Why I hate to go to church (COMMENTARY)

Print More
Eliel Cruz writes about on religion, (bi)sexuality, media and culture. He's the co-founder and former president of Intercollegiate Adventist Gay-Straight Alliance Coalition, an organization that advocates for safe spaces for LGBT students at Seventh-day Adventist colleges. Photo courtesy of Eliel Cruz

Eliel Cruz writes about on religion, (bi)sexuality, media and culture. He's the co-founder and former president of Intercollegiate Adventist Gay-Straight Alliance Coalition, an organization that advocates for safe spaces for LGBT students at Seventh-day Adventist colleges. Photo courtesy of Eliel Cruz

Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content by logging-in here.

(RNS) Sermons are preached as if LGBT people don’t exist, as if we’re just theoretical ideas, as if we weren’t sitting in the pews.

  • Pingback: Why I hate to go to church (COMMENTARY) - mosaicversemosaicverse()

  • Sister Geraldine Marie, OP, RN, PHN

    It is the Church’s responsibility to proclaim love for the sinner, hatred for the sin.
    Homosexuality is an abnormality in nature, not the norm, no matter how it comes about:genetically or socially.
    People are not to be shunned for any reason, but sinful behavior must be preached against and moral behavior encouraged.

  • Greg1

    Any church that does not challenge its members to strive for perfection in the Lord, is no church at all. The problem here is this man does not like the message, kind of like a person who is engaging in pre-marriatal sex hearing a sermon on fornication. I guess, however, the second one is correctable, the bi-sexual one is always a grave sin (well actually half of the “bi” is correctable through marriage).

  • ben in oakland

    I’m not going to go deeply into it, because it is your faith and not mine. But despite your stating the reasons, I STILL don’t understand why you attend a church which makes you feel bad about yourself, let alone a church which makes you feel so bad that you don’t even want to go.

    I was a very successful wedding photographer for 30 years, very good at it, and generally speaking for a long time, very much in demand. I loved my business, I loved creating great photos which my clients loved. They rewarded me handsomely.

    Things changed when digital came in. I gave up in 2013. I was no longer enjoying it, and my clients weren’t getting the best from me, because my clients weren’t willing to give their best to me. People told me I was the best they had seen, but Joe Photo charged ½ as much, and he was at least 1/2 as good, but couldn’t guarantee his products for life, which I did.

    Maybe you should find a better class of Christian to hang out with, and a better class of…

  • ben in oakland

    church to hang out with them at.

    This commenting system said I had 20 characters left.

  • John

    An honest post. Sorry that this is your experience. It should not be that way.

  • Dominic

    Mr. Cruz, this is what baffles me about your article; you seem to be an educated Christian, yet fail to understand why any sermon on homosexuality would have to be condemning in parts. It would depend on what particular aspect of homosexuality that the preacher is trying to express. Christianity can accept the sinner but not the lifestyle, because of divine revelation. Why is that something you cannot accept intelligently? You place yourself in God’s House to pay homage to Him, to worship the “Known Unknown”, and to accept His Wisdom as without error. That takes guts to openly adhere to God despite your fear that He condemns you. You are saying, in effect, “Even if you are displeased with me, I still love and need you.”
    Other church member’s thoughts are uncomfortable but inconsequential to God. As a Catholic, I don’t believe the Church can embrace the LGBT needs to the extent they want…..full acceptance of acts and relationships. It is dogmatically impossible. But God…

  • Dominic

    still loves you and waits for you to show up every week.

  • ben in oakland

    I just noticed the rest of my post didn’t print either.

    My point about my business was this: it no longer gave me what I wanted to have from it. Not money, not the joy of photography, not the compliments from my clients, not the satisfaction of a job well done, just nothing except a lingering malaise that said, every time I got up in the morning to go to a job: “Oh, crap. I have to go and do this because…”

  • ben in oakland

    I agree with you here, D. It’s just the same question from the other side of the fence.

  • Greg1

    This issue with this article can be summed up in the statement, “But I want to be in a church that most closely aligns with my beliefs.” Sorry, but we should be on a quest for the Truth in this life, not be a rider of the waves. God Almighty calls each of us to Himself, and that process requires purification of bad habits, and sinful ways. If all of us were only looking for churches that rubber stamp our sins, then what a bizarre world we would be living in! The person who likes to abuse others in a horrible demeaning way would only need to find the church which approves of his sin. And the list goes on. No God has given the recipe for a happy life, and an ecstatic afterlife. And our pursuit of Him in this life, will determine where we will spend our eternity.

  • Be Brave

    Mr. Cruz,

    I cannot justify my own sins. Why do you demand that I celebrate and “affirm” yours?

    It IS about gay sex. The very label that you apply to yourself “bi-sexual” does not connote a tennis backhand. It literally defines your sexual behavior. And why would anyone care to allow you to proclaim that in a Church? If you must identify by your sexual activity, then do it in a religious place that welcomes that. Which of course you won’t find in a Church that follows the “faith delivered only once to the saints.”

    Actually, it is you that is intolerant and hateful of others that desire to reject their sin life and not justify it. You would be better off spending your Sunday’s in a gay bar, where your declarations are condoned and even, eh-hem, sought after.

    This whole “I need to be affirmed by Christians” ploy of the newest tactic of gay propaganda is sickening.

    Try being honest huh?

  • Dominic

    That’s the core point, Greg, the world has assumed that it can manipulate God’s Word to fit practically any human viewpoint. Only Judaism and Catholicism were spoonfed the Truth from God. All other breakaways sprung from the personal vanities of a single man, be it Luther, Calvin, Henry VIII,, Muhammed, or Joseph Smith.
    Following God is not all that hard, we make it so by arguing over which religion interprets the Word as God would. Perhaps its the chaos the devil wants, to muddle religions so bad that all of them are dismissed.
    Anyway, back to the article….some things are always hard to accept, our faults or weaknesses, or should I say what others claim are our faults or weaknesses. To a good-living gay man, he must scratch his head if his only “difference” is his sexual attraction. It must feel supremely unfair that he was born into this dilemma of choice; God or “happiness”, if you will. Submitting to God, of course, has its eternal rewards…..and He forgives those who…

  • Fran

    I love to go to mine because it provides a plethora of spiritual food from God’s Word, the Bible, and also an opportunity to encourage and associate with fellow believers, knowing that the end of this wicked era is almost here.

    Humans have so much to look forward to on earth in the near future, and not the struggles, anxieties and terrible conditions we now face on a daily basis. ?

  • Doc Anthony

    I am surprised to see that Eliel Cruz opened up his blog for comments this time around, and **especially** on a personal issue like this one. But, a sincere thanks for doing so. That took courage.

    I couldn’t help but notice that photograph of you sitting in a church. You seem so sad and poignant, so wrapped up in something, just sitting there. It’s like your essay, distilled down into a single spiritual photograph. A war, a struggle, way deep down.

    You could do like others, and simply fall into the twilight world of atheism. But you are unable to do that, for some odd reason? Heh. You already know why. Something — nay, Somebody — keeps pulling on you.

    You apparently found Jesus as a boy in 7th-Day-Adventism, and nothing — not even bisexualism and gay activism — can make you forget the excitement and joy and love and power of walking with God, God’s Word, and God’s people, back in the old days.

    So what are you — and Jesus — going to do?

  • ronald

    I did some research and found that, in addition to not welcoming the LBTGs, 7th Day Adventist Church teaches that labor unions are a Satanic tool that distances man from God by subverting the proper relationship between takers and makers.

    This church is sounding pretty good to me! I think I might convert. I will also be writing Scott Walker a letter to let him know about this cool union-busting church.

  • Adventist Pastor

    I am a Seventh-day Adventist Pastor and I can assure you that what Ronald said about Labor Unions is not true. There are many Websites out there that will say all types of false information to misrepresent our church. If you want to know what Adventist believe look at our official website http://www.adventist.org

  • Robertson

    Amen!

  • Robertson

    Cruz,
    I am a Seventh-day Adventist myself. I am sorry that you feel rejected and condemned in the church. But I believe that the church does not hate you. The fact is – the Bible has clearly spoken on the issue of homosexuality. What do you want the church to do? Are you suggesting that we should accept you just as you are and allow you to continue to be what you are? It is imperative that you recognized your present condition and take steps to overcome it. Unless you do that, I am afraid, nothing’s going to change.

  • Greg1

    Yes, this life is a mere blinking of an eye compared to eternity. Better to give up our lusts in this life, and to enjoy eternity, than the other way around. And to your other point, the Devil has stayed true to his methodology: “Divide and Conquer.” People never seem to learn who is at the root of all the division.

  • Greg1

    A friend of mine is an SDA, and in many ways you would have to wonder whether we are even in the “New” Covenant. They don’t seem to realize that the only thing that comes forward from the Old Covenant is the moral law (Luke 22:20, Col 2:16-23).

  • Ben in oakland

    Eliel, there was an interesting op-Ed in the Salt Lake City Tribune about Kate Kelly, who left the Mormon church about a year ago.

    http://www.sltrib.com/opinion/2738628-155/kate-kelly-if-staying-in-lds

    To me, the most relevant quote was this:

    Just this past week a young woman, heartsick and exhausted over the treatment of LDS women, contacted me for advice. She remembered my thoughts to “stay and make things better,” and was determined to do just that. However, when I originally made that statement, I, too, was hurting and exhausted. I hadn’t had time to experience the wonderful resolution and beauty that exist outside of Mormonism. It is a refreshing discovery to experience the easy peace that comes when you stop struggling to reconcile your heart with a faith community that devalues you. I let her know that staying is not the only honorable choice.

  • Theophilus

    I think the gay marriage debate has caused many of us conservative Christians to refine our thinking. If you have a same sex attraction but recognize that homosexual acts or sex outside of marriage (whether homo- or hetero-) is sin, then your fellow church members have let you down.

    If, on the other hand, you are sharing with your fellow church members that you are having sex outside of marriage or homosexual sexual sex and expecting them to support you, you are wrong.

    If being actively bisexual is more important to you than being a Christian, leave the church. If being a Christian is more important to you than satisfying your sexual desires, stay in the church and strive for sexual purity.

  • Theophilus

    Amen, Sister.

  • Theophilus

    So how are you supporting yourself now?

  • Jim

    I know how you feel! I was having a great time with my girlfriend of 2 years, when there was a knock at the door. I answered the door, and in walked two men from my church.

    They both stood there, before my girlfriend and me, and they spoke up about my sinfulness with living together with this woman, whom I thought was a very loving and amazing creature, and they demanded I leave her, having asked me if we were being intimate within the relationship, and of course we had been. I could not just up and leave her at their words, so the church would approve of my membership, as she stood there listening. I had already taught her much she had not ever known about Christianity, and she was non-plussed. I suspect, you feel as you do, because you do not know, Adventists are all down on sin of every kind, expecially sexual sin, and I suspect this is due to the words of 1Corinthians 6: 15 – 20. I believe this applies to all sexual activity with another, be it homo or hetero sex now.

  • Jim

    Greg, I am afraid you are not completely understanding the so-called moral law you attest to being still a part of the Christian Church in these days, as the word moral, means “Concerned with principles of right and wrong or conforming to standards of behavior and character based on those principles,” (WordWebPro).

    Greg, whast do you think the moral law is, and are you aware of the fact when you speak to the book of Colossians, you are speaking to a heathen group of believers in pagan religions, whom Paul had evangelized, with absolutely no Judaic prebeliefs, other than their heathen ways, which also had sabbaths, and other rules and regulations of a Chriostian character, but not Christian, as in Galatians 3: 7 & 29. So using Colossians as you do shows me, you think there was a synogogue in Colossi, but there was not, thus no Israelite issues to speak of there at all. Using Colossians words, speak not to the issue in point about Adventists at all. Sorry!

  • Shawnie5

    Ignore Ronald. He is only here to clutter up the threads trying to parody Christians.

  • Jim

    Hi Fran! I want to thank you for these words, as this is the essence of a Christ-centered relationship; however, it seems to me, our friend Eliel is presently even as I was at one time, with my girlfriend of over 25 years ago.

    I was unable at the time, to see with true spiritual vision, well enough to differentiate between her, and the agapao of the Creators, as Father and Son called me through the church members, although THIS need not necessarily have been what was truly occurring! At the time, they did not seem to be like Christ would have been to me, as I remember His manner of taking care of the woman found in adultery!

    Today, I live in and through Christ, and if I were told to visit the sinner in adultery, I would not break the Scriptures (Matthew 18: 3 – 20, especially 15 – 17), by having another go with me, a two on one to help two people break their hearts together, with us looking on, and demanding it!

    This must be more spioritual, as sinners, reason carnally.

  • Jim

    Be Brave: I am a Christian man, wholly changed by the life of Christ in which I abide, and He in me! You may have some trouble with the language in writing, and if this is the case, I am sorry; however, Eliel is not a THAT, which calls to my eye from your words: “it is you THAT is intolerant and hateful,” as this should sound more palatable as it is you WHO are intolerant . . . .

    You speak as a Christian, and as such, you should know a lover of sin, does not any longer understand as “the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned” (1Corinthians 2: 14, KJV), and you cannot talk such an one into repentance, but a new rebirth is needed, if there had ever before truly been one!

    You have condemned him, without thinking of the Scriptures, of which we must be well-versed in using, before we add additional condemnations, meaning larger separations! This man needs…

  • Jim

    Dominic, I have simply danced in here from my emails, citing this url, and having dropped a comment, I began to work my way up from the bottom, looking at comments as a concerned Christian man, seeking Eliel’s best good from the end of his words. I knew I was being guided by the spirit, and yet, I could not condemn, but must allow the word to do its work – turn this over to the spirit, that truth and righteousness might be done.

    Eliel needs agapao upon him from us, and if he will return, depends upon the words of Christ in John 3: 3 – 5, and a marvelous spiritual understanding of the work of Christ in the life of the sinner, which Paul calls: “Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1: 27b, KJV).

    When this is the case in EVERY CHRISTIAN, sin shall cease living in us! It matters not what the sin – although we understand to become one with another, has difficult spiritual consequences. The point is: What will Christ do, when living in Eliel, with the self fully dead?

  • Jim

    Your meekness amazes me, dear brother! Such a lovely manner of presentation! Praise the Messsiah!

    This is the whole point! Satan knows all of our fellow-family members, and knows the sins whereby they fell pray to, and is expert in looking at past generations, to find the best way to court Christians away from Christ and His righteousness!

    However, he does this, to ensure he needs not suffer another second more than is his due, in the destructive fires of Gehenna: the fires that annihilate completely! Satan wants all Christians to die with responsibility for their own sins upon their own heads, then he will not have to suffer for his part in that life, as Christ did not die as responsible for sin in the life, but died as us! Satan must suffer as him who is responsible for all our sinfulness, and thus he holds out bait that has worked before, to call the Christian away from the Saviour’s indwelling his/her sinful flesh, completely, the self dead!

    Eliel, do not trade…

  • Greg1

    Jim, the Old Covenant prepared the Jews for the coming of Christ, and its purpose is completed: But let’s look at Colossians, “Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross … Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath days.” What Paul is telling the Colossians there is to ignore the Judaizers, and instead listen to him, emphasizing that the days of Judaism are over; that we have entered into a new era, the Christian era. The “handwriting of ordinances” Paul speaks of is the “Law.” And of course it is now “nailed to the cross.” The sabbath rest was merely a 2000 year vigil in anticipation of the Day Christ would rest in the Grave after completing his Work. Sunday, the day of the Resurrection, is our new day of worship, the Lord’s Day (Acts 20:7, Rev 1:10, 1Cor 16:2).

  • Katherine

    Thank you so much for sharing this. It rings true for me and for a lot of people that I know. You’re right that it only takes one anti-gay sermon, or a couple of comments here and there, to let you know that you’re not totally welcome.

  • Jim

    Ben, I honestly believe you are trying to do the best you can for Eliel, it is my prayer each of us is; however, brother Cruz, and I call him brother, because I see in him a desire to be at one with the Father in the Son, and so there is within him, a struggle going on, which at least in part, he knows should be going on.

    He understands, what has occurred in his life, is due to an inner need to be considered loved, and I see he has chosen to seek sexual intimacy rather than a slap on the back from a male friend, who seeks after nothing any more intimate, other than possibly a good sit down and chat about the Way of Christ in the life!

    Christ died AS US, and this is why He is called in 1Corinthians 15: 45, the Last Adam: as the Last Adam, all that occurred due to the first Adam’s sin, is changed in the Last Adam, but this means each of us, in baptism, must choose to die under the water, to self fully, so upon receiving the spirit of Christ, no more being tossed to and fro!

  • Jim

    Hi Greg1: this is brotherjim01! Looks as if we were not the first for these names, eh?

    Greg, 1000 words do not allow, but the Jews, were non-evangelical! They looked upon non-jews/Gentiles, as unclean, and we can see the depth of this hatred for the unclean, bu these words from John 4, as his disciples knowing Christ more than any man, they: “marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her?” (verse 27).

    These were Christ’s disciples, yet His talking with a Samaritan woman, brought forth from them this kind of questioning, although none said anything to Him! We may assume, none hated Gentiles as did the Jews, this is to be a landmark for us!

    Satan has set up all pagan religions, with rituals which make them all in some manner alike! Even satanism has sabbaths, and various rituals and holy days. Paul speaks in Colossians as if to satanists today, saying, mind not the things from your past manner of pagan…

  • Greg1

    Hi Jim, Colossians chapter 2 is clear that the Gentile converts in the early Church did not need to follow the Law. The moral law is the only thing that is carried over from the OT, as Jesus reiterated it, and much of it is part and parcel of the natural law. The Judaizers were Christians in the early Church who were forcing the gentile converts to adhere to the Law (circumcision, full moons, sabbath rest, etc.), but we see in many places that those practices belonged to the past (see Gal 2:14). Even the Apostles gathered to settle the question once and for all (read Acts 15). So “therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.” Col 2:16-23.

  • Dominic

    Jim, Eliel has exposed his dilemma to us…searching for answers he probably already knows. Perhaps he needs to be concerned with his own, personal soul, and not the entire gay community’s treatment by “religion”. Our main job on Earth is to move towards God, not to hinder our growth because other people….even loved ones, dismiss God, feel rejected, or insist that they can believe as they choose. As much as Christianity commands us to love, teach, and embrace our fellow man, if our fellow man is drawing us into a wrong direction we must stay faithful to God.
    A self “fully dead” to God, I believe, is a choice one freely makes over a period of time. It must be the result of constantly demanding that God show Himself, prove Himself, stop torturing me, give me what I want, etc., until ultimateley you fire the “Boss “. A questioning soul, like Eliel, is a spiritual growth spurt. A period he must pass through selfishly…What do you want of me, Lord?

  • ben in oakland

    You haven’t refined your thinking. It’s the same thinking it has always been. To wit:

    Gay is bad. We believe our bible says that because we have always believed our bible says that. We don’t really care how much damage that does to gay people because it is really about our an ancient, vicious prejudice that has been given respectability by calling it sincere religious belief.

    Anybody who disagrees with this is not a True Christian.

  • Shawnie5

    “We believe our bible says that because we have always believed our bible says that.”

    What your crew continually fails to demonstrate is why we shouldn’t believe our bible says that. Because it DOES say that.

    At least 25 times in the gospels Jesus says “It is written…” or “Haven’t you read the scriptures?”

    Now where exactly did He say “It is written…but it wasn’t right?”

  • Ben in Oakland

    Of course, it would never occur to a certain class of so-called Christian, filled to the brim with judgment about the allege sins of other people, to consider that perhaps there is a log in their own eyes, perhaps even a forest in their own eyes, as they seek to pluck the mote of dust from the eye of someone else– someone they would prefer to judge.

    Neither you, nor anyone else posting on this blog, has any knowledge about what is the status of the relationship of God with anyone else on the planet, no matter how much it thrillsand delights you to think that you do. The only thing you know is what you think you understand in the 2000-year-old, much edited and redacted and translated book.

    Your comparison between romantic intimacy and slap on the back is a good indication that you have no compassion for gay people, whose experiences and needs are every bit as real and important as yours.

    The lack is not in Eliel butthe Pharisees who presume to know the mind of God.

  • Ben in Oakland

    Very good! now if you could just look in the mirror, and apply everything you have said to yourself, you might realize that you are standing in relationship to those who criticize in exactly the same relationship that they stand to Eliel.

  • Ben in Oakland

    Gosh, Shawnie, and here I thought it was the Christians who are trying to parody Christians.

  • Ben in Oakland

    Oh. Wonderful! Yet another interchange where the True Christians (TM) confront the Real Christians (TM) as to who is truly the one true faith, and who is gods BFFF.

  • Theophilus

    Ben, you are a man tormented by his own sin. You need to repent and seek out the mercy and grace of God. It will be difficult, but that is where you will find peace.

  • Shawnie5

    Very well said, Dominic. Thank you.

  • Ben in oakland

    No, honey. that’ so our fanatasy– misspelling intentional.

    You not only presume to know the mind of God and his relationship to anybody else on the planet, but you presume to know the mind and the life of someone you never met, and know nothing about.

    But that is so very typical for Christians– and I use that word with sarcasm– of your ilk. And much to the sorrow of the world, and of people like Eliel and millions of gay people everywhere– there is a HELL of a lot that ilk polluting the spirituality of so many.

    No, I am not tormented, not by my alleged sin, not even by the bigotry and hatred espoused by so many who call themselves Christian. I have a great life, filled with peace and joy, wonderful friends, my husband’s wonderful family, and I live in one of the best places in the world.

    No,assuredly I am not tormented. I am FURIOUS at the self righteous bigotry of people who pretend to love me. I’m FURIOUS at the harm they do to innocent people, and call it love.

  • Really? The writer here has no shame for his sinful behavior and instead is trying to shame those who do, and those who want to please God. This is simply EVIL! I hope you stay away from churches unless you are willing to repent from your sin and rebellion. The flock of God should never be polluted with such vile behavior and rebellious attitude. Stay Away! You want the people of God and even God Himself to condone your behavior. Really? Think again. You need to repent, that’s what you need to do. Receive Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior, turn away from sin and self will and follow Him. Do not try to change God and His Word but rather be willing to be renewed by His power and the working of the Holy Spirit within the heart of those who receive Him from a sincere heart. God’s love reaches to all who call upon Him, that is to all who call upon Him in truth. Don’t play games with God, you will surely lose.

  • Ben in oakland

    Another so called Christian with so little faith in his faith.

    we’re all sinners, but your sin is extra special double icky.

    We’re all sinners, but you have to stay away from us lest we get GSC disease. (Gay spiritual cooties).

    We’re all sinners, but YOU have to get right with God.

    Hysterical.

    Specks and beams, by brother in Christ. specks and beams.

    And Eliel. If this is the kind of thing you hear in your church, why would you want to be part of a church like that?

  • Shawnie5

    “We’re all sinners, but your sin is extra special double icky.”

    Nobody is saying that.

    But there IS something else being said:

    “We’re all sinners, but while you work on your sin I want you to invoke God’s blessings on MY sin, and bake me a cake to celebrate it and decorate the church with flowers for it and take lots of pictures of it and tell me how really really great it all is…”

  • Larry

    Coming from someone who supports discrimination of people on the basis of that particular sin, and no others, your remark is hilariously lacking in credibility.

    Fundamentalist religion means whatever excuse will do when justifying behaving badly towards others.

  • Shawnie5

    “Lacking in credibility?” Are you saying that ISN’T exactly what is being demanded? That a particular sin be given a free pass and blessing and celebration within the church because those who are unfortunately ensnared by it “really, really wanna?”

    When someone demands that I participate in and approve of adultery, drug use, theft, gluttony, fraud or anything else that is unacceptable to God, and tries to use the legal system to strong-arm me into doing so, THEN you might have a point.

    Then again, why am I asking you, anyway? This is another intrachurch dialogue in which you have no place.

  • Be Brave

    Ben,

    You can’t make the Bible another gay activist pamphlet. What you need to do is to build the MCC into the biggest denomination in history.

    But, as you know, clearly know, there is no truth in gay affirming organizations. THAT is why Matthew vines and Eliel Cruz need to demand the “real Church” and that is NOT a denomination . . . must be cowed to obeisance to the rainbow idol. Cruz, like Vines and you, need to force affirmation from Christians that cannot do that. Like I’ve written, we can’t justify our own sins, we cannot redefine and celebrate yours.

    If, we are the horrible people you paint, then urge your fellow homosexuals to go to the MCC, or some other New Testament warping organization and be done with us. Last time I looked, no Christian denomination is forcing any of you to stay. Right?

    Simple.

  • Be Brave

    @Mark,

    Well written. But as you can see from Ben’s response, there’s a reason why Jesus taught about pearls and swine. He simply can’t see how pride in ones sins is worse than just being a sinner. One can repent of sins. But pride? Well that has its path.

    You are never going to get the haughty to repent. It is sadly, all too evident that Gay pride is just too powerful to effect any change. It’s like the powerful demons that aren’t handled as easy as some others.

    Paul was right. And of course, he was writing to Romans that were living in an eerily similar social environment, much like the 21st century secularist version. (Nero was “married” to a man.)

  • Be Brave

    If one is a “Gay Christian,” then it should be very easy to agree that the opposition to the approval, affirmation and celebrating of homosexuality “in The Church,” is just in honest keeping with following the truth of the New Testament. The “Gay Christian,” should first and foremost, protect their “brothers and sisters in Christ,” who are doing what is right . . . from the rabid, anti-Christian gay activism that is stalking The Church like a malevolent legion.

    Mr. Cruz supposedly knows the New Testament. It should be easy to support “fellow Christians” that repent of their sins, cannot affirm homosexuality or any kind of sexual promiscuity . . . and NOT force them to celebrate what is inappropriate.

    It’s time for The Church to jettison any mention of homosexuality and bi-sexuality, and just stay true to sexuality as man and woman in a Christian marriage. And, if one keeps to honesty, that is immutably man and woman/husband and wife. A “Christian marriage.” Simple.

  • Greg1

    Jim, being Catholic we have the privilege of going to Confession, and being loosed from our sins in an absolute way (see John 20:23). But without getting into why Catholic priests and bishops have the authority to forgive sins, I would just like to highlight the effects. Oftentimes when we commit a sin which offends Almighty God, those sins begin to weigh you down, and almost consume your life. The reason for that is the Devil can operate freely in a person with the stain of sin on their soul; by their sin, they have opened a door to the Devil, and the more grievous the sin, the more the door is opened. However, once a person confesses their sin, and receives the absolution of the Church, the Holy Spirit sanctifies the soul, leaving it clean and beautiful before the Father. And what you realize is all your heavy crosses, and all your temptations, have now been lifted, and you feel free. So I would encourage Eliel to seek the Catholic Faith, with the Apostolic priesthood.

  • Shawnie5

    Yes. “Pearls and swine” was simply Jesus’ more graphic paraphrase of Solomon: “He who rebules a wicked man gets insults. Do not rebike a scoffer, or he will hate you, Rebuke a wise man and he will love you.” Prov. 9::7-8

  • Ben in oakland

    Of course they’re saying that, Shawnie. they just don’t want to say it explicitly. I suspect we will find very few of the anti-gay writers who appear here regularly commenting all over the Internet about how sinful people who don’t believe that Jesus died for the sins are, how sinful people who are divorced for any reason except adultery are, or anything else. It is very clear to me, and have been for the 45 years I’ve been in this fight, that there is only one sin that gets some people going and going and going. There is only one sin that is an infringement on your right of conscience, and only one sin which you believe that forbidding discrimination on the basis of religion should not apply to.

    And on and on and on. There is only one extra special double icky sin.

  • Larry

    I was being more polite here than I had to be. Rather I call you an liar outright? OK. You are full of crap.

    You make special exceptions to gays that are not made for any other variety of “sin” as excuses for discriminatory and ostracizing behavior. Your analogy to other “sins” is equally dishonest. You do not treat other forms of sin with the same level of venom. Somehow this sin requires ostracism and discrimination where others don’t. Its simply giving personal prejudices a little bit of social sanction by claiming Biblical authority to act badly to others.

    When someone asks that you treat them like a human being with a measure of dignity, you look for excuses not to.

    “This is another intrachurch dialogue in which you have no place.”

    When you can keep it only in the churches, then I won’t have to care. I don’t see that happening any time soon.

  • Shawnie5

    “Of course they’re saying that, Shawnie. they just don’t want to say it explicitly.”. IOW, you want to tell us what we think, as usual.

    As for the rest, nobody Is demanding that we celebrate adulterers or unbelievers or anything else BUT gays. THAT makes the difference.

  • Jack

    Ben, always allow extra room for characters, or they’ll cut you off.

  • Jack

    I suspect Mr. Cruz probably prefers an evangelical or conservative church to a theologically liberal church, but on the sexuality issue, he feels out of place because evangelical or conservative churches don’t agree with him on that.

  • Jack

    But to be fair to Cruz, he did imply that he would be okay with a pastor’s defending a traditional position on homosexuality so long as he did it in a non-condemning or sensitive way. If that’s true of Cruz, he should look for such a church…..they do exist.

  • Jack

    But Cruz is implying that he could endure sermons that oppose him on homosexuality if delivered sensitively and with the human element in mind.

    If he is serious about that, and he well could be, he should search for such a place, whether inside or outside the Seventh Day Adventist movement.

    I know of one such place if Cruz lives anywhere NYC…..Redeemer Presbyterian.

    I have friends who are gay and live in NYC….years ago, I had a chat with the pastor and asked how I could get one of them to join me at Redeemer the next time I’m in NYC and he went into considerable depth his approach to homosexuality. I already thought he was probably the best teaching pastor in the United States — with a CS Lewis-style approach to communicating the Gospel — and he did not disappoint in his explanation. It was biblical honest and also sensitive.

    I haven’t been to Redeemer in a few years, but back then, it was about right in terms of balance.

  • Jack

    I believe that God is going to use these issues to confront both gay and straight people in surprising ways. Simply put, God calls all to believe in Him, and then calls those who do His “bride.” That includes male as well as female.

    Needless to say, that doesn’t sit well with us as heterosexual males. But in one sense, a gay male who has married another man is closer to understanding this than we are. In a way, he gets it and we don’t. The difference is that while we have no such felt need for either God or another man, a gay man does. What was meant for the ultimate “male,” God, became directed toward a human male.

    So when a gay man reads Scripture with openness of heart and reads about believers being the “bride” of Christ, it is obviously not an unfamiliar concept, whereas with us as heterosexual males, it is. We recoil at being “brides” of anyone. But we are wrong. The Bible says we are God’s “bride.”

    If I’m right, God’s challenge…

  • Jack

    ….is to us all……We each have to repent of different things, but we are all in the same boat and we all have to change our way of thinking on this.

    The consequence of our not being “brides” of Christ is that we as “straights” often fail the women in our lives. Being a good husband to a woman, a good brother to a sister, requires that we first become a bride to God, putting Him first in our lives.

  • Jack

    And so the challenge to both heterosexuals and homosexuals alike who have any interest whatsoever in God is to think about what the Scripture means when it says that each person who trusts in Christ is in a relation to Him as a bride is to a bridegroom.

    We can either push this away or deal with it with honesty and openness.

    The implications of this are quite radical for both sides but it is what it is.

  • Jack

    We all need repentance. To be human is to need God’s forgiveness. We all get the vertical relationship with God wrong…..and so our horizontal relationships with people suffer as a result, each of us in our own way.

  • Jack

    There’s a balance here. It is hard to tell gays that they can’t be brides or bridegrooms of men while we do not live as brides of Christ. If that sounds strange, it’s further evidence we’re not doing it.

  • Jack

    Ben, it’s the other way around. The Bible says what it says on sexuality, independently of our wishes, pro or con. For those of us who find the Bible trustworthy on every level — historically and otherwise – and its claims about its divine origins deeply persuasive, we can’t toss aside its views on sexuality just because we live in an age where that’s unpopular.

    Put another way, if God through His Word and in our lives proves Himself over and over again to be real, true, righteous, trustworthy, and all-too-understandable in nearly everything, that’s enough of a track record to follow Him in all areas.

    That is how most Christians approach these issues, especially in our modern era, where the dominant societal prejudices are not reflected in a restrictive view of sexuality, but a relaxed view.

  • Jack

    It’s time for the Church to continue to speak the truth but in love. That’s the balance. No watering down of the controversial teachings but no teaching without love. And most of all, the Church should be doing so not to gain the approval of fallen human beings, but in pursuit of the express will of God.

  • ben in oakland

    Nobody is even demanding THAT, shawnie. That’s YOUR fanatasy.

    We are demanding that you leave us the hell alone, and treat us the same way that you treat all of the other people you believe are going to burn in hell forever.

  • ben in oakland

    That’s going to be a very difficult thing to manage, Jack, because for 2000 years, a mere social prejudice has been given a divine imprimatur, at least in the minds of antigay people.

    Let’s look at Shawnie to see how this works.

    shawnie admits that the Sodom story really isn’t about homosexuality as we understand it, let alone how THEY understood it. Then she goes on to say–and betrays her deep bias by doing so: it’s about FORCED homosexuality.

    No, it’s not about homosexuality, any more than prison rape is about homosexuality. It’s about RAPE, or the threat of rape. The “sin of Sodom” never actually occurred in this story. It’s about men lusting after angelic flesh, per jude.

    If “all the people of the town” accepted Lot’s offer of his virgin daughters, do you think Shawnie would have made a comment about “forced heterosexuality?” Would that apply to the woman of gibeah, or would we call that what it was: RAPE.

    Her bias is clear. she won’t admit it,…