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Old 07-14-2007, 01:17 AM   #286
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I Desire to Return to the Gay World
by Richard Oostrum

When my homosexual feelings started surfacing during adolescence I asked God the question: "What's going on here? I don't want this, so if You can change me, please do it." I didn't want to be different from everybody else. I had pushed down my feelings for quite a while, but when I got into my first homosexual relationship, I "came out of the closet."

My friends and family accepted it without any problems. I was very active in swimming competitions, played water polo, and was even a coach for a group of young men between 16 and 20 years old. Guys this age typically have pretty outspoken opinions, but even with these guys I encountered little resistance, prejudice or problems. Everything seemed to be going smoothly. Because it all seemed to happen without a battle, I assumed that God must have meant it that way for me. Everyone was telling me, "You've been born this way, and you'll always be this way"; I was at peace with this.

I had many friends and acquaintances in the gay world and was very active in establishing the gay swimming competitions and clubs in the Netherlands. I also competed in the Gay Games in New York. It was a fantastic time with so many like-minded people being together.

In those days, I was in a relationship with a guy from Amsterdam. After going together for a month, we found out that he was HIV positive, and not long afterward, we discovered he had AIDS. Three years later, David died. That was a very dark time, but I received much support from friends and family.

NO HOLDS BARRED
After David died, I went wild and plunged into the gay night life. I moved to Amsterdam, especially because I knew that the Gay Games were going to be held there. I developed a large circle of friends and was thoroughly immersed in the night life.

After living like this for about six months, something began to feel like it was eating away at me inside. I realized that this kind of lifestyle was not healthy for me; I literally felt as if there was a rope attached to me. A small voice inside me said that God also was not happy with my lifestyle. It became clearer and clearer to me; I knew it was God’s voice. I spoke about this with a former lover, and he was actually in the same situation. I bought a Bible and started to read it, but I didn't understand much. I knew if I wanted to find out more, I was going to have to go to church.

I'd only been in a church twice before in my entire life – once for a wedding and once for a funeral -- so this was a big step. On television I watched a local Church of Christ service and decided that I would try that one. I thought church would be old-fashioned and boring, but it wasn't. The people were truly joyful, and there was such a relaxed atmosphere.

I didn't really feel comfortable, since everything was so new to me, but I decided I would stay for a cup of coffee after the meeting before going home. While I was drinking my coffee, a lady approached me and asked where I was from and what I did. Without any shame or embarrassment at all, I told her everything. She responded very positively to me and then asked what I'd thought about the service and whether I knew that if I asked Jesus into my life He would come in. She shared the Gospel with me and then asked "would you like to do that?" I said "yes" and then we prayed the sinners prayer together. From that very moment, peace came into my life. The intense night life that I'd been engulfed in was set aside. No one told me, “you can't go to bars” or “you can't do this or that.” I was at peace within and it felt great!

The next Sunday I went to the same church again and that same lady asked how my week had been. I told her that everything was just fine; I was peaceful and had felt no need to pursue any homosexual activities. She replied that Jesus had come into my life and that the Holy Spirit was living in my heart. That sounded very abstract to me, but I had indeed noticed that there had been a big change inside of me. She also told me that the Bible addressed the kind of lifestyle I'd been living, and she asked me what I thought about that. I responded, "I agree with the Bible." And when I spoke that out, I thought, "What am I saying now?" I was not an extreme gay rights activist or anything, but I had obviously been living the life and was interested in society's acceptance of “my own kind". But I was convinced that I didn't want this lifestyle anymore, and furthermore God didn't want this for me either. He had something else in mind for my life. She advised me to contact the EHAH (the Dutch "Exodus" organization). I called them and began attending meetings there two weeks later.

ON A CLOUD OF LOVE
It couldn't have been any clearer for me: homosexuality and Jesus do not go hand in hand. However, the part I was surrendering was almost 90% of my life: sports, social life, vacations, even the shops where I bought my clothes. I was up to my neck in the gay subculture and suddenly that was all put on the sidelines. I thought later, I would have been a great case study for psychologists. I probably should have collapsed with a total identity crisis or something but actually nothing like that even came close. I was experiencing such an intense love from God that far outweighed any lack. I felt literally engulfed in a cloud of love.

Through my regular conversations with one of the EHAH staff, I received revelation and conviction over what had been happening in my life. He helped me to redirect my life to my new position in Christ. I spoke with him about my homosexual feelings and learned what the Bible said about homosexuality. I never felt pressured by attitudes like "poor little ex-gay turned Christian boy, we'll fix you up with a nice little wife who will see you through the rest of your life". For me it was clear that I was in a process. They never gave me the impression that, once I went through all the counseling, I'd never have to wrestle with homosexual feelings again.

When I shared my testimony with my parents they nearly fell off their chairs from the shock. They absolutely had no idea what to make of it all. I thought, "Hey, wait a minute. When I told them about my homosexuality, there was no problem. But now that I am choosing God’s way, everyone is getting upset". They kept telling me, "You were born that way, and we never had a problem with that."

I guess I understood their response, because if anyone had told me the same thing a year before, I would have responded the same way. But I knew then like I know now that faith and homosexuality do not mix, even though I didn't have much understanding yet from God's Word. I also understood the reactions from those in the gay life. "You'll be back," they kept saying to me. There were also those who thought that I'd contracted AIDS or that perhaps I was having a delayed reaction because of the death of my partner. They responded, "Sure, you need a crutch somehow, especially after losing David."

Just before the Gay Games in Amsterdam I remember telling God, "When the games come here I don't want to be around; I don't need that kind of confrontation." I had competed all over the world and had built up quite a network of contacts and friends from many countries, people that planned to come and visit me when they came to my city. It was also during this time that I was having my first real struggles, and I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to stand up to the temptations.

One day, I just fell on my knees and prayed for peace once again. Forty-five minutes later the phone rang, and someone from EHAH asked if I was interested in participating in an outreach with Youth With A Mission during the games. I burst out laughing, thinking, "Right, I ask God not to use me, and within an hour I receive my first mission!" That's how I got in touch with YWAM for the first time.

Sure enough, I was involved in that outreach during the Gay Games, even going to the swimming competitions. God's protection was like a cocoon around me. I experienced absolutely no homosexual temptation even though I was very new in my faith. I was able to tell my closest friends about Jesus, and that proved to be an amazing experience.

ITCHING TO GET GOING
My life after conversion was one long stream of changes. It seemed like God grabbed hold of my hand and took me on the ride of my life, and I'm still hanging on! It is an exciting life and I know Who the Author is, the One who can open any door and provide all I need. What a comfort!

About a year and a half ago, I left my job, because I wanted to be available for God full-time. When I shared my decision at work, there was a positive response, except I heard that horrible cliche: "Well, whatever makes you happy; it's your life!"

I began working with Youth With A Mission full-time in Amsterdam after doing my Discipleship Training School (DTS) at YWAM-Heidebeek in Holland. When I was on my DTS outreach in Uganda, to complete the practical phase of my basic training, I asked God what was next. Just after the DTS I was accepted to a two year program with the University of the Nations (YWAM) that was starting up in Amsterdam. It is a course focused on reaching the lost in urban centers.

I desire to return to the gay world in the heart of Amsterdam and to pioneer a new work of ministry there. But we have a lot of preparations to make: in prayer, for financial support, for a team of committed people. We will also need an office space. In the beginning, it will be important to begin building friendships. It may also be that we can co-work together with the EHAH in order to coordinate our efforts and focus our energies to create a proper strategy.

It is amazing to me that there is no such work existing already in such a gay center like Amsterdam. Of course, I understand that there will be difficulties starting up this work, and it will take patience. It means preaching the Word of God to homosexuals who may not know much of anything about the Bible. But I believe people know inwardly that homosexuality is not permitted by God. I'm excited to begin.

When I had just been converted, I was so enthusiastic that I wanted to convert the entire world, including all of those in the gay scene. In all my enthusiasm I was pretty insensitive and downright rude at times, because I wasn't embarrassed at all to “tell it like it is.” I've had to ask forgiveness from some people whom I have hurt. I said things I shouldn't have, and now I'm starting over again. I'm trying to be a friend to these people -- and friendship is just sharing things that you're experiencing. For me, this is my mission, and friendship is the path I walk. I'm not just preaching all the time; I'm sharing my life, laughing with my friends and having good discussions. My friendships are becoming better and deeper. Believe it or not, my very first partner from 1985 was also the first person who started sponsoring me in missions. I thought, "God, you must be blessing this!" Slowly but surely the doors are opening to return to the gay world, and not with a big Bible in my hand and a message of "Hey guys, turn or burn!"

I'm starting to see the world more and more through Jesus' eyes. I know what Jesus wants to do and can do with a broken heart and a broken life; He wants to bring healing. I'm seeing this more and more, and I need to know it more and more each day, otherwise I couldn't work in this world.

TEMPTATIONS
Of course, there are still temptations -- physical and sexual needs that get stirred up. I'm in the process of restoration. The old homosexual feelings sometimes surface. That's difficult, but it does make me wake up to seek the Lord again and again and to know afresh that I am a new creation, and I belong to Christ.

Before I was converted I was very active sexually, almost to the point of addiction. When you go from one hundred percent to zero, of course, you would expect that those needs still seek satisfaction. But because I was receiving so much love in that initial time, I didn't even feel those needs. I just believed that it would all somehow be sorted out. My heterosexual feelings are clearly developing, but I'm not focusing on them.

What I do miss at times is the camaraderie I had in the gay life, especially what I knew from the swimming competitions around the world and the parties connected with them. There would be a weekend here or there, and I had a lot of fun in the night life. I also had a very good friend; we were like brothers to each other. After I became a Christian that relationship was severed. I also miss the physical warmth and affection. I don't particularly miss the sexual experiences with men, but I do occasionally miss a good hug. And usually the Lord answers this need Himself to the point that I almost literally feel His arm around me, quieting me with His love. That's the wonderful thing about my relationship with Jesus; He knows exactly what's going on inside of me and He knows how to provide all I need.

I also have friends in the gay life who want to combine faith with their lifestyle. I mean, they attend church but they also have their lover. Somehow they feel that this is viable. But for me, I've never had a doubt about it; I've never wondered if God would be pleased if I kept that lifestyle. I know God's position on the matter.

Additional Information:
To locate Exodus ministries in Europe: www.ExodusEurope.org.

To contact EHAH: Phone: +31 20 625 67 97or Email: ehah@solcon.nl

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Old 07-14-2007, 01:39 AM   #287
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What a brainwashed piece of shit...

Why has no one ever in the history of FYM answered what is the "gay lifestyle"?

"I was peaceful and had felt no need to pursue any homosexual activities"

"I also have friends in the gay life who want to combine faith with their lifestyle. I mean, they attend church but they also have their lover. Somehow they feel that this is viable. But for me, I've never had a doubt about it; I've never wondered if God would be pleased if I kept that lifestyle."

These lines just reek of conditioning...
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Old 07-14-2007, 01:42 AM   #288
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I really find it sad Diamond that you are searching for these articles.

It's obvious you are trying to find every "conversion" story you can. It's just sad.

Should I be looking for more conversion from Mormon articles?
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Old 07-14-2007, 01:50 AM   #289
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar
I really find it sad Diamond that you are searching for these articles.


Hey diamond,


I can't figure why you are trolling those sites?

What is in it for you?
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Old 07-14-2007, 03:05 AM   #290
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Is it "possible" this man is telling the truth? I am not saying he is, I am just wondering if it is possible. I mean, what does he really have to gain from such a story? And what is it to others if someone does "change their orientation" if it makes them happy or feel more "right with God." Isn't that what so many in here preach - to each thier own?
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Old 07-14-2007, 03:11 AM   #291
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Not to worry. As diamond himself will tell you, this is brilliant, biting, cutting edge satire.

I know this is absolutely unfair, but since diamond is the first Mormon I've really been exposed to, I suspect I will always equate Mormonism with diamond. First impressions are a killer.

On the flip side, I equate maycocksean with Seventh Day Adventists in a very positive way (not knowing much about Adventists other than really good Vegetarian cookbooks and Sabbath on a Saturday. )

It's all in the approach.
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Old 07-14-2007, 06:59 AM   #292
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Seventh Day Adventists are Mormons, aren't they?

And since when is Diamond a Mormon? I've noticed his selling the religion lately, but like most hot topics he seems to troll for, I've ignored them.


AEON, can you answer a question for me:

"If it is natural, can it be a sin?"

Thanks.
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Old 07-14-2007, 07:00 AM   #293
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**I'm thinking Latter Day Saints, who are Mormon. Ignore me.


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Old 07-14-2007, 09:26 AM   #294
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Originally posted by diamond
I know God's position on the matter.
That statement alone makes me easily dismiss the entire article. He's quite deluded.
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Old 07-14-2007, 10:08 AM   #295
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A Song of Hope
by Dennis Jernigan

View a pdf of this testimony. Copies may be distributed free of charge.

From my earliest memories, I felt different from other boys. I was gifted musically, and labeled "sissy" by other boys. By the time I was nine years old, I was playing regularly for the worship times at First Baptist Church in Boynton, OK. I learned to play the piano from my grandmother. We lived far from any town with a piano teacher, so I learned to play "by ear" by listening to melodies and mimicking them without seeing any music. Grandma was very patient with me as I practiced daily at her house, and I grew close to her. I didn't feel as close to my parents. We were not an affectionate family and I never remember receiving physical affection from my father. I found it hard to believe that he loved me, and I felt worthless. When I was nine years old, Jesus began calling me to Himself. On Sept. 8, 1968, I asked my mother how to be saved. She explained that we were all sinners and that we deserved to perish in hell. But, through the death of Jesus on the cross, we could come into a relationship with God. I asked Jesus into my life that afternoon and was baptized that evening. But, not perceiving love from my earthly father, I couldn't fully receive God's acceptance and forgiveness. So I tried to earn love by being "the best" at whatever I did. I made straight A's in school; my basketball team played in three state tournaments; I was valedictorian of my high school class. But what people thought was so good--my outward performance--only hid the deepest hurts of my heart. Rejection permeated every part of my life, including my sexuality. As a boy I needed a role model to show me the way to manhood. I began to yearn for intimacy with other men in perverse ways. Because of this wrong thinking, I came to believe that I was a homosexual.
At the same time, I knew God had something else for me. After I first became a Christian, I sensed Him telling me that someday I would have a large family of my own ... with nine children! That's crazy, I thought. How can I have children if I'm a homosexual?

At church, I heard people say, "All homosexuals should be shipped out of the country--they deserve to go to hell!" I felt condemned by their remarks, and had no idea where to turn for help. So I hid my same-sex desires through high school. In college, I discovered other students who were also struggling with homosexual desires. We gravitated toward one another, and I became entrenched in the physical and emotional aspects of homosexuality. But the more I believed homosexuality was my "real" identity, the more miserable I became.

During my sophomore year, I met the woman who would one day become my wife. I thought Melinda was the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. Something drew me to her, something I had never felt before. But, even though we dated on and off through college, I still had sexual encounters with other men on the side.

By my senior year, I was totally confused and frustrated. I decided that my life was not worth living. After all, I had begged God since childhood to remove these feelings and it seemed like nothing had happened.

One night during my last semester of school, as I sat in my little apartment alone, I decided I would rather be dead than living "this life." After extinguishing the pilot light, I turned on the gas in my little heater, lay down, and waited to die.

However, after a few minutes, I grew very fearful and turned off the gas. What does eternity hold? I wondered. Whatever it is, I'm not ready.

Soon afterward, I broke up with Melinda and told her I never wanted to see her again. That summer after graduation, I fully embraced my homosexuality and plunged into a three-month relationship with another man.

"This is who I am," I told myself. "I was born homosexual, and this kind of life is what God intended for me." But, instead of finding happiness, I just became more miserable.

I applied for seminary, thinking that more schooling might provide some answers. But three days before seminary began, a friend phoned me. "Dennis, God has brought you to mind a lot lately. In fact, I had a dream about you this week." In the dream, he explained, God was giving me all kinds of songs. I thought he was crazy, but was startled by his next remark: "What's more, my mother had the same dream this week!"

I abandoned plans for seminary and accepted this friend's invitation to live with his family in Oklahoma City. With my music degree, I had trouble finding a job, finally becoming employed as a school-bus driver. Between my morning and afternoon routes, I had several free hours which I used to cry out to God. I knew He was real, and that He was trying to say something to me.

At first I set my Bible on the piano and would sing the Psalms of David back to God. I saw that David had an intimate and honest relationship with God--something I had desired my whole life. David exposed feelings and attitudes that I thought "good" people would hide. Yet God called him "a man after My heart" (Acts 13:22). Soon I was singing my own thoughts and prayers, emptying my soul to Him as I exposed the hurts I had kept inside for so many years.

Then a well-known Christian group called "Second Chapter of Acts" came to our area and I felt an inner prompting to attend. During their concert, I was captivated by their sincerity and love for God.

Then, in the middle of one song, they suddenly stopped. "God has put something on my heart," one member said. "There is somebody here who is hiding something so hurtful, so terrible, that they would be devastated if anyone found out about it. But God wants you to know that He sees it and He loves you anyway." Then we were encouraged to lift our burdens up to the Lord as we raised our hands to Him.

This type of worship was new to me, but as I lifted my hands, God became more real to me than I had ever imagined! I realized that Jesus had lifted His hands for me--spreading them upon the cross. I knew that He was right beside me, willing to walk with me. I could be honest with Him.

"Lord Jesus," I cried inside, "I can't change me or the mess I've gotten myself into--but You can." In that moment, I turned everything in my life over to Jesus: my thoughts, my emotions, my physical body ... and my past.

For the first time, I realized that homosexuality was a sin that Jesus died for. I heard him say in my heart, "Dennis, I'm making you somebody brand new. My blood has paid your debt. You are free."

That night over 15 years ago was the beginning of my "incredible journey." For the first time, I saw myself as forgiven and cleansed. The power of homosexuality in my life had been broken. From that moment, Jesus began to change my sexually perverse thoughts and desires with holy and pure thoughts about what sexual love was all about.

During this same time in my life, a close friend found out about my past. When he confronted me, I ran from the house, certain that I would be disgraced. I looked up into the darkness of the evening sky, pleading with God to speak to me. My eyes were drawn to a puffy white cloud floating above. It looked like an old man with outstretched arms. Nearby was a smaller cloud in the shape of a lamb. As I watched, the man engulfed the little lamb in his arms.

Immediately I knew that God was demonstrating what He wanted to do for me in this time of need. I returned to the house to face my friend, who reaffirmed his love for me. And God began to bring others into my life who were willing to love me unconditionally as I sought complete healing.

One year passed, and I sensed God's prompting to contact Melinda again. I loved her and knew I wanted to marry her. After several months I proposed and she accepted. I assumed that, since I considered myself to be healed from homosexuality, there was no need to share my past with her.

In July 1988, I realized that God wanted to take the greatest failures and weaknesses of my life and make them my greatest strengths. Not only this, but if I confessed my past freely, Satan would have no ammunition against me. No longer would I have to live in fear of others finding out about my homosexual background.

So I shared my past with Melinda. Although she had questions, she was grateful that I felt secure enough in her love to share my most intimate past sins. Then, three days later, I spoke in church about my past--and something beautiful took place. Afterward, people began to approach me who had deep wounds from their past, such as homosexuality, incest, rape and abortion. As they confessed their sins and hurts, Jesus began healing them.

A year later, I realized in a new way God's calling upon my life. After leading worship at the Boynton Community Center in my hometown, one of my grandma's old prayer partners said to me, "Isn't it wonderful how your grandmother's prayers have been answered?"

"What prayers?" I asked.

"Didn't you know?" she answered. "Your grandmother told me she would stand behind you as you practiced the piano at her house each day, asking God to use you mightily in His kingdom to lead in music and worship!"

In the years since then, God has certainly answered those prayers. By His power and grace, God has enabled me to make over a dozen praise and worship recordings, with thousands of copies distributed worldwide. I have had the privilege of sharing my story with audiences all over the world through live concerts, television interviews like "The 700 Club," and magazine articles like Charisma & Christian Life. Today, my wife and I have nine children. He is bringing His perfect plan for my life to pass.

I have a Heavenly Father who will never leave me or forsake me (Heb. 13:5). I want to spend the rest of my life singing praise and worship to Him for all that He has done.
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Old 07-14-2007, 10:18 AM   #296
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Honestly it is none of God's business what your sexual orientation is, it harms no one, and God should stay out of it.
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Old 07-14-2007, 10:21 AM   #297
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Quote:
Originally posted by Angela Harlem

AEON, can you answer a question for me:

"If it is natural, can it be a sin?"

Thanks.
I thought I covered that when I discussed original sin. The basic premise is that everyone's human nature is in a fallen state, that it is basically "sinful" (or if you prefer - short of perfect). Only a new creation, a result of faith in Christ, is acceptable and pleasing to a perfect God. (Basic Christian premise)

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:17-18, NIV)

The answer is yes, something can be both natural and a sin.
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Old 07-14-2007, 10:34 AM   #298
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Quote:
Originally posted by AEON


I thought I covered that when I discussed original sin. The basic premise is that everyone's human nature is in a fallen state, that it is basically "sinful" (or if you prefer - short of perfect). Only a new creation, a result of faith in Christ, is acceptable and pleasing to a perfect God. (Basic Christian premise)

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:17-18, NIV)

The answer is yes, something can be both natural and a sin.
Can I use your statement as an evidence to support that God is not perfect, because he produce defect products (sinful natural human soul)?

I just found that the longer I stay in FYM forum, the less respect I've got for this religion, and the followers.

I'm afraid I.m about to change my thought that all Gods are the same, all religions are equal very soon...
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Old 07-14-2007, 10:35 AM   #299
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[QUOTE]Originally posted by AEON


I thought I covered that when I discussed original sin. The basic premise is that everyone's human nature is in a fallen state, that it is basically "sinful" (or if you prefer - short of perfect). Only a new creation, a result of faith in Christ, is acceptable and pleasing to a perfect God. (Basic Christian premise)

"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Corinthians 5:17-18, NIV)

The answer is yes, something can be both natural and a sin.
[/QUOTE

What did Jesus say about homoswexuals ?
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Old 07-14-2007, 10:42 AM   #300
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Originally posted by toscano

What did Jesus say about homoswexuals ?
Jesus didn't call out every single possible sin during His ministry. Additionally, Jesus was more concerned about rescuing people from their enslavement to sin than about correcting their individual sins.
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