To the Guys Who “Outed Me” This Week

A few times a week, a stranger (not coincidentally, almost always a Conservative Christian guy), drops into my comments sections and attempts to “out me;” sharing all manner of theories on how my loud and continual support of the LGBTQ community, surely signals some hidden struggle with my own sexuality. (My eyes are in fact, perpetually strained from so regularly rolling them.)

Sometimes these comments are offered as a sort of condescending, self-righteous, “I’m here to help you” religious sermon—other times as a thinly veiled, public mic drop insult, designed to embarrass me.

Yesterday a guy named Manny started off the proceedings:

“John, could it be that you’re in the closet? I’m not being sarcastic, I am being sincere. So could it be that you’re struggling with feelings of same-sex attraction? And if you are, would you ever come out of the closet?”

After an involuntary facepalm, I replied to Manny that historically speaking, those men most outwardly opposed to the LGBTQ community are those in denial about their sexuality—not those who support them. I asked him to do a Google search on the number of Conservative Christian politicians and preachers, who after years of vehement and violent condemnation of the LGBTQ community, had themselves been hiding. People fearful of their truest truth because of their religion’s wrath, usually end up magnifying their guilt and self-hatred in this way—they don’t become vocal champions of causes they know will get them expelled and shunned 

I shared with Manny, that I am unapologetically fully affirming of the LGBTQ community, because I do not view being LGBTQ as a flaw, a moral failure, or a point of embarrassment. I’ve written about loving my children if they came out to me, I’ve openly supported same-sex marriage, I’ve advocated for LGBTQ people in church leadership. So the idea that I’d feel shame over a different sexual orientation is a faulty premise, and quite useless as a dig.

I am not insulted at the insinuation that I might be gay, because I don’t think anyone who is LGBTQ has anything to apologize for or be ashamed of—It’s really pretty simple. 

Then Chuck showed up with some brilliant commentary, offering among other things, his insistence that both Barack Obama and Tim Kaine are gay, as are most men who support the LGBTQ community. He continued…

“It has been my experience that men who go out of their way to support homosexuality, has a vested interest in doing so: they are a member of the “Family”. So given those realities, you could very well be in the closet! Your dilemma would be of course, is how would you break the news to your wife and precious small children. Whenever I see a man going beyond the call of duty in support of homosexuality, I generally think, “yeah, home boy is struggling with something!”

I reminded Chuck that the old oft quoted line is, “Me thinks thou doth protest too much”, not, “Me thinks thou doth support too much”—but I don’t think he quite got it. 

The idea that in order to support a community a cause, you must be secretly a part of that community or cause, is on its face a rather ridiculous one. Given that he commented on this post, using his logic—I must secretly be an undocumented, gay, Muslim Latina without health insurance. Hopefully we all are invested in something more than just what we feel affects us personally, though maybe this is revelatory about the compassion-starved Christianity we’re seeing in our country right now.

Guys like Manny and Chuck reveal a whole lot in comments like these, but it isn’t about me or about any straight LGBTQ allies—they reveal just how insidious homophobia and transphobia are (especially in the Church), and the nonsensical lengths people will go to in order to justify their irrational fear of people they don’t understand and honestly, don’t care to understand. It shows the deep-rooted insecurities of Christian men who’ve been raised in such a misogynistic, alpha male head space, that the idea of someone being gay genuinely terrifies them—maybe because they imagine someone treating or viewing them, the way they’ve always treated and viewed women.

It’s sad that the world and the Church are still producing people like Manny and Chuck; people who consciously or subconsciously see LGBTQ people as less-than, who believe that advocating for anyone else needs to include some hidden self-preservation, who believe that the suggestion of same-sex orientation would automatically be an insult to a cisgender man.

Manny and Chuck exposed something hidden this week—but it’s not what they think they exposed.

 

 

 

266 thoughts on “To the Guys Who “Outed Me” This Week

  1. John, I agree when people “doth protest too much,” they are usually the ones with the perceived problem. For us, we have the thorn in the shoe sort of problem, since we want to support LGBT, we will have to support these jamokes when they ditch their closets!

    • Patt. i didn’t see any ‘insults’ from Manny toward Pastor John, and I didn’t see that he ‘protested too much’. But I do think he was disrespectful, and that he took too many liberties. But that’s just my view.

      Manny asked: ‘Are you closeted gay?’ Purposely, JP did not answer the question. But his rebuttal showed that he took it as an insult. I was surprised to hear pastor John insinuate that men that disagree with gay-sex for Christians, means they’ struggle w their own sexuality’.

      About 96% of men are heterosexual and most of society works along those lines… but is the goal of Progressive Christianity to open up human sexuality to more 60-40? or 50/50? Is that what we are aiming for? I know sexuality is theoretically ‘fluid’… but is that really what Progressives want… ‘Do it’ because you ‘can’? We conservative Christians are just saying that we read God to say that human sexuality is narrowly prescribed for Believers (for non-believers it’s a moot point). We also think that God says, if we stray from that guideline, it’s not in our best interest.

      • Thank you, Leslie for your thoughtful reply.

        I’m not quite sure how many scriptures people are willing to overlook in order to try and make God’s word appear to line up with the world’s view, but as a Christian who has struggled with unwanted same-sex attraction for years all I can say is how grateful I am for the myriad believers I’ve encountered in my walk who’ve encouraged me to never stop seeking the face of Jesus in the midst of the struggle.

        I believe God’s word is true, and I also believe he allows me to struggle in the process of sanctification, and it has been that tension between my desires and the truth of God’s word that has insured my clinging to my faith. What a blessing to know the truth and be comforted by it as I work out my salvation with fear and trembling.

        What this man, and many others like him, are offering is a call to all of our itching ears … “surely God didn’t mean THAT.” I thank the Lord that I was steeped in the unadulterated truth of his word which has prevented me from being deceived by such aberrant teaching and by my own misguided feelings.

        A word of caution;
        a millstone doth not a life preserver make …

        • ken, if that was not satire, I will pray for you. I am sorry that the love of God has taught you that you are to live in struggle with yourself and fear the vengeance of a God who can only love you if you live by a handful of verses out of the thousands available. Godspeed

          • Thanks for the prayers.
            You must’ve misunderstood my non-satirical post. I’m a Christian, sealed for all eternity by the blood of the Lamb, and; consquently, my natural response, due to the indwelling Holy Spirit, is to (as I quoted earlier) “work out my salvation with fear and trembling.” That means I desperately look to not hinder my relationship with my Creator by willfully sinning. That battle against the flesh, the devil and the world will ALWAYS entail struggle. If you study the Word you will see that written from Genesis to Revelation.

            I’m so grateful that my desires no longer dictate my eternal destination or my daily actions. What this man (Pavlovitz) and many others are trying to promote (it appears) is the heretical view that with God there is no struggling – especially when it comes to sexual desire. God’s word states clearly in several places (Old and New Testament) that homosexuality is a sin, but it also encourages us with the good news that homosexuals can be washed clean (1 Cor 6:9). We are to “reckon the old man dead.” But to tell people that “God made you that way, so it must be o.k.,” is to deny the fact that we were all born into sin – sin which must be repented of and struggled against. Please don’t be deceived. Sinners (homosexuals included) need to be encouraged to accept the love of Christ – not judged; as we believers are not to judge the lost in the
            world. Only through the acceptance of the free gift of salvation offered by Jesus’ atoning death on the cross can one be saved and receive the Holy Spirit through whom understanding of the Truth will come, and that understanding will include acknowledging sin for what it is.

            As for all this talk about loneliness; well, I will admit that when my eyes are on the waves of this world I can begin to sink into self pitying loneliness, but when my eyes return to Jesus I once again rise from the depths of my fleshly, earth-bound world and experience the supernatural realm of the spirit, but I must confess; this has taken years to understand.

            I didn’t ask for this particular struggle, but we don’t get to chose our struggle; only whether we shall wrestle with God in the midst of it or surrender to His way. It’s a daily decision, and today I will trust in the Lord and seek to walk in the way of His righteousness.

            • Ken. –your courage to share here makes God smile. To me your words are simple, authentic, cogent, honest, and brimming over with Saving-Truth.

              When I (for a long period of time) denied God’s Truth, my life was brilliant, easy, fun, productive, interesting, fabulous.

              When I made a decision to deny my Self, Repent & believe Genesis-to-Revelation, the ____ hit the fan & all hell broke loose. I’ve ‘been’ in and ‘am’ in things that i would not wish on my worst enemy.

              I would not trade it for the World.

              • Thanks for your encouraging reply Leslie!
                This life is but a vapor – the things of this world will quickly pass. I’ve decided to fight the good fight of faith and keep myself focused on things above and not deceptive temporal things.
                This reminds me of an old hymn I heard recently:

                “Here among the shadows in a lonely land,
                We’re a band of pilgrims on the move;
                Burdened down with sorrows, shunned on every hand,
                Looking for a city built above.

                Looking for a city, where we’ll never die,
                There the sainted millions, never say good-by,
                There we’ll meet our Savior, and our loved ones too,
                Come O Holy Spirit, all our hopes renew.

                Here in disappointment we so sadly roam,
                Friends no longer speak one word of love;
                O we have found contentment, Jesus promised us a home,
                And I’m looking for a city built above.

                We’re looking for a city, where we’ll never die,
                There the sainted millions, never say good-by,
                There we’ll meet our Savior, and our loved ones too,
                Come O Holy Spirit, all our hopes renew.

                In this land of dangers going here and there
                Trusting in the blessed Saviors love;
                Tho’ we may be strangers, in this world of care,
                Looking for a city built above.

                We’re looking for a city, where we’ll never die,
                There the sainted millions, never say good-by,
                There we’ll meet our Savior, and our loved ones too,
                Come O Holy Spirit, all our hopes renew.
                Come O Holy Spirit, all our hopes renew.”

                Should He return in our lifetime; I’ll meet you in the air – if not, in Heaven.

                ken

                • I want to thank the people that stand up for the Lord and his truth on this site. Leslie, Christopher, Joe, and James and others and now you Ken. Beautifully said Ken. I especially loved when you talked about santification. We all have our struggles and if we are truly born again, the Holy Spirit will correct and convict us and lead us into truth. I like how you said Genesis to Revelation, the whole word of God which points to Jesus. If a person doesn’t believe God’s word than that person does not have faith. Faith is taking God at his word. Bless ed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. We may be called trolls but are motives are to lead People to Christ and not away.

            • Ken, may you persevere in your daily struggles. Keep fighting the good fight. You are genuine. I does my heart good to hear your testimony.

            • Ken,
              You are a calm as a dove and wise as three kings. Thank you for sharing your story, your commitment to Christ and the way you stated it so spot-on. You’re right. We (believers) are not called to judge unbelievers. They must examine themselves before God and decide based on what God tells each one of them what their life should be like in order to Glorfiy His name.
              I am one to say that, since becoming a Christian 15 years ago, I am not without sin. I mess up. I made bad choices and I still make choices that I wish I wouldn’t make. Yet, I know God is faith and just to forgive all my sins, if only I ask for forgiveness, which is most oftenly followed by a prayer to seek His face and seek doing the work He’s called me to do. “Love one another”
              I’m sure we all fail. We all fall. But it’s God’s predestined plan for us to be right where we are. We just have to trust in Him and be willing to move when He says Go.
              Blessings to you brother
              ❤️Stacey

        • Dear Ken who wrote “I’m not quite sure how many scriptures people are willing to overlook in order to try and make God’s word appear to line up with the world’s view, but as a Christian who has struggled with unwanted same-sex attraction for years all I can say is how grateful I am for the myriad believers I’ve encountered in my walk who’ve encouraged me to never stop seeking the face of Jesus in the midst of the struggle.”

          {{{{{{{{{{{{Ken}}}}}}}}}}}}}} I am a straight woman so I have no idea what it is like to try to have a different sexual orientation than the one God created me to have.

          However, I do know quite a bit about how much it costs to pretend to be something I am not. Denial, as it has humorously been said, is not just a river in Egypt.

          Many of us believe that God creates people as it delights God to create them. Scientific evidence has revealed that sexual orientation is formed in utereo. Therefore, none of us are willing to overlook Scriptures. What we do say is that what the Bible is talking about is NOT what what the modern world means by homosexuality and sexual orientation.

          Many people who are unable to read the original languages in which the various books of the Bible were written are forced to rely upon translations. And anyone who has ever studied the original languages will tell you that every work of translation is an interpretation of the text being translated. That is just a function of translation.

          Ken, if your sexual orientation is homosexual, embrace it as a gift from your loving Creator whose will it is that you be a gay man. God loves you as a gay man and it breaks God’s heart when God sees you trying to be something God doesn’t want you to be.

          Here are some books you can read that will explain things much better than I can in this short space.

          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

          Hounded by God: A Gay Man’s Journey to Self-Acceptance, Love , and Relationship, by Joseph Gentilini

          Confessions of a Gay Married Priest: A Spiritual Journey by Maurice Monette,

          Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships by James V. Brownson

        • As a Christian, and a man who is same sex oriented, it always puzzles me how people view themselves as pleasing God in their struggling against their same sex attractions. I would encourage you to take a look at Colby Martin’s book, “Unclobber”. It is a sincere and scholarly presentation of those few verses in the Bible that seem to condemn same sex relationships. Whatever your conclusion brother, may God grant you peace. There are plenty of us who have a genuine faith and also believe we are fearfully and wonderfully made and without the need for reparative therapy.

        • One biblical passage a lot of Christians seem to not have read very closely is in Genesis, when God, after acknowledging that “it is not good that the man should be alone,” starts creating possible companions. God presents these to Adam, who givers the creatures names, BUT doesn’t deem any of them suitable as companions. Hold that thought. WHO decided who was a suitable companion? It was Adam, NOT GOD, according to our own scriptures. Sure, Adam goes on to approve Eve as a companion, but it was not God who decided she was–at least according to the Bible. So, why do people who take the Bible so seriously pretend that God didn’t give Adam the final say in who he considered a suitable companion.

      • Leslie, it is a scientifically proven fact that the most vocal ANTI-LGBT people are very often closeted homosexuals dealing with intense feelings of self hatred.

        That’s not speculation or opinion. This is science. The reverse, the insinuation that an ally or advocate must themselves be gay, has zero statistical basis in fact.

        Most straight people simply don’t care if someone else is gay or straight. John, however, is a pastor seeking to give comfort including to LGBT people so if course he advocates on their behalf.

        If I had to bet, I’d bet goid money that both Chuck and Manny are dealing with feelings of same sex attraction because that is precisely what scientific studies have told us is really happening.

        To point out scientific fact is NOT insulting unless the one hearing it chooses to be insulted by truth. And if that’s the case, then I personally will both insult and mock such backward thinking until it is withdrawn from the publuc sphere.

        People do NOT have a “right to an opinion” when such an opinion harms others unless that opinion can be supported by facts. And neither Manny nor Chuck have facts or truth on their side.

        https://www.livescience.com/19563-homophobia-hidden-homosexuals.html

        • Thank you, Cara. Many of us here have pointed out these peer-reviewed studies and, astonishingly, it makes no difference.

          There are actually people reading these comments who choose to remain uneducated and uninformed. I am not being sarcastic, I am simply stating observations many of us have made and shared.

          Personally, I consider the refusal to become educated and informed one of the most deeply tragic mistakes a person can make.

        • Cara,
          If you even casually read that title of that article you would know that it is not scientific, but opinion. The key phrase found in the title that prevents it from being anything even remotely scientific is “may”. May denotes a remote possibility, not hard fact.

          • You might need a class on scientific research. The designation “may” is standard because science requires many many supporting and repetitive analysis to come up with “hard fact”. Even when researchers believe what they know is “hard fact based on cumulative evidence, all conclusions must be held loosely. Many “hard facts” have been proven wrong by improved scientific methodology.

        • “People do NOT have a “right to an opinion” when such an opinion harms others unless that opinion can be supported by facts.” That reminds me of a recent t-shirt release that says “Science doesn’t care what your beliefs are”.

      • Percentages of people who are gay or straight are meaningless, for all sorts of reason; Conservatives like to cite them so they can lay claim to normalcy. Whatever. Progressives aren’t interested in anyone’s sexuality, and Progressive Christians are interested in people’s spirituality, not sexuality. JP doesn’t seem remotely insulted by the silly people who continually “out” him; He seems more bemused; although perhaps understandably losing patience. And the thought that “we’re” aiming for some sort of gay/straight ratio is just comical: Until you realize that it stems from the old Conservative belief that there is a homosexual “agenda” that aims for total domination. Sad, and of course dangerous, that people are so stubbornly ignorant.

        • “Percentages of people who are gay or straight are meaningless, for all sorts of reason; Conservatives like to cite them so they can lay claim to normalcy.”

          You are so right. The unfortunate thing in the Conservative understanding is that they equate larger percentages with the idea of something being normal. It shows a very slender grasp on science and the English language. Things that happen infrequently can still be entirely normal.

      • Ken;

        I am saying this as a straight, married woman.
        It saddens me to see you deny how God made you and accepting misery, denial and loneliness as a millstone of your Christian walk.
        I don’t think I could love a god who asked this of anyone. Fortunately, I don’t think God does. Jesus said literally nothing about homosexuality. When the old testament was written, there were maybe 2 million humans on the whole planet. Sure, back then, it was a matter of species survival to procreate, and love had nothing to do with marriage. We don’t live in old testament times.

        Loving someone whom you are attracted to, forming a bond, making a life together–that is a great joy in life. Denying this for ancient outdated reasons is not necessary. God made you gay for a reason. He also has had made homosexuals throughout the entire animal kingdom. There is a purpose to this that has nothing to do with making people feel bad about themselves, or ancient rules that no longer apply.

      • I think the Progressive Christian community is aiming for a society where a person is safe to be themselves. There are no percentages or quotas to be reached, simply a society where a person can be who they are without fear.

      • leslie m., “Manny asked: ‘Are you closeted gay?’ Purposely, JP did not answer the question. But his rebuttal showed that he took it as an insult. ” I suspect that in Manny’s world, that is a clear insult, if not threat “if you keep talking about things I don’t like, I’ll accuse you of them to belittle you and try to make you be quiet”. By turning it on him, John made clear he wouldn’t be silenced without cost. Your comment about “not answering the question has the same effect “what are you hiding?” and is just as insulting.

        • Megan wrote ” By turning it on him, John made clear he wouldn’t be silenced without cost. Your comment about “not answering the question has the same effect “what are you hiding?” and is just as insulting.”

          Megan, personally I find that leslie m is very fond of passive-aggressive language.

          When John did not answer the question, I thought he was basically saying “Inappropriate question.”

          Both Manny (who is really He of the Many Aliases) and leslie m do not, in my opinion, recognize appropriate boundaries and limits.

      • Leslie M: “We conservative Christians are just saying that we read God to say that human sexuality is narrowly prescribed for Believers (for non-believers it’s a moot point).” SO easy for you a straight person, isn’t it? “I am straight because God prescribed it that way”. What you’re suggesting, ridiculously, is that you actually have zero attraction, zero sexuality, zero feelings of love, or yes even lust, and that “I do it that way because , sorry! I’m just following God’s written instructions!” Progressives don’t want you to “do it because you can”, we just recognize that some people are gay and we’d rather judge people on a million other social interactions that actually might affect us rather than that messy thing in the bedroom. And it’s only a big deal because you make it one. Control your need for control. When I meet someone new I think “Gosh, what a nice person”, not “I sure hope they’re connecting their genitalia in a God-approved way.” What is this obsession of yours?

        • James wrote: When I meet someone new I think “Gosh, what a nice person”, not “I sure hope they’re connecting their genitalia in a God-approved way.”

          Made me laugh. But you know, it is a thing. When someone is found to be gay, a lot of people do start imagining what on earth they could be getting up to, in a way that they don’t do with a heterosexual.

          • And it’s not just sex. “Gay” has become synonymous with child molesting, thievery, vandalism, drunk and disorderly conduct, extreme selfishness, greed, emotional emptiness, a rejection of God, of family, of America, of kindness…I’m just a good guy trying to find some measure of happiness in a sometimes frightening world, just like when I was a little kid with a skateboard and a butterfly collection. The things I’ve had said about me are absurd, hurtful, and sometimes completely crazy. I thought it wasn’t Christian to lie. I don’t even drink for crying out loud!

            • James wrote, ““Gay” has become synonymous with child molesting, thievery, vandalism, drunk and disorderly conduct, extreme selfishness, greed, emotional emptiness, a rejection of God, of family, of America, of kindness…”

              Umm… I must have missed that memo. When did being gay become a synonym for all these evils.

              Daresay it would be possible to google and find a disturbing number of famous conservative names who are guilty of such things.

              • Gloriamarie Amalfitano, you said “Umm… I must have missed that memo. When did being gay become a synonym for all these evils.”

                Don’t you believe me? I’m a gay man. I’ve been hearing these things my whole life. And check this out: I have a friend who reconnected with a buddy on Facebook. The buddy said so what’s been going on and my friend told him he’s still looking for the right guy, and the buddy said “I’m a Christian”. As if gay is the opposite of Christian. That conversation was the last one they had. Many people seem to feel that way; if you’re gay, not only are you “not Christian” but you’re also a devil worshipper. It’s crazy.

      • “We conservative Christians are just saying that we read God to say that human sexuality is narrowly prescribed for Believers (for non-believers it’s a moot point).”

        I assume you mean to suggest that non-believers are, in your version of Christianity, already going to Hell anyway…just as LGBT folks are…which is what makes it a “moot point.” My, such an exclusive club you belong to, you of the heaven-sent.

        “Conservative Christian” is an oxymoron. Our wonderful Teacher, whom you think you follow, made no bones about being a radical progressive with a singular focus on love and service to all, and an abiding distaste for hate, selfishness, and xenophobia, and phony moral superiority.

        You perhaps should consider the possibility that you’re not so much a Christian as you are a Paulist.

      • Leslie, Have you read the Old Testament? Sold your daughter into slavery? Owned any people from a country to the south? Stoned anyone lately for trimming their beards? Allowed your husband a suitable number of concubines? Just wondering since you are all over all the guidance in the Bible.

  2. Thanks for another honest post, John. I find it amazing how many people who claim to be loving Christians seem to view only condemnation and hate of others as proof of their piety. If only they spent more time showing compassion and care for others, rather than judging, as Jesus commands, this world would improve drastically. I have no use for haters, they reveal much more about themselves when they attack than about any of us who occupy so much of their obsessive thoughts.

    • The only people Jesus pointed his fingers at were the Saduccess, Pharisees,the coin changers and the ones who tried judging others!

  3. When a Christian condemns the LGBT community, but says we shouldn’t judge the gluttonous or the greedy in our churches, I realize they are full of something. But it isn’t the Gospel or the Holy Spirit.

  4. I think the saddest part of this conversation is the idea that unless you are personally involved and invested, you couldn’t possibly be interested in caring about the issue. Unless you are female you couldn’t care about wage equality, unless you are military, you can’t care about homeless vets, unless you have been homeless you can’t care about homeless people. Has it gotten that bad? Do we have to question the motives of every advocate out there for the oppressed, mistreated and ignored? Jesus said we are supposed to care about everyone. That’s all

    • Marie J wrote, “I think the saddest part of this conversation is the idea that unless you are personally involved and invested, you couldn’t possibly be interested in caring about the issue. ”

      I agree. It is distressing to read that John P can only truly care about LGBTQ people unless he himself is homosexual. I’ve been told that because I am supportive of that same community I must be a Lesbian. Actually, I wish I could choose to be a Lesbian, but I wasn’t born that way.

      “Do we have to question the motives of every advocate out there for the oppressed, mistreated and ignored? Jesus said we are supposed to care about everyone. That’s all”

      Yup, that’s all. But those who embrace the heresy of the prosperity gospel will never understand it.

      There is a 1984 publication of the Jubilee Group that I think is the perfect antidote for the above referenced heresy. “To the Fathers They Shall Go: Wealth and Poverty in Early Christian Thought.”

      I give it my highest recommendation.

      It’s available for Interlibrary Loan at two libraries in the USA

      University Libraries
      The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
      CB# 3922, Davis Library Phone: 919-962-1151
      Chapel Hill, NC 27514-8890 email: reference@unc.edu

      Styberg Library, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary
      2121 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60201
      Mary-Carol.Riehs@Garrett.edu | 847.866.3868

  5. In all you do seek to Please the one who can destroy eternity and save for eternity ,
    Never seek to please mankind.
    God has saved you if you believe in the Christ who paid for all sin.
    Live like you believe , so you wont be disapointed with the results when you must give an account for what you have done.
    Only God , Jesus Christ can Reward for eternity.
    mankind s ways are foolishness to Gods ways and ARE NOT THE SAME.
    YU Reap what You so , So dont be surprised when you get what you have sown. Planted in peoples lives and Grown up in attitudes, views, Ways of thinking.

    • I loved my mobile phone while riding a motorcycle because I think I need some serious help.
      I danced with your mom in a swimming pool because that’s the way the cookie crumbles.
      I loved a nipple in your bathroom because I can’t control myself!
      I trolled a birdbath sliding down a hill because I think I need some serious help.

      I think I have found Christopher’s true identity and it is http://www.funnysentences.com/sentence-generator/

    • For the Invisible People
      by Darrell Lackey.

      People need to be seen. People need to know they exist, that they matter. People need to know they have gravity, weight, that they bend space and time. It is a slow, quiet death when a person feels like no one can see them. Imagine knowing you exist, have feelings, dreams, and desires, but are treated like a ghost — you can see others, but they can’t (or won’t) see you.
      A significant damaging effect of the fundamentalist (evangelical?) mindset is its tendency to make some people feel invisible. It happens in many ways, but here are just a few:
      When we see people in a strict, black and white world of “saved” and “lost,” there is a tendency to dismiss the views, opinions, and feelings of those considered “lost.” Not only does this make them disappear, it reveals a pride, as if nothing could be learned from a “lost” person (Remember the Magi in Matthew 2?).
      When we treat certain sins as more “sinful” than others, there is a tendency to treat the people who commit those “sins” in a way that makes them feel invisible. This is a paradox of sorts, because on one level they are actually made to feel more visible, exposed, shamed, and guilty, so there is also a sense of being paraded about — or being made very visible.
      What this does, however, is make the people being shamed (for instance, gay people) want to shrink away, to hide, to become invisible. Think about it. Why do you think it is called coming out of the “closet?” The closet exists to hide in, to be invisible. We don’t want to “see” them. When they try and become visible to us (come out), to explain their views and their experience, just like with “lost” people we tend to dismiss their views and feelings. After all, how can a person who doesn’t recognize their own sin (which begs the question, but never mind), possibly share anything important or true? When people sense this is what the other person feels toward them, they begin to disappear.
      When we are silent regarding, or even support, political bullies who use their power to put others down, to mock the handicapped, to treat women disrespectfully, to stir up the fear and hatred of others, to demonize immigrants and those with different religious views, it communicates to all those on the losing end of such arrangements that they are invisible to us—that all we can see, all we care about, is the powerful.
      When we support a view, attitude, or action that leads an entire subset of people, whether women, immigrants, or people of color, to feel they are somehow less than White American Males, we make those people feel invisible.
      When one of those groups of people, women, cannot teach authoritatively, preach, or hold certain offices/positions within our churches or society, we make women feel even more invisible.
      When we are either unaware of, or indifferent to, a political/cultural system of consumerism, where the market and money become gods/idols, we enable a system that makes those who have less, those on the economic margins, the poor, to feel invisible.
      It is very possible that many of us are not even aware that we are doing some of these things or that we are a part of these structures or attitudes. Before leaving fundamentalism, I wasn’t. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make anyone feel any less invisible. Instead, it adds insult to injury. Worse, it could be we are aware of and even supportive of these very systems, actions, or views that make others feel invisible. If so, shame on us. There is nothing “Christian” about wanting, or enabling, structures that lead others to feel invisible.

      The remainder may be read here:
      http://www.patheos.com/blogs/unfundamentalistchristians/2017/07/for-the-invisible-people/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_campaign=Best+of+Patheos&utm_content=57

    • Christopher, please explain your obsession with everyone else’s afterlife? Is there a true concern here, or do you have little shivers of pleasure when you’re telling everyone else “You’re in trouble! Dad’s gonna to get you! I’m better than you! Neener, neener, neener!” Although I post this in a jokey way, I am quite serious. Christians like you often display this self-absorbed, self-righteous mentality, like you’re in a special superiority club and God’s going to smile on you and you’re going to smile back and you’re going to high-five each other and say “We got them good, didn’t we, Dude? Threw them gay bastards right INTO the fire!” Your joy at that thought is a mental illness, and not Christian at all.

      • James, surely you have heard the expression “So heavenly minded, no earthly good?”

        I remember having a big book of the addresses that were given in Luserne at a huge evangelical gathering in the early 1970s. 100% of the documents were a call for evangelicals to embrace social justice, women’s rights, gay rights, poverty, hunger etc.

        I wish I still had it so I could give you the name and rest of the citation but I loaned it and never got it back.

        Within a fairly short period of years, almost 100% evangelicals had abandoned social justice in favor of the selfishness and heresy of the prosperity gospel. About the only evangelical voice which remained faithful to social justice were the folk at the Post-American Standard, now known as Sojourners.

        • “Within a fairly short period of years, almost 100% evangelicals had abandoned social justice in favor of the selfishness and heresy of the prosperity gospel. ” Obviously! Someone even stole your book! LOL!!

          • Yeah, it was stolen. I guess no one wanted me citing those documents.

            I really wish I could remember the name of it.

  6. Well said John. Simply because you share our Lord’s love and compassion does not make you gay. It is so sad how many men are so afriad of something that they simply do not understand and are unwilling to try to understand. It may not be their lifestyle choice, it is not mine either, but it does not give them the right to judge. Only God looks upon the heart and knows our everything better than we know ourselves.

    • I appreciate what you wrote with one caveat. The word “lifestyle” was put into use by people who were too polite to say what they were really thinking, which was “gays engage in risky and promiscuous sexual behaviour 24/7”. Instead of saying “lifestyle choice” in the future, it would be better to say “sexual orientation”.

      • Patricia wrote “Instead of saying “lifestyle choice” in the future, it would be better to say “sexual orientation”.

        Here’s how I look at it. “Lifestyle choice” might be an appropriate way to describe those straight dudes that Paul is talking about in Romans. Those are heterosexual men who for reasons best known only to themselves, chose to have sex with other men.

        That is ************not************* the same thing as people whose sexual orientation is formed while they are yet in the womb. One has no choice about what happens there.

  7. When I coached fifth- and sixth-grade boys, their greatest put-down was “He’s a homo.”
    My usual response was “But is he a good player?” I guess that comment was too sophisticated for these children.

  8. I’m outing you, man.

    You obviously have compassion for people who have been disenfranchised in our society. You must ACTUALLY think compassion is GOOD or something. This kind of thing must be stopped in its tracks, my gay, black, Muslim Latina without health insurance friend…

    Seriously… you have to be stopped… ;-P

    • Thank you, Peter Hamm, for that guffaw your words caused, as my beverage spewed out of mouth onto the monitor an keyboard. Worth the mess to laugh that hard.

  9. Sigh.
    It’s so tough being a guy guy.
    So many rules. So little latitude.
    So little wonder and mystery. So little love.
    So little…joy.

    • Buddhism teaches that suffering is part of the human condition and that there are three causes: anger, delusion and ignorance. All three, particularly ignorance, is in the thinly veiled insults you shared from other readers. I really, really, really wish we could change the us vs them mentality, and work on reducing ignorance, so that there could be less conflict and more working together. I’m as guilty as anyone else of reading these misspelled, grammatically incorrect comments from people like Manny and writing them off as stupid, uneducated, etc. The only solution I see is for people to start practicing their Christian (or other) faith rather than use it as a weapon to “smite” others.

      • Monica E wrote “The only solution I see is for people to start practicing their Christian (or other) faith rather than use it as a weapon to “smite” others.”

        Exactly. The more involved I am with Dialectic Behavior Therapy, the more appreciative I become of the fact that were we to simply to stay in the present moment and experience it, we would be more like to respond out of our internal core beliefs instead of a knee-jerk response that causes pain and suffering.

        Monica E also wrote, ” really, really, really wish we could change the us vs them mentality, and work on reducing ignorance, so that there could be less conflict and more working together.”

        Again I agree and I would suggest that when we use words to communicate thinly veiled insults that not only do we hurt another person(s), we also do harm to ourselves.

      • The problem is that many Christians ARE practicing their faith when they demean and vilify gays. And until the church changes that’s not going to stop.

        Unless people come to realize the bible was written by MAN and reflects all the prejudices that have always existed and that we still encounter today, nothing will change and we will always be fighting.

        And if god does not show up and clear the air, the church surely won’t because it thrives on the need for a bad guy, it’s how Christians are controlled by the church.

        Christopher says: mankind’s ways are foolishness to Gods ways and ARE NOT THE SAME.

        Actually they are, the god of the bible isn’t a nice guy, and Christians have no problem acting just like him. We justify what the biblical god has done to his own creation and justify the evil and cruel acts he commanded of those that followed him. We are just like him.

        I am not a fan of Richard Dawkins, but do whole heartedly agree with his description of the god of the bible.

        “Jealous, petty, unjust, unforgiving, controlling, vindictive, a bloodthirsty, misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, a capriciously malevolent bully.”

        And I see all of that in christian conservatives and even in liberal Christians who are liberal except when it comes to gays.

        When I see Christians heartlessly go after anyone the bible has singled out for special condemnation, it just reminds me that Christians are very much like their god.

        I often think the church had to create Jesus to try to save the church from it’s horrific attitudes. It’s kinda like the good guy bad guy routine, just another technique to keep people controlled and obedient, but not to a god but to those in authority who pretend they speak for god, and who foster horrific attitudes even today.

  10. And there, John, you’ve hit the proverbial nail on the head. The new brand of Christians are so self-absorbed and selfish that they have to look down on someone who is different. And if they’re different, they must be ‘less’. Others being ‘less’ means these people must be ‘more’. It’s not the others who are a mistake, it’s the people who are so satisfied with themselves who are forgetting what it is that they think they believe in.

    • Many thanks Roxanne – you got what i thought to post.
      Coupled with – where in the Gospels does Jesus ever mention homosexuality? And he sure doesn’t equate one’s doctrine (head knowledge) with being part of the kindom of G-D – only by our fruits.
      And why are Americans obsessed with gender – whose business is it anyway? Is it a ploy to distract the population from the mean dog-eat-dogness and militarism of the country?
      Love your work John!
      Pax et amor
      hilary

  11. John, John! You learned a valuable lesson, didn’t you? But maybe not what you think! You learned the lesson of gas-lighting! The critics you quote probably thought that if they portrayed your “reality” as they prefer it to be portrayed, the message that you actually intended by your blog entries could be squashed.

    Enough arm-chair psychology. I appreciate what you write. I support the LGBTQF community and I am not L, G, B, T, Q, or F. I’m a white, 61-year-old, three-times divorced heterosexual female who just happens to believe that all humans were created equal. And I am among your staunchest fans. Rock on.

  12. This straight, white, with insurance, old lady, says “Right on”. The premise that we might be in the closet must mean that all those white folks who walked with Martin must have been secretly black, they just didn’t want anyone to know. How does that work? There must be some magic formula that can change your color on a whim. NOT. If it wasn’t so tragic and have such horrible consequences, like treating people as less than, it would be laughable. I have never understood this preoccupation with LGBTQ people. I would say, You do you and I will do me, and I bet if we do ourselves with love, as we are asked to do, then we will all find ourselves in the same place. If not then……………you will have to suffer the consequences. Bottom line, we are each responsible for ourselves, and what we are asked to do is love everyone, there were no exceptions, Jesus didn’t let us off the hook saying, “Well, it’s ok if you only love those people who are like you and you can throw those others under the bus”. He also told us to quit judging them. Everytime you try to take away a right to live as a person is, you are judging. Make no mistake, that is a biggy. Peace and Love,

  13. That’s always been a puzzlement to me. I support fully the inclusion of all people into the family of God, and look forward to the full, diverse body of Christ emerging as the representation of God’s heart to the world.

    There is an amazing set of fears and hatreds flowing through the white American church. As has been often noted, 11:00 a.m. on a Sunday is the most segregated hour in America. I’ve heard with my own ears the hysteria of Jesus-followers telling me about the “queers” and the “f–s” and others who are “invading” the church. Or the Muslims. Or the “urbanized youth” (hint hint).

    I sigh, and respond with “What else would you have people do who want to be in a family, know Jesus, and be safe? If they don’t come here, then where do they go?”

    The white Evangelical church in America is the most peculiar thing.

    • Funny, I’ve never had that experience in ANY church, and that’s because I believe the Bible (God’s Word) trumps my aberrant desires.

      Thank you, Leslie for your thoughtful reply.

      I’m not quite sure how many scriptures people are willing to overlook in order to try and make God’s word appear to line up with the world’s view, but as a Christian who has struggled with unwanted same-sex attraction for years all I can say is how grateful I am for the myriad believers I’ve encountered in my walk who’ve encouraged me to never stop seeking the face of Jesus in the midst of the struggle.

      I believe God’s word is true, and I also believe he allows me to struggle in the process of sanctification, and it has been that tension between my desires and the truth of God’s word that has insured my clinging to my faith. What a blessing to know the truth and be comforted by it as I work out my salvation with fear and trembling.

      What this man, and many others like him, are offering is a call to all of our itching ears … “surely God didn’t mean THAT.” I thank the Lord that I was steeped in the unadulterated truth of his word which has prevented me from being deceived by such aberrant teaching and by my own misguided feelings.

      A word of caution;
      a millstone doth not a life preserver make …

  14. Hey John.Sounds like you’re getting trolled by Pat Robertson! I’m your non believer friend that was raised Southern Baptist,So small wonder I have nothing whatsoever to do with white racists(yes that’s what they are) Seems like the pharisees and sanhedrin are correcting your obvious shortcomings !!!! Just remember, there is always room at this atheist’s table for you !!! Only requirement is empathy for people. Especially those that are left out.Why is it that I never hear these people that are so quick to quote their scriptures at you ever once mention The Beatitudes , the Good Samaritan etc.Stuff that matters.That’s because poor homeless people in a shelter or soup line are important to them as long as it’s not in their neighborhood or church pew.Keep up your good work.You must be popping their racists and hateful pimples!!!

  15. John,
    The most interesting part of your post is this statement:
    “Hopefully we all are invested in something more than just what we feel affects us personally, though maybe this is revelatory about the compassion-starved Christianity we’re seeing in our country right now.”

    I think it is pretty clear at this point that most people have a public voice and who are self-identifying as Christian are not able to see much beyond what affects them personally. 80% of white Christians voted for Trump because of what he said he could do positively for them in spite of the fact that he said he was planning to do a whole bunch of other bad stuff to many other people.

    I come across very few “Christians” in the current public square who, like you, are fully committed to supporting causes that may not have any positive impact on themselves. I think the sad truth is that the Christians are not “compassion-starved” they are “compassion-suicide”. They are not starving from a lack of compassion they have intentionally and purposefully killed compassion as a part of their belief.

  16. It does seem like a number of homophobia personalities do seem to come out as gay in the end. Love their logic. They just can’t seem to accept that you can be straight and support the LGBTQ community. These seem to be the same “Christians” who throw their children out of the house if they don’t meet their standards. Thank you for standing up to them.

  17. Very well said John- I despair of this people at times but as the years roll by, things will change for the better. It is the only way that things can go if we are to survive as a species that loves and cares – without those qualities we are nothing but dust x

  18. The only thing I’d add is that some people are just bigots. Being really against LGBT+ people does not inherently suggest you’re LGBT+. Some people are just assholes.

    Also, while I get your intentions are good, by throwing the “it’s, thou dost protest too much, not, thou dost support too much” in their face is technically insulting them by implying that they themselves are gay. I do know that you don’t think being LGBT+ is wrong or that it’s an insult to imply, but it kind of defeats the purpose when you throw it back at them knowing that THEY will be insulted by it.

    Just a little tidbit from this (trans, pan, and in a homosexual relationship) guy’s brain.

    • Technically, he’s not insulting them. He’s stating that their sexuality is a possibility they might want to accept rather than deny through anti-gay hate and rabid religious rhetoric. A gay man who has come to terms with himself does not see “gay” as an insult, nor does a confident straight man. The only ones who see that as deeply insulting are the type of men he is referring to; men who are hiding, and men who are made to feel ashamed if they have gay attraction.

  19. John nails it. Jesus tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves as God first loved us. Jesus has no list of exceptions, footnotes or a bunch of appendices to this commandment. We are to love.

    Loving doesn’t mean “agreeing with” or “approving of.” It does mean making sure every human being gets treated with dignity and respect.

    It means treating other people as yourself wish to be treated.

    • Amen.

      Jesus loved everyone regardless of whether or not he agreed with their choices. We are to follow the same example.

      One does not need to agree with someone else’s behavior in order to treat them with love and respect. I don’t understand why so many Christians can’t see this. I suspect it is because it gives them a sense of superiority. It’s both ridiculous and sad.

      • Jeff wrote, “One does not need to agree with someone else’s behavior in order to treat them with love and respect. I don’t understand why so many Christians can’t see this. I suspect it is because it gives them a sense of superiority. It’s both ridiculous and sad.”

        I agree with that assessment. I would add to it that it gives them an excuse to fail to do the hard work of learning to love those whom they dislike, fear, are prejudiced toward. It is a lazy person’s way out when they come up with reasons about who they exclude from God’s love and their own.

  20. “I must secretly be a gay, black, Muslim Latina without health insurance.” Best. Line. Ever. Thank you so much for being a sane voice of reason in this ever increasing insanity that has become the new norm. Your writing helps me to remember what is really important.

  21. BUTT sex! seems like christians are obsessed with butt sex. too bad they’re not obsessed with all that red letter zombie jeebus stuff.

  22. [Sets head on fire ~ runs around the room screaming ‘I’m a firecracker! I’m a firecracker!]

    Now that I’ve got that out of my system … Pastor John ~ been there ~ been through that.

    Some Random Commentator: “Are you sure you aren’t gay?”
    Me: “Yes. As an adult, I’ve been in bed naked with another naked man. I’m pretty sure I had ZERO sexual attraction to him ~ thus I’m pretty sure I’m not gay.”
    SRC: “But you … write about gay people. Isn’t that a subconscious desire to express your suppressed sexual attractions?”
    Me: “No. I think it is because I have gay friends and feel totally comfortable writing LGBTQI+ folk as regular people => BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT THEY ARE = REGULAR PEOPLE. If I have a question about any peculiarity of ‘homosexual attraction’ I fire off a missive for advice ~ easy peasy. I do the same thing when I have questions about the military, weapons and tons of other stuff I’ve never done yet have the privilege of knowing people who do have knowledge on the subject.”

    **

    I do have these two arguments with Pastor John’s post.

    1) We are not part of the LGBTQI+ community because we do not go through what they go through. Theirs is a certain loneliness which we, as heterosexuals, will never truly understand. Heterosexuals are ~96% of the population so the majority of people we meet will be sexually ‘like us’ and the majority in our gender preference will possible receptive to our advances. At the very least, they won’t be offended.

    To be homosexual is to understand the majority of people you are attracted to will not be attracted to you. That is a terrible burden to shoulder. It is no one’s fault. It is the way things are.

    2) Then there is the added fear the person you like and are seeking a closer bond with is actually offended by the revelation of your affections. This is VERY REAL for most homosexuals ~ the person you want is terrified / revolted / furious you have expressed love for them. Then that can cascade over to that person going out of their way to damage / destroy your personal life depending on whether, or not, you are ‘out’ and the prevailing moods of your community.

    As allies, these is not feelings we will ever have to confront. Not really.

    • Here are my arguments for you, James Dosher.

      First of all this is not 1950. Second there is no such thing as the gay community, it’s just an expression when speaking for glbt as a whole in conversation.

      We gays are all over the place and we are surrounded by family, friends acqaintences that are straight mostly.

      So in reality we are in the human community.

      Aside from places in sanfransisco or other states that have a good number of gays living in close proximity, we still can’t call it an actual community, we are as distant from eachother as heterosexuals are from eachother and all of us as humans are from eachother which is part of the problem.

      Being gay isn’t the entirity of our lives any more than being straight is for you. We are brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and our lives are as full as anyone elses.

      We aren’t hidden from eachother, we know where to go to find other gay people, again this is not 1950. It might be more inconvenient because there are fewer of us, but it’s not imposible.

      Also..

      Most of the heterosexuals I know have no problem understanding what loneliness is or any other emotion.

      There isn’t an emotion that heterosexuals experience that gays don’t as well.

      I know you mean well but I am not sure where you got this idea that we are so pathetic.. lmao

      Oh and by the way, most gays are just not attracted to heterosexuals so it’s not likely we will fall in love with straight people. Sure it can happen, just like heterosexual males have fallen for me only to find out I am gay and not interested. But for most of us gays we know a gay person when we encounter one.

      The only problem is that because of how society is, we can’t freely approach someone we know is gay like heterosexuals can but we have evolved to find ways around societies ignorance.

      So no need to see us as social cripples and outcasts.

      Yes there are many things that can make life hard but then I see all the things that can be hard for heterosexuals as well.

      Humans don’t make life easy for anyone, and hopefully one day those who make life hard for others will one day find out that in doing so they make life hard for themselves as well.

      If some heterosexuals had to endure the kind of prejudice they dish out they might have a different perspective, but then maybe now that they are getting push back they never got before, some will slowly see themselves in those they demean.

      You say:

      “Then there is the added fear the person you like and are seeking a closer bond with is actually offended by the revelation of your affections. This is VERY REAL for most homosexuals ~ the person you want is terrified / revolted / furious you have expressed love for them. Then that can cascade over to that person going out of their way to damage / destroy your personal life depending on whether, or not, you are ‘out’ and the prevailing moods of your community.

      As allies, these is not feelings we will ever have to confront. Not really.”

      I’m wondering if you aren’t projecting a bit here. Like I said there will always be an exception to the rule but in most cases gays are attracted to gays not straights. And the revolt and furry you speak of is a little exaggerated, no? Again not that it doesn’t happen but this really is not 1950 and gays know how to survive in a predominately straight environment quite well.

      Don’t pity us, it’s a bit insulting. We don’t want pity, we want our country to grow up.

      • It’s really a matter of salvation. Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life; no man come unto the father apart from me.”

        The Bible states that there will be homosexuals in heaven – those that have been washed clean.

        I’m not quite sure how many scriptures people are willing to overlook in order to try and make God’s word appear to line up with the world’s view, but as a Christian who has struggled with unwanted same-sex attraction for years all I can say is how grateful I am for the myriad believers I’ve encountered in my walk who’ve encouraged me to never stop seeking the face of Jesus in the midst of the struggle.

        I believe God’s word is true, and I also believe he allows me to struggle in the process of sanctification, and it has been that tension between my desires and the truth of God’s word that has insured my clinging to my faith. What a blessing to know the truth and be comforted by it as I work out my salvation with fear and trembling.

        What this man, and many others like him, are offering is a call to all of our itching ears … “surely God didn’t mean THAT.” I thank the Lord that I was steeped in the unadulterated truth of his word which has prevented me from being deceived by such aberrant teaching and by my own misguided feelings.

        If you’re not a believer this is a call to repentance.

        • I always wonder when I read the phrase “unadulterated truth of his word” what that means to the writer. I also think of the West Wing episode where the President is asking the talk-show host why so many other demands of the Law are ignored (wearing mixed-fabric garments, planting mixed crops, touching the skin of a pig) but we keep a manic focus on the rules about homosexuality? So homosexuality is terrible, evil, utter sin, but the other restrictions are just amusing guidelines, outdated and unnecessary? Why does this sound like we’re picking and choosing what we call the “unadulterated word of God”?

          And as far as Romans I is concerned I can only shake my head when I think of all the people I know who are gay who don’t in fact hate their parents, are not murderers, etc. Again, what are we picking and choosing here?

          You will know them by their deeds. Are they walking in compassion and love? Do they care for others and demonstrate that care in action? Are they examples of Christ in the world? Do they wrestle with the Word of God, live and struggle with the obvious contradictions and paradoxes of scripture? Do they leave judgment to God, and get on with the work of Christ in their own lives, knowing they have their hands full with that? Those are the people that I want to be like, follow their example. Those are the people that are the ambassadors of God in the world.

          Because the people that get lost in the letter of the law, forsaking the Spirit of it (the Sabbath was made for man, not the other way around) those people wind up doing all kinds of terrible things, wreaking havoc in the world, all the while shouting quotes from scripture and waving the Word as justification for their frightened, anything-but-Christian behavior.

          And they use words like unadulterated. Purity of doctrine and endless discussions of what sin is and isn’t completely miss the mark of the Life, Example and Sacrifice of Christ.

  23. I don’t know, Pastor. Maybe you stick up for the LGBTQ community because they’re a group of actual human beings who frequently are, for no good reason, marginalized, treated with disgust and the victims of discrimination and abuse? Seems like a fairly good reason to stick up for people.

  24. Dear John Pavlovitz and Readers:

    Meanwhile, societal breakdown, corporate rape and plunder, warmongering and countless other egregious crimes and international misdemeanors are overlooked.

    Blessings!

    • Supporting L, G, B and T people doesn’t man that these problems are overlooked, it just means that the problems faced by L, G, B and T people aren’t ignored because someone like you thinks the problems they face ‘aren’t as important’. It’s not an either / or decision.

      • Dear Hilary:

        If the international working class doesn’t unite to prevent WW III and inevitably, thermonuclear holocaust, problems faced by L,G,B and T people or everyone else may become moot.

        Blessings!

      • Dear jaime:

        This reminds me of Jesus’ observation:

        ‘The poor will always be with you.’

        In each case methinks the question is, ‘are we always to address social disorders OR does their persistence absolve us of kingdom obligation in this matter.’

        As I see it, the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ is a first century, kingdom of God manifesto, written to a substantial degree to address kingdom allegiance and normative Christian living.

        Five days ago I posted [ http://tinyurl.com/ycaulvbc ] on this blog saying that:

        ‘Mr. Pavlovitz’ juxtaposition of the kingdom of God with the Roman Empire is exactly correct – with one nuance.

        Behind imperial Rome stands Pharaoh’s Egypt, and Philistia, Moab, Tyre, Babylon, etc. Today, we are all these and more. That’s why our social/political/economic conditions what they are. It’s why Lu 4:18-19 is so profoundly relevant today.

        The struggle of Egypt/Philistia/Moab/Tyre/Babylon/Rome against the Kingdom of God IS the great struggle of the ages.’

        Now to your query: ‘When has corporate rape, plunder, warmongering, egregious crimes and international misdemeanors, not existed.’

        I reply: The struggle of God’s kingdom people against these crimes of Egypt, Philistia, Moab, Tyre, Babylon, Rome and now the United States IS the great struggle of the ages.

        My question to you, jaime, is this:

        Where do you belong in this great struggle of the ages?

        Blessings!

  25. Of course, in my eagerness to say what I said, I forgot to check the “notify” box. Silly me.

    I wanted to mention that yesterday I provided a URL that links to nineteen peer-reviewed studies which demonstrates a correlation between being as homophobic as the guys who “outed” John are and with being deep in the closet, terrified to come out because of the way the misogynistic homophobes have treated women and homosexuals.

    It is called “just desserts,” fellas. What comes around goes around when we fail to treat others as we ourselves wish to be treated.

    Now, have I ticked that “notify” this time? Yes, I see I have.

  26. Thank you John, for staying on the air in spite of the trolls–I still maintain someone with more money than good common horse sense–is paying people to monitor your site. They change the names, but the content of their message is always the same: “Beware false Profits! This pastor is not a Christian, blah, blah, blah. It’s easy tap spot them. What I do most of the time now is to read Pastor John’s essay and skip the comments.

  27. By their logic, I must be lesbian, transgender, Latina, Muslim, Jewish, immigrant, refugee, homeless, indigent, Black, Asian, elderly, orphaned, imprisoned, handicapped and widowed… Logic really seems to not be their strong suit.

  28. John Pavlovitz! You go- girl!!! hahahaha- oh sorry…

    Political and religious structures- that choose to deny me the right to exist “because their god said so” are the problem. Not/heterosexuals have always existed. Terrified straight men have always acted to KILL us off- rather than learn that men can love men and women can love women and men and women can love each other- too. It’s the patriarchal ego-based dysfunctional masculine bullshit that needs to die.

    When I was young there were no straight allies. So thanks- John P. I came out to myself at 13- I left home at 17- and I’ve been telling religionists to kiss my ass ever since. I’m a creative. I’m a world-class artist. Your self-appointed hate-filled negative opinion of my not/heterosexuality is less than meaningless. And you heterosexists are all fools.

  29. Manny needs to change his name. It’s a dead give away that he’s feeling emasculated and thinks a Manly name such as Manny will keep folks from pulling him out of the closet. Manny is probably really

    NANNY

      • I agree. At least two people who have shown up here to comment on John’s last four or five blogs sounded to me like Joe impersonating people. All he has to do is go to a relative’s house or friends house, say “may I use your computer for a few minutes,” and he shows up with a new IP address, new email address, and a fake name like Purvis Hawkins.

        • Unlike many who post here, I work and I don’t have that kind of time on my hands.

          Now you prove you are not “Manny” so that you and your friends with extremely fertile imaginations and much time on your hands can keep the drama going and demonize others.

          • But “Joe Catholic” unlike many others who post here, you have indeed admitted to posting under several identities and as “Anonymous” so do cut the act of being some victim. You made your bed. Your obsession has caused you do be suspect. Own it.

            • Sandi, someone wrote “Unlike many who post here, I work and I don’t have that kind of time on my hands.”

              It’s hard for me to believe this person has an actual job given that at one time he would post in response to ***every*** single comment that appeared here.

              He consistently fails to take responsibility for his own behavior and then claims he is a victim, when it is his own behavior that is the problem.

              • Gloriamarie, He never will. I have known many “Joe’s” in my lifetime and rarely are they ever willing to admit to any faults. His comment about those of us who don’t work is so disingenuous because he knows a lot of us are retired, disabled or whatever. So unless he plans on working until he drops dead, than he will be one of us someday. I worked from the time I was 11 til the time I turned 65 and to have him turn up his nose because he works and I don’t is insulting. Not the first time he has insulted and I am so sure it won’t be the last. He has no empathy with anyone different than he and I don’t expect that to change. So I will ignore, keeps my blood pressure controlled that way. Peace and Love,

                • Agreed, Kathleen. I don’t read his spew, but I do read Sandi and she is right on target.

                  Plus, I really don’t understand how someone can claim to be employed and have the time to comment on every single comment here. Of course, now that John P is moderating, we are probably spared a lot of them.

                  Pretty certain people here have been spared some of mine. LOL Which is fine. It’s ***John’s*** blog and he gets to moderate comments to it just as I get to moderate comments to mine.

                  • You and I are on the same road, I pass by Joe but I do read Sandi and she is always spot on. Whether she likes it or not she speaks for me too, as do you and Susan and many more. So Thank you, my friends, I appreciate knowing that that boat I am in has fellow passengers, cause I hate getting water in my face, so I can sit in the back. Peace and Love,

                    • See how much space is wasted simply because Charles and his gang took the low road and instead of commenting about the point I made, used the opportunity to make personal attacks.

                      Let’s not forget that Charles has predicted that soon we will be the victims of nuclear annihilation and that he fantasizes about blowing away Christians with his shotgun.

                      So perhaps fair-minded people might put his comments and those of his supporters in their proper perspective.

                    • And here you are again “Joe Catholic” without even a hint that you know the irony, you seek to remind people of a comment Charles made while trying to call us out for remembering all the times you posted under other identities to get around the ban. I stand by my point, you are pathologically obsessed with this blog that you do not even agree with. That is messed up!

                    • Sandi wrote, “I stand by my point, you are pathologically obsessed with this blog that you do not even agree with. That is messed up!”

                      I agree and have said in the past that this man needs psychiatric intervention else he would have long since realized that very few of us see any worth to reading, let alone responding to him.

                      You are particularly gifted, Sandi, with your ability to point out his internal inconsistencies. I don’t understand how he manages to survive from one to the next with all that cognitive dissonance inside his brain.

                    • Correction: Charles said he fantasizes about blowing away “conservatives” with his shotgun. I hope he stays away from those congressional baseball practices!

                    • Well Sandy, I posted against yet another of Charles’ false accusations about me being someone else, who I am not. I do not agree with what the person said. But of course according to your “logic,” that I say I am not, means that I am. Guess what, I didn’t do that bank robbery that’s in the news, so that means you better call the cops on me.

                      I’ll let you have the last word again since you are a lady and I’m a gentleman and also because I have no choice.

                      Adios for now.

                  • At the time of this post there have been 185 comments and I made 8 of them. I would have had to have made 177 posts to have responded to them all. Do you think you might have the humility and graciousness to back that you said I “respond to every single post”? (And all my posts have been approved and posted).

                    Just for fun, guess who has made more than 4 times the number of comments than I have.

  30. It has been a while since I’ve contributed anything to this blog. I see much hasn’t change, just a few different names here and there. I’ve never looked to data or stats to prove anything because no one can know what is really in a person’s makeup or heart. As a woman that has grown up around gay people all of my life, I have learned much from them in terms of how many of them think about things, and how they see the world.

    But I acknowledge that that doesn’t mean that I know everything about what they think. To say that people must be harboring secret gay feelings because they think being gay is bad or is a sin is as ridiculous as anything that I’ve ever heard.

    Contrary to what anyone says, no one can know that, either from history or the present age. If I were a betting person, I’d bet that if people see being gay as something that shouldn’t be, it is not because they have these unknown or known gay tendencies themselves. I’d bet that they really feel the way they say they do, and see the matter in the way that they see them.

    The same would be true if I support the gay cause; that doesn’t mean that I support that cause because I am really gay inside. Both sides and theories are clearly false and must be abandoned. What is true is that there are people who are heterosexuals and there are people who are homosexuals, and the ultimate question is will they ever be able to get along?

    I am a married woman of 24 years, have three children ( 2 girls and 1 boy), am a committed Christian Believer, I love all people and like Christ, I desire that all men will be saved in the end.

    I do not agree with homosexuality or gay marriage, and I’m totally at peace with my understanding of these matters, and I don’t have a dog in the fight. I am not the enemy of anyone, and hopefully a friend to all!

    • Rimi S, I suppose you meant to say that you’ve “never looked to data or stats to prove” what is in any person’s heart or mind, because to never use data or stats at all, for any reason, is rather ignorant so I am sure that is not what you meant to admit.

      If indeed you have “grown up around gay people” you would likely know that it is not something you need to “agree with” it is just something that someone is. Like being left-handed or red-headed it is not something they chose to be, And so far at least, 100% of the gay community was born of a heterosexual relationship.

      As for “not agreeing with homosexuality or gay marriage,” can you tell us why you do not believe they are equal to the rest of us in love and commitment to a marriage?

      If I was a betting person, I would say that history is full of hypocrites who railed against one thing or another while actively (if furtively) doing it. Look at some of the folks who persecuted Bill Clinton publicly for his infidelity while being guilty of it themselves. Or Trump calling Hillary “crooked.” Plenty of people are such hypocrites. We all know examples of it.

      If someone thinks being homosexual is a bad thing and they deliberately accuse someone of being homosexual without any evidence they are, it just proves what a low-information bigot hurling epithets looks like.

      I do not know if people who think other people are bad, sinners, “wrong” or something they cannot “agree with” can ever really “get along.” It is hard to like someone you find defective and it is hard to like someone who finds you defective when you know you are not.

      I am a 58 year old, heterosexual, married woman for 36 years, have two grown heterosexual children, and a committed follower of Christ. I love all people and like Christ, I wish all people would follow Christ.

      It is not for me to “agree” or not agree with homosexuality. I absolutely agree with equal rights for homosexual people and the protections, commitment and responsibilities of marriage for any two adults who want that covenant. And I’m totally at peace with my understanding of these matters therefore I do “have a dog in the fight.” ( a metaphor I detest, but it suffices). I am also not the enemy of anyone, and hopefully a friend to all, but I will stand up to injustice as Jesus taught me to do.

      • Thank you, thoughtful and thought provoking

        I love hearing from Christ’s true faithful, you are some inspirationally loving people.

      • Sandi, I am out of town on a speaking tour, but decided to take a moment to acknowledge your response to my posting.

        I don’t make it a practice to explain my position on homosexuality and gay marriage, but I will simply tell you that in my understanding of the Scripture, marriage was created by God, and He purposely United a man and a woman together, and blessed their union and commanded that they be “fruitful and multiply”.

        Therefore, there is no such thing as “marriage equality” , and Homosexuality is not equal to Heterosexuality, it is a perversion of human sexuality. While I could say more, I must get back to more important things this beautiful Saturday in the mid-week. But here is a powerful op-ed by my dear friend, Bible scholar, and Seminary Professor, Dr. Edith Humphrey. I agree with every single word, as she is one of the best in the world!

        http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2004/september/11.36.html

        Thanks again!

        • 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

          Hounded by God: A Gay Man’s Journey to Self-Acceptance, Love , and Relationship, by Joseph Gentilini

          Confessions of a Gay Married Priest: A Spiritual Journey by Maurice Monette,

          Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships by James V. Brownson

          • As for ‘Biblical” marriage, there are 8 types:

            Polygynous Marriage
            Probably the most common form of marriage in the bible, it is where a man has more than one wife.
            Levirate Marriage
            When a woman was widowed without a son, it became the responsibility of the brother-in-law or a close male relative to take her in and impregnate her. If the resulting child was a son, he would be considered the heir of her late husband. See Ruth, and the story of Onan (Gen. 38:6-10).
            A man, a woman and her property — a female slave
            The famous “handmaiden” sketch, as preformed by Abraham (Gen. 16:1-6) and Jacob (Gen. 30:4-5).
            A man, one or more wives, and some concubines
            The definition of a concubine varies from culture to culture, but they tended to be live-in mistresses. Concubines were tied to their “husband,” but had a lower status than a wife. Their children were not usually heirs, so they were safe outlets for sex without risking the line of succession. To see how badly a concubine could be treated, see the famous story of the Levite and his concubine (Judges 19:1-30).
            A male soldier and a female prisoner of war
            Women could be taken as booty from a successful campaign and forced to become wives or concubines. Deuteronomy 21:11-14 describes the process.
            A male rapist and his victim
            Deuteronomy 22:28-29 describes how an unmarried woman who had been raped must marry her attacker.
            A male and female slave
            A female slave could be married to a male slave without consent, presumably to produce more slaves.
            and of course …
            Monogamous, heterosexual marriage
            What you might think of as the standard form of marriage, provided you think of arranged marriages as the standard. Also remember that inter-faith or cross-ethnic marriage were forbidden for large chunks of biblical history.
            The important thing to realize here is that none of these models are described as better than any other. All appear to have been accepted.

            • You do realize that all the examples you listed were between a man and a woman and nothing else? If anything else were acceptable, why was it not listed? This is a “white list” of acceptables (your version, maybe not God’s) and with a white list, all approved listings must be fully shown as opposed to a black list that allows all but only blocks the selected. Thank you for proving our point.

              • No, Edward, I disproved the point that the only form of marriage between the genders is that of one man and one woman.

                The false assertion was made that the Bible identifies marriage as only that between one man and one woman when there are obviously eight other forms of marriage between men and women. And all of them are to control property and progeny.

                I suggest you read 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

                Hounded by God: A Gay Man’s Journey to Self-Acceptance, Love , and Relationship, by Joseph Gentilini

                Confessions of a Gay Married Priest: A Spiritual Journey by Maurice Monette,

                Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships by James V. Brownson

                • No, Edward, I disproved the point that the only form of marriage between the genders is that of one man and one woman.

                  By listing other forms of marriage that only included men and women exclusively?

                  You listed all the acceptable forms of marriage that is found in the bible.
                  Q: Why didn’t you list homosexual marriage?
                  A: Because it’s not in the bible and therefore not an approved form of marriage.

                  PS – I’m not going to read your list of books so please stop suggesting I do so. Not going to happen.

                  • Edward, Kim Davis was not acting as religious clergy when she, a sworn Kentucky Clerk, refused to follow the law and issue marriage certificates. Also Congress does not act as religious clergy in refusing to pass the ENDA bill to assure equal rights for all LGBTQ in employment and housing. These are civil rights, that should be guaranteed by the Constitution.

                    As far as the Church goes we would prefer to be treated equally among others. No more, no less. The Church does not sanction sin but it neither should exclude people because they sin differently since Jesus didn’t do that, the Pharisees did that. Just get the boot of hurtful theology off our throats and most of us will listen to your side.

                  • Edward, all you do is prove your inability to stick to the point. I was not asked about homosexual marriage.

                    There was an assertion that the Bible says that there is only one form of marriage between a man and a woman and I pointed out that there are in fact, eight.

                    If you wish to continue in your homophobia, rather than becoming informed about homosexuality, that’s your unfortunate choice.

                    But all the proof you could ever ask for is in those books I recommended which I really wish you would read since 19 peer-reviewed studies demonstrate a correlation between deeply rooted homophobia, such as you demonstrate, and being deep, deep in the closet.

        • Rimi, I shudder to think what you might be “speaking” on. Thank you for the cloying admission that you believe you are better by virtue of faith than homosexuals. I disagree but you have the right to believe as you see fit.

          Marriage equality has nothing, literally nothing to do with faith or God. Whatever the ever changing religious marriage covenant was, is or will be, marriage equality means the legal contract of marriage under our laws is applied equally to all couples. Your prejudice cannot affect our laws. Your prejudice will not affect our laws.

          • Sandi, somehow I knew to expect insults from you. And you’re 58 ?

            My settled position is based on the Word of God and nothing more.

            If you must know why I’m on a speaking tour, it is because my husband and I are experienced Financial Planners and Investors, and it has made us quite wealthy.

            I’m sorry that you do not get requests to speak anywhere. Maybe if you weren’t so angry and bitter, you could speak for a noble cause.

            But you do get to spew your anger on this little blog with other angry people.

            Just so you will know, I showed your response to my friend, Nancy, and she said, “that woman has forgotten her meds”.

            I wish you well, and I sincerely hope that you will discard your angry spirit.

            Marriage will always be a union between one man and one woman, and there will never be any such ” marriage equality”, and your angry tirades will never change that reality!

            Good Bye!

            • Oh yes, clearly my “anger” and “mental illness” is the real problem here. Lucky for us you do not stoop to the level of insults… It is a crying shame I cannot have such a “noble” career as a traveling “financial planner.” I should only aspire to such nobility and Christianity.

              I wish we lived in a world that folks like you did not inspire such an angry spirit in others but that is not the reality we live. When God’s word is used as a weapon, people tend to get angry. Jesus did too.

            • I wouldn’t be so quick to quote your friend Nancy. Her remark is ignorant of the realities and stigmas of mental health and most unkind.

              As for your final paragraph, there are several countries where equal marriage is the law of the land. Your willingness to expose your refusal to acknowledge reality doesn’t do you any favours.

              • :l

                I was going to say something tacky to Rimi, I had a good one too, and then I saw your name. And remembered CRI… I laughed and backed away from the keyboard. Thanks for the reminder. See? I can do better! 💕

            • Rimi wrote “Just so you will know, I showed your response to my friend, Nancy, and she said, “that woman has forgotten her meds”.

              People who display such a lack of compassion, empathy, generosity, and kindness of spirit are usually people in denial about their own need for medication.

              Rimi, please read those books I recommended to you.

          • Sandi, I completely agree with this “Marriage equality has nothing, literally nothing to do with faith or God. Whatever the ever changing religious marriage covenant was, is or will be, marriage equality means the legal contract of marriage under our laws is applied equally to all couples. Your prejudice cannot affect our laws. Your prejudice will not affect our laws.”

            Marriage equality is simply a matter of civil liberties, ensuring that all people who live in the USA (and the rest of the world) have the exact same rights that everyone else has. Liberty. Equality. Fraternity. As the French express it.

          • Marriage equality has nothing, literally nothing to do with faith or God.

            Marriage has no equal substitute, and it has everything to do with God. It is unique in its authority, in its purpose, and in its participants.

            • Marriage is not one thing, Edward. Even Joe Catholic will agree with me on that, for the Catholic Church does not honor all marriages, even heterosexual ones.

              Marriage, as a civil institution, gives spouses rights that unmarried couple do not have. It is a civil right, until recently, sometimes denied based solely on the genders of the engaged. This has nothing to do with the sacrament of marriage in the church so the church may or may not honor it. The right to a civil marriage is what the LGBTQ community has been fighting for, leaving the churches to do as they please. To conflate the civil right to marriage, for exercise of civil rights, and the sacrament of marriage in the church, I feel, is bad theology, but seems to be common among some Protestant Christians, as if the only way to be married is in a church.

              • The right to a civil marriage is what the LGBTQ community has been fighting for, leaving the churches to do as they please.

                Then why does the LBGT community care so much as to what the church thinks if that is the truth? Seems that the LBGT community is wanting the church’s approval, and then ultimately God’s approval. You can’t win God’s approval by going through the state/federal system and then the church in hopes of one day getting God’s approval. It doesn’t work that way. Approvals come down, they never go up.

                • Edward, I am only guessing here, but if the church rejected you, vilified you and even campaigned for laws against you…you too might just possibly seek to have the church “accept” that you cannot change who you are.

                  Since most people who believe in God do accept the Bible as a guide for their faith, if not wholly the inerrant and infallible word of God, it therefore follows that the people in the LGBTQ community who believe in God, would like for the church to show them the love of God that the Bible speaks of, to, and for throughout.

                  But, I think mainly the LGBTQ folks just want the church to stop persecuting them for just being. There is no doubt that most of the discrimination, inequality and harm they face has been driven by the religious “taboo” that causes “Christians” to treat them badly, think of them badly and condemn them.

                  It is not so much that any group wants the “approval” of the Church, so much as the boot off their neck.

                  You nor the church can decide God’s approval. You never have, you never will. It just does not work that way.

                  The efforts to gain equality under our laws is not about getting the church’s approval or acceptance, it is about fairness under our law promised in our constitution.

                  It is true, “approvals” come from God and God alone. You might want to remember that as well.

                • It isn’t the churches’ approval that the LGBTQ2 community is hoping for.

                  They’ve been hoping for the churches to gain a better understanding of what was actually written instead of the passed down, hateful, and oppressive understandings based on bad and/or biased translations.

                  They are hoping that churches would stop counselling parents to cast their LGBTQ2 children into the streets. 40% of homeless youth are LGBTQ2.

                  They are hoping that churches would stop the spiritual terrorism known as “pray away the gay” for that leads to mental illness and suicide.

                  They hope that “pastors” would stop fulminating from the pulpit about the evil gays and pumping up those of weak mind to go out and bash a gay.

                  They hope that churches would stop lobbying governments to pass laws that restrict the rights, financial security, and safety of God’s children who happen to be LGBTQ2.

                  They aren’t trying to win God’s approval. They already have it. If God didn’t approve of his children who were created LGBTQ2, then why does God keep creating them?

                  • Patricia wrote, “They’ve been hoping for the churches to gain a better understanding of what was actually written instead of the passed down, hateful, and oppressive understandings based on bad and/or biased translations.”

                    Sadly, Edward and many others in these comments have turned their backs on the resources that would illumine what was actually written.

                    I am appalled by every instance of abuse, bullying, and violence that so-called “Christians” dish out as they disobey so many commandments.

                    No wonder homophobes stay in the closet. They haven’t the courage to endure that which they have dished out.

            • If you are a person that believes that no history precedes the Bible, then your opinion makes some kind of sense. If you are a person who has a fuller understanding of the age and creation of the planet and that believes that humans have existed for more than a million years, not just the last 6,000, and that they have been marrying since long before the books of the Bible were written down, and that marriage has taken many different forms over the millennia (including Roman Catholic rites for the marriage of two men that existed up to the 18th century), then your argument could make sense if we delve into the full meanings of the words God, authority, purpose and participants. It won’t make sense at all if you are a person who doesn’t believe in a supreme deity.

      • You wrote “It is not for me to “agree” or not agree with homosexuality.” I don’t understand that sentence. Homosexuality is not an opinion, it is a sexual orientation that has been observed throughout creation in many different forms of life. Its existence is medical and scientific fact.

        Perhaps you meant something else?

        • Patricia, maybe I put that oddly as I was using her language. I meant that it is not something anyone CAN “agree” or not “agree” with. As you say, it just “is.” Like being left-handed, red-headed, blue-eyed or whatever genetics brings to us, homosexuality is not a choice, not a lifestyle, not something that needs anyone to “agree” with it. Neither does marriage. The only womb anyone should seek to control is their own. The only relationship anyone should seek to judge is their own. The only marriage anyone should have any control of is the one they are in. Hope that clears it up.

          • Odd. I directly replied to Rini. I am sorry that it showed up as a response to you, Sandi. I am in complete agreement with what you wrote up the thread and with what you wrote just now. Your writing is very clear and your arguments are well-formed. I don’t think I have ever misunderstood something that you have written.

      • I’d like to know why it is any straight woman’s concern whether to agree or disagree with my sexuality or my marriage. Go have your own nice life, and don’t bother agreeing or disagreeing with anyone elses.

    • Rimi Salano wrote, “As a woman that has grown up around gay people all of my life, I have learned much from them in terms of how many of them think about things, and how they see the world.”

      I really object to this this them vs me attitude. What makes you think gay people think differently and see the world differently? They don’t. They may experience it differently because they have to endure deliberately uninformed bigoted homophobes that we of the dominant straight group don’t.

      It is 100% wrong that their experience of daily life should be different. Their experience includes discrimination and hate crimes, for two examples and I bet your experience does not.

      Rimi also wrote “To say that people must be harboring secret gay feelings because they think being gay is bad or is a sin is as ridiculous as anything that I’ve ever heard.”

      Only because as you admit yourself that you “never looked to data or stats to prove anything.” All that communicates to me is a desire to remain uneducated and uninformed.

      There are nineteen peer-reviewed studies which indicate a high correlation between homophobia and living deep deep in the closet.

      Rimi writes “I do not agree with homosexuality or gay marriage, and I’m totally at peace with my understanding of these matters, and I don’t have a dog in the fight. I am not the enemy of anyone, and hopefully a friend to all!”

      Nope. Not a friend to all because you seem to think this is your right “I do not agree with homosexuality or gay marriage, and I’m totally at peace with my understanding of these matters.”

      You do not get to agree or disagree. It is not up to you or anyone else. What is up to us is to accept and recognize that people have differences.

      No, with that attitude, I fail to see how you can be “a friend to all” when you clearly disapprove of some of us.

    • I’m afraid there really are people who demean gays while being secretly gay themselves and you will find confessions of such people online as well or else where. That does not mean that most people who believe homosexuality is wrong harbor gay feelings, but it does happen and the bible has created that situation in the first place.

      You say:” I do not agree with homosexuality or gay marriage, and I’m totally at peace with my understanding of these matters, and I don’t have a dog in the fight. I am not the enemy of anyone, and hopefully a friend to all!”

      It is pretty easy to be at peace with your understanding especially if it’s a biblical understanding you accept and you aren’t the object of that understanding and it’s negative affect….

  31. Oh, John – isn’t it stunning how the Church is constantly trying to force their agenda on the rest of us, in ways that are usually anything but subtle? You must have bruises on your face from the continual face-palming! And I know how you feel. I used to comment regularly on our local newspaper’s online feed, and had one charming soul constantly tell me that I was a dyke for my support of the LGBTQ community. I told him I’d consider it an honor to be accepted by them, but eventually it became like bailing out a sinking boat – I just gave up on the enterprise. Anyway, as always, thank you for speaking out so eloquently on behalf of all good people.

  32. “It has been my experience that men who go out of their way to support homosexuality, has a vested interest in doing so: they are a member of the “Family”. So given those realities, you could very well be in the closet! Your dilemma would be of course, is how would you break the news to your wife and precious small children. Whenever I see a man going beyond the call of duty in support of homosexuality, I generally think, “yeah, home boy is struggling with something!”

    He draws a ridiculous conclusion.

    But just as we ought not judge all liberal anti-Trumpsters by the actions of one of them who attempted to assassinate Republican congressmen, we likewise would be unfair in presuming that this quote represents the attitude of all conservatives.

  33. Thanks John, I would like to say that I follow your blog and support your beliefs (mostly 😉 ) so I must secretly be a Christian and since I am openly professing an agnostic, bordering on atheistic, pagan belief that says “God” does not exist (as we perceive him, anyway) I am also committing a grave, soul burning sin! So I guess I’ll see you in hell <= little h. Keep writing friend, you always have something thought provoking to say!

  34. These are the same people, if they lived back then, who would have had the same argument for old testament horrors of punishment for offences are just, the world is flat, the sun revolves around the earth, slaves are a right, women don’t have rights, etc, etc.

  35. It is also true that anti-gay conservatives spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about gay sex. Draw whatever conclusion you want from that information.

    • I would also like to point out that the gay sex that they fantasize about isn’t all that popular among gay/bi men. The results of a recent anonymous health survey of gay & bi men were that less than 50% of those men engaged in anal intercourse.

      What folks should stop worrying about is how gay & bi men physically express their love. It works for us and that’s all that matters. It also isn’t what they think that we are doing either!

      BTW, heterosexuals outnumber gay & bi men in algebraic proportions. Because it’s a popular form of birth control the world over, a whole lot more straight folks are engaging in anal intercourse than we ever could!!

  36. Thank you John Pavlovitz for your acceptance of all people no matter what their sexual orientation, gender, religion, etc. My husband and I have allot of gay and lesbian friends. We love them for who they are and actually don’t care that they are different than us. We raised our children to be accepting and to appreciate differences. How boring the world would be if everyone was alike! So, to Chuck and Manny, your bigotry is showing!

  37. John , Thanks for this post. Because I am white, physically tough and have grandchildren, many times I have heard “guy talk” which is racist and homophobic. Among a group of hunters I have heard the “N” word used as a verb, adding the “ed” to the rest. It wasn’t a situation where I felt comfortable coming out nor telling the guys that my husband is black. There was something ironically amusing that those prejudices came out because I was “underground.” You get “outed” based on stereotypes; I must have been “in-ed” via those same stereotypes. I sit next to my black husband in a reconciling, mainstream protestant church and it feels so wonderful to be proud, comfortable and loved in the church where I was baptized and confirmed at a time when gayness was hidden and inter-racial marriage was forbidden. Your voice added to others is creating a truly Christian atmosphere. Thanks, Alan

  38. Yes!!! This right here: they are appalled at the thought of another man treating them the way they routinely treat women. I think this sort of terrified misogynist is actually more common than the stereotypical closeted gay who lashes out because of self hatred.

  39. Thank you John. This was an excellent article. It truly is the people who scream condemnation from the rooftops who are secretly “gay” and must just hate themselves or are creating a diversion. The ones who openly support LGBT issues are usually not. My only child, daughter came out to us when she was 21. (She is now 40). I will admit that my husband and I were devastated. We DID try to change her but eventually I felt God telling me to just love her. So I did and I have made a complete turn a round. We love AND support her completely and hope she can find a life partner. Your article spoke to me because I get so irritated by those who want to put everyone in a box and then then can condemn them. At least 30 % of the people in this country think Obama is a Muslim because he tried to get everyone to think differently even though he quietly told everyone all the time he was Christian. He didn’t try to combat the “Muslim ” tag because it is NOT a bad thing to be Muslim. Just as you don’t need to combat the “Gay” tag because it is not a bad thing to be gay. Thanks again.

  40. Hi John, I love your blog and I’m with you as an ally. I admit, I am not a Christian, because the attitudes the church fosters drove me away. It seems the church cares more about insulting people than winning souls. It’s refreshing to see a Christian who actually cares and shows the love of God.

  41. [Sets head on fire ~ runs around the room screaming ‘I’m a firecracker! I’m a firecracker!]

    Now that I’ve got that out of my system … Pastor John ~ been there ~ been through that.

    I do have these two arguments with Pastor John’s post.

    We are not part of the LGBTQI+ community because we do not go through what they go through. Theirs is a certain loneliness which we, as heterosexuals, will never truly understand. Heterosexuals are ~96% of the population so the majority of people we meet will be sexually ‘like us’ and the majority in our gender preference will possible receptive to our advances. At the very least, they won’t be overly offended.

    1) To be homosexual is to understand the majority of people you are attracted to will not be attracted to you. That is a terrible burden to shoulder. It is no one’s fault. It is the way things are.

    2) Then there is the added fear the person you like and are seeking a closer bond with is actually offended by the revelation of your affections. This is VERY REAL for most homosexuals ~ the person you want is terrified / revolted / furious you have expressed love for them. Then that can cascade over to that person going out of their way to damage / destroy your personal life depending on whether, or not, you are ‘out’ and the prevailing moods of your community.

    As allies, this is not a feeling we will ever have to confront. Not really.

  42. John, I’m thinking of writing a song called “You gotta love the people that hate” call me crazy but I bet you could help with the lyrics….keep on keeping on……

  43. Just thinking about this mentality, that you are what you stand up for, makes some funny images, if you follow it through to the logical conclusion. Not that they appear to have done so.

  44. “maybe because they imagine someone treating or viewing them, the way they’ve always treated and viewed women.”

    Nail on the head with this one. I recall a class that was discussing Gay’s and one guy was vehement about “no way” The teacher asked him, ” do you mean the idea that someone who might see you as a sex object, who could over power you and abuse you sexually, scares you ?”

    He was like ” well yeah, of course” To which she said to the room at large. ” I want to see a show of hands of everybody in this room who feels the same way about men” Every female in the room raised her hand.

    Then she explained how every woman, once she is past childhood, HAS to view all men as potential rapists. How every woman has to scope every situation, at all times, looking for the ” creep factor” in any man she sees, even her own family members, for her entire life. “You are afraid some gay male might see you as a sex object and over power you, abuse you? Well, welcome to the world of all women.”

    Just as a side note, openly Bi and proud of that too 🙂

    • That was exactly the argument I used 20 years ago when my ex-husband admitted the same fear. To his credit, he learned and evolved.

  45. Chuck could be onto something. According to my ultra-conservative, very Christian neighbor, Obama is gay and is married to Michael–not Michelle. She is really a he and transgender. Funny how the AMA never reported on the very first man to have ever given birth, isn’t it?

    My eyeballs are way passed strained. In fact, I think they rolled out of their sockets.

    I don’t care what you are. Just keep speaking your truth.

  46. At first I thought this was the best statement you made in today’s post: ” . . . I replied to Manny that historically speaking, those men most outwardly opposed to the LGBTQ community are those in denial about their sexuality—not those who support them.” But, as I continued to read this one quickly became my favorite: “It shows the deep-rooted insecurities of Christian men who’ve been raised in such a misogynistic, alpha male head space, that the idea of someone being gay genuinely terrifies them—maybe because they imagine someone treating or viewing them, the way they’ve always treated and viewed women.” You nailed it!

  47. No one else is commenting, so I will just say this. Even if you think gay attraction and gay people are sinful abominations before the Lord or even before Joe Farley, that does not justify discrimination against and persecution of gay people. Most Christians here would also do well to recognize that the Bible also says it is an abomination to eat a meal with a gentile. If we are going to be Biblical just for the sake of always being Biblical, nearly everyone who reads this post is an abomination before the Lord because he or she is a gentile.

    Turtles are gentiles. Their plastrons are genetic, and they are made out of sections that look like tiles. Would you eat lunch with a turtle? I would. Turtles are okay dudes.

    • Agreed. Whether we agree with what they do or whether they are burdens or inconveniences, we should love and respect all from conception until natural death.

  48. The unending pateince you have to continue to engage with these kinds of people is absolutely astounding to me. And I thank you for it. For continuing to speak with boldness, clarity and love over and over and over again.
    As a gay man who grew up in a Baptist church in small town MI I just can’t engage anymore. It’s infuriating and so painful. But man I sure am glad for you and others who are being bold and speaking when it is difficult to do so.

  49. This post seems apropos to the subject of John’s essay.

    “Eugene Peterson, Author of Best-Selling Bible Paraphrase “The Message,” Supports Same-Sex Marriage”

    Eugene Peterson is one of the most respected authors in American Christianity. His books on pastoral ministry and spirituality have sold in the millions and are required reading in seminaries and Bible colleges. His paraphrase of the Bible, “The Message”, is one of the most popular versions of the Scriptures in the Western world. And today, in an interview with Jonathan Merritt at Religion News Service, Peterson undramatically answers “Yes” to the question of whether or not he’d perform a same-sex wedding.

    “Peterson is 84 years old, and this week has declared that he would be stepping out of public ministry, feeling “fulfilled” with what he has been able to accomplish in his life. When Merritt asked Peterson about his position on LGBT+ inclusion in the church, the pastoral theologian responded in an almost nonchalant manner, saying:
    “In my own congregation — when I left, we had about 500 people — I don’t think we ever really made a big deal out of it. When I left, the minister of music left. She’d been there ever since I had been there. There we were, looking for a new minister of music. One of the young people that had grown up under my pastorship, he was a high school teacher and a musician. When he found out about the opening, he showed up in church one day and stood up and said, “I’d like to apply for the job of music director here, and I’m gay.” We didn’t have any gay people in the whole congregation. Well, some of them weren’t openly gay. But I was so pleased with the congregation. Nobody made any questions about it. And he was a really good musician.”

    “His tone truly reflects that of a Christian pastor, someone who takes seriously his charge to love and welcome all people. While his language will be critiqued by some on the left for not being overwhelmingly affirming, the reality is that this pastor in his mid-eighties reflects the change of heart that has been emerging not just among millennial Christians, but in the hearts of Christians across generations.

    “Peterson doesn’t go in to his “theological rationale” for his affirmation and acceptance- because he doesn’t feel like he needs to. If the gospel of Christ is truly “good news of great joy for all”, then there isn’t even a question about whether or not LGBT+ people can attend, serve, or lead in a church. For Peterson, it seems, it’s just common sense. He affirmed, years ago, openly gay music ministers and lesbian couples in his congregation without ever making it a huge controversy. He see’s LGBT+ people as people and not issues, and he welcomed them into the life of the church that he pastored.

    “Inevitably, Peterson’s statements will cost him a good portion his evangelical readership. We can expect that fundamentalist evangelical publications like Charisma, The Christian Post, The Gospel Coalition, and Christianity Today will condemn Peterson’s remarks, and many churches and schools will stop using his books. The ironic part of this all is that Peterson has clearly been affirming for many years, if not decades. Yet now his books and writings will become anathema. He will be declared “unorthodox” or “apostate”- yet nothing about him has changed.

    “This is just a taste of what so many LGBT+ Christians face in the church. When we’re in the closet, we’re welcomed and affirmed for our callings and gifts, but as soon as we step out into the light, embracing who God has made us to be, our gifts and contributions become “dangerous” and “invalid”. Just ask my Christian musician friends Vicky Beeching or Trey Pearson, who receive hate mail on a daily basis from Christians who believe they have now become forces of “darkness”, whatever that means.

    “Moments like today, when leaders step out and declare their support for LGBT+ people are important and contribute greatly to the shift in Christian attitudes towards LGBT+ inclusion. Peterson’s words might not be perfect, but they will certainly be enough to cause many evangelicals on the edge to be freed to begin rethinking their own positions and practices relating to sexual and gender minorities. And speaking as an LGBT+ Christian pastor, his words are healing to me, not because I need his affirmation, but because they reflect a steady and sure movement of the Holy Spirit in the life of the Church, calling for greater inclusion of all people, including people like me.

    “Today is a great day in the history of American evangelicalism. The Spirit of God is moving and the tides are changing. May more and more pastors and people be empowered to step out and declare that in Christ’s Body, everyone, including LGBT+ people, are more than welcomed, but fully embraced.”

    Source: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/revangelical/2017/07/12/eugene-peterson-author-best-selling-bible-paraphrase-message-supports-sex-marriage.html?utm_medium=email&utm_source=Newsletter&utm_campaign=Best+of+Patheos&utm_content=57

  50. John, though I am not anywhere near being someone that could be called a ‘christian’, I have to admit that your compassion and kindness towards LGBTQ people like myself goes a long way towards repairing the rift between me and the ‘church’. Now if more ‘christians’ were like you I think the world would be a far better place for everyone.

    Until then though, I will continue holding christianity at arms length and consider most of it’s adherents as failed, sad, pathetic, hate filled and fear driven people who are unworthy of actually being considered human beings.

    ~E

    • And in case people are wondering, that last paragraph is sarcasm on my part and a snide parody at what general christianity actually considers of people like me.

      • Elain, while I agree that there are certain groups of Christans who deserve the generalization you slap on all, I have to say it is just not correct.

        There many different Christians and not all of us are evangelicals or fundies. Other denominations offer all of humanity a place in the choir. Such as my own denomination, The Episcopal Church. Any baptized person can fill any role to which God has called that person and TEC will do their best to support that person in their ministry.

      • Thank you for making that clear Elain. Also I wanted to let you know that I don’t think most Christians should be judged by the few who are outwardly mean towards LGBT people, though we would say that certain “behaviors” which are a choice are wrong, which of course also includes heterosexual behavior.

        https://www.catholic.com/tract/homosexuality

  51. Ok, so I am never really sure about what Christians are getting at when they project the constructs of 21st century human sexuality on a historical figure like Jesus whose teachings were rooted in the Jewish religion of Roman occupied sectarian Judea. There were plenty of varying opinions among the Jews of the first century that can be proven by extra-biblical sources, but they all seemed to agree with contemporary extra-biblical authors like Flavius Josephus and Philo of Alexandria that homosexual acts were abhorrent, especially considering that fact that those practices were so common among their Greek and Roman occupiers. My point is, that it is more than likely that Jesus would have upheld the Levitical ban on homosexual practices and would not have been cool with homosexuality. I am a dyed in the wool homosexual sympathizer and an Atheist and staunch Democrat, and I would love someone to explain the mental gymnastics necessary to get around the fact that homosexuality was not okay in first century Judea by any stretch of the imagination.

    • Ryan,
      I hope you get a taker on your challenge. I have my suspicions on their route around the horn that they might take.

    • Ryan, I hate to disappoint you, or Edward, but I do not think there are any “mental gymnastics” required at all. I do not make the argument that Jesus or God is “cool” with any particular practice or identity in modern life. What I do make an argument for and I believe scripture backs me up, is that the love of God is for all who sincerely seek it. Therefore whether divorced, fornicator, adulterer, fraud, thief, priest, pastor, man, woman, or president, the kingdom of God is open for all who seek it, serve it and work to be in it. I do not think it requires anyone to identify as Christian either. The ways of God are so much bigger than the mind of first century Judea or the mind of twenty first century America, that speaking in absolutes just makes us seem unaware of that.

    • Ryan, 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

      Hounded by God: A Gay Man’s Journey to Self-Acceptance, Love , and Relationship, by Joseph Gentilini

      Confessions of a Gay Married Priest: A Spiritual Journey by Maurice Monette,

      Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships by James V. Brownson

      • Thank you Gloriamarie Amalfitano for the reading list and I don’t mean that sarcastically at all. Using that term “mental gymnastics” came off as if I was trying to be a polemicist and I apologize for that. I guess I really would like to hear from people about how it is they reconcile the fact that Jesus was not a Christian advocating that his fellow Jews turn away from their Religion. At the time of Jesus’ death, according to the book of Acts anyway, he had not made it clear at all as to whether or not non Jews were to be allowed to convert to his sect of the Jewish religion, and if they were, it was not clear what rules they were to follow. I avoid the term Judaism, because Judaism was a reaction to the destruction of the 2nd Temple by Vespasian and Titus’ men and end of the sacrificial cult in 70 c.e. Judaism resulted from the activities in the new seat of Jewish learning in Yavneh after the temple’s destruction. The Jewish religion of Jesus was not a religion of individuals existing in a contemplative existential vacuum, it was a religion of laws and the traditions of forefathers. Jesus told people to do as the Pharisees say, and Jesus told people to show themselves to the priest as was the custom when people were healed from leprosy. Jesus was telling his people what they needed to do within the constraints of his and their religion, in order to bring about the ousting of the Roman occupiers and the reinstatement of a legitimate Davidic king (Jesus) and a legitimate Levitic priest (John the Baptist) and only then would the kingdom of god (an independent Israel) come to be. When people talk about being Christ like, they absolutely have to understand that Jesus was a devout Jew. Jesus’ plan to die and be resurrected was not central to his ministry while on earth when you consider the core Gospel accounts of Matthew, Luke, and Mark. I guess I need to know how Christians are reconciling Jesus’ Jewish message and ministry with the Apostle Paul’s Jesus as the message Christianity. Jesus the Jew 100% followed Jewish laws which in no uncertain terms included a Levitical prohibition on homosexual acts. I need Christians to define how it is that if Jesus came to us in the flesh today there is no way he would be o.k. with men living as non-repentant sodomites. I have rejected Christianity altogether based on the fact that it is nothing more than a hijacked Jewish sect that was founded by Jesus and stolen by subsequent followers and turned into Christianity, a religion which would require Jesus himself to turn his back on being a Jew and admit that the Jewish religion he was a proponent of was wrong. Christianity stole the passover from the Jews and turned it into something that excludes them from their own religion because they are not willing to admit that a Jewish teacher died in order to abolish his own culture and religion and the traditions of his people that he taught were necessary to perfect in order to bring about the liberation of Judea. Western Christianity is so far from being in step with the New Testament Narrative, that its interpretation is anyone’s game. I am just saying that Christians need to come to grips with the fact that Jesus was not a Christian.

        • Ryan, you may be asking some intriguing questions here but sadly, my presbyopic eyes need more white space in order to distinguish the words. Paragraph breaks are a wonderful gift.

          I managed to read this much. “Thank you Gloriamarie Amalfitano for the reading list and I don’t mean that sarcastically at all. Using that term “mental gymnastics” came off as if I was trying to be a polemicist and I apologize for that. ”

          Thank you for your apology. Yes, that is exactly how I interpreted it and I have no wish to engage in polemics, so instead I sent the reading list. There are some great books there.

          • You are right Gloriamarie Amalfitano. I posted a cramped mess of mush. I will state my question more concisely.

            Where do Christians get the idea that Jesus was not interested in the strict observance of the Jewish law?

            It frustrates me when people say that they want to get back to the fundamentals of Jesus’ teachings and the example he set by the way he lived his life, when he lived his life like a devout first century Jew who observed the Jewish law.

            Being a first century Jew was not about God loving people no matter what they did and that we are the hands of Christ now that he is gone and that God helps people through hard times. It’s fine if people want to think that, but the New Testament narrative does not tell that story.

            Where are Christians getting this idea that Jesus did not advocate living by strict laws? That was Paul who talked about being free to do all things. Not Jesus.

            • Ryan, bless you.

              “Where do Christians get the idea that Jesus was not interested in the strict observance of the Jewish law?”

              Please bear with me as I answer you. In an over-simplified manner as that is all I have room for.

              Certainly, while Jesus and His disciples walked the earth together, they observed the Law. But as we read the Gospels, it is clear that Jesus is telling them and their contemporaries that all the law and all the prophets are fulfilled in Jesus. Various people ask Jesus questions about how to be saved, which commandment of the over 600 is most important etc.

              Jesus response is selling all one has, give to the poor, and follow Him. Jesus gives us the Two Great Commandments and the Sermons on Mount/Plain.

              Then in Acts 10:9-16, there is Peter’s prophetic dream which released followers of Jesus from the kosher dietary laws.

              In Galatians Paul writes rather vehemently about the Judaizers who were Jewish followers of Jesus who believed that Gentile converts had to swear to the Abrahamic covenant and be circumcised and Paul vehemently disagreed. Christians do not have to be bound to the Law as the Jews are.

              With the destruction of the Second Temple in 72 CE, there is a vast disporia of Jews away from Israel and the Jerusalem was no longer where the Christians had their HQ. That moved to Rome. The church became increasingly Gentile and since Jesus never said that people had to keep the Law,

              Aside from the NT documents themselves, some of the earliest writings about how Christians lived is to be found in the DIdache, which can be read online.

              Something I hate to mention but it is part of Church History, is that already by the Didache, circa 150 CE, we see very distinct anti-Semitism. For instrance, Christians were to fast on Wed and Fri because Jews fasted Tues/Thurs and who wants to be mistaken for a Jew.

              “Being a first century Jew was not about God loving people no matter what they did and that we are the hands of Christ now that he is gone and that God helps people through hard times. It’s fine if people want to think that, but the New Testament narrative does not tell that story.”

              Doesn’t it? I find that a most puzzleing statement when Jesus tells us all ther Law and all the Prophets are summed up in the Two Great Commandments. The very nature of the Sermons on the Mount/Plain are about living out of love. In the Gospel of John, Jesus tells us to love each other as God first loved us. The letters of John are filled with God is love language.

              It is also hard for me to believe that you don’t think the Jews were involved with loving God. Have you read the Psalms? A great deal of love language there too.

              “Where are Christians getting this idea that Jesus did not advocate living by strict laws? That was Paul who talked about being free to do all things. Not Jesus.”

              I think this is a duplicate question, but the answer is certainly a duplicate Acts 10:9-16.

              All this being said, in the early church there was a group of Christians known as Ebionites who believed that as Christians they also had to onserve every jottle and tittle of the Law. Naturally the church meeting in council deemed them heretics. Well, they also didn’t like it that Ebionites denied the divinity of Christ, rejected Paul but revered James, the brother of Jesus.

              I was trying to google to see if I could faind any groups pf Christians who embrace the Mosaic Law as I wouldn’t be surprised if there were but I failed. I did however find this **lengthy** article, which is much more detailed than my answer: “The Mosaic Law: Its Function and Purpose in the New Testament”

              https://bible.org/article/mosaic-law-its-function-and-purpose-new-testament

              • Mark 1:44: Jesus instructs a leper he has healed to show himself to a priest, and when pronounced clean, he was to perform the sacrificial rites prescribe by Moses in Leviticus 14:1-7

                Another example lies in a descriptive passage (Matt. 9:20; Luke 8:44; and Mark 6:56; Matt. 14:36) that refers to a garment Jesus wore with a hem fitted with tassels (tzitzis)-a conformity with the Mosaic instruction (Num. 15:38-40).

                Jesus is described as obedient to cultic law as illustrated in Matt. 17:24-27 by his instruction to pay the half-shekel Temple-tax.

                If Jesus had taught that Jewish dietary laws should be disregarded during his life then why did Peter say “I have never eaten anything that is profane or unclean” in Acts after Jesus ascended into heaven and why did Paul criticize Peter for refusing to eat with gentiles and continuing to observe the Jewish law in Galatians?

                Matthew 5:17-20, Jesus instructs his followers to follow the Jewish law more righteously than the scribes and Pharisees.

                Matthew 15:24, Jesus said he was sent only to the lost sheep of Israel and referred to non Jews as dogs.

                and on and on.

                • Ryan, the Gospel of Matthew was written for a Jewush audience to convince them of all the ways that Jesus is the Messiah.

                  Did you look at the article or documents to which I referred you?

              • I’d been following along here Gloriamarie and I appreciate your explanation to Ryan, very informative.

                I’d like to add that Jesus was the Perfect law-abiding Jew but moreover the Father- loving and honoring Son.

                Christ knew full well the futility of fallen man’s attempts to live law-abiding lives. He came.

                He states unless our righteousness exceeds that of the Pharisees we’ll not enter the kingdom of heaven. And how to do that? To not neglect the weightier matters of the law: justice, mercy, and faithfulness (Mat. 23:23).

                Jesus stated “All authority in heaven and on earth have been given to me.” (Mat. 28:18) He says love God with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength. And love your neighbor as yourself. Pretty clear instructions. And I’d like to think He’d add, for my pitiful sake- as best as fallen men can do for now.

                • I would also like to point out who the authority was after Jesus’ death. It is clear in Acts and Galatians that James, the lord’s brother was the person calling the shots.

                  When Peter argues that the law of Moses is too much of a burden for even Jews to follow (which is strange considering that Paul criticizes Peter for still living like a Jew in Galatians) James speaks up and makes a decree that non Jews need to abstain from consuming blood, eating the meat of animals sacrificed to idols, eating the meat from strangled animals, and from committing sexual immorality.

                  These are all pretty strange things to require of people converting to the Jewish religion if Jesus had advocated an abolishment of the Jewish law. Note that James the lords brother is the one left in charge as proven by the fact that he trumps Peter in Acts.

                  • Ryan, as I clearly informed you, in CE72 when the Romans destroyed Jerusalem, the head of the group became Peter in Rome.

                    If you want to tie that millstone around your neck of following the Mosaic law,you are free to do so.

                    But please do not expect any of us to see any logic in your assertions. The Church has been meeting in Council for millennia and no one except the Ebionites thought they had to follow Mosaic Law.

                    In fact, I begin to suspect you are not here to converse as you have looked at none of the references I offer you. All you are interested is making your points. Fine, you’ve made them.

                • I agree Susan and I am also a bit confused here.

                  I am not a Biblical scholar and no kind of expert on the early church history, but I have been led to believe that the Jews do not consider the Messiah to have ever come, much less that Jesus was it. So how perfect a Jew could he have been for them? I find this whole minutiae discussion hard to grasp as to relevance of the message of Jesus as a whole.

                  • I think we’ve been arguing about who’s “in charge” ever since… Thank God he sent a Helper. If you intellectually try to manage faith and honor, it’s a futile endeavor.

                    And as a very wise person reminded me lately, we ain’t there yet… patience.

                    • Susan, a brilliant point. We now have the Paraclete, which is something those under Mosaic Law do not have.

                  • This is true, Susan. There was a hauntingly beautiful song called “When Messiah comes” that was cut from the film version of Fiddler on the Roof.

                    While there are Jews who called themselves Messianic Jews or Fulfilled Jews, they are converts to Christianity and I never met any of them who thought they still had to follow the Mosaic Law. In fact, they talk as if a great burden had been lifted.

                    • And indeed it has. Refreshing, isn’t it? And I will look up that song! G’night all.

                      Do not be afraid, or impatient. He’s with us.

                • Thank you, Susan.

                  I would go farther and say one of the reasons Jesus is Messiah is because Jesus frees us from the burden of all that weight of failing to live the law perfectly.

                  • Exactly, and we couldn’t even if we wanted to… Evil is ever with me. Ha! You deal with your evil, I’ll deal with my evil and lets love one another. 🐳

                    • Amen, my sister. I have enough to deal with my own sins and no time for those anyone would impose upon me.

                  • Ok, well even among the people who say they agree with John, there are people who still see Jews as other for not recognizing that Jesus was the Messiah. The Messiah was supposed to restore Israel and Jesus didn’t. The Jewish people were banned from entering Jerusalem after the Simeon Bar Kokhba revolt in 135 c.e. by the decree of the Emperor Hadrian and didn’t return until 1948. The Messiah is the Jews hero, not the Christian’s and Jesus did not restore the kingdom of heaven like he planned to. Christians shouldn’t get to hijack other people’s Messiahs because they all of a sudden change the definition of what a Messiah is. The Jews were anticipating a Messiah since 167 bce when Antiochus IV Epiphanes tried to impose Hellenism on them until Hadrian finally kicked them out of Jerusalem in 135 ce. They are the ones who get to say what a Messiah is.

                    • Ryan, Ryan, Ryan… Patience, sir. Jesus said I am the way the truth and the life… Believe. And live a lttle while you’re waiting for that restoration. Take a literal load off; it’ll go well for you. Live a little… Now and then. He loves you. But don’t take my word for it… Take His.

                      And get some rest. You sound very stressed. 💕

                    • Ryan wrote “The Messiah was supposed to restore Israel and Jesus didn’t.”

                      Actually, at the time Jesus walked the earth there were about 4 different ideas of what the Messiah would do.

                      Please cite accurate facts.

  52. Well hooray for me! According to Manny’s and Chuck’s logic, I must be secretly straight! Because I do advocate for the well-being and sane, respectful treatment of my straight friends and relatives. Ha! I knew I’d make it to acceptance somehow! (snirk) Thanks Manny. Thanks Chuck for the enlightenment! Wow… what a load off! Whew!

    • Thanks, Susan, I am going to have a smile on my face all day. Hmm maybe I am really young and not this old lady since I worry about the well being of the children. Anyway thanks for the laugh, great way to start the day. Peace and Love,

      • You also sweet lady. Ha! Now go out and play! (Kinda likin’ this logic… I’m secretly a cat, and a dog, and a whale!) 🐳

        • You guessed what my plans are, got my toys and I am on my way outside. I would add trees, I must be a tree, perhaps a frog, maybe a bird. I like this game. I feel better already. Peace and Love, have a wonderful day.

  53. People for centuries have been using the Bible to justify their prejudices and their terrible treatment of some group of people. There are people out there that think everything is a zero-sum game and to be “superior” that have to bring a group not like them down. You name the bigotry and the Bible has been used to justify it. I simply despair that this will never end and those that do justify it are seeking power to deny rights based upon sexual orientation, gender identity, even gender and race now.

    • Dear Robin, my friend, I agree with everything you said.

      What breaks my heart is that the message of the Bible is the exact opposite. That God is love and God wants us to love everyone just as God has first loved us.

      This does not mean we need to agree or approve. What it means is that we have to deep, hard work within ourselves so that we eradicate from within ourselves that which prevents us from loving our neighbor as ourselves as God first loves us.

  54. I think that some people do not want to understand attraction. A straight person simply cannot force themselves to be attracted to someone of the opposite sex they feel no attraction for. It is not a choice it is just something inside that they cannot control – nor should they have to. Yet they cannot understand that the person sitting next to them has a different attraction. Most seem to accept that those that have no attraction to anyone, man or woman, is not different or wrong and may be a sign of purity. Why the sticking point?

    Some religions have made it part of their dogma, but would never purposely hurt or shun them. They do believe everyone is a child of God.

    Then there are the religions that actually do want to hurt them, make them feel as lesser, or use laws to treat people unequally, I feel that is more about power than religion.

    Some people are just bigots and they feel rage against those who are different. Maybe they were raised that way or they have attractions they were taught were shameful. Some people cannot feel good about themselves unless they can make others “lesser” – like bullies.

    Is it a coincidence that rape, molestation, abuse, murder, bigotry etc are all about power and absolutely nothing to do with love or attraction? Even if you do not believe in God those horrible things cause such harm to others. What I am trying to say is having power does not make you right or good or closer to God. Power can be evil .

    Humans who do no harm to others are at their best when they are true to themselves, when they love themselves. You cannot feel love if you do not understand what love is. You cannot love yourself like you deserve if you are forced to pretend you are something you are not or have always been treated as “lesser’.

  55. So, to make sure I understand, a guy that goes around calling himself “Manny” is accusing YOU of being insecure about your sexuality?? Alrighty, then. Sounds to me someone’s insecure, but it’s not you, John.

  56. Dear Gloriamarie Amalfitano,

    Simon of Peraea, Jesus of Nazareth, Athronges, Judah the Galilean, and Theudas were all fist-century Messiah claimants, all of whom sought the physical restoration of Israel. Please let me know who these other people were and what these other people you mention thought the Messiah would do? If there was a different Messianic expectation among any sub-sect of Jewish religion in the first century I am unaware of it. I have read Flavius Josephus the Jewish war and Flavius Josephus the Antiquities of the Jews complete, and the sub-secs are spoken of extensively Starting with Judah the Galilean’s raid on the armory at Sepphoris. Essenes at Qumran, Pharisees, Sadducees, Sicarii, Zealots, Herodians, scribes, Samaritans? Which group had a different Messianic expectation?

    • Ryan, read the Hebrew Scriptures also. There were at least four views of the Messiah and what he would or would not do, depending on the political situation of the day.

      Read all the commentaries about any mention of the Messiah.

      Sadly, I find myself coming to the conclusion that you don’t really want to have a conversation so much as you want to convince people to follow you into the heresy of believing the Mosaic Law applies to followers of Jesus.

  57. Does your mother know what you do when you have access to the internet? My guess would be you are under 12. Sorry little person, we really know how adults (you know real men and women) express themselves.

    • Joanne, this person (loosely) is either Wayne, Evil Anonymous, or Joe Catholic. Given my experience, he (they) appear to suffer from some type of pathology. We can be thankful that there is plenty of air between us. But pray for those he (they) actually bump into. Unfortunately, they tend to fit in quite nicely in face time. It would be far better not to engage them or these types of comments. They have no “shame” or “empathy” mechanism. OTH the comments would then likely increase due to attention seeking. Rather a poor catch 22, I know.

      Be safe out there.

      • Susan, I am fairly certain all of those people you mention are the exact same person.

        Every piece of filth has been reported to John P.

        Sadly, he is not moderating the blog and we see what depths A Certain Person will sink to.

      • I would add that based on the last few comments the moderation must have become too onerous and so this happens. Not sure that I want to stick around. Peace and Love,

        • {{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{{Kathleen B}}}}}}}}

          If you leave this blog, that is a victory for the troll. Please don’t give it that victory.

          If I wanted to die I would jump off its ego onto its IQ.

          Let’s just commit it to God in love and move on. Don’t read it, just report it.

    • Oh, he of the many names, now that John P is no longer reading every single post you think you can get away with anything.

      One thing we know about you, however much you bleat about knowing the love of Jesus, you truly have never met Him, or you would not be the abusive, bullying, petty, tiny man you are with so many forms of mental illness, it’s a wonder you manage to exist.

      God have mercy on you because I think you have crossed the last line, Joe, and no one can ever take you seriously. Honestly, you are a pathetic pile of refuse.

  58. Gloriamarie, I apologize for accusing you of slander. The correct term would be libel – a published false statement this is damaging to a person’s reputation; a written defamation.

    Do you think it is fair to accuse without showing proof besides “someone said” or act like you actually know who is behind the printed word. I don’t think you would like that done to you. Do you really think there is only one person out there who would come here and say things you do not like? You give Joe way to much power. Joe is not Theo Seeber – I have seen proof. I cannot make you believe something you choose not to, but I have no reason to lie and I have a definite bias against liars. The fastest way to lose my respect is to lie. Do you not think it is possible the John knows something about Joe you do not? It is not up to Joe to prove your accusations are false. I am just trying to help you.

    And, I agree, the above poster or posters are sick and should be removed.

  59. Hey guys!

    Please pray for me as I catch a flight to Cali. Got a recommendation that I think that everyone can agree with. Why not just respect each person’s conviction on this issue even if you strongly disagree? Everyone insulting each other is not the answer in my book; love and understanding is. Hope everyone has a great week.

    • The respect of everyone’s opinions ends when it hurts people. Anti-LGBTQ theology is killing people, usually the most helpless, and usually by suicide. It promotes discrimination. It promotes exclusion. It promotes the destruction of families. It also silences those that are marginalized by it.

      This is why I can’t drop it. I want my family back together but that won’t happen. I want to be out and honest with all of my family but I can’t. I will be in the closet on the next job to “smooth things out” and “not make waves” for as long as I can to prevent being fired for being bi.

      • Robin, I still think that people need to show mutual respect for one another’s position on this issue. Theologically speaking, most people are not going to change, and rather than wallow in fighting, name calling, and hurting, let’s just move on and Live our lives!

        • I do aim to be on good terms with all, looking for the commonality and glossing over the differences, without surrender.

          When we can tell our truths and truly listen to each other then, and only then, can we bridge the gap. I believe the anti-gay theology is murderous and unnecessary hurtful to people who are at a point of vulnerability, usually LGBTQ youths. We know this is not a choice, as people don’t chose to be heterosexual. We are not a “lifestyle”, we are not mistakes, we are not abominations or anything else. This is not just “an issue” to be picked up and dropped for the sake of peace, as least it isn’t for us. This is part of our lives, whether we want it or not.

          • Robin, very well said. You wrote “When we can tell our truths and truly listen to each other then, and only then, can we bridge the gap. ”

            This the most crucial thing. Every single person has got to start by recognizing that if heterosexuality is not a choice but God-given, then neither is homosexuality, bi-sexuality and transgender.

            Why that is God’s choice, I certainly don’t know. I am not and never will be anything but a creature just as is every other living created being.

            I have had some gay people tell me they think gay and trans people are God’s answer to overpopulation and our inability to control it, but that is mere speculation.

            • Scientists have noted in animal populations that in a time of food insecurity, more animals displaying homosexual mating behaviours are born. That keeps the population down until the food sources improve again, keeping more animals healthy.

              • Patricia, I have had many a LGBTQ person tell me the reason they believe there is such an increase in LGBTQ is a response to overpopulation. Heterosexuals have failed to assume responsibility for the problem, so God has created more people LGBTQ in order to restore balance.

                What you say about the animal kingdom is interesting evidence in support of that theory.

            • Hi Gloriamarie. That explanation may make sense because it was only in your lifetime that the scourge of disease and war stopped killing off a constant percentage of people. There is a tendency in nature to keep things in balance and since we are not dying in balance anymore we are to start living in balance.

              It took us less than 40 years, from 1960 to 1999, to double the world’s population, from 3 billion to 6 billion, and yet, due to ever decreasing fertility rates, we may never see the 12 billionth living person on earth. Scientists do not know exactly why the average number of births per female worldwide has gone from 4.98 in 1960 to 2.45 now. This could be a small factor in this trend.

              • I wonder how much constant warfare has affected the population?

                In addition to nature balancing things out.

        • I entirely agree with you. But if a person wishes to show respect they will not throw words like “abnormal” around as you did to Bruce Garner.

  60. I met John Pavlovitz this weekend and he further confirmed his place as one of my hero’s! He is one of those rare straight men who understands the issues impacting LGBTQ+ folks and he holds the church and society accountable for our mistreatment in the name of God. Let me assure you, as a 68 year old silver haired queer, that John is not gay and in the closet. My “gaydar” still works and it did not register one bit when he shook my hand and looked me in the eye. What did register was his sincerity and humility. And the words he spoke to the audience were words of care and concern. Like he notes, the most anti-gay men I have EVER known in my life were closet cases. Eventually they will have to break down that door or they will die, either figuratively or literally. When THEY come out I hope they have the guts and strength of conviction to apologize to all they have abused and denigrated in the name of God and the church. But even if they never apologize, when I encounter them in the hereafter, I will just smile and say “I told you so! I hope you sought forgiveness from God when you arrived. And I see that God’s infinite mercy allowed you to be here.”

    • Bruce, I join you in not believing that John is not gay. In fact, I’m not sure where that came from, but I must respectfully disagree with you when it comes to people disagreeing with being gay. Most men that speak out against homosexuals, are not doing it because they are hiding their own gayness. They do it because they honestly believe that homosexuality is abnormal. On a personal note, and because I am both a loving and honest person, I don’t believe that gay relationships is what God had in mind when He created man and woman.

      But I don’t mind if others see it differently than me. I lose no sleep, and nor do I feel the need to be unkind to others for their convictions. I have to tell you that as a man, I love being with a woman. I love kissing them, talking to them, and of course, making love to them. 🙂

      You guys take care.

      • Just a Little Respect – While I disagree with your opinion regarding homosexuality, I certainly respect your right to feel the way you do and believe the way you do.

        It seems rare for adults to change their hearts by someone telling them they were wrong or they had no right to feel the way they do. Definite proof might help but what is in each person’s heart is part of who they are.

        Of course I would not be afraid to speak up if someone was doing harm to another. If all men/women are actually created equal, then all laws, rules, and freedoms should be enforced equally without bias. Otherwise – I love Kathleen B.’s words – “You do you and I will do me.”

        Peace and safe travels

      • Just A Little Respect wrote “Most men that speak out against homosexuals, are not doing it because they are hiding their own gayness. ”

        Well, there are at least nineteen peer-reviewed studies I have cited elsewhere in these comments that indicate a correlation between homophobia and being in the closet.

        ” I have to tell you that as a man, I love being with a woman. I love kissing them, talking to them, and of course, making love to them.”

        If I had a nickel for every man who said this and then later came out of the closet either as bi or gay… I mean no disrespect to you, but it has certainly happened.

        I would also point out that I personally found your use of “abnormal” to be offensive and very far from having a little respect. While it would be abnormal for me to engage in sex with another woman, it is normal for a lesbian to do so.

        Judgmentalism like that is as far from showing a little respect as it is possible to get.

        • I think that JALR used “abnormal” in reporting what was observed in other people. I couldn’t tell from the comment as to whether or not that was something that JALR believes.

          In regards to the people being observed, the schools have definitely failed in that so many people confuse the word “normal” with “being in the majority”. Normal means usual, typical or expected. Given that homosexuals are found throughout the natural world, and always have been, that makes them perfectly usual, typical and expected. It just doesn’t place them in the majority.

          • If JALR did not mean to say that homosexuality is abnormal and I misread, I will certainly apologize.

            “In regards to the people being observed, the schools have definitely failed in that so many people confuse the word “normal” with “being in the majority”. Normal means usual, typical or expected. ”

            Yes, schools have definitely failed this way.

            As you said in a different comment, people south of the Sahara have the least Neanderthal DNA which makes them more normatively homo sapien than those who live north of the Sahara.

  61. Dearest John, Thank You for giving me a dear, sweet, holy birthday message. I can always come to you for real spiritual support. You are most assuredly connected to God.I LOVE the fact that you have Facebook notifications that brighten the minds of poor Christians that suffer from being misguided by angry Conservative bigots. I hope that we find a new age of grabbing the haters by the hand, shutting them up, and walking them to the ocean. God can speak the truth, thanks to Holy men like you.

  62. I guess I must be “super closeted gay” considering I’ve always supported LGBTQ pretty much my entire life.

    It’s so good to hear other people tell me that I must be gay simply for supporting others.
    Hey, I support women getting equal pay. Guess I’m a female too. /s

  63. Dear John and Readers,

    I don’t know who wrote this, but it was not the real Gloriamarie Amalfitano who does NOT use a quilt square for an avatar.

    Also, how could this truce possibly have been negotiated since we have no means to contact each other except through this blog?

    Nope, someone is stealing my identity YET AGAIN.

  64. Read this the other day…

    Christianity Doesn’t Need a Champion. We’ve Already Got One.
    By Ryan Galloway 7-14-2017

    In trying to court believers, President Trump is hitting on fears and worries held by many evangelical Americans. But in truth he appears to be a greater threat to the faith than he is a benefit.

    Recently, the president’s rhetoric around Christian belief is that it is something to defend. Trump promises that under his presidency, the Christian faith will be bolstered through his political support. Set aside the conversation on how this measures with the separation of church and state for a moment — Trump speaks of a war, against culture, mainstream media, and liberals, and he has proposed himself as the champion of the Christian right. And this week’s prayer meeting between the president and evangelical supporters shows some prominent Christian leaders have accepted Trump into this position.

    But Donald Trump has a fundamental error in his perspective of who God is and what his desire for believers is. Christianity is not a faith in need of saving. If Trump is looking for people to defend, there are plenty of people in the U.S. that do desperately need a champion — even though the president hasn’t displayed a heart to do so.

    It doesn’t mean much to pledge to protect people from persecution who have taken a pledge to be persecuted — as Christians have, in taking up the calling of Jesus.

    It doesn’t mean much to be a political voice for a people who have pledged to give up their own voices — as Christians have, to listen to those voices the world has taken away.

    It doesn’t mean much to house and care for those who have, in accepting the blood of sacrifice, given away their claim to earthly things, to in turn give them to those less fortunate.

    More may be read here:https://sojo.net/articles/christianity-doesn-t-need-champion-we-ve-already-got-one

  65. John I love you. Thank you. Your words — not just on this subject which is very close to my heart — but your words have brought a calmness back into my life and have even given joy in continuing to love the Jesus I have loved all my life regardless of what’s going on around me — or maybe because of it! Thank you John. You are like a tall glass of cool, sparkling water on a hot day where refreshing is needed. I no longer struggle with my sexuality, but I often struggle with many of the subjects you treat here and your words bring a sense of feeling understood and of being embraced by the love of Jesus! How thankful I am for that!!

  66. Leading the Nation to Repentance

    We need to get right with God across the country. Here is something important you can do and it is urgent you agree! Join me and confess these 12 sins to God to make the USA great.

    Father, You are holy. We repent as a nation from all sin and confess:

    1. False gods (Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Mormonism…) – Matthew 4:10, Exodus 20:3
    2. Homos*exual sin – 2 Peter 2:6, Leviticus 18:22
    3. Not obeying Jesus Christ – Revelation 19:16, Isaiah 9:6, Psalm 2
    4. Not insisting to have Christian religious liberty – Mark 12:30, Galatians 5:1
    5. Apathy of our God-given rights – Genesis 1:27
    6. Killing our children by the sin of abortion – Matthew 5:21, Psalm 106:37-42
    7. Not having Christianity in schools – Isaiah 59:21
    8. Unholy laws – Luke 6:47-49, Isaiah 33:22
    9. Ungodly government – Exodus 18:21, 2 Corinthians 6:14-18
    10. Helping ungodly businesses – 2 Chronicles 19:2, James 4:4
    11. Serving money instead of God – Matthew 6:24
    12. All other sins (the occult and ____). – 1 John 1:9

    By Jesus’ blood we receive forgiveness. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

    Let’s Make the USA Great Again

    • Christopher is exactly why I want nothing to do with self righteous so- called (fake shallow) Christians or their spiteful judgmental god.

  67. I really don’t think God gives a rat’s patootie if someone is gay, bi, trans, etc. All he cares about is that you’re not a complete asshole to other people. After all, it’s “Love one another as I have loved you,” not “Love one another but only if that person is a straight white Christian and only if they belong to your denomination and agree with every damn thing you say.”

  68. Thanks John. Well-written. Sexuality in general still scares way too many grown-ups (and I believe the Church has done way too much work at making sexuality bad, evil, dirty, etc.) Couple that with the manic fear that being masculine is good (if you’re a man) but having any feminine qualities is bad and homosexuality is still quite the boogie-man. And of course if you’re gay then you MUST be lacking masculine qualities…)

    Thankfully I see new attitudes among 20- and 30-somethings, and many of them seem disconnected from the notions that sexuality is bad inherently or that feminine qualities in men are suspect (regardless of being gay or straight.)

  69. Ultimately, I have come to believe that gay people aren’t treated so badly because “the Bible says it’s wrong”, but for a whole bunch of other reasons: an immaturity in America about sex and relationships, a need to feel superior (the root cause of most bullying), they were brought up by bigoted parents, they’re distancing themselves from their own homosexual feelings, revenge for their own mistreatment when young, any number of reasons, but not “because God said so”. I believe this because many, many Christians simply don’t care if you’re gay or not, recognize that you have worth, are a good friend, you deserve rights as simply American citizens, no one should not have to live in a climate of hate and fear, that your relationship with God (or not) is none of their business.

    The Bible, after all, is packed with admonishments and lists of sins that they never even think about. Why else this obsession with this one sin they know they’ll never have to face or be guilty of, if not for a chance to feel superior to someone?

    Unfortunately, the Bible has become a tool to be used by awful people to justify their cruelty, bigotry and need to feel like they’re better than someone else.

    The Bible gives them a chance to say “I know I’m mean, unkind, a vandal, a thief, a liar, a drunk, a cheater, a violator of at least one commandment concerning relationships….but at least I’m not gay! THOSE people are damned!”

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