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Best-selling author Eugene Peterson changes his mind on gay marriage

Eugene Peterson lectures at University Presbyterian Church in Seattle in May 2009. Photo courtesy of Creative Commons

(RNS) — After writing more than 30 best-selling books, 84-year-old Eugene Peterson has decided to hang it up.

The theologian and writer widely respected among Christians pastors and laypeople alike is best known for “The Message Bible,” a contemporary paraphrase of the Christian Scriptures that has sold more than 16 million copies worldwide.

Despite his ongoing popularity, Peterson said he has published his final book, “As Kingfishers Catch Fire.” And he’s no longer teaching or traveling.

But Peterson still has much to say. The influential Christian leader does not mince words as he explains why he is calling it quits, what he thinks about Donald Trump and how he changed his mind on same-sex issues.


RELATED: Notable Christians who’ve had a change of heart on LGBT issues


What about “Kingfishers Catch Fire” made you say, “OK, I can put down the pen now. My work is done.”?

 Well, I’m 84 years old. That’s one. I think I’ve pretty much mined everything I’ve learned and made art out of it. That’s basically it, I think.

I’ve spoken to others who have had robust careers like you’ve had, and by the time they reach your age, they say, “I’m tired.” What about you? Do you feel tired?

No, I don’t feel tired. I just feel like there’s a sense of completion, or maybe satisfaction. I think I’ve done a better job of everything I’d done before in this book. I might do something else, but I don’t think so. These days, I write a lot of letters. I’m still keeping up with people and answering their questions or responding to what they are doing. I think it’s more just a sense of completion.

What do you think of what we’re experiencing right now, politically? What are your views of Donald Trump and the political mood animating our world?

I think we’re in a bad situation. I really do. Donald Trump is the enemy as far as I’m concerned. He has no morals. He has no integrity. But I have good friends who think he’s wonderful. But I think they put up with it less and less. People are getting pretty tired of him, I think. Some of us were tired of him before he was elected. I think we can put up with it, though. I don’t think it’s the end of the road.

You’ve seen the church change a lot. Are you more encouraged or more discouraged by what you’re seeing in the American church?

I’m not sure it’s either/or. I do feel like pastors are not doing their job. Look at what’s going on in the church, at least in my Presbyterian church. It has a consumer mentality. It’s about what we can sell and how we can attract people to come to church.

I think the thing that’s most disturbing is the megachurch because megachurches are not churches. My feeling is that when you’re a pastor, you know the people’s names. When 5,000 people come into the church, you don’t know anybody’s name.

I don’t think you can be a pastor with just a bunch of anonymous people out there. In the megachurch, well, there’s no relationship with anybody. I think the nature of the church is relational. If you don’t know these people that you’re praying with and talking with and listening to, what do you have? I feel pretty strongly about that.

Now, there’s a lot of innovation in the church, and overall, I can’t say I’m disheartened. I’m just upset by the fad-ism of the megachurch, but I just don’t think they’re churches. They’re entertainment places.

You are Presbyterian, and your denomination has really been grappling with some of the hot-button issues. I think particularly of homosexuality and same-sex marriage. Has your view on that changed over the years?

I haven’t had a lot of experience with it. But I have been in churches when I was an associate pastor where there were several women who were lesbians. They didn’t make a big deal about it. I’d go and visit them and it never came up for them. They just assumed that they were as Christian as everybody else in the church.

In my own congregation — when I left, we had about 500 people — I don’t think we ever really made a big deal out of it. When I left, the minister of music left. She’d been there ever since I had been there. There we were, looking for a new minister of music. One of the young people that had grown up under my pastorship, he was a high school teacher and a musician. When he found out about the opening, he showed up in church one day and stood up and said, “I’d like to apply for the job of music director here, and I’m gay.” We didn’t have any gay people in the whole congregation. Well, some of them weren’t openly gay. But I was so pleased with the congregation. Nobody made any questions about it. And he was a really good musician.

I wouldn’t have said this 20 years ago, but now I know a lot of people who are gay and lesbian and they seem to have as good a spiritual life as I do. I think that kind of debate about lesbians and gays might be over. People who disapprove of it, they’ll probably just go to another church. So we’re in a transition and I think it’s a transition for the best, for the good. I don’t think it’s something that you can parade, but it’s not a right or wrong thing as far as I’m concerned.

A follow-up: If you were pastoring today and a gay couple in your church who were Christians of good faith asked you to perform their same-sex wedding ceremony, is that something you would do?

Yes.

One last question. You’re entering the final stage of your career, your ministry and your life. One day, as with all of us, Eugene Peterson will be somebody who existed once. When that moment comes, how do you hope people will remember you?

I don’t know. I tell you, I’m still getting used to it all. I’m still getting used to being noticed. People write to me. Boy, the stuff that comes in my mailbox is just enormous, so I do a lot of letter writing and telephoning. And I’m just amazed, really.

I haven’t been part of anything big. I’ve never been a big church preacher. I’ve never been on the radio or anything like that. I’m so pleased that people care about what I’ve done and support it because these are difficult times for the church. I’m quite aware of that. Anyway, I guess I’m just surprised that anyone would remember at all.

I know I speak for countless others when I say thanks for your courage, for your witness and for your words all these years. You will be remembered, Eugene Peterson. For how could we forget?

(Senior columnist Jonathan Merritt writes the “On Faith and Culture” column for RNS)

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  • ” He has no morals. He has no integrity.” You said that about Trump…..how many morals or integrity are you showing for the homosexuals that you have just directed toward their perdition in Hell. Christ said many times that immoral people will not see the Kingdom of Heaven, and in your hatred of them, you are sending them there. Shame on you. You can refuse to see the scripture, but it is still there.
    Also, to become a Christian, one needs to be forgiven their sin. Unrepentant sinners like homosexuals, are not forgiven – you lied to them twice.
    “Surely no rebel can expect the king to pardon his treason while he remains in open revolt.” Spurgeon

  • I, for one, find Eugene’s decision to be one more pastors should take with their own congregations. We’d be a much better world if we weren’t so f**cking concerned with the sins of others. We’ve all got sh*t we’re dealing with, Sandi, so how about you focus on how you’re going to deal with yours first? Go ahead, stay on your pedestal of pureness because you think you have a more biblical view on sin than “the gays” do. It’ll be a lonely, sad place. Here’s a fun exercise: try accepting and listening to people for who they are rather than casting the first stone.

  • It isn’t being concerned with the sin of others, Tyler. It’s assuring that homosexuals, et al, don’t believe the lies of this world that are killing them. Big difference. Homosexuality is a sin. Unconfessed sin leads to Hell.

  • Is he ready to rip whole sections out of the bible too? It really doesn’t matter one hoot what he “thinks or feels” about anything. He is wrong in his “new thoughts”…
    The BIBLE never changes, and his warped thoughts make absolutely NO DIFFERENCE and have NO CONSEQUENCE to the TRUTH OF SCRIPTURE!

  • Homosexuality and same-sex attraction, gays, lesbians etc those words are not found in the Bible at all. Judge not; but if you do, you ALSO will be judged.

  • Actually interpretations and biblical exegesis have changed radically over the years.
    For example, Paul literally said women were not to speak in the churches. That certainly has changed!

  • unless you really want that bacon sandwich, to judge other people, or to damn other people. Then there is always a way.

  • GOD’S words have never changed, nor has his message. Some old man that hasn’t lived up to his potential or poured into his congregation can and should feel bad about how his life turned out, but not blame others. He needs help!

  • The Lord didn’t need the term. He spoke:

    Leviticus 18:22 – 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.
    romans 12:6 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.
    That is pretty clear without the term.

  • I’m very sorry I do not take any instruction from women! See Paul on women speaking in churches and having any teaching over men in New Testament.
    Second, read the other so-called “abominations” like eating shrimp and wearing mixed fiber clothing.
    Third, It is perfectly natural and normal for gays and lesbians to have same-sex relationships. It would be very unnatural for them to try opposite sex relationships.

  • Christ made very clear in Acts that the shrimp are edible for Christians, so that along with the fact that this is not a church, kinda disqualifies two of your opinions.
    No, it isn’t natural. Christ stated in Romans 1 that what they do is unnatural.

  • “Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either—women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.” Romans 1:24-26 The Message, Eugene Peterson

  • Funny quote. doesn’t sound like anyone I know. I guess it is possible even for bible-believing christians to learn something and grow up.

  • Christ did not write the Book of Romans. Paul did. Remember the guy who persecuted Christians, leaving his own wife and children in order to seek out and murder Christians–the guy to later did not believe in marriage fof anybody, gay or straight!

  • Christ made no comments about edible shrimp! None!
    Please, do not lecture me about biblical exegesis!
    No, Christ did not state anything about gays and lesbians doing anything unnatural.
    Who “they” are in Romans, not written by Christ, BTW, is unclear, but certainly not explicitly gays and lesbians.
    You might actually read Romans in its original Greek language before we proceed with any further exegesis.

  • Galatians 1:11-18English Standard Version (ESV)

    Paul Called by God
    11 For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel.[a] 12 For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born,[b] and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to[c] me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone;[d] 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.

    18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him fifteen days.

  • Jesus didn’t hand write any books of the bible, Larry. If you’re trying to discredit Paul’s writing, you do so for the authority of all the bible. Paul did not preach that marriage was a sin. But simply stated that single people have an advantage in their walk with God that married people do not.

  • Read the Bible in its original languages.
    The words “homosexuality and same-sex attraction, gays, lesbians etc” are modern words not found in the Bible.

  • He certainly preferred people to remain unmarried because he mistakenly thought Jesus would return soon. That was two thousand years ago.

  • “Judge Not Lest Ye be Judged.” For your pride, support for the devil (Trump) and his minions, and hatred of God’s own children, you are already going to hell. So why should any God-fearing person care what words Satan inserts into your filthy mouth.

  • Actually Paul referenced woman not speaking as an elder, or someone with authority of men in church. That is if you study the actual greek word and how it is used in other passages.

  • No, Paul very clearly wrote that women must be in submission, as the Law says
    in Greek.

  • “God’s words” as recorded in the Judeo-Christian Bible have certainly been interpreted many different ways.
    For example, Paul wrote that women should remain silent in the churches and in submission “as the Law” say. If they have any questions they should wait and ask their husbands at home.

  • So how about Malakoi (the guy on the bottom) and Arsenokoites (the guy on top)? Are those two words found anywhere in the Bible? Are they used in connection with any, umm, behavioral condemnations?

  • The BIBLE doesn’t say that…YOU’RE interpretation does however. My point exactly! You cannot change the bible to YOUR liking, just like Eugene Peterson can’t decide today that all the years he said something different are now *POOF* changed because he’s gay and thinks gay people are good. The Bible is the INFALLIBLE, UNSWERVING, CONSISTENT, UNSHAKABLE, WORD OF GOD. It doesn’t change…EVER!
    The Old Testament foretold Jesus’ coming, and the New Testament proved it all!

  • Marshal.. I take it that you’re not a christian by the manner which you speak. First, you can’t use the absence of something as a support of something. That’s logical fallacy 101. Second, Christ preached from Leviticus so he obviously believed the laws were revealing the nature of God that spoke against homosexuality. Some laws where ritual to the Jews. Some were moral laws. I assume that either yourself or a loved one is gay. I hope that you or they find that God has a better life and that seeking His kingdom first will lead to this different mindset as stated in Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

  • Check it out Ben. Peterson DID write that specific paragraph, and we both know it. So we both know that Peterson actually USED TO BELIEVE the Bible on this gay marriage gig.

    Jonathan Merritt was given a rare opportunity to ask Peterson “Would you officiate at a gay wedding.” Peterson said one word — “Yes” — without ANY explanation.

    But as you see, Peterson’s own popular Bible version proves that gay marriage is sin. So why didn’t Merritt simply follow up by quoting Peterson’s own Bible and asking him to explain the obvious conflict with his own clear Bible wording? Why was Peterson given a free pass?

    You don’t have to answer those issues, Ben. You’re not the one who messed up.

  • I am a 75 year old cultural Christian with a very through instruction and education in biblical exegesis from a fundamentalist Christian POV since I was a child in Christian schools including high school and college.
    I hope that you find your way to read in the original languages of the Bible to understand and appreciate that those merely and only Six Clobber Verses used to bash gays and lesbians have absolutely NOTHING to do with sexual orientation, same-sex attraction, or gay, lesbian, trans gender people born that way today. And no reason to continue to do so. What is the payoff for you? Smug sanctimonious Pharisaical moral superiority?
    Knowledge, information, biology, science, medicine, psychology, and indeed common sense have come a very long way since the ancient Iron and Bronze ages of the men writing about human sexuality. Yes, orthodox Christianity did indeed persecute, abuse, demean, and spiritually abuse gays historically. But as the good pastor has pointed out in the main article these attitudes and interpretations are no longer universally observed. Neither Jesus nor the 10 Commandments speak against “homosexuals”. One hardly needs to be lesbian or have a gay child or grandchild to know that to spiritually abuse anyone based on orientation or gender identity is to abuse Jesus himself. If you have done it unto the least amongst us you have done it unto him.
    Judge not, but if you do, you yourself will also be judged.
    I cannot think of any good or moral reason to continue spiritually abusing gays (GLBT) children and adults using any or all of those very confusing and misunderstood Six Clobber Verses. Read them in the original languages
    in the cultural context of which they were written. Live and let live. Leave the judging to God.

  • Some people grow up, and realize they have been seeing through a very thick book darkly, mistaking a vicious social prejudice for god’s word. Sort of like they did when they made Jim Crow a saint, and then realized that god wasn’t a racist bigot, they were.

    Other people think think that they understand something someone wrote 2000 years ago, and obsess over it and all of the harm they can wreak on innocent others, all pretending that god told them to do it.

    Maybe Mr. Merritt can ask you?

  • The Bible (which is not “God’s Word,” who is actually Jesus, not a book) says that it’s OK to sell a raped daughter to her rapist for 50 shekels and gives rules about how to manage slavery. I’m not OK with that, are you?

  • It’s simple. Not every Christian believes the bible is the infallible, literal word of god or take Genesis and other bible stories literally.

  • Then I would be curious to know how you would compare the greek word, hesuchia, with 1 Peter 3:4. Also how it would contrast with Titus 2:3 or 2 Tim 1:5 or Acts 18:26. Also if you could explain, the greek word, authentein and how it relates to modern definitions.

  • As in any biblical exegesis, or any work of literature in a foreign language, read the words in the original and contrast and compare the words used with other usages by the same author in other contexts and others using the same or similar words. Modern definitions would depend on various translators. Generally speaking women in the Bible were from the beginning of Genesis onward through Revelations helpmates, secondary, submissive, not of the priesthood caste, certainly not equal to men in the modern feminists sense of equality.

  • Well you still haven’t tied in your vested interest to homosexuality not being a sin.. Again almost every time I find a person professing to be a believer who defends homosexuality as not being a sin, they do so because they themselves or someone they love would stand on condemnation. There are more than 6 clubber verses (which by the way isn’t six enough) in regards to the consistent design that God had for partnership in life. In Gen 2:24, you have the representation of a man growing up and getting married to a woman as part of God’s design. You have the continue family model passed down throughout the entire bible of man, woman and children. I keep hearing those who support homosexuality as doing so as “loving your neighbor”. Would you give same advice to a teenage boy who’s addicted to pornography that he should continue do so because it would be cruel to deny himself? How about the alcoholic looking for the next drink? Supporting someone in their vice is not love, it’s the opposite. Loving them would be pointing them to a better way in Christ. The story of Sodom is one where we see a once righteous man in Lot being completely compromised by living among immoral people and living the “live and let live” motto. There’s a reason why Jesus said pick up your cross and follow me. Jesus lived a life of submission to the authority of the Father. He came in grace and in truth. He did so to glorify the Father. We as Christians are called to deny ourselves and live our lives to the glory of God. Not to give our blessings on other people’s vices. That’s not why we are here. I struggle with my own sins in life, but I’m not going to excuse my sins to dishonor God. I confess them and look to turn back to God. Why would I do less for someone who is struggling with homosexual desires? Why would I be silent and let them live a life that leads to spiritual destruction? How is that love?

  • I’m just curious what original translation you would consider an authority? Do we simply go back to the Codex Vaticanus for Old Testament translations or do we stick with the Aleppo Codex? Do we ignore studying Papyrus 45 or is it important for gospel revelation? Just asking because you’re suggesting we’re going to end up with a much different bible than the King James or NIV.

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

  • Acts 10:9-16English Standard Version (ESV)

    Peter’s Vision

    9 The next day, as they were on their journey and approaching the city, Peter went up on the housetop about the sixth hour[a] to pray. 10 And he became hungry and wanted something to eat, but while they were preparing it, he fell into a trance 11 and saw the heavens opened and something like a great sheet descending, being let down by its four corners upon the earth. 12 In it were all kinds of animals and reptiles and birds of the air. 13 And there came a voice to him: “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.” 14 But Peter said, “By no means, Lord; for I have never eaten anything that is common or unclean.” 15 And the voice came to him again a second time, “What God has made clean, do not call common.” 16 This happened three times, and the thing was taken up at once to heaven.

    It would save you a lot of time if you researched something for yourself. You may even learn then.

  • Sure, I’d love a mutual Q-&-A session with him, or with you, or with anybody. But that’s not really going to happen on this gay marriage thing, now is it?

    After all, you, me, and everybody else already knows what the Bible says. There’s NO support, no defense, no upsides, no “mitigating circumstances”, no “maybes”, no “nuances”, no “shades of gray”, when it comes to the Bible’s statements relating to the issue of gay marriage.

    The Bible doesn’t even support anybody’s choice to adopt a gay self-identity, let alone marry a same-sex person. No excuses. Instead, you have great promises of salvation, healing, sanctification, deliverance in Christ. A supernatural life of freedom and hope, outside of the bleak LGBTQ prison.

  • And that is why American Christianity is currently in Code Blue condition. Disbelief On Steroids. Can’t blame atheists or Democrats for this one.

  • Christ did NOT write those verses as I posted!
    It would save you a lot of time if you researched something for yourself. You may even learn then that Christ did NOT pen those words.
    Furthermore, the scholarly interpretation and explanation of the meaning is controversial among Christians as to application.
    BUT as I posted: Christ did NOT pen those words!

  • You have some very vested interest in same-sex attraction and interpretation being a “sin”. The sin of Sodom was inhospitality to strangers as clearly stated in other texts. Gays (GLBT) are not alcoholics. Nor addicted to pornography. Nor is it a vice. Your judging and condemning and finger pointing is judgmental. As my sainted grandmother might say to you: Tend to your own knitting!
    Your own spiritual welfare may well be in danger by your being a Pharisee which Jesus clearly condemned.
    Today there are more than 7,500 gay-affirming Christian congregations around the world that do not spiritually abuse nor discriminate. I attended one, a very mainstream Anglican-Episcopal church. There are many, and increasingly among the young and educated, like the older pastor who wrote the article who tend to their own knitting and leave the judging to God for everyone.

  • I am not sure why you are saying Eugene has not lived up to his potential? From my view, Eugene is a man who has been an incredible blessing to people. We may not agree with his views on this issue but I am not sure he needs help.

  • He has not said he is gay. Like many people, he has come to a different position to many. Christians disagree on many issues and this is one of them. Jesus calls us to love and listen to each other as does Paul. Ultimately, this is the measure of our faith: how we love each other. Blessings.

  • But speaking of Paul, the father of Christian theology, he wrote this summary:
    “For ALL The Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Galatians 5:14

  • If you supposedly have all this background knowledge of Christianity, why on earth would you bring up shrimp and mixed fibers ? That is a perennial loser of a argument that is answered quite simply in Acts 15, which your claimed expertise allows mo excuse for not knowing .

  • Because, OF COURSE, it’s part and parcel of The Leviticus Holiness Code which fundamentalists and other anti-gay Christians ALWAYS bring up but cite ONLY the same-sex text about man lying with man is an abomination. DUH!
    And, YES, the Bible in its totality contains many contradictions and curious texts. There are well over 34,000 Christian denominations around the world. But there also more than 7,500 Christian congregations that are gay-affirming that do not spiritually abuse gays (GLBT) or discriminate on the basis of either orientation or gender identity.

  • “Peterson’s own popular Bible version proves that gay marriage is sin.”
    wrong. It didn’t address gay marriage.

  • Marshal.. you are playing both sides of the argument here. Either the 34,000 denominations represent the error of interpreting scripture correctly including the 7,500 gay affirming churches. Or they are have an equal chance of being right across the board. Be consistent in your argument.

  • I can see where he added something extraneous to the passage to make his position ok. Can you spot it?

  • I have no vested interest in same sex attraction. My interest is in those who clearly misrepresent the bible to push a lifestyle that is in opposition to the kingdom of God. The sin of inhospitality was only one of Sodom’s sins. Or are you not familiar with Jude 1:7 – “In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire” You seem to have a hard time distinguishing that gays are fallen humans like everyone else. There are gay alcoholics, gay sex addicts and of course there are gay people who will live a Christ-less life and will perish in the afterlife. Or are they all getting a pass on what it takes live a Christ centered life by you? I can love a person who is gay while stating his lifestyle is appalling to God. That’s not hate. That’s a truth bearer.

    Of course you attend and Anglican-Episcopal church, very notorious for being a good feeling social get together church. Not much on believing and living through the bible. And if you want to throw the bible out the window, it’s your church’s choice to do. Just don’t misrepresent it. Continue to live as Lot did. Live and let live to everyone around. Just don’t be surprised when they come knocking on your door. Or when God’s judgement follows as warned about in Jude.

  • So loving your neighbor is affirming their spiritually destructive lifestyle? That’s not love. What you call love.

  • Talk about twisted logic. First you call Trump the devil. Trump’s not the devil. Not even close. He may not be a righteous man. He may not even be a good man. But the devil? A little on the theatrics there. And if everyone is God’s children then so is Trump. So picking a presidential candidate and support him, means you’re going to hell?? Where is that in the bible? Or do you like the theatrics instead of sound argument?

  • Of course they don’t. That’s why you have no nothing churches like the Anglican and Episcopalian churches. Nothing but social get togethers for those who want to feel spiritual without any of the faith and sacrifice.

  • Are you as outraged by divorce being legal as you are gay marriage? Do you cover your head in church? Do you own any slaves?

  • Gays and lesbians and trans people are not linked as a group to alcoholism, addiction, and vice, and your animus towards these groups shows anything but love. It reveals hatred, animosity, and judgment.
    Paul, the author of Christian theology said “For ALL The Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love they neighbor as thy self.” Galatians 5:14
    Why don’t you ALSO include divorced people in your litany of vices too? Jesus was asked by the Pharisees about a man leaving his wife and Jesus said he was against divorce. The question wasn’t about gays and lesbians or same-sex marriage, but about a man who leaves his wife, clearly straight heterosexuals. And yet even this is turned around and misapplied to gays/lesbians generally.
    And, OF COURSE, you take a nasty judgmental snark against the Anglican-Episcopal church calling into question their sincerity and love for all their neighbors while, OF COURSE, your denominational brand is morally superior. Talk about a gossipy meddler. The Anglican/Episcopal churches of England and America should not be judged by your narrow point of view full of judgmental condemnation while holding yourself up to being purer like a spiteful Pharisee.
    You bring up Lot; don’t forget that he got drunk and had sex with his daughters, but OF COURSE, that end of tale isn’t often told in the story of Sodom.
    Remember his life was spared, but his wife was turned into a pillar of salt for merely looking back.
    Why not go after divorced people with the same zealous nasty condemning way you relish in linking them with vice, alcoholism,and pornography?

  • Biblical exegesis and explanations and interpretations of Christian dogmas and theology run the gamut among the 34,000 denominations not just on the issues of sexuality. We are not the supreme judges of all the thousands of theological quibbles. Let God sort it all out in the end. Everyone has an equal chance with God.

  • The Jerusalem Council wasn’t Jesus, he had nothing to do with it.
    Men will always get together like a bunch of Pharisees and argue over how many angels can dance on the head of a pin. The central teaching of Jesus was love of God and love of our neighbors. All the rest of it is but sounding brass and tickling silver.

  • “Male and female he created them.” Not male and male, and not female and female. This is no accident. The union of male and female is special.

  • There is absolutely nothing spiritually destructive about gays and lesbians and trans people. You might want to update your information and knowledge from the Iron and Bronze ages of biology, science, medicine, psychology, and common sense. Your peculiar animus towards these people show your own interests. You might want to tend to your own knitting as my sainted grandmother might say.

  • Everyone is special in the eyes of God. You might want to update your information and knowledge from the Iron and Bronze ages of biology, science, medicine, psychology, and common sense.

  • The union of male and female is blessed by God. It’s what God intended by creating humans male and female.

  • I didn’t ask you what the Jerusalem Council had to do with Jesus (it included His disciples and many who had been taught by Him personally). I asked what it decided and why. The answer to that is the answer to your loser argument about shrimp and fibers.

    And the central teaching of Jesus, identified as such by all of the synoptic gospels, was “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Why do you not know this?

  • Jesus identified the creation of the male/female duality as the very reason for marriage. Marriage reunites the masculine and feminine properties of God’s nature that He separated in the process of creation.

  • We use the standard tools of those who are expert at exegesis in critical explanations in interpretations of texts. As you know there are thousands of bibles out there in Christendom.

  • Read again for the plain meaning of the words about women not speaking in the churches, having no teaching authority over men, and if they have questions to wait and ask their husbands at home.

  • “Why don’t you ALSO include divorced people in your litany of vices too?” Would it matter to you at all if we did? Many of us grieve over the divorce epidemic. In fact, a number of years ago Christians in Louisiana supported a step toward reducing divorce called “covenant marriage.” Was anyone impressed by their fidelity to scripture in supporting this? No, all that was heard was caterwauling about how Christians wanted to take us “back to the Dark Ages” and other such foolishness. The world calls us to ever-increasing faithlessness to scripture, never to increasing faithfulness.

  • “For ALL The Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love they neighbor as thyself.” Galatians 5:14 Paul is the author of Christian theology.

  • If we were Christian Jews we might. Being Christian Gentiles, we are not required to do more than what was always expected of righteous Gentiles.

    Jerusalem Council, Marshal. Why do you know nothing of it?

  • The Jerusalem Counsel was held at least some 25 or more years after the Crucifixion of Jesus. No disciple was there. No record of anyone personally taught by Jesus. You’re just making stuff up out of thin air.

  • Which presupposes that we love ourselves. But committing sexual immorality is not loving ourselves, or loving the God to whom our bodies belong for His purposes. “Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.” I Cor. 6:18

  • Paul was there, and the passage specifically states that the apostle Peter was there as well as James the brother of Jesus. Why do you not know all this?

  • The Jerusalem Council was held some 25 years after the Crucifixion.
    What we are required to do is to love God and to love our neighbors as ourselves.
    Some two thousand years after the creation of Christianity we have 37 million churches world-wide with more than 34,000 denominations. Lots of “councils” deciding all kinds of theological conundrums about how many angles can dance on the head of a pin.

  • We can not love God while repudiating His creation design. Our bodies are not for sexual immorality. That is why the Council retained the sexual prohibitions (they had always applied to righteous Gentiles).

    Why do you continue to talk about the number of denominations? What difference does that make? Today we all are blessed with access to scripture and the responsibility to search it and know it ourselves. We need not take anyone’s word for it.

  • What difference does your opinion make? Our bodies, indeed all animal bodies as humans certainly are, are made for sexuality which obviously includes pleasure. The Jerusalem Council was extra biblical and certainly many years after the Crucifixion. What differences does its opinion make about the simple life and teachings of Jesus which include the Golden Rule and loving our neighbors?
    You continue to talk about the Council, what differences does that make?
    Since the dawn of mankind there have been many great spiritual teachers world-wide. Jesus was one, but there are many others, i.e. Zoroaster, the Buddha, Socrates, Lord Krishna, Lao Tzu, Rumi, the Dalai Lama et al.
    Most of the great religions have some form of the Golden Rule which predates the Bible and is found also in most ethical traditions.
    Worrying and fretting over others particular spirituality is just highly misplaced officious inter-meddling. As my sainted grandmother would say: Tend to your own knitting.

  • What has really changed Eugene? I believe the Word of God has not. It’s clear regarding what’s right and what’s wrong. It doesn’t matter what translation you look at. Could it be the issue of cultural relativism that has been sweeping the globe and unfortunately sweeping even some theologians too? We are all entitled to our opinions/views, but our choices have consequences-including dire ones! May God have mercy on us.

  • Don’t look to me in regards to judgement. I didn’t write the bible. You can either deny that it is the spoken transmission from God or say that God isn’t competent enough to have his message stay consistent over the years. But once you take the bible out of your argument, you no longer have any moral grounds to stand upon, you only have an opinion. I didn’t call Anglican/Episcopal churches in to question about their love for all neighbors, I called there ability to present the bible as it has been presented over the centuries. I call into question their ability to present a gospel where people are clearly warned that hell awaits for their immorality. I go to a nondenominational church so I don’t even point to a superior denomination so there goes that argument.

    So now we have to shift the focus off homosexuality on to other sins now. Yes divorce is not God’s will and is a sin. But people aren’t getting married and then divorcing every single day of their life, are they? People aren’t promoting that divorce is God’s will, are they? The problem isn’t that a person engages one homosexual activity once or twice in their life. It’s that they keep engaging in it knowing that it’s not God’s will for their life. You can’t keep sinning against God without repentance. Eventually you will start to defend your sins and tell God and His word that they are wrong. Which is what is being done now in the homosexual world.

    You seem to have a problem with the God of the bible. That’s a real issue, my friend. The God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament, just under a new covenant. But the need for a changed life still exist. Jesus preached being born again. A process of dying to yourself and the wickedness of this world and being born into a new life of the Spirit of God. If that doesn’t make your Sunday sermon, you should get out right now. You’re not being presented the Gospel.

  • Everyone has an equal “chance” with God? Is there not a clear definition of what it takes to be saved being presented in your church? Is there not evidence of the Spirit of God being discussed? Is there no blessed assurance that you are being made aware of? Do they even talk about what the sins of those in rebellion to God are?

  • My “church” is the simple teachings of Jesus of love one another, show kindness and mercy and help the unfortunate, the poor, the downtrodden, the least amongst us like gays who are routinely targeted for spiritual abuse and discrimination. Paul, the theologian, summed it up best in Galatians 5:14 “For ALL The Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this; Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” That’s pretty much “my church”. In my view, Satan is the Pharisees whom Jesus clearly gave his opinion of in 77 verses. Reread them for “the sins of those in rebellion to God”.

  • Do you mean The Message added something extraneous to the Romans passage? “no love?”

  • That makes the Bible sound a lot more concerned with anal sex between men than any other same-sex relations. Anyway I think the point is that the concepts are there, the modern words for it are not.

  • No, Marshal. Paul never wrote that “women” must be in submission. He urged a “wife” to be in submission to her own husband. Quite a different assertion.

  • Instead of becoming enraged over defense of a particular way to interpret the Bible (as if anyone’s interpretation justifies hatefulness), we need to remember that our witness is our love (said Jesus). Thus we need to remember that Love is not simply a feeling, it is a direction of life. Following the Way will eventually open our hearts to becoming “catholic personalities” (phrase coined by Miroslav Volf) which means our hearts will grow to have room for Christ AND ALL he brings with him.

  • Are you willing to vilify a deeply respected teacher, and a whole people group, based on your method of interpreting scripture? No one is so perfect in their hermeneutics that they can become that level of judge.

  • The fact that Jonathan Merritt is gay should not cloud his writing of this article. I have found his writing to be fair and factual, even though I disagree with his lifestyle choice.

  • Or one could attend your type of church, and not have to sacrifice a thing. But you get to demand in the name of your god that other people sacrifice everything.

  • “Some old man…”

    C-o-n-t-e-m-p-t. It’s how a certain class of Christian spells LOVE.

  • “Our bodies, indeed all animal bodies as humans certainly are, are made for sexuality which obviously includes pleasure.” Our bodies are made to be joined to an opposite-sex person in marriage. Every other use of it is sexual immorality, aka fornication, which Jesus said proceeds from a fallen heart and makes us unclean.

    “The Jerusalem Council was extra biblical and certainly many years after the Crucifixion.” Extra biblical? What does that even mean? The entire NT was “extra biblical” at the time of the events they recount (the OT was the only “bible” then), but the account of the Council in Acts is just as solid as the gospels are.

    “You continue to talk about the Council, what differences does that make?” Because it is the answer to your repeated rhetorical questions about the “Holiness Code,”
    and you still have not demonstrated any real understanding of the issues involved.

    “Worrying and fretting over others particular spirituality is just highly misplaced officious inter-meddling. As my sainted grandmother would say: Tend to your own knitting.” Good advice. I suggest you take it, as well as all the other non-believers around here who spend hours upon hours of their lives telling Christians how we should interpret our scriptures and practice our faith.

  • “Let God be true, and every human being a liar.” No vilification necessary. But it’s dishonest to pretend scripture says what it doesn’t, or doesn’t say what it does, just to be nice. We’re not called to be “nice” but to bear witness to the truth.

  • You mean go to a church that clearly ignores the bible? Why bother going to church at that point. I’m sure you could just mark off on some check box that you had a spiritual moment and thought about God a little bit.

  • You are assuming you know what scripture says and everyone else doesn’t. You only have your hermeneutic, your lens, nothing more. That’s not bad, but it certainly isn’t enough! We need to continually be polishing the lens in order to see better and be transformed by scripture. If your church can’t help you there, move on. You may be surprised to find how amazing grace really is. If your hermeneutic does not create love, it’s worthless. Sorry if you don’t like being “nice” but it seems your interpretation insists that being judge over a whole people group is what God is like! That standing as judge over an entire people group (with limited hermeneutics and knowledge) is godly! Jesus welcomes those whom you don’t approve of and transforms us all as a result. Peterson was one who continued to grow and see more clearly and be transformed. And of course people don’t understand that and feel that they have ALL truth and no real change of heart should happen. But is that Jesus? Don’t put your hermeneutic over him.

  • How many weeks of church do you really need to attend to get the jest of loving one another? Seems like a week or two and that’s it. What about 99 percent of the rest of the bible? Just filler? The pharisees do not misrepresent the letter of the law. They misrepresented the intent and purpose of the law. The pharisees are not Satan. I can’t believe that you would make that argument after being in church this long. Clearly Jesus distinguishes between the two. Jesus did not replace the ten commandments, he consolidated their nature into two laws. You keep forgetting that the first part of Jesus commandment was to “love God with all your heart”. That was the first representation of the law. To love God is to love His ways, His nature, His purpose for humans to live their life according to His word. God repeatedly asks His followers to obey Him. At no point and time should the “love thy neighbor” supersede “loving God”. You can only serve one master.

  • Can be a little more specific as to what those tools are? What sources of original text you make your beliefs from? Or even what bible you read? If you don’t know, just say “I have no earthly idea” and we can move on.

  • You’ve just described to a T how Christianity as it is practiced and always has been. That’s why there are Divorced Christians, judgment slinging Christians, falsely witnessing Christians.

  • My source of information is the bible. The clearly transmitted Word of God that is the most affirmed ancient literature of all time. There is more proof that the bible has been accurately been translated than any ancient literature of any kind. My faith comes from the Word of God not social whims of the day. Your issue is with the bible, not me. Take that up with God.

  • I got you. So as long as there are bad Christians or Christians who sin, no one can hold anyone else to God’s standards. Got it. From my point of view when the bible is read aloud, the Christian response should be “Amen” or “Praise God”, not “shut up, you’re all hypocrites”. That is if you loved God and believe in the bible. If you don’t believe the bible is God’s word, don’t bother replying.

  • Here’s the part of the Bible I believe:

    Until you have achieved spiritual perfection, keep your judging of their alleged sins to yourself. Treat others as you would like to be treated.

  • Fortunately for them, sin and hell are merely mind control tools that only work on those who are afraid or unable to think for themselves.

  • “You are assuming you know what scripture says and everyone else doesn’t.” Where we are blessed with access to scripture and the ability to search it for ourselves, it is irresponsible to look to “everyone else” to tell us what it says. It is widespread knowledge of scripture that keeps teachers honest, so to speak. As the prophet wrote, “the people are destroyed by lack of knowledge.” Ever think about what was going on when Hosea wrote that? The people were probably engaging in pagan idol worship because their friends were doing it and their religious leaders were telling them it was OK, and they didn’t have access to the scriptures in order to find out the truth about it for themselves. So it has ever been, and it is precisely why, when asked by His disciples about what to expect in the future, the first thing Jesus said was “Watch out that no one deceives you.”

    “Sorry if you don’t like being “nice” but it seems your interpretation insists that being judge over a whole people group is what God is like!” Did I say I don’t like “being nice?” Of course I do — in my youth I was the least confrontational “nice girl” around. But there is a time for “nice” and there is a time for honesty. Truth is often offensive but it is not “loving” to hide it under a rug. People need the truth.

    “Jesus welcomes those whom you don’t approve of and transforms us all as a result.” Indeed He does. But that is not what is being sought. What we’re seeing here is people claiming that they are in no need of transformation. Exactly the same attitude that got Jesus almost stoned and pushed off cliffs and ultimately nailed to a cross. “But Me it [the world] hates, because I testify of it that its works are evil.” John 7:7.

  • The simple truths of Jesus teachings can be read and reread which I have been doing for my entire life. I understand what love is and what Paul said about The Law:
    did he forget God?

  • The Pharisees indeed represent those who have forgotten what God is all about, which is love.

  • Gays and lesbians are not committing sexual immorality just for being who they are anymore than the rest of us are committing sexual immorality just for being who we are.

  • The word “homosexuality” is not mentioned in the original texts of the bible.
    The writers did not have knowledge and information about modern science, biology, medicine, psychology, and common sense.
    Today Christianity is certainly evolving from from persecuting gays.

  • Our bodies are made for many things; for life which includes sex.
    Why spend hours upon hours here telling others how to interpret scripture and practice faith by targeting gays and lesbians for spiritual abuse and discrimination?

  • I tell everyone to tend to their own spiritual welfare and leave the judging to God.

  • Marriage is a secular civil institution recognized by the government for secular civil purposes. But many churches today are beginning to include same-sex marriage too.

  • I suspect that he recognizes what science, biology, medicine, psychology, and common sense do.

  • Matthew 28:18-20English Standard Version (ESV)

    18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

  • I’ve already explained to you why one does not need the term “homosexual” Please look back in your comments

  • I’ve already explained to you that today modern science, biology, medicine, psychology, and common sense do not consider homosexuality to be unnatural for those who are born that way. The ancients who wrote those Six Clobber Verses had no understanding of gays and lesbians. AND most importantly Christendom itself is in the process itself of revising and evolving on this issues.
    Your targeting gays and lesbians for spiritual abuse and discrimination is akin to the Pharisees which Jesus condemned in 77 texts. I suggest you reread them with new understanding of the need to Judge Not. Tend to your own spiritual knitting.

  • Intrafaith issues are for believers to hash out. The input of non-believers is irrelevant.

  • Any Greek lexicon will tell you what behaviors were included in the term “sexual immorality.” They are the behaviors listed in Leviticus 20. Jesus and all of His listeners (teachers of the law) knew that.

    And “who we are” is fallen. “Who we are” is the reason why Jesus had to come and die. Why do you not know all this?

  • Biblical exegesis of ancient literature is for anyone to hash out with an understanding of scholarship, language, and the tools used by anyone studying any writing.
    And YES believers do keep up with science, biology, medicine, psychology, and common sense. In fact there are thousands of congregations of believers around the world that welcome and affirm gays and lesbians and do not target them for spiritual abuse and discrimination. Try to keep up.

  • “Jesus teaching stands on its own; it’s not complicated.”
    And yet He stated that the natural man can not receive it or understand it.

    Why do you claim expertise in scripture which you do not possess?

  • What the secular world calls marriage has nothing to do with biblical marriage. Many unions styled “marriage” are not marriages at all in the eyes of God — Jesus made that clear. His cousin John the Baptist was decapitated for pointing out one of them.

  • “Biblical exegesis of ancient literature is for anyone to hash out” No, because Jesus said the man in his natural and fallen state can not see the kingdom of heaven nor receive the things of the Spirit.

    “In fact there are thousands of congregations of believers around the world that welcome and affirm gays and lesbians.” You can find a “church” to affirm just about anything you want. It does not mean that such affirmation is scriptural. Jesus warned us to be on the lookout for this kind of thing.

  • Actually today government decides what marriage is and who qualifies; and that’s been so for many years. It confirms rights and responsibilities and inheritance and other legal issues. Of course churches and other religious organizations can have ceremonies. Jesus did answer a question about a man who leaves his wife and he said he was against divorce (except for biblical reasons). He said nothing about same-sex marriage, because he was not asked probably because government did not recognize at that time. At any rate, Jesus was asked about a man who leaves his wife; a specific question about divorce.
    Nevertheless I wonder why anti-gay fundamentalists don’t spend their time worrying about non-biblical divorce and target all those with spiritual abuse and discrimination. Surely there are many more of those about in the churches today!

  • Why do you claim expertise in scripture which you do not possess?
    It hardly takes expertise to read and understand the simple teachings of Jesus.

  • http://www.gaychurch.org Yes there are now 7,000 plus Christian congregations that affirm gays.
    You can find an anti-gay church who targets gays and lesbians for spiritual abuse and discrimination at the drop of a hat.
    Today Christendom is in the process of rethinking orthodox views of persecution.
    Witness the pastor’s article at the top.
    Jesus said nothing about targeting gays and lesbians for spiritual abuse and discrimination. He has a simple message of love for all. Paul said love fulfills the law.

  • “At any rate, Jesus was asked about a man who leaves his wife; a specific questions about divorce.” Jesus had to define marriage in order to demonstrate why it is wrong to break it. He said that the entire reason for it is to join the male and female elements that He created. His logic leaves no room for any such unions between those of the same sex. If He wished to make an exception, this was the perfect occasion for Him to do so (knowing that homosexual behavior was a capital crime in His country) but He did not.

    “Nevertheless I wonder why anti-gay fundamentalists don’t spend their time worrying about non-biblical divorce and target all those with spiritual abuse and discrimination” Many do worry about it, but it doesn’t make the headlines like lgbt mess does. I actually did know a successful photographer who would not photograph any wedding that he knew to be a second marriage. No one ever seemed to get upset about it, and he was certainly never sued. Contrast that with the vitriol that is aimed at such principled photographers by insecure lgbts desperate for social affirmation that will, sadly, never satisfy.

  • “Today Christendom is in the process of rethinking orthodox views of persecution. Witness the pastor’s article at the top” I saw the pastor’s article. What I DIDN’T see was any kind of scriptural case for it. As usual.

    “He has a simple message of love for all. Paul said love fulfills the law.” The gospel writers identified His central message as “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Love is what invites to repentance and makes a way for restoration. Love does not celebrate the very sins that nailed our Lord to the cross.

  • You seem to have a problem with the simple teachings of Jesus.
    AND an even bigger problem with modern science, biology, medicine, psychology, and common sense regarding issues of sexuality and gender identity.
    Gays and lesbians are not wicked. Paul said All The Law is fulfilled with one word: love thy neighbor.

  • There was no answer. He asked for what translation you use and you completely ignored it.

  • If you are indwelled by the Spirit, perhaps. The natural man can not grasp it.

    But that is not the point. You have claimed historical and scriptural knowledge and expertise which you clearly do not have. You have demonstrated not one bit more knowledge of scripture than the average atheist troll around here. Why do you pose?

  • The Christian denominations and Christian congregations who have stopped targeting gays and lesbians for spiritual abuse and discrimination have had extensive dialogue and debates based on Scriptures which was the basis of their stopping targeting gays and lesbians for spiritual abuse. Go to any website which discusses these issues homosexuality and the bible using Scriptures and see the scholarship based on Scripture, for example, read the section on homosexuality and the bible at this website: http://www.gaychurch.org

  • Actually they are. Ambiguity is falsely claimed because people don’t like the ramifications of a straight-forward reading of the texts.

  • Read the section Homosexuality and the Bible to enlighten yourself on your false claim. There is certainly NOT just a straight-forward reading of the texts that is involved. Scholarship of biblical exegesis is much more than just translations, but which word to choose etc.
    http://www.gaychurch.org

  • I’ve heard all the “dialogue” already and have engaged much of it myself. What I have found is that the ultimate ending point of ALL arguments for same sex affirmation is the minimalization or outright discarding of scripture. That simply is not an option for anyone who accepts Jesus as divine and the gospels as authoritative.

  • Lazy or incompetent debaters throw links around a lot, but I don’t generally follow them unless I specifically ask for them. Offer some specific point of your argument and then we can talk.

  • Laziness in failure to look at a specific site is something I don’t generally respond to.
    Read the site and then we can talk.

  • Marshal, you are really bad at this. What book did Christ write? oh that’s right NONE of them, no pen, no paper left behind by Christ, was there? And Paul the author of Galatians described the Scriptures like this (using Peterson’s paraphrased version) :

    2 Timothy 3:16-17The Message (MSG)

    14-17 But don’t let it faze you. Stick with what you learned and believed, sure of the integrity of your teachers—why, you took in the sacred Scriptures with your mother’s milk! There’s nothing like the written Word of God for showing you the way to salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

    Even Peterson’s version says that Scripture is God-breathed, others would call it ‘inspired’. Interestingly enough the Scripture Paul is talking about can be no other than the Tanakh, referred to as the Old Testament by modern day folks. Listen to this part…. “There’s NOTHING like the written Word of God for showing you the WAY to Salvation through faith in Christ Jesus”. Jesus said i came to bring you Abundant Life, John said, in my paraphrase; In the beginning was the Word, and the word was with God and the Word was God, and the Word became Flesh and dwelt among us.

    Man will always want to rebel against the Word, would much rather replace His Word with ‘our own understanding’. God’s ways are higher and better than all the science you can pile up, His Words bring life, everything else … Death.

  • I can read the simple teachings of Jesus for myself. You don’t need to show me anything.

  • Dog, you are really bad at this! The simple teachings of Jesus are recorded in the gospels. No threats of “Death” will diminish his simple spiritual teachings of love for each other. Paul added a lot of theology, but that is really beside the point of what has been written in the gospels themselves.
    Nevertheless Paul did reduce fulfillment of the law with one word: love.

  • Clearly, the world hates when we live like Jesus, who cast aside no one – do you hate Peterson for not casting aside those whom you do? And they hate him for for valuing people over Mammon, and for not praising those who seek power and riches.The world loves those things. So does much of the American civil religion. Just being honest. 🙂 The religious leaders loved being the moral police, which Jesus never affirmed, rather, he merely called them blind guides. Imagine a gospel that is not about being the moral superiority police! What if the gospel is about something much larger and better? Islam, Mormonism, any religion can take the moral superiority route. Take some hermeneutics classes. They will challenge your certainty, but also give you a means of greater enjoyment of the scriptures, and you may even become open to learning something new! It’s life changing.

  • Someone said on this subject God neither stammered or stuttered that’s the truth. Another truth is God created some to stutter and stammer, and he found a way to raise them up and put them into a position to impact His kingdom in a mighty way. I might agree with the first truth, but I can only respect people who see the second truth.

  • Jesus the Christ did not write the Epistle to the Romans. Paul wrote it. Remember the Great Persecutor of Christians? The man who left his own wife and family to persecute Christians before becoming a Christian himself? The guy who spent so many years alone on the Island of Patmos that went totally nuts? That Paul?

  • Nope. There are too many crap websites out there with too many reams of blather. I don’t debate that way, nor do I make demands that others do so. Specify your argument, if you can, and I will be happy to respond.

  • Because it adds to the already 21 countries around the world that permit same-sex marriage.

  • “84 Year Old Who Practically No One’s Heard Of Finally Is OK With Gay People.” Great to hear, I’ve been losing tons of sleep over whether a guy who thinks the Beatles’ hair was too long was in favour of gay marriage. Go to bed old man, gay people don’t need -nor were they looking for- your approval or permission.

  • Paul spoke for Jesus: Galatians 1:11 For I would have you know, brothers, that the gospel that was preached by me is not man’s gospel.[c] 12 For I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. 13 For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it. 14 And I was advancing in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people, so extremely zealous was I for the traditions of my fathers. 15 But when he who had set me apart before I was born,[d] and who called me by his grace, 16 was pleased to reveal his Son to[e] me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately consult with anyone;[f] 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia, and returned again to Damascus”
    John was on Patmos.

  • Translations or the rendering of one language into another is just one step in exegesis. And one would consult a number of standard reference books depending on the particular language. BUT that’s hardly the end of it; certainly with looking at ancient writings. That would require looking at the context in a historical setting, analyse a variety of critical methods in context, setting, and theology, looking at similar words in other contexts, apply analysis; it’s a long complex process. It’s not a matter of just looking at books of translations because foreign words are very frequently not word for word translatable into modern word usage. But I think you know this already.

  • You’re aware that not only the “official” interpretation of the Bible, as well as which books are contained in it, have changed many times over the centuries, right? And that regular people wrote it? Oh and that it is most definitely not consistent, as you claim? Have you actually read it at any point?

  • Paul says Paul speaks for Jesus. Jesus is never recorded by anybody as saying that. I say Paul is self-aggrandizing, and I don’t care what Paul claims. Fortunately, in this country, we live by civil law–which comes with a printed history–not by any assortment of various and conflicting religious laws. But you are correct that it was Crazy John who was isolated on Patmos–for excellent reasons.

  • First you claim Paul speaks for Jesus. Now you claim Paul speaks for God. Or else you are claiming that YOU speak for God. No matter. I don’t believe either of you, and I have no intention of paying any further attention to either of you.

  • I’m sure it’s a long complex process when you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about. Enough meaningless word salad — specify your point already.

  • Lazy is throwing out a link and saying “Go read this” because you can not formulate the argument yourself. Come back when you can.

  • I most certainly don’t hate Peterson; I am only grieved about him and anyone who might be misled by him. Nobody is wanting to cast anyone aside — Jesus welcomes any and all who wish to repent, be washed and take up the cross. The difficulty, as already stated, consists in those who see no need for repentance.

    “And they hate him for for valuing people over Mammon” Seriously, Mammon? The man is in his mid-eighties and is done writing books. He has very little need for any more “mammon.” I’m a bit more impressed by those who forego the Mammon for the Kingdom while young with families — like the bakers who were targeted by vindictive lesbians.

    “Take some hermeneutics classes.” Ellen, with all due respect, I’m bored with people referring me to unspecified arguments that are out there somewhere, supposedly, but nobody seems to be sufficiently informed about them to discuss them point by point. I’ve been here a couple of years now and this has happened over, and over, and over again. Go read this, go read that… but when you ask for specific points, crickets. Even now a guy on this thread is trying to get me to do his homework for him by reading some linked website and refuting it for him because he evidently believes it wholeheartedly but doesn’t understand it enough to present it for debate. I don’t do things that way, and I don’t ask others to either. The truth appears to be that most ssm affirmers believe there is a scriptural argument to be made for it, because they’ve been told that there is one and they very much want for there to be one, but they’re not too clear on what it is and they don’t want to discuss it too much for fear that it may not hold up. Now, I’ve seen all the arguments, and I know why they fail, and I will be happy to discuss them one by one when asked. But only in a direct, honest, and specific fashion.

  • Do you not know that Jesus never claimed any such thing? John claimed a lot of crazy things. Paul claimed a lot of crazy things. You claim a lot of crazy things. But Jesus did not.

  • I referred you to the section “Homosexuality and the Bible” in the site to show there is scholarship on the Greek words in the Six Clobber Verses used to target gays and lesbians with spiritual abuse and discrimination.

  • See “The Bible, Christianity and Homosexuality” by Rev Justin Cannon under the section “Homosexuality and the Bible” in the site cited above.

  • You’ll take anything out of context to prove anything your fevered brain imagines. Go away.

  • Show me how I took it out of context then….lol
    I asked you if you knew Jesus is God?
    You replied: “Do you not know that Jesus never claimed any such thing? John claimed a lot of crazy things. Paul claimed a lot of crazy things. You claim a lot of crazy things. But Jesus did not.”
    I gave you scripture.
    Now, either you were unable to read it, or you didn’t bother. At least try to be a little honest……lol

  • Jesus absolutely claimed to be God: Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.” John 8:58

  • I already did! My point was that there exists biblical exegesis by scholars and others on homosexuality and the Bible. You can read one example, a detailed article “The Bible, Christianity and Homosexuality” by Rev Justin Cannon in the section “Homosexuality and the Bible” on the http://www.gaychurch.org site. But you know this already.

  • Try looking up who that passage is talking about: non-Yahweh religious priests who slept with men as part of their worship of non-Yahweh gods. Have you ever taken a single college-level bible survey course? The world is so much larger and more complex than you admit.

  • You are following in the same dreary footsteps of everyone who comes here yapping for ssm affirmation and insisting that “there exists biblical exegesis!” — the precise nature of which NOBODY seems to know. All they can offer when pressed is “Read this” or “Go look at that” or “Many scholars say…” And all it really means is that they don’t understand what they’re advocating and are afraid of presenting it and being made a fool of. I do not play that game. Specify your point and I will demonstrate why it fails — without referring you to any crap websites, either.

  • I can present you with Rev Justin Cannon’s article, but I can’t force you to read.

  • So are you saying that Peterson is trying to speak to MARRIAGE when he says “all lust, no love”?????? I hope that doesn’t describe your marriage.

  • A day after a Religion News Service interview portrayed

    retired pastor and author Eugene Peterson as shifting to endorse
    same-sex marriage, the evangelical leader retracted his comment and
    upheld the traditional Christian stance instead.

    “To clarify, I affirm a biblical view of marriage: one
    man to one woman. I affirm a biblical view of everything,” he said in a
    statement Thursday afternoon.

  • So you are saying that God – in His word to His people – is telling them about how heathen have homosexual sex. Then, He tells them that it is incorrect what they are doing, but it is all right for His people? Where’s your scripture for that one, friend?

  • I don’t know Peterson’s writing well, and have a little familiarity with The Message. This is a pretty bland interview and he waffles when it coms to LGBTQ issues. I’m not surprised he retracted his “yes” to same-sex marriage — a pastoral answer to a doctrinal question. Pastorally (and in his heart, maybe), he would say “yes”; but technically, he must say “no”. At least he thinks 45 is the worst thing ever, the “enemy” even. Gotta agree with him on that.

  • Gays and lesbians were all created in the image of God. Yet they’ve turned away from God to bear the image of Satan. Satan has always set out to twist and pervert. God is truth. Satan creates lies. God creates man and woman to become one flesh and establish a family. Satan creates homosexuality to mock God and His holy plan.

  • Gays and lesbians do not bear the image of Satan. They are our children, family, friends, work and school mates, and neighbors, very ordinary people like cops and teachers; bus drivers and doctors; scientists and barbers; florists and ministers.
    Modern science, biology, medicine, psychology, common sense and our gay and lesbian friends and acquaintances inform us now about human sexuality.
    Targeting them for spiritual abuse and discrimination is cruel ignorance of the facts of life. it would be akin to targeting left handed folks with abuse and discrimination.

  • “The most preposterous notion that Homo sapiens has ever dreamed up is that the Lord God of Creation, Shaper and Ruler of all the Universes, wants the saccharine adoration of His creatures, can be swayed by their prayers, and becomes petulant if He does not receive this flattery. Yet this absurd fantasy, without a shred of evidence to bolster it, pays all the expenses of the oldest, largest, and least productive industry in all of history”

  • I’m not asking for an explanation of an entire exegetical process. Im asking for step one. What specific source do you start with?

  • Carefully read my response above “one step” “consult a number of standard reference books” in a library of translations.

  • There is a reason that Jesus the Christ and His Gospel are in the New Testament, while the despotic laws, that invite parents to have their wayward children stoned by the community, or have a woman’s hand cut off for defending her husband by disabling his attacker with a “grab” where it would REALLY hurt, are all found in the Old Testament. The New Testament is of the New Covenant, one of mercy and justice, that rejects the old lex talionis (an eye for an eye.)Yet, “evangelicals” are especially fond of yelling about the Old Testament because they can coerce and oppress people with it.

  • I thought the thoughts expressed in the article didn’t sound like they came from the same guy who wrote this (New Testament reference);

    So God said, in effect, “If that’s what you want, that’s what you get.” It wasn’t long before they were living in a pigpen, smeared with filth, filthy inside and out. And all this because they traded the true God for a fake god, and worshiped the god they made instead of the God who made them—the God we bless, the God who blesses us. Oh, yes!

    Worse followed. Refusing to know God, they soon didn’t know how to be human either—women didn’t know how to be women, men didn’t know how to be men. Sexually confused, they abused and defiled one another, women with women, men with men—all lust, no love. And then they paid for it, oh, how they paid for it—emptied of God and love, godless and loveless wretches.

  • There have been a few comments which have brought this up and everybody scatters. I want to know, too.
    I know a lot of people who have gotten a divorce which has nothing to do with adultery or religion, many entirely cordial partings, and then married someone else at a later time, sometimes in the same church by the same pastor who performed the last ceremony

    Jesus states clearly when divorce is legitimate. For the majority of couples this isn’t the case yet nobody has any problem with them becoming ordained, say, for Deacons or Elders or installed as other officers of the church. Why not? Same sex unions would fall under this area, in my opinion and should be granted the same level of acceptance that we have afforded to re-married individuals.

  • What about this? I know many Christians who have divorced over nothing to do with adultery or religion. Then they married someone else. Jesus calls this adultery, yet every church I have attended ordains or installs them and they hold office without judgment -as it should be.

    No the Bible never changes, but we certainly do. We would never do the horrific things to people that one finds us being instructed to do in books such as Leviticus. People today still commit the sin named, but we certainly don’t burn them or stone them to death.

  • The scripture in Timothy doesn’t mention divorce. It states that he must be the husband of one wife. Multiple marriage was commonplace, so the scripture may have been wanting to ensure that those who hold positions in the church only had one wife. But I think the short answer to your question is that they shouldn’t be Deacons or Pastors etc, if they divorced for some benign reason such as irreconcilable differences.

    Surely you are not suggesting that churches should accept homosexuality as what God intended and condone those within their congregations who are openly engaging in this type of relationship, simply because there are divorced people in their church?

    The Deacons and Pastors and parishioners can repent of their former sin of divorce, be forgiven and go on with their lives. Homosexuality is a sin also. To accept those who are openly and unrepentantly homosexual is a different thing all together.

  • Well, I was actually looking at Matthew, where Jesus is pretty clear on. The divorce and adultry issue, but what you said about divorced Deacons, Pastors and Parishenors repenting of and being forgiven for their “former sin” doesn’t cut it. If they are still living in adultry it is s current ongoying sin. To repent means “to change” and to change the couple would need to lead lives of celebicy or re-marry their first spouse, otherwise they continue to commit adultry. This is related to gays and lesbians. Many churches welcome them, as they well should, and most churches find it perfectly acceptable for them to serve in church officer positions, both ordained, installed or as a pastor as long as they maintain celibacy. This standard would also apply to those who continue with an adulterous relationship.

    As long as I continue to commit the same sin fully intending to continue committing it eliminates the possibility of repentance.

  • Matthew 19:8 He (Jesus) said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. 9 And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultry.”

    As long as that second marriage continues the couple are living in adultry because logic has it that without change, ( repentance requires a change in behavior), in this case the couple would need to either divorce and maintain celibacy or re-marry their first spouse.

    Many churches welcome gays and lesbians to hold office, including being a pastor as long as they practice celibacy with the intent of continuing to do . The same standard must be applied to divorced persons. As a gay or lesbian in your belief system can repent by remaining celebit, so should the divorcee.

  • Are you taking the words of a Human being and adding them to the Word of God? I think this is a no-no.

  • My apologies in advance for this long comment and If it is well-received and I return to this site I will not be so selfish of space.

    I need to ask that will you please, if you reply to my comments, be courteous and provide me with information that will help my understanding of Christianity with a mutual goal of growing in the faith?

    I have already felt attacked, assumptions -inaccurate and inappropriate were made and the whole tone was one of ranting and being defensive.

    I don’t think anybody on this site should be abused, ridiculed or disrespected.

    Are most of us who are part of these discussions Christians? If so, we know by that by the example of the behavior and expectations of Jesus Christ, the New Covenant, that we are to practice humility and serve one another and all other people. Jesus made it clear that whatever we do to others, we are doing to him.

    I will try to curb my human failing of responding in like fashion to abusive, rude or ranting replies. And I I will try hard to avoid committing the sin of arrogance -which if I remember correctly, is the sin God hates most.

    Surely all of us realize that all religions, including ours, are based on faith, not on fact and our beliefs are that, beliefs, not proof. It says right in 1st Corinthians 13:12 that while we are here we “see through a glass dimly/darkly” or “Our knowlege is incomplete” or “We only see a small piece” or “our vision is distorted ” or “we see as if looking in a mirror,” etc… we can’t even agree on what a short piece of scripture says.

    Here is my belief: “and they will know you by your love…”
    As an active Christian I can do good works which may cause others to ask why and then I can share my faith, but there is absolutely no way I can prove that the Bible was written by men (and a woman) who were inspired by God.

    I have had a number of visitors who were so aggressive and combative about pushing their brand of Christian faith down my throat, that I finally came up with an answer that pulls it together. I invite them to walk on the nearby lake or move one of the many mountains I live next to. By doing so they will have demonstrated faith so strong that not only me, but the rest of the world would take notice of the Bible and its teachings. Those I have seen pushing people are pushing them away from, not towards Christ and finally I have had my say and many thanks to those of you who took the time to read it.

  • One last long one, but specifically related to the Topic for Discussion: My position on gay and lesbian marriage is based on love -on all sides. Each of the beloved children of God, whose names are carved on the palm of God’s hand are so loved.

    How much God loves us! All of us!
    And the couples to be married, their love for each other is obvious, and sometimes it is so powerful that when I see it, my mind puts a beautiful ribbon around them.
    They love each other, they are in a monogamous, consensual relationship and want to marry and If this is legal in the state, join them in holy matrimony, for this is an act of love. Encourage any who are called to hold ordained or installed positions in the church, including that of being a pastor. All areas of church leadership need to be touched by love.

    I will provide you with the passage of scripture that touched my heart, opened my mind which was followed by my belief that this is the right thing to do and I feel at peace with this.

    Please note that this was my personal journey, not yours, and I have no expectation that you have the same journey nor can I insist I am right and it says so in this passage:

    1st Corinthians 13

    If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

    You can read through the passage and see it’s all about love and that it will remain while … “prophecies cease” and “knowledge falls away”and “now we see only in part (and my ego didn’t take too well to that).

    BUT what changed my whole outlook is: ” And now these three remain: Faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

    So to me that means that love takes priority over my faith, over hope, over my beliefs, over all.

    And that order of priorities, of importance is the what I use to find answers on a great many things

    And having had to defend my beliefs a great many times, I must be careful to not become arrogant and create the irony of defending love and becoming insistent and end up committing the sin that God hates most, that of arrogance. For when we are arrogant we feel we have the right to judged others which Jesus specifically tells us not to do in a number of places.

    My vision of this arrogance is each “side” shoving each other out of the way while trying to oust Jesus from where HE is seated at the right hand of God and from which HE will judge the quick and the dead, including the arrogant and the humble and all will walk before the thrown, including husbands with wives, wives with wives and husbands with husbands. And as it is stated in the Bible, Jesus will do the judging of all.

  • This scripture is what caused me to open my mind and support gay and lesbian marriage:

    1st Corinthians 13

    If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

    And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

    End scripture

    This tells me that love overcomes all. What finally got my priorities in order (and I am not saying these should be yours) is how the scripture ends;
    And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
    How this showed itself to me was that Love is greater than faith. I am not making that up. It is in all the Bible versions I could find.

    Based on that I would say that gay and lesbian couples who love each other and will be monogamous should be allowed to marry and to hold chuch officer positions, including a pastor.

    I believe that Jesus does not want us to judge; that comes up a number of times. If I were to judge anyone I think I would be committing the sin God hates the most which is my sin of arrogance. What was also made very clear in that scripture was that now, I know in part” (other versions I see through a glass dimly, my knowledge is incomplete and on and on. So I can’t tell you I am right. This could eliminate so much arguing … let love prevail, let Jesus judge…

  • There is no question that God hates divorce. Malachi 2 is very clear on that. Matthew, Mark and Luke also reference Christ’s teaching. Paul In I Corinthians expands on Christ’s teaching on divorce and remarriage. Marriage is a covenant and is not meant to be broken.

    But we are broken. And we will remain broken until God calls us home.

    To say that there can be no repentance and forgiveness for someone who divorces and remarries is biblically wrong. It is also legalism. It allows for no grace. The bible teaches there is no unforgivable sin except for the blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. And if that scripture is correct then your suggestion that they would need to divorce and remarry their former spouse is just creating a new sin onto an old and forgiven sin.

    People with same sex attractions are sinners like everybody else. There isn’t anything unbiblical about them holding office, including pastors, as long as they recognize the attraction is a sin. They can actually be a help to others who may be similarly afflicted.

  • Which story do you think will be better known…the unpopular view or the one that itching ears want to hear?

  • My intention was to attribute the words (not very well I will admit) to Eugene Peterson, this is from his paraphrase of the bible; ‘The Message’. I was only saying that the article and these words don’t seem to align. Peterson has since revised his statements to say he believes marriage is between a man and a woman, only.

  • Good response. I believe in gay marriage and certainly don’t own any slaves or cover MY head in church. Easy to twist scripture to match one’s beliefs.

  • Yeah, what happened to the New Testament where it says “Judge not’ or when Jesus says he will be the one judging seated at the right hand of God. Seems the New Testament falls between the cracks when someone opts to jump in and judge.

  • They believe that it’s ok to roust Jesus out of his place, seated at the right hand of God where HE will do the judging.He has strong words about judging, which many tend to forget about.

  • And this, too, is OK. Doesnt’ work that way in my marriage which has been in loving union for 38 years.

  • Yeah, we can’t even agree on the text of the Bible. Everybody has their own version. Which is right/

  • This is an easy one. Pick me! Pick me!
    The Old testament is for you. The New testament is for me.

  • Boy, that sure doesn’t happen at our house or in our church. Women are actually treated as equals.

  • The Bible DOES say that:
    This actually came out of a real true Bible:
    Ephesians 5:22-33

    22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything

    1st Corithians 13:34
    Women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak, but must be in submission, as the law says.

  • Yes. Jesus was very clear about not judging, in several places in his teachings, Yet people try to oust his from his seat at the right hand of God, so that they, not he, as scripture reads are the ones to do the judging. The Bible is very clear about what happens when people jugde.

  • It’s not a choice and that has been enforced by brain shapes via MRI’s showing that a straight man’s bread is shaped the same as a lesbian woman’s and a gay mans brain is shaped like a straight woman’s. How old were you when you chose to be straight?

  • Yes, being invited to cast the first stone didn’t work out so well for the people Jesus invited to do that. Remember, whatever you do to others, you do to Jesus. Can we start raking him over the coals?

  • I think it’s great that you know the mind of God and have already worked out for him who is going to hell. That is arrogance and that is the sin that God hates most.

  • Leviticus is full of wonderful ways to deal with a great assortment of sins, burning people, stoning people. I am sure Jesus would be in sure agreement with this.

  • You are not advised to pick out certain people groups and force your beliefs on them. You really don’t know what’s happening to who. The Bible is built on faith, not on facts.

  • Yeah, wasn’t there that time when Jesus said to get that nasty old plank…oh yeah:
    Matthew 5:7: “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Wonder what that means…

  • It’s easy to know who is going to Hell. Christ taught that in His word – unrepentant sinners. If believing Christ is arrogance, guilty.

  • There are lots of portions of the bible condemning homosexuality. We don’t have to hunt and pick for the scripture – Christ put them all over the books.

  • I already asked that. Even though according to the Bible they are living a life in adultery, according to Scripture of one of those Bibles, it’s ok to go on doing so if you repent. NOT. Repent means to change. That means celibacy. But no, I was lectured, not the same thing at all. I guess they repent each time that they have sex, promising they’ll never do it again. Right! Those whose comments we read that see it that way are in fact making it up to suit them. Probably they are or have a friend who has been divorced for other reasons that adultery. Very convenient. You can bring that up until you are blue in the face, but it is “really ok.”

  • No, people who divorce are not doing so everyday, but the odds are good that they are still having sex, hence the adultry phrase, however:

    When God calls homosexuality an abomination
    (Leviticus 18:22) (Leviticus 20:13)
    Yep. We’ve all heard that Leviticus is where the Bible straight-up says that homosexual behavior is an abomination. And yes, it does. It also says that homosexuals should receive the death penalty (!!!). It also says the same thing about eating pork or shellfish, charging interest on loans, and a whole bunch of other restrictions that were a part of the Old Testament Law Code. But for Christians, the Old Testament doesn’t (dare I say “shouldn’t?”) settle any issue because Romans 10:4 says that Christ is the end of the law. Which is probably why most Christians today eat meat, use credit cards, wear makeup, and support equality for women. Because, as Hebrews 8:13 says, the old law is obsolete and aging.

  • Gays and lesbians are not specifically covered in scripture as a class because homosexuality (same-sex attraction) was not known. Some behaviors were commended like temple prostitution, but if you actually read the Six Clobber Verses used to bash gay and lesbians you will discover that the Bible is talking about something different than orientation. Read the Rev. Justin Cannon’s article “The Bible, Christianity, and Homosexuality” under the heading of Homosexuality & The Bible at this site: http://www.gaychurch.org
    More than 7,500 Christian congregations around the world welcome gays and lesbians without prejudice, discrimination, or spiritual abuse. We are evolving on the issue of orientation these days.
    Slavery in the Bible is condoned; nowhere specifically condemned.
    Today most folks get their knowledge and information about orientation from science, biology, medicine, psychology, common sense AND from their family and friends who are GLBT. The Bible is hardly useful information about orientation any more than it is useful information about slavery.

  • Out of the mouth comes the heart, Oh, he was on the spot, not thinking clearly,
    oh dear, money involved. sales , yep,
    I’ll clear this up, the man is a liar, he knows the word of God,
    he knows what God says of the gay. life style, >>>>IT Is An Abomination<<<<<<< whore mongers & the like, & worst…………. Jeremiah speaks about matters of sin, as does much of the word of God as a reminder.
    Repenting means to walk away from the world, take up your cross & walk.
    In the word,
    God, our God, Is a Holy God, Jesus Christ is a Holy God, The Holy Spirit of God,
    is Holy.Devine.
    any of you trying to make peace with the evils of sin through compromise, wont make it past go,
    no get out of jail card. what ever banding your claiming through what ever church your attending,
    If it is not cut & dry on the matters of the Abominations outlined in the word of God,
    In the sight of God he finds highly offensive, so much so, Your DOA even before you have drawn
    your last breath. Let the dead bury the dead. You best find your selves an other church.
    Look folks, all of you who walked away to go your own way, God in his word: Jeremiah, God said,
    Return to me, I'll teach you not to back slide
    Know the word,

  • And it is even more that “love thy neighbor. Jesus last commanment states:
    “John 13:34-35

    34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

    That’s a tall order that all of us who call ourselves Christians should strive for. And he specifically spelled out leaving the judging up to him.

  • Christians (and I am one) can’t even agree on so much as a single line of Biblical text. Recently a denomination in my town split over whether baptism required immersion or whether the pastor only need to use a little water on the forehead. I suppose Jesus cared a great deal about this one.

  • As my sainted grandmother would say to gossiping folks chatting about others: Tend to your own knitting.
    I always wonder why fundamentalist worry so much about same-sex marriage and not divorced folks with equal venom. Jesus was asked about a man leaving his wife, in other words DIVORCE and he was against it, except for adultery.
    But too many so-called Christians used that to condemn gays and lesbians without realizing Jesus was specifically discussing DIVORCE, not making a general comment about marriage. He was asked about a man leaving his wife.

  • They ignore Jesus also when he said: in John 13:34-35

    34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” I don’t see any exclusionary language. How do you treat your loved ones? Wake up each morning and being the judging process?

  • John 13:34-35

    34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

  • Throwing out a link, by my way of thinking is not to plagiarize by using somebody else’s intellect to better say what I would say myself.

  • For those who do not want to hear someone else inspired by God, it is because it might make sense and tear apart their narrow belief system.

  • And read they will not and it is sad because a closed mind slams the door of opportunity to learn and grow.

  • And next is the most common example of brotherly love: Name calling. It shows both the lack of godly character and the mean spiritedness of those trying without success to “prove” something. “Troll. That brings back memories of the lovely folks during the Presidential campaign who could not prove their point and resorted to name calling. I doubt if Jesus appreciates being called names.

  • Hear, hear! I think I will avoid this site in the future. We are not to fill our minds with the words of those condemning others and who know the mind of God when it comes to judgement. God is God and can change his mind anytime he chooses to and I do not think it will go well for those who persecute his children. Good luck in your venture to bring enlightenment to those brothers and sisters of ours who may well think I am Satan having a heyday provoking them. From the depths of hell, best wishes to you.

  • Well, it opens up quite a bit of avenues for women to hold ministry in the church. Basically allows them to serve up to senior pastoral positions.

  • I hate to break this to you but Jesus and the God of the Old Testament are one in the same being. They both have different roles that they play but they are both have the same spirit. Jesus will sit in on a final judgement for all mankind where there will be burning people.

  • The bible is based on facts. It was written as a testament of truth. That is the main reason why it’s worth believing.

  • I don’t know how Mr Peterson is doing mentally. In the article he did say he is not working anymore. I wonder if this was a case of someone taking advantage of his present mental state and ramming their agenda into his mouth. Something doesn’t add up.

  • Christ is the end of the Old Testment law?? So in Matthew 5:17 when Jesus says “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them”. I would say that Jesus himself disagrees with your statement. In in your quoted Romans 10:4, Paul states that Christ is the culmination of the law, not the end of it. Jesus stated that he made things new and the verse in Hebrews highlights this new covenant. The covenant is why we don’t kill people for homosexuality. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ but those who are not in Christ, even Jesus stated that hell awaits.

  • He is a man of the Bible.. a good and decent man. Perhaps you should take advice from someone more learned than yourself

  • If one has thoroughly studied the issue he ought to be able to pinpoint and summarize the particular point he is wishing to make — even high school students are taught how to do this. Throwing out a link to a random website is lazy argumentation. Is it, in fact, not argumentation at all.

  • Most atheists come to predominantly religious forums not to contribute but to mock, and many of them will tell you so quite frankly. That is pretty much the definition of a troll. Few of them possess more than the most superficial familiarity with scripture, and Marshal has no displayed any more than that despite his claims to expertise.

    “That brings back memories of the lovely folks during the Presidential campaign who could not prove their point and resorted to name calling.” I agree. Those who favor the names “fundabagelsts,” “hallelujah hypocrites,” “christofascists,” “poverty-stricken evangelical trash” indeed have world of trouble proving their cases.

  • I have totally agreed with you from the start and apologize if I came across as a judgmental know-it-all who believes this is the one true (no proof) religion and makes it my mission in life to deny and disrespect those who believe differently and who feel perfectly comfortable attacking those in LGBTQI people group who have already been attacked enough. These “It’s a choice, because I say it is,” people have no clue as to the degree, say typically, a six-grade boy is in a state of severe anxiety and confusion over why he is attracted to other boys. He stays in isolation questioning and struggling. I read a book compiled from the many who went through a terribly difficult period of uncertainty. Gay teenager

    We still have large religious populations who insist that dinosaurs never walked the earth and those bones and fossils are, in modern language, “Fake news.” I have talked to these people and they are 100% certain about this and they JUST HAVE to have me believe the same thing. That is what I don’t get about all of this is ALL religions are based on faith, not fact and NO religion can proved to have come from gods, goddesses, the Great Spirit and the like.

    Hence, at our church, we err on the side of grace and welcome ALL people. And, we welcome them by name because race or sexual orientation or gender identity are a part of a whole person who entered the world with all of those parts. All have different gifts and talents they share with all of us and we all support each other with our own challenges and difficult times. I don’t introduce myself as: “Hi! I am a straight white Christian. Who are you?”

    The latest suicide statistics show that it is the many, many young people, our precious youth -barely teenagers, the ones who “choose” to be gay are the ones taking their own live, but as do the statics state. Read the risk factors and hang your heads in shame. I hold churches accountable for many of these suicides. A twelve-year boy’s youth pastor, in the presence of NOT supportive parents at the time, told the boy that he had better change and change quick because, “All homosexuals go to hell.” So he went home and shot himself. The parents, now realizing that they loved him just as much gay or straight sued, but I don’t know how that ended up. But I do believe that the youth pastor was directly responsible for that suicide and he had better repent of murder.

    Suicide Rates
    The reason talking about homosexual suicide is so critical is because of the gay suicide rates and suicide attempt rates. The gay suicide statistics about youth and transgender people are particularly shocking:

    Studies have found that LGBT youth attempt suicide more than 3 times more frequently than their heterosexual counterparts
    A Canadian study estimated that the risk of suicide among LG youth is 14 times higher than for heterosexual youth
    Among youth who attempted suicide, almost twice as many GLBT youth said they really hoped to die
    Of transgender people, between 30-45% report having attempted suicide
    GBT men have a higher risk of suicide than women although women attempt suicide more frequently

    LGBT Suicide Risk Factors
    Of course, not every LGBT person attempts suicide – but those that do often do so because of the stress of anti-gay stigma, discrimination and harassment. This type of stress is known as “minority stress” as it is exerted on minority populations. In the LGBT population, more than 75% of people in a community setting reported suffering verbal harassment while one-in-seven reported physical attacks. Internalized homophobia also contributes to LGBT suicide risk.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/2017/02/10/church-driving-gay-people-suicide-warns-christian-charity/

    “Sarah Knapton, science editor
    10 FEBRUARY 2017 • 4:46PM
    The Church is driving homosexual people to suicide because of its negative and discriminatory attitude towards same-sex relationships, a major Christian charity has concluded.

    A report by Oasis warned that churches must take a ‘disproportionate share of the blame’ for the mental health issues of people who are lesbian, gay or bisexual.

    The charity found that every major denomination of the Christian church in Britain, except for the United Reformed Church, held positions which actively discriminate against people with same-sex partners.”

    As a Christian I know that you who have discriminated and caused suicide by “the least of these,” are guilty of murder and I am going straight to Leviticus to see whether we burn you or stone you or what.
    While you are all repenting, I will read up on “Taming of the tongue” because I most certainly need to repent of a lot of what I say, but at least it’s not murder.

  • “Lots” is far too general for me to gain any information on. I also do not count scripture which is actually condemning rape and incest or is right in line with other commandments which have case aside by both Jesus and civilized society.

    What other people are you trying to change? How about going after the Mormons for adding to the Bible. Given the way the last part of scripture is so heavily emphasized, I would have thought all you Christians who believe your are supposed to send warnings from God would jump right in there converting Hindus. HINT: What does the first of the Ten Commandments say? It does not say anything about gays or lesbians,

    It says in Exodus 20:
    “The Ten Commandments
    20 And God spoke all these words:

    2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

    3 “You shall have no other gods before me.”

    Obviously this is very important to God and there are hundreds of thousands of people, no, millions of people, more? who have a different deity or no deity before them. I would say with a sin of that magnitude, you best hustle. In fact you probably know someone in your own neighborhood who is breaking this commandment. Go save them! Shut down the computer you have much work to do!!!!

  • Here is a warning from the Lord, unless you are without sin, and if that is the case are we Christians yet?

    Matthew 7:5
    “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

  • if I were committing the same sin and condemning them for it, that would be applicable.
    But, submitting scripture is what the Lord wants us to do.

  • Hey, you guys! Big newsflash. Remember a sin that is really important to God? It’s the First Commandment: “Thou shall have no other gods before me.”

    I really do not know the mind of God, though some of you do, angels, I guess… Anyway He does not mention anything about spending hours trying to prove that being someone in the LGBTQI community is a sin or not. Or what they can do or not do. Geez, this is the longest time I have ever spent in church. I must ask myself, do I spend more time worshiping or praying or listening to God, or to my computer?
    Or maybe one of you who knows where all the secret scripture is kept knows of a verse that cancels the Ten Commandments???

  • Matthew 7:5
    A message from Jesus:
    “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” Did that answer you question?

  • A message from Jesus, all for one and one for all:
    Matthew 7:5
    “You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.”

    And It might be a good idea to check out the First of the Ten Commandments, which, while I do not know for sure, but hazarding a guess, would say are pretty important to God. Gays and Lesbians didn’t make the cut. Best do as the Mormons do and start converting people. Uh, aren’t they like for sure going to hell if they are not Christians? Let’s try again with the indigenous people whose land, culture and language we stole. Now granted, we did force Christianity on them (totally not ok), but many may have fallen back into sin.

    To any indigenous person who is reading this, I am speaking the way I am so certain kinds of people will understand me.

    I am very ashamed to be of the white race who built our nation with stolen slaves on stolen land. Those of you in the lower 48 states in particular deserve a great deal more in restitution. And here is the latest from science. trauma, especially childhood trauma actually changes that person’s DNA and the thus the trauma and its symptoms are passed down to the next generation -and the next

    Our white adult generation will tell you that the mental illness and consequent self-treatment with drugs and alcohol is “not my problem.” Well it is. Those with the heaviest load of guilt are the Christian missionaries who physically, sexually and emotionally abused the indigenous peoples’ children. Who beat them if they spoke in their own language. The Christian churches, a variety of denominations have atonement to make.

  • Funny you should mention pagan idol worship. I read it then skipped to the commandment that perhaps (?) God felt was the most important one (Commandment One) and it doesn’t say a thing about gays and lesbians. It says, “Thou shall have no other gods before me,”
    Of all the scripture in the Bible, I would think you would say this is the truth people really need. Especially when Jesus backs this up when he gives his input on what the most important scripture in the Bible is:

    First, from the Old Testament:
    The Greatest Commandment
    …4″Hear, O Israel! The LORD is our God, the LORD is one! 5″You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. 6″

    Matthew 22:37
    Jesus declared, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’

    Mark 12:30
    and you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

    Mark 12:33
    and to love Him with all your heart and with all your understanding and with all your strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself, which is more important than all burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

    Luke 10:27
    He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’ and ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

    Deuteronomy 4:29
    “But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you search for Him with all your heart and all your soul.

    And then we have the 2nd most important: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

    And before Christ ascends we receive the critically important commandment, one we will not come close to achieving, but should continually strive for. I can certainly say when I exchange the general with the specific, starting from when I made the mistake of getting hooked on this site I failed:

    “A new command I give you, Mel: Love everyone, EVERYONE who replies to your comment including any one who makes a comment As I have loved you, Mel, so you must love everyone, including enemies . 35 And this everyone and that includes the people making comments, will know that you, Mel are my disciple if you love one another.” (A good study I took which included the Latin definition of “disciple” -student or follower also stated that we “ENCOURAGE people to become Christians, to invite,… to serve.,..to suggest… None of this harsh my- way or the die- way. stuff. No thumpin’.

    Well, “Jesus loves me,,,,” just didn’t happen. AND I can say that I felt no love from any of you. I was a stranger and I signed in. I asked if people who had gotten divorced which was not a a result of adultery were committing adultery when they remarried. -well that is what it SAYS in the BIBLE, but faster than fiber optic cable I was attacked with words that changed what Jesus said by adding a little more information that he forgot to mention.A pinch of Alternate Facts.

    HOLY SMOKES!!! Next thing I knew was I was throwing on the Armor of God, but wondering why the hell In addition to the warm welcome, was I taking up the shield given all the flaming arrows were supposed to come from the evil one????

    John 13:34-35New International Version (NIV)

    34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. 35 By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

    And I will let you find this next piece of scripture yourself so you you will know was love means and…..this is how it ends: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

    And to top it off, in the same Bible version, the word “love” is found over 100 times than “truth.”

  • The first comment I read when I scrolled through this site had a question I had had to wait for two years to get the answer which was provided to me by the Elders of my former church. The answer they finally came up with is the same one I received on this site and it is not a logical answer as I see it. So I will ask you for the answer and if you choose not to answer, that’s perfectly appropriate as it has nothing to do with Eugene Peterson.

    I see a lot of assumptions being made and a few people made assumptions about two of my posts. Now, not that I think anybody is going to read this:
    I like to learn. I have to look for answers as soon as I hear a questions: It’s just because I have a need to know things; I am very curious. Don’t assume there is a reason I am asking a question.

    Man, I almost don’t want to put it out there again. Some woman, I think, no real name, totally attacked me; I don’t know if what I said was taken wrong, perhaps she had divorced and remarried and thought I was judging her.

    So everybody, I am NOT judging divorced people. I lived “in sin” for several years, which was then followed by marriage to a divorcee who had not had biblical reason for the divorce. So if you logically and honestly interpret the scripture, Ihave been happily living in sin for 38 years now. My former church did not want to rock the boat (nor did I want them to be pulling divorcees off Session.)

    What I have found on divorce seems clear, but is really strict. My understanding is that the two biblical grounds for divorce are 1) a divorce that involved sexual immorality, and 2) a divorce initiated by an unbeliever.

    I read in a Bible study that for a divorce which occurred because the unbeliever wants out of the marriage, the believer should not contest this, and the believer would then be free to remarry. People aren’t very interested in this one and nobody has attacked me on my conclusion, so I hope I can put that one to rest.problem with this one. (???)

    Here is the one that causes all the uproar and I think because if you actually follow the scripture on the one about adultery then you might not be able to be an officer of the church or be ordained. You would not be put in any position where someone would see you as a role model.

    Matthew 5:31-32
    31 “It has been said, ‘Anyone who divorces his wife must give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32 But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, makes her the victim of adultery, and anyone who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

    Mark 10:9-12
    9 Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” 10 When they were in the house again, the disciples asked Jesus about this. 11 He answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. 12 And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”

    Matthew 19:9
    9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

    Luke 16:18
    18 “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.

    So what everybody is trying to tell me is that, no actually, the newlyweds that Jesus would say are now living in adultery.have repented and have been forgiven so have at it.

    No. To repent you have to change whatever you need to to stop sinning. You don’t repent, in this case if you fully intend to continue to have sexual relations. You and your spouse according to Jesus are adulterers and the only way they can avoid that is to be celibate and this is where part of the gay and lesbian inequality within the church comes in. They must maintain celibacy to hold church office, etc.
    To me, that would also apply to the adulterous couple, but no they can keep having sex and continue to hold office, etc.

    Jesus was really clear on this and if someone wants to do something about it that is fine, but I stay out of people’s bedrooms. My former church was totally anti-gay and so no gay people came to our church. I guess we would much rather they not come and just overlook the fact that we are cutting down on their chances to become Christians, – oh,but the church was so desperate to fill the Board of Deacons that they ordained two women who were openly living with the boyfriends. I am sure if they said they were sorry about it, that would make it right.

    I would really like to know the answer. Not to cause trouble for divorcees, but to show the church a really good example of looking the other way when it benefits themj.

  • So my guess is he has been breaking the First Commandment for some time, worshiping his earthly treasures. I noticed he had a fedex version of a spiritual change. He was still hanging in there until the major bookstore said they were going to pull all his stuff off the shelves if he doesn’t change his mind…….”So” he thinks, “If I change my mind all the Eugene bashing from the high-ups will stop and I will make more money….yes …” And what about the “least of these ” who he has supported for years. Too bad for then and so what if people now turn against them even more. And all the fine upstanding Christians at the top of the O chart are cheering his miraculous change of mind. Oh, give me a break.

  • So are you giving thanks for his return to the truth of scripture?

    So at the drop of his “Yes” the upper echelons of notable Christians prepare the purifying fire, but he still is hanging in there according to some, but not all reports I read. I read the same report from ten different sources. Then the major bookstore tells him to change his mind or all his stuff gets yanked off the shelves. OUCH! Suddenly a FedEx version of a spiritual awakening occurs and he can keep his earthly treasures after all. What might just be a bigger deal than him saying he supports gay marriage? What about breaking the First Commandment? And I am not judging him. I have got a big plank in my eye. How much time did I spend with God one -on- one today? Maybe an hour. The rest of my day was focusing/worshiping my computer.

    I like to learn. I like to know why. But I don’t deal well with hypocrisy -and we are all hypocrites at one time or another.

    Also I have read the Jesus came to serve and that we are to serve. I serve in a lot of areas but could do more.

    I have read 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (actually I have read the whole passage on numerous occasions.
    4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

    So I just thought I would throw all that out for you.

  • Ok. I do not make assumptions so you will have to tell me what you mean by your little sentence.

  • LOL. You know I just have a real problem with the burning business. I was really traumatized when the wicked witch caught the scarecrow on fire.
    I am going to sin now, but its just a little one. I’ll cut off my hand as soon as I post,. OK here is the birthplace of discrimination. I think God changed.
    The LORD said to Moses,
    17
    “Say to Aaron: `For the generations to come none of your descendants who has a defect may come near to offer the food of his God.
    18
    No man who has any defect may come near: no man who is blind or lame, disfigured or deformed;
    19
    no man with a crippled foot or hand,
    20
    or who is hunchbacked or dwarfed, or who has any eye defect, or who has festering or running sores or damaged testicles.
    21
    No descendant of Aaron the priest who has any defect is to come near to present the offerings made to the LORD by fire. He has a defect; he must not come near to offer the food of his God.
    22
    He may eat the most holy food of his God, as well as the holy food;
    23
    yet because of his defect, he must not go near the curtain or approach the altar, and so desecrate my sanctuary. I am the LORD, who makes them holy. [5] ‘”
    24
    So Moses told this to Aaron and his sons and to all the Israelites.

  • So, is this a ceremonial offense, or a moral one? ?

    In my home, bacon is sacramental, and I would assume that is what you mean by the holy food. ?

  • You are assuming they want to hear from you…. and you are judging that they are in sin. Can you really not see this?

  • If you don’t want to hear from me, don’t respond; that’s pretty easy.
    Secondly, these pages are for more than just who is being written to, and they need the truth of the Lord also, Sammie.

  • Is this one meant for me? I just go on Jesus’s gastrointestinal remark -what goes in comes out. Ceremonial and sacred food & drink for holy communion.

  • It was a tongue in cheek question. for you.

    I find the whole division between the abomination that is permissible and the abomination that is not simply a way for people to avoid the implications of what they claim to believe.

  • I thought we were supposed to stick with the Bible and when Paul writes about women submitting
    1st Corinthians14:36 is paraphrased-I want you to look it up.
    …”women should be quiet in church….”..”if they want to know about something, ask husband at home because it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in church.” And you should know there was a lot of Q&A going on at this time. It was clearly, “women shut up.”
    All this latin and Hebrew and this theologian interpretation vs that theologian, well, I think Jesus kept it simple and based all of his teachings on supporting those in need, loving everyone, including your enemies, and NOT judging people. Simple for people like me. It’s the Bible and the the Bible is proof of nothing. God gave me enough intelligence to know that so far there is no proof in any religion that their holy book was in fact inspired by a divine being. You are going to have to wait to find out whether it is fact. Right now it is strictly faith. And you may have enough faith to convince me it’s fact if you walk across the lake by my house and move whichever nearby mountain you choose.

  • You bring up a great point. Leviticus 20:10 …truncated.,,man commits adultry with woman both are put to death -that is right up with the man lying with man being put to death. I actually know quite a number of people who have “committed adultery” only now it is called an affair and we certainly don’t put them to death. And I suppose adultery means “living with some one” so I should have been put to death sometime ago and snooping around peoples’ sex lives is now the crime. Living together is socially acceptable, counselors even recommend it for some people.

    I cannot see Jesus burning or stoning anyone to death and cutting off people’s hands. He heals.

    And we have to keep in mind that there is no proof that the men who wrote the Bible were inspired by God. It is a matter of faith not facts.

  • Mel, I can tell you for certainty that the churches of yesterday did not give up so easy on trying to read the bible for all it’s worth and that it was not uncommon even among the laymen to study the bible and reflect on it’s meaning and importance to the world. I think it’s very easy to put the study aside and believe whatever you want to believe. But if you believe that Jesus was indeed the son of God, walked the earth and spoke to his disciples then it is worth while to not only study of the words of Jesus but also the people he left in charge to build His church. The only reason that you even know that Paul said “women should be quite in church” is that Paul wrote it down in Greek. And then someone who knew both Greek and English, translated it in English. The process of comparing one word and how it is used in other chapters can be a challenging process. But I can’t imagine it not being worthwhile if you believe that God inspired those words. Apparently a lot of people before you and I thought it was very important as there are more documents of New Testament manuscripts than any other ancient writing of any kind ever.

  • Maybe it’s the churches that I’ve been in but I’ve not seen a church that would ever ask someone if they were gay. As long as the person isn’t holding hands with a person of the same sex or wearing a gay pride tshirt, I’m not sure why it would even come up. The same with divorced people. It’s kind of hard to crack down on divorce people when you don’t even know who is divorced or married. I do know that churches have often denied people to serve as a pastor or be a missionary if they were divorced. But it all comes down to how the pastor is overseeing each position in the church. Some pastors dig and dig into your personal life before allowing you to serve and others not as much. But to your question, if you are going off the Old Testament then I think Deuteronomy 24:1-4 makes an interesting read in regards to being divorced and remarried.

  • I actually do a lot of layman study, but I do not believe it necessary, nor am I able, to learn Greek. Here is how much time I spent learning about how little I knew: attended Sunday school and have been in some type of Bible Study, usually a series of classes lasting six weeks with a week off. I have served a total of three terms as an Elder and five terms as a Deacon. The woman’s group I was with for years spent most of the three hours a week on the study of scripture and if you walked up to me on the street and asked about the Armor of God, I could tell you what each piece was, what it did, and what it meant. I do and find out how little I actually know, even though it’s meanly fun to quote chapter and verse to show off.

    I should have been more clear with my statement about the Bible being enough. My point is that the Bible IS and HAS to be enough. I believe that Jesus knew it would be the greatest book ever written and non-believers say that, too, and that it would travel the across the globe and end up in the hands of people who can barely read. I think Jesus kept the most important words he has for all people simple, maybe just a sentence and the parables could be what those people who don’t know Greek, like me, can study.

    I do not have all the passages of scripture memorized; not even close, and therefore I cannot truthfully or accurately say that a particular scripture passage does not exist especiially when it does clearly does!

    I don’t know why you thought that was ok to do, I do not know at all. Could you tell me why you did that?

  • There it is! Read Greek words! I am sorry, sincerely sorry, that I cannot learn the Greek language; I love to learn, unfortunately I have acquired a serious mental disorder which along with the many medications I need to take to control it have significantly impaired my short-term memory.
    Soooo enough of that; I can’t complain much because I have excellent healthcare insurance through my husband.

    Jesus probably knew the Bible would be passed out around the globe and kept his words in it simple, often using very short sentences -perhaps to help translators and the barely literate.

  • Thank you,

    I was in a study group several years ago at my former church, which I think involved the passage Deuteronomy 24:1-4 and analyzed the divorce issue to death. Then they did something very interesting (hence one of many reasons it is my “former church), with what I believe was this passage as well as some scripture from other books in the Old Testament. Instead of Jesus fulfilling the law, they talked in circles until somehow the old Law was correcting Jesus.

    This really blew me away. I have finally given up on asking why a lot of people think Jesus would want to keep certain Laws God made in Leviticus, but pitch many others.

    God’s Laws in Leviticus in the SAME passage of scripture, just a few line apart say a man and a woman committing adultery , both are to be put to death.
    Same deal for a man lying with a man, at least it’s equality.

    There are in fact many Laws that God created and commanded to be obeyed, a laundry list in Leviticus, in which God himself is quoted.

    Jesus went the love way and did not ,.as far as I know, have any of these Laws in the New Testament.

    I still don’t understand why people are quoting Leviticus as thhough it was a living documeht.

  • “In the gospel of Luke, the teaching of Jesus about divorce is stated briefly and forcefully: “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery; and whoever marries her who is divorced from her husband commits adultery” (Luke 16:18).

    Jesus calls something adultery here that many people do not want to classify as adultery.

    What is adultery? According to the dictionary: Voluntary sexual intercourse between a married person and someone other than his or her spouse.

    Many want to understand this as “other than his or her present spouse,” whereas Jesus classifies a wrongful remarriage as adultery!

    This teaching of Jesus contradicts what many people want to believe.

    No, they cannot simply repent of their sin and go on living in sin.”

    http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/divorce.html

    This is simply putting divorce that requires celibacy and the same equal footing as those who say says gays and lesbians must remain celibate to participate in certain church duties, (Since changed in many churches)

    Note: I have no problem with either gays or lesbians or divorcees -none of them whom are maintaining celibate lives and that all should hold church office if called.,Anyone who has a problem with that should have a problem with all their divorced friends holding church office. It’s the matter of so many people having twisted this scripture around to suit themselves.

  • Your accusatory tone and words are what have people running from Christianity in droves. I am not saying I agree or disagree with you, my point is if you talk that way to a potential believer you will shove them away from Christianity with both hands. Christianity is the only religion of attraction and it is our acts of public service and love which draw people to Christ. If somebody talked to me the way you have spurted out your beliefs on Christianity I would not want to be like you and would think badly of your religion. Our church does many, many acts of service for our sisters and brothers in our community and we don’t parade ourselves as Christians, but people do come up and ask us why we are do these acts and that gives us a chance to share our personal journeys to Christ and a great many of these people have ended up as members of our church and have joined us in acts of mercy. How you treat others is how you treat Jesus:

    Matthew 25:35-40
    35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

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

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

    We feed and provide drinks for the least of these: Our church provides over 2000 hot lunches for children in the community who would otherwise go hungry and during the school year we pack hearty snack bags for children near, at or even below the poverty level.

    We care for the sick. We visit them in the hospital and provide rides to doctor or dentist appointments.We send them cards and if they want us to, we place them on our prayer chain. Many of these are the elderly barely getting by on their retirement funds and can no longer drive. We recently put out a challenge to the comunity to meet a maching grant of $50,000 which was met in a week and saved our homeless clinic which was in great financial need at that time. We do this for “the least of these.”

    We visit those in prison and send them gift bags. We provide a camp for children of the incarcerated and set up a letter writing plan so the parent(s) and children can build a relationship. We provide transitional housing for those who have served their time for felony convictions and provide them with professional counselors, In house 12 Step meetings and help them become contributing members of society and maintain our friendship with them. Many end up coming to our church. Three now sing in the choir and others share their gifts serving in many different ways. We provide love and support to “the least of these.”

    We let in Strangers. Our church offers shelter to homeless youth and participates in the national Family Promise Program and along with eleven other churches and fifteen supporting churches take turns housing homeless families. We feed them and see to it that they have access daily to showers and washers and dryers. We have a day center where they can do online education. We take them to the job center so they can apply for jobs. We supply them with nice clothing and take them to job interviews. We help them apply for services which will help them pay for food and daycare. This has been very successful in finding people jobs and apartments and they are thriving.

    We clothe them. We have a large selection of good clothing and provide this to “the least of these.” Much of this clothing is donated by our community. We also regularly receive large donations from the community because they see what we are doing. They even paid for our leaking roof to be repaired, no small expense..

    Our congregation has only 70 members, but we can do so much because of the hearts of service are many at our church and we have a great deal of support from both the Christian and non-Christian members of our community.

    What have you done to Jesus other than scream at him?

  • And where “all over the books”? Where has he specifically separated the LGBTQI’s from all other people and sins and condemned their behavior? If you bring up not the priest portion but the portion for the people headed for the promise land you will see that the penalty is death for both those who commit adultery and those men who lie with a man. These cannot be separated and if you do not believe that all the people who have committed adulty should be put to death, you are twisting scripture.

    Science has proven that these LGBT babies are formed that way from conception and are meant to be exactly who they are. Do you believe in dinosaurs?

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

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

    There is no homosexual gene. That’s a fallacy.

  • Just remember Christianity is the only religion of attraction. People are totally, for the most part, not interested in or attracted to Christ by having people walk up to them and start spouting scripture about their behavior.

    Our church serves in meaningful and consistent ways throughout the community showing love and support towards “the least of these”-see reply to top comment. This is what brings people to Christ, they want to experience whatever it is that causes us to do what we do. Once in church they can work out scripture in a variety of ways.

    What and how ever you say it, remember to are talking to Christ as well.

  • How do you think the person or people feel about you or Christianity when you start warning them?

  • I didn’t say anything about a gene.

    And if we’re are to put “men who lie with men” to death , look a few verses up and see that we are to do the same thing to those who commit adultery.

  • Isaiah 55:11 – English Standard Version
    so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

  • I decided to bring in more scripture from the same passage to ask you some questions. These verses follow each chronologically, one after another and are a list .

    Leviticus 20 And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying,
    8 And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the Lord which sanctify you.

    Q – Does this mean everybody in the world today is to be judged and possible put to death by a newly formed Christian Death Squad? Or just modern Christians? Or just modern Jewish people?

    I very much doubt it, and believe that the statutes were for exactly who God said they were and he says who at the beginning of the passage, i.e. a whole long nasty list was addressed to the priests and there was a great deal of burning and stoning in that one.

    Q – So, if we obey Verse 8, there are a lot of people we need to put to death. Unless Jesus wiped the slate clean or something and is going about this differently(???)

    This one will mean an awful lot of work; I have heard so many people curse a parent. I have cursed both, so put me on the death list.

    9 For every one that curseth his father or his mother shall be surely put to death: he hath cursed his father or his mother; his blood shall be upon him.

    O- Given this common sin has a death penalty why aren’t we all writing and arguing about it?
    Followed by…

    10 And the man that committeth adultery with another man’s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death.

    Q – is living together considered to be “committeth adultery,” It would make sense to include them. You should know. What does God say about that?
    If all of this is applicable, I now need to be put to death yet again for living with someone with out be married to him. ???

    13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

    Q – So Verse 13 is right in line with everything else, must apply to whomever is
    another one on the black list, going to die in Verses i.e. 9 & 10

    22 Ye shall therefore keep all my statutes, and all my judgments, and do them: that the land, whither I bring you to dwell therein, spue you not out.
    (I really think He is speaking to the Moses and the Promise Land People.)
    23 And ye shall not walk in the manners of the nation, which I cast out before you: for they committed all these things, and therefore I abhorred them.

    24 But I have said unto you, Ye shall inherit their land, and I will give it unto you to possess it, a land that floweth with milk and honey: I am the Lord your God, which have separated you from other people.

    25 Ye shall therefore put difference between clean beasts and unclean, and between unclean fowls and clean: and ye shall not make your souls abominable by beast, or by fowl, or by any manner of living thing that creepeth on the ground, which I have separated from you as unclean.
    NO “Q” I have an “A” for this one. This one I know was throw out! I am pretty sure it was even that well, the food just goes in and comes out”
    26 And ye shall be holy unto me: for I the Lord am holy, and have severed you from other people, that ye should be mine.

    One more thing: I just read that a recent survey trying to find out why so few young adults ever go back to church – they said (my words but, still factual and true to this survey) that the behavior of the churches would would be insulting to their diverse group of friends and they didn’t like the infighting going on in church, don’t feel like they eve r”met” God. They also said nobody would answer their questions especially the science and biology ones.

    A friend of mine heard her church’s youth group leader telling them that he was going to heaven but so&so, pointing the youth wasn’t because he kept on being a glutton,. Insults, condemnation, and personal ridicule. Huh? and he didn’t come back? Duh..

  • No one would need to die if they follow Jesus. Christ brought the moral aspects of the law into the New Testament.
    If you knew Jesus, you would know the way not to die of your sin is to accept Him as your Lord and Saviour. He is faithful and just to forgive and heal us of our sin. But all sin, like homosexuality lead to death.

  • Jesus definitely brought adultery between a man and woman over and says quite a bit about it and biblical interpreters have said that Jesus makes it clear that spouses who remarry after getting a divorce that was not due to adultery are committing adultery in their second marriage and that they can only repent of that
    sin through celibacy. They can’t just say they are sorry for now living in sin and be forgiven. they must cease all sexual relations. AND Jesus says nothing at all about men lying with men.
    Have you read the recent science discovery -which has not yet finished the final steps required for formal publication, that has been comparing sets of male twins. One gay and one straight and so far 70% of the gay twins have the same gene instructions which have been formed in the spaces of their DNA, indicating that they were born gay. I will send you the link to the study when I get home and can use my computer.

  • Christ created the people who observe science. One day, they may catch up to His wisdom. (edit)
    btw Christ spoke about the immorality of homosexuality from Genesis to the Book of Revelation. You need to learn Who Christ is.
    Actually, that study – was 70% of the children did not identify as homosexual.
    The reality is, if God says it is a sin, it’s a sin.

  • Ngun’s study of twins doesn’t reveal how or when a male takes on the epigenomic marks that distinguish him as homosexual. Many researchers believe that a person’s eventual sexual preferences are shaped in the uterus, by hormonal shifts during key stages of fetal brain development.

    I forgot about the hormone one. I think that was discovered in a European country

  • I guess I would say that a little differently: Scientists, like all children of God, are given gifts and talents and I believe when we use our gifts it’s like saying “Thank You” to God.

  • They are not children of God, unless born again, my friend. That is how one becomes a child of God.

  • No credible research has found a homosexual gene.
    Are you now trying to state with your uterus theory that homosexuality is birth defect?
    Christ taught that it is a sin and will keep the person out of the Kingdom of Heaven.

  • OK, I think this is really kinda of a waste of time to debate. You have your beliefs and I have mine, so lets just leave it at that and go out and do good “for the least of these my brothers and sisters. I think that will please God no matter who is doing them.

    Let them all know we are Christians by our love. Actions do speak louder than words.

    May we both take every opportunity God gives us to serve others as Jesus came to serve mankind.

    John 13:34 “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

    James 2:17
    “So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.”

    I think we can both agree on that and if my beliefs are not in alignment with God’s will that is something I will answer for.

    God’s blessings on you and wherever you go may the light of Christ shine through you.

  • And loving one another is showing them their need for Jesus.
    Again, are you trying now to assert that homosexuality is a birth defect?

  • And that.. is your JUDGEMENT that they need to hear you. In actuality? they’ve heard it OVER and oVER and it gets “judgy” and downright obnoxious

  • And there will be many new people on these pages who need to know the truth, or confirmation of the truth, and will be looking for it.

  • Then the polite thing to do would be to wait until they ASK you for help… or your truth as you call it

  • nope. It isn’t my truth Sammie, it’s scripture.
    Many people need to hear this scripture hon and don’t have enough wisdom to know to ask for it. But thanks. blessings.

  • It is indeed “your” truth. it is not mine and therefore cannot be called a “truth”. A firmly held belief is more like it.
    I have my beliefs and i don’t push them onto you as “truth” nor do i try to dissuade you from your beliefs in favor of mine. It’s really that easy.

  • Actually, our discussion has been you trying to dissuade me from my beliefs Sammie. I believe people need to know the truth.

  • What is it that you need from me? I am OK and need nothing from you.

    And I graciously and with sincerity wrote that last comment to you with nothing but the best of intentions yet you threw it back in my face and with yet another confrontation.

    I have poor communication skills myself at times, but I was shocked at your reply to me.

  • No. I had asked you that question before you elected to leave. For the third time, are you attempting with you uterus theory that homosexuality is a birth defect?

  • I am not sure my first post went through, the screen froze.

    Thank you for your prayers, they are greatly appreciated.

  • It is in these kind words and actions where Christ lives. It humbled me and to follow Christ’s example, that is where I need to be.

    I need to be spending all the time (a lot!) that I use commenting on a number (a lot!) of pages, to get back in my chair and just be still and listen.

    So I will sign off and do what I say I am going to do.

    Once again thanks for your prayers.

  • No I actually haven’t tried to dissuade yo. I respect your truths, as you call them, as long as you can respect mine. There is more than enough room for our individual traits as their are many others but something I have not EVER tried to do is legislate my beliefs on to people like you and I never will. unfortunately most Christians cannot say the same

  • As you realize that you have been pushing your ideals on me and expecting me to accept them. God bless you Sammie

  • God has blessed me and continues to do so. Thank you. The only thing i push on you is that if you attempt to legislate your “truths” as you call them… ie gay marriage… I will stand up and be counted.

  • “It is indeed “your” truth. it is not mine and therefore cannot be called a “truth”. A firmly held belief is more like it.
    I have my beliefs and i don’t push them onto you as “truth” nor do i try to dissuade you from your beliefs in favor of mine.”
    I can appreciate your consistency…..lol

  • Until you attempt to legislate your “truth”, I have not a care in the world what you believe. Live and let live. But keep it to yourself. Share it in church, that’s what it’s there forl

  • You seem like a reasonable person. At one time when I lived in CA I attended All Saints’ Episcopal Parish church in Beverly Hills. GLBTQ parishioners were not subject to either spiritual abuse or religious discrimination.

  • Almost entirely covering the side of our church is a rainbow made out of tough parachute material. Members of our chuch of the LGBTQI community hold church office and one woman is attending seminary to hopefully be our Associate Pastor. I can already feel the armies of condemnation polishing their swords, but to no avail. Least of these,

    Our church is all about “what we do or have done to the least of these his (Jesus) brothers (and sisters). And I don’t mean “the least of these” to be of lesser value, I mean the ungerdogs, we have done to Jesus …particularly the ones crushed into the ground by churches in the name of God -like those Presbyterian missionaries who took Alaska Native children from their villages to bording schools where many were physically, emotionally and sexually abused and all had their culture, their spirituality and worst of all, their language ripped from them all in the name of God. This created such trauma that through the process of epigenetics, it changed their DNA which has been passed down to their offspring and to their offspring: Our gift to them that keeps on giving -childhood PTSD.

    We err on the side of grace and try to follow the example of Jesus who said to love each as he loves us -and that others will know us by our love -not by our hate. Think of it all, do all of you want to be known by your hate?

    If we are wrong, so be it, but given the compassionate nature of Christ, I believe this would be thrown into the mix.

    My LGBT brothers and sisters have already been through hell and churches feel it is ok to judge them. I cannot in good conscience do the same, and while others can spew scripture and interpretation, it is my conscience I must follow.

    Read what the #1 sin is that God hates, that he finds detestable,an abomination:

    The words arrogance, arrogant, proud, and haughty are mentioned over 200 times in the NIV Bible. And in practically every occurrence, it is a behavior or attitude detested by God. The Bible tells us those who are arrogant and have a haughty heart are an abomination to Him: “Everyone who is arrogant in heart is an abomination to the Lord; be assured, he will not go unpunished” (Proverbs 16:5). Of the seven things the Bible tells us that God hates, “haughty eyes” [“a proud look,” is the first one listed.

    If you are looking for things detestable and abominations to God, you must start with arrogance.

  • Your church is not wrong! First, do no harm; second, love your neighbor as yourself; third, grant to others what you claim for yourselves.
    “For all The Law is fulfilled in one word, even in this, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Galatians 5:14

  • “There are lots of portions of the bible condemning homosexuality.”

    Nope, not a one. Only texts the homophobes *anachronistically* CLAIM condemn homosexuality.

  • Well, they help people to go to Heaven and not to death, so they must be doing some good.

  • I Still can’t quite believe it, but
    it’s really there! You actually said to me that I was “DOA even before I have drawn my last breath?”

    Are you speaking for God?

    When you say, “Know the Word”… Are you actually telling me what to do? Do you think you know what is best for me? Do you think you have full knowledge of the Word?

    Do you know how you make me feel? I feel like someone who means nothing and who is stupid.

    What would make me feel like that?

    Someone looking down on me, thinking themselves better than I am. That shows up in the dictionary as “being arrogant” or “arrogance.”

    Do you know that arrogance is mentioned in the Bible over 30 times? Do you know what the number one sin -consistent throughout the Bible, and the number one of the seven deadly sins that God says he hates, that he finds detestable, an abomination? Yes, he calls it detestable AND an abomination is.. ARROGANCE! A haughty face or eyes. AND if you believe what is written in the Bible, well seriously, you really walked/stomped all over me and condemned me to death. I won’t tell you what to do or what is going to happen to you, because if I did, I would be committing the number one detestable,abomination sin of all. I would be placing myself above God. Arrogance.

  • Hey, Todd: “I have no interest in same sex attraction”. Ok. Does that mean you are sexually attracted to women?

  • The reason why fundamentalists worry about same sex marriage more than heterosexual divorce (which is much more common) is that gay people are 2 to 3% of the population, whereas divorced heterosexuals are a much larger proportion. From the marketing point of view, it is harder to sustain a church that condemns divorcees that one that condemns gay people.

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