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Married lesbian Baptist co-pastors say all are ‘beloved’

The Rev. Maria Swearingen, center left, and the Rev. Sally Sarratt, center right, are welcomed into membership at Calvary Baptist Church by other clergy members during a service on Feb. 26, 2017, in Washington, D.C. The Rev. Erica Lea, pastor in residence, is to the left, and the Rev. Elijah Zehyoue, pastoral resident, is to the right. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

WASHINGTON (RNS) In her sermon on the last Sunday of Black History Month, the Rev. Maria Swearingen preached about her belief that black lives, “queer lives” and immigrant lives matter.

And since it also was Transfiguration Sunday, she pointed to the story in the Gospel of Matthew where God declared Jesus “beloved.” That is a term, she said, that can be used for everyone.

Swearingen stood in the pulpit for the first time as the lesbian co-pastor of Calvary Baptist Church, her wife and fellow co-pastor, the Rev. Sally Sarratt, smiling over her left shoulder as they began their new joint roles.

The Rev. Maria Swearingen delivers a sermon to the Calvary Baptist Church congregation on Feb. 26, 2017, in Washington, D.C. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

“Here we find words that Sally and I will say to you so much you might start calling us a couple of broken-record co-pastors: ‘You are God’s child, the beloved, and with you God is well pleased,’” she preached to the congregation of about 140 people — mostly white millennials and a few babies and seniors.

The arrival of Swearingen, 31, and Sarratt, 42, is not a first for American churches, but experts say it’s rare in Baptist life. (Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C., has a married lesbian senior pastor but she and her wife do not co-pastor the church.) Conservative Christians have criticized the couple’s arrival at the historic church near Washington’s colorful Chinatown gate, while progressives have cheered it.

Raised in Southern Baptist households, at one point in their lives they thought the best path for ministry might be to become pastor’s wives.

“The spirit works in mysterious ways,” said Swearingen.

Sarratt recalled that when she was discerning her call to ministry a mentor told her, “You may do something that doesn’t even exist at this point in time.”

In fact, they are women clergy among Baptists, who often do not ordain women pastors, let alone LGBT pastors who are legally married.

Troy Perry, founder of the LGBT-friendly Metropolitan Community Churches, called their appointment “utterly unprecedented and historical,” especially in Baptist churches. Leaders of his denomination, where a majority of the clergy are gay or lesbian, say at least one married lesbian co-pastor couple in the MCC dates to the 1990s.

The United Church of Christ cited a similar couple that has co-pastored a Brooklyn, N.Y., church for the last decade.

But Calvary officials say it was their skills, not their sexuality, that led to the hiring of their new co-pastors.

Swearingen, a former associate chaplain at Furman University in Greenville, S.C., will focus on worship planning and social justice activities.

Sarratt, formerly an associate chaplain for behavioral health for the Greenville Health System and part-time associate minister at Greenville Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, will concentrate on church administration. She holds an MBA and experience in the corporate world.


RELATED: Gay couple will pastor historic church in Washington


On the weekend of President Trump’s inauguration, before the co-pastors arrived at their new offices, two conservative Christians entered the church before the worship service and declared the church was “an abomination.”

Southern Baptist Theological Seminary President R. Albert Mohler said in a podcast that the joint appointment reflects the “trajectory of American Protestant liberalism.” He suggested the church should be disfellowshipped from the District of Columbia Baptist Convention, an association with which the church and the Southern Baptist Convention are aligned.

Calvary Baptist Church in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 26, 2017. RNS photo by Adelle M. Banks

Calvary Baptist, a 155-year-old congregation founded by abolitionists, severed ties with the SBC in 2012 over several issues, including the denomination’s stance against homosexuality.

But the Rev. Robert Cochran, the executive director of the regional Baptist association, told Baptist Press it has no plans to part with the congregation.

“To the best of my knowledge, the D.C. Baptist Convention, due to its respect for local congregational autonomy, has never withdrawn fellowship from any congregation,” he said.

The Rev. Mike Castle, president of the progressive Alliance of Baptists, with which Calvary is aligned, praised the church, saying, “Following in the way of Jesus is often counter-cultural.”

Sarratt and Swearingen lump the negative reactions they’ve received under the term “fan mail” and say they try to move on from them quickly.

“Certainly we’ve been encouraged by the positive and as best as possible have tried to sift through and not particularly engage the negative,” said Sarratt.

The couple arrived at the church after interim clergy, including a transgender pastor, took the place of the Rev. Amy Butler, who left in 2014 to lead The Riverside Church, a prominent New York congregation. Shortly before they started their new jobs, Calvary Baptist declared itself a sanctuary church to aid immigrants and refugees.


RELATED: Historic Riverside Church recommends first woman as senior minister


“We know that they have the call,” said Eugenia Reyes, the representative of the Latino community on the ministerial selection committee. “Right now in this society we need not only someone who has the call from God to preach but also someone who is sensitive of all the political, religious issues.”

Swearingen, who grew up with a Puerto Rican mother and a father fluent in Spanish, made a point of preaching part of her sermon in Spanish, including her emphasis that everyone fits under the banner of “beloved.”

Sarratt has a working knowledge of Spanish and said she hopes to build on those skills.

Karen Rice, a bisexual member who joined Calvary a year and a half ago, sees a link between the church’s outreach to Latinos and its welcome of LGBT clergy and members.

“We are all interconnected,” she said. “I do see that as a piece of taking Jesus seriously, caring for the least of these.”

Swearingen and Sarratt were ordained in 2015 and married three times — privately, publicly on a North Carolina farm where a rainbow appeared and, most recently, legally at Furman’s chapel in 2014. They say they are ready to minister to everyone, from the urban community around Calvary to the LGBT people who enter their doors.

As she was making her way through the labyrinth-like building before the recent worship service, Swearingen ran into a visitor, a mother of a trans child.

Choking up, the parent told her, “I just can’t tell you what this moment means and what a hire like this means and that there would be a church that would do this,” the co-pastor recalled of the conversation.

“We hugged each other there in the hallway and I said, ‘You’re making our space sacred today,’” she told the newcomer. “It was kind of this really grounding moment — like, yeah, that’s what we’re doing.”

About the author

Adelle M. Banks

Adelle M. Banks, production editor and a national reporter, joined RNS in 1995. An award-winning journalist, she previously was the religion reporter at the Orlando Sentinel and a reporter at The Providence Journal and newspapers in the upstate New York communities of Syracuse and Binghamton.

128 Comments

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  • Leviticus 18:22 – 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.
    Leviticus 20:13 – If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.
    Christ called homosexuality a sin and that has never changed. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever Heb 13:8.
    Christ turned these women over to a reprobate mind to do that which is not good. Romans 1:28. By their actions they are endorsing wickedness – a rebellion against Christ and His love.
    Christ felt that sin was serious enough to die for – these women obviously do not agree with that.

    Ezekiel 3:18-19English Standard Version (ESV)
    18 If I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ and you give him no warning, nor speak to warn the wicked from his wicked way, in order to save his life, that wicked person shall die for[a] his iniquity, but his blood I will require at your hand. 19 But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.

  • Your Bible is nothing more than the words of delusional and/or fraudulent men claiming to speak for a god. And then later, after people cherry-picked the writings to be included in the Bible, it became labeled as “Scripture” in an effort to elevate its perception above the level of ordinary writings, and to convey the illusion of it being the supreme source of authority.

    Nothing in the Bible interpreted as opposition to homosexuality can survive a test in the light of reason and evidence for concluding it is immoral. People are finally realizing that the existence of homosexuality causes no harm whatsoever to anyone, and thus it is not immoral despite the views of people still clinging to the writings of ignorant/bigoted ancient writers.

    The earth and humanity would benefit by more homosexuality and less heterosexuality because 1) it would reduce the vast number of unwanted/unintended pregnancies, and 2) it would provide more adoptive parents to care for the unwanted/unintended children still being produced, and 3) it would reduce the number of abortions. Therefore, the Bible should be ignored on the issue of homosexuality because the assertions contained in it have no basis in rational thinking and evidence.

    And furthermore, advocating the full social acceptance of gay people strengthens family bonds, and thus it is the authentic pro-family position. It is the anti-gay crowd who are actually anti-family by doing everything they can to tear families apart.

  • homosexuality is a sin. Science may catch up to the wisdom of Christ one day and understand that and the harm it does. Until then, Christ reigns and homosexuality hurts people. Christ said He would cleanse and forgive us of our sin if we repent of them.

  • Hmmm…why not join the American Baptist Churches USA, if one has left the Southern Baptist Convention?

  • Apparently the most recent statement (2005) of the ABC-USA General Board, is that American Baptists …
    “…submit to the teaching of Scripture, that God’s design for sexual intimacy places it within the context of marriage between one man and one woman, and acknowledge that the practice of homosexuality is incompatible with Biblical teaching.”

    So that would probably discourage them from hooking up with the ABC-USA.

  • Richard Rush
    Romans 1:21- 32, | KJV

    21 Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. 22 Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, 23 And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. 24 Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. 26 For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: 27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. 28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful: 32 Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

  • Sorry, but it reads as a condemnation of heterosexuals engaging in homosexual activity in service to idolatrous practices– which is what the whole passage is about. Followed by a warning to not be a bad person.

    All of which has been twisted and perverted by antigay bigotry disguised as sincere religious belief into a condemnation of naturally gay people, who aren’t bothering anyone, unlike those people who are ” filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness, full of NV, murder, debate, deceit, malignity, whispers backbiters haters of God to spiteful, proud, posters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents.” doesn’t sound like me or anyone I know, but it does sound a great deal like some of the people who post on these very pages.

    Interesting that you also included 31 and 32– something Bible quotes usually leave out, given how inconvenient it is to have a finger pointed at gay people for our alleged “sin”, but STILL to have four fingers pointing right back at the accuser.

  • Pride is the first of the seven deadly sins. “O you wicked and perverse generation.” Deacon Vince

  • It’s hard to argue with anything that gives right-wingers conniption fits, and I’ll bet that a few prolific RNS commenters just about chewed through their tongues when they saw that headline. But let’s remember that Christianity is historically an anti-LGBT hate group. Rather than working to make a hate group more inclusive, why not, you know, OPPOSE the hate group?

    At the end of the day, we don’t need a kinder, more inclusive Christianity. We need a neutered, marginalized, powerless Christianity. Instead of equipping Christianity for the future, let’s agree to leave it in the past. Amen!

  • And the troll has arrived. Go away Sandimonious Queen of Mean. Take your hate elsewhere.

  • How wonderful for those pastors, women, LBTG folks, that church and the family of god.

    “they thought the best path for ministry might be to become pastor’s wives.” How ironic, since that’s exactly what they’ve become, and pastors too.
    “You’re making our space sacred today.” Yes indeed.

  • Not really Her. For all the people they will be directing to death and perdition…..it won’t be good for them.

  • I think that’s a good illustration for a “throw the baby out with the bathwater” metaphor.

  • Homosexuality is not about love, it is about sex, and the Bible is clear on the subject

  • Samuel, thanks for posting that excerpt from the Bible. It’s one of many great examples which help illustrate the validity of my previous comment.

  • Religiously inspired homobigotry is not about love, and certainly not about the Bible, but about using your bible as an excuse to beat on people you clearly don’t know, know nothing about, who have done you and intended you no harm, but who clearly bother you so much that you will be happy to make fact free statements to revile and slander them with this nonsense.

    The Bible is certainly clear about that, too. But whenever the Bible says something that is inconvenient, Good Christians (TM) will simply pretend that it doesn’t apply to them.

  • I’ll begin my answer with the following:

    I care about them because they have been lied to enough by so-called alliances, and “churches” and “pastors” who do not work for the Lord. I think there are some genuine, caring people who need to be helped, not pushed into a corner and told they are what they are and it cannot be changed.

    I believe that the Lord loves these people, as much as He loves me and that He wants the best for them that He can give them and that they are being held back by the people who manipulate and lie to them and on top of that, earn a living on these people. Homosexuality has become big business and homosexuals are being manipulated in that direction also – eg – the Burger King’s “Proud Wopper”…..McDonalds is as of the Super Bowl is introducing a new slogan – “love, not hate”. Aside from that there are the so-called people who are supposed to be helping the homosexual, making lots, and lots, of money from donations – GLAAD, and I can name several in Canada. Homosexuality has become big business.

    I fear for mere children who at this point in time are being “socialized” to believe that homosexuality is good and normal and are being dragged down into this festering rat race.

    Now there the homosexual is, being lied to by their peers, by businesses and by some “churches”, and no one is really caring that these people get to Heaven and don’t rot in Hell.

    Jesus said homosexuality is a sin and unless these people repent of their sin – like every other Christian has done, they are going to Hell and I don’t want to see that. I’m tired of watching the world abusing homosexuals. And that becomes my focus more and more every day.

  • Sodom and Gomorrah had no more to do with homosexuality than they do with the price of a pillar of salt.
    Perhaps you should repent of your judgment of others, sinner girl.

  • “I’m tired of watching the world abusing homosexuals. And that becomes my focus more and more every day.”
    No you are not. You do it every day, and glory in it.

  • No, but I do glory in the fact that God’s word is being read by people like you Ben.

  • Read and ignored, as it would be by any self-respecting and decent human being.
    Your version of god is nothing I want anything to do with.

  • First, Christ did not directly say homosexuality is a sin. It isn’t there in Mark, Matthew, Luke or John. If it was really important, a high priority sin, there should be a saying, healing or parable recorded.

    Second, If you really cared about gay people, then you should be pleased that some go to church. And as a Christian, you need to trust that God will speak to their heart. And that it will be between them and God, not them and Sandi speaking on behalf of God.

    Third, your assertion about making big money is just silliness. A mountain out of a molehill.

    However, I am glad that you are worried about the world abusing homosexuals. If that is your focus, may I suggest that you support the Rainbow Railroad http://rainbowrailroad.ca/ if you don’t already.

  • Christ defined marriage between one man and one woman in Matthew 19:4-6, quoting Genesis and standing by the law.

    That’s final and accurate.

    Also, there were no open homosexuals, homosexual marriage and justifying such evil.

    Jesus confirmed God was just to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah.

    Case closed!

  • The men of Sodom and Gomorrah wanted to perform homosexual gang rape on the two angels disguised as men.

    And the angels blinded them all.

    Ezekiel 16:49-50 declares, “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. They were haughty and did detestable things before me…” The Hebrew word translated “detestable” refers to something that is morally disgusting and is the exact same word used in Leviticus 18:22 that refers to homosexuality as an “abomination.”

    Finally, Jude 7 declares, “…Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion.” A direct link to homosexuality.

  • Quoting sandimonious:

    Yawwwwwwnnnnnnnnnnn!

    Actually, I’ll give you a bit more.

    Nothing in the sodom story about homosexuality, unless you want to see it there. And of course you do.

    Matthew? A question about divorce. Heterosexual divorce. Nothing about gay people.

    Matthew again? Proof texting is what you people do.

    Evil? My marriage is evil , according to you. Homohatred, especially homobigotry disguised, however badly, as sincere religious belief? Also very evil. So we’re even. Except that my marriage isn’t evil and harms no one. It simply offends you. Too effin’ bad.

    Case closed.

  • Point one. So if it was heterosexual rape, that would have been ok? Amazing how you can conflate rape with gay people. No, it’s really not. It’s your choice.

    Point 2: it’s an abomination to eat shrimp. So much for that. Same word.

    Point 3: virtually every biblical scholar in the world says it’s about angelic flesh.

    Point 4: another so called Christian seeking to justify his bigotry with the word o’ god.

  • “nothing in the Sodom.story about homosexuality” except every male was a homosexual sinning before God.

    It was so terrible, the term sodomy comes from this ancient city.

    Your logic fail is extremely laughable.

  • You do realize that Christ is God? You do realize that He was speaking in Genesis 1:26? You do realize that He is the Word of God that was spoken to Moses? You do realize that the Bible is the Word of God?
    Christ also spoke on homosexuality in Matthew and the Book of Revelation.

    Matthew 15:19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.20 These are what defile you.

    Revelation 2:20 International Standard Version (ISV)

    20 But I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet and who teaches and leads my servants to practice immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.

    Revelation 21:8 ESV

    But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

    Revelation 22: 14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

    I have no difficulty with homosexuals going to church. When they have renounced their sin, and become Christians, they should join the church.

    Check out the income tax records for EGale and see how much money they make.
    My concern for homosexuals is that they know they are sinning so Christ can help them. My heart is to see them renounce their sin and have a relationship with Jesus, which isn’t possible until they renounce their sin.
    Blessings to you Linda.

  • Also mattie – they asked the men to come out and have sex with them using the same term used between Adam and Even, and when refused, tried to resort to rape. Now we know Adam didn’t rape Eve, so the rape was the second attempt to have sex with them.

  • Glad to hear it. If Jesus existed, he lived during an era when he and everyone else had little more than ignorance to work with, so “recording my comments for future reference” seems to indicate some respect is finally being shown for thinking that includes reason, evidence, and logic.

  • More people should defy the Bible and God like this on humanitarian grounds. We are already defying God by outlawing slavery, the killing of people that pick up sticks on Sunday and the burning of witches.

    Probably better to kick God to the curb and get on with a good life instead of continuing Biblical hatred and prejudice.

  • Agreed. There is no love involved in sending the one you have sex with to death and perdition.

  • Sandy, I spent considerable time thinking about what you wrote. I would partially agree with your first question but not fully and not at all with the following 3 questions.

    To say that Jesus is the Word of God i am assuming that you are relying on John 1. There, Word comes from the word ‘Logos’ which John 1 also defines in describing Christ. But Logos has nothing to do with a written record – ie the Bible. It has a different meaning than Scripture – original word ‘Graphey’ – and which is referred to as being God-Breathed but not God’s word. Also sexual immorality is porneia – again you have added additional meaning to the original.

  • 2 Timothy 3: 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
    John 1 – ” 1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.”

    Holman Bible Dictionary; on “immorality”:

In Paul’s letters, porneia and/or related words refer to an incestuous relationship ( 1 Corinthians 5:1 ), sexual relations with a prostitute (1 Corinthians 6:12-20 ), and various forms of unchastity both heterosexual and homosexual (Romans 1:29; 1 Corinthians 5:9-11; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11; 1 Corinthians 7:2; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Ephesians 5:3; 1 Thessalonians 4:3 ). Immorality is a sin against God (1 Corinthians 3:16-17; 1 Corinthians 6:15-20; 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 ). In the Gospels, the term, on occasion, is related to adultery (Matthew 5:32; Matthew 19:9 ) and in Revelation may refer to harlotry or prostitution (Revelation 2:14 ,Revelation 2:14,2:20 ). “


    “…A closer look must now be taken at the regulations governing sexuality. In Leviticus18:6-23, the matter is approached by the use of denunciations to describe immoral behavior. These fall into two groups, one dealing with carnal associations among people closely related by blood (consanguinity), and the other governing the sexual behavior of persons related through marriage (affinity). Accordingly a m an is prohibited from copulating with his mother or any other wife belonging to his father; a sister o rhalf-sister, a daughter-in-law or a granddaughter, an aunt on either side of the family, a woman and her daughter or her son’s daughter or daughter’s daughter, a wife’s sister as a rival wife, a neighbor’s wife, and a woman during the menses. Homosexuality is castigated as reprehensible morally, and bestiality is condemned summarily. Everything forbidden had already led to the moral defilement of the nations surrounding Israel, and for these perversions they are to fall under divine judgment (v. 24)…..”Baker’s Evangelical Dictionary of Theology

    I’m on God’s side and I relate His truth.

  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1-ip47WYWc The best part is when Sam comes over and takes the crab puff off her plate. The eating of shell fish is an abomination to God, so Sam just saved her an eternity in hell. If you want to create your own bible by picking and choosing, then don’t claim you believe the bible “except .. and except … and except… and except …” and don’t come onto the comments section and spew your ignorant, personal and moronic interpretations to justify your unloving and judgmental attitudes toward others. You are always going to encounter people who have spent more real time studying their bibles who will smack you down.

  • I will give you E for effort – breathed out by God? in some versions perhaps – NIV is God-Breathed and KJV is given by the inspiration of God.

    Logos – Campbell’s discussion In A Theological Word Book of the Bible as to “the Prologue of the Gospel of John (I.1,14) ‘Word’ is an inadequate and possibly misleading translation of logos, though it is difficult to find a better. Here the Logos is an eternal divine Person, through whom in the beginning everything was made, and he is identified with the eternal Son of God who became incarnate as Jesus Christ. The evangelist seems to assume that his readers are familiar with this conception of the personal, divine Logos, a conception which is of Greek origin. ….. Paul calls Christ ‘the wisdom of God’ (1 Corinthians 1:24; cf. 1:30, Colossians 2:2f.) and ‘the first-born of all creation,’ in whom ‘all things were created.’ (Colossians 1:15ff.); it was therefore easy for the fourth evangelist to take the further step of identifying him with the Logos of contemporary Greek and Jewish thought.”

    The Matthew 15:19 quote is only porneia – not the and/or related words.

    And why Leviticus? Given Acts 15 v 19- 20, Acts 21v 25 – required rules for Gentiles to adhere to set out. This was a parsing of the rules required for the righteous Gentile under Noahide law to be beloved of God. The generally accepted list consisted of seven items, with respect to: 1) idolatry; 2) blasphemy; 3) homicide; 4) incest and adultery; 5) robbery; 6) eating the flesh of a live creature; 7) establishing a system of justice.

  • What a beautiful story of hope, grace, and love. May these stories continue to flood in and may the Church continue to embrace Spirit-empowered leaders like Maria and Sally!

  • You cannot seem to look beyond “logos” to “God”? You can’t see that far Linda? Re-read John 1:1-10.
    I sufficiently explained porneia to you. You should have been able to understand it, if you had read it.
    The morality laws in Leviticus stands. Christ came to fulfill the law, not abolish it.
    Also, you do realize that homosexuality is idolatry, eh?
    I gave you Matthew because you needed to be shown that immorality is unacceptable by Christ in the New Testament also. You had requested such.
    With the list you have given, you’ve forgotten bestiality which was also in Leviticus.

  • Jews defied jesus, and he said as much in john.
    2000 years of Christian jew hatred, based on the inconvenient fact that he couldn’t make his case to them.
    You know what’s sad? Deliberate obtuseness. but then, dear, we’re talking aobut you.

  • The church does not endorse them, Lindsay. The church condemns them.
    Galatians 1:8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. 9 As we have said before, so now I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one you received, let him be accursed.

    10 For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant[b] of Christ.

    Jude 1:4 – 4 For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ.

    .2 Thessalonians 3:6: “Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you keep away from every brother who leads an unruly life and not according to the tradition which you received from us;”

  • crab fish was a civil law – not a moral law. The moral laws were brought into the NT by Christ.

  • pitiful. The amount of people who will die because of these woman is incredible. Shameful.

  • No need to be afraid. Jesus came to save you and love you. It is you who has turned Him into a tyrant. He loves you Ben.

  • Sorry you think this. I can throw Scripture around too, friend, especially since a lot of it has been thrown at me for wanting to be a leader in the Church. I’m gonna support and love the LGBTQ+ community in the meantime and trust Jesus would, too. You might as well take this type of discussion elsewhere, because I honestly don’t have the energy or care to engage in it.

  • Linda, who told you that 4) includes only incest and adultery? Maimonides told us that sexual immorality in a Noahide sense includes six varieties of sexual behavior.

  • He was 12th century.

    Acts shortens the list to 3 requirements for Gentiles. My point was that there was lesser requirements even in the early Jewish requirements for Foreigners/Gentiles to be regarded as Righteous before God. Paul asked for the Gentiles to only adhere to 3 of these in order to be members of the new church communities.

  • I suppose you can now toss the term “Baptist” onto the scrap heap of terms like Fundamentalist, Evangelical even Christian that no longer carry any relevant meaning.

  • First of all, you are not supporting homosexuals in any respect if you are endorsing their sin. Why do you want to hurt them so? You should know the scriptures if you have been truthful about being “a leader in a church”. You should know that Christ has condemned them to Hell if they persist in their sin. Endorsing them in their sin is not love.
    I showed you the warning for abusing scripture, which you are doing if you are endorsing homosexuality. You are now responsible for yourself.

  • It doesn’t matter if he was 12th century. It’s the same stuff referenced by the Midrash Rabbah Genesis and the Babylonian Talmud, both committed to writing during the early Christian era and which oral tradition Jesus certainly knew. And you haven’t said who told you that all the available ancient commentary was wrong about this.

    It wasn’t Paul but the Jerusalem Church which re-affirmed the Noahide standard, and Acts doesn’t actually shorten the requirements — what it doesn’t mention is covered by the law of love for neighbor. The law against sexual immorality is more about sin against self and against the design of the Creator — and therefore mentioned specifically.

  • Thanks for this. I get a bit irritated I must confess when I read/hear experience Bible verses being thrown like stones back and forth like missiles. And I’m sure it gives those of our brethren who consider same gender marriages as ‘sin’ some satisfaction at showing off how well they know the Bible. Very well. From my own experience of people in committed, loving, same gender relationships they are living out the truth of their love for each other. And that’s really it. Nothing more complex or sinister. But I do know of people in our extended family circle who, having been married and had children came to a place where they had to confront their deceit, divorced and now find themselves reborn as it were in a same gender relationship. In every case these folk grew up in the Southern Baptist tradition. These women, pastors, are living out the truth of their love before God. They are blessed in their love and will bring blessings for those to whom they minister. We hold them ever in the Light. Oh how I wish so much time, energy and knowledge of scripture were spent on the abomination that greed and exploitation of the poor we see around us. A much greater scourge than the love between two people of the same gender. But perhaps another time.

  • There is no glory in people rushing into Hell. It is sad and tragic that the people in this story defy God. They still have life in the flesh so there is still time for them to repent and turn to the true Jesus Christ.

  • Personally,I think it is sad and tragic that YOU think that YOU are qualified to decide who goes to heaven and who goes to hell, based upon YOUR understanding of what YOU think YOUR book says.

    I think it is sad and tragic that YOUR idea of god loves us so much that he sends us to burn in hell for eternity for being the way he made us, for being less than perfect human beings, for his failure to get the message out to the 2/3 of the world that rightly thinks the Christian story is nonsense– not that their ideas are all that much better, but at least not so barbaric.

    I think it is sad and tragic that YOU think YOUR god is as small minded as YOU and YOUR fellow travelers are.

    I think it is sad and tragic that you claim your religion is based on love, when it is based on fear, on “believe or burn.”

    I think it is sad and tragic that YOU think YOU are qualified to look at any other Soul on the planet and decide what their relationship with god is, whether god thinks as little of them as YOU do, despite your founder’s clearly expressed order that you do nothing of the sort.

    But then, I’m an atheist, and have seen for nearly 50 years what faith ofyour sort accomplishes.

    I’m not impressed.

  • He’s not a tyrant in my life, dear. Believe or burn is what you are selling.

    The only tyrants in my life are people like you, who use their bibles as weapons against other people, and then pretend it is all about love.

    Well, you are not actually tyrants, just wannabes. I’ve been ignoring you happily for 45 years.

  • 45 years too long – and all of the things you could have done to help the Lord, rather than blaming it on other people. I see I’m not the only one you complain about. Your hate is going to place you exactly where you don’t want to go.

  • Sandi, Sandi, sandimonious Sandi. Must you really twist everything I say? Lying comes so easily to you, it seems like you must be Satan,s little sister.

    Oh, yes. It’s you. You must.

  • awww thank you for the blessing again this morning Ben.
    Matthew 5:11 – 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

  • No, Sodom and Gomorrah was about failure to provide for the poor and needy, and inhospitality. Jesus, whom you seem so fond of misquoting, states that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was in hospitality. “Case closed!”

  • Jesus’ response in Matthew was to a specific question, put to him in an attempt to entrap him…again…nada to do with marriage equality. Case Closed!

  • Of course He did. You know that Christ is the God. You know the Bible is the Word of God? Hence, everything said about homosexuality, Christ said.

  • I hope you read this Ben:

    MORNING MANNA by David Stone
    “A TREASURE TROVE”

    Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy
    name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who
    forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who
    redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with
    lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good
    things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s – Psalms 103:1-5

    What an enumeration of divine blessings is this!

    Any one of them is worth more than all earth’s treasures combined!

    If we are not forgiven—we must lie forever under the burden of sin, a
    weight greater than all the Alps! But God forgives—and forgives all our
    sins—and forgives freely, fully and forever!

    If we are not
    healed—we must be sick forever, sick with the plague and leprosy of sin!
    But God heals—and heals all our evils, and heals completely!

    If we are not saved from the dangers of this ensnaring world—we never can
    reach heaven! But God keeps, rescues, and saves our life from all
    impending destructions!

    Earth’s crowns are made of thorns, and at the best are only what the children call, ‘play-crowns’, for they are but of leaves that wither, or of gold and gems that will not last. But God crowns His people with crowns of love and compassion, which are real and radiant, which shall never fade—but shall shine forever, becoming crowns of eternal life and glory in heaven!

    This world cannot satisfy our heart’s deepest cravings. Its possessions only make our hunger more intense! But God satisfies the souls of His people, and
    meets all their cravings and hungers—with truly good and eternal
    realities!– J. R. Miller

  • And please read this Ben:

    Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    This is Sha’ul’s (the Apostle Paul ) classic expression of the idea that the only place you can work your way to is hell; no one can work his way to heaven. To reach heaven one must acknowledge the futility of striving in one’s own strength and accept God’s free gift of eternal life as being offered in union with the Messiah Yeshua our Lord by his grace when one responds with faith or trust.

  • In the entirety of the Gospels there is no comment by Jesus about homosexuality. It is a little difficult to say Jesus brought it from the Old Testament to the New Testament WHEN HE DID NOT (ever) SAY ANYTHING (not a word) ABOUT IT. You know, if you keep putting YOUR values in Jesus mouth, pretty soon you will have your own bible and you will not have to pay any attention to the rest of the words of Jesus at all. In the whole bible there are six passages about homosexuality which we can argue over how they may or may not be applied. There are over 3000 verses about the poor, the widows and orphans, the prisoners, the foreigners, where in many cases Jesus is urging charity and compassion for the lesser of these. Maybe when you spend as much time worrying about “the least among you” people will begin to think you are acting like a Christian rather than acting and sounding like someone who rejects the one you claim to follow: You know, the one who commands you to love your neighbor!!! A few years ago the Pew Center surveyed young people from 15-25 and asked what was the one image you have of the Christian Church in the USA. The survey reported the number one answer with 26% of young people responding; not Jesus saves, not God loves you, not you are forgiven, hot grace, not love your neighbor, not John 3:16 or even do onto others. The number one answer from young people is: GOD HATES FAGS. Congratulations!! You have turned the Good News Of Jesus Christ into a HATE SLOGAN!!! You fail Jesus, the bible you claim you read, and the Church you pretend to represent. What was it Jesus said, “Begone from me, you sinners, I do not know you!!”

    Matthew 25:31-46 New International Version (NIV)

    The Sheep and the Goats
    31 “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his glorious throne. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. 33 He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left.

    34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

    37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’

    40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

    41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. 42 For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

    44 “They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

    45 “He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

    46 “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.”

    But those are just the words of Jesus so why should you care????????

  • This is some of what Jesus said about homosexuality:

    Deuteronomy 29: 22 And the next generation, your children who rise up after you, and the foreigner who comes from a far land, will say, when they see the afflictions of that land and the sicknesses with which the Lord has made it sick— 23 the whole land burned out with brimstone and salt, nothing sown and nothing growing, where no plant can sprout, an overthrow like that of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, which the Lord overthrew in his anger and wrath— 24 all the nations will say, ‘Why has the Lord done thus to this land? What caused the heat of this great anger?’ 25 Then people will say, ‘It is because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt,

    Ephesians 5:5 – For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.

    Ephesians 5:5For you may be sure of this, that everyone who is sexually immoral or impure, or who is covetous (that is, an idolater), has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7Therefore do not become partners with them; 8for at one time you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light 9(for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), 10and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. 11Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. 12For it is shameful even to speak of the things that they do in secret.

    Matthew 5:17New King James Version (NKJV)

    17 “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.

    Genesis 2:24 – Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. –

    Deuteronomy 25:5 “If brothers dwell together, and one of them dies and has no son, the wife of the dead man shall not be married outside the family to a stranger. Her husband’s brother shall go in to her and take her as his wife and perform the duty of a husband’s brother to her. 6 And the first son whom she bears shall succeed to the name of his dead brother, that his name may not be blotted out of Israel. (It is always male and female)

    Isaiah 3:9 – The look on their countenance witnesses against them,

    And they declare their sin as Sodom;

    They do not hide it.

    Woe to their soul!

    For they have brought evil upon themselves.

    Jeremiah 23:14English Standard Version (ESV)

    14

    But in the prophets of Jerusalem

    I have seen a horrible thing:

    they commit adultery and walk in lies;

    they strengthen the hands of evildoers,

    so that no one turns from his evil;

    all of them have become like Sodom to me,

    and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.”

    Leviticus 18:22 – 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.

    Leviticus 20:13 – If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.

    Matthew 19:4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    Acts 15:19-20New International Version (NIV)

    19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood.

    1 Kings 14:24 New International Version (NIV)

    24 There were even male shrine prostitutes in the land; the people engaged in all the detestable practices of the nations the LORD had driven out before the Israelites. – what do male prostitutes do? Abominations.

    1 Corinthians 6:9-11English Standard Version (ESV)

    9 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, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 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.

    1 Corinthians 6:18

    New International Version

    Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.

    1 Corinthians 7: 2 But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband. 3 The husband should give to his wife her conjugal rights, and likewise the wife to her husband.

    1 Corinthians 10:8English Standard Version (ESV)

    8 We must not indulge in sexual immorality as some of them did, and twenty-three thousand fell in a single day.

    Jude 1:7 – In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire

    1 Timothy 1: 9-11 “ …. understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.”

    1 Corinthians 7 – Now for the matters you wrote about: “It is good for a man not to have sexual relations with a woman.” 2 But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband. 3 The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise the wife to her husband. 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body but yields it to her husband. In the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body but yields it to his wife.” But since sexual immorality is occurring, each man should have sexual relations with his own wife, and each woman with her own husband.”

    Romans 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen. 26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

    1 Corinthians 11:9 -neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.

    1 Thessalonians 4:3-8New International Version (NIV)

    3 It is God’s will that you should be sanctified: that you should avoid sexual immorality; 4 that each of you should learn to control your own body[a] in a way that is holy and honorable, 5 not in passionate lust like the pagans, who do not know God; 6 and that in this matter no one should wrong or take advantage of a brother or sister.[b] The Lord will punish all those who commit such sins, as we told you and warned you before. 7 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life. 8 Therefore, anyone who rejects this instruction does not reject a human being but God, the very God who gives you his Holy Spirit.

    Galatians 5:19-21

    New International Version (NIV)

    19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    Ephesians 5:31

    New Living Translation (NLT)

    31 As the Scriptures say, “A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.”

    Colossians 3:5

    New Living Translation (NLT)

    5 So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires.

    2 Peter 2:6 if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8 (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard);

    Ephesians 5:24-25 New International Version (NIV)

    24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

    25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her

    Ephesians 5:3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.

    Matthew 15:19 For from the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, all sexual immorality, theft, lying, and slander.20 These are what defile you.

    Revelation 2:20 International Standard Version (ISV)

    20 But I have this against you: You tolerate that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophet and who teaches and leads my servants to practice immorality and to eat food sacrificed to idols.

    Revelation 21:8 ESV

    But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”

    Revelation 22: 14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

    My favourite: 1 Corinthians 11:11New King James Version (NKJV) 11 Nevertheless, neither is man independent of woman, nor woman independent of man, in the Lord.

    BIBLICAL SUMMARY OF HOMOSEXUALITY

    • A wicked act (Gen 19:7; Judges 19:23)

    • An abomination (Lev 18:22; Lev. 18:26; Lev. 18:27; Lev. 18:29; Lev. 18:30; Lev. 20:13)

    • Folly (Judges 19:23)

    • A vile act (Judges 19:24)

    • A vile affection (Rom 1:26)

    • An act against nature (Rom 1:26)

    • An abusive act (1 Cor 6:9)

    • A sin against one’s own body (1 Cor 6:18)

    • An act that defiles (Lev. 18:24; Lev. 18:25; Lev. 18:27; Lev. 18:28; Lev. 18:30; 1 Tim 1:9)

    • Those that practice it shall not inherit the Kingdom of God (I Cor 6:9-10; Jude 1:7; Jude 1:13; Rev. 21:8; Rev. 21:27)

    (many thanks to Adam in Christ for this excellent summary)

  • Ben, you will fail in trying to ignore God’s word and fail in trying to have nothing to do with God. The truth is every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. BTW, since you’re an atheist, wouldn’t you reject all versions of a Supreme Being, a supreme God??? So people like me are not self-respecting and decent human beings??? Terrible blanket statement Ben. How about all those atheist tyrants who ran around the globe and who have slaughtered more than 100 million people? I won’t go into all the good born-again Christians have done in just meeting the physical needs of millions of people.

  • I’m having to reply to your comment via a different comment, because yours is under moderation for some reason.

    With all respect, ED, I don’t think you understand either me and who I am,or your own religious blinders.

    You’re quite right. You are simply not qualified to decide who goes to heaven and who does not. But that doesn’t stop you from reporting who you think is going to heaven and hell, based upon your understanding of your book. And that is my whole point. You think it is your duty to warn people. It’s a self assigned duty. Jesus was quite clear on that subject. Mind your own business, deal with your own sins. But like so many Bible believing Christians, you think your beliefs entitle you to judgment. And no matter much you think you aren’t judging…

    You are.

    Your own religious blinders come into play when you say it is I who am calling god small minded. What You fail to see is that it is all you who is saying that god is limited to what can fit between the covers of your holy book. I’m not saying that at all. My criticism is of that mindset. Many good, committed Christians have no problem with homosexuality, not despite what their bibles say, but because of what their bibles say, and what they believe god is saying to them. WHo are YOU to claim otherwise? But that is exactly what you are doing.

    No one is saying that law and order is not necessary in society. But whose laws, and whose orders? And that is vastly different from discussing eternity. Your god says, “believe or burn.” That is incontrovertible. Likewise, there are a whole set of rules that must be obeyed. The nature of those rules depends on who is saying that those are the rules. I don’t consider it loving for your god to tell me that if I don’t follow everyone of his rules as proclaimed by his believers that happen to have political power at the movement, that I WILL BURN IN HELL FOR ETERNITY. if I put my genitals in the wrong pLace, according to his self appointed spokemen, I WILL BURN IN HELL FOR ETERNITY. If I don’t remember the sabbath and keep it holy, I WILL BURN IN HELL FOR ETERNITY. You don’t even get that for murder in this country. If I don’t believe that Jesus died for my sins, I WIL BURN IN HELL FOR ETERNITY — even if I never got the memo. 2/3 of the world is going to burn in hell. That doesn’t sound like love, but tyranny, small mindedness, Narcissism, and insecurity.

    You may consider that love. I don’t. To me it smacks of a middle eastern potentate from 2000 years ago. No big surprise there.

    An enemy of god? How could the Creator of the entire universe have an enemy, especially a mere mortal like myself? Here are your religious blinders in place: I don’t hear god saying that. I only hear YOU saying it. YOU are declaring me his enemy. Telling, I think.

    Likewise, I don’t hate god. I don’t believe in your god, not your version of him, not your ideas about him, not your faith’s ideas about him, not the idea that he is going to get me for an eternity of pain if I don’t believe in what he did. I have no belief that there is a god, let alone a belief in such a god as yours. I don’t hate unicorns, banshees, and pookahs, either I don’t hate Zeus, or Odin, or brahma. my alleged “hate” is all YOUR belief, like the idea that the ominipotent, omniscient creator of the universe has enemies. but it is simply inconceivable to YOU that neither you nor your faith nor your god have made any kind of a case for any of it.

    It is simply what YOU believe, and you are perfectly happy to condemn everyone who doesn’t believe what you believe. Not uncoincidentally, it is exactly what your god seems to believe.

    Good for you that you believe that god loves you. If it makes your life better, and you a better person, I’m all for it. But the question is, does it actually make you a better person, or does it just give you an excuse to divide the world into believers and unbelievers, saved and damned, in group and out group, an excuse to use your bible as a weapon against other people, and all in the name of some mythical love.

    That is certainly what your god does, so I’m not surprised that you do it too. And I just cannot believe in a god as small as that.

  • It’s not a free gift, ed. This one has strings:: BELIEVE OR BURN. Gifts are always free, and never come at a price for failing to accept it.

  • And Lot and his daughters celebrated being straight with a little father-daughter incest after Mom got turned into salt for looking back at the destruction. Great story because holy rollers are down with every kind of perverse act, as long as it’s straight. That’s how we ended up with President Trump, himself a living monument to straight sexual immorality.

  • Ed, just more of the same spiritual arrogance.

    I will fail in trying to ignore your god? How was it given to YOU to know that. Every knee shall bend? It’s been 2000 years, we face destruction as a species, and still, 2/3 of the world thinks your christian story is nonsense. When is this going to happen? any day now?

    I never said you are not a decent human being. I have no idea. Any more than you have an idea about me.

    Atheist tyrants who murdered a hundred million people? DId they do it in the name of atheism? No, they did it in the name of ideologies destructive to human health and happiness. Hitler was not an atheist, nor were his followers. What about the millions killed by the religious?

    As for all of the good that born again Christians have accomplished. Certainly. And they have also accomplished a great deal of evil. One does not cancel out the other. And while good Christians were happy to spend 40 million attacking me and my marriage, how many children died? How many are dying right now because good Christians voted for Grabby McPussy?

    Your blinders are blinding you yet again.

  • That not true…Jesus verified the truth of the Tanakh, the Old Testament scriptures, verified every word of them as the Word of God, which means Jesus agreed, verified and confirmed that homosexuality as sin…Matthew 5:18 “For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.” John 10:35 “If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken),” In these two verses, Jesus clearly verifies His view of the Tanakh that it is the irrevocable Word of God and that it is infallible.

    By Jesus doing this (and there are many more times were Jesus verifies the truth of the Tanakh, and Jesus verifies the writers God used to record His word), Jesus validated the truth the homosexuality is condemned just as adultery is condemned.

    Leviticus 18:22 – 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.
    Leviticus
    20:13 – If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them
    have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their
    blood shall be upon them.

    Finally, since God is the author behind the human authors of His recorded Word, and Jesus is God, and also is the Logos, Word, it is clear Jesus Messiah, the 2nd :Person of the One Triune God, is the author of the Tanakh and the New Testament, meaning He most certainly said it all about homosexuality being sin and abomination!!!

  • FALSE. God judges ALL sexual immorality. And the offspring of Lot became nations judged and destroyed by God. It would be WONDERFUL if people despising the Bible actually READ the Bible.

  • NO, Jude 1:7 explicitly tells us homosexual perversion led God to judge with fire Sodom and Gomorrah and other surrounding cities.

    “Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the cities near them, which like them
    committed sexual sins and pursued homosexual activities, serve as an
    example of the punishment of eternal fire.”

  • False. You cannot dismiss Christ’s answer based upon the motive of the question. If that were the case, all your statements and questions are now VOID haha!

    Jesus takes the opportunity to DEFINE marriage. He goes back to Genesis.

    4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’ 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    Jesus is very clear marriage is between one man and one woman. Jesus is also clear on gender being only man and woman.

    Homosexuality is ALWAYS condemned in the Bible and was NEVER – even in pagan societies – used in marriage!

  • Look Ben, you are written about in the Bible! 2 Peter 2:3-4
    3Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.
    4They
    will say, “Where is this ‘coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors
    died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”

  • Ben, what about human arrogance you are using? LOL. Ben you said any self-respecting and decent human being would ignore what we born-again Christians teach. You said it Ben, and that includes me. But thanks for a little give in your comment.

    People who claim to be religious are killing people in the name of their religion just about every day for a long time now. But what misguided people do in the name of God does not besmirch or tarnish who God is. The atheists I noted who ran amuck in our modern world did kill in the name of atheism and I verify that from many, many historical records and my own knowledge of various forms of Marxism-Leninism, since I was a committed communist back in the day. I wasn’t even thinking of Hitler, and the National Socialist Party (Nazis).
    And you talk about children dying, Ben. How many millions of children have been killed in the US by abortion? Millions have died Ben. BTW you say “my marriage” so I take it you might be a homosexual??? Don’t worry I’m not ;personally offended if you are a homosexual. Nothing personal here, it’s strictly on my part a serious spiritual concern.
    I submitted a few things below I’d ask you to please read. And please take off your blinders Ben, and give God a chance to lead you to find the peace of mind God wants to give you and I think you want to have.

  • Oh, BTW, the Nazi Party was the right wing of the radical left, making Nazism a radical-left movement. Also Mussolini, a fascist, was first a communist who was acquainted with V. I. Lenin. If you know anything about Stalin’s purges in the 1930s, he purged those he called left deviationists and those he called right deviationists. I just wanted to clarify the point that fascism is not strictly a movement of conservatism or classical liberalism.

  • It most certainly a free gift Ben because God was not under any obligation to offer it, and He only asks you to accept it by not paying anything for it. You extend your hand out, so to speak, and take the gift. When you that, God makes you a new person, removes His judgment on you, and gives you eternal life, Problem is you don’t want the free gift because you prefer your sin. Jesus put it this way that men love darkness rather than light, and Jesus said He is the light of the word. It’s a free gift.

  • God does not force you to believe Him. Another point why it’s a free gift. If we want to face God’s wrath, fine.

  • False back at you. Holy rollers give all straight-sex perversions a hall pass. That’s how we got President Trump.

  • But, Ben, I am qualified to tell you what God’s plan is as stated in His Word, The Bible. God is the judge, and you know that. You accused me and undoubtedly others of condemning you and pronouncing final judgment on you. Those of us who know God’s word well enough are qualified to witness His truth and to discern the spiritual needs of others. Jesus in Matthew 28 commissioned His disciples to take His message to the world, to those without God and those in the process of perishing. Now everything I said there is in the Bible. You reject the Bible, but so did I once.

  • “I am qualified to tell you what God’s plan is as stated in His Word, The Bible.”

    There is no such thing as God’s Word – not even one. The Bible contains nothing but words by delusional and/or fraudulent men who claimed to be speaking for or quoting a god. So, neither you nor anyone else is qualified to tell others what a god’s plan is. God’s so-called plan (and hence, organized religion) is really just the authoritarian plan of men to control the experiences, thought processes, beliefs, and behaviors/actions of everyone else. It’s the lust of men for dominion.

  • Ben I disagree and think you are the one whose really living the nonsense. It makes no sense at all if you deny abortion is the killing of truly innocent human beings who’ve yet to do anything wrong. All that happened to them is that they got conceived, and then their conceives decided they had the right to kill at their whim yet to be born human beings. If the mother’s life is genuinely threatened,she has a right to decided to end the pregnancy. And I’m not personally offended if you are a homosexual. I’ve known quite a few homosexuals and never had a social problem with them as long as they did not try to hit on me.
    So a lot of nonsense coming from you there IMO.

  • Bully on the playground, to a much smaller child, and no one else is around to interfere.
    “Give me your lunch money, kid, or I’ll beat the crap out of you. Don’t make me beat the crap out of you. I don’t want to do that, because I really like you. But if you don’t give me your lunch money, I’m going to have to beat the crap out of you. It’s the law of the playground. I know its the law of the playground because I’m in charge of the playground. Do you see a playground monitor around here? No? Then you better give me your lunch money. But it’s your choice to give me your lunch money or not. But if you don’t want to give me your lunch money, I’m not responsible for what will happen to you. I’ll just have to beat the crap out of you, because it’s the law of the playground. It’s your choice.”

  • You certainly aren’t qualified to discuss the Bible, the Word of God because you’ve shown no familiarity with it. And the life of the spirit you know nothing of because you reject it. You talk about believer or burn as if it’s somehow wrong, when I already answered that objection by pointing out the role of government in keeping social order and executing judgment/penalties on those who break the laws of that social order. God is no different than human government, Ben, but you have no reasonable answer for that argument and my use of comparison there.
    As for you plan, it seems it’s the great Materialist Nothingness for all of us. Yes, we are born, we are cognizant for a span of time, then slam the lights go out, the life ends, and then nothingness. We were never really born, you might say, we never knew there was life, love, happiness, depression, or death. It’s just as Shakespeare wrote, a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. That’s atheism for you Ben.
    If I were to be wrong Ben, I’ve lost nothing at all believing what I believe. Heck,it’s made me a much better person, despite your nay-saying to that I imagine; and you, well you seem pretty tormented by my existence and the existence of others like me. Not to mention all those conservatives out there you rail about.

    Okay, Ben, I do pray God will bless you with His truth, that he will break through to you and give you peace.

  • Absolutely false. Divorce, adultery, lust, fornication – Jesus spoke on all these issues and the Bible speaks on these issues. These are wrong. The difference is, society is not proclaiming these to be celebrated joyful things.

    What Trump said over 11 years was wrong but he changed. The hypocrisy is, liberals want pornography and every sexual deviant subject on TV but then complain over some words spoken 11 years ago (which Trump apologized over).

    Further, they dismiss Clinton’s open sexual escapades as President. We call this HYPOCRISY.

  • I told you about government, right. Human Beings need restraint and that is a fact. But God is no bully…He could just pull the plug on you but you still have the breath of flesh life; you still get food, shelter, a computer, money, etc, etc, etc. I will be praying for you Ben. Take care and again may God Bless you.

  • I can’t argue with people who revise history to fit their political agendas. Fascism is fascism, whether on the left or on the right. When I was 14 years old, I wrote a paper on that very subject. Hitler was a fascist. Mussolini was a fascist. Stalin was a fascist. Mao was a fascistThey simply used different rationales for being fascists. But in the end, their agenda was control, power, the state, death, destruction, and enriching themselves.

    Classical liberalism has nothing to do with either, except to those who imbibe their ideological koolaide by the gallon.

  • Trump hasn’t changed one bit. He tweets crazy nonsense about Obama that embarrasses everyone in Washington with half a brain. Putting an 11-year distance on Trump’s craziness does not make it so. He’s just as crazy now as ever and he’s our President, thanks to the hall pass on moral values you folks gave him in your hatred of Clinton. What Bill Clinton did happened over 20 years ago, but you wanted to punish Hillary Clinton for what her husband did, again showing your hypocrisy.

  • A very religious person decided to make a commitment to the bible and live his life according to what it told him. He took his bible out (soft cover, heavenly underlined of course) and dropped it on the table, open to a random page, put his finger on a passage and read out loud to himself: ” Then Judas threw the silver coins down in the Temple and went out and hanged himself.” Matt 27:5 “Well, that can’t be right,” he said, so again he threw his bible down and when it opened, pointed again to a passage on the page that had opened. “Go Thou, and Do Likewise!” (Luke 10:25) he said. “But surely God wouldn’t expect that?” he said. “I will try it one more time, and this time I will follow exactly what it says.” So he drops his bible and points to a passage on the open page: “What you are about to do, do quickly.”

    The one thing I can’t understand about fundamentalist Christians is that you seem to believe that since you believe the bible is a magic book filled with self evident truths for you, that somehow magically makes me have the same responses as you. Simply because you believe it does not make it so, and definitely does not make it so for everyone else in the world. You can quote every verse in the bible and unless someone accepts the same delusion as you do, you might as well be quoting the Satanic Bible or an article out of Playboy or some piece of a pornographic novel or any other piece of published material. Do you really think the world or anybody who reads your cut and paste personal favorite selections (essentially the bible of your own making) are going to be convinced?? Do you really think that somehow another person who does not buy into your delusion is all of a sudden going to “see the light”? If that were true, the whole world would have been converted a long time ago, but in roughly 500 years since the bible became available in the language of the common people, you haven’t even converted Europe; in fact you bible pounders have been losing ground and are basically setting up the U.S. for a major religious failure as well. What comes across is not commitment to your delusional faith but an unbelievable arrogance: since you believe it, you think, it HAS TO BE TRUE for everybody. By the time I was five I saw the failure in that and have seen what you do as exactly what Jesus taught against 2000 years ago. Jesus always condemned Pharisees; the people who followed his words to the letter but despised the very people he told them to love.

  • Don’t pray for me. please. You have not the spiritual cachet. Pray for yourself. you’re the one whose soul is in danger.
    I would get food, shelter, a computer, money, etc. whether I believe in your god or don’t. Same as I have since I gave up on my brief flirtation with Christianity 50 years ago. Same thing as everyone else on the planet whether they believe in your god or don’t.

  • You addressed me as Ben four times, but I am Richard. Perhaps you are praying to the wrong god, too, but that would not be surprising because there is absolutely no way for anyone to legitimately conclude that one religion’s god is a real one while all the others are fantasies. I happen to believe they are all fantasies.

  • Ben, remember your an atheist so in your way of thinking my soul is in no more danger than yours, that is from the atheistic point of view…oh boy, looking forward so much to that Great Abyss of Nothingness for eternity. You seem to, like many atheists, have lots of contradictory sayings when it comes to spiritual matters. Anyway,I will pray for you; I’ve already started that process. Like I said, take care, stay safe, and may God Bless you all to your surprise…☺☺☺

  • Sorry Richard…I was so busy here at the office and in talking to Ben too. So, maybe everything is just a Fantasy, Hello Mr. Fantasy, LOL. God is no fantasy, Jesus of Nazareth is no fantasy; Jesus as Messiah is no fantasy and God’s salvation plan is no fantasy; and God’s Word is no fantasy. Our deaths will not be fantasies either, as it’s appointed to us once to die and then the Judgment. I will pray for you too. Just for laughs maybe as you would think of it, you might read the book, The Case for Christ. It was written by a man who was an atheist or a strong agnostic. I hope you will do that.

  • 1. Everyone is embarrassed in Washington from Trump? Provide evidence.
    2. Crazy nonsense about Obama? Provide evidence.
    3. ‘He’s just as crazy now as ever” Provide evidence.
    4. What Bill Clinton did was wrong and was done WHILE president. Hillary failed to be president not from what Bill did but what SHE DID. Lying about email, coverups, secrets being sold, Benghazi, calling half of Americans a ‘basket of deplorables’ and further on we go.

  • Where have I said it is a “magic book”?

    2 Corinthians 4English Standard Version (ESV)

    The Light of the Gospel

    4 Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God,[a] we do not lose heart. 2 But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways. We refuse to practice[b] cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God. 3 And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4 In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 5 For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants[c] for Jesus’ sake. 6 For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
    Blessings Jon

  • I never said you ever “said” it was a magic book. You just act like it is a magic book, treat it like it is a magic book, show it to others as if it was a magic book, quote it like it was a magic book, expect everyone you hit over the head with passage after passage after passage after passage to all of a sudden believe in a magical way like you do in a magical book: Therefore everyone who reads your posts thinks you believe it is a magical book.

    It is an ancient book written by ignorant shepherds and unenlightened generals trying to understand their world with their limited science and experience. To them they think the world is flat, the sun orbits the earth, the sun stands still in the sky at times, the stars fall from the sky and land on the earth, slavery, to own another human being and treat them any way short of killing them, is approved by their God and killing babies by dashing their heads on the stones is all perfectly permissible, with their God’s blessing. Their God is immoral, schizophrenic, sadistic, and basically evil and you can rationalize as much as you like but you still end up needing to defend their God who supposedly lives today but who belongs in a time 4000 years ago.

    You can do it, but to do so, you have to shut off any critical thinking skill and ability and pretend that it is all fine. And you can just go on twisting the bible and the words of Jesus to mean anything you want them to mean and create your own religion. Good luck with your Sandianity. I learned early on that God gave us the ability to think and reason and learn and understand the world He gave us and I would hope you would realize it as well.

  • Go troll someone else. My patience with Trumpette-true-believers is exhausted. You don’t get to dictate debate rules to anyone. If you want “proof,” provide your own. I will cite sources when and if I please, but never at the demands of a Trumpette.

  • Well you’ve had your rant now. Feel better?
    Christ is still Sovereign and homosexuality is still a sin.

  • In other words, you and you alone get to make false accusations without proof and no person who voted for Trump (which you do not even know WHO I voted for) can tell you otherwise.

    Got it. And I’m the troll? LOL!

  • and I expected that whatever congregation called either of them, would be getting an able minister. Calvary, Washington upped the ante and grabbed both of them at once. Smart move! As an unreconstructed (!) American Baptist who has retired to the North Carolina mountains, I say: God bless them and this wise church.

  • 2 Timothy 3: 16:

    All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right.

  • So what is the biblical truth on homosexuality?

    First, let’s see what the Bible does not say. It does not say that homosexuality is the worst sin ever. Instead, it’s one of a bunch of sins that many of the rest of us are often guilty of, too. It also does not say we can’t have friends that are homosexual. Paul said that if we avoided all the non-Christians because of their behavior, we’d never be able to reach them with Christ’s message of love and forgiveness (that’s in 1 Corinthians 5). No, it’s not our job to look down in a judgmental way on nonbelievers. We should befriend them, instead. We know from Genesis 1:27 that everyone is made in the image of God. That makes them special to God, and they should be special to us, too.

    Probably the most important thing the Bible does say about homosexuality comes from Jesus himself. I know you’ve heard that Jesus never said anything on the issue, but that’s not completely true. Listen to this.

    In Matthew 19:4 & 5, Jesus says, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife and the two will become one flesh’?”

    There it is. Jesus makes it clear that God had a perfect plan from the beginning. He made the woman to complement the man not just sexually (that’s what He means by “one flesh”), but for his whole life—to be the kind of partner that’s just right for him, for his whole life long.

    Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:3-8 that we should be different from the rest of the crowd—holy, set apart, avoiding sexual immorality, that is, staying away from any kind of sex that distorts God’s good plan.

    The thing that makes homosexuality bad is the same thing that makes any sex outside of marriage bad—it’s a way of saying “No” to the wonderful plan that God had from the start. Which is basically the same as saying “no” to God. Not good, in other words.

    God’s original plan is the reason we see the passages about homosexuality worded the way they are. For example, think of Leviticus 18:22-23. It says “You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” God says it’s wrong to use a man for the kind of sex God gave the woman for. Again, it’s the same as saying “No” to God. Notice that this verse is grouped with other verses about the misuse of God’s gift of sex, like adultery and bestiality.

    We find the exact same reasoning in the New Testament, too. When Paul speaks against homosexuality in Romans 1, he calls it a “degrading passion.” Why? Because, as he put it, “women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another.”

    Paul’s point is that God made man for woman and woman for man sexually. That’s why he talks about natural function, not desire. In one sense, we naturally desire lots of things God says we shouldn’t be involved in. Homosexuality (along with the other sexual sins) is just another way of denying the natural function—the purpose or plan—of the kind of the safe, satisfying sex God purposed for a man and a woman in lifelong marriage. Paul’s view, in other words, was the same as Jesus’ view.

    That’s why in 1 Corinthians 6:9 & 10 Paul says that among those who will not inherit the Kingdom of God are the sexually immoral and adulterers, the thieves, the swindlers and drunkards, and…homosexuals, men who sleep with other men—all sinful ways of living that are characteristic of life without God.

    Then Paul writes something amazing. In verse 11 he reminds us that this is the way we used to be, too. That’s the way we were, but all of that has changed. Now since we’ve come to know Jesus we’ve been cleansed and made right with God. We’ve been freed from slavery to our old, dark ways.

    That’s the good news. Because of God’s mercy, we don’t have to be squeezed into the mold of this world. Instead, as Paul tells us in Romans 12:1 & 2, we can offer ourselves as a living sacrifice to God. We can be transformed to an entirely new way of thinking, one that allows us to live according to the good, pleasing and perfect will of God.

    Yes, it’s clear from these passages that the Bible does call homosexuality a sin, but there’s so much more in God’s plan—not just saying “No” to something bad, but saying “Yes” to something so much better.

    There it is. Knowledge and wisdom. Truth mixed with a message of love and forgiveness and a new way of living. That’s the way we deal with controversial issues at Stand to Reason. And that’s the way we encourage you to deal with them.

    Just like Jesus did.

  • ” Jesus makes it clear that God had a perfect plan from the beginning.”

    If there is a god, I’m not very impressed with his “perfect plan from the beginning.” He is either incompetent, disinterested, or willfully evil. Here’s just a few examples:

    • Horrible birth defects
    • Tornadoes
    • Mosquitoes
    • Cancer
    • Earthquakes
    • Epidermolysis Bullosa
    • Lions eating zebras
    • Multiple Sclerosis
    • Tsunamis
    • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
    • Vitiligo
    • Bedbugs
    • Prior to modern medical science: Large numbers of women dying during childbirth, no antibiotics, no anesthesia, and no pain remedies.
    • God himself is history’s most prolific abortionist

    One astonishing thing is that multitudes of Christians choose to denounce homosexuality, which causes no suffering to anyone, while ignoring the extreme suffering caused by so much of your god’s “perfect plan.” And, even more astonishing is that those people also choose to worship, praise, and glorify this Heavenly Monster.

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