James Martin says LGBT people are treated like lepers in the Catholic Church, and it's time for a change. Image courtesy of James Martin

Seminary cancels talk by priest who urges dialogue with gays

NEW YORK (AP) — Citing a social media backlash, the seminary at the Catholic University of America has canceled a talk by a popular Jesuit priest whose latest book advocates for more compassion for gays within the church. In a rare public rebuke, the university's president said Saturday (Sept. 16) that he opposed the seminary's decision.

RELATED: Q&A: Rev. James Martin contemplates reaction to his book on LGBT Catholics

The Rev. James Martin, editor at large at the Jesuit magazine America and author of several books on Catholicism, said he had planned a seminary talk on Jesus, not his recent book on LGBT people, "Building a Bridge," which has been backed by two U.S. cardinals and three bishops.

Far-right Catholic sites such ChurchMilitant.com and some conservative Catholic writers have denounced the book, and that had led to online campaigns to pressure Catholic institutions against hosting Martin.

The seminary in the nation's capital, called the Theological College, said it had experienced "increasing negative feedback from various social media sites" about Martin's talk and, as a result, decided to cancel the event.

Martin said he was notified late Thursday of the decision.

The Catholic University president, John Garvey, said in a statement that the university administration did not support the cancellation, and he noted that Martin has spoken before at the school, which was founded by the U.S. bishops and is under their supervision.

"The campaigns by various groups to paint Fr. Martin's talk as controversial reflect the same pressure being applied by the left for universities to withdraw speaker invitations," Garvey said. "Universities and their related entities should be places for the free, civil exchange of ideas. Our culture is increasingly hostile to this idea. It is problematic that individuals and groups within our church demonstrate this same inability to make distinctions and to exercise charity."

Austin Ruse, who leads the Center for Family and Human Rights, based in New York, has called Martin's complaints about the conservative pushback on his book "pansified." The Rev. John Zuhlsdorf, who runs the popular conservative blog "Father Z," said Martin promoted "a homosexualist agenda." And Cardinal Robert Sarah, head of the Vatican's liturgy office, recently criticized Martin's approach in an Op-Ed article in The Wall Street Journal.

Last April, Pope Francis appointed Martin as an adviser to the Vatican's communications department.

Martin said his book does not challenge church teaching. "It simply builds on the catechism and the Gospels," he said in a telephone interview. "Jesus is very close to me in prayer and I'm convinced that reaching out to people on the margins is still what he wants me to do."

Martin said Catholic institutions had scrapped two other of his talks, but many more had been scheduled, including a Skype talk Saturday with a parish in North Carolina. He said the leader of his Jesuit province has asked him not to discuss his own sexuality.

"Not every book about LGBT Catholics has to be about sex," Martin said. "Ironically, these right-wing groups are obsessed about sex, not me."


  1. This is unexpected news, and yes it’s a divisive, tense gig. But it’s also the absolute correct action to take. NOW some Christians have got Fr. Martin’s attention, for real.

    Hey, we all do our online commenting and debating. We all talk our talk.

    But sometimes Christian churches, seminaries, colleges, MUST go past mere talking & debating. Either take an active, no-nonsense stand for truth even if it means a public fight, or else bend over right now and surrender like a whipped dog.

    Yes, valued relationships can get strained, even severed, if you take a stand. (Remember what happened at Wheaton College?) But at some point, a stand is necessary.

  2. So no one is going to boil down what this bridge building looks like by Martin, and how the rejecters interpret it? There is whole lot of difference between shunning and negating people on one side, and advocating(?) for drastic changes in the church.

  3. Well, this is too, too funny.

    Someone was just sayin’ it’s only those nasty liberals who want to censor speech and stop people from speaking.


  4. Is it a drastic change to advocate that gay people be treated the same as every other sinner whom no one has the slightest problem with?

    Divorce, reviling, slandering, adulterous, fornicating people. Like a certain former republican representative, who admitted to fornication and adultery, and is on his third wife? And got married IN THE CHURCH?

  5. So you advocate for censoring alternative points of view, which is exactly the same thing you usually accuse gay people and liberals of doing?

    Hypocrisy much? Or not when you’re doing it?

  6. Pope Francis calls for opening the Church to dialogue, for a listening Church. That includes bishops, priests, seminarians, AND LAITY who are to speak their own truth out of their own lived experience and to LISTEN to that truth spoken by others. Dialogue is both speaking and listening, with a heart open to learning.

    How sad that a seminary refuses to take this step toward dialogue, toward building the kind of Church the Holy Father has envisioned. How sad that this learning opportunity Pope Francis says should be occurring has not just been denied but has been pointedly rejected. What have seminarians learned but that toeing the line drawn by those who scream the loudest is what they should do.

    Good to see that Catholic University does not agree with this decision, which was made by those in charge of the seminary and not by the University.

  7. So, if the issue were pedophiles, people participating in bestiality, thieves, murderers, alcoholics…..should we all be bending down to hear why they chose to sin also Ben? No. Instead of supporting a bad decision, we should be helping them to be freed from such.

    God never intended His children to become intimate with evil in order to communicate the gospel to those in it’s grasp. Robert Mounce

  8. Christians already protect pedophiles, abusers, and adulterers within their midst, so…
    God hasn’t protected the innocent from the gospel communicators for decades, so…

  9. The United Methodist Church are among the masters of Christian dialogue. Nobody works harder on it. If all it took was “opening a Church to dialogue, for a listening Church”, they would all be healthy and top-shape right now.

    But they’re not. They’re nationally split up like a bad pizza, paralyzed, anxious, weakened, and bleeding to death right in front of America. Why is that?

    Because dialogue is not enough. Dialoging as if the (Catholic) Official Catechism doesn’t exist, as if the (Methodist) Book of Discipline doesn’t exist, as if (all Christians) the Bible itself doesn’t exist, simply doesn’t cut it. Also doing church dialogue while dumping church discipline, don’t work.

  10. See response to ATF45. Sure, do dialogue.
    But ask yourself how many outspoken atheists (or, conversely, outspoken anti-gay fundies) will be allowed to speak or even suggest their specific beliefs from the pulpits of the gay MCC churches, this next Sunday.

    (Answer: hardly any, IF any. Dialogue, for the gay MCC’s, does NOT mean automatically handing off their microphone to people whose speeches are going to clearly negate & undercut the truth claims that MCC seeks to preach and teach to their people.)

    Well, the Catholic seminary is just following rational common sense, just like the gay MCC churches. Hopefully Fr. Martin gets the message.

  11. “Love thy neighbor as thyself”

    A despicable, cheap, simplistic, uncaring and narcissistic attitude that assumes “thyself” to be perfect and denigrates others if they are different (they’re worse of course – they can’t be better in any way can they?).
    Easy, yes – moral, no.

    “Do whatever you want provided it harms no-one else”

    Now that’s difficult, in part because it makes one consider the reality of others’ humanity rather than falsely imposing one’s own failings on them and assuming self-perfection.
    Easy, no – moral, yes.

  12. So you despise what Jesus says, but you endorse what the Witches say? Seriously?

    Not even Fr. Martin would go that far (let us hope). Pitiful.

  13. So you agree with bending down to hear why people choose to sin and rebel against God, Navy? That won’t get them into Heaven either.
    There is only one route to Heaven and that is through Jesus, who does not wink at the sins we choose to commit. Sin was important enough that He was assaulted, spat upon, abused, nailed to a cross to die so these people who want their sins approved of and want to continue in them, can go to Heaven, except they still need to renounce their sin – according to Him.
    Our acceptance of their sin doesn’t matter either way with Him. He taught that unconfessed sinners end up in Hell.
    You want to understand someone abusing a child so they won’t feel so bad Navy? You agree with protecting these people? That won’t get them into Heaven either, and that’s what it’s all about.

  14. Whilst a) reminding you that there is no contemporary evidence that anyone called Jesus said any such thing and b) suggesting that Wicca and witches are not necessarily synonymous – Yup – Seriously.

    As far as I’m concerned the quality of the message is more important than where it came from. I probably have an advantage though – my education encouraged me to think for myself rather than simply to prate, without critical examination, that which others told me to accept.

  15. Hi Sandi – you OK?

    There’ve been several times recently when I’ve expected you to make your usual point and not seen it. Had a tiny hope you might have realised that you’re wrong about choice – but it was only a tiny hope.

  16. thanks Give..I’m on vacation with limited data, so I’m trying to be good with it…..:) How you doing? Thanks for thinking of me though. BTW – Christ is the same yesterday,today and forever, so those “opinions” don’t change.

  17. The Rev. James Martin is obviously gay and his mission is to promote LGBT moral doctrines inside the Catholic Church. Nothing new here, just the same old homosexuality always on parade again and again.

    It’s a sin and can never be righteous. When Rev. James Martin departs this life then he can no longer push LGBT in Church and around young people, and that will be good.

  18. Actually, in this case I’d say they missed a golden opportunity to have the guy defend his views in an open forum. The reason why the myth of ssm’s compatibility with scripture has become so widespread is because so few have properly challenged it. Its advocates have been allowed to slink away murmuring “Read my book” when they should have been made to stand and present their case for in – the – moment scrutiny and critique.

    Bring the guy in, by all means. Put him up at the best hotel. Then usher him onstage and have a bible and/or classics expert cross-examine him. It will be the best investment the school ever made.

  19. Well thanks, just spent a few days mainly in Croatia – brilliant!

    Re “the same etc.” – doesn’t changing his mind about staffing Eden disprove the suggestion?

  20. He’s a liar because you don’t believe that he can write a book about being kind and welcoming to LGBTQ folks without speaking about sex? If you haven’t actually read the book you’re just blathering.

    Moving on.

  21. Fr Martin’s book is not a defense of SSM or sexual identity or gender identity. It is a book that calls for gracious hospitality on the part of the Roman Church towards their brothers & sisters in the LGBTQ community.

  22. There is no relation to the sexual perversions you mention and sexual or gender orientation. And sadly, there are unlearned folks who may be misled by you interjecting those things into the conversation. However, Fr Martin isn’t visiting campuses and defending SSM, sexuality or gender identity. He’s promoting the teachings of Jesus to us treat other folks as we would wish to be treated.

  23. I am open to that kind of event, but I also know how quickly the pro-gay side can “slink away” from such a gig, if it looks like their views will be openly “scrutinized and critiqued” by a Bible expert. These folks *really* don’t like sharing the microphone with people who have done their Bible homework.

    (In fairness though, the problem exists all over. Many clergy and laity, both gay-affirming & non-gay-affirming, are fearful of addressing this topic in any in-person public forum that offers “in-the-moment scrutiny and critique” by the other side.)

    My guess is that faced with “sharing the microphone”, Fr. Martin would cancel & walk away. Plenty of easy gigs elsewhere.

  24. Oh, but Martin’s book calls for a LOT more than that, David. In fact, we need to be honest about what’s going on here.

    Martin doesn’t try to bulldoze the Catholic house. Instead he gently sprinkles some termites around the **foundations** of the house. Martin knows you’re watching the front door, so he’s making his moves through the back door.

    His book attacks the foundational teachings of the Catholic Catechism relating to gay self-identity, sexuality and marriage. His sales-pitch is that you must ditch the Catechism’s key phrases in those areas, (in both word and deed), otherwise you’re not showing “gracious hospitality” and “bridge-building.”

  25. He’s promoting **something**, that’s for sure.
    (But it ain’t fair to pin that something on Jesus!)

  26. Dialogue is what created the Catholic catechism, the Book of ‘discipline, even the decision about what books constitute the official Bible was arrived at by dialogue. The truth to be learned is that none of that was or is perfect.

    I agree about discipline but notice that Pope Francis is changing what that may mean – from the rigid by-the-book style of JPII and BXVI to one of accompaniment and welcome So even “discipline” changes.

    We are in a period of change. A paradigm shift is occurring in what we hold to be “truth”, how we arrive at a consensus on what we mean by “truth”, who we recognize as leaders and what we expect of leaders.

    I suspect we will fumble around a bit finding some approach to the needed dialogue. But it won’t happen unless we break down some of the barriers and assumptions, including those about “discipline.” It isn’t that discipline is not needed. It is what we consider the “right” discipline that is the problem.

  27. You have heard that the more conservative evangelical denominations are now declining faster than the mainline congregations, right? Among millennials, Christianity is not looking good, but the mainline protestant identification is now about to surpass evangelical members in numbers.


    All the talk of mainline churches crashing because of weak bible adherence, while conservative churches grow due to their true biblical belief — was always BS…more a story of demographics. But now evangelicals are downright repelling people.

  28. Renounce sin? These are Catholics Sandi, so their sins are different than Protestant sins. God has insisted that Catholics don’t eat meat on some Fridays before Easter during Lent. That is one of the sins I am going Hell for — since I am an ex-Catholic.

    Also it is a serious sin for a Catholic to miss the Mass where bread and some wine is literally changed into Jesus’s flesh and blood…and everybody in church then gets to eat Jesus’s flesh and drink his blood! Sigh, total sin if you don’t consume Jesus every Sunday….and sadly, another sin for me. Note: I once got in trouble on this site for mentioning c*n**b*l**sm — so I won’t go there.

    But then again…Catholics here…so maybe just a short stint in Purgatory for me —
    then off to the pearly gates where St. Peter will be holding them wide open for my entrance !! All those Hail-Mary’s after confession saved me 🙂

  29. 1, Martin was one of 13 new “consultants”. The Chairman of the Board of EWTN, a bastion of the Religious Right, was also appointed as adviser to the communications department at the same time.
    2. Martin did not call for full human and equal rights for LGBTQ persons. “He said his book does not challenge church teaching.”
    3. Leading gay Catholic journalists have criticized Martin’s book. “More than 40 years of struggle should have taught us by now that compassion, respect and sensitivity are not enough to bring about a truly just relationship between bishops and LGBT Catholics. Even with these three virtues in play, bishops still have the power to judge and negatively impact the lives of LGBT Catholics, while operating in secrecy and lying about their own sexualities,” wrote Jamie Manson.

  30. Do you consider yourself to be a Christian – by which I mean – one who seeks to follow the teachings and example of the Christ as portrayed in the Biblical Gospels?

  31. People are very divided over attitudes towards LGBT issues. It is obvious that opinions are changing quickly in a more accepting direction and this has led to a backlash.

    Where will this lead? No-one knows for sure. However, some straws in the wind point to the future: This article suggests that attitudes towards same sex marriage followed the usual course of other social changes: https://www.vox.com/2015/4/28/8510117/gay-marriage-states If that is the case, then society in general will become increasingly comfortable with these issues.

    The question is how this will affect the Christian churches. For half a millennium the churches have had to contend with challenging social changes. An early one was the development of printing, which helped lead to the Protestant Reformation. The campaign against slavery was long and hard-fought, but Christian anti=slavers were prominent in its abolition. The campaign against the slaughter of witches was accomplished without upsetting general beliefs. Ditto the knowledge that the earth went round the sun.

    Moves to legalise divorce and birth control caused far more soul-searching and so has the theory of evolution, but even here the churches have been able to cope in different ways. The Catholic Church seems to be quite relaxed about evolution while Protestant churches have readily accepted birth control and, to a lesser extent, divorce and remarriage and evolutionary ideas.

    Ideas about social justice and care for the environment present opportunities for people of faith to take a stand. Perhaps in the future the churches will become more active in preserving the environment. That would be a welcome change.

  32. I am a Christian who tries to follow Christ but sometimes I fall short and must repent. May God Bless.

  33. Churches are generally not outside of or above society. When society evolves churches eventually follow suit or go extinct. The ones trailing the rear are those that interpret the bible (or some parts of it) literally.

  34. So if the issues were fundamentalist Christianity, pedophiles, Bestiality, thieves murderers, And alcoholics, should we all be bending down to hear them?

    See how easy it is?

  35. I agree with “listening” to comprehend, not listening to respond. I learned that is a HUGE part of being a successful leader while in the Navy. And I was successful.
    Using condemnation to being a dialogue kind of negates the conversion Christians feel obligated to perform.
    If dialogue equates to acceptance, not sure how you ever win any points for each conversion.

  36. While it is true that the churches are not outside of society, their teachings can take time to evolve. For instance, it took hundreds of years for the Catholic Church to come to terms with the notion that the earth revolved around the sun, and even longer for it to accept using the vernacular in the Mass.

    In general, Protestant churches seem to have a greater freedom of action, because they follow only the Bible. Catholics, who follow both the Bible and church tradition can find it harder to change. An example of this is the more flexible attitude of Protestant churches towards remarriage after divorce. However, a literal interpretation of the creation stories in Genesis has tripped up many Protestants while Catholics avoided this trap because the early Christian fathers had already accepted that the stories could not be taken completely literally.

    Attitudes towards gays have already changed enormously, and there has been some movement in the churches to accommodate this change. However, neither scripture nor tradition obliges Christians to conform to this world, so the differences are likely to persist for at least several generations. However, the churches have a far greater challenge: an increasingly secular society, where a growing proportion of people have no connection with any religious group.

  37. If you consider Christ’s word to be condemnation….It was good enough for Him, it should be good enough for His.

  38. Please don’t pick on the RCC Damien…..they have their good points too.

  39. As I always like to say…

    It’s not prejudice if youcall it religion.

  40. there is no such thing as “gender orientation”. Let’s call it what it is – sin and that is how it relates to the others.

  41. If I were wrong, that would be accusing Jesus of being wrong, and He never is.

  42. If you didn’t have false equivalencies, you’d probably have no equivalencies at all.

    I doubt fundelibangelsists and atheists are banging on the door of any church, demanding recognition and a chance to be heard. And since they are, by definition, Not members of MCC, there is really no need to hear their voices, except voluntarily.

    But of course, from your limited perspective, everything is equal as long as it is antigay enough for you. father Martin is a Catholic priest, addressing other Catholics, and though he is trying to change catholic doctrine, He is also demanding that the church stop hiding behind that doctrine in order to be as viciously antigay as you are. No other “sin group” gets treated the way gay people do, though the racists used to hide behind religion to be racists.

    That’s no longer considered polite.

  43. In addition to being a bible scholar, you are also a psychologist! Just how sinful is a child under 8 who insists day in and day out that they are not the gender that they are told they are?

  44. It would be a welcome change if they just concentrated on their mission rather than hiding behind faith to attack gay people for existing.

  45. It could t possibly be that he is a decent human being, and that decent human beings can see the ugly face of bigotry hiding behind sincere religious belief and pretending it’s holy.

    Nah. Couldn’t be anything like that.

  46. Do you mean the Christ that said not to concern yourself with the sins of other people, or the one that says use your religion as a weapon.

  47. I think that is called projection.

    I can talk all day about being gay without talking about sex. Christians of a certain sort can’t talk for five minutes about gay people without going first thing to sex, especially anal sex.

  48. My-gawd-that-I-don’t-believe in.
    First you are without sin and have nothing to repent for, then you are never wrong because jesus is never wrong and you are just like Jesus.
    Get help.

  49. Maybe they did…I haven’t been keeping up. But something attractive about a cheap ‘Get out of Hell” card…makes Pascal’s wager more tolerable!

  50. There is no Christ of either variety.

    Although there is plenty of scripture describing the word of God as a sword, as a fire, as a hammer…as well as a light, a lamp, a seed, a mirror, and milk. Like any other powerful force, it can be life or it can ultimately be death.

  51. Sandi

    1 – which bit of the gospels are you using to justify thinking that Jesus believed homosexuality to be a choice?

    2 – I agree that Jesus is never wrong – dead people aren’t – mind you, they’re never right either are they?

  52. Does judging others come under the heading of “falling short”?

    Do you have certain knowledge of Rev. Martin’s sexual orientation? Or of his mission?

    Do you assume that anybody who thinks that all people should be treated equally irrespective of their natural sexual predilection must be gay?

    Realising that the Jesus of the Gospels didn’t consider homosexuality important enough to merit comment what entitles you to correct his error?

  53. Jesus also did not seem to think the Mosaic code which made same sex behavior a capital offense “merited” revision. Wonder what entitles Rev. Martin to correct His error?

  54. Actually I think he made it pretty simple. Matthew 22: 37-40

  55. Actually it was limbo which was officially declared off the table as of June 2207. Purgatory still there.

  56. If “our mission” happens to be Jesus’s “Great Commission” as specified in Matt. 28:18-20, you gay activists had better hope desperately that every single Christian openly disobeys and ignores their Lord, 24/7.

    Anything less, and you will continue to see SSA-afflicted people, (and even longtime gay and lesbian activists), jumping ship on you, which indeed they are doing.

    Abandoning gay self-identity. Getting healed of inner wounds. Finding new power and new purity. Breaking up with gay lovers (and we both know THAT is happening!). Escaping the gay slavery. Oh no, you had better NOT encourage NO Christians to do NO mission mess, NO how !!

  57. “If “our mission” happens to be Jesus’s “Great Commission” as specified in Matt. 28:18-20, you gay activists had better hope desperately that every single Christian openly disobeys and ignores their Lord, 24/7.”

    You pretty much already do.

    The rest of it is nonsense, wishful thinking, exaggeration, and your usual reviling and slander.

  58. I can’t keep my mythological locations clear. My bad. ?

  59. Except I’ve seen and heard and read of the changed lives. All three verbs.

    But so have you. The gay couples who are no longer couples cause “somebody got Jesus” and broke off the other party. Forever. You know it’s true.

    So come clean already. You are as aware of some serious stuff as I am, especially with your decades-long involvement with the gay community.

    But you never tell your readers the WHOLE story. That would blast your current religion to Hades if you did. Now wouldn’t it?

  60. 1. Romans 1:26 – …..For their women EXCHANGED natural relations FOR THOSE THAT ARE CONTRARY TO NATURE 27 and the men likewise GAVE UP NATURAL RELATIONS … with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts….” emphasis mine – you don’t exchange something for something worse, unless you know the proper way. The Lord would never have called it “unnatural” if it were natural for some. The Lord would not refer to it as “shameless acts”, if he created the person in that manner.
    Secondly, Jesus is not responsible for our sin. If homosexuality were innate, and it isn’t, they could blame God for their sin.
    James 1:13Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But 14each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.”
    Jesus isn’t dead.

  61. Abusive parents would be the cause of a child sinning as such.

  62. Perhaps it is blindness to your inability to speak without hatred on this topic.

  63. Yet Peter, one of His 3 year apostles and the person chosen to head His church taught: 2 Peter 2:6 if by turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to ashes he condemned them to extinction, making them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly; 7 and if he rescued righteous Lot, greatly distressed by the sensual conduct of the wicked 8 (for as that righteous man lived among them day after day, he was tormenting his righteous soul over their lawless deeds that he saw and heard);

    Jude, suspected to be an apostle, or brother of James taught: 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

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

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

    And of course the apostle John who lived with Jesus for about 3 years, taught: Revelation 21:8 ESV
    But as for the cowardly, the faithless, the detestable, as for murderers, the sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, their portion will be in the lake that burns with fire and sulfur, which is the second death.”
    Revelation 22: 14 Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city. 15 But outside are dogs and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.

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

  64. Absolutely. And loving the Lord with all that you are includes respecting His creation design. We repudiate sexual immorality for the same reasons we repudiate divorce — it’s not part of His plan.

  65. Stupid and stupid nonsense. But whatever you think, or whatever you think you think, I think.

  66. You are correct in that religion often lags behind change. Sometimes authority forces immediate changes but this is rare.

  67. No, it wouldn’t. You can always find a few people who prefer self-hatred, and a betrayal of the people they claimed to love, all in the name of a preferred interpretation of a few passages that may or may not have a thing to do with reality.
    For every one of those, you can find 50,000 people who haven’t bought the product your selling, and 100,000 who long ago could see the difference between social prejudice disguised as “sincere religious belief.”
    Michael GlatZe. John Schmidt. Alan Chambers. john Paulk. They are the living refutations of the garbage you are selling.

  68. WOW! What abuse? How do you have any idea what occurs in these folks homes?

    I’m speaking of the 100s of families across just this one land where the parents have a child who, since they were two-and-a-half, have been emphatically stating, “I am not a Boy, I am a Girl!” And who are at their wits end and live in constant fear that their beloved child, who is now almost five, has spoken about using a knife or scissors to remove the penis & testicles that cause everyone to believe that they are a boy, when everything in their head tells them that they are a girl.

    You are in no place to cast such uninformed and heartless judgement as to pronounce these folks as abusive. If ever there was anyone here who has shown themselves not to be a Christian, it is you who has revealed herself!!!!!!


  69. A child of 2 1/2 has no conception of what it is to be the opposite sex.

  70. try not to hurt too many people with your misconceptions Ben.

  71. What? Actual repudiation of divorce is not part of His plan?

  72. And you received a child psychology degree where? Actually many of them do, as every reputable professional organization dealing with very young children states.

    Moving on. You’ve lost any credibility here that you may have ever had. You are blind, ignorant and heartlessly mean as you stand in judgement of everyone else.

  73. No, an actual part of the Christian plan. You know, as in “God Hates divorce”, but wink-wink-nudge-nudge-divorced-baptists-in-thepews…
    and a couple I can think of in the pulpit.

  74. Oh, I see. Same old whataboutism. When is it ever anything else with you?

    Well, I’ve never said anything other than that laxness in the church about divorce is apostasy. But the response to apostasy is not still more apostasy but repentance and renewal and prayer that God would draw us closer to Him and to His will.

  75. It’s apparent that those who fear dialogue know their position is not rational and they fear that becoming apparent.

  76. A person who would serve an evil false god who denies some the love others have gets what they deserve – a lifetime of unhappiness and the company of self-important, mercenary, vengeful people. LGBTs who deny themselves thus commit but an incredibly stupid and futile gesture.

  77. This a good example of how hatred causes people to see those they deem as the enemy as mere objects, via “push LGBT.”
    I assure you if your ilk murders every single LGBT person today, a generation later there will be just as many.

  78. I suggest you send an email to that effect to Berkeley. They appear to have a problem with the concept — which often results in fires , or so I heard.

  79. You didn’t notice the the first four ?s or you felt unable to answer them?

    As to the Jesus of the Gospels not being recorded as considering the Mosaic law in need of revision – John 8: 7 suggests he was happy to frustrate bad laws doesn’t it.

  80. LOL! Seriously, K, there are solutions to that reversal problem

  81. I understood that divorce is permitted if infidelity occurs.

  82. Not at all. Nothing in that passage indicates that the relevant laws were “bad.” He was pressing a very important point — that those bringing the charges and all witnesses have clean hands in the matter. Obviously they did not — most obviously, in that they had not produced the male accomplice as the Law required, and less obviously because the Romans had removed the Jews’ right to execute without Roman authorization and they had no intention of following through in any case.

    SO much more was going on in that passage than most people suspect.

  83. More word salad. The City of Berkeley is a diverse polity. The bulk of the Trotskyite cultists are from Oakland. Berkeley is where the Free Speech Movement began. I don’t begrudge people fighting fascism. As Jerry Rubin remarked in “Do It!,” “Free speech is right to cry ‘Theatre!’ in a crowded fire. Rubin and his pals were thrown out of a George Wallace rally for giving the Nazi salute, just like people who protest The Orange One today. I don’t think the people who protested Coulter and Yianopoulous feared what they had to say, they just wanted to fight some right-wing scum.

  84. Come on Sandi – the gospels are the stories written under the false names of St Matthew, St Mark, St Luke and St John.

    Quoting Romans and James is to admit the the Jesus of the Gospels did not say what you want him to have said.

    As to innateness providing a reason to blame God – not necessary. God’s guilty of being an accessory before the fact since he (allegedly) knows in advance what is going to happen, has the power to prevent it and, whether through laziness or wickedness, refuses to act. In civilised penal codes the punishment for being an accessory before the fact is often the same as is given to the perpetrator.

    So if I end up in hell because of my (in)actions I shall meet God there on equal terms (it’s a funny old [under]world isn’t it?)

  85. Two comments

    1 – the first 4 ?s

    2 – the mosaic law can be waived when the jesus of the gospels says it can.
    …………a) morality is subjective and dependant upon the whim of the deity
    …………b) you have no idea whether they were going to “follow through”
    …………c) the jesus of the gospels knew she was guilty, knew the legal penalty, was “without sin”, had the (self-created) authority to act, and chose not to initiate observance of the law (“neither do I condemn you)”.
    Applying this story to reality means that, for all any of us know, the mosaic ignorance and subsequent frightened over-reaction may have been abandoned by your god as he matured and, with his usual lack of communication skills, he has yet to find a way of letting you know that he’s changed his mind and that your rhetoric is causing him to re-consider your visa.

  86. LOL! They feared it all right. You can’t claim self-defense without a believable perceived threat (simply words here), and without the justification of self defense you’re nothing but a violent thug who deserves jail.

  87. Read your comment again and PERHAPS you’ll see what I mean.

  88. It is. But the infidelity exception has been stretched to absurd lengths. I know, for I explored all the excuses years ago when I was trying to determine if God would be ok with my marrying a divorced man.

  89. Wait a minute. We’ve accomplished quite a lot through dialogue in encouraging far right extremists to GTFO. A church which “disciplines” is better known as a cult.

  90. Btw, I didn’t consider 2 and 3 important. It makes no difference if Rev Martin is straight or gay if he is advocating apostasy. The answer to #1 is that it depends on whether one has the right motives (love) and is ok with being evaluated by the same standards that one employs.

  91. Sounds like a plan those of us who studied Alinsky in grad school came up with. Works for me.

  92. That is so far from John Wesley’s legacy that he might indeed be ok with your original suggestion: “burn it to the ground,” (figuratively speaking) and start all over with the Quadrilateral.

  93. Any “Bible expert” who asserts everything in The Bible is literally true is not worth listening to.

  94. One of the great mysterys of Christianity.

    Why is a great, powerful and loving deity so concerned about who, freely, in private and without harming others, you do what with, where, when and how but won’t sort out the results of any of his dismal manufacturing incompetencies.

    Could it be that this deity doesn’t exist – it’s the only rational answer after all.

  95. A). Your opinion
    B). You claim this because you are deficient in your understanding of the history of the time and place. The whole point of the episode was to get Jesus in trouble with the Romans if He advocated applying the Law as written — but He called their bluff instead.
    C). He may have known she was guilty, but the Law nevertheless required at least two disinterested witnesses with clean hands — as well as the male accomplice — for proper implementation.

    And He didn’t come on His first mission to condemn, anyway. There was no need to. He said we already stand condemned by the Law if we reject Him. His mission was to provide the way out.

    Not sure where you’re getting this notion of “bad law.” There was nothing bad about the Law — Jesus created it, and taught from it, and sacrificed His life to fulfill its requirements.

  96. You don’t consider it important to have certain knowledge of Rev. Martin’s sexual orientation? Or of his mission? but you’re happy to reply on behalf of bqrq who started their comment with ” The Rev. James Martin is obviously gay and his mission is to promote LGBT moral doctrines inside the Catholic Church.”

  97. I didn’t reply on his behalf but simply to address your 4th point, a very common “argument from silence” which fails logically.

  98. If it isn’t subjective it predates your god?

    In the story – He didn’t call their bluff – he outsmarted them by suspending the action required under the law in order to get out of a tight corner. And the lack of witnesses and the male accomplice is only an assumption based on the absence of a statement to the contrary.

    “Bad law”? – Can’t see I’ve used the term anywhere. And I think you’re making my point for me – If jesus made the law he could alter it.

    As to “sacrificed his life” – don’t over-egg the pathos. The story says he went through a very nasty few hours and then left on a pre-arranged two night trip with the knowledge that he’d get back safely and resume his cushy life for eternity.

  99. I think you meant 5th – though I confused the issue by putting 2 on the same line.

    Assuming that the absence of comment means that jesus was not overly exercised by homosexuality is an “argument from silence” but assuming the absence of witnesses and a male accomplice because the text doesn’t mention them is not an “argument from silence” and is therefore valid?

    Jesus didn’t condemn (as far as the stories tell us) the laws about owning slaves (or the alleged sanction for genocide and rape) but I suspect most Christians would expect him to think them in need of “updating”.

  100. I don’t know what you’re going to do when you meet and you can try to refute scripture and everything to do with it Give….but the God who so carefully and lovingly formed you – intricately – in the womb, also taught:
    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.”
    And that is the loudest indication that homosexuality is a choice and a sin.
    God bless you Give. (edited)

  101. David….tell me what a boy is. What makes a boy, a boy?
    Many reputable child organizations believe it is abuse to let a child think it is the opposite sex.

  102. Kang….you wrote: “A person who would serve an evil false god who denies some the love others have gets what they deserve…” Then you must hate homosexual activists, ardent, homosexual practitioners, the families who support them, the laws which are coming that support their sin and I could go on. Those are the people keeping homosexuals out of the love of Christ, which they so rightly deserve upon repentance.

  103. The prohibitions on homosexual behavior AND the requirements for both parties to adultery to be punished on testimony of at least two credible witnesses are all easily found in the Torah. Since the Law and the Prophets were the basis of Jesus’ teaching there is no reason to assume He disavowed them unless He said so, as He did with divorce. He did say, after all, that He had sent Moses and the prophets as His messengers.

    You don’t seem to realize that Jesus never lowered the bar on holiness. He always RAISED it — in the case of divorce by reinstating the creation model, and slavery indirectly by establishing a higher “kingdom” citizenship in which all His people are brethren who have equal dignity and value before God. And in the case of the moral law in general, making it applicable to thoughts and motives as well as deeds. But the good news is that He also now gives us the indwelling Holy Spirit to make these purer relations much more possible, although we’ll never reach perfection as long as we wear mortal flesh.

  104. they just wanted to fight some right-wing scum.

    As noxious as their views are I won’t interfere with their rights of free speech and assembly. And this Far Left Antifa nonsense of justifying their violence because of the other side’s views is wrong. It’s an end justifying the means. What’s to prevent them from applying this rationale to other viewpoints? Are they judge and jury?

  105. You spoke of Jesus being “willing to frustrate bad laws.” Except nothing indicates that the law was bad; it was simply being invoked improperly and with impure motives. The incident of the coin with Caesar’s image is very similar.

    “And the lack of witnesses and the male accomplice is only an assumption based on the absence of a statement to the contrary.” If you don’t believe me, look up the law in question yourself. See who it says must be brought to be stoned. The passage records that Jesus was writing on the ground throughout all this — probably writing out the very law they were trying to trap Him with.

    If He could have altered His law, I suspect He would have done exactly that in Gethsemane and bypassed the cross altogether. But it would be unjust of God to nullify His own moral Law which is an expression of Himself. And fwiw, I don’t take seriously the minimizing of Christ’s torture and execution. I’ve heard a few people do that before — who I suspect would be peeing their privileged and sheltered pants in no time at the prospect of suffering the same ordeal, particularly for the eternal benefit of those administering it. Pfft.

  106. He didn’t manufacture misery — we did. But He’s already sorted it out in every sense that matters in an eternal sense. Only the damaged material is left, and it will all be trashed and re-created eventually.

    But He cares about us intimately in every detail just like we care for our children. No doubt our kids think that some things we make them do or not do are unimportant, or not really harmful to anyone, because they don’t yet have the experience and maturity to recognize the harm. They have to trust and obey us until they do.

  107. The one thing I have come to an understanding of is the likely source of your interpretation of Scripture and theology – strong on the Epistles. And I would thank you for sticking to only a verse of three as it makes me go back to read further so I can add context.. I do give you fair consideration.

    So perhaps consider Luke 7: 37-50 Or today’s Gospel reading from the Common Lectionary.

  108. What Christians don’t realize is that their argument over gay people is “dated”. The rest of America has left that behind and moved on. Families love and support their gay family members, and wouldn’t put up with mistreating them or denying them the same rights and freedoms that they enjoy. Most Americans know someone that’s gay and it makes no difference to them. People have gay families in their neighborhood and they don’t freak out. Plenty of churches welcome gay people and fully include them. For most Americans it’s simply become a non-issue.

    It’s the Christians who are still freaking out over gay people, and debating whether they should treat gay people as social outcasts or not, or welcome them into their churches. Not to worry – most gay people wouldn’t darken the doors of your churches or listen to you about your religious faith. Your “dated” attitude toward gay people is a big reason why more and more people (gay and straight) are identifying as religious “nones”. Christianity’s refusal to treat gay people with dignity and respect and equality is entirely offensive to decent people. It’s as offensive as racism and sexism to most people.

    So continue to argue about it Christians, but know that you’re irrelevant to growing numbers of Americans.

  109. His invitation to this seminary was as a graduate of the seminary, he is an alumni. His topic of presentation wasn’t about his book, he was asked to speak about Jesus’ life and ministry at the Theological College’s annual alumni event.

    There isn’t likely anything in his talk needing to be rebutted.

  110. Sandi – it may be the best indication that you know/admit but it flies in the face of the evidence. Simple rational interpretation of the evidence.

    Now – you can prefer a text written in the Bronze Age and based on an older oral tradition to simple logic if you wish – I can’t.

  111. Sometimes I need a good night’s sleep to remind me that my brain is cleverer than I.

    If, as you say, stoning the woman would have been wrong under both the Mosaic and the Roman legal systems why wouldn’t jesus-of-the-bible (henceforth to be known as jotg) have simply said so. “No sweat guys – she can’t be stoned both because you haven’t got the witnesses/partner and because the Romans say so”.

    See – easy – no need for a smartarse reply, no threat of being caught out.

    Conclusion – either the Mosaic requirements were met or the whole thing didn’t happen.

    I go for it not happening.

  112. I meant that your assumption that “most obviously, in that they had not produced the male accomplice as the Law required”.

    Without him there was no justification for the attempted trap so it appears that your assumption is invalid and the law was circumvented. Either that or the event never happened – Never happened gets my vote.

  113. Minor set of problems

    1 – “He” – your evidence or logic-based demonstration of need?

    2 – “we did” – no we didn’t – even if our forebears did something that upset a psychopath we aren’t responsible for it and to take it out on us is sheer wickedness.

    3 – “He’s sorted it out” through an archaic, violent and irrelevant procedure known as human sacrifice. I understand why you fear your god – I don’t understand why you would worship it.

    4 – “He care’s for us” Got a weird way of showing then hasn’t he. “just like we care for our children” – I didn’t create the situation in which my children could be born with physical deformities, I didn’t make a world where mental and physical pain and torment were endemic. I didn’t blame my kids for something that happened thousands(millions) of tears ago. I didn’t facilitate starvation and cancer, mental illness and slavery.

    And even if you can somehow twist reality to blame yourself/me/humanity the fact is that your god knew it was going to happen, could have prevented it and did nothing – which makes him either lazy, impotent or evil.

  114. He actually did say so; you just didn’t recognize it. “The hands of the witnesses must be the first in putting that person to death, and then the hands of all the people.” Deut. 17:7. They knew what He was talking about.

    You’re still not getting what they were trying to do. They wanted to discredit Jesus in the eyes of the people — for what Messiah would put Roman law over the Torah? — or, alternatively, to get the Romans after Him. Precisely as in the coin situation. Pretty clever. Only He was more clever.

  115. You mentioned “bad laws” before I mentioned any details about the law of adultery. I think you were trying to say that the law against adultery itself was a “bad law.” But Jesus’ words and actions indicate no such thing.

  116. We have children knowing of a certainty that they will suffer pain, loss, grief, and death during their lifetimes. We have them anyway. They are an expression of ourselves and our love.

    Of course I know that you reject original sin. The fact remains that there is an unavoidable spiritual rot present in the human race that manifests in the material, for the material came from the spiritual. It is plainly seen in every place and in every moment in human history, persistent humanist belief in “inherent goodness” notwithstanding. Yet it would be unjust for God to revoke man’s free will or dominion over the earth once it is given — just as it would be unjust for us to bring our kids back and imprison them in the parental home once they reach majority just because they’ve made bad choices on their own.

    Fallen man’s dominion over the planet will only end when both are made new. But through work of the Holy Spirit we can experience a foretaste of the Kingdom right now. Indeed the planet already has, in that you are here now calling some things “evil” that once were universally perceived as perfectly natural, virtuous and acceptable.

    Evil is quite a slippery problem for non-believers, for it has a way of blowing this way and that with popular opinion.

  117. “Is it a drastic change to advocate that gay people be treated the same
    as every other sinner whom no one has the slightest problem with?”

    That is the question everyone should be asking themselves. Yes, I suspect that LGBT individuals are subjected to rejection and condemnation specifically because their “sin” is known rather than other “sins” that have the benefit of plausible deniability. Perhaps it would be rather eye opening for all concerned if each person were to self identify their own sins visibly and make them publicly known so no one is able to hide behind a veneer of righteousness. To attend Mass/Service and see exactly whom one is sitting, praying, singing next to as well as others seeing ones own sins. Would there be mass rejection, mass forgiveness, mass understanding that the whole lot of us are no better/holier than anyone else? The human condition though is to avoid at any means necessary anything that is negative even if lying, cheating, etc must be done. It would however be quite humbling if people could be that honest and that would do a world of good not only for Christians but society as a whole.

  118. I am not sure what James Martin means by more compassion to gays within the Church. If he means that the Church should overlook unbiblical sexual practices, then I have to disagree with him.

    I do know that the religiously conservative church needs to start being compassionate to the LGBT community outside of the Church. For religiously conservative Christians have worked for centuries to marginalize those in the LGBT community in society for centuries and stopping that marginalization is long overdue, And stopping the marginalization of the LGBT community in society requires no compromises with what we believe about sex being confined to monogmous heterosexual marriages only.

  119. Mention sex and they come out of the wood work. Mention sex and gay together and they rain down wood work.

  120. No it doesn’t fly in the face of evidence Give. I explained it very well for you, showed you the scripture, your choice to deny it, does not make it untrue. It means you need Jesus to help you, and you deny yourself that.

  121. Took a quick look Linda. We are all sinners, as I’m sure you know. That does not discount that Jesus did not discount homosexuality from being a sin. Jesus will forgive our sin when we repent.

  122. Christ made the distinction that homosexuality is a sin Curt. Being a Christian means one is a follower of Christ. Christians are following Christ on homosexuality being a sin that needs repentance.

  123. Thanks you for a kind and reasoned response.

    Back in the early days of my activism, we used to have what we called the purple spot theory. It posited that if every gay person had a purple spot on his or her forehead, the issue of antigay prejudice would be gone within a week.

    As for honesty, as rochefoucauld said, hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue,

  124. We neither need nor want your help. that’s your story. It makes you feel superior. And that,s what spiritual vampires feed on.

  125. Ben in Oakland is one of the reasons Christianity is reviled.

  126. I’m one of the reasons that Christianity is reviled? I don’t know what I have to do with it. Don’t so called Christians have something to do with it? These very pages are positively filled with Christians attacking other Christians, when they are not attacking everyone else.

    Besides, I don’t have the time this morning. I’m too busy destroying western civilization, heterosexuality, and morality.

  127. lol…..no…homosexuals need our help – mainly so they don’t believe people like you, Ben.

  128. “The fact remains that there is an unavoidable spiritual rot present in the human race that manifests in the material, for the material came from the spiritual. It is plainly seen in every place and in every moment in human history, persistent humanist belief in “inherent goodness” notwithstanding.”

    is a contradiction to…

    . But through work of the Holy Spirit we can experience a foretaste of the Kingdom right now. Indeed the planet already has, in that you are here now calling some things “evil” that once were universally perceived as perfectly natural, virtuous and acceptable.”

    As far as I can tell, the Holy Spirit is your boy when he agrees with you. But when he tells other Christians that they are wrong about gay people, wrong to harm us, wrong to oppress us, and wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong about the whole subject, you just claim that it is false.

    And therein, dear shawnie, lies the problem. You want it both ways, as does every religionist who commits evil in the name of his or her religion, and justifies it as god’s word.

    Which is the point of this whole article.

  129. Whataboutism, as far as I can tell, is the religionist’s answer to the question as to why people who claim to be speaking for god and are the moral arbiters for all humanity don’t need to be consistent in their views, or as good Christians, apply their views first to themselves BEFORE insisting that it be applied to other people.

    Rochfoucauld said that hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue.

    Whataboutism for the hypocrites is the homage that hypocrites pay to themselves.

  130. You are willing to be of assistance in their sexual lives sandi?

  131. Christ said nothing about homosexuality Sandi. And before you start asserting that He did, your argument rests on a heresy condemned in the early Church–monophysitism. Jesus as man had a human mind–not a combined human and divine mind.

  132. He means exactly what he says. Compassion. Listening. Dialogue. And these are not to go just one way. He also challenges the LGBT community to listen to, have compassion for, and dialogue with the church.

  133. The great commission was to go forth and make disciples of all nations. That subsumes gay, straight, red, white, black, young, old, single, married. It’s as simple as that.

  134. The name is Kangaroo52 not “kang.” Why is it that the people you condemn do experience the love of Christ?

  135. No, it’s more like what Neitzche said. It’s not christianity I have a problem with, it’s christians.

  136. Where are the data? The data I see show these individuals cheating with same sex partners; unable to perform sexual with the opposite sex person they married; renouncing their “healing.”

  137. Martin did not call for less than full human and equal rights for lgbtqi persons.

  138. He also did not seem to think that it shouldn’t be revised. Did you read the book/

  139. The answer to number 1 also depends on whether you are in some type of relationship with people. Paul did not write to strangers giving them universal authority to pass judgment on anybody. He was talking to people in a community that knew each other and where the people have some relationship with the individual whom they are correcting. Paul’s writing does not give people on the internet authority nor permission to correct people they do not know.

  140. Sandi,
    So far I agree with you, so what’s the deal? Why does preaching repentance from homosexuality mean that the LGBT community must be marginalized in society? After all, practicing other religions is also sin and yet we have freedom of religion as a right in our society.

  141. But he never said that holiness was the product of following law.

  142. people here should attend to the “clean hands” argument before casting stones on their brothers and sisters. It’s a pretty sure thing that nobody’s hands are clean.

  143. Mark,
    It is how that compassion is implemented that is the issue. The Scriptures are clear regarding sexual relations. They are to occur only within a monogamous heterosexual marriages.

    If compassion to you means that we compromise Biblical standards on sex by members of the Church, then I have to disagree. If compassion implies that we establish the full equality of the LGBT community in society, I can fully agree. But the latter example deals with what goes on outside the Church.

  144. You are being patronizing again. Why assume that someone who disagrees with your assessment is deficient in understanding? There are plenty of excellent scholars who have a wide range of opinions. It is hubris to assume that yours is correct because of what you think about your “credentials.”

  145. Every Jewish person has a responsibility to represent our faith as an embodiment of Micah 6:8…doing justice, loving mercy and walking humbly with God. Judaism is judged by my behavior. Christianity is likewise judged. St. Francis of Assisi said “preach the gospel at all times and, when necessary,sometimes use words.” Christianity is judged by the actions of those who say they profess it. The Europeans who flooded the Middle East to “restore”Jerusalem were monstrous in their behavior during the Crusades. They destroyed generations of culture in Africa during the 19th century. How must the locals have viewed them?

  146. Obviously? To Whom? You are obviously a closeted homosexual. Something in you is begging for initiation, something you fear and hate rather than seeking it. See, I don’t know you so I’m free to speculate about your sex life just as you’re free to speculate about his. There is nothing factual backing either of us up.

  147. It’s how shawnie thinks. If you disagree with her, you must be wrong, because she is never wrong, only other people are wrong– or as she once put it memorably, uneducated, gullible, and easily led.
    It’s the eternal Sonshine of the Spotless Mind.

  148. Because Martin does not address the issue of sexual behavior. As he has stated in numerous places, the homosexual person is fully aware of what the Church teaches on this issue. Therefore, he focuses on that other part of the Catechism which says that the homosexual person is to be treated with dignity and respect. Period. It doesn’t go on to instruct people to remind them of the sinfulness of their behavior. He limits himself to those issues within the church that is appropriate to evaluate. That is, if the church calls for treating the homosexual person with dignity and respect then it follows that she should be called to task for not doing that. This might and it might not have implications for other aspects of within church discipline–that’s really not of his concern.

    As for Biblical Standards–There are supraordinate standards articulated by Jesus and there are other sets of standards documented in other parts of the bible. Sometimes they conflict (despite the cognitive gymnastics displayed by many in places like this). How do we handle conflicting standards? Do we focus on the supraordinate ones and leave it to G-D to work out the details? Or do we attend to the minutia of the other standards and forget that there are supraordinate standards? I have my opinion.

    Biblical scholars are not in uniform agreement as to what those texts in question mean and how they are to be interpreted. If anybody, including me, gives an unequivocal interpretation of what those texts mean, run as fast as you can away from that opinion. It is for this reason that the Catholic Church did not *base* her teaching on homosexuality on these texts. Instead, the teaching rests primarily on the work of Thomas Aquinas. He was a brilliant man and wrote a lot of good stuff. The manner in which he wrote was often that of socratic dialogue–mental conversations that start at a certain point and follow a particular logical reasoning. Logical reasoning is only as sound as the premises upon which you build your argument. In this case, his reasoning may have flaws.

    The reader’s digest version: sexual behavior is ordered toward reproduction (ie, natural law says that this is a necessity). Since the sexual behavior of same sex relations is not ordered toward reproduction, it is disordered. The premise is valid as long as you look at the sexual behavior of the species. Without any heterosexual behavior, we would die off. On the individual level, reproduction is not necessary for the survival of our species. If sexual orientation is created by G-D (something the heterosexual would not deny about their orientation–we do not assume that they *chose* to be heterosexual), then the whole implications of natural law need to be revisited.

  149. Yeah, but ask the homosexual Corinthians what Jesus did to them when THEY got “subsumed.” (1 Cor. 6:9-11)

    No situation, no temptation, is too hard for God (10:13).

  150. You assume that you know what Paul was referring to.
    If no temptation is too hard for G-D you may wish to ask Her/Him to give you a less judgmental attitude.

  151. Then maybe it’s time to expand your data search. I know of a gay activist, really committed to the cause, who says he did pretty good with a woman when he was 25 (just a one-time gig, and just outta curiosity. Scored 100 on the quiz, as it were.) But obviously he never blabbed about his success to the APA researchers.

    And Alan Chambers, all these years after he succumbed to national pressure and destroyed the great Exodus ministry, he still refuses to retract or even backpedal his OWN personal story of what Jesus did for him in this area. He still says he is happily married to his FEMALE wife, after all these years. (No spare tires, by the way.) He openly refuses to label himself as “gay” or “bisexual.” Go figure.

  152. I have no doubt that there are individuals as you claim but they are not proof of your assertion.

    If you begin with Kinsey’s scale of sexual orientation, people on either end of the spectrum are unlikely to undertake any steps to change their sexual orientation. That still leaves a lot of people in the pool. Let’s look at people on the heterosexual side of the scale. Since we eliminated the people at the ends, we are dealing with primarily straight individuals who experience some same sex attraction. For the sake of argument, I’ll speak in terms of percentages. In this pool there are primarily heterosexual individuals who experience a range of same sex attraction from 1% to 49%. Is it uncommon for any of those individuals to experiment with members of the same sex and then come to experience negative emotions because of it? Are there people who experience distress simply because of the attraction (never having acted on it). Of course. These individuals could present themselves to conversion therapy and end up “cured,” ie fully functional heterosexuals. Since all these folks are interested in is outcome, we don’t know where on the spectrum they fall.

    What about people on the other end of the spectrum? As you approach the pole, you would expect fewer people wishing to undergo conversion therapy as behavior and the thoughts are more syntonic with who they are (ie, doesn’t cause distress and it’s distress that motivates people to go into therapy). Are there people toward the center who are distressed enough to want conversion therapy. Probably. How well do they fare in treatment? We have no way of knowing because conversion therapies do inquire about where you are on the Kinsey scale. Given the failure rate of this treatment, one inference is that these people do not fare very well, in the long term, from the treatment.

    Now, going back to your example. Correct me if I am wrong but what I hear you saying is that homosexual person (probably well away from the midpoint of Kinsey’s scale) had sex with a woman once and that was out of curiosity. I am not sure what you conclude from this. Are you concluding that he was cured or healed of his homosexual desires? If so, I do not understand how you come to that conclusion. Are you concluding that a homosexual person is capable of having “pretty good” sex with a member of the opposite sex? If so, I am not particularly surprised. It is equally possible for a (“completely”) straight person, out of curiosity, to have “pretty good” sex, once, with a member of the same sex and then put this behind him or her. Like you and the person you mentioned, I have seen this numerous times. But because sexual orientation is more complex than making the genitals feel good, I am not sure what you concluded from it (remember that rape victims are often sexually aroused in the course of their rape. This is often the source of confusion and guilt. Genital arousal is only indicative of sexual arousal)? In your example above, did the person stop being homosexual or stop having homosexual desires? From your brief description, it sounds like the answer to those questions is “no.” So, my question is, how is this case you cite relevant to the issue of G-D curing the person?

  153. No need for ad-hominem drama, amigo. And no need for assumptions or guesswork, either.

    The fact is that Paul is very specific about “what Paul was referring to” in 1 Cor. 6:9-11 and 10:13.

    The statements, the promises, they are quite clear. This stuff is not “holier-than-thou”, but genuine hope & help & healing for all people. Jesus offers new life, new power, new purity.

  154. It is not an ad hominem. When different scripture scholars reach different opinions as to what those words mean, it is presumptuous for any one person to state with absolute certainty that they know exactly what they mean.
    Jesus does offer new life, power, and purity whether you are in a loving relationship with the same or opposite gender. At least we agree on something.

  155. The law shows us what lack of holiness looks like. It’s why we repent and ask for restoration.

  156. words like the pen are mightier than the sword–or rocks. Far too many people are harmed by words.

  157. He did say it would not pass away. And even if He were open to revisions, the prohibitions on sexual immorality would not be among them, for He said that it makes us unclean.

  158. That’s one interpretation. Not the only one. You are fully aware of which exegetical assumptions are involved and you are intelligent enough to know they are not dogmatic.

  159. Are there any other interpretations of these verses that reason differently than you do? I know that you are intelligent enough and have enough personal integrity to admit that there are.

  160. Are you suggesting that there are things that Jesus *couldn’t* have done even if he had wanted to?

  161. That’s one interpretation. There are other interpretations of the holiness code and why it was written. But given your intellectual elitism (your words if you will recall), I am sure you are aware of that.

  162. He evidently did not recognize the Mosaic law to which Jesus was referring when He spoke of “casting the first stone.” Jesus’ listeners would have instantly understood what He meant — for that was a culture that lived and breathed Torah. His references to scriptural sanction for rape indicate the same, for there is no scriptural blessing upon rape.

  163. But you assumed that your interpretation of the text, the purpose of the text, and the context of the text is The Correct ™ version. Given your intellect, I am sure you are aware of others.

  164. Are you suggesting that the Gospel have Jesus citing sanctions for rape? My memory is fading so please remind me.

  165. Goshes, is it all that? I thought it was simply someone pointing a finger at someone else to make himself look better. 😀

    Of the top of my head I only recall one “what about” moment in scripture — when Peter, upon hearing the unwelcome news that he was destined for a violent and painful martyrdom, points to John and asks “What about him?” And Jesus in a nutshell says “None of your beeswax. YOU follow Me.”

    He says the same to each of us — and to you. Will you?

  166. The Holy Spirit does not contradict what He revealed to us before.

  167. A variant of the no true Christian fallacy.

    But nice try.

  168. That seems to be one of Antifa’s favorite arguments in justification of its violence. But our freedom of speech remains nevertheless. There simply is no real-world equivalence between words and physical violence.

  169. You could start by explaining the story as it is present in the the received version of the Gospel of John when it is not present in the earliest texts and most people do not believe to have been written by the same person who wrote John. Why is it there and how does the answer to that question help us to understand what it means?

    Given that John has no particular love for “the jews,” why should we place exceptional weight on your claim that the listeners would instantly have known what he meant?

    Was Jesus being asked to judge the woman or the law that she was accused of breaking. They were fully capable of judging her themselves and coming to the verdict that they seem to have desired. So what was the purpose of bringing her to Jesus? What was the take home message that the person who wrote this text want us to have? Is the proximity to John 8:15 purely coincidental?

    There are many layers and levels of interpretation to any text. To claim that you have the definitive one is exhibiting the sin of pride.

  170. Freedom is speech refers to the efforts of GOVERNMENT to restrict speech. If you believe that there are no real world equivalences between words and physical violence, you haven’t sat at the other end of a therapist’s couch. Without exception I have found that people cope with physical violence better than verbal.

  171. Feel free to present a rebuttal from scripture. Although you’ll have a tough time indeed explaining why incest remains “sexual immorality” in the NT (1 Cor 5:1) and not same-sex behavior which is found in the Torah precisely between two incest prohibitions.

  172. No, Givethedogabone did. Which is why I have doubts about his mastery of scripture.

  173. Actually it’s Paul: “It was the law that showed me my sin.” Rom. 7:7.

  174. Mark,
    I certainly agree that those from the LGBT community must be treated with respect and dignity in the Church. But, again, that cannot imply a compromise in Biblical standards.

    That Biblical scholars don’t agree on what the Scriptures say about sex implies nothing about the clarity with which the Scriptures speak. One has to go deeper and see why some interpret the Scriptures as allowing for sex outside of monogamous heterosexual marital relationships. Sometimes it has to do with the a priori commitments people read the Scriptures with. When that occurs, then the interpretation given by a particular Biblical scholar will be the result of eisegesis (reading into the text) rather than exegesis (reading out of the text). The Scriptures themselves tell us what assumptions we make.

    Furthermore, those scholars who believe that the Scriptures support homosexuality and person-directed gender identity, though there is an admission that people do sin, they don’t believe that human nature is fallen in sin. And thus what a person discovers about him/her self and God is a glorious human achievement. The Scriptures clearly contradict that notion about human nature and, instead, teach the idea that we must rely on God’s revelation, both written and in Christ, to know God.

  175. Jesus had free will like any other man. But He does the will of the Father. And sin is the opposite of the will of God. It is the opposite of what God is.

  176. Yep, that’s the right Alan Chambers, happily married to Mrs. Leslie Chambers. “A healthy marriage with a robust sex life,” he told senior RNS writer Jonathan Merritt (The Atlantic, 10-06-2015).

    The man destroyed Exodus, he says what gay activists wanna hear, but the man just can’t bring himself to deny who he’s REALLY attracted to in the sack, nor deny what Jesus did for him personally. Can’t even say the two simple words, “I’m gay.”

    You’re right that “he takes a very different perspective.” Politically, he’s now the same as the gay activists. Parroting their stuff. But he somehow can’t get his **actions** to match their words.

  177. Mark, this is getting tiresome. Are you suggesting that Deut. 17:7 is NOT about the witnesses being the first to initiate an execution, or what?

  178. I already explained why they brought her to Jesus. The same reason why they brought him Caesar’s coin. And no they were NOT capable of judging her themselves and coming to the verdict of execution, at least, for the Romans had removed that right from the Jews of Judea. But I’m sure you know that, right?

    And as for the story itself, I didn’t cite it at all. Givethedogabone did that in order to claim that Jesus was condemning the law of adultery and so we should throw out the law of homosexuality as well, or somesuch nonsense. Except that nothing about the story indicates that He found any fault with the law of adultery at all. So I suggest you go take up the issue with him.

  179. But you were talking about the Jewish Law, not Roman

  180. I think you mean Gandhi — except that Gandhi never said that. And Nietzsche most certainly DID have a problem with Christianity:
    “I call Christianity the one great curse, the one great intrinsic depravity…”

    But I like Nietzsche in a sense, because he was no coward. He had the honesty to repudiate ALL of Christianity’s legacy. I’ve yet to see an atheist thinker do so since.

  181. I am saying that you have a particular method to scriptural exegesis. It is a valid method. But it is not the only method. Those other methods are also legitimate and can lead to different interpretations.

    IF you are talking about the right of witnesses to be the first to initiate execution then why deny that they were capable, under their law, of carrying that out. Bringing in the fact that their laws were superseded by roman law fits into this story how?

  182. According to him, he says what he wants us to here.
    And he may never have been gay in the first place.

  183. So you are saying that there are things that Jesus couldn’t have done even if he had wanted. Wow.

  184. Can’t serve two masters here; can’t serve Jesus and Homosexuality. At the end of the day, one o’ them gotta go.

    These days you have PhD scripture scholars, teaching classes right this week, who deny that Jesus even rose from the dead at all, regardless of what the Four Gospels say. They deny that Jesus ever said anything like John 3:16.

    So if all it takes to refute or negate a given Scripture text, is merely to say that “a scripture scholar denies it,” then you effectively wipe out Jesus and His salvation (and everything else He offers.)

  185. I know the difference between eisogesis and exegesis. I hope you are not suggesting that those whose interpretations vary from the “party line” are doing eisogesis. Eisogesis can be present in both conservative and liberal (for want of better words) translations. I have yet run into any scripture scholars who “support homosexuality and person-directed gender identity” and don’t believe that human nature is fallen in sin. I am not saying that they don’t exist but I haven’t seen them. Therefore, your “thus,” doesn’t necessarily follow.

  186. Roman law restricted the full application of the Jewish Law. Your point?

  187. And yet you still seem to think that approach to this is the only legitimate one?
    In other words, yes but so what? One verse doesn’t prove anything.

  188. You implied that Jesus cited laws regarding rape. Thank you for confirming that he did not.

  189. Why did the high priests, who had already judged Jesus guilty of blasphemy, have to take Him to the Romans to get a death sentence?

    When you know why they did that, you’ll know the answer to your question. And it is spelled out in the same gospel of John which contains this story.

  190. You are smart enough to be aware of those alternative explanations. The only question is, do you have the integrity to admit it?

  191. You are changing the subject. A not uncommon tactic when people are presented with things that they do not want to deal with.

  192. I’m aware of all of them, and why they fail. So step up to the plate and present one for scrutiny.

  193. I am not changing the subject at all. It is the same reason in both instances. Why don’t you know what it is?

  194. If it was as simple as you present, the logical thing for Jesus to have said would be, “you know Roman law forbids us from executing someone.” But that’s not what the story is all about, is it?

  195. What I am saying is that what you are claiming to be the same reason is not the ONLY interpretation of this story. I assumed that you were intelligent enough to understand this.

  196. Oh – I get it – I got it sixty years ago.

    My point is that either the requirements of the Mosaic law were met and jotg fudged it or they weren’t, in which case he would have simply pointed out that they weren’t. Logic suggests that, in the unlikely event that the story ever happened, he wouldn’t have said what he said if the simpler option were available. Therefore your assertion that the conditions were not met seems unlikely. Ergo jotg fudged it.

  197. People smarter than you do not believe that they fail.

  198. Ah, but what kind of a purported Messiah puts Roman law ahead of God’s law?

    That was the point of the entire incident. Say yes and you’re in hot water with the Romans. Say no and you’re no Messiah.

    Except that He turned it around on them instead.

    It’s a shame that so many people miss out on Jesus’ brilliance in these situations, simply for lack of the historical background.

  199. If you do not know what they are, your intellectual elitism is unmerited.

  200. The issue isn’t WHAT they are but simply THAT they are.

  201. I was suggesting that jotg could, and perhaps did, alter what he perceived as a bad law.

  202. It didn’t always contain this story. Why is it that it’s there now. What is the significance of that fact? if you are as intelligent as you think you are you have to have the integrity to admit that there are legitimate interpretations that vary from your own. Otherwise you are simply ignorant and I do not believe that to be the case.

  203. Enough of this “other interpretations” nonsense — you probably don’t realize how it sounds. If there are so many “other interpretations,” step up to the plate and defend one of them!

  204. He did not alter the law at all. He turned it around on those trying to trap Him.

  205. Your point is? If they knew that they could not execute her, what kind of “trap” could they be setting for Jesus if he could simply say “Roman law prohibits you from executing her.”

  206. Who said anything about serving homosexuality? You are making so many logical leaps here, I hope you don’t hurt yourself.

  207. Probably it was an oral tradition that sounded very much like the Jesus of the gospels and was very similar to other gospel accounts of clashes between Jesus and the religious leaders, so it was simply placed into John’s gospel. And what of that?

  208. So what you are saying is that your interpretation is the only one that you know of. You have no idea how pompous that makes you sound.

  209. If he could t make logical leaps, be would have no logic at all.

    Oh, wait….

  210. He could also have said “Yes, I’m God.” lnstead of saying “Before Abraham was, I AM.”

    You underestimate the importance of the OT in Christ’s ministry.

  211. That’s because Floyd really doesn’t care what Alan chambers actually says, does or think. Chambers is just one more weapon in his never ending war against gay people.

  212. Are you going to defend another “interpretation” or not?

  213. I already said I know what they are. Why aren’t you presenting one of them?

  214. Oh boy are you really that ignorant? Was it roman law that was the focus of the trap or was it Jesus’ own emphasis on mercy versus the requirements of the law that was the trap? Are you incapable of seeing this as a possible interpretation or does your arrogance prohibit that?

  215. Or he’s bisexual, but figured out a great way to make money from it. And then, finally, intellectual and spiritual integrity caught up with him.

    After claiming for years that exodus had “helped” thousands of thousands of gay people, he finally admitted it had helped no one, least of all himself.

    Well, he did help himself.

  216. He’s talking about me. I’ve already had that conversation. He frankly doesn’t give a damn. Well, he has lots of Goddams to give, and he’s very generous with them. But he has no interest in truth, science, or nuance.

  217. If you know what they are why dogmatically present yours as the only correct one. The issue isn’t what the alternative interpretations are. It’s, are you willing to admit that you may not have all the answers?

  218. Nonsense. I can “interpret” “hos an koimethe meta arsenos koiten gunaikos” to mean “Kelly poured Coke on Fred’s green socks” but there is no reason to take such an “interpretation” seriously. The mere existence of an “interpretation” is meaningless without support.

  219. Given that it is more in the style of Luke than John, what was the purpose in putting it in John? I suppose it could have just landed there by accident but I find that unlikely. And why was it put in that spot in John? Or are these types of questions inappropriate in the process of interpreting scripture?

  220. The one does not negate the other. And save the insults for someone who’s impressed by them.

  221. that is translation not interpretation. I thought that you were smart enough to understand this. Maybe your education is not as extensive as you thought it was or maybe you were only taught one narrow way of interpreting text.

  222. “the material came from the spiritual” – what justification can you offer for this?

    Where do you get the idea that humanists believe in “inherent goodness” – some may – I don’t and don’t think I know any who do.

    “free will” – are you aware that much effort has gone into researching “free will” since the 1960’s (Stanley Milgram et al) through to present day techniques using fMRI and there are few currently active neuroscience researchers who accept the concept – the consensus of opinion being that “free will”, like memory and sight is largely a story our brain creates to keep us happy. You might want to read Sam Harris and David Eagleman’s accounts of their research.

    The fact that human morality has evolved is not evidence for the Holy Spirit!

  223. It’s the one best supported by scripture, history, and collateral writings.

    OK, I may not have all the answers. Feel better? Make a case and then we’ll see.

  224. Mark it on the Calendar people. Shawnie5 admits that there are interpretations other than her own.

  225. Ah, no. One of those “interpretations” you keep talking about is about how to translate “koiten gunaikos.”

    So let’s have your case.

  226. Given the rest of John, do you honestly expect that the focus was on a contrast with Roman and Jewish law or a contrast with Jesus’ claims and Jewish law? In John, it’s the Jews, not the Romans who are the bad guys.

  227. No duh there are. But they don’t hold up very well. And you’re doing nothing to show that they do.

  228. Of course there are – probably several. One thing I’ve learnt from discussions with Christians is that, just as I viewed the world through 1950s evangelical CofE tinted spectacles and arrived at one irrational interpretation other Christians, wearing differently tinted shades, get something different from the same words.

    The explanation seems to be that old bogey of “confirmation bias”. I try, and no doubt often fail, to avoid making the same mistakes as I did as a child – albeit, since they are grounded in the scientific method, humanist spectacles may be less distorting than those based on less demonstrable concepts.

    And, mea culpa, sometimes I just like being a bit of a pain in the butt – it’s my way of, by using the reactions of others, testing my thoughts.

  229. Having been inside a religious “bubble” I understand that you are unable to countenance the possibility of error. It is the reason some Christians cannot imagine an old earth and refuse to acknowledge the overwhelming evidence for random variation modified by natural selection.

    One of the liberating effects of bursting the bubble was that I was free to follow the evidence – without having to exclude paths that might lead to faith-threatening thoughts. I commend it without expectation.

  230. You probably mean Gandhi — except Gandhi never said that. Nietzsche, on the other hand, had all kinds of problems with Christianity. It was his pet peeve. I like him, though, for his honesty at least.

  231. We differ on the importance of “God”.

    If there was, as they may well have been, an itinerant preacher named Jesus of Nazereth, he would have had no option but to base his teachings on the then recognised religious text. That doesn’t mean what he is alleged to have said was right, it doesn’t mean that the texts were right and it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t examine the legends critically.

    To my mind – critical analysis renders the deity concept so unlikely as to be irrelevant.

    And FWIW – my argument with all supernatural belief is not that it is wrong but that it, religion, alternative medicine, mediumship etc. etc., harms humanity at all levels from the individual to the universal.

  232. The true severity of the Right’s refusal to repent of the mortal sin of attempting to throw an entire group of people from the face of God is made manifest in your postings and in your words. You elevate 60 words out of the 200,000 that make up the New Testament to the status of essential doctrine, regardless of their varied interpretation and proclaim these people anathema. And at the same time you ignore all the parts where Jesus made clear that legalistic religion is not of God.

    The matter is essentially simple. You do not worship God, or His Son Jesus Christ. Instead, you practice a perversion of the religion, dedicated to replacing the laws of God with the laws of man.

    Conservative religion’s primary function is to create social cohesion amongst its groups through the strict and sometimes brutal enforcement of narrow social norms. This requires the creation of an out-group to beat on – your pariahs.

    You did just that and LGBTQ+ people are the pariahs of this age. And you even proclaim that except for your purposes of targeting such a group for expulsion, identifying in that group is a sin! Apparently you write Scripture now. And none of the mirroring appearance this gives to the pariah groups used by the Church in the past as targets of persecution and ruin is of any import to you.

    You have moved so far beyond scripture and Christ that it would be laughable if the stakes were not so high. For you repeat what conservative Christianity has done since time for it began.

    And you especially, given the amount of posting on this issue you do that I see in various places, have adopted as your mission the job of preserving and making sure the boundaries are clear between God’s “favored people” and the pariah group.

    You are nothing but the bully parading the walls, clubbing anyone you see who dare want in. You are merely the solider at the gate following the false king’s wishes.

    But Jesus is not within your walls. He is not within your gates. He is with the pariahs you label as such, then condemn membership in. For you guard not the walls of the Kingdom of God, but the gates to Hell.

  233. “…know that you’re irrelevant to growing numbers of Americans.”

    Big deal – Christianity has always been “irrelevant” to people of any race or nationality who want to insist that the sovereign human self is the final arbiter of truth and reality. And the viewpoint of Christianity can’t be out-dated, because it’s un-dated. Truth doesn’t change with the political or cultural winds…that’s part of the point of it. It’s only the viewpoints based on less-than-truth that have an intellectual shelf-life expiration date, and need to be constantly up-dated or go stale. Your time go stale is just around the corner.

  234. Any Bible critic who seriously asserts that ANYONE believes “everything in The Bible is literally true” thereby disqualifies himself from further regard or consideration.

  235. In my travels across religion forums, I find you posting like an alt-right troll amongst these Disqus forums, and primarily in those dealing with homosexuality.

    As the Christian Right has ascended to political power in this last gasp as their demographic fails, their power in the general culture in America has hit its lowest point since before the 2nd Great Awakening. That your chosen pariah group of gays is not the out-group in society like it is in your shrinking churches, sends you into paroxysms of retrenchment.

    But you are the topic here. That their status as an out-group within your religion is under challenge really rocks your faith, causing you to become an advocate for its maintenance. In fact, given the energy I see you spend here, it is an integral part of your religion. That such a group remains illegitimate except as a bin to throw them out of the Church is as the words of Christ Himself. It is your gospel.

    Fascinating. And it is fortunate that you are confined here, masturbating away at people whose faith you either shore up or at the enemy you have no hope of convincing. These discussion reveal impotence. They are a repetitive and reflexive regurgitation of the talking points of why such a group must remain apart from God and His Church. You are as the anti-semite screaming for the expulsion of the Jew. You are as the clansman readying the rope. You are as the preacher writing his sermon to preserve slavery. Only now no one new is coming to your lynch party.

    All I have read from you has been said before, and sits more as apologetics of self-convincement than as scripts to move the fallen to God. Best of luck you to. For the hauling out of such wild defenses of little bits of scripture in such a way that violates the entire tenor of Christ’s ministry to the marginalized, has done its job of separating the sheep and the goats.

  236. Sure, I am talking about you, Ben. Heh!

    But meanwhile, I do actually give a caring expletive-deleted about you. (Of course, you ARE trying to destroy Western Civilization, so I have to limit the amount of times I actually admit to it. But I suppose this one time won’t hurt anything.)

    Meanwhile, most everybody says they care about “truth, science, and nuance.” Which is okay, I say the same thing too. But honestly? All three nouns ultimately just wind up supporting what the Bible says about reality. You know it’s true.

  237. Do you honestly believe that you are the final arbiter on how well other interpretations “hold up?” You are aware that people more educated than you have proposed alternative interpretations (that don’t always agree with yours). They are respected in their field, teach at major seminaries, yet you are the final arbiter of how well they “hold up.”

  238. As you believe all kinds of things. Yet you present your beliefs as dogmatic truths and berate (subtle or not) anyone who disagrees with you.

  239. Why assume that’s the word I meant when I specifically said that there were two words that Paul used, one of which appears to be constructed by him?
    It is your position that in every instance when koiten, gunaikos, arsenokoitai, and malakoi are used in the scriptures and in contemporary texts, the words each mean EXACTLY the same thing?

  240. Let me make this plain, because people’s lives are involved.

    If you make the personal choice to adopt a gay-self-identity, then you are NOT serving Jesus. You’re serving Homosexuality, in fact you’re enslaving yourself. Jesus has a unique, singularly powerful self-identity ALL BY HIMSELF that he wants to share with you (Gal. 2:20), and He ain’t gay at all.

    If you choose the gay dating scene, gay bar scene, or gay marriage stuff — you are serving Homosexuality, not Jesus. Jesus will call you “Friend”, but Homosexuality will call you “Slave.” Christ wants you free. Christ want you restored and full of joy.

  241. Fr. Martin, I hope you know Sr. Helen Prejean. She’s gone through and still goes through much of what you’re suffering on the topic of the death penalty. I suspect she could provide you with some spiritual support for your current trials.

  242. Best according to you. Your interpretation of “best” has many layers of filters. An honest intellectual recognizes that and acknowledges how those filters effect their interpretation. You did’t like being berated. How do people here feel when you do the same thing? It may be subtle or it may be blatant; the effect is the same. Is intellectual elitism the same thing as arrogance? There are reasons that pride and arrogance are considered sins–one of the seven deadly if you hold to that. If sin is sin is sin, is your sin really any different that that you write against?

  243. for the record, I meant “Kelly poured Coke on Fred’s green socks” is translation (and a wrong one) not interpretation.

  244. It’s your opinion that people’s lives are involved. There is no choice involved. If I accept the person that Jesus created me to be (gay or straight) then I am honoring Jesus in the best way possible.

    While I agree that Jesus probably wasn’t gay, there’s no evidence one way or another–unless you read more into “mary magdalene” than what’s there.

    If sexuality is a choice, when did you choose to be heterosexual? And a choice always entails at least two viable options so by choosing your heterosexuality you are saying that homosexuality was a viable option. Assuming that you are heterosexual would “choosing to be gay” all of a sudden change your basic desires and all the psycho-sexual aspects of sexual orientation? Do honestly believe that you could choose to be gay? What makes you think anyone else could?

    Oh, I see, the whole choice thing is simply a firmly held belief.

  245. “Trying to destroy western civilization.”

    Reviling and slander, yet again. Yet somehow, it isn’t a sin when you do it.

  246. Mark,
    Party line has nothing to do with it. And yes, what is written after the ‘thus’ is what follows the belief that what a person discovers about themselves is a glorious human achievement. And that is unrelated to your experiences and the people you have met. And needless to say that I have run into such people.

    I agree that conservatives and liberals practice eisogesis. Whether one is conservative or liberal is not the point. What is the point is how we read the Scriptures.

  247. I admit Jason, I do like the Disqus-based forums. Disqus gives important guidelines and they are even-handed about it, applying them with fairness to all. No joke.

    Meanwhile, I’m trying to come up with an appropriate response for everything you’ve said there (and that’s a lotta paragraphs!).

    So the first step, for the sake of the readers, would be to briefly summarize your overall opinion of my evil posting activities.


  248. I’m sorry but the “thus” doesn’t follow. You made an assumption about the belief system of people who interpret scripture in a way that doesn’t condemn the LGBTIQ. Your “thus” flows from that assumption (otherwise, what is the object of “thus?”). Put in terms of logic it’s “given A thus B.” If the assumption is not correct then the consequent does not follow as of necessity.

    paraphrasing the “if” because it’s temporarily gone–
    since these scholors are denying the concept of human sin it thus follows the belief that what a person discovers about themselves is a glorious human achievement.

    If they are not denying the basic concept of human sin, it does not thus follow that ….

    What I have found is that what people discover about themselves is that they were wonderfully and gloriously made by a G-D who shrouds his/herself in mystery.

    How we read the scriptures is often mediated by what we believe about the scriptures. I have found a correlation between the belief in the litteralness of the words of the bible and conservationism. There are good and well meaning people on both sides of the liberal/conservative divide who believe that how they read the scripture is the right way. Everyone can’t be right. But we can learn from each other if we were willing to see the good in the other and be a little less rigid in how we read scripture.

  249. Gotta love those R & S moments, dude. (Don’t worry, it’s just to help keep your blood circulation moving good.)

  250. I can see the whole thread now but I don’t see my response so that I can edit it. So pardon the repetition.

    You say that “those scholars who believe that the Scriptures support homosexuality…… don’t believe that human nature is fallen in sin.” as a consequence of that belief (“thus”) “what a person discovers about him/her self and God is a glorious human achievement.” Perhaps you believe that discovering that G-D is a human achievement is something good. It sounds like you are saying that G-D is being created in the image of man.
    Your premise is false. If you had said “when those scholars who believe…..” your conclusion would follow because it flows from the contingency of your assumption. As written, your assumption doesn’t allow for any qualifications. In other words you are talking about ALL scholars who believe that scripture supports homosexuality and attributing to them the discovery that man and g-d is a glorious human achievement.

  251. It is from John that we learn the REASON why the Jews couldn’t put anyone to death (if we didn’t already know that from ancient history).

    John says nothing against Jewish law. Jesus’ claims in John, as well as in the synoptics, are taken directly from the OT. And the Jews are no worse in John than the Romans. In all of the gospels, all of the Gentiles, including the Romans, are more or less a non-issue up until the Mount Olivet discourse, which John does not even record.

    But you’re setting up a straw man here. Nobody said the focus was on any contrast between Jewish and Roman law. The issue was more the lengths to which the religious leaders would go to try to discredit a Messiah-claimant whom they perceived as a threat. John 7 featured a commentary by Jesus on why the world hated Him so much and wished to kill Him. And John 8, of course, followed up with a demonstration of the same.

  252. Good question Curt. If Christians act as if the immorality is not happening, they are allowing countless people to be hurt by that decision. People go to Hell because of Homosexuality, and the other sin. Christ asked us to make His commandments known and hopefully, while doing such, people will be able to see the route they have chosen.
    Biblically, homosexuality is on par with bestiality, adultery, pedophilia with the culture pushing it more and more. With more and push of the sin, the more “normal” it looks. Sin is not normal or acceptable. We are trying to bring children to love the Lord, and they cannot have a relationship with Him, if they are participating in unrepentant sin.
    I wish that none should perish in their sin. They are not being marginalized in society. They are being promoted. Christians are saying that homosexuality is a sin and that keeps them separate from God.
    Society will cheer these people’s choices all to Hell.

  253. Interesting. I originally cited a quote from Nietzsche about the despicability of Christianity, but Disqus put it in moderation. I guess the site couldn’t stomach such abusive talk about a religion — not even Christianity. :-p

  254. So are you going to present one of these fabulous “intepretations” for scrutiny?

  255. You are the one who is saying that the interpretation of this text must take into account the Roman prohibition of execution and that this was the substance of the trap for Jesus. So yes, somebody is saying that there is a contrast between roman and jewish law.
    It is more parsimonious to say that the trap was between the jewish law and the good news being proclaimed by Jesus. The roman prohibition to execution doesn’t enter into this story. You are saying that it “should” because it is logically necessary–the prohibition is expressed later in the gospel so it must be applicable here. Maybe the author of this text didn’t consider that relevant. The gospels are not a set of logical syllogisms. I understand that that is a central part of your theological approach to scripture (if it says X in this spot than it must mean what X means in every other spot that it could be applicable to. If a word phrased is used in such a way in one place then it must mean the same thing in another place. This is fine logical thinking but it is a tad unique–to put it politely). Given that we really have no idea who wrote this text and we are reasonably certain that it wasn’t written by the same person who wrote John, we can’t assume that assume that the same reasoning is used here as in other parts of John.
    This text was also inserted at a very specific place in the “book” of John. Is it an accident that verse 15 follows almost immediately? What message was the editor trying to make by placing it there?

  256. If I thought that you had the ultimate moral authority to scrutinize it, I may be tempted. The issue isn’t whether it is available for your scrutiny. It’s your assumption that your scrutiny is better than anyone else’s.

  257. I am not berating anyone. I am stating my position and inviting others to present theirs. No takers, though.

  258. if the standards that are applied elsewhere were applied here there is a lot of shit that’s said here that should be placed in moderation

  259. Were you berating me? I didn’t notice. I thought you were simply making excuses for refusing to present a case. Thanks for the heads up, though.

  260. Mark,
    Since by your admission, you never met such people while I have, you are not in the position to comment. I made no assumptions about their beliefs, I have listened to and read them, you know, the assumptions of those people you’ve never met.

    What does one conclude when one believes that their nature is not corrupted by sin because sin is an occasional action one performs? What do they believe about their discoveries in life? You tell me.

    Something else is amiss with what you report. And that is whether some religiously conservative Christians take everything in the Bible literally depends on how they view inspiration. So it isn’t just their conservatism that determines whether they will take a given passage literally. Some things need to be taken literally and some don’t. There are some clear truths stated in the Scriptures that can’t be compromised while other things stated in the Bible is up for debate.

    But we still need to respect people who disagree because we are all equals. For even when we know what the Scriptures clearly say, we still resist obeying them.

  261. I didn’t assume that’s the word you meant. I said that one of these myriad but mysterious “interpretations” has to do with the translation of “koiten gunaikos.” You had claimed that translation is not the question.

    There is no use of “arsenokoitai” contemporary with Paul’s. But its meaning is not mysterious. It is taken from the two operative words juxtaposed in Lev. 20:13, and we know from Jewish writings which ARE comtemporary with Paul exactly what that passage meant to 1st century Jews, which would include Jesus unless He stated the contrary.

    “Malakoi” is, however, used almost contemporaneously by Soranus when he discusses men who desire to be penetrated, “whom the Greeks call malthakoi.” It makes sense that it would be paired with “arsenokoitai” here, which carries an active connotation.

  262. That’s not what I asked. We learn from John that the romans prohibited the jews from executing. There is nothing that requires an author to apply a certain piece of knowledge when telling a tale.
    We know that John had an antipathy toward “the jews.” We have a pretty good reason why that antipathy exists. We see a common theme throughout John of “the jews” testing Jesus, challenging Jesus, and calling for his death. “The Jews” of course being the scribes and pharisees and those people in power. This concept of “the jews” is well articulated in many of Raymond Brown’s books on the Gospel of John. If you don’t like my summation, read his two volume commentary in the Anchor Bible series. Introducing the concept of the roman prohibition changes the nature of this encounter between Jesus and “the Jews.” Maybe that’s why the text was placed in John rather than the other Gospels, who knows?
    Verses 12-14 have Jesus addressing the theme of testifying on his own behalf. Then comes 15ff and we a shift back to the theme of judgment. Jesus didn’t judge the woman (“neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more”). The actions of “the jews,” the scribes and pharisees–berating her, telling her how sinful she was, putting her in fear for her life, etc–did not lead to “go and sin no more.” That followed from grace.
    Even if a loving, committed, sexual relationship between two people of the same gender, the people here who are crying “sinner,” “the bible says this,” “you are going to burn in hell unless you change” are grossly inappropriate. You want to express your christian love and christian duty to people? Lead them to the point where they can encounter that grace. Promote an environment where they can surrender to that grace. Then let Jesus transform them into the person whom He wants them to be. From that point on, mind your own business unless they are interfering in your real life.

  263. So in other words, it appears to be a new word constructed by paul. Granted it is constructed out of two words whose meaning is known. It is an assumption to say that the meaning is a simple combination of those two words. No matter how logical it might be. Absent any contemporary use of the word, there is no standard by which to assess the meaning.

  264. yes, I am in a position. Your proposition was that all scholars… If you had clearly said “some scholars” (those you have met) your logic would stand. The scholars I have encountered did not have those beliefs. Therefore, my experience contradicts your assertion of “all.”

  265. you noticed. At least your words indicated that you noticed.

  266. You have a long history of presenting your opinion as a two by four across people’s heads. How is that not berating anyone?

  267. “The roman prohibition to execution doesn’t enter into this story.” Why not? Whatever makes the entire operation illegal quite obviously DOES “enter into” it.

    “This is fine logical thinking but it is a tad unique–to put it politely).” Thank you.

    “Is it an accident that verse 15 follows almost immediately? What message was the editor trying to make by placing it there?” Is it an accident that it was inserted immediately after a discussion of how much the religious leaders wanted to discredit and kill Him? What message was the editor trying to make?

    Is it an accident that verse 17 refers back to the crucial “testimony of two witnesses?” What message was the editor trying to make?

    Is it an accident that He tells us in verse 26 that He has much to say in judgment? Is it an accident that He tells us in chapter 5 that the unbelievers will be judged by the words of Moses, and in chapter 12 that they will be judged by His words? So which is it? Or is it the same???

  268. I said correlation. I didn’t think I needed to spell out all the mediating steps. Which things to take litteraly which not is a big question. Did I say “everything?” it’s not available to me but that isn’t quite what I meant. I still posit that whether one is conservative, literalist, fundamentalist, or whatever adjective you want to use is going to be a mediating factor in what gets taken literally.

  269. No, whatever the author intended to communicate is what entered the story. There is no requirement that the author utilize all the data available to his or her disposal.

  270. Does Verse 26 address the adulterous woman? Can it not also apply to the sinful behavior you demonstrate here? and all sinful behavior in general?

  271. Mark,
    Actually, the discovery turned achievement I had in mind is their sexuality: including their orientation and gender identity.

    But the same can be applied to those who, through experience, believe they have found God. For if God did not draw them, they were wise enough to choose the path they did and insightful enough to discover what they did about God.

    Now I am not speaking objectively as if they found God on their own. I am describing how those who believe that their human nature is not fallen interpret their spiritual experiences.

    And what you call my assumption is simply my observation. So the only qualification I need to insert here concerns the people, biblical scholars or not, who believe that the Scriptures support homosexuality. There is no exegetical support for interpreting the Scriptures as supporting homosexuality.

  272. So finally, a no. You could have simply said that at the outset and saved a lot of trouble.

  273. The author of John identifies himself as a Jew, as were Jesus and all of the disciples. To read any particular antipathy toward Jews into the narrative makes no sense. Most of the false charges of anti-Semitism against the author of John is due to mistranslation of “Judeans” as “Jews.” Jesus and the disciples were Galileans, and the religious leaders with who they clashed were Judeans, but they were all Jews.

    In any case, there is nothing in John 8 indicating that the woman was being “berated.” She actually didn’t figure much at all in it. Her life was not really in danger (although she may have thought it was). Jesus was the target.

    “the people here who are crying “sinner,” “the bible says this,” “you are going to burn in hell unless you change” are grossly inappropriate.” Being hateful is never necessary, but nevertheless you appear to be advocating lying about what the scriptures say about sin, and coming perilously close to encouraging the weak to sin, upon which Jesus pronounced a very stern woe.

    John the Baptist would have retained his head if he had gotten your memo and followed it. But there’s something else he might NOT have had.

    Can you think of anyone who said “The bible [scriptures, actually] says this” in either the OT or NT more than Jesus?

  274. Why is “arsenokoite” so mysterious when “metrokoite,” “doulukoite” and “polukoite” are not?

  275. I’m direct. I state my position and my reasons. There is no need to berate.

  276. I’m not making this up. Whether it makes sense to you or not, it is well documented by several authors. Raymond Brown is / was one of the leading experts on John. Why does he identify antipathy to “the jews.” You will note that I did not define “the jews” with jewish people. The term has a specific meaning for John.

    Are you honestly missing the point I am trying to make or are you being intentionally obtuse? You are not left handed by any chance?

  277. And what entered the story, as we have seen, was the Mosaic law and how Jesus tripped his enemies with the same law they were trying to trip Him with.

    I have other things to do so I’d like to know what your point in all this is? Are you arguing, like Givethedogabone before you (an atheist, btw), that the law of adultery was bad law and Jesus was nullifying it?

  278. Waiting to hear the usual Catholic hierarchy’s blah blah about loving all gay people but … but … but …

  279. Religion by its nature is a license to exclude. So why not use that license to revile and discriminate and use ugly politics to force governments to deny rights to their citizens. Nothing new in the USA.

  280. Who said it doesn’t? But it was you who claimed no judgment. And clearly there is judgment. So you have a problem.

    Unless this word of Moses that condemns the unbelieving, and Jesus’ own word that condemns the unbelieving, are one and the same.

  281. “That doesn’t mean what he is alleged to have said was right, it doesn’t mean that the texts were right” OK. So why argue about it in the first place?

  282. I am not sure why you would pair their sexuality with a grand human achievement–independently of whether or not they believe that human nature is fallen in sin.

    As far as I can tell, the Bible is silent on *homosexuality.* Whether or not it says anything about people in a same sex, loving, committed, sexual relationship is debatable. It is not explicitly mentioned. There are good arguments made to support the assertion that the Bible subsumes those behaviors in it’s prohibitions. There are also good reasons for saying that those types of relationships wouldn’t be addressed by the biblical authors. There are good reasons to say that the holiness code is something that was relevant for a particular time in history–essentially the same reason we do not consider it sinful to eat shellfish. At the time there was good reason to prohibit the consumption of shellfish and other animals we know today can cause problems if not properly cooked. There was a reason why a developing nation, who needed people to farm, fight in wars, etc. to restrict sexual relations to those that could bring children. Paul’s texts are even less clear. There is textual evidence that he was addressing public behavior that was taking place in the context of worship–something that would have been familiar when they were still pagans. reasonable people can conclude that Paul was addressing all same sex behavior. Reasonable people can also conclude that loving, committed relationships–where sexual behavior was private–wasn’t on his radar. So, no, I would not conclude that there was no exegetical support for any form of homosexual behavior.

  283. No, I said that *Jesus* said, “I do not judge anyone. Even *if* I should judge….” and I asked if it was any coincidence that a foreign text was inserted about a paragraph away where Jesus doesn’t judge. The people that brought her to Jesus certainly had judgment in mind–the very act of taking her was judgment. But does Jesus cast condemnation? No, it’s not clear that Jesus judged. Did he exercise judgment? I think that has a different meaning that the juridical task that Jesus was expected to exercise.

  284. Yet you are experienced as berating. Thus my question about whether or not you are left handed.

  285. You mean lack of other contemporaneous usage? We have no other use of “metrokoite” contemporaneous with Hipponax’s use of it in 5 BC. We have no other use of “doulokoite” contemporaneous with the one in the 2nd century tale “The Life of Aesop.” Yet we have no trouble translating them. It’s all a matter of recognizing the pattern of object-verb composition of compound words commonly found in koine Greek of the time. Plus the later (but not too much later) usages of the word found in the writings of the early church fathers.

  286. Thanks for the Link.
    I remember taking a sociology class on deviant behavior in university in the mid seventies. At that time LGBT was not a term. At that time in the textbook we used gay lifestyle was considered deviant. This was a secular university..

  287. LOL! And now you’re about to step on the toes of the “Judge not” crowd who like to overlook the exhortation to “judge with righteous judgment” that follows close behind it. Judgment in two different senses — there you go. Soon you’ll be an evil “fundabagelist” like the rest of us. 😀

  288. I am talking about the process by which we come to know–not infer–what words mean. When they are part of an overall lexicon you can see the ways words are used in given contexts. That gives you a basis for being pretty sure about how the word you are looking at is being used. Absent such a lexicon, you are making a guess no matter how educated a guess.

  289. and the “judge with righteous judgment” folks forget “don’t judge by appearances” and end up casting judgment over people they do not know and have no idea of what it would mean to be righteous–simply because they are fulfilling their christian duties to lead them away from the fires of hell.

  290. Mark,
    Again, you have not met these people by your admission. I am going by their words, not my assumptions.

    And as far as you can tell, the Bible is silent on homosexuality? Come on Mark, you know that is not true regardless of how much love is in the relationship. In fact, that has never been a factor when the Scriptures talk about homosexuality.

    And Paul’s texts are less clear?! Again, love isn’t the issue, the issue is the exchanging of what is natural for what is unnatural as Paul stated and, in Romans 1, that is defined by the participants. He wasn’t simply talking about public behavior, his emphasis was the trading of what is natural for what is unnatural rather that what is private for what is public. Or I Corinthians 6 which condemns adultery and homosexuality. Or you can go to Leviticus. And when people use the dietary laws to object to what Leviticus says on homosexuality, we should remember that God does away with the dietary laws as evidenced by Peter’s dream in the Book of Acts.

    You know that you are wrong here. And you know that you cannot make any exegetical case for saying Paul wasn’t clear or that he was concerned with public behavior, not private behavior. What you see is not in the text. If you think I am wrong, show me.

  291. Curt,
    Have you met every scholar who is in support of homosexual relationships? I have no doubt that you have met some and that they comport to what you say. But you lumped ALL scholars into that category and the fact that I have seen some that don’t comport to what you say, invalidates your conclusion. It’s logic 101. If you are claiming something applies everywhere, all someone has to do is show one instance where you are wrong and your statement is invalidated. If you had said “some scholars….” there would be no issue but instead you said “scholars.”

    Show me one place in the bible that clearly speaks of homosexuality–that is, the basic orientation–apart from sexual behavior.

    Yes, pauls texts are less clear.

  292. Mark,
    That is why I qualified my statement. But even your last comment proves my point. What makes a homosexual relationship biblically valid in your view is the love that the participants have for each other. In Cor 6:9, where Paul warns that those who commit sins including adultery and homosexuality will not inherit the kingdom of God, just as he is referring to all cases of adultery regardless of how much love the partners have for each other, he is saying the same about homosexuality.

    And in Romans 1:27, Paul specifically notes what is unnatural and thus wrong about homosexuality when he writes:

    In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.

    There is no emphasis on what is public there. And the presence of lust does not imply the absence of love.

    Instead of showing exegesis that would support your case, you merely restated the claim.

  293. I didn’t see any qualification in your statement. All I saw was “scholars who.” Did you mean some scholars, most scholars,??? In the absence of a qualifier the assumption is ALL.

    I have not articulated why a homosexual relationship would be valid or invalid. You are either guessing or trying to mind read. I am tired and I have had this conversation enough times to understand that no matter what I said, your mind is made up. The skies could open up and a voice from heaven call out, “You’ve got it wrong Curt!” and you’d simply say, No, it says here in the bible!

    You have provided me with one more datapoint that illustrates the correlation between religious fundamentalism and openness to other possibilities. We have very different approaches to how to break open the Word and nothing that I can say will allow you to concede that there may be other ways to look at these texts. The lack of absolute certainty is not the same as lack of faith–it is the very foundation of faith.

    Sleep well and G-D bless.

  294. Mark,
    I didn’t finish the sentence when I was making the qualification. I meant to add the people … whom I’ve encountered. THat was my intended qualification but the fingers don’t always keep up with the mind.

    But as for your next paragraph, you did write the following:

    As far as I can tell, the Bible is silent on *homosexuality.* Whether or
    not it says anything about people in a same sex, loving, committed,
    sexual relationship is debatable.

    Again, homosexuality is rejected as a whole without reference to the presence or absence of love. Just as adultery, which is listed along with homosexuality as disqualifying people from inheriting the kingdom of God, is listed regardless of whether love is present.

    Whether you want to agree with Paul when he condemns homosexuality or whether you want to exclude Leviticus 20:13:

    3 “If
    a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a
    woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put
    to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.

    It is the case that Paul is clear on homosexuality and that the Bible does mention it. If you want to disagree with what is written, that is your choice. But to go on and say that the Bible doesn’t mention it or that Paul is not clear is disingenuous.

    Here, the issue isn’t the absence of faith. The issue is whether we will look to God’s revelation to direct us or will we seek our own way. The former is based on the fact that man’s nature is fallen in sin. The latter admits to sin but does not believe that man’s nature is fallen because of sin. And that is what I’ve said from the beginning.

  295. Religious control over one’s sexual desires – automatically guarantees control over their wallet….

  296. If Martin did call for full human and equal rights for LGBTQI persons, it’s never been mentioned in any of the articles about him and his book. Would appreciate the website from where you obtained this information.

  297. So what? It’s still what John conveys in 7:1 when he describes (7:1) Jesus traveling in Galilee instead of in Judea because the Judeans (mistranslated Jews — as if there were no Jews in Galilee) were seeking to kill Him.

  298. Are you addressing me? Note what I said. The context of this was:

    “Martin did not call for full human and equal rights for LGBTQ persons. “He said his book does not challenge church teaching.”

    Putting those two sentences together creates the impression that Church teaching would allow for less than full human equal rights. The Church is clear, the homosexual person is to be treated with the same dignity and respect as any other person. Those are attitudes that strike at the core of who we are as persons. So no, Martin doesn’t call for homosexual persons to be treated equally. How that translates to in the civil arena is not explicitly addressed (as far as I know).

  299. So you are comfortable with encouraging men to bed (koite) men (arsenos) as they would women in spite of Paul exhorting believers not to be man-bedders (arsenokoitai) because you’re not sure that arsenokoitai are really man-bedders — even when paired with malthakoi (who desire to be penetrated)? And in spite of the Jerusalem Church agreeing that everyone, Jew or Gentile, should avoid all acts of sexual immorality, in the catalogue of which Lev. 20:13 falls smack in the middle?

    Quite frankly, I’m not sure there is any way the writers of scripture could have expressed this idea that someone bent on self-indulgence would not have devised an argument around. Lev. 20:13 reads almost as if God were talking baby-talk to His people so that no mistake would be made — I and most of my friends had homosexuality explained to us as children with “Well, it’s like a man with a woman, only it’s a man with a man.”

    Remember Jesus’ words about the one through whom temptation comes, Mark. Bye.

  300. I am UNCOMFORTABLE with you acting like you have a direct line to G-D’s ear. I am UNCOMFORTABLE with you acting in a way contrary to the gospel.
    I am UNCOMFORTABLE with your patronizing attitude
    I am UNCOMFORTABLE with your focus on other’s perceived sin while ignoring your own.
    Take the log out of your own eye before you attempt to exert your arrogance on others.

  301. I know Brown’s academic pedigree and I respect his analysis. I don’t yours. You can continue to call one of the world’s leading experts on John wrong or you can get off your high horse and admit that you might not have it right.

  302. Are you left handed? I am reasonably certain that you do not have a clue why I am asking. But if you are it could explain how you behave here and why people react to you the way they do.

  303. He doesn’t have to label himself as anything. Is he still sexually attracted to men? This would not preclude him from being happily married to his wife.

  304. Saying no would not have necessarily been out of accord with Jewish law of the time. The text of the Torah prescribed the death penalty, but well by the 1st century many rabbis were seeking to put procedural barriers to it. Rabbi Tarfon and Rabbi Akiva, who lived after Jesus but still in the mid- to late- 1st century, are quoted in Mishnah Makkot 1:10 as stating that had they been on the Sanhedrin, no one ever would have been executed.

  305. NAMBLA doesn’t exist, even within the Catholic Church. They have a different problem.

  306. “No takers, though.”

    Since by your own definition, you are right and everyone else is wrong– or ignorant as you frequently label me– or gullible, uninformed, uneducated, and easily led, as you label everyone else– there might be a reason for that.

    In your own mind, your position as a sola scriptorum girl is simply unassailable. The only hope the rest of us have is to state our positions and not let your ever-present assumption of moral and intellectual superiority, your dismissal of anyone not you, get in the way.

    I have no hope or interest of ever convincing you of anything. But then, I know that. It’s not my goal.

  307. As long as the relationship is not exploiting, is loving and giving, what business is it of anyone to complain. There is a non-genital homoeroticism in any friendship between men and other men or women and other women. Big fat hairy deal!!! If people then fall in love, who cares? Only those too afraid to be real.

  308. He’s closeted and self hating, longing for a man to love him.

  309. No one here knows what I am. Nor will I say, for that would spoil my fun.

  310. So no answer to the question, I guess? Just that I’m a big old meanie for posing it? Well, at least you’re consistent.

    This entire exchange demonstrates exactly why seminaries and Christian universities make such a huge mistake by not hosting speakers like Rev. Martin. They need to do the exact opposite — get him and as many like him as possible up to their podiums and make them answer (or more likely refuse to answer) the hard questions. Let everyone see them evade, hear the empty appeals to authority, witness the eventual resort to insult. Light is purifying, we need more of it.

  311. If you have any connection at all with academia, law or government, you are bound to know that experts are bought and sold on a daily basis. You can literally find one to say anything you want to hear, no matter how implausible. And many of those experts made a name for themselves by cooking up “new and innovative” theories that tickled the interest and imagination of other experts like themselves but have very little real-life meaning. You tried to make a little jab at me for my views being “unique” (although they really aren’t, particularly) — yet almost 40 years ago “unique” would have been a mild term for the theories and claims of John Boswell, who quite literally invented nearly all of the “other interpretations” that you refuse to present and defend. For all his shortcomings, he at least didn’t let himself be buffaloed by nebulous appeals to “experts,” since he pretty much stood alone when he put his stuff up for sale to the public.

    Learn to think and research for YOURSELF. If you did, perhaps it would not make quite as much sense to you for a band of Jews to confine their wanderings to a Galilee full of Jews in order to stay away from Jews.

  312. You still seem to think that you know more than one of the leading world’s experts? And you have the audacity to “point out” the sin of homosexuality? Right.

  313. Let us say concerning American reactionaries of today, they should be placed to work as farm labor and engaged in reorientation sessions.

  314. The lectures had nothing to do with his book. But you would have known that had you read the articles.

    The question you ask is a non question. Trust me, there is nothing that I can say that is going to drive a man into another man’s bed. I don’t make it my point to put my nose into what I sincerely believe to be strangers’ sins. Scripture nor tradition gives me permission nor a mandate to do so. If you want to talk about righteous judgement than talk about that which makes it righteous. Righteousness is not the same thing as “self righteousness.” Righteousness comes forth from the mind and heart of G-D. The same G-D who intimately knows the person that S/He is judging. The judging that Paul authorized was not a universal permission to judge strangers. He didn’t tell the church in ephesus that it was acceptable for them to judge strangers in thessalonika, or philipi, or corinth. Nor did he give permission for those in any other community permission to judge people in another. The permission he gave was correct and admonish those in their own community. People known to them.

    There is not a homosexual person alive who does not know the bible verses that have been used for ages to assault them. For you to continue assaulting strangers is unconscionable. That is not going to draw them closer to the Good News. That is what we are supposed to be preaching–not calling strangers out on what we sincerely believe to be sin. Yes, you are assaulting them. Yes, you are committing violence. Yes, you are minimizing the chances of someone having a trans formative encounter with G-D. The Bible was never intended to be a tool by which to hurt people. But you have become expert in doing so.

    Yet you treat this as a game–who can provide the better exegesis? Oh, excuse me, it’s no game because you have already decided that you are the winner. It does not matter what anybody else says, not even experts in the field. Pride is just as much of a sin as you believe homosexuality to be. Pride will keep you out of the kingdom of heaven just as much as any other sin. The essence of pride is that you are making your self out to be a god.

    If you want to be a mediator of G-D’s grace to the gay community then take a good long hard look at how Father Martin does it. You might actually learn something. Oh, excuse me. You are beyond learning anything because you already know all there is to know.

    I leave you with a verse:
    “We hear that some are conducting themselves among you
    in a disorderly way, by not keeping busy but minding the business of

    If you feel compelled to write exegetical commentaries on texts, go ahead and do so and submit them for publication. This is not the place to showcase your arrogance nor mind the business of others.

  315. Then you must be one of the 5% rather than of the 25%–or so your behavior suggests.

  316. John was written contemporaneously with the ministry of Jesus? Or do you not believe that Matthew’s target audience was the Jewish community and Luke to the gentiles? I don’t suppose that influenced what and how they wrote. I don’t suppose that the community that the author of John found himself in had any influence on how he wrote and what he wrote?

    I have learned to think and research for myself. And I come up with different conclusions than you do. It is arrogance to believe that anyone who disagrees with you is uneducated and incapable of thinking. Arrogance is a sin!

  317. If so, they they would know that female’s genitals do not extend from the body.

  318. Well put. I owe you an apology for being nasty to you when I meant the message for the bigot to whom you were responding. I’m sorry.

  319. He thinks being gay is a sin, and curse,
    a choice and an apostasy. He cannot understand that it is not. Also, a la Kinsey, sexual fantasy happens and some of it is gay in securely heterosexual people. Those who are solid in their sexual orientation accept it with a grin and go about living their lives. Those who are not obsess about it and preach about it. My favorite is thinking it would be fun to do the deed with Rachel Maddow. I don’t feel threatened by it; I think it’s funny.

  320. “practices homosexuality” is nowhere in the text. Talk about reading something into it..

  321. As someone who studied for the ministry and became a psychologist, I can think of a couple of reasons why someone might get their panties all tight when the subject of homosexuality is brought up. But sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. 🙂

  322. Whatever. I’m no more interested in cyber-psychoanalysis from you than from Ben.

  323. John need not be written contemporaneously with Jesus — where did that come from?

    I don’t suppose John’s community stopped him from being a Jew, or Jesus, or the rest of the disciples, or all of the other Galileans.

    You may have learned how to research and think for yourself, but for some reason you are displaying very little of it here. It’s mostly been refusals to rebut accompanied by referrals to other “interpretations” and experts. And a whole lot of resentment of my pointing out the lack of substance. Literally anyone can claim that some disagree. What matters is which view has the most support behind it.

    Something tells me that if the weight of the evidence fell instead on the side of the ssm-affirmers, you would be more than happy to take the position that the “other interpretations” were wrong. But that’s just me — not trying to psychoanalyze or anything. ?

  324. Well, since he doesn’t label himself as gay or bisexual, that means nobody else gets to label him as gay or bisexual either. He says that his female wife Leslie is his orientation. Who can disprove him?

    Same-sex attraction merely means you have a problem, a temptation, that needs to be addressed (and we ALL have such problems in our lives, all temptations are common to humanity, see 1 Cor. 10:13.) Nobody has to sell their souls to gay-self-identity.

    (But didn’t Chambers say something about “any remaining gay in me” in Mark Morin’s article? Yes he did. But even if ripped out of context and taken in isolation, such a phrase clearly implies that nearly all “of the gay” is no longer within him anyway. That guy just REFUSES to say what gay activists desperately want him to say.)

  325. Arbustin,
    Leviticus 20:13 says:

    13 “‘If a man has sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

    And if you are concerned about the dietary laws there, they were abolished in the book of Acts when God spoke to Peter.

    Romans 1:27

    27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

    Your concern about things read into the Bible here is not supported.

  326. Mark, who exactly made you the arbiter of what this place is for or not? Seems to me that it is a place for anyone to discuss religious news, thought, doctrine and belief — or so I’ve certainly heard from our resident atheists. If you consider my posts “exegetical commentaries” then I’ve certainly invited you to contribute as well. At least one of our resident atheists, I know for sure, is waiting breathlessly for someone to present a scriptural “exegetical commentary” in favor of gay affirmation that he can cut and paste, and you’re really letting him down.

    I know the lectures weren’t supposed to be about Rev. Martin’s book. That doesn’t mean the book can’t be asked about.

    “That is not going to draw them closer to the Good News. That is what we are supposed to be preaching–not calling strangers out on what we sincerely believe to be sin.” What makes the Good News the Good News is that it announces a way out of a hopeless state of sin. Do you remember what all of the synoptic gospels identify as the central message of Jesus’ ministry? “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”

    You no doubt would like to think that you’re not responsible for “driving a man into another man’s bed.” But constantly attacking the message of scripture with the insistence that there are “other interpretations” that allow for it (which we can never seem to pin down and examine) is encouraging people in the wrong direction away from repentance. Rosaria Butterfield has written very poignantly about how delicious such encouragement would have seemed at a certain point in her life, before she abandoned sin to follow Christ instead. And for that she has received some of the most virulent hatred, expressed in some of the most vulgar and nauseating language imaginable, from the same kind of God-haters who attempt to gossip with you ever so fraternally on the sidelines around here — and even from some who profess the name of Christ. It is a fearful thing to encourage little ones, weak in understanding and new to God’s word, to sin. If I were going to risk that, I would want to be A LOT more sure about my scriptural basis for it than you seem to be.

  327. It’s no secret that I am less impressed than is the average person by experts, particularly in this kind of field, for I know what goes into becoming an “expert” and I know how widely they diverge — which makes it necessary to explore the relevant issues and evidence for myself.

  328. Yes. I’ll never forget a symposium of psychoanalysts discussing the film ‘The Red Shoes’ which got precious until a guest, a movie critic of some note ,grabbed the microphone and said, in a crisp British accent, “There is nothing you can say that will convince me that this is not a microphone on ANY level.”

  329. I’m only talking about the Leviticus verse you quoted. The translation you have above is more accurate. As for the dietary laws, Christians abolished them, but of course observant Jews still follow them.

  330. It’s not exploring issues for yourself that is the focus of your sin; it is the concluding that yours are the only ones that matter.

  331. Oh a fine question. Perhaps the same person who made you arbiter of what the truth is.

  332. Actually something that you do not know? Read Brown. His sources are well documented. I have no need to come up with alternative interpretations to point out to you your arrogance in assuming that you are the final arbiter of truth.

  333. They’re the only ones I’ve seen that make any scriptural or historical sense. And you’ve done nothing to show that your “other interpretations” make more sense, despite repeated invitations to do so.

  334. You do not discuss, you dictate. Discussing involves listening. Discussing involves a dialogue rather than talking at a person telling them how stupid they are. No, those may not be your exact words but the message is clear.
    For any observer here, it is clear that your purpose is to drive the issue of sinfullness into homosexuals and to use the Bible as your weapon of destruction. You may think that you are saving them from the fires of hell but even that IS NOT DISCUSSING. One opinion and one opinion alone is allowed by you and that is your opinion. That is not discussing.

    Gossiping with me? Pray tell who would that be? Ben made one comment quoting a comment of yours. Granted there was an implicit opinion in his comment. Isn’t he allowed to do that if this is a discussion? Midnight made two comments and I do not see how they can be considered “gossip.”

    You don’t think your sin is equally destructive to the vulnerable? Or is it that the “sin” of homosexuality is the only one that is allowed to be discussed here? The only real important “sin?” The only “sin” of consequence? Sin is sin. You do not proclaim the good news by exercising sin. Your arrogance and your pride and your willingness to violate scripture so as to “save people” is dangerous. Your pride prevents you from seeing that.

  335. As I’ve said many times, feel free to rebut with an alternative truth and your evidence of the same.

  336. Let me tell you a secret–scripture is not the final arbiter. If you think so, you have made an idol out of scripture.

  337. I have no need to rebut anything. The evidence of your sin is before us. Why do I need to rebut that?

  338. They are the only ones that make any scriptural or historical sense–TO YOU. Is it remotely possible that the reason for that lies in yourself and not in alternative ways of looking at things?

  339. Why did Jesus say Moses’ words would condemn His listeners on the last day? Why did He say His own words, which we know of through scripture, would condemn them as well?

  340. I am not going to play that game Shawnie5. Talking to you is *like* talking to someone with paranoia. Their entire world revolves around false premises. Rebut there irrationality and they come up with what, in their mind, makes perfect sense. If their assumptions were true, it would be perfectly sensible. They have their own language and their own world view that enables them to shatter any reason or logic that is presented to them.

    Your arrogance is similar to their world view. There is no possibility of dialogue with you because you are completely convinced that your world view is the only correct one. How does that sin measure up to the one you come here to attack?

  341. So, your god is limited by what the Bible says? That is not G-D. It’s simply your idea of god. G-D, not the bible, and definitely not you is and will be the final arbiter. And G-D can do whatever G-D wants whatever is or is not written in the Bible.

  342. “Discussing involves listening. Discussing involves a dialogue”. You have given me NOTHING to listen to but a lot of whining, Mark. “Other interpretations” but NOTHING about what they are or why they’re valid.

  343. And I will not give anything, anymore, to someone who will not listen. Who treats people as pawns in her cognitive exercises. I refuse to reinforce your sin.

  344. If you think my position on the scriptures’ stance on homosexuality is wrong, then you need to present a different one and demonstrate why it is more valid. And you’ve already said you have no intention of doing that, so I can’t imagine why you’re still talking at me.

  345. Let’s see. Demonstrate how an alternative way makes more sense.

  346. I am not going to sit here and reinforce your sin. If you want to learn go read the author I cited.

  347. Because your sin is dangerous. It hurts people. People actually die from it. And your arrogance keeps you from seeing that. You have made it perfectly clear that any argument made will not stand up against your standards of truth. I will not debate with you for the same reason I will not debate with the paranoid.

  348. “They have their own language and their own world view that enables them to shatter any reason or logic that is presented to them.” Present some reason or logic and we’ll see.

  349. That is my answer or does your superior intelligence prevent you from seeing it?

  350. I am not going to play your games. If you want to be educated go read the source I cited. I am not going to debate or discuss with someone who can’t escape the world view defined by their arrogance.

  351. Goodbye, go away. Stop presenting your sin in such a public fashion.

  352. If you think my position is so dangerous, one would think you could demonstrate how it is invalid –for the benefit of others, even if you don’t think you could convince me.

  353. No, I don’t think I’ll go away, but I’ll certainly say goodnight to you. ?

  354. You don’t need my help demonstrate the validity of your sin. Do you honestly need to see citations of people who have killed themselves or tried to do so because they have been chronically assaulted by people like you? Picking up the pieces and putting humpty dumpty back together again after you’ve pushed him off the wall is not fun. Bearing witness to that pain is not fun but it is necessary.

  355. make up your mind. Is it “bye” or “goodnight?”

  356. All of what you say could be completely true, and “ex-gay” would still be a misleading term. I’m not saying he’s gay or bisexual, but I’m certainly not saying he’s ex-gay if he’s still attracted to men but has learned coping mechanisms.

  357. Are you gay? Ben is. Pretty sure he understands it a lot better than you.

  358. Your experience is different than mine then. I’m basing it on empirical observation.

  359. Do they? That is rather judgemental. What kind of help? I would assume help as any human being who is marginalized and ignorantly attacked. Those who hate need help. Those who condemn need help.

  360. Not at all Chris. They need our help to know they are rebelling against the living God and without a relationship with Him, they are in trouble – big time

  361. lol….it isn’t judgment to repeat what the Lord has taught. Homosexuality is a sin.

  362. I’ve been reading this back and forth banter on this forum for a few hours, between all parties concerned. Just remember the narrow gate, few enter thru it.

  363. You have the audacity to call your self a Christian.
    You’re trying to serve to masters.
    One as a secular psychologist.
    By giving the Kinsey report validation.
    And one as a catholic.
    Mathew 6:24.
    No one can serve, two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve GOD and mammon. NKJV.

  364. You have the audacity to call yourself a christian–you who knows nothing about me and even less of my relationship with G-D. Kinsey’s data gives validation. Just like the scientific data regarding the earth not being the center of the universe, nor 6,000 years old.

  365. You have an odd way of reacting to something you don’t understand

  366. I’m a learning Christian.
    As a Christian I’ve been taught by the HolySpirit through scripture that mankind cannot be trusted.
    Mankinds ways will destroy most of this earth and most of its inhabitants.
    Before our Lord Christ Jesus return.
    Which should be less than 50 years.

  367. Are you a learning christian or do you know all that you need to know? You can’t have it both ways. If you are learning, by definition, there are things that you do not know.

  368. This part of it has nothing to do with gender identity. Just whether a 2.5 year old knows the difference between a penis and a vagina, and who has which. And they do know — at least in my experience.

  369. So, a child cannot define why they are the opposite sex, despite the fact that they don’t have the genitals appropriate for that sex, but, we, are to assume they know what they are talking about and turn the world around for them. That’s the tail wagging the dog.
    A caring parent who supports reality, would support the sex the Lord made the child and not indulge silliness. (amended)

  370. You make the same erroneous claim that fundamentalists always make because they confuse moralism with faith. It is not what we do that is sin, it is the broken condition in which we live. Don’t profess to proclaim scripture when you lack the where withall to understand it.

  371. I suggest you re-read the last sentence until you can comply with it. There is no moralism without Christ. He taught us morals and telling people what He taught on issues is not incorrect. Homosexuality is a sin that puts people into Hell, Chris.

  372. As I said – you lack the understanding of scripture to comment. You lack any sense of theological reflection on the “whole ” of scripture. But IO will say one thing – you are very good at cherry picking.

  373. Typical comment for someone who doesn’t know what they are discussing.

  374. Isn’t it wonderful to play God Sandi? Seems you enjoy it. You forget that the Christian never says “you have sinned”. It is always “I” have sinned, or, “we” have sinned. Anything else is idolatry and playing God. I do not think you are up to the task.

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