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Church Clarity pressures pastors and churches to disclose views on homosexuality

Church Clarity is attempting to pressure pastors and churches to disclose their positions on LGBT issues by rating and classifying congregations on the issue. Image courtesy of Church Clarity

(RNS) — Jim has happily attended his church for more than six months. But he decided that this past Sunday would be his last. Why? Because he attended a membership class and discovered the church’s position on homosexuality. Jim feels this is an issue over which he cannot compromise, so he has no choice except to leave the church he once loved.

The story of this fictitious man has increasingly played out in real life, and believers on both sides of the issues have been harmed by it. Imagine a gay man and his husband are welcomed into a local church and even allowed to volunteer. Months later, however, the couple discover that the church does not recognize or support their union. The couple is prohibited from joining the church and their young children cannot be baptized. Or envision a conservative family walks into a contemporary church they think their children will like. But later they discover that the pastor has performed a same-sex wedding, which conflicts with their deeply held convictions and biblical interpretations.

I’ve heard countless stories like these from both conservative and progressive Christian friends. But thanks to a new website, these stories may become a relic of the past. Today, a new organization, Church Clarity, launched an online database that will score churches’ positions on the issue and rate each congregation as either “affirming” or “non-affirming.”

The organization claims to be neutral on the issue, but visitors will be excused from assuming otherwise based on the organization’s leadership. Two of CC’s co-founders — Tim Schraeder, who identifies as gay, and Sarah Ngu, who identifies as queer — are clearly more progressive on the issue. The third, George Mekhail, identifies as straight but serves at the LGBT-affirming Riverside Church in Manhattan. Mekhail formerly served as a pastor at EastLake Church in Seattle, an evangelical megachurch that famously created controversy when Time magazine reported it had quietly become LGBT-affirming. Julie Rodgers, a lesbian writer living in Washington, D.C., is also listed as an adviser to the organization.

Even still, CC’s mission is one that many conservative Christians should embrace. Many evangelicals have decried the theological ambiguity of some churches and have called for greater clarity on the matter.

Last year, Eugene Peterson told me in an interview that he had evolved on LGBT issues and would perform a same-sex wedding, before retracting the statement a day later. Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, responded that the ordeal underscored the need for every leader and congregation to “have your answer ready.” He wrote:

Every pastor, every Christian leader, every author  — even every believer — will have to answer the question. The question cannot simply be about same-sex marriage. The question is about whether or not the believer is willing to declare and defend God’s revealed plan for human sexuality and gender as clearly revealed in the Bible…. Evasive, wandering, and inconclusive answers will be seen for what they are. Those who have fled for security to the house of evasion must know that the structure has crumbled. It always does.

If one can set aside CC’s leadership team for a moment, it’s obvious that the organization shares a common goal with conservative Christians like Mohler: to pressure pastors and churches with unclear positions on homosexuality to unambiguously state their views. 

CC’s Schraeder told me via email that they have “scored” 24 churches so far, and another 100 churches have been submitted via the crowdsource form on the website. These will take time to process and verify before they are listed on the website, Schraeder said.

The organization’s initial efforts to promote their campaign have already created a firestorm on social media, but the organization’s leaders tell me there is more to come. They will now begin posting quote memes from well-known Christian leaders and pastors who have spoken about the need for clarity but have yet to disclose their positions on this matter.

Image courtesy of Church Clarity

One quote, from LifeChurch.tv’s Craig Groeschel, for example, says, “You are only as strong as you are honest.” LifeChurch.tv has been classified as “Unclear: Non-Affirming.” A selection of forthcoming memes has been inserted below this article.

When I asked Mekhail whether the organization was trying to use these conservative pastors’ own words against them, he said: “We aren’t. We actually agree with their quotes. We also don’t think that there is any logical reason to be ‘against’ clarity. Clarity is reasonable.”

But the organization curiously does not list any liberal congregations that are classified as unclear. In fact, the current website is stacked mostly with evangelical megachurches led by celebrity pastors. Mekhail says that this isn’t intentional, but rather that megachurches are both the most visible and tend to get away with ambiguity. 

In a time when the church is bitterly divided over sexual ethics and LGBT issues, it is, well, unclear, whether Church Clarity’s effort will create more division or less. While we certainly don’t want the “Jims” of the world to feel duped by their local congregation, we don’t want to further polarize the Christian community on an issue that is riddled with nuance. If Church Clarity has its way, the messy middle on this issue will shrink or be eliminated.

Regardless, you can expect that many pastors will find themselves on the hot seat in the coming days thanks to Church Clarity’s efforts. And this is exactly what CC’s leaders hope will happen.

“As any organizer knows, pressure becomes a necessary option when those in power refuse to engage in conversation with you,” Ngu says. “We do want to have conversations with leaders and help them become more clear, but the truth is that for some leaders, unless they feel the pressure, they aren’t going to care.”

Andy Stanley is pastor of North Point Community Church. Image courtesy of Church Clarity

Carl Lentz is pastor of Hillsong Church NYC. Image courtesy of Church Clarity

Steven Furtick is pastor of Elevation Church. Image courtesy of Church Clarity

Bill Hybels is pastor of Willow Creek Community Church. Image courtesy of Church Clarity

Erwin McManus is pastor of Mosaic Church. Image courtesy of Church Clarity

Judah Smith is pastor of The City Church. Image courtesy of Church Clarity

 

 

 

 

About the author

Jonathan Merritt

Jonathan Merritt is senior columnist for Religion News Service and a contributing writer for The Atlantic. He has published more than 2500 articles in outlets like USA Today, The Week, Buzzfeed and National Journal. Jonathan is author of "Jesus is Better Than You Imagined" and "A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars." He resides in Brooklyn, NY.

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  • “In a time when the church is bitterly divided over sexual ethics and LGBT issues…” The church isn’t divided….the world is. Christians know that Christ taught over and over against homosexuality.

  • I would say, rather, that the church IS divided over LGBT issues, splitting over and over again because it has decided some folks are more worthy of inclusion than others. Jesus, on the other hand, knew that love mattered–according to the Gospels, what we should strive for above all else.

  • This is a difficult issue that is only going to become more difficult, but the strategy described in the article may get us to a final resolution much more quickly. There is no question in my mind that collectively this will be a sundering process, and each of us will answer to God for how we formulate our personal response. I adhere to the classical view that active homosexuality bars one from complete fellowship within the Church, but I’m prepared to worship side by side with those whom I differ theologically, at least within the context of this issue. Some would argue that I can’t possibly love my neighbor unless I embrace a perspective to which I am opposed. I find that intellectually and spiritually illegitimate as a proposition. This is a case as Tyler Ward points out, Those who identify as Christians will have to agree to disagree with amity.

  • I read through the Gospels at one point, verse by verse. Where did Christ mention it at all? He didn’t….???

  • No church is excluding them, that I know of melanie. We would want them there so they could learn they need to be saved and we want them to be members of Christ’s body..

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

    9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    Galatians 5:19-21New International Version (NIV)
    19 The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

    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.

    Christ is faithful to forgive and heal us of our sin should we repent, turn to Him, and follow Him.

  • I appreciate the need for clarity, but some churches wish to be intentionally unclear so as to make room for those of differing beliefs on the topic as well as to avoid hurting others, or because the church leaders themselves are split on the issue. How will those be handled? I’m afraid that by forcing them to make a stand, they may end up alienating members and causing unnecessary harm. More complicated cases involve when clergy and congregation hold differing views – e.g. if a church’s leaders are non-affirming but the congregation largely are, LGBT Christians who may have been comfortable there may now feel betrayed and lose that support network if the church were forced to clearly denounce them, and that would be quite bad.

  • What does angels being raped by a mob of men have to do with teaching against homosexuality? Do you likewise consider all the condemnations of men raping women to be Christ teaching against heterosexuality?

  • That doesn’t answer my question; I’m talking about LGBT people who are already Christians and diligently follow Christ (and in some cases have been doing so all their lives).

    The word ‘homosexuality’ didn’t appear in a single Bible until 1946. The related terms in the 1 Corinthians verse in particular are arsenokoitai and malakoi. Malakoi is a Greek word that’s defined as ‘male prostitutes’ – so yes, they are men who engage in homosexuality, but condemning same-sex prostitution isn’t the same as condemning homosexuality any more than the same is true for condemning heterosexual prostitution.

    Scholars don’t know for sure what arsenokoitai means, other that it referenced some form of exploitative, transactional sex that was likely homosexual in nature. Outside the Bible, in its few appearances it’s often listed with economic sins like theft and swindling rather than with sexual sins. Paired with malakoi, a reasonable reading is that these were the men who engaged the aforementioned male prostitutes, giving them money and favours in exchange for sex.

    (it’s also interesting that ‘arsenokoitai’ has the feminine ‘ai’ ending, rather than the masculine ‘oi’, suggesting it’s a word that was originally associated with women; which would make sense if this were referencing prostitution.)

    It’s at least curious that Paul chose to use such an obscure term rather than the (many) common Greek terms for homosexuality, which he would surely have done if he had intended to condemn homosexuality in general. Paul was fluent in Greek, and would have known of those terms.

    I don’t know any Christian, LGBT or otherwise, who is in favour of sexual immorality. It is a circular argument to say that sexual immorality includes homosexuality because homosexuality is sexually immoral.

  • “Malakoi is a Greek word that’s defined as ‘male prostitutes'” That is not the definition of malakoi. Soranus defined it as men who desire to be penetrated (On Chronic Diseases, early 2nd century A.D.) Pseudo-Aristotle, Problems 4.26, defined malakoi as those who are inclined toward the receptive. Both Ptolemy (Four Books) and Vettius Valens (Anthologies) spoke of malakoi as males desirous of playing the penetrated female role, although they mistakenly attributed it to astrological causes.

    “Arsenokoite” is not mysterious in the slightest. It literally means “man-bedders.” There are many compound words that include “koite” which operate the same way.

    “it’s also interesting that ‘arsenokoitai’ has the feminine ‘ai’ ending” Not particularly, since “koite” (bed), the part of the compound to which the plural is attached, is a feminine noun.

    “a reasonable reading is that these were the men who engaged the aforementioned male prostitutes” There was a word for that, “pornus.” “Arsenokoite” is considerably broader, in light of the passage from which its operative parts are drawn and what we know of how 1st century Jews such as Paul understood it.

    “It’s at least curious that Paul chose to use such an obscure term rather than the (many) common Greek terms for homosexuality, which he would surely have done if he had intended to condemn homosexuality in general.” None of those common Greek terms were as broad as the one Paul used.

  • I don’t know if this is a subject that can be agreed upon within the church at large. I do believe it is one that can be reconciled between the people who disagree, those who are willing to be reconciled.
    One thing that bothers me about this are the labels that are used to identify. If a church has members within its congregation who identifie as LBGT but the church does not meet the criteria of “affirming” status, is it “not affirming”? Why not let a church say this is what we affirm and why, this is what we do not affirm and why. By doing this the individual can make his or her own decision whether or not a church is “affirming” or “not affirming”. Personally when considering a church some things I want to know about are.
    1. Does the church place a high value on grace?
    2. Does the church place a high value on convictions?
    3. Does the church communicate a healthy balance between the two.
    I can see myself “affirming” some “non affirming” churches but not “affirming” other “non affirming” churches. The same thing would hold true for “affirming” churches.
    I desire a church with enough conviction to have honest disagreements with others on these matters. I desire a church with enough grace to listen to those honest disagreements and to affirm the character of honesty.
    If you can identify and list those churches…the list too short no matter how long. That’s what is dividing the church, not lgbt issues.

  • Well, jeez, Sandi, why should I care? What is he going to do to me for not capitalizing his name ? Burn me in hell forever?

    I know! You can put me on jail for failing to capitalize his name. That will show me!

  • In other words, as long as they accept “second class” status in your church you’ll be happy to sit next to them in church. That’s mighty white of you! I suppose it’s progress that you aren’t demanding they sit in the “second class” seats in church like churches used to do to black worshippers. By the way, do they get “second class ” status in heaven too? Is there a “gay section” in heaven?

  • Sounds like this organization is doing the job that all churches should be doing. Why should any gay individual or family (or anyone who loves and supports gay people) go to a church that treats them as “second class”?

    A lot of churches are trying to hide what they believe until they “suck” there person in. Then after they’ve been there a good while they finally reveal that they’re anti-gay. If your church is anti-gay be proud of it and make sure the community knows it. Let people know before they invest their time and money in your church.

    It would actually be very easy for churches to identify themselves as pro or anti gay: put the rainbow logo on their website and the church sign if they are pro, and put a slash though it if they’re not.

    There is no middle ground on this matter. Either you believe in the full human dignity and worth of gay people, or you don’t. Either you believe gay people can be Christians or you don’t. You can’t be a little bit anti-gay just like you can’t be a little bit racist. You either are or you aren’t.

    Same thing with a Christian business, be it a bakery or anything else. If you won’t serve or sell to gay people, put a sign on the door (and your website) that says “We do not serve or sell to gay people”. Don’t make people come into your business just so you can insult them and throw them out. Be proud if you’re an anti-gay Christian business owner. Let people make their own choice about whether they want to come into your business or not.

  • Jesus did not mention homosexuality even one single time. If I am mistaken it should be an easy matter for you to correct my mistake. Chapter and verse, please?

  • Why should LGBTQ people want to be part of a religion that still treats us as issues to argue over and draw lines in the sand over our lives instead of treating us as actual people?

  • Interesting that you’re picking and choosing translations, I suppose to make sure the Bible says what you want it to say.

  • I was trying to be brief, so made a few more generalisations than I should have. I’m sorry about that. The definition of ‘prostitution’ I was using encompassed any form of sex in exchange for favours, not just financial.

    The literal definition of malakoi is ‘soft’, and may have also broadly referred to those who were spiritually/morally soft. The overall theme of the definitions lean towards male prostitution or exploitation (e.g. young male slaves kept for sex), including in the context of men giving up their bodies for sexual use for other men. The use of terms like ‘use’, ‘submits’ and ‘abuse’ here all indicate that an uneven power dynamic was key to malakoi: https://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G3120&t=KJV

    “It literally means “man-bedders.”

    True, but compound words don’t always take on the literal meaning of their roots. (e.g. ladykiller). Arsenokoitai were certainly men who were bedding other men, so the root terms make sense. But this does not account for how it’s for instance appeared in heterosexual contexts (Patriarch John the Faster in 575 AD used it to reference and condemn something men did to their wives), or in the context of men sexually abusing children. From the Sibylline Oracles: “The arsenokoitai from the north will abduct our children.”

    Neither would a simple equation of ‘arsenokoitai’ = gay men suffice to explain how the term was frequently listed alongside economic, not sexual, vices:

    “And let the murderer know that the punishment he has earned awaits him in double measure after he leaves this (world). So also the poisoner, sorcerer, robber, swindler, and arsenokoites, the thief and all of this band.” (from the apocryphal Acts of John)

    “Whoever takes for himself is accursed (to generations of generations, to the scattering of life. Do not arsenokoiten, do not betray information, do not murder.) Give one who has labored his wage. Do not oppress a poor man.” (Sibylline Oracles)

    Theophilus of Antioch’s treatise To Autolychus similarly lists vices in the following order: adultery, fornication/prostitution, thievery, plundering, robbery, arsenokoites, savagery, abusive behaviour, wrath, jealousy, pride, boastfulness, conceit …

    Hippolytus’s Refutation of All Heresies relates a Gnostic myth about how the evil being Naas deceived and committed adultery with Eve and “possessed [Adam] like a boy (slave)”, from which it claims adultery and arsenokoitia first entered the world. There’s a direct association here with sexual abuse of social inferiors. Martin Luther’s translation of the Bible translated the word as ‘boy abusers’. Throughout all these definitions there’s at least a theme of abuse and causing harm to others, not sex in the context of romantic relationships.

    “In light of the passage from which its operative parts are drawn”

    I don’t think this theory holds up for the same reason you previously mentioned – arseno meant ‘man’ and koite meant bed (sex), such that the appearance of those terms in the Septuagint reading of Leviticus is only to be expected when talking about men and sex.

    The Greek term I had in mind was paideraste, which was used not just for pedarastic relationships (though it originated there) but all same-sex romance as well.

    Whereas arsenokoitai has Latin roots – Latin words were most commonly used in the context of law, suggesting that Paul could have been referencing a specific crime rather than homosexuality in general. If he had chosen to just use Latin for its own sake, rather than in referencing a crime, there were still other words he could have chosen from that were much broader:
    – Arsenomixia and arrenomixia, mating or sex with males
    – Arrenogamia, the marriage or fertilization of males
    – Arrenophthoria, the debauchery of males

    Those would have broadly covered all forms of homosexuality.

  • Not that he ever was jesus or even Jesus; as I suspect you know full well.

    As I understand it (scholars who know better are welcome to correct me) the man who probably was the focus of the stories in the gospels was likely called the equivalent of joshua or yeshua. Jesus is a hellenised version which originated when the gospels were written down – (in Greek).

    And you’re right – any deity whose petty enough to worry about what it’s called would not be worthy of respect. Just like any deity who worried about what people get up to in private, or with whom. Gods do seem to have the same anti-social character flaws as their believers don’t they?

  • Yes – but you have to understand that the story says that he claimed not to change the law and the law he knew can be interpreted to support Sandi’s views – which must also include sanction for slavery, genocide and murder – unless Sandi is going to be inconsistent; and who could imagine that happening?

  • “By the way, do they get “second class ” status in heaven too? Is there a “gay section” in heaven?” – No, unrepentant persons who engage in homosexual behavior will not inherit the kingdom.

  • “In other words, as long as they accept “second class” status in your church you’ll be happy to sit next to them in church. That’s mighty white of you! I suppose it’s progress that you aren’t demanding they sit in the “second class” seats in church like churches used to do to black worshippers.” – Sorry, but this is a strawman argument. This wasn’t implied or explicitly stated in the comment. Furthermore, you are falsely equivocating civil rights of those born of a certain ethnicity to those who choose to act a certain way. The issue is science supports one but no the other. Seems as if you are just mad this person doesn’t share your same belief.

  • John 1:1, Seems Jesus was eternal always existing with the Father and the Holy Spirit. To say Genesis doesn’t apply to Jesus is a horrible semantical argument.

  • Yes, the church is split over unrepentant and repentant sinners. Yes, the church does make the distinction that repentant sinners can participate in full communion with the church while unrepentant sinners may be denied full communion until they repent and reconcile.

  • This argument begs the questions, does love equate to total acceptance of behavior? If someone is not following Christ are they still Christian? What is your definition of loving your neighbor? While love can be accepting it is also damaged by incorrect behavior.

  • I would agree. I attend an Episcopal church and we adhere to the tradition doctrines of Christ’s divinity as part of the triune Godhead. BUT….. what does that mean? In theory and in practice? It comes down to who was Jesus and what did He do? And that is not quite so clearly presented in the Gospels as many people want to claim. There has to be room to discuss these things, and even disagree. But while disagreeing, hold each other in enough esteem still to be on a shared journey. For no two of us, will actually agree on any particular doctrine, when said doctrine is divided finely enough. And if we make those small disagreements into the whole thing, and fight over it all, then we have lost love. And therefore lost everything.

  • “There is no middle ground on this matter. Either you believe in the full human dignity and worth of gay people, or you don’t. Either you believe gay people can be Christians or you don’t. You can’t be a little bit anti-gay just like you can’t be a little bit racist. You either are or you aren’t.” – False dichotomy, you can disagree with someone’s actions without denying the intrinsic value and worth of the person. Also, new studies have showed that racism of an individual is a gradient and not a hard line as you suggest.

  • Speaking only for myself, I am part of an amazing, fully affirming community. It is a joy to see these people each week. There is space to be myself, and cultivate my inner life, and learn. I came out 4 years ago, in my adult years. The church I am part of now, a fully affirming congregation, was a major part of healing my own broken and wounded heart.

  • “The use of terms like ‘use’, ‘submits’ and ‘abuse’ here all indicate that an uneven power dynamic was key” “Abuse” does not appear here at all. As for “use” and “submit,” does Paul’s reference to the “natural use” of the woman imply that heterosexual sex itself is exploitative? Of course not. Do his exhortations to us to “submit ourselves to one another” encourage exploitation? Of course not.

    “But this does not account for how it’s for instance appeared in heterosexual contexts (Patriarch John the Faster in 575 AD used it to reference and condemn something men did to their wives), or in the context of men sexually abusing children. From the Sibylline Oracles: “The arsenokoitai from the north will abduct our children.” Our word “sodomy” follows a similar path; it originated as a term to describe same sex behavior but is also used sometimes for a typically same-sex act done by a heterosexual couple, or to a minor. That does not change the essential meaning of the word itself.

    “Neither would a simple equation of ‘arsenokoitai’ = gay men suffice to explain how the term was frequently listed alongside economic, not sexual, vices” It makes as much sense as the listing of murdering and poisoning alongside economic vices.

    Arsenokoitai does NOT have Latin roots; it is a combination of two koine Greek words, as are all the other compound words you listed — and I would instantly suspect either the knowledge or the honesty of anyone who told you otherwise. And those words are all of Christian origin even later than arsenokoite, to be understood in light of it and not alternatively. Certainly none of them are any clearer than arsenokoite itself. Had Paul chosen any of those other combinations the exact same objections would have been made by those bent on torturing an argument for SSM out of scripture. And just imagine if he had chosen paideraste — it would most certainly have been alleged that he was “only” talking about pederasty (pais = child).

    The most basic problem with this “exploitation” line of argument is two-fold. In the first place, there is no example anywhere in scripture where “love” turned a forbidden action into a permitted one. We know from ancient writings that David loved Bathsheba and Herod loved Herodias, yet those unions still displeased God. Shechem loved Dinah, but that did not make it all right for him to have her sexually outside of the obligations of marriage. The priests returning from the Babylonian exile undoubtedly loved the foreign women they had married — yet still those unions were forbidden to priests by the Torah.

    Second, one can not successfully argue that the same-sex relations forbidden by scripture are only the exploitative ones because (1) the text does not indicate any such differentiation, and (2) in ancient Jewish and then Christian tradition same-sex relations are INHERENTLY exploitative in that they warp the creation design of God and thereby debase God-given masculinity.

  • “Because [lots of] people are attracted to truth TRUTH (Truly Repulsive and Untenable Theological Hogwash.”

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

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

  • Thinking about this a bit more, I think I agree with it in theory, but I don’t agree with their conclusion that you can just stamp “affirming” or “non-affirming” on congregations. They should have a few markers, perhaps five to ten, and allow churches to respond to questions along those lines.

    To conflate gender, sexuality, leadership, denominational affiliation, pastors views, congregational views; it just doesn’t work. Each marker needs to be addressed individually, and perhaps a grade can be given at the end if we require a shorthand.

    But I can think of lots of churches who are “affirming” but the people of the church are generally not, and churches that are “non-affirming” but the people of the congregation are. What trumps: Policy or people?

    I am all for this, if it’s on multiple markers, but as a “SIDE A or SIDE B” document it fails.

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

    16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God[a] may be complete, equipped for every good work.

    John 1-5English Standard Version (ESV)

    The Word Became Flesh
    1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life,[a] and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.

  • Not a problem Leviticus 18:1-10.
    then:

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

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

  • I gave you the pertinent scripture on what will happen to them.
    Jesus is faithful though that He will forgive and cleanse us of our sin, should we turn to Him, repent and follow Him.
    Arsenokoitai is two men sleeping together as with a woman.
    Homosexuality is described quite well in Romans 1; Leviticus 18.
    Homosexuality is a component of immorality, along with adultery, incest, best/iality, pedophilia, etc…

  • You bring u an interesting point. Rape. Paul’s so called condemnation of “honosexuality” in the orginal Greek referred to the rape by walthy men of young boys, a common custom at that time. Of course rape is a sin.

  • The angels were sent to S&G to find out if everything was an outcry about how bad they were. Abraham “bargained” with the angels not to sweep the entire area away if there were different amounts of righteous people there. (Righteous meaning right standing with God)
    The angels made it to Lot’s house and all of the men of the city came to have an orgy with the men. Lot offered his daughters to the men, but the men of the city wanted the angels they thought were men.
    Upon refusal, they tried to break into the house to rape the men.
    The angels got Lot and his family out of S&G and rained burning sulfur on the area. None of the homosexuals were invited out, showing that homosexuality is seen as unrighteous. (Quick synopsis)

  • To be consistent with the words of Jesus, churches need to forbid divorce. Thay don’t. But they bleat on about gay marriage.

  • I called you “never”. I suggest you read Genesis 18-19 for the beginning commentary on homosexuality.

  • Actually, Paul was discussing men and women practicing homosexuality
    Romans 1:26 ….”26 For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; 27 and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”

  • John, the world isn’t being deceived about divorce. Homosexuals, et al, are deceiving people left and right that they are not sinning, when the One who created them says otherwise. They are teaching against Christ, and yes, the church should be fighting back trying to get these people saved, in a relationship with Jesus with an eternity in Heaven with Him in their future.

  • It was Voltaire, I think…

    God created man in his own image. Man, being a gentleman, returned the compliment,

  • I don’t have time for much commenting nowadays but I often feel compelled to “get in” when the popular misrepresentations about scripture start to appear. If one feels he can not accept what scripture teaches about one point or another then the honest thing to do is to repudiate it altogether, not try to rewrite it. At least the former only hurts one’s self — the latter hurts others as well by misleading them.

  • Chris, they won’t help you to get to Heaven. Christ is the only way to Heaven and He taught:

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

    9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

  • You teach some things much better than I do and I suppose I should do more research on the matter. That said, I was pleased to see you hit on those topics. Thank you.

  • JP, I think Ben provides a service for us. He gives us someone to show the truth to after he has made his comments, so that others can see the reality that he doesn’t. You never know….one day we may help Ben.

  • I dunno — there was plenty of hostility directed at conservative Catholics on the “Amoris Laetitia” thread for opposing the loosening of guidelines about divorcees receiving Communion.

    The world doesn’t want more consistency from the church; it wants to see it become ever more faithless. Which is why its mockery is not to be taken seriously.

  • And you can out them in jail if they don’t believe what you are selling. Isn’t that what you said?

    And then, you can decide about whether people who don’t teach your version of Christianity, or people who have an entirely different vision of god, should be it in jail as well. I know you haven’t decided that…

    Yet.

  • Clearly, you are not a gay person. The lies, vitriol, lies, hate, slander, lies, hate, false representations, lies, distortions, lies, hate, fear, half truths, vitriol, lies, slander and on and on and on and on and on….

    Obviously sit well with you, and you can pretend it’s all about love.

    As a gay man, I can tell you I have been listening to that garbage my entire life. It is garbage. I have yet to see a person I would label antigay do anything but profess a love that doesn’t exist, profess a respect for my intrinsic worth and value that doesn’t exist.

    “We must love the homosexual. But he is wrong and a threat and dangerous if we do anything but make him live the life we have designated for him.”

  • No, dear. Just quoting you yet again, so that you can tell people you never ever said what you totally said. As in, “I have nothing to be forgiven for, Ben.” That’s a direct quote form the only Christian on the planet that can say such a thing.

  • You can read your interpretation into Jesus’ words if you wish. But I stand by my point. Homosexuals and heterosexuals can each be promiscuous, and they can each be faithful. Jesus was speaking against promiscuity not homosexuality.

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

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

  • And, as I said you’ve twisted that comment several times.
    Anything else you would like to argue about today Ben, or shall I move on?

  • Yep, gotta watch out for the ole “R & S” (reviling & slandering) gig, that’s for sure.

    But I honestly don’t see any “R & S” in Sandi’s post there. Just a brave willingness to risk (and it is a risk,) sharing the direct Bible truth about the current situation on the table.

    That’s not really easy to do, even in a religion discussion forum where God-talk is the norm. But such honesty is badly needed, all the same. Sandi said the right thing.

  • I imagine this new Church Clarity organization won’t have too much difficulty determining if your church, Sandi, or Westboro Baptist…are affirming !!

  • Armageddon is a world war against humanity and Church Clarity is just one of the techniques like the Nazis used to seek out Jews and exterminate them. It is a mopping up operation after initial success of their storm troopers. What Hitler/Hillary failed at, the LGBT will succeed at. This is written in the Scripture and cannot be stopped, only delayed. This seems harsh but I am just clarifying what’s going on.

    Ben will soon comment on why the rest of the hold out churches must convert and die out. Yes to convert is to reject Jesus.

    p.s. Thanks for showing up right on time Ben.

  • “We also don’t think that there is any logical reason to be ‘against’ clarity. Clarity is reasonable.”…

    The organization claims to be neutral on the issue, but visitors will be excused from assuming otherwise based on the organization’s leadership.

    The irony.

  • I agree there’s not a lot of room for nuance here. At the end of the day though, this website will get it’s 15 minutes of fame and no one will bother with it. Very few people will actually choose a church based on what this website says.

  • I don’t think the people who started this website want people to agree to disagree under one roof or remain in fellowship despite differing opinions on this issue. They want to stir things up. They want people to pick sides. I don’t think they’ll be successful. People don’t like inquisitions.

  • Theology makes truth claims that can reasoned to through logic, Scripture and tradition. Are you asserting all theology or just the ones you don’t agree with currently?

  • What is truly amazing about this whole thing is the obvious lack of clarity. I think that the issues that CC presents will most likely clarify things in a way that will make a lot of people very unhappy, and cause even more dissension in the church. But that’s what clarity does, and which from my perspective as an atheist and as a gay man, is going to be a good thing.

    “Every pastor, every Christian leader, every author — even every believer — will have to answer the question. The question cannot simply be about same-sex marriage. The question is about whether or not the believer is willing to declare and defend God’s revealed plan for human sexuality and gender as clearly revealed in the Bible…. Evasive, wandering, and inconclusive answers will be seen for what they are. Those who have fled for security to the house of evasion must know that the structure has crumbled. It always does.” Oh, yes indeedy, Al. You and CC agree. And by your own insistence, maybe we’ll actually start seeing some honesty, rather than weasel words.

    Especially from you. This is as close as you have EVER gotten to speaking the truth on this subject. I don’t count the obvious falsity of your usual “proclaiming the truth in love” as anything but your usual evasion.

    At the risk of being accused of repeating myself yet again– hi Shawnie!!!– I’ll be happy to make the following statement. This is no more about the Clear Word o’ God, god’s plan for sexuality and marriage and gender, than the Sodom story is about either homosexuality or is about the price of a pillar of salt. It’s about power, money, and dominion, above all else. Hyper-conservative Christianity has made a mint off of this, and the hyper conservative republican party has won elections on it, and the dominionists have entrenched themselves and enjoyed a good verbal and intellectual wank themselves by using it.

    It’s about an ancient, vicious, deeply engrained prejudice that has been hiding behind “sincere religious belief” as long as there has been religion, at least of a certain sort. It is not about homosexuality, and not even about homosexuals, but about what some heterosexuals– obsessed, frightened, ignorant, fascinated, titillated, offended, horrified, aroused, intrigued– think about gay people, and has little if anything to do with the truth of our lives. I wish my life was half as exciting and lurid as so many of these people seem to need to believe, but between all of that analsexanalsexanalsexanalsexanalsex they fanatasize about, and destroying the family, the military, morality, heterosexuality, and western civilization, and I frankly just don’t have time for lurid.

    You see, I’m a married man.

    But I have also become increasingly convinced in the past few years that the greatest part of the most vicious opposition from alleged Christians (and some non Christian politicians) comes in fact from a lot of homosexual-hating homosexuals who desperately wish they were heterosexual, but will never be… and who will do everything to deflect attention from themselves by attacking others, to exorcise their own demons by pretending that I am possessed. That’s just the HAGGARD truth, as the FISHER of men makes clear whenever he gets off– err, umm, goes off– on his favorite subject. It takes a REKERS ball to the theo-structure. You have to take a LONG view of the subject. You have to have a lot of WILES (not the minister, of course) to avoid being caught BOEHNING someone you shouldn’t. You might get your ASHBURNed on the subject. It’s just a CURTISy you extend to others with your WIDE STANCE, right Larry? It’s positively SCHROCKing, It’s practically a CARDINAL sin, subspecies O’Brien.

    Jesus had nothing to say about homosexuality, and the only two comments of his in the entire NT that might have something to do with the subject are hardly condemnations. There were some comments about porneia, which have been magicked into a condemnation of homosexuality. There is also the very convenient division of OT law into ceremonial and moral law, something that Jesus certainly did not say, enabling that bacon sandwich but passing by the equally moral commandment to slay the unbelievers in your town. So not neighborly! He was quite clear on divorce for any reason except adultery, but an actual Baptist condemnation would seriously inconvenience heterosexuals, especially divorced pastors, former speakers of the house, and Christian crusaders like Kim Davis. (Jesus has forgiven me. He always does!). And his clear condemnation of marriage to a divorced person? Well, Trumpety trump trump. Trump! would be welcomed at any Baptist church, no questions asked, because we are right back to power, money, and dominion. and Melanoma’s swell shoes, but not her lesbian porn.

    She’s the only first lady I’ve ever seen naked! But the gays! The gays! The gays!

    I could go on for quite a while– and I have– about the long list of “so-called Christian” hypocrisy on this subject– all of the things they are willing to wink at, wank at, ignore, condone, shrug off. Ecumenical breakfasts with people who hold heretical views– JW’s, Mormons, Catholics, for starters–, nay, even Christianity-rejecting views? Hey, no problem. Brotherhood and all of that, and what are few theological chasms to cross? And who cares if the Mormons have a brand new gospel that totally contradicts the old one that Paul himself said one should never, ever accept lest you be accursed? A minor theo-squabble of no importance, as long as they also agree to “get the gays.”

    And they do.

    Acceptance of the long list of proven and provable slanders and lies and fearmongering of gay people, especially of gay men? Oh, hey! No problem with that, either. We’re just spreading the word o’ god, and besides, it isn’t a slander and a lie if we really, really, really want to believe it’s true. And we don’t need to call out the people who make a living from it, even if the very passage that allegedly, in a vague, general sort of a way, condemns some aspects of what might be homosexuality, very clearly, explicitly, and without a hint of ambiguity condemns reviling and slander.

    Because really! what’s a bit of reviling and slander, especially when you can easily disprove its non-existent truth value, when you can use them to “get the gays!” I’m pretty sure that Rev. Processed-Smoked-meat-product has been far more critical of Pat Robertson than Mohler ever has been.
    It’s not at all amazing to me that this one issue is what is dividing churches and entire denominations, when actual matters of theological import– not that I think any matters have theological import, but that’s another discussion– are just given a wink or a snore. You’d almost think it has nothing at all to do with God’s word at all, but with an ancient, vicious, durable, and deeply engrained prejudice…

    uh-oh. I’m repeating myself again.

  • Here is what lexicons and dictionaries do. They provide as many definitions of a word as are known in general usage. But generally used does not mean interchangeable.

    So the word “driver” might mean “a person who drives a car”. It might also mean “a segment of software that controls a printer”. If you interchange these definitions, thinking they are equivalent, you are making a serious logical error.

    Same here. The translators decide what the best word is in given circumstance. It can be a tough choice. E.g. The word “yada” means “know”. It is used many times in the Bible to talk about knowing God, or God’s knowledge (two different uses). Very rarely (less than 10 times out of more than 900 according to Strongs) it is used to mean “have sex” e.g. Adam “knew” Eve (yada) who gave birth to Cain. Again, if you interchange these use because your Hebrew Lexicon lists them both, then you are making a grave logical error.

    I checked five translations of Mark 7:20 (NIV, ESV, NASB, KJV, HCSB) and *none* of them used the word “homosexual” or any equivalent.

    What this means is that the experts, using their Greek Lexicons, made a decision that disagrees with your claim.

    So I stand by the matter. Jesus did not use the word “homosexual” or any contemporary equivalent.

  • You know me so well! Here ya go!

    but hey, its nice to be the antichrist. I have so much power! Fear and tremble at my power, buddy. I’ll get you, and your little dog, too.

    I love the intellectual power of being compared to Hitler in so clear a way. It’s truly the best part of your screed– that my desire to live my life fully, authentically as I am made ,is just like Nazis exterminating the Jews.

    No, the best part of your screed is the part you made up. “This is written in the Scripture and cannot be stopped, only delayed. This seems harsh but I am just clarifying what’s going on.
    No, honey, the only thing you are clarifying is just how sick and twisted and obsessed you are, and what you think of the many Christians, Jews, ministers, rabbis, churches, synagogues, and entire denominations that can see your poor, shriveled little soul for what it is.
    Enjoy.

  • “. Abraham “bargained” with the angels not to sweep the entire area away if there were different amounts of righteous people there.”
    Obviously, you have never read your bible. But you do bleat on about it.

  • Clearly you don’t understand catholic teaching. I am sorry you have had to deal with lies, vitriol, hate and slander. In my personal life I have friends and family who have same sex attraction and live that lifestyle. They know where I stand in regards to the morality of their actions and I know theirs. I treat them no different than anyone else and are welcome in my house like any other. The fact that some christians take a moral high ground on this issue to make others feel, shame, guilt and worthless doesn’t sit well with me.

    In regards to the article we are not discussing the actions of an individual towards an individual. We are discussing, based on doctrine, who can be a full member in the body of Christ. Unrepentant people have always fallen in the outside category. This could mean any sin, adultery, premarital sex, theft, lying, murder and so on. Christianity (the body of Christ) is by its nature exclusive to those who can identify their faults, repent and try their best to not do it again. I would argue that those “christians” who treated you uncharitably and are unrepentant, would also fall into the outside category.

    Another misconception is that the church forces you to live a life they have designated for you. That is not true since we all have free will. You choose how you want to live. I could choose to live outside the teachings of the church, but that act in itself would no longer put me in communion with the church. I like being in communion with the church, partaking in the sacraments and receiving graces to help me along my journey. If it’s not for you then no one is going to force you stay.

  • “it originated as a term to describe same sex behavior but is also used sometimes for a typically same-sex act done by a heterosexual couple, or to a minor. That does not change the essential meaning of the word itself.”
    Except that you, yourself have agreed that the Sodom story has nothing to do with homosexuality.

  • Ben you are sounding a lot like the captain in The Caine Mutiny. Great movie by the way. “Because really! what’s a bit of reviling and slander…….”

  • All five translations of Mark used “porneia” which all the lexicons will define as any kind of illicit sexual activity, one of which is most certainly homosexuality as all of Jesus’ listeners understood.

    Jesus never spoke specifically about incest, either, but it is very specifically described as “porneia” in Paul’s epistle to the Corinthians. The prohibitions on homosexual behavior are found in the OT smack in the middle of a set of incest prohibitions. Why should it be specially excised from the 1st century understanding of “porneia” when incest is not?

  • I do understand Catholic teaching, especially the part that says that being gay is inherent, as essential to our natures as being heterosexual is to yours. That’s the part that needs to be squared, not weasel-worded.

    I don’t have “same sex attraction” any more than you have “opposite sex attraction.” It is simply Christian speak to make gay people less than, to make them feel small, to make them feel broken. It’s not a lifestyle, it’s a life. Lifestyle makes it sound like its no more important than dressing up as a Klingon and pretending you’re on star trek.

    “Unrepentant people have always fallen in the outside category. This could mean any sin, adultery, premarital sex, theft, lying, murder and so on.” Yes, but they are all winked at and ignored. Thrice married, fornicating and adulterous Newtie was married IN THE CHURCH to the woman he was fornicating and adultering with. Women using birth control are also winked at, as is every other sin.

    Here’s what I also understand.

    “Another misconception is that the church forces you to live a life they have designated for you…. If it’s not for you then no one is going to force you stay.” They’ve tried that, but they failed, as they have worked tirelessly to undermine my rights and participation in society, as they have fought against the religious liberty of churches and denominations which want to see their gay parishioners happily, legally, and sacramentally married.

  • Whatever the Sodom story was or was not about, everyone knows what “sodomy” is about when it is used in modern parlance. The same was true of “arsenokoite.”

  • Actually, exegetically it appears that she is showing you that Jesus (God) is eternal and that all Scripture is given to us by God. She can correct me if I misspoke but I think this bolsters the case that Jesus gave us both testaments of Scripture.

  • So why are you doing it to Sandi, and now me? Why do you intentionally (presumably) want to come off sounding like a jerk?

  • No, strictly speaking, I’m an it-doesn’t-matterist. But atheist is shorter, so feel free to use it.

  • The difference between me and any true believer of any faith whatsoever is that I don’t believe in one god less than they don’t believe in.

    All theology, as far as I am concerned, is bunk. That being said, I have no objection to religion per se, but only to religion when it as used as weapon.

  • I don’t see any comment in this thread where I have responded to you, but maybe I missed it.

    As for sandi, she is not a nice person, not even remotely. She calls herself a little ray of sunshine, but she is just someone else that hides very ugly bigotry behind religious belief. she’s been called out many times by many people, not just me.

    I have quoted her DIRECTLY. She calls that “misrepresentation.”

  • The gospel of John has Jesus existing and being god since genesis. The other gospels have Jesus becoming god at conception, at his baptism or at his death. Awkward.

  • Religion is intrinsically a dividing line and can be considered a social weapon of sorts, I agree. To use it to berate humans is a poor exercise of religion, I agree. However, the truth claims made in religion should be treated carefully and considered. I have done so and find good reasonable evidence that suggest there is a God. Even more so after studying various religions I believe there is good evidence that suggest that Christianity is the most true religion, specifically the catholic faith tradition. It seems, based on your responses, that you believe any theological truth to be false. How did you come to that conclusion?

  • lack of evidence is the easy answer.
    A Better answer: All of the evidence presented by all of the faith traditions that claim that they have the truth and the whole truth, and that every other religion is false.
    The practical answer: weaponized religion.

  • Whoops, I apologize. I did indeed miss it. for some reason, I read THREE TIMES that your comment was from Sandi. It’s the sort of thing she WOULD say.
    again, I apologize. Mea culpa.

  • “I do understand Catholic teaching, especially the part that says that being gay is inherent, as essential to our natures as being heterosexual is to yours. That’s the part that needs to be squared, not weasel-worded”

    That’s not church teaching (see CCC 2357- 2359).

    “I don’t have “same sex attraction” any more than you have “opposite sex attraction.” ” – So you are not attracted to people of the same sex as you? I am definitely attracted to people of the opposite sex. If you prefer I use another term I am happy to comply, it wasn’t written to offend as you suggest later on.

    “Yes, but they are all winked at and ignored. Thrice married, fornicating and adulterous Newtie was married IN THE CHURCH to the woman he was fornicating and adultering with. Women using birth control are also winked at, as is every other sin.”

    I am sorry but that is not true. While there may be cases of pastoral neglect to correct or uphold church teaching, this doesn’t equivocate to all. we can agree there are cases, Nancy Pelosi, Tim Kaine, Newt and other public figures who seem to get a pass from the clergy. I agree with you that it’s not right and should be called out. Not just the people involved but the clergy who fail to get involved.

    “They’ve tried that, but they failed, as they have worked tirelessly to undermine my rights and participation in society, as they have fought against the religious liberty of churches and denominations which want to see their gay parishioners happily, legally, and sacramentally married.”

    How have they failed? Are catholic priests and bishops constantly knocking on your door and telling you that you have to live according to the church? or are you implying that people voting their conscience are stifling your freedom to live how you choose? If you truly understood catholic doctrine you would know that a sacramental marriage is only between and man and a woman. So it seems that you want the church to change it beliefs to match yours. That implies that you are not okay with living outside the church.

  • I can understand that viewpoint. There are some bad practitioners that can ruin anyones view of religion.

    I think I already agreed with you on the religion being used as a social weapon thing already.

    I am no theologian but I know what my faith tradition teaches. In regards to the truth claim the catholic church doesn’t claim all truth, but rather a fullness of truth. By that, they mean that they have the fullest understanding of God that can and will be revealed to us this side of heaven. Also, taught is that other religions and sects of christianity have truth as well. It’s a more reasonable approach that allows us to dialogue and discover a foundation of some truth to be able to get along, even if we disagree on the whole.

  • I don’t claim, imply or infer to be righteous. Just a recovering sinner who does fall off the wagon occasionally and seeks forgiveness daily.

  • Some churches wish to be intentionally unclear to bring people through the doors.

    They know many people, especially young people, have no use for bigots and wouldn’t go near them if they were honest about their bigotry. So they disguise the truth.

    There are some churches near me that are definitely anti gay, but you’d never know it from their websites.

    Bait and switch.

  • Abraham argued directly to God, not to the angels, not to destroy Sodom if there were some righteous people there (Gen. 18:22-23). The word “tzadik” really has a meaning of “just” rather than “right with God.” In any event, the ultimate problem with your synopsis is that it assumes that the sin was gay sex, as opposed to rape.

  • Not just Easter Ham. I don’t think Jesus would be over-enamoured of anything to do with “Easter”.

    Always wondered what, were he alive, Jesus would think about the fashion for displaying the symbol of his humiliating and degrading deathly torment on buildings, or wearing it as personal decoration.

    “Yeah – thanks for reminding me about the most excruciatingly painful time of my life. I’m so glad you want to make sure I can never forget it.”

    Just as well he doesn’t know isn’t it?

  • A church I attended many years ago broke away from the Episcopal church and helped form the Convocation of Anglicans in North America. They did this because the Episcopal church ordained a gay bishop. This church once sponsored conversion therapy.

    Yet there is not one word about gays on their website, not even under the section on marriage, that even hints that they discriminate against gays.

    Even the website for CANA says nothing about gays, even tho that is why the group exists.

    This is dishonest. Lies of ommission.

    That this church and others like it hide their teaching on LGBT issues speaks volumes. They know how people will react to their bigotry.

  • Thank you for the clarification on the Lord.
    The sin is homosexual sex amongst other perversions.

    2 Peter 2English Standard Version (ESV)

    False Prophets and Teachers

    2 But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep.

    4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell[a] and committed them to chains[b] of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment; 5 if he did not spare the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a herald of righteousness, with seven others, when he brought a flood upon the world of the ungodly; 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;[c] 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);

    Homosexuals were not invited out of Sodom and Gomorrah Arb..
    Rape is not a component of “sensual conduct”.

  • Nonsense like this is why I don’t care about religion anymore and want nothing to do with you people. You Christians don’t see us as people; you only see us as a problem.

  • I am glad for you have a caring community. Those of us who live in the bible belt aren’t always so lucky. But it’s not any individual churches that outrage me on this but that LGBTQ people are still framed as an “issue” that makes me sick of it all.

  • thanks. blessings. (edit)
    Actually it is very clear. They offer an orgy and attempt rape when turned down.

  • Not to put words in Ben’s mouth, but the term most gay men seem to prefer is “gay.” “Same-sex attraction” may have been intended kindly but it makes it sound like a disease. “Do you suffer from same-sex attraction but haven’t found relief with prior medications?”

  • We are a problem. A big problem.
    In the last 40 years, they have built their entire theological house of cards on our alleged evil, our alleged war on morality, our alleged war on god, war on the family, war on marriage, war on faith, yadayadyayada.
    And if it turns out that they are wrong on this– and they are– then what else will it turn out they are wrong on? How are you going to sell a product if you have people convinced that the product is bogus?

  • No Arb….I think you are trying to split hairs. The scripture I cited for you shows you exactly what one of their sins were…”sensual conduct” does not include rape. Without the homosexual sex, there would not have been an orgy offered.

  • Well, now you’ve changed the question. “Endorse”? I have not claimed that myself, except perhaps in the most peripheral way. But I’ll answer anyway. In the passage from Mark 7:20 mentioned by JP, what Jesus *does* say is that what comes out of a man is what makes him unclean.

    quote:
    For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. — Mark 7:20-21 (NASB)
    :end quote

    This is not an exhaustive list of sins and so it would be foolish to say that anything not on the list is OK. But it is not a specific list either, and so it would be foolish to apply this without discernment.

    I have known many gay and lesbian couples who demonstrate the *virtues* that Jesus exhorts. (Or the virtues which Paul identifies in Galatians 5 as fruits of the Spirit.) In particular, I think of one gay couple I know, together for nearly 35 years. One of this couple is in a Bible study class that I am in. He is truthful, humble, intelligent, kind, honest. He is part of our prayer ministry, and I have benefitted from times he has prayed for me.

    For these reasons, I understand this passage in Mark 7 (and the passage in Genesis 19 dealing with Lot in the city of Sodom) as condemning the kinds of behavior that harms humans and human relationships. Homosexuality alone is *NOT* under these condemnations. Predatory sex, whether homosexual or heterosexual IS.

  • There is always

    “5. The homosexual orientation itself is intrinsically evil, but is not itself a sin.
    6. Since the homosexual orientation is intrinsically evil, any and all acts, whether sexual or not, by which a human person knowingly chooses to move toward, cooperate with, reinforce, or act upon, a homosexual orientation is itself a sin, either venial or mortal.”

    That’s one theologian using the word intrinsic. Ronald l. conte.

    Here’s Benny the Rat:

    To chose someone of the same sex for one’s sexual activity is to annul the rich symbolism and meaning, not to mention the goals, of the Creator’s sexual design. Homosexual activity is not a complementary union, able to transmit life; and so it thwarts the call to a life of that form of self-giving which the Gospel says is the essence of Christian living. This does not mean that homosexual persons are not often generous and giving of themselves; but when they engage in homosexual activity they confirm within themselves a disordered sexual inclination which is essentially self-indulgent.

    and…

    11. It has been argued that the homosexual orientation in certain cases is not the result of deliberate choice; and so the homosexual person would then have no choice but to behave in a homosexual fashion. Lacking freedom, such a person, even if engaged in homosexual activity, would not be culpable.

    You can’t have it both ways.

  • Lot seems to know that degrading sexual conduct, nothing sensual, is on their minds. He offers them his virgin daughters and says “do to them what is good in your eyes.” In other words, do whatever you want with them. Now why would someone confronted with a gay mob offer his virgin daughters? But to the men, “do nothing.” v.8.
    You call it splitting hairs, I call it Torah study.

  • Are the knocking on my door? Here’s ONE example.
    A few years ago, Archbishop nienstedt paid some hundreds of thousands of dollars ot produce an anti-gay marriage video in advance of the referendum on the subject in Minnesota. The same cardinal that is under the same cloud of suspicion as brought down Caridnal O’Brien and the former Archbishop of santa rosa. One guess what that suspicion was.
    And though it is not Catholic, but Anglican, the Diocese of Melbourne recently donated $1000000 dollars to the antigay ,marriage postal poll there. $1 MILLION dollars to a group that says things like, “If gay marriage is allowed, it will force teaching kids how to have gay sex” and a host of other easily proven lies, distortions, half truths, and more lies lies lies lies lies lies. ONE MILLION dollars. Exactly how many starving children did that feed?

  • You can research that for yourself. What Lot did, was show that the men wanted to sleep with the angels, they thought were men. They wanted homosexual sex to the point they were willing to rape to get it.
    (edit) And, for Lot to be distressed by the “sensual conduct of the wicked”, there must have been a lot of it going on before the angels arrived. If you remember, the Lord sent the angels to see if it was as bad as He was hearing.
    Genesis 18:20 – 20 Then the Lord said, “Because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin is very grave, 21 I will go down to see whether they have done altogether[g] according to the outcry that has come to me. And if not, I will know.”
    The wanting to have homosexual sex with the men (angels) was not a one time event, apparently.

  • What did I change the question from?
    You said that Christ said nothing about homosexuality, I showed you otherwise.
    One is not representing Christ when in active rebellion against Him.
    Homosexuality is the reason for the condemnation.
    Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed partially due to homosexuality, Chris. No homosexuals were brought out because of their righteousness – right standing with God. It is a sin.

  • See my comments to Sandi (below). I think they are relevant to your comments here.

    As a technical matter, from the point of the view of the original greek, there are NO translations. It is meaningless to count (to 5) the number of original versions, for there is only one original version. The original Greek uses the word “porneia”. As for the translations, none of them use “porneia” because all of them have to find an English word to express the meaning. So I’m not at all sure what you are trying to say at a technical level.

    Whether Jesus’ listeners understood this to include homosexual activity is debatable. The story of the centurion asking for healing of his servant might be construed as asking for healing for his male lover given the common occurrence of that type of relationship among roman soldiers. And Jesus granted that healing miracle!

  • I believe transparency and clarity is a good thing in general and particularly for this issue in this particular time.
    One thing that stuck out to me: Jonathan Merritt very casually mentions the gay couple’s surprise when they find out that their “young children cannot be baptized in their church”. Hey, let’s be clear: Most gay couples don’t have children, But yes, if they manage to create children in some way, they should obviously have the means to find out if their church will baptize them or not.

  • Ah, thanks. As I said, I showed you where Christ had a lot to say about homosexuality, where you said He spoke nothing.
    A scripture you may be interested in:

    John 14:15 – “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

    1 John 5:2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands.

    Christ commanded “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” Leviticus 18:22

  • No Brooks…..we see you as a person in need of a relationship with Jesus, and if that does not elevate you and show your importance, I don’t know what will.

  • You may not see this, but Christians are fighting for you. You are important to Christ and to us.

  • “For the Law came through MOSES (NOT JESUS) but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.” John 1:17 How could Jesus tell the Israelites to wipe out the seven nations in Deuteronomy 7:2 and then tell us to unconditionally LOVE our Enemies in Matthew 5:43-48? Is the SAME Jesus telling us two diametrically opposite things in two places?

  • Hi, Sandi.

    I have a flagrantly off-topic question for you — so off-topic that I’m not sure I should post it at all, but I have to admit I’m super curious.

    So, in this comment you have angels playing the role of God’s… scouts, I guess? Earthly agents? Is that a better term?

    Then in the passage you cited from 2 Peter, we see angels in a rather different light — not just God’s errand boys, but beings capable of sin.

    So, question: what *is* an angel, in your theology? What do they do? Why does God need or use them? Do they have free will like us? If not, what does it mean to say that angels sinned? But then if they DO have free will, why is it that they seem to enter the story only when God sends them?

    Please note that these aren’t “gotcha” questions; I promise they’re not meant to segue into some sort of cunning trap. I just want to see how you think about and reason through a *non*-controversial set of theological questions, so I can get a sense for how you approach scripture when the questions it raises *aren’t* as closely linked to our tribal identities as LGBT stuff.

    Thanks for putting up with this long and perhaps even weird set of questions — I look forward to reading your answers if you’re willing to give them!

  • There is no “male lover” in the story of the centurion. (Gay activists are counting on people not to fact-check that particular allegation.)

    It is true that Jesus granted the healing, of course. But there’s simply no homosexual relationship going on there.

  • Mods, if you’ll excuse a little off topic here….
    Hi David;
    I claim no expertise on angels. I know more about homosexuality because I have been teaching on it for several years – wish I knew as much as Shawnee – but I feel comfortable with the knowledge I acquire and seriously, acquired today with another revelation about Genesis 18 – praise God.

    The angels were not only sent to see the difficulties in S&G. They blinded the men hoping to rape them. They were sent to bring Lot and his family out of S&G.

    Angels are created beings who have seen the face of God.
    God has used them as messengers, as soldiers….Matthew 26:53 – English Standard Version
    Do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father, and he will at once send me more than twelve legions of angels?

    Daniel 6:22English Standard Version (ESV)
    22 My God sent his angel and shut the lions’ mouths, and they have not harmed me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no harm.”

    One third of the angels sinned by choosing to follow satan when he rebelled against the Lord – which no scripture clearly shows. https://carm.org/where-bible-does-it-say-one-third-angels-fell That, is what I believe.

    Matthew 18:10 – English Standard Version
    “See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that in heaven their angels always see the face of my Father who is in heaven.

    Revelation 16 – ESV – The Seven Bowls of God’s Wrath
    1Then I heard a loud voice from the temple telling the seven angels, “Go and pour out on the earth the seven bowls of the wrath of God.”

    2So the first angel went and poured out his bowl on the earth, and harmful and painful sores came upon the people who bore the mark of the beast and worshiped its image.

    3The second angel poured out his bowl into the sea, and it became like the blood of a corpse, and every living thing died that was in the sea.

    4The third angel poured out his bowl into the rivers and the springs of water, and they became blood. 5And I heard the angel in charge of the watersa say,

    “Just are you, O Holy One, who is and who was,

    for you brought these judgments.

    6For they have shed the blood of saints and prophets,

    and you have given them blood to drink.

    It is what they deserve!”

    7And I heard the altar saying,

    “Yes, Lord God the Almighty,

    true and just are your judgments!”

    8The fourth angel poured out his bowl on the sun, and it was allowed to scorch people with fire. 9They were scorched by the fierce heat, and they cursedb the name of God who had power over these plagues. They did not repent and give him glory.

    10The fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and its kingdom was plunged into darkness. People gnawed their tongues in anguish 11and cursed the God of heaven for their pain and sores. They did not repent of their deeds.

    12The sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, to prepare the way for the kings from the east. 13And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. 14For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. 15(“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”) 16And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.

    The Seventh Bowl

    17The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” 18And there were flashes of lightning, rumblings,c peals of thunder, and a great earthquake such as there had never been since man was on the earth, so great was that earthquake. 19The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell, and God remembered Babylon the great, to make her drain the cup of the wine of the fury of his wrath. 20And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found. 21And great hailstones, about one hundred poundsd each, fell from heaven on people; and they cursed God for the plague of the hail, because the plague was so severe.

    Off the top of my head, that would be my, I’m certain, limited knowledge of angels. I haven’t gone yet to a concordance, but that would be my next move… (edit)
    And then I would move along and see what other thoughts came to me on the subject and look them up. Normally, some scripture will come to mind and I’ll look it up.
    I’m certain that I have left a lot out and maybe someone else could come in with that info, but, as I said, off the top of my head, this is it.
    I don’t consider “LGBT” issues, a “tribal” identity. I have seen too many lies told to them in the “information” they convey to attempt to draw them from the truth.
    For as many as would disagree, I really want to see these people saved and in a relationship with Jesus.

  • Many Biblical dictionaries list “μαλακος” or malakos in 1 Corinthians 6:9 as “catamite” which DOES mean an underage boy. So arsenokoitais (αρσενοκοιταις) listed right before it COULD mean someone who exploits minor children. This WAS very common in that day and age. In 1 Τimothy 1:10, man stealer or andropodistais follows arsenokoitis. It was VERY common for people to sexually abuse slaves in that day and age. So I think judging by the context, that rape or exploitation COULD be a factor. Of course idol worship is condemned as well as a factor.

  • Let’s not go to the very awkward place of Jesus condoning the sexual use of powerless young slaves. It is unlikely that a Gentile who loved the Jews and their ways (as the text says he did) and was respected by the people would be a sexual profligate.

    Unless you have an idea about whose same-sex lover Jairus’ 12-year-old daughter was— who is referred to by the exact same term. There was another guy here a while back that I used to ask about that but he would always duck out hastily whenever I did.

  • “Malakoi” conveys nothing about age. It could refer to a boy, but it could just as easily refer to a man.

  • My very own Thayer’s dictionary lists one meaning of malakos as “catamite.” Many other Greek dictionaries do as well. Translating arsenokoitis literally as “man bedder” while denying other less literal meanings is like translating porneia literally as “prostitution” while neglecting other symbolic meanings, such as “idol worshipper,” which actually is the most important meaning of the word. You have to understand the meaning of the word in light of the context in which it is used as well as the larger Biblical and historical context, and exploitation IS one context of arsenokoitis in the New Testament.

  • Exploitation is one context but absolutely NOTHING indicates that the context is limited to exploitation. All male-on-male behavior is covered by it whether exploitative, nonconsensual or otherwise.

    As already noted, other 1st and 2nd century writers defined malakoi not as men forced to be penetrated but DESIROUS of being penetrated, from birth.

  • You what!

    She’s quoting a verse in the bible which says the bible is worth quoting (so what – it would wouldn’t it) and then using it to claim that a concept without evidence, need or merit is valid because its in the book the book says is always right – despite its multiple errors of fact and inconsistencies and the absence of verifiable confirmation for the vast majority of its contents.

    If you think that bolsters anything other than the triumph of illogic over rational thought you are mistaken.

  • Its not it’s bigness that is the issue; heck it’s not even its competence – it’s the unreasonable assumption that it is that needs resolving before getting into the relative trivia.

    And based on the incompetent communication of the multiple, conflicting messages all supposed to emanate from the one true deity the inescapable conclusion is that it’s either man-made wishful-thinking or the conscious and complete record of an imbecilic deity – like one that needs to put rainbows in the sky to remind it not to commit mass murder.

  • Actually, the rainbow is a promise for us to remind us that He will never flood the world again, Give.
    He created us for His pleasure; He can do what He wants. He always has our best interests in mind and that is what counts.

  • I would say that unrepentant active homosexuals will be barred from heaven in any case, as will a host of other souls who reject the explicit instructions of scriptures with respect to the way in which they order their lives. The list of prohibited behaviors which frame a lifestyle, not an occasional lapse, is quite extensive. It can be found readily in the text. That said, I do not embrace any spirit of my own superiority, I am called to repent and confess daily my own sins before God; however, contradicting the explicit Word of God is not one of them, nor is claiming that which He has prohibited in His Church to be acceptable.

  • Actually there is a lot of evidence that He existed. Let’s start with the date. It began in AD after Christ. Every time you write the date, you acknowledge Christ.
    Next, a few books you may be interested in “Evidence that Demands a Verdict” Vols 1&2
    That should keep you busy for a while.

  • Michael, I believe if a person has accepted Jesus as their Lord and Saviour, no one should prohibit them from being baptized, as Christ mandated it.

  • Spud, you cannot trust wikipedia on the issue of homosexuality. I was in talks with them on the issue and, oddly, the Bible is not credible enough for them to consider that as a source.

  • Ah, so it’s been a 3000+ year conspiracy against homosexuals now?
    Christ denounced homosexuality from Genesis to the Book of Revelation, Ben.

  • The Wikipedia reference had nothing to do with that. All you are saying is your church is not the affirming type.

  • While I’m a virgin who’s never actually been to an orgy nor plans to, I think they tend not to involve an entire town mob surrounding someone’s home and demanding they bring out their guests so they can have sex with them, only to then attempt to violently break down the door when refused. I’m curious what you think gang rape would look like, if not that.

    What do you make of the similar story in Judges 19, when the mob attempted the same thing but accepted the alternate offer of a female concubine, whom they gang raped through the night and then murdered? If that’s honestly what you think gay men do, then I think our views are too far apart for any meaningful conversation.

  • So it’s only a certain type of gay person you’ll sit next to in church. You seem to have this highly selective criteria for wha kind of gay person you’ll sit next to in church, which is basically like looking for a needle in a haystack. With your criteria, you’ll never have to worry about coming within 100 feet of someone that’s gay, much less sit next to them in church.

    Do you ask gay people about their sex life to help you decide whether you’ll sit next to them or not? If not, how do you know? I sure you ask straight people the same question before sitting next to them right?

    What qualifies as an “occasional lapse”? Once a week? once a month? Every two months?

  • So, really your statement that you would “sit next to gay people in church” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Your criteria is so stringent that the odds of a gay person even darkening the doors of your church might be 1%.

  • ‘Submit’ is used in an explicitly sexual sense here, and yes, I’d argue that Paul’s use of the term ‘natural use’ (of the woman) was exploitative given how it stemmed from an patriarchal worldview in which women were property; there’s a reason why the phrasing was changed in later interpretations.

    My bad on the Latin, and thanks for pointing it out. I can’t remember where I heard that, and it’s possible that I conflated it with a discussion of a separate passage, or where it’s a matter of the word (while itself Greek) having Latin origins. I’ve messaged the person who led that discussion; he’s a fairly conservative bible scholar and pastor with a lot of integrity and no agenda to serve, and whose knowledge and honesty I don’t doubt in the least. If there were any mistakes it was on my part.

    “there is no example anywhere in scripture where “love” turned a forbidden action into a permitted one.”

    I disagree with this, because this formed the basis of much of Jesus’ ministry. Healing someone on the Sabbath was a prime example of Jesus doing something forbidden for the sake of love.

    David committed adultery by sleeping with Bathsheba (the Bible does not clarify if it was consensual), and got her husband Uriah killed. It was evidently a deeply selfish and evil act on his part, not a loving one; likewise Herod and Herodias. Shechem explicitly raped Dinah, and I find it unsettling that you refer to rape as merely “having her sexually outside of the obligations of marriage”, let alone an act of love or possibly excused by love.

    Loving someone justifies nothing. This isn’t about whether or not someone loves another person, but rather whether the act itself is loving. If you hate someone but do something loving for them, that’s not a sin. If you love someone and harm them, it’s still a sin.

    In adultery they may love each other, but the sin still exists in the betrayal of the marriage vows and in harming the existing spouse(s). If a gay man loves another man who doesn’t love him back, and pursues it nonetheless, that would also be a sin. But if the feelings are mutual and something they both desire, any sex would become an expression of love in itself, and not a sin on that basis. It may still be a sin for other reasons.

    The example of the priests is thus the only relevant one. In that case, the sin wasn’t just marrying foreign wives but rather what had transpired for that to happen – mingling with another culture’s religion and practices. Regardless, this happened in the Old Testament, when the people were still subject to to the old covenant with all its flaws. Jesus changed that and held us to a higher Law. The New Testatment repeatedly reiterates that the greatest commandments are to love God and love your neighbour as yourself (which David did not do, nor Shechem), and if a law stands in the way of this goal, we have missed the point of what the laws were for.

    “the text does not indicate any such differentiation”

    Of course, which is partly my point: they were unaware that such a differentiation even existed. The idea of consensual same-sex relationships between equal adults was relatively unknown until modern times; while they certainly happened, they were not commonly known about. For millennia (and still today), the majority of same-sex sex occurs not in the context of romantic relationships but in the contexts of rape, abuse and exploitation, or even just wanton promiscuity. This should be condemned. What I question is the claim that the basis for that condemnation is not the common nature of such acts (in this case, exploitative) but rather than gender of the people involved. i.e. if homosexuality was condemned because all its then-known instances were exploitative, it does not justify also condemning non-exploitative forms of homosexuality.

    I disagree that the exploitative quality was due to any warping or debasement of masculinity – that mindset was a by-product of a sinful human hierarchy that considered women (and being like a woman) to be inferior to men. But God created men and women as equals, where in Christ there is no longer male and female, and it would make no sense that God would consider homosexuality wrong because it debases men – that would require God to buy in to the human notion of men being superior to women.

    (next reply may be late, since I try to avoid the internet on weekends.)

  • Full quote: “20-23He went on: “It’s what comes out of a person that pollutes: obscenities, lusts, thefts, murders, adulteries, greed, depravity, deceptive dealings, carousing, mean looks, slander, arrogance, foolishness—all these are vomit from the heart. There is the source of your pollution.”

    I don’t see it…

  • You are comparing prospective angel rapists to homosexuals. Huge leap.

    Didn’t a daughter or two get thrown to the rapists to get raped so the mob of men would forget about raping the angels? Or maybe that was another story. Sometimes I get pre-Jesus stories mixed up.

    And I still didn’t hear Jesus tell this story.

  • You also said that Christ said a lot about homosexuality. But you still haven’t shown where he said anything at all. Quoting Leviticus is not quoting Christ. When Jesus mentions Sodom, it it only in the context of the destruction that was visited upon Sodom, not the reason why. So … No. Let me be clear: NO. You have not shown any single passage where Jesus said anything against homosexuality. And in that absence you put the word “endorse” into my mouth.

    Here’s the issue. It is not a black and white thing. It is not either-or. Since Christ did not condemn homosexuality, I claim, you seem to think I believe he endorsed it, and you ask me where. I reject that as false conclusion. The you go the other direction: Since Christ did not endorse homosexuality, you conclude that he must have condemned it. NO. That is also false reasoning.

    It is not EITHER Christ endorsed homosexuality OR he condemned it. There is a third way: Jesus had a lot to say about what damaged human relationshipsm and the whole list in Mark 7:20 can be read honestly in that light. But the either-or, black-or-white type of thinking leads astray.

  • The Hebrew word is “yada” which means “know”. As in “they pounded on the door and said ‘send the men [angels] out to us so that we may know [yada] them’ “. The word “yada” occurs more than 900 times in the OT. It refers to knowledge in various forms — knowledge of events, knowledge of God, knowledge by God us and so on. Idiomatically it is used to mean “have sex” but this occurs fewer than 10 times, as in “Adam knew [yada] Eve and later she gave birth to Cain”. The context makes it clear that carnal knowledge is one kind of knowledge covered by the verb “yada”. But this usage is rare, occurring less than 10 times in the OT out of more than 900 times total.

    The events in Sodom clearly indicate that the angels are perceived as foreigners, possibly as spies. So in that case, “send the men [angels] out to us so that we may know [yada] them” seems very clear that they were suspicious of the visitors. They wanted to know [yada] the men and determine their purpose. And notice that Lot says, basically, “chill out, I can handle this”. And the men of the city turn on Lot and say “Hey, you, Lot, are a foreigner too.” They think Lot has stuck his nose in where it doesn’t belong.

    I think it is a fair and honest reading to interpret the word “yada” not as “have sex” but instead as “interrogate” which is certainly another form of knowing a person.

    [edited later:] And please note also that the King James Version does *not* translate the word as “have sex”, but renders it “know” without making the interpretation that other translations make.

    A further point. Some people support the gay sex/gang rape interpretation by saying that Lot offered his daughters for their sexual pleasure. I disagree, because for Lot to do so would be in violation of Leviticus 19:29, the prohibition against prostituting your daughter. And yet earlier Lot is described as a righteous man. So the conclusion I hold is:
    1) Lot was *not* offering his daughters as prostitutes
    2) The men of the city were *not* demanding gay sex

  • Right. Because who wants to be an “issue” for others to have to deal with?? No one. It is hard enough coming to terms with oneself.

    I came out later in life — when I was 52 — and so all I had to face was the internal conflict of staying in the closet and trying to “leave it behind”. Now that I’m out, I start to see how very defensive one can be made to feel just for being out. And I can only imagine how it would be in the Bible belt.

  • “yes, I’d argue that Paul’s use of the term ‘natural use’ (of the woman) was exploitative given how it stemmed from an patriarchal worldview in which women were property” How does “property” have a sexual claim upon its “owner?” (1Cor.7:4)

    “Healing someone on the Sabbath was a prime example of Jesus doing something forbidden for the sake of love.” Healing on the Sabbath was not forbidden by the Torah. That was a man-made prohibition, one of many which made life on the Sabbath frustrating rather than the time of rest it was meant to be.

    “Shechem explicitly raped Dinah, and I find it unsettling that you refer to rape as merely “having her sexually outside of the obligations of marriage”, let alone an act of love or possibly excused by love.” Genesis does not say explicitly that Shechem raped Dinah. It only says he “took” her (the same word used many times in reference to taking a wife) and lay with her, and thereby “defiled” her. The defilement consisted in the lack of binding covenant. As her brothers said later “Should he have treated our sister as a prostitute?” Which implies reciprocal transaction of a sort, although very rarely might it be forcible.

    Herod and Herodias’ relationship involved no murder, btw.

    “In adultery they may love each other, but the sin still exists in the betrayal of the marriage vows and in harming the existing spouse(s).” A mutually desired divorce and remarriage which troubles no one would not be wrong in your view, then?

    “Regardless, this happened in the Old Testament, when the people were still subject to to the old covenant with all its flaws. Jesus changed that and held us to a higher Law.” Jesus really didn’t fundamentally change any Jewish laws, although He did raise the bar on some of them, having given us the Holy Spirit to empower us to greater holiness. What He did was bring Gentiles to whom the civil law was never given into intimate fellowship with God. We can hear echoes of God’s displeasure with the priests of the Babylonian era in Paul’s exhortations to Christians, a body of priests and saints, not to partner themselves in marriage with unbelievers who will hinder us in our walk with Christ.

    “they were unaware that such a differentiation even existed.” So you do not believe in the inspiration of the Torah or of the Pauline epistles?

    ” But God created men and women as equals,” He created them as equals but certainly not the same.

    “where in Christ there is no longer male and female,” of course, no special privilege to one or the other and no question of unequal value. Still, not the same.

    “and it would make no sense that God would consider homosexuality wrong because it debases men – that would require God to buy in to the human notion of men being superior to women.” No, it would not, any more than the debasing of femininity by improperly feigning masculinity would imply the superiority of women to men. The debasement consists in deviating from the creation model, and the Creator’s purposes, and the special honor with which He endowed both sexes which each reflect an aspect of Himself — for the NT does not primarily characterize sexual immorality as a sin against another. It characterizes it as a sin against one’s own body (1Cor.6:18) and by extension against God to whom our bodies belong and are to be set apart for His purposes.

  • You don’t seem to know your Bible very well Sandi

    And God said…..
    9:16 And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth.

    You may be happy to think you are a psychopath’s plaything – I find the idea repulsive.

    As to having our best interests in mind – that’s the standard paedophile’s wail “I may be causing you terrible, and unnecessary, distress but I love you really and, in time, you’ll realise I did it for your good. It’s untrue.

  • Re: Dinah and Shechem –

    “When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, the ruler of that area, saw her, he took her and raped her.” (NIV)

    “And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he seized her and lay with her and humiliated her.” (ESV)

    “When Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, the prince of the land, saw her, he took her and lay with her by force.” (NASB)

    “When Hamor the Hivite’s son Shechem, the regional leader, saw her, he grabbed her and raped her, humiliating her. ” (ISV)

    The KJV is less explicit with “And when Shechem the son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the country, saw her, he took her, and lay with her, and defiled her.” ; but the other mainstream translations suggest it was rape, and it’s likely that the KJV was being euphemistic. The NKJV rephrases this as “…he took her and lay with her, and violated her.”

    I looked up a bunch of commentaries, and the incident is commonly referred to as ‘the rape of Dinah’.

    “Herod and Herodias’ relationship involved no murder, btw.”

    Yep, I was referring to it in the context of adultery.

    “A mutually desired divorce and remarriage which troubles no one would not be wrong in your view, then?”

    If this is merely a matter of dissatisfaction or greed, I would consider it wrong for them to divorce, because it would be breaking the covenant of marriage they made before God, out of selfish reasons. It would be also wrong if this were desired because one or both fell in love with someone else – that would be adultery and a violation of their marriage vows. But if this were perhaps an abusive marriage and one or both of them were being harmed, then I think it would be wrong not to divorce if the abuse is going to continue, and the abuser should be additionally held accountable for their actions.

    “Healing on the Sabbath was not forbidden by the Torah.”

    It was categorised under ‘work’, and thus forbidden. Even if it had only been the religious leaders who thought so, it doesn’t change Jesus’ message.

    “not to partner themselves in marriage with unbelievers who will hinder us in our walk with Christ.”

    Yes, though he also says that the unbelieving spouse will be sanctified through their husband or wife.

    “So you do not believe in the inspiration of the Torah or of the Pauline epistles?”

    I do, but that the writers were also writing through the lens of their own experiences. A pastor today might also be genuinely inspired by God in a sermon, but the words and terms and concepts they use to convey that message would be likewise influenced by who they are. For the purposes of that time, Paul’s words were adequate to identify and condemn the relevant sinners. There’s the law that commands rapists to marry their victims – in that time, this was meant to keep her from destitution, but we rightfully no longer follow it today because it would cause rather than prevent harm.

    “He created them as equals but certainly not the same.”

    I agree, but this is about being equals, not about being the same. Debasing requires a reduction in value by definition. (side note: I’ve never actually seen masculinity in women described as a debasement of femininity (while the inverse is common). If it happens, it’s rare.)

    “the NT does not primarily characterize sexual immorality as a sin against another. It characterizes it as a sin against one’s own body ”

    I agree, but my argument is that a hypothetical sexual relationship that all Christians would consider acceptable and holy (consensual sex between married, adult husband and wife who love each other) cannot become immoral just by changing the gender of one of the partners. Sin stems from the heart, yet all the feelings involved in that hypothetical scenario would be the same; the heart would be the same.

    Imagine a Christian couple writing about how they feel about each other and their relationship. Assuming complete honesty, I believe that it would be possible just by reading that to get a good sense of whether this relationship is pleasing to God or not, and that it’s not something you’d only be able to discern after knowing the gender of each partner.

  • The challenge of interpreting these texts is that there is far *less* information available than we would like. Thus we are left with more guesswork than certainty. Please note that I said “MIGHT be construed” and I characterized it as “debatable”. I mention it only as a possibility.

  • Nate, what do you mean by, ”those who choose to act a certain way”?

    Have you chosen to be attracted exclusively to the opposite or same sex? Or are you saying you have been sexually attracted to both men and women but chose to ignore one of those (to not take any action but to consciously do something to change how you were feeling at the time about the person you were attracted to)?

    I am intrigued by the inference that this is a choice for all children of God.

  • Which is why we’d rather know what the church thinks… then we can decide if we attend there or not really. It can help change hearts and minds to attend non affirming churches. I’ve been told several times how it made a positive difference for those in church who had previously never met a married faithful gay guy. I’m not an effeminate type of person and don’t advertise my sexuality on a badge or flag. When people see we are actually no different from them, that we can be as earnest in our fellowship and following of scripture… that changes them. Obviously there are sticks in the mud, and I see some still stuck here LOL but we are all children of God and any of us could be right/wrong.

  • way·yiq·qaḥ – took
    way·yiš·kaḇ ō·ṯāh – he lay with her
    way·‘an·ne·hā ō·ṯāh – defiled/abased her

    Frequently translated as rape, yes, but the Hebrew words themselves do not necessitate such a translation.

    “It was categorised under ‘work’, and thus forbidden. Even if it had only been the religious leaders who thought so, it doesn’t change Jesus’ message.” It was so categorized and forbidden by men, who had a multiplicity of rules which swallowed up and effectively nullified the law itself. That Jesus recognized that certainly does not mean that He was encouraging the breaking of the law as given by God.

    “the unbelieving spouse will be sanctified through their husband or wife.” True, the unbeliever is brought into a relationship of sorts with Christ by virtue of contact with the believing spouse (though not saved by association) but the marriage itself would have been contracted in ignorance, before the believer’s conversion, and is voidable by the unbeliever where it would be indissoluble between two believers.

    “I’ve never actually seen masculinity in women described as a debasement of femininity” I have, where Paul states that the (usually groomed and dressed) tresses which are a shame to a man are a glory to a woman, and their loss is as much a humiliation to her as their presence would be to a man. The point of it all is that we are to honor and glory in the beautiful order of things created by God. To honor our gender differences is to honor God Himself, for both reflect Him.

    “but my argument is that a hypothetical sexual relationship that all Christians would consider acceptable and holy (consensual sex between married, adult husband and wife who love each other) cannot become immoral just by changing the gender of one of the partners” If something as simple as choice of hairstyle or clothing can become immoral depending on the gender of the wearer, so certainly can marriage itself which has a divinely ordained purpose to which the very structure of our bodies bears witness.

    “Sin stems from the heart, yet all the feelings involved in that hypothetical scenario would be the same; the heart would be the same” Feelings, notoriously prone to fluctuation, are not the sine qua non of a marriage covenant, although ideally they are either present at the outset of it or develop within it. The one marriage the scripture describes as ordained by God Himself (other than Adam and Eve, of course) was contracted before the pair ever even saw each other (Isaac and Rebekah). The most important ingredient in marriage is the attitude of the heart toward God, the desire to seek and embrace HIS will and purposes which, collaterally, cultivates the kind of selflessness necessary for successful intimate relationship with another.

    “But if this were perhaps an abusive marriage and one or both of them were being harmed, then I think it would be wrong not to divorce” If we change “divorce” to “separate,” I’d agree, although nothing in the NT allows remarriage in such a situation. Yet you are still equating sin with “harm” to the other. Where a divorce is mutually desired and neither the parties themselves nor anyone else is “harmed” by it (and indeed may consider themselves “harmed” by the denial of it) why is it still sinful? Because of the existence of covenant, yes — but covenant is hardly more binding than the moral law of God itself, and yet in the case of homosexuality you are willing to set that aside (or interpret it away) where you perceive no “harm” in doing so (I say “perceive” because finite beings are not always able to discern “harm,” just as my young kids once saw no harm in eating candy for breakfast and required my insistence upon proper nutrition). Believe me, there are MANY couples who see no harm whatsoever in dissolving their marriages, and much harm in continuing them.

    Do you see the difficulty in making feelings the measuring stick of morality?

    One of my favorite literary heroines is Jane Eyre, whose future husband, currently bound to an insane spouse, presents this exact same argument to her: “And what a distortion in your judgment, what a perversity in your idea, is proved by your conduct! Is it better to drive a fellow creature to despair than to transgress a mere human law—no man being injured in the breach? For you have neither relatives nor acquaintances whom you need fear to offend by living with me.”
    (A 21st century argument if ever there was one! She is “perverse and distorted” for placing obedience to God and her keen conscience over his feelings and wants. Rochester could have written for Slate.)

    And she responds: “The more solitary, the more friendless, the more unsustained I am, the more I will respect myself. I will keep the law given by God; sanctioned by man … Laws and principles are not for the times when there is no temptation; they are for such moments as this, when body and soul rise in mutiny against their rigor; stringent are they; inviolate they shall be. If at my individual convenience I might break them, what would be their worth?”

    If only we could have more of such integrity today!

  • Where you are wrong is the assumption that homosexuality is defined AS porneia anywhere in the New Testament. It doesn’t necessarily mean pre marital sex, either.

  • That certainly isn’t clear throughout the Bible. It only condemns a woman who is betrothed for having sex and a man if he had sex with a woman who was married or betrothed to another man in the OT (Deuteronomy 22). Jesus didn’t seem to condemn prostitutes who weren’t betrothed to a man. The woman he told to “sin no more” WAS betrothed to a man.

  • Exactly, why would you want to attend a church which demonizes you or denies your existence as a person? Its good to be informed here.

  • Porneia is a broad term that encompasses MANY illicit behaviors. Paul tells us that the way to avoid it is for a man to have his own wife and a woman her own husband.

  • He certainly referred to it, and said that near the end of the age the world would be in a Sodom-like condition again — with similar results.

  • But then, Paul doesn’t exalt heterosexual marriage as the ultimate norm for Christians in that same chapter. The ultimate norm
    is being in the Body of Christ and cleaving to the LORD in the Spirit. (1 Corinthians 6:16-18) Porneia most of all is breaking down our fellowship in Christ. Heterosexual marriage is certainly NOT the most important value to Paul, nor was it to Jesus.

  • And besides, Heterosexual marriage itself can lead a person into porneia (1Kings 16:31), since porneia means most of all idolatry, since our most important marriage is to the LORD. That is probably why Paul is so lukewarm about Heterosexual marriage in 1 Corinthians 7.

  • No need for nuance. Either one is willing to treat gays as full members of a church and respect their existence or not.

  • “Christian love” differs from actual love in that it somehow allows for malicious behavior and trespasses upon the lives of others in what is an objectively hateful manner. The sins of others are the province of themselves and God. If one does not ask for your opinion on such personal matters, you are not entitled to provide it.

    Respect for the lives of others, actual love of thine neighbor involves respect for their lives and their ability to make personal decisions. What you are proposing is merely excuses for hateful judgmental behavior. Spite and malice pretending to be concern.

  • Ez. 16 “48As sure as I am the living God!—Decree of God, the Master—your sister Sodom and her daughters never even came close to what you and your daughters have done.

    49-50“‘The sin of your sister Sodom was this: She lived with her daughters in the lap of luxury—proud, gluttonous, and lazy. They ignored the oppressed and the poor. They put on airs and lived obscene lives. And you know what happened: I did away with them.”

    You know, this kinda sounds like America. Her churches with millions of dollars of decadence and excess. The people who look down on the poor. Ouch…

  • But didn’t Jesus say not to change the law even a jot and a tittle? So none of Leviticus should be changed. Or all of it.

  • True…overabundance usually leads to arrogance, laziness, alienation, preoccupation with self, preoccupation with sex, all the diseases of modern society.

  • It’s kind of fun, for just a few minutes, to watch Sandi and Shawnie squirming as they try to defend their absurd, insupportable beliefs in their self-contradictory and obsolete Christian myths. Their colleague floydlee is much more sinister though.

  • I would have to disagree. The dangerous one is the one with the brain, not the clown or the passive aggressive sociopath.

  • I think we should go to THIS very awkward place.

    All of the debates between Shawnie on the far right and Daniel and Paul and Curtis on the center to the near left show that despite Shawnie’ beliefs, there really isn’t a clear word o’ god on this, there really isn’t one and only one translation, there isn’t one and only one interpretation.

    In fact the entire bible is a moral mess, by any standard other than “god said. I believe it. That settles it.” Which really TRANSLATES as “I believe god said it. I believe I believe it. I believe that settles it.”

    And absolutely none of it justifies the hate and vitriol dealt out to gay people for the Crime of existing by the people who claim to follow the god of love.

  • No, I didn’t. I said it was the way for a Christian to avoid porneia if one does not wish to be a celibate Christian. But our union with Christ always comes first, of course.

  • But you’ve already said the story has nothing to do with homosexuality. So the results are… what?

  • No, the rainbow is a well understood optical effect. No god required, and your god doesn’t exist.

  • Fair ‘nuf. I appreciate your point there. I was speaking more about intent than capability.

  • Yes, religion is a disease of the mind, Reason. I’m proud to say I have a relationship with Jesus. You need one also.

  • The incident recounted in Genesis was not about homosexuality per se, no. But we do know that Sodom, as well as the pre-Noahide world, was rife with sexual perversion of all kinds, and Jesus said the end times would be much the same — with the added whammy of widespread spiritual deception. And as fire rained on Sodom, fire will eventually rain on the condemned earth. Even you probably remember enough Bible to know that.

  • Why would an omnipotent being require any such acceptance or worship?

    Seems that god you’ve made for yourself there is a rather needy, weak creature.

  • Hence you display so much hate and bigotry to the LGBTQ community…

    Your religion is shameful and an embarrassment to humanity.

  • So speaks the unbelieving scoffer. Duly noted for the 150,850th time. Now to return to intra-church dialogue…

  • Jews still follow Leviticus, as far as I understand. Christ came to fulfill the law (Matthew 5:17) and the only part of the Law that He continued in the new testament are the moral laws,

  • Again, that needy god that you’ve made for yourself…

    And the rainbow is a well-understood optical effect. Nothing to do with your anti-science religious beliefs.

  • No, your god does not exist. If you think otherwise, present your proof. And no, bible stories don’t count as proof; I don’t accept your circular reasoning.

  • Funny that your “god” can’t provide clarification himself. Nor even produce his own web presence, let alone comment interactively.

  • Absolutely – yada – as in Adam and Eve. Adam did not rape Eve.
    An orgy will not identify anyone as a spy
    Actually, there is a “code of ethics” from that period (don’t ask me where I learned this; I don’t remember) that if you have a guest in your house, you do everything to protect them. The daughters were offered, thus showing the men did not want to have an orgy with females.
    They offered to have sex with the men, then when refused, attempted rape their lust was so out of control. Further to their lust being out of control, after being blinded, they still tried to get into the door to have sex with the men.

  • Christ is God. Christ is the Word of God.
    Christ dictated Leviticus 18. Christ taught:

    Leviticus 18:22 – 22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination.
    Leviticus 20:13 – If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them.
    It is a black and white thing.
    Sex outside of marriage is a sin – fornication, or adultry

    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.”

  • It’s funny that you’re “god” can’t clarify his position himself now. Nor even produce his own web presence.

  • The people of S&G requested sex, they were turned down, they then attempted to rape the men to get the homosexual sex they were denied. When the angels blinded them, they were still so filled with lust that they tried to get in the door. Simple

  • Why not. The angels were sent there to see if the terrible things the Lord was hearing were true. This would not have been a one time instance.

  • Paul, I have no difficulty with your comment until “we are actually no different than them”. If you are practicing homosexuality, you are different. You are not saved.

    1 John 2: 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,”

    1 John 1:6 – If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.

    1 John 2:3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.

    1 John 3: 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

    Christ is faithful and just to forgive and heal us of our sin, should we repent, turn to Him, and follow Him. He taught that homosexuality is a sin.

  • You lost the argument as usual Sandi, so you really should move on. And put aside your beliefs, that you plainly can’t support.

  • We actually elevate their existence, by showing them that God loves them. We help them to become children of God, and forgiven. They don’t need to define themselves by sin

  • Previously you’ve been telling that Leviticus no longer applies, or at least parts of it don’t, in your interpretation, as long as that suits your bigoted purposes…

    Funny again how your god got so much wrong in his first version, then had to do a repair sequel to his main text, with much wrong in v2 again…

    Again, go jump that goat and burn it, but don’t eat those shellfish and don’t fall off your flat-round young earth.

  • The problem with interpreting “know” as interrogating them is that Lot immediately interprets it otherwise. He tells them, “my brothers, please do not do evil.” Why is interrogating them evil? Why would all the men of the town — possibly all the men, women and children — need to do this? Why is offering that they can do anything they want to his virgin daughters a response to an interrogation request? (Lot says of his daughters not that they are “betulot,” virgins, but that “asher lo yadu ish” — that they “have not known a man” — same root as used by the men of Sodom, “v’neidah otam,” “that we may know them”.)
    Even if you read Lot’s offer as prostitution (this would require that not harming the visitors constitutes consideration), there are two answers. (a) Lev. 19:29 had not been promulgated yet, and (b) someone described as righteous is not immune from sinning.

  • Riiight. Send them straight to heaven, so to speak. Much like Scott Lively’s plan in several countries.

  • Ahhh the power you give to Scott Lively! He would be amazed that he has so much influence. Perhaps we should have him preach around the world. Look what a better place it would be with all of that power.

  • Sex is NOT the subject of the word “yada”

    In more than 900 instances in the OT, sex is NOT the subject of the verb “yada”.

    Why are you focusing on sex?

  • >>Why is interrogating them evil?<>Why would all the men of the town — possibly all the men, women and children — need to do this?<<

    Because they were a suspicious group. There may be only a few actual torturers, but the rest of the men will be present to hear what is said. They ALL have a stake in keeping their city safe from spies, so they ALL want to listen to the interrogation.

    We DO know is that the men of the city intended to violently abuse the visitors. There are many ways to do that. We DO NOT know is what these ways were. IF sex was involved, then it would be something like gang rape. But we don't know that.

    And I think your option (a) is troublesome. Later commentators, having Leviticus to refer to, would have the same trouble I am having to regard Lot as righteous, if they acknowledge the Levitical law. And they would be choking on the story in a similar way.

    I don't think that Lot was righteous with respect to a defense like "I didn't know it was wrong to … so I thought it was OK". This is a sketchy excuse sometimes offered by children. ("Well Mom, you didn't tell me that I couldn't torture my sister.") I think Lot was righteous, in fact, because he did *not* offer his daughters for sex, but managed to meet, or attempt to meet, the need in a righteous way.

  • No, I presented reality, and as usual, you can’t counter it with any substance.

    So, Sandi, why is it that your “loving”, “personal”god keeps his sheeple waiting anxiously for thousands of years without a peep? And how come your omnipotent sky creature can’t even produce his own web presence, let alone actively clarify his obviously multi-interpreted book of tall tales in the present context?

    The reason, of course, is that your god doesn’t exist. Get over your silly Christian myths already and get with the modern world.

  • So your purportedly omniscient, omnipresent being couldn’t see what was happening himself…Yet again you trip yourself up in your absurd religious fantasies.

  • I agree that the sex would be gang rape. This was not some kind of consensual arrangement. Still, Lot was offering his virgin daughters for something — so what was that something.
    Also, do you know of instances where forms of the verb “know” are used like this as in “know a person” and it doesn’t mean sex?

  • We know that because the context tells us that Cain came along as direct consequence. Using the context, we know that translating “yada” as “have sex” is correct.

    But there are more than 900 uses of the word “yada” and in very few of them, does the context point to “have sex”. (There is even an instance in 1 Kings where yada is used in the past tense, but referring to a girl who is still a virgin. In other words, the girl knew [yada] a man without having sex with him.)

    So switch to a new context, if you can. Genesis 19 is not about sex because the context tells us it is about interrogating visitors who could be spies.

    Sandi, if you’re going to interpret the Bible correctly you MUST understand that some translation decisions are NOT obvious and must be made in careful consideration of a lot of things — context being high on the list. The context of Adam and Eve coming together is different — COMPLETELY DIFFERENT — from the context of Lot in the city of Sodom. You just can’t make that leap. And I won’t address this claim from you further.

  • Sandi’s view is that since Jesus is G-D, and that G-D inspired all scriptures, and that “inspired” means wrote, and that “Christ” is the trans-historic manifestation of Jesus then it follows to reason that Jesus is responsible for what all of scripture says.

    Unfortunately, this means that he mind of Jesus is equal to the mind of G-D (ie divorced of the limitations imposed because of His humanity). This is a heresy known as monophysitism, condemned by the early Church.

  • The New Testament documents many instances of whole households being baptized simply because one member converted.

  • No sandi, he’s no different. We are all sinners and have fallen short of the glory of G-D. Even you.

  • Yada – what occurred between Adam and Eve – not rape.
    The first attempt at sex with the angels was a request.
    The second attempt was violence.
    I’m sorry you are unable to see the truth.
    Also, for anyone to suggest that someone engage in homosexual sex with them, would have to been happening for a while, which is what the angels were sent to expose. This was not a one time occurrence.
    It is you my friend, failing to interpret the Bible properly
    There were no righteous homosexuals escorted out of S&G.

  • The man advocated death and/or imprisonment for gay people in Africa. Oh, wait! same as you!
    No wonder you want to seem him with that kind of power.
    sick.

  • Sandi has said that “I have nothing to be forgiven for.”
    That’s a direct quote. She will now chime in claiming that I am misrepresenting her by quoting her actual words.

  • So say the homosexuals. He says differently.
    Have you gone racist on us, Ben, and are you suggesting that black people cannot think on their own, too?
    If you want to give him that much power, then may he preach all over the world. Maybe a few people will be helped, and that’s the whole idea.

  • “We can begin to see love as something much more robust than a respect for one’s ability to choose how they will live (this is tolerance, which is fine in a pluralistic society, but will not do for the Church). I can understand, however, that if we simply have differing starting points philosophically, of course our definitions for love will differ.”
    I wish I had the time to write today but I don’t.
    as I wrote about a length above, the church is fine with tolerance for other religions, even if those religions reject the entirety of the church’s teaching. But let me say that I am a gay man, and wish to live my life, fully and authentically as I am made…
    without their constant denials that that is in fact how I am made…
    without the constant interference of the church in that life…
    without their political campaigns against that desire for that authentic life, while spending millions of dollars and millions of man hours to deny that living of my life…
    without their fecal bleating about love while they tell lies about my life, blame me and mine for every possible social ill, and do everything in their power to harm that life…
    without a “love” which claims to love me but knows absolutely nothing about except the stories that it tells itself to feel better about the harm it inflicts on innocent people…
    well, personally, I find that love completely indistinguishable from hate.

  • And as I have said for the 150,851st time, as long as your intra-church dialogue presumes to interfere in the lives of myself, my husband, and millions of people like us…
    you can expect me to be here to comment on it.
    and to keep pushing back until you learn your place.

  • “The people of S&G requested sex, they were turned down, they then attempted to rape the men to get the homosexual sex they were denied.”
    Again, you certainly have never read your bible. That’s the problem with your megalomania. you think you’re god.

  • And I’d say, that is quite a loving god you have there.
    And I’d say, so even though you admit that the Sodom story has nothing to with homosexuality, you’re not willing to correct Sandimonious, you’re not willing to do anything about the deliberate misinterpretation of the subject, and want to pretend its about something lese entirely.
    your delusions of moral superiority are duly noted.

  • And yet you are so corrupted by your bigotry against gay people that you fail to notice that the omnipotent, omniscient lord of the entire universe has to send the angels “there to see if the terrible things the Lord was hearing were true.”
    sad that you cannot see that this ancient, ancient story far predates the god of the bible, back to when he was a midianite storm god.

  • or more likely, that this ancient story long predates the god of the bible, back to when he was The Midianite storm God Formerly Known s El.

  • Actually, the story cannot predate the God of the Bible, Ben. He created the people in S&G who chose to wilfully conduct themselves immorally. The angels also went to get Lot and his family out of S&G.

  • Knock yourself out, for all it’s worth. As I’ve said, the world’s mockery through the keyhole is not to be taken seriously.

  • I think I actually know Paul. He is a far better Christian than you are. He is saved. He will go to Heaven. We are not saved by heterosexuality. Christ’s most important commandment was NOT that we be heterosexual but that we love one another.

  • Mark 12:The Great Commandment

    28And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?” 29Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ 31The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”
    John 14:15 – “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” 
    1 John 5:2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands.
    Christ commanded “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” Leviticus 18:22

  • Love was more important than any other law to Jesus. Law should be interpreted in light of love, not the other way around. We show our Love to God by loving our neighbor, not by being legalists.

  • Why would anyone put corrupted and dysfunctional software into their PC? Why would one put adulterated meds into their body? Why would one retain beings in a perfect universe whio will deliberately render it imperfect? The Creator’s being maintains and encompasses everything in the universe, and like it or not He is under no moral obligation to forever maintain beings who have no intention of fulfilling their roles and purposes in a perfect eternal scheme of things that is ultimately destined to be, although they’re earnestly invited to do so.

    Sandi already knows my views, and I know hers, and if we choose not to dispute certain points it’s because we don’t find them critical enough to be worth the time. Scripture strongly condemns same-sex behavior whether one views the Sodom incident as a bona fide instance of it or not.

  • No. Christ taught to love Him was to follow His commands, He was quite clear about this, Daniel. No one is asking you to be heterosexual. They are asking you to refrain from immorality.

  • And some of us are forgiven, and some fail to follow Christ, and are lost, mark.
    Christ is faithful to forgive and cleanse us of our sin, should we repent, turn to Him, and follow Him.

  • It’s not mockery. It’s disagreement.

    And you don’t take it seriously because you consider anyone who doesn’t agree with you to be beneath you. That much is obvious.

  • You don’t find it critical enough to be worth the time because The only subject that seems interest either of you is homosexuality, and WE’RE not worth your time. Her consistent misrepresentations and her obvious bigotry against gay people, her constant reviling and slandering, are not “sins” that are worth your time.

    Have a nice day.

  • It’s both disagreement AND mockery — consistently. And I don’t take it seriously because Jesus instructed us not to. The world hates Him, and the natural fallen man can not receive the things of His Spirit.

  • Whether or not anyone is forgiven is not your call to make.
    Even some who think they are following Jesus, saying all the right words, etc., are going to find themselves lost. Presuming that you are not in that group is a dangerous path to follow.

  • 1 John 2: 4 Whoever says “I know him” but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him,”
    1 John 1:6 – If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth.
    1 John 2:3 And by this we know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commandments.

    1 John 3: 7 Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. 8 He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God.

  • I did forget my main point. sorry, but sometimes, I just can’t help myself.
    “He is under no moral obligation to forever maintain beings who have no intention of fulfilling their roles and purposes in a perfect eternal scheme of things” Somehow, though omnipotent, omniscient, and omnipresent, he couldn’t manage to create that perfect and eternal scheme of things. Not when he began, not hen he began it over, and not when we proved to be so awful that we made him kill himself.
    Major design flaw, not in his perfect scheme, but in him. His creator should go back to the eternal Drawing Board and start over. Or, possibly, your entire ascription of his perfection, goodness, and righteousness is just hogwash.

    If your ultimately powerful and loving god were truly as upset as you are about man’s lack of perfection, he would have the option of simply snapping his finger, or whatever appendage he uses for the purpose, and wink it all out of existence. but no. According to you, the only solution he has is to rain fire, death, and destruction on people, making them suffer as only he can. not only vicious, but not very bright, and quite the Lord of Vengeance…
    upon innocent people for his own failings.
    And you wonder why I am an atheist, and always here to speak about those “intra-church dialogues.”

  • The Amoris Laetitia thread. Supposedly Catholicism is “spreading like wildfire in Africa,” but receding in the “civilized” world.

  • I’m interested in lots of topics. Politics, economics, history, education, linguistics… as far as the Bible is concerned I love to explore early church history, biblical archaeology, annihilationism, eschatology, the Trinity — all fascinating. But the gay seems to be the only thing around here that gets a discussion going, sadly. It certainly seems to be all YOU want to talk about, no matter the given columnist’s starting point.

  • I know what the Bible says sandi. I am also aware that these types of quotes only demonstrates that you know how to quote scripture rather than understand what scripture is trying to teach us.

  • Based on your interactions with people here, and comparing those interactions with how Jesus commands us to relate to people, one could reasonably conclude that you are walking in darkness.

  • For reasons that are not always clear to finite beings, it seems to be important to the Creator for His creatures to have the ability to choose, and for His universe to ultimately be populated with beings who actually wish to be there.

    But as far as “making them suffer” goes, scripture doesn’t seem to indicate that much suffering will be involved upon Christ’s return. We are told that the fire Jesus releases upon His remaining earthly enemies will consume them while they still stand on their feet, far too quickly for pain. Kind of like snapping a finger…

  • He said “act a certain way” not “experience certain temptations.” Our desires do not define us. But our actions do.

  • 1 John 3English Standard Version (ESV)
    3 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

  • I am aware what the Bible says sandi. I am also aware that simply quoting the Bible without modeling your life after that of Jesus makes one a hypocrite

  • I know what the bible says floydlee and I also know that people who quote the bible without modeling their lives after that of Jesus are hypocrites.

  • NO, your church DOES NOT affirm any LGBT.
    You’ve called me horrendous things falsely and I can imagine that you’ve done the same to countless more.
    Shame on you for not affirming LGBT Christians and seekers!

  • I see and appreciate your point about being a light. I really do.
    That definitely has changed some hearts in some people we each have known from our past. I completely agree that it’s important that others stop viewing us as an “issue” for them to “solve” and see us as equal human beings, also made beautifully the way we are in the image of God.

    We had hopes for that at our first church as a married lesbian couple. The priest affirmed us, the vestry affirmed us and many people in the church did as well. We thought we were “home”.

    But the fearful and misguided started a campaign to remove our priest and made it clear that we, and the few other LGBT members, were not welcome. It became a horrible nightmare, caused completely by the scare tactics of those unwilling to reach out in love to their own brothers and sisters in Christ.

    The church experienced a mass exodus. The priest is now with another parish who is grateful to have her godly wisdom and leadership. The vestry leadership that supported LGBT all left and are attending various parishes in the local area. We and many parishioners left as well and are now happily at a church that is truly committed to really LIVING the Love of Christ — not just toward LGBT, but to many other marginalized people from all walks of life: disabled, wealthy and poor, multi-racial, immigrants and refugees, everyone. We are ALL one in Christ Jesus.

  • Well said, Daniel.
    Again, Sandi misunderstands that being born LGBT is the way God made us. We’re not sinning, made in His image.

  • If a person “models their lives after that of Jesus” (which is the right thing to do, of course), then according to 1 Cor. 6:9-11 and 1 Cor. 10:13, that person cannot engage in homosexual behavior and gay marriage, nor can that person pretend that Jesus allows for it.

    Indeed, in 6:11, Jesus is the Savior that washes, cleans up, sanctifies, purifies and justifies a person AWAY FROM any homosexual behavior and gay marriage. He don’t allow for it.

    Total separation and cleansing from the gay life, just like He clearly did for the Corinthians. You agree?

  • No, it’s ALL “the Law” — you like to wriggle around, say that it’s all applicable — but whenever it comes close to you, suddenly it’s a “moral” Law or a “civil” Law. Nice job picking and choosing! What happened, change your mind… again?

  • I’m sorry you are unable to see facts.

    900 times where “yada” does NOT mean “have sex”?

    It is you, my “friend”, who have not responded to the facts of Scripture. You have given no cogent argument why the attack by the angels is sex. Zero. You just flatly state your claim.

    Well….. you can make anything “true” if you ignore facts that you don’t like.

  • No, please don’t try to pin that gay stuff on God. Don’t spit in His face like that. Come up with some other excuse or lie if need be. Blame science, parents, blame it on bread mold if you have to.

    But leave God outta that gay sin mess. God didn’t put that on you. God sent Jesus to RESCUE you from that stuff (1 Cor. 6:9-11). You got a living Alternative, a living Exit Ramp. Let Him help out.

  • I said model one’s life after Jesus; that would include using scripture as a tool to keep people in line.
    I didn’t say model one’s life after Paul
    I don’t see Jesus of the gospels doing any of the things you describe.

  • “”For the Law came through MOSES (NOT JESUS) but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.”
    John 1:17

    SO MUCH THIS! ^^^

  • correction:
    I said model one’s life after Jesus; that would include not using scripture as a tool to keep people in line.
    I didn’t say model one’s life after Paul
    I don’t see Jesus of the gospels doing any of the things you describe.

    How do you delete/edit a posting?

  • Except if the woman “doesn’t cry out in the city”… (ask Sandi, she thinks Jesus approves of everything in the OT). Then, the RAPIST only has to pay the victim’s father some money and whoosh! — it’s all good again.

    Except for the girl who was raped.

    Is that “OK”, JP?

  • I wish she would listen to you… but sadly, she’s got her script and that’s all she knows or *wants* to know. 🙁

  • WRONG.
    Male-male rape was a humiliation tactic often used by conquering armies to subjugate the defeated men. The attempted rape of the travelers was clearly in this line of violence. ALL of the men of the city came to Lot’s door — young and old, ALL of them. There is NO WAY that the ENTIRE TOWN was gay!

    Learn some history for once.

  • Sorry, Floyd, but you don’t speak for God.
    Tell us exactly when you stopped being romantically attracted to men and “chose” to be attracted to women?

  • She sees it; she just doesn’t care.
    It amazes me how these idiots begin their arguments with the Old Testament or with Paul. They forget that Paul didn’t begin writing until after he had become immersed in the mystery of the person of Jesus. That is what our faith is grounded on and unless we have a radical awareness of who Jesus was and how he lived, nothing in the Bible is going to make any sense.

  • Exactly, Mark. They want to define Christ in their image of how they think He should be, so they can check off all the legal boxes that make them feel good about themselves — while pointedly ignoring the clear call of Christ to live a NEW way, a Way of Love as He taught us.

    You are completely correct about our faith and that the bible *must* be read in light of Christ, and not the other way around.

  • One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
    — Matthew 22:35-40 (NIV)

    The “greatest” commandments means that all other commandments are to be understood as subsidiary. If you want to enact a lesser commandment (for example, the laws of eating clean food) and you cannot link it to these two commandments, then the lesser commandment will not help you, and following it is a mere legalism.

    For example. A person who sincerely wishes to honor God by eating according to Leviticus, will be abiding by the Great Commandment. A person who keeps the detail of the law out of pride, perhaps believing that he is “doing everything right” is merely a legalist.

    For example: A person who wishes to act according to the best dictates of his conscience, and avoid eating food offered to idols, is righteous, because he is acting in good faith. (See Paul’s comments) But a person who is confident that God has transformed him and trusts that he is now free in Christ to eat any food that nourishes him, is also righteous. (See Mark 18)

    Love comes first. Law comes second. The law must conform to Love. Not Love to the law.

  • Yes the were. But they were also a lot worse than just gay.
    Why did God/Jesus destroy them?
    Was Lots wife actually turned into a pillar of salt?

  • Hello. A Christian friend gave me some great advice ( genie 7 ).
    Plant the Lords seeds and move on.
    Let the HolySpirit do His work.
    I know it’s a little hard to move on when they are so very lost.
    But we have to try. So we can talk to others for our Lord.
    Ones that may listen.
    Peace.

  • “…Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” – Matthew 4:17

    BIBLICAL SUMMARY OF HOMOSEXUALITY

    • A wicked act (Genesis 19:7) (Judges 19:23)
    • Burning lust (Genesis 19:9,11) (Judges 19:25) (Romans 1:27)
    • An abomination (Leviticus 18:22, 26-30) (Leviticus 20:13) (Deuteronomy 12:31) (Deuteronomy 20:18) (Deuteronomy 23:18) (I Kings 14:24) (II Chronicles 34:33) (II Chronicles 36:14) (Ezra 9:1) (Ezekiel 16:50) (Revelation 21:27)
    • An act that defiles (Leviticus 18:24-30) (1 Timothy 1:10) (Jude 1:8)
    • An abominable custom (Leviticus 18:30)
    • An act God hates (Deuteronomy 12:31)
    • Performed to false gods (Deuteronomy 12:31) (Deuteronomy 20:18)
    • A sodomite (Deut. 23:17) (I Kings 14:24) (I Kings 15:12) (I Kings 22:46) (II Kings 23:7)
    • Likened to a dog (Deuteronomy 23:18) (Revelation 22:15)
    • Associated with Belial (Judges 19:22)
    • Folly (Judges 19:23)
    • A vile act/vile affection (Judges 19:24) (Romans 1:26)
    • An abusive act (Judges 19:25) (1 Corinthians 6:9)
    • An implication of idolatry (I Kings 14:23) (Romans 1:23-25)
    • An act that dishonors one’s body (Romans 1:24)
    • An act against nature (Romans 1:26-27)
    • Named amongst the unrighteous (I Corinthians 6:9) (I Timothy 1:9)
    • Pursuing strange flesh (Jude 1:7)

    Those that practice it shall not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven
    (Rom. 1:32; I Cor 6:9-10; Jude 1:7; Jude 1:13; Rev. 21:8; Rev. 21:27; Rev. 22:15)

    “And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.” – I Corinthians 6:11

  • @sandiluckins:disqus

    Agreed with D.M.S. here, sister. The Word is what is being contended with, which is sharper than any twoedged sword and pierces even to the dividing asunder of one’s soul and spirit.

    Plant and water seeds, while patiently enduring the fiery darts of those who show their true heart attitude when the Word is presented. Let the “old man” die, as the world points us to our cross.

    Pray for the lost and prepare for the days ahead. As a fig tree’s leaves change with the seasons, so also are we entering into a season like no other. A time of increasing darkness is upon us; yet our Redemption draweth nigh. Endure hardness like a soldier and let us finish the race that is set before us.

    I plead His precious, eternal covenant blood over this message.

  • That is what they want. True. But……….. they are setting themselves up as arbiters of LGBT inclusiveness … aren’t they? I have deeply mixed feelings about outside folk coming in and deciding what inside folk believe.

  • You said “the rainbow is a promise for us to remind us that He will never flood the world again”

    The Bible states that God said he “will look upon it, that I may remember the everlasting covenant “.

    Your statement is a little bit true in the reminder would be a consequence of your god’s action, but it wasn’t the reason for it; you elevated the consequence to the status of reason because the you consider the reason to be, to you, unacceptable.

    Inescapable conclusion – at that time god knew his memory was failing and tried to avoid forgetting that he had decided not to be a mass-murderer – in that fashion – ever again.

    Reality check – we know why rainbows exist – it’s to do with the differential reflection of light when it hits raindrops – it’s not only natural (non-god) it’s also, assuming you’re standing in the right place, inevitable.

  • The problem with this is that you are making a lot of quotes out of context. For instance, Jude 6 means OTHER (heteras) flesh, which means angels. The “Sodomite” in Deuteronomy 23:17 as well as the Kings texts you quote is a male cult prostitute. This, along with female cult prostitution was condemned because it involved the worship of other Gods. Revelation doesn’t use any language to suggest homosexual acts, except that it might use language to suggest male cult prostitutes, since it uses the term “dog” in 22:15, a term used to refer to male cult prostitutes in Deuteronomy 23:18. There is some evidence that cult prostitutes didn’t really perform sex acts anyway. Long hair in men in 1 Corinthians 11:14 uses the same Greek word as Romans 1:26-27 to say it was “unnatural.” And the same Hebrew word is used to call unclean meats “abominations” in Deuteronomy 14:2 as in Leviticus 20:13. Judges 19:23 is in the context of violent rape, which ended up with the violent heterosexual rape of a concubine. Judges 19 is similar to what happens in prisons, when heterosexual men will rape other men. It isn’t done for gratification, but rather to humiliate the victim. Is your point that raping and dismembering the concubine was better, since it was a heterosexual rape?

  • I have known MANY gay African American men. Not so much Lesbians, although some. I can think of two of them I work with most days. Many have worked with me in the past. The very first person I ever spoke with about the possibility of me being gay was an African American male.

  • I have gathered you are African American. Just as I mentioned above, I have known MANY gay African Americans males. I actually DIDN’T accept being Gay at one time and I found it was impossible to change the direction of my attractions, even with years of Psychotherapy. I have fully accepted myself now. HOWEVER, the psychotherapy was a God send in healing me from other kinds of issues, such as anger management and relationship issues, depression and the like. Psychotherapy can help a person to *manage* their feelings, such as anger and depression as well as sexual feelings. However, it cannot *eradicate* feelings entirely from a person, nor make a person feel things they don’t feel in the first place. I, for instance, can still feel angry, but I don’t feel angry all the time anymore. Psychotherapy can help with sexual addictions, but it can’t make a person attracted to the opposite sex, when they weren’t attracted in the first place. Psychology advocates that people accept their feelings and then learn to manage them. It doesn’t advocate the denial or suppression of feelings.

  • What does 1 Corinthians 10:13 have to do with anything? All it says is that God helps us to endure our temptations.

  • But even Paul said that Love of Neighbor was more important than any other Law. Paul stated that Love summed up the Law in Romans 13:8-10. Paul also said we shouldn’t try to be justified by Keeping the whole law, but rather but “faith acting through Love,” in Galatians 5:2-6. Therefore, 1 Corinthians 6:9 is mainly talking about exploitative and idolatrous sex acts, and not same sex attractions or commited relationships. Exploitative and idolatrous sex acts DO violate the law of Love, but not committed relationships or same sex attraction. Anyway, there is no way we can interpret arsenokoitis in 1 Corinthians 6:9 as meaning same sex attraction. It only refers to ACTS, not feelings. So Floydlee is completely and utterly wrong in his interpretation of 1 Corinthians 6:11 to mean that people changed their sexual orientation or attractions from Gay to straight.

  • The arguments could go both ways on this. Perhaps not attend an non affirming Church, but form relationships with persons in those Churches. In the United Methodist Church, we can go to affirming “Reconciling Congregations,” but if we go to Annual Conference, we can form relationships with persons who are non accepting. I think I would say, perhaps go to a Church that is “on the fence” on this issue to bring change, rather than going to a more hard line anti LGBT congregation, which probably will not change no matter what.

  • Actually, I do have an answer on that one question, in a moment.

    But it’s not about me trying to speak for God. God’s Word speaks for God, and it’s time for Christians to stop giving free passes to wide-open denials of God’s Word.

    (Blaming God Himself for one’s being gay – that is an astonishing accusation. That’s not an insult aimed at Christians; that insult is directly aimed at God’s own great love, grace, and power.

    Even if you’re currently gay, God is openly pouring love, grace and unseen favors on you, just because He knows your name. So for me, I don’t let such insults against God slide anymore.)

  • If you love your neighbor, then tell your neighbor the truth when an issue arises. That’s all I’m doing here.

  • But your view is that Heterosexual marriage is a more important measure of right and wrong in sexuality than Love of Neighbor is. For example, Jesus taught that Love of Neighbor was a higher principle than legalistically keeping the Sabbath.

  • She never said what she totes said, and if she did, she was misunderstood and Misinterpreted. Jesus! Yawn. Lol. Lovelovelovelovelovelove. .

  • I wasn’t aware of the “Negro Motorist Green Book”, until this mention. Wow. Thanks for the education.

  • Let’s be blunt (but with empathy). That had to be among the most critical moments of your life so far, that vital moment when you declared you would NOT accept a gay-self-identity and homosexual behavior. Unseen soldiers from both Heaven and Hell paused and looked in YOUR direction at that moment.

    And then it was all-out war from there. Still is, for you. Still is, for many more. Just plain…all-out war. You’re just that important.

    I have to ask you something, because God knows all about your life situation. Do you believe that a Christian (all Christians) will specifically need the promises of 1 Cor. 10:13 and 1 John 1:9 throughout their entire earthly lives?

    There’s only one answer: Yes. We’re all have “feelings”, “desires”, “attractions”, in other words “TEMPTATIONS”, in life. So we all need God’s promise of “a way of escape” all our lives. In Heaven we’ll be past all temptations, but for now we need God’s presence and power and promises of escape and cleansing. Every day.

    My former alcoholic uncle exclaimed, “God took the taste of booze out of my mouth!” A gay friend excitedly told me of a unexpected, unbelievable “explosive blast of God’s power” that totally “NEUTRALIZED” all his gay desires and feelings. (He wasn’t lusting for women, the homosexual desires just dropped down to zero and stayed there. Author Tom Streiber, (“Love Broke Through”), had a similar experience.

    Everybody’s situation is different, these life situations are complex, and painful, and there’s a process. And I agree with you about psychotherapy. But Daniel, it’s time. Yes, you fought hard, no it didn’t seem to work, yes you gave up on it. But it’s time. You know what I’m talking about.

    God, Jesus and 1 Cor. 10:13 says it’s time for YOU to get up again and knock Goliath out for good. It’s time for a new Vision for you, new Power, new Healings, new Outcomes. 1 Cor. 10:13 means it’s time for the unbelievable, mind-blasting power of Jesus Christ, to somehow “remove the taste”, and cause you to experience new amazing Bible realities (“which thou knowest not”, as the Bible says.)

    Yes, that’s easier said than done. Unless we’re talking about Jesus, THEN it’s another story. I am now praying and fasting for another homosexual friend, (without pressuring him or even telling him what I’m doing), a man who has experienced a few amazing things already from God. This man said he will DITCH the gay life if he clearly hears from God, and I told him “okay.” I believe God’s new blessings may somehow come your way too.

  • And TSawesome is once again trolling a comment feed. To the Christians on the right side of God’s word (so not TS or her friends), we need to pray for her.

  • And you get all of that from reading bible? Wow! I’m impressed.

    Or, one could realize that “earthly enemies” is just silly Christian persecution speak. What does an ominipotent God need with enemies? Or he could have just done the job right when he created the world, or again, when he destroyed everybody except that old drunk and his family, or again, when he came back in a cosmic melodrama that was totally unnecessary, except to impress the rubes.

    That’s what a rational being would do. But you never hold your god to the same standards that you would hold his filthy, depraved, sinful, rational creations.

  • TS, it is you who needs to learn some history. The destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah was due to their homosexual practice, Jesus confirms this in Luke 17 and Matthew 24. Now please go troll somewhere else.

  • No. You are abusing the term “affirm”. To affirm means to accept without requiring change.

    You do not affirm. Your church does not affirm.

    MY church affirms. People who come to my church, straight or gay, DO become followers of Jesus Christ. If you follow our daily devotions, you will read the entire Bible in two years time. We study the teachings and example of Jesus. We baptize. We are Christian.

    And we are FULLY affirming. The priest will marry same-sex couples with the same good will and blessing as opposite-sex couples. Both types are required to have pre-marital counseling. LGBT folk are welcome into ALL aspects of church life.

    Personally, I sing in the choir, and I help with altar guild (setting up the altar, refreshing candles, ironing linens, etc…). I love the devotional aspect of this service. I do it so that *all* people who come to the church — members or visitors, straight or gay — may partake of the Communion with Christ in the most beautiful and sanctified atmosphere we can provide. It is a sacred place.

    Our prayer team is ready, during the communion time, to pray privately with any individual who seeks it. With permission, they anoint with oil that has been blessed for the purpose. All people — members or visitors, straight or gay — may come to the healing rail for prayer.

    If you came to my church Sandi, you would be welcome to come and partake of Communion. Sure, if a sin of yours is known, such as the sin of living in judgmentalness or unforgiveness, you would be encouraged to reconcile. But we trust the work of convicting to the Holy Spirit, and would not bar you from the Table of Grace. We would not prevent from having an encounter with the Living Lord. We would not deem you unworthy to partake. That is not our job.

    And if you came, you might find Jesus is more beautiful to your heart and start to care much much less about who is straight and who is gay. Because in the end, Jesus doesn’t seem to care about that very much. But He cares very much about hearts turned toward him.

  • Homosexuality is NOT an addiction like alcoholism. I can control my outward behaviors, just not the direction of attractions. I absolutely do not believe the person who claimed he eradicated his homosexual desires. Either he is a liar or he is in deep denial. Even Paul in Romans 7:7 that the command not to covet aroused the desire to Covet. He went on to state that he hadn’t completely eliminated his desire. Epithymia used in this verse means desire, lust OR to Covet. So there is NOTHING in Psychology OR the Bible which states that we can eliminate all desires. Of course, we can choose not to act on them, even though Paul stated later in this same chapter that he did what he didn’t want to do. But it probably means he felt what he didn’t want to feel. Former members of Exodus International now admit their desires haven’t changed at all. Why can’t your friend be honest and admit his feelings haven’t changed either? No verse you have cited in Scripture backs up your claim of change in feelings.

  • We have that in common. We both are well read and well educated. But only one of us thinks that the other is.

    As I have said to you many times, and will no doubt say again, religion would be of little interest to me apart from an academic and intellectual exercise, were it not for all the damage religion does, and has done, and will continue to do to the world, and to my people, Jews and gay people in particular.

    As for all that I WANT to talk about, regardless of the “starting point”, homosexuality is the lens through which all of your extraordinary claims are examined. And religion, by its own standards, has been weighed in its own balance and usually found very wanting.

    And frankly, all of the religion in the world, when weighed in the balance against one precious gay kid taking his or her own life in despair because of the toxic spew of this “faith” in this god “who so loved the world”–, well, I’m quite clear which of the two is worth something to me.

    The question is why it isn’t clear to you.

  • Also, I DID have issues from a very dysfunctional upbringing, which were helped by psychotherapy. However, the science has demonstrated that homosexuality is NOT caused by upbringing. But many other problems can be caused by this. A person can be very angry because of their childhood. However, the very feeling of anger is innate in every person as is the stress response. But we can learn to manage both, but completely eradicate neither one. Homosexual and heterosexual desires are both innate, not learned and are immutable for persons of both orientations.

  • The world doesn’t hate Jesus, except for a few rabid anti theists. That’s another story you tell yourselves.

    I don’t hate Jesus. I just don’t give yet another religion the same credibility that you do.

  • You don’t find hem worth the time. Of course not. what’s the lives of a few gay people to being god’s BFFF?

    The very Same passage that Sandimonious consistently uses to condemn gay people also condemns Sandimonious consistently.

  • You’d be surprised at what you could get from studying the ENTIRE scripture instead of a snippet here and there, with the aim of discovering God’s heart rather than sniffing out ammo with which to accuse the brethren or advance a secular agenda.

    And duh, it goes without saying that the Creator is held to a different standard than His creatures. An omnipresent and omniscient Creator may make decisions and take actions that the rest of may not as we are not so equipped. Why would you think it would be otherwise?

    Btw, the OT speaks repeatedly of God’s enemies, as does Jesus. It’s not something made up by Christians

  • Because according to his press kit, he is the fount of reason, the fount of morality, the source of all goodness, the very well spring of love. If he is going to give me reason and morality, he should not be objecting when I use them.

  • Thanks Chris, I believe you are trying to be polite, but you are hurting and misleading so many people, my friend.
    Anything I say is going to come off like I’m trying to hurt you, and that is not the case. The reality is, unless you are following the Jesus of the Bible, you are following an idol, my friend. Your “church” may wish it were following Jesus, but Christ taught that homosexuality is a sin and they have declared their idol to be Christ.
    May the Lord bless you and help you to find Him – the real God.

    Romans 1:21 For although they knew God, they did not honor him as God or give thanks to him, but they became futile in their thinking, and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Claiming to be wise, they became fools, 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.

  • You are telling me what I think again, Ben, and here you are grossly mistaken about my opinion of you. There are some here who are not very bright, and others who are bright but lack education and organized thinking skills. You are neither. You are bright AND obviously possessed of education but scripture simply isn’t your thing — just like stress analysis is not my thing and I would rightly expect to be disregarded were I to follow my husband to work and tell him how to modify his designs, even if I had the best of intentions and was terribly worried about loss of life in plane crashes.

  • Mark 12:29 Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord, 30 and you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ 31 The second is this: ‘You must love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.”
John 14:15 – “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

    1 John 5:2 This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. 3 In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands.

    Christ commanded “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.” Leviticus 18:22

  • Except TS…..the problem had been going on longer than just this instance. The angels were sent because the Lord had been hearing about the problem
    Also, no male is going to want to have sex with a man. That’s completely a homosexual act. So, you cannot write it off to more homosexual propaganda.
    You, again, can try to discount the Lord’s word, but you are the only one who loses.
    There were no homosexuals escorted out of S&G because they were righteous.

  • I suggest you look up 2 Timothy 3:16-17; and John 1:1-10 and maybe you’ll be able to retain those facts. Also, you may want to look at Leviticus 18:1-10

  • It teaches you that Christ loves you and how you can lift yourself out of the bondage you are in TS. Perhaps you should attend some time.

  • Well, that’s what people say all the time, but Jesus affirmed that the world DOES hate Him. And it DID kill Him, and has killed multitudes of His followers (and still does, so-called “evolution of our species” notwithstanding) so I’m inclined to go with His evaluation rather than yours.

    There is an intermittent poster here, an atheist, who insists loudly that he doesn’t hate Jesus. Yet simply quote a few of the recorded words of Jesus and he’s instantly “&/“%{|^¥}>!”
    -But those are Jesus’ words.
    -I don’t know that Jesus ever said that.
    -OK, so it’s just the Jesus of the Bible that you hate.
    – No, I don’t.
    – So you’re OK with this? (supply direct quote)
    – &)&$:/)#*%}+!

    See why I tend to believe Christ here over the naysayers? It’s the gospel message that is offensive, mild-looking Jesus in the holiday cards notwithstanding. Because for many people today, that image is about the sum whole total of their familiarity with Christ.

  • Nobody’s reading of the Sodom story one way or the other is going to significantly affect any gay person’s life. The scriptures’ primary condemnation of same sex behavior is to be found elsewhere

  • Forget His press kit, or whatever. Study scripture itself. Wouldn’t it be nice to be thoroughly familiar with what you ‘ve been trying to argue against for so long?

  • Another believer has heard me describe my church and says, quite honestly, that the Holy Spirit is present. This believe knows me, and my struggles, and knows my circumstances, and knows Jesus, and knows Scripture. This believer wrote me a most amazing letter from the Heart of God. This believe knows what he comments on. This believer has known me for decades. This believer became a believer more than 30 years ago, and has been baptized, and like the Bereans has diligently studied the Bible.

    You have never been to my church, and you do not know me. Why should I take your word over his?

  • No. I’m not trying to be just polite. I’m trying to tell you the joyous reality about the church I attend, and I sincerely invite you to come. Yet you dismiss the good will by enclosing the word church in scare quotes.

    I have known other “Christians” who do the same thing. One “Christian”, John MacArthur says you can’t be Christian if you don’t believe in a literal 7 days of Creation. Other “Christians” say you can’t be Christian if you don’t believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. Still other “Christians” have helped to elect a thrice married, crotch grabbing adulterer to the Presidency, stating that he is a “baby Christian” (Dr. James Dobson made this claim).

    The Biblical reality is that NONE of these issues were defined in Jesus’ day. NONE of these issues were defining. To be a Christian simply meant that you followed Jesus the Christ.

    The result of all of this is that I tend to be skeptical of people, such as yourself Sandi, who claim to be “Christian” because I see none of the fruits of the Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5. I prefer to believe what I directly experience in my church — no scare quotes, it’s a real church — where the Holy Spirit is present and rebuilding damaged lives.

  • Christopher, I thank you for what you think is generosity. I prefer to attend churches that honour Christ.
    Believing in the 7 days of creation is not a salvation issue – homosexuality is.
    If you have been taught that none of these issues were defined in Jesus’ day then that is another example of how you have been misled. Of course they did not teach you that God is omniscient! That would ruin their schtick and the good living that they make deceiving you.
    Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever, my friend.
    Jesus Word:

    2 Timothy 4 – English Standard Version

    1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. 3For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

    As far as your experience in what you call a “church”:
    2 Corinthians 11:14 – English Standard Version

    And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

    If you have difficulty with Jesus’ word, hon, are you really serving Jesus?
    We all are convicted by it from time to time, but that sounds different from what you are saying honey. “Scare quote” are there to show you that you need His help, and if that assembly is not showing you that, then they are not doing their job/ or following Christ.
    May God bless you honey.

  • 7 days of creation is not a salvation issue. I agree. But John MacArthur teaches that it is, because if you don’t believe it it means (according to MacArthur) that you’re not a Christian, and therefore, not saved. So you should avoid his church because he has changed the gospel message, no?

  • All of us fail to follow Christ. Even you, Sandi. Even after accepting Him, we are saved by grace, not by works. We do good works, not to earn salvation, but motivated by love and gratitude.

  • When you say “tell your neighbor the truth”, you are setting yourself up as arbiter of the truth. That’s rather prideful. What is lacking is the humility to admit, as Paul actually did admit, that “now we see in the mirror darkly, but then we shall face to face”. (1 Cor 13). Paul, even Paul, had to acknowledge that there were limitations on his own understanding.

    Where do we see you acknowledging limitations on your understanding? Is it not possible, in your thinking, that your understanding of “truth” is incomplete?

  • No, how are they setting themselves up as arbiters if they merely record the church’s official stance on LGBT inclusion? They’re quoting the church directly, not making something up.

  • Scott Lively can help no one. A person who advocates the death penalty for gays is not preaching the gospel. Are you that deluded Sandi, to believe that the death penalty helps the gospel??

  • The most serious offense is blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.
    Second is the shedding of innocent blood.
    Third is violation of the Law of Chastity, which says that sexual relations are to be had only between a man and a woman who are legally and lawfully married to each other.
    Somewhere after that comes dishonesty.
    (NOTE: Those are God’s laws. Those who disagree or want to jeer would be wiser to address their remarks to Him — He gave the laws.)
    I wonder how soon thieves and liars and con-men are going to band together and hijack the adjective “daring” the way the homosexuals have hijacked the adjective “gay,” and hold “daring pride” parades and rallies, and demand an end to laws criminalizing theft and fraud and perjury, and demand that their dishonesty be accepted as “an alternative lifestyle” because they were “born that way,” and demand that preachers who preach on ” thou shalt not steal” be prosecuted for “hate speech.”
    Those who would reject that mockery of God’s law of honesty, while accepting the on-going mockery of God’s law of chastity, are truly straining at a gnat and swallowing a camel.

  • Oh I didn’t reach out to you Sandi, so you need not have wasted a gap in your busy schedule on me.

    Forgive me if I don’t read past the first sentence of your reply. Or don’t forgive me, it matters not one iota. You could be wrong Sandi. We ALL could be wrong in the mystery of our faith.

    We’ve said all we have to say to each other before. Nothing new. Your views (and how much time you perpetually spend spewing them out at people on the interwebs) are well known.

    If I ever meet you I will grit my teeth, pray for strength, and extend grace. Aside from that, we are done!

  • “Currently gay” – the arrogance (Galatians 5:22-26) in those words alone is shocking to me.

    Maybe that’s a valid question for a bisexual person, but it does NOT apply to those of us wired as homosexuals.

  • You are loved by your Father in heaven, and He knows your heart Daniel. You don’t need to justify yourself to these people with logs in their own eyes.

  • Sandi has issues she needs to internalise and fix. Unfortunately she’s too busy castigating those brothers and sisters in Christ around her to look inward. I have sent her one reply today, it will be my last on this thread!

  • She has said many things which she should be deeply in regret of saying. I have too of course but I don’t claim not to need forgiveness!

  • I was reacting to the common argument used by the anti gay crowd that homosexuality IS something like alcoholism. Anti gay people will often make that argument even when it isn’t directed against me personally. I am trying to describe what a gay orientation IS, in order to rebut common stereotypes. But thanks for the support.

  • It’s really telling how they preach against others while pretending they are sinless… Exactly what the lesson of the speck and plank were meant to correct!

  • Wisely so. Religion for her is a form of passive aggressive self aggrandizement. It’s as pointless to argue with her as it is to argue with your doorknobs.

  • Thank you for sharing Christopher.

    While I know I’ve “always been gay” I don’t believe I am definitely correct in my interpretation of the scripture. I just cannot stand by while some people claim to be arbitrators of “the truth” when actually we could all be wrong!

  • Umm, that one friend did NOT say that “he” eradicated those “desires.” He specifically said that God eradicated them, and at a specific time and place. (He told me those specifics, btw.) Besides, he had lost his hope and self-esteem and had been contemplating suicide. He was definitely in no condition for Do-It-Yourself solutions. Only God could have done this thing!

    He gave me permission to share his amazing story (without naming him or saying anything traceable). Many ex-gays don’t want the debate or media scene, they do NOT want to come under fire or suspicion. They’re just content to live their lives in Jesus, get some recovery & reconciliation with loved ones, and to know that God somehow (but surely) answered their desperate prayers.

  • Wikipedia will regard the Bible as one of many ancient writings. It will not regard the Bible as a scientific source. It may regard parts of the Bible as a source of history (e.g. the Books of Chronicles and Kings) but it would likely compare such sources to other historical sources, without favoritism.

  • Of course I don’t believe it at all. He is just in denial. There is nothing in Scripture which claims God eradicates all desire, except perhaps when we are resurrected. Anyway, homosexuality is NOT an evil desire. I would believe Alan Chambers, who was honest enough to admit he still had desires.

  • Like I said to another poster, the label “bisexual” is simply the Damage Control term that gay activists use, whenever other openly practicing gays snitch to the media that they were NOT “born gay” after all.

    Many gay people, from the ancient Corinthians on down, are no longer gay thanks to Jesus. Some inform the Christian or secular media, others only inform a few folks privately. Jesus did **something** for them, sometimes the process is not-quick and sometimes it’s quick, but He does do something. And when He does what He does, they are no longer gay. No longer in jail.

  • So, as you say, Christ commanded

    “‘Do not have sexual relations with a man as one does with a woman; that is detestable.”
    — Leviticus 18:22

    So, following your approach, Christ also commanded:

    If a man commits adultery with another man’s wife—with the wife of his neighbor—both the adulterer and the adulteress are to be put to death.
    — Leviticus 20:10

    Yet in John’s Gospel we read this:

    “Teacher, this woman was caught in the act of adultery. In the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They were using this question as a trap, in order to have a basis for accusing him. But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with his finger. When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”
    — John 8:4-7

    (Notice that they identified the author of the law as Moses, not Jesus. But we can forgive them their error. They had not developed the sophisticated Christology that Sandi throws around.)

    Why did Jesus have to wait more than 1000 years to come up with an adjustment to the penalty of death by stoning which He originally declared? Why couldn’t Jesus get it right the first time? Did he forget what He had written originally?

  • The gay activists would have you define your self-identity according to your temptations and sins. But that’s not how God sees you.

    You have same-sex attractions? The activists don’t want you to see them as temptations that are defeatable under the power of 1 Cor. 10:13. You’re free to believe in God’s cleansing and sanctification on any sin topic, as long as you do not apply it to homosexual behavior and gay-self-identity. Their cardinal rule.

    Telling you that all those healing and deliverance stories (even the takes-longer-time stories) are lies, and that some life situations (i.e. yours), are too hard for God.

    That’s what they are selling to you, Daniel. It’s a scam. A prison. You don’t belong there.

  • Alan Chambers was NOT in any sense of the word a Gay activist. However, he was honest enough to admit that God didn’t change his desire. It is my experience when I didn’t want to be Gay that these feelings never completely went away, even when I thought they had. If your friend actually watched some Gay porn, he would face the reality that God doesn’t change a person’s sexual orientation anymore than God changes a person’s eye or skin color.

  • Exactly. I am currently in a study of the New Testament. (Last year was Old Testament.) And I find that the character of Jesus is far richer, and far more challenging than the proof texting which is often done nowadays. I think that a certain latitude must be given to every person, even to make mistakes, but without judgement. For we are learners — students — and inevitably we will make mistakes along the way. I too continue to work things out. Even the Bible says “work out your salvation with fear and trembling”. This does not mean terror, in my opinion, but it *does* mean with humility, recognizing that I do not have all the answers. Thanks, Paul for your comment.

  • The only reason I would argue against her is so that the public won’t be swayed by what she says. I don’t hope to convince her at all. However, perhaps I just need to make
    my point clear and not get into a “back and forth” with her or with Floydlee or Shawnee.

  • That is wrong. What defines a person’s sexual orientation IS the direction of their desires, whether they act on them or not. Otherwise, every man who has had sex with another man in prison would be Gay. A same sex attracted man would not be straight just because he married a woman. I had Gay desires long before I engaged in any homosexual acts.

  • I understand that, and it is frequently why I respond to any of them, and why I write in general.

    I have had it happen many times that a previously unknown commenter has said that I have change their. Kinds on something.

  • The difference is, one, homosexuality is not adultery, although they are both sins of immorality.
    Two, the woman caught in adultery was a set up, obviously, because you don’t see the man brought to Jesus also – it takes two to tango.
    Thirdly, someone else’s sin does not make mine better, or anyone else’s.
    Learn you Bible. Jesus is God. It is noted in Leviticus that the Lord told Moses what to say to them.
    You need to ask Jesus those questions when you meet Him.

  • Homosexuality is a choice as shown by Romans 1
    1 Thessalonians 47 For God did not call us to be impure, but to live a holy life

  • I’m not wrong. Christ does not send Christians to Hell

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

    9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, 10 nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.

    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.

  • Chris……I don’t believe homosexual propaganda. The man says he had nothing to do with it. He has nothing to earn from it.
    If you want to believe that he has that much power, don’t let me take that from you.

  • That’s a strange statement for you to make, since I never said that God did not love him. God even loves you, Sandi.

  • Yeah, NO. You never “chose” to be hetero, and I never chose to be gay.
    I’m committed to my spouse for life as I assume you are to yours.
    Be well.

  • Yes you did and Christ shows how you did it in Romans 1 – it’s called exchanging what is natural for “unnatural”

  • Perhaps what the churches should be disclosing is that as Christ taught against homosexuality, and that when you stand in front of Him, the church that you attended who endorsed the sin, will not be standing next to you when Christ asks you “What did you do with my Word?”

  • No, again you mistake your personal feelings against Daniel for what God thinks — that’s really presumptuous of you. God loves Daniel just the way He made him.

    (Hey! Here’s an idea! Instead of talking to ME about Daniel, why don’t you talk to him YOURSELF?)

  • No, Romans is talking about idolatry and violence — not at all the same thing.
    Have a nice evening!

  • So Daniel, you are suggesting that a male, cult prostitute is wrong for practicing homosexual sex, but one of Christ’s brothers and sisters is perfectly enabled to do so. Where is the scripture where this is taught?

  • I’ve never spoken badly about you. The fact that you don’t like what scripture teaches, ignore it, discount it, condemn it as lies is your error.

  • Christ condemned those participating in homosexuality to death. That is hardly an endorsement.
    Christ then came and died for Daniel, should he choose to renounce his sin, choose Christ, and follow Him – same for you.

  • Some of the texts he cited weren’t about homosexuality but about male cult prostitutes. However, common prostitutes like Rahab in James 2:25 WERE accepted. However, my pastor (Phd in Hebrew Bible from Harvard) pointed out that cult prostitutes may not have engaged in sex at all. So texts like Deuteronomy 23:17, the Kings texts he quoted, as well as the book of Revelation may have nothing to with homosexuality at all.

  • That’s not what I asked. Where in scripture is it taught that homosexuality is not appropriate for a male, cult prostitute, but it’s ok for His brothers and sisters?

  • It was a test of Jesus’ view of the law. The woman *actually* committed adultery, and Jesus acknowledged as much. So it was not a setup. But rather than telling people to stone her according to the law of Moses, he told them to let her live, and he told her to go and sin no more.

    Part of the problem is that you have a rather strange Christology. There is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. Jesus is God incarnate, but He was not incarnate when God the Spirit inspired Moses to write the Law. This is a strange misunderstanding of the tradition triune view of the Godhead. And it is leading in you to bizarre claims that Jesus wrote the Law (which Jesus later modifies).

    I have been seeing a lot of this error lately, in truth. People who want to simplify the nature of the God to a level that they believe they can understand. But God, in principle, cannot be fully understand by finite human beings. Still, the error persists……

  • “I said model one’s life after Jesus; that would include not using scripture as a tool to keep people in line.” guilty conscience? Christ gave us scripture to help people.

  • You are not telling the truth about me, again.
    (psst! that’s called deliberate “slander”)
    I disagree with YOU, not God.
    Take it up with Him.

  • Thank you for the honourable mention. Will make my comments much more interesting to new readers! Blessings

  • The hateful ones who drove out faithful, good and loving LGBT Christians were *not* led by the Holy Spirit, dear.

  • do you believe that earning money is the only motive. It is quite likely true that Scott Lively did not earn any money from trying to convince Uganda to pass a death penalty law against gays. But there are other motivators besides money. Fame. Spiritual rectitude. etc… You can can call out a “gay agenda” or claim that it is “propaganda”, but no serious person believes that when the evidence is right there.

  • He never said a word against LGBT — and now you’re lying about Christ’s actual words.
    Explain why you’re lying about Him to Him, not me.

  • How is helping homosexuals to repent of their sin so they can have a relationship with Jesus discriminating against them. I would say that it is discriminating against satan, but not the homosexuals.

  • I’ve probably read the entire bible more than you have — I *grew* up reading the bible thoroughly!

  • No. It is not. It is about what it means to be an obedient Christian. And since his many teachers — including you and John MacArthur — give conflicting answers shot through with legalism, I will turn to Jesus’ words directly, and to the Holy Spirit for clarity and guidance. “Thanks” for your help along the way. But maybe you should attend to yourself as well. You know … plank vs speck?

  • Actually, Sandi, many churches such as yours do NOT affirm us. You only want us to visit your church to change us as a “project”.

    We are already fine, thank you, and knowing which churches are TRULY welcoming and affirming is an important piece of information for many LGBT couples.

  • If you want to spend eternity in Heaven, TS, what you are referring to as “affirming churches” will not get you there. Christ taught that homosexuals will not see the Kingdom of Heaven.

  • And being an obedient Christian is loving God.
    Christ said to love Him is to follow His commands
    He commanded that a man should not sleep with another man as with a woman.
    It’s pretty simple.
    Contact me if you want help honey.

  • No, He didn’t and again, your Baptist church isn’t the sole arbiter of biblical interpretation.
    Thanks. I’m already looking forward to being with Christ, especially since I see all the many blessings He’s given me already for which I am so grateful: my wife, our children, the church, our friends, good health, on and on. God is indeed the outpouring of His Love to me and the ones I love.

  • He didn’t say that and we’ve been over this many, many times.
    I’m going to stop responding if you can’t show sufficient memory retention.

  • Actually, it is Christ who taught that homosexuals will not go to Heaven hon. I’ve given you the scripture several times.

  • Perhaps you should have gone to a church that would teach you the truth, instead of abusing you.

  • NO, again — YOU lied about my relationship with Christ.
    As you have repeatedly done.

    I don’t know why I even bother with you.

  • You are trying to define God in your own image, Sandi.
    He is MUCH bigger than you’d like Him to be.
    The Kingdom and who is in it is not your decision to make.

    Don’t you have some stones to find and axes to grind? I won’t keep you any longer…

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

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

  • So are you a fly fisher(wo)man, then Sandi? Can you tell us about how the weight of the line makes a difference? I once had a guy friend (*not* a boyfriend) try to show me how to throw the fishing line, but I just couldn’t get it. It would always get stuck somewhere behind me, or tangled in a bush or pitifully flop into the water a few feet ahead of me. But, wow, he could make that line go anywhere. I guess that’s a skill that I just don’t have. Did you learn it yourself, or was your husband the one who really likes to fly fish and taught you? Or do you go along, pretend to like it, because you know it makes him happy? (not that there’s anything wrong with that…)

  • So, what’s your answer about fly fishing? You never answered that clearly. Is it something that you really like to do, or is it just something you kinda “endure” because it sorta helps keep the marriage humming along?

  • I’m afraid she’s right; it was a set-up. The Pharisees had no intention of stoning the woman at all; their aim was to discredit Jesus as a potential Messiah.

  • Sandi, you confuse Moses with Jesus. Jesus never condemned those “participating in homosexuality to death”. Sorry, it ain’t there.

  • I’ve tried to challenge Sandi as well. She can’t tell the difference between Moses’ words and Jesus’ words, as she has clearly demonstrated. The scholars, and bishops and elders who came to understand that God exists in three Persons, would not have confused Moses with Jesus. Sandi, is still catching up. Pray that she gets there.

  • Wise words.
    I keep hoping that her hard heart will soften, see us as *real* people and yes (gasp!), even *real* Christians. I may have to just let her go, however. She seems stuck on a rotating set of talking points and can’t comprehend beyond what she’s been taught.

  • Sorry you lost me. I’m gay not bisexual. I cannot answer for those who have been attracted to men and women. I’ve never been attracted to women that way. What’s more, it’s ok. My spouse and I are both happy with who we are. Peace and love.

  • Re How do you delete/edit a post”

    Under your post, if you are signed in, next to the “up/down vote” you should see “Edit” and “Reply”

  • Good, then you know that I want to see them in a relationship with Jesus with Heaven in their future. Why do you want them to go to Hell?

  • Er no floydlee… you are telling your neighbor what you believe the truth to be… based on your interpretation of what you see in scripture. Your interpretation is based on what you have learned/experienced, you probably incorporate your understanding of tradition over the years, and with reasoning based on your intellect.

    Doesn’t mean you are right tho. Is there some level of arrogance in claiming that this is all you are doing? Telling your neighbors the truth, like you believe your truth is true and theirs cannot be? AFAIK we are supposed to avoid exhibition of arrogance (per Galatians)

  • You do know the difference between eisogesis and exegesis don’t you? If you were to live a holy life shouldn’t you start modeling it after that of Jesus? Oh and maybe pay heed to 2 Thess 3:11

  • On what evidence do we know that they did not intend to stone her? Or is this speculation?

  • You keep confusing Moses with Jesus; There is no point in responding to you if you insist that 1 + 1 = 3.

  • It’s not quite that simple. AL addresses divorced and remarried individuals, who’s first marriage was invalid, coming back into full communion. The hullabaloo was in recognizing that there are other ways besides a marriage tribunal to discern validity.

  • Christ didn’t give any scriptures. Nowhere did Jesus say, “Go forth and write a Book.” G-D inspired people to write and inspired the Church to collect those writings into a Book. The purpose of that Book was to facilitate the communication of the Good News–and that had nothing to do with homosexuality.

  • They did not have the authority. The same reason they had to bring in the Romans to get a death sentence on Jesus.

  • Look, Christopher, what she’s getting at is the issue of SOURCE.

    Jeeus called the Torah the commands of God (Mark 7:9)

    Who gave the Law to Moses? The deity that called itself I AM. (Ex.3:14)

    Who did Jesus claim to be? The deity called I AM (John 8:58).

    Ergo, Jesus gave the Law to Moses.

    One of the most beautiful passages in the entire Bible is the preamble of John’s gospel: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word was made flesh and dwelled among us.”

  • I cited evidence that common prostitutes were often accepted because they didn’t worship idols in James 2:25. That Jephthah’s mother was a prostitute was noted in Judges 11:1 without any hint of disapproval. So if non idolatrous prostitutes could be accepted, then so could non idolatrous gay persons. Romans 1 and 1 Corinthians 6:9 are talking about idolatry mixed with homosexuality. I think it was the idolatry that was condemned.

  • Lesbianism is hardly mentioned if at all in Scripture. The Greek word used in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 arsenokoitis has nothing to do with females, since the root arseno means male. Lesbianism is never mentioned even once in the entire Old Testament. Even Romans 1:26 does NOT say the women had unnatural relations *with other women.* There were Church Fathers who thought it referred to something else.

  • i feel sorry for people that don’t know Sandi Luckins, floydlee, and Shwanie5. The three of them wield their religion as a weapon, to denigrate and dehumanize gay people (and anyone who has the temerity to argue or disagree with them). The three of them claim infallibility and to be the final authority for God. They consider it blasphemy to disagree with them and they damn people to hell for doing it. They are infamous on the RNS site for their ongoing campaign to demonize and dehumanize gay people. It’s useless to argue with the three of them. It’s better just to call them what they are: purveyors of anti-gay hate.

  • They told you hundreds of times: it’s not Jesus’ words, but you insist on quoting passages written centuries before Jesus was born.

  • Arsenokoites is in reference to males Daniel yes. But the word porneia which is used to refer to homosexuality in the New Testament is inclusive of lesbianism. So the point still stands.

  • No, the term porneia is never used in reference to lesbianism like it is of incest in 1 Corinthians 5:1. Even male homosexuality is never referred to as porneia. Idol worship is referred to as porneia in many places.

  • Actually it is Daniel, Jesus used it Matthew 15:19.

    But here’s the definition of the word porneia in case you’re stuck.

    illicit sexual intercourse
    adultery, fornication, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.
    sexual intercourse with close relatives; Lev. 18
    sexual intercourse with a divorced man or woman; Mk. 10:11,
    metaph. the worship of idols
    of the defilement of idolatry, as incurred by eating the sacrifices offered to idols

    http://www.biblestudytools.com/lexicons/greek/kjv/porneia.html

    Try again dude.

  • Actually Daniel what defines a persons sexual orientation is how God created that person. Now in reality God does not create a homosexual person, homosexuality is all born out of sin, as defined in God’s word. God cannot create something contrary to His nature, and God is sinless, therefore God cannot create a sinful person. Therefore, God does not create people who are homosexual. So that knocks your argument straight out of the water. However, your admission of your own homosexuality does now make your faulty arguments make sense.

  • This is a fundamentalist dictionary which hasn’t studied how words are used in context. Since the term lesbian is never used, it cannot be referred to as porneia.

  • Just citing your religious bias doesn’t define a word. Just engaging in a Gay act does not make a person Gay. The definition really has nothing to do with whether God causes it or not.

  • How would you interpret Isaiah 45:7, which states, “I form (asah) light and create (bara)darkness, I form (asah) peace or shalom and create (bara) evil. I, the LORD do all these things.” Asah or to form is something humans can also do. Bara or create is something only God can do. In this verse, only God creates evil. I don’t think homosexuality is evil. You say homosexuality IS evil and therefore God doesn’t create it. Yet this verse states that only God can create evil.

  • Lol, sorry Daniel but it is you who is citing religious bias. But it’s OK, I get it. You’ve chosen to live in a way that is wilfully sinful and you want God to be OK with it, knowing all the while that he’s not. No need to try and pull a fast one dude.

  • Actually Rahab was not justified for being a harlot. She was justified for actions, the actions James is referencing to is when she welcomed in Joshua and his men.

    But here’s the verse in case you’re stuck.

    “And in the same way was not also Rahab the prostitute justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way?”
    ‭‭James‬ ‭2:25‬ ‭ESV‬‬

    I understand that considering your worldview that you will want God to give approval for your lifestyle choice. He does not. This is why we see you manipulating the Bible to make your case. So no, not evidence coming from you Daniel, just faulty opinions.

  • The Greek language defines it. Jesus used it. So we can understand what the full context of the statement is by going to the original language. Keep up.

  • Lol, so basically you want a liberal dictionary to be used then? Good job! Just admitted that you only want what may fit your opinion to be used. That’s not confirmation bias at all is it 😉

    In case you can’t tell, that’s sarcasm.

    However, Strongs is one of the most widely used Lexicon’s in the world, used the world over, it is viewed by many as the most accurate Lexicon there is.

    The only reason you want to reject it is because it showcases how your worldview falls flat under Biblical scrutiny.

    I showed you the definition of the word porneia, it is inclusive of lesbianism. So yes, it can be used. Try again Daniel.

  • The dictionary is wrong. IT falls flat when you actually examine the word’s usage throughout the Bible. Lesbianism can only be referred to only Porneia if it is identifed AS Porneia in some Biblical text. Since it is not mentioned anywhere except possibly in Romans 1:26, it cannot be considered porneia. And Romans 1:26 doesn’t use the term Porneia. It DOES use the word para physin or contrary to nature. However, this is used in relation to long hair on men in 1 Corinthians 11:14. Is it sinful for a man to have long hair? Idol worship is the most important usage of this term porneia. It also refers to incest and adultery.

  • You have to find places in the Bible where Lesbianism is referred to AS porneia. It is not even mentioned, so it can’t be considered porneia. Perhaps if it involved idol worship, it could then be considered porneia.

  • Of course she wasn’t justified BY being a prostitute, but being a prostitute didn’t prevent her from being justified. It also doesn’t express ANY disapproval for her to be a prostitute.

  • I have gay feelings whether I act upon them or not. At one time I didn’t want to be gay. However, just not acting upon the feelings didn’t make the feelings go away.