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Nice guy or tough guy? The two faces of Pope Francis

Pope Francis leads the Wednesday general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on June 14, 2017. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Max Rossi

VATICAN CITY (RNS) To the vast majority, Pope Francis is the compassionate face of Catholicism today.

He’s rescued refugees, opened the Vatican’s doors to the homeless and told Catholics there’s no sin God won’t forgive.

But there is another streak to the Argentine pontiff that has been on display in recent days: A willingness to flex papal muscle and lay down the law.

Underneath the pope’s compassion is a steely side, which he’s particularly ready to use when it comes to priests, bishops or cardinals he feels are undermining the church’s mission.

It was evident earlier this month when the pope delivered a stinging rebuke to priests from the Diocese of Ahiara in Nigeria. The priests had refused to accept the 2012 appointment of a bishop from a different clan.

When he met with the Ahiara clergy he ordered each one of them to apologize in writing, pledge their “total obedience” to the papacy and accept whomever he appoints to lead the diocese.

To top it off, he told the priests they must send their letter within 30 days or face automatic suspension. As papal disciplining goes, it doesn’t get much tougher.

The pope was furious clan differences were being put before the church’s unity and mission. If there is one thing Francis really dislikes, it’s the church being used for political, sectarian or tribal agendas.

“It’s a mistake to think of Francis as a ‘nice guy,’” one of his aides said. The pope, he explained, is a “radical” with a mission.

Faithful attend a mass of Pentecost celebrated by Pope Francis in Saint Peter’s square at the Vatican on June 4, 2017. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Tony Gentile

A day later, on June 9, Francis made another tough move. The Vatican announced that the pope had accepted the resignation of Archbishop Alfredo Zecca of Tucumán, Argentina, for health reasons.

The letter stated that the 68-year-old would not simply go into an early retirement but would remain as a “titular” archbishop, meaning that technically he still has to serve.

Was this some sort of punishment? Zecca has reportedly upset the pope for a failure to defend one of his priests, the Rev. Juan Viroche, an outspoken voice against local drug traffickers.

In October, Viroche was found hanged, but Zecca resisted calls to put up a plaque in Viroche’s parish commemorating the priest. Instead he accepted the official version of events that Viroche committed suicide. Many locals suspect the suicide was staged.

Driving both these moves is Francis’ passionate aversion to hypocrisy. The pope has repeatedly denounced Christians who live a “double life,” even arguing it is better to be an atheist than a “hypocritical Catholic” who condemns others but fails to practice what they preach.

Instead, the pope wants an inclusive church. He wants Catholic leaders to be peacemakers in their respective societies and be able to “bind up the wounds” of division. To see a bishop doing the opposite has made his blood boil.

Eighteen months ago during a visit to Africa, Francis made an appeal in Kenya against the “spirit of evil” that “takes us to a lack of unity.” In unscripted remarks during a meeting with young people in Nairobi he then asked them to hold hands as “a sign against bad tribalism.”

Pope Francis meets Robert Matthew Festing, prince and grand master of the Sovereign Order of Malta, during a private audience at the Vatican on June 23, 2016. Photo courtesy of Reuters/Gabriel Bouys

The pope also demonstrated his stern side by taking action against the Knights of Malta, an ancient Catholic chivalric order, after its then leader, Matthew Festing, was accused of improperly sacking a senior aide in a row ostensibly over the distribution of condoms by medical projects for the poor.

When the pope announced an investigation into the matter, the dispute mushroomed into a proxy war between Francis and those opposed to the direction of his papacy with Cardinal Raymond Burke — one of the pope’s fiercest critics who had been appointed the Vatican liaison with the order — playing a key role in the saga. The pope won.

When it comes to rebukes, it’s worth remembering Francis is a Jesuit, a member of a religious order founded by former soldier, St. Ignatius of Loyola, who incorporated military principles into its internal governance. One of these is obedience.

At the relatively young age of 36, Jorge Bergoglio led the Jesuits in Argentina, a period during which he later confessed to making mistakes due to an “authoritarian and quick manner of making decisions.”

While a lot has changed since that time, part of him still performs the role of religious superior.

This week, a letter was leaked revealing the pope wants cardinals living in Rome to inform him when they are out of town, and where they are going.

Written by Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, it asks that prelates revive this “noble tradition” of informing the papacy and the Vatican of their movements, particularly if they are gone for a long period.

Such a practice would be routine for any priest or religious living in a monastery, convent or seminary, but it shows the pope wants accountability from those who are his closest advisers. It is also tactically savvy, as it ensures the pope knows if a cardinal is about to deliver a major talk or address that might be critical of his papacy.

Francis has throughout his papacy sought to govern the church collegially, setting up an advisory body of cardinals that met in Rome for the 20th time this week.

They have been discussing how to delegate more power to local churches while the Vatican has also announced it wanted to hear the views of young people before a major church gathering for youth in 2018.

His defenders argue the pope needs to be tough to implement church reforms as he faces down internal opposition.

The irony, however, is that to bring about the more merciful, people-centered church he so passionately desires, Francis is having to exercise some firm authority in the process.

(Christopher Lamb is The Tablet’s Rome correspondent and a contributor to RNS)

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  • >>If there is one thing Francis really dislikes, it’s the church being used for political, sectarian or tribal agendas.<<

    This approaches a LOL line, and its sheer ridiculousness calls the entire article into question. Francis recently elevated to Cardinal two obscure American bishops who have been aggressively pursuing political agendas. And Francis has certainly been aggressively pursuing political agendas himself.

  • “Instead, the pope wants an inclusive church. He wants Catholic leaders to be peacemakers in their respective societies and be able to “bind up the wounds” of division. To see a bishop doing the opposite has made his blood boil.” Exactly where the homosexuals should be. They will be able to see how badly they hurt the Lord with their wilful sinning against Him.

  • Effective leaders always have a nice side and a tough side. That’s not a problem. The trouble with Bergoglio is that he reserves his toughness for real Christians, and treats his fellow Sorosians nicely.

  • Pope Francis doesn’t teach against homosexual feeling or leaning. He discourages it’s outworking or practice. People are won to Christ through love, not beating them over the head with doctrine. There are ministries whose whole raison d’etre is to help guide practicing homosexuals out of the life. It takes time, care, patience, love and a ton of discipleship. We really need to be careful not to give to unrighteous judgements. We are to love the sinner but to hate the sin. Sometimes in our zealousness to live holy Godly lives before the Lord we forget that there are myriad millions of first generation Christians who came out of incredibly dark and sinful backgrounds who are positionally righteous due to the New Birth but who have to walk out, like we all do, their salvation in fear and trembling. Sanctification is both instantaneous and progressive. Let’s err on the side of Mercy and treat practicing homosexuals the way we would like to be treated; as human beings created in the simultude of God who are no more lost than we were when we first became Christians. Jesus came to save and to heal that which was lost. I hate my own sin (my sin is ever before me) and am very uncomfortable with those who don’t address the error in their lives but I am not going to bar the door to the Church against any people group in need of reconciliation with a just but very tender hearted God who sent His only Son to be the propitiation for our sins. The man who witnessed to me the season before I committed my heart and life to Jesus Christ in 1989 struggled in this very area and I shudder to think of where we would both be today if our Pastor had kicked us out of the Church because of unresolved sin issues in our lives. Two souls for whom Jesus died jettisoned to hellfire. Food for thought.

    Peace be with you.

  • “Let’s err on the side of Mercy and treat practicing homosexuals the way we would like to be treated; ” I do. I tell them the truth. They are sinning and will not see the Kingdom of Heaven unless they repent.

  • Pope Frank also has no tolerance for Catholics who prefer to worship according to the extraordinary or Tridentine Rite. He specifically forbade an order of Benedictines from doing this. Why? Who knows but it is probably because this pope disdains anything that has Latin (his Latin is nonexistent). Also this pipe’s meddling into the Knights of Malta’s personal affairs was totally unprecedentedand uncalled for in the order’s 1000 year existence. For a pope who claims he wants to work in consultation with others he does act unilatetally and harshly towards his opponents. He is as hypocritical as those he condemns.

  • Would someone who tried very, very hard to change their feelings from gay to straight go to hell if they failed to completely change their feelings? MANY Gay people truly HAVE tried doing this without any success. I myself tried changing my feelings as well. This was impossible. Romans 1 does NOT talk about Orientation. It talks about an “exchange” of behavior from women to men. It wouldn’t apply to those who NEVER had feelings for women in that way. It doesn’t talk about a change in feelings, but rather straight men who engaged in homosexual behavior.

  • Matthew 19:26 – English Standard Version
    But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”
    Still pushing the lies, eh Daniel? Makes one wonder if you ever really did want to leave homosexuality…….

  • Good. Don’t kill them with kindness not telling them TRUTH. I agree. I speak the TRUTH. TAKE it or leave it. With kindness and mercy.

  • I didn’t attack you, but now you say I lie about my experience. I did NOT want to be gay at one time. Can you prove that is a lie? Did Alan Chambers lie when said he still had homosexual feelings, even though he had prayed for change of feelings? What about the thorn in the flesh that Paul prayed to have removed in 2 Corinthians 12:8, but God didn’t remove? Where does it ever say in the Bible that God removes ALL temptations?

  • I agree only if you tell them that you too are assured of Hell if you don’t repent of all your sins too. I always add that I too am assured of Hell if I don’t repent of all my mortal sins. You know things like detraction and calumny in other words most things posted about Pope Francis. Infernus Semper Manet.

  • Daniel, the Church does not condemn orientation since if born as the cross that it is, may lead to sanctification. If homosexual practices are not committed and feelings/thoughts are rejected when desires arise, no sin is present. This for you is your personal cross. Reject all impure thoughts, give no consent to any suggestion of it and you will be sanctified in the process. Pray and surrender your whole personhood to God and He will strengthen you to be “more than conquerors”. Let us all pray for Daniel, stop criticizing the Pope and be Catholics

  • It is good that you don’t think orientation is a choice or a sin. Because it isn’t. I didn’t think per se it was a sin to be Gay, but at one time I really wanted to have a family with children. It was kind of like a life ambition. I do accept myself as I am now and realize that having children is a huge responsibility that isn’t for me. So it is good Catholic doctrine isn’t as harsh as Fundamentalist Protestant doctrine is, which insists that homosexual attractions are a Sin that will send a person to Hell.

  • Daniel, temptation is not sin. Even the Sweet Lord Jesus was tempted in the desert. It is only when we act out our temptations that they become sinful. Mortal sin consists of being an act of grave matter that with full knowledge of its grave sinfulness we give consent too and commit anyway. This malicious deed merits Hell if not repented of perfectly. I ashamedly admit to committing mortal sins in my life but through God’s Mercy and the Sacraments have found friendship once again with God. Forget those who attack you. Make a firm purpose to amend your life today. Make an act of perfect contrition motivated more by your love for God rather than on fear of hellfire. Make contrite use of the Sacrament of Reconcilliation, perform your penance and rejoice in God’s tremendous love for you.

  • If you didn’t want to be a homosexual, you wouldn’t be Daniel. You have to keep giving it to the Lord. If you were doing that, and not wanting to entertain homosexual fantasies, you would have a much better chance of leaving the sin. As long as you entertain the thoughts,and try to justify the sin, He’ll let you remain in that manner.

  • So if Paul didn’t want the thorn in the flesh, he wouldn’t have had It? Absolutely no one has changed their feelings from gay to straight.

  • According to the Catholic formula, the Pope speaks infallibly on matters of faith and morals. But on secular matters in general – and “political” matters in particular – the man Jorge Bergoglio is just another voice in the roar of the worldly crowd.

  • You are attacking my character, which is not an argument. You are making excuses to judge other people. Christ clearly at least said we are not to judge another person’s heart. You are bearing false witness.

  • People tell me, judge not lest ye be judged. I always tell them, twist not scripture, lest ye be like Satan. Paul Washer

    Where’s your scripture Daniel?

  • Pretending to know another person’s heart IS judging. To say otherwise IS twisting Scripture. Even after Romans 1, where he talks about homosexuality in some way, Paul said we should not judge. Are you saying it is not in Scripture about bearing false witness? Where does it say we SHOULD speak evil of our Neighbor? Where is YOUR scripture that we should judge another person’s heart?

  • Anyway, just not giving into thoughts doesn’t give a person heterosexual thoughts. It is like saying if we ignored our hunger, we would never be hungry again.

  • This is a foolish reply given a heterosexual’s mere designation does not suggest habitual mortal sin, while a homosexual’s does if they so choose to identify. The dance to not offend homosexuals gets old: St. Paul was pretty direct.

  • Prove that ignoring homosexual feelings gives a person heterosexual feelings. There are even gay persons who underwent electro shock treatments and invariably this doesn’t work. It is another thing to say a person can change their sexual behavior. People can change this, but just not direction of attractions.

  • more excuses, eh Daniel. You have more propaganda against Jesus, who said He will heal us. Why do you bother to tell people that you follow Him?

  • There are lots of unanswered questions, but Scripture is still clear. Gay is not OK. Those who choose to embrace a gay lifestyle can have no confidence in salvation. Alan Chambers notwithstanding.

  • I like that the Catholic Church doesn’t teach that Orientation is a choice. However, my ongoing debate is with Sandi, who I believe is a Baptist. I am United Methodist. We two are not debating Catholic doctrine per se, but rather our different understanding of Scripture. One good thing about the Catholic Church is that it does accept modern scholarship on Scripture. Sandi doesn’t seem to accept this.

  • I don’t agree that scripture is clear since Paul also stated that long hair on a man is unnatural and disgraceful in 1 Corinthians 11:14. Romans 1:26 also says “unnatural” as well as “disgraceful” passions. The same Greek words are used in both cases.

  • Then if Jesus always heals us, why didn’t he take away Paul’s thorn in the flesh? You haven’t answered this.

  • I’m still waiting for scripture from you…..and waiting…….and waiting…….
    (edit) Seriously Daniel, why do you bother to tell people that you are a Christian if you are going to teach that Jesus is a liar?

  • I have already thoroughly discussed scripture with you. For instance, arsenokoitus in 1 Corinthians 6:9 only refers to acts and not orientation. Therefore, 1 Corinthians 6:11 is not talking about a change in Sexual Orientation. You stated that I was wrong. You won’t accept any scriptures I cite since you claim an infallible understanding.

  • As a life long Italian Catholic, I am extremely disappointed in Pope Francis. As posters all around Rome several months ago in our local Roman dialect said, ” Hey, Frankie, where’s YOUR mercy?”

    Realizing the disaster which took place in the life of the Church after the Second Vatican Council, both St. John Paul, and Pope Benedict XVI tried to implement the Council in light of Catholic Tradition. Francis is not a friend of Tradition and like many of his fellow Jesuits believes that the Catholic Church began 1962. He is committed to recreate the Church in his own image, and according to his own agenda, which clearly is a departure from traditional orthodox teaching in matters Faith and Morals.

    Anyone who opposes him or is even perceived as opposing him, will be crushed. Could you imagine John Paul or Benedict doing the same thing? The Liberals would’ve eaten them alive! In the case of Francis, the old saying is true: You scratch a liberal, you will find a fascist. And coming from Italy, we know all about fascism!

    It is said in the Vatican, that despite his smiling grandfather face, and the kissing of babies in the piazza San Pietro, and the media scripted acts of humility and mercy, Francis is one of the most dictatorial, vindictive, and uncompromising Popes since the Borgia sat on the throne of St Peter! Unfortunately, he lacks the refinement, compassion and cultured pastoral style of his recent European predecessors. The situation is a mess, and continues to get worse with each new papal pronouncement and act of “mercy!”

  • Daniel, you are arguing things you have no understanding of.

    John 7:24 ESV
    Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.”

  • No. You have never given me any scripture where Christ endorses homosexuality, Daniel. Why keep resorting to lies?
    “People tell me, judge not lest ye be judged. I always tell them, twist not scripture, lest ye be like Satan. Paul Washer
    Where’s your scripture Daniel?”

  • The issue we were addressing was whether sexual orientation can be changed. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 is wrongly used as a proof text that sexual orientation can be changed. I demonstrated that it doesn’t mean this. Christ’s main command was LOVE. Being Gay doesn’t necessarily violate this. Nor does it violate the Golden Rule.

  • You fail to read the whole context of this statement. It goes like this, Jesus answered them, ‘I performed one work, and all of you are astonished. 22 Moses gave you circumcision (it is, of course, not from Moses, but from the patriarchs), and you circumcise a man on the sabbath. 23 If a man receives circumcision on the sabbath in order that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because I healed a man’s whole body on the sabbath? 24 Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgement.’
    No where here does it say we should condemn someone for violating the letter of the Law. We should judge what a person does by whether it is loving or not. Healing on the Sabbath, when it could be done some other day, was against the LAW. Jesus said Love was more important.

  • So….it still says the same thing. Sorry Daniel, this is just you trying to make the simple look confusing – nothing new for you and your lack of Biblical understanding.

    If you don’t want to follow Christ, why call yourself a Christian?
    (edited)

  • What, God saying, “And such were some of you” is another lie in the Bible-according-to-Daniel? Jeepers, what a surprise!
    Now, where is your scripture endorsing homosexuality?
    I see you are changing your comments again also. Conversation ended

  • I posted it too soon by pushing the wrong button and had to edit it to make some corrections. Please read the corrected version.

  • nope…you lie….you change your comments when they are shown to be wrong. End of discussion.

  • It is talking about outward behavior, not direction of attractions. I don’t deny people can change outward behavior.

  • You don’t win arguments by attacking another person’s character. Just the other day, I hit the wrong key on my computer and erased the whole document. Luckily, a lot of it had been saved and I just had to retrieve the earlier version. So you claim you never accidentally hit the wrong key on the keyboard?

  • Maybe you should learn your scripture Sandi. Where is Jesus documented as saying that it is acceptable for YOU to judge? That would be someplace in the four Gospels. Matthew 7, however, does document something that Jesus said about judging and it does not match your claim. Don’t give this bullshit about the whole Bible being Jesus speaking. It isn’t. G-D did not dictate the words of scripture nor take possession of the writers such they had no control over their hands. Human beings wrote. They wrote using the limitations imposed by their cognitive abilities and cultural environment. What they wrote later came to be understood as inspired and the Word of G-D and confirmed as such by the authority of the Church. But note, the “Word of G-D” is not equivalent to the “words of G-D.”

    Paul (not Jesus) does write about rebuking and does censure individuals regarding their behavior. Whom is he writing to? He is writing to the elders of the church community. He is writing to individuals who know the members of their community. He is writing to individuals who have a leadership position in their community. He is writing to individuals who know people as individuals and have awareness of their personal life circumstances. He does not write to the church and Ephesus and tell them that it is acceptable to correct individuals in Rome, Corinth, Thessalonica or anywhere else. He does not instruct people to rebuke or correct strangers. That right and duty requires one to have a relationship with the one being corrected–a relationship that is not going to be achieved over the internet. The Bible does not mandate nor authorize YOU, or anyone else, to rebuke or pass judgement on people you do not know. If you were to have a leadership role in a community or have intimate knowledge of an individual and his or her life circumstances then and only then would Paul’s words apply to you.

  • and we still don’t know with certainty the specific acts referenced by “arsenokoitus.” Individuals such as Sandi “translate” the word from the mindset of a 21st century individual with a specific set of biases. The only thing that we can know for certain is that the word did not exist before Paul used it (and thus there is no “dictionary” to look up the meaning) and is documented less than 100 after Paul. Philo used the word to include acts of incest. The patriarch of constantinople, in 575 used the word such that if translated “homosexual” would read “In fact, many men even commit the sin of homosexuality with their wives.” The original King James version did not even translate it as “homosexual” (nor any phrase equivalent).

  • Even acting on our temptations is not always a sin. I am often tempted by a double chocolate sundae and also often give in to the temptation. A person can be tempted by their spouse or significant other and give into that temptation–that is not a sin. In the same way, individuals who are in a committed same sex relationship can give into their temptation without worrying about “sin.”

    The real sin lies in denying individuals the right to be in such a loving relationship with the person to whom G-D is calling them. The real sin is to pass judgement on people in such a situation and TELL THEM that they are sinning rather than asking them to listen to the voice of G-D as they are taught how to relate to their partner–whether same or opposite sex.

    Reconciliation and penance are good. What is not good is to guilt trip people into the sacrament simply because they are being faithful to whom G-D is calling them to be. In such a situation, the sacrament becomes a tool for fostering harm rather than good.

  • Sorry, I’ve tried to help you before, as have others. You’re just going to need to have a relationship with Jesus and hope the Holy Spirit guides you.
    The Bible does not mandate nor authorize YOU, or anyone else, to rebuke or pass judgement on people you do not know.” I guess you need to read a little further:2 Timothy 3:16-17English Standard Version (ESV)
    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[a] may be complete, equipped for every good work.”
    He was writing to the church. (edited)

  • It is called “reading in context.” We have to at least consider what is said before and after any verse we quote. If you had done this, you wouldn’t have thought you could judge someone you don’t know at all. Judgment has to consider intentions and not just acts. You can’t begin to know another person’s heart if you’ve never even met them.

  • Sandy, that is the nature of the problem. You are trying to help when there is nothing to help. You are butting your nose into areas that are none of your business. You are assuming that people do not have a relationship with Jesus nor are being guided by the Holy Spirit simply because G-D has placed them in a different place than you. How positively arrogant to assume that you know more than G-D does.
    And for the record, YOU are the one who has steadfastly refused to state whether or not you are a follower of Jesus versus a follower of the Bible. So before you start casting stones, take a good long hard look in the mirror.

  • I don’t know if your are a Roman Catholic as I am. The designation of sexuality does not “suggest habitual mortal sin” whether hetero or homo. It is only when the soul decides to commit sin that is grave and with full knowledge that it is guilty of mortal sin. I do not believe in offending anyone (even if I do). I believe in offering sound Roman Catholic teaching not just my opinion. As to St. Paul, he is direct about a long list of offenses not just homosexuality. I am not a homosexual nor do I worry about what St. Paul says about homosexuals in Romans 1: 28-31 I am more fearful of my conduct as an “arrogant, gossipy, boastful or merciless” Roman Catholic. Read the list it’s easy to find your behavior somewhere there. May God have mercy on us all!

  • Sorry we can’t agree on our ideas about church teaching. What you stated is in so many ways not Catholic teaching. We as faithful Catholics are called to live the Faith in truth and not the way you have stated in your comment. I am not stating my opinion but Church teaching. I cannot in good conscience agree with anything you state except “penance and reconciliation are good”. All else we cannot call Church teaching nor will I give my agreement.

  • What gives you the impression that I was addressing “church teaching?” Further, what gives you the impression that “church teaching” has any bearing in this pluralistic society that does not fall under the governance of “the church?”

    But, since you bring up the subject, not all “church teaching” is cast in stone. Dogma, which is teachings of the revealed truth is considered immutable. That church teaching (i.e., doctrine) that does not fall under the classification of dogma is open to change and has in fact been changed. The church’s teaching on sexuality falls under the category of simple doctrine. When it comes to homosexuality, the Church bases her teaching not on revealed truth but on the logic of Thomas Aquinas. The product of a logical argument is only as sound as its weakest premise. Aquinas made at least one faulty assumption. That faulty assumption renders the whole argument questionable.

    We are expected to honor church teaching, we are expected to render assent to doctrine and conform our minds to dogma. But nowhere in church teaching are we told that it is unacceptable to question the teaching of the Church. The Catholic Church has an ancient tradition of holding the magisterium on one side of the balancing rod and theologians on the other. In the not so distant past, some theologians were silenced and they remained silent out of their oath of obedience. That silencing was lifted and they were encouraged to continue that dialectic that has existed since the Church began. It is because of that dialectic that we saw changes in doctrine relating to slavery, women’s role in the church, inter racial marriage, etc. Doctrine does and has evolve. As the Thomistic assumptions around homosexuality are challenged by modern science it is inevitable that those teachings will change as well. To say so it not to express disrespect for the Church and her teachings but rather acknowledges a profound respect for how the Church has functioned for almost 2,000 years.

    You are also aware that when it comes to Church teaching on homosexuality that there is a wide range of teaching. In addition to the unhealthy description of “intrinsically disordered,” we are taught to have profound respect for the homosexual person and to treat him or her with dignity. Coming into a “room” and pointing fingers and making assumptions about sin (which is the norm when it comes to these discussions) deviates from church teaching. Focus on your own sin and let charity be your beacon in your dealings with others.

  • If you didn’t want to be heterosexual, you wouldn’t be Sandi. How ridiculous does that sound to you? Can you honestly say that you are capable of choosing to be homosexual? I’m not talking about engaging in homosexual acts–anyone is capable of that. What I am talking about is changing your basic orientation? There is not one reputable scientist who says that this is possible. It is up to people like me to put back the broken pieces of individuals who have had their lives destroyed by so called “conversion therapy.” It doesn’t work and people are harmed. That harm is real. Elsewhere I have spoken about individuals who have been severely damaged by well meaning “christians” attempting to “help” homosexual individuals. The harm you cause is real. The damage you cause can be permanent.

    A basic premise of natural law is that G-D does not create junk. G-D’s creation in it’s natural state is good. How often is that repeated in Genesis? G-D made the homosexual person, including his or her basic orientation, just as surely as S/He created the heterosexual person and her or his basic orientation. Neither are sin. Being in a loving relationship is not sin. If you had truly given your heart to the Lord, it would have been transformed to see as G-D sees–and so far all you’ve articulated is what Sandi sees.

  • Does that include healing of your pathological view towards people whom G-D created? Give it time, healing will come.

  • Christ is His title, Jesus is His name. Sandi, you have not given any scripture where Jesus denounces homosexuality–despite your delusions to the contrary. In case you don’t get it, that means–give a citation from the gospels, they are the only texts that claim to document the words of the historical person of Jesus.

  • It has ended because you have dug your head in the sand and pretended that the texts say what you think they say. Get your Greek Bible out; read the commentaries as to what those words mean, and stop advertising your ignorance.

  • And, Daniel has never give me any scripture that endorses homosexuality. Keep up mark.

  • You really don’t need a word to describe: Romans 1:26….For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men ” Christ laid it out pretty clearly.
    Where is your scripture endorsing homosexuality?

  • try helping yourself sandi. I can refer some good texts for you. I don’t need your help.

  • why does he need to give any scripture? There’s no scripture endorsing inter racial marriage yet it happens. There’s no scripture endorsing a lot of things that are perfectly acceptable. Scripture is not a rule book of endorsements and prohibitions.

  • His name is Jesus; His title is Christ. And there is no record of him saying such. G-D did not take possession of peoples’ bodies to write scripture. “The Word of God” is not equivalent to “the words of G-D.” Your logic is not supported by Scripture. Jesus is not recorded as saying “I wrote of me,” He said, “the prophets wrote.” Try reading the words actually attributed to Jesus. They contradict many of your assertions.

  • Actually, you do because that’s not what it says in Greek.
    What were the circumstances surrounding Paul writing that? What were the specific situations he was addressing? Hint: it’s in the context of the cultural influences on their worship services.

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/2013/10/romans-126-27-a-clobber-passage-that-should-lose-its-wallop/

    Note the use of the word ἄνθρωπε. That’s “anthropos” or the greek word for “the human person.” The word for those human persons with penises is “andros.” So, is Paul talking about men with penises or “men” in the sense of anthropos? English doesn’t discriminate. Greek does and Paul did. Anthropos is also non specific. It does not reference a particular man or men but humanity in general.

    Note the abrupt change in chapter 2: “Therefore you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things.” Even if Paul meant as you believe he means, he also says that it is wrong for you to come in and pass judgement. And No, neither Jesus nor Paul give blanket permission to judge. That permission is given to the elders of a community–elders who know the community members and their life situations. So, taken literally, your behavior in these forums means that you also have been engaging in those very behaviors that you are condemning. At least in the eyes of G-D, and that’s all that really matters.

  • Read the scripture mark….it’s easy enough to understand if you aren’t trying to confuse people.

  • I know…..I know…..divine spiritual enlightenment has only been given to you. All of the translators, over the thousands of years have been wrong, and YOU are the correct translation – slaps forehead – how silly of me!
    I’ll believe the Bible, thanks.

  • Actually, Moses was inter rationally married. Wrong again, Mark.
    You want to say the Bible endorses immorality, show us.

  • You need my help more than even you understand, my friend, and I’ve tried. I’ve seen people much better than me try to help you – Shawnee – and I cannot understand why you just cannot get it. Is it that you need to defend immorality on your part so badly that you are willing to go to Hell for what you believe?

  • Actually Sandi, the translators over thousands of years have not agreed with your interpretation. Look back to the first edition of the King James. Your view of scripture is particularly unique and has existed only as long as you’ve been “preaching.” The literal fundamentalists have only been around no more than a couple hundred years. In the history of Christianity, that is not a long time.

    Do you realize that whenever you are confronted with facts you resort to insults–thinly veiled as in “I have been trying to help you,” but insults none the less. It’s a rather convenient way of avoiding dealing with the real issues.

  • I have read the scriptures Sandi. Perhaps you should get to know Jesus. Are you His follower or the Bible’s?

  • I have looked at Romans 1 Sandi. Perhaps you should look at the whole letter.

    Where in Romans 1 does it say that Jesus is the same person as Moses, Paul, or any of the other authors of the scriptures? Are you referring to verse 8? You are aware of the part of speech “christ” was in this greek text? It was a descriptor of the person it referred to. “Christ” is not the equivalent of “Luckins.” Another way of translating the Greek would be “Jesus, The Christ.”

    Given all of that, why do you contradict the words attributed to Jesus whereby he attributes authorship to the Hebrew Scriptures to Moses, The Prophets, etc? If your assertion is true, why didn’t he refer to Himself as the author? Why? Because His understanding of Scripture does not conform to yours.

    Every New Testament writer, before setting anything down to text, got to know the historical person of Jesus. They absorbed what he said, how he lived, how he instructed us to treat each other, what he taught about the Reign of G-D being so close that you could touch it rather than far off and unattainable. Then they wrote and what they wrote was filtered through this person that walked on earth at a specific time in history, who was the revelation of G-D.

    You have been obdurate in your unwillingness to meet this historical Jesus, to meet this real person who was and is the revelation of G-D. You bastardize scripture so as to put words in Jesus’ mouth, you could care less about the circumstances in which texts were written (circumstances that influenced the authors and helped reveal G-D to the readers). You have a total disregard for the ways that Jesus commands us to relate to each other.

    A Christian is first and foremost a follower of Jesus. You have made it clear that you are a follower of the Bible and Jesus is only relevant in so far as He’s mentioned in the Bible. What that means Sandi is that you are not a Christian. If you want to demonstrate that you are, start acting like Jesus rather than some raging fool who wants to use the Word of G-D to beat people into submission. Jesus never did that and the people He did go off on were the religious people who put obstacles in the way of people encountering G-D–people like you.

  • Oh really? You will meet them there? Jesus scandalized people by teaching that G-D’s redeeming love is not contingent on following laws. I see that you relate more to the pharisees than Jesus. Ultimately, you are not the arbiter of how G-D deals with each of us. Neither is the Bible, the Bible is not G-D–it’s merely a finger that points to G-D. The pharisees also focused on the finger; you are not the first to do so.

  • You are the only one talking about immorality. You may want to take another look at the levitical laws regarding inter racial marriage. Wrong again Sandi.

    If you are talking about Biblical support for same sex relationships–(a) where does it say in the Bible that everything in life has to be endorsed by the Bible, and (b) read first and second Samuel and pay attention to the relationship between Jonathon and David. Attend to where Saul bitches his son out for his “perversity.” Yet, G-D favored David. His sin wasn’t a sexual relationship with a male, it was stealing another man’s wife. Despite that G-D promised that The Christ would be one of his descendants and thus it came to be.

  • DO NOT CALL ME YOUR FRIEND! If this is how you treat friends, I would drop you like a hot potato. You have made absolutely no attempt to listen. You have made absolutely no attempt to know me. You have made absolutely no attempt to know how G-D has been active in my life for almost 60 years. G-D and I are perfectly comfortable in our relationship and we will continue holding hands throughout this life and the next.

    What you have done is try to get me to conform to your way of thinking. That is something a sadist does, not a friend. Shawnee has her own issues and nothing she did was an attempt to “help.” She was more invested in proving the extent of her intellect and proving herself “right” than getting to know anybody such that she could “help” them.

    I just can’t understand why you want to play G-D and think you have the right to tell Her/Him that S/He has created “immorality.” Spend some time with Jesus. Get to know Him as well as you think you know the Bible.

    Don’t you ever again have the audacity to think that you know me–that is the absolute minimum necessary for the title “friend.”

    I pray with all my might that G-D not give you a gay child. It’s better that you be sterile than that child be put through the hell that they would endure with you as a parent. If and when you can demonstrate that you could approach that child with the type of love commanded by Jesus, I will apologize for that statement. Quite frankly, I don’t see that happening.

  • I’ve read your post agreed with some and not other things. I hope you are not referring to me when you state,”coming into a ‘room’ and pointing fingers and making assumptions about sin”. Not so. I do not point fingers, just inform and if that seems judgmental I apologize. My belief is that all sin needs to be repented before we leave this life and to encourage others to deny their sinfulness may leave them without the knowledge to repent before God and receive forgiveness. I would hate to have someone I know think that they were not in need of repentance and die unrepentant due to my guidance. To me this would not be their first best destiny. This is my belief. You are welcome to disagree but I feel I inform others out of charity. As to focusing on my own sin… I do, I am a sinner in need of God’s mercy. There is really no need for you to remind me, “my sin is before me always”. God bless you Mark, a real true honest blessing.

  • Actually, I was referring to you. “Just informing” and “coming into a room…” is a distinction without a difference. Your belief is fine but your “guidance” is not needed. That basic underlying assumption for the need for guidance–whether expressed subtly as you or intrusively as Sandi and others–assumes that the other is not already being guided by the one who remains hidden. That is the underlying principle that remains offensive. In the final analysis it is not going to be how well one conforms to the teachings of the Church, or interpretations of the Bible but, rather, on how well we conform to the voice of the hidden one. In AL Francis is reintroducing the ancient teaching of the role of conscience. A conscience must be formed and informed but it is not necessary that it conform. Some people do not like what Francis is doing. By saying that one needs to attend both to what the Church teaches and the voice of the hidden one, he is shifting the ultimate holder of power away from “church leaders” back to G-D.

    Bring witness to how the hidden one is working in your life; talk about struggling with your own sin; talk about how your choices help or hinder your relationship with the hidden one. Those are tools that the hidden one can use to help speak to other peoples’ hearts. But the focus shifts from you telling people what is sin and what is not sin to allowing that honor to shift back to the One to whom it belongs.

    I do not believe that it is your intent to be malicious. I don’t believe that it is the intent of Sandi and people of her ilk to be malicious. Grossly put, you both want to save people from the fires of hell. Ultimately though, that’s not your job. It was a job assigned to the One who walked and walks among us as the revelation of the hidden one.

    I am so passionate about this because I am one of those who has had bring healing to people damaged by well meaning “Christians.” The fundamentalist flavor of christians may do the most dramatic damage but the damages done to the human soul by the “teachings of the Church” also cause damages. To recap, I’ve had patients who have tried to burn of their genitals, kill themselves, project their anger out onto others, And there have been those for whom the pain was too much and are now home with the hidden one. All of this because they had been taught that they were fundamentally defective. I see part of Jesus’ message as being: if our sincerely and firmly held religious beliefs are doing damage to people (here and now) maybe it is time to challenge those beliefs. Or, expressed more towards fundamentalists: the Bible, like the sabbath, was made for the human person not the human person made for the Bible.

    The tone of your response is very different from that of some others and I want to let you know that that is appreciated. There is a new dialogue that is beginning to take place at least in the Catholic Church. Your response indicates that you could play a helpful role in that dialogue. There needs to be a return to the core message of the Gospel. That’s what converted people. Ultimately, the core message is not about sexuality.

    In any event, thank you for your thoughtful reply. My intent is not to shoot the messenger (despite how it may seem). Blessings be with you as well.

  • 1 Corinthians 11:14 says that long hair on a man is both “disgraceful” or atimia and against nature or physis. Atimia and physis are both used in Romans 1:26-27. Should we then warn men with long hair that they will go to hell unless they repent?

  • 1 Corinthians 6:9 also says that slanderers or loidoros won’t inherit the Kingdom of Heaven, yet you constantly make excuses for reviling Gay persons.

  • We don’t know JUST what kind of act arsenokoitus refers to. However, two examples of meanings we can rule out are lesbian and direction of feelings and attractions or orientation.

  • Another example of whère Paul quotes what other people are saying is “a man should not touch a woman” in 1 Corinthians 7:1, which the rest of this chapter is a response to.

  • Daniel, a lot of people are going to go to Hell – including homosexuals My desire is that they should be saved to protect them from Hell. You can pretend to be their advocate – like you – or you can help them to go to Heaven.

  • The discussion is homosexuality Daniel. Christ taught that homosexuality is unnatural and a sin.

  • yawn. Sorry, God isn’t comfortable with you if you are rebelling against Him.
    Shawnee could help you a lot – your arrogance gets in the way.
    I’ve never told anyone they were created immorally. That’s your schtick.

  • Are you trying to condone homosexuality mark? Jeepers, you don’t even know the Bible! Are you collaborating with Daniel on a new Bible. Don’t waste my time mark.

  • I’m going to Heaven. I would like to meet you there and if I could help you to have a relationship with Jesus, I would.

  • Actually, they have agreed that homosexuality is a sin that will send one to Hell if not repented of. Learn your Bible, rather than trying to impress people with knowledge you don’t have, my friend. Blessings, we’re finished.

  • The Bible is fine just the way it is. You should try understanding what it means instead of just what it says. Whether or not your time is wasted, I don’t really give a damn. What I care about are the lives that you are damaging.
    What I am condoning is G-D’s choice to do whatever G-D chooses to do.

  • Long hair is also called “unnatural and disgraceful,” and you say homosexuality is a sin because it is “unnatural.” Why would long hair on a man not also be a sin, since it is also “unnatural?”

  • Sorry Sandi, G-D is not comfortable with you if you are harming just one of His/Her little ones. The only one that I am rebelling against is YOU. Don’t be so arrogant to believe that you are G-D. Shawnee is no help. She may help you because your views are sympicatico. If that is where G-D has placed you in your relationship with Her/Him, that is exactly where you are meant to be. What is arrogance is the belief that G-D is obliged to place everyone else in the same place that He/She has placed you. What is arrogance is to assume that you know the mind of G-D. What is arrogance is to call yourself a Christian when in truth you are simply a worshiper of the Bible.

    Use of the word immorality is your schtick. Go back and review your writing and observe where I use the word. To call that which G-D created immoral is to call the person immoral. There is absolutely no way around that.

  • If you don’t understand, Daniel, I suggest you read a Bible. Try the NASB. Put down the one you are trying to write.

  • You can try to sound like the nice guy, mark but all you are doing is encouraging people onto a road to Hell – as I assume you are. (Please prove me wrong)
    But, that said, as long as you are contradicting Christ, that will be your fate, (Galatians 1:8-11) along with Daniel. You make the choice.
    Again, have a nice day.

  • The very fact that you are passing judgment on my relationship with G-D demonstrates that you are acting contrary to the Bible which you worship.

  • I read the Bible in GREEK. Both Romans 1:26-27 and 1 Corinthians 11:14 use the same Greek words to talk about homosexuality and about long hair. Why do you evade the similar language? Or else, try a concordance.

  • Sandi, You have been consistently obdurate in refusing to state whether you were a follower of Jesus or a follower of the Bible. One recognizes a follower of Jesus by the fact that he or she acts like Jesus. You act nothing like Jesus.

  • find someone else to try to impress… you are still trying to justify sin……you have a nice day too.

  • Who as agreed? When have they agreed? The past hundred or so years proves nothing. Read your Bible and understand that it is not a recipe for how to get sent to Hell.

    I do not know how to tell you in a nice way so I will resort to language that you understand–You f*** b***, I am not your friend! You want respect, Give it.

    One of the guidelines for discussions on religionnews is supposed to be no homophobia. I do not know why you were not banned a long time ago.

  • You know what happens when you assume. You do that a lot. Particularly assuming that you know the mind of G-D. The only one that I am contradicting is YOU.

  • Good luck. You do realize that if any child of yours were to come to me in my professional capacity and I found out that your online persona matched your actual behaviors that I would be legally obligated to report you to child protective services.

    You have the right to believe what you want. What you don’t have the right is to impose those beliefs on others or cast judgment on people who believe differently than you do.

  • All you have to do is answer the question as why long hair is different from homosexuality. Attacking my motives is not an argument.

  • The word “homosexual” has existed for approximately 200 years. Ten percent of the history of Christian life. It is impossible to agree that something is a sin when the specificity of that “something” didn’t exist. Your interpretation of Scripture is modeled after what you want or need it to say. I could give you some texts on how to study the Bible and delve further into what G-D is revealing but you choose to wallow in your ignorance.

  • Christ taught love. You preach that being heterosexual is the most important thing in the world.

  • You have no idea of what I preach because you do not know Jesus. What are you going to do when Christ tells you, “Away from me, I never knew you”? That is what I am trying to protect you from.

  • Mark obviously recognizes that you don’t know what you are talking about as he always tries to come in during our conversations trying to maintain the confusion that you’ve attempted to start. Even he knows you don’t know what you are talking about, Daniel. Repent and be saved, my friend.

  • You don’t know what you are talking about, since you don’t know that long hair was considered unnatural, and you deny that, when the Greek text clearly states that. You are clearly in the dark if you think HE thinks I don’t know what I am talking about. If you keep slandering other people, you risk punishment from God. Honestly, you seem to be a bit of a sociopath. You refuse to empathize with others. You refuse to even attempt to understand what another person goes through.

  • Why didn’t Jesus tell that to the prostitutes? He said they were entering the Kingdom of Heaven. Having no compassion for other people, for instance, by insisting that homosexual FEELINGS as opposed to ACTS are completely chosen doesn’t demonstrate any relationship with Jesus on your part. Jesus taught that we are judged more by what we do for the “least of these” (Matthew 25:31-46) than whether we are heterosexual or not. In fact, Jesus taught that we must at times “hate our heterosexual family” in Luke 14:26. Claiming that being Heterosexual is more important than faith and love demonstrates you don’t have the slightest clue about Jesus. You not only bear false witness about Gays, but you also bear false witness about Jesus. This could very well have eternal consequences for you.

  • Were you there when the prostitutes entered the Kingdom of Heaven, Daniel? Homosexuality is a sin that you make worse by endorsing it. Even if the Lord allows prostitutes, He did say that homosexuals would not enter anywhere…..Christ taught that you need to repent of your sin, hon….and there is no getting around that.

  • You don’t know what I know and don’t Daniel, but I do know that the only scripture you seem to know is what you hope approves of homosexuality, and that is wrong. Mark seems to have to come in while we were talking to try to uphold your errors, my friend. He must not have much confidence in you.

  • Why wouldn’t Jesus accept Gay people if he could accept prostitutes? And anyway, 1 Corinthians 6:9 could mean a lot of things- probably cult prostitution. But clearly you are condemned by being a loidoris or reviler, which is listed in that text.

  • You have never been correct when you “corrected” my understanding of texts. For instance, I clearly showed you were wrong in your understanding of Jude 6. All scholars agree with me on Jude 6. I also showed you were wrong about Ruth cleaving to Naomi in Ruth 1:14. My Hebrew dictionary states that dabaq or “cleave” has a similar meaning in Genesis 2:24 and Ruth 1:14. Arbustin, who knows Hebrew , vouched that I was right and you were wrong in your understanding of Hebrew texts. However, I don’t know Hebrew as well as I know Greek. I lived in Greece for two years and took Greek To the advanced level. I also learned ancient Greek in college. Just INSISTING that you are right without offering any evidence from the Greek or Hebrew doesn’t make you right. And if you know Greek and Hebrew, you don’t give any evidence of this. And then falsely claiming I don’t know Greek is not an argument.

  • No condemnation here Daniel. I trust Jesus enough to believe Him. When we are born again, regular confession of sin is necessary, but, I will go to Heaven. This is what I am hoping for, for you.
    Christ has taught that homosexuals will not see the Kingdom of Heaven. Now, you can find others He has said that to, and try to diminish it, or you can believe Him.
    He loves you Daniel. He loves you enough that He died for you, so you don’t need to pay the penalty for your sins – for all of us, a hefty price. But, He will not wink at your sin because someone else sins, as per your normal routine with being confronted with your sin. He said that homosexuality is worthy of death (Leviticus 18:22;20:13)
    He loves you, but, you are an unrepentant sinner who is working against Him.
    You need to be born again. (John 3:3). Choose Christ over homosexuality, my friend. He loves you more.

  • No Sandi, you WON’T go to heaven. You keep insisting that it is alright for you to slander and revile other people, you will exclude yourself from God’s kingdom.

  • Daniel, you can argue with me until the cows come home, or you can accept Jesus as your Lord and Saviour and believe Him. He will point you to the truth.
    I don’t care what you think you know, you’re wrong and you are misleading people to their perdition and their own. Repent and be saved or when you meet the Lord, how will He know you?
    You are hoping to save yourself and it ain’t gonna happen.

  • Hon yes I am and absolutely nothing you can say will change, or alter that reality. I want the same for you, my friend. Quit hurting yourself.

  • I don’t care what you think. Jesus taught that ALL who believe in him will have eternal life in John 3:16. He even accepted Eunuchs in Matthew 19. Like I stated, do you really think you are doing Christ’s work is ALL you do for him is just tell people who do nothing to harm you or anyone else that they are going to Hell? You are not a Christian, but a smug, self righteous person. You don’t have the slightest amount of humility.

  • Anyway, you seem exactly like the way the Pharisees are described by Jesus. They are self righteous and they always find scriptures to condemn other people by. This may not have been true of the Pharisees, but this description fits you very well and you could be condemned to hell for this.

  • No you’re not. You place more importance on heterosexuality than you do Jesus. You love your heterosexuality more.

  • 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.”

  • The point is that you are just as they are described. For instance, gathering wood on the Sabbath carried the Death penalty in Numbers 16. Jesus healed on the Sabbath when he didn’t need to. The Pharisees condemned him for that.

  • I believe in Jesus. I just don’t worship heterosexuality as you do. We are justified by Faith, not by heterosexuality. Salvation is a FREE gift, not earned by being heterosexual. It is Faith acting through Love.

  • You can believe in the mail box Daniel. The point is, Jesus needs to be your Lord and Saviour. That means, we believe what He to wrote and don’t go scrounging around to every site that may try to contradict Him.
    God’s word stands strong and firm, Daniel, as hard as you may try to make it appear untrue. Repent and be saved.

  • Jesus isn’t your Lord and Savior. You trust in your own righteousness. You say we should confess our sins, yet you never acknowledge any sins of your own. You twist God’s Word when you claim that the most important thing for us to do is to be heterosexual. What about Micah 6:8 which states that all the Lord requires is we act Justly, love kindness and walk humbly with God? But you say the most important thing is for us to be heterosexual. This error is stated no where in God’s Word.

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

    You can fight with me, or you can become a Christian. Your choice. Repent and be saved, Daniel.

  • And anyway, being a faux Christian as you are, you are the one who started fighting with me. I was just asking a question, trying not to fight with you, and you called a liar. Everybody in “Exodus International” found it impossible, just like me, even with prayer to change their attractions. Are you saying every last one of them is a liar? Is Alan Chambers going to hell because he failed to become heterosexual? Being the faux Christian you are, you have a complete lack of compassion for others. You refuse to walk with a person in their shoes. Would God condemn hermaphrodites to hell? I bet you would say yes.

  • Yes I am. Christ said that He would forgive and heal us of our sin. You need to become a saved Christian Daniel.

  • You certainly are not Christian at all. You are filled with hate, but pretend not to be. That is called “hypocrisy. “

  • thank you for the blessing Daniel. If you ever become a Christian, you’ll understand your error

  • Christ never healed you of your hate, he didn’t even get you to admit your hate. Therefore you could not possibly be Christian. You don’t manifest even ONE fruit of the Spirit, such as Love, Joy or Peace. You are a very bitter person, not a Christian by any stretch.

  • Daniel, if I hated you, I wouldn’t want to see you saved. This is how disordered you have allowed your thinking to become.

  • Again, see my other response to understand how disordered your thinking has become. Blessings.

  • You hate me as I am. It would be similar to saying that I need to repent of my eye color. You also express hate and contempt by not showing me any respect for my experience. Saying someone deserves to die and burn in hell for who they are is not a belief rooted in love, and really is not Biblical, because the Bible speaks of acts, not innate feelings. The Bible may speak against certain expressions of feelings, but the not the feelings themselves. All of our feelings are God given. You cause a lot of harm telling people that what they basically are condemns them to hell. This could cause many people to commit suicide as well as inciting violence against LGBT persons. I’ve studied this a long time and know in my heart that you are completely wrong on this issue. Because you are certain you are right doesn’t make you right.

  • “Father, I know that I have broken your laws and my sins have separated me from you. I am truly sorry, and now I want to turn away from my past sinful life toward you. Please forgive me, and help me avoid sinning again. I believe that your son, Jesus Christ died for my sins, was resurrected from the dead, is alive, and hears my prayer. I invite Jesus to become the Lord of my life, to rule and reign in my heart from this day forward. Please send your Holy Spirit to help me obey You, and to do Your will for the rest of my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.”

  • FEELINGS in and of themselves are not sin. For instance, “be angry, but don’t sin.”

  • That assumes that he isn’t already one. Since the defining feature of a christian is to be a follower of Jesus and you have steadfastly refused to state whether you are a follower of Jesus or a follower of the Bible. By refusing, you are providing data to support the conclusion that you are not christian.

  • Or what Jesus said were the two greatest commandments, or the commands that Jesus gave his disciples, etc. etc.

    Sandi is absolutely unique in how she interprets scripture. I’ve seen the methodology of many many different faith traditions and I have not seen one who puts the words of moses, paul, etc., into the mouth of Jesus.

    The only reason that I can think of to explain why sandi is so fixated on homosexuality is….. Well, it’s like the parable of the workers at the vineyard. They are annoyed because the folks who were hired five minutes before quitting time get paid the same as them. It’s jealousy pure and simple. They were dedicated and gave it all and these little brats got to enjoy their day and get paid the same as us. I wonder what Sandi thinks she is missing by having been one who works all day for the same reward as those who get to enjoy life?

  • Exactly. Not Paul, not Moses, not anyone else but Jesus. Don’t start your nonsense that Paul is Jesus and Moses is Jesus because you are wrong.

    Now start demonstrating that you are following what the Jesus of the Gospels taught. You just love to avoid what historical person who lived, breathed and walked/walks among us said and did not say and, instead, escape into this nonesense of yours.

    Once again, you give evidence that you are a follower of the Bible and not of Jesus. That’s idolatry (in case you ever get tired of pointing out what you see as others’ sins).

  • Only when he speaks “ex-cathedra.” 99.9999% of what any pope has said about faith and morals is not infallible because it was not pronounced ex-cathedra.

    If the American bishops are going to argue that “political speech” and political behavior is an expression of religious freedom then what Pope Francis has to say about political situations, economy, protecting the earth, etc.–as they relate to the deposit of faith, is indeed relevant. Not infallible but definitely meriting serious attention.

  • I understand the ex-cathedra distinction, but the fact is that this Pope is politicizing Catholicism, rather than catholicizing politics. His job regarding politics is to bring the wisdom and insight of the Catholic tradition to bear on political issues, but he is turning political issues into badges of fidelity to Catholicism.

  • Personally, I do not see it that way. From where I sit what he is doing is bringing wisdom and insight of the catholic tradition on political and social issues. Keeping one’s faith life limited to Sunday morning is easy. To relate to one another in the manner commanded by Jesus is more difficult and has very real implications for how we function in the world.

  • Nice try but that dog don’t hunt. Let’s try this. You provide me with a scholarly source that supports your assertion that Jesus is the one dictating all the words in the Bible. I don’t want your logic. I want a source. A scholar who’s opinion will support yours.

    In 40 years of formal study I have not seen such an argument. The end result of such an argument is to elevate the Bible to a status equivalent to that of Jesus. That’s idolatry.

  • Trying to get someone to conform to your way of thinking is not helping.

    Since you are unable to provide any scholarly reference to support your assertions, I am forced to conclude that you are simply pulling those out of your ass. True education includes providing more than simply your assertions.

    Given the above you are simply reinforcing the perspective that you are a worshiper of the Bible. I hope you have invested in asbestos underwear for idolators will not be admitted into heaven.

  • Excellent comment! Excuse me if I reflect on one small part. The phrase, “love the sinner but hate the sin.” It is cute; it’s popular, but it’s not scriptural. If you take the way Jesus lived and taught, a better approximation to His message might be: “love the sinner and hate your own sin.” The former statement still emphasizes the perception that there is something defective about the other, something sinful. Jesus’ approach wasn’t to focus on the sin of those to whom he ministered (his comments to the “religious” are another thing). What He did was emphasize a radically new message–that has a place for each of us and is anxious to be in relationship. That message transformed people and still transforms people. Telling somebody that they are going to hell because “it says in the Bible….” doesn’t reveal G-D to anybody and, in fact, probably drives them away. Sorry to detract from your comment; the use of that comment is one of my pet peeves 🙂

  • Criticism isn’t “anti-catholic.” It is something that has existed in the church as far back as Paul rebuking Peter. For most of our history there has been a wonderful dialectic between the magisterium and theologians. That’s how doctrine evolves (unlike dogma). The church’s teaching on sexuality falls in the realm of doctrine, not dogma. There is room for evolution and it is necessary for voices such as Daniel’s to be heard for that evolution to take place. It’s easy to push people way with absolutist comments that I see hear. That’s not how conversion takes place. We need to start listening to each others’ stories of how G-D is active in our lives. That means temporarily setting aside judgements and actually listening. Conversion is possible–and not simply from those on one side of the dialogue.

    As I scroll down, i see that I’ve already addressed the substance of this. Pardon my Alzheimers.

  • “It’s easy to push people way with absolutist comments that I see hear. That’s not how conversion takes place. We need to start listening to each others’ stories of how G-D is active in our lives. That means temporarily setting aside judgements and actually listening.” BEAUTIFUL!!! Sandi not only doesn’t listen to my story, she even tells me I lie about my own experience that I obviously know better than she does. It would make a WORLD of difference if we just listened to each other!!

  • I would think after 40 years, it would be time to learn the truth mark. Why are you so resistant to it?

  • Yet, you follow me around, every comment, trying to get me to come to your beliefs……hmmmmmm.

  • “To relate to one another in the manner commanded by Jesus is more difficult and has very real implications for how we function in the world.”

    I would certainly not disagree with that as an abstract proposition – the operative word being “abstract.” It’s sufficiently abstract, in fact, that both sides in this set-to could lean on it to rationalize their positions. The real question is, “is Catholicism steering his politics, or are politics steering his Catholicism?” Unfortunately, partisans of both interpretations of the evidence can state their case and explain their motives in approximately the same religious terms.

  • What does the Bible say about idolators sandi? Buy lots of asbestos underwear.

  • Then I will type the meme out:
    “We do not draw people to Christ by loudly
    discrediting what they believe, by telling them
    how wrong they are and how right we are, but
    by showing them a light that is so lovely
    that they want with all their heart to know the
    source of it.”

    Many people have tried to show you the light sandi, but you don’t want to see it. That’s your loss.

  • I don’t care whether or not you come to my beliefs. If G-D has put you where you are that is exactly where you are supposed to be. That doesn’t mean that everyone is supposed to be there.

    Believe what you want. When you use those beliefs to justify being an abusive bitch I will call you on it.

  • A third option is that the Gospel of Jesus is being proclaimed regardless of politics. The Gospel illuminates all that it shines on–including the political world.

  • I agree Daniel. I too have been horribly bruised, even abused by some in the Church who have been entirely too quick to engage in Scripturally unjust judgements of me by things like photoshop false images of me on the Internet. None of the people in my fellowship who called me a “whore” or a “witch” ever bothered to even ask if I was aware of the things that were posted by unscrupulous people with horrible motives. Jesus is the Pascal Sacrifice, not me. The ironic thing is that as an intercessor I often spent time, effort and even tears in agonizing prayer for their benefit or that of their loved ones. Saying that you “regret unfortunate presentiments” after effectively causing a nervous breakdown in an innocent woman isn’t sufficient. The Church should be more than just a place of worship and instruction; it should be a place for healing and loving exchange between people who are extremely grateful for a Creator who cared enough to send His very Best. There but for the Grace of God go I. I am so sorry for some of the things you have experienced. Yes, sometimes it is necessary to confront sin. I have done so on extremely rare occasion, but only under the unction and then after praying and receiving specific instruction. The Bible says if you see someone overtaken in a sin, then you are to pray for them. The Bible doesn’t only say that it is a sin when you fornicate or commit adultery; it takes it a great big level further and states that if a man merely looks upon a woman with lust in his heart he has essentially committed adultery. Mother Mary and Holy God do desire to see their spiritual children walk in holiness. But conviction about sin is a gift – true repentance leads to salvation, hence the sacrament of reconciliation, or even what is popularly called “The Sinner’s Prayer”. I am not a homosexual but the Lord has placed a number of people in my life who identify that way, and if I can somehow minister to your heart I would like to stand in the place of those who have tried to beat you over the head with doctrine and with true humility of heart and mind stand in their stead and say “Daniel, will you please forgive me? I don’t know what it is like to identify as a homosexual, but I have other crosses that I bear and my sin is ever before me. Would you like to take up your cross and follow Him daily who loves you with an everlasting love which is beyond human capacity to comprehend this side of heaven?” I would consider it a privilege of you would walk with me. Please Daniel, I beseech you by the mercies of God, do not throw out the baby with the bathwater. There are tons of issues with many aspects of the institutional Church. And self-righteousness is a major one. There are none righteous, no not one says my Bible. But the Bible calls Him Jehova Tskidkenu, God our Righteousness. True Christianity is about living the exchanged life. We exchange our unrighteousness for His righteousness at the New Birth. Then we live by His Mercy and Grace until He calls us home to heaven or returns to take His Church (Whom He tenderly calls his “bride”) up with him when He returns at the second coming. Daniel, Daniel, hear the voice and the heart of the Almighty for you this night! Come home, come home, ye who are weary come home! as the famous Protestant hymn sings. God loves you, he loves you through me and many others who understand that only too well if it weren’t for prevenient Grace, that is the very Grace of God it takes to realize that you are in need of a Savior. We are also desperately in need of a Savior. And the beauty of an observant Christian walk is that we should grow in Mercy and Love as we mature in our walks with Christ, not become dried up wizened hypocrites who love to take the speck out of the other’s eye while completely ignoring the beam in our own. Jesus didn’t come to save the spiritually healthy but the spiritually sick. All are spiritually sick because of original sin – we must all come to the realization that we need Him. And what I have said over and over again these past twenty eight years identifying as a Christian to others who don’t know Him is, if you could only see Him for who He really is, how magnificently beautiful He is ( the Lily of the Valley, the Fairest of ten thousand ) and how great a Love He bears you, you would run to Him with wild abandon, not from Him, the Lover of your soul. He loves you to the point of the shedding of His blood, and He took my place and your place in Hell between Calvary and the Resurrection. It is an exchanged life Daniel. Exchange your sins and challenges for His forgiveness, peace, joy, love, hope, patience, goodness, gentleness, humility, and acceptance. He is a good, good God. As John the beloved Apostle simply states in his epistles, “God is Love”. He really, really is. Oh, the blood of Jesus, Oh, the blood of Jesus, Oh the blood of Jesus, it washes white as snow. Be ye made clean and every whit whole. Come as you are, just as I came as I was January 15, 1989 when I asked Jesus Christ into my heart to be my personal Savior and Lord. Like a marriage whose romance has never faded, He still takes my breath away. Be enraptured in His Love. All he wants from us is everything. And all He gives us is His all. Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb. Be blessed Daniel. Peace be with you and yours. You are loved.

  • Thank you Mook for your humility of heart and mind and your refreshing honesty. I agree wholeheartedly with your point that not gently and meekly seeking to share truth with our brothers and sisters in Charitable Love about unconfessed and unadressed sin in their lives so that they might have the opportunity to repent and undergo the sacrament of reconciliation is ultimately not in their very best interest. However I am also aware that there is a qualitative difference between encouraging one another toward love and good works and evangelizing the lost. Sweet Jesus, as the Jesuits posit, let us see as God sees and love as God loves. Heaven help us every one.

  • Mark does know what he is talking about. Jesus said to the woman caught in the act of adultery ” Where are your accusers woman? She replied , none, sir” When Jesus challenged the angry mob (which some theologians have written was a set up by the Sanhedrin in order to catch Jesus in a “heresy”) (and where was the man caught up in the act of adultery? no sexism there) he stated “let he who is without sin cast the first stone” Each hatemongerer quietly put down their instruments of destruction and walked away. You are obdurate. You are using Scriptures out of context to browbeat people for whom Jesus died. This is anything but the love of Christ. Repent.

  • Thank you for your encouraging words. I was hoping I was not being pharisaical as Mark seems to point out. I would not want to see anyone hurt or hurting themselves due to my comments. I would also not want to fail anyone spiritually by not helping to encourage repentance. I will examine my motivation though, since I might be erring unconsciously by trying to make people feel I have the answers. I don’t but I do believe that the Church does. May God”s mercy be our guide and charity be our goal.

  • Furthermore, the letter of the law kills, But the royal law of love is life and peace. I have been absolutely flambeed by people in the institutional Church who beat me over the head with my long ago repented for sins because they presume to know my heart and conscience better than either God or I do. You think you are doing a service to God by Bible thumping but you are killing people by degrees with your brand of legalistic self righteousness. You suffer from a Pharisaical spirit and you are doing real damage. Take heed to your own walk lest you fall in to sin beyond your own imaginings. It is spiritual pride that says that you will never fall into this or that sin. While you may not ever be tempted to engage in homosexual sex, you may some day be tempted and even fall into sin a lot more destructive. Pride goes before a fall. Lucifer’s greatest sin was spiritual pride. He originally was an Archangel of indescribable beauty who is believed to have been before his fall in charge of the musical worship before the throne of God. Sandi, Sandi, take heed before you go too far. We are all capable, even the regenerate, given the wrong set of circumstances in times of weakness of literally murdering. Stop using words as weapons. And it is ignorant to criticize the things that you don’t understand. Selah.

  • mark – reprove a wise person and he will love you for it. Not only is Sandi a homophobe, she is doing what a lot of ostensibly religious people do when confronted with ideas or positions they make sweeping judgements about – they attack rather than engage in a meaningful and respectful way. Thank you for demonstrating extraordinary patience and due diligence. Proverbs states that it isn’t wise to try to break up a dogfight with your bare hands, lest you wind up getting bit. You are a braver person than I. When I have been on the receiving end of this kind of hubris I sometimes ask to speak with that person’s pastor. This usually gets them to back off their affront. A little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing. More power to you

  • Actually I am aware of a Protestant music minister and Christian apologist who did come out of the life and is now a happily married married man with children and grandchildren. People can and do come out of the life via ministries such as Exodus International but I agree that it has to be a personal choice and something that is the desire of the person who has homosexual feeling or experience. I don’t say this to try to persuade you to be or to do anything, but just to offer an example of someone who previously identified as Gay who is now living out their life as a heterosexual with contentment. Peace be with you.

  • Just because a gay man may be “happily married” to a woman doesn’t mean he doesn’t have homosexual feelings anymore. Irving Bieber, someone who had claimed to have changed “30%” of gay men to straight admitted to me that none of them had changed their feelings from gay to straight. His claim was rather that they were “happily married.” There are gay men who CAN sexually function with a woman, just like there are left handed people who can use their right hand.

  • People with your particular attitudes and actions are the very reason why many are turned off to Christianity. They see what happens and say, who in their right mind would want that? You say you know Jesus yet I see none of His love or compassion. Mahatma Ghandi was once quoted as saying “I have read your Scriptures and am attracted by the teachings of your Jesus. I would have readily become a Christian had it not been for the fact that I have observed the behaviors of those who claim to follow Him”. One of the greatest men in modern history chose to remain a Hindu rather than embrace the Son of His Love because of unChristlike behavior on the part of the purportedly converted. It is an indictment of the Church. And it is an indictment on the part of your verbal bashing. Squeeze the average unhealed American Christian, and you get battery acid. Terrible. Simply terrible.

  • Sandi, the Scriptures say, who am I to judge another man’s servant? All true believers are servants of Christ. We don’t serve Christ by taking Scripture out of context or by insisting that our own limited perspective can be broadly applied to all persons in all circumstances. Saint Mother Teresa of Calcutta advised her disciples to spend as much time in prayer listening for the still small voice of God as in praying. Your attitudes and actions have been anything but prayerful and contemplative. You haven’t even begun to listen with your ears, much less your heart to what these men have been trying to communicate to you. I pray that the Lord would soften your heart which I perceive to be very hard and unyielding. I am not queer, but I am a person made in the similtude of God who loves Jesus who has her own set of challenges. I rely on the Grace of God to get me through my daily walk. I suggest that you do too. The Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecutions. This is a warning in Scripture. But the Holy Spirit writing through the Apostle speaks of persecution coming from the unregenerate in the world system, not from people in the Church. If you really want to hear the heart of God, try Googling the prayer of St. Francis of Assissi. It begins, “Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon.” And it continue from there. I am very attracted to the spirituality of the Franciscans. There is a lot of Love there. St. Francis of Assissi loved in Spirit and in Truth as well as in deed. Many non-Catholics are attracted to Franciscan spirituality, as well as a surprising number of intellectually honest people outside the fold of the Church. You might find healing for your woundedness.

  • The Scripture says that you will know them by their fruit. I agree with the men. You have been, I am sorry to say, very hateful. Jesus said “Suffer, (which in modern English means permit) the little children to come unto me, for such as these are made up the Kingdom of God”. We are to be child like, not childish. If you are saved you are barely saved and in need of a serious correction. I am not your spiritual authority but if I were we would have a long talk about demonstrating the Love of Christ first and foremost and about not going off half-cocked on social media regurgitating ignorance. You can sit on a pew for decades and still be a spiritual infant. It is time to grow up Sandi. I am grieved by what I have observed in these writings and I am grieved by your appalling lack of Love. I pray that you get the healing and edification that you require. But more importantly I pray that you become convicted about the power of the tongue. We are responsible for every idle word. And Proverbs states that even a fool is deemed wise when he keeps his mouth shut. Wisdom is known of her children. A word to the wise is sufficient.

  • That’s right Daniel. It is hypocritical to say that you are a Christian yet demonstrate palpable hatred for a people group you don’t agree with. People are drawn to the Light of Christ. Forgive me for witnessing earlier. I hadn’t scrolled down through the the postings. By the way, the Protestant Music minister who now identifies as straight with the family and active ministry is Dennis Jernigan. I was surprised to hear you say that everyone at Exodus International refuted the premise of the ministry. When I started out 28 years ago they were well received. But like people, ministries evolve over time and perhaps this one came under the attacks of the Adversary. By the way, a wonderfully funny and sensitive man named Michael DeSalvo witnessed to me 29 years ago when I was in and of the world system. He struggled with sexual orientation. We lost contact with one another after I left the
    Church I was saved in when I moved to another state to attend Bible College. Via Facebook we reconnected for a few months just in time before he tragically went home at the age of 53 of a massive heart attack. The joy of finding my lost friend was incredible! We both smiled with tears in our eyes about the way God’s Grace had truly been amazing in both of our walks. The Bible says a friend loves at all times. Michael was a true friend. And now he is in heaven sending Snoopy cartoon GIF’s to his friends who preceded him death to their mutual merriment. God truly does know the heart. Only He is the One wise judge. We will all stand or fall before Him at the Bema Seat not only based on our acceptance or rejection of Christ but also on how we treated one another. Love one another, for love is of God. I am so sorry that you have had to endure hateful behaviors on the part of homophobes. Would to God that I could take your pain away. I pray that you find great heartpeace on the part of those who see you for who you are, a man for whom Jesus died. All heaven rejoiced when you made a decision for Jesus. I rejoice with you brother for the victories and Graces God brings to your daily life and support you in your decision to attend the Church of your choosing. There is victory in the camp of the Living God! I agape you.

  • Agreed – that’s the main option, actually, and it’s what we are all called to do. The difficulty, of course, is that it is more easily (and more frequently) conceptualized than realized; or, in other words, “it’s easier said than done.” The problem, as usual, occurs in the process of translating belief into behavior (and faith into action). What else is new?

  • Daniel, the last thing in the world I would want to do is alienate you. I have been up all night defending you and Mark Morin and if not outright excoriating Sandi Luckins addressing her sin in no uncertain terms. I realize that most queers believe that they are born that way. The minister in question is Dennis Jernigan. I have read his testimony. He is not a Gay man “functioning sexually” with a woman. The Jernigans met and fell in love and married. God blessed their relationship and their ministries. They are happy. Some people, admittedly a minority, do come out of the life and identify as straight, even in a dominant culture that seems to embrace license of every description as OK because moral absolutes have almost gone the way of the horse and buggy. Two generations ago divorce was taboo and rare. Now people divorce at the drop of a hat, and the divorce rate, sad to say, is as prevalent in the Church as it is among non-believers. The traditional nuclear family has been under attack by social reconstructionists hell bent on anarchy. I am the product of divorce; my husband isn’t. Because of the lack of a stable father figure in my life I grew up with wild insecurities fostered by this vacuum and made extremely poor personal decisions which I still deal with to a much lesser degree today. God forgives us of our sins, but sometimes he allows us to live with the consequences of our actions, even as believers. People in my husband’s family warned him not to marry me because I came not only from another locale and another culture but because I was too wounded at the time to submit to him in love. They were right. I caused my husband unnecessary grief in the early part of our marriage because while I loved him and wanted to be a good wife my woundedness and immaturity as a Christian mitigated against what ultimately proved to be a relationship ordained of God. I say these things because there are conservative Christians who take the position that homosexual conduct is sinful and that traditional marrriage between a man and a woman should be the norm. That in no way qualifies the obnoxious and vitriolic diatribes of Sandi Luckins. She is majoring on the minors and is “clanging” left, right and center. But perhaps she isn’t going to hell after all. God is going to call her up short on her unjust judgements just like he did me when I was a baby Christian and made tons of mistakes. If His Grace is sufficient for me it is sufficient for thee and that includes Sandi Luckins. Please remember that the Apostle Paul was once Rabbi Saul who thought he was doing God a service by rounding up and murdering Christians. Yet God used him mightily after his remarkable conversion to Christianity and he agonized in prayer, teaching and witness until “Christ be formed in you”. Yet his walk was personally very painful. Count it all joy, brethren, when you fall into divers temptations, it says in the King James Version. Let’s spur one another on to love and good works. And we should pray for Sandi Luckins, who needs a great deal of healing and conviction, for the Bible tells us to pray for people overcome in a fault. If God once had occasion to use a donkey to deliver the Word of the Lord to an erring prophet, he can use me. And potentially, in the economy of God, he can use Sandi Luckins to be an instrument of His Grace. With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Keep the faith brother; while there is life there is hope. And while sorrow may last for a night, or even a decade, joy comes with the morning. Have a blessed Sabbath rest brother. Peace be with you.

  • Jesus said those who are not against me are for me when His disciples complained that there were those preaching about Jesus who were not part of the original disciples. I like what St. Francis said – Preach the Gospel! and if absolutely necessary, use words. Classic. 🙂

  • As an aside, if you have never seen a Maronite Catholic liturgy, check out our weekend masses at http://sjmaronite.org There is a common misconception that Roman Catholicism embraces the entire Catholic tradition whereas it is only one (albeit, the biggest one) of 23 independent rites that are all in communion with the Bishop of Rome. The words of consecration are chanted in Syriac which is the closest spoken language that Jesus would have used.

  • John 7:24 – Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.
    Your scripture is nitpicking

  • Because he teaches against Jesus. He lies. He draws people into sin. He upholds sin. He tries to draw people into sin. He unrepentantly sins…..shall I go on?

  • When I begin to hate Daniel, I’ll look back, until then…I’ll try to help him.

    2 Timothy 3:16-17English Standard Version (ESV)

    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[a] may be complete, equipped for every good work.

  • Lisa…God bless you……I’m sorry that you try to support people who twist and lie about scripture, but those who defend it, are wrong.

  • I am not nitpicking. I chose that Scripture to address your spiritual error. For heaven’s sake take the beam out of your own eye before attempting to take the speck out of your brother’s. You are riding your self-righteousness the way a jockey rides a horse. Self righteousness stinks Sandi. Whatever happened to there but for the Grace of God go I? I still say that your lack of forbearance and Agape Love is appalling. The Bible says seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these other things will be added unto you. The operative phrase is His righteousness, not our righteousness. Yes, righteousness is imputed to us positionally at the New Birth but a true Christian should grow in Love and Mercy over time, not stuck in some very limited concepts of what the Christian life should be about. Your negative diatribes border on the histrionic. You, and people of your ilk, are in fact serving Satan by alienating and condemning people you quite frankly don’t want to understand. People have used the Bible to justify egregious evils like slavery, misogyny and a whole host of insupportable positions in the Light of His Love. Please do not go on ad nauseum about the sin of other people when you and I are just sinners saved by Grace. By attempting to correct me in your peevish manner you have just qualified my point. You are out of fellowship.
    And you refuse to listen to reason. I leave you to deal with the consequences of your actions. The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink but righteousness and peace in the Holy Ghost. It is so sad. You are missing the mark by a country mile. God wants authenticity and accountability. You refuse to take stock of yourself and your hurtful ways. What is your motivation? Who gave you license to ride roughshod over the hearts of others whom you personally know nothing about and apparently you disdain? Liberty is not license. I suggest you take out a dictionary and look up the literal meanings of these simple English words. It was for freedom that Christ has set us free, not longer to be subject to a yolk of slavery. His yolk is easy and His burden is light. These men are honestly and earnestly seeking peace and healing and wholeness in their lives and yes they are Christian. Imposing your narrow and twisted interpretation of Scripture on people you obviously don’t Love in the Agape sense is anything but the fruit of the Spirit. Stop hurting people for whom Jesus died with unGodly and unloving verbal vomit. And stop casting stones. Believe me woman you are in no position to do so.

  • I don’t care whether or not you come to my beliefs. If G-D has put you
    where you are that is exactly where you are supposed to be. That doesn’t
    mean that everyone is supposed to be there.

    If you examine the Christology that you have articulated thus far and compare it to that which has already been identified as heresy, you may be less inclined to judge anyone apostate.

  • It has been crystal clear from day one that you have no interest in drawing people to Jesus. Another piece of evidence that you are not christian.

  • Using your arguments, you won’t be going there if you continue to practice idolatry. In the event that you repent, we may see you there. Until then, you may wish to consider attending to how Jesus commanded us to treat each other.

  • The ‘Ora et Labora’ mantra is very much visible and experienced in the evangelizing ministry of Pope Francis. The Holy Father invites people of goodwill to keep serving as a mark of gratitude for the gift of ones life. Rich and powerful world leaders vie with one and other to learn and imbibe the methods and techniques of humble service, so well practiced and preached by His Holiness. It is a known fact that Cardinals, bishops, priests, religious women and men feel energized with a sense of purpose in their noble calling. Spending ones precious life in service of humanity and the Planet attains new and fresh meaning in these times of special graces and divine blessings.

  • “Keeping one’s faith life limited to Sunday morning is easy.” Right you are! That’s why this Sunday I’m joining with the other 80% of Catholics who chose “the more difficult path” and going fishing.

  • No, fish… like in an ocean, lake, river or stream — and to enjoy a beer and lie about the one that got away, rather then lie about how easy it was to go to church.

  • I’ve never tried to convert heterosexual persons into being gay persons. And I don’t say “anything goes” as far as sexual behavior goes.

  • Go try to justify yourself to someone else, Daniel. I tried to help you and know you far better than you present yourself.

  • Can you find one quote of mine where I was trying to persuade a heterosexual person to become Gay?

  • “The irony, however, is that to bring about the more merciful, people-centered church he so passionately desires, Francis is having to exercise some firm authority in the process.”

    I think it’s not ironic, it’s simply holding people in positions of religious leadership to a higher standard of accountability than the average person. This seems like a biblical principle.

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