The American Bible Society, left, is headquartered in Philadelphia. Photo courtesy of Google Maps

With new 'affirmation' policy, American Bible Society loses LGBT staffers

(RNS) — Employees at the American Bible Society have until the end of this month to sign a statement promising that they will attend church and abstain from sex before marriage, which it defines as between a man and a woman.

Anyone who doesn't sign the Affirmation of Biblical Community will be out of a job effective Feb. 1.

The new policy was introduced by the society's board in December 2017, giving employees 13 months to decide whether to sign. While the statement essentially consists of conservative Christian beliefs, the effect of the policy will be to allow the society to terminate LGBT employees and unmarried heterosexuals who are not celibate.

Roy Peterson, president and CEO of American Bible Society. Photo courtesy of American Bible Society


 This image is available for web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

So far 36 people have quit their jobs, only a slightly higher number than in previous years, according to Roy Peterson, the society’s president and CEO.

Those departures represent a little less than 20 percent of the society’s workforce. But several have explicitly resigned in protest of the affirmation, and more are expected to resign by the end of the month.

In a statement responding to questions from Religion News Service, Peterson said the affirmation policy “was introduced because we believe a staff made up of people with a deep and personal connection to the Bible will bring unity and clarity as we continue our third century of ministry.”

At least one board member may be a casualty of negative reaction to the new policy. Angela F. Williams, the CEO of Easter Seals, a nonprofit providing disability services, resigned earlier this month. She had served as vice president of the American Bible Society's board.

Williams would not comment on why she stepped down, but her departure came a week after a former American Bible Society employee, Jeremy Gimbel, confronted Easter Seals on social media, asking why its CEO serves on the board of an organization that “discriminates against LGBT individuals.”

Easter Seals does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity or marital status, according to a 2014 policy manual.

“I feel like the world needs to know what this organization really stands for,” said Gimbel, a gay man who had worked for the American Bible Society for 10 years as a web services manager before quitting last year after the affirmation policy was introduced.

Jeremy Gimbel, a 34-year-old gay man who had worked for the American Bible Society for 10 years, quit after the ABS adopted a new affirmation policy. Photo courtesy of Jeremy Gimbel


 This image is available for web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

He penned a blog post about the experience in which he wrote: “I don’t think anything could have prepared me for how it would feel to sit amongst my colleagues, some of whom I’d worked beside for almost 10 years, and be told by the president of American Bible Society that I was no longer welcome there. No longer wanted. No longer good enough.”

Another gay man who said his position was eliminated last month told of numerous vacancies and at least one department gutted.

“The people they have lost have hurt this company like you wouldn’t believe,” he said. He declined to be named because his severance package requires him not to say anything negative about the organization.

The policy cements a shift that began in the 1990s for the organization — founded in 1816 to publish, distribute and translate the Bible — away from its ecumenical roots toward a narrower evangelical identity.

Beginning in the 1990s, the American Bible Society changed its constitution to make it a ministry that undertakes “Scripture engagement.” Previously the charter said the society published Bibles “without note or comment.”

Last year, the organization scuffled with a group of academics who protested the American Bible’s Society’s recently acquired .bible domain name because it excluded any group with a scholarly or secular orientation from using the internet network address. Its policies prohibit any content that “advocates belief in any religious or faith tradition other than orthodox Christianity or Judaism,” barring those critical of religious traditions or views considered unorthodox by ABS.

Since the introduction of the affirmation policy, the American Bible Society has also moved ahead with plans to open a $60 million museum on Independence Mall in Philadelphia on the ground floor of its headquarters. The Faith and Liberty Discovery Center, which is slated to open next year, will “demonstrate how the Bible has changed those who changed America,” said Peterson.

Local Projects, the group that designed the National September 11 Memorial and Museum in New York City, is developing the interactive exhibits, which include five galleries and a 3D immersive theater.

“The Faith and Liberty Discovery Center invites visitors of all backgrounds to discover the relationship and role of faith and liberty in fostering core American values and to discover what these values mean for themselves,” Peterson wrote.

The museum is expected to draw 250,000 visitors annually.

Comments

  1. Gee whiz. I wonder if they are going to demand that…
    Any divorced staffer, divorced for any reason but adultery, must also resign.
    Any staffer who does not keep the Sabbath holy, must also resign.
    Any female who is in a position of authority in her church, must resign.
    The list can just go on and on and on and on. But somehow, I think it won’t.

  2. Wonder no more.

    Yes, you’re right, you and your friends have been singled out once again.

    When you form an organization or start your own company, you can make your own rules.

  3. Interesting that the policy coincides with a recent history of financial woes for the organization. As if they literally sold themselves to well funded Evangelical sects known for bigotry and discrimination.

    “Those departures represent a little less than 20 percent of the society’s workforce. ”

    Which represents decimation of any given organizational structure. As if bigotry is a destructive force to its proponents.

  4. Divorce is actually forbidden unless you pursue “all reasonable avenues of reconciliation”

    And yes attending a church is mandatory, though not specifically on the Sabbath.

  5. Wow. Getting fired for not being straight at the publishing house for the book invented in the government committee of a long dead empire. Next thing you know the Mormons will get just as homophobic about Joe Smith’s Iron Pirate (“Gold”) Plates. Not all that shimmers is fool’s gold; sometimes its a guest star on RuPaul’s Drag Race.

  6. I read the “Affirmation of Biblical Community”.

    It really does nothing more than require the Bible Society’s employees to follow basic Christian principles in their lives.

    Totally unremarkable.

    Anyone who balks at signing it has no business considering themselves a Christian.

  7. You forgot to mention “shrimp”, “rabbit” and the ever popular “two fabrics” canard!

  8. Not only can the list just go on and on and on, so can BiO.

  9. Scratch “bigotry” and replace it with “fundamental Christian beliefs”.

  10. People gotta make a choice around here. Debating and dialog is important, but there’s no more fence to sit on anymore.

    Dr. Albert Mohler is correct:. The time is coming when we (Christians) must decide Yes or No on the authority & accuracy of God and the Bible, when it’s our individual turn to get publicly challenged by the LGBT movement.

    Gotta decide what we really DO believe and really do NOT believe, upfront. (Fortunately, Gay Goliath has graciously volunteered to assist Christians with that process.)

  11. Huh? Oh, that’s your pretend claim that “Christians” persecuting others is really “Christians” being persecuted. Right. The poor, “abused” bullies mantra wears thin.

  12. So a Christian Bible Society expecting it’s employees to abide by Christian principles is an example of “bullying”?

    Huh?

    Sounds like simple honesty.

  13. You did it for me, dear. Perhaps I should deliver a message unto you about all of the things that Christians ignore because it interferes with their desires, like bacon sandwiches and shopping on Sunday. you know, like the OT is for you and the Nt is for me?
    Those are simply unimportant things, as I have been reliably informed.
    now divorce? There’s a biggy. Well, actually, given the many divorces of limpballs, Jabba the trump, Newtie, Bill-o, Bill o’Donahue, Frank Schubert, and a host of others…probably not.

  14. You always were theologically challenged, as I recall.

    But that never stops you from telling Christians what their religion REALLY teaches.

  15. I didn’t say “persecuted.” Kim Davis got persecuted. Kim Burrell got persecuted. Baronelle Stutzmann got persecuted. And the angry howling PC fanatics are **still** trying to persecute Jack Phillips, over in Colorado.

    Me, I ain’t got persecuted. I’m just saying that (1) ABS did the right thing under bigpressure, and (2) sooner or later that big pressure is gonna come to all Christians. Gay Goliath mean business.

  16. Bet their “moral concern” does not include a “mattress check” on which straight employees are having a little straight recreational sex on the side. That’s what makes them hypocrites.

  17. Kim Davis was not a good example of “persecution.” She was a public employee who tried to invoke theocracy as that public employee.

  18. He knows about the Jerusalem Council and Noahide law. He’s trying to win the ignorant. 😩

  19. Affirmation of Biblical Community? So that’s what Jesus was writing in the sand. Not.really, but he did say “let him without sin cast the first stone” Of course my Bible was printed elsewhere.

  20. Oh please. Kim Davis’s courage and willingness to challenge the great evil of Obergefell when other Christians wilted — even to the point of doing Jail Time and national ridicule — energized Christians all across the USA.

    Even more important, she didn’t allow her checkered past to shut her up. God needed somebody to take a stand RIGHT THERE in that one place, but all the Perfect-Track-Record Christians were too scared of the price tag.

    So Kim Davis, the kind of imperfect Christian that Ben absolutely hates, stood up and changed history all by herself. Go figure.

  21. So this is the end of civilization because a religious organization wants employees who support and live the principles of that religious faith? Next thing you know LGBT organizations will want to get rid of evangelical Christian employees who teach and work against homosexual conduct–and that would be terrible because?

    Sounds like the end of civilization if we let religions set their own standards of religious conduct and belief. We will need a committee of nonbelievers to tell religious organization what they are allowed to believe. We are going to need to have a Mormon as the Pope, Muslims serving as Mormon missionaries, and atheists working as Baptist preachers.
    The idea that this is a story at all is evidence that we are living in a simulation–a cartoon simulation.

  22. That is a totally gratuitous assumption on your part.

    The only thing that makes them hypocrites is your own judgemental imagination.

  23. Feel free to show me evidence that they are equally concerned about other workers living celibate lives when not married.

  24. interesring euphemisms being used here for discrimination and malicious attacks on their own workforce. Funny how people seem to think rephrasing immoral actions somehow change it completely.

    Funny how those allegedly important defining religious views never stopped the Society from hiring nearly 20% of their workforce, until just recently. Coinciding with financial difficulties. As if they decided to sell out their workforce in exchange for help by the more bigoted Christian organizations.

  25. Kim Davis was a scum bucket who abused her public authority. One who got grifted by lawyers for fundraising purposes. She got what she deserved. Rule of law and civil liberties are far more important than petty bigotry.

    People who supported her are hateful whiny miscreants who want special privilege under the law to attack others at will. They are a contemptible immoral lot.

  26. Yup. A significant portion of their workforce is being attacked for entirely bigoted reasons. Calling it an act of religious faith and dogma merely demeans and devalues that religion. It doesn’t change the malicious nature of the act. Defining principles by whom you feel safe to discriminate against doesn’t do much for demonstrating a moral or ethical value to them.

  27. It’s right there in the Oath:

    “I will seek to refrain from sexual activity outside of the marriage covenant prescribed and exemplified in the Bible: “a man will leave his father and mother and unite with his wife, and the two will become one”, symbolizing the relationship between Christ and His Church (Matthew 19:5, Ephesians 5:31).”

    It’s the part of the Oath that people like you are hyperventilating about.

    Let me guess. You never even bothered to read it.

  28. Don’t forget that she’s been married four times! To say that she is a hypocrite of the first order Is wholly inadequate.

  29. I’m sure they will assume the best of everybody until some evidence to the contrary that can not be ignored is shoved into their faces. That is how it usually works.

  30. Thank goodness they got their Good News Translation and their Contemporary English Version done long before taking on this kind of a mindset.
    It sounds as though objective scholarship will now be going out the window there in favor of Churchification.

  31. For his sake I wish that were true. But after having been schooled on this issue, repeatedly, there is no excuse for him to go on propagating misinformation.

    I know I would not want to shimmy this close to the line of “causing one of these little ones [immature believers] who believe in Me to fall into sin.”

  32. Good! 1 Cor. 5:13 proves what the ABS is doing is pleasing to God. Better to please God and take the heat than please man and burn in hell forever.

  33. Interesting euphemisms are being used here for exercising religious rights, rights guaranteed in the First Amendment.

    Bigoted?

  34. It is their operation and their right.

    Get over it.

  35. You really hate the bona-fide First Amendment, don’t you?

  36. And the reasons are:

    1 – it did not appear on boingboing.net;

    2 – some of the words have more than one syllable.

  37. Were you there?

    Did you see what he wrote in the sand?

    Do you know WHY he said what he did?

  38. Imagine that! God used a born-again Christian with a checkered past to slow Goliath down, and also to re-ignite genuine Christian resistance against the Obergefell Mess.

  39. That’s the usual double speak for targeting whomever that they suspect, with or without evidence, as they see fit. Basically, it’s the “Holy Inquisition,” holy hypocrite style.

  40. Let me guess, they never enforce it with single, straight employees.

  41. I love it when all you right-wingers turn on a dime and start flapping your jaws about how God uses imperfect vessels (e.g. Donald Trump and Kim Davis) the very instant it suits you. Until then, you’re always cracking the whip of moral rectitude and shunning sinners who fail to meet the mark. How very convenient that is for you. it is also the true mark of a hypocrite.

  42. And how would you know that? You don’t.

    And why wouldn’t they? What they are being asked to sign is very clear.

    Is it so inconceivable to you that some people actually DO have a sexual ethic different than your own?

    Not everyone takes Charlie Sheen as their role model.

  43. He also said” “Go and sin no more.”

    But that might not be in your Bible.

  44. Both of which translations are pretty awful, actually.

  45. I grew up Mormon and I have known entirely too many Holy Rollers in my life; hypocrisy is rife among homophobic organized religions. The only Christians that you can count on to be Christ-like are the LGBTQ-affirming ones.

  46. How does someone’s sex life affect their job! How exactly are they going to police their employees’ bedrooms?

  47. That’s what Churchians always say when they get something nearer accuracy.

  48. I agree that those two versions work more on getting thoughts across, rather than an accurate translations of words.

  49. In this instance the operation would claim First Amendment rights.

    They’re a Christian publishing house, not a restaurant.

  50. “He does not believe in “sin”” That must be why he’s fine with propagating misinformation. It’s perfectly consistent with “what he likes.”

  51. So the bottom line remains: you don’t know.

    Having had the misfortune to grow up Mormon, you use your negative experiences among them to tar other religions as a bunch of hypocrites. When one forms a negative evaluation of people of color because of one’s limited negative experiences, we call that racism. When we do that with Jews, it’s called antisemitism. When you do that with various religions, its also a form of bigotry.

    And are pro-LGBT Christians really Christ-like? Hmmmm….let’s see.

    Christ called all to repentance. He told the woman caught in adultery to ‘Go. and sin no more”.

    Pro-LGBT Christians don’t call all to repentance. They give a pass to the sin of homosexuality. In essence, they tell them: “Don’t worry about it. Go, and sin some more”. That is not Christ-like.

    And, interestingly enough, pro-LGBT Christians are usually pro-abortion Christians. Simply impossible to imagine Christ applauding the murder of millions of innocents in the womb.

    So, no, pro-LGBT Christians are not Christ-like.

  52. It’s what people who know Koine Greek and Hebrew say.

  53. When one represents a Christian Bible Society, but lives a life diametrically opposed to basic Christian tenants, one’s hypocrisy in so doing harms the credibility of the Society.

    No where did they say they were going to “police their employees’ bedrooms”, so your question is nothing more than a red herring.

    What they are being asked to do is sign an Oath signalling their commitment to follow basic Christian principles in their lives.

    No doubt the Society will expect them to remain true to their word.

    Should it ever become common knowledge that they are not doing so, it is reasonable to assume that the Society will address that issue with them at that time.

  54. Unfortunately when you try “getting thought across” rather than translating, you get the thoughts of the “translators” rather than the text.

    It’s the difference between a steak and pulverized beef baby food in a jar.

    FriendlyGoat is a baby food kind of guy.

  55. In particular it precludes employees announcing their same sex marriages.

  56. I always believed that getting the thoughts across was the point.

  57. Thanks for a whole lot of words that express only your own bias trying to assert itself as better than mine. That’s exactly the sort of “Holier than thou” BS that I expected. You didn’t disappoint.

  58. So, in essence, you still don’t know; you have no defense for your bigotry; and, when confronted with what being Christ-like really means, you have no real answer other than personal invective. I thought as much.

  59. More words, less meaning. Next thing, you’ll be passing the plate. Right?

    BTW, Christ healed the gay lover of the Roman Centurion (Luke 7:1-10). Roman military histories indicate that Centurions had a gay sex surrogate in the field, so as to stay “faithful” by their values to their one, legal wife back in Rome.

  60. Evangelicals claim to believe the Bible, but they commonly cherry-pick from it anything that they can use to condemn OTHER people.

    They never attend to it when doing so would make them have to change their own lives.

  61. Gosh Ignatz – you must know a whole lotta Christians!

  62. “He also said: “Go and sin no more.””

    And American Conservative “Christians” use that as an excuse to ignore the whole POINT of the passage, and hurl stones.

  63. I always thought that maybe he wrote THEIR sins. “Hypocrite.” “Greedy.” “Proud.”

  64. “The time is coming when we (Christians) must decide Yes or No on the authority & accuracy of God and the Bible,”

    You’re going to start condemning greed instead of considering it a virtue?

  65. The difference is, their sins are forgiven and forgotten. Homosexuals sin unrepentantly.

  66. Really? You don’t think there’s a ton unrepented greed in the evangelical church?

  67. Oh, not that silly Roman Centurion/gay lover baloney! Nothing in the story indicates any sexual relationship between the Centurion and this particular slave.

    Your history is similarly fanciful. During the early Principate (at the time of Jesus), Roman soldiers were legally barred from getting married – so there would not have been any “one, legal wife back in Rome”.

    For sex they usually hooked up with local women in the provinces where they were stationed. These were unofficial, “common law marriages”, not legally recognized by the Roman government. Rome did unofficially tolerate them, however, as the sons from these unions would usually grow up to enter the Roman military themselves – convenient for both the government – which thus had a ready pool pf recruits – and also for the sons – since it gave them a path to Roman citizenship.

    As you can see, there was no need for any “gay sex surrogates” in the Roman legions – unless that was their preference.

  68. Wow man! To know that about all the Christians and to be able to speak that concisely about all of
    Christendom! Wow!

  69. They do not kill adulterers, so they are not living in accord with the Bible.

  70. I spent about 10 years in the evangelical church, 3 years as a Reformed Prebyterian, 7 years as an Episcopalian, 1 year as Christian Orthodox, and am now Catholic. And yes, evangelicals are the most judgemental group I’ve encountered, and most of them haven’t even read the whole Bible. But they sure TALK about it a lot. And they LOVE to recite the verses they can use to condemn people who aren’t them.

    For instance, evangelicals attack gay people CONSTANTLY. And abortion, which isn’t even mentioned in the Bible. You know why? American politics.

    Meanwhile, what about greed?

    The Bible doesn’t say Greed can something be a bad thing. It says it’s the “ROOT OF ALL EVIL.” That’s pretty strong. It also calls it “IDOLATRY,” which means it breaks the 1st Commandment. Jesus said you CANNOT serve God and Mammon – that’s the god of money. He said it was IMPOSSIBLE to serve God and Money. He said that rich people would find it particularly hard to get into heaven.

    It’s condemned in the Mosaic Law, in the Prophets, in Psalms, in Proverbs, in the Gospels, in the Epistles. EVERYWHERE in the Bible, again and again and again and again. And it’s obviously America’s REAL besetting sin.

    But have you ever heard a SINGLE sermon about it?

  71. Also, there was an extensive body of Roman law which dealt with the official legitimation of such unions and their progeny after the term of service was up.

    Which rather makes me think (together with the similarity of the incident to another incident involving the healing of an “official’s” son) that the centurion’s servant was actually his son by a common law marriage, possibly to a Jewish woman.

  72. Golly gee, and you know the hearts and minds of every one of them!

  73. If you are not actively walking out your faith, then you shouldn’t be instructing others.

  74. You know the hearts and minds of every one of them!

    Hypocrite. Thanks for making my point.

  75. Are they continuing on in their sin, or have they REPENTED and TURNED from their sin? That is the difference.

  76. Yes, that’s a very distinct possibility. Far more likely than the “gay lover” scenario so dear to “Riding”.

  77. There is more than one point in the passage, silly.

  78. Read John 7:53 – 8:11.

    Never heard of the New Testament, eh?

    Is the mail that slow where you live?

  79. Kind of like the way many Christians judge the LBGTQ community, yes…?

  80. Which makes Christianity nothing more than a religion of terrorism.

  81. Yes, I’ve heard sermons about greed.

    Next silly question!

  82. No. The LGBT community is very forward about refusing to repent of their sexual sin. Their refusal to acknowledge their sin and repent of it is what brings them into Divine judgement.

    Christians would rather see them repent of their sins and inherit eternal life, than be condemned. They feel that way about all people, btw.

  83. “Are they continuing on in their sin, or have they REPENTED and TURNED from their sin?”

    I think you will be reminded if this when you see Jesus.

    Better check on your OWN besetting continuing sins.

  84. I can see you saying the same thing to Jesus. The Scripture is alive but you do not believe. Either way, they called Him a liar and said He must be mad. Before I was blind, now I see.

  85. Meaning Christians are defined by your immoral bigotry and pointless malice. That is quite reductive view of the faith.,

  86. Not at all. Christ did not teach that by a hateful, psychic mindset, you will know them. He did teach that we would be known by our fruit, and unrepentant sinners are easy to find.
    Anyway, He judged them so I don’t need to

  87. The problem isn’t so much divorce as remarriage. The Bible allows divorce in some circumstances. It makes NO provision for remarriage. That’s adultery. A divorced person must remain celibate.

    “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.” – Luke 16:18 How much clearer could it be?

    So if you’re on your second marriage and your first wife is steal alive, you have to have a celibate marriage, or you are living in a state of sin.

  88. I do.

    The parable is to remove the log in your own eye before helping someone with the mote that is in theirs – not that you should never help them.

    Since you are getting personal – have you repented of your sins and begun a relationship with Jesus Christ as both Lord and Savior?

  89. Applaud the ABS for their very effective production and distributions of Bibles and other Christian material. Understand the objections of scholars/academics about the domain name. But, while it was available, could they not have bought it? Once the ABS purchased it, is it not their right to use it as they see fit? The protest and outrage at the ABS setting the standards for how persons/groups are to use the internet network address are without merit. The same applies to protest and outrage for the ABS setting policy/rules for employment. This is normative for any organization whether for profit or not for profit. Those who protest/object are welcomed to their own opinions. They just cannot reasonably expect that their view will prevail as it is contrary to the ABS stated policy. This is perfectly understandable. It would be no different if someone had been employed for a long time with any other organization which, after a policy change, determined that even a long term employee would be required to comply or else be terminated. A 13 month period of time for reflective decision making is most generous.

  90. Terrorism? Really? Have not seen any church members wearing explosive vests … cutting off the heads of journalists, crashing passenger planes full of innocent people into buildings, oceans, etc., etc., etc.

  91. No it isn’t since they can go work elsewhere like at gay bars or something.

  92. Your sources? Education? What does the poster have wrong?

  93. Actually, I DO think that it will have places in there for marital fidelity. The document appeared to be a at least 3-4 pages long. Most of those who ARE cheating, though, probably won’t admit it unless caught.

    It is just that the LGBT crowd is proud of their sins and won’t repent from them.
    Others who HAVE sinned, but repented should be welcome to keep their jobs.

  94. No, there are just TROLLS who have had selective passages picked out for them, but actually are clueless about the Good News of Jesus Christ.

  95. @Rick Interestingly enough, my understanding is that serious scholars actually acknowledge that “go and sin no more” was not in the original text but was added later. Makes you wonder how heavily you should rely upon it for your arguments, yes?

  96. How about sitting up abortion clinics? Not terroristy enough for you?

  97. Maybe your “fundamental Christian beliefs” could use some reexamining. After all, the original language of the Bible doesn’t really even address our current understanding of committed, consensual, adult gay relationships. Maybe some of your beliefs should be better grounded before you folks threaten people with damnation over them.

  98. No, actually, we dispute that homosexuality or gay relationships are even a sin to begin with.

  99. Actually, it DOES.

    The action of a “Man lying with a man as one does with a woman” is pretty darn clear.

    Damnation comes from any and all of your sins. Salvation comes from having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ as both Savior AND Lord of your life.

    See, I set before you today life and prosperity, death and destruction…Now choose life…

  100. So, what is your (presumably “expansive”) “view of the faith”?

  101. I would say something a bit more substantive than “I hate teh gays”.

    Perhaps something,more in line with Jesus’s own criteria as to what was important

    “‘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 22:36-40

    The interesting thing about those two commandments is the lack of qualification, equivocation and hair splitting involved with them. So very different from a fundamentalist’s usual take on them.

  102. Matthew 22:36-40
    “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.’[a] This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

    These important commandments don’t seem to jive well with the desire to attack people in service of personal bigotry. But then again, I am not in the habit of trying to contort scripture to justify behaving badly to others.

  103. Not at all. In tune with Jesus’s own words about how to treat others,

    Matthew 22:36-40
    “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.’[a] This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b]
    All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

  104. You mean, that one should welcome, and not condemn, sinners who repent, just as Jesus did (and as Christians do with homosexuals who also repent)?

  105. I imagine this isn’t the first time you’ve debated this issue, and yet you still insist on making the rookie mistake of basing your argument on Leviticus? I mean, seriously?

  106. And that is precisely the problem with this particular issue that, in effect at least, differentiates it from the other varieties of sin.

  107. Interestingly enough, plenty of other serious scholars would disagree.

    But it is part of the canonical text of John, so all these scholars’ personal hypotheses are irrelevant.

    What is relevant and authoritative for Christians is the canonical text.

  108. Ha! No, what differentiates it from “other varieties of sin” is the extremely weak basis for labeling it a sin. Not only is the argument that gay people are sinful weak from the standpoint of biblical texts, it’s also difficult to defend logically on an extra-biblical basis.

  109. Please present your scriptural case for affirmation of same-sex practice.

  110. And you think lying to homosexuals about the sinfulness of their sexual sin is “love”.

    Uh-huh.

  111. Let’s maybe not put words in my mouth, please. I didn’t say the Bible positively affirms same-sex relationships. It really doesn’t address them at all. I was saying that your arguments about the Bible’s supposed condemnation of consensual adult gay relationships are extremely poor.

  112. God didn’t think so:

    “When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you will surely die,’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity, but his blood I will require from your hand. 9 But if you on your part warn a wicked man to turn from his way and he does not turn from his way, he will die in his iniquity, but you have delivered your life.” Ez.33:8-9.

  113. And you are making the mistake of ignoring part of God’s Word?

  114. There is no lying or sinfulness. Only bigotry and excuses for it. The sinful acts here are the malicious treatment of people and using religion to excuse such behavior.

    Treating people like crap and firing them for being gay is not any objective definition of love thy neighbor except for the most abusive sort of person.

  115. Rats! I was sure someone was going to finally going to produce the scriptural case for same-sex that everyone is sure exists, but no one seems to know what it is. 😭

    There is one poster here, in particular, who is practically holding her breath waiting for someone to produce it so she can proceed to cut and paste it far and wide.

    But no, it is not extremely poor. It is the common-sense reading of all the relevant passages, supported by the writings of Josephus, Philo, and the Talmud. Sorry.

  116. You have to be kidding me. Have you read Leviticus? Have you read even just the rest of the chapter where the verse you quoted appears? Are you seriously going to tell me you don’t ignore any of those old testament prohibitions?

  117. “If you love me, you will keep my commands.”

    This is not attacking people based on personal bigotry. This is saying that God said that certain activities HE defines as being sinful. To try to say that the Bible does not clearly say that certain activities are sins is to call God a liar.

  118. Ah, another proponent of the bacon/shellfish/fibers objection, am I right?

  119. You’d be on a much better footing (at least comparatively) if you moved on to the new testament. Weak arguments there too though.

  120. Please enlighten me, Shawnie, on why those can be ignored but not the verse right next to them? I’ll wait.

  121. The New Testament specifically refers to same-sex practice using a word that is composed of the two operative and juxtaposed words from Leviticus 20:13. Go and find them.

  122. Simply not good enough. Are you really going to try to argue that silence on a matter makes it automatically impermissible? That’s not how this works. Logic didn’t work that way. Law didn’t work that way. I don’t need to present an explicit endorsement of it in the Bible in order to contest your claim that it’s a sin. And I dispute your claim of owning “common sense” on this one.

  123. The commandments Jesus considered most important were love God and love thy neighbor. The rest was merely commentary.

    You are clearly trying to contradict the unambiguous words of Jesus himself to hate thy neighbor.

    Its funny how much you have to contort scripture to avoid unambiguous statements and commitments to treating others as people.

    “To try to say that the Bible does not clearly say that certain activities are sins is to call God a liar.”

    God is not a liar, you are. You are merely being spineless and pretending your personal bigotry is endorsed by God. Such twisting and rationalization is the very opposite of plain honest reading.

  124. There is but ONE God. HE is the same, Yesterday, Today, and Forever. If HE called an activity a sin, it IS a sin, regardless of the who objects.

    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, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

    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, for the sexually immoral, men who practise homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine. (1 Timothy. 1:9-10)

  125. Notice that Jesus didn’t tell the woman that her adultery wasn’t a sin. Instead, he said that he didn’t condemn her (though he acknowledged that adultery was a sin), and commanded her not to do it anymore.

  126. The prohibition on same-sex practice in Leviticus is found between two incest prohibitions. I hope you don’t ignore those???

    But in any case, here is why sexual prohibitions are retained for the church.

    Some years after the crucifixion, the Jerusalem Council, made up of many apostles and people who had known Jesus (all Jewish believers), met to discuss the issue of whether or not to require that new Gentile converts to Christianity also observe the Torah. To do so would be something of a revolutionary step, for “righteous” Gentiles had never been expected to keep the Torah (which was only given to Israel) but WERE expected to observe the much more general “Noahide” laws. You can google those — they include the prohibition of all forms of sexual immorality. Having observed, however, that the Holy Spirit had been given to non-observant Gentile believers, they saw no reason to impose any more of the Gentiles than had always been the case. In Acts 15 you can find what they came up with — Gentile believers were of course to observe everything covered by the law of love, plus avoiding meat known to be sacrificed to idols (to avoid the appearance of condoning idolatry), humane butchering practices, and ALL sexual immorality.

    It dovetails quite neatly with the Noahide law.

  127. The question is not whether the Greek New Testament word aligns with the Old Testament word, since the Old Testament passage is rendered essentially obsolete based on the absurdity of the Levitical context and Christians’ overall abandonment of it as laws or customs that still apply today. Regardless, there are scholarly arguments that the Greek word you’re referring to doesn’t actually connote what you think it does.

  128. What “silence?” Scripture is not silent on the matter.

  129. The OT is not “essentially obsolete.” See my reply to you below.

    There are all sorts of “scholarly arguments.” They don’t hold water, however.

  130. No, the rest on not merely “commentary”. The two greatest commands are the BEDROCK and the FOUNDATION upon which the other commandments rest. Without the Love of God, and Love of your fellow man – you have nothing (1 cor 13).

    That does not mean that all of the other commandments and the Law are negated. Jesus said that until Heaven and Earth pass away, not the littlest part of a letter of the law will be undone.

    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.

  131. Interesting! So you are trying to carve out sexual laws specifically from Leviticus. Yet you seem to ignore plenty of extreme Levitical commands under that same category. Also, please show me where I indicated that none of the Levitical provisions resemble any norms that persist to this day, like discouraging incest. You’re not arguing in good faith–you’re making blatantly incorrect assumptions of what I have said.

    And you continue to presuppose what you’re trying to prove, namely that gay relations are considered sexual immorality. This is circular reasoning.

  132. Sigh. This is precisely what am I saying. It’s silent on committed, consensual, adult same-sex relationships.

  133. It was his actual words (as quoted by Matthew). He was actually cribbing from a contemporary Hillel the Elder discussing the Torah you guys refer to when trying to justify behaving badly.
    “What you yourself hate, don’t do to your neighbor. This is the whole law; the rest is commentary. Go and study.”

    What it comes down to is you are looking for the excuses and contortions of scripture to justify hateful treatment of others and your personal bigotry. Quite spineless behavior on your part. Looking to blame God for your personal choices and views.

    “That does not mean that all of the other commandments and the Law are negated. ”

    It looks like you pick and choose which laws appeal to you. Especially ones which can be used to excuse personal bigotry and malicious actions. Quite sinful behavior pretending otherwise.

  134. I suppose you expect me to take your word for it that only your interpretation of an ancient text holds water. Nope, sorry.

  135. I am not trying to carve out anything. The disciples and the earliest Jewish believers, who had known Christ personally, already made this decision two millenia ago.

    I explained exactly why all of the Torah is not applicable to Gentile believers. Re-read or find something else to comment on.

    “And you continue to presuppose what you’re trying to prove, namely that gay relations are considered sexual immorality. This is circular reasoning.” It is specifically listed in Leviticus 20:13, along with all the other forms of sexual immorality that the same passage states God judged and rejected the pre-Exodus Canaanite Gentiles for, long before there was ever a Torah.

    What is more interesting is why gay apologists today want to pick this single prohibition out of the list for rubber-stamping, while leaving the rest.

  136. Not asking you to. When you present a case we can look at it and see if it holds up. Thus far you haven’t.

  137. No, he conveniently sidestepped my point that he ignores parts of Leviticus while pretending not to. As if I wouldn’t notice. Sure, I did suggest he move onto the new testament. The passages he quotes are from a translation that improperly anachronizes “homosexuality” back into ancient texts.

  138. “You [man] shall not lie with a MAN as with a woman.” What part of that does not encompass committed, consensual or adult???

  139. Pardon me, but I can continue saying whatever the heck I want, and I don’t need your permission to do so.

    What are you even talking about with respect to “rubber stamping”? In fact, this is the one section of Leviticus that you and other Christians appear most eager to preserve. Furthermore, have you bothered to question why that prohibition was even in there to begin with, and whether that rationale still makes sense in our world at least a couple of millennia later?

  140. There is nothing improper about the translation. “Men who practice homosexuality” is a modern translation of the Greek word arsenokoite, which is made up of “arsenos” (man) and “koite” (bed – euphemistically sex). Taken from Leviticus 20:13’s “hos an koimethe meta arsenos koiten gunaikos.”

    A fully accurate translation would be “man-bedders,” but this might strike some as rather crude.

  141. You dismissed mine out of hand because you’re committed to your conclusion.

  142. What part of “you are selectively cherry-picking Leviticus and that verse means absolutely nothing to today’s world” do you not understand?

  143. Nobody is any more eager to preserve the prohibition on homosexuality than any of the other sexual prohibitions. The problem is that it’s the one the alphabet club most wants to erase.

    Jesus told us in Matt. 19 what was wrong with divorce and sexual immorality — it does not comport with the original creation design that He came to restore.

  144. You didn’t present one. You’re still free to do so, however.

  145. I am cherry-picking nothing. This has been church doctrine since the Jerusalem Council.

    If the verse means nothing, why are you arguing about what it means, i.e. that it doesn’t mean committed/adult/consensual?

  146. In fact, there is more ambiguity to the word than you acknowledge. You can’t just make a combination of dictionary definitions and take them at face value. Meanings of words are more nuanced than that and are changed based on evolution of usage. As was the case with this particular Greek word. Don’t pretend that your overly simplistic linguistic attempt is the end of the argument.

  147. Give me a break. It’s not unfair to point out that a verse frequently used as a cudgel by Christians and couched in prohibitions that Christians don’t even follow anymore is simply not worth any serious consideration.

  148. As I said, present your case that it should be translated differently.

    We have other koine greek words from antiquity that follow the same linguistic pattern as arsenokoite. We have metrokoite (mother-bedder), doulokoite (slave-bedder), poluokoite (many-bedder), deuterokoite (two-bedder), and even one instance from some anti-Christian graffiti of “onokoite” (donkey-bedder). We have no problem whatsoever divining the meaning of these simple compound words. Why invent some non-existent mystery about arsenokoite?

  149. I’m arguing about the Greek word in the new testament, not the one in Leviticus.

  150. Again, you have to look at actual USAGE of words to understand their MEANINGS.

  151. What sexual prohibitions do we not follow anymore? I haven’t heard much advocating for incest, adultery, prostitution or bestiality — have you?

  152. I’m calling it quits. These discussions could go on forever. It’s my birthday and I’m not going to waste any more of my time or energy. Best wishes to you.

  153. It comes from Leviticus, dear. It is made up of the two operative words. And we know exactly how the verse it was drawn from was understood in the 1st c.entury because Josephus (a contemporary of Paul who received the exact same legal training and wrote in much the same vein) wrote about it quite matter-of-factly

  154. Again, let me point out what I have already said, which is that I didn’t claim that nothing in Leviticus happens to bear resemblance to any current prohibitions. I had in mind verses calling for death or other extreme consequences attached to various other sexual behaviors.

  155. Other than condemning homosexual physical congress, of course.

    I haven’t threatened you with anything.

  156. I’m not your dear, and again, I don’t give a damn about the Hebrew word from Leviticus that you’re obsessing over.

  157. If he said what you said, I’d say the same thing to him.

    So, you think you’re Jesus?

  158. Nowhere I am suggesting “hateful” treatment of others. It is NOT hateful to let others know that God says that something is a sin, any more than it is “hateful” to let other drivers know that the road is washed out. Hateful would be letting them go on their way without any warning, and without letting them know that there is a way Out of Sin and its consequences. That way is through accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior.

  159. In fairness, I did say “you folks”, not you specifically if have to look through your comments to see if you did or didn’t. But plenty of other Christians, including comments on this very article, have done so.

    And I still argue that the Bible doesn’t address the type of gay relationships that we understand in our current time

  160. Well, as I stated, those were part of the civil law of the Torah that is not binding on Gentiles as per the Jerusalem Council.

    As to isolating women on their periods…the Torah is far more specific about that than the Noahide laws, of course, but I’m sure that avoidance of contact with blood and other bodily discharges stood the Israelites in good stead in a time when blood-borne diseases existed just like they do today but the sanitation technology or drugs to combat them did not exist.

  161. We don’t know.

    What we do know is that the conditions under the Mosaic law for an execution had not been met.

    He may well have been writing the Mosaic requirements for capital punishment for adultery.

    We also know that “let him who is without sin cast the first stone” does NOT mean crimes cannot be punished, or that sins must be condoned.

  162. You care enough to have spent a great deal of time arguing about it, albeit in an insubstantial way.

  163. You’re in a tiny minority on the Bible, one which did not even exist until homosexual “exegetes” jiggered up some cockamamie silliness starting in the early part of the 20th century.

    That includes cr-p like stating the sin of Sodom was inhospitality.

    It is hard to imagine anyone taking this stuff seriously.

  164. You know, you might have a point if you actually studied and understood ancient languages and cultures.

  165. I’ve been clear from the start that I consider your focus on the Hebrew word in Leviticus to be pointless. I’ve only focused on the Greek word, because that’s your comparatively stronger argument. And your arguments don’t rise to an intellectual level any higher than mine.

  166. I do not even want to hear about it.

    I have dissected these arguments many times in the past.

    They are hokum, pure and simple, and the people who buy them do so because they want a GET OUT OF JAIL FREE card.

  167. Sorry, buddy, but your arguments are bunk. I don’t care how many times you’ve presented them, they’re still bunk.

  168. Of course you are. You are demanding people be treated as less then human for being gay. You are a liar as well as spineless. You are too afraid to own up to your feelings and rely on spurious creative proof texting to cough up lame excuses to sound socially acceptable.

    There is only one “sin” which concerns you. To deal with it you commit a panoply if them in response. You are not showing concern for the souls of others. You are merely a bigot who wants excuses to act badly. Nobody buys that garbage.

    You advocate what is hateful and pretend otherwise. Face it it’s not God making you a terrible person, just yourself.

  169. Sorry, Amy, but you don’t know sh-t from shinola.

    To prove it sort through your various demonstrations of how they’re “bunk”, pick you very best very finest no-one-can-argue-with-it shot, and summarize it in no more than two paragraphs.

    Reference Hebrew, Aramaic, Koine, Latin, or all of them.

    After I take it apart, you move on and so do I never to hear about this from you again.

    Fair offer.

    Take it or leave it.

  170. Well, with some minor exceptions, they judge same sex physical congress as immoral.

    And your problem with that is ….?

  171. Well, I have presented a case and you have not. You have simply asserted that a case is out there somewhere.

    For me, it’s very deja vu.

  172. You notice she has yet to present ONE actual argument.

    All we get is blah, blah, blah, blah.

  173. Of course you left out:

    John 14:15 “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”

    It IS, however, rather hilarious that you – an atheist – tried this scriptural legerdemain.

  174. She has no case.

    And it is painfully obvious.

    It reminds me of the conclusion to Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark:

    https://www{DOTyoutube.com/watch?v=Fdjf4lMmiiI

    Yes, she has top men working on it.

    Who?

    “Top men”.

  175. You not liking my arguments is not the same thing as my not presenting anything.

  176. I repeat, you have not presented an argument. You have only asserted that one exists. Oh, and that whatever it is, it’s “scholarly.”

    That is not an argument.

  177. It gets exhausting explaining the Jerusalem Council, the Noahide Laws, and Christianity 101 over and over again to these people.

    Your posts here were great, I think the clearest and best explanation I’ve seen on this site!

  178. You have them beat hands down.

    You don’t know Koine, Hebrew, Aramaic, Latin, and high school level English.

  179. He is actually confusing the Romans with the Greeks.

    That is a long and disgusting story, and it does not advance his picayune vacuous argument.

  180. By the time of Jesus, the Jews were not killing adulterers.

    Not knowing what you’re talking about really puts you at a disadvantage.

  181. Of course as defined by your immoral bigotry and pointless malice.

  182. Die in sin and find out what terror REALLY is, eh?

  183. Setting up abortion clinics?

    I am sure for the fetus that is terror.

  184. Thank you, Rick. It does get old. I’ve explained this very basic information to BiO several times, and he will still come back the very next day with “bacon sandwiches” and the usual gay apologist nonsense.

    That is because Mr. I’m-A-Nice-Guy is here to convince the scripturally ignorant to whom this is all “Greek,” no pun intended. He has all but admitted as much.

  185. Well, the American Bible Society disagrees with you and so do the majority of Christians.

    So, suck it up.

  186. Notice he did NOT negate the Law.

    Oh, you’re an atheist.

    I forgot for a moment.

  187. To this point your argument has not risen above the level of “Nyah, nyah, nyah!”

    Do actually come up with something concrete soon or folks will simply block you and let you talk to yourself.

  188. “I hate teh gays” and “I hate the gays” don’t appear in the American Bible Society document.

  189. “There is no lying or sinfulness. Only bigotry and excuses for it.”

    That is an interesting statement.

    It translates very simply to “There is no sin, only disagreement with me.”

    Yeah, we figured that out some time ago.

  190. You basically engaged in extended gainsaying.

    Faced with:

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/religionnews/with_new_affirmation_policy_american_bible_society_loses_lgbt_staffers/#comment-4305736612

    “Sorry, Amy, but you don’t know sh-t from shinola.

    To prove it sort through your various demonstrations of how they’re “bunk”, pick you very best very finest no-one-can-argue-with-it shot, and summarize it in no more than two paragraphs.

    Reference Hebrew, Aramaic, Koine, Latin, or all of them.

    After I take it apart, you move on and so do I never to hear about this from you again.

    Fair offer.

    Take it or leave it.”

    You are making a wise choice.

  191. Yep. Like I’ve often told Tater, nuh-uh is not a rebuttal.

  192. And the “top men” ALL crib off of the first “top man,” the unfortunate John Boswell, who blew his last years on gay apologia and was rightly dismissed by most of his peers for “advocacy scholarship.” Laypeople who did not have the background with which to evaluate his claims, however, ate it all up with a spoon.

  193. John Boswell did prove one thing rather dramatically.

    He died of complications from AIDS in the Yale infirmary in New Haven, Connecticut, on December 24, 1994, at age 47 thus proving that the wages of sin are death.

  194. “I would say something a bit more substantive than ‘I hate teh gays.’”

    Well, since that’s NOT what they said, your “objection” falls on its face.

    And your attempt to say something “more substantive” falls flat as well:

    “Perhaps”

    “something”

    “more in line with”

    You really don’t have a grasp of “the faith,” do you?

  195. She also left out “If your brother sins, rebuke him.” Luke 17:3

  196. Its exactly what they did here. Trying to rephrase it into something more vague doesn’t change what it was. A purge of about 20% of their workforce for being LGBT.

    I would venture to guess it involved some additional influence and support by some of the more conservative groups following their recent run of financial difficulties.

  197. And that is where it ends, as usual.

    She’s certainly not the first around here to blunder into deeper water than she thought.

  198. Although some – Tater for example – never figure out they’re drowning.

  199. No, it’s exactly what YOU attribute TO them…but we already knew that, didn’t we? The rejection of behavior apparently equals “hatred” of the behaver in your mind – which is something else we already knew. You really, REALLY don’t have a grasp of “the faith,” do you?

  200. Actually, the Bible DOES address it. If you’re malakoi, you’re at the bottom. If you’re arsenokoites, you’re on top.

    Either position, you are doing something that God really REALLY don’t want you doing. It’s a totally bad deal.

  201. What a pristine analysis! Color me suddenly convinced! 🙄

  202. Really??? A personal attack WITHOUT any justification? Show WHERE I have said that people who suffer from same-sex-attraction should be treated as less than human? You won’t find it.

    ALL sin – theft, murder, fornication. adultery, homosexual sex, incest, worshipping other gods, bearing false witness against your neighbor, etc. are ACTIONS that people choose to take – and these actions separate a person from God.

    Only those who walk in darkness would see warning people about the danger of sin to be “hateful”.

  203. It is not a personal attack, it is an honest representation of your views. Sans euphemism and phony pretense. You have been giving me a canned scripted excuse for your position and it reeks of spineless avoidance of the obvious.

    No, it is never concern for the souls and sins of others, it is simply looking to act maliciously without the social consequences. Nobody takes such a position at face value.

    Of course being called out for bigotry is not pleasant. It isn’t supposed to be. But it would be insulting to the intelligence of everyone here to pretend it is something which needs to be accepted and fobbed off as “religious belief”

  204. It is the most basic and honest description of the view. One which you wish to obscure with euphemisms and canned slogans. The treatment of people as less than human, ostracism and discrimination and making lame excuses for it. Cowardice of the most obvious sort.

  205. So YOU now know my heart and are its judge? Soryy, but HE is on the throne, not you.

    Yes, it IS a concern for those who are robbing themselves. I have a nephew with which my wife & I are close. When he “came out” and said that he has decided to “try” a same-sex lifestyle, we were grieved. We took him out for lunch, reaffirmed our love for him and explained to him our concerns about his choices, and let him know that we serve a God who can deliver, save, and forgive – if he ever chooses to accept Him.

    THAT is not hate – that is love, crying out to a loved one – and he received it as such.

    Jesus Christ IS the center of my life, and all of my beliefs flow from that.

  206. Yes. You are just that obvious.
    Because you are supporting repugnant behavior and attacking people.
    Because you are fecklessly trying to avoid taking responsibility for your views

    “When he “came out” and said that he has decided to “try” a same-sex lifestyle, we were grieved. ”

    So you essentially denigrated him as a person and chose to distance yourself.

    That is hate.

    That is being upset because you can’t be bothered to treat a close relative like any other person because of your personal bigotry.

    I am pretty sure you have lost any trust your nephew may have had in you. You have decided to drive him away and lament because you could not accept him as a person.

    That is sad.

  207. You’ll find there is a certain element here that like to tell others what they “really” think — and have difficulty debating any other way.

    I had a few friends and relatives who did the same as you, years ago when I was a young single and was considering marrying an unscripturally divorced man whom I loved very much. My instinct was to push back, of course, but there was no denying the heartfelt love and concern I was shown.

    I searched the scriptures for some license to do what I wanted to do, but honesty forced me to admit that there was none.

    Five years later I met my now husband, a much better match for me in every imaginable way. And my friend whom I turned down is now with Jesus. And I thank God that I chose what looked like the harder path, and for those who supported me through it.

    You’ve done well. Don’t let any haters tell you otherwise.

  208. You’ll find there is a certain element here that like to tell others what they “really” think — and have difficulty debating any other way.

    I had a few friends and relatives who did the same as you, years ago when I was a young single and was considering marrying an unscripturally divorced man whom I loved very much. My instinct was to push back, of course, but there was no denying the heartfelt love and concern I was shown.

    I searched the scriptures for some license to do what I wanted to do, but honesty forced me to admit that there was none.

    Five years later I met my now husband, a much better match for me in every imaginable way. And my friend whom I turned down is now with Jesus. And I thank God that I chose what looked like the harder path, and for those who supported me through it.

    You’ve done well. Don’t let any haters tell you otherwise.

  209. A lot of things are apparently “obvious” to you that are completely obscure to everyone else — or at least to normal people.

  210. This has nothing to do with the First Amendment. They are however exempt from the employment discrimination portions of the Civil Rights Act which is what makes this legal, regardless of whether it’s ethical or not.

  211. “A 13 month period of time for reflective decision making is most generous.”
    Bingo!
    It’s not only generous, it also makes clear that the ultimate decision belongs to the employees themselves.

  212. Perhaps this is happening in part because society is becoming more secular. Years ago, the Bible Society wouldn’t have thought of applying any religious test to its employees. It would simply have assumed that people who are interested in the Bible would be Christian (or Jewish). However, as the general society became more secular, the reaction of the Bible Society was to become stricter and more fearful of people who might not be religious or who might be gay. Hence the religious tests.

    The trouble with this approach is that it drives more people away.

  213. Odd.

    You presented what you thought Jesus meant, not what he said.

    And you were wrong.

  214. Of course it has something to do with the First Amendment.

    They are practicing their religion.

  215. I have been to the ABS headquarters in NYC once…thought it was nice and never understood why they moved out of NYC and to Philly…perhaps the cost of living? Anyways, I would look forward to seeing their museum just as I look forward to seeing the Museum of the Bible in DC.

  216. You want to pretend malicious and harmful actions to others motivated by prejudice are worth doing, that’s on you. But don’t expect anyone else to think well of it. It’s self serving cowardly garbage.

    This is not any definition of “love thy neighbor”. You would be bearing false witness to claim otherwise.

  217. You say: “If he said what you said, I’d say the same thing to him.” You are right, I was wrong about you, I thought you were a believer. A believer wouldn’t tell Jesus that he is a liar or mentally ill. Thank you for confessing. I am sorry that I was wrong about you, but I am just human and we make mistakes. Have a good day.

  218. How do we know that the conditions for an execution had not been met?

  219. You are assuming and not actually READING what was said. We did not denigrate him as a person, we have not separated ourselves from him and we still love and treat him just the same. We talked to him about his choices and his actions in a loving manner. THAT is LOVE.

    As for “losing the trust of our nephew” – nope. Hasn’t changed our relationship with him or his parents one bit. They always knew that we were “those crazy Christians”. We have always been outspoken about our beliefs and our love for them.

    What is sad is you trying to judge and denigrate us for our beliefs and assuming that you know our hearts, how we act, and our relationship with others.

  220. Because we have the requirements in the Mosaic law.

    The test case brought before Jesus is adultery, which as the challengers note, is a capital crime according to the Law of Moses (Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22). However, BOTH texts require the death of both the woman AND the man.

    Another requirement in the Mosaic Law was that there must be agreement between two or three witnesses (Deuteronomy 17:6, 19:15) to condemn the accused. Jesus faced this same standard in the trial that was held before Caiaphas (Matthew 26:57–60).

    There were no witnesses.

    Finally, as we also know from the account of the trial of Jesus before the High Priest and from contemporaneous Jewish legal texts, the sentence of death could only be levied by the Sanhedrin, not by mobs.

    See also:

    http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/865-adultery

  221. I read what you said. You have a far more rosy view of your actions than your description really presents.

    You were denigrating what he is and are too wrapped up in your self righteous ego to notice or care.

    You seem to like to wrap your views in obscuring euphemism and screeds than own up to your views.

    Your nephew apparently knew to expect that kind of nonsense from you. Your love for him may be apparent but your respect for him doesn’t.

    What you claim in your heart means very little. How you act means everything. You simply are too spineless to accept being judged by your words and deeds.

  222. Now I remember why you had been on my banned list
    You don’t actually pay attention to what people say or refute them logically. You just have a habit of attacking them personally.

    We have NOT ostracised our nephew OR attacked him, nor do support doing so.

    You inability to get this through your head and insist that anyone who disagrees with you is a spineless, heartless monster bent on attacking others means that there is no further need for dialogue between us.

    I refuse to cast pearls before…
    You are now back on the BLOCKED list as you have had NOTHING to contribute to a meaningful conversation except abuse.

  223. Called out for invalid arguments, you double down. Let’s be clear: “I’m a good person and you’re not” is not EVEN an “argument” – it’s a supercilious sermon, You need a pulpit for your religious opinions.

  224. And to realize the American BIBLE Society effectively condemns homosexuality when the topic is not even addressed in the BIBLE.

    Go figure.

  225. “I think it won’t.”

    I think you’re correct.

    With respect to the ABS, the word ‘hypocrisy’ comes to mind.

  226. “You always were theologically challenged, as I recall.”

    Your recollection is fuzzy, and that’s being charitable.

  227. Right on your premise, wrong on your conclusion. Society IS becoming more secular, and the ABS IS reacting to that change – not with “fear,” but with the simple need to distinguish itself from the increasingly secularized society that surrounds it. Any group worth its salt that feels society pressing in on it will press back in ways that separate and distinguish it from that society. What the ABS is doing is the commonest of sense for a group in its situation.

  228. So you think BO is correct in his beliefs that bacon sandwiches, shrimp, rabbit, two fabrics, etc., are verboten to Christians?

    Looks like BO’s not the only one who’s theologically challenged around here!

  229. I thought you were calling it quits. Change your mind?
    But if you’re going to hang around, you need to respond to Mark Connelly’s fair offer — one way or the other.

  230. You just don’t like your view being critiqued without the benefit of canned slogans and proof texting.

    If you support discriminating and ostracizing people based on your prejudices you are always a bad person. You are objectively immoral.

    Makes no difference if you claim it’s God’s word or use some other excuse. All such things do is demonstrate a spineless desire to avoid taking responsibility for your views. It makes you not only a bad person but a weak one too.

    I am not going to pretend you are acting under different morals or values or that you are some slave to a given interpretation of scripture. We both know it’s phony pretense. It’s simply acting badly and hiding from the consequences of doing so.

  231. It’s called a “paraphrase,” rather than a “translation.” The people who do actual translating are well aware of the distinction.

  232. The Good News Bible and the Contemporary English Version are both original translations and not (NOT) at all “paraphrases”. Please look them up. I believe you have these confused with The Living Bible, something which came out in a similar time as the Good News Bible and which was openly described by its author as a paraphrase.

  233. “…you are always a bad person. You are objectively immoral.”

    First you double down; then you triple down. Want to go for quadruple? Your moral high-horse is your only ride, isn’t it?

  234. “Getting the thoughts across” (rather than translating the actual words used) is the definition of a “paraphrase.”

  235. Good grief. Are you back to drive me nuts again? “Getting the thoughts across” is just an ad hoc expression from Jim Johnson to whom I replied, not a “definition” of anything.

    I’m aware that people who believe the Bible should be mystified and churchified have always dissed the Good News Bible, because it was not designed for that purpose. Ditto the CEV, a second completely separate effort. These are translations directly from the original languages to English as commonly spoken by ordinary people in the latter half of the 20th century, not to English as written in 1611 to the much smaller number of people who could have ever even seen a Bible, let alone read that writing.

    I’m also aware that many churches routinely claimed in the past that KJV scripture was inerrant. Now that modern translations have rendered that supposition completely unlikely, we see modern ministries qualifying their statements of faith to claim only that the scriptures in their “original languages” are inerrant. That way, the snow job goes on and the ministries can posture with a sophisticated (in their mind) form of plausible deniability to those who question their claims about inerrancy after actually finding out what’s in the books in readable form.

  236. It’s the cyber equivalent of a loud foot stamp. And deserves about as much respect.

  237. I can assure you (and Spuddie) that he will get all the respect from me that he deserves.

  238. “Getting the thoughts across” was NOT an “ad hoc expression from Jim Johnson.” It was Johnson’s effort to establish a widely recognized distinction between translation and paraphrase – as should have been clear from both the context and the content of his post. The fact that you failed to recognize it as such, is your problem, not mine. If having your misunderstandings pointed out and your errors of thought corrected, “drives you nuts,” I’m afraid you’re in for a really hard time on this forum.

  239. Nope, same as I told Shawnee after blocking Mark and Sandi for aggressive junk, I can block you any minute so that your harassment is displayed only to third parties and not to me. I’ll let you know if that happens so you will know who you are talking to and who you aren’t talking to. The fact of the matter is that my original thoughts should not be taking up this much of your personal attention.

  240. Well, the fact is that my comments toward Progressives in general aren’t directed to persuading them of anything – they’re not persuadable. Instead, my posts are really directed at opening the eyes of more general readers to the red herrings, distortions, deceptions, misunderstandings, and simple bad judgment that Progressives routinely commit.

    So, the fact that you won’t get to see what I post is a minor matter as far as I’m concerned. Everybody else will, and they’re the only ones I have a real chance of reaching anyway. If you really want to let my comments pile up around your posts without knowing about it or being able to answer to them, go right ahead.

    And anyway (apart from genuine “harassment”), “blocking” is a tool of the timorous and insecure, a way of shielding oneself from the arguments that are too difficult to answer. And the more “blocks,” the greater the insecurity.

  241. No. I didn’t mention them until YOU did. I mentioned being well aware of the things that Christians don’t have to do because god’s word never changes, except when it does, AFTER you brought it up.

    Do try to keep up.

  242. Your initial post referred to observance of the Sabbath, part and parcel of the OT law, along with the things i subsequently mentioned.

    Do try to keep track of your posts.

    YOU brought up the OT Law, and whined about Christians not observing it.

    And you’ve been schooled MANY times by others here about the Jerusalem Council (Acts 15) and the applicability of the OT Law to Christians, so don’t even try to play dumb.

  243. You will impress people a lot more in the comment section by writing original posts which clearly exhort your world views, rather than trying to correct and countermand other people. I have met dozens like you who want to make discussion forums into fight club. I have learned not to play with them. You see, I really have no need or reason to defend my thoughts from stalkers, and if you behave toward me as a person who needs a restraining order to get out of my face, I will happily send you one.

  244. And here I thought that the 10 Commandments was the bedrock of Christian civilization, and the symbol that we are a Christian nation, and extremely important for morality. So you mean all of those 10 Commandments battles that you Christians are always engaging in are in fact over displays of hypocrisy? Color me surprised.

    I guess I just never know which branch of Christianity I want to be believing. As for being “schooled in the Jerusalem Council”? So our local grand inquisitress tells me.

  245. The only one who’s “theologically challenged” is you. Still.

  246. Our friend keeps coming back for more whoppin’. I admire his persistence if not his thinkin’.

  247. It’s called “disrupting the echo in the echo-chamber,” or simply “dissenting from the groupthink.” What you’re calling a “fight” is just the interplay of vigorous discussion and disagreement – precisely the purpose for which this comment board exists. If you want to “block” out a safe space where you’re insulated from dissent or criticism, no one’s going to tell you “You shouldn’t do that, because it makes you look like a wuss” – even though it’s true.

  248. Otto, I actually LIKE discussion of topics and I shy away from no debates of substance with anyone. When it devolves to me just being told by religious (or political conservative) hacks that I am stupid, evil and wrong because I am stupid, evil and wrong—–then I bow out. There was a guy named Bob here who played that game every day. Now there is one named Mark. They may be the same person. I blocked them both. Bob is not showing up. Mark is still banging away. Please don’t be a Bob or a Mark with me. Life is too short for me to spend my days responding to that sort of jerkism. I simply will not do it.

  249. So you think those things are verboten to Christians by the Bible?

    That’s what BO’s been saying, and you’re defending him.

    Are you as ignorant of the existence of the New Testament as he is?

    Certainly looks like it.

  250. By this argument, the Bible Society is reacting to increasing secularisation by hitting out at its employees. Not a good look.

  251. So an unrepentant greedy Christian’s sins are forgiven but an unrepentant gay Christian’s sins are not?

  252. Go spread that baloney at JoeMyGod.

    You’ll find a more suitably gullible audience for it there.

  253. The parts of the Law that are obligatory for Christians are summarized in the decree of the Jerusalem Council.They are similar in content to the later Rabbinic concept of “Noahide Laws”, as well as some concepts of Natural Laws.

    Sabbath worship is not mentioned.

    The 10 Commandments are a handy summary of useful moral precepts of which most, not all, correspond to the Noahide Laws/Jerusalem Council Decree. They were, however, specifically designed for use by the Jews, not for the Gentiles, hence the inclusion of the Sabbath, a uniquely Jewish observance.

    As for your “schooling in the Jerusalem Council”, you keep racking up a string of Fs.

  254. So does the rest of Christianity, as the constant schisms, attacks on other Christians for not being the right sort of Christian, attacks for being cults, voting for immoralists like trump and your former wars all show.

    You can continue to rack up a long string of FAILS for your own understanding of your own history.

  255. Yes, deflecting by engaging in personal attacks irrelevant to the topic at hand – in order to cover up your continued failure to understand a topic – is par for the course with you.

  256. The original goal of a translation is accuracy. These translations rely on another person to determine what that thought is.

  257. In short, you don’t really have an answer after your personal attack on the failed. Bully for you.

  258. You earlier indicated that unrepentant homosexuals were not forgiven. The issue then pointed out to you was the unrepentant greed in evangelical churches – to which you replied that Christian’s sins were forgiven (as if repentance for that sin is a moot point). Are you saying that no unrepented sin (including materialism) is forgiven? If so, that pretty much wipes out masses of evangelical churches (which was the point). Or does repentance just apply to gays?

  259. So does expository preaching. I sat in churches for more than twenty years—-many more conservative than you would imagine me in——listening to sermons which effectively converted KJV and NIV and NAS scripture texts to what I could clearly already see written in a few paragraphs of each of those sermon texts, using my 1969 TEV (Today’s English Version by ABS, later re-named the Good News Translation) New Testament and later my 1976 TEV Old Testament after ABS got it finished.

    You’re probably aware that Bible Gateway is hardly what one would call a nest of new-age hippies. This is its description:

    “The Good News Translation (GNT), formerly called the Good News Bible or Today’s English Version, was first published as a full Bible in 1976 by the American Bible Society as a “common language” Bible. It is a clear and simple modern translation that is faithful to the original Hebrew, Koine Greek, and Aramaic texts. The GNT is a highly trusted version. It first appeared in New Testament form in 1966 as Good News for Modern Man: The New Testament in Today’s English Version, translated by Dr. Robert G. Bratcher in consultation with a committee appointed by the American Bible Society.”

    I still have my 1969 NT paperback received as a gift from a classmate when I graduated high school and the subsequent hardcover whole Bible which I purchased as soon as it came out in 1976. I’ve known for five and four decades, respectively, that these were the best of the best for the objective Bible reader. The fact that many church people who are now with Fox/Limbaugh/Falwell/Trump, etc., always recommend other versions instead has been a clue to me that emphasizing words over thoughts can hurt people badly.

  260. Becoming a Christian entails repenting of one’s sin. At that point, all of our sins are forgiven, should we confess them. Christ knows that we will all sin again and again, because it is our nature.
    Those who have not renounced their sin – aka – homosexuals are not saved. We give all of our sins to Christ, Who cleanses us of their filth .
    If a person suffering from SSA becomes a Christian, they are washed clean by His shed blood and no longer considered a homosexual – they are Christian. Even if they mess up with the sin at times, it is forgiven because they are not cherishing their sin over the admonition of Christ.
    Christ is just to forgive our sin, should we turn to Him, repent and follow Him.

  261. “So you think those things are verboten to Christians by the Bible?”

    Our fellow blogger mentioned attacks on other Christians (cf. Mk 9:38-40) and adultery (cf. Mk 10:1-12), both of which are unfortunately widespread today. He mentioned the 10 Commandments and referred to “all of the things that Christians ignore because it interferes with their desires.”

    And you write, “That’s what BO’s been saying, and you’re defending him.”

    I’m agreeing with his observations.

    And you disagree???

  262. re-marriage:

    Deuteronomy 24:1-4 ESV
    “When a man takes a wife and marries her, if then she finds no favor in his eyes because he has found some indecency in her, and he writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, and she departs out of his house, and if she goes and becomes another man’s wife, and the latter man hates her and writes her a certificate of divorce and puts it in her hand and sends her out of his house, or if the latter man dies, who took her to be his wife, then her former husband, who sent her away, may not take her again to be his wife, after she has been defiled, for that is an abomination before the Lord. And you shall not bring sin upon the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance.

  263. You are still showing signs of being theologically challenged Ben

  264. Don’t play stupid – though you are awfully good at it.

    You know perfectly well – if you can read with even a modicum of understanding – that BO started off implying Christians are hypocrites for not following the Sabbath Law in the Old Testament.

    I reminded him that he forget to mention shrimp,rabbit, and two fabrics.

    In his response, BO AGREED with me, and went on to mention not eating bacon as another example of “all the things Christians ignore because it interferes with their desires”.

    It was THEN that I mentioned his being theologically challenged – since having been schooled countless times by multiple people about the Jerusalem Council and what parts of the Law need to be observed by Christians (basically what Jews later referred to as the Noahide Laws), BO STILL pretends not to understand.

    You know darn well that was the part of his post I was referring to, so don’t try to slither away and not answer.

    ONCE AGAIN, JJ: “Do you think those things (bacon, etc.) are verboten to Christians by the Bible”, like Ben pretends?

    A simple yes or no will do.

  265. Here’s the thing though. There are incredible numbers of LGBT folks who have legitimately come to Christ (some as young people, some older) who are not convicted that they are living a life of sin (thus feeling no reason to repent for it, though have repented of things they feel are sin in their life). They’ve arrived at such a conclusion, not because they desire to relish in sin, but rather through reading passages in context including these. In other words, it is a matter of interpretation no different than myriad other issues in the Bible for which disagreement is accepted. When this particular issue is singled out by others whereas other issues are not, then something other than biblical interpretation is at work.

  266. Following Christ and being a follower of Christ entails believing what He taught is true. If you are willfully choosing to not follow Christ, you are not trusting Him – and hence, not a Christian. We don’t trust our “feelings” more than we trust Christ.
    One needs to make an effort not to understand:
    You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. Leviticus 18:22
    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. Leviticus 20:13

  267. Yes, that’s the Old Testament. Jesus said that it was only allowed in the Mosaic Law because of your HARDNESS OF HEART.

    “Jesus said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.” – Matt 19:8

  268. So for you, “believing what Christ taught is true” means referencing Levitical standards, which would entail putting gay people to death? If not, why quote from Leviticus?

  269. Leviticus is applicable because Christ brought the scripture (admonition) into the New Testament. (Christ is responsible for all scripture)
    Christ placed a death sentence on them, as He has with all sinners, then turned around a died for them, should they turn to Him, renounce their sin, and follow Him

  270. Our discussion was not “adultery” Our discussion was, “It makes NO provision for remarriage.” I showed that it does.
    Also,I refer you to:

    1 Corinthians 7:39 ESV
    A wife is bound to her husband as long as he lives. But if her husband dies, she is free to be married to whom she wishes, only in the Lord.

  271. Does the same go for unrepentant greed which was the original point.? You seem to be defaulting to the regurgitation of doctrinal sound bytes specific to gays. More to the point: must materialistic straight people (which describes much of American Christianity) repent and turn from their greed (because frankly, Jesus was much more concerned about this issue than homosexuality)? If so, then most of the western church stands condemned until they begin massive downsizing by eliminating excess wealth in favor of giving to the poor. If not, then this must mean that a straight person can remain in unrepentant greed their whole entire life and still be a Christian – which ultimately means there are one set of rules for us straights and another set of rules for gays.

  272. I think he’s simply pointing out you’re out of your lane, over your head, and have no idea at all of what you’re talking about.

  273. Ron, don’t waste your time on this one — she’s an endless loop of copy-pasta.

  274. “Don’t play stupid …”

    He is not playing.

  275. As you’ve found out, this works much much better at JoeMyGod.

  276. Multiple divorce for causes other than infidelity?

  277. Kim (“divorced and remarried FOUR times”) Davis??

    LOL

  278. That is not what the Christian Church traditionally believes.

    Not that interested in what you may or may not believe about it.

  279. Oh, how the excuses come out for Davis and Trump…
    you really don’t see the hypocrisy, do you?

    SMH

  280. NT, hmmm… I wonder how many women at ABS teach men or aren’t silent when at church?

  281. Of course it’s not.

    And the history shows that for the past 2000 years homosexuality has been clearly considered sinful in Christian teaching.

  282. I’ve done the dance *many* times with her on another channel… almost another DMS, seriously. Not worth your time, friend!

  283. I am a Christian and Jesus never said a single negative thing against His gay children created in God’s Image, just as you were.

  284. Some people have such a hatred or fear over all things LGBT that no amount of logic or rationality can appeal to their senses. It would be easier if they would just own it and admit to applying a hypocritical double standard against gay people rather than exposing their biblical pretense for all the world to see. Seriously

  285. Thanks for the heads up. At some point it would be nice to actually find someone to genuinely reason with.

  286. I agree.
    *sigh*
    I’m going to take a break for a while… the constant vitriol against anyone not a Radical Evangelical Fundamentalist is exhausting.
    Be well, good man! 🙂

  287. Unrepentent greed would fall into that category also, Ron.
    Yes, everyone needs to repent of their sin, as I have already told you.
    Jesus was concerned about people’s salvation.
    Yes, most of the world stands condemned, but for more than just greed. They are condemned for rejecting Jesus.
    Your last comment is an attempt to twist what I have already told you.

  288. Hilarious bullshit…. just keep cherry picking that crap ….

    {these people don’t realise that no gods have ever been proven – just their books exist….]

  289. My last comment in no way was an attempt to twist what you said but rather to reveal the natural repercussions of your position – unless you truly do believe that most American Christians should repent (the fruits of which meaning the elimination of excess wealth by giving the proceeds to the poor). Jesus pointedly stated, “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions”
    ‭‭Luke‬ ‭14:33‬.

  290. Jesus only asked someone He knew loved his money more than Him to give up his money, Ron. I am not of the camp that Christians should be rich, but, neither must they be poor.
    Luke 14:33 – Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand? 32 And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace. 33 So therefore, any one of you who does not renounce all that he has cannot be my disciple.

    Absolutely, like the rich young ruler who could not give up his money – same thing. If one’s possessions are more important than Christ, one cannot be His disciple.

  291. “Cherry picking” is an excuse used by those who don’t know what they are trying to discuss.
    Try again.

  292. {these people don’t realise that no gods have ever been proven – just that their fable books exist….]

    Did I miss your evidence that you used to prove the existence of your god???

  293. The fact that you are here breathing is proof.
    Prove to me that He doesn’t exist

  294. {these people don’t realise that no gods have ever been proven – their fable books exist….and they are proof of books – books only}

    The Bible is a compendium of fire side tales and fables,

    recounted orally for generations by goat herders and primitive tribes from the stone age, until writing was invented,

    and then again many different sources, transliterations, and versions were copied and written down.

    There were no grand central universities to organise the many various versions of these origin/creation stories, stories common to most primitive cultures.
    They were for entertainment (as in all migratory camp tribes),
    and to answer the questions of the many fears and mysteries of our universe, like ‘thunder’ and earthquakes, since there was no science yet.

    This is the old Testament.

    The ‘new’ Testes is also hearsay since these letters, ‘gospels’ and stories were written by the loyal faithful, the camp followers,
    not by objective historians at that particular time,
    or by any contemporary writers,
    and these tales were written many years after the supposed events of this mythical Jesus.

    Thus, there is no verifiable evidence of a Jesus in real documented history.

    Then, many of these stories, but not all, as many were not chosen,
    [ There are more than just four Gospels but only these four were agreed on ],
    were compiled for one self-absorbed converted Roman Emperor in his Nicean Council,
    for his expressed purpose of conquest and
    control of the people of Europe for his Holy Roman Empire.
    He recognised that this was the perfect religion/mythology for the future domination of the populaces.

    Half of the stories were ignored by the Nicean Bishops and none have been proven to be based on fact.

    This ‘Bable’ book is backed up by absolutely no facts and no evidence.
    It is not proof for any god(s) ….(or of any jesus…)

    It is a historical novel…Only!

  295. As a Christian, you should try to learn the ancient teachings of the faith, not just modern corruptions of it.

    Jesus never said a single thing approving homosexuality, and the only form of marriage he is known to have accepted is heterosexual marriage (Matthew 19:5).

    We are indeed all created in God’s image, but sins – such as homosexuality – deface the image of God in man. The remedy for that is repentance.

  296. The Bible does not address homosexuality. It addresses sex between males, but this behavior is not the same thing as the *sexual orientation* known as ‘homosexuality’. A gay man can have sex with a woman, but this behavior does not mean the man is heterosexual. Likewise, a lesbian can have sex with a straight man, but this behavior does not mean she is heterosexual. People two thousand years ago knew nothing of sexual orientation, which is a reality more complex than two people — gay or straight — having sex.

  297. Who’s “playing stupid”? Not me. I pointed out what I regarded as the important — and accurate — criticisms that Ben presented. I ignored the “bacon, etc.” because I attached no importance to them. As a Catholic Christian, I’d never heard of the term “Noahide Laws”. For Catholics and most other Christians, the most important behavioral laws are the Decalogue and Jesus’ teaching.

    I cannot give you a “simple yes or no”. Why not? Because I’m not convinced you understand *what* Ben was asserting. In other words, I think you misconstrued some of what he wrote.

  298. If you’re not “in the camp that Christians should be rich,” then most of America stands condemned until they repent right (since most, and that includes evangelicals) are wealthier than 90% of the rest of the world? And Luke 14:33 is not the same as the rich young ruler. Here, Jesus is issuing a blanket statement as he says “ANY of you.” You’re reading something into the passage that allows you to conveniently get around Jesus’ hard sayings, a charge you level against the LGBT. It’s the speck and log thing.

  299. A simple answer to my question is not dependent on my understanding – or alleged lack thereof – of what BO may or may not have said.

    It is a simple question, on a specific topic.

    I figured you would try to evade answering it, as that is the way of weasels.

  300. “A simple answer to my question is not dependent on my understanding – or alleged lack thereof…”

    But, of course, not.

    “It is a simple question…”

    But, of course [sarcasm alert].

    You’re the “weasel”.

  301. Ron, the world stands condemned until they repent. For more info on that, I suggest the Book of Revelation -you will read about the plagues and horses and the horror that the Earth will be.
    “Any of you, ” to that crowd perhaps, but it is not directed to all Christians, unless their possessions come between they and the Lord – if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off. David – one of God’s favourites – amassed great wealth.

  302. So no answer, just more lame prevarication, from JJ Weasel. Got it.

  303. So you read the Bible in context then. So do I. Welcome aboard. But the issue remains this. Sandi has no more right than anyone else to decide which passages can with validity be read in context and which cannot (including verses presumably directed toward homosexual activity). There is nothing wrong with disagreement of course. However, there IS something wrong when one presumes to know with certainty that a particular scripture passage must be interpreted in literal fashion transcending culture and time – and that includes the gay verses – all while contextualizing a myriad other passages at the same time. It’s all opinion. That goes for all of us. The “Bible clearly says” principle doesn’t work unless you’re prepared to dismiss context across-the-board throughout, which I’m sure you don’t unless you refrain from wearing clothing of mixed fabric, remain silent in church, and have already sold all your possessions just to name a few.

    No mere imperfect mortal like both you and I has the right to determine which verses can be contextualized and which cannot, in spite of how much you may personally dislike the views of LGBT Christians and assert condemnation upon them.

  304. I agree with you about the interpretation in some instances. I based my decision on the paragraph talking to the crowd – not a direct instruction. This says it better than I did:

    Barnes’ Notes on the Bible

    Or else – If he is not able. If he is satisfied that he would be defeated.

    An ambassage – Persons to treat with an enemy and propose terms of peace. These expressions are not to be improperly pressed in order to obtain from them a spiritual signification. The general scope of the parable is to be learned from the connection, and may be thus expressed:

    1. Every man who becomes a follower of Jesus should calmly and deliberately look at all the consequences of such an act and be prepared to meet them.

    2. Men in other things act with prudence and forethought. They do not begin to build without a reasonable prospect of being able to finish. They do not go to war when there is every prospect that they will be defeated.

    3. Religion is a work of soberness, of thought, of calm and fixed purpose, and no man can properly enter on it who does not resolve by the grace of God to fulfil all its requirements and make it the business of his life.

    4. We are to expect difficulties in religion. It will cost us the mortification of our sins, and a life of self-denial, and a conflict with our lusts, and the enmity and ridicule of the world. Perhaps it may cost us our reputation, or possibly our lives and liberties, and all that is dear to us; but we must cheerfully undertake all this, and be prepared for it all.

    5. If we do not deliberately resolve to leave all things, to suffer all things that may be laid on us, and to persevere to the end of our days in the service of Christ, we cannot be his disciples. No man can be a Christian who, when he makes a profession, is resolved after a while to turn back to the world; nor can he be a true Christian if he “expects that he will” turn back. If he comes not with a “full” purpose “always” to be a Christian; if he means not to persevere, by the grace of God, through all hazards, and trials, and temptations; if he is not willing to bear his cross, and meet contempt, and poverty, and pain, and death, without turning back, he “cannot” be a disciple of the Lord Jesus.

    The “gay verses” are to be taken literally and severely. They cannot be helped without knowing the truth. No sense dragging them along and then springing the truth on them.
    The clothing, shellfish adages…..those are for the Jews. – not
    Christians. Christ changed the food requirements in Acts.
    The ceremonial requirements, Christ fulfilled.
    One does not need to dislike homosexuals to want to see them in a relationship with Christ, rather than on their way to Hell.

  305. No, you don’t “got it” if you think I’m the “weasel” (or “Weasel”).

  306. You concisely nailed it. You are dealing with a heretic, a false teacher.

  307. Again, wrong! Your idea, your feelings about what is sin, is not the standard. The Holy Spirit will not allow a true Christian, a true follower of Christ to actually believe that he is not living a life of sin, when he is a practicing Homosexual. Again, you reveal that you are a heretic, a false teacher.

  308. I like they way you handle Ron, a true heretic, a true false teacher. He is a disciple and cult member of Corey Benjamin.

  309. God’s moral laws have never changed. We are living in age of grace, not under the Mosaic law.

  310. Really? I’ll do some research on Corey Benjamin. I’ve never heard of him – see what we are up against.
    Thank you for the complement

  311. You wrote -Jesus pointedly stated, “So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions”
    ‭‭Luke‬ ‭14:33‬.

    Finally, you admit that you are not a disciple of Christ, a Christian.

    Now, what are you going to do about that? If you hear his voice, Ron, hardened not your heart.

  312. Corey Benjamin banned me from his site when I annihilated his argument against Christians defending themselves or their families from those who would do them harm. He is an extreme peacenik.

    Far worse, he teaches those who follow him such as Ron, that there is no hell, no everlasting life, Homosexuality is NOT condemned by God, loving Jesus and others is the way to God. Salvation, repentance and sin seem to be forbidden words and doctrines. The Bible is not God’s word, man wrote it etc.

    Ron is a regular, as well as Herm (who obviously has a history of drug abuse) and Bones, a vulgar heathen who goes out of his way to offend Christ, Jews, and anybody who speaks the truth.

    These are the types who are allowed on Corey Benjamin’s site.

  313. He isn’t even good enough to be called a heretic, from the sounds of things.
    The only Corey I could find was a basketball player……lol…….

  314. My bads as people often say. I often reverse his first and last name, sorry. I will correct my comments where I made that mistake.

    Benjamin Corey is his name. He is on Patheos.

  315. It is simple English and means just what it says.

    Read the account again.

    John 8: 3 The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, 4 they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery.”

    Caught by whom? Where are they? How many were there? One?

    The woman had to be faced with her accusers, found guilty, and sentenced in one process at one time.

    No one actually purports to have caught her in the very act, although the scribes and Pharisees claim she was caught.

    John:8: 10 Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?” 11 She said, “No one, sir.”

  316. Mark, I spoke to you respectfully and asked for an explanation. There is no need to imply that I cannot read “plain English”. Could they not go get the witnesses?

  317. All we have to go on is the text.

    There seems to be no evidence that they brought witnesses, went to go get witnesses, or even actually had witnesses.

    Since my style displeases you, I have blocked you.

    https://help.disqus.com/commenting/user-blocking

    That will prevent me from ever reading another of your posts, and prevent me from ever displeasing you again with a response.

    Do have a nice day.

  318. I guess Mark will not see this but to anyone else who may have been following this exchange where did I go wrong?
    He began with “there were no witnesses”and ended with “there is no evidence there were witnesses”. Would someone please apologize to him on my behalf for having taken offense at “It is simple English and means just what it says”? I am not perfect but I do not see why that should shut down a conversation.
    Thank you.

  319. Then ipso facto you’re familiar with the Noahide law.

  320. I may have been familiar with some of the content of the “Noahide Law”, but I had never heard of the term itself before a few days ago. As a Catholic, I am familiar with the Decalogue, the Gospel, and official church teaching in the CCC.

  321. You’re darn right! I’m callin’ our fellow blogger a “‘weasel’ (or ‘Weasel’).”

  322. So very, very wrong on your part, Mr. Brant.

  323. We only know what Jesus said by means of the New Testament, especially the Gospel where there is no evidence that Jesus said anything about men having sex with men. He addressed the question about *heterosexual* divorce and remarriage being contrary to God’s law and constituting adultery, a practice that unfortunately is widespread among non-gay Christians today. In spite of such behavior, Jesus elsewhere tells Peter (and others) to initiate unlimited forgiveness; only one of four relevant Gospel passages mentions repentance. In Luke 15, Jesus teaches it is God who reaches out to people who are “lost” in sin, thereby enabling them to then — and only then — express sorrow for sin.

  324. Matthew 5:45 and 18:21-22, not to mention three of four Gospel passages on divine forgiveness, refute your second paragraph (even the remaining passage, when clarified by Luke 15, demonstrates that “turn[ing]” to Jesus and renouncing sin are made possible in the first place by God, not the sinner; God takes the initiative).

    You write, “Christ is responsible for all scripture.” No. The Father is responsible for all scripture, both old and new. Jesus conveyed the Father’s wishes. The Father was the teacher; Jesus was the Father’s mouthpiece. Much of divine law was already in place *before* the Incarnation.

  325. “God’s moral laws have never changed.”

    Slavery comes to mind.

  326. “…nor men who practice homosexuality…”

    Other translations do not use the word “homosexuality”. See https://biblehub.com/1_corinthians/6-9.htm. The USCCB translation for 1 Cor 6:9, for example, has “nor boy prostitutes nor sodomites”. The related commentary states, ” [6:9] The Greek word translated as boy prostitutes may refer to catamites, i.e., boys or young men who were kept for purposes of prostitution, a practice not uncommon in the Greco-Roman world. In Greek mythology this was the function of Ganymede, the ‘cupbearer of the gods,’ whose Latin name was Catamitus. The term translated sodomites refers to adult males who indulged in homosexual practices with such boys. See similar condemnations of such practices in Rom 1:26–27; 1 Tm 1:10.”

    In any event, *males having sex with males* did not constitute homosexuality. Male inmates having intercourse with other male inmates, for example, are not necessarily homosexuals. Sexual orientation is much more complex/encompassing than intercourse. A lesbian having sex with a male is not “straight”. A gay male having sex with a woman is not “straight”. The “sex act”, in short, is the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” of human sexuality/orientation.

  327. “The passages he quotes are from a translation that improperly anachronizes ‘homosexuality’ back into ancient texts.”

    TRUE.

    Thank you.

  328. “Man-bedders” are not necessarily homosexuals. Your preferred translation is one of several that ignore modern developments in the social sciences, biology, and medicine.

  329. “Shawnie5’s” references to “mother-bedder”, etc. focus on observable behavior. What s/he doesn’t realize (or want to acknowledge) is that such behavior is not at all dispositive of the issue or subject-matter. Sexual orientation includes much more than the so-called “sex act”.

    S/he is wrong. You are right.

    Thank you.

  330. Sexual immorality has no bearing on the sexual orientation known as ‘homosexuality’.

  331. Actions speak louder than words. Adultery is widely practiced and accepted among Christians and their religious leaders today.

  332. “If you love me, you will keep my commands” (John 14:15).

    ************

    “But I say to you, love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your heavenly Father, for he makes his sun rise on the bad and the good, and causes rain to fall on the just and the unjust” (Matthew 5:44-45).

    “Then Peter approaching asked him, ‘Lord, if my brother sins against me, how often must I forgive him? As many as seven times?’ Jesus answered, ‘I say to you, not seven times but seventy-seven times'” (Matthew 18:21-22).

    “He said to [his “*good* son], ‘My son, you are here with me always; everything I have is yours. But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found'” (Luke 15:31-32).

    ************

    RE: Matthew 5:43-48, the USCCB commentary states: “See Lv 19:18. There is no Old Testament commandment demanding hatred of one’s enemy, but the ‘neighbor’ of the love commandment was understood as one’s fellow countryman. Both in the Old Testament (Ps 139:19–22) and at Qumran (1QS 9:21) hatred of evil persons is assumed to be right. Jesus extends the love commandment to the enemy and the persecutor. His disciples, as children of God, must imitate the example of their Father, who grants his gifts of sun and rain to both the good and the bad.”

    God’s love is unconditional. God takes the initiative to find and reconcile folks “lost” in sin.. It is this reconciliation, i.e., demonstration of God’s love, that is central to one’s repentance. A “lost” person cannot find his or her way back home. (The so-called “unpardonable sin” in Mark 3:29 is an example of one “lost” in sin. The above biblical passages are relevant here.)

  333. So whilst we’re on the subject – are you a born again Christian by any chance? Not? Well then hell is waiting for you unless you repent and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior and be born again.
    The interesting thing is that atheists and leftists in general are being told what is really cutting in this world and they angrily refuse to accept the truth and arrogantly discard it with contempt.
    That is called foolishness – for what will it profit a man(or woman) to gain the whole world(‘s approval and material goods) and lose his/her soul?

  334. Jesus taught us that God has given us a GET OUT OF JAIL FREE card. Indeed, the name ‘Jesus’ means “God saves”, not “God saves if…” God takes the initiative to forgive, thus demonstrating God’s unconditional love and forgiveness that precede a former sinner’s expression of repentance.

  335. You obviously want to believe whatever you want to believe.

  336. Those who oppose Jesus will find any and all kinds of means to rail against His standards.
    Psalm 2:1-3
    1 Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain?
    2 The kings of the earth take their stand and the rulers gather together, against the LORD and against His Anointed One , saying,
    3 “Let us break their chains and throw off their shackles.”:…

  337. Is there a hell? Is it a place or a state of being? If the former, is anyone in it? Reconcile a sinner being consigned to hell (however defined) with Luke 15, Matthew 5:43-48, and Matthew 18:21-22.

  338. Uh-Oh,…! It’s Ignatz again! Are YOU a born again Christian, Ignatz? If not, then why are you so concerned about what evangelicals do or do not do?
    Maybe YOU should concentrate on getting yourself out of Hell, which is where scoffers are headed unless they repent and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior.

  339. You need to see the bigger picture here. It is quite clear that people who disregard God’s commands are precisely those in the church who turn away from the bible and start to follow human philosophies. Which leads to things like embracing abortion, LGBTQ acceptance and embracing gay marriage and practicing gay “Christians”. Then they start making laws that forces real Christians to bow to their (LGBTQ) wishes. Those who reject God’s commands and salvation want to absolutely and totally eradicate Christianity. Don’t be fooled. That’s precisely what YOU also want. This is why it’s best to get rid of them from the ABC.

  340. That’s right, you love a God who is ready, willing, and able to send you to hell (or let you send yourself to hell).

    Your comment smacks of religious masochism.

    Sicko.

  341. One of the best de facto Sunday *sermons* I ever listened to was in a Catholic church in communion with the Church of Rome. The de facto *sermon* was given by a woman while the male liturgical presider sat and listened.

  342. I agree that “the point” of genuine translation is “getting the thoughts across”. Unfortunately, even the Church of Rome today uses a worship text that is *transliteration*, not “translation”. Sad.

  343. What do you mean by “accuracy”? Word or meaning? Thanks.

  344. “[E]mphasizing words over thoughts can hurt people badly.”

    So very, very true.

    Thanks.

  345. I think a better synonym for *thought/meaning” content is ‘translation’, which is often confused with ‘transliteration’. A translation (in this context) is a product conveying ancient meaning in terms understandable to people today. A transliteration, on the other hand, can be incomprehensible to readers/listeners today because it is word-for-word rendering with archaic wording and composition that readers/listeners cannot understand or find very difficult to comprehend. An example of transliteration is the current liturgical text mandated by JPII for the Church of Rome. An example of a translation is the 1998 text developed by the International Commission on English in the Liturgy for use in the Church of Rome.

  346. “Christian” in name only in terms of their reaction to sexual orientation as created by God.

  347. Depends on what you mean by that. If you have attractions for the same sex but abstain from indulging it is the same as a heterosexual single person not fornicating. So there is no sin.
    BUT, if you indulge your passions and desires whilst being either gay or straight, you are sinning. Plain and simple.
    It only gets complicated because people LOVE THEIR SIN and make all kinds of excuses for it, including the one that says “I was born/made that way”. God is not fooled. The only people who are fooled are those who think they can get away with it.

  348. You are fooling yourself – also described in the bible as deceiving yourself. It is a sin to practice homosexual acts, whether you call yourself a Christian or not.. This is why 1 cor 9:6 is clear about the various kinds of SINS people practice and make excuses for. BUT NOTE: verse 11 makes it clear that people can repent and be washed from those sins. So can you. Problems arise when you refuse to acknowledge it as a sin and instead identify yourself as being made that way. In such a case you can not repent because you do not see it as sinning! This is called a deadly death spiral.
    The bible is clear on the issue. YOU just want to indulge in something that the bible prohibits. You are choosing hell fire.

  349. “God is Love”, and divine love does not condemn or let sinners condemn themselves.

    “But now we must celebrate and rejoice, because your brother was dead and has come to life again; he was lost and has been found” (Luke 15:32). God found the sinner and restored him to life.

    JESUS = “God saves”. Not “God saves if…”

  350. What is Hell? A place? A state of being? Are people in Hell? If “Yes”, how do you know? Been there?

  351. So why do you not want to recognize homosexual acts as sin? Are you greater than God who made it quite clear in spelling out all kinds of sexually deviant acts people perform in Leviticus 18, including homosexuality?
    The people going to hell will have all eternity to regret their arrogance and stubbornness when people told them the truth in clear, plain and simple terms and they rejected it. Just as you are doing now.

  352. If there is a Hell, it may very well be empty.

  353. “serious scholars actually acknowledge ”
    It also turns out that most of those same scholars usually are not Christians at all. They are fully versed in what the bible says but they don’t believe a word of it. I’ve seen that time and time again.

  354. You can argue all you want and do as you please. In the end the only thing that counts is whether you obeyed God’s word or not. God will be the judge and He will clearly point out to you and others like you who rejected the numerous times when you were corrected.
    Eternity is a very, very , very long time to spent burning in hell, with no timeout, no break, no parole. Choose you this day whom you will serve – self or the One and only, True, Living God.

  355. You dismissed his/hers because you’re committed to yours. Have you thought about that?

  356. Another defender of 666. Your choice. God will judge in the end. From where I stand, my interpretation of the word of God says you will be on the LEFT as your words indicate now.

  357. Another defender of 666. Your choice. God will judge in the end. From where I stand, my interpretation of the word of God says you will be on the LEFT as your words indicate now. See, I have to repeat myself.

  358. Sinful people always want to deflect from the issue at hand, Just as you are now jumping onto a totally different topic altogether.

  359. Perhaps it’s because the gays refuse to repent because they believe they were made that way, in God’s image, nogal!
    So if they are gay, they cannot repent from their sins ( they don’t view it as sin ) so they have to go. It’s plain and simple and as clear as daylight.
    People are given 13 MONTHS to repent as long as they commit to the principles. What clearer way to demonstrate that people can CHOOSE what they want to do. Nobody is forcing them. it is their choice.

  360. “being LGBT” Therein lies the real issue: People who insist they were MADE that way. They focus on who they are not what they DO. God views it differently, no matter how you want to interpret it.

  361. Maybe you should go read the document properly instead of making assumptions.

  362. According to you. So what, you like it, you don’t like it. That’s the way it is. You only have two choices and be default you have already made the bad one.

    God is a god of love, AND He is also infinitely Holy. He chooses (as God) not to have anything to do with sin. So if you or anyone else prefers to cross Him even though He has mercifully made a way for sinners to get clean, well, that’s your choice, isn’t it?

  363. And you sound like the typical unrepentant sinner who is so blinded by their rage they cannot see the wood for the trees.
    The choice is simple and clear: Are you God? Did you make the rules? What are the only choices open to you?
    Which one looks to be the better option? Which one do YOU choose to make? It’s you choice. No one is forcing you. Just remember you have already made the bad one simply by being born. Yet God is rich in mercy and grace and made a way for you to escape the coming wrath. But you choose to reject that mercy and grace that is freely available to anyone who wants it. You obviously do not want mercy and grace offered to you so you kick at the hand that feeds you. Your choice.

  364. I DO recognize that ALL sexual acts outside of marriage; which God defined as between One man and One woman; are a sin. This includes but are not limited to Adultery, Homosexual Acts, Incest, Bestiality, and Fornication,

  365. Oh, I’m sorry, I did not realize you were on board with telling homosexuals that homosexual acts were in fact sinful, and needed to be repented of.

    Thought you were one of those kum-ba-ya guys holding their hands and telling them it wasn’t sinful anymore.

    Sorry for the confusion.

  366. You lack reading skills. Those verses you picked out have nothing to do with God’s final judgement on the state of the wicked.

  367. God views it differently?

    You are speaking directly in his behalf?

    You are his chosen prophet to give his word directly to the world?

    Nope. You are just another spineless bigot who wants to avoid responsibility for their views. Nobody is compelling you to treat others with such deliberate malice. You chose the version of faith which enabled it. You chose such personal prejudice but are too afraid of the social consequences if it. It’s not God which made you a raging bigot. You did that all yourself. Religion just being an excuse so you can pretend to have some form of social acceptability to it.

    The only people who have ever claimed to choose being straight were the fraudulent ex gays. People who put themselves under pressure to fit in with religious bigots like yourself by lying in public. Evidently your version of God values dishonesty.

    You are trying to pretend an innate characteristic is ones choice because it allows you to act hateful and malicious in public. There is nothing remotely moral about your views. To define your Christian belief by such hate is reductive and turns your faith to petty excuses for bad behavior. You can do better than that.

  368. A sermon getting a thumbs-up from you is a black mark against it indeed.

    The “male liturgical presider” was delinquent in his responsibilities and should have been given talkin’-to.

  369. Still parroting that bunk?

    Does Polly want a cracker?

  370. Still haven’t found that carve out and exception to “love the neighbor” in that prior statement you seem to think exists out there to justify being a malicious tool.

    Spineless bigots like yourself pretend their views are God’s will because you lack the fortitude and honesty to own up to your petty hateful prejudices.

    There is nothing to repent because there is no sin in what one is. You never chose to be straight. People never choose to be gay. It’s simply what they are. You simply lie and pretend otherwise because you enjoy being hateful and malicious.

  371. Thank you for your concern, Fred, I accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was 16, spent about 10 years in two evangelical churches, then about 3 years in a Reformed Presbyterian Church, 7 years in a Episcopal Church, then after a year in a Christian Orthodox Church (just to see) went back to the Catholic Church of my youth.

    I read the Bible daily and pray every morning and evening. During the 10 years I was evangelical, I didn’t read the whole Bible once, although I read certain select passages over and over again – the ones that reinforced evangelical doctrine. And that was true of most others in the church. Straining out gnats and swallowing camels.

  372. Just reading what it says. Do you only believe that the Bible means what it says when it will impact OTHER people?

  373. It’s not a sin to be in love and get married, regardless of whether you are gay or straight. Celibacy doesn’t make you “more” righteous than married gay or straight people.

  374. No, I’m not. Just because you want to read into the text something that’s not there doesn’t mean that your interpretation is correct.

    Please quote Jesus ever saying anything negative against LGBTQ people… You can’t, because he didn’t.

    Have a nice life.

  375. No, I am not a born-again Christian. I considered Christianity once, But I rejected it. Why? Why, you answer that question in your second sentence when you tell me that God loves me so much that if I don’t believe it, he’s going to send me to burn in hell forever, all the while failing to provide me a single reason why I should believe it, apart from the threat. In your defense, you and your fellow religionists provide me plenty of reasons not to believe it, including your arrogance in asserting that you know the relationship of God with any other person on the planet. By the way, I am not arrogantly discarding your “truth” with contempt, I am discarding the person who’s making a claim that he cannot possibly prove or know.

    When you can prove that I have a soul, that you have any knowledge about what happens to it, that you have proof that your God exist apart from your holy book because everyone has one of those, then you can tell me all about losing my soul.

  376. The comment section is where we ramble and develop our own thoughts. Some people think first and then write. I tend to write first to discover what I think. I’m glad you like that line. I didn’t know it or think it until I wrote it.

  377. Not sure where you got the idea that I want to “totally eradicate Christianity” having said that the ABS erred in judgement. A non Christian is just as capable as a Christian. For which good performance were they fired? Jesus never fired anybody, not even Judas Iscariot.

  378. I interpreted your sentence as referring to some folks who rely on nasty/mean words because they have nothing of substance to offer. Substance, of course, depends on thinking and, therefore, requires work. While there can be legitimate reasons for anonymity, some bloggers hide behind it because they simply are lazy and/or lack any capacity for respectful and thoughtful commenting.

  379. You’re hollow and disrespectful toward folks with whom you disagree. You exemplify “FriendlyGoat’s” observation that “emphasizing words over thoughts can hurt people badly.” You undercut any chance of getting respect from others. You hurt yourself. You’re spoiled and lazy. Take a hint: Grow up.

  380. “Those verses you picked out have nothing to do with God’s final judgement on the state of the wicked.”

    They most certainly do demonstrate how God judges sinners. God’s justice is our salvation. What God in the person of Jesus asks us to do, God will most certainly do. Why? Because Jesus is not a hypocrite. The name ‘Jesus’, if you were unaware, means “God saves”. His name does not mean “God saves if…” God’s love is unconditional. God wants our love, not our FEAR.

  381. You are continuing in your bad reading skills because those verses you picked out are about how Christians are to treat their enemies not God’s final judgement on the state of the wicked.

  382. A lesson in civility from one such as yourself is risible.

  383. “Oh, I’m sorry…”

    You should be. Furthermore, there’s no “lying to homosexuals” in telling them that their “sexual acts” are not sinful.

    There’s nothing “sinful” in committed and monogamous LGBTQ relationships. On the other hand, we know that slavery was sinful even though Jesus approved of it two thousand years ago.

    “Sorry for the confusion.”

    You should be. You enjoy putting words into people’s mouths as a form of ad hominem. You don’t help your credibility. To respect others, you must respect yourself first. Do you?

  384. Well, yes, there are multiple meanings. I was referring to Bible Study people who are worried about exact translation of individual Greek or Hebrew words and less worried about whether a Bible passage is coherent in modern English. Then, as you point out, we do have people who lack anything meaningful to say and instead just insert the clichés, or the cuss words, or the putdowns, instead. For instance, I never take anyone seriously again after they type “LOL” at anyone anywhere.

    As for anonymity, I wouldn’t do this any other way—–but not so I can throw bombs. We’re supposed to be able here to get free of the constraints of family, friends, co-workers, bosses, customers, pastors, social circles—–so we can speak more deeply on real subjects. If we want to go public in our own names, there is always Facebook (but not for me. I wouldn’t touch real-name social media with a ten-foot pole. Fraught with hazards, mainly those of goofing up real relationships IMHO).

  385. I reply by paragraph:

    + No “rage” on my part. Perhaps you need a perception test.

    + No, I’m not God, and I did not “make the rules”. However, I do rely on God’s word, especially in the Gospel. What God asks of us, God will also do, right? “What are the only choices open to [me]?” My salvation, which is God’s justice, i.e., what we deserve because of God’s unconditional love.

    + “Just remember you have already made the bad [“option”, “choice”] simply by being born.” You may want to revisit this sentence, as it makes no sense as written. I did not choose to be conceived, much less be born. “Yet God is rich in mercy and grace and made a way for you to escape the coming wrath.” Mercy has no preconditions. It is pure gift. My “way” (and yours, too) is Jesus whose name means “God saves”, not “God saves if…” Contrary to your belief, I do not “reject that mercy”. I’m grateful for it. Indeed, our earliest ancestors in the Christian faith expressed their gratitude for all of God’s blessings including divine mercy. How? In their worship — known as their “eucharistic liturgy”, i.e., the people’s act of thanksgiving to God.

    You obviously tend to ascribe erroneous behaviors to others. Please desist. Not helpful to you, much less to anyone else.

  386. “Well, it turns out, neither are you.”

    I never claimed to be Jesus. I simply rely on his teaching demonstrating God’s unconditional love.

  387. I’m not “into” so-called “666”. I’m “into” the Gospel, i.e., the “Good News” of our salvation accomplished by Jesus whose name means “God saves”, not “God saves if”. Yes, “God will judge in the end”. God’s justice is our unmerited salvation. God will save people on both the LEFT and the RIGHT. God wants our love, not our FEAR.

  388. And yet…. I wonder what Dr. Peterson would have felt if his wife (who divorced her first husband) had been given this Affirmation.

  389. That’s not quite true now, is it.

    In reality you only have two choices: you either believe or you burn.

    You see, you are born damned. You have no other destination but hell. Therefore you have no choice but to choose to worship this deity. There is no free will. You will worship this deity or you will go to hell.

    That is not love. That is terrorism.

  390. “He chooses (as God) not to have anything to do with sin.”

    Yet Jesus hung around sinners.

  391. I could never understand the fascination that ordinary folks (as opposed to scholars and the like) have with the KJV’s English; they seem more preoccupied with archaic words than meaning. I have a modern study Bible that conveys a reasonable rendering of the meaning of the ancient Greek.

    I understand your concern for anonymity. Since my (early) retirement 19+ years ago and blogging shortly thereafter, I’ve felt no compunction about using my real name. Some people might say I am “outspoken” — :o) One Catholic friend accused me of being “anti-Catholic”. I replied I was not at all “anti-Catholic” but was critical of much of the pre-Vatican II mentality promoted by JPII and B16 (I left the Church of Rome 12 years ago because of the behavior of the latter pope). I would like to return someday, but, given the cultural artifacts of the church and the regard for them as somehow sacrosanct, I doubt I’ll die within the institution. I consider myself a so-called “recovering Catholic”.

    I reluctantly set up a social media account at the urging of a friend, but I’ve never used it even once since then. I share your concerns.

    Thanks.

  392. I “cross the line” from time to time, but my doing so is a *reaction* to the ad hominems spewed by folks like you. On the other hand, you *initiate* such crap. I suggest you grow up and get used to the idea that not everyone agrees with you.

  393. You clearly misunderstand the idea that what God asks of us, God will also do. God is not a hypocrite. I recommend the Linns’ GOOD GOATS: HEALING OUR IMAGE OF GOD, which includes insights from writers of various backgrounds. Don’t be fooled by the cover. The book is for adults. Good luck.

  394. I recommend you read those verses you referenced instead. They have nothing to do with how God will deal with the final state of the wicked.

  395. Many people revere KJV because they only half understand what they read in it and merely assume it is more Godly because it sounds stilted and “official”.

    As for church, I was raised Protestant and my wife and I have been out of them for 25 years. In seriousness, my understanding of salvation is that only one’s personal (personal) faith in Jesus as our savior matters, not the church we are or are not in. You and I will die in Jesus if we ask him—IMHO. Other people are not required for that. John 3:16

  396. I reply to folks as their comments merit.

    But, as you say, “Whatever”.

  397. See my reply to your “Whatever” comment.

  398. I agree re: the KJV (which my Protestant mother used).

    As to salvation, I think God’s love is unconditional and that everyone, regardless, will someday enjoy eternal bliss with God. You and your wife may find of interest the Linns’ GOOD GOATS: HEALING OUR IMAGE OF GOD, which is published by a Catholic publishing house but contains insights from Catholic and other scholars alike. (The publisher is owned by a Catholic religious community that was founded to promote ecumenical and interfaith good will. See paulist.org for more information.) The book is available from Amazon.

  399. Jesus is God. Homosexuality is condemned by God. Nations were judged for Homosexuality. Jesus who is God, chose the Apostle Paul to write what we know as the New Testament. No Homosexual will inherit the Kingdom of God – 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.

  400. Wow! That was a stretch. Do you really, really, think that Fred meant that Jesus, who was God incarnate had nothing to do with sinners, or that he holds that sin and sinners are the same?

    Is a denial of the Incarnation of God another of the heresies you hold to?

  401. Neither Jesus nor the Old Testament condemns homosexuality. Jesus, in fact, does not even address the subject in the Gospel. On the related subject of marriage and divorce, for example, he gives divine teaching relating to the relationship between a male husband and a female wife. Why? Because the question was posed to him. Today, we understand this male-female relationship as falling within the area known as heterosexuality. Unlike two thousand years ago, we know today that sexual intercourse between two persons of the same sex or of the opposite sex does not define human sexual identity (two prison inmates engaging in sexual relations may be “straight” or “gay”). Such identity embraces much more than the “sex act” (Wikipedia has lengthy entries for “homosexuality”, “heterosexuality”, and “sexual orientation”).

    In short, Judeo-Christian scriptures deal understandably (given their time frames) with intercourse, not with the broader and more complex subject of sexual orientation.

  402. Jesus tacitly approves of slavery in Luke 12:45-48. The Church of Rome did not “categorically” condemn slavery until late 1965 at Vatican II. Christians outside of Rome, both Catholic and Protestant, condemned the practice in growing numbers over the centuries.

  403. Those verses most certainly do have everything with how God will save us at the Last Judgement.

  404. No need for a “rules change”. Jesus demonstrated God’s unconditional love. If there’s a need for anything, it is on the part of some folks who effectively believe God is a hypocrite. God wants our love, not our FEAR. No one can truly love God if they believe God is ready, willing, and able to condemn them to hell (or let them condemn themselves to hell [so much for Jesus somehow being our “Savior” if sinners are not, in fact, already saved for good). “Jesus” = “God saves”, not “God saves if…”

  405. You wrote: “Neither Jesus nor the Old Testament condemns homosexuality.”

    You either don’t know what the Scriptures say or reject what the Scriptures plainly say. Leviticus 20:13 – If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them. NASB.

    Jesus is God. Homosexuality is condemned by God. Nations were judged for Homosexuality. Jesus who is God, chose the Apostle Paul to write what we know as the New Testament. No Homosexual will inherit the Kingdom of God – 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.

    The rest of your comment is just just typical gibberish that Homosexuals come up with to justify in their own eyes their grossly sinful behavior.

  406. You are obviously confusing voluntary slavery in Old Testament times with involuntary slavery such as in America centuries ago.

    You don’t know Scripture.

  407. “You are obviously confusing voluntary slavery…”

    No, I am not. Slavery is slavery, regardless. In Luke, Jesus upholds the right of a master to “beat” (and, if circumstances warrant, “severely beat”) a disobedient slave. The right to beat a slave presumes legal and moral justification for the practice.

    “You don’t know Scripture.”

    I do “know Scripture”.

  408. Contrary to your belief, Scripture, both Old and New, does not address homosexuality. Instead, it addresses — as you’ve noted — “a man who lies with a male [as] with a woman”. This definition/understanding does not pertain to the sexual orientation known as ‘homosexuality’. To accept your belief would lead one to conclude that two male inmates in prison engaging in anal intercourse are ipso facto same-sex attracted, i.e., “gays” or “homosexuals”. Such is not the case. Sexual orientation, whether heterosexual or homosexual, embraces much more than the act of congress.

    “Jesus is God.” Such is my belief, too.

    “Homosexuality is condemned by God.” Not true. See my comment in first paragraph.

    “Nations were judged for homosexuality.” If you are referring to biblical times, you are wrong. Again, see my first paragraph.

    “No Homosexual [sic] will inherit the Kingdom of God – 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.” Paul includes many sins in this passage, but homosexuality is not one of them. (Some translations erroneously incorporate the term ‘homosexuality’; such usage reflects ignorance of the sexual orientation known as ‘homosexuality’).

    “The rest of your comment is just typical gibberish…blah, blah, blah.”

    Not at all, but your comments demonstrate ignorance of the subject-matter.

  409. You don’t believe the Scriptures, just like all the Homosexuals who comment on the issue.

    You Homosexuals never admit to your sin. Salvation deals with YOUR sins. No confession, and no repentance from YOUR sins, means no Salvation. No change in behavior means no Salvation.

  410. You are grossly ignorant of the Scriptures. I’m sure you have made a commitment to be ignorant of the Scriptures in an attempt to live in YOUR sins.

  411. “You are grossly ignorant of the Scriptures.”

    And you demonstrate such.

  412. I happen to be “straight”, just an open-minded person who considers — using his God-given capacity to think — new information and insights.

    You effectively deny that Jesus is our “Savior”.

    Your problem to figure out, not mine.

  413. Yea, atheists, and unbelievers often say they are open minded.

    I strongly believe that you can’t say that Homosexuality is sin in the eyes of God.

    Yes or no, is Homosexuality sin in the eyes of God?

  414. You are grossly ignorant of Scripture and you will demonstrate it again.

    Is Homosexuality sin in the eyes of God? Yes or no.

  415. To repeat my earlier reply: No, homosexuality is not a sin in the eyes of God.

  416. You are grossly ignorant of Scripture and Christianity.

    You are obviously not a Christian. I sincerely hope that you don’t claim to be a Christian.

    No Christian church would allow you as a member.

  417. Not needed by me.

    I don’t suffer from your Hindenburg-sized levels of gas.

    Remember to stay away from open flames.

  418. You are the first one that I have got to declare that. Homosexuality is a gross sin and those who practice it will NOT inherit the Kingdom of God.
    1 Corinthians 6;9-10 makes that fact abundantly clear.

    Furthermore, no Christian church would ever afford you membership for that statement alone.

  419. You are either grossly ignorant of Scripture or you are a shameless heathen.

    No Christian church would ever allow you as a member, but I doubt that matters to you.

  420. “You are grossly ignorant of Scripture and Christianity.”

    Please don’t embarrass yourself with such a silly assertion.

  421. You won’t get anywhere with Dennis. About the only thing he did with me when we interacted (if you can call it that) was to yell heretic the whole time and post links to conservative Christian sites as if that somehow bolstered his closed mindedness 😄. He’s one of few that I’ve ever blocked because he doesn’t know how to discuss unless it’s with those who agree with him.

    I don’t mind spirited debate and good discussion, but he offered not much anything other than ad hominem and get all pissy when I’d point out inconsistencies lol. I finally moved on because he was just a waste of time.

  422. I fully understand your frustration dealing with folks like him. To date, anyway, I’ve not blocked anyone because I want to be ready to refute closed-minded folks like Mr. Wilson when they make assertions that cannot withstand critical scrutiny. The same holds true for my dealings with “Mark Connelly”, a closed-minded Catholic who has supposedly blocked me. As far as I’m concerned, he is his own problem, not mine.

    Thank you for sharing.

  423. “Of course it’s not.”

    But I had to remind you.

  424. “By the time of Jesus, the Jews were not killing adulterers.”

    Source(s), please.

  425. History is not baloney.

    Unlike the baloney you manure the fields with here.

    Baloney like: homosexuality is “not even addressed in the Bible”.

    Save that for those who are ignorant of the Bible and Christianity; they might swallow it.

  426. I’m never embarrassed about speaking the truth.

    You have denied sin, specifically, the sin of Homosexuality. Nobody has Christ who denies he is a sinner. 1 John 1:8

    You are grossly ignorant of Scripture and Christianity

  427. “Homosexuality is not in the Bible.”

    LOL. That is so smart of you. The English word Homosexuality is not in the Bible. How did you ever figure that out? Did you discover that 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 was written in Greek?

    Hey, “sexual orientation” is not in the Bible, either in an English translation or Greek.

    Sex with another of the same sex is sin and there are a lot of words and terms in the English language that refer to that sinful act, wiseguy.

  428. “LOL. That is so smart of you. The English word Homosexuality is not in the Bible.”

    Thank you. There may be hope for you yet.

    “Sexual orientation”, as you’ve finally figured out, is not in the Bible, either. You’re learning.

    “Wiseguy.”

    Nope, just not ignorant.

  429. Sir, you are ignorant of Christianity’s appreciation of both faith and reason. “I’m not embarrassed…blah, blah, blah.” And I’m not surprised at your silly admission.

  430. Obviously, you do not appreciate advances in human knowledge and understanding. God gave each of us a brain and expects us to use it. I suggest you employ your brain in gratitude to God.

  431. My brain -which you rightly recognize is a gift from on high – enables me to critically evaluate your so-called “advances in human knowledge and understanding”, and to reject whatever is unsound. if only you would train yours to do the same.

  432. If Dennis was as passionate about caring for the poor (ya know, like the things Jesus actually cared about) rather than spending so much of his energy hating on gays, he could single-handedly eliminate world hunger.

  433. Hating on gays is a waste of his energy, I agree. Thanks.

  434. That was far better that your other comments – which have a lower origin.

  435. Hey, you got Ron McPherson, a heretic and disciple in Benjamin Corey’s cult to upvote you and otrotierra who seems to be a disciple of Ron. That’s not good.

    Hey, Ron McPherson, heretic and false teacher, also rejects the Biblical hell, the teachings of Jesus about hell, everlasting life, and like you rejects Homosexuality as sin.

  436. “Sex with another of the same sex is sin and there are a lot of words and terms in the English language that refer to that sinful act, wiseguy.”

    Why did you omit those words of mine concerning the sin of Homsexuality?

    Ron McPherson, heretic, and false teacher upvoted you again. Still not good. Can two walk together except they be agreed?

  437. Do you claim to be an expert in Biblical greek? I don’t, so I have to rely on those who have studied the Greek language.

    Homosexual is the translation of ἀρσενοκοίτης (arsenokoites, English transliteration). It is translated Homosexual in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 in the NASB.

    This passage in the NASB states that no Homosexual will inherit the Kingdom of God.

    Since you are an unbeliever, what is your excuse for rejecting the truth that no Homosexual will inherit the Kingdom of God?

    Strong”s Concordance:

    Strong’s Concordance
    arsenokoites: a male engaging in same-gender sexual activity
    Original Word: ἀρσενοκοίτης, ου, ὁ
    Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine
    Transliteration: arsenokoites
    Phonetic Spelling: (ar-sen-ok-oy’-tace)
    Definition: a sodomite
    Usage: a male engaging in same-gender sexual activity; a sodomite, pederast.
    HELPS Word-studies
    733 arsenokoítēs (from 730 /árrhēn, “a male” and 2845 /koítē, “a mat, bed”) – properly, a man in bed with another man; a homosexual

    Thayer’s Greek Lexicon
    STRONGS NT 733: ἀρσενοκοίτης

    ἀρσενοκοίτης, ἀρσενοκοιτου, ὁ (ἄρσην a male; κοίτη a bed), one who lies with a male as with a female, a sodomite: 1 Corinthians 6:9; 1 Timothy 1:10. (Anthol. 9, 686, 5; ecclesiastical writings.)

    Englishman’s Concordance
    1 Corinthians 6:9 N-NMP
    GRK: μαλακοὶ οὔτε ἀρσενοκοῖται
    NAS: effeminate, nor homosexuals,
    KJV: nor abusers of themselves with mankind,
    INT: effeminate nor homosexuals
    1 Timothy 1:10 N-DMP
    GRK: πόρνοις ἀρσενοκοίταις ἀνδραποδισταῖς ψεύσταις
    NAS: and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers
    KJV: For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers,
    INT: the sexually immoral homosexuals men-

  438. No, I do not claim to be an expert in biblical Greek. Instead, I rely on informed sources and critical thinking, not emotion, much less terminology that has no precedent in ancient sources. I appreciate your providing translations from an English concordance. Why? Because the translations actually support what I have contended all along, namely, that translators still use the term “homosexual(s)” even though the people of Jesus’ time had no knowledge of the concept, which entails far more than men sleeping (having sex) with men. (The term “menstealers”, by the way, reminds me of the term used in the Catechism of the Council of Trent: “To enslave a freeman, or appropriate the slave of another is called man-stealing”).

    “This passage in the NASB states that no Homosexual will inherit the Kingdom of God.” It uses the word inappropriately.

    “Since you are an unbeliever, what is your excuse for rejecting the truth that no Homosexual will inherit the Kingdom of God?” I am a believer who embraces Jesus as my Lord and Savior. As a Christian, I value faith and reason, both of which inform me that persons with same-sex attraction will inherit the Kingdom of God.

    Good try, sir, but no cigar.

  439. I don’t consider myself a “wiseguy”. I consider myself informed on those subjects about which I comment. Sometimes, I find it necessary to address each and every point made by a blogger. Other times, I do not find it necessary. Your past comment fell into the latter category.

    Are you “wise”?

  440. I don’t know of Benjamin Corey and could care less about him one way or the other.

    I don’t reject the biblical hell, but I have two observations about it:

    + Is it a place or a state of being?

    + Is anyone in hell?

    The Church of Rome has *never* declared even a single soul to be in hell (the place). In addition, the Church has never condemned the doctrine of Universal Salvation (as opposed to the doctrine of apokatastasis). The “teachings of Jesus about hell” can be reasonably seen as stressing the importance of doing God’s will in this life. They can also be seen as expressions of Jesus’ frustration with religious leaders whom he portrays as “whitewashed tombs”.

    If homosexuality is a sin, so is heterosexuality. That said, Jesus teaches in Mt 5 that God gives rain and sunshine to good and bad people alike. God is that generous. In Luke 15, Jesus teaches that it is God, not the sinner, who finds the sinner and restores him to life. Elsewhere in Matthew, Jesus instructs Peter (and, by extension, the rest of us) to *initiate* unlimited forgiveness. I think it is quite reasonable to believe that what God asks of us, God will likewise do in this life and the next. God is not a hypocrite.

    I recommend the Linns’ GOOD GOATS: HEALING OUR IMAGE OF GOD. Contributions are from religious writers of various faiths and faith traditions, not all Catholic.

  441. “…which have a lower origin.”

    I could say the same of your comments, but I won’t.

    That would be rude, not to mention not Christlike.

  442. Jesus cares about your sins. Jesus cared so much that He died for your sins Ron McPherson.

    Homosexuality is sin, Ron McPherson, and the practice of it will end you up in hell. That’s the truth, Ron McPherson. Yes, I know that reject the hell that Jesus often spoke of. Your biggest problem Ron, is that you reject Jesus and His words.

  443. You ARE a heretic and a false teacher, you seem to be a disciple of Benjamin Corey, a false teacher of great magnitude. You hang out on his site.

  444. It’s absurd that he thinks sexual sin is something new. There are no new sins!

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