6 Ways Christians Lost This Week

regret

We who call ourselves Christians lost a great deal over the past few days, though it’s probably not in the way you might think.

1) We lost the chance to be loving.

So many professed followers of Jesus spent the last week on the attack, desperately fighting a battle long after it had already been decided. Instead of simply looking for ways to personally affirm our faith in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision, too many of us frankly just lost it. We spit out vitriol and we cursed strangers and we lamented America’s demise and we threatened with Bible verses and we treated others with contempt. Our response to the LGBT community and those who support them wasn’t compassion and decency and peacemaking, it was sour grapes, damnation, and middle fingers.

By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35

2) We lost the chance to be good neighbors. 

Rather than using the events of this past week as the springboard for conversation with people around us; as a way to build relationship with those who may not share our beliefs or our worldview, we pushed them further away. We used our social media profiles and our workplaces and our cul-de-sac chats to create distance between us and those who disagree with us. We stood on principles and we walked all over people. We became really difficult to live with and be around.

He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”  Luke 10:27

3) We lost the chance to be Good Samaritans.

We could have looked around at the hurt generated this past week; at the deep sadness so many LGBT people and their loved ones felt at being the center of such violent arguments and the horrible aftermath of them, and responded in love. We could have moved toward them with the mercy and gentleness of Christ, seeking to be the binders of the wounds. Instead, far too many of us felt compelled to rub salt deeply into them. We basically walked past those who were down—and we kicked them hard on the way.

“Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.” Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”  Luke 10:36-37

4) We lost the opportunity to show how big God is.

With all the fatalistic sky is falling rhetoric and raw-throated “The End is Near” prognostications, what so many Christians did for the watching world was inadvertently paint the image of a God who is hopelessly on the ropes; not all-powerful, not all-knowing, not at all able to withstand the slightest changes in our world. We completely neutered God by horribly overstating the circumstances and crying wolf yet again.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

5) We lost the chance to reflect Christ.

Let’s be honest: some of us really dropped the ball this week on both sides of the discussions. Many of us crusaded on social media or staged tirades from the pulpit or spewed hatred across dinner tables. We argued and complained and petitioned and boycotted and protested, and we did just about everything but leave people with the sweet, restful essence of Jesus. We instead left them a Christ devoid of compassion or kindness or love, and we ensured that many who previously saw all Christians as judgmental, hypocritical jerks—felt completely correct in those assumptions. Faced with people who disagreed with us, we talked about them, shouted at them, yet failed to listen to them.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. Matthew 5:16

6) We lost people.

We gave those who live outside of our faith tradition, very little reason to move any closer. By choosing to be rude and argumentative and hateful, we made Jesus fairly irrelevant; an option not really worth considering. Make no mistake, the eyes of the world were fully on the American Church this week, and too much of what they saw was a pretty lousy testimony to a God of love. Many people looked at the rotten fruit of our faith and simply turned away for good.

Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come! Matthew 18:7


This stuff should simply break our collective hearts.

All of us who claim Christ need to do some honest, invasive personal reflection.

Regardless of our feelings about the Supreme Court’s decision, it’s clear that Christians lost far more valuable things than we realize this week; things we better fight to get back.

 

1,101 thoughts on “6 Ways Christians Lost This Week

  1. Great post! I claim Christ but have no problem with gay marriage. If more people opened their hearts and their minds as Christ did, this world would be a much more beautiful place. Be well.

    • It is impossible to claim Christ and give approval to homosexual behavior. In fact, it is evidence that you have never believed the Gospel to say that what is a sin, is not a sin.

      • Actually it’s not, I assure you lol. It is not for you or I to approve or disapprove. The fact that u just post anonymously tells me all I need to lol. Good luck n God bless 🙂

      • So I guess you are prepared to be just as forceful against the eating of catfish or shellfish. And you would NEVER wear cotton and wool at the same time!

        Or do you think those rules were only important at the time?

        We call this “cherry picking”. It always makes me wonder how you choose what you choose.

        • Did you read the article? Have you read the words of Christ?
          By the way, Jesus IS God. He fulfilled the prophecies by coming to us…the Levitical laws were not commandments, except for the ones he specifically repeated when He walked among us. I’d say maybe you’ve been cherry picking, and haven’t really read all of His words.

      • I hope you have no friends who are divorced. I hope you have no friends or relatives who wear two different fabrics at one time. I hope you have no friends or relatives who eat meat from animals with cloven hoofs. I hope you or your friends or relatives do not eat shellfish. These all are sins and you cannot give approval to those kinds of behaviors. If you do you will surely go to hell.

        • They were not sins…they were Levitical laws, which Jesus came to change…please read His words and study them. Then you’ll understand.

          • If you say if something is an abomination to God then, then it’s an abomination now. That includes mixed fabrics, shrimp and pork, and eating with Gentiles.

            Take your own advice and you will see the Same sex relations in Leviticus refered to temple prostitution. As is Romans.

            Also abomination never refers to sin, but tobah, which means “ritualistically unclean”, not a moral evil. Anything listed as an abomination in Leviticus is stictly cerimonial laws, which never applied to Gentiles.

            Or you can stop quit picking cherries.

            But you won’t. Fundamentalists don’t have the humility to do so.

      • And amazingly, Dave, you continue with #6. I’ve never been a church-goer, and I assure you imagining that waiting for me inside (I’m BT out of that acronym), I won’t be anytime soon.

      • Loving sinners does not mean we are approving their sin. Jesus loved sinners so that they would turn from their sin; he did not try to hate them into it as many Christians do. The Pharisees criticized him with eating meals with prostitutes and tax collectors. That is exactly what Christians do today. What has that ever accomplished? We need to love homosexuals just as we are willing to love any other sinner (including ourselves), so that they will see that God loves them. Then once they turn to Him, God can work in them and through us to address their specific sins.

      • Bravo, Dave. I am so tired of the new age, liberal hippie version of Christianity. When the woman taken in adultery was brought before the Savior, he didn’t say, “No worries. I love all people. No harm, no foul. He said, “Go thy way and sin no more.” It was a combination of justice and mercy, but all these lib types see if the mercy. Throw standards out the window, and you throw the gospel out the window.

        • “All these lib types see is the mercy” isn’t exactly the truth, but we do put a whole lot of emphasis on it in order to counteract the damage done by the Keepers of the Law who seem to see no mercy at all. I recognize homosexual behavior as sin and try to show the same mercy as I’d like to be shown. In the example of the prostitute, before he told her to “go and sin no more” He successfully kept her from being stoned by the people who have the same attitudes of many in the church. He saved her life first. That can not be forgotten or neglected, or the whole Scripture is skewed.

          • He also stopped and wrote in the sand, probably ALL their names…indicating that we all sin and in their judgment they should ALL have been stoned…then He told them all that if any if them were sinless, after He wrote in the sand, then they could start the stoning.

            We Christians who bring this topic to light are not stoning…we write our own names in the sand and cannot cast stones…but we love our fellow man enough to tell them the hard truth that the sin they love so much will keep them from eternal heaven. Just the same as us keeping our sins will bar us from it as well.

        • Cari, because we know the treasure if heaven with our beloved savior is not something we want anyone to miss…
          And because we love as Christ told us to do.

      • Dave O’Brien: What is your definition of sin? Not all followers of Christ have the same view of what constitutes sin. Is it a hard and fast rule because the Bible says so, or is it an action committed that places you at a further distance from God, or is it something else?

      • Dave O’Brien,
        You are exactly correct.
        This was a blasphemous post against Christianity, Jesus and God.

        And as I read some of the posts below in response to your post I am truly amazed at how little people know or understand the Bible and the different covenants God made with his people requiring different things at different times. We are no longer under any Old Covenant established in the Old Testament , but under a New Covenant established with the death of Jesus and the Old Covenant and requirements were done away with …

        2Timothy 4:2-4
        Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear

      • Where in the Gospel (which means the New Testament) does it say that homosexuality is a sin?

        And where did Jesus teach that we must judge and shun sinners, instead of embrace them as neighbors?

        Waiting for your educated replies…

        • JESUS ON HOMOSEXUALITY
          Posted by Pastor J.D. on January 31, 2011
          We can be sure that Jesus viewed homosexuality as a sin. How do we know? 3 ways:

          1) Jesus did not come to abolish the law, but fulfill it. There were dimensions of the Jewish law that do not carry over into Christianity. But Christ told us He fulfilled the law, not reneged on it. As He explained, He heightened its morality (Matt 5:17-20); fulfilled its signs, made good on its promises and gave substance to its shadows (Luke 24:46-47). He did not come hat in hand conceding that Old Testament God was backwards and uninformed. Leviticus says that God finds homosexuality “detestable” (Lev 18:22). God did not change, morally, in the New Testament. What God finds detestable one day He does not suddenly find agreeable the next. Now, if anything, Jesus says, we have a morality that now supercedes, and not contradicts, the moral law (Matt 5:17-21). Certain ceremonial shadows and social codes were fulfilled in Christ, but He did not, in any way, come to revise the God behind the law.

          But why, you ask, didn’t Jesus speak directly against homosexuality? Simply put, He assumed the moral tenets of the Mosaic law, as did the people He spoke to. He also didn’t directly speak against bestiality, genocide, child molestation, or gang rape because these things were assumed, based on the Mosaic Law, to be sinful. You cannot separate His teaching from its Old Testament backdrop. His every word, He said, has its anchor and meaning in the Old. It is true that Jesus said that the Great Commandment was to “love God and love others” (Matthew 22:37-38) but note that He said in that same passage that that “Great Commandment” was the summation of the OT law. In other words, the OT law was an expression of what it looked like to love God and love others. “Love God and love others” was an abbreviated version of what the OT law gave in longer form.

          To say that because He never mentioned it we should assume He’s ambivalent about it is the logical fallacy of “argument from silence,” and in this case its a really bad one that completely ignores Jesus’ context.

          2) Positively, Jesus affirmed the Mosaic on marriage as between a man and a woman (Matthew 5:32ff; Mark 10:7-11, et al). Jesus’ morality was more a positive assertion than a negative delineation. Jesus gave us a positive vision of sexuality and marriage, which is a man and woman in consensual, lifelong commitment. What falls short of the positive ideal is “sin.” In fact, that’s literally what the Greek word for sin (hamar) means: “to fall short of the mark.” Thus, any form of sexual deviation from that (polygamy, homosexuality, sex outside of marriage) is considered sinful.

          3) Jesus’ followers, to whom he committed the job of explicating his teaching (John 14:26), were more than clear on the issue when it became relevant to address. As opposed to Jesus’ Palestinian context, in Paul’s context, the Greco-Roman world, homosexuality was a real issue. So we should not be surprised Paul was clear on it. He called “women giving up natural relations and burning in lust for one another,” and men doing the same, a sign of God’s judgment (Romans 1:26-27; cf. 1 Cor 6:9-11 and 1 Tim 6:10).

          Thus, what you see is that ANY place where homosexuality is an issue, whether in Moses’ time (the Canaanites) or Paul’s time (the Roman world), homosexuality is explicitly called sin.

          For this reason, we do not believe this is an issue Christians can divide over and still stand together in fellowship like they can on so many other issues. If we are correct that Romans 1:26-27 is indeed talking about homosexuality, then there is no way it can be an inconsequential issue to us. The God we claim to love says it is an abomination to Him, and we can’t say that we love God and have fellowship with what He finds abominable. Think of it this way: What do you personally find abominable? Could you be in open fellowship with someone who practiced that very thing? We love both God and the homosexual too much to turn our head to what angers the one and destroys the soul of the other.

          This does NOT meant that we can’t be friends with people who are homosexuals. As the Apostle Paul explains, Jesus was the friend of sinners, starting with us! Our sin was an abomination in God’s eyes, and we were ourselves worthy of His judgment (Romans 6:23), and He loved us enough to come to earth to live among us, befriend us, and die for us. This means that we can’t stand together with someone who claims to represent Christ and openly embraces what we believe put Him on the cross (1 Cor 5:1-13). We welcome people to our church, and into our lives, who are homosexuals, but we can’t embrace anyone in a ministry leadership capacity who lives in what we believe to be defiance of His word.

          ****

          If this makes you really mad, let me remind you that sexual ethics are not the center of Christianity. The gospel is. If Jesus’ teaching (or my explanation) on this really bothers you, punt it for a while. Jesus’ central message was not instructing us in a political platform, but saving us from ourselves. Study Jesus; and, if you conclude, as I have, that He is Lord, then you can and should surrender to Him in all things He teaches, whether you agree with Him or not. So take time to consider that first, and don’t be segued by secondary issues. Sexual mores were not the center of Jesus’ message, and so they are not the center of our ministry, either. The cross and crown of Jesus are the center. Start with His cross, undertaken for you, and then move your way out to the less important matters. Jesus of Nazareth welcomed into His presence all manner of people struggling to figure out who He is, and we welcome you to our church, as well.

          There are many things I still find offensive about Jesus, but the more that I know Him, the more I become convinced that His way is the right way.

          And, on this journey, you are welcome at our church… not to use a cliche, but it is a “safe” place where you can suspend the questions about sexuality and just learn about Jesus. We are committed not to isolating or judging anybody. Come and learn about the beauty of Jesus, and let Him lead you.

      • 6 Let nobody deceive you with empty words, for because of these things God’s wrath comes on the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them, 8 for you were at one time darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of the light – 9 for the fruit of the light consists in all goodness, righteousness, and truth – 10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. 11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. 12 For the things they do in secret are shameful even to mention. 13 But all things being exposed by the light are made evident. 14 For everything made evident is light, and for this reason it says:

        “Awake, O sleeper!
        Rise from the dead,
        and Christ will shine on you! Ephesians 5:6-14

      • Shon – I read the article from your link. The New Testament quotes put adulterers and thieves in the same category as homosexuals. Can adulterers get married? Do people refuse them wedding cakes?

        Dave- why is this “sin” different than any other? Can thieves and adulters claim to be Christians? Many do…Christans aren’t without sin. If that was a requirement there would be no Christians.

      • I didn’t read anything that said approve of the sin. It’s talking about grace and mercy and sharing that instead of judgement and condemnation. And you think Jesus wouldn’t love a homosexual? He loves you, doesn’t he?

        • Because feeding a lot of people with very little food somehow says that homosexual contraception is so superior to hterosexual procreation that we must destroy the family to support homosexuality?

      • So if you have sex before marriage you cannot be Christian. If you get divorced you cannot be Christian. If you watch porn you cannot be Christian. If you work on Saturday or Sunday you cannot be Christian. There are plenty of other actions you can be apart of that are sinful. No one sin is greater than the other. A sin cannot be undone, you can’t get your virginity back, or take back a divorce and all be well. It is not your place to judge others or tell others they cannot be Christian because they are something you disapprove of. Every human being should have the right to whatever religion they chose. Faith is an individual’s relationship with their creator, not an organized meeting held each week so don’t tell others what they can and cannot be only ‘God’ if such a being exists may do so.

    • Since you claim Christ, what do you do with his words concerning God’s plan for marriage from Matthew 19? Just a question. We can’t ignore it, whichever side we are on in this issue.

      • Matthew 19 does have a lot of points. God seems to have a best plan, but Thank God, seems like Mercy is a big part of this…

    • You DO understand that is NOT what the author of this article is saying. He is saying what we see the BIble saying against homosexuality, we should have used this week as an opportunity to reach out in love to people. This author is in no way saying that Christ would approve of gay marriage.

    • That is strange , we do not hate the LGDT, just the sin, Christ said it was an abomination to Him, the reason He destroyed Sodom And Gomorra. I was taught to see evil and to not call it evil, is evil it’ self . I WOULD NEVER DENY HELP or assistance to a gay person, I would still be a good Samaritan, You have turned the Christian view of what the Supreme Court decided about marriage; AS MEAN AND VINDICTIVE God says it is between a man and a woman. ;It is you who is twisting God’s word against those who are trying to follow it

      • I said nothing about hate Mary. And I am sorry you see this as a choice or a sin. So now I’m mean and vindictive? Lol Dial back the crazy just a tad and stop picking fights with people who think differently than you. Have a great day 🙂

      • If you read the book of Ezekiel, you’ll discover that the reason Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed was not because of sex or homosexuality. Rather, it was because the residents refused to be hospitable to others and to care for their neighbors. “”Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”

    • IMO I don’t think Christians lost anything, They still have Christ, their cornerstone. What else do we need? Christians didn’t lost salvation. If nothing else, it strengthened every God-fearing Christians relationship with their Savior. Jesus, through love, spent his days preaching the gospel and God’s word with the hopes of getting every unbeliever to repent and follow God and to strengthen every believers heart. The only ones that feel that Christians lost something are those that follow sin.

    • well I should love homosexuals, they are as well pre-loved by God even before the creation of the world…their feelings are real to the core, their conviction on what they are doing is very strong and they think there’s no way they can go against what they’ve been doing for a long time, but I strongly disagree with same sex marriage. Our God is pure goodness, there’s no way a homosexual act could be acceptable in the eyes of God. God’s goodness has already existed long before our existence in this world and no one can bring down the level of God’s pure goodness to make sins become acceptable in the eyes of God. There can be no acceptance of sins because sins are not for acceptance but to be forgiven. One has to ask for forgiveness from God through His only begotten Son Jesus Christ so that sins maybe forgiven. If our law of the land as well as some of our Christian churches will allow same sex marriage, people might think that same sex marriage is acceptable in God’s eyes and in God’s level of goodness, the possibility of homosexuals to ask for forgiveness from God will be none because they will start to think that their deeds are already acceptable by God. My love and prayer to all my homosexual brothers in Christ. May the God almighty bless us all!

    • I know your intentions are good, but please think about what you’re saying. What if I said, ‘I claim Christ but have no problem with straight people.’ Even if you don’t have a ‘problem’ with gay people, you clearly have judgment about being gay. Consider this if you really want to express Christlike, unconditional love: ‘Because I love and follow Christ, I embrace and value ALL persons as worthy and valuable.’ Period. (-:

      • Really? Lol Did u read the post? It wasn’t talking about ALL persons silly! Actually I have absolutely no judgement whatsoever for gay, straight, transgender, etc. I am close friends with a lesbian couple. My hubby’s Uncle is gay and he and his boyfriend are 2 of my favorite people. I find it hysterical that ur clearly barking up the wrong tree. But I would like to point out that it was extremely hypocritical and NOT Christlike to judge me! You obviously have some issues but they aren’t mine. I am all about the love, hope, peace and kindness. Be well n don’t go looking for judgements where there are none. Oh n FYI made out with a girl in college n liked it lol.

    • Christ is love! But love does not simply tolerate and accept all things. As parents, our children might be tempted to feel (falsely) love if we simply let them do whatever they want. How many of us have, at one time, told our parents”i hate you!!” when we didn’t get our way, especially when it was something we really wanted? But aren’t they really looking out for our best interest? Yes. Christians are not making these things up. We are trying to live according to God’s perfect will with His constant and patient help…and this is what He calls us to do. We have tasted His undeserved grace and have stopped rebelling against Him. If we don’t seem to show love as we should or even the way man thinks we should, forgive us. It is a tightrope to stand for righteousness and yet have compassion for those who are still in sin and in need of the Savior! God died for you and He died for us. We have accepted this amazing and free gift and we– Jesus and us– want the same for you. But if you continue to resist, you are still accountable to Him in the end.

      • Are u batshit crazy? Lol I have never and will never resist God or Jesus. It is not for you or I to decide who needs saving. I do unto others as I would have done unto me. Be well n dial back the crazy k?

    • You are right, don’t we all just want to be loved and accepted we are all different created that way by God

  2. Do you really think your homosexual friends will leave your family alone now that they have gained the victory?

    • Just when did LGBT Americans cook up a Hate Vote meant to deprive anti-gays of their Constitutionally protected right to marry the person they love, the way anti-gays attacked LGBT Americans? US Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy has twice condemned anti-gays for attacking the children of same gender American parents that way, recognizing anti-gays didn’t leave those millions of American families alone. And when did the many Christian and Jewish denominations who want to marry same gender couples try to deprive other churches of their Freedom of Religion? The North Carolina anti-gay Hate Vote of May 2012 (at a GOP-only primary election) forbade any minister even to perform a commitment ceremony for same gender couples; the way that hate Vote was revoked is the United Church of Christ filed suit in federal court to reclaim their Freedom Of Religion there.

    • Do you really think my homosexual friends want anything to do with bigots like you? They just want to be left alone. Quit trying to stigmatize them in the name of your religion.

      • 1. As soon as you start name calling (“bigots”), you lose all credibility and destroy your own argument.
        2. They just want to be left alone? Tell that to the Christian bakery in Oregon that was just fined $135,000 for refusing to make a cake for a gay wedding.

      • Then why are homosexuals constantly sueing Christians for their beliefs? One man is even sueing Bible publishers for their use of the word homosexual in their Bibles. How is that wanting to be left alone?

    • What are they going to do to people’s families? I’m very curious about what kinds of things LGBTQ folks are doing to bother people’s families.

      • What I persist in wondering is how being gay is “anti-family.” Do you really think LGBT people sprang up from the ground, without any assistance from parents, siblings, or grandparents? What IS anti-family is the way some LGBT people, in the name of Christ, are disowned from their families. You mess with gay people, you ARE messing with my family. So keep your “family values” BS and find something else to do, please and thank you.

    • Stand up to the Radical Christofascist Agenda, before they turn their merciless bigotry on YOUR family’s constitutional equality.

    • Ted. What are you babbling about now? What? Are they going to rape us? Are they going to give our kids penis-shaped watermelon Popsicles? You really should get some professional help because you seem to be obsessed with the dangers of gayness as if gay people are powerful 12-foot spiders or something. They are just people.

      • Bullied my son. Tried to get him to change in the 4th Grade. Bullied him for being Catholic in the 6th grade. If the current infiltration of sexual education classes continues, I would not be amazed to be filing sexual harassment charges next year.

    • My homosexual friends have never bothered my family. I have had them to dinner, and parties and no one has been bothered by them. Whatever are you going on about??? Are you constantly being bothered by your homosexual friends, what?

    • What a hypocrite you are! You make veiled reference to homosexuals attacking your family after the homosexual victory. First, the homosexual victory was all about the right to form a family without being subject to your approval, your church’s approval or your god’s approval. It’s the end of your Christian sense of entitlement to make life choices for others. It’s also your right not to need my approval and, believe me, you’d rarely gain my approval or respect. Second, in real life terms, explain how any of this could be an attack on your family. You choose your spouse, raise your kids and they’ll choose whether to follow your example or not. Allow me the same right. Keep your beliefs out of my life!

  3. As a transgender woman I find your remarks to be beautiful. I have two beautiful children that I am being kept from because of who I am and all I am is a loving parent. There is far too much hate and ignorance in this world and I am glad that someone like you can preach about gods love while not also demonizing lgbtq people. As you know that happens far to much in our society.

    • That website has an extensive record of bias against LGBT Americans. Can you provide a citation from a source that is not so clearly impeachable? How do we know they haven’t selectively edited–or outright faked–that video?

    • Three Points:

      1) The filming was biased in order to make all gay people look like deranged nutjobs.

      2) The film does not actually show anyone getting beaten, which suggests to me that this is propaganda and no one actually got beaten.

      3) If you are a fundie Christian and you go looking for trouble in the wrong crowd, do not be surprised if you find it.

    • There was no attack here. All I see is a couple of loudmouth bigots with microphones deliberately trying to instigate and disrupt a peaceful pride celebration. Shame on them.

      • Do not forget there is a lot of fear on both sides. Some of it is irrational, most is not. This has been a bloody war so far and now, thanks to five black robed dictators. It will only get worse.

    • “Conservative Post?”

      first of all, what in the story above did you not comprehend? This is about Christianity’s failings, and our tendency to react in a knee-jerk way to things we KNOW we cannot control, and you post a story from a questionable website?

      Try again, only this time, use something a little more credible than a site which pulls its “facts” from orifices one should never get anything from.

    • Not all Christians lost .. True Christians did not spew hatred. But those are the who seem to be ignored.. The ones who said they loved the sinner , not the sin.. I have gay and lesbian freinds,and they know where I stand.. BUT , they also know I love them and pray for them,and I do any sin. I am a sinner saved by Grace. And my heart’s desire is to see others saved. SHAME on you sir,for judging all christians,for adding to the war on Christians.. The least you could have done is commend those who the real love of Christ. If I didn’t love my neighbors,my freinds,gay or other wise,then the love of Christ is not in me. Look on both sides of this. My gay and lesbian freinds DO NOT parade the streets mocking God,mocking Christians,claiming hell sounds wonderful.. They are respectfull of my beliefs. And I love them for that.Further more,they have more respect for themselves to act like so many of them that dress half naked and flaunt themselves .. God have mercy on America,on all of us ????

      • Yes, we all lost–because the ones out there making the loudest noise, spreading bigotry, make it harder for the actual Gospel of Jesus Christ as revealer of God’s love to be heard. A great many of us are going on with our life under that Gospel, doing our best to love our neighbors and make the world a better place, but we are getting painted with the same brush as the bigots because they’re the ones who get on the “news” channels to scream.

      • Oh dear! Sounds to me like you definitely fit the bill of inclusion in “all” as your sentiments clearly place you in the seat of judging the sin of homosexuality, so even though you say you love your gay friends you keep throwing this sin thing at them because you think you have to save them. You need to let that go if you really want to love them as they will not feel your love while you accusing them of sin. Lol! Let the Holy Spirit be the One who brings conviction and judgement as He wills and not as you will. Love and peace to you, sister!

  4. This was healing for me, as an LGBT person. It’s been such a bittersweet week. There are constant and multiple dialogues in my head after the SCOTUS decision. Here’s a quick bit of my day-to-day inner dialogue, directed only at a composite of a certain type of fundamental evangelical Christian-not necessarily anyone in particular, or on this blog:

    “I hear you, former brothers and sisters of the faith. I hear you. I am totally unacceptable. I hear you telling each other to shake the dust (me) from your sandals and move on. I see you shielding your kids from my wife and foster-adopt kids in case the idea of me being acceptable rubs off. I hear you murmuring about God turning me over to my “wickedness” and washing His hands of me. I see the articles you post about how no kids should ever have to grow up with same gender parents. Not even the orphans.

    I see your drive to not be “ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ” and make sure you’re perfectly clear in telling me that I am lower than scum, ahem, a sinner. A riff-raff infidel. Totally backslidden. I see you shaking your heads in frustration at the Pride flags and rainbow gear around town, and starting your sentences of rebuttal with “God” + various verbs. “God hates.” “God does not….” “God wants you to….” “God’s hope is…” As if you feel you are His voice and that I obviously have missed His voice until I ran across you. As if the reason I am queer is because I simply haven’t studied the scriptures closely enough. As if my love is not worthy, or holy?, if it’s directed at certain people. As if certain people do not deserve love.

    I feel the energy of you working your way away from me because you cannot abide my proximity for long.

    …maybe if the gays are more acknowledged by being acceptable enough to have the Supreme Court grant the right to wed, I won’t be a disgusting, nauseating, gross abomination who only gets to interact with Christians because they’re just waiting for the right lull in the conversation to penetrate my psyche and start their conversion message. I miss my old evangelical posse. I know I’m nothing to you now but a project. An example of what not to be. You don’t rrrrrreally care how my day was. You’re just waiting. Waiting on me to hush so you can leap and try to be a part of my repentance. Seriously, what would you have me do, leave my wife and 3 foster-adopt kids? If I could shake off the queer, believe me, I would. But the God in MY heart says, ‘be love.’ So, I will create and allow love right where I am. I don’t believe you Christians when you say you speak the truth.”

    • Come be part of my ‘evangelical’ circle. We’d just love you. Maybe cook some food. Share conversation over wine. On the patio of course – while we watch all of our kids play. We’d tell stories of hope and grace and redemption in our own lives. And wonder at how amazing it is that Jesus loves us with such depth when we’ve done nothing to deserve it. I think that’s the part that a lot of modern Christians are forgetting – we’ve done nothing to deserve that love but he gives it freely if we only ask and seek him. We all fall short, way short so no need to be on a high horse, just down on our knees, and perhaps walking hand in hand with one another.
      XO

    • Have you heard about Jesus?

      I think the Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals ask that question out of rank stupidity. I can maybe understand someone asking that question in Vermont—but not anywhere down South where I grew up.

      The answer down here is:

      “Only every other damned minute since the day I was born. Now, get out of here.”

    • Oh my sister – please know that there are many Christians who celebrate you just as you are and vote for equality and preach and teach equality. We are not all waiting to attack. You are loved. So I hope many will see the light shining from your heart. Be love. Beloved.

    • Be sure the god in your heart is in concert with the God of the Word. Too many within and without the church are deceived by the voices in their heads and hearts. God does not lie. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And His Word never contradicts itself.

      I have no ability within myself to speak truth, unless I repeat God’s Word. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” All doesn’t mean some. “For God so loved the world, He gave His only Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life.” Whosoever doesn’t mean a certain few. But “all” and “Whosoever” come to God through Jesus on His terms, not ours. “If you love Me, you will keep My Words…”.

      The Bible is not multiple choice, nor can you tear out the parts you don’t like and live by those you agree with. “Our God is a consuming fire.” And He is in the business of transforming each one of His children to reflect Jesus. And “love” isn’t always warm fuzzies.

      • “All have sinned”: okay, fair enough. But is simply *being* LGBT a sin?

        Jesus did indeed say, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” But Jesus did not say one word in either direction about LGBT people, their orientations, or their relationships. So which commandments are we supposed to keep? “Love one another as I have loved you.” You’re right that love isn’t always a warm fuzzy feeling. But neither is it “love” to club someone over the head with your interpretation of the Bible in the hope of scaring them out of their sin, no matter how often fundies say it is.

  5. To be perfectly honest, I’m surprised at how POSITIVE the whole rainbow flag campaign on Facebook was. I changed my pic (albeit a bit late), as did others and no one that i know of received ONE bad comment. And one of the friends who changed their pic was a girl I went to a (theologically conservative) church with. So, overall, it wasn’t a bad experience. No status wars, no nothing.

  6. it is humorous how you use love passages as clobber verses and ignore the crystal clear prohibitions. The love of Christians toward gays should lead them to repentance, not glorification of sin.

    • Note this. The love passages in the New Testament are “clobber verses.” I guess that’s what they become when you spend your whole life avoiding them and not doing them as a matter of day-to-day Christian practice. Yes, the love of Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals toward gay people should be a reason for the Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals to repent of their sins toward the gay community.

    • How many non-virgin brides have you stoned to death?
      How many of your neighbours have you killed for working on the sabbath?

      It is humorous how you choose which crystal clear prohibitions you wish to uphold.

    • For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”
      -Galatians 5:14

      Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
      -Matthew 22

      If you’re not using the “love clobber verses” you misunderstand the law and you aren’t following Christ’s command or example.

    • Sorry idojunkmail,

      You don’t get to rule the lives of other people. You can “should” all you want. But when so-called christians mostly preach hate, why would anyone wish to follow them?

  7. Wow! No comments? I am surprised. As usual you hit the nail on the head, John. And, yes, we all need to re-examine our faith and our attitudes. Just been reading some verses from Luke 6 which really challenge us as Christians. In the verses I was reading there are 5 essential things for us to do as followers of Christ (and we can’t do these without His help): Love our enemies; Forgive; Give, and give, and give; Don’t judge; Be merciful. Thanks for your blog. It always brings life. Bless you!

  8. “Make no mistake, the eyes of the world were fully on the American Church this week, and too much of what they saw was a pretty lousy testimony to a God of love. Many people looked at the rotten fruit of our faith and simply turned away for good.”

    I agree, but this might not be ALL bad. I believe the American Church (as a whole – there are always exceptions) has lost the message of the Gospel of Christ, and therefore DESERVES to become “irrelevant” and to be “turned away” from. It’s quite possible that the proclamation of 1 Peter 4:17-18 is happening right now. The church is being “judged” (revealed) and found wanting, because it does not obey the Gospel of God, but merely a shallow shadow of “righteousness”. Maybe it’s time to let the Spirit blow some “chaff” away, and for a renewal (not a “REVIVAL”) of the Gospel to gather Christians from all over the world into a small but effective “tool” for the Spirit to being to speak LIFE, rather than law, back into the world.

    Just a thought.

  9. Well said, but for #3, I don’t think anyone in the gay community was down after the supreme court decision.

    What you have written here are all the reasons I left Christianity in my teens…and never looked back. Today (decades later) I am a better person for it as I no longer tolerate unkindness, marginalizing anyone, divisiveness, vitriol, hatred, or injecting “fear of the devil” or “fear of hell” into anyone’s reality. So glad I left Christianity. It has made me a better person to not be a part of that. We are all simply humans, each on our own path through this particular life.

    Nope, I’m not a paid shill or a religion hater or an atheist, just someone who realized in my teens that any religion that told me my gay brother, who is a good human being, was going to hell simply for being who he was, well that wasn’t anything I’d want to be a part of. For what it’s worth, he is married now and has been in that relationship longer than any of his siblings has been married (and he is not the oldest sibling). That’s true commitment and it inspired me to find the love of my life.

    We are all one species: homo sapiens, humanity, humans. Color and sexuality are irrelevant. Everyone needs to accept each other as simply human and be kind to each other. Isn’t that was Jesus was really talking about? Love one another? Wouldn’t the world be a much better place if everyone did that? I honor the man and his ideals, but not the various versions of the religion that sprung up after him and spewed out things that further separated humans from each other.

    No, I will not respond to any hater comments. Kindness is my path now. To anyone else reading my comment, will it be yours? What will you say to other humans in your comments? Are your beliefs about the LGBT community your own, or were they simply pummeled into you from a pulpit beginning at a young age? Think about it. I hope you are as thoughtful and kind in your comments as the author of this article. Again, well said, sir. Nice to meet you.

    For what it’s worth, all of the children in our family were raised to be accepting of the gay members of our family and none of them grew up to be gay. That’s simply not how it works. In our experience, that’s a myth. The kids loved Uncle Earl at family gatherings…he was one of the most fun uncles they had growing up and he made our parties more enjoyable for our kids. I’m so glad he is in our lives and that he married my brother as soon as it became legal in their state. Theirs is truly a marriage of commitment and I am so thankful they are able to be legally recognized as spouses now. Love you, Chuck.

    • I left Evangelical Christianity, too. I have since felt called to different paths, but if you’re at all inclined, I would encourage you to consider the more Progressive versions of Christianity-like the Episcopal Church. They are quite affirming, and would welcome your brother as well. They will even perform gay weddings.

      Anyway, it was nice to find I’m not the only post-Christian following this blog. I’m always searching for God/Jesus/Source/Whomever, and I so rarely find it with Evangelicals. But I do find it here with Rev. John. Best to you!

    • Wow. What kind of God do you worship? And don’t pretend you don’t sin. Don’t pretend that you are better than anyone else. You, Sir, are not clothed in a saintly glow. You are right though, about one thing. We do know how it will end and we will all be judged. I wish you luck.

  10. It seems many Christian’s have the deeply misconceived belief that to be loving to those whose orientation they despise, means they, themselves have to accept that same orientation as not being sinful. Christ himself said, in a deeply compassionate way to LOVE THE SINNER BUT NOT THE SIN. Why should it be so awfully hard for Christian’s to do likewise.

    Suanne – Interlochen MI – Green Lake Township

    • How about just not attacking them and passing laws meant to deprive them of the rights you take for granted? The many anti-gay Hate Votes and Hate Laws are a very poor example of “love.”

    • Actually Christ did not say this… It’s from St. Augustine. It is from his letter 211 (c. 424) which contains the phrase “Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum,” which loosely translates to “With love for mankind and hatred of sins.”

      • Danni – thank you for the clarification. Even so, it is a fact that most people will never attain that level of spiritual maturity found in the heart of St. Augustine.

    • Suanne. First of all, to the best of my recollection, Jesus never said that. It is an old Baptist aphorism used by preachers. I have a friend who is a clinical psychologist. His business is emotions. He is also a recovering fundie. He tells me, from a human psychology standpoint, that the average person is going to end up hating both the sin and the sinner, which I think has been clearly and unequivocally demonstrated in this gay marriage fight that has been underway for a while now. Anytime I hear that phrase from a fundie anymore, my head response is: “Yeah, and I’m the Tooth Fairy.”

      Message to Fundies: It is a worn out cliche that nobody in their right mind believes anymore because your words do not jibe with your deeds.

      • Hi John,

        It must admit I do find it very difficult to love the sinner while at the same time hating his sin. I speak here of those who deliberately choose what they know is wrong versus what they know to be right. And yet, mother’s and dad’s choose to do this every hour of every regarding the children they love. Although parents dislike, and may even hate the sin’s of their children, most do not stop loving the children because of the sin. But of course most people find it impossible to love others as deeply as ones own children, which is why it is, as you say, quite impossible to love the sinner while at the same time hating the sin. Just one perspective that seems to come to mind as being significant here.

        I do want to say I very much did appreciate the comment from your friend, the clinical psychologist regarding fundamentalism. Takes me back to the very first garden on earth. Was there REALLY a snake there and did it REALLY talk?

        Hmmmm.

        Suanne

        • There was no snake there, and it did not talk. Genesis 1 and much of the rest of Genesis is a collection of parables. Jesus loved to teach in parables, and he uses Genesis to communicate important spiritual things in parables. Otherwise, he would have had to lecture ancient, bare-bottom Jews who herded goats in biochemistry, genetics, and modern geology—to which they would have answered: “Huh????” God is pretty smart. Fundies—not so much.

    • That’s why I use terms like “too many” or “some” or “most”. I don’t fit into them either, as much as I am able to prevent it. The evidence out there is irrefutable.

    • I’m with you. Most of the Christians I associate with do not fit in these categories either. I’ve seen more attacks and inappropriate behavior from those who feel like they have gained personal victory and vindication from the Supreme Court ruling. Breaks my heart.

    • I’m with you. Most of the Christians I know do not fit in these categories. I have seen more attacks and inappropriate behavior from those who feel victory or personal vindication from the Supreme Court ruling. Breaks my heart.

  11. I wholeheartedly agree, but I am encouraged because there has also been a win this week as well. The way the Emanuel AME Church has dealt with tragedy has been inspiring. They have been a Light to the world and a true representation of Jesus.

    • I agree Michael. We in the white churches of America have true saints in our midst, and they all attend a nonwhite church. White churches and nonwhite churches. Jesus needs to kick us square in the ass. We could all learn a lot from our brothers and sisters in those black churches.

  12. Brilliant analysis, John, and one I also have received into my own mind by means of my soul’s influence. The Holy Spirit speaks very different words into and then through our minds than does the body with its own sinful heart full of fear and the desire for control. It is out of our body’s language of fear that we act to control others in the most unloving of ways. It is out of our soul’s language of love that we act to influence quite apart from controlling. Our minds are positioned in the middle to decide between the world’s voices affirming our collective fear, and the Holy Spirit’s inner still voice advocating for our collective love. Your choice, dear brother, is clearly the latter. May your love bear much fruitful influence and may we choose who claim Christian faith join you in greater number!

  13. I find myself more sad than angry when I read the comments of a few on my timeline who have a very different belief system than I do regarding the decision of the SCOTUS.

  14. Thank you, John. I couldn’t have said it better myself. Where, indeed, is God’s love in all this hate? Where are Christ’s teachings of love and tolerance in all this verbal judgmental damnation?

    ‘Do onto others as you would have others do onto you.’

  15. Perhaps people who identify with Jesus should come to the conclusion as I have that “Christian” means something different.
    If you stake your spirituality on your newspaper or the talking heads that populate your TV you will have a negative reaction to most events. The first heartstring pulled for Christ followers may need to be “mind your own business”. The issue of gay or straight marriage would be better settled if our Government were not involved in it’s existence at all.

    • No, it would be better settled if the church was not involved in the legal part of it. Marriage is not a strictly religious institution; it is a legal covenant that comes with its own set of rights and responsibilities. As such it is required under our Constitution that it be applied equally to all couples, regardless of gender. Churches and other religious communities may decide which marriages they choose to bless, but they may not decide that the law must exclude the ones of which they disapprove.

  16. You shouldn’t generalize all Christians because of what you saw in the media and on social networks.

    “We” didn’t all act that way.

      • Just the noisiest of us, the ones the so-called “news” channels call upon to comment because they make the most noise and generate the most controversy, hence ratings, hence advertising dollars; and the ones for whom everything is fear and everything must be a fight. (I believe John has posted previously about the idolatry of fear in American evangelicalism, and that post is instructive this week, too.) There are plenty of us who don’t agree with the loudmouths, but we’re busy loving our neighbors and trying to live the Gospel of (the actual) Jesus Christ, which is about love, not fear and anger and bigotry, and nobody calls us to scream at anyone on the “news” channels.

    • You are soooo right Ronnie. Seems Pastor Paviovitz tends to want to speak for the rest of the world. I have to wonder why as it seems so very, very unfair.

      Suanne

  17. Thank you for your words of truth. I will confess that I have found it hard to be loving to all this week. I said little except read and ponder. I did have a few posts I removed and in my heat I hated them for being so hateful. Yes who is the sinner now, me. One of the most painful things for me to see was the assumption by many that there are no gay Christians. I know many some married some in long term relationships and some single. Leaving them out of this conversation was just really sad. Thanks again for your reminder what is worth dying for.

    • The most stable marriage in our family is gay — and he has not allowed to marry until now, but been with his partner in marriage for 20 years. Happy supportive, loving and kind.

  18. While I’m sure everything you’re saying is true, for my part, most of the positions I saw posted around the Internet this week were very supportive of the SCOTUS ruling. Those that were not were written with gentleness and respect and an invitation to friendly dialogue. I, for one, am proud of the face of the Church that I’ve seen this past week.

    • Matthew. I think what you really saw in the churches this week is what the U.S. Army used to call “shellshock.” It was also resignation to the fact that they had lost and were never going to win as a result of once again drawing a line in the sand that cannot be crossed and drawing it in the wrong place. The evangelicals have been drawing those lines in the sand since 1861, when they were right on abolition of slavery, and they have been drawing them in wrong places and getting their butts kicked for it ever since.

  19. While it is inappropriate to engage homosexuals with insults concerning their choice to give into their vile affections, it is quite appropriate to publicly call out anyone who claims to be a Christian and gives support our “hearty approval” to homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

    Loving your neighbor does not include changing social media profile pics to show solidarity. That is not love, but hate. Jesus showed love to all by dying for OUR sins, He did not tolerate them.

    Homosexuals are not victims, they are engaging in evil behavior, just as much as someone who commits adultery, rape, murder, child molestation. Yes, Jesus did not condemn the woman caught in adultery, and He would share a meal with homosexuals, but He would not marry them or buy them a condom.

    It appears that you are so against social justice, that if you saw a woman being raped, you would show “love” to the rapist, rather than the woman.

    • Why deliberately follow a Progressive Christian pastor’s blog if you feel this way? There are plenty of blogs that would probably suit your views more closely.

    • “Although they know God’s righteous decree — they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them” (Romans 1:32). We forget that though Jesus demonstrated love to all, He never condoned or celebrated sin. We forget that Jesus sent the rich young ruler away (was that loving?), that He spoke of a narrow gate that leads to life and that there are few who find it (Matthew 7). We forget that Jesus said we must eat His flesh and drink His blood, and that many deserted Him for this was too hard of a thing.

      I actually had a gay friend come and visit me after the SCOTUS ruling and we had a kind and warm discussion together. No hate, no condemnation. We know where we both stand and I will never treat her any different. But we cannot sacrifice God’s truth on the altar of popular opinion. Unfortunately, this seems to be nothing more than another post, in the loooong line of recent posts, where Christians bash other Christians in order to curry favor with the world (the number of pro-gay, anti-Christian comments confirms this). Yes, of course, let’s always demonstrate genuine love! After all, we are all sinners. But let’s also stand firm for God and His Word. Remember, Jesus said, “You will be hated by everyone because of me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 10:22).

    • “While it is inappropriate to engage homosexuals with insults concerning their choice to give into their vile affections,…”

      Said as you engage with an insult…

    • The term “homosexual” is an insult. The New York Times bans its use, except for rare situations as part of a direct quote. Of course, your entire post was replete with standard insults meant to demean, demonize and dehumanize LGBT Americans.

      You chose that term to indicate that when the subject is loving, committed same gender American couples who have been together 20-30-40 years finally being able to protect each other the way all other Americans take for granted, what you think instead is the same thing Antonin Scalia is thinking when he makes reference to sexual activity.

    • You seem to have an underlying issue with the sexual aspect of a committed homosexual relationship given your reference to “vile affections.” Perhaps you are referring to anal sex that gay men are presumed to engage in, and cunnilingus that lesbians are presumed to engage in. Perhaps you find these practices repugnant because you believe that good Christians have intercourse only in the missionary position, with their eyes closed. While this may be your limited practice, most recent studies show that 40% or more of heterosexual married couples have engaged in, as you put it, “vile affections”. Anal sex. And I would bet my last dollar that a significant percentage of good Christians practice these pagan rituals of anal sex and cunnilingus. So why is it only vile and disgusting when gays do it?

    • I pity the fool who compares consensual sex between two adults to the molestation of a child, or the murder of a person. It speaks volumes about their ability to rationalize and it invalidates their statements instantly. The fact you somehow announced that the author is alright with rape (which, by the way, is not necessarily only done by men – women rape men too) as a conclusion is highly disturbing. I can only wonder what goes on in your head, but I’m assuming very little of it is pretty.

      What is it you want to gain out of comments like these? Do you wish to insult and condemn on behalf of God (which, last I checked, is not your right to do so at all)? Do you wish to encourage homosexuals to change their ways? (If you are, talking like this will just make them get farther away from you than you ever imagined possible.) I see nothing constructive in your post, I only see judgment, hatred, the unwillingness to love the sinner but not the sin, an excuse to unleash pent up hatred through religious justification and highly disturbing thought processes that are enough of a concern that I recommend you seek counseling.

      If you want your voice to be heard, I recommend you do so respectfully. I’m unable to be respectful towards your comment because of how viciously laced with hatred and malice it is, which means that any form of debate is shut down. I can only voice my thoughts, but you’ve granted me no window to engage. I truly am sorry that this is all you’ve got, but it’s not too late to change your ways. I wish you a positive mindset and kindness in your future.

    • You, Sir. Shut up. You are obviously an extremist. My God and my Jesus would not tolerate your beliefs. You are a bigot. You are narrow-minded. You, Sir, have evil spewing out of your pores. Much of what you had to say doesn’t make any sense, nor is it applicable, but it sure does come across hateful. Shame on you using my God and my Jesus to try to skew the Bible into this nonsense.

    • Dave – it seems you have misinterpreted the tone of my comment entirely. Perhaps, if you were to work on your explosive anger issues, you might be able to see things more clearly. Your hatred seems red hot, but at.what or whom is quite a mystery. We all have value. And most importantly, we will all be judged someday by the same Creator. So try to calm down, buddy and who knows, you might even be able to plant a few seeds of love along the way.

      Suanne

    • Two Points:

      1) Jesus is tolerant of sin because you are still here and able to pot.

      2) If you ever attend a fundie college, are female, and get raped, one of the first things you will discover from the college administration is that the rape was ALL YOUR FAULT. They also ask you to repent of it and restore yourself to a positive relationship with your rapist and go on another date with him. Yeah. I got proof of that.

  20. Pingback: Six Ways Christians Lost This Week

  21. Reading your post, I concluded that you thought our manner of fighting might already be like hell. I happen to disagree, because I believe that we do God no favors when we pretend that something like this Supreme Court decision is no big deal. God expects us to engage in the public forum and be active.
    You did point out that some of the rhetoric claiming to be godly was not anything of the sort, and I get that. I don’t, however, think that fighting like hell will be an improvement. We are where we are because of the way hell fights and the way we don’t fight in a godly way.
    John the Baptist did not fight like hell, but he did call Pharisees vipers for being sellouts to hell’s side of the battle. Jesus called them white-washed sepulchers. Jesus did not pull punches when he needed to speak the truth, and neither should we.
    The Supreme Court decision was a victory for hell, and there are no two ways of looking at it. I don’t happen to think it is the end of the road for society or for religious liberty, any more than “Dred Scott” was the end of the road for the battle against slavery. The battle for those two values will likely be as tough as the battle against slavery.
    You are correct that Christian citizens who feel called of God to activism in the public forum need to submit to God’s leadership. It is hard to believe in the godly mission of someone who does not live a testimony to Christ. However, Christ himself had moments when his words were as sharp as any two-edged sword, and Christians engaged in the battle to save marriage and families in the US, not to mention to preserve the whole concept of liberty to speak and act on our faith, may need to speak with the skill of a surgeon rather than that of a massage therapist.

    • I understand your point Katherine. However, I do not see it as a victory for Hell. I see it as a victory over the Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical churches of today, which I see as being run by Satan and existing as part of Hell. The mainline churches and the black churches are about all Jesus has left of his own on this planet.

      • Since most black churches have nothing in common with mainline churches, don’t see how you group them together. However, more important is your dismissal of the Bible. God gave the Bible to be our guide for faith and life. I suggest you rethink your willingness to dismiss God’s own revelation of himself and his truth.
        Even the Bible points out that people in churches do go astray at times. However, the measure by which straying is identified is the truth God gave us. The churches who allege that God did not know enough to tell us the whole truth are wandering in a bog. May God shine his lightinto their hearts.

        • I happen to think they have a lot in common. Dismissal of the Bible? I am not dismissing the Bible. I am dismissing what your brain thinks it says and how you fail to take the whole Bible into account in making decisions based on scripture.

    • I’m a massage therapist with an IQ of 136+, B.S. degree from Duke University in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. I believe you’ve done this blog author a disservice with your dismal dismissal.

      • Hi Raybob. I have an IQ of 132. Graduated from The University of Tennessee (Knoxville main campus), and have an M.A. degree too with a 3.96 GPA. I agree with you.

      • I’m not sure what IQ has to do with anything, but in case it does, mine is 149. Rest assured that I was not demeaning massage therapy or massage therapists. I was comparing massage therapy side by side with surgery in order to demonstrate the difference between a surgical treatment, which is invasive and fraught with risk of excising the wrong tissue, and massage therapy, which is not invasive and does not entail the same risks as surgery.
        When Christians engage the culture, they must choose their approach prayerfully. When they look to Christ for guidance, they certainly see him holding children on his lap and dining with tax collectors. But they also see him nailing the Pharisees as decorated graves and lashing out with a whip in the temple. Jesus was not always gentle and mild. To be Christ-like in the current culture may very well discomfit some people, because it may also look a lot like Elijah.

  22. Hi John –

    To a significant extent what we are seeing is the problem of the “royal we”.

    Whenever I assume the right to speak for others I presume the position of sovereignty, pretending to speak for all of those “others.” If I identify myself as a Christian and make a blanket statement implying that I speak for all other Christians I am really saying several things:

    1. I have been appointed as the final arbiter of truth, interpreter of scripture, and magistrate of justice on behalf of the almighty.
    2. Thus anointed as the true voice of God, I have proclaimed what it means for everybody else to be a “true Christian.” Those who disagree with me are simply wrong, for I have been selected as the ultimate magistrate of the truth for everybody else.
    3. Those who do not agree with me and dare to speak otherwise are false prophets – and not true Christians.

    It should be no surprise that so many are ready to say, “Okay, what you are preaching does not align with the truth as I see it. It is cruel, arbitrary, and doesn’t fit in with how the world actually works, therefore I must not be a Christian.”

    How sad. How incredibly tragic.

    The reality is, I have no right to speak for others. I have no right to speak for God. I can only say, “This is how I understand God.” “This is how I understand Jesus.” “This is how, guided by that understanding, I choose to live the precious gift that is MY life to be in harmony with that understanding.”

    Those who assume they can tell me, or you, or anybody else how to read the Bible and what its true meaning is are assuming a position of sovereignty they have no right to, and when they purport to speak in the name of Christianity they do great damage.

    Regrettably, as we have seen demonstrated, there are multitudes who have appointed themselves to this august position of ultimate authority. So frightened are they of their worldview sinking into the tar-pit of history that they must bellow and growl, bearing their viscous jaws and strike out with their claws in the fading hope that they can hang on.

    The good news, if there is good news in this, is the truth of what you said in your “Jurassic Church World” post last month:

    This isn’t about abandoning religious tradition or the invaluable, timeless treasures of our faith history, it’s about jettisoning the restrictive, oppressive, damaging attack posture that has come to be the calling card of so much high-profile Christian leadership in the world.

    Hatred in the name of Jesus, is facing certain extinction.

    And the world will be far better for it.

    You were right on.

    Despite the protestations of the “tyrannosaurus rex” Christians in our midst, let us remember that they are reacting out of fear. I keep trying to remind myself that the only reaction that keeps me true to myself and my God is to reach out to them with love.

    Which isn’t easy.

    But then again, nobody said it was supposed to be easy.

    • Let’s see here, Paul was stoned, beaten with rods, imprisoned and beheaded. Peter, Andrew and Philip were crucified, John was dipped in boiling oil, Matthew was run through with a sword, Luke was hanged, Barnabas was stoned, James was beheaded and Bartholomew was whipped to death. Hmmm, had they just been more loving, perhaps they could have been more popular and accepted into their culture. After all, the Bible is ambiguous at best, and who are we to tell others what it says? Better yet, let’s just love everyone — which really means — let’s never discuss things like sin, Biblical standards or really anything that make us uncomfortable. I love this new Christianity you’re proposing! “Wide is the gate, many will find it” (I changed that verse — hope you don’t mind — but that’s “how I understand it” to read) I can do whatever I want because, “judge not lest ye be judged.” And if you point out the fact that I’m addicted to pornography, cheating on my wife, proud, arrogant, violent, etc. — well then, you’re not being very loving!! And you said this wasn’t going to be easy.

      • We have no time machine to go back, but if we did, I would lay you odds that all of those dead Bible guys were more like John Pavlovitz and than you. I really very much doubt that they went around “pointing out sin” at every possible opportunity—like you do. Loving your neighbor as yourself will get you dead quicker than just about anything. Try it sometime by being compassionate and speaking up for abused and oppressed workers in a corporate sweat shop—and we will see what ditch they find you lying face down in.

        • I guarantee you they were like neither. Christians who came out of the closet in those days were martyred very quickly.

    • A wonderful post as always Jeff. I tried reaching out to them in love 20 years ago. I really did and really hard—thinking the love in my heart and the Spirit of Jesus would win out. All I got in return was being told that I was not a real Christian, that Christian love is a sign of weakness in Christ, and everyone felt they had a ticket to walk all over me as if I were sidewalk trash. When I switched to the Matthew 23 method of dealing with Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals, I got much better results. The key thing you have to remember Jeff is that talking to a fundie about Jesus is like talking to a tree stump about Jesus. Your chances of success are next to zero. I have no illusions that I could ever pull a fundie off his or her position—because I know that is next to impossible. I confront fundies harshly, as Jesus did in Matthew 23, for the benefit of the third party onlooker.

      Fundies bluster, assert, and talk with an air of certainty a lot because we live in an American culture that believes in this equation:

      Bluster + Assertiveness + Air of Certainty = Power and Truth

      My friend John Pavlovitz, who I love and respect greatly, has an admirable soft approach: “Could we put away this garbage and just love each other better.” That is indeed what we need to do, and it is not a simple task. The only problem with that is that when John comes head-to-head with a fundie, a third party onlooker who is clueless about Jesus and the Bible is going to conclude that the fundie has Power and Truth on his side because he seems more blustery, assertive, and certain—and then go the fundie way. In Matthew 23, Jesus rips the Scribes and Pharisees several new a-holes with his speech. He was talking to his own set of Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals—but—and this is essential—He knew the common people gathered around were watching. The Scribes and Pharisees had a couple of thousand years of Jewish tradition on their side, they had the Jewish Scriptures, and they had both religious and governmental power on their side. They had Bluster + Assertiveness + Air of Certainty + Power (already). Jesus knew damned well that he had no chance of convincing them of the REAL TRUTH, and he indicates so later in his diatribe when He tells them that even a man raised from the dead would not convince their hard hearts. But He also knew that the ordinary people were watching and that He could not afford to look like a pussy-wussy when the moment of confrontation came. He knew that He needed to ram them hard head-to-head—and He did.

      The reason the evil of the Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals was so successful for 30 of the past 40 years is that the mainline Christian churches rolled over and played dead with these people in the “interests of Christian peace and unity”—a peace and unity that never existed in the fundie mindset because they have always been in a state of war against the rest of Christendom. What the fundies said was: “Look at those fools. They are rolling over and playing dead. We have an open road to do any outrageous thing we want and with no possibility of blow-back on us. Let’s take it all!!!” About 10 years ago, the mainline churches and many others wised up and realized that when good and faithful men and women rollover and play dead, Satan smiles and his Evil can run in and takeover. In this particular case, Satan took over a great deal of the Christian church—with his biggest win being the Southern Baptist Convention takeover in 1979 and the Republican political subjugation and co-opting of a large portion of the American church.

      The reason the Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical churches (and their parachurch allies) are in so much trouble right now and losing badly is because the real army of Jesus Christ awoke from its long “rollover and play dead sleep” and realized that Satan was going to take the whole damned bank if someone did not stage a fight for the soul of the church. Thousands of churches and ordinary people like me (and our own allies) realized that the only way to turn things around was to do what Jesus did in Matthew 23—go after the fundies head-to-head and blister them alive in front of the American public so their Bluster + Assertiveness + Air of Certainty = Power and Truth equation has no chance to work—and are they ever vulnerable. Boy, are they ever vulnerable. Satan apparently duped them into believing that they had “put on the armor of God” when in fact all they had put on was the armor of pseudo-religious bullshit.” In reality, they are weak nearly everywhere–and we are going to take full advantage of it to take back the church of Jesus Christ and restore it to what it was meant to be before the fundie hordes grabbed it and defiled it—causing great harm to the peoples of the world in the process. Jesus and the Holy Spirit are reforming their church NOW—and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.

      John Pavlovitz is battling calmly, quietly, gently, and resolutely here as part of that NEW REFORMATION—and I support him because some third-party onlookers will respond to that approach. I am battling in a different kind of way (the Matthew 23 way) because meeting fundie harshness with equal harshness robs them of their power equation in the eyes of other third party onlookers who will realize that their Bluster + Assertiveness + Air of Certainty = Power and Truth equation is just a pile of bullshit and walk away—hopefully walking to what John Pavlovitz and others like him have to say about the true nature of Christianity here on his blog. Either way, the Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals are going to lose because their loss is already preordained.

      • And where in all this fundie bashing do we find the Gospel of Jesus Christ? Where in all the fundie bashing is that Christian love you say you found? Just wondering because in your entire diatribe I have not read one word of hope for anyone let alone the fundie you so easily bash. Is this a new gospel you found or a paraphrase of an older gospel or are you not attempting to preach the gospel at all? Are you instead playing the part of Jesus and wielding the whip to clear the temple of all the moneychangers? Isn’t that Jesus’ job? I thought it was love you were after? I am confused perhaps you could help me understand what the end result of your fundie bashing is? Do you seek their salvation or just want to crush them? Why do you hate them so much? Do you know all fundies personally and therefore you feel it is your duty to educate the entire world on fundies everywhere? Or is it that you have had a few bad encounters and now all fundies are bad?

  23. You are correct on all six counts. But the Christian Taliban will never admit they were wrong. They will never allow facts to get in the way of their opinions. And finally, they will never embrace compassion over hate. It’s not the Christian Taliban way.

    • Oh, absolutely right James. But here is the key. It is not necessary for the Christian Taliban to admit they were wrong It is not necessary to get them to believe the facts. It is not necessary for them to embrace compassion over hate. They, just like their Scribe and Pharisee brethren of long ago, are by definition a lost cause. Satan would love nothing more than to get every Christian like me and John Pavlovitz focused in on trying to do the impossible job of changing a fundie mind. He would love to just watch our wheels spin and laugh as we got nowhere and bled our focus and energy to nothing. You never seek to change the fundie—an impossible job. If you have 100 people in a room, you are one, three are fundies, and 96 people are onlookers, you focus on disarming the fundies and showing them up to be the dummies they really are so a major percentage of the onlookers go your way.

      This is the approach the allies took with the invasion of Western Europe in World War II. Some commanders thought the spearhead of the allied armies should stop and clean the Germans out of every little village and town as they came to it—and then only move on after they had secured that town or village. George Patton had another idea. Move forward constantly and pursue the main body of the enemy head on—and let small groups of specially assigned soldiers follow up later from the rear and clear out the small numbers of German soldiers left behind in those towns and villages. It worked. Similarly, you do not stop at every fundie outpost and try to reason with the fundies there—an impossible job that drains our energy. You MOVE PAST THE FUNDIES like Patton moved past those towns and villages—and concentrate all of your main force on the main body of people who have not decided to join the fundie nightmare cause.

      • Or you can aim your canons at the real enemy of love Satan, and by cutting off the head you liberate the captives. Oh wait that is what Jesus came to do. So maybe some of those crazy christians actually love enough to offer the gift of salvation through Christ. Of course maybe you are one of the few people on earth who do not need the gift. That is okay Jesus will simply offer it to someone else a bit more appreciative.

  24. Pingback: 6 Ways Christians Lost This Week | Kingdom Dialogues

  25. This wasn’t exactly eye opening for me, as I was fully aware of everything going on with this. – including how Christians were responding. I understand the outpouring of rage in regards to why people were thinking the sky was falling. But, the sky is very much still in tact and has yet to open with the sound of trumpets. I myself was one of the ones who was angered, pissed off, and beside myself with re end of the world. Do I feel like it’s gone to hell in a hand basket, yes. But not solely on this subject. The world has always been on a tipping of the axis. It’s a sinful and painful world to live in and one where no one wants to help fix that problem. The thing for me is that in my walk I’ve allowed to be created a sense of urgency that has begun to transform into religion. In case no one knows this, Christianity is supposed to be completely different than religion/not merged or considered the same. When I asked I used to tell people I wasn’t part of any religion. Because I never was. I followed God, not man or a crooked ideology of what Christianity should be.
    When the ruling came out on the 26th I already knew the scripture to support my claim of the end of the world. You see, I read my bible “religiously,” and so I do know that it does speak against homosexuality. However, it never speaks about it in the words colored red. This God came to Earth even after men attempted to have sex with Angels and never spoke a word about homosexuality. Plenty of other biblical characters did, but not God. Maybe He knew that in three years
    From the start of His ministry that it wouldn’t matter. Maybe there were more pressing issues like teaching how not to be instead how TO be. It certainly makes more sense to me. It sticks with people more of you teach them how not to be rather than telling them how they should be. No one likes to be told how they should be, but seem more accepting of how not to be. It appeals to a different area of the brain and the heart both.
    Anyways, I found myself in a battle I didn’t expect over all of this. Someone I care for a lot approached me in a way I never thought they would. He came at me in a very abrasive manner that hurt my feelings and pissed me off all at the same time. We went back and forth for almost three days. I consumed his life with something that took his time away from those he loved and his job at work, simply because I refused to see the bigger picture. We’re all over which parts of the bible that speak against this and we’re good at it, but if we were to follow the OT to the T, the first one without sin would be stoning people. Because that was the way until Immanuel stepped in.
    I’ve had a hardened heart toward people not serving God where there used to be a soft heart and sympathy. I’ve become the reason why it took me such a long time to look for a church that didn’t have people like me in it. I am ashamed. My God is certainly bigger than that. The way that I perceived scripture changed over these years. I have begun to act as though it’s my right to call out sin. But what of my own? The Master died for everyone, and that means EVERYONE. He may not be happy with the choices made by such a huge mass as the LGBT and the gay communities, buty guess is that He has seen more love out of them for the world than what He has from the self proclaimed body of Christ.

  26. Thank you. I can’t tell you how much your post has helped me today. As a gay Christian this past week has been almost unbearable. I have struggled with who I am, who I love, all my life and despite being “out” for the past 15 years I still struggle. The Facebook rants of family and friends, ugly, hurtful comments, irrational conclusions, and national condemnations have hurt me profoundly. I sit here in tears I thought were ended years ago, but today I am wounded to my core. I am a person of peace, mercy and love and your post has given me hope that I may find peace, love and mercy again.

  27. Thank you! As a gay Christian I have struggled with who I am, and who my heart loves, all my life. Even though I’ve been “out” for 15 years, I struggle still. I sit in tears today that I thought were long gone. My heart is broken because of the ugly, hurtful, threatening, condemnations of my family members and friends who say with their Facebook posts that “I ” am the enemy of my faith, my country, our nation’s foundational principles and children. I read your post and finally cried the tears I’ve been fighting back all week. Thank you for your kindness. You have given me a sliver of hope that love, peace and mercy will again fill my heart and mind.

    • God bless you. <3 Remember, with all the condemnation in this world, There IS no condemnation in Christ as long as we believe.

  28. I believe we have to stand up and call sin a sin. By doing so are we unloving and rude? I do not think so. Jesus was very clear to point out the Pharisee way of living. He did not hold back. As Christians we have to take a stand. It is not the person but the act we have a problem with and how it is being cramed down our throat. I will not be silience? I can speak out and still love the sinner. Our culture is worried about speaking out about right or wrong and being labeled racist or bigots. We’ll it is because we have not stood up and been Gods voice. I believe we should be all those things that you have listed but it our obligation to help others see the erroring of their ways And teach them what the Bible says about homosexuality. It is very plain. It is a sin but God loves the sinner. However we can help them see where it is wrong and help them turn away from it. I believe this is a political ploy because most of those who are gay just want to be left alone to live as they wanr. It is a handful of those pushing a political agenda and trying to cause descention among the body of believers. We can’t let them tear us apart as a church and we must stand united because it is how we treat each other that the world may know Jesus Christ.

    • Hi Debbie –

      The problem is that the right and wrong of individual, personal, consensual behaviors are not yours to judge. (I specifically exclude behavior that inflicts harm on another.)

      I think Jesus was pretty clear on this point . . .

      “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” (Matthew 7:3-4)

      Live in love and blessing.

    • Debbie wrote, “It is a handful of those pushing a political agenda”

      What about the 32 anti-gay Hate Votes, the last of which were revoked by the Supreme Court, and which is the subject of this column. How were these not pushing your political agenda?

    • Really? So where are you in adultery and divorce? Of alcohol? Of tattoos? Of taking the Lord’s name in vain? You can’t pick and choose what “sins” you want to stand up against in the name of God. Christianity is more than that. It’s about loving each other, acceptance, and of tolerance. That’s how you get to walk the stairs of heaven.

      • No actually you get to walk the stairs of heaven through the righteous that is found only in Christ. There is nothing we can do to earn that righteousness in fact all our efforts at righteousness are just filthy rags. You nor I can earn our salvation it can only be accepted by faith in Christ Jesus our Lord and only Savior.

    • “I believe we have to stand up and call sin a sin. By doing so are we unloving and rude?”

      No. You are just being boringly redundant as if the gay community has not already heard it several billion times. Then Debbie says, Well, maybe 5,000,000,001 will be the charm?” No. Not likely. You have become what the Bible refers to as a tinkling cymbal—having lost all credibility from talking way too much and way too long.

      “It is not the person but the act we have a problem with and how it is being cramed down our throat.”

      Debbie. Let me get this straight. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of gay marriage—and because of it—some gay man is cramming his penis down your throat right now. Do you want me to call the cops?

      “As Christians we have to take a stand.”

      Sure you do. The whole world is going to Hell in a hand basket under the weight of millions of sins in great variety that deserve your attention. But just like a dog owner with two treats in his hand, Satan has got you fixated on only two sins (abortion and homosexuality)—which just happen to be the ones the Republican Party can make political hay with—the simple ones where you do not have to get your hands bloody or dirty to fight them—the ones where you do not have to give up anything that is yours to fight them—the easy, simple, copout sins for a lazy fundie church. You want to know about real sin:

      Here’s the truth about Satan-distracted people like you Debbie:

      “According to a profile in Christianity Today entitled “The Positive Prophet,” Campolo would often begin a speech this way: “I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said “shit” than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.”

      • And gay marriage was and is an issue that the democrats can garner political traction with which is why both Hillary and Obama switched teams recently after opposing same-sex marriage for their entire adult life until just recently. I guess they evolved? Or is it simply political posturing? I’ll vote for the latter.

        • I’m an independent voter—and unless I miss my guess—you are what the Democrats refer to as a right wing extremist nutjob—I would bet. Have a nice day and enjoy your next Ruger before your kid finds it and accidentally blows his head off—for Jesus of course.

  29. This may be one of the most important writings on how to move closer to the realization of God’s expectation of all of us who profess to being believers. Thank you for the thought and prayer you put into this piece. I believe this applies to all of us on both sides of the issue of marriage.

  30. Ummm, is it possible to strongly and publicly disagree with the decision of SCOTUS and still love our neighbor who might agree with SCOTUS? I think so. I know many Christians who have done just that. I think it would be unchristian to just sit down, shut up, and give up.

    • Yes, it is possible to disagree, and still love your neighbor.

      I don’t believe John (who may correct me if I am wrong) is speaking about those who have an issue with the judicial logic used by the majority to come to a decision. It is perfectly acceptable to disagree, and do so with respect and decency. I happen to disagree with the dissents voiced by Justices Scalia and Thomas who seem to believe that the constitution is a document cast in the cement of history, incapable of being interpreted in the light of current understanding. I happen to disagree with all of the dissenters, none of whom appear to have ever seriously considered the 9th and 10th amendments. I happen to disagree with Justice Scalia who clearly implies that a court where the majority of the members are Roman Catholic (six out of the nine, the other three are Jewish) is not capable of considering the concerns of Christians. (which is sort of funny considering that Scalia himself is Roman Catholic, as is Justice Kennedy who wrote for the majority.)

      But I don’t need to attack them personally. Theirs was not a religious decision, but a legal one. Their disagreements, if their words are to be taken at face value were not faith-based, but based on differences in judicial philosophy.

      What John is clearly talking about are Christians who are using this decision to spew hatred and condemnation and doing so in the name of the Christian faith (and thus, implicitly in the name of all Christians.)

      This is not a crisis of faith. The decision of the Supreme Court is not a religious decision. The first amendment forbids the creation of laws based on a specific religious doctrine or restricting religious practice (and the fourteenth incorporates these prohibitions upon the states.) The decision does not change the definition of marriage as it applies to your particular religious beliefs or the teachings of any church. Your church is free not to marry people of the same gender. You are free not to attend or participate in a religious ceremony that violates your religious principles.

      Those religious institutions that believe in sanctifying marriage between same-gender couples are likewise free to do so, and many are. Sounds perfectly fair to me.

      At issue here is the condemnation, hatred, and vitriol being vomited forth in the name of all Christians.

      And that isn’t good for anybody.

      Live in blessing.

    • Go ahead David. Tell the gay people what they already know—that they are gay. Tell them that being gay is a sin—for the 2,000,000,001th time. And tell them about the 30,000 kids who died last night from disease and malnutrition while you were trying to reach a gay person with a message he has already heard for the 2,000,000,001th time. That’s real bright David. Keep up your brilliant work for Jeezis.

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  32. This is offensive, and unbiblical. Conforming, and I can’t say a christian. I could go on, and VERY deep into scripture but will stay lite. I hate when people say WE as though they can speak for another’s walk.
    ?? We stood on principles and we walked all over people. We became really difficult to live with and be around.????

    First of all if you can’t understand this verse it concerns me a great deal the others.
    John 13 is expressly speaking of Christians to other Christians. ie My disciples
    34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

    Jesus said, Be salt and light. Not conforming to this world but be transformed.
    Be hot or cold, not lukewarm or He will spit us out. Jesus said, “If they hated Me they will hate you also.” Love does not condone sin. Declaring that sin is a sin, is not judging or walking over people.

    2 Timothy 42 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long-suffering and teaching. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; 4 and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. 5 But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

    Proverbs 27:5
    Open rebuke is better, Than love carefully concealed.

    Proverbs 24:23
    These things also belong to the wise:
    It is not good to show partiality in judgment.
    24 He who says to the wicked, “You are righteous,”Him the people will curse;
    Nations will abhor him.
    25 But those who rebuke the wicked will have delight,
    And a good blessing will come upon them.

    Mat 11:20 Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent:

    Matthew 10:14 “And whoever will not receive you nor hear your words, when you depart from that house or city, shake off the dust from your feet.
    15 “Assuredly, I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for that city!
    22 “And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.

    WHY do people ignore the obvious? If they hated, why is it they would hated?
    Because opposition was brought before them. It was not Christian’s unifying with the world.
    Can two walk together lest they be agreed? Amos 3:3

    Love cares enough to confront.
    2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.
    I would never withhold from telling somebody the way of salvation, especially a friend tangled in homosexuality.
    Jesus commanded us to go into all the world and preach the gospel, and those who believe will be saved. So we are commanded to give them the truth.
    The biggest part of the gospel is acknowledging that your sinner, because without acknowledging you’re a sinner, you would never be thankful for salvation, which is the gospel I.e. good news.
    As far as the judging goes, making an observation is not judging.
    The difference between judging and observation is, final condemnation vs. telling somebody what God calls sin, and that we shouldn’t be doing it.
    If they claim to be a Christian even more so are we required to go to them.
    1Corinthians 5: 12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
    Ezekiel 33 7 “So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me.
    8 “When I say to the wicked, ‘O wicked man, you shall surely die!’ and you do not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood I will require at your hand.
    9 “Nevertheless if you warn the wicked to turn from his way, and he does not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but you have delivered your soul.

    1 Corinthians 6
    9 Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, 10 nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

    • The only trouble here is that one is not “tangled in homosexuality” but one is born that way and can do nothing to change it no matter how hard one tries and how much one “repents” or is “exorcised of the devil”. So must one repent of being born a homosexual?

    • and all of this that you have written in this comment is why some of us turned away from Christianity and will never look back. You have just stated (using bible verses) that God has commanded you to treat homosexuals as evil sinners. We are not evil sinners. We are people who happen to be in love with people of the same gender. God made us this way, whether you think so or not. But please do enjoy your happiness knowing that you are doing the “good, Christian thing” by casting me out. My own parents did the same to me and continue to do so to this day. Thank you for reminding me that Bible thumpers like you will never change, and I should not ever consider rejoining the Church.

      • I’m just sad that you end up blaming “the church” and leaving it, and I can completely understand why. I’m in the same boat too. Just remember Jesus loves you, died for you, wants relationship with you, wants you to know His Father who is this amazing all-loving, without conditions, beautiful, magnificent God of all. And He loves gay folk too! After all, He made them!

    • The bottom line is that we are ALL sinners. NOBODY deserves Jesus, yet He died for each and every one of us. “Gay” sin is no different than “straight” sin in God’s eyes. It’s all about what’s in our heart. we have NO RIGHT to judge anyone. God will judge us the same way we judge others.

  33. Are you confessing your own sins, or just pointing out the sins of others? Because personally, this Christian has had a ton of vitriol directed at her, and nobody’s apologized yet.

    • When you helped pass these laws designed to deprive other Americans of a right you enjoy, just how was that not directing vitriol at others?

    • youdidn’t lose them last week. the vitriol and hatred and hurt you talk about has been going on for many centuries. what happened last week was that it made the news.
      public opinion on gay marriage only turned in our favor in the last decade. despite christianity’s best efforts to stop it. i seriously doubt these well-meaning words will lead to some fundamental change in christianity.

  34. doesnt surprise me with all the christian hate even a pastor said he would burn himself but look at how christianity even came to be…..by killing all those who opposed yes its true history calls that the ‘CRUSADES’ IT GOT BIG JUST LIKE ISRAEL IS KILLING PALESTINIANS so it would only make sense christians hate all those that oppose their christian way of thinking

    • im a christian and i dont hate anyone i believe in gay rights i even have gay friends and i have 2 friends who are with each other that i think of as sisters i had a brother who i loved dearly but he commited suicide for the same ridicule that people said and did to him and he was bisexual i balled my eyes out like a little baby i always followed him like a lost puppy always wondering were he was going always wanted to go with him. not all christians are judgemental i dont judge others i dont hate others i love everyone i forgive everyone i dont hold grudges i dont get angry im EXTREMELY passive people even tell me im TOO nice which is true i try to help anyone and everyone im very sympathetic and empathetic to anyone and everyone im a lover not a fighter i dont believe in violence or war im a peace maker so no not all christians are only one way do i believe in GOD yes i do do i agree with how some christians are no i dont but just because i dont agree with all christians doesnt mean im not a christian at all i have christian friends who are gay i treat every gay person just as normal as anyone else the way i see it is that we all have the same dna strand we are all human we all are the same on the inside yeah christians make mistakes too yeah im not a perfect christian yeah i sin so what there is no such thing as a perfect christian if any christian thinks that they are perfect then not only are they in denial but they are way in over their head and in their own little world that doesnt exist no human whatsoever is perfect i dont care if your straight gay bi lesbian christian non christian japanese hispanic black white or whatever no one is perfect yeah im a christian but i dont read the bible but i know enough to know that saying that being gay is wrong definitely does not mean your going to hell if that were the case then we all would go to hell because a lot of the things we do is called sin whether we cuss drink fight judge talk back to parents killing stealing having pre-marital sex adultering lying etc its all sin sin is sin no matter what the sin is its all the same one isnt worse than the other its the same we are human its natural and normal for us to sin its human nature christians sin i sin preachers sin pastors sin everyone sins am i condemning everyone no im not if i were id say yeah your sinning your going to hell THATS condemning and to be honest as christians it isnt our right to judge GOD didnt create and preach to us to go and judge that really isnt supposed to be our job we arent supposed to be playing GOD and for christians to do that is very messed up its GODS job to judge not ours so if any christian that does read this then you need to look in the mirror cause your not perfect either and you are sinning as well by judging others leave the judging to GOD thats why its hard for me to talk to some christians cause they take the whole christian thing WAAAAAAAAAYYYYYYY too far yeah im a christian but like i said im not like other christians im very loving and very accepting of others i accept anyone and everyone so no not all christians are the same sorry for all the bad grammar im just too lazy XD lol sorry

      • Charyssa, thank you for writing such a heartfelt comment. Please understand that there are many out here who are agnostic or atheist who understand fully what you’re saying and we also realize that there are mainstream Christians and the right wing Christians who are totally opposite what any of us have learned about Jesus Christ.
        You, and people like you, hold the light to the future of Christianity. But all of you must speak out and reject the reputation those others have given Christianity. That reputation is spreading throughout the world and it doesn’t bode well for the mainstream Christians who do the best they can to serve Christ even in this capitalistic society in which we live.
        You must let go of the past long enough to carry that light into saving your faith from those on the edge who are chipping away at it. Common sense tells us that, whether we follow a religion or not, hatred is wrong and we also know that it is not a part of the teachings of Christ. You and all of mainstream Christians here and abroad must come forward to protect Christianity in the way it was meant to be protected: with peace and tolerance for all in this world. Set the example that Christ set and you may find others coming back into the fold that disappointed us enough to leave it.
        Look at the popularity of Pope Francis! He is even adored by athiests because he says what we want to hear – the truth. Pope Francis is exposing the liars with his truths. He doesn’t act like a radical and he doesn’t preach a crazy sermon filled with fire and brimstone. He states the facts and the reactions to those facts if we continue to leave things as they are and let them grow worse. Simple, clean, and accepting of all. The haters are still a minority and they will eventually grow tired of the fighting for what is wrong. Especially when there are many more of you fighting for what is right.
        Thank you for caring so much that you would express yourself so openly. I’m sorry to hear that your brother caved under the abuse. I’m a 69-year-old gay man who managed to survive. I’ve had many days and nights of anger over being silenced and being considered a second-class citizen all my life. But I can say that I didn’t expect to see any change during my lifetime and what a surprise it was when change did come! And it’s thanks to people like you who make up a majority of the good people on this earth. I can’t thank you enough.

      • I loved what you had to say. It’s so refreshing to know that other Christians think this way also. I was feeling isolated because so many of my so-called Christian friends and family have so much hate. Keep sharing your thoughts and feelings.

      • I’m a Christian and i also love everyone, but i will water down the Bible for none. I also have gay friends. This post was garbage,most people against it are not even Christians,just another opertunity to bash us.Nothing more.

      • I love your message, but writing with no caps or punctuation makes your post hard to read. Very good post it is….just sayin’

      • Chris, since you won’t water down the bible for anyone. Please tell us all when your next public stoning will take place for all the divorced people you know, those that have engaged in pre-martial sex, had sec for reasons other than procreation, eat shellfish, etc.

        After all, these are sins in the bible as well. Please show us how strong your faith is by not watering down your bible and stoning all of the people you know that have committed a sin.

    • Every war is because of people on opposite sides of something…that’s not because of Christians that is war. I agree that a lot of Christians reacted poorly and lost a chance to show and share the love of Jesus Christ, but you have to understand that a lot of Christians see the writing on the walls with a lot of things not just the legalization of same sex marriages…..there are a lot of bad things headed our way and that urging or urgency Christians have in wanting to tell people to come to God and be careful of what you do, think and act because like it or not there are consequences for actions both taken and not taken….

      • I’m sorry but that is simply not a valid argument. The slippery slope is a fallacy. It is not right to turn people away and make them disillusioned with Christianity because of our unloving response, simply because people are afraid of some scary vision of what might come in the future. Same sex marriage is about people that aren’t you being allowed to sign a secular document in a courthouse. It’s the same as with divorce being legal or sex out of marriage being legal. Forced morality (e.g. enforcing religious rules as laws) has not brought a SIGNLE person to Jesus. Ever.

      • Rosie, I appreciate your view. Kings and tyrants and presidents, leaders of every nation, have been faced with war and have relied upon the gullibility of the faithful to fight for them. Even when it goes against their very faith, people who claim a faith have been duped for centuries into believing that faiths other than their own are superior when they are not.
        Too much blood has flowed and covered over the lies that were told that brought good people into wars. No faith was based on hatred or warring. They are all beautiful. Even though each carries its stories of wars fought for their various gods, the incidents of war in those volumes are history lessons, not something that God put into people.
        Every war has been based on matters outside religion and because of its innocence, religion has been used as an excuse to go to battle. The real reasons behind war are a nation’s leader’s power and greed. Usually started by the most powerful and the richest of leaders, those leaders know they are able to conquer and take what they want to increase their wealth even more. The human ego, be it of a king or a queen, expands into dangerous realms of uncontrolled lust for even more. And all religious faiths have become demoralized over the human visit to this planet through wars. Soldiers come home changed if they come home at all. Every single war has brought down the morals of all nations together until we have reached a point where the faiths are desperate to remain in power themselves. The lies have been exposed and the people are losing their faith. And it’s because the people who adhere to the proper agenda of their faiths have not fought the corruption of their own faiths. Instead they continue to fight each other when every faith on earth should be joining hands in protest of intolerance and human abuse. We know there are still a majority of members of each faith who are not in favor of wars and the insane killing of others. There will never be peace in this world if the good in all those faiths do not come together, united in peace, and demand an end to the power and greed that is bringing the entire world to its knees in rot and decay and morals that reflect that rot and decay.
        One last suggestion. The biggest problem with every faith that has caused so many to leave the faiths for good is that you reject the people who have been so affected by the wars and the lacking of morals they have created. And when they walk away you consider them deserters. The truth be known, they are smart enough to see your errors in judgment and will not return or at least support you until you act like your faiths command you to act. There is no hatred in a loving God or Prophet. Humans have turned that way out of free will which came with nature. The more you reject the farther from your arms they will run. They’ve cried out for your help too many times and you pushed them away because they stopped believing as you did. Even if you have to close your eyes and take yourselves back to a tribal environment, look into the future and see what change you can bring if you pull your flocks back together and help them with the wounds you helped to create. Even if they never believe in one of your gods again, never reject anyone again and see the changes that will come to all of us.

      • If you believe there are ‘a lot of bad things headed our way’, then perhaps you could reread this without feeling the need to defend. Just read it fresh. Have faith in the power of faith. Draw strength from some of the magnificent examples throughout history of Christian love overcoming an obstacle. You don’t have to look very far: less than a week after the massacre of the Charleston 9, their loved ones publicly and painfully forgave the murderer and prayed for God to forgive him. Their actions were more powerful (and devastating for a man who wanted to start a war) than any condemnation or vengeance. They embodied a most basic tenet of their faith: God. IS. Love.

      • With regard to conflict (a better term for me than War), that occurs due to dogma, not Christianity. It just so happens that religion permits, allows, and all too often encourages dogma to flourish. When I insist on being right I make someone else wrong. THAT is the nature of conflict.
        As for writing on the walls, well there’s been writing on walls for centuries with nary a protest from Christians. One could take it a step father and point out that many, many people have been slaughtered in the name of religion – the Crusades, Inquisition, witch hunts, and the Peasant’s War to name the biggies. And all in the name of “writing on the wall”. It’s an old theme.
        Finally the idea of wanting others to come to G-d and be careful due to consequences. Nice. The issue is not when one wants something beneficent for their fellow man. The issue is when your belief system is the only one and others have to be leveraged into your position.

      • “…there are a lot of bad things headed our way…”

        Oh no—another fundie who believes she is living in the “eeyund toms.” Congratulations. Go on off to the cave with Reverend Kane and wait for the end—while the rest of us get on with our lives. Sheeeesh!!!

    • please read my whole post friend… i apologize for any pain caused to you by people who were supposed to reflect a loving God to you and others but reacted in fear and took wrongful action … here’s what the scriptures literally says about those pastors you speak of and why they are hypocrites for making such claims…

      1 Corinthians 13 :1-3
      13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to be burned that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing. … [and neither does anybody else]….

    • please read my whole post friend… i apologize for any pain caused to you by people who were supposed to reflect a loving God to you and others but reacted in fear and took wrongful action … here’s what the scriptures literally says about those pastors you speak of and why they are hypocrites for making such claims…

      1 Corinthians 13 :1-3
      13 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to be burned that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing. … [and neither does anybody else]….

    • Christianity didn’t “come to be” through the Crusades, it came to be when Jesus Christ died for our sins?

    • Take a closer read of History( not saying the Christians did not take it too far) but and its a big but, the Muslims acted first in what started the crusades.

    • The Crusades were not about killing anyone who didn’t believe. It was about liberating Jerusalem from foreign invaders who conquered through fear and violence. Unfortunately, it became an excuse for the soldiers to pillage and do probably worse than those that conquered in the first place.

      The 2 commandments that Jesus gave are to love God and love others. Christians are people and make mistakes (so we will mess up), but if someone consistently does not follow that and lives completely different than those 2 things, they probably aren’t really one. Just because someone was raised in a Christian home or has gone to church, does not make them one.

      If a Christian did hurt you, I would like to apologize for their behavior. I hope that you won’t let their bad behavior keep you from Christ. Please think of it like this: if a few loud individuals act badly, does that mean that the entire group is that way? This can be applied to race, religion, etc.

    • It is Jews killing Palestinians.They are fighting them because they are defending themselves.Christians don’t oppose all who disagree with them.Some come on too strong and wrong,but there is no hate in a true Christian.Remembering that Christians are human and only want the outsider to know the love and peace you find in Christ! Give them a chance as you want the Gay community to have. The Golden rule”Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.Thank you for reading my point of view.

    • How ever rightly or wronlgly, the Crusades were a response to the invasion by Muslims into the Holyland. By the way,Roman Emperor Hadrian placed the name Palistine on the country of Israel in 135 A.D. So Israel is Palistine.

    • Agnostic: Not all Christians hate. Just like not all homosexuals hate. Christianity was around before the crusades. Not all Christians participated in the crusades. Israel is defending itself.

    • This is a very ill-informed post, agnostic.

      Christianity actually survived against all odds (which is one of the greatest proofs for its truth, actually). Long before the crusades, during the reign of Nero, Christians were hung on crosses and lit on fire to light the streets at night, among many other atrocities. But it grew rapidly despite such severe persecution. Moreover, the crusades were not even remotely based on Christian principles. They were carried out under the guise of religion and justified by a twisted understanding of Christianity.

      If you understood the true, pure message of Christianity you’d understand that it is fundamentally against humans hating other humans. But it’s also a message that is offensive to people, because people don’t want to be told that they are sinful, that the way they live may be wrong, and that they need Jesus to save them from that state.

    • Your ignorance of history is appalling. The Crusades were a counterattack against Islamic conquest of Christian lands. Your Palestinian bullshit also shows your mindset. Where’s your concern for MILLIONS of Syrian refugees?

    • Agnostic, I too dislike the way most modern Christianity is full of shit. Although I was raised Catholic, I am not a Christian. But the First Crusade did not happen until the end of the 11th Century. Do you know why they call it the 11th century? Because Jesus was born 11 centuries before. Christianity was accepted as a dominant religion by Constantine The Great, Emperor of Rome, in the 4th Century. It is true Christianity has had a history full of turbulence, but its beginnings are not rooted in hate and war, quite the contrary, Jesus himself embodied understanding and compassion, and early Christianity is full of non-violent martyrs. So it is hard to say “that is how Christianity even came to be.” Unless, that is, you do not really understand the history of Christianity.

    • Actually Christianity came to be by the deaths of all those who came to believe in it, including its founder. It seems each death became a catalyst for resurrection and new growth. The problem with those who are so involved in pointing the Finger at others are unwilling to “take up their cross daily and follow Me”.

  35. This is a timely and sobering post. I pray will all heed this message. Just when I was crying, “Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the wound of my people?.” I read this.

    Thank you.

  36. Pingback: 6 Ways Christians Lost This Week | Website High Atop The Thing

  37. There is also the collateral damage among those within the various faith communities who have been a part of this struggle (between the two opposed factions, as well as within them!), from which we need to heal.

    I was part of this work within the Episcopal Church for ten years and finally had to walk away for my own well-being. I wrote an invitation to healing which I shared on my own blog:
    http://vergeofjordan.blogspot.com/2014/07/hurt-people-hurt-people.html

  38. As a Christian, I have lost nothing this week. I live by what Jesus taught us, ‘Love others as I have loved you.” And, I pray that it shows through my words, actions, and deeds. It has not been easy due to all of the hate and vitriol spewing from every direction. But, God has not changed nor will He. So, I have complete faith in Him and His plans…which are unknown to me. We are all human, so we are all sinners. Through the sacrifice of our Lord, we have His hope and love.

    I feel that the love should come from EVERYONE on both sides of this ‘fence’. That’s the ‘equality’ we should strive to achieve. And, the sooner, the better.

    • I wanted to understand what you mean. I know that Christians and others of being the intolerant ones, the ‘real’ bigots and haters of Christians.
      I don’t know why a Christian or ANY decent person can say that.
      How are gay people supposed to tolerate the casual violence that’s even been directed at gay and trans CHILDREN?
      Violence in which they are murdered or at risk of suicide?
      How is a gay person supposed to not think they are hated, when they are compared to thieves and murderers, child molesters and adulterers?
      How are gay people not to believe it’s bigotry, when vendors and public servants reserve their religious tests and denial of services ONLY for gay people and no one else?
      How can a gay person tolerate unemployment, and abandonment by their family?
      Why are they treated as if their grievances, pain, tears and anger are uncalled for and illegitimate?
      As they have been trying to gain more protections from these things, is there a Christian or decent person that can say these gains are wrong or unfair to anyone else , in truth?
      Is there a Christian that has had to put up with such treatment from gay people in particular?
      Can an honest person say these gains were acquired without due process of law?
      Or if the situation were really reversed in in affect, how long would a Christian put up with it?

      “Love God, treat another as you’d be treated”.
      I’m seeing a great failure of millions of Christians in holding to this. If they did, they wouldn’t complain that gay people are protected, and accorded the rights, freedoms and opportunity every human being deserves by birth.

      • I want to clarify that it’s gay people being accused of being intolerant and the real haters. I don’t know why having the same rights anyone has and can take for granted could be called hateful on the part of gay people.
        Again, the way these protections and rights have been acquired has been through essential non violent protest and legal avenues and due process every citizen can exercise.
        There has never been a divine right to keep a boot on the neck of another human being. But I’m witnessing all over again, the religious claiming they in fact do have that right, and when told otherwise, find the means of petty spite in reaction.

    • JC, You are right. You have lost nothing, and maybe even gained a lot. Thank you for your post. One of the things that has happened after the SCotUS decision is that Christians of the Love Persuasion have started to open their mouths and hearts, and declaring their existence. As a gay Christian, I’ve been looking for you folks for a long long time.

  39. Love the comments as everyone has their own thoughts etc… With this I see for the first time in the History of America yep look it up everyone is equal. Thank You God in Heaven, Many will say no way that God wouldn’t do that. Then I am reminding of Jesus he was killed for doing things against God’s will guess he showed those that thought they knew God. And for those on the marriage subject after Adam and Eve well read the story men had many wives and went on. So when I read the Bible since a little kid O.K. God blessed people with wife’s. Not to say I think or want that but it happen with the blessings of God. it is called love and everyone that wants to point out sin give me 1 minute in person and I can point out a sin in the Bible that you are doing right now. So Thank You Jesus for what you did for me, Thank You for coming to this earth and trying to tell people Love… You showed your love for me.

    • No…..we are not all equal yet as Jesus elevated each to be….children are still VERY MUCH beneath…..they are the only human beings it is legal to assault…..and assaulting them is so deeply ingrained in American culture it’s denied…..when children are no longer second and even third class citizens there will be such rejoicing!

  40. So many of the comments here are so – unwittingly – the epitome of irony. And, well, hypocrisy. But Jon has covered the hypocrisy of selecting this particular “sin” as needing special attention and proselytizing while others are conspicuously overlooked and forgiven. Eloquently so.

    Each person posting here claiming that they are only living their faith by pointing out “sin,” and doing Christianity the favor of judging others because that’s what the church calls them to do, and even – in more gentle but no less judgmental tone – of trying to “love the sinner but hate the sin…”

    Your kind is dying out. Properly, rightfully so. There is no place in an evolving society for this, and it’s the reason people are leaving the church, leaving religion, and opting for other expressions of spirituality and faith. Some Christians are trying to see life and love for what it is, and turn the ship. You are not helping your congregations or the church you claim to serve by your bigotry. You are – at best – slowing the process down, or – at worst- drilling holes that will sink the boat.

    There will be a church in the future or their won’t, depending on the actions of Christians now. But nowhere in the future will there be a place for bigotry or judgment camouflaged as “religion.”

    • Lori, God will always have His church. That’s His will, and God’s will is like gravity – there’s no avoiding it. I understand what you’re saying, and yes, there are bigots, racists, hypocrites, murderers in God’s house. As a matter of fact, the only kind of person you’ll find in God’s house is sinners, so please don’t come looking for perfection. You’ll be so very disappointed. God tells us that sin is sin to Him, there’s no ranking of them (with the exception of blasphemy). He doesn’t say adultery is worse or murder is worse, or lying. I fall short daily of the task He has set before me…visit my blog. Confession is liberating.

      So, Christ died for all of us. That sounds inclusive to me. It must mean he died for straight, gay, trans, lesbian, black, white, yellow, all of mankind. He died for me and He died for you. Please, while you’re throwing rocks at us, the collective church, take a moment to look beneath the surface. Christ’s people are human. They have emotions. They aren’t a perfect people, they’re a forgiven people.

      • Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical people are not just sinners. They delight in abusing believers and nonbelievers—and are merciless and relentless when they do it. They also believe it is their destiny to take control of the government of the United States and turn it into a religious dictatorship that will impose its beliefs on all nonfundie Christians and nonChristians. The word “impose” means that they will one day tell you at gunpoint to renounce your own conscience and religious beliefs—and sign papers committing to believe as they believe, and they will require everyone to meet the moral and legal standards they set for life in American society. Moral policemen will patrol parks to measure how high a woman’s skirt is above her knee, and if it is one inch too high, she will be carted off to jail. Beer will no longer be sold at baseball games—and prohibition will be instituted again. Anyone who refuses to renounce their own beliefs and follow the standards will be sent to prison or be tortured and killed in a concentration camp. All you have to do to know this is to once have been a member of one of their churches or to have studied the fundie movement for 20 years—both of which I have done. These people are the epitome and essence of hatred—and the gay marriage row proved it in spades. The terms “Christofascist” and “American Taliban” describe their belief systems and their “brainwashed true believers”perfectly.

        When you get finished here, come on over to the “Flee from Christian Fundamentalism” blog and learn about Christian fundamentalism, conservative evangelicalism, and the things their followers do at the behest of their religious systems: https://faith17983.wordpress.com/

    • Brilliantly written! People like this Job Pov sit down and write a ‘Boohoo’ article, still whining about themselves! This self titled ‘christian’ movement has been suppressing mankind for years and they think that just now, because of a court ruling their world is ending! They have been smothering both themselves and everyone else for years, now it is time to lift and destroy that blanket of bigotry and hate once and for all, FOR ALL!

    • Other sins are not overlooked or given a different sort of forgiveness. Drunkard? Thief? Murderer? Adulterer? Repent of your sins, confess Christ and be forgiven. Guess what? Homosexuality too.

      The difference is that among all those, it is homosexuality alone that many insist is not only not a sin, but welcome in church. I wouldn’t accept a married man coming to church with his mistress. We’re going to have words. Politely, in the hallway. And if that doesn’t work, we’re going to have words in the church. That’s what the bible instructs, and that’s what I’ll follow. I’m also going to do the same for some that comes in and wants to continue practicing homosexuality. There’s no unfair treatment there, other than what the homosexual community, especially those that want to attend church, are asking for.

      • Isn’t the church a hospital for sinners? What reason do you have to “have words” with anyone? Are you not a sinner? Aren’t we all sinners? Homosexuals are not the ONLY sinners allowed in church, ALL sinners are allowed in church, or rather, SHOULD be.

      • wouldn’t it be better to get people into church where they can hear the word of God and learn His will and then hopefully feel remorse for what is wrong in their lives and repent and come to God. We are not here to condemn people and turning them away from church is most certainly a sin as we would be denying them a chance to know God’s love and truth.

      • Folks. This is an excellent example of my post two or three comments above. The fundies run a college called Pensacola Christian College. Women students get raped there. Guess what happens when they go to on-campus and administrative counseling. They get a lecture on how the rape was all the woman’s fault and tell her that she has to repent of whatever “fantasy sin” she committed to cause her to get raped. Women are taught that God created them to be “natural temptresses” and that God gave men an insatiable sexual appetite—so if they rape you you cannot put the blame entirely on them. From everything I have read, it is like living in North Korea.

      • The church is for sinners. The whole idea of the coming together is to worship the God who forgives sin. After he forgives, he may take a while to erase that sin from someone’s life. It was twenty-some years after salvation that the temptation disappeared for me. Yet, you want to “have words with me” because I’m in church? Nice job of taking over God’s job. He called us into the midst of you to be reconciled and received not to be told we didn’t belong. What don’t you get?

    • Lori- if you are going to leave a comment with such big words- at least get simple grammar rules correct like “there” and “their.”

    • I read most if the comments bere, and I dont guess I see what you see, or maybe my interpretation differs from yours, but I agree with MomSeesAll’s post. I know its what my church teaches…

      “Lori,
      God will always have His church. That’s His will, and God’s will is like gravity – there’s no avoiding it. I understand what you’re saying, and yes, there are bigots, racists, hypocrites, murderers in God’s house. As a matter of fact, the only kind of person you’ll find in God’s house is sinners, so please don’t come looking for perfection. You’ll be so very disappointed. God tells us that sin is sin to Him, there’s no ranking of them (with the exception of blasphemy). He doesn’t say adultery is worse or murder is worse, or lying. I fall short daily of the task He has set before me…visit my blog. Confession is liberating.

      So, Christ died for all of us. That sounds inclusive to me. It must mean he died for straight, gay, trans, lesbian, black, white, yellow, all of mankind. He died for me and He died for you. Please, while you’re throwing rocks at us, the collective church, take a moment to look beneath the surface. Christ’s people are human. They have emotions. They aren’t a perfect people, they’re a forgiven people.” -MomSeesAll

    • Right, because atheist societies are so much better. Read history. The communists killed over 100,000,000 people, including your precious gays (homosexuality was considered a mental illness). Good luck in your Brave New World!!

  41. Why are people or Christians making this issue ? It is NOT about Christianity, it is about EQUAL RIGHTS, nothing the supreme court decides has anything to do with morals or what Christians think or don’t think is right, it is an Equal Rights Issue.

    • Thats part of the problem, we live in a country founded by Christians under God, but we have allowed the law to removed God and morals from our society. So now anytime anyone “feels” discriminated against it becomes a legal battle, and if “groups” of people with morals dont fight these battles then things like pedophiles gaining equal “sexual orientation” rights happen, then it becomes legal for them to molest your kids. It just so happens the “groups” that fight for morality are usually Christian or some type of religious entity. Personally, I blame the media and internet for influencing people towards a more secular lifestyle and away from the morals, values and work ethic that made this country great to begin with.

    • You are right Kathy. This is a civil rights issue—but it is also a political issue. The Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals have been told by their pastors and parachurch leaders that they are destined to take over the United States and run it as their personal and exclusive religious property. Unfortunately for them, those promises were hollow, and things are not working out as planned. They are losing influence in American society—and that loss is going to continue—not because they are righteous—the world is evil—and these are the end times. They are going to continue because they are on the wrong side of Jesus Christ. The loss on gay marriage was one of many losses they have been racking up over the years, and they are angry about it because their “Leedle Ole Dream” of hubris and hegemony is vaporizing before their eyes. You want to see a good example of who many of these fundies are and what they are like. Colonel Jessup is a perfect example:

      I know. I know. I know. You are a fundie, and you are not anything like that. I can guarantee you that many Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical leaders, both inside the church and in parachurch organizations, are like this. If they ever get real political and governmental power in your time, you will see it come out. You have been taught all your lives to follow them without questions—for theirs is the very voice of God himself relayed to you. When these leaders tell you to kill, torture, and imprison at some future time down the road, you will do it out of fear for your own life, you will do it out of loyalty (thinking you are doing the work of Christ), or you will just turn a blind eye to the suffering just like the German people and German Christians did with the Jews in World War II.

      After millions of people die, as is usually the case, the fundie religious totalitarians will be overcome by an army, air force, marines, and navy from somewhere. Who knows what the world will look like then? Then all of you who partook in this will see the shocking photographs of the evils committed in the name of the Lord—-and all of you will ask: How could this have happened? How were we to know? These men always presented themselves to us as good men of the cloth? How could we have been so deceived? Tears. Vomiting. The whole 9 yards just like the average German did.

      I know you think I am probably deranged—but it is coming. The people thought Jeremiah, Isaiah, and the other prophets were deranged too. My gift of the Holy Spirit is discernment and prophecy in religious matters—and Jesus sent me here in this day and time to speak the truth to ordinary people and religious power before it is too late. Amen

      • Just to clarify. If Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals will just wake up and help out in deposing these fundie leaders and their wild fantasies of worldly power in the name of Jesus—and keep the losses going like the recent loss on the gay marriage issue—this evil can be contained and prevented before the really nasty outcomes begin.

      • Balderdash. I have been a member of numerous evangelical churches dating back to the late 1970’s and I have NEVER heard nor read of any preacher, conference leader, nor denominational leader teach,

        “(Christians) are destined to take over the United States and run it as their personal and exclusive religious property.”

        Thus, I rebuke you in Jesus’ Name for bearing false witness against God’s chosen leaders. I adjure you to repent and sin no more.

        • I feel fine. I would never send you to a concentration camp, but I feel almost certain that your buddies on the so-called Religious Right would gladly send me and the many millions of people that have a festered hatred for straight to such a camp. The reason you are so upset is that your fundie world you were depending on to anchor you is unraveling and falling apart before your eyes. Your faith must be in Jesus—not today’s so-called “men of the Lord” or the unique fundie spin they put on what the Bible says and means. Keep your eyes on Jesus, what He says, and what He does in the New Testament. Peace and love to you and have a nice day.

          • After 11 years of being told by people like you that I am a bigot who isn’t fit to live, I do not believe in your kinder gentler gay culture. In fact, I see the hatred getting worse now that you have the US Army to support your hatred.

  42. Out of all the comments I’ve seen about Christians commenting about the SCOTUS decision, I like yours the best. I think all of these are good, but 4 and 5 really hit the nail on the head.

    God is not intimidated by the Supreme Court of the United States. How can he be when he is the Supreme Ruler of the Universe?

    He is not intimidated by the symbol of the rainbow that has been hijacked and created into a symbol for sin’s cause. He created the rainbow.

    He is not intimidated by gay “Christians,” or “Christians” who support gay marriage, cherry pickers as I call them. (I am very comfortable saying so because the Bible states that as one body, I have the right to hold another Christian to account for their stuff, just as they have the right to do to me. Gay Christians? Christians who support gay marriage? You’re wrong. Point blank. Either God is right, or you are. Choose. It can’t be both. Either you believe the Bible or you don’t. Choose. You can’t do both.)

    No.

    God is bigger than you or I can imagine and this? This is not going to make God any less great, this is not going to dethrone Jesus. This decision does not mean that God is any less in control than before.

    So, Christians? Chill. We are not going to win in the end because we’ve already won. The game was fixed from the beginning of time. So, just calm down. Our jo is not to do God’s job for him. He hasn’t required that of us, he doesn’t need our help to chastise people. Our job is to enlarge our team, God’s team. We are asked to show love, spread God’s word and to those to scoff, mock, and defile his word, shake the dust from our feet and move on. You’ve done your job and you can go before the Father confident in that.

    The Bible says that a brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city. These people are deceived. They need love and prayer. Call them out on their stuff, but in love, the same way God did for us when we were in sin.

    But your reactions reek of fear and that disbelief is just as bad as those of your opponents. A dog is a dog is a dog. A snake is a snake is a snake. The world, is the world, is the world. Stop expecting the world to love God, to revere Jesus. They didn’t do that when he walked the Earth, why would they do it now?

    In a different vein, the problem with posts like this is that they ignore something very fundamental. Christians are people too, and American Christians especially are reacting in this way because we are treading on unfamiliar territory. A governing body just legalized something the Lord said was an abomination. They are floundering because for so long, this country had the illusion of Christianity and now the lie has been stripped away. You’d have to have a relationship with Christ in order to handle this properly. Not a cursory one, but a real one and I fear that is what many, many Christians lack.

    However, this is what I would have liked to have seen: The same amount of love, understanding and compassion for fellow Christians. We are pilgrims in a strange world, and it just got that much harder because this is just the beginning of some serious persecution for those who truly love Christ.

    But, I’m looking forward to it a bit. Those who are reviled for Christ’s sake will rule with him. Have you been reviled for your belief in Christ? If you haven’t, you’re doing something wrong.

    Other than that, great post. Christians need to tighten up. The last thing you want to do is be mistaken for a sinner.

    • But aren’t modern Christians really the ones who cherry-pick which Biblical laws to follow? Do you actually abstain from eating shellfish? Do you consider it a sign to have tattoos, or wear cloth of mixed fiber? I could go on. Because according to you, if one is not following every law in the book of Leviticus, especially, then they are not a true Christian. Please. God is the only one who can judge whether one is a real follower of Christ or not. So…please explain to me why it’s okay for you to cherry pick, but not others.

      • Your words tell me that you either you haven’t read the bible or you read it and got zero understanding.

        Your words are so wrong that it would take more time than I have to dissect everything that’s wrong with it and is biblically inaccurate.

        Sadly, the words you’ve said would have probably flustered other Christians because they don’t know their word. But I do, and if YOU did, you wouldn’t have been able to bring yourself to post something so incorrect.

        Read the Bible for understanding and then come back.

      • Yes. And isn’t it amazing. County court clerks have no problem at all issuing marriage licenses to ex-convicts, fornicators, adulterers, child abusers, members of apostate churches, devil worshipers (the list is long), but they refuse to issue one to gay people. Scribes and Pharisees. Hypocrites.

      • This seems like a straight forward request, so I’m not sure why Sawyer is evading answering you. Perhaps they realize their hypocrisy and are too embarrassed to admit to it?

    • Only trouble is your Bible is obviously flawed because you claim to be the spokesman for God saying things that I don’t believe He did say. Interesting. Well, no matter. Stick you head in the sand of your bigoted interpretations and pretend that all is well in your little narrow world. I wish you joy! No doubt you keep slaves too as the Bible has a great case for doing so.

      • Call me a bigot all you want. It’s fine by me and it’s even better if it helps you sleep better at night.

        You don’t have to believe in Christ, that’s your choice.

      • Sawyer. I do believe in Jesus—and you are a bigot. And it is not what the Bible plainly says. It is what you think the Bible says, as opposed to all of the people in assorted Christian denominations who would no doubt disagree with you on many things.

    • “The last thing you want to do is be mistaken for a sinner.”

      The last thing I want to do is be mistaken for a judgmental believer. The greatest plot satan ever had for the American church was to convince it to fight political battles and culture war instead of reaching the lost, and get us to be more concerned with the opinion of other believers, than to love radically and genuinely be about it because he first loved us. It wasn’t the world that hated Christ and put him to death, it was the Pharisees who were so far gone from the greatest commandments that they couldn’t recognize the son of God.

    • Oh. God forbid Sawyer. The very last thing you want to do is be mistaken for a sinner. Hoo wee!!!! I am so glad you have transcended yourself and become spotless. Praise the Lord!!! Praise the Lord!!!

      You make a damn good word parrot—but certain other things more important appear to have escaped your notice.

      • Another argumentative person? Please don’t be. It’s unattractive.

        We’re all sinners and our righteousness are as filthy rags, but we should strive to look like Christ. Of course we fail at times. But the closer we are to him, the easier it really is to do this.

        No one should have to guess at whether you’re a Christian or not. It’s that simple.

    • I read John’s post feeling encouraged. Reading this comment broke my heart all over again.

      John wrote: “We instead left them a Christ devoid of compassion or kindness or love, and we ensured that many who previously saw all Christians as judgmental, hypocritical jerks—felt completely correct in those assumptions.”

      Your elaboration: “He is not intimidated by gay “Christians,” or “Christians” who support gay marriage, cherry pickers as I call them.”

      What you wrote made me feel exactly the way John said it would, feeling that there are some jerks out there that claim Christ but feel completely justified in calling other people “cherry pickers.” Furthermore, you think God WANTS you to be that to the world. It’s like you’re PROUD that the world sees you as not loving.

      As a gay “Christian” (or as I like to say, a Christian), I want to scream at you and call you all sorts of horrible names right now. But I can’t. One, it’s not what Jesus would ask me to do. Two, I’m too tired of fighting. By telling you my orientation I’ve already guaranteed that you won’t take a single word that I say seriously, and I’ve almost definitely insured that if you choose to reply you’ll focus completely on all of that gay sex I’m (not) having and what I need to do to come to Christ—as if that’s not a question I’ve been asking myself for the thirty years I’ve been walking this earth so far. Instead, all I can say is that I’m glad God’s love is bigger than mine, because He loves you and others like you where I often fail to. And I hope that He opens both your eyes and mine a little more so that we might both love more like He does.

      And to John, your posts are a tonic to the soul. Thank you for giving me a little bit of much-needed relief. Even if it only lasted for a few minutes.

      • So, I’m just a random person who came here by way of Facebook, and a Chan Buddhist to boot (which is more a matter of practice than belief, but that’s its own digression.)

        I have a lot of friends who are Christian, including a handful of Christian ministers. And sure, they’re already the ones who would be friends with a buddhist neurobiologist, but most of them had worked out this issue long before the Supreme Court finally weighed in. There’s a very vocal group of people who are carrying on saying the sky is falling – but they mostly stand out for their loudness, not their prevalence. Sure, in some denominations, they’re a strong majority. (There are also pretty noted regional effects.)

        But there’s a world beyond that, and people who will gladly welcome you into their churches in homes, celebrate your marriage, and indeed support your ministry should you be called to such. A dear friend who is a lesbian minister recently posted a picture of the sign her church had posted, making it clear that they supported same sex marriage and would be more than happy to perform them. I don’t know when she’s been sleeping but I think this has been about the happiest week of her life. The father of my housemate up until just a few weeks ago, who is a semi-retired Presbyterian minister spent part of a really lovely evening explaining to me how the Pauline proscriptions only apply to the Greek practice of pederasty, and not adult homosexuality as practiced in our society. (Having never been Christian, I have no opinion one way or another on the topic, though I found it fascinating.)

        This kind of social change has happened before, and most likely it will happen again. It’s hardly the first time there’s been a lot of whooping and wailing and crying that the sky is falling… and the after a few years most people quiet down and pretend they didn’t do that.

        I’m not writing off your commitment to your faith and your community. I’m not saying “Just go out and find a better church and better friends.” (Though sometimes it can be sanity inducing to know that it’s an option. And, y’know, you can visit.) Obviously your faith is important to you, and it is often the people who are willing to spend time in the hard places who find ways for change to happen.

        But yeah. Christianity is bigger than this. Some groups might fight it forever – and there are plenty more who gave out a resounding “It’s about time!” I really hope you find yourself some space outside of the conflict, because it sounds pretty brutal.

      • I’m actually really glad you responded to me. Just curious. How do you justify being gay and Christian? No flack here, I’m not trying to be venomous or poisonous. It’s simply honest curiosity.

      • Thanks, Sawyer. And I apologize in advance—this won’t exactly be a brief testimony, and at times it might seem to meander and get off-topic. But I want to do this right.

        I should start with a little background information to put this into context: I grew up in small-town Tennessee, part of a conservative Lutheran church, and made the switch to Episcopalian in my early twenties. I’m an obnoxious academic who just finished his PhD last year. Almost all of my life has been dedicated to learning about this delightful world that God has put us in, and part of that learning has been to challenge everything we assume to already know. That can be kind of scary in regards to faith, but I’ve found more often than not that my challenging at the end of the day makes my faith even strong than before.

        But back to the gay Christian thing… There are really two ways that I could go about talking about how I “justify” this reconcile of my faith with my orientation. The first is academic: I could give you the research I’ve done on Scripture, everything I’ve taken in about cultural context and the linguistics of ancient Greek and cross-referencing of texts and the like… but that’s been done to death, and the answers are only a Google search away if you haven’t heard them all before. And I’m not sure God wants me to spout off facts and figures right now anyway. There’s a much more primal story to be told.

        The second is to, well, basically put my soul at your doorstep and tell you about my OWN experience. From the moment I started suspecting I was gay (around age 10, I’d say, though I didn’t really have the words for it until age 14), I started praying to God about it, asking him how to fix it. There were several nights driving home that I’d be crying my eyes out begging God to stop those feelings. I wanted to have a wife and kids and a good Christian family someday—I didn’t want to be sent to hell! What did I do, and how do I stop doing it?! That sort of mentality. Needless to say I was unusually depressed as a teenager.

        Fast forward to age 20. The neurons had started to settle. I came out to a few friends, my parents, and my pastor. By then I had come to the conclusion that God wasn’t going to make the urges go away, but that he wanted me to fight them. That the act of homosexuality was wrong, the lust was wrong, but I could stay celibate and fight the urge to find a partner of any variety, and that God would help me. Those people I came out to encouraged me in this spiritual journey and told me that would be an incredible way to glorify God.

        The three years that followed, those friends have nicknamed my “scary emotional” phase. I was very depressed and very volatile, and even attempted suicide twice. I was still very convinced that God hated me, and I hated myself, and I hated pretty much everyone around me. Some of those same friends pulled me aside after the second attempt and said, “This isn’t working. I don’t think this is what God wants for you at all. Maybe we need to go back to square one.” And they encouraged me to research, right alongside my pastor, all of those things in the Bible that were used to condemn homosexuality, to find out what they really meant.

        It took me about a year of researching before I felt I had come to any conclusions, but I still remember the light-bulb moment, thinking for the first time “What if this ISN’T a sin? What if God WANTS me to embrace this part of myself? What would that look like?” And strangely, nothing came to my mind about having sex or a husband or a family. All that came to my mind was a huge weight being lifted off my chest, and feeling free enough to share charity with other people—a feeling I hadn’t had in about twelve years. If it’s possible for someone to feel “full of the Spirit,” that’s the closest I’ve come to it.

        In the researching that took place after that moment, there are three Bible passages that stand out to me in reference to that moment:

        “For there is no good tree which produces bad fruit, nor, on the other hand, a bad tree which produces good fruit. For each tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they pick grapes from a briar bush. The good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth what is good; and the evil man out of the evil treasure brings forth what is evil; for his mouth speaks from that which fills his heart.” (Luke 6:43-45)

        “Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, “You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet”; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.” (Romans 13:8-10)

        “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.” (1 John 4:7-8)

        Since I have come to accept my orientation, I’ve become a much more loving person to my neighbors. I’ve been free to share peace and joy with them. I’ve made life more about them and God, and less about me. I’ve stopped being afraid. I’ve taken several steps back from automatically judging (still working on that one a bit). God and I have become a lot closer ever since I let this issue go.

        To put it another way… my tree didn’t start bearing good fruit until I considered the possibility that God made the way that I am—attracted to men—and wanted me to love myself for myself the way He created me. The Holy Spirit has been teaching me a lot about that sort of fruit-bearing since then.

        Is that “justification”? Perhaps. I don’t feel like there’s much to justify at this point, except to say that God will make my paths straight as He so chooses. Will that involve a husband and family someday? Who knows? I sure don’t. I’ll let that decision be up to God, and I trust Him to make His will apparent in time there.

        (If you’re not familiar with and are interested in the academic research, a young man named Matthew Vines presents it much better than I do, with just as much in depth. I highly recommend checking out his YouTube video and the sources he references.)

        Sorry for the length! Like I said, I wanted to get this right.

    • Calling the Rainbow has been “has been hijacked and created into a symbol for sin’s cause” is a fallacy. For first, you must prove without using the Bible your god’s existence, and then you can prove sin’s existence then you can call yourself a sinner for judging people. You claim to have the right to judge but does not your god in jesus say “judge not lest ye be judged yourself” ?

      you are why people, like me, are leaving the church rapidly.

      • I’m not going to argue God’s existence with you. It’s futile. I actually think it takes much, much more faith to disbelieve him.

        I think people who don’t are incredibly … uh … how to put this … let’s just say they have more faith than I do.

        You don’t have to be a Christian, you don’t have to believe. That’s your choice.

      • Also, what I don’t understand is why, when a person follows their beliefs or when, I don’t know, Christians are held to the Bible’s principles and when we witness to others about God’s word, we’re suddenly judgmental? Or is it that, when a person tells you that you’re wrong, even in love, that person is still judging you? That means that everyone is judging everyone. That means you’re judging me.

        That would mean that we can’t say anything to anybody about anything. Don’t tell the murderer he’s wrong, you’re judging him. Don’t tell your child not to misbehave, you’re judging her. Really?

        Your words make no sense. People spam the sentiment “don’t judge” like they have diarrhea of the mind and mouth, but I’m convinced that you guys don’t even knows what it means to judge because your words make no sense. But I guess you guys say it so much that you think it does.

        It doesn’t.

        The Bible said in 1st Corinthians:

        It isn’t my responsibility to judge outsiders, but it certainly is your responsibility to judge those inside the church who are sinning.

        I’m not going to judge sinners. That’s not my concern. I witness to them and move on. But don’t say you’re a Christian, because then I’m going to open up on you, because it’s my right to call you out because I’m apart of you as you are apart of me, both of us being in Christ.

        You said you left the Church, huh? Did you leave Christ too?

        • That’s neither here nor there.

          “That means you’re judging me. ”

          Yes, but the difference being, I don’t subscribe to a religion whose leader say “judge not lest ye be judged.” I really don’t care what Paul said, I’m holding you to your messiah’s standard, not Paul’s standard.

          • That’s what I mean by cherry pickers. They really irk me more than anything. The Bible is one unit. You can’t take one part without the other, or simply cherry pick the words in red, or the ones you like. It was Jesus’ intention that his disciples, his successors carry on his work. And they did. All one needs to do is study the Bible even a little to realize that it’s truth and life.

            So, please don’t quote scripture while discounting the scriptures I reply back with, in an ineffective and transparent attempt to refute my words no matter how argumentative and unreasonable it makes you sound. That just means you’re not talking to me to understand what I have to say, rather to antagonize.

            The Word is clear. There are rules to salvation. If you don’t follow them, then you have to atone for your own sins instead of having the Jesus exemption. If you don’t follow those rules, you’re a sinner. It’s really is pretty simple.

            As a Christian, I will tell a sinner that Jesus wants him/her on his team, but you gotta follow the rules. If you don’t, you have to play for the other team. You can’t play for both. That’s not judgment according to Biblical standards. I’m giving you information. Do with it what you will. If you accept him, praise God. If not, I’ve done what I was supposed to do.

            But if you’re a Christian … I’m going to lay it on you, because since you’re SUPPOSED to be in Christ, there are some things you KNOW better to do. Now, yes, I’m judging you, but in the way that the Bible allows. Because in the same way that I’m calling you out, you can call me out.

            Here’s the shimmy.

            I’m a Christian, I believe in God’s word. That’s it. You don’t. And that’s your choice. The judgment line seems to bring you a great deal of comfort and confidence, but it’s an erroneous one. It would probably behoove you though, to look up the Biblical meaning of judging. You’ll learn something.

            • Nope, definitely not a Christian. I was, once, even almost–just a year of seminary shy–became a priest. Then I met a whole congregation of hypocrites–including one person who called their own priests 3 miscarriages, and I quote this directly as it has remained etched into my mind, “God’s way of aborting evil.” and a weak spined priest who did nothing to stop it but had no problem shutting down a young woman merely struggling to find answers.

              Now, I’m quite happy watching as the negativity of people such as that congregation and that priest cause the church to decline in number if not spirit. Well, maybe happy isn’t the right word. I am saddened by it as I am sure there are many a church that can do good if they chose to. Instead of working on things like seeing that their congregation members marriages are happy and don’t lead to divorce (the only time Jesus himself by the way, talks of marriage.) or that their young people realize the dangers of premarital sex, focus on the “evils” of same sex marriage and homosexuality, of which their god created, in his image no less, as described in one of the two creation stories in genesis 1:26

              but instead of seeking to have an actual discussion on it (which you could happily email me at p4nn0x at gmail dot com if you so chose to do so) you’ll focus instead on the words “former christian” “almost priest” “homosexuality” “same sex marriage” and “glad the church is declining.”

              I wish you the best as well, if you choose not to do so though.

              and it’s not erroneous. in fact, it goes well in this situation with “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?

        • i was already forced out of my church almost ten years ago, Greg. then two years after that i came out as transgender.

          I would love to find an LGBT friendly church but every one i email they never answer.

    • “The last thing you want to do is be mistaken for a sinner.” Are you serious? Or are you just being facetious? Aren’t we all sinners, saved by Grace, in need of Jesus every moment of every day?

      • Please don’t be argumentative. Of course, we’re all sinners and our righteousness are as filthy rags. But when you follow Christ you are redeemed and should act like it.

        You should not act like someone who hasn’t experienced his saving grace and his transformation power. Thus, look like a sinner. You should look like Christ, strive to look like him. No one should have to guess.

    • “Cherry pickers”? If you are not a cherry picker then when is the last time you stoned someone to death or ate pork? What makes your religion right over us who feel our religion includes the LGBT community and their rights to live life as they see fit without being judged?

      Also, our government is secular so the majority cannot oppress a minority’s rights. You still have a legal right to discriminate in your personal life. Nothing has changed here for you and most likely your intolerance will not change either. People gained rights today, no one lost rights.

      • Your words alone tell me that you don’t read your word and it would take more time than I’d like to give to educate you on all the things wrong with your statement. There are many.

        Are you a Christian? Just curious.

      • Btw, our governments decisions may be secular, but it was founded “Under God”. Says so right on the money in your pocket…

      • Christianity is the biggest religion in the world, although Muslim is gaining. I’m not sure what that fact has to do with anything, but okay.

        I don’t care what anybody says, I don’t care what the money says: This country was not founded under God. All you have to do is look at our history and look at God’s word to see that this was all talk. The parallels between Jewish slavery in Egypt and African American slavery is both grievous and incredible in turn. You cannot commit the evils that the settlers and the following governmental bodies did and claim God.

        And to cite what’s on money as solid proof of this claim is … okay. Not going there.

      • This is pointless……based on reading your comments it sounds like you think you are god himself! My guess is you deny evolution as well, which means you deny facts and cannot be reasoned with. I could be wrong, but either way your arrogance is not worth anyone’s time and no more of mine. I am only glad that the hatred that runs through you did not win the day and my lgbt friends can live a happy life with a family equal in the eyes of the government and god.

    • One other comment, I am not sure of your age, but this comment

      “They are floundering because for so long, this country had the illusion of Christianity and now the lie has been stripped away”

      Reminds me of similar arguments I heard during the civil rights struggle. Was it wrong back then to have this same opinion? While I personally feel the civil rights struggle was about so much more than this issue, it is hard not to compare the two when the arguments against it are so similar.

      • The only problem with the civil rights issue is that the Word never condoned racism of any kind. The separation that God insisted on in the Bible was purely due to beliefs and people’s inclination toward weakness and idol worship. It was cultural. Point blank.

        God never said, “Look: Don’t go over there because I don’t like black people. Never. Ever. Because we’re all his children and he loves us all.” There is no biblical support for racism. None.

        That doesn’t even sound like God. So, giving non-whites blacks was not legalizing sin. Not at all. It was allowing human beings to be human beings.

      • I agree Rick. It makes me think that the way we accomplished civil rights against racism in this country was deeply flawed and wrong.

      • Well … okay … how to put this.

        I’m not sure we’re being mistaken for sinners so much as horrible people, lol. That’s because a lot of Christians are reacting out of fear, but also because these same Christians don’t know their God.

        Hypocrisy, of course, is to be avoided and condemned. However, if one tries their hardest to live according to his Word and happen to stumble along the way, that is a bit different. That means you’re human. But if you’re constantly and willfully engaging in hypocritical behavior; loudly condemning gays while engaging in the act, then yeah. That’s not to be borne.

        Other than that, you kind of expect the world to hate you. Actually, if the world does hate you, then you’re on the right track. After all, the word says if they hated Jesus, a being who is blameless and without sin, they’re going to hate you, simple as that. And if they’re NOT hating you …

        Just food for thought.

    • “Other than that, great post. Christians need to tighten up. The last thing you want to do is be mistaken for a sinner.”
      This is what is wrong with Christianity. Everyone is a sinner. How could you not be mistaken for what you and all of humanity is. The truth of the matter is that you and people like you are Satan’s greatest allies. You forget the days when true Christians were murdered by the Romans, killed and treated as nothing but human waste. You bask now in your “church”, led by pride, discrimination, hate, bigotry and lies. Christianity will not fall because of same sex marriages, or drugs, or people of color that you all seem to hate. Christianity will fall because people refuse to truly stand up for what’s right, you refuse to help the poor, sick, disenfranchised, and the hopeless. You rather sit in your ivory tower and pick out the parts of the bible that you choose to help support your arguments. You and your kind are really nothing but modern day Pharisees. Modern day killers of Jesus, using old, ridiculous laws, to do so again. You wouldn’t recognize Jesus if he was in front of you at the grocery store, because you’re too busy being self righteous. Truthfully, I will tell you, it is you and those of your kind who will end up paying the ultimate price at the end.

      • I don’t engage in conversations such as this. I do hope you feel better after spewing so venomously though.

        You don’t have to believe in the Bible or Christ. That was the choice given to us.

    • Oh my goodness. Thank you, thank you… Perfect.
      … And obviously a true & just reflection of His heart. (which, as you mentioned, can only come from one who truly knows His heart)

      • Thank you. What I want more than anything is to know my savior. And you can only do that by reading his letter to us.

        Reading the Bible and understanding it is … wow … life changing. It truly is a slice of the divine. People study the word all their lives and never ever understand it fully. It is … truly amazing. Want to know something my Daddy told me?

    • You cannot actually be serious, especially with that last part you spewed…
      “Mistaken for sinners” we are ALL sinners. Every-single-day.
      I sure hope you’re perfect.

      • I’m not sure why you felt the need to say this, and so acidly at that–I don’t think my tone came off that way–but like I said to others:

        We’re all sinners and our righteousness are as filthy rags, but we should strive to look like Christ. Of course we fail at times. But the closer we are to him, the easier it really is to do this.

        No one should have to guess at whether you’re a Christian or not. It’s that simple.

  43. Your posts are so encouraging to me. You put to words the very things I feel in my heart and then I don’t feel so alone. The love of God is so huge and we don’t even really get that. I was brokenhearted this last week when I saw the response from many believers. What a shame. How sad it made me.

  44. Thank you for your kind words. I am a Christian, but believe me, few people test my faith as much as some other “Christians”.

  45. It is not unchristian to disagree. This is the biggest problem we have, people cannot have an honest conversation because we aren’t allowed to disagree. I disagree with you. Standing for what you believe is not wrong. You’ve got to stand for something, or you’ll fall for anything.

  46. Question? Can we agree to disagree? I mean is it possible to hold an entirely different viewpoint on this issue and be accepted in a manner that others wish to be accepted for their viewpoint? There are many things people do that some find offensive, and I know there are things I do that offends others. Therefore if not offending anyone is our goal good luck with that because Jesus Christ offended all those who were lost.

    Let me leave you with this verse to ponder:
    JB Philips puts it this way:

    Jude 3-4 I fully intended, dear friends, to write to you about our common salvation, but I feel compelled to make my letter to you an earnest appeal to put up a real fight for the faith which has been once and for all committed to those who belong to Christ. For there are men who have surreptitiously entered the Church but who have for a long time been heading straight for the condemnation I shall plainly give them. They have no real reverence for God, and they abuse his grace as an opportunity for immorality. They will not recognise the only master, Jesus Christ our Lord.

    Continuing he adds:
    16 These are the men who complain and curse their fate while trying all the time to mould life according to their own desires. They “talk big” but will pay men great respect it if is to their own advantage.
    Forewarned is forearmed

    17-19 Now do remember, dear friends, the words that the messengers of Jesus Christ gave us beforehand when they said “there will come in the last days mockers who live according to their own Godless desires”. These are the men who split communities, for they are led by human emotions and never by the Spirit of God.
    And:
    For some of these men you can feel pity and you can treat them differently. Others you must try to save by fear, snatching them as it were out of the fire while hating the very garments their deeds have befouled.

    According to this portion of scripture it would appear that there are different ways to deal with different people. And contending for the faith or for what one believes is commendable in fact it would appear it is a requirement especially as wickedness increases. What say you?

  47. I don’t agree with you regarding the Lesbian Gay Community.

    They are all God’s children but it is the act that God hates.

    The GL community has made their choice in this life and I wish them well. GOOD LUCK.

  48. I like this post. It’s beautiful and full of good heart. Unfortunately, and to be honest, I have never ever come across a christian who exemplified these virtues.

    The reaction we saw this week is pretty much on par with how christians always act. My perception of christians as compared to my atheist friends is that they generally are: condescending, holier than thou, uneducated, egotistical, greedy, and just plain mean.

    Of course one can play the “no true scotsman” card and claim that these are not real christians. But the truth of the matter is that they seem to be the vast majority.

    The good news of course is that those good qualities that you mentioned in this post, are not exclusive to religious folks. Just change the words a little, edit out the “christ” and the religious quotes, and these are behaviours that anyone can display. And most atheist people I know actually do.

    I wish you a better, wiser tomorrow.

  49. Sorry you had such a bad week – your post didn’t apply to my Christian belief or actions – I am doing the best I can in a fallen world. The World is temporal not everlasting. I look to the life to come – the life everlasting..

    One final thought – so called tolerance in this world is absolute intolerance to God. True Christianity is being slaughtered all over the Globe by governments and individuals that could care less about Christian Faith and Beliefs.

    I get your point, but seriously, look at what is happening to the God fearing Christian and their families and pray for them.

    God Bless.

    • I have to watch my language or I quickly join the ranks of violent language unconsciously. You state: “….flight like hell to get it back…” What about “….love as Jesus would have….” and be proactive like Jesus was.

      Kay Klinkenborg, KC Metro Area

    • So much in the next world you are no damned good for anything in this one…huh? Lovely. I am so sorry an unfallen person like you has to be trapped and forced to live in a fallen world. Budweiser, Echosmith, William Faulkner, Evolution, Pope Francis, and the Washington Post. When oh when will God ever release you from having to bear all of this sin in your midst!!!??? Rescue her soon sweet Jesus.

    • I think you missed the whole point and are living in your other world already, ignoring some things perhaps that need your attention. Such as John’s points in the blog. But then again, you suddenly come back to earth with concern for “the God fearing Christian and their families”. Do tell, what is happening to these families. Is their God not looking after them? Are they drowning or something? And are some gay families not equally God fearing? I am somewhat confused by your remarks, to say the least.

    • It’s kind of amazing that the ones who try to live up to the “standards” he’s trying to emphasize seem to have to make sure we know it. I try to be loving and kind, and recognize the truth in what John said. I don’t need to rub anybody’s nose in the fact that i do.
      What exactly is happening to the “God fearing Christians” that hasn’t been happening to them since the moment of Christ’s death? What besides death and resurrection? What besides enduring the attacks of the world the flesh and the devil and obtaining eternal life? What’s new in the history of the Church? The Keepers of the Law tell me they are unlimited because of the Bigness of God and keep implying that, for whatever reason (people disagree with them?) they’re losing something. I Cor 13. Love always wins.

  50. Jude 1:7New International Version (NIV)
    7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

    • “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen. Ezekiel 16:49-50

      • Sounds like 21st Century Americans. Putin claims to be a Christian in the Russian Orthodox Church. Maybe the nuclear fires have already been aimed our way. That’ll sure put an end to gay marriage (wink).

  51. This is the sound of me clapping clap clap clap from Australia – we are in the middle of political nonsense over this topic right now. Whatever our personal theology please please can we lead with our embrace. It infuriates me that we can’t seem to have noble, calm, honest dialogue on this issue.
    AGAIN thank you John.

  52. Great article.
    And might I point out; not all Christians. Not all Christians lost this week. Many spent the week being a good neighbor, a good semeritan and Christ like in their words and behavior. Many chrstians have been behaving this way for a long long time. And many of them aren’t considered “Christian” enough by those who lost this week.
    Just something to consider.

      • Heterosexual marriage is not always procreative, either. When you start down the “marriage is about procreation” path, you invalidate a great many marriages in which there is infertility, or in which the partners have determined they would not be able to do right by a child, or they simply have decided they do not wish to be parents. The law allows such people to marry, and the law is what the Court is addressing. (Plus, as I am sure you are aware, gay people have been procreating and raising children for a pretty long time.)

    • Nobody asked you to encourage me to be gay. I am with or without your encouragement. However, it would have been nice that when I needed some one to say “I’m your friend”, It would have been more than the one Christian who did. You don’t need to encourage me to sin. You need to encourage me (even as a “sinner”) to live.

  53. you freely lambasted Christians for quoting scripture against same sex marriage,yet at least 6 times in your attack you handpicked Biblical scripture to make yourself look like the messiah.clean your own house before you fling dirt at christians doing what is expected of them.It’s the christians responsibility to spread the Gospel and direct the lost through Biblical scripture in order to accept Jesus Christ in their lives and turn their lives around.try prayer before you run your mouth off like a rabbid dog against Christians which you claim to be.

  54. I think it depens very much if the one who accepts homosexuality as a a from God accepted or wanted way of living clames to be a christan or not. If not, its less a problem and we should tell this person the gospel that we all are sinners and seperated from God but because of his love he has set Jesus his son as 100% human as our savior and we can go back to God. And it’s more likely Gods job to deal with the rest. If the person is a christan and is accepting or even proclaming homosexuality as from God accepted or even wanted, I would pray and give him the following text to read and especialy the last parts. If he still does not change his opinion the bible tells us to kind stay away from this person and so on. Here the text I would give…:

    A detailed explanation of why Christians don’t accept gay marriage. For those genuinely interested in understanding.

    Given the nature of the discussion following the gay marriage ruling last weeks, one thing that’s clear to me as a Christian who opposes gay marriage is that very few secular people – and sadly, by no means all Christians – really understand why Christians take the position we do.

    That’s why there is so much being said that doesn’t really reflect what Christians think. Some say we hate or we judge. Others say we are against love. Some think we’re threatened by homosexuals. Some think we object too vociferously because we secretly want to join their ranks. Some even claim we don’t think God loves gay people.

    None of that is true, but maybe it’s understandable that you jump to those conclusions if you’re not familiar with the Bible or with the details of Christian doctrine.

    What I want to do here is lay out an explanation for the basis of Christian opposition to gay marriage. The intent here is not to convince you if you don’t agree, although I’d be glad if I did. If you come away from this feeling that you better understand the Christian position, but still disagreeing with it, then I’ve accomplished my goal.

    First, a few caveats: This explanation is going to reflect my particular denominational bent, which is Pentecostal. I don’t think the substance of what I say will differ in a substantive way from any Bible-believing denomination, but I recognize, for instance, that Baptists or Lutherans may not put as much emphasis on the supernatural as I do. Noted. I still think they would mostly endorse the substance of how I’m going to explain this. Also, my target audience here is people with a genuine interest in understanding. The fire-breathing ideologue who is simply spoiling for a fight about anything and everything is going to do what he or she always does. That’s not my problem.

    Finally, I understand that some of you don’t believe in God or in anything spiritual, and for you, all of this is absurd on its face. You’re still welcome to gain an understanding if you’d like, even though I recognize you will not accept the basic premise behind any of it.

    With that said, let’s start by establishing a basic point about the Bible. The Christian (present company included) believes that the entire Bible is the inspired Word of God. The various writers wrote under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, so we don’t believe it was merely “written by men,” and we also believe that God has protected His Word over the course of centuries with new translations to reflect modern language – by choosing godly men and women to lead those translation processes.

    That’s why, when we cite the Bible, we treat it as authoritative.

    Also, since every writer of the Bible was under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, it doesn’t matter when people argue that “Jesus never said anything” about this or that. Just because an issue isn’t specifically referenced in the red-letter words of Jesus (although the definition of marriage as between a man and a woman actually is, which we’ll get to shortly) doesn’t mean Scriputure had nothing authoritative to say on the matter.

    Now, let’s establish beyond any doubt what Scripture says about homosexual sex. I have five passages for you, starting with Romans 1:24-28:

    24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, 25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them up to vile passions. For even their women exchanged the natural use for what is against nature. 27 Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due.

    This passage clearly establishes that God intended a natural order for how we would receive and engage in the gift of sexual activity, and it likewise establishes that homosexual sex is outside that established order. It also establishes that there is a penalty for this. Loving Christian people want to see gay people spared of the pain of that penalty.

    Next, let’s look at Mark 10:2-9:

    2 The Pharisees came and asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” testing Him.

    3 And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?”

    4 They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.”

    5 And Jesus answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. 6 But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’7 ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, 8 and the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. 9 Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

    Jesus is answering a question from the Pharisees about divorce – one of their typically pathetic attempts to trap him – and in the course of answering, Jesus lays out God’s clear plan for marriage, affirming that it is indeed between a man and a woman. There are people who argue implausibly that Jesus only phrased it this way because, in that day and age, He couldn’t have conceived of gay marriage. That’s transparent nonsense. As the Son of God, Jesus knew everything that would ever happen. And Jesus introduced lots of concepts into His teaching that were radical in His day. If He had been OK with gay marriage, this was the perfect opportunity to say so. Instead, he affirmed that marriage is between a man and a woman.

    Next, let’s look at Leviticus 20:10-18:

    10 ‘The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death. 11 The man who lies with his father’s wife has uncovered his father’s nakedness; both of them shall surely be put to death. Their blood shall be upon them. 12 If a man lies with his daughter-in-law, both of them shall surely be put to death. They have committed perversion. Their blood shall beupon them. 13 If a man lies with a male as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination. They shall surely be put to death. Their bloodshall be upon them. 14 If a man marries a woman and her mother, it iswickedness. They shall be burned with fire, both he and they, that there may be no wickedness among you. 15 If a man mates with an animal, he shall surely be put to death, and you shall kill the animal. 16 If a woman approaches any animal and mates with it, you shall kill the woman and the animal. They shall surely be put to death. Their blood is upon them. 17 ‘If a man takes his sister, his father’s daughter or his mother’s daughter, and sees her nakedness and she sees his nakedness, it is a wicked thing. And they shall be cut off in the sight of their people. He has uncovered his sister’s nakedness. He shall bear his guilt. 18 If a man lies with a woman during her sickness and uncovers her nakedness, he has exposed her flow, and she has uncovered the flow of her blood. Both of them shall be cut off from their people.

    Now I realize many will focus on the “put to death” aspect of this, and that’s where you have to understand the difference between moral law and ceremonial law. A lot of people cite prohibitions against things like eating shellfish as evidence that Leviticus is just full of random nonsense. No. Those are laws specifically for the Israelites about remaining ceremonial clean for entering the Temple and offering sacrifices to God. Those are ceremonial laws.

    The death penalty proscribed for these sins is likewise a penalty under ceremonial law, but make no mistake, God views the actions described as moral sins, and the reason I included so many other examples is to establish that there is such a thing as sexual morality, and there are limits to it. God intends sex to be enjoyed within marriage between a man and a woman who are not closely related to each other, and He is very stern with those who engage in sexual immorality – as defined in great detail in this passage. That’s because God establishes that when you unite with someone physically, you also unite with them spiritually – and He only wants you to unite spiritually with one person. Your spouse. Of the opposite sex. Taking on the spiritual iniquity of others with whom you were never intended to unite is a very dangerous game, and God is trying to warn you against doing so.

    Next, 1 Timothy 1:8-11:

    8 But we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, 9 knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, 10 for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God which was committed to my trust.

    Just to be clear, sodomites are those who engage in sodomy (referenced in other translations as those who practice homosexuality) and fornicators are those who engage in sex outside of marriage.

    Finally, James 1:14-15:

    14 But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. 15 Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death.

    I included that last passage not just to show that desires of the flesh are sinful, but also to show that sin has ultimate spiritual consequence, which is torment in your life and ultimately death.

    Now, I know that’s a lot of Scripture, so let me pull it together. Every one of us is born into sin. For the homosexual who says, “I was born this way,” I will not argue. We were all born with sinful urges of our flesh. Some struggle with anger. Some struggle with heterosexual lust. Some struggle with gluttony or addiction to alcohol. And some struggle with homosexual urges. These are our desires. They come from the flesh and they war against the spirit.

    God’s desire for each person is that they will repent of those desires and surrender to Him so that He can deliver them from these urges by the power of Christ. The Christian who loves as God loves certainly does not a hate another human being for having sinful desires of the flesh. We have them too. We need the power of Christ to be delivered from them. But crucially, we recognize that these urges are sinful and we want to be delivered from them so we can be in a right relationship with God, and receive the fullness of His blessings in our lives.

    I understand why some Christians struggle with this. They know a gay person, or maybe have a gay family member, and they want that person to be happy. It’s enticing to accept the “love is love” argument and to believe that surely God wants that gay person to be in a loving relationship.

    But that argument wrongly conflates love with sex. There are a lot of different kinds of love. Hopefully you love a lot of people, but you only have sex with one person – the one to whom you’re married. If you want a gay person to know love in a romantic/sexual relationship, good, so do I. So I will pray that this person is delivered from those urges through the blood of Jesus so that he or she can find the mate of the opposite sex that God always intended for them to come together with.

    For a Christian to encourage a gay person in the consummation of a gay “marriage” is to encourage their permanent indulgence in a lust of the flesh that Scripture clearly tells us God finds detestable, and to suffer all the spiritual consequences that come with that. It would be like encouraging you to go hiking down a path where we know a deadly wild animal is waiting to devour you. Far from hating you, we’re loving you by warning you of the consequences and urging you to repent – which literally means to turn back and change directions.

    That’s why the Christian baker doesn’t want to bake that wedding cake, and why the Christian adoption agency doesn’t want to process those papers, and why the Christian church won’t perform the ceremony. And that’s why so many people like me won’t be cloaking our Facebook profile pictures in the rainbow colors. What we want for you is something better than your flesh is leading you to, and we’re praying for you to receive it. We’re not going to encourage you to follow the desire of your flesh instead of the light God wants to put in your spirit.

    I hope that by reading this, some of you gained a better understanding of the Christian position on gay marriage, and why a Bible-believing Christian can never accept it. If you did – even if you still disagree – I did my job.

    • Just so we’re clear… you decide that the words in the Bible should be taken verbatim when YOU deem it appropriate, but when it suits your needs you wave off the “exact words” as simply “ceremonial”.

      Uh huh… you really proved your point there… not.

      Is not marriage ceremonial? After all, it’s even CALLED the “ceremony of marriage”. So I could just as easily write off God’s exact words about marriage as simply “ceremonial law” that need not be followed to the letter… since I am not an Isrealite.

      Fail. Try touting your logic somewhere else.

    • Reading that confirmed my sincere belief that by singling out homosexuality as the Big #1 of the all-time Top-Ten list of Sins to the exclusion of practically all others, people like you have no practical understanding of Sin, Grace or the transforming love of Christ Jesus.
      I have no use for that kind of profane, gutter theology.

    • Thank you for your scriptural explanation. It is clear from it that only male homosexuality is a sin, so lesbians are in the clear.

    • I’m afraid I could not get past your first point. It actually is NOT a universal Christian belief that the Bible is the literal word of God, with no impact or influence from the many writers and translators and versions of translations throughout a two thousand year history. It may seem that way to you, that Christians you know hold this belief. But it is not true of all of Christianity. There are devout scholars around the world who would disagree with you on that one fact.

      This is important that you know this. Other Christians see this as a big divider between different sects of the faith. And this one belief of yours is what makes it difficult for you to discuss this with others in a meaningful way.

      There was no point in continuing to read after this. I was interested in what you had to say until I read that.

    • This entire argument loses all credibility because homosexuality is the only “sin” that your church is so vocal about. Homosexuality is not any different than divorce, sex before marriage, or adultery: it’s sex outside of God’s plan for humanity. And yet you welcome divorced people and do not protest loudly at all about adultery.

      So if you EVER expect to have your “sincere religious beliefs” taken seriously, you’re going to have to be consistent in your hatred of sin. When you pick and choose the sins that align with your personal feelings, you make a mockery of your religion and you embarrass yourself.

    • Here’s an interesting bit of info…we aren’t all believers in your God. So why would I give a damn about what you think your God does or doesn’t want me to do? Why should the laws of our land reflect YOUR religion when so many of us don’t subscribe.

      I was raised Catholic – 12 years of Catholic school education, in fact. But as an adult I became so turned off by all the perfect Christians looking down and judging their fellow man, that I left. The church was my home for so long but I have no desire to ever go back.

    • Thank you for informing us that God is a deadly wild animal waiting to devour us. I have always known that to be an implicit fundie “doctern,” but you are the only one who has ever openly expressed it. I don’t think you follow Jesus or love him. I think you are scared shitless of him—and Peter makes it clear in the New Testament that those who come to Jesus out of fear will never see the Kingdom of God. I am sure you think I am going to Hell, so when I get there, I’ll be sure and bring over the beer, chips, and hors d’oevers so we can all have a big weiner roast with you and your fundie friends. I hope that will not violate your stupid “doctern” too much.

    • I appreciate and understand your arguments and your position, and realize that it’s being made without vitriol, anger or bigotry, but think some of your conclusions are wrong. I would really really like to find the Christian who would tell me about the bear at the bottom of the path, and then find an army to help fend him off when I get there. I would rather have a person say I feel uncomfortable about this cake but I am going to make it with the understanding that you find the topper for it. I’m making it because God loves you, and i want to be available if and when you have problems with your decision. A cake is a cake and nothing more.
      I can understand why a minister with that attitude wouldn’t want to perform the ceremony; that more clearly seems to indicate a condoning, but in some ways the same principle applies. Christians should be available to “sinners” in such a way that the door is open to conversation and reconciliation.
      I appreciate the prayers but I wish they were more for the success in finding love in a …. than for the changing of an attraction/temptation it’s impossible to get rid of unless God changes it.
      Of course, I could gain your approval by marrying a woman, denying the temptation, pretending everything was fine and covering my unhappiness and lack of commitment with a veneer of respectability.
      Talked with any homosexuals lately, or are you to busy talking to them?

  55. You are a saint of the church, don’t despair, we can still turn this thing around and come out on top for God, Jesus the Holy Spirit and the Church!

  56. Hey, People! Let’s not forget the good stuff! Were you not watching when the people of Charleston ‘walked their talk’ in the face of unbelievable evil? It was a beautiful and inspiring thing.

  57. I am a Christian. I am a Friend (Quaker). I am a Gideon. I am loving. I am compassionate. I have a brother that is married in a same sex relationship. I have a daughter that is a lesbian living with another woman. I know both sides but disagree with their choices. God will finally judge us all.

  58. I was just discussing this with my family. It’s wonderful how God answers prayers before they are asked…..I had been lamenting the fact that not a single article I’ve read since the law passed was about God’s love. Instead I have read Christians damning others….my father (who is very patient with me) pointed out that we only see what has been put out in the open. The internet is no place for ministry or acting out our faith. Though I was wrong in saying that most Christians have been going about this battle the wrong way-for I have only witnessed those actively involved in the media-I was disheartened by what I saw.

    Thank you for writing an article that is glorifying to God.

  59. There’s been nothing wrong with the definition of marriage for 5000 years. Now, we have a court, as corrupt as the legislature and the executive, in dumbing down our society in the evil it has brought forth. The price Will be extracted.

    • The definition of marriage has changed much over time. So unless you plan to take your brother’s wife and impregnate her after his death (don’t refuse; god will kill you as he did Onan), this argument doesn’t hold water.

      The fact that you didn’t trade a goat and three chickens for your wife means you’ve already accepted that marriage is different than it was in the bible.

    • Nothing wrong with the definition? Maybe not. But there’s been something wrong with the practice until very recently. In the 600 years comonly referred to as the Middle Ages, marriage was accepted as a means of gaining political and monetary power, set up with out the consent of either party (many times of an biological age where it couldn’t be consummated and endorsed by the church of the time. Marriage becomes sacred when the parties involved in it consider it sacred and not before. Lots of straight people don’t consider it so, and lots of gay people do. So I don’t know how to define a marriage. Secular or sacred. Committed or experimental. Straight or gay. Sorry, just can’t figure it out. I prefer to opt out for the question of whether the people are happy or not. Not very biblical, I know but where the Bible doesn’t seem to care I rather think both God and His son do care. And are strong enough to sort the mess out by themselves.

  60. Speaking as an ex-Catholic atheist, I saw a pretty substantial number of Christians who did the first three; this country’s population is still overwhelmingly Christian, and without many of them supporting certain social justice and civil rights causes (even passively), I wouldn’t be celebrating the victories seen over the last few days (well, I see them as victories; I know there’s a sizable minority that does not share in my perceptions).

    Those who did not, I imagine, placed greater priority on the latter three, and to such a degree that it occurred at the expense of the former.

  61. True “Love” begins with Loving the “Truth”…
    Jesus said, “you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free”

    Unfortunately, Some choose to ignore the truth, therefore they have chosen to live in bondage to sin. Paul said, “shall we continue to sin that grace may abound? God forbid” (Romans 6:1)

    • P.S. As some seek to convince Christians that their sinful choices are acceptable, recommend they discuss their disagreement with God’s Word with the author, God.

      “Be not deceived, evil communication corrupts good manners” (1st Corinthians 15:33)

      Don’t drink the Kool aid

  62. I’ve seen many posts and social comments about hatred coming from the Christian community this week. But I haven’t seen any hateful posts now (or ever) coming from any Christians. Sure, there are some fringe individuals making posts if you look hard enough. But there has been a lot more to say “well done” about. Particularly in the face of the adversity of those who label all disagreement as hate. It is now so bad that I fear putting my own voice to comments like this – by defending different opinions, I will be labeled a hater and a bigot.

    Perhaps if you spent as much time looking for the good as you do for the bad, we would all be a bit better off?

  63. Very well said. And those of us who didn’t lose by acting the way most people did were attacked by those who did for not being “bold enough to take a stand”. I know God is on his throne but I think he spent much of the week broken hearted by how his children reacted.

  64. Thank you for this. you quoted some amazing Bible verses, and I’d like to leave one I think adds to this.

    1 John 4:20
    “Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.”

    God bless.

  65. The most damaging thing to come out of this week is the inability of so many Christians to point to the specific parts of the Word of God to show people why the bible is not OK with homosexuality. When we can’t back up our argument with the plain language of Christ, we look like the discrimination was arbitrary all along. That turns people off far more than any of the problems the author points out. Even worse, we have whole, supposedly Christian denominations (hello, episcopalians) led by people that are telling their churches that homosexual “marriages” are welcome. Jesus flipped tables and chased people with whips when they were corrupting the use of the temple. If we are to be Christ-like then that’s an example we shouldn’t be admonished for following when appropriate.

    • “The most damaging thing to come out of this week is the inability of so many Christians to point to the specific parts of the Word of God to show people why the bible is not OK with homosexuality.”

      Perhaps that’s because the Bible doesn’t actually say anything about homosexual orientation or committed same-gender relationships…

      “When we can’t back up our argument with the plain language of Christ, we look like the discrimination was arbitrary all along.”

      EEE-zactly! Christ himself said nothing about homosexuality at all. Not. One. Word. Thus we cannot use “the plain language of Christ” to back up an argument for discrimination, thus…well…”the discrimination was arbitrary all along.”

      Thanks for making the case for marriage equality so nicely, even though it’s clear that’s not what you meant to do.

    • Everyone knows the scriptures of which you speak. Your assumption is incorrect. Those scriptures have to be balanced out by what other scriptures command us to do—and you have to remember that the Old Testament (except for occasional reference purposes) is an obsolete covenant that no longer exists for Christians. Jesus fulfilled it—and it passed away.

      “Weezuns down her in the Tinnisee woods jist loves a law. Oursuns flesh just needs and craves a law. Laws is simple and easy for ours simple minds to grayusp. Weezuns jist reads what they sez, memerizes it real wayull, and then uses it as a ruler to maysure iresevs ever day. When weezuns maysures out good, then weezuns knows we izz on the rot sod of the law and God cain’t touch us.” Weezuns lock to bee rot so Jeezis cain’t touch us ’cause heezuns is won bayud dude when Heezuns gits pissed.”

      If there only were a Rapture that could get us away from these people. What a joyous day it would be!!! But alas, there is no Rapture because it is appointed for EVERY MAN to die. All of you who think you have a free ticket out of dying because Jesus is coming tomorrow are sadly mistaken. You’re going to sit there and rot-alive in that hospital bed of yours just like everyone else is.

  66. I am Pagan,
    A Wiccan to be exact.
    I have read your Bible cover to cover.
    Even though i don’t worship in your way,
    I have felt the love in Christ’s words.
    I only wish his followers would follow in his footsteps.

    There have been homosexuals since the dawn of man.

    It’s not a new thing.

    Although it was deemed unnatural way back in the day,
    It’s still apart of our society.

    Everyone should get along and love one another.

    We are All brothers and sisters.

    Not matter what form God takes to us we all aim to please our divine.

    Live happy,
    Live peaceful
    Live together.

    I appreciated your article.
    Very nice to read someone calling out his people for doing wrong.

    That is respectable.
    I will now read your articles from here on.

    I was curious when i read the title,
    I thought, here we go…
    Boo hoo,
    They are going to cry about how godless everyone is. ..etc…

    I was pleasantly surprised.

    Great job….

    I wish to send you blessings in my way….

    May the powers that be and all things you hold sacred
    Be forever grateful to You
    And show you beauty,
    Love, kindness,
    Wealth of knowledge and pocket.
    I thank them for your wisdom and courage,
    May they walk with you
    Guide you
    And continue to flow thru you.
    I am proud to call you and all others my brothers and sisters.
    Blessed be!

  67. Here is another reason. Any group’s faith or worldview within Christianity that almost entirely focuses on the (non) issue of gay marriage or similar issues and does not put any focus on ending poverty or war is based on a moral and ethical vacuum and deficit.

  68. Thank you for your post. However, I have one correction. You use the term “Christian” as if the church were one monolithic entity. In fact, may Christians, my denomination (UCC) in particular, have been on the front lines of advocating for LGBT rights from the very beginning. We have been performing marriages for gay people since they were first legal in Massachusetts. We did not lose, we won! However, you are right, when we get lumped in with the haters who abuse their brothers and sisters in the name of God, we are also shamed.

    • It’s not hate to point out that you are failing at your duty to call people to repentance, whether it’s from drunkenness, adultery, or homosexuality, etc. Confirming people to live in their sin is probably the most hateful thing anyone could do.

  69. Love the sinner, hate the sin.

    “Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!” Matthew 18:7

    I guess 5 justices may have problem.

      • Do you realize that when you say, “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” you are still telling the person you hate them? You may not think so, but you are. I’m a pastor and I’ve never found it effective to say to people, “I hate your pride. I hate your gluttony. I hate your gossip. I hate your selfishness. I hate your porn addiction. I hate your wandering eye. I hate that you’re divorced.” Do I hate all those things? Sure. Does God. I believe He does. But look past their behaviors. See that their true identity is not a sinner, but a son or daughter of an awesome Father who loves them deeply and has already forgiven them for their sin and offered grace. Rather, build a relationship. Listen to people’s story. Understand why they behave the way they do. Find out how they are chasing after something other than God and the love He’s already given them through Jesus. Help them see His love in spite of it. Show them His love by accepting them, and encouraging them, and even rebuking them if necessary. Speak the truth in love. Walk with them as they they journey closer to Father. Just love. But please, don’t be abusive and say, I hate what you do. Listen to what that sounds like…

      • johndpav…. what are you talking about. God hating sin is everywhere in the Bible…. and God telling us to love other people is everywhere in the Bible. That saying is 100% accurate according to the Bible.

        • No it isn’t. If it were 100 percent accurate, it would appear as it is used by you and by others. It is not. When you use that phrase, you are not quoting Scripture, you are trying to twist it to accommodate a bias and agenda. Jesus never commanded us to hate anyone else’s sin. You are instructed to change your own life, not someone else’s. Jesus makes it clear what his greatest commandments are.

        • It may say that God hates sin, but I don’t think the Bible has any illusions that we are qualified to hate sin on God’s behalf. The parable of the wheat and tares illustrates the damage humans do when we decide to start trying to root out other people’s sins. We are commanded to love, and let God handle any hating that needs to be done.

      • Since there seems to be some quibbling over what Jesus said and didn’t say, I suppose I should point out that He didn’t say “to love, period.” He said a lot of things, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. Among the things He said? “Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate” (Revelation 2:6, ESV). Yes, even Jesus hates some things, namely, sins–all of them.

      • Since there seems to be some quibbling over what Jesus said and did not say, I feel compelled to add that Jesus did not say “to love, period.” He said a lot of things, from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21. Among the things he said? “Yet this you have: you hate the works of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate” (Revelation 2:6, ESV). It seems even Jesus hates some things, namely, sins–all of them.

        • “Sad when Christians miss the whole picture.”

          I agree.

          34 Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35 One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: 36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

          37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[c] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Mathew 22:34-40

      • He also said to preach to convict of sin. Love one another is regarding the relationships within Christians … so that they (The World may know) we follow Him.

      • The bible doe say that we should hate sin, at least my bible does. It says hate what is evil and cling to that which is good” Romans 12:9, also Jesus showed the truth of that by example as he told the woman who had been caught in adultery to go and sin no more although He did not condemn her and also to the man He healed he said leave your sin otherwise something worse may happen to you.

      • He said to live one another within the Christian fellowship so that ppl will know you love me. He spoke often and convicted the world of sin. If u read the Bible He was not easy on the rebellious.

      • Yes, but “Love the sinner and hate the sin” is the example of Christ: “Nor do I condemn you, *go and sin no more.*” As the Way, the Truth and the Life, Jesus Christ IS Perfect Truth and Love, and thus for our Christian love to be authentic, it has to include His Truth as well, or it is not his authentic Love either. “Repent, the Kingdom of God is at hand,” was his central message. Repent from what? Sin. To avoid this message altogether in one’s discipleship is to not convey the true and authentic Christ.

      • You’re a liar. Jesus CLEARLY hated sin. He overturned the tables of the moneylenders. He condemned the Pharisees for their sins, insulting them in public and calling them “a brood of vipers” in front of everyone. Was that “building bridges”?

        When Jesus forgave the prostitute, did he say: “Your sins are forgiven; go now, and live however you want, and I’ll be fine with that. Free love, baby,”? Of COURSE he didn’t. He said “Go now, and SIN NO MORE.”

        Christ CLEARLY HATED SIN.

        You insist that “Jesus said to love, period.” That’s a LIE, but let’s assume it wasn’t. Let’s assume Christ’s ONLY command to us was to “love.” Do you think it’s “love” to let people live in a lifestyle that is in opposition to God? Do you think it is “love” to let people live in lies? Do you think it is “love” to ignore when our vile government thinks it can redefine a covenant created by God at the dawn of time to symbolize the eventual relationship between Christ and the Church, a relationship between MAN and WOMAN? Is any of that “love”?

        …or were you relying on the world’s nebulous, secular, vacuous definition of “love”? Not God’s definition…? Hmm.

        You are a false teacher, warned about in Paul’s letters and the letters of the disciples. Rather than take a moment to stand with God and declare His truth, you instead take the time to eviscerate your fellow believers. Even if your argument had legs, you still stubbornly refused to acknowledge, even TACITLY, that homosexual activity is a SIN. You avoided it intentionally, being far more comfortable with decimating brothers and sisters in the faith than with standing for God’s truth in the difficult times.

        False teacher.

        • Jesus hates sin. He tells people to work on their own sin, not the perceived sins of others. Sorry to break it to you. Your own jurisdiction ends with you.

          Have a nice day and enjoy your name calling.

      • It actually is. Do a study on John 3:16-21. Jesus clearly separates sin from sinners. That was actually the whole point of His mission, not some fluffy counterfeit version of ‘love’.

      • Jesus never condoned sin. He loved the sinner while speaking truth about what sin was. Bible is clear that God hates sin. Therefore “love the sinner, hate the sin” is biblical. Period.

      • He also told people to repent. He said to the woman at the well, “go, and leave your sin.”

        Can you imagine what would happen today if Jesus said that to a homosexual? He’d be branded a hateful bigot for even suggesting that gay sex could possibly be sinful.

        The Bible commands us to speak the truth in love. It’s neither truthful or loving to pretend it’s okay when government institutionalizes sin.

        And for the record, this was not a list of 6 different things. It was a list of the same thing, explained in 6 different ways.

        • Actually you’re conflating two stories there. In John 4 he told the woman at the well to go get her husband, to which she replied that she didn’t have one, and he said, No, you’ve had five, but the one you’re living with now isn’t your husband. He didn’t say anything to her about her sin (and some of the commentaries I’ve read point out that since women in her culture could not initiate divorce, “you have had five husbands” indicates not that she has sinned herself but that five men have either died on her or thrown her away; and in that culture, also, women couldn’t really support themselves but needed men to provide for them–so this man she was living with could as easily have been her brother or an uncle or someone like that, not necessarily someone she was sleeping with).

          It was the woman caught in adultery in John 7:53-8:11 to whom Jesus said, “Go and sin no more.”

        • That is with regard to one’s own life, not true life of another. Jesus never gave you license to police other’s lives, only your own.