Can You Love LGBTQ People while Condemning Their Relationships?

Can You Love LGBTQ People while Condemning Their Relationships? June 15, 2017

Jesus commanded his followers to love all people at all times without exceptions. Love is supposed to be what distinguishes us as Jesus’ disciples. This is a baseline mark of Christianity that all Christians of all stripes should be able to agree on.

But for some reason, the actual practicing of love has become a source of contention within Christianity. And this struggle with love is perhaps most evident in the response of Christians to the LGBTQ community.

Same-Sex Marriage
Image credit: briannad26, Pixabay.com.

On the one hand, an ever-increasing number of Christians have come to the realization that God does not condemn same-sex relationships in any way, and we are thus free to fully affirm our LGBTQ friends.

On the other hand, many Christians remain bound to the conservative traditions they were raised with, and continue to believe that God disapproves of anything but one man with one woman. Yet most of them still recognize that they are called to love their LGBTQ neighbors.

But is that even possible? Can people truly love their LGBTQ friends while condemning their relationships?

What is love?

I should clarify, before going any further, that “love” is not so much a warm feeling of affection as it is an action. We love others by actively seeking their good, and by actively opposing that which causes harm. So let’s do away with the nonsense idea that we can say or do hurtful things, as long as we maintain some sort of emotion that we call “love.” It doesn’t work that way.

That being said, I should admit right now that I’m not actually going to tell you whether you can love LGBTQ people while condemning their relationships. Why? Because I know full well that if I were to simply say that, it wouldn’t do a bit of good. This conversation won’t be productive until both sides stop yelling at each other.

Instead, I would like to offer an analogy, use it to ask some questions and bring up some talking points, and let you decide for yourself how best to proceed. I am going to spend a little time setting up this analogy; I think it will be worth it, so bear with me.

Let me tell you a story

I attended Bob Jones University from 2006 to 2010. In 2008, they finally offered an official apology for their long-standing discriminatory policy of not allowing interracial dating or marriage:

For almost two centuries American Christianity, including BJU in its early stages, was characterized by the segregationist ethos of American culture. Consequently, for far too long, we allowed institutional policies regarding race to be shaped more directly by that ethos than by the principles and precepts of the Scriptures. We conformed to the culture rather than providing a clear Christian counterpoint to it.

In so doing, we failed to accurately represent the Lord and to fulfill the commandment to love others as ourselves. For these failures we are profoundly sorry. Though no known antagonism toward minorities or expressions of racism on a personal level have ever been tolerated on our campus, we allowed institutional policies to remain in place that were racially hurtful.

When they referenced BJU’s “early stages,” they really meant the first 90% of their existence up to that point. Founded in 1927, BJU did not admit any black students until 1971. And their policy against interracial dating remained in place until 2000, when it was finally overturned after media uproar following George W. Bush’s visit to the university.

In 2014, after Steve Pettit became the university’s fifth president, BJU decided to clear things up once and for all in order to re-apply for tax-exempt status. “The Bible is very clear,” Pettit then said, “We are made of one blood.” But despite how “clear” the Bible may be, it did nothing to prevent the racist history of my Bible-thumping alma mater.

A 1960 sermon from the university’s founder and first president, Dr. Bob Jones Sr., presents a very different understanding of the Bible’s “clear” teaching on race. This sermon became a booklet, and it remained the university’s official “position paper” on race until at least 1986. Here’s a little sampling of what it said:

Paul said that God “. . . hath made of one blood all nations of men . . . .” But He also fixed the bounds of their habitation. When nations break out of their boundaries and begin to do things contrary to the purpose of God and the directive will of God, they have trouble. The world is in turmoil today because men and nations go contrary to the clear teaching of the Word of God. …

Now, what is the matter? There is an effort today to disturb the established order. Wait a minute. Listen, I am talking straight to you. White folks and colored folks, you listen to me. You cannot run over God’s plan and God’s established order without having trouble. God never meant to have one race. It was not His purpose at all. …

These religious liberals are the worst infidels in many ways in the country; and some of them are filling pulpits down South. They do not believe the Bible any longer; so it does not do any good to quote it to them. They have gone over to modernism, and they are leading the white people astray at the same time; and they are leading colored Christians astray. But every good, substantial, Bible-believing, intelligent, orthodox Christian can read the Word of God and know that what is happening in the South now is not of God. …

If you are against segregation and against racial separation, then you are against God Almighty because He made racial separation in order to preserve the race through whom He could send the Messiah and through whom He could send the Bible. God is the author of segregation. God is the author of Jewish separation and Gentile separation and Japanese separation. God made of one blood all nations, but He also drew the boundary lines between races.

How did it make you feel, learning of BJU’s racist history and reading the above excerpts? Is your blood boiling yet? It’s truly hard for me to wrap my mind around the fact that any people—let alone Christians—could have acted so cruelly for so long, and all with the pretense of serving God!

And BJU was hardly alone in this. Their voice may have been one of the loudest, and they may have been among the last to finally relent, but their views represented the majority of conservative Christianity only a few decades ago.

But have such things really changed at all? We’re working through different issues in our day, but are our responses all that different?

History repeats itself

Let’s pull out a few key facts to consider:

  • When Bob Jones University—along with the majority of conservative Christianity—promoted racist segregationist policies, they did so on the basis that this was the “clear” teaching of the Bible.
  • Today, the very same conservative Christians are convinced of the Bible’s “clear” teaching in the opposite direction.
  • The Bible did not become any more clear in order to bring about their change. Rather, they changed after increasing social pressure forced them to see the reality of their actions. Only then could they acknowledge that the Bible never agreed with their racist policies.
  • In the meantime, they caused an incredible amount of undeniable harm to those whom they spoke against. Regardless of whether or not they were driven by a sincere desire to follow biblical teaching, their actions were not loving. In retrospect, this is easy for us to see.

I’m guessing you can probably see where I’m going with this by now, but let’s go ahead and spell out the parallels.

  • For many years, the majority of conservative Christianity has taught that the LGBTQ community is living in sin. They have worked tirelessly to institute policies restricting same-sex relationships. And it has all been based on their belief that this is the “clear” teaching of the Bible.
  • Today, this is sadly still true for the majority, but a number Christians—even some conservative ones—are realizing that the Bible isn’t so “clearly” against same-sex relationships after all. In fact, while the Bible does clearly teach that it is not good for humans to be alone, it never once mentions, let alone condemns, the loving and consensual kind of relationships that exist throughout the LGBTQ community.
  • The Bible has not become any more clear on this issue. There has been an increasing amount of wonderful scholarship refuting the idea that the Bible is against same-sex relationships, but the text is the same as it has ever been. And the day is coming when this will be a widely acknowledged fact. It is my belief that within a hundred years or so (though hopefully much sooner), the only remaining non-affirming Christians will be the Westboro Baptists of their day. For the rest of Christianity, the idea that God hates gay marriage will be just as abhorrent as the idea that God hates mixed-race marriage. But which side of history will you land on? How will your actions today appear in retrospect? Will you affirm your LGBTQ neighbors now, or will you withhold your affirmation until social pressure finally forces you, like BJU, to realize that the Bible never said what you currently think it says?
  • In the meantime, those who continue to condemn LGBTQ relationships are continuing to cause an incredible amount of undeniable harm. Regardless of whether or not they are driven by a sincere desire to follow biblical teaching, their actions are harmful. It’s easy for us to see how harmful it was when Christians condemned mixed-race relationships. Why is it so hard for us to understand that it is exactly the same when we condemn same-sex relationships? Even if the Bible did speak against such relationships (which it does not), there is no denying the fact that our condemnation is causing real harm right here and now.

So I’ll go ahead ask again. Given what history has shown us, and given the undeniable harm that it causes, do you think you can love LGBTQ people while condemning their relationships?

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • thomas jay Oord

    Excellent essay, Chuck!

    Like you, I think the discussion should center on love. And like you, I think love seeks the good. Or as I define it, the one who loves acts intentionally, in response to God and others, to promote overall well-being.

    So the LGBTQ question comes down to promoting overall well-being. Surely not all sexual activity by LGBTQ people promotes overall well-being. But neither does all sexual activity by heterosexual/straight people. My experience shows that SOME sexual activity by LGBTQ people promotes overall well-being, just as SOME sexual activity by heterosexual/straight people do.

    My fellow Christians need to see these issues through the lens of love.

    Again, good post!

    Thomas Jay Oord

    • Thanks, Thomas! Agreed on all points.

    • D.M.S.

      All sexually active lgbtq people will All end up in the lake of fire.

      • steve_tippens

        Along with who else, other than yourself, of course? What is the authority behind your declarative statement? Perhaps we could get some clarity if we just knew something about Jesus’ sex life. Seems that would be one important aspect of being “fully human.”

        • D.M.S.

          Christ Jesus didn’t have a sex life. He never married.

          • steve_tippens

            Sure about that? There’s 18 years of his life we know nothing about. Are you suggesting that bachelors don’t have a sex life?

          • D.M.S.

            Christ Jesus never sinned.
            Any sexual activity outside of the marriage of one woman only married to one man only, is a sin.

        • D.M.S.

          I repent of my sins everyday. And try not to sin anymore.
          Sexually active lgbtq people don’t, repent everyday

      • Snooterpoot

        The lake of fire only exists for people who need that threat in order to behave themselves.

        Most of us, though, don’t need that. All we need to remember is to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.

  • William

    False dichotomy, Chuck. You assume “condemnation” is the only alternative. Also, pay attention to the use of vague pronouns – like your confusing use of “it” in the final sentence.

  • Edwin Woodruff Tait

    Some day it would be interesting to see a progressive Christian argument about gay inclusion that _didn’t_ depend on analogies with race. But I guess today is not that day.

  • John

    You wrote an entire article to make a point that unless you affirm LGBTQI relationships, then you are incapable of loving them? And you used Bob Jones to represent conservative Christianity at large? Did you seriously hope to changes people’s minds with this article?

    • To answer all of your questions in the order asked, no, no, and that would be nice.

      • John

        Your writing to your base that already agrees with you. Honestly, I think it is a really great and necessary question to help with the religious culture wars, but this doesn’t convince. I think there is more to this argument that comparing it to select historical race relations. I am not a fan of Bob Jones at all, but there is more to making a case than just their example. Biblically, how can you convince me that because of my beliefs that I cannot love others sincerely?

  • Sebastian Conan

    It’s because of people like you I feel comfortable stepping into faith again after years of resenting it with an unhealthy anger.

    • Thank you, Sebastian. That means a lot. I’m so happy to hear that my posts have been helpful to you.

  • Rex

    Hi Chuck, I agree entirely with what you have written. Jesus said ‘he who lives by the sword shall die by the sword’, and it appears this applies to anyone, even the Christians who once used the Bible as a tool to justify persecution. My wife and myself have a relevant personal testimony to give on the Gay issue.

    My wife was originally married to a homosexual, he needing a marriage of convenience as proof to any potential Christian persecutors that he was straight.

    ‘Me? a homosexual? I don’t think so, I’ll go and ask the Missus’.

    On his part the marriage was dishonest, only about self defense, and she was kept ignorant and deceived. He can’t be blamed of course, self defense is justified morally, which is why are guns are allowed constitutionally. It was the prevalent persecution of homosexuals that caused this sin of deception and dishonesty, Christianity’s chickens returning home to roost on naive Christians. They were both Christians at the time, and their Church swept the whole issue under the carpet. Some people knew he was gay, but no-one was about to tell her! (This is why honesty is not the same as ‘not bearing false witness’) They hoped a good woman would ‘straighten him out’. Ignorance is a terrible foe.

    Now if homosexuality had been legal back then, the false marriage would never have taken place. She found out eventually of course, and went so ballistic she made Kim Jong Un’s efforts look like a 4th July skyrocket. Anyway, she gave him the old heave-ho and married me, but not until after a fairly intensive period of testing to make sure I wouldn’t go off course too. As Paul said, ‘test all things and keep to that which is good. (1Thess 5:21). (I love scripture when it brings together science, human happiness, and commonsense.) Honesty in the first instance would have prevented this tragedy, but unfortunately honesty isn’t possible while malice is allowed to triumph over love. We have lived happily ever after.

    Thanks Chuck.

    • Thanks for sharing some of your story with me, Rex!

      • Rex

        Hi Chuck. ‘Speaking the truth in love’ is vital. Unmoderated truth can be as destructive as dishonest love, we all know this and regret our mistakes. We’re all human, ’nuff said. Funnily enough, wife and self finished on friendly terms with hubby#1. What we can’t tolerate in a primary relationship, we can in a secondary relationship.

        I believe the Bible’s ambiguities are God keeping us up to the mark. A book that can be used to support both sides of a contentious issue like slavery isn’t ‘rightfully dividing the word of truth’ all by itself. It needs total honesty, prayer, and long and diligent study which few professional clergy have time for.
        I like the way you respond to your commentators. Cheers.

    • D.M.S.

      What is truly amazing is that there will no lgbtqpnb in existence after our Lord Christ Jesus returns and He rules this earth for 1000 years.

      • steve_tippens

        How do you know this? Are you assuming all will be made “straight?” That would indeed be amazing. I’m confident no human will live (physically) to see the day. Wishful thinking on someone’s part.

        • D.M.S.

          God/Jesus creates everyone heterosexual and always has and will.

          • steve_tippens

            White too, right? Some just choose to be black, or brown, or yellow. Very instructive conversation here. Not sure I’ve ever encountered anyone with so much info about God.

          • D.M.S.

            No! Every color on the planet and everyone of them are created heterosexual.

          • JD

            Actually, 1 in every 1200 – 2000 are born intersex. Gender and gender orientation is not and never was set in stone.

          • D.M.S.

            Did I say born?

          • JD

            Do you have a problem with folks born gay?

          • D.M.S.

            I don’t believe anyone is born lgbtq.
            And the world better hope that science never finds a lgbtq gene.
            People abort children today that will be the slightest inconvenience.
            Many parents will do the same thing to a lgbtq fetus.
            And don’t think that they won’t.

          • JD

            Folks are indeed born gay. Refusal to accept that is not only foolish and ignorant but in the context of your religious beliefs it is a sin.

            You need to do is face your your irrational fear/hatred of gays and non-Christians. You are living a life in fear of your demon around every corner and in people. It is very unhealthy. I suggest you seek counseling.

            Good luck in your recovery.

          • D.M.S.

            God/Jesus/HolySpirit love is all that I need.
            Take care, neighbor.

          • D.M.S.

            Did I state born?
            No I didn’t.
            I stated all are created heterosexual.
            Do you know the difference?

      • Rex

        That would be amazing indeed.

        • D.M.S.

          Did God/Jesus create lgbtq people?

          • Rex

            Hi D.M.S. According to the Gospels, yes indeed! Jesus approved of castration for the sake of ‘the kingdom of heaven’. (Matt 19:12). He said this because the world depended on slavery back then, and eunuchs made better slaves, especially in harems. Jesus ‘fell in’ with the kings and slave-owner’s needs.

            Now once the testicles are removed, testosterone practically disappears, and the hormonal balance moves over to oestrogen and progesterone, the female sex hormones which we all have some of. Therefore obeying Jesus’ commands literally turned these men into women, with women’s sex drives. Jesus is responsible, as you point out.

            The Catholic Church continued castrating boy sopranos until the 1860’s, this being their version of ‘the kingdom of heaven’. Check out ‘Allessandro Moreschi, the last castrato’ on you-tube, because he made a phonographic recording in 1905. These men were victims of Catholicism’s version of Jesus Christ.

            From considering the effects of slavery during famine years I have reached a genetic understanding of how homosexuality evolved, not that you’ll want to know anything about that. It’s too long for this post, my wife wants to take me walkies now.
            Cheers, Mr. Wolfie.

          • D.M.S.

            I haven’t read so much manure in awhile.
            Thanks I enjoyed the laughter.
            But there is a little bit of sorrow in there for you believing such nonsense.

          • Rex

            Hi DMS. In denial again I see. I’ve read your other posts, you can do better than that! Check out the singer on you-tube. Type in ‘Castrato’ on Google and see what the Church really got up to.

          • D.M.S.

            No. You’re intertwined in the same mental illness as your master Satan.
            And speak the language that your master Satan tells you. Satan even has you recite scripture that you can’t even comprehend scriptures meanings.
            The bible tells you the story of the Israelites in the desert for 40 years and you think that they stole to survive that journey. God/Jesus gave them their food, water and clothing.
            You revert to your godless mind and tell yourself that,that is impossible.
            Now scurry off and tell more lies to everyone from your master satan.

          • Rex

            Get on you-tube and listen to castrato Moreschi with pity in your heart. The show aint over ’til the fat lady sings.

          • D.M.S.

            I’m not going to watch or listen to anything referred by any of satans minions.

          • Rex

            Notice also that ‘God gave them over to a reprobate mind’ (Rom 1:28) is completely explained by (Matt 19:12). Jesus did this when he allowed de-sexing of human beings, that is, partial sex-change operations. In the remainder of the chapter Paul blames the victims.

          • D.M.S.

            You’re mentally ill. Do you even know who or what God/Jesus is all about?
            I font believe that you do.

          • Snooterpoot

            You’re mentally ill.

            Hello, Pot. Meet Kettle.

  • Wet Feet Ministry

    You said it yourself: loving someone maybe wanting what is good for them and keeping harm away from them. Therefore loving the LGBT community without embracing them as they are is impossible.

  • Craig Anderson

    I usually agree almost entirely with your posts (hence you must be right :-)). Not this one however. We come out in the same place, for full acceptance, but I disagree strongly with how you got there. Here you seem cavalier regarding the Bible having a clear meaning. For me, in a hundred years there will still be certain texts that, even when faithfully interpreted, may STILL best be read as condemning sex outside monogamous heterosexual marriage. Though understandings will change I do not believe some portions of scripture will themselves ever be fully “rehabilitated.” Where it appears we differ (at least according to this post) is that I am much more willing to say that God is clearly calling us to X as the most faithful path, even if that may forever be in tension with certain portions of Scripture. You say,”There has been an increasing amount of wonderful scholarship refuting the idea that the Bible is against same-sex relationships.” Yes, I say, Hallelujah! You continue: “but the text is the same as it has ever been.” Again, I say, Yes. But then you continue with the part I don’t like and that I think greatly weakens your argument: “The day is coming when this [the wonderful refuting scholarship] will be a widely acknowledged fact.” Like you I hope that acceptance of LGBTQ people and their relationships soon become normal and acceptable in society and also Christian circles. (Let’s set the bar higher than our current mere partial acceptance of racial integration and interracial marriages, and make some more progress there too.) But I do not want to base my hope on normally accepted biblical interpretation changing. I think we are called to be faithful to God, not to the Bible. I think that “good” biblical cases can be made in support of slavery, polygamy, sexism, and a whole host of reprehensible things, even genocide. So what?! I do not want my hope to rest on broader acceptance of refined interpretations of Scripture (even convincing ones) nor on gradually more tolerant social norms. That is the bit I see in your post that I disagree with. Thanks for your excellent and encouraging blogging. May God give you strength to continue!

    • In speaking of the Bible’s clarity, I’m simply pointing out how the same people who are at one time convinced that it is clear of one thing, at another time believe it is clear about the opposite. The Bible certainly does have meaning, but the suggestion that its meaning is always clear seems to be contradicted by the multitude of interpretations thereof.

      And I too agree that our faithfulness must be primarily to God, not to the Bible. However, I have little hope that the conservative segment of Christianity will ever think that way, and I would rather have them affirm LGBTQ people out of allegiance to the Bible than not at all.

      • D.M.S.

        The true Christian bible are the literal word(s) of God/Jesus/HolySpirit. We Christians have no problem affirming the lgbtq’s chosen sin(s).
        Along with heterosexuals chosen sin(s).

      • Rex

        If the meaning is not clear, then maybe it’s been written to confuse. A psychological ‘divide and conquer’ strategy so Rome could rule by the sword and ‘fear and trembling’.

        (Rom 13:4) ‘For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger–‘ .

        Secular rulers and sword-bearers are Gods ministers on earth? How about that?

  • Norman Weatherly

    While I lovingly accept people with different sexual preferences than myself that does not mean that I have to agree with them. Same as LGBTQ people not being interested in my lifestyle and sexual choices: monogamous heterosexual, just celebrated 25 years of marriage. There is a difference between agreeing with and condemning, I do not condemn them but I do not accept it or agree with it. I can and do love the LGBTQ community but I do not participate, engage with or accept their lifestyle choice to the same degree that they do not engage in my lifestyle choice or sexual preference. I can love the LGBTQ community without agreeing with their lifestyle choices as part of my world; just as they have the freedom to practice their lifestyle choices while not agreeing with mine. This needs to be a two way street with acceptance going both ways. I have heard too many LGBTQ’s call me homophobic or worse simply because I disagree with them. Where’s the love. By the way I am not homophobic, I do not have an irrational fear of LGBTQ’s. I can and have loved individuals out of the LGBTQ community who where able to love me in return and we had healthy accepting loving relationships. Please accept me for who I am a monogamous heterosexual, but I am not forcing you to agree with me, just accept me for who I am. Love and acceptance come from the heart, not from law books or parades.

    • How many people have you ever had tell you that they think your monogamous heterosexual lifestyle is sin?

      • Rick Faircloth

        Irrelevant

        • Irrelevant how?

          • Rick Faircloth

            Chucks comment is concerned with only the temporal, not eternal, situation.

      • Norman Weatherly

        Just because one person says it’s a sin, please don’t paint all of us with the same brush, I do not engage with that part of the community but I do not condemn them or tell them they are sinning. And being called homophobic is the straight equivalent of being told you are sinning, although I do not go around telling anyone they are sinning.

      • D.M.S.

        A few people have.

    • vikingz2000

      You are mincing words. If you do not agree with something, then at some level you condemn what you don’t agree with. If you didn’t agree that the United States should have gone to war with North Vietnam, then you condemned that war. If you don’t agree that your spouse should spend all of your combined savings on a luxury automobile, and he or she takes the money out of the bank anyway, then you will most certainly condemn what your spouse did.

      So, when you state “I do not condemn them but I do not accept it or agree with it,” you are most certainly thinking condemnation to some degree. And that condemnation is part and parcel of the those who are engaging in the actions that you say you only condemn. No, you hold the actors in contempt as well as their actions.

      Saying that you love them is not loving them like you would other people whose actions you do approve of.

      • Norman Weatherly

        Disagree: to dissent in opinion (from another person) or dispute (about an idea, fact, etc)
        Condemn: to express strong disapproval of; censure, to pronounce judicial sentence on, to demonstrate the guilt of
        I disagree, I do not condemn. Two different things. I also disagree with our overtly politically correct society. If I have an opinion that does not discriminate or cause pain or express itself at hatred, I should be entitled to that opinion. Far too often freedom of speech ends when we don’t agree with each other. I do not engage in the LGBTQ lifestyle and you do not agree with me, what’s wrong with that. I do not hate them, I have worked with them, been friends with them, have family that are LGBTQ and do not shun them, I don’t agree with or live that lifestyle but I do not condemn or hate them either.

        • vikingz2000

          By your definition: “Condemn: to express strong disapproval of;”. And so when you do “disapprove” (which of course you do—of the actions) you are in fact condemning. But “Ah!” you say, “Okay, if you want to resort to the semantics of “condemn,” then fine, I “condemn” but only the action, not the people. I love the people, I do not shun them, etc.”.

          But the crux of the matter (for me) is my last statement: “Saying that you love them is not loving them like you would other people whose actions you do approve of.” Hence, there is something of a negative barrier between you and ‘them’ because there is something that you do “not approve of”. This, therefore, is akin to condemning, *of some sort* and is an impediment to loving, in same way and to the same degree, people that do not engage in homosexual behavior.

          I don’t want to win an argument with you. I’m just simply attempting to point out (and probably very inadequately) that there is a certain degree or type of condemnation at play.

          Here’s a thought: We don’t need to condemn anyone no matter what they do because if they are doing something wrong, especially according to God’s laws and principles, then they end up condemning themselves. Hence, I love them to the extent that I wish them well, and whatever it is they are doing that may offend God, or impede their lives (which is condemning themselves), I can only hope that one day they will change their thinking and consequent behaviorisms, which is to say, repent—the act of metanoia.

          Nevertheless, as mere mortals, these concepts can get messy. Do we really *completely* love and absolutely have no thoughts of condemnation with regards to those that are acting in a way that negatively impacts other people by their errant examples (according to our stance with regard to God’s standards)?

          Yeah, in many ways it is a messy world, and it’s certainly beyond my pay grade to know what the correct answers and solutions to it all are.

          Maybe I’m saying there is some aspect of condemnation based upon what I personally conclude to be the difference between what is right and wrong, but I’m not the person who is or will be the judge and jury with regard to the extent of their guilt (or maybe even innocence!). I don’t *judge* THEM, but I condemn WHAT THEY DO, and being human there is a certain degree of *condemning* them and not just their actions (especially if their actions are harming, which includes negatively influencing, other people in some way or another).

          • Norman Weatherly

            Good points. I know that I will not win this, or many other arguments, discussions, debates, etc. however I do enjoy the process to some degree in that I can learn, hopefully, something. It is a messy world and theology is messy and I am messy and I do not know all the answers, as you said of yourself, or pretend to. I do judge others. I shy away from condemnation, I am guilty of it, but I do try at least to shy away from it. I do not like the us versus them that the Christian versus LGBTQ talks usually end up being. Inclusiveness does not have room for division into camps and 2 thousand years of church history testify to how badly forming little enclaves of faith do not work very well. No, not very well, they do not work full stop. Can I ever be totally comfortable with my feelings, emotions, beliefs and world views; probably not. I struggle every single day of my life to be more Christ like and less Norman like, and that struggle will probably continue as long as I have a breath. Is that politically or theologically correct? I will let God judge me, hopefully better than I have judged others.
            p.s. This has been a good thread and as much as I have liked it I will be moving on in my little enclave of faith, fact and fantasy. Thanks for the feedback and blessing to all.

        • steve_tippens

          Can we affirm one as a person – a child of God – without endorsing or agreeing with everything they do or say? Would we not want the same consideration from them? What purpose is served by such acts of judgment?

          • Norman Weatherly

            Yes, we can Steve. I affirm my wife as a child of God but we disagree on my things including theology’s finer points. I affirm my son but disagree on many things from movies to politics. I affirm the LGBTQ community and disagree with them as well. We can never agree with everything that everyone says or does, that would be insanity. It is possible to love a person while disagreeing with their choices. I worked with addicted, homeless and disenfranchised people for 25 years, I certainly did not agree with many of their life choices but I loved them dearly. Disagreeing with a person is not wrong. I would expect the same from them, I do not expect everyone to agree with everything I do or say. That would be insane. Judgement, a heavy word that gets misused and often misunderstood. We unconsciously judge people everyday, everyone does. The clothes others wear, the way they walk, are they safe to be close to, will they accept me, that one looks gay, that one looks preachy, that one looks judgemental. Oops, calling another person judgemental is actually being judgemental. We all do it, all the time. There is a difference between judging a person, disagreeing with a person and hating a person. I do not hate the LGBTQ community.

          • steve_tippens

            Thanks Norman. I appreciate your thoughtful, introspective response. The mirror can be a helpful reference point. For me, the LGBTQ is a matter of understanding – not one of acceptance or condemnation. What I think I understand about this is that deep love between two people, same or different gender, is of God. I do not have to understand the sexual dimension to accept the love dimension. It’s easy to conflate the two dimensions. That is not for me to do, so I do my best to resist it. But I really don’t think God cares about it either, and I don’t need to resort to Christian Scripture to justify my thinking. I’m inclined to think that many folk turn to Scripture when needed to support their biases. I can’t and won’t do that. At the end of the day (as they say these days), all I need to do is learn to live in harmony and peace with others I perceive to be different from me, whatever the difference may be. When I pray “Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done,” that’s what I’m praying for. For others, the Kingdom may be characterized by an absence of everything they find objectionable. That’s not for me. Blessings, brother.

          • D.M.S.

            It is NOT of GOD.
            God/Jesus only allows one kind of sexual relationship and that’s between one woman only married to one man only.
            All other sexual relation are a sin.

          • Morzen

            “Judgement, a heavy word that gets misused and often misunderstood.”

            Yes! Absolutely agree.

            I little mind trick that I deploy with some success is: I don’t judge people, but rather I ASSESS SITUATIONS that involve people. If my ASSESSMENT concludes that this is a threatening SITUATION to my (or anyone else’s) spiritual, mental, and/or physical well-being, then if appropriate to maintaining harmony (perhaps at least agreeing to disagree), I may express my thoughts about the implications of the SITUATION, which may help to change it for the better. However, if this is not possible or appropriate, then I simply remove myself as much as possible from the SITUATION with the attitude of leaving it (no matter what sort people are involved—I really try not to go there mentally) with a blessing in my heart and in the hands of God. I find this helps me maintain my spiritual equilibrium (sanity!) in an all-t00-pervasive, insane, or at the very least confusing and complicated world. So again, I ***try*** to think SOLEY in terms of the situation rather than the specific people (who of course created it), and ultimately leave everything in God’s hands with a blessing/prayer in my heart.

            Peace to all of you, my brothers.

            -Morzen (vikingz2000)

          • D.M.S.

            Is everyone a child of God/Jesus?
            By what Christian scripture states Not everyone is a child of God/Jesus.

          • steve_tippens

            Sorry. I’m not clear about what you’re asking/saying. In any case, I find interpretation of Christian scripture by many Christians rather confining for a God of infinite Grace. I’ve come to understand that all creatures are “of God” – created by and loved equally by their creator.

          • D.M.S.

            Then why does scripture state ( which is written by God/Jesus ) that He gave the lgb over to a reprobate mind.?
            When the lgb chose to go against their heterosexual selves.

        • Snooterpoot

          I do not engage in the LGBTQ lifestyle…

          Mr. Weatherly, I am a Christian who happens to be a lesbian. My wife and I have been together for 16+ years. We got married on our tenth anniversary as a couple.

          That is not a lifestyle, Mr. Weatherly. You might not know, but “the gay lifestyle” was introduced into our lexicon by homo-hater extraordinaire, Jerry Falwell. Its intention is to brand all people who are LGBT as hedonists, abusers of alcohol, tobacco and drugs, unable to maintain faithful relationships and as people whose love isn’t real. It is extremely insulting, and I urge you to not use the term again.

          I am 65 years old, and I retired after a long career with the federal government at the end of 2015. I live with my wife, her sister and her sister’s two adult children. We have cats. I love gardening, especially growing food. My passion, though, is photography. My favorite subjects are wildlife and nature. I spend a lot of time reading, and I especially love history and other non-fiction.

          We live 4 miles from the beach, and I like to ride my bike there and people watch. I love to cook on my charcoal grill. I have three grandchildren, each of whom I’d give my life for in a heartbeat. My son and daughter are the best gifts God ever gave me, and I am so proud of the adults and of the wonderful parents they have become.

          That, Mr. Weatherly, is my lifestyle. It’s pretty benign, isn’t it.

          I don’t think anyone is telling you that you cannot hold and express an opinion. The thing is, though, that you cannot escape criticism when you offer that opinion. Frankly, sir, I think that “political correctness” is a term people hide behind when they’ve been taken down a notch or two after having expressed their opinions.

          • Norman Weatherly

            Thank you for your opinion Snooterpoot. I am a 63 year old heterosexual male who was is an ordained pastor of a nondenominational church that I have not attended for over 2 years because I am going through a reexamination of what I believe and why I believe those things. I never was a fan of Jerry Falwell although he did contribute one great quote that became the name of one of my favourite bands: The New Pornographers. Whom I have had the pleasure of seeing live once and will get the thrill of seeing once again this summer. Jerry made some very disparaging remarks that as a Christian I distance myself from and as a trained addictions counselor I can attest that the part about LGBT as hedonists, abusers of alcohol, tobacco and drugs is blatantly false. In fact in my over 25 years of counselling addicts I have noticed that the percentage of addicts who identified as LGBT were about the same as the proportion they occupy in society. I infer from that that people who identify as LGBT are about as prone to addiction as anyone else, including closet Christian addicts. I enjoy music by a wide variety of artists, I read voraciously and I play guitar atrociously. I would share a walk with you to the beach but I have a chronic lung disease that prevents me from moving too far or too fast so I will have to resort to inviting you for a walk through my back yard. We enjoy playing bocce there and growing flowers and a few herbs and vegetables. My lifestyle is rather benign as well, it is a lifestyle non the less. A messy confusing and utterly lovely lifestyle. I don’t know what label people would slap on me. Liberal perhaps from my church associates. Conservative from my un-churched associates. A grouchy old man is one that I personally ascribe to. I fit the movie stereotype perfectly. Sit around with a few friends and complain about the weather, politics, the lifestyles of other people, current fashions, traffic, the price of everything, … Yup, that’s me and that’s one of my many opinions. They change frequently so keep coming back for updates. I might offer an entirely different opinion next week. p.s I am not a Biblical literalist, I currently identify as a progressive Christian who understands very little about God or what is going on although I do think the Bible makes a very good read and helps me in my faith journey.

          • Snooterpoot

            Thank you for your thoughtful reply, Mr. Weatherly. I found my spiritual home in the Episcopal church. I’ve worshiped there for about 40 years now.

            My grandfather said that the Snooterpoots were too damned ornery to die. My goal is to be sitting on the front porch and having people pass by saying, “ain’t she ever gonna die?”

            Blessings to you on your spiritual journey. I have reexamined my personal theology many times during my life. I have always grown from that, even though it has been painful at times.

    • masteradrian

      You do not accept LGBT+ relationships, you do not agree with LGBT+ relationships, as I understand from your reaction.
      You do not condemn LGBT+ relations, were you say that you see a lack of love on the part of LGBT+-people when they refer to you as homophobic.
      You say that being LGBT+ is a lifestyle, you are saying with that your own way and manner of love and relations is also a lifestyle.
      My question is: howcome do you regard your way of love and relations different from the waty of love and realtions of LGBT+ people? Is there any difference in your opinion? And if so, what is the difference?
      I understand from your reaction that you are in a hetero-relationship, what is the difference between your hetero-relationship and that of a homo-relationship?
      I presume that your relationship is based on love for your partner, what do you think a relationship between two males or two females is based on? Not love?
      Let me tell you this: I have been in a male-male relationship for almost 30 years, 30 years of love and compassion, care and friendship, vice versa.
      Acceptance is something that neither of us prsuid, acknowledgement of our love for eachother we did pursui and even demanded! At the moment I am in a relationship with a guy who is yers younger then me, and we are in love with eachother, as I was in love with my sadly departed partner. Reading that someone is not accepting our relationship (for whatever reason) is not only hurting, as you seem to be expecting that your relation is accepted without question, but is in my opinion showing an inabillity to accept other people and their way of living that is beyong comprehension, at least mine!
      Again, let me ask you this: what is the difference in your opinion between a hetero-relation and a homo-relation?
      And then apart from being acceptive of your relation by those you refer to who as calling you homophobic.

    • JD

      So, essentially you believe gay folk are sick in the head. How loving of you.

      • Norman Weatherly

        That’s leaping to conclusions and putting words in my mouth that I never said, how gracious of you.

        • JD

          How else to view why you are disgusted with gay folks relationships?

          • Norman Weatherly

            I am not disgusted, where did I say that? You are putting words in my mouth that I never said.

          • JD

            There’s only 2 reasons for not accepting LGBTIQ relationships: the ‘eww’ factor or primative superstitious taboos.

            Which is it for you?

          • Norman Weatherly

            There are only 2 rules in life: #1 Never give out all the information. #2.

          • JD

            Not going to answer, are you.

          • Norman Weatherly

            #1. I did answer. #2. Your questions create more animosity and division than useful discussion, which others on the page have provided in abundance with clarity, good questions and insightful answers that made me think. Unfortunately your questions do not provide the criteria for further discussion. Adios and fare thee well.

          • JD

            You did not answer.

            Let’s put it this way; other than your religion’s superstitious taboos against same-sex relations what other reason do you have to disagree?

          • Norman Weatherly
          • JD

            Good song.

            And you still seem unable to answer the question.

            Try again

          • JD

            Let’s put it yet another way;

            You cannot apply 2000 year old paranoid superstitious taboos upon an entire group of people using logic. The whole concept is illogical.

            Which brings me back to my earlier question:

            There’s only 2 reasons for not accepting LGBTIQ relationships: the ‘eww’ factor or primative superstitious taboos.

            Which is it for you?

          • D.M.S.

            God/Jesus/HolySpirit for me….

          • JD

            That’s a non-answer.

            Try again.

          • D.M.S.

            Not in the true Christian world it isn’t.
            Take care, neighbor.

          • JD

            A true Christian doesn’t hide from facts and reality which is what you were doing. You can blame your demon for gays all you want but all it shows is that you are fearful and ignorant of reality.

            Good luck in your recovery.

          • D.M.S.

            A true Christians reality is
            God/Jesus/HolySpirit.
            Not mankinds idea of the world.
            Take care, neighbor.

  • David Cook

    I was lucky to be born into a “mainstream protestant” family and have been an active member of such a church my entire life (88 years). Most of those years I’ve been a congregationalist. As such I never had to deal with what I think is the curse of Christianity (and other religions) “fundamentalism.” It feeds into absolutist thinking. I’m impressed that Chuck somehow “escaped” from BJU with his mind reprieved from that prison of thought. Nothing in the Bible can or should be taken literally, but, as we say in our denomination, it should always be taken “seriously.” Our human behavior and thought processes are manifestly complex. Sweeping absolutist judgments simply wipe away all the nuance of human life. Our church pastor is a lesbian married to her lesbian wife. Both had children by a first marriage. Our pastor preaches the gospel in a beautiful way every Sunday. Her ordination comes with the blessing of God and our denomination’s standards. I didn’t ever have to unlearn anything to know that LGBTQ folks are my “brothers and sisters in Christ.”

    • Thanks for sharing, David. That sounds like a wonderful church you’re a part of!

    • D.M.S.

      The Christian bible literally states that No females are to be pastors, clergy ever.
      So your denomination has been teaching blasphemy of scripture for a very long time.
      Take care, neighbor.

  • nursecathy123cat

    I’ve heard the argument comparing race and homosexuality. It just doesn’t hold up. I remember my older relatives (all passed now) talking about how God wanted the races to be separate. I could never figure how they decided that. Nowhere in the scriptures, Old or New, is any race called shameful or detestable. We are all one. The scriptures, both Old and New, DO call homosexuality shameful and detestable. We cannot say that something is right when God has called it wrong.

    • Craig Morrison

      However, Nursecathy123, slavery is something that we condem today even though the scriptures condone it. “Ah, but you see, in ancient times, slavery was a thoroughly horrid thing, where people could be whipped, even summarily executed for disobedience. But the bible redeems slavery from a horrid thing by introducing justice and humanity and brotherhood into it. This was something never seen in the ancient world. Slavery by biblical standards is something so different to how other cultures practised slavery that biblical slavery is a totally different thing altogether.”

      Now, I wonder if you’ve heard this paraphrased argument before?

      In the same way, what we term as “same-sex marriage” today, as consensual mutuality, is a completely different conception of homosexuality, that in biblical times took place in a context of cultic practices, idolatory, abuse, and power, that is altogether unrecognisable to how we see same-sex relations today.

      What we call “homosexuality” today and what was practised and condemned in biblical times are two completely different things.

      When someone says that the struggle for race equality is similar to the LGBTI struggle for equality what we mean is that race is an ontology just as same-sex orientation is an ontology (rather than that it is a pathology.)

      • nursecathy123cat

        Slavery/bondage is wrong. I think that is why Israel allowed relief from it when all slaves and their families had to be released every 50 years. Why mandate release from something if it’s a good way to live? Some owners treated slaves better than others. It was still something to avoid.

  • Sebastian Conan

    Back again, especially since you read these comments.

    When I really think about it, when people reject this idea, I feel like instead of worshiping the God who says he /is/ love, they worship a god of anger. I came from… well, my family declares themselves democrats, but they have conservative viewpoints. But lots of things about the bible left me wondering “how can I worship a god so hateful?”

    My mom would get get gleeful thinking about her enemies burning in hell forever, when I’d come home from school bummed out after being bullied, she’d show me apart in the bible, somewhere in psalms, of the wicked getting hurt as if it would make me feel better. I’m a heavily empathetic person and it tore me apart to see this happen. I thought that god isn’t a god of love but a god of hate and revenge.

    I almost became a satanist in pure rebellion, but when I found out the group I almost joined were neo-nazi, I quit immediately. I began searching for something that felt right… Judaism really felt right for me for a bit. I wasn’t sure to convert yet, but I began to research. Before that though, I once watched a video of a “demon” talking to a pastor before exorcism, talking about hell and how badly it didn’t want to go back. The audio was awful. I came into it skeptical, and afterwards I didn’t know what to think, but as an empath it sent me over the edge. I had sympathy for fallen angels. I cried, and sobbed, and cursed god, that if they can beg and repent and still be rejected to eternal torment, what kind of god even is he? And especially, how dare people write in the comments of that video “praise the lord” when something so horrible could happen. (Note: Jesus says to cast out demons in his name. That never happened. And also it called it’s lord “Lucifer”, upon extensive research Lucifer isn’t the name of an angel at all.)

    Upon finding Judaism, there were 2 things. One, Hell wasn’t a big deal. Nobody was threatened with hell. Two, there wasn’t a thing as “fallen” angels. Angels in gods court (some named “the accuser”) simply do their jobs like in Job, or sometimes ask god to dwell among humans and get corrupted…

    “An angel falls below and is disconnected. A breath, however, can never be disconnected. No matter where it may end up, how low it may have stooped, the neshamah is intrinsically bound to its origin above, and from there it receives the power to shine, even in the darkest and lowest time and place, and return to its true essence”

    It gave me peace, so much peace to know these things… And I finally felt like God isn’t of hate at all. God really wouldn’t throw us into hell, into an infinite incomprehensible uncomprehending place of pure torment. but I wanted to know why it wasn’t the same for Christianity. I always wondered why the Tanakh isn’t the same as the Old Testament. I found Patheos this way, wanting to know why they believe hell to be like this (and it was the “Letting Go Of Hell” series, by Benjamin L Corey, good read about the new testament, old testament, why god waited so long to tell us about hell, and the scripture provides, it’s good even for someone who takes specific translated words extremely seriously) Now I don’t know what you believe about hell but learning these things really made me truly believe God loves us and Jesus is really merciful, just as he says.

    About the people in the old testament, I always wondered what happened when they died. A loving god wouldn’t just toss them in hell when Jesus wasn’t on earth yet. But somehow, my family believed it. A select few passed onto Heaven but there were tons of people that died, according to Hebrew scripture there’s a place that the dead go to, it’s translated as “Waiting Room” or “Entry Way” (In other texts, a similar place is called Sheol I think.) It’s believed that you go there for a maximum of 12 months, and the next is The World To Come. Some describe this as a spiritual washing machine that throws you into your next life (being a washing machine in a sense that, it cleanses your soul and is the closest thing to hell that’s in Jewish belief). I wouldn’t call it eternal life myself since you may die again. And again, perhaps. (and none of this makes me jewish by any means, because I 1. Haven’t converted, 2. Possibly believe in Jesus. I’m still exploring.)

    In the garden of Eden, adam and eve are cursed with mortality. God said they would surely die (just not right away), and as the verses go on, it’s clear that instead of burning forever, you die, and even describes a second death. It’s possible that instead of going through The World To Come, if you are surely wicked, God wouldn’t put through incomprehensible hell for all of eternity but simply blink you out of existence. That or, you go through The World To Come.

    Why I possibly believe in Jesus is because… when I apply this logic, of that afterlife, and with what Jesus has done, giving us the option of eternal life… I think he simply, in the “Entry Way”, opened up a new door for people that knew him and lived by him to walk through and enter the Kingdom of God. And those that hadn’t… They don’t suffer for all eternity. Like the bible says, Jesus is merciful and loving, you can try again. And again. And again. And it was when I realized that video I watched that messed me up and loathe god with every fiber of my being? That was a method used to control people. The fears of Hellfire. Nothing but a means of control to make people believe in what you want so they can do what you say to escape the fate. But letting go of that idea, and letting go of hell, letting go of what was previously thought of everyone else and looking at it again with a new perspective….

    These ideas is what brings me back to faith, actually rejecting the idea that God would seriously torture his creation because they once stole an apple, or that one loved someone of the same gender…. And coming to this site, particularly the progressive christian side as I had not fully explored, you people have no fear presenting new ideas and debating and giving new things to think about. You people have no fear questioning what you were thought and combating it with new ideas. I’d like to know what you think, if you take the time to read this, and I want to thank you for sharing the wisdom you’ve gathered. If you disagree with me… that’s alright. We can learn from each others insights and our walk with God.

    • Thanks for sharing that, Sebastian. I’m glad to have you with us, processing through all these things together.

  • Richard Worden Wilson

    Can You Love LGBTQ People while Condemning Their Relationships?

    Absolutely. If Jesus can do it I can do it, by the power of the Spirit of God.

  • Inkswitch

    “do you think you can love LGBTQ people while condemning their relationships?”

    Not in the slightest. You can claim to “love” us as much as you want but if you still condemn our right to love who we want then you are admiting that you still consider us as second-class citizens, unworthy of the same level of basic decency you’d afford to non-LGBT+ people. This “love the sinner hate the sin” line is nothing but hypocritical BS and if it’s what you truly believe, then you are no friend of the LGBT+ community

    • PedasiPaul

      Can you love prisoners while disapproving of their crimes? If so, then it is it also possible to love say, polygamists, while disapproving of their behavior when it comes to several spouses at once? If so, then what about LGBTQ people?

      • JD

        Being gay is not a crime. To group gays in with criminals is callous, unintelligent, unkind and simply rude.

        • PedasiPaul

          Fair enough. Is this analogy better? In a country where sex work is legal, not a crime, can you love sex workers without approving of their work? I’m trying to make a point about the logic.

          • JD

            Comparing being gay to anything considered immoral is illogical.

          • D.M.S.

            Being gay no it isn’t, practicing gay is immoral.

          • Kobus

            In your opinion, do you think gay and lesbian people should practice celibacy?

          • D.M.S.

            If they want to live a moral life in the eyes of God/Jesus, yes.

          • PedasiPaul

            Is it impossible then to love sex workers while disapproving of their legal profession?

          • JD

            Sure.

          • D.M.S.

            All sexual activity outside of heterosexual marriage is immoral.

          • JD

            Only in your primitive superstitious mythologies. And as they are your primitive superstitious mythologies they only apply to you.

          • D.M.S.

            God/Jesus applies to the entire world.
            We Christians try to explain to the world what is really going on.
            But almost nobody wants to listen,

          • JD

            Not, it doesn’t. That is the thing with all mythologies; they only apply to the ones who believe in them.

  • Joseph O’Neill

    Love the sinner, hate the sin.

    • JD

      ‘Love the sinner, hate the sin’ is not biblical. Look it up.

  • PedasiPaul

    Fascinating essay. Though I don’t defend Bob Jones, he made an interesting point when he said, “God is the author of Jewish separation…” Perhaps someone wiser than me can tell whether that statement is false.

    • In Old Testament law, the prohibitions against marrying foreigners had much more to do with religion than race. There was a constant fear that foreign women would bring their idols with them and lead their husbands astray. Now I don’t want to suggest that this makes it okay—that approach is still quite problematic. But we can at least say that it had nothing to do with segregating races in order to keep the Israelite line genetically “pure.”

      And Bob Jones Sr.’s point is especially undercut when we consider that the genealogy of Jesus himself, as recorded by Matthew, is chock-full of non-Israelites. Tamar and Rahab were both Canaanites. Ruth was a Moabitess. And Bathsheba was quite possibly a Hittite; at the very least, she was married to one.

  • steve_tippens

    For a religion centering its faith in a document subject to multiple (ad infinitum) translations/interpretations, by what authority does one pronounce “God said,” “God wants,” “God is …,” etc.? Is it unreasonable to expect that an omnipotent, omniscient, omni-etc. God would speak with one voice in language unmistakably clear to all. Before you write me off as blasphemous, heretical, etc., consider that the ranks of the “faithful” are diminishing rather rapidly due in large part to the contradictory rhetoric of persons purporting to know “the will of God.” When Jesus said “love one another as I have loved you,” could he be speaking of a willingness to die for another, even one perceived as the enemy? And are there not different kinds of love – philos, eros, agape? Which of them did he condemn?

    • D.M.S.

      The actual question is which kind of love does God/Jesus approve.
      Once one knows what God/Jesus kind of love that is approved.
      Then we know all the others are condemned.
      But only a true Christian
      would know what kind of love God/Jesus approves.

      • JD

        Not only would Jesus approve he’d officiate at the wedding and supply the wine.

        • steve_tippens

          From water, if need be. Amen.

        • D.M.S.

          NOT….

          • JD

            Way.

          • D.M.S.

            Christ Jesus in any way would ‘ not ‘officiate a sinful relationship of any kind.

          • JD

            Some facts for you:

            All of the following say that homosexuality is perfectly normal:

            American Medical Association
            American Psychiatric Association
            American Psychological Association
            American Counseling Association
            National Association of Social Workers
            American Academy of Pediatrics
            American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
            Child Welfare League of America
            American Association of School Administrators
            American Federation of Teachers
            National Association of School Psychologists
            American Academy of Physician Assistants
            National Education Association
            Royal College of Physicians
            Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS)
            American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT)
            World Health Organization
            Chinese Society of Psychiatry
            American Psychoanalytic Association
            British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy 
            UK Council for Psychotherapy
            Australian Medical Association 
            Australian Psychological Society

            Now, if Jesus/God knows all things he would also know as we now know that being gay is perfectly normal.

            What is NOT normal is your hatred for gay folks. Perhaps you need to ask your Jesus/god for healing and forgiveness for your hatred for your brothers and neighbors.

          • D.M.S.

            And everyone of those worldly administrations will have to stand before God/Jesus for telling the world it’s alright to live a Sinfilled life while living on this earth.

          • JD

            As well everybody who hates gays and refuses to accept that they are normal folks.

          • D.M.S.

            There is nothing normal about leading that kind of life.

          • JD

            There is nothing normal about leading a life fearful of people you believe are possessed by a mythical demon.

            Seek help. Now.

          • D.M.S.

            You’re welcome to your delusions of your manmade world
            Goodbye neighbor

          • JD

            Better than a fantasy world of deities and demons leaves you living in fear of people born different.

            I wish you luck with your continuing recovery.

          • D.M.S.

            My recovery is taking me fishing at a nearby lake, right now.
            I’ll talk to all of you people later.
            Bye.

          • JD

            Hope you’re not wearing mixed fibers while out there fishing.

          • D.M.S.

            Yes I am and I’m enjoy a shrimp salad too.
            But I don’t have to worry about because I’m not Jewish.

          • D.M.S.

            There’s no such thing as luck…

          • JD

            Once again; and do try to pay attention, shall we?

            All of the following say that homosexuality is perfectly normal:

            American Medical Association
            American Psychiatric Association
            American Psychological Association
            American Counseling Association
            National Association of Social Workers
            American Academy of Pediatrics
            American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
            Child Welfare League of America
            American Association of School Administrators
            American Federation of Teachers
            National Association of School Psychologists
            American Academy of Physician Assistants
            National Education Association
            Royal College of Physicians
            Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality (SSSS)
            American Association of Sex Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT)
            World Health Organization
            Chinese Society of Psychiatry
            American Psychoanalytic Association
            British Association for Counseling and Psychotherapy 
            UK Council for Psychotherapy
            Australian Medical Association 
            Australian Psychological Society

            Now, if your deities knows all then they would also know as we now know that being gay is absolutely perfectly normal.

            Read that as many times as you need until it sinks in.

          • D.M.S.

            You can keep repeating satans companies until the cows come home, it won’t do you any good. Those companies are deceiving the world and they will be condemned for their sins just like everyone.
            Nothing whatsoever is normal about the lgbtq.
            And they never will be.
            Take care, neighbor.

          • JD

            Boy, are you going to be surprised when you do finally meet your maker. Good luck with your homophobic lifestyle.

          • D.M.S.

            And all of them are just as mentally ill as the lgbtq.
            Oh and it will ‘ NEVER ‘ sink in.
            Take care, neighbor.

          • JD

            I’ll take them over your paranoid and primitive superstitious mythology any day.

            Good luck with your recovery from homophobia.

          • Jonathan

            Ah, JD – if you only knew just how incredibly useful this list has been for me on Facebook. 🙂

        • D.M.S.

          You’re just another one of Satans minions, spreading lies.

          • JD

            It’s amazing how much faith and devotion you put in to your demon as you do your deity.

            Which begs the question; why doesn’t your Jesus take care of your demon? Is he incapable of doing so? Or is it perhaps the two are actually partners? After all without a Satan your Jesus is out of job.

          • D.M.S.

            Covenants.
            God/Jesus doesn’t want all of us to be robots.
            He has to much ‘ love ‘ for us to do that.

          • JD

            So indeed you’re Jesus and your Satan are partners. Convenient.

          • D.M.S.

            Do you want all people to be robots?

          • JD

            Do you want all people to be homophobic and fear and mythical demon?

          • D.M.S.

            The only thing mythical here is a good portion of mankinds science.

          • JD

            Strong chance that you are alive today because of science. But enjoy living in fear of demons and deities for that makes a lot more sense. Not.

          • D.M.S.

            You wouldn’t even have the worlds science without God/Jesus to begin with.

          • JD

            And yet science needs no mythologies, and that includes Christianity

          • D.M.S.

            But God/Jesus started science to begin with.
            The scientist are just to ignorant to know it.

          • JD

            Not ignorant, hon. Science just grew up.

          • D.M.S.

            LOL…goodbye.

          • JD

            Run, run way little homophobic. So afraid to face your fears and your own demons.

            I pray for your continued recovery. Good luck.

          • D.M.S.

            You haven’t the faintest idea what prayer is, you’ve admitted it in your own statement.
            There is no such thing as luck.

          • JD

            There’s no such thing as a homophobic deity either.

          • D.M.S.

            What are talking about, looney tunes?

          • JD

            Your deity, sweetums.

          • D.M.S.

            As soon as science/scientist disavowed themselves from their creator God/Jesus.
            They have been going downhill ever since.

          • JD

            Like I said people grow up. I believe it even says in the Bible there are times when you need to put away childish things and grow up.

            Believing in demons and deities and paranoid superstitious taboos is not healthy. It is time you put away childish things and grow up and face the fact that you’re homophobic and quite possibly a bigot. Your fear of a demon is running and ruining your life.

            Again, seek counseling. It’ll do your heart and soul good to finally be free.

            Good luck.

          • D.M.S.

            I’m absolutely sure I’m alive today because of God/Jesus.
            Praise the Lord!!!

          • JD

            How convenient for you to just dismiss people because you feel they’re full of your demon. What it really says is you have no basis for your fear other than paranoid superstitious taboos to mask your hatred and fear and thus avoid the obvious reality that you really do have a mental and emotional problem.

            You need help. I suggest you seek counseling soon for your own well-being. Good luck in your recovery.

          • D.M.S.

            I only fear God/Jesus.
            The only counseling that I recieve is thru God/Jesus/HolySpirit
            and it’s the only one that I need.
            All of the counseling from academic ( secular )world will only brainwash people into their way of thinking. I’ve already been a part of their world. I’m not going to step backward and go back to their mentally ill world.

          • D.M.S.
          • JD

            Have fun with your homophobic lifestyle.

            Ciao babe.

          • D.M.S.

            I’ll pray to God/Jesus that you let go of your hatred and repent of your sins.
            Take care neighbor.

          • JD

            No hatred here, luv.

            And I pray your Jesus opens your eyes to your homophobia. Good luck.

          • D.M.S.

            I don’t accept and or praise anyones sins.
            Including heterosexuals.

          • JD

            Except we all know that being gay is not the sin. One day you will have to sit in front of your deity and explain why you were homophobic.

            Good luck with that.

          • JD

            Run little homophobic, run. Can’t face facts and instead hides behind your demon.

            Get help s.oon

          • D.M.S.

            I see that you’re having fun.
            So am I, while watching what kind of nonsense that you will come up with next.

          • D.M.S.

            They are filled with demons… The world has become to intellectually ignorant to know anything of God/Jesus.
            Your only recovery is thru Christ Jesus.
            Repent soon, neighbor.

          • JD

            It must be tough living in fear of demons around every corner. How sad.

          • D.M.S.

            I don’t have a fear of any demons whatsoever.
            But I do fear God/Jesus.

          • JD

            Sure you do. You put as much faith in your Satan and as you do your Jesus. After all, you can’t have one without the other. They are a matched set.

      • steve_tippens

        I don’t believe in a physical hell. But I can envision living next door in heaven to “a true Christian” by your definition as a form of hell. I think I might prefer to be with my LGBTQ friends, warm though it be. I’m confident they will be as eligible for universal salvation as you are, my friend. The God I worship through Jesus Christ does not condemn.

        • D.M.S.

          Then you’re blind to God the Son ( Christ Jesus ) of the Christian bible.

          • steve_tippens

            Perhaps your God will forgive me if I rejoice in my blindness. But if not, I think my God will, the God I see manifested in the life, teaching, and example of Jesus.

          • D.M.S.

            There is only one God/Jesus/HolySpirit and you don’t know Him.
            Your master is Satan.
            Goodbye.

          • JD

            Have you ever wondered why your deities cannot seem to keep one pesky demon under control…?

          • D.M.S.

            No.

          • JD

            You should. Especially since you put us much devotion and faith in your demon as you do your deity.

  • Rick Faircloth

    Can one love a child molester?

    • steve_tippens

      If one ranked “sins” on a scale of 1 to 10, where would you put child molestation? And where on the scale would the dividing line be for those worthy or unworthy of love? 5? 0? 10? And by what right (authority?) would one make such judgment?

      • Rick Faircloth

        Answer my question, first. Can one love a child molester?

        • steve_tippens

          I think I can, but you and I may have different understandings of the meaning of love..

          • Rick Faircloth

            That’s the point in trying to make, Steve. Correctly understanding the biblical meaning of love is key to being able to say, or not, that we love others. We gave one word for the love. The Greek biblical text has several: eros, phileo, and agape. Can you describe love for another person, as you are using the word?

    • Jae

      FUN FACT: there are many heterosexual child molesters. By your logic, can you love a heterosexual?

      • Rick Faircloth

        Yes, I can, without hesitation, say that I love all people. Now answer my question.

  • JA Myer

    Christians, who condemn or engage in “love the person hate the sin” and other such things have placed themselves above their God, who is according to what they profess to believe is the only judge of all of us. Using a sliver of religion as the reason to hate somebody else is not new.

  • D.M.S.

    Yes……