Gay and Loved by God

We worship a Jesus who constantly sought out and blessed those condemned by the religious and secular powers of his time.

Apparently, all sin is not created equal.

Pastor and author Mark Driscoll recently wrote a piece about homosexuality and gay marriage for Fox News called “Seven ways for Christians to love their neighbors even when we disagree.”

There is much to applaud in this piece. Driscoll has a thoughtful, considered tone, with healthy doses of humility: “We all start in a bad place. When the Bible says that Jesus died for sin, he’s talking about evil people, like me.” And he offers some sound, strategic advice about how Christian believers should act toward those homosexual actions they condemn: “If they [observers of that condemnation] see us as being mean spirited, they will be less likely to want to hear about the love of Jesus from unloving people.”

But there is much in his words that is deeply troubling and profoundly inconsistent. His is a simplistic and literalist approach to scripture. He argues that reinterpretations of Scripture to fit modern notions and learnings “makes as much sense as changing God’s laws in nature – including gravity and the temperature at which substances freeze and boil.” However, Driscoll, being a biblical literalist, presumably believes that the prophet Joshua actually made the sun stand still: “The sun stopped in mid-heaven, and did not hurry to set for about a whole day.” [Joshua 10: 13b] If the Bible is always correct, with no room for modern understandings and interpretation, then the earth must have stopped spinning on its axis for a day. So much for the laws of gravity.

Driscoll’s attitude toward homosexuality is a familiar one. Conservative evangelical Christians see same-sex attraction as an evil to be resisted at all costs. Those who act on those attractions are living in sin, in Driscoll’s eyes, just like “single people cohabiting, people who watch porn, adulterers.” (To his credit, Driscoll adds to this list of sinful people “the self-righteous religious people who look down on all of them.”) Like all other sinners, Driscoll and other conservative Christians assert, sexually-active homosexuals should be staunchly and regularly called to repentance. For homosexual people, this means repenting of their sin, giving up their “homosexual lifestyle,” and living a chaste and celibate life in obedience to God’s laws. This may be tough medicine and hard to swallow, they admit, but it is God’s will, straight from scripture. “Tough love” ain’t called “tough” for nothin’!

Such an attitude begs another question: Does Driscoll advocate a similar tough love for another group of “sinners” in his flock? I’m referring to a group of people presumably present in large numbers in Driscoll’s (and every other) church: those who are divorced and remarried. While Jesus never says a word about homosexuality, Jesus is quite clear and specific that remarriage after divorce is adultery. Following Driscoll’s advice to homosexuals, these remarried and “practicing” adulterers should repent of their sin and seek to amend their sinful lifestyles – by divorcing their second spouses (ending their sinful ways) and thereafter living a celibate and chaste sexual life, according to the precepts of Scripture. Or, in Driscoll’s practice of applying biblical standards of conduct, is there a double standard? Perhaps all sin is not created equal, and God is less disgusted with adulterers than with homosexuals. I hardly think so. The Bible cannot be literally true for some, but not for others.

My own Episcopal Church used to follow this biblical standard and until the early 1970’s refused to officiate over and bless second marriages. Official church policy even denied such “adulterers” communion. But then a funny thing happened. We noticed that many of these second marriages bore the fruits of grace, love and holiness, a blessing not only to the couple but also to the community surrounding them. Could it be that the Holy Spirit was leading us to a broader and deeper understanding of God’s love and grace? And so we changed our mind – even about something so specifically condemned by Jesus himself. We believed we were following the leading of the Holy Spirit, who called us to love and pastor all of God’s children, even those whose first marriage had failed.

Driscoll erroneously alleges that “Both homosexuals and Christians are, curiously enough, organized minority groups.” In fact, according to a 2008 American Religious Identification Survey, 73-80 percent of Americans identify as Christian. Hardly a minority group. But conservative evangelical Christians increasingly think of themselves as an oppressed minority. I don’t doubt their self-perception, but I do wonder if these conservative Christians, who are finding themselves and their condemnations suddenly in the minority, aren’t confusing their being in the minority with the actual reality of being oppressed. It’s just that they’ve seldom had the experience of holding an opinion that is not in the majority, and it feels pretty awful. I get that. But when I compare the oppression (personal and systemic) experienced by conservative Christians with that actually experienced by gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, it’s hard for me to feel sympathetic. LGBT people have endured harassment, physical violence, murder, police raids, being fired from their jobs simply for being gay with no recourse in the courts, denial of legal relationships to their children, and denial of spousal healthcare benefits. How have Christians “suffered,” and on what basis do they claim oppression?

Driscoll speaks of “Christians war[ring] with homosexuals,” and some days it feels like war to me as well. If polling is to be believed, with majorities of every major Christian denomination favoring gay civil marriage, Driscoll and his flock are going to find their “love the sinner, hate the sin” stance increasingly unpalatable with the very people they seek to evangelize.

Gay Christians are laying claim to God’s love for us and our relationships. We worship a Jesus who constantly sought out and blessed those on the margins, the disenfranchised, and those condemned by the religious and secular powers of his time. Loving, committed, life-long-intentioned, monogamous marriage between two people of the same gender bolsters the institution of marriage, rather than undermines it. Wouldn’t it be ironic if gay marriage actually saved marriage?

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  • leibowde84

    To his credit, Driscoll adds to this list of sinful people “the self-righteous religious people who look down on all of them.”

    - If more Catholics realized this, the faith wouldn’t be under so much scrutiny.

  • neelysusan

    I am afraid that the “Right Reverend” has presented an argument with a rotten core. It is possible to justify and even deify all human behavior if God’s Word, the Bible, is buried beneath an avalanche of false assumptions. It is true that I am one of those ignorant creatures who believes that the Bible is inspired of God from cover to cover and is given to man(woman) for reproof and correction. The argument used comparing one sin to another is ridiculous. I do agree that all sin is equally abominable in God’s eyes. I also have come to realize that it is the pride of man that has been the root of sin from the original sin of Adam and Eve to present. Those who believe God, understand that God created woman to be the companion of man from Adam’s own rib. He did not create another man. I recently read C.S.Lewis’ “Screwtape Proposes a Toast”(1959), a postscript to the “Screwtape Letters”(1942). It is amazing how accurate his prognostications were way back in that time. Surrounded by the most rudimentary forms of influential communications such as television and radio, he could clearly see that the job of the new graduates of the “Tempters School of Hell” would be so much easier than Wormwood’s experience. During the course of the toast Screwtape predicts the erosion of the educational process to the point that there is no such thing as absolute truth and, further, predicts that all the Tempters really have to do is blind the “bellweathers”. The rest of sheep will follow like Lemmings to the sea. So, perhaps it would be wise of the “Right Reverend” to rethink his position and also realize that his “bellweather” status is damning. It is true that God loves each individual. No sin is so bad that it can not be forgiven because Christ paid for it on the cross. But, repentance means turning away from what man thinks is right so that our behavior can conform to God’s standard. Christ is alive and sits in Heaven with His Father as our advocate. Our joy should be to serve Him!

  • Norman Dostal

    you really think god at oen time ordered women to marry their rapist because of cultural norms> Deut 22:18?? you are incredibly imbecilic

  • leibowde84

    Wait … do you actually think that Adam and Eve were the first people?! I mean, we have found difinitive, undeniable proof that this isn’t the case.

  • danielcmalloy

    As you can see from the article The Right Rev. says that people are simplistic for believing a literal interpertation of the Bible. In other words people who believe the Bible is the Word of God are simplistic. As the Apostle Paul, another simplistic Christian, said the wisdom of God is foolishness to men.

    In the Scriptures we see another simplistic Christian, Jesus, who beleives in the literal interpertation of the Word of God, by saying God made man and woman to be together. I am not sure of the Right Revs view on creationism. but I can guess he doesnt believe God created all things, never mind man, Adam and woman, Eve, specifically woman from man to be with man.

    Right Rev. if your reading this, in the book of James another simplistic Christain, it says not many of us should desire to be teachers because the ones who claim to be teachers will be judged more severely, Rev. when you come before the Holy, Righteous, Creator of the Universe, Jesus Christ, to be judged as a teacher of Chrsitan truth who denies the Bible is the Word of God and encourages others to do the same, you will not only be judged for your sins, but judged severely.

  • jay2drummer

    The people you mentioned also lacked things like knowledge gained in the last 2000 years. And it is absolutely foolish to think the bible should be taken literally, since that would imply you can understand exactly what God meant, which no person can, since all people are fallible, biased, blinded by mortality, and relying on translations, which have changed over time and which were politically selected from among many gospels.

  • SimonTemplar

    Why would a Reverend refer to a scripture verse to defend his position without actually quoting the verse itself? That is very curious.

    Here is the verse:

    Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

    “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

    “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

    Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

    The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

    Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” –Matthew 19

    Firstly, notice that the Pharisees are trying to trick Jesus. They ask if it is lawful for a man to divorce his wive for EVERY reason.

    Jesus answers that it is wrong to divorce except in cases of marital unfaithfulness. So, if one gets divorced for that reason, evidently that person is NOT engaging in adultery if they re-marry.

    More below:

  • SimonTemplar

    Secondly, I think this verse is a strong argument for traditional heterosexual marriage and possible even against homosexual marriage
    .
    - At the beginning, the Creator made them male and female.
    - This is a union joined together by God
    - And there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven.

    Now I see why the Reverend did not quote the verse in his article.

  • jay2drummer

    God may have created them “male” and “female”, but Adam and Eve were never married by any recognized definition, so no, it does not support “traditional heterosexual marriage” at all, nor any marriage, despite the implications made by those who wish to continue treating homosexuals as second-class citizens. The bible quote also implies those who are homosexual do it by choice, which we now know to be false, so using that as an argument against homosexual marriage will fail every time.

  • neelysusan

    They were not just “married” by God. Adam and Eve were created by God for each other. It was the plan of God. Those who say that God has changed His mind regarding this basic tenet should get to know Him better. I challenge unbelievers to read the scripture for themselves. God is Holy,Changeless and can not tolerate any sin. Those who are not reconciled to God will be punished. God is sovereign over all. Man is only His creation whose foolish opinions count for nothing.

  • neelysusan

    I wonder who “we” is? If you mean by”undeniable proof” that flawed theory that man was once an agile monkey, I am certain that it is impossible that I came from that source.

  • plattitudes

    Perhaps he also should have included “The self-righteous people who look down on the self-righteous people. And those who look down on them. And on them. Etc.”

    Peace

  • ScottVA

    Well said, Simon.
    Homosexuality will send no one to hell, any more than murder or adultery or gossip will.
    The only sin that condemns a man is the rejection of the amnesty God provides for those who are guilty of violating His laws — and every one of us has violated His laws.

    As Jesus said, “There are those who make themselves eunuchs for the glory of God.” Anyone not attracted to the opposite sex (or anyone, for that matter) is free to live a life in service to God as a celebate Christian.

  • Timothy Kincaid

    Perhaps in your self-righteous legalism you flew right past the most shocking and relevant section of that scripture:

    “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.”

    Perhaps you think eunuchs refers to only the castrati, those without functioning organs. But that is incorrect.

    Jesus’ audience knew full well that eunuchs referred to any men who did not have sex with women, a group which included what we now call gay and transgender persons. But Jesus, in his grace and mercy, also recognized that some simply cannot accept his inclusiveness and his outreach to those rejected by society, so he allowed that some do not have ears to hear his message.

    I guess you don’t have ears.

  • ScottVA

    Sorry, Jay; but you seem to be ignorant of the fact the human nature doesn’t change. What was sin milennia ago is sin today. Homosexual activity is as degrading and societally detrimental today — and more dangerous — as it was in ancient Rome or Babylon or Israel.

    Moreover, if God is even a little as described in the Bible, then miraculous acts and suspension of the laws of physics (as we know them) is not a big leap of faith; it is what one would expect of the Creator.

  • ScottVA

    It is you who don’t have ears to hear what Jesus was and is saying.
    Eunuchs did not have sex with anyone, primarily because they lacked both the physical capacity and the hormonal drive to do so. Those who “make themselves eunuchs” obviously does not refer to self-mutilation, since that is also condemned in Scripture. It is those, such as the Apostle Paul, who chose to abstain from sexual activity in order to commit himself to the service of God.

    But I suppose you missed my point: It is not homosexual behavior that condemns a man; that is merely the results of the sin of rejecting the lordship of Jesus, and the amnesty for your crimes against Him.

  • ScottVA

    Norman, are you really so ignorant of ancient cultures that you don’t recognize that law as a protection for the woman, who looked forward to destitution and shame if she remained unmarried and not a virgin? We might think of that as barbaric, but it was a giant leap for women’s rights in its day.

    Just look at the primitive Muslim laws that still pervade that cult: To accuse of rape, a woman must have FOUR MEN as witnesses.

  • ScottVA

    Undeniable proof, Leibowde?
    The Bible denies it; therefore, it is not undeniable.

  • Catken1

    ” Homosexual activity is as degrading and societally detrimental today — and more dangerous — as it was in ancient Rome or Babylon or Israel. ”

    Funny how ancient Rome thrived as a culture while homosexuality was grudgingly tolerated, but collapsed and fell as a Christian empire where homosexuality carried the death penalty.
    There is no human culture that has ever been destroyed by gay people falling in love and getting married. Not anywhere.

  • 1st Armored Div. 1971-1973

    God wrote the spiritual part and man wrote the factual part.

    The spiritual part is 100% perfect which is why people are attracted to the faith.
    The factual part is flawed as anything man has a hand in and causes endless controversy.

    My faith does not depend on the factual part.

  • Catken1

    ‘but I can guess he doesnt believe God created all things, never mind man, Adam and woman, Eve, specifically woman from man to be with man. ”

    And we do have actual real evidence that this never happened, that there never were only two human beings, and that there has been a substantial homosexual minority in the human population since it has been human at all, and probably before.
    Do you think that God’s greatest concern, assuming there is an omnipotent, all-powerful Supreme Being who is deeply interested in the love lives of one species on one tiny rock in an immense universe, is that people who love each other have the right genitals, rather than that their hearts and minds be compatible and that they treat each other well?
    Do you think God never experiments? Or finds, in His/Her/Their/Its cosmic matchmaking, that one soul is perfectly suited for another, despite having been born in bodies of the same sex?

  • Catken1

    “Norman, are you really so ignorant of ancient cultures that you don’t recognize that law as a protection for the woman, who looked forward to destitution and shame if she remained unmarried and not a virgin?”

    Well, maybe if there were an omnipotent and loving God who talked to leaders of this ancient culture, He could give them a rule that says, “Don’t punish or disgrace a woman for being raped, for that is shamefully blaming the victim.” But that would be too easy, right? He couldn’t give rules that were sensible and kind, because the culture wasn’t ready for them.
    But then, of course, he maybe couldn’t give rules concerning gay people that were sensible and kind, because the culture wasn’t ready for them.
    When it comes to raped women, God’s rules can change and adapt to a more knowledgeable and compassionate culture – when it comes to gay people, though, God’s rules may NEVER change, no matter how our knowledge changes.
    Why is this, Scott? Oh, right, because treating raped women as sinners is pretty nearly universally regarded as abominably cruel by our culture, whereas acting as if loving gay people were evil and sinful for wanting families is just fine in some subcultures, including Scott’s. God changes when Scott feels comfortable with the change, and God is steadfast and firm when keeping the rules as they are gives Scott a chance to feel blissfully and effortlessly superior to someone else, just because he’s not gay and they are.

  • itsthedax

    Every fundamentalist christian is a “cafeteria christian” of some sort. They pick and choose the parts of the bible that suit their preconceived notions, and come up with a rationalization that allows them to disregard the parts that are inconvenient.

  • neelysusan

    No matter what our sins are…..we have all sinned. God does not have a rating scale for sin(sin is any disobedience to God). I am not sure where your facts come from. I have never read any convincing evidence that the Bible is untrue. God says that Adam was the first man, and that woman was created to be his helper and to bare his children. I believe that is true. You don’t go very far in Genesis before you find that God regretted that he ever created man. Every form of immorality was popular. Like the times we live in,now,humans had forgotten their origins and from whom all blessings flow. God told Noah to build an ark which would protect a remnant of creation while the entire earth was flooded. Even after all of that…that remainder degenerated very quickly, again. Even the Gay Right Reverend says he believes God loves us all, individually. He does. We can be reconciled to God, but only on His terms. John 3:16.

  • jay2drummer

    Guess you missed the whole evolution thing, which has all but discredited any idea that humans were simply “created,” but were, rather, the result of genetic modification over centuries. Beyond that, it’s mathematically impossible that a population of could have survived and adapted long enough to propagate the species to the extent the human race has. Also, genetic studies of bodies from millions of years ago. Might want to read a science book.

    “but you seem to be ignorant of the fact the human nature doesn’t change.” That’s because human nature DOES change, with technology, culture, and knowledge, our habits and survival instincts have gone through many changes over the centuries.

    “What was sin milennia ago is sin today.” I see. So, how do explain the “New Testament” not calling things like eating pork, or shellfish, or cheeseburgers a sin anymore? That kind of throws a major wrench in that argument.

    “Homosexual activity is as degrading and societally detrimental today — and more dangerous — as it was in ancient Rome or Babylon or Israel.” So, not at all? Nothing about homosexuality is degrading, other than for the shaming that people like you try and do to homosexuals. And despite years of trying to claim it’s “societally detrimental” or “harmful to society,” you people have never been able to explain how that is the case.

    “Moreover, if God is even a little as described in the Bible, then miraculous acts and suspension of the laws of physics (as we know them) is not a big leap of faith; it is what one would expect of the Creator.” Yes. And if I assume the world is flat, believing I would fall of the edge would not be a big leap of faith; it is what one would expect. Still doesn’t make it true, nor does your statement validate the idea that you understand God any better than any other person.

  • nkri401

    “God is Holy,Changeless and can not tolerate any sin. ” is as meaningful as “Nam Myoho Renge Kyo”, IMHO.

  • neelysusan

    No need to rationalize. I do have a personal relationship with God because I have been forgiven for all of my sins(past,present and future) because Jesus, the son of the Trinity, lived as man without sin on the earth while retaining His status as God. His substitutionary death for all men means that he paid for our sin. He also conquered death by his resurrection. We still die mortal death, but believers do not need to worry about paying for their sins or eternal death, the punishment for sin. I still learn new things about God every day by reading the Bible, God’s Word to us. I do not profess to understand God,fully. I do not understand,for instance, His patience with this evil world. Our transformation to new creatures in Christ should be evident, but we will still not be perfect until we “shuffle off this mortal coil”. The Holy Spirit of God lives within me to guide me, give me strength and to continue the changes in my life which mold my own will to God’s.

  • itsthedax

    Oh, so do you follow all the biblical laws governing clothing, food preparation and dietary restrictions, personal grooming, sexual practices, marriage, animal sacrifice, etc., that are listed in Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Numbers?

  • Kal-L

    Since no one on the right is a christian anyway, his entire post is a moot point. These people don’t obsess on homosexuality because they are genuinely “concerned” about gay people, they do it because they need someone to feel superior to so they singled out a “sin” that doesn’t apply to them. We all know what the churches REALLY want with gays: to put them back in the ovens.

  • Kal-L

    Or none of it is true and those who are fighting to keep gays from marrying are just looking for an excuse to run other people’s lives.

  • Kal-L

    Or your religion isn’t true and you just refuse to accept it. Funny how homosexuality is the only “sin” you people feel the need to use as a litmus test for who is qualified for office or feel the need to change the constitution for. Almost as if your motivations aren’t based on concern for “sin” so much as an excuse to mistreat people you didn’t like in the first place who are different while having the convenient cover of saying “God told me so!”

  • nkri401

    neely,

    You may be a sinner, past, present and future but I’m not. Don’t project on me your sins.

  • leibowde84

    neelysusan, I wouldn’t call evolution flawed. If you think it is, I would love to hear your argument, as it is pretty much agreed on by a great majority of scientists in that field. If you just look at the development of the domesticated dog, you can literally see how we harnessed evolution to work for our benefit. But, I was not referring to evolution in my assertion that the story of Adam and Eve couldn’t be accurate. And, ScottinVA, you put words in my mouth yet again. I did not mean that no one has denied it, because, obviously, neelysusan’s comment alone would make that untrue. I was merely referring to the undeniable evidence that the history of the earth itself presents.

    We know now that the earth was at one point a developing world; a result of cosmic collisions, gravity, nuclear reactions, and the “gathering” of matter. Scientists, using the speed of galaxies and stars moving away from us, have traced back time and figured out when the universe was created out of a giant explosion called the big bang. This was the beginning of matter, which created the possibility for galaxies, planets, and, finally, life. But, as with the development of cosmic alliances called galaxies, our earth developed from the ground up. Again, even on earth, cosmic activities caused certain species to thrive, and others to die out. Which was the beginning point of Evolution, but there is no need to go that far to disprove the account of Adam and Eve.

    I’ll have to start with this: There’s no need to “disprove” a story for which there is zero supporting evidence — in that case the story is without merit on its face. When the only supporting evidence for a story only exists thru the use of circular logic (using Bible passages to prove that other Bible passages are true), the argument fails when compared to that with objective proof of validity. The construct, “My story is true unless you can prove it false” is fallacious and rather silly.

  • leibowde84

    But, let’s look back at the development of earth. Here are a few reasons why Adam and Eve, as it was specifically described in the Bible, has been proven false:

    The sun, or “light,” was said to have been created after days of creation. How could a “day” exist without the sun, as a day is marked only by a night … which only occurs on a specific planet.

    The age of the earth has been found to be roughly 4.5 billion years. The account of the age of the UNIVERSE (which, in reality, is much older than the earth) is said to be less than even 1 million years old. Thru carbon dating we have proved beyond a reasonable doubt that certain fossils are older than 1 million years old.

    Finally, it has been found to be impossible that the entire human race began with only 2 humans, due to the inadequacy of gene sequences and differences in DNA. The race would have died out to retardation before coming even close to the agricultural revolution, which we do have proof of thru artifacts.

    Counter-arguments?

  • itsthedax

    Its fascinating how the christian version of god is so fixated on sex. He’s completely obsessed with who’s doing it with who, and how they’re doing it, what’s allowed and what isn’t!

    I’ll bet he watches a lot of daytime TV.

  • Fred Bearman Jr

    He/she who say they do not sin are a liar, says God’s word.

  • Catken1

    But it’s OK, since God doesn’t reward or punish you based on whether or not you’re a good person and care for others, or a bad person who hurts others- he rewards and punishes you solely based on what religious dogma you believe in. That’s morality, after all. If you rape, murder, steal and burn, but accept Jesus, you’re forgiven – if you live your life in kindness and decency, caring for the poor and healing the sick, but were taught a different religion by your parents in childhood and adhere to that faith, you’ll burn forever.
    Isn’t Christian morality wonderful? And they have the gall to ask how it’s possible for atheists to be moral..

  • Catken1

    And forgetting that civil contracts in America ought not to be subject to their religious law, no matter how much they scream that God values marriages based on the genitalia involved, rather than on the love between the partners or their behavior towards each other.

  • Catken1

    ” I have never read any convincing evidence that the Bible is untrue”

    Because you have decided that it is true, and therefore you ignore all the evidence that suggests otherwise.
    You can believe what you like, but worshipping a god who drowns his children – even the babies and toddlers who had no idea what sin was – for misbehavior is still immoral. Even worse, to worship a god who tortures people forever and ever for nothing worse than marrying the “wrong” person (with “wrong” determined solely by genitals, not love or commitment or behavior), or for being born to a family that taught them the “wrong” faith and never converting to yours.

  • itsthedax

    Catken, its even more basic than that: If god is an omniscient, omnipresent creator, then he made every person with full foreknowledge of every action they would perform in their lives. If he knew the moment of your conception – right down to the composition of your genes – then he had to control each event that led up to that instant in time. Yours and everyone else’s. So, none of us have any freedom to perform any action that he has not planned. So he is the author and cause of every human action – both good and bad.

    But, he supposedly hands our rewards and punishments for everything we do, even though he is responsible for them.

  • SimonTemplar

    You don’t have to believe the Bible; no one is forcing you to believe it (though I advise you to not close your mind to it). But the author of the article tried to twist scripture to his own ends and didn’t even have the common courtesy to actually provide that scripture for us to evaluate whether or not his thesis is worth considering. When we compare his very loose paraphrase to the actual scriptures we find that he is misleading us.

    If you want to follow the reasoning a person who does not respect you enough to be honest in his argumentation that is your prerogative. But you can’t fault us for pointing out a wolf in sheep’s clothing when we see one.

  • SimonTemplar

    There is a very vocal group of people who seem to define themselves by who they sleep with. I think they are the ones who are obsessed.

  • jay2drummer

    No, there’s a very vocal group who are tired of being defined by other people by who they sleep with, just so those other people can justify denying that vocal group equal rights and abusing/harassing that vocal group.

  • jay2drummer

    The author INTERPRETS the bible one way, you INTERPRET the bible differently. You’re just twisting it to fit your own ends also.

  • SimonTemplar

    I’ve seen people twist scripture to suit their own ends. Usually they quote scripture out of context or they emphasize some part of scripture while suppressing another. In this case, the author is telling us that Christ has said something but refused to provide a quote of Christ actually saying this. I provided the quote in a post below and it looks pretty clear to me that the quote does NOT support the author’s position.

    It seems to me that if you are going to claim that someone has made a statement, the most basic common sense way to prove this is to quote them directly and provide citations (in this case, chapter and verse notations at the very least). I can only assume that the author purposely did not include the quote because he knows very well that doing so would undermine his premise.

    If a person has to resort to such slight-of-hand in an attempt to sway people to his side of an argument, then his argument deserves no more respect than an outright lie.

  • itsthedax

    Simon, are you referrng to fundamentalist christians? Its OK to mention them by name.

  • jay2drummer

    You are literally describing the tactics of the religious right. Anyone who uses the bible as an argument on gay marriage is twisting it to fit their agenda, since the bible never mentions it, and people simply rely on cherry-picking lines and interpreting them to fit their argument.

  • SimonTemplar

    Can you provide some examples of scripture verses which are twisted against homosexuality?

  • SimonTemplar

    By the way, it doesn’t matter who does it; twisting scripture to suit selfish ends is still wrong. And the fact that others do it does not excuse the practice in the case of the above article. The authors argument is still invalid.

  • leibowde84

    absolutely. People just need to mind their own business when it comes to victimless morality.

  • jay2drummer

    Any scripture quoted against homosexual marriage is being twisted, since homosexual marriage is not mentioned anywhere. Nor is homosexuality at all. What you call “twisting scripture” is what most people call “interpreting the bible.” It’s the reason for there being so many sects of Christianity and why there are so many religions out there,

  • jay2drummer

    By the way, there is nothing more selfish than trying to come up with an argument, on any grounds, to deny another citizen a right you have, for no real reason other than it makes you feel squeamish.

  • Bluefish2012

    Gay marriage cannot save marriage because in truth it is a physical impossibility. Marriage sprang out of the need for commitment between a man and a woman–the only relationship with the complementary physicality to produce offspring. Two people of any gender can care for each other–”philos”in Greek–and even be committed to each other for life as the best of friends, but in no way are they capable of the complementary biological act that can produce offspring. To horn in on this relationship by force is sheer madness. It makes no biological sense whatever, and the morality of it is derived from this very commonsensical reality.

  • Bluefish2012

    By the way, Robinson must know the difference between moral laws and their immutability and prescriptive laws and their disciplinary and changeable character. To equate all laws in the Bible as equal is an embarrassment for a trained Christian clergyman.

  • itsthedax

    Luckily for us Americans, biblical hair-splitting is completely irrelevent. Religion plays no part in determining civil rights. But thanks for playing.

  • itsthedax

    Oh, so you feel free to ignore those biblical laws that you find inconvenient, but happily use the ones that justify your particular world view.

    Just another cafeteria christian.

  • Bluefish2012

    Who said anything about convenience?

    There is nothing intrinsically evil about eating shellfish for example. Nor for a Catholic eating meat on Fridays during Lent. If there is evil in those things it is in failing to obey rules that were set down by God’s authority, not because the actions themselves were by their nature evil. Moral laws, my friend, are not like those prescriptive laws–they are laws built into the very nature of things and therefore unchangeable.

  • itsthedax

    So your god is not the judge of right and wrong? Your god established what is right and wrong, yet you feel that you can cherry pick some of his laws that you consider moral, and ignore the ones that you feel don’t apply to you.

    Are you a better judge than your god? That must be very convenient. It allows you to feel justified in your prejudices, while rationalizing that you can eat shrimp and cheeseburgers.

  • jay2drummer

    I see, so, the laws that would inconvenience you have no “intrinsic evil” but the ones that don’t happen to be the ones that do? Tell me, what is the intrinsic evil in homosexuality?

  • jay2drummer

    “Gay marriage cannot save marriage because in truth it is a physical impossibility.” Several thousand marriage licences say you’re wrong.

    “Marriage sprang out of the need for commitment between a man and a woman–the only relationship with the complementary physicality to produce offspring.” And has evolved over time to provide the best opportunities for raising children, something homosexuality does not impair.

    “Two people of any gender can care for each other–”philos”in Greek–and even be committed to each other for life as the best of friends, but in no way are they capable of the complementary biological act that can produce offspring.” Which is irrelevant to marriage, which is not necessary for producing children, nor is being able to reproduce required to get married (see: elderly couples, infertile people). Also, producing and raising a child are 2 different things, and an inability to reproduce a child (though many homosexual couples have their own biologically produced children) does not make a person incapable of raising one.

    “To horn in on this relationship by force is sheer madness.” How so? Because it gives you the willies? Sorry, but that doesn’t qualify as a valid argument.

    “It makes no biological sense whatever, and the morality of it is derived from this very commonsensical reality.” Marriage makes no biological sense. It goes against biological instincts to spread the seed. It’s a social construct, not a biological one. And the morality stems not from any reality, but efforts to codify a social construct.

  • Joel Hardman

    Bluefish2012,

    How do you know what is intrinsically evil? In fact, you, like the vast majority of religious believers, follow your own conscience and justify it with religious teachings. The people who attempt to literally follow the teachings of the Bible are some of the most reprehensible among us, such as the Westboro Baptist Church.

  • Joel Hardman

    neelysusan,

    But why do you accept the Bible as god’s word? I see no reason to do so. The Bible is much better explained as the collected writings of a people throughout their history.

  • Bluefish2012

    jay2, it’s easy to win arguments where you define the premises. Stick to the argument. Start with the physically complementary biological act that marriage protects. Modern western society has been hoodwinked into believing the biology irrelevant. It’s not.

  • itsthedax

    Bluefish, according to your argument, infertile people should not be allowed to marry.

  • jay2drummer

    Gosh. Western society has been hoodwinked by those pesky facts. How awful. Biology is completely irrelevant to marriage, since marriage plays not biological function and biological function is not a requirement of marriage, nor is even being capable of the “biological function” of procreating. I’m not defining any premises. Our laws already do that. And nothing about our marriage laws is prohibitive of homosexuals getting married. In fact, it’s the other way around. YOU are defining premises for the argument, by assuming, without facts to back it up, that there is something “intrinsically evil” about homosexuality that makes it a sin while justifying ignoring other sins that would inconvenience you, like eating meat on the Sabbath, mixing meat and cheese, or eating shellfish. You’re defining premises and twisting the bible around your own beliefs, rather than adhering to the bible or reality.

  • Who is Jesus

    The title of this artilcle says it all. Being gay is a sin, but so is everything else! You are all sinners. God just wants you to have some faith in Him, that He will save you! No matter your sin. To each bearing it as much as it is given him, but only as he is able to bear it.
    However remember this, that you must be “Born again”. You must truly believe that it is possible for a man named Jesus to have been resurrected from the dead. Deep down inside you. If you don’t believe God could ressurect His Son, then how much more so could he possibly ressurect you and take you to heaven?
    So if you get down on your knees, touch your forehead to the floor with your arms stretched out, saying out loud, “Oh God, I am a sinner, I want to turn from my sins. I want Jesus to come into my heart. I want to be “Born again”. I want to go to heaven when I die. I love you. Save me Father! In Christs name, amen.”

    You will be saved and 100% guaranteed to go to heaven. Now isn’t that a wonderful thing?

  • itsthedax

    So, the only thing that’s important to your god is that we worship him. And we have to worship him in just the right way, or we’re punished eternally. No matter what else we do, if we worship him ju-u-u-u-st right, he’ll reward us.

    The deity you’ve invented has the emotional needs and morals of an adolescent psychopath.