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March 22, 2012

Comments

As to what the Bible does and doesn't say about homosexuality, that could take a good bit of time. Briefly, the Bible never condemns all forms of gay behavior. The Bible never - not once - condemns a loving, faithful, committed marriage relationship between gay folk. Jesus never deals with homosexuality at all. He does endorse marriage and, in his example of marriage, he mentions man and woman.

We can't draw conclusions from silence, though. Thus, we can't say that because marriage between gay folk is not condemned, that it is okay. Nor can we say that because Jesus mentioned man/woman marriage as good, that marriage between gay folk is not good. Those would be arguments from silence and that is not a good argument.

In the OT, we see in Lev 18 that "men laying with men" is condemned. AS IS having sex with your wife during her menstrual period.

We see in the next chapter that wearing polyester is condemned and that cutting the hair on the side of your head is condemned.

We see in the following chapter that men who lay with men are COMMANDED to be killed.

In EACH of these chapters, the Israelis are being told to be different than the nations who surround them. These nations practice temple prostitution, temple sex practices, child sacrifice and other ritualistic worship practices.

Israel was being told to NOT be like these people.

Does that equate to each of these rules being a universal rule for all time and in all circumstances? No, no one thinks that. You probably cut the hair on the side of your head and you probably disobey the command to kill "men who lay with men," right?

The thing is, the Bible is NOT a rule book. If it were simply a rule book, then we could look at each line and find the rules therein and obey them. Job done. But, we don't do that. None of us do. Conservative, Liberal, in between, none of us treat the Bible like a rule book, and that is right, because the Bible is NOT a mere rule book. It is a book of Truth and Truths.

And I'm out of time for now. What do you say? Can we agree that the Bible is not a rule book and the OT rules are not universal rules simply because they appear in the Bible as rules (rules given specifically to ancient Israel in their specific context)? That the Bible is much greater than a rule book - it is a book of Truth?

As to the 1 Timothy passage, the word translated in your version is not "homosexual." The word, literally translated, is

As to the Romans passage, I used to think that that was the one true "killer" passage. The one that there was no getting around (back when I agreed with the traditional opinion that all gay behavior is sinful, no matter the context). But look at it. It's much like the earlier Leviticus passage in that it's talking about pretty specifically pagan rituals.

And then it comes down to "those who abandon their natural desires..." In context, it's speaking of the pagans who were straight but, for sake of their pagan practices, would abandon those natural desires to engage in rituals to worship their pagan gods.

But that is a different thing than a gay guy who is committing to love and respect and be faithful to a partner in a marriage relationship. There is no abandoning of natural desires in that relationship.

In fact, what is happening there is commitment, fidelity, grace, respect, family, community, LOVE. These are all GOOD things and the Bible tells us the truth that whatsoever things are pure, are noble, are good... think on (practice, support, chase after) these GOOD things. Against such, there is no law.

In short, even though I grew up agreeing with you, in taking a closer look at what the Bible actually says, I simply see no biblical injunction against all gay behavior. What few injunctions there are against SOME gay behaviors, are against bad behaviors (licentiousness, rape, lust, etc). But it is self evident, is it not, that some things - like commitment, love, respect - that these things are innately good and Godly.

What do you think?

Sorry, I started that first paragraph and continued on without finishing it.

The word translated "homosexual" in Timothy sometimes is "man bed." There was a greek term for "homosexual activities," but Paul did not use that term here. We're not sure what Paul is speaking of specifically, but I don't think we can think he's talking about all gay behavior or why wouldn't he have used the actual word for that?

"Can we agree that there is nothing inherently unhealthy about homosexuality?"

I am a little confused about your use of the word homosexuality. I was under the impression that anal sex is the primary sexual practice of homosexual men. If you are defining homosexuality as two members of the same sex loving each other without having sex, then why not call it friendship. However, if anal sex is unhealthy and a homosexual relationship entails anal sex, then it would appear that the homosexual relationship is unhealthy. I suppose the health risk could be limited by limiting the amount of anal sex, sort of like a smoker smoking less cigarettes a day to limit the health risk of smoking. I am not sure if that would make the relationship healthy (just less unhealthy), nor do I think that homosexuals would buy into it.

“He does endorse marriage and, in his example of marriage, he mentions man and woman.”

Why do you think that Jesus only endorsed marriage between a man and a woman, and not endorse other forms of marriage? In Matthew 19:4, He says that marriage was meant to be between a man and a woman from the beginning, with the imagery of a man and woman becoming one (as they were in the beginning). Paul affirms this view of marriage in Ephesians 5:30.

“The word translated "homosexual" in Timothy sometimes is "man bed.”

Wow, and you learned that through prayer and reading the Bible? I must confess that I have not spent as much time praying and reading these passages in the scripture as you apparently have. I could provide you with many scriptures that demonstrate that sexual relationships that deviate outside of the marriage union of one man and one woman are sinful relationships (NT and OT), and I am not aware of any verses that endorse a sexual relationship between two members of the same sex. But, from one Christian to another, I am sure that you would agree that the most loving thing we could do for our homosexual friends, is to not risk teaching a message that may lead them away from inheriting the kingdom of God (1 Cor 6:9).

I did find this article written Hank Hanagraaff that I found informative and oddly enough it addresses all of your concerns. It’s been fun Dan, hope to see you here again.
http://www.equip.org/articles/the-bible-and-homosexuality

blanko...

However, if anal sex is unhealthy and a homosexual relationship entails anal sex, then it would appear that the homosexual relationship is unhealthy.

1. I'll have to be honest and tell you that I don't know (nor do I care to know) what the "norm" is in gay relationships. That's an adult decision made between adults and I don't need to know the status of their various positions any more than I do need to know the status of heterosexual positions.

2. Are you as worried about how heterosexuals engage in sex?

3. For what it's worth, I'm quite sure there's more than one way to engage in gay sex between guys.

4. For what it's worth, I'm relatively certain that very few lesbians would engage in anal sex much. Are you suggesting then that in male/male gay relationships where they engage in frequent anal sex exclusively, that THOSE relationships might be more inclined to health issues, but all other gay and lesbian relationships are healthy?

5. From what I've read, one of the main concerns with anal sex is passing on SDs. But if we're encouraging chastity and monogamy, then gay guys engaging in certain sex acts aren't any more likely to pass on SDs than chaste monogamous heterosexuals.

Blanko...

“The word translated "homosexual" in Timothy sometimes is "man bed.”

Wow, and you learned that through prayer and reading the Bible?

Bible STUDY. When I engage in Bible study, I take it seriously enough to look up greek/hebrew meanings of words in question. That has to do with my being raised baptist and learning to take the Bible seriously, not just going with a shallow reading.

Do you agree that this is a good thing?

Blanko...

I must confess that I have not spent as much time praying and reading these passages in the scripture as you apparently have.

I grew up Southern Baptist and we, for all our faults, take reading/studying the Bible seriously. We read it a lot (or at least those in my circles growing up). I believed all gay behavior was obviously wrong growing up. When I heard that there were serious Christians who disagreed with that conclusion, for years I just ignored it as impossible, but eventually, I took it seriously enough to read on the topic more seriously. I had no desire nor intention on changing my position, I was just curious how they could even BEGIN to make such a claim.

And at the end, I found myself agreeing with them.

I guess you gotta be careful about what you pray about.

I appreciate the conversation, Blanko. I have tried to answer your questions. I hope you'll answer the rest of mine to you so that it's a fully two-way conversation. When you get a chance.

Blanko...

from one Christian to another, I am sure that you would agree that the most loving thing we could do for our homosexual friends, is to not risk teaching a message that may lead them away from inheriting the kingdom of God

1. I believe in teaching the Truth, as best we understand it. That is what I'm doing here.

2. IF I am mistaken (and I don't think I am, I am quite confident in what I think the Bible is teaching), well, then I'd be honestly mistaken. Just as, if YOU were mistaken, then you'd be honestly mistaken.

I'd hope that you can agree that merely being mistaken on a behavior is, in no way, possibly leading someone away from God. We are saved by grace, not by perfect understanding on all positions. THAT would be a works-based salvation and not orthodox Christianity.

Can we agree on that?

And I'm not only speaking to "blanko," here. I'd be glad to have any one "stand to reason" and continue the discussion/address my concerns and questions. Carolyn? Richard? Louis?

I was quite thrilled to find a site with the intent to Stand to Reason where I presume the goal is to talk rationally through some of these points, and I understand folk being busy, but I do hope and pray we could return to some of these points. I think rational, respectful discussion is a good thing for the Christian community, especially those groups who disagree on some points.

So, no rush, but when you get a chance...

Thanks!

Oh, earlier I referred to "SDs" when obviously I meant "STDs." D'oh!

Hey Dan,how ya doin'. I assume that you when you mentioned "Richard" that it meant me. Sorry I didn't get back to comment or address your points as I had other engagements attending to,but I do appreciate that you mentioned my name and yes I'm willing to continue on this topic with you as I have some time to spare. As I always promote: This is a Christian blogsite where many of us come to share,to encourage and to reason with each other,and I do admire your enthusiasm for such.


Dan,first I just wanted to simply ask you to give me a defintion of what you understand to be "Homosexuality" and within that question define what a homosexual is. Secondly,what exactly is your stance or position on what your definition of "homosexuality" is? Based on that definition of "homosexuality",do you think that God may have casually forgot to mention a union of a man to man or a woman to woman when He stated that from the "beginning he made them male and female...a man..cleaves to his wife(a woman) and to shall become one flesh"?

By your own admission,you state that the Bible is not a rule book but a book of truths. So then,how would we expect to find a list of God's approved uses for male/female anatomies? You see,this is where you get yourself in trouble. Listen closely,if the bible is NOT A RULE BOOK,then what alternative are we left with? "Study to show yourself approved to God;a workman that need not be ashamed but rightly DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH". We are left to DISCERN the Word of God through the Holy Spirit's help. Discerning means that we have to a responsibility to look deeper into the meanings of what we read in the literal sense,and also to notice the indirect ways in which God communicates what He deems as wrong or right without Him having to explicitly state it. This is what we have to do or else if the Bible was a rule book,we would have no need for spiritual discernment of such,right? We have a principle called "Reading Between The Lines" and this applies when we read a book which is "NOT A RULE BOOK". "Reading between the lines" means to infer something(from something else);trying to understand what is meant by something that is NOT WRITTEN EXPLICITLY OR OPENLY. For example,how does God communicate that He doesn't condone homosexual behaviour? Let's "read between the lines" since He does not explicitly state it according to you. "From the beginning it was MALE and FEMALE(regarding marriage union). What are we suppose to read into that? The Bible is "not a rule book" so we are left to discern. Dan,be honest here.

Thanks for the thoughts/questions, Richard, and for getting back with me. I understand being busy and that we can only get to this sort of silliness in our spare time. I just happen to have a little extra spare time this week myself.

You asked...

give me a defintion of what you understand to be "Homosexuality" and within that question define what a homosexual is.

Standard English definitions, Richard.

Homosexual (Merriam Webster): of, relating to, or characterized by a tendency to direct sexual desire toward another of the same sex

With "homosexuality" being the condition of being homosexual.

In short, by gay or lesbian or homosexual, I'm speaking of those whose sexual orientation is towards the same sex.

What definition are you using? Does the standard English work for you?

Secondly,what exactly is your stance or position on what your definition of "homosexuality" is?

I'm sorry, I'm unclear on what the question is, here. What is my stance on what my definition is? My stance is that I usually work with standard English definitions or offer an alternative if, for some reason, I'm using a non-standard definition.

Does that answer that question?

Richard...

Based on that definition of "homosexuality",do you think that God may have casually forgot to mention a union of a man to man or a woman to woman when He stated that from the "beginning he made them male and female...a man..cleaves to his wife(a woman) and to shall become one flesh"?

I don't think the notion of two gay guys marrying each other was accepted in the ancient world, thus, the Bible being a book of its time, does not mention this idea that didn't exist any more than it mentions automobiles or pollution or nuclear weapons. I don't think the Bible talks about all situations and each possible rule that might come up in the future. While I think the Bible is a timeless collection of books, it is also clearly a product of its times.

It does not condemn slavery, it does not condemn polygamy, it does not condemn women and children as chattel, it does not endorse democracy or capitalism or socialism. It deals with the world as it existed then.

Does that answer that question?

It's not a matter of God "forgetting" to mention it, it's just that the Bible doesn't cover every topic or give a rule for every circumstance. Right?

Richard...

So then,how would we expect to find a list of God's approved uses for male/female anatomies?

Well, we wouldn't. That would have been one of my points. The people here who keep speaking of "right uses" or "proper uses" of body parts are not citing anything. There IS nothing - no text, no medical book, no word from above - that tells us the "proper" use of various body parts, so that is an error in much of the argument being made in this post and one of my original points.

So, we agree, then, that there is no list of "approved body part uses..."?

Richard...

Listen closely,if the bible is NOT A RULE BOOK,then what alternative are we left with? "Study to show yourself approved to God;a workman that need not be ashamed but rightly DIVIDING THE WORD OF TRUTH". We are left to DISCERN the Word of God through the Holy Spirit's help.

Agreed, I think. We are to strive to discern what is right, good, pure - what is God's Way - by striving to discern God's ways by using our reason in studying the Bible, in listening to the Holy Spirit, in using our mind and observing the world around us and how God has revealed God's Self in this World, by learning to "hear" God's Word written on our hearts. All as the Bible teaches.

Are we agreeing on these points?

Richard...

For example,how does God communicate that He doesn't condone homosexual behaviour?

That would be begging the question, right?

That is, assuming the answer is "God doesn't condone any gay behavior" and then asking "How do we know this presumption is true..." is begging the question. Isn't it more rational to begin by simply asking, "Is it right or wrong for two gay guys/gals to commit together to love and respect and be faithful to one another in a marriage relationship?"

Richard...

Let's "read between the lines" since He does not explicitly state it according to you. "From the beginning it was MALE and FEMALE(regarding marriage union). What are we suppose to read into that? The Bible is "not a rule book" so we are left to discern. Dan,be honest here.

I'm striving to be honest here, Richard. And I understand that YOUR OPINION, when you read between the lines, is that God is condemning any and all gay behavior (including healthy, committed, wholesome, selfless, loving behaviors like you'd find in marriage) and YOUR OPINION is that God was making this a RULE, or DEFINING marriage to be between one man and one woman (as I used to think, too), but I just don't find that to be biblically or logically sound, as I read the Bible and read between the lines for myself.

In short, it apperas we disagree in our opinions about how best to understand these texts. Does that sound like a fair conclusion (that we disagree in our opinions about the meaning of these texts)?

If you're interested in a more detailed explanation of how a conservative Southern Baptist moved from an "anti-gay-normalization" position to one that embrace marriage equity and equal rights for gay folk, you can read a two-part explanation on my blog from August of last year...

http://paynehollow.blogspot.com/2011_08_01_archive.html

You'll have to scroll down towards the first part of August to find it, or do a search on "My Journey."

Dan,you seem hesitant to answer the obvious question I posed regarding how God communicates indirectly that He doesn't condone homosexual behaviour and you try to make it seem like I was trying to beg the question or to make it out to be a premature presumption that I put out there for some clever reason. No,Dan,it's not like that. I take the Word of God seriously--maybe more serious than anything in my life. I read it fearfully,prayerfully and trust completely in the guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit of God,and I believe 10000000000% that the Scriptures are Spirit-inspired. I almost never allow room for premature presumptions in what God may reveal directly or indirectly. I'm well familiar and educated in the Hebrew and the Greek language because I understand that the Bible is translated from those languages. I see that we share some of the same knowledge of the Greek and I admired how you correctly translated from the Greek to reveal that a certain word was not as we thought it was. I appreciate that from you as it's very essential that we who study the Scriptures should be somewhat educated in the Hebrew and the Greek. However,I still have not received satisfactory answers and it sems that you are hiding behind answering because perhaps you know what you'll come up with if you "read between the lines". How about I put it this way: God commanded the Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. Therefore God made it NATURAL for children to come through sexual intercourse between a MAN AND A WOMAN,right? Is there any where in the Scriptures that would imply that homosexual or a lesbian sexual union could also be a way produce this NATURAL conception? Answer this question honestly,Dan.

The Bible states: "And Adam[a man]KNEW[had sexual intercourse with]Eve[a woman]his WIFE;AND SHE CONCEIVED[How? Through the union of the female and male anatomy] and she bore Cain".

The "Be fruitful and multiply" command was brought about through what God revealed to be the proper way and the approved used of both the female/male anatomies to produce God's desired results,right? Throughout the old testament into the new testament,there is never any record of a homosexual or a lesbian sexual union NATURALLY conceiving children. Read between the lines,Dan. God does not have to explicitly state that a natural conception cannot result from a gay sexual union,does He? Look at the technology that doctors are sweating themselves to make it possible for a NATURAL conception to result from that kind of union. Doesn't that reveal something to you? Doesn't that tell you something Dan? I just need real honest answers to my questions. No,we don't have to agree opinion-wise,but the Word of God has the final say and stance.

As someone who desires specifics from Scripture about the uses of the various body parts, what are YOUR specific responses, Dan, to the individual verses Lev.18:22, 1 Tim.1:19, Rom. 1:26, which Blanko posted to you?

Richard...

However,I still have not received satisfactory answers and it sems that you are hiding behind answering because perhaps you know what you'll come up with if you "read between the lines".

As I noted, Richard, I was not clear on some of your questions what you were asking. Perhaps if you tried it another way?

Richard...

God commanded the Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. Therefore God made it NATURAL for children to come through sexual intercourse between a MAN AND A WOMAN,right? Is there any where in the Scriptures that would imply that homosexual or a lesbian sexual union could also be a way produce this NATURAL conception? Answer this question honestly,Dan.

1. As a matter of respect and reason, Richard, I would ask that you refrain from the "answer this question honestly" route. It sounds as if you're implying I would answer it in any other way. I have no reason to lie to you, a complete stranger. When I engage in Bible study and conversations like this, I always answers question honestly. How else would I and for what possible reason?

2. Let me see if I got your question: In the creation story, God made Adam and Eve in such a way that they could have children. Is that what you're asking? Then yes, that is true.

3. You go on to ask, it appears, if a gay or lesbian couple can have sex and create a child. If that is your answer, then the question is obviously No.

What of it?

You appear to be putting a lot of stock in the notion that gay/lesbian couples can't have children themselves. It is a point I will gladly concede, but I don't see how that means anything in this conversation.

Does it reveal something to me? Well, just the obvious: That gay and lesbian couples can't have children. What else should it reveal?

I see I posted the above after reading just the first page of comments, and didn't realize there was a whole other page of comments following it. I'm still wading through them and don't know if my question above got answered or not yet...sorry about that.

Carolyn had asked...

As someone who desires specifics from Scripture about the uses of the various body parts, what are YOUR specific responses, Dan, to the individual verses Lev.18:22, 1 Tim.1:19, Rom. 1:26, which Blanko posted to you?

Hopefully, you've found my short answers as well as the link to my blog where I go through in some good deal of detail (although still just scratching the surface of my studies) how I moved from an anti-gay-normalization to where I am now as it relates to Bible study. If not, just look up a couple of posts, they're up there.

Dan if you can't read into why God's command to be fruitful and multiply NATURALLY happened through the sexual union between a man and woman,then maybe the way you study the Word of God may be in question or you're just being ignorant. I don't think you're too much worried in how I approached your points with my "answer the questions honestly" more than the fact that my questions offend you in a way that you are forced to answer truthfully. You seem afraid to answer because it will lead you to a conclusion which will oppose what you adamantly try to promote. Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit bear witness. Christ used this question-honest-answer spiritual tactic with the Pharisees and they answer Him with the answer that they loathed because they realized that there's no way to get around a solid spiritual truth. I did the same thing with you. As it turns out,you actually answer the questions in the latter part of comments and the answers you gave lead you to obvious truths that you oppose. Maybe that accounts for why you appear to be upset, and then you try to play like "Oh is there something I should get from this?" or "Does this reveal something?"You ask. Well Dan,the challenge is for you to find even just one instance in the Bible where a gay union was used to bring about God's command and also show me instances in Scriptures where God blessed a gay union. Since you want to use the logic of certain things not being mentioned or stated explicitly in the Scriptures,where does it say in The Scriptures that GOD DOES NOT HAVE A LIST OF APPROVED USES FOR THE MALE/FEMALE ANATOMIES? Does the Scriptures teach about the equality and equity of rights for the gay folks? And if not,why do you promote it? Hmmm? Okay,just for the sake of being fair,can we read between the lines concerning that issue? Would God have us to discern that through the Scriptures?

Richard...

You seem afraid to answer because it will lead you to a conclusion which will oppose what you adamantly try to promote.

?? My brother, read closely: I DON'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE ASKING. Maybe try again some other way, I have not the slightest idea what you're wanting me to answer.

As to this...

more than the fact that my questions offend you in a way that you are forced to answer truthfully.

I don't know you. Your questions don't offend me. I do find you to be acting a bit like an arrogant prick (that is a rational observation on my part, I hope that "stands to reason.")

So, answer this truthfully: What are you trying to ask? Maybe if you'd ask a straightforward question you'd get an answer, as it is, I think I HAVE answered your question.

You asked a question, I responded with my points 1 and 2. What have I missed.

(Oh, and answer the question honestly, Dick.)

As to these questions...

Since you want to use the logic of certain things not being mentioned or stated explicitly in the Scriptures,where does it say in The Scriptures that GOD DOES NOT HAVE A LIST OF APPROVED USES FOR THE MALE/FEMALE ANATOMIES?

? That is an irrational statement/question.

Richard...

Does the Scriptures teach about the equality and equity of rights for the gay folks?

No. Nor does it speak of equality and equity of rights for black folk or for Lithuanians. The Bible does not speak of equality for many oppressed people. What of it?

Are you suggesting that if the Bible doesn't mention it, it can't be a legitimate concern?

If so, that would be irrational and unbiblical.

Richard...

And if not,why do you promote it? Hmmm?

Because the Bible DOES teach us certain truths about justice and I am an advocate of justice for all. Is that okay with you, hmmm?

Richard...

Okay,just for the sake of being fair,can we read between the lines concerning that issue?

I don't know what you mean. Are you asking "Can we glean certain truths from rationally reading the Bible's words that would apply to situations not mentioned in the Bible? If so, I'd say yes.

Richard...

Would God have us to discern that through the Scriptures?

God would have us strive for wisdom in ALL the ways at our disposal: From reading Scripture, from listening to the Holy Spirit, from God's Word writ upon our hearts, from our reason.

Are we in agreement on that point?

Richard...

the challenge is for you to find even just one instance in the Bible where a gay union was used to bring about God's command and also show me instances in Scriptures where God blessed a gay union.

Says who? Are you saying that something can only be good if we find it in the pages of the Bible? If so, I would call that an unbiblical and irrational opinion.

Do I need to find one instance in the Bible where opposition to child abuse is blessed by God in order to "prove" that opposition to child abuse is good?

No, the correct answer is No.

Thank you Dan. You just keep digging yourself into a deeper hole.

You ask: "Are you suggesting that if the Bible doesn't mention it,it can't be a legitimate concern? If so that would be irrational and unbiblical".

In whatever context you take this: Thank you for exposing YOURSELF AND HOW WRONG YOU WERE on that note because that is EXACTLY WHAT you did when YOU SUGGESTED AND CLAIMED THAT THE APPROVED WAYS TO USE MALE/FEMALE BODY PARTS SHOULD NOT BE A LEGITIMATE CONCERN BECAUSE THERE'S NO MENTION OF IT IN THE BIBLE. Remember that? So you were in fact being irrational and therefore what you were DOING WAS UNBIBLICAL. Your words,not mine.

Again you ask: "Are you saying that something can only be good if we find it in the pages of the Bible? If so,I would call that an unbiblical and irrational opinion."

Good for you Dan. You just keep exposing YOUR WRONGS. I didn't suggest that BUT YOU DID WHEN YOU SUGGESTED THAT SINCE WE CAN'T FIND A LIST OF GOD'S APPROVED USES FOR THE MALE/FEMALE ANATOMIES IN THE BIBLE,THE ARGUMENT OR SUBJEECT HAS NO GOOD IN IT. YOU ARE GUILTY OF BEING IRRATIONAL AND UNBIBLICAL.

There's absolutely no way that you can get around that because your comments are all over this blog and no way that you can deny that in your own view and context that you were being irrational and unbiblical.

1. You Dan, YOU SUGGETSTED THAT IF THE BIBLE DOESN'T MENTION GOD'S LIST OF APPROVED USES FOR THE MALE/FEMALE ANATOMIES,THAT IT SHOULDN'T BE A LEGITIMATE CONCERN. YOU ARE GUILTY OF BEING IRRATIONAL AND UNBIBLICAL.

2. You,Dan, YOU ARE THE ONE WHO IS SAYING THAT SOMETHING CAN ONLY BE GOOD IF IT'S IN THE PAGES OF SCRIPTURE! AGAIN,YOU MAKE NUMEROUS REMINDERS THAT THE BIBLE DOES NOT MENTION GOD'S APPROVED LIST OF APPROVED USES FOR THE FEMALE/MALE ANATOMIES ALL OVER THIS POST. YOU ARE GUILTY OF BEING IRRATIONAL AND UNBIBLICAL.

If you can't read into that,well there's nnothing further that I can do except pray that you will see the ERROR OF YOUR OWN WAYS.

???

Richard, I don't think you're reading what I've actually written. You said...

that is EXACTLY WHAT you did when YOU SUGGESTED AND CLAIMED THAT THE APPROVED WAYS TO USE MALE/FEMALE BODY PARTS SHOULD NOT BE A LEGITIMATE CONCERN BECAUSE THERE'S NO MENTION OF IT IN THE BIBLE...

and more irrational and unsupported comments along those lines.

1. I was responding to those who were speaking of "correct" uses of body parts.

2. I said that was not rational, because there is no list of approved uses for body parts.

3. I made no claims to suggest, "If the Bible does not say it, it can't be so." I DID NOT DO THAT. It didn't happen in the real world, not in my words, not in what I said, not on this page. It didn't happen, Richard. Look at what I actually said, Richard, it's just not there.

You are mistaken.

Thanks for trying, though.

Dan you try and convince everybody else. Your own words and comments condemn you. Go and read back every comment that you have made and it will show that you have been promoting that because the bible does not have God's list of approved uses for the male/female anatomies,the subject has no need or basis for legitimate conversation. Your words condemn you Dan,not me. By your own admission,you proved that YOU WERE THE ACTUAL ONE who was being irrational and unbiblical,and I won't hesitate to tell you that the many who post comments on this site will agree with me when they view all of your comments. Look back on all your recent comments. I'll be back later on or tomorrow to hear back from you. Thanks Dan.

Richard, I'm speaking of logical statements. Listen...

IF someone says, "That is not a proper function of that body part..." THEN that raises the questions

Says who?

Where does it say that?

Since some here are basing this opinion predominantly (entirely?) on what their opinions about what God thinks about it, I asked a logical question, "Where does God say so?"

That is not an argument on MY part to say, "If the Bible doesn't say it, then it's okay." Listen closely and understand: THAT IS NOT MY POSITION. I don't think that.

I don't know how much more clear I can be.

I ask the question because YOU ALL are presumably thinking "that is not a proper use of that body part because [I THINK] God doesn't like it..." and so THAT is why I rationally asked that question. Elsewhere, I noted that it's not in the Bible, that it's not in any book, that no doctors have said that, that there is NO VALID SOURCE for holding opinions on "proper body part functions."

It is a rational question to ask of someone who is making claims of "proper body part uses." It is NOT to say that I think that if something is absent from the Bible, that it's okay. I have never said that nor do I believe it.

Do you get that now? I don't know how much more clear I can be.

I'm sorry if the way I stated it confused you, my apologies, but it is NOT my position.

SO, returning to the original question: SAYS WHO? Who is deciding "proper body part functions..."? Do you have ANY source?

The answer, of course, is No.

Oh, and Richard, the purpose of this blog appears to be "stand to reason," so you telling me FALSE stuff and saying "by your own admission" when I HAVE NOT ADMITTED something is irrational on top of being a false witness.

Just be more careful about conclusions you draw and if you have questions, ASK them (it's why I ask questions a lot, to be clear - learn from that).

Dan: Reading through your various blog sites which you linked us to was enlightening. Your church and the foundations it holds to of pacifism, activism, seeing all war as sin helps the reader learn a little more about you. The noted references to leaning far left and snipes about the conservative right explain your discomfort with those who are the latter. Clearly, there are those who buy into the same mind-set as you do regarding homosexuality, as evidenced by those in your membership. You have done your best to posit here that homosexual behavior is not sinful, while others conclude that it is. You believe your research proves you correct, while others believe their own research finds you in error. The only thing for certain is that both sides cannot be right. Your "activist" nature seems to want to convince the world that you have the right answer; the conservative element sees red flags that sin is being promoted and defended. If we cannot agree on what is sinful and what is not, how is there any way to resolve the issue?

Dan,

Look carefully at all your comments and understand the context that I am contending with concerning your apparent contradicts.

You stated the question to me: "Are you suggesting that if the Bible doesn't mention it,it can't be a legitimate concern? That would be irrational and unbiblical."

Dan,look carefully at all your comments concerning the legitimacy of the topic of approved body parts and convince that the question above is not a question that you should be ASKING YOURSELF. By your own definition of the concept of the question, you were the one who was being irrational and unbiblical. Are you going to tell me that you've never once come across that way in any of your comments.

Here's the other stated question again: "Says who? Are you saying that something can only be good if we find it in the pages of the Bible? If so,I would call that an unbiblical and irrational option".

Dan,when you look at most of your comments on the issue concerning approved parts,are you going to try to convince me that you never once mentioned or implied that since there's no list of God's approved uses for body parts "in the pages of the Bible" that the topic should be done away with or serve as an invalid opinion? The question above should be another one you SHOULD ASK YOURSELF because you have done that numerous of times.

If I were you,Dan,I'd be more careful and check on your previous comments so that you don't run into contradicting yourself and digging deeper holes for yourself.

On a good note,I have nothing against you personally and I like that you come to actually come to reason. You come in full force,ready to debate. I like that a lot.

No response to my post, Dan?

Sorry, Carolyn, I hadn't noticed you had commented.

I see you asking me a question...

If we cannot agree on what is sinful and what is not, how is there any way to resolve the issue?

To which my answer is: We have to disagree and I can't see a way to resolve the issue. Do you concur?

That is, I and my camp earnestly seek to do God's will and, after prayer and much study and seeking God's will, we have come to the conclusion that faithful, loving, committed marriage is a good ideal to promote for all adults, gay or straight. That is our opinion.

On the other hand, you and your camp earnestly seek to do God's will and, after prayer and much study and seeking God's will, you have come to the conclusion that faithful, loving, committed marriage is a good ideal to promote for straight adults, but you believe that any and all sexual behavior is sinful for gay folk and so you disagree with promoting marriage equity for gay folk. That is your opinion.

In neither case can either of us "prove" that we have the right understanding. Nonetheless, we both remain Christians seeking God's will and glory and we disagree. What do we do? The only thing we can do: We disagree, hopefully still embracing the other as a brother/sister in Christ - just one whom we believe to be mistaken.

It's the same for any time Christians of good faith disagree.

What else is there to do?

Thanks for the question/thoughts. I hope to see your answer soon.

As to your other comments and assumptions about myself and my church, I don't know what you might want me to say, since it doesn't seem to be on topic.

Yes, my church is in the historic Peace Church tradition, along with Mennonites, the Amish, early Church of the Nazarenes, early (and some current) Methodist churches and the early church for the first 200-300 years of its existence.

Does that make me "far left..."? Or does it make me a conservative literalist? You know, many folk consider the Amish quite conservative. Regardless, it's just a label and you can label me "far left" if you wish. We are just striving to take Jesus' teachings seriously.

You mention "snipes about the conservative right explain your discomfort with those who are the latter" - I would respond that I grew up conservative and love many conservative people (including but not limited to my parents) and consider myself quite conservative in many ways. I disagree with some conservatives on some issues, as they disagree with me.

What of it? Disagreement happens, such is life. We love one another and go on as lovingly and respectfully as possible.

You state...

Your "activist" nature seems to want to convince the world that you have the right answer

I believe my position to be rational. Sometimes when I come across blogs such as this one that offer opportunities for discussing these positions rationally and respectfully, I take them up on the offer. Would you prefer that I keep my opinion to myself or, if I think you're mistaken, should I share that opinion (especially if I think your mistake has a cost in human life and the church witness)?

You tell me and I'll try to follow your advice, at least as it relates to you.

For my part, if someone believes something I've said is wrong, I'm glad for them to try to correct me and, if there reasoning is convincing, I may change and we'll both celebrate. It's happened before. I didn't always hold the positions I hold now, you know.

Richard...

are you going to try to convince me that you never once mentioned or implied that since there's no list of God's approved uses for body parts "in the pages of the Bible" that the topic should be done away with or serve as an invalid opinion?

Yes, that is what I'm telling you. And since we're speaking of my personal motives, I imagine I have a pretty good handle on what is correct and incorrect. I am sorry if I failed to convey my meaning in a way that you can understand, but that happens, I am a flawed human being. Forgive me for that, please.

In the meantime, I'd repost my earlier question...

It is a rational question to ask of someone who is making claims of "proper body part uses." It is NOT to say that I think that if something is absent from the Bible, that it's okay. I have never said that nor do I believe it.

Do you get that now?

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