No, Being Gay (Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender) is Not a Sin

Being gay is not a sin.
Neither is being lesbian, bisexual, or Transgender.
The Bible never claims that it is.
Christians should stop saying it.

It’s the most reckless, wasteful, irresponsible misuse of religion; the most dangerous kind of stereotyping and license to discriminate—and it’s killing people who are made in the image of God.

Christians love to say that, by the way—that all human beings are “made in the image of God.” Yet they also contend that these same made-in-the-image-of-God human beings, are either created male or female; that any other non-binary expression of gender identity is against God’s will; some unholy bastardization of the original plan.

The problem they have to deal with in declaring this—is God.

The oft-used line from the Genesis creation story, actually quotes God as saying, “let us make mankind in our image”, and this God then ultimately creates both men and women. If we are to (as so many homophobic/transphobic Christians do) take these words at face value, we need to ask the question:

Which ones were created in God’s image, the males or the females?

If our answer is both (which it must be), then God is decidedly non-binary, God transcends a single gender identity—God is by nature trans-gender. We cannot have God be a He and also make women in His image—and we can’t have a God capable of creating men and women, unless God is equally made of both. These Christians wouldn’t dream of excoriating God for the fluidity, would they?

These same folks also want to use the Bible to condemn LGBTQ people and to deny them the rights of marriage and church fellowship, but they have another problem: the Bible. They have all sorts of issues to contend with there.

They’ll attempt to use the word homosexuality (which does not occur in the original texts) as an umbrella term to refer to both gender identity and sexual orientation—when the context of the translated word they’re using and the occasions it appears in Scripture, simply cannot refer to both things simultaneously. Additionally, many Transgender people are in fact, not same-sex oriented, and not accurately described by the same word Christians would use to describe a gay or lesbian person.

They like to say that the Bible declares that marriage is strictly between one man and one women, while the Old Testament, as early as Genesis’ fourth chapter is teeming with bigamy, polygamy, and extra-martial sex practiced by the lauded pillars and Patriarchs of the faith (Abraham, Gideon, Solomon, David)—not as cautionary tale, and not with rebuke, but simply as the story of God’s people. There are no definitive statements on marriage spanning the breadth of Scripture.

They’ll frequently refer to the book of Leviticus, claiming it says that “homosexuality” an abomination (a flawed talking point as we’ll discuss later)—and ignore the surrounding verses commanding that disrespectful teens and those having extramarital sex be stoned to death—along with hundreds of requirements and punishments, most of which they declare irrelevant to their present lives. It’s becomes a highly selective use of the text.

They’ll throw around the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, as supposed proof of God’s wrath against the gay community—when in fact, the book of Ezekiel 16:49 declares the former was destroyed because of its greed and disregard for the poor—but you don’t see many of these Christians preaching that sermon, especially not GOP Christians.

They’ll try to say that Jesus opposes the LGBTQ community, when he never once corrects, cautions, or condemns anyone based on their gender identity or sexual orientation. In this case, we’re supposed to believe the unspoken damnation is implied, when in reality these people are making Jesus say things he never said—simply because they want him to say it.

They’ll refer to a “homosexual lifestyle,” when the Bible is devoid of such terminology—for the simple reason that the concept itself is ludicrous and nonexistent (as proven by the fact that a “heterosexual lifestyle” makes absolutely no sense when applied to straight people.)

They’ll claim that the term homosexual refers simply to people who have sex with same gender partners, yet will also admit that their own heterosexuality, refers to far more than just their sexual activity, but to their inclinations to love, where they seek affection, intimacy, relationship. They can’t have these words work both ways. They need to decide whether the less than a handful of passages in the New Testament are referring to identity, orientation—or a specific behavior by specific groups of people in a specific context (which is likely). Great unpacking of these passages here.

They’ll quote Paul in Romans Chapter 1, describing people consciously “trading their natural attractions” for same-sex desire and corresponding physical acts), failing to connect the dots, that for most members of the LGBTQ, there is no such exchanging taking place. They aren’t feeling one thing, and choosing an alternative simply to choose. They aren’t acting in opposition to any primary inclination. Their same-sex orientation is their natural. (If pressed, these Christians need to admit that this passage refers to a specific sex act tied to pagan worship practices, and cannot be superimposed over identity and orientation—and it’s certainly not appropriate to use it to categorize committed, loving relationships by people along the full LGBTQ continuum.) When trying to use Paul’s references in this way, they’re trying to separate LGBTQ people from the capacity to love and be in mutually beneficial relationships—and that’s simply wrong.

At the end of the day, the Bible is not clear on these matters. It is cloudy and even contradictory at times. There is no consistent sexual ethic in the Scriptures, no one image of marriage—and no specific condemnation from Jesus or Paul of those who are gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender simply because of their identity and orientation. If we can admit, that LGBTQ people have the same capacity for love, commitment, and monogamy in a mutually beneficial relationship that cisgender-heteronormative Christians do—the text becomes impossible to weaponize as it has been.

And the God of the Bible, as presented in Genesis, is himself/herself/itself an image of the beautiful spectrum of sexuality, and a defense of those who believe we each manifest this complexity in a myriad of ways.

Christians wanting to persecute the LGBTQ community have long claimed that God and the Bible are their justifications, but this simply isn’t accurate—not if they’re to use the reality of God and all the words of the Bible (not just the bits that feel like consent when isolated in social media diatribes and shouted sermons.)

These people are going to have to admit that ultimately the only authority they’re yielding to in these matters is their own (or the teachers or parents who have passed these ideas down to them. ) It is their fear, their prejudice, their lack of knowledge that causes them to lash out in hurtful words, violent rhetoric, and abject cruelty.

More and more Christians are beginning to understand this; that our faith tradition has gotten it wrong regarding sexuality, the same way it has regarding the worth of women, the plague of slavery, interracial marriage, the violence against non-Christians, and on and on. They are seeing that being LGBTQ and being Christian are not mutually exclusive. They’re seeing that a Church that honors God will welcome all people.

We’ve wasted so much time, so many resources, and so many beautiful, God-reflecting lives, because we’ve made our fear our idol and tried to retrofit God into that image. The sooner we can let go of this misplaced fervor and this fruitless fight, the sooner we can live out Jesus’ clear and unmistakable commands, that we love God and all those who share this space with us.

No, being LGBTQ is not a sin.

The sin, is the hatred that refuses to let go of that notion when evidence requires it.

741 thoughts on “No, Being Gay (Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender) is Not a Sin

      • You don’t think that judgement and self-righteousness is involved in your different beliefs?

        Guess again, we feel it every day.

      • Monique, show me where God tells you or anyone to decide who can come into faith in God? Even if you believe being homosexual is sin, where did God tell YOU to deny they can be a child of God and walk in faith?

  1. So How Many Lies will you Believe?
    How much Sin will you tolerate before you take a stand
    We , You , I should not be hurtful, angry, arrogant, or proud .
    But YOU , I , we have to stand for Truth, NO lies
    God is Just.
    He God will not tolerate Rebellion, Hatred , Total in your face attitudes against Him, God.
    It is not about , Me , You , Them
    It is about what God Does, How He judges Sin, YES Sin.
    YES there is always a Price to Pay.
    The Bible is real Clear , IF you want to hear, see, care to open it up , and find out what it says.
    Join me and confess these 12 sins to God.

    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

    Please don’t be Deceived , God is NOT mocked, He holds the keys to eternity, NOT Mankind or any other false leader who just wants followers for esteem. arrogance, pride

      • Thank you, John P.

        There is indeed no sin in being LGBTQ because what we understand today about these issues are never discussed in the Bible because we now know stuff we didn’t know when the Rabbis in Babylonia put together a bunch of texts or when the writers of the Christian Scriptures wielded their quills.

        • Exactly what “stuff” is it that we know now, Gloriamarie?

          Your response assumes (incorrectly) that God’s Word waited so many years for your ‘enlightened’ self to show Him where He’s wrong. So, you have the gall to imply “Oh, poor silly God. He wasn’t educated enough on the matter back then. But WE know better! Y’know, because humans thinking they’re superior to God will work out SO well!”

          Answer me this; why would a sovereign, all-knowing, eternal God require you to come along and make alterations to His Word on His behalf?

          • Tom Stockman wrote “Exactly what “stuff” is it that we know now, Gloriamarie?”

            #1) The Bible is NOT the word of God. John 1:1 informs us that the Word of God is Jesus, not a buncha documents, however sacred. They are not equal to Jesus and never have been.

            #2) “Answer me this; why would a sovereign, all-knowing, eternal God require you to come along and make alterations to His Word on His behalf?”

            God doesn’t require me to make alternation to Scripture, but to inform the uninformed.

            We now know that sexual preference is formed while in utero.

            While this verse, in context, only applies to Jeremiah, it has been widely used to assert that God creates each of us individually.

            So if sexual preference is formed in utereo, then the only conclusion we can come to is that it is God’s will for some of us to be straight and some of us gay.

            Thank you for the opportunity to clarify my views.

      • No true believer christian would say that homosexuality cannot be forgiven.

        However, that doesn’t mean homosexuality or adultery are not sins. They are very much sin. the issue is that sin can be forgiven.

        don’t use old testament scripture to make an argument after devaluing it.

          • Didn’t Pilate ask a similar question – “What is truth?”

            The fact of the matter is that many of the categories you employ to justify homosexual acts build upon human philosophy far more than the Bible. I know, John, that’s where you set up Bible-believing Christians as a straw man, easy to tear down. It’s deeper than that but, from the shallow-end, trusting the Word to convey truth simply may appear foolish or out-of-touch. It isn’t. For either we need PhD’s trained by an academic structure that is, itself, faith-denying or we just need the power of the Holy Spirit. The Word, Luther taught is perspicuous. On that matter of homosexual acts, the Word is as pellucid as untouched river stream. It is sin. Keep in mind, Jesus came not to save the righteous but the unrighteous. None exist apart from the Grace of the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. Engaging in homosexual acts is no more (or less) cause for wrath than in gluttony, avarice, wrath or any of the other means by which we divorce ourselves from God’s will.

            But to return to my previous point. You see, Pilate asks the question “what is truth” with the sure knowledge that truth is what power determines, not what God says it to be. That’s human philosophy post Kant. Truth is what you believe. Academicians simply provide the justification through language and symbols. But in so doing they attempt to erase but objective truth as well as God’s Truth revealed in Scripture. And, again, don’t characterize this belief system as being intellectually deficient. It isn’t. It’s just sad to see that you’ve chosen to believe Kant and Kinsey over God’s Word revealed in and through Scripture.

            At the end of the day, you’ve bought into a self-validating system in which the ways of the world thereby validate a Biblical interpretation model that is far more at heart a denial of faith than it is an embrace of a living hope that arrives through the new birth. You can’t see around your subjectivized fence and use every form of argument (valid and invalid) to buttress your opinion (see here 2 Peter, by the way John)

            I get it though, I really do. I understand your moral narcissism, why you need everyone to believe as you do. The fact of the matter is that IF homosexual activity is, indeed, a sin, then you’ll sleep no better at night having convinced the world of your truth if it doesn’t match God’s truth.

            Which, sadly, it doesn’t but I won’t bother you with the Word since you’ve already erected intellectualized categories with which to transcend it when it suits your that . Look, any fool can read a Biblical interpretation that is going to agree with their present thinking. Read ones that don’t. Try to see the truth in them, too. I’ve done it and am comfortable in my present position which, John, isn’t unloving, uncharitable, unkind or evil. You may believe me to be so because I disagree with you, but objectively in the world, I am not.

            But, I know, write some short bon mot, delete the reply, turn your head away from the truth using a thousand forms of bad argumentation based entirely on someone else’s research because it pre-matches your belief system. Christ is about new birth, new life, new creation. That new birth manifests itself in 1000’s of different ways and a Godly sexual ethic is one of them.

            I call upon you, not out of hate, but out of love, to repent and believe the Good News – In Jesus Christ, we are forgiven. All of us.

            • “I get it though, I really do. I understand your moral narcissism…”

              Thanks for the condescending, arrogant sermon about my personal convictions and life’s work. That really helped share the “Good News of Jesus Christ—in love.

              See: Pharisees.

              • “Thanks for the condescending, arrogant sermon about my personal convictions and life’s work. That really helped share the “Good News of Jesus Christ—in love.”

                In all fairness, John, whether right or wrong, in your often harsh words toward people in the church you are also critical of many people’s personal convictions and life’s work.

                • Amen !!! At the end of the day there is no children born with out a man and a woman’s body and sexual bond that brings fourth children. Nothing you ever say can change that!!!!!

            • Then how about this: Scripture in the original languages never directly mentions homosexuality, and therefore does not condemn it. There is indirect mention of it, but that indirect mention is not negative.
              So if you, or anyone else (and that includes dishonest Bible translators) calls homosexuality a sin, then you have added to God’s word. THAT’S a sin.
              Is that biblical and moral enough for you?

              • No, bill, it’s not. You have only borrowed a page from JP and misrepresented scripture to suit your agenda. Same sex relationships are a sin, just like sex before marriage and sex with another person while married. I didn’t establish that, God did. And He doesn’t sin.

                • God is not a He.
                  The Bible never says same-sex relationships are a sin. It just doesn’t.
                  You’re angry and fearful and you’re obsessed with the lives of other people.
                  I’d look into that.

                  • I am neither angry nor fearful. And I use the pronoun He simply because Jesus did so, to make God more approachable. If you refuse to understand the simple truth of Leviticus and Romans and 2 Corinthians, which states plainly that same-sex relationships are absolutely a sin, then you have chosen the path of disobedience and false teaching. Praying . . .

                    • Don’t pray for me. Study. Learn. Read some books about sexuality that weren’t written 4,000 years ago. There’s a reason you wouldn’t trust a surgeon operating on you using a 4,000-year odl medical journal. You’re simply wrong.

                  • I agree, John. If homosexuality is sinful then why do christian zealots insist on staying in the bedroom of homosexuals? That’s more than a little creepy! Why are they so obsessed with how others have sex? Why is it their business? Get out of other people’s bedrooms!!

                  • No, God is not a “he.”

                    If the Bible says “let us make humanity in our image, male and female, God created them” then, ipso facto, God is masculine AND feminine.

                    Additionally throughout the Hebrew Scriptures, God’s Spirit, the Spirit is “ruah” which is a feminine noun.

                    Yes, in the Septuagint and the Christian Scriptures, “ruah” is translated as “pneuma” which in Greek is a noun of the third, genderless declension.

                    And when that famous misogynist, Jerome, translated the texts into Latin, he chose a masculine noun “spiritus” for the Spirit even though he could have selected the feminine noun “anima.”

                    Since the original Hebrew is feminine and since the Hebrew texts are far older than the LXX and the Vulgate, I will continue to refer to the Holy Spirit in feminine terms.

                  • John, I have never understood the obsessive preoccupation of some folks with what other consenting adults do in their relationships. If two men or women want to hold hands or share a kiss or, in the privacy of their rooms, make love, what business is it of anyone else? The only reason I have been able to come up with is that these obsessive folks truly believe that God is going to punish our country by sending hurricanes and the like if they can’t get everyone else to follow their religion. What other reason could they have to try to force everyone else to follow their version of the over 46,000 denominations of Christianity?

                    Now, these are the same folks who brag about America being founded as a ‘Christian Country’ conveniently forgetting that their proud ‘Christian’ founders massacred the indigenous peoples, stole their land, imprisoned them on reservations, and worse. Then they dragged kidnapped Africans over to auction them off like cattle, naked, rape the women, sell off children from their mothers, work them like beasts, whip and hang them and worse. Thousands died on the voyage here and their bodies were dumped into the Ocean. One of my ancestresses was lucky enough to escape from this hell.

                    And all of this they justified with their Holy Bible in the same way that they justified their war on LGBTQ people now. Either they think their founders are still correct in what they did to the Indigenous Peoples and the Africans, because they couldn’t make a mistake reading that Bible, or, if they admit their founders did make a mistake in their interpretation, they must admit that they may be in error in their present reading of the Bible in their war against the LGBTQ people now. They can’t have it both ways. Surely if God were going to destroy this country over our sins it would have been a couple of centuries ago when the ‘Christians’ were enslaving, raping, and murdering the innocents! What LGBTQ people do would hardly make God bat an eye compared to what the ‘Christian’ founders did.

                    I’d also like to know which of the 46,000 variations of Christianity is the True Version ? Before they try to change the rest of us unchurched folks, I’d really appreciate it if they’d put their own playground in order. There is so much confusion in their own minds that all they do is sow more confusion. They are not helping anyone to ‘Come to Jesus’ when their own churches are constantly squabbling with each other.

                    Thanks for all you do, John!!!

                  • John, the Bible says that man was created in “Our” image. Who was the “Our”? That was the “Our” of the trinity. Which of course “Trinity” is not in the Bible either, but we know it to be true. First God created man in His image. LATER God created a help mate for Adam from one of his ribs. So no John, God is not genderless. Also, yes the Bible does say that same sex acts are a sin. You will find this in the Hebrew translations, the Aramaic translations and in the Roman-Greek translations. The problem is that you are trying desperately to justify a lifestyle that you are living to also be acceptable to God, and it isn’t. I tried to do the same for many years. I fought to justify a gay lifestyle for forty five to be exact. I went throughout the Bible picking and choosing different scriptures to back my beliefs. That doesn’t work. Until you read the WHOLE Bible and do so prayerfully, you will not know the TRUTH.

                    • So the Trinity is admittedly “not in the Bible”, but your faith rests on the concept. You can do all sorts of dancing around it, but God created men and women (and women are not represented in the Trinity) then God is made of both. That’s just how it is.

                    • God used the royal we in Genesis 1. That no more implies one person talking to another than it did when Queen Victoria used it. If it did, and it implied Trinity, pray tell, which person is speaking to the others?
                      Hebrew and Greek are not translations of the Bible. They are the original languages. And they do NOT call homosexuality a sin. They don’t even directly mention it. Don’t assume that what you see in an English translation is what was originally written. That is often not the case.
                      P.S. There’s no such thing as a gay lifestyle.

                    • Matt B, the Bible does not declare same-sex acts a sin and if you are attracted to men, it is because you formed that way in utereo.

                      Bill Carey on Leviticus

                      Why not start with Leviticus? You didn’t specify 18:22 or 20:13, but since in both Hebrew and the incorrect English translations they say basically the same thing, we can address them together.
                      First, every single English translation of those verse published since the early 17th century is wrong, blatantly dishonest. (A much earlier English translation, Wycliffe, which does not at all agree with later translations, isn’t completely accurate, but at least he was on the right track.)

                      Before getting into specifics of the translation, here are two things to ponder:
                      In Hebrew, both verses mention a specific location: a woman’s bed. None of the English versions since 1611 mention it.

                      In Hebrew, neither verse contains any kind of comparison (“as with”). Every English version since 1611 does. Comparisons cannot be “understood” in Hebrew; they must be written/spoken.

                      Those two things alone are enough to tell us that our Bibles are wrong in what they claim in these verses. (It bears mentioning that among the Jews, whose scriptures these are, only one branch opposes same-sex marriage, the Chassidim, and it would be rare to hear them invoke Leviticus. The only part of Torah you will hear them occasionally invoke would be “Be fruitful and multiply,” which they took as binding for all people. Their main opposition is from Talmud, not the Bible.)

                      So what do the verses say in Hebrew? Direct translations of both:
                      18:22
                      And with a male, thou shalt not lie down (in) a woman’s bed; it is an abomination.
                      20:13
                      And a man who will lie down with a male (in) a woman’s bed: Both of them have committed an abomination. Dying they shall be put to death; their blood is on them.

                      (Prepositions, such as “in” in the above verses, CAN be understood in Hebrew. Which one is understood is derived from the verb. The same thing is done in Gen. 49:4, with a grammatically equivalent phrase “(to) thy father’s bed.” As in Lev., the preposition “to” is understood, not written, derived from the verb.

                      Under the Law of Moses, a woman’s bed was her own. Other than the woman herself, only her husband was allowed in her bed, and there were even restrictions on when he was allowed in there. Any other use of her bed was considered a defilement and abomination. There are other verses in the Law dealing with the proper vs. improper use of the woman’s bed, for example in Lev. 15.

                      These verses are not about any sexual act. In fact, they forbid two males to lie down in a woman’s bed for any reason. Sex is not mentioned

                      Translation is the key. Beginning about 400 years ago, translators began deliberately fudging their work on this and a couple of other topics. In regard to the verse you quote from KJV, Lev. 20:13, I did address it in another post a few minutes ago. But here is the Hebrew, a transliteration, and a direct translation:
                      ואיש אשר ישכב את זכר משכבי אשה תועבה עשו שניהם מות יומתו דמיהם בם
                      (That doesn’t line up right here, because it’s supposed to be right to left… so just imagine it lined up to the right margin instead of the left.)

                      V’ish asher yishkav et zachar mishkvei ishah to’evah asu shneihem mot yumatu d’meihem bam
                      And a man who will lie down with a male (in) a woman’s bed: both of them have committed an abomination. Dying, they will be put to death; their blood is on them.

                      This verse forbids two males to lie down in a woman’s bed for any reason. A woman’s bed was her own under the Law. Other than the woman, only her husband was ever allowed in there, and there were even restrictions on that.
                      Wycliffe, in his translation, centuries before KJV, understood this verse differently. He assumed, knowing that a woman’s bed was her own, that the woman would be in the bed. So he translated this verse as a prohibition of two men sleeping with one woman simultaneously. Not so much a translation, but a paraphrase. But at least it’s in the realm of possibility. The KJV and every other translation and paraphrase since is grammatically and linguistically impossible.

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

                      Bill Carey on Romans:

                      As for Romans, Christians almost universally ignore the historical context, which they generally don’t know anything about. In other words, they have no idea what specific situation(s) in Rome Paul was writing about. He wasn’t just spouting off random stuff, you know.

                      Without knowing that context, that situation, it’s impossible to fully understand his comments. And despite what it looks like on the surface, he was not talking about homosexuality as we know it. In fact, both the Greek and Roman Empires disapproved of monogamous homosexual relationships. But then, they also disapproved of monogamous heterosexual relationships. And therein lay the problem: Both cultures, based on beliefs from their religion, expected all people to live in a way we would consider bisexual, regardless of their actual innate attractions.

                      That’s what Paul was writing about, from the perspective of the majority, who, in every population, is heterosexual. For such individuals, being intimate with the same sex would be out of character, unnatural for them.

                      Paul said what they were doing was a mistake (not a sin or abomination), and that it was παρα φυσιν, which is usually translated as “against nature,” but is also usually misunderstood. The word nature here does not have the broad range of meanings the English word does. Rather, it refers only to a person’s (or thing’s) OWN nature. What the Romans were doing was against their OWN nature in regard to sexual behavior. In other words, they were ignoring their own sexual orientation to meet the expectations of their religion and society.

                      Paul pointed out that this had become an outlet for unbridled lust among them (whereas in previous centuries, it had been only a custom and religious obligation, according to history), so God just gave them over to it, so their own orientation was no longer relevant to them.

                      These verses aren’t about homosexuality vs. heterosexuality, but about the impropriety of trying to ignore one’s sexual orientation to meet the expectations of society or religion. In other words, people should be who they are, and not try to change it to meet other people’s expectations.
                      As for your last comment, there are TWO same-sex marriages recorded in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament: one in some detail, one just mentioned in passing. Neither was condemned by God or any extant prophet. On the contrary, in the case of the one just mentioned in passing, it specifies God put the two together.

                      Both of these marriages were carefully hidden in English translations, although, if one knows what to look for, one can see hints of the first one in some English versions.

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

                • You’re a bit confused. First, I was teaching this decades before JP, and he arrived at his knowledge independently of me.
                  Second, you don’t get to make the rules. They are clearly spelled out in the Hebrew and Greek texts. And no matter how much you don’t like it, those texts don’t condemn homosexuality. The Hebrew texts record two same-sex marriages, neither condemned by God, and all your protesting won’t alter that.

                    • Certainly. You won’t see them in English translations, of course. One is recorded in some detail in 1 Samuel chapter 18, and one is mentioned in passing in Daniel chapter 1.

              • Leviticus. Says it is wrong. God made a whole list of sexual sins and said this is why nations were destroyed. In Romans it says same thing. That people over time perverted his word. Gave a list as well. Are you simply blacking out homosexuality from the list. It is very clear and has never been seen any other way. Not till scripture has been reduced to just man’s interpretations of what he thought God was telling him. Great how do we know which is or isn’t true then. It’s all true or none of it is trust worthy. Why aree you not specific. Let’s have a specific discussion on either passage

                • Let’s. Why not start with Leviticus? You didn’t specify 18:22 or 20:13, but since in both Hebrew and the incorrect English translations they say basically the same thing, we can address them together.
                  First, every single English translation of those verse published since the early 17th century is wrong, blatantly dishonest. (A much earlier English translation, Wycliffe, which does not at all agree with later translations, isn’t completely accurate, but at least he was on the right track.)
                  Before getting into specifics of the translation, here are two things to ponder:
                  In Hebrew, both verses mention a specific location: a woman’s bed. None of the English versions since 1611 mention it.
                  In Hebrew, neither verse contains any kind of comparison (“as with”). Every English version since 1611 does. Comparisons cannot be “understood” in Hebrew; they must be written/spoken.
                  Those two things alone are enough to tell us that our Bibles are wrong in what they claim in these verses. (It bears mentioning that among the Jews, whose scriptures these are, only one branch opposes same-sex marriage, the Chassidim, and it would be rare to hear them invoke Leviticus. The only part of Torah you will hear them occasionally invoke would be “Be fruitful and multiply,” which they took as binding for all people. Their main opposition is from Talmud, not the Bible.)
                  So what do the verses say in Hebrew? Direct translations of both:
                  18:22
                  And with a male, thou shalt not lie down (in) a woman’s bed; it is an abomination.
                  20:13
                  And a man who will lie down with a male (in) a woman’s bed: Both of them have committed an abomination. Dying they shall be put to death; their blood is on them.
                  (Prepositions, such as “in” in the above verses, CAN be understood in Hebrew. Which one is understood is derived from the verb. The same thing is done in Gen. 49:4, with a grammatically equivalent phrase “(to) thy father’s bed.” As in Lev., the preposition “to” is understood, not written, derived from the verb.
                  Under the Law of Moses, a woman’s bed was her own. Other than the woman herself, only her husband was allowed in her bed, and there were even restrictions on when he was allowed in there. Any other use of her bed was considered a defilement and abomination. There are other verses in the Law dealing with the proper vs. improper use of the woman’s bed, for example in Lev. 15.
                  These verses are not about any sexual act. In fact, they forbid two males to lie down in a woman’s bed for any reason. Sex is not mentioned.

                  • Thank you, Bill, for that lucid explanation.

                    I’ve always wondered at the agenda used in the KJV to twist and distort especially since the James of the KJV was himself bi-sexual.

                  • So youu simply ignore. Lie with a man. You seem to think they didn’t have open meanings. The phrase had the meaning of as with a women. They had multiple meaning based on context. The context was laying with another man. Sex. The whole passage is about whi not to sleep with. Not where.

                    • I didn’t ignore anything. You did. You ignored the qualifying clause, the location. God didn’t say lying with a man was an abomination. He said lying with a man in a woman’s bed was an abomination. Remember that little thing about not subtracting from His word? You can’t ignore part of His commandment. And no, by no stretch of the imagination can “in a woman’s bed” be construed to mean “as with a woman.” It’s not linguistically possible.

                    • So when I say I am hotter then a firecracker thats not possible. Word expression or meanming can be based on context. Like when jesus spoke of his baptism. As in on the cross. So yes it is

                    • Can’t reply where I wanted to. Sorry, Jay, but you can’t read your own meanings into things. Even idioms, like hotter than a firecracker, have accepted meanings.
                      But you also can’t assign an idiomatic meaning to something arbitrarily. It has to have some basis, some historical use. The grammatical construction found in Lev. 18:22 and 20:13 in regard to a woman’s bed is only found in one other place in scripture, that being Genesis 49. There, the construction is “thy father’s bed.” If we try to use your idiomatic logic, we would have to conclude that Reuben had sex with his father. But that isn’t what happened. As it turns out, he had sex with his stepmother. But the verse in question simply states where it happened, a place where Reuben had no business: his father’s bed.
                      So “in a woman’s bed” no more means “as with a woman” than “to thy father’s bed” meant “as with thy father.”

                    • Context. Baptism means to immerse and is used to mean three different ways it is done. So your point doesn’t work to disprove mine. One is figurative not at a its literal intent of the word. The passage in Leviticus is about who not to sleep with. So the intent is not where but who with. As in a man should not lay with a man. Where you lay with a women is her bed or a bed. It states you are not to replace it with another man.

                    • “The passage in Leviticus is about who not to sleep with.”
                      You call that logic? If that was all the passage meant, all it had to say was “Don’t lie with a man.” Period. There is no need to add a qualifier unless there is a qualification to the statement. God gave a qualified. You don’t get to ignore it, you don’t get to distort what it says.
                      Did you know that one of the earliest English translations didn’t think these Leviticus passages were about homosexuality at all? Centuries before KJV, an English translator, knowing that a woman’s bed was her own, assumed that the woman was present, and took these verses as a prohibition of two men having simultaneous sexual relations with a woman. That’s how he translated them.
                      You’re so sure the verses are about homosexuality. Why didn’t he think so? Why don’t the Orthodox, Conservative, Reformed or Reconstructionist Jews think so? What makes you right, and all of them wrong? English language Bibles have only been claiming these verses were about homosexuality for about 400 years. The Latin doesn’t make that claim. The Greek Septuagint doesn’t. Both of them are literal translations of the Hebrew.

                    • Florida Boy, Bill Carey know more about the Bible than you’ll ever dream of knowing. You’re welcome to disagree with him on his conclusions, but you belittling is knowledge of Scripture is like Trump saying he knows more than the generals. You’re embarrassing yourself.

                    • Newsflash for you, Florida: I did most of the research on this topic. Much of what you find online and Wikipedia comes from my research. I published my findings before the internet existed.

                    • John and Bill, I stand by my previous statements: Much of the nonsense that Bill espouses, is nothing but Wikipedia nonsense. If you think Bill knows more than I do about the Scripture, then let’s have at it and see how that spans out!

                      Now, that may be true of you, John, seeing as how you rarely if ever cite the Scriptures for anything you write. So, I would caution you to stop putting your confidence in a homosexual that purports to “know the Scripture”.

                    • Florida boy, NONE of my info comes from Wikipedia. Some of it may be there, but it came from me before it wound up there.
                      Second, we’ve tried to debate. You are unprepared and ill-equipped. When I present you with information, you don’t offer evidence to refute it. Instead you simply say it isn’t true. Putting your fingers in your ears and saying “not true” does not constitute debate. It’s childish.

                    • Actually I suspect they are about taking over. Kinda like the Florida Boy and Jay show with a little Joe Catholic thrown in. It appears that they are the only ones posting and all they say is the same thing over and over ad nauseum. Then when they get cornered they insult. Seems to be a pattern here. I agree with all you have said but they aren’t interested or willing to even hear it let alone consider it. Peace and Love,

                    • Kathleen B,

                      I don’t know about those other guys you’re complaining about, but you did mention me and I think what you stated is unfair.

                      Please give me an example of any personal insults I’ve made in this thread.

                      Also, by what standard are you claiming that I’m “taking over.”

                      As of the time of this post in this thread, I’ve posted 17 times. Sandi has posted 20 times. Gloriamarie a whopping 58 times. I think you’re at about 11.

                      My 17 posts out of 479 comes to .3% of the total posts. I’m going to have to do a lot better than that to “take over,” though I have no such desire.

                      The next time you want to accuse me of something, please have the courage and decency to do it directly, and also to be prepared for a response and discussion.

                      Thank you.

            • Sarah, 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

            • Sarah A McClain, way to share your humble walk with God…

              The fact of the matter is that what John P and many others “employ” to deny homosexuality is sin comes straight and directly from the Bible and the ministry of Jesus.

              While those who seek to live the law rather than love have always used Bible verses out of context, against the real possibility of misinterpretation and the reality of the overall message of God’s love, it has just never stopped people from being what they were born to be and for those who see the whole point of serving God, not just the parts we like, to support them.

              The Bible is rather full of stories of human philosophy. The failed human, the Grace of God, the joy of faith and the victory of love.

              Those who claim to be “Bible-believing Christians” yet deny that more than just they can walk with God, be blessed by God, and share the love of God is hubris God warned us against over and over. Yet many hold onto the law rather than the love.

              If you indeed trust the Word to convey truth, you cannot discard the proof of the love we are to carry, the judgement we are not to carry and the exclusion it is dangerous for us to wield,

              No one needs more education, they just need to comprehend the grandeur of God and the depths of the love of God in action. The humility we serve is putting God before ourselves and love before judgement. Every time, every day.

              I agree that Jesus came to save the unrighteous, of which we all are. The Grace of the Lamb of God did not take away the sin of the world, He showed us how we live in this world of sin.

              Being a homosexual is not a choice anyone makes. When did you make yours? Engaging in homosexual acts is no more a choice than engaging in heterosexual acts. We are made as sexual beings who commit to and live as couples who support and lift each other up. That is God’s plan. Whether children issue or not, the covenant of a loving couple is true to God’s plan.

              Greed, fraud, theft, adultery, divorce, abuse, murder, promiscuity or any of the other sins is a choice. by which we divorce ourselves from God’s will. BEING is not a choice.

              God told us the truth. Over and over, God told us to love, love others as ourselves, love others as family, love others as worthy. There is no truth bigger than that. That is God’s Word revealed in and through Scripture. Over and over and over.

              At the end of the day, you’ve bought into a hubris that makes the humility of God’s love a choice you make on a case by case basis as opposed to the model of the commandment given.

              The commission of the followers of Christ is to bring others to that love, assurance and validation. To do otherwise, to exclude, judge, deny and harm is not the love of God spelled out in the Scripture. You cannot make it so.

              I suppose you miss the total irony of your own “moral narcissism,” and why YOU need everyone to believe as you do to the point that you lose the love of God you are supposed to represent.

              In the end, it does not matter if God is on our side, it only matters if we are on God’s side. That is on all of us. Love is the strongest commandment he gave. So we do.

              Clearly you have not taken you own advice on what to read. God did not tell us to be “comfortable” God said to be humble and serve. You cannot do that condemning anyone.

            • The truth is the Levitical law does not apply to Christians and Paul admits to writting his own opinions on his letters.

            • Well, that was quite some dressing down. No Christian humility here 🙂

              I take umbrage with your following observation: “For either we need PhD’s trained by an academic structure that is, itself, faith-denying or we just need the power of the Holy Spirit. The Word, Luther taught is perspicuous.”
              Why do you attack what must be higher education, since you refer to PhDs, as “an academic structure that is, itself, faith-denying …”? Has not God the Creator endowed us with the precious gift of a brain that we should cherish and develop? Some of the greatest scientists do not and did not see this dichotomy. I don’t.
              As to “the Word” and Luther: Luther fervently wanted words (lower case!) to be perspicuous. He labored for years to bring the “right” meaning into a vernacular that, at that time in history, had not even consolidated. Luther basically created the modern German language. Being academically (!) trained in law, theology, Greek and Latin, he struggled with his translation of the Bible to the point of such irritation and fear of being interfered with by the Devil, that he famously threw his ink pot against the wall in Wartburg Castle. This may be just an anecdote, but Luther’s writings, especially the catechism, show that he found lengthy explanations necessary to arrive at his personal interpretation of the words that form “the Word”, based on his ability to read Greek and Latin Scripture writings that were – in turn – based on translations from Aramaic. Being an academic himself, he knew that his task to find the ‘perspicuous Word’ after one and a half millennia of Scripture being written down by various sources, being compiled, thrown out, re-compiled, being copied, re-copied, translated, and re-translated, his task was monumental. In the end, the overarching message in Luther’s teachings is God’s Grace and unconditional Love. The Lutheran denomination’s teachings have evolved over five centuries from exclusionary (Luther was fiercely anti-Semitic, and I don’t know where he found that in Scripture) to inclusionary. My wonderful Lutheran pastor is gay.

          • Same gender sex. B y the way God created man in his own image. And created woman from man. Not from his image. And said that is why a man leaves his family and finds a wife. Jesus said it. They represent both personalities and are very important for raising a child and growing a society. Your biblical knowledge and discernment is lacking. So what is sexual sin?

              • What a ridiculous statement. So my belief is hateful based on how many post I make. This simply shows the ignorance of your thinking.

                • No, your commitment to making people agree with you shows. You have contempt for LGBTQ people, which is why you’re still here. Otherwise, you’d move on. This post angers you greatly and it goes beyond simple disagreement.

                  • So putting it up as a blog is all together different. Again ridiculous statement. Its worth your time to talk about it with passion. But if the other side does it’s in anger and hate. Beyond ridiculous.

                    • One of our beliefs results in someone else being treated like less than human, in people harassing them and trying to take away their right to vote and worship and use the public restroom.

                      The other’s beliefs want those people to stop doing that to them.

                      Yes, one of us is beyond ridiculous.

                • Jay wrote,”So my belief is hateful based on how many post I make. ”

                  What an entirely irresponsible content in that sentence.

                  It has nothing to do with the number of your posts and everything to do with the tone you take.

                  If you don’t wish to be thought hateful, then please select different vocabulary.

                  I’ll just point out that one of He of the Many Names’ most favorite whines was to claim we found his posts hateful because there were so many. Much of the vocabulary you chose, Jay, is exactly like his. That vocabulary is just as repellant from you as it is from him.

                  I suspect that if John P found the volume of your posts to be the problem, he wouldn’t approve so many of them. Not that I am trying to speak for him. Just suggesting that available evidence forces me to conclude it is not the number of posts, but their content.

                    • No, Jay, content is defined as what you say and how you say it. If you chose to express yourself in despicable terms, regardless of what you quote, then you deserve to be identified as a troll.

                      Due to the vile language you use.

                    • Jay wrote, “Maybe you shouild show me what vile language I used.”

                      Maybe you should read through your many comments and ask the Holy Spirit to show you which ones were written in a spirit of hate because there are too many examples for me to list.

          • In there pride parrades. Why is their pride in showing only the perverted sexual side. There parades are x rated. If it’s all about the committed relationship why all the sexuality. Will you openly condemn them for the perversion on display.

            • There are racy floats and contengents in pride parades. The LGBTQ community is a diverse bunch, we are not all of us Christians, many, having been driven from Christian churches, are deeply secular and don’t have issues baring a bit of skin.

              But I doubt there is any perversion occurring, that is just the stereotype to which you need to subscribe, but 10s of 1000s of “straight” folks here in Seattle bring their kids to Pride and I doubt they would do that if it was X-rated.

              BTW, it’s their, not there. You’re extremely poor writing skills don’t impress anyone that you actually are learned enough to know of what you speak.

            • I’m guessing you’ve never been to one. You’ve probably seen pictures in some anti-gay publication or website… or sometimes even mainstream news. After all, there is no point in showing pictures of thousands of ordinary people… doesn’t attract people’s attention. They seek out the odd and flashy.
              I attended pride this year in Ferndale, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. Ferndale is a city of 19,000 people, a very progressive city with a thriving downtown and fairly healthy economy. 20,000 people were there for the one day event. I was working a booth for a non-profit organization. Sitting there all day, I saw pretty much everyone go by. I saw men, women, children, dogs, cats, and even parrots. The only thing I saw that could be viewed as X-rated was a woman who was not wearing a top. Instead, she had covered her entire chest and back with colored glitter, solid, so that no flesh showed through. (Would not have wanted to be around when she tried to wash that off! Ouch!) But that was it. Otherwise, perfectly ordinary people, even entire families, having a fun day, visiting booths, eating food, listening to music. Several church groups were in attendance, all supportive of pride.

              • It’s like watching the news, Bill. What with all the horrible things the news chooses to cover, it is so easy to forget all the good things people do every day. The news doesn’t report it because it doesn’t score ratings.

              • I am keeping my identity private for this specific comment out of respect.

                My church is MCC Detroit in Ferndale. Best church ever in Southeast Michigan and we love LGBT people and we are helping to make a difference in the lives of those who have been disowned and humiliated by their previous congregations. We’ve got some great pastors who know the Bible and speak God’s word and live out God’s inclusive love.

            • Jay, Whenever I am confronted with homophobia, I wonder which of the following applies:

              1) Is the homophobic man afraid of being raped by a gay man even though there is no evidence that gay men go around raping straight men.

              If this is the case, it is difficult for me to garner any sympathy as we women are afraid of being raped since we are about twelve and in all of the millennia of human existence, heterosexual men have yet to cease to rape women. Or do much of anything to end the rape culture.

              2) How deep in the closet is the homophobe? How terrified is he to admit he is gay?

              Let the light of God’s truth about him pierce the darkness that binds him and allow it to set him free.

              If we believe God doesn’t make mistakes and that God it is love and that God made humanity in God’s image, then it stands to reason that if God created someone to be homosexual, then it must have been because it delighted God to do so.

              God is love and God wants us to love our neighbors for the person it delighted God to create. We are to love all as ourselves exactly as God first loved us. When Jesus commands us to love this way, He does not have a list of exceptions, footnotes, or a list of appendices to justify denying love to someone. He commands us to love all.

              I believe this from the top of my head to the tip of my toes.

                • Siddigfan, you are quite welcome. I forgot to say it, welcome back. Good to have your voice here again.

                  • Thank you so much! I don’t often have the time to comment but I always repost John’s blogs to my other social media feeds. His writing is full of the Love of God and we need to spread that around as much as possible in this sorry world. Peace!

        • You won’t find a single verse of scripture in the Hebrew or Greek texts of the Bible (the original languages) that even directly addresses homosexuality. So nobody can call it a sin (including dishonest translators) without adding to God’s word.

          • That is such a ridiculous statement as to remove any kind of integrity you may have been afforded out of common decency. While the word, homosexual, was not around in those days, the relevant term and meaning is crystal clear. Regardless of how JP twists and misrepresents the Scriptures, homosexuality is indeed a sin; as are adultery, fornication, stealing, etc. Do not be deceived, JP seeks to draw you away from the Father with his poison. Run!

            • I’d rather run from you, following the instructions of Proverbs 14:7.
              While biblical Greek had no word for homosexuality or homosexual, it did have commonly used expressions for sexual relations between persons of the same sex. None of those are found in the Greek New Testament. As for biblical Hebrew, as a former teacher of the language, I am not even aware of the existence of any such expressions, although they may have existed. But again, none are found in the Hebrew Old Testament.
              With 40 years experience working with the Hebrew and Greek texts, I stand by my original statement.

            • Go study ancient Hebrew and come back to discuss this, because that is what English Bible translators tell you the passage says, exposing the bias that they bring to the text and that isn’t at all what the Hebrew says.

              Moving on.

            • Sure it is. But it’s also not something the Hebrew text ever says. There’s no comparison phrase (“as with”) in the Hebrew text. And the Hebrew text doesn’t just say “a woman,” but a woman’s bed. (Literally, bed of a woman.) That’s not an act, but a location.

              • Lay with a man in a woman’s bed. A man should not lay with a man as he wouild with a woman. Your interpretation is bad. You ignore the man with a man and just bring up the woman’s bed part.

                • Actually, your logic is flawed. If I say to you, “Don’t play with Johnny in the middle of the street,” would you interpret that to mean that you aren’t allowed to play with Johnny at all? If you do, you didn’t use sound reasoning. I specified ONE location where you were not to play with Johnny.
                  God said, “Don’t lie with a man in a woman’s bed.” He didn’t say not to do it at all. He simply stated ONE location where it was not permitted.

                  • Again not the context. And again you ignore the a man lying with a man. The passage is about sex not where your having it.

                    • Sorry, Jay, but you are just not using sound logic. A prohibition with a qualifier is not a blanket prohibition, not matter what is being prohibited. This is simple logic. If you can’t reason that out, I’m not sure you are capable of handling scripture at all.

            • Jay, while English translations have translated the passage this way, that’s not what the Hebrew says.

              Now, I make no claims to be a Hebrew scholar, but I have read several books by people who do know Hebrew.

              Any translation is an interpretation. That is the number one reason the doctrine of inerrancy does not apply to anything except the original autographs. It is a difficult task to render into a different language the exact nuances of another language. On top of that, the Bible has all too often been translated with an agenda to convince people of something, even if they have to fudge the English to say something the original language doesn’t.

              Bill Carey is thoroughly knowledgable in Hebrew and he can explain better than I.

              I read a lot and recommend books a lot. I offer you 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

          • Please tell us about the original Leviticus meaning. I realize that the word homosexual is a modern day term and will never appear in ancient text. It’s all translation, still. Can we translate accurately, not I. King James doesn’t use this word (If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.) It still means that. I am still understanding it’s a sin. Period. By the way, we all sin, so I am not condemning or discriminating against anyone. Just saying, it’s still a sin. Please respond.

            • Translation is the key. Beginning about 400 years ago, translators began deliberately fudging their work on this and a couple of other topics. In regard to the verse you quote from KJV, Lev. 20:13, I did address it in another post a few minutes ago. But here is the Hebrew, a transliteration, and a direct translation:
              ואיש אשר ישכב את זכר משכבי אשה תועבה עשו שניהם מות יומתו דמיהם בם
              (That doesn’t line up right here, because it’s supposed to be right to left… so just imagine it lined up to the right margin instead of the left.)
              V’ish asher yishkav et zachar mishkvei ishah to’evah asu shneihem mot yumatu d’meihem bam
              And a man who will lie down with a male (in) a woman’s bed: both of them have committed an abomination. Dying, they will be put to death; their blood is on them.
              This verse forbids two males to lie down in a woman’s bed for any reason. A woman’s bed was her own under the Law. Other than the woman, only her husband was ever allowed in there, and there were even restrictions on that.
              Wycliffe, in his translation, centuries before KJV, understood this verse differently. He assumed, knowing that a woman’s bed was her own, that the woman would be in the bed. So he translated this verse as a prohibition of two men sleeping with one woman simultaneously. Not so much a translation, but a paraphrase. But at least it’s in the realm of possibility. The KJV and every other translation and paraphrase since is grammatically and linguistically impossible.

                • Whether or not the woman was in her bed is debatable. She may well be. But the verse is clear about both men being in there together. (Sleeping with her serially would come under fornication or adultery, assuming she were married.)

                  • So why wouild this sexual sin be so much worse as to call for death. It’s Because it’s two men sleeping together as if in a woman’s bed. That is the context of the passage. And 20:13 says the two or both should be put to death.

                    • It also says disrespectful teens should be put to death… and adulterers.

                      Hope you have access to a rock quarry with all the stones you’re gonna have to throw, big boy.

                    • I like how y ou ignore half my posts. Bill keeps saying two men and a women. Yet the punishment is for two. Does not fit for his thinking. Unless he is wrong. It’s two men laying together as in a women bed. How about responding to that. Instead of inferring how I might feel about people. I never mentioned to continue same punishment.

                    • Do you know what it’s called when you add your own words to scripture? It’s called sin. And you just did it. You added “as if.” Scripture does not say that, and comparisons cannot be “understood” in Hebrew.
                      Many prohibitions in the Law that don’t make sense on the surface are actually blood/body fluid issues.
                      There is a verse (usually mistranslated so that it looks like a prohibition of cross-dressing) that forbids a woman to wear a weapon that belongs to a warrior, and forbids a warrior to wear a simlah (robe) that belongs to a woman. It says it’s an abomination.
                      On the surface, it doesn’t seem clear why. But the reason is that there is too much potential for cross-contamination of blood. In the case of the woman, her garment may well be stained with menstrual blood, despite having been washed (no Tide or washing machines). And a warrior’s sword may well be stained with the blood of an enemy. The two bloods could not be allowed to make contact.
                      Ditto with a woman’s robe: A warrior could not take the chance of coming into contact with menstrual blood, which in itself was forbidden for men, and having it accidentally come into contact with blood on the battlefield… his own or an enemies.
                      If two males lie down in a woman’s bed, first of all, there is the possibility of residual blood in her bed. But further, even if the two men were just sleeping and not having sex, there is still the potential for semen spill. The woman, if she were not already in the bed with those men, would return later, not know it was there (forget white sheets… those were a luxury for later centuries), and come into contact. And if she were menstruating, her blood and the semen could make contact. That’s why two men in a woman’s bed is an abomination, no matter what they are doing in there.

                    • I’m guessing you don’t read well, Jay. It was the translator Wycliffe who first translated Leviticus to say that the woman was with the two men… and that understanding is not outside the realm of possibility, since the bed was hers (which is why Wycliffe assumed she was there).
                      What is clear is that the verses forbid two males to lie down… for ANY reason… in a woman’s bed. Stop adding the comparisons that the translations of the last 400 years have added. The word “as” is not in either verse, and comparison must be spelled out in Hebrew. They cannot be understood from context.

            • No, Jay, you won’t find anything negative. See my other comment for details on Leviticus. As for Romans, Christians almost universally ignore the historical context, which they generally don’t know anything about. In other words, they have no idea what specific situation(s) in Rome Paul was writing about. He wasn’t just spouting off random stuff, you know.
              Without knowing that context, that situation, it’s impossible to fully understand his comments. And despite what it looks like on the surface, he was not talking about homosexuality as we know it. In fact, both the Greek and Roman Empires disapproved of monogamous homosexual relationships. But then, they also disapproved of monogamous heterosexual relationships. And therein lay the problem: Both cultures, based on beliefs from their religion, expected all people to live in a way we would consider bisexual, regardless of their actual innate attractions.
              That’s what Paul was writing about, from the perspective of the majority, who, in every population, is heterosexual. For such individuals, being intimate with the same sex would be out of character, unnatural for them.
              Paul said what they were doing was a mistake (not a sin or abomination), and that it was παρα φυσιν, which is usually translated as “against nature,” but is also usually misunderstood. The word nature here does not have the broad range of meanings the English word does. Rather, it refers only to a person’s (or thing’s) OWN nature. What the Romans were doing was against their OWN nature in regard to sexual behavior. In other words, they were ignoring their own sexual orientation to meet the expectations of their religion and society.
              Paul pointed out that this had become an outlet for unbridled lust among them (whereas in previous centuries, it had been only a custom and religious obligation, according to history), so God just gave them over to it, so their own orientation was no longer relevant to them.
              These verses aren’t about homosexuality vs. heterosexuality, but about the impropriety of trying to ignore one’s sexual orientation to meet the expectations of society or religion. In other words, people should be who they are, and not try to change it to meet other people’s expectations.
              As for your last comment, there are TWO same-sex marriages recorded in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament: one in some detail, one just mentioned in passing. Neither was condemned by God or any extant prophet. On the contrary, in the case of the one just mentioned in passing, it specifies God put the two together.
              Both of these marriages were carefully hidden in English translations, although, if one knows what to look for, one can see hints of the first one in some English versions.

              • Bill, in what verses would we find those two same marriages in any current English translation, hidden or not? I am certainly no Bible scholar, but I don’t remember coming across any reference in just my reading scripture. If they have been intentionally hidden because of an agenda to influence or misdirect the meaning of original writings, I’d like to know more.

                • Brian asked which verses.

                  This seems unambiguous to me:

                  1 Samuel 18New American Standard Bible (NASB)

                  Jonathan and David
                  18 Now it came about when he had finished speaking to Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as himself. 2 Saul took him that day and did not let him return to his father’s house. 3 Then Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. 4 Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was on him and gave it to David, with his armor, including his sword and his bow and his belt. 5 So David went out wherever Saul sent him, and [a]prospered; and Saul set him over the men of war. And it was pleasing in the sight of all the people and also in the sight of Saul’s servants.

      • What is a sexual sin? From scripture. God created man in his own image. He then created woman from man. Which ruins your first argument. Hhow is being bisexual not sinful. Your saying being with whoever whenever fits your fansy is fine. Scripture speaks to sexual sins
        As in having sex. Apparently there is no sexual sin if you merely say it’s a loving committed relationship. Is that as long as we feel the emotion of love. So one partner for ever. A very rare thing in homosexuality. Your very vague. God created a family unit for a reason.

        • God created man in his own image. He then created woman from man.

          So… woman is made from men and men from God. Affirms the point I made. Sorry. You don’t have anything to stand on here.

          • It’s funny you never actually put scripture in your comments. 1 :27. In the image of God he created HIM. them to 2:20-25. You seem to miss the whole one flesh part and how that works. You don’t discuss or debate just simple open ended statements not backed up by any scripture.

            • Sharon wrote, “So, did God make man in Gods image or did God make man in his own (independent) image ?”

              These are not mutually exclusive alternatives.

              I believe God created humanity in God’s image, male and female God created them. I also believe there is avery great deal more to being created in God;s image than gender.

              It is also patently clear that people have anthropomorphized God for millennia and are still doing it today.

              People in these comments have made God into their own image, claiming God hates who they hate, in a clear contradiction to all the myriad places the texts of the Bible tell us how much God loves every single person, animal, and all of creation.

      • You got it wrong from the start. God created man in his own image. Man. He created woman from man. Your scripture discernment is terrible. What is a sexual sin may I ask. Biblically speaking. Nothing in Leviticus since you can erase one part you can the rest

        • Jay, since it is obvious from your many comments that your only understanding of scripture is from English translations of scripture, it’s ludicrous that you are bold to tell someone that their discernment is terrible. Your understanding is almost nonexistant.

          Please return when you at least have a personal basic knowledge of the Biblical Hebrew & Greek. Then you can have the beginnings of a conversation about “what the Bible says.”

          • Typical response. Question there education to discredit what they say. Discernment is from the spirit not education. Without the spirit you can not understand scripture. No matter your education.

            • Jay, if you do not want your education, interpretation, research and familiarity with Scripture and history (both in the Bible and from ancient texts) to be the topic, quit questioning everyone else’s.

              People who study the whole of ancient history and texts then compare it to what the Bible says are in a much better position to know the contradictions and problems if you insist the Bible (which was transcribed and edited by clerics with power to keep and agendas to maintain) is inerrant and infallible. GOD is inerrant and infallible, man made Bibles are 1) not God and 2) not all of God. THAT is why it is such a danger to base your soul on judging, condemning and pronouncing sin in anyone else. Could even be why we are told not to do so.

              Until you can produce evidence either from the Bible or other ancient texts that God’s greatest commandment was to judge sin and call it out, I am sticking with what I KNOW is repeated over and over and over. Love God, love my neighbors, serve God by serving my neighbors and lead people to God by showing the “good news.” You do you, but know that you are betting your soul on it. YOUR soul, not theirs.

              • Thank you for sharing the Good News of God’s Love for All! I have never understood the obsession of right wing Christians with spreading Bad News.

                Imagine people coming to your front door. You open the door and they say, “We’re here to tell you about God. He loves you and He wants you to love Him back. “(emphasis on HIM) “In fact, He loves you so much that He created hell to torture you for all eternity if you DON’T love Him back and if you don’t believe and do everything our particular denomination (out of the over 46,000 Christian denominations) teaches.” I don’t know about anyone else but, this is where I’d slam the door in their face recognizing them as the weirdo psychotic cult that they obviously are. 😀

            • Without education you cannot understand scripture, no matter how much discernment you think you have.
              “STUDY to show yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, correctly dividing the word of truth.”
              2 Tim. 2:15

              • Nno amount of study will help you discern without the spirit. Scripture tells us this. God did not make it so complicated as to need a high education to understand. Scripture interprets scripture. Education is good but not needed on discernment.

                • Without education there is nothing to discern. Paul place a high value on it. As for the Spirit, you aren’t in a position to assume I don’t have the Spirit and don’t have any ability to discern.
                  You can “discern” a mistranslated verse all you like, and still won’t arrive at the truth unless you open your mind to the possibility that it isn’t translated properly.
                  And if you compare a dozen translations, and get three different ideas of what a verse says, will discernment tell you which translation is right? Are you sure? How do you know it isn’t your own mind? Wouldn’t it make more sense to take the time to learn the original languages, read the verse in question as it was originally written, and then know for sure which version, if any, is correct. (I say “if any” because there are some verses that are wrong in every commonly available English version, such as John 1:1-2.)

      • being homosexual is not a sin, homosexuality is a sin, and the bible is extremely clear on this subject, to those who have eyes to read and the capacity to understand,. you write this stuff in favor of the flesh, that is sin, you lead people on a lost journey to hell. you need to preach Jesus is the Big deal and Christ crucified, the 5 solas of the church.
        Transgender, God does not make mistakes, born man, you are man, done, and your ideology of who God is, God made Man in his image, not woman, he made woman from Man,
        it pains me to read your stuff, you are so mis leadin the lost. Christ spoke of people like you in the last days! we are in the last days, you must be one that was given to his own depraved mind, Romans 1:22, and Paul states it 3x God gave them up, as to pursue UnGodly sinful passions, 2 Thessalonians 2- 9-12 you should be leading they that follow you to redemption and out is sinful relationships that are Morally wrong. we all sin, God forgives all in Christ for sins, but there is accountability. When in wrongful relationships, or addictions, one has to stop, repent and get into a group.

        • If it pains you to read it, why do you read it? You come in here making these pronouncements without evidence, and evidently without reading anything others have posted. Your statements have been addressed and refuted.

      • Why don’t you go ahead and read the verses after Ezekiel 16:49? Like Ezekiel 16:50-52? Number one rule: If you’re going to make an argument, please don’t take Scripture out of context. Clearly states it was more than “not helping the poor and needy”.

        • Jake Benton wrote, “Why don’t you go ahead and read the verses after Ezekiel 16:49? Like Ezekiel 16:50-52? Number one rule: If you’re going to make an argument, please don’t take Scripture out of context.”

          Actually, the number one rule is not to read into Scripture what you want to find to support your position. We call that isogesis and it is irresponsible.

          There is nothing in that passages that says anything about homosexuality. Only abominations and as there are a whole bunch of things in the Hebrew Scriptures listed as abominations, one cannot make the word to mean homosexuality.

          In fact, the word is never used to indicate homosexuality.

        • How do you feel those verses alters what the previous verses say? Does Ezekiel specify the abomination? He does not. He focuses primarily on their pride, arrogance and failure to help the poor.
          It was those things that led to their abomination. Exactly what abominable things they did aren’t recorded in the Bible. They are recorded in the Mishnah, and they all had to do with their horrible mistreatment of the poor and violence toward any citizens who tried to help the poor, and violence toward strangers to the city. And as abomination is defined in Hebrew as a hateful thing, everything the Mishnah records in connection with the actions of the people of Sodom was abominable.

      • Whether you are gay or not- are you ready for the Lords coming? The birthing pains are already beginning. The Lord will come ready to take the people who have already repented and given their lives to Jesus up to Heaven for the feast! Handicapped kids like my son are going to be transformed to a glorious body in a twinkling of an eye- Oh Praise be to God- I look forward to that day when my children and I and hubby can see him brand spanking new! You know there are no physical defects in Heaven. And whether you believe being gay is a sin or not- are you ready for the Great White Throne Judgement? Everyone will give an account to the Lord. I would rather be on the Lords side- not the devils side.

    • Dear chistopher freeman:

      Forgive me, christopher, but how many lies will YOU believe?

      I find it intriguing that your list of national sins from which repentance begins names false gods; this, you define as other world religions and Mormonism. I say that because your asking Mr. Pavlovitz how many lies he believes made me think of Sir Francis Bacon’s discussion of our enslavement to intellectual idolatry, which he famously described as …

      The Idols of the Tribe
      The Idols of the Cave
      The Idols of the Marketplace
      The Idols of the Theater

      Under these simple images, Bacon pointed to many things which we assume about our character, makeup, social situation, authorities and more.

      YOU may think, christopher, that you are free from all idols. That, quite frankly, is a simplistic and self-satisfied position. All of us stamd to be corrected on one or another point.

      Hence, my question at the start…

      Blessings!

    • The moment Christ died on the cross, the Father no longer held our sins against us anymore. The price was paid for the debt of sin, and Christ has given us freedom. The religious rules that people keep on life support, in a manner of speaking, are the yoke of slavery that we were warned about avoiding.

      • Clay, that is only true for the Believer, not for unrepentant people who continue in their sin and rebellion. Christ died to set us free from our sins, not to embrace and celebrate our them!

      • Only for those who believe and follow his commands. All of them since the old moral laws were never done away with. You have to discern the old laws of society morals and ceremonial. They apply differently today. But still do. Christ dealt with the curse of sin being death. Which the old covenant could not do.

      • Only to those who trust in him. Jesus your my friend IF you obey my commands. IF is used more then once. Christ died to deal with the curse of sin being death. Which the old could not do. Jesus said the no word from the old covenant would be changed. You have to discern between the society laws ceremonial laws and moral laws. Morality never changes.

    • Christopher. When you strike out on one of these tirades, I get this image of a shriveled old man in a wheel chair that the nurses have to strap down and gag at night to keep him in his bed and shut him up so the other patients can sleep.

      • What deeply unpleasant imagery. Can we not debate with civility, without abusing one another and summoning images of violence towards fellow humans? I happen to be an affirming christian on this matter, but I also believe we should act respectfully and ‘affirm’ the rights of others to take a little longer to see the light!

    • Christopher: Please go to paragraph 15 above. Please click on the final word “here.” Please read that article on the Bible and how to read these passages (and most of the bible) in its own context. Your comments seem to be an assertion of your literal interpretation of some Bible passages and an assertion of your “grid” defining confession/forgiveness and salvation – constructed of cherry-picked scriptures, chosen to fit your theological grid. The comments did not respond to Rev Pavlovitz’s article. You are not reading or listening, so you are merely shouting your opinion and not involved in the conversation. God is in Rev Pavlovitz and in each of the persons involved in this conversation. You are involved in self-assertion rather than dialogue. It is disrespectful to the author, to all those in the conversation and to God who is all and in all. Thank you for re-reading the article – and the articles within it -especially Par 15 “here”.

    • A sin focused religion denies the work of the Cross. It denies faith. My personal prayer is to view other people the way I believe a loving and merciful Father views them. I have been given a gift of which I am truly grateful. I cannot deny others that same gift.

      Overwhelming compassion is the message of the Cross. That is the message I pray I share with others.

    • It’s not for God’s children to take a stand against sinners. That is God’s job.
      We are not to sin.
      We are to love our enemies.
      If you believe that sinners are your enemies, then love them.

    • Christopher Freeman, your comment is a quintessential example of exactly the mindlessness and hatefulness John is talking about. Evidently, you didn’t actually read his post herein at all because your response indicates that you have no understanding whatsoever of his message. What a pity. It’s people like you who are teaching the world that Christianity is no longer a faith of fellowship and love. You are demonstrating to the world that Christianity is the new brand name for animus and hatred. I feel so sorry for you and all of the people you are hurting with your vitriol.

  2. Forgiveness and Freedom

    The good news is it doesn’t matter what sins you have done in the past. You may have had an abortion, lied or cheated someone. What matters is that you repent and follow God now. The cross says you are forgiven (1 John 1:7 and 9).

    Sometimes, even though you are forgiven, you may still have guilt. If so, I want you to know the guilt is removed by applying the blood of Jesus to your conscience. Hebrews 9:14 promises:

    “How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?”

    You can be free of all guilt today by praying this prayer:

    Father, I confess the sins of ___. I receive Your forgiveness because Jesus died on the cross for me. I apply the blood of Jesus to my conscience and thank You the guilt is removed. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

    • Dear chistopher freeman:

      Are you sure you’ve got things right here?
      I thought our High Priest offered the blood to God.

      Blessings!

  3. I care for you, so I want to ask you to agree with God who says men are men, and women are women. This is more important than many realize, because opposing God puts people’s lives and the USA at stake.

    To give you wisdom, God gave the Holy Bible to you. Jesus said, “God made them male and female” (Mark 10:6).

    The Word of God says, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination” (Deuteronomy 22:5).

    When people think men are women, and women are men, they are rejecting God. This is why God says, “even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind” (Romans 1:28).

    If people start thinking a man can be a woman, they are in danger of becoming a reprobate, which is to be unapproved by God. The Bible teaches that reprobates lose their souls, so agree with God by believeing these verses.

    God wants men to be masculine, and women to be femine. If you had thought this transg*ender stuff didn’t matter, then the good news is you can pray and receive God’s forgiveness.

    • Actually God made them in a spectrum of gender identity, not a binary. My child was born intersex, that is, my child had sex organs and DNA from both a female and a male because my child, (who is now a man) had absorbed a twin in utero. The organs were all internal and not found at birth so his birth certificate said ‘female’. As an adult, he has had the surgery to make himself fully male. There are many other mishaps of birth caused by problems in utero, such as not receiving the proper hormones at the proper time, and genetic problems such as extra chromosomes. God doesn’t make mistakes but, God seems to love diversity.

      It is better to educate ourselves on modern scientific knowledge and research rather than hurt someone with our uneducated opinions. It’s better not to rely on a medieval translation of a stone age oral tradition, no matter how inspiring, for your scientific and biological information. The sun does not revolve around the earth after all, and Heaven isn’t up in the sky and Hell isn’t in the core of the Earth, no matter how hot it gets there. The Bible isn’t a science text book. Even the last three Popes have stated that.

      • Siddigfan wrote,”It is better to educate ourselves on modern scientific knowledge and research rather than hurt someone with our uneducated opinions. It’s better not to rely on a medieval translation of a stone age oral tradition, no matter how inspiring, for your scientific and biological information. The sun does not revolve around the earth after all, and Heaven isn’t up in the sky and Hell isn’t in the core of the Earth, no matter how hot it gets there. The Bible isn’t a science text book. Even the last three Popes have stated that.”

        Ancient people believed something about sexual preference and gender identity that we now know to be untrue. I don’t blame ancient people, they were doing their best to make sense of the world just as human beings have always done and continue to do.

        Education is crucial in this as it is in so many other areas of life. It is a crying shame that so many conservatives do not value education and the learning of critical reasoning skills.

        I read this a few years back” “The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America”

        “Charlotte Iserbyt has put her great exposé of the dumbing-down agenda of American education on the Internet, so that anyone can now read it and download it free of charge. The Deliberate Dumbing Down of America is a big book and so very important that anyone interested in the future of this country must read it. I wrote a Foreword for the book that basically explains what Charlotte achieved by her incredible research based on documents she took out of the files of the Department of Education in Washington, where she worked as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Educational Research and Improvement (OERI) during the first Reagan administration. She is the consummate whistleblower, with an overwhelming sense of responsibility as a public servant and a parent. Here’s the essence of what I wrote:

        “Charlotte Iserbyt is to be greatly commended for having put together the most formidable and practical compilation of documentation describing the “deliberate dumbing down” of American children by their education system. Anyone interested in the truth will be shocked by the way American social engineers have systematically gone about destroying the intellect of millions of American children for the purpose of leading the American people into a socialist world government controlled by behavioral and social scientists.

        “Mrs. Iserbyt has also documented the gradual transformation of our once academically successful education system into one devoted to training children to become compliant human resources to be used by government and industry for their own purposes. This is how fascist-socialist societies train their children to become servants of their government masters.”

        More of this forward may be read here:https://www.thenewamerican.com/reviews/books/item/6443-the-deliberate-dumbing-down-of-america

        this link provides access to a **free** ebook of the text referenced above:
        http://www.deliberatedumbingdown.com/

      • Man makes mistakes which is why we live in a fallen world and things you mention happen. Because of sin and a fallen world. God does not create each and every person and stick them in the woman’s womb. We do that and most often incorrectly. And if god created us that way how is not following his command to reproduce not a sin. If your able. Jesus said some where born with different issues but not one was lbgt related. There is no scripture that speaks of lbgt as anything but wrong. It goes against every thing God created us to do. Our eunigue roles as male female family society. People are born with many issues possibly but all come from the world being fallen. The importance of being born again. Or is God not capable of such a thing.

        • “God does not create each and every person and stick them in the woman’s womb.”

          So God only does this sometimes, once in a while, only for special humans?
          “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.”
          Jeremiah 1:5

            • John, yes the Garden of Eden was indeed real, and so was the Serpent. You sound just like Bill Maher, a lost and pathetic little man.

                • John, I’m not sure why you’re baffled by the Biblical record of a snake being used by Satan, but as for me, I simply believe the Biblical record, and that one even does not constitute the “heart of my belief system”.

                  Jesus referred to the story of Jonah to speak about His death and resurrection, the foundation and core of the Christian faith. Was He misleading us, too?

                  What about the Lord using a Donkey to speak to His wayward prophet? Is that a lie, too? I could cite more miraculous events, but I don’t need convincing of what God is able to do, and did do when He wanted to communicate His will and purpose.

            • Adam and Eve are not historical figures. They did not exist. They are part of the Wisdom Literature of Israel which cannot possibly be read as fact or history.

              The Bible often employs myth. This is not myth in the sense of “made up” or “fake” but myth in the sense that ancient people’s told stories to convey complex ideas as best they could.

              The myth of Adam and Eve addresses the questions “why are there so many problems in this world?”

              • I wasn’t attempting to take a position on whether or not they were real. The point is that a great many people believe they were, taking the story of Genesis literally. For that reason, I need to demonstrate that, even taking the story literally, it doesn’t say what they thought it did.

                • Bill, you’re funny. It is hilarious that in every posting by others, you have THE correct answer. Doesn’t that bother you? You can get away with that by appealing to biblically illiterate people on this blog, but that won’t work by truly knowledgeable people who have the necessary training in the Scripture as well as Biblical Hermeneutics and Exegesis.

                  So, I’m prepared to debate you on any subject, but especially the subject of sexual deviance, otherwise known in this context as Homosexuality!

                  • No, you are NOT prepared to debate. Only deny. You have yet to present even a shred of evidence to support your position. You’ve expended all your energy denying the evidence I have offered and insulting me.
                    You consider yourself knowledgeable on scripture? Not from where I stand. I taught ministerial training for many years. If any of my students “debated” like you, I’d have flunked him out.

                    • So Bill, when do you want to “debate”, since you believe you’re superior to me in understanding of the Biblical languages even though you have no formal training in either?

                      By the way, I hadn’t even told you that two of my very close friends are language scholars par excellence!

                      One of them is the best scholar and theologian in the world when it comes to human sexuality, and homosexuality in particular. He is so brilliant that even so-called “Gay revisionist scholars” will not debate him in a public forum, and that person is the great Dr. Robert A.J. Gagnon.

                      And the other person is Dr. Michael Brown, a language and literature scholar, and both of these men have written about homosexuality.

                      I’ve studied with and under both of these men. So, since you think you can impress the ignorance that you see on John’s blog, including John himself, then let’s have a formal debate about the issue.

                      Yes, I’ve heard your claims, but you are NOT a scholar, and you certainly are NOT a trained scholar in Biblical Hermeneutics and Exegesis.

                      So, please let me know when you’re ready.

                  • I’ve read Gagnon. He doesn’t know half of what he pretends to know. His work is full of error.
                    No formal training? Being taught by native speakers, professional teachers, isn’t formal training?
                    Should I have sat in one of those seminary classrooms where they teach seriously flawed versions of both languages, not even getting the names of the alphabets right?
                    Sorry, dude, you are not QUALIFIED to debate. You haven’t satisfactorily addressed ANY of the points I’ve already posted. You refuted nothing, denied everything. Denial isn’t debate.
                    Tell me, O language scholar, with friends you think so wise: What part of speech is משכבי
                    What is the significance of the construct state in Hebrew? Which parts of speech can be “understood” without being written or spoken?
                    Those questions are all pertinent to Leviticus. How many times is the word משכבי used in scripture?

                    • Bill, Robert Gagnon literally causes people like you to shake in your boots! You would never debate me let alone the world’s best Theologian in the area of human sexuality.

                      Dr. Michael Brown as well. You are a fraud, and any real scholar would easily know that!

                  • Gagnon has lots of supporters… people who can’t read Hebrew and Greek. Those of us who can, and who have read his work, realize his knowledge of those languages is quite limited. He doesn’t know as much as he pretends. And he does NOT impress or scare me… not by a long short. I’ve debated better scholars than him. Not surprised that he impresses you, though. You’ll cheer for any pseudo-scholar who echoes what you already believe, no matter how flawed his evidence.

                    • Your creditials are impressive. Doesn’t mean anything in particular. In Leviticus 18 you say the phrase in a women’s bed only means sleeping with a women in her bed. So the two men in a women’s bed is two men and a woman. If this is so why is the punishment for it just two people or both should be put to death.

                • Oh, dear, Bill, did my comment come up as a response to you? I was addressing Florida Boy and my bad for not saying so.

                  I apologize as I have the greatest respect for you. I had not even seen your response to him until after I wrote my comment.

                  • Ran out of places to reply to you below, so will do it here. In regard to man being herbivorous after the fall, I can’t find any place where it suggests that. There would have been no need physically. It appears that all redesigning of species took place at the fall, so man would have been fully capable of eating meat at that time. And of course, some species became obligatory carnivores, like felines, incapable of properly digesting vegetation. So obviously they were eating meat, and I doubt it would have taken man long to figure out that animals were edible. They figured out by the second generation that they could be used for sacrifice. So why not food?

                    • Bill, I was referring to Gen 9 “Then God blessed Noah and his sons, saying to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number and fill the earth. 2 The fear and dread of you will fall on all the beasts of the earth, and on all the birds in the sky, on every creature that moves along the ground, and on all the fish in the sea; they are given into your hands. 3 Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.”

                      This has always red to me that until the last 2 sentences, people had been vegetarians.

                  • I know the JWs teach that man did not eat meat until after the flood. Prior to the fall, God told man he could eat any vegetation. After the flood, He told him he could eat both vegetation and meat. But to say that between the fall and the flood man did not eat meat is a stretch. There would be no reason not to. Especially when you consider that by the time of Noah, nobody on earth knew what God had commanded about anything except Noah.
                    I guess it’s one of those things we can’t know for sure.

            • Bill, yes, Adam and Eve were very much Heterosexual before the Fall, as evidenced by the words of Almighty God Himself just after they were created and brought together by God: “Be Fruitful And Multiply”. They were created Heterosexual beings as ALL human beings are.

              • Read the last phrase in 2 Tim. 2:15, and see if you know what it means: “…correctly dividing the word of truth.”
                That means using a bit of wisdom and common sense. The first chapter of Genesis is a synopsis of the entire creation, and includes events before and after the fall. Chapter two goes back and tells the creation of man again, along with the fall, in much more detail.
                The command to be fruitful and multiply was not given to man or the animals before the fall, despite its location in the first chapter. How do I know? Common sense: First, prior to the fall, there was no death because there was no sin. That meant no human or animal ever died. The humans and animals were in the garden, an enclosed space. In the absence of death, it would make no sense whatsoever for God to command anyone or anything to be fruitful and multiply.
                Second, the command to man also included the instruction to “fill the earth.” Prior to the expulsion from the garden, they did not have access to the whole earth, only the garden. God would not command them to do something they could not possibly do.
                Procreation only became necessary when sin brought about death.

                • Bill, to address this nonsense that you’ve written. It was well the intention of God that MAN and WOMAN would procreate long before the fall!

                  How do I know? The evidence is within their physical and biological makeup. Men had penises, testicles, and the ability to release semen long before Adam felled in the Garden.

                  Eve had a Vagina, eggs, fallopian tubes, Breasts, the ability to make milk long before she felled in the Garden.

                  God never gave animals that command, though He obviously gave animals the capacity to reproduce their kind.

                  In context, what we absolutely know is that God never intended for homosexuals to be able to procreate between themselves!

                  Again, this is more of the same in terms of gay revisionist false theology.

                  • Before Adam “felled?” I’m guessing English isn’t one of the subjects you took.
                    How do YOU know what body parts they had before the fall? Were you there? Where is your evidence?
                    Prior to the fall, humans and all animals were herbivores. Herbivores lack dentition and digestive tracts that can deal with meat. But after the fall, humans, and many animals, began to eat meat. That meant that every creature who would now be an omnivore or a carnivore needed new dentition and a new digestive tract. The serpent, who lost his legs, wasn’t the only creature to be redesigned.
                    So if God had to redesign much of creation in that way, why is it such a stretch to think He also added a means of procreation.
                    If God had originally intended man to procreate, why lock him in an enclosed garden, and not even give him the knowledge that he was naked, let alone the knowledge of how to have sex? And given the finite size of earth, even if we ignore the bounds of the garden, in the absence of death, procreation would have made no sense whatsoever. Where would all those people an animals go?
                    Common sense… got some?

                    • Bill wrote “Prior to the fall, humans and all animals were herbivores. ”

                      I am curious about something… While I agree that while in the Garden they were all herbivores, but I’ve always had the impression they remained vegetarians until after the Flood where it says that God gave Noah and his family permission to eat all those animals they just rescued which was pretty tough nuggies for the animals.

                      Not that those several chapters of Genesis are historical documents, merely theological ones using myth to explain a truth bigger than can be explained any other way.

    • “The Word of God says, “The woman shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman’s garment: for all that do so are abomination” (Deuteronomy 22:5).”

      But we don’t dress today as they did when that was written, or like we did 50, 100, 200 years ago.

      Is your claim that in this text God is endorsing what ever the secular culture says are appropriate male and female garments? And how is that not syncretism?

      The founding fathers wore tights, Henry the Eighth wore what we would call a dress today. 100 years ago women never wore pants. Who was sinning in those cases and who was not?

      • Within the Christian tradition there are different interpretations of Sacred Scripture. The belief that it is the revealed Word of God is only one. In my faith, Episcopalian, we study the historical context in which the books of the Bible were written as well as when they were compiled. The Bible is a collection of the Sacred Texts of the Jewish People. It is Sacred Literature. In order to use them wisely, we must realize that they were written by people for people who were experiencing all aspects of the human condition. Birth, Illness, War, Love. There are many parts of Sacred Scripture that we have no problem ignoring. For example, references to keeping slaves, pulling out your eye if it causes you to sin or your hand…. If we believed that those parts of Sacred Scripture applied to us now, we would be harming ourselves and/or others. In fact, some people with certain forms of mental illness take these statements literally and pull out there eyes or cut off there hands. However some Christian fundamentalist denominations continue to believe that God wrote the Bible, just like he created the world in 6 days which we know now is not reality. These people continue to use lines from the bible to justify their persecution of certain people. The statements they use to shame men and women who are born into a broad range of genders and find themselves falling in love with someone of the same gender as themselves. You can’t “pray away the gay” but you can convince a gay person that they should excise their core identity just the way mentally ill individuals interpret the Bible literally and rip out their own eye. The literal interpretation of the Bible has real and serious ethical considerations and consequences. So I will not and I cannot condone the behavior of any preacher who tells a gay man that he is intrinsically sinful, and that he must not only beg for forgiveness but he must denounce his most cherished feelings, is perception of himself. This is wrong. It is evil and I denounce it.

        • Hi Eileen, you stated “So I will not and I cannot condone the behavior of any preacher who tells a gay man that he is intrinsically sinful, and that he must not only beg for forgiveness…”

          For clarification, take out the “gay” part, do you feel that when there IS something you would interpret as sin in someone’s life that they must beg God for forgiveness?

          • Steve B wrote, “do you feel that when there IS something you would interpret as sin in someone’s life that they must beg God for forgiveness?”

            This feels like a trick question to me.

            What business does anyone have identifying sin in someone else when our Lord tells us to pay attention to our own sin?

          • So apparently you are probing the question do I believe that there is evil. That’s an interesting question. I do believe there are evil deeds that one ought to beg forgiveness for. I cannot judge another’s motives but I can evaluate behavior. I would say that those who perform acts which are destructive of God’s creation, in myself, in others and in the world around me need to seek forgiveness from those they have harmed whether it be creation, myself or the persons around me. I don’t believe that persons are intrinsically evil however even when they believe they are acting as the believe God commanded and they harm another, they need to seek forgiveness and as a Christian I would forgive. I am of the Original Blessing brand of Christianity, not the Original sin brand. 🙂

            • Thanks for sharing, Eileen. Main thing for me was that you used the word “beg.”

              1 John 1:9 says , “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” which to me says he is quick to forgive with no “begging” necessary. Also, there is Room 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

              Not intended as a challenge. Just making sure you know you don’t have to beg for the forgiveness. It’s already taken care of.

              • I can’t remember why I used the word beg, I think it was a paraphrase of one of the folks that said a gay person ought to beg forgiveness. That’s all.

            • But you profess to be an Episcopalian and my understanding is that the Episcopal Church does accept the concept of “Original Sin.”

              • Then Joe C, you understand wrong, the Episcopal Church does not have a concept of Original Sin identical to that of the Roman Church. Most of us believe in something akin to the Eastern Orthodox Churches, that we inherit the consequence of Adam’s sin, but not the guilt of Adam’s sin. We are not born guilty and worthy of damnation. Nor do we believe in Protestant concepts of predestination, which is based on Agustinian theology, just as the doctrine of Orginal Sin of the Roman Church.

                • I don’t think Catholicism says we share the “guilt” of original sin, but we suffer the consequences of it and are deprived of supernatural grace until restored by baptism.

                • Thank you David Allen!!!! Plageius – original blessing; Augustine of Hippo, original sin.
                  Furthermore, the Episcopal Church does not require that you adhere to dogma. Membership is about community centered on the liturgy and the teaching and example of Jesus.

              • The Bible doesn’t accept that concept, either, Joe. It teaches that we inherit a sinful nature, the inescapable tendency to sin. We do NOT inherit guilt for the sin of Adam. On the contrary, the Bible teaches that the sons do NOT inherit the sins of the fathers, which makes the idea of original sin impossible.
                I don’t know if the Episcopalian church believes in original sin or not. But if not, they are correct in that belief.

                • No, Bill, the Episcopal Church does not teach the doctrine of Original Sin. Here’s what we teach: “Luther’s understanding of original sin led him to emphasize humanity’s utter dependence on God’s grace and the need for faith. Calvinism came to emphasize humanity’s total depravity relative to original sin. Although the consequences of original sin have not been emphasized as strongly in Anglicanism as in other Protestant traditions, Article IX of the Articles of Religion, “Of Original or Birth-Sin,” states that “man is very far gone from original righteousness, and is of his own nature inclined to evil” (BCP, p. 869). Roman Catholics likewise identify the consequence of original sin as a fall from grace or a wounded human nature rather than a corrupt nature.”

                  https://www.episcopalchurch.org/library/glossary/original-sin

                • We inherit the brokenness caused by Original Sin: a defective intellect and a weakened will, which predisposes us to be attracted to doing wrong and committing actual sins for which we are culpable. I have never seen in Catholicism that we inherit the “guilt” of original sin.

                  • I had Catholic upbringing. The nuns taught us that we were born already stained with the sin of Adam and Eve, and because of that, if a baby died before baptism, he couldn’t go to heaven.
                    On the other hand, if a baby is not born already stained with sin, and dies, he has no sin, and there is nothing to keep him out of heaven.

                • So Romans 3 does not speak of man being sinners. John 3:18-20 those who do not believe on Him are guilty already. Because we are in sin from the start.

                  • Do you know the difference between knowledge and wisdom? Knowledge is information. Wisdom is knowing what to do with it, how to use it.
                    Knowing verses about sin doesn’t help if you can’t put the pieces together.
                    The definition of sin is willful disobedience to the stated will of God.
                    Who can be held accountable for sin? Those who have the capacity to understand. (James 4:17)
                    In order to believe, a person has to have the capacity to do so. A person who has not reached an age of reason, whether due to youth or mental illness, cannot believe. Are such individuals automatically doomed because they cannot believe? Of course not.

                    • Correct. So the time they are able to repent and be saved they are in sin. Doesn’t change my post or what Rom 3 says does it. What age is that. Who knows but God. Simply put outside Christ in you your a sinner.

                  • We can’t assign a number to the age of consent. It varies from person to person. God knows the heart, and He knows if a person has the capacity to understand. But we can make certain observations. An infant cannot understand, and thus, cannot sin. An adult with a mental age of six months cannot understand and cannot sin.

                • Bill, your heresy is very easy to dismantle and refute from the Biblical record. First, human beings are all “guilty before God” even at the point of conception as David declared in Psalm 51.

                  The apostle Paul’s teaching in Romans 5, blows your weak position to pieces. In Romans, Paul teaches the concept and reality of original sin as well as human guilt, and he reaches back to Genesis as well, dealing with Adam and Eve.

                  As it relates to original sin, we call the fall of Adam and Eve as in genesis 3 to be the original sin, because it is the beginning of sin in the human race. The fall of Adam and eve affected all their descendants, so that all the descendants are born sinners (Psalm 51:5, Romans 5:12, Ephesians 2:3). The key passage for constructing a biblical and contemporary model of original sin is Romans 5:12-19.

                  Paul certainly is saying that death originated in the human race because of Adam’s sin. He is also saying that death is universal and the cause of this is the universal sin of mankind. Later; however; he says that the cause of the death of all is the sin of the one man, Adam-*many died through one man’s trespass; because of one man’s trespass, death reigned through that one man*.

                  We are counted Guilty because of Adam’s sin. Paul explains the effects of Adam’s sin in the following way: all members of the human race were represented by Adam in the time of testing in the Garden of Eden. As our representative, Adam sinned, and God counted us guilty as well as Adam. God counted Adam’s guilt as belonging to us, and since God is the ultimate judge of all things in the universe, and since his thoughts are always true Adam’s guilt does in fact belong to us. God rightly imputed (charged to one’s account) Adam’s guilt to us.

                  So, we’re all guilty as it relates to the sin of our first Father, Adam, and the proof is, like Adam, we all die!

                  • Ezekiel 18:20 disagrees with your theology. It says that the soul that sins shall die, that the sons will not bear the sins of the fathers, nor the fathers the sins of the sins. Nobody can be held accountable for someone else’s sin. We inherit only the sinful nature, so that by the time we are old enough to be held accountable for sin, we do. We are NOT guilty of the sins of any ancestor, and that includes Adam.

                    • Bill, your Hermeneutics is very weak and non-existent. The Ezekiel passage you cite has nothing to do with the sin we inherited from our Father, Adam.

                      God told Adam, “The day of that you eat of the tree that I have forbidden you, that is the day you shall surely die!”

                      And from that, Adam died immediately in his spirit, progressively in his soul, and ultimately in his body.

                      Every human being since Adam, dies! There is no refutation of that reality.

                      Romans 5 is clear that we not only inherited Adam’s sin, but that “IN ADAM, ALL DIE”.

                      No one is saying that my brother’s sins is my responsibility or that if my Mother sins, then that makes me guilty.

                      The text is not intending to communicate that message. The message that it surely communicates that we are all dying creatures, including infant babies, because of Adam’s sin, and that is irrefutable.

                      Even infants that have never consciously sinned, can and do die…because of the sentence of death already in their bodies because they are the ancestors of Adam!

                  • Florida Boy, your theology sucks, to be blunt. Because of sin, death came into existence. Death was the penalty of sin. Adam and Eve, originally immortal, ageless, became mortal. And they gave birth to mortals. In Adam we all die, because we all inherited mortality and a sinful nature. But we are not automatically guilty of his sin. If we were, NOBODY, even infants or the profoundly developmentally disabled, would have any hope of salvation outside of the New Testament plan. But obviously, infants and the developmentally disabled cannot follow that plan. Did God intend infants who died young to be lost forever? Or the developmentally disabled? The soul that sins, it shall die. For it’s own sin, not someone else’s, including Adam’s.

              • I can’t remember why I used the word beg, I think it was a paraphrase of one of the folks that said a gay person ought to beg forgiveness. That’s all.

        • Eileen, I would never trust anything the Episcopal Church says or advocate. They’re as liberal as they come! I once dated a girl who’s Father was a Priest, and was convicted of Pedophilia, and he died in Prison! I could never listen to a man that allows himself to be sodomized by other men. I wouldn’t even visit the Episcopal Church.

          • Well in reference to my last comment about evil, when you judge an entire group of people whom you have never met, and accused them of pedophilia, I would count that as an evil deed requiring forgiveness. Jesus taught judge not. Do you really think that heterosexual marriage is about how you have sex? Do you really think the Episcopal Church condones pedophilia? What an ugly lie to perpetrate. No, its about who you want to grow old with. Personally I find your statement offensive, uncalled for, and requiring an apology. I’ve been married to my spouse for 6 years and we’ve been in a common law marriage for 25 years and never once have we practiced sodomy. Demeaning another’s character is the sin of calumny so it does require forgiveness. Is it liberal to believe that what god created was good? Is it liberal to welcome all those seeking God in good faith. That’s how Jesus lived and what he taught.

            • Eileen, just in case you didn’t know, the so-called “common law” marriage was no marriage at all! You were living in sin, committing fornication, if which, Paul says that homosexuals and fornicators will not enter into the kingdom of God. The Episcopal Church is a demonic institution, not an authentic Church. The mere fact that they embrace homosexuality and have had a freak for their “Bishop”, says all I need to know. You are not impressive at all, having lived in unrepentant sexual sin for 25 years! I am willing to believe that you are not a saved person according to the Scripture.

              • Florida Boy, you have heard of separation of church and state, haven’t you? The state can perform weddings and many states, in fact, do recognize that a common law marriage has been created after a certain length of time.

                When a wedding is performed in a church, the presider is acting as an agent of the state. That is why the presider says “By the authority vested in me by the state of I now pronuounce you married.”

                If the presider fails to say that, the marriage is not legal and might as well be a couple living together out of wedlock.

                As for you comments about my denomination, The Episcopal Church, you don’t know what you are talking about. Please become informed, please join us in worship, read our New Teaching Series to find out our slant, then and only then, may you form an opinion.

                Whenever I am confronted with homophobia, I wonder which of the following applies:

                1) Is the homophobic man afraid of being raped by a gay man even though there is no evidence that gay men go around raping straight men.

                If this is the case, it is difficult for me to garner any sympathy as we women are afraid of being raped since we are about twelve and in all of the millennia of human existence, heterosexual men have yet to cease to rape women. Especially as men have allowed the rape culture to flourish in the world as if women are things and not people who who ought to be able to give consent.

                2) How deep in the closet is the homophobe? How terrified is he to admit he is gay?

                Let the light of God’s truth about him pierce the darkness that binds him and allow it to set him free.

                If we believe God doesn’t make mistakes and that God it is love and that God made humanity in God’s image, then it stands to reason that if God created someone to be homosexual, then it must have been because it delighted God to do so.

                God is love and God wants us to love our neighbors for the person it delighted God to create. We are to love all as ourselves exactly as God first loved us. When Jesus commands us to love this way, He does not have a list of exceptions, footnotes, or a list of appendices to justify denying love to someone. He commands us to love all.

              • A common law marriage meets the biblical requirements for a marriage. Or did you think the Bible required a license from the government and reciting vows before clergy? Those things are man’s additions. The Bible’s definition of marriage was one thing only: a covenant. When two people make a covenant to live their lives together as a couple, they are biblically married.

                • Bill, nice try but you’re spouting pure nonsense. A legitimate marriage will be recognized by the state for the purpose of legal matters as well as honoring the institution.

                  Please stay off of Wikipedia!

                  • I wonder myself wh has the most knowledge of the Bible?

                    The man who has been reading the Bible in the original languages for over forty years, teaching the Biblical languages or the person who claims the first person got his info from wikipedia?

                    My money is on the man who has been reading the Bible in the original languages.

                    As would be anyone who prefers education and information to bigotry and prejudice.

                    • Gloriamarie, you have no idea how long I’ve known the Hebrew and Greek language. You haven’t a clue as to my age, my experience in teaching the Scripture or at what level. You feel its important to support anyone that has an anti-Bible and pro-homosexual ethic. Please stay out of the conversation until you’re asked to get involved, please.

                      Thank You!

                    • Florida Boy wrote, “Please stay out of the conversation until you’re asked to get involved, please.”

                      Are you actually implying that because I am a woman, I can’t participate of my own free will?

                  • Learn to focus, Florida Boy. The point was biblical marriage, not legal. The point, which clearly went right over your head, was that common law marriage satisfies the biblical criteria for marriage. God doesn’t require a license or ceremony. Those are man’s requirements.

                    • Bill, I read exactly what you wrote, and you’re still wrong! The Scripture says to “obey the laws of the land”, and as biblically literate people know, God is the creator and instituter of Government, and the Government is the “Minister of God” to carry out God’s decrees and ordinances as well as His righteousness and justice.

                      Now, we realize that people make up Government and therefore, Government is flawed, but a marriage that is honored by God, will have the State/Government’s sanction, and that’s why there is no such thing as “gay marriage” because God recognizes no such thing!

                • It’s sex. When the two are joined as one. Which is why homosexuality is wrong. Because they can’t have sex properly in God’s design of humans. Why the woman at the well had more then one husband. She slept around. Why premarital sex is wrong.

                  • You’re really consumed with other people’s sex. Take a look back at this thread and ask yourself why you’ve posted dozens of replies to talk about other people’s relationships. Maybe it’s not your business? Maybe if you’re not lGBTQ you should just, I don’t know—live your life.

                    • Another ridiculous post. It’s a blog. With a comment section the topic. Lbgt. Nor obsession. Its the issue you posted. How about you address my post. Your avoiding them

                    • Your posts are nonsensical and filled with a blind prejudice against LGBTQ people that has already made up its mind. Read the thread again. Lots of people have “addressed your posts” but ultimately you want us and Jesus to agree with you about LGBTQ people. We don’t. You’re just going to have to live with that. I can’t argue you into compassion, intelligent examination of the Scriptures, or a faith that worries more about policing yourself more than strangers. I understand that.

                    • Because I mention scripture. Have made no comment of lbgt people at all. You have yet to respond to my question about scripture. Just merely say I have hate or animosity. Jesus agrees with me. Scripture doesn’t say we have to like anyone. He says to love them. There is a difference. Disagreeing with how one lives isn’t hate. False witness against another is a nother thing. You are a bit off in scripture discernment

                    • John
                      So happy to see I take a politics fast for 40 days, and nothing has changed much.
                      I am super happy to see you learned from getting so thoroughly schooled by jshepherd53 that you actually decided to invite re-enforcements this time. Bill makes for much for engaging debate other than your typical responses.
                      But I still want to encourage you to debate against Ravi Zecharias and team, I am sure they would be happy to oblige.

                  • I can’t find any place in the Bible where God instructs people on how to have sex. It says the marriage bed is undefiled, which most take to mean that any act between spouses, if both consent, is just fine.
                    Scripture doesn’t address oral sex or anal sex or any of the other possible acts. It does demonstrate in Song of Solomon that parts of the body that have no function in reproduction have legitimate sexual uses, including the navel and tongue.
                    I think a better gauge of how to have sex is simply what is natural. Homosexuality exists throughout God’s creation, in many hundreds of species. He created that, and the adjective He used to describe His creation was “good.”
                    Homosexuality serves a demonstrably positive purpose in many species, and would function the same way in humans, were it not for human prejudice.
                    My point is not to equate us with animals. But we share a Designer who used many of the same elements. Does it make sense that He would create something and call it good in animals, but when the exact same phenomenon occurs spontaneously in humans, generation after generation, call it an abomination? It doesn’t make sense. And He didn’t. Humans called it that.

                    • He said who not to sleep with. He told everything to multiply. And designed them a certain way to do so. We do not look to animals to learn how to live or have sex. Your inserti ng your opinions

                  • Jay, you’re absolutely correct! Homosexuals can never comprise of the “One-Flesh” union that Jesus spoke about because two of the same can never make a whole! Only two halves can make a whole, and that is why we have MALE and FEMALE, the two halves that makes the one whole!

                    Thanks!

                    • They are stuck on the idea that there is no mention of homosexual word or against it. Yet they ignore all the passages that show what marriage is. Jesus was clear. Sex outside marriage is sin. And then directly stated what marriage is. Man and women. How that is not answer enough. They ignore how two are made one. In Romans they ignore the rest of the passage.

        • I doubt that any Christians are telling homosexuals that they are “intrinsically evil.”

          Certainly not the Catholic Church.

          But sexual contact outside of a legitimate marriage (and there is no such thing as a Christian same-sex marriage) is intrinsically evil.

          It’s not the “orientation” but the “behavior” and that includes heterosexuals.

          The problem with interpreting the Scriptures is that there needs to be an infallible interpreter and guide, and that does not exist outside of the Church which Christ established, beginning with Peter as the first leader or Pope.

          • The Bible doesn’t say it needs an infallible interpreter and guide. So your church claims that it does, and that it is the guide. Do you see the circular logic there?

          • Joe, do you even begin to realize what you are claiming when you say “It’s not the “orientation” but the “behavior” as if that explains it all? It is like the most cruel of digs. You are telling people, you cannot help being defective, but you can choose not to act defective.

            The raw fact is that the Bible has some strange, highly subjective to interpretation things in it and those who use it as a weapon have missed the entire point.

            You likely never use the odd insults or curses in the Bible, never use many odd laws in Leviticus against others, never use the food rules in the Bible, never use the verses about bodily functions in the Bible, don’t talk about the violence, even killing babies in the Bible, you claim even the instructions to slave masters and slaves does not condone slavery, you likely never advocate for the bizarre “death sentences” in the Bible, you likely would not use the Biblical exclusion of the handicapped of “blemished” to keep someone out of church, you likely have more than two shirts, you likely have had a woman teacher, you likely do not want to kill witches, we know you would never dash an infant against the rocks, I doubt you used a rod on your son, you would likely never vow to burn your daughter, much less sell her for some goats…I could go on and on but by now you likely get the gist. You ignore PLENTY of God’s word, as does your church, but the verses you believe condemn homosexuals are golden. Maybe YOU need to examine why that would be?

            Love, Love, Love
            Verse 1
            Love, love, love, love
            The gospel in a word is love!
            Love your neighbor as your brother
            Love, love, love
            Verse 2
            Joy, joy, joy, joy
            The gospel in a word is joy!
            Joy that fills to overflowing
            Joy, joy, joy
            Verse 3
            Peace, peace, peace, peace
            The gospel in a word is peace!
            Peace that passes understanding
            Peace, peace, peace
            Verse 4
            Christ, Christ, Christ, Christ
            The gospel in a word is Christ!
            Love Him, serve Him, and adore Him
            Christ, Christ, Christ

            • As I’ve mentioned a thousand times, though I revere the Holy Scriptures, I do not believe they are the be-all and end-all regarding God’s revelation to mankind, and that He established a teaching authority.

              But if you do use the Bible as an authority, by your logic you could throw out any moral teaching.

              Love, joy, peace, etc. All that is wonderful and good. The point remains that Jesus said “go and sin no more” and that “all who sin are slaves,” so although we shouldn’t judge, neither should we condone what should not be condoned, because it will lead that person into slavery, which is not of love and does not bring peace and joy.

              And much on your list is not something that I would think God is ordering me to do when I read the Bible.

              • Again Joe Catholic, your hubris burns brightly. You do not think the Holy Scriptures “are the be-all and end-all regarding God’s revelation” but you believe your Catholic church is? WOW!

                And no, if we use the Bible as an authority, we do not “throw out any moral teaching.” Your blinders must pinch horribly!

                Mock it as you like, the overall message and very much repeated command is to love. And NOTHING releases us from that. Not our family, not our being, not our church, not our job, not our politics. NOTHING.

                We all do sin, that is the whole point. Singling out one sin, or two, over others for exclusion, harm or even debate is stupid and futile. I’ll see you one adultery and raise you two thieves? I fold with only a pair of liars? I’ll call with a murderer? WE ALL SIN. Your sin is not less than my sin. My sin is not less than your sin.

                NOTHING about Jesus saying “Go, and sin no more” gives you permission to call out other people’s sin as you see it. That was God speaking to her, not you or me or some preacher.

                Our job is to lead people to seek God, not tell them how to behave or live. Love is bringing the good news of Christ and a life lived for God. Nowhere is the good news to call out sin and shame people. If your church is teaching you that, they need better interpreters of God’s Word.

                Not calling out sin is also not condoning sin. So even if you believe something is sin, someone is sinning, you loving them and leaving that sin unnamed is better than naming and shaming them. That is never, ever love. It is self-righteous hubris and judging. Nothing more, and does not show love or bring peace and joy.

                My list was not to show you what God ordered. It was to show you what is in the Bible that folks like you conveniently ignore as you reach for the verses you use in condemnation of homosexuals. Hubris in action.

                • We do not have the right to say a particular sin is not a sin.

                  And yes of course I believe the 2,000 year old Catholic Church which was founded on Peter is the be-all and end-all regarding moral teaching.

                  Thank you for the love.

      • Meghan. i don’t think God was dictating that Fashion come to a stand still in the Bronze Age.

        i think he was more concerned about the ‘visual beings’ that he made us to be (especially men) –and for a purpose. [It’s the ‘visual’ that leads to sexual attraction, that leads us to pairing up for Marriage & Family.] God’s best advice is that men should avoid having the appearance of women, and women should avoid having the appearance of men… for the same reason above.

    • Christopher, I think you need to concern yourself with your own sins of pride and judgmentalism. They are far worse than any of the things you are condemning in others.

      Jesus said that He didn’t come into the world to condemn it, but that through Him it might be saved. So you have to ask yourself where you get off condemning anyone in His name?

    • God created people who are born with both sets of sex organs. What are they? The first rule of true Christianity should be “first do no harm.” If you are creating a hostile environment for LGBT people then you are harming them and acting contrary to how ChristIan a should treat their neighbors.
      If people who are so rigid that they cannot survive without a strict legalistic structure were not so destructive to others, I would feel sorry for them.

      • Mary, for the record, children that are born with both sex organs are less than 1% world wide, and in the vast majority of the cases, surgery can fix the problem. I know because I have a great-nephew that was born with that problem and the doctors easily fixed the problem through surgery.

        • Jamey, you live such a simple-minded life where you know everything from one lone example; the doctors fixed your great-nephew, so that has to be the case for ALL children born in similar circumstances. Let’s see if the doctors were correct when HE is fully grown. I pray for HIM that is truly the case.

          You know everything to know about how terrible the Episcopal Church is, all based on the father of a girl that you once dated who committed despicable acts.

    • Actually Christopher the original translation was man and woman and everything between. It was later translations that paired it down to strictly 2 genders. Also Original Hebrew/Aramaic text had more than 2 genders. In fact all started out in feminine form and were later translated to masculine. If you actually go off the King James version it implies women have no souls…like gingers. So your Bible thumping is highly fallacious.

    • Chris Freeman, you said it right there at the top! Idolatry. Perhaps it’s because I’m from the UK, that I can see what you’re blind to. Putting lives and the USA at risk!?!?! A biblical perspective would put Israel, God’s people, or the world, as at risk. Something special about the USA that you can defend biblically????

      • I realise that the middle bit suggests a biblical perspective endangers communities, but what I actually meant was that if you are talking from a biblical perspective about communities at risk because of their disobedience, then you’d be referring to Israel or the world, etc. Hope that’s clear.

  4. I dislike when Christians say, “Love the sinner but hate the sin.” When it comes to the LGBT community, the Christians I know hate the “sinner.” When my brother came out, mom would oftentimes say this. But then say the most vile, hateful things about him. It’s Christians like her that caused me to leave the faith.

    • In point of fact, despite denials to the contrary, most of the Christians I have known CLEARLY hate both the sin and the sinner. There is a good reason for it too—that people never seem to think about. In Revelations, God does not just throw a sinner’s sin into the Lake of Fire. He throws both the sin and the sinner into the Lake of Fire. Baptists like to say that they hate the sin but not the sinner because it gives them a doorway to evangelize without totally rejecting a person—which repels most potential converts. So, I just wish Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals, who the Bible requires to have the same mind in them that is in God, would just quit lying about it and openly admit that they hate both the sin and the sinner—and that in many cases—if there were not a law against it—they would like to get started early and begin killing off sinners right now.

      Honesty would be so much easier because everyone would at least know where everyone else stands. There is nothing worse than having a fundie Christian beckoning to you with an extended hand full of sugar and the other hand behind his back holding a knife.

      • Total lie. Mischaratorizing is a sin. Seems your just as good at hating as those you seem to know completely inside and out.

        • There you go in your simple-minded world again. You can now declare someone a liar because his experience with most of the Christians that he has known is different than your own.

          Please see in the glass darkly and worry about the stick in your own eye, long before worrying about specks in the eyes of others.

          • It’s pretty obvious that Charles hates fundies and Evangelicals and creates mean-spirited and very distorted caricatures of them.

    • Rick wrote, ““Love the sinner but hate the sin.” Then perhaps you will be interested to know that phrase does not originate from any Christian.

      Gandhi said it. In his 1929 autobiography.

      The only close Christian equivalent is from from St. Augustine. His Letter 211 (c. 424) contains the phrase Cum dilectione hominum et odio vitiorum, which translates roughly to “With love for mankind and hatred of sins.”

      Which cannot be translated as “Love the sinner, not the sin” because it is not talking about human beings but that God loves people and hates sin.

      It doesn’t give us permission to hate the sin as what Jesus tells us to do is love everyone in the world as we love ourselves.

      • Loving someone also includes correcting does it not. I don’t hate my kids when they do wrong. I explain why it’s wrong and if need be discipline them. God does same and asks us to be like him. I can love the sinner and hate the sin the same way can I not.

        • Jay wrote “Loving someone also includes correcting does it not.”

          Not if they are adults. We have no business pay attention to anyone else’s sin but our own.

          Interesting to me that people have latched onto this saying of a Hindu man. It’s not in the Bible anywhere.

          • Whatever Truth a Hindu man speaks is still Truth.

            “Love the sinner and hate the sin” is a perfectly good thing for the Christian to keep in mind at all times so that he refrains from making a judgment that is not his to make.

            It is also not our business to condone the sins of others (or those of ourselves).

              • So?

                Neither is “Don’t smoke cigarettes.”

                At any rate, what’s wrong with the first part? “Love the sinner…” You can’t argue with that one can you?

                And what about “hate the sin”? Would it be better to say “LOVE the sin”? What’s the problem with “hate the sin”?

      • From Augustine’s Letter 211:

        ” Moreover, what I have now said in regard to abstaining from wanton looks should be carefully observed, with due love for the persons and hatred of the sin, in observing, forbidding, reporting, proving, and punishing of all other faults. But if any one among you has gone on into so great sin as to receive secretly from any man letters or gifts of any description, let her be pardoned and prayed for if she confess this of her own accord. If, however, she is found out and is convicted of such conduct, let her be more severely punished, according to the sentence of the prioress, or of the prior, or even of the bishop.”

        http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1102211.htm

  5. Thank you for those words John. I have always wondered why so many want to marginalize others. To me being LGBTQ is no different than, let’s say, being right handed, or blue eyed. Then again many still think a skin color makes a person different or unacceptable. In the past even women were denied the same rights as men. To me it is all part of the same human behavior repeating itself endlessly.

    Could it be that when the Bible speaks to God’s anger at human behavior it was speaking about the absence of morality as shown in the orgies or whatever when an anything goes frame of mind prevailed? Could it have had absolutely nothing to do with love between two adult humans which causes no harm to anyone and is a gift from God?

    I wasn’t raised with prejudice so it fascinates me how people come up with these things and that this prejudice seems to be more prevalent in certain areas in this country than in others.

    Peace

  6. Oh. My. God!
    This is an entirely new level of enlightenment I didn’t see coming. You, sir, are such a precise powerful weapon of truth and Equality. Thank you.

  7. Thank you John. I just copied this and am saving it. I appreciate the knowledge you have of this issue. And your ability to articulate it.

    I find it curious, after commenting here frequently, declaring my faith in Christ, being committed to Him alone, and being lesbian… That some well-intended (snirk) person hasn’t said “See there? It can be done! That’s the kind of dyke we’ll tolerate!”. I’m amazed actually. So since no one has had the unmitigated gall to say it… I’ll go ahead and voice my rebuttal.

    I loved my spouse of 16 yrs, whole-heartedly. And it was difficult because for much of those years as she was a raging, abusive alcoholic. No amount of “love” on my part was able to fix her. And therein lies the problem; I have the propensity for being a raging, abusive codependent. This is my greatest sin, my abomination; making others my god. I know this. This codependency separates me from Him. This sin, brought me to my knees and has, figuratively, kept me there. This is a battle He and I fight together, every single minute of every single hour of every single day.

    I was never, and I repeat never, convicted of the physical expression of my love, devotion, and commitment to my spouse. I did feel the conviction of knowing I had placed my relationship before God; He was second place in my heart.

    When this knowledge of my sin came to full burden in my heart, that I could no longer keep up the denial, with much gratitude and humility, I made full surrender and commitment to Him. I am forgiven. And He has taken His rightful place. And in turn, He’s granted me the power to appropriately love others through Him. And I still, in weakest moments, attempt to fall back to the old self. It is a constant pull; it’s an ever present evil.

    I’ve met so many scripture-quoting people that care to name my sin for me… By assumption without ever forming a connect with me. That care to measure their righteousness by their hatred for me. Please don’t. He and I have got this. And as always, He goes to the heart of the matter.

    Is there scripture that warns of codependency? You bet there is. Ha! And you just thought it’s the way I physically express ‘I love and am devoted to you’. Be careful how you judge, when you dare to.

    • Very brave of you to show your weakness. Just know that we all have our own weakness, some the same, others different. Being imperfect humans the best we can do is own it and try so very hard to change it. You have done that, I am trying to do it and everyone else should just worry about their own and not bother anyone else. Like you said, He and I got this. Peace and Love,

  8. Thank you soooo much for this blog. You have no idea the condemnation I have felt. Forget being a part of a church. Anyways, as I wrote on an earlier post you had my partner and I are bi. And, we have an open relationship. Meaning, if we consent one to the other and follow a few simple guides we have agreed to it is okay to share intimately with that other person. I don’t see any problem with this. I am a christian as stated before and also we embrace all faiths equally feeling God is not a punisher but rewards faith. Are others right to judge us? We find ourselves condemned for our views sometimes. My partner and I are committed to each other and love each other but we feel monogamy is old fashioned and not in the Bible. Am I wrong? Sorry for asking, just feeling a little condemned and I found this blog.

  9. Rev. Pavlovitz,

    Thank you.

    The LGBTQ+ community in Parkersburg, WV is trying to have passed a nondiscrimination ordinance (NDO) that would include sexual orientation and gender identity. The conservative churches have declared jihad against the ordinance. And they are winning.

    They have invoked God as their ally. They have called my friends horrible names. These people enjoy hating on gays, lesbians, and bisexual folks. But trans folks inspire another level of despite.

    On Tuesday 7/25 there is a very good chance they will officially win and the NDO will die. As a final act of what would effectively be civil disobedience, would you please grant someone from our group (a pastor, perhaps) permission to read the words of this “sermon” aloud before City Council?

    I have no illusion that it will sway any votes on Council. But, perhaps, one of the 200 conservatives in the Chamber will listen and, maybe, hear.

    Regardless, I love reading your work. Please don’t stop fighting the good fight. Some of us out here in the wilderness need you and love you.

    Daryl Cobranchi
    Parkersburg, WV

    • Sorry you have had so much trouble and pain. Hard-hearted conservatives will not hear you—especially the activist kind. They are too hard core on this issue. What you need to do is get the general citizenry on your side. I would suggest that you form a local LGBTQ club whose sole purpose is to assist the local community with things like screwing light bulbs in for old people free of charge, etc. It is a big need that is not being filled all over the country in the lives of us aging Baby Boomers who can no longer do the things young people do so simply and easily. As Jesus said, the people will soon be flowing into your hearts, no one will think you are a bunch of monsters, and the people in general will see who the real monster are—then try your anti-discrimination law again.

      Some nice old lady will stand up in the city council and say:

      “These are the same nice young men and women who cleaned the snow off my steps so I would not fall in that storm last winter—and you are trying to hurt them—only over my dead body!!!”

      Try it!!!

      • Thanks Charles, you just supported my contention that if people would just get to know someone who is LGBTQ, or when they have a family member or two identify that way, a good many of them would see that they are not really martians and would change their minds. Peace and Love,

  10. Pastor, I am very grateful for the above exegesis. I have not been exposed to a Christian defense of people who happen to be non-cis and/or non-heterosexual using actual scripture. Very interesting. I am also refreshed that you have pointed out that orientation and gender identity are not the same things. Further, your rebukes of those who erroneously disgorge the preposterous, scientifically-refuted flap-doodle defense that homosexuality and/or a transgender identity will ultimately lead to some backslide into bestiality, incest, pedophilia, hebephilia, and ephebophilia is also good to read. Again, thank you for all of that.
    The fact that you, as a decent human being, have arrived at the obvious conclusion that (according to 2016 Gallup polling) 4.1% of the US population identifying themselves as LGBTQ should be treated with dignity, respect, compassion, loving kindness and sympathetic joy is, of course, more important than how you arrived at it. Nevertheless, your thought process is very interesting to me. Appreciate the link as well.

    • Dear Matt D:

      Gloriamarie Amalfitano has a list of texts on topic written by Christians.

      To my thinking, James Brownson’s ‘Bible, Gender, Sexuality’ is among the finest. He is very even-handed, cites from the best sources, and handles the Biblical text masterfully.

      http://tinyurl.com/h8mbyjp

      Blessings!

      • Dear gdd, Matt D has refused, and rather rudely, I thought, to even glance at the list of books.

        It bemuses me when people refuse to look at a reference. Are they afraid that the weight of evidence will force them to change their minds and they are the proverbial creek without their family, friends, church?? Are they afraid they will be convinced to step out of the closet?

        Because if one is truly convinced she or he knows the truth, what is there to fear?

        Since you mentioned the list of books, gdd, I’ll post them again in case any are curious.

        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

        • Gloriamarie, I must apologize for my writing being abstruse and poorly constructed. My intention was not to be rude or unappreciative to you, Pastor Pavlovitz, Charles, and GDD. In case you are curious about me (which you are probably not) may I submit the following:
          1. I’m an atheist, liberal and educated in the biological sciences. From what I’ve read from your posts is that I’m very much on your side in the LGBTQ debate and probably most political issues.
          2. In addition to progressive Christianity, I have many other intellectual interests that I’m pursuing presently to, as you say, keep my mind open. Currently, in addition to following Pastor Pavlovitz’s blog I’m reading “The People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn; “Mysteries of Modern Phyiscs: Time” by Sean Carroll as well as trying to stay abreast of the current developments in my chosen career, which I happen to find quite fascinating. So I may be many things but I think closed minded would be a mischaracterization.
          3. I have a 5 month old daughter, work full time as a physician and I’m training for a marathon, so much of my “reading” has to be in the form of unabridged audiobooks.

          With that, I hope you can understand that I haven’t had time in the past few days to pursue your reading list. Christian exegesis that arrives at a pro-LGBTQ stance is indeed interesting to me. I had never seen it action before until I read The Pastor’a blog and I found it quite fascinating as I unsuccessfully tried to express. However, as a new father, a physician with a busy practice, a crappy marathon runner and an atheist, the details of such exegeses are a bit lower down on my to do list, though I’m not denigrating the importance of them at all.

          So again I apologize for seeming rude. Your links were indeed appreciated. I hope you have a nice day.

          • Thank you, Matt D, for your apology.

            “The People’s History of the United States” by Howard Zinn;

            I’ve read that. Quite the eye opener.

            I don’t know if any of the books I have recommended are available in audio form. But if they are, I hope you will seek them out as they are all very valuable.

  11. That is what I have always believed, so thank you for putting it into words. I am a straight little old lady and I have never understood this preoccupation with someones sex life. My criteria has always been are they good people, do they love others as themselves, if so wonderful. I would also add that even if they can’t let go of their bigotry they are not allowed to make laws to justify it. We are a free country, we have or we are supposed to have, separation of church and state, so they don’t get to tell adult people how to live and make laws according to their interpretation of the bible. Has nothing to do with our laws. Wish they would get that straight. I think that as people get to know people in the LGBTQ community or have a relative in that community, perhaps, just perhaps they will look at things differently. I also think that there will always be people who have to find a group to look down on so they can feel superior. Makes me wonder who the next group will be. Don’t think God will appreciate that, just saying. Peace and Love,

    • It’s a free country. People can do whatever they want to do.

      But this is a religious discussion and some are asserting that Jesus is ok with sexual sin, and that’s not true, and it does not do any of us any good to hear preaching that our sins are not sins. That will encourage us and worsen our enslavement.

      • It’s really not a free country however people should be able to love those they are biologically attracted to.

        But this is a biblical discussion and glad some are asserting that God is ok with how He created them (Jeremiah 1:5) , and that’s so true, and it does not do any of us any good to hear finger-pointing/condemning others personal interpretations regarding sin. That will encourage many believers to draw nearer to God.

      • Joe Catholic, I am never sure if it is your hubris or your mental capacity, but you continually misrepresent the truth and that is just another reason to disdain your presence here.

        While this is usually a more or less “religious discussion” you lie when you claim anyone is “asserting that Jesus is ok with sexual sin.” That is not true and not the issue. No one is claiming that.

        We are claiming that being LGBTQ is not sin. We are claiming that for anyone who is LGBTQ, acting on their innate sexuality is not sexual sin. If they are being licentious, adulterous, using force, hurting someone etc, those would be sexual sins. Being true to yourself and your partner in love is not sin.

        You cannot make the case that the confusing verses in the Bible support calling a homosexual couple sinners when they have sexual relations. You try, some of you try mightily, but you fail. Your belief does not matter. God’s belief does and God has not granted any man or woman alive that judgement.

        And one more thing since reply is not available on the post you made whining to Kathleen; she was not being “unfair” in any way.

        Your obsession with this blog, to the point of using several identities and continually pushing at the supporters of John P when you CLEARLY are not one, is abusive.

        Some trolls with a self-appointed mission to set him and all of us straight come and go but you are here daily. And refused to leave even when asked to do so. That is obsessive and stalker behavior.

        Comparing yourself to those here who support John P is patently ridiculous, so is counting posts when faced with an accusation of “taking over.” She did not mean in quantity, just obsessive, relentless, repetitive posting the opposite of what any of us or John P says.

        You have an obsessive desire to be here, to confront John P and many of us. To make us hear your doctrine, dogma and interpretation. Over and over and over. That is messed up.

        That you DARE speak of anyone else lacking “courage and decency” is deeply insulting and twisted in light of your own obsessive opposition. We do not WANT to discuss anything with you, but you will not stop so we have to put up with you. If John bans you today, you will be back tomorrow with another name. Yet you deny the obsession and stalker behavior as if someone else did it.

        We may be stuck with you, but we do not have to like it or respond kindly to your behavior. And I will not.

        • Stalkers live for attention and I’d have to wonder how many other blogs they stalk. I picture a nerdy boy in his room with only his computer for a friend, who grows up to be a nerdy man in his room with only his computer for a friend. It’s not meant to be mean. Just an observation on a very sad psychological phenomenon.

          Having been a very strict cradle Catholic for over half a century, I can say with experience that some forms of very conservative Catholicism breed scrupulosity and a terrible fear of being without rules and certainty. It’s very much like a form of Stockholm Syndrome. The Catholic God in some forms can be very wrathful and punishing and his followers (emphasis on the ‘his’) can become very warped and obsessive in their devotion out of fear. Not all Catholics are like this, thank God, and over 65% support LGBT rights and same sex marriage. There are many Catholic based pro-LGBT groups like Dignity, Equally Blessed, Call To Action, and Fortunate Families. I left the Church because of the leaders’, the Hierarchy’s, support of anti-LGBT legislation (funneling millions into it, especially through the Knights of Columbus), their denigration of women and denying them any power in the Church not even over their own bodies, and the continuing (yes, still continuing) attempts to cover up sexual abuse of children and deny the victims reparation. How can one be led by such deviants? Not all of the hierarchy are that bad but too many to bear. Peace!

    • Kathleen B,

      “I also think that there will always be people who have to find a group to look down on so they can feel superior.”

      I agree with you. Here is a quote from my favorite author:

      “Show me a man or a woman alone and I’ll show you a saint. Give me two and they’ll fall in love. Give me three and they’ll invent the charming thing we call ‘society’. Give me four and they’ll build a pyramid. Give me five and they’ll make one an outcast. Give me six and they’ll reinvent prejudice. Give me seven and in seven years they’ll reinvent warfare.
      Man may have been made in the image of God, but human society was made in the image of His opposite number, and is always trying to get back home.”
      ― Stephen King

  12. Dear John Pavlovitz:

    Thank you for indicating the liturgical import of Ro 1. I wish people did more and better work on Ro 1 context…

    Ezekiel 16:49 has become my ‘go-to’ passage when this discussion is raised. I’ve been known to ask what that implies about the support of certain economic policies under capitalist society. Usually, that course of inquiry isn’t appreciated. In my own defense, I point out that I didn’t make the connection between ‘Sodomish practices’ and economic policies … I simply quote what the prophet said and let the matter stand for what it is. Somehow, that helps even less …

    Blessings!

    • gdd, the Roman 1 passage clearly condemns the wicked behavior of homosexuality, no matter how much gymnastics people do in attempt to explain the warning away. Also, read verse 50 in the Ezekiel 16 passage. It will show you that God condemned S & G for the sin of sexual perversion, which we all know was homosexuality.

      • Jamey, you don’t know what you are talking about. Paul was addressing a specific situation in Rome, which is described, not in scripture, but in their history (this is called context). Regardless of how it appears on the surface, that situation was NOT what we know as homosexuality. Without understanding the historical context of what Paul wrote, you cannot possibly hope to understand what he was saying. Further, without understanding what the Greek words translated as “nature” and “natural” actually mean, you will invariably misunderstand Paul’s point.
        Ezekiel says nothing about homosexuality. His main points about Sodom and Gomorrah were their pride, their wealth, and their failure to help the poor and needy. He mentions an unspecified abomination (Hebrew: hateful thing). The Mishnah, pre-Christian Jewish Bible commentary, goes into great detail on the sins of Sodom that led to its destruction, and the things described are indeed abominable. But homosexuality is not mentioned.
        The Mishnah describes their refusal to help the poor. The people of Sodom were happy to give a coin to a hungry beggar. But the coins they gave more a special mark, and no merchant in the city would accept them in payment for anything. It was an exercise in cruelty. When the beggar died of starvation, they would reclaim the coins for distribution to other hungry people.
        The Mishnah contains the account of a 13 year old girl in Sodom who made the fateful mistake of offering a piece of bread to a hungry person. The people of the city stripped her naked, smeared her with honey, and hung her up on the wall of the city. She was attacked, killed, and ultimately consumed by stinging insects.
        Their treatment of visitors to the city was no better. They were more than happy to offer a stranger a bed for the night. But woe to that stranger if he were too short or too tall for the bed: They altered the stranger to fit it. A short man would find himself stretched on a rack until he were tall enough… left crippled as a result. A tall man would have his feet amputated, and enough of his legs, so that he fit.
        That, by the way, is why Lot wouldn’t allow the two strangers to spend the night in the street, and why he refused to bring them out to the crowd. The crowd, which included the entire population of the city, including women and children, did not ask to have sex with them, but only to know why they were. They even used a polite form of the verb. But Lot lived in Sodom, and knew how they treated visitors, so he wasn’t taken in by their courteous request.
        People need to use common sense: If the mob outside Lot’s house was really a gang of men intent on rape, does it really seem plausible that they would politely ask permission to do so, using a mild euphemism for sex?
        But regardless of what did or did not happen there, Sodom’s fate was sealed before the angels ever came to the city, so that event had no bearing on the destruction. 5 cities were going to be destroyed: Sodom, Gomorrah, Admah, Zeboiim and Zoar. Zoar got a last minute reprieve, but the other four met the same fate.
        The first “holy book” to connect Sodom to homosexuality was the Quran, c. 600 AD. The European Christians learned the idea from the Moors, and believed it. Their own Bibles were scarce, and only in Latin, so they had no way to know the Bible never suggested such a thing. Centuries later, when vernacular Bible translations were made, the idea was incorporated into them. This included the addition of a new word, sodomite, a word foreign to the Hebrew and Greek texts and mistranslation of Jude 7. But that was just the older translations. The newer ones are more blatantly dishonest. Some have rewritten Genesis 19 so that it agrees with the Quran’s account.
        With 40 years experience working with the Hebrew and Greek texts, and years experience teaching both languages, I know what scripture says about this in the original languages, and more importantly, what it does NOT say. You do not.

        • Bill, nothing you have written is true! It is the same gay revision nonsense. Homosexuality will never be normal in this lifetime because people know how ugly and dirty it is. Keep trying to make it okay, and you will suffer the consequences of your wilful ignorance. While I’m not sure that you are gay, you sound like you’re a member of the gay family. What a tragic ending that will befall homosexuals because of the savage and brutal lifestyle. It never ceases to amaze me with what the gays are willing to say or do in order to justify their sick and deviant behavior.

            • Florida Boy, read these books to found out how the Bible disagrees with you

              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

            • John, if you think the Bible disagree’s with me, prove it. Because up until now, you haven’t even used the Scripture to support anything you’ve said. So, I will be waiting for this great scholarship that you’re going to show me.

              • There is a link in the piece to an extensive study of all the Scriptures you’d like to misuse. You don’t want to discuss those things. You want to hate LGBTQ people and you want God to agree with you.

                God does not.

                • John, you’re procrastinating because you know that you don’t know a damn thing. Let me see what YOU can bring to the issue other than gay revision bull shit!

                  • Dear Florida Boy:

                    Your assertion that Bill Carey knows nothing places you in direct violation of the ninth commandment.

                    Please confess and seek his forgiveness.

              • The information you requested has been posted by others. Don’t you think it’s rather disingenuous to insist that John post the same information others already posted? The evidence is there… for those who are willing to see it.

              • Ok, Florida Boy, here is the evidence about Leviticus previously posted by Bill Carey. Address any thoughts to him.

                Why not start with Leviticus? You didn’t specify 18:22 or 20:13, but since in both Hebrew and the incorrect English translations they say basically the same thing, we can address them together.
                First, every single English translation of those verse published since the early 17th century is wrong, blatantly dishonest. (A much earlier English translation, Wycliffe, which does not at all agree with later translations, isn’t completely accurate, but at least he was on the right track.)

                Before getting into specifics of the translation, here are two things to ponder:
                In Hebrew, both verses mention a specific location: a woman’s bed. None of the English versions since 1611 mention it.

                In Hebrew, neither verse contains any kind of comparison (“as with”). Every English version since 1611 does. Comparisons cannot be “understood” in Hebrew; they must be written/spoken.

                Those two things alone are enough to tell us that our Bibles are wrong in what they claim in these verses. (It bears mentioning that among the Jews, whose scriptures these are, only one branch opposes same-sex marriage, the Chassidim, and it would be rare to hear them invoke Leviticus. The only part of Torah you will hear them occasionally invoke would be “Be fruitful and multiply,” which they took as binding for all people. Their main opposition is from Talmud, not the Bible.)

                So what do the verses say in Hebrew? Direct translations of both:
                18:22
                And with a male, thou shalt not lie down (in) a woman’s bed; it is an abomination.
                20:13
                And a man who will lie down with a male (in) a woman’s bed: Both of them have committed an abomination. Dying they shall be put to death; their blood is on them.

                (Prepositions, such as “in” in the above verses, CAN be understood in Hebrew. Which one is understood is derived from the verb. The same thing is done in Gen. 49:4, with a grammatically equivalent phrase “(to) thy father’s bed.” As in Lev., the preposition “to” is understood, not written, derived from the verb.

                Under the Law of Moses, a woman’s bed was her own. Other than the woman herself, only her husband was allowed in her bed, and there were even restrictions on when he was allowed in there. Any other use of her bed was considered a defilement and abomination. There are other verses in the Law dealing with the proper vs. improper use of the woman’s bed, for example in Lev. 15.

                These verses are not about any sexual act. In fact, they forbid two males to lie down in a woman’s bed for any reason. Sex is not mentioned

                Translation is the key. Beginning about 400 years ago, translators began deliberately fudging their work on this and a couple of other topics. In regard to the verse you quote from KJV, Lev. 20:13, I did address it in another post a few minutes ago. But here is the Hebrew, a transliteration, and a direct translation:
                ואיש אשר ישכב את זכר משכבי אשה תועבה עשו שניהם מות יומתו דמיהם בם
                (That doesn’t line up right here, because it’s supposed to be right to left… so just imagine it lined up to the right margin instead of the left.)

                V’ish asher yishkav et zachar mishkvei ishah to’evah asu shneihem mot yumatu d’meihem bam
                And a man who will lie down with a male (in) a woman’s bed: both of them have committed an abomination. Dying, they will be put to death; their blood is on them.

                This verse forbids two males to lie down in a woman’s bed for any reason. A woman’s bed was her own under the Law. Other than the woman, only her husband was ever allowed in there, and there were even restrictions on that.
                Wycliffe, in his translation, centuries before KJV, understood this verse differently. He assumed, knowing that a woman’s bed was her own, that the woman would be in the bed. So he translated this verse as a prohibition of two men sleeping with one woman simultaneously. Not so much a translation, but a paraphrase. But at least it’s in the realm of possibility. The KJV and every other translation and paraphrase since is grammatically and linguistically impossible.

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

                • And here is what Bill Carey said about Romans. Please address any thoughts to him.

                  As for Romans, Christians almost universally ignore the historical context, which they generally don’t know anything about. In other words, they have no idea what specific situation(s) in Rome Paul was writing about. He wasn’t just spouting off random stuff, you know.

                  Without knowing that context, that situation, it’s impossible to fully understand his comments. And despite what it looks like on the surface, he was not talking about homosexuality as we know it. In fact, both the Greek and Roman Empires disapproved of monogamous homosexual relationships. But then, they also disapproved of monogamous heterosexual relationships. And therein lay the problem: Both cultures, based on beliefs from their religion, expected all people to live in a way we would consider bisexual, regardless of their actual innate attractions.

                  That’s what Paul was writing about, from the perspective of the majority, who, in every population, is heterosexual. For such individuals, being intimate with the same sex would be out of character, unnatural for them.

                  Paul said what they were doing was a mistake (not a sin or abomination), and that it was παρα φυσιν, which is usually translated as “against nature,” but is also usually misunderstood. The word nature here does not have the broad range of meanings the English word does. Rather, it refers only to a person’s (or thing’s) OWN nature. What the Romans were doing was against their OWN nature in regard to sexual behavior. In other words, they were ignoring their own sexual orientation to meet the expectations of their religion and society.

                  Paul pointed out that this had become an outlet for unbridled lust among them (whereas in previous centuries, it had been only a custom and religious obligation, according to history), so God just gave them over to it, so their own orientation was no longer relevant to them.

                  These verses aren’t about homosexuality vs. heterosexuality, but about the impropriety of trying to ignore one’s sexual orientation to meet the expectations of society or religion. In other words, people should be who they are, and not try to change it to meet other people’s expectations.
                  As for your last comment, there are TWO same-sex marriages recorded in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament: one in some detail, one just mentioned in passing. Neither was condemned by God or any extant prophet. On the contrary, in the case of the one just mentioned in passing, it specifies God put the two together.

                  Both of these marriages were carefully hidden in English translations, although, if one knows what to look for, one can see hints of the first one in some English versions.

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

          • Not interested in your opinions, Florida. If you think you have evidence to disprove a word of what I said, bring it on. I’ll gladly consider it with an open mind. But know this: I haven’t had to rely on the flawed English translations of the Bible since I was about 20 years old. Since that time, I have been able to read and comprehend the Hebrew and Greek. I KNOW what they say and do not say. Can you make the same claim, honestly?

            • Bill, yes, I can make such a claim, and all you’ve presented is gay revisionist nonsense. Perhaps you can impressed Biblically illiterate people, but not people who are Bible College and Seminary trained.

              I have been amazed by the here’s that you have spouted concerning homosexuality. So if you think the the God of the Bible is okay with a man screwing the butt hole of another man, you simply confirm what the APA and other mental health organization have said about homosexuals being mentally ill…. before they were paid by homosexuals to retract their original finding.

              When it comes to the physical health of gays, especially gay men, the CDC and the US DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH are on record, having documented the dangers of gay sex, which we know gay men live a shorter life expectancy than their heterosexual counterparts. They have the highest percentage of HIV/ AIDS rate among various groups of people though they make up far less of the population. Why is that? Because homosexuality brings the Swift judgment of God on deviant sexual perversion.

              • What’s your obsession with anal sex? Many male couples don’t practice it, and many straight couples do. The Bible doesn’t address different sexual acts.
                CDC records ONLY figures in the US, and not impartially. If impartial figures are used, only about 1.5% of American men who have sex with men are HIV+. But according to the World Health Organization, worldwide, 70% of HIV infections were the result of heterosexual intercourse. A significant number of infections were also the result of sharing needles among IV drug users. In some nations, according to the WHO, as much as 25% of the heterosexual population is infected with HIV. In NO nation is that high a percentage of gay people infected.
                Best police your own side of the street. By and large, worldwide, HIV is a disease of heterosexuals. But it’s just a virus. It doesn’t know one orifice from another. There is no disease on earth than can be transmitted by gay sex that is not JUST as easily transmitted by vaginal intercourse.
                Swift judgment? Same-sex marriage has been legal in some places for a fair number of years now. No fire and brimstone. In fact, it existed in North America for thousands of years before Europeans arrived. God didn’t destroy those civilizations. It took European Christians to do that.

                • Bill, nice try, but you came nowhere near the truth. Gays have the highest rate of HIV/AIDS the world over, though they make up only 2-3 percent of the population.

                  The CDC has gotten it straight, and all you’re doing is what most homosexuals do, try to spin and downplay the significance of the truth. It will not work, and it has not work.

                  Due to my work, I’ve seen hundreds and hundreds of dying gay men and women, and I can say honestly that every single person regretted that awful and wicked lifestyle! One young man in particular, was the son of a local Pastor. He rebelled against God’s way, lived his entire life as a flaming homosexual, and he got AIDS.

                  That man called upon many Ministers to help him in his dying moments, and well known Pastor, Dr. John MacArthur, went to visit him, and that poor man cried out to God for His mercy, and regretted his sinful life, and repented right there in his hospital room, and due to the prayers of the righteous, God’s mercy came into that room, and that dying and broken man received Christ.

                  Homosexuals will die on average, much younger than their heterosexual counterparts, and that is a documented fact, not opinions or hearsay. I’ve read the documentation, so I know that which I speak about!

                  • Sorry, kid, but I will take the word of the World Health Organization over yours any day. And they say 70% of HIV infections were contracted via heterosexual intercourse. Your denial won’t change that.
                    CDC’s figures ONLY deal with the US. As far as the number of infections, they are accurate. They are not accurate in all their figures.
                    You claim gays are 2-3 % of the population. Now, I could consult ten different anti-gay websites, and get ten different figures for the percentage. They range from less than .5% all the way to a “generous” 8%.
                    Why the discrepancy? Some of them just plain make up their numbers. Others use flawed methodology.
                    Ever see a survey on general topics that might ask one or two questions on sexual orientation for purposes of demographics? Some sites will take that info and pretend it is a scientific result of a study. But of course, those aren’t scientific, and the results of such studies rarely agree.
                    The legitimate study on this was done in the 50s. It was challenged by anti-gay groups decades later because they didn’t like the results. They challenged the methodology and sampling. So a new research team closely examined the original methodology and sampling. To the dismay of the anti-gay groups who had challenged, no significant error was found.
                    Now CDC doesn’t use that figure in deciding what percentage of the population is homosexual. They use figures from general topic surveys. As a result, when they claim that a percentage of MSM (men who have sex with men) in the US is HIV+, their figure is wrong, because they began with a seriously deflated number of MSM to begin with. If they had used the accurate figures, calculating with the number of known infections among that population, it would have been quite clear that the rate of infection was only about 1.5%.
                    Gay men die younger than their heterosexual counterparts on average? Which of my octogenarian gay friends in good health should I share that information with?
                    Sorry, dude, but that’s a common lie spread among anti-gay people. It has no basis in fact. What you’ve read isn’t documentation so much as propaganda. But you can’t tell the difference, can you?

                  • For someone who claims to be college and seminary educated, I’m just flabbergasted by the load of hogswill that you just sprayed all over this conversation.

                    I wish that John would cut you off just for the amount of damage that your falsehoods can do as under-informed folks may take what you write as the truth.

                    If you visit both the websites of the CDC & WHO, you would find that men who have sex with men are a small number of the worldwide population of folks with HIV infection and AIDS. The vast majority of infected people are heterosexual and the largest population of infected folks concentrated into one area is sub-Saharan Africa.

                    And so that you know, there are a number of us here with college and advanced seminary degrees. Sadly, you appear to be the only one who didn’t really benefit from the tools with which the education should have equipped you.

                    • May I add that the college and seminary he attended are probably praying he won’t acknowledge them. Peace and Love,

              • I’ve given you more than enough evidence, including a link to my own website that examines scripture in the original languages. Why should I give you anything more? Do you know what swine do to pearls?

      • Dear Jamey:

        Last night, I saw and planned to reply to your post. Bill Carey makes that unnecessary. So I’m going in another direction.

        I’m linking to a resource Bill knows well from continual use. BDB [Brown, Driver and Briggs] is the industry standard Hebrew/English Lexicon. It classifies words according to meaning, usage, conditions/states of being of various sorts, words of a particular kind, grammatical minutia and much more. I invite you to review the range of usage of ‘toebah’ [translated ‘abomination’] http://tinyurl.com/ycycl7fr . Bill’s point about Ezekiel’s subject in 16:49f. is on the mark.

        Ez. 22:11 mentions ‘toebah’ [abomination] with a neighbor’s wife, daughter-in-law or sister. That’s not homosexuality. It isn’t even sex. In Ezekiel, ‘zimmah’ [evil purpose/wicked plan] is usually a metaphor of idolatry condemned under the figure of harlotry and adultery. In other words, Ezekiel used sexual misconduct as a figure for spiritual whoredom. The next chapter is an allegory; it displays Jerusalem’s worship of regional gods using sexualized imagery.

        Translation committees struggle with vs. 20; it shocks our pious sensibilities. Ezekiel presents a ménage à trios in which Israel, however loved by a devoted husband, lusts after foreign gods because they are ‘hung like a donkey and come like a horse.’ Yahweh [God of Israel] is a cuckolded husband, trying to figure out where he belongs among these stud-gods. It was a hilarious slam on Israel’s idolatrous practices. And Ezekiel wasn’t alone in doing this.

        Revelation is a kingdom of God manifesto/critique of Rome’s beastly system of imperial authority/power/opulence/blasphemy/coercion/oppression/injustice/propaganda. But again, John portrayed the seductive lure of wealth, coercive power and the false religion which supports it under the imagery of the whore, the beast and the false prophet.

        Fifty years ago this Wednesday [July 26, 1967], City of Detroit police constables Ronald August, David Senak and Robert Paille together with security guard Melvin Dismukes, were among the police, National Guardsmen, and security guards who, without provocation, sprayed the Annex of the Algiers Motel on Virginia Park with bullets and then charged inside.

        Residents, including girls, were thrown against walls, beaten bloody and slandered with sexual and racial slurs. They demanded to know where they were keeping firearms. One of Detroit’s finest broke the butt of his firearm on Aubrey Pollard’s head. ‘This n____ made me break my shotgun!’ No firearms were found in the annex. But it didn’t matter.

        One at a time, Aubrey Pollard [19], Fred Temple [18] and Carl Cooper [17] were taken into the bedrooms, made to lie on the floor, and fired shotguns into the wall just above their heads. When the game was finished, the three were dead. An independent pathologist who conducted an autopsy for the Detroit Free Press said that Pollard and Temple were shot at close range while kneeling or lying down.

        Later, August, Senak and Paille were implicated in the murders. Dismukes was charged for clubbing an annex occupant. August and Paille confessed but claimed to have acted in self-defense. Senak remained silent and was never charged. Years of legal motions and appeals followed. One judge expunged the confessions. John Hersey’s best seller, ‘The Algiers Motel Incident, was claimed to prejudice the case against the police. August was tried before an all white jury in 1969 in a small town outside Lansing. He was acquitted. None of these four men were ever convicted.

        So what exactly does ‘abomination’ mean? Pollard, Temple and Cooper – were those three young men homosexuals? I don’t know. But the sadistic, racially motivated exercise in sadism, torture and murder does conform to my definition of ‘abomination.’ To that, we can add all the bloodshed in Asia, Africa and Latin America sacrificed to pay for the measures to placate the working poor in the Detroit Rebellion.

        If we’re going to stick to the narrative of sin and guilt, I want to know, Jamie – who answers for the blood of Aubrey Pollard, Fred Temple and Carl Cooper? Who answers for the blood of more than a million Iraqis following our undeclared, discretionary war against Iraq? Who answers for the blood of the many Syrians killed in our undeclared CIA-driven proxy war against Assad’s regime? Who answers for the blood of millions around the world sacrificed to sustain the way of life enjoyed by the wealthiest and most privileged layers of society? Who will answer for the bloodshed of those wars being prepared even as you read these lines – against Iran, against North Korea, against China, against
        Russia?

        After 50 years, the blood of Aubrey Pollard, Fred Temple and Carl Cooper has not dried, Jamey. If we’re going the route of abomination and judgment, who answers for the crimes of August, Senak, Paille and Dismukes? Who answers for the political crime of the judicial traitors who circumvented justice, the preachers who supported the murder of those boys under the ‘law and order’ rubric? Who will answer for the ongoing terrorism of successive criminal United States of America administrations?

        Given the enormity of official, political crimes defended by our state and public institutions, demanded by our system of political economy, and defended by many churches – what word can to set those crimes and our social system in perspective? I believe that to a significant degree, the Revelation stands as a Biblical answer to such a question.

        The simple fact is this: if we’re sticking to judgment then before our committed abominations, our condemnation is just. What Rome was, we have become.

        So Jamie – what do YOU think ‘abomination’ means?

        Blessings!

          • And yet, you do keep saying more… the same thing over and over, with no evidence to support your assertion that English translations are correct. On the other hand, I’ve posted evidence that they are not correct.
            So who has the stronger claim, the one who repeats the same stuff over and over without evidence, or the one who refutes your statements with evidence?

            • Bill, you’ve said nothing…..but the same gay revisionist propaganda. Do you have anything else? Remember, I’ve read all of the bull crap from those sources! Anything else?

            • I think you do need to say more because to say that the bible condemns something is not to “judge.”

              The Bible condemns stealing and murder.

              Will I be “condemned” for saying that? Maybe in your mind, but not in mine or the mind of Christs’s Church.

          • Dear Florida Boy:

            Did you know that Jesus hangs, swings and has wood? It’s true. Jesus is a wood structure mounted on a frame by hinges, and swings this way and that. Jesus says that he is the door. I needn’t say more.

            Except that things like theological purpose and literary strategy matter. The function of a text within a narrative matters. The way the canon functions within the believing community matters.

            So I can insist all day that Jesus is the door; you wouldn’t believe it for just such reasons.

            When I affirmed Mr. Pavlovitz’ use of the Ezekiel 16 Sodom and Gomorrah reference, I was told that Ezekiel referred to homosexuality. I linked to the lexicon where we can see the varieties of meanings carried by the word in question.

            If you want to assign a differing meaning to a word, that’s fine. But I have the right to ask if there are any compelling reasons in the text for which your reading is to be preferred over mine. When people say, ‘it means this because this is what it means,’ that is called ‘begging the question.’ It is an informal fallacy.

            If you want to participate in discussion, set aside the question-begging. It contributes nothing to say that words mean what I say they mean, that the text functions in the passage the way I say it does. Valid arguments don’t assume what they must demonstrate. If you have a valid argument, use it!

            As I surf the internet, I’ve met some serious students and scholars – this one is studying Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, and another one who is teaching these languages. I’ve met one who wrote a Biblical commentary and another who sat on a Bible translation committee. One of the things I love about this is you never know who you’ll meet.

            I’ve met some with stronger faith, and some with weaker faith. I’ve met some who thought they had no faith at all, but I saw in them great faith. Welcome to that strange and wonderful thing called ‘the internet.’

            As one whose conscience is more easily offended in matters of Biblical translation/interpretation, you are the weaker brother here. Those who are stronger must bear the weakness of those without strength. But you are not to condemn others because their faith is stronger. Let the unity of the body of Christ be preserved.

            By any chance – did you read my response to Jamey before replying?

            Blessings!

            • gdd, but you apparently didn’t read verses 50 and 51 of the Ezekiel 16 passage, which clearly dispels the gay revisionist nonsense, and then Jude 1:7 confirms what verse 50 said.

              “Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it” (Ezk. 16:50

              “Samaria has not committed half your sins. You have committed more abominations than they, and have made your sisters appear righteous by all the abominations that you have committed.” (Ezk. 16:51)

              “Just as Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.” (Jude 1:7)

              In verses 50 and 51, the word “abominations” is the same word used in both Leviticus passages, and in both cases, the word means “The Detestable Thing”. There’s simply no wiggle room, and Bill can’t help you!

              • unnatural desire? That’s not a translation. That’s a paraphrase. Not sure what Bible you use, but it’s not a translation. Do you know the difference between a paraphrase and a translation, and why it’s important?

                • Bill, that’s the question you need to answer: do you know the difference between a translation and a paraphrase? You certainly don’t know anything about Biblical Hermeneutics and Exegesis as evidenced by the awful approach to the Scriptures and the conclusion you’ve drawn, especially as it relates to what you love most: the practice of homosexuality. So, let’s have a formal and official debate about Homosexuality so I can mop the floor with you…..if John has the courage and stomach to allow it!

                  • Why would I attempt to debate someone who has shown such a poor grasp of logic, and who has demonstrated no abilities with the original languages?
                    As for paraphrase vs. translation, I ASKED YOU. Obviously, I know the difference. Clearly, you don’t seem to, or if you do, you don’t understand the significance, especially since you quoted from a paraphrase as if it were scripture. (Hint: a paraphrase is someone’s personal opinion of what scripture means, not an actual translation of what was written.)

              • Dear Florida Boy:

                Here’s the thing:

                YOU … do NOT … get … to rewrite … the lexicon.

                Did you know that, Florida Boy?

                Unsatisfied with Ezekiel 16 as it stands, you apparently want ‘toebah’ [abomination] to function as a ‘stand-in’ word for ‘homosexual’ or some variant thereof. That’s why I linked to the lexicon. The range of available meanings is listed there.

                I see no mention of homosexuality there.

                Do you?

                YOU claim the right to assign words whatever meaning YOU want them to have. Then you want to bind the conscience of other believers to your dictates. And, you tempt Yahweh to swear to your improvements on Ezekiel’s text.

                Again, Florida Boy, YOU are not allowed … to assign words … whatever meanings YOU want them to have.

                Ezekiel 16:49ff itself defines the use of ‘toebah’ [abominations] here – arrogance, careless ease, and in abundance refusing to strengthen the humble and needy. It is those things which Yahweh’s prophet declares abominable.

                Again, Ezek 18:12-13:

                [Of the son who] … oppresses the poor and needy, commits robbery, does not restore a pledge, but lifts up his eyes to the idols and commits ‘toebah’ abomination, he lends money on interest and takes increase; will he live? He will not live! He has committed all these abominations, he will surely be put to death; his blood will be on his own head’ [18:12-13].

                ‘Toebah’ [abomination] is defined by its use in the text. If by the Spirit Ezekiel declares that oppression of the poor, robbery and other forms of economic hardship are ‘these abominations’ in question, who are you to advise differently?

                Who are you, Florida Boy, to say that although Ezekiel says that the abominations in question are economic and include withholding the pledge or extorting interest, on what authority do you say – ‘no, but these economic practices are not abominable; rather they refer to homosexuality?’

                Who authorized you to be the corrector of Scripture, Florida Boy?

                A Jewish prophet in Christian tradition after the resurrection of Jesus, the apostle and half-brother of our Lord has Spirit-given authority to borrow the work of earlier prophets and to refurbish their work to serve his own theological purpose.

                John does this in Revelation when he quotes from the Song of Moses. Except if you compare the texts, you see that what John gives in Re 15 isn’t the Song of Moses. If you compare that with Ex 15, you see that John gives a version of the Song of Moses, which Saint John the Theologian reworked to serve his own prophetic work. John relies heavily on OT writers, establishing theological meaning but reworking the text and infusing it with new meaning in his own, Spirit-led work.

                If you want to contend that Saint Jude has Ezekiel 16:16:49ff in mind in v. 7, make your case!

                And if you insist that Jude v. 7 refers to homosexuality, I ask this of you: first, please explain how this is analogous to the sin of the angels in vs. 6 since Jude apparently believed they all sinned in the same way.

                Had you actually checked the lexicon link I gave you, you would see that ‘toebah’ occurs in many contexts with nothing to do with sex – unclean foods, witchcraft, idolatrous objects or practices, sacrificing children, and more. These are abominations … unless you decide that all these things really mean ‘homosexuality.’

                In fact, homosexuality isn’t even given as a meaning for ‘toebah.’ That might suggest you the assumption that it is.

                It certainly is grounds for exercising caution before sticking out your neck in a public forum.

                Because Florida Boy – you don’t get to rewrite the lexicon.

                And you don’t get to bind others’ conscience in Jesus’ by your fiat.

                Blessings!

  13. Greed, gluttony, covetousness, adultery, pride , envy..etc.. who hasnt? Everyone sins. And those that are lgbt also are in the realms of sin. As are we all. if you are or aren’t, or if you haven’t engaged or not,it is still OUT of His glory. Sin. To say it isnt sin is denial. As are many other iniquities, sin is sin. Definition of sin by The Word of the living God: “ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”. plain and simple : sin is anything falling short of His glory. And he clearly made man n woman for a clear purpose. But genes or environmental family issues, be what may; He died and suffered for US. He loves us beyond our imagination. Let us not judge. Let us love. But let us never try to define sin by our human mind. Sin is sin.. and everyone, lgbt alike need to acknowledge and fall at the feet of the Savior. And try each hour, each day to seek Him and his love and mercy. Mercy done. Finished. Nothing more. Nothing less. Just follow Him. That is WHY we are beautifully redeemed! By His blood. Its so simple.

      • It does say that. That is our point
        Nothing in scripture says otherwise. Has nothing to do with loving them or not. Again what is a sexual sin. And how do you say it is. Simply saying they are in a committed loving relationship means nothing. Scriptures speaks to sexual relationships. Having sex. Nothing out side that is prudent to what scripture is saying.

          • So you have no interest in a debate. Would you dare go over Leviticus 18:24-30. So your just remove verse 22. Romans 1:18. That says men not men who worship at idol temples. 28-32. All this is just about those that worship in idol temples.

            • No, I’m not interested in debate. It’s not up for debate. You’re entrenched in the place you are and you want me to agree with you. I don’t. My post reflects what I have to say about the matter. You’re more then welcome to disagree. It really doesn’t bother me.

            • Jay, you do not want debate. You will lose. But more important you will be shown your ignorance, hubris and pride which will never reflect well on you.

              The Bible condones slavery, does that mean you condone slavery?

              The Bible condones violence and has many violent passages, does that mean you condone violence?

              Genesis 20:12
              “Besides, she is indeed my sister, the daughter of my father though not the daughter of my mother, and she became my wife.” Gonna condone incest now?

              Deuteronomy 21:18–21 Gonna stone your recalcitrant son?

              Deuteronomy 22:23-24 Gonna stone a virgin and her seducer?

              You cannot worship God, serve God, or do as God commanded when you pull verses out of context to use as “justification” to harm, exclude, label or decry. That is not the purpose of faith, Jay. IT JUST IS NOT HOW IT WORKS.

                • Yeah Joe, it does. Luke 12:47-48
                  47 “The servant who knows the master’s will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. 48 But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.”

                  At the very least, the Bible never condemns slavery and since that is the metric you use against homosexuals, you should own the bitter irony.

                  • The Bible is not and never was intended to be the foundation of Christianity.

                    Nevertheless, slavery is not “condoned” in the Bible as per your assertion.

                    I believe it’s very clear in the Bible that homosexual “acts” are sins. I believe reason alone a case can be made that it’s “unnatural” for two of the same sex to be joining their reproductive organs when reproduction is always impossible. But we also have the wisdom of the Church which Christ built on the Apostles to teach us further.

                    There are plenty of heterosexual sins, btw. This is not to pick on homosexuals but to address the topic of this thread.

                    Of course “love” is important, but telling someone their sin is not a sin is not love at all, no matter how good you might make them feel. Also, you need to learn that love should be unconditional and not just for those who are easy to love, so practice what you preach and show some love for Catholics and people who voted for Trump.

                    • The Bible disagrees with you as to the foundation of Christianity. According to it, we are built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, and Jesus is the cornerstone. Where are the writings of the apostles and prophets? All in the Bible. We are solidly built on what they wrote, not on what misguided men added to it afterwards.

                    • Joe Catholic, your hubris is nauseating. That you feel so free to name sin and call it out does not make you good or a follower of Christ, it only makes you a clear and present keeper of the law.

                    • Sandi wrote, “Joe Catholic, your hubris is nauseating.”

                      I read this quote this morning and immediately I was constrained to pray for several people who seem to need it.

                      It was pride that changed angels into devils; it is humility that makes men as angels. – Saint Augustine

                    • I’m sorry you are “nauseated” Sandi. I don’t feel that it’s “hubris” to say a sin is a sin, and if I made a post saying rape is not a sin, and you responded saying it IS a sin, I don’t think anyone would criticize you for your “hubris.”

                    • Joe Catholic, I almost pity you. Rape is a crime. Homosexuality is not an event, it is a state of being.

                      If God made you oriented to be attracted to the same sex that is how God made you. God does not make anyone oriented to be a rapist, a thief, or a vile lecher.

                      There is no comparison in claiming someone is sin and claiming an act is sin. No one would disagree that rape is a sin or a crime. There is no such agreement on homosexuality in 2017. And it is hubris to claim any such thing IMO. Hubris is far from humility. Sometimes you would do better to be silent.

                    • These verses are as condoning of slavery as anything you will ever find:

                      “Thy bond-men and thy bond-maids which thou shalt have, shall be of the heathen that are round about you: of them shall ye buy bond-men and bond-maids. Moreover, of the children of the strangers that do sojourn among you, of them shall ye buy, and of their families that are with you, which they begat in your land. And they shall be your possession. And ye shall take them as an inheritance for your children after you, to inherit them for a possession, they shall be your bond-man forever.”
                      —Leviticus 25:44-46

                  • Someone actually has the gall to assert that the Bible doesn’t condone slavery? Does that person own a concordance?
                    Exodus 21:2-6
                    Leviticus 25:39-55
                    Deuteronomy 15:12-18
                    Ephesians 6:5
                    1 Timothy 6:1
                    Philemon
                    Exodus 21:2-6
                    Jeremiah 34:14
                    Exodus 21:26-27
                    Deuteronomy 20:10-16
                    Deuteronomy 24:7

                    Should I go on?

                    • No you shouldn’t. Those don’t condone slavery. They speak as much to anyone who has a job. Scripture doesn’t hide reality. Slavery existed acknowledging it isn’t condoning it.

                    • Jay wrote “Slavery existed acknowledging it isn’t condoning it.”

                      Actually, if the Bible is going to tell us how we should treat slaves, that is pretty much telling us that slavery was a way of life and there are no verses I could find, other than the references to the Jubilee Year of the Law which Israel ignored, that said “No more slavery.” So, yeah, the Bible condoned it.

                      Which doesn’t make it right, only that faulty human beings wrote the texts.

                    • So you want the whole entire list of what is sin and not sin. When he says to love they neighbor I think it might have covered slavery. And slavery may cover more then just forced labor or ownership. Indingered servant would be one. Working off payments etc.

                    • You should breath before you write. And pllease stop putting words into what I say. Speaking against lbgt is not hateing them. I can love people I do not agree with or even like. I can treat them as my neighbor just the same. So please please stop with your emotional nonsense and do what you keep telling others to do.

                    • It’s “breathe”, not “breath.”

                      It’s “please”, not “pllease”.

                      It’s “hating”, not “hateing.”

                      Where did you study again?

                      Maybe take a breath and go live a little. You’ve made your point here. We get it. Hit the showers.

                    • Jay wrote, ” When he says to love they neighbor I think it might have covered slavery. ”

                      And yet they didn’t love their slaves. Unless you consider rape a loving action.

                      You demanded to know if the Bible condones slavery. The Bible has been proven to condone slavery. Period. End of sentence. End of discussion.

                      Please cease to talk in circles.

                      Just because the Bible condones slavery doesn’t make slavery acceptable in the eyes of God. The Hebrew Scriptures are full of oh so many things that are heinous in the eyes of God and yet they are recorded.

                      For instance Israel and Judah ignored the prophets telling them of the woes to come if they didn’t ignore their duty to the poor.

                      Many a modern day prophet is telling Christians to cease to ignore their duty to the poor and insted of heeding them, “Christians” embrace the heresies of Dominionism and the prosperity gospel.

                      So maybe we who follow Jesus should cease to pay so much attention to a buncha texts written for the benefit of a different buncha God’s people and pay more attention to the books written for the benefit of those who follow Jesus.

                    • Everything Jesus taught about was from the old testament. And like he told the teachers of the law you don’t understand them. The new testament says nothing new from the first covenant God made with man. The bible certainly shows us how bad we did at following them. And in it goes.

                    • I just took the first one the New Testament. Telling slaves to obey their masters is not to condone slavery, besides the fact that he was not referring to slavery as we knew it in the US but to indentured servants.

                      Can you cite Paul telling Christians that it is a good thing to own slaves?

                      https://www.catholic.com/encyclopedia/slavery

  14. if i were a believer i would be willing to finally accept as the ‘reason’ the republicans had a part in the collapse of america is;
    the devil made me do it. for he is the only one who would be so rash. im sure he sees his manipulation of all the rt wing crazy people like the demon limbaugh, and the others who have been living in a bizzarro world as a great joke.
    slowly but surely turning people to the dark side. the frog and the hot water thingy.

    • Linda, with all due respect to you and your child, God did not make a mistake . Your child’s wounds that contributed to why he or she was not content with their birth gender, is not God’s fault. No matter how your child “feels”, and no matter what surgical procedure he/she has, it will never change their true gender. The healing needs to happen in the soul, mind, and heart.

      • Nowhere did this mother with a transgender child claim that God made a mistake. Please move on with your misguided, insulting, simple-minded ideology of how this world in which we who are LGBTQ live.

      • Jamey, your gender is in your brain. Not what your outward body shows. So in that sense, you’re correct that a person is born with a gender. But their male or femaleness is in their brain, not their body. And even if you disagree with someone being gay, transexual, whatever, you need to move on with your life and let them live theirs. Just let it go. No amount of judging will ever change someone, but more importantly, it won’t make you a better person.

          • Florida Boy, you have a lot to learn about anatomy and brain function. But calling anything you do not understand “nonsense” just makes you look stupid.

            • Sandi, you’ve admitted that you are seriously dumb when it comes to understanding the Scriptures, so I will give you credit for admitting that. I know enough about the human predicament to know that God created everyone either male or female, and God always creates human beings in keeping with His holy standard for sexual ethics, which means that all of us are created as Heterosexuals!

              • Oh Florida Boy, you just keep proving your relationship with God is strained and you do not grasp the lessons of the Bible and blaming it on other people. You are very sad. Ever read the one about the sheep and the goats? May God have mercy.

      • Jamey, there was no “respect” involved in your self-righteous and pitiful post. All you did was prove why so many people shun and despise people of faith. May God forgive you.

    • No child is a sin. Neither is being what you are a sin, unless you use it to hurt others. Then you are a sinner and God calls that out.

  15. Nice work! When I read that marriage is between “one man and one woman,” I thought Jesus was speaking out against polygamy, not homosexuality. Because 2nd (or 6th) wives have no recourse or rights against their husbands. Likewise, he condemns divorce (conveniently overlooked by the haters). I don’t condemn divorce, because it is one means of freeing an abused woman from her abuser. But in Jesus’ day, divorce automatically made a woman utterly dependent on a relative or begging or prostitution in order to survive. Let’s face it, Jesus was a raging feminist. As for LGTBQ issues, Jesus showed the example over and over and over about how his kingdom is for everyone. When a new “outsider” group came along, he widened the circle to let them in. Every time.

  16. Is it a sin for two unmarried homosexual men to have sex with each other?

    Is it a sin for a homosexual to be promiscuous?

    Is it a sin for a heterosexual to have sexual relationships before marriage?

    Is it a sin for a married heterosexual to have sexual relations with someone who is not their spouse?

    Is it a sin for a married homosexual to have sexual relations with someone who is not their spouse?

    With no guiding authority, how do we determine what sexual sin is, or is the contention that there is no such thing?

      • It’s not an “obsession” and it’s a fair question.

        Is there such thing, objectively speaking, as a “sexual sin”?

        When Jesus told the woman caught in adultery to “Go and sin no more,” what did that mean?

        As I mentioned to Sandi, I agree that it’s not anyone’s place to cast stones, but it’s not anyone’s place either to say a sin is not a sin.

        • Now Joe, there you go getting all biblical with John P. You know he can’t tolerate that. Go ahead John. Answer Joe’s question. What did Jesus mean when he commanded her to ‘go and sin no more’? Is there sexual sin? If so, then please tell us what they are. John, we really need you to tell us. Since, according to you, we cannot believe the plain text of the Bible, we are now at your mercy to tell us what sin is and is not. After all, the mantra of John is consistently, “Hath God said?” Well done Joe.

          • Joe is just looking for an argument. Even a satisfactory answer wouldn’t satisfy him.
            Is there such a thing as sexual sin? I think so. Jesus gave two great commandments, and in fact, said the entire Old Testament was summed up in them: Love God supremely, and love your neighbor as yourself. If something I do is not consistent with loving my neighbor, it is sin.
            So if I sleep with my neighbor’s husband/wife, that is not consistent with loving my neighbor. I’ve hurt him. So that takes care of adultery.
            If I sleep around with anyone I want, it seems to me I am just using those people, because what I am doing is based on lust, not love. Using people like that doesn’t seem consistent with loving my neighbor.
            If I have sex with someone who hasn’t given consent, or isn’t capable of informed legal consent (child, animal, mentally disabled person), the same thing applies.
            On the other hand, if I fall in love with someone who is an unmarried, consenting adult, and we commit our lives to each other, and have sex, that is not hurting anyone, and is not sin, regardless of the sex of that individual. And I might add, you won’t find a single verse of scripture in the Hebrew and Greek texts that suggest it would be a sin.

            • With all your heart. Which means all his commandments. Do a word search on the word IF. THERE Are conditions reguired. Know the whole word of God

              • One of those commandments was not to add to His commandments, and not to subtract from them. There is no direct mention of homosexuality in the Hebrew and Greek, and therefore, no commandment prohibiting it. That should be the end of the story, but about 400 years ago, at the prompting of churches that had a long history of inventing their own doctrines, translators added new prohibitions to the Bible. But God is not obligated to honor those. He doesn’t, and neither should we.

                • There is a direct reference to homosexuality in both the Hebrew and Greek languages! God is clear about His holy standards for human sexuality and human sexual ethics.

                  • Because you say so? Sorry, that’s not good enough for anyone with a brain. I’ve read those texts through, studied them, taught from them. You can’t even begin to read them. Don’t presume to tell me what they say.

                    • Bill, I’ve read through them because between you and I, I am the Bible College and Seminary trained person.

                      You pretend like you’re some scholar, and you clearly are not even able to dismantle anything anyone writes, including Gloriamarie when she had to straighten you out about the Episcopalian Church and original sin. And you want us to believe your claims of being superior to anyone? Not even a chance!

                    • Florida Boy wrote, including Gloriamarie when she had to straighten you out about the Episcopalian Church and original sin. ”

                      Yeah, well I am even less convinced that this person is a graduate of any accredited institution of higher learning because he clearly can’t read because I didn’t straighten him out about anything. I merely corroborated with evidence that he was correct.

                      Bill Carey said what he thought the position of The Episcopal Church is on original sin. The information I provided proved that Bill very correctly understood TEC’s position.

                  • I have zero respect for your so-called education, because clearly you can’t read. I told you yesterday that I completed training at TWO Bible colleges, as well as a State University. Somehow, you missed that. If you do have the education you claim, they failed you miserably… or you’re letting them down.
                    Gloriamarie informed me of the Episcopalian view of Original Sin after I admitted I wasn’t familiar with their belief on it. She didn’t “straighten me out.” (A wise man know how to admit when he doesn’t know something, and I will admit it.)
                    As I also told you yesterday, the American Bible Society has acknowledged me as a Bible scholar and theologian. So somehow, in light of that, your petty opinion doesn’t seem to matter all that much.

                    • Bill, I am still waiting for Florida Boy to tell us where he has received his alleged theological training.

        • Joe, denying the obsession you prove in every thread just proves how messed up and in denial you are.

          Of course there is such a thing as a “sexual sin.” Sex involving, force, harm, demeaning, degrading, against absolute consent, with a minor, with an incapacitated person or someone who cannot consent, as abuse, spreading disease, and adultery are all examples of sexual sin.

          Not being privy to any conversation Jesus had, all of us can only guess what Jesus meant when he said anything to them. When he said “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you” to a crippled man he had healed, was Jesus saying that being crippled is just a sin? Or that being crippled is punishment for sin?

          We will not all agree on what is a sin, so why keep pushing that rock up the hill?

          • Those who freely interpret the Bible based on a desired outcome and/or who have no guiding authority can interpret sin to be just about whatever they want it to be. The minimalist will say that an example of sexual sin is “force” such as in rape, and we can all agree on that. But Jesus raises the bar substantially higher says it’s the sin of adultery to lust after another.

            It surprises me that when Jesus told a woman who was caught in the sin of adultery to “go and sin no more,” that you can’t connect the dots.

            Now you did mention that “adultery” is a sin, but since David had concubines, that isn’t really all that clear is it, or so many who follow this blog might say.

            At any rate, the vast majority of Christians for 2,000 years are and have been in complete agreement that the following are grave sins: fornication, adultery, same-sex sexual acts, masturbation, and abortion among others. Those on the fringe who are looking for something easier that requires no disciple, self-denial, or carrying of a cross, will find excuses for all of them, either by asserting that biblical silence is approval or by creative interpretation.

            • Whatever caused you to be so twisted is not my problem. In point of fact though, it is folks like you who “interpret the Bible based on a desired outcome” and lucky for you there is a very tainted (by Biblical standards) guiding authority that helps you do it.

              God never gave you the authority to rank sin or decide punishment.

              God never asked you to connect the dots.

              You can claim anything Christians say are “grave sins” but we all know that only two sins figure so prominently that some Christians want those people punished, excluded and subject to the force of law. God never gave any of you that authority and most assuredly not in God’s name.

              God never allowed you to usurp God’s power. God never told you to judge or punish sin, even if you believe God told you to name it.

              Loving God and loving as God loves requires a lot more discipline, self-denial, and carrying of a cross, than what you do. Cover to cover, the message is love, not what you offer.

              • God does not give you or JP or me or anyone else the authority to say that a serious sin is not a sin.

                To be a homosexual is not a sin. To enter into a homosexual sexual relationship IS a serious sin.

                Not my idea. Not a new ideal. The Church has taught that for 2,000 years. It’s a new idea that it is not a sin and that it is “hateful” to say that it is a sin.

                Jesus showed love to the woman caught in adultery by forgiving her and in telling her to “go and sin no more.” It would not have been love to tell her that fornication and adultery are good things to do. It is not love to tell a homosexual that he or she can have sexual relations without committing a serious sin. It’s a lie and it’s a very destructive lie.

                I don’t know what “ranking sin” means. There are obviously very serious sins and sins that are minor. In the Catholic Church we would say there are “mortal sins” and “venial sins.” A mortal sin can cut one off from God’s grace and could send them to Hell, though there could be mitigating circumstances such as ignorance or pressure. But objectively speaking, adultery, fornication, or homosexual contact could be categorized as “mortal sins.” Subjectively speaking, ignorance that is not willful might excuse someone.

                It seems that “homosexual sins” are “prominent” because that’s the topic of this thread. If you want to talk about the sins of stealing or murder, we could talk about those as well. But homosexuality and destruction of life in the womb are the ones forced on Catholics and mainstream Christians by the “progressives.” I would be happy to talk about the serious sins of stealing or murder, but thankfully you are not excusing those.

                An example of a “venial sin” might be stealing a piece of candy or telling a lie or gossiping. None of these is good, and habitually committing venial sins could darken one’s soul and intellect and set them up to do something more serious, but a venial sin on it’s own is not enough to destroy “Sanctifying Grace.”

                I say none of this by “my” authority, but by the authority of the Church started by Christ beginning with Peter, and existing today through an unbroken succession of Bishops and Popes. What I have stated has been believe for 2,000 years and is believed by millions of practicing Catholics all over the world. You are essentially taking “our” book out of context and spinning the message according to your progressive politics and beliefs. You have no such authority to do so.

                  • I of course strenuously disagree with both.

                    There is plenty of evidence in the Scriptures and within the Catholic Church to prove that the Catholic Church is the Church that Christ founded.

                    Regarding “levels of sin”…no theological discourses are necessary to make a case that stealing a penny is much less of a sin than murder. Isn’t that just common sense?

                    https://www.catholic.com/tract/pillar-of-fire-pillar-of-truth

                    • Where did you get the idea that Christianity should be based on the Bible and only the Bible?

                      1) The Bible didn’t deliver the Bible to you. The Catholic Church did.

                      2) The Bible doesn’t say that Christianity is to be based only on the Bible. But the Bible does point to the Church.

                      It’s not that Catholics “added” but that Protestants “subtracted.”

                    • I get the idea that Christianity should be based on the life and teachings of Christ, and the Bible, and only the Bible, has been the basis for that for centuries. Your church is clearly all there is for you, but that does not mean it is all there is for everyone.

                      Even as “the Catholic Church” is the largest Christian sect, Christianity itself is still only 30-35% of the world.

                      The Bible points to Jesus as the way to God, not the church. For centuries “the Catholic Church” discouraged their congregants from reading the Bible. There was even a prohibition in translating the Gospels to other languages to spread it without “the Catholic Church” control of it.

                    • You’re confused, Joe. The Catholic Church didn’t give us the Bible. The Old Testament canon was complete 400 years before Jesus was born. And it did NOT include the extra apocryphal books your church added. (There was not universal agreement among Catholics about adding those books, by the way. But the loudest voices won. Luther wisely removed them because they were never intended to be scripture, only literature, and are regarded only as literature by the people who wrote them. Further, if they are scripture, the Bible now contradicts itself. The NT claims that when Jesus healed a man born blind that it had never happened before. But it did happen in the apocrypha. Either that was only literature, or the New Testament is wrong.)
                      The Bible claims that it is forever settled in heaven, and is profitable for doctrine. It denies permission to anyone, including the church, or even an apostle or angel, to alter the original teachings of the New Testament. In fact, it states TWICE in immediate succession that anyone who alters those teachings is to be accursed. But your church did alter them… significantly. You altered the baptismal formula by the fourth century, and the mode not long after that. You changed the original plan of salvation which required belief and repentance before baptism, and completely did away with the baptism of the Spirit, replacing it with a powerless ritual called confirmation.
                      You claim the RCC was the first church, with Peter as pope. But the first century church was headquartered in Jerusalem, not Rome, until Jerusalem was destroyed in 70 AD. Even the RCC admits his “reign” as pope was over before then.
                      The first church council was held in Jerusalem, and many gave their opinions, including Peter. But the final ruling came not from him, but from James, a ruling binding on the entire church.
                      The Bible speaks of a church that holds to the name of Jesus and teaches the original truths… as well as an apostate church that replaced those truths with their own doctrines. Your church teaches that “sacred tradition” is of equal value with the word of God. The Jews in Jesus’ day held to that, too, and He told them in no uncertain terms that “sacred tradition” makes the word of God of no effect, and that if they teach their own doctrines as commandments, they worship Him in vain.
                      There’s a reason your church claims people can’t interpret the Bible on their own, and for centuries even told them not to read it: Because your church’s doctrines flatly contradict those of the apostles. Galatians 1:8-9 apply here.

                  • John, you keep proving your astounding ignorance of the Scriptures…..to no one’s surprise!

                    You apparently do not even open the Scriptures, because if you did, you’d know that the Bible DOES IN FACT speaks of sins that are more egregious than others, and that the consequences are greater than others. Wow! You didn’t know that? Maybe you need Bill to help you.

                    Here is one hint for you: Sexual sins are deemed more offensive than other kinds of sins…because they can mark you for life.

                    Unlike other kinds of sins, Sexual sins IS THE ONLY KIND OF SIN that IS AGAINST ONE’S OWN BODY!

                    “Flee from sexual immorality. Every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but the sexually immoral person sins against his own body.  Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own,  for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” ( 1 Cor. 6:18-20)

                    By the way, did you know that Jesus Himself taught that there are different degrees of punishment in Hell?

                    I doubt that you knew that!

                    • There is an error in Joe Catholic’s thinking that I have repeatedly corrected and he repeatedly ignores and he repeats his lies so often, people are falling into them.

                      The RCC did not exist as the RCC until July, 1054 when the Pope in Rome and the Patriarch in Constantinople mutually excommunicated each other. Most unedifying.

                      Before that there was only the Church.

                      The RCC did not give us the Bible. The Council of Jamnia codified the canon of the Hebrew Scriptures in 90 CE. The New Testament canon was finalized in the in the 5th Century CE, 600 years before the RCC existed.

                    • Well, Florida Boy, thanks for proving once and for all that you have no knowledge of Greek.

                      In the passage you cite you make the same mistake so many other people make which is you fail to remember that unlike Greek, English does not distinguish between a singular and a plural use of “you” except by context.

                      Although it is quite clear that the plural “you” is what is meant here by virtue of the fact that this is a letter to the Corinthian***s***, to a group of people.

                      So it is not our individual bodies which are being discussed but the corporate body of believers in Corinth.

            • Thanks Gloriamarie, I had read that and it is an awful ad. They stoke the division then act like they hate the divide. Typical.

      • Prurience and voyeurism, an extreme case.

        Jesus came to teach us how to better at being human beings. Being a better human being does not allow me to pay attention to the sin of others, only to my own.

        A long time ago I accepted that I do not have the ability, authority or power to convince anyone of anything, only the Holy Spirit has that and I am content to leave it up to Her.

        All I can do is choose how to live my life in accord with the Gospel. One way I choose is to practice custody of the senses. I don’t scrutinize others looking for their sins because the only result of that is that I myself will sin.

        • You haven’t raised children.

          What would you have said to a daughter or son who asked you if were a sin to have sexual relations with their friend?

          What would you say to a friend who asks you if it’s a sin to have sex with her married boss?

          You don’t have to “pay attention” to the sins of others to know what is a sin and what is not and not be afraid to say so. Tacit approval of someone’s sins makes you culpable.

  17. These are the kinds of thoughts that Christians should be considering when they find themselves so focused on the ‘lifestyles’ of others.

  18. Folks. Being the anthropologist here, I would just like to do something for a few minutes here. It will surprise some of you who know that I have nothing against LGBTQ people and that I openly advocate against discrimination and persecution of LGBTQ people.

    The LGBTQ issue is seemingly so intractable because it is a too-edged sword. It has a cultural edge that has nothing at all to do with religion and it has a religious edge—and the two feed on each other in American culture. I just want to go out of character and demonstrate that for a few posts—then I will go back to being the old Charles. I will be posting as “Gnarles” because because I will be one really “gnarled up” old American cultural guy.

    • Charles wrote, ” just want to go out of character and demonstrate that for a few posts—then I will go back to being the old Charles. I will be posting as “Gnarles” because because I will be one really “gnarled up” old American cultural guy.”

      Ah. I saw a post from “Gnarles” and thought perhaps it was someone mocking you as I have so often been mocked in the past.

    • Charles, not only not cool, it was actually really vain and totally stupid. You are as obsessed as Joe Catholic, it is not helping anything or anyone, much less the blog as a whole.

  19. Another “ear tickler.”

    Keep reading Genesis. In chapter 2, God goes on to explain how he made woman from man. Two very distinct genders. First He creates man from the dirt and when He sees that Adam needs a partner, He causes Adam to go to sleep and creates woman from his rib. Here He creates the institution and covenant of marriage between a man and a woman.

    I will give you this, though… being LGBT is not a sin, the sin lies in the act and the lifestyle. The whole lifestyle perpetuates the sin.

    Read further in Genesis and you will come to Sodom and Gomorrah. Why does God destroy both cities?

    • “being LGBT is not a sin, the sin lies in the act and the lifestyle.”

      That’s ridiculous. Go enjoy the heterosexual lifestyle today, whatever that means.
      The Bible never refers to a homosexual lifestyle because that’s a stupid idea.

      So God created woman out of a man. Guess men and women are made of the same stuff? Sounds gender fluid.

      “Being LGBT is not a sin, the sin lies in the act and the lifestyle.” The Bible never says “Being gay isn’t a sin but acting on it is”, so you’re making that up.

      • Personally, I enjoy the Heinz Ketchup Lifestyle. My son enjoys the Roman Reigns Lifestyle, and my daughter enjoys the “Dad I Need a Few Extra Bucks Lifestyle.” What’s next? The Rigid Howdy-Doody Lifestyle. The Metric Wrench Lifestyle. The Bic Pen Lifestyle. The Bic Razor Lifestyle—everything’s disposable.

        Pathetic—but some people seem to think like this.

        • Personally, I prefer the Mind Your Own Business And Give People Enough Credit to Know What is in Their Own Best Interests Lifestyle

        • When I was a child, I was deep in the Heinz Ketchup Lifestyle! French fries, onion rings, fish sticks, etc, were all vehicles by which I consumed more and ketchup!

          As an adult, I am now living the Ranch Dressing Lifestyle, I have put away childish things!

    • Sorry, Brooks, but you are very confused about the creation of the second human, and even more confused about why Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed. Check out this website to see what the Hebrew texts of the Bible say about both: http://hoperemains.webs.com

    • Leslie, you have pointed out the earliest way Scripture contradicts itself: two different creation stories. I suspect they are both in Genesis because the Rabbis in Babylonia liked them both so much they couldn’t choose.

      “Read further in Genesis and you will come to Sodom and Gomorrah. Why does God destroy both cities?” Thanks to Ezekiel, we have the answer, 16:49 “Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy.”

      I myself would have thought that the text in Genesis would also tell us that those people in Sodom were turning their backs on the sacred duty of holy hospitality, but that’s not what Ezekiel says.

      • You left out verse 50, which all sodomites and their surrogates do.

        *Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it*

        Homosexuality was and is the abominations in the text, and Jude 1:7.

        • Florida Boy, please tell me where in verse 50 it equates homosexuality with abominations?

          You can’t because it is your ***interpretation*** that abominations = homosexuality with one single shred of proof.

          Perhaps you are unaware that it was considered an abomination to violate the scared duty of holy hospitality.

          The intent of the men of Sodom was not homosexuality but rape. Rape is defined as forced sex without consent. Rape is not the same thing as homosexuality.

          • Gloriamarie, read verse 50 and 51 of Ezekiel 16. There, you will find the words “abominations” in reference to Sodom and Samaria, and that word is the exact word that is used in the Leviticus passages that condemns and prohibits Homosexual relationships. There’s simply no wiggle room for you and other gay surrogates.

            • Bill Carey has already corrected your self-serving and entirely incorrect understanding of the Hebrew word for abominations.

              Please be informed by actual evidence and facts and release your homophobia and prejudice.

              Because you might as well know, the more you squawk against homosexuality, the more you convince many of us that you are secretly homosexual yourself.

              I don’t blame you for staying in the closet. You must be terrified that if you came out you would be on the receiving end of what you’ve been dishing out and of being treated the men have treated women for millennia.

              The Bible regards many things as abominations but never once does it say homosexuality is one of them.

            • What is wrong with you? Are you that dense? The same word, to’evah, is used in Gen. 43:32 to refer to how the Egyptians viewed eating bread with the Hebrews.
              Deut. 24:4 uses the same word to refer to a man remarrying his former wife if she has subsequently been married to another man.
              Prov. 21:27 says the sacrifice of the wicked is a to’evah.
              Prov. 28:9 says the prayer of a man who disregards the law is a to’evah.
              Is. 1:13 calls incense a to’evah.
              Jer. 2:7 God said His heritage had been made a to’evah.
              Jer. 32:35 Burning children to Molech is called a to’evah.
              Ezek. 22:11 calls adultery a to’evah.

              It just means “hateful thing.” It does contain any inherent sexual connotation, and certainly does not mean homosexuality.

        • Neither verse 50 nor Jude 7 make any reference to homosexuality. The word abomination means hateful thing, not necessarily something sexual. The history of Sodom recorded in the Mishnah is full of hateful things. No mention of homosexuality.
          Jude links Sodom to fornication (any sex outside of marriage, which in Sodom was primarily temple prostitution) and “going after other flesh.” The word for flesh is also the word for meat in Greek. Cannibalism was known to exist there, and that is more than likely a reference to that.
          Note, if the translators were so sure it meant something else, they wouldn’t have felt the need to tamper with the verse. KJV, for example, says “strange flesh.” Greek says other. The word for other is heteras, the root of our word heterosexual. Just means other.

          • Bill, you’ve flunked again! In verses 50 of Ezekiel 16 and in Jude 1:7, the reference to homosexuality is irrefutable! Your gay revisionist attempt to dismantle the truth simply isn’t working with this Seminary, Hebrew and Greek trained man!

            You have the same sorry comeback: “It’s the translators that made the mistake”….or “the translators deliberately changed the wording and the meaning”, etc. You are laughable!

            Homosexuality means that much to you, does it?

            • Sorry, Florida, but YOU flunked. You have added your own interpretation to Ezekiel. I just finished posting proof that the word to’evah does not mean homosexuality, but merely a hateful thing. You seem to have it in your head that the word is only found in Lev. 18:22, 20:13 and this verse in Ezekiel. It’s found throughout the Old Testament, in reference to many things.

  20. Hi. My name is Gnarles and my shadow has never darkened the door of any church. All these God people have been arguing this and that about LGBTQ. I don’t care about any of that and never even read it. All I know is this.

    I’m heterosexual. I never had a gay attraction or inclination in my life. I like women and women only.

    The idea of kissing and holding hands with another guy is absolutely repulsive to me. It would be like locking lips with a sow pig in a poop-filled mud puddle and French kissing with her for an hour. I am sorry folks. But that is the way my heterosexuality is wired inside my brain. I could not kiss a guy if Charles Manson cocked his .44 magnum to my head and tried to force me. The sex part—no way—far worse than anything I have described here already—just speaking for me alone and the idea of me alone being involved in doing it.

    I think most hard-wired-brain heterosexuals (male and female) think and feel like I do on this. This why so many of us are against homosexuality. The thought of one of us (male or female) kissing and having sex with another person of the same sex is just so innately repulsive to us that we find it hard to imagine or understand how anyone else could possibly be different from us. Moreover, a lot of us are scared to death that you homosexual folks are going to turn American society into a place where we heterosexual people will be encouraged or forced to kiss and have sex with one of you when that is the last thing we would want to do

    For example, if a time ever comes when the whole culture fully accepts homosexuality and calls it normal just like mom and apple pie—every last America buys in— I and many other hard-wired-brain heterosexuals are scared to death that you homos are going to be romantically pursuing us.

    Right now, this little gal named Susie here in the office is sweet on me. I have never asked her for a date, never been out with her, never anything. But she is pursuing me!!! She’s always batting her eyes at me, has this glow of attraction on her face, wears tops to reveal cleavage. Whenever I go for a smoke break, there she is running after me to smoke too. When I leave at 5:00 p.m., her car is always oddly parked right next to mine. Not a day goes buy that she does not invite me to go to lunch with her.

    Can you imagine what it would be like if a GUY like Susie were in my office and attracted to me like that and was pursuing me like that here at work? It would be the awfullest thing that ever was—because I don’t swing that way. Both the heterosexual guys and the heterosexual gals in my office would make my life a living Hell with teasing—some of it just for fun—and some of it downright malicious. And how would I get this pursuing guy off my back?

    If the culture were to change completely, what assurances would we hard-wired-brain heterosexuals have that you homos would not be asking us out on dates? What assurances would we have that you would not be pursuing us day and night with the line: “I am so attracted to you Bill. C’mon try it? Just once? What could the harm be? You might like it?” when all in the world we hard-wired-brain heterosexuals want is for you homo people to leave us alone and let us be who WE ARE sexually.

    We are afraid out here. For some it’s a God thing. For reprobate people like me, it’s solely a cultural thing. You homo people are asking us to respect what you claim as your natural sexuality. What cultural assurances will we have that you will leave us alone and let us have our natural heterosexuality in a newly reformatted American culture? What will the new cultural rules be—and can we count on you folks to follow them so both sides will be protected? There is a lot of fear out here among us heterosexuals, and it ain’t got nothin’ to do with God.

    • What a load of crap. I am a heterosexual woman and you just turned me off. I have gay friends and I don’t worry about them coming on to me. I would worry more about you coming on to me. What a distasteful little man you are.

    • Gnarles wrote “I think most hard-wired-brain heterosexuals (male and female) think and feel like I do on this. This why so many of us are against homosexuality. The thought of one of us (male or female) kissing and having sex with another person of the same sex is just so innately repulsive to us that we find it hard to imagine or understand how anyone else could possibly be different from us.”

      Gnarles, I have no desire to have sex with a woman. Just can’t imagine it for me. I will admit to an “ick” factor. But no one should have to change their behavior because any of us have an “ick” factor.

      What you may not have considered is that many a gay man has an “ick” factor about anyone having sex with a woman. Many a lesbian woman has an “ick” factor about having sex with a man.

      We all have “ick” factors, so let’s just be adults and get over it. After what two consenting adults choose to do is ***none*** of anyone else’s business.

      “Moreover, a lot of us are scared to death that you homosexual folks are going to turn American society into a place where we heterosexual people will be encouraged or forced to kiss and have sex with one of you when that is the last thing we would want to do”

      Now, what evidence do you have for that? When have any gay people ever shown any interest in this?

      Never. Whenever I am confronted with homophobia such as yours, I wonder which of the following applies:

      1) Is the homophobic man afraid of being raped by a gay man even though there is no evidence that gay men go around raping straight men.

      If this is the case, it is difficult for me to garner any sympathy as we women are afraid of being raped since we are about twelve and in all of the millennia of human existence, heterosexual men have yet to cease to rape women.

      2) How deep in the closet is the homophobe? How terrified is he to admit he is gay?

      Let the light of God’s truth about him pierce the darkness that binds you and allow it to sethim free.

      If we believe God doesn’t make mistakes and that God it is love and that God made humanity in God’s image, then it stands to reason that if God created someone to be homosexual, then it must have been because it delighted God to do so.

      God is love and God wants us to love our neighbors for the person it delighted God to create. We are to love all as ourselves exactly as God first loved us. When Jesus commands us to love this way, He does not have a list of exceptions, footnotes, or a list of appendices to justify denying love to someone. He commands us to love all.

      • Walter Malone, you must be a very young man – if you are a man and you couldn’t possibly be more wrong.

        Let me tell you a secret – someday there will be snow on your rooftop and you will realize how immature you sound at this moment. Does your mother know how you communicate when you have access to the internet?

        Attraction begins in the brain – while the body may lose its strength or ability for some of the acrobatics the healthy brain never loses its power for love, attraction, and a person’s ability to express both.

        Just a friendly piece of advice, you need to grow up a little more before you can be taken seriously by adults.

        Peace

    • Wow, Gnarles, I don’t even know where to start with that mess.
      OK, to start with, gay people generally recognize that sexual orientation is innate and immutable. We do not waste time trying to make straight people gay, because it isn’t possible. (Nor is it necessary: there are enough of us to go around.) Now, in the off chance a man is attracted to you, not realizing you are straight, how about you try this, “Thanks, but I’m not interested. I’m straight.” And I can pretty much guarantee that would be the end of it. (On those occasions when a woman has expressed interest in me, I have simply told her I was gay, and therefore not interested, and that was the end of it. Often, I wound up with a new friend. I did not respond with fear and paranoia that she would try to force herself on me.)
      On the other hand, there are a great many heterosexuals who are hell-bent on trying to turn gay people straight. Equally impossible.
      Remember what you wrote about the idea of having any intimate contact with a man? Well, that is EXACTLY how I feel about intimate contact with a woman. The entire idea is abhorrent and unnatural to me, completely revolting. I have only, ever, been attracted to men. But unlike straight people, who do NOT have to deal with gay people trying to turn them gay, I had to endure years of straight people, my church and my parents, trying to make me straight.
      Gay people pose no threat to you whatsoever, and at no time in the history of this world has more than maybe 10% of a population been gay, and that is fine with gay people. But many straight people, those who are homophobic (and in your case, it does mean afraid), pose a significant danger to gay people.
      Try this, and maybe your life will be happier and less fearful: Live and let live.

      • Bill, I made that same mistake. This is Charles trying something different. Apparently, the same thing happened to you that did to me. I saw “Gnarles” post first and then later saw the one from Charles explaining what he was going to do.

          • I suspect John P approved Charles’ posts out of order. But I do wish Charles had not posted as “Gnarles” as it opened a door for some disgusting and hurtful comments by a troll.

      • Bill, everything you’ve said is pure bull shit! I’ve known people who once upon a time were gay, but due to the power of God, they were healed, never to live that way ever again! Before anyone comes back with the gay babble bull shit about people cannot change, please save it for the people that are stupid enough to buy what you’re selling. People can and do change all the time, and sexuality immoral people change and become people of sexual integrity. It happens all the time, and that’s the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and that’s exactly what the apostle Paul said and meant in 2 Cor. 5:17. Gay people don’t have to remain gay just as liars don’t have to remain liars, and fornicators and adulterers don’t have to remain as those kind of people.

        • No, Jamey, you don’t know any such people. At best, you might know people who are living a delusion, but that can’t last indefinitely.
          God does not change anyone’s sexual orientation, just like He doesn’t change the color of their eyes or left/right hand dominance.
          If you can find a copy of the book “Ex-Gays: There Are None,” I suggest you read it. The author of this book, a minister who once believed as you do, decided to do a follow up study of the “success stories” of several of the better known ex-gay ministries. None of these success stories was interviewed at the height of their popularity. Rather, they were interviewed after they were news, when the ministries were no longer parading them in churches or on Christian TV and magazines. And the results? Every single one of those people was still gay. They had allowed themselves to be deluded, brainwashed if you will, into believing something had changed. But they could not maintain that delusion forever, and sooner or later had to admit that nothing had changed.
          You might also find people who will live a lie to make bigots less unhappy. They will pretend to be straight, and even marry someone of the opposite sex. But pin them down: they are still only actually attracted to the same sex, and have no attraction at all to the opposite sex.
          Of course, a few might have been bisexual from the start. For them, it’s no big deal to decide to be with the opposite sex, because they are attracted.

    • Not to worry, Walter. There’s not a gay man alive who would want you. Probably no women either, judging by the way you’ve spoken to women here.

    • This filth has been reported.

      Whenever I am confronted with this degree of homophobia, I wonder which of the following applies:

      1) Is the homophobic man afraid of being raped by a gay man even though there is no evidence that gay men go around raping straight men.

      If this is the case, it is difficult for me to garner any sympathy as we women are afraid of being raped since we are about twelve and in all of the millennia of human existence, heterosexual men have yet to cease to rape women.

      2) How deep in the closet is the homophobe? How terrified is he to admit he is gay?

      Let the light of God’s truth about him pierce the darkness that binds him and allow it to set him free.

      If we believe God doesn’t make mistakes and that God it is love and that God made humanity in God’s image, then it stands to reason that if God created someone to be homosexual, then it must have been because it delighted God to do so.

      God is love and God wants us to love our neighbors for the person it delighted God to create. We are to love all as ourselves exactly as God first loved us. When Jesus commands us to love this way, He does not have a list of exceptions, footnotes, or a list of appendices to justify denying love to someone. He commands us to love all.

  21. Today, you are best described as the greatest Christian mind. Your sensitivity and love is one way to ensure that there is a future for the church, that desperately needs to update its message in order to reach out and work as a force moving into the future.
    I realise my bias, but despite that, I can’t see the ignorant point of view that is taught to Bible Belt children as a way to preach love to the future.We must change the Church, or it will surely die.The obvious hatred of your examination is the right-wing political bias that is used to divide a desperate world.The future is best described as found in the coalition of the varying members of the “rainbow”.
    Thank you, for being one of the first to draw a line under the problem that must be corrected

  22. Read this today, thought of this essay by John.
    “Papal connected authors condemn Catholic, fundamentalist ecumenism of hate”

    “When talking to reporters writing on the Catholic Church, I normally avoid words like “extraordinary, unique, unprecedented, etc.” Pope Francis has sometimes forced me to use such words, and the latest editorial in La Civiltà Cattolica certainly deserves such a characterization.

    “Evangelical fundamentalism and Catholic intregralism in the USA: A surprising ecumenism,” by Jesuit Fr. Antonio Spadaro and Presbyterian pastor Marcelo Figueroa is extraordinary.

    “The authors are known to be very close to Francis. Spadaro is the Jesuit editor of La Civiltà Cattolica who was granted the first blockbuster interview by the pope, and Figueroa is an Argentine Presbyterian pastor appointed by the pope to head the Argentine version of L’Osservatore Romano.

    “It is impossible to exaggerate the extraordinary character of this editorial. It is a full-throated attack on the political alliance between evangelical fundamentalists and Catholic neocons, which would not be surprising in NCR, but boggles the mind coming from a journal whose articles must be approved by the Vatican Secretariat of State before publication. True, La Civiltà Cattolica is not a Vatican publication, but is published by Jesuits. But the relationship between the publication and the Vatican is so close that Pope Pius XII used to make changes on the galleys.

    “The editorial does not mince words in condemning the “Manichaean language that divides reality between absolute Good and absolute Evil” and the “stigmatization of enemies who are often ‘demonized.’ ” It accuses fundamentalists of using scriptural texts out of context to give theological justification to belligerence as they prepare for “Armageddon, a final showdown between Good and Evil, between God and Satan.” These fundamentalists, say the authors, also falsely portray ecologists as people who are against the Christian faith.

    More of this article may be read: https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/faith-and-justice/papal-connected-authors-condemn-catholic-fundamentalist-ecumenism-hate

    • This is the editorial referenced above:

      “EVANGELICAL FUNDAMENTALISM AND CATHOLIC INTEGRALISM IN THE USA: A SURPRISING ECUMENISM” by Antonio Spadaro – Marcelo Figueroa

      “In God We Trust. This phrase is printed on the banknotes of the United States of America and is the current national motto. It appeared for the first time on a coin in 1864 but did not become official until Congress passed a motion in 1956. A motto is important for a nation whose foundation was rooted in religious motivations. For many it is a simple declaration of faith. For others, it is the synthesis of a problematic fusion between religion and state, faith and politics, religious values and economy.

      “Religion, political Manichaeism and a cult of the apocalypse

      “Religion has had a more incisive role in electoral processes and government decisions over recent decades, especially in some US governments. It offers a moral role for identifying what is good and what is bad.

      “At times this mingling of politics, morals and religion has taken on a Manichaean language that divides reality between absolute Good and absolute Evil. In fact, after President George W. Bush spoke in his day about challenging the “axis of evil” and stated it was the USA’s duty to “free the world from evil” following the events of September 11, 2001. Today President Trump steers the fight against a wider, generic collective entity of the “bad” or even the “very bad.” Sometimes the tones used by his supporters in some campaigns take on meanings that we could define as “epic.”

      “These stances are based on Christian-Evangelical fundamentalist principles dating from the beginning of the 20th Century that have been gradually radicalized. These have moved on from a rejection of all that is mundane – as politics was considered – to bringing a strong and determined religious-moral influence to bear on democratic processes and their results.

      “The term “evangelical fundamentalist” can today be assimilated to the “evangelical right” or “theoconservatism” and has its origins in the years 1910-1915. In that period a South Californian millionaire, Lyman Stewart, published the 12-volume work The Fundamentals. The author wanted to respond to the threat of modernist ideas of the time. He summarized the thought of authors whose doctrinal support he appreciated. He exemplified the moral, social, collective and individual aspects of the evangelical faith. His admirers include many politicians and even two recent presidents: Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

      “The social-religious groups inspired by authors such as Stewart consider the United States to be a nation blessed by God. And they do not hesitate to base the economic growth of the country on a literal adherence to the Bible. Over more recent years this current of thought has been fed by the stigmatization of enemies who are often “demonized.”

      “The panorama of threats to their understanding of the American way of life have included modernist spirits, the black civil rights movement, the hippy movement, communism, feminist movements and so on. And now in our day there are the migrants and the Muslims. To maintain conflict levels, their biblical exegeses have evolved toward a decontextualized reading of the Old Testament texts about the conquering and defense of the “promised land,” rather than be guided by the incisive look, full of love, of Jesus in the Gospels.

      “Within this narrative, whatever pushes toward conflict is not off limits. It does not take into account the bond between capital and profits and arms sales. Quite the opposite, often war itself is assimilated to the heroic conquests of the “Lord of Hosts” of Gideon and David. In this Manichaean vision, belligerence can acquire a theological justification and there are pastors who seek a biblical foundation for it, using the scriptural texts out of context.

      “Another interesting aspect is the relationship with creation of these religious groups that are composed mainly of whites from the deep American South. There is a sort of “anesthetic” with regard to ecological disasters and problems generated by climate change. They profess “dominionism” and consider ecologists as people who are against the Christian faith. They place their own roots in a literalist understanding of the creation narratives of the book of Genesis that put humanity in a position of “dominion” over creation, while creation remains subject to human will in biblical submission.

      “In this theological vision, natural disasters, dramatic climate change and the global ecological crisis are not only not perceived as an alarm that should lead them to reconsider their dogmas, but they are seen as the complete opposite: signs that confirm their non-allegorical understanding of the final figures of the Book of Revelation and their apocalyptic hope in a “new heaven and a new earth.”

      “Theirs is a prophetic formula: fight the threats to American Christian values and prepare for the imminent justice of an Armageddon, a final showdown between Good and Evil, between God and Satan. In this sense, every process (be it of peace, dialogue, etc.) collapses before the needs of the end, the final battle against the enemy. And the community of believers (faith) becomes a community of combatants (fight). Such a unidirectional reading of the biblical texts can anesthetize consciences or actively support the most atrocious and dramatic portrayals of a world that is living beyond the frontiers of its own “promised land.”

      “Pastor Rousas John Rushdoony (1916-2001) is the father of so-called “Christian reconstructionism” (or “dominionist theology”) that had a great influence on the theopolitical vision of Christian fundamentalism. This is the doctrine that feeds political organizations and networks such as the Council for National Policy and the thoughts of their exponents such as Steve Bannon, currently chief strategist at the White House and supporter of an apocalyptic geopolitics.[1]

      “The first thing we have to do is give a voice to our Churches,” some say. The real meaning of this type of expression is the desire for some influence in the political and parliamentary sphere and in the juridical and educational areas so that public norms can be subjected to religious morals.

      “Rushdoony’s doctrine maintains a theocratic necessity: submit the state to the Bible with a logic that is no different from the one that inspires Islamic fundamentalism. At heart, the narrative of terror shapes the world-views of jihadists and the new crusaders and is imbibed from wells that are not too far apart. We must not forget that the theopolitics spread by Isis is based on the same cult of an apocalypse that needs to be brought about as soon as possible. So, it is not just accidental that George W. Bush was seen as a “great crusader” by Osama bin Laden.

      More of this editorial which I find fascinating may be read here: http://www.laciviltacattolica.it/articolo/evangelical-fundamentalism-and-catholic-integralism-in-the-usa-a-surprising-ecumenism/

  23. Something else I read today: “WHOSE SIDE IS GOD ON?
    WRITTEN BY JAKEOWENSBY

    “A self-identified Christian responded to one of my blog posts by saying, “I worry when progressive Christians say that God is always good.” His point initially puzzled me. Whether we are conservative or progressive, Christians trust in God’s goodness. At least, that’s what I’ve assumed.

    “My critic suggested that God is good only to those who are on God’s side. Those who neglect, reject, or oppose God can receive savage, brutal treatment.

    “To make his point, he cited a series of stories about apparently God-sanctioned violence found in the Hebrew Scriptures.

    “What gradually dawned on me was that this commenter had found what he thought was scriptural justification for extreme military responses to enemies of the United States. He was reasoning that, just like the Israelites, we are on God’s side. So whatever we do to God’s enemies is justified. Conveniently, our agenda becomes God’s agenda.

    “By this misguided logic, we are free not only to kill Islamic terrorists. We can guiltlessly kill their families and friends.

    “My persistent emphasis on forgiveness, turning the other cheek, and loving our enemy had apparently struck my critic as a liberal political agenda. He either did not recognize or did not acknowledge that I was echoing Jesus’ own core teaching.”

    More may be read here: https://jakeowensby.com/2017/07/21/whose-side-is-god-on/

    • “Whatever we do to God’s enemies makes us God’s friend.”

      I’ll be on the lookout for that one in the coming years. Personally, I think that is why Jay Sekulow wants to be Trump’s new lawyer—now that Trump’s long-time regular lawyer quit yesterday. In my opinion, Sekulow views the Russian Collusion Investigation as a great battle in the Cosmic War Between Good and Evil. Sekulow sees himself as fighting on the side of God to save God’s Holy and Anointed One (Donald Trump) from the forces of Satan, which are led by Robert Mueller, Democrats, and any other person opposed to Trump and all his insane evil. Why? To oppose Trump is to oppose God himself. I think that is honestly the way Sekulow and his crowd sees it. And while this great and imaginary cosmic struggle of theirs is going on, never mind the question of whether Trump and his campaign did evil and illegal things that had the effect of selling his country out to Putin and the Russians—-a point these same John Birch wannabees would have been crawling all over like ants on a Honey Bun in 1962.

      It is the world turned upside down.

  24. Well, well, I see our friend, John is misleading people again about homosexuality. Thankfully, God has given us His Word on the matter, and He has not stuttered. But before I go any further, I’ve learned not get into senseless arguments with people who love their sin. Nothing anyone says will change them much, and sadly, that even includes God Himself! I’ve also learned that the reason for people’s sin and their love for it, has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with little ole me. The Bible speaks very forth rightly why people defend their sins:

    “And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed” (John 3:19-20).

    These two verses sum up why mankind hates God’s truth: we hate the light because the light (Jesus) exposes our sin and rebellion, and that truth is irrefutable.

    Now, just to touch on a few points John attempted to raise, but fell way short due to the falsity of what he has written. I’m certain that he means well and intends to help give hope to people who struggle with homosexuality. The Bible says that we’re to “Speak the Truth in Love”, and that is what I am going to do, though I know I will be accused otherwise, as that is one of the “scare tactics” that the gay community employs whenever they have no credible argument.

    First, the Bible is crystal clear that the practice of Homosexuality is an egregious sin against God’s laws concerning human sexuality. And I want to purposely make a distinction between the “practice” of Homosexuality and having a “same sex orientation”.

    I believe that it is very possible for a person to be attracted to members of the same gender……but not indulge that attraction in order that they might uphold God’s holy standard of sexual relationships, which is limited to Heterosexuals in the context of holy matrimony.

    John says, “The Bible doesn’t say that Homosexuality is a Sin”. I’m concerned about John if he really believes that. For the record, There are ten passages in the Bible that directly or indirectly refer to homosexuality, and each time it is spoken of, it is ALWAYS in the negative. In other words, there is no place in all of holy writ where Homosexuality is spoken of in a positive, uplifting, and encouraging manner. It is ALWAYS condemned and warned against!

    The Genesis 19 passage of Scripture speaks very directly to God’s judgment on the wicked twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah: it was due to the “Abomination” (the Hebrew means “The Detestable Thing!) that was being committed by the citizens there.

    And amazingly, we have irrefutable corroboration in the New Testament of that tragic event, in a passage of Scripture that most Homosexuals doesn’t know about…..because I haven’t seen it explained away during debates and other times of arguments. I don’t think that most know that it is in the Scripture, and here it is:

    And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day; as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to “sexual immorality” and gone after “strange flesh”, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire (Jude 1:6-7).

    The apostle Jude speaks of the devastating results of Sodom and Gomorrah due to their committing “Sexual Immorality” (Porneia) and “Going after strange flesh” (Unnatural Sexual Intercourse).

    The men of Sodom and Gomorrah was hell bent on having perverted sexual relationships with the “two MALE strangers” whom they didn’t know were really angles in human form.

    Amazingly, Lot offered his “Virgin” daughters instead, but they refused him in that regard due to their unnatural lust for those two “MEN”.

    As for the Ezekiel 16:49 verse, which is perhaps the easiest to debunk and shed light on what the text really says using the full context of surrounding verses…..which gays never use…..on purpose, because they’re hoping that their opponents will be lazy enough not to pay attention, so let me do just that in my take.

    “Behold, this was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy” (Ezekiel 16:49).

    However, they conveniently leave both verses 50 and 51 out because it blows their weak position out of the water, so let’s see what those verses add to the discussion:

    “Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore, I removed them when I saw it. “Furthermore, Samaria did not commit half of your sins, for you have multiplied your abominations more than they. Thus, you have made your sisters appear righteous by all your abominations which you have committed (Ezekiel 16:50-51).

    Two times we see the word “Abominations”, with one word being used in reference to Sodom and the second usage of the word being in reference to Samaria. In both usage of the word, it is the exact same Hebrew word for “Abomination” in Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13, and in both places the word means, “THE DETESTABLE THING!”

    And nowhere in all of Scripture do we ever read where God calls “Inhospitality” THE DETESTABLE THING! These words are prohibitions against the unnatural and perverted sexual act of homosexuality.

    The Romans 1:24-28 passage is perhaps the most powerful in indicting the reprehensible behavior of homosexuality. Homosexual behavior is the consequence of mankind’s idolatry.

    Under the divine inspiration of the Holy Spirit, the apostle Paul gives very strong descriptions that cast homosexuality in the worse light: “unnatural, against nature, vile affection, degrading, shameful, an error, and that it has a penalty: the personal judgment of God”.

    Then, in verse 32 of the same chapter, he says that not only will God judge the people who engage in such behavior, along with the other sins he lists, but that even those who give their hearty approval and support, will be judged as well.

    I could obviously go on, but my honest and very sincere purpose of responding is because I genuinely love and care for people, especially people that have been “Blinded by Satan” concerning their spiritual plight. Remember, our Lord says of Satan: “He is the Father of Lies!”

    While I have no doubt that I’ve spoken the truth in love, I also know that I cannot expect my piece to be warmly received because of what we were reminded of in John’s gospel of John 3:19-20 that I posted in the beginning. Yet, I am a big girl, well trained in the Scriptures, and will always stand on the truth. I wish all of you well, and please have a great weekend. I will be leaving for Manchester next Wednesday to do my Summer Studies requirements for the Ph.D program that I am in, so I may not get to say so long before I leave, but I thank all of you for your contributions, even if we disagree.

    Thanks!

    Laralynn

    • Well, well, I see our friend, Laralyn is misleading people again about Biblical scholarship. She clearly demonstrates the education of a Bible College student.

      Once and for all, the ancient people did not have the information that we have in 2017.

      The Bible is not a scientific textbook.

      The Bible is not to be read literally.

      What the authors of the various ancient texts about is not homosexuality.

      Once again I post these books and hope you will read at least one of them. Because you constantly bear false witness against all of us when you misrepresent yourself and the Bible.

      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

    • I’m sure you think you’ve got it all figured out, Laralynn, but you don’t. The fact is, you don’t know what God thinks about homosexuality at all, because English language Bibles, like all vernacular Bibles, have been dishonestly translated.
      I have 4 decades experience working with the Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible, that is, the original languages. And those texts don’t even directly mention homosexuality, let alone condemn it. And despite the fact that the word sodomite appears in most English Bibles, it cannot be found anywhere in the Hebrew and Greek texts. What you are standing for isn’t the word of God at all, but medieval prejudice perpetuated by dishonest translators.

        • You’re dead wrong, Leslie. Hinduism and Buddhism have no position on this. Only ONE branch of Judaism opposes homosexuality (Chassidic), and that is based primarily on late Talmudic texts, not Torah. Among Orthodox, Conservative, Reformed and Reconstructionist Jews, same-sex marriages are celebrated.
          The ONLY religion in the world that is 100% officially opposed is Islam… but that doesn’t mean all Muslims are. There are LGBT-affirming Muslim organizations, and moderate Muslims generally have no opposition to it.
          Don’t believe every lie the anti-gay websites tell you.

          • Mr Carey, homosexuality is outlawed in India (& Pakistan). It is completely taboo, and the whole country is ‘homophobic’. This idea of theirs did not spring from nowhere, it’s in their culture & religious texts. [Same is true of Buddhists. ]

            Gyazto Tenzin (Dalai Lama) says that homosexual acts are wrong, and that ‘men’ parts don’t fit with other men, nor women w/ women. (at least that’s what he said a few years ago.)

            That both religions are ‘slowly’ turning around, only means that they are going against their orthodox teachings.

            • India and Pakistan did not have any taboo against homosexuality until they came under British rule. Their laws against homosexuality did not originate in Hinduism, but in colonial law. (Pakistan is Muslim, which is a different story.)
              The Dalai Lama said that the same Buddhist writing that said homosexuality was wrong also said oral sex is wrong. He didn’t put much stock in that, and he supports same-sex marriage.

              • Mr Carey. Regardless of our various biases. [I’ve studied & chanted the Vedas, & studied the Gita under a Hindu Master & lived in a buddhist country for 4 years.] The Rig Vedas (1500 BC) & Bhagavad Gita (400 BC) both speak against gay sex. The Rig Veda is said to be ‘free from error’, and has over 20,000 mantras for ‘right living’, and -0- are for gay sex (not even in a proscriptive way). The Gita teaches that sex is for procreation, otherwise celibacy is what is ‘right living’. [again, just even following the extensive hygiene laws in Hinduism, gay sex is taboo.]

                I think you are romanticizing something that is harmful to ones health & mental well being.

                –one small example of the harmfulness: is the silent epidemic of domestic violence between LGB partners. (one study published in The Advocate).
                [RE Lifetime instances of domestic partner violence reported:]
                22% Straight women
                07% Straight men
                36% Lesbians
                23% Gays
                61% Bi-women
                38% Bi-men

                • Do you really believe that the majority of Hindus believe sex is only for procreation, and that if pregnancy isn’t desired, they should not have sex at all? My brother-in-law and his family are all Hindus. They believe nothing of the sort. Nor do they think there is anything wrong with people being gay.
                  A quote from an article on homosexuality in India:
                  “Religion has played a role in shaping Indian customs and traditions. While injunctions on homosexuality’s morality are not explicitly mentioned in the religious texts central to Hinduism, the largest religion in India, Hinduism has taken various positions, ranging from homosexual characters and themes in its texts to being neutral or antagonistic towards it. Rigveda, one of the four canonical sacred texts of Hinduism says Vikriti Evam Prakriti (Sanskrit: विकृतिः एवम्‌ प्रकृतिः, meaning what seems unnatural is also natural) which some scholars believe recognizes homosexual/transsexual dimensions of human life, like all forms of universal diversities. Historical literary evidence indicates that homosexuality has been prevalent across the Indian subcontinent throughout history, and that homosexuals were not necessarily considered inferior in any way until about 18th century.”

                  As for the Rigveda, it has proven very difficult to translate that, because it is in archaic Vedic Sanskrit. There is a good deal of disagreement on how some things should be translated. I would take any translation with a grain of salt.
                  There are writings from the church fathers which were not written in obscure, difficult languages… and those are usually mistranslated today. For example, the church fathers frequently wrote against pederasty, which was a common feature in the Roman Empire. But translators over the past century have almost always altered that to sodomy or homosexuality.
                  I have trouble believing that Advocate published that study. I have ONLY heard that nonsense quoted by homophobic organizations. I have know over the years a great many heterosexual women who were the victims of domestic violence. And yet, despite having known perhaps hundreds of same-sex couples, I can’t recall a single instance of domestic violence. Does that mean there isn’t any? No. It just means it’s not all that common. (I recall one incident in which a homophobe posted that the Advocate or a similar publication had published some damning study. He even provided a link, assuming I wouldn’t bother to read it. But I did read it. The publication in question hadn’t published the study as fact, but as an example of fraudulent “research,” and how it was being passed off by anti-gay groups as science.)
                  Homosexuality is no less “healthy” than heterosexuality. The lies told about gay people are just that: lies. Gay men live just as long as their heterosexual counterparts. There is no disease that attacks gay people that doesn’t just as easily attack straight people.
                  And while homophobes love to point out that LGBT are at higher risk for substance abuse and suicide, they fail to acknowledge that their homophobia is what drives that.

    • Thanks Ms. Nixon. But as you fly over the Atlantic, just remember that the Scribes and Pharisees had the scriptures too—and knew them better than you do—and it did them no good in the face of Jesus and his anger because they had forgotten certain higher things that were more important than the word of scripture and the law. Just remember that the next time you go on an LGBTQ discrimination and persecution campaign. Their hearts were filled with just as much pride and arrogance as yours is—and just as much blindness to the suffering of ordinary people in intractably difficult circumstances.

    • laralynn. God’s word never fails to bring light to darkness. [thank you for taking the time & care that you did here.] God’s word will not return void. There is victory in the heavenly realms today. Cheers. 😉

    • Thank you Laralynn!!! I might add Hebrews 13:4, Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral. Hebrews 13:8, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever! His word stands and no twisting of the truth will change his truth.

    • Laralynn? (facepalm)

      Thank you for encouraging me, by your unabashed self-importance, to read Luke’s account of Christ between the two thieves. Really. I most certainly, after hurling into the trash can, needed to read it.

      Thanks be for Grace and the Giver.

      • Susan wrote, “Thank you for encouraging me, by your unabashed self-importance, to read Luke’s account of Christ between the two thieves. Really. I most certainly, after hurling into the trash can, needed to read it.”

        Oh, Susan, I laughed so hard I sprayed my laptop with tea. Fortunately, no harm has been done.

        “Thanks be for Grace and the Giver.”

        Thanks be indeed. It is the only way to maintain a sense of balance among the self-righteous.

        My gosh. I think some of these people who are so deeply fascinated by the sins of others have some serious problems of their own.

        • I’m curious, as to why anyone who disagrees with Scripture, it is because it was “poorly translated”, or not “meant to be literal”. I’m also quite taken aback, that anyone disagreeing with John’s interpretation, is immediately condemned for being self-righteous, or a homophobe, or “fascinated by the sins of others”.

          To me, homosexuality is unnatural, because I am not gay. Just as has been said in this thread, a gay man would find it unnatural to have sexual relations with a woman. We are what we are. Not agreeing with your use of Scripture, doesn’t mean I don’t love my friends who are gay. It also doesn’t make me a homophobe.
          Leviticus calls out several sexual practices that God finds harmful. A man shall not lay with his daughter” (incest). “A man shall not lay with his father’s wife” (adultery). “A man or woman shall not lie with an animal” (bestiality). “A man shall not lay with a man as with a woman” (???? What else does this mean, if not homosexuality?) I think just as with other Levitical laws, these were not only made to keep the peace in a time of chaos, but also for hygiene purposes.

          I will not tell anyone that they are a sinner, because we are all, in fact, sinners. I don’t pay attention to others’ sins or transgressions, OR lifestyles, unless they harm or affect my family. I do NOT consider homosexuality a sin, but to claim it is accepted by Scripture is not truthful. Claiming that, is as abhorrent to me, as when haters twist Scripture to applaud their own hate. Both are wrong. The Word is what it is, regardless of the all-you-can-eat buffet style with which humanity picks and chooses the verses that please them.

          Love and peace to all of you. We can agree to disagree, and that is okay. If you are at peace with your lifestyle, then that is a wonderful thing, and all that should truly matter. What I, or anyone else thinks, shouldn’t matter at all.

            • It does not show lack of understanding, John. Although I can see why you would believe that – since I don’t agree with your interpretations of Scripture. There are those who would say that being gay is a sin. I am not one of them. There are others that say being gay is the way you were born, but embracing the “lifestyle” i.e., living gay, is a sin. I am not one of those either. Perhaps I used “lifestyle” when another word would have been more worthy. Invent one for me, my friend.

              My point is simply that all the back and forth between those that believe being gay is sin and those that don’t, are not supported by Scripture. NEITHER one is supported by Scripture. To claim one or the other by claiming bad translations or picking and choosing Scripture that fits, is what I find objectionable. In the days of Moses, when Leviticus was written, masses of people were living together homeless, on their exodus from Egypt. Fights broke out over the simplest of things. Diseases ran rampant. Food poisoning from undercooked meat, etc. These were not the most hygienic times. The sexual laws were the same as the forbidden food laws, in that they were to keep either (A) peace in the camp, or (B) to prevent disease and illness. There was no such thing as safe sex back then. So, whilst you contend that it is a mis-transation for homosexual practices to be condemned, I don’t agree.

          • Michelle Jeanne wrote, “I’m curious, as to why anyone who disagrees with Scripture, it is because it was “poorly translated”, or not “meant to be literal”.

            Are you sincerely curious?

            The thing is Scripture has been poorly translated. Bill Carey has explained how elsewhere in these comments.

            No, Scripture was never taken literally until relatively recently. One reason is that every translation is an interpretation and most people can’t be bothered to use the resources available to find out what the original language meant to actually say.

            Another reason is that people who want to interpret the Bible literally ignore the various genres within the Bible which are law, history, wisdom, poetry, Gospels, epistles, prophecy and apocalyptic literature. Each genre must be read for what it is. One mistake people who read the Bible literally is to think that the first several chapters of Genesis are history when they are actually part of the Wisdom literature.

            Another reason the Bible can’t be read literally is that to do so overlooks the culture, grammar, history, language, society in which the text was originally written.

            You also wrote “I’m also quite taken aback, that anyone disagreeing with John’s interpretation, is immediately condemned for being self-righteous, or a homophobe, or “fascinated by the sins of others”.

            Well, it’snot so much that they disagree. Disagreements, as I have often said are welcome when they are written in polite, respectful, and validating language. All Too Often when people don’t chose that language but select “hate”words. Jesus tells us that it is not what goes into a person’s mouth that corrupts them, but what comes out. If people write in a disgusting, hate-filled manner about other people, then such people on the label “homophobe” upon themselves. The rest of us are merely reading that label.

            As for the accusation of being fascinated with the sins of others… When you read the words of Jesus, have you noticed that He tells is to pay more attention to the 2×4 in our own eyes, then the splinter in someone else’s? Or that only those among us who are perfect get to condemn anyone else?

            That means the sins of others are NONE of our business. Hence, people who dwell upon the sins of others are fascinated with their sins and in some cases, seem to indicate an unhealthy obsession with the sins of others.

            You also wrote something I don’t understand, “To me, homosexuality is unnatural because I am not gay.” Do you mean that because you are not gay, homosexuality would be unnatural to you? If so, I agree with you, I am straight and it would be unnatural to me.

            Or are you saying that because you are not gay, homosexuality is unnatural for anyone? My reaction to that would not be agreement.

            “It also doesn’t make me a homophobe.” No, but how you express it might.

            “I do NOT consider homosexuality a sin, but to claim it is accepted by Scripture is not truthful.” Actually, it is this statement which is not based on truth and I encourage you to search the comments for those by Bill Carey which explains this. I also enourage you to search the comments for a list of books I’ve posted which go into far more detail than we can here.

            “The Word is what it is, regardless of the all-you-can-eat buffet style with which humanity picks and chooses the verses that please them,”

            First of all, the only Word of God is Jesus. The collection of ancient texts are not the word of God, just whole lotta words about God, humanity, and an endless number of things humanity did wrong and some moment where got it glorious right. I have a list of some wonderful books about the Bible which not only discuss the translation issue but all the stuff we miss out on because we aren’t Jewish. Even in the Christian Scriptures written, for the most part, by Jews. I’ll post it if you are interested.

            “f you are at peace with your lifestyle, then that is a wonderful thing, and all that should truly matter. What I, or anyone else thinks, shouldn’t matter at all.” I have to disagree with you about your use of “lifestyle.” Homosexuality is not a lifestyle nor is it a choice. People are born as homosexuals exactly for the same reason you and I were born heterosexual. It’s how we develop in utero.

          • Leviticus does not say “A man shall not lay with a man as with a woman” in the Hebrew, only in the dishonest translations of the last 4 centuries. (Even older English versions don’t say that.)
            What the Hebrew text says is that two men shall not lie down in a woman’s bed. Big difference. Under the Law of Moses, a woman’s bed was her own. Other than her, only her husband was allowed in there, and even he wasn’t always allowed in there.

            • Bill, sorry but God said exactly what He said and meant. Try as you and other gays might, homosexuality was condemned then, and God condemns it today, and has promised to judge homosexuals and their supporters.

              • God did say what He meant. It’s recorded most accurately in the original languages. And where those disagree with modern translations, the original languages are right, and the translations are wrong.
                There is nothing you can do to change the fact that scripture in the original languages doesn’t directly mention or condemn homosexuality. No amount of pontificating or quoting English versions will change it.

                • No, Bill, as much as you enjoy Homosexuality, I will say to you, face-to face, you, like others in your boat, are deceived by the master deceiver! The excuse, “IT’S THE TRANSLATORS FAULT” doesn’t work on people who know better!

                  • Those who know better? I hope you’re not including yourself in that number. Because when it comes to knowing what scripture does and does not say in the original languages, you are completely in the dark. You can only take the word of translators… who can’t even agree with each other. The various Bible translations often conflict with each other. Do you know which is right and which is not?
                    Example: Col. 1:19
                    Some versions claim that God was pleased, while others say it pleased the Father, and others don’t mention either one. Obviously, only one of those is correct according to the Greek. Do you know which? Do you care?
                    Every commonly available English Bible says that the Word was “with God” in John 1:1-2. But no Greek manuscript says that. Do you know what the Greek does say? Do you care?
                    King James Version contains an extra verse, a known fraud, not found in the ancient manuscripts. Do you know which verse it is? Do you care?

    • Yes Laralynn, God has given us the Word, and brains to read it, but apparently the knowledge of humility in service of God, the commission to bring people to God and the commandment to love above all, seems to always be lost on those like you who follow the law not the love. Hubris is a sin too. That’s in there too.

  25. There are 3 different ways people primarily respond when confronted with something that the church labels as “sin”:

    1) They work really hard to make themselves righteous by eliminating the sin in order to make themselves approved and favored by God. This is at the heart of much of religion. And in spite of the Christian church’s claim to “saved by grace,” unfortunately it still remains prominent in theology and practice. The result is shame as everyone fails to meet this standard.

    No one has been more damaged by this way of thinking than the LGBTQ community as they have continually been shamed by the church and asked to “clean themselves up” before they can be accepted. It is the only thing labeled as “sins” that I know of where it is considered sin the moment of even temptation. Whereas all other “sins” (such as greed, gluttony, heterosexual lust, etc) there is discussion of how it only becomes sin if you act on it, LGBTQ folks who have often had these “feelings” for much of their life have been told they must convert and clean up even their feelings before being accepted and consequently give up their identity.

    It is no wonder LGBTQ folks have felt so rejected by the church and often suffer from depression.

    2) They eliminate God from their lives, walking away from the church entirely and sometimes even becoming atheist. If there is no God there is no sin to worry about and, therefore, no longer reason to feel shame.

    I have known too many LGBTQ people who have done this, including a dear friend who became atheist. Unfortunately, while it has helped them to avoid some of the shaming and bullying from the church, they miss out on the love and grace that I know our God has to offer.

    3) They declare something that was once labeled “sin” as no longer sin. If what you are feeling or doing is no longer sin, then there is no longer reason to feel shame and you can once again be righteous before God.

    Unfortunately, this is a tricky one because it has the appearance of “grace” but is not because it is actually a close cousin to #1 above. It falls under the same belief system that the only way to be approved or favored by God is to be sin free and, therefore, submits its believers to the same trappings of #1 – continuing to strive to be righteous before God in order to be accepted.

    There is a 4th way that very few people respond with because very few understand or can accept it, and that is:

    4) To live with an understanding of true grace.

    Most people miss out on this because they fail to understand how such a holy God could possibly look completely past the areas where they miss the mark of God’s plans for the lives and see absolutely nothing but favor. Often grace is defined as “unmerited favor,” but there are some problems with that terminology, so I think a much better definition is “unconditional favor.” God simply loves, likes and accepts you as you are.

    This doesn’t mean that a person is automatically in relationship with God because they certainly have the option to reject that grace. It also doesn’t mean a person can’t live in ways that are harmful to themselves or others, but it does mean that God’s unconditional favor towards you enables him to look past that while at the same time causing him to call you into a better way of living specifically BECAUSE of that favor toward you.

    We forget that we simply live in a broken world that affects our thinking, emotions, the environment and, yes, even our biology –every single one of us – but God totally gets that and, therefore, has a high view of us just as we are.

    We (both churched and unchurched) simply can’t comprehend. As a result, many fail to favor others as God does and we only see the styes in their eyes. We also miss out on the intimacy of relationship with God and each other that he intended for us all. And we all end up falling under the trappings of #’s 1-3.

    While I’m confident there is little point in getting into further discussion of what things constitute “sin” and which things don’t, I wrote this probably over long comment to simply say be careful when declaring things no longer sin – it just might make people miss out on the full amazing beauty of grace.

    • The guilt/shame paradigm is a dead-end. Sex isn’t sinful. It’s utterly natural- and my not/heterosexuality is utterly natural FOR ME. Christianity didn’t like the Egyptian/Greek/Roman culture it found itself in and so it’s done everything it could to control human sexuality by making it a sin- thereby hopefully preventing unwanted pregnancy- except- the way easiest way to make new paying church members is to birth them.

      Unfortunately- you still see your god through a christian lens. GRACE has no religion- and needs no religion- and certainly christianity has no cornered market on GRACE. All-That-Is- is inclusive- and it includes me- regardless of my sexuality. I’m in a Direct Experience with IT- and that relationship needs no religion.

        • I’m in a Direct Relationship with All-That-Is because I had to climb out of Hell. I had to climb out of Hell because I was abused from the age of 8 for being a fag- by mormon christians. In my mid-30s- I had to climb out of a depression so severe that I had no desire to live- in part because I’d been pursuing my creative path since I was a child and it’s virtually impossible to make enough money to live on doing that- and 5/6 years into my full-time art-path experience I actually was starving. But that time-frame paralleled the late 1980s- when I lost hundreds and hundreds of acquaintances- friends- lovers and family members to AIDS- during a time of cultural despair so profound that if you didn’t experience it- you are clueless as to how it impacted those of us who did live through it. It can’t even be explained.

          So I did the work. Hell is actually an emotional place- far more than it is a physical place. The cliche is the dark night of the soul. And that is something that people who are experiencing the worst possible emotions (for whatever reason) and have spiraled downward until all there is is blackness- are stuck in that morass where there is no light at the end of the tunnel- because there is no tunnel anymore. But you experience it in the gut- the solar plexus- the seat and/or heart of the Emotional Body. And no amount of mental prodding can get you out of that emotional blackness. When one is in emotional hell- the mind no longer has any control over the experience of the one depressed to that degree. And how you get out takes many forms- and I’m not going to describe them all right now. Suffice it to say- I climbed out and I healed myself. And that made me a Healer.

          But the work I did (on myself) was studying all systems of belief- not just one. And using an oracular tool based in various spiritual systems to engage the Universe in a Direct Dialogue- while working on my Self. The Universe is Conscious- and IT can and will and does communicate with people all the time. So- sorry to say- your State of Grace has absolutely nothing to do with christianity- as it exists outside of all human-based religion. It really has nothing to do with “religion”. What is has to do with is Pure Spirit awakened within any given human. But humans- who are holding onto religious and/or spiritual “Belief Structures” are simply going to apply their current lens- their knowledge base- to whatever experience of Grace they’re having. My knowledge base expanded to include all belief structures- and then it expanded again and transcended all belief structures. That I would call ONENESS. ONENESS has no religion. ONENESS needs no religion. ONENESS just IS.

          So ONENESS-based Grace may be God-Experienced- but it has nothing to do with organized christianity- because it’s either part of all religion- or it doesn’t exist- and in that case it also has to be part of no religion at all- or it doesn’t exist. So if it exists- it’s a part of every religion and no religion at all. And that is the Paradox of Universal Consciousness.

          There are 2 words: Illumination and Enlightenment. I’m framing Illumination as the energy force flowing up out of the Earth. The Earth Fire. (The Hell Fire.) When One climbs out of Hell One’s “body” becomes filled and opened with the Earth Fire- Illumination. Native Americans call it Fire Medicine. One can stand in this Radiance and just BE. The Fire does all the work burning off the Dross of human emotional beingness until the body can stand in its own Radiance- Open. Once I’d gotten there I thought I’d figured it out. And then one day in a meditation- where I’d first pulled up the Earth Force and was alight in that Fire- the Sky Force came down- and passed all the way through me into the Earth’s Core- making me the “Chalice”- the “Grail”. And when it exploded open my omni-directional Heart Center- I went- well damn. NOW I GET IT. Enlightenment. And I might call that Grace. But I have no religion (even if I’m using religious words). And how I got there was by not being a polarized male OR female. In other words- my balanced masculine/feminine self- my GAY self- was easily able to OPEN- because it wasn’t single-gender-polarized.

          Now- I took it one step further. Because I not only learned how to call the energy both up- and down- I learned how to run it out my hands and baptize people in the “Light”. And that made me a Shamanic Healer.

          But guess what the biggest lesson was? Almost nobody cares. So I only work with/on people the Universe plunks right down into my ordinary reality. And what do I do? I activate their LightBody. But sometimes they have to go into Hell to find it- and re-claim it- and own it as their birthright. And of course I’m evil- so I use it to debunk whatever religion they’re holding onto.

          Hope that helps…

          • Yes, that does help. Thanks for sharing that. Very fascinating. And so sorry for the hell you went through. Glad you have found yourself some peace.

            One other question and only because I’m genuinely curious (i.e. there’s no trick question involved, and no plan for some kind of evangelical follow up): take out “religion” and take out “Christianity” per say, how does the person of Jesus fit into the equation for you? Or does he not at all?

            • There are millions of muslims on Earth. There are millions of buddhists on Earth. There are millions of hindus on Earth. There are millions of jews on Earth- who we know don’t qualify jesus as messiah. There are millions of people on Earth who don’t believe in christianity or any other religion at all. Why does the person of jesus have to fit into anything? Humans made jesus into what he is today- not jesus. I wasn’t around when jesus is supposed to have walked the Earth- so I don’t know jesus well enough personally to confirm he existed at all. I wasn’t there. But jesus is supposed to have made this statement: I and the father are ONE.

              So- benefit of the doubt given- if jesus existed at all- and if he said- I and the father are ONE- then we are all ONE with the father- too- or none of it is real. And if we are all ONE with the father- then there is no separation between the human self and the God Self. We are the God Self. All of us. All the time. Forever and ever. And we always have been.

              It is we humans who have decided to be separate from that which is God- that which is All-That-Is. That’s your born-in-sin shit. Or your guilt/shame paradigm. I just know it’s all a load of crap.

              Ya wanna have a relationship with the “teacher” jesus- because you think he’s a good bro- go for it. But any religion that says you need the religion to get to god is lying to you. You don’t need any religion to get to god. But if you get to god- and you have a religion- you will (attempt to) define god by whatever religion you are holding onto. That’s just how humans function.

              People who have come to recognize their CORE Spiritual Existence may refer to the Christ Consciousness as part of that experience- but that is not the “person” of jesus. That is Pure LOVE. So jesus may exist. And I’d probably refer to him as my bud- should he walk through the door. But I’d feel the same way about all other spiritual teachers/masters from every tradition and from no tradition at all. And so it’s best to at least contemplate- that for me- MY CREATIVITY IS GOD. But I just refer to god- as SOURCE. And SOURCE cannot be limited or defined by human “religion”.

              Carrying on a conversation on John’s blog is difficult. Look me up on facebook- if you want.

  26. First- Susan- please don’t take this the wrong way… Co-dependency is a thousands of years old dysfunctional psychological behavior pattern practiced by both men and women. Women do what Gnarles’ cleavage-baring eyelash-batting female co-worker is doing (and has done forever) to manipulate the men around her into forming a relationship (of any kind) with her based on her ability to “entrance” them with her female sexual whiles- thereby (hopefully) gaining a worshiper who will then commit to being (owned) a good provider and a good father to her children so she can live out her highest (fantasy) ideal which is to get married to prince charming and then bare and raise 10,000 babies.

    The key here is ownership. Divorce used to be illegal- and women used to be property. Men owned their wives- and their wives were slaves. But their wives got to make babies and stay home with those babies- so I can’t explain to you why women bought that program for the last 10,000 years- but there you have it. Co-dependency- no matter who it’s focused on- is a very old pattern and one which women have had to use just to get by. But it doesn’t work very well anymore.

    So unfortunately- your dysfunctional co-dependent pattern was exacerbated by alcohol. And that combo can be deadly. I’m glad you figured it out- because alcohol-fueled dysfunctional relationship kills lots of people every year. And no I’m not judging you- but I hope that if you haven’t- you do still get to the core of the issue. It does sound as if you’ve healed a major chunk of it- so congratulations. But the co-dependent pattern is very common. Culture’s been brainwashing people with it for a very long time. Happily Ever After doesn’t exist. Relationship is an enormous amount of work and an unbelievable amount of compromise. And ownership no longer works. In heteroland- it fails at least 50% of the time.

    Today (and always) men play out the dysfunctional aspect of co-dependency when their relationships end (for whatever reason) and they then choose to kill their ex (and often themselves and sometimes even the kids) rather than give up their god-given property. And trust me- Gnarls knows all about this behavior- but he don’t wanna talk about it because he don’t wanna admit it to himself or take responsibility for it.

    So Gnarles- hahaha- your little soap opera made me laugh! Truly. You poor straight people- especially you poor straight men. It’s so interesting to hear you tell of your flirtation with your eyelash-batting cleavage-bearing babe at work! Damn! We (men) all know that’s exactly how women act! Right! And they do! And so do you men- even if you’re terrified that the world has changed and GAY MEN exist- and GAY MEN are done hiding (so they don’t get killed by you terrified straight men) and OMG one of them might one day HIT ON YOU in exactly the same way you hit on women all the time. Like every second of every damn day of well- like- forever. Because of course- that’s normal.

    Get over yourself. It might happen. Tell the guy you’re not interested and be done with it. Because your disgust is pathetic. Poor little you. IF he pesters you- you’ll finally get to feel just how women have felt since (at least) the beginning of patriarchal recorded history. So be flattered that you’re still interesting enough that someone might unexpectedly think you’re handsome enough TO hit on you- knowing they’ll likely face outright rejection. Like- for the most part- who would do that? Unless that’s too scary for you. You big old lug! You manly man! You hunka-hunka!

    And after you’ve gotten over yourself- know that there’s an enormously larger number of bisexual men out there than you could ever have imagined- even in your wildest dreams…

    Thanks again- John Pavlovitz!

    • J. Bruce- if you are offering understanding, then thanks. If not, okay. I believe you and I are speaking in two different realms regarding codependency, however. I’m speaking of the clinical sort. I’m very familiar with this. And I wish you well.

      • Charles, I have no idea what you thought you would accomplish by posting as “Gnarles,” but not only did it backfire, it has caused discord among those who normally get along well.

        By misrepresenting yourself in this matter, well, it has been hurtful. That’s all I can say, really. It has caused harm. Things have been said to people that can never be taken back.

        • I was not trying to hurt anyone. Gnarles spoke a version of factual reality that accurately describes why many ordinary Americans are confused and concerned about LGBTQ issues. LGBTQ issues have a CULTURAL SIDE and a RELIGIOUS SIDE. The religious side gets addressed here often—but the cultural side gets swept under the rug. LGBTQ people will never be totally comfortable and totally free (meaning the freedom most would like to have) unless they lovingly and kindly address BOTH SIDES.

          The reason I brought this up is because the “Ick Factor,” as you call it, really exists in the minds of heterosexuals. It is not an imaginary thing. It is widespread. I know gay people would like to sit in a living room with 12 heterosexual persons and feel totally warm, at home, and secure in the feeling that all 12 of those people do not experience an “Ick Factor.” However, that is not the case. There will always be that “Ick Factor” as long as there are heterosexual people in the world. Gay people need to find a way to adapt to this cultural “Ick Factor” because it is always going to be there. Pretending that something that exists does not really exist is hardly the way to adaptively deal with any cultural problem. The “Ick Factor” may even be as much “innate” as it is cultural.

          I am just wondering why the LGBTQ people here, who know me as a friend and supporter of the LGBTQ community, go so berserk when I bring up a problem like this. BOTH sides of the LGBTQ issues have to be addressed—-The RELIGIOUS SIDE and the CULTURAL SIDE. It really is a two-edged sword, and LGBTQ people need to take bot edges seriously.

          • I did Charles/Gnarls. I thought your post was hilarious! And I’ve known thousands of heterosexuals that can’t get beyond their “ick” factor. I just feel sorry for them. Until they want to take away my right to exist- and then I want to do unto them what they want to do unto me.

  27. Thanks John, your post has provided lots of food for thought. It may be different in America but my understanding is that many of the slavery abolitionists were evangelical christians, also that Jesus raised the status of women by his words and deeds as per his encounter with the samaritan woman. I am not going to defend the GOP / fundamentalist views, but i don’t think those views fairly represent mainstream historical Christianity. in other words the church has sometimes led social change. That should be acknowledged. I think it would strengthen your argument on LGBT issues.

    • Roger wrote, ” I am not going to defend the GOP / fundamentalist views, but i don’t think those views fairly represent mainstream historical Christianity.”

      Roger, you are 100% correct. Contemporary evangelical/fundamentalists view do not represent historical Christianity which has always pursued social justice.

      William Wilberforce and other evangelicals led the abolitionist movement in Great Britain while various evangelicals did so here in the USA. The Underground Railway went through churches and the homes of evangelical Christians in the USA.

      In fact, right through most of the 1970s evangelicals were in favor of all sorts of social justice, equal rights movements.

      But along came Dobson, Falwell, Reagan and a false theology developed that dumped the idea of the common good, the corporate welfare for an intensely personalized approach to faith that is all about one’s self. It allowed people to find “Biblical” reasons to be greedy and selfish.

      The current occupant of the Oval Office suggests states not turning over voter details have something to hide. This in turn begs the question, why doesn’t the Orange Calf release his tax returns and what is he trying to hide by not doing so.

      I remember in a debate with Hillary he boasted that he didn’t pay taxes because he is “smart.” Aside from the fact that I doubt his self-assessment, how smart is it to fail to pay the taxes which pay our first responders, for example?

      Yes, Roger, even a cursory study of Church History reveals that throughout the history of the church well into the 1970s, social justice has been a high priority, with evangelicals leading the way with some issues until they stopped, thanks to Dobson, Falwell, Reagan and others.

  28. excellent post! i do not know what to make of you. either you are a contradiction in terms- being christian- or considering your stand on various issues, an anomaly. but i do admire and respect you

  29. Just read this article this morning. In just about every sermon I’ve ever heard about the wheat and the chaff, or weeds, as Sr. Mary describes it, the preacher always implied Christians are the wheat.

    But just as I wonder if most of us aren’t really the foolish virgins, the unwise servant ot the goats of Mt 25, I have to wonder if most of are also the weeds in this parable.

    In which case, who on earth are we to judge anyone for anything?

    Who are we to judge? by Mary M. McGlone Jul. 22, 2017 Spiritual Reflections

    “Were there weeds in the Garden of Eden? The day I heard that there is such a thing as dandelion wine I started to question the either/or classification of plants as good or weed. Who are we to judge?

    “That’s the question we start with in today’s Gospel. A landowner’s servants notify him that his crops have been corrupted.

    “Somebody has sown alien seed in the field reserved for wheat. The servants are quick to offer to cleanse the land of the intrusion, but the landowner has a different point of view. He’s not ready to make a final determination about the worth of everything growing out there. There may be some surprises, and harvest time will tell the final tale.

    “There’s no doubt that the landowner sees his servants as too precipitous in their eagerness to fix the field. One question here might be, “Just what is a weed?” Wikipedia defines a weed as “a plant considered undesirable in a particular situation.” Of course, the next question must be “What is undesirable to whom?” The servants saw the weeds as undesirable. The owner saw the servants’ presumed horticultural infallibility as undesirable. What needs to be eliminated here?

    “When Jesus interpreted the parable of the weeds, he talked about the world with good and evil people, and he specified that the task of weeding questionable people out of the community was not part of the disciples’ job description. As the landowner, he mandated that there was to be no weeding. The sifting would happen at harvest. Until then, everything would have its chance to grow.

    “People who would be quick to weed think they understand just how things should be. The “weeds” upset what they perceive as the divinely sanctioned order of the world: a well-cleared field with one (meticulously organic) crop. These people are caricatures like the stereotypical Pharisees of Jesus’ time or the self-defined religious perfectionists of any age. They interpret precisely how strict rules apply to each situation and strive to maintain themselves in pure virtue. They know that contact with anyone or anything “unclean” diminishes their holiness.

    “Jesus was anathema to this sort of person. Jesus touched the unclean, ate with sinners, worked on the Sabbath, and generally seemed to relish activities that were the symbolic equivalent of blowing dandelion seeds over every manicured lawn he came near.

    “When Jesus told the story of a landowner whose pristine field had been sullied, he may have been talking a bit tongue in cheek, nudging his listeners to ask what makes the difference between produce and weeds. Adding to the humor he used to make his point, he followed the weed story with one of sowing a mustard seed in a field. He painted a wonderfully comic scene as he described a planter setting out into a field armed with a first-century shovel and one tiny mustard seed. Add to that the fact that his audience knew that mustard was a pernicious plant that tended to take over everything around it.

    “When Jesus says that the kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, he may well be saying that it’s something growing prodigiously, much to the chagrin of many who see it. In that case, the mustard seed story refers to the tale of the weed-infested field and underlines the idea that it’s not always so easy to know who or what should be uprooted.

    “When we listen to this Gospel in the summer, we’re challenged to ask what it calls us to think, say and do. Obviously, one of the first things the seed parables call for is a reassessment of whom we can call evildoers and who should take it upon themselves to uproot, excommunicate or shun them. As there has been so much talk in countries around the world about aliens, we need to have some serious discussions among people of faith about what is truly alien to the kingdom of heaven.

    “With the parable of the mustard seed, Jesus talked about planting a fast-growing weed as a symbol of his ministry. That takes us right back to the first question: Who gets to judge what is weed and what is worthy? Frustrating as it may be, Jesus is not giving us the answers. One can imagine Jesus saying, “Let it grow together until the harvest, then I’ll send some angels to evaluate the situation.”

    “Jesus is not giving us the answers — perhaps we would find them too hard to accept. In regard to weeds in the Garden of Eden, my guess is that everything had its own appeal. Diversity? Yes. Weeds? Isn’t that just another name for the main ingredient of dandelion wine?”

    [Mary M. McGlone, a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet, is currently writing the history of the Sisters of St. Joseph in the U.S.]

    https://www.ncronline.org/blogs/spiritual-reflections/who-are-we-judge

  30. This is a perspective that I have never heard with much legitimacy.
    I wasn’t able to read all of the comments, but I have some questions.
    At the top, you asked somebody to identify homosexuality when they claimed that Scripture states the act of homosexuality to be a sin. I think it would be helpful for you to define homosexuality so that I can better understand the premise of your argument.
    While I understand the term, “homosexuality” is a Western term, the Hebrew text does say something to the effect of “that a man should not lie with another man as one lies with a woman”.
    In addition, another interpretation of Genesis, when God says, “Let us make man in our image”, that God is speaking with the Trinity.
    Not trying to sway anybody, but I am sharing my convictions, as are you. I appreciate you seeking truth and sharing interpretations.

    • “While I understand the term, “homosexuality” is a Western term, the Hebrew text does say something to the effect of ‘that a man should not lie with another man as one lies with a woman’.”

      That would be the English mistranslations. Nowhere does the Hebrew text say that.

    • I’ve addressed this elsewhere, but to reiterate, the Hebrew text does NOT say anything about a man not lying with a man as with a woman. What it says is that a man shall not lie with a man in a woman’s bed. Huge difference. A woman’s bed, under the Law of Moses, was her own. Only her husband was ever allowed in there with her.
      “Let us make man in our image.” To think that’s God speaking to the trinity is not sound theology. It’s simply God using the royal we, not at all uncommon for kings. And the being He created demonstrates this, as He did not create any kind of triune being. He created a physical body and breathed in a spirit, and as a result, man became a living soul. (Gen. 2:7 – So body + spirit = soul. That’s not 3 entities. It’s one, a spirit, placed in a vessel, and the combination is called a soul.) God is also a Spirit (John 4:24) who took on a human body (John 1:14). Thus we are in His image: Spirits who are living in flesh.

      • Mr. Carey, I have only been here at this blog about 6 months and I do not remember if I had seen your words before. Your words are fascinating to me and I understand why Mr. Pavlovitz and Ms. Amalfitano welcome your presence here.

        I have to confess when I see what I call lengthy “dueling passages” posts my eyes tend to roll and it just becomes words that go over my head. When it comes to the Bible, I am probably one of the least knowledgeable who post on this blog.

        Anyway you have certainly sparked my interest – I would think you were and are an excellent teacher. May I ask questions? Can we gift the many original translators of the Bible with good intentions and with doing the best they could with the knowledge they had? Or, do you think they knowingly misrepresented what they were seeing? Why do so many different religions not have a correct translation? It would certainly help bring people together. I tend to think in black and white simplistic terms. I have trouble seeing nuances. I certainly appreciate your translation of what you have discussed.

        Hopefully these questions do not sound as silly to you as they do to me when I reread what I wrote. I am truly interested.

        Thank you for your time.

        Peace, Mr. Carey

        • Generally speaking, the errors in translation have been deliberate. The reasons why they exist vary depending on the century. Earliest translations were sponsored by churches. One thing Catholics and early Protestants fully agreed on in the 17th century was that it was the CHURCH that was to be the final arbiter of doctrine, NOT the Bible. In other words, if the Bible said “A” but the church taught “B,” the church’s word was to be accepted. They believed that the church had to right to institute new doctrines and overrule old ones. (In certain denominations, that concept is still in practice, if not in actual doctrine.)
          What this meant was that when early translators encountered verses that either cast doubt on, or directly contradicted, church teaching, they felt fully justified in altering the translation.
          But there’s another consideration for why they did this: Had they done otherwise, their work would have been rejected. For example, King James was not only the reigning monarch, but the official head of the church. Had the translators of the version bearing his name presented him with a Bible that contradicted the teachings of his church, he would have rejected it, and either made them do it over, or would have replaced them with more “cooperative” translators. This also holds true for translators of the Douay-Rheims, who had to answer to Catholic authorities, and the German Bible, who would have had to answer to Lutheran authorities.
          In more recent times, Bible translation and publishing has become a business, intended to make a profit. No publisher would knowingly release a Bible nobody would buy. And let’s face it: Christians are accustomed to the Bible saying certain things. If, for example, a new version didn’t say that the Word was “with God” in John 1:1-2, many Christians would reject it as heretical. (They don’t realize that the Greek text doesn’t say the Word was “with God.”) When NIV was released, many took exception to it because it left 1 John 5:7 out of the text and only put it in a footnote. But those taking exception didn’t realize that verse is a known fraud, not found in ANY ancient Greek manuscript, first added by an anonymous monk to a late version of the Latin Vulgate.
          But NIV removing that verse was really the last serious attempt at correction. Newer versions have actually compounded the errors of earlier versions, particularly in regard to homosexuality. The reasoning? The majority of Bibles in English-speaking nations today tend to be purchased by evangelicals, people who believe everyone should own at least one copy of the Bible, even children, and should bring their Bibles to church with them. Those people usually have very strong feelings about homosexuality, and have fallen in love with the newer, seriously flawed, versions. The publishers are simply giving their largest audience what they want. Accuracy is not a factor. In fact, they are frequently dishonest even in their marketing.
          When the Contemporary English Version was released, the publisher claimed it was a “faithful translation.” I found it to be neither: neither faithful, nor a translation. It was actually a rather lousy paraphrase, and I told them so. (They sent complimentary copies to a number of Bible scholars for purposes of review. I was one of those.) But they continued to claim it was a faithful translation. Many paraphrases today don’t openly admit they aren’t translations (the Message, the Living Bible)… and many Christians don’t know the difference.

          • Mr. Carey,

            Thank you so much! Your words are fascinating although I find the whole thing terribly sad – those who knowingly tell others they are speaking the truth when they are not. Truth is important to me.

            I was raised to treat others like I want to be treated , to help those in need, and to live by the 10 Commandments. Are the 10 Commandments translated incorrectly also?

            Thank you again for your time Mr. Carey

            • For the most part, the ten commandments have been translated correctly. That’s not to say they are being understood correctly. But Christianity places too much emphasis on them. Those were only ten out of hundreds of commandments, and they are not carried over to the New Testament. Rather, all the commandments of the Old Testament were summed up by Jesus into two, both of which are also found in the Old Testament:
              Love the one God with all your heart, mind, soul and strength, and love your neighbor as yourself.
              If we think about it, if we love God like that, do we need another command telling us not to have other gods? And if we love our neighbor as ourselves, do we need separate commands telling us not to kill him, steal from him, lie to him, or covet his spouse?
              You said you try to treat others as you would like to be treated, and to help those in need. You are absolutely on the right track!

              • Bill, I have a question about the sixth commandment. I have seen it variously translated as “you will not murder” and “you will not kill.”

                Seems to me I read somewhere or other and really can’t point you to a citation, so sorry, that Hebrew has about 600 words which mean several things.

                One of the points that were made is that the Hebrew translated as “murder” may also be translated as “kill” but was translated as “murder” but those who wish to excuse capital punishment and war.

                Is any part of this incorrect?

                As for the rest of the Law, is it fair to look at it as basically commentary on the 10Cs?

                Thank you.

                • The verb root in the sixth commandment may be translated as kill or murder, but the key is that it is intentional killing, not accidental. For accidental killing, a different root is used, but that root is more comprehensive and takes in everything from executions, to battle, to slaying of or by an animal.
                  So to focus the sixth commandment, I would say “Do not intentionally kill.” It’s still open for debate as to whether or not that includes war, executions. But those things would fall under a NT commandment: love your neighbor as yourself. By Jesus’ definition of neighbor, even a hated foreigner is my neighbor. Killing him is not consistent with loving him. Ditto for a criminal.
                  I never really thought of the ten commandments as commentary on the Torah. I might say a condensation of the essential points of Torah. But either thought has merit.

          • Bill, you’re funny. Do you have a clue as to what link you and other gays go to, to try to justify the barbaric behavior of sodomy.

            • I think I asked this before: What do you mean when you say sodomy? In some states, anything other than vaginal intercourse was legally called sodomy. That included oral sex between a husband and wife.
              Where does the Bible speak of sodomy? Or define acceptable vs. unacceptable sexual acts between married persons? Where does it give you permission to concern yourself with what goes on the privacy of someone else’s bedroom?
              I don’t need a link, Florida. I’ve got scripture in the original languages and the ability to read and understand it. That’s all I need.

    • Jerelyn, you were correct to say that the Old Testament condemned homosexuality, and in the Hebrew language, it is quite clear that God calls homosexuality *The Detestable Thing* So, please don’t let the homosexuals on this blog and their surrogates, to convince you that homosexuality is normal, because it clearly is not!

      • “homosexuals”.

        Does that word refer to Transgender people?
        Does it refer to gender identity or sexual orientation?

        You’re floundering because your terminology doesn’t work.

        Sorry. It just doesn’t.

        • John, are you sitting down? There are no transgender people, and there is no such thing as *sexual identity*. I guess in some days I feel like a 25 year old boxer, does that make me one?

          • Florida Boy, are you sitting down? There’s no such thing as Florida Boy. You are figment of your own imagination.

            See? Saying something doesn’t make it true, does it? The experts, people who are educated, who have studied this and who treat transgender individuals agree that it exists. On what imagined authority to you pretend it doesn’t?

            • Bill, wrong again. There is such a thing as a “Florida Boy”, especially when that person is authentic in his claims of being from Florida. That is quite different from a man who has a penis, testicles, and other obvious male body parts and procreative functions, claiming to be a woman! Are you really that stupid?

        • John, you seem to have a massive problem with the word ‘homosexual’, but you very readily use the word ‘homophobe’. The word ‘homophobic’ refers to an irrational fear of humans. Sadly, it is now used as a very manipulative propaganda term against anyone trying to voice an opinion that homosexuality is not as great or normal as is being put forward.

          • You seem to be confused as to the definition of homophobe. The names of phobias are derived solely from Greek. You seem to trying to equate homophobe to the Latin word homo, which means man. Neither homosexual nor homophobe are connected to that Latin word. Rather, they are connected to the Greek root homo, which means “same.” Homophobia is defined as being fearful or hating those who are attracted to the same sex.

  31. Who cares what your bible says. The fact that I’m not christian is a good enough reason for me to not follow your rules.

  32. In my country, being g a queer would never be tolerated, and if two men were ever caught together, they wouldn’t live much longer. It is barbaric.

    • Jhan Mustafa, if you mean it is barbaric that two men would be executed for loving each other, I agree that is barbaric.

      Especially when in some countries in Africa and the Middle East, some Christian men have more than one wife and the women don’t get to consent to sharing their husband with other women. I consider that barbaric too.

  33. I admit, I greatly appreciate JP recognizing and speaking of the greater issue here.

    You see, from reading the comments, I get that the majority of those arguing, whether for or against homosexuality, won’t wake up living that reality this morning. The percentage is quite small, actually.

    This is a bad, bloody, hurtful game of tug o’ war… With a person. Pick any LGBTQ+ person. A person whom God knows and loves beyond measure.

    And somewhere, at some point in this very day, that already God-loved person is going to walk up to to someone that love and need in their life and say, “I have something I need to tell you”.

    Think about it. How will you respond to their vulnerability- to that person who values and loves you?

    I pray many of these comments are never spoken henceforth. Because He has reminded us about neglecting the “weightier” matters of the law. And our responses can become invitations given in love or stumblingblocks.

  34. John, you seem VERY intimidated by Jay’s knowledge of the Bible…
    You will be judged by your sins, and you will also be judged by leading people astray, I do not envy your position!!

    • Jay has no knowledge of the Bible. He is repeating the very same tired and lazy use of the Bible as I discuss in the piece. He is illustrating my point.

      Thanks for the condemnation about my sins and the forecast of my impending suffering (with exclamation points!) You sound really broken up about it.

    • ???? Jay has demonstrated no special knowledge of the Bible. The most he has done is quote English translations of it, without regard for accuracy of the translation. Nothing intimidating or impressive about that; a parrot could learn to do it.

      • Bill, and neither have you and John have showed any legitimate Bible literacy. Consulting with Wikipedia and various gay revisionist links.

        • You’ve offered no sources whatsoever, not even a lousy Wikipedia article.
          My sources: The Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible, which I have worked with for 40 years. Bible history, Church history, world history, biology.
          You seem to be limited to flawed English verses and your own prejudice.

          • Bill, if you claim to have worked with the Hebrew and Greek language for 40 years, I wouldn’t tell anyone, and I would especially picketed the insitutions where you purportedly learned those disciplines, because it has not served you well.

            All you ever do when it comes to Homosexuality, is to make fallacious claims that “THE TRANSLATORS DELIBERATELY TRANSLATED THE WORDS AND MEANING.” “NOTHING IN THE HEBREW AND GREEK LANGUAGE SAYS ANYTHING ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY”.

            That’s all you’ve said, and that’s all you have, and you are still lost! Once again, may I ask you, IS HOMOSEXUALITY THAT IMPORTANT TO YOU? Do you enjoy that life that much…that you would be Satan’s conduit in spouting falsehoods? Is it really that important to you?

            • Homosexuality is the topic we are debating here. It is NOT the only area where there are mistranslations, and not the only area where I take a stand. I have published on other theological topics as well, but those are for another time and place.
              As for my Hebrew and Greek skills, you aren’t in a position to judge them, are you? Over the past four decades, my work has been reviewed by many Bible scholars and native speakers of both languages. Did all agree? No. But the important thing is none could find fault with my work or refute it. Those who disagreed did so in spite of the evidence, not because they had conflicting evidence. When you learn to read either language, come back, and we will talk.

    • Tracy. If you have ever read your Bible, you should be equally concerned about being judged for the many sins you commit every day of the year. You seem to think homosexuality is the only sin in the Bible—and you can just focus on that one sin and forget about all the sins that you commit in mind and body every day of the year. When you condemn other people for their sins, you condemn yourself. God reserves the right of condemnation solely to himself—not you—and I would bet my last nickle that you are not God.

  35. Homosexual is a sin it clearly States it in the word of God… when make it up in thetr mind to believe what they want its hard to hear the truth…… we are living in times where truth is a lie and a lie is the truth the sad part about is that now you tryin to teach children this lie….and please stop saying God never said… Read your bible God always said In fact he destroyed a city for that sin Sadom……..Please stop misinterpreting the word of God God is the same yesterday today and ever more God never changes man do that’s why you believe Homosexuality is OK because you changed

      • And don’t forget verse 50:

        *Thus they were haughty and committed abominations before Me. Therefore I removed them when I saw it*

        Homosexuality was the cause of their destruction.

        • With all the many things called abomination in scripture, what makes you so sure Ezekiel meant homosexuality? The other ancient account of Sodom’s sins, in the Mishnah, records some abominable things, but homosexuality isn’t mentioned.

            • John, I’m finding a couple of commenters on this thread to be quite offensive and tiresome without really adding anything to the conversation other than repetition. I can’t seem to find any way to mute or block them so that I don’t have to scroll all through their comments to get to worthwhile comments. Can you tell me if there is some way to mute or block another commenter on the blog? It’s getting really annoying. Thank you, John!

              • I am with you on this, after the first ? (pick your number) comments it got old. Same old, same old. It reminds me of my children and grandchildren when they were little, if I say it often enough, she will believe me and it will be true. It doesn’t work that way. Instead all these people are selling is the same old tripe. Enough already. Peace,

              • Siddigfan wrote “Can you tell me if there is some way to mute or block another commenter on the blog? It’s getting really annoying.”

                I echo this request. It’s your blog, John, and you will approve or not as you see fit.

                I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t even want their stuff to sully my inbox, especially after being told I have nothing to contribute because I am a woman, despite my academic degrees.

          • Bill, because I have studied the Hebrew language, and know that the word for *abominations* in verse 50 of Ezekiel 16, is the same word in the Leviticus passages that condemns homosexuality.

            What I find very dishonest is how the gay revisionists and their surrogates deliberately leave verse 50 out of the equation when contextually speaking, verse 50 belongs in the conversation!

            • Who do you think you are impressing? I TAUGHT Hebrew for years. The word תועבה is used many times in scripture. Eating certain foods, having sex with a women during her period, sacrificing your children to Molech, cooking a lamb or young goat in its mother’s milk… these are called תועבה
              It just means “hateful thing,” and there is nothing inherently sexual about it. If your study of Hebrew had extended beyond silly lexicons that usually mispronounce the word, you’d probably know that. (Hint: it’s to’evah. Most lexicons replace the V with a B, and some stick a W into it. Same source as that garbage that passes for a Hebrew dictionary in Strong’s Concordance. That work mispronounces the names of the letters and gives them incorrect sound values. They didn’t do any better in their Greek dictionary.)

              • Bill, put a sock in it! You have taught any damn thing but to teach homosexuals how to be proud to be homosexuals! That’s not teaching by the way. You’ve said nothing of true biblical substance.

        • Florida Boy, vs 49 identitfies the nature of their abominations . There is not even a hint that the destruction of S & G had anything to do with homosexuality.

          If anything the abominations were the intent to defile the sacred duty of holy hospitality.

    • May I suggest you read previous posts before you post. You seem to think you are saying something new. What you are saying has been repeated ad nauseum… and soundly refuted as many times.

      • No, Bill, that sounds like you and the gay revision bull shit you’re spouting. I’ve been listening to that crap for 30 years now, and it remains to be complete bull shit!

        • Gee, one would hope that in 30 years you might have learned something. But some people can’t be taught. When a person’s mind is shut tighter than Fort Knox, nothing short of an act of God will teach them any additional truth.

          You have my sincere pit. Best I can muster up for you is to feel sorry for you.

  36. Still waiting for a cis-hetero Christian going on and on here, to tell me just how an LGBTQ person’s life, love, marriage, sexual activity is their damn business.

    Maybe that says something about you.

  37. Pingback: No, Being Gay (Lesbian, Bisexual, or Transgender) is Not a Sin – FairAndUNbalanced.com

  38. You are right, being LGBT is not a sin, never was, never will be. The Catholic Church teaches that ACTING on it is a sin, that is, engaging in a homosexual act is a sin, a . . . forgivable sin. That is what these judgmental haters and other rubes do not understand. Is being LGBT normal? Obviously not, but it is NOT a sin and that is much more important. Gazing at the buffet line and passionately imagining indulging is not a sin. Daily overeating and gluttony is a sin, but damn it, being FAT is not a sin! Being LGBT has to be one of the world’s greatest crosses to bear. I believe that God has a special plan or objective for his LGBT children and I pray that they discover it.

    • Wrong!!! Jesus plainly told the Scribes and Pharisees in scripture that sin originates in the human heart and that thinking of doing a sin in God’s book is the EXACT same thing as actually doing the sin. Take a look at what Jesus said in Matthew 5: 27-30:

      27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29 If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell. 30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. (Matthew 5:27-30)

      That is what the scripture says, literally, simply, and plainly read Colonel. Every American male or female who has ever sat in a mall or anywhere else and lustfully eagle-eyed the passing females or males —-meaning every male and female in America nearly every day—is just as guilty of sexual immorality as every abstaining or acting-out homosexual here.

      Read your Bibles rather than thumping them fundies. Jesus said this for a reason that is well known among theologians. The Scribes and Pharisees of 1st century Judea had a popular cultural aphorism that said: “It is okay to think about doing as sin as long as you do not actually, physically do the sin.” Jesus used this verse of scripture specifically and intentionally to undercut this old saying that the Scribes and Pharisees lived by. His purpose in this verse was to institute the basic doctrine that no man or woman while they are on this Earth EVER stands before God sinless in any way whatsoever in their human condition—and impurity of thoughts without doing a sin—is no shelter from this blanket condemnation that God has instituted for all men and women. That is why any fundie here who accuses LGBTQ people of sexual immorality must remember that by making that accusation you are ALWAYS simultaneously and ACCURATELY accusing yourselves of sexual immorality. That is the way the Holy Trinity sees it, and that is why Jesus came—to deal with this exact and precise HOPELESS SITUATION that all you fundies—like the Colonel here—fails to understand.

      Jesus says: “Stand to post Colonel. That’s an order!!!”

  39. I love this picture you have chosen for this post, John.

    Very apropos.

    He receives child-like hearts. Reveling in light and color. At ease at His feet. At ease with one another. Splashing color on whitewashed tombs.

    At what point do we succumb to rigidity and judgments? It must be a gradual thing. What a loss that is.

    It is said that we are created in His image. He is Spirit. I can only believe the best part of ourselves is, or should be, our hearts- child-like hearts. It is also said that the only thing great enough to drink His portion is the human heart. Sometimes I wonder if that isn’t misspoken.

  40. My grandmother (very deeply Roman Catholic) had a picture up in the kid’s room that said something along the lines of “I know I’m special because God don’t make no junk”. If you are a Christian, you must accept that God made us all. And he truly DOESN’T make “junk” I will never understand the mentality that people who are different in some way are bad. I am so grateful the world is full of people who are not carbon copies of me! (because while I am not junk, I AM a pain in the ass and who wants a world full of sameness???)

  41. Okay, this is a great dialogue going on. Believe me I get it. And, I fully agree with the pastor. I feel that I need some support in mine and my partners open marriage. I’ve described our belief already. Basically, everyone tells us we are in a sin and going to hell just because we see monogamy as an option, and we (thru some rules we have set) share intimately. I’ve seen many verses tossed about on this blog. I need to feel support and not feel condemned. I don’t think the Bible would say anything against that. As said before I am a Christian but also very much embrace Co-Exist. My partner is more Hindu. We are very happy. Why do we have to be excluded, and called all manner of names such as sinner, and I can’t even remember the other ones. We don’t want to live a double life. We just want acceptance? Am I wrong?

    • Jill, as far as I and many people are concerned, we are delighted that you and your partner have found each other. At least, I hope I can be allowed to speak for others.

      I offer you some information. I copied and pasted Bill Carey’s concise statements about Leviticus and Romans and I could send those your way.

      I also have a list of books for people to read which should give you all the reassurance you could ever desire that it is not a sin to be gay. Please let me know which you would like, or all.

      • Gloriamarie. (maybe Jill explained her problem in an earlier post?) I don’t think Jill is worried that being gay is a ‘sin’. She is asking for approval that her Open Marriage allows for multiple partners. [She says, ‘I feel I need some support in mine & my partner’s open marriage… We just want acceptance, am I wrong?’]

        • leslie m, there have been too many posts for me to keep up with, so I have no idea whether you are wrong or not.

          I did not read her original post to say that. OTOH, I practice custody of the senses and don’t go looking to see what sins others are committing.

          I am of the opinion that what goes on behind closed doors between consenting adults is NONE of my business. Frankly, I am appalled at the amount of prurience and voyeurism as well as a pathological obsession with the sex lives of other adults as has been expressed in these comments.

          It’s just so adolescent and people need to grow up or get mental health treatment if they can’t keep out of the bedrooms of other people.

    • Hi Jill. I know what you want—but being something of an historian—what you want in others will take time. Cultural anthropologists have discovered that religion—be it bad religion or good religion—changes more slowly over time than any other aspect of human culture. For now, you may just have to accept that Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals are going to hate you. They think God hates you because you are a sinner. Therefore, they are required to hate you—and deliver messages of hate to you. Do not feel alone though. Best I can figure out, they hate everyone else but the members of their own fundie species. In particular, they hate the pastors and members of nonfundie churches—which they call APOSTATE. Have a look at this website that purveys hatred against nonfundie chaplains in the U.S. Military. I spent the week having some discussions there—typical fundie tree stumps—dead set in their ways—unable to hear the truth about themselves:

      http://christianfighterpilot.com/2013/11/13/navy-christens-uss-gerald-r-ford-god-bless/

      • We hate yet you all are the ones throwing the word around. Disagreeing is not hate. Willing to debate isn’t hate. Passing a mischaratorization on others is wrong. Just discuss. Don’t characterize people Because they see differently.

          • By having a different view of whether it’s a sin or not. Another ridiculous comment. I can love lbgt people and still disagree with their life style choice.

            • For the 30th time “lifestyle choice” is an ignorant statement that has no “heterosexual” parallel. It’s a nonsensical idea and you’re using it because you have no other way to make your moronic logic work. Do better, Jay.

              There is no much thing as a “homosexual lifestyle”. Be an adult and stop repeating foolishness.

  42. Pastor John
    I enjoy your posts, you speaking so boldly.
    I want to know what does the Bible and Jesus say an ideal marriage should look like?

    Ski

    • Ski Hickman wrote, “I want to know what does the Bible and Jesus say an ideal marriage should look like?”

      Neither address “an ideal marriage” as there are many forms of marriage accepted in the Bible as there are ten different types:

      1) The standard nuclear family: Genesis 2:24 describes how a man leaves his family of origin, joins with a woman, consummates the marriage and lives as a couple. There were quite a few differences between the customs and laws of contemporary North Americans and of ancient Israelites.
      In ancient Israel:

      a) Inter-faith marriages were theoretically forbidden. However, they were sometimes formed. Children of inter-faith marriages were considered illegitimate.

      b) Marriages were generally arranged by family or friends; they did not result from a gradually evolving, loving relationship that developed during a period of courtship.

      c) A bride who had been presented as a virgin and who could not be proven to be one was stoned to death by the men of her village. (Deuteronomy 22:13-21) There appears to have been no similar penalty for men who engaged in consensual pre-marital sexual activity.

      2) Polygamous marriage: A man would leave his family of origin and join with his first wife. Then, as finances allowed, he would marry as many additional women as he desired. The new wives would join the man and his other wives in an already established household.

      a) Polygamous marriage was practised in the New Testament and in Europe through the Medieval period.

      b) In some countries such as in Africa ansd the Near and Middle East Christian polygamous marriages are still happening, some with child brides.

      c) Polygamy was practiced by members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the Mormons, until the practice was suspended, a least temporarily, in the late nineteenth century. It is still practiced by separated fundamentalist Mormon groups which have left and been excommunicated from the main church.

      There are many references to polygamous marriages in the Bible:
      Lamech, in Genesis 4:19, became the first known polygynist. He had two wives.
      Subsequent men in polygamous relationships included:
      Esau with 3 wives;
      Jacob: 2;
      Ashur: 2;
      Gideon: many;
      Elkanah: 2;
      David: many;
      Solomon had 700 wives of royal birth;
      Rehaboam: 3;
      Abijah: 14.
      Jehoram, Joash, Ahab, Jeholachin and Belshazzar also had multiple wives.
      From the historical record, it is known that Herod the Great had nine wives.

      We have been unable to find references to polyandrous marriages in the Bible — unions involving one woman and more than one man. It is unlikely that many existed because of the distinctly inferior status given to women; they were often treated as property in the Hebrew Scriptures.

      3) Levirate Marriage: The name of this type of marriage is derived from the Latin word “levir,” which means “brother-in-law.” This involved a woman who was widowed without having borne a son. She would be required to leave her home, marry her brother-in-law, live with him, and engage in sexual relations. If there were feelings of attraction and love between the woman and her new husband, this arrangement could be quite agreeable to both. Otherwise, the woman would have to endure what was essentially serial rapes with her former brother-in-law as perpetrator.
      Their first-born son was considered to be sired by the deceased husband.

      In Genesis 38:6-10, Tamar’s husband Er was killed by God for unspecified sinful behavior. Er’s brother, Onan, was then required by custom to marry Tamar. Not wanting to have a child who would not be considered his, he engaged in an elementary (and quite unreliable) method of birth control: coitus interruptus. God appears to have given a very high priority to the levirate marriage obligation. Being very displeased with Onan’s behavior, God killed him as well.

      Ruth 4 reveals that a man would be required to enter into a levirate marriage not only with his late brother’s widow, but with a widow to whom he was the closest living relative.

      4) A man, a woman and her property — a female slave: As described in Genesis 16, Sarah and Abram were infertile. Sarah owned Hagar, a female slave who apparently had been purchased earlier in Egypt. Because Hagar was Sarah’s property, she could dispose of her as she wished. Sarah gave Hagar to Abram as a type of wife, so that Abram would have an heir.

      Presumably, the arrangement to marry and engage in sexual activity was done without the consent of Hagar, who had such a low status in the society of the day that she was required to submit to what she probably felt were serial rapes by Abram. Hagar conceived and bore a son, Ishmael.

      This type of marriage had some points of similarity to polygamous marriage, as described above. However, Hagar’s status as a human slave in a plural marriage with two free individuals makes it sufficiently different to warrant separate treatment here.

      5)A man, one or more wives, and some concubines: A man could keep numerous concubines, in addition to one or more wives. These women held an even lower status than a wife. As implied in Genesis 21:10, a concubine could be dismissed when no longer wanted.

      According to Smith’s Bible Dictionary, “A concubine would generally be either (1) a Hebrew girl bought…[from] her father; (2) a Gentile captive taken in war; (3) a foreign slave bought; or (4) a Canaanitish woman, bond or free.” They would probably be brought into an already-established household.

      Abraham had two concubines; Gideon: at least 1; Nahor: 1; Jacob: 1; Eliphaz: 1; Gideon: 1; Caleb: 2; Manassah: 1; Saul: 1; David: at least 10; Rehoboam: 60; Solomon: 300!; an unidentified Levite: 1; Belshazzar: more than 1.

      6) A male soldier and a female prisoner of war: Numbers 31:1-18 describes how the army of the ancient Israelites killed every adult Midianite male in battle. Moses then ordered the slaughter in cold blood of most of the captives, including all of the male children who numbered about 32,000. Only the lives of 32,000 women – all virgins — were spared. Some of the latter were given to the priests as slaves. Most were taken by the Israeli soldiers as captives of war. Deuteronomy 21:11-14 describes how each captive woman would shave her head, pare her nails, be left alone to mourn the loss of her families, friends, and freedom. After a full month had passed, they would be required to submit to their owners sexually, as a wife. It is conceivable that in a few cases, a love bond might have formed between the soldier and his captive(s). However, in most cases we can assume that the woman had to submit sexually against her will; that is, she was raped.

      7) A male rapist and his victim: Deuteronomy 22:28-29 requires that a female virgin who is not engaged to be married and who has been raped must marry her attacker, no matter what her feelings were towards the rapist. A man could become married by simply sexually attacking a woman that appealed to him, and paying his father-in-law 50 shekels of silver. There is one disadvantage of this approach: he was not allowed to subsequently divorce her.

      8) A male and female slave: Exodus 21:4 indicates that a slave owner could assign one of his female slaves to one of his male slaves as a wife. There is no indication that women were consulted during this type of transaction. The arrangement would probably involve rape in most cases. In the times of the Hebrew Scriptures, Israelite women who were sold into slavery by their fathers were slaves forever. Men, and women who became slaves by another route, were limited to serving as slaves for seven years. When a male slave left his owner, the marriage would normally be terminated; his wife would stay behind, with any children that she had. He could elect to stay a slave if he wished.

      9) Incestuous: Abraham was married to his half-sister Genesis 20:12

      10) Same sex marriage: 1 Samuel:18; Daniel:1; and, of course, David and Jonathan, 2 Samuel 1:26

      Lots of varities of marriage from which to choose.

      • And God didn’t approve of any of these. They were man’s traditions. God worked with imperfect man. The bible didn’t hide the bad side. Jesus told us man and women was proper marriage. Sex outside that was sin. Two becoming one was man and women. No twisting of scripture changes that.

        • Scripture only makes one restriction on marriage: clergy in both Testaments were to be monogamous. That restriction was never placed on anyone else in the Bible. Don’t misconstrue things like what Jesus said in Matt. 19. He was not asked to define or limit marriage. He was asked a simple question about divorce… in the context of a man divorcing a wife. He answered in that same context, citing the first marriage as evidence only that it was meant to be a permanent state. He never implied that one man/one woman was the only acceptable form of marriage.
          In fact, without polygamy, He wouldn’t have been standing there. No polygamy would have meant no 12 tribes of Israel. And no polygamy would have meant the messianic line would have ended with King David, since his first wife had no children.
          Marriage has historically existed in four basic forms, three of which are recorded in scripture, with a number of possible variations on one of them. The only form of marriage not recorded in the Bible was polyandrous marriage. But it is also not forbidden, except to clergy, who were to be monogamous.

          • So if scripture doesn’t completely spell it out for you you can add what you like. Marriage was defined in genesis. God is not a God of confusion. If marriage was open as you say God would have made that clear. Fact is he did make it clear and all of scripture speaks to that. Man and woman. Even the uniting of the church and Jesus was bride and groom. The whole becoming one flesh which you all are greatly avoiding.

              • John P, not to mention that when Genesis talks about people cleaving to each other, there is no restriction on the number of wives a man might have.

                Also, not to mention that Gensis wasn’t written down until the rabbis edited and redacted the four sources, J, E, D, P, into what we know as Gensis today.

                The account in Genesis does not exclude marriage between same sex couples.

            • Apparently, you think you can add prohibitions God did not. If God did not want any form of marriage other than one man/one woman, He would have forbid other forms. With the exception of requiring monogamy of clergy, which is spelled out, He did not forbid other forms.
              If you say that He did, you are adding to scripture. That’s a sin.
              I should point out that there were times when God REQUIRED polygamy. In the case of a levirate marriage, it did not matter if the surviving brother already had a spouse… he was still required to marry his late brother’s widow.

        • Jay wrote “And God didn’t approve of any of these.”

          Oh, really? Then tell me where in the Hebrew Scriptures does it say God doesn’t approve?

          Because when those Rabbis in Babylonia were redacting J, E, D, P, they had plenty of opportunities to include verses where God forbids it.

          Even Solomon wasn’t faulted for the number of wives and concubines. He was faulted for allowing them to worship their false gods.

          • Why do you need scripture to tell you every single right and wrong. Why not read what is there. Why not read what god said. He told them that there kings should have only one wife. He told them they would become corrupted. He told them not to marry foreign woman because they would bring their gods onto the land. Read what is there.

            • Jay wrote, “Why do you need scripture to tell you every single right and wrong.”

              I don’t. That’s your demand. Please cease to use circular reasoning because you are only contradicting yourself.

              There are ten forms of marriage recorded in the Hebrew Scriptures and not one word from anyone that these forms of marriage are considered unacceptable to God.

              So maybe we shouldn’t be using the Bible to support what is basically a legal institution and has always been a legal institution from the very beginning of the history of marriage.

              • So if it doesn’t specifically say it’s wrong it’s ok. Good reasoning. Biblical marriage is very clear in scripture. From start to finish. S