Dear angry evangelical Christians

Dear angry evangelical Christians June 30, 2015

I’m sorry. I’m sorry the world is changing. I’m sorry all gay Americans have been granted the Constitutional right to have as much love in their lives as straight people enjoy. I’m sorry the Christian church has become more loving (and more biblical). I’m sorry the Republican party has for so long so utterly disgraced itself that for the third straight presidential election it’s incapable of fielding a candidate with a snowball’s chance in hell. I’m sorry that a black man turned out to be one of the most awesome presidents in our country’s history.

But mostly I’m sorry that you cannot see how all of this is as good for you personally as it is for America generally. Remember, please, the words of another great American president: You have nothing to fear but fear itself.

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  • Christians Love

    Somebody’s not all that sorry. Or maybe he’s just Shorey.

  • Eva

    I’m sure Evangelical Christians will appreciate that John, but I can’t speak for them. Us conservative Catholics on the other hand, don’t.

  • Eric Schramm

    Christians have had a stranglehold on this planet for 1,900 years now. this is just people who can’t handle not being in charge. I should know. I was raised by one – and am related to several others. I used to be like that but I gave it up for lent. … lol

  • bonj100

    I truly am sorry that people who hold themselves out as Christian (follower of Jesus Christ, who was the most humble, caring and truly genuine being ever created) can’t find any humility or caring for their fellow human being because they disagree with him/her.

  • I agree with you: it’s a truly shameful travesty that Christians, of all people, have treated LGBT people as they have for as long as they have. So glad that is changing.

  • Karl Haynes

    Individual churches are still allowed to hate LGBT…this ONLY effects state sanctioned licenses.
    It has NOTHING to do with the religious ceremony.
    We go to church for ceremony….to our government for contracts…silly haters…

  • John A. C. Kelley

    That’s ok, I bet the Pope does.

  • indignation5

    I am not commenting on the government’s interest in marriage here so this is not a debate about marriage…

    However, I question any person on this board professing to be a believer in Christ to tell me what they think that the apostle Paul means in Romans 1? When I read Romans 1, I am convinced that not only is the apostle Paul “Not ashamed of the Gospel” (verse16) but he is also unashamed that the Gospel condemns certain things like greed, murder, malice, strife, gossip, “inventors of evil”, etc. In that list of things that he also indicates in verse 24 and 25 that homosexuality is indeed sinful. In Romans 3:23, Paul indicates that all of mankind is indeed sinful. There is noone who escapes the effects of sin. We all need the blood of Jesus to cleanse us of our sin.

    The gospel in which Paul preaches of is counterculture, it is offensive to the person who believes in a nonjudgmental deity. The letter to the church in Rome was intended for a minority of believers who lived in the epicenter of an evil empire. The Gospel should be preached in love for all persons. However,
    in love we have a duty as believers to share that not only is our God a God of
    love but our God is a God of wrath and we are all equally deserving of the full
    measure of his wrath because of our sin. Our culture wants a god that is tolerant, a god that wants us to be happy, and a god that is concerned with our comfort.
    Unfortunately that is not the God described in the Bible.

    Jesus did absolutely love his neighbor and treated all people with dignity, but he also told let the sinner know where they stood in the eyes of the Father. You might say that the God of the Bible is intolerant. You know what, He is! He does not tolerate sin!

  • marcia

    I like this John Shore! IF the government forced churches to marry gays against their will I will stand against that. But the supreme court ruling isn’t doing that so I am happy with the ruling. Let’s not manipulate others with fear. I choose, love, not fear!

  • kwycoff

    Please read the link in the article on which you are commenting.

  • Thanks, kwy.

  • Boy, those exclamation marks at the end sure do beef up the credibility quotient of what you’re saying!!!!!

  • Andy

    Nitpicking, but not quite that long. Christianity didn’t really become a big thing until Constantine. Not trying to undermine your point, I promise.

  • Andy

    I like your picture, Eva!

  • Andy

    Barf.

  • If you have the time, this is one of the best sermons on Romans I’ve heard, specifically focusing on those verses, from Pastor Danny Cortez (you can fast forward through the first 6 minutes or so of introduction): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WqYvkVqVLFo

    A conservative Christian friend of a pastor friend described it as the best substantiated exegesis she’s heard on the subject. Pastor Cortez shows an evident devotion to God and scriptural truth, and I have a lot of respect for him based on that speech.

    But in short – what Paul described was a very specific group of people following a very specific progression: rebelling against God -> worshipping idols -> God abandoning them -> responding by revelling in evil and forgoing heterosexual relationships for unrestrained homosexual lust and sex orgies. If those men had been having sex orgies with women, I’m sure Paul would have been just as critical; but we presumably wouldn’t use that to assume that all heterosexual relationships are therefore sinful. Either way, what he portrays in Romans bears no relation to gay couples who have always been gay, are in some cases Christians with strong relationships with God, and are seeking to live out their lives together in mutual commitment and love – even marriage. There’s a huge, huge difference between that and wanton sex orgies filled with idol worship.

    Regarding his use of the word ‘natural’, in the original Greek it meant something more like ‘normative’ or ‘commonly accepted’ -> he uses the exact same word when talking about how it is ‘natural’ for women to have long hair and men to have short hair.

  • nick.gotts

    We all need the blood of Jesus to cleanse us of our sin.

    Won’t it leave us rather sticky?

  • indignation5

    Pastor Cortez seems to be heartfelt in his analysis of this issue. He seems to be genuinely concerned with the hearts of non believers and the effects of sin. This is a positive. I see many teachers and activists that are more concerned with spreading a message of tolerance, social justice and acceptance than teaching a message of reliance on the need for the saving grace of Jesus because of sin. That said there are concerning things with his analysis…

    He attempts to make the argument that the list of sinful behaviors in Romans 1 is attributed to the Roman temple or “a specific” non believer in Roman culture. I do not get this in Paul’s writing. Romans 1 is clearly written to believers about all of mankind without regard to a specific non believer. That is why later in Romans 3, he clarifies that “all have sinned and fallen short of his glory”. The list of sins in Romans 1 is an inclusive list of sins for all of mankind. I can’t think of one person that could say that they don’t somehow fall under the sin that is described in it.

    Additionally, he wants to say that the Christian church uses this passage to judge others. He is correct in this (the church clearly has a problem being judgemental), although this was not Paul’s intention. Paul’s intention is to let the non believer know where they stand in the eyes of the Lord. His writings were not intended to pass personal judgements on the lives of nonbelievers. In love he indicates that all mankind has sinned and need the forgiveness of Father.

    However, the meat of his argument was delivered in the beginning of his sermon with the story of a woman who was juxtaposing scriptural truth with same sex attraction. He indicates that in concern for the way that scripture made her feel and its seemingly unattainable requirements to live a sin free life, he begain to question the way he read scripture. Specifically, he realized that the Bible, as it is written in strict interpretation, was asking LBGT persons to live a life of celebacy and that they should abstain from sexual relations with one another. He then changed his opinion because of the perceived unjust ramifications that the strict interpretation of Romans 1 has on the feelings and lifestyles of those with same sex attraction. Thus, a just and loving God couldn’t possibly ask a person with same sex attraction to live life of celebacy, never become intimate with another, and that scripture couldn’t possibly mean what is clearly said in Romans 1. This is a very bold assertion.

    Scripture was not given to us so that we could feel better about ourselves or affirm our personal lifestyle preferences. If that were so, a married man would have no problem cheating on his wife and then saying “well God made me sexaully attracted to women that are not my wife, so he couldn’t possibly ask me to forfeit a natural desire that I might have”. Scripture make it clear that we are products of the fall of mankind and we are all evil by nature. Thus, all of us when left to our own devices will choose sinful desires over the life that Christ wants us as believers to live. That said, no person can measure up to the impossible standard of Scripture without Christ.

    My intentions with this is not to change the minds of those that clearly have them already made up. It is to question the way that you are reading scripture. I don’t believe that it was given to us by God with the idea that it should be read to accomodate our sin.

  • BarbaraR

    It is to question the way that you are reading scripture.

    As soon as someone implies another person’s interpretation of scripture is faulty because “scripture makes it very clear” and Paul’s intention was blahblahblah and the old chestnut about changing scripture around to make us feel better about our sin – it’s just another fundie way of saying, “You’re wrong and I’m right.” As Andy said, “Barf.”

  • indignation5

    This isn’t about being wrong or right. If you cannot take scripture it it’s word, than I suppose you could read it anyway you would like to read it. This is dangerous business. You should read scripture within context and be careful not to read, take, or use scripture out of context. Then again you must be careful not to read your own self-serving affirmations into giving scripture unintended context.

  • BarbaraR

    Then again you must be careful not to read your own self-serving affirmations into giving scripture unintended context.

    Uh-huh. Pot meet kettle. We all do.
    There is more than one way to read scripture. Reading it at face value in English is, IMHO, an extremely bad way to go about it, but YMMV.

  • indignation5

    “We all do” – At least you are being honest.

    I happened to believe in God’s sovereignty as described in scripture. This means that He is reigning in supremecy as we speak and is in control of all things. In love He desperately seeks a relationship with the nonbeliever. Thus, I do not believe that He would provide us with a book that causes us to guess at what it’s intentions and meanings are. That is why 2 Timothy 3:16 says that “all scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness”. Meaning that this book is what it claims to be and there are no hidden meanings or agendas in it.

  • BarbaraR

    If that works for you and makes you happy, more power to you.

    I think God is big enough to encompass multiple views, opinions, interpretations, and theologies, as well as multiple texts revealing God to many people in many places at many times. Obviously not everyone is going to agree with that, and that is fine by me.

  • Oh, John, you choose the cutest guys for your stock photos 🙂

  • Romans 1 revolves around your interpretation of the phrase “natural desires”. Unfortunately, it’s very easy to conflate Paul’s words with our own culture’s (or sub-culture’s) preconceptions about sexuality.

    With that said, if I read Romans 1 literally, it goes like this:
    People who naturally desire sex with another gender (we would call them straight people), get involved in a huge list of shady stuff, including what appears to be homosexual excess or orgies associated with temples. Paul disapproves of this, just like he disapproves of the legalists he describes in the next chapter.

    Ergo, if you’re straight, and you’re having gay orgies, something is probably mixed up somewhere. If you’re a legalist, ditto.

  • > Romans 1 is clearly written to believers about all of mankind without regard to a specific non believer. … The list of sins in Romans 1 is an inclusive list of sins for all of
    mankind. I can’t think of one person that could say that they don’t
    somehow fall under the sin that is described in it.

    Well, I can’t say for sure about you, but I for one never delved into idol worship, rebelled against God, and exchanged heterosexual relations for lustful gay sex orgies. 😛 Romans 1 is not a list of sins. It’s a very specific progression of events, and I’m wholeheartedly on Paul’s side in condemning them. He’s not talking about gay relationships there; he’s talking about straight people (hence the need to ‘exchange’ relations) who engaged in homosexual sex in the heat of their idolatrous fervour.

    Regarding your married man example – you’re comparing adulterous straight people with gay people desiring a sexually-faithful relationship. It’s not as though gay couples don’t also struggle with adultery – they do – but that is clearly wrong because it’s a breach of trust, a breaking of commitment, and causes harm to their partner. But if you have a monogamous, loving couple committed to each other and to God, it makes no sense to me that it would be applauded if they were straight but suddenly evil if they were gay, if all the emotions and feelings were otherwise identical. Why would their gender matter? Gender – let alone what body parts you have – does not affect the quality and nature of one’s love towards a person you are emotionally, romantically and sexually drawn to. It would be like saying: “Eating pie is all right, but if you have only one kidney, then it’s a huge sin in the eyes of God.”

    It makes morality out to be extremely arbitrary, and I find that people who make such an argument tend to subconsciously believe that everyone is straight, and that gay people do not actually feel the same way about the same sex that straight people do with the opposite. But that’s what sexual orientation *is*; pressuring a gay man to have sex with a woman would be akin to asking a straight man to have sex with a man. The same sense of unnaturalness and wrongness would be present, and it would require a great deal of perversion and lust for either to be happy with it.

    It’s also worth noting that the idea that gay people should be celibate is *not* supported by the Bible, and is merely an extrapolation that people have come up with very recently upon the discovery that sexual orientation is innate and immutable. Paul was condemning lust and promiscuity, juxtaposing that against faithful committed relationships. There’s no reason why this can’t apply to both straight and gay couples. This isn’t about adopting an anything-goes approach to Scripture; it’s about having the *same* strict sexual standards for both straight and gay Christians when it comes to forging relationships with the people they love.

  • “That is why 2 Timothy 3:16 says that “all scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in
    righteousness”.

    Just pointing out here that this is in reference to (some of) the books of the Old Testament – the New Testament (or the Bible as we know it), including Romans, did not yet exist at the time that quote was written, and was definitely not considered Scripture.

  • Blank Ron

    An excellent point, and one that needs to be shouted from the rooftops. ‘Christianity’ then and ‘Christianity’ now are quite different animals.

  • Blank Ron

    Plus it’s a nightmare to get out of your clothing.

  • Snooterpoot

    A believer in Jesus Christ knows that his only commandments were to love. Love! Just love!

    It’s not your job to judge others. Your only job is to love. Can you do that? I don’t see it in your comment, so I wonder. Can you do that? Just love?

    Edited to add:

    Why do you need a wrathful god? That’s one thing I don’t understand about some Christians, is your need for a wrathful god that is to be feared. That isn’t the god I’ve come to know at all.

    So, indignation5, why? Why isn’t a loving god enough?

  • Snooterpoot

    My intentions with this is not to change the minds of those that clearly have them already made up. It is to question the way that you are reading scripture. I don’t believe that it was given to us by God with the idea that it should be read to accomodate our sin.

    Well, gosh, indignation5, I wonder the same thing. I question the way that you are reading the scripture.

    Is it a rule book? Is it the sheriff with a gun ready to shoot a Bible bullet at people whom you judge to be sinners?

    Is it reflective of the cultures that existed 2,000+ years ago? If it is (and it is) why should those ancient writings apply now?

    Is the Bible god’s living word? If it is, then shouldn’t that living word be recognized as such, throwing away the things of the past? (Women can’t speak in church? Really?)

    Is the word really a lot of words written down by fallible men for various reasons, or is it Jesus?

    You seem to need a rule book, and if that meets your needs, that’s okay by me, though I think you are missing out on the truth of a loving god. What isn’t okay by me is for you and people like you to use that rule book to figuratively bash others. You do that, then you say that god said it, not you, then you walk away, smugly, to leave the person you have wounded to fend for him/herself.

    Did god stop speaking to us 2,000+ years ago? Shouldn’t we apply the knowledge we have gained during that period to a greater understanding of who god is and how she loves?

    I think your sinful desire is to point fingers at others and declare god’s wrath. That makes me both sad and angry at the same time.

  • Snooterpoot

    Hi, Eva. Didn’t we talk on another blog, or was that another Eva?

  • indignation5

    You are correct that the 2nd greatest commandment is to love your neighbor as yourself. However, if you just told the nonbeliever that our God is just a God of love and not a God of wrath, you are not fully describing the God of the Bible. If God wasn’t a God of wrath we wouldn’t have any need for Jesus at all. We are condemned because of our sin, scripture speaks of this at length.

    “Why do you need a wrathful god?” – Um, I think you are under the mistaken impression that we get to call the shots. It is He that created you, not you that created Him. The problem here is that you are creating a god that you want to believe in. That is your decision. However, the God of scripture is clearly described as a God of love and a God of wrath.

    Matthew 7:1-2 speaks of the passage you are referring to… “1. Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” This is an interesting passage that is taken out of context by many folks. Many want to read the first verse without looking at the second. The second indicates that if you do judge that you will be judged with “the measure that you use”. If the measure that you use is God’s measure, than we are already judged by that measure. This is righteous judgement.
    People say that Jesus didn’t judge. That is not true. If you remember the story of the woman at the well in John 8. Here the pharisees brought in a woman caught in adultry and asked Him if it were permissible to stone her. He fired back “He who is without sin, throw the first stone”. The pharisees left and He told her “Now go and sin no more”. The idea here is that the woman had indeed sinned but this was according to mans law. Jesus showed her mercy, love, and compassion. This is His nature. However, He did not say that she did not sin. He simply said “Go and sin no more”. It is in God’s nature to forgive sin by showing us mercy and grace, but don’t mistake this as a lack of a judgmental God. He wants to forgive your sin but must receive it by faith in Jesus.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Oh, no. Same Eva.

  • Jeff Preuss

    The “book” didn’t exist until compiled as one unit in the 300s or so. The Bible makes no claims as to itself, for it didn’t even exist as one cohesive unit when all the Scriptures were written.

    And, then there is this:
    “The Protestant Old Testament of today has a 39-book canon—the number of books (though not the content) varies from the Jewish Tanakh only because of a different method of division—while the Roman Catholic Church recognizes 46 books (51 books with some books combined into 46 books) as the canonical Old Testament. The Eastern Orthodox Churches recognise 3 Maccabees, 1 Esdras, Prayer of Manasseh and Psalm 151 in addition to the Catholic canon. Some include 2 Esdras. The Anglican Church also recognises a longer canon. The term “Hebrew Scriptures” is often used as being synonymous with the Protestant Old Testament, since the surviving scriptures in Hebrew include only those books, while Catholics and Orthodox include additional texts that have not survived in Hebrew. Both Catholics and Protestants (as well as Greek Orthodox) have the same 27-book New Testament Canon.[91]”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible#Development_of_the_Christian_canons

    You claim He would not provide us with a book that causes us to guess at its meaning, but why would He provide us with many different versions of the Bible? Some which have additional texts you and I have likely never read? Wouldn’t He, in His great wisdom, know myriad forms of the Holy Bible would cause some confusion?

  • indignation5

    Arguing about the cannon becomes interesting. It is a book comprised of letters and writings that were deemed inspired by the counsel of Nicea (some would say). Others would say that the counsel of Nicea had nothing to do with establishing the cannon. What can be said, is that the Bible we have today, when read as a whole most of the books end up saying the same thing. That while many different individuals wrote the different letters and manuscripts they read cohesively with one another. The large message of scripture is as follows:

    1. Mankind is evil. We were born evil. When left to our own devices we will choose what is evil over what is good.
    2. We have all sinned and deserve eternal damnation because of our sin.
    3. Christ died for all. In his grace he died for sins of the world and allowed mankind to escape the consequences of sin by faith in Christ. The sinner is saved by grace through faith in Christ.
    4. God exists in three forms – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
    5. Christ was born through virgin birth – Christ was the actual Son of God.
    6. Christ died, rose again, ascended to heaven, and is coming back.

    Off the top of my head that is the consistent message of the cannon we have today. Comprised of writings from different men at different periods through history. They all seem to say the same thing though they lived in different cultures and periods. My belief is that the God of the Bible is sovereign and reigning supremely as we speak. He holds the world together and has given us His word in the form of the Bible so that you may intimately know Him. You may not agree. In fairness it is possible I am wrong. However, I do not believe so.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I would agree that there is a fairly consistent overall clear message, but where your argument falls a bit short IMHO is in proclaiming the “clarity” on theological issues that are hardly doctrinal.

    He has given us His Word in Christ. Christ is God’s Word Incarnate. The Bible is a collection of words, written, translated, and interpreted by men (even if divinely-inspired), so that the forms we read today are quite different from what was originally scribed, though the overall consistent message of the canon remains. Where there is entirely valid debate is over some of the details, so I would disagree that every single theological topic is completely clearly addressed in Scriptures when one compares all versions of said Scriptures.

    (And, even if you take only one translation and make it your foundational point of reference, some of the Bible is poetic — not literal — in style, and words in every language have more than one meaning. What might be “clear” to you is easily open to interpretation and contextual influence to expand upon a literal reading.)

    I do agree He reigns, and I do believe we come to know His story through the writings of the Bible, but our hearts are connected to the Holy Spirit as well, and the Living Christ is not bound by the pages of the Bible.

    [EDIT to add the words I forgot upon first writing – (even if divinely-inspired)]

  • indignation5

    First of all, I want to say that I enjoy healthy and respectful debate. I will say that I am not one that claims to have all of the right answers and I could be wrong about everything. I have taken my belief in humble faith. That said, I am convinced that the Bible is God’s word and it is clear.

    “Is it a rule book” – absolutely not. That is a misconception of most. Scripture is about grace. Grace is something we don’t deserve but He has given to us in His mercy. Once a person is in Christ, the person’s life is being progressively sanctified and should look more like the life of Christ (should being the operative word). The list of sins in the Bible is a list that shows our need for Christ. If a person has committed only one sin they are in need of salvation. Once a person has salvation, they don’t need to keep following rules to maintain salvation. Jesus’s blood covers all sins past, present, and future. It is about a relationship, not about following rules.

    “Is it reflective of the cultures that existed (when the Bible was written)” – Yes and No. It was written by men in different periods throughout history. These men came from different cultures and places. There is evidence of that in the writings. Is there evidence of Greek influence in the NT? Sure. Is there evidence of the rule of the Roman empire. Sure. If you are implying that the written scriptural authority and instruction was influenced by the prevailing culture, I would say that it was not. The message of scripture across cultures and time periods is consistent. It is this: mankind is evil and is in need of a Savior. That is the message of all of the books of scripture.

    “Is the Bible god’s living word? If it is, then shouldn’t that living word be recognized as such, throwing away things of the past?” – Yes, I believe that it is God’s living word. Meaning that there is power in the text and is absolutely relevant and just as authoritative today as it was 2000 years ago. I get from your message that you seem to think that mankind is getting progressively better. That we are evolving or becoming a more loving people. If you believe scripture (meaning we are all evil), then we are no better or worse today than we were 2000 years ago (all have sinned and need Christ is the consistent message of Scripture). Should things of the past be thrown away? I’m not sure I understand your idea of what things of the past are? If you are implying that scripture should be interpreted in light of what our culture wants or what is tolerated or popular, then I would disagree. All of the writers of the New Testament were martyred for their beliefs. Scripture has never (or extremely rarely) been popular or in harmony with prevailing cultural norms.

    “Is the word really a lot of words written down by fallible men for various reasons, or is it Jesus?” I think this is your best question. The men that wrote the Bible were fallible and sinful. No doubt about that. Your question contemplates the sovereignty of God. I believe that God created this world and holds it together. He exists outside of the boundaries of time and space, and supersedes the laws of science. He cannot be fully grasped by the human mind. If you believe Scripture, then you believe that he is has a purpose and a reason for everything. In a way unknown to mankind He has allowed fallible, sinful men to write down His perfect and inerrant instruction to mankind on how to know Him and come into relationship with Him. So yes “it is Jesus”, or a more theologically correct way of saying it would be that men wrote scripture under the divine direction of the Holy Spirit.

    “People like you use that rule book to figuratively bash others” I don’t disagree with this. Christians and the church have a bad problem with loving other people and spreading God’s love. I am no better or worse than any person here. I simply believe that I am saved by grace through faith. A relationship with Christ is available to all persons and should be communicated in love so that others may know the God of the Bible. The church has a problem with quoting a verse or passage of scripture and then leaving the non believer (or new believer) to figure out all of their real life problems. The church in perfect form should be able to take care of all the widows and the orphans, the poor and the sick. This has not happened and the church is to blame for this. If you read Acts 4, the 1st century church indicated that there was “no person in need” in the church described in Acts 4. This should be the model of church. The church has badly failed in this regard…

    “Shouldn’t we apply the knowledge we have gained during that period to a greater understanding of who god is” – The Bible is the ultimate authority on who God is. There have been many great minds that have written books, lead nations, donated to charity, loved the widows and the orphans, etc… However, they are simply example’s of man’s words and man’s work. They do not equal or in anyway rise to the authority of God’s word.

    “I think your sinful desire to point fingers at others and declare god’s wrath. That makes me both sad and angry at the same time” – I apologize if my words come across judgmental. They are not meant to be. I am the first in line to say that I am a sinner that deserves all of God’s wrath. I don’t deny my own fallibility and need for a Savior. I am sorry that you are angry at my words. I really hope that “my words” as you say are not my words but rather God’s words from scripture. It sounds like you have a problem with what scripture fully says. If that is so, I am fine with that. It is a difficult book to digest and come to terms with. God bless.

  • indignation5

    I suppose that it comes down to your understanding of who God is. Is He the same today as He was 2000 years ago? Did God get smarter? Did he become more tolerant? Did he get progressively better? That is a dangerous proposition and line of questioning to go down… You seem to want to make the argument that scripture isn’t what it says that it is: God’s authoritative word. Or that scripture should evolve with time. Or that as mankind evolves that scripture should evolve with it. Am I wrong here?

    I happen to believe that He is the same today as He was back then. Scripture is the same set of writings and they mean the same thing today as they did when they were written.

    If you believe that scripture was written under God’s authority (I would guess that you disagree with this by your comments), then why would it’s meaning change across history? The end of Revelation states that no one should add to this book. Meaning that at the end of Revelation, God’s word to mankind was sealed and closed. There is not another book or more writings.

  • indignation5

    So by your line of thought, only the Old Testament is God’s inspired Word? Should we take from this that the New Testament is not God’s word or that it isn’t authoritative? What do you do with the idea that Timothy and the apostles anticipated that their writings would be canonized? It sounds like you are arguing about the canon. If the NT can’t be considered God’s Word then there is no authority for Jesus and we are still under the laws of the OT. My point being is that just because that passage of scripture may or may not have been written before the completion of the NT doesn’t mean that we should discredit it’s authoritative instruction.

  • Snooterpoot

    Well, we certainly disagree about scriptural interpretation. I always wonder why anyone thinks their interpretation is the only correct one. I think one can disagree with another person without wandering into that territory. I certainly do not believe there is only one correct interpretation.

    Having said that, I have three questions.

    1. Are you a preacher? Just a question born of curiosity.

    2. How did you choose your screen name? I think it’s quite provocative and lends the initial impression that you are not open to debate or discussion.

    3. Do you believe that god stopped talking to us 2,000 years ago? If not, why wouldn’t the inspiration we receive now supersede the ancient writings?

  • Snooterpoot

    Sigh.

  • indignation5

    1. “Are you a preacher?” – Nope. Just a follower of Jesus. I would love to one day go to seminary and be involved in full time ministry.

    2 “How did you choose your screen name?” – You have got me there. I can’t say that it was an appropriate choice for a screen name when I created this account. I didn’t create it with the intent of having religious conversations and I should be more mindful of what the name says to strangers within this context.

    3. “Do you believe that god stopped talking to us 2000 years ago? If not, why wouldn’t the inspiration we receive now supersede the ancient writings?” – No, we can communicate by way of prayer. However, I do not believe that there are additional writings that are inspired and authoritative. After John’s book of Revelation was complete there are no other additional writings that are cannonized. This because God indicates that all we need to know is contained within this book (1 John 2:20-21). The mature believer should recognize that we will not have all of the answers on this side of heaven. I believe that it was intended to be this way. I believe God receives glory in the faith of the believer. Especially in the things that are unknown and must be taken in faith.
    The inspiration we receive now should be interpreted through the framework of scripture in a relationship with Christ. Meaning that if you believe that you are inspired to do something that is contrary to what scripture says, you are probably mistaken. This is most likely an external motivation that is not related to the Holy Spirit and should be closely examined. There are no motivations, no leaders, no trends, no cultures, no more writings that will ever supercede the Bible. The problem is that our natural tendency is to want to superceed what scripture says. While scripture might be old or as you say “ancient”, it is very much alive and should be a large part of the life of the believer.

  • Blank Ron

    Well, first off, no, I have never seen anything that convinces me that any of the Bible is anything but a human product. Too many factual errors, too many internal contradictions and WAY too much ‘history’ that simply isn’t true. Doesn’t mean it doesn’t have value, but I don’t consider it in any way ‘inspired,’ not in the way that you’d mean.
    Having said that…
    I think you’re misunderstanding what I was getting at. ‘Christianity’ has changed because WE have changed. We know far more about the world and about ourselves now than we did then. We know WAY more about what the scriptures ‘actually’ say because we are better at translating the early texts, we have access to more of those texts, and we know WAY more about the era they were written in, far than most of the people who lived back then. We don’t need to see the world the same way that a bunch of illiterate Bronze Age Sheep herders did. Indeed, to continue to do so would guarantee our extinction. No more should we be reading the thing as if it were still the tenth, or fifteenth, or nineteenth or twentieth centuries.
    And FWIW, I have NO difficulty questioning your God. Or any other god. Even The Invisible Pink Unicorn (may Her holy hooves never be shod!)

  • archaeologist
  • Jeff Preuss

    Nope, “Doctor” DeeTee, we don’t need to read your blather before “commenting on Christians.” You simply don’t speak for Christianity as a whole.

    Go troll somewhere else.

  • archaeologist

    seems you do need to read those posts as you have a very bad conception of those who disagree with homosexuality.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Nope. I have an accurate perception of you and your history of self-aggrandizing sharing of your knowledge. Again, you do not speak for all Christianity, so stating that we should read your blog before commenting on Christianity is just off-base, DT.

  • archaeologist

    obviously you do not as you lump all believers into one category and refuse to see the real picture.

    I said you you read those 3 articles, stop generalizing and misrepresenting what others say.

  • Jeff Preuss

    I didn’t lump all believers into one category, David — that was you since you want us to read your post before commenting on Christians (note you didn’t say “non-affirming Christians” or “anti-gay Christians” – you just said “Christians” lumping us all into one category .) I said you do not speak for ALL of us.

    I haven’t misrepresented or generalized a thing that you have said. I’ve talked with you before, and your arrogance knows no limits.

    How’s Korea?

  • archaeologist

    i haven’t lumped everyone into one category, my definition of the word Christian is one who is like Christ and there are so few like that.

    you did.

    hot & humid

  • Jeff Preuss

    No, I didn’t, but whatever you need to tell yourself, Pookie.

  • archaeologist

    the name is not pookie.

    and you did. to get back to topic, the world may be changing but guess what– God does not change, christianity does not change nor does the true church. many people may think the church got more ‘loving’ but all it did was get more sinful.

  • Bones

    Look here’s one of those angry evangelicals. Archaeologist seems preoccupied with the gay. It’s a shame archaeology shows Archaeologist to be a bit of a nitwit. Thanks for the laugh.

  • Bones

    “Jesus showed her mercy, love, and compassion.” See how Jesus is different to God.

  • Bones

    “Sometimes the Bible in the hands of one man is worse than a whiskey bottle in the hands of another.”

  • Jeff Preuss

    Oh, bless your heart. Apparently, you think repeating something that objectively didn’t occur is going to make it true. That’s just precious, Pickles.

  • archaeologist

    no it is not a preoccupation with homosexuality. it is doing our duty to warn about sin and homosexuality is sin and evil.

    you would be wrong about archaeology.

  • indignation5

    No. Please tell me? In the context of this discussion, I’m not sure I do. If you are about to tell me that Jesus and God are not the same deity (outside of a discussion about trinitarianism) we may have issues…

  • Bones

    Yeah sure. Religion is sin and evil. I am doing my duty to warn others about it. And there isn’t a shred of evidence backing up your warped view of archaeology. Not even the Exodus, Jericho or the genocidal conquests, let alone a world wide flood.

  • archaeologist

    you would be wrong on all accounts. i just do not want to get into it at this time. we have evidence to show that religion is not evil and we have evidence from archaeology to support the exodus, jericho and the flood.

    there was no genocide.

  • indignation5

    It sounds like you and I probably are agree on more than you realize then. If we can agree that mankind is evil (born into sin), we are in need of Savior, we are saved by His grace, he died, came back to life, and is now alive… Then we probably can agree on many issues. However, if we agree on those things, it confuses me how we could disagree on the way that new testament scripture literally describes sin. Or maybe what your definition of objective truth is. My belief is that scripture is objectively and absolutely true for all persons, at all times, in all cultures, and in all situations. Meaning it shouldn’t have any different meanings for me than it does for you (all evil and in need of Christ). It is the same today as it was back in the first century. Sure we will read it differently and have different subjective experiences at different points in our lives just as the church has. However, you want to make the argument that the Living Christ isn’t bound upon a literal interpretation of scripture. How then are we to know the “Living Christ” if he isn’t objectively revealed in scripture? Christ can be whomever or stand for whatever I subjectively choose to interpret Him as. If there is no baseline of truth (other than the hap hazardously quoted, and taken wildly out of context “love your neighbor as yourself”) then you don’t really have much of a theological understanding of who Jesus/Holy Spirit/God the Father is.

  • Andy

    I knew that was him!

  • Bones

    You would be wrong on all accounts. Archaeologists who claim a historical Exodus are up there with doctors who still advocate leeches or astronomers who claim the Earth to be the centre of the Universe. Heck even Jewish archaeologists know its debunked.

    “Despite being regarded in Judaism as the primary factual historical narrative of the origin of the religion, culture and ethnicity, Exodus is now accepted by scholars as having been compiled in the 8th–7th centuries BCE from stories dating possibly as far back as the 13th century BCE, with further polishing in the 6th–5th centuries BCE, as a theological and political manifesto to unite the Israelites in the then‐current battle for territory against Egypt.[2]

    Archaeologists from the 19th century onward were actually surprised not to find any evidence whatsoever for the events of Exodus. By the 1970s, archaeologists had largely given up regarding the Bible as any use at all as a field guide.

    The archaeological evidence of local Canaanite, rather than Egyptian, origins of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel is “overwhelming,” and leaves “no room for an Exodus from Egypt or a 40‐year pilgrimage through the Sinai wilderness.”[3] The culture of the earliest Israelite settlements is Canaanite, their cult objects are of the Canaanite god El, the pottery is in the local Canaanite tradition, and the alphabet is early Canaanite. Almost the sole marker distinguishing Israelite villages from Canaanite sites is an absence of pig bones.

    It is considered possible that those Canaanites who started regarding themselves as the Israelites were joined or led by a small group of Semites from Egypt, possibly the Hyksos people, possibly carrying stories that made it into Exodus. As the tribe expanded, they may have begun to clash with neighbors, perhaps sparking the tales of conflict in Joshua and Judges.

    William Dever, an archaeologist normally associated with the more conservative end of Syro-Palestinian archaeology, has labeled the question of the historicity of Exodus “dead.” Israeli archaeologist Ze’ev Herzog provides the current consensus view on the historicity of the Exodus: “The Israelites never were in Egypt. They never came from abroad. This whole chain is broken. It is not a historical one. It is a later legendary reconstruction—made in the seventh century [BCE]—of a history that never happened.”[4]”

  • Tony Connelly

    Without reason the Bible is useless. The Bible may have been inspired by God but our minds were made by God. Disclaimer: I am a former New Thought Christian turned Agnostic.

  • RidgewayGirl

    Still trying to lure people over to your badly written blog? How is that working out for you?

  • RidgewayGirl

    You have to give him points for persistence. How many sites has he been banned from?

  • LadySunami

    Fauxaeologist! What’s up? Still plagued by the sins of pride and deception?

  • Andy

    Not enough.

  • archaeologist

    you obviously haven’t check modern medical science lately

    http://health.howstuffworks.com/medicine/modern-treatments/leeches-in-modern-medicine.htm

    you obviously have been reading the wrong people.

    as for Dever, that is his subjective opinion. he doesn’t believe in God any more so his opinion doesn’t matter. Having read his books and listened to his lectures, he is off the mark and it is still called biblical archaeology despite his efforts to change the name

    Herzog doesn’t believe either so why would you expect him to have the truth?

    there is less evidence for his abroad theory than there is for the Israelites in Egypt. oh did you stop to look up the Israeli house found in Egypt before writing that crap or did you just decide to be blind and biased without it?

  • Andy

    I tried the succinct approach for once.

  • Bones

    Look its the flar earth leach guy. Youd better hang out at nutter Ken Hams Creation Museum.

    Its a shame that you put beliefs above facts.

  • Bones

    Why would an unbeliever lie? A believer would, like frauds like Ron Wyatt (the Ken Ham of archaeology). The Evidence against the Exodus piles up. Oh and let’s not forget that Egypt had large garrisons in Canaan. Let’s pretend they went home. And let’s ignore that Judges contradicts Joshua over the genocidal conquests. (The Israelites had to hide in the hills because the Canaanites had chariots and God couldn’t defeat them! lol Just as well they didn’t have tanks) And why do these cities keep getting slaughtered to a man (or baby) by the Israelites yet rise up again a couple of chapters later? Is this Terminator 6 or what?

    Here’s some more light reading on the contradictions of Exodus.

    Non‐existent cities

    Many of the places mentioned in the Exodus did not exist within the same chronological period as one another. Pithom (Per‐Atum/Tckenu) and Raamses (Per‐Ramesses), the two “treasure cities” claimed to have been built by the Hebrews, never existed at the same time. Pithom did not exist as a significant settlement before the 26th Dynasty. Prior to this, the settlement was known as Tckenu, and was still referred to as such in the Ptolemaic period, and was an obscure garrison town which mainly, if not exclusively, served as a waystation for Egyptian expeditions. Even in its enlarged Roman state, the town barely registered on either Egyptian or Greco–Roman accounts.[9] Per‐Ramesses, the Royal Residence of the Ramessides, was abandoned at the end of the New Kingdom, centuries earlier.[9]

    Signs of national chaos or collapse

    All of the dates put forward by advocates of the historicity of Exodus fail to correspond to any period of national weakness or chaos in Egypt, as would be expected by such a series of disasters.

    Ussher’s 1491 BCE date corresponds with a time of ambitious Egyptian expansion. The reign of Hatshepsut was stable, peaceful and saw extensive construction projects and trading missions; this is known from actual material remains as well as Egyptian records. Her successor, Thutmose III, took Egypt to its greatest imperial extent, forging an empire from the Euphrates to the 4th and possibly the 5th cataract. These are not the signs of a nation that, just a few years before, had lost its entire harvest, its drinkable water, its army and its sons. There is no archaeological evidence at all of mass death and impoverishment in the early New Kingdom period.

    The same holds true for the period of Ramesses II. Although there were a few brief reigns after Merenptah, and what appears to be an attempt to interfere with the line of succession (the Chancellor Bey affair), there is no evidence of national catastrophe. Not long after, during the reign of Ramesses III, the state was still able to construct numerous massive monuments (such as Medinet Habu and the temple of Ramesses III within the Karnak complex) and mount effective military campaigns on both land and sea.

    Edom

    Edom was not yet a nation. In fact, the region wasn’t even inhabited yet. The place the Hebrews stop at wasn’t even built until 800 BCE. However, the latest the Exodus could have occurred and still be biblically accurate is in the 13th century BCE.

  • archaeologist

    Some years ago, I read an article by a companion of Ron Wyatt’s an din it he said that wyatt suffered from a disease that altered his perception of what he was looking at.

    I will have to see if I can find it again so he may have been medically off. As for Ken Ham, I do not think he is lying that is your subjective opinion

    The problem with the rest of your post is that you cherry pick which archaeologist or historian you will take comments from.

  • archaeologist

    uhm…the flat earth idea came from the secular world first. The ancients greeks taught it long before any christian was accused of saying there was a flat earth and I suspect that the idea did not originate with the greeks but possibly with earlier secular civilizations

  • Eva

    The pope is against the act of homosexuality and spoke openly against gay marriage.

  • David Cohen

    Eratosthenes of Cyrene made a very close calculation of the circumference of the Earth during the 3rd century BCE. He also made a good calculation of the tilt of the Earth on its axis.

    If the Ancient Greeks were promoting a flat Earth, he apparently didn’t get the memo.

  • archaeologist

    you obviously cherry pick your examples and do not read what others write.

  • David Cohen

    I provided an example. You did not. Anyone who is still reading this thread can easily spot which of us has read about this subject

  • Eric Schramm

    No problem. Constantine was 1600 years ago. That was two centuries The Church had absolute power over Europe. The Catholic Church really came into power in about the year 600

  • Phil Montgomery

    Here’s the problem with “Christian” archeology, they will use any spec of evidence to make a connection, they are biased, and if they found something that disproved christianity, they would hide it, they aren’t to be trusted.

  • archaeologist

    the pot calling the kettle black

  • Phil Montgomery

    No, majority would say you’re wrong.

  • archaeologist

    you would need to provide legitimate, verifiable, specific examples to support your statement. so far you have just made false accusations and ignore what secular archaeologists do.

    you are the one who cannot be trusted

  • Phil Montgomery

    No I really don’t have to do that, because I could give 2 tail wags what you think 🙂

  • TaschTasch

    I am late to the party, but I would like to know how Paul’s words read in the original. As far as I know, the word “homosexuality” has no equivalent in the languages used and people self-identifying as homosexual was unknown at the time. It was common in classical-era Greece and Rome for men to take young boys or males slaves to bed but these men would not have self-identified as homosexuals. They were usually wealthy men who “laid with other men” to gratify their lusts without running the risk of siring bastards. Since most of this activity took place with slaves and boys as the partners being penetrated, the sex was also probably coercive. I really do not think Paul is talking about actual homosexual people who only (or mostly only) feel desire for their own sex and are engaged in loving, monogamous relationships. Your gay neighbour and his boyfriend are not morally equivalent to ‘gay-for-the-stay’ prison rapists or pedophiles.

  • Something to think about when it comes to your belief that mankind is evil: then God created us evil.

    The Bible says that when God created mankind, he called us “very good.” Also, I don’t agree that if given the choice humanity will always choose evil over good. If that were true, we would be in a completely evil world by now. Just something to think about. And I know this is an old post. 🙂

  • Jesus is the Word. The Bible simply points us to him; it is not him.