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2018 in review: A year of reckoning for powerful religious figures

2018 saw Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, left, and Bill Hybels, right, fall from grace, while the Rev. Michael Curry, center, rose to fame. (McCarrick and Hybels photos via AP; Curry photo by Summerlee Walter/Episcopal Diocese of NC)

(RNS) — A year ago Bill Hybels was the well-respected pastor of one of the most influential megachurches in the nation. Theodore McCarrick was a prince of the Catholic Church, and Michael Curry was the relatively unknown head of a mainline Protestant denomination.

What a difference a year makes.

In April, Hybels stepped down from Willow Creek Community Church after being accused of years of sexual harassment and misconduct. Hybels denied the allegations. But the suburban Chicago church — after initially defending him — called his behavior sinful. Eventually, Hybels’ successors and all the church’s elders resigned, leaving the church with a $3.3 million budget deficit and an uncertain future.

In July, McCarrick was forced to resign from the College of Cardinals and was ordered by Pope Francis to lead a “life of prayer and penance” after being accused of sexually assaulting a minor four decades ago. McCarrick was also accused of sexually harassing seminarians for years.

Meanwhile, Curry skyrocketed to international fame after nearly 2 billion people tuned in to a royal wedding and heard his sermon, “The Power of Love.”

“I’m talking about power,” he said as Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan Markle — and a global audience — listened. “Real power. Power to change the world.”

That sermon made Curry perhaps the best-known Protestant clergyman on the planet and earned him recognition as the “Religion Newsmaker of the Year,” according to the Religion News Association.

The popularity of Curry’s sermon was a testament to the enduring power of religion in a year full of tumult in the world of faith, as it was elsewhere.

Victims of clergy sexual abuse, or their family members, react as Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg on Aug. 14, 2018. A Pennsylvania grand jury’s investigation of clergy sexual abuse identified more than 1,000 child victims. The grand jury report said that number came from records in six Roman Catholic dioceses. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Catholics across the country were shaken by the release of a scathing report from a Pennsylvania grand jury, detailing the abuse of more 1,000 children by 301 priests in six dioceses over 70 years. That report reignited the church’s long-running abuse scandal and led dioceses across the country to open their files and reveal the names of priests accused of abuse.

In the wake of the grand jury report, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, archbishop of Washington and an ally of Francis, resigned. Wuerl had been criticized for his handling of abuse claims when he was archbishop of Pittsburgh in the 1980s and ’90s.

“I am sorry and ask for healing for all of those who were so deeply wounded at the hands of the Church’s ministers,” Wuerl wrote in a letter announcing his resignation. “I also beg forgiveness on behalf of Church leadership from the victims who were again wounded when they saw these priests and bishops both moved and promoted.”

Protestant churches and other religious groups also dealt with sexual harassment and abuse scandals in 2018 as survivors of abuse and harassment spoke out against powerful religious leaders.

Among them was Jules Woodson, who confronted Memphis, Tenn., megachurch teaching pastor Andy Savage in an email about an incident that occurred in the late 1990s, when he was a youth pastor and she was a teenager. Woodson claimed Savage sexually assaulted her, while he claimed their relationship was consensual. When he penitently confessed at a Sunday service in January, the congregation gave Savage a standing ovation, sparking outrage. He later resigned, followed by the church’s teaching pastor.

Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary trustee chairman Kevin Ueckert, left, addresses trustees at a special called meeting at the Fort Worth, Texas, campus on May 22, 2018. The board met to discuss the recent controversies surrounding seminary President Paige Patterson, right, who was eventually fired. Photo by Adam Covington/SWBTS

In June, Paige Patterson, one of the architects of the conservative resurgence that took over the Southern Baptist Convention beginning in the late 1970s, was fired as president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary for mishandling sexual assault claims. While leading another Baptist seminary in 2003, according to an alleged rape victim, he disregarded her accusation of a fellow student.

Patterson was also chastised for repeatedly making insensitive comments about women, including claiming that he told a woman to return to her abusive husband.

Rachael Denhollander, a former gymnast whose testimony helped convict former USA Gymnastics team doctor Larry Nassar for decades of abuse, said her faith caused her to both confront and forgive her abuser. Nassar eventually was sentenced to up to 175 years in prison.

“I pray you experience the soul-crushing weight of guilt,” she told Nassar, “so you may someday experience true repentance and true forgiveness from God, which you need far more than forgiveness from me — though I extend that to you as well.”

Religion also played a major role in the confirmation hearings of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who was accused of sexual assault that allegedly occurred when he was a high school student. Some faith-based groups called on senators to reject Kavanaugh based on the allegations, while others rallied to his defense.

Protesters gather in front of the Supreme Court building holding signs with the image of Judge Brett Kavanaugh that read “Kava Nope” and “We Believe Christine Blasey Ford” on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Allegations of sexual misconduct also led to the firing of David Silverman, the popular president of American Atheists, a leading secular organization.

The past year also saw a wave of religious-linked violence and repression around the world. In Yemen, a war between rebels backed by Shiite Muslim leaders in Iran and the government backed by the Sunni government of Iraq led to one of the world’s worst humanitarian crises.

A deadly attack on the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh in October left 11 worshippers dead. The mass shooting, deemed the deadliest anti-Semitic attack in U.S. history, came amid a growing wave of anti-Semitism in the United States and Europe.

In China, as many as a million Uighurs, members of a mostly Muslim minority group, have been rounded up and detained in secret internment camps, labeled “vocational training centers.” Chinese officials have been accused of trying to erase the Uighurs’ culture and religion.

A Pittsburgh police officer patrols around the Tree of Life synagogue and a memorial of flowers and Stars of David in Pittsburgh on Oct. 28, 2018, in remembrance of those killed and injured when a shooter opened fire during services at the synagogue. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Among the other top stories from 2018:

  • Billy Graham, famed evangelical preacher and spiritual adviser to U.S. presidents, died at 99. His evangelistic crusades filled stadiums around the globe for decades, and even in retirement, he remained one of the most admired people in America.
  • The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the so-called “Muslim ban,” which bars travel from a number of Muslim-majority countries, is legal. The ban is part of a larger Trump administration policy to limit the number of refugees and immigrants allowed into the U.S.
  • The Supreme Court also sided with Jack Phillips, a Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple. The court ruled that Colorado officials discriminated against Phillips based on religion. But the decision did not end Phillips’ legal woes: He recently appeared in court again in another discrimination case.
  • Religious leaders helped lead opposition to a Trump administration family separation policy at the border.
  • The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints announced it would no longer welcome the term “Mormon.” Church President Russell M. Nelson said the name change was God’s will. “To remove the Lord’s name from the Lord’s Church is a major victory for Satan,” he told church members.
  • During the 2018 midterm elections, Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib became the first Muslim women elected to Congress.
  • A Turkish judge freed Andrew Brunson, an American pastor who had been jailed for two years after being accused of being a spy and conspiring against the Turkish government.
  • Asia Bibi, a Pakistani woman sentenced to death for blasphemy, was freed after Pakistan’s highest court threw out her conviction. Her acquittal led to riots and calls for her death. She remains in hiding.
  • American missionary John Allen Chau was killed while trying to contact an indigenous people group on North Sentinel Island in the Bay of Bengal. Indian officials said Chau’s attempt to contact the Sentinelese was illegal. Critics of Chau said he was misguided, while supporters called him a martyr.
  • Commemorations of the 50th anniversary of the death of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led to renewed calls to address the ongoing legacy of racism in the U.S. During one event, held by Southern Baptists and other conservative groups in Memphis, news broke that a white Baptist church was expelled from its local association for racism. That church eventually became the first church removed from the Southern Baptist Convention for racism.
  • James Cone, a famed theologian known as the founder of black liberation theology, died at 79.
  • Eugene Peterson, whose Bible paraphrase known as “The Message” sold millions of copies, died at 85. Known as a pastor to pastors, Peterson was an author, theologian and preacher. Among his last words were “Let’s go.”
  • American Zen master Roshi Bernie Glassman died at 79.

About the author

Bob Smietana

Bob Smietana is a veteran religion writer and editor-in-chief of Religion News Service.

104 Comments

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  • Nothing new — unfortunately. 1. ‘Do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do’ religious leaders still exist. 2. Theology still preached by those who do not follow it. 3. ‘Up-and-comers’ still grabbing possible adherents by the heart (and soul) strings. 4. ‘Non-apology apologies’ continue to be offered. 5. Racism to be confronted (yet again) by a religious group. 6. More violence in the name of religion, 7. … 8. … etc, etc.

  • Right-wing aka “conservative”, ideology has always been and always will be evil; preaching hatred, intolerance, dogma while harboring those most guilty of us all. We all know any movie, book, fiction or non-fiction, the character that bible thumps, is the one guilty party of all heinous forms of humanity. I don’t know why people are so surprised when we hear about these stories come to light.

  • GET A LOAD OF THIS GUY, Corey Mondello, accusing just an hour ago, “Conservative … ideology … [is] preaching hatred, intolerance”! – while at the same time “preaching” the very same things himself: “Hatred”! “Intolerance”! WATCH:

    “Corey Mondello … an hour ago … 9 months ago … 3 months ago … Some people are just born ‘wrong’. … The world would be better off with[out] these types of people! … Those who stand with these people, are evil! … But I’m also intelligent enough to know, the Dems have to ‘play politics’ just as hard as the GOP does … [because] ‘lesser of the two evils’ is the way of politics. It always has been, it always will be.”

  • AW C’MON, R.N.S.! I expect better than just the “allegations of sexual misconduct … le[a]d[ing] to the firing of David Silverman, the popular president of American Atheists, a leading secular organization” – as your year-end recap of “2018 [as] a year of reckoning for powerful [and proudly godless] figures”! Here’s a Smart Whataboutism for you journalists, if memory serves: What about Neil deGrasse Tyson & Lawrence Krauss – the other #MeToo celebs?!

  • Atheists question belief systems! For some reason that pisssses you off. It strikes a nerve up in your orifice.

  • “as your fjord and xavier” – what? … you’re breaking up … you in a tunnel? … message not received … say again, you in a tunnel vision there, agent ashiest?

  • Too bad we’re not reading about thousands of pastors who repented of agreeing with and promoting Trumpism for the United States. But they didn’t repent even after sampling it in action, so we unfortunately cannot be reading about what they failed to do.

  • “That sermon made Curry perhaps the best-known Protestant clergyman on the planet and earned him recognition as the “Religion Newsmaker of the Year,” according to the Religion News Association.” C’mon RNA – are you so blinded that you cannot see the fallacy of this?
    1) He promotes homosexuality – something Christ taught against; something Christ pronounced death in Hell for, but he’s your number one guy of the year? That doesn’t say much for your self respect (or knowledge of the Bible)
    2) Communion is a celebration of what Christ did for believers. He died so that we may have life more abundantly. Curry makes a mockery of this celebration by having known people in rebellion against Christ partaking of the celebration. He is endorsin their

  • I was mulling over what to say about the lead photo for this year-end review, whose caption boasts:

    “2018 saw Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, left, and Bill Hybels, right, fall from grace, while the Rev. Michael Curry, center, rose to fame.”

    Then I go, Never mind. Sandi here’s at it first.

    GOOD EYE. You, too, sure “rose”! To the occasion, that is.

    Have a very blessed year in 2019! In God & Jesus! As always!

  • What, no mention that it was the year of The Great Kibosh of All Religions. Once again:

    Putting the kibosh on all religion in less than ten seconds: Priceless !!!

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Abraham i.e. the foundations of Judaism, Christianity and Islam are non-existent.

    • As far as one knows or can tell, there was no Moses i.e the pillars of Judaism, Christianity and Islam have no strength of purpose.

    • There was no Gabriel i.e. Islam fails as a religion. Christianity partially fails.

    • There was no Easter i.e. Christianity completely fails as a religion.

    • There was no Moroni i.e. Mormonism is nothing more than a business cult.

    • Sacred/revered cows, monkey gods, castes, reincarnations and therefore Hinduism fails as a religion.

    • Fat Buddhas here, skinny Buddhas there, reincarnated/reborn Buddhas everywhere makes for a no on Buddhism.

    • A constant cycle of reincarnation until enlightenment is reached and belief that various beings (angels?, tinkerbells? etc) exist that we, as mortals, cannot comprehend makes for a no on Sikhism.

    Added details available upon written request.

    A quick search will put the kibosh on any other groups calling themselves a religion.

    e.g. Taoism

    “The origins of Taoism are unclear. Traditionally, Lao-tzu who lived in the sixth century is regarded as its founder. Its early philosophic foundations and its later beliefs and rituals are two completely different ways of life. Today (1982) Taoism claims 31,286,000 followers.

    Legend says that Lao-tzu was immaculately conceived by a shooting star; carried in his mother’s womb for eighty-two years; and born a full grown wise old man. “

  • Bishop Love believes that gay people can live together but should remain celibate in their relationship and not be married. Which is sitting on the fence. And creates a couple of conundrums pastorally and otherwise.

    The Episcopal church requires a general and personal confession before taking Communion as part of the liturgy. Pretty sure most congregants confess something on a weekly basis and likely the same type of thing or identical sin. I also found it interesting that you overlooked the Gospel as to Christ’s words as to the meaning of Communion. And I would recommend you begin with v 20 (or even before) and consider other versions – NIV says fallen asleep which makes more sense within that context of drinking too much wine.

    Finally you are wrong about members not agreeing with him. Eight dioceses do not. Not most.

    And you still don’t know what else Paul deemed unnatural.

  • Christ taught nothing about homosexuality, good or bad. He never mentioned the subject based on all 4 evangelist’s accounts. And yet, there is a great possibility that he blessed a same sex relationship when he healed the Roman Centurion’s beloved.

    As to the Eucharist, it is between Christ and the members of his Church personally whether they partake in a worthy manner, not your strange dictates, beliefs or interpretations.

    Bishop Love in NY is in a very small minority of Episcopal Church bishops or members with his refusal to follow the decision of General Convention regarding same sex marriage. Not every Episcopalian in his diocese agrees with him and they have resources beyond his control, whether the ministry of another Episcopal bishop or the ministry of nearby ELCA parishes, as that Church, its Churchwide Assembly and bishops also supports same sex marriage.

  • I’d like to dedicate my next song to Rat Con. It’s called:

    YOU’VE COME A LONG WAY, BABY ASHIESTS

    “‘On its own,’ atheism ‘is a non-positive assertion.’ Unbelief, however, is rarely ‘on its own.’ As [Stephen LeDrew in The Evolution of Atheism] points out, with the rise of evolutionary theory, atheism ‘moved from simple negation of religious beliefs to an affirmation of liberalism, scientific rationality, and the legitimacy of the institutions and methodology of modern science—and thus from religious criticism to a complete ideological system.’ Atheism, then, is ‘a form of belief—rather than a lack of belief—shaped by its socio-historical context’ and ‘inextricably bound up with’ a plethora of principles that emerged from the Enlightenment.”

    Source: David Hoelscher, “New Atheism, Worse Than You Think”, CounterPunch, January 29, 2016.

  • Same to you. Let us all hope it is a good one…

    And that world survives our own dime store Antichrist.

  • Lots of wasted verbiage as the Great Kibosh of All Religions rules the day and the remainder of human life as we know it.

  • “Christianity completely fails as a religion.” In this statement you are correct, because you do not understand that Christianity is not a religion.
    I am using the definition that a religion is man’s attempting to make himself acceptable to God. Christianity is God’s gift through Jesus to make those that accept the gift, fully loved and accepted to Him.

  • Curry still hasn’t taught you that Christ is God?
    That assembly – cannot call it a church – endorses unrepentant sinners to celebrate Christ’s death that they don’t accept for themselves
    Bishop Love is a wise man who listens to Christ. Curry could learn a lot from him

  • Homosexuals are never married, even if the culture allows them to think they are:

    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.”

  • God bless you HpO. Maybe someone will get saved today because of God’s truth presented,
    Have a wonderful new year and perhaps we can help others who want to be helped next year

  • The other unnatural passage please and then we can talk.

    Falling asleep means exactly that when you read the context of drinking and eating too much.

    And funny that you exclude the commandments John specifically refers to – v 9-10. in giving your interpretation of single verses of scriptureto justify your belief.

    And homosexuality is not a sin – homosexual behaviour yes bit along with other sins relating to sexual morality Paul deems worth mentioning although he misses quite a few.

  • Christ did not say a single word approving homosexual activity.

    The ONLY forms of sexuality our Lord spoke approvingly of were heterosexual marriage (Mark 10:7-9) and celibacy (Matthew 19:12).

    There is NO indication – either in Scripture or in any of the ancient Fathers – that the Roman Centurion and his slave had a same sex relationship. That is a modern fantasy invented by the LGBT lobbyists.

    It is the duty of every responsible priest/clergyman to ensure that no parishioner is admitted to Holy Communion if they are leading an openly sinful, unrepentant life (homosexuality, adultery, etc.) They should be advised of this privately (in confession or counseling), but if they remain heedless, they need to be turned away at the chalice – lest they eat and drink to their own condemnation. (I Corinthians 11).

  • So you build your theology from the negative? If you don’t find it mentioned by Jesus, then it isn’t true? I’m not aware that Jesus ever mentioned the Immaculate Conception either. There are more Christians that reject that Roman dogma than accept it.

    There is no indication that it wasn’t a same sex relationship either. BTW, the word often translated slave in English versions, actually has a number of meanings, one being partner or lover.

    I guess that it doesn’t matter about we Episcopalians because you Catholics consider our priestly orders null and void and our sacraments invalid. Go watch & worry about the stones thrown at your glass house!

  • Ah, Sandi in Hell (with a demonic cat avatar!), I’d recognize your rhetoric as sandinwindsor anywhere. Are you in stealth mode?

    Bishop Curry and I both know that Jesus is God the Son. The question is the person of the Godhead represented in the Hebrew Testament. Jesus, as a Jew, prayed to the God of the Israelites, his father. Did God have dissociative identity disorder? Was Jesus praying to himself?

    And we know that you are persuaded that the English mistranslations of the Hebrew in Leviticus is actually accurate, because you spew this over and over. Reading Hebrew, I know that it isn’t what it states.

    Bishop Love is mostly a jerk, or worse.

  • Question Sandi in Hell, does Romans 1 actually contain the mind/beliefs of Paul or is Paul quoting someone else’s beliefs?

  • I’m pretty sure that it doesn’t. There are far more humans who have a religious faith than there are humans who are atheists. Even in those communist nations that suppress religious belief and are officially atheist.

  • The Atheist Self-Acknowledgment that “atheism … is ‘a form of belief—rather than a lack of belief” – is NOT “wasted verbiage”.

    Although atheism is.

  • If I don’t find homosexuality approved in the Scriptures and in 2000 years of Christian sexual morality, then, NO, you better believe I don’t accept it!

    Your mention of the Immaculate Conception is a “swing and a miss” on your part -I don’t believe in it.

    “There are more Christians that reject that Roman dogma that accept it.” As I just said, I am one of those that reject it. But is this really the line of argument you want to pursue? For there are more Christians that reject homosexuality than accept it.

    I am well aware of the various meanings of “pais”, having majored in Classics nearly half a century ago. It is basically an all purpose word for “child”, or “youth”, either male or female. It can be used to refer to a slave as well- which is where the possibility of homosexuality comes in. For young slaves in the ancient world were often used for sexual purposes – which we today consider child abuse. Unless specifically mentioned, it is not possible to definitively say whether or not a sexual aspect was present. You are certainly free to read one into the Biblical passage, but be advised it would be one of pedophilic homosexuality. Is that really what you want to promote here? Jesus the pedophile enabler and blesser?

    Show me the Patristic evidence that ANY of the Holy Fathers of ancient times considered the Centurion/slave to be a homosexual relationship. That is a purely modern LGBT fantasy.

  • Curry really has you screwed up, my friend I suggest you read John 1:1-10, and 5:18 for your answer – if you own a Bible.
    No mistranslation – that is only stated by those who cannot accept the truth.
    Bishop Love could have helped you to become a Christian.

  • Your denial of the term “falling asleep” is not unusual for you Linda.
    I don’t need to deny anything. I trust Christ. I wish you would also.
    Homosexuality is a sin. There is no “orientation” except the desire to sin.

  • So you aren’t Roman Catholic?

    The pais doesn’t have to be a minor. The Centurion’s relationship could well have been two loving consenting adults.

    Mary, the mother of Jesus was also thought to be a minor, was he born of a victim of pedophilia?

    As to 2000 years of Christian sexual morality. Your concept is a fantasy. It is much more diverse than your 50 year old education allows.

  • Christ’s followers taught against homosexuality, so chances are,when He was incarnate, he continued in the condemnation of the sin

  • Yes they are – time to start accepting the truth, David. No homosexuals were invited out of Sodom and Gomorrah.

  • You don’t appear to realize that Presiding Bishop Curry is fairly new to that post. The Episcopal Church was welcoming of all the baptized well before he was elected to his current position by the House of Bishops.

    I own many Bibles, in many modern English translations, as well as, in their original languages. There are many mistranslations, but in your ignorance of the original languages you wouldn’t know. Expand your education. Study Hebrew and Koine Greek, a Jewish dialect of Greek.

    I was a baptized and confirmed Christian long before I realized that I was gay.

  • The idea that a “pais” doesn’t have to be minor, but “could well have been two loving consenting adults”, is modern LGBT tripe. A survey of homoerotic ancient Greek poetry – such as can be found in the Greek Anthology, for example – shows that the couplings were between an adult man and a prepubescent boy. The appearance of bodily hair on the boy was lamented as a great tragedy, and signaled the end of the relationship, as the man broke off their relationship to search for younger prey. It was hardly “two loving consenting adults”.

    If Christian sexual morality is “much more diverse” than my half century of study allows, how is it that you are unable to show me ANY evidence that any of the ancient Holy Fathers considered the Centurion/slave relationship in Luke 7 to be sexual? How is it that you cannot provide any proof that the Christian Church -from ancient times until the recent LGBT nonsense – ever considered homosexuality to be anything but sinful?

    Sorry, but it is your concept of the diversity of Christian sexual morality that is mistaken. Too much LGBT Kool aid.

  • Jesus prayed to his Father, not to himself, silly.

    All the persons of the Triune God appear in the Old Testament.

    Thus we see the Trinity in the act of creation in Genesis, where God creates the universe through his Word and his Spirit.

  • Yes, those invited to be the holy survivors of S&G; first we have righteous Lot, the man of such great integrity that he offered up his preciously valued virgin daughters to be gang-raped. Second, his righteous wife, who obviously felt a lot of remorse to have to leave her good life in Sodom. And thirdly Lot’s righteous daughters who slipped daddy a mickey and then both proceeded to incestuously rape him in his inebriated state without his consent or conscious participation.

    I don’t see any homosexuality involved in the story of S&G. But a lot of other sexual perversions that’s for sure. Perversions within the family of lot with which the author of 2 Pet doesn’t at all seem to be acquainted.

  • I will refer you to the writings of the late Dr John Boswell. He found a lot about human sexuality and same sex relationships in the Church through the centuries. Much of it in the Vatican archives.

  • Wrong again Sandi in HELL. Haven’t you learned anything about the truth. I’ve tried to teach you but you are very stubborn and refuse to listen.

  • But Rick, I can’t carry on a conversation with both you and Sandi in HELL, you don’t both believe the same things.

  • Because you don’t know the truth.
    Show us some scripture equivalent to:

    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.

    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.”
    So where does God endorse homosexuality?

  • Better yet, post those passages in the original Hebrew and Greek they actually say what that mistranslated English says. You won’t find it.

    Caio, madame of HELL

  • Isn’t it interesting? Lot was considered righteous because he believed God.
    And, is it not also interesting that God, knowing everything, knew what Lot’s daughters and Lot would do, but Christ still brought them, and no one else out of S&G?
    Homosexuality is all over S&G – an invitation to sleep with what they thought were men, and their trying to force homosexual sex on the men

  • Did he get kicked from his last posting David? Had he hurt too many people there, and then, someone, like you, wanting someone to tell them they were not sinning, accepted him into their assembly?
    I don’t need to know “original languages”. I have accepted translations – something you could obviously learn from. I have learned that people who claim to know, “original languages” use that as an excuse to not believe the truth, rather than accepting Christ at His word. They play mind games with themselves David.
    You could be a Christian also David – turn to Jesus, renounce your sin, and follow Him. He taught that homosexuality is an abomination Leviticus 18:22. He said they would die for their sin, and then God turned around and died for them, if they would accept His offer of love and freedom from bondage.

  • Sandi and the other evangelicals that have made the RNS site infamous for being a religious “hate site” is why the fundraising is so lacking. Well, RNS allowed them to hijack their site to promote their religious hate, and they’re finding out there is a cost to that.

  • Did he get kicked from his last posting David? Had he hurt too many people there, and then, someone, like you, wanting someone to tell them they were not sinning, accepted him into their assembly?

    Perhaps because of your utter ignorance you should stop posting about the Episcopal Church. Bishop Curry was bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina. Then his sister & brother bishops, during the General Convention of the Episcopal Church, elected him to be the Presiding Bishop & Primate of the denomination. He was respected and well loved by his diocese and is now respected and well-loved by the denomination.

    Your misunderstanding about human sexuality won’t bar you from Heaven. I’m sure that there will be special LGBTQ entourage to welcome you through the pearly gates and forgive the harm you have done to us here on earth.

    Ciao, moving on. I’m board with your repeats for now.

  • The Great Kibosh of All Religions rules the rational thinking world and said rational world grows as the Great Kibosh continues its reach:

    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/04/05/christians-remain-worlds-largest-religious-group-but-they-are-declining-in-europe/

    Religion……………… Adherents

    Christianity ……………………..2.1 billion

    Islam…………………………… 1.5 billion

    Irreligious/agnostic/atheism…… 1.1 billion

    Hinduism 900 million

    Chinese traditional religion 394 million

    Buddhism 376 million

    Animist religions 300 million

    African traditional/diasporic religions 100 million

    Sikhism 23 million

    Juche 19 million

    Spiritism 15 million

    Judaism……………………………………..
    14 million

    Baha’i 7 million

    Jainism 4.2 million

    Shinto 4 million

    Cao Dai 4 million

    Zoroastrianism 2.6 million

    Tenrikyo 2 million

    Neo-Paganism 1 million

    Unitarian Universalism 800,000

    Rastafari Movement 600,000

  • Falling asleep is frequently used as a metaphor for death but not in the cited context. And oddly you do not similarly then accept Adam and Eve as metaphors based on language rather than insisting on personhood. There is a reason for other verses and chapters . Otherwise the Bible could be parsed down into a 100 or so verses instead of 80000 plus. to reflect doctrine/dogma. I am not playing any scripture game with you when you have no qualms about citing scripture without context so easily Told you where to start reading Corinthians and to look further at 1 John.

    And you still haven’t found the other passage in which Paul deems something else to be unnatural.

  • And I will refer you to Claudia Rapp, Miodrag Kajadinovic, Archimandrite Ephrem Lash, and Daniel Mendelsohn for debunkings of Boswell’s fundamentally flawed book “Same-sex Marriage in Premodern Europe”. As Mendelsohn noted, it is a book “whose disingenuousness verges on fraud”.

    In general, Boswell’s book reminds me of Torjesen’s “When Women Were Priests”. Both were highly popular, as well as highly erroneous.

  • Funny, but I have seen plenty of ANTI-religious hate on this site. Since you don’t even mention it, I guess you’re okay with that. Oh, I forgot – it’s only “hate” if it’s a viewpoint you don’t agree with it, eh?

  • Any LGBT entourage welcoming Sandi through the pearly gates will be those who took her seriously, and turned away in repentance from their homosexual sins.

  • Yes it is.
    Adam and Eve have nothing to do with it.
    I cite scripture within context. You need to learn what you are trying to discuss, if you think that way.
    Find you own passage honey. You’re a big girl

  • So, did he get kicked/
    Your misunderstanding of human sexuality will keep you from Heaven:

    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.

  • He promotes homosexuality – something Christ taught against; something Christ pronounced death in Hell for

    LoL. Chapter and verse, please.

    Read your book. OTOH, I can provide chapter and verse for that much ignored command not to bear false witness.

  • Then by your definition, Jesus healed a child sex slave so that the centurion could continue a sexual relationship with him.

  • Nobody is going to get “saved” by you and your ilk spewing venom and hate.

    Nobody wants what you’ve got. Nobody wants to be like you.

    With the contempt you spew, you are a walking declaration that everything you believe is rubbish.

    Happy New Year.

  • The Bible says the sin of Sodom was failure to welcome immigrants and strangers.

    It’s you and your ilk who should be worried about retribution from your imaginary deity.

  • No, you have poor reading comprehension skills. I wrote that “[Pais] is basically an all purpose word for “child” or “youth”, either male or female…Unless specifically mentioned, it is not possible to definitively say whether or not a sexual aspect was present”.

    I, together with the past 2000 years of traditional Christian teaching on the passage, have not read any sexual content into it. It is David Allen here who does that, when in defense of his LGBT proclivities, he uses the passage as an example of two pedophilic homosexual lovers, and thus turns the child into the sex slave of a homosexual pedophile.

  • Sandi in FantasyLand, looking for truth in the Bible is roughly equivalent to looking for truth in Trump’s Tweets.

    It’s virtually all fallacy, delusion, fantasy, ignorance, hoax, sophistry,
    chicanery, fraud, scam, etc. . . . all of which are exploited by hucksters in a
    never-ending crusade for dominion/sovereignty over all humanity, and often with a quest for greater personal wealth and/or perceived status among the gullible masses.

  • You’e right, no one will get saved because of me – it’s all Christ’s doing but, they will learn the truth on certain matters because of a few of us who care about them going to Heaven. What about you?

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

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

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

    Matthew 5:17New King James Version (NKJV)

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

    Genesis 2:18Then the LORD God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit fore him.” 19Now out of the ground the LORD God had formedf every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adamg there was not found a helper fit for him. 21So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22And the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man he madeh into a woman and brought her to the man. 23Then the man said,

    “This at last is bone of my bones

    and flesh of my flesh;

    she shall be called Woman,

    because she was taken out of Man.”i

    24Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

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

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

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

    And they declare their sin as Sodom;

    They do not hide it.

    Woe to their soul!

    For they have brought evil upon themselves.

    Jeremiah 23:14English Standard Version (ESV)

    14

    But in the prophets of Jerusalem

    I have seen a horrible thing:

    they commit adultery and walk in lies;

    they strengthen the hands of evildoers,

    so that no one turns from his evil;

    all of them have become like Sodom to me,

    and its inhabitants like Gomorrah.”

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

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

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

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

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

    1 Kings 14:24 New International Version (NIV)

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

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

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

    1 Corinthians 6:18

    New International Version

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

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

    1 Corinthians 10:8English Standard Version (ESV)

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

    ed

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Galatians 5:19-21

    New International Version (NIV)

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

    Ephesians 5:31

    New Living Translation (NLT)

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

    Colossians 3:5

    New Living Translation (NLT)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Revelation 2:20 International Standard Version (ISV)

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

    Revelation 21:8 ESV

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

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

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

    BIBLICAL SUMMARY OF HOMOSEXUALITY

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

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

    • Folly (Judges 19:23)

    • A vile act (Judges 19:24)

    • A vile affection (Rom 1:26)

    • An act against nature (Rom 1:26)

    • An abusive act (1 Cor 6:9)

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

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

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

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

  • And for the same 2000 years, christians have read Mary Magdalene as a prostitute even tho the text says nothing of the sort.

    For 2000 years, christians have said the destruction of Sodom was due to homosexuality when the bible states plainly that Sodom’s sin was lack of hospitality.

    “2000 years of traditional Christian teaching” on any subject tells us only about christian prejudice and power grabs. It tells us nothing about the true content of the text.

  • Learn to read.

    You said “Jesus taught.”

    Most of those verses are not words Jesus spoke while on earth. The two that are words of Jesus are vague and do not mention homosexuality.

    Stop bearing false witness. Ya know, one of the “top ten”.

  • You are utterly mistaken when you claim that for 2000 years Christians “have read Mary Magdalene as a prostitute”. That is a latter erroneous teaching that did not arise until the 7th Century, with Pope Gregory the Great. It has never been accepted in Eastern Christendom, nor is it universally believed even in the West today. You are, however, correct, when you note that “the text says nothing of the sort”, which is why so many Christians have long rejected Pope Gregory’s slanderous error.

    You are also mistaken about the causes of the destruction of Sodom. Yes, the text of Genesis indicates a violation of hospitality to strangers, but it cannot be overlooked that this violation of hospitality took the form of attempted homosexual concourse with the angelic visitors. The Bible confirms the Sodomites gross sexual immorality in Jude 7.

    Not that these were the Sodomites only sins. Ezekiel 16:49-50 also mentions that, despite an abundance of food and ease, they did not help “the poor and needy”. Right after that he mentions that they “committed abominations” before the Lord – an obvious reference to homosexual sin: The same word, “abomination”, is used to describe homosexual sin in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13.

    Your ill founded claims tell us nothing about the true content of the Biblical witness. They are based on nothing more than anti-Christian prejudice, LGBT power grabs, and ideologically based pseudo-scholarship.

  • Corey Mondello uses his own name and does not hide behind a meaningless identifier. It is pretty easy to criticize while in hiding.

  • CORRECTION: “It is pretty easy to criticize while [NOT] in hiding … [if it’s] the Christians … LSMoir [as] a Presbyterian Minister … was criticizing … [For instance] “‘a Christian church in Wayne County, PA’ … is not a Christian Church … Egad! Jesus would puke! … [Or of the] assumption some of my brother and sister believers [do not] have … that we find God wherever we are.”

    Source: “LSMoir … 10 months ago”.

  • I am using the definition that a religion is man’s attempting to make himself acceptable to God.

    That isn’t a definition of religion, that’s something you fabricated from whole cloth so that you can play your little games. Religion likely comes from the Latin that means to bind. Which is exactly what we do when we accept the gift, we bind ourselves to God. So Christianity is very much a religion.

  • The word “abomination” is also used to describe eating shellfish. Apparently “abomination” isn’t that big of a deal.

    I stand by my claim that “traditional christian teaching” means nothing. Christians throughout the centuries and the 40,000+ denominations that exist today have between them adopted every possible interpretation while each believing they alone read the bible correctly while all those other bad christians are wrong.

    The bible is a mirror. It is so vague and self contradictory that it can be (and has been!) used to defend anything the reader wants to believe. Your contempt and condemnation of certain groups of people tell us nothing about the bible and everything about you.

    And don’t bother to tell me that you you you read the bible correctly and those billions of other christians past and present are mistaken anytime they don’t agree with you. I could have guessed.

  • “Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this goal post, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

    Matt 17:20, New Evangelical Version

    You said “Jesus taught.” In plain language, that means the human who walked the earth, preached the sermon on the mount and died on the day of passover (and on the day before passover, awkward).

    No matter what you believe about God getting a girl pregnant so that she could give birth to him, to normal people, “Jesus taught” refers to audible words spoken by a physical person. That is, until a dishonest person moves the goal posts and changes the definitions rather than having the integrity to admit “Jesus” said zippo bits about gays.

  • Jesus did not say a single word approving:

    Adoption
    Church buildings
    The New Testament
    The teaching of Paul
    The Nicene Creed
    Central heating
    Indoor plumbing
    Christmas Trees
    Youth pastors
    Elevators
    Sewing circles
    Bowling clubs
    High school graduation
    Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny
    Hymns and Christmas carols
    Microwave ovens
    Spaceflight
    The Hubble Telescope
    Border walls

    Etc.

    You’d best cut all those out of your life.

  • I see you have quietly abandoned your misbegotten claim that for 2000 years “Christians have read Mary Magdalene as a prostitute”. How typical of you to slink away from that topic with your tail between your legs, and hoping nobody will notice.

    How silly to think that violations of the Old Testament Law weren’t “that big of a deal”. The Law represented the will of God for those under the Old Covenant, and willful violations of it were rebellion against the Lord and very serious; that includes homosexuality, shellfish, pork, etc.

    Due to the fulfillment and obsolescence of the Old Covenant with the coming of Jesus, those covered by the New Testament are not required to observe the Old Testament Laws, apart from the elementary precepts set forth by the Apostles, who were personally taught by Jesus. Abstention from shellfish is not required of Christians; abstention from sexual immorality still is. (Acts 15)

    And don’t pretend that you are some sort of expert on “traditional Christian teaching”, when you haven’t the faintest idea what the tradition entails.

  • I made my point and moved on. If you want to quibble over 1300 years or 1600 years or 2000 years, fine. It makes zero substantive difference. The reason it is less than 2000 is that the “woman at the well” story was added to the perfect, unchanging gospels several hundred years after the books were written. That’s not something I thought you would want to emphasize. My point remains. Christian “tradition” is not an indicator of accuracy. Pretty much the opposite.

    Christians abandoned dietary laws and sabbath laws because they had a hard time selling their myth to new marks with that nonsense intact. Jesus said not word of the law would change. Awkward.

    Matt 5

    18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

    The earth is still here, and you’re teaching people they can ignore Yahweh’s dietary laws. Looks like you’re gonna get it.

    Nobody is an expert on “traditional christian teaching” because it changes according to the whims and convenience of the christian speaking.

  • You may have “moved on”; that is your usual modus operandi when your errors are revealed. But you certainly did not make any point, other than highlighting you own ignorance about Mary Magdalene.

    The “woman at the well” story is irrelevant, as it does not concern Mary Magdalene. The Samaritan woman known as Photini is not the same person as the Jewish woman from Magdala called Mary.

    Insofar as the episode of the Samaritan woman was well known and commented on as an accepted part of John by a number of early patristic authors, it simply will not fly to say that it was added to the Gospel “several hundred years” after it was written.

    Yes, Jesus said that the Law would not disappear “until all is fulfilled/accomplished”. (Matthew 5:18)

    And at the end of his crucifixion he proclaimed: “It is finished/fulfilled/consummated” (John 19:30), indicating the fulfillment of his saving passion, the end of the Old Covenant, and the beginning of the New. The Law/Old Covenant is now obsolete. (Hebrews 8:13)

    Sorry if you didn’t get the memo.

  • The earth is still here, last I checked. As it hasn’t passed away, neither has the OT law, per a certain semi mythological 1st century wandering preacher.

    The church intentionally merged Mary Magdalene with the prostitute in a different story to minimize her role. Christians throughout history have ignored, cherry picked and changed stories at will, depending on what was needed to obtain and maintain power.

  • I already demonstrated to you the obsolesence of the Law, per the inspired Scriptures. Jesus’ words “until everything is accomplished” are a qualifier to his previous clause about “heaven and earth” and indicate the time when the Old Covenant passes away, and by his words in John 19 he clearly proclaims that time has come. Sorry if that doesn’t fit your boiler plate anti-Christian talking points.

    And just as you quietly ignored your flub when you claimed that “for 2000 years Christians have read Mary Magdalene as a prostitute”, you now ignore your erroneous conflation of Mary Magdalene with the Samaritan woman Photini, and try to deflect attention from it by reverting to your claim that “the church intentionally merged Mary Magdalene with a prostitute to minimize her role”. As I noted earlier, only some misguided Western Christians did that. The rest lauded her as both “Equal to the Apostles”, and “The Apostle to the Apostles” – and never a prostitute.

    Your grasp of the actual historical Christian tradition is very weak, but you never let your lack of knowledge interfere with your blanket denunciations of it.

  • I agree that homosexuality is not a sin. Scripturally, all sorts of sexual activity in certain circumstances are deemed sins However, what constitutes marriage and sexual relationships is also defined/referenced as being broader than simply marriage between a man and a woman.

  • Yeah, in the 20th century, some of those “misguided western christians” operated prisons for unwed mothers they called “Magdalene Laundries.”

    But you have proved my point. The Bible is so vague and self contradictory that it says anything any christian wants it to say.

    Take the words attributed to your semi mythological man-god:

    “For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.”

    Read it. There are two different time periods in one sentence. Fortunately, Rick has “demonstrated to you the obsolesence of the Law, per the inspired Scriptures.” In other words, Rick picked the interpretation that causes him the least inconvenience. It would be a shame if he couldn’t put a few logs on the fire, eat a bacon cheeseburger, and settle in to watch a bunch of men play ball with a pigskin on the Sabbath.

  • Same basic traditional teachings taught by the Church for 2000 years. Some nutzo heretics teaching otherwise does not invalidate that, sonny.

    But it’s high time I followed our Lord Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 7:6.

  • Definition “Nutzo heretic” – any christian individual, group or denomination that does not interpret the bible exactly as Rick Brandt. This includes nearly all of the 40,000 plus christian denominations that exist today and most historical denominations.

    Definition “True Christian” – any christian individual, group or denomination that does interpret the bible exactly as Rick Brandt. This includes approximately one of the 40,000 plus christian denominations that exist today and at most one of any historical denomination in existence at any point in time.

    Rick said: “Same basic traditional teachings taught by the Church for 2000 years.” There is no such thing. Study church history. Get outside your bubble. The “traditional church teaching” you worship never existed.

    There is no body of “traditional church teaching.” The only times when there was an appearance of uniformity in Christian belief was when Christians held absolute political power and tortured and/or killed all dissenters. But even then there was disagreement. Sincere christians on all sides read the same book and were willing to kill to defend their interpretation.

  • CORRECTIONS:

    Definition “Nutzo heretic” – any Christian individual, group, or denomination that does not adhere to the basic traditional Christian teachings of the early Ecumenical Councils and Creeds.

    Repeat for “True Christian”.

    Mic drop.

    (Going to put some Icy Hot on my sore throwing arm now.)

  • LoL. Which “basic traditional Christian teachings of the early Ecumenical Councils and Creeds”?

    There were no creeds for the first 200 years or so of church history. There were dozens or hundreds of types of “traditional christians” running about.

    I trust you aware that the creeds exist because the early church did not agree on much of anything. And I trust you know that the Nicene creed won only because one group of christians obtained political power and so could enforce their “correct” doctrine with a sword.

  • You’re funny.

    If you want to know the contents of the basic traditional Christian teachings of the early Ecumenical Councils and Creeds, read them. Maybe supplement them with books by JND Kelly, Leo Davis, Jaroslav Pelikan, John Meyendorff, and the original documents in Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers, Second Series, Volume 14.

    The Nicene Creed won because 316 of the 318 Bishops of the Council accepted and signed it. No swords were used. Despite later severe Imperial pressure to enforce “nutzo heretical” Arianism, the Nicene position eventually prevailed.

    The correct version of the Nicene Creed is the one originally passed by that Council, and then expanded by the Second Ecumenical Council (Constantinople I) in 381 AD.

    The Nicene Creed addressed the controversies of the time. Eating shrimp, as well as sexual immorality, were already addressed by the Apostles at the Council of Jerusalem (Acts 15). American racial slavery -abolished in 1865 – was not an issue in the Fourth Century AD.

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