What I want you to know. Which is everything.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

This is how I deal with anonymous bloggers

This is in response to an anonymous comment that was made on the January 23 post.

Mr. Anonymous, by all means, please butt in. I really like it when I see comments from people I don't know or from people I don't hear from often. Although, I do prefer people who sign their name.

I realize that I probably came off a little hard on the SBTC. In no way did I ever mean to indicate that I thought they were bad people. I wasn't singing their praises, don't get me wrong, but I realize that they, like most fundamentalist groups are acting in what they feel is the best interest of both their organization and that of their affiliates.

As far as I know, everything I said about the SBTC was either opinion or taken directly from their website. I don't see how you can say, "what you are writing about the SBTC is not entirely correct" since I only stated my opinions.

The main point of my original post was to illustrate my confusion over why Faith Harbour would want to be a member of SBTC in the first place. Obviously, if you are right about the financial benefits then I've got my answer. But, otherwise, after reviewing the SBTC site it didn't seem that Faith Harbour fit their "mold" with or without a gay ministry.

It seems to me that both Randy and the SBTC have reasonable arguements as to why he is or isn't within the guidelines of SBTC churches. But, to me, it doesn't matter. If I were a member of the The Harbour I would feel a sense of freedom from the leagalistic and inhibiting bonds of the SBTC. This isn't to say that they are bad people, but they obviously have a stricter view of who Randy should be affiliated with than even he himself has. Therefore, why should he maintain his relationship with them. Good for Randy for refusing to abandon a what he feels is a worthwhile ministry just to appease the convention.

The main problem I have with your comment is when you name the salvation aspects of Christianity as the cornerstone of the SBTC, but then say "That is the problem with the STBC and Faith Harbour." There is no connection between the two statements unless you are implying that the Harbour doesn't believe in the basis of Christianity. I don't think that you are saying this if you truly have had lengthy discussions with Randy, so I must ask you for clarification on these statements.

One more thing you stated that gave me pause: "[Randy was] to choose not to support a ministry led by another person who affirms the lifestyle of homosexuality." According to Wendy, Eklektos neither affirms (in the sense you mean) nor denounces homosexuality, despite her personal feelings. So you're saying that if a member church helps a ministry (or church. I agree that it's really irrelevant) and the leader of that ministry disagrees with the SBTC then the member church will be disaffiliated? Or is it just about homosexuality?

That brings me to a much bigger question for extreme right wing? Why homosexuality? Why not pick on adulterers or gossipers or the prideful? Are they with just as much sin? I address this topic here but the question keeps popping up somehow.

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

When I said "what you are writing about the SBTC is not entirely correct" it may have been better said that the information is not complete. As with any news story what was published even in the Baptist Press was not everything that was said or done in the 2 hour meeting or other phone conversations that occurred. Not that they could be, but somethings have been left out.

The Southern Baptist Convention and other state conventions do not function like most other church hierarchy. The SBTC is formed not to hold churches in line but to serve the churches who are members. They provide training for leaders, provide methods for smaller churches to accomplish big things by doing ministry jointly.

You would be surprised at the diversity in the congregations that belong to the SBTC. Some of the churches that belong would not resemble a traditional southern baptist church in any way, shape, or form. I went to an SBTC church in Houston where the Pastor wore Hawaiian shirts, peached in sandals, they never sang a hymn, nor even had a hymn book, their church looked more like a place where rock concerts woul be held. Their youth room actually had the theme fly with God and had a 4 passenger plane donated that they hung above their stage where bands would come and play. It looked like a Christian club. Other churches seem so old and stale the preacher almost has to blow a whistle to wake-up the congregation to dismiss them. Our methodolgy differs tremendously in most Southern Baptist Churches. Some churches in the SBTC are like Willowcreek or Saddleback and others think Saddleback has to do with riding a horse. In talking to Randy and knowing him I do not think that the people at Faith Harbour could have possibly felt restricted in any ministry thus far that they have, and to be honest I know for certain that a ministry aimed at homosexuals is not a problem within SBTC circles. I know of several churches in the SBTC which have ministries of varying degrees which minister to homosexuals.

I have NO problem with any church that chooses not to be apart of the SBTC or follow their constitution. My main problem is the way Faith Harbour has told that they were kicked out of the SBTC. They chose not to follow the rules they had agreed to follow. It is kinda like the High School student who says, that teacher kicked me out of his class. Well, did the teacher kick him out or did he choose not to follow the stated guidelines?


The clarification you have asked for is this: There must be a time of Discipleship within a church when we grow through understanding our sin and repenting of it. (Not only for salvation but for sanctification) When we take away the sin we take away the need for redemption. When the leader of Eklektos says she does not believe homosexuality is a sin, why will anyone ever repent of this behavior. If I don't believe lying is sin, will anyone I win to the Lord realize a need to repent of being a liar. Or murder or any other sin. This is the issue!

Now about the quote, "So you're saying that if a member church helps a ministry and the leader of that ministry disagrees with the SBTC then the member church will be disaffiliated?" I think it depends on the level of disagreement. For instant most SBTC churches do not advocate having a prayer language i.e. speaking in tongues. But jsut because a church decides to I do not believe that would be grounds for removal. Also, some SBTC churches may not require transfer members to have a baptism by immersion and others may these are different from affirming sinful behavior and I believe if any church affirms sinful behavior it would be grounds for dismissal if a reconciliation could not be found. I believe in most cases that is probably is what happens.

Until yesterday Wendy Bailey nor Randy had said anything about how Eklektos would respond to homosexuality and Randy had the chance. The only thing that the SBTC had to go on was the Eklektos mission statement which says "This community of Christians is especially called to welcome and affirm people who are gay, lesbian, bi-sexual and transgendered. We are a diverse group of disciples -- diverse in age, race, gender, ideology and sexual orientation." By this very statement it appears that they affirm homosexuality. Also, the only other two things that could be found was Wendy's position that she does not believe homosexuality to be a sin or believe the Bible should be interpreted literally and Randy's statements that he supports this ministry. If it is true (and I am not saying that it is not) why did Randy or his other two staff people who were at this meeting not say "Hey guys this ministry is still in the planning stages, let's see if we can't work together to make this a ministry that will be in line with the SBTC and still work with what we want to do." OR "We haven't got that far yet, I just do not know" Randy even had the opportunity to talk to several pastors individually and he never made this remark until they posted it on the web this week. When the questions tried to nail them down of exactly whether Eklektos who teach homosexuality to be a sin or not. Remember, some of us have been dealing with this stuff since around December 17th, and this is the first time this has been said. I know Randy actually has a fairly conservative belief in these areas, I do not know why some of his beliefs have not been used in defining this ministry.

Lastly, it isn't just homosexuality! I know churches who have removed members because they have continually participated in malicious gossip with the purpose to destroy a person's character. Also, I know of churches that have even removed people for being unwilling to forgive others. The only issues you hear about are the issues that are also political, because they make the news.

Manelikocu
(Meant to sign before and forgot.)

Jason said...

Kyle and Manelikocu,
I really appreciate the way the two of you have engaged in a civil, rational discussion of an issue that has become divisive and volatile. I have been ashamed of the way Christians on both sides of the issue have engaged in the discussion. It often digresses into shouting matches with neither side listening to the other, only throwing insults of "willful sinner" or "ignorant Pharisee" or worse. That is not a productive or Godly way to discuss any issue.

I think the issue turns on whether or not you believe homosexuality is a sin. Personally, I don't think that it is a sin any more than other sexual matters are sinful (i.e. excesses of sexuality at the expense of the intimacy for which it was intended), for the reasons that Wink gives in his article. It's a matter of how you choose to interpret the Bible, which I think we can all agree has a wide range of possible interpretations on many issues. As Wink writes, “The debate over homosexuality is a remarkable opportunity, because it raises in an especially acute way how we interpret the Bible, not in this case only, but in numerous others as well. The real issue here, then, is not simply homosexuality, but how Scripture informs our lives today.” The issue that we should be discussing in the church, therefore, might not be homosexuality, but biblical interpretation.

I can accept that we have differing hermeneutical beliefs. Problems of interpretation have been around since Christianity began 2000 years ago (the apostles often disagreed about how interpret the oral message of Christ, Paul and Peter's disagreement [Galatians 2:11-14] being the most notable example of this). In that way, I don't have a problem with a denomination disaffiliating itself from a church if they believe that church does not adhere to its core values, even if I disagree with those core values.

What disturbs me about this issue is the way it has been politicized. The Religious Right has jumped on this issue and abortion as if these are the only issues relevant to Christians. What about poverty, domestic and international? What about world hunger? What about fiscal responsibility? What about violence? What about divorce, which is a larger threat to Christian marriage than homosexuality will ever be? Why haven't these issues, which I believe are addressed more directly and more often in the Bible than homosexuality, been taken up by the Religious Right as issues to be championed? In my opinion, it's because the Republican party has essentially hijacked mainstream evangelical Christianity, disseminating its platform throughout the church as if those positions were entirely scriptural, which is often a stretch at best.

Even if a Christian believes that homosexuality is a sin, why does that belief have to spill over into public politics, which is supposed to represent the masses of all faiths? I believe that a firm separation of church and state is essentially, both politically and scripturally. I believe the Bible supports this, most notably in 1 Samuel 8 and the surrounding circumstances (where God reluctantly gives the people of Israel a king) and Matthew 22:15-22 (where Jesus clearly separates religion and government; the fact that Jesus’ kingdom is a spiritual kingdom, rather than an earthly one, also speaks to the fact that the activities of the secular government is largely irrelevant to the Christian faith (although in Romans 13:1-7, Paul writes to respect the authority of governmental powers, which I think further support the separation of church and state). I don’t know of any passage that conclusively advocates for the mergence of church and state.

All of that is to say, if the government eliminates public prayer in school, it doesn’t mean that I can’t pray privately. If the government eventually legalizes gay marriage, which I believe it will within my lifetime, it doesn’t change anything about the faith of those who believe it is wrong. Our faith and our ability to evangelize are not contained within the government. Rather, it supersedes government, regardless of our individual beliefs.

By the way, I give free permission to anyone wanting to disseminate anything I’ve written here, as long as appropriate credit is given. I think this is a discussion that has gone down the wrong path. Instead of talking about homosexuality, which we may never agree about, I think we should be talking about the separation of church and state and the nature of our hermeneutical beliefs, which are at the heart of this issue and others.

Kyle said...

Ah, yes, Manelikocu. I remember you from the Harbour blog.

I think that our primary disagreement here is that I believe Randy when he says that he truly doesn't think that he was outside the guidelines of the SBTC by helping with this ministry. You seem to think that Randy doesn't believe what he's saying. Otherwise the high school kid analogy doesn't hold up. As a school teacher myself when kids pull the "The teacher did this... The teacher did that" stuff it is handled by asking the student what happened. What the kid is really saying isn't that they are innocent, but that they felt the rules should have been ignored for them. Is this what Randy is doing? As a good friend and colleague of Randy's, I don't think so.

Thank you for clarifying some of your previous statements and answering some of my questions. While I certainly see where you're coming from I just can't agree with you. As I stated earlier homosexuality has always conflicted me. Sexual sin is wrong whether it is between two men or a man and a woman. But, do you really want to lump murderers, rapists, theives and alcoholics with gays who live otherwise beneficial and normal lives. Some Christians think that there is no such thing as a homosexual who isn't premiscuous and distructive. These people simply don't know many gays. Homosexuality isn't distructive or harmful, unless they live in a society that is hostile toward it.

I see your point in saying that Randy could have probably saved face by answering "I don't know" to a lot of the questions, or simply trying to reconcile Eklektos with the SBTC. But, Randy isn't the head of Eklektos and neither is he even a member. I believe he said that he's been to a couple of their meetings, but to what extent his aid has been is unclear to me. I believe he probably felt that he wasn't the right person to say those things or to respond about the ministry so specifically.

Finally, I'd like to appologize. I generalized the nature of a SBTC church unfairly, I believe, and I retract those comments. I do however believe that The Harbour is going to be fine without them and even quite possibly thrive. I think that the purpose of Eklektos isn't to "affirm" homosexuality in the sense that they are saying it's okay, although they might think that. I think the point is to show Christ to a group of people who usually get left out of the mix. Gays are used to hearing, "If you want to become a Christian you have to be straight, so let's work on that, first." Eklektos is saying, "we aren't going to pass any judgement, we aren't going to tell you how to interpret scripture, we simply want to introduce you to Christ.

I don't think you're ever going to reach homosexuals if they feel attacked or maligned.

Anonymous said...

"I believe Randy when he says that he truly doesn't think that he was outside the guidelines of the SBTC by helping with this ministry. You seem to think that Randy doesn't believe what he's saying."

I beleive that Randy does not believe that he was not outside of the guidelines, but I also believe that the men who have been elected by fellow SBTC churches to serve on the Pettitionary and Credential committe of the SBTC, the South Texas Baptist Association, the entire church body of their sponsoring church, and the SJBA do think that they were outside the bound of the SBTC constitution and of their own associational guidelines. The SBTC gave Randy the chance to explain his point. I am a friend of Randy's also and we have talked on this matter and may disagree on some of the issues but that does not change my relationship with him. My spouse also works with Randy and personally addressed this issue with him prior to the SBTC meeting with him. I think I understand Randy's heart and I am not saying his heart is in the wrong place.

I am certain that most people will not agree with me in regards to sin, because we as humans want to give it levels of behavior. But that concerns me! To me, it is either sin or not. If you read on I did not just group violent sins in this category, I include stuff such as lying and disobeying parents which my three year old will do daily. Sexual sin is sin.
Just because so many people have committed it in some form or another should we overrule God and say, well this isn't sin because we all do it. That is the impression I get from some many people today. I believe in a black and white world where sin is concerned. It is either a sin or not. It has nothing to do with being "promiscuous and distructive". The same as two heterosexuals who are not married living togethe not married. It is still sin. I am confused as to how anyone can read the Bible and come away believing that homosexuality or fornication is not a sin. Some one show me and I will consider their arguments, but I have no basis for believing otherwise.

I also believe that the Harbour will be fine without the SBTC and could possibly thrive. I am praying for their ministry and for Randy and Wendy Bailey (whom I do not know) because I believe that any new ministry has the potential for greatness and also for satanic attack. That was initially why I started posting, why can't Faith Harbour and the SBTC simply respond to the press by saying, the SBTC and Faith Harbour have decided that God has called us to minister in different directions, therefore, we have gone our seperate ways. Would that not have been more beneficial to the cause of Christ worldwide? Why do we as Christians feel like we need to have the world's support on issues that should be handled within the church.

Many people have a mindset about churches especially Southern Baptist Churches that continues to be perpetuated in the press. I just wanted to clarify the differences in various SBTC churches.

I have NEVER been a church that attacked a sinner of any sort. We have had homosexuals, adulterers, women who have had abortions, etc...NEVER have anyone of them been ostracized (ms) in my church. My pastor does preach against these things but to be honest he preaches even harder against malicious gossippers and people without love for others.

I am certain I will not change many people in regards to what they believe to be sinful behavior, but I hope I can change people's minds that conservative, fundamental, evangelical christians can disapprove of a behavior and still have a rational conversation, listen, and show love and respect to people with different beliefs. I just ask that people who disagree with me show me the same respect in regards to my opinions.
Manelikocu

MDH said...

Interesting points made by all. I don't have much knowledge about the Harbour, so won't comment on that issue. Three things interest me.

1) Is homosexuality a sin? I think it is. I agree that there are other sexual sins. There are other non-sexual sins. We ALL sin. Daily. Are there degrees of sin? Not sure. There are to my feeble human mind. I would rather you gossip about me than murder me. Are there to God? Again...not sure, but I don't imagine he draws as big a distinction as I do. Sin is sin. The fact that there are other sins does not make one sin (homosexuality) any more acceptable. The fact that the people who believe homosexuality is sinful are sinners, does not make their viewpoint invalid. Those who feel it is not a sin are sinners as well.

2)I agree that the issue (and others) has become too politicized. The term "Christian" has been turned into a demographic voting block, instead of a belief system or proud label of a follower of Christ. It's a market to be capitalized upon by both business and politicians. I'm politically conservative, and usually vote Republican. I'm not aware of being in the "Religious Right." I'm not sure exatly where that phrase originated. I'm never heard someone proclaim to be a leader or member of said group.

3) I understand that there are differing interpretations of scripture. Smart people with good intentions can view scripture in different ways. That doesn't mean they are both right though. There ARE absolutes in the Bible that do not lead to mystery and continuing searches. That seems like a dangerous road to go down. Reading some quotes (from highly educated men I'm sure) in another thread made me think "caaaarrreefulllll." We can't "interpret" the Word of God to fit our personal views, or the P.C. zeitgeist of society.

Thanks for the discussion gentlemen. Please continue.

Anonymous said...

WOW, I wish I could have said it as well. Your the first person to agree with most of what I have said in the last week. I was beginning to think I was a stranger in a foreign land.

For we are all sinners saved by grace, lest any man should boast. Political term or not I hope I am a religious right (correct) for my hope is set on nothing less than Jesus Christ.

Manelikocu

Jason said...

In my opinion, the "Religious Right" is the conservative politicization of Christianity. I, for one, would not presume that all conservatives, Christians, or even Republicans are part of the "Religious Right". Simply put, it is the religious members of the right wing of government. In my mind, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, and James Dobson are the face of the Religious Right. They have turned Christianity into a political platform to be used as a weapon, instead of message of Good News to be spread through the love and acceptance of Jesus Christ. Again, I do not believe that the "Religious Right" represents everyone with conservative views; it is the politicization of Christianity.

Jason said...

"I am confused as to how anyone can read the Bible and come away believing that homosexuality or fornication is not a sin. Some one show me and I will consider their arguments, but I have no basis for believing otherwise."

Manelikocu,
Please read Walter Wink's article. I'm not saying that it will change your mind, but I believe it presents a very good argument.

Also, of course we shouldn't interpret scripture to fit our personal views, but I do think we have to understand the context in which the scriptures were written. God's message never changes, but the earthly context of the reader is always changing and diverging from that of the writer, and there's nothing we can do about that. We cannot ignore the context in which the scriptures were written and how that context affected the writer (keeping in mind that God's message transcends such limitations). Rather, with the Holy Spirit as our guide, we must learn the divine meaning behind the earthly words. That, I believe, is the true challenge of Biblical interpretation.

Anonymous said...

I want to respond to this article but I will need to do a lot of research to cover his points there are a lot of issues that he makes that do not reflect the church that I am apart of i.e. divorce. My church does not ordain someone who has been divorced.

All I can tell you off the top of my head is that a lot of the time people read what they want to in scripture. I had a lady tell me once that she didn't spank her children because the Bible says to "Spare the rod and spoil the chld"

Culture does not always interpret scripture, but ther scriptures are always used to interpret scriptures.

Kyle said...

Good discussion, all.

Let me ask a question that I think encompasses a larger issue. We can agree that there is sin, and we can agree that we must seek forgiveness for salvation in Christ. We don't always agree what sin is, yet we are supposed to confess our sin to be reconciled with God. And here's the question that in one form or another is on the heart of every little kid: Are we forgiven from sin that we are ignorant of?

I think we are. I don't think there is really anything we can do except say, "Lord, forgive me when I sin" and genuinely mean that. If that means we are interepreting scripture incorrectly, I think that God will forgive us. We shouldn't interpret scripture to fit our own agenda, but we also shouldn't interpret scripture to fit in with the mainstream, or popular opinion. We should continually strive to understand scripture and it's context and how it speaks to our hearts. I think God never changes because that implies time that I don't think binds God like it does us. But I do think that he deals with his children differently and speaks to their hearts in different ways.

The most dangerous thing that we can do is to say, "my way is correct and everyone who does not believe how I believe is outside of grace." This is what the Church of Christ did in the middle part of the 20th century and I know many people who still feel hurt and alienated from Christianity (particularly the CoC) because of this stance.

Anonymous said...

In my researching I came across this article that a pastor had written in response to the very article cited above. His response to this article by Walter Wink is said with more grace and love than I would ever be able to put on paper although it is very much in line with what I believe and the stance I want to take. I am continuing to research the basis of this article and search with an open mind the arguments he makes. I have prayed that if I am wrong in this area for God to convict me so harshly that there would be no way I could not change my mind, however, that has not happened at all. I hope that you will read this article with as much enthusiasm and try to see the opposing argument.

http://www.epm.org/articles/gaywitness4.html

marcus said...

***DISCLAIMER: my only knowledge of this issue is from posts and comments on this blog and the links to other sites and blogs.***

it seems to me that the crux of this issue is that of outreach. the question being, how do we reach the homosexual community and show them God's love in a way that God would approve of. it sounds like eklektos' mission is to welcome homosexuals without judgement or any sense of condemnation which is admirable. it also appears that this openness (of eklektos and randy and faith harbor) has made the leaders of the sbtc uncomfortable to say the least.

Jesus calls us to take his message into all the world. not sermonize and then wait for the world to come to us. remember "the harvest is plentiful but the workers are few". the workers aren't simply few in number but few in their effectiveness. let's not reject God's harvest fields because we are afraid of getting a little dirty.

with the issue of homosexuality, where one side feels so passionate and the other so persecuted, we as God's workers must show his grace to those we are trying to reach. but it must be grace with truth (i'm quoting randy alcorn here). our audience may not be prepared for truth. so it is a difficult balance. and more often than not we fail and will conitnue to fail.

the sbtc may be concerned that eklektos was showing ample grace but no truth and when asked, eklektos and randy might not have given them the reassurance they were looking for.

i admire eklektos's ministry and fully support it, but i think i can also support the sbtc's desire for scripturally integrity.

Anonymous said...

Marcus, the churches of the SBTC do go out and reach into the gay community, they are actively seeking to restore sinners to Christ. They want to reach ALL sinners no matter the sin. The crux of this issue is really whether or not homosexuality is a sin that we need redemption for or is it a lifestyle that the conservatives have politicized to feel better about themselves and ostracise (ms) others. We are to love and affirm the person but not the sin no matter what kind of sin it is. The SBTC gave Randy the option to make this a ministry that would seek out the homosexual community with the plan to reach them for Christ and then disciple them to turn from their sin. Not to affirm their sin, he chose not to. If you have read Randy Alcorn's dialogue as posted above you will get a view of what I believe is what most SBTC churches really want to do.

Kyle said...

Manelikocu, Randy did not and does not affirm homosexuality, in fact he believes it is a sin. Randy is not in charge of Eklektos. He simply allowed them space to meet.

Anonymous said...

That is exactly the problem with the SBTC. It is not the fact of his beliefs per se, it is his relationship with the ministry Eklektos. The SBTC constitation states "any church that ACTS to support, affirm or endorse homosexuality. By allowing Eklektos to use his building the church is acting to support and affirm. However, Randy has stated that he church is a participant in this ministry. That was the very thing that the petitionary and credentials committee can to discover. If all of the sudden my church allowed a local bar to use our facilities to serve drinks and minister to the alcoholic community, we would be giving our stamp of approval to this type of ministry.

Jason said...

"All I can tell you off the top of my head is that a lot of the time people read what they want to in scripture."

You are absolutely right. But we must remember that it happens with everyone: progressive, conservative, rich, poor, those who minister to the LBGT community and those who do not. I remember as a kid, I heard that Churches of Christ say that we should "Speak where the Bible speaks and stay silent where the Bible is silent." I found it ironic, however, and still do, that to them "staying silent" meant excluding it. Therefore, instrumental music, infant baptism, and other aspects fo Christianity became wrong.

I think the same is true when we attempt to "speak where the Bible speaks"-- we end up inadvertantly speaking with our own voices, and not the voice of God. That, however, is a fault of the human experience. We should strive to hear the voice of God, but we must recognize that we won't get it right until Judgement Day. In my opinion, only Jesus Christ fully heard the voice of God, so we should look to his example above all else.

One other thing-- I hope that whoever reads the Wink article will read it all of the way through before making a judgement on it. He covers most of the crux of the "sex ethic" in the Bible near the end, and it's that part that I think really makes his point.

marcus said...

but jason, wink purports that the bible is simply wrong when it makes these "unequivocal condemnations". forget about the old testament and all its crazy laws that make no sense to modern christians because none of that law is binding for christians. it is jewish law. we are not jews. therefore we must look to the new testament for our answers.

Romans 1:26-27 says "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. Men committed INDECENT acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their PERVERSION."

(i capitalized the words that i felt were significant in indicating condemnation of this sin)

why is homosexuality the only sin mentioned in the new testament that some modern christians try to explain away?

the bible is not silent here and yet you seem to think it's open for interpretation.

Kyle said...

Marcus, homosexuality creates such a conflict for me because it's the only biblical sin which seems to cause more harm in trying to quit than if they accept their orientaion. Alcoholics die from liver failure, liars and murders are obviously hurting others, greed, pride, selfishness, and even sexual promiscuity all have consequences that make sense why they would be ungodly. The assumption that all homosexual activity is premiscuous is a myth. I've just known too many people who's lives' were made more peaceful when they accepted their own sexuality.

Anonymous said...

Boy, I wish I had all the answers. I wish I could explain how all of these things work according to scripture. Everyone I know on both sides of the issue is a person who may have mixed motives, at least as to the degree that what they read into scripture endorses the view that they want to read. However, I did read a person who has a very interesting view especially since he claims to be a homosexual. You can read his research and try to see his heart. If anyone has a reason to believe that homosexuality is not a sin it is Ron. You can read his views at http://www.gaychristian.net/rons_view.php

marcus said...

i just think we should be careful about what we add to or subtract from scripture to support our view. (both sides are guilty of this by the way) and citing wink (or any other scholar) as a defense of one's view is dangerous because he obviously has an agenda he is trying to advance, and his degrees do not necessarily make him a scholarly authority on God's divine word.

and i agree with you, kyle. i don't see the harm either. i know a lesbian couple who have been together for twenty years and have two children together. their love for each other is moving and beautiful, but to God it's a sinful life. i don't know why, but that's what the bible has told me. i have to accept that as God-breathed truth. and i have no reason to discount it.

it's confusing and we will never understand it and that's the dilemma. i want to make clear that i don't think all homosexuals will go to hell. they live with sin in their lives just like me, just like you. we all struggle with different sins. it may be lying, pornography, homosexuality, greed, lust, envy, etc. it is not the abstinence from sin but the concerted effort to expel sin from our lives that matters. we will and do fail, but we must try to stop, yes?

i also want you to know that i have changed my position on gay marriage. this change is due in some small part to our discussions on it. if the government wants to recognize it, what should i care? but i do feel that the church's who administer these marriages are not doing God's work and he will spit them out of his mouth. this is a slight change of perspective on government's role in our lives, while my biblical view of homosexuality remains unmoved.

MDH said...

After reading Wink's article, I had the same thought as Marcus. When he (Wink) got down to it, he seemed to be saying the passages that are not vague clearly declare homosexuality is sin but....

I kept reading to see his arguments, but I think the sentence should end right there. The BIBLE says it is sin.

marcus said...

found this quote:

"If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ. Where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proved, and to be steady on the battlefield besides, is mere flight and disgrace if he flinches at that point." -Martin Luther

Jason said...

Marcus,
That's a good quote by Luther, but it certainly could apply to either side.

Kyle said...

I also thought that this quote could apply to either side of the debate. But an excellent quote, nonetheless.

Kyle said...

Let me rephrase that last comment. It only applies to one side of the debate, but which side is what we seem to be debating.