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November 26, 2013

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If you were not born into a church it is next to impossible to find a place in one since most churches are so clique-ish. And if one is not married then the church really has no place for you. You are treated like a fifth wheel.

I echo Joe's comment. Maybe its just the times we live in (Matt 24:12), but churches have been relatively distant and cold places for decades, to this single exlesbian. And I am plenty involved, not a whiner. There's this arms length distance toward especially older singles. And I have attended a wide variety of churches in 30 years. If your natural family is also distant (or even hostile, in my case) due to unbelief or liberal political stand its doubly hard. So we live out or faith with a pain and human isolation that only Jesus understands. It ain't easy. Church is no respite for former gays. Its hard. But God fills the gap- little heart tugs where you sense His Presence during prayer.

CW and Joe, thanks for your comments. As a single person, I know that this is a problem — and one that many people can relate to beyond just Christians with same-sex attraction. That's exactly why I want to spread Roen's post around. (He has more to say on the church developing a theology of singleness in his post.) Keep praying for the church.

If you are struggling in a church that is cold to those like you, then you may be there to warm it up. We all are sinners with different struggles and the body is there to give support. Just don't stay silent and wait for others to come to you and don't expect that others know how you feel or how much you need if you have not shared. If you do share and they are still cold to your struggle and needs, then let them know about it. If they are unwilling to warm to you, then get out and look for another body of believers that can warm to you and give you support. Or, if you can stick it out, then try to become warm and supporting of others in need. Serving others can eliminate isolation and be so warm and enriching that you may not need those cold stones in the church so much.

Some of you may be interested in some related conversation we've been having over at Spiritual Friendship (http://spiritualfriendship.org). Eve Tushnet, whom Nick quoted, is actually one of our contributors. There's a lot of talk about singleness and celibacy and how to make churches and society more conducive to thriving as a celibate person.

I liked Nick's post as well.

God has brought us together as a new “people for God’s own possession, so that [we] may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called [us] out of darkness into His marvelous light”
It's not that I mind, but I'm surprised to see you quote 1 Peter this way. We? Us? Are you among the "exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia" 2000 years ago?

Ron, that passage is about everyone who believes in Christ. You can read the whole chapter here to see the context.

I think maybe Peter (or whoever wrote this) would say some of these things about everyone who believes in Christ.

But that doesn't mean he is in this letter. Here's some context

you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
That sounds to me like he's talking to and about converted Jews. Then he quotes the OT (something he might do if addressing converted Jews). Then he says
Conduct yourselves honorably among the Gentiles
That doesn't sound like it's about everyone who believes in Christ. Like I say, it doesn't matter to me.

Ron, the whole point of that passage is that "you once were not a people, but now you are the people of God." That is, he's talking about God grafting new people in who were not previously a people (see what Paul wrote in Romans 11 about this). And they're grafted in by believing in Christ (see the verses above this one). That's what's miraculous--this wasn't a birthright according to their lineage, it's all because of grace and mercy.

This book is written (according to the beginning) to those whom God "according to His great mercy has caused...to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," who are "chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood."

It's entirely clear about this. Paul refers to the Gentiles because that's who they were living among. That doesn't make them Jews (although some of them were). It makes them a people who were called out from the Jews and from the Gentiles. In fact, in Romans 9:23-26, he connects this idea directly with the "not my people" quote:

And He did so to make known the riches of His glory upon vessels of mercy, which He prepared beforehand for glory, even us, whom He also called, not from among Jews only, but also from among Gentiles. As He says also in Hosea,
“I will call those who were not My people, 'My people,' And her who was not beloved, 'beloved.'" “And it shall be that in the place where it was said to them, ‘you are not My people,’ There they shall be called sons of the living God.”

So you can see that passage was directly connected with people who were called out from the Gentiles.

Boy, you are really digging for an argument today!

John MacArthur's commentary on Peter breaks down the Gr. article used and 2:9-10 does speak on those pulled out of the outside and brought into Christ, rather than the nation of Israel. The Church is under discussion there, specifically, as Amy is eluding to ~~~

This book is written (according to the beginning) to those whom God "according to His great mercy has caused...to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead," who are "chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood."
This book is written (according to the beginning) by
Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ,

To those who reside as aliens, scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who are chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood: May grace and peace be yours in the fullest measure.

Ron, this is why you've been called a contrarian.

@ Ron H -

"It's not that I mind, but I'm surprised to see you quote 1 Peter this way. We? Us? Are you among the "exiles scattered throughout the provinces of Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia and Bithynia"

The entire book is speaking of and is for all those who are followers of Christ. It's not just for those particular believers in those specifically named locations.

***

"I think maybe Peter (or whoever wrote this) would say some of these things about everyone who believes in Christ.

But that doesn't mean he is in this letter. Here's some context..."

Amy explained this to you in detail, so I won't repeat it. And yet you keep on.

"Like I say, it doesn't matter to me."

Sure it does - otherwise you wouldn't be wasting your time on it.

You consistently come here and to ask a question or bring up a point. It's more than sufficiently addressed, and often by more than just one person. Then you pick another. (Or else repeat the same one.) That one is sufficiently addressed, and then you pick another. And another. And another.

Even though you are given facts and evidence and your questions/points are addressed very thoroughly, very politely, and in a generous and fair spirit, it's never acceptable to you.

That is why it seems to me you are only here to only stir up trouble.

Mo, I think it's more than that; I think RonH doesn't understand the words he references in Scripture because he is railing against them from the start. They are words, just words to him, which he hopes to contradict each other. Without understanding of the words Jewish Believers, born again Gentiles, etc. he sees conflicting references. He really WANTS it to be conflicting so he can assure himself that it's not true and that he has made the better choice by rejecting Christianity. But, as it is, it still nags at him--however much he claims it doesn't and that he really doesn't care.

I'm reminded of the blind men in Matthew 9:27-30 who approached Jesus, begging for healing. And Jesus asked them if they believed that He was ABLE to heal them. They said yes and Jesus healed them. How different for posters here who do not believe that God is able to open their eyes to Truth, and who remain groping in the darkness thinking that they "see", when they don't.

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