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Old 12-08-2004, 07:20 PM   #31
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Aren't we all?
Oh yes... I read the argument, too.
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Old 12-08-2004, 07:34 PM   #32
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Oh yes... I read the argument, too.
And you dismissed it the same way most dismiss homosexuals.
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:04 PM   #33
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And you dismissed it the same way most dismiss homosexuals.
Hey now... I think I see a subversive comment...
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:13 PM   #34
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and doesn't this thread do even more damage to those who take the bible as the literal word of god?

the bible has been written by and interpreted by men (and several times over). why wouldn't any society's prejudices shine through in the text?
Not in any way. It is simply a "just suppose" theory with no evidence to support the starting premise.

The Bible has not been interpreted several times over. Today's translations are based on the earliest available manuscripts, not subsequent translations over the years.
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:16 PM   #35
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Did I mention the word hypothesis in the beginning......?
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:22 PM   #36
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Did I mention the word hypothesis in the beginning......?
Yes. Yes, you did...

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Old 12-08-2004, 08:41 PM   #37
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Spong takes on Scripture's 'terrible texts'

by Sally Cloke

Unity in the Anglican Communion has been inflated into an idol, argued one of its most controversial leaders: "What really keeps the Anglican Church together is the pension fund - aided and abetted by Wippell's" [the clerical wear manufacturer].

Retired Episcopalian bishop and author John Spong was the guest of the Spiritual Café, a monthly discussion group run by St George's Malvern.

Bp Spong's topic was his favourite book - the Bible: "I didn't write it, but I treasure it - and I greatly resent the way it is misused in our society" - especially in the homosexuality debate.

"There are those who claim that the 'clear teaching of Scripture' prohibits homosexual practice," he said. "But exactly the same verbiage was used to oppose women's ordination 20 years ago and 100 years ago to oppose the integration of black people into an all-white church."

He discussed several of the biblical texts which deal with homosexuality. Beginning with Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen 19) he made a scathing case against it being taken literally. "We have a woman turned into a pillar of salt, a man called 'righteous' who offers his daughters to be gang-raped, a God who doesn't know what's happening in Sodom and has to go down and look - and this is a story which people are using to condemn faithful, loving and committed gay and lesbian relationships in the 21st century?

"In Leviticus, homosexuality is called an 'abomination' - but so is menstruation," he said. "Homosexuality was punishable by death, but so were children who talked back to their parents. Put your hand up if you would have survived childhood," he asked his audience.

The message of Romans 1, according to the bishop, was "'If you don't worship God properly, God will confuse your sexual identity' - who wants to worship a God like that?

"Paul didn't know what caused homosexuality - the consensus today is that it is given not chosen. The question is: how do we live it out - how does someone live out their homosexuality appropriately? How does someone live out their heterosexuality appropriately? There are some forms of living out homosexuality that need to be condemned. The same with heterosexuality. Using others for one's own gratification is always wrong."

Bp Spong said he knew many homosexual couples who were striving to build relationships built on love, commitment and fidelity, and trying to make God part of their relationships.

"The Church blesses a lot of things it shouldn't: armadas setting off to war, hounds at a fox hunt, highway openings. If we can bless these, why not committed homosexual relationships?"

Bp Spong's next book will be called The Terrible Texts of the Bible - "the ones that have been misused to mistreat others". Examples include the subjugation of women (the Creation story taken to mean women were not created in God's image in the same way as men), environmental destruction (the call to 'multiply' and 'subdue the earth' taken too far) and anti-Semitism (the Crucifixion story being used to blame the Jews for Jesus' death).

"How can we call the Bible 'the Word of God' and yet use it to reinforce terrible prejudices... and bring hurt, pain and ignorance to countless people?"

A response to Bishop Spong's views on homosexuality

The following, by South Sydney Bishop Glenn Davies, is an edited extract, from the Faithfulness in Fellowship Study Book. Prepared by the Doctrine Commission of General Synod, the book presents a wide range of views and interpretations. Please note that this extract is only one view, and has been selected in response to Bp Spong.

The teaching of the New Testament concerning sexuality assumes the understanding of marriage as the bond between a man and a woman, in accordance with the creation accounts of Genesis 1-2. Jesus' teaching on this subject reinforces the permanency and exclusivity of the sexual bond between a man and a woman (Matthew 5:27-32; 19:1-12). Moreover, Jesus condemns all kinds of sexual impurity as evils to be avoided, including porneiai (sexual immorality), moicheiai (adultery) and aselgeia (Mark 7:20-23).

The third term in this list suggests sexual licence or debauchery beyond the norm. It can be understood to characterise Sodom and Gomorrah (citing 2 Peter 2:7) and the pagan world generally (Ephesians 4:19), with a special sense of sexual excess (Romans 13:13; 2 Corinthians 12:21; 2 Peter 2:2,18). Although it may not be possible to establish a specific reference to homosexual practice, the semantic range of aselgeia is inclusive of homosexual practice.

Jesus does not specifically address the question of homosexuality, but two points are worthy of attention. First, in the discussion of divorce in Matthew 19:1-12, the disciples' response to Jesus' high standards concerning marriage is to question whether it is better not to marry at all. However, Jesus' reply suggests that, apart from marriage, the only other viable state is celibacy. It would, therefore, appear that Jesus did not contemplate homosexual union as a viable alternative of sexual expression for those who would be members of the kingdom of God. On the contrary, he reaffirmed and reinforced the teaching of the Old Testament with respect to sexual union (Matthew 19:4-5; compare Matthew 5:17).

When we turn to the Pauline writings, we find specific references to the practice of homosexuality and, in each instance, the behaviour is viewed negatively. In Romans 1:26-27, Paul describes the kind of behaviour that is characteristic of the wicked, and his main indictment of them is their rejection of God the creator. This rejection is exemplified by idolatry and results in God giving them up to all kinds of aberrant behaviour. Such behaviour includes a range of sins listed in verses 28-32, as well as that of homosexual practice discussed in verses 26-27. Homosexual behaviour, therefore, is not singled out above all others as worthy of special condemnation.

Nonetheless, same-sex union is, according to the apostle, unnatural (para physin); by way of contrast, sexual relations between a man and a woman are natural (physiké)...

...Although Paul does not reflect upon any homosexual orientation of the person as such, what he does make plain is that those who practise homosexual acts, along with those who practise other forms of sexual immorality, will be excluded from the kingdom of God (1 Corinthians 6:10). In a similar vein, Paul's instruc*tions to Timothy indicate that the arsenokoitai (those who commit acts of homosexual behaviour) behave con*trary to sound doctrine and contrary to the gospel (1 Timothy 1:10-11)...

...While homosexual activity is clearly described by apostle Paul as sin, it is not the only sin, nor the worst sin. There is no justification, therefore, in persecuting homosexuals in the name of Christian piety...

The Faithfulness in Fellowship Study Book is available from Anglican Media Bookshop.

http://www.media.anglican.com.au/tma/2003/11/spong.html
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:42 PM   #38
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Ok. evidentally, no is not good enough....

I will start by saying to BVS that I didn't know Paul, God can use anyone, and of course I didn't want him to be gay because it completely ruins the erotic fantasies I have about him. (Ok the last bit is not true... but I mean "didn't want him to be?")

Ok second paragraph of this theory is where I will start. The first is only setting the stage anyway and doesn't offer up much to address. I will say this though, whether or not Saul was gay is another thing, even though there is no evidence of that as well. Maybe he was though, but this theory is based on the writings of Paul after his conversion and states that Paul was possibly gay.

Second paragraph... Paul felt tremendous shame and he constantly refered to it. Back when he was Saul, he killed Christians on a daily basis. He hunted them down and killed them. It weighed heavy on his heart, even though he was fully aware of God's grace. I wouldn't call it guilt because he knew God had forgiven him. I don't know, there is so much speculation in regards to "the thorn in his flesh" that Paul spoke of, but it is possible that could be it. Also, the "thorn" could have been a physical affliction, another thing heavily debated. Was it his eyes? Did he have some sort of problems with them after he was blinded? It is touch and go on that one. After he was blinded on the road to Damascus, God healed him. This guy touches on this further down. I will adress that when I get down to it.

He wasn't filled with self-loathing because he was gay. He wasn't filled with self-loathing full stop. I really can't see where this cat is coming from on this? All of Paul's epistles are filled with messages of love, and hope and joy. And furthermore Paul speaks about how wrong homosexuality is (not so wrong that one is beyond redemption I might add, as this person claims later on in the 4th paragraph.)

Third paragraph... he is referring to Paul's religious traditions. He sites Leviticus. Well, those were Saul's religious traditions. Yes, the New Testament and the Old Testament are part of the same Bible, from the same God etc. etc. But the thing is, Paul explicitly spoke of the freedom that Christians have. That we are not bound by the law, because we live by the Spirit. (Further discussion on Old Testament vs New is welcomed I suppose, but I would think it to be off-topic.) Paul did not live this religious life! He was religious in his love of God and all people but that was about the height of it. He embraced the freedom he had through Christ and that is made abundantly clear in countless passages.

Fourth paragraph... Pretty much the same that I have already said, in terms of law vs. freedom through Christ. Freedom is what Christians have and we understand this largely due to first and foremost the Holy Spirit, but Paul's writings pound it into your head! I really need to contact this guy to find out what writings of Paul he read to come to these conclusions. Did Paul do like a line of early chruch pulp ficition I missed out on?

Ok I think its the fifth paragraph and the guy just forgot to indent. This is just sheer brilliance. He takes Gal 4:13 and makes it out to be some extrodinary finding. They didn't scorn or dispise him because of his ailment, he says. Then he skips over verse 14 and makes mention of 15 but fails to tie them all together. It is just laughable. I mean here... read it for yourself in its entirety.

13 As you know, it was because of an illness that I first preached the gospel to you. 14 Even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself. 15 What has happened to all your joy? I can testify that, if you could have done so, you would have torn out your eyes and given them to me.

I just can't get over how this guy has taken everything out of context and I mean these verses are right together!! And he is using them to lend some sort of creedence to his theory? Is it possible that the ailment Paul speaks of is something that would have been an imposition on people? Possibly he needed people to wait on him hand and foot? I think that is they joy he is refering to them having lost. If you are filled with joy, things like serving others is of no consequence. You do it with a happy and willing heart. Anyhoo...

Ok winding down here to the end... The passions that he mentions here as well as in paragraph 4 or something... Paul said it is better for you not to marry so that you can devote your life to God. But it is better for you to marry than to burn with passion. etc etc. In other words, if you can't keep it in your pants, get married so at least when you get it on it will be holy and you won't get caught up in yet another sin that can interfer with your walk with God.

My feelings on this theory are, it was written by someone who just sort of skimmed over a few verses that seemed to make what he was saying credible. He failed to even mention Paul having been Saul and furthermore what Saul did for a living before God gave him a wake up call. He failed to mention Paul's views on homosexuality, Romans 1:18 -32. and well there are a few and I don't know the others off the top of my head. He doesn't address the freedom that Paul speaks of continuosly throughout all of his episitles. I mean there is nothing here that offers proof in any way that Paul could have been gay. Even the verses he sites shows he is just grasping at straws.

If Paul were gay and not acting on those desires that would change nothing. If Paul were gay and persued other men that would contradict everything he taught. This theory however does not expose some dirty little seceret. There is nothing I have ever read by Paul or about his life that would even remotely suggest he was gay. Evidentally, judging from this person failure to use passages in their full context, neither has he.

Now see, I could have just left it at no.

Take care,

Carrie
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:47 PM   #39
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You do understand that this is an excerpt from a couple hundred page book, right?

Secondly, I am just guessing here, but I am willing to bet that Bishop Spong, has done more than skim over the verses.
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:48 PM   #40
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You do understand that this is an excerpt from a couple hundred page book, right?
No.
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:49 PM   #41
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Can I leave it at no this time? hehe
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:50 PM   #42
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:51 PM   #43
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And your response was excellent. If I were not in the process of sleep typing I would try and respond intelligently.
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Old 12-08-2004, 08:51 PM   #44
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Secondly, I am just guessing here, but I am willing to bet that Bishop Spong, has done more than skim over the verses.
Well sorry, but from what I read, he did just that. I mean the reference to Galatians is just ridiculous. Bishop or not.

Just saw you reply with the wink right back at ya...

Speaking of sleep... I must get some. I have to be up early to go on a field trip with my 9 year old tomorrow. Chours thingy in Atlanta.

Hope you get some sleep soon...

Take care

Carrie
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Old 12-08-2004, 09:00 PM   #45
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thacraic,

Ok what Dread said, plus he did mention Paul's view on homosexuality.

But you failed to mention Paul's view of women in accordance with his views of marriage.
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