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Leading evangelical ethicist David Gushee is now pro-LGBT. Here’s why it matters …

David Gushee is distinguished professor at a prominent Baptist University and co-author of one of the most popular Christian ethics books of the last 25 years. He’s also now an LGBT ally. - Image courtesy of David Gushee
David Gushee is distinguished professor at a prominent Baptist University and co-author of one of the most popular Christian ethics books of the last 25 years. He’s also now an LGBT ally. - Image courtesy of David Gushee

David Gushee is distinguished professor at a prominent Baptist university and co-author of one of the most popular Christian ethics books of the last 25 years. He’s also now an LGBT ally. – Image courtesy of David Gushee

NEW YORK (RNS) At a moment when American churches and politicians are warring over gay rights and same-sex marriage, each side needs every soldier it can muster. Conservatives are about to learn that one of America’s leading evangelical ethicists is defecting to the opposition.

David Gushee, a Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer University, a Baptist college and divinity school in Georgia, plans to announce that he now affirms same-sex relationships, in a speech to The Reformation Project Conference, a gathering of pro-LGBT Christians in Washington, on Nov. 8.

“I do join your crusade tonight,” Gushee’s prepared remarks say, according to a draft obtained by Religion News Service. “I will henceforth oppose any form of discrimination against you. I will seek to stand in solidarity with you who have suffered the lash of countless Christian rejections. I will be your ally in every way I know how to be.”

Gushee says the journey to his current position has been a long and winding one. During the first two decades of his academic career, he maintained a traditional view of sexuality and “hardly knew a soul who was not heterosexual.” As he worked on issues such as torture and climate change, his attention was drawn to other issues — slavery, segregation, defamation of Jews, subjugating women — for which Christians once cited Scripture for their entrenched positions.

Then in 2008, his younger sister, Katey, came out as a lesbian. She is a Christian, single mother, and had been periodically hospitalized for depression and a suicide attempt. It made him realize that “traditionalist Christian teaching produces despair in just about every gay or lesbian person who must endure it.”

A former student wrote Gushee that his teachings had contributed to the painful struggle of understanding sexual identity, and scientific data suggesting that same-sex attraction is a naturally occuring form of human diversity sent him back to the Bible. Years later, he concluded that the Bible doesn’t actually teach what he previously assumed.

“It took me two decades of service as a married, straight evangelical Christian minister and ethicist to finally get here,” his speech says. “I am truly sorry that it took me so long to come into full solidarity with the Church’s own most oppressed group.”

Image courtesy of David Crumm Media, LLC

Image courtesy of David Crumm Media, LLC

Gushee also has penned a book that makes a biblical and philosophical case for LGBT affirmation. The volume, titled “Changing Our Mind: A Call from America’s Leading Evangelical Ethics Scholar for Full Acceptance of LGBT Christians in the Church,” will be released by David Crumm Media prior to the speech. The book is loosely based on a series of articles Gushee published with Baptist News Global (formerly Associated Baptist Press) exploring the topic.

Going forward, Gushee told me he hopes the book will become part of the growing body of resources and research that makes a case for Christian acceptance of LGBT relationships — but he is also making himself available to the movement itself. Among his top priorities: providing help for families trying to understand their gay and lesbian children, as well as producing materials for college and youth pastors.

It is difficult to overstate the potential impact of Gushee’s defection. His Christian ethics textbook, “Kingdom Ethics,” co-authored with the late Glen Stassen, is widely respected and was named a 2004 Christianity Today book of the year. He serves as theologian-in-residence for the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, a coalition of 15 theological schools, 150 ministries, and 1,800 Baptist churches nationwide.

While other pro-LGBT Christian activists — including Justin Lee of the Gay Christian Network and Matthew Vines, author of “God and the Gay Christian” — have been dismissed in some circles as wet-behind-the-ears youngsters without formal theological training, Gushee, 52, is a scholar with impeccable credentials. He can add intellectual heft to what has largely been a youth-led movement, and is not someone who can be easily dismissed.

To be sure, Gushee’s change of heart is not entirely unexpected — he has parted company with many fellow evangelicals on a number of issues, including left-of-center positions against torture and on the environment.

Gushee’s decamping will likely be seen as treasonous by conservative colleagues, including the Rev. R. Albert Mohler Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, where Gushee taught in the 1990s. While Mohler said the decision is “tragic and causes me real grief,” the two have had ongoing disagreements dating back to Gushee’s time on the Louisville campus.

“It was clear early on that he and I, and he and Southern Seminary, were moving in different directions, and those who’ve been watching David’s trajectory will see this as a logical conclusion,” Mohler said. “He’s now placed himself outside of employability at the previous institutions where he taught.”

That other institution is Union University, a conservative Baptist college in Tennessee where Gushee was a professor from 1996 until 2007. David Dockery, who served as president of Union during that time, said he was saddened by Gushee’s defection but declined additional comment.

While Mohler acknowledged Gushee’s influence, especially among more progressive evangelicals, he doesn’t believe Gushee’s switch presents any new challenges to the conservative cause.

“David is not saying anything new, and he’s a little late to the party,” Mohler said. “When you look at the figures who are making arguments for same-sex marriage and relationships, there is an expanding literature that is as much as 20 years old.”

Gushee disagrees, saying many scientific studies on sexuality are new, as is using LGBT suffering as a logical starting point for the conversation. But he doesn’t expect this to change the minds of Mohler and other hardline conservatives. He only hopes that those on the right will help end the bullying of LGBT persons, stop using harmful rhetoric, and resist laws that are punitive against sexual minorities.

In the end, Gushee says doesn’t think much about the backlash headed his way from his newfound opponents.

“I still love Jesus and read the Bible and pray every morning, and I don’t really care what they say,” he said. “I’m willing to let God and history be my judge.”

About the author

Jonathan Merritt

Jonathan Merritt is senior columnist for Religion News Service and a contributing writer for The Atlantic. He has published more than 2500 articles in outlets like USA Today, The Week, Buzzfeed and National Journal. Jonathan is author of "Jesus is Better Than You Imagined" and "A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars." He resides in Brooklyn, NY.

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  • Goodness, “Conservatives are about to learn that one of America’s leading evangelical ethicists is defecting to the opposition.” That certainly enforces an “us” and “them” battle-mentality that is not helpful to dialog, but instead creates a dichotomy of “with us or against us”. Peoples beliefs are often far more complex than that, being “conservative” in some ways and “liberal/progressive” in others.

  • David has been a frequent guest at All Saints speaking on issues of torture and economic justice and so it is a source of deep delight to celebrate the “evolution” of his position on LGBT equality. Applause from Pasadena for his courage — and prayers that the arc of history that bends toward justice for all will continue to bend for God’s beloved LGBT people … and we will indeed see an end to the distortion of the Christian gospel into a weapon of homophobic bigotry. Bravo and Amen, David Gushee!

    The Reverend Susan Russell
    All Saints Church, Pasadena CA

  • “The volume, titled “Changing Our Mind: A Call from America’s Leading Evangelical Ethics Scholar for Full Acceptance of LGBT Christians in the Church,”

    Well, at least he’s got the humble part down.

  • Decades of volunteering in local, national and international organizations specifically focused on establishing equality, I bow in gratitude to Mr. Gushee. His desire to learn, grow and share wisdom to support learning and growing provides much light on our species ability to evolve.

    To walk one’s talk – a brave journey. Those who seek to discredit embrace ancient ways to divide and conquer. Mr. Gushee’s work invites us to dissolve divisions by reminding us of a basic need. That need? Unconditional love.

  • I always find it interesting that those that move to this stance are swayed by a family member. Satan is alive and well and working through them. This article states that we are in opposition to individual LGBT people. What this ethicist fails to understand is that the opposition is to sin. Something that we as Christian should be in opposition to. The grief and despair come from the lack of acceptance of sin and the sin itself, not the Christian community. If the LGBT community would not be concerned with acceptance by Christians if their conscience was not telling them they are sinning. They need the acceptance to validate their sin so they can feel less guilty and believe they are not sinning. This ethicist is providing that to them regardless of what the Bible says on the issue. In part, because he feels sorry for his sister and must validate her life. Really very sad that in order to provide comfort here on earth he potentially risks their eternity.

  • Thanks for the rambling mess that stereotypically concludes with the threat of hell. Let me guess, you’re a privileged white American that tithes to an exclusive Church and occasionally (but probably not) serves at a local pantry.

    When Jesus was talk about white washed tombs, he meant you. You pious hypocrite.

  • “history be my judge.”

    Hmmmm. I’m not sure what that exactly means. History will be a judge of no one.

  • Surprise, another “evangelical” realized that he would be more popular on the other side so he switched. And he had the usual family member / friend caught in sin that helped him rationalize it.

    But the word of God hasn’t changed. http://wp.me/p1wGU-3P7 The Bible couldn’t be more clear. Bible-believing Christians and even two out of the three types of pro-gay people* (religious or not) can see these truths:

    – 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior describe it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms.
    – 100% of the verses referring to God’s ideal for marriage involve one man and one woman.
    – 100% of the verses referencing parenting involve moms and dads with unique roles (or at least a set of male and female parents guiding the children).
    – 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to homosexual behavior in a positive or even benign way or even hint at the acceptability of homosexual unions of any kind. There are no exceptions for “committed” relationships.
    – 0% of 31,173 Bible verses refer to LGBT couples parenting children.

    * The three general types of pro-gay theology people:

    1. “The Bible says homosexuality is wrong but it isn’t the word of God.” (Obviously non-Christians
    2. “The Bible says it is wrong but God changed his mind and is only telling the theological Left.” (Only about 10 things wrong with that.)
    3. “The Bible is the word of God but you are just misunderstanding it” (Uh, no, not really.)

  • We all have the threat of hell, Nate. We are all sinners. And there is nothing in the Bible to support calling sin courageous. God is willing to lose generations as He was with the Israelites for failing to follow His laws. Laws that are established by God in the Bible. Mans views and the worlds views do not matter.
    As is typical of those who support this stance, you are hateful to those who oppose your personal views. You make broad unsubstantiated assumptions about the individuals who don’t fall in line with your rhetoric. A sin is a sin to God regardless of what you or I think. Don’t be quick to judge those that think differently than you calling them hypocrites. You might just become what you so obviously despise.

  • 1 Corinthians 6:9-12 list swindlers,thieves,drunkards,the greedy coveters and
    the sexually immoral,all idolaters,slanderers/liars/gossips,homosexuals as who
    will not inherit the kingdom of heaven unless they Repent! We must Repent
    and all sin is bad not just abortion and/or homosexuality. We all must Repent!

  • Your comment misses the point of what goes on when someone’s opinion in this area changes because of discovering a gay, bisexual, or lesbian family member. The recognition is typically along the lines of realizing that simply calling LGB people sinners leaves out a lot of the complexity on the issue. I would suggest that you read through a few of the articles linked to here in which David Gushee explores the process he went through bit by bit.

    Part of what is discovered is that sexuality is an inherent part of a person’s identity such that you can’t simply choose to change or repress it without harm coming from that. I recognize that before you can come to the same conclusion you will have to first discover for yourself that sexual orientation is innate and un-changeable, which is hard for many people to accept.

    But once you accept that it is hard to simply take the stance that all LGB individuals should be categorically excluded from a church that has been built on compassion and acceptance of its members, including those who have fallen short of the ideals the church preaches. It is at that point that people start to consider how LGB individuals should be welcomed.

  • So, according to Mohler, employability is the primary factor regarding the wisdom of maintaining orthodoxy? Thx, Albert, now we know.

  • Indeed many forms of homosexual expressions are condemned throughout Scripture! In each clobber passage, the context is men who are married to women engaged in adultery–these are not LGBT people.

    ~Sodom was destroyed to purge fallen angels who mated with human women (which was heterosexual, even back then) See Genesis 6, Jude 1:6-7 and 2 Peter 2:4-7

    ~Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13 both include the phrase “as with a woman” indicating the men who are lying with each other are MARRIED to WOMEN. This is why the penalty for adultery with a man (Leviticus 20:13) is the same as the penalty for adultery with a women (Leviticus 20:10). But how we would apply these passages to a boy being molested by a priest? Or a heterosexual man who was raped by another heterosexual man in prison? Leviticus 20:13 says both men should be put to death, yet do we honestly believe God intended this to apply to innocent victims of rape or clergy sex abuse….or was it confined only to that which violates the 10 Commandments: “You shall not commit adultery”

    ~Romans 1:27 says the men “turned from” relations with women. But only men who HAD relations with women can “turn from” them. If they had relations with women, Paul considered them to be MARRIED (1 Corinthians 6:16). Romans 1:26 similarly says the women “exchanged the natural use” for an “unnatural one” or “one against nature.” Again, only women who had “natural use” can “exchange” it for one that is “against nature” (sex with animals as worship to Roman gods). So the men and women were MARRIED and engaged in ADULTERY in order to worship Roman mythological gods represented by birds, beasts and reptiles (Romans 1:23). We see similar worship practices in Acts 14:8-18 when Paul and Barnabas are mistaken for Zeus and Hermes. A Google search on “symbols of Roman gods” reveals that indeed each god and goddess was represented by either a bird, a beast, or a reptile.

    Notice the difference in Paul’s language when describing the women’s acts in Romans 1:26 compared to the men’s acts in Romans 1:27. Only the women’s acts are referred to as being “against nature” or “unnatural” (because sex with animals indeed is). But Paul does not use that language when describing the men’ acts. Conversely, Paul does not say the women “burned in lust for one another,” but uses that language only to describe the men’s acts. This verifies the women were not having relations with each other, and the men’s acts are not considered by Paul to be “against nature” or “unnatural” These acts violate 2 of the 10 Commandments: “You shall not commit adultery” and “You shall have no other gods before Me.”

    That is why Paul later says in Romans 1:26-32 that these folks were “deserving of death” under “God’s righteous decrees,” which God made in:

    Leviticus 20:2-5 regarding the penalty for worship of other gods,

    Leviticus 20:15-16 regarding the penalty for copulating with animals,

    Leviticus 20:10 and Leviticus 20:13 regarding the penalty for adultery, whether with a woman (Leviticus 20:10) or man (Leviticus 20:13),

    Leviticus 20:9 regarding the penalty for being disosbedient to parents,

    Exodus 20:17 regarding covetousness,

    Exodus 20:13 regarding murder,

    Exodus 20:15-16 regarding stealing and lying,

    Exodus 20:1-12 disregarding God,

    and Leviticus 19:18 regarding loving your neighbor.

    In each case, the sins listed in Romans 1:26-32 are violations of the 10 Commandments…yet being LGBT and Same Sex Marriage are not.

    ~Finally 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 addressed a priest who was molesting boys in his congregation. The context of the details are provided beginning in 1 Corinthians 5:1 as an “impurity of a sort not even the heathen engage in it, for a man has his own father’s wife.” At first glance, this appears to be man/mother incest (which would be heterosexual), but that practice was so common among the heathen that Moses addressed it in Leviticus 18:7-8. We know by this that Paul is speaking metaphorically regarding the man’s own father (Jesus) and His wife (His Bride, the Bride of Christ, the Church). Paul confirms by asking “Shall I take the parts of the body of Christ and make them parts of a prostitute” in 1 Corinthians 6:15-17.

    Further, we see from 1 Corinthians 5:13 that only 1 person is expelled from the Church for what 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 lists out, yet nobody can “participate in homosexuality” all by themselves.

    While most Christians do not make all these observations, it is without question the context of the clobber passages have nothing to do with LGBT people or same sex marriage.

    On the other hand, Jesus taught LGBT people are born naturally from our mother’s womb in Matthew 19:11-12, as he delineates 3 types of eunuchs:

    Celibates

    castrated men

    and BORN eunuchs.

    Jesus exempts all 3 types from hetero marriage.

    If Born Eunuchs are not celibate, nor castrated, nor entering into heterosexual marriage, that means BORN EUNUCHS must include LGBT people.

    After 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, the Apostle Paul goes on to ordain single gender marriage in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 (as part of the very same letter), for the very same Born Eunuchs Jesus exempted from heterosexual marriage in Matthew 19:11-12. And Paul goes on to recognize same sex divorce in 1 Corinthians 7:15 as he indicates that sometimes when a man leaves a marriage, it is a man who remains. And then the Holy Spirit comes along in 1 Timothy 4:1-3 with a warning to Christians to not forbid people to marry, saying that those who do have “fallen away from the faith, have been seduced by deluding spirits and doctrines that demons teach.” And Paul goes on to recognize same sex divorce in 1 Corinthians 7:15 as he indicates that sometimes when a man leaves a marriage, it is a man who remains. And then the Holy Spirit comes along in 1 Timothy 4:1-3 with a warning to Christians to not forbid people to marry, saying that those who do have “fallen away from the faith, have been seduced by deluding spirits and doctrines that demons teach.”

  • Or #4: You’re applying the passages to the innocent while ignoring the guilty.

    Indeed many forms of homosexual expressions are condemned throughout Scripture! In each clobber passage, the context is men who are married to women engaged in adultery–these are not LGBT people.

    ~Sodom was destroyed to purge fallen angels who mated with human women (which was heterosexual, even back then) See Genesis 6, Jude 1:6-7 and 2 Peter 2:4-7

    ~Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13 both include the phrase “as with a woman” indicating the men who are lying with each other are MARRIED to WOMEN. This is why the penalty for adultery with a man (Leviticus 20:13) is the same as the penalty for adultery with a women (Leviticus 20:10). But how we would apply these passages to a boy being molested by a priest? Or a heterosexual man who was raped by another heterosexual man in prison? Leviticus 20:13 says both men should be put to death, yet do we honestly believe God intended this to apply to innocent victims of rape or clergy sex abuse….or was it confined only to that which violates the 10 Commandments: “You shall not commit adultery”

    ~Romans 1:27 says the men “turned from” relations with women. But only men who HAD relations with women can “turn from” them. If they had relations with women, Paul considered them to be MARRIED (1 Corinthians 6:16). Romans 1:26 similarly says the women “exchanged the natural use” for an “unnatural one” or “one against nature.” Again, only women who had “natural use” can “exchange” it for one that is “against nature” (sex with animals as worship to Roman gods). So the men and women were MARRIED and engaged in ADULTERY in order to worship Roman mythological gods represented by birds, beasts and reptiles (Romans 1:23). We see similar worship practices in Acts 14:8-18 when Paul and Barnabas are mistaken for Zeus and Hermes. A Google search on “symbols of Roman gods” reveals that indeed each god and goddess was represented by either a bird, a beast, or a reptile.

    Notice the difference in Paul’s language when describing the women’s acts in Romans 1:26 compared to the men’s acts in Romans 1:27. Only the women’s acts are referred to as being “against nature” or “unnatural” (because sex with animals indeed is). But Paul does not use that language when describing the men’ acts. Conversely, Paul does not say the women “burned in lust for one another,” but uses that language only to describe the men’s acts. This verifies the women were not having relations with each other, and the men’s acts are not considered by Paul to be “against nature” or “unnatural” These acts violate 2 of the 10 Commandments: “You shall not commit adultery” and “You shall have no other gods before Me.”

    That is why Paul later says in Romans 1:26-32 that these folks were “deserving of death” under “God’s righteous decrees,” which God made in:

    Leviticus 20:2-5 regarding the penalty for worship of other gods,

    Leviticus 20:15-16 regarding the penalty for copulating with animals,

    Leviticus 20:10 and Leviticus 20:13 regarding the penalty for adultery, whether with a woman (Leviticus 20:10) or man (Leviticus 20:13),

    Leviticus 20:9 regarding the penalty for being disosbedient to parents,

    Exodus 20:17 regarding covetousness,

    Exodus 20:13 regarding murder,

    Exodus 20:15-16 regarding stealing and lying,

    Exodus 20:1-12 disregarding God,

    and Leviticus 19:18 regarding loving your neighbor.

    In each case, the sins listed in Romans 1:26-32 are violations of the 10 Commandments…yet being LGBT and Same Sex Marriage are not.

    ~Finally 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 addressed a priest who was molesting boys in his congregation. The context of the details are provided beginning in 1 Corinthians 5:1 as an “impurity of a sort not even the heathen engage in it, for a man has his own father’s wife.” At first glance, this appears to be man/mother incest (which would be heterosexual), but that practice was so common among the heathen that Moses addressed it in Leviticus 18:7-8. We know by this that Paul is speaking metaphorically regarding the man’s own father (Jesus) and His wife (His Bride, the Bride of Christ, the Church). Paul confirms by asking “Shall I take the parts of the body of Christ and make them parts of a prostitute” in 1 Corinthians 6:15-17.

    Further, we see from 1 Corinthians 5:13 that only 1 person is expelled from the Church for what 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 lists out, yet nobody can “participate in homosexuality” all by themselves.

    While most Christians do not make all these observations, it is without question the context of the clobber passages have nothing to do with LGBT people or same sex marriage.

    On the other hand, Jesus taught LGBT people are born naturally from our mother’s womb in Matthew 19:11-12, as he delineates 3 types of eunuchs:

    Celibates

    castrated men

    and BORN eunuchs.

    Jesus exempts all 3 types from hetero marriage.

    If Born Eunuchs are not celibate, nor castrated, nor entering into heterosexual marriage, that means BORN EUNUCHS must include LGBT people.

    After 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, the Apostle Paul goes on to ordain single gender marriage in 1 Corinthians 7:8-9 (as part of the very same letter), for the very same Born Eunuchs Jesus exempted from heterosexual marriage in Matthew 19:11-12. And Paul goes on to recognize same sex divorce in 1 Corinthians 7:15 as he indicates that sometimes when a man leaves a marriage, it is a man who remains. And then the Holy Spirit comes along in 1 Timothy 4:1-3 with a warning to Christians to not forbid people to marry, saying that those who do have “fallen away from the faith, have been seduced by deluding spirits and doctrines that demons teach.” And Paul goes on to recognize same sex divorce in 1 Corinthians 7:15 as he indicates that sometimes when a man leaves a marriage, it is a man who remains. And then the Holy Spirit comes along in 1 Timothy 4:1-3 with a warning to Christians to not forbid people to marry, saying that those who do have “fallen away from the faith, have been seduced by deluding spirits and doctrines that demons teach.”

    – See more at: http://religionnews.com/2014/10/24/david-gushee-lgbt-homosexuality-matters/#comment-240018

  • His particular mix of interests is characteristic of a standard issue bourgeois employed in venues other than business and uniformed services. He might be more interesting if his ‘concerns’ were not so stereotyped.

    Evangelicals are experiencing what Catholics did before that and what mainline protestants did before that: you found institutions for common purposes and they are then captured by their employees, and those employees think little of the founding constituency or their descendants.

  • That is hardly what the author, or the person he interviewed, is saying. How astounding that you should read this artuicle and hear this! But apparently you also cannot hear the pain of GLBT Christians whose church has apparently turned against them, and which leads them only to more and more suffering one way or another.

    Instead, and with all humility, Mr Gushee (trying to understand the need for the pain) finds that instead, the Bible does not direct God’s children to inflict pain on one another. Aanderson, perhaps you should consider the meaning of humility yourself, and not be so quick to use YOUR OWN reading of things to beat other people over the head. I suspect that you are an uncharitable and self-righteous person, never so happy as when you can see the suffering of others.

  • It is unloving and unkind to affirm people in LGBTQ lifestyles because it denies them the repentance and forgiveness of sins that would rescue them from their inevitable doom.

    David Gushee does not love LGBTQ people, he hates them just like the Devil does.

  • The man actually has a chair at a quondam Baptist institution (now secular). He does not need employment at this time.

    Look at what interests this Gushee fellow: “torture”, “scientific surveys” on “sexuality”, “the environment”. Inner directed this man is not. He conceptualizes people’s problems in living as a consequence of standards of conduct, a reaction which has been stupefyingly banal for some time.

    He’s an academic who socializes with other academics.

  • Gushee is not the first evangelical scholar to become affirming. Theologian Mark Achtemeier who recently wrote a personal journey book on the topic (not one I found compelling–he idolizes marriage) and came out as affirming at least five years ago. Also, New Testament scholar James Brownson has written the most compelling biblical argument thus far in his 2013 book which Matthew Vines borrows from.

    Gushee’s recent series on the topic has been interesting, but does not really provide any new arguments that haven’t been written about before. There was some good engagement in the comment section of the series, but someone apparently went through and deleted all the comments on all the posts except for the most recent posts, effectively eliminating the dissenting voices that had pointed out difficulties in his arguments.

  • Ms Jackie Chiles: Authors NEVER choose their own titles to their published works (unless their last name is something like Rowling). You can retract your claws now….

  • And he had the usual family member / friend caught in sin that helped him rationalize it. –

    That’s what gets you about this. The probability of having a first or 2d degree relation with this problem is in the single digits, but all these ‘evolvers’ seem supplied with one. I have three 2d degree relations who were crapulent drunks. What sort of evolving should I do about not showing up for work on Monday because you’re sick from the weekend’s bender? Or do I only get to ‘evovle’ if I did not figure our their problem until I was 46?

  • Here’s the thing: it’s really not even a question of what you believe. LGBTQA people are who they are. You can try to convince them to not do something if you feel like it shouldn’t be done, but making laws that specifically make their lives harder seems both ethically wrong, and doesn’t really line up with many values that Christians typically hold. There are innumerable mentions of love and acceptance of others, and persecution of people is condemned. Not to mention that the whole idea of sin is that it’s a personal choice. You can’t force someone not to commit a sin. That takes away the entire point.

    Beyond that, laws are about helping SOCIETY, not individual people. Stealing from others hurts society, so there are laws against it. Same thing with things like murder or violence against someone else. However, being gay doesn’t hurt society. It similar to how there aren’t laws against lying. There are laws against lying in certain situations (like in a court of law), but general everyday lying is perfectly legal (though everyone can agree that it’s not a good thing). However, because most lying doesn’t hurt society (but could hurt an individual person), there doesn’t need to be a law against it, and in fact there are laws protecting your right to lie. So why is your perception of marriage equality any different? Everyone has the right to marry whoever they choose (assuming the other party agrees, of course), and everyone has the right to have whatever opinion they want about the act of those people getting married. You might know that your sister is marrying a terrible person who has cheated in every relationship he’s been in, but that doesn’t mean that there should be a law against her marrying him.

    We could have a completely separate debate about how there’s nothing wrong with being gay, but the point I’m trying to make is that even if you believe it is wrong, there is no grounds for believing there should be laws against it, or which treat them differently than any other person. Similarly, there is no biblical grounds for persecuting them, but rather for treating them with kindness and compassion.

  • God did not write the Bible, nor did God decide which books would be in the Bible. The Bible was written by patriarchal men with a Bronze/Iron age base of scientific knowledge. What was not well understood was assumed to be the work of the devil. They new as much about the science of human sexuality as they did about the distance to Andromeda. We no longer demonize epileptics, lepers, left-handed people and people with dark skin. (Well, most of us, anyway). But those who make an idol of the Bible still use it as a club against LGBT persons. There is no excuse, in the 21st century, to remain willfully ignorant of two hundred years of Biblical scholarship and the current scientific knowledge about human sexuality. And if all else fails, get to know some LGBT persons.

  • Aanderson: Did you do the scripture and context study? Did you truly read and and closely examine the 6 or 7 verses in the entire Bible that allude to homosexuality? Did you study the context? The original Hebrew or the original Aramaic language that the verses were written in? Have you honestly looked at scholarly works written by honest believers who come to the same conclusion the Mr. Gushee does? Did you know those works exist? Did you know those scholars teach in the same seminaries that other conservative-traditional pastors graduate from? Did you know that apart from the love and the Cross Of Christ, there is no other “black and white” truth that all Christians can agree on? Nate may be a little over the top emotional in his response, George, but to some people this topic is VERY personal.

  • “Satan is alive and well and working through them.” Is this not hateful? At the very least it is judgmental and we as Christians are not to judge. That is God’s job.

  • So Gushee changed his mind to be more popular? Really? He didn’t do it because he’s concerned with justice?

    – 0% of 31,173 Bible verses were written centuries before the word homosexuality was coined, and before human sexuality had begun to be well understood.

    – 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior describe it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms – if you accept only the narrowest possible interpretation of the passages and ignore the last 200 years of biblical scholarship and the scientific knowledge base of the biblical authors.

    Bearing false witness is considered a sin by Christians of all stripes.

  • “But [Gushee] doesn’t expect this to change the minds of Mohler and other hardline conservatives. He only hopes that those on the far right will help end the bullying of LGBT persons, stop using harmful rhetoric, and resist laws that are punitive against sexual minorities.”

    This is one of the most important accomplishments we need to work for in the short run. Regardless of one’s theological stance on the issue, bullying people does not advance the cause of Christ. Building friendships with people does – whether those people also happen to be LGBTQ or not. And in regard to those friendships, I think God is actually quite pleased with my gay relationships.

  • What I find odd here is how clearly disparate the two perspectives are here in the beloved comment section and somehow…SOMEHOW..the ‘traditionalists’ think that if they just spew…err….boldly state their belief that the clobber passages clearly are a referendum against all forms of homosexuality, that somehow magically the progressive aka unsaved/hellbound/deceived/unpatriotic freedom-killers will turn from their willful stubbornness and begin the zombie-like chant that pleases Dear Leader Al and the rest of the faithful warriors for truth:

    “Love the sinner…hate the sin”
    “Love the sinner…hate the sin”
    “Love the sinner…hate the sin”

    ok. I admit it. I’m being a wee bit sarcastic. The reality is until the traditionalists (notice I’m being kind and not using terms like ‘bigots’ or ‘self-righteous jerks’) have this issue hit home personally with them will they never be forced to see the truth of how they have been conditioned to believe a lie and how their stubbornness hurts so many LGBT people including those who love the Lord. For those of us who finally understand the reality of this issue and what the bible doesn’t say about gays, please be patient with these weak believers and pray that the Holy Spirit will finally release them from their tyranny as they inoculate people from the Good News. If He did can do that for me 3 years ago, I have faith He can do it for them as well. John 16:13

  • The violation of LGBT civil rights, shaming of LGBT people and the suffering that results from it are all critical issues that demand strong reactions, not diplomacy. Let’s not forget that it was only 10 years ago that we had laws criminalizing gay people in effect in the US, and we still have countries today criminalizing gay people with harsh penalties under the guise of Christianity, Islam, and other religions. When you have people calling for discriminating against gay people, “reprogramming” them, imprisoning them or sentencing them to death, without question it is “us versus them”.

  • The divisions remain. Unconditional love cannot re-write the Scriptures. Mr. Gushee has just reinforced those “divisions” in concrete.

  • but the point I’m trying to make is that even if you believe it is wrong, there is no grounds for believing there should be laws against it,

    Thanks for your input. Consensual sodomy laws were always infrequently enforced (though perhaps useful for certain public order tasks) and have not been enforced at all in most jurisdictions in four decades or more. Your complaint is not exactly topical.

    Questions under discussion are as follows: does conventional matrimonial law violate constitutional provisions (answer: of course not, but appellate judges have gotten into the habit of saying ‘I say it’s spinach), should the community giver formal recognition to homosexual couplings, and should homosexuals qua homosexuals have a cause of action against landlords, vendors, and employers,

    To the extent there is a ‘law against’ something, it’s now a law against community self-government and freedom of association.

  • Won’t do a damn thing for his sales. It might shake some Soros funds loose. What it really does is make life less tense in the faculty rathskellar.

  • And those weak believers as you call them may actually believe in a God that is big enough to help those who struggle with this sin to survive and follow God’s word instead of relying on society’s acceptance. Why do those that use scripture out of context and claim a personal connection always assume they are stronger in faith and are the “evolved” scholar? Claiming this doesn’t make it true and there are many with the opposing views that do have personal connections. They just won’t condone what they believe to be immoral. We are at an impasse that will not be overcome by name calling or claims of superior intellect or study…..all of which are subjective in this discussion.

  • You’re actually expecting Prof. Gushee to behave as if moral knowledge is grasped through understanding authoritative texts, tradition, philosophical discourses, and natural law. That’s so retro. What you really need to do is listen to how miserable your sister is about life and consult the Magisterium of contemporary Sociology.

  • The man actually defected to the opposition six or seven years ago and his writings since then have been critiqued in general interest fora.

  • issues of torture and economic justice

    Listening to most clergyman prate about ‘economic justice’ is torture. Let me know when one of them delineates an argument in lieu of asserting a sentiment.

  • I agree that it is sad that a person if a person has to have a personal relationship with someone who is gay before rethinking their position. I’d like to think that empathy even with strangers might get us there sooner.

    But what an assumption — that the lgbt community is concerned with acceptance because their consciences are bothering them. Its a shame thing, you think. BUT MAYBE they’d like to live freely in the world just like you, without nice Christian people forbidding them to marry. They’d also like to disarm the assumption that they are child molesters, and stop the general homophobia, often resting comfortably on cultural and theological assumptions, which allows them to be bullied as teenagers. Perhaps you’ll read Mark Achtemeier, the last big named evangelical to change his mind. (And he’s a professor of New Testament.) And before him there was Jack Rogers (another evangelical New Testament prof.) The list is growing.

  • Luther, this has nothing to do with the size of God. It’s bout the WILL of God. Do some reading..some research…and you’ll discover this idea that God is changing gays to straight is nuts. Look at Exodus Intl. Look at the countless “ex-gay’ leaders that have completely recanted their previous positions, livelihoods..and ADMITTED they were lying at worst, willfully deceived at best. Read TORN by Justin Lee. It’s all out there. God isn’t changing gays straight, because he has no interest in doing so anymore than changing blue eyes to brown. What I’m pointing out above is that people like you (I was one of you for 27 years, I understand your conditioning trust me!) are not (repeat not) going to change anybody’s mind who has already formed or reformed their opinion on this matter. Like so many believers, I, too have discovered, by reason and by the leading of the Holy Spirit through scripture, that you’re side (my old side) is just dead wrong on this matter. So, essentially, you’re wasting your time espousing your antiquated and misappropriated perpsective of SOME scriptures. There’s not much else to say. Instead of wasting your breath in this venue, go and make friends with some gay people and love them and draw them to Christ. But please avoid the “love the sinner” [expletive deleted] because you’ll lose them in about 1.4 seconds flat. Trust me on that one, bro.

  • Praise God! Our prayers for reinforcements have been answered. We have been preaching this gospel of reconciliation for 18 years now. Thank God that men and women of God that truly pray and seek the answers from scripture will cone to this same conclusion. Then, the moment of truth. Will it be TRUTH or TRADITION? The TRUTH will set you free!

    Bishop Randy Duncan, Chief Presiding Prebyter
    Reconciling Pentecostals International
    http://www.rpifellowship.com http://www.newlifeconnectpoint.com

  • Reinforcements? Well, it is a war, that’s for sure. Armies do need reinforcements.

    Just wish the Devil wasn’t winning this war so easily.

  • I disagree with your assessment. If a mixed couple is not accepted in a church but they are believers and married and monogamous to each other but not accepted, are they sinning by being married and of two different races? This is not sin. They are not accepted because of others sinful behavior, i.e.: prejudice or perhaps racism. The grief and despair come, but in this example not because of their own sin, but others’ sin. This is why I think your argument is fallacious.

  • There seems to be a false dichotomy here that either you are pro-LBGT and affirm their behaviour or against-LGBT and condemn the person.

    For my journey I was gay and my wife was a lesbian. In both our cases abuse we suffered as children affected our sexuality. I’m grateful to those who loved us and introduced us to the loving Father and let Him bring transformation.

  • I don’t think anyone is late to the party who continues to try, as only we humans can, to come to conclusions about what the Lord is speaking to us, even if sometimes we interpret it incorrectly. At least a person is still trying instead of pretending like they absolutely know the mind of God. I’m glad the Lord looks at the heart.

  • I suspect, like most people on the left, he talks a good game about “rights”. Will he stand up for the rights of businesses that do not wish to participate in same-sex “weddings”? Will he stand up for churches whose sermons are being subpoenaed simply because their pastors oppose same-sex “marriage”? Call me a cynic, but I suspect he’ll be like other leftists and defend (or ignore) such flagrant violations of the First Amendment for the sake of “equality”.

  • I’m happy that this guy has changed his mind, but it’s kind of sad that his opinion matters so much more than the opinions of people actually affected by this issue (ie the queer community).

  • What really hits home to me in the article is the self-pitying, deprecating response of Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary.

    Rev Mohler, you say the decision is “tragic and causes me real grief.” Let me assure you Sir, that your pain, pales into insignificance when you consider the tragic loss of life and alienation of LGBT people of faith, who have repeatedly been told by the likes of people like yourself that there is no place at the Lord’s table for them. If you want to talk tragedy and pain, I suggest you talk to those who have been hounded out of ministry and the church and the families of those who have lost loved ones through spiritual bullying.

  • The fact that “evangelicals” are defecting from Jesus and the Bible right and left should come as no surprise. Only those who love Jesus more than anything else will be able to stand in the midst of the persecution which is now beginning for real in the United States. The chaff are being separated from the wheat.
    Homosexuality is a litmus issue because the Scriptures are absolutely clear in opposing it. Are we concerned with pleasing God or pleasing man (or saving our skins)?

  • Guess what. To those people who say love the person dislike stand against the sin, you tell someone who you are trying to bring to Christ to a church and you say that to them that person is going to do an IMMEDIATE ABOUT FACE AND WALK OUT THAT DOOR! You can’t love the person without loving who they are. You can say love the person hate the sin but the moment you say that second part THEY LEAVE! Either you love THEM UNCONDITIONALLY or you DON’T LOVE THEM PERIOD.

  • I have gone to a number of different churches in my lifetime as an lgbtq person. Almost every single church I walk into tells me that same love the sinner hate the sin line I get up walk out and don’t return because it is painfully obvious how churches truly feel in general not all churches but a lot that they can’t stand accepting someone who is not perfectly like them. You want to continue to run me off and turn me away from Christ you continue to use hateful bible passages to condemn me even though you don’t even know me personally. I love Christ and my current church accepts me UNCONDITIONALLY and that is wonderful.

  • I would take issue with several of your observations; primarily, homosexual orientation is not mentioned one time in the Bible; indeed, the verses cited by you and most others deal with heterosexuals who are participating in homosexual acts, in other words, acts which are antithetical to their nature. Since the idea of homosexual orientation was not put forth until the mid 1800’s, we should not be surprised that nothing is to be found in the texts; no mention is made of cell phones, television or airplanes, either, and no one seems too upset about that defect. Taken in terms of this “new” knowledge, one can clearly see, especially if using the oldest sources, that the references don’t apply here. One can also appreciate the emotional content of the verses describing David’s attdraction to another man, and several examples of women who were attracted to other women; these are portrayed in a positive light in the texts, and are almost never cited when arguments of this ilk come up. As a final note, the citations about marriage need to be taken with a large grain of salt; the forms of marriage (monogamy, polygamy, extramarital affairs, harems, etc) are all found in scripture under the general term marriage; if these were prevalent today, the uproar would make the reaction to gays look tame. Time to dial down the rhetoric and use a bit of common sense and consideration for others.

  • “these be they who separate themselves, having not the Spirit.”
    “They are of the world, therefore the world listens to them.”

    If you people were filled with the Holy Ghost (as per throughout the Book of Acts,) you would know that God is always right.
    it isnt a matter of persecuting or hating the poor souls who are trapped in same sex attraction, it is a matter of believing God is always right.
    But I do believe that many Christians lack the power and the compassion to help a person who is trapped thus, in to full deliverance.
    A man I met called Hector Padillo was homosexual for many years and did not wish to be. Some powerless ministers told him to accept it, but he could not.
    One day he walked into a Pentecostal Church service and walked right up the front to where the minister was preaching. The minister paused and said, “What do you want?’ He replied, “I’m homosexual and I do not want to be.”
    Without knowing what he was doing (entirely led of the Holy Spirit,) the minister thumped him in the solar plexus (Hector felt no pain) and shouted,
    “Come out, in Jesus Name!” Hector said he felt something leave his body.
    He said that from that moment all homosexual desire left him.
    He became a Christian and got baptized in the Holy Ghost. Later he married a lovely lady and they have three children.
    he is now a Christian minister.
    His story was on the front page of the Sydney Morning Herald in 1994 (cant remember which month or day,) when I was over there. I carried that clipping for years and lost it, moving around.
    IF a person is homosexual/lesbian and they wish to be free of it, so they can obey the Lord, they can get deliverance in the Name of Jesus Christ.
    All true Believers have the authority from the Lord to cast out the spirits that are behind this sin and the spirits that may be behind other addictive sins (alcohol, drugs etc.)
    Jesus loves us all and died to free us from our sins.

  • Amen Anderson! They (the militant LGBT folk) “must” have the Christian community to validate their sin.
    If you are going to be reproved for alluding to hell though, you might as well come out and say it plainly: “Where the worm does not die; where there is weeping, wailing and gnashing of teeth” “Where the fire is not quenched.”
    “Eternal damnation.”
    All these are words of Jesus.

    Not only those who do not repent of homosexuality are going there, but each one of us needs to repent if we have sin in our life..we are all on an equal footing, as human beings; viz., we are all prone to sin.
    I feel very sorry for any one trapped in any form of sin, having been trapped in every sort there is almost, (barring homosexuality and pedophilia.)
    We each have the capacity to fall into any pit or snare of the devil, and it behoves us all to obey the Lord and cleave to Him.
    Thank God that although He is holy, He is longsuffering and “not willing any should perish, but that ALL should come to prepentance.”
    Thank God that He loves each person so much, that if it had been only one sinner (me or you) He would have given His dearest and best to take our punishment-the sinless for the sinner, so He could justify us.
    Thank God for His love.

    I don’t say all this for you Anderson, but for others who may read it.

  • Well, so what else is new? Many walked away from Jesus too, because of His “hard sayings.”. He told us to expect the same.

  • “Whoever loves father or mother, son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me.”. Matt. 10:37.

    Actually the church has needed an issue like this for a long time…something to expose the phonies playing along for the sake of conformity that has plagued it ever since Constantine. You can only count the cost of following Jesus, as He said to, when there is a cost to count.

  • Given the amount of outright fiction coming from Christian Conservative Pro-discrimination people these days (cough cough Todd Starnes cough cough), anti-conservative would be a sign of credibility.

  • Surely if he was committed to “learn, grow” he would regularly interact with those who point out flaws in his teaching, rather than ignoring and blocking them?

  • Paul let’s review what you are claiming. You write that the church “has been built on compassion and acceptance of its members” that’s true. But does “acceptance of its members” mean acceptance of the sin of its members? Jesus showed compassion and acceptance of the woman caught in adultery, but he still told her to stop sinning (John 8). Acceptance of members is one thing, but acceptance of them making no effort to avoid sin, is something else.

    Youre right that LGB individuals should not be categorically excluded from a church. And it’s my understanding that few churches do so. It’s not the individual that’s the problem. Rather it’s whether they continue to engage in homosexual relations.

  • You want to see what you want to see. You can post til the cows come home that homosexuality is acceptable to God, but His Word clearly states the opposite. In the same way that the Pharisees and Teachers of the law of old rationalized the scriptures for their own purposes.

    Read the Old Testament prophets to see what God thinks about that.

    Sin is sin, and it separates you from God. He is a loving God and is willing to forgive…you must do your part and repent of your sins.

  • What reason do we have to conclude that “In each clobber passage, the context is men who are married to women engaged in adultery” ? The King James phrase “as with a woman” (Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13) carries little weight to your argument when you consider that in the NIV translation, the phrase has a more contemporary wording of “as one does with a woman”. I get no sense that the phrase means the man is married by definition.

    I suggest that reasonable people would not interpret the punishment of Leviticus 20:13 as having been applicable to cases of rape or coercion.

    My Bible uses the word ‘unnatural’ in Romans 1:27 in reference to men. Are you sure yours doesnt?

    What makes you think that anyone interprets 1 Corinthians 5:13 as being a reference specifically to homosexual sin? And what grounds do we have to interpret 1 Corinthians 7 as referencing gay relationships? I see none.

    May God guide you, and me.

  • Use of cell phones, television or airplanes is generally not regarded as sinful, because the Bible says nothing about doing so. The Bible does make statements about homosexual relations though.

    The claim that the idea of homosexual orientation was not put forth until the mid 1800’s, is difficult to sustain. Of course the specific term “homosexual orientation” is comparatively new, but the concept of gay relationships and even of gay marriage, was discussed even way back then.

  • Yawn. I’ve read hundreds of these stories of anti-gay people who change their mind when someone they love comes out of the closet. Forgive me if I’m unimpressed by a leading ethicist who changes his mind because he suddenly has a personal stake in the issue. Forgive me if I am not impressed by someone who was so insistent that, gee, we really do love you gays, but God’s will on this issue cannot budge…wait, is this affecting someone I care about? Well I guess God’s will might not be what I previously insisted is. Who knew that God changed his mind the very moment this guy’s sister came out? What are the odds?

    Here’s the thing: there are no new arguments to make on this issue. Thousands of people before him have learned that they have gay family members. There’s nothing new about his experience. He was unswayed by all the other people who argued on behalf of their loved ones, and he similarly will be unable to sway anyone else. He himself is proof that it takes something more than debate and deliberation to change an anti-gay person to a pro-gay person. I wonder if he really thinks he can change anyone’s mind when he himself could not have his mind changed.

  • If James Brownson has written the most compelling biblical argument thus far, then the arguments thus far are not particularly compelling. Brownson’s detailed analysis and reasoning in various directions, obscure the basic facts of what the Bible actually says on the topic. His book is all about delving deep into the “moral logic” of Scripture. But he attempts to go so deep that he leaves the realms of hard facts and enters the world of theory – IE guessswork. They are often educated guesses, but he puts a lot of faith into his guess work. And he then places more weight on his guesswork than he does on plain words of Scripture.

  • He might, but I will not. Almost two years ago I lost my partner of 14 years. She died only a few months before Minnesota passed marriage equality. And as much as people like you have made my life sheer hell, growing up gay in America, you can have no idea how much worse you made an already impossibly painful event (losing my partner) by making it a legal and financial nightmare.

    You can have no idea how painful, how torturous, how completely NOT [expletive deleted] WORTH IT life can be if you grow up gay in this “Christian nation.” And aren’t you lucky that you are the kind of person who gets to inflict that pain instead of receive it? Just take that as a sign that your God loves you so much more than he loves me and that he will save you and forgive you because he saves his worst punishment (people like you) for people like me.

  • Doesnt this mean that, for example, of you had a child who murdered someone, that you are forced to either love your child and condone the murder, or not love them? Surely you can love someone without loving their sin?

  • Wow that is what I like to hear because I read it in God’s word. We are in a fight to keep God’s word from being misinterpreted based on one’s feelings. The spirit repercussions of disobeying God’s word are not often taken into account but I have seen People and myself delivered from things this world would call normal. This includes thinking I could be gay but didn’t want to be. Praise God for deliverance from this sin, I am married and have 2 children and not gay but only have desire for my wife!

  • Leading ethics scholar…who was unswayed by argument or reason but totally changed his mind when he stood to personally gain by taking the other viewpoint. I feel it’s kind of important to note that.

  • Have you seen the news report of someone who has murdered somebody else? Usually the parent says something like “He couldn’t have done that he’s such a good boy.”

    I have yet seen a news report of a parent who said “If he did kill this person then he deserves what the law says must be done.”

    This homosexual issue is so very divisive. The Christian says ‘Love the sinner, hate the sin’ So to speak. The homosexual says ‘I’m justified in what I do, so accept me completely.’ There’s no middle ground.

    Jesus says in response to the disciples question of signs of the end of the age “Take heed that no one deceives you.” Matthew 24:4 Now, you’d think he would have said something completely different, but He says that one characteristic of the ends times will be deception.

    We are in the end times and Jesus will soon return for His church. If you are a professing born again believer In Jesus Christ and your focus is on homosexual issues, then your focus cannot be on Christ and His church. That’s deception. If I’m wrong on the Biblical teaching about homosexuality and other sexual immorality issues then I apologize and God will take me to the wood shed over it.

    However, I don’t have to massage the words to see where Gods Word and the world part company.

  • If God is love, and love is not an emotion but an action: love is His very character. God puts His love on display through His abilities. We are to mimic this Love. So, with Jesus death on the cross: how can the treatment of the LGBT community be justified? It can’t, so the ISSUE isn’t homosexuality, the issue is how the church at large TREATS homosexuality. Friend, that is a “US and THEM” battle.

  • We should understand — 1 Cor 4:20 plus Rom 14:17

    “The ‘Kingdom of God’ is not in “word” (scripture verses), but “power” (Spirit of God in us)……..….it’s not food and drink but “righteousness” (good works and deeds) and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”.

    That helps us realize the simplicity in believing. It simplifies what we should expect from our Christian faith.

    —————————————–

    1. …our knowledge is partial and incomplete…
    2. …we see things imperfectly…
    3. All that I know now is partial and incomplete…
    (1 Corinthians 13:9,12)

    The above self assessment of Paul’s own writings is the evidence needed to show that in his narratives, there is no infallibility or accuracy and there is no divine stamp of approval.

    Therefore, it is necessary to judge and evaluate a matter based on all reasonable, ‘current’ attitudes, experiences and knowledge.

    Cheer…

  • We should understand — 1 Cor 4:20 plus Rom 14:17

    “The ‘Kingdom of God’ is not in “word” (scripture verses), but “power” (Spirit of God in us)………..it’s not food and drink but “righteousness” (good works and deeds) and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit”.

    That helps us realize the simplicity in believing. It simplifies what we should expect from our Christian faith.

    —————————————–

    1. …our knowledge is partial and incomplete…
    2. …we see things imperfectly…
    3. All that I know now is partial and incomplete…
    (1 Corinthians 13:9,12)

    The above self assessment of Paul’s own writings is the evidence needed to show that in his narratives, there is no infallibility or accuracy and there is no divine stamp of approval.

    Therefore, it is necessary to judge and evaluate a matter based on all reasonable, ‘current’ attitudes, experiences and knowledge.

    Cheer

  • The fact you use that ridiculous pejorative term ‘clobber passages’, but yet want to quote other parts of the bible is not logical. Your entire argument rests on an assumption that is never mentioned in scripture once – i.e., that the sexual categories of heterosexual and homosexual are valid. God only mentions male and female because that is all He made.

    Are you saying God was incompetent? Seems odd to have made two people completely unsuited to sexual contact with each other compared with the combination of male and female.

    As for twisting scripture, you seem to be an expert. But it’s hard to twist an actual ACT of God in CREATION to mean something completely the opposite.

  • I think the offence to God on this issue is a aspect you obviously couldn’t care less about. Stop assuming people are categorised by their attractions and/or behaviour. It’s simply not the way Jesus viewed people.

    There is a place for people who confess and hate their sins so that God may forgive them.
    There is no place for people who look for ways to justify themselves in their sins.

    You are not viewing the subject from an eternal perspective; Mohler is right, it is tragic and grievous.

  • Yawn. Same old story. People who have been brainwashed with the popular ‘attraction/behaviour-is-identity’ lie about sexuality are therefore ill-prepared for someone close to them embracing the homosexual lifestyle. Too many people have changed for this to be a reliable foundation to build an entire cause out of. This entire case of the homosexualists rests on quicksand.

    Last I heard, God made male and female, and this world is thoroughly confused about sex, even when the collective and personal experience of everybody only points in one direction – heterosexual is normal, everything else is abnormal. People should not categorise themselves by their feelings; God makes it clear we are desparately wicked and corrupted in every way – we simply cannot rely on our hearts for truth.

    Gushee is helping nobody and worst of all turning his back on God. The idea the bible is OK with homosexuality is arrant nonsense. The arguments of the pro-homosexual apologists only survive because they refuse to put them up to scrutiny and not enough people are armed to refute them.

    Gushee claims he loves Jesus. If he thinks Jesus would’ve been OK with homosexuality, his Jesus is a fiction, because Gushee does not take Him at His word. There is no wriggle room to accommodate homosexuality in this:
    “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.” (Mt 19:4-6)

  • I know that I’m supposed to be surprised that an evangelical can come to believe that homosexuality is not sinful, but many of us have already trod that same path. What really surprised me in this article is that there is such a thing as “left of center positions against torture”. What on earth does that mean? There is a spectrum of Christian views about torture?? There are Christians who are NOT against torture? We think that God hates same gender love if it is sexual in nature but God justifies torture? Wow; I know there are several Bible verses that speak against pederasty but I believe there are many more that imply that torture is wrong.

  • Lindsey, hang in there. There really are progressive churches out there, where one’s orientation isn’t a litmus test for anything. Not that we don’t have our own faults and hypocrisy but there’s not the assumption that as an LGBTQ person you don’t really know God.

  • Gushie has a right to his own opinion about how to view homosexuality, but he does not have a right to his own facts about what the Bible says.

    If he said that he no longer believes what the Bible says about the issue, at least he would be demonstrating some integrity. But trying to have it both ways is intellectual dishonesty.

    On an unrelated point, the writer, Jonathan Merritt, would do well to act more like a professional and not showcase his own biases on the subject by calling opponents of Gushee’s position the “far right.”

    Earth to Mr. Merritt:

    You don’t label people politically based on one issue alone. For example, the Catholic Church, while conservative on cultural issues like this one, is generally quite liberal on social justice issues. But based on Merritt’s calculations, the Vatican would be categorized as “far right” because of its divergence from Gushie on this one issue.

  • Isn’t it interesting how these ex-evangelicals (let’s call them what they really are) who put leftist politics ahead of honest interpretation of the biblical text — mostly the Old Testament text — haven’t even thought to consult Jewish sources about what the verses about homosexuality are really about.

    After all, you’d think that the Jews, who have been interacting with the Torah since Sinai, would know something about what the texts mean.

    I’ll bet anything that Gushee and friends have not even bothered to read the ancient extrabiblical writings of the Jews to get their views. Their distain for the “Joooos” and their views is on vivid display not just in their contempt for Jewish interpretations (hint: all of the ancient interpreters agreed with what conservative evangelicals are saying today on the matter), but in their viciously anti-Israel positions and their embrace of one form or another of replacement theology, in which Jews are portrayed, contrary to the apostle Paul’s views in Romans 11, as being disowned as a people by God.

    Gushee in fact has been among the lefties who deem support for Israel to be “sinful.” Perhaps he should tell that to One he professes to be the King of the Jews, Jesus.

  • Tom, you’re too logical. Facts and logic are “out,” and feelings are “in.”

    Welcome to the word of fantasy, where feeling good trumps doing good.

  • JMurman, you’re not wrong in terms of what the text says. The difference is that you’re being honest about what it says, while others are trying to make it say what they want it to say. You’re motivated by facts and logic; the others are driven by fantasy and feelings. You are putting the text ahead of political correctness; they are bending the text in service to it.

  • You don’t even seem to be aware you are inserting an idea foreign to Scripture into it, and, unsurprisingly, coming up with a load of nonsense.

    It is a preposterous idea that – essentially – feelings alone sanitise a distortion of God’s creative design purpose for sex. I find it even more ridiculous to claim there would be something dangerous for someone to come to their senses and recognise homosexuality is wrong and walk away from it and embrace WHO THEY ARE – male or female, only compatible with someone of the opposite sex. I know six such people myself. Are they lying?

    What you are really saying is that God was incompetent when creating the two sexes, or, even worse, a liar. Either way, Luther is right, your ‘god’ is small and wouldn’t be someone worth following. How could He save us if He didn’t have the supernatural power to change and redeem? I really don’t think that you have considered you are diluting the gospel to nothing useful at all. Your Jesus is an invention to avoid confronting sin, which will never be popular.

  • At some point, calling Gushee and like-minded people evangelicals is about as surreal as calling steak eaters vegans. At best, they have abandoned evangelicalism and are liberal Protestants. But at least the liberal Protestants are honest enough to say that they have largely rejected the plain and straightforward words of the biblical text on a host of issues. Gushee and friends lack the honesty and the integrity to admit that they have done likewise.

  • Just wondering Jack, have you consulted any Hebrew scholars? How about any Greek or Aramaic period texts? Greek scholars?

    What about The Biblos Foundation or any of there resources like biblehub.com?

    I assure you that some of us in the Christian LGBTQ (friends too) don’t just arrogantly and ignorantly remain in this battle for affirmation.

    When I first discovered Jesus for myself, I ready the all the scriptures pertaining to homosexuality and sexual sin. As I matured in my faith so did my studies. Yes, I have a relationship with Jesus. I also feast on the Word.

    Your above comment is demeaning to Gushees’ character and functions. It is also the demeaning to Jewish people.

  • Let’s just call this what it is….mindless conformity to the Zeitgeist — to the spirit of the age, often motivated by shame and a desire to belong to what they see as America’s cultural elite.

    Simply stated, some people who were brought up fundamentalist are ashamed of the de classe status of their parents…..In many cases, they were the first generation in their family to go to college, where liberal professors basically blew their unreflective views right out of the water. But instead of thinking critically and deeply, and reading people like CS Lewis, they adopted a “me too” attitude toward liberalism.

    The irony is that people like Gushee are always arriving too late to the party. Just as they’ve decided that Obama is cool, Obama is no longer cool. Just as they’ve decided that God is a liberal Democrat, the bottom is falling out politically on liberal Democrats. (Hint: God is of neither party.)

    And it’s the same thing with much of contemporary Christian music. It’s chasing after secular trends, and always arriving a decade too late.

    Instead of trying too hard to be cool and hip, maybe evangelicals should stand for the simple and straightforward interpretation of Scripture and trust that God will keep revealing the already-mountainous evidence for the veracity of His Word. This way, they will remain evangelicals, rather than becoming ex-evangelicals and end up lying so pathetically about it.

  • Nice try at turnspeak, Jackie, but facts are facts…..this same left-wing that is quickly abandoning evangelicalism at every turn is also siding with Israel’s enemies and even criticizing Israel for building a wall to keep the terrorists from slaughtering Israeli civilians.

    And this includes Gushee, who is among those who have blasted “Christian Zionists” as “sinful.” Do a google search for Christ at the Checkpoint and you can read all about this vile stuff. These are the same people who call that wall “the apartheid wall” — and call Israel an illegitimate, apartheid state. These are the same people who refused to make an ultimate moral distinction between Israel and Hamas, a group which remains on the US State Department’s list of terrorist organizations.

    At some point, hatred or denial of what’s in the Book (ie the Bible) leads to hatred of the People of the Book, and ultimately the faith expressions of that people. It leads to bigotry against the Jews as people, and against the Old Testament upon which their faith is based.

    Thus it is no coincidence that the most virulent hatred of the Jews today is coming from the hard left, and from people in Gushee’s camp.

  • Lindsey, explain how hating the sin is incompatible with loving the person. Every one of us can easily think of examples where the two routinely go together in daily life. But no matter which example I give, you will respond by huffing and puffing with all the indignation you can muster about my supposed audacity in comparing any sin or flaw with what we are discussing here. IN other words, I doubt we can have a rational discussion about it. It’s all about emotion, wishful thinking and fantasy, and feelings.

  • Actually, Gex, you’re wrong about that. The worst punishment is for the sin of arrogant and haughty pride, which any person can fall deeply into, including me, including you, including any one of us, and including religious leaders who, as Jesus pointed out, may look good on the outside but are full of dead people’s bones on the inside. And that includes religious leaders of all kinds — from those who disagree with you to those who agree. Pride is an equal opportunity destroyer of human happiness and love. So ultimately, we are all in the same boat. None of us could stand for a single second without the mercy of God.

  • Wrong, CJ. Mohler is simply trying to be faithful to the words of Scripture. You’re making it look like Mohler invented biblical teachings, when as you well know, such teachings in the Bible alone are over 30 centuries old.

    Every Christian who has ever lived has had to struggle big-time with something in the Bible which goes against their grain. There are really only two honest responses to the dilemma. Believe the Bible and deal with the struggle or disbelieve it and find some other book or world view to embrace. What is so transparently dishonest is the attempt to resolve the problem by denying what the Bible is plainly saying. It may be emotionally satisfying for awhile but it is a sham.

  • Aanderson, that’s a provocative point, but if the Bible is true, you’ve summarized the explanation rather well.

  • The idea that there are only a handful of verses dealing with homosexuality is utterly misleading, as if the normative view of sex was just a side issue. In truth, the entire bible from cover to cover assumes the male/female paradigm as the only correct model. Why are you seeking to justify that which God clearly said “No” to?

  • Right again, Art Deco. And Gushee is also associated with so-called evangelicals who depart further from the Bible through their opposition to Israel and the Jewish people.

    Unfortunately, many self-proclaimed evangelicals would do anything to conform to the culture. If it were cool to put a bag over their head and quack like a duck, many would do it.

  • Most evangelicals never heard of Gushee and most evangelicals did not anoint Gushee as the king of evangelical ethicists.

    If Gushee is a world-class ethicist, then I’m the Prince of Wales.

    Ethicists are supposed to be rigorous thinkers, not sloppy, dishonest charlatans who say and do whatever makes them feel good and then ransack the Bible or any other text for subsequent justification.

  • @ Brian Bowen I’m sorry but where are you getting your interpretation of 1 Corinthians 7:15?

    “15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.” NIV

    This is in reference to an unequally yoked marriage. Believer/unbeliever union. Not homosexual.

    “12 To the rest I say this (I, not the Lord): If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife has been sanctified through her believing husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.

    15 But if the unbeliever leaves, let it be so. The brother or the sister is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace. 16 How do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or, how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife?” 1 Corinthians 7:12-16

  • Jackie…the Bible says that having sex with an animal is a perversion. We are told that once for the law and once for the penalty (death). We don’t need to be told more than that do we? When we are told about this bestiality, those of us who believe the Word of God, accept it and move on.

    What you are saying is that we are told 6 or 7 times that homosexuality is not a good thing in Gods eyes. He expressly condemns it…and even gives us the account of Sodom and Gomorrah…and yet that’s STILL not enough for you.

    I figure it this way, if God says it once, then it’s important. If He says it twice, then it’s real important…IF He says it three times…pay special attention as God wants to make something perfectly clear to you. 6 or 7 times, and an account to go along with that. I’d say there’s no excuse.

  • From the information in this and other articles about David, I don’t agree with your interpretation. He may have been unswayed by argument or reason (thank god), but clearly felt his way through the issue with his heart. Sounds like following Jesus to me.

  • The irony is that people like Gushee are always arriving too late to the party.

    That’s just what makes his shuck-and-jive irritating and mordantly amusing. I think when the young people call someone a ‘tool’, he’s a sort they have in mind. (Rod Dreher is another insecure fad-chaser).

  • Paul, I agree with what you’re saying, but just want to know why you’re excluding the “T” from “LGBT”? Are you excluding them?

  • This is hardly a surprising development and actually matters very little. The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship was formed by the fallout of the Conservative Resurgence within the Southern Baptist Convention. The continued movement in a leftward direction by CBF is not at all surprising.

    As Dr. Mohler has said repeatedly, soon everyone will have to make their position on this issue known and the choice is quite clear: adhere to the biblical teachings on human sexuality or reject them.

  • In the past, scriptures have been cited to support slavery, segregation, anti-Semitism, and the subjugation of women. Fortunately, humans continue to learn more about what God wants for humanity and these things are now considered by most to be hurtful and harmful to our life as humans. Now, many are also learning that homophobia is also hurtful and harmful. Homosexuality is a natural variation of God’s good creation. We have heard it said, “Homosexuality is a sin.” But now we hear, “Affirm your own God given sexual orientation.” We can continue to repeat old traditions and use them against our fellow humans as the Pharisees of old or we can listen to God’s good and loving guidance.

  • Thank you, Rev. Susan. The “arc of history” will see the anti-gay crowd remembered right alongside the anti-civil rights, anti-interracial marriage group. Love will win. Justice will win. It may take some time, but this distortion of the Gospel will end.

  • “Leading evangelical ethicist” — Jonathan, I have to ask: do you actually *personally know* any evangelicals?

    If you attempt a “yes,” my follow-up would be: …and if you say “David Gushee,” they respond “Oh yes, he’s one of our leading ethicists”?

  • “Thank you, Rev. Susan. The “arc of history” will see the anti-gay crowd remembered right alongside the anti-civil rights, anti-interracial marriage group. Love will win. Justice will win. It may take some time, but this distortion of the Gospel will end.”

    Deanna…Please explain HOW by having a Biblical world-view distorts the Gospel. By the way what is your interpretation of the Gospel?

  • So what would you say to someone who habitually blasphemes the LORD’s name?

    Or worships idols like Zeus or the Lady of Fatima?

    Or shags underage girls?

    Does loving them unconditionally mean excusing or condoning their sin?

  • Since the heart is deceitful, following your heart often leads to death. So no it isn’t Jesus. Jesus would never support sinful behavior.

  • If you think LGBT suffering is bad now, just wait until eternity when they are forever separated from God. And then imagine the part you played in it by having this sentimental view that ultimately is the most unloving thing you can do to them. Why participate in this self-centered, sentimental parade? Why not warn them of what is to come and offer them hope at the cross?

  • It was unconvincing the first time you posted it. These opinions have already been debunked ad nauseum. Homosexual behavior, was, is and will always be sinful. No getting around that.

  • Frank, I was responding specifically to your comment that he
    “only changed his mind when he stood to personally gain”, not any of the larger issues. I’m Catholic and thus oriented around the primary value given to charity. A very, very multilevel and multidimensional disposition worthy of ongoing investigation. In disagreements I work to be charitable in my interpretation of where others are coming from, rather than impute the worst possible motives to them.

  • “we can listen to God’s good and loving guidance.”

    Tell me, where did God say that “Homosexuality is a natural variation of God’s good creation”?

    Yes, Scripture has been cited to support all sorts of awful things. Because some have misused God’s written Word, does that mean we discard it all together?

    Actually, what many are now doing is the same thing: they are misusing Scripture to justify their sin and the sins of others. It’s just that this time they can say, “we are doing so in a loving way.”

  • Ya, well… I was born/raised in a Pentecostal ultra conservative church, attended an ultra conservative Bible College, ordained a Minister of the Gospel, and did not want to be gay either. Was prayed for, and fasted and prayed… jumped every possible hoop to be free, and was not. I also got married to a woman, have a child… but the same-sex attraction never ended, and my wife felt cheated and left. To spout one person’s experience, is not a license to determine ‘one size fits all’. I am living proof that one can, with enough power of will and mind, over come the urges, but that doesn’t change what is ‘natural’ for that individual. In my case the only thing that made me happy was that everyone else that I knew and loved was happy, except me, and my then wife who felt like she was ‘settling’ for less than she deserved. I am not demon possessed or oppressed, I love God, and know that Jesus Christ is my personal Lord and Saviour, and by His blood I am cleansed and made righteous before God! But I am gay, and God loves me as I am – after all, He doesn’t make ‘mistakes’.

  • So, Tim, how you do ethics is like this:
    1. I have religious feelings and experiences
    2. I didn’t stop wanting X
    3. Therefore, X must be morally OK

    Like that?

  • “Pro-discrimination” . . . really? This is the kind of ideological rhetoric (typical on both sides) that undermines any possibility of genuine dialogue and thoughtful exchanges of perspectives.

  • No, it was when I had exhausted every natural and spiritual attempt that I finally, began to look beyond my ‘select limited theology’, and study the scriptures in their context, that I realized that the Bible didn’t say, what I had been taught, and thought it to say. In other words… I lay down my ‘religious’ predujices so that I could more accurately see what the Holy Spirit and the Scripures were saying…. as did Gushee. I began to see the scriptures through the eyes of Grace, as opposed to legalism.

  • God is love! The very fact He gave us warnings of what would destroy us and what was an obomanation to Him is love. He doesn’t will that anyone should perish but that all should come to repentence. 2 Peter 3:9. A loving God is a warning God not a compromising God that changes with the culture He does not change. Malachi 3:6. People have made God in their own eyes to fit their sin and lifestylyes. Christians are called to love people, but that does not mean we compromise the word of God for the doctrines of man. The definintiion of love in our culture is not the love of the Bible. Would you warn your child who was heading into a fire pit or not want to hurt his feelings because he might not think you love him? Well we need to loviningly warn the homosexual community of judgment that is coming and snatch them from the fire. Jude 1:23
    Proverbs 24: 21-22
    My son fear the LORD and the King; Do not associate with those given to change; for their calamity will rise suddenly and who knows the ruin that comes from both of them. Change: strongs 8138 ( alter, pervert, repeat, do a second time)

  • Christian zionism is a blasphemous heresy without Scriptural warrant. Unconditional support for the modern state of Israel is an ideological conviction masquerading as a “biblical stance.” Christian zionism embraces a bankrupt eschatology at the expense of our Palestinian brothers and sisters in Christ.

  • I hope that all who claim Christianity at least recognize that some Christians, exercising their religious liberty and the right of personal conscience along with a Christocentric interpretation of their Christian faith, now assert that passages in the Bible traditionally related to homosexuality have either been misinterpreted or are simply wrong. These Christians may be wrong, but those that follow a more traditional view may also be wrong just as some Christians in the past were wrong about their interpretation of the Bible regarding slavery, anti-Semitism, segregation, and the subjugation of women. I too hope that those who do not identify as Christian will recognize that not all Christians consider homosexuality to be a sin. Homosexuality is a natural variation of God’s good creation!

  • Tim,
    Everyone is born with a sinful nature. If a person is prone to pedaphelia, should he engage the sin because it feels natural and God will love him anyway? Is that the God of the Bible or the one you created to suit your lifestyle? Now I am not being unsypathetic to your struggles. As a Christian I am to lovingly encourage you in holliness. God is more concerned with our holiness than happiness. He is clear in His word that we must repent ( mentanoi; turn from) of sin or we are not saved. God is loving enough to give us the warnings in His word so you would obey. Luke 6:46 why do you call Me LORD, LORD and do not do what I say. God has given us the power throught the Holy Spirit to crucify the flesh and carry our cross. You are not alone in your struggles, but I pray you will flee sexual immorality because we don’t have much time. Satan is a liar and wants homosexuals to believe they don’t have to repent and turn from sin. Do not trample the grace of God. Titus 2;11 But the true grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, teaching us to deny ungodlinesss and woldly lusts ( strongs 1939: longing for what is forbidden, strong desire) we should live soberly, righteously and godly in the present age. Do not follow men who encourage others to sin. This is not from God, but from the god of this world.
    Blessings!

  • Michael Ejercito, check out these sites, which are just a few of the countless pieces of evidence of Christian abuse of LGBT persons.
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carl-siciliano/christianity-and-the-parental-rejection-of-lgbt-youth_b_2966849.html
    http://www.aliforneycenter.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=cms.page&id=1123
    http://www.newsweek.com/where-american-teens-abused-name-god-258182
    http://www.dailykos.com/story/2014/08/28/1324875/-Fundamentalist-Christian-love-on-display-when-gay-son-comes-out
    http://www.amazon.com/Ex-Gay-No-Way-Survival-Religious/dp/1844091872
    Beyond those sites, I commend to you the book by Dr. Jack Rogers entitled “Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality: Explode the Myths, Heal the Church.” Rogers is a Presbyterian who has taught at Fuller Theological Seminary, among other places, who had held conservative views on homosexuality for many years until he was moved to study the issue for himself, rather than simply falling in line with other conservatives he admired, and came to very different conclusions than those to which he had subscribed his whole life up until that time. Your response to Jackie, Michael, suggests that your ideology has caused you to be resistant even to the widespread and publicly broadcast evidence of religiously-inspired violence against LGBTQ persons, so I doubt that even Jack Rogers’ systematic presentation of the argument against the conservative views on homosexuality that he himself once held were correct will sway your thinking or make you more accepting of the reality of religiously-inspired violence (outside of your acceptance of the reality of Islam-inspired violence, which I would guess you would admit to having). Nevertheless, I want to give you some references in the off chance that you actually care about how Christianity is represented in the world and whether people use God’s name in vain by suggesting that violence against LGBTQ persons is “what Jesus would do.”

  • Turning a Christ-less state, founded by the UNO in 1948, into a righteous, religious icon is as culpable as trying to justify the evils of same-sexuality.

    The “people of the Book” are not an ethnic collective of ‘outward’ Jews (Romans 2:28,29) who’ve made “the Word of God none effect through your traditions (Mark 7:13).” They are Christians who are “born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever (1 Peter 1:23).”

    What Jack calls “the faith expression of that people” is actually the corruptible seed of a heresy that thinks “the Israel of God” is a Gospel-rejecting, ethnic elite.

  • Hi Jenny…
    Firstly, pedaphelia is not ‘equivelant’ to homosexuality. Secondly, pedaphelia is against the law, and a sin against the child to whom it is perpatrated. A consensual loving relationship between two adult individuals of the same sex is neither against the law of the land, and when the Bible was written – there were laws that neither you nor I keep today because they are irrellevant since the cross of Christ. The problem is that religion mixes law and grace – and Paul the Apostle said it accurately when he said, to do so was ‘to make the grace of God, of none effect’. But you go ahead, and live under the law if you like – but you have no right to determine which laws I should live under – I prefer to not limit the workings of the cross of Christ – Jesus paid it ALL!

  • “Homosexuality is a natural variation of God’s good creation!“ is a trollish conclusion that invites this warning: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter! (Isaiah 5:20).” It is the Bible that “considers homosexuality to be a sin.” That’s why Romans 1:27-32 condemns it as a willful, unnatural, vile perverting of the Creator’s design.

  • That’s probably because most evangelicals don’t step outside their comfort zone when it comes to reading other scholars who might disagree with them. You have to be living under a rock if you’re a serious biblical scholar or ethicists and yet never heard of Gushee. You may not have noticed the mention in the article concerning one of the more influential books “Kingdom Ethics”, recognized by a wide scope of scholars, ethicists, and evangelicals.

    I imagine you must be quite the critic of ethicists, seeing that whoever proposes an opinion that you disagree with is cast aside as “sloppy and dishonest”. Who made you the accredited judge of theology and ethics? Is it the case that you also find those you agree with strikingly brilliant? Please, enlighten me more with your harsh and absurd opinion with little to no argument.

  • These Christians may be wrong, but those that follow a more traditional view may also be wrong

    The architecture of sexual morality is not obscure and has never not been a concern of clergy and laity because the sexual dimension of life is incorporated into the mundane existence of ordinary people (as are the dilemmas associated with that life). You’re suggesting to everyone that anyone and everyone puzzling over scripture from the transcription of the Pentateuch to around about 1970 is ‘wrong’. You’re not making reference to the uncertainties of studying Sacred Scripture. You’re implicitly offering that it’s impossible for anyone to come to an understanding of Sacred Scripture.

    Why do you think this fellow Gushee is making reference to his sister and social data collection? Because he’s the sort who wishes to replace Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and the Magisterium (and the substitutes protestants have contrived) with these other conduits as a way of understanding moral truth. Whatever it is, it’s not anything recognizably Christian. The verbal trumpery you drape over it may make use of Christian idioms, but it’s no more Christian than Flip Wilson’s ‘Geraldine’ was female. (And Flip Wilson was entertaining, which this fellow Gushee is not).

    Writing a critique of a document spit out by some Presbyterian committee in 1993, Camille Paglia offered that it was a fool’s errand and these people were trafficking in treacly nonsense. She’d jettison the Faith. Which at least has a certain integrity to it. (And she never made a living off it).

  • That’s probably because most evangelicals don’t step outside their comfort zone when it comes to reading other scholars who might disagree with them

    There’s a reason it scarcely occurred to anyone within the fold prior to 1970 that sodomy was anything but an abuse of human sexuality. It was not because Christian theologians were not ‘stepping outside their comfort zone’. Gushee is making reference to social data collection and his sister because the conventional sources are unhelpful.

  • “Pro-discrimination” . . . really? This is the kind of ideological rhetoric

    It’s a function of Larry’s rage that someone, somewhere might make a discretionary decision on grounds Larry dislikes; it’s also a function of Larry’s abiding belief that those in his preferred portfolio of mascot groups never be vexed or inconvenienced by the hoi polloi going about their business. Tony Kushner is Special. “Christian Conservative” landlords who aren’t in the business of providing digs for pick-ups are disgusting and must be crushed by force of law.

  • “That’s probably because most evangelicals don’t step outside their comfort zone when it comes to reading other scholars who might disagree with them”

    We are not called to follow men but God. 2 John 2:9 “Anyone who goes ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teachinghe has both the Father and the Son.” Christians don’t follow every wind of doctrine, we are called to test the spirits and see if they are from God.. Jesus warned about men like these. ” 2 Timothy 3;3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but wanting their ears tickled,,, they will accumuate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires.
    I read Hebrew and Greek and the Bible is very clear. It is not popular and it doesn’t feel good because it is sharper than a double edged sword and able to divided the thoughts and intensions of the heart. Hebrews 4:16. People like their sin because it is comfortable, they don’t want to come out of their comfort zone and deny their flesh and obey Christ, It is difficult.

  • But I am gay, and God loves me as I am – after all, He doesn’t make ‘mistakes’.

    God still expects you to not sin- which means no idolatry, no buggery, no blasphemy, no theft, no murder, etc.

  • Can you tell me where that is in the Bible that says two men can morally be gay in a commited relationship?

  • I see a theme with your posts. You want everyone ELSE to do all the work, then when they do – you ignore them. Why would anyone respond to your demands ever again?

  • Firstly, pedaphelia is not ‘equivelant’ to homosexuality. Secondly, pedaphelia is against the law, and a sin against the child to whom it is perpatrated.

    1. They are both sexual disorders.

    2. Consensual sodomy was against the law in New York as recently as 1980. The provision in the Penal Law was not repealed by the legislature. It was arbitrarily annulled by the state Court of Appeals.

    3. non-paedophilic Homosexual conduct remains legally proscribed in New York. There is such a thing as an age of consent. We’ll be hearing about that in the future when the Dan Savage brigade gets to the next item on their agenda.

  • Nobody ever got tenure by saying “Calvin was right”. The academy has an insatiable appetite for novelty. Heresy and gnosticism have been around since Jesus provided teachings for novel thinkers to distort and oppose. Since my academic field is not theology, I have no particular interest in writers such as Gushee. I certainly don’t need his help understanding the Bible. As an intellectual exercise, this is an interesting discussion, but I would hate for anyone to think that it’s actually relevant to living in accordance with God’s will.

  • Tim,
    Seriously? Because the government goes godless and decides to redefine marriage and make homosexuality law does not make it law in God’s eyes. Christians are under the moral law of Christ, not the law of man.
    Secondly have you ever wondered why the worldwide agenda? The fact that Jesus said in Luke 17 that in the end times it will be just the same as the days if Noah ( extreme violence) and in the days of Lot (homosexuality)and he talked about how judgement will be quick. ” even thus it shall be in the day when the Son if Man is revealed. Vs. 30. Furthermore have you wondered why the government has made it legal? Population control? Satan has the world deceived, leading the homosexual agenda. Wake up, this is all apart of the end time prophecy. ” do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law” (satanist Anton lavey)

  • No offense intended here, but it’s pretty arrogant to say that you don’t need anyone’s help in understanding the Bible. In case it’s not evident enough, history has shown that it’s not quite as simple as some people think. In addition, formulating doctrines has been of incredible difficulty and debate within the early church. Theology and hermeneutics are my field of study, and I can be the first to attest that it’s a bit more tricky than you might imagine. It certainly isn’t enough to say, “The Bible says this or that.”

  • Well, in light of that it seems as if the professor needs to change his title to “Professor of Situational Ethics.” That is all this is plain and simple. Your convictions have to be based on truth and not sympathies. Society just cannot have it both ways as much as it seems they want to. The bible is clear about homosexuality. We really need to stop trying to make something right because we don’t want someone to hurt or feel badly. That is not to say we condemn…that is never right…but we cannot condone either.

  • Agreed. But I didn’t say that. I said I don’t need the help of anyone who plays intellectual games with the clear meaning of God’s word. I’m not an upside-down Berean searching the professional theologians and ethicists daily to see if what Scripture says is true. Gushee fails the gold standard.

    Jesus is my hermeneutic. He explained the spiritual significance of heterosexual marriage. And he didn’t say “go and keep on sinning”; he said “go and sin no more”. The underlying assumption is that living a Godly life somehow requires the assistance of academics. It doesn’t; it didn’t in the 1st century and it doesn’t in the 21st. I can appreciate, welcome, and incorporate into my life the thoughts of anyone who above all respects what the Bible actually says.

    I’ll give you an example. One sometimes hears the argument that Paul couldn’t have been addressing sexual orientation in Romans 1 because he probably didn’t know that such a thing existed. True enough. But God knew all about sexual orientation when he inspired Paul’s writings. And if he didn’t inspire Paul and all the other biblical writers, then the Christian life is a worthless charade anyway. Both my reason and my experience, confirmed by the Holy Spirit, tell me that it is not a charade.

  • What you actually said was, “Since my academic field is not theology, I have no particular interest in writers such as Gushee. I certainly don’t need his help understanding the Bible.” However, I appreciate the clarification.

    You have said, “Jesus is my hermeneutic.” I respect and agree with you that Jesus Christ is certainly our integrative motif for doing theology. You would be in good company with theologians like Karl Barth then.

    I would also agree and applaud the fact that one does not need to read and consider the academics to live a Godly life. But I would invite you to consider that part of loving God is loving Him with our minds. This includes that we should be engaged with these scholars and what they have to say. We must also admit that many of these scholars who have devoted their entire lives to understanding the Bible have resources that lay people do not (for just one of many examples, they have adequate knowledge and experience in Greek, Hebrew, or Aramaic).

    In regards to this, the early church fathers were very involved in the academics. For them, this was part of their spiritual life. It was a form of worship because they took God and His Word so seriously. Read Origin, Irenaeus, Augustine, etc.

    Finally, addressing your example, you cannot make Scripture say something it never meant to even address. That is bad exegesis!!

  • Tom,

    Curious as to your sources for “gay marriage way back then.” Same sex behavior in antiquity was typically in instances of economic exploitation…masters/slaves, older married men having sex with adolescents (pederasty) and prostitution. The rare instance of same sex marriage in Rome was related to property rights, and is not the same as a committed, loving relationship between two people of the same sex. If you are referencing Plato’s Symposium, pederasty was ultimate subject. So I am curious to understand the source of your information. BTW, I appreciate the tone of your comments. No matter where you stand on this subject, Christians should discuss this matter with respect. The tone, sarcasm and comments by many on here are shameful and do nothing to further the Kingdom of God. Thanks for staying respectful and calm.

  • In regards to my previous post, I understand that you are not disregarding academics. But I would go as far as to suggest that we do actually need academics in order to better understand the Bible. Academics is not necessary to live a Godly life either, however, it is certainly a benefit to living a Godly life.

  • But I don’t love God with my mind if I choose Gushee over the clear, consistent, and unambiguous witness of Scripture. I disagree that Jesus told us to engage with professional theologians and scholars (especially given the sorry state of many – most – seminaries and graduate programs), but rather with wise believers regardless of their academic credentials. I would not count Gushee – or anyone else who substitutes feelings and experiences for the Bible’s teaching – a wise believer.

    I do pay attention to, for example, Robert Gagnon, but not to tell me what the Bible means. When Jack Rogers and Mark Achtemeier (PCUSA) started down the same slippery slope that Gushee is hurtling down, Gagnon’s writings were helpful in answering the feel-good religion promoted by progressives inside and outside the PCUSA. But, then, so did J. Gresham Machen 90 years ago. As you may have guessed, my church and I followed Machen’s example and departed the PCUSA several years ago. Making that difficult and expensive decision for doctrinal and missional reasons (rather than emotional and social reasons) was a very concrete example of loving God with our minds.

    Just to be clear, it is my belief that Paul, under inspiration, was addressing all homosexual behavior and that the sexual orientation red herring is just that. I certainly didn’t mean to suggest that it had any validity.

  • I agree that hearing and examining other voices – even academic ones 🙂 – is useful – iron sharpens iron, after all. However, identifying the iron from among the aluminum and plastic is a necessary first step to get the intended effect.

  • Yes, except that’s just it. Identifying the iron from the aluminum and plastic is a lot harder than you think. Of course, wouldn’t we all like to do that. We could avoid all the disagreement of interpretation all together, couldn’t we?

    Perhaps, you would allow me to provide another way of thinking. We want to sharpen our iron (our understanding of scripture), but we need a little help in doing it, so we use some adequate tools (The Biblical languages, the scholars with their ideas and how they came to those ideas, the historical context and background, the early church, etc.). When we consider these tools, we find that this sharpening is more difficult than we thought, but the reward much greater.

  • I don’t know that this is what Tom was referring to, but the Babylonian Talmud and the Midrash Rabbah Genesis (rabbinic teachings committed to writing during the early common era) both make mention of same sex marriage having existed during pre-Noahide times.

  • Respectfully, I disagree. Any substance that contradicts the Bible is not iron; whether it is aluminum or plastic is immaterial. God did not provide us with a book that requires an advanced degree – or any degree, or the help of anyone with a degree – to understand. Loving God with my mind is not a human intellectual pursuit; it’s not empirical research. Reading the Bible for spiritual understanding is not textual criticism. God did not reveal himself to specialists (AKA gnosticism); he revealed himself to anyone who will approach his word with humility and faith (i.e. belief and trust). Are humans subject to error? Of course we are. But no human who contradicts the Bible can correct it.

    Like most Christians, I am a layman. I am not an uneducated Christian (graduate degree, retired professor in a technical field), but rather a skeptical Christian. I know the academy well enough not to trust it and its credentials with anything as important as the things of God. But I do not believe that I am especially spiritually qualified to recognize aluminum and plastic. The NT writers obviously believed that ordinary lay people could do that – unless you believe that Peter and John (for example) were writing only to pastors and tenured faculty.

    Don’t get me wrong, I also know the academy well enough to appreciate what it can and sometimes does contribute. I appreciate what Gagnon and Machen (and sometimes Barth) have taught me. I appreciate what Godly professors teach pastors and missionaries. i appreciate Alvin Pantinga and William Lane Craig. But the immovable standard for faith and practice is still the Bible, and intellectual exercises that are not consistent with the whole witness of Scripture are simply a waste of time.

  • I think you have wrongly started to assume that I believe one needs an “advanced degree” in order to understand the Bible. What I am saying is that people need to study other stuff than the Bible in order to better understand it.

    It is a pretty undeniable fact that many people read the Bible differently, largely because we come to the text with our own lens of influence. I believe that someone who is living in an oppressed third world country is going to read the Bible differently than someone who lives a privileged and simple life in a first world country. It would be fairly ignorant to say that they wouldn’t read it differently.

    You keep using the word “gnosticism” as if I am suggesting some sort of cryptic reading of scripture that is only revealed to the scholars. I am not saying that, nor have I hinted at it.

    Concerning contradictions, there are a variety of disagreements on what contradicts the Bible and what doesn’t. Again, if it was so easy to point these things out, then we likely wouldn’t be having this conversation. This is what I’ve been trying to tell you. It’s not as easy as you might think. Things are not as clear to everyone. Sure, we can say, “The Bible says it and therefore I believe it.” But once you start asking these other questions (questions regarding the text itself: background, intent, authorship), you find that it actually changes some things. It’s easy for anyone to read the surface. I’m not saying you should agree with Gushee simply because he has a degree. I’m saying, these guys aren’t idiots, they have a reason, they have an argument, and it is worth listening to. Unfortunately, this article does not express Gushee’s or anyone else’s argument.

    What I am trying to invite you to understand is that it isn’t as always as “clear” as you might like. I can’t blame you though. We live in an age where we are all post-enlightened. We demand objectivity, and if it isn’t objective, then it must not be true. Don’t buy into that nonsense. We are not called to be one-dimensional thinkers. I am not saying that there is no objectivity in scripture, but there are very difficult things, and I get a bit frustrated when I see someone come along and treat it as if it is clear as day, when although it seems clear as day to them, they have disregarded that vast amount of disagreement behind it.

  • So, Steve, do you also believe the Apostle Paul when he said that all our knowledge in this life is only partial, and we won’t know the full truth of God until we see God face to face? (1 Cor. 13.12) And do you believe God when God says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways my ways, says the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts”? (Isaiah 55.8-9) When you talk about “the clear an unambiguous witness of scripture” without understanding the meaning and context of the original languages – which you suggested you hadn’t studied, since you did not major in theology – then you cannot even begin to know how ambiguous translators can find the original languages as they seek to present the meaning in a different language. Thus, what we who read only in translation are faced with is not “the unambiguous witness” of “the word of God” but a fallible human translator’s attempt to convey a meaning of the original languages that tries to make clear what the translator – with his or her own biases – believes the present-day church needs to know about the text. Just because a translation appeals to your own biases doesn’t mean it is accurate, only that it is a translation that you find compatible and want to claim is “the unambiguous witness of scripture.” This doesn’t make it “a charade,” but it does call for a bit of humility when trying to apply it to our or anyone else’s life.

  • I’ll be as straightforward, reactionary, and bible-thumping as I can be (my words, not yours). My faith is in God who loves me and wants me to enjoy the life he intends for me to live (even though it isn’t always enjoyable in the usual sense of the word). He equips me to be and do what he wants me to be and do and forgives me when I fail – with some regularity. Some of the equipment he provides includes the Bible in a language I can understand, the ability to read it, the ability to reason about it and from it, the guidance of the Holy Spirit, and the counsel of wise – tested – believers. He has provided those things in varying degrees and forms to believers since the time of Adam.

    In some cases, those wise believers are professionals like the Westminster Divines, Machen, and Gagnon, some of them are laymen like C.S. Lewis or my choir director. I trust their judgment – somewhat – because in those areas where I can make a comparison, their counsel aligns with what God has led me to believe about his nature and character through the equipment he has provided to me. If one of them tells me something that, upon due consideration, contradicts what I understand to be true about God’s nature and character, I will discard it.

    Whether Gushee has come up with something new and novel beyond what Rogers, Achtemeier, Matthew Vines, and others have been pedaling is a matter of no interest to me. As an Elder formerly in the PCUSA, now in the EPC, I’ve confronted this apostasy since at least the mid-90s and I simply have no more time to waste on academics who keep repackaging the same old humanist poppycock. I’m much more interested in learning how to adequately share God’s love with my gay brother without lying to him (and myself) about who God is. That is vastly more important to me than books, reputations, or credentials, all of which represent merely the approval of men.

  • Obviously, I believe the passages you cited. Just as obviously, I believe God has graciously chosen to reveal himself to us and has ensured that his revelation, mediated by the Holy Spirit, is accessible to all believers. That view doesn’t stroke any academic egos, of course, but it is consistent with what I understand God’s character to be.

    You seem to espouse a view that is remarkably similar to the pre-Reformation Church of Rome, substituting theologians and specialists in ancient languages for priests as necessary mediators between God and the unschooled masses. Sorry; I’m a Presbyterian, Reformed through and through – five solas, not one of which is either priest or professor.

  • Well, Steve, I’m afraid this is where we will have to agree to disagree. Although I respect your experience with what you know, I do not find your approach to be the best.

    I do want to say that all human beings are subject to some form of reason. So, if you want to somehow make the argument that scholarly work and reason is flawed because it is “man’s work”, then I would hope you apply that same argument to the very method you used to make it.

    As far as your use of the word “apostasy”, this seems a bit misguided since the word would suggest a complete abandonment of the gospel message itself (God’s saving work and redemption of creation through His son, Jesus Christ). That is not the case here.

    I will leave you with this: “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.”

  • Well, Steve, I’m afraid this is where we will have to agree to disagree. Although I respect your experience with what you know, I do not find your approach to be the best.

    I do want to say that all human beings are subject to some form of reason. So, if you want to somehow make the argument that scholarly work and reason is flawed because it is “man’s work”, then I would hope you apply that same argument to the very method you used to make it.

    As far as your use of the word “apostasy”, this seems a bit misguided since the word would suggest a complete abandonment of the gospel message itself (God’s saving work and redemption of creation through His son, Jesus Christ). That is not the case here.

    I will leave you with this: “In essentials unity, in non-essentials liberty, in all things charity.”

  • So, you place yourself in the company of Joseph Smith, Brigham Young and others of the “it’s just God and me” school? Interesting!

  • Wrong, David.

    Take off your ancient replacement-theology glasses, along with their modern tint of slavish political correctness, and start reading the Bible as written and in context. One you do, you’ll see that God made a covenant with Abraham, reaffirmed it through Isaac and Jacob and then to Jacob’s descendants in the wilderness, and then even made a point in Jeremiah 31, the chapter on the coming new covenant, to say that the new covenant does not abrogate that original covenant.

    Moreover, Paul in Romans 11 asks and answers the question of whether God has rejected the Jews with an emphatic “never” and then spends the rest of the chapter demolishing replacement theology….culminating with the statement that “the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable.”

    David, what is there about the word, “irrevocable” that you don’t understand? Are you so averse to the literal meaning of words, you can’t even bring yourself to admit that irrevocable means irrevocable?

    And if you bother to read the Bible all the way to Revelation, you will find that it ends with (1) all the nations of the world attacking Israel (2) Jesus returning to destroy the attackers and (3) and the eventual arrival of a New Jerusalem on whose gates are written the names of the 12 tribes of Israel.

    Moreover, Jesus Himself says in Matthew 25, in the parable of the sheep and goats, that He will one day judge the nations based on their treatment of the Jewish people. In other words, the proof of saving faith or lack thereof in Him, will be good works, as all Christians in all times and places have affirmed, and that one key example of those good works will be how they treat the Jewish people in their times of distress. We know this because in the Greek, the word for “nations” in the context of the New Testament means “Gentile nations,” exactly as the Hebrew word “goyim” means in the Old, and because Jesus’ use of the phrase “My brethren” in the parable means, in the Greek, literal blood brethren.

    But even if we set theology aside, simple justice demands that we not morally equate democratic Israel’s valiant struggle to survive with efforts of her foes to destroy her and to drown her citizens in the Mediterranean.

  • Paroikos, you’re entitled to your opinion, but your opinion puts you on a collision course with the apostle Paul’s entire 11th chapter of his Epistle to the Romans, including his claim later in that chapter that God’s calling of the Jews, like all His gifts and callings, is “irrevocable.”

    So, Paroikos, I ask of you what I asked of David (see above):

    What is there about “irrevocable” that you don’t understand?

    Of course, you are ultimately on a collision course not only with the apostle Paul, but with the King of the Jews, who said, in Matthew 25, that a key evidence that a person is one of His sheep is their favorable treatment of the Jewish people in their time of distress.

    And you sound like you’re on a collision course as well with the New Jerusalem of the future, as Revelation states that it will have 12 gates, on which are inscribed the 12 tribes of the people of Israel.

    Whether you realize it or not, you are playing the same kinds of games with the Biblical texts as are the Gushees of the world — in refusing to accept the plain and straightforward meaning of words, but accepting a twisting of them to fit a preconceived agenda.

  • Jack, your misunderstanding of scripture is astonishing, but not as astonishing as your pridefulness in doing so. You say that the modern state of Israel is the fulfillment of God’s promise through Abraham, Isaac and Jacob to the Jews, and you say this on the basis of Paul’s writings in Romans 11. Do you not realize that Paul is stating that on account of Jesus Christ, the promise made to the Jews will be fulfilled through him in heaven rather than through giving the Jews a homeland on earth? For Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15.19, “If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.” Do you actually think that a homeland in this life is the ultimate fulfillment of God’s promise to the Jews? If so, then you give them no hope in the life to come. How tragic! And beyond that, you claim that in Matthew 25 – by which you mean vss. 31-46 – in speaking of “the least of these,” he is referring only to the Jewish people. I don’t know where you got such a faulty interpretation, whether from your own mind or some other misguided teacher, but in that place there is no reason to believe “the least of my brothers and sisters” refers to the Jewish people. It refers, instead, to the most vulnerable people in any society, the ones in the Old Testament referred to as the “widows and orphans” and the “stranger within the gate” – those who were not landed and had no way to fend for themselves. That does not describe the citizens of the modern State of Israel by any stretch of the imagination, though it may describe Jewish people in any nation who are vulnerable and in need of protection – which does not include people in the only nation in the Middle East that has a nuclear arsenal. Your ideology is a creation of a false guide, not of one who is inspired by the Holy Spirit. Beware of such teachers, lest you be included with the goats on the day of judgment.

  • Right you are, Art Deco. As for the use of “tool,” it started back in the 1980s and I guess is the modern equivalent of Churchill’s calling Mussolini “a lackey and a serf.”

  • What you’re trying to do, Douglas, is the impossible — to take God’s original promises to Abraham and his descendants through Isaac and Jacob and pick and choose which you’ll accept and which you won’t.

    Sorry, but the promises are not like a buffet table or a cafeteria. They all remain together because God is not a covenant breaker nor a slippery lawyer where you have to read the fine print of everything He has said or promised.

    Specifically, you can’t separate Paul’s affirming of God’s continued calling of the Jews with God’s original land grant to the Jews remaining in place. On principle, that would be absurd, again, because the Bible is not your own personal buffet table. But you run into further problems once you get beyond the original Genesis promises and go on to the Old Testament prophets and ultimately to the Book of Revelation, much of which quotes or paraphrases those same prophets. (Buy a Bible translation that footnotes Old Testament quotes or paraphrases in the New Testament, including in Revelation, and see this for yourself.) There, you will find that God the Father not only promises to preserve the Jews, but to bring them back from exile and ultimately to destroy their invading enemies and reign from Jerusalem through His Son, the King of the Jews.

    You can protest all you want that these unabashedly physical promises offend your sense of spirituality, but that’s really your problem, not God’s or the Bible’s. It’s your problem that you can’t wrap your mind around the idea that God fulfilling physical promises in a physical way does not mean there is no ultimate spiritual destination to which all things and people are headed. The two are not mutually exclusive at all.

    I would simply add that in the end, it’s indeed all about the spiritual, but that, as CS Lewis once said in another context, God still likes matter — after all, He created it. The idea that no physical promises will be literally fulfilled comes perilously close to the Gnostic heresy which the early church was forced to confront. Ultimately the historic church won the fight against Gnosticism — including Marcion’s proposal to literally rip the Old Testament out from the Bible — but bits and pieces of that heresy clung to the church in so many ways in the centuries after Marcion.

    If you insist on taking physical promises to the Jews allegorically, what you end up with is a rupturing of the continuity of Scripture and a God whose promises aren’t worth a hill of beans — at least to the person who is reading the text plainly and straightforwardly. But if you do take them literally, what you get is an incredible picture over time of God’s faithfulness. If you don’t take them literally, you are forced into all sorts of mental gyrations and contortions in explaining events like the return of the Jews to their land after 20 centuries, exactly as prophesized 24 centuries ago. But if you do take them literally, you find yourself constantly amazing by God’s miracles rather than befuddled by those “pesky Jews” who simply won’t exit the stage so you can go about your merry way spiritualizing away all of God’s promises to them.

    As far as Matthew 25 is concerned, if this is the first time you’re heard of this interpretation, you apparently are living in a theological bubble. Do a google search and see for yourself. The majority of evangelicals in this country go to churches that come from theological traditions which preach exactly what I wrote. Tellingly, in your reply, you said nothing about the reason that so many agree with my interpretation — Again, in Christ’s parable, “the nations” mean, in the Greek, the Gentile nations, and “My brethren” means the Jews. Yes, of course, there is a wider application to helping anyone in need or in prison, not just the Jews. But the whole point of it is to say that the proof of whether you really care about the poor and needy is how you deal with God’s physical chosen people when they are poor and needy.

    Again, if that offends you, don’t look at me. I am simply taking what the Bible says about the Jews simply and straightforwardly….as are tens of millions of other believers. If the idea of land grants to the Jews offends you, your beef is with the literal text, not my pointing it out. And unfortunately, that means your quarrel is with the God who brought that text into being through His speaking to Moses, the prophets, and the apostles.

  • No Deanna. The pro-gay-marriage crowd will be seen as validating the Biblical adage that there are ways that seem right to humanity, but lead only to death It will be seen as a textbook case of how, when mass emotions sweep away reason, humanity’s history and heritage, and the wisdom of the ages, nothing good comes of it. Human progress comes not through ignorance and arrogance disguised as tolerance, but through wisdom and understanding.

  • Always happy to be civil, Dave.

    Yes as Shawnie said, the Babylonian Talmud is one such source.

    Yes there was a lot of pederasty, prostitution and pagan homosexual rituals back then. But if youre right that such activity was the ‘typical’ expression of homosexual behaviour, does that mean there were, or there were not, romantic homosexual relationships too? ‘Typical’ means more often than not. ‘Typical’ does not mean absence of variation. Just thinking about it logically, it doesnt make sense that people would want romantic homosexual relationships today, but had no inclination for such things back then. Throughout history, homosexual behaviour has tended to be regarded as controversial or risqué. Given that this tends to drive it underground, anyone who presents themselves as an expert and asserts that they know there were no romantic gay relationships in ancient times, is speaking beyond what they can know for certain, no matter how many PhDs they have.

  • How sad for the world – and the Jews in particular – that teachers such as yours and those in other so-called evangelical churches are spreading a false gospel that results in the manipulation and abuse of God’s children in Jesus’ name. I fear that when the judgment comes, such persons will be among those who fulfill Jesus’ prophecy: “‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord”, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?” Then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.””

  • Tylor, I have heard of Gushee, and have read him in Christianity Today. The point is that I never had a high opinion of his intellect or insights and certainly never regarded him as a great ethicist. Part of ethics necessarily involves speaking truth to cultural power, not unfailingly accommodating one’s self to that power. I see him as the consummate cultural conformist, as deep as a puddle and concerned more with being fashionable than being prophetic.

  • Actually, Douglas, what’s sad is how you don’t even try to defend your position rationally, resorting instead to the last refuge of a man who is losing a theological debate — namely, calling for God to judge the other man eternally.

    Of course, you know you’re right, not because you have taken a good look at other positions and compared them honestly to yours, but because your position just “feels” so good and so right. After all, if a position “feels” right, what’s there to discuss? Anyone who dares to disagree with what feels to right to you must be a very, very bad person.

  • Art Deco, don’t hold your breath. The problem is that most of these clergy know nothing about economics and think justice means imposing equality of outcome on nations and peoples — which actually is unjust since it obliterates all distinctions, including moral or ethical ones.

  • God does look at the heart, but pure hearts don’t distort the plain meaning of words, especially those of Scripture. Dishonesty in the name of love is neither honest nor loving.

  • The left is having a problem with traditional rights that are not fashionable and politically correct. And the reason is that the whole concept of universal rights assumes absolute standards of right and wrong that cut across cultures and nations and time periods. And that contradicts the left’s cultural and moral relativism.

  • The problem, John, is that every time and place has its characteristic biases and blind spots and you are citing those of other times and places — without any realization that this time and place is no different.

  • Gushee is one more who prefers the praise of men to that of God, and I weep when I say this. Steve Jones, you nailed it when you wrote, “Nobody ever got tenure by saying that Calvin was right”.

  • “David Gushee, a Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics at Mercer University, a Baptist college and divinity school in Georgia, plans to announce that he now affirms same-sex relationships, in a speech to The Reformation Project Conference, a gathering of pro-LGBT Christians in Washington, on Nov. 8.”

    It doesn’t matter if he affirms same-sex relationships. What matters is whether God affirms them.

    “Then in 2008, his younger sister, Katey, came out as a lesbian. She is a Christian, single mother, and had been periodically hospitalized for depression and a suicide attempt.”

    So family now trumps Scripture?

    ” It made him realize that “traditionalist Christian teaching produces despair in just about every gay or lesbian person who must endure it.”

    It’s amazing how he’s got it exactly backwards.

    It’s living in sin and refusing to obey God that produces despair! That’s especially true for those who claim to be followers of Christ, or who have at least grown up knowing the biblical teaching on this issue.

    “I am truly sorry that it took me so long to come into full solidarity with the Church’s own most oppressed group.”

    “Most oppressed group” – are you kidding?! Homosexuals are the ones now SUING businesses who don’t bow to their demands! And anyone who dares to express the slightest negative opinion about this lifestyle are branded bigots and “haters” and other things I can’t print here. Oppressed? Please. THEY are the one relentlessly bullying anyone who doesn’t agree with them!

    “I still love Jesus and read the Bible and pray every morning, and I don’t really care what they say,” he said. “I’m willing to let God and history be my judge.”

    Well, he’s got one thing right. God will do exactly that.

    Someone who loves Christ would not be promoting a sinful lifestyle and claiming God supports it.

  • Congratulations! You have provided a perfect example of Thomas’ point and proven its validity. Well done.

  • I agree with Jack in everything except his interpretstion of Matt. 25, but yours is faulty as well. The context of the Mount Olivet discourse is Jesus charging His disciples to take the Gospel tp the world after His crucifixion and warning them about what to expect. His language is very similar to the language He used in Matt 10 when He sent them out with nothing but the Good News to the towns of Israel: “Whoever accepts you, accepts Me. Whoever rejects you, rejects Me.”. And after predicting that they will suffer much as His witnesses, even to the point of martyrdom, He assures them that He will ultimately hold the nations responsible for their treatment of those He sent, just as He will hold the towns of Israel responsible.

    Of course, to get this, you have to be familiar with the entirety of Matt. 25– the entirety of Matthew, really–and few are. It is not a call to general charity (although many of those exist in the gospels) but something very specific. Never in any of the gospels does Jesus ever refer to anyone as His “brothers” except His disciples and followers, many of whom He called from among society’s lowliest.

    Most Christian ministers, having been to seminary, understand this quite well, but they hesitate to disturb the popular but erroneous misconstruction of the passage because, unsurprisingly, it encourages charity and donations. But there is already plenty about charity in the gospels without us having to distort this passage into some kind of alternative social gospel that Jesus never intended.

  • Tom,

    Not saying that it was impossible for the desire for committed same sex, long term relationships. In the patriarchal society of antiquity, I don’t believe that is what most people thought about as the prevalent examples were exploitive and pederastic. I’ve done a little reading some scholars on the Talmud, but have not spent enough time there. Could you or Shawnie5 provide some specific citations as I would like to review it.

  • @ Jackie

    “If God is love, and love is not an emotion but an action: love is His very character. ”

    God is love, but love is not God.

    “God puts His love on display through His abilities. We are to mimic this Love. So, with Jesus death on the cross: how can the treatment of the LGBT community be justified? ”

    What treatment is that?

    “It can’t, so the ISSUE isn’t homosexuality, the issue is how the church at large TREATS homosexuality. Friend, that is a “US and THEM” battle.”

    Yep, it sure is. And militant homosexuals are on the warpath, destroying everyone who will not celebrate their lifestyle. We see it nearly on a daily basis now, with homosexuals deliberately choosing Christian businesses to serve their ceremonies and then SUING THEM when they cannot comply.

    Even the mayor of Houston has now gotten involved in this vile persecution of anyone who disagrees with her lifestyle. It’s horrifying. Do you agree with that persecution?

    Now, what does any of this have to do with what Scripture teaches about homosexuality? Because its teaching is CRYSTAL clear. It can’t be any more clear, except to those who choose to twist Scripture to find justification for something the Bible calls sin.

  • Well, y’all go ahead and believe what you want to believe. If it works for you – have at’r. I believe in the ‘finished’ work of the cross – if you need more, (keeping of the laws) then I guess Jesus’ death on the cross was insufficient for you – how sad! To me, ‘sin’ is no longer an issue – Jesus dealt with ‘sin’. Having a good conscience, and loving God, and my fellow man, is what I can do – the rest I leave up to Christ. Remember – those who spite what is sin, and what is not – ‘if you keep the whole law, and offend in one point, you are guilty of breaking the whole law’! So, until you are perfect, and without sin, don’t be trying to pull the sliver out of my eye, lest you can’t see for the plank in your own! I’m out of here – this so called touting of scripture with the attitude of hate and moral superiourity is not a depiction of what I understand the Love of God to be. Obviously, I’m not going to change your mind, and you’re not going to change mine.

  • “Goodness, “Conservatives are about to learn that one of America’s leading evangelical ethicists is defecting to the opposition.” That certainly enforces an “us” and “them” battle-mentality that is not helpful to dialog, but instead creates a dichotomy of “with us or against us”. Peoples beliefs are often far more complex than that, being “conservative” in some ways and “liberal/progressive” in others.”

    People’s beliefs are not the issue. When you claim to be a Christian leader of some sort, you need to obey Scripture. And Scripture is clear that homosexuality is a sin.

    As to “us” and ‘them”, you betcha! Homosexuals are now suing those who won’t bow to their bullying. That’s on top of the rest of the relentless bullying they do to anyone who will not celebrate their lifestyle.

    The world can do what it wants. We’re talking about followers of Christ here. How unbelievable to have someone who names the name of Christ supporting this sinful behavior.

  • @ Paul

    “The violation of LGBT civil rights, shaming of LGBT people and the suffering that results from it are all critical issues that demand strong reactions, not diplomacy.”

    Spare me the faux victimhood.

    There are no “violations of LGBT civil rights” going on. Stop promoting that fiction.

    Anything to say on the rights of Christian pastors who are being BULLIED by the mayor of Houston to turn over sermons notes? (Though I think this bully finally backed down.)

    Anything to say on the rights of business owners who are being BULLIED by homosexuals into catering to their ceremonies?

    Anything to say on the rights of those who voted on Prop. 8 who had their personal information leaked by homosexual BULLIES?

    Of course not. You agree with that bullying and violation of rights.

    No one stops homosexuals from doing whatever it is they do. Stop bullying us into celebrating it.

    Thank you.

  • Christian zionism embraces a bankrupt eschatology at the expense of our Palestinian brothers and sisters in Christ.

    You do not have many Arab Christians on the West Bank and Gaza and any problems they have with the Jews are dwarfed by the malicious stupidity both the political class and the populace manifest in deciding on ends and means in addressing their own problems. This fellow Gushee simply refuses to acknowledge that and also substitutes his own ignorant opinions for those of Israeli officialdom about what means need to be employed to protect the population of Israel from Arab mafias on the West Bank and in Gaza.

    You want a solution to these political conflicts, you have to persuade both the political bosses and the man in the street on the West Bank and in Gaza to actually negotiate a modus vivendi with their Jewish neighbors. Right now, the modal opinion above and below in these territories is that a ‘solution’ must consist of the dissolution of the Jewish state or that the Jewish state must grant a seven digit population of Arabs a franchise to settle in Israel at their own discretion. You do not maintain such stances unless you can dictate a peace to your enemy. The Arabs have not for ninety years been able to do so, but they are sufficiently convinced that they ought to be that they’ll just play let’s pretend. Gushee will not acknowledge that, so his blather on this subject is worthless. (A common property of the remarks of advocates of the Arab cause in the Near East).

  • On the one hand, I understand where you’re coming from. However, the idea of there being no “us vs. them” when people are making arguments is sort of… I dunno. Derailing?

    There are groups with ideological differences that are coming into contact with one another. These ideological differences means that it’s an impossibility to think of it any terms other than “us vs. them”.

    If you’re worried that this means that people are becoming inflamed and the conversation is becoming unproductive, don’t be. Much like football players are capable of being on opposing teams and still respecting each other, people can have conversations in which they are on opposing sides and still respect one another. It’s called good sportsmanship.

    I assume that’s what you’re trying to encourage, so I can partially agree with your sentiment. But pretending that people who hold completely oppositional beliefs are in fact on the same side is ridiculous.

    Also, the fact that you assume that LGBT are all lying about how they’ve been treated (as evidenced by the fact that you referred to Paul’s statement regarding LBGT suffering as “false victimhood”) shows that you haven’t given this the real consideration it deserves. You’re still trivializing other people’s experiences by giving false equivalence to the so-called suffering of Christians (if ever there was false victimhood on the rise in society, that’s it). Christians are not being persecuted wholesale or having their existence subjected to legal discrimination. They’re being prevented from engaging in legal discrimination. There’s a huge difference between those two things. Are there hateful individuals who would threaten Christians? Absolutely. There are hatefilled individuals all over the world. But are their Christian scholars with actual influence preaching a doctrine of hate and intolerance against homosexuals? You’re delusional if you think there’s not.

    You are free to practice and believe as you wish. You are not free to denigrate others or attempt to take away the legal rights and designations that other people are entitled to on the basis of their citizenship/humanity. You do not get to determine the legal rights of people in the LGBT community based on your religious beliefs. That’s the whole point of this country’s laws respecting religion. Everyone has the right to their beliefs, not the right to legally impose those beliefs on others.

  • I would like to site Jesus and his reaction to sinners. He did not castigate anyone except the hypocritical religious leadership. He loved the sinner, but also said,”Go and sin no more.” His attitude was love and forgiveness, but He never compromised God’s word. Instead He lived it, leading by example, prayer and healing. Jesus also said that those who follow Him will be persecuted. We have not experienced that much in America until lately. I am not sure that many of us know what to do with it. The tone of some comments above makes that point clear.

  • Thanks Shawnie5. What I find interesting the Labovitz’s comment “The idea that among the sins of these peoples was the recognition
    of same-sex marriages is not found in the biblical text, but is read in by the rabbis,” The Bible simply does not cover this subject.

  • You Sir, are an ass.

    But I’m guessing that either bullying is mistaken for conversation in your church or repression is just not working today.

  • True, the Bible doesn’t go into specifics about same-sex marriage. However, the rabbinic writings provide good guidance as to how the biblical passages about same-sex behavior were understood by the Jews of Jesus’ day–which of course would have included Jesus, Paul, and all the disciples. Clearly, consensuality did not constitute any kind of license.

  • If you believe the Holy Spirit is leading you to the conclusion that the Bible says something it doesn’t, you’re listening to the wrong spirit. Throughout the Bible, every single mention of homosexual behavior is negative. There are no exceptions. Throughout the Bible, every single positive mention of sexual behavior is heterosexual. There are no exceptions. There is nothing ambiguous, nothing contradictory, and there is no wiggle room for clever “exegesis”. There is nothing legalistic or hateful (unless you believe that God is hateful) about it. It is God’s clearly revealed will for humankind. God’s grace is in the forgiveness of sin, not in the accommodation or approval of it.

  • @ Steve Jones

    “If you believe the Holy Spirit is leading you to the conclusion that the Bible says something it doesn’t, you’re listening to the wrong spirit. Throughout the Bible, every single mention of homosexual behavior is negative. There are no exceptions. Throughout the Bible, every single positive mention of sexual behavior is heterosexual. There are no exceptions. There is nothing ambiguous, nothing contradictory, and there is no wiggle room for clever “exegesis”. There is nothing legalistic or hateful (unless you believe that God is hateful) about it. It is God’s clearly revealed will for humankind. God’s grace is in the forgiveness of sin, not in the accommodation or approval of it.”

    Bravo! Excellently stated.

    I continue to be stunned at how many professing followers of Christ are now falling for the idea that the Bible in any way approves of or condones homosexuality! What Bible are they reading?! It could not be more plain!

  • Your guesses are stupid and arbitrary.

    If you need it spelled out for you, I’m not taking Tim Whathisface’s verbiage seriously. Pretty irrelevant to how much bullying goes on in ‘my church’, which is, in any case, liturgical and features only banal pleasantries in the narthex.

  • @ Tim Weger

    “I love God, and know that Jesus Christ is my personal Lord and Saviour, and by His blood I am cleansed and made righteous before God! But I am gay, and God loves me as I am – after all, He doesn’t make ‘mistakes’.”

    God loves you, but He does NOT condone your sin. (And no, you were not “born gay” anymore than someone is born an adulterer or an alcoholic or any other sin.)

    If you claim to love and follow Christ, then you will not be promoting this behavior as acceptable to God. It is not. Scripture is oh-so-clear on that. You have to do mental gymnastics to claim otherwise!

  • Yes really. That is exactly what some Christians are asking for. They want the right to discriminate against gays in virtually all forms of public life.

    There can be no genuine dialogue with people who actively demonize others and claim its their religious duty to do so. Civil liberties and human dignity are not things worth compromising about. When one side says, “They are the damned. God tells me so”. There is no sense in pretending rational discussion is ever going to take place.

  • Art Deco, I see you still like to sling ad hominem and stereotyping rather than provide a real argument. Attacking positions I allegedly have, but never expressed in any way whatsoever in typical useless strawman fashion.

    Whatever. Stay classy.

  • Jesus is asked by a lesbian couple to bake a cake for their wedding.
    Which is Jesus’ most likely response?
    1. I’m not baking a cake for those sinful people
    2. Where did we put the best frosting?
    Think about it, guys.

  • The correct answer is “3. I do not condemn you. Now go and sin no more. If you follow my commandments, you won’t need the cake.”

  • We don’t have to imagine what Jesus would say to Homosexuals.
    The Church insists they already have the word of God on that one:

    “Execute them in front of me” – JESUS (luke 19:27)
    “shake the dust off the soles of your feet for a testimony against them.” – JESUS (MARK 6:11)
    “Avoid Them” (Romans 16:17)
    “For whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” (2 John 1:11)
    “have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonian 3:14)

  • Unless you throw away the Bible, Gays will continue to be killed:

    “have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonian 3:14)

    “Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6)

    “If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed! Come, Lord!” (1 Corinthians 16:22)

    JESUS : JUDGE THEM HARSHLY

    “deem them unworthy…remove your blessings of peace.” – JESUS (Matthew 10:13)

    “Don’t waste….on the people who are unholy. Don’t throw your pearls to pigs!” – JESUS (Matthew 7:6)

    “shake the dust off…FOR A TESTIMONY AGAINST THEM.” – JESUS (MARK 6:11)

    It is no wonder we have
    so many preachers in the USA calling for death to gays.

    “THE ONLY REMEDY FOR HOMOSEXUALS IS THAT THEY BE PUT TO DEATH..”

    – PASTOR ROBBY GALLATY
    TENNESEE MEGACHURCH
    SEPTEMBER 4, 2014

    I gave up on all of this because it is irreconcilable.
    And I’m not even gay.

  • @ Larry

    “Yes really. That is exactly what some Christians are asking for. They want the right to discriminate against gays in virtually all forms of public life.”

    It’s truly frightening to see the completely inverted thinking of the pro-homosexuality crowd.

    It’s Christians who are being branded bigots, having personal info leaked, having businesses sued and now having sermons subpoenaed by the government, but in the twisted minds of the Rainbow Crowd YOU see yourselves as the victims.

    Truly horrifying!

    (Know that we will NOT submit to your bullying. Know that!)

  • Oooo. Wow! That’s clever! An atheist checked a website, found some passages devoid of context, pretended to have some idea of what they meant, and quoted them as evidence of … something. Never saw that trick before.

    I know, I know; never feed trolls. But some of them are so needy, I just can’t help myself. I’ll stop now.

  • . Attacking positions I allegedly have, but never expressed in any way whatsoever in typical useless strawman fashion.

    And yet again, you show yourself unwilling or unable to comprehend and acknowledge just what you advocate actually amounts to.

  • Wow, even Rod Dreher isn’t “traditionalist” enough for you?

    Dreher has two shticks: attempting to derive a social theory or rule of living from his consumer preferences and engaging in self-aggrandizing and self-dramatizing accusation. Neither is ‘traditionalist’.

  • Frank,

    Yes, what is most important is God’s viewpoint on the matter, because He knows what is best for us humans as our Heavenly Father.

    It is evident that homosexuality is not approved by God, just as adultery and fornication is not approved by him (1 Corinthians 6:9-10; Romans 1:24-27). But as 1 Corinthians. 6:11 brings out, “that is what some of you were.” So it is possible to change from that lifestyle, but it takes a true and deep desire to do this, and to instead focus on good and natural goals.

  • @Steve Jones,

    “Kill the homosexuals” (Leviticus 20:13)

    Please – By all means tell me the context which I am missing
    that turns all of this into God’s divine love! LOL. 🙂

    Obviously the love and virtue of killing gays
    is lost on many people here today.

    GAY LOVE IS NOT REAL LOVE
    You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22)

    GAYS ARE JUST GREEDY THEIVES
    Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

    GAYS ARE SINNERS – THE SORT WHICH MUST DIE
    “For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” (Romans 1:26-28)

    EXECUTE THE GAYS
    “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.” (Leviticus 20:13)

    GAYS ARE LIKE LIARS AND MURDERERS
    “The sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality…liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine..” (1 Timothy 1:10)

    GAYS ARE STUBBORN
    “Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (Romans 1:32)

    JESUS: ‘FOLLOW THE EXECUTION LAWS. I ENDORSE ALL OF IT. NO HEAVEN FOR THOSE WHO FAIL.’
    “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-19)

    “THE ONLY REMEDY FOR HOMOSEXUALS IS THAT THEY BE PUT TO DEATH..”

    – PASTOR ROBBY GALLATY
    TENNESEE MEGACHURCH
    SEPTEMBER 4, 2014

  • But are their Christian scholars with actual influence preaching a doctrine of hate and intolerance against homosexuals?
    Cite these Christian scholars then.

  • @ Atheist Max

    How it enrages me to see nonsense like this.

    You and I both know that you neither know what the Bible says on anything, nor do you care. So why quote it?

    You’re so painfully, embarrassingly ignorant that you don’t even know that the passage from Luke (from which you pull “Execute them in front of me” – JESUS (luke 19:27) and falsely claim that it’s a command from Jesus is PARABLE.

    You liar. That’s not any command from Jesus to his followers to kill homosexuals. You liar. Apologize for that lie. You know you won’t.

    It’s so hilarious that it can’t be taken seriously as a claim you’re making. No one could be that silly.

    Be gone, troll.

  • There can be no genuine dialogue with people who actively demonize others and claim its their religious duty to do so. Civil liberties and human dignity are not things worth compromising about. When one side says, “They are the damned. God tells me so”. There is no sense in pretending rational discussion is ever going to take place.
    There can be no rational dialogue with those who claim that God approves of same-sex buggery.

  • @Mo,

    “no, you were not “born gay” ”

    Yes he was.
    The burden is on you to prove he wasn’t. Especially if you think you are going make rules about his life.

    There is no god unless you can prove one.
    So stop being a bully.

  • @Mo,

    “How it enrages me to see nonsense like this.”
    Not so sure about your god and his magic powers? Can’t stand a little doubt? Besides, isn’t the atheists who are supposed to be angry? LOL!! 🙂

    “You and I both know that you neither know what the Bible says on anything, nor do you care.”
    Oh really? I was a Sunday School teacher, a Catholic for 44 years. What do you know that I don’t?
    And if I didn’t care why would I being challenging this garbage?

    “You’re so painfully, embarrassingly ignorant that you don’t even know that the passage from Luke (from which you pull “Execute them in front of me” – JESUS (luke 19:27) and falsely claim that it’s a command from Jesus is PARABLE.”

    OH, really?!
    Of course it is a parable. And it appears to have been Hitler’s favorite parable. Furthermore, what you apparently do NOT know is that it is a parable about the Parousia – the second coming. Jesus explains through his avatar as the Nobleman what he will do when he returns and judges the world. He threatens to take stock of who did his bidding and the punishment he will mete out to those who don’t.
    The lesson of the parable of the Minas (Luke 19) is all about obedience and fear.
    Furthermore,
    the Nobleman’s instruction is spectacularly evil – it demands that the ‘good’ slave do the executing of the bad slave who did nothing in his (the Lord’s) absence! If you don’t know this you have never been to Sunday School Catechism or you were not paying attention to your teacher.

    “That’s not any command from Jesus to his followers to kill homosexuals. You liar.”
    You are wrong – It is absolutely a command to kill HIS ENEMIES.
    “Execute them in front of me” – Homosexuals are among the Many, many enemies of Jesus according to the prophets and Jesus says so:

    JESUS – KEEP ALL OF GOD’S LAWS OF STONING SINNERS TO DEATH JUST AS GOD COMMANDED:
    “For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, NOT an iota, not a dot, will pass from THE LAW ….Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commands and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” – JESUS (Matthew 5:18-19 RSV)

    JESUS INSISTS – “I and the Lord are one” (John 1:17)
    IN JOHN, Jesus is explaining that HE WROTE THE LAW as GOD HIMSELF!
    “For truly…not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law.” (Matthew 5:18-19)

    WHAT IS THE LAW?

    “Kill homosexuals” – (Leviticus 20:13)
    “Kill followers of other religions”- (Deuteronomy 13:7-12)
    “Kill unruly children” (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)
    “Kill blasphemers” (Leviticus 24:10-16)
    “Kill false prophets” (Deuteronomy 13:1-5)
    “Kill Idoloters” (Romans 1:24-32)
    “Kill Lesbians” (Romans 1:24-32)
    “Kill gossipers” (Romans 1:24-32)
    “Kill approachers of the Tabernacle” (Numbers 1:48-51)
    “Kill those who work the Sabbath” (Exodus 31:12-15)
    “Kill brats” (2 Kings 2:23-24)
    “Kill sons of sinners” (Isaiah 14:21)
    “Kill old men and young women” (Jeremiah 51:20-26)
    And on…
    and on……

    “Apologize…”
    For what? How dare you? You stand in obedience to this book, to the claims about this god and his ‘son’ and you have the nerve to tell other people to apologize?
    Are you drunk with blood from your god yet?

    Your claims are all unfounded.
    You have no evidence that shows god is real.
    You made no demonstration that these claims are true.

    Claims made without evidence
    can be dismissed without evidence.

    I tossed Jesus in the trash. Others are doing the same by the millions every day.

  • Bigot – “someone who judges another person based on superficial qualities which are not under the control the person in question, i.e.; hair color, skin color, ethnicity, eye color, sex, sexual orientation…”

    You have told a gay person that their nature is ‘sinful’.
    That is a bigoted, evil thing to do.

    Furthermore, sin does not exist if god does not exist.
    There is no evidence for a god – therefore no evidence that sin is real.

  • @Mo,

    “I continue to be stunned at how many professing followers of Christ are now falling for the idea that the Bible in any way approves of or condones homosexuality! What Bible are they reading?! It could not be more plain!”

    I know right?

    “Kill Homosexuals” – Leviticus (20:13)

    GAY LOVE IS NOT REAL LOVE
    You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22)

    GAYS ARE JUST GREEDY THIEVES
    Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. (1 Corinthians 6:9-11)

    GAYS ARE SINNERS – THEY MUST DIE
    “For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.” (Romans 1:26-28)

    EXECUTE THE GAYS
    “If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.” (Leviticus 20:13)

    GAYS ARE LIKE LIARS AND MURDERERS
    “The sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality…liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine..” (1 Timothy 1:10)

    GAYS ARE STUBBORN
    “Though they know God’s decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.” (Romans 1:32)

    JESUS: ‘FOLLOW THE EXECUTION LAWS. I ENDORSE ALL OF IT. NO HEAVEN FOR THOSE WHO FAIL.’
    “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:17-19)

    Anyone who follows this should be aware that they will be acting like a barbarian.

  • @Mo,

    “God is love, but love is not God.”

    What trash! Where is “The Gospel of Mo”? How did you figure out what god is an isn’t?
    Who are you to say what god is? Where do you come up with these empty claims?

    You have no evidence, do you? What a laugh.

  • @Mo,

    “Homosexuals are now suing those who won’t bow to their bullying.”

    WHAT!!!???

    “THE ONLY REMEDY FOR HOMOSEXUALS IS THAT THEY BE PUT TO DEATH..”

    – PASTOR ROBBY GALLATY
    TENNESEE MEGACHURCH
    SEPTEMBER 4, 2014
    In front of the entire congregation this Preacher called for death to homosexuals.

    Definition of a bully:
    “Kill Homosexuals” – Leviticus (20:13)

  • Right on, Larry.
    I’m not surprised the Holy Rollers are writhing in agony like snakes on a highway over David Gushee’s comments.

    No one hates civility and decency more than a Christian who really believes the Bible.

  • @Mo,

    “Scripture is CLEAR on this sinful behavior!”

    So why are you not killing gays? or have you?
    Are you in prison? Are you allowed to go on the internet from death row?

    And if you are so sure homosexuality is a choice, tell me about how you repress your gay urges all day long. You really must be working hard at this because otherwise you wouldn’t be so certain that it is a choice!
    FOR YOU IT IS A CHOICE – is that because you are GAY and have chosen to hide it?

    Is that a bit too close to the bone?

    I’m not even gay and I can spot this one.

  • Spare us the faux victimhood, Mo. Christians make up 70% of the US population, and LGBTQ persons are, at most, 5%. An insignificant minority cannot “bully” a significant majority.

    The Civil Rights Act of 1964 included the following: “All persons shall be entitled to the full and equal enjoyment of the goods, services, facilities, and privileges, advantages, and accommodations of any place of public accommodation, as defined in this section, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, or national origin.”

    Such a thing as baking a cake and decorating it for a same-sex wedding is NOT “celebrating” the act; it is an “act of commerce” by a bakery and/or cake designer. It doesn’t matter how the person “feels” or what religious beliefs one holds about the marriage; it matters only that the person is in business to bake and decorate cakes. If they don’t want to do that for those who are willing to pay the price that others pay for a similar service, then they should find some other business to do.

    Anyway, what kind of “Christian witness” is refusing to provide goods or services for same-sex persons or couples on the basis of their sexuality if Jesus tells us to “‘Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you” (Luke 6.27-28)? What kind of “Christian” doesn’t obey the Master? Not a very good one, I would say. A prideful one. One who ignores the teachings of the Master that one finds burdensome to follow. One who would rather whine that things aren’t going the way they want them to go, so they’re going to claim to be “victims” in some “culture war” that they’re losing and refuse to act in the way their Master did, that “though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death—even death on a cross” (Phil. 2.5-8). Unless you follow your Master and exemplify the same self-emptying love, you can’t begin to hope to please Him, let alone to win others to him by your example.

  • And speaking of “refusing to accept the plain and straightforward meaning of words,” your own use of a concept from the Quran, “the people of the book,” has collided with the Lord Jesus’ “plain” rebuke of the ‘book people’ who’ve made “the Word of God none effect through your [[their] traditions (Mark 7:13),” and with Paul’s “plain” denunciation, “…for ye also have suffered like things of your own countrymen, even as they have of the Jews: who both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and have persecuted us; and they please not God, and are contrary to all men: forbidding us to speak to the Gentiles that they might be saved, to fill up their sins alway: for the wrath is come upon them to the uttermost. (1 Thess. 2:14-16).”

    Your pious reference, moreover, to “the faith expression of that people” also crashes against the Lord’s “plain” condemnation of their unbelief, “And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not… And ye will not come to me, that ye might have life (John 5:38,41),” and against His “plain” word to the Church in Ephesus, “…and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan (Revelation 2:9).”

    What is there about the Lord Jesus’ “straightforward” condemnation of _all_ who reject Him that _you_ don’t understand?

  • Ask me if I’d bake a wonderful cake for the birthday of either of these two gay individuals; patently not the same as being coerced into violating one’s own doctrine on marriage.

  • You’re argument is far too broad-stroked. Not all LGBT are innocent victims. Not all conservative evangelicals are hate-mongers. Of course Jesus doesn’t support violence against gay individuals. Neither does He advocate the redefinition of marriage. When one can equally do justice to these two realities, then we arrive at Jesus’ heart on the matter. It can, and is being done in New Testament communities all over the nation.

  • As a Pasadena, Fuller grad and pastor for 20+ years, I’ve found it also takes a great deal of courage to openly maintain fidelity w the Biblical definition of marriage while being pro-actively and lovingly homo-redemptic. There is another kind of justice; a deep justice that has the power to transform the many young men and women who receive and live out of His prevailing grace. It’s also a place of humble peace to know that He’s holding you to minister in faithfulness to His pure heart of love and the cry of the afflicted.

  • “Love is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…”

  • I have absolutely no theological credentials, I am just an interested layperson. But, from my “outsider” perspective, I have to comment on how fortunate I feel I am to be living in a time where God’s incredible plan is being played out so visibly in our lives.
    How brilliant to place a calling to Dr. Gushee to become a scholar of the Bible, with a family member who is gay, in a time of legal and spiritual enlightenment regarding homosexuality.
    I sense a pattern throughout history, where He has done this before to open our eyes with regard to our errors in using His book to justify slavery, racism, sexism, etc.
    How exciting to see the borders of His kingdom enlarging through love and acceptance.
    Obviously – ALL my humble, personal opinion.

  • “Spare us the faux victimhood, Mo. Christians make up 70% of the US population, and LGBTQ persons are, at most, 5%. An insignificant minority cannot “bully” a significant majority.”

    And yet you are.

    So you agree with people having their public reputations trashed by being branded bigots or the childish word “haters” for simply disagreeing?

    You agree with businesses being sued for not wishing to violate their 1st Amendment rights?

    You agree with males being allowed into female washrooms?

    You agree with the government demanding churches’ sermons? (Not from mosques, though. You don’t have the GUTS to say peep about Islam, right? You know, that religion whose followers stone and hang and burn and throw homosexuals off cliffs? You don’t have the GUTS to bully them. Cowards.)

    You agree with churches being desecrated by homosexuals? (I can’t find the original stories because apparently this particular group has disbanded and taken down their official web sites.)

    http://www.details.com/culture-trends/news-and-politics/200907/meet-the-fearsome-gay-gangsters-of-bash-back

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/victory-for-evangelical-church-over-hell-raising-gay-anarchist-group

    Can you outright condemn this with no, “Yeah, but…” qualifiers?

    I skimmed the rest because I don’t have time to read it all, especially when it starts off about the Civil Rights Act. There are ZERO civil rights being denied to homosexuals. Period.

    I bet you will also start the nonsense of comparing blacks to sexual behaviors, which is one of the most insulting things I’ve ever seen. And yet I see it time and time again.

    I have no idea why you’re bringing Bible verses into it either. I am sure you don’t give the Bible any authority on this matter, so why quote it?

    No one stops you from living your life in any way you choose. No one. Stop your bullying of anyone who will not agree. Leave us alone to live our lives.

    Thank you.

  • So telling people, “no idolatry, no blasphemy, no buggery, no theft, no murder, etc.” is bullying?

    Are you an idolater or something?

  • The only thing I want to hear from you is an apology for your vile lie that the passage in Luke is Jesus commanding his followers to murder homosexuals.

  • @ Jane Newsham

    “Jesus is asked by a lesbian couple to bake a cake for their wedding.
    Which is Jesus’ most likely response?
    1. I’m not baking a cake for those sinful people
    2. Where did we put the best frosting?
    Think about it, guys.”

    LOL! Thanks for the laugh.

    First of all, you don’t give any authority to the Bible on this issue, do you? Why refer to Jesus at all, then? It always baffles me when people do that.

    Your ridiculous example really does take the cake. (Pun intended.)

    Can you explain to me on what biblical basis you would dare assume that Jesus – the same God of the OT who destroyed two cities for this behavior, the same God who inspired Paul’s writings on it, the same God who said that people were created male and female – why THAT God would contradict himself to bake a cake to celebrate something he has declared is an abomination?

    Please explain that to me. Remember, I want to hear a BIBLICAL defense of your position. You are the one who dared drag Christ’s name into this, not me.

  • @ JSB

    “SB Oct 27, 2014 at 8:29 am
    “Love is not glad about injustice, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things…”

    That’s nice. What does it have to do with the Bible’s teachings regarding homosexuality?

    Oh, yeah. Nothing at all.

  • Neither did Lev. 20:13 command Jews in general to slay homosexuals. It commanded Israel, as a nation, acting through those appointed by law, to execute those convicted of capital crimes pursuant to the law. One of these capital crimes was same-sex buggery. For any random Jew to just bash a homosexual’s head to death was murder- another capital crime.

  • @ Michael Ejercito

    “Neither did Lev. 20:13 command Jews in general to slay homosexuals. It commanded Israel, as a nation, acting through those appointed by law, to execute those convicted of capital crimes pursuant to the law. One of these capital crimes was same-sex buggery. For any random Jew to just bash a homosexual’s head to death was murder- another capital crime.”

    I know that and you know that. (I didn’t read all the verses this Atheist Max posted.) But people like him love to grab verses from a book they NEVER once read and use them to say things that they don’t say. It makes me livid to see such blasphemy.

    The thing is, they don’t give Scripture any authority on anything. Why do they love to misquote/misuse it so much, then? I don’t get it. I don’t follow the Koran or the Book of Mormon or any other religious text. Why would I quote it and deliberately MIS-quote it in order to support my view on any matter? I can’t even imagine doing such a thing. It boggles my mind! But with these anti-theists, I see it all the time!

    Has there been any apology from Atheist Max for that vile lie he presented, claiming that the passage in Luke is Jesus commanding his followers to murder homosexuals? I’m no longer reading any of his comments. I’ve dealt with his like before. All they do is play games. I have neither the time nor the patience for it.

  • @ Atheist Max

    “Typical ugly religionist meanness.”

    Grow up, you infant.

    Where’s my apology for your vile LIE that Luke 19:11-17 is a direct command from Jesus to his followers to murder homosexuals?

  • My Church that I had been a faithful member of for 8 years kicked me out for having a same sex romantic friendship. I had never even had sex at that point. I attempted suicide but eventually found myself again.does that count?

  • @ Denise

    “My Church that I had been a faithful member of for 8 years kicked me out for having a same sex romantic friendship. I had never even had sex at that point. I attempted suicide but eventually found myself again.does that count?”

    What exactly is a “romantic friendship”?

    It’s one thing to have an attraction. But when you act on it, that’s another matter. Whether you “had sex” or not is not the main issue. It would be similar to a heterosexual relationship with someone who’s married to another person. Even if it is not sexual, it’s still an affair.

    The Bible is clear on same-sex relationships. There is ZERO question on that. If you name the name of Christ, you need to cease from that sin. If you choose to keep disobeying God in this manner, unfortunately a church has no choice but to exercise church discipline as described in Matthew 18, 1 Corinthians 5.

    The Bible is also clear that the purpose of this is to restore the person. Sin is destructive, no matter what kind of sin it is. If a person chooses to keep sinning after being counseled not to, it’s going to destroy them and infect the rest of the church as well.

    I hope you chose to obey God in this matter and were able to be restored to your church body.

  • Well, shucks Atheist Max! Pot, meet Kettle;you regularly harangue people on this site as to who God is; you seem to have no trouble describing Him to a”T”, Max! Are you kidding me? ???

  • @Mo,

    Why would I apologize for YOUR bible?

    Jesus calls for Death to Homosexuals along with all others who do not follow God’s Laws:
    “Execute them in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    JESUS: Fully Enforce The Law – “not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law” – JESUS (Matthew 5:18-19)

    JESUS – I WILL DISMEMBER PEOPLE WITH A SWORD
    “The master shall cut him to pieces” – Jesus (Luke 12)
    JESUS describes what he intends to do to his own enemies.

    JESUS – I SHALL RETURN TO EXECUTE MY ENEMIES
    “..bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King, and execute them in front of me.” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    JESUS – YOU SHOULD DROWN THEM
    “Drown him with a millstone” (Matt 18:6)

    JESUS – KILL YOUR CHILDREN THE WAY GOD TOLD YOU TO
    “And why do you break the command of God
    for the sake of your tradition? …. ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ ” (Matthew 15:3)

    JESUS – YOU MUST JUDGE OTHERS HARSHLY
    “…if they are unworthy..REMOVE your blessing of peace.” – JESUS (Matt 10:13)

    JESUS – I CAME TO BURN UP THE WORLD AND DESTROY IT
    “I have come to bring FIRE…What constraints! I am impatient to bring NOT PEACE BUT DIVISION.” – Jesus (Luke 12:49-51)

    JESUS – HATE THOSE WHO LOVE YOU
    “Hate your parents…hate your life” – Jesus (Luke 14:26)

    JESUS – I’M A MAFIA GODFATHER. DO IT, OR ELSE.
    “Eat of my body” and “Be baptized and believe” or “Be condemned to Hell” – Jesus (John 6:53-54) (Mark 16:16).

    JESUS – I WILL KILL THE CHILDREN MYSELF
    “I shall kill her children with Death” – Jesus (REV. 1:22-23)

    JESUS – I WANT YOU TO LIVE IN A HOUSE FULL OF ENEMIES
    “Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death…for ME.” – JESUS (Matthew 10:21)

    JESUS – I’M HERE TO RUIN YOUR LIFE AND ALL THAT YOU LOVE
    “I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I came to set a man against his daughter, and a daughter against her mother, AND A DAUGHTER-IN-LAW AGAINST HER MOTHER-IN-LAW; and A MAN’S ENEMIES WILL BE THE MEMBERS OF HIS HOUSEHOLD.” – JESUS (Matthew 10:35)

    JESUS – JUDGE OTHERS FOR GOD’S WRATH!
    “And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet AS A TESTIMONY AGAINST THEM.” – JESUS (Luke 9:3-5)

    JESUS ENDORSED the stoning laws – He rejected any change to the stoning laws of Moses.

    JESUS – KEEP ALL 500 STONING LAWS AS GOD COMMANDS
    “For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commands and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.” – JESUS (Matthew 5:18-19 RSV)

    JESUS – STONE THESE PEOPLE TO DEATH:
    “not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law” – JESUS (Matthew 5:18-19)

    JESUS: “bring to me those who would not have me as their king….“KILL THEM IN FRONT OF ME” (Luke 19:27):

    Homosexuals (Leviticus 20:13)
    Inhabitants of conquered cities
    Victims of rape
    People who work on Sunday
    Infidels
    Prostitutes
    Uncircumcised men
    Men who have sex with women who are menstruating
    Ignorers of Priests
    Ignorers of Sacraments
    people who drink blood
    People who eat peace offerings
    People who let food go bad
    People who do magic tricks
    People who go to temple while filthy
    Heretics
    Perjurors
    fortune tellers
    Spiritualists
    False prophets
    People who approach the Tabernacle
    Apostates
    Kidnappers
    Pretenders of witchcraft
    Pretenders of other religions
    Stubborn children
    Rebellious children
    Children who disagree with their parents
    Profligates
    Sorcerers
    Women who marry their daughters
    Adulterers
    Fornicators
    People who are irresponsible with their bulls
    People who pretend to worship idols
    People who actually worship idols
    Unruly children
    Slaves who run away
    Gluttons
    Drunkards
    Liars
    Slaves who disobey
    Wives who disobey
    Men who steal
    Women who steal
    Children who steal
    Children who pretend to be witches
    Masturbators
    etc…

    There would be nobody left.

    Any person who thinks Jesus does not demand killing
    has not read their bible and does not know about their Christian religion.

  • @ Atheist Max

    That’s what I thought. A troll who knows nothing and cares nothing about the Bible, spewing nonsense on something about which he’s completely ignorant.

    Where’s my apology for your vile lie that Luke 19 is a direct command from Jesus to his followers to murder homosexuals?

  • Would you say that the gay guy who tried to commit a mass shooting at the Family Research Council’s Washington office last year is a bully, Max?

    And since he’s not a Christian, AND also he’s homosexual, would you say that all non-Christians are mass-murdering bullies? And all homosexuals too?

  • The perpetuation that “homosexuality is wrong”, or “is a sin”, is simply based on stubborn ignorance. That ignorance will continue to fade away.

  • @ Doc Anthony

    “Would you say that the gay guy who tried to commit a mass shooting at the Family Research Council’s Washington office last year is a bully, Max?
    And since he’s not a Christian, AND also he’s homosexual, would you say that all non-Christians are mass-murdering bullies? And all homosexuals too?”

    Oh, goodness, I’d forgotten about that case! Of course it was IMMEDIATELY swept under the rug by the pro-Rainbow Crowd media as soon as it happened!

    The truth is that militant homosexuals and their supports don’t see anything wrong with something like that. They support it.

  • @ DougTarkus

    “The perpetuation that “homosexuality is wrong”, or “is a sin”, is simply based on stubborn ignorance. That ignorance will continue to fade away.”

    It’s based on FACT, not ignorance. This behavior goes against biology itself. It leads to illness, all manner of dysfunction, often death, and would result in the ending of the human race itself since two males / two females CANNOT ever procreate to continue the species.

    That’s FACT.

    Now, how about addressing what I said? I’ll copy/paste it again. (You know you won’t.)

    There are no “violations of LGBT civil rights” going on. Stop promoting that fiction.

    Anything to say on the rights of Christian pastors who are being BULLIED by the mayor of Houston to turn over sermons notes? (Though I think this bully finally backed down.)

    Anything to say on the rights of business owners who are being BULLIED by homosexuals into catering to their ceremonies?

    Anything to say on the rights of those who voted on Prop. 8 who had their personal information leaked by homosexual BULLIES?

    Of course not. You agree with that bullying and violation of rights.

    No one stops homosexuals from doing whatever it is they do. Stop bullying us into celebrating it.

  • I hope Jonathan Merritt has read your comment, Thomas. It’s a good one…..

    Merritt is typical of much of the media, which defines people’s politics on cultural issues alone.

  • LC, to be fair, that is a dramatic case and not the norm, but the fact that it happened puts the lie to the doctrinaire and unscientific claim that no gay person can ever change. It also highlights how heinous it is to preach to gay people who want to change that they cannot change. That is yet another example of how the far left is no friend of human freedom, putting ideology ahead of real people.

  • Actually, Mo, what’s unbelievable is how evangelicals, who claim the Bible as their infallible authority for faith and practice, can convince themselves that the Scripture’s plain and straightforward words on homosexuality somehow mean the opposite of what they say.

    But if Gushee were a non-evangelical liberal Protestant, it wouldn’t surprisinga at all. Long before most of us were born, plenty of mainline Protestant theologians were denying the authority of Scripture and making things up as they went along.

  • Christians are not simply “being prevented from engaging in legal discrimination.”

    Christians in some instances are seeing their First Amendment right to freedom of religion abridged. And First Amendment rights trump ill-conceived statutes or court rulings. Or to say it a different way, if a law or ruling ends up putting this nation on a collision course with the First Amendment, maybe it’s time to ask whether the law or ruling should exist in the first place.

  • Paul, you’re lumping a slew of issues together that don’t necessarily hang together. For example, one can agree with your points and still oppose the redefinition of marriage.

    But from your tone, it sounds like you want to use the most extreme cases of anti-gay behavior as a battering ram against all opponents of gay marriage.

  • Atheist Max, Mo is simply reflecting what the Bible says. A Bible scholar you’re not, but that’s an old story.

  • @ Jack

    “Actually, Mo, what’s unbelievable is how evangelicals, who claim the Bible as their infallible authority for faith and practice, can convince themselves that the Scripture’s plain and straightforward words on homosexuality somehow mean the opposite of what they say.”

    I know! I admit I was blindsided by this. I’m used to it by secular people who give no authority to the Bible. But coming from professing Christians? I can’t make heads or tails of it.

    “But if Gushee were a non-evangelical liberal Protestant, it wouldn’t surprisinga at all. Long before most of us were born, plenty of mainline Protestant theologians were denying the authority of Scripture and making things up as they went along.”

    True, that.

    The thing is, this is one issue that is so, so clear. It’s not anything where there might be some misunderstanding, or misreading or questionable words or anything.

    It’s a DELIBERATE twisting of Scripture to mean the exact opposite of what it clearly says.

    And again, the fact that it’s being done not just by secular/non-Christian people, but by professing Christians – of ANY stripe – is what leaves me stunned.

    Where do we go from here? I honestly do not know.

  • Jack, your claim that “plenty of mainline Protestant theologians were denying the authority of Scripture and making things up as they went along” is so general as to be lacking in force. In reality, many theologians began taking seriously the original languages in which the original text of the Bible was written as well as the difficulties of translating from ancient languages to modern in a way that is faithful to the context in which the original was written – not an easy task in many cases. So, your denigration of the work of “plenty of mainline Protestant theologians” just because some of them have come to conclusions about the meaning of scripture that you find unacceptable doesn’t mean they didn’t take the authority of Scripture seriously. It simply meant that they took the original text and the context in which it was written seriously as opposed to your taking your preferred English translation of that text seriously in the modern context – a practice called “eisegesis,” or “the process of interpreting a text or portion of text in such a way that the process introduces one’s own presuppositions, agendas, or biases into and onto the text,” rather than the “exegesis” these scholars and theologians were doing, which “includes a wide range of critical disciplines: textual criticism is the investigation into the history and origins of the text, but exegesis may include the study of the historical and cultural backgrounds for the author, the text, and the original audience. Other analysis includes classification of the type of literary genres present in the text, and an analysis of grammatical and syntactical features in the text itself.” While Protestant theologians – or any other Christian theologians – are not immune from a tendency toward eisegesis, I’m guessing that even those who do good exegesis in which the temptation towards eisegesis has been scrupulously avoided have produced interpretations that you wouldn’t find acceptable, while evangelical scholars who have allowed their biases to affect their translation, let alone their interpretation, of scripture would hear no word of admonishment from you as long as their interpretations were consistent with your own. So, it is not only “liberals” who “accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own desires” (2 Tim. 4.3b), but conservative evangelicals as well – though I’m sure you would deny this is the case for you.

  • @Lawrence Ringo,

    I respond to claims.
    Where is the support for the ridiculous claim that “God is love but Love is “not god”?

    None of these bogus god claims would matter except for one important reason:

    Religionists such as yourselves are defending the death threats and hateful bigotry against several groups of people in the name of your gods – and you are either oblivious to that fact or willfully ignorant.

    You are defending stuff like this:

    “THE ONLY REMEDY FOR HOMOSEXUALS IS THAT THEY BE PUT TO DEATH..”

    – PASTOR ROBBY GALLATY
    TENNESEE MEGACHURCH
    SEPTEMBER 4, 2014

    And MO has argued in favor of the theology which supports these death threats: The Jesus who explicitly supported the entire book of Leviticus where hundreds of capital punishments are commanded. Not only homosexuals (lev 20:13) but hundreds of other people accused of sins against ‘god’ (whatever that is).

    “bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as a king and execute them in front of me.” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    The parable of the minas demonstrates that the nobleman (Jesus himself) intends to return to carry out the executions. The church teaches this parable as the lesson of the Parousia – and if you don’t believe me look it up yourself.

    Jesus DEMANDS the executions. And he insists that the executions take place in this way – The Obedient servant shall execute the disobedient servant.
    I think it is despicable that anyone believes this pathetic horse manure in modern times.

    Jesus, do YOU agree with Leviticus? Kill Homosexuals?
    ‘I certainly do!’ “The Lord and I are ONE” – JESUS (John 1:17)

    Abandon this trash. Jesus has caused enough misery.

  • @Mo,

    You will get no apology from me – I’ll keep saying that if you like.
    Jesus commands executions of Homosexuals along with everyone else.

    “Follow the commands…” – JESUS (10:19)

    Meanwhile, you have so much to apologize for:

    “Kill homosexuals” – (Lev 20:13)
    “Genocide is a good solution to problems” – (JER 13:14)(1 Samuel 15:3)
    “Save the virgins for RAPE” – (Num 31:18)
    “enslave people who surrender” – (Deut. 20:10)
    “Marry your rapist” – (Duet. 22:28)
    “Raping your neighbor’s wife is a good way to punish your neighbor” – (2 Sam 12:11)
    “Sell your daughter for sex money” – (Exodus 21:7)
    “Do some raping and stealing” – (Zech 14:1-2)
    “stop ignoring god’s wonderful slaughter” – (Zeph 3:16)
    “Kill babies joyfully” – (Isaiah 13:15)
    “More genocide just for you” – (Ex 23:23)
    “Kill without mercy” – (Jer 15:1-7)
    “Kill your neighbor” – (Jer 48:10)
    “Let us abort all of the babies” – (Hosea 9:11-16)
    “I am a bigot, I’m only for the Jews” – JESUS (Matt 15:26)
    “Ok, to whip your slaves severely” – JESUS (Luke 12:47-48)
    “Kill them even if they are sorry” – (Jer 15:1-7)
    “Never make peace with them” – (Exod 34:15)
    “Why aren’t you following the stoning laws!?” – Jesus (John 7:19)
    “Execute my enemies” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)
    “Kill unruly children” – JESUS (Matthew 15:3)
    “Kill unbelievers” – (2 Chronicles 15:12-13)
    “Die for me” – JESUS (Matthew 16:25)
    “Ignore the future” – JESUS (Matthew 6:34)
    “Make slaves of those around you” – (Lev 25:44-46)
    “Be a good sex slave, don’t run to freedom” – (1 Peter 2:18)
    “Make slaves permanent property” – (Ex 21:5)
    “Judge them, Remove your PEACE” – JESUS (Matt 10:14)
    “Prepare for battle, buy a sword” – JESUS (Luke 22:36-37)
    “I made Evil for humanity” – GOD (Isaiah 45:7)
    “I shall NEVER forgive you” – JESUS (Matthew 25:46)
    “I have no power against IRON” – God (Judges 1:19)
    “Eat my body, drink my blood, or else no heaven” – JESUS
    “Women, expect to be raped to save your husband” – (Judges 19:25-28)
    “Lesbians and Gays will go to hell” – (romans 1:27)
    “Kill your loved ones for me,” – God” (Judges 11:30-1, 34-5)
    “Kill your son for me” – god (Genesis 22:2)
    “No rights for women” – (Eph 5:22)
    “Women should not lust for PENIS” – (Ezekiel 23:20)
    “Rape is the women’s fault” – (Ezekiel 23:17)
    “conquered people must become your slaves” – (Deut 20:10)
    “Rape the pretty slaves” – (Deut 21:10-14)
    “Mass rape commanded by god” (Numbers 31:18)
    “I came to burn up the world” – JESUS (Luke 12:49-51)
    “I did not come to bring peace, but division.” – JESUS (Luke 12:49-51)

    Jesus agrees with all of it, “The Lord and I are ONE” (John 1:17)

    🙁
    Shame on the priests, pastors, nuns who still defend this damaging, dangerous bible.
    For shame!

  • @ Atheist Max.

    “Abandon this trash. Jesus has caused enough misery.”

    You know nothing and care nothing about the Bible or Jesus.

    Where’s my apology for your vile lie that Luke 19 is a direct command from Jesus to his followers to murder homosexuals?

    You LIAR. Where is the apology for and retraction of your lie?

  • @Mo,

    “All they do is play games.”

    This is a game to you?

    “the only remedy for homosexuals is that they be put to death..”
    – Pastor, Robby Gallaty
    Tennessee Megachurch
    September 4, 2014

    Real gay people are dying because Christians want Jesus to be their king.
    If you don’t want Jesus to be your king, Jesus has something important to share with you:

    “bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King and Execute them in front of me” – JESUS (luke 19:27)

    Inciting violence, Jesus spews his commands and Christians can’t wait to carry it out as directed. Shame on those who would call this ‘a game.’

    Who is ready to apologize for this? I have heard no Christian yet who would denounce Jesus’ hatreds and DEHUMANIZATION!

    “They are dogs!” – JESUS (Matthew 15:26)
    “they are swine!” – Jesus (Matthew 7:6)

    Mo, you fit right in!

  • So, still no apology for your vile lie that Luke 19 has commands from Jesus to his followers to kill homosexuals.

    You’re a liar. You know it.

    Still you continue to spew nonsense about a book you have NEVER READ.

    You know and care NOTHING about the Bible or Christ.

    Be gone, you lying troll.

  • @Mo,

    So ‘MO’ (pun intended) how long have you been homosexual?
    Tell us how hard you work at suppressing your desires.
    Share with us how you have made “a choice to not be gay” despite your lusts.

    Any psychologist will explain this to you. People who argue against homosexuality are merely repressing their own.
    Why do you think there are so many gay priests!?

  • @Mo,

    “It is crystal clear”

    Yes it is:
    “Kill Homosexuals” – (Leviticus 20:13)
    “Follow the commands [includes Leviticus]” – JESUS (mark 10:19)

    I guess the reason you don’t follow Jesus
    is because you don’t want to go to prison for the rest of your life?

    Funny that one of the commandments in Exodus is “thou shalt not kill” – you kind of wonder what God was thinking talking out of both sides of his mouth.
    Either that or perhaps it is all just…… man-made garbage.

    This is all too stupid and obvious.

  • 14 Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. 15 And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, 16 as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. 18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3, ESV).
    Also read 2 Peter 2. Just because some “experts” are being led astray, it doesn’t change truth. All have sinned, all need repentance, and all need to leave their sinful ways. Truth hurts, but if it leads to needed change, salvation may follow.

  • Mo,
    What is the “truth” re: human sexuality? Rejoice in this.
    How does God enact “justice” on behalf of those who have deviated from His way? Be glad about this.
    In love, bear with those whose thinking is darkened.
    In love, believe that they can yet be redeemed.
    In love, hope for their salvation; and their embrace into the family of God.
    Do this – and do it some more.

  • @Mo,

    “You know nothing and care nothing about the Bible or Jesus”

    I know this:
    Jesus’ instructions are garbage. Christianity is a parlor trick.
    The holy spirit is a hat trick.
    Yahweh, Allah and Osiris are dumb superstitious desert stories.

    But I care enormously about what the Bible SAYS!
    Because fools are running around killing people because that is what the Bible tells them to do – so, yes – I am very much against your executioner Christ and his evil demands to see human beings kill in his name.

    “execute them in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    Awesome! Keep defending Jesus’ capital punishment of homosexuals.

    Please keep squeezing more replies out of me
    because I love to rip into these old Jesus stories – they are far more murderous and solipsistic than most people understand – and every time you deny it, everyone else gets to see how wrong you are!

    “Follow the commands…” – JESUS (Mark 10:19)
    “Kill Homosexuals” (Leviticus 20:13)

  • @Jack,

    “Mo is simply reflecting what the Bible says.”

    Oh, no, he isn’t. That is my problem with him.

    “Follow the commands of moses…” – JESUS (Mark 10:19)
    “Kill Homosexuals” (Leviticus 20:13)

    Mo is denying that Jesus commands executions
    of gays (along with other sinners).
    Mo wants to claim that Jesus condemns gays (to eternal Hell after they are dead?) but that Jesus does not call for executions – and that is just a lie.

    Jesus calls for executions.
    Very specifically Jesus wants the good servants to kill the disobedient servants – which is even worse than Jesus doing the executions himself!

    “Bring to me those enemies of mine and execute them in front of me” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

  • If believing in God and His Words, the Bible, is ignorance, then please call me ignorant. I will accept the label gladly.

  • @ Solaria Saturn

    “Wow good comment got nothing to add. :)”

    You could’ve added the answers to the questions that Douglas (and everyone else!) also refused to answer. Here they are again:

    You know you won’t condemn any of this. Why? Because you SUPPORT IT. You SUPPORT this bullying. (You know, that bullying that Douglas claims it’s impossible for a minority to perpetrate upon a majority?)

    So you agree with people having their public reputations trashed by being branded bigots or the childish word “haters” for simply disagreeing?

    You agree with businesses being sued for not wishing to violate their 1st Amendment rights?

    You agree with males being allowed into female washrooms?

    You agree with the government demanding churches’ sermons? (Not from mosques, though. You don’t have the GUTS to say peep about Islam, right? You know, that religion whose followers stone and hang and burn and throw homosexuals off cliffs? You don’t have the GUTS to bully them. Cowards.)

    You agree with churches being desecrated by homosexuals? (I can’t find the original stories because apparently this particular group has disbanded and taken down their official web sites.)

    http://www.details.com/culture-trends/news-and-politics/200907/meet-the-fearsome-gay-gangsters-of-bash-back

    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/victory-for-evangelical-church-over-hell-raising-gay-anarchist-group

    Can you outright condemn this with no, “Yeah, but…” qualifiers?

  • Taking radical gays to represent the normal behavior and attitudes of all LGBTQ persons is like taking the Westboro Baptist Church to represent the behavior and attitudes of all Christians or taking ISIS to represent all Muslims. When you need to stoop that low, Mo, you’ve lost the last shred of credibility you ever had.

  • @Douglas Asbury: Finally, a voice of faith and reason. It’s interesting that where faith and reason occur together, compassion and care for the ACTUAL victim occurs. Where faith and reason are not conjoined — hatred is given both birth and permission. Interesting that so many of your evangelical and catholic young people who do have faith and reason, see what their elders do not, and are leaving the church because they know the heart of Jesus and they know gay people. And they know in their hearts that the traditional interpretations of those famous 6 texts are NOT the true interpretations. And so they are leaving the churches in large numbers. They are not leaving God or Jesus or the Spirit. They are not leaving prayer or sacred scripture. The most common reason they give for having left the churches of their birth is the way that the church is treating their friends. These churches have chosen to ignore the new finding about said scriptures and to ignore what science has learned about sexuality. And this lack of faithfulness to the truth has caused them to leave- in droves. Many of the letters responding to this column about Dr Gushee and his work – both in harshness of tone and even promoting murder in the content…help your children to know that whatever your church is about, it’s not about Jesus and it’s not about the main themes of scripture. Thank you Douglas, for something that sounds like Jesus.

  • @ Stephen Wayles

    “And they know in their hearts that the traditional interpretations of those famous 6 texts are NOT the true interpretations. ”

    LOL! And you know (in your heart) that those famous 6 texts say the exact opposite of what they say. Right?

    How ridiculous. Nowhere is the biblical position on this sin dependent upon just “those famous 6 texts”. You’d know that if you’d ever bothered to read the entire bible.

    Can you explain to me how supporting a behavior that the Bible condemns from the OT all the way through to the NT (since the entire bible is Jesus’ words) “sounds like Jesus”?

  • Science does not say that anyone- homosexual or heterosexual- is compelled to engage in same-sex buggery. We all can say no top same-sex buggery, just as we can say no to idolatry, blasphemy, theft, murder, dishonesty, etc.

  • Jonathan Merritt the fellow you wrote about

    He must be southern Baptist because most other Baptist like northern or American Baptist embraces homosexuality ..so

    keep us posted on What his Baptist CHURCH does about leading members of Their’s,, who publically support and defend homosexuality rejecting what scripture says about homosexuality..

  • @Michael,

    Science does not say anyone has to have any sex at all! Hetero-sex or otherwise. But the question is, how did it fall on your personal responsibilities to ensure that things go a certain way in other people’s sex lives – which you have nothing to do with!

    Get your nose out of other people’s business! Other people’s sex life is not your business!

  • Exactly, Mo! Like those businesses who were BULLIED into serving blacks at Woolworth’s counters instead of dumping ketchup on their heads! Like those companies who were BULLIED into providing equal hiring opportunities! Like housing offices who were BULLIED into making homes and apartments available to financially qualified Blacks, Latinos, and others whose skin was darker than mine! Like those schools, courthouses, and other public spaces that were BULLIED into doing away with the God-blessed “Whites” and “Colored” water fountains! Like the movie theater I grew up going to, which was BULLIED into doing away with the blacks-only segregated balcony, leaving the nicer balcony and the entire floor to only the whites!

    All bullies! Yes! That’s what we’ll say!

    And so on, and so on.

    The dialog has to begin with people being honest about the last 50 years, and the preceding centuries, of hateful, ignorant racism, and even violence—still being perpetrated against people who have *no* more choice over their sexual orientation than they have over the color of their skin, the anatomy of their facial features, the texture of their hair.

    FWIW, I’m a very happily married straight guy, almost 60 yrs. old. The gay couples in my neighborhood and those in my church don’t “threaten” my marriage at all.

  • @ chasbrant

    “Exactly, Mo! Like those businesses who were BULLIED into serving blacks at Woolworth’s counters instead of dumping ketchup on their heads! ”

    What idiocy and ignorance is displayed by this comment.

    How DARE you compare a race to a *deviant sexual behavior? How dare you?

    The rest of your comment I will not read. When someone starts off with this nonsense, there’s no point.

    How in the blazes you think someone’s race is equal to deviant sexual behaviors is beyond me. It’s insulting to those black people who lived through the Civil Rights Movement. If I was black I’d be LIVID at hearing such a comparison made.

    Plus, there ARE NO RIGHTS being denied to homosexual individuals. They have the same rights as everyone else under the law and the Constitution.

    When it comes to same-sex ** “marriage” business owners have objected to being forced to participate in a CEREMONY that goes against their conscience. There was no service denied to any INDIVIDUALS. Get that distinction right already. I have to repeat it every single time the issue comes up!

    * Deviant – de·vi·ant
    ˈdēvēənt/Submit
    adjective
    1.departing from usual or accepted standards, especially in social or sexual behavior.

    ** The word “marriage” is in quotes because marriage is a particular thing. It’s not just “whatever you think it is”. In the same way you cannot have a square circle or a married bachelor, you cannot have a marriage between two males or two females. It’s simply a contraction in terms. It can be a commitment ceremony or some other thing, but it is not marriage.

    “FWIW, I’m a very happily married straight guy, almost 60 yrs. old. The gay couples in my neighborhood and those in my church don’t “threaten” my marriage at all.”

    So? Can you show me where I said anything about homosexuals threatening your marriage?

  • I loved the little nugget that being against torture is now a lefty position, the kind of thing that will lose you friends in mainstream evangelicalism. Un-freaking-believable how insane their politics have become.

  • What is so very sad in all of this is that by being so hate-filled and judgmental, many of you who think you are doing God’s work are driving people away from the love of God and reconciliation with Him – to the point that you seem to follow the version of god that Atheist Max is taunting you with. You know that Max’s version of God is not correct, but from an outsider’s point of view, it seems you are upholding every hateful tenet that he is listing. I am sure several of you will be very quick to leap down my throat and tell me how wrong I am, just as you have done to every other person on this thread that you do not agree with. But it won’t matter, for two reasons: (1) I will not be back on this thread, because I am sick of the noise of sounding brass and tinkling cymbal; (2) God created me, God alone will judge me, and it doesn’t matter if I have strived to the best of my ability to live according to every law in the Bible, but for the blood of Christ I have no hope of eternal life. I personally believe that Christ cared more about what I do with my heart and my words than what I do with my genitals. And in case you are wondering, since many of you seem unnaturally preoccupied with others’ sexual proclivities, I am heterosexual. 1 Cor. 12:21, 1 Cor. 13: 12-13

  • Why are you so adamant about attacking teachings against same-sex sodomy.

    I do not even see a millionth of the effort getting people to convince that Islam condones drinking alcohol.

  • I personally believe that Christ cared more about what I do with my heart and my words than what I do with my genitals. And in case you are wondering, since many of you seem unnaturally preoccupied with others’ sexual proclivities, I am heterosexual.
    Those who defend buggery are on the same moral plane as those who defend idolatry or blasphemy.

  • @ Paula Fluharty

    “What is so very sad in all of this is that by being so hate-filled and judgmental, many of you who think you are doing God’s work are driving people away from the love of God and reconciliation with Him.”

    What being so hate-filled and judgmental” behavior are you referring to? Oh, you mean repeating the Bible’s teaching that homosexuality is a sin? That’s hate-filled and judgmental?

    “I personally believe that Christ cared more about what I do with my heart and my words than what I do with my genitals.”

    Tell me, is God okay with adultery as well? How about fornication? Does God condone using your genitals for sexual activity with someone who is not your spouse? Can you show me anywhere in Scripture where such a thing is taught?

    “And in case you are wondering, since many of you seem unnaturally preoccupied with others’ sexual proclivities, I am heterosexual.”

    I couldn’t care less about your sexual behavior. Just don’t have a parade in celebration of it, don’t bully me into agreeing with it, and don’t sue businesses for not wanting to promote a formal celebration of what God calls sin.

    I’d love to never have to hear about homosexuality ever again! But I cannot even open a news feed without some story promoting it in some way. I was at a site that is for books and right there in the front page was some story about homosexuality being promoted via YA books.

    The supporters of this sin will not cease from shoving it in our faces day in and day out.

    Speaking of sin, can you explain to me why you’d have Bible references in a comment that supports what this same Bible refers to as sin from the OT all the way to the NT?

  • Because you are wrong and you are ignoring the truth.
    And because what you are preaching is dangerous.
    And because there are gays dying for no reason because people like yourself keep spewing this nonsense.

    I care about people. Even though I am not gay.
    And Jesus is poison.

  • “Those who defend buggery are on the same moral plane as those who defend idolatry or blasphemy.”

    Well I damn well better be!
    And blasphemy is the only thing religion is good for. Holy Mother of God, i don’t know where the Hell I’d be without it!

  • Thank you Paula!! I’m as sick of all the “noise” on this thread as you are. So much of the noise has been more for self-aggrandizement and argument’s sake than anything else..and..the Pharisees among us have not learned the lesson that self-righteousness is not righteousness. Christianity has evolved and rejected the barbarism and atrocities of the holy wars as it had to in order to survive. So, too, it will evolve and reject the hypocrisy of bigotry and exclusion of our LGBTQIA brothers and sisters. To your scriptures, I would simply add Matthew 22:37-39

  • “I personally believe that Christ cared more about what I do with my heart and my words than what I do with my genitals.”

    The latter flows from the former. Matt. 15:17-19

  • @ Atheist Max

    You are doing us all a favor by ‘separating the wheat from the chaff of scripture verses’.

    The chaff is always identifiable by its dumbness and stupidity if not complete worthlessness.

    I prefer the wheat stuff as liberal preaching always deals with the wheat and never even touches that chaff stuff. That’s because love and mercy is ‘greater’ than judgement, as it is written.

    Here’s a few wheat or love and mercy goodies that I’ve posted before —

    1. Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way..Rom 14:13

    2. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God…..Romans 15:7

    3. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love…..Ephesians 4:2

    4. Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble….1 Peter 3:8

    5. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves…..Philippians 2:3

    6. Be peaceable and considerate, and always to be gentle toward everyone…Titus 3:2

    7. Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven….Luke 6:37

    8. ABOVE ALL, LOVE EACH OTHER DEEPLY, because love covers over a multitude of sins……1 Peter 4:8

    9. Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near….Phil 4:5

    10. No one should seek their own good, but the good of others……1 Cor 10:24

    Should these even be considered the ‘new’ 10 commandments or challenges?

    Christianity will become more mature and practical if it embraces the wheat. It’s already the brightest light of good works and loving attitudes the world has ever known. It needs to become even more brighter in this troubled world of ours.

    The wheat must succeed.

  • Oh Max, Max, Max! It’s so obvious you have no real understanding of the Bible but you sure burn up those atheist websites providing trolls like you with list after list of supposed Biblical anomalies, contradictions and discrepancies. Individual verses taken out of context for sure but all designed to be used as ammunition against gullible foils like Mo. My, my! I can only imagine the tingle up your leg when you luck upon controversial topics like this one and someone who will play your game with you.

    Talk about taking a verse out of context and painting it as something it’s not…Luke 19:27 is a prime example. I found it listed on several atheist websites such as the “thethinkingatheist.com”; “thegodmurders.com”; “unamsanctamcatholicam.com.” Evidence that you’re not much of an original thinker. You just use “canned” anti-Bible rhetoric provided for you to inflame, incite and distract from a legitimate conversation.

    As for Luke 19:27, Jesus absolutely did not call for anybody to be executed before him. Go all the way back up to verse 11…”As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable,…” The parable is The Parable of the Ten Pounds and verse 27 is its conclusion. It’s the nobleman in the parable who utters those words. The moral of the parable is that, while all will be judged, only those hostile (rejecting) to him will be punished. Pardon my strong language but only someone dedicated to your kind of malicious agenda would attempt to pull off the idiotic spin you tried to put on that one verse.

  • Too many Christians are preaching or accepting a false gospel which diminishes God’s glory and dilutes the relationship believers have with their Savior.

    See “Vicky Beeching and the Lesbian Gospel” at http://t.co/CpHQtj5sGN.

  • Homosexuality is a sin along with the other 500 or more sins that we all commit every day. There are no degrees of sin. A sin is a sin. They all can be forgiven through the blood of Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter what people think is right or wrong. Salvation is open to everyone that believe. It’s that simple.

  • The violation of Evangelicals’ civil rights, shaming of Evangelical people and the suffering that results from it are all critical issues that demand strong reactions, not diplomacy. Let’s not forget that over the last 10 years we’ve seen that “diversity” laws criminalizing Christians are increasing in the US, and we have countries today engaged in the systematic slaughter of Christians while in the US, there are harsh penalties under the guise of “diversity”. When you have people calling for discriminating against Christians, forcing them to take “sensitivity training”, fining and/or imprisoning them – without question it is “us versus them”.
    See more at: http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/edwest/100138081/trevor-phillips-is-wrong-–-it-is-equality-activists-not-christians-who-are-imposing-their-beliefs-on-others/
    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/alberta-readies-to-impose-diversity-education-on-homeschoolers
    http://www.americanthinker.com/2013/10/christianity_under_attack_in_america.html

  • No, Douglas, when a Christian business owner is being forced to provide services in connection with celebration of gay marriage, of course that is a direct violation of freedom of conscience. Your argument that the owner is disobeying Christ by refusing to be a part of it is pure sophistry. It is an act of obedience to Christ to do His will and avoid even the appearance of not doing it. Even you know that your argument to the contrary is nonsensical, but you couldn’t resist making it because you saw delicious irony in doing so.

  • No, Jack. I saw no “delicious irony” in making the argument I made. But I do see a resistance to doing what Jesus commands you to do when it doesn’t suit you, and I see the sophistry in your answer that you accuse me of having in mine. The reality is that you and such persons as the bakery owner don’t want to “love your neighbor as yourself,” and you want to judge persons in violation of Jesus’ command in Matthew 7.1-5. That’s why I often cite Jesus’ remarks in response to such answers as yours, when he said, “‘Not everyone who says to me, “Lord, Lord”, will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only one who does the will of my Father in heaven. On that day many will say to me, “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?” Then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers” (Matt. 7.21-23). You see, it’s not I that is accusing you of failing to follow Jesus; it is Jesus himself. I encourage you to heed his warning and follow him more faithfully as a neighbor-lover rather than a neighbor-condemner.

  • Right you are, Michael. It’s abundantly clear that enemies of the Gospel are prepared to use every ounce of power they have, lawfully or otherwise, to silence Christians in every way they can — and to push the envelope as far as they can until somebody pushes back. From thugs on the street to elected officials to people in black robes in a court of law, they have proved, time and again, that no tactic is out of bounds, from outright bullying to twisting the Constitution into a pretzel.

    Every Christian is called to be a peacemaker, not a pacifist, and never a passivist. Enemies of Christianity are obviously hoping that Christians will become passive, but even if every Christian obliged and society regressed back to total paganism, Christians would still get no relief. People would see their existence, as they see the existence of the Jews, as a rebuke to their rebellion against God and would make life miserable for them. If I had a dollar for every Christian assaulted in history due to the uneasy conscience of others, I’d be set for life.

  • The real problem with America is that it is swiftly becoming an oligarchical society. The Republicans won’t talk about it because they’re complicit; the Dems won’t talk about it because they have some odd notion that the truth would be too scary to actually mention. The church ought to talk about it but they’re too committed to electing Republicans, and too busy blaming the gays for everything from bad weather to ebola. Congrats to those who are making opposition to homosexuality the hill to die on; you’ve successfully distracted your people from what is really killing them.

  • @ Atheist Max

    @Mo, You will get no apology from me – I’ll keep saying that if you like. Jesus commands executions of Homosexuals along with everyone else. ”

    I stopped reading your vile comments long ago, but I happened to only catch this bit in a reply to someone else.

    What a vile LIAR you are. You know Jesus does not command us to execute homosexuals. Especially not from Luke 19, which you KNOW is a parable, not some command.

    How you sicken me with how you keep printing these lies. But thank you for admitting you are unrepentant and will continue to print outright lies. I am glad everyone can see it! Know that you will give account one day to that same Christ you so despise.

    He’s very merciful, though. If you repent, you will find forgiveness. I suggest you do that now. Once you die or once He returns, you will still bow your knees, but the time for repentance and forgiveness and mercy will be done.

    I’ve dealt with some hate-filled, blasphemous, lying, bigoted, anti-theists before online, but you are by far the worst. And this is saying a lot.

    Here’s the passage for others who are too lazy to look it up and may actually choose to believe your filthy lies.

    Luke 19:11-27

    As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately. He said therefore, “A nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom and then return. Calling ten of his servants, he gave them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Engage in business until I come.’ But his citizens hated him and sent a delegation after him, saying, ‘We do not want this man to reign over us.’ When he returned, having received the kingdom, he ordered these servants to whom he had given the money to be called to him, that he might know what they had gained by doing business. The first came before him, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made ten minas more.’ And he said to him, ‘Well done, good servant! Because you have been faithful in a very little, you shall have authority over ten cities.’ And the second came, saying, ‘Lord, your mina has made five minas.’ And he said to him, ‘And you are to be over five cities.’ Then another came, saying, ‘Lord, here is your mina, which I kept laid away in a handkerchief; for I was afraid of you, because you are a severe man. You take what you did not deposit, and reap what you did not sow.’ He said to him, ‘I will condemn you with your own words, you wicked servant! You knew that I was a severe man, taking what I did not deposit and reaping what I did not sow? Why then did you not put my money in the bank, and at my coming I might have collected it with interest?’ And he said to those who stood by, ‘Take the mina from him, and give it to the one who has the ten minas.’ And they said to him, ‘Lord, he has ten minas!’ ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away. But as for these enemies of mine, who did not want me to reign over them, bring them here and slaughter them before me.’”

  • Douglas, the command to love everyone obviously cannot mean condoning or encouraging literally everything that anyone does. Every responsible person on the planet knows and has applied that distinction toward loved ones at some point in their lives. I am sure that you have as well.

    Thus, sometimes love means saying “no.” Sometimes it means the opposite of “yes” if what is being proposed or done is expressly against God’s commands as revealed in the Bible. If you believe in a loving God, it follows that you believe His commands are meant to bless, not harm people, and that breaking them will bring harm, not good, to those that do so.

    So if redefining marriage to mean what it has never meant to any culture in history expressly violates the Bible, and if we believe in God and that the Bible is His Word, and if we believe He is a loving God, it follows that precisely because of God’s love, we have to oppose redefining marriage, and we have to have no part in any celebration of it.

    You apparently disagree that the Bible opposes redefining marriage and thanks to Bible-believing Christians (and their British Enlightenment allies) of centuries past, we live in a society where you have the right to your opinion, as I have to mine. But to call my position a violation of love is to fail to follow its logic given my premise that the Bible opposes gay marriage.

    In other words, our disagreement isn’t over who’s loving and who isn’t, but what the Bible says or doesn’t say on the matter we’re discussing.

  • Jack, I disagree with you that the Bible condemns all same-sex loving relationships and sexual behaviors. Instead, it condemns both same-sex and opposite-sex abusive relationships and behaviors and sexual behaviors where there is no mutual commitment of love and faithfulness between the partners.

    That said, we are human beings; and for a human being to experience something as “loving,” especially in the way of correction, that person must first come to trust that the one delivering the word of correction actually loves the person they are correcting. (This is why such conversations as we are having get nowhere, since we are seeking to correct one another without first establishing that foundation of proven love.) Consequently, when a whole body of people – in this case, identified as “conservative Christians” – seeks to correct another body (or bodies) of people – in this case, identified as “the LGBTQ community” and “liberal Christians” – without first having established that foundation of a relationship in which proofs of love have been shown and gratefully received, the admonishment is experienced by those on the receiving end of it as hateful of the people at whom the words of correction are directed, not as “loving one’s neighbor as oneself.”

    Thus, when Westboro Baptist Church carries picket signs at military funerals chanting “God hates fags,” it becomes hate speech, not “loving correction,” no matter what the intentions of the Westboro folks. That is also the reason folks condemn the negative messages regarding same-sex relationships, marriage, adoption, and other facets of life among LGBTQ persons from conservative Christians, since a belief in the love of those Christians for them has not even begun to be established, in the context of which they might be able to hear such words of correction as coming from a foundation of love rather than of hatred.

    This, I believe, is why the people who were regularly criticized by Jesus were the Pharisees and Sadducees. They showed no love for the widows, the orphans, the diseased, the hungry, the poor, the alien, the outcast – and, indeed, they even contributed to the conditions that kept those persons in the condition in which they found themselves through collaboration with the Roman occupiers, whose main concern was the control of the subjected people – peace on Roman terms and no other. Regularly, the scripture says that Jesus “had compassion” (Matt. 9.36; 14.14, et al) on them – something the other religious leaders failed to show to the people. Whatever else Jesus may have done or said, it was the compassion he showed for people that helped them to hear his words and receive them as words of love. Even the rich young ruler “went away grieving” rather than having taken offense at Jesus’ instruction to sell all he had, give it to the poor, and follow him (Matt. 19.17-22) – because Jesus listened to him, took him seriously, and spoke to the question the ruler had raised regarding how to lead a good life. But he waited for the question; he didn’t look at the ruler’s life, condemn his holding onto his wealth and, in that context of critique, give him the same instructions as the scripture says he gave him.

    If we want our message of correction to be heard, as Jesus’ was heard – even though Jesus’ word of correction wasn’t always heeded – we need first to establish a relationship in which the person toward whom that word is directed has been persuaded of the love for them on the part of the one seeking to correct them. This happens on a person-to-person basis, not through placards and billboards and campaign rhetoric and other modes of generalized communication.

    Although his ministry has been roundly criticized by many conservative Christians, I would commend to your attention the work of Andrew Marin and the Marin Foundation. His ministry of bringing all persons, but particularly members of the LGBTQ community, to Christ is to “meet them where they are” both physically and intellectually, and then to invite them to engage with him in Bible study, so they come to know Jesus as represented in scripture and in the ministry of loving acceptance he and his organization provide. Though the end result is not necessarily that people turn away from engaging in same-sex relationships, that does occur in some cases; but in the vast majority of cases, the participants come to know that God loves them and desires that they live an abundant life in Christ, which is a prerequisite for any further transformation that may occur. When they learn first-hand that there are Christians who don’t condemn them right out of the box, they are more willing to become vulnerable with those persons and to look at their own lives with a different vision in mind – one in which a saving relationship with Christ is highly valued rather than being something they reject because of the objectionable behaviors toward them enacted by those who claim to be Christ’s followers.

  • I do not care to engage the topic of LGBT civil rights. My purpose in responding was to point out some observations I made after reading your comment, as they pertain to accurate theology.

    “What kind of “Christian” doesn’t obey the Master?”
    Answer: every single Christian. The depravity of man is complete, and salvation does not miraculously convert a believer to obedience. Sanctification is an ongoing, imperfect process this side of eternity. To think otherwise is quite Pelagian in nature, and unfortunately, a common heretical belief. This is the recurring mantra of Paul in Romans 7; he desperately wants to be like Christ, but continually stumbles, sinning in the very way he did not want.

    “Unless you follow your Master and exemplify the same self-emptying love, you can’t begin to hope to please Him…” This is another heretical statement founded on a salvation by works, not faith. The imputed righteousness of Christ to us is not wavering, dependent daily on our renewed “vows” to Christ. The capricious god you envision is no different than any of the other pagan gods (or the gods of any other major world religion), where humans must live in continual fear of their eternal state of redemption; the promises of Scripture repeatedly comfort the believer with the notion that the perfect love of Christ drives away fear.

    “…let alone to win others to him by your example.” I would also argue this is not how disciples are made, according to Scripture. Only the Lord gives water for growth; only those whom the Lord draws will be saved. This does not happen by some eloquent presentation of the Gospel, or of our exemplary conduct. As the Apostle Paul admonished us in Romans 6, please do not take this as my saying this is a license to be wantonly sinful in our conduct, since that would be a perversion of Scripture.

    Do not be mistaken, the only thing we bring to our own salvation is the debt of sin, which Christ cancelled, by nailing it to the Cross. The faith, and any obedience that comes through it, is from Christ, not us.

  • @JoJo

    “I do not care to engage the topic of LGBT civil rights. ”

    Well, that was the point of this post.

    If professing Christians can’t (or rather, won’t) comprehend the oh-so-plain biblical teachings condemning the sin of homosexuality, they’re not going to grasp or be interested in a discussion on some finer points of theology.

    Let’s not get off track here.

  • “Enemies of Christianity are obviously hoping that Christians will become passive, but even if every Christian obliged and society regressed back to total paganism, Christians would still get no relief.”

    Right you are, Jack. After all, that was where the earliest Christians were. Their lack of power and influence did nothing to reduce the hatred and abuse directed against them.

  • But, what if we are wrong? That is something we all must consider, if we are honest. What if we just honestly got it wrong and are oppressing God’s people and those who would choose Him if it weren’t for our oppression and poor representation of who He is; Love? What if the Bible is true and our theology is wrong? Is that possible? What, for example, is “strange flesh” that the Bible speaks of some going after? I seems non sensical to assume that strange flesh would mean “same flesh” or same gender as some seem to think it means. Perhaps it means something else. The Bible has some odd stories. Take the story in the OT about women hooking up with angels and producing offspring – that became giants. Hmm. Weird, huh? That could be the strange flesh, but instead, many have used that verse as against people with a homosexual orientation, to shame them. There have been many occurances of people misunderstanding the Bible, maybe this has also happened in regard to gay/lesbian people. Some have stated on here that homosexuality leads to disease and social ills and…could eventually lead to the end of the Human race. Now, let’s look at that. 1. the act of two committed individuals engaging in sexual activity, regardless of their sexual orientation or whether the act is same or opposite gender sex, does not, in itself, cause disease. Unprotected sex, and promiscuity can, however, lead to such. So, to assert that homosexuality leads to disease, is less than accurate, if not down right deceptive, I mean, to make a blanket statement like that. 2. While it is true that actual sin can lead to depression and a whole host of social ills, loving someone of the same gender does not cause such. Depriving people of love and asserting that they need to deny their innate make-up and live alone (without a suitable partner) can be very damaging, however. And shaming people because of who they are also has disastrous results (i.e. Suicide, depression, drug use, promiscuity, and the like.) 3. How absolutely absurd is the thought process that comes to the conclusion that allowing same sex unions will lead to the end of the Human race when such a small fraction of people are actually gay/lesbian? It would make one wonder if the propagator of such nonsense down deep believes that everyone is really gay, you know? They aren’t. Most people, as I understand it, are not gay. Indeed, if they were, gay people would not be the “other” that is shamed, they would be the majority. So, please stop with this erroneous thinking and stop spreading this fear-based propaganda. And, please look at your theology in the light of reality. If you say you love your neighbor, but refuse to even see them as fully Human, capable of loving relationships and needing lifelong companionship, and when you spread propaganda against them, it is not perceived as love; it is perceived as hatred. It would then seem like you love your theology more than your fellow man/woman, even though your theology may be erroneous. It is possible that the Bible, in its original languages and context, says nothing and means nothing against loving, committed same gender unions, but that theologians, over the years have misinterpreted against their “other” neighbors. Just sayin. I hope you will at least consider these things. I believe it is the honest thing to do.

  • @RUST BELT RICK,

    “America….is swiftly becoming an oligarchical society.”

    Exactly!
    And you can thank the Christian churches.

    Republican Right Wing Politics is basically The Evangelical Lobby:

    Creationism to replace science
    Intelligent Design to replace scientific method
    Corporate Christianity: Fox News, Rupert Murdoch, Koch Brothers, Greens, Walton family…
    Christian Crusade: against women’s reproductive rights
    Corporate Christian Crusade: Hobby Lobby, and others
    Corporate Christian Law destroying Separation of Church and State:

    “Religion is more important than Secularism” – Supreme Court Justice Alito
    “Jesus is more important than American Law” – George Bush
    “Jesus Christ is what protects America, not the Constitution” – Sarah Palin

    The Barbarians destroying America are:
    Jesus Christ and the fools who can’t keep him out of our laws.

    And it takes big Christian Money in the Evangelical lobby to make that happen. It works every time.

  • Yeah, it’s a bait and switch and the fundies don’t even care. That anti-gay, pro-life Senator you voted for will probably never decide anything about gay marriage or abortion (the courts will), but he’ll work day and night to ship your job to China. And they’ll keep voting for these people until no bridge is left standing.

  • “The faith, and any obedience that comes through it, is from Christ, not us”

    Exactly! I never claimed that we had to earn our salvation or to do good works to maintain it., You are fighting a straw man of your own creation. But where there are no good works, it is evidence that Christ is not in the person. Take a look at James 2.14-18, which includes his observation, “So faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead.” What I was commenting on above was the lack of works that demonstrate faith, and, instead, the presence of works that demonstrate an emphasis on works righteousness, the very thing you yourself are (wrongly) critiquing in my statement.

  • “It is possible that the Bible, in its original languages and context, says nothing and means nothing against loving, committed same gender unions.”

    No, it’s really not.

  • @ David W.

    “I truly don’t get “Christians” who are unfamiliar with the Beatitudes.

    I truly don’t get what point of mine you were addressing with this comment, or what you even mean by this comment.

  • @ Shawnie5

    “It is possible that the Bible, in its original languages and context, says nothing and means nothing against loving, committed same gender unions.”

    “No, it’s really not.”

    You can hear the wishful thinking in this outrageous comment. Nothing based in Scripture. Unbelievable for someone professing the name of Christ!

  • @ Itwas4freedomthatChristHsSetusFree

    You have a Bible verse as your screen name. Why are you then using this screen name to promote a behavior and lifestyle that that same Bible condemns as sin?

    Did anyone tell you that your screen name does not mean Christ set us free to pursue and promote things that are clearly called SIN, over and over and OVER again from the Old Testament to the New?

    “But, what if we are wrong? That is something we all must consider, if we are honest.”

    Why? Is Scripture unclear?

    ” What if we just honestly got it wrong and are oppressing God’s people and those who would choose Him if it weren’t for our oppression and poor representation of who He is; Love? ”

    What on earth are you talking about? What “oppression”? Show me where Christians or anyone else are stopping homosexuals from living their lives here in America. I’d love to see it.

    It is HOMOSEXUALS who are now oppressing anyone who won’t celebrate their behavior.

    Anything to say on the rights of Christian pastors who are being BULLIED by the mayor of Houston to turn over sermons notes? (Though I think this bully finally backed down.)

    Anything to say on the rights of business owners who are being BULLIED by homosexuals into catering to their ceremonies?

    Anything to say on the rights of those who voted on Prop. 8 who had their personal information leaked by homosexual BULLIES?

    If you dare name the name of Christ, stop condoning and promoting what the Bible calls sin.

    Thank you.

  • Wishful is right. You can only claim this is “possible” in the Bible’s “original languages and context” if you just don’t have the knowledge of those original languages and contexts — but would very much like for it to be so.

    And even then…you can take the ancient rabbinic writings and commentaries that TELL us what the Bible’s original “context” was, and put them directly in front of some of these folks’ faces and it STILL doesn’t register. It would be funny if it were not so terribly sad.

  • @ Shawnie5

    “Wishful is right. You can only claim this is “possible” in the Bible’s “original languages and context” if you just don’t have the knowledge of those original languages and contexts — but would very much like for it to be so.”

    Indeed.

    “And even then…you can take the ancient rabbinic writings and commentaries that TELL us what the Bible’s original “context” was, and put them directly in front of some of these folks’ faces and it STILL doesn’t register. It would be funny if it were not so terribly sad.”

    It’s a willful blindness.

    What gets me is that it doesn’t make sense that going back to original languages would make something say the *direct opposite* of what it says in whatever translation. I could see perhaps if we’re talking about one verse here or there. But we are talking about the entire Bible and the entire biblical worldview! That’s what many of the proponents of this sin refuse to acknowledge. (Especially because you know that most of them have never read the whole Bible!)

    There is not one verse in the entire Bible that condones same-sex relationships. Zip. Zilch. NOTHING. They just want it to be so.

    What I don’t understand is why they don’t just leave the Bible and their twisted version of Christianity behind already! They obviously have no interest in submitting to what God says on this topic. Instead of twisting the Scripture, why not just make a clean break? Why not just say, “I don’t want to obey this. So I will walk away.”

    That’s the part that really confused me. In the past, people who wanted to pursue this sinful lifestyle did exactly that. They walked away. Now, they won’t obey God, but they want instead to twist His words and lead others to believe this twisted understand.

    How evil is that?

  • @Billysees,

    “Christianity…is already the brightest light of good works and loving attitudes the world has ever known.”

    You would have always been one of the good guys. Even if Jesus never existed you would be good, see good, and spread the good. You care (as atheists do) for a better world.
    Too bad the bible is such an impediment.

    We cannot take a book which preaches both, “Cigarettes are good” and “cigarettes are bad” and see it as a solution to smoking.

    It is a book set up against itself.

  • @ Atheist Max

    “You care (as atheists do) for a better world.”

    We all should be concerned and strive for a better world.

    I just use the ‘wheat’ to help guide me.

    I think there are three types of people in this world —
    1. The lost
    2. The saved
    3. The righteous (the folk Jesus said he didn’t come for)

    You Max are either ‘the saved’ or ‘the righteous’ or maybe even both.

    The saved and the righteous are the ‘best’ people in the world because they ‘care’.

    If I could create a scripture verse, here’s what it would be — Blessed are they who ‘care’.

  • True, but homosexual people are not necessarily immoral. And while it would be in our best interest to all repent of our evil deeds/thoughts/ways and live holy, loving lives, being homosexual, in itself, is not un holy nor unloving, and definitely not evil. So, while your approach is more graceful than some of the others, and it is true that we ALL miss the mark and we shouldn’t focus more on “others” sins or shortcomings, or just two main topics, it is insulting to suggest that the love between two homosexual people is, in fact, as sin, like any other, to be repented of. I want to point out that such concept is rather dehumanizing, even though it may be coming from a place of grace. The fact that my love may be for a woman and not a man because of how I am composed does not make my love evil or a thing to repent of. My love and attractions are no less holy and appropriate and healthy, even, than my heterosexual counterparts.

  • Be careful who you refer to as ’ememies of the Gospel’. The true Gospel is not a doctrine against gays. The conservative Christian lot is getting persecution, here, because they are intending to push their, in many cases, false beliefs on the rest of us and they make Jesus repulsive. The true Gospel message is not as repulsive, I mean, the collective anti-gay conservative Christian stand, being so anti-gay and proliferating all kinds of false and fear-based propaganda against a people simply for who they are, and trying to force their ideas that gay people are wrong for loving, is repulsive, and many other things are repulsive and give a bad name to Christ who has come to break down barriers not fortify old ones or create new ones. The Gospel is not about gay people, it is also not about sin, it is about God reaching out to all of us and offering peace and relationship, and it is that relationship that changes hearts, not walls, not barriers, not condemnation, not focusing on others’, not anyone’s supposed personal sin. Many Christians have lost sight of what the Gospel truly is.

  • Jesus does not mention one thing that in any way condemns homosexual unions. And, I believe, it is not the Bible (in its original context and languages) that condemn homosexuality, but simply a misunderstanding of it, helped along by misinformation, assumptions and wrong translations. So, while there may be some weird and questionable things in the Bible- things we certainly do not presently understand, I do not agree one tidbit that it would be necessary to throw out, or disregard the Bible in order to accept gay people as normal and healthy contributors to society; a blessing, and not a curse.

  • it is insulting to suggest that the love between two homosexual people is, in fact, as sin, like any other, to be repented of. I
    Love all you want.

    Same-sex buggery is still a sin.

  • @ Ellen

    “And, I believe, it is not the Bible (in its original context and languages) that condemn homosexuality, but simply a misunderstanding of it, helped along by misinformation, assumptions and wrong translations. ”

    Side note: Where did you learn Greek and Hebrew? I’d love to learn, myself!

    Also, which wrong translations are those? And which are the “right” ones?

    “Jesus does not mention one thing that in any way condemns homosexual unions.”

    This tired old line shows me you’ve never bothered to read the Bible, outside of verses here and there that you choose to misuse. Or are you claiming that the original languages are going to somehow teach the *direct opposite* of what we see in our English versions?

    Can you explain why God would give humankind a book that He expects us to follow, but then make things so difficult that only scholars who learn the original languages can figure out its meaning on this very important issue? The rest of us are out of luck? You know that makes zero sense.

    You’ve never read the Bible. Or if you claim you have, you are deliberately twisting it here. How do I know that? Because biblical theology holds that Jesus was God come in the flesh. It holds that the Bible is one whole, both Old Testament and New.Therefore whatever the OT says, Jesus also affirms.

    I’m sure you know that Jesus said in Mat. 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”

    In that same book (that apparently you haven’t read) Jesus talked about marriage. The Pharisees were asking of divorce was acceptable. Jesus says God created them male and female. (No such thing “transgender”!) He makes it clear that marriage is between one man and one woman. He makes it clear that aside from very exceptions, it is for life.

    There’s many things Jesus didn’t talk about directly. He didn’t talk about child molesting. He didn’t talk about killing puppies. Does that mean these things are morally okay?

    Are you therefore claiming the ONLY things that count are Jesus’ direct words? That is not biblical. Biblical theology holds that Jesus is God in the flesh. Therefore, ALL of the Bible is inspired and is His Word, whether Jesus Himself directly spoke to a particular issue or not. You’ve read the Bible, so you know that it says all Scripture is God breathed.

    The entire Bible is crystal clear on the sin of homosexuality. Not only is it directly called a sin over and over, but there’s not one positive word said about it anywhere in Scripture. Not one.

    But you know that, because you’ve read it. Right?

    If you wish to participate in this sin, either doing it yourself or supporting those who do, have at it. No one is stopping you. That’s between you and God. But don’t blaspheme Christ by claiming the Bible condones it.

  • Yo Mo, ur are teaching falsehoods and spreading propaganda. Many stories about that Houston ordeal being proliferated. Look into what really happened, and why. Also, a few gay people want to use anti-gay Christian businesses for their wedding services, and sue if the Christians refuse, because of a law that states basically, a business that is a business and not a religious ministry per se, must not discriminate, and yet these people are discriminating by refusing the service on account of their objection to the gay people’s supposed lifestyle (I wonder if they check out everyone’s lifestyle before agreeing to perform the services). I, personally, think it is stupid to sue in that case, and wouldn’t want a cent going to any business owner who hates me or otherwise could not fully bless my union, I personally think it is distasteful to do that, like, why not just let the haters lose my business? And also avoid all this crap about homosexual activist trying to force people to go against their biases. It would be different if it were an issue of getting a license, or not, or any other non-luxury service. But people are not wrong for suing; it just isn’t wise, I don’t think. It just gives people like yourself some false ammo to use and to make you feel threatened in your privileged state. It gives fuel for hungry propagandists who so much want to be the victim here so they can prove that the US will go to Hell in a handbasket if we don’t stop the gays!! Mo, ya gotta know that most gay people are not on the warpath and really want nothing at all to do with businesses and people that hate them, and would really rather you just shut up already and not propagate the lies. If you really just want to be left alone, than quit pushing against equality. Live and let live. Jesus never expected you to do this. And, condemning a whole lot of people that you clearly do not understand because you think your Bible (that not everyone belives in) makes it clear that they are wrong does nothing positive for anyone. You have bought the anti-gay propaganda and have attested to its “truth” from a few, very few, highly publicized examples, which, in some cases, have misinformation riddles throughout- for example, the Houston situation and the Hitching Post ordeal. I know it is easy to fall into believing all the embellished information and misinformation, but in order to have any respect from the ‘other side’ ya gotta try to understand, and not just spew out falsehoods and/or misunderstood/mistranslated Scripture and that without even looking at or acknowledging the reality that is gay people’s lives. And, by the way, gay is NOT a behavior, anymore than ‘straight’ is; it is an orientation.

  • Do you know David Gushee personally? I do. He deeply cares about the issues that he studies and writes about. He deeply cares about justice in the world, and he is a serious Biblical scholar. He didn’t just take on this “issue” to gain popularity; he is already recognized worldwide by other scholars as an important and influential scholar of Christian ethics. He is a professor at a seminary. I know many of the faculty there and can tell you that they are also deeply committed to the Gospel and the Bible. You may disagree with his stance, but please don’t denigrate the man.

  • The first Christian ethics is unconditional obedience to God. God commanbded us all (through the Sheva Mitzvot B’Nei Noach) that same-sex buggery is always prohibited. We can never condone it.

  • @ Lesile Madden

    “Do you know David Gushee personally? I do.”

    So what? This has nothing to do with him personally. This has to do with what he’s saying/supporting. That’s the issue. It doesn’t matter who is saying it.

    “he is a serious Biblical scholar.”

    So what? Scholars can be mistaken at times, can they not?

    Can you explain to me why a “serious Biblical scholar” is now supporting a behavior that both the OT and the NT calls a sin? Something that is ALWAYS mentioned in negative terms? Something that is ALWAYS condemned as sin in Scripture?

    Can you explain that to me?

  • @RustBeltRick
    You hit the proverbial nail on the head. The US is swiftly heading toward an oligarchy but let’s identify that oligarchy as a Far Right Christian Oligarchy (FRCO)!

    I’m a Christian but I separated myself from the Southern Baptist Convention churches when the SBC embraced Jerry Falwell and his Moral Majority. Jerry Falwell and his incredulous religious intolerance; narrow minded doctrine; and political agenda swallowed whole by the long reach of the SBC (now over 16 million members) sounded the first alarm with me. To paraphrase a quote I once read, “I don’t want the government in my pulpit and I don’t want my church in the House of Representatives.” Well, they’re already in the House of Representatives and, if they have their way, it won’t be all that long before the government is in our pulpits too.

    The so-called Religious Right wasn’t satisfied with just trying to INFLUENCE law and public policy or electing Republicans… so, hello Tea Party!! Now the RR had a vehicle to drive a big hole in the “separation of church and state” concept embodied in our Constitution. Oh, the RR hasn’t abandoned it’s agenda to INFLUENCE law and public policy at all…that’s still part and parcel of their scary agenda. What’s even scarier is that now they’ve positioned themselves to both INFLUENCE and to MAKE law and public policy…a fast track for the FRCO to “take back their country.” The Democratic leadership had better get over their fear or whatever it is that’s holding them back; otherwise, their silence is aiding and abetting the demise of our democracy.

    Americans who can think for themselves and who have watched this far right religious phenomenon spread and grow, know this awareness is not just some fanatical, hare brained political alarm. Since the Democratic leadership is reluctant to address it, maybe it will take a grassroots effort to sound the alarm. HeeHee…We could adopt a few slogans from the top rated Tea Party Slogans Repository (http://www.teapartyslogans.com/cgi-bin/web/index.cgi?sort=rating&string=&status=approved&page=1)…”Wake Up America! Before It’s Too Late!”…or this one, “You Will Fail! We Will Prevail! God Bless America!” As for their making “homosexuality the hill to die on,” I don’t think we could do better than this one…”Equal Under The Law.” No joke, that was one of their slogans on the list.

  • @ Mary

    “The US is swiftly heading toward an oligarchy but let’s identify that oligarchy as a Far Right Christian Oligarchy (FRCO)!”

    Homosexuals and those who support this sinful lifestyle are the ones bullying everyone in sight and suing anyone who won’t bow to that bullying. But you have the NERVE to claim you are the victims?

    Too funny!

    “I’m a Christian but I separated myself from the Southern Baptist Convention churches when the SBC embraced Jerry Falwell and his Moral Majority.”

    HAHAHAHAHA! And now you are claiming to be a follower of Jesus Christ?

    Oh, man. Thanks for the laugh!

  • Your gay neighbors are probably not bullying you, Mo. But if you really want to look into conspiracy theories, take a look at what Monsanto and Wal-Mart are up to.

  • Yeah, I read “Handmaid’s Tale” in the late 80s and thought it was anti-religious nonsense. Now I see it as prophetic. Our current Supreme Court is so harshly conservative they could be straight out of a sci-fi novel.

  • @ RustBeltRick

    “Your gay neighbors are probably not bullying you, Mo. But if you really want to look into conspiracy theories, take a look at what Monsanto and Wal-Mart are up to.”

    I have no clue what you’re on about regarding Wal-Mart or whatever Monsanto is. I do know about homosexuals are bully ANYONE who disagrees with them.

    They bully people by labeling them bigots and the grade school word “haters” for disagreeing on same-sex “marriage” or anything else regarding the Rainbow Crowd’s agenda. But unlike school yard name calling, public reputations get tarnished and it does affect people in the real world.

    They bully people by promoting this lifestyle in schools, to the youngest of children, often without parental consent or even notification.

    They bully people by the relentless promotion of this lifestyle by Hollywood.

    They bully people by SUING THEM if they refuse to give up their 1st Amendment rights.

    They bully them by demanding Christian pastors’ sermons. (Not from Muslim imams, however. Oh, no. They don’t DARE do that!)

    Shall I go on?

    Anything to say on any of these FACTS?

    Homosexuals and those who support this sinful lifestyle are the ones bullying everyone in sight and suing anyone who won’t bow to that bullying.

    Just like Mary and just like everyone else to whom I have put this question, you won’t address it.

    Because you know you can’t.

  • My point, which you’re missing by a mile, is that YOU HAVE THE WRONG ENEMY. Jesus saved his most vicious words for those who were in power, the legalistic Pharisees; he didn’t attack homosexuals. Didn’t even discuss the matter, which shows you how important this issue really is (not very). But you can’t seem to talk about anything else. Why is homosexuality so interesting to you, Mo?

  • @ RustBeltRick

    “But you can’t seem to talk about anything else. Why is homosexuality so interesting to you, Mo?”

    LOL! I love how you turn things around. It’s this post that brought up the topic. But in your upside down, inside out thinking, I’m the one who just began talking about it, out of thin air?

    I’d be happy to never hear or talk about this sin ever again. But because as I mentioned, it’s shoved in my face day and night and anyone who disagrees with it is bullied until they bow – and now through legal force – then this bullying and violation of our rights must be addressed.

    Notice how you said NOTHING about that. (Just as I KNEW you would not. Why? Because you know you support such bullying!)

  • @Mary,

    “The Democratic leadership had better get over their fear or whatever it is that’s holding them back; otherwise, their silence is aiding and abetting the demise of our democracy.”

    Yes, Mary, you are so CORRECT!

    And Christians and Atheists can unite completely
    on the issue of Separation of Church and State.

    Republicans have claimed ‘God on their side’ with the Fox News repeating this lie ad nauseum to millions everyday. Democrats won’t touch the subject because they have no media power and the would lose the debate.

    God is always on the side that has the most money. It has always been that way.
    In recent years, money has been allowed to equal to ‘speech’ by the Supreme Court.
    In that one move, God’s enormous treasure chest was allowed to seize the power center. Evangelicals are funding a huge right wing republican movement and many Christians can’t wait to give them that power.

    America needs to wake up and become more secular, quickly.
    That is the only way to take power away from the Far Right. A population which shrugs off God will be willing to focus on practical solutions – instead of fascist solutions.

  • Ellen,

    Are you denying that Jesus condemned sinners to hell?
    Are you denying also that Jesus preached capital punishment to sinners?

    Jesus explicitly invokes Leviticus.

    “Death to Homosexuals” (Lev 20:13) is only one of hundreds of other sins which require stoning to death.

    Jesus explicitly included Leviticus, “FOLLOW the commands..” and Jesus included Leviticus among those commands (Mark 10:19).

  • I love it when the gay activists/bullies try to invoke Jesus as a means of coercing Christians into tacitly participating in the outright spit-in-God’s-face sin of gay marriage. Now THAT’s a mess.

  • Oh, that arc of history existed, all right. It definitely existed for the city of Sodom, and soon — not long hence, honestly — it will exist for the United States of Sodom as well.

  • “I think there are three types of people in this world —
    1. The lost
    2. The saved
    3. The righteous (the folk Jesus said he didn’t come for)”

    Actually there are only two; the third category doesn’t exist. Jesus said that He didn’t come for the righteous, but (as much of His ministry was devoted to pointing out) there are none righteous in and of themselves.

  • To the Author/Editors: why is this tagged with the category “Amish/Mennonite beliefs”? I didn’t see any reference to Amish or Mennonite belief per se, and cursory Google seach doesn’t show the participants as being from Amish or Mennonite backgrounds.

  • @ Doc Anthony

    “I love it when the gay activists/bullies try to invoke Jesus as a means of coercing Christians into tacitly participating in the outright spit-in-God’s-face sin of gay marriage. Now THAT’s a mess.”

    Isn’t that remarkable? I’ve asked several people that same question. Why mention Jesus at all, when you admit you give the Bible no authority on anything?

    As far as I’ve seen not one person has addressed that. (Or anything else I’ve said, for that matter!)

  • Doug, your claim it’s ignorance that explains people believing that homosexuality is wrong or a sin begs the obvious question:

    Ignorance of what?

    Ignorance of the Bible? Despite Gushee’s mental contortions on the matter, the fact remains that Bible calls it out as a sin, not once but several times, in the New Testament as well as the Old Testament….and the two peoples of the Bible, Jews and Christians, have agreed on that in all times and places, until the modern era, when liberal theologians have tried to have it both ways, endorsing the Bible while making it say what they want it to say in order to conform to the culture. In fact, the Jews were noted in the ancient world for their opposition to homosexuality, among other things.

    Ignorance of science? Science tells us nothing about whether we should morally oppose or not oppose homosexuality. All science can do is tell us what part of it is genetic and what part is environmental. And that points in neither direction on the moral question.

    So labeling people “ignorant” is a cheap and shallow trick to shut down the debate over morality before it begins. It ironically depends on other people’s ignorance or lack of critical thinking.

  • Douglas, I’m not disputing your point that people can claim to be loving without being loving at all.

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    Instead, I’m disputing the premise that nobody who opposes gay marriage can possibly be doing so out of a motive of love — ie wanting what’s best for others based on one’s best efforts to understand what a loving God is saying in His Word.

    So for people like you and me who claim to believe in the Bible, the relevant question is, again, what the Bible says or doesn’t say on the matter. You will find both loving people and haters on both sides of the question — and, I suspect, the vast majority of us who are a little of both, given our fallen human nature.

  • There are many of us who give authority to Scripture and yet who do not give authority to the ways some have interpreted it. To say, “The scripture plainly says…” sounds to me like a statement made by the Pharisees in Jesus’ day, to which he often had a rejoinder showing their interpretation to be based on their misunderstanding of a particular scripture or misapplication of it, such as their critique of his healing on the sabbath or their challenge to him as to what to do with the woman caught in adultery or contradicting his reputation as a prophet because he allowed a sinful woman to wash his feet rather than keeping himself undefiled by her. Thus, I look at Scripture through the eyes of the Jesus I know – to the degree I know Jesus from the scriptures about him as well as my personal experience of him – rather than the eyes even of such theological luminaries as Augustine, Aquinas and others, insofar as my understanding and experience differ from theirs. While I may be wrong in the conclusions I draw, they are conclusions – as I assume yours are – to which I have come through prayer, study and opening myself to the leading of the Holy Spirit. I rely on Jesus’ saving blood for my justification; and I do the best I can with the light I’ve been given through the Spirit. So, it disturbs me, at least, and perhaps others, when persons such as yourself denigrate the source of my conclusions and consider me perverse and/or ignorant because I do not agree with your interpretation of the Bible, tradition and experience on the subject which is of much greater personal relevance to me than it is likely to be to you and others who agree with you on this thread. That is why it is of more concern to me that, whether I am right or wrong in affirming loving, committed gay marriages, I have been open to correction as I sense – with my limited ability to do so – that the Spirit is present in the correction. Where I perceive condescension or denigration or an air of superiority in arguments that are intended to convey someone else’s version of “the Truth” to me, I take it as a sign that the Holy Spirit is not in the instruction, but only the person’s spirit that seeks to win the argument rather than to help me live more fully in the love of God.

  • @ Douglas Asbury

    “There are many of us who give authority to Scripture and yet who do not give authority to the ways some have interpreted it.”

    That would be somewhat understandable if we were talking about an issue that is in some way unclear, or is not a directly moral issue, or is only vaguely alluded to.

    You know that is not the case with homosexuality. Homosexuality is condemned in the OT and the NT. You know that.

    Why do you insist on claiming the Bible says the EXACT OPPOSITE of what it says?

    Why do you insist that “interpretation” on this issue makes passages mean the precise opposite of what it says on a plain reading? And not just one verse or one passage, but the ENTIRETY of Scripture?

    Are there other moral issues where you “interpret” them to mean the exact opposite of what it says? The Bible says we’re to love our enemies. Does the proper interpretation hold that we are to hate them? God commands us not to commit adultery and fornication. Does a proper interpretation hold that we are to commit adultery and fornication?

    You know you don’t do that with those other passages. It’s only when it comes to this particular sin that you twist Scripture to support it.

    Why not then just make a clean break? You have zero interest in obeying Scripture in this matter. Why carry on with the charade at all?

    Most importantly, what are you going to say when you stand before that same Christ and He asks you why you made His teachings to say the exact opposite of what you KNOW they say?

  • I’m sorry you believe me to be wrong in my interpretation of the scriptures that address same-sex sexual behavior, Mo. When I go before Christ at the Judgment, should he tell me I interpreted wrongly, I will, like Job, say, “I have uttered what I did not understand, things too wonderful for me, which I did not know. Therefore, I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes,” and I would appeal to his mercy on account of his blood shed for my sake. I trust you will do the same when Christ brings up your sins at that time and includes in them ways in which you have “made Scripture say the exact opposite of what it says,” should he point out such instances in your life.

  • To say, “The scripture plainly says…” sounds to me like a statement made by the Pharisees in Jesus’ day.

    To me, it calls to mind what Jesus said at least 25 times in the gospels. “It is written,” and “Haven’t you read the scriptures?”

    You know, He really didn’t have a lot of patience with the teachers of the law creating loopholes and detours around what they knew were God’s commands. We should be wary of following the same path.

  • Douglas, I have rarely read such clear, faithful thinking on Biblical interpretation as yours. I praise God for you!

  • I agree. We should all be wary, especially when it comes to attempts to get around Jesus’ warning in Matthew 7.1-5, among other passages.

  • Ellen, please try multiple paragraphs next time.

    They’re easier to read than one gargantuan one, running on interminably.

  • Douglas, your point that translating and interpreting the Bible is a rigorous task is true enough.

    But it has nothing to do with my point that plenty of mainline Protestant theologians over the past century have denied the authority of Scripture.

    And to dismiss that statement as “so general as to be lacking in force” ignores the fact that I didn’t say “all”; rather, I said “plenty.”

    “Plenty” doesn’t mean “all,” nor must it mean “most.”

    “Plenty” means “lots” — and the exodus of tens of millions of Christians from mainline denominations over the past few decades bears stark testimony that indeed we are talking about lots of pastors and theologians who simply stopped taking Scripture seriously anymore.

    I’m surprised that even more people didn’t leave. Why go to a church where the pastor holds on to the mere symbols of Christianity while denying nearly every teaching that defines what the Christian faith is about? People have better things to do with their time than to play such head games with themselves.

  • So there you have it.

    Call it Larry’s Rule:

    If you disagree with someone on a deeply-felt issue, you have the duty to end all rational dialogue.

    And that explains the appalling behavior of the radical left….quite nicely.

  • One of the limits on the discussion I see here is a very limited sense of the larger arcs of history. Therefore the cause and effect conversations are all just way too simple. I offer the following, not because it’s true in any of it’s details, but just that the tides of history are way way bigger than the last 65 years (just picking going back to 1950). 65 years, while it may be a big turning point (I indeed think it is) simply cannot be explained by the events within those 65 years!
    So: there have been major shifts in the entire Judaeo-Christian experience every 500 years going back to 1000 BC. Namely
    1000 BC Assumed reign of Kind David
    ca 500 BC Beginning of 2nd temple Judaism
    Life of Christ
    ca 500 fall of (Western) Roman Empire and installation of Christianity as the very fabric of Western civilization.
    1073 Beginning of Papacy of Gregory the Great and functional establishment of hegemony of Roman Catholic Church
    1500’s Reformation
    2000’s another transformation

    Folks, it’s just way bigger than we can think.

  • Since when does following Jesus mean throwing truth under the bus and kicking your brains to the curb — and in service to what…..pure emotion?

    Sounds more like following the crashing cymbals of the extreme left than the still small voice of the Gospel.

  • If God is the God of the Bible and if He is Love, how is it “unconditional love” to applaud the complete trashing of His instructions for humanity — and on something as important to human well-being as the meaning of marriage?

  • Ellen, the Bible says it’s a sin. If you don’t agree, at least have the honesty to admit you and the Bible are at odds on that matter.

  • Lesile, Gushee has done it to himself. If he were a man of integrity, he would stand up and announce the following:

    “I, David Gushee, can no longer bring myself to believe that the Bible is correct in its view on homosexuality. Therefore, I can no longer call myself an evangelical, meaning one who believes the Bible is correct in all that it teaches.”

    Now that would be honesty on Gushee’s part.

    But Gushee is not honest because he wants it both ways — He wants to continue to earn his livelihood in evangelical circles while reserving the right to deny what makes one evangelical, and then cover it up by claiming the Bible doesn’t say what it plainly says.

  • CJ, you’ve contributed nothing to the conversation….no facts, no logic, no insight…..just unsupported opinion and rhetoric.

    When a text plainly and simply says that homosexuality is a sin, when for thousands of years, the culture and group from whence the text emerged (Jewry) affirmed this teaching and were known throughout the ancient world for it, and when those Jews and Christians who genuinely believe the Bible is God’s Word never departed from this understanding, it follows that the burden of proof is on those who insist the text means otherwise. And you haven’t even come close to meeting that burden, nor has anyone else.

  • Jesus’ strong rebuke of Jewish unbelief in Him in no way contradicts the view that the Jews remain God’s people. Paul confronts exactly that issue in Romans 11 and says what I am saying……Or to put it more accurately, I am saying what he is saying.

    You are confusing two biblical covenants — the one God made with Abraham, and then reaffirmed with Isaac, Jacob, and Jacob’s descendants, and the New Covenant. Both are unconditional. Both are covenants of grace. Neither depends on the performance of human beings. Both depend on God’s keeping His promises.

    One is with a people; the other is with individuals from all peoples. The first is a type of the second, but both remain in effect.

    This was the view of the early church…..maybe you should read more about it.

  • It is interesting, paroikos, how you fail to respond to Paul’s crystal-clear affirmation in Romans 11 that the Jews remain God’s chosen people, while purporting to quote Paul elsewhere in a mistranslation….ie I Thess. 2:14-16 — a favorite mistranslation on neo-Nazi and Christian Identity hate sites.

    As the New King James Version affirms, the word rendered “Jews” in that passage should be translated “Judeans,” since in a prior verse, Paul mentions “Judea.”

    The context is Paul’s telling the Thessalonian Christians that, while they are being persecuted by unbelieving Thessalonian leaders, he and other Jewish believers in Jesus have actually suffered even worse at the hands of unbelieving Jewish leaders.

    The Greek word in question, “ioudaioi,” is like the Hebrew word, “Yehudim.” Used in that time period, it meant either “Jews” or “Judeans.” The apostles, all of whom were Jews themselves, used the word as shorthand for the first-century Jewish leaders in Jerusalem, the center of Judea — a small group of corrupt priests who betrayed fellow Jews, collaborated with the Romans, and handed Jesus over to Pilate for crucifixion.

    Paul is telling the Thessalonian Christians that the persecution that Jewish believers are suffering at the hands of Jewish unbelieving leaders is even worse than what they are enduring under Thessalonian unbelieving leaders….and he is saying that these leaders in Judea not only persecute Paul and the other Jewish believers, but were the same ones who handed Jesus to Pilate for crucifixion, and have made themselves the enemies not only of the apostles, but of people throughout the world who were about to hear the Gospel, because these same leaders were trying to stop Paul and the other apostles from preaching the Gospel to the Gentiles.

    So that’s a heck of a lot different from what you’re saying — that the Jews are a rejected people who are the enemies of humanity. It’s saying that the Jewish leaders of the time turned Jesus over for crucifixion, persecuted the Jewish believers in Jesus, and were trying to stop the Jewish believers from sharing the Gospel with the Gentiles.

    In Romans 11, Paul addresses this head-on — he says that fellow Jews of his time had become the enemies of the Gospel….yet he ends up saying in that same chapter that despite all this, the Jews remain God’s people because “the gifts and callings of God are irrevocable.”

    So I ask you again: What is it about “irrevocable” that you don’t understand?

  • One more point, paroikos: You cite Revelation 2:9, in which the Lord, through John, condemns those who ” blaspheme” by saying they are Jews but instead are “the synagogue of Satan.”

    It would be very strange indeed if John were referring to the Jewish people as a whole, because the entire Book of Revelation, from whence that came, has long been accused by anti-Semites of being “too pro-Jewish.” As late as the Middle Ages, there were church leaders who wanted to remove it from the Bible for that reason.

    In order for you to understand that, you need to go to a local Christian bookstore, and ask for a Bible in which every Old Testament quote or paraphrase in the New Testament is footnoted.

    Once you do that, you will see the context for the Book of Revelation. It is filled with quotes or paraphrases from Old Testament end-times prophecies. And these prophecies concern, among other things, the entire world attacking Israel in the last days, and God sending the Messiah to destroy these enemies and reign from David’s throne in Jerusalem. Jesus, speaking through John in Revelation, is saying that He, Jesus, will fulfill every one of these prophecies when He returns, just as He fulfilled countless other prophecies during His first coming. Revelation 16 describes the gathering of all the nations against Israel and the Jews at Armageddon, a literal place in Israel, and following a depiction of the destruction of Babylon in Revelation 17 and 18, Revelation 19 shows what happens to the nations of Revelation 16 and their armies — Jesus returns to destroy them.

    If you don’t like any of this, don’t blame me…..blame God. He said it in those verses and chapters. Go to a bookstore, get a Bible with appropriate footnotes, and see for yourself…..

  • @ Linda H

    “Douglas, I have rarely read such clear, faithful thinking on Biblical interpretation as yours. I praise God for you!”

    What interpretation is that? One that claims the Bible teaches the *exact opposite* of what it CLEARLY says?

    Can you tell me why you support a behavior that God over and over and over and OVER calls a sin?

  • Poor analogy, John, because in the examples you gave, there was nothing even close to the wall-to-wall consensus, in every prior time and place, that we see on what the Bible says about homosexuality.

  • Tim Weger needs to read Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s The Cost of Discipleship.

    He also needs to Paul’s warning against advocating sin “that grace may abound.”

  • Wrong, Atheist Max. The only objective way someone from the outside can tell that another person is homosexual is by their behavior. And while there is a genetic predisposition toward homosexuality, there is also a strong environmental element, as seen in identical twin studies. This is true of many other human behaviors as well.

    So no, it would not be accurate to say that people are “born gay.” Way too simplistic, Max.

  • It’s interesting, Shawnie, how the supporters of gay marriage lurch from lawlessness to legalism, often in the same breath.

    First, they’re preaching cheap grace — and the next thing you know, they’re preaching salvation by human achievement.

  • ALL atheists “care for a better world,” Max?

    Including THESE atheists?

    Stalin
    Mao
    Pol Pot
    Lenin
    Castro
    Che
    Kim family (NK)
    Ho
    etc, etc, etc

    100-150 million dead, Max….in less than a century……

    …..and counting……

  • True, we are not to judge hypocritically, and should deal gently with one another t”aking heed to ourselves, lest we also be tempted.” Yet bear in mind that without making a judgment call at some point it is impossible to do what Jesus very emphatically told us to do: to watch out that none deceive us, and to examine the life-fruits of those who purport to teach us and see whether they evidence a good tree or a bad tree. You, in fact, just did this yourself when you dismissed those who reference scripture as pharisaical, and dismissed anything you perceive as “denigration” as indicative of the Spirit’s absence. I imagine some of those who came to hear John the Baptist might have been inclined to argue the same when John–full of the Holy Spirit from his mother’s womb but certainly not one to mince words–upbraided them as “You brood of snakes! Who told you to flee the wrath to come? Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”

    All I’m saying is, be careful not to put the doctrines of men over the commands of God.

  • @Jack

    1. I didn’t say “ALL” atheists made the world better! I was pointing out that Atheists are no different from many Christians in their desire to see the world be a better place. And if someone uses religion to affect change they are NOT ATHEISTS!

    2. Your examples of bad Atheists is tiresome nonsense. Strawmen who represent not Atheism but megalomaniacal psychopathic manipulators of RELIGIOUS populations. If people weren’t suckers for religion in the first place they would not have fallen for such SELF-PROCLAIMED GODS to begin with!!

    3. The CHRISTIAN KILL BOOK IS VASTLY MORE ENORMOUS than the number of people who were killed at the direction of supposed Atheists.
    countless hundreds of millions people have died at the hands of Christians!

    RELIGIOUS WARS AND ARGUMENTS
    – PEOPLE DEAD DIRECTLY BECAUSE OF RELIGIOUS WARS

    600 MILLION PEOPLE HAVE DIED directly at the hands of Christians.
    200 MILLION DIED DIRECTLY FROM OTHER RELIGIONS:

    Taipeng Rebellion in China (1850 – 1864) 50 million dead (Christian Fascists)
    Catholic Bungling on Aids – 20 Million dead in Africa (1990-2010)
    Spanish Inquisitions – 200,000 dead (Catholic Fascists)

    The Crusades (1095 c.e. -1291 c.e.) 2 Million dead – Catholics
    Anti-Semitism – 5 millions dead over 2000 years excluding the Holocaust

    Witch Hunts – 500,000 dead

    Ireland – 600,000 dead (Catholic vs. Protestant)

    Rwanda 1994 (Catholic Facists killed 1,000,000 with machetes)

    Boznia-Herzegovina (Catholic Facists)

    The Ivory Coast civil wars (Catholic Facists)

    Franco, the Spanish Civil War (Catholic Facists)

    Cypriat War (Catholics)

    East Timor civil war
 (CATHOLICS)
    Sri Lankan civil war

    Syria vs. Israel

    Kashmir civil war

    Chechnya civil war

    Sudan

    Thirty Years War (Protestants VS. Catholics)

    WW1 – War of Christendom (40 Million dead)

    WW2 HITLER’S CATHOLIC PACT – Nazi Anti-JEWS, “Gott Mit Uns” Axis powers – 50 Million dead through Europe

    Albigensian Crusade, 1208-49
    Algeria, 1992-
    Baha’is, 1848-54
    Bosnia, 1992-95
    Boxer Rebellion, 1899-1901

    Constantinian Empire & Christian Romans, 30-313 CE
    Croatia, 1991-92
    English Civil War, 1642-46
    Huguenot Wars, 1562-1598
    India, 1992-2002
    India: Suttee & Thugs
    Indo-Pakistani Partition, 1947

    Iran, Islamic Republic, 1979-

    Iraq, Shiites, 1991-92

    Jews, 1348

    Jonestown, 1978

    Lebanon 1860 / 1975-92
    Molucca Is., 1999-
    Mongolia, 1937-39

    Northern Ireland, 1974-98

    Russian pogroms 1905-06 / 1917-22

    St. Bartholemew Massacre, 1572

    Shang China, ca. 1300-1050 BCE

    Shimabara Revolt, Japan 1637-38

    Sikh uprising, India, 1984-91

    Spanish Inquisition at its peak, 1478-1834
    Tudor England

    Vietnam 1800s

    OTHER Witch Hunts, 1400-1800
    Xhosa, 1857

    Arab Outbreak, 7th Century CE

    Arab-Israeli Wars, 1948-

    Al Qaeda, 1993-

    Dutch Revolt, 1566-1609

    Nigeria, 1990s, 2000s
    Khemr Rouge (red army) led by Pol Pot 1968-1979 – absolutist FAITH in the cult of Pol Pot, claimed purity of the xenophobic Cambodian Nationalist Tribe and the unwavering FAITH in Agrarian Communism: 5 million dead.

    If you add up all of the lives
    that were lost in the name of one religion or another,
    you come up with a staggering figure very close to One Billion
    people dead JUST BECAUSE OF RELIGION.

    600,000,000 attributable to Christianity alone.

    600 MILLION DEAD FROM CHRISTIANITY ALONE

    Yet God doesn’t appear to exist, nor does he seem to take a side in these battles.

    Religion is a cult in love with death.
    For shame!

  • @Jack

    “God is Love”

    Right.
    GOD SAYS – CUT OFF YOUR WIFE’S HAND IF SHE TOUCHES ANOTHER MAN’S PENIS.

    “If men get into a fight with one another, and the wife of one intervenes to rescue her husband from the grip of his opponent by reaching out and SEIZING HIS GENITALS, you shall cut off her hand; show no pity.” – DEUT. 25:11
    Cut off your wife’s hand? Show no pity?
    JESUS AGREES! (JOHN 1:17), (Mark 10:19)

  • @Jack,

    There is nothing wrong with homosexuality. NOTHING.
    I’m a hetero sexual. If one of my children finds out they are gay I will embrace them with love and support. So far, they are not – but if they do discover that they are gay – I will love them and endorse them and SUPPORT THEM 100%.

    AND you and others like you will be screaming your Christian/Sharia/Taliban nonsense – life is too short for your bigotry. Too bad you are unaware of that.

  • But what small minority of that 70% are actually bible-believing Christians who believe that the God they love and worship’s commands are to be held sacred above all else? Possibly more like the 5% of the community who believe that the rights of same-gender relationships should be held sacred above the rights of anyone who finds them morally difficult or divisive.

  • But haven’t you heard? Atheists who do rotten things aren’t really atheists, even though they profess to be.

    But when professed Christians do rotten things, well, we can’t similarly call their professed beliefs into question…e.g. Hitler (I got Max’s bff to chime in that dictators like Lenin and Stalin often profess one thing and do another, but of course the same principle does not apply to guys like Hitler.)

    It gets even better — theists that do cool stuff (Adams, Paine, Voltaire, etc.) are really atheists, even if they profess not to be!

    I go into convulsions of laughter when Max starts this stuff. Patently transparent attempts to disclaim embarrassing atheists, that almost no one buys — not even most atheists. Despite a lack of belief, most level-headed atheists have no problem facing the failures of atheists as simlply a HUMAN problem They don’t have such a pathological need to lay ALL of humanity’s woes on the threshold of religion that they have to distort what the facts plainly are.

  • @Jack
    “It’s interesting, Shawnie, how the supporters of gay marriage lurch from lawlessness to legalism, often in the same breath. First, they’re preaching cheap grace — and the next thing you know, they’re preaching salvation by human achievement.”

    It’s because they want to be the one to set the rules and standards, for both salvation and forgiveness. Not God.

    Self has always been the crux. I’ve come to believe over the years that this is what hell is all about — a place where EVERYONE gets to be their own god in what therefore must necessarily become a universe of one.

  • Shawnie5, thank you for this truly Christian sentiment! Much of this discussion leads to despair, but you point to hope. Let us deal with each other gently! The Spirit is obvious in you, and He can even connect us through these words on a screen.

    When Christians disagree, vehemently, urgently, angrily, and repeatedly over time, what are we to do? Do we kill each other with hatred? (1 John 3:15) What kind of spirit does that show? Do we create a schism in our faith? – that has been a “fruitful” path in our history – NOT. Do we put angry words aside and and forgive every past hurt? YES WE DO. That is what the Spirit commands.

    I will tell a story. A group of Christians experiences angry disagreement like the argument over homosexuality. Honest, humble and modest speakers gradually assemble on one side of the argument, over time. Over time, the Holy Spirit moves the Body of God to a new understanding.

    There are those who cling to the old understanding desperately, fighting off the new. They see it as the fruit of an evil spirit. At times, they enlist every effort of their minds and bodies to fight it. THEIR FIGHT IS GOOD AND RIGHT. It is their own most honest leading. God Bless Them. Until you see differently, you can only act on your best perception of the will of God.

    But God’s will, will prevail. We simply know that. You don’t have to fight anything. To quote Yolanda Adams, “This Battle is the Lord’s”. Some people will continue to see the evolution of human moral understanding around homosexuality as evidence of extreme depravity. In response to that, I thank God for for the unassailable Christian teachings – for Jesus’ assertion of the primacy of Love over all else. God’s love and peace, which drives the world, abounds in Eternity. I may be thrown out of a given community for defending the rights of gay people to receive every benefit others do, and be treated equally. But my solace is in Jesus Christ, who was also thrown out for speaking His truth. He was thrown out of his humanity altogether, by angry people who didn’t want to hear Him.

    And the people on the other side of the argument can say the same thing to me.

    Thank you God, that Your will prevails, and not mine.

    The sad chapters of history seem unending, but they DO end. The only unforgivable sin is denying the truth once you know it; and we all continue to commit that sin, for as long as we do. When we stop doing that to ourselves, we will know what salvation is.

    May all know come to God’s Peace!

  • I agree with Jack – such good thinking and writing deserves a little more editing. It will strengthen your already-strong voice.

  • @ NotHarold

    “So Gushee changed his mind to be more popular? Really? He didn’t do it because he’s concerned with justice?”

    What justice are you talking about? Homosexuals have the same rights under the law and the Constitution as everyone else. No one stops them from living their lives.

    How about justice for those being BULLIED and SUED and DENIED their 1st Amendment rights by these bullying homosexuals? Do you give a rat’s tail about justice for them? Of course you don’t. You support it. Right?

    “– 0% of 31,173 Bible verses were written centuries before the word homosexuality was coined, and before human sexuality had begun to be well understood.”

    LOL! What on EARTH are you yammering about? Which Bible verses are these and where did you get this info. Aside from that, you’re claiming behaviors don’t exist until the modern word for them is invented? So… what on earth is the Bible talking about when it calls it a sin?

    “– 100% of the verses addressing homosexual behavior describe it as sin in the clearest and strongest possible terms – if you accept only the narrowest possible interpretation of the passages and ignore the last 200 years of biblical scholarship and the scientific knowledge base of the biblical authors.

    Which verses? And what “biblical scholarship” or “scientific knowledge” are you talking about? I bet you’ve never cracked open a bible in your life, other than to twist it like you’re doing here.

    As to science, why are you appealing to that? If you want to appeal to science and biology, it’s on our side. Homosexuality goes against biology itself. That’s why such activity leads to all sorts of diseases. That’s why two males or two females CANNOT procreate. That’s why the human race would die out if it was only homosexuals in the world!

    Now THAT’S science!

    “Bearing false witness is considered a sin by Christians of all stripes.”

    Indeed. So please stop doing it.

  • I wonder if you’d be agreeing with me on that if you disagreed with Ellen.

    I obviously disagree with Ellen, but I think that everyone should be presenting their arguments as clearly as they can, so readers are not distracted but can attend to them and decide whether they agree or not.

  • You seem to support the notion that religion is bad for the advancement of culture much like Dawkins does in ‘The God Delusion’. If religion is a mutation of what is best for culture why don’t we have predominant atheistic ones? If religion is an “aberration” why haven’t any civilizations been uncovered that have no god(s) at all?

  • It is no surprise that Gushee points to an episode of personal experience to support his new found position. The Bible clearly takes a stance against same sex unions and he knows he won’t be able to support his argument via textual criticism.

  • @ E. Hayes

    “It is no surprise that Gushee points to an episode of personal experience to support his new found position. The Bible clearly takes a stance against same sex unions and he knows he won’t be able to support his argument via textual criticism.”

    Sadly, this happens all the time. I sympathize with the difficulty of having a family member that you love who is caught up in this sinful lifestyle. I can’t imagine how painful that must be. No one likes family conflict.

    But family difficulties cannot trump Scripture. And now he’s influencing others to support his sin as well.

    It’s all very sad.

  • Nice try at shifting the topic, Atheist Max. You said that people were born gay, and the moment I even hinted that the science said otherwise, you ran from that topic as fast as your legs could carry you — and went back to your usual playpen of anti-theistic polemics.

  • 150 million dead, Atheist Max — most of the carnage done within a scant 50 years.

    And in every instance, it was done by totalitarian regimes that were self-consciously, wholeheartedly, and vocally atheist. We are talking about regimes where atheism was the officially enthroned state ideology.

    Ideas have consequences, Atheist Max. You’ve implied so yourself….

    150 million dead in such a short time….your friends take power for the first time in history, power and authority over billions of human beings — and no sooner do they do, the mass killing and genocide begin.

    Sleep well, Max.

  • 150 million human beings slaughtered, Atheist Max.

    Now go visit North Korea and try to convince your atheist friends to free our two American hostages and not to nuke the planet.

    Surely Little Kim will listen to you.

    I’m counting on you, Max.

  • @Shawnie,

    The dynamic which turns any leader into a murderous dictator is religion.
    All murderous dictators are zealots for absolute truths.
    Furthermore, it is the credulity of the population, simmered in religion for centuries which springs forth with mass murder not merely in a God’s name but at the DIRECTION OF A GOD.

    Stalin is on record for being both religious and atheist at different parts of his life. Religion was central to his seizure of power, publicly claiming himself CZAR (a religious title akin to a god) Stalin used religion, his religious population of orthodox christianity and his religious training as a seminarian to command mass murder.

    The Separation of Church and State does not exist in other countries such as Russia. The Separation of Church and State is the only thing preventing the same horrifying nonsense from happening in the United States.

    I consider it a slander to say that Atheism leads to mass murder.
    If I believed that, I wouldn’t be objecting to mass murder as strongly as I am!
    I believe strongly in religious freedom worldwide – but it must be coupled with Separation from Church and State which is the only way to prevent mass murder!

    I object to forcing dogma onto people.

    Now let us look at your problems as a believer

    1. Why is mass murder completely routine for ‘True’ Christians? Pogroms, Witch hunts, Rwanda, Taiping, etc.
    Not a day goes by without murders routinely happening at the direction of various gods, including Jesus: “better that he be drowned with a millstone”

    2. You claim religion is an improvement to humanity, yet it hasn’t worked that way in Pakistan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Rwanda (the most catholic country in Africa), India, Vietnam, Christendom, WWI and WW2 and so on.

    3. You claim absolute obedience to a God
    who says things like this:

    “I have come to bring FIRE…What constraints! I am impatient to bring NOT PEACE BUT DIVISION.” – Jesus (Luke 12:49-51)
    “Hate your parents…hate your life, or you are not worthy” – Jesus (Luke 14:26)
    “Eat of my body” and “Be baptized and believe” or “Be condemned to Hell” – Jesus (John 6:53-54) (Mark 16:16).
    “I shall kill her children with Death” – Jesus (REV. 1:22-23)
    “…if they are unworthy..REMOVE your blessing of peace.” – JESUS (Matt 10:13)
    “And why do you break the command of God
    for the sake of your tradition? …. ‘Anyone who curses their father or mother is to be put to death.’ ” (Matthew 15:3)
    JESUS – I SHALL RETURN TO EXECUTE MY ENEMIES AS THE NOBLEMAN DID:
    “..bring to me those enemies of mine who would not have me as their King, and execute them in front of me.” – JESUS (Luke 19:27)

    4. And you claim absolute obedience to a Religion
    which promotes HARSH JUDGEMENT OF OTHERS at the direction of JESUS:

    “Now we command you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from any brother who is walking in idleness and not in accord with the tradition that you received from us.” (2 Thessalonians 3:6)
    “Avoid Them” (Romans 16:17)
    “For whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.” (2 John 1:11)
    “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault.” (Matthew 18:15)
    “As for a person who stirs up division, after warning him once and then twice, have nothing more to do with him, knowing that such a person is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.” (Titus 3:9-11)
    “Let him who has done this be removed from among you.” (1 Corinthians 1:13)
    “have nothing to do with him, that he may be ashamed.” (2 Thessalonian 3:14)
    “If anyone does not love the Lord, let that person be cursed!” (1 Corinthians 16:22)

    It is incredibly rich
    That you claim to be against mass murder when everything about Christianity encourages mass murder.

    ____
    May people one day see the light.
    AM

  • That’s right, Shawnie. I have an atheist friend I’ve known since college who in his articles has cited studies showing that belief in God can be beneficial psychologically. He’s an honest guy and I appreciate that.

    Most atheists aren’t comical crazies like what we sometimes see on this board.

  • The light of what — totalitarian perpetrators of genocide?

    Every self-proclaimed atheist regime in history turned out to be as bloodthirsty as Robespierre at the height of the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror — no….worse…..

    If you are referring to individual atheists, there are good and bad ones, exactly as there are good and bad theists. But if you’re referring to organizing societies in accordance with atheistic presuppositions, we have seen the results, and they are worse than anything humanity has ever experienced.

  • @E. Hayes,

    “If religion is a mutation of what is best for culture why don’t we have predominant atheistic ones?”
    There are many countries which are predominantly atheistic and peaceful (Sweden, for example) and there are strong Atheistic forces within religious cultures (The Beatles, Van Gogh, Freud, Einstien, Mark Twain).

    ” If religion is an “aberration” why haven’t any civilizations been uncovered that have no god(s) at all?”
    I don’t think religion is an aberration but it is a misappropriation of a natural phenomenon from our childhood. Thanks to evolution, all humans are born with a strong drive to find one’s parents – we would die without this drive. We search for a provider the moment we are born. Just as other Infant traits disappear as we get older (baby hair, baby skin, baby teeth, etc) we would naturally grow out of the drive to find parents, but there is an industry waiting to exploit this trait: RELIGION. And most religious participants are unaware of how they are being manipulated by this biology innate to all mammals.
    Most cultures have ready-made gods to fill the drive we are born with.
    This does not mean the gods are real – only that primitive cultures are aware of the drive to ‘find the parent’ without being able to explain it.
    Cultures have since exploited the drive and put it to social use without ever understanding why it is there to begin with.

    _____
    AM
    for Peace & The Separation of Church and State

  • @Jack

    “But if you’re referring to organizing societies in accordance with atheistic presuppositions, we have seen the results, and they are worse than anything humanity has ever experienced”

    Because they didn’t have Separation of Church and State.

    I’m telling you:

    1. Religion = zealotry for a claim of absolute truth.
    Enforced Communism with a CZAR head is clearly such an example.
    Also, REASON was tried as a religion and it lead to the establishment of A God of Reason during the French Revolution. Thousands were killed in ‘The Terror’ and it was a disaster.

    2. Religion has not lead to peace anywhere it has been tried. The most peaceful cultures have little or no religion: Sweden, The Netherlands, etc.

    3. America is the beacon to the world because of its Establishment Clause.
    Christians today are working very hard to destroy it. We should fear that they may succeed.

    __
    AM
    For Peace & the Separation of Church and State

  • No, I believe that the comments in this thread have devolved from disagreement to incivility and unkindness. Disagreement is fine. We don’t all have to agree with each other to have civil discussion. You may even believe that I (or David Gushee, or anyone else), is completely wrong, but insulting those who disagree with you and denigrating their character, all while hiding behind anonymity is uncivil, unkind, and frankly, not very Christ-like. If you want to sway others toward your way of thinking, the kind of behavior I’ve witnessed on this thread in not the way to do it.

  • “The dynamic which turns any leader into a murderous dictator is religion.”

    No it isn’t. Religion is belief in a deity and a philosophy of how to relate to that deity.

    “Stalin is on record for being both religious and atheist at different parts of his life.”

    Sure. Religious in youth and atheist in later life. Much like you. Shall we classify you with the religious, then?

    “The most peaceful cultures have little or no religion: Sweden, The Netherlands”

    And yet they would emphatically deny that they are without religion. Whatever the populace currently believes or doesn’t believe, they know perfectly well that their laws and institutions are of Christian origin and they are good with that. No neurotic need to falsify or distort. Too bad you evangelical atheists can’t be half as reasonable.

  • @ Leslie Madden

    “No, I believe that the comments in this thread have devolved from disagreement to incivility and unkindness. Disagreement is fine. We don’t all have to agree with each other to have civil discussion. You may even believe that I (or David Gushee, or anyone else), is completely wrong, but insulting those who disagree with you and denigrating their character, all while hiding behind anonymity is uncivil, unkind, and frankly, not very Christ-like. If you want to sway others toward your way of thinking, the kind of behavior I’ve witnessed on this thread in not the way to do it.”

    Please spare me the “‘un-Christlike” talk. If you also are supporting this sin, then you have no interest in Christ. Please do not invoke His name. Thank you.

    In the eyes of the pro-homosexual side, any disagreement is called unloving and all the rest. That’s especially true for those particularly deceived and deceptive people who claim to be followers of Christ while promoting this sinful behavior.

    I don’t know this man. I don’t care who he is. I care about the falsehoods he is spreading in the name of Christ. And I will continue to speak the truth about that. You will not silence me.

    So instead of changing the topic to claim people are being mean to him, how about addressing the actual ISSUE?

  • @ Jack

    “Jack Oct 30, 2014 at 7:04 pm
    Lesile, Gushee has done it to himself. If he were a man of integrity, he would stand up and announce the following:

    “I, David Gushee, can no longer bring myself to believe that the Bible is correct in its view on homosexuality. Therefore, I can no longer call myself an evangelical, meaning one who believes the Bible is correct in all that it teaches.”

    Now that would be honesty on Gushee’s part.

    But Gushee is not honest because he wants it both ways — He wants to continue to earn his livelihood in evangelical circles while reserving the right to deny what makes one evangelical, and then cover it up by claiming the Bible doesn’t say what it plainly says.”

    Absolutely right. And that is what makes him particularly dangerous!

  • @ Jack, Since when were “deeply held” and rational the same thing?
    Usually they are opposites. You never engage in rational or honest discussion. Why pretend to start now?

    @ Mo, those Christians ARE bigots! They want to discriminate against gays under the color of law. Their businesses are sued because they are violating anti-discrimination laws. Those pastors are being subpoenaed because they are directly involved in facts under issue in a lawsuit. Any claim of victimhood by Christians there has been an outright fiction. What is truly frightening is how easily purposeful lying has served Christians like yourself.

    @Michael Ejercito
    Thank you for proving my point

  • @ Larry

    “@ Mo, those Christians ARE bigots!”

    Liar. There is no discrimination going on. Homosexual INDIVIDUALS are not being denied anything. Business owners are being bullied by people like you into providing assent to a CEREMONY with which they take issue.

    But you wouldn’t DARE sue Muslims if they did the same. In fact, you don’t have the GUTS to try this bullying with Muslims, would you know? Cowards, one and all.

    If that that’s what you call discrimination, then go sue every business on the planet that has the sign: ‘No shirt/no shoes, no service”. Or the restaurants that won’t let patrons in unless they are dressed formally. Or the clubs that also maintain dress codes. Or ANY OTHER BUSINESS which “discriminates” in any way, because they all do! You can’t walk into a fancy restaurant dressed in jeans. You know that. But you won’t sue them for “discrimination”, right?

    And the utter hypocrisy of people like you getting the government to violate 1st Amendment rights is particularly vile. Leftists used to love to shriek, “Government out of our bedrooms!” Now you use the government to shred the rights of those who will not bow to you.

    You are bullies. And just like all bullies, you are COWARDS as well. You know you don’t say a PEEP about the government demanding sermon notes from MUSLIMS. Right? You wouldn’t dare try it. Cowards.

    Stop your bullying. No one stops you from living your life. Stop claiming the Bible supports this sin.

  • No Mo, you are the liar here.

    “Homosexual INDIVIDUALS are not being denied anything.”

    Yes, they are being denied business which is open to the public. They are acting in the same way as racist white store owners used to during segregation. If someone put up a sign in a business, “No Christians will be served here, we are a Hindu establishment”, you will not be supporting the action as legitimate business practices. So spare me the bullcrap martyrbaiting. Pretending that these business owners are doing anything socially acceptable or legal here. They are not victims here, they are the perpetrators of bad acts. So those alleged Christians can go eff themselves and the horses they rode in on. Feel free to join them.

    NOBODY is forcing churches to do anything. The pastors who were subpoena’ed in Houston were material fact witnesses to issues in dispute in a civil suit. I guess you think churches are beyond any necessity to deal with civil suits where they are key players in. Again you think Christians are exempt from the same rules everyone else has to follow.

    You don’t want religious freedom. You want to use your Christian faith as an excuse to avoid following the same rules as everyone else. You want legal permission to attack others in the name of your faith. People who abuse the term religious freedom to the point it becomes a joke.

    The bullies are the people who want to give their bigotry and desire to discriminate color of law. People like yourself.

    “But you wouldn’t DARE sue Muslims if they did the same. ”

    Liar. I would sue anyone who engaged in discrimination in open commerce. It is uncivil, illegal, and damaging to the public good.

  • @Jack,

    North Korea is the most religious country on earth. Please stop throwing around the word ‘atheist’ – you have no idea what the word means.

    ___
    AM
    for Peace and the Separation of Church and State

  • @Jack,

    People are born gay or straight or bisexual.
    I did not change the subject – I thoroughly dismiss your garbage ‘science’.

    __
    AM
    for Peace & the Separation of Church and State

  • @Shawnie,

    “Religion is belief in a deity and a philosophy of how to relate to that deity.”

    Why didn’t you just agree with me a thousand paragraphs ago?? Why now?
    Your definition of religion proves that you have agreed with me all along that Stalin and Soviet Russia was a RELIGIOUS STATE and Stalin was the head of it.

    Stalin enforced worship of himself as absolute CZAR (a religious title), worship of the miracles of Lysenko and the enforced faith in Communism under penalty of death.

    That is ‘belief in a deity’ (Stalin) and philosophy (rule of law) to relate to that deity.

    The exact same religion is currently in North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, etc.

    ___
    AM
    For Peace & The Separation of Church and State

  • @Jack,

    “atheism was the officially enthroned state ideology.”

    You KEEP REPEATING the exact words which keep DEFEATING YOUR OWN argument!

    ENFORCED STATE IDEOLOGY = RELIGION

    Are just playing dumb?
    I have repeatedly told you that Atheism is the lack of belief – YOU CANNOT make an ideology or a religion out of that because the minute you construct it, YOU ARE NOT AN ATHEIST ANYMORE! Because you would be professing faith in an ideology of absolutist claims – that is identical to practicing a religion and believing in a god!

    “A totalitarian state is in effect a theocracy, and its ruling caste, in order to keep its position, has to be thought of as infallible. But since, in practice, no one is infallible, it is frequently necessary to rearrange past events in order to show that this or that mistake was not made, or that this or that imaginary triumph actually happened.”
    ― George Orwell, Collected Essays, Journalism and Letters of George Orwell Volume 2 My Country Right or Left 1940 – 1943

    The only thing which stops totalitarianism in the united states is the SEPARATION OF CHURCH AND STATE.

    ___
    AM
    for Peace & the Separation of church and state

  • So here is how Mad Max World works:

    If an avowedly atheist state drives Christians and other people of faith out of the public square and underground because it believes, as Max does, that religion is poison to humanity, religion is to blame.

    If that atheist state slaughters Christians and other people of faith because it believes, as Max does, that religion is poison to humanity, religion is to blame.

    And if the actions of that atheist state result in tens of millions of people of faith ending up dead in the ground, because it believes, as Max does, that religion is poison to humanity, religion is to blame.

    In Max World, when religion kills, it’s religion’s fault. When atheism kills, it’s religion’s fault.

  • Czar is not a religious title. It is a derivative of the ancient Roman title Caesar, or emperor. Stalin never presented himself as a deity. He believed in no deities. He claimed an absolute authority because without a deity there is no higher power than the state. If rights are not endowed by a creator then they are parceled out by the state and may be likewise abrogated at will. This is why rabid atheists, once securely in power, tend to commence creating hell-holes in short order.

    Your entire argument is a transparent sophistry designed to allow you to maintain your delusion that religion, and not flawed human nature, is the cause of the world’s problems. Nobody but hysterical non-thinkers like you and Larry buy into it. Certainly western atheists saw no “religion” to complain about in the Communist party’s leaders or ideologies in the beginning. On the contrary, they absolutely slavered over them up until their excesses and abuses became completely undeniable. Only THEN did the most delusional of them suddenly try to superimpose “religion” on the whole sorry mess. Sorry, no dice.

  • That about the size of it.

    But nonsense though it may be, Max World can’t even take credit for it. It’s just warmed-over Christopher Hitchens swallowed whole and regurgitated by his faithful.

  • Atheism is not the lack of belief in anything. It is a lack of belief in all that theism affirms. You can believe in all sorts of things while rejecting theism.

    For example, if you’re an atheist, you are a naturalist. You believe that nature is all that there is to reality — that there is no reality beyond nature. You believe in determinism — that reality, being identical to nature, is an endless chain of cause and effect that we see in nature, and nothing more. If you are logically consistent, then because you believe matter and energy are all that there is, you believe in a zero-sum world — that wealth and resources are finite, that if one person has more, others must have less. If you are consistent, you also believe morality is relative to time and place and that human rights are useful human constructs, not sacred freedoms that no culture has the authority to abuse. If you are an atheist, then, if you are consistent, you believe that rule of man must trump rule of law because laws are made by men (and women), not God, and hence can be undone by them at will. If you are an atheist, then you disbelieve in a soul that sets apart human beings from other forms of life, and thus you believe, if you are consistent, that it is no more wrong to enslave a person than it is to enslave a horse or an ox.

    IN other words, if you are an atheist, you believe in plenty of things — and if you are honest and consistent about your atheism, and are willing to follow it through to its logical and brutal conclusion, you end up on the doorstep of Marx and Engels, Stalin and Mao.

    Thankfully, the vast majority of atheists aren’t willing to take atheism to its logical conclusions politically or socially. They are far better than their world view. But those who are willing to follow through on that world view, all the way to its conclusions, have been some of the worst monsters in history….responsible for more deaths over the last century than any other world view in history.

  • Right, Shawnie….that’s what Hitchens used to say.

    The one good thing about Mr. Hitchens was his post-9/11 stance against radical Islamism — and his withering criticism of his comrades on the left for failing to stand with him.

    I remember it well when I found out that he was about to be sworn in as an American citizen. I would have liked to have been there. I will leave it at that…..I don’t want to spoil the fun……

    I will give him credit for that.

  • Somewhere out there, there’s a soapbox atheist, looking like the Aqualung character from an old Jethro Tull album, harranging the adults and snarling at the kiddies as they leave church.

    Max, is that you?

  • Max, don’t lie. The moment you saw the word, “science,” you bolted. Identical twin studies undermine your dogmatic claim that all gay people are born that way.

    Bottom line:

    You ran away. I called you on it. If I hadn’t, you’d still be running.

  • North Korea is run by a self-conscious, vocally atheistic regime. It rejects every form of theism as a form of insanity — exactly as you do.

    Again, atheism does not mean a rejection of every ideological assertion. It is simply a rejection of every theistic assertion. Not all ideological assertions are theistic…..and there are plenty of ideological assertions that follow logically from atheism.

    So please do something useful for a change and go visit Little Kim in Pyongyang and convince him not to play with nukes or keep the two Americans hostage.

    Tell him that if he listens to you, he gets a free Karl Marx trading card, with a pop-up Friedrich Engels singing the Marxist anthem…..

  • It’s very sad indeed. But it appears that even before the revelation about his sister being gay, Gushee was putting the emotional cart before the fact-driven horse on a number of issues, placing him well to the left of most Americans, both Christians and non-Christians.