hate the sin

hate the sin August 28, 2012

love the sinner hate the sin cartoon drawing by nakedpastor david hayward

There are just so many problems with that idea I can’t even try to begin! For example… right off the bat homosexuality, never mind homosexual activity, is a sin.

But more than that, it attempts to draw a line between the person and his or her state of being, his or her life. It fragments the person, which is violence.

What if heterosexuality was a sin? How could one say, “We love you as a person, but we hate heterosexual behavior, and we have no respect for your orientation as a heterosexual. Even your being heterosexual is problematic.” How could you even begin to divide a person in such a way?

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Syl

    David Hayward, you’re a good man. 🙂

  • thanks Syl… already getting hate for this one though LOL.

  • Vanessa

    well, my daughter is gay and i am grateful for people like you standing up for her and for me for supporting her <3 (she has recently returned to church for the first time in 7 years and fortunately it is gay positive)(i haven't returned to church in 2, but that's another story :P)

  • thanks vanessa. why not come over to http://davidhayward.ca and tell us about it 🙂

  • thanks vanessa. why not come over to http://davidhayward.ca and tell us about it 🙂

  • Gary

    I do not believe the orientation or the act is sinful. I do not say this because I simply disregard scripture…I say it because I have spent much time evaluating the arguments from both sides and frankly the homophobic argument simply does not stand up to proper textual criticism. I am 100% convinced we have translated our prejudice INTO scripture.

    And I have come to abhor the saying “Hate the sin but love the sinner”.

  • Albert

    I was wondering if you’re saying that it’s impossible to “love the sinner, and hate the sin”, or that homosexuality isn’t in the sin category.

  • that’s another topic. the topic of this cartoon is the circular and therefore faulty reasoning behind this saying. and i’m not willing to say that homosexuality is in the sin category.

  • Albert

    I guess I don’t understand the circular reasoning. What do you mean?

  • Charles Hubbard

    I speak on behalf of God… so let me clear up a few things for you.

    We are to love sinners and hate their sin. You artwork is deceptive. Demons don’t want you to love the sinner and hate the sin. So you need to get rid of that.

    READ JUDE 1:23
    snatch others from the fire and save them; to others show mercy, mixed with fear–hating even the clothing stained by corrupted flesh.

    ABOUT YOUR MY THEOLOGY GRAPHIC
    MY THEOLOGY is based on the Bible and my understanding of God. It does not keep me from God.

    You will find MY THEOLOGY in Psalm 107:13-14… Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and He saved them from their distress. He brought them out of darkness and the deepest gloom and broke away their chains.

  • circular in that you love the person, hate the sin, the sin is the person’s orientation, life and being, therefore the person is the sin, therefore you hate the person.

  • wow charles! finally! i’ve waited all my life for someone like you who actually speaks on behalf of god!

  • Gary

    I don’t know who this Charles Hubbard dude is…but he sure is a hoot.

    Speaks “on behalf of God”…RIGHT.

    LOL

  • Homosexuality is not good for the whole of society, nor is it good for the individual, and that is why it is a sin.

    It has nothing to do with hating anyone.

    If everyone where homosexual then societies would crumble and disappear.

    God’s ideal is one man, and one woman. That is what should be encouraged by society.

    We have gay people in our congregation. We love them and they love us. But we won’t affirm or advocate anyone’s sin. Not theirs. And not our’s. Whatever the sin may be.

  • Gary

    “God’s ideal is one man, and one woman. That is what should be encouraged by society.”

    No it’s not Steve. This is merely your opinion of what “God’s ideal” is. You have no more right to speak on behalf of God than Charles does.

  • Like you Steve to come on and preach exactly the opposite of what the cartoon says. But that’s okay. That’s allowed here. But who in the world wants everyone to be homosexual? Geez man!

  • Wendy

    I speak for me. David, you ROCK!!!

  • I didn’t say that anyone wants everyone in the world to be homosexual.

    It’s about what is best for society as a whole, as well as what is good for the individual.

    Something that is truly good, is good for everyone.

    Homosexuality is not good, either for the individual, or society as a whole.

    Not that we don’t love gay people. We do. My boss is gay, and I love him. And I like him. He is a Christian. He realizes that being gay is a sin. As I realize that the things that I do that are sinful are not the ideal for myself, or the community at large.

    But we have a Savior.

  • Syl

    I think Charles Hubbard’s comment is satire – regardless, I agree with Gary – he’s a hoot!

    Now, Steve Martin, I’d like for you to tell me how my admin assistant having a loving committed relationship with another woman, with whom she’s building a life – someone who has stood by her through serious illness as well as in health, who has been at her side through better or worse, and who would like to remain with her for as long as they both shall live – is bad for society and bad for them.

    I think about the teacher who was kind and encouraging to me when I was a teenager in need of encouragement and would like to know how her multi-decades-long loving committed monogamous relationship with her same sex partner is remotely bad for society or bad for them. Her sexuality was not “out there” – I found out about her orientation years after graduating from high school. Contrary to “not being good for society” this woman and her partner were of great benefit to society – and their relationship harmed no one but instead greatly benefited both of them.

    I’d like to know what it is that the young man who worked for me did that was so awful that he should deserve the judgement heaped upon him – oh, that’s right, his fiancee is also male. Yes, his conscientious work, generosity, creativity, and desire to live his life with someone he loves is a real detriment to society. It would just collapse if everyone were so sinful. On the contrary, it would be much better if more people had half his character and integrity.

    “If everyone were homosexual…” Well, duh! But no one, anywhere, has ever argued (seriously) that everyone should be gay. Honestly, is it really so hard to understand? About 10% of the human population – and about the same percent of numerous other species, as well – are naturally attracted to those of their same gender. Is it different than the majority? Yes. Does that therefore make it bad? No.

    The same kind of crap was said about left-handers centuries ago. It was evidence of rebellion and sin and demonic influence and all kinds of other bogey-man suspicion People were shunned and worse because their handedness orientation was “unnatural and against God’s order”. Creative beings that we are, people can scripture-mine for just about anything that gives them the willies to demonstrate it’s against God’s will or law or the divine or natural order.

    One man, one woman… Ah, yes. Tell that to the biblical patriarchs. If you’re going to give me a line about “the customs of the day” I’ll toss it right back at you – the custom of the current day has been “one man one woman”, but it’s a custom which will hopefully morph into “two consenting adults in a committed relationship” with gender a non-issue. You know what will happen if we “let the gays have their way”? We’ll have about 10% of the adult population in same sex relationships. The difference will be that those folks won’t have to hide or have the shame card played simply for who they are.

    And might I suggest a meditation on Leviticus the next time you shave or enjoy a cup of clam chowder.

  • Gary

    Bravo Syl…very well written!!

  • Trevor

    If I hate my own sin but love myself, am I a circle or a square?

  • Syl

    Trevor, you’re certainly not a square. Squares hate their sin and themselves – that’s why they’re so straight-laced.

    (Sorry, bad pun…)

  • I can only speak for myself and my experiances. I suppose I should start by saying that I am bisexual, not gay. I’ve been in a long term relationship with another man and I found it to be…let’s say unhealthy. As time went by my voice, mannerisms, and even personality slowly changed. I became more passive; more feminine. Long story short it changed me, I wasn’t myself anymore. Much like those who have suffered clinical depression aren’t themselves anymore, but don’t realize it till medication has evened them back out. My best friend is gay. For years you couldn’t tell, but after being in a relationship for years now he is “obvious.” He just isn’t the same guy. I think that homosexuality is a much more complicated thing than most people want to admit. One side thinks it’s sinful and comdemns it. The other says it’s natural and applauds it. All of us are broken, just in different ways. All of us are sinful. I think it is dangerous to pick out any one sin and make it worse than the rest, however it is just as dangerous to claim “I’m ok, you’re ok.” We must admit our brokeness and learn to depend on God because of it. Like St. Paul says, “When I am weak, then I am strong.”

  • Liza

    There is plenty evidence that the KJV of the Bible has plenty errors in it. I have had people argue that there are other translations. The KJV is the most popular…revised versions just drop the thou and thee stuff and put it in plain English language and other translations are controversial, to say the least.

    How about we address the fact that God’s word was originally written in Hebrew. There are lessons online, done by Jewish people, scollars, that show what scriptures are actually teaching, and this isn’t just about the “gay” scriptures. There are other errors in the Bible.

    Now we are into Hebrew text. First of all, there is a distiction between Jews and Gentiles. If you cannot trace your bloodline back to Israel, then you are a Gentile. While you serve the same God as the Jewish people, their practices are not the same as ours, nor are we expected to live the same as them. We are separate. Their laws are ancient. The translations of those laws is flawed.

    Let’s take into consideration how, according to the New Testament, Paul says women are to remain silent…and how, according to Paul, women are basically the inferior sex. Is this really true? Women had to fight for equal rights because people honestly believed this to be true and the laws and attitudes of a lot of men kept them from being equal. But if you were to look up such scripture and see what is actually being said, Paul wasn’t putting down women. The one about women having to be silent in church…this was pertaining to a particular situation in which there was some kind of commotion and some women were making the situation more difficult to handle by asking questions that could have been done at home, while alone with the husbands. It was only about having order, not about silencing women. See how an incorrect teaching can lead to widespread beliefs?

    I understand that Christians say “Love the sinner, hate the sin” because they know that God cannot have sin in his presense-the whole reason Jesus said “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” was because when he took on the entire world’s sins God had to turn away from him and he would not feel his Father’s presense for that moment. But something Christians seem to have forgotten is that we are supposed to wisdom and understanding, as well as love, when we tell others about God. This phrase “Love the sinner, hate the sin” has mostly been used when talking to Gay people. Saying something like that to anyone is not wise or doing it in love. When a non-believer (and believe it or not, not all gays are non-believers, some are Christians) hear you say “Love the sinner, hate the sin” they only get the perception that the one saying this thinks themselves above others.

    I agree with David, being gay is not a sin. I have researched into this over and over again, and there is no consistant proof that being gay is a sin. I also agree with him that “Love the sinner, hate the sin” when said to a gay person is like saying you hate gays because they were born that way and cannot help that they are gay.

    “Traditional marriage” is another term I am getting tired of hearing. If you want a Biblical marriage, here are some choices for you:

    1.Polygynous Marriage
    Probably the most common form of marriage in the bible, it is where a man has more than one wife.

    2.Levirate Marriage
    When a woman was widowed without a son, it became the responsibility of the brother-in-law or a close male relative to take her in and impregnate her. If the resulting child was a son, he would be considered the heir of her late husband. See Ruth, and the story of Onan (Gen. 38:6-10).

    3.A man, a woman and her property — a female slave (Gen. 16:1) (Gen. 30:4-5)

    4.A man, one or more wives, and some concubines
    The definition of a concubine varies from culture to culture, but they tended to be live-in mistresses. Concubines were tied to their “husband,” but had a lower status than a wife. Their children were not usually heirs, so they were safe outlets for sex without risking the line of succession. To see how badly a concubine could be treated, see the famous story of the Levite and his concubine (Judges 19:1-30).

    5.A male soldier and a female prisoner of war
    Women could be taken as booty from a successful campaign and forced to become wives or concubines. Deuteronomy 21:11-14 describes the process.

    6.A male rapist and his victim
    Deuteronomy 22:28-29 describes how an unmarried woman who had been raped must marry her attacker

    7.A male and female slave
    A female slave could be married to a male slave without consent, presumably to produce more slaves.

    (Taken from here:http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unreasonablefaith/2009/04/the-varieties-of-biblical-marriage/)

    If these are the kinds of marriages that were perfectly fine for Biblical times then why are they not legally widespread and what is considered “traditional marriage” in America now?

    No matter what religious belief someone has no laws should be made just because of that belief. When that happens, other people’s rights are taken away and denied. How are we a nation of freedom if no everyone has the same freedoms? Our forefathers did not want an established religion. Making laws based on religious beliefs and voting for people just because they share your religious beliefs gives this nation an established religion. What about just standing for what is fair and right? You have the right to your religion and freedom of religion protects that. No one is going to force churches to perform gay marriages or even force them to take gays in. You guys don’t want people in your church telling you what to do, but you think you should have your fingers in everyone else’s pies.

  • Gary

    PrayerPunk,

    I AM “ok” thanks to the cross. You ARE “ok” thanks to the cross. I am not “broken”. It really is finished. I did not do this on my own as I was too “weak” so therefor I am truly “strong” thanks to Christ. You can wallow in your misery and self flagellation all you want. As for me…I am free from such enslaved thinking.

    As for whether homosexuality as we understand it ever was sinful…the debate rages on. I do not believe our modern bibles handle the translation correctly and same sex orientation (approximately 90% of the population at any given time) was never meant to be identified as a sinful thing in the first place.

    As for your long term relationship with another man being unhealthy…with all due respect…I have know countless heterosexual relationships that were unhealthy for a host of reasons resulting in similar identity loss and personality change to one or the other partner. Anecdotal proofs really do not prove anything.

  • Gary

    Oops…meant to say same sex orientation was approximately 10% of the population not 90%…LOL

  • Well Gary, you missed it. I never said I was wallowing in anything. I also never said I was out to prove anything. Personal experiances are just that, personal. I didn’t tell the story to say this is how it was for me so that is how it must be for everyone. I wrote that to hopefully make some one just stop and think. I do not have “enslaved thinking.” I am simply not Pharisaical enough to think that everything I do is ok. You make to many assumtions Gary, and you know what that makes you right?

  • Hi prayerpunk. thanks for your honest comment. it’s not very often one hears something so authentic. so i appreciate that. you know… i could say the same thing about heterosexuality. i could say that i’ve changed in many ways being married to the same woman for over 32 years. some are good changes. but some changes are not so good. my wife and i have been talking a lot about this lately. everyone, when they’ve been together for a while, start entangling if they’re not careful. enmeshment. lisa and i recognize that we’ve allowed that to happen to some extent and we want to recover our “selves” and independence and love each other while differentiated. this is not to say heterosexuality is wrong. it’s just that we allowed something to change us, sometimes negatively. same for you… you recognize changes in your life from living as you have. but it doesn’t mean that your orientation or choice of partner is wrong, etc., but that you’ve allowed yourself to change within it in ways you may regret. it’s not impossible to recover yourself. does this make sense?

  • Gary

    No I challenged your statement and provided my own thinking on the matter. It is true that I referred to your wallowing in misery and self flagellation, (perhaps a bit harsh I agree…though it made the point I think) but I am glad you don’t believe this represents you. I must say it very much represents the majority of the Christians I have known.

    As for the many assumptions you seem to think I am making about you…I am at a total loss. If you don’t like my views just say so. No need to imply I am an ass.

  • shelly

    To add to Liza’s excellent comment…

    Let’s remember that Adam and Eve were never married. In fact, if they were living now, most of Christianity would shun them for not only living together but for having sex and children out of wedlock. And let’s not even get started on the incest that had to happen in order for the earth to be populated.

    Meanwhile, you know what is bad for society? Heterosexism. Cissexism. Bigotry. Hatred.

  • I understand exactly what you are saying. As I said I am bisexual, I have been in hetero relationships as well, some not so healthy ones, and the one I am in now which is the healthiest and happiest I have ever known. Sometimes the discussion about homosexuality and sin becomes so abstract. I wanted to inject some humanity into it. We are humans and very little about us is very clear cut. We are messy, our lives are messy. Is homosexuality a sin? I don’t know. I don’t care. Jesus never condemned any sinners. He only condemned those who blinded themselves to their own sin. This is why I don’t understand why we make such a big deal about sin. God loves us and he wants what is best for us. So is homosexuality what is best for us? For most of us the answer is no, but for some it might be yes. There is no blanket anwer is my point. It is not always bad, and as I tried to explainin my story, it is not always good. The world is not black and white and the problem with so many Christians is they see things as either or. Jesus prayed for us to be one as He and the Father are one. So to bring it back around we should not hate the sin, we were made by Love, for Love. Hate has no place in us.

  • i like the way you said that prayerpunk.

  • Gary

    I do too … very much.

  • BC

    There are a lot of commenters that are basing their positions on this matter on their emotions. Unfortunately, the Bible categorizes homosexuality as a sin in both the Old and New Testaments. It is a sin that needs to be repented of and brought to the cross. Jesus’ blood covers it. It does not matter if people are in a committed relationship, the Bible still calls it a sin. Straight people deal with lusts of the flesh as well and lust is akin to adultery.

  • Syl

    I like that too.

    To me, the question is not is a way of being or a relationship or an action sinful, but is it hurtful. Is it healthy for those involved or unhealthy? In the personal instances I noted, the relationships are healthy and the results have been positive for those involved. These are not harmful relationships which are detrimental to the individuals or to society and trying to make them fit that negative mold simply would not be honest. In PrayerPunk’s case, the experience was not positive – if it’s not healthy for you, it’s not right for you. In this, as in everything, we’re individuals.

    Human sexuality is complex – there is no one size fits all that is best for everyone. I think the “sin” is not in being different than the norm, but in trying to force something that isn’t right for you – sacrificing, not in a noble way but a harmful way, who you are, remaining in a relationship or trying to be something you simply cannot be, because that’s what’s expected regardless of the consequences to your wellbeing. That’s not a straight or gay thing – it’s a human thing.

  • Thanks everyone. BC, I think that the issue you have is with defining sin. What does the word mean? I’ve heard it defined as anything falling short of the grace of God, or not being obiediant to HIm. Pride, wrath, lust, greed, envy, sloth, and yes even gluttony are called sins. To me though, these are actually symptoms and not the disease. Sin is seperation from God. That is the real problem. Of course seperated people will do stupid destructive things, but how is throwing rocks at people going to get them reunited with God? We should be reaching out to them. Jesus went to the sick, touched them, and healed them. Why should we be any different?

  • Steve: “Homosexuality is not good for the whole of society, nor is it good for the individual, and that is why it is a sin.”

    Steve, as you didn’t get this from the bible, can I presume you are speaking from personal experience? It would expain why you feel the need to make a judgement call on the subject (because otherwise the relative merits of being straight or gay really wouldn’t concern you).

    Things that are good, are good – agreed. What we are talking about here is for everyone to have the option of marrying someone to whom they can be attracted. Indeed, good for everyone.

    And, were everyone gay, it would hardly destroy society. We could do much worse than a world of loving, committed couples who reproduce through artificial insemination – love, stability and no unplanned pregnancies. Yes, tremble in fear.

    One thing that can be good that might not be good if it applied to everyone is celibacy – advocated for and modeled by both Paul and Jesus (“…and some become eunuchs [non-marrying] for the kingdom…”). I guess you have a better grasp of what’s god for people and society than they do. How would we ever manage to judge right and wrong without you…

  • Furthermore, Steve, by your logic, marrying can’t be good at all: since marrying a woman isn’t good for women, and what is good is good for everyone, than marrying a woman can’t be good for men or for society as a whole; and likewise marrying a man can’t be good either. Hmmm…

  • A Different Michelle

    PrayerPunk, I appreciate what you are saying. That’s where I come from too, if I follow you: We should all be ourselves. Who we’re meant to be. Please forgive me if I miss something or seem to be putting words in your mouth.

    BC, but what about the people who have left comments referring to their studies of scripture? And when you talk about what the Bible says, to which translation(s) are you referring?

  • Gary

    Actually BC – if you study this issue you will find room for an entirely different perspective. You are wrong concerning what the bible says. A very convincing case can be made that what we have translated as homosexuality in our modern translations in no way speaks of what was understood by the original audience.

  • I liked your comment, too, PrayerPunk.

    What is good for all of us, and good for society, is that we all find healthy outlets for our sexuality, however we might classify it. For all of us – whether gay, straight, bisexual or asexual – our sexual orientation in an innate part of us, an immutable characteristic, that cannot and will not be changed, and is ignored at our emotional, psychological, physical, and spiritual peril. Those healthy outlets will not look identical, but they will look the same in terms of the love and joy that they bring into the lives of those in them. Like all else, our sexual relationships or lack of them should be judged on their fruits.

  • Oh, PrayerPunk, I got the impression you were a woman writing about a straight relationship, that made you too effiminate in a way you weren’t normally, which is why it was better for you in your current lesbian relationship. Oops. But, frankly, you did start by saying you were bi, so why would I assume? It works just as well the other way. And I still liked your comments – it hardly changed anything!

  • First of all, we need to understand that this is not a homosexuality issue, but rather a LGBT issue as bisexuals and transgendered people often face similar criticisms from more radical Christians.

    Second, I still cannot see why LGBT people are sometimes refused entry into a church, especially when its members are as sinful (if not more) than they are. It has become so now that many LGBT people are “automatically” atheist as a result of how church members are treating them. Fortunately, though, there are churches that are LGBT friendly and will support people through the good times and the bad together.

    Third, it is nonetheless difficult talking to some LGBT people about God, mainly because of the hatred they have experienced in the past. I know this from experience, having tried to talk to gay friends about this after they have sparked the conversation themselves. They still feel unloved and feel that the Christian church is hypocritical in claiming love for all without expressing it and this sentiment allows them to think that God simply cannot exist. However, with the movement of many churches to be more considerate and caring to LGBT people, more and more of these people are getting to understand and appreciate faith a lot more now.

  • Mark

    I am continually awed by the conversations here, enlightened and sometimes troubled. Very good to hear prayerpunks experiential point of view.Acknowledging the conviction of sin is always a great thing. Liza, also good insight from scripture. Liked the references.

    The fact that the new testament is in question over and over within these conversations cast any person’s faith; whose beliefs are based in part on comments penned by or for Paul, into question. This hasn’t been evidenced in this thread so much; but it does occur, whether cited or not. I can appreciate Charles’s belief that he holds. His belief may or may not have been ingrained in him through years of sitting in pews or not. We do not know. The fact that he is willing to be part of this conversation with the knowledge that his understanding of scripture is in the minority is noted; regardless of the fact that he is probably in the majority in his pews. I am glad he has found it worth his while to take part.

    Growing up in a verbally and physically abusive home due to alcoholism I defaulted to anger and drinking as coping mechanisms as a teen and on through college. Hatred toward my father kept me warm at night. Through the love of some Christian co-workers I saw a different Jesus than I had always heard about. After some q/a sessions I came to see my need for Christ, later in life than some (26years old). In retrospect, growing up in my home environment caused me to love my dad (sinner) but hate the drunken tirades (sin) he would go on. Took years and years of prayer to come to this point. I am the only one of three brothers who considers my father, who is almost at the end of his life, worthy of loving. So don’t act like the homosexual issue is the only one which this phrase pertains to.

    The refining of my beliefs is as fluid as a river bank through bottomland. They meander as my understanding grows of where Christ is calling me. I am still confined to remain in the valley (thankfully! I’ve seen the rest). I think one interesting thing is that some feel compelled to make sure everyone is in the same channel, on both sides of every issue. Our faith is individual and all of those who follow Christ, as we feel the spirit lead in our own lives, will end up down stream eventually (He who began a work within us is faithful to complete it.) The rub with Charles and myself to some degree is that we are also called to “consider how we may spur one another on towards good deeds and love”.

    The problem so many people have is that we feel responsible for the poor choices of others, not that I know whether homosexuality is or isn’t. I just know that when Christ said the great commission he was serious. And when he talked about millstones around necks, cutting off hands, and plucking out eyes; there was a reason. It is because of this; I, who have a great propensity toward drunken “assholeism”, don’t drink to the degree of drunkenness. Drunkenness, not drinking, is clearly sinful, in my reading. And by the perception of many, homosexuality falls into that same category.

    The most important thing that I have learned is this though (which is why I love this sight): we are responsible for ourselves foremost. To continue to grow into what Christ is calling us requires a challenge; and that may come ideologically, physically, emotionally, or just plain talking to people different than you.

    The one thing that never ceases to amaze me is when I am asked what I believe because it may not be obvious enough; and, then I am called narrow minded or some other cliche. Belief may define you to some degree but actions speak much more clearly. Judgement sucks from anybody else. So I try not to. But call me Peter sometimes.

    The fact that I and prayerpunk know we have sinful things in our lives is a large part of what allows God to draw closer. As I stand in the back of the room (some people call them churches) and beat my chest and say God have mercy on me, a sinner; I am going home closer to God. Having your fire insurance isn’t a pass to go around throwing matches.

    Well that was a long enough rant!

  • You will find no condemnation of slavery in the Bible and yet we consider slavery to be extremely immoral. And it is immoral for good reasons. Because Christians have to always clear things with the Bible and its iron age ethics they are always late to the scene.

    If you study the sermons being preached before and during the civil war you will find a wealth of Biblical sermons that endorsed slavery. It is quite easy to do because there are a wealth of endorsements of slavery in the Bible. You can find a number of texts where god clearly orders the implementation of slavery.

    The Klan is essentially a Christian organization. We consider it fringe today, but it was mainline and without the hoods in this country at one time.

    The main argument against slavery in this country was based on the secular idea that all men are created equal. Remember there are no Bible quotes for this idea in The Declaration of Independence. Its basis is from Thomas Jefferson’s statement that it is SELF evident. Early abolitionists lead with this statement because they couldn’t find a condemnation of slavery in the Bible.

    Now if the Bible could be so wrong about a clear ethical failure of slavery, what makes anyone think it has anything to say about sexual orientation or women’s rights?

    Particularly when the Bible clearly considered women as property and orders them to be treated even worse than slaves.

    No one in these comments has made any clear connection with harm and homosexuality. There is no rational argument to indicate that orientation creates dysfunctional people. If this is true, what makes heterosexual people dysfunctional?

    Why do we need to label things as sin? Something is harmful or not. Calling it sin is meaningless because it adds nothing to the understanding. To me, the lumping of things into the sin basket is simply lazy thinking.

    We have 2000 years of philosophical dialog that has far clearer explorations of human behavior than the bible and yet the anti-intellectual tendency of Christianity ignores it and calls all of it sinful.

    To me, the bible simply blocks understanding and insight because of its deeply imbued connection to the violence of iron age ethics.

  • Mark

    Regardless of where the idea of ceasing slavery began it was devout Christians who stepped up to abolish it.
    Look it up…
    Or if you can’t:
    http://www.jubilee-centre.org/document.php?id=51
    or if that one is too “christiany” for you:
    http://histclo.com/act/work/slave/abol/cou/ac-brit.html

  • Gary

    Richard I love the questions you ask in your post. I also struggle with the “iron age ethics” scattered throughout the bible. But I have long ago stopped regarding it as a perfect text so I am willing to look past the human weaknesses there to find many nuggets of wisdom.

    But I especially embrace your question concerning sin. Why DO we need to label “things” as sin? It is my view that “things” are neither sinful nor holy. I was taught that alcohol is sinful. But it seems clear to me (and scripturally supported as well) that alcohol is not sinful…only the abuse of it which causes harm would be. We can apply the same principle to any other action we like including sex. (Even homosexual sex)

    Jesus would seem to agree with your assessment of what is harmful since He summed up an entire ethical code into the concept of love. In fact He carried it further by saying that if we have kept the command to love we have not violated the law. Rules and codes and such truly are meaningless.

    We are so often presented with the argument that to embrace our freedom is to attempt to justify sin. Nothing could be further from the truth. It is to recognize that the nature of sin lies not in a long list of actions that are right or wrong…but in the attitude of the heart. To the majority of the church, for example, sex outside of marriage is considered to always be sinful. (A notion simply not taught in the bible) But if we place sex in the context of Jesus definition we discover marriage has nothing to do with it…only love. A type of love which fits quite well with your do no harm viewpoint. Jesus often broke the letter of the law (which Paul stated kills) to demonstrate the greater principle. In fact I believe His sermon on the mount discourse where He stated that if your right hand causes you to sin to cut it off or to pluck out your offending eye was very well spoken sarcasm. His point, I believe, was that IF these things truly did cause one to be thrown into hell then we should all go around cutting off our limbs to avoid eternal damnation. It is clear that His disciples got the sarcasm as NONE of them felt the need to mutilate themselves. And history clearly records that they would have been willing for such sacrifice had they felt that was what He truly meant.

    I am not sure that I think it is the bible which blocks understanding and insight. But certainly when held up as some sort of perfect entity, which is an attribute reserved for the Divine, it clearly can become a stumbling block on our path to wisdom. Just study history to see the carnage such misguided devotion to the text has wrought over the centuries.

  • BC

    Prayer Punk, Sin can also be defined as failure to do the will of God. God specifically forbids people to have sex with people of the same gender. Now, homosexuality is a sin no different that telling a lie. All sin separates us from God and we can be reunited only through the blood of Christ. However, we must acknowledge our sinfulness, repent and confess it to Jesus. Failure to acknowledge homosexuality as a sin is akin to believing that murder or lying is not a sin. Those that advocate or approve of this lifestyle are dooming people to a bleak eternity.

    Gary, please site some authority that shows that these verses are being misinterpreted. I find it odd that if homosexuality was an accepted practice that God would have given us other examples of it being so. Instead He demonstrates His unaccpetance of the practice via the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. The apostle Paul also has strong words related to the practice of homosexuality. I find it odd that all of these verses are being misinterpreted. If that is the case, it begs the question of the validity of the entire Bible. I will choose to believe the inerrancy of Scripture.

  • Gary

    BC – You are not seriously suggesting that consensual same sex relationships is the reason why God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah are you?

    If you embrace the “inerrancy of scripture” then I suggest you use it to find out why God felt this action was necessary. You will find detailed listings of their sins in at least 3 or 4 locations in scripture and NOT ONCE is homosexuality mentioned.

    Perhaps the God who made sure that this book is “inerrant” simply forgot the chief reason why He wiped out an entire city?

    Seriously…you need to move past the fundamentalist talking points and do a little honest research. Today’s church is deeply divided on this issue and the harm done to so many innocents by your uneducated nonsense needs to be put to an end. People are literally dying at their own hands and the hands of others because of it.

  • I think we’re past the point here of asking each other for references and detailed exegesis. (That sort of thing took up a lot of time.) The information is now so widespread, that if you haven’t found it, it’s because you’ve never looked. Becoming famaliar with all the arguments is the easy part, and seems like a bare minimum you could do before heaping massive burdens on people.

  • bob

    Steve Martin- “Homosexuality is not good for the whole of society, nor is it good for the individual, and that is why it is a sin.”

    Wow! So Steve KNOWS why homosexuality is a sin…because it is not “good”. Is watching TV “good” for society or the individual? I say no it is not. Should I proclaim that activity as a sin? There are many activities that are not “good” for society or individuals…what ever the hell that means, but are not necessaraly harmful to society. Looks to me like Steve is saying that anything that is not “good” for societies or individuals is a sin. Now all we need is a definition of “good”.

  • Mark,

    I think it’s important to note which branch of Christianity was influential in the abolitionists movement. The Quakers. They aren’t exactly fundamentalists. Their thinking would be far closer to secular humanists than Christians. They certainly aren;t Biblical literalists.

    The point of my post is that the ideas presented against slavery had their roots far more based in secular rationalism than the Bible. The Bible makes it difficult to be anti-slavery particularly when you have god ordering it.

    The main argument presented by most abolitionists in the United States was that all men are created equal being was self evident.

    I think it is self evident that homosexuality doesn’t harm anyone. And I don’t think the world is in any danger of lacking population. LOL

    I also think that equality of women is self evident.

    The Bible doesn’t agree with that in large portions of its teaching. That’s hardly an infallible text.

  • BC

    Gary, Yes, I believe that homosexuality was one of the reasons that Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed. The inhabitants were evil. They attempted to have relations with the two angels that visited Lot. The inhabitants were depraved.

    I believe in the word of God. From it, I believe homosexuality to be a sin. God calls the practice an abominable practice. There are absolutely zero positive references to homosexual practice in the Scriptures.

    You are welcome to believe what you wish. There are eternal consequences involved in this matter.

    Unfortunately, the viewpoint that homosexuality is not a sin is leading people that fail to repent and turn from this immoral/abominable practice straight to an eternity of immense suffering.

  • BC: I love how you, like so many others who take your line of reasoning, always have to get one shot below the belt about eternal consequences for disagreeing with you… I mean with God.

  • Gary

    BC – I would wager we can find a few things you are guilty of that were called an “abominable practice”. Do you eat shellfish? (Lev 11) How about pork? (Isaiah 66) Do any of the women in your family wear pants? (Deut 22) Of course there are many more.

    I have included scripture references so you will be able to read for yourself the reasons YOU are to be sent “to an eternity of immense suffering”.

    For the actual record…the word homosexual was introduced to your bible in 1973 by translators under the influence of very misguided and bigoted religious leaders. Look it up.

    Your defense of your previous characterization of the biblical account of the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah reveals a person who has flatly refused to engage in even the most basic of educational pursuits. You claim to have an allegiance to this book you believe to be “inerrant”…yet you won’t even study it or the peoples who it was written about and to.

    Praise God your kind of fundamental bullshit is being called out today and recognized for what it is…a gross perversion of the true message of Jesus.

    Yes this message to you is worded very strongly BC. There are few topics that I believe justify such harsh rebuke. But the assault on GLBT people by the fundamental christian religion is at the very top of that list. People are literally DYING because of the ignorance of people like you. And finally the church is waking up and beginning to correct that great travesty.

  • Ah, Gary, you are wonderful. Unfortunately, your interlocutor’s name reflects the time period of his mentality – BC. Trying to heap an ancient written Jewish code on modern Gentile Christians (and non-), tellingly without even an understanding of said code and a complete indifference to the message of Jesus and to the accounts in the very bible being worshipped in His place.

    You might not be able to win them all over, but others have and will be touched by your reason, devotion and compassion. And if some days, you’re only preaching to the choir, this choralist, among others I’m sure, greatly appreciates it.

  • Mark

    I love name calling and elevating ones self to the level of enlightened when others disagree with your assessment of what the bible says. Your articulation clearly reveals your level of enlightenment and educational superiority. But your articulate name calling demonstrates the childishness you possess. This kind of attack is exactly why no dialogue can be settled because there is no correct answer by our finite minds. There has and always been disagreement and strife on this planet. I’m not killing homosexuals. But your mentality is as such: if you are not for me you are against me. It is a false statement. If you feel like holding murderous assholes to count; stop buying foreign supplied gas from the middle east. There is a worthy boycott.

  • Mark – Who are you talking to?

  • Gary

    Yes Mark you go right on defending those “murderous assholes” as you call them.

    “elevating ones self to the level of enlightened”

    “articulate name calling demonstrates the childishness you possess”

    Oh Mark you are truly a hoot. Is this an exercise in parody or are you really this blind to the incredible irony in your words?

  • what mark? really?

  • Gary

    Thanks Christine. You know I will continue to stand with you against those who would seek to dehumanize you for being the person God created you to be.

  • BC

    Gary, Ah yes, I stand corrected the Bible says that to lay with another man as he would a woman. I call that homosexuality which was a word not in vogue during the time the Scriptutes were translated.

    As for the shellfish, women in pants angle. Nice try. If you were the enlightened Biblical scholar that you are attempting to be, you would realize that the law handed down contained two separate aspects. One of which is a moral code that still remains in effect. I suppose you would argue that it is ok to have sex with your father’s wife as well or perhaps your aunt?

    As for the eternal aspects. Please consider the following verses. Matthew 7:21-23. There will be a lot of people that day that have read the Word, studied it and yet failed to accept its true meaning. Those words seem to be directed to people that think they have it all covered and worship a false Jesus. Just a hint God HATES sin and His word clearly depicts what is sin. By trying to justify homosexuality as a normal, God ordained activity, you are trying to pound a square peg into a round hole. It will not work.

    I am secure in the knowledge and belief that I am a sinner, born in sin, struggle with sin daily but yet I look to Jesus Christ as the One who by His shed blood paid the price of my sins. I am secure in the knowledge and belief that I will spend eternity with Him. I daily repent of my sins. On my own accord, I am not worthy of the Grace he freely bestowed at Calvary.

    As for studying the word…it is a daily practice. While I obviously have not achieved the scholarly level that you seem to indicate that you possess, I pray for the Spirit to enlighten me to illuminate what He wants me to understand. His knowledge, seeing that He is the author, far surpasses any human understanding. In summary, I take the Word as presented to be the Word of God, inerrant and complete. My premise is to accept it in faith. Once we begin doubting it and changing it to fit our depraved human desires, we risk rendering the entire message as meaningless and no different than any other literature. It is all a matter or the perspective you approach it from.

  • BC

    Mark, I agree, denigrating statements are a hallmark of people that are unable to justify a position with solid facts. They tend to resort to the tactic of attempting to destroy the opposition with namecalling and other condescending remarks. Yet, they are the first to claim being tolerant and loving. I am fairly accustomed to it.

  • BC

    nakedpastor, the end game to me is where we spend eternity. According to the Words of Jesus, there will be many people that will believe that they are secure in their eternal destiny but yet will be truly shocked when He tells them that He never knew them. How do we know Him? By reading His word and believing on Him to have paid the ransom for our sins. In order for us to reach that point we must recognize what sin is, repent of it and rely solely on the shed blood of Jesus Christ as the means for us to spend eternity with God.
    Paraphrasing the words of Paul, adulterors, fornicators or the sexually immoral will not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Only those that repent and turn from those acts will be able to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. I am NOT saying that people that struggle with homosexuality are destined for hell as the blood of Jesus covers that sin as it does all others. However, one must recognize that it is a sin before one can repent of it. So, yes, eternal consequences do ride on this matter.

  • Nah. I think a lot of theology and how one reads the bible (which can’t be helped, but you know that)… is determined by our cultural sensitivities. It’s circular… our society is entrenched in sexism, which was nourished by the bible and christianity, which was nourished by the culture of its day. the basic thrust of the story of Jesus is that all have been reconciled and all are one. anything else, even the daintiest theology, that divides people into sinners and saints goes against the spirit. frankly.

  • Convenient that people who argue that way about the law know that anything *they* do was just in the temporary purity code, and anything they find disgusting or uncomfortable they know was in the moral, eternal part. God forbid we use… I don’t know… HEBREW to make that distinction. Or, you know JESUS’ own interpretation. Yes, what makes you feel slimy is a much better barometer.

  • BC

    Have you ever thought that perhaps God provided that level of order as far back Genesis in the garden of Eden. But hey, believe what you wish. Someday we will find out what is right and wrong. I am by no means claiming a corner on having it all figured out. But then again, no human does. Until then, I will believe the Word as written, worship and revere God, confess my sins, seek forgiveness and rely on Jesus for my salvation. Seems like that is the best way for me.

  • BC

    Christine, not sure what you are trying to say. If you are saying that Jesus was down with homosexuality…I will disagree. Jesus NEVER ok’d homosexuality. If you can find a passage where He did so…please share.

  • Right, when your Sodom and Gomorrah argument failed, you went to your law argument. When your law argument didn’t work, you went for the Genesis argument. If we debate Genesis, when that stops working for you, we’ll have Timothy and Corinthians, and then when that fails, we’ll go to Romans. And when if that is shown to be devoid of substance, you’ll creep back to natural law and circal back to the law and Genesis and we’ll start all over. It’s so predictable, it’s sad.

    On Jesus, I specifically said His interpretation of the law – that all the law on loving God and others. Anything not loving, it the wrong interpretation. Everything loving He thereby ok’ed, yes. And I, quite frankly, don’t care about your personal assessment about whether my marriage is loving – even if it were any of your business.

  • BC – If you really don’t believe you’ve got a monopoly on knowing everything, and if you really intend to just “believe the Word as written, worship and revere God, confess my sins, seek forgiveness and rely on Jesus for my salvation”…

    Then why can’t you just let others do the same?
    Why bother coming out here to say that gay people shouldn’t be accepted?
    Why decide that you can determine who goes to hell (any person who has sex with someone of the same sex and doesn’t specifically repent of it)?
    Why assume you intrinsically know what the bible says and God believes on the matter when you clearly haven’t even bothered to do your homework?

    If you’re here out of some misguided sense of duty to others – please go away. We’ve heard it all before (you’re only making your side look bad, anyways) and have decided differently. Let us be.

  • faithlessinfatima

    And…despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary, some obstinates continue to believe that their Sky God wrote a series of books.What would their religion be like if they didn’t believe this?

  • Gary

    “Why assume you intrinsically know what the bible says and God believes on the matter when you clearly haven’t even bothered to do your homework?”

    So well spoken Christine. This perfectly sums up the problem of attempting to reason with closed minded fundamentalists like BC here. They truly embrace their ignorance out of some misguided devotion for fear they might waver in their commitment to the accepted dogma.

    You are right…it is very sad. I would not care if it did not create victims out of an entire group of people who pay a horrible price for this type of ignorance.

  • BC

    Christine,

    I have never conceded the Sodom and Gomorrah argument. In fact the term “sodomite” was used to describe homosexual activity for a long time. In fact the KJV uses the term. Not convinced that homosexuality was not one of the reasons that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed.

    Why do I care about the gay issue? Our nation will, and possibly is currently being punished for normalizing these abominable practices. As a Christian, I am not comfortable with those that teach false teachings. The acceptance of homosexuality as being a normal, acceptable practice when the Bible clearly states otherwise, is a cause for the spiritual welfare of those that are straying from the path. The Israelites in the Old Testament were severely punished when they strayed from what God ordained as a proper lifestyle. The same will happen to us if we continue down this path.

  • BC

    Gary,

    I attempt to live within the Word of God. I accept it as absolute. Your open minded views (and lack of faith) allow evil forces to persuade you to accept what God has never intended to be acceptable.

  • BC: How is your assertion “Our nation will, and possibly is currently being punished for normalizing these abominable practices” true?

  • BC

    nakedpastor, God does not tolerate wilful disobedience. He punishes sin. Look no further to the Old Testament for examples of how he pours out His wrath. We kill our babies before they are born, we teach in our schools that God did not create the world, we allow same sex marriages, we tolerate all sorts of heresy in the name of love. He will punish us unless we turn back and revere Him and obey Him.

  • i know you believe that BC. but i was wondering what you meant by punishing America. how is he doing that now?

  • BC

    naked pastor, if one looks at the current state of the economy, the widespread drought, the unemployment situation, the rise leaders that are not God fearing. America is idolatrous. Just my observation and opinion.

  • Gary

    “Your open minded views (and lack of faith) allow evil forces to persuade you to accept what God has never intended to be acceptable.”

    Wow BC – I never realized the depth of your need to hang on to ignorance. You refuse to even follow the command to study to show yourself approved. You know NOTHING of my spiritual condition or journey yet you believe YOU and YOU ALONE know what is wrong with me and obviously EVERY other person who dares challenge your views. You have openly revealed a profound unwillingness to even study the issue God loving Christians all over the world have held up to the standard of God’s love and found views like yours to be lacking. Even by your standard of absolute devotion to scripture, (biblioletry) your homophobic bigotry does not stand up to honest textual criticism. But I am done wasting my breath on you. Your closed minded state, and clear biblioletry, make any effort at productive dialogue with you completely pointless.

  • BC

    Gary,
    So you are calling belief in the Word of God ignorance? I will continue to hang unto this “ignorance.” True, I do not know you, but your spiritual condition is somewhat revealed in that you simply do not have the faith the believe in the written Word of God.

    God calls homosexuality “abominable”. How can you twist it differently? I have on a couple of diffent occasions asked you to show me anywhere in the Word approval of this depraved and abmoninable act. Unless one repents and turns from this lifestyle and relies on Jesus’ blood for forgiveness, there is no hope nor accpetance for those that live in this forbidden lifestyle. Unfortunately they are hopeless and without God until they repent from the sin and turn to Christ.

  • Jon Topping

    Isn’t your concept showing the reason why homosexuality is so dangerous? The fact that it’s more than just a sinful act, it’s a sin that the person actually defines themselves by.
    If the “love the sinner, hate the sin” approach is wrong, then what is right? Are you saying homosexuality is not a sin? Or that we shouldn’t love sinners? Or that we shouldn’t hate sin?

  • I am not willing to say homosexuality is a sin. that’s right.

  • Gary

    BC – God calls lobster abominable. Have you ever eaten one? Or a clam or shrimp? How can you twist it differently?

    Seriously…your arguments are some of the weakest I have encountered since I left the VERY BLIND fundamentalist church.

    LOL

  • BC

    Gary,
    As stated above, this is an old outdated argument concerning the moral code versus the civil code. Surely you are aware of this distinction. Or are you ok sleeping with your aunt as well as another man? Please try to find something in the Word that contradicts the fact that homosexuality is a sin.

  • BC

    naked pastor, You are a man that has studied the Bible. What Biblical basis do you have to refute the plainly worded verses contained in Scripture that homosexuality is a sin?

    Am I correct that you also support the Sophia or re-imagining heresies?

  • Gary

    BC – You represent everything most on this site have moved beyond. Your kind are a gross perversion to everything Jesus represented.

  • BC

    Gary, Pray tell on what Scriptural authority have the people on this site moved beyond? Tell me please how I am a gross perversion to what Jesus represented. Rather, my kind understands the meaning of the cross and lives it out. We do not attempt ignore that we are sinners. We struggle with sin but acknowledge what sin is. Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to “Go and sin no more.” Your kind needs to repent of your perverted and wicked lifestyle and find the true Jesus as manifested in the Word of God. Your kind is idolatrous in that they seek to please themselves and worship their own depraved lifestyle instead of yielding to God. By failing to repent and humble themselves before Christ, their eternal outlook is bleak.

  • Gary

    My kind BC? What exactly IS MY KIND?

  • Gary

    And you are clueless about what is “plainly worded” because you are to damn lazy (or scared of the truth) to study the verses and read the history of translation and cultures and everything else pertaining to them.

    For the record I taught the bible to adults for 25 years in fundamental churches that taught exactly the same nonsense you come on here and spew fourth. I also pastored a church for a time. I dare say I know it far better than you…and have a much greater respect for it than you have demonstrated since I do not worship it as a member of the Godhead. It is NOT a 4th member of the trinity you know.

    And all of your continued accusations about my “perverted and wicked lifestyle” is just another example of your gross ignorance because you make accusations for which you have NO knowledge and NO understanding.

    I am glad you came though. Perhaps we all needed a fresh reminder of the ugliness most of us have left behind. You disgust me!!

  • Syl

    Ah, “my kind” versus “your kind”. My tribe versus your tribe. My true people versus your something-less-than people. My nanny-nanny-boo-boo versus your “I know I am but what are you”.

    Here we come to the crux of it all. Who can wield the heaviest club?

  • Gary

    This isn’t about wielding clubs Syl and I don’t claim a “kind”…it is about unfounded attacks and false accusations. BC here seeks to exclude everyone who does not meet his definition of a “Christian”. It is everything most of us have left the church for. It is ugly. It is disgusting. It is vile. IT is HATE!

    And innocents are still dying because of it.

  • BC

    Gary,

    It sounds like you lost your bearings. I have continually asked you to provide Scriptural evidence of God’s acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle. You have not done so. When you are unable to win by fact you resort to name calling. Call me clueless but the Bible is replete with negative references to homosexuality. Where are the positive references. You purport to be the pastor, as a result your Biblical knowledge far surpasses mine, but yet you fail to offer any convincing proof aside from character assassination.

    To me, all I can do is accept the Word of God as the absolute authority. I accept it in faith and choose not to inject cultural and other insinuations to justify depravity. That Word rejects homosexuality and NEVER approves of it. Once we begin to whittle away at the Word as the absolute authority, the whole thing becomes worthless. It is evident that you have lost your faith in the absolute authority of Scripture. Remember God does not change. What was sin is still sin.

    I am sorry you had a bad experience in a church. Satan and his minions work overtime to create issues in churches.

  • Actually, BC, one of the problems with your position and so many others is that you assume the total inerrancy of scripture and automatically require everyone who listens to you to subscribe to that same belief. You say the Bible is “replete” but I think not. Absolutely not. And biblical scholars on both sides of the debate point to scripture for support. It’s an endless quagmire. But what if Gary and others respect the Bible but hold to a different view of its inspiration and authority? They may still “love the Word of God” but read it with totally different eyes, which is obvious anyway.

  • Syl

    Gary, I was responding to BC’s telling “your kind” remarks and us versus them mentality. It’s in keeping with the tribalism and tribal origins of much of the the doctrine he has been claiming as the one and only correct reading of ancient writings.

    My disagreement with your response above is that I wouldn’t say he disgusts me – dealing with his approach is exasperating and the dogmatic ideology he promotes is certainly in the disgusting category, but I wouldn’t characterize a person whom I only know through a few heated posts as disgusting.

  • BC

    Gary, I call it love and not hate. Hate is when someone wishes ill to someone. I, truly am concerned about those mired in behaviour unacceptable to God. I see it no differently than a swimmer heading towards the Niagra Falls. If I hated the person my reaction would be to let them keep on going. I do not want to see people perish and eternally regret their failure to acknowledge Jesus as Lord and repent of their sins. That is love and not hate. By pointing out the error as illustrated by Scripture it is an act of love and not hate.

  • BC

    Syl, If you read the history of my interaction with Gary it should be obvious that Gary has on more than one occasion resorted to hostile labels for me. In fact, the your kind that I used was just a play on the language he previously directed at me.

    Ancient writings…do you believe that these writings were inspired by God or merely the works of men? If they are inspired by God, please tell me why they should be interpreted differently today than when God originally spoke them into existence. If they are the mere words of men to be interpreted freely as the culture dictates why should we heed them?

  • Gary

    BC I have already corrected your error with regard to Sodom and Gomorrah and your response, in direct violation to your claim to accept biblical authority, was that regardless YOU believe what you want to about it anyway. I won’t waste time educating you on the theological implications of your view regarding homosexuality since you have proven your unwillingness to even live by your own standard. Truth is…committed same sex consensual relationships were never forbidden in the bible and the term homosexual was not even present in your bible till the 1970’s. (I have no doubt you will reject this information as you are unwilling to check any facts for yourself.) Unless you are willing to educate yourself there is no hope of a profitable discussion.

  • Gary

    Syl – Thanks for the clarification. Had I phrased my comment in the way you suggest and clarified it was his views and behaviors which disgust me it would have been much more in line with my actual intent. This is a very emotionally charged subject to me (though I am not gay I know some great godly believers who are) and I benefit from your reminder to be more clear in my language.

  • BC

    Gary, All you can do is rehash the same tired talking points. Your viewpoint on the destruction of Sodom and Gomorroah is not generally accepted. Historically, the account of the men of the city attempting to have sex with the angels is seen as one of the reasons God destroyed the city. Bear in mind, that the sin of homosexuality is not likely the sole reason but one of a host of depravities that the cities were mired in. As to the reference of homosexuality, the terms “sodomite”, “lay with another man” are synonomous with homosexuality. You continue to fail to provide solid Scriptural authority to justify your position.

    Why are you trying so hard to go contrary to the Word of God? Why not accept it in faith that the lifestyle is sinful and needs to be repented of?

  • Gary

    BC you have provided nothing but disagreement with the scriptural proof already provided based upon your own bias and attempt to call upon “generally accepted” principles as proof. Seriously? With your rabid claims of inerrancy I would think you would handle the scriptures with more respect than that.

    “Contrary to the Word of God”? Laughable considering your outright dismissal of the bible’s own descriptions of those cities merely so you can cling to your bigotry and contempt for those who make you…uncomfortable?

  • Gary
  • BC

    One more time….chapter and verse. I have yet to see it. The simple fact is that you cannot provide proof.

    Your argument that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed because they were unhospitable is what I would call rabid. If you would read what I am saying is that the reason the cities were destroyed were due to a host of sins…including homosexuality. Tell me why did the KJV refer to homosexuals as sodomites? I know you will dispute this claim…but the KJV is regarded by many to be the most accurate translation.

    Also how can a gay person be a Godly person, when they are indulging in an unrepentant sin filled lifestyle?

    If you do not mind…how in your viewpoint is salvation attained? Are all saved or only the repentant?

  • BC

    Gary, Your sources are biased and not objective in the least bit. If I chose, I could link numerous sermons from Sermon Audio and articles that hold contrary opinions but would that change your mind. Sadly, all the articles are the works of depraved men and women and still do not yield any Scriptural authority on the matter.

  • Gary

    Nah…I’m done attempting to reason. Your simplistic calls for a proof text reveal how profoundly your lack of scriptural insight blinds you. You won’t even attempt to engage in any serious study of the issue (which I have done extensively) so why should I care that you are closed minded? I’ll tell you why…because your bigotry harms the innocent and defames Christ. None the less…my breath will be wasted on you no longer. At least others may benefit from my efforts.

  • BC

    I accept no authority other than Scripture. Your opinions are based upon the depraved assertions of men. This matter is not complicated. You either believe the Word or you don’t. You obviously do not.

    How can you call me a bigot? How am I am defaming Christ? I do not want to see anyone spend an eternity separated from God. There is only one way to Him and that is through His Son. We are only brought to Him when we humbly admit that we are sinners, turn from our sin and rely on His attoning work.

    My judgement and opinion are that your efforts will only lead innocents to be cast into hell for an unending amount of punishment. I sincerely hope you are not involved in Biblical instruction, because if you are, then the label of false teacher is applicable.

  • Gary,

    If you take the Bible literally it is very difficult to dispute the fact that it does condemn the practice of homosexuality. So BC is being true to his belief that the Bible is the inerrant word of god.

    This is the problem I have with liberal interpretations of the Bible. It makes not sense to me that a all knowing god would produce such a poor method of communication. As soon as you start picking and choosing you can make the Bible say what ever you want because it takes contradictory positions depending on where you are reading.

    It is easier to defend the idea that the bible is not the word of god, but simply a history of human thought and just as we discard old scientific ideas when we have new information, we discard old philosophical ideas.

    If you are going to use reason to defend your position on homosexuality, why bother with the bible at all? It just seems a lot of unneeded mental gymnastics.

    BC is right in that as soon as you start to engage reason or in BC’s words, the thoughts of men, you are going to dismantle the bible.

    When you turn the light of reason on the basic of idea of god needing a sacrifice of his own son to allow himself to forgive, it becomes just as ridiculous as condemning homosexuality.

    Dan Barker does this reveal rather well in the following YouTube video. http://youtu.be/3E0Bqa97tUI

  • Gary

    I understand your point Richard though I do not concede that the bible is clear on the issue of homosexuality. Current translations would make it appear so…but that view really does not stand up to thorough textual analysis. I was amused by BC’s brief review of my list of resources and a quick conclusion that they were all “biased”. This of course meant that they disagreed with his position and were therefore not worthy of review…LOL Fundys love to only investigate an issue by reading opinions they know represent their beliefs. Not sure how this can be presented as research or study…but then there you have the fundy mind.

  • BC

    Gary, How do you intepret Jude 7? I also perused your references. None of them provide ANY Scriptural authority for your position. I see that you cannot refrain yourself from namecalling. Why the disdain for those that disagree with you?

  • Gary

    No more BC – You told me if I teach then I was a false teacher sending people to hell. I am done reasoning with you.

  • Syl

    BC, every comment on this post has been delivered to my email inbox and read.

    Regardless of what preceded it, when you begin with a statement that references “the people on this site”, lumping those disagree with your doctrine into a homogenous group, then assert that “my kind understands…[doctrinal points which you perceive to be acceptable and righteous]”, and immediately follow it with “your kind needs to repent… [further statements asserting those who disagree with your interpretation and opinions are] perverted… wicked… idolatrous… depraved…” you are making accusations and assertions about people and things of which you have zero knowledge.

    Are you God to judge the minds, hearts, and salvation of others? You know nothing or nearly nothing of what anyone whom you have glibly classified as “your kind” may have endured, lived, believed, prayed, hoped, or trusted God for. You have no knowledge of the abuse, misuse, and living hell that some of “this kind” has endured in the name of “God’s glory” and in “Jesus name”. You have no standing to condemn or judge or state oh so confidently that those who disagree with your interpretation are condemned, perverted, wicked, and on and on with the hellfire and brimstone.

    You may wish to remember the admonition to work out _your own_ salvation.

    What a small god you seem to have, that is constrained by a literal reading and one questionable interpretation of ancient texts which have been translated, retranslated, interpreted, reinterpreted, and redefined over centuries. The view that you hold is your own opinion. Many others may agree with you, but it is still your opinion. You seem to believe, deeply and honestly, that your view is correct and that you are doing the right thing. But many others – not only here – hold very different opinions and believe just as deeply and honestly in the very same God, the very same Jesus, and hold the same hope of salvation.

    Is it by faith, or by works? And if works are fruit that shows the faith is true, then what are the works that manifest that faith? Are they words thrown like rocks and the heavy club of the promise of eternal damnation for disagreement? Or do the works that spring from a faith worth having reflect the acceptance, peace, and loving kindness of a God worth knowing?

    You may also wish to remember that of faith, hope, and love, the greatest is love. And love is defined as patient, kind, long-suffering, and a host of other attributes that do not include judgment or the denigration and dismissal of those who hold different views as damnable, reprobate, and of another “kind”.

    Whenever anyone launches into rhetoric about “my kind” and “your kind” and backs it up with condemnation and demonization (regardless of the proof texts quoted in support) I am reminded of warring tribes and petty kings, us versus them, and the oh so ancient human propensity to all too easily consign “the other” to the status of a non-person worthy of any abuse that is hurled their way. It goes right back to who can wield the heaviest club.

  • BC

    Syl, no clubs being wielded at all. It has to do with humbly obeying, trusting, believing God. Sin is sin. Homosexuality is sin…no matter how you strain to try to justify the behavior as normal and acceptable by God. The Word of God is so abundantly clear on that matter. Adultery, murder, theft, lying all fall into the category of sin as well. The Word again states that sinners need Christ. Failure to repent, turn from the sin and trust in Jesus, according to the Bible will result in eternal damnation. That is not my judgement but rather God’s plan as revealed in Scripture. We would likely have no disagreement if we were discussing murder for example. The words depraved, etc are words found in Scripture that apply to those who do not accept the Truth in faith.

    No judgement being rendered at all. The Word again tells us to turn and repent from sin. Pointing our sinful behaviour in love is something the Apostle Paul advocates us to do.

    The problem today is that we are rebellious and fail to believe and yield to God’s will. We want it our way.

    Another issue is that today many no longer want to believe that the Word of God is the absolute authority. My God is so huge that He can still inspire people to interpret and translate His message accurately. He is not so small that His message is lost in translation or interpretation. One has to accept these premises in faith. If one allows doubt of the accuracy of Scripture to creep in, the entire authority is lost. Then we are left with nothing more than the works of men without value.

    My salvation is not of works but purely of Grace as bestowed upon me through the knowledge that my sins are forgiven through the perfect work of Christ. Good works follow and faith without works is dead. I am still a sinner and struggle with my own sin. However, I am not afraid or ashamed to admit my shortcomings are sinful when held to the purity of God’s word.

    We will likely never agree. However one day the truth will be revealed. Until then, I will continue to trod my path here on earth, trusting and believing God’s word and doing my best to be obedient to it. I will repent of my wrongdoings daily and rest in the assurance of forgiveness through the Grace and Love of Jesus Christ.

  • faithlessinfatima

    And to think it all started with an apple…must’ve been a crabapple..;0

  • Hey BC. I must admit, underneath all your assertions, I honestly have to feel something else is going on. I don’t understand why you, an obvious fundamentalist… and unapologetically so… would find his way to this site and feel comfortable making his assertions here in the context of an obviously more liberal kind of group. I mean, anyone’s welcome to come and participate in the journey… the search. But to come and preach a message absolutely contrary to the spirit of this blog is perplexing to me. To be really blunt, I have to wonder if you aren’t struggling with your convictions and are maybe looking for a community to help you transition out of your dogmatism. Just wondering.

  • BC

    nakedpastor, You pose a good question. In reality, I have no doubts about my faith. My faith has been solid for as long as I can remember.

    Actually, I happened upon this site due to some studying I was doing regarding Mars Hill Church and Mark Driscoll.

    I am deadset against the liberal agenda when it takes positions unjustified via Scripture. I see it akin someone taking meth. You know there are no good things that will come out of it. So I am attempting to shine light on the path to the truth. So those that have strayed from God can see the light back to the Truth.

    My theory is that liberals are too proud to admit that they have to change from their errant ways. They then begin to rationalze ways to remain in their pet sins by twisting the Word of God to make them feel better. They also tend to overemphasize the Love of Jesus as justification without abandoning the sinful behaviour. However Jesus never encouraged people to remain in Sin. He commanded them to stop sinning. Unfortunately, until the pride is swallowed and one turns from their sinful ways and humbly acknowledges that they are a sinner they will never live in the fullness of the Grace of Jesus.

    Sin separates us from God. God hates sin. He sent His Son to die for us to save us from our unrighteousness. All we have to do is receive and believe. One that cannot abandon a sinful lifestyle or one that wants to justify a sinful lifesyle, is incapable of receiving the Grace and Mercy found in Christ. Paul says that in 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.

    No, I am not going to abandon the truth to follow ways that have no Scriptural authority or are outright contradictions to the Word. Hell is too hot for me.

    However, I encourage you to humbly and prayerfully examine Scripture, accepting in faith that it is the inspired, true and complete Word of God. Examine your life and see where it falls short according to God’s Word. Confess, repent and turn to the Cross for healing and mercy. That is my encouragement to you.

  • Gary

    You don’t own the light BC. You have no corner on truth. You only have opinion. I once thought very much as you do. I was wrong. That was a false gospel. Shine your light among the weak minded someplace. We have learned to no longer be influenced by the abuse spewed forth by fundamentalists. And you can spare me your absolute authority of scripture rhetoric. I have studied and taught it for 25 years. I love it. I embrace it. I will not worship it as a god because I know it too well. I follow Jesus…not your perverted version of Him.

  • BC

    Gary, the only corner that I have on the truth is what I glean from God’s Word. I do not worship the Scripture as God…I worship the God that gave us His Word via the Scripture. I take it in faith that it is His Word and Will revealed to us. How can it be otherwise? How are you obtaining your new insight? From the works of men?

    How can you follow Jesus without following Him as revealed in the Gospel. Jesus is the Son of God…do you think He came to change what was one an abomination and change it to be acceptable? If so how and when?

    Your problems as it seems to me is that one, you cannot accept the Word as Truth, two, you want to fit practices that you rationalize as acceptable but the Bible deems unacceptable as now somehow ok and three that your Jesus is not the Jesus of the Bible. You are following the New Revised Version the hippie all is cool Jesus. Look at the Jesus, John saw on the Isle of Patmos. Although they were very close on earth, John trembled at the sight of him and fell to his knees. I worship a Holy, Resurrected, Loving, Compassionate Jesus…who still hates sin as He always has,four, you are studying a totally neutered Scripture…one without power but yet does not create any guilt that would cause you to change and repent. A happy life, name and claim it life

  • Gary

    As I said I will no longer attempt to reason with you. Your logic is everything Christ despised and changed. Your contempt for others is vile. All that is left is to rebuke you and attempt to protect others from your teaching. You are the very kind of blind guide He rebuked so strongly when He walked the Earth.

  • BC

    Gary, Ah, the irony. You haz it. LOL.

    Pray tell me how Christ depises those that follow Him and believe on Him? I put all my trust in Him. Is there another revealed Word that I am not aware of?

    My turn to rebuke. Your teaching is leading people to hell. Your beliefs originate from the flaming pits of hell If you teach…please stop because you rely on no authority other than some twisted, humanisitic, Satanically inspired bs, purported to be the Word of God.

    I shake the dust from my feet.

  • BC: Okay… um… you might not realize this, or maybe you do… but by saying this to Gary you are heaping the same accusations on pretty much my entire readership. I now see why you’re here: to save us. We don’t need your saving. We don’t want your help BC. This site is dedicated to asking the questions, not enforcing the answer.

  • BC

    naked pastor…as I stated before…I am shaking the dust from feet.

    I sincerely pray and hope that you, the ringleader, if you will, comes to the realization that you are a false teacher. Your bio indicates that you are a learned man. What puzzles me is why someone with your credentials fell away from the truth and now embraces paganism and false teachings?

    I pray for you and your followers that you may see the truth and return to it. There is hope in Christ and in His blood.

  • faithlessinfatima

    Why wouldn’t a fundamentalist want to be on this site? It’s the quintessential win-win situation…they get to preach their message and hope the magic happens,but if not,they justifiably and righteously condemn the sinner,and here’s the rub,both outcomes are wonderfully supported by ample scriptural proofs.And we wonder why fundamentalism is so appealing….one can never be wrong.

  • Syl

    If BC has indeed “shaken the dust from his feet” and left this thread he will not read this. However, I’m posting a response anyway, for others who may come across it.

    This “dialogue” has been an example of how to ensure that those who no longer subscribe to a literal, unexamined reading of the Bible and fundamentalist or traditional theology stay as far away as possible from the doctrine they left.

    No one with a shred of self respect would willingly return to a dogmatic belief that requires, at its core, the negation of thoughtful questioning, the denigration of thinking, a prohibition against careful evaluation of beliefs and assumptions, and relegates those who honestly disagree with the doctrine and its conclusions to the status of a despised, damaged, and damned “other”.

    Note the differences in approach:

    Rather than assuming and stating as fact that BC is dogmatic in his assertions because he secretly harbors doubts which he is attempting to either drown out by increasing his volume or find answers for by remaining on this site, NP asks him if that might be the case.

    BC is appreciative of this approach, and states that he is trying to “shine light on the path to the truth” – bring those of us who no longer (or never did) subscribe to his take on the Bible and Christianity to our senses. However, rather than taking the opportunity to engage in a real conversation or respond with a question of his own, he goes on to simply state a series of assumptions. At first he qualifies this as “a theory” – that is, he seems to recognize his assumptions as unproven guesses – but then rolls right ahead as though he is stating facts about which he has certain knowledge. His assertion – and therefore judgment – concerning those who disagree with his theology is that they are “too proud to admit that they have to change from their errant ways”, that they “rationalize” to “remain in their pet sins”, and want to “feel better”. He references pride again and dangles the threat of hell as a further “encouragement”.

    Note to anyone wishing to persuade former adherents to literal or fundamentalist theology to “return to the fold” – you’ll catch more flies with honey than vinegar – and if your aim is to catch ‘em rather than kill ‘em, you might want to avoid using a flyswatter.

    BC doesn’t think he’s wielding a club, but using degrading and dehumanizing language, making demeaning assumptions, and holding out the threat of eternal torture for honest disagreement – regardless of the source of such “wisdom” – is absolutely an example of club wielding.

    One other comment: calling NP a “ringleader” with “followers” is ludicrous. The same reasons BC condemns the readers and contributors to this forum – that we think, question, use our own God-given intelligence and reasoning skills, don’t accept the easy answers, and are accepting of differences which create no harm – are the very things that make that notion quite bizarre.