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Old 11-07-2006, 06:59 PM   #241
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WRONG....

The Evangelicals I went to college with would classify Catholics as not being true Christians and going to hell.
It's been stated in here a couple of times.
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:00 PM   #242
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I'd have to look up which translation for it's been awhile, but the scripture states male should not lay with another man in Leviticus and then uses references to sodomy later in scripture(which is a ridiculous translation) both of which don't even touch upon homosexual females. And since lesbian sex doesn't involve intercouse in it's true definition I've heard many say scripture doesn't say anything about lesbianism.

Another inconsistancy I find troubling.
Lesbian relations are indeed mentioned in the New Testament:

Romans 1:26-27
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:01 PM   #243
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Romans 1
An article written by a conservative Christian seminary? So are we surprised that the results he comes up with are precisely what you'd expect from conservative Christian ideology? After all, more than one dissident theologian was booted out of conservative Christian universities (particularly within Southern Baptist universities) from the 1970s onwards. I no longer expect or trust conservative Christian seminaries to be objective, because they cannot and do not tolerate dissent from their established ideology.

I maintain that Paul cannot have referred to modern-day homosexuality, because such a concept did not appear until the 19th century. Of course, unscrupulous Biblical translators wasted no time in putting in terms like "homosexual offenders" into the Bible afterwards.

Understanding Greco-Roman sexuality is to understand a culture with widely different sexual practices than we are accustomed to. Pedophilia/pederasty was expected, upon which reaching adulthood, these young adults were then expected to get married to the opposite sex. But, obviously, for every child, there has to be an adult, and so these now married men then found another child/young adult to continue the cycle forward. Even then, that didn't stop these married couples from sleeping around. Since Greco-Roman religion maintained that sex was the means to get closer to the gods, they had massive temple orgies. The "male temple prostitutes" were the priests of the temple.

"Love is the fulfillment of the law."

Take note, because all of these supposed anti-gay passages have one thing in common: these acts have no regard for love or affection. Prior to the 19th century, it was believed that everyone was heterosexual and that same sex acts occurred amongst disobedient heterosexuals. As such, if you're Paul and you see a society that's sleeping around with everything that moves, preying on children/teenagers, and engaging in mass idolatry, it's no wonder that he's speaking out.

Whether the acts are heterosexual or homosexual are of no consequence. Indeed, the oft forgotten destruction of Gibeah in 19 Judges is the indisputably heterosexual version of Sodom and Gomorrah. A group of people go up to a man's doorstep, wants his house guest, then offers up his female concubine instead. The group accepts, then rapes and dismembers the concubine. God then commands an army to annihilate Gibeah.

So shall we take the destruction of Gibeah, and extrapolate from that that all heterosexual acts are henceforth forbidden, since Gibeah was destroyed on the pretense of a heterosexual act? Now perhaps you understand my analogy regarding how a white racist will interpret a slight from a black man differently than he will from a fellow white man.

"Love is the fulfillment of the law."

Since the modern understanding of homosexuality cannot have existed prior to the 19th century, you have to take the time to understand how previous generations understood the Bible.

Why I mentioned St. Augustine of Hippo earlier is because we owe him and his Manichean beliefs for all the vitriolic anti-sexuality of Christian history, not to mention a bunch of other silly Christian theology. It was because of his ideology that the female priesthood was abolished from Christianity. In fact, Celsus, a second-century Greek opponent of Christianity, derided the religion as a "woman's movement"! It's a crying shame that Christianity has openly lied to people by stating that the priesthood has always been male.

But that's besides the point. If the Bible was referring to homosexuality, the first millennium of the Christian Church certainly didn't believe that.

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After this he returned to his hermitage. About 1049, during the pontificate of Pope Leo IX Peter published a scathing treatise on the vices of the clergy, Liber Gomorrhianus, dedicating it to the pope. In this "Book of Gomorrha" Pietro Damiani made an attack on homosexual practices and even masturbation, as subversive disruptions against the moral order occasioned by the madness associated with an excess of lust. It caused a great stir and aroused not a little enmity against its author. Even the pope, who had at first praised the work, was persuaded that it was exaggerated and his coldness drew from Damian a vigorous letter of protest. Meanwhile the question arose as to the validity of the ordinations of simoniacal clerics. Peter Damiani wrote (about 1053) a treatise, the Liber Gratissimus, in favour of their validity, a work which, though much combatted at the time, was potent in deciding the question in their favour before the end of the twelfth century.
In fact, opposition to homosexuality within Christianity is mostly a medieval construction, and we have medieval theologians to thank for homophobia, not the Bible. Considering the nature of medieval Christianity, it is most certainly that the Bible was used as a later justification for their homophobia; and it's from their heritage that we inherited anti-gay sentiments.

"Love is the fulfillment of the law."

Since it's only been about 40 years, at most, that medical institutions and society has been willing to accept that homosexuals are not merely perverted heterosexuals, it is not a surprise to me that the Bible has nothing to say regarding same-sex relationships. But, conversely, that means that they cannot condemn what they did not believe existed.

I do not accept your essentialist notion that isolated Biblical passages mean a blanket condemnation of homosexuality anymore than you'd accept the destruction of Gibeah as a blanket condemnation of heterosexuality. We can quote Bible passages back and forth (and, trust me, I've studied all of them much the same way you have, I'm sure), but the logic still stands that the Bible could not and did not refer to modern understanding of sexuality.

"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." - Romans 13:8-10

If this were 1500 years ago, groups arbitrarily excluded from religious ideology would merely have created their own religion. And, indeed, this is why we have Islam.

http://www.time.com/time/2001/jerusalem/islam.html

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When the Prophet Muhammad first began to preach in Mecca in about 612, according to the earliest biographies, which are our primary source of information about him, he had his converts prostrate themselves in prayer in the direction of Jerusalem. They were symbolically reaching out toward the Jewish and Christian God, whom they were committed to worshipping, and turning their back on the paganism of Arabia. Muhammad never believed that he was founding a new religion that canceled out the previous faiths. He was convinced that he was simply bringing the old religion of the One God to the Arabs, who had never been sent a prophet before.

Consequently, the Koran, the inspired scripture that Muhammad brought to the Arabs, venerates the great prophets of the Judeo-Christian tradition. It speaks of Solomon's "great place of prayer" in Jerusalem, which the first Muslims called City of the Temple. Only after the Jews of Medina rejected Muhammad did he switch orientation and instruct his adherents to pray facing Mecca, whose ancient shrine, the Kabah, was thought by locals to have been built by Abraham and his son Ishmael, the father of the Arabs.
I do not believe that the gay community needs to go as far as that...yet. A proper understanding of church history and Biblical criticism would reveal that there is room in Christianity for gay Christians. And even if you reject most of my Biblical commentary, you cannot ignore Romans 13 and all the other notions of love in the New Testament. "Whatever other commandment there may be" is summed up in love.

But I'm sure that none of this matters one iota to you.
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:02 PM   #244
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


Melon, Romans 2:1-3 is plainly referring to people who judge someone for something they themselves are doing, and is not some generic command not to judge certain actions as sin.

Therefore you are inexcusable, O man, whoever you are who judge, for in whatever you judge another you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things . But we know that the judgment of God is according to truth against those who practice such things. And do you think this, O man, you who judge those practicing such things, and doing the same, that you will escape the judgment of God?

Wait, a sin isn't a sin? These "same things" isn't it all sin?
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:07 PM   #245
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Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Wait, a sin isn't a sin? These "same things" isn't it all sin?
He was referring to specific sins. Read them; they are in Romans 1: 18-31.

I do agree with you that if someone commits a certain sin, he has no business judging that action as sin for someone else.

However, if we were not to judge anything anyone does as sin, then there is no moral basis for any of our laws. Therefore, it is not sin to murder. It is not sin to cheat on your spouse. It is not sin to steal.

Do you think that God would have us not call sin "sin"?
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:11 PM   #246
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest
However, if we were not to judge anything anyone does as sin, then there is no moral basis for any of our laws. Therefore, it is not sin to murder. It is not sin to cheat on your spouse. It is not sin to steal.

Assuming laws are based on the concept of "sin" and not on the non-Biblical concept of causing harm to someone else.
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:12 PM   #247
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest
And there is no evidence that Paul "reviled" Jewish Christians. He opposed the Judaisers who taught that you had to keep the law in order to be saved, but I would hardly call opposition "revile". Not only that, but not all Jewish Christians were Judaisers.
History says to the contrary. Acts depicts the rivalry between the two competing religious sects, and their attempt to unify and reach a compromise in Acts 15 is left with the unspoken reality that Paul flat out ignored it. The Jewish Christian Church of Jerusalem (led by the apostles St. Peter and St. James) and Paul's Gentile Christian Church of Antioch never reconciled and the two fought until the Church of Jerusalem's eventual disappearance in the second century A.D. Do notice that it is Paul who deems himself one of Jesus' apostles. It was his way of asserting historical legitimacy and a direct connection with Jesus. It was very effective.

As such, the Christian Church that propagated throughout the Roman Empire onwards was completely Gentile Christian in nature.

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As For Romans 1 being "flame bait", that's a nice spin, but where is your proof of that?
The first half of Romans is meant to appeal to Jewish Christian ritual sensibilities. The second half is meant to rip them to pieces by his assertion that faith alone is necessary for salvation. This epistle was not meant to convert pagans to Christianity, but to convert Jewish Christians to his brand of Christianity.
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:15 PM   #248
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest
I do agree with you that if someone commits a certain sin, he has no business judging that action as sin for someone else.
Looks like everyone's favorite Christian hypocrite, Ted Haggard, is going to rot in hell then. Looks like he forgot the spirit of Matthew 7:

"Stop judging, that you may not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be measured out to you. Why do you notice the splinter in your brother's eye, but do not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove that splinter from your eye,' while the wooden beam is in your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother's eye." - Matthew 7:1-5

I think there's plenty of Christians who would be best to remember this too.
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:16 PM   #249
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest


Lesbian relations are indeed mentioned in the New Testament:

Romans 1:26-27
Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.
But other translations don't:

"Therefore, God handed them over to degrading passions. Their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural,
and the males likewise gave up the natural use of women and burned with lust for one another. Males did shameful things with males and thus received in their own persons the due penalty for their perversity."

Why doesn't it say anything about women with women, just "unnatural", yet it's very specific about men?

"the natural use of women", sounds so loving doesn't it?

Another translation specifically calls them pagan women and pagan men.

Inconsistancy...

None of which in context really says anything about homosexuality in general.
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:18 PM   #250
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He was referring to specific sins. Read them; they are in Romans 1: 18-31.

I do agree with you that if someone commits a certain sin, he has no business judging that action as sin for someone else.

However, if we were not to judge anything anyone does as sin, then there is no moral basis for any of our laws. Therefore, it is not sin to murder. It is not sin to cheat on your spouse. It is not sin to steal.

Do you think that God would have us not call sin "sin"?
That's a big leap in logic. I know telling a lie is sin, but I've lied before.
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:21 PM   #251
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Originally posted by 80sU2isBest
He was referring to specific sins. Read them; they are in Romans 1: 18-31.
You'd be best to pay attention to Romans 1:22-24.

"While claiming to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for the likeness of an image of mortal man or of birds or of four-legged animals or of snakes."

And this precedes the supposed anti-gay verse. It is a blatant and obvious description of a Roman pagan temple orgy and to use this as an example of a blanket condemnation of all homosexuality is linguistically sloppy.

Unless you're willing to concede that the destruction of Gibeah, due to heterosexual rape, bans every and all heterosexual acts.
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:22 PM   #252
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We can quote Bible passages back and forth (and, trust me, I've studied all of them much the same way you have, I'm sure), but the logic still stands that the Bible could not and did not refer to modern understanding of sexuality.
And this is the very essence of our disagreement. I do not see how you can come to this conclusion – that Paul and the other writers in the Bible would not have been aware that it was possible for homosexuals to have monogamous, cherishing relationships. Certainly humans have not changed all that much – that is what makes the Bible timeless.

If this conclusion is false (which it is) - your entire argument self destructs. And I certainly do not see any evidence to assume that Christ, Paul, Moses, or any other writer in the Bible would somehow be left in the dark about this “unique” homosexual experience that you are claiming. At our core, there is nothing “modern” about the condition of the human heart. The only thing “new” occurs when Christ enters it and begins the transformation process. What seems as new to us (modern psychology giving a behavior a new name or change of status) was not new to Christ or Paul.
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:31 PM   #253
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Assuming laws are based on the concept of "sin" and not on the non-Biblical concept of causing harm to someone else.
Score one for rational minds, in the absence of theology rationalism has a chance of prevailing.
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:40 PM   #254
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Originally posted by AEON
And this is the very essence of our disagreement. I do not see how you can come to this conclusion – that Paul and the other writers in the Bible would not have been aware that it was possible for homosexuals to have monogamous, cherishing relationships. Certainly humans have not changed all that much – that is what makes the Bible timeless.
Well, I'm sorry, but you're blatantly ignoring a large part of history here. Ancient sexuality did not leave open the possibility of homosexual monogamy, but nor was monogamy necessary to engage in homosexual relations anyway. The people of the Old Testament were aware of pagan temple orgies, which were bisexual in nature, and the Greco-Roman world maintained those temple customs. More than one Roman emperor professed their undying love to a male slave...but this was always in the context of them being already married to a woman and with children. As such, it would have been in the view of Paul and his contemporaries that these were terribly lustful people whose lack of monogamy and faithfulness to their marriage was blatantly sinful.

It was revolutionary to state that homosexuality was actually a part of someone back in the 19th century. Prior to that, it was flat out believed by everyone that these acts were carried out by deviant heterosexuals as acts of rebellion or defiance against God.

In fact, much of conservative Christianity carries on their legacy by refusing to acknowledge that gay people exist; that they are just sinners who haven't prayed hard enough to God. Why else would we have pseudoscientific "conversion camps"?

Jesus, Paul, Moses and every other writer in the Bible were human (yes, Jesus is 100% divine, but He is also 100% human. He was not granted the power of infinite knowledge of the past, present, and future of human civilization). They wrote exactly to their contemporary cultural experiences and contemporary understanding of morality. It cannot be expected that they would be granted an understanding that everyone else did not remotely have.

Regardless, evidence of Christian social practices in the first millennium shows that they did not have these homophobic prejudices that later medieval and modern conservative Christianity holds (the Christian church was noted to have a large body of homoerotic literature up to the eighth century A.D.), so it more than lends to the idea that the supposed anti-gay Biblical passages are merely an early example of revisionism in light of the repressive Puritanical beliefs of St. Augustine of Hippo and later "church doctors."
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Old 11-07-2006, 07:42 PM   #255
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And I certainly do not see any evidence to assume that Christ, Paul, Moses, or any other writer in the Bible would somehow be left in the dark about this “unique” homosexual experience that you are claiming. At our core, there is nothing “modern” about the condition of the human heart. The only thing “new” occurs when Christ enters it and begins the transformation process. What seems as new to us (modern psychology giving a behavior a new name or change of status) was not new to Christ or Paul.
Paul couldn't even see women as being worthy of teaching in the church, is that timeless?

I've asked before, do you uphold Paul's "command"?
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