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A Personal Word

DSC01499-2When I began the last post saying, “Some of us have been around long enough to see that the Bible we treasure has been used to multiply the pain of racial minorities, women, the poor, the mentally ill, the divorced, abused, addicted, unemployed, and prisoners” I was writing from my heart, and from personal experience.

I wrote because there are people who mean more to me than life itself who have experienced the secret agony of growing up with same sex desires. It’s not my place to give their names or to tell their story.

Neither is it my place to disagree with the Bible.

What matters to me is that in the ongoing social and spiritual debate, too many of us have been saying more (and less) than we know about the Bible, about God, and about those for whom this is an intensely personal matter.

Is it really necessary to say that, according to the Bible, same sex behavior is worse than our own sins even though the Bible calls many of the sins we all commit “an abomination.” (Prov 6:16-19)

Is it our place to say that that hurricanes, tornadoes, and economic downturn are God’s judgment on us because of the growing acceptance of same sex sin? We’ve all heard that said, and yet the prophet Ezekiel said that the violent same sex behavior of Sodom was not the only reason God’s judgment fell (Ezekiel 16:49-50).

Is it  true that persons in same sex relationships are not going to heaven even if they believe in Jesus? Doesn’t the Bible show that what matters most is what we think of the One who showed how much God cares and sacrificed for all of us, and those we love (John 3:16-18)?

If the Bible that began with Genesis ended with Moses, we’d all be in trouble. Similarly if Paul’s letter to the Romans ended with some of what he wrote in chapter 1 there would be no hope for any of us.

Thankfully, Paul went on to say far more in that letter and in others (Romans 2:1). He even went so far as to acknowledge that if all we had was a written description of moral and spiritual rightness, we’d all die in our sins (2Cor 3:6).

We’ve seen it before. But it bears repeating. Job’s friends thought it was their place to explain Job’s losses by defending God, condemning sin, and insisting that Job’s sins must have been worse than their own.

Those friends said a lot of right things about Job, God, life, and moral law. But they ended up being called out for judging Job in the process of trying to defend the rightness and morality of God.

DSC00577-5_SnapseedAs followers of Christ, we have seen Someone who knew more about the wrongness and pain of other people’s sin than we will ever know. We owe our lives to someone who also knew more about love than we will ever show.

This is personal for all of us.


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42 Responses to “A Personal Word”

  1. SFDBWV says:

    Interesting Mart that you said you wrote from your heart about the last subject, I suppose then you are also with this one. I always write from my heart and expose myself every time I share a part of my thoughts here as well.

    Anything else is dishonest and technical in response to any subject.

    We are not Job’s friends setting around telling another why they suffer; we are asked by you to discuss this and any subject you present for our discussion.

    In the course of discussion we reference the Bible, some life experience and perhaps even our own theories, none being the last word on the subject only our participation of the subject.

    Cold hearted and cruel people say things usually for the purpose of inflicting pain on another. Here in this arena we are often a witness to some who call out another for being what they consider judgmental; how hypocritical, as that in itself is a judgment call.

    Most of us can discuss homosexuality from only a position outside of the subject. A person who is homosexual can better discuss their position than I. The very un natural aspect of the matter brings psychiatry into the discussion and so a fully trained and accredited psychiatrist needs to be involved.

    However the issue of how I react to someone who is homosexual is one I can discuss as well as the basis for how I may feel toward homosexuality and why.

    Everything any of us discuss from the angle that we defend or speak for God is in error as we are not quite up to that qualification and that includes defending sin in our midst.

    So what do you want to discuss Mart? How we feel about the issue of homosexuality? How we should treat Homosexuals? Should we tolerate sin in our society? What is wrong with us if we have an opinion concerning sin in another? What?

    Steve

  2. Bill says:

    BTA Friends,

    There is a gay Christian named Matthew Vines (MatthewVines.com) who recently posted a one-hour video clip titled “The Gay Debate: The Bible and Homosexuality.”

    I’ve watched the video. I’ve shared it with others. I won’t say what people told me about it. But I would encourage everyone here to watch it. It’s worth seeing, and worth discussing.

    Mart isn’t the most straightforward guy on the planet. He’s not one to share his personal feelings on subjects. In fact, he eschews that approach, preferring instead to post his thoughts in abstract, allegorical or philosophical ways that get people talking.

    So, when he posts something he titles “A Personal Word” and in his post he writes, “I was writing from my heart, and from personal experience.” I think it behooves us to pay very close attention. This openness, this rawness, is a side of Mart that he does not often reveal. That’s how we know this subject matter is one that deeply affects him, weighs on him terribly.

    Therefore, I hope people here grant Mart the leeway to broach this topic, open it for discussion. I’m not sure, Steve, what he wishes to discuss. My guess would be something like this:

    “The Christian response to homosexuality: Have we missed something?”

    Just a guess. Merely my opinion. Just thought I’d throw it out there.

    Love to All,

    Bill

  3. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Mart – I thank God that there are Christians like you who look at things with love first instead of judgement first.

    I don’t believe God looks throughout the world and sees us in different shades of sin with some being near to perfect and some being disgusting, rebellious sinners given over to their lust filled depravity. I think when God looks at us he sees each one individually on their own.

    He doesn’t see us in comparison to our neighbor the child molester or our grandmother the praying saint. He doesn’t compare our sins, AND WE ALL HAVE THEM, with the sins of anyone else. I believe God sees us and the main thing He wants to know is: “Do you love me? Do you love me? Do you love me?”

  4. SFDBWV says:

    Hello Bill, what a cool drink of water on a hot day…I am so glad to hear from you here. I have missed your input and glad to see you are still with us.

    I am looking forward to see how this plays out, a subject that needs to be out in the open not in the closet.

    Steve

  5. vsfg06 says:

    My Friends,

    It has been said, I believe by God, Himself, prophets, messengers and others that even before we asked, God was answering and/or working on our behalf for His Glory. I believe that the RBC website offerings today illustrate that fact and answer the questions “asked.”
    To explain, Website planning and content are undoubtedly done well in advance. Today it my spirit is impressed that the Our Daily Bread for 06.07.2013, Brother Kilgore, rather well answers Brother DeHaan’s question(s) of 06.07.2013.Sometimes if happens that we may not recognize the “answers” because we want them to be something else.
    At any rate the complete Word of God–including but not exclusively “God is love,” trumps everything else.

  6. jam200 says:

    Good morning all. God has taught me several things that I want to share. To always have a testimony to give. To speak the truth in love, and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

    When I ran for Mayor of South Bend, Indiana, He wanted to remember that His plan was about love and being to able to share the gospel through my testimony. I now serve Him in Calgary through Teen Challenge and the same is true. Love my neighbor has myself.

    God says in Romans that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” In Romans it also says that at the right time Christ died for us.

    Ultimately, we will each be judged for what we say or not say, what we did or did not do. We will be either a sheep or a goat. God’s is displeased with sin, but He gave His only Son to die for us so that we would be free of sin forever.

    All we have to give is our testimony.

    Juan

  7. jam200 says:

    One additional comment before I go to work. One of my niece’s is becoming a transgendered man. Her parents were good Believers and then something changed in their lives. They no longer believe because of how others, including Christians, have responded to them and their daughter. Our testimonies speak louder than our righteousness. I don’t condone homosexuality but I believe that our love for God needs to be demonstrated through our love of others.

    I grew up in Charleston, SC and saw the way Christians treated blacks. I was ready to accept Christ at 17, when the young man who was sharing the Gospel talked about N*gg*rs. I rejected Christ because I didn’t want to be part of something that condoned that type of hatred. Thank God I realized 8 years later that I was responsible for my spiritual growth and relationship with God not someone else. Thank God I was able to forgive that young man.

    Our testimonies are what people see everyday and that’s what God sees. I am a sinner saved by His grace. I sin everyday. Thank God for His forgiveness. Help me to confess my sin so that He can cleanse me from it and restore me to His righteousness.

    Regards,
    Juan

  8. remarutho says:

    Good Morning All –

    Mart, I hear the following questions in your post this morning:

    • Is same-sex attraction a worse sin than any other?

    • Are the world’s weather and economic woes due to society accepting homosexuality?

    • Are homosexuals going to heaven?

    Much as we as humans might wish gender identity were one definite, established and immutable feature of human bodies and minds, it is not. Sexuality and gender exist on a sliding scale. It seems to me each person has to come to the solution that brings peace: sex change, choosing life-long celibacy or living a life in which homosexuality is openly expressed.

    Jesus is no respecter of persons. He told Nicodemus “whoever believes” (John 3:16) in him will have eternal life. There is surely hope for GLBT persons as much as for anybody. I believe in the transforming power of God’s love in Christ. That begins with accepting gay people in the community.

    Maru

  9. cbrown says:

    I also was amazed at the timeliness of this morning’s daily bread. I would like to thank you Juan for your work with Teen Challenge. My niece recently went through Teen Challenge and God worked a miracle that is a blessing to her, her family and church.The thing that makes the discussion about

  10. cbrown says:

    homosexuality divisive is the fact that some want to use it as a means to judge others and justify themselves while others want to excuse the “lifestyle” which does not glorify God.

  11. pegramsdell says:

    Love The Lord God with all your heart, soul, and body, then love your neighbor as yourself. Wow, that sort of says it all doesn’t it. Can I love my neighbor as myself? IDK….I’m trying!

  12. fadingman says:

    In my mind, I know every kind of sin is bad and deserves God’s wrath. But in my heart, it’s hard to set coveting and grumbling (as examples) on the same level as homosexuality. And yet, one look at the history of Israel in the wilderness shows God doesn’t like those things either.

    I know that, left to myself, I am in the same sin boat everyone is in. There is no room for pride. I can’t condemn others for the sins I don’t commit when there are plenty of sins I still do commit. It is only by the grace and Spirit of God I haven’t murdered someone, sexually molested a minor, or whatever, and I have to rely on that grace every day, or who know what I’ll do!

    Jesus, on the other hand, was never in the sin boat. And yet He didn’t condemn sinners. He came to save them from their sin. That is the news we need to be telling those who are still lost in sin. Warn them in love and humility, and point them to our Savior.

    Andrew

  13. pegramsdell says:

    In John 8:11 Jesus told the woman caught in adultery “Then neither do I condemn you,” Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.”

    So, if she didn’t stop and she was going to Church, would she tell people that she was still living in adultery? And would she say it’s ok with God (that she is an adulterous woman and born again) so we need to accept that and not say anything that might hurt her feelings? Jesus didn’t condemn her, but He told her to stop.

    I’m just saying……:))

    I like Andrews comment…”warn them in love and humility, and point them to our Savior.”

  14. SFDBWV says:

    Bill I watched the video you mentioned though I had to in segments between things here I did listen to all one hour and seven seconds of it.

    The young man did very graceful job of presenting his view of the matter and I found myself wanting to interrupt or take notes for further debate, but of course neither is going to happen aside from whatever we may end up discussing here without his being present to *champion* his side of the issue.

    To attempt to generalize an hour of commentary is difficult at best, but one of the things I came away with from his case ( aside from the obvious of treating him as a human being with feelings) is that the same case he makes for homosexuality can be made for almost any other *sin* or regulation from the law.

    In fact he presents a case that homosexuality is not a sin at all. I would suppose there are several hours of discussion from us here on that one statement alone.

    His piecemeal of Scripture and dissecting it to prove his case was particularly unsettling though that is what most people do, I just found it uncomfortable.

    However one underlying theme is how Christians view sin and whether it is *Christian* to attempt to live a holy life and then what sort of society we want to create for ourselves or should we just exist as did Lot behind locked doors and apart from the evil outside.

    Lots to discuss, but no doubt he presents a good case for the loneliness and hopelessness he feels as a homosexual.

    Steve

  15. SFDBWV says:

    Peg I think that is what most everyone has been saying all through this subject, to point the way to Christ by warning others of their sin.

    Though some have said we should say nothing and just leave it to their own conscience.

    And by others to accept homosexual activity as a normal behavior in our society, not a sin at all.

    Steve

  16. poohpity says:

    Jesus is God, we are not!! Whoa to those who think they are. The time will come when all will give account of what they did on this earth after accepting Christ for some that may be today or tomorrow, no one knows the hour of their physical death. Did we cause more hurt than mercy, more anger than grace, more hate than love, more judgement than patience, more distress than peace and joy? Nothing is hidden from God and God sees it all right down to the bone.

  17. poohpity says:

    I have found a way to see the sin in my own life by staying in God’s Word and in that I have found that it is not my job to point it out in others. If I live under the law then I have fallen from grace and expect others to do the same. Gal 3:4-5 NIV

  18. poohpity says:

    Gal 5:4-5 NIV

  19. poohpity says:

    Proverbs 10:19

  20. phpatato says:

    Bill!!! Welcome back! I too missed you. You bring huge amounts of good stuff to the table. Well at least to me.

    Now where to begin…..

    I think this is a timely topic and I am grateful to you Mart for tabling it. I have friends who are homosexuals and I am being honest when I say, I am at war with myself as to how I should feel when what they have said includes the questions that I asked yesterday. I am truly aware as to how sensitive this whole thing is. I am also very conflicted as I try to understand.

    I have heard homosexuality labelled as an abomination in God’s eyes. I have also heard the term “immoral” lifestyle. I googled the meaning of immoral. I found this:

    The definition of immoral is derived from the Greek word porneia; it broadly refers to all types of sexual activity outside of marriage (including homosexuality). We get the word pornography from that Greek word.

    Bill, you hazard a guess that the topic Mart threw out to us is: “The Christian response to homosexuality: Have we missed something?”

    May I ask if 1 Corinthians 5: 1-13 has context for this discussion? Although that topic of immoral lifestyle is a son and stepmother, given the definition of immoral can it not be same sex as well?

    Bill you directed us to a video of a gay “Christian” man. I am sorry that I can not view that as my computer is about to crash. So how I tie this in may be right out in left field and you may tell me – that until I see the video I shouldn’t have comments. That is fine and I would humbly agree with you. But…as a gay “Christian” man, would I be right in assuming he is therefore “born again” and as such, would he not belong within the Body of the Church? Would 1 Corinthians 5:1-13 not then apply to him and all Christian homosexuals? Would this not then be ” “The Christian response to homosexuality: Have we missed something?”

    Again, I may be right out of context with that teaching from Paul and this subject. Please someone?

  21. kingdomkid7 says:

    Thanks for sharing your heart, Mart. I can understand why the subject might be difficult for you. I have led an incredibly messy life, perhaps like some others who visit this blog. I have also been close to gay people for a long time, while not actually being gay. I thank God for my perch, because I have had the opportunity to see, almost from the inside, the struggle that many have with it. But I have also seen enormous victory over it, as I personally know two women who allowed the transforming power of God to enter their lives and lead them in non-gay lifestyles. One is now married with children.
    At the same time, one of my all-time favorite students is a young man who says he loves Jesus and wants to get married and have a family — with a man. I love this guy, but I think he is barking up the wrong tree. I’ve never told him so. Why not? I’m pretty sure it would crush him. I don’t want to do that, because I’m pretty sure that his being gay has something to do with the fact that his father made him watch pornography when he was five years old. He randomly told me this after class one day. It was both shocking and sad. But I pray for him, and someday he and I will be able to have a real talk about what God’s best for him really is. That’s my prayer.

    I’m trying to give a testimony about how I approach this subject. I still believe it is not judgmental sometimes to steer and warn our fellow Christians, if we give primacy to love and gentleness. And sometimes we are not called to do that. It’s all about timing, I would guess.

    But I live in a very political world in which it seems I am often being forced to make a decision FOR or AGAINST. Well, if you make me vote on this issue, I really can’t say I’m FOR it. How could I do that? I’m FOR the people, not their sin. Nobody asks me to vote for or against lying, pride, covetousness, greed, or anger. But if they did ask me to declare a position, I would vote AGAINST those things too.
    Bottom line: This gay issue is complicated. But I remember what happened with Eli and his sons. He “loved” them too much to steer them properly.
    Blessed day everyone. Welcome back, Bill.

  22. poohpity says:

    Pat, that is a very good example of someone flagrantly and openly in the church doing a sexual sin. It seems he was put out with the hope of restoration. However the one Mart speaks of seems to be struggling with a sexual issue and we really do not know if it has been acted on or not. Just the thought that this one is struggling with it shows a heart under conviction. So then the question may be how do we as brothers/sisters in Christ walk along side of someone who is struggling being careful because we all struggle with sin daily? It would be nice to be more like Job in Job 40:4 NLT

    Jesus gave us wisdom on how to deal with public or private sin straightforwardly and in love. (Matt 18:15-17 NIV) Go privately if they do not listen then go with one or two witnesses and if they still do not listen then go before the church. The confrontation seems to be more for restoration not judgment or condemnation and it does seem to be a very fine line that may be determined with much prayer and wisdom. But while one is struggling it does show that God is working in that person’s heart. To me it seems better to error on the side of grace.

  23. Bill says:

    Greetings, All!

    Thank you for the kind words. It’s great to read your comments. They’re always enlightening.

    As far as Matthew Vines goes (the young man in the video Steve watched), I do not doubt this young man is a brother in the Lord. No matter his “sin,” I believe he is sincere and I believe he loves the Lord. That is his testimony. It is not my place to refute it.

    My guess as to the topic Mart wished to broach was merely a guess. What I believe is “missing” in our response to the gay issue is two-fold:

    1. A thorough understanding of the issue as presented in the Bible. We know what we have been taught via our pastors. We know what church leaders have said. We know what the verses say. But is there something missing in our understanding of what the Bible teaches, what it means? I’m not saying there is. I’m suggesting that after watching Matthew Vines’ video, I questioned many things about what I’ve been taught about homosexuality. He presents a compelling case — not, as Steve mentioned, to champion his cause; rather, to present his side, from a biblical perspective. It is obvious he put a lot of time and prayer into his presentation. I would do him a disservice if I did not do likewise. (A gay friend sent me that video last year. He asked that I watch it. So I did.)

    2. Love and compassion. It is no secret that Christians have treated gays badly. In fact, I’d go so far as to say that we have treated gays the way the KKK treated African-Americans in the Deep South. We call them names. We refuse them service. In some instances, we beat them — occasionally to death. As a result, homosexuals have turned from the church and have strengthened the Liberal Left. In effect, we have united the gay community against us, which is why the LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bi Transgender, for those not hip to the acronym) community routinely votes Liberal, and has become vehemently angry against God and against the church.

    Some here would say they are that way because of their sin. They’re being “convicted” of it.

    I disagree wholeheartedly. We have made them that way. If anyone here thinks otherwise, I strongly encourage you to rethink the matter. We have created the liberal LGBT community and all of its anti-church, anti-God activism. We have created much of the opposition against us over the years because of our lack of compassion and love, and because we react rather than think.

    I wonder what would have happened had the church not shunned gays when they first started coming out. What would have happened had we not not tried to “cure” them, tell them they’re sinning, make them feel like scum bags just because of who they are? There’s no way to know, obviously. But I can make a guess.

    I believe we’ve created a formidable enemy in the LGBT community that now threatens to rise up against us with laws that will make it illegal to preach sermons against homosexuality or to treat them in any way different from “normal” people. We’ll complain and moan about that, wonder why the world is going to hell in a hand basket, and blame it all on the fact that we’re not tougher on sin, more fundamentalist, more heavy handed from the pulpit. But the truth is, the tougher and more heavy handed we get, the more we will alienate the very people we were put here to love.

    I don’t have the answer. Matthew Vines doesn’t, either. But I believe he has opened a dialogue that we would be absolutely insane not to accept.

    As always, these are merely my opinions. Please feel free to disagree with them. I don’t mind.

    Love to all,

    Bill

  24. phpatato says:

    Thank you Deb for your thoughts. I wasn’t really broaching my thoughts on Mart’s struggle but was more going out on a limb, WITHOUT having seen the video that Bill was referring to, thinking of a Christian homosexual who may be “defending” his lifestyle. And this young man aside, could not 1 Cor 5:1-13 deal with any professing “Christian” homosexual? Immorality in a lifestyle is addressed by Paul. How can we read the Bible and soften what he (and therefore God) says about it……. Would not all immoral lifestyles come under that teaching? Sex before marriage – fornication – is now almost a blind oversight within the church. How is that any different?

    So yes Deb a STRUGGLING brother or sister in Christ is different than one who is practicing without conviction. And how many times does the Bible say to forgive that “struggling” brother or sister…seventy times seven = indefinitely. And on the wisdom of “take them aside and tell them in private”….I am of the belief that something as serious as say an immoral lifestyle, should be done by a man of God and his team, professionals if you will. It should not be done by just any member in the church who happens to think they know it all and are able to speak on behalf of everybody. Efforts should be made to restore and without judgement.

  25. phpatato says:

    Bill I guess you and I were kinda posting at the same time.

    I am not disagreeing with what you said but….do you ever feel like we are swimming upstream? This gay movement, for one, is it not all part and parcel (and will most certainly get worse) as to how intense things are becoming for us in the Church? Are we not becoming overwhelmed because we are on the doorstep of the tribulation period? I know that is no excuse for how the church positioned themselves on this issue but there are times when I can see that we are most definitely swimming upstream and it is becoming so hard to stay the course.

  26. oneg2dblu says:

    “What a tangled web we weave, when at first do we deceive.”
    Funny how this one sin, and only this one sin of homosexuality, oh I’m sorry, I should have said, this one form of recently legalized as normal love today, has turned so much of the world against Our God, against particular scriptures which are truth, against certain churches as well, and all the rest of us haters, just because we do not agree.

    Now, we are prompted to be watching videos daily that are eloquently presented to change our very thoughts about God’s view, God’s word, and those hateful wrongly motivated churches, and all other so called hater’s.

    Here’s the issue on homosexuality…”The truth is hate, for those who hate the truth.” Janet (Folger) Porter.

    That was taken from her brief u-tube video clip of only 13 minutes, about the truth of the Homosexual Agenda, as found on her Faith2Action website.

    Please check that video out as well.

    Because if we are all directed to seeing only one side of this issue, which so far we have been, will we then get a full and perhaps more loving perspective on how to treat this great divisive issue?

    Just asking others here to take a good look at what is really happening to our society, its changing values, in our newly presented ways of thinking….as it continues to divide us and grow.
    Now, I’ll go as Bill has suggested and check out this video’s prespective.
    Gary

  27. poohpity says:

    Pat, that was not me talking about who should address anyone on sin I was quoting what the bible says. I have more problems in the church with self righteousness and pride than I do over many other issues and find it more destructive than anything else. In my fervent attempt to address that issue the Lord has shown me it is not my job but His. I trust in Him and He does not need my help. I just seem to make matters worse.

  28. tracey5tgbtg says:

    Bill, regarding your comment: “We have created the liberal LGBT community and all of its anti-church, anti-God activism. We have created much of the opposition against us over the years because of our lack of compassion and love, and because we react rather than think.”

    That brought to my mind something I have always wondered about. A few years back, while volunteering at a crisis pregnancy center, I wondered if Christians had brought on legalized abortion by their cruel treatment of unwed mothers. Girls were dying, their lives were being ruined, they were shunned, etc. because they had committed the sin of fornication.

    I think a lot of parents felt it was their “duty” to cast their daughters out because of their sin. What if there had been pregnancy counseling centers and people praying for the lives of the unborn before abortion was legalized? Would there then have been such a strong movement of people wanting to help these girls the best way they could see how which to them was to make abortion safe and accessible?

    I am NOT saying abortion is alright or that homosexuality is not sexual immorality. What I’m trying to say is that condemnation does not fix anything. It only takes a painful situation and makes it unbearable. Where does the Bible tell us to condemn our neighbor? I feel certain that someone will come up with verse for that.

  29. oneg2dblu says:

    Thank God that we all don’t have the same assignment or job when it comes to how we are to serve Him as some are hands and some are feet, but each part doing its part is what makes the whole body of us work together.

    Here’s the title for the 13.04 minute video clip on Youtube: Faith2action takes on the Homosexual Movement
    there you will see Janet Porter doing the Lord’s work
    she feels in her heart compelled to do.
    Be Blessed, Gary

  30. oneg2dblu says:

    I just watched that one hour video and I realized I have experienced a very powerful commentary on why gays as God loving human beings, should be supported by the church, and to me, they already are.
    The United Methodist church, or should I say half of it, because it is split right down the middle by this issue alone, does support our fellow same sex gifted believers as do many others.
    But, that is not enough for them, what they really demanding here, though presented as rational and loving, and it is that “we,” in our traditions do not call homosexuality a sin, because if we do we must then allow them that one sin and those six verses to be ratified for the sake of their souls who are now tortured by them.
    It was a very compelling argument for the possibility of rendering what Paul “could have” been saying, had he used different words then, as we have used here today by using different meanings for actual words he used.
    Either way, it could be or should it be re-examined in both houses of belief, those either for or those against same sex relations in our day each house using their most compelling thoughts re-arranging God’s words as we would like them to be presented.
    But, is it incumbent upon us as Christ followers to now nullify all those well intentioned, learned, God loving ones who have previously given us our modern translations that currently support the belief system that still makes same sex partnering an abomination and a sin.
    Or are we becoming subject to another deceptive force against our traditional marriage, traditional thinking, and traditional living.
    Is what the homosexual agenda doing now, doing it for us and God because we got it wrong, or doing it for their desires regardless of us and God?
    Who now decides such things?
    I hope it is not our current human judges, or the politically appointed ideologically bent ones, who certainly are swayed by popular opinions or by the greater mass of voters in the latest poles who now seem to rule over us.

    Our only chance at getting this right is to leave it to God to decide, and pray that if any of us are deceived in what we now believe, that God would help us!
    I do not believe that any of us by ourselves having now drawn upon our human emotions, compassion, love, generosity, even our well wishing, and change what God has given as His directive about what is sin.
    Gary

  31. Bill says:

    @tracey5tgbtg, I do believe you are correct. That’s precisely what I meant. Because Christians are known for their harsh, judgmental nature, I honestly believe we fueled the fire of the pro-abortion movement. We didn’t cause people to want to do away with their babies. That was all their sinful doing. But we sure didn’t help the people in need, in trouble, and in the throes of familial turmoil.

    @Gary, I watched the Jane Porter video clip. It didn’t prove your point. However, I do believe it proved mine.

    Jane Porter’s logic is seriously flawed.

    Let me explain, as briefly as possible:

    1. She starts by warning us about the “homosexual movement,” which is already a misnomer. There is no concerted “movement” from all gays. Some are politically motivated, sure. But not all. From what I can see, most gay people just want to be left alone, to be treated equally, and to not be made to feel like lepers. For her initial premise to be correct, she would have to assert that all gay people are in lock step with one another, forming a “movement.”

    As far as the political side of the gay issue goes, I don’t think there would have been one if we hadn’t paved the way for it. I believe we have pushed them to “retaliate,” in a sense, by mistreating them emotionally, physically, and socially.

    You’re an angry guy already, Gary. Imagine how you’d be if we kicked you around a few times (literally) and made you feel unworthy of us because you were unredeemable. I guarantee you’d be angry. You’d want to lash out at your accusers. I cannot fault the homosexuals for their anger toward Christians. It is deserved.

    2 Her science is faulty, and her reasoning is flawed.

    For example, the example of gays in the Boy Scouts doesn’t make sense. Her statement (around the 2:20 mark) is ludicrous. She said:

    “They are allowing these confused children who are sexually attracted to other boys to go camping with your son in the Boy Scouts in the same tent.”

    What will she do to test which boys are “confused” and which ones aren’t? What is the test for gayness? Pictures of naked males? Even if a couple of gay boys slip past her scrutiny, does she think the straight boys are going to fall for the advances of the gay boys as soon as the tent flap is zipped up for the night? That, my friend, is the very definition of homophobia.

    When I was 8-12 years old I was NOT thinking about sex. I was too embarrassed to think about anything. I was shy and withdrawn. If I was gay, I would have been doubly shy and withdrawn. The last thing I would have wanted to do was come on to my friends. Why does Jane Porter think gay boys are more aggressive and apt to commit some sort of sexual sin than straight boys are? She doesn’t fear hetero boys sleeping in the same tent. Why?

    Next (around the 2:30 mark), she made a comment about putting boys in the with Girl Scouts in the name of “equality.” That makes no sense. Equality doesn’t trump society’s norms. You don’t see men in the girl’s bathroom (or vice versa), do you? You don’t see women trying on bras in the men’s dressing room, do you? Then why would you think anyone would beieve it was okay to let girls and boys shack up in tents in the Girl Scouts? Her comment is meant to inflame and cause unfounded fear.

    3. At the 2:51 mark she says: “I believe the criminalization of Christianity is what happens when we lose the battle of marriage.”

    This is another backwards statement.

    I certainly believe Christianity is being put into a box, shoved into a corner, attacked and assaulted on all sides — especially from our current administration. But I do NOT believe it’s because of gays. I believe it’s because we’ve mishandled the Word of God, misused the authority given to us, and have shown the world that we are scandal-filled, dishonest, argumentative people.

    Do you honestly believe that anyone in society would complain about Christianity if not for Jim Bakker, Jim Jones, David Koresh, Jimmy Swaggart, and all the others who proclaimed one thing and did another, or acted in a criminal manner? If our witness hadn’t been so abysmal, people would be on our side, supporting us, rooting for us, and standing with us against any attempts to “criminalize” us.

    Alas. That’s not the case. Frankly, I believe the type of Christianity I see in America today SHOULD be criminalized. We have done great harm.

    So Jane Porter’s attempt to blame the gay community and their “movement” is only fueling the fire once again, stirring up Christians against gays, making both sides angrier toward one another. I believe her message is irresponsible and dangerous.

    4. Starting at the 3:59 mark she says: “Identical twins have identical genes…so it’s clearly not genetic.” There are so many things wrong with that statement that I don’t even know where to begin. She is wrong scientifically as well as socially.

    Let’s start with the science.

    Google this phrase: “Do identical twins have identical genes.” See what you get. In article after article (especially the article on the Scientific American site), that statement is disproved. Twins do not have the same fingerprints. They do not have the same personalities. They are not clones of one another. They are different people from one another — alike in many ways. But two different people.

    Even if her statement was true (and it isn’t), that doesn’t account for something going “wrong” with one twin’s DNA to account for homosexuality.

    Now let’s look at her statement socially.

    I am not gay. I have never been gay. No one in my immediate family is gay. But I have gay friends. To a person, not one said he or she choose to be gay. Why would they? They get their butts kicked when they come out. They are shunned. They are made to feel less than human. Who in his/her right mind would choose that?

    If basketball player Jason Collins has an identical twin and his brother is not gay, then Jane Porter has to account for Jason’s “gayness” elsewhere — from his environment.

    Is she contending that something in the ballplayer’s household caused one twin to be gay and the other not?

    That makes no sense. If the presence of a gay influence affected one brother, why not the other?

    Or is she trying to say that Jason Collins suddenly developed a mad liking to sleep with guys? When you’re an NBA player surrounded by money, drugs, women…why suddenly switch teams and want to sleep with guys? It just doesn’t happen that way.

    5. She then talks about the man fired from Allstate Insurance for writing a pro-family blog on his own time, the state department guidelines that require approval of the gay lifestyle, and various people being sued by the state for not catering to homosexuals.

    However, what she isn’t saying is this: discrimination is against the law. It doesn’t matter if someone is gay or not. To refuse service to a gay person (or a gay couple) is against the law. Period. It is no different from discriminating against women, against African-Americans, against old people, or against people who don’t speak English. There’s no insidious “movement” or agenda required in this case. It is against the law, as well it should be.

    You know what I would have done had I been a Christian business owner of a cake decorating shop or a bed & breakfast and a gay couple wanted to solicit my services? I would have baked them the best darn cake they’ve ever seen or tasted. I would have shown them that even though I might not agree with them that I am both a professional as well as a Christian who loves rather than condemns.

    Ditto for the bed and breakfast. If a lesbian couple wanted to rent a room after their wedding, I’d give them the best room I had, staff it as I would a heterosexual couple, even go above and beyond by offering them a free meal or a special treat (like flowers or champagne) on me.

    All that happened when the Christians refused service was they committed a crime, plus and they gave Jane Porter something to complain about.

    6. At the 9:36 mark, she says “according to the International Journal of Epidemiology, homosexual behavior will cost you…between eight and 20 years off your life…homosexual behavior is up to three times more dangerous than smoking.”

    That’s crazy.

    What Jane Porter doesn’t seem to realize is that Christians are not up against gays. We are not losing our ability to speak out or to believe what we want because of homosexuals. No. It’s because of our government’s agenda to equalize everybody, to make all religions the same, all people the same. Our biggest foe as Christians is NOT homosexuals. Our most dangerous foe is our own government’s liberal agenda, which calls for the eradication of Christianity from the public square.

    Rob Bell put it well when he said, “that ship has sailed” when it comes to gay marriage, gay rights, etc. It has happened. There’s no going back. It is done. The more we rail against gays, the angrier they will become — and the more politically and legally powerful. Plus, our government will pass more laws and enforce them ruthlessly.

    I don’t know what the answer is. But I know what it is not. If we continue to be Jane Porter in a world that needs Jesus Christ, we will bring suffering upon ourselves…and usher in a darker world for us all.

    Enough of my yakkin’. I just spent two hours listening to the YouTube clip and writing down my thoughts. I apologize for wasting your time!

    Love to All,

    Bill

  32. kingdomkid7 says:

    Bill, you were missed. No one can yak like you! However, you are stating an opinion that’s not very nice when you refer to Gary as an angry guy. I know it’s just an opinion because my opinion of him is quite the opposite. I think we should stay away from personal characterizations like that. Just a suggestion.
    I don’t agree with much of what you’ve said about the biological status of homosexuality,either. I know people who have chosen to be gay, and I know others who have experimented with being gay and then decided to come out of it. One of my current friends decided to become gay in her 40’s following a divorce and a rape. Several years back, before I was walking with Jesus, one of my best friends was a highly predatory gay/bisexual woman. I stopped being her friend because of the carnage I saw her leaving in the wake of her personal efforts to target married, ostensibly non-gay women. This stuff is not hard science. It’s all anecdotal. Even if you are born that way — conceding it for the moment — Jesus did say we must be born again. So ….how about advocating new birth for formerly gay people? Their minds can be renewed by the Word and they can learn to live with their “handicap” just as we all must carry our individual crosses, which are sometimes physical or mental handicaps.
    To me, the only ship that has sailed is the one where we can talk about this subject biblically, honestly, respectfully and rationally. I’m going to take a break. Bye!!

  33. cathyol07 says:

    It is really hard to comment on this subject.But how to bring them or point them to God is by showing love and concern.We don’t have any rights to judge them.Because people don’t care on what we know until they know that we care as the saying goes.I am having a tough time balancing the truth and love.And i decided to keep quiet and let God take over.

  34. oneg2dblu says:

    Sorry folks, but with my most earnest heartfelt expression am I compelled to write this first, as a prerequisite to allow myself any further condemnation placed by others upon my being, through my finding an openness of thought expressed here..

    Bill…before I read your certainly loving, expectantly kind, and pointedly thought provoking, (and very lengthy I might add,) learned position that you posted… with all its grand standing arguments for what you choose to represent through your opinion, let me say it is “not” in the finest sounding or longest argument, that we who will obey His word find our absolute truth of God being revealed through us.

    There I should have stopped or been silenced…

    But if we can bring an element of doubt, “Did God really say?” even using only those four words does Satan still plant deception as its seed, and evil choices soon follow for those who will disobey, be misled, allow deception to slowly erode all thoughts, and exercise our free will to choose our preferred form of evil thinking how tasty it is.

    You see Bill. I’ve been subject to your thorough thrashing in the past, it is very unpleasant, and your choice of words like (scum bag) also offending, because that is how they are by your choice, then given.

    Early one, my dear brother, I recognized your propensity for lengthy and extreme replies that support your conjectured position of any many discussions being that you spread yourself around several blogs, at your pleasure and with recognition, which is either for or against the truth on homosexuality of which I can not change in you, but God can.

    Let me say first, I’m happy that you are back because your voice is both missed and needed here.

    I am pleased that you did not find my reference of any value to you, your already formed opinions, which is your default position and purpose here, as revealed quite clearly.

    I thank God also, that your reference to this one hour video did not change for me centuries of learned beliefs, traditional living, traditional marriage, and the accepted strongly held position of the church, and the world on the whole, as revealed in God’s original plan and design.

    Thanks for allowing this issue to be the “only one” that seems to turn you back on, and back into the arena of ideas which support what you deem as love instead of hate, or hate as you see fit to align yourself with those who label haters and their hate speech as well.

    Now let me fully read with my open mind, though keep in mind that it is closed only by scripture, as I read your reply about Janet Porter, who must be labeled a hater also by those who choose to hate.

    As in an open mind always searching for that narrow path of truth, not found in the quick witted well paved and now well trodden road, spoken with slightly twisted truth, that embraces sin as already forgiven, heaven already guaranteed, no matter what one can do, think, say, or force upon others, and perpetuate upon the innocent as well, as the grand thinkers, who think their way to God, think their way to change His plan for us, and try to change anyone who does not agree with homosexuality as being completely normal and no longer a sin.
    But that is just me thinking out loud… so please do forgive me my errors; where there are errors and show me your love in the same love you show to others here even if it goes against your nature.
    Gary

  35. oneg2dblu says:

    tracey… you asked on June 7 6:25…sorry for this very belated reply, but the answer to,” Do you love me?” “Do you love me?” “Do you love me?
    That is clearly found in the scriptures, and can only be through in our free will choices of obedience, as our defining response of those who truly love Him.
    Gary

  36. Bill says:

    Dear Gary,

    Thank you for bringing joy and insight into my life.

    I appreciate both.

    Love and hugs to you.

    Bill

  37. oneg2dblu says:

    I suspect for a reason, there are several elements not fully embraced in the way this issue is presented on homosexuality.

    I’ll touch just a few…

    First, Why is there “now” presented to us a certain temptation beyond what one can bear?

    That certainly is not scripturally sound thinking.

    Why must it be accepted that only a gay person can not resist their temptation, and that God can not give them an acceptable way out to stand up under it?

    Just asking us to use our intellectual honesty here folks!

    Then there are our free will choices.

    Let us not forget that we can and do choose evil, but God has given us His Spirit, that when followed, produces in us another choice.

    But, also that God can and does change people, their desires, their passions, their addictions, their handicaps, and their torments.

    But, now we are to believe that is “only” if you are not gay?

    That is not scripturally sound thinking.

    If we now are to blame God for making some of us that way, and for not giving some of us any another way other then to our destruction, where do those then go?

    No way out?

    That is not scripturally sound thinking.

    We can’t just take those six verses and try to change them, to now to fit another position, and change God’s entire word in doing so.

    Certainly that would not be intellectually honest or loving to all those who now obey God’s word as written.

    “Choose to sin, choose to suffer!”

    Gary

  38. oneg2dblu says:

    Bill..We each produce a fruit that keeps on giving.
    Whether it be evil or good God decides, and he being no respector of persons does not play into the chosen words or will of man as we are presenting here, but He prunes some, those that will produce more good fruit, and some He cuts completely off to wither and be thrown into the fire.
    Glad to receive your heartfelt response, hopefully it will produce in us a return of good fruit, and is not just given to deceive.
    Still have not read your other reply yet. Gary

  39. oneg2dblu says:

    kingdom7kid… you are like a voice in the wilderness to me, one that I gladly embrace as open, truthful, with no baggage to throw at others.
    My sister just told me about a lifelong girlfriend of hers who has left her marriage, her husband and children of over thirty plus years, to now pursue the gay lifestyle that she says is so much more fulfilling sexually for her.
    I told my sister my thoughts were that she now embraces the flesh only and finds it very pleasing in her sight.
    But, where is God in all this?
    Unfortunately, that question was not asked, probably because it would have been crushing as well, so the answer to that I do not have.
    As we continue to establish new laws of freedom, a refreshing release of the conscience which now honors the flesh we worship today, we are birthing a great injustice upon humanity. IMHO Gary
    kingdom7kid… you are like a voice in the wilderness to me, one that I gladly embrace as open, truthful, with no baggage to throw at others.
    My sister just told me about a lifelong girlfriend of hers who has left her marriage, her husband and children of over thirty plus years, to now pursue the gay lifestyle that she says is so much more fulfilling sexually for her.
    I told my sister my thoughts were that she now embraces the flesh only and finds it very pleasing in her sight.
    But, where is God in all this?
    Unfortunately, that question was not asked, probably because it would have been crushing as well, so the answer to that I do not have.
    As we continue to establish new laws of freedom, a refreshing release of the conscience which now honors the flesh we worship today, we are birthing a great injustice upon humanity. IMHO Gary

  40. poohpity says:

    “As followers of Christ, we have seen Someone who knew more about the wrongness and pain of other people’s sin than we will ever know. We owe our lives to someone who also knew more about love than we will ever show.” Mart De Haan

    Sounds like more wisdom, truth and love in those two sentences than all the other bloviating combined. Be judged with the same standards you are judging that should scare anyone into silence.

  41. kingdomkid7 says:

    You are too kind, Gary. As I’ve heard you say before, (I think), we must stand for something lest we fall for anything. Ephesians 6:10-20.

  42. Jwigg says:

    It is true that the lust of the men of Sodom was only a part of a consumerism culture where it was “every man for himself and the Devil take the hindermost”. We have come to treat one another as “consumer goods” instead of recognising each other as human beings created after the image and likeness of God.

    The pain of same-sex attracted persons who live out their urges or who continually wrestle with a contradiction between feelings and human physiology and anatomy is doubtless very real: Some respond by taking their own lives.

    The matter is not helped by allegations that human conduct is nothing more or less than an outcome of genetic mutations or environmental stimuli: If this is the true account of why people do what they do, then freedom and dignity are baseless, unattainable myths… nor can human reason itself be trusted – democracy might just as well be abandoned for either total anarchy or for total tyranny!

    Yes, there is hypocrisy: Heterosexually-oriented violations of divinely ordained marriage and family kinship bonds should not be treated as preferable to similar violations of a same-sex-oriented character.

    Our culture’s effective decriminalisation of adultery and other forms of heterosexual fornication are not entirely unrelated to the emergence of the GLBTIQ community as a political and social force to be reckoned with: Some who leave “straight” marriages choose same-sex relationships for their next intimate partnerships; Offspring of divorced parents are likely to find a same-sex relationship more attractive than are young people who experienced the stable, loving care of both Mum and Dad for their whole upbringing.

    Christ came to call sinners to repentance – no matter of what particular stripe their sin happens to be. He died for us while we were still sinners, so that we might die to sin and be made alive to His righteousness… No such death is painless…

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