Gay Marriage and Christianity

What are you afraid of?

If two guys have a legally recognized relationship, how is that going to affect your day to day life?

Is God going to allow terrorists to fly into our buildings again?

Will society as we know it crumble and fall?

Will there be more gay people if we allow them to marry?

What’s the problem here?

I have a better question. How would you “values voters” feel if a new majority arose… a majority of values voters whose values were completely opposite of yours? What if the “vote yes on prop 1” meant that Christians could no longer worship freely? or girls couldn’t get an education? or goats had to wear diapers to make sure that men don’t lust after them?

It could happen. Those values voters live in the Middle East and they are loud and they want their values to be worldwide.

Do you believe in individual liberty, the ideal that you claim we are fighting for in Iraq? If we believe in Liberty and we truely believe that Christ is our Lord and that his Kingdom will always prevail, why do we feel the need to write laws that dehumanize a group of people with whom we disagree?

Ok, I’m almost through with rhetorical questions. One more though.

Can you see Jesus voting for prop 1… or might he be in the gay bars having a drink and talking about the love of God?

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111 responses to “Gay Marriage and Christianity

  1. Ah, the gay bars. Interesting places, those — and definitely needing Jesus for all kinds of reasons.

  2. finally, you get it. Whenever I give the example to people of what happens when we set the precendent for letting the majority set freedom rules for the minority, then the extremist muslims take over, the usual response is, “oh, that would never happen” or “that’s why we need to control the world militarily, so that never happens”

  3. Excellent post. I am very tired of things like this and internet poker being discussed on the federal or even the state level. Ugh!!!!

  4. there’s a sign on one of MTSU’s lawns that says “vote no on 1.” i know, big surprise. i already talked to justin about this, but i want to say it again. regardless of your view of homosexuality or gay marriage, what kind of witness do you really think you’re being if you put a “VOTE YES ON 1” sign in your yard – chuch or otherwise? if you think living in homosexuality is sinful and you want to reach out to those who want help, do you think they’re going to run to you? probably not. they probably think all christians hate gay people and will never listen to what perhaps helpful information you want to share. we need to think before we speak.

  5. We are to hate the sin and love the sinners. We are to show the world God’s love and send them a message of hope and a God who loves them enough that he would send His one and Only.

    I know that Christians yelling at homosexuals: “Queers burn in Hell. God Hates Fags!” is not the way to tell them the good news of Jesus Christ.

    You look at every major society that open excepted homosexuality, Sodom, Babylon, Rome, and where are they today. Just read the Old Testament to see that God does judge nations. Are we so arogant as American’s to think we are above God’s judgement.

    I don’t think gay marriage is right. Marriage is something that God ordained between man and woman. Who are we to change what God has set up as sacred?

    Great post.
    And if you didn’t read my post on Mike’s blog:
    Non Addictive…Say that to Snoop Dogg.
    πŸ™‚

  6. I don’t even like that phrase “hate the sin, love the sinner” because, especially to people who believe that being homosexual is part of who they are, and they don’t think its wrong, to them, you can’t fully love them because in the back of your mind, you think what they are doing is digusting.

    I don’t have my mind completely made up on this, but I am not positive that homosexuality is a sin. Too many questions have been raised in my mind about pederasty and things of that nature that when on in Roman culture and how the meaning of the word translated “homosexuality” in the new testament is not agreed upon by scholars as meaning that specifically.

    Major societies fall for many different reasons, Preacher Man. I don’t think that homosexuality is the factor that groups them together. Communism fell, did they accept homosexuality. Nazism fell and they definitely didn’t accept homosexuality.

    All nations come and go… its a never ending cycle.

    And the issue in sodom wasn’t homosexuality, but raping newcomers. Its a little different.

    Maybe I’ll post about Marijuana sometime soon. Its not the evil that people think it is. Its actually much safer than alcohol, it doesn’t have any addictive properties like alcohol, caffiene, and cigarettes. The only “addiction” you could have to it is just enjoying it so much you don’t want to do anything else. But those people are much less dangerous than alcoholics, cause they tend to sit on couches all day rather than get in fights and kill people.

  7. Justin,
    I think this is a great discussion.
    Just because I think it is okay doesn’t mean in the eyes of God that is okay. We have to look at what God’s word says about homosexuality. It could be genetics. If it is genetics and people are born homosexual does that mean that they have to act on it? Or another great question to ask is if someone is born homosexual what does that say about God? His word? Christianity?

    About pot; I do agree that it has benfits. It can help with pain, increase appetite and help those who have cancer, AIDS, and other illnesses. I do believe that in the future it will be legalized. I think it is going to take generation Xer’s to get that law passed. Of course inhaling any kind of smoke into your lungs isn’t good for your lungs.
    The Bible does tell us the the body is the Temple where the Holy Spirit lives. And that we should take care of the temple. Many Christians damage their bodies with caffiene, other drugs that are over the counter, food. So I think you post on pot is going to be interesting. Very interesting discussion.

  8. But, Justin… don’t you know that if Gay people get married that will be the end of the Great American Family. That our kids will have no moral compass ever again? The world will catch on fire. No one will know what to do with their lives any more.

    Cole

    (note: all comments above are in extreme sarcasm.)

  9. I am one that is strongly against prop 1. Do I think homosexuality is a sin? YES. Do I think stealing is a sin? YES. I am not sayng that homosexuality is worse than another sin. Can Christianity still go on if gay marriage is allowed? Yes. But do I want to get into a society that allows it? I don’t. Perhaps I am an “old school” christian, but I’d like to keep as many values around me as possible and if voting for or against something can do that, I am all for it.

  10. No, you would be for prop one, because voting yes votes for the constitutional ban and no is against it.

    Kenny,

    You believe in America right? You believe its the best nation in the world and that all men are created equal? All men should be free, right? Why would you vote for something that denies freedom to people. Stealing is different than homosexual marriage because stealing infringes on the rights of an individual. I can’t take something that you own, because the law protects your rights. This law you are voting for is denying a right to a person, and if they had that right it would not change yours or any other persons lifestyle. Two guys getting married doesn’t infringe on your personal rights.

  11. Nowhere did I post America is the best in the world. I am proud to live in a country where we can blog about stuff like this without being arrested though.
    I vote what I feel is right, that is what is good about America. If you feel homosexuality is not wrong, then by all means vote to have homosexual marriages. Since I do not think it is right, I am voting against it (or for the prop, not sure how it is phrased).
    My concern in others that feel homosexuality is wrong, but do not want to infringe on the rights of others would be what road are you heading towards. Can I stand for any moral values, or do I have to give in to everything.

  12. If you think that the ideas that established this country are right, then you vote to protect rights not to deny them.

    Our government isn’t supposed to be the one that determines what actions are moral and which ones aren’t. The government protects individual rights, otherwise you are on your way to some sort of theocracy.

    Would you support a proposition that made divorce illegal? Cause Jesus is way more clear on that being wrong than he is on homosexuality.

  13. I vote, as I stated before, on what I feel is right, not on what give openess or freedoms to do things of which I find immoral. As I said before, if you feel homosexuality is ok, then by all means voice your opinion in a vote. I do not feel it is right, so I will vote against it.
    Not to go too far off the topic of the blog, but please tell me how homosexuality could be morally ok.

  14. Well, there are several reasons I’ve started to question whether or not its sinful. Its pretty heavy, and I don’t have the time to type out all my thoughts, so I’ll leave you a link.

    http://hem.passagen.se/nicb/christ.htm

  15. kenny, you state that you believe homosexuality is wrong, and therefore you would vote against it. The issue here is clearly marriage of homosexuals, but you say homosexuality, not homosexual marriage. Therefore, would you also – given the chance – vote for homosexuality itself to be illegal? i.e. would you vote to fine and/or imprison those who are found to be homosexuals? What about other sins, such as heterosexual sex outside of marriage? would you vote to imprison such people as well?

    I admit I’m inclined to agree with Justin that this issue will not infringe upon rights of others and would not be equivalent to stealing, murder, etc. Religion is another one, possibly. You would disagree with the Muslim religion as well – would you vote (again, if given the opportunity) to outlaw it’s practice in the U.S., as long as those practicing it were not infringing on the rights of others?

    I’m not certain where I stand on the gay marriage issue myself, but I guess I’m just asking, would you consistently vote against what you believe to be wrong?

  16. I’m no biblical scholar, but I don’t remember seeing in the gospels where Jesus preached against homosexuals. ks and preacherman…where did Jesus speak out against it?

    If they really want to “protect marriage,” I want to see a prop that bans gay marriage as well as divorce and see if that passes.

  17. Ben: I would have to go to the “trading what is natural for what is not natural” part of the bible. Not spoken by Jesus, but is all scripture is inspired…

  18. Justin you argue about banning gay marriage and that it would infringe upon certain peoples ‘rights’. Now you seemed like an educated person so what is your stance on the government outlawing polygamy? I would think you wife would be pretty upset if you went and married another woman? But wouldn’t that be your right?

    At the beginning of Romans’ Paul address this issue and it does say the God handed them over to their depraved minds. The also received their punishment for doing so, I happen to think it was AIDS.

    Ben- If God doesn’t say anything about homosexuals marrying then why does he only say “For this reason a MAN will leave his MOTHER and FATHER and be united to his WIFE…” or do we discount the old testament?

    God created Adam and Eve not Adam and Steve!

  19. I don’t think that the government should outlaw anything that doesn’t take away the rights of another person. If someone wants to get married to more than one woman… they should be able to.

    The whole problem is government sanctioned marriages in the first place. If you going to have the government sanction marriages, then you can’t discriminate against anyone.

    BTW, in reference to the Romans passage… read the link I posted in response to Kenny.

    Jon, do you think there should be laws against divorce, or gossip, or greed?

    and btw, when you bust out the adam and steve line, you just dropped the debate down to 6th grade recess level.

  20. So in the government we should have, we cannot infringe on any rights? What about not allowing minors to look at pornography or to have censored TV? To not infringe on anyones rights is impossible.

  21. You see, Kenny, there’s this thing in our country called the constitution. There are certain rights that are explained within. There is no right to not be offended. Being offended is part of living in a free society where people can express themselves however they’d like to. Making pornography illegal is just one step in a direction that I’m sure you don’t want to go. People get offended by folks talking about Jesus… maybe next the government can ban that.

    The best government is one that does the least. We as Christians, if we are doing our job, shouldn’t need government. If we as Christians were living up to our calling, pornographywouldn’t make money in our country. If you believe that being gay is wrong, then do your job and witness to people. Legislating against someone will actually hurt the cause of Christ.

  22. There are laws against divorce, greed, and gossip. WE are to be in the world but not of this world. As Christians we are to hold ourselves to a higher standard. We are not to divorce or have greed or gossip.

    You may you may not, but you seem to talk loud..do you back it up. Did you spend friday night at the Blue Oyster converting people or sitting at home changing the world in your own mind and on your own blog?

    Be the change you want to see in the world- Ghandi

  23. Is the thought of homosexuality a sin or just the action?

  24. I think this is my first official flame war. Over 20 comments. Wow.

    Well, first off, I’m not sure that being gay is sinful. And if it is, they have unrepentant sin in their life,and I’m pretty certain there are things I’ve yet to repent of… so I’m going to withhold judgement for now.

    No, I’m not at the blue oyster, but I do have several friends who are gay, with whom I hang out with on occasion. The thing is, I’m gonna show the love of Christ to anyone I run into, whether they are gay, straight, white, black, or hispanic. I’m not going to stand up with a law that is so blantantly hypocritical.

    There aren’t laws in our government against gossip or divorce. I will keep calling out your inconsistancy until you want a full on Christian theocracy… and even then, I will shout from the mountaintops that its wrong and against Christ to use the government to promote the view of “kingdom” that you have.

  25. what does the thought vs action thing have to do with this debate?

  26. Not laws of the land but laws of Christ, sorry wasn’t more clear in post.

    And where am I inconsistent?

    You just don’t like America do you? Only two people have ever offered to die for you without your consent, Jesus and the American GI. But you seem to forget one or the other most times.

  27. The thought v. action has everything to do with it. If you don’t know if being gay is a sin or not is having gay thoughts a sin or not? Simple question.

  28. I like America just fine… I think, with all its flaws, its the best thing that humans have come up with. It still falls way short of the Kingdom of God though.

    Hmmm just Jesus and the American GI huh? What about all the martyrs of the early church who would rather be killed than deny Christ? They were dying so that I would know Jesus?

    You’re inconsistant unless you want to take every command from the bible and make it law. The bible says “do not resist and evil person” does that need to be law? Jesus says that if you hate a man in your heart, you’ve committed murder, shoudl we have the thought police arrest people who think about killing?

    I understand your question now. I’m not convinced that being in a monogamous homosexual relationship is wrong. I’m not convinced its right either.

    I would definitely say that just having homosexual thoughts is not wrong. Its not something they choose. I have friends who grew up in Church and went so far as to sleep with girls to try and not be gay. They couldn’t help it.

  29. I tend to agree that the thought is not wrong but,(for me) the action is. But how do you address this idea in the context that even looking is commiting adultery, or having hatred is commiting murder? Is the thought as bad as the action?

  30. Homosexuality is a different thing altogether from adultery. Its not a choice. Wanting to murder someone or wanting to committ adultery are choices one makes. One doesn’t choose who they are attracted to

  31. but you still think about murder, adultery, etc. You may not choose what you are attracted too but you can choose to not act on that attraction…committing adultery or acting out homosexual thoughts.

  32. right… you can choose not to act on it, but jesus was redefining the old law. Through the Holy Spirit, you can be transformed from having a ahte filled heart. Hate isn’t a genetic coding… homosexuality, for the most part, is. Maybe that’s why Jesus never mentioned it

  33. Man, I leave for an hour and have to read through way too many comments. I was stating that pornography for minors is illegal. TV is also censored here, is it not. The point being that democracy is a flawed government, because people are flawed. The point of democracy is to allow the majority to decide. If the majority were for gay marriages, they would be legal, just like if the majority were for murder, or any other thing we can come up with. Fortunately, the majority is not for homosexual marriage.
    On a side note, Christianinty could exist (as it did in Rome) in all circumstances, but as for me, I am not for gay marriage.

  34. I can’t by the arguement that homosexuality is genetic. God creates something that he detests? Please…

  35. So Democracy is the tyranny of the majority Kenny? That’s why we live in a representative republic… that’s why our system is set up the way it is. We’re not straight democracy… we have a foundation on which our government is built. Its not illegal to vote for prop 1 here in TN, but it sure does go against the ideas of freedom.

    So Jon, if homosexuality is proven to be genetic… are you going to renounce your faith? I don’t know why God does what he does. I’m not God. Nature of God discussions drive me up the wall because its all speculation and his ways are crazy to us. The wisdom of God is foolishness to man.

    And besides, I’m not sure that God actually detests it. The old testmant is chalk full of variances and editorial comment. The pentatuch wasn’t even written by moses. So, I look for broad themes throughout the bible rather than prooftexting my presupposed notions.

  36. If homosexuality is proven to be genetic, it won’t cause me to renounce my faith. I will chalk it up to a condition of a fallen world, much like alcoholism or cancer can be genetic.

  37. alcoholism is genetic because of bad decisions on the parents part, so because two women are lesbians and they have to become pregnant by a man that makes that child predisposed to be genetically homosexual?

    Do you have any proof that it is genetic?

  38. I’m inclined to agree with Phil. Why would God create someone who, because of their genetic makeup, will end up dying of cancer as a 1-year-old (like a friend’s child did a couple of years ago)? Why would God create someone who becomes attracted to others of the same sex and is forced to battle with that all of their lives? Both seem unfair. But if they are indeed genetic, is it God’s fault? Or is it because of our fallen nature that such things happen? I would lean towards the latter.

  39. Maybe there are some people that make an active choice to be homosexual… but really could any of you straight guys choose to be gay? Did you choose to be heterosexual? You would have to be a masichist to choose to be gay. Shunned by society. Kicked out of church. Higher risk of AIDs. What person in their right mind would choose that?

    Jon or Kenny, do either of ya’ll know anyone who’s gay?

  40. I remember when I chose to be straight… I think I was around 2.5 years old

    Good posts, justin…

  41. Yes I actually have someone I was very close to that chose that lifestyle.

  42. I need to respond to several issues here:

    1. It is very easy for all of you to throw around homosexuality as a choice and unnatural because you are straight (or a closeted repressed homosexual who refuses to accept it). I really thought the same way until a very close friend told all of us that he is gay and had been for as long as he could remember. Given what I see in the message of Jesus, if being gay is a sin, it certainly is minor in terms of what He felt was important. I see the conservative Christian pre-occupation with homosexuality to be more bigotry and less theology.

    2. Kenny, why does uncensored TV or pornographic access for children affect you? If you don’t want it, don’t use/see/do it, but please leave your hang-ups at the door. There are some people who like it, and if its something that is a spiritual issue where doing it is hurting the personal spiritually, outlawing it won’t make it go away.

    3. Who cares if the government legalizes polygamy? Hell, that’s in the Old Testament (whoever threw out that argument earlier)! Add to that, I don’t care if they legalize marriage to horses and donkeys (so long as they own the animal, of course).

    4. If God really hates gays so much as to give them AIDS (has to be the most unChristian bigoted thing I’ve ever heard), why has he blessed them so much in other areas of their lives. Gays are on average much wealthier, more creative, more successful than straights. By that logic, maybe God hates straight people (sarcasm…)

    5. If homosexuality is unnatural, what about all the species that exhibit homosexual behavior? If it is unnatural because it means they can’t procreate, what about those born barren? What about those who choose not to have children, is that an abomination?

  43. And the winner is… Ben, for blowing everyone’s arguments out of the water. Thank you for playing!

  44. “Kenny, why does uncensored TV or pornographic access for children affect you? If you don’t want it, don’t use/see/do it, but please leave your hang-ups at the door.”
    How does this affect me??? Look at the generation of people that have been adversely affected. I could by the arguement of the first amendment offered by Justin, but to ignore the facts that are tied to pornography especially at an early age show your ignorance.

    “It is very easy for all of you to throw around homosexuality as a choice and unnatural because you are straight (or a closeted repressed homosexual who refuses to accept it)”
    I would like to do alot of things that are not good for me. I’d love to get drunk every day. That is not good for me, and yet many struggle with that, does that make it alright? NO.

    Not to sound like a “bigoted” christian, but aids did start in the gay community.

  45. Ben: Are you a christian?

  46. Ben are you gay?

  47. Justin & Ben –

    Do you guys have ANY scripture to back up your beliefs or is this just an issue that you believe one way and then some talking head says something and you believe another?

  48. Yes pornography is bad, but the government shouldn’t tell people not to harm themselves. If a consenting person wants to postnude pictures of themself online, and another consenting person wants to look at it, that is their prerogative. As for children looking at pornography… that is the parents issue. Don’t give the kid a computer in their room… keep the home computers in a main area of the home. Put tracking software so you can see what’s being looked at. Thats a good idea for anyone period, and have that list sent to someone you can be accountable to.

    Things shouldn’t be illegal if they are detrimental to an individual. If I want to destroy myself, I should have that freedom. I don’t need big brother government keeping me from harming myself.

    AIDs started in the gay community, so obviously its a plague from God, right? The tsunami hit Asia, was that God bringing judgement on those people? Katrina hit New Orleans (and the Mississippi gulf coast) was that God’s wrath? When you start assigning bad things to certain groups of people because of their sin, you are getting into murky waters. Personally, I don’t like to tell people that bad things happened to them because they weren’t obeying God. I’ve done plenty of bad things in my life, and I’ve not had any retribution from the Lord. Was I not bad enough?

    Ben is not gay and he is a christian. He just got married and he was my roommate in college (at Lipscomb). And yes, I posted a link with an indepth analysis of the position that homosexuality isn’t wrong. Did you read that? Like I said, I’m not positive that its right and I’m not positive its wrong. I’ve heard good arguments both ways.

    Here’s a good link as to why you shouldn’t vote to ban gay marriage from a guy at Otter Creek.

    http://dbcarden.blogspot.com/2006/10/constitutional-amendment-1.html

  49. ks – whether or not you think it’s right is one thing. Ben is saying it’s wrong to single out gay people and bash them more than someone who gets a little drunk, or someone who sleeps around, or someone who gets divorced. Jesus had some pretty strong things to say about divorce — Why the heck do you let someone get divorced and think almost nothing of it. Why not bash divorcees for disobeying Christ’s commandment — that’s a sin.

    Yet we ignore divorce in our churches, because we’ve gotten used to it. We feel uncomfortable around gays — so we take potshots at them. That’s real bigotry. Love people…

    AIDS starting in the gay community?? You’ve been brainwashed… And that’s an ignorant comment. No one knows exactly where AIDS began. The earliest known finding of HIV was in 1959 – found in a plasma sample in Congo. So blame the AFRICANS!! Oh, crap — that really looks like racism — maybe we can get away with just blaming it on the gays…

    AIDS didn’t magically appear by some dude having sex with another dude. It came as a mutation in a monkey population living in close proximity with a human population (somewhere in sub-Saharan Africa).

    When AIDS was discovered as an epidemic in Los Angeles in 1981, over half of the people diagnosed were NOT gay.

    Granted, the gay community has been effected more by AIDS. But what about the millions of people dying in Africa where as much as one-fourth of the population is affected. Homosexuality is almost non-existent there.

    The whole “AIDS started in the gay community” thing was a flat-out lie started by a bunch of homophobic rich people, and sadly, the whole country believed it. Also, in case you didn’t know, HIV is often spread through unsterilized needles (such as in illicit drug use).

  50. Saying that AIDS is punishment from God is his wrath is not what we are saying…Read Romans and see if you come up with a different perspective on “recieved in themselves just punishment…”. People do/will recieve retribution for their sins, it may not always be obvious at the time but when you reach certain points in your life you will look back and see where ones spirtual closeness to God was lacking or closeness to those dearest to us was lacking because of decisions that we were making at that time.

    Katrina punishment for New Orleans…in someway I don’t think Robertson was that far off.

  51. Dman –

    Where did KS say anything close to fact that being drunk or divorce wasn’t as bad?

    What about you, do you put one sin above another? WE all do.. We categorize sins because it makes us feel more comfortable with ourselves and our short comings. Lying, gossip, divorce, adultery, homosexuality is all equal. We place others above some because either we are to involved and don’t want to give up one or we hate one so much that we focus intently on it then we come across as bigots because we call like we see it/is.

  52. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23)

    So why did God punish New Orleans and nobody else? What was the sin of New Orleans? How was New Orleans any worse than the rest of the country? If we’re going to use the Old Testament example of God punishing people — let’s figure out why he did it. Why not the whole nation?

    If you’re going to say that God had some involvement in punishing New Orleans, I think you have to carry that logic to everything. It’s inconsistent to say God is involved in some tragedy and not others.

    I would rather us accept the fact that this is a fallen world (that we’ve all screwed up) and that tidal waves, bad weather, disease, etc. are simply a fact of a suffering world “groaning as in the pains of childbirth” for the redemption of God.

  53. Jon that’s my point exactly. People are singling out homosexuality like it’s some great problem, and I’m trying to remind people that there are other sins that people of God need to start worrying about, because everyone is eqaully sinful.

    Thank God we had Dante’s seven levels of hell to screw up our theology of sin and think that somehow straight, divorced Christians are less sinful than homosexual people who love Christ.

  54. Just to be clear, I do not think homosexuality is any worse than the rampant promiscuity (not sure on the spelling there) that is in our society. Both are wrong, and whatever side you are on in this debate, both need to be dealt with. It is easy to say that men that have the tendencies to be homosexual are excused, when men that are not homosexual struggle with being faithful in their marriage or staying pure if they are not married. Neither is worse, and both are struggles. Both still would be sins if given in to.
    I would even say many now that are gay, would have been the men that Paul was talking to when he said to stay single, if they did not burn with passion, to be married.
    Aids was spread throughout the gay community primarily to the U.S. Yes, people can get it many different ways now, and many that are not gay have it (Magic Johnson with HIV).

  55. That’s my point, which I clearly argued and I see no rebuttal. AIDS was not spread in the U.S. primarily through the gay community. That’s a myth promulgated by the gay-scare of the 1980’s.

    “…that is in our society”
    That’s the point. Forget promiscuity in our society. Let the church worry about restoring people in the church and less about condemning the world around us by passing legislation.

    I think Jesus in Matthew 5 said “you are the knife and fork of world — Conquer and divide in the name of Christ and force my people to do right. If the knife looses it’s sharpy-ness, how can it be made sharp again? It is no longer good for anything, but to be put against the knife sharpener in thy cutter block and remade with a new moral fist to conquer and divide the heathen.”

    When contrasted with a knife, salt seems pretty dang weak. It’s just there, being a preservative.

    “For we are the aroma of Christ”
    Scripture goes on to say that this aroma is sweet to those being saved and stench-laden to those who are perishing. We don’t need to slam and condemn people with words. Our lives (actions) are supposed to convict people.

  56. “Preach the gospel daily. Use words when necessary.”

    St Frances of Asissi

  57. How did anything I say lead to “conquering and dividing”?? As a Christian, sorry if I would like to keep family values in the country. I am not going to apologize because I vote differently than others. If I want to vote (Note: I am not killing or forcing anyone by threat of violence here) I feel that I have the right to do so. It is ironic that both of you are not to infringe on others rights, and yet you continuously jump all over people that do not agree with your point of view.
    Nowhere on this blog did Jon or I say that being gay is the worst sin one can commit, and yet we are both “bigoted” christians for having values that are based in scripture.
    Justin: I don’t know much about you, but it would seem that if you were to be a Christian you would believe the entire bible. Not pick and choose areas that don’t mention the sin you would like to be ok. Jesus never mentions molesting animals, is that ok? I would think we could agree that the text in the Old Testiment would say it is not. If we are to say that the OT is not inspired by God, then who determines if the NT is???

  58. first, “Adam and Steve”, then “AIDS is God’s punishment for homosexuals”, and now “Katrina may have been punishment for New Orleans”. I guess there are more people out there who think like Pat Robertson than I realized. And that’s far more frightening than homosexuals getting married.

    Anyone know why God waited nearly 2000 years to start punishing homosexuals with AIDS?

  59. While I don’t think AIDS is just a punishment for Homosexuals, I do think that God allows the consequences of our actions to punish us. Sex outside of marriage has been a value long taught (both hetro and homo) and now there seems to be a disease that has been named that is spread by that sin, most of the time (I know it is also spread through blood).

  60. And Adam and Steve is still funny and I’m 26.

  61. I believe that the word is inspired, but I don’t believe that its inerrant. The bible wasn’t dropped out of the sky completed. Its been a process over years and years. It was written by human beings who were inspired, but I don’t think God was whispering in their ear what to write. If he were, there wouldn’t be historical contradictions in the bible, as well as chronological. Fundamentalist biblical inerrancy is wrong and dangerous.

    There are plenty of things in the bible that I’m sure you don’t agree with. Slavery was never descibed as evil, by Jesus, or anyone else in the Bible, but I’m sure you’d agree it is. If someone took up the position that slavery is ok because Jesus didn’t mention it, would you agree with them, or not. I mean, they’ve got the bible on their side in that argument.

    What about the regulations for head coverings, jewelry, long hair, etc, in the Bible? Were those inspired, or were they cultural?

    I am consistent in my view on personal rights and our government. I’m attacking your position, of course, but I’m not denying your right to vote. I just think your position is against everything good that this country has stood for in the last 230 years. Voting to deny people the freedom to live their lives how they want is neither christian nor american. Its fascist. I bet THomas Jefferson and Jesus are both pissed right now.

  62. I also vote to have statutory rape. Does that piss off the founders? I dont think it does. If democracy is great, then the majority would always be correct. Since you believe in homosexual marriage, you are upset. Since I am in the majority I think the government is doing its job. If over half the country wanted slavery, there would be slavery (see the 17-1800’s). So to say democracy is the best government is correct…if you are always in the majority, but no whining if you are not.

    Your point is good on the bible, although one of the main great points about it is the historical acuracy of the bible (recently shown by several discoveries, including the dead see scrolls). Not sure where you were going with the cultural part, that is not an inaccuracy.

    BTW: When God ran his own government, as I like to call the church, He runs a Theocracy not a Democracy like some in the church would like to see.

  63. Vote not to have statutory rape. Not to have it.
    Sorry.

  64. Statutory rape is such a subjective thing. Just as recently as 100 years ago, people got married to girls who are considered “waaay too young”. I don’t know how I feel about those laws. I guess its different in marriage than it is just to have sex with a minor because the minor doesn’t yet have the ability to make sound judgements (in most cases). But, minors don’t have the same rights as adults. They can’t vote, fight in war, drive cars, drink or smoke. They are in their parents control. I think that law stands.

    How many times do i have to mention that we don’t live ina democracy? Its a representative republic. Democracy is bad. Its the tyranny of the majority. We have a really good system in which no group of people (not even the majoirty of the electorate) has all the power. We have a document that determines how our government works. We can change it… but for the most part, we probably shouldn’t. Especially if we are denying rights rather than giving more rights.

    Church as democracy is bad. Church is community. There is community discernment, but the elders have the ultimate say. Thats a good systemfor a group trying to be led by God. Bad system of government.

    Government is fallen. Thats why I think there should be as little of it as possible.

  65. I like to think of god’s “government” more as a family. To much father/son language in the Bible…

    Statutory rape is meant to protect people who may be unable to protect themselves. Laws are meant to protect people who may not be able to protect themselves or may not be old enough to make an informed decision. Otherwise, laws that inhibit two consenting parties involved actions which do not infringe on other people’s rights are wrong.

    Why do you say you don’t think AIDS is a “just” punishment. Should there be more punishment or less punishment? That’s what bothers me is you imply that certain people should be punished for a sexual act and others shouldn’t. In society, gay people in a monogamous relationship should be treated no differently than heterosexual couples in a monogamous relationship.

    I find some people think that gay people are sex crazed maniacs who go around having sex with everything that moves. The majority of homosexuals are involved in intimate, monogamous relationships just like the majority of heterosexuals.

    If this special punishment is for gay people, where is the special punishment for heterosexuals that sleep around with every woman they find? I think the risks of STD’s are the same whether you’re gay or straight. So calling AIDS a punishment for homosexuality makes absolutely no sense.

  66. That was my point Dman, the punishment seems to be for all who are not using the scriptural part of sex. Including heterosexuals.

    My point with statuatory rape and slavery is that morals are always involved in the governments of the world. Always have been, and always will be. Look at every government in the world, they make laws based on what they feel is right and wrong, not on what would hurt someone else’s feelings. To say that someone should not vote what they feel to be morally right does not make sense. You can disagree with my point of view and make your stand, by voting, but to tell someone they should not vote the way they feel is right is not a good thing.

  67. I think that AIDS is probably what the disease was, pure speculation. The bible says that what ever disease it was was just punishment.

    I would say that STD’s would also be a consequence of heterosexual promiscutiy, or losing your spouse, kids, job etc. For you guys to think that there is no consequence for our sins really shows how myopic you are in your view of the world, but since Justin has everything figured out and no amount of life experiences will change that view this discussion doesn’t seem to go anywhere, at least isn’t that what you stated on scott’s blog that you have figured out what you are to do already and you are done looking?

  68. The punishment seems to be that way, but the thing is, you don’t know and you aren’t God. If God is all into giving diseases or killing people that don’t do his will, why are the people in our churches who are greedy, or gossips, yet still claim jesus as Lord (like many homosexuals) aren’t being killed?

    I don’t think anyone is saying there isn’t any consequence for sins… we’re saying who are we to say who is being punished or not? We are not God. Let me repeat and bold for emphasis. We are not God. We should not be telling them they are getting punished for their sins unless God specifically speaks to us and says do it. Same thing with war. We shouldn’t go around telling people how they are getting it wrong, we should be striving to be Jesus to those people and Jesus way was love an acceptance of those that society shuns. I have a hard time believing he’d be standing with James Dobson to promote banning gay marriage, or with Falwell who said that terrorist blew up the twin towers because we are too friendly to gays. That’s not the Jesus I see in scripture.

    Right, and our government has determined how our “morals” are set up. Our morals are not Christian in nature. They are secular and they are based in individual liberty. And that’s why its worked so far. When we start changing that, you’re going to find you don’t like the outcome when people start denying you rights because their morals are different than yours.

  69. I didn’t say that your are being punished for being gay the Bible says that in Romans or did you skip that part because you didn’t like it. And man I wish I had it all figured out at 22.

  70. Its funny to see how condescending one can be, especially when you’re only 5 years older than I am.

    Check out this link. It discusses the problems with the Romans text (and others). Suffice it to say that “exchanging natural relations for unnatural ones” is not the same as being a homosexual who naturally is attracted to the same sex. There isn’t choice involved.

    http://anabaptist.lifewithchrist.org/2005/11/25/bible-not-anti-gay.html

  71. When I start having my rights denied (that I want), I’ll move to where I can have the rights I want, not stay and complain about how bad it is.

  72. Why don’t you just move to Iran… I hear they don’t let those homosexuals get married over there. They are all about being values voters.

  73. If you haven’t made up your mind about gays, what sources are you using to help you?

  74. People that are smarter than I am, who have M Divs and have been to seminary.

  75. So you let ‘other’ people form ‘your’ opinions for you? That anabaptist link is a good one may not agree in total but for someone to take their own initiative and study it for themselves gives a little more credibility to their arguement than one who forms his opinion from the opinion of others. You should invest some time in an indepth study of what you are struggling in getting a grasp on, I know I should do this as well.

  76. I do read the bible, but its not a simple thing. I read things that challenge me from people who know Greek and Hebrew and have devoted their lives to studying God. I read what they have to say and compare and contrast and see what the bible says… but mostly, I think about how Jesus would respond to a situation and if I can’t see Jesus doing it, then I probably shouldn’t do it either.

  77. And as far as only being 5 years older, trust me you will have a lot of life experiences that will change your view of things in 5 years.

  78. Wow, I’m late to the party. At least I see where my comment traffic has gone.
    Is this an uplifting discussion? I’ve just read the last few comments and it doesn’t really look that way.
    Who’s moving to Iran?

  79. You’re right Scott. Its gotten a little out of control.

    I’m probably to blame for that. Though, there have been inflamatory comments from almost all commenters.

    I was just telling Kenny (after he stated he’d just move if people started denying rights that he wants) that Iran is all about banning gay marriage, or being gay period.

    According to Borat though, Khasikstan is getting a little progressive. They no longer make the homosexuals wear blue hats…

  80. Well, you picked a pretty inflammatory subject.

    I’m dying to see the Borat movie.

  81. I went to a party as borat on Saturday.

    Then I went to Otter Creeks “trunk or treat” dressed as Brandon Scott Thomas.

  82. Please tell me that it wasn’t the lime green swimsuit you wore–now THAT would be gay.

  83. No, the thought crossed my mind, but then I decided that since there was alcohol at the party, the combination of mankini and beer could be detrimental to my friendships…

  84. “I didn’t say it, the Bible did” is also one of my favorites.

  85. I think we need to get one argument (or the nice term, discussion) going at once. I am having a hard time keeping up. Which do we start and finish first?
    Is homosexuality sinful? That seems to be the main issue.
    Justin: I think you and I are going with should marriages be legal, but we will never agree if you feel there is nothing wrong with that. I think you do have pretty valid points as to the government enforcing it’s will on people, but we will not be able to agree on this issue since you are not sure (although I think through reading this blog you actually know which side you are on) if homosexuality is alright or not. Let’s clear up that issue first and then we can discuss the passing of a law against it.

    Scott: Nice to see you around. Take the time to read through the nine million comments and I’d be interested to see what you think of the issue. To be honest I have never been around a “christian” group that has even thought of this as a grey issue.

  86. I just got home from work…did someone call me gay? Quick, someone call my wife πŸ™‚

  87. I think it is inevitable that this becomes a gray issue for a lot of people especially as more and more friends and family members struggle with the issue. Gay is the new divorce.
    I don’t think that we do anyone any service if we say the issue is resolved and there is no room for discussion. Many of us are struggling with the idea of homosexuality and how its proscription fits in with the larger context of scripture.
    Kenny, I think you are right: I believe we must go back to the scriptural passages that seem to refer to homosexual behavior and deal with it exegetically. Even if we do come away with the conclusion that it is sinful we will at least have opened a dialogue that has been nonexistent.
    I think, however, before we can even go to the scripture we have to lay aside the air of disgust that many of us harbor for those who struggle with same-sex attraction. If we automatically feel a sense of loathing or disdain for them, then it’s not really going to matter what the scripture says, is it?

  88. Kenny,

    When you say “I’ve never been around a ‘christian’ group that thought of this as a grey issue” are you just saying you’ve heard people that thought it was a grey issue, but they obviously aren’t Christians?

    There are plenty of Christian groups that are at least struggling with this. Many in the emerging church movement have been, and they come from all corners of christendom.

    Maybe no Christian groups in alabama, but that doesn’t suprise me. Ya’ll just started letting black people ride on buses right πŸ˜‰

  89. I have been around several that don’t know how to handle the situation (myself and family included), but never a group that does not agree that the act is wrong.
    And I don’t have to wear shoes to go to church in this great state!!!

  90. Scott: I’ll be honest as a man, it does disgust me, but having to deal with it on a close level has helped. I now still view it as a sin, but not any worse than a man/woman that sleeps around.

  91. I think the key thing to realize is that they are people. They put on their pants one leg at a time, just like you or me. I can’t fathom how anyone could think that someone chose to be attracted to the same sex, cause I certainly couldn’t choose to be gay. I like girls. I’ve always liked girls. I don’t understand being attracted to a person with the same parts as me, but I have friends who are and who tried their damnedest not to… and it just didn’t work.

    I have trouble with something being a sin that I’ve seen first hand how hard it is to stop. I’ve seen alcoholics give up the bottle, I’ve seen porn addicts be freed, but I’ve yet to see a person whose sexuality has been reversed (unless they were abused as a child). I’ve seen plenty of guys go through “degayification” and end up getting married, only to have their marriage destroyed because that’s not who they are. Maybe they should just be celibate. I don’t know. But I’m not convinced that the bible is talking about monogamous homosexual relationships in Romans or Corinthians.

    Maybe the reason that you don’t know any christians who don’t think its wrong is because we’ve been brainwashed for the last 1000 years by the powers that be (and those with biases that translated our bible).

  92. I wouldn’t say that homsexuality is right. It is not. As you have said you have seen people addicted become free. I would go with the celebate part. It seems Paul did not “burn with passion” for women. Did that make him gay? I think men that are not strongly attracted to women, have an ability that some of us do not. They can live fully for God. Personally, I think that is what the fallen world has taught, if you don’t like women you must be gay.

  93. Rich Mullins was a homosexual and broke free from that and wrote several songs we sing today. Celibacy is the only way for these people to deal with the homosexual lifestyle or tendices. This is where you still run up against the issue of having homosexual thoughts as being wrong or not. I don’t think they are any more wrong than a man fantasizing about a woman. Unnatural? To me yes. to them no. But the issue remains that one must control his thoughts. 2 Cor 10:5 talks about that.

    Kenny-
    That is what Paul is saying when he talks about getting married or staying unmarried. those unmarried have a much more ‘free’ schedule to do God’s work in this world.

    The you don’t like girls you must be gay is a prevalent thought pattern in todays culture.

    Justin –

    People with biases translated our Bible? Didn’t know you had done so much research on them and their alterior motives.

  94. So if the Bible we have today was translated by biases people when is the Mundie Version 1.0 coming out?

  95. I wish I knew Greek and Hebrew well enough to translate the Bible. Alas, I barely know the Greek alphabet.

    Jon, I wasn’t aware that there were unbiased people in the world. Have you ever translated anything from one language to another. I’ve done Spanish to English plenty and its hard to get the exact meaning; and those to languages are very similar! Think about an ancient language that is no longer spoken that has no direct relation to the languages being translated into.

  96. biased and interpreting words diffently are two different things. Biased, to me, denotes an idea of some kind of alterior motive. I doubt the scribes who translated the Bible had somekind of motive to put their own spin on things.

  97. Well, you just gave en example of my point right there Jon. How each person defines a word is slightly different, especially depending upon what culture they live in. How I view the idea of control in a mechanized society where computers control every aspect of something is different than maybe a early church persons idea of control… like maybe how a shepard is in control of his flock. They are different.

    So when translating the Bible, they have to look at these greek ideas and put them into whatever vernacular is there, as well as when translating passages, they have to translated them how they understand them, which may be different in that culture than it was in the new testament.

  98. What have they translated that is in the Bible that you don’t agree with?

    I mean are you sure they translated something so wrong that we are following the wrong example or is there just something that doesn’t fit your mindset therefore it was biasly translated.

  99. WOO HOO

    100 COMMENTS FOR JUSTIN!!!!

    πŸ™‚

  100. I can understand interpreting words into another language that doesn’t have the word to carry over the exact meaning or idea but that is not biased. Biased would mean that they are ‘bent’ toward another view point therefore translate the word to fit that. I just don’t see how biased is even close to misinterpreting when you are looking for a word that would come close to meaning the same thing? Donkey = Horse pretty close but biased would be Donkey = Stupid Horse not the same.

  101. I want to thank you guys for singlehandedly giving me my two highest traffic days ever… both well over 200 hit counts, and for giving me my first 100 comment post. May it continue as we dialogue, hopefully on other things.

    ok, we’re still looking at bias different. There’s a difference between a person writing with a bias intentionally and someone whose cultural bias shows up in their interpretation of events (or ideas). For example, there’s a verse in the NT where one word would be most aptly translated ‘shit’. But its not. I believe it says rubbish (which isn’t nearly as strong of language) because I’m sure the guys that were translating were like “hmmm… we can’t put that in the bible. its dirty”

    Its just the same as much of media bias today. While I’m sure that some is intentional (Rathergate comes to mind) the way the media tells stories has much to do with the world they live in, which is strikingly different than the world that Mom and Pop in Kansas live in.

  102. Alright, one argument at a time. I’d like to hear the thoughts on homosexuality first, then you two can sit down and tell us all how the Bible should read. Although I tend to lean to Jon’s version.

  103. There is also a lot a language in the orignal texts of the old testament that couldn’t be properly translated because there weren’t words strong enough to convey the meaning. I can understand cultural bias but not a bias that led someone to change the interpretation to fit their own view. If you are talking about cultural bias and not having the right words to convey the same meaning I agree, but if you mean they changed it to fit their own bias then no?

  104. Sorry for the tangent….

    Can one have the sexual orientation of homosexuality control their mindset, not act on the urges and still be just as effective as a heterosexual doing the same thing?

  105. Effective in the kingdom i meant

  106. Absolutely, and I would have no problem with them doing that. If their conscience won’t allow them to be gay, then they definitely shouldn’t be in a relationship with someone and I would say that celebacy is the best thing.

    Is it possible that this is a “meat sacrifices to idols” deal?

  107. I would not put it or any other “sexual” sin in a “meat sacrificed to idols”. I think you can make a case for several things that are not the best but are allowed: Alcohol, etc… But there are verses that talk about all types of sexual sins and homosexuality is in there.

  108. In an answer to the overall question of the post…from the point of not wanting the government to infringe upon anyones rights the I would vote no for Prop 1 strictly on that principle but my moral beliefs and standpoint overshadow that point and I will vote yes to Prop 1 strictly for the weigh it accelerate America throught this downward spiral we are already in.

    The bible is pretty clear on sexual matters. If one could keep his sexual desires under complete control I would almost put him equal with one who can tame his tongue.

  109. Inducing enough guilt in a gay person to suppress who they have been their entire lives to marry a person of the opposite sex doesn’t quite qualify as “conversion to heterosexuality.” The number of people at Lipscomb University, just in the four years I was there, whose fathers came out of the closet and destroyed their families would blow…your…mind. Yes, that is definately what God intended

  110. What a great web site…

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