Jen Hatmaker, Lifeway, and Christians Who Eat Their Own

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Hell hath no fury like Christians destroying other Christians.

This week best-selling author and church planter Jen Hatmaker came out in full support of the LGBTQ community and of same-sex marriage, eloquently sharing the slow evolution of her perspective as a person of deep faith committed to loving people well.

And many in the outraged Christian community responded by showing the world exactly what Jesus doesn’t look like.

The knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing troll armies of the Lord quickly descended, subjecting Hatmaker to all manner of abusive, hateful social media badgering.
Renowned loveless internet bullies like Matt Walsh and his perpetually sarcastic minions exploded like roaches from the moldy baseboards to heap scorn upon her.
Lifeway Christian bookstores pulled Hatmalker’s books from their shelves faster than you can say “Jerry Falwell Jr and Donald Trump”.

Meanwhile, Jen Hatmaker just did what Jen Hatmaker does: she quietly, steadily reflected the likeness of Jesus.

While a violent, spitting, oxymoronic horde of professed Christians circled to condemn and shun and devour her as only professed Christians can, she simply kept being who she is: a flawed but striving follower of Jesus, trying to show people just what faith expressed in love looks like.

That’s the sad, sickening irony at play here.

Jen Hatmaker’s resume is secure. Even before her evolution on the issue of LGBTQ inclusion, her life and ministry have been marked by compassion, goodness, and by a sincere desire to love people well. Her books and Bible studies have been the source of great inspiration for myself and millions of other people who found the simple joy and sweet benevolence in her work refreshing. Her ministry through the Austin church she started alongside her husband has given marginalized people the kind of tangible expression of Jesus and of Christian community, that most folks complain they never see in the world.

This is not about Jen Hatmaker.
She is not the problem.
The trolls and Matt Walsh and Lifeway are the problem.

They are the threat they claim they’re protecting people from.
They are the poison in the system.
They are the cancer in the Body of Christ.

They are confirming for millions of disheartened Christians currently laboring in churches, the truth that they’ve long suspected: diversity of thought will simply not be tolerated.
They are once again reminding the LGBTQ community and those who love them, that they are indeed not loved or accepted or welcome in the Church.

They are making the greatest argument against following Jesus, to a watching world who sees Christians as intolerant and devoid of what they understand the character of Christ to be.
They are verifying their suspicions that Christianity is irrelevant and toxic and of little practical use.
They are doing in the name of Jesus, stuff that simply bears no resemblance to him.

In an American election year where Christianity is somehow able to be molded into a completely bastardized, Frankensteined version of itself by so many Evangelicals in order to accommodate their hateful politics—Jen Hatmaker is not Christian enough. She is the heretic. She is the thing to be removed. She is suddenly persona non grata in the Church.

That someone like Jen Hatmaker (or Rob Bell before her) could go from poster child to pariah with a few heartfelt sentences is absurd and embarrassing, and for so many people it’s more confirmation that Christianity is not worth their time because of the venom it produces. It is for so many people who once called the Church home but longer do, assurance that they made the right choice.

Jen Hatmaker is going to be fine. I imagine these days must be incredibly painful and deeply wounding for her, but watching the person she’s been in the past and the way she does what she does, I’m sure she will continue to do the work of loving people in a way that resembles Jesus, and she will continue to set an ever bigger table for people to gather and be seen, known, and heard.

But it’s the Church that is mortally wounded in weeks like this.
It’s this terrible global testimony that we should be lamenting.
This kind of bullying and misogyny and discrimination are the shared sins that we who claim Christ should be corporately repenting of.
If we continue to respond to diversity of thought or divergence from orthodoxy with expulsion, condemnation, and bitterness, we will ensure our extinction.

Jen Hatmaker is simply a sincere Christian doing her best to love people as Jesus loved people.

Sadly, in this day and in this Church—that has become a liability.

Forgive them, they know not what they do.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

414 thoughts on “Jen Hatmaker, Lifeway, and Christians Who Eat Their Own

    • Not all Christians are rising up to be hateful. We are simply stating the fact that the Bible does in fact say that homosexually is against God’s law and is not”holy”. Leviticus 18:22. Thou shalt not lay with mankind, as with womankind. It is abomination. There’s plenty more than that. The Bible also has warnings for those who lead others to err. We can love all people no matter what, but to say gay marriage is holy is incorrect.

      • A bad English translation does in fact say what you think it does. It would be better to base your understanding on what the original text actually says. The reason your position sounds like hatred is because lives are lost when church people divide families, and drive people out of community and away from a God.

        • Well, said, Patricia. Personally, I am exhausted trying to get people to understand that the original languages do not mean what they’ve been translated into. I am exhausted by people who refuse the evidence that Lev refers to temple prostitution and acts of idol worship. And if all the rest of the Holiness Code has no application in Christian lives, then neither do these few verses about temple prostitution.

          I am exhausted trying to get people to understand that “nature” doesn’t mean the created order in Romans.

          Seems to me people are too dug in and too committed to their homophobia to allow evidence, facts, and logic to have any role.

          I’ve posted some wonderful books which do tackle the issues of the original languages and have been mocked for it.

          • If they admitted that their beliefs were homophobic, they would have to take responsibility for all the lives ruined or ended by the “fruit” of that hatred. Most people are too morally weak to go there. It is easier for them to stay on the low road and refuse to acknowledge the wreckage in their wake.

            • The truth sets us free, Jesus promises us.

              The way some choose to write, the heinous acts they have perpetuated upon LGBT people can only be motivated by homophobia. Yeah, people don’t like people who are different from themselves.

              But when I read these homophobic voices I find myself wondering if one or both things apply.

              If a man or a woman is homophobic, I find myself wondering how deep in the closet are they and how terrified are they to come out, given the inevitable repercussions from family, friends, neighbors, people in their churches. If that is the case, my heart aches for them.

              When a man is homophobic, I wonder if it is because he is afraid of rape. We women learned to be afraid of that around age fourteen and yet we still get on with our lives and do not allow that fear to determine and entire segment of society has no right to exist. Fear of rape is indeed a formidable concept, but as we women have learned to live with it, so can the men who fear it. They may need professional helpto resolve the fear.

              What I know is that there are lots of women who comment here who have been sexually molested as children and/or raped as adults. We deal with it everyday and most of us have sought professional help to learn to cope.

          • OK Gloriamarie. So if the law has no consequence, does that mean worship of other gods is OK. Does that mean that killing is OK. Blaspheming the name of God is OK. Why not study the Bible in its entirety and not just a few verses taken out of context and teaching others to live in sin.

            • Clearly, you choose not to read very carefully.

              If you are going to put words into my mouth that I never said, then you just demonstrate that you are not interested in having a peaceful conversation. What you want is to argue.

              I do not know how you are using “law.” If you would define your terms and be specific, we might have a better chance at understaning each other.

              I only mentioned the Holiness Code. My comments were about the Holiness Code. If the Holiness Code is no longer applicable to Christians why would anyone think the few verses talking about temple prostitution apply to Christians?

              As for the Levitical Law of the Hebrew Scriptures and all the Prophets, Jesus tells us they are summed up in the Two Great Commandments: (1) love God with every fiber of my being; (2) love our neighbors as myself.

              I believe in the Two Great Commandments I passionately embrace them.

              So the answer to what I hope are your rhetorical question, of course, those are not the results of loving actions.

              As for this bit that feels quite insulting considering what I said I have my academic degrees in “Why not study the Bible in its entirety and not just a few verses taken out of context and teaching others to live in sin.”

              The only people here taking verses out of context and who have not read the entire New Testament, at least, in it’s original languages, are the homophobes.

              My BA, from an evangelical college, by the way, is in Biblical and Theological Studies. My MA, from an evangelical seminary, by the way, is in Church History, which is an umbrella field for all aspects of the development of the Christian Church. My education included several years of studying the New Testament in koine

              So please don’t fling inflammatory statements about reading the Bible and verses within their context until you know who you are talking to.

              Here is a list of books written by people who can read original languages and reveal what the original lanuages saw. After all, as has been well-documented, the English translations have been done with an agenda.

              Reasonable and Holy: Engaging Same-Sexuality
              by Tobias Stanislas Haller

              God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships
              by Matthew Vines

              Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe
              by John Boswell

              Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century
              by John Boswell

              Gay Unions:In the light of Scripture, Tradition and Reason.”
              Rev. Gray Temple (Jr.).

Gay and Christian? Yes!
              by Rev. William H. Carey

              In honor of the 499th anniversary of the Reformation:

          • Exodus 33:14 “My presence will go with you, and i will give you rest.” …maybe this is why you’re exhausted.

            I’m going with “God’s Holy Word”; in love.????

            • Only you know your motives.

              However, “God’s Holy Word” is not and never has been the Bible. God’s Holy Word is Jesus.

              Also, you are proof-texting, that unscholarly lifting a verse out of its context. I am sorry to be so blunt, but that is the lazy way of finding so-called support.

              God said those words to Moses in a particular context and the only meaning they can have is within that context.

              Although granted, it makes a lovely meme.

              Please reas:
              http://www.theopedia.com/proof-texting

        • What does the original text say? The whole, original text nonsense essentially says “Don’t believe the Bible, believe me instead”

          No! You are of your father the devil, therefore; you hate God as do the Hatmakers and others who worship the god of their imaginations.

          • This is an argument that I do not understand. How does understanding the Bible in the language it was written in make somebody of the devil? Surely if you are interested in God’s word, you would want to read what was written instead of believing in the mistakes and deliberate obfuscations of later generations. It has nothing to do with believing me, but with believing Scripture as it was intended.

      • You like Lev. 18:22? Do you care at all what it says in the original Hebrew text? Here it is:
        ואת זכר לא תשכב את זכר משכבי אשה תועבה הוִא
        Transliterated:
        V’et zachar lo tishkav mishkvei ishah to’evah hi
        Translation:
        And with a male, thou shalt not lie down in a woman’s bed; it is an abomination.
        Notice the phrase “in a woman’s bed,” found here and in Lev. 20:13, but absent from English version. Also notice that there is no comparison phrase (“as with womankind,” etc.)

        • I am not trying to be hateful in any way. That is only one translation to many translations that are around. The Hebrew language is complicated. Look. If a man laying with a man was supposed to be, why does a man not have another sexual organ designed for such. And no the anus is not a sexual organ. As for saying the law is not relevant to us now, consider what Yeshua said about the law. Mathew 5:17-19. ,” Think not that I am come to destroy the law , or the profits. I am not come to destroy but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so , he shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whosoever shall do and teach them the same shall be be called great in the kingdom of heaven. ” He also went on to outline what else is involved in these sins. If you’re for gay marriage, so be it. I won’t judge for I myself am a sinner. But those moral laws in the old testament are still considered sin. I love you all and my hopes are that we can stop the hate and not persecute any one faith or absence of it.

          • I beg to differ: The Hebrew language is NOT complicated. I taught it for years. Beyond the alphabet, which tends to pose a challenge to those unfamiliar with it (I remember as a child thinking every letter looked like a 7, a W or a backwards C), the grammar is fairly simple, and the vocabulary is far simpler than English. Greek is a complicated language, but I do read that as well.
            By what criteria do you claim the anus is not a sex organ? That it is used for elimination? Perhaps you hadn’t realized it, but the primary function of the penis is also elimination. It is used FAR more often for that purpose than for sex… but that does not preclude it having a sexual function. Many parts of the body have multiple functions. Read Song of Solomon: Even the navel is used during sex! So is the mouth. The exterior of the anus has the same pleasure receptors as genital tissue. And a man’s prostate is only accessible through it. For a great many men, prostate stimulation is extremely pleasurable.
            But that’s neither here nor there. The Bible does not define acceptable vs. unacceptable sex acts. Within the context of a marriage (regardless of the sex of those married), whatever acts they choose to do are fine.
            I would also caution against equating homosexuality with anal sex. Anal sex is not the be-all and end-all of being gay. Many male couples don’t do it, and many heterosexual couples do. There are a great many other things gay couples can do in bed.
            My point in offering the corrected translation of Lev. 18:22 is this: The “translations” found in English Bibles of the last four centuries are not correct. They are not even grammatically possible. They all ignore the fact that the Hebrew refers to a woman’s bed. Further, they all contain comparisons not found in the Hebrew text, usually beginning with the word “as.” While some prepositions in Hebrew can be “understood” from context and therefore omitted, comparisons cannot. They MUST be written. This means either the word כמו (k’mo) must appear, or the short form כ (k’) must be affixed to a following word. But neither of those are found in Lev. 18:22 or 20:13, which means a comparison of any kind is IMPOSSIBLE.
            It bears mentioning that one of the very earliest English translations of these verses, written centuries before homophobia became well entrenched in Europe, did NOT translate them as condemnations of homosexuality. That was Wycliffe’s version.
            Wycliffe took into account what the Law of Moses taught about a woman’s bed: It was her own. Other than the woman, only her husband was ever allowed in her bed, and there were even times when he was not allowed in there. So when Wycliffe saw that these verses forbid two males to lie in a woman’s bed, he assumed that the woman who owned the bed was present. He understood the verses to be prohibitions of two men having simultaneous sexual relations with the same woman. As a result, even though his translation wasn’t accurate, it was at least within the ballpark of what the verses could mean.
            The verses in Hebrew don’t specify whether the woman were present or not. In fact, her presence or absence would be irrelevant. They also don’t specify whether the men would be having sex. They were simply not permitted to lie down, for any reason, in a woman’s bed. The obvious aside, that they had no business in her bed, there was a legitimate reason.
            Many of the ritual laws in the Mosaic code had to do with the prevention of contamination with blood or other bodily fluids. This prohibition about a woman’s bed was no different. Just like other rules about it, found in Lev. 15, it was designed to prevent contamination. For example, a husband was not permitted in his wife’s bed, even to sit on the side of it, during her menstrual period, or for a certain number of days after she gave birth, or if she had any extra-menstrual discharge. It was to prevent him from being “contaminated” by contact with blood.
            The Law also forbid a woman to carry/put on the weapon of a warrior. It wasn’t that she wasn’t capable of using it. It’s the possibility of cross-contamination with blood. She might come in contact with an enemy’s blood, and that blood might come into contact with her menstrual blood. (Remember, laundry techniques were not what they are today, and there was no Tide available!) The same verse that forbid a woman to carry a warrior’s weapon also forbid a warrior to wear a simlah (unisex robe) that belonged to a woman… same reason… it might retain residual menstrual blood. (Sadly, most versions mistranslate this verse, and make it look like a prohibition of cross-dressing. Cross-dressing wasn’t even possible at the time: both sexes wore the simlah, and there was no difference between a man’s simlah and a woman’s.)
            Two males lying down in a woman’s bed might come into contact with dried menstrual blood. That would render them unclean. And there was the chance those men might leave semen stains in her bed, even if they weren’t having sex together. (Either of them might have an emission while sleeping.) The woman, returning to her bed later, would unwittingly come into contact with it and be rendered unclean without even knowing it. Then there is Wycliffe’s scenario, which was wrong for obvious reasons.
            The bottom line with Leviticus is that it does NOT forbid two males to lie down together, or to have sex. It only lists one place where that was impermissible. To try to extrapolate a ban on homosexuality from that is ludicrous, and Christians only did so after their churches had become so anti-homosexual, and when creating vernacular Bibles, needed “support” for their homophobia.
            It bears mentioning that the Jews, who were the original authors and guardians of Leviticus, do not generally use Leviticus against homosexuality. In fact, only one branch of Judaism even opposes homosexuality, the Chassidic. And they do not generally invoke Leviticus, but rather the Talmud. (It should go without saying that they also don’t mention Sodom, but I will say it anyway: Neither the Hebrew text of the Old Testament, nor the Mishnah [pre-Christian Jewish Bible commentary] ever attempt to link Sodom with homosexuality, nor is there such a word as sodomite in the Hebrew text. The myth that Sodom was destroyed for homosexuality was first posited by an early Christian writer who had misunderstood a political commentary written by an earlier Greek philosopher. He completely missed the point of the article, and reached a ridiculous conclusion. He didn’t find a great deal of support among early Christians. But centuries later, he did find a believer: Mohamed. And so the story found its way into the Quran.
            When the Muslim Moors invaded and occupied portions of western Europe, they brought the Quran with them, and taught this story to their Christian neighbors. The Christians didn’t know any better: Their Bibles were scarce, and only in Latin, which almost none of them could read. The European Jews, however, began studying scripture in Hebrew in early childhood. They knew better and never bought the lie. Christianity bought it hook, line and sinker. By the time vernacular Bibles were being routinely translated, the Moors were long gone, but by that time even the churches believed the nonsense about Sodom. It was incorporated into the Bible. At first, this only meant adding the word sodomite and fudging a verse in Jude. But the newest “translations” have rewritten Gen. 19 so that the account of events at Lot’s house matches the Quran’s account!)
            Homosexuality is never even directly mentioned in the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible. The indirect mention that does exist is not in any way negative.

            • Jeremiah 17:10
              “I the LORD search the heart and test the mind, to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his deeds.”
              ????

          • This argument — the anus is not a sexual organ and therefore we get to vilify homosexuals — always makes me laugh. You may not be aware that there are far more heterosexuals engaging in anal sex than homosexuals, and not every homosexual participates in this act. Straight people do it as a method of birth control or as an enjoyable variant on the standard tab A into slot B. Many straight people do experience physical pleasure from anal sex that enhances their love making.

            So, if we are to be honest, we have to vilify heterosexuals as a group in the same way that we vilify homosexuals as a group OR we can take our long noses out of other people’s business and let them be.

            • Patricia, you wrote “OR we can take our long noses out of other people’s business and let them be.”

              Certainly my preference.

          • If you believe that the Hebrew language is complicated than you reveal to us one of two things: (1) either you don’t a thing about the Hebrew language; or (2) if you did study it, you discovered you have no aptitude for languages.

            I really don’t understand your reference the anus and sex organs. Are you really unaware that anal sex can be a part of heterosexual intercourse? If you believe that sex can only take place between men and women, then you have to admit the anus is a sex organ.

            • All things aside, I am not a homophobe. I will not engage in it, but that doesn’t make me scared of it. But, there is numerous biblical verses to say that man is supposed to be with woman. The Hebrew language is ancient, and the fact that there could be literally thousands of ways to translate it, points to the fact that not everything you say, and anything I say can necessarily completely correct. The context of things adds different meanings to things. To say I have no aptitude for language is insulting. Look, believe what you will, I will believe what I will. I’m not going to condemn anyone. That is the job of our Games in heaven and his alone.

              • “The Hebrew language is ancient, and the fact that there could be literally thousands of ways to translate it, ”

                Wrong, wrong, wrong and once again all this demonstrates is that you don’t know Hebrew.

                I offered you a list of books which in fact do a much better job than I ever could to explain the actual Biblical evidence.

                If you are not homophobic, you would read them. If you were not homophobic the various things Rev Carey has written would convince you. If you choose to remain ignorant of what the original language actually tells us, then you embrace homophobia. I am sorry to be so blunt, but if you will not allow yourself to be educated by those who known than either of us do, then homophobic is what you are.

                A homophobe is not necessarily someone quivering in fear. A homophobe is like a racist who believes all black people have no right to exist in the USA.

              • “there could be literally thousands of ways to translate it, ”
                Thousands? I could take a single Hebrew word, just for sake of argument, שלחן (shulchan) and then take a thousand English words and pretend that any or all of them are translations of shulchan. But they are not. Shulchan means table. That’s all it means.
                There are not thousands of legitimate ways to translate Hebrew. Words have set meanings. Ignoring those meanings or giving them new ones is not legitimate translation. As someone who reads biblical Hebrew well, and who taught the language for years, I can state without hesitation that the translations of Lev. 18:22 and 20:13 found in English Bibles of the last four centuries are not only dead wrong, but they are grammatically impossible, and the result of blatant dishonesty on the part of the translators. But that is hardly the only place they were dishonest.

                • I am wondering here if someone is going to say the Bible says abortion is OK and sex with children is OK too. I particularly think people sitting around arguing and claiming to know for a fact that they know everything about it is complete and utter bull. Using Gods word against others is bull. If people want to be gay, let them be gay. People want to follow God, let them follow God. We have a freewill given from God himself. You either walk his path or you don’t. God is the one that holds judgment. And to say that every translation is wrong but yours, well think about what Jesus said about humbling yourself.

                  • “There is a way that seems right to man, but the end of it is the way of death.”
                    I doesn’t matter how many versions of the Bible say something if the Hebrew and Greek texts don’t agree, does it? The English versions frequently disagree with each other.
                    Since when is there anything wrong with seeking for more truth? Doesn’t scripture instruct us to do that?
                    Being gay and following God are not mutually exclusive.

                    • Rev. William. Could you possibly give me some resources on learning a bit more about Hebrew language. Nothing with this subject if you don’t mind because I don’t want to learn with any biases. I would like to learn Hebrew so I can further studies.

                    • Resources for learning Hebrew: The same approach won’t work for everyone. For those who have an affinity for languages, you can probably teach yourself… there are a great many online resources available. I strongly recommend either purely Jewish or secular sources, as opposed to Christian or messianic Jewish sources. The reason is that there is a strong tendency among the latter two to promote erroneous material. A few decades ago, a Christian author released a book on Hebrew words. One of those words was אחד “echad,” which is the Hebrew word for “one.” For doctrinal reasons, this author basically wrote a work of fiction, claiming echad doesn’t mean one, but a plural unity, and that the word יחיד “yachid” is the true word for one. As I said, it’s pure fiction. But a great many Christian and messianic Jewish sources have latched on to it, and similar nonsense. No secular or Jewish source would teach that.
                      However, for most people, a good teacher is essential. Many Jewish Community Centers offer low-cost classes in modern Hebrew, starting at beginner’s level. One need not be Jewish to enroll. Of course, this teaches modern Hebrew, as opposed to biblical, but it’s an excellent place to start, and is the route I used. It provides a good foundation to the language, and in my case, my instructor was more than happy to help me make the transition to biblical Hebrew once I learned the basics of the languages. (Biblical Hebrew is slightly more complicated, but not terribly so.)
                      Some good reference materials I would recommend include a good dictionary. Ben Yehuda’s Hebrew-English/English-Hebrew Dictionary is a good one, as is New Bantam Megiddo, and Meridian. The first, especially, includes vocabulary from all periods of Hebrew language history.
                      There are two very good books for Hebrew verbs: Abraham S. Halkin’s 201 Hebrew Verbs, and Shmuel Bolozky’s 501 Hebrew Verbs. I recommend owning both if possible, as each has its strengths.
                      Finally, Rosen’s Textbook of Israeli Hebrew has an excellent section on biblical Hebrew, but I caution that book is NOT easy to use. It’s a bit too technical for non-linguists (and even for some linguists).
                      Oh, and of course, a copy of the Hebrew Tanakh (Old Testament): you can buy one at many bookstores, online http://www.mechon-mamre.org/i/t/t0.htm , or even download one at no cost.

                • I fail to see anywhere where it says being gay is allowed and gay marriage is holy. I don’t see any references to biblical gay marriages.

                  • Really? I can’t find any place where cologne and deodorant are allowed, either, but that’s not really relevant, is it? It doesn’t matter whether or not the Bible says something IS allowed, only whether it says it is NOT. And in the Hebrew and Greek texts, it doesn’t even directly mention homosexuality, which means it doesn’t ever say it’s not allowed.
                    There are TWO same-sex marriages recorded in the Hebrew Old Testament. http://hoperemains.webs.com/samesexmarriage.htm
                    Marriages in general aren’t generally called “holy” in the Bible. But in the case of the second of the two same-sex marriages recorded, even though it’s only mentioned in passing, it specifies who put the two men into their relationship: God. I guess that makes it holy, doesn’t it?

                  • Thank you Reverend. I would love to learn more about the word of God. I don’t particularly believe in homosexuality but that doesn’t mean I’m right. Thats the reason I ask unbiased material so I can learn for myself what the Bible says on all subjects and further studies in the way of the Lord. Thank you a lot for the information.

                    • If it helps, you don’t need to believe in homosexuality. It is not a matter of faith. Instead, it is a part of reality. Medical science has shown that sexual orientations arise out of a combination of factors in the womb environment. It is a field of study called epigenetics. Accepting that different sexual orientations exist will help in your discernment.

      • Case in point^^ – Until Christians will face the painfully obvious, screaming fact that the Bible cannot be taken literally by any sane and/or decent person, Christianity at large will continue to represent ignorance, intolerance and backwardness, and will continue to alienate not only the LGBT community, but any decent human being capable of rational thought. Please, for the love of God (pun intended), let go of this absurd idea that the Bible – a book indisputably written BY men and manipulated/altered by men over the course of thousands of years (not one LETTER of it was written by Jesus) – is the literal “Word of God.” The mental gymnastics required to defend the Bible & try to somehow fit it together w/ a sane, non-hateful worldview is truly astonishing. The men who wrote/altered the Bible did indeed mean EXACTLY what they said – that gays are evil and homosexuality should be punishable by death, that women are subhuman and are meant to be subservient to men, that slavery is A-OK, I could go on for days…come on, people. Can’t humanity move past this crap already?

        • I will give you this– your opinion as presented here is infinitely more consistent than Christians who pretend that Christianity has always really been about the popular social fad-du-jour, and that somehow 2,000 years of the church missed something really obvious in the Greek or Hebrew. That’s mental gymnastics for you, indeed. Usually, blog posts like this one are chimed in on by a combination of Christians who want to hold a mantle of Christianity that has no historical basis whatsoever while pretending that all their fathers in the faith were clueless, evil haters, and unbelievers who reject Christianity and also believe that pretty much every human who came before them, and most people on earth today, were/are clueless, evil haters. The latter position makes more sense, although both are pretty smug. If a person says they’re a Christian but atheists love that person’s teachings while still acknowledging that Christianity is dumb, the first person is obviously doing Christianity wrong. Kind of like the people who say, “I don’t believe in God and I hate Catholicism but I like the pope.” In that case, it may just be that the pope doesn’t know how to Catholic. Would that more “Christians” had your consistency.

      • God did not write the bible people did. And people make mistakes, they are greedy, judgemental, and flawed. Just because it is in the bible does not mean it’s God’s word.

        I think everyone can agree that the main idea of the bible is that we should all love one another, treat people with respect. Know that no one is perfect and leave the judgment to God.

        You don’t have to approve of the way someone else lives but true Christians would not punish, be little, threaten, or persecute some else because of it. True Christians would accept, help, uplift, and rejoice in the differences that God has given everyone.

        God doesn’t make mistakes. The lgbtq community isn’t a mistake or an abomination. They are who they are because God made them. Who’s to say that God made them to test everyone else. To see who the real Christians are. The ones who love no matter the differences. The ones who pad no judgment. The people who really follow in the foot steps rather then pushing their own thoughts and agendas on to everyone else.

        If this is a test how do you think you’re doing. Do you really think he would approve of the way you are treating others?

        • I have to disagree. The Bible was shown to be written by God through man. The men that wrote the original Bible was inspired by God. That’s not to say that all the translations are written by the same people. The Bible translations were done by man. And I believe they do contain mistakes due to language difference and maybe people that did have an agenda. I suppose that is the reason for the need to delve deeper and to have good devout men of God help to teach us. Take the name Jesus. His name was Yeshua. Due to the romans, the “s” at the end came because they believed that a masculine name ended was constanent. I probably spelled that wrong. The “j” came because old English language j was pronounced like a y. That’s obviously only one example.

    • Mathew 19:4-6. And he answered and said unto them, have ye not read, that He which made them at the beginning made them male and female. And said, for this cause a man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife; and they twain shall be one flesh. Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together let not man put asunder.
      It’s obvious that Jesus is not talking about homosexuality in this passage. But it defines what marriage is, man and woman. Therefore, being it was designed this way, and marriage being defined this way, that would make a homosexual act….fornication, which is also a sin. I’m sure someone will come along with an argument to this but it’s fact. So if you would please, quit teaching lies. View this as hate speech if you would like, but I think the column above would qualify what hate speech is.
      Ephesians 4:15 says, instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is Christ.

      • Nope. http://www.patheos.com/blogs/formerlyfundie/no-mike-huckabee-jesus-didnt-define-marriage/

        Jesus was approached by a Centurion who asked him to heal his servant. Given the cultural practices and historical context, in all likelyhood the centurions servant was a sexual slave to the centurion, who loved his servant very much. The conclusion here is Jesus had a same sex relationship before him, said nothing of it. No condmemnation. No “Sin no more”. Instead he praised the centurion for his faith and sent him home to his servant.

        Now, you could argue that if Jesus affirmed a sex slave relationship in the form of sexual slavery, then that would mean he affirmed sexual slavery. However if you observe marital practices, or similar convenant relationships, in the culture of the time, the differences between marriage and sexual slavery where slim. Most likely the centurion and his boy toy where a form of same sex conqubine practice, which was a Bibically practiced form of covenant relationship that if never condemend.

        • Where did you get that that was a same sex relationship? Just because some of the cultural practices were like that doesn’t mean that that one was. Just another way to claim Christians are homophobic bigots. The Bible is clear that there is a created order. You want to affirm it that’s your choice but you are dead wrong to say that Jesus affirms it. You are now adding something into the text that isn’t there.

          • The Bible is clear that people, who did not have access to the scientific methods that we now employ to further our understanding, thought that they understood the created order.

            The Bible is also clear that the best way to record history, law and other kinds of information is to pass it along, person to person, through generations before writing it down. The Bible does not recognize computers and the Internet, not even basic typewriters or printing presses. You don’t seem to have a problem using a communication method that the Bible clearly does not affirm.

          • Actually, it is there in the text. The Greek word pais is usually translated as servant, but it means the younger partner in a same-sex relationship. English translators have hidden the meaning from the delicate ears of Christians, possibly so as not to offend their tender sensibilities. Your choice is to believe the truth of the original texts or believe the lie in the translation.

            • If you say so. That passage in Greek or Latin did not mean same sex relationship. A bunch of athiests decided to say that the old testament had a bunch of sex slavery and rape and that God does not condemn it. Foolish. There’s a whole law written about the matter. A lot of the things in the Bible are sinful, but just because it’s there doesn’t mean that God agrees with it. And, using junk science to trump God’s word doesn’t work. Gods the creator of the universe so He would know more than politically biased science does about it. We were made male and female, not any gender we want to be. I would actually like to see one geneticist prove that people are born gay, or transgender. As far as I can tell, most are contridicting their own agenda half the time. It also amazes me how everyone can call Christianity hate when they’re out there calling names, beating people and destroying things. Like the above post for example. “Troll armies of God.” A bunch of liberals trying to invade everything to push their morally reprehensible agenda.

              • In your second sentence you betray your lack of study. Latin is not one one the original languages of the Bible. A Latin Bible is a translated Bible. Also, you can’t dispute the meaning of the Greek word just because it doesn’t fit with your preconceived notions.

                You also show your lack of study in the areas of gender and sexuality. The ancient Jews recognized more genders than just male and female. Some North American Indigenous cultures recognized five genders, as did other cultures around the world. Biology clearly shows us more than one gender. The field of Epigenetics shows us that sexualities are formed in the womb due to a combination of factors in the womb environment.

                You also do not seem to understand the scientific method. A geneticist, as a scientist, would be seeking the truth wherever it lays. Their only agenda is the acquisition of knowledge.

              • OK, obviously you aren’t well educated in the Bible, or you would know that Latin was not one of the original languages of the Bible.
                The passage in Greek (which WAS one of the original languages) does indeed indicate the centurion was in a same-sex relationship with his servant. Your outrage won’t change that.
                You wrote: “I would actually like to see one geneticist prove that people are born gay, or transgender. ” Why? It obviously wouldn’t alter your view in any way, since your view isn’t based on fact, but your own prejudice.

                • The Bible is biased? Of course it is God is the very basis of morality. 1 Corinthians 3:19 says” for the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God.” So believing in science over the Bible is foolishness. When Paul wrote the letters to the churches he didn’t shy away from telling them what was right. He told them that fornication was to be put away. He didn’t go and tell them just to continue in their iniquity and everything would be fine just to avoid being called a bigot or make someone melt. He stated things clearly. And if you noticed, everything we were commanded to do was for our own good. After they made the decision to allow gay marriage, there was pedophile wanting their rights to. And a scientist said they were born that way so they should have equal rights too. I prayed and prayed and God led me. Something I bet y’all don’t do because science tells you what you want to hear. To show love is not to affirm behavior God condemns. “I didn’t say person so don’t twist it. ” 1 Corinthians 13 lays out love, and in it , it says ” love rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth”so if you love someone you should tell the truth so they live with Jesus in paradise. For corruption cannot inherit incorruption. Do a long study of the new testament without Outside commentary and discover the truth of the word of God.

                  • May I suggest you spend more time on grammar and proofreading and less on condemnation? That rant was barely intelligible.
                    God is not anti-gay and not against same-sex marriage. In the original languages, scripture never condemns homosexuality, and there are two same-sex marriages recorded there. God did not have a problem with either one. In fact, it specifies that He put one of those couples into their relationship. God’s not a bigot. Can’t say the same of many of His followers.

                    • By the way, I didn’t say that Latin was an original language. I don’t think y’all even believe the Bible. Most the comments here says it’s just a story. I’m not even sure you believe the creation story because biased science says we evolved. So I guess God just discovered it. It also sounds like you’re saying that if God did condemn homosexuality that He would be a bigot.
                      Let me ask a question. If homosexuality is so “holy”, then why is such a large percentage of child abuse done by gays? Why are so many gay leaders and activists advocating for pedophilia? Why would they think it’s OK to sexually abuse pre pubescenct children? Just because Catholic priests done it doesn’t make it right. And I’ve said before that just because it’s in the Bible, doesn’t mean that God was OK with it. The whole idea of the Bible is to show us how sinful we are, and that we have been redeemed by the blood of Christ, if we’ll only truly accept Him and pick up our cross and follow Him. But for those who teach against Him, your father is Satan.

                    • Wow, anonymous, you really are a mess. OK, first, YOU invoked the Latin Bible, as though what it said was significant, as though it was an original language. Second, yes, I DO believe the Bible… in the original languages, not necessarily as it has been (mis)translated.
                      Third, child abuse done by gays? Are you serious? Do you really believe that? The overwhelming majority of child sexual abuse is perpetrated by men who self-identify as heterosexual, usually a relative or adult family friend. The majority of their victims are girls. That’s not to say boys are never molested (they are), or that there are no pedophiles who prefer boys (there are). But pedophilia is about control and power, not sexual orientation. While a pedophile may have a preference in regard to sex, if a victim of that sex is unavailable, on of the other sex will usually suffice.
                      But let me turn this around on to you, since you say YOU believe the Bible: If homosexuality is as bad as you claim, why is it never even directly mentioned in the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible? Here’s another one for you: Why is it mentioned more often in Bible translations of the last 50 years than it was in older translations? Why the dishonesty? Translations should differ in language style… NOT in content.

    • Speaking to Bill, the reply button is missing. Are you going to reply every time with the same thing because you think everyone who disagrees with you is too stupid for their argument to hold water? I didn’t say Latin was an original language. I was making the point that it didn’t say sex slave. The 1611 King James Bible did condemn homosexuality as well. Just because that word wasn’t there doesn’t mean that it wasn’t addressed. Read 1 Corinthians chapter 6.
      As far as the studies, the evidence speaks for itself. You can’t believe what you find on the mainstream media or Internet. They’ve got their own agenda and they will lie to you. Websites can be created by someone sitting in their basement. And you also missed the part where I pointed out that many homosexual leaders and activists are advocating for pedophilia. Quite a bit of them actually. They think it’s a way to mentor youth. What is a little odd about that is that you can be a mentor for a young boy without needing a sexual relationship. It’s done all the time.
      You know the funny thing is, that most of the people on your side of the argument can’t even agree on facts.
      Nobody will ever get anywhere in this argument. So I will leave you be. Said my share. Website keeps screwing up. Takes forever to write anything.

      • I’m not going to argue intelligence with you. I don’t care at all what the KJV claims about anything, because I can read Hebrew and Greek and have devoted nearly 40 years into working with those texts. I KNOW for a fact that homosexuality isn’t directly mentioned, and the indirect mention is not negative. Anything you see to the contrary is the result of human prejudice and dishonesty.
        No gay activist or organization promotes pedophilia. Claiming otherwise makes you either misinformed… or a liar. It simply isn’t true. Age of consent is set by society, and nobody disagrees with there being an intelligent age of consent. But it needs to be the same for everyone. In some places, age of consent is higher for gay people than straight people. That makes no sense at all.
        Pederasty, where a sexual relationship was part of mentoring, is an ancient thing. It doesn’t exist today, and hasn’t for centuries. The last culture on earth to have such a thing was the Samurai culture in Japan, but that changed centuries ago. Nobody I know of is advocating for a return to it. Such calls exist only in the imagination of bigots.

        • Maybe you should watch something other than the mainstream liberal media because I’ve heard the same things he said. I’ve actually seen video and heard tapes where people were saying that pedophilia is a form of mentorship. There was a particular gay guy, although I can’t remember his name, was saying they just need to get rid of the laws against pedophilia. There was another guy talking about a relationship he had with a man when he was real young and expressed his gratitude to him for it. He also said that they should just get rid of the laws. Los Angeles times reported that pedophiles planned to hijack the obergafell decision. There is also a bunch of literature out there promoting it. Before you call someone a liar you should look into it.
          It’s awfully funny how the same people saying we need to love is doing a lot of name calling and insulting.

          • Do you know why only the far right media reports stuff like this? Because it isn’t real. Even videos you might see aren’t portrayed honestly. There is not a single person who represents the LGBT community in any way who promotes pedophilia. Pedophiles do. And a pedophile might identify as gay, but that doesn’t make him a spokesman for the LGBT community, just as a pedophile who identifies as heterosexual doesn’t represent the rest of the heterosexual community.
            The far right media and anti-LGBT organizations are not about to present LGBT people fairly or honestly. They rely on lies, innuendoes, distortions, etc, fear-mongering, hate-mongering. And the people who they cater to eat it up. None of them think about these things rationally. None of them scrutinize the articles, or question them, or even consider if they are logical. They simply swallow them hook, line and sinker.
            Think about it for a second: Who is going to give you a more honest picture of the Jewish community: Jews and those who know and care about them, or anti-Semitic organizations like the Klan? People who hate others, who believe those people are wrong in their very existence, are NEVER going to present them fairly or honestly. It is no different with the way your preferred media present LGBT people. Discerning people don’t buy into it. But people predisposed toward prejudice against LGBT eat it up.

      • I love when people cite the King James Version of the Bible to support their oppression of gay folk. King James was gay. This fact was extensively chronicled by the people of his day. There are also ten years worth of love letters to the Duke of Buckingham. The King James Version is also renowned for having been translated to line up with the policies of the church so there are deliberate changes to the original text so that the Bible would not contradict the church. As I said elsewhere, you can choose to believe what the English translation says, or you can choose to believe the message contained in the original language texts.

  1. I believe she has done some good for the
    Body of Christ. She has been a voice for many who had no voice. I do believe, however, just like
    Rob Bell, she crossed an important line in the name of Christ….and not a good one. There is a point where you can go a little too far with your good intentions and sadly she crossed that line. I pray nothing but the best for her and condemn any harsh or unkind word said to or about her. But I also support Lifeway’s decision in protecting the integrity of Scripture. I’m sure it was not an easy choice for them.

    • Pam, Jen joins a long line of godly writers who’ve been shunned by LifeWay. Brennan Manning and Henri Nouwen just to name a couple. They’re not maintaining scriptural integrity. They’re shunning any interpretation that doesn’t fit their narrow understanding. They’re limiting conversation and exploration inside of the Kingdom. It’s been going on for a long time and homogenized hateful mindsets are what it feeds.

      • Chris, thank you. “…maintaining scriptural integrity. They’re shunning any interpretation that doesn’t fit their narrow understanding.” This is the issue in a well-articulated phrase. For those folks who are on their soapbox about “scriptural integrity” and who refuse to look at more than one translation, paraphrase or interpretation… these are the folks who are building the walls of bigotry and exclusion. They cannot see beyond their personal/denominational inerrant ideology. They are clinging to the cherry-picked verses that reinforce their fears of the other, those who Jesus might have chosen to spend time and love and energy with.

        • I am sure would send time with them and love them but he would also offer the living water. Salvation that only comes through him…is that too dogmatic that there is no diversity on that issue.

          We do need to love but we can’t throw out God’s Word to love…a great price was paid for each of us and to turn away from that would also be wrong. I can love anyone in the LGBTQ community and would love for them to join in our worship. I would never bar them, hate them, stone them but just as Jesus said to the woman committing adultry “go and sin no more.” I work at this daily we are all called to leave sin and fall into Christ grace filled arms.

          I am sorry if Jen was hurt by this.. my heart aches for her and Matt Walsh and his trolls did not show Christ love if they were nasty and cruel as you say. They will be judged by that. But the integrity of scripture is important without it you might as well throw out the Bible.

        • Cherry picked verses are what people are using to say it is OK to sin and teach others the same. Yes his, “Jesus” spent time with those sinners to turn them from sin. He loves no matter but he did not say we were allowed to continue in sin.

          • If the majority of the Holiness is inapplicable to Christians, then so is the bit within it that refers to temple prostitution.

            In honor of the 499th anniversary of the Reformation:

      • Chris, you are so right. If I were not already a Christian, these kind of Christians would not make me want to be one. When the “holier than thou art” and the “self-righteous” decide to judge and put God in a box, you destroy and do not promote what Jesus came to teach. Jesus said “if you have seen me you have seen the Father”, To me that means what Jesus taught was how God feels

        • Colleen, thank you for writing as you did. Your words “God in a box” reminded me of a little book I read way back in the day called “Your God is Too Small” by J.B. Phillips. I loaned my copy to someone and never got it back and now I am curious to re-read it. Thanks for bringing ti to mind.

      • They are not condemning her as a Christian human being, they are simply saying that they disagree with her on what she sside an email a holy union. Her statement is in direct conflict with God’s word. Her beliefs no longer represent sound Biblical interpretation. This does not mean that Lifeway or any individual that disagrees with her change of heart either hates her or any person that chooses a different lifestyle than them. It simply means they don’t wish to support her influence as a leader in the Christian community…. God’s Word cannot be manipulated into something it is not. That isn’t hateful or nnarrow-mindedness, it is truth.

        • Amen. There are people who call themselves Christians who are hateful and look down on others for their sin. But it was said that we have all come short of the glory of God. Paul the apostle said he was the chief of sinners. But he still, did not judge, called out sin for what it is. That is not being hateful, it is trying to help someone back to the path of righteousness.

        • No, it is hate. There’s no denying that. Fundamentalist ARE going after her as a human being. No denying that either. And yes, it is narrow mindedness, fundamentalism is inherently narrow minded.

          You see, fundamentalism doesn’t see people as people. They see either followers, the “other” , which are best projects, and their leaders those who tickle their ears. Fundamentalists went after her because she didn’t tell them what they want to hear. Just because she doesn’t agree with the popular interpretation, doesn’t mean it isn’t sound interpretation. The fact that many scholars debunk the homophobic interpretations, prove that those pushing those interpretations are the liars.

          As far as “manipulating the Word of God” is concerned, first be careful you aren’t commuting idolatry with the Bible. It’s common in fundamentalist circles. So common that those who commit Bibilodolatry adamently refuse to aknowledge they do and therefore will never repent of it. Fact is the Bible is not inerrant, infallible and no more inspired than Pavlovitz or Hatmaker.

          As for the Bible being manipulated, it always has been manipulated over the centuries, and is continued to do so. Almost always by the church itself to support the views of its people. Especially by Fundamentalists. The church and the bible always adapted to the culture around it to survive, and always will.

          Not blasphemy. Not heresy. It’s the truth.

          • You stated, “And yes, it is narrow mindedness, fundamentalism is inherently narrow minded.”

            Jesus said the following, “Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. ”
            (Matt. 7:14)

            I’m glad to be narrow-minded and SAVED.

          • You also stated, “Fact is the Bible is not inerrant, infallible and no more inspired than Pavlovitz or Hatmaker.”

            However, the Scriptures states:

            “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: 
            That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works. (II Tim. 3:16-17)

    • There are things that are central to faith, and things that are not. Jesus went after the Pharisees and Scribes because they confused the two, placing burdens on people that placed barriers between them and God. The kerygma, the center of the proclamation, is God’s love and compassion for all, his open and welcoming invitation, understood by us through the lens of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection.

      The rest of scripture only serves this message, and can only be understood in light of it. It can be debated as to the meanings of various passages, and differing understandings – but those must always serve the Gospel. Christians are divided on many things, including gay marriage and homosexuality. They are not the Gospel – they are adeophora, things that may be important in the life of the community, but not the Gospel. Jesus, in Luke 11, says that we should pay attention to these, but it is more important to keep the central things central – justice and righteousness (righteousness actually refers to “”right relationships,” not breaking laws or mores). I do not know this woman – apparently she has a good ministry going which has brought many to know the Gospel. To condemn her because of something that is not central to faith is unconscionable and unChristian – the very thing Jesus condemns.

      • Gary Roth — I appreciate where you are coming from, and certainly some issues are more central than others. The problem, as Paul repeatedly makes clear in his letters, is that sexual morality really IS one of these critical issues that is worth confronting others over. The words that he spoke to both the sexually immoral and those who “give approval” to them are much harsher than what has been said against Ms. Hatmaker.

        I think that even more important than this particular issue, though, is the larger trend in liberal Christianity toward preaching a gospel that ignores turning from sin (someone else mentioned this). This was central to Jesus’s message, and is at the very heart of the gospel. If we continue to acquiesce to culture and pretend that sinful practices do not need to be addressed, we lose the true gospel.

    • I’m baffled by the comment that someone can go too far with good intentions. How can anyone ever go too far with “good”? This way of thinking is exactly what’s wrong with organized religion. They use God as a way to hide prejudice. Jesus must be shaking his head right now in disbelief.

      • Any position that doesn’t line up with God’s word can do harm. Even if it was intended for good. The bible is very very clear on homosexuality. To disregard those scriptures that address it, and to use your platform to contradict the word of God is indeed going to far. Why do some believe that for a Christian to condemn sin is the same as condemning the sinner? Even Christ condemns sin (I can’t believe that even needs to be said). Of course Christ condemns the sin but loves the sinner. That being said…. when a renowned Christian uses their platform to disseminate anything that is contrary to God’s word a swift and firm response by Christians is warranted.

        • I do not understand how people can keep saying that the Bible is very clear on homosexuality. Neither the word nor the concept are mentioned in the Bible. The Bible says nothing about homosexuality so how can it be said that the Bible is very clear on something that isn’t talked about. It doesn’t seem to matter how many scholars, theologians, linguists and researchers agree that the Bible is silent on homosexuality, there are still scads of people with their fingers in the ears hollering, “Don’t confuse me with facts. My mind is made up.”

          • “there are still scads of people with their fingers in the ears hollering, “Don’t confuse me with facts. My mind is made up.”

            And, sadly, not just on this subject.

            I am consistently disturbed by 2 things I see over and over again in these comments: (1) assertions made without any supporting evidence; (2) when supporting evidence to the contrary of someone’s assertions is presented, it is ignored.

            • It can’t be clearer than this

              Romans 1: 18-27 New International Version

              God’s Wrath Against Sinful Humanity
              18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

              21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

              24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

              26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones. 27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

              • Clearly, you omitted to read Rev Carey’s post about these actual verses.

                Actually, it can be a LOT clearer because the English translation does not do justice to the Greek text.

                I recommend that you search for Rev. Carey’s post about “nature” which is in these comments.

        • Kenny, first of all, the Bible is not God’s word. Only Jesus is God’s word, exactly as it states in John 1.

          Secondly, a good deal of isogesis is responsible for the position you describe above. I invite you to read any or all of the following:

          Reasonable and Holy: Engaging Same-Sexuality
          by Tobias Stanislas Haller

          God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships
          by Matthew Vines

          Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe
          by John Boswell

          Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century
          by John Boswell

          Gay Unions:In the light of Scripture, Tradition and Reason.”
          Rev. Gray Temple (Jr.).

Gay and Christian? Yes!
          by Rev. William H. Carey

        • “The bible is very very clear on homosexuality.”
          I am baffled by statements like that. Do people not understand that the Bible was not handed down by God in English? Do they not understand that what it says in English may very well not be what was originally written in Hebrew and Greek? Do you really have the right to condemn millions of people, telling them they need to change their lives, based on what may well be a flawed translation?
          You don’t even need to be able to read the ancient languages to know there is a problem. Go to Biblegateway.com. Look up a verse in any translation, and then, underneath it, there will be a link to see the verse in all commonly available translations. Now, some verses may be nearly identical. But others are wildly different. Why??? And how do you know which is right? Do you even care?
          Do you accept 1 John 5:7 as scripture? It appears in a handful of versions, including King James, but not others. Those who do accept it, do so blindly, because even rudimentary study of the history of the verse would prove beyond any doubt that it is not authentic, not original to the Bible.
          When reading Col. 1:19, do you believe that it pleased God that all the fullness should dwell in Jesus? Or that it only pleased the Father that that should happen? Or that the fullness itself was pleased to dwell in Jesus? Only one of those matches what Paul wrote in Greek, but all three are found in English Bibles.
          Do you believe that in the beginning the Word was “with God?” Do you care that there is not a single Greek manuscript of the New Testament that says that?
          Does it matter to you that, if we were to believe all the translators were honest and correct, we would have to believe that a prostitute, a lecher, a whoremonger and a homosexual were all exactly the same thing?
          Does it matter to you that most English versions mention sodomites, when no such word exists in the Hebrew and Greek texts? Do you care at all?
          You can turn a blind eye to the obvious and numerous, deliberate errors in translation if you wish. But when you condemn millions of people based on those translations, without ever caring to see if the translations are accurate, you do so at your own peril. Because if you are wrong (and I fully believe you are, with nearly 40 years experience working with the Hebrew and Greek texts), God will not just pat you on the back and say “that’s OK.” He will demand an answer for every gay person who was driven from the church, every gay person who committed suicide, believing God hated them for being who they were, something they could not change. And the blood for every single one of them will be on your hands. Is that really what you want? Do you really think God says “Well done, thou good and faithful servant” to those who cause others to stumble?
          “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
          “Study to show yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, correctly dividing the word of truth.” 2 Tim. 2:15

          • It is pretty straightforward — many of us find the Bible to be perfectly clear on the issue. Clearly you do not, but if you have actually studied as much as you claim, then surely you know that yours is VERY much a minority position, the vast majority of Christian scholars find the Bible clear on this point as well. Believe me, I am well aware of the interpretive arguments the other way, but they are weak.

            You might consider your own warning — “causing others to stumble” refers to acting in such a way that others sin as a result. Might not your endorsement of something that the vast majority of Christians think is sinful, be exactly such a thing?

            • Please read:

              Reasonable and Holy: Engaging Same-Sexuality
              by Tobias Stanislas Haller

              God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships
              by Matthew Vines

              Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe
              by John Boswell

              Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century
              by John Boswell

              Gay Unions:In the light of Scripture, Tradition and Reason.”
              Rev. Gray Temple (Jr.).



              Gay and Christian? Yes!
              by Rev. William H. Carey

              • Is that going to be your response to everything? I think we all know there are many resources on both sides. Many of us are well-informed on the issue.

                • Until people choose to allow actual evidence and facts change their opinions, probably.

                  Thing is, people who argue that the Bible condemns homosexuality do so on the basis of an English translation whereas those who don’t find any Biblical support for such a condemnation do so from the original languages.

                  • … that response makes clear that you have never seriously engaged with any arguments against your position. There are many that argue directly from Greek. Most scholars, in fact.

                    • I … I honestly don’t even know how to respond — have you seriously never read any actual research or scholarship from the majority position on this issue? If you seriously think it all consists of that kind of argument, I would have to question if you have any legitimate interest in learning about this, or if you just read things to bolster the ideas you already have.

                    • I have read it, John. It just doesn’t hold water. The vast majority of it was written by people whose writing proves they have very limited ability with Hebrew & Greek. They throw out just enough to impress/fool those who have no facility with the languages. But they don’t fool people who can actually read them.

            • I hate to be the one to tell you this, but “the vast majority of Bible scholars” can’t read Hebrew and Greek. Most who even both to study the subjects in school squeak by learning just enough to pass tests, but not nearly enough to sit down and read the Bible in the original languages.
              I would pit my knowledge against theirs any day. But that’s not what this is about. It isn’t a contest.
              Look at this site, and then, if you can, disprove it:
              http://hoperemains.webs.com

          • Is God in heaven not the almighty. Do you not think that He can inspire someone to write the scripture and gospel. And when it was so translated into other languages, do you not think that God in heaven has the power to keep what He wants us to in it despite the language differences. He made us man and woman in the beginning, not so we can rebel against the way He created us.
            It is sin no matter what you want to call it or when the particular word “homosexual” came into existence.
            Isaiah 5:20. Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil. That put darkness for lightand light for darkness. That put sweet for bitter and bitter for sweet.

          • You state, “believing God hated them for being who they were”.

            God does not hate them for being gay. He loves them and sent His Son to redeem them. However, homosexuality is clearly a sin and God does not wink at this. (Acts 17:30) One reason many gays cannot get free is because homosexuality, is many times, caused by a demon spirit. There is a spiritual component behind this sin and lifestyle. That’s one reason people believe that this is who they are (just like alcoholics and drug addicts believe they can’t get free). One cannot ignore the spiritual component and demon spirit behind this “lifestyle” and expect to get (and remain) free.

            • Well done. In this short posting you have shown us that you have not studied the Bible in the original languages, you cannot tell the difference between being something and doing something, you have not researched what science tells us is the cause of homosexuality, and that you don’t know the difference between a sexual orientation and a lifestyle. I’d say quit while you’re ahead, except that you are so far behind it’s going to take some serious effort to catch up.

              • There is NO genetic cause for homosexuality. In March, 2008, the director of the Human Genome Project, Dr. Francis Collins, stated this: “Homosexuality is not hardwired. There is no gay gene. We mapped the human genome. We now know there is no genetic cause for homosexuality.”

                • It is true that in 2008, that was the understanding. But it is now 2017 and science didn’t stop in 2008. What they are understanding now comes from the field of study known as epigenetics. The current research shows that it is a combination of factors in the womb environment that causes all the different sexual orientations. They are now working at identifying those factors. It is a lot more complicated to express this properly, but this is a reply on a blog post, not a treatise.

                • Actually the uncircumcised foreskin of males allow for intimate sharing between males. When conditioned, the skin stretches over and enfolds the loved ones genitalia, just as a vagina does. So yes, the male body does have another “sex organ” to accommodate. It is sad that this type of bonding has been denied to so many due to cultural and religious practices. Now that I’m up in years and see the tragedy that has taken place , I sometimes wonder if it was another way to control people, to curtail what others thought should not take place. If I could go back 50 or 60 years I would let my sons choose to be circumcised or not. If I had been more informed of the human body, the diversity of gender, and realized how God
                  made each of us in HIS image- I would NEVER
                  have made that decision to take away this gift from any of my sons. It’s obvious my children are much more informed than we were, one with a PhD and one soon to be MD , and are so aware of the diversity of the human body. I am so proud of them and know they will continue to help teach and enlighten the next generation to come.

                • That’s a good thing! If it could be pinpointed then it could be used against the gay community in world-wide plots to commit genocide. Thank goodness it’s like trying to find a reason for being heterosexual, there isn’t a reason! IT JUST IS!!!

    • Do you think God went a little too far with his ” good intentions” when he came to earth in the flesh to live among us only to suffer and die a criminals death for the sake of love? God’s love for us is radical. We need to show that same kind of crazy radical love to others in order to further God’s Kingdom.

  2. Good on Jen Hatmaker. I’ve never heard of her before, but shall look out for her books, blogs, etc.

    I do think that what’s happening over the LBGTQI stuff and the marriage question is waking the church up, shaking it to the core, and when the dust settles we will find the real church quietly continuing to serve humanity and our Lord Jesus.

  3. Absolutely, John. I especially appreciate your description of the “bastardized, Frankensteined version of Christianity.” Yes, it is incredibly sad, and unfair, and discriminatory. And, I agree that–ultimately–Jen will be okay.
    No one ever said that being a sincere, loving Christian would be easy. (Especially Jesus.)
    @chaplaineliza

    • And I thought Jesus did way with the law of the mind and wrote his commandments on our hearts. To love God and love others… As a reflection and outpouring of His grace, reception, and mercy. Correct me if I’m wrong.

          • But it is/was not cheap. God paid dearly for that mercy. Jesus took God’s wrath (paid the justice)
            so that we would not have to. The point is do not cheapen it by making falsehood truth because that is not the gospel.

            • Not quite sure what you are saying, but the “Gospel” is the good news of Jesus. The proclamation of law is not the Gospel. As Paul says, the law can only condemn – it cannot give life. Law is not Gospel – it is part of the “bad news” from which the Gospel saves us.

            • You do know that the Substitutionary Theory of Atonement (Jesus Paid a price by dying for your sins in your place) is not original, Orthodox Christianity by a long shot? Original Orthodox Christianity goes back 2,000 years. John Calvin invented this johnny come lately theory only about 500 years ago, about the time Columbus set sail to discover America. Bet they never told you that in your church, did they? Do you know why? Fundie preachers lie to their congregations and withhold important information from them—that is why.

              • Calvin didn’t invent that theory. He simply taught it. It’s clearly taught in the New Testament and is paralleled in the Old. Not Calvin’s fault if Catholicism never figured it out. But then, they were always more into their own traditions than scripture anyway.

                • Actually, it’s pretty clear from the earliest Christian writers that substitutionary atonement is not what they taught or took from the New Testament. They taught Christus Victor or ransom.

                  Penal and substitutionary atonement is from Anselm of Canterbury.

                  Personally, I find the substitutionary atonement theory repugnant. What Father would inflict that on HIs Son. And, yes, I know we are not talking about humans, but I am human.

                  • The things that took place in the life and death of Christ had parallels in the Old Testament. On one particular day, the High Priest laid hands on a sheep or goat, and it was led outside the city and left to die in the wilderness. It symbolized the sins of the people being transferred and taken away from them. Jesus was led outside the city to die.
                    But most significantly was the Day of Atonement. On that one day of the year, the High Priest was allowed to enter the Holy of Holies, behind the veil. He didn’t dare enter without blood. In there, he sprinkled the blood on the Mercy Seat, the cover of the Ark. This was where mercy was “located,” where the presence of God had chosen to center itself. If the sacrifice were done properly, the sins of the people were “pushed ahead” one more year, penalty postponed until the next Day of Atonement. If it were not done properly, the High Priest could find himself facing the wrath of God and might be struck dead. For this reason, when he entered, there was a rope tied around his ankle, and bells on his clothing. From the bells, they could tell if he were still moving around behind the veil, or if he fell. And if he were struck dead, they could pull him out by the rope.
                    The blood of bulls and goats could not pay for sin, because it wasn’t bulls and goats who had sinned. It was humans. Only human blood could pay for sin. But a sacrifice had to be perfect, without blemish, to be acceptable. In terms of a human, that meant sinless. There was no human who was without sin. When God sought someone to bring salvation, according to Isaiah, He found no one. So He said His own right hand would bring it.
                    This is where my theology differs from most Christians. I do not believe that the son of God was part of a triune Godhead. I do not believe in “God the Son,” because the Bible does not refer to such a person. The Bible says God is a Spirit (singular). We know He is holy by nature, so God is a holy Spirit. In other words, God is THE Holy Spirit. In Matthew chapter 1, we find that Mary conceived by that same one Spirit. That means the Holy Spirit is the Father of Jesus!
                    The resulting son was fully human. He had a human body AND a human nature, with all its frailties. As a human, he prayed to his Father, became afraid, got tired, hungry, and eventually, died and rose from the dead. God doesn’t do any of those things.
                    But had Jesus been only a man, He could not have lived to adulthood without sin. No man could, not even one whose Father was God. So scripture teaches us that all the fullness of the Godhead, that one Spirit, inhabited the body of His son. So Jesus wasn’t a second person in the trinity, but the one Spirit, the one true God, in flesh. That’s why Isaiah called Him “everlasting Father,” and why Jesus told Philip that by seeing Him, he had already seen the Father: The Father, that is, the one Spirit who is God, was literally IN Jesus.
                    Jesus was our High Priest. When he was crucified, He took upon Himself the sins of the world. God will not remain in the presence of all the world’s sin. (Hab. 1:13) So He withdrew from the body of His son. This left the man Jesus alone for the first time in his life… and he asked, “Why have you abandoned me?”
                    God can’t die. Only the man, the son, died on Calvary. As the High Priest, he created the final Day of Atonement. He entered the Holy of Holies… with blood: His own. This was the blood of a sinless human. The moment he sprinkled his own blood on the Mercy Seat, the veil was torn in half from top to bottom, indicating that mercy was no longer kept from the people, but was freely available.
                    But you see, it took the sacrifice of a perfect human to achieve that. He paid the penalty so we would not have to. The penalty pronounced in Genesis was death. He proved victory over death by coming back from it. As a result, our deaths are not permanent either. If we compare the command to make the atonement for all the sins of the people, for example, Lev. 16:34, with the writings of the New Testament, we see the apostles did indeed understand Jesus as both the High Priest AND the sacrifice. The book of Hebrews covers this beautifully. Heb. 10:10 says His body was “offered”… an offering was a sacrifice… once and for all.

                    • Yes, I too have read This is That by F F Bruce and was not convinced.

                      The Early Christian writers did not stress any atonement aspects. They emphasized ransom and victory.

                      That is good enough for me.

                      A personal request, when you createa paragraph break, would you please hit return in between the old and new paragraphs. I am at the age where dense text, especially the way it gets compressed in these comments, is hard to read

                      Thank you.

                    • With the paragraph thing… when I am typing a lot, it’s difficult to tell if I have entered a paragraph break. I’m typing into this tiny box, and it’s not an accurate representation. Very frustrating. Sorry for the resultant wall of text.

                    • Here are some Scriptures that deal with the Trinity:

                      1) At Creation – (Gen. 1:1, John 1:3)
                      2) In the Incarnation – (Luke 1:35)
                      3) Christ’s baptism – (Luke 3:21-22)
                      4) In the Atonement – (Heb. 9:14)
                      5) In the Resurrection – (Acts 2:32, John 10:17-18, Romans 1:4)
                      6) In prayer – We pray to the Father in Jesus’ Name
                      7) Jesus Himself recognized the three person of the Godhead – He prayed to the Father (Luke 23:34). He said “I Am the Way to the Father” (John 14:6). He promised the coming of the Holy Spirit (John 14:16)
                      8) In the Great Commission – “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matt. 28:19)

        • We don”t follow the OT laws – I don”t, for instance, see anyone being condemned for eating pork, wearing clothes made of blends, or stoning children. Jesus fulfilled the purpose of the law – keeping a relationship with God and one another. Thats what Paul talks about in both Galatians and Romans, and is the meaning of what Jesus said. You have to read all of the Bible – not just cherry-pick passages.

          • Correct. Homosexuality is an “abomination” in Old Testament law. Eating one’s meals with Gentiles is also defined as an abomination in Old Testament law.. The fundies do not realize that every time they sit down to the table to eat a meal with their gentile husband, wife, children, and friends, they are committing a sin just as grievous to God as homosexuality. But you are right, the New Testament plainly says that the Old Testament law no longer exists for Christians—and it never existed for Gentiles because God never had a covenant with the Gentiles.

            Why are fundies so hateful to LGBTQ people? LGBTQ behavior seems unnatural and grosses out their personal sensibilities—completely apart from the Bible— so they run to the Bible to cherry pick out the parts of it that will support their personal, human, fleshly feelings on the subject—and conveniently forget that no part of the Old Testament law, including the 10 commandments, is still in effect for anyone except Jews. Some of the best Jews I know are fundie Christians. (tee-hee-hee).

      • He did not come to “do away with the law.” In Matthew he upholds the law and says he did not come to do away but to fulfill. He said the law was the law and would be until the end of times. It is still to be followed, but we now have grace when we mess up and forgiveness without death.

        • I sincerely hope you don’t eat shellfish. And I imagine you generally agree with the idea we should stone adulterers. (Etc. etc. etc.)

          You accuse progressive Christians of “picking and choosing” which scriptures to pay attention to, when that is exactly what you do, all the time.

          Jesus never said ANYTHING about homosexuality, period. If we follow Jesus, it shouldn’t matter to us.

          • Jesus did in leviticus. He is one part of the triune God so he was there when God spoke the law. Pretty sure that everyone cherry picks what they want to believe. The difference is there are reasons why it’s ok. Some of the laws applied to the Jews during ancient times, some where related to temple worship which would be wrong for believers to follow. There is also moral laws which pretty much apply to everyone. The good news is Christ took our sins on himself and gave us His righteousness. He fully obeyed the law and was good enough to be our sacrifice.

            • Ignoring the argument around whether or not Jesus wrote Leviticus, if you read Leviticus in Hebrew, you will not find any mention of homosexuality. It is not discussed. The idea that homosexuality is referenced in Leviticus is a pretty new one relying on very bad English translations. I agree that we should follow the law that God spoke, but I do not agree that we should follow the law that was written by English men wanting to support their prejudices.

              • well said, Patricia. Lev is talking about temple prostitution which would be idolatrous for Jews. Not to mention there is no good reason to insist that only one tiny bit from the Holiness Code has relevance today. unless onr isOrthodox Jew.

            • Jesus was not a sacrifice. St. Paul said the Old Testament law (ritual, moral, and 10 commandments—he made no distinctions) are gone for Christians. They never applied to Gentiles because that covenant did not apply to Gentiles. Only Jews are required to follow the Old Testament law today. Fundie Christians are the only people stupid enough to completely disregard what the Apostle Paul says on this subject—fundie cherry picking once again.

          • But he did. In Mark, Jesus addressed sexual sin and what context sex is ok. He tells sex is ok in the confines of marriage. In Matthew , Jesus lays out the model for what marriage is . So it is very clear where Jesus stands on the matter.

            • That’s not at all what Jesus was doing in Matthew. He had not been asked to define or limit marriage. He had been asked a very specific question on divorce, and answered it in the same context. He cited the first marriage, which, by default, was one man and one woman, to indicate the intended permanence of the state. He was not, by any stretch of the imagination, defining or limiting marriage.
              (He would have been the last person to claim marriage was only one man/one woman. Without polygamy, neither He nor any of those He was speaking to would have been standing there. The existence of the 12 tribes of Israel was the result of polygamy. And had King David not taken a second wife, the messianic line would have ended with him, since his first wife had no children. Scripture forbids polygamy only to Jewish priests, and to Christian bishops and deacons, but to nobody else. The existence of two same-sex marriages in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament are further indication that there was more than one form of marriage allowed. In fact, of the world’s four forms of marriage, the only one not represented in the Bible is polyandry.)

          • God never created anyone to be something that He has forbidden.

            People state that Jesus never rebuked a homosexual in the Gospels. Well, it is not recorded that He ever met a child molester, an individual involved in bestiality or a witch either, but that doesn’t mean that those lifestyles are not sinful.

            Jesus Himself stated that He came to fulfill the law, not do away with it. (Matthew 5:17 – “Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.”)

            • Goodness, what century do you come from?

              Child molesting and bestiality are not lifestyles! They are disgusting actions being perpetrated by people who likely have some deep trauma in their lives causing them to need to have power and control over something weaker than them..

              Your inference is that homosexuality is also a lifestyle, but it is not. A lifestyle is if you choose to go to the opera or the Grand Ole Opry, have a cat or a dog or a hamster, volunteer at the soup kitchen or play flag football. Homosexuality is a sexual orientation, one of several, that requires no action or lifestyle to define it.

              Wiccans (the true name for witches) have a spirituality that reveres the earth and nature and has a command to do no harm. “Witches” are a man-made idea created when men could not understand that women can have wisdom. The picture we have in our heads for witches is mostly a Disney creation.

              I am in complete agreement with your statement, “God never created anyone to be something that He has forbidden.” Since we now know that homosexuals are knit together in the womb, we know that they are part of God’s plan.

    • In Matthew 5: 38-48 are Jesus’ words, “You have heard it said [in the Torah], but *I* say to you …” He was laying down what I call the Jesus lens for scriptural interpretation. If we truly believed those words, we would also track with and act upon what else He said: 38 “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’[c] 39 But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also. 40 And if anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well. 41 If anyone forces you to go one mile, go with them two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.” He was turning age-old religious interpretation of Torah on it’s ear, totally upending it for the benefit of the person/people standing in front of us from here on out. I believe Jen Hatmaker is very attuned to this, but that’s also why she’s met with so much vitriol. She’s made the religious folks very, very uncomfortable. So did Jesus.

      • Vitriol is always wrong. Disagreement is OK. Jesus upped the anti so to speak, but he did not disagree or contradict anything in the Old Test.

        • Did He contradict the law re: the Sabbath, or did He make it very plain for this people? I think in making it plain (“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath”) it looked like He was contradicting it, and that’s what angered people.

          • He sure did make people angry, well at least the religious. Since He was the author of the law He could not contradicted it otherwise He would not be God.

      • would love to see Christians be as passionate about vss 39-42, instead of finding justification to not love neighbors.

      • Correct. More fundie cherry picking in the Bible. God is the same now and always they boldly declare—that is EXCEPT WHEN HE CHANGES HIS MIND in the scriptures you cite and others, like whether it is sinful to work on the Sabbath ( heal people or get your ox out of a ditch). Fundie understanding of the Bible is so screwed up—its pathetic—which is one reason their own people are leaving their churches in droves.

        • You seem to love using the term fundie. You also seem to relish pushing your own viewpoint on scripture. There are many verses in the new covenant that cover homosexuality. Is it a sin? Yep. There is no denying that it is a sin. The scripture says so. Being a completed Jew, I know both the old and new covenant. In the old covenant G-d says to kill homosexuals. In the new covenant Yeshua says to love them. I think where most new age Christians lose me is when they think that to love a person means that you have to condone their sin. To truly love someone in a way pleasing to Yeshua is to love them enough to tell them that Yeshua loves them, and that no sin can keep you from Him if you repent and truly believe. As a man who spent years addicted to internet porn I know that I am lost, but I have Yeshua and the scripture to guide me. If you lose the vitriol and ad hominem attacks on those who hold to a different view I think you would find more common ground than you find division.

          • This must be your first time here. Labeling someone a fundie or a troll is how you win a debate. It’s an unimpeachable response to any argument.

            • People are labeled trolls when they write using demeaning, disrespectful, invalidating language when they disagree with someone.

              People who disagree using polite, respectful, and validating language are not labeled trolls.

              By my definition, even people I agree with in general, can be labeled trolls due to how they choose to express themselves.

              • Here we have a prime example of someone who believes it’s her job to declare a troll anyone who dares disagree with the exalted Mr. Pavlovitz, call him on any of his blatantly hypocritical statements, or disagrees with her belief that original sin, the Zika virus, and everything in between is the fault of conservatives, all contrary evidence be damned. She demands respectful, validating language from others, but flame sprays anyone who commits the unforgivable sin of accidentally misspelling her name, while not seeing fit to treat others in the manner she demands they treat her.

                Stick around for a few days, and you’ll see what I mean.

                • Evidently, you are unable to distinguish between key elements of what I said.

                  It is not that someone disgrees, it is the manner in which they choose to disagree.

                  You have chosen to reply in terms which are not only disrespectful and invalidating but you have also chosen to tell falsehoods.

                  Well, I tried to speak to you politely and look at the response I received.

                  • I know what you said. You say it repeatedly. It just doesn’t reflect the reality of how you engage others. Though I admit there are probably some things you don’t blame on conservatives. That was hyperbole. To my knowledge you don’t hold us responsible for the plague, or the Titanic.

          • Like most “completed Jews,” I’m guessing you don’t read Hebrew. If you were raised Jewish, you probably learned enough to squeak through Bar Mitzvah, but no more. Otherwise, you would know that the Tanakh (Old Testament) never said to kill homosexuals. Lev. 20:13 says to kill two men who lie down משכבי אשה that is, in a woman’s bed.
            Sure someone who claims to be a completed Jew is aware that only one branch of true Judaism condemns homosexuality, and that is Chassidic. And the Chassidim don’t waste time with Leviticus in their opposition. It’s mostly based on late Talmud, and somewhat on the command to be fruitful and multiply.
            In the other branches of Judaism, from Reconstructionist all the way to Orthodox, same-sex couples can be married in the synagogues. Is your understanding of Torah better than all of theirs?

          • Ya’akov,

            May I recommend some books?

            Reasonable and Holy: Engaging Same-Sexuality
            by Tobias Stanislas Haller

            God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships
            by Matthew Vines

            Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe
            by John Boswell

            Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century
            by John Boswell

            Gay Unions:In the light of Scripture, Tradition and Reason.”
            Rev. Gray Temple (Jr.).

Gay and Christian? Yes!
            by Rev. William H. Carey

      • Cynthia. If you have a high IQ and a really good college education, go read the Book of Galatians closely. The Old Testament law is no longer in effect for Christians and never was in effect for Gentiles because they were outside God’s covenant with Israel. That means Leviticus is gone. The moral law is gone. The 10 commandments are gone—as far as laws are concerned. Then Cynthia says:

        “Why did preacher never tell us this?” One of the purposes for which Christian fundamentalism was founded in the early 20th century was to “save the Bible” from German theologians. Some idiots, who did not really understand what the German theologians were doing, became afraid that someone might try to take the Old Testament law out of the Bible in response to the Apostle Paul. That is my opinion—and a pretty good one I think. Fundies also think the people need something to “practice” their faith, so why not reinstitute the Old Testament law (against God’s will) and use it as a bar of soap to clean up your sin life.

        • Although God did away with the Ceremonial law and the Dietary law when the New Covenant was instituted, He never did away with the Moral law.

      • Here’s what I don’t understand. We consider most of the Holiness Code irrelevant to us as Christians. And yet there are those who lift the verses out of their context and insist they refer to homosexuality and that those few verses are still applicable. And I suppose they might be wearing cotton/wool blends and eating shellfish while they say it.

        All the Law, all the Commandments, all the prophets are summed up, Jesus tells us in loving God with every fiber of our being and loving our neighbor as ourselves. The latter statement is unaccompanied by footnotes, exceptions, or appendices.

        Jesus also tells us what loving our neighbor looks like in the Parable of the Good Samaritan and Matthew 25. If we Christians were busy about the things our Lord told us to be busy about such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, providing for those unable to provide for themselves and visiting the prisoners so that they do not despair, we would all fall into bed at night to exhausted to care about who has found love with whom.

        But we don’t do these things and so we have all this leisure time to poke about into other peoples’ business.

      • Actually, He didn’t end Leviticus. As you stated earlier…go read your Bible. Jesus Himself told us exactly when the Law would end:

        Matthew 5:17-18 (NASB) “Do not think that I came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to fulfill. 18 “For truly I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or stroke shall pass away from the Law, until all is accomplished.”

        UNTIL HEAVEN AND EARTH PASS AWAY.

        I think that’s a pretty strong statement about when the law passes away.

        I also believe that without a Levitcal Priesthood, and with a true path to a person relationship to G-d through Yeshua, the Law cannot be in effect. G-d has us under the Law of Yeshua now, and the Priesthood who governed the law is now defunct…therefore the law is unable to be followed except through grace by faith in Messiah.

        • If Ms Hatmaker really believes as she says she does, I don’t think she will l lose any sleep about being ousted from a fundie Christian bookstore. It wouldn’t make sense if she was ‘heart-broken’ over it. (unless she only cares about $sales. )

          She will sell more books now, not fewer.

    • Jesus wrote Leviticus? Seriously?

      Perhaps there’s sarcasm there. Since Jesus didn’t write anything that we know of, maybe it is sarcasm.

      • Well, it all depends. Fundies seem to think that the term “Spirit breathed” means that God/Jesus/Holy Spirit put the ancient Biblical writers into a hypnotic trance or They heavily sedated them. Then God picked up their hand, caused it to grab a quill and ink—and then They moved that hand across the parchment personally writing every word of the Bible. When the Bible book “writer” awakened from his trance, he looked at the parchment and said: Blimey!!!! Where did all these words come from? It’s a miracle. But hey. I am still going to say I wrote this. Publish or perish.”

        The fact of the matter is that the term “Spirit breathed” (as translated from Greek into English) is so vague that it could mean just about anything with regard to how the words got on the paper. You can use the word “inspired,” but that is just as vague. Fundies believe every word and punctuation mark in the Bible was directly written by God, and some are stupid enough to believe that God wrote the words “Authorized King James Version” on the title page. Most sensible Christians believe that the Bible contains a lot of man words and a lot of true things about God—but you have to sift out the God parts using the words and deeds of Jesus as the criterion for sorting.

        • Maybe God inspires you with his passion for justice and through your filter it turns into the words and expressions you have available because of the background you come from or the personality you have. How we choose our words and how we use our words determines the effectiveness of the message we receive from God. We glean truth from the Bible and from people. I see the Bible that way and I see you that way.

        • “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” (II Tim. 3:16)
          “inspiration of God” (heopneustos) – “divinely breathed in: – given by inspiration of God.”

          “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.”  (II Peter 1:20-21)

  4. As usual, if someone writes something that appears to contradict what is written in scripture and then others write to disagree with them, they are “The knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing troll armies of the Lord”. Its amazing how this works. YOU DARE NOT DISAGREE! Would not someone who trusts in the word of God be showing the utmost love by pointing out falsehood? No one should attack anyone personally for there thoughts or beliefs, but the truth is the truth, it’s not subjective.

    • Your truth is evidently based on your interpretation of scripture. Mine is based on my interpretation… we don’t get the privilege of telling others what to read into scripture, how to interpret scripture – that is up to each individual person. Sorry to burst your bubble.

      • No actually I think truth is truth regardless of what I think or feel or desire. It stands on it’s own, we don’t get to change it. A person may have an incorrect interpretation of a passage of scripture, that happens. Whether mine or yours or John’s is correct or incorrect has no bearing on the truth. My desire is to know the truth as God has presented it in scripture, not how I see it.

        • Your truth will always be subjectively yours because you filter truth and understanding about scripture through the filter of your own brain when you read it. Let me guess. You grew up under a religious regime that taught that the Bible is written in simple words so simple people with simple minds can understand it because God wanted a simple Bible containing a simple gospel for simple people. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Bible is deep and hard—and it takes a lot complex extra-Biblical knowledge to understand it.

          • Charles, I too believe truth is truth is truth is truth, wherever we may find it. My absolute truth is God. God is truth.

            However, I accept that my limited finite human mind cannot comprehend all of God. As much of God as i might ever manage to grasp is Jesus and I have sincere doubts that I will understand and know Him 100%.

            What I also know is that my interpretation fo the truth might be faulty and I pray every day for the Holy Spirit to illumine my find and correct me.

            Truth is truth for all human beings but due to our finite nature, we don’t aways know what it for what it is.

          • “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (I Corinthians 2:14)

    • A person is described as a “The knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing troll armies of the Lord” not for disagreeing with John or people here. We welcome discussion in which we act as adults, agreeing to disagree using respectful, validating language. It’s when people act like kids having a fight, calling someone names and saying horrible things about them, then that person earns the name troll.

      Apparently, the people who have attacked Jen Hatmaker are of that ilk. The only people who are labeled trolls here on John’s blog are those who have demonstrated that they are just here to be judgmental in as nasty a way as possible.

      Please google internet troll and discover a more expanded definition.

  5. I am asking in an honest manner. I am not attacking in any way. Is being in a homosexual relationship or actively participating in homosexuality a sin? It seems that the Apostle Paul is clear that those who actively participate in these activities will not inherit the kingdom of God. Can we not love and call sin, sin? Or is same sex relationships not sin? Please don’t call me a bigot because I am not. I employee homosexuals, have had them eat at my table in my home, and I don’t care if they are married or not. The question is basic. Are homosexual relationships sin? If not , why aren’t they? Do we not treat the writings of Paul as true scripture? If you answer this, thank you in advance.

    • For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.
      Romans 1:26‭-‬27 ESV

      The word for me, who I know myself to be, is “exchanged”. I was not born with an attraction to men. I had nothing to “exchange”. What would you care for me or any LGBTQ person to about that?

      I CHOOSE to be celibate. I CHOOSE to not place my interest in an earthly relationship. I am committed to Christ and imitating His work. I STILL identify as lesbian. Do you accept me without judgment or condemnation? Do you receive me though different? If you say no, then there is more sin to be named but I refuse to do the naming.

      • “For this reason” is so important because it indicates that these verses are not the start of the story. Something else happened first causing this result. If you read the verses ahead of this passage, you will find that people who should have known better have gone back to worshipping idols. The worship of idols, in the context in which the epistle was written, consisted of all manner and description of sexual acts between people of both same and opposite gender. The purpose of this passage is to remind people to be faithful to God. It is not about sexuality, whether homosexual or heterosexual.

    • Sexual sin is sexual sin. But should we love a homosexual sinner any less than a heterosexual one? I don’t think the main issue here is the nature of the sin, which bends so many people out of shape, but rather Jesus’ direction to love others.

    • There has been a lot of discussion of this, obviously, Tim. Most translations do not differentiate the various words in Greek that they translate as “homosexuality.” They refer to various things, and it also helps to know the cultural references at the time. Those who claim to be “literalists” take the various references, as translated, at face value – they do not believe the context to be important. There are six references in scripture usually translated as “homosexual.” Those in the Old Testament are tied to the Levitical Code, and for the need to pass on property to the next generation. We do not apply the rest of the Levitical Code to ourselves, so the question is, “Why would we pull out this one law and say it applies, when the others do not?”

      In the New Testament, the references are either Pauline or what some refer to as “deutero-Pauline,” letters probably written by a follower of his, in his name. It is argued that they refer either to acts connected with temple prostitution, or pedophilia – in other words, misuse of power – not to the kind of situation we have in a gay marriage relationship.

      It is basically an argument over how we interpret scripture and use it. You can probably see that I tend to lean toward the latter – I think understanding it in its context is more faithful to its meaning and intent. The one other thing I would say is that the Gospel is always the center of any Christian interpretation of scripture – the love of God shown in Christ. While we may interpret scriptures differently, the center must be the Gospel, and God”s unconditional love for all people.

      We are all sinners saved by the grace of God in Christ – heterosexual or homosexual. There is no “greater sin” or “lesser sin.” All that we do, and all of our relationships are tainted by it. But through Christ, we are also “saints,” made holy by him – heterosexual or homosexual. “There is now no condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ.”

      I don”t know whether that answers your question or not. Personally, I think we need to stay away from thinking about “sins,” and think more about how we respond to one another in light of the Gospel – are we loving and welcoming, as God is? Is the good news of Christ forming our heart and life, especially in regard to our neighbor?

    • Tim, I appreciate the sincerity of your question.

      My answer and there are those who will disagree with me, is “no,”

      I refer you to the following books which make the case better than I and possibly anyone else on this blog could:

      Reasonable and Holy: Engaging Same-Sexuality
      by Tobias Stanislas Haller

      God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships
      by Matthew Vines

      Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century
      by John Boswell

    • It seems to be a lot more in depth than can be discovered in a day. There are definitely a lot more opinions and interpretations of Scripture than what I had originally thought. I do struggle with the fact I have to understand context of when Pauline epistles were written and not be able to take the Scripture at face value and accept the definitions of the words being as I understand them. As I skimmed through some of the info given to me today, I read one short note that said that the translators of the Scripture into English had wrongly interpreted the words or they had lied to us. That would be unfortunate considering I am a native English speaker. Also, I read today that only the gospel is of importance and everything else is secondary. If that is the case, why even have the additional books of the New Testament. And, how do I know that the words of the first 4 books of the NT are accurate also? Regardless, I will do more research. Thanks everyone who provided insight that is useable.

      • Tim, you ask some great questions and I would love to discuss this with you at greater length than is possible here. If you would like to friend me on FB, I’d welcome the conversation.

        • Not going to bother too much with that. Here’s why: “rebuttals” of LGBT-friendly theologians are a dime-a-dozen. They never seem to hold water, however. They rely on the fact that their readers have little to no knowledge of the original languages of the Bible and the historical context. And they are not at all above misquoting the people the claim to rebut.
          While Vines’ book has sold far more copies than mine, mine goes into far more detail on corrections of Bible translations. And over the past 35 years since I first started publishing information on this, I have had countless people claim to refute it. In fact, all they have ever been able to do is disagree with it. None have come close to refuting it.
          It’s a sad reality that most of the people writing on this topic (on both sides of the issue) have little ability to work with Hebrew and Greek, and that greatly limits their ability to work with the Bible in regard to what was originally written. So most approach the issue from the perspective of “interpretation” of the vernacular translations. I do not. I go back to the Hebrew and Greek and show where those texts disagree with the modern translations, and show what they should say. A lot less jumping through hoops than trying to defend/interpret a flawed translation.

        • For all its words, it fails to rebut Boswell. The author (and to some extent also Boswell) fails to take into account that historical context must be considered in understanding Romans 1. Paul was writing to first century Rome, and therefore, wasn’t going to be writing about situations that didn’t exist in that society. Therefore, unless one knows and understands what was going on in that society in regard to sexuality, it will be impossible to read what Paul wrote and come away with a proper understanding of what his intent was.
          Second, Boswell made a valid point about the word φυσις, which the author of this rebuttal tended to gloss over as if it were unimportant. But it is vitally important to Boswell’s argument. This word, translated as nature, CANNOT refer to the world order or the creation. That simply isn’t what it means. It refers to the personal, innate nature of a person (or object), and that’s as far as it goes. It does not have the broad range of meanings the English word nature has.
          When Paul wrote that what the Romans were doing was παρα φυσιν (“against nature”), that was significant. A better translation is “outside of nature.” The word παρα (para) implies “alongside of,” or “outside the range of.” And since the nature here is the Romans’ OWN nature, what they were doing was out of character for them, outside their own nature, what was natural FOR THEM.
          There was no expression for this in the first century, but today, we do have a term for a person’s nature in regard to sexuality. We call it sexual orientation. It denotes what is natural FOR THEM, the attraction they innately have, whether or not it may match the expectations of others.
          Here is where understanding the difference between our society and ancient Roman society is key, as well as understanding the specific situations Paul was writing about. There is a common myth, particularly among Christians today, that homosexuality was “rampant” in ancient Greece and Rome, and led to the demise of both empires. That’s not even remotely true. In fact, the modern understanding of homosexuality, that is, two adults of the same sex falling in love, forming a relationship, and perhaps marrying, was pretty much unknown in those societies.
          The Greco-Roman religion gave rise to a custom that dictated the expected sexual behavior of men, women and even adolescent males in their society. Bear in mind that it would be about 2000 years before anyone did any research into sexuality, and neither their religion nor their respective societies were overly concerned about what we would call sexual orientation. They were simply expected to do certain things, and for the most part, they did them.
          The Greco-Roman creation myth told of a single human being who had been created. This being was not male or female, but a sort of hybrid. This person was subsequently divided into two people, one male, one female. But this division left each of the subsequent individuals “incomplete.” The male lacked his female part, the female her male part. Their religion taught that wholeness must be sought out.
          The method they devised for doing this was through sexual contact. They expected all adults to be sexually active with BOTH sexes. In other words, by modern terminology, they were expected to be functionally bisexual, regardless of what innate attraction they actually possessed.
          There were specific rules for this; it wasn’t just a free-for-all. A woman, for example, was permitted one husband, and she was expected to have one. She was not permitted sexual contact with any man other than her husband. She was, however, permitted, and expected, to be sexually intimate with other women. Their society said it was not only normal, but also that it was a religious obligation.
          And adult man was permitted a wife, or wives if his wealthy allowed, and wasn’t supposed to be intimate with other women. But each adult man was expected to form an attachment to an adolescent male. He would be teacher, mentor and lover to this young man, and this was considered an ordinary, vital part of the boy’s education. The physical aspect of the relationship was expected to end when the young man reached adulthood, and each would then seek out a new relationship. This was called pederasty, and was, again, considered entirely normal, and pretty much obligatory for men in Greece and Rome.
          It was this custom that Paul addressed in Roman’s 1. It’s no coincidence that it’s smack dab in the middle of a chapter about worshiping the creation instead of the Creator, about not wanting knowledge of the true God. The whole custom grew out of their religion! But Paul said it was dishonorable, and unseemly (out of character), and he called what they were doing a MISTAKE, not a sin. Their mistake was in ignoring their φυσις, their nature, their own sexual orientation, in order to meet the expectations of their religion and society. Paul wasn’t condemning homosexuality. He was condemning the idea of people ignoring the way they were created, in the specific example he offered, the heterosexual majority engaging in homosexual relations. It was unnatural FOR THEM, unseemly, dishonorable, and a huge mistake.
          It bears mentioning that all the early church fathers’ supposed writings against homosexuality were actually writings against pederasty. Sadly, some later translators deliberately altered their work, sometimes inserting the word sodomy where it didn’t belong.

      • Tim — also please understand that this website attracts a very specific type of person. The vast majority of modern-day Christians, along with the overwhelming majority view throughout the history of Christianity, is that Paul actually meant what he wrote, and that same-sex relations are sinful.

        It is easy to get wrapped in a bubble and forget the larger context of Christianity. I’m sure those here that support homosexual sex think they are brave fighters against the status quo, but please realize that their views are very much the minority.

        • I hate to break it to you, but it’s been a long time since the majority of Christians believed being gay is a sin. Even in denominations that still officially teach that (and the number of those is constantly dwindling), there is not universal agreement about that. Look at all these denominations. Just in North America, all these are LGBT-affirming:
          Affirming Pentecostal Church International
          Alliance of Baptists
          American Baptist Churches USA
          Anglican Church of Canada
          The Anthem Network
          Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists
          Catholic Apostolic Church in North America
          Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
          Community of Christ
          Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
          Ecclesia Gnostica
          Ecumenical Catholic Church
          Ecumenical Catholic Communion
          Episcopal Church (United States)
          Eucharistic Catholic Church
          Evangelical Anglican Church In America
          Evangelical Catholic Church
          Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
          Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada
          The Evangelical Network
          Friends General Conference
          Friends of Jesus Fellowship in America
          Global Alliance of Affirming Apostolic Pentecostals
          Inclusive Orthodox Church
          Independent Catholic Christian Church
          Independent Greek Orthodox Church of the United States
          International Council of Community Churches
          Mennonite Church Canada
          Mennonite Church USA
          Metropolitan Community Church
          Moravian Church in America Northern Province
          National Ass’n of Congregational Christian Churches
          Old Catholic Church
          Presbyterian Church
          Progressive Christian Alliance
          Reconciling Pentecostals International
          Reformed Anglican Catholic Church
          Reformed Church in America
          Restoration Church of Jesus Christ
          Swedenborgian Church of North America
          The Progressive Episcopal Church
          Unitarian Universalist Association NOTE: Although no longer exclusively Christian, the denomination originated as such and is ‘mainline’
          United Catholic Church
          United Church of Christ
          United Church of Canada
          United Methodist Church’s Baltimore-Washington, California-Nevada, California-Pacific, Desert Southwest, Detroit, Greater New Jersey, Great Plains, Illinois Great Rivers, Iowa, Minnesota, New England, New York, Northern Illinois, Oregon-Idaho, Pacific-Northwest, Rocky Mountain, Southwest Texas, Upper New York, Virginia, West Michigan, and Wisconsin Annual Conferences are affirming of LGBT clergy and relationships through resolutions.
          Unity Fellowship Church Movement
          Unity Church

    • Having a homosexual inclination is not a sin. To act on it IS a sin which is made very clear by Paul. He was specially chosen by Christ, and his words are authoritative and come from the mind of Christ.

  6. John, I enjoy your thoughts and often agree with you. I love Jen Hatmaker, her personality, and her love for people. I am always appalled to see Christians being abusive toward one another, so I do not condone unkind things said about Jen in the aftermath of her interview with Religion News. However, there is such a thing as standing for truth. As much as we might like for the New Testament to condone homosexuality and call gay marriage holy, it does not. It is right for Christians to stand for truth on this and it should be done in a humble and loving way. Jen has a huge following, she is in all respects a Christian leader… but she is calling truth a lie. I am personally fine with the legality of gay marriage, and I believe the Christian community should no longer discriminate on this, but calling it holy goes too far. I can no longer follow her as a leader, though I still love her as a friend.

    • Truth is only relative to what you believe. Shed your beliefs and you will not only find what’s real within you, you will see more clearly what’s real in others.

      The problem with Christianity is that people have made it all about Jesus. It’s not. It’s about what Jesus represents – the real inside of him that could see through to the real in others, past appearances, misconducts, and other outward perceptions. These superficial things, which matter least, we are so divided by. They obscure our better view.

      • Truth is absolute, it is our beliefs that sometimes don’t match what is actually truth. God can and does make and bless what he says will happen and does happen. To do contrary to such things only opens us up to disappointment, judgment and lost blessings.

        • I don’t see the huge struggle that people are having about scripture.

          I always pray before I read/study the bible, ‘God, please show me what you want to show me.’

          God is faithful. He is stable, unchanging, sure. If I don’t understand something, I am not so hard on myself. I know my limitations. I accept that I don’t understand it. But, I NEVER say, ‘God is wrong about ___________’.

    • We tend to see truth as propositional. Jesus, however, said that “I am the truth.” The truth does not consist in propositionall statements, but in a person. If we try to make truth a various group of propositional statements, then we will have to cherry-pick, and argue about their meaning. One interpretation will be as good as another, and we end up simply dividing according to our understanding of what each statement means, and how they relate to everything else scripture says on a particular subject – and that is often confusing, because, in many cases, it says different things depending on the situation. But I think we all agree on Jesus as “the truth, the way, and the life,” if we are Christians. He brings us together, rather than tearing us apart. The Gospel, as Paul says, overcomes divisions, rather than creating them. Seeing truth as propositional always divides, because it focuses on our own understanding, our own discernment; but understanding that Jesus is the “truth” makes us rely on him and on God’s work alone.

      • Jesus said: We must deny ourselves. Pick up our cross. And follow Him.

        Deny ego. Deny flesh. Deny self.

        It’s very, very painful. It does not ‘feel-good’.

      • John P puts the exact amount of value in bible scripture as he displays here. He is true to his beliefs. I respect him for following his beliefs. I find his beliefs curious.

  7. Diversity of thought will not be tolerated; this is why we walked away from evangelicals. We’re on our own now, and it feels so freeing. I’m sick to death of apologizing for how the church is treating people, while exalting those who refuse service to people who don’t fit their idea of worthy. We have a local hero in our small town, and she makes me sick. They pray for her because she is being persecuted. REALLY?

  8. Good work again John!

    You have just articulated some of the most egregious sin of the “christian faith”. There is more, much more that is so wrong within those intolerant and biased preachers of hate and death.

    That is why I long ago walked away from all of that and now understand the goodness and love that is God from a much safer and loving place of teaching and learning.

    New Thought – not new age – is the work-around the blasphemy that passes for “christian or Jesus teaching” . New Thought in the form of ‘Centers for Spiritual Living’ and ‘Unity’ are places of peace, joy, love without dogma and hate. The richness of CSL and Unity brings one out of the darkness of all that hate and rules filled religion into a world of light.

    I have learned more about and embody what it really means to be filled with the Christ nature than one could ever know through what is passed off as “christian” religion.

  9. If Lifeway is doing this on principle, perhaps they should return all the millions of dollars she has made for them? I’m betting this won’t happen however.

    Jenn,
    I know you probably won’t read this but thank you. Thank you for spreading the Good News to millions through a book that BOLDLY proclaims the beautiful name of Jesus and made it to a national, secular best seller list! Thank you for doing so much hands and feet work with the”least of these” with your charity and your little church! Thank you for encouraging people everywhere that this faith journey is worth staying on because Jesus is so beautiful. I’m sorry for all the crazies who will no doubt throw all means of ugliness your way. They do not represent all of us Jesus followers.
    -Jill

    • Why should they return any gains from their association with her?During that time she was in alignment with Christian values and now she isn’t. They’re doing the right thing.

  10. Forgive them, for they know not what they do!!!!
    Sorry, but I think that the Neo Evangelicals know totally what they are doing. It is about masses of people pouring thousands and thousands of dollars into their coffers to give them a lifestyle that has become so famous through Hinn, The Crouches, Popovs., The Gaither’s, and the list is ad nauseam., oh yes, I forgot The Osteens..
    They have taken the Bible and bastardized so much of it., by using so many passages taken out of context, not researched or even looked at in reality but to suit their purposes.
    I do not identify as a Christian to people any longer., I identify as a “Follower of Jesus Christ”.
    The Evangelical, Pentecostal movement has continued to make a mockery of our Father and our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
    I truly believe that we are in the end times and that Trump and his minions are an army of Anti-Christs.
    We, as followers of Jesus Christ must continue to preach, show and do the love of Jesus., a lot of people will not understand because of what the so call Christians are doing. But, we must prevail and with His help and the power of Holy Spirit the war on His Children will be won..Thank you Jesus., Thank you John and Thank you Jenn and family for all you do in His name..

  11. Would you, John, or anyone else here have advice for someone who was born and raised in the SBC, called to ministry and attended SBC institutions, but now wants to break from ministry in conservatism?

  12. Spot spot on as usual, John. I wish I had your way with words, but I see that even if I did, like your words they just wouldn’t seem to have any effect on this impenetrable, stubborn unwillingness to entertain just for a moment that this interpretation that does nothing but cause pain may need another look. Like the over 300 slavery verses that don’t apply now for starters. The Bible is not made of stone. The world and it will not explode if homosexuality is affirmed. John Pavlovitz, Matthew Vines, James V. Browns on, David P. Gushee, Jen Hatmaker …al these Biblical, dedicated Christian people… who took their blinders off, what is it going to take?

  13. Christians don’t need to change their beliefs about marriage to please the world or to please John Pavlovich. Of course we need to be kind and compassionate to all, but it’s not kind or compassionate to encourage someone in their sexual sin, and homosexual sin is not the only sexual sin.

    This is what my church says about it, and I think many in other churches would agree, and if you don’t, you’re going against scripture, tradition, and natural law. You’re watering down your faith and beliefs so that you will gain acceptance. You’re putting politics ahead of God.

    From the Catholic Catechism:

    Chastity and homosexuality

    2357 Homosexuality refers to relations between men or between women who experience an exclusive or predominant sexual attraction toward persons of the same sex. It has taken a great variety of forms through the centuries and in different cultures. Its psychological genesis remains largely unexplained. Basing itself on Sacred Scripture, which presents homosexual acts as acts of grave depravity,141 tradition has always declared that “homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered.”142 They are contrary to the natural law. They close the sexual act to the gift of life. They do not proceed from a genuine affective and sexual complementarity. Under no circumstances can they be approved.

    2358 The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.

      • That is a very sad reality, and why we see so many versions of Christianity. The Bible was never meant to be interpreted outside of the Church which birthed it.

        Still, mainstream Protestants are much more in alignment with the Truth than “progressive Christians” who pick and choose what is popular and comfortable and reject what would offend the world or that would require discipline and sacrifice.

          • The Catholic Church was built upon the Apostles. We have apostolic succession and the fullness of Christianity. The interpretation of the Bible belongs to the Catholic Church.

            See what a mess there is in all the schismatic churches and here on this board. Everyone is the pope of their own church and interprets the scriptures in their own way.

            You’re so far off the charts you can’t see that even without the teaching authority of the Church, that from scripture alone, it’s obvious that homosexual behavior is a serious sin, because you choose to make Christianity in your own image.

            • Your church is based almost entirely on your own traditions. It hasn’t followed the Bible in over 1700 years.
              The Bible stands on its own. It doesn’t need your church to ignore it, water it down, or interpret it. God has preserved His word in the original languages, so regardless of how it has been altered in translation by both Catholics and Protestants, those seeking truth can still find it.

    • Your church is wrong about what scripture says about homosexuality. Anyone who can read Hebrew and Greek knows that what is written in the English versions of the last four centuries is NOT what was originally written. Your church is wrong about natural law. Homosexuality is a natural variant of homosexuality in over a thousand species. Apparently, nature has no problem with it. Neither does the God who created nature.
      If God and the Bible don’t condemn it, and they don’t, and your church does, then your church is wrong.

      • Yeah, this is the understanding I have come to Rev. Carey but doesn’t the Bible reflect the biased views of the writers who did not understand the scientific truth of diversity? Would it be safe to say that most religious leaders discriminated against those who were different and diverse as far as gender and sexuality OR would you say the inspired writers of scripture didn’t pay much attention to the lives of people who are now defined as LGBT? I think you said once before it wasn’t an issue in ancient times so there was no label for it. All we really read about in the Bible is restrictions on sexual practice and eunuchs. Nothing much is said about actual people. Why is that?

        • Not much is said for two reasons. The most important is that it wasn’t understood. No research on sexuality was done until the 19th century. The other is that it just wasn’t that big a deal to them. There are two same-sex marriages recorded in the Old Testament. Only one is recorded in any detail. But the most striking thing about it is that it wasn’t treated any differently than any other marriage. I guess they felt they didn’t have to understand why some people were different. They just accepted that they were. I can’t find any evidence of discrimination against them in the Bible in the original languages. I can find only that sometimes they were overlooked, but that happens with minorities.
          If we look at what the Bible says about eunuchs, though, it becomes clear that God did not overlook gay people. Eunuch has two definitions in the Bible. One is the narrow definition, that is, a castrated male. But the wider definition was people who did not procreate. This includes people who were sterilized, but also includes people who chose not to reproduce, and those for whom reproduction was simply not an option. Today, gay couples have options for reproduction. But in Bible times, they did not. The technology didn’t exist. Some people are born unable to reproduce, and for some people, the means of natural reproduction is unnatural to them.
          What did God say about such people? In Isaiah, He said that the eunuch should not lament being a eunuch, feeling like a “dry tree.” God promised the eunuchs who followed Him a place and a name better than sons and daughters. The inclusion of the word daughters there is significant. It proves that the word eunuchs had its broader meaning. Why? Has to do with Hebrew grammar: The Hebrew word for sons is banim. But this word also means children of both sexes. There is another word, banot, that only means daughters. The only time the word banot needs to be used is in reference to a group of females, OR, if it needs to be emphasized that females are included. By including daughters here, God showed that eunuchs didn’t just mean men, because castrated males would only need a name and places better than sons. So God is promising all people who do not reproduce but who follow Him a place in His kingdom. And that includes those for whom heterosexual reproduction was unnatural.

          • Rev, you may have done this before, but I wonder if you would give references for the two same sex marriages you mentioned in the Old Testament? Do you know they were same sex marriages because of the names of the people or because of the language of the Hebrew text? Thanks for your insight!

            • Zoe Grace, I know I am not Rev. Carey, but Jonathan and David immediately spring to mind. As does Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego.

              I’ve recommended some books before to others, but of course, who reads all the comments?

              Reasonable and Holy: Engaging Same-Sexuality
              by Tobias Stanislas Haller

              Personally, I consider this to be the definitive text on the subject written by a monk, priest, and iconographer.

              God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships
              by Matthew Vines
              Shorter and not as scholarly as is Tobias’ book

              Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe
              by John Boswell
              This is the first book written on this subject that I can discover.

              Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century
              by John Boswell

              Hope you enjoy one or all.

      • God, the Bible, and the Church DO condemn it.

        You will also see animals who go from mate to mate, and God condemns that for humans as well. Fornication and adultery are serious sins, in spite of what monkeys or worms might do.

        • God does not condemn it. Going from mate to mate is condemned in humans. But not all animals do that. There are animals that mate for life. And among those species, same-sex pairs are not at all uncommon. By not reproducing, the help to prevent overpopulation and strain on resources. At the same time, those pairs will usually adopt and raise orphaned young, preserving the species. It’s a brilliant system, designed by God, and He described it as “good.”
          Does it make sense that He would create that in animals, call it good, but when the same thing appears in humans, in a steady percentage of the population through all of history, claim it was evil? Wouldn’t that make Him hypocritical? The fact is, He never called it evil. Humans in the middle ages did (the Christians of Europe learned it from the Muslim Moors and bought it, hook, line and sinker), and then altered the Bible to back up their bigotry.

          • Wow, then the Bible really is not authority for you then, since anything you don’t like or that makes you unpopular can be stripped away because it was put there by “bigots.” That’s convenient.

            Thankfully we have the Catholic Church who assembled the New Testament and has been its guardian and rightful interpreter since its inception.

            If you’re interested in the Catholic perspective I recommend reading the works of the apologists at Catholic Answers as well as those of EWTN.

            • Benny. STFU. You know that you come to this blog for no other purpose than to cause trouble and that you feed on controversy and the attention it gets you. Here this loud and clear. NO ONE HERE GIVES A FLYING F*CK WHAT THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH HAS TO SAY—-ESPECIALLY AS FILTERED THROUGH BENNY.

                • I think you are projecting. Yuck.

                  I am totally unfazed by your rudeness and crudeness. Anti-Catholic bigots are a dime a dozen on the internet and I expect comments like yours.

              • Charles, while deploring your choice of language, I agree with you. At the same time, I feel rather strongly, that by writing to Benny in this manner that you are giving him exactly the reaction he wants. Please just ignore him.

              • I don’t accept you or your friend GM as moderators or official spokesmen, no matter how much you presume to be. Everyone else here presents their “me and my bible says…” opinions. There’s no reason I shouldn’t be allowed as well, except that I’m also backed up by a Pope, hundreds of bishops, thousands of priests, a billion fellow Catholics, and 2,000 continuous years of teaching and tradition going all the way back to Peter, upon whom Christ founded his Church.

                You say why you believe certain behavior is sanctioned by Jesus. I say why I believe it is not. There’s nothing wrong with me sharing my opinion about that in this open and unmoderated forum.

                Even though I’m in disagreement with Evangelicals and Fundamentalists about some doctrine and especially the authority of the Church, there is much we have in common and I don’t like seeing them “eloquently” attacked for holding fast to the Truth. So I’ll speak up in their defense, and your STFUs won’t stop me.

                From Catholic Answers:

                In Romans 1, Paul attributes the homosexual desires of some to a refusal to acknowledge and worship God. He says, “For this reason God gave them up to dishonorable passions. Their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural, and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in their own persons the due penalty for their error. And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a base mind and to improper conduct. . . . Though they know God’s decree that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do them but approve those who practice them” (Rom. 1:26–28, 32).

                Elsewhere Paul again warns that homosexual behavior is one of the sins that will deprive one of heaven: “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Cor. 6:9–10, NIV).

                All of Scripture teaches the unacceptability of homosexual behavior. But the rejection of this behavior is not an arbitrary prohibition. It, like other moral imperatives, is rooted in natural law—the design that God has built into human nature.

                • If “Catholic Answers” had real answers, they would know that there was no word for homosexual in biblical Greek, therefore it is impossible for that word to appear in the New Testament. (Few languages had such a word. English didn’t get the word until the 19th century.) The language did, however, have commonly used expressions to refer to sexual activity between persons of the same sex. But none of those expressions were used by the writers of the New Testament.
                  The Greek word the translators of very recent Bibles have rendered as homosexual was invented by Paul, but not defined by him. It literally translates as “those who lie with males,” but the gender of the noun is ambiguous and not defined. Paul used the word twice, in 1 Cor and 1 Tim, and it was never used again, so far as we know, until the second century. A writer in that century used the word to refer to women who had sex for pay. In subsequent centuries, other writers had other ideas on what it meant, but only in relatively recent times has anyone insisted the word referred to homosexuals.

                  • Charles, enough with the language. Please.

                    When I open my email and discover that I have over seventy-five comments on thos discussion, I have to choose which ones I read.

                    I find i am increasingly deleting yours because you choose to employ disrepectful, invalidating language, calling people some pretty horrible names.

                    This is the behavior of a troll.

                    It doesn’t m,atter whether I agree with the gist of what you say or not, if that language were addressed to me, I would find it too brutally abusive.

                    So, Charles, do you wish to have TROLL ALERT appended to your comments?

            • Actually, the Bible is the ONLY authority I recognize… but as it was originally written, not as it has been improperly translated.
              Great guardians of the New Testament your church has been! Under your watch, some anonymous monk copying it over added his own words to John’s first epistle. His new “verse” can’t be found in any of the ancient Greek manuscripts (in fact, no Greek ms. prior to the 11th century, where someone scribbled it in the margin of a manuscript), nor in any of the early Latin translations. And yet, there it sits in many English translations, including Douay-Rheims (1 John 5:7). It’s a proven fraud, and there’s not a Bible scholar in the world who believes John wrote it. Yeah, we can really trust you people with the Bible! Bad enough you don’t teach what it does, but you couldn’t even keep it intact!

              • Rev. William H. Carey, excellent examples. You touch on the issues if infallibility and inerrancy of the Biblical texts.

                What I was taught, getting my BA in Biblical and Theological Studies and my MA in Church History, which is really an “umbrella” field of study, is that the infallible documents of the Bible are the original autographs which are long since lost to us, unless they too are hidden somewhere near the Dead Sea.

                I was also taught that the inerrancy of Scripture meant that it is an inerrant guide to knowing Jesus. In that sense that everything we need to know , love, and serve Him.

                Thus, as you have pointed out, translations are fallible and full of errors.

                  • First of all, it is not “full of errors.” Only the translations have errors and those can always be corrected, shoukd people get past their preconceived notions about what they want it to say and their patriarchal notions

                    Secondly, we have Greek manuscripts with which to compare. some have been identified as excellent manuscripts and those are what have been published as the Greek New Testament.

                  • The translations contain errors. But our extant Hebrew and Greek manuscripts are a different story. The Jewish people show such reverence for the Hebrew text that they have never even corrected simple errors of spelling and grammar made by the original writers. They even treat those mistakes as if they were holy. With that kind of reverence, we can be pretty sure that the Hebrew text today says the same thing it did thousands of years ago. With the Greek manuscripts, sadly, there has been somewhat less attention to detail. There are, however, a good number of very old manuscripts in existence, and by comparing them, we can get a pretty good idea of what the New Testament said when first written.

                    • Let’s not forget the witness of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Scholars have been closely examining those texts from two thousand years ago with the texts we have today and not finding any differences.

              • Who compiled the Bible then? It didn’t just fall out of the sky.

                You say homosexual behavior is not sinful. Is that only for married homosexuals? Is it sinful for unmarried homosexuals to have sexual relations?

                Is heterosexual fornication a sin?

                • Benny

                  From what I understand the Bible was written by those inspired by God. Inspiration each of us have. Though our inspiration is filtered and biased at times.

                  Perhaps you are right and homosexual behaviour was considered sin through the law of Moses in the Old Testament times. But it could be said Jesus set in motion something new that God intended for us to understand about all people, LGBT people included, through the inspiration of the Spirit when the limits of the Bible were reached.

                  Natural law could be considered an inspired writing outside of the Bible. But, is it supposed to be a mandated truth? or is it better viewed as something gleaned irrespective of science. If there are biological outliers such as intersex, how should they marry, being both male and female? This is a question that leads me to wonder where do you draw the line? How do you know the make up of a person; such as their brain, their hormones, their genes? You don’t know what makes me different and why my difference matters to me when I fall in love, make friends and use my gifts. , We don’t know for certain why there is sexual diversity; we make up theories and try to investigate scripture but no one knows for sure. The long tradition you see is based on a lack of knowledge about the natural world and creation. There are many false premises and ideas about who we are organically and how we thrive and live. The only thing we are confident of as Christians is our faith in Jesus.

                  • Pretty sure this is still the definitive text on the subject:

                    The formation of the Christian Bible, by Hans Campenhausen

                • Who compiled the Bible? The Jewish people compiled the Tanakh, what we call the Old Testament, about four hundred years before Jesus was born. (Your church later took some Jewish literature, books they NEVER viewed as scripture, and added them to your Old Testament. Most non-Catholic churches reject those books as non-canonical.) The books of the New Testament, 27 of them, were compiled fairly early. There is evidence that Origen was using those same books in the early 3rd century. Most of the books were written in the first century, and some believe all of them were. In any case, it is believed by most that all were finished by 150 AD.
                  In the mid 4th century, Athanasius had a list of books he considered NT canon, and it was identical to the books Origen used.
                  Nevertheless, the Roman church did not formally accept the New Testament canon until the Canon of Trent in 1546, Calvinists in 1559, Anglicans in 1563, and Greek Orthodox in 1672.
                  Rules of conduct are no different for homosexuals than heterosexuals. Fornication is forbidden, and is defined as any sexual contact outside of marriage. Of course, for gay couples, this put them in a bit of a bind, since until recently, they were not legally able to marry. Fortunately, at least from a biblical standpoint, the legal definition of marriage isn’t the one God goes by. The biblical definition of marriage required only that a couple make a covenant with each other that they would live their lives together in love and fidelity.

    • benny
      it is not compassion or kindness when you call the sexuality of others a disorder.

      i understand you have a set belief based on your interpretation of the bible and that you honestly believes that homosexuality is a disorder but please do not call this compassion or kindness because many lgbt people would disagree with you.

      just be honest with yourself in knowing that lgbt do not feel compassion and love when you say that about them.

  14. Do you find it ironic that you are posting about Christians who “eat their own” and in the post you call other Christians a “threat” a “poison” and a “cancer”?

    Why do you get to rebuke certain Christians, but others (according to you) are wrong for doing the very same thing?

    • He attacks Christians. That’s what he does.

      He’s totally political. His moral compass is based on immoral Liberal Democrat ideals.

  15. I have been following this the last few days. The travesty in it all is that those of us who stand on the Word of God as absolute truth are being torn apart. I have been watching Jen’s facebook page. Those of us questioning her statements are just that, questioning her statements. We have not been hateful or judgmental. She has set her self up as a Bible teacher and when what she teaches contradicts the Bible, we question. As we should.
    The ‘haters’ in this instance are those who follow Jen so closely no one dare question her teaching. They have become the hateful unteachables.
    If we don’t make it a practice of discerning those we put in our lives as teachers we are in a very dangerous position spiritually.
    God’s Word is absolute truth: true for all times, all people and all places. This is where we must place our foundation. It will not change to be politically correct.

  16. Something occurred to me today as I was reading this blog post. I winced each time John Pavlovtiz said:

    “The trolls and Matt Walsh and Lifeway are the problem.
    They are the threat they claim they’re protecting people from.
    They are the poison in the system.
    They are the cancer in the Body of Christ.”

    I heard a “No” at the end of each line.

    They are Christians just like us but whose understanding of others is the problem. Their beliefs about LGBT persons are harmful. Jesus has shown each of us generous mercy and let his grace flow abundantly into our lives. The central point of the gospel is forgiveness not condemnation.

    I look at those who disagree with me differently. I will uphold their value to Christ and the faith community while at the same time realizing they do not fully embody the love of Christ. This is why we need to stop name calling and demonizing each other. Rather, we need more humility; and realize if we do the same things they do, we are no further ahead in our walk than they are.

    I love that JP points out what ails the church with regards to LGBT persons yet I would phrase it differently:

    “…Matt Walsh and Lifeway’s understanding of LGBT issues is the problem.

    Their position against the LGBT community is the threat of harm they claim they’re protecting people from.

    Their condemnation is the poison in the system.

    Their refusal to show dignity towards LGBT people of faith is the cancer in the Body of Christ.”

    These things can be worked on, and repented of, without writing off our brothers and sisters of the faith. Labelling each other as a poison or a cancer sets up a wall and defensive position against a fellow christian rather than a dialogue. Calling out someone’s wrong way of thinking is okay because we can grow and mature and refine our hearts towards each other; without treading on the souls of the saints.

    We are in the process of peace negotiations with each other as brothers and sisters of the faith. Let’s not make war with each other rather let’s try and seek to make inroads towards unity and reconciliation. We can start by apologizing for the insults.

    I see a unified church based on the love of Christ. The same love that welcomed Pharisees and prostitutes; Samaritans and Roman guards; tax collectors and widows. I see humble, repentant, faithful Christians of all kinds making up the church . When Jesus gathers us together we will be standing beside the Matt Walshs and Bennys of the body of Chrsit. In reality it happens at church every week every within the multitude of diverse denominations; there is disagreement and love as we worship God.

    • It is if you are a member of a Christian church or denomination that does not believe the Bible is inerrant or infallible (in the sense that you believe it). You are under the illusion that what you learned was real Christianity and that there is no other Christianity. You have eaten a Hershey bar once every day for life—and because of that—you think the only “true”candy is the Hershey bar. In fact, the world is full of Milky Ways, Butterfingers, Snickers, PayDays, Zagnuts, Tootsie Rolls, Tootsie Roll Pops. Need I go on?

  17. One comment, saying things like, “The knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing troll armies of the Lord quickly descended, subjecting Hatmaker to all manner of abusive, hateful social media badgering.” is you doing the very same thing you don’t want to see. Let us not be the teapot that calls the kettle black.

    • There is only one problem with what you say. Some words and phrases exist in the English language because they accurately describe reality in our world. That is why those words exist and stay in our language. They are needed to describe reality sometimes. The reason John Pavlovitz used those words—and I believe accurately—is that all those people John was describing—really are the “knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing troll armies of the Lord.” My blog solely exists to expose and fight off those troll armies:

      https://faith17983.wordpress.com/

      • I have to agree with Anonymous you are simply doing the same thing, as them, which negates the possibility of understanding and reconciliation. There are many words and made up phrases which go against goodness and decency. We can choose differently and thereby create different results. It’s your choice.

        • Mr. Stalin. You are sending all these millions of people off to gulags—and most of them are dying there. Have you ever considered the possibility that most of these people are okay, and if you just loved them more, they would love you back just as much as you love them. Surely, we can find a middle ground and create reconciliation. The next morning Kathy is presented with a one way ticket to the Platigorsky Gulag. You need to learn that peace and reconciliation is a two-way street. It takes two people to tango. If one person wants to tango, and the other person wants to kill them, there will be no dance and one person will be dead.

          Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals do not want to tango. Just like the Klingons, their lives are all about their personal desire for force, humiliation of other people, conquest of other people, and domination of people (not by God) but by them—and them alone. It is a lust of the flesh. God is just their convenient excuse for their lust and all the harm they cause.

          Listen to the song and hang on every word:

    • I agree. I advocate for agreeing to disagree with respectful and validating language and the above is not an example of that but its opposite.

      I can only think, and I admit I can’t read his mind so I don’t know, that John P. is powerfully frustrated at the least if not angry at people whose behavior reflect this.

      It is tragic that people have attacked Jen Hatmaker as they have It is tragic that people attack John P as they do and it is tragic that John P went low here, instead of going high.

      One of the things that deeply disturbed me when I read C S Lewis’ Perelandra was that the hero of the story, Ransom, felt obliged to physically fight the devil of that world in order to protect that world’s Adam and Eve. As a pacifist, I was staggered that Lewis could not resolve it any other way. A few years later, I read it again as part of a seminary class and by then I had learned the story of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and his role in the attempt to assassinate Hitler. True evil needs to be fought.

      I think of humanity living on a continuum with holiness on one end and evil on the other. Most of us, I think , slide around, but probably tending toward one end more than another. At the holiness end, I place Archbishop Desmond Tutu, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Thich Nhat Hanh, Evelyn Underhill, Kathleen Norris, St. Thecla, Syncletica of Alexandria, Mary of Egypt, Benedict of Nursia, Pope Francis I, others.

      Then there are those tending toward evil. The shocking thing is that Jesus tells us personally that some people claim to do things in His Name and He never knew them. Which I take to mean that there are those who call themselves Christians who really are not. Now, I don’t know who falls into this category, only God does and I rejoice to be free of the burden of deciding.

      That doesn’t mean I don’t observe. When I see people consistently failing to love their neighbor, all I can do is commit that person to God in love and not feed the trolls.

      Maybe too, it is sometimes necessary to come to conclusion, as did Bonhoeffer, that the only thing to do is out evil for what it is when we come across it. If friends and family members of a substance abuser can come together to tell their loved one that there is a serious problem. So sometimes it is necessary to identify the trolls for what they are and then refuse to feed them.

      • Gloriamarie

        A friend of mine put it to me this way: If a man is on the loose who attacked someone and is intending to attack more people there are two ways people will respond. There are those who will stop to help the victim and there are those who will run after the attacker to stop them from harming others. In terms of a physical attack in which we know someone is intending to harm others it is an appropriate response to use physical force to stop them. But much of what we are talking about here is not physical violence but the violence of hatred for each others opinions and beliefs. It says in the Bible, “You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him.”

        • Kathy, shall we invite Zoe Grace to join us on our bus trip? Thinking about the bus trip, I’ve been praying for Mike, who told us in the course of the bus trip discussion, that his wife only had two weeks to live. We have not heard from him here in these comments for some time now.

          Psychologists tell us that mental and verbal abuse is more harmful to people than actual physical abuse. I shudder t the mental and verbal abuse I see in these comments. I know I have failed and responded in kind in the past and am now determined to cease. As I am All Too Easily triggered, there are some people’s comments I will no longer read. Because, let’s face facts, people who use verbally abusive language, regardless of their degree of agreement or disagreement with John P nd other posters, are trolls and I for one will not feed them.

          • Its okay, I understand. I was involved in politics when I was a young woman and learned the hard way to bite my tongue.

            and I thought Zoe Grace was already a part of our bus trip, eh?

            • My dearest friend took me to the Huntington Gardens/Library/Museum this week. She paid for transportation, for lunch, and dinner, and a drink in the coffee shop before we got on the bus to leave.

              On the way up, the woman behind announced to her seatmate that all Arabs are Muslims and I shot up in my seat, thinking of the great many Arab Christians there are, especially those who have been murdered by people who assumed that because of the features, color of skin and names, that they were Muslim and therefore terrorists. But my friend hates political stuff and in deference to her generosity to me, I said nothing,

              Is Zoe Grace already on the list? Seems to me there were several and I don’t recognize their names lately.

              • I glad you had a nice day. 🙂

                Yeah the discussion wasn’t that long ago. I remember it fondly. It would be pretty neat to do something like that. I don’t have the time to plan a trip…. maybe after I retire one day in the far future haha. I’ve always wanted to see the USA.
                Get a camper and go from one end of the continent to the other.

  18. Lifeway did what is correct, they are adhering to the scriptures. Grace for sinners but no tolerance for willfully openly unrepentant sin. Romans chapter 1 starting at v24. Gods word says it all.

  19. Yikes-what a land mine. This is just my opinion-nothing more but even if I were to believe that homosexuality is a sin and honestly I am not sure, Lifeway had better cancel all its contracts with any church leader whose church allows sinners who struggle with gluttony, greed, judgmental spirit, pride, lying, false witness or any other sin or in any way support people who are sinners of any measure. Rick Warren and Daniel Amen publish a series of studies on eating right-isn’t that supporting sinners who indulge in gluttony? How do they decide what sin is ok for church leaders to assist in and which is not?
    Hypocrisy of the highest order

    • Susan. The Church does not ‘allow’ certain sins. It offers steady, loving, scriptural support for overcoming sin.

      The difference is, Ms Hatmaker is offering her approval (not a steady, loving support to overcome.)

      • We used to think that left-handedness was a sin to be overcome. People who were unrepentantly left-handed were treated abominably. Now we understand that people who are left-handed are that way because that is how they were created. We no longer consider left-handedness to be inherently sinful. Forcing these people to forego their left hand and only use their right was a denial of the way that they were created and can be seen as an insult to God in the sense that God made junk that needed to be fixed.

        Now we understand (or those of us who believe what the scientific method shows us understand) that heterosexuality is not the only possible sexual orientation, and that sexual orientations are present at birth. The only choice to be made is whether or not you are going to live authentically and ethically according to the way that God created you. Attempts to change people’s sexual orientations are not only insults to God but also abject failures that have been forbidden by law in many jurisdictions because the “treatment” is actually torture that leads to self-loathing and often suicide. The “successes” that they claim are people who have been taught to hate their creation and live a lie.

        Given the medical evidence, and given that many respected theologians and scholars have amply shown that homosexuality is not discussed in the Bible in the original language texts and therefore cannot be said as being named as a sin in the Bible, being a homosexual is not a sin to overcome and people who are homosexual need no approval from the church hierarchy or anyone else to justify their existence.

    • AMEN, Susan! I am sick unto death of the “hierarchy of sin,” s i call it which would have us believe sexual sins are worse than any other. It is NOT what the Bible teaches in any way, shape or form. All sin is equally heinous in the eyes of God.

      Back in the day, people used to consider that there were Seven Deadly Sins: pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth, as identified by the Desert Christians, Evagrius of Ponticus, and Cassian.

      All terrible sins all to be combated by seeking to gain the Seven Virtues: Humility against pride, Kindness against envy, Abstinence against gluttony, Chastity against lust, Patience against anger, Liberality against greed, and Diligence against sloth.

      Sadly, in the USA, too many of the Seven Deadly Sins are considered virtues.

      • Gloriamarie. That was back in the day when people still read books and relationships were the most important thing in the world. The deadly sins are mostly relational in nature. They may have become virtues when reading and relationships became less important.

  20. Thanks, Charles! Not sure if you can help. Going thru a series of end-life-crises and not coping well. I tend to have poor self image and when this happens I lose it and think the worst of me which goes round and round and down and down.

  21. Longstanding job ending maybe by end of year or couple months into next year, though not likely to go that far.
    No income after that and attempts to set something up not looking very encouraging at the moment.
    Relationships floundering 1. with kids/grandkids and 2. with special friend potential partner (more my self doubts and inhibitions).
    Impending move to another country and city – which I greatly desire but it’s a leap into the unknown and scares the shit out of me.
    Failure to sell primary home because of economy of the country, but at least my daughter will stay on and keep running her business from home – so that’s not good for me, but good for her.
    I’m not very comfortable about continuing to share personal stuff on this blog site. Wish there was some way of giving you a private contact that was not visible here. Don’t know how to do that.

  22. “The biblical definition of marriage required only that a couple make a covenant with each other that they would live their lives together in love and fidelity.”

    I am going in a completely different direction with this reply. Recently, I was at a church function and mentioned my son-in-law. Someone said, “I seem to have missed the news of the wedding.” I replied that there hadn’t been a wedding, to which the person responded, “Oh, you mean your sin-in-law.” I will admit to being pretty cheesed by the rudeness, but I calmly gave your argument and then asked her to show me where in the Bible it states that the couple have to go to City Hall to pay for a license so that they can then spend more than a downpayment on a house to impress upon people how important/beautiful/ cherished/wealthy they are so that they can be considered to be married.

      • Thank you! I will freely admit that I follow John P’s blog for two different reasons. The first is that I like what John P has to say and how he challenges us to think. The second is so that I can scroll through the comments and find your thoughts on matters that have been raised. You have a rare talent for explaining scholarly things in a way that is accessible.

    • Ouch!! How extraordinarily rude!! Whatever happened to saying nothing if one can’t say something polite? Love you response. What did that person say?

      Once upon a time, people, even Christians, were considered married by the simple announcement that they were, In areas without priests, pastors, even churches.

    • Sin-in-law? I know places in Tennessee where her body would have been found six months later decaying in the woods after a comment like that. Newport, Tennessee, is one of those places. There are many others.

  23. There is no interpretation in following Jesus. You either follow him or you don’t. Refusing to follow him is your choice, but you can’t credibly declare yourself a Christian. Nobody is perfect, we all sin. But to declare the bible wrong and yourself right is the height of egotism.

  24. The Bible is quite clear when it comes to the issue of homosexuality and anyone who sees something different is not being honest with themselves. There is nothing loving about patting someone on the back and telling them their sin is OK simply because it fits with what we think God should be. God is what he is and he doesn’t change. While I don’t believe we should be on the street corners preaching damnation on the secular world, we are called to hold our fellow Christians to account. If I truly care for the soul of my brother, I should have the courage to tell the truth even if it makes me uncomfortable. The path is narrow and I do him a disservice if I help him to stumble.

  25. Your interpretation of what John P wrote is not at all consistent with what he actually did write. What John said about what the Bible is and what the Bible is not, is exactly what I was taught about the Bible in an evangelical college and evangelical seminary.

    Please read it again.

  26. I agree that Matt Walsh’s approach is often harsh and unloving. No question.

    But are you saying that those who try to follow the truth of the Bible are the ones who are cancerous to the church. As Christians, are we called to compromise what the Bible says to be “seeker friendly?” Many would say yes, but I think I’d be hard pressed to find Jesus advocating for that kind of thought.

    Can you show me one place in the Bible where God advocates for homosexuality? And don’t give me the shellfish argument. Even in the New Testament, there are passages that teach against homosexuality. Even Jesus gives a nod to marriage between a man and a woman (Mark 10:6-9). Even the most liberal theologians have thrown in the towel on trying to justify this behavior with Scripture because all of the arguments frankly don’t add up.

    I’m not saying Walsh isn’t wrong. In fact, he often makes me angry with his brash statements. But honestly, Jesus would have probably made me angry too. Matthew 10:34-35. Luke 14:26. Those statements don’t sound seeker friendly. Yes, many statements were made towards the self-righteous teachers of the law but many were also made towards sinners.

    Statements like “repent and believe.”

    • The major issue in John P’s post is not whether the Bible supports a word which did not exist untl the 19th century, but what kind of a book the Bible is or is not.

      At my very evangelical college and seminary, we were taught that the books of the Bible must be read withing the terms of its own context: cultural, grammatical, historical, linguistic, and societal. We were taught the Bible is not a scientific treatise, not a medical treatise. It is a place where people speak words about God.

      • I think you probably need to look more carefully at the places Jesus condemns sin. He certainly condemns the pharisees for their hypocrisy but he also instructs all those prostitutes and drunks he famously hung out with to “go and sin no more”. The difference was that they saw their need of mercy where the pharisees did not and so he gently rebuked them while harshly rebuking the proud. In the current cultural landscape are we really to believe that progressive Christians and LGBT people are the ones who see their need of mercy? I’m certainly not convinced of that.

    • Can you show me one place in the Bible where God advocates for changing text into electronic impulses and sending them around the world? No? It must be that God doesn’t like this behaviour and you should probably stop.

    • People who repress their own logic and intuition in order to blindly follow ancient, man-made books claiming to be the “Word of God” & who can’t have an opinion before “justifying” it against “Scripture” are cancerous to the entire world.

  27. “Christians destroying other Christians.” Isn’t that what John Pavlovitz is all about? All you do is compare your views with those of other Christians – and the other people are always wrong. You talk about love and tolerance, but you are the biggest hater out there.

  28. Can you show me one place in the Bible where God advocates for changing text into electronic impulses and sending them around the world? No? It must be that God doesn’t like this behaviour and you should probably stop.

  29. John Pavlovitz, author of this article…let me quote some of your writing. “knuckle-dragging, mouthbreathing troll armies, abusive, hateful, loveless internet bullies, sarcastic minions like roaches from moldy baseboards, violent spiting oxymoronic hoard, cancer in the body of Christ.” This is how you describe those who speak against false teaching. I believe you should both reconsider your position and your language.

  30. Well, I don’t have much to say to the religious zealots who have shown up here. Unfortunately, most of their book learning only comes from one book , and I find them to be extremely unworthy of a discussion on any topic.

    However, if we could keep the threads on anal sex alive them I am here with a purpose.

    Thank you,

  31. “The knuckle-dragging, mouth-breathing troll armies of the Lord quickly descended, subjecting Hatmaker to all manner of abusive, hateful social media badgering.
    Renowned loveless internet bullies like Matt Walsh and his perpetually sarcastic minions exploded like roaches from the moldy baseboards to heap scorn upon her.”
    Did you not simply just do the same? Don’t call people unlike Christ with the same language with which you accuse them…that is the definition of hypocritical. I’m not saying that some weren’t harsh in their tone, but the sweeping generalization isn’t helpful. Try reading Rosaria Butterfield’s response (https://www.thegospelcoalition.org/article/love-your-neighbor-enough-to-speak-truth)

    • Chad, everyone has a different story. Maybe we should stop using our stories to condemn others and start using our stories to bring understanding about our differences along with our sameness as human beings, loved by God.

      • Kathy – true, Butterfield has a different story – but she interprets her life through Scripture and that is her standard. That is unchanging. And even though some try to say that they have not abandoned Scriptural truth in order to affirm LGBTQ relationships as holy – that simply doesn’t hold. We do need to understand differences, but there is universal commonality of pride and rebellion that must be addressed.

        • “…some try to say that they have not abandoned Scriptural truth in order to affirm LGBTQ relationships as holy – that simply doesn’t hold.”

          You’re not in a position to make that judgment. Just because people understand scripture differently from you doesn’t mean they have abandoned it.

          • Why am I not in that position? What puts you in the position to write otherwise? Even the majority of “affirming” scholars admit that Paul clearly condemns homosexual activity and the logic the Hatmaker’s (and others use) is not supported Scripturally.
            The interesting thing though is my original post had nothing to do with the veracity of the affirming position – but with how the author of this whole post addressed those who disagree – and the uncharitable language he used. No one addresses that.

            • The majority of affirming writers, as well as the majority of non-affirming writers, share one thing in common: They can’t read Greek, and therefore “assume” the New Testament was translated correctly. They can defend the mistranslations and refute Paul’s authority all they want, but they’re all wasting their time since Paul didn’t say what they think he said.

              • I don’t think your statement that they can’t read Greek (or Hebrew for that matter) is accurate. I’d love to see your proof to back up that claim – because that is in itself an assumption.

                • I based it on their writings. First, were they able to read Hebrew and Greek, they would have read scripture in those languages, and wouldn’t waste time either defending or arguing with incorrect translations.
                  Greek words tend to be used by those who are not affirming. They will frequently claim that a word translated as homosexuals in the NT is ἀρσενοκοῖτης. But that word is not actually in the Bible. That’s a word from later centuries, some other writer’s guess as to what the singular form of ἀρσενοκοῖται might be. There’s a reason they do that. The first word, from later centuries, is a masculine word, and translates as “males who lie with males.” But the second word, the one Paul actually used, is not necessarily masculine. It could be masculine OR feminine, and just translates as “those who lie with males,” with the sex of those doing so determined by the gender of the noun. Paul didn’t indicate whether he meant men or women, but the very next recorded use of the word after the first century was in the second century, by a writer who took it to refer to women, specifically prostitutes.
                  There is no evidence that ἀρσενοκοῖτης was the singular form Paul had in mind when he created the word, and if the people throwing the word out today could read Greek, and knew the history of the word, they would know that.

                  • So just a quick question – have you interacted with Sam Allberry, Wesley Hill, Rosaria Butterfield, Ed Shaw, Kevin DeYoung – many of whom do know the original languages? Because I want to know who the “their writings” refers to.

                    Or with BDAG on the word itself that you cite? Because you contradict one of the most respected resources.

                    • I never heard of any of those people, so I had to research them. From their online biographies, and the snippets of their writings I can find, I see no evidence that any of them have any significant knowledge of Hebrew or Greek, beyond what can be gleaned (not always accurately) from a lexicon.
                      BDAG does exactly what I said too many do: It claims that the word arsenokoitēs is relevant to the New Testament, particularly in connection to 1 Cor. 6 and 1 Tim. 1. The definition of that word given in BDAG is more or less correct, in that it would refer to a man who lies with another male, however, it then falls into the nonsense of other lexicons, claiming it refers to an “active” partner. (Statements like that show a profound ignorance about same-sex relationships. The problem, of course, is that the word arsenokoitēs isn’t found in the Bible at all. The word found in the Bible is arsenoikoitai (and its dative form arsenokoitais), which are plural forms. Arsenokoitēs is singular, but there is no grammatical or historical evidence to suggest it is the same word.
                      Writers such as Gagnon, well-known as an anti-gay theologian, use this singular word, which wasn’t developed until centuries after the New Testament, and pretend it’s the word Paul actually used. Hard to say if they are just ignorant, or deceitful. Either way, it’s not truthful. Further, Gagnon and others perpetuate the myth that the word was created by Paul by using the Septuagint translation of Leviticus. That argument shows an ignorance of Greek.
                      I rebut that argument here: http://hoperemains.webs.com/lxxseptuagintpaul.htm

                  • For some reason there is no way to leave a reply to your latest assertion. Question – what are your Greek/Hebrew qualifications? What makes you enough of a scholar to refute those who I’m sure have taken years of the languages as well as simply not even knowing a good number of those who write from a non-affirming position and do so from a scholarly and Biblical perspective (three of whom have their own personal SSA stories).
                    I will say one more thing – it seems as though sexual relationship has become an idol in your life. I don’t know if that is the case, but it certainly appears to be so as you troll anyone who has a comment that goes against your belief. Good day sir.

                    • And – I realize the last comment I made wasn’t gracious at all. I’m sorry for that. What I meant to write is that we all are called to deny ourselves. Everyone who wishes to follow Christ is called to denial – of something. For each of us it is not the same thing, but seeking self-satisfaction above Him is idolatry. And we all struggle with that – the question is will we struggle or give in. I’m sorry for how the church treated you as a young man (how hurtful that was and how damaging to your life). And I am sorry for the tone of my previous comment and I ask for your forgiveness William. I don’t know your story (even though I read your bio) – but I still, even in reading that and having family of my own who have walked a similar story – I still hold to Scriptural truth (and I know you don’t believe that is what Scripture says – and I applaud you for trying to stay true to Scripture, but I believe your hermeneutic is off and you are committing eisegesis in the process of reading into the text what you desire). May the Lord give grace to us all and lead us in the way everlasting.

                    • I don’t care for the word idol. If there is anything I value highly enough to be called that, it would be truth. I try to live my live by Prov. 23:23.
                      This is NOT the only subject I weigh in on or feel strongly about. I will offer my view on ANY topic that is raised where the conventional wisdom contradicts what is taught in scripture in the original languages. I have published a short book on the nature of the Godhead, a book on first century Apostolic doctrine, a book on biblical church administration, and a modern English translation of one Greek New Testament manuscript.
                      I not only studied Hebrew and Greek for years, I taught both languages. And unlike many Christian scholars, I did not acquire my knowledge of the languages in Christian schools. (Which, sadly, for generations, have been passing on a lot of misinformation. For example, what you see in the Hebrew and Greek dictionaries in Strong’s Concordance is typical of what is taught in some Christian circles… much of it is incorrect, including the names of the letters of the alphabets and their sound values.) I learned the languages from native speakers.
                      Both Hebrew and Greek are living, spoken languages, the native languages of a great many people. And by starting with the modern forms of those languages, I was able to acquire a solid base of knowledge as to how they work. Both languages have been simplified over the centuries, but once some expertise has been gained in the modern forms, it is much, much easier to make the transition to the ancient forms. In fact, I am far more adept with biblical Hebrew and Greek than with the modern forms of either language. (To some extent, I could converse with an Israeli, although my speech would come across as stylized and archaic.)

                    • Certainly, we are all called to deny ourselves… but there are limitations to that. And we certainly cannot deny truth. The great Rabbi Maimonides (Moshe ben Maimon) once said that we must accept truth, no matter what its source.
                      Denying our flesh its many wants is part of Christian living, as it strengthens the spirit. But we aren’t called to deny or negate the basics of who we are. Surely you don’t believe a heterosexual should deny their heterosexuality and choose celibacy. Some do choose celibacy, those who make themselves eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom, but that is a very, very rare calling, one might even say gift, because celibacy is not something the majority of the human race could do. It’s simply not how we were designed.
                      Paul said it was better to marry than to burn. He, one who had chosen celibacy, acknowledge that it wasn’t going to be an option for most people. Is it realistic to think God expects countless millions of people to try to force themselves into celibacy just because the only sexual attraction they possess is for the same sex? God knows as well as we do how impossible that would be for the overwhelming majority. At the same time, those people cannot change their sexuality. They cannot force themselves to find the opposite sex attractive.
                      I used to attend church with a young woman who was a lesbian. Her sexuality fell all the way to one end of the spectrum: Not only did she have zero attraction to men, but the very thought of intimacy with a man was so revolting that it sickened her. The church began to panic when she got to her mid-20s and wasn’t dating anyone. So they pushed her to marry, and got her to do so… they didn’t even care that the man wasn’t in the church, not a Christian, just so long as she was married to a man.
                      The marriage was never consummated, because she couldn’t let her husband touch her. It was simply too unnatural, too awful to consider. After a few years, they were divorced, and the church began to push her into a second marriage, also with a man outside the church, with exactly the same results. When that ended in divorce, they tried a third time, this time finding a man who was a Christian, but in another state, who was willing to marry her without even meeting her! I talked her out of it. Sadly, her self-esteem wasn’t high enough to stand up to the church pressure in the past, and she needed someone to talk sense into her.
                      She couldn’t change who she was. No gay person can. Why would God allow, over the course of millennia, billions of people to be born having a sexual orientation that precluded heterosexual marriage, but also not capable of sustaining celibacy, and then condemn them for doing what was natural for them? What kind of sadistic God would do that? Scripture tells us over and over that God loves us. But to allow billions of people to be born into a no-win situation isn’t love. Something has to be wrong with the story.
                      We know people don’t choose which sex they will be attracted to. We know they can’t change that. We know that the vast majority of people aren’t capable of celibacy. And we know God isn’t sadistic. That only leaves one possibility: He never intended those people to be heterosexual OR celibate, and what our Bibles claim He said isn’t true.

                    • Rev Carey thank you. I am going to copy and paste this comment reply of yours. It speaks to both reason and compassion at the same time. I value your comments. Be blessed.

        • Chad- I can understand why you would say “there is pride and rebellion that must be addressed” because I think that is the only way you can deal with the reality of a blessed same sex marriage.

          I have read and watched videos about Rosaria Butterfields’ testimony. My story is similar to hers. The difference is she was steeped in lesbian feminist ideology but I never bought into that ( I am sure she would know what I mean) I would be happy to speak to her directly someday about my journey because I have a kazillion questions about hers.

          We should not call what is clean unclean.

          • Kathy – I’m not sure I follow your logic. I am trying – but the pride and rebellion I am mentioning is that of all of us going against the design of the Creator. I am not going to address this further through comments because I’ve talked with enough people who have wrestled with this to know it never comes across correctly just in writing like this. There are many nuances, and every story is different, but also all common – and that would be the rebellion and worship of ourselves or our own needs/wants/desires over what is put forth in Scripture (contra to Rev. Carey’s position I believe that Scripture is clear – as do most folks on both sides who have a consistent hermeneutic).

            I wish there were another forum, because though I hold to traditional/Biblical views I have seen a lot of hurt and poor statements and writing that have caused much pain – and for that I am sorry. Again – my original post was that I felt the author of this article (John Pavlovitz) used tone and language in a way unbecoming of someone who self-identifies as a follower of Christ. There are plenty of ways to disagree – but I found his to be highly hypocritical.

            • Chad, that’s fine. I agree that the tenor of JP’s blog posts is difficult. It causes distress to me as well because I love my brothers and sisters of the faith. But there is truth to what JP writes.

              Reading the Bible can be traumatic and so is the tenor of many evangelicals and fundamentalist who malign called out LGBT Christians .

              The organized church was there before I was called and the established church failed me…. not the other way around. When I was seeking Jesus and was following a sexual this that honoured God I was rejected not because of rebellion but because I know I will never fit God’s design. I needed answers to how I should live and the traditional church was not able to guide me or support me. Their answer is over time you will change. So I am left to struggle over time.

              It is irresponsible to set people up for failure and then to point us to impossible examples when their lives and experiences are vastly different.

              This is not pride or rebellion but a clinging to our faith in the face of constant disappointment and failure.

              I will not give up my faith to Christians who wish to tear it away from me simply because I don’t fit their idea of God’s design.

              • Correction , “When I was seeking Jesus and was following a sexual …ethic… that honoured God ”

                and to clarify I still follow the principle of chastity before marriage.

  32. As a Christian, the Word of God must always be my standard. These are some of the Scriptures in the Bible that mention homosexuality and lesbianism:

    Genesis 19, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Romans 1:24-32, First Timothy 1:8-10, Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 and I Kings 14:24.

    I Corinthians 6:9-10 states the following: “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, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.”

    Romans 1:24-32 states:
    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.
    28 And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a debased mind, to do those things which are not fitting; 29 being filled with all unrighteousness, sexual immorality,[a] wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, evil-mindedness; they are whisperers, 30 backbiters, haters of God, violent, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 undiscerning, untrustworthy, unloving, unforgiving,[b] unmerciful; 32 who, knowing the righteous judgment of God, that those who practice such things are deserving of death, not only do the same but also approve of those who practice them. All of these scriptures prove that homosexuality is wrong and is an abomination.

    The Scriptures in Romans 1:24-32 state that homosexuality is vile, unnatural, shameful, in error, debased, not fitting and unrighteous.

    Reprobate (i.e., debased) in Romans 1:28 means “morally depraved; unprincipled; bad”. It also means “rejected by God and beyond hope of salvation.”

    If we want to know what God thinks about homosexuality, just look at Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim. These four cities were utterly destroyed due to the their homosexuality. In fact, the scriptures state in Jude 1:7, “Even as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.” Not only were the cities and their inhabitants totally destroyed with physical fire, their souls are (unfortunately) in Hell today suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

    The Scriptures are clear in condemning homosexuality. However, Christ came to seek and to save the lost and he died for every homosexual, lesbian and transsexual on the planet.

    My hope is that each reader will come to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and have a personal relationship with Him. Life is too short to reject God.

    “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)

    • “These are some of the Scriptures in the Bible that mention homosexuality and lesbianism”

      Clearly, you haven’t read any of the other comments in this thread or you would know that the Bible does not mention homosexuality or lesbianism in the original languages. I also note that you are quoting from a very badly translated version of the Bible. If you really want to understand Scripture, you have to read the actual Scripture and not the mangled hash you’ve been subjecting yourself to.

      • What versions of the Bible do you “accept”? Here are 22 different versions of Leviticus 18:22:

        (ABP+) And with a man you shall not go to bed in a marriage-bed in the feminine way; an abomination for it is.
        (ASV) Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
        (BBE) You may not have sex relations with men, as you do with women: it is a disgusting thing.
        (Brenton) And thou shalt not lie with a man as with a woman, for it is an abomination.
        (CEV) It is disgusting for a man to have sex with another man.
        (Darby) And thou shalt not lie with mankind as one lieth with a woman: it is an abomination.
        (DRB) Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: because it is an abomination.
        (ERV) “Men, you must not have sexual relations with another man as with a woman. That is a terrible sin!
        (ESV) You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.
        (GNB) No man is to have sexual relations with another man; God hates that.
        (GW) Never have sexual intercourse with a man as with a woman. It is disgusting.
        (ISV) You are not to have sexual relations with a male as you would with a woman. It’s detestable.”
        (JPS) Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind; it is abomination.
        (JUB) Thou shalt not lie with males as with women; it is abomination.
        (KJV) Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
        (KJV-BRG) Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
        (LITV) And you shall not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is a perversion.
        (MKJV) You shall not lie with mankind as with womankind. It is abomination to God.
        (RV) Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
        (TLV) “You are not to lie with a man, as with a woman—that is an abomination.
        (Webster) Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.
        (YLT) `And with a male thou dost not lie as one lieth with a woman; abomination it is.

        Do you accept any of these versions of the scripture?

        • Nope. Can’t say as I do because, as has been amply explained in other comments, not one of these versions correctly translates the Hebrew. If you want the truth of what was written, you have to go to the original language. There is little profit in basing your understanding on a flawed translation (unless you want the Bible to support your own prejudices of course).

            • Highly regarded by people who can’t read Hebrew. Those who can don’t think much of it. Young’s translation of Deut. 6:4 basically mirrors KJV, but restoring God’s name… and is equally wrong.
              But Young gets off on the wrong foot from Gen. 1:1… it doesn’t translate the verse; it paraphrases it… BADLY:
              “In the beginning of God’s preparing the heavens and the earth”
              It attempts to turn the verb ברא (bara) into a noun… and the noun doesn’t even reflect the meaning of the verb! Bara means “(he) created (out of nothing).” It has nothing to do with preparing. (King James translation of Gen. 1:1 is literal.) In verse 2, Young’s demonstrates further lack of understanding of the function of biblical Hebrew verbs. The word מרחפת is technically a present tense verb. But in recounting an historical event, this tense is frequently used to indicate past tense, and should be so translated. Young’s translates it as the gerund, which is not correct, or even possible, and results in a very silly-sounding English translation.
              In Lev. 18:22, YLT translates a future tense negative form, which is how Hebrew conveys the negative imperative, as a present tense. So instead of saying “you shall not do such-and-such,” Young’s says “you do not do such-and-such.” That’s not a literal translation. It’s also not the correct way to translate the negative imperative. And were it a literal translation of the verse, it would mention a woman’s bed, since the Hebrew does.
              Young’s is not literal, and isn’t always a translation, but is, instead, sometimes just a paraphrase.

        • I won’t accept any of those. I read Hebrew well enough to know they are not only wrong, but grammatically impossible.
          Lev. 18:22
          ואת זכר לא תשכב משכבי אשה תועבה הוִא
          And with a male, thou shalt not lie down in a woman’s bed; it is an abomination.

            • Yes and No. They are all wrong, but no, I don’t know more than the scholars who translated them. Every one of those scholars knew they weren’t translating honestly.
              Reasons why they were dishonest varied from century to century.
              KJV, for example, was intended to be read from the pulpits of Anglican churches. It was essential that it agree doctrinally with the Anglican church. If it didn’t, King James, as the head of the church, would have rejected it. And since all churches at the time believed the church was the final arbiter of doctrine, not the Bible, the translators felt no hesitation at all in altering the Bible to match what the church taught.
              With more recent translations, for example, 19th century to the present, Christians have become accustomed to their Bibles saying certain things, and if they didn’t, those versions would be rejected. For example, Christians “expect” John 1:1-2 to say that the Word was “with God.” A Bible that said something different would be met with much opposition… even though the Greek text doesn’t say the Word was “with God.”
              NIV met with much opposition from some circles because they put 1 John 5:7 in a footnote, pointing out its absence from all ancient Greek manuscripts.
              Paradoxically, some modern translations have taken great liberties in making some changes, but because those changes support the beliefs of certain people, they don’t complain. A good example is the way the newest versions have rewritten Gen. 19. Their translations don’t match the Hebrew text… but sadly, do match the Quran’s version of events in Sodom. But since they also match the “traditional” understanding of the events, few have complained.
              Bible translation today is a business. Versions are no longer sponsored by churches. Publishers expect to earn money from their new versions. If any Bible were to be released correcting all the deliberate errors of earlier versions, it would be rejected by most churches, and would not sell. No publisher would take such a risk.

      • Many have and will continue to attack the translators and translations, in order to disguise their unbelief, and unwillingness to obey the Words of the God of the Bible.

        However, God’s perspective on His Words, despite the wishful thinking of those who want to believe that all translations are wrong, is simple and clear:
        Isaiah 55:11 (NKJV):

        “So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth;
        It shall not return to Me void,
        But it shall accomplish what I please,
        And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

        So while you tell us that God’s Words are void because of bad translations, God Himself tells us that His Words will never be void, but will accomplish all at He desires. This, despite the fact that His Words eventually come through human translators.

        I have chosen to trust God’s perspective about the validity of the Words that He sends into this earth, through human beings.

        God has committed Himself to making sure His Words remain exactly as they need to. Human translators, and all!

        But for people looking for an excuse to disobey His Words, they will always be looking for a way out…to their own demise, unfortunately.

        Trust in God.

        • How could I possibly believe that? The translations don’t even agree with each other. If God extended the protection of His word to translations, they would not disagree with each other at all, would they? I believe the Bible… as it was originally written. I put little faith in the translations because I can read the original languages. When you learn them, you will be in a position to intelligently debate the errors in translation with me.

  33. In the last days many will walk away from the TRUTH and will believe doctrines of demons. Ignorance is evident in so many of these comments. We are living in judgement. Have a nice day.

    • Excellent post, Richard. “Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” (II Timothy 4:1-2).

      Many of the readers on this forum don’t want the truth, so they will attempt every argument trying to convince you why the Word of God does not mean what it says.

    • The doctrine of demons would be a message of condemnation and fear. Yet Jesus did not come to condemn the world but to offer salvation to ALL. It is a message of love and forgiveness.

      Especially in these times when we are so offended by each other and defensive about our faults. Hold on to faith in Jesus not people, not the crowd.

      It is not too late to repent of the spirit of condemnation and embrace love mixed with peace which gives us hope through the truthfulness of our life through a God who understands our weaknesses and humanity.

      • Part of the “doctrine” of demons is “speaking lies in hypocrisy having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” as II Tim. 4:2 says.

        You’re right. Jesus did offer salvation to all, but unfortunately not all have received Him. Jesus stated that those who did not believe Him are already condemned. (John 3:18, Mark 16:16)

  34. You folks are deceived. She and her husband are wrong and leading many falsely. This is what happens when Scripture gets watered down in churches. She is a product and many of you apologizing and defending better get right with Scripture. The Bible wasnt given to us to change us and the world. It was not given to us to be revised or updated every time we get emotional or disagree or the woirld disagrees with it. Sorry..Gods word is pure and right all the time. Will you folks be on the side that Jesus will say: Get away from me I do not know you. Time to reread the Bible and stop listening to man/woman but develop a fear of the One who holds your eternity in His hands. Time to repent.

      • The church missed that message well over a thousand years ago. In the early medieval period, an extra verse was added to a late manuscript of the Latin Vulgate, which was later translated into Greek and inserted into the Textus Receptus, and is now in the King James and some other English Bibles.
        In an effort to make their Bible suitable for Anglican churches, the KJV translators deliberately altered verses in Leviticus, Deuteronomy, 1 Samuel, 2 Kings, Psalms, Mark, John, 1 Corinthians, Colossians, 1 Timothy and Jude. They also put the king’s name in the Bible. (Nobody in the Bible was really named James.)
        The translators of KJV and Douay-Rheims were of the belief that the church had the right to alter the Bible to make it support their teachings. Obviously, few share that belief today. But the damage was already done. So which seems the better course of action to you: Adhering slavishly to the Bible as it has been translated, without regard for its accuracy? Or studying to determine what it was originally supposed to say, and teaching that instead? 2 Tim. 2:15

  35. Pingback: LGBTQ+ Justice: A Catalyst for Reconciliation – New Direction Ministries

  36. “… a sincere Christian doing her best to love people as Jesus loved people. ”

    Yes, Jesus loved people right where they were. But, He didn’t leave them there. He changed them and told them to go and sin no more. That is for all of us.

    • Susan, you said, “He changed them and told them to go and sin no more. That is for all of us.”

      You make it sound as if Jesus went around parroting that phrase over and over in the New Testament writings. He did meet each person where they were But he didn’t always dwell on sin. Many of us know our sin already. We are seeking mercy and hope. We are thirsting for understanding— of God, of life, of our existence. We are hungering for a God who can relate to our emptiness and need to be filled. A God who will defend us from disappointment, help us have courage, care for our daily struggles, watch over us when we are sleeping, give us peace in our soul, help us rest in the midst of a trial. Sometimes God sends people to do that for someone who is suffering or lost and sometimes instead of being a comfort to them we add to their burden with our constant disapproval and distain. LGBT people experience this when Christians can’t get past that aspect of them. When you can’t get past someone’s difference and fail to consider their desire for God— for his goodness — you are refusing to see them. I want to love and be loved; I want to be good and do good; I want to forgive and be forgiven. If that is my central motivation, I testify to you, it is placed in my heart— by a God of amazing grace!

      — Jesus knowing people said different things to different people because he knew their need by his compassion for them. Here are few verses as examples from the story of Jesus.

      “And he said to her, ‘Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over.’ “

      “Then Jesus told her, “I Am the Messiah!”

      “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.”

      “Follow me and be my disciple,”

      “Jesus took him by the hand and raised him; and he got up.”

      — it is true that Jesus gave dire warnings, yet, how we perceive life is how we weigh his words. Jesus gave many affirmations and encouragement to those he met and did not continually chide or accuse or judge people, not because they were good but because they are loved.

      “Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”

      “For truly, I say to you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ will by no means lose his reward.”

      “forgive them of they know not what they do”

      — Is this not how Jesus views the world ?

      “When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick.”

      “They do not need to go away,” Jesus replied. “You give them something to eat.”

      • Kathy, beautifully said. When I read your reply, a few more scriptures came to my mind. The gospel of Matthew records that Jesus said, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light” (11:28-30). And later it is recorded that he said of the teachers of the law, “They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them” (23:4).

        I have been studying Jesus from a historical point of view lately. What can we learn of his life and times, and what can we gather from historical records and the stories presented in the gospels? It seems that Jesus was much more concerned with turning the status quo (favoring the religious elite and politically powerful) on its head than he was in telling people they were sinning. It seems that he was more invested in “the last will be first, and the first will be last” (Ma 20:16) than he was in measuring people’s worthiness according to a holiness code.

        Like the good Rev William Carrey says, we should certainly make every effort to understand what is truly said in the Bible in the original Hebrew and Greek before we etch our conclusions in stone. That being said, while folks may disagree on issues, can we agree on PEOPLE? Can we agree that we are each created in the image of God? Can we agree that every soul is precious and valuable to God? Can we care for people like the Good Samaritan did? Sacrificially and without regard for who they are? Can we trust that Jesus is big enough to call all kinds of people (yes, of course LGBT people!) and that the Holy Spirit is powerful enough to guide the consciences of people and that God is wise enough to judge and does not need our help on this matter?

        I don’t know if I’m making sense here. I believe that if Jesus was walking the planet today, he would make a priority of ministering to the ones that religion has marginalized, much as he did a couple thousand years ago. And I think you would find rest and comfort in his friendship.

        Love and grace and peace to you today, sweet friend! 🙂

        • Excellent Zoe ! You made perfect sense and you connected a few dots for me about the riddle of the kingdom of God which Jesus described in parables. I try to imagine what God’s kingdom would be like but often I can’t wrap my head around how different it will be from the world systems we see today. And, I wonder, is church government much different by comparison with the governments of the world? Thanks for making me think. It’s always refreshing to read your comments. Much peace and love to you, as well, on this Sunday morning.

    • Here is the CEV version:

      Rom. 1:26 God let them follow their own evil desires. Women no longer wanted to have sex in a natural way, and they did things with each other that were not natural.
      Rom 1:27 Men behaved in the same way. They stopped wanting to have sex with women and had strong desires for sex with other men. They did shameful things with each other, and what has happened to them is punishment for their foolish deeds.
      Rom 1:28 Since these people refused even to think about God, he let their useless minds rule over them. That’s why they do all sorts of indecent things.
      Rom 1:29 They are evil, wicked, and greedy, as well as mean in every possible way. They want what others have, and they murder, argue, cheat, and are hard to get along with. They gossip,
      Rom 1:30 say cruel things about others, and hate God. They are proud, conceited, and boastful, always thinking up new ways to do evil. These people don’t respect their parents.
      Rom 1:31 They are stupid, unreliable, and don’t have any love or pity for others.
      Rom 1:32 They know God has said that anyone who acts this way deserves to die. But they keep on doing evil things, and they even encourage others to do them.

      • I don’t have much respect for CEV, no matter what verses are quoted.
        When it was first published, the publisher sent out advance complimentary copies to a number of Bible scholars for purposes of review. I was one of those who received advance copies.
        CEV bills itself as a “faithful translation.” As someone who reads the original languages, I found it was neither faithful, nor a translation. It is a paraphrase, and a lousy one at that. I keep a copy for purposes of reference, but wouldn’t dream of using it as if it were a reliable Bible. For most people, my advice is that if you have CEV, throw it away. If you don’t have it, don’t buy it.

    • I also like the “God’s Word” translation:

      Rom 1:24 For this reason God allowed their lusts to control them. As a result, they dishonor their bodies by sexual perversion with each other.
      Rom 1:25 These people have exchanged God’s truth for a lie. So they have become ungodly and serve what is created rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen!
      Rom 1:26 For this reason God allowed their shameful passions to control them. Their women have exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.
      Rom 1:27 Likewise, their men have given up natural sexual relations with women and burn with lust for each other. Men commit indecent acts with men, so they experience among themselves the punishment they deserve for their perversion.
      Rom 1:28 And because they thought it was worthless to acknowledge God, God allowed their own immoral minds to control them. So they do these indecent things.
      Rom 1:29 Their lives are filled with all kinds of sexual sins, wickedness, and greed. They are mean. They are filled with envy, murder, quarreling, deceit, and viciousness. They are gossips,
      Rom 1:30 slanderers, haters of God, haughty, arrogant, and boastful. They think up new ways to be cruel. They don’t obey their parents,
      Rom 1:31 don’t have any sense, don’t keep promises, and don’t show love to their own families or mercy to others.
      Rom 1:32 Although they know God’s judgment that those who do such things deserve to die, they not only do these things but also approve of others who do them.

      • Don’t care much for that version, either. Here’s a direct Greek to English translation. Can’t use italics here, so I used brackets. Words in brackets are not in the Greek, but are needed to make the English make sense, a normal part of translation. Words in parentheses are not part of the text, but are translator’s notes of explanation, or alternate translation.
        24 Therefore God gave them up, in the desires of their hearts, into uncleanness, that their bodies should be dishonored among themselves:
        25 who exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creation rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
        26 Therefore God gave them up to passions of dishonor: for their women exchanged the natural* use for that which is against [their] nature: (*i.e., according to their own nature)
        27 and likewise also the men, laying aside the natural* use of the woman, burned in their longing for one another, men with men, working what was out of character (or unseemly), and receiving in themselves the recompense of their error which was necessary. (*i.e., according to their own nature)
        28 And just as they did not approve of having God in true knowledge, God gave them up to a reprobate mind, to do the things which are] unbecoming;
        29 being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, covetousness, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, bad character; whisperers,
        30 backbiters, haters of God, insolent, haughty, braggarts, inventors of evil [things], disobedient to parents,
        31 without understanding, covenant-breakers, without affection, merciless:
        32 who, knowing the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, not only do them, but also approve of those practicing [them].

        *against nature – παρα φυσιν, from the word φυσις (physis). This word is translated as nature, but does NOT mean the creation or world order. It ONLY refers to a person’s (or thing’s) innate nature. In regard to sexuality, a person’s nature refers to their sexual orientation… what is natural for them.
        There is a whole lot more to what Paul was writing about, in regard to a specific situation in Rome. http://hoperemains.webs.com/romans1.htm

        • If I read your post on the site you reference correctly you don’t address certain things. There you say people were “forced” in a sense to go against their orientation. That’s not the language Paul uses (nor do I agree with your definition of phusis). But the reason I write is Paul talks about “exchanging truth” for lie…””passions”, “consumed” (or “inflamed”) – that isn’t being forced…that is a description of raw lust. Paul could’ve have worded that much more clearly to fit your eisegesis – but he didn’t, because that’s not what he meant to address. He is addressing going against how God created us and being inflamed in our lusts against the order of creation. It’s a valiant attempt – but I find that reasoning and hermeneutic to be horribly flawed.

  37. Paul wrote about the situation as it existed in first century Rome. But it certainly didn’t originate there. It didn’t even start in Rome. The Greeks invented the custom, which grew out of their religion. It did indeed start off as a religious obligation, grew into a societal custom/expectation, and by the first century, had become a convenient outlet for unbridled lust.
    The website doesn’t say the people were forced to ignore their sexual orientation. They were just EXPECTED to… not that they understood the concept, but they all certainly knew what did, and did not, feel natural to them when they first became sexually active. Society expectations, peer pressure… that’s powerful motivation.
    The Greek uses a word that translates as “exchanged.” That implies a trade of sorts, giving up one thing and receiving another in return. A person cannot give up “natural heterosexuality” if that person is not heterosexual to begin with. A gay person engaging in homosexuality hasn’t exchanged anything; it’s what is natural.
    Physis (better transliteration than phusis unless you put a diaresis over the u), as defined on the website is correct. You will find that English lexicons of the Greek language generally agree. One of the definitions given by Strong’s, for example, is “native disposition.” That is, in fact, the primary meaning, whether referring to a person, and animal, or even an object (it’s “nature”).
    Paul addressed the ROMANS going against how God created THEM… not us going against how God created us. Historically, to the best of my knowledge, other than Greece and Rome, no other society on earth shared the Greco-Roman notion of sexuality. (Samurai Japan had something similar, but only as far as men were concerned. It didn’t involve women.)
    To take comments Paul made about a specific, historical situation in Rome, out of context, and throw them at something that, on the surface, looks similar, is lousy scholarship. Look at 1 Cor. 11. In that chapter, Paul discusses proper hair length. He suggests that men should not have long hair, and that women should have long hair. The Greek implies uncut hair for the women. Did Paul intend all Christian men to wear short hair and all Christian women to never cut their hair? There are a few denominations that believe that. But that’s not good biblical scholarship. Paul gave that instruction ONLY to the Corinthian church, and ONLY to replace a custom they had (which he alluded to, but didn’t define, since the readers in Corinth already knew what their custom was. History does define the custom, and nobody on earth practices it today).
    Just as it would be incorrect scholarship to think Paul wanted all people to follow the ancient Jewish customs regarding hair length, simply because it is recorded in the Bible, or to think that he intended everyone with stomach trouble to stop drinking water and only drink wine, since he also wrote that, it is equally incorrect to think Paul was saying it was wrong for anyone to be intimate with someone of the same sex, simply because he wrote it to Rome… in regard to a specific custom there.

    • I’m going to ask that you address my point. You don’t burn, or become inflamed in something that is against what you desire. It is an exchange…and just because you say that “nature” refers to each person’s individual nature doesn’t mean that’s correct (though your posture assumes that). What you do is eisegesis in your approach to Scripture. For thousands of years the church has not read Romans the way you currently do, and that is the first red flag. Second, we all have biases, and you certainly have a bias (just look at your previous posts – you base what you believe about God on what you believe he should be like, not necessarily on Scripture’s revelation – i.e. “How could God do that to so many people?) So – basically I find your hermeneutic and posture to be off.

      • If a person is inflamed with, consumed by, lust… and the object of their desire is not readily available, it’s not at all unheard of them to accept substitutes. The Romans had a convenient outlet for unbridled lust because of what their culture allowed and expected.
        Your statement that the church has understood Romans differently for thousands of years is an assumption. The early church, particularly the Roman church, would not have understood it the way you do, because monogamous same-sex relationships, what we know as homosexuality, were rare, almost unknown, in their society. The Romans would have understood what Paul wrote in the light of their own culture, their own society, and what existed in it. Which is just common sense.
        It is not sensible to take what Paul wrote and apply it to completely different cultures, something that bears no resemblance to the situation he had in mind when he wrote. Ignore historical context, and you will almost invariably miss the point of scripture.
        Sorry you disagree about the meaning of physis. You won’t find any legitimate dictionary that will define it as the creation or the world order. The definition I gave is the correct, accepted definition. I used to teach koine Greek; I’m not going to be talked out of what I know by someone who can’t read the language.
        As far as biases, you demonstrate your own. You clearly have a bias against gay people. So you are willing to overlook what nature teaches us about homosexuality, about the reality of sexual orientation, about the actual history of the church in relation to it (which is not what you seem to think), and will go to great lengths to defend the translations of scripture found over the past 4 centuries.
        I used to believe that homosexuality was a sin. That was before I learned to read Hebrew and Greek, when all I had to work from were English translations of the Bible. I had actually been taught that King James Version was fully accurate, and believed it. And when I learned the ancient languages, and read the Bible in them, I learned the truth. Our Bibles are NOT accurate, and not just on this topic.
        So it comes down again to the question of what is more important to you: tradition or truth? Is defending the status quo, what you were told has always been Christianity’s position, more important than exploring scripture in the original languages with an open mind, to determine if there is a discrepancy between what they say and what our Bibles say? For me, the question was answered once and for all by Prov. 23:23 – Buy the truth, and do not sell it; also wisdom and instruction and understanding.
        By the way, attempting to understand scripture in the light of historical context and correct translation is not eisegesis.

        • Ok – there is a lot to respond to.
          First – simply being “inflamed with lust” would be sin – whether it is directed naturally or unnaturally (as you define).
          Second – as far as you saying my statement about thousands of years of church history in the interpretation is an assumption – please show me contrary interpretations to what has been historical.
          Third – human nature (physis) – it means quite often both nature in the sense you define as well as universal (see TDNT – fairly respected). The reality is – human nature is the same in Paul’s day, in Adam’s, in ours – we tend to pursue our own lusts and desires above what God calls for us to do.
          Fourth – you make an assumption when you say I don’t know the languages – I do have a working knowledge of Greek and was taught be excellent scholars.
          Fifth – bias – yes, we all have biases. I don’t have a bias against gay people (you probably hear this a lot, but I have a number of gay friends and they don’t believe I hate them or anything along those lines). However, I believe loving them well, especially those who claim to be believers, is teaching them truth of Scripture.
          Sixth – eisegesis is reading into a text a desired outcome. You certainly have a desired outcome for the text and you assume a great deal about what Paul was dealing with. Looking at historical context is certainly important – but you assume the context as well. There is a creation order of one man, one woman for a lifetime in monogamous covenantal relationship. That is the biblical standard.

  38. Let me correct your theology. Lust is not sin. Lust is simply an appetite, a desire, and everyone has such feelings. Scripture does not say lust is a sin, but that lust, when it is conceived, brings forth sin, and sin, when it is finished, brings forth death. Don’t confuse something that can lead to sin with sin itself. Any appetite, any lust, can get out of control. This is not limited to sexual desire, but includes desire for food, desire for wealth, desire for power, etc.
    Second, as to church history. If, as you claim, the church has always understood Romans in the context of homosexuality, we would find consistent, solid opposition to homosexuality throughout the writings of the last 2000 years. That is not the case. In reading the writings of early Christians, in the original languages, generally Latin and Greek, as opposed to more recent English translations, it can be seen that they wrote a great deal against pederasty, which was pretty much the extent of male homosexuality known in Rome, with a few exceptions. And of course, historically, pederasty is what Paul would have been referring to in writing to Rome in that regard. Unfortunately, much more recent translators have taken it upon themselves to translate those references to pederasty as references to “sodomy.” The term sodomy did not exist in early Christian times, so there is as much chance of an early Christian referring to television as there is to sodomy.
    The earliest and closest thing to a connection between Sodom and homosexuality came in early Christian times when a confused “scholar,” and I use the term loosely, read an old political commentary on Athens written by a Greek philosopher. That philosopher had written a scathing denunciation of Athenian society, which he viewed as decadent, obsessed with wealth and ignorant to the needs of the poor. To drive home his point, however, he never once referred to the city as Athens. Even though he gave a picture perfect description of daily life in Athens in his day, he referred to the city over and over as Sodom. His readers would have naturally recognized Athens, and would have understood the meaning of the writer calling it Sodom. They had knowledge of Sodom from two sources, having had contact with Jews since the days of Alexander the Great. Those sources were the Septuagint and the Mishnah (pre-Christian Jewish Bible commentary, which went into great detail on the sins of Sodom).
    The Christian scholar, however, reading this commentary much later, mistakenly took it to be an actual depiction of life in Sodom. It never occurred to him that a pagan Greek who lived about 2000 years after Sodom was destroyed, wouldn’t be privy to some theretofore unknown information about the city. Not only was he confused about the identity of the city referred to in the article, he also completely missed the point. In describing daily life in Athens, the article naturally mentioned pederasty, which was considered a normal part of every adolescent boy’s education. But that was by no means the focus of the article, and the writer hadn’t viewed pederasty as something negative, just one more facet of daily life in the city. But this Christian zoomed in on it, and decided it was the main point, “THE” sin of Sodom, and wrote about the men of the city trying to force the (supposedly) handsome young angels to have sex.
    The Christian who wrote this didn’t find a great deal of support for his view. Chances are his contemporaries saw his mistake as to the identity of the city in the article. And his contemporaries wrote against pederasty, never homosexuality. But a few centuries later, someone else read what he wrote, and was persuaded by it. That reader fully believed that the reason Sodom was destroyed was because the men of Sodom tried to have sex with the angels. (It escaped both that the fate of Sodom was sealed before the event at Lot’s house, so whatever happened or didn’t happen there was irrelevant in the ultimate destruction of the cities of the plain.) That later reader who believed what he read was Muhammad. And when he wrote the Quran, he included that story in it.
    It bears mentioning that the Hebrew text of Genesis NEVER suggests the crowd wanted to have sex with the angels. On the contrary, the Hebrew text describes the crowd as being comprised of the entire population of Sodom, men, women AND children, and they never said anything to Lot about sex. In addition, in all its detailed depictions of the horrors of life in Sodom, and they were gruesome in spots, the Mishnah never once mentions homosexuality.
    I don’t know if you have read Boswell’s book “Same Sex Unions in Premodern Europe.” It’s not an easy book to read, and while not essential, some knowledge of ancient languages, including Greek, Latin and Old Church Slavonic, is helpful. Boswell’s detractors are a dime a dozen. One can find numerous “rebuttals” online. But none of those actually refute his findings. They argue circles around it, deny it vehemently, and, knowing that most of their readers haven’t read the book in question and couldn’t follow it if they had, they frequently resort to misquoting him.
    I have read the book. I do read Greek and Latin, and knowledge of Russian helps me muddle through Old Church Slavonic to some limited extent. I find Boswell’s evidence most convincing. He found that up until at least the 11th century, the churches of Europe were routinely performing same sex marriage ceremonies. For services for men, Saints Sergius and Bacchus were held up as role models, it having been believed that the two were a couple. Likewise, for women, Saints Perpetua and Felicity were considered role models.
    When the Moors invaded and occupied portions of western Europe, both Christians and Jews were exposed to the teachings of the Quran, which included the notion that Sodom was destroyed because of homosexuality. The Jews never, for a second, bought into it. The reason was simple: Every Jewish boy began to learn Hebrew and study scripture in early childhood. They also studied Talmud, which included the Mishnah. They already knew why Sodom was destroyed, and knew it had nothing to do with homosexuality.
    European Christians were another story. Most of them couldn’t read at all. But even those few who could read didn’t know what the Bible said. Copies were scarce, being copied over by hand, and the church only permitted it to be translated into Latin, which the people of Europe did not understand. Only clergy had copies of it, and few bothered to study it. So the Christians had no way to confirm or deny what their Muslim neighbors told them. But the Moors were adamant about this, and placed a great deal of conviction on their Christian neighbors about the same-sex marriages taking place. As a result, over the next couple of centuries, those marriages in western Europe ceased.
    Boswell discovered, however, that through oversight, two of the ceremonies decided for same-sex couples had been left on the list of approved rites for couples! When he published his findings, naturally, the Catholic Church went to great pains to deny the whole thing (even though their own Vatican Library had been the source for much of the material). But simultaneously, they quickly and quietly revised their list of approved rites, and the two in question vanished as if they had never been part of it.
    In eastern Europe, Moorish influence was absent. But the changes in western Europe eventually found their way east, and the Orthodox churches began to change as well. Not long after Boswell published his book, an interview was conducted with a Russian Orthodox priest in Moscow. It bears mentioning that Boswell’s book was not available in Russia and had not been translated. (It probably still has not.) The priest in question had no knowledge of the book, and I don’t think his interviewer did either. But the priest was asked if their church had ever performed such weddings. The interviewer was aware of a buzz from the western world about the question, and had decided to ask this priest, who was apparently well versed in the history of his church.
    The priest agreed to be interviewed about the question, but only on condition of anonymity. He did not feel he could be honest and open about it if his name were going to be used, lest he face sanction and censure from the church (and civil) authorities in Moscow. The interviewer agreed to this. I have a copy of the interview, in Russian, on my computer. The priest revealed some interesting things. First, yes, his church had performed such ceremonies for centuries. In some parts of eastern Europe, notably Albania, they had continued as late as the 19th century. He was even aware of a couple of very remote places where they still performed such marriages, but declined to identify them, knowing that authorities, both religious and civil, would immediately move to stop them.
    So it stands to reason that if the churches of Europe, prior to the Reformation, both Catholic and Orthodox, were marrying same-sex couples, the clergy could not have believed that God opposed such marriages, or that the Bible forbid them.
    I can’t consult TDNT for the meaning of physis because I do not have access to it. But I also don’t care too much what it says. You see, the various lexicons, and concordances for that matter, were created not to provide factual unbiased information about the biblical languages, but rather to provide support for the extant English translations of the Bible. So where errors in translation exist, it’s common to find the lexicons stretching things to support the errors. That is one of the two main reasons why I prefer to use secular language resources, rather than religious ones. Secular sources have only one goal: proper understanding of the language. Religious resources have doctrinal purposes… to support church teachings and extant translations of the Bible.
    My other reason for preferring secular sources is actually supported by your use of the pronunciation phusis rather than a more accurate physis. For generations, Christian scholars have been passing on misinformation in regard to Hebrew and Greek. This includes the letters of the alphabets and their sound values. Some attempt to reproduce ancient pronunciations of the languages, when that can only be viewed as speculation. No one is alive who can tell us how the languages were pronounced thousands of years ago. We have some clues, but even those tend to be ignored by those trying to recreate the pronunciations.
    This ignorance is nowhere better seen than in the dictionaries found at the end of Strong’s Concordance. The names of the letters of the Hebrew and Greek alphabets are frequently wrong, as are the values assigned to those letters. For example, the word beta may be fine for naming a fraternity or sorority, but there’s not a Greek alive who would recognize that word as the name of the letter of his alphabet. Nor does the letter have a B value, despite Christian sources almost universally assigning it one. (The letter is vita, and it is a v. Greek forms a B sound by combining two other consonants.)
    Likewise, some letters in both languages have more than one sound, but works like Strong’s, and those Christian schools that teach that brand of Hebrew and Greek, are oblivious to that, and always use the same one sound. For example, the second letter in Hebrew is beyt (or bet). It is a B. But it has an alternate form, one Strong, et al, were evidently unaware of. That form is veyt, and it is a V. In fact, if beyt is the last letter in a word, it is ALWAYS veyt, as no Hebrew word ends in a B sound. In addition, the letter vav, which Christian sources tend to call waw or vau or something like that, is, like the entire Hebrew alphabet, a consonant. In all but one obscure Hebrew dialect, it is a V. Strong and others make it a W, like Yemenite Hebrew, which was isolated for centuries among speakers of Arabic… which does have a W consonant. But vav does double duty as a vowel. It can represent u or o. When it does, however, it loses its consonant value. Strong and others don’t realize that. They continue to represent it as a W, even when it is already representing u or o. So ordinary Hebrew words like tov (good) are rendered in Strong’s as towb.
    My point is that you aren’t going to necessarily find sound information on either language in Christian lexicons. A far better way to go is to learn both languages, starting with the modern forms and pronunciations, from native speakers, and then move on to the ancient forms of grammar and vocabulary, which are more complex.
    I am aware of what eisegesis is. I am also aware of what it is NOT. I don’t read ANY portion of scripture with an eye to making it support a desired teaching. On the contrary, I use scripture, as originally written, coupled with historical and sometimes linguistic context, and determine from those things what the intended message was. And in the few cases where, upon reading scripture in the original languages, I found that may previous beliefs contradicted, I abandoned those beliefs in favor of what the scripture actually taught. This was the case with homosexuality, which, as I stated, I once thought to be sin.
    Romans hardly stands alone in the Bible. One cannot read Romans 1, claim it condemns homosexuality, without considering what the rest of the Bible has to say about it. It is not difficult at all to make a good case for the fact that the rest of the Bible doesn’t even directly mention homosexuality, let alone condemn it. It’s also fairly easy to point out two same-sex marriages in the Hebrew Old Testament, neither of which was condemned by God or any extant prophet. So if we were to acknowledge that, and then, somehow conclude that Paul was condemning homosexuality in Romans, it would raise all sorts of questions. Why wasn’t it condemned earlier? Why was it all of a sudden wrong? And since scripture states that every word needs to be established in the mouth of two or three witnesses, where are there other witnesses that this is wrong? Scripture was silent before it was translated incorrectly four centuries ago. And why, if Romans was condemning homosexuality, did Paul only call it a mistake, and not actually say it was a sin, or as some claim, an abomination? If it were the grievous sin some claim, Paul would hardly have been content to simply say the Romans were behaving dishonorably, doing things out of character, and making a mistake, would he? In fact, it is just that fact, that Paul’s characterization of it in Romans was so mild, that is, an error, out of character, dishonorable, that led some translators to substitute words like vile, etc. to make it sound much worse.
    In fact, if scripture as originally written, condemned homosexuality, no translator would ever have seen the need to alter or embellish scripture to make it worse. So why do the newest translations of Genesis 19 match the Quran’s account, but not the Torah’s? Why do all English versions mention sodomites, when no such word exists in the Hebrew and Greek texts? Why do English Bibles embellish Jude verse 7 to refer to anything from “strange flesh” to perversion, when the Greek says nothing about either? Why the need for deception? And those are just the tip of the iceberg.

  39. Ok – you have some interesting things to say. I personally don’t like the tone of your writing (it comes across quite smug). However, I will look into it. I never said lust by itself was sin but I would also not say that what Paul describes is a “mistake” as you put it. In the context of these verses, lust in this case certainly is not something that is neutral. He is laying out a case for the total depravity of mankind and of our need for a Savior. “Therefore God gave them up in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves, because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever! Amen.” That isn’t a mistake – that is idolatry and breaking of the very first commandment. Your whole argument seems to pivot on how one interprets nature – because if it is “universal nature” then your argument seems to fall apart – no matter what history you read (i.e. Boswell).

    I’m going to leave it at this. I don’t believe discussing back and forth in comments sections is worth it. You are certainly passionate about this and have studied it a great deal. Again – originally I sought to address the author (of the blog post) and his hypocrisy in condemning the language of those who spoke out against the Hatmakers while using the very same language (or worse). I simply wish we could learn to discuss each other – and not discuss past each other simply to make our points or talk down to the person you are conversing with (i.e. “I won’t listen to someone who doesn’t know the languages” – there is a better way to say that).

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