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Old 11-06-2006, 11:31 PM   #211
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Originally posted by phillyfan26
I have to agree that many people go to church just because that's what they think is required, and not much else. Several don't even go to church regularly, but still think they do enough.

But, what if I said, "I'm a Christian because I believe in God, I believe in what he teaches, and I do my best to follow his message and try to live as he teaches us?" Many do not know the phrase "born again."
Maybe some people don't know the phrase "born again" (although it is used in the Bible, including by Christ himself). That is why, as I told BVS, If the person tells me he is "born again", I take him at his word that he is a Christian. Or if he uses a description that is the same as "being born again", without using the actual term, I take him at his word. If told me you were "saved", or that you had received Christ as your Lord and Savior because you believe that He is the Son of God who died on the cross to save you from your sins and rose again in 3 days, I would accept that you were a Christian.

However, if you did say "I'm a Christian because I believe in God, I believe in what he teaches, and I do my best to follow his message and try to live as he teaches us", I would ask you "What do you believe about Jesus?" and then "Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus?"

Jesus, and what he did for us on the cross, and why he did it, is the foundation of Christianity. If Jesus were not the Son Of God who died on a cross to save us from our sins, then he was nothing more than a good man who taught good things. And there have been plenty of good men who have taught good things in history, and none are worth worshipping. Christianty's cornerstone is the person of Jesus Christ. His teachings are a reflection of Him, and living by those teachings is good, but living by those teachings is not what saves a man. The only thing that saves a man is a personal relationship with the one who died on the cross and rose again.
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Old 11-07-2006, 12:20 AM   #212
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Originally posted by AEON
Paul is not referring to a "single sex act" - but an ongoing morality issue within the Corinthian church:

(1 Corinthians 6:9-20)

9Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders 10nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. 11And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
Ah yes. The passage I rip into pieces each time you or any other social conservative brings it up. And each time, it's obvious you don't like my answer.

But I'll say it again.

I find it most interesting that your translation now translates "arsenokoitai" as "male prostitutes." You know, when I first started writing about this here six years ago, it wasn't commonly translated that way. I had to argue to death that it referred to "male temple prostitutes." And now I see that modern translations have come, at least, halfway to where I said it was. It should be fully translated to "male temple prostitutes," because it is a blatant reference to just that: a Greco-Roman cult practice.

However, I see that "malakos" is just as mistranslated as ever. It is a gross mistranslation to say that that word represents "homosexual offenders." Having furthered my research since I last wrote about this term, "malakos" was a generic term against all that was feminine. The context that is lost is that "malakos" was a preoccupation of Greek philosophy during the time of St. Paul. A "malakos," essentially, was a Greco-Roman "pretty boy," who would dress and act in a certain way to seduce people, married or otherwise, and was primarily heterosexual in nature. In other words, a "malakos" is a materialistic "man whore." If St. Paul had wished to specifically condemn homosexuality, he had the more specific term, "kinaedos."

It should be noted that "malakos" was commonly translated as "effeminate" from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. It's kind of funny that they were mostly on the mark for all these centuries, even if all the context was lost in the annals of time.

So, let's see. A prohibition against Greco-Roman temple cult practices and a uniquely Greco-Roman concept of "malakos." And written for the people of Corinth, which is part of modern-day Greece? Who'd have guessed that Paul would address to the Corinthians uniquely Greek concerns?

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[B]Sexual Immorality
12"Everything is permissible for me"—but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"—but I will not be mastered by anything. 13"Food for the stomach and the stomach for food"—but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. 14By his power God raised the Lord from the dead, and he will raise us also. 15Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! 16Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, "The two will become one flesh." 17But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

18Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. 19Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body."
This has nothing to do with the topic at hand, and certainly addresses a myriad of heterosexual practices. And, clearly, it does not address the concept of same-sex love in the slightest.

I'd agree that prostitution would be an offense against chastity in any instance.

Quote:
And also, we finally come down to the basic idea that ALL sex (imagined or indulged) outside of marriage is a sin. Since marriage is defined in the Bible as between One Man and One Woman - homosexual sex is automatically considered a sin.
The concept of marriage is not fixed. During the time of Jesus up to the late 19th century / early 20th century, marriage was almost completely about property. "Love" was not even part of the picture. I believe the evolution of the concept of love and marriage is part of the continuing revelation of the Holy Spirit. I don't believe that morality ended 2,000 years ago to conveniently cement 2,000 year old customs into eternal law.

That aside, I never said you had to believe that either. But if there's room for non-Christian marriages in this world--and there clearly are--then there's room for gay marriage. It's a matter of personal, civil, and religious freedom.

But I've gotten a bit ahead of myself. I can't even get you to admit that gay people exist, let alone talk about gay marriage. One step at a time, right?
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Old 11-07-2006, 01:25 AM   #213
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Originally posted by Ormus


Ah yes. The passage I rip into pieces each time you or any other social conservative brings it up. And each time, it's obvious you don't like my answer.

But I'll say it again.

I find it most interesting that your translation now translates "arsenokoitai" as "male prostitutes." You know, when I first started writing about this here six years ago, it wasn't commonly translated that way.
Yes, maybe I should throw out all of the works from those with Phd’s in Greek and Theology. After all, you have been studying this (objectively I’m sure) for six whole years. I must be crazy to think they may know a thing or two about their field!


Quote:
Originally posted by Ormus



I had to argue to death that it referred to "male temple prostitutes." And now I see that modern translations have come, at least, halfway to where I said it was
About the only commonly accepted translation that has come out in the last few years is The Message – and that is a paraphrase, not meant for serious study.

Quote:
Originally posted by Ormus


However, I see that "malakos" is just as mistranslated as ever. It is a gross mistranslation to say that that word represents "homosexual offenders." Having furthered my research since I last wrote about this term, "malakos" was a generic term against all that was feminine.
Sources please. Every Greek resource I own contradicts your implication. Is it possible that your own desire for this to be wrong is perhaps clouded your study? Perhaps?


Quote:
Originally posted by Ormus


The context that is lost is that "malakos" was a preoccupation of Greek philosophy during the time of St. Paul. A "malakos," essentially, was a Greco-Roman "pretty boy," who would dress and act in a certain way to seduce people, married or otherwise, and was primarily heterosexual in nature. In other words, a "malakos" is a materialistic "man whore." If St. Paul had wished to specifically condemn homosexuality, he had the more specific term, "kinaedos."
Sources. I can only seem to find homosexual oriented sites that tell you how to argue with evangelical Christians. To think that Paul would ONLY condemn feminine heterosexuals is ridiculous.

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Originally posted by Ormus

It should be noted that "malakos" was commonly translated as "effeminate" from the sixteenth to the twentieth centuries. It's kind of funny that they were mostly on the mark for all these centuries, even if all the context was lost in the annals of time.
The original Greek leaves no mystery. Paul knew what he was referring to. (Kittel)

Quote:
Originally posted by Ormus


So, let's see. A prohibition against Greco-Roman temple cult practices and a uniquely Greco-Roman concept of "malakos." And written for the people of Corinth, which is part of modern-day Greece? Who'd have guessed that Paul would address to the Corinthians uniquely Greek concerns?
Corinth was infamous in the ancient world for its sexual debauchery. No different than some cities we now have in America. What is your point?

Quote:
Originally posted by Ormus



This has nothing to do with the topic at hand, and certainly addresses a myriad of heterosexual practices. And, clearly, it does not address the concept of same-sex love in the slightest.
We are not talking about same-sex love. We are talking about same-sex-sex.

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Originally posted by Ormus


I'd agree that prostitution would be an offense against chastity in any instance.

Why?

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Originally posted by Ormus

The concept of marriage is not fixed. During the time of Jesus up to the late 19th century / early 20th century, marriage was almost completely about property. "Love" was not even part of the picture.
Have you actually read the Bible? It is FILLED with love stories...

Quote:
Originally posted by Ormus


I believe the evolution of the concept of love and marriage is part of the continuing revelation of the Holy Spirit. I don't believe that morality ended 2,000 years ago to conveniently cement 2,000 year old customs into eternal law.
Your personal feelings? Is there Scriptural evidence for this?



Quote:
Originally posted by Ormus

That aside, I never said you had to believe that either. But if there's room for non-Christian marriages in this world--and there clearly are--then there's room for gay marriage. It's a matter of personal, civil, and religious freedom.

But I've gotten a bit ahead of myself. I can't even get you to admit that gay people exist, let alone talk about gay marriage. One step at a time, right?
I am certainly aware that gay people exist. I am certainly aware that gay people can have a relationship with Christ. But I am also aware, as a third year seminary student – that your interpretation of Scripture is not accepted by any other groups other than the activist fringes.

I certainly think you WANT these verses to be as you have interpreted them – but that doesn’t make them true. You are casting off opinions of men that have dedicated their ENTIRE adult lives to interpreting Greek as if they are mere bigots with an agenda. That is simply not honest.
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Old 11-07-2006, 01:58 AM   #214
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Originally posted by Ormus


Ah yes. The passage I rip into pieces each time you or any other social conservative brings it up. And each time, it's obvious you don't like my answer.

But I'll say it again.

I find it most interesting that your translation now translates "arsenokoitai" as "male prostitutes." You know, when I first started writing about this here six years ago, it wasn't commonly translated that way. I had to argue to death that it referred to "male temple prostitutes." And now I see that modern translations have come, at least, halfway to where I said it was. It should be fully translated to "male temple prostitutes," because it is a blatant reference to just that: a Greco-Roman cult practice.



arsenokoitēs – this Greek word essentially breaks down simply to “male” and “intercourse.”

And if there is any doubt about Paul’s attitude about homosexual sex – one only needs to refer to his Jewish background and their abhorrence of such.

Sources:

The First Epistle to the Corinthians – Gordon D. Fee
Kittel’s Theological Dictionary – Gerhard Kittel
Dictionary of Biblical Languages With Semantic Domains : Greek (New Testament): 780
A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature
An Intermediate Greek-English Lexicon
Enhanced Strong's Lexicon: 733
New American Standard Hebrew-Aramaic and Greek Dictionaries : Updated Edition: 733a


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Old 11-07-2006, 07:30 AM   #215
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Why are so many Christians so completely obsessed with gay sex?
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Old 11-07-2006, 08:01 AM   #216
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Originally posted by AEON
arsenokoitēs – this Greek word essentially breaks down simply to “male” and “intercourse.”
And all of those sources are wrong. All those "sources" are merely doing is quoting from the traditional interpretation.

"Arsenokoites" is an obscure, archaic word that has exactly one instance in the New Testament. Your translation is hardly conclusive, if only because there's so few instances of it. However, of the two other instances of the word known off-hand, the Sibylline Oracle and the Gnostic Acts of John, the word is used in an "economic sin" instance. This interpretation gets added credence when, later in both texts, there's blatant sections on "sexual sins" and "arsenokoitai" is nowhere to be found in either!

If "malakos" refers to a Greco-Roman "heterosexual pretty boy man whore"--in other words, an obsolete concept with absolutely no modern equivalent--it also stands to reason that "arsenokoitai" refers to something that equally doesn't correspond to anything in the modern era. The practice of "generalizing" obsolete practices into modern equivalents is dishonest and a linguistic nightmare.

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The term occurs in a list of what we might call "economic sins," actions related to economic injustice or exploitation: accepting gifts from unjust sources, extortion, withholding wages, oppressing the poor. "Stealing seeds" probably refers to the hoarding of grain; in the ancient world, the poor often accused the rich of withholding grain from the market as a price-fixing strategy. I would argue that other sins here mentioned that have no necessary economic connotation probably do here. Thus the references to speech and keeping secrets may connote the use of information for unjust gain, like fraud, extortion, or blackmail; and "murder" here may hint at motivations of economic gain, recalling, for example, the murder of Naboth by Jezebel (1 Kings 21). In any case, no other term in the section refers to sex. Indeed, nothing in the context (including what precedes and follows this quotation) suggests that a sexual action in general is being referred to at all. If we take the context as indicating the meaning, we should assume that arsenokoitein here refers to some kind of economic exploitation, probably by sexual means: rape or sex by economic coercion, prostitution, pimping, or something of the sort.
Indeed, if it really did refer to "all homosexuality," then the 1874 creation of the concept and word "homosexuality" would hardly have been as contentious and controversial as it was. The traditional interpretation just plain does not add up.

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And if there is any doubt about Paul’s attitude about homosexual sex – one only needs to refer to his Jewish background and their abhorrence of such.
That argument makes absolutely no sense. Paul was the father of Gentile Christianity, who spent his entire ministry against Jewish Christianity. It tends to tell me that, in spite of his Jewish background, he was certainly Jewish no longer.
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Old 11-07-2006, 08:34 AM   #217
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Originally posted by AEON
Yes, maybe I should throw out all of the works from those with Phd’s in Greek and Theology. After all, you have been studying this (objectively I’m sure) for six whole years. I must be crazy to think they may know a thing or two about their field!
Where did they get their Ph.D's from? What religion are these theologians? My problem with a lot of this, particularly amongst evangelical Protestant theologians, is that nearly all their work is based around supporting the traditional interpretations that they grew up believing. Yet, secular theologians, who feel no compulsion to treat the Bible any differently than they'd treat an ancient Greek text uncovered in an excavation, often come to a different conclusion.

All you need to do is look at the the New Oxford Annotated Bible.

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The third edition is disliked by many fundamentalist and evangelical Protestants as well as traditional Catholics. They object to the assertion that passages in the Old Testament traditionally seen as referring to Jesus do not do so, and to the claim that 1 Corinthians 6 and other passages do not refer to homosexuality in their condemnations. Another objection is raised to the OAB because the editors adhere to contemporary views of Biblical criticism, and thus call into question the authorship of some books.
So, yes, maybe you should start throwing out some of your books.

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About the only commonly accepted translation that has come out in the last few years is The Message – and that is a paraphrase, not meant for serious study.
But you just quoted from a Bible that said exactly that! Who do you think "male prostitutes" (the phrasing used by your Bible, not mine) were in the Greco-Roman world? They were always part of a pagan temple rite! If you're expecting some hooker on a street corner, like in the modern era, then I'd suggest throwing out some more of your books.

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To think that Paul would ONLY condemn feminine heterosexuals is ridiculous.
Why is that ridiculous? Because you would be forced to admit that the Greco-Roman world is not the same as the modern world? That you can't translate every archaic term into a modern equivalent? They weren't merely "feminine heterosexuals." It was a specific practice who had a specific role in Corinth's society. Since this is an epistle to the Corinthians, they would have understood that "malakos" referred to a specific kind of person.

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Corinth was infamous in the ancient world for its sexual debauchery. No different than some cities we now have in America. What is your point?
Yes, different. Yes, completely different. Their "sexual debauchery" had specific idolatrous and orgy connotations.

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We are not talking about same-sex love. We are talking about same-sex-sex.
One black person offends a white racist, and all black people are bad. One white person offends a white racist, and he was just an isolated bad apple with the otherwise good white race.

And this kind of distinction makes a difference to me. The Bible condemns sexuality that is idolatrous, abusive, and devoid of any love. It does not condemn loving same-sex relationships, and, by extension, I see nothing wrong with loving same-sex sex.

So do I see condemnation of ancient prostitution and orgy practices? Yes. These are sex acts that are devoid of love, devoid of affection, devoid of a deeper connection. And they're even idolatrous most of the time to boot.

To make the larger stretch that these supposedly anti-gay passages are meant to condemn all homosexuality is an interpretation laced with prejudice.

Why?

Quote:
Have you actually read the Bible? It is FILLED with love stories...
And when it comes to David and Jonathan and the Centurion and his "Slave," both stories show the virtues of same-sex love within a Biblical context.

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Your personal feelings? Is there Scriptural evidence for this?
Do you believe, in a general sense, that the Holy Spirit continues to reveal new truth to modern civilization? I don't care whether you do or not, but there are some Christian religions that do, including my native Roman Catholicism.

As a matter of religious freedom, why does your view of Christianity automatically gain preference to the exclusion of all other Christian beliefs?

That was my point.

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I am certainly aware that gay people exist. I am certainly aware that gay people can have a relationship with Christ. But I am also aware, as a third year seminary student – that your interpretation of Scripture is not accepted by any other groups other than the activist fringes.
I guess that means that the venerable New Oxford Annotated Bible was written by "activist fringes"? Or that the Roman Catholic Bible that I use--yes, from the homophobic old Catholic Church--has contextual footnotes written by "activist fringes"? My Catholic Bible's footnotes on 1 Corinthians is on par with what I stated: that they refer to archaic Greco-Roman institutions and practices.

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I certainly think you WANT these verses to be as you have interpreted them – but that doesn’t make them true. You are casting off opinions of men that have dedicated their ENTIRE adult lives to interpreting Greek as if they are mere bigots with an agenda. That is simply not honest.
I do think that many people have spent their entire adult lives merely looking to prop up their religious traditions, and I do not believe that the spirit of academia--and that's what theology is supposed to be, an academic discipline, not mere religious study--would look kindly upon that.

Secular study of the Bible has revealed, at the very least, that there's quite a divide between how we'd translate the Bible if it were just another ancient text found in an archaeological excavation and how it is currently translated by many people, with all the baggage and stubbornness of tradition.
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Old 11-07-2006, 08:38 AM   #218
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Originally posted by martha
Why are so many Christians so completely obsessed with gay sex?
We have St. Augustine of Hippo (thanks to his infusion of the anti-sex, misogynist Manichean heresy into mainstream Christianity), St. Thomas Aquinas, and Sigmund Freud to blame for that.

It's from the bias of all three of these men that the Bible has been contorted.

Despite all the furor we're supposed to take from the Bible on homosexuality, early Christians focused on idolatry. It was the obsession of their time.
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Old 11-07-2006, 08:40 AM   #219
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Excellent posts, Ormus.
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Old 11-07-2006, 08:47 AM   #220
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I'm a Christian and I'm not at all obsessed with gay sex Gramatically incorrect, but you get the idea.
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Old 11-07-2006, 10:14 AM   #221
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Originally posted by Ormus

I do think that many people have spent their entire adult lives merely looking to prop up their religious traditions, and I do not believe that the spirit of academia--and that's what theology is supposed to be, an academic discipline, not mere religious study--would look kindly upon that.

Secular study of the Bible has revealed, at the very least, that there's quite a divide between how we'd translate the Bible if it were just another ancient text found in an archaeological excavation and how it is currently translated by many people, with all the baggage and stubbornness of tradition.
Of course, it goes both ways, Melon. It could well be said that secular people spend their entire lives studying the scriptures merely looking to disprove those religious traditions.
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Old 11-07-2006, 10:15 AM   #222
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Originally posted by Ormus


We have St. Augustine of Hippo (thanks to his infusion of the anti-sex, misogynist Manichean heresy into mainstream Christianity), St. Thomas Aquinas, and Sigmund Freud to blame for that.

It's from the bias of all three of these men that the Bible has been contorted.

Despite all the furor we're supposed to take from the Bible on homosexuality, early Christians focused on idolatry. It was the obsession of their time.

So to summarize your view of the Bible's stance on homosexual sex is this:

It is only bad to be a 1) homosexual male prostitute and 2) a very effeminate heterosexual?

Let's assume your interpretation is correct and all modern translations are wrong because of the homophobia of the translators – how does your interpretation line up with the entire chapter here in Corinthians? Is it possible that he is simply pulling a few examples of the MANY possible examples of sexual immorality? What you are describing and asserting simply does not “fit in” to the context of the entire chapter (or the entire Bible for that matter).

The problem we have here is that we can actually debate the meaning of ANY single word until it actually becomes “meaningless.” While every word does deserve due attention – it also needs to be placed into context in order for the intended meaning to be revealed. The bottom line – Paul is stating our bodies (as Christians) are a Temple for the Holy Spirit – that God’s very presence now resides within us. And without the Holy Spirit – we would all simply “explain away” or “justify” every behavior.

Because this letter is actually written for Christians – while the Gospels are focused more on converting – I do not expect non-Christians to fully appreciate or understand what Paul is stating here. As it is written, the presence of the Holy Spirit is required to illuminate Scripture. For Christians who take a more “liberal” interpretation of the passages we have discussed – they really must ask “what is my motivation? Is it for MY benefit – or for the benefit of the Kingdom?” Even those that take a “traditional” meaning must ask the same thing.

We can go back and forth on this until the end times. I doubt either camp will budge much on this issue. All I can do is invite people to simply focus on a relationship with Jesus Christ, and let the Holy Spirit guide your actions.

Thankfully the Bible gives us two basic guidelines to assess our Christian walk.

If you are more like this – then you need to grow closer to Christ

Galatians 5:19-21 “The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

However, if your life is like the following passage, you are near to Christ and I encourage you to always be striving to walk even closer to Him…

Galatians 5:22-23
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.
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Old 11-07-2006, 10:22 AM   #223
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double post
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Old 11-07-2006, 10:24 AM   #224
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


Of course, it goes both ways, Melon. It could well be said that secular people spend their entire lives studying the scriptures merely looking to disprove those religious traditions.
Great point!
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Old 11-07-2006, 12:19 PM   #225
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Originally posted by martha
Why are so many Christians so completely obsessed with gay sex?
Actually it's just gay male sex that so many are obsessed with, lesbians are fine apparently, I don't know for sure, I've asked but keep getting ignored.
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