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Old 06-22-2006, 04:21 PM   #46
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Originally posted by Irvine511



again with the "activity"!

tell me, can i date my boyfriend, but it's only sinful if we fuck?
This is where the church usually ends up sticking their feet in their mouths...

What about heterosexuals who have anal sex? What about Lesbians?
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Old 06-22-2006, 04:50 PM   #47
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


This is where the church usually ends up sticking their feet in their mouths...

What about heterosexuals who have anal sex? What about Lesbians?
I am curious - are you a Christian? If not, I can understand why this is all confusing. I understand how the Bible can seem inconistent at times (notice I use the word "seem"). It is the role of the Holy Spirit to illuminate Scripture to us, help us make sense of it all. But the Holy Spirit is only given to those that have put their faith in Christ. It is impossible to comprehend the Bible without the Holy Spirit.

If you are a Christian, then I suggest praying about what you are posting here and ask various Biblical experts at the churches, seminaries, universities...what their views are.

Remember, those that profess Christianity but teach falsehoods are held even more accountable than your average "sit in the pew" Christian. I try to be very cautious about how I represent God's word.
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Old 06-22-2006, 04:54 PM   #48
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Um, I think we are all equally accountable to God. None of us has the authority to determine who is more or less accountable. I leave that up to God.
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Old 06-22-2006, 04:57 PM   #49
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Originally posted by AEON


I am curious - are you a Christian? If not, I can understand why this is all confusing. I understand how the Bible can seem inconistent at times (notice I use the word "seem"). It is the role of the Holy Spirit to illuminate Scripture to us, help us make sense of it all. But the Holy Spirit is only given to those that have put their faith in Christ. It is impossible to comprehend the Bible without the Holy Spirit.

If you are a Christian, then I suggest praying about what you are posting here and ask various Biblical experts at the churches, seminaries, universities...what their views are.
I suggest you drop the self righteousness, I've asked you before.

I am a Christian. Studied the Bible extensively. Even once considered majoring in theology.


Quote:
Originally posted by AEON

Remember, those that profess Christianity but teach falsehoods are held even more accountable than your average "sit in the pew" Christian. I try to be very cautious about how I represent God's word.
This is absolutely the reason I don't go to church anymore, it's full of too many pharisees.


But nice way of avoiding the question.
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Old 06-22-2006, 05:02 PM   #50
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Let me start by saying, I'm not sure what I believe on this topic. Reading the various responses on this thread, I'm still not sure. So many people had so many compelling things to say.

I've always hesitated to enter into the discussion of homosexuality as it relates to faith, because it can be such a sensitive issue, and it's one that those of us that are hetrosexual, especially those of us that are heterosexual Christians can be so insensitive about. So it's with great trepidation that I wander on to this field of discussion.

I guess all I can say is where I am right now--which is essentially in flux.

I understand Aeon's point about what the Bible says. For conservative Christians who take the Bible pretty literally (and I know there are many who say they shouldn't) this HAS to be dealt with. It cannot be ignored or glossed over, and he was right to insist on that. I thought Melon's response was fascinating. It's the first time I've ever heard anyone take a reasonable approach to what Scripture says about homosexuality that doesn't end up condemning gays.

Because to be honest I'm having a harder and harder time reconciling my understanding of what the Bible teaches about God, about sin, about love with what the Bible "seems" to teach about homosexuals. I've just had too many gay friends, too many students who have agonized over their sexuality to see things as black and white as Aeon does.

First of all it seems very clear to me that homosexuality is not a "choice." I have never, ever met a single gay person who I could say "chose" to be gay. I'm not saying it's not possible. I'm just saying I haven't seen it. There are people who were living as heterosexuals but then "became" gay but when you talk to them invariably they will tell you that deep down they always knew, they always were. It seems clear to me that attraction to the same sex in many if not most case is inherent and biological.

This is the main problem I have. If something is inherent and biological how can it be a "sin" to be that? It seems to me that homosexuals are told something that no one else is told. There is no "right way" to be who you are. There is no moral compass, no guidelines to follow. You can't get married. You can't fall in love. You can't even "wait until marriage for sex" because for you there will be no marriage. This just seems so wrong, and so grossly unfair. Yolland expressed this beautifully in her post, far better than I did.

This whole thing really hurts my heart becaue for me (as I know it is for many of you)this is not just a philosophical FYM topic we can heartily argue back and forth. This is people. People I know. I think of a student of mine who I believe is gay (you can read about it in my Journal) and who I've known for years and who I care about very much. And somehow, through his struggle, he's come to believe that God loves him no matter what, accepts Him, and is on His side and I'm just so relieved that he came to that because so many gay kids, especially those like him that have been in a Conservative Christian faith, come to the opposite conclusion and like Irvine said end up in depression and wanting to kill themselves.

We can be so harsh with those that are asking for the right to be married, to raise children etc. We say: "They just want to do what they want." "They want to be free to live in sin." And maybe that's true. But maybe it isn't. Maybe people really do want to do right. Maybe be they really do want to do what "God wants." For a lot of people that conflict is literally killing them. And what are they left with? Abandon God and the Bible and the faith that means so much to them, as Aeon has suggested? Try to "change"? Or be "healed"? (When no one else in the Christian faith is saddled with the burden of "changing" or being "healed" in such a fundamental way. More on that in a moment)? Or just ignore parts of the Bible and go on as before? This is complicated stuff, and can't be resolved by slapping down a few Bible texts and saying "Thus Saith the Lord", baby.

And let me talk about this business of being "healed" or "changed." I will say that I believe homosexuality was not part of God's "original plan" before sin and all that. But then not much about the way we live now was part of God's original plan. (I realize now I'm wandering into doctrinal territory, but bear with me. I can only write from my own faith perspective. I know others believe differently). And just because something was not part of God's original plan doesn't mean it is a sin that needs forgiveness from. For example, before sin, I believe people did not eat meat (because it would have required the death of animals). After "The Fall" God gave people to eat meat. Jesus Himself was not a vegetarian, so obviously though meat-eating may not have been part of the pre-Edenic plan, it is not a sin. Also, not everything people did back in Biblical times was part of God's "original plan." (For example, taking multiple wives was common in Biblical times. Abraham did it, Jacob did it, David did it. Today it is considered both illegal and immoral.) But God apparently didn't count that as sin. But we're still in the realm of choice. Wouldn't God's choosing to "allow" these thing that weren't part of his original plan apply all the more to things you were born with?

What about something that isn't a choice, that isn't merely a lifestyle? Many Christians say Jesus can "heal" you of homosexuality much the way he can "heal" you from a physical illness. But here's the difference. If you're sick, let's say with cancer, you can ask God to heal you, but the onus is on GOD. You can stay sick, you can be sick until you die, but you won't have done anything wrong. You won't have sinned, or be barred admission to heaven because you weren't healed. But with homosexuality it's different. You HAVE to be healed. In a sense the onus is on you, not God. It's like "you better be healed of your homosexuality or you won't get into heaven." So, I believe you have some people, pretending they are "healed" because they are required to "get better."

So I guess I'm not sure I buy into "change ministries" as "compassionate" and Third Way as they often sound.

I guess the bottom line for me is that sin has to involve choice. And if you can't choose whether you're gay or not then it cannot be a sin to be gay. And if it cannot be a sin to be gay then there must be some options for gay people to be who they are without sinning. (I think there are options for gay people to be who they are that ARE sinning just as there are ways to be a heterosexual that are sinning). This is where what Melon suggested makes a lot of sense to me. There is not a lot of talk about homosexuality in the Bible, and no talk of gay marriage. Whenever it's mentioned it seems to be in tandem with other "agreed upon sins" like gang rape and temple prostitution and so forth. While I believe in a literal interpretation of the Bible, I also believe that it was written in a specific time and culture. It does not speak specifically to issues whether in terms of technolgical process or cultural behavior outside of it's own time and place. The principles of Scripture I believe are timelessand unchanging. The application of those principles is not. If all the writers of the Bible knew of homosexuality was pedophelia and temple prostitution and the concept of loving, monogamous relationships, of marriage among homosexuals was literally unheard of, what else could they do but condemn homosexuality?

If Melon's scholarship is good, I think we who are Conservative Christians, might have the beginning of an answer to this dilema.

I don't claim to have all the answers. I don't even claim that my conclusions are correct.

What I do know is this. God is love, and He loves everyone without qualification.

I believe He is far more patient and understanding about us all struggling along down here than we ever give Him credit for.
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Old 06-22-2006, 05:07 PM   #51
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Old 06-22-2006, 05:08 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally posted by AEON


I am curious - are you a Christian? If not, I can understand why this is all confusing. I understand how the Bible can seem inconistent at times (notice I use the word "seem"). It is the role of the Holy Spirit to illuminate Scripture to us, help us make sense of it all. But the Holy Spirit is only given to those that have put their faith in Christ. It is impossible to comprehend the Bible without the Holy Spirit.

If you are a Christian, then I suggest praying about what you are posting here and ask various Biblical experts at the churches, seminaries, universities...what their views are.

Remember, those that profess Christianity but teach falsehoods are held even more accountable than your average "sit in the pew" Christian. I try to be very cautious about how I represent God's word.
Wow, AEON. You obviously have no intention of having even the slightest bit of an open mind, or even your own mind for that matter. It's obvious you are controlled and ruled by Paul, and Romans, and your good friend Leviticus.

Maybe one day you will think for yourself, see the light, and actually have an answer that comes form your gut. I have hope for you, that you will find the compassion that most Christians have. Good luck!
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Old 06-22-2006, 05:12 PM   #53
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great post, maycocksean.
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Old 06-22-2006, 05:41 PM   #54
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Originally posted by tackleberry


Wow, AEON. You obviously have no intention of having even the slightest bit of an open mind, or even your own mind for that matter. It's obvious you are controlled and ruled by Paul, and Romans, and your good friend Leviticus.

If only my mind were truly controlled by Paul's letters.

But I feel I am no more controlled by the Bible than I am by a Math book. Meaning, I accept what the authors are teaching me and I agree with it. Is that closedmindendness? Maybe it is.

I admit, I can be a bit black and white. Sometimes I just see the world that way. If I find something I feel is true - I chalk it up to "okay, that questions is answered" then I move onto my next question about life.

I have always struggled with putting the "issue" above the person. That is why maycocksean's post really hit my heart. Which is good, it's the best place to get hit because it can change your attitude.

I do apologize for coming across as self-righteous. The only righteousness I have is what God has given to me throug His grace. I don't have all the answers - but I do believe there is one true answer to every question. And I am always trying to find it.
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Old 06-22-2006, 05:54 PM   #55
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Quote:
Originally posted by AEON


I am curious - are you a Christian? If not, I can understand why this is all confusing. I understand how the Bible can seem inconistent at times (notice I use the word "seem"). It is the role of the Holy Spirit to illuminate Scripture to us, help us make sense of it all. But the Holy Spirit is only given to those that have put their faith in Christ. It is impossible to comprehend the Bible without the Holy Spirit.

If you are a Christian, then I suggest praying about what you are posting here and ask various Biblical experts at the churches, seminaries, universities...what their views are.

I am a Christian. I've spent the past several years studying theology with "various Biblical experts" (our school has a very popular Calvinist seminary, as well as some very popular Presbyterian faculty/clergy). You don't want to open that can of worms, trust me.

This is my Golden Rule - if Jesus didn't address it, it's not important. If Jesus addressed it, it's important. Jesus did not address things like homosexuality, polygamy, etc. Jesus addressed things like practicing tolerance and condemned things like hypocracy, hatred, greed, and intolerance. CHRISTians follow Christ and Christ has yet to address the issue of homosexuality (at least in our cannonized Scriptures), so therefore, I will continue to go about my Christian ways and assume that homosexuality, like ANYTHING, is not something people should be judging others against.

What say you to that?
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Old 06-22-2006, 06:08 PM   #56
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Originally posted by AEON



I have always struggled with putting the "issue" above the person.
It's a little easier to put the person before the "issue" when you actually know a person whose dealing with the issue. Things get more complicated then.

You did come on a little strong, but I understood where you were coming from. For those of us who have a more fundamentalist take on Scripture, we have to deal with what scripture says head on. We can't hide from it, much as we'd like to. So I understood the issues. . .and the arguments from Scripture and all that. (I actually looked them all up myself).

Which is why I found Melon's post so interesting.
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Old 06-22-2006, 06:15 PM   #57
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[//B]

This is my Golden Rule - if Jesus didn't address it, it's not important. If Jesus addressed it, it's important. Jesus did not address things like homosexuality, polygamy, etc. Jesus addressed things like practicing tolerance and condemned things like hypocracy, hatred, greed, and intolerance. CHRISTians follow Christ and Christ has yet to address the issue of homosexuality (at least in our cannonized Scriptures), so therefore, I will continue to go about my Christian ways and assume that homosexuality, like ANYTHING, is not something people should be judging others against.

What say you to that? [/B]
I don't know what he'd say to that, but I know what I'd say to that: I like it. I've always taken a similar approach to things I don't understand in the rest of Scripture because I believe that Jesus is the clearest picture of God that we as Christians have.

But then again it would be a mistake to say that Jesus didn't say some things that were a bit challenging and difficult and hard to understand.

Someone once pointed out that taking the whole "What Would Jesus Do" philsophy, while nice in theory, might be a little difficult. Look at his followers when he was on earth. They were never sure what he was going to do next. Maybe we're not so different?

But, that aside, yeah, I agree that your Golden Rule is pretty sound.
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Old 06-22-2006, 06:15 PM   #58
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Originally posted by maycocksean

I guess the bottom line for me is that sin has to involve choice.
Excellent post, maycocksean, thanks for sharing your insights. The above statement cuts to the quick of the issue. I believe that's the answer, in a nutshell.
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Old 06-22-2006, 06:20 PM   #59
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I think we are reading words typed by a Cut and Paste Christian.

AEON has insulted my church, implied that I and many other in this forum are not Christians, insulted my newly elected Bishop, and has not answed any of my questions in either thread, because an honest answer would have stopped the debate.

You cannot live up to Leviticus. I know not of any church that does.

I will not waste my time on these posts.
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Old 06-22-2006, 06:23 PM   #60
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As for the Gay Bishop issue.

I spent some time in the rectory today with my Priest. She is pretty upset by this being a lesbian. I do not understand where she finds the stregnth.

Anyways, they view the passing of this as a victory. It puts the ball back into the conservative court in the church.

I do not understand why it is OK to ordain Lesbian/Homosexual priests, but not Bishops.

Anyways....I gave her a hug, and celebrated that our High School Youth have now officially raised $2,000 for AIDS/Africa.

Peace
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