Your God Might Be Defective

When things in our lives are defective, we get rid of them.

When they aren’t functioning properly, when they no longer serve their original intended purpose, when they present a clear hazard to people—we stop using those things. We remove from our presence and from those we love, stuff that has the potential to do more harm to them than good. In those cases we value life enough to protect it from threat.

There are Christians sitting in pews and perched in pulpits who need to seriously rethink their God—because their God is hurting lots and lots of people. Their God is not functioning properly—and good, beautiful people supposedly made in that God’s image are getting killed in that God’s name. 

Texas Pastor Robert Jeffress, one of President Trump’s spiritual advisors (it took all my strength not to use air quotes there), recently said that he’s perfectly fine with using nuclear weapons against North Korea because, God. The Bible he claims, gives Trump full authority to blow up whatever he wants to blow up—and since God has ordained him as leader, he has carte blanche with all the fire and all the fury. (God, it turns out, is a big proponent of reckless, immoral, lecherous white men tossing out weapons of mass destruction like 5AM Tweet rants.) How this God supposedly co-signed Donald’s ascension to the Presidency but dropped the ball for the last eight years with Barack Obama—is curious to say the least.

In addition to being Trump’s counsel in matters of religion and war, Jeffress is a career fear monger; an Olympic level homophobe, whose belief system (like many American Bible Belt Evangelicals), is built upon a steady flood of toxic terror; of Muslims streaming in to destroy us, of Transgender predators supposedly lurking in bathrooms, of immigrants polluting our workplaces, of Democrats letting the Antichrist loose in America. Over the course of his ministry, Jeffress has created a resume for God that reads like a white supremacist’s Tinder profile.

Jeffress’ and Trumps’ God is a nasty, petty, grudge-holding deity, devoid of anything remotely resembling love, compassion, kindness, or mercy,—which is why the name Jesus is rarely mentioned in their diatribes. Jesus wouldn’t tolerate this sanctified nonsense, because Donald Trump’s life is the antithesis of the Jesus found in Scriptures, because opportunistic religious men like Jeffress are who he spends his days throttling and warning good people to flee from—because Jesus was a cheek-turning, foot-washing, enemy-blessing lover of life. It’s almost impossible to get that Jesus to consent to bombing the hell out of anyone for any reason, and they know it.

It’s time for Christians in America to take a hard look at that God they believe in, whether that God comes from their parents or their preachers or some interpretation of words someone wrote down four thousand years ago, in another culture, in another language.

At some point it’s rather simple: If your God is cool with nuking an entire country, but not with two guys marrying—you might need to rethink that God. You might consider exchanging that God for something more loving, because that God is hurting people, perpetuating war, excusing discrimination, justifying violence. That God is turning you into a heartless jackass—and something tells me that’s not what God is supposed to do, and at your core, not what you want either.

I think someone’s God should make them more benevolent toward the world; more protective of marginalized people, more tender toward the hurting, less inclined to drop bombs or take away health insurance or beat the hell out of them from the pulpit. I think God should produce life. I don’t see any life in Robert Jeffress’ ministry and I certainly don’t see any life in the actions of this President. I see wealthy, angry white men who want a God in their image that they can make the world bow down to while growing wealthier and angrier. We can do better than that.

If your God results in you treating people who aren’t like you with less dignity, if that God makes it easier for you to disregard or oppress or kill them—that is a God who is no longer helpful. If you are more prone to bigotry or more driven to violence or less willing to welcome the outsider because of that God—I seriously don’t know why you’d want that God.

God help me—I just don’t.

 

 

180 thoughts on “Your God Might Be Defective

  1. God is not Dead, Makes no mistakes, and certainly does not perform for mankind

    no matter what it looks like , who s is taunting
    God is Just, True, Holy, and is in control
    Mankind wont see it , due to Pride, arrogance, sin, and love of self
    Beware that you dont look at the outside or the news and be decieved
    God has a Plan and it is taking place.
    God s word says he holds back judgement if a nation seeks him, crys out to him, repents, ask for forgiveness, and want s the best
    NOT pleasure, Justice, NOT fairness , Righteousness
    God is at the Door , Ask if you want to come in , then he ask that you Trust , Believe, and follow the one and only savior Jesus Christ so his Blood on the Cross of calvary will cleanse your stain ( sin)
    God is holy and cannot dwell with sin. So Jesus Christ has to cover you and make you white as snow
    Holiness is not fair, and Judgement has a price.
    God hates Pride, So don’t Be deceived and believe everything you see in the trump campaign .
    God is at work to fulfill the prophecy and restore Israel , God Chosen
    No matter how i or you see it.

  2. I read a book by Spong in the earl y 90’s that kept me from leaving the church. He said “if your God isn’t doing anything for you’ve find a different god. ” This upset some people but I found a God who loves me be left the one with the big hammer behind.

  3. What a twisted set of beliefs those Presidential boot (politely)-lickers have. And that cameo of those people laying hands on Mr F̶a̶r̶t̶ Trump; see how they’re carefully arranged so that the camera can still see him? Wouldn’t want to get in the way of the cameras, now, would we? Dear God, these people make me sick….

    • Barry wrote “Apparently, a Christian can be a follower of God without being a follower of Jesus.”

      The Church Historian within me is compelled to point out what a stunningly heretical statement the above is.

      Apparently, Barry rejects the doctrine of the Trinity. Or so it seems.

      • Rose Ong wrote, “I think the opposite is true. I am a follower of Jesus, but not a follower of the God that church has created.”

        I would 100% agree with that with the addition of the American evangelical/fundie church. Some of the churches in the USA are leading the way with a prophetic vision such as the Episcopal Church which says “The Episcopal Church welcomes you” and by “you” is meant every single sort of “you” possible.

  4. Loved this! Such horrible descriptions of God and what he hates and does is what has turned me to Gnosticism. If there isn’t a God of love and light – then what’s the point of a God?

  5. I could not agree more with John’s message; if your God tells you to harm or kill others especially in his name you need to get another God.
    I am also left to wonder what makes Rev Jeffress and his ilk so sure that the voice they are hearing, or the words they are reading, are actually THE Word of THE God? I know it never has and never will dawn on these men that the voice they claim to hear is NOT the voice of the Source and Substance of All Being, but their own mean-spirited, angry, racist, bigoted, intolerant, and greedy minds trying to justify their evil behavior and lust for power and control.

    • Ditto–for both praise of the article and these comments. My only point of disagreement with the article is of this statement: “Jeffress’ and Trumps’ God,” as I don’t think Trump believes in God and simply exploited the evangelical’s support for his own ends. That was totally fair, though, as the evangelicals were doing the same with Trump.

      As for whether Jeffress believes in God, that is debatable as well. I’m sure many evangelicals DO believe in God, but Jeffress’ types? Their God is so very limited He can fit in the small box they have chosen to keep Him in, with a tightly sealed lid. This in fact is not God, but their twisted *idea* of Him. It’s more like their old, boxed up GI Joe or Barbie doll–whom they are in charge of.

  6. With the Moral Majority we had an idea of God who “might be a problem.” We’re two generations further into the Dark Side now. This idea of God is pure evil.

  7. Thank you, you put into words what has bothered me for a long time. How hateful some people’s God is. What happened to love your neighbor as yourself? Clearly people must hate themselves to think God is ok with nuking a continent and starting WWIII. So once again I agree with you and Thank you for putting this out there. My family where some of the original pacifists in this country and some of that rubbed off on me. Peace and Love,

  8. Thank you, John, for this wonder Christian response to the hatefulness of Jeffress and those who so enthusiastically embraced his words.

    I myself cringed.

    Reagan and his cronies introduced the politics of fear when campaigning against Carter and the GOP has run with ever since because it is all too easy to frighten people. They like manipulating and brainwashing with these tactics because, in their minds, the ends justify the means, which was wrong when Machiavelli introduced the concept in the sixteenth century.

    Jesus does not agree with the idea that the ends justify the means. That is contradictory to the Gospel, specifically the sermons on Mount and Plain. Followers of Jesus are supposed to be peace makers, not warmongerers. Followers of Jesus are supposed to communicate that God is love and that perfect love casts out all fear.

    Some years ago now, I read a little book by J. B. Phillips called “Your God is Too Small.” It was an enormous eye-opener then and I see it is still in print.

    I highly recommend it to all but most especially to those who are going to tell John P how wrong he is in this essay.

  9. The idea of a defective God implies that we create God in our own image, not the other way around. As heretical as that seems, I find it a much better way of thinking about people’s thinking about faith. Our choice of religion (to the extent that it can be a choice if you are brought up in extremely rigid families and communities) reflects and is used to justify our worldview, not the other way around, although, like Truman in The Truman show, we don’t recognize this until something intrudes to show us other possibilities.
    In the new edition of the Atlantic Kurt Andersen writes about our evolution into a postfactual society. It is frightening because it is absolutely correct – we are a people who above all else believe what we want to believe because we want to believe it. As far from our Enlightenment founders as one could imagine.
    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/how-america-lost-its-mind/534231/?utm_source=issuepromo_08102017

  10. Thank you John P. Once again you offer the conviction of my heart . As I always say, far too many read the Bible and study religion to justify their bias and bigotry. They want God on their side and ignore that is really not how it is supposed to work if you take the Bible as a whole.

    Whether we like it or not, we need to be sure we are on God’s side and that command we are given over and over has to be carried out not ignored in favor of the verses that seem to offer an escape route.

    We need to always be prepared to meet God with the love he commanded in our hearts and demonstrated in our lives. If we do not do that, we are not worthy of God’s love, forgiveness or a place with God.

    We can all find verses to “prove” that God approves of what we want to do but in the end, does it meet the command that is the greatest of these? How does it show love? How does it show mercy? How does it alleviate suffering, need, isolation, exclusion, poverty, ignorance, darkness or lead anyone to our loving God?

    Can you justify using words, even Scripture, that does not do that?

    I will bet my open heart, fearless inclusion, and indefatigable faith in justice that the love of God will show I am on God’s side. I am betting my soul on it. Many so called Christians seem not to really believe in Heaven as hard as they work not to get there.

    • Gee, Sandi, what do I need to do to be as good as you think you are?

      What do you think will happen to those other Christians (the ones who don’t believe according to your dogma)? Are they headed for Hell?

      You don’t need to “make a bet” to find Salvation. Also, God does take into consideration a person’s culpability, so those Christians who don’t have your intellect and access to your infallible interpretations might be given a pass due to their obvious defects and ignorance (and I hope that doesn’t disappoint you).

      • Well Joe, you could start with just a modicum of apology and repentance instead of continuing to act the victim of mean people who just won’t get over what you have done and how you have behaved. That would be showing an ounce of responsibility and culpability for the scorn you earned.

        Claiming this is at all about me, or you trying to “be as good” as I think I am is ridiculous. You just keep digging and then whine when I notice. You are not a victim of anything except your own actions.

        It is not for me to wonder or decide whether others will earn Heaven or Hell, that is their choice based on what I find to be a pretty good guide with a pretty clear mandate. I do not ask a one of you to believe according to my “dogma” though my “dogma” is from the words of Jesus. I often ask for God to have mercy.

        You are wrong when you claim we are not making a bet on our salvation. We do so every day that dawns. You will never convince me that you have a clue what God takes into consideration when God judges. Grace is sufficient, but it is also a process not an inoculation.

        I do not think it takes any especial intellect to read the Gospels of Jesus Christ and act as commanded. You lie when you try to frame this as being about me or my interpretations. No one needs to worry about being on my side. We all need to be worried about being on God’s side. Defects, ignorance or bigotry that I see are the least of the problem.

          • Joe, you can pretend my disdain for you is about how you voted if it makes you feel better. You’re wrong, but whatever floats the SSobsession dinghy.

            • You had disdain for me as soon as you began posting here. It must have been “disdain at first sight.” Or was it because I was disobedient and didn’t shut up and leave when you told me to?

              I have to give you credit for arriving here at full speed, acting as if you are a gatekeeper, and never letting up. You must have lots of energy. Disdain can be tiring, but apparently you have a great capacity for it.

              • Joe, I get it that it stings when someone sees right through your act. But trust me, disdain is easy when it is reinforced with almost every post you make.

                I did not ban you and cause you to use different IP addresses and create aliases. I asked you to respect the blog. You have yet to do so. You will blame everyone but yourself. That is how obsession works.

              • It is a wonder to me that some keep bringing up the ban when the ban was because someone told a lie. Maybe they think if they keep inserting it into so many comments somehow that will magically turn the lie into a truth. Or just maybe only certain people’s lies are ok and not a sin at all.

  11. You have put your finger on the problem: “God” versus “Jesus”. Based on the empirical evidence, God is white, male, cisgendered binary normative, heterosexual and really, really pissed off. I don’t like him.
    Jesus is a brown-skinned, brown-eyed, Middle Eastern immigrant refugee homeless blue collar worker. I think he is amazing.
    The Old Testament is God, all God…murder, war, rape, pillage, burn. Hundreds of “thou shalt nots”, and even good men getting shafted (Hey, Job, how you doing?). So why, WHY? for all that’s holy, do “CHRISTians” (means Jesus follower, right?) want to use that particular part of the Bible so much that they pretty much exclude the New Testament except that part about “wives be submissive to your husbands”*? It’s my assertion that if the Old Testament is what they use for their religion, they are NOT Christians; they are Jews. And they need to start following ALL of their laws: dietary, cleanliness, how many goats to get for your daughter when you sell her and keeping slaves.
    *As with most of their Biblical quoting, they only use the part that sounds like what they want: “Wives, be submissive to your husbands…”–missing the most important parts in the additional verses: “Wives be submissive to your husband as the Church submits to Jesus; Husbands, love your wife as Christ loves the Church”.
    For our “TL;DR” world, the New Testament is SOOOO much easier: 2 rules, 6 tasks. And even those condense down to LOVE.
    For supposedly sophisticated creatures, we listen far too closely to the lizard/reptile brain that is only concerned with eating, sleeping and reproducing…and it tells us that we are still competing with every other hunter-gatherer out there and if we don’t get ours, and probably theirs too, we will never get to put our genetic information into the next generation. Or as Daffy Duck would say, we have pronoun trouble. We’ve lost the third set of pronouns–the inclusive ones of we, us, and our. We’re determined to have a zero-sum game: a winner (ME, of course!) and a loser (EVERYONE ELSE).
    Life really isn’t that simplistic. There is no sum game, zero or otherwise, in living. We are not islands; humans interact all the time. No one exists without others. In our arrogant “sophistication”, we try to live as if no one else matters–and we are diminished every time we do.
    Religion is supposed to be uniting, to form communities of interaction within the same code of behavior, to improve our lives. As with every other man-made hierarchy, it fails spectacularly. Humans have befouled it just as surely as we have befouled the actual cleanliness of our home. Maybe it’s time for something new — or actually, something really old: Love. Love and kindness, compassion, caring for “the least of these” because we should be smart enough to know that we succeed when all succeed.
    Too bad we’re not.

  12. Thank you, John, for saying the truth. It’s harder and harder for me to remain a Christian when people like DT and Jeffress hold up a false idea of God and are applauded for it.

  13. You are fighting a losing battle, John.

    Like Frank Schaeffer who’s father, Francis Schaeffer was one of the founders of the religious right back in the 70’s, which dominates the white house today. He’s been fighting what he helped to create, for the last few decades. Trump was the trogan horse for the religious right, and his ignorance and willingness to give the religious right anything they want to keep their support, will make life miserable for millions for the forseeable future.

    Trump was an important vehicle and opportunity for Pense, who’s beleifs are far scarier than Trump, who is just an insecure bufoon with a big mouth and insatiable need for attention.

    Watch this 9 minute video from Frank Schaeffer on Pence and Trump.

    In The Trump/Pence/Putin/ISIS Terror Era It’s Time To Tell The Hard Truth
    Frank Schaeffer
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ibvZAzRR8Lk

    Unless you and Frank and others become more mainstream you are just going to be fighting the children of the religious right, and their children and their children. While they pretend to be persecuted, they silently infiltrate every government office across the land. While they fixate on ISIS, they bring their own brand of religious extremism into our government.

    When I was watching Frank’s video I came across another authoritarian type I’d never heard of, Michael Voris, a Catholic extremist, apparently this guy is another one to watch out for. You just can’t keep up with fanaticism when it comes to religion. We are paying for our ignorance of these folks and their intentions. For not taking them seriously because they are fanatical, as if fanatical can’t come to power, even though we see it happen all over the world.

    This guy thinks Catholics are too luke warm about their faith, and that protestants are one step away from atheism and that the world should be ruled by one religion, the catholic religion. This guy is well organized and a major zealot, who like Alex Jones has made a lucrative business of his zealotry on his website Church Militant.
    https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/author/michael-voris

    Watch one of his videos, it should remind you of the exact thing you fight against.

    Michael Voris
    The Vortex—The End of The World
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pAlX9mFv8Jg

    I pryed the claws of religion off of me at 18 by studying the history of religion, yet it seems religion is far worse than I ever knew it to be in my youth.

      • Joe Catholic : Voris says some good things. Of course he’s right that many Catholics are lukewarm about their faith.

        To Voris, luke warm means not opportunist enough, or authoritarian or dickish enough to suite him.

        Voris is a homosexual and a self hating one at that, who projects his self hatred on homosexuals who don’t have his history of voluntary self abuse and promiscuity. He uses his mothers religious based disappointment in him and her death to appeal to gullible Christians who absolutely love a repentant homosexual because it confirms their own simple minded narrow beliefs about homosexuals.

        It’s amazing how gullible some christians really are, easily lead, and easily frightened by modernity and diversity.

        The first video I came across of his screamed GAY. When someone is as preoccupied about men with men, as this guy is, more often than not it means they are gay themselves. Of course I like to be sure of such things despite my gaydar, so I checked and sure enough, Mr. Voris is a gay man. Though considering his past I would have suggest he is more bisexual since he did sleep with women as well.

        Mr. Voris is just another self absorbed opportunist who has found bullshitting gullible Christians to be extremely lucrative.

        He is an opportunist of the worst kind, using religion to fuel his own lust for power, problem is people are and will always be attracted to con artists that confirm their worst fears. The masses are so used to be led by their religion they can just as easily be led by con artists like this guy.

        Voris see’s Trump as the vehicle to get rid of the separation of church and state to install a catholic dictatorship.

        http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/oakland/2017/02/18/church-militant-growing-influence/97735914/

        Gays like Micheal Voris and Milo Yiannopoulos have not conscience and will use religion and homosexuality to their advantage no matter who it harms. To them religion is a vehicle not a path.

        Not that religion ever needed two clowns like this to discredit it’s reputation…

          • There isn’t much he won’t make a video of if it suites his purpose of manipulating naive Christians. But then there are Christians who are using him and his past for their own purpose of demonizing homosexuals, it’s a win win for both of them.

            • What do you know about him? Do you have a background in Catholicism? Why can’t you give the guy a break and presume he’s taking his positions in good faith?

              He’s not going to win many Protestants over, btw. His target audience is frustrated Catholics who see abuses in the Catholic Church.

              He definitely preaches against homosexual behavior (for want of a better word), as does the Catholic faith, but in what way is he demonizing anyone?

              • I can only know what he says about himself in his videos.
                I grew up in a very very very strict catholic environment, with a sibling very much like him, who is in denial to this day. People should always research before blindly following self made celebrities like Voris.

                I’ll never give people like Voris a break when they project their own issues on to the very community they came from and for their own selfish and opportunistic reasons.

                I and my siblings were shamed about sex before we knew what it was. So I am all too familiar with the abuses brought on by the catholic churches teachings and it of course is not exclusive to the catholic church .

                A couple of years ago I ran across a video of a debate whether the catholic church was a force for good and I was stunned by how well Stephen Fry and Christopher Hitchens exposed the hypocrisies of the church.

                The Catholic Church is a Force for Good in the World
                https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZRcYaAYWg4

                Odd that it took an atheist and a gay man to exposed the church for what it really is. Voris may or may not convince Protestants, but the Protestants have their own issues with abuse and don’t have much more room than Catholics on that score..

                Maybe you have to be a target of the bible and the religious right to recognize abuse when you see and hear it.

                • He can be a little extreme. He even criticized Ann Coulter, which was crossing a line for me, but overall, I’m mostly in agreement with him.

                  I’m a Catholic because I receive the Body and Blood of Christ during Holy Communion. I believe that to be true, and it follows that if I can receive something so awesome only there, then everything else falls into place, though I know there are bad people here and there and sometimes in high places, but that doesn’t negate anything about the faith.

                  It’s hard to be a Christian, especially a Christian Catholic. We are born with a proclivity to sin and it’s tough to fight against that, but we are called to deny ourselves and pick up our crosses.

                  Excusing or denying our sins doesn’t bring any peace. It has the opposite effect.

    • Thank you for the references, Jaime. I’ll be looking at them.

      I note that somewhere in another post it was said that Joe Catholic is here because he likes baiting people, so ignoring him is probably the path of wisdom.

      However, it seems that if he is truly a Christian and likes to bait people, he must like/want to be baited himself (do unto others…) It’s a good thing that most of the people here are better Christians than he is. It makes the blog more pleasant.

      • I have my own personal troll and critic who has no moral conflict in telling lies and distortions about me, though things are much better now that posts must be approved.

        I am not here to bait or cause any problems. I’m just saying my peace from a Catholic perspective. Some people want me to shut up and often tell me to go away, but anything I post has been approved.

        • Just because you were forced to turn over a new leaf now that comments are moderated will not change your past deceptions and shenanigans Joe. Your obsession with pushing your agenda here is still known to those who lived with it before John came back. Stop trying to justify yourself without being honest about why people think the way we do.

          • Everyone was forced to turn over a new leaf, even you and your annoying mean-spirited friend with the boundary around her name who makes false accusations.

            Anyway, try living in the present now, and let’s discuss the real issues instead of making personal attacks.

            • Wrong again Joe. I have not turned over a new anything. I post as me, speak as me, just the same as I did when you were skulking around under several identities and being so obsessed with the blog you ignored the blocking. You are not a normal, stable person and no, I will not treat you as one.

              • Thanks Sandi. I would add that he is the only one who was banned way back then, not any of the rest of us. I believe it is know as deflection. Since we all have our smarts and memory still, that isn’t going to work. I will admit that I find Joe Catholic extremely offensive and what he has posted so far about Charlottesville confirms my opinion. He has used the fake news points to justify himself, like the left were violent, tapes say otherwise, they didn’t have permits, there is proof that they did and had every right to be there. I notice he says nothing about the Nazi’s standing in front of a synogogue full of people praying giving their hateful salute. One last thing the President took back everything he said in a written statement and said that some of the KKK, Neo Nazi’s etc were quite nice people and we have them all wrong. Well I think anyone who stands with them is not worthy of my notice other than to stand against them. Thank you Sandi, I appreciate what you do. Peace and Love,

              • Yeah, me too. I’ve always posted as me regardless of the handle. I never “talked to myself” but whatever.

                Even if your beliefs were based in reality, it doesn’t excuse your lack of Christian charity.

      • Can’t argue with that. Didn’t mean to suggest people shouldn’t fight, after all I have benefited my entire adult life as a female because women before me fought for themselves and me.

  14. Sign the petition please?

    ?Dear Faithful America member,
    The pastor who preached the morning of President Trump’s inauguration just said that “God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong-Un.”

    “Robert Jeffress went on to argue that the Bible “gives the government to the authority to do whatever, whether it’s assassination, capital punishment or evil punishment to quell the actions of evildoers.”

    “Asked whether Trump should instead “embody the Sermon on the Mount,” Jeffress replied, “absolutely not.”

    “In this moment of national crisis, Christians of all theological and denominational persuasions must stand up and name this rhetoric for what it is: heresy.”

    http://act.faithfulamerica.org/sign/jeffress_northkorea/?t=1&akid=1021%2E497385%2EVz-a6D

  15. Well written. Personally, I believe that the Church Universal is in trouble. Deep trouble. I see it crumbling. It breaks my heart, having been among the devoted for over 40 years. It took my Christian son coming out as gay to shake me to the core. Suddenly, everything I had ever been taught by pastors all my life, came into question. Suddenly, it was my own flesh and blood who was authentically BOTH a Christian AND gay at the same time. Mind blowing.

    Just wondering if you are familiar with another ‘voice in the wilderness’ — Mike Douglas. I love his blog, Check it out.

    gettingbacktomyfuture.com

  16. “Texas Pastor Robert Jeffress, one of President Trump’s spiritual advisors (it took all my strength not to use air quotes there), recently said that he’s perfectly fine with using nuclear weapons against North Korea because, God. The Bible he claims, gives Trump full authority to blow up whatever he wants to blow up…”

    This is what he actually said:

    “In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/acts-of-faith/wp/2017/08/08/god-has-given-trump-authority-to-take-out-kim-jong-un-evangelical-adviser-says/?utm_term=.b2716acaf19b

    I don’t know where you get the idea that Trump or any of his supporters want to “nuke an entire country,” but at any rate, what would you advise the President to do to prevent Kim Jong Un from nuking an entire country?

      • On court prophets, pop preachers, and presidents

        August 11, 2017 by Andrew Gerns

        When Pastor Robert Jeffress pronounced his blessing on a possible US first strike against North Korea, he was standing in an ancient biblical tradition. A very dangerous one.

        Rosalind Hughes (also of the Cafe) writes in Religion Dispatches:

        Christians have always had mixed feelings about political authority. Paul, himself a citizen of the Roman empire, was often critical of the authorities who arrested him and executed many of his Christian colleagues. And it was, after all, a representative of the Roman government who gave the order for Jesus’ crucifixion. To be fair, Jesus did tell Pilate that he only had that authority because it had been handed down to him by a higher power—but that is not the same as saying that he was using that authority properly.

        It was not the ordained role of the religious adviser, even before the separation of church and state, to grease every decision of a ruler with the oil of divine approval—and to claim that those who have political power are always acting on behalf of God’s good judgment is arrant nonsense.

        Jeffress does Trump no favors by pretending that when it comes to North Korea, the president can do no wrong.

        Anyone who has ever picked up a bible knows that the kings of ancient Israel were by no means unequivocally righteous in their judgment and execution of power. The biblical prophets of Israel and Judah were employed by God to rail against the authorities, to provide a conscience that could stand against those advisors who told them only what they wanted to hear: “See, therefore, I am against the prophets, says the LORD, who steal my words from one another. See, I am against the prophets, says the LORD, who use their own tongues and say, ‘Says the LORD.’“ (Jeremiah 23:30-31)

        https://www.episcopalcafe.com/on-court-prophets-pop-preachers-and-presidents/

    • Joe, I read an article about your hero, Ronald Reagan. At the beginning of his Presidency he was all about “getting the bad guys”. By 1983 he had changed his tune. His quote:

      “The United States will never walk away from the negotiating table. Peace is too important.”

      I don’t have the same warm feelings about President Reagan that you do but I do think that quote is wonderful, potent and Presidential.

      I see President Trump responding to a madman by echoing the same rhetoric as said madman and that makes me think of two small insecure bullies engaging in the same old juvenile game of “whose is bigger”. As I said before, neither of those two have anything to lose – they are the most protected citizens in their respective countries.

      How many times have wars been waged in the name of God? Do we have proof that it was not taking the Lord’s name in vain/blasphemy?

      • Joe, I forgot – Did you know I was your champion? You would think I would agree with you more often to actually be a good champion for you. Maybe it is because we can agree to disagree without rancor.

        Peace Joe

        From your kooky champion

        • You’re my “champion”?

          Thanks, I’ve never had one. Not sure what it means, but I think it’s probably better than not having one.

          I don’t think Reagan changed and I think he was always open to negotiating, as I believe Trump is, regardless of what he says. Remember “The Art of the Deal.”

          • Joe, I do not hold you personally responsible for President Trump, I do not want your first born, nor do I want you to wear a scarlet letter S for sinner the rest of your life, etc. You had every right to vote your preference. I understand that.

            There is enough blame to go around for the hot mess this last election was. I would think that those who did not vote should accept a good portion of the responsibility – especially if they are not happy with what is going on.

            I would not read “The Art of the Deal” if you paid me. The person who actually wrote the book had plenty to say about the kind of man our President is. There is also 50 years of evidence out there. You see something in the man I do not and I have always been pretty good at looking for something good in a person. I see the good in you. This is the thing we have agreed to disagree on.

            Peace Joe

  17. Amazing, there are approximately seven billion versions of god, most are benevolent, kind, helpful, and without bias, bigotry, hate and ill will.
    Amazing what the brain can conceive that is so opposite of good. But then America has a long history of abuse, killing, hate, bias, bigotry – just as Native Americans, African Americans, or almost any nationality or ethnic group who have suffered grievously over the history of this great nation that still has a killer instinct and a propensity to take from others what they cannot defend.
    You are correct John, lots of misplaced faith in a non existent god in which some believe.

  18. I agree with you wholeheartedly. However, I would actually like to see you use a small “g” when speaking of their god or at least put “God” when referring to their misconceived perceptions of the God that is represented in the Old AND New testaments of the Holy Bible… I did notice you did italicize some of the words “God” when referring to what they quoted or believed, yet not all. To me, this distinction is very important. Thanks for considering my thoughts. And thank you for continuing to express yours.

  19. This main post reminds me of an old Meatloaf song from the “Bat Out of Hell II” album. It is an entire album of songs comprised of famous cliches and slogans that became cliche:

  20. Dear John:

    I have a question for you. Why didn’t you include the context of the President’s statement as well as that of Dr. Jeffress?

    To not do so is dishonest and disingenuous. The President spoke after the provocative threats by the fat kid in North Korea, not before. As President of our country, his fist job is to protect the American people.

    George W. Bush did the correct thing when our troops were sent to Afghanistan to retaliate for the murders of over 5,000 of our citizens, yet people criticized him.

    Dr. Jeffress was correct in saying that God has given our Government leaders, in this case the President, the moral authority of protecting our values and national interests as well as our Allies.

    The God of the Scripture is not some weak and passive God, and nor does He approve of immorality on any level.

    Yes, the God of the Holy Scriptures has a problem with two men being “married” because He created the Institution of marriage as a union between a man and a woman. When warranted, God directed His leaders to invade and capture neighboring nation’s for His Divine purposes. So there are legitimate reasons why nation’s should go to War, and when they have been attacked, they should respond appropriately, and when they are being threatened, they should give warning against the threat.

    The God you speak about is a god of your theology and not The God of the Holy Scriptures!

    • The President’s “fist” job is outlined in the oath of office he swore, ” to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”
      I’m still looking for the passage in Scripture where Jesus says , ” go to war and seek revenge on those who have wronged you.”
      Yes I’ m sure God doesn’t approve of the immorality of killing tens of thousands of innocent people in a nuclear war.
      Funny how people leave out Jesus when they want to talk about going to war, invading other countries, and capturing other countries. He just doesn’t fit the conquering, invading, attacking, capturing God narrative. If one believes in the Holy Trinity, Father , Son and Holy Spirit, you can’t ignore what Jesus has to say about how we are to conduct ourselves toward one another, with patience, love and compassion.

      • Paul wrote, “I’m still looking for the passage in Scripture where Jesus says , ” go to war and seek revenge on those who have wronged you.”

        Yeah, I am looking for that passage too.
        I am also looking for the one that says it is not hypocrisy to oppose abortion and be in favor of going to war and killing all the civilians.

        Jesus says ” Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

        That is a mandate for all who claim to follow Jesus to be pacifists.

      • Paul, you are very ignorant. Any country that has the unmitigated gall to attack another nation, deserves to get what is coming to them! God does indeed, and we have seen it in the Old Testament, where God commanded His people to defend themselves, and there were times whereby God defended His people. So to suggest that when a country has been attacked by a rogue nation like North Korea, that we should just tuck our tail and run, is as asinine and stupid as they come!

        • I knew you would trod out the Old Testament venegeful, wrathful , God, and completely ignore the new covenant in Jesus Christ. You would have to because nothing Jesus says supports your position. Forget about the greatest commandment and the new one he gave that day to ” love one another as I have loved you.”
          Pick the God that fits your needs and forget the teachings of God in Jesus Christ because they don’t line up with your thoughts. I believe God had something to say about His thoughts and our thoughts not being the same.
          You speak of God giving our President the moral authority to protect our national interest. Do you think God really cares about our national interest? My reading of scripture tells me he is far more concerned with the relationship we have with him and one another.
          Did our previous President have moral authority and do you recognize it?
          The moral authority argument might work if we had a moral President. So far this leader has demonstrated a stunning lack of morals. He seems to epitomize the seven deadly sins rather than demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit. Look at David and Solomon and see what happened to their moral authority when they proved to be disobedient to God by violating his moral teachings. Look at how well the moral authority worked for this country when President Bush and company decided to invade entire countries and overthrow governments rather than go after a radical group responsible for the attack in New York and bring them to justice. His moral authority to go war has destabilized not only the Middle East but the entire world.
          I wonder what it would be like if our govenrment leaders would spend time in Church and the word of God rather than on the golf course or in some resort on Sundays.
          Please read The Beatitudes and Galatians 5:2-23. ” But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control; against such things there is no law.”
          Sounds nothing like the President or any of those in charge of our government.
          Be careful how you use the word ignorance, you may expose your own.
          ” Blessed are the peacemakers.”

    • All the Gods of the Bible are a God of someone’s theology—including your God of the Bible—which is a product of you and your supposedly nonexistent (a lie) fundie theology. So you get the:

      Church of Christ God of the Bible
      United Methodist God of the Bible
      Southern Baptist God of the Bible
      Roman Catholic God of the Bible
      IFB God of the Bible
      Lutheran God of the Bible
      Presbyterian God of the Bible,
      and about 44, 992 more Gods of the Bible

      Take your pick Bud. It is all in how the brain and Spirit work together in understanding the Bible. Many claim to have nailed the only right and true God of the Bible. Which one am I going to take? Yours? The Roman Catholic one? The Church of Christ one? They all say that they are God’s only ones, and everyone else’s is just a fraud with a fraudulent view of God—and that includes you.

      I know. I know. “I know mine is the only real God of the Bible because my uncle Dewey told me so when I was three years old. I really loved Uncle Dewey. Uncle Dewey was like G…”

      • The Catholic Church doesn’t say they are the “only one,” or that the rest are “fraudulent,” but that the they have the fullness of the Truth about God and morals that God has revealed to mankind. The rest to varying degrees also have some of that truth, but without a guiding authority, have embraced errors.

        Just Curious, Charles, why your God says it’s ok destroy inconvenient life in the womb and sell their parts, and why the God of the Catholic Church and many other churches says that’s evil. Somebody is not listening. The point is that without a guiding authority, we’ll hear what we want to hear–what is easy or what allows us to remain in our sins in comfort.

          • It is not at all reasonable to have 20,000 bible-only sects, each with their own spin on theology and morality.

            The Catholic Church is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. There is no other game in town. The rest have parts of it, and some of their own errors.

            But Charles was wrong to say that each church says the others are false. The Catholic Church does not say that. They say that the other Christian Churches have part of the Truth, and that part is respected as is their goodwill and intentions.

    • P. S. Robert Jeffress is a despicable Pharisee who is in the process of leaving Jesus for more tasty things such as political power, pats of the back from important men, dining with them and munching their dainties, big golf resorts, weekend power airplane junkets, higher seats at the table, etc. Just watch him closely over the next few years. He is upwardly mobile like Huckabee was, and he has his sights on things much higher than boring old Jesus. I would tell him that to his face with Jesus standing right there next to us. Jesus knows it to—so damned obvious to anyone but the blind.

    • Marriage predates christianity by thousands of years. Marriage has changed and evolved over time, and it had little to do with a God. Nice try though, if you assume christians are all uneducated and believe anything.

      By the way there isn’t a person alive that follows the bible, it’s just that social conservative authoritarian evangelicals think they have the right to dictate what others should and should not follow in the bible, while they themselves regularly ignore those things that don’t suite them. The only thing good about the trump administration is that the christian right can never again claim the moral high ground every again, not that they ever could.

      Just as you accuse others of speaking of a god of their theology, you are doing the same exact thing, only your god is a bit of a dick if one is to take the bible literally.

      “The God of the Scripture is not some weak and passive God, and nor does He approve of immorality on any level.”.

      No actually you are right, the god of scripture is an obnoxious and controlling figure that apparently likes to play games with his own creation. Yet doesn’t seem to have any control of them, nor of himself for that matter. He clearly approves of immorality unless you haven’t actually read the bible.
      Thanks for reminding me why I stear clear of self righteous christians. I thank my fundamentalist parents for exposing the ugly side of Christianity at an early age so that I could free myself of it’s clutch as an adult.

      • Jaime, I realize you and many others do not like it, but the institutions of marriage and the family are God’s creation, so the only perspective that matters is the God who created these institutions! And marriage is between a man and a woman, and marriage is a picture of Christ and His Bride, the Christian Church, and that relationship is NOT homosexual!

          • John, marriage occurred in the Book of Genesis where God created it and performed the first marriage ceremony.

            There was no marriage before that time, as it was the beginning. The Bible is the only objective source of truth that informs us of this great Institution and gives us God’s instructions on how to have a biblically based marriage and family.

              • John, thanks for the laugh! Genesis 1 is NOT a poem. What a ridiculous statement. Try reading Genesis 2:16-25, and see where the institution of marriage and family comes from!

                • Neither is Genesis 1 history or science. It is part of the Wisdom Literature of Israel and is therefore using myth to convey as deep truth that is so very hard to convey.

                  • Every time I have been replying to Gloriamarie, i actually thought that i was talking to Christian trying to find her way in this perverted world. But now i see a person who neither is a Christian nor takes the word of God the bible as the only guide God gave us to find him. Therefore, If you feel the bible is a Jewish fantasy book, then stop using it to justify your homosexuality. Oh, btw, as someone who is not a Christian, you can do anything you want in any way you want since you have no obligation whatsoever to respect God and what he stands for

                    • Kizito Mudambo,

                      Thank you for your ad homimen attack which reveals who you really are. When people resort to insults, all they prove is that they have no actual citations, evidence, facts, history, information, references or sources to support their points. Their only recourse is abuse, bullying, character attacks, and insults. Such is the what you reveal yourself to be. I am sorry this is the path you have chosen.

                      I commit you to God in love.

                    • You did insult Gloriamarie. I read the insult. So did everyone else.
                      Too bad when you read the Hope Remains website you didn’t read it with enough comprehension to realize it’s correct. I guess references to Greek make you shut down. You seem to think that the English versions are superior to the original Greek. How do you deal with the fact that the various English Bibles don’t agree with each other?

                • “Usually, even a non-Christian knows something about the earth, the heavens, and the other elements of this world, about the motion and orbit of the stars and even their size and relative positions, about the predictable eclipses of the sun and moon, the cycles of the years and the seasons, about the kinds of animals, shrubs, stones, and so forth, and this knowledge he hold to as being certain from reason and experience. Now, it is a disgraceful and dangerous thing for an infidel to hear a Christian, presumably giving the meaning of Holy Scripture, talking nonsense on these topics; and we should take all means to prevent such an embarrassing situation, in which people show up vast ignorance in a Christian and laugh it to scorn. The shame is not so much that an ignorant individual is derided, but that people outside the household of faith think our sacred writers held such opinions, and, to the great loss of those for whose salvation we toil, the writers of our Scripture are criticized and rejected as unlearned men. If they find a Christian mistaken in a field which they themselves know well and hear him maintaining his foolish opinions about our books, how are they going to believe those books in matters concerning the resurrection of the dead, the hope of eternal life, and the kingdom of heaven, when they think their pages are full of falsehoods and on facts which they themselves have learnt from experience and the light of reason? Reckless and incompetent expounders of Holy Scripture bring untold trouble and sorrow on their wiser brethren when they are caught in one of their mischievous false opinions and are taken to task by those who are not bound by the authority of our sacred books. For then, to defend their utterly foolish and obviously untrue statements, they will try to call upon Holy Scripture for proof and even recite from memory many passages which they think support their position, although they understand neither what they say nor the things about which they make assertion.”

                  – From The Literal Meaning of Genesis by Saint Augstine, written in the early 5th century

                  Yes, even in the early 5th century they knew that a naive reading of the surface text which ignored reality was destructive and antithetical to the goals of Christianity

            • The Naked Truth claims God give us instructions on how to have a Biblically based marriage and family.

              Yes, indeedy, the Bible provides us with ten forms of marriage, none of which God condemned, so we can presume God approved.

              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.

              • Gloriamarie, I won’t dignify your ignorant writing, but what we know is, you don’t have to worry about being married.

                  • Kathleen B, thank you. Oddly enough, that taunt about marriage is one that Joe Catholic used to fling at me a lot before John P started moderating comments.

                    It is curious to me that my marital status is so fascinating to those who evidently hold me in contempt. I can’t account for it.

                    Oh, well,

                    • Gloriamarie,

                      You said that i attacked you and insulted and maybe tried to bully you etc, but i need you to quote any text that i did type to that effect.

                      When a person starts to say that you have attacked them when actually you haven’t, they are just the attention seeking kids that never got the chance to meet someone who respectfully disagrees with them. I dont have to agree to everything you say and if my disagreement means that am insulting you, then i dont understand what you mean. I highly respect you as a human being because i do believe at the very core that every human being deserves respect no matter what. (fyi, am in Uganda which is highly anti gay but i indeed have some friends who actually are gay and we have constructive arguments with them and they are my friends)

                      I came across (http://hoperemains.webs.com/1cor1tim.htm) this site that tries to explain how the english bibles misinterpreted homosexuality. But after reading that page, i realize that they never misinterpreted homosexuality because there just so many assumptions being created in explaining that Paul wasnt talking about homosexuality.

                      Homosexuality is sin Period. 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
                      Jude 6-7
                      Romans 1:18

                    • Join the club Kitzo. She either lives in a fantasy world or is a pathological liar. I never made a comment about her being single, but she’s just told a whopper about that.

                      Just be happy she hasn’t called you a rapist, as she has insinuated I am for disagreeing with her.

                      I suggest you treat her as you would a maniac on the road. Don’t engage them and don’t look them in the eyes.

                      You will only be frustrated if your try to have a civil conversation in which you disagree with her. She’s incapable of an honest and respectful disagreement.

                • The Naked Truth wrote, “Gloriamarie, I won’t dignify your ignorant writing,”

                  Which is really admitting you have nothing of substance with which to respond because my evidence is compelling and crystal clear.”

                  “but what we know is, you don’t have to worry about being married.” Aside from the fact that your snide remarks as abusive bullying, they are only additional proof that you have no citations, evidence, facts, history, information, references or sources to prove me wrong. You prove me right by default. Thank you.

                  As for not being married, I live under religious vows. From which I certainly would not ask to be released because no man is as wonderful a companion as is Jesus.

                  • Gloriamarie, your heart and affection is nowhere near Jesus, but you do quote John Pavlovitz very often, more than Jesus actually.

                    • The Naked Truth, and now we see that your truth is actually a lie.

                      You are trying to deflect from what I actually say by false assertions about my character.

                      We call those ad hominen attacks and as such, they destroy your credibility.

                      Once again, this only proves to me that you are incapable of engaging me inc conversation as my intellectual equal using accepted academic methods.

                      I commit you to God in love.

                • ”but what we know is, you don’t have to worry about being married”

                  There is no dignity in your juvenile comment.

              • Well, i like the way, you quote the old testament like crazy but not a single quote from the new testament which actually prohibits the various types of marriages you have quoted above, and btw, we become CHRISTians due to what happens in the new testament. I think the word OLD and NEW is not quite obvious to you. For your reading on homosexuality Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Matthew 19:4-6. ETC. I dont Judge anyone for practicing what ever kind of sexuality they want but what the Bible calls sin is sin and no man whatsoever can ever change that. You can convince yourself in all the ways you want and get excuses all the way you want but you will never change the Scriptures that call HOMOSEXUALITY SIN.

                • Kizito Mudambo wrote, “Well, i like the way, you quote the old testament like crazy but not a single quote from the new testament which actually prohibits the various types of marriages you have quoted above,”

                  Prove it. I’ve proven that there are ten types of marriage in the Hebrew and Christian Scriptures and not one word that God objected.

                  Polygamy was a fact among Christians, especially kings, right through the Middle Ages. In fact, in certain parts of the world, Christians still practice polygamy.

                  As for homosexuality, 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

                  • Its interesting how you have quoted for me a million books to read and none from the scriptures that show that homosexuality is not sin. I get my guidance on what is called sin from the scriptures not some books written by people. If you get me some scriptures that say Homosexuality is NOT sin, then my dear brother i will join you in your quest otherwise, sorry. Quote the bible please

                    • Kizito Mudambo, can you count? Evidently not. Part of the problem may be your inability to distinguish truth from falsehood. I recommended nine books about Christianity and homosexuality, not a million.

                      As the Bible NEVER uses the word homosexuality in any of its original languages, I am unable to comply with your demand.

                      What you want to see in the Bible isn’t there.

                      However the marriage of David and Jonathan is celebrated in the Bible as an excellent thing without a word of dispute.

                      Had you even glanced at any of the books I recommended, you would have all thea nswers to your questions.

                      Leviticus in the original language does not discuss homosexuality and until the KJV it was clear that prohibition was the use of a woman’s bed as she was the authority over her bed.

                      As for Romans, Rev Bill Carey sums it up:

                      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!

                    • If you would open your eyes and your mind, and look at those books, you would see that they ADDRESS scripture. It is not possible for Gloriamarie or anyone else to go through all the scriptures about this here. But the books CAN do exactly that. Sadly, you prefer to restrict yourself to a bad translation of the Bible, with no care at all for whether or not it was correctly translated. And you are willing to condemn millions of people you don’t even know based on the word of that book.

                • The New Testament places no more restrictions on marriage than the Old, except it no longer requires certain types of marriages the Law of Moses did. But similar to the Law, it does not forbid polygamy to anyone except clergy, and does not forbid same-sex marriage.
                  The verses you quote do not condemn homosexuality in the Greek, despite what the English and other vernacular translations claim. See http://hoperemains.webs.com

                  • Bill, complete bull crap, all of it. The NT is clear as to what marriage is and who may be married, and Jesus affirmed that truth. Furthermore, the NT depicts marriage with the relationship that Christ has with His Bride, the Christian Church. The things that Homosexuals will do out of desperation to attempt to normalize homosexuality. God will not be mocked!

                    • The things homosexuals will do out of desperation? What exactly does that mean, Naked? Oh one who knows all, and is an expert on homosexuals?

                      This should be interesting.

                    • The relationship between Jesus and the Church reflects ONE form of marriage. (Did it occur to you that the Church is not really one woman, but comprised of millions of women AND men? And Jesus is marrying all of them?)
                      The New Testament specifies that deacons and bishops are to be monogamous. Why would it say that if all Christians were supposed to be monogamous? Where did God EVER tell the common people they could only have one spouse? You can’t “infer” it from comments about marriage, about the first marriage, etc. If God expected all people to be monogamous, He would have said specifically that NOBODY should have more than one spouse. He didn’t. You don’t get to.

                  • “The New Testament places no more restrictions on marriage than the Old, except it no longer requires certain types of marriages the Law of Moses did. But similar to the Law, it does not forbid polygamy to anyone except clergy, and does not forbid same-sex marriage”

                    Get me some scriptures that confirm what you say otherwise, i still say there enough scriptures that say homosexuality is sin and that my dear friend is what i will go with. When you get a vernacular bible or greek bible that says homosexuality is NOT sin, then i will Kumbaya with you otherwise, even the old KJV says Homosexuality is sin, and therefore it is sin.

                    • No Bible has to say that homosexuality is NOT a sin. What you need to produce is a Greek New Testament or Hebrew Old Testament that says it IS a sin. And you won’t find one.
                      The definition of sin is willful disobedience to the stated will of God. If God did not call something a sin, we aren’t allowed to, even if flawed translations of the Bible call it a sin.
                      Old KJV is an English Bible… a flawed translation created specifically to support Anglican teaching. It does NOT reflect what the Hebrew and Greek texts say about homosexuality, but rather reflects 17th century European prejudice.
                      What I said about marriage is easy to verify. Can you find anyplace in the New Testament where a woman is required to marry a man who sexually assaults her? Or where a man is required to marry the widow of his late brother? I can’t find those either. So two forms of marriage required by the Old Testament are not required under the New.
                      The New Testament specifies that deacons and bishops must have one spouse. It wouldn’t say that if monogamy was automatically expected of all Christians. It specifically mentions clergy exactly because monogamy was still fairly common. The Old Testament didn’t forbid it to the common people, and neither does the New.

                    • Try reading Hope Remains again. This time, try opening your mind and putting aside your own prejudice. Try to realize that you aren’t omniscient, and that you aren’t automatically right. Try to understand that there are Bible scholars out there who understand the Bible better than you do, who have devoted their lives to understanding it, to standing for it as it was originally written.
                      And for God’s sake, stop repeating “homosexuality is sin,” as if your repetition will somehow convince everyone and make it true. You sound like a parrot that never learned more than one phrase. Debate, don’t repeat.
                      And if you think Hope Remains’ article on 1 Corinthians and 1 Timothy is wrong, then disprove it. Show WHY it’s wrong. Denial without evidence is meaningless, and just makes you look bad.
                      What flaw is their in their translation? Is their understanding of Greek grammar flawed? Did they make an error when they said the word ἀρσενοκοῖται was created by Paul, or that it is not found in any writing prior to Paul’s use, in no other writing in the first century, or that when it was next used in the second century, it was used to mean female prostitutes?
                      What part did they get wrong, Kizito? And where is your evidence? Where is your research that refutes theirs?
                      Actually, no need to answer: you have no evidence, you did no research. You have two things only: your flawed English Bible and your own prejudice.
                      But unlike you, I DID do the research. The Greek grammar, the history of that word, and examined all the evidence. Hope Remains is correct. You are not.

                • Kizito, Gloriamarie is a “special” case, and you will have to ignore her weak attempts to justify SSM. Any serious student of the Scripture knows that God neither created nor approve of the so called marriage scenarios that she cited. Those are man made and illegitimate relationships that had nothing to do with God, but everything to do with the narcissistic and lustful desires of sinful men.

                  God’s Word is clear as to what marriage is and who it is between and what it symbolizes in terms of Christ’s relationship with His Bride, the Christian Church.

                    • jaime richards wrote, “Why do I get the feeling that Naked is Kizito….”

                      Congratulations, jaimie, for your discovery of one of the most pernicious tactics employed by those who wish to discredit John Pavlovitz.

                      There is a Certain Someone who has been notorious for months for posting under a variety of aliases. All of them end up singling me out for attack in a way they don’t attack men. They especially like to call me “ignorant” despite my academic credentials.

                      Their opinion of me is none of my business and makes no never mind to me.

                      All they do is prove that they are unable to back up their claims with actual evidence.

                  • Actually, anyone who has read the Bible knows the marriage scenarios outlined by Gloriamarie are found in the Old Testament. Guess you didn’t read it.

                    • Bill,
                      http://hoperemains.webs.com/1cor1tim.htm
                      In trying to explain that Paul wasnt talking about homosexuality, yet in the explanations, they introduce in so many assumptions that indeed prove that whoever wrote that article was trying to distort the meaning to a point where he gets what he wants. Its like someone trying to Prove that the pope is 666 using mathematics where at one point U=V=5 ……Fail

                      Homosexuality is sin. That’s what the bible says and that it is. Oh, why did God destroy Sodom and Gomorrah?

        • I realize that you don’t want to hear it, but I repeat. Marriage predates Christianity by thousands of years. Educate yourself instead of being a parrot.

            • I got over small minded subservient / authoritarian people like you decades ago, Naked. No one living today, including you, knows the mind of any god, including the one you worship with out question.

              It’s 2017, Naked. Millions of us are just not threatened by you or your conveniently invisible god any more. If your god is really this petty and unreasonable, it’s understandable why he would feel the need to remain invisible. However that puts you in an never ending position of having to prove he exists, and sadly for you, that can’t be done.

              Nor can I prove he does not, but considering the never ending contradictions and the odd antiquated rules that only apply to certain people it’s reasonable to assume he does not.

              A god that would create gays then tells them never to express their love for each other in ways that heterosexuals do, is a god with more hangups than his followers, since he had the power to prevent it in the first place.

              The truth is more likely that the ancient folks injected their primitive prejudices into the bible not caring what it would cause each generation after them.

              I refuse to spend the only life I can be sure of living by rules only a humans could have come up with. How convenient of you to assume you have the right to tell me or anyone else how to live.

              If your god wants to make demands of me, he better damn well have the decency to show himself and give me a damn good reason for it. I’m not a kid any more, hoping against hope that the god in the sky loves me and will always protect me.. Well he never did, and eventually you stop asking, then stop caring whether he does or does not.

              So repeat as you please, apparently you get some satisfaction from it.

              • Little Jaime, God will leave the choice to you as it relates to Whether you believe He exist or not.

                Rebellion is a natural course of action for those that reject God. He will not force Himself on you, yet He will hold you accountable. There’s no escape!

                • Is that like Little Marco? You have Trump’s thin skin I see. How dare we questions your authority?

                  Rebellion is a natural course for those who reject bullshit, Naked!

                  He will not force himself on me but will hold me accountable, oh gee how big of him.

                  That’s like saying I won’t rape you, but I will make you wish you had been.

                  Or I won’t force myself on you because I have followers like Naked, aching for the opportunity to force me upon you.

                  I only wish you could see how un-threatened I am by you and your invisible enforcer.

                  Looks like god created a small number of people, that a larger number could demonize and use to measure their obedience to their invisible master.

              • Let me say this, God is God, and none of your opinions or statements can change that fact. God is holy and none of your quarrels and anything can change that. We can never change God and he can do whatever he wants when he wants and there is nothing you can do about it. So sorry, maybe you can create your own version of God, who doesnt care about sin, fine with me but at the end of the day, the truth remains thats its his yardstick that reigns supreme. I never try to defend God on whether he exists or not because that aint my battle. What i stand against is this guys who have failed to live holy lives and try to teach everyone else to not to simply because they failed to. I say NO. You cant distort the scriptures and try to shut everyone who stands up to say, that is plain wrong. The bible says that HOMOSEXUALITY is SIN. You can try to convince yourself about what ever you want but it wont change the fact that the Bible says that it is Sin. and God hates sin But calls every sinner to repentance because in him, there is abundance of forgiveness and grace to change

                • You never try to defend whether god exists or not, because you can’t. But you also can’t prove anything you wrote here either. I could care less if the punitive god you believe in exists or not. I wouldn’t follow him as described in the bible.

                  You stand against guys who have failed to live holy lives. Do you hear yourself, even you don’t live a holy life.

                  One can’t distort the bible much more than it’s already been distorted by the church it self. You capitalizing Homosexuality says a lot about what you fixate on.

                  There is no abundance of forgiveness and grace in the god of the bible. The god of the bible is a narcissistic control freak, and he attracts control freaks like yourself, who either like being submissive to his authority or more likely envy his authority over others or both.

                  In either case I don’t want anything in the bible changed any further than is has been, I want to see the bible exposed for the bs that it is, when people actually take the time to read it for themselves, instead of being led around by the nose.

                  • Oh boy, your image of the God of the bible is so flawed that i have no idea where to begin from. God has never been a control freak for starters. It is so such an important thing for him that you control your own actions that he introduced free will from the on set to a point that Adam and Eve were just to decide whether they obey him or disobey him.

                    This is what am saying, with the God of the bible, you always have a choice and its your choice that you are very well responsible for. You say we dont live holy lives why? If it was my own holiness, well, i fall short. Am just a filthy rug before a holy God, but its not my holiness that counts to us who believe. It is the Holiness that we just receive from Jesus because we believe in him and i know he works in me greatly changing me from the Sin man that i am to a Pure perfect person that he intends me to be. In this respect, i call whatever God has called sin Sin including Homosexuality
                    1 Corinthians 6:9-10
                    Jude 6-7
                    Romans 1:18
                    1 Timothy 1:8-11

                    I dont commit sin then try to defend myself that its not sin. When i commit sin, i go before him with a repentant heart asking for his forgiveness.

                    • Kizito, had everyone spoke King James English back then you might have a point. Since the scriptures were translated the meanings are clouded with their cultural references that don’t necessarily correlate with our cultural understanding. Also we have a different understanding of the physical world than they did, so unless you want to keep a bronze age lifestyle and understanding some things are not as crystal clear as you think. When someone says “The Bible Clearly States”, it is usually either a lie or an ignorant understanding of the Bible.

              • Not only that, but the Bible tells us of ten different forms of marriage, including a marriage between two men, that were accepted as normative. We don’t see God smiting anyone for marrying the women they raped, for instance.

    • The God of the scriptures tells us to turn the other cheek, to follow peace with all men, to love our neighbor as ourselves. He does not tell us to legislate morality, condemn others, bomb other nations, provoke other unstable world leaders, etc., (unless someone stole the New Testament out of your Bible).
      It is you who have a God of your own theology, one who never sent His son with a message of peace and love for all mankind, one who never said “Come unto Me all you who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest,” who never said, “The one who comes to Me I will in NO WISE cast out,” who never said, “Whosoever will, let him come…”
      You seem to have missed the message of the New Testament. Mercy is no longer trapped behind a veil. God’s wrath is no longer being poured out as it was in the Old Testament. In the New Testament, we see a God of love and compassion and tolerance.
      (Oh, and just FYI, neither Testament in the original languages condemns two men getting married. There are two examples of men doing just that in the Hebrew Old Testament. Neither marriage was condemned, and in the case of one of them, it specifies God as their “matchmaker.”)

      • Bill, you speak purely as a homosexual, and nothing you’ve said has any biblical truth to it. God does not forbid a nation from protecting its citizens, so please stop with the dumb stuff. The God of the Bible has already defined what marriage is and who may be married, and it is not members of the same gender, and the Hebrew and Greek language supports that reality, and Christ the Lord affirmed marriage by looking back to the Genesis account, in Matthew 19:4-6. Christ and His Bride, The Christian Church, is a true model and depiction of the meaning of marriage.

        • You speak from a position of deep ignorance, naked truth, and little of what you said is true. So I will feel free to ignore it, and recommend others do the same.

            • When you learn to read scripture in the original languages, and have some insight into what was originally written, then we’ll talk. Until then, I repeat, you speak from a position of ignorance.

              • Bill, you assume that I don’t know the original languages, but you’re wrong. My Bachelor’s degree is in Greek, from the University of Arizona, and my Master’s degree in Theology is from my beloved Dallas Theological Seminary, where in my Th.M program, I was required to take Greek and Greek Exegesis for four years of the program, and that also included the Hebrew language depending on one’s focus in the Th.M program.

                So handling the original Greek language was what I was trained to do at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

                Now, what are your credentials again? I love reading the Greek New Testament, and my “Beginning Greek” students love me to teach it as well.

                • Διὰ τί ἐγὼ οὐ πιστεύω σε;
                  So tell me, then: Col. 1:19 – Is KJV’s translation correct? Or NIV? (If you don’t own a copy of both, you can compare at Biblegateway.com) And what is the reason for your answer?
                  What is the error found in the translation of John 1:1-2 in every commonly available version?
                  These questions are off topic, but they will tell me how much Greek you understand.

                  • Bill, your copying and pasting doesn’t work. Now, once again what is your academic credentials in the Greek language again?

                • Naked Truth, do you also claim to be getting a Ph.D at the University of Manchester?

                  Because if you are Laralyn posing as The Naked Truth, you have already been exposed as a fraud but several of us here.

                  • You will notice that immediately after he made that claim, I asked him something in biblical Greek. He did not respond. My guess? He can’t read Greek at all.

            • Hearsay and Christianity
              http://new.exchristian.net/2011/10/hearsay-and-christianity.html

              Like hearsay today, it’s as toxic and harmful as it had to have been when people were far more naive and ignorant of their surroundings than humans are today.

              I’m all for people believing as John does, I don’t find anything harmful in what he believes even if I do not share it myself. I only wish that more people were like him, but sadly more people fear things they can’t explain and easily take the explanations in the bible as fact and then use them to vilify those that don’t share their beliefs. And yet those things that apply to them, they gloss over or completely ignore.

              If there were more people like John, I wouldn’t worry what Trump and his enablers, the christian right, were planning for our future.

          • How can it be deep ignorance when you actually have no scriptures to quote that show that in Christianity, homosexuality is not sin? Maybe let me quote some for you that actually show that Homosexuality is Sin, and if it is sin, tell me how you can say its ok especially if your a Christian?
            Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, Matthew 19:4-6.

            • When I was a kid, I had to go to bible classes as well as church. Frankly those classes didn’t cover the things I would eventually find out about the bible. In fact when I finally did read it, I was appalled and angry that my teachers conveniently left out much of it. I thought to myself if you can’t tell innocent children what’s actually in the bible, perhaps you shouldn’t inflict it on anyone. But then the powers that be in those days knew the power of fear on the naive and the ignorant, and governments have used biblical tactics to control the population ever since.

              Once I read the bible on my own and studied the history of religion I never worried about it again, ever. Having educated myself I realized why my fundamentalist parents were the way they were, I was able to forgive their ignorance, knowing where their ignorance came from.

              Sexual sin was a big one for my parents, despite the fact that they ignored much of it when it came to themselves.

              11 Kinds of Bible Verses Christians Love to Ignore
              Most Christians tend to ignore the awkward parts of the Bible.

              http://www.alternet.org/belief/11-kinds-bible-verses-christians-love-ignore

              The above links shows some of the obsurdities I came across myself decades ago, and a few I didn’t remember.

              Kinda makes the idea that gays are sinful look rather trivial. Especially considering the sins christians commit daily and those they aren’t even aware of because they never actually read the bible themselves. But are quite good at memorizing those that appy to someone else.

              Here is one from that page on genitals: 4. Holy hangups about genitals. God, [[[[or the Bible writers]]]]], is hung up about sexual anatomy in a way many modern Christians, fortunately, are not. In The Year of Living Biblically, the author, A.J. Jacobs, attempts to obey Mosaic laws about menstruation. When his wife finds out what those laws actually are, she gives him the middle finger by sitting on every chair in the house.

              When a woman has a discharge, if her discharge in her body is blood, she shall continue in her menstrual impurity for seven days; and whoever touches her shall be unclean until evening. Everything also on which she lies during her menstrual impurity shall be unclean, and everything on which she sits shall be unclean. Leviticus 15: 19-20
              When men fight with one another, and the wife of the one draws near to rescue her husband from the hand of him who is beating him, and puts out her hand and seizes him by the private parts, then you shall cut off her hand. Deuteronomy 25:11-12

              That In 2017 we still give this book any attention is beyond me. But I guess it appeals to our sense of superiority to pick and choose what to apply to others.

              I’m sure this isn’t the way John would have handled your comment, but then I am not John and don’t have his patience.

            • Matthew 19 was a response to a question on divorce, not a definition or limitation of marriage. Don’t make the mistake of taking it out of context and putting words in Jesus’ mouth. He cited the first marriage to show that it was meant to be a permanent state, not to define or limit the institution.
              See the link in my other response to you for answers to the other verses. In the original Greek, they say nothing about homosexuality.

              • It doesn’t mean that since it was a question about divorce, he didn’t decide to limit what marriage is in one response because wouldn’t it therefore mean that Jesus’s response about marriage in context of divorce if it was only limited to permanence not constitution was flawed? Why would he talk about the constitution of marriage if all what the question required was the permanence of the marital institution! or does it therefore mean because it was a question about divorce that the question nullifies Jesus’s response since it goes farther than what the question called for? Aren’t there instances in the bible where Jesus answered more than what the question called for and the response in its entire sum was correct?
                To say original Greek has nothing about homosexuality is flawed because there are instances where the sentence “men who have sex with men” being an abomination is used, or was that an error in translation too? Or btw, even the old KJV has references to homosexuality being sin.
                I surely know that this is true 2 Timothy 4:3
                The bible i read says HOMOSEXUALITY is sin. You can edit your bibles all you want. You can legalize every sin that you know of, including adultery after all research suggests that men are genetically inclined to be polygamous, but all that wont make God change his mind that Homosexuality is sin as stated in his word, the bible.

                • There was no reason for Jesus to go beyond what His questioner’s asked, especially since it was a trick question, designed to get Him to contradict Moses. And given His own lineage, He would never have limited marriage to one man/one woman. Some of His ancestors were polygamously married, and at least one was also married to a man before he married his first wife.
                  KJV, regardless of year published, has numerous errors. The fact is, no Bible should be directly mentioning homosexuality at all, because the original languages don’t.
                  There is nothing in the original languages that says “men who have sex with men.” In fact, one Greek word that some newer, flawed translations render as homosexuals actually means “women who have sex with men.”
                  Any editing of the Bible I do is to UNDO the original editing done 400 years ago, perpetuated and amplified by modern translators.
                  The will of God is best and most clearly stated in the Hebrew and Greek texts. It doesn’t matter how many translations disagree with those texts, because it is those texts God will honor, not the flawed translations.
                  God NEVER condemned homosexuality, never called it a sin or an abomination. There are TWO same-sex marriages recorded in the Hebrew Old Testament, and God did not condemn either one.
                  http://hoperemains.webs.com

              • Bill, you’re spewing more nonsense in order to justify Homosexuality and same sex marriage, but you’ve failed in that attempt!

                In the Matthew 19:4-6 account, Jesus cites the created order of Adam and Eve, male and female, which was referenced in Genesis 1:27 and Genesis 2:24. He then says “what therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” He was speaking about marriage, and very clearly his belief was that it was to be between a man and a woman.

                From that exposition, we see the following truths concerning marriage according to Jesus:

                1. That God created MALE and FEMALE.
                2. Only A MALE and FEMALE can make up the “One-Flesh” relationship due to the fact that each represents one half, and together they make a whole.
                3. When Jesus declared, “Therefore, what GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER, let no man put asunder, that clearly means that God only recognizes a heterosexual union as seen in the words, “WHAT GOD HAS JOINED TOGETHER”. God has never nor will He ever join a perverted union!

                Jesus appealed to the created order in Matthew 19:4-6. Therefore, Jesus would never approve of homosexuality and same sex marriages.

                He clearly saw the Creation accounts in Genesis as authoritative in His day. And what is authoritative for Jesus is authoritative for Christians also.

                Finally, I will also add that the union of a man and a woman reveals a spiritual lesson. Jesus is pictured in the New Testament as the Bridegroom who is patiently awaiting the marriage supper, during which He will be joined for eternity with His Bride, the Christian Church. Marriage is a picture of that promise, and in Ephesians 5:31-32 cites the words of Jesus in the Matthew passage, and the same words in the beginning in Genesis 2. The issue is and forever will be settled in the mind of Almighty God and His truly redeemed people!

                • “…very clearly his belief was that it was to be between a man and a woman.”
                  Actually, Jesus didn’t say it was ONLY to be between a man and a woman, just that the first one was. YOU read your own belief into it, and attributed it to Him. When Jesus wants you to know what He believes, He says it outright.
                  The first two humans, if we read the Genesis account in Hebrew, were not male and female as we understand the terms until AFTER the fall, when reproduction became necessary. In fact, when God said He would make a helper for the first human, He used the MASCULINE form of the word, not the feminine, and rather than take the dust from which He had made the first man, He took DNA from the first one and formed a second one from it. That’s called a clone. Clones are IDENTICAL. Physical differentiation only became a need when death came into existence and reproduction became essential.
                  (Despite is placement in Gen. 1, the command to be fruitful and multiply was actually given after the fall. We know this for two reasons:
                  1. Prior to the fall, man and the animals were in an enclosed space, and nothing ever died. It would make no sense at all for God to command ANYTHING other than plants to reproduce in that environment. Rats and rabbits alone would have overrun the place in months, if not weeks.
                  2. The command also told man to “fill the whole earth.” Prior to the fall, man was confined to the garden, and didn’t even know the rest of the earth existed, let alone have access to it.
                  You cannot deduce from Jesus’ reference to the original creation that He would never approve of a same-sex marriage. You are once again putting YOUR words in His mouth.
                  The Genesis account is, at best, history. Nowhere in Genesis does it say that the pattern of the first marriage was the only acceptable one. The first marriage was two people by default. There only WERE two people.
                  I will remind you again that the Bride of Christ is not a woman. It is an entity composed of millions of men and women. Jesus is not marrying one woman, but millions of people of both sexes.

                  • Hahahaha, really, It makes wonder if you have really read any of the creation story as found in Genesis. Jesus stated as fact that they were MALE and FEMALE. Your assumption that eve was a CLONE is totally incorrect because EVE was not a clone but rather came from the ADAM. Man get your facts straight before you try to push your assumptions as FACT. In the statement Jesus made, was there any tone of doubt that maybe EVE and ADAM were the same sex? is there any reference that after the fall, God changed the sex of EVE to become female? Jesus stated as a fact that from the very beginning, it was Female and Male. None of your rabbit and rat arguments can change that. Apparently, all ENGLISH bibles are flawed and only the Original GREEK bibles are correct, lol, this is very pitiful. You can try to justify your sin all you want but, still i will quote to you Romans 1:26-28, 1 Corinthians 6:9-10
                    Jude 6-7
                    Romans 1:18
                    So there you go

                    • Don’t presume to lecture me on Adam and Eve. I’ve read Genesis in the original Hebrew. I know what it said BEFORE it was translated.
                      Before God created Eve, He said He was going to make a “helper.” But He didn’t use the feminine form of the word helper. He used the masculine form. Either God doesn’t know grammar, or He was saying something important.
                      All of creation had to be re-made after the fall. Originally man and all the animals were created as herbivores. Not only did none of them eat meat, they were incapable of chewing or digesting meat. But after the fall, humans were able to eat meat, and so were a great many animals. They all had to be redesigned, rebuilt, in order to do so.
                      Prior to the fall, nothing died, not humans, not animals. With all of them in an enclosed space, not only was reproduction unnecessary, it would have been a VERY bad idea. Reproduction only became necessary after the fall.
                      The redesign of creation involved not only digestion, but ability to procreate.
                      Eve wasn’t even called Eve until after the fall. Prior to that, the name Adam gave her was Inshah (old Hebrew), which was a form of the name he had given himself, Enosh. Her new name, Eve (Hebrew: Chavah – Living) reflected her new physiology and status as a future mother.
                      It’s worth noting that both the man and the woman were called Adam in Genesis.

                  • Bill, you are decieved by the master deciever himself, as you are content with going out of your way to legitimize your abberent lifestyle.

                    God created Male and female from the “very beginning”. Prior to the Fall, not after.

                    It was God’s intention from the beginning that He would create for Adam a “helper that is SUITABLE for him!”

                    That word means “One who is compatible”. God created Woman to be mentally, emotionally, sexually, and physically compatible to the Man.

                    A Man is Not comparable nor compatible to another Man.

                    God in His wisdom created men and women with different sexual and procreative organs, and these differences are by Divine design, and the evidence of that design is seen every time a new life is conceived in the womb.

                    Jesus is our Bridegroom and His Church is Bride. That union is a perfect picture and model of what biblical marriage is about according to Paul in Ephesians 5.

                    No amount of gay revision and gymnastics can change what Genesis 2 has taught us, what Jesus affirmed in Matthew 19, and what Paul methodically laid out in Ephesians 5.

                    Bill, you’re lost! I can’t say it any other way.

  21. Thank you for saying what I believe John. Just read Idlemans book, “Not A Fan”. I am not a fan but a follower of Jesus! Find it so so hard to wrap my mind around “Christians” who don’t look like Jesus at all.

  22. Thank you once again, John. I long ago came to the conclusion that if god didn’t want you to be happy, work hard to leave the world better than you found it, and work equally hard to love everybody in it, he/she/it wasn’t worth worshiping. Jesus had some great things to say about helping those who needed it, he didn’t seem to spend much of his time sniffing out sin, and he spent a lot of time talking about love–I think I’ll follow that.

  23. The U.S. probably took a bad turn with the American dream theory. It’s a nightmare to some and doesn’t agree with neither the new nor the old testament. In Europe we’ve had socialists taking the place of church and then choosing for the wealthy once they’re in power.
    I am fixing the God of islam but it’s not really popular in the U.S. so far. Hoping for the best in the future.

  24. I have to thank Pastor John for reinvigorating my faith in Christ. I had long left the “church’– the brick and mortar place people gather on Sundays. Why? Quite honestly, to save my faith.

    I came to Christ to save my soul, to root out my own arrogance, hatred, self-importance. But instead of my pastoral mentors guiding me in repentance, humility, and agapic love, it seemed every sermon was on who God hated, and why I was compelled to hate them as well. They quoted Paul telling me to obey various elected officials, calling them King David’s given by God, and to support a spectrum of political and social positions.

    My fellowship ended up being more about “checking”. Dialog became less about following scripture, less about faith, less about following Christ on the Cross. The dialog with my brothers and sisters became increasingly about which side of this or that political issue I was on. Whether I supported this politician or not. And whether I condemned a brother or sister in our community as much as they did for a personal defeat.

    I have been told that I was damned, not for my sins and weak faith, but because of which ovals I filled in on a piece of paper. Because of my criticisms of elected officials, pastors, and other figures who abused their power. That I was damned for not only who I associated with, but my refusal to hate them.

    So Pastor John has given me hope that somewhere there might be a table for me with some spiritual family. A place where the Sermon on the Mount is enough. Why does my vocabulary of worship and fellowship have to include the names from the news, words like “liberal” and “conservative”, epithets like “faggot” and “libtard”?

  25. Not sure how God, the church, religion or Pastor Jeffries gets drawn into this mess unless your point is that these influences call us to a higher standard of behavior and are our betters. You also have to assume that these people are religious, and are being hipocritical.
    I do not make that assumption I did not see any religious, spiritual indignation injected here at all.
    We constantly see this type of demonstrations and violence with religion in the forefront with banners nakedly declaring religious war with not a peep of any claim of hypocrisy or even the idea that their God is somehow defective. Of course we are talking about the “Mormons” their hate filled retoric religious intolerance for other beliefs boarders on terroristic fanaticism…………………Oooops Im sorry clearly I’m speaking of the “Buddhist” and the violence they engage in daily around the world………..Huh…….. not the Buddhists? ? Wait a minuet here who is the evil religious empire that we dare not speak ill of less we get our heads chopped off? “Christianty” yeah thats who! Their ministers of hate and bigotry like Billy Graham, Pastor Jeffries, Greg Laurie and their zealotrus Christian followers marching behind that White Christian flag with fire in their eyes battling police and civilians alike……………….Wait another minute, Im thinking thats wrong too? who could I possibly speaking of here “Pastor” Hmmmm?

  26. I tire of your posts.

    “Speak no evil of the leader of your people”, but you don’t know what that means.

    “made in his image” is the ability to reason, not physical attributes, whelp.

    Some people die to correct them, some die that they may have rest, if you ever actually read the scripture you would know this. The body is not yours, neither is the soul, or the spirit; you are not it’s judge. How much less should you attempt to judge God, fool?

    “Do not rejoice, all you of Philistia, Because the rod that struck you is broken; For out of the serpent’s roots will come forth a viper, And its offspring will be a fiery flying serpent.

    Philistia: Pelshet: “land of immigrants” / “land of invaders” (US)
    Serpents roots:
    North Korea
    Iran
    Syria
    Russia
    India

    Viper: Dogsa N.K. anti ship ballistic missile based on the Russian ‘Tochka’ (point)

    Tochka was smuggled via Syria, by Iran? N.K. copied the design.

    Viper: Takshak; Indian Heavy Torpedo entering service soon.

    ‘Fiery Flying Serpent’: Brahmos, Iskander (Kings of the Medes / The Medes), any missile that can run an evasive pattern.

    ‘Rod that struck you’ is N.K.; Rods are used by God to correct his children, but I’m sure that murdering children (abortion, Iraq, etc.) is okay with him!

    ‘is broken’ us making N.K. unable to wage war…I wonder how?

  27. And thank you, John, for being a light in the wilderness. I’m more of a lurker than a commenter, but I want you to know that I’m appreciative of what you do and say here. I saw a bumper sticker (on a biker helmet!) the other day that said, “My species embarrasses me.” But at least you restore my faith that it’s not ALL of my species.

  28. Any sexual union can be destructive, gay or straight, and stds an anal cancer is not exclusive to gays. Now that young people who are also straight are using anal sex to avoid pregnancy, do you think they are going to avoid it?

    No they won’t but they also won’t be stigmatized for it either. Christians still use health issues to vilify and stigmatize gays…

  29. The whole god concept is defective.

    There isn’t one.

    If you want to support a racist, sexist, xenophobic, greedy, elitist, homophobic, narcissistic, swindling bovine-excrement artist with atrocious hair… or not… just be a grown-up and own it. You. Yourself. Don’t pawn it off on some imaginary, supposedly omniscient, omnipotent, omnibenevolent entity so you can feel somehow more justified in your position. OWN. YOUR. SH*T.

    There.

    Issue resolved.

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