More than 160 demonstrators greeted delegates with a silent protest for LGBT inclusion in the United Methodist Church as they arrived on May 18, 2016, at the Oregon Convention Center for the United Methodist General Conference. Some held crosses draped in stoles from the Shower of Stoles project, each representing the life of an LGBT person in ministry. RNS photo by Emily McFarlan Miller

Methodists nominate 3 openly gay candidates for bishop

(RNS) At its quadrennial meeting last month, the United Methodist Church decided not to take up contentious LGBT issues. But that's not stopping its regional conferences from making decisions on their own.

Two U.S. jurisdictions will consider three openly gay candidates for bishop next month.

The Rev. Karen Oliveto, the Rev. Frank Wulf and the Rev. David Meredith have been nominated for election at the meetings of the denomination's Western and North Central jurisdictions July 13-16, according to the Reconciling Ministries Network.

It's not the first time an openly gay candidate has been nominated -- Wulf has been nominated before, according to Reconciling Ministries Executive Director Matt Berryman -- but there's "no question" there is momentum this time after last month's United Methodist Church General Conference in Portland, Ore.

"I feel like there's a kind of a groundswell of movement," Berryman said.

"Many, many annual conferences are refusing to comply with the Book of Discipline, openly ordaining LGBT people, passing resolutions that affirm the image of God in transgender people and really building on the pivot that was implemented at General Conference."

According to the denomination's Book of Discipline, "The practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Christian teaching."

In the U.S., United Methodist bishops are elected by the denomination's five jurisdictional conferences. Like its worldwide General Conference, those jurisdictional conferences meet every four years.

Any elder in "full connection" is eligible, according to the denomination's website. Candidates can nominate themselves, and many are nominated or endorsed by their annual conferences or other groups ahead of the jurisdictional conference, though they also can be nominated from the floor, according to the Rev. Paul White, secretary of the North Central Jurisdiction.

Meredith is one of 17 nominees for bishop in North Central, which will elect four bishops at its upcoming conference. Six people have been nominated in Western, which will elect one, according to M. Barclay, director of communications for Reconciling Ministries. Altogether, 54 candidates are vying for 15 spots, Barclay said.

The election follows the decision by the 2016 General Conference to pass on all proposals related to human sexuality. Instead, the denomination will create a commission to discuss the conflict over sexuality that could lead to a special session of the conference in 2018 or 2019.

The church has been in no rush to put together that commission, according to reports from the United Methodist News Service.

And the 56 regional U.S. conferences, which make up the five jurisdictions, have been left to interpret what to do in the meantime. Those conferences meet yearly.

Clergy members of the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference, meeting June 1, 2016 in an executive session, did not approve Tara “T.C.” Morrow for commissioning as a deacon in the United Methodist Church. Photo by Steven D. Martin

Clergy members of the Baltimore-Washington Annual Conference, meeting June 1, 2016, in an executive session, did not approve Tara “T.C.” Morrow for commissioning as a deacon in the United Methodist Church. Photo by Steven D. Martin

In early June, clergy in the Baltimore-Washington Conference voted against Tara “T.C.” Morrow, a lesbian who had been recommended for the position of deacon.

And the South Georgia Conference passed a motion asking its bishop to "not receive ... clergy that have publicly stated their intent to disregard the current language of the 'Book of Discipline'" regarding sexuality.

But other conferences have taken steps toward inclusion, and Berryman said, "It would be hard to imagine how anybody could avoid drawing the conclusion that the ball is rolling quite rapidly now."

The New York Annual Conference already has ordained or commissioned four people who came out as LGBT in an open letter published in the days leading up to the General Conference.

A press conference hosted by the Reconciling Ministries Network announcing more than 1,500 Methodist clergy have signed an open letter supporting their LGBTQ colleagues at the Jupiter Hotel in Portland, Ore., during the United Methodist Church General Conference on May 16, 2016. RNS photo by Emily McFarlan Miller

A press conference hosted by the Reconciling Ministries Network announcing more than 1,500 Methodist clergy have signed an open letter supporting their LGBTQ colleagues at the Jupiter Hotel in Portland, Ore., during the United Methodist Church General Conference on May 16, 2016. RNS photo by Emily McFarlan Miller


 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

At its yearly meeting, the New England Conference overwhelmingly approved a resolution saying it “will not conform or comply" with the sexuality provisions of the Book of  Discipline.

Both the Desert Southwest Conference and California-Pacific Conference voted not to participate in judicial procedures related to sexuality. California-Pacific also voted not to consider sexual orientation and gender in determining candidates for ordination.

And the clergy session of the Oregon-Idaho Conference issued a statement supporting “the gifts and graces” of LGBT people in ordained ministry.

Comments

  1. Let’s be honest about this situation. Somebody’s denomination has just driven itself off a cliff, and to borrow a line from rocker Joe Walsh, “the bottom has a rocky reputation.” This is genuine crash-and-burn stuff.

    The gay and liberal forces within the Methodist denomination NEVER had any intention of waiting for any official “2018 or 2019” findings from any official Blah-Blah-Blah Commission. Nobody’s even TRYING to put such such a commission together with any urgency.

    Methodists, you got scammed. No disrespect to you, but this specific game will be over long before 2018. So either you get RID of all those LGBT forces and conferences **immediately**, or they’ll simply get rid of your denomination instead. One outcome or the other, no joke.

    In medical terms, you’re on Crash-Cart status already. So what’s it gonna be, baby??

  2. The picture says it all – “I’m a queer pastor.” The idea that he is a homosexual is more important to him than what he does for Jesus. I’ll be he refers to himself as a gay “Christian” – again, his sin and maintaining it, is more important than Jesus. If you choose to defy Jesus by participating in homosexuality, at least have enough integrity to not include him in your sin. Homosexuality is a sin – always has been – always will be. Calling oneself a pastor while immersed in any sin is no better than Westboro trying to call itself Christian.

  3. If there’s such a ground swell of support for this, why did all those other petitions either die in committee or were tabled??? Time for the UMC to split separate ways. One group for Biblical Authority with a heart for social justice, and the other group for whatever the current opinion is…

  4. It is a scientific fact that all babies in the womb start off just having estrogen. Biologist think that gay men do not have as much testosterone as a straight man. They can not help it. God love them too.

  5. Biologists do not think that. I am a biologist (and a retired veterinarian). I am gay. My testosterone levels are well within the normal range, and higher than many straight men.

  6. Jesus never defied homosexuality. Read your Bible! Not on there!

  7. I am bi and I was just repeating what one Biologist on TV said.
    I am very sorry for what I said. I am just sick of people saying we are all sinners. We were born this way. Peace.

  8. It seems that the UMC, like many other church bodies, is suffering from a dynamic tension destined to tear it apart. It’s Book of Discipline declares one thing, many of its practitioners declare another. It would probably be best for those who are irreconcilable on this and other issues should agree to dissolve their common communion and go their separate ways. This may become the fate of many mainline Protestant denominations, it certainly seems to be the trend.

  9. I dunno…

    “I’m a preachy homosexual” doesn’t seem any better: seems worse, honestly.

  10. “Biblical authority with a heart for social justice” sounds like a euphemism for promote reactionary politics and bigotry.

    Frankly much of this is due to the efforts of fundamentalists to undermine mainstream progressive sects and drive people towards their own. I see a lot of people outside the UMC urging it to split over the issue of whether to treat gays like human beings.

  11. Jesus said nothing on the subject of homosexuality. But he did have plenty to say about the self righteous and using scripture to justify hate. Judging others is a sin as well, one explicitly denoted by Jesus. But that doesn’t seem to trouble you. If you don’t want to accept gays as Christians, don’t join an affirming sect. Unless you are Jesus Christ incarnate, you don’t get to tell people who is and is not of the faith.

  12. ” or they’ll simply get rid of your denomination instead”

    Because affirming sects don’t exist? Nope. Bigots can always find other sects. Plenty go on without them.

  13. Jesus certainly did speak against homosexuality in Mark 7:20-21 where He uses the word “unchastity”, “immorality” and “fornications which includes adultery, incest, premarital infidelity, homosexuality, beastiality and any other sexual conduct condemned in the OT.

  14. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 ESV
    Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? 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. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
    (Aside from the literal meaning of this verse, to follow the same logic which is being used to say that clergy may be practicing homosexuals, then it is ALSO okay for clergy to be practicing adulterers, thieves, swindlers, etc… – that sounds about right! But hey…who goes by the God-breathed Scripture anymore? You may as well toss out the whole Book and be apostates!) PS – I am a UMC clergy person!

  15. “. . . sin . . . sin . . . sin . . . sin . . .”

    After we deal with restricting human conduct that causes verifiable tangible harm to others, the remaining religious notion of SIN is nothing but Silly Ignorant Nonsense.

  16. Wow! The tsunami of relativism and narcissism is sweeping away another formerly venerable ecclesial community. Wonder what John and Charles Wesley would have said about the currently developments?

  17. You had better hope you are right because according to Christ it will condemn people to hell forever for breaking the Law of God which is a sin.

  18. As a Methodist clergy, I know that being LGBTQ in and of itself is not a disqualification of for commissioning or ordination as long as the person is celibate. It is the act of making love (having sex; intercourse) with another person of the same gender (“practicing” – a stupid term) that is the problem. And, after 40 years of arguing at General Conference and the rules only getting sterner, the Bishop’s commission is a positive step forward. My personal feeling is that the “issue” of LGBTQ inclusion in the UMC should be handled in the same manner as Divorced and Remarried; that is, it should be a non-issue.

  19. Actually that is just your supposition. Trying to claim some things really mean another. A claim based on your personal interpretation of “formications”. Not the text. Martin Luther interpreted the same passage as anti masturbation. Go figure.

    He was far more explicit about self righteous types promoting hate.

    Love thy neighbor doesn’t come with stipulations or conditions. Neither does love people as I (Jesus) love you (his flock).

    Love is not ostracism, not judgmental behavior, not attacking people, not highlighting their alleged sins, and never discrimination.

    As for the OT all Christians should stop invoking it. They are utter hypocrites on the subject. The OT applies to thee but not for me.

  20. Wrong. It is not my supposition but its a fact based on the meaning of the word by scholars. This is what the word meant.

    Jesus was constantly judging and warning people about sin and its consequences. Engaging in any kind of sex outside of a marriage of a man and a woman is sin.

    Love does discriminate. It calls people to keep the Law of God and reject sin. This involves discrimination.

    You are the one who is promoting hate by denying the truth and embracing sin.

  21. “It is what comes out of a person that defiles.” In this passage Jesus isn’t condemning particular actions, but he is condemning the evil motives/intentions that produced them.

  22. Alas! We do not actually know what may or may not be included in several of these words. Our UMC definition of proper sexual behavior for clergy is ‘faithfulness in marriage and celibacy in singleness.’ Married gay people can easily fulfill this standard.

  23. The problem is that 2 same sex people is not a real marriage. The reason is that it fails the test of what a marriage constitutes and that is a husband and a wife. A man can only be a husband and a woman a wife. Without a husband and wife you have no marriage.

    Also, the Scripture never acknowledges so called homosexual “marriage”.

  24. He is condemning particular actions that are produced by an evil heart. There can never be any justification for any kind of sex outside of a marriage between a man and a woman.

  25. As long as gay people are treated differently from any other class of sinner– we won’t go in to the long history of jails, murders, executions, vilification, and being blamed for every possible social ill by so called religious people– biblical authority and a heart for social justice are at opposite ends of the Galaxy.

  26. Good quotation. Let’s look at the part about reviling and slandering.

    And then let’s look at the long long list of so-called Christians who make a living out of reviling and slandering gay people, and blaming us for every possible social ill, especially the ones we couldn’t possibly have a thing to do with. Tony Perkins, pat Robertson, Anita Bryant the divorced queen, Bryan fishcher, doc Anthony, Cermlie, Donald wildmon, Fred phelps of late unlamented memory, and a host of others who grift their livings by reviling and slandering us.

    Please talk about that, and explain how many postings you have made talking about God breathed biblical authority.

    After that, you can wonder why the label of hypocrite might possibly be thrown around.

  27. No, Randy, it is time for the UMC to coming kicking and screaming into, at least the 20th century and maybe take some ‘careful steps,’ into the 21st century!
    First the Methodist church said slavery was “allowed according to the Bible.”
    Then marriage between the races was disallowed, “according to the Bible.”
    Now, more recently, since 1972, ooooh, our LBGT sisters and brothers cannot marry the person they love or become ordained.
    Give it up, and join those of us who follow Jesus and do not disenfranchise someone due to the way they are born!

  28. Your testosterone levels are normal now, but is it possible that in utero low levels could have some effect?

  29. Oh, my, I guess you are not a Biblical Scholar, Sandi, but parroting what you heard back in 1972, prior to the knowledge that being LBGTQ is a matter of one’s genes, and present at birth. Wake up, Sandi, I am sure that you love God and Jesus, so, read what was really said by Jesus, he did not disenfranchise people for how they were born.

  30. These words were written by MEN years after the death of Christ. These writers were not even born when Christ was walking the Earth!

  31. Not at all. Simply an appeal to authority for making the same kind of supposition, interpretation and proof texting. The thing about religious authority is nobody had an argument which requires acceptance. It’s all a matter of “your mileage may vary”. Fundies like to think they can speak with unambiguous and binding authority on the subject. But that is because they are just arrogant egotists.
    Jesus may have been judging others, but you are not Jesus. You are not without sin yourself. Therefore you don’t get to cast those stones at others. Why do you hate Jesus so much that you will 1ie about him and try to excuse yourself from his very explicit commands.

    Love is not calling out their sins and attacking them as you do. You are simply hateful and spineless. One who must use religion to excuse their bigotry.

  32. JP, do you really believe what you wrote? I am 79 years old and I can assure you that I know of no one who waited “until marriage” to be intimate with their partner. My husband and I have been married for 57 years and dated for five years, prior to our marriage. We met in high school, and went on to college, I, to be a nurse, and my husband to be an engineer. We were monogamous, and still are, but I can tell you that we had a sexual relationship prior to marriage, as did our classmates and friends have sexual relationships with their husbands and wives prior to their marriages.
    BTW, my husband went on to school and became an ordained Methodist minister, who combined the careers of engineer and minister.

  33. So when there is Godly loving life-long (i.e., holy, shalom) commitment between two persons, there is no sin, no fornication, no adultry. It’s intention remember. When there is evil intention (i.e., intention to use, decieve, punish, manipulate) even traditional marriage would be a sin.

  34. “Love is not calling out their sins” Love absolutely is this, because it is part of our responsibility toward one another as brothers/sisters in Christ. Jesus MANDATED that we do this, first privately, then with witnesses, then before the Body.

    Larry, there is no room in this debate among Methodists for Jesus-haters who call from the sidelines for us to disregard Christ’s commands to judge with righteous and not biased judgment, to watch diligently for deception and false teachers, and to keep our eyes on Him and not the world’s evil works.

    How is it that you are here without a wedding garment?

  35. Genes have never been proven Judge. Jesus condemned homosexuality. blessings.

  36. 1 Corinthians 1:18 – For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

  37. As you have been shown many times before Spud….Jesus said everything to do with homosexuality. Gosh, how many times do you need to be taught that?

  38. Homosexuality is a sin that keeps these precious people out of Heaven Barry.

  39. Perhaps you should start in Genesis and end at the Book of Revelation sometime, Rev.

  40. No one denies that God loves them, but no one can deny that He loves them enough to let them go to Hell for denying Him either.

  41. No. I have been shown many vague passages applying to numerous things, assumed incorporation by reference, deliberate misreading, out of context proof texting, and begging the question.

    There is no such thing as a serious discussion of interpretation of scripture with someone trying to use it to justify bigotry and bad behavior. It is all simply a means to an end with them. A lame and spineless way to say, “God says I can hate you”.

    Jesus said nothing on the subject. Nor will I concede that modern notions of homosexuality are even addressed in the Bible beyond what can be lumped together in the OT as “practices of gentiles”

  42. I have many times Sandi and I especially prefer Matthew 7:1-2 where Jesus DOES INDEED talk about a very important subject. Its not just a suggestion its a REAL COMMAND he DID give and says NOT to judge others! And its says if you do, you will be judged harsher than those you judge. I am praying for you to repent before its too late! And try going back to the greek and hebrew and learning what the bible really says, not someone interpretation. Its enlightening Sandi! The bible also says not to cut your hair! The Bible also endorses slavery! I hope you dont practice either of those! It also says you cant talk in church! I dont agree with that one either!

  43. Why exactly should anyone care about what you “concede” about what the Bible addresses, Larry? According to Jesus you can not even SEE the Kingdom of God nor receive the things of the Spirit. Even the disciples themselves, Christ’s closest friends, could not fully understand His teachings until filled with the Spirit. So we should listen to…you? Please.

  44. I take it you’ve been to heaven and seen the guest-list, then.

  45. and maybe you should stop saying things that Jesus said that he NEVER once said! just a suggestion.

  46. Your version of love is indistinguishable in both word and deed from hate, disrespect and malicious harm. It is not god’s fault or the fault of scripture, but yourself. You chose to make bigotry central to your faith. You chose to make love conditional, invasive and disingenuous. Jesus said a lot of socially redeeming things. You do not.

  47. Just a suggestion for you – you’ll find what He said in the Bible. Try reading it.

  48. The unbelieving God-haters of the NT times did not think much of Jesus’ version of love, either. In fact, they found Him so loving and “socially redeeming” that they tried to push Him off a cliff. Picking a line or two of His in furtherance of Satan’s agenda is an old tactic that the early church was quite familiar with. If you are not for Him, however, you’re against Him.

    Where’s your wedding garment, Lare?

  49. Nope but I’ve read the guest list and who isn’t invited: 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 – 9Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.”
    There’s a sneak peek

  50. Yet you judge me without the knowledge of what He has said.

  51. Christ said everything on the subject Spud. Get used to it. You need to find another argument.

  52. You would like to think of your words as his, you life like his and claim martyrdom as he and his disciples did. But that is simply your ego talking. Self righteous narcissism.

    It’s easy to use scripture to justify acting badly and for making excuses for ones actions. It takes a lot more effort to treat people as human beings. Scripture or no scripture.

    There is nothing of value in promoting hate and using religion to support it. You are entitled to your opinion and it’s your right to express it. But that doesn’t mean it is worthy of respect or moral.

  53. Yes, I read it every day and preach about it every Sunday. My favorite is the 2nd greatest commandment …i will recap it for you “to love one another”. Sandi, my anger comes from ministering to people who are victims of your type of judgment and hate. I minister to young people who have attempted suicide because of your interpretation of the bible. I hold them when they cry because their parents kicked them out of the house and declared they no longer have a son/daughter. I have attended funerals where those same parents bury their child wishing they had another chance to say they are sorry. I certainly myself feel your hate and judgement. That makes m e tremendously sad. THAT is where my anger comes from. Where does YOUR anger come from?

  54. Jesus even attempted to refuse the syrophonecian woman away from HIS table but even Jesus himself realized he was wrong. Mark 7:24-30. That story demonstrates the hospitality we are to show others not hate and judgment.

  55. Again, read Matthew 7:1-2. Read about the greatest 2 commandments. Sandi, I havent judged you at all, I am merely sharing scripture! But you can share with me ONE scripture where Jesus condemns my lifestyle!!! But you make statements that those scriptures exist. Sandi, I am merely defending myself with scripture against your judgement and hate of me!

  56. I don’t remember making any claim to martyrdom. Perhaps you can demonstrate otherwise?

    “It takes a lot more effort to treat people as human beings.” Very rich, coming from one who likes to call other human beings “pieces of filth” and advocates “punching their lights out” upon disagreement. Out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks, Lare. Which means we should listen to you…why, again?

    Where’s your wedding garment?

  57. I have replied to your questions, yet you havent addressed one question I have for you. You keep telling me to “read” the scriptures. I am quoting scriptures to you and you have no response. You continue to “make up” scriptures that do not exist.

  58. You are lazy, hateful, and do a disservice to Christian belief. You need to cough up that passage which says, “and Jesus said homosexuals are the damned”. Directly. None of that he says sin which includes ..

    You won’t find it.

    You should try reading your Bible. Not just use it as a bludgeoning tool.

  59. I would like to stay and talk with you but I have to go visit people in the hospital. I have to go give food to those who are hungry. I am on my way to love people, not to condemn and judge them. I will continue to live “like” the Jesus I read about in the Bible, not one that someone has to me to be like without reading about him myself. I love Jesus my friend and I love you.

  60. So, if you’ve ever stolen something, or coveted something, etc, etc, you aren’t getting into heaven? Is anybody going to heaven?

  61. Was the question “Is anybody going to Heaven?”

  62. I would take some time and read a Bible before that Rev. Your knowledge of scripture is terrible

  63. You can call me hateful all you want Spud. You have been given the scriptures several times and just refuse to learn.

  64. Says the person who implies he knows scripture and then lies to people.

  65. You should be disliked. You try to take precious people and turn them onto their way to Hell as you sit there laughing at them. Homosexuality is a sin and you misrepresent the title “Rev” to the harm of innocent people. You are disgusting.

  66. You have only shown yourself worthy of such with what you try to do to homosexuals. You send them onto the road to Hell without batting an eye.

  67. I doubt you preach anything. You don’t know your Bible.

  68. i am quoting scripture right out of the Bible to you. So then, how is MY knowledge of scripture so terrible my friend????? You havent quoted one scripture. Your judgement and hate has blinded you to the message of Christ. Like I said, I am on the way out the door to do his work. I will not be responding to your thread any longer. I just pray that God does with you like he did with Saul on the road to Damascus. Saul thought he was doing God’s work also and even killing those who love God but luckily he said yes once God literally “enlightened” him. Your judgement and hate make me angry, yes, and only because it harms others. But I dont hate you, I love you. You have no power over me to make me hate and I refuse to do so because I follow the instruction of Jesus and believe in him and his ways. Bless you on your journey and make you follow Jesus greatest 2 commandments.

  69. You tell me that “my” knowledge of scripture is terrible yet you tell people that Jesus condemns homosexuality in the Bible even though there is not ONE scripture which reflects your statement. mmmmmmmmmmmm Might want to rethink that approach.

  70. I am quoting scripture right out of the Bible my friend. YOU are the one saying things that Jesus said that do NOT even exist in the Bible. Please stop lying to people Sandi. That’s even one of the top 10 commandments.

  71. The problem is, you are unwilling to acknowledge that this us a marriage! “Biblical” models of marriage a la the patriarchs are still found in Islam and, until recent times, in Mormonism. Current Western Christian practice is a development beyond original Biblical models!

  72. I’m not the one lying to people and misleading them, “Rev”. Two thousand years of scripture saying the same thing and then suddenly you have a new interpretation, is lying.

  73. Try reading John 1, if you need instruction from a novice.

  74. You have no knowledge of scripture and you are leading people directly to Hell and have no shame about it

  75. Yes, Barry, many are going to Heaven. If you renounce your sin, and ask Jesus to be your Lord and Saviour, (born again), He will do so. He loves us and died for us so that none should go to Hell. He died for your and my sins, so that we don’t have to. Yes, many people will go to Heaven, because when you commit a sin – as we all do – you renounce it again, apologize to the Lord and He forgives the Sin. Jesus loves us and wishes that none should perish.

  76. He didn’t “realize He was wrong.” That entire episode was a lesson for the benefit of His disciples who had urged Him to disregard her. That is a recurring motif in the gospels.

  77. thank you. I missed that one. He doesn’t know his Bible

  78. Nope. Current Western Christian practice (insofar as first marriage is concerned) is a return to the original creation model.

  79. Lazy not only is appropriate I guess, but undisputed as well.

  80. Lol. Does that backpedal machine need to be serviced frequently?

  81. Yes you are being lazy. Look back through your comments

  82. You are right its an appeal to authority. Most of what we believe is based on some authority. In this case, Jesus condemns homosexuality with other sins men commit. Jesus is the ultimate authority because He alone is the God in the flesh.

    It is never bigotry to speak against lies and the tell the truth.

  83. We are to judge others and warn them when they are sinning. You must judge to call people to repent of their sins and put their faith in Christ.

    Issues of cutting the hair and slavery were for the ancient Israelite’s. The ancient Jews were to treat slaves with respect while in other cultures they were treated like animals.

  84. Doesn’t matter how old you are. Any sex outside of a marriage between a man and a woman is sin. Its called either fornication or adultery depending on the martial status of the individual.

  85. If there is sex between 2 people who are not married (man and a woman) then that is sin.

  86. Jesus is the one who laid down what a marriage is and He grounds in the creation story of Adam and Eve.
    “4 And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” Matthew 19

    Like I said, homosexual “marriages” are not real marriages. They are fakes.

  87. And when you do that (as I have), you see happy little commands about how, if a daughter isn’t a virgin on her wedding night, her parents must deliver her to the elders for stoning. And then those who work on the Sabbath must be stoned. And all sorts of other people must be stoned. This isn’t the kind of “getting stoned” that’s fun.
    Then you hit the stuff about that Jewish chap who died 2100 years ago predicting that the kingdom was imminent and would happen in the lives of those then standing – WRONG – and then you have Paul, the true founder of the pagan worship of a man as a god, telling the Thessalonians that Jesus was going to be back immediately and then the dead would rise and Paul and his pals would meet Jesus on the clouds – WRONG – and now it’s 2100 years later and people are still yammering about gods and devils, and claiming that their nasty sky fairy is going to roast people in hell for being gay (even though nasty sky fairy made them), even if those gay people live lives of exemplary charity.
    The depths of vile christian hatred never cease to astound.

  88. Of course they were. Matthew and John were disciples of Christ.

  89. Where did Tony Perkins blame homosexuals “for every possible social ill”? Where is the documentation for your assertion?

  90. If you don’t tell people their sins, Spud, how are they going to need to repent of them when they want to answer Jesus call? Homosexuality is a sin.

  91. Judge, just because you chose to sin, does not negate others’ sins.

  92. And you’ve proven the depths of Biblical illiteracy never end….

  93. Or, throw both books away and follow what Christ taught. Homosexuality is a sin.

  94. you made the claim so you bear the burden of proof. If don’t then you must be lying.

  95. So if one biologist disagrees with the rest on Topic X, that means no one can say “Biologists think X”??

    That standard seems like it will lead to crazy things.

    You being a biologist and disagreeing does NOT mean that some biologists don’t think that sexual orientation is determined by hormone levels in the womb.

    I for one, as a scientist, refuse to believe sexual orientation is determined by magic. Due to the finger length studies, testosterone levels in the womb being linked with sexual orientations is the theory with the most credence. If you’ve got something better, link it!!

  96. Its embarrassing when someone makes claims like this. It shows they don’t know what they are talking about.

  97. nods. They go to IhateChristians dot com and get the trash there….lol

  98. It is not only a sin but a mortal sin, i.e. in the category of causing a Christian who commits it the loss of his salvation, at least if it is not sincerely and consistently repented.

    However, for a so-called “church” to ordain homosexual clergy and thus to celebrate this sin, is a much more serious matter. It is an expression of apostasy from the faith.

  99. Are you a clergy hearing a confession? No just a busybody with a toxic sense of entitlement to render judgment on the affairs of others. Precisely the sort of thing explicitly frowned upon by Jesus.

  100. Scripture Math Time:

    “Or do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God?”

    +

    “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)

    =

    Well crap, looks like we’re all screwed. Well, we WOULD be except for the REST Romans 3, of course… about how God’s mercy is FREELY given to all sinners with faith.

    And then we get this line here: “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” (Romans 3:28)

    Fun!! If one accepts Paul’s teachings, than one accepts that Faith in God grants forgiveness of all sins regardless of adherence to God’s Law.

    Now my own Faith does not confirm Paul, so I don’t necessarily think that line is valid MYSELF, but you seem like the kinda guy who’s into Paul. What do you make of Romans 3:28, and the rest of Romans 3?? To me it seems to promise redemption to all sinners with Faith. Pretty interesting theological concept…

  101. “If you renounce your sin, and ask Jesus to be your Lord and Saviour, (born again), He will do so.”

    Hmmm, but Romans 3 seems to just say you only need Faith for redemption. It doesn’t even say one needs to repent their sins, only have Faith. Faith leads to redemption in spite of the Law. “Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law.” (Romans 3:28)

  102. Yep. Or evilbible, nogods, infidels, etc. All the same garbage re-heated and re-served ad infinitum.

  103. Except that it’s God who has spelled out for us what is holy and what is sin.

  104. I got my “entitlement” from Jesus with the great commission. Where did you get yours to stop these people from going to Heaven?

  105. Faith alone will not save anyone. Rather it is faith alone in Christ alone. It is faith in Christ that justifies.

  106. I don’t believe anyone can lose their salvation, Ali. I do believe that the Lord does know who to call for salvation and there will be many who think they are saved who are not.

    These “clergy” should know well enough Galatians 1: 8But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! 9As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!” If they don’t, they’ll learn it when they meet Jesus, eh?

  107. The gift of faith leads to repentance, Eddie.
    John 3:3 – Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”

  108. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ (Rom.10:17). And the word of Christ is that “repentance and remission of sins should be preached to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” (Luke 24:47).

    All of the gospels identify the central message of Christ’s ministry as “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

  109. Confessions heard and absolved by clergy is not even biblical. The NT’s instruction is to “therefore confess your sins TO EACH OTHER and pray for each other so that you may be healed.” James 5:16

  110. You chose to ignore the part I wrote about reviling and slandering.
    And then you called me a liar– reviling and slandering me.
    you just cannot help yourself, can you.

  111. there is also no such thing as a heterosexual gene. If there is, perhaps you can provide information on it.

  112. Well, if you take that story literally, they didn’t have much choice, did they? And if you take it literally, Adam and Eve were essentially clones of one another — at least Eve of Adam. (Identical DNA?) The next interesting question is where Cain and Abel found wives, since there is no record of other parents!

  113. Sure, but that’s not what I was asking. 3:28 does seem to say Faith in Christ saves mankind “without the deeds of the law”, correct??

  114. Christians who REVILE Gays are abominations unto god under 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.

  115. Yes, though we know the god character depicted in our bibles is not a loving god, no loving god would create a person Gay, and then require him to forego that part of his humanity. This is particularly so when the act of sex is not mere choice, but a supposedly god given drive and impetus. This requires all of us to reconsider the requirement of Gays to abstain, and whether this created god is worth maintaining in our imaginations.

  116. John and Charles are as far from Jesus as we are from John and Charles. The point is moot.

  117. My apologies for having stepped on your post about REVILING. I have deleted mine.

  118. You are a busybody seeking to excuse trespasses upon the lives of others in acts of malice and self righteousness. I don’t see gay people asking you for your opinion on their sins nor coming to you to discuss them. There is no way to polish the turd of your bigotry to shine as if it is an act of love or concern in keeping with principles laid down by Jesus.

  119. What did Jesus say about Gays? I think you can show me what Paul said, or what someone said Jesus said in pseudo-Mark, but what did Jesus say? I cannot accept the word of an anonymous forger, or pseudepigrapher. That just is not kosher.

  120. Christians are gradually coming around to the idea of following the teaching and examples of Christ, but it is surprising how much they have to be dragged by the bridle. They are like the horse that cannot be forced to drink.

  121. A person is justified on the basis of faith alone in Christ alone. No works or deeds of the Law can save a man. If a man could be saved by doing the works of the Law then Christ died needlessly.

  122. 1Samuel says that stubbornness is the same as idolatry, and we all know idolatry is listed with homosexuality as abomination, yet there is none more stubborn than the christian who clings to the verses of hate, while ignoring the prohibitions on REVILING.

  123. In Mark 7:20-21 where He uses the word “unchastity”, “immorality” and “fornications which includes adultery, incest, premarital infidelity, homosexuality, beastiality and any other sexual conduct condemned in the OT. Same saying is found in Matthew 15:17-20

    What do you mean “pseudo-Mark”?

  124. Christians bear much false witness against Gays in their ostracization of them, despite the warnings of Proverbs saying that those who do so shall perish. Proverbs 29:5 ,19:9, 21:28. Exodus 20:16 and Deuteronomy say do not bear false witness.
    It is also one of the commandments. In Mark 15:19, it is set on the same level as murder and adultery. Luke 18:20 reminds you, do not bear false witness. So, as Jesus once said, “It looks like we’re all in this boat together!

  125. Nor are any UMC asking for your opinion about scriptures which you neither know nor believe.

    Where’s your wedding garment?

    Adios, busybody.

  126. Take Christ’s word for it, then. Homosexuality is an abomination.

  127. Always remember, as you judge the righteousness of others, that Jesus too, was considered to be a sinner by the wisest men of his own religion. John 9

  128. What difference does choice make? Jesus said God joins two in marriage BECAUSE He created them male and female. Without that duality there is no purpose in marriage.

    This was not a new concept. The Old Testament (specifically Malachai) tells us that God hates divorce because it severs what God has joined, and that He joins them in the first place because He desires godly seed from their union, which of course necessitates male and female.

    Please do not go off on the infertility tangent, either. Exceptions do not nullify the general principle.

  129. Nor asking fundies outside their sect either. Especially ones with an agenda towards moving mainstream sects as close to reactionary as possible. You are not a member of the UMC nor do you particularly care what they believe. As long as they are willing to hate as you do. Bigotry and trespass on others defining your Christian belief.

  130. I beg your ever-presumptuous pardon, but I DO happen to be a United Methodist and have every right to weigh in on this issue. The only ones trying to “move” anything are those trying to introduce worldly and unscriptural influences into our denomination which has had an established and biblically sound position on this subject since inception. The input of Jesus-haters is neither needed nor wanted.

    Where is your wedding garment?

  131. There is enough information in my original post for you to research. You can learn for yourself, or choose to remain biblically unknowing.

  132. Sandi, find the “Secret Gospel of Mark”, available online, and see what “christ” DID about homosexuality.

  133. Celebrate? That is only your misleading categorization of the ordination of Gays. You slander and deceive. That is an abomination unto the Lord!

  134. Please don’t make yourself look silly any longer Found One. Christ spoke about it from Sodom and Gomorrah to the Book of Revelation. I suggest you google “scripture about homosexuality” and look for credible sources.

  135. “I say it is the truth, so it must be the truth, because I would not lie to you, honest! And may god strike me dead if I do!” Oh, OK then, Paul.

  136. One clue to the fact that Paul lies to us in the epistles, (if he truly is the author) is that he teaches the opposite of what the gospels say Jesus said on the topic. But you will have to research that on your own. You’ll learn better that way.

  137. I don’t need to read trash, but thanks.

  138. Close, but no cigar is better than that which I smoke.

  139. The conference was sinful in tabling the issue for several more years, leaving people to suffer in anguish over their salvation. It looks so very Mormon of them.

  140. It comes from a christian sect. It is indecent to call their beliefs trash. Could you find a more christian word?

  141. Don’t embarrass yourself further Found One. Learn.

  142. Give me 2-3 examples of a “Christians bear much false witness against Gays in their ostracization of them”? I want to make sure if this is truly happening.

  143. Wow! He was so angry he destroyed 2 cities even before Mary gave birth to him? He has had plenty of time to reconsider, as his father did about flooding the earth. Now he directs SCOTUS in their judgments. It’s too bad they both ruined their perfection records with mistakes.

  144. Get serious. There is nothing in your post that proves Mark was false.

  145. You have so ignorantly refused to investigate. Seek, that you might find!

  146. Thanks, but it wasn’t necessary. ?

  147. You made the claim about Tony Perkins blaming homosexuals “for every possible social ill”. Now where are the facts that he said this?

  148. You don’t believe that one can lose salvation? Pseudos Mark, Luke, Matthew, and John thought so. Ref: Matt 16:25, Luke 17:33, 9:24, and 9:25. Witness Mk 8:35 and 36. Note 2 John 1:8, and many more NT statements. There are also many such statements in the OT, if you are one who still accepts “God’s” word.

  149. God does not give us gifts and then take them away.

  150. So. . . Which gospels do you use? Seams every one of them is “pseudo” to you. Also, where is you degree from?

  151. SPLC does not lie. They expose the christian liars who will not accept evidence, and continue to spread lies which conflict with what we have learned from science, as well as with the mental and physical health fields. Tony Perkins is one such liar, and his group Family Research Council has appropriately been labeled a hate group for bearing such false witness against LGBTQI people.

  152. Again, go the website of SPLC. They name Family Research Council as a hate group for their malicious lies against LGBTQI folks.

  153. Its slander when you don’t prove what you claim.

  154. So you are lying. The FRC is not a hate group. This is slander.

  155. Seams? “Where is YOU degree?” Sentence ended with preposition, i.e. “from” is improper. I use all the gospels which were written by christians, including the Apocrypha which are outside of the bible..

  156. Mine was a typo. But, I forgive your grammar. You did not answer the question, however.

  157. If you cannot read what I Actually wrote, I can’t help you.

    Not that I could in any case. Anti gay prejudice is not fixable by merely human means. I have no intention of trying to fix you.

  158. “Gospels” outside the NT are false gospels. None were written by an apostle or one associated with an apostle.

  159. Also, the Apocrypha is the writings between the OT & NT, they do not contain any gospels. Did you mean the pseudepigraph?

  160. No. Much pseudepigrapha is in the bible. It includes more than 1/2 of the epistles.

  161. There are a number of gospels outside the bible, written by christians.

  162. The gospels IN the NT were anonymous. We do not know their authors.

  163. You preach, but the bible disagrees with you. But then it is wrong too, so here we are, back in the same boat again, with Jesus and Buddha, and Ahura Mazda, et al.

  164. Have you looked up “Apocryphal Gospels” yet?

  165. lol….did you even look at the scripture you tried to cite, Found….lol

  166. I think you either are utterly naive, or utterly malicious. The position of the clergy is clearly one of leadership and example. So ordaining gays is setting a new standard of acceptable behaviour and thus a case of celebrating gay identity. The abomination is on the side of those who live in this anti-natural and anti-Christian lifestyle, not on the side of those who oppose and expose it as sinful.

  167. Look them up, or stay ignorant. The gospels are anonymous. They are also pseudonymous, meaning they bear a false name. Pseudepigraphy is another kettle of fish, so to speak.

  168. Look up what Paul says on marriage, then see what Jesus is supposed to have said.

  169. Sorry Found, I’m still laughing about the last time you tried to cite scripture.. …blessings to you

  170. Would you say that the pedophilic priests have set a new example of what is acceptable? I don’t think you would, but it shuts down your claims.

  171. again, you don’t have a clue as to what you are discussing…..blessings.

  172. Tullian Tchividjian, grandson of Billy Graham, has been removed from 2 churches for seducing the women of the church, yet he is still a minister. Does this set a new level of acceptability for adultery?

  173. We do know who wrote them.
    Matthew and John were disciples.
    Mark wrote what Peter told him.
    Luke was a companion of Paul.

    The church of the 1st century knew.
    There are no other names in history associated with those gospels except the names we know them by.

    Papias of the 2nd century tells us who wrote them.

  174. A number of ministers have been divorced. Does this offset the word of Jesus?

  175. I know what they are. All were written long after the 4 gospels and many or all were written by gnostics.

  176. There were many proto- orthodox churches in the early centuries. They did not become one, until hundreds of years later. It was late in the 4th century before a collection to be called the “Bible” was determined. Marcion had however, made a canon of his own, in the 2nd century, primarily of Mark and Paul’s epistles, all of which he and his group may well have written!

  177. The canon of the NT was finalized in the 300’s by councils.

  178. Where did Jesus affirm homosexuality and homosexual “marriage”? Book, chapter and verse please.

  179. Read at least the paragraph “Gospel Origins” under the heading, Papias of Heiropolis, at Wikipedia. You are giving only the christian apologist explanation. Christian scholars disagree with you. Christians tend to run with any scrap as proof.

  180. Job considered himself blessed until the lord made a bet with Satan, if you can believe a bible story!

  181. In Genesis 12:3, god tells Abraham that he will bless all subsequent families. This means Job was blessed when god took everything away from him. Job is then blessed again by god in Job 42:10-17, but he was blessed with cattle! His original loved ones are replaced with new people!

  182. You are changing the subject. This topic is “does Paul lie to us in the bible?” I say he does, since he preached against both Judaism and Jesus himself.

  183. Do not be frightened by what you find in the bible. Do not attempt to preserve a false faith. Read, learn, know.

  184. That depends on when the 4 were written. Remember, the dates which are generally agreed upon, are ‘earliest possible ‘ dates. They are not definitive. (iron clad)

  185. Mathew, Mark and Luke before 70. 70 is when the temple fell and there is no mention of it even though Jesus predicted it. John in the 80’s or 90’s.

  186. I guess you adhere to the maxim “ignorance is bliss.” You have no sane responses or answers. Carl Jung would say “crazy maker.” I wonder, would Jesus say “goat?”, I just say troll.

  187. By now perhaps, you are ready to read the Wiki paragraph on the “Reliability Of Papias, under the article “Papias of Heiropolis. Plus keep in mind, even if Papias is describing our known version of Mark, it could have been written by Marcion! The dates of writing would have to be off by only a few decades.

  188. Ronald, why take that tack? Look up 1 Timothy at Wikipedia.

  189. Why start demeaning me? Look up 2 Timothy at Wikipedia.

  190. Look up Titus, and then each of Paul’s writings. I have read Jung, and his teacher as well. We do not save much from him, but we applaud his pioneering efforts. I have a dream!

  191. Yes, you do read the apologists. They are paid for their lies. Look up what christian scholars have to say. Beware though, apologists call themselves scholars, also. They like the sound of shiny words.

  192. No. Slander is false and damaging statements about another person.

  193. Actually, Jesus said nothing about two people of the same sex in loving relationship. Now divorce, on the other hand…

  194. These ministers cannot remain in the ministry, and if they remarry they cannot receive the Holy Sacrament, because they live a in state of permanent sin.

  195. Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy (Ezekiel 16:49).

  196. Yes, in the eyes of the public — or the congregation or denomination where this happens — it signals that this is permissible for the minister and thus for everyone. It was right to remove him from these two churches. I don’t know what ordination means in Billy Graham’s denomination and whether or not it is conceived as a sacrament, or whether a distinction is made between ordination and jurisdiction. In any case, such a person scandalizes the church and the faithful. He should be defrocked, meaning that he can no longer function as a minister.

  197. If they go unpunished, yes! Everything depends here on the ecclesial discipline. But it is clear that the Church condems pedophilia. The Church doesn’t ordain to the priesthood open pedophiles who proclaim that they intend to continue in this sin. But now in this Methodist case of ordaining homosexuals, the Methodist Church indeed blesses the sinful lifestyle, by ordaining unrepentant and brazen sinners.

    Is this so difficult to understand, or what?

  198. No. It is all too true. Slander is false, remember?

  199. Give me a couple of examples of “Christians bear much false witness against Gays in their ostracization of them”.

  200. Yes it is. I seem to be hung up on Romans 3:22 (approx), wherein we are told by Paul, “all are sinners, and fall short in the eyes of god.” That seems to say no one can be ordained, because even Jesus knew that no human could “Go, and sin no more.”

  201. “There is none so blind as he who will not see.” Paraphrase of J. Heywood 1546 CE.

  202. Didn’t you tell me you were some kind of Northern Baptist some time? IDK I can’t keep your stories straight (neither do you). You always strike me more of a Southern Baptist type. Considering the UMC is fairly mainstream and seriously considering gay clergy and performing gay weddings, maybe it is a bit too close to the center for your tastes.. It doesn’t seem to be a good fit for your temperament. 🙂

    “Where is your wedding garment?”

    Sorry I don’t speak wingnut fundie. Is that supposed to mean something to sane people?

  203. I suspect God considers the command to be fruitful and multiply to be largely oversubscribed by now. The underlying notion that God cannot tolerate some men whose sperm does not produce fruit or women who don’t spend all their childbearing years waiting to bear children is utterly absurd in the light of massive overpopulation. In this regard I reference the Monty Pythons’ humorous skit on sperm.
    I’ll let thIs be a final comment. It’s been interesting to follow the thread from airport to airport across the country, but I’ll soon have better pastimes.
    Perhaps others can figure out why some who want to take Genesis literally would insist that two non-identical twins produced sons and daughters who engaged in incest in the second generation and whose parents’ marriage is somehow our model.
    I think Genesis portrays magnificent poetic and mythical truth explaining human origins — not scientific or historical truth and with little awareness of modern understandings of biology, sexuality, personality or psychology.
    Best wishes and adieu!

  204. “You always strike me more of a Southern Baptist type. ” How would you know jack about either one?

    “Is that supposed to mean something to sane people?” Certainly. And if it makes no sense to you, then you have no business whatsoever trespassing on an intra-church matter.

  205. Blah blah. Usual Shawnie hostile banter. 🙂

  206. It was mostly set by about the middle of the 2nd century. The Muratorian Fragment lists every one of them except James, Hebrews and the Petrines.

  207. Ezekiel 16 – 44 “Behold, everyone who uses proverbs will use this proverb about you: ‘Like mother, like daughter.’ 45 You are the daughter of your mother, who loathed her husband and her children; and you are the sister of your sisters, who loathed their husbands and their children. Your mother was a Hittite and your father an Amorite. 46 And your elder sister is Samaria, who lived with her daughters to the north of you; and your younger sister, who lived to the south of you, is Sodom with her daughters. 47 Not only did you walk in their ways and do according to their abominations; within a very little time you were more corrupt than they in all your ways. 48 As I live, declares the Lord God, your sister Sodom and her daughters have not done as you and your daughters have done. 49 Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did an abomination before me. So I removed them, when I saw it. “

  208. Actually He did. Would you like help with that?

  209. I suggest you follow your excellent advice

  210. Job was blessed all the way through it. That’s the thing with blessings – sometimes they hurt, others they don’t, but Jesus still loves one all the way through it.

  211. Sone Christian scholars agree, and other Christian scholars disagree. But at this point all any of them have to offer is guesswork and speculation. None have offered anything sufficient to rebut the unanimous attributions of the earliest Christians, who after all were not writing for the benefit of a lot of bozos who would come along 2000 years later and claim they were all lying.

    You’re hopelessly confused about Marcion, in any case. Marcion accepted Luke, not Mark — which he considered too Jewish.

    No wonder you keep referring people to Wikipedia or somesuch; you can not communicate your positions coherently because you have no clue what they are.

  212. I had never heard of a love that kills one’s family. destroys everything he owns, infests him with vermin and infects him with disease, and then burns some people for eternity because they thought wrongly, until I read the bible. I can live without it.

  213. What you don’t understand, found, is that in the afterlife, he would be meeting them again. In your world, when one dies, that’s it. In our world, it is just a step to the next. Not all things are going to make sense, but one day they will, if you belong to Jesus.

  214. There were no unanimous attributions until the proto-orthodox sect absorbed and/or killed off the competition, thereby becoming the catholic church. Prior to this, there were about 200 sects of christians, all with different beliefs. That is why when they finally decided to put together a bible, they had to sort through the writings of all these different groups. Do not think that your gospels are all from the same sect. They are not. That is why there are 4 of them.

  215. Oh no! I recommend Wiki because it is a quick and easy reference to get the gist of the story. They do give references for those who want to further their knowledge.

  216. Which is true of our times as well. Affluence and overabundance usually leads to social preoccupation with sex and perversion. True of Sodom, of Canaan, of Babylon, of Rome…and the United States.

  217. In Rom. 3:22 St. Paul is speaking about mankind in general. In ourselves we are indeed all sinners and fall short of the glory of G-d, i.e. we cannot exist in his presence. But if we have repented and accepted Jesus Christ as our Saviour, then we are justified and should lead a new life. To fall back into a sinful lifestyle after having accepted Christ is something of an altogether different order. The Epistle to the Hebrews seriously warns against this in ch. VI, and St. Peter in his second Epistle says: “For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them” (II Peter 2:20-21).

    You turn the words of our Lord Jesus Christ on their head! For he clearly said that the woman caught in adultery should “go and sin no more”. This implies that it possible to do so, for G-d doesn’t deceive us and doesn’t want us to receive his grace in vain. It is always possible for us to walk in G-d’s commandments, if we truly turn to Him (Deut. 30:11-14; Rom. 10:8)

    There are two things necessary to be saved: (1) True repentance of dead works accompanied by faith in G-d and Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:9; Hebr. 6:1); (2) Perseverance in this faith and good works until the end (Hebr. 3:14).

    St. Paul clearly warns the believers in Corinth that they should not fool themselves by thinking that they can go on sinning and still will be saved in the end. Those who think in this manner will not be saved: “Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of G-d? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the Kingdom of G-d” (I Cor. 6:9). St. Paul is perfectly in line here with the Lord’s admonition in the Gospel of St. Matthew: “Except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter the Kingdom of Heaven” (Mt. 5:20), and: “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father who is in Heaven is perfect” (Mt. 6:48).

  218. 1) “All” is not “in general”. It is each and every one of you. 2) Romans 3:10. No one is righteous, not even one!” These expressions of man’s sinful nature go all the way back in the bible, to Genesis, Ecclesiastes, etc. etc. 3) 2 Peter is a forgery, doubt about the authenticity of Hebrews goes all the way back to Eusebius. 4) The woman caught in adultery is a later interpolation to John, which you are told in the footnotes of your bible. But even so, all knowing Jesus could not expect a person to not sin. 5) Revilers would also be those who slur Gays. They are as sinful as they think the Gays are! 6) Corinthians has been contaminated with at least 2 later additions to it’s texts. 7) It is not the lord’s admonition in Mark. It is someone’s claim that Jesus so admonished. But Mark was an anonymous work, so we do not know who put those words in the mouth of Jesus, but we do know it was done at least 40 years after the death of the supposed Jesus.

  219. And Matthew was anonymous. also. And how could he know Jesus was perfect? Jesus made a whip, and went after the priests who changed foreign currency. He disobeyed the parents he was supposed to honor, by hanging back, to talk to priests at the temple, without telling them. Disobedience is not perfection! In Luke 19:20, he wants to slaughter all who disagree with him. Remember, thoughts are sins in christianity! And yes, I know it references a king.

  220. In the apocryphal gospels, Jesus withers the arm of an old man who accidentally bumped him. He also killed some of his friends for similar slight infractions, though he had to restore them.

  221. Apocryphal Gospels, as the term itself indicates, are not recognized by the Magisterium of the Church, nor are they received as Holy Scripture in any Christian denomination, Methodism included.

    Where is your sense of objectivity?

  222. My objectivity lies in the Peshitta, the King James Version, the Vulgate, the Codex Sinaiticus, the Codex Alexandrius, and the Codex Vaticanus, all of which contain the Apocrypha. It was the MEN of the christian religions, including Luther, who took it upon themselves to delete the “unchanging word of god”, despite warnings in the bible itself, not to do so!!!

  223. Where is the objectivity of the church to label it’s authority as the Magisterium?

  224. Don’t waste your time with “Found One,” you will get nowhere. Facts and evidence elude her.

  225. I agree with you completely, I was just thinking about separating sheep from goats, as it were. It will come to that in the end anyway. At the same time I am endeavoring to take a more conciliatory tone towards gay people; at least in the sense that one sin of any kind, is enough to condemn any one of us. The sin of divorce and serial remarriage among professing Christians is certainly an issue that we should address with the same fervor we address homosexuality, if we are to avoid hypocrisy.

  226. The KJV does not contain the Apocrypha.

  227. Where is the ‘R” in “YOUR?”

  228. Those pesky christians have taken it upon themselves to alter the unchanging word of god in the later editions. Look to the earlier, more Geneva bible like editions.

  229. “But hey…who goes by the God-breathed Scripture anymore?”

    Only those people who are are unable or unwilling to think rationally.

    I can’t possibly accept a god who would put homosexuality, which harms no-one, in the same pot with greed, swindling, drunk driving, thieves, and deceitful adultery, which always harms others. But, of course, it wasn’t a god who did that, it was (and still is) people who were/are obsessed with controlling every facet of all human thinking, belief, and behavior.

  230. This objectivity is founded in Tradition. But since you clearly don’t recognize any ecclesial authority, you are free to create your own religion with your own holy books &c, for you it is just every person on his own. So why have ordinations at all?

    A community can only exist as a unity under an authority. If there’s no authority, then the unity of the community is simply an illusion.

  231. Your objectivity is just your subjectivity, i.e. your private interpretation. You are free to create your own religion, of course. But this implies that this religion is only for you and not for others.

  232. In the same chapter and verse where Jesusconsiders homosexuals damned. None whatsoever.

    Instead you have to incorporate by reference the OT in a hypocritical and inconsistent fashion and pretend some words can be interpreted as specific to gays and then claim traditional. The excuses for deliberately disobeying Jesus direct and unambiguous command to love thy neighbor and not to judge the sensor others are also integral to your pov. It’s amazing how much of Jesus own words you have to ignore to perpetuate ultra bigoted positions.

  233. Affluence and over abundance leads to social preoccupation with sex?

    Thanks for explaining the obsessions of the Christian Right,

  234. The good Reverend Roberts pwned you haters with a grace and class you couldn’t possibly be capable of exhibiting. He quoted his justification and you posers just said, “nyuh huh” like a bunch of 7 year olds.

  235. Yet her bile was mostly spent on a clergy member. Hate really is central to your faith. How pathetic.

  236. I take it you are in your early teens. Someone unschooled in the reality of a real human relations.

  237. Shawnie if I wanted an arrogant passive aggressive Gish gallop from you I will ask for it. Unless you can find the passage of the Bible which reads explicitly “Jesus said gays are the damned” you are full of BS. Just looking for excuses to act maliciously.

  238. Again, why should any of us care what a Jesus-hater and a complete scriptural illiterate considers BS in this intra-church matter?

    I’d ask a more knowledgeable interlocutor to show me a passage in the Bible that explicitly says “Jesus said gay is A-OK” but in your case it is a complete waste of time. Until someone can, I think we’ll just stick with what every 1st century Jew, including Jesus and all of his listeners, as well as every Jewish rabbi up until roughly 30 years ago plainly understood “sexual immorality” to be and discard the rest as “BS.”

    You still don’t have on a wedding garment, BTW.

  239. Obsessions? It’s you guys who are coming to our churches demanding that we change our 2000-year-old doctrines to suit your preferences and swarming our sites with mostly vulgar hate speech about us and our scriptures, and picking fights with wedding service providers which is an almost completely valueless industry that caters to the foolishly extravagant. In less lazy and surfeited times and places people hardly have time for this kind of silliness.

  240. I’m sure you’ve never criticized a clergy member, Lare. 😀

    However, the difference between you and her is, being vigilant about false teachers is our responsibility. When asked by His followers for instructions for the future Jesus warned that not allowing ourselves to be deceived is critically important. While your hate is just free-floating resentment of the gospel for interfering with pop culture drift.

  241. Projection, dear. Projection.

    Your churches are overwhelmingly heterosexual, as is society. It is your church’s congregations that are demanding that churches change. We simply don’t have the numbers. But the Christians you so reverently refer to as “the gullible, the uninformed, and the easily led” have those numbers.

    Swarming “our” sites? Most of “your” sites don’t allow contrary opinions. I know, I’ve tried. This isn’t one of your sites, but the antigays posting here routinely insult us with vulgar hate speech, which you fail to call out. I had to point it out to you a number of times, and you STILL don’t call it out. Corinthians 6 is only for gay people, not the revilers, the slanderers, and the swindlers, like the Christian grifters of NOM.

    Picking fights with wedding service providers? There have been nearly 1,000,000 same sex weddings in this country, and perhaps 50 vendors out of potentially five million minimum that were too self righteous and superior to say the simple words: I’m booked. Those 25 have gone out of their way to publicize their self righteousness and stupidity. That’s 1/1000 of 1%? And we’re the problem?

    Valueless industry that caters to the foolishly extravagant? Always good to know that all of those jobs are just wasted.

  242. Are you hanging out at the library or are you affluent enough to buy a computer and have a monthly internet bill?

  243. Not one who bothered to respond here. 🙂

  244. I don’t know, why would someone ask for your opinion? You spend most of your time qualifying, adding conditions and weaselwording the words of Jesus. Not very reverential to the alleged central figure of your religion. Of course unless you mistake your words for Jesus. Then your epithet might make sense.

  245. “It is your church’s that are demanding that churches change.” Didn’t you tell me that you, a rank atheist, got a minister to officiate for you? That kind of thing is how it all starts. A minister gets called up for doing something like that and the pew-warmers who know about as much scripture as you and Larry want to keep the poor dear on because they liiiiiiike him. And so instead of obeying Jesus’ command to not be conformed to the world we go down the road of rewriting everything in order to bring the world’s ways into the church. Scripture’s favorite metaphor for sin, leavening, is particularly appropriate to here. It only takes a little to infect the whole body.

    “Most of “your” sites don’t allow contrary opinions. I know, I’ve tried.”

    Oh, I’m sure you have. But you don’t care what we Christians think, remember? Know how many atheist sites I’ve posted on? Zero. Gay sites? Zero. Muslim? Zero (bet even YOU haven’t tried those!) Buddhist, Hindu, pagan…you get the idea. It doesn’t interest me, and my time is limited by real life. We, however, seem to fill your very days and nights. If you’re not interested in what we think, then subjects that DO interest you must leave no time for food or sleep.

    “Perhaps 50 vendors out of potentially five million minimum that were too self righteous and superior to say the simple words: I’m booked.” Nice. Your solution is lying (no surprise there) and attacking people who are just honest and transparent enough to shoot straight (no pun intended) with you. What a dainty and thin-skinned generation this is.

    “Always good to know that all of those jobs are just wasted.” The jobs aren’t wasted, but what is produced mostly is. There are families that spend years paying off the costs of these absurd spectacles. But a fool and his money, you know…

  246. I’m skeptical of that claim. However, it doesn’t matter. Clergy mean nothing to you if they don’t agree with your agenda.

  247. I live in an affluent society, yes, and am subject to the same temptations presented by it as everyone else is.

  248. “Why would someone ask for your opinion?” This is a UMC matter, and I happen to be UMC, for starters. And Christians counsel each other and exchange opinions about matters of faith all the time. But what we generally DON’T do is go to those who hate our Lord for that.

  249. Actually Christ never mentioned it [homosexuality] even though it would have been known as a result of Roman rule and Hellenic cultural dominance.

  250. Homosexuality is not in that list — you have added to the word of God in order to insert some of what appears in that list. Curiously, even though Jesus would have known about homosexuality in the dominant Hellenic culture (remember the new Testament was written in Greek!) he never mentions it, in spite of talking about infidelity and promiscuity, etc. Interesting, isn’t it? Why would the Lord omit mentioning it?

  251. Actually, Christ never said anything about homosexuality — He did, however mention Sodom and Gomorrah. Curiously he didn’t connect Sodom and Gomorrah with homosexuality — since the majority of the Hebrew scriptures do not assign homosexuality to the cause of God’s punishment of these cities.

  252. Oooooh. I must have hit a nerve. Good.
    I didn’t “get” a minister to officiate. He wanted to. But then, he doesn’t consider himself in the same light as you consider yourself, nor does he consider being a decent human being an affront to god. He also doesn’t consider other Christians to be “gullible, uninformed, and easily led.” That’s all on Certainly Superior Shawnie..
    What you call honest and transparent, I would call self-righteous, stupid, and lacking any business sense whatsoever. and 1/1000 of 1%. I’ve also told you that I was a high end wedding photographer for 30 years. The ONLY face any client should see on any vendor is caring, interested, and concerned. And I would certainly bet good money on any of those vendors saying “I’m booked” to anyone whose wedding they did not wish to service. It’s very telling, as always, that the only place some Christians feel a need to be special is when it comes to treating gay people decently.
    Please, Keep digging.

  253. Correction: “You have been given the scriptures several times and just refuse to learn be gullible and delusional like TrueChristians are.

  254. It’s a news story on a public board. I see a lot of Christians like yourself seem to specialize in unsolicited and unnecessary counsel. Designed to serve yourself and personal prejudices. Worse than no counsel at all.

  255. My agenda being not using religion as an excuse to act badly to others.

  256. You don’t need an excuse to act badly toward others. That’s simply who you are. Nice people don’t call others “pieces of filth” or talk about punching their lights out.

  257. What is more unsolicited and unnecessary than an atheist, in service of himself and his personal preferences, trying to tell Methodists the meaning of scripture that he knows nothing about? That is as absurd as my purporting to tell my husband what page 239 of his Applied Finite Element Analysis textbook means (which I’ve never opened).

  258. Since it is the heterosexual people who are giving birth to the homosexuals. Why shouldn’t they demand their churches reprioritize?They should love their children unconditionally, after all they brought them here. They should withdraw their financial support of churches who demean a group of people and demand that they be celibate. The holier than thou ones that are using vulgar speech are the ones that are “Oh so superior” because they didn’t happen to give birth to a LGBT child. You called it right Ben, it is people like me who are telling churches to rethink this, if you want our support. You don’t have to walk through the door of a church to find God, if you need God.

  259. If I had ten cents for every time I’ve heard that lie…..Do you know Who the Christ is, Cranmer? He is God. He is responsible for every word in the Bible. blessings to you

  260. I clarified that for you elsewhere. blessings

  261. Answer.
    Sin.Sin. sin. Sin. Sex. sin.
    Icky. Icky. Sex. Icky,
    Sin. Sin. Sex. sin
    Stop persecuting me. I have someone else’s genitalia to obsess over.
    Sin.

  262. “It’s very telling, as always, that the only place some Christians feel a need to be special is when it comes to treating gay people decently.” LOL! There are many ways in which we are called to be different. Sexuality, however, is the only one you appear to care about.

    “He also doesn’t consider other Christians to be “gullible, uninformed, and easily led.” Don’t look now, Ben, but the majority of people today, Christian or otherwise, are gullible, uninformed, and easily led. It’s a function of the failure of our educational system coupled with the rise of a superficial and highly visual popular culture. My husband always tells me I give people too much credit for knowing what they’re talking about and the older we get, the more I realize how right he is. Insofar as we have the tools to do so we HAVE to be responsible for ferreting out facts for ourselves and not merely taking everyone and his grandmother’s word for it. When we appear before God none of us who had access to God’s word is going to be able to point to Joe Blow and say “Well, he said this was okay…”

  263. In service of myself? I am not the one promoting discrimination and malice here. The fact that I am defending people who are putting up with such things, and not even those who share the same beliefs as me. That makes my POV far more altruistic than your nasty minded stuff.

  264. I don’t need an excuse because I am honest about my position. I don’t feel the need to pretend my views are somehow above reasonable criticism. As if invoking supernatural divine protection from being called out for one’s behavior. 🙂

  265. What you consider your “altruistic” (ROFL) POV is nevertheless worthless within the church if you do not have the means to make your case from scripture. Got anything else on the subject, Christ-hater?

  266. The problem is, you deny that any person other than the sola scriptorum folks, such as yourself, could possibly have any communication with God that disagrees with what you are certain God said once, 2000 years ago. God simply doesn’t talk to anyone, the Holy Spirit does not move anyone, that no other understanding of the bible is possible for anyone…

    Others than you sola scriptorum folks.

    Personally, though, I agree with you that our educational system is going to hell. As trump says, he loves him his misedumacated, low information voters. But then, so do conservative Christians. But I also think that far too many people have been taught by people such as yourself that all answers are to be found in a 2000 year old book, highly edited, redacted, mistranslated, misused, added to, interpolated, and used for every evil purpose. We are told by people like yourself that to question the bible or the church is to question God himself. Conservative Christians do it, fundamentalist Muslims to it, Orthodox Jews do it, Mormons do it.

    So you can just look in the mirror ofr the leaders of the gullible, the uninformed, and the easily led. fundamentalist religion has been inculcating that attitude for 2000 years.

  267. Are you done flinging p00 here?

    Seriously you waste more bandwidth just being nasty than you do making any kind of point relating to a discussion.

  268. So no scriptural case. As usual. Why do you even bother butting in?

  269. Seeing all this pointless arguing, hate and hostility over who claims to speak for their imaginary friend makes me so glad that I walked away from religion in general and the UMC in particular. I can say that there’s nothing wrong with being LGBT and I don’t give a damn what your book of fairy tales says. Oh, and I’m straight. Anybody who doesn’t like what your church stands for is free to just walk away.

  270. It is the same for those who changed what they called god’s word. They could do so because they knew it was not god’s word. Religion is a control, a power group. They adjust it to their needs, subjectively. They cherry pick the bible subjectively. They will denigrate homosexuals because of a paragraph in the bible, when the very same paragraph condemns those who denigrate others. This is subjectively chosen bigotry, and it is hypocrisy, yet another great sin, according to the subjectively written bible.

  271. Tradition is mere dogma. GIGO. Where did you get the idea that I think it is everyone for himself? Is that just a christian slur? True, making new Shaman is silly to me. Vestments do not make the Magic Man. Why yes. Society does need leaders, but not subjectively thinking Dominionists. Christianity went without leaders for decades before the proto-orthodox set up a hierarchy. This is what allowed them to become the catholic church, and seize dominion over the other 200 sects of christians.

  272. Sorry Shawnie, I don’t consider creative proof texting to be worth the time and effort. I am not an dishonest apologist like you.

  273. A little poisoning of the well, Borges? This is so sickeningly typical of the christian refusal to think or to allow others to do so. It is censorship, based on your subjective opinion. You cover my mouth and JP’s ears.

  274. But . . . but . . . . your magic book says Jesus was NOT “God”, but instead a man (“For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus.” 1st Timothy 2:5). So Jesus-God is responsible for the teaching that Jesus-God is not God? Talk about a brain-teaser! (Jesus, a Jew who died 2100 years ago after preaching, incorrectly, that his God’s kingdom was imminent [and who referred to the goyim as swine and dogs] would be horrified were he alive today to find he’s being worshiped as a god by a bunch of tri-theistic pagans).

    And Jesus wrote all the stuff about how I’m supposed to turn my daughter into the elders for stoning if she’s not a virgin on her wedding night?
    And then Jesus recorded all the failed prophecies he made about how the Son of Man would show up during the lives of those then living? And then he made Paul write all that stuff to the Thessalonians about how Jesus would be back immediately and they’d all rise to the clouds to meet him? None of which ever happened?

    Hilarious. As Thomas Jefferson said to John Adams about the pagan religion of christianity, “And the day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter.”

  275. “God simply doesn’t talk to anyone, the Holy Spirit does not move anyone, that no other understanding of the bible is possible for anyone…”

    Sigh…

    Ben, anyone can claim that God is talking to them — mental patients do so quite often. How do we know? “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1.

    How do you test the spirits? Against the whole word of God: “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness…Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and encourage with every form of patient instruction. For the time will come when men will not tolerate sound doctrine, but with itching ears they will gather around themselves teachers to suit their own desires” 2Tim.3:16.

    Even the people that Paul preached to didn’t simply take his word for it but tested him against scripture themselves: “Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11

    And how do we know that the scripture is still a reliable test? “I am the LORD, and I do not change. That is why you descendants of Jacob are not already destroyed. From the days of your fathers [about 2000 years before Malachi] you have turned aside from My statutes and have not kept them. Return to Me, and I will return to you.” Mal.3:6.

    Did I really have to go through all this again? Do you not see that whatever “new revelation” God may give (assuming He gives any) is NOT going to be at odds with what has already been revealed? Not to mention the obvious fact that it is a bit ridiculous for you to be telling everyone how the Holy Spirit does and doesn’t move people when you do not believe in any Holy Spirit in the first place.

    “As trump says, he loves him his misedumacated, low information voters. But then, so to conservative Christians.” And so do libs, particularly of the variety that hang around here. Even you, probably the most intelligent and educated of them, repeatedly paste all this nonsense about the scriptures being “edited” or “mistranslated” without any specifics whatsoever about how this is so. Nothing but vague references to “scholars” (which usually just means Boswell). Rarely do any of you volunteer anything specific in spite of repeated invitations to do so, either because you do not know the specifics of your own arguments (the usual case) or because you know I or someone else will speedily dismantle it once it is posed. So you stay vague and count on the uninformed simply accepting your argument, and unfortunately some do.

    Despite Atheist Max’s limitations, and his annoying propensity to spam, I could at least respect him for openly and honestly repudiating the scriptures instead of taking the coward’s path of twisting and/or rewriting it. Perhaps you could step up to the challenge as well?

  276. So you quote the bible to prove that the bible is correct.

    Sigh.

    So you compare nice, modern. honest, white, educated, middle class heterosexual Christians– did I miss anyone?– to mental patients, but don’t think that there were any similar problems with, let’s say, Paul, who claimed the invisible people talked to him.

    sigh.

    Of course I don’t believe in YOUR holy spirit. But lots of people do, and they are the ones making the claims, not me. I’m just reporting what they are saying. Take it up with them. But in the meantime, you are perfectly willing to take what someone reported that someone may have said 2000 years ago, and swallow it like Jonah. Or should I say, take it as gospel truth?

    sigh.

    People far more qualified than I am– see? I don’t claim to be as expert as you– have pointed out all kinds of problems and questions with authenticity, biblical translations, and all of the other issues about your holy book. No, it’s not just Boswell. but it sure makes you feel better to think so. Martin Luther though Corinthians referred to masturbation, not homosexuality. So it really is a matter of opinion.

    Sigh.

    “”Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11 Who were these Berean Jews? How many were they? Does noble character mean anything, like oh, intelligent or educated? What did they study? What did they compare?

    And on and on and on and on and on and on and on.

    How do you know this was all revealed? You just know it was because you believe it was. How do you know that other people aren’t receiving revelation? Same reason. Mohammed received revelations out the wazoo, direct from god himself, via the angel Gabriel. A billion muslims believe this to be true, far truer than anything Christianity has come up with, and they are willing to kill themselves and everyone around them to prove how sincerely they believe it.

    now that is conviction.

    I’ll say it again, Shawnie. I don’t care what you believe. It’s what you do with those beliefs that I care about. Your dismissal of everyone who doesn’t believe is exactly as you do makes you no better, no more moral, no more holy, no more closer to god to anyone else.

    whether I believe in your god is irrelevant ot the discussion.

  277. As I said, this is just your private opinion. The Church was never without leadership and hierarchy, as is clear from what St. Paul says in Ephesians 4:4-16. As to your saying that Tradition is mere Dogma, it is not clear to me what “mere” dogma is. Dogma is doctrine and doctrine is essential. You can make your private decisions about what counts as Scripture and what counts as valid tradition or authority, but this is just showing your rebellious mindset, the end-result of which will be that you are on your own.

  278. No. You are apparently unfamiliar with scholarship outside of the paid apologist’s domain. That domain is not factual.
    It is not a rebellious mindset, though I do have that! However, skeptical and rational thinking keeps me reading the opinions of scholars on the topic of religion, and I learn from a consensus amongst them. It is not that I accept this data as truth, it is that it is the most plausible explanation. The most enjoyable part of that, is when I can distill all that incoming data, and form ideas of my own. The thing is, I generally try to label my ideas as my own, when I think they are. Sadly, in most cases, I eventually find that someone had the idea before me. When I see someone publish it after me, that brings elation!

  279. “So you quote the bible to prove that the bible is correct.” Got it wrong first rattle out of the box, didn’t you? I didn’t quote the bible to prove the bible is correct. I quoted it to prove your argument is not consistent with the bible. The rest of your rant is simply a demonstration of why you don’t believe the bible. Fine. And. Dandy. Leave it at that, and as far as the church’s internal affairs are concerned — mind your own beeswax.

  280. It is an illusion to think that scholarship is enough to determine what data should be accepted as religious truth. Scholarship is ever-changing. If you have studied for example the history of the interpretation of the NT you should know this. If the Church had gone through all the fads and fashions of scholarship she would never have survived and we wouldn’t even have a Canon of the NT. The strength of the Church has always been in ultimately not relying on biblical scholars and theologians. Although biblical scholars and theologians are necessary to consistently work out the systematics of Christian doctrine in its details, they are unable to determine this doctrine.

  281. Do you have any reading comprehension? What did I say about truth?
    There are no fads or fashions. Scholarship has been too willing to back off of ideas for which they had no conclusive evidence. (Comprehend, CONCLUSIVE evidence!) They certainly had evidence or indications. As more evidence is found, these ideas resurface, to the howls of the apologists, and their label of “Fad”. Remember, an apologist is paid to defend the faith, and signs a contract to do so. Even if he has a PhD, he is a hired gun, not someone who will tell you about what he finds in his studies.

  282. You’ve got all the time in the world to troll religious sites and call people “pieces of filth.” You’d likewise have plenty of time to make a scriptural argument if you had one. And without one, you’re nothing but background noise on this thread. Don’t let the screen door hitcha, Jesus-hater.

  283. I think its time we take a little break from each other. Its not me, its you. I think we need some time apart and figure out our feelings. So I will block you for a week. You don’t seem to have much to discuss right now other than being a curmudgeon. You need a break from bile spewing.

  284. Oh my! How will you ever be able to stand it? Adios.

  285. The point is that faith is not based on scholarship and its “conclusive” evidence. Besides, what is so conclusive for instance in Pauline studies, just to mention a department of NT scholarship? How many different perspectives on St. Paul there have been in the past 50 years only! Each of them is presented as conclusive evidence! This to my mind demonstrates that faith cannot be built on such scholarship. A person cannot outsource his eternal salvation to NT academia.

    The additional problem of your point of view is that it is clearly impossible for lay people to determine what conclusions of professional scholars should be accepted as part of the faith. Don’t you see the idiocy of this? Are all believers to become NT scholars, or are they to entrust their eternal salvation to scholars and university professors?

  286. It matters in that it is highly doubtful you have the maturity and experience enough to know squat about such relationships.

  287. But funny enough the good reverend’s posts are endearing and thoughtful. Yours are lazy hateful sh1t.

  288. Tony Perkins blamed LGBT civil liberties protections for the Orlando shooting. He blames gays for military suicides. He blames gays for Ted cruz’s campaign going down in flames. He blames gays for everything under the sun. Its all out there in a simple web search. Your denial is just dishonest garbage. A hater trying to protect other haters.

  289. If you have a true faith, then why argue with scholarship? Again, you speak of conclusive evidence. I don’t. Scholars don’t. I just explained that in my previous post. Are you merely trolling ignorance? No, they do not have to become scholars. They have to maintain faith. But they do have the chance now to overcome blind faith, and free themselves from these life strangling beliefs. What is eternal salvation, and what is the mechanism to achieve it. Please answer in rational terms.

  290. Wow. It sounds like I really did hit a nerve.

    I’d be happy to mind my own beeswax, Shawnee, if only the church– protestant, Catholic, evangelical, and miscellaneous– would stay out of the internal affairs of people who don’t share their theological views. I have zero objection to people who belong to churches doing whatever those churches tell them think, believe, and do. My objection comes when they say I must do it, too. And I really object when they threaten to hurt me if I don’t do it.

    And as for messing in the church’s purely internal affairs? Well, as already noted, the church doesn’t keep it internal, but tries to use civil law to punish what it sees as sin. But not just any sin. Extra special double-icky Sin. The church uses the sodom story, which has no more to do with homosexuality than it does with the price of a pillar of salt, to proclaim god’s wrath if those people are treated as any thing other than a total threat to society itself. The rest of the words it applies to gay people are just as evilly intentioned. In other words, whatever the bible might say about homosexuality, has been turned into a weapon against gay people. If there are other meanings to those words, and it can be shown that perhaps bigotry has poisoned the well, not God, then I’m all for it.

    But then, I’m not for religious bigotry, or any sort of bigotry. I’ll leave it to Christians to fling the theo-poo at each other as to who understands God best, who is doing what God wants best, whose is the truest True Christian of them all.

    But lest you think I’m only picking on Christians, let’s include all of the rest of the people who claim that the one God only speaks to them, and approves of everything they do. As I have said to you many, many times before, the issue isn’t religion for me. It’s dominionism. And more importantly, dominionism, like its big brother, bigotry, disguised as sincere religious belief, addressed to the lives of a lot of people, much to their detriment: gay people especially, but Jewish people, black people, and women people. But Mormon people, JW people, and a host of others.

    I notice you didn’t really address what I had to say, but merely dismissed the statements as wrong. No real need to, of course. As you have agreed, I’m only here to mislead the people you admit to calling the gullible, the uninformed, and the easily led. I don’t have that low opinion of decent people, but then…

    In any case, they’ll look at what I had to say and what you had to say, and decide which of us represents the Holy Spirit better– the believer or the unbeliever. And isn’t that just a hoot? Strike while the irony is hot, I always say.

    by the way, thanks for the compliment, however left handed it appeared to be.

  291. Set me straight, then. By all means. Tell me how Jesus didn’t issue prophecies that failed. Tell me how Paul didn’t issue prophecies that failed. Explain theodicy to me. Tell me how some fraud pretending to be Peter (Peter was long dead by then) kept trying desperately to come up with excuses for why Paul’s yammerings about the imminent return of Jesus had failed. I’ve always loved that “a second is a century” thing. Close, but no cigar – Jesus said it would happen in the lifetime of some of those then standing. So did Paul. Seconds and minutes and silly excuses are of no avail.

    christians are so silly. A hoot. But silly.

  292. If lay people don’t have to become scholars, and yet they are to maintain faith, as you say, then how are they to know what they have to believe and on what authority? If a person comes to you and asks what is the true faith, what do you answer him?

    How are people able to free themselves from “blind faith” as you call it and “free themselves from these life strangling ideas” if they are not themselves scholars?

  293. 1) A scholar has a good hypothesis about the events of the bible. 2) Scholar presents her idea. 3) Apologists dump on the idea, demanding conclusive evidence. (Which they never have for the validity of the bible) 4) Scholar never claims the evidence she provided is conclusive. 5) Scholar backs off the idea, until she can find more evidence, which may never come.
    A christian can NEVER free herself from blind faith, as long as she remains a christian. Scholarship is not required to find enough indications or evidence to change one’s mind. We each believe due to the educated experts we accept as such, and a personal weighing of what we find. Some accept the apologist’s story. Some require more. Some only require the instructions of their parent. Stop looking for an authority. There is no authority on that which has never been seen. Those who claim to be authorities fight with each other over what they think is conclusive about the bible. You have the authority within yourself to reason it out. But you need data, and you need data from both sides, or in this case, the many sides of the issue.

  294. Christian scholar John Henry Blunt was of the opinion that 1 Corinthians 6 was an admonishment against the fertility cult temple prostitutes, and not homosexuality as privately practiced. He felt the same about 2 Peter 2, and Jude 4:16. This is one of the many ways christians misinterpret their bible to support their own opinions. Blunt pointed out, that not only did christians live in a pagan society, but the Jews had also. This is why the OT constantly reprimands people for going to the groves in the high places. (Asherah poles, and altar, where the cult had prostitutes, male and female.) ( 1 Kings 14:24, 15:12, and 22:46. 2 Kings 23:7. Ezekiel 16:16, and Hosea 4:14) This was a region where the cult of Aphrodite and the Dionysian mysteries had a presence also. They too had prostitutes who entertained in “ritual” context.

  295. “I notice you didn’t really address what I had to say, but merely dismissed the statements as wrong.” I didn’t address most of what you had to say because it isn’t pertinent. You described the reasons why you don’t believe anything in the bible. Fine — it’s entirely up to you whether you find it credible or not. Yet for a UMC the starting point is that it IS credible and we go from there directly to the issue of consistency. Your initial premise makes any argument you attempt to offer irrelevant from the outset.

    “If there are other meanings to those words, and it can be shown that perhaps bigotry has poisoned the well, not God, then I’m all for it.” I’m sure you’re all for it but the problem is, you have “shown” no such thing, nor even attempted to do so. Nor has anyone else.

    For going on two years now I have asked one after another to present their case for why we should embrace same-sex practice in the church. Larry slinks away murmuring excuses about it “not being worth his time” (since he spends all his time here anyway he’d probably produce something if he could). Carrot simply screams “Lies!” and also slinks away. Found One whines about stuff that is supposedly on Wikipedia but which he can’t seem to summarize. Gregory complains that it reminds him of miscegenation (I think it’s the only song he knows). Max replies that Jesus wants to kill everybody. Various and sundry passers-by mention shellfish and then drop out of sight as well. And you, the best of the lot, offer nothing but suggestions about “mistranslations” without ever demonstrating what was mistranslated, how it was mistranslated, how it should be translated and your reasons and scriptural/historical evidence for believing your opinion to be correct. There is absolutely nothing solid here to grab onto. Your arguments are all bombast and no substance. Sorry.

    I’d actually love for someone to produce a reasonable, biblically sound argument for ssm so that the church would have one less headache to deal with and I could in good conscience send a belated congratulations to my old boyfriend from middle school on his ceremony last year. But all have failed, and miserably so. And through it all the warnings of our Lord ring loud and clear: “At that time many will fall away and will betray and hate one another, and many false prophets will arise and mislead many. Because of the multiplication of wickedness, the love of most will grow cold. But the one who perseveres to the end will be saved.” Matt.24:11-12.

  296. One christian sect, the Nicolaitans are called out in the Apocalypse of John for excess in their love feasts, according to church father Ireneaus. One Nicholas was supposedly ordained by the apostles around 33 CE, and feeling freed from the constraints of the OT by Jesus, felt ritual prostitution was OK for his group of christians. Nicholas is mentioned in Acts 6:5. He was later declared a heretic by the proto-orthodox church.

  297. See Nicolaism at Wikipedia, See John Henry Blunt at Wikipedia, also Aphrodite, Asherah, Dionysian Mysteries.

  298. Remember how Moses returned from the mountain, only to find his people who supposedly had just been guided out of Egypt by god himself, celebrating a love feast in honor of the god Ba’al, partner of Asherah, for whom the groves had been built in the high places. Groves were wooden poles, or trees, set up with an altar for worship of Asherah, who may also have had male and female prostitutes.

  299. Bible writers, Jews and christians alike, railed against the temple prostitutes, who were stealing away their congregations. Now time, and editing, and reinterpretations have nearly wiped away the evidence of the real problem of homosexuality being in the temples, not in individuals.

  300. Haste on my part, for which I genuinely apologize; reflexive action. I’m prepared to admit when I have committed a transgression. In this instance, both the haste, and the reflexive response.

  301. This answer is more or less what I expected you would give. It confirms that scholarship is not a foundation for religious faith. ‘Faith’ doesn’t seem to have any substantial meaning for you, since you still don’t explain what is the content of this ‘faith’, i.e. what it is that is to be believed, and with what purpose. What you say is actually completely compatible with Secular Humanism.

    I notice three difficulties in your position: (1) To say that a person has the principle of authority within himself is just self-contradictory nonsense. For to be one’s own authority doesn’t make sense at all; (2) Your ‘scholarly’ opinion remains dependent on Church Tradition, since there would exist no such things as the NT or the Christian faith nowadays if these had not been handed down to us throughout the centuries. Your position is ‘parasitic’ in the sense that it needs Church and Bible as objects of scholarship, and at the same time undermines them; (3) Your viewpoint was never the position of Christianity, from the very beginning until now. So I suppose that you don’t consider yourself to be a Christian.

    Another effect of what you say is to leave the lay Christians helpless and push them into skepticism. For this is the logical consequence of letting the contents of faith depend on parental instruction and educated experts. How are these thing reliable at all? You yourself admit that expert opinion is ever changing:

    “We each believe due to the educated experts we accept as such, and a personal weighing of what we find. Some accept the apologist’s story. Some require more. Some only require the instructions of their parent. Stop looking for an authority. There is no authority on that which has never been seen. Those who claim to be authorities fight with each other over what they think is conclusive about the bible. You have the authority within yourself to reason it out.”

    This quote confirms that I was right when I said that from your viewpoint it is every man for himself, in other words that you are defending ‘religious’ or ‘semi-religious’ individualism, without a binding authority, without any Church or community and without any claim of definitive truth. Historically, this is more like Gnosticism than Christianity. No religion worthy of its name can exist on this basis. It contradicts the very notion of religious faith, which always comes with the claim of truth.

  302. You either believe the Bible is the word of God, preserved through the work of the Holy Spirit, or you don’t. It’s your prerogative.
    That said, if you choose to believe it is the inspired and preserved word of God, and you choose to believe that Jesus is God, then it stands to reason that the words of Scripture are the words of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit alike.

  303. Paul not only condemnation of homosexuality in I Corinthians 6 would include not only temple prostitutes but all forms of homosexual practices. See also Romans 1

  304. There is no evidence in Scripture that it the condemnation of homosexuality was just about temple prostitutes but all acts of homosexuality.

  305. You are the one that is not kosher. Jesus lived in a traditional Jewish cultural and religious setting and did not question the authority of the Torah. He confirmed it in Mt. 5:17-19 and in many other instances. To acknowledge homosexuality would be completely unthinkable for him. And to insinuate this can only be a sick joke.

  306. You are starting to get it, though you certainly are working hard to pigeonhole me where I do not claim to be. Labeling me a secular humanist however, could only be taken as a compliment. Is not faith supposed to be between a person and her god? How could group think enhance the situation. Of course religion is up to the individual. Everything else is just a social club.

  307. Binding authority? Why be in a rush to subjugate yourself?

  308. CLAIM of truth, of course! No evidence, just claims. Christianity and the bible incorporate Gnosticism. Gnosticism was a christian sect.

  309. When I said you were ignoring my point, you spent the whole posting explaining how you were not ignoring my point by ignoring my point.

    So, I think we’re done. Until next time.

  310. Thanks for the rote preaching, which we have all heard ad nauseam. But the question was, what did Jesus say about Gays?

  311. Yes, JP. I understand that bigots feel that way. What I am saying is that they do not have to choose to believe that way.

  312. A proposition is always either true or false. There is no middle ground. Scholars also claim the truth of their propositions. Anyone who is seriously stating or asserting something, implicitly claims the truth of his assertions or statements, even if it is just an opinion. Your very comment I’m now replying to is proof of this.

    Of course you can call Gnosticism a Christian sect. But Gnosticism is not Christianity. It’s anthropology and theology is incompatible with basic Jewish and biblical notions, and philosophically untenable.

  313. Because that’s what religion is.

  314. No, faith is a matter of the community as much as of the individual. And community is one of the core notions in the biblical tradition in its broadest sense, in Judaism as well as Christianity. A private religion is like a private language. Not possible.

  315. I shall put you down as a dissenting opinion, and leave you to it.

  316. I know we are a social species, but I also see indications that christians need the support of others, because they know they are believing in the impossible.

  317. I see you make scripture up as you go along also….more example of Biblical illiteracy. take care.

  318. You really are a lost one; aren’t you?
    2 Peter 3:3 First of all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires. 4“Where is the promise of His coming?” He knew about you.

  319. Since you’ve heard it and have either ignored it (willful ignorance), or haven’t comprehended it, I’m afraid that says nothing good about you.

    So let me put it another way: do you believe the Bible to be inspired and preserved by God? If not, again, that’s your prerogative. However, if you don’t, then even if the Bible recorded Jesus speaking about the subject, you still wouldn’t believe it. Also, if you don’t, I find it strange that you formulate your philosophical and even theological argument on the assumption that Jesus is the authority we defer to when the Bible is the only source we have that would lead to that conclusion and if you don’t believe the Bible to be an authoritative book, how exactly did you come to that conclusion?

  320. Those are enticing questions, but let’s get back to mine. What did Jesus say about Gays?

  321. I have already posited that A) all of the Bible is the inspired word of God, B) God is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit C) The Bible speaks on the issue of homosexuality, therefore, Jesus spoke on the issue of homosexuality.
    I’m beginning to think it isn’t willful after all.

  322. People who tell the truth are not bigots. Liars are,

  323. No, you do not want to take that stance! That same argument can be used for eating shrimp. Deuteronomy 14:9-10. That argument would bring back all of Mosaic Law!

  324. Bigotry can be a log in the eye, preventing one from seeing the truth.

  325. Actually, a firm grasp of hermeneutics shows us a distinct difference between ceremonial law, civil law, and moral law. Do you know what hermeneutics is or are you just making this up as you go?

  326. Highly doubt Charles Wesley would abide these
    nominations.

  327. If it were true that god made his word plainly shown, would he want everyone to know hermeneutics to work out an exegesis? Would it be necessary? No. But it is needed when one attempts to find an explanation which cannot be challenged, such as is done by apologists. Religion is still trying to control the interpretation of the bible.

  328. If history teachers wanted us to understand history, why did they have to make it so complicated with cultural and linguistic context.
    However, if the call of a Christian, like the call of a historian, is to be devoted to the source and context, then it isn’t too much of a stretch for God to expect some understanding of such things.
    This could also be said for the opponent.

  329. Then the bible is not plainly written, god made it difficult. That coincides with his reported misbehavior at the Tower of Babel, so you might be right.

  330. You gotta quit pitching such fat softballs – you quote a letter written by someone pretending to be Peter (Peter was long dead by then) who is trying to figure out and explain why none of Paul’s claims about a dead Jewish guy coming back immediately ever came true. That’s why the mystery writer is forced to say that a lot of Paul’s letters were hard to understand – they were hard to understand because they were WRONG.

    And yet: the guy writing 2 Peter STILL CLAIMS IT’S THE LAST DAYS. THAT WAS 2000 YEARS AGO. Or as the same guy pretending to be Peter (or maybe a different guy; who knows) said in 1st Peter 4:7: “The end of all things is near.” Oops.

  331. I’d be hard pressed to find a scholar who would say the Bible is completely straightforward. It is, after all full of cultural references, allegory, and prophecy. That doesn’t mean that it is entirely obscure or difficult. That’s why we have anthropology and other useful studies. I’m not sure what about this offends you.

  332. It’s just darned odd how you refuse to address the texts. I know why, of course. Here, let me help you:

    “For the Son of Man is going to come in the glory of His Father
    with His angels, and will then repay every man according to his deeds. Truly I say to you, there are some of those who are standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.“ (Matthew 16: 27, 28) OOPS.

    “Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has
    already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near; so, you too, when you see all these things, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place.“ (Matthew 24: 25-34) WRONG AGAIN.

    “Then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great
    power and glory. And then He will send forth the angels, and will gather together His elect from the four winds, from the farthest end of the earth to the farthest end of heaven. Now learn the parable from the fig tree: when its branch has already become tender and puts forth its leaves, you know that summer is near. Even so, you too, when you see these things happening, recognize that He is near, right at the door. Truly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place…“ (Mark 13:26-30). STRIKE THREE.

    “Now these things happened to them as an example, but they were written down for our instruction, on whom the end of the ages has come.” (1 Corinthians 10:11) STRIKE FOUR

    “And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good
    works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but
    encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25) Uh . . THAT WAS 2000 YEARS AGO.

    “Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.” (1 John 2:18) DARNED – WRONG AGAIN . . . . (that nasty ass Jerry Falwell said the antichrist was going to be here in the 1990s).

    “Do not seek a wife. This is what I mean, brothers: the appointed
    time has grown very short. From now on, let those who have wives live as though they had none, and those who mourn as though they were not mourning, and those who rejoice as though they were not rejoicing, and those who buy as though they had no goods, and those who deal with the world as though they had no dealings with it. For the present form of this world is passing away.” (1 Corinthians 7:27,29-31). DRAT . . . . WHIFFED AGAIN.

    “The end of all things is near…” (1 Peter 4:7) UH . . . IN WHAT SPACE TIME CONTINUUM?

    And of course, the famous Paul rant to the Thessalonians, assuring them that the dead Jewish chap was coming back real soon:

    “For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep. For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:15-17). UH . . . . WHAT??????

    So please – tell me how I’m “making it up as a I go along.”

  333. Exactly. The bible was not intended for our culture, our time, or our understanding, and yet those who believe it is a true story, are attempting to regulate the lives of others, based on their particular “understanding”, of that which they do not, and could not, understand.

  334. Maybe you cannot understand it. You seem to think that because something is old, full of cultural references, and written in a foreign language it must be irrelevant. I assure you, you’re world history teacher, all of your English teachers, and Alexandre Dumas (among others) would disagree wholeheartedly.
    But this is all beside the point. I believe you have essentially admitted that you do not believe the Bible to be the inspired and preserved word of God, so, for the sake of your original argument, it is irrelevant that the Bible doesn’t record any words from Jesus directly mentioning homosexuality as, even if it did, you would not believe it. As an outsider looking in, philosophically speaking, you must accept that, to the believer, all the words in the Bible are the words of God and therefore because, to the believer, God is the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, all the words in the Bible can be attributed to Jesus.
    Because your original premise is so shaky, and it appears that that is becoming clear to you, you have switched to arguing the validity and relevancy of the Bible. Since you seem to be so poorly versed in either subject I suggest you refrain from participating in philosophical discussions about them until you have spent some good quality time studying them. A good place to start when it comes to understanding the Bible is to read the Bible. I know, I know, you have “read” the Bible. You’ll understand if I have my doubts.

  335. No, no. I didn’t say irrelevant. It is quite relevant for comparative social studies, history, anthropology, etc. My problem is how relevant it is to those who have taken it upon themselves to demean women and abortion, and the entire LGBTQI group of human beings, based on their skewed view of a book never intended for us. I enjoy reading and learning about the bible, but I feel the same about other ancient religious books and ideas. My primary interest is in how people got to where they are today, and I am interested in all facets of that story. The bible is but one part.

  336. have you ever looked into the origin of the gospel attributed to John? John is where you get the idea that Jesus was the word present at creation, and that is extrapolated to mean he is responsible for every word in the bible, and that it is all true. But the author of John was a Gnostic christian, later declared a heresy.

  337. You have to read the scripture to find it.

  338. The Upanishads are old, full of cultural references, and written in a foreign language. I do not consider them irrelevant. You may be forming opinions much too hastily.

  339. Many believers think they understand, when all they have done was to join the group think. Hermeneutics is partly responsible for this.

  340. Each of the many sects of christianity has it’s own hermeneutics, which is why we have so many different sects today. So it seems to me, hermeneutics is divisive, creates arguments, and is destructive to christianity as a whole. To an outsider, it appears that christians cannot decide what is the true word of their god. Last I checked, there were about 40,000 sects of christianity, all with different beliefs, and each claiming truth. Surely they can withstand one more view; mine.

  341. I see you didn’t take my advice, but wow, how quickly you became interested in anthropology and hermeneutics. Unfortunately, the 15 minutes you spent researching was invested in one of the most widely disputed arguments (community of Johannine Gnostics) against Johannine authorship. Unless you subscribe to Ehrman’s way of thinking (talk about group think), which is a shame because his contextual criticisms are about as substantial as the Gospel of Judas.
    Hermeneutics, as a contextual study, does not claim to have the answers for all things, just as an anthropologist is required to fill in some cultural gaps. The particular issue of Mosaic law, and even more particularly ceremonial law that you brought up is considered by most scholars to be ceremonially and completely fulfilled through Jesus’ death on the cross. The broad theme of Scripture (the corruption of man and redemption only through a work of God) is also generally accepted across the many sects of Christianity.
    But back to your original premise before you started trying to change the subject. You don’t place any belief in the Bible as valid or authoritative therefore, even if we had a recording of Jesus saying something about homosexuality, you would place no authority in such words, mostly, again, either out of willful or negligent ignorance, but perhaps mixed in with subtle, blind prejudice.

  342. Why would you think man is corrupted? Surely, as an adult, you do not accept the Garden story as truth? What is the mechanism by which the torture death of a man, forgives the sin of others? How does a death fulfill (whatever that is supposed to mean) a book? What I would say, if Jesus had addressed homosexuality, is a ridiculous proposition,. It is assuming a non-existent future, just as your religion does. What does it mean to you when Jesus says he came with the sword, and not a jot or tittle of the old law will change until heaven and earth have passed away? Earth is still here, is it not?

  343. Christians tend to discount all of science, because it does not have all the answers. I will not discount your hermeneutics on that same basis, however. It would look so silly.

  344. Of course christianity believes those things. That is part of what is wrong with christianity!

  345. Christians accept, as truth, those things unseen, and then try to regulate the lives of others on that misconception. Many of us are no longer willing to accept that misbehavior on the part of the religious anymore.

  346. So, you can open a Bible and quote some scripture.

  347. Gosh, does anyone on this website know scripture?

  348. It seems clear to me that you only make the claim that Jesus is never recorded as commenting on homosexuality in order to make an open door to demean the validity of the Bible and those who believe it to be the inspired and preserved word of God.
    I see from your other comments you wish to discuss science as well as the political ramifications regarding Christians’ beliefs regarding sin.
    So, at this point I count four different debates you wish to engage in: Whether Jesus said anything regarding homosexuality (I haven’t even touched on the part where the gospels are not an exhaustive recording of his life, words, and works), the validity of the scriptures (that could mean any number of things; maybe try and narrow your focus), science and the Bible (one of my personal favorite subjects as I love science), and politics and Christianity (since I am a libertarian, you will likely find my position quite boring). I am happy to engage in any of these discussions, but only one at a time.
    You choose.

  349. It seems you have no answers for my questions, you just believe without evidence. Is this correct?

  350. Believe what without evidence? I’m not sure which one of your four different debates you are talking about. I believe I’m waiting on you to choose one.

  351. No, Christians don’t believe in impossible things. I have heard that objection many times, but to my mind it is based on a false underlying idea about modern science. I know this objection from earlier debates about the resurrection of Jesus. It is said that the resurrection of Jesus is impossible because it contradicts the laws of nature. The point is that the laws of nature are never absolute, but nothing else but empirical regularities based on experiences in the past. Natural scientist cannot predict anything with absolute certainty, not even that the sun will rise tomorrow.

    If we simply look at the Gospel stories about the resurrection from the perspective of historical testimony, we see a kernel of strong evidence in favour of the resurrection. This historical evidence cannot be played away by dogmatic declarations of scientists that such a thing is impossible. For scientists don’t really know what is possible or not. Only the logically self-contradictory is impossible, but the notion of the resurrection doesn’t include a logical contradiction.

    In reality it is often not natural scientists who are dogmatic here, but theologians and some philosophers, who have adopted a scientistic — to be distinguished from a scientific — position. A good defense of the possibility of the Gospel miracles, including the resurrection, can be found in the work of F.F. Bruce, who was also a fine and erudite biblical scholar. Bishop N.T. Wright is also a good example of a reliable biblical scholar with a penetrating mind in these issues. He affirms the position that a scientist can believe in Jesus’ resurrection. His papers can be found on the web, as also F.F. Bruce’s defense of the reliability of the NT.

  352. Why? Perhaps you would say that it is a shame because you perceive it as something that goes against reason.

    I would answer to this that there’s nothing strange or contrary to reason in accepting testimony on the basis of a reliable authority. Human reason has a domain where by its own activity it is able to operate and discover things. But there’s also a domain to which the mind is open but cannot actively achieve things. It only has the possibility of a passive reception.

    This passive reception is not against reason. For if we philosophically investigate reason, we discover that it is open to all things. The mind has no determinate object. The sensory capacity of sight has a determinate object, which is colour or light, and the sensory capacity of hearing has a determinate object, which is sound. But the mind has no such determinate object but is about all things. There is not a thing in the world or outside it which cannot be an object of thought. Thinking is an activity which excludes a limited object. For if there existed a thing which couldn’t be an object of thought, then this thing would be the object of our though right now!

    So if it is true that the human mind is open to all things, and intends to discover the deepest causes and the ultimate purpose of everything, and yet has a limited capacity of actively grasping them by its own power, it is only reasonable to expect that some things must be accepted passively, on the basis of Divine Revelation. And for this Divine Revelation to be reasonably accepted, it must present itself to us on the basis of reasonable and reliable testimony and authority.

    This duality of the human mind, i.e. its unlimited openness to all being and its limited active capacity, is exactly what is to be expected. A creature can never be actively infinite.

    So the idea that authority is one of the basic principles of religion doesn’t appear as a shame to me at all.

  353. I have read Bruce, Crossan, Borg, etc., but there comes a point in the writing of each, that they make that leap of faith that I cannot make. I can make that bet about tomorrow’s sunrise however. Of course resurrection is logically contradictory, though scientists have recently found that some genes are turned on after death. Possibly because their regulatory genes have died and no longer regulate them, but back to religion… One impossible thing is the broken promise of god in Baruch 2:35 and Genesis 17:7-8. He said he would never remove his people from their land again. When he “signed” the covenant, the only stipulation in Genesis, was that the people circumcise their babies, not obedience. The Hebrews frequently returned to their pagan gods. That is what much of the OT is about. Why would a loving god stop loving his people?

  354. No then? You start four different discussions and when I’m more than willing to discuss one at a time you bail? Perhaps you are just a militant anti-theist blinded by prejudice, preoccupied for some reason with prowling around in search of uneducated Christians. Unfortunately there are plenty out there for you to find.
    I guess I’ll leave “well enough” alone.

  355. You could answer them one at a time, in the order in which they were asked, but you choose to ignore them as they are asked. OK. I understand that there are no reasonable answers. I just want you to see that.

  356. No, because you demonstrate a tendency to chase tangents and rabbit trails and who knows, there might be 16 different ongoing discussions by the time I work through them all. The courteous thing in a debate is to focus on a subject. You haven’t been able to form a reasonable argument regarding Jesus’ comments on homosexuality, so you frantically move onto something different. That’s fine, your prerogative, but if you wish to engage in civilized, reasonable discussion, I will discuss one at a time. Now, would you like to choose one or head back out on the prowl?

  357. As I tried to get through to you, the proper form for you would have been to address them in order. Now I am moving on to the Colarbasian christians, and their leader’s probable origination of the term ‘alpha and omega’ in Revelation. Colarbasus was definitely a numbers man!

  358. You certainly waste a lot of your posts when you could be answering questions. What do you think of the proposition that Colabarus, leader of the Colabarsian christians coined the term ‘alpha and omega’ found in Revelation?

  359. That is not the proper form of debate, but seeing as you think the world and our discussion revolves around you, I can see why you would think it’s okay to make up your own rules. I don’t engage in debates with people who do that, so I’ll say “peace to you” and hopefully you will no longer be negligently ignorant on our original subject for discussion.

  360. Well there is your error. This is not a debate. We were just talking.

  361. My only error was in expecting common courtesy from you. But hey, why would you want to engage in a civil debate when you can keep busting out your so well thought out and thoroughly researched one line attacks on a faith(s) you are obsessively enraged about. Can’t blame you I guess. Wish it wasn’t typical, but I’ve only met a handful of antitheists who were willing to take a moment to discuss a subject without hurling out attacks like they were snowballs in July.

  362. No, really. It doesn’t take that much effort to show that faith is misplaced. But thanx for the compliment!

  363. Congregations in the UMC faithful to the historic interpretation of Scripture should look at the experience of their brothers and sisters from the PCUSA. We have been subjected to an extortion racket where we either 1) stay when conscience bids otherwise, 2) leave all buildings and assets behind (including historic documents), or 3) pay a huge ‘dismissal’ fee, often in the $ millions.

    The theological ‘liberals’ do not practice justice-love, but rather rape and pillage dissenters. You have been warned!

  364. Wow! What you are really saying is that you reject the Bible as being a reliable transmission of God’s word to humanity. I certainly hope you aren’t ordained as a pastor or officer of the Church!

  365. Three questions:

    So, I can commit all the sins I want, as long as I sincerely “repent” my “sins” and “accept Jesus” before I die?

    Does this mean that Jeffrey Damer is in your version of heaven, next to the people he murdered and ate?

    Or are some of his victims in your hell because they did not sincerely “repent” prior to dying?

  366. Well Barry, the Baptist……I think if you are planning to commit all the sins that you can before you sincerely repent, that would be inequity and you would need to repent of that also. Damer – if he sincerely repented, he would be in Heaven.
    Victims – that’s between they and Jesus, but Jesus said “You must be born again to see the Kingdom of Heaven” As a Baptist, I’m surprised you didn’t know that.

  367. He’s not a minister, he was defrocked – though he does carry too much influence in the church and ministers apologize for him and defend him all the time against valid criticism. BTW he just was reported as remarried sometimes over the weekend of August 26. Figures. And is working on a book. lol these guys never learn.

  368. Thank you for your response.

    Does it bother you that you have a quick, simple answer to the second question but not the third one?

  369. Being murdered does not mean the person will go to Heaven. One must be saved to see the Kingdom of Heaven and that Salvation comes through Jesus. You must be born again to see the Kingdom of Heaven. I hope that helps you, and I’ve already answered this. Blessings.

  370. You actually did not answer the question I asked. I asked a question about what your introspection was, if you have any.

    Your second answer (without any biblical justification to back it up) is pretty clear-cut: Damer begs forgiveness, he goes to heaven.

    Your third answer (with some biblical justification to back it up) was, essentially: “I don’t know, that’s up to Jesus.”

    First answer was quick and to the point, but lacks support.

    Second answer has some support, but no discussable conclusion: merely an appeal to an unreachable and vaguely defined authority.

    Because of that appeal to that kind of authority, I am uninterested in what the canned response to such questions is. I am now more interested in your reasoning methodology and introspection, if you’re game.

  371. In response to your question of “Is anybody going to Heaven?” Yes. Those who are born again will go to Heaven.

  372. I’m sorry. I misspoke. Second answer was clear-cut and unsupported, third was vague, but supported.

    Still, that was not what I implicitly asked. What I wanted to hear was your reasoning and introspection.

    I noticed a contrast between your biblically-unsupported, simplistic second answer and your (tenuously) biblically-supported, vague third answer. I don’t care to hear the popular rehash of those answers, but your reasoning, if you care to share.

  373. John 3:3English Standard Version (ESV)

    3 Jesus answered him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again[a] he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

  374. Is that claim relevant? If so, would you elaborate? Also, if you don’t actually care to share your reasoning, please let me know so I can discontinue trying to understand your position

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