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April 07, 2015

Comments

Amen to that! I noted that to someone who had spent 80+ years in the church but had succumbed to the bumper-sticky theology of the "Christian" Left. He looked at me like I had exploited some kind of loophole.

My standard reply to the that argument: The argument that Jesus never said anything about homosexual behavior (or abortion, etc.) fails on many levels. If a church leader uses it you can be confident that he or she is ignorant and/or malicious.

Short version: Yes, He did say something about it, but the theological Left ignores or distorts it as they do with many things about Jesus and his teachings. Note how Jesus defeats oxymoronic "same-sex marriage," same-sex parenting and even Darwinian evolution in one simple passage. No true follower of him should disagree on any of those topics.

Matthew 19:4–5 He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’?"

Medium version
---------------------------
Arguing from silence is a logical fallacy.

Jesus is God and part of the Trinity that inspired all scripture.


He supported the Old Testament law to the last letter.

The "red letters" weren't silent on these topics in the sense that they reiterated what marriage and murder were.

He emphasized many other important issues that these Leftist theologians completely ignore (Hell, his divinity, his exclusivity, etc.).

He was equally "silent" on issues that these folks treat as having the utmost importance (capital punishment, war, welfare, universal health care, taxpayer-funded abortions, etc.).

He didn't specifically mention rape, child abuse, pedophilia, bestiality and other obvious sins though that wouldn't justify them.

Abortion and homosexual behavior simply weren't hot topics for 1st century Jews. They actually thought children were a blessing and they had laws against homosexual behavior.

And the Gospels never claimed to include everything He said. John specifically notes that the whole world couldn't hold it all! (John 21:25).

And Jesus never said anything about the "sin" of criticizing homosexual behavior, so it must be OK!

Long version: http://1eternitymatters.wordpress.com/2011/05/24/what-jesus-didnt-say-3/

I'm sure I got lots of that from STR!

Melinda, Matthew 19:10-12 seems closely related as well.

In "The Gospel of Matthew: A Socio-Rhetorical Commentary" (471-472), Craig Keener writes concerning the passage,

“Most people looked down on eunuchs for their impotence or effeminity and recognized that their desires would never be fulfilled; some recognized that eunuchs were at a disadvantage but through no fault of their own. “Eunuch” (lit. “half-man”) could function as an insult. Whereas some Gentiles equated Jewish circumcision with a form of castration, Jewish people did not allow eunuchs into the covenant, based on Deuteronomy 23:1 (though cf. Is 56:4–5). The figurative sense of celibacy in which Jesus means the language would have been less jarring, but nonetheless offensive, to most of his contemporaries.”

At the very least, Jesus honors those committed to celibacy, including those whose circumstances call for it.

would you please answer the arguments this Christian makes for same sex marriage?


http://momastery.com/blog/2015/04/06/support-your-right/

More from Matthew 19:1-12:

Jesus uses the original male-female, one-flesh union from Genesis as the prototype and foundation for marriage. Marriage is not a social construct to Jesus. It is a union between a male and a female that God himself joins. Hence, the seriousness of divorce.

He sees marriage as a joining together by God of a male and a female into one flesh yet extols celibate singlehood for the sake of the kingdom, and who teaches of a new kind of broad family of disciples that will outlast even marriage.

Jesus specifically talked about "sexual immorality" -- which is defined by the OT to include homosexual activity.

Yeshua said:

Matthew 5:17-19
"Don't think that I have come to abolish the Torah or the Prophets. I have come not to abolish but to complete. Yes indeed! I tell you that until heaven and earth pass away, not so much as a yud or a stroke will pass from the Torah- not until everything that must happen has happened. So whoever disobeys the least of these mitzvot and teaches others to do so will be called the least in the Kingdom of Heaven. But whoever obeys them and so teaches will be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven.

Torah says:

Leviticus 18:22
"'You are not to go to bed with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination."

Seems like Yeshua said this law stands forever.

Any questions?

Our culture has been BULLIED by this lame argument for decades...that Jesus never said anything against homosexuality therefore it must be okay with Him. Matthew 5:17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. 19 Therefore anyone who sets aside one of the least of these commands and teaches others accordingly will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven."

Included in the Law and Prophets is Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13 - "You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination."

End of story.

Hmm..people love to cherry pick the Bible...Let's look at some other jazz that is prohibited in the Bible that people don't follow.

Consuming blood. We still it rare to medium rare meat.
Eating fat. Have you seen Americans?
Eating pork. See above.
Eating aquatic creatures lacking fins or scales. So long crabs.
Eating any meat not killed according to the kosher practice. What about all that mass produced meat out there?

Being a male who is not circumcised. There's no law preventing you from getting your junk cut!
Trying to convert people to another religion. Well that sucks for Mormons!

Breaking the Sabbath...

Ohhh man I can go on forever!

Zach, please consider the differentiation in Leviticus between those standards particularly expected of those under the Mosaic covenants, and then those expectations of all.

For example, Leviticus 18:24-25 makes reference to universal standards that pagans in the promised land had violated, which had precipitated the judgment of the Conquest.

Zach Wilcox, I know you said you could go on forever but I'm glad you stopped because you were demonstrating your ignorance. Dietary laws no longer apply and ceremonial laws like circumcision and keeping the Sabbath do not apply. But thanks for playing in an arena over your head.

As for Jesus never saying anything about homosexuality, I agree with the other posts that Jesus spoke all of Scripture. But if you must have an example in the "red letters" try Matthew 15:19-20. Jesus said, as recorded in Greek, that "porneia", translated as "fornication" in the KJV, defiles men. Porneia encompasses all sexual deviations including homosexuality. So, yes, Jesus did condemn homosexuality in the "red letters."

Zach, to respond to your issues with food (I have struggled with this one as well) I give you Acts 10:13 then a voice told him Get up Peter, kill and eat.

"Dietary laws no longer apply and ceremonial laws like circumcision and keeping the Sabbath do not apply."

Why not? Who says? Why are they authoritative? Why did God change his mind?

"But thanks for playing in an arena over your head."

Charming - particularly when you claim someone is wrong without providing any reasons or rationale.

Jesus certainly talked a lot about marriage and described marriage in red letters. Never once did he talk about marriage as anything but man-woman. Not man-man. Not woman-woman. Not man-man-man. Not man-woman-man. Nor woman-woman-woman.

And let's be clear about how the Bible defines marriage throughout Biblical history. Marriage has always been defined such that it MUST have ONLY one husband (man).

The logic of "Jesus never said homosexuality was wrong!" is quite silly.

Imagine someone says "x equals 1", and another complains "but they never said x doesn't equal 2!". This is the same situation here.

Jesus clearly defined marriage and proper sexual conduct. By defining what those things are, we know exactly what are not proper conducts.

My ignorance?! Said the bigots in a blog comment

kylee,

I've read Ms. Melton's "Momastery" column which you pointed out. I accept her premises in the light of her ideals of compassion, but her defense of homosexuality in the light of her understanding is lacking in many areas. I'll offer three.

1) She reduces all Christian voices that do not agree with her on this issue to a version of "morality police." The honest Christian witness will attest to Biblical injunctions against homosexual behavior. They are there, such as one verse noted by Ms Melton, 1 Cor. 6: 9, 10. Here it states that homosexuals (along with other sins) will not inherit the kingdom of God. The issue here is two-fold, the need to express this teaching versus the obvious backlash from an increasingly aggressive culture. Then the best way to express this truth. This has been the crux of so many posts so far. Quoting 1 Cor. 6 will raise a reaction, but finding this difficult task must be done in love. Noting that God condemns such behavior needs to be balanced with the component of grace. "Not inheriting the kingdom of God" would be the destiny of everyone except for the grace of God. But, Ms. Melton reduces this all to a matter of civil rights (hence the rather vacuous title "I Support Your Right to Share My Rights"). Any disagreement with her view of homosexuality is seen only through that filter. To raise it as a moral question is only steered through the avenue of rights. This makes the whole issue very frustrating, since labeling the opposition "morality police" reveals a decision not to respect the convictions of others that base morality on clear expressions of God's Word. This is seen in ....

2) Ms. Melton's treatment of the injunction in 1 Corinthians ...>>> For example, she says: " ... most folks reference 1 Corinthians to prove that homosexuality is a sin, while ignoring the fact that the same book of the Bible says that women should wear head coverings and be silent in church."
The problem with Ms. Melton's point is that Paul in this very letter takes on the issues of what is divine commandment and adiaphron, what is customary for the Corinthians and what is morally obligated. Paul is careful in making these distinctions (1 Cor. 7: 6, 10, 25;14:37). The 1 Cor. 6 quote is in line with God's command.
Ms. Melton's understanding of hermeneutics seeks only supportive verses.

3) Ms. Melton insists that the homosexuality condemned in Scriptures is not the homosexuality she defends. She states, "Many theologians agree that the original scripture writers were referring to child sex slavery as abomination. The abomination here is about abuse of power. It’s about the abomination of people in in power abusing the vulnerable." this does not sit with the Biblical evidence. Homosexuality was condemned in the Old Testament apart from the Greco-Roman concepts of pedophilia and master-slave versions of same-sex love. The terminology that speaks of homosexual behavior is general, and clearly speaks of man-man//woman/woman relationships (Rom. 1: 26,27)

There are other points that Ms. Melton makes in her article, but I respect that her idealism is based on treatment of all people gently and respectfully. The only issue at length is raising the issue of the Bible's view of homosexuality and the fact that Jesus did not have room for same-sexuality in His teachings on marriage. In discussing this touchy subject, Ms. Melton's position is "NOT," while the honest Christian holds to "MUST."

The trick will forever be how to do this without explosions.

Zach, we've posted numerous articles and videos on that subject. Type "the law" into our search box, and have at it! (Here's a humorous one. And at the end of that post, there's a link to an article by Greg that gives an explanation in a more serious format.)

And everyone, if Zach doesn't know how Christians view the Old Testament Law and why, then that means we as a church have failed to teach and explain this most basic of things—something that is gone over repeatedly in the New Testament because of the centrality of questions about the Law when it comes to the gospel. We've failed to teach the people in our own churches, let alone our culture. If Christians knew the answers to Zach's questions, the objection would never have spread the way it has. This is our failure, not Zach's.

I have read Ms. Melton's book and when you read it, you find out that she is a "christian" on her own terms. She makes up what she feels is right and does not hold to Scripture. It is very clear that she has a heart to help others, but is not a Christian by Biblical terms. She is blasphemous and she is happy to have a voice and is trying to make the public happy by agreeing with false beliefs.

hiding bigotry behind religion is still bigotry

hiding bigotry behind politics is still bigotry.

hiding bigotry behind social agendas is still bigotry.

The point is what is the difference between an act of bigotry and an act of discernment?

Perhaps the invocation of "bigotry" is a fallacy of connotative argument (use of loaded words) and a roadblock to getting at the heart of the issue.

The Bible’s view of the Bible is that it is God-breathed.

This is a very unfair characterization and a gross oversimplification. Obviously, Timothy says what it says, but did Timothy's author believe that he was speaking about his own words when he called them God breathed?

We don't know, but we do know that when Paul wrote to Corinth, he viewed at least some of what he was writing as his own words and not words from the Lord. (1 Cor. 7).

So, no, the bible doesn't characterize itself as god breathed. Timothy speaks of the Old Testament as God breathed. Paul speaks about his own words as his own words. Peter seems to speak about some of Paul's words on a similar level as other Scripture.

If you believe the bible is literally true, then act like the bible is literally true - even the parts that don't fit your preconceptions about what scripture is.

Jesus certainly did speak against homosexuality in Matthew 5:32, 19:9 and Mark 7:20-21 where He uses the word "unchastity", "immorality" and “fornications which includes adultery, incest, premarital infidelity, homosexuality, bestiality and any other sexual conduct condemned in the OT.

Melinda, you are dead on!

Hmmmm .... Jesus never said he was god in the gospels (Matthew, Luke, John, Mark) ;-) Just thought I'd let you know ...

In fact, according to the gospels (Matt, Luke, John, Mark) Jesus said repeatedly, to multiple people, in multiple situations, that he had a god and a father ... Yes, Jesus said he had a god/father /// Just note the words, according to the gospels, of Jesus after he rose from the grave -- he told the lady not to touch him because he was going to his god and her god, his father and her father ;-) So Jesus couldn't be god if he had a god ... and was going to that god ... etc!

John 10:30...

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2He was in the beginning with God. 3All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being. 4In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men.

Jesus is The Word

Jesus talked more about normal heterosexual adultery as it is a much more pervasive problem.

The goal of the compassionate Christian apologist should be to encourage those with a homosexual attraction to practice abstinence. For some, making a commitment to one person, in order to get away from promiscuous behavior is not such a bad thing.

I am not promoting gay marriage, only to say that we should reflect before choosing our battles. I just question whether speaking out against gay marriage is really helping anyone.

So should we stone rebellious children and brides who are not virgins? Should we force people to marry the first person they have sex with? What about divorce and second marriages? Sex is only one area. What about greed? What about people that let others starve?

Colin,

Notice that your comment doesn't even address the point of this post. The point of this post is that Jesus, as God, has clearly spoken to the issue of homosexuality.

You say nothing which would refute that, instead you ask whether we should follow other laws that are found in the Old Testament and then ask some vague questions about "greed" or letting others starve.

If you want to know what Christians think about penal laws in the OT, maybe you could search around this website. If you want to say something about greed... well what about it? If you want to talk about letting people starve... well what about it? And what does that have to do with the topic of this post??

Mark 7:19 (in saying this, He declared all foods clean.)


Also, Jesus continually speaks of it's not what goes into a body that makes one unclean, but rather words and actions. At no point in all of scripture is homosexual activity referred to in even a neutral fashion.

we must realise that Jesus spoke all that was intended by the will of Father as was through the Holy Spirit, both are being commanded by Father to speak His words, so what was spoken in the OT and NT came directly from Father.John 12:49 1 corinthians 2:10, but we know Jesus ministet nor teachings ended with His death and ascension,

#LOLL So now you've got jesus saying a rape victim has to marry her rapist, not to mention jesus ordering mass genocides #LOLL #CongratulationsConservatives

BadLuckJonathon,

Is "laughing out loud" supposed to be a substitute for an argument? I guess in our Colbert Report/Daily Show America that's what passes for a refutation?

In which case I laugh back at thee, sir. Or does the hashtag add the effective incantion? Better add it just to be safe: #ILaughAtTheeSir.

There... having thoroughly refuted you, let me turn to those of us not living inside the Colbert Report and Twitter:

I suppose regarding a rapist marrying his victim you're referring to Exodus 22:16 and it's parallel Deut. 22:29. The Exodus passage indicates that this is not a case of rape, but simply of premarital sex where the man entices or seduces the girl (naturally in that culture it wouldn't have normally occurred the other way around).

As for mass genocides, I suppose you're referring to God's ordering the killing of the Canaanites and such? In which case, yes Jesus also commanded their execution. Jesus will also command the execution of many more people on the day of judgment. What exactly is the problem here? You want to argue that God/Jesus doesn't have the right to execute justice?

#LOLLL @TheJanitor

First you lie and claim it was merely premarital sex even though it clearly says the woman "screams" there: RAPE. So your claim is jesus makes a rape victim marry her rapist as long as the rapist pays off daddy! Your claim, not jesus claim, he said no such thing. You are the ones trying to put the OT into his mouth.

Second, now you've equated jesus with Hitler and Stalin (atheists will rejoice!) with jesus ordering mass genocides! Now just how many innocent unborn babies were killed in those genocides?! And how many unborn babies killed in genocide of Noah's flood?! Once again, Your claim, not jesus' action, ordered such thing. Well according to you, jesus has no problems with abortion then! Not to mention there is a stipulation for forced marriage of POWs! Now you trying to force OT into jesus mouth has jesus being the equivalent of Islamic state!

What does the bible say about OT obsessives who "deny that Christ has now come in the flesh"? Oh yes I believes it calls you the "spirit of antichrist"! Well, now that certainly makes sense. Typical conservative, too cowardly to own your bigotry, trying to blame everything on jews (moses, jesus) as usual!

#TeamGenocideAbortion #TeamLegitimateRape #LOLLLL

BadLuckJonathon,

I'm really not trying to put you down, but give some friendly advice: the hashtags and lol's just make you look immature and it's going to make people think you're not worth engaging. It's the sort of thing that scores points with teenage kids who are just cheerleaders for their own side, but it's not going to impress anyone else.

Now to more substantive things:

>>First you lie and claim it was merely premarital sex even though it clearly says the woman "screams" there: RAPE.<<

Another thing that will help you to have serious dialogue is to be specific and cite your sources or evidence. Notice that you've yet to give us any Bible reference for what you're talking about. This allows you to get away with making assertions that people can't easily go back and fact-check. Instead, they are left doing your leg work that you should have done to begin with.

So you claimed that the Bible teaches a rapist has to marry his rape victim and I assume the Bible passages you have in mind are Exodus 22:16 and the parallel in Deuteronomy 22:29. I mentioned these verses in my first response to you and I pointed out that these verses are not talking about rape but premarital sex.

In response to me you said that rape is in view because "it clearly says the woman "screams"." And yet neither text I cited mentions anything about screaming. So apparently you have some *different* text in mind and yet you have yet to tell us what that text is.

Now of course I can do your leg work for you and figure out that you're probably talking about an earlier passage in Deuteronomy: 22:23-27. Deuteronomy 22:23-27 is about sex with a woman betrothed to another man and Deuteronomy 22:28-29 is about sex with a woman who is not betrothed to another man. So these passages are about different situations and you're confusing the two things. In the situation with a woman who is betrothed it is taught that if the sex was consensual then the man and woman are put to death. If the sex was not consensual (if the woman is raped) then the woman is not put to death but the man is put to death (that the man is put to death is obvious from it saying this is parallel to a man who has murdered in vs. 26). So contrary to your claim, the raped woman (the consensuality of the sex is determined by her attempt to resist the man by screaming) is not forced to marry the man and the man is actually put to death.

In the latter text we have a different issue: a man having sex with a woman who is not betrothed to anyone else. And from the parallel passage it's clear that rape is not occurring here and no screaming is mentioned. And if the father of the woman doesn't want the daughter to marry the man, then he doesn't marry the woman.

>>Your claim, not jesus claim, he said no such thing. You are the ones trying to put the OT into his mouth.<<

The New Testament itself attributes the actions of God in the Old Testament to Jesus: “Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe” (Jude 5).

>>Second, now you've equated jesus with Hitler and Stalin (atheists will rejoice!) with jesus ordering mass genocides!<<

If an atheist is so intellectually dishonest that he'll rejoice over that then there's really nothing we can do for such a person, he has shown himself to be a fool. "If a wise man has an argument with a fool, the fool only rages and laughs, and there is no quiet" (Pr 29:9).

Jude 5 attributes the slaughter of people in the Old Testament. If an atheist can only rejoice over that admission by the Bible, then the atheist doesn't have the intellectual honesty to engage the issue of whether or not the author of life has the right to execute capital punishment.

>>Now just how many innocent unborn babies were killed in those genocides?!<<

There are no innocent babies. And God's taking of their life is not punishment per se. God may take the life of one person to punish another person, as in the case of David after his adultery with Bathsheba. No doubt the fool will rage and laugh over that... but raging and laughing or rejoicing is not an argument.

>>And how many unborn babies killed in genocide of Noah's flood?! Once again, Your claim, not jesus' action, ordered such thing.<<

Again, the New Testament itself attributes the actions of God in the Old Testament to Christ. According to the New Testament Jesus is YHWH. So according to any New Testament author, who was a Jew thoroughly steeped in the Old Testament literature, Jesus is the same person their ancestors encountered in the flood.

>>Well according to you, jesus has no problems with abortion then!<<

That's such a dumb assertion that it hardly merits a response. You might as well try and argue that since God is okay with killing the Canaanites that God must be okay with us killing anyone for any reason. If you can't see how that's a logical non-sequitur then you truly aren't worth the time engaging.

>>Not to mention there is a stipulation for forced marriage of POWs! Now you trying to force OT into jesus mouth has jesus being the equivalent of Islamic state!<<

Virtually anyone would have to admit that, if nothing else, Jesus was a Jew who followed the Old Testament and believed it. If the Old Testament makes God into the Islamic State, then Jesus was just another jihadist. You seem to want to divorce Jesus from the Old Testament and turn him into a 21st century spiritual guru with all your moral sentiments... which is ridiculous. Jesus was a Jew in the 1st century who claimed to be following the God of the Old Testament.

>>What does the bible say about OT obsessives who "deny that Christ has now come in the flesh"? Oh yes I believes it calls you the "spirit of antichrist"! Well, now that certainly makes sense. Typical conservative, too cowardly to own your bigotry, trying to blame everything on jews (moses, jesus) as usual!<<

No idea what point you're trying to make here. I never denied the incarnation. Based on your remarks it seems like you want to promote a liberal christianity? Liberals aren't Christian, they are secularists with a theological vocabulary. The proof of this is that they simply ape whatever the secular culture says and add spiritual language to it that won't offend it.

Brett Strong, your conclusion is invalid. Not only did Jesus say he was YHWH of the OT in John 8:58, but he claimed three divine rights: to forgive sins, to judge mankind, and the grant eternal life. He also performed miracles by his own authority, he received worship, and he applied to himself OT texts that describe God. The Godhead is triune, the very obvious teaching of Scripture: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Jesus is the Eternal Son of God in human flesh. Any other claim is heretical.

While your answer is true for the Christian it is rubbish to the lost. When asked by an unbeliever what Jesus says about homosexuality they are usually saying "what did he teach about it while here on Earth". Having to get into a theological discussion about who Jesus really is and the legitimacy of the bible will seem like you are dodging the question.

He died for all of us.

Absolutely Correct Greg.
Not Only Is The Fact That Christ Speaks With The Authority Of God, He Affirms Marriage As A Sacred Institution Created By God Exclusively Between A Man And A WOmen.
Ravi Zacharias Does A Nice Job Also Explaining Heterosexual Marriage As Sacred.

(Ed, I just want to note for you that Melinda wrote this article, not Greg.)

I must ask the real question here, and it isn't about Homosexuality, it is about sin. What did Jesus say about that?

Let's take a moment for review

John 8:7
"And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, 'Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.'"

James 2:10
"For whoever keeps the whole law but fails in one point has become accountable for all of it."

Romans 3:23
"For all have sinned and fallen short of the Glory of God."

I could go on. But aren't we Christians who rail about homosexuality just as evil as those we claim to help? We are HYPOCRITES. We sin, and we rub others sin in their face and expect the non-believer to follow our practices, yet we don't show them the love Christ demands of us. I mean what does 2nd Corinthians say. And in relation to this remember ALL MEANS ALL! Not some things, not a few things, not the things we agree with, ALL!

13 If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,[a] but have not love, I gain nothing.

4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;[b] 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. 11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

13 So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

Oh and one more comment to an earlier post. Jesus wasn't a republican. Our politics have zero to do with our religion or the call of Christ in our lives. Our government is not, never has been, and never will be a theocracy. To bash someone for their politics in unrelated to our religion, and just makes someone look silly. I honestly believe a true christian would be more liberal on certain issues, such as social issue, and conservative on others, such as abortion. Gay rights is an issue unrelated to our religion. I say this because the Bible says to love the unbeliever. It also states we can not expect an unbeliever to follow the Bible's rules. It also states homosexuality is wrong. So where do we fall? Do we allow them the same rights as the civil government gives heterosexuals, thereby establishing civil fairness, or do we deny them that right citing the bible.

Sorry I choose to follow the former, as I believe they still deserve the right to express the freewill God gave us to sin, however I will still inform them that I feel God's word calls what they are doing sin, and therefore they must repent if they choose to come to him.

"What this world needs is for us to care more about the inside than the outside
Have we become so blind that we can't see
God's gotta change her heart before He changes her shirt"

"This world doesn't need my tie, my hoodie
My denomination or my translation of the Bible
They just need Jesus
We can be passionate about what we believe

But we can't strap ourselves to the gospel
'Cause we're slowing it down
Jesus is going to save the world
But maybe the best thing we can do
Is just get out of the way"

Read Genesis 18 and 19. God told Abraham He had looked down from heaven on Sodom and saw a great and grave sin and the prayers had come before Him. Was Abraham the one that was praying about the place Lot chose? God heard the prayers against that evil city and destroyed them. Gen. 19 tells how the men in Sodom were ready to take Lot's visitors who had come to tell him to flee. Those men were angels. The word homosexuality is not used but the actions leave only one conclusion. Now, that is what God said. "It is a great and grave sin.:


When people refer to the OT laws such as God ordering killing of whole villages to prove their points they fail to realize they are reading the history of a people and their relationship with God. The early Israelites were a blood-thirsty lawless people (similar to radical muslims today mainly because they are half-brothers, more about that later). God was dealing with a people who looked at life and death differently than we do today. He dealt with them according to their mind-set and culture. Thus the laws back then seem so strange because we are in a different time and culture. We can all agree we do not need laws like those today because our culture and mind-set are different. Only the laws concerning morality are something we can relate to. Jesus knew that and that is why He dealt mainly with morality and relationship while on earth, leaving 2 main laws to follow, Love God and one another.
As to the Muslim world today and their violent ways and their hatred of Israel...when Abraham was told by God that He would give him a son, Abraham could not wait. Impatient because Sarah did not conceive, he had a son with a maid, Hagar named Ishmael. Sarah was jealous and Hagar fled with her son. God kept his promise also to Hagar because he was a son of Abraham and his descendants became a great nation, the Muslim people of the middle east. Thus we have Israel and Ishmael (whose decendants Israel and the middle east are still at war with each other.)

Sterling,

But aren't we Christians who rail about homosexuality just as evil as those we claim to help?

The Bible verses you quote (John 8:7; James 2:10; Romans 3:23) teach us that all people are guilty of sin. But the verses do not teach that persons are equally evil. In fact the Bible clearly indicates that some people are deserving of greater punishment than others (Mat. 26:24; Mat. 11:22, 24; 2 Pet. 2:21; Luke 12:47-48; John 19:11; Heb. 10:29) and this indicates that some people are worse sinners than others.

So there is no basis for automatically concluding that any Christian who "rails about homosexuality" is just as evil as the homosexual. However, it's possible that a Christian who rails against homosexuality is just as evil or even more evil than a particular homosexual person. Does this mean that Christian is a hypocrite? Here you say:

We are HYPOCRITES.

What constitutes a hypocrite? I don't think it's reasonable to think a hypocrite is merely someone who fails to live up some moral standard. In that case, everyone apart from Jesus, including the homosexual, is a "HYPOCRITE." But is that what you meant by we? Did you mean "we (the homosexual and the non-homosexual) are hypocrites"? I doubt it. Rather I think we have to understand that there is more to hypocrisy than simply failing to be as moral as we should be.

A good definition of a hypocrite would be someone who holds people to a moral standard that he does not intend to uphold himself. In light of that understanding of a hypocrite do "we" all qualify as hypocrites? Clearly not everyone (homosexual and non-homosexual) is a hypocrite and clearly not all Christians who "rail" against homosexuality are hypocrites. A person can rail against homosexuality while not being a hypocrite. If you think that's incorrect you'll need to explain why.

We sin, and we rub others sin in their face

"Rub others sin in their face" is obviously a metaphorical description of something else. Sin isn't a material substance that can be rubbed in someone's face. So what is this metaphor supposed to correspond to?

Does identifying sin qualify as rubbing sin in people's faces? In that case, Jesus rubbed people's faces in sin. And since Christians acknowledge their own sins, then Christians rub sins in their own faces too. So Christians clearly aren't being hypocritical at that point.

But I suspect you mean for that metaphorical description to stand for something else; something more than merely identifying sin. So what is it?

expect the non-believer to follow our practices, yet we don't show them the love Christ demands of us.

I think that's false. I constantly see Christians who condemn homosexual practice extend the love of Christ to unbelievers. In fact condemning homosexual practice is itself an act of the love of Christ. Homosexuality is harmful both to the homosexual and to the society. Identifying harmful behavior and trying to discourage harmful behavior is a loving act.

I mean what does 2nd Corinthians say.

One thing 2 Corinthians says is that love "does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth." This means that Christians cannot celebrate gay weddings. This means that Christians cannot celebrate society's acceptance of homosexuality as a normal lifestyle. This means that Christians must rejoice in the truth that God will punish the unrepentant homosexual, adulterer, drunkard etc.

Jesus wasn't a republican.

Since being a republican requires being a U.S. citizen and since Jesus wasn't a U.S. citizen then obviously Jesus wasn't a republican... So what? The more interesting question is this: does the Republican party more closely align with the values and teachings of Jesus? I think the answer to that question is yes, but it's not an across the board issue.

Our politics have zero to do with our religion or the call of Christ in our lives.

False. Of course our politics has something to do with our religion. Christian democrats prove this on a daily basis when they use the Bible's teaching about the poor as a basis for their stance on a myriad of public policy issues.

And if you use your understanding of the biblical teaching on love as a basis of your treatment towards policy issues like same-sex marriage then you, Sterling, are also making your politics have something to do with religion.

Politics is the art of applying ethics to society. Religion always has a strong ethical dimension that will inform what we believe about our application of ethics to society. Thus, virtually any religious system will have a lot to do with our politics.

I honestly believe a true christian would be more liberal on certain issues, such as social issue, and conservative on others, such as abortion.

So you think a true Christian will relate his religion to political issues in a certain way? But earlier you said politics has "zero" to do with religion.

Given these two contradictory stances, it looks like you could be open to the charge of hypocrisy. Maybe you are holding some Christians (e.g., Christians who identify as Republican) to a standard (e.g., don't let your politics have religious support) that you don't apply to yourself (e.g., it's okay to let your politics have religious support so long as you take the same view as me). So are you a hypocrite? I don't know, maybe you can explain yourself more clearly and show how there is no contradiction in what you seem to be saying.

Gay rights is an issue unrelated to our religion.

If you believe that gay rights includes a right to marriage then obviously it is related to our religion. Furthermore, if you believe that gay rights includes a right to secure the services of Christian institutions and businesses, as many gays believe, then obviously gay rights is an issue related to our religion.

I say this because the Bible says to love the unbeliever.

So what? You need to prove that loving the unbeliever requires allowing them to marry and allowing them to coerce our cooperation in celebrating and facilitating their unions.

And if loving the unbeliever means that we should allow gays to marry, then it must also mean that we should allow polygamists to marry and we should allow incestuous couples to marry. Otherwise, you're a hypocrite.

Do we allow them the same rights as the civil government gives heterosexuals, thereby establishing civil fairness, or do we deny them that right citing the bible.

There's a third option you're over-looking: we establish a secular argument against same-sex marriage. And this is precisely what has been done (e.g., see the book What is Marriage?). But your options are fallacious because it assumes that gays being able to marry is a matter of "civil fairness". That a question begging fallacy. And if two gay men getting married is an issue of "civil fairness" then why isn't it an issue of civil fairness for two brothers to get married or for a father to marry his daughter?

Again, it looks like you open yourself up to the charge of hypocrisy...

I believe they still deserve the right to express the freewill God gave us to sin

Why don't you extend that same right to heroin addicts? Why don't they deserve the right to express the freewill God gave us to sin? It looks like you're either a hypocrite or else you think all drugs should be legalized and heroin addicts should be free to be heroin addicts.

esbee,

We can all agree we do not need laws like those today because our culture and mind-set are different.

That's incorrect. Very few, if any, Christian thinks that the *reason* we don't need OT laws today is because we think differently. If that's all it takes to dismiss a command of God, then I can easily dismiss what God says about rape by simply thinking differently.

Only the laws concerning morality are something we can relate to.

All of the laws in the OT were concerned with morality insofar as all Israelites were morally obligated to obey the laws.

leaving 2 main laws to follow, Love God and one another.

Since Scripture teaches that the law of love is simply a summary of the other laws (Rom. 13:9), you're mistaken to think that one can obey the law of loving God and one another while ignoring other commands of God.

"Woe to those who call good evil, and evil good." Jesus was/is as clear as you can get. We pervert scripture, ie; "Jesus is the Word", because the truth is that we are selfish. We want what we want, and we want everyone to be, not only okay with that, but celebrate it. "The Light came into the world but men preferred darkness."

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