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Old 02-28-2002, 03:17 AM   #61
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Originally posted by KhanadaRhodes:
so basically you're saying every homosexual couple has to go to some private place where they're absolutely sure not a single soul can see them so much as kiss each other on the cheek, because it's so abnormal?
I should perhaps explain further:

Homosexuals are free to be themselves (decency laws notwithstanding) publically AND privately. Moreover, if they practice their sexuality in private, you'll hear no complaints from me.

BUT, let's say they publically suggest that the practice is as normal as heterosexual monogamy. They're still free to do so, but I will also exercise my right to disagree.
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Old 02-28-2002, 06:31 AM   #62
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To get back to the point about lesbians being less looked down upon or whatever you want to call it. These men that fantasize over 2 women, I bet you any money that they are fantasising over 2 gorgeous looking model types and not your traditional looking less feminine lesbians.
Sharon Stone and her blonde in Basic Instinct are a male fantasy because they would love to be in a 3 way with them, but could u honestly say that if it were Melissa Etheridge and KD Lang, they'd be half as interested? Or even real butch girls with buzzcuts and wearing bonds t shirts?

I also fin it funny that some of you are turned off by affection of a kind in public, but don't mind virtually displaying it here!
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Old 02-28-2002, 07:11 AM   #63
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I believe Manda has two good points here.

db9
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Old 02-28-2002, 07:43 AM   #64
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my my diamondude, are we actually learning to coexist?
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Old 02-28-2002, 09:49 AM   #65
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Wll it seems like the point of this thread has turned into another debate. I'm not sure if there really is an answer to the question but it doiesn't matter really, I just wondered what others thought. (And I didn't want this to become a gay/straight issue, though I was worried it would).

Anyway, once again I have tons of respect for both Bubba and Melon.
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Old 02-28-2002, 10:25 AM   #66
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A passage not even supportive of heterosexual marriage. Do Adam and Eve get married? No, they just shack up. At very minimum, it is not a passage condemning homosexuality.

"Just shack up" doesn't do the situation justice. It seems that Adam and Eve were clearly intend to have a lifelong, monogamous, heterosexual relationship - the pattern that their descendents were to follow. As I said, this and many of the other verses I quote confirm the idea that God proscribes heterosexual monogamy as His plan for mankind - something that is confirmed often and something that is simply NEVER contradicted Biblically.
"Lifelong monogamy" is not the same as marriage. And it is *never* contradicted?:

Ruth 1:16-17 -- "And Ruth said, Entreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go; and where thou lodgest, I will lodge: thy people shall be my people,
and thy God my God: Ruth Where thou diest, will I die, and there will I be buried."

This passage is often used in heterosexual weddings and it is between Ruth and Naomi--two women.

1 Samuel 17:58 -- "When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul. Saul took him that day and would not let him return to his father's house. Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that he was wearing, and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt."

A "covenant" is the most important word. It is another word for a "marriage." In fact, the latest kick around my end of the world is to create "covenant marriages." Of course, I'm not saying that David and Jonathan got married in the eyes of Judaism, but to say that God wholly was angered by same-sex relationships would be to completely ignore this passage. My favorite line, though:

"Your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women" -- 2 Samuel 1:25-26 (David to Jonathan)

*Never* contradicted? Never say never when it comes to the Bible.

Quote:
"Abomination" is the Hebrew word "toevah." "Toevah" is meant to reflect ritual taboos. Despite the fact that Acts clearly abolishes all of the Mosaic Law, there are some Protestants who make the arbitrary distinction of "ritual law," and, under either definition, this passage would be thrown out. The condemnation of wearing multi-fabric clothing was also "toevah."

Sorry, Acts doesn't abolish all the Mosaic Law - the Ten Commandments spring immediately to mind.
Think again:

Romans 13:8-10 -- "Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,' and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, (namely) 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law."

St. Paul makes this very clear. He is for the total abolition of the Mosaic Law, as Jesus redeemed us from it, and any purpose of the Mosaic Law is summed up in the last commandment, "Love one another."

Quote:
Look at Acts in context of Matthew 5:17 ("Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil.") and the rest of the Sermon on the Mount and you can come to only two reasonable conclusions. 1) Dietary regulations are loosened but other Christians' beliefs should be taken into consideration. 2) The Mosaic law should be followed in spirit, if not in letter.
*Sigh* Context is lost again. The Gospel of Matthew is the sole gospel of the Church of Jerusalem, which believed that all Christians must follow the Mosaic Law to the letter. We are descendents of the Church of Antioch, led by St. Paul, and his followers only kept this gospel in the canon as a keepsake for historical context.

However, the other possible explanation is that this is yet another "hook."

Matthew 7:12 - "Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets."

Put this with Matthew 5:17: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill."

Jesus played a semantical game. "The law and the prophets" is "love one another," not the Mosaic Law.

Quote:
A better translation:

"A husband shall not recline with a male prostitute as with his wife."

It is an awkward translation, yes, but male temple prostitution was very common.

Likewise, a literal interpretation of Lv 8:12 would condemn Moses, Aaron, and Miriam, who were born of one of the "toevah" unions (Ex 6:20).


Even IF that translation is more accurate (which I doubt), to say that gay male prostitutes ALONE are what's prohibited is splitting hairs - precisely the legalism that Christ conmmanded AGAINST.
Well, DUH...that "abomination" is part of the legalistic purity codes. "Toevah" is the word that hints to the purity codes. We are not arguing here.

Quote:
And to suggest that Moses, et al., were condemned is silly. Moses was a murderer, Paul a persecutor, and both were still used by God to bring about His will. Besides, you're applying the law RETROACTIVELY, from Leviticus back to Exodus.
Okay...you want to play smart:

Deuteronomy 23:3 -- "An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever."

This passage excludes David from God, because Ruth is a Moabite.

Nehemiah 13:1 -- "On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever."

This passage excludes Jesus from God, as He is a descendent of David (!).

The *point* is that the purity codes you refer to in condemning homosexuals are the same codes that condemn David and Jesus, along with Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. Damn...excluded homosexuals have some pretty holy company with them!

Quote:
This passage is also taken out of context. St. Paul was using this as a hook to appeal to Jewish audiences, who were concerned with purity issues. Then, he turns the table and points where the Jews are sinful (2:1, 17). Romans 14:14 shows St. Paul's true intent:

"I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; still, it is unclean for someone who thinks it unclean."

St. Paul is a very tricky writer. He hooked in the Jewish-minded Christians of Rome by appealing to their sense of morality in Chapter 1. Then he digs into their sense of morality in Chapter 2. By Chapter 14, he rejects their morality. With obscured translations, it is very easy to confuse his hooks as his true intent.


In other words, major parts of the Pauline epistles can be disregarded for convenience.
St. Paul is summed up in major points:

1) Through Jesus, the Mosaic Law is void.
2) We are no longer bound to the law.
3) Love is the only law.

St. Paul was an evangelist. He had to deal with very closed-minded Jewish Christians, who wished to demand that Gentiles be subject to all the Mosaic Law, including cirumcision and dietary laws. He had to tread on a thin wire trying to get them to listen to him. That is the point of Romans. You just simply refuse to see it that way, because it goes out of your comfort zone.

However, like that passage in Matthew, where Jesus supposedly excuses divorce in cases of adultery, despite the fact that He totally condemns it everywhere else in the gospels, you are playing semantical games. St. Paul, for every time he supposedly upholds the Mosaic Law, he condems it about three times over.

Quote:
But no one ever brings up the passages that are supportive of homosexuals.

Yeah, because the explanation for their support is at preposterous.
No more "preposterous" than the so-called anti-gay texts.

Quote:
So the term COULD mean "lover". Okay, fine. But it MUST mean it because the Centurion felt himself unworthy to invite the Messiah into his own home - and that MUST be because of his homosexual lover?
I never said *must.* I left the door open, which no one else will.

Quote:
First, you JUST explained how homosexual behavior was pretty normal before Puritanism - and the Old Testament doesn't even actually condemn it. If THAT'S true, why would the centurion feel guilty?
200 B.C. saw the addition of apocryphal Book of Jubilees. Despite the fact that the rest of the Old Testament rightfully states that Sodom and Gomorrah is an issue of violating the custom of hospitality towards strangers, this book, for the first time, makes the belief that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is homosexuality. Hence, there was a stigma to it that would be in the New Testament. However, that doesn't mean that the Book of Jubilees is correct. Once again, we have to look at the culture of the day.

Quote:
Beyond that, we have MANY instances of followers falling, unworthy, at Christ's feet. Are you telling me that the only reason they're doing so is THEY'RE ALL hiding homosexual lovers? C'mon.
Geez...talk about blowing things way out of proportion. No, the door is open for the Centurion's *servant* to be his *lover,* but a case will never be conclusively made.

Quote:
Finally, you say that you can infer "lover" from the term that's NOT used in Luke?
Luke wrote to a Greek Christian audience that would have known it to be a gay word. Probably because he didn't want to be supportive of homosexuals, he changed it to "servant" or "slave." Potentially, Matthew could have told the real story, while Luke covered it up with his own biases. But it is theory.

Quote:
I could a drive a Buick through your arguments' several holes.
As I have already done to your arguments.

Quote:
Honestly, the suggestions that the Old Testament doesn't really condemn homosexuality but Christ explicitly condemns homophobia strikes me as the work of those who are going OUT OF THEIR WAY to find any scripture that supports their view - the effort to twist scripture to what you want rather than taking it for what it is.
No...see the Book of Jubilees explanation.

Quote:
Setting the record straight, indeed.
Which I will continue to do. Despite the facts that you wholly reject my beliefs, I respect yours.

Romans 14:14 -- "I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; still, it is unclean for someone who thinks it unclean."

If you insist on binding yourself to the law, then you are bound to it. St. Paul makes no question about it. However, through Jesus, I am redeemed from it, and choose to exercise my right to do so.

Melon

------------------
"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time

[This message has been edited by melon (edited 02-28-2002).]
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Old 02-28-2002, 10:32 AM   #67
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Originally posted by Johnny Swallow:
Wll it seems like the point of this thread has turned into another debate. I'm not sure if there really is an answer to the question but it doiesn't matter really, I just wondered what others thought. (And I didn't want this to become a gay/straight issue, though I was worried it would).
It's okay. I expect having to argue this point about every six months in this forum. This argument is due to return in September.

Going back to the original question, I really think an argument can be made for both. Lesbians undergo less public scrutiny, but get less positive media attention. Gays are under lots of public scrutiny, but get more positive media attention. Both have long ways to go in terms of acceptance and tolerance.

Melon

------------------
"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 02-28-2002, 12:41 PM   #68
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melon:

I stand by my assertion that lifelong heterosexual monogamy is never contradicted Biblically because there is NO indication that the relationships you mention above (Ruth and her MOTHER-IN-LAW, David and Jonathan) are sexual.

Unless you're implying that the two pairs knew each other "in a Biblical sense."

If that's the case, you might as well assert that Christ and His disciples had gay orgies. After all, He had a group of twelve men hanging around Him all the time, eleven of which were faithful to Him (the time of crucifixion nothwithstanding), eleven of which bitterly mourned His death.

And while you're at it, you could assert that Batman and Robin, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, and Frodo and Samwise were all secret lovers.

Returning to your post (I'm adding my own emphasis here)...

Think again:

Romans 13:8-10 -- "Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,' and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, (namely) 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law."

St. Paul makes this very clear. He is for the total abolition of the Mosaic Law, as Jesus redeemed us from it, and any purpose of the Mosaic Law is summed up in the last commandment, "Love one another."


For a guy who apparently knows a lot about other languages (or reads a lot about other people's theories on other languages), you sure make some VERY odd statements about our own. Last time I checked, "summed up" CANNOT mean "total abolition." "Summed up" means "explained and condensed." To say that the ideas of Locke (the social contract, etc.) "sum up" the Constitution does NOT mean that the ideas contradict or abolish the Constitution.

(Honestly I don't see how you can come to that conclusion.)

A quick example (one of MANY):

"Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." - Matthew 5:21-22

If Christ was ABOLISHING the Mosaic Law, then the conclusion would be, "Hey, it's okay to murder!" That's clearly not the case. The conclusion is, rather, that it's STILL not okay to murder - and it's not okay to be unjustly angry or shout epithets. And the reason that murder is still outlawed and the "lesser acts" became outlawed is that you are to love one another.

And don't think I had to mix Matthew and Paul (i.e., use Romans) to assert that Christ said to love one another:

"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." - Matthew 22:37-40

Again, the law and prophets "hang on" or depend on "love one another." They aren't overturned.

And there's FURTHER proof that loving one another isn't exactly a new, revolutionary idea:

"Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD." - Leviticus 19:18

Why, what have here? Leviticus, the most legalistic of the Books of Law, actually commands man to "love thy neighbor as thyself."

(Am I actually suggesting that the Bible might be a consistent work? I guess I AM.)

*Sigh* Context is lost again. The Gospel of Matthew is the sole gospel of the Church of Jerusalem, which believed that all Christians must follow the Mosaic Law to the letter. We are descendents of the Church of Antioch, led by St. Paul, and his followers only kept this gospel in the canon as a keepsake for historical context.

However, the other possible explanation is that this is yet another "hook."

Matthew 7:12 - "Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets."

Put this with Matthew 5:17: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill."

Jesus played a semantical game. "The law and the prophets" is "love one another," not the Mosaic Law.


AGAIN, Christ is saying that the motivating spirit behind the Mosaic Law is to love another as yourself. He's NOT saying the Old Testament law is wrong - just incomplete without His context.

To suggest that He means that the Old Testament is now worthless is akin to suggesting that "I am the Way" means that Christ is a literal dirt path.

And I find amazing that - if Paul and Matthew contradict each other so fully - the verses you mentioned (Romans 13:8-10 and Matthew 7:12) say the same thing. I don't even have to search through the books to show they compliment each other - your own citations of both demonstrate my point.

Okay...you want to play smart:

Deuteronomy 23:3 -- "An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever."

This passage excludes David from God, because Ruth is a Moabite.

Nehemiah 13:1 -- "On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever."

This passage excludes Jesus from God, as He is a descendent of David (!).

The *point* is that the purity codes you refer to in condemning homosexuals are the same codes that condemn David and Jesus, along with Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. Damn...excluded homosexuals have some pretty holy company with them!


Problem is, God didn't even condemn RUTH HERSELF. Because of her faithfulness to Israel and their God (in a time when Israel wasn't themselves fully faithful to God), He rewarded her with a husband (Boaz), a son (Obed) and a share in Abraham's covenant - that is, a role as a link in the geneological chain to the Messiah.

God clearly broke His own rule, showed mercy (for neither the first nor the last time), and gave Ruth a pass on His restriction. Why we would the pass not also apply to her descendents?

St. Paul is summed up in major points:

1) Through Jesus, the Mosaic Law is void.
2) We are no longer bound to the law.
3) Love is the only law.

St. Paul was an evangelist. He had to deal with very closed-minded Jewish Christians, who wished to demand that Gentiles be subject to all the Mosaic Law, including cirumcision and dietary laws. He had to tread on a thin wire trying to get them to listen to him. That is the point of Romans. You just simply refuse to see it that way, because it goes out of your comfort zone.

However, like that passage in Matthew, where Jesus supposedly excuses divorce in cases of adultery, despite the fact that He totally condemns it everywhere else in the gospels, you are playing semantical games. St. Paul, for every time he supposedly upholds the Mosaic Law, he condems it about three times over.


Sorry, Paul doesn't assert that the Mosaic Law is VOID. He asserts that it condemns man ("for all have sinned", Romans 3:23), that it isn't enough for salvation (which isn't the same thing as saying the law is WRONG), and that the legalism of the dietary restrictions are superceded by the laws of love on which it was based.

But things like murder and sex with animals are NOT suddenly okay. Some parts of the law are intact (and expanded - See Matthew 5), some are superceded by the underlying principles. A FAR CRY from voiding the entire law.

Oh, and Jesus didn't condemn absolutely divorce throughout the Gospels:

"And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery." - Matthew 19:9

As far as I found, there are two other verses that mention divorce but don't qualify its status: Mark 10:11 and Luke 16:18. Two out of four ain't bad but isn't total condemnation.

200 B.C. saw the addition of apocryphal Book of Jubilees. Despite the fact that the rest of the Old Testament rightfully states that Sodom and Gomorrah is an issue of violating the custom of hospitality towards strangers, this book, for the first time, makes the belief that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is homosexuality. Hence, there was a stigma to it that would be in the New Testament. However, that doesn't mean that the Book of Jubilees is correct. Once again, we have to look at the culture of the day.

Funny, I thought you asserted earlier that "the concept of a 'homosexual' did not exist until the 1870s." What gives?

Luke wrote to a Greek Christian audience that would have known it to be a gay word. Probably because he didn't want to be supportive of homosexuals, he changed it to "servant" or "slave." Potentially, Matthew could have told the real story, while Luke covered it up with his own biases. But it is theory.

A theory that is also MUCH weaker than the possibility that Matthew and Luke simply used different words that meant the same thing: a servant.

Which I will continue to do. Despite the facts that you wholly reject my beliefs, I respect yours.

Romans 14:14 -- "I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; still, it is unclean for someone who thinks it unclean."

If you insist on binding yourself to the law, then you are bound to it. St. Paul makes no question about it. However, through Jesus, I am redeemed from it, and choose to exercise my right to do so.


Romans 14:14 clearly applies to dietary restrictions. Read the entire chapter, and you will see that the verse means that no FOOD is unclean. Certainly, the verse is probably applicable to other things (clothes, etc.) BUT NOT EVERYTHING.

Surely, you can't say, "I'm redeemed in Christ and free from the law, so I can do anything! As long as I can convince myself it doesn't violate loving my neighbor, I can steal, murder, and have sex with abandon."

And you can't use Romans to justify any and every behavior:

"What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" - Romans 6:15-16

Or, in Today's English Version: "What, then? Shall we sin, because we are not under law but under God's grace? By no means! Surely you know that when you surrender yourselves as slaves to obey someone, you are in fact the slaves of the master you obey—either of sin, which results in death, or of obedience, which results in being put right with God."

Let me guess. Another of Paul's "hooks"? Honestly it appears you're using that "hook" theory as just an excuse to pick and choose what parts of the Pauline epistles you think are true and which can be thrown out. (Using what as a yardstick? YOUR "comfort zone" of what you think Romans says?)


Ultimately, you can believe what you want, but you can't base ANY and EVERY belief on the Bible. It DOES say certain things, and it's wrong to twist it so completely that it says the opposite - to re-form the Book into what you think it SHOULD say. It's wrong to twist it in the following ways:

* Asserting that deeply felt same-sex friendships contradicts the specific plan of heterosexual SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS (or asserting that David and Jonathan are gay on the weakest of evidence).

* Asserting that a summary of the Old Testament Law somehow abolishes that law.

* Asserting that David and Christ were condemned by a geneological law that CLEARLY didn't apply to Ruth, the first person that should have been condemned.

* Asserting that the Gospels wholly reject divorce with one exception, when the case is actually rejecting two out of four times.

* Asserting that Romans 14:14 allows you to do whatever you want because you're free from the law.

I admit I may not have all the answers about what the Bible says, but, melon, it is MORALLY WRONG to twist the Bible this completely.
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Old 02-28-2002, 01:47 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
I stand by my assertion that lifelong heterosexual monogamy is never contradicted Biblically because there is NO indication that the relationships you mention above (Ruth and her MOTHER-IN-LAW, David and Jonathan) are sexual.
Ruth and Naomi were not sexual. David and Jonathan could very well have been. In typical Biblical poetics, they are not going to say, "David and Jonathan had sex." They're more likely to say:

"Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that he was wearing, and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt." - 1 Samuel 17:59

I mean, read the Song of Songs (a.k.a., "Song of Solomon"). Widely agreed to be filled with sexual innuendo, but never once to mention the most banal language describing it.

Most interestingly, this was Saul's reaction to David and Jonathan's relationship:

"Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan. He said to him, 'You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother's nakedness?'" - 1 Samuel 20

An interesting comment made over just a "friendship."

Of course, my point was that God did not condemn same-sex affection in these cases. As usual, the fixation is always on "sex." There is more to being gay or straight than sex.

Quote:
If that's the case, you might as well assert that Christ and His disciples had gay orgies. After all, He had a group of twelve men hanging around Him all the time, eleven of which were faithful to Him (the time of crucifixion nothwithstanding), eleven of which bitterly mourned His death.
You are a real trip. Give me any evidence to indicate that this could be asserted. I've given plenty of evidence as to why a relationship between David and Jonathan could be asserted.

Quote:
And while you're at it, you could assert that Batman and Robin, Luke Skywalker and Han Solo, and Frodo and Samwise were all secret lovers.
By all means, back up your assertion that they could have been more than friends.

Quote:
Returning to your post (I'm adding my own emphasis here)...

Think again:

Romans 13:8-10 -- "Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,' and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, (namely) 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law."

St. Paul makes this very clear. He is for the total abolition of the Mosaic Law, as Jesus redeemed us from it, and any purpose of the Mosaic Law is summed up in the last commandment, "Love one another."


For a guy who apparently knows a lot about other languages (or reads a lot about other people's theories on other languages), you sure make some VERY odd statements about our own. Last time I checked, "summed up" CANNOT mean "total abolition." "Summed up" means "explained and condensed." To say that the ideas of Locke (the social contract, etc.) "sum up" the Constitution does NOT mean that the ideas contradict or abolish the Constitution.

(Honestly I don't see how you can come to that conclusion.)
I've shown it, but because you refuse to see it, you will do anything to support your beliefs. Never mind the several times that the gospels state that the "law and prophets" is "love one another" and the fact that St. Paul states in several places that the law is void, due to the Christ's redemption.

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A quick example (one of MANY):

"Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire." - Matthew 5:21-22

If Christ was ABOLISHING the Mosaic Law, then the conclusion would be, "Hey, it's okay to murder!" That's clearly not the case. The conclusion is, rather, that it's STILL not okay to murder - and it's not okay to be unjustly angry or shout epithets. And the reason that murder is still outlawed and the "lesser acts" became outlawed is that you are to love one another.
Why do you continue to quote from Matthew? How many times must I state that Matthew is written with Jewish Christian bias? How many times must I state that the Church of Jerusalem was destroyed by the Church of Antioch, which was St. Paul's church? How many times are you just going to simply ignore history?

You miss my point yet again! Christ abolished the entire Mosaic Law, but He gave us a new commandment in its place: "Love one another." This isn't anarchy; if you murder your neighbor, you are not loving him. Plain and simple. When you execute a convicted murderer, you are not loving your enemies. Plain and simple.

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And don't think I had to mix Matthew and Paul (i.e., use Romans) to assert that Christ said to love one another:

"Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." - Matthew 22:37-40
"On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Are you really that blind? It says so right here what "the law" is.

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Again, the law and prophets "hang on" or depend on "love one another." They aren't overturned.
One, you are misinterpreting this. This means that "the law and the prophets" are "love one another," not that we have two new commandments!

Two, assuming your interpretation is correct, Matthew, as a gospel for Jewish Christians, is not a reliable source! If you followed that, then I would expect you to follow all the dietary restrictions as well. You are simply picking and choosing out of context to support your beliefs.

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And there's FURTHER proof that loving one another isn't exactly a new, revolutionary idea:

"Thou shalt not avenge, nor bear any grudge against the children of thy people, but thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself: I am the LORD." - Leviticus 19:18

Why, what have here? Leviticus, the most legalistic of the Books of Law, actually commands man to "love thy neighbor as thyself."

(Am I actually suggesting that the Bible might be a consistent work? I guess I AM.)
It isn't consistent. It says to "love your neighbor." Jesus extends it to "love your enemies" as well. St. Paul, the founder of our Christianity, did not believe in Mosaic Law.

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*Sigh* Context is lost again. The Gospel of Matthew is the sole gospel of the Church of Jerusalem, which believed that all Christians must follow the Mosaic Law to the letter. We are descendents of the Church of Antioch, led by St. Paul, and his followers only kept this gospel in the canon as a keepsake for historical context.

However, the other possible explanation is that this is yet another "hook."

Matthew 7:12 - "Do to others whatever you would have them do to you. This is the law and the prophets."

Put this with Matthew 5:17: "Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill."

Jesus played a semantical game. "The law and the prophets" is "love one another," not the Mosaic Law.


AGAIN, Christ is saying that the motivating spirit behind the Mosaic Law is to love another as yourself. He's NOT saying the Old Testament law is wrong - just incomplete without His context.

To suggest that He means that the Old Testament is now worthless is akin to suggesting that "I am the Way" means that Christ is a literal dirt path.
You, once again, are ignorant of history. The followers of St. Paul considered discarding the entire Old Testament, Matthew, and John, along with all other non-Pauline epistles and books. They kept these books only for history and so that references to the Old Testament in the New Testament could be easily found. That is all the Old Testament is meant to be: a reference, not law. Of course, the Reformation comes and Protestantism plays this game of revisionism that we are still fighting.

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And I find amazing that - if Paul and Matthew contradict each other so fully - the verses you mentioned (Romans 13:8-10 and Matthew 7:12) say the same thing. I don't even have to search through the books to show they compliment each other - your own citations of both demonstrate my point.
You completely amaze me...my arguments are lost on you.

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Okay...you want to play smart:

Deuteronomy 23:3 -- "An Ammonite or Moabite shall not enter into the congregation of the LORD; even to their tenth generation shall they not enter into the congregation of the LORD for ever."

This passage excludes David from God, because Ruth is a Moabite.

Nehemiah 13:1 -- "On that day they read in the book of Moses in the audience of the people; and therein was found written, that the Ammonite and the Moabite should not come into the congregation of God for ever."

This passage excludes Jesus from God, as He is a descendent of David (!).

The *point* is that the purity codes you refer to in condemning homosexuals are the same codes that condemn David and Jesus, along with Moses, Aaron, and Miriam. Damn...excluded homosexuals have some pretty holy company with them!


Problem is, God didn't even condemn RUTH HERSELF. Because of her faithfulness to Israel and their God (in a time when Israel wasn't themselves fully faithful to God), He rewarded her with a husband (Boaz), a son (Obed) and a share in Abraham's covenant - that is, a role as a link in the geneological chain to the Messiah.

God clearly broke His own rule, showed mercy (for neither the first nor the last time), and gave Ruth a pass on His restriction. Why we would the pass not also apply to her descendents?
Nehemiah was written after Ruth. Apparently, He changed His mind again. God didn't make these rules! It is called legalism from proud Jewish rabbis. It would be like compiling the tradition of the Catholic Church over the last 2000 years into a book and saying that they are "God's laws," which is exactly what the Church asserted up to Vatican II.

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St. Paul is summed up in major points:

1) Through Jesus, the Mosaic Law is void.
2) We are no longer bound to the law.
3) Love is the only law.

St. Paul was an evangelist. He had to deal with very closed-minded Jewish Christians, who wished to demand that Gentiles be subject to all the Mosaic Law, including cirumcision and dietary laws. He had to tread on a thin wire trying to get them to listen to him. That is the point of Romans. You just simply refuse to see it that way, because it goes out of your comfort zone.

However, like that passage in Matthew, where Jesus supposedly excuses divorce in cases of adultery, despite the fact that He totally condemns it everywhere else in the gospels, you are playing semantical games. St. Paul, for every time he supposedly upholds the Mosaic Law, he condems it about three times over.


Sorry, Paul doesn't assert that the Mosaic Law is VOID. He asserts that it condemns man ("for all have sinned", Romans 3:23), that it isn't enough for salvation (which isn't the same thing as saying the law is WRONG), and that the legalism of the dietary restrictions are superceded by the laws of love on which it was based.
Goddamn it all! You have taken Romans out of context yet again. Early Romans appeals to Jewish Christians. The latter part of Romans appeals to his own sensibilities. And, pray tell, why only "dietary restrictions"? St. Paul was explicitly against circumcision as well.

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But things like murder and sex with animals are NOT suddenly okay. Some parts of the law are intact (and expanded - See Matthew 5), some are superceded by the underlying principles. A FAR CRY from voiding the entire law.
STOP QUOTING MATTHEW. "Murder" and "sex with animals" is a violation of "love one another."

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Oh, and Jesus didn't condemn absolutely divorce throughout the Gospels:

"And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery." - Matthew 19:9

As far as I found, there are two other verses that mention divorce but don't qualify its status: Mark 10:11 and Luke 16:18. Two out of four ain't bad but isn't total condemnation.
You are ignoring everything I've written. The Catholic Bible rightfully states that that passage is INCORRECT. An analyzation of the original language shows that the Catholic Bible is most CORRECT. By saying "except when unlawful," it is a reference to blood mixing (incest).

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200 B.C. saw the addition of apocryphal Book of Jubilees. Despite the fact that the rest of the Old Testament rightfully states that Sodom and Gomorrah is an issue of violating the custom of hospitality towards strangers, this book, for the first time, makes the belief that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is homosexuality. Hence, there was a stigma to it that would be in the New Testament. However, that doesn't mean that the Book of Jubilees is correct. Once again, we have to look at the culture of the day.

Funny, I thought you asserted earlier that "the concept of a 'homosexual' did not exist until the 1870s." What gives?

Luke wrote to a Greek Christian audience that would have known it to be a gay word. Probably because he didn't want to be supportive of homosexuals, he changed it to "servant" or "slave." Potentially, Matthew could have told the real story, while Luke covered it up with his own biases. But it is theory.

A theory that is also MUCH weaker than the possibility that Matthew and Luke simply used different words that meant the same thing: a servant.
Read the Book of Jubilees yourself then. I'm tired of rehashing history to someone who really doesn't give a shit.

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Which I will continue to do. Despite the facts that you wholly reject my beliefs, I respect yours.

Romans 14:14 -- "I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; still, it is unclean for someone who thinks it unclean."

If you insist on binding yourself to the law, then you are bound to it. St. Paul makes no question about it. However, through Jesus, I am redeemed from it, and choose to exercise my right to do so.


Romans 14:14 clearly applies to dietary restrictions. Read the entire chapter, and you will see that the verse means that no FOOD is unclean. Certainly, the verse is probably applicable to other things (clothes, etc.) BUT NOT EVERYTHING.
IT DOES NOT JUST REFER TO DIETARY RESTRICTIONS.

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Surely, you can't say, "I'm redeemed in Christ and free from the law, so I can do anything! As long as I can convince myself it doesn't violate loving my neighbor, I can steal, murder, and have sex with abandon."
You are insane. All three insult your neighbor.

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And you can't use Romans to justify any and every behavior:

"What then? shall we sin, because we are not under the law, but under grace? God forbid. Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?" - Romans 6:15-16
"Law" to St. Paul is "love your neighbor." It is a semantical distinction. By this time, he is bridging the beliefs of the Jewish Christians with the beliefs of the Gentile Christians.

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Or, in Today's English Version: "What, then? Shall we sin, because we are not under law but under God's grace? By no means! Surely you know that when you surrender yourselves as slaves to obey someone, you are in fact the slaves of the master you obey—either of sin, which results in death, or of obedience, which results in being put right with God."
A Protestant Bible is as good as toilet paper in terms of translation accuracy.

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Let me guess. Another of Paul's "hooks"? Honestly it appears you're using that "hook" theory as just an excuse to pick and choose what parts of the Pauline epistles you think are true and which can be thrown out. (Using what as a yardstick? YOUR "comfort zone" of what you think Romans says?)
These epistles were written for specific audiences, not for us.

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Ultimately, you can believe what you want, but you can't base ANY and EVERY belief on the Bible. It DOES say certain things, and it's wrong to twist it so completely that it says the opposite - to re-form the Book into what you think it SHOULD say. It's wrong to twist it in the following ways:

* Asserting that deeply felt same-sex friendships contradicts the specific plan of heterosexual SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS (or asserting that David and Jonathan are gay on the weakest of evidence).

* Asserting that a summary of the Old Testament Law somehow abolishes that law.

* Asserting that David and Christ were condemned by a geneological law that CLEARLY didn't apply to Ruth, the first person that should have been condemned.

* Asserting that the Gospels wholly reject divorce with one exception, when the case is actually rejecting two out of four times.

* Asserting that Romans 14:14 allows you to do whatever you want because you're free from the law.

I admit I may not have all the answers about what the Bible says, but, melon, it is MORALLY WRONG to twist the Bible this completely.
I'm done. You aren't listening. I might as well have spoken to Pharisees. Jesus surely had a handful debating them. And, like the Pharisees, you cling to legalism and fundamentalism.

I'm finished. I want this thread closed. I want us to go back to our mutually assured ignoring each other. If you reply to this post, I will constitute it as harrassment.

I'm finished. I hate these threads with a passion. If anyone ever makes another gay thread, I will request its closing immediately. You have no idea what it is like to be gay, and to assume that any of these passages refer to homosexuality as we know it is making a mountain out of a mole hill.

Luckily, my convictions are close to official Catholic stances. Even they know the Bible cannot refer to homosexuality as we know it, and only condemns it on the basis of tradition from St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. Not to mention the fact that they explicitly condemn fundamentalism, stating that it is putting too much faith into a book that was never meant to be taken literally. The creators of the New Testament canon, which was in the early Catholic Church, did not create it for the intentions of being taken literally, but for guidance. Fundamentalism arose out of a power struggle; a way to control people; a way to support every hatred and war of mankind. The epistles of St. Paul were used to support slavery, were used to keep women subordinate, were used to kill Jews, and are now used to hate homosexuals. We've all been had, and seeing all the hatred brought about by Christianity in the last 2000 years, I can guarantee we're not using the Bible as intended. That is evidence enough to prove that you and your traditional interpretations are, indeed, WRONG.

That's it.

I'm done.

No more.

Period.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 02-28-2002, 02:16 PM   #70
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Originally posted by z edge:
People should be allowed to marry who they want, your heart being the only guiding light.

God loves us all no matter who we are or who we love, if we are good enough for the Supreme Being, then why are we not good enough for ourselves, mere humans???

Not allowing homosexuals the same rights as heterosexuals, IMO is judging them as less than equal.

Judge not lest ye be judged.
What a simple, beautiful, common sense truth. God is love. Where there is love between two people, there is God also. It's self-evident, in my opinion.

And melon, you could not have communicated any more clearly. Some people will just never get it.
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Old 02-28-2002, 02:25 PM   #71
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Now that I'm over my initial anger, I will accept this thread to remain open, as long as my debate with Bubba will not continue. And I will not complain if you continue to respond to my other threads, as long as you do not object to me responding to your threads. I just want our argument here to end. We will never agree, due to us coming from two completely different schools of thought on Christianity, and I think we should just leave it at that.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 02-28-2002, 05:33 PM   #72
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This is not a criticism, but more a point of curiosity.
Why must these threads always turn to religion and Christianity?
I know it seems to be very important in proving your points about sexuality but it always ends up this way. I know all threads in this forum usually divert elsewhere but it always seeems to be that someone will turn it into a religious debate and I don't understand why.
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Old 02-28-2002, 05:46 PM   #73
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Well, unfortunately, it is still a major issue of contention in America, and all on religious bases. I loved the U.K. It was like liberation. The range of tolerance there was just fantastic. People were still free to disagree, but no one's rights were infringed just to placate religions.

Anyway, I think I'm gonna lay low in this forum for a while. Things need to cool off, and people are probably tired of me anyway. I'll be back, nonetheless, in due time.

Feel free to comment on this thread, but I won't be replying.

Melon

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"He had lived through an age when men and women with energy and ruthlessness but without much ability or persistence excelled. And even though most of them had gone under, their ignorance had confused Roy, making him wonder whether the things he had striven to learn, and thought of as 'culture,' were irrelevant. Everything was supposed to be the same: commercials, Beethoven's late quartets, pop records, shopfronts, Freud, multi-coloured hair. Greatness, comparison, value, depth: gone, gone, gone. Anything could give some pleasure; he saw that. But not everything provided the sustenance of a deeper understanding." - Hanif Kureishi, Love in a Blue Time
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Old 02-28-2002, 08:22 PM   #74
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I believe we should agree to disagree, but we should also be able to continue this discussion in a civilized manner. Either way, you have made remarks that I must be allowed to address.

Before I do, I have two observations that need to be expressed:


1. Not all Biblical discussions are created equal.

I can imagine I've created the impression in some that I will debate the Biblical validity of every theological question this fervently. That's not the case. There are minor debates and their are serious arguments.

One such minor debate is the question of transubstantiation, whether Christ meant that the bread and wine of the Last Supper were literally His body and blood, as the Roman Catholic Church contends. There is a great deal of support for the belief, namely the preponderance of inexplicable Biblical miracles. Transubstantiation does seem hard to comprehend, but, even in its proper context, the Bible doesn't discount such phenomena:

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." - Isiah 55:9.

In other words, the Lord works in mysterious ways.

Many Protestants believe that Christ may not have been necessarily literal, since He was shown to be fond of metaphors:

"Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men." - Matthew 5:13.

Basically, the arguments are well reasoned and are Biblically well-founded; that is, they the inferred meanings of the verses they cite hold up to local context and holistically - global Biblical context.

Beyond that, it doesn't much matter, ultimatley, whether transubstantiation occurs. We are simply to eat and drink in remembrance of Him.

There are other arguments, though.

Some civil rights leaders contend that Christ was black, using Revelation 1:15 as a source:

"And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters."

His feet were like brass, ergo, He's black.

This argument isn't a singularly important one, but it is exceptional in how fully it ignores the rest of the Bible. The local context, the other verses of Revelation 1, reveal that this is a vision of Christ showing a glimpse of His divine glory, so His earthly race cannot be inferred. Further, the Gospels establish through geneologies and the scornful title placed on the cross (KING OF THE JEWS) establish that Christ was ethnically Hebrew and religiously Jewish.

I will fight arguments like this one, silly as it is, because it is such an obvious abuse and manipulation of the Word of God; it appears to be the work of someone trying desperately to use the Bible to prove his point rather than take the Bible for what it is.

And I will also fight arguments that suggest the Bible condones homosexuality. Most of these arguments strike me as just as unfounded as the argument above, and the probable result of biased interpretation in order to produce a desired result. Beyond that, the question of homosexuality's morality is a serious one, far more serious than transubstantiation.


2. The immorality of homosexuality should not alter one's behavior towards homosexuals.

I don't if I've emphasized this point enough, so I will elaborate: homosexuality, even if it is a sin, does not encroach on the rights of others, and should remain legal and receive legal recognition equivalent to marriage.

I also have friends - friends, not just acquaintances - who are either homosexual or bisexual. I also have friends who debauch themselves, getting drunk every weekend, and friends who occasionally gamble. I myself have problems controlling my anger and trusting God. Nobody's perfect. But when I'm hungry, I feed myself; cold, I put on a jacket. Imperfect as I am, I still care for myself. Further my friends' sinful behavior doesn't affect me, so I treat my gambling and drinking friends as good friends. And I treat my gay friends the same way - impartially.

That is what is meant by "loving the sinner if you hate the sin", what is meant by loving thy neighbor. But, still, when the question is asked, I follow my conscience and defend my belief that homosexuality is against the perfect plan of God and is therefore a sin.


Now, on to your points, briefly.

Quote:
Ruth and Naomi were not sexual. David and Jonathan could very well have been. In typical Biblical poetics, they are not going to say, "David and Jonathan had sex." They're more likely to say:

"Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that he was wearing, and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt." - 1 Samuel 17:59

I mean, read the Song of Songs (a.k.a., "Song of Solomon"). Widely agreed to be filled with sexual innuendo, but never once to mention the most banal language describing it.
It appears that this verse is placed differently in whatever translation you're using - I found the verse in 1 Sam 18:4.

That said, look at 1 Samuel 17:57-58 and 18:1-3. The context is that David is presented before King Saul - and the scene never explicitly moves to the privacy of Jonathan's chambers, etc. So Jonathan probably did this as a public display before his father the king, meaning that it was probably a militaristic ritual of handing over one's weapons as a sign of friendship - not some homosexual striptease.

And the comparison of this one, possibly misconstrued verse to the whole of Song of Soloman is comparing apples and oranges. That book mentions kissing as early as 1:2 and a shared bed in 1:16; the context and meaning is clearly more sexual.

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Most interestingly, this was Saul's reaction to David and Jonathan's relationship:

"Then Saul's anger was kindled against Jonathan. He said to him, 'You son of a perverse, rebellious woman! Do I not know that you have chosen the son of Jesse to your own shame, and to the shame of your mother's nakedness?'" - 1 Samuel 20

An interesting comment made over just a "friendship."

Of course, my point was that God did not condemn same-sex affection in these cases. As usual, the fixation is always on "sex." There is more to being gay or straight than sex.
Again, if you actually read the context, 18:28 - 20:29, you would see that this is what happened, in a nutshell: Saul feared David's success as a leader and plotted to kill him. Jonathan told David, and David hid. In the verse preceding your verse, Jonathan protected him by lying to Saul about his whereabouts, and that is why Saul got so upset. Saul's own son chose his adversary over him, and that context provides a much more reasonable explanation for his insults.

Truly, not every homosexual relationship is strictly carnal, but nor is every close same-sex friendship based on homosexuality. Given the state of the world, I would say the assumption should be a deeply felt heterosexual friendship; the burden of proof is to establish that it was something else.

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You are a real trip. Give me any evidence to indicate that this could be asserted. I've given plenty of evidence as to why a relationship between David and Jonathan could be asserted.


I'm not saying there is evidence supporting homosexuality among the Disciples, the Dynamic Duo, or the hobbits. I'm not asserting that the case for the examples I mentioned is strong - but that yours is weak, that your evidence is faulty. Given the context I provide tends your evidence away from homosexuality, I think I can stand by my assertion.

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Why do you continue to quote from Matthew? How many times must I state that Matthew is written with Jewish Christian bias? How many times must I state that the Church of Jerusalem was destroyed by the Church of Antioch, which was St. Paul's church? How many times are you just going to simply ignore history?
There are several reasons I continually quote Matthew.

* First, I believe the Sermon on the Mount, found most completely in Matthew 5-7, is the single most important lecture on the Christian lifestyle. Spiritually, the center of existence is at Golgotha; in terms of doctrine, the center is the Sermon.

* Second, an online search for Gospel verses relating to one issue or another (see http://bible.crosswalk.com/ ) generates results in chronological order; Matthew is the first book listed. As an example, the search for the verses about the sign on the cross produced results from all four gospels: Matthew 27:29, Mark 15:26, Luke 23:38, and John 19:19. Generally, I'd quote Matthew and move on, believing the verse to be sufficient.

* Third, the reason I believe that quoting Matthew is often sufficient is that I honestly believe that the Bible is divinely guided. The authors were divinely inspired to write what they did, and the Apostles and biblical scholars were divinely inspired to keep what they kept and discard what they did, to separate the wheat from the chaff. You say that history shows Paul's followers considered discarding most of the Bible; that may be true, but history also shows that these books persisted. Certainly, there is room for error, and we should strive to find the most accurate texts and translate them most accurately. But it rightfully takes overwhelming evidence to discount a book of the Bible as apocryphal.

* Fourth, you provide no such overwhelming evidence. You remind me of its "Jewish Christian bias", but all four gospels have their original audiences, and that's simply not enough to discard any of them. You tell me that its supporters, the legalistic Church of Jerusalem, was "destroyed" by the Church of Antioch; but I contend that the three-chapter Sermon on the Mount preached against the legalism that apparently led to their ruin, thus divorcing the book from the church's demise. You tell me that the Church of Antioch kept the book as a mere keepsake, but the fact they kept the book suggests its authenticity despite the church's disagreements with the book.

* Finally, I continue to quote Matthew because the debate is whether homosexuality is Biblically sanctioned. Whatever worth the Bible has, it is what it is. For simplicity's sake, I suggest we limit ourselves to the Protestant Bible, as Catholics have books Protestants consider apocrypha, but not vice versa; the Protestant Bible is a subset of the Catholic. But taking that as a given, I do not think we can argue whether other books belong and still argue over Biblical principles. It's one thing to debate transcripts, translations, and context; another thing entirely to debate whether Matthew shouldn't count.

Seriously, you've argued that Paul's writing contains many "hooks" which obscures his "original intent." You've also clearly argued against the Gospel of Matthew, and later in this most recent long post, you say the following:

The followers of St. Paul considered discarding the entire Old Testament, Matthew, and John, along with all other non-Pauline epistles and books. They kept these books only for history and so that references to the Old Testament in the New Testament could be easily found. That is all the Old Testament is meant to be: a reference, not law. Of course, the Reformation comes and Protestantism plays this game of revisionism that we are still fighting. (My emphasis added.)

It seems you are certainly suggesting that the Old Testament should also be discarded with Matthew, and the possibility looms that you would make a case for dropping John, Acts, the general epistles, and Revelation.

Out of sixty-six books in the Bible, that leaves only fifteen books: Mark, Luke, and an unspecified parts of the Pauline Epistles. To be fair, you could mean sixteen if you count Acts, since it appears to be a continuation of Luke. But either way, if you cut out some fifty books from the Bible, you're no longer debating the Bible's position on anything; pick out parts of the Bible long enough, and you can probably prove anything you wanted.

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You miss my point yet again! Christ abolished the entire Mosaic Law, but He gave us a new commandment in its place: "Love one another." This isn't anarchy; if you murder your neighbor, you are not loving him. Plain and simple. When you execute a convicted murderer, you are not loving your enemies. Plain and simple.
Hopefully, this will be the last need clarification on why I think the Mosaic law is not wholly abolished.

I'll abstain from quoting Matthew 22:33-37 again, but the crux of the verses is this: The two greatest commandments are to love God completely and to love your neighbor as yourself. Loving thy neighbor is difficult, but relatively straightforward: murder is forbidden, for example, though I don't think the case against capital punishment is quite this "plain and simple."

The more serious issue is how to love God. It is surely more than merely loving your neighbor, as Christ gave them as two separate commandments, and I believe it comes down to obeying His will. And one finds what His will is through prayer, church (see Proverbs 27:17, "As iron sharpens iron"), and through scripture. I believe the Old Testament is valid scripture for finding the will of God; even if we no longer follow the letter of the old law, we can still derive its meaning. Thus, even if the letter of the law is "abolished", its spirit is fulfilled.

And, as I've said time and again, the entire Bible, Old Testament and New, points to one conclusion: the will of God is that man is to live one of two lives, a heterosexual, monogamous marriage or total chastity.

Moving on through your post, past a couple more arguments against Matthew and the Mosaic law...

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It isn't consistent. It says to "love your neighbor." Jesus extends it to "love your enemies" as well. St. Paul, the founder of our Christianity, did not believe in Mosaic Law.
It is consistent in that the New Testament isn't overturning the Old Testament, at least here. Nowhere in the Old Testament is commanded to "hate your enemies," and I defy you prove otherwise.

I believe honestly, the so-called expansion of the original law is due to Jewish legalism. I believe the original intent of the old "love thy neighbor" is to love everyone. The priests minimalized the law's scope to physical neighbors, and Christ restored it to its original full scope.

It's like a parent telling a child, "You can't eat a cookie because it will spoil your appetite," and the child then eats a candy bar and claims innocence because it's not literally a cookie. The parent then has to tell the child to not eat anything before dinner, but as the child matures he realizes "don't eat a cookie before dinner" really prohibited eating anything before shortly before any meal.

Moving on past the assertion that more than half the Bible should be ignored, an assertion I've already addressed...

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Nehemiah was written after Ruth. Apparently, He changed His mind again. God didn't make these rules! It is called legalism from proud Jewish rabbis. It would be like compiling the tradition of the Catholic Church over the last 2000 years into a book and saying that they are "God's laws," which is exactly what the Church asserted up to Vatican II.
The explanation there is simple. Deuteronomy established God's curse against Ruth's people. Ruth was waived from that curse because of her faithfulness to God. Nehemiah simply confirms the mass condemnation, Ruth notwithstanding. I see no difficulty here.

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Goddamn it all! You have taken Romans out of context yet again. Early Romans appeals to Jewish Christians. The latter part of Romans appeals to his own sensibilities. And, pray tell, why only "dietary restrictions"? St. Paul was explicitly against circumcision as well.
Nice language. Good thing you think the Mosaic Law is dead, though I wonder how much love that language shows God.

This is another assertion that parts of Romans is to be ignored, but I do wish to address the dietary restrictions.

I quote myself, from an earlier post in this thread, since you apparently missed it the first time:

Certainly, the verse is probably applicable to other things (clothes, etc.) BUT NOT EVERYTHING.

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STOP QUOTING MATTHEW. "Murder" and "sex with animals" is a violation of "love one another."
Actually, as long as the animal is not harmed physically or psychologically, I don't see how "love one another" applies. I'd love to hear any clarification you can make.

And, if I haven't already made it clear, I will continue to quote Matthew.

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You are ignoring everything I've written. The Catholic Bible rightfully states that that passage is INCORRECT. An analyzation of the original language shows that the Catholic Bible is most CORRECT. By saying "except when unlawful," it is a reference to blood mixing (incest).
Either way, it still proves my point. Regardless of what exceptions it makes, it does make an exception to divorce, and that fact discounts your assertion that Christ "totally condemns it everywhere else in the gospels." A minor point, I know.

Moving on past the Book of Jubilees comment...

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IT DOES NOT JUST REFER TO DIETARY RESTRICTIONS.


I agree. In fact, I agreed in the paragraph you quoted: "Certainly, the verse is probably applicable to other things (clothes, etc.) BUT NOT EVERYTHING." Again, the verse is probably applicable to other things.

It seems like I'm not alone in ignoring what the other says.

Moving on past the strange assertion that promiscuity insults one's neighbor and another blurring of the edges of Romans...

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A Protestant Bible is as good as toilet paper in terms of translation accuracy.


This strikes me as a singular example of outright prejudice. There are many Protestant translations of the Bible, from King James to "The Message"; many translate from original texts, and many translate from the most accurate manuscripts possible. To say that they are all "as good as toilet paper" is baseless and insulting.

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These epistles were written for specific audiences, not for us.
The validity of that assertion depends heavily on the absence of divine intervention. If one believes these texts were inspired by an omnipotent and omniscient Creator, it is possible that they were then written for all people and all times, despite the author's original audience.

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I'm done. You aren't listening. I might as well have spoken to Pharisees. Jesus surely had a handful debating them. And, like the Pharisees, you cling to legalism and fundamentalism.
It's a bit harsh, I believe, to compare me to the Pharisees, particularly when I have asserted that the Old Testament should be perhaps followed in spirit only and not by the letter; particularly when I merely think homosexuality is wrong because of the plan of marriage implied throughout the Bible, and not because of the wording of some obscure book in Leviticus.

I'm going to do the right thing and assume that this is your anger talking. But if you're serious about the comparison, I too can make comparisons, and I have one with your name on it.

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Luckily, my convictions are close to official Catholic stances. Even they know the Bible cannot refer to homosexuality as we know it, and only condemns it on the basis of tradition from St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. Not to mention the fact that they explicitly condemn fundamentalism, stating that it is putting too much faith into a book that was never meant to be taken literally. The creators of the New Testament canon, which was in the early Catholic Church, did not create it for the intentions of being taken literally, but for guidance. Fundamentalism arose out of a power struggle; a way to control people; a way to support every hatred and war of mankind. The epistles of St. Paul were used to support slavery, were used to keep women subordinate, were used to kill Jews, and are now used to hate homosexuals. We've all been had, and seeing all the hatred brought about by Christianity in the last 2000 years, I can guarantee we're not using the Bible as intended. That is evidence enough to prove that you and your traditional interpretations are, indeed, WRONG.
Okay, the Catholic Church condemns homosexuality because of two saints, and they (the church? the saints?) condemn fundamentalism. It doesn't mean they're right. You cannot simply go from the Catholics believe the books aren't meant to be taken literally to the assertion that they REALLY aren't to be taken that way, that the authors "did not create it for the intentions of being taken literally, but for guidance."

The obvious question there is, how far? Are we still to believe that Christ is the resurrected Son of God? Or that at least he was in fact crucified? Or that he actually existed? And if the Bible's one giant storybook, why have any hope for the hereafter?

Further, many Protestants see the authority of the Pope, even over the Bible itself, as a power play on the part of the Church. So it's not obvious that fundamentalism is to blame for the ills caused by Christianity.

Fact is, many of the problems caused by Christianity were the result of fundamentalism, but not only taking the Word of God at face value, but misunderstanding what it is saying. Many took Paul literally and approved slavery, true enough. But I take Paul at his word and condemn the institution.

If the whole world took the Bible as the message from God to us and framed the entire work under such key principles as loving God and loving your neighbors, and took that message to heart, we would have paradise on earth. Yes, the Crusaders made key mistakes, but that doesn't disqualify the process in toto, nor is it "evidence enough to prove that you and your traditional interpretations are, indeed, WRONG."

Now that I have had the opportunity to defend my beliefs, I am satisfied. Unless you wish to reply, this discussion is over.
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Old 02-28-2002, 11:09 PM   #75
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One more thing, actually. This is by no means an attempt to instigate more trouble - just an attempt to clarify the concluding paragraphs of my last post:

Quote:
Originally posted by Achtung Bubba:
Fact is, many of the problems caused by Christianity were the result of fundamentalism, but not only taking the Word of God at face value, but misunderstanding what it is saying. Many took Paul literally and approved slavery, true enough. But I take Paul at his word and condemn the institution.

If the whole world took the Bible as the message from God to us and framed the entire work under such key principles as loving God and loving your neighbors, and took that message to heart, we would have paradise on earth. Yes, the Crusaders made key mistakes, but that doesn't disqualify the process in toto, nor is it "evidence enough to prove that you and your traditional interpretations are, indeed, WRONG."
I've been thinking, and I believe I have an appropriate analogy, one involving pecan pie.

(And if there's anything I like more than analogies, it's pecan pie.)

Let's say a long-established order of cooks proclaim they have a recipe for pecan pie - a recipe handed to them by the legendary Master Chef, a chef that some people believe doesn't actually exist.

Here's the recipe:

1 3/4 cups white sugar
1/4 cup dark corn syrup
1/4 cup butter
1 tablespoon cold water
2 teaspoons cornstarch
3 eggs, beaten
1 1/4 cups chopped pecans
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch single crust pie

Directions
1 Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
2 In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, butter, water and cornstarch. Bring to a full boil and remove from heat.
3 Gradually beat together the cooked syrup mixture and eggs. Stir in pecans, salt and vanilla.
4 Pour into pie shell and bake for 45 to 50 minutes.


(Actual recipe taken from AllRecipes.com.)

Now, there are three amateur cooks who see this recipe, and all three attempt to cook themselves a pie.

The first person believes that the Master Chef does exist, and that he did hand down the recipe in its current form, more or less. He follows the recipe to the letter, cooks the pie, and it comes out TERRIBLY.

What happened? Well, he added three beatens eggs but didn't leave out the shells.

(After all, the recipe never said to not use the eggshells.)

He put the eggs in a bowl and beat them, shells and all, before adding them to the mix. The pie ended up having eggshell pieces throughout, and was quite inedible.

The second amateur cook didn't believe in the Master Chef - or at least, didn't think the recipe was his handiwork. He believes that the order's recipe was never meant to be taken literally, that it was really just guidance for amateur cooks. He tried his hand at the recipe but altered it as he saw fit; he was smart enough not to use the eggshells, and he cooked the pie for 30 minutes at 250 degrees, rather than cooking it for 45 minutes at 350.

The end result was a pie that was MUCH better than the first person's pie, but it wasn't perfect. Cooking it a lower temperture for less time caused it to be undercooked - the pie was a little runny.

Now, the third amateur cook was a lot like the first cook in that he believed the recipe was more or less the actual recipe handed down by the Master Chef. But while he took the recipe at face value, he did so thoughtfully. He recognized that the recipe never really implied that using the eggshells were a good idea, so he didn't use them. But he also followed the recipe verbatim, cooking the pie at the prescribed temperature for the prescribed time.

The result? A PERFECT pecan pie.


I hope you can appreciate what the analogy is meant to represent.

The order of cooks is the Christian church (a conservative Protestant church, if melon is right about the position of the Catholic Church).

The recipe the order releases is the Bible, a "recipe" for salvation and living.

The Master Chef they say wrote it is analogous to God, who the church claims divinely inspired the Bible and brought about its existence as a more-or-less perfect document of God's message.

The first amateur cook, the one who put in eggshells, is like the earlier fundamentalist Christians who took the Bible at face value but interpreted it to actually endorse such wrong ideas as slavery. (I believe they misinterpreted the Bible on that issue.) The results were atrocious.

The second cook, the one who undercooked the pie, is analogous to those who take the position that the Bible is not meant for anything more than guidance (e.g., close to melon's position). The cook reasons his way through his existence and takes the entire Bible with a huge grain of salt. The results appear to be much better than that of the older fundamentalist.

The third cook is hopefully analgous to people like me, those who treat the Bible as the genuine Word of God, more-or-less free from error. But hopefully, we temper the entire work with a holistic approach; we consider each part in the context of the whole work and apply Christ's commands to the Old Testament to infer the full intent of God's law. The hope is that the results (in both this world and the next) are far better than anything mankind has ever hoped to experience.

My point is this: the earlier fundamentalists may have done far worse than the skeptics, but I believe you cannot lay the blame at their faith in the Bible as the Word of God. I believe the Bible is pretty much perfect; the mistake lies in their interpretation.

Further, I believe if one could fully and perfectly understand the Bible, one would be capable of living perfectly within God's will. And it is my hope that those who still believe the Bible is the genuine message from God Almighty will get closer to its true meaning than our predecessors.

Either way, it's not a foregone conclusion that the mistakes of the past are "evidence enough to prove that ... traditional interpretations are, indeed, WRONG."

I'll readily grant that my argument relies on the HUGE assumption that the Bible is the divinely inspired Word of God, but that is not a matter of proof or disproof. It's a matter of faith.

[This message has been edited by Achtung Bubba (edited 02-28-2002).]
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