeated in suras 15:74, 27:58 and 29:40).
    Quran (7:81) – “Will ye commit abomination such as no creature ever did before you?” This verse is part of the previous text and it establishes that homosexuality as different from (and much worse than) adultery or other sexual sin. According to the Arabic grammar, homosexuality is called the worst sin, while references elsewhere describe other forms of non-marital sex as being “among great sins.”

    Quran (26:165-166) – “Of all the creatures in the world, will ye approach males, “And leave those whom Allah has created for you to be your mates? Nay, ye are a people transgressing”

    Quran (4:16) – “If two men among you are guilty of lewdness, punish them both. If they repent and amend, Leave them alone” This is the Yusuf Ali translation. The original Arabic does not use the word “men” and simply says “two from among you.” Yusuf Ali may have added the word “men” because the verse seems to refer to a different set than referred to in the prior verse (explicitly denoted as “your women”). In other words, since 4:15 refers to “your women”, 4:16 is presumably written to and refers to men.

    Hadith and Sira

    Abu Dawud (4462) – The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said, “Whoever you find doing the action of the people of Loot, execute the one who does it and the one to whom it is done.”.

    Abu Dawud (4448) – “If a man who is not married is seized committing sodomy, he will be stoned to death.” (Note the implicit approval of sodomizing one’s wife).

    Bukhari (72:774) – “The Prophet cursed effeminate men (those men who are in the similitude (assume the manners of women) and those women who assume the manners of men, and he said, ‘Turn them out of your houses .’ The Prophet turned out such-and-such man, and ‘Umar turned out such-and-such woman.”

    al-Tirmidhi, Sunan 1:152 – [Muhammad said] “Whoever is found conducting himself in the manner of the people of Lot, kill the doer and the receiver.”

    Reliance of the Traveller, p17.2 – “May Allah curse him who does what Lot’s people did.” This is also repeated in three other places.

    There are also several lesser hadith stating, “if a man comes upon a man, then they are both adulterers,” “If a woman comes upon a woman, they are both Adulteresses,” “When a man mounts another man, the throne of God shakes,” and “Kill the one that is doing it and also kill the one that it is being done to.”
    from https://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/homosexuality.aspx

    Also, check out the negative statistics on Muslims and same sexuality at Pew.

  • Larry TheKeyboardist Blake

    I love how one of the favorite anti-Islam statements of your average fundy is that Islam is “worse” to the LGBTQ community than they are. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t, but after a decades-long crusade against that demographic from the pulpit and the government, the American religious right is in no position to make an accusation like that. Once they stop bitching about gay couples getting married, spreading lies that sexual orientation is a “lifestyle”, shoving Leviticus 18:22 in everyone’s faces, trying to force LGBTQ citizens to “repent” for their arbitrary “sins”, and advocating for fraudulent “gay conversion therapy”, and actually start affirming and accepting them as they are, then that statement might have some weight, but they’ve got a few gallons of blood to wash off their hands before then.

  • Bones

    Conservative Christians and radical Islamists are both sides of the same coin.

    They have the same enemies and hate each other.

    It’s taken hundreds of years to tame the savagery of Christianity to the point it now has to begrudgingly accept gay people can’t be bullied and have the same rights as others.

    It’ll take that long with its Islamic equivalent.

  • $136305622

    I completely agree with the analysis of the conservative Christian hypocrisy on this issue. No one in their right mind can take any of their condolences as heartfelt.

    I also tend not to take many progressive Christian condolences too seriously either until I see true introspection and self criticism and theological reevaluation. A religious view that still values and hold up the same bible as the conservatives as meaningful and god-inspired is equally bad as the conservative view when it comes to glbt issues. As a gay man, I know that conservatives think I am bad and going to hell if I act on my desires. I also know that progressive Christians think I am only a moral gay person if I seek a committed monogamous relationship. Both cults have a sexual morality based on a biblical interpretation, and both cults send negative messages about gay sex everyday. Sorry, can’t buy the criticism of one view by someone whose views are only slightly “more friendly”.

  • $136305622

    I don’t know that Christianity had accepted gay rights. If there were not a secular framework, there would be no gay rights. (There are countries that are Christian where there are no gay rights). Fortunately in the us we have a little protection because the state occasionally puts religious ideology in check. But that is not always guaranteed.

  • you used your discription of acts of atrocities in a manner that was emotionally manipulative & abusive. IMHO you used it to arouse a quick intense
    emotionally painful reaction which is characteristic of pornography of violence.

  • $136305622

    I agree. It is also funny when progressive Christians criticize the fundies for anti gay sentiments when they believe in the same freaking book the fundies do. Talk about ironic and clueless. I never take anyone seriously if they tell me they get their morality or guidance from the bible (or any “holy” book). Most progressives are actually just as judgmental of gays privately at least. Ask them if they approve of an open gay relationship and watch them squirm. They like the neutered sex less gays lol.

  • Bones

    Yeah I was being kind…..

    If given the choice they would take gay rights away.

  • Tim

    Some of us have taken on that task of introspection, self-criticism and theological re-evaluation. I think there will be an increasing number of us in the years to come. However, one can hold up the same bible as being inspired (though not inerrant, and in many places very human) and interpret it very differently. The truth is that the supposed case to be made from the bible against LGBT is very thin ice indeed; and this needs to be recognised by more of us as part of that self-criticism and theologial re-evaluation. I personally don’t see how that is just as bad as the conservative view. I also don’t think all progressive Christians hold the blanket theological view you’ve presented here, although I have no doubt many of them do. We as humans tend to change our ideas very slowly and in degrees. I understand the frustration with the slowness of change in attitudes though, particularly on an issue as major as one of core identity.

  • Tim

    Not to mention that according to Jesus, hating our brother is just as bad as killing them.

  • $136305622

    I hope your optimistic view plays out. I will continue to pay attention and look for the positive message you say will be coming! Hopefully in my lifetime (over next 40-50 years:) as of yet, I have seen nothing in that regard. Heck, even gay Christians judge fellow gays for sexual immorality! (See gay Christian network).

    (If the bible is not authoritative why give it Any more value than the metamorphoses by Ovid or aesop’s fables? Honestly. Until that changes it is hard to say fundies get it wrong simply because they interpret some parts of the bible differently).

  • $136305622

    That is a consistent view of 99%of Christians. Only a small number think someone is bad because they are gay. It is only when the gays become active sexually that it is a problem for almost all the 99%, progressive and conservative alike.

  • $136305622

    Precisely (that is what my comment says).

  • $136305622

    That is why whenever I hear someone does something because the bible says so I know I am not dealing with someone with much critical thinking skills! I tread cautiously.

  • $136305622

    Me too! (Funny how most people can figure that one or workout a bible lol).

  • I would say those numbers are probably about equal, actually. It’s just illegal to do it in America because we’ve made some kind of attempt to avoid a theocracy. They aren’t anomalies at all. They believe homosexuals should be killed; they just won’t take it into their own hands because they’d end up in prison or on death row if they did. So, instead, they do things like chalk up 9/11 to it.

    I am glad these people are anomalies in your circles, but they are not anomalies in conservative Christianity at large, certainly not to any greater degree than Islam. If the U.S. government said anyone who killed or assaulted a gay person would have instant amnesty, it wouldn’t be the Muslims buying out the gun stores.

  • I just want to thank you for the opportunity to work on your inventory because at the same time I’m looking at mine as well!
    I heard of a cartoon about 2 prisoners sitting in a cell. One says to the other, “You’re not a murderer. You’re just a person who happened to murder someone.”

    ☆~<]°●》

  • Well, but you don’t either. We’re both speculating. ISIS doesn’t operate under the same constraints that conservative Christians in America do, so you can’t point to what ISIS does and say that means Muslims are worse than conservative Christians. The closest analogy we have for a Christian theocratic nation is perhaps the Holy Roman Empire, and that didn’t have a great track record of non-violence.

    The data we have is one gun assault by a Muslim on gays in America versus scores of incidents of assault and murder at the hands of Christians in America, plus readily available rhetoric on how said people feel about homosexuality and the penalty it deserves, plus their holy text which also stridently recommends killing these people.

    If you want to say that conservative pastors who preach that homosexuality deserves to be punished with death are NOT common, I think you’ve got a lot of work ahead of you.

  • Realist1234

    As a ‘conservative evangelical’, and a gay one at that, I would not pick up a gun and kill gay people even though I believe God condemns gay sex. It is not hypocritical to condemn such actions, whether carried out by a muslim, so-called Christian or atheist. In the New Testament, Paul had to deal with effectively a case of incest (a son sleeping with his step-mother). Under the Leviticus code, execution was the punishment. But the apostle simply tells the local church to excommunicate him, at least until he stops his behaviour (Paul’s use of terms such as ‘hand him over to Satan’ shows how seriously he viewed this behaviour, showing a definite sense of judgment being handed down to this man). Paul also condemns the local church for perversely being ‘proud’ of this relationship. But he didnt say – he should be executed. So Paul clearly does not believe the Leviticus punishments, given to Israel at a specific time, to be now appropriate (and this is 2000 years ago from today). He does however still clearly view incest as morally wrong.

    So I dont see why an evangelical Christian (Im speaking for myself not Franklin Graham as I dont know him) should feel hypocritical at condemning this gunman’s actions, regardless of his own beliefs, sexuality or life experience. Or do we simply ignore the New covenant?

  • Realist, from one “gay conservative evangelical” to another, I can pretty much agree with you here. But to be fair, Ben didn’t say that Graham’s denunciation of murder was hypocritical. What he’s calling him out on is his implication that he has a morally superior attitude toward lgbtq people.

    Even in light of that, I’m not quite on the same page as Ben. He lists those three points (A-C) as the reasons that Graham’s (and other conservatives’) claim to the moral high ground is hypocritical. Based on that and recent posts he’s written, I guess he might say that having a traditional sex ethic concerning homosexuality is, in itself, damaging and wrong. I would, of course, disagree.

    But Franklin Graham’s worldview and attitude concerning gays (one that is shared by a significant number of conservative evangelicals) is not merely guided by or informed by the traditional sex ethic. It’s homophobic. And so, for slightly different reasons, I end up at the same conclusion as Ben.

    I don’t know Franklin Graham any better than you do. But I can read. And all of the public statements he’s made concerning gay people lead me to believe that a church culture shaped by his worldview would absolutely not be a safe place for gay Christians to work out what it looks like to live faithfully according to biblical teaching.

    In fact, so much of Christian culture *is* informed by that worldview, which is why – as I’m sure you know, being a gay Christian yourself – so many churches are not healthy environments for gay people.

    Again, not attacking traditional sex ethics. Totally in agreement with you there. I guess I want to affirm the points you made above, while still being sure not to give a pass to the elements in Christianity that genuinely are detrimental to gay Christians and the lgbtq community at large. When I look at many prominent evangelical leaders’ actions as a whole, outside of this recent tragedy, it’s hard for me to disagree with Ben’s sentence here:

    “And this makes the conservative Christian response curious at best, and a
    gross example of using a tragedy to play into their war against Muslims
    at worst.”

  • Tim

    Yes, which is unfortunate and wrong. Our job is not to judge anyone! I hope it is in your lifetime as well, but it may not be. I do think we will see an increase as we get closer to the next age, as many things begin to shift and change. The authority of scripture is a tricky thing, because it’s all subject to Jesus’ modelling of the Father to us, and quite frankly, subject to the Spirit as well. If it doesn’t line up with that, then there is something wrong with either the interpretation, our understanding of what is going on, or it needs to be tossed altogether. Jesus’ own interpretive strategies reflect this. Not all scripture is even inspired, and ironically there is a brief sentence in the New Testament that even says this in the original Greek. Having said that, interpretive lenses are important, and there can be huge differences in the practical outworking between different ways of understanding what is there. It’s just that unfortunately, most haven’t gone quite far enough with it yet.

    Blessings, my friend.

  • RonnyTX

    Benjamin:
    Sure, if one held these three beliefs (as Franklin Graham and crew do) there’s still plenty of room to decry the murder of innocent people. However, there is not room for pretending that their religious worldview is morally superior in respect to LGBTQ people.

    Ronny to Benjamin:
    Thank you Benjamin, for this post of yours. :-) I grew up in church, under some people, much like Franklin Graham. And it was people like that, who taught me to hate, despise and look down upon myself, because I was gay. And I got taught that, starting at 12 years old. Long story; but ultra-fundamentalist Christians, they “kill” some gay people, in their way. The only difference I see between them and the Orlando shooter/murderer, is that they kill/abuse both younger and older gay people, in a different way. And the greatest irony of all, is they truly think they are following Jesus Christ, in how they do this; but then, they aren’t.

  • Jeff Huckaby

    Thank you for writing what I too have been mulling over in my head lately. I wouldn’t care (and I ultimately don’t) what Evangelical conservative Christians believe about gay folks except that they spend so much time, money, and energy attempting to keep alive old ideas in the political arena about what it means to be gay and how bad/evil/dangerous it is for the country. THAT is a problem for me. Lately they remind me of the wife-beater that laments the situation of the beaten wife next door. Clean your own house first, THEN we can focus on the neighbors, but until then a wife-beater-is a wife-beater is a wife-beater.

  • Jeff Huckaby

    Because it like a wife-abuser saying to his beaten wife, ” See how lucky you are, honey? The guy ten blocks over just killed his wife. Your SO lucky that I only beat you”

  • Jeff Huckaby

    An analogy for you: So the husband that beats his wife is so much better than the husband who kills his wife? Got it. To me they are both indefensible situations.

  • RonnyTX

    Lookingup73 ti Avsfaningreenbay:
    That is a consistent view of 99%of Christians. Only a small number think someone is bad because they are gay. It is only when the gays become active sexually that it is a problem for almost all the 99%, progressive and conservative alike.

    Ronny to Lookingup73:
    Are you sure, that only a small number of Christians, think a person is bad, because they are gay? Are there some polls taken, that back that up? Just wondering, because I live in rural, small town NE Texas and when I checked to see where the nearest gay friendly churches are, I find they are somewhere around 80 to 100 miles from me. But then, there are all sorts of various denominational churches here, just in the county where I live. It’s just, as a Christian who is gay, I don’t know of even one church near me, that would have me, as a member.

  • dancewiththepen

    I also love how they don’t seem to realize that just because another group or person might be “worse” than they are, doesn’t mean that they are good. Like, if your only defense is to point to someone else and say “they’re worse!” you’ve got a serious problem.

  • $136305622

    I bet they would have you if you were celibate and agreed that gay sex was sinful.

  • RonnyTX

    Tim to Lookingup 73:
    “Not all scripture is even inspired, and ironically there is a brief sentence in the New Testament that even says this in the original Greek.”

    Ronny to Tim:
    Tim, could you post where that scripture is at, so I can look it up and study it, for myself?

    Just thinking here of a verse or two that says the scribes dealt deceitfully with the scripture.

    ““How can you say, ‘We are wise, and the law of the Lord is with us’? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes has made it into a lie.” Jeremiah 8:8

    An interesting page here, on translations, etc. http://www.tentmaker.org/Biblematters/adding.htm

    Another interesting part here, that I’ve read about in the past.

    “16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him (might be) saved.” John 3:16,17

    I’ve emphacised the (might be) part, because from what I’ve read about that, such was added on to the text and was not a part of the origional Greek text.

  • RonnyTX

    Dancewiththepen to Larry:
    I also love how they don’t seem to realize that just because another group or person might be “worse” than they are, doesn’t mean that they are good. Like, if your only defense is to point to someone else and say “they’re worse!” you’ve got a serious problem.

    Ronny to Dance:
    How true, how utterly and completely true!

  • RonnyTX

    Teague:
    Point by point, with biblical paraphrasing:
    A) All sin leads to death. The current societal outlook on the sin does not impress God.
    B) No one is saved, except by God’s grace. As a conservative Christian, I shudder to think that I could get what I deserve, except for that grace.
    C) We have no standing to judge. Refer back to point B.

    Ronny to Teague:
    And I would add, we can all be so profoundly glad, that God/Jesus Christ loves us one and all and is going to save us all, by way of Jesus Christ and the cross. :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Don, if anyone going by the name Christian ,rejoiced because they would do the same if given the chance, then that person has yet to have their hard heart changed to a soft and loving heart, by God/Jesus Christ. But the best news for those people is, Jesus Christ was also on the cross for them, so, their time to be changed, is coming. :-)

  • Social death.

  • Guy Norred

    I am with Ronny on this–could you let us know where that sentence is?

  • gimpi1

    One thing you should remember, the modern Republican and Democratic parties have essentially switched places from the inception of the Republican party.

    Originally, they were the new radicals -supporting abolition and such. After the Civil War, the south became hugely democratic – due to that. However, starting in the mid 1960’s, after President Johnson (a Democrat) signed the Civil and Voting Rights acts, that started to shift. President Nixon (a Republican) took advantage of the south’s anger over the Democratic embrace of civil rights and developed the Southern Strategy – a coded embrace of tacit racism – to court disaffected southern democrats. It worked. Republican politicians have used this strategy for campaigns to a greater or lesser degree every since.

    At the same time, the Democratic party was moving further and further away from their southern roots. By the mid 1970’s the parties had essentially switched sides. They remain in those positions today.

    Your fun facts are just that, snippets of history that don’t reflect the process of history. Here’s another fun fact for you; the Southern Baptist denomination was originally founded as a southern answer to northern denominations that demanded abolition. They advocated for slavery, proclaiming, “What God endorses in the Old Testament and does not denounce in the New can’t be a sin.” After the civil war, they became advocates for segregation, Jim Crow and white supremacy. They have since denounced their segregationist past. Should the Southern Baptist denomination be forever condemned for its past, or should we understand the dynamic nature of history and accept their turning away from segregation and oppression? Using your fun facts, we should do the former. Is that what you think?

  • gimpi1

    No, I don’t know that. You cited random facts as though you don’t understand that history is a continuum, not a bunch of isolated snippets. As to the transition, I would point out that virtually every Republican candidate for president since Nixon has used coded racism as a part of their campaign, and they have won the south away from the Democratic party using that strategy.

    Look, the Southern Strategy was not just a snippet. It has been used for decades. It’s not “something bad Nixon did.” It’s still in force. As to violence, have you seen Mr. Trump? Have you seen KKK and white supremacist groups rallying around Republicans? You don’t appear to be looking at this honestly.

    I get that you don’t like the ACA, the idea of universal access to higher education and such. I think you’re wrong in that, but that’s a reasonable discussion to have. However, there’s no point in a discussion when someone won’t even acknowledge the reality of history. So, on that note, I’ll let this go. Farewell.

  • Tim

    2 Timothy 3:16 Is usually translated as “All Scripture is God-breathed (or inspired) and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…” It should be translated from the Greek as “All scripture that is God-breathed…” Implying that not all of it is.

    Not to mention Jesus’ words on “you have heard it said, but I say”, and other places where he altered what scripture was believed to have said.

  • Guy Norred

    Thanks! Interesting. Your second statement I am certainly familiar with but the first, I had no idea.

  • This is my second “run in” with Dr. Corey, and I am twice as “exercised” against his views this time. It is worse when I not only disagree, but find stupidity as well.
    First: Just where and when did Graham claim a higher moral ground than others?

    Would it be closer to the truth in your estimation if Graham had said he agreed that “the LGBTQs should be killed?” Why do you imply that, as you obviously do?

    A Christian is not under the Mosaic Law, and neither are Jews at this time. God has set Israel aside until some time in the future. So far both A. and B. are false.
    C. is false for no one knows the spiritual state of any of the victims at the time of their death. Mr. Corey- Get a Life!

  • John

    Your ‘B’ and ‘C’ points are not correct representations of a conservative Christian view.
    B) Conservative Christianity holds that homosexual acts, not being homosexual is what must be repented of. It is possible for a person to have homosexual tendencies and still be saved in the same way that literally every single person has sinful tendencies, but can still be saved.
    C) We can’t know that every person in that bar was destined for Hell. Just like every other person, God will judge based on the heart of the individual, and we have no way of knowing their heart. All we can do is say that homosexual acts are sinful and that people should try to not do sinful things. We can’t go so far as to say that every person who does a sinful thing is destined for Hell. That would mean that every person is destined for Hell.